Articles by other Colleagues
Thoughts of A Spiritual Nature / February 1997/John H. Stephens
Thoughts of A Spiritual Nature / March 1997/John H. Stephens
The TRUE evil of homosexuality - FEAR/Leif M. Wright
Thoughts of A Spiritual Nature / April 1997/John H. Stephens
Thoughts of A Spiritual Nature / May 1997/John H. Stephens
Thoughts of A Spiritual Nature / June 1997/John H. Stephens
Thoughts of A Spiritual Nature / July 1997/John H. Stephens
The Poverty Lie/Catherine Goy
Thoughts of A Spiritual Nature / August 1997/John H. Stephens
Patriarchal Christianity is Biblical Christianity/ Sean Barclay Goff
Thoughts of A Spiritual Nature / September 1997/John H. Stephens
Thoughts of A Spiritual Nature / October 1997/John H. Stephens
Thoughts of A Spiritual Nature / November 1997/John H. Stephens
Thoughts of a Spiritual Nature / June 1998
By: John Stephens / Bible Teacher
ATP Colleagues in Ministry
"We live our whole life on a roller coaster, up and down, joyful and "down in the dumps", never feeling that every thing is right between God and us.
This month I would like to revisit a thought that has been stirring in my mind all year.
It is the one that has to do with how God has prepared us to live the Christian life here on earth in the flesh. Under the Old Testament, Moses' covenant, we know that life is lived in obedience to commandments. If we obey, then we receive rewards. Under the New Testament, we have received promises, and we are to believe the promises to receive what is promised. This is also the Abrahamic Covenant. Yet the majority of us have been taught that it is obeying that makes us right with God. We feel guilty that we have not done what our teacher's have said. We miss church, or tell a lie, or get angry, or commit one of the deadly sins, and we "know" that our relationship with God has been severed. We fall on our knees and ask forgiveness or if we are so guilty that we "know" God will not hear us, we run to a "minister" who must be right with God.
We live our whole life on a roller coaster, up and down, joyful and "down in the dumps", never feeling that every thing is right between God and us. This is living under the Old Testament. It is a "no win" life style. No man or women can do it. The only One who could has already done it, Jesus the Anointed One!
Well, how do I change? I think I need to do something in order to be right with God. How am I going to live this life?
Isaiah 59:1-21 Behold, the LORD's hand is not shortened, that it cannot save; neither his ear heavy, that it cannot hear: But your iniquities have separated between you and your God, and your sins have hid his face from you, that he will not hear. For your hands are defiled with blood, and your fingers with iniquity; your lips have spoken lies, your tongue hath muttered perverseness. None calleth for justice, nor any pleadeth for truth: they trust in vanity, and speak lies; they conceive mischief, and bring forth iniquity They hatch cockatrice' eggs, and weave the spider's web: he that eateth of their eggs dieth, and that which is crushed breaketh out into a viper. Their webs shall not become garments, neither shall they cover themselves with their works: their works are works of iniquity, and the act of violence is in their hands. Their feet run to evil, and they make haste to shed innocent blood: their thoughts are thoughts of iniquity; wasting and destruction are in their paths. The way of peace they know not; and there is no judgment in their goings: they have made them crooked paths: whosoever goeth therein shall not know peace. Therefore is judgment far from us, neither doth justice overtake us: we wait for light, but behold obscurity; for brightness, but we walk in darkness. We grope for the wall like the blind, and we grope as if we had no eyes: we stumble at noonday as in the night; we are in desolate places as dead men. We roar all like bears, and mourn sore like doves: we look for judgment, but there is none; for salvation, but it is far off from us. For our transgressions are multiplied before thee, and our sins testify against us: for our transgressions are with us; and as for our iniquities, we know them; In transgressing and lying against the LORD, and departing away from our God, speaking oppression and revolt, conceiving and uttering from the heart words of falsehood. And judgment is turned away backward, and justice standeth afar off: for truth is fallen in the street, and equity cannot enter. Yea, truth faileth; and he that departeth from evil maketh himself a prey: and the LORD saw it, and it displeased him that there was no judgment. (KJV)
Doesn't that sound like we feel? We ourselves, those around us and even our teachers re-inforce these feelings by telling us what we did was wrong; what we should do to correct the situation and if we don't, then not to blame God for how we feel because He cannot do anything for us!!!! And they are right for the wrong reason.
Isaiah 59: 16-21 And he saw that there was no man, and wondered that there was no intercessor: therefore his arm brought salvation unto him; and his righteousness, it sustained him. For he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation upon his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloke.
According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompence to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompence. So shall they fear the name of the LORD from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him. And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the LORD. As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever. (KJV)
God knew that no man or woman could be righteous by their own works. He sent Jesus the Anointed One to do the works we could not do. We receive His Righteousness by believing, not working. God has provided a way for us to live. Here we have a "work" that will amplify our "believing." Our need for a work is found in verse 21;" As for me, this is my covenant with them, saith the LORD; My spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy mouth, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed, nor out of the mouth of thy seed's seed, saith the LORD, from henceforth and for ever."
Remember, "works" do not work, only believing the promises. But how do we handle the day-to-day problems we encounter? By believing that God has given us His Spirit forever and that His words will not depart from our mouth. What are we to do with the "words"?
God in verse 20 says "When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the LORD shall lift up a standard against him."
Then in verse 21, He defines the standard as the Holy Spirit and God's word.
Who is our enemy? Is it ourselves, those around us or our teachers? No, it is Satan. How does Satan attack us? We find the answer in the last book of our Bible.
Rev 12:16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. (KJV)
The dragon is Satan and he opens his mouth and a "flood" comes out. What comes out of mouths? WORDS. Satan attacks us through every way he can by words. He attacks us in our minds, he uses other people and even uses Bible words to condemn us. But God has raised up a standard for us, His Holy Spirit and His Word in our mouth.
Please, note that it is not our words that keep Satan out of our lives. It is God's Words: His promises that we speak with our mouth.
The "works" that do WORK are the works that have been done by God, not our own. If you have trouble standing on the promises and need to "do" something, then open your mouth and quote the Words of God to the enemy. Jesus will take these promises directly to the Father and the results will be that the victory that Jesus won will be completed in your life. Speaking His promises consistently causes belief to grow in us. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God – we hear what we speak!
John H. Stephens, is a good friend of Evangelist Perkins and this Ministry. John's page will be up-dated on a regular basis, so keep visiting his page. You can respond to his articles via According To Prophecy Ministries email given below. John 's email will be submitted to this page in the near future.
John H. Stephens: Secularly educated at the University of Texas and the University of Houston in Phycology, John found the real answer to life's questions and problems was in Jesus the Christ and His Word. Called to the ministry of pastor and teacher in 1973, he served as pastor in the Southern Baptist Convention. Filled with the Holy Spirit, he served as co-pastor of a nondenominational church and began teaching seminars in the Houston area. He has served on the operational staff on Oral Roberts Evangelistic Association and Morris Cerullo World Evangelism. He teaches several seminars, including the "Triumphant Church", "End-time Evangelism" and "Privileges of the Bride of Christ."
Your comments and suggestions are welcomed.