Wow! What a great weekend of services that we had yesterday. Last nights service was refreshing and encouraging. Students of all ages, as well as adults of all ages lingered in the altars for close to an hour, broken and still before the Lord!
Last week at General Council, the outgoing General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God presented a challenge from Revelation 3:1-3. It was a powerful Word from God. Verse two says, "Strengthen that which remains, before it dies." As I listened to the message, I felt God begin to speak to me about somethings that we need to STRENGTHEN in the Assemblies of God in general, and in our local church specifically. I put these in the form of an acrostic with the word STRENGTHEN. I would like to share these notes with you. We must fight to strengthen the following beliefs from God's Word, or they may not be seen or heard among us much longer:
Sacredness of the Sabbath (Exodus 20:8)
Exodus 20:8 Remember the sabbath day, to keep it holy.
The Blood of Jesus (Leviticus 17:11; Ephesians 2:13; Hebrews 10:19; Leviticus 14:1-7)
Leviticus 17:11 (NLT) for the life of the body is in its blood. I have given you the blood on the altar to purify you, making you right with the LORD. It is the blood, given in exchange for a life, that makes purification possible.
Ephesians 2:13 (AMP) But now in Christ Jesus, you who once were [so] far away, through (by, in) the blood of Christ have been brought near.
(MSG) Now because of Christ--dying that death, shedding that blood--you who were once out of it altogether are in on everything.
Hebrews 10:19 (MSG) So, friends, we can now--without hesitation--walk right up to God, into "the Holy Place." Jesus has cleared the way by the blood of his sacrifice, acting as our priest before God. The "curtain" into God's presence is his body.
Real deliverances from bondage (John 8:36; Galatians 5:1)
John 8:36 (AMP) So if the Son liberates you [makes you free men], then you are really and unquestionably free.
(KJVR) If the Son therefore shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed.
(MSG) So if the Son sets you free, you are free through and through.
Galatians 5:1 (AMP) IN [this] freedom Christ has made us free [and completely liberated us]; stand fast then, and do not be hampered and held ensnared and submit again to a yoke of slavery [which you have once put off].
(KJVR) Stand fast therefore in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not entangled again with the yoke of bondage.
(MSG) Christ has set us free to live a free life. So take your stand! Never again let anyone put a harness of slavery on you.
Evidence of Holy Ghost Baptism (Acts 2:1-4; Acts 19:1-6)
Acts 19:2 (AMP) And he asked them, Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed [on Jesus as the Christ]? And they said, No, we have not even heard that there is a Holy Spirit.
No way to heaven but through Jesus (John 14:6; Acts 4:12)
John 14:6 (AMP) Jesus said to him, I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) Me.
Acts 4:12 (AMP) And there is salvation in and through no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by and in which we must be saved.
(KJVR) Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.
(MSG) Salvation comes no other way; no other name has been or will be given to us by which we can be saved, only this one."
God still Heals and peforms Miracles (Isaiah 53:5; I Peter 2:24; Hebrews 13:8)
Isaiah 53:5 (AMP) But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.
1 Peter 2:24 (AMP) He personally bore our sins in His [own] body on the tree [as on an altar and offered Himself on it], that we might die (cease to exist) to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed.
Hebrews 13:8 (AMP) Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is [always] the same, yesterday, today, [yes] and forever (to the ages).
The Rapture of the Church (I Thessalonians 4:16-17)
1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a loud cry of summons, with the shout of an archangel, and with the blast of the trumpet of God. And those who have departed this life in Christ will rise first. (17) Then we, the living ones who remain [on the earth], shall simultaneously be caught up along with [the resurrected dead] in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so always (through the eternity of the eternities) we shall be with the Lord!
Holiness (Psalm 96:9; Hebrews 12:14; Ephesians 5:8; Leviticus 20:7)
Hebrews 12:14(AMP) Strive to live in peace with everybody and pursue that consecration and holiness without which no one will [ever] see the Lord.
(KJVR) Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord:
Ephesians 5:8 (AMP) For once you were darkness, but now you are light in the Lord; walk as children of Light [lead the lives of those native-born to the Light].
Leviticus 20:7 (KJVR) Sanctify yourselves therefore, and be ye holy: for I am the LORD your God.
(MSG) "Set yourselves apart for a holy life. Live a holy life, because I am GOD, your God.
Emphasis on Intercessory Prayer (2 Chronicles 7:14)
2 Chronicles 7:14 (AMP) If My people, who are called by My name, shall humble themselves, pray, seek, crave, and require of necessity My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin, and heal their land.
(KJVR) If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.
Nine Gifts of the Spirit (I Corinthians 12:4-11)
1 Corinthians 12:4-11 Now there are distinctive varieties and distributions of endowments (gifts, extraordinary powers distinguishing certain Christians, due to the power of divine grace operating in their souls by the Holy Spirit) and they vary, but the [Holy] Spirit remains the same. (5) And there are distinctive varieties of service and ministration, but it is the same Lord [Who is served]. (6) And there are distinctive varieties of operation [of working to accomplish things], but it is the same God Who inspires and energizes them all in all. (7) But to each one is given the manifestation of the [Holy] Spirit [the evidence, the spiritual illumination of the Spirit] for good and profit. (8) To one is given in and through the [Holy] Spirit [the power to speak] a message of wisdom, and to another [the power to express] a word of knowledge and understanding according to the same [Holy] Spirit; (9) To another [wonder-working] faith by the same [Holy] Spirit, to another the extraordinary powers of healing by the one Spirit; (10) To another the working of miracles, to another prophetic insight (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose); to another the ability to discern and distinguish between [the utterances of true] spirits [and false ones], to another various kinds of [unknown] tongues, to another the ability to interpret [such] tongues. (11) All these [gifts, achievements, abilities] are inspired and brought to pass by one and the same [Holy] Spirit, Who apportions to each person individually [exactly] as He chooses.
My prayer is, "Lord help us to truly STRENGTHEN these things before they die!" God bless you!
Rejoicing (and spinning) in this wonderful day!
Pastor Rusty L. Blann