Monday, December 5, 2011

Weeping Lions and Roaring Lambs-

Proverbs 28:1, John 21:15-16, Psalms 34:10

Recently, while speaking in Phoenix, AZ at a men's conference God began to speak to me. At the time I was lying on my face worshiping. I heard God say to me, "Son, I am looking for Lions that weep, and Lambs that roar!" Therefore I must share this message!

Proverbs 28:1, (msg) The wicked are edgy with guilt, ready to run off even when no one's after them; Honest people are relaxed and confident, bold as lions.

Boy I love that! I picture a lion standing on a rock! Overlooking the landscape! Piercing eyes, stone hard jaw, paws in position to pounce, ready to defend or offend. Lions are the fiercest beast of the jungle. I love the old song "In the jungle the lion sleeps tonight."

Yet, God told me he was looking for lions that weep and lambs that roar! At first I wanted to say to God "you got that backwards Jesus! It doesn’t work that way… I didn’t understand this." Then I began to realize what God was saying.

I have always considered myself a lion. It is my favorite animal in the jungle. I have always wanted to operate as a protector of the pride!
OOPs there it is Protector of the Pride! We have been protecting our pride too long!

Yet, as a lion I have found that in the season we are in I must seek God. Boldness and passion are amazing, but I feel God calling me to brokenness and desperation.

Recently, God spoke to me, “son I am not looking for those who finish the race first, but those who can finish the race with a limp called brokenness.

There is a call from heaven for the strong to be broken and the weak to lift their voice in triumph. The church has operated as a place where the strong at heart blurt their opinions, run their committees, voice their desires, while so long those tender of heart have sat on the sidelines, waited their turn, and wept in their pillows!

There is a supernatural shift taking place. We are moving into the land of the opposites. The land is crying out for the wanderers of Holy Ground to arise with a holy passion and for the prowlers of Spirit to weep and wail.

Recently- I stood on a stage in front of thousands in FL. The powerful and very pure worship band had just finished its set. It was now my turn to speak. My heart was heavy. The night before worship was incredible. Thousands of students were crying out for God. Yet, when the speaker began to speak the students were inattentive. As I began to speak God told me to share with the thousands of students that if they were not careful they would be the Saul Generation. They love worship because it soothes their demons, but when the word comes they pick up spears to kill the Davids. Instead of soothing our demons we must get free of them. My prayer is that while worship is awesome we must have the word. That day I felt as a weeping lion. Students ran to the altars wailing, and many had supernatural miracles take place. Many of the cutters in the room had their scars disappear.

Thus I must share weeping Lions and roaring lambs.

Mass confusion has infiltrated the body. We no longer fight for he unborn, we vote with our greed on our sleeves, we are careful to not say right from wrong so that the wind doesn’t shift in our direction…. Today I say enough is enough.

1 Tim. 4:1-2, The Spirit clearly says that in later times some will abandon the faith and follow deceiving spirits and things taught by demons. 2 Such teachings come through hypocritical liars, whose consciences have been seared as with a hot iron.

As I recently stood in Singapore I asked a crowded room of hundreds- How many are first generation Christians? -90% were first generation Christians- I began to weep- I knew this meant a very tough life was in front of these champions.

There is a stirring in the atmosphere: As Israel’s winter begins while it is being surrounded by the Arab Spring, while occupy wall street protesters defecate in the streets with a starbucks and Iphone in their hands, while our nation ponders a secularist or a Mormon for the office of president, while the stock market rises and falls on corporate whims, while the homosexual agenda invades every child media outlet, while the church has no trouble with winning the world as long as they can continue to look, act, and smell like the world, preaching shallow holiness and weak grace…

Key verse- Amos 3:4, (message) Does a lion roar in the forest if there's no carcass to devour? 
Does a young lion growl with pleasure if he hasn't caught his supper?

In other words why are we roaring if we haven’t done our job?

Where is the call for holiness! Where is the roar for defining salvation on every level? Most do not even know when they got saved, or what they gained through salvation. Oh that God would remove our roar until we hearing the bleating of the lambs!

Part 1- Weeping Lions:
There seems to be very few voices to stand tall for Jesus.

Psalms 58:6, (NASV) O God, shatter their teeth in their mouth; 
Break out the fangs of the young lions, O LORD.

I believe the eyes of the Lord are roaming. He isn’t wearing bi-focals so he can see some from a different perspective. Choosing which way to tilt his head. God see's us all the same.

II Chronicles 16:9, (message) God is always on the alert, constantly on the lookout for people who are totally committed to him.

#1. Lions have grown weak?
You see we are called to protect the pride. We are called to stand firm!
Psalms 34:10, The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.

We have all grown tired and weak, but if we seek Him!

#2. The Lion surrounded by worshipers!
Rev. 5: 4-5, (message) I wept and wept and wept that no one was found able to open the scroll, able to read it. One of the Elders said, "Don't weep. Look—the Lion from Tribe Judah, the Root of David's Tree, has conquered. He can open the scroll, can rip through the seven seals."
The scroll is the title deed to earth which Jesus snatched back from the Devil . God the Father is holding it - seven seals means completeness. Who is worthy? - no one, so John wept- John WEPT!
But the Lion of the Tribe of Judah is because he has prevailed in His mission!
But what is the significance of calling Jesus the Lion of the Tribe of Judah?

Judah 4th son- (4 means creation or universal truth) son of Jacob who fathered the 12 tribes

Why didn' t Jesus descend from the 1st son Reuben? Well, Reuben committed incest with his father's wife. The 2nd & 3rd sons (Simeon & Levi) had the blood of the Schechemites on their hands after avenging their sister Dinah's rape. So the birthright fell to the 4th son Judah
Judah- means -Praise, praised, thankful

King David was also from Judah's bloodline which is why Jesus is called the Root of David about whom it was prophesied, the throne of David shall be established before the Lord forever (1Kings 2:45)

But the first prophecy of the never-ending Kingdom of Jesus was given by Jacob on his deathbed- Genesis 49:8-12, “Judah, your brothers will praise you; 
your hand will be on the neck of your enemies; 
your father’s sons will bow down to you. 
9 You are a lion’s cub, Judah; 
you return from the prey, my son. 
Like a lion he crouches and lies down, like a lioness—who dares to rouse him? 
10 The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,[b] 
until he to whom it belongs[c] shall come and the obedience of the nations shall be his. 
11 He will tether his donkey to a vine, his colt to the choicest branch; 
he will wash his garments in wine, his robes in the blood of grapes. 
12 His eyes will be darker than wine, his teeth whiter than milk

Judah means praise- Judah is a lion's whelp- lions cub

KEY: Lions that weep- represents the brokenness that must fall once again on the worshipers!

John the revelator was weeping and therefore the Lion stepped up to open the seals! The Lion of the tribe of Judah is the one who receives worship! We are his cubs and we must worship!

Part II- Roaring Lambs!
#1. The Lamb of God has come!
We know that Jesus was both Lion and Lamb! We know the lamb has always represented that acceptable sacrifice! The lamb skin would cover the nakedness of man in the garden. It would cleanse the people of their sins when the priest would make sacrifice.

Jesus was the Lamb! He came wrapped in flesh! He was born at an Inn- to show that he would be staying only for a short time- Just behind the Inn was a stable (manger) where the animals ate- He was born in filth and poverty.

II Corinthians 8:9- 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, so that you through his poverty might become rich.

Facts about lambs- Lambs- Up to 20 percent of newborn lambs can die soon after birth unless they are given improved conditions. Some starve if their mothers reject them! Many farmers will have special areas for ewes to give birth in so they can keep the lambs warm and fed. Sheep have a flight zone, which is the space they like to keep between themselves and others. Sheep don't like to walk in water or move through narrow openings. They prefer to move into the wind and uphill than down wind and downhill.

#2. Shepherds must find the lamb!
Who did the angels speak to first- Shepherds abiding in the fields watching- God always uses the shepherds. Look at Moses and David they were shepherds. They were shepherding when their lives were interrupted. The night Jesus was born the shepherds were looking for a lamb! A shepherds job entailed looking for the lost lambs! They also encountered a lion! In essence they were searching this time for a lamb that would save them and a lion that would rise again! They were probably running- They were probably weeping- here these lowly shepherds were the first evangelist!

Luke 2:812, And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. 9 An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were terrified. 10 But the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news that will cause great joy for all the people. 11 Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is the Messiah, the Lord. 12 This will be a sign to you: You will find a baby wrapped in cloths and lying in a manger.”

Can you imagine? As the shepherds approached the manger? God chooses the simple things to confound the wise. He chose the watchers of the lambs! These shepherds were going to find the Head Shepherd.
1 Peter 2:25- For you were like sheep going astray, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.

Mom and Dads you are the watchers of the lambs!

The shepherds could hear the animals, they could feel the excitement in the atmosphere, the night was lit up, but there under the wooden roof lay a king. A lamb that would take away the sins of the world. A lamb who would later roar like a lion!

#3. Disciples must declare the Lamb!
John the Baptist was sent to prepare the way. He declared the lamb of God.

John 1:29, The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him and said, “Look, the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world
Then the next day John declared it again! This would cost John two disciples!

John 1:35-37, (message) The next day John was there again with two of his disciples. 36 When he saw Jesus passing by, he said, “Look, the Lamb of God!” When the two disciples heard him say this, they followed Jesus.
#4. The Lamb must be led to the slaughter!

Isaiah 53:7, He was oppressed and afflicted, yet he did not open his mouth; he was led like a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, 
so he did not open his mouth.

The Passover Lamb was to be observed from the 10th day until the 14th day of Abib (This is the new moon of he new year when the barley is ready for harvest)
Exodus 12:3, (NIV) Tell the whole community of Israel that on the tenth day of this month each man is to take a lamb for his family, one for each household.

Jesus Christ was the Passover Lamb that the priests sacrificed.
Matthew 25:27-31, Then the governor’s soldiers took Jesus into the Praetorium and gathered the whole company of soldiers around him. 28 They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him, 29 and then twisted together a crown of thorns and set it on his head. They put a staff in his right hand. Then they knelt in front of him and mocked him. “Hail, king of the Jews!” they said. 30 They spit on him, and took the staff and struck him on the head again and again. 31 After they had mocked him, they took off the robe and put his own clothes on him. Then they led him away to crucify him.

Matthew 27:25 (NIV) All the people answered, "Let his blood be on us and on our children!"

#5. The Lamb Roared!
Matt 25:45-46, From noon until three in the afternoon darkness came over all the land. 46 About three in the afternoon Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).

The lamb was in such agonizing pain! His father turned his back on him. Isaiah was right! He was being slaughtered. The noise reached the heavenliness!

Matt 25:50 And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit.

So Jesus was the lamb that roared!

The Lion and the Lamb- While it was the Lion of Judah who was deemed worthy to open the scroll, it is actually the Lamb who sits on the throne and opens each of the seven seals.
III. Jesus died as our lamb and arose as our lion!
Let me set the scene. Jesus has died on the cross. He was the lamb led to the slaughter! The disciples were scattered. Simon Peter- The Rock- The big mouthed disciple who had rejected Christ at his worst moment
Mark 14:72, Immediately the rooster crowed the second time.[a] Then Peter remembered the word Jesus had spoken to him: “Before the rooster crows twice you will disown me three times.” And he broke down and wept.

Peter would become the lion of the church! The one who would lead, preach, and exhort! But for now he had broken the heart of God!
Now three days have past. Peter and some disciples were now out fishing.
John 21:4-5, Early in the morning, Jesus stood on the shore, but the disciples did not realize that it was Jesus. 5 He called out to them, “Friends, haven’t you any fish?”
John 21:7- Then the disciple whom Jesus loved said to Peter, “It is the Lord!” As soon as Simon Peter heard him say, “It is the Lord,” he wrapped his outer garment around him (for he had taken it off) and jumped into the water.
Peter swims to the shore to see Jesus. They then shared breakfast.
John 21:15-16, (message) After breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, "Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?" "Yes, Master, you know I love you." Jesus said, "Feed my lambs." 16 He then asked a second time, "Simon, son of John, do you love me?" "Yes, Master, you know I love you." Jesus said, "Shepherd my sheep."

Key- When lambs are hungry! A lamb bleats the loudest and longest when it is hungry. The lamb is dependent on food constantly, and as it grows, is always foraging for food. Appetite is an indicator of health.

Jesus was saying- you were a weeping lion, but now you must feed the roaring lambs! The lambs are hungry! He is the Lion of the tribe of worshipers! We are his cubs! We must weep again! Roaring lambs are the ones who hungry for freedom!

We must get back to weeping! The lambs are roaring! They are hungry, but we are so busy roaring we cant hear their cries!

The lion and the lamb shall commune together in the millennial reign! Isaiah 11:6-9

IV. The lion and the lamb awaits his bride!
Rev. 19:9, Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”
Today, it is time for us to weep again and listen for the roaring of the hungry lambs! Let the lions weep and the lambs roar!

Monday, September 12, 2011

"Branding the vision!"

“Branding the Vision!”
By Pat Schatzline,
Lyall Mercer,

The following is teaching that has burned in my heart for a while. I asked my dear friend from Australia name Lyall Mercer to contribute. I pray you are blessed!

Branding- The desire to authenticate, manufacture, and publicly proclaim your vision or idea.

Proverbs 29:18, (message bible) If people can’t see what God is doing, they stumble all over themselves; But when they attend to what he reveals, they are most blessed.

Is it possible to create a brand and vision that could change cultures, environments, and lives? It isn’t unholy to create a plan for your vision that gets the attention of the church world while developing a “hook” for the drive by seeker or lost person.

Habakkuk 2:2, (message bible) And then GOD answered: “Write this. Write what you see. Write it out in big block letters so that it can be read on the run. 3 This vision-message is a witness pointing to what’s coming. It aches for the coming—it can hardly wait! And it doesn’t lie. If it seems slow in coming, wait. It’s on its way. It will come right on time.

We have seen that done in every aspect of community. The church is no different. We must create an idea/ vision that sticks. Whether it is a vision to love your city, serve your arena of influence, or establish a safe place of corporate worship people are looking for something to belong too. In the church arena we must compete with the cultural noise around us. There is a constant onslaught against our values and beliefs. Today’s, media is mostly owned by secularist, or social driven groups whom always have an agenda. Most of the time works against our core values. I truly believe that the church is just now catching a vision for branding. Social groups have done this for years.

Why can’t the church have an agenda? I believe our agenda trumps the worlds. Our goal is to populate heaven and depopulate hell! Oops! I mentioned hell. It is a very real place that we compete against for the very souls of mankind.

Christian influenced social media has taken off with an attempt to brand our services, our vision, and our newest outreach. It is a great start. We can now website and twitter our newest sermon, blog our most recent revelation, face book our big gatherings, and e-invite people to join our newest cause. We are Branding!

I honestly believe that this generation is looking for churches, movements, youth ministries, and Christian arenas that will proudly proclaim truth. What if we branded our vision like the backrooms of the environmental headquarters? What if we shouted our plans of invasion like the gay and lesbian culture? What if we stood tall upon the mountain of misinformation given to the students of universities and declared truth? God has chosen us to “Brand” the truth! If you don’t believe in your vision, dream, and purpose who will? There is a reason why super bowl adds cost 1.5 million for 30 seconds. Advertising works. But it isn’t just advertising it is branding your concept. Living your Brand!

We want to share with you some guidelines and principles for branding your vision.. I will tell you that if you brand your vision the right way you will see eventual growth in the area of team, congregants, and community recognition.

Part 1- "12 Guidelines for Branding your vision”

By Pat Schatzline, follow @patschatz,

1. Getting started: Pray! Dream! Consult!
2. Ask yourself and your team what do you want to be known most for in your city. It maybe that your ministry is “a thriving place of encounter for the entire family,” or a place that is known for “loving everyone regardless of history”, or maybe a place that “rescues the lost, heals the hurting, and empowers the least of these.” Establish what it is that creates the very “pulse” of your vision!
3. What is your pulse? Define and simplify!
4. Make sure your if your idea is borrowed you have done the leg work to secure the right to use it!
5. Create the artwork that defines the vision. Remember: keep it simple! Easy to read on the go? Leaving the passer with curiosity, but understanding.
6. Make sure the vision is simplistic in nature, but deep in meaning!
7. Many times the “brand” will come from the heart of a leader or team. It can be a sudden vision that comes, or is birthed over a long period of consistent ministry
8. Develop a plan and calendar that will answer the “brand.”
9. Get as many as possible on board who can begin to help in the best way of advertising “Word of Mouth.” In other words sale your vision to your inner circle! Excitement always starts at the core!
10. Dream out a way to share it with your church, company, ministry, city, or nation. Ask God for inspired ideas, look at what others are doing, and don’t be afraid to start small.
11. Sell it to you! How we push the vision and brand truly determines its success. Does it mean you have to stretch and put on a new wine skin. The greatest hindrance to a vision is when the leader sends mixed messages. Sometimes we ourselves must be willing to die on the hill.
12. Your “brand” should emulate the ultimate goal of your vision. Many times people “brand” off their history, but most of the time this brings little or no influence. Brand for today and tomorrow!

Part 2- “Practical Rules for Branding”
by Lyall Mercer- Follow @Lyallmercer,
(Lyall Mercer is a former church planter, Christian speaker, crisis and talent manager who also owns a successful public relations firm called Mercer PR.)

1. Your brand must be authentic. It must be you. It must reflect your values and passion.
2. There is no right or wrong way to “do” youth ministry, just as there is no right or wrong way to “do” church. However the values and principles cross all styles and methods
3. If all you do is copy others – you are not being true to yourself or obedient to God. It’s OK to get ideas from others but God has called you to be you.
4. Know your market. Are you targeting Christians or the unchurched? I see a “community” identity as one that connects with the community, so speak and act in ways the community understands.
5. Do you want to preach at people or connect with them? Jesus connected and so should we.
6. Connection takes understanding. Don’t pretend to understand the way the unchurched thinks if you never associate with them. If you have gone from school to bible college to church ministry you probably have very little understanding of the way unbelievers think. Church “cool” is not enough if you want to connect with the un-churched.
7. Is your marketing directed at Christians or the un-churched? If you think “awesome worship” is a term that will attract the un-churched this is a sure sign that you are on the wrong track.
8. Connecting with the community means to accept people whoever they are and whatever they are into. It means to rise above judgment and understand that they are being true to their world-view and have different priorities and values. As Christian leaders our role is to respect the views and values of others not degrade them. This doesn’t mean we have to share their views and values – on the contrary we need to be influencers of the truth. But the first step to influence is respect for others.
9. Know your message. Everyone has a message that they are passionate about. My message is that the church is the connection point between the world and eternity and that we must live lives of connection not condemnation. I want this message to define my ministry. What defines yours?
10. Your message becomes your “brand”. It must be reflected in everything you do. The words you use, the graphics in your logo and the programs you operate. The leader sets the culture, the message and the course. Your leaders will follow you and eventually reflect the culture you set.
11. Do not allow others to vary your message or culture. If they see things differently allow them (even encourage them…) to take a different course. Your culture, direction and message is non-negotiable because this is the message and culture God has put into your heart.
12. Think of the youth ministries and churches that are huge and doing great things. They are originals. They didn’t follow someone else’s path but blazed their own trails. This is what separates the remembered from the forgotten.
13. Do things that relate to the community. Be a part of bigger community projects and events. Promote what you do through local media and throughout it all, stay true to your message and brand.
14. Look at your self and your ministry through the eyes of an unbeliever and ask if you’d be interested. Be honest.

Part 3- "18 ways to Implement the plan" By Pat Schatzline

1. Begin to the put the “brand” in place via meetings, services, encounters, and gatherings that resemble what you plan to “brand.” In other words be doing it before you reveal it!
2. Let your plan begin to grow by constant communication.
3. Once the artwork is in place bombard all of your avenues of influence, marketplace, web traffic, and street traffic.
4. Have others model the vision by way of communication, t-shirts, social media, touch cards, and text.
5. Create the write signage. Banners and yard signs create excitement.
6. Let your theme be known at every level. Act it out at every level. Create ways to be seen, heard, and watched.
7. Guard your “Brand” from outside interference. In other words make sure that you own your brand. Your brand defines your mission statement.
8. Constantly look for ways to improve your brand!
9. Your brand should say everything there is to know about you.
10. Never be afraid of over exposure.
11. Realize your brand is not in competition with the church, but rather is competition with the outside noise.
12. Your brand will take on a life of its own. Get out of the way and let it work for you.
13. Be prepared to always defend your vision!
14. Make sure your team always makes decisions that will bring honor and integrity to the brand.
15. Constantly look for avenues to increase the vision without de-simplifying your vision.
16. Make sure your vision can carry the load of expectation.
17. Make up your mind to not deviate from the plan. This is who we are, and until God changes our direction this is who we will be!
18. Your “brand” will define your next 5-10 years. Let’s quit playing catch up! Have fun! This is your chance to be at the helm of the boat! Make up your mind to lead to a revolution! Let history declare you didn’t sit back, you never played second, but you desired to impact your world. Go Glocal!

Invade your world with the good news!

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Healing! - The Backside of the Cross!

The Backside of the Cross… Where healing stained the cross!

There has been a deep stirring in my heart for some time concerning miraculous healing's. For years I have seen crazy physical healings across the world. From Cancer to Blindness all healed in services. In factsSince writing this word we have begun to see supernatural healings.

My journey: I have always so deeply desired the suffering of others to be healed. Where is our authority? When I see a child afflicted with twisted limbs from a palsy I want to walk up to that child and lay hands on him. Alas, most of the time I question my own faith! There has been times where people have stood in altar lines for me to pray for them… I would see the wheel chair and almost want to run. I wanted to shout father I don’t have the faith….

Story of Nate: I must admit to you something so deep I thought I would never share this with anyone but Karen… It concerns my son Nate. He was injured playing college football. He has two crushed disk that are causing his spine to be out of place. The only way to fix it is major surgery. I had a personal battle with healing- I have prayed for my sons back- We prayed and prayed and he wasn't healed! This caused me to go on a journey. Seeking out how to walk in a healing anointing. He still hasn’t been healed. It caused doubt in my life until I began to study. Then I realized healing is divine! Now I am waiting on God as I walk out this journey. I know God has got him!

*I am learning that sometimes in our doubt the door of discovery shines much brighter! It is when doubt shifts to expectation that miracles begin to happen*

Psalms 103:1-4 Praise the LORD, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. 
2 Praise the LORD, my soul, 
 and forget not all his benefits— 
3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, 
4 who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion,

I have thought at times that maybe there is a formula…. But really it is about walking in faith, prayer, and His word!

Healing isn’t just New Testament!
Exodus 23:25, 
Worship the LORD your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you.

Psalm 107:20
He sent forth his word and healed them; he rescued them from the grave.

Jeremiah 30:17, But I will restore you to health and heal your wounds,' declares the LORD, `because you are called an outcast, Zion for whom no one cares.

So healing was promised before the cross, but brought into completeness at the cross! I know God still does miracles!

"Expectation is the birthplace of a miracle"!

I. God loves to heal His children!
God doesn’t punish the righteous! Sickness is the result of the curse!

In John 14:9 Jesus told Philip that if you have seen me (Jesus), then you have seen the Father.

I John 3:1, How great is the love the father has lavished on us that we should be called his kids!

It says later in the New Testament that everything that the Father wanted to show us about Himself, He revealed to us in Son, Jesus Christ.

Hebrews 1:1-4, In the past God spoke to our ancestors through the prophets at many times and in various ways, 2 but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed heir of all things, and through whom also he made the universe. 3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven

I love the story of the prodigal son. He was so hungry he desired pig slop. He settled for less than his fathers table!

Luke 15:16-18 (The Message) 16 He signed on with a citizen there who assigned him to his fields to slop the pigs. He was so hungry he would have eaten the corncobs in the pig slop, but no one would give him any. 17-18"That brought him to his senses. He said, 'All those farmhands working for my father sit down to three meals a day, and here I am starving to death. I'm going back to my father.

I love it! I says that when he saw what he was settling for in this life, that that is what brought him to his senses.

So many times we look at this as someone that has completely walked away from God. But I believe this passage also applies to those that are believers but have settled for a life that is less than what God ever intended for them.

John 10:10 (The Message) A thief is only there to steal and kill and destroy. I came so they can have real and eternal life, more and better life than they ever dreamed of.

I find it amazing that so many believers actually believe the opposite of this verse. Oh, we don’t verbalize it that way and say that God came to kill, steal & destroy & that the devil, or thief, came to give us abundant life.

Religious people say…. God has given me this disease to teach me a lesson. That is not possible. He is not the author of sickness.

We live like the prodigal son before he came to his senses thinking that God has put us in this situation or allowed us to be in this situation.

But can I tell you, if you did to your kids what we accuse God of doing to us, you would be put in jail for child abuse.

There is a law of seedtime and harvest. If I am a giver he will bless me back! What I sow I reap!

Genesis 8:22, As long as the earth endures, 
seedtime and harvest, 
cold and heat, 
summer and winter, 
day and night 
will never cease.

If I am sowing seeds of gluttony, then I will most likely reap the harvest –heart failure, diabetes, etc. So much of our disease is caused by our choices. Yet, other diseases are just that- DISEASES.

Somehow, we have begun to believe that God has given us this affliction to teach us something and we won’t lose it until we learn the lesson.

Well, if everything that the Father wanted to show us about Himself, He showed us through Jesus…then let’s look at the life of Jesus.

I never saw where Jesus went up to a person that needed healing and said, “Hey bro, I would love to heal you right now, but my Father is trying to teach you a lesson right now and you still need more time. Maybe come back later.

It’s difficult to imagine how much the church has fallen in 2,000 years. What has happened to the miraculous?

Acts 10:38 (NKJV) how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were
oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him.

If you look back over church history, the John Alexander Dowie’s, Amiee Simple McPherson’s, & Smith Wigglesworth’s…people who had incredible healing ministries. One thing they all had in common, one common denominator, was that they believed ALL sickness is from the devil.

Not everybody believes that…but they also don’t have any miracles in their life. So do the math.
If we go back to the Garden of Eden in Genesis 1 & 2. There was no sin in the Garden until Adam and Eve ate of the forbidden fruit. Likewise, there was no sickness or disease up until that time.

Acts 4:11-12, Jesus is “the stone you builders rejected, which has become the cornerstone. 12 Salvation is found in no one else, for there is no other name under heaven given to mankind by which we must be saved.”

The New Testament was written originally in Greek, and the word for salvation is literally translated as to:
1. deliver one from the penalties of judgment
2. to heal from sickness and disease, make well, restore to health.

Psalm 103:2-3 (NIV) 2 Praise the LORD, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—3 who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases

Sickness and disease are mentioned again in the same breath as sin. So in other words if he can forgive my sins then he can heal my diseases.

It’s a transformation of how we think regarding healing and miracles

You say, ‘Well my Great Aunt got cancer and died and it really brought our family together. Well God can win with any hand. He can win with a pair of twos. He’s big enough that He can win with any hand. That’s the greatness of God. It’s not that He ordained calamity or difficulty.

And it’s that kind of thinking has given so much room for the devil to come and steal and destroy and we say God has allowed it. No He hasn’t allowed it…the church has allowed it.

We have reduced the cross to merely a get out of jail free card while missing the messages of freedom surrounding the tree of forgiveness and power!

There is a battle against everything we believe. It is a constant war. God is calling his church to experience complete freedom. The law is always at work with us.

II. Jesus broke off the chains of law for us!
What began as a selfish act under a tree ended with a selfless act on a tree!
Galatians 3:13, Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole! (Deut. 21:23)

Romans 8:3-5, For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh,[a] God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, 4 in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.5 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.
We broke the law and Jesus was condemned to death for it. The problem is we still live in bondage to what he destroyed!

The Cross…He gave us freedom over sin!
He gave us freedom over death, hell and the grave!
He gave us freedom over our thoughts! (crown of thorns)
He gave us freedom over what we do with our hands- (nails)
He grafted us to him- (piercing in the side)
But now slide to the backside of the cross….(look at His back)

III. The Backside of the Cross mandated my healing!
2700 years before Christ would go to the cross a prophet would foresee the future! He would declare the most horrible and most powerful day to fall upon humanity.

It would be the day that the sin in the garden would be abolished.
It would be the day that separation from God would be amended.
It would the day that healing would be ripped into a savior!

Isaiah 53:2-6, (message) The servant grew up before God—a scrawny seedling, 
a scrubby plant in a parched field.
There was nothing attractive about him, nothing to cause us to take a second look.
He was looked down on and passed over, a manwho suffered, who knew pain firsthand.
One look at him and people turned away. We looked down on him, thought he was scum.
But the fact is, it was our pains he carried— our disfigurements, all the things wrong with us.
We thought he brought it on himself, 
that God was punishing him for his own failures.
But it was our sins that did that to him, 
that ripped and tore and crushed him—our sins!
He took the punishment, and that made us whole. Through his bruises we get healed.
We're all like sheep who've wandered off and gotten lost. We've all done our own thing, gone our own way.
And God has piled all our sins, everything we've done wrong, 
on him, on him.

Is 53:5- By His stripes we are healed! (on His back he took my sickness)

They took Jesus and tied him to a whipping post and beat him with a cat-of-nine-tails that had shards of metal and glass. And every time he was struck with this whip, it would attach itself to His flesh. And then the Roman soldier would yank it off his body pulling massive amounts of flesh off with it. They would do this 39 times (40 death) until he was completely unrecognizable.

I used to read the passage in Isaiah that I read to you earlier and I never understood why it would say, ‘by his stripes we are healed’ right in the middle of all the reasons why we are forgiven of sins.

Then I began to realize something…sin is to the soul, what sickness is to the body.

1 Peter 2:24, He himself bore our sins” in his body on the cross, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; “by his wounds you have been healed.

Today, whatever your sickness or affliction may be, He paid for your healing, your deliverance, your salvation, before He left the story.

IV. His stripes created 5 mandates for your healing!

#1- A life of Faith mandates healing!

Romans 10:17, 
Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word about Christ

1 Cor. 2:4- My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power, 5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.

Hebrews 11:1,[ Faith in Action ] Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.

#2- Speaking life mandates healing!
Matthew 18:19, “Again, truly I tell you that if two of you on earth agree about anything they ask for, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven.

Proverbs 18:21- “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat the fruit thereof.”

Death and life are in the power of your tongue. Most times we misquote this verse and talk about the power of death and life are in the tongue, but death and life have no power in and of themselves. The power lies in your tongue’s ability to produce or create death or life.

Hebrews 11:3 says, “By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God.”
(so frame your world)

Proverbs 6:2 says, “You are snared by the words of your mouth; you are taken by the words of your mouth.

Matthew 12:37 says, “For by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned

#3 The laying on of hands mandates they shall be healed!

James 5:14-16, 14 Is anyone among you sick? Let them call the elders of the church to pray over them and anoint them with oil in the name of the Lord. 15 And the prayer offered in faith will make the sick person well; the Lord will raise them up. If they have sinned, they will be forgiven. 16 Therefore confess your sins to each other and pray for each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective.

Jesus often laid hands on people before healing them (Mark 6:5; Luke 4:40; 13:13). Paul laid hands on a sick person and he was healed (Acts 28:8).

#4 The mandates of heaven demands healing!

Luke 11:2-4 (NKJV) 2 So He said to them, “When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. 3 Give us day by day our daily bread. 4 And forgive us our sins, For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.”

It is the job of every believer to live in such a way that we see the reality of heaven on earth. (Lifestyle shouldn’t change at all in heaven)

#5- Authority mandates your faith

TL Osborn- “Physical eye site can blind spiritual vision”

We have authority through the cross!

Authority to cast out demons:
Mark 16:17, "And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils..."

Authority to heal the sick:
Mark 16:17-18, "And these signs shall follow them that believe...they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover."

Now we must apply this authority and declare healing!