PUT AWAY UNRIGHTEOUSNESS FAR FROM YOUR HOUSE

“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.

Job 22:23

If you return to the Almighty [and submit and humble yourself before Him], you will be built up; if youput away unrighteousness far from your tents. AMP

If thou return to the Almighty, thou shalt be built up, thou shalt put away iniquity far from thy tabernacles. KJV

If you return to God and put right all the wrong in your home, then you will be restored. TLB

Job 22:23 says that you must put away iniquity and unrighteousness from your tabernacle – the place you live – your tent or your home. The tabernacle could be the tabernacle of your attitude, the tabernacle of your body, the tabernacle of your house, or the tabernacle of your family. If you want the blessing of God on your life, then you need to humble your heart, submit to the Lord, and deal with and eliminate any form of sin – whether in thought or deed, in your heart or in your home.

132 Turn to me and have mercy on me, as you always do to those who love your name. 133 Direct my footsteps according to your word; let no sin rule over me.  Psalms 119:132-133 NIV

Sin, iniquity, and unrighteousness seek to dominate, control and destroy you. You may think that you are in control of sin, but once you yield to it, sin is always in control of you. The only way to be free of sin is to confess your sin, to ask God for forgiveness and to yield to righteousness.

Psalms 66:18-19

18 If I regard iniquity in my heart, The Lord will not hear. 19 But certainly God has heard me; He has attended to the voice of my prayer. NKJV

18 If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened;

19 but God has surely listened. NIV

18 He would not have listened if I had not confessed my sins. 19 But he listened! He heard my prayer! He paid attention to it! TLB

The first place that sin abides that must be dealt with is our own heart and mind. This is the root that must be eliminated in order to prevent the growth of the trunk, the branches and, eventually, the fruit.

20 He went on: “What comes out of a man is what makes him `unclean.’ 21 For from within, out of men’s hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. 23 All these evils come from inside and make a man `unclean.'”  Mark 7:20-23 NIV

In order to get rid of sin, you must expose it. You must confess it to the Lord and receive His forgiveness.

5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you and did not cover up my iniquity. I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD”–and you forgave the guilt of my sin.  Psalms 32:5 NIV

The second place that you must deal with sin is in your body.

12 Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. 13 Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instruments of righteousness.  Romans 6:12-14 NIV

12 Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation-but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. 13 For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, 14 because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.  Romans 8:12-14 NIV

Deal with sin in your own heart and mind and then in your body. Then deal with and eliminate all sin from your house and your family. Charles Finney would not allow anyone – relative or friend – into his house or around his children, if he thought that they would be used by the devil to corrupt either their morals or their manners. You should set the standard in your home and your family. Do not allow sin in your house – chase it away when it comes knocking at your door – so that God’s blessing is welcome to come to reside and abide at your house. You need to decide whom it is that you serve. If you serve God then sin must be ousted from out of your house!

19 Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”  2 Timothy2:19 NKJV

TO THE ANGEL OF THE CHURCH IN SMYRNA

“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.

“To the angel of the church in Smyrna write:

These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again. 9 I know your afflictions and your poverty-yet you are rich! I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan. 10 Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life. 11 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death.   Revelation 2:8-11 NIV

Smyrna is a city which lay on a gulf with the same name. It lay a little north of Ephesus. Around about 627 BC, the original city was destroyed. It lay deserted and in ruins for four hundred years. The new city was built a short distance south of the ancient one, and became the finest city in Asia Minor. It was known as “the glory of Asia.” It was one of the cities which claimed the honor of being the poet, Homer’s, birthplace. The Smyrnaeans erected a splendid temple to his memory. Apparently, he was said to have composed his poems in a cave in the neighborhood of the city. Smyrna’s fine harbor made it a commercial center; but it was also well known for its schools of rhetoric and philosophy. The city was a seat of the worship of Cybele the Mother of the gods, and of Dionysus or Bacchus. The church of Smyrna suffered much from persecution and Polycarp, who was the first bishop of this church, was said to have been martyred in the stadium of the city, A.D. 166 at the instigation of and with the support of the Jews.

“These are the words of him who is the First and the Last, who died and came to life again.” Jesus Christ is the first and the last. He is the first – for by Him all things were made. He was before all things with God and was God himself. He is the last, for all things are made for Him, and He will be the Judge of all. Jesus is God from everlasting to everlasting. He is an unchangeable Mediator between God and man. Jesus is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. He was dead and is alive. He was dead, and died for our sins; He is alive, for He rose again for our justification, and He ever lives to make intercession for us. He was dead, and by dying purchased salvation for us; He is alive, and by His life applies this salvation to us.

“I know your afflictions and your poverty-yet you are rich!” They may have been poor in goods, but they were rich toward God and rich in grace – their spiritual riches being set off by their outward poverty. Where there is spiritual plenty, outward poverty may be easier to bear. When, for the sake of Christ and a good conscience, God’s people are impoverished in natural goods, He makes all up to them in spiritual riches, which are much more satisfying and enduring. Obviously they suffered powerful persecutions and tribulations, even to the spoiling of their goods, which contributed to their poverty. They were willing rather to give up their goods and have Jesus, than to deny Him and have plenty and therefore they were spiritually prosperous. Not one of these sacrifices went unnoticed by Jesus.

“I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.”  Jesus is aware of the enemies of the cross and of His people – they will not get away with the things they say and do to the true church. They may claim to be God’s people, but they are tools of the devil, used to do his work. They may claim to represent God as they persecute the people of God, but they will be judged and punished for their blasphemy. Their cousins are still around today. In Smyrna, the Jews claimed to be the only truth even as they supported the murder of Christians, but they were full of and used of the devil. Even today, there are so-called Christians who claim to be the only ones who hold the truth as they persecute the people of God. They are as much the “synagogue of Satan” as were the Jews who violently persecuted the church in Smyrna in the first century.

“Do not be afraid of what you are about to suffer. I tell you, the devil will put some of you in prison to test you, and you will suffer persecution for ten days. Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.”  God foreknows the future trials of His people, He forewarns them of them, and fore-arms them against them. They are prepared and also encouraged, because they know that God is with them and there is a reward awaiting them. Jesus proposes and promises a glorious reward to their fidelity: a crown of life – a crown, to reward their poverty, their fidelity, and their conflict. A crown of life, to reward those who are faithful even unto death, who are faithful till they die, and who part with life itself in fidelity to Christ. The life so worn out in his service, or laid down in his cause, shall be rewarded with another and a much better life that shall be eternal.

“He who overcomes will not be hurt at all by the second death.”  There is not only a first, but a second death, a death after the body is dead. The expression, “second death” is peculiar to the Book of Revelation. It is defined as “the lake of fire” – the death awaiting the wicked after judgment.

In the book of Revelation, everyone can see and hear what passes between Christ and His churches – how He commends them, how He comforts them, how He reproves their failures, and how He rewards their fidelity. As the world observes God’s dealings with His own people, they may learn instruction and wisdom from it.

 

TO THE ANGEL OF THE CHURCH IN PERGAMUM

“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.

Revelation 2:12-17 NIV

“To the angel of the church in Pergamum write:

These are the words of him who has the sharp, double-edged sword. 13 I know where you live-where Satan has his throne. Yet you remain true to my name. You did not renounce your faith in me, even in the days of Antipas, my faithful witness, who was put to death in your city-where Satan lives. 14 Nevertheless, I have a few things against you: You have people there who hold to the teaching of Balaam, who taught Balak to entice the Israelites to sin by eating food sacrificed to idols and by committing sexual immorality. 15 Likewise you also have those who hold to the teaching of the Nicolaitans. 16 Repent therefore! Otherwise, I will soon come to you and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. 17 He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna. I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.

Pergamum was situated in Teuthrania in Mysia, in the Caicus Valley, about fifty-five miles north-east of Smyrna. It was in a district watered by three rivers, one of which flowed into the sea. The original city was built on a lofty hill, which afterward became the citadel as houses sprang up around its base. It was a great political and religious center. Eumenes II (B.C. 197-159) extended Pergamum and embellished it with many great buildings, including a fantastic library with 200,000 volumes, which was second only to Alexandria. The kingdom of Pergamum became a Roman province 130 BC. All the main roads of Western Asia converged there. Pliny called it “by far the most illustrious city of Asia.”

Pergamum was celebrated for the manufacture of ointments, pottery, tapestries, and also parchment, which derives its name (charta Pergamena) from the city. The great glory of the city was the Nicephorium, a grove of great beauty containing an assemblage of temples – belonging to Zeus, Athena, and Dionysos – rivaling Ephesus. Next to this was the celebrated and much-frequented grove and temple of AEsculapius (or Asklepios), the god of healing, with a university for medical study. AEsculapius was also called the god of Pergamum, worshipped in the form of a living serpent, kept and fed in the temple. On the coins struck by the town, he often appears with a rod encircled by a serpent.

The city has been described as a sort of cross between a pagan cathedral-city, a university-town, and a royal residence. It was enlarged and improved during a succession of years by several wealthy kings. Pergamum was the first city in Asia (A.D. 29) with a temple for the worship of Augustus (Octavius Caesar). Hence, in the Apocalypse, Pergamum is a very center of emperor-worship “where Satan dwells.” The Nicolaitans also flourished here as in Ephesus and Thyatira. Like Ephesus, this city is called temple-sweeper (neookoros) for the gods. All forms of pagan ungodliness prevailed openly in this city.

In Numbers, chapters 22 through 24, Balak tried to get Balaam to curse the Israelites, but all he could do is bless them because God would not allow him to curse them. He knew what was right and wrong, and yet he chose to ignore his conscience, oppose God’s will, and do what was wrong. He could not curse Israel or do anything to destroy them from the outside, so he tried to do it from the inside – he encouraged the daughters of Midian and Moab into sexual relationships with the Israelite men. In this way, the introduced the worship of Baal of Peor into the Israelite camp and brought a curse upon Israel (Numbers 31:16). The sins of Balaam were idol worship, including eating foods offered to idols, and sexual immorality.

The Church in Pergamum remained faithful to the name of Jesus Christ, even though they suffered persecution and were surrounded by extreme ungodliness on every side. However, they had been a little too tolerant of those among them who clung to vile and immoral, ungodly beliefs and practices. This was unacceptable to the Lord and He calls on them to repent or else He would deal with them using His two-edged sword – the sword of the word – bringing judgment upon them.

“To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna.”  Jesus is the Manna – the Bread from heaven – hidden from all, and unappreciated by all, except those who embrace Him. He is the life and sustenance of those who love Him and love His Word. He is all we need!

I will also give him a white stone with a new name written on it, known only to him who receives it.”  The white stone was regarded as a token of favor, prosperity, victory or success everywhere. It represents your allegiance. The white stone also represents heaven and the presence of God. In some cultures, it was the prize the victor received for winning the competition. As such, it would denote that the Christian, to whom it was given, would meet with the favor of the Redeemer and would have a token of his approval. In eternity, the favor and approval of man counts for nothing, but the favor and approval of Almighty God means everything!

THE POWER IN THE LIVING WORD

“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.  Hebrews 4:12 NIV

So shall My word be that goes forth out of My mouth: it shall not return to Me void [without producing any effect, useless], but it shall accomplish that which I please and purpose, and it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.  Isaiah 55:11 AMP

God’s Word is alive and active and it is always productive and prosperous. When God wants to do something, He speaks it and it happens. There is power in His Word! God’s Word always produces and what it produces is always positive and always good. It is never useless, ineffective, or unproductive when it comes out of God’s mouth. God’s Word accomplishes what He pleases and purposes and it prospers in the thing for which He sends it. If you believe God’s Word and speak it in faith, it will produce for you too.

The devil knows the awesome power of the Word of God and he knows that he is powerless before, and defeated by, the Word. He does not want you to know the power of God’s Word, because you will use it against him to thwart his evil plans and to defeat him, and so he works to a) keep you ignorant of God’s Word, b) to get you to mix it in and dilute it with religion and tradition, and c) for you not to believe in it.

IGNORANCE
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.  Hosea 4:6a AMP

God’s Word is the evidence that God is in control and that the devil is defeated. The Word gives you the key to being free of the devil’s influence and control and the key to living a victorious life. If you don’t know what God’s Word says, you don’t know what your rights and privileges are and you have no knowledge and no ability to defend yourself against the devil, giving him an opportunity to destroy your life.

RELIGION AND TRADITION
But He said to them, Excellently and truly [so that there will be no room for blame] did Isaiah prophesy of you, the pretenders and hypocrites, as it stands written: These people [constantly] honor Me with their lips, but their hearts hold off and are far distant from Me. 7 In vain (fruitlessly and without profit) do they worship Me, ordering and teaching [to be obeyed] as doctrines the commandments and precepts of men. 8 You disregard and give up and ask to depart from you the commandment of God and cling to the tradition of men [keeping it carefully and faithfully]. 9 And He said to them, You have a fine way of rejecting [thus thwarting and nullifying and doing away with] the commandment of God in order to keep your tradition (your own human regulations)! 10 For Moses said, Honor (revere with tenderness of feeling and deference) your father and your mother, and, He who curses or reviles or speaks evil of or abuses or treats improperly his father or mother, let him surely die. 11 But [as for you] you say, A man is exempt if he tells [his] father or [his] mother, What you would otherwise have gained from me [everything I have that would have been of use to you] is Corban, that is, is a gift [already given as an offering to God], 12 Then you no longer are permitting him to do anything for [his] father or mother [but are letting him off from helping them]. 13 Thus you are nullifying and making void and of no effect [the authority of] the Word of God through your tradition, which you [in turn] hand on. And many things of this kind you are doing.  Mark 7:6-13 AMP

Religious tradition is the invention of man, not God. The devil uses tradition to dilute the Word of God and also to distract people from what is truly important. People worship God, but the Word says that they do it in vain when they reject the commandment of God and cling to religious tradition. Religious tradition nullifies the Word of God and makes it ineffective in your life, opening a door for the devil to keep you defeated and in bondage.

UNBELIEF
For unto us was the gospel preached, as well as unto them: but the word preached did not profit them, not being mixed with faith in them that heard it.  Hebrews 4:2 KJV

The Word of God can be preached to you, but unless you believe it and have faith in it then it is dead to you – it will not profit you or benefit you and it will have no value to you. You have to mix faith with the Word of God.

What do you need to do to prosper and be blessed as God has planned for you? A) Study God’s Word and His commandments – believe them, receive them, obey them, and do them. B) Focus on God’s Word and keep your attention on it. Do not allow religious tradition to distract you or disarm you. Keep God’s Word in your mind and heart and mouth. C) Speak it in faith and see it go forth and produce good fruit as you promote God’s will and His kingdom on the earth.

PUT ON THE WHOLE ARMOR OF GOD

“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.

In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides]. Ephesians 6:10 AMP

The words “be strong” mean: to acquire strength; strengthen; enable; be strong; increase in strength. In yourself you are not equipped to successfully conquer the devil or the flesh or any other trial or tribulation that comes your way. Without God’s help you would fail and be crushed by the enemies of life, but with His help and strength you can do all things.

Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil. Ephesians 6:11 AMP

God’s armor is something you put on like a garment, but unlike natural clothing, you do not put it on every morning and take it off every night. It is supernatural clothing – you put it on and keep it on. Look carefully at the armor and you will see what you need to do to clothe yourself in it. As you grow in God and in His Word and Spirit, the armor will begin to cover you.

For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere. Ephesians 6:12 AMP

Your warfare is not against other people, but against the spirits of darkness that are behind them. Look beyond the natural, see into the spirit and take authority, in the Name of Jesus, over the demons and devils that are working in that situation. Neutralize them by the power of God’s word and you will be able to make an impact in the lives of people who desperately need Jesus!

Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place]. Ephesians 6:13 AMP

There are two kinds of armor: defensive armor for protection and offensive armor for conquest. The defensive armor is the helmet, the girdle, the breastplate, the brazen boots, and the shield. The offensive armor is the sword. “Having done all to stand, stand” is a military phrase meaning “having conquered all, stand; ready to do battle again.

Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God, Ephesians 6:14 AMP

Be equipped with the truth. Be prepared to give up your will and your opinions and embrace the truth of God’s word. Allow God to do a purifying work in your life. God’s word will bring life and freedom to your life. James 4:7 KJV says “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” No army goes to war without having trained their troops. In the training process, the individual will of the soldier is broken and yielded to the will of his commanders. The army of God must yield to the Lord to be purged of all self-will and become motivated only by the Spirit and the plans and purposes of God. When you are completely submitted to God, you will walk in integrity and righteousness. Your righteousness will protect you in the same way a breastplate protects your vital organs. The enemy may come against you, but he will not be able to deliver a fatal blow.

And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace. Ephesians 6:15 AMP

Prepare yourself with the word of God. Know His word and be able to share this gospel of peace with those who have never heard. “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring glad tidings!” (Romans 10:15 AMP)

Lift up over all the [covering] shield of saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one]. Ephesians 6:16 AMP

You have a shield called faith – you must lift up and use it to protect yourself from the devil’s fiery darts. The fiery darts refer to any kind of missile thrown or launched, such as the javelin, spear, arrow, or stone from a sling. In traditional warfare, fiery darts are combustible arrowheads that set fire to the fortifications, ships, houses, and even the wooden and leather shields of the enemy. To quench these fiery darts, shield were coated with metal. As applied to Christian warfare, fiery darts refer to evil thoughts, lusts, passions, and temptations of various kinds.

And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God. Ephesians 6:17 AMP

The Greek word translated “take” here also means “to receive” or “to accept.” Jesus rescued us and delivered us from death and sin and anything else hell has to offer. Receive and accept His salvation for your spirit, soul and body. Allow the Word of God to wash and renew your mind. Get to know God’s word thoroughly. Then, by faith, pick up the word of God and skillfully use it against the enemy. Jesus is your example. He fended off the attack of the enemy with the word of God: “It is written!” The armor of God gives you the ability to stand against all enemies, to withstand all attacks, and to quench every fiery dart of Satan. When you are properly equipped with the armor of God, you will be victorious!

JESUS – OUR RULER AND LAWGIVER

“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.

For to us a Child is born, to us a Son is given; and the government shall be upon His shoulder, and His name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father [of Eternity], Prince of Peace. 7 Of the increase of His government and of peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David and over his kingdom, to establish it and to uphold it with justice and with righteousness from the [latter] time forth, even forevermore. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.  Isaiah 9:6-7 AMP

Jesus Christ, the Messiah, is our Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, and our Prince of Peace! He was born to rule. Not only was He born to rule, He earned the right to rule by His sacrifice – His death, burial, and resurrection. His authority is over everything and everyone in the entire universe! The devil is not in charge – Jesus is. Adam gave the authority, given him by God, to the devil when he ate the fruit from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Then Jesus took this authority back from the devil and gave it back to all those who love Him and serve Him.

Unfortunately, at this time, Jesus cannot just wipe the devil from the face of the earth without wiping out all those who still belong to the devil – people who have not yet made Jesus the Lord of their lives. Jesus wants them to have the opportunity to receive Him as Lord and Savior – so, for now the devil has a limited lease on the earth. However, the Word of God says that of the increase of Jesus’ government and of peace there shall be no end! In the end, Jesus will have the last word. The devil will be done away with and Jesus will rule ALL. Peace will prevail!

Right now – peace rules in the lives of all those who receive His leadership in their lives. Jesus rules over and upholds His kingdom with justice and with righteousness. Justice and righteousness is what upholds and extends the Kingdom of God. It is the Law of the universe – that which is good and right and truth will always endure beyond that which is not.

The scepter or leadership shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until Shiloh [the Messiah, the Peaceful one] comes to Whom it belongs, and to Him shall be the obedience of the people. 11 Binding His foal to the vine and His donkey’s colt to the choice vine, He washes His garments in wine and His clothes in the blood of grapes.  Genesis 49:10-11 AMP

The scepter represents authority. Jesus is our Ruler and Lawgiver. He commands respect and obedience. The foal represents royalty – royalty would ride on white foals. The vine represents the Body of Christ and wine represents the Holy Spirit. This scripture prophesies that Jesus would be the Prince of Peace – anointed by the Holy Spirit. Jesus fills us, the branches of His vine, with His Holy Spirit.

After that I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse [appeared]! The one Who was riding it is called Faithful (Trustworthy, Loyal, Incorruptible, Steady) and True, and He passes judgment and wages war in righteousness (holiness, justice, and uprightness). 12 His eyes [blaze] like a flame of fire, and on His head are many kingly crowns (diadems); and He has a title (name) inscribed which He alone knows or can understand. 13 He is dressed in a robe dyed by dipping in blood, and the title by which He is called is The Word of God. 14 And the troops of heaven, clothed in fine linen, dazzling and clean, followed Him on white horses. 15 From His mouth goes forth a sharp sword with which He can smite (afflict, strike) the nations; and He will shepherd and control them with a staff (scepter, rod) of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath and indignation of God the All-Ruler (the Almighty, the omnipotent). 16 And on His garment (robe) and on His thigh He has a name (title) inscribed, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS.  Revelation 19:11-16 AMP

Some people like to remember Jesus as a little baby in a manger and get all sentimental about Him. Some people like to remember Jesus on the cross, but He is not on the cross! He is not even in the grave. He is risen and He is glorious and powerful and mighty and seated on God’s right hand! This is Jesus as He is now – King of kings and Lord of lords!  He rides a white horse. His eyes are like fire and on His head are many crowns. He is dressed in a robe dyed by dipping in blood. He is called The Word of God. From His mouth goes forth a sharp sword with which He can smite the nations, He will shepherd and control them with a staff of iron, and He will tread the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of Almighty God. He has been given authority to pass judgment and He does so in righteousness!

There is no one like Jesus and no one who can even be compared with Him! Hallelujah! Let everything that has breath praise the Lord! Praise the Lord! (Psalms 150:6)

We are Stewards of What God Has Given to Us

“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.

Thoughts on Stewardship  – Lesson No. 12 from Genesis

We are Stewards of What God Has Given to Us
Foundation Scriptures: Genesis 1:26–28

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, accord­ing to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” 27 So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. 28 Then God blessed them, and God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply; fill the earth and subdue it; have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over every living thing that moves on the earth.” Genesis 1:26-28 NKJV

1. God said, “Let us make man in our own image and let him have dominion.” God gave man stewardship over the earth and everything in it.

a. We are not here on earth by accident, but by divine design.

b. You and I are placed here on this earth by God as stewards of the earth and we must give an account of that which has been entrusted to us.

2. Our stewardship covers the earth and everything in it:

a. We have been given authority over the creatures of the earth and over the earth itself. With this authority comes the responsibility as well. You cannot have one without the other. A person who wants authority without responsibility is a dictator. A person who takes the responsibility without exercising authority will be frustrated in their efforts. There is not any one person who can take dominion over the entire earth, but we can all take authority and responsibility for that which God gives us and administer it wisely.

b. We must take dominion. God told us to populate the earth and subdue it. We are here to bless the earth—not to destroy it or each other! God placed more than enough resources in the earth to meet every need. Then why do people lack? Why are they poverty stricken? Because of wickedness and spiritual darkness. When people bow their knee to Almighty God, blessing and prosperity come to them. Ungodly people are greedy and covetous and will not share with others, but godly people do what they can to be a blessing, and are blessed in return.

c. In the Garden of Eden, Adam and Eve exercised their faith to achieve their goals. After the Fall, they had to do it with their own hands, by the sweat of their brow. The devil stole the authority and dominion with which they were entrusted. Jesus bought back the dominion and authority that was man’s in the Garden and returned it into the hands of His blood-washed believers. You need to know what authority is available to you and you need to exercise that authority by faith, just as Adam did! God promises to bless the work of your hands. If you do things God’s way and if you look to Him for guidance, He will prosper your way.

3. God will bless the work of our hands if we busy ourselves with His eternal purposes.

a. We will give account of what we do with our time.

b. We will give an account of what we do with our talents.

c. We will give an account of what we do with our treasure.

d. We will give an account of what we do with our tongue.

N.B. God has entrusted much to us—it is vital that we take dominion over and be good stewards of what He has placed in our hands.

Pastor Adonica’s Thoughts:

God has given us ALL things that pertain to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). God has given us resources—tangible and intangible; abilities and things—and with them come authority, and responsibility. We are given stewardship in order to be a BLESSING—not so we can selfishly take advantage. 1 John 3:17 AMP says, “But if anyone has this world’s goods (resources for sustaining life) and sees his brother and fellow believer in need, yet closes his heart of compassion against him, how can the love of God live and remain in him?” Use what you have to be a blessing not a hindrance. Don’t allow the devil to lie to you and tempt you to be selfish and fearful. Realize that God has provided everything you will ever need and all you need to do is to obey Him in your giving and receiving. God cannot increase you until you obey and give out. Be a blessing wherever you can and then use your faith to receive from the Lord all that you need.

 

Pastor Rodney’s Thoughts:

We must realize that we only have one life to live and that we must to redeem the time, because the days are evil. You and I are stewards, because God has placed talents in each of our hands, for which we will need to give an account at the Judgment Seat of Christ. One of these “talents” is our money. What are we doing with it? How much of it is being used for the Kingdom and for eternity? The choices we make now make a difference, not only personally, but to many, many other people. This includes things you do and things you don’t do that you could or should do. These choices could affect generations. Let’s take stock of our life and choices today and purpose to use our finances wisely from now on. It is vital that you obey God and tithe (10%) of your income to the Kingdom and then give offerings, over and above your tithe, as you have purposed in your heart and with the Lord’s leading. Everyone needs to fulfill their obligation back to the Gospel.

 

Prayer and Confession:

Father, help me to be a good steward of all that you have placed in my hands so that on that day I might not be found wanting! I purpose to be a good steward of that which God has placed in my hands.

Good News of Great Joy

“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.

Good News of Great Joy

But the angel said to them, Do not be afraid; for behold, I bring you good news of a great joy which will come to all the people. 11 For to you is born this day in the town of David a Savior, Who is Christ (the Messiah) the Lord!
Luke 2:10-11 AMP

Christmas is a time of great joy. There was great joy at Jesus’ birth—not just because a cute, little baby was born, but because of all He was destined to do for mankind, in His death, burial, and resurrection!

You have loved righteousness [You have delighted in integrity, virtue, and uprightness in purpose, thought, and action] and You have hated lawlessness (injustice and iniquity). Therefore God, [even] Your God (Godhead), has anointed You with the oil of exultant joy and gladness above and beyond Your companions.  Hebrews 1:9 AMP

In Psalms 45:6-7, a prophetic word is given concerning the Messiah, which Paul quotes here in Hebrews. Jesus was anointed with the oil of joy and gladness above and beyond His companions because He loved righteousness and hated iniquity. Joy was His reward. True joy—the joy every human heart is so hungry for—is only available to the heart that is submitted to Almighty God! Jesus is God, Himself, but still, He submitted Himself to the will of the Father. His obedience was absolutely necessary for the fulfillment of the Father’s plan of salvation for mankind, however, Jesus did not obey because He had no choice or because He was forced to; He obeyed because He chose to, and therefore, He was anointed with the reward of great joy.

Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us, 2 Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.  Hebrews 12:1-2 AMP

The good news is that Jesus never yielded to the temptations of sin, or His own flesh, or His own will or desire—He endured the cross, ignoring the shame, because of His expectation of the joy that would follow as a result of His great sacrifice. Jesus knew the terrible things He would have to endure and still He committed Himself to do everything that was required of Him, without complaint or argument. This was the course of His appointed race. You and I also have an appointed race. It is not an easy race—it is very tough, at times—but there is a joy-reward that lies before us when we obey God and run our assigned course. There is no reward for disobedience—there is no blessing in choosing our own way— we are blessed when we choose to go God’s way for our lives!

Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory. 1 Peter 1:8 KJV

Now to Him Who is able to keep you without stumbling or slipping or falling, and to present [you] unblemished (blameless and faultless) before the presence of His glory in triumphant joy and exultation [with unspeakable, ecstatic delight].  Jude 24 AMP

Let us rejoice and shout for joy [exulting and triumphant]! Let us celebrate and ascribe to Him glory and honor, for the marriage of the Lamb [at last] has come, and His bride has prepared herself.  Revelation 19:7 AMP

The Good News for the believer is that there is joy unspeakable and full of glory—wonderful, triumphant joy and exultation (unspeakable, ecstatic delight)—waiting for us in the presence of the Lord. If we, the Bride of Christ, prepare ourselves for heaven, by obeying the heavenly call, we will live to join the lavish, joy-filled, heavenly celebration that has been prepared for us—the Marriage Supper of the Lamb!

You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore. Psalms 16:11 AMP

From life’s first cry to final breath—and on into eternity—if we remain in God’s presence, we will continue on in His joy.

Prayer that Gets Results

“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.

PRAYER THAT GETS RESULTS
Foundation Scriptures: Ephesians 6:18; Luke 18:1

Ephesians 6:18 AMP
Pray at all times (on every occasion, in every season) in the Spirit, with all [manner of] prayer and entreaty. To that end keep alert and watch with strong purpose and perseverance, interceding in behalf of all the saints (God’s consecrated people).

Luke 18:1
NKJV: Then He spoke a parable to them, that men always ought to pray and not lose heart.
AMP: Also [Jesus] told them a parable to the effect that they ought always to pray and not to turn coward (faint, lose heart, and give up).

  1. Prayer is communication with your Heavenly Father.
  2. Prayer changes things—prayer changes people.
  3. If you want results when you pray, you must follow the rules.

    • There are different kinds of prayer in the Bible. You cannot pray the same prayer for every situation.
    • With different kinds of prayer, there are different rules just as different sports have different rules even though they are all sports.
  4. Prayer of consecration.

    • Some people say, “If it be Thy will” every time they pray, but this not the only way to pray.
    • This is a prayer of consecration. Even Jesus only prayed that once—in the Garden of Gethsemane. (Luke 22:42)
    • When it comes to getting something from God, we do not pray, “If it be thy will.” We already have God’s promise in His Word.
  5. God’s will.

    • We need to realize that it is God’s will that all our needs—spiritual; physical; material—be met.
    • Isaiah 1:19 AMP – If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land.
    • 3 John 2 NKJV – Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in all things and be in health, just as your soul prospers.
  6. Prayer of petition.

    • When you pray—when you ask God for anything— you must pray in faith and expectation.
    • Mark 11:24 NKJV – Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.
    • Mark 11:24 AMP – For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it]. You can only pray this prayer for yourself.
  7. Praise and answered prayer.

    • There is a time to ask and a time to praise and worship God.
    • When Jehoshaphat and Judah were faced with several nations—a great multitude—coming to fight with them, they chose to praise and worship God and He delivered them.
    • 2 Chronicles 20:21-22 NKJV – And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed those who should sing to the Lord, and who should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army and were saying: “Praise the Lord, For His mercy endures forever.” 22 Now when they began to sing and to praise, the Lord set ambushes against the people of Ammon, Moab, and Mount Seir, who had come against Judah; and they were defeated.
    • Paul and Silas were beaten and chained up, but when they began to praise and worship God, they were delivered.
    • Acts 16:25-26 NKJV – But at midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the prisoners were listening to them. 26 Suddenly there was a great earthquake, so that the foundations of the prison were shaken; and immediately all the doors were opened and everyone’s chains were loosed.
    • Tell God what you want and then just worship Him and thank Him.
  8. Don’t worry.

    • Philippians 4:6-7 NKJV – Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God.
    • Be anxious for nothing means: do not worry about anything.
    • 1 Peter 5:6-7 AMP – Therefore humble yourselves [demote, lower yourselves in your own estimation] under the mighty hand of God, that in due time He may exalt you, 7 Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.
    • Cast ALL your cares—not just some of them—on Him.
    • When you believe God’s Word and refuse to worry, some people think that there is something wrong with you.
    • Casting your cares does not mean that you ignore your situation; it means you give it to the Lord—you put it in His hands.
    • Psalms 37:5 AMP – Commit your way to the Lord [roll and repose each care of your load on Him]; trust (lean on, rely on, and be confident) also in Him and He will bring it to pass.
    • When you cast your cares on the Lord and commit your ways to Him, you demonstrate trust and faith in Him to bring it to pass.
    • Many people do not get their prayers answered, because they won’t stop worrying and won’t cast their cares on the Lord.
  9. United prayer.

    • If we, as the Church; as the Body of Christ, join our hearts, faith and voices together to pray and ask God for anything, we will see God do mighty things.
    • Acts 4:23-24a NKJV – And being let go, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said to them. 24 So when they heard that, they raised their voice to God with one accord…
    • Acts 4:29-30 NKJV – Now, Lord, look on their threats, and grant to Your servants that with all boldness they may speak Your word, 30 by stretching out Your hand to heal, and that signs and wonders may be done through the name of Your holy Servant Jesus.
    • Prayer that is prayed in agreement—in one accord—is answered prayer.
    • Matthew 18:19 NKJV – Again I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.

JESUS BECAME POOR SO YOU COULD BECOME RICH

“From the Heart” teaching by Drs. Rodney & Adonica Howard-Browne.

For you are becoming progressively acquainted with and recognizing more strongly and clearly the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ (His kindness, His gracious generosity, His undeserved favor and spiritual blessing), [in] that though He was [so very] rich, yet for your sakes He became [so very] poor, in order that by His poverty you might become enriched (abundantly supplied).
2 Corinthians 8:9 AMP

Because Jesus became poor, you and I have been made rich – rich in every way – not just spiritually. We know this, especially since this scripture, taken in context, is talking about money and material things. How did Jesus become poor? There is no evidence that Jesus, or His family, were any poorer than any of the other people among whom they lived. Rather, Jesus became poor by voluntarily becoming a man – giving up His rights and privileges, as God, and becoming human. He became subject to human limitations such as place and time. He was still essentially God, in the flesh, but He set aside His glory and His rights to experience everything we experience and ultimately, to take our place and bear the punishment for our sins and sickness and death and lack. Hebrews 2:17 AMP says, “So it is evident that it was essential that He be made like His brethren in every respect, in order that He might become a merciful (sympathetic) and faithful High Priest in the things related to God, to make atonement and propitiation for the people’s sins.”

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 6 Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: 7 But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: 8 And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. 9 Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: 10 That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; 11 And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:5-11 KJV

Jesus Christ humbled Himself to come and serve us. He became “poor” when He became human, because He gave up, and set aside, so much on our behalf – even His reputation. However, He never went without anything that He needed. He had a money bag and a treasurer (Judas), He had houses to stay in and people to serve Him and provide for Him. He never went without. When Jesus had a need, He knew exactly where to find it every time. In this way, He demonstrated the provision of God that would be available for all God’s children if they would believe and obey.

When Jesus needed temple tax, He got it out of a fish’s mouth:
However, in order not to give offense and cause them to
stumble [that is, to cause them to judge unfavorably and unjustly] go down to the sea and throw in a hook. Take the first fish that comes up, and when you open its mouth you will find there a shekel. Take it and give it to them to pay the temple tax for Me and for yourself. Matthew 17:27 AMP

When the multitudes needed food, He fed them from only five loaves and two fish (and still had leftovers):
Then He commanded the multitudes to sit down on the grass. And He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up to heaven, He blessed and broke and gave the loaves to the disciples; and the disciples gave to the multitudes. 20 So they all ate and were filled, and they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments that remained. 21 Now those who had eaten were about five thousand men, besides women and children. Matthew 14:19-21 NKJV

When He needed transportation, He knew where to go to get it and who would willingly give it up for His use:
When He came near Bethphage and Bethany at the mount called [the Mount of] Olives, He sent two of His disciples, 30 Telling [them], Go into the village yonder; there, as you go in, you will find a donkey’s colt tied, on which no man has ever yet sat. Loose it and bring [it here]. 31 If anybody asks you, Why are you untying [it]? you shall say this: Because the Lord has need of it. 32 So those who were sent went away and found it [just] as He had told them. Luke 19:29-32 AMP

Paul learned the secret. He knew that he would never lack anything if he put his faith in God. He did not need to worry or fear, because the Lord was his source and supply:
I know how to be abased and live humbly in straitened circumstances, and I know also how to enjoy plenty and live in abundance. I have learned in any and all circumstances the secret of facing every situation, whether well-fed or going hungry, having a sufficiency and enough to spare or going without and being in want. 13 I have strength for all things in Christ Who empowers me [I am ready for anything and equal to anything through Him Who infuses inner strength into me; I am self-sufficient in Christ’s sufficiency].
Philippians 4:12-13 AMP

And my God will liberally supply (fill to the full) your every need according to His riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19 AMP

The Lord is my Shepherd – I will not lack! (Psalms 23:1) If you are a tither and a giver, then you are not dependant only on an earthly bank account – you have a heavenly bank account! Whatever you need is available to you, when you need it, because Jesus became poor so that you could become abundantly supplied! Hallelujah!

Rodney Howard Browne bringing Revival to North Miami Beach