The Peaceable Fruit of Righteousness – Part Three

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

Hebrews 12:11 AMP says, “For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.”

Discipline – consisting of instruction, training, and correction – is not pleasant at the time it is being administered, but it produces righteousness in the person being disciplined and ultimately it produces peace. If you value and desire the fruit of righteousness and peace in your life, you must submit to God’s discipline – through His Word and His Spirit.

My son, do not despise or shrink from the chastening of the Lord [His correction by punishment or by subjection to suffering or trial]; neither be weary of or impatient about or loathe or abhor His reproof, 12 For whom the Lord loves He corrects, even as a father corrects the son in whom he delights.
Proverbs 3:11-12 AMP

The dictionary meaning of chastening or chastisement is: to discipline; punish; humble; purify; simplify; to correct by punishment or reproof; to take to task; to restrain, to subdue; to rid of excess; refine. Chastening or chastisement is an infliction of punishment, usually in the form of a whipping or a beating. In the Bible, the term chastisement usually refers to punishment or discipline inflicted by God for the purpose of education, instruction, and training and corrective guidance and discipline. Chastisement, discipline and correction are not done for the benefit of the Father, but for the benefit of the child – to quench the will and desires of the flesh, and to bring them under control, and bring forth and release the fruit of the Spirit.

David was a wise man – a man after God’s own heart – and he passed that wisdom on to Solomon. David’s wisdom came from God’s Word as he spent time in God’s Word; as he submitted himself to it; as he applied it to his life. Don’t shrink from the Lord’s chastening; don’t avoid God’s correction and discipline; don’t get tired of, or impatient with, or despise, God’s reproof. Remember that God only corrects those He loves.

Those whom I [dearly and tenderly] love, I tell their faults and convict and convince and reprove and chasten [I discipline and instruct them]. So be enthusiastic and in earnest and burning with zeal and repent [changing your mind and attitude].  Revelation 3:19 AMP

God corrects us for our good. We should love, welcome, and embrace His discipline; being willing and eager to repent; burning with zeal to be like Him – to be pure as He is pure. We must be hungry for righteousness. We must be enthusiastic about getting right with God, having clean hands and a pure heart. When the Lord corrects us, we should not be petulant or defensive; we should not pout or try to justify our actions. We should rather welcome the positive input, cheerfully make the corrections in our attitude and our life, and be grateful that we have received the truth because we know that all of it is for our good and benefit!

Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man whom You discipline and instruct, O Lord, and teach out of Your law, 13 That You may give him power to keep himself calm in the days of adversity, until the [inevitable] pit of corruption is dug for the wicked.  Psalms 94:12-13 AMP

For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.  2 Timothy 1:7 AMP

The person on the receiving end of God’s discipline and instruction is a blessed person. God’s discipline and instruction gives you the power to keep calm when everything goes wrong around you. God blesses us with a Spirit of power, of love, of a calm and well-balanced mind, discipline, and self-control. As we receive God’s discipline, we grow and learn and our senses and mental faculties become trained by practice to discriminate and distinguish between what is good and evil (Hebrews 5:14). God disciplines us and trains us, bringing us to a place of self-discipline. Discipline should come from within and, until it does, it must come from without. Outer boundaries must be in effect until inner boundaries are properly established. Immature people need outer boundaries; mature people have developed appropriate and effective inner boundaries.

For if we searchingly examined ourselves [detecting our shortcomings and recognizing our own condition], we should not be judged and penalty decreed [by the divine judgment]. 32 But when we [fall short and] are judged by the Lord, we are disciplined and chastened, so that we may not [finally] be condemned [to eternal punishment along] with the world.  1 Corinthians 11:31-32 AMP

We must humble ourselves, search our own heart and judge ourselves and, then when we fall short, we must welcome God’s discipline and yield to it. The Lord wants to have the opportunity to burn with His holy fire through us, burning up sin and rebellion and every ungodly presence and force. He wants us to have His fire now so we don’t have to burn with hell’s fire later. God’s judgment and chastisements, here on earth, are a much better option than eternal judgment. You do not want to be judged and punished with the world! God has no desire to condemn you or judge you – He only desires to pour his mercy out on you (John 3:17-18). By respecting and submitting to His authority, you give Him that privilege and opportunity.

As For Me and My House

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

MY FAMILY

Foundation Scriptures: Joshua 24:1-28

And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell; but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.  Joshua 24:15 AMP

1. The reason most people fail in their life is because they do not understand authority, they do not recognize legitimate authority and they do not make a proper response to authority.

  • God is Supreme authority—He created everything and is over everything. Every created thing must bow to Him.
  • Isaiah 45:23
  • Romans 14:11
  • Philippians 2:10-11
  • God created man in His image and gave them authority over the earth.
  • Genesis 1:27-28 AMP
  • The devil is an illegitimate authority. He stole man’s authority from Adam and Eve.
  • Even though he took man’s authority by deception, God still could not just snatch it back from him. Jesus took it back on behalf of man. The devil never would have crucified Jesus if he had known God’s plan to take back man’s authority and to restore man once again into right-standing with God.
  • 1 Corinthians 2:8
  • God uses His authority for GOOD! God is LOVE, His primary motivation is MERCY and His desire is to BLESS!

2. If you want to succeed in every area of your life, you must submit to legitimate authority. By doing so, illegitimate authority can have no place in your life.

  • You must personally submit your life to the King of kings and the Lord of lords.
  • James 4:7 KJV—Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.
  • Do not give the devil any place in your life.
  • Recognize all authorities that God has placed in the earth. Romans 13:1-10
  • Make a decision to walk in the love of God toward all men at all times.  That includes—and is especially applicable to—your own family.

3. Husbands and fathers—God has set you in place as the head of your home. You not only have authority, but you have responsibility.

  • Make the decision that Joshua made: as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord!
  • You cannot force your family into serving God—you must influence them in.
  • Set the example of a godly man, who honors the Lord and is submitted to Him in all things.
  • According to God’s plan, you should be the most unselfish person in your house—not the most selfish—as is often the case.
  • You are the head of the house—not the dictator and not the wimp!
  • Recognize that your wife is not as tough as you are and live considerately with her so your prayers will be answered.
  • 1 Peter 3:7
  • Do not be like a bull in a china shop with your children, but do not abdicate your responsibilities to raise them right either.
  • Don’t irritate and provoke them—raise them tenderly. Correct them and teach them. Ephesians 6:4
  • Do not break their spirit. Colossians 3:21
  • You are the protector or your family. Protect your wife and children from anything that could harm them physically, mentally or spiritually. Protect them from corrupting influences.
  • You are there to bless your house and to be a blessing to them.

4. Wives and mothers—God has given you your place, under the headship of your husband, to have authority over your household.

  • Submit to your husband in the fear of the Lord. Submission is not just allowing someone to walk all over you against your will. Do not make your husband force submission on you by rebellion or indifference. Don’t be a bucking bronco or a whipped puppy. You must make the decision for yourself. Decide to submit to your husband—in faith—out of respect to God’s Word.
  • Submit without giving way to hysterical fears or letting anxieties unnerve you. 1 Peter 3:6
  • God has given you a pattern in Proverbs 31:10-31
  • Your husband should be able to confidently trust you, because you only do him good as long as there is life within you. Proverbs 31:11-12
  • Be secure in the Lord; prepare for the future in faith; speak kindly; take care of your family, while keeping your nose out of everyone else’s. Proverbs 31:25-27

5. Children (of all ages) respect the authority of parents that God has placed in you life. They are there for your good—not your harm. God will hold them responsible for your care and well being.

  • Obey your parents in the Lord.
  • Ephesians 6:1-3 AMP—Children obey your parents in the Lord [as His representatives], for this is just and right. 2 Honor (esteem and value as precious) your father and your mother–this is the first commandment with a promise–3 That all may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth.
  • Colossians 3:20 AMP—Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is pleasing to the Lord.

NB Every one of us will give our own account to God for our own thoughts, words and actions. Whether we are in authority or under authority, let us each one honor the Lord in our choices. In doing so, we will fulfill God’s purpose for our lives and we will leave a trail of blessing and not a trail of devastation in our wake!

Answered Prayer

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

•    Let your requests be made known to God
•    Let God know what it is you want from Him. Don’t just think it – speak it.
•    Don’t be anxious. Rejoice.
•    Do it with thanksgiving. With gratefulness for what He has already done and a joyful expectation of what He is about to do.
•     God’s peace will protect your heart and mind.
•    You can go about your business, knowing that He is in control!

•    Single-minded
•    James 1:5-8 NKJV – If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. 6 But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. 7 For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.
•    If you ask – ask in faith.
•    Do not be double-minded. If you allow doubts to sway you, you will be pulled in two different directions and the result is that you will be double-minded and unstable.
•    If you are double-minded, don’t be surprised when your prayers are not answered.
•    Every one is tempted with doubtful thoughts, but you can shut them down, allow faith to arise from your heart and stay steady until the answer comes.

•    Be persistent.
•    First – know your rights!
•    Luke 18:1-8 The Message Bible – Jesus told them a story showing that it was necessary for them to pray consistently and never quit. 2 He said, “There was once a judge in some city who never gave God a thought and cared nothing for people. 3 A widow in that city kept after him: ‘My rights are being violated. Protect me!’ 4 “He never gave her the time of day. But after this went on and on he said to himself, ‘I care nothing what God thinks, even less what people think. 5 But because this widow won’t quit badgering me, I’d better do something and see that she gets justice — otherwise I’m going to end up beaten black and blue by her pounding.'” 6 Then the Master said, “Do you hear what that judge, corrupt as he is, is saying? 7 So what makes you think God won’t step in and work justice for his chosen people, who continue to cry out for help? Won’t he stick up for them? 8 I assure you, he will. He will not drag his feet. But how much of that kind of persistent faith will the Son of Man find on the earth when he returns?”
•    Second – Press in until you get it.
•    Some Christians don’t ask God for what they need because they think He would be bothered or irritated by their requests. Or maybe it’s because they actually don’t have faith in Him to answer.
•    Over and over, God has told us in His Word that He cares, that He listens and that He answers. When we wake up and get that revelation, we might actually start to ask in faith and receive what we asked for!
•    God expects us to be persistent in prayer and not give up until we get the answer.
•    The lesson of this parable is that if even an unjust judge will respond to a woman who knows her rights and won’t quit until she receives, how much more will our righteous Father work justice for His kids who stand on their rights in faith?

•    No vain repetition allowed.
•    Matthew 6:7-8 AMP – And when you pray, do not heap up phrases (multiply words, repeating the same ones over and over) as the Gentiles do, for they think they will be heard for their much speaking.  8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him.
•    Repeating the exact same word, phrase, or prayer over and over is not the answer. Repetition is just words – no faith is involved.
•    It’s persistent faith – not nagging words – that moves God.
•    Your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him.
•    Ask once for what you want – then continue to thank Him and praise Him for the answer.
•    If the devil comes with doubts – open your mouth and praise God – he will leave!

•    You do not need to pray long prayers.
•    Matthew 23:14 NKJV – Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you devour widows’ houses, and for a pretense make long prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation.
•    Long prayers cannot compensate for bad behavior.

•    Ask – expecting an answer.
•    Hebrews 11:6
•    NKJV – But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
•    The Message Bible – It’s impossible to please God apart from faith. And why? Because anyone who wants to approach God must believe both that he exists and that he cares enough to respond to those who seek him.
•    Luke 11:5-13 NKJV – And He said to them, “Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; 6 for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; 7 and he will answer from within and say, ‘Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you’? 8 I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs. 9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 11 If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? 12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
•    Ask, and it will be given to you – everyone who asks receives.
•    Matthew 7:7-11 AMP – Keep on asking and it will be given you; keep on seeking and you will find; keep on knocking [reverently] and [the door] will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who keeps on asking receives; and he who keeps on seeking finds; and to him who keeps on knocking, [the door] will be opened. 9 Or what man is there of you, if his son asks him for a loaf of bread, will hand him a stone? 10 Or if he asks for a fish, will hand him a serpent? 11 If you then, evil as you are, know how to give good and advantageous gifts to your children, how much more will your Father Who is in heaven [perfect as He is] give good and advantageous things to those who keep on asking Him!
•    Your Father in heaven gives good gifts to those who ask Him

•    Ask with right motives.
•    James 4:1-3 Easy-to-Read Version – Do you know where your fights and arguments come from? They come from the selfish desires that make war inside you. 2 You want things, but you don’t get them. So you kill and are jealous of others. But you still cannot get what you want. So you argue and fight. You don’t get what you want because you don’t ask God. 3 Or when you ask, you don’t receive anything, because the reason you ask is wrong. You only want to use it for your own pleasure.
•    Unspoken requests are not heard or answered. If you don’t ask then you won’t receive.
•    Selfish prayers are not answered either.
•    The Message Bible says you don’t receive because the reason you ask is wrong. “You’re spoiled children, each wanting your own way.” James 4:3b

•    Obey, ask and receive
•    All God’s promises are conditional.
•    1 John 3:18-24 NKJV – My little children, let us not love in word or in tongue, but in deed and in truth. 19 And by this we know that we are of the truth, and shall assure our hearts before Him. 20 For if our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knows all things. 21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. 22 And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. 23 And this is His commandment: that we should believe on the name of His Son Jesus Christ and love one another, as He gave us commandment. 24 Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.
•    Keep His commandments and He will answer your prayers.
•    John 15:7-8 NKJV – If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.  8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
•    When God’s Word becomes so much a part of us that it influences and directs everything we think, feel, say and do, then He will absolutely give us everything we ask for.
•    He wants us to be fruitful in every way.
•    Your fruitfulness and answered prayers bring glory to God.

Is There Not A Cause?

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

And the Philistines stood on a mountain on the one side, and Israel stood on a mountain on the other side: and there was a valley between them. 4 And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. 5 And he had an helmet of brass upon his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass. 6 And he had greaves of brass upon his legs, and a target of brass between his shoulders. 7 And the staff of his spear was like a weaver’s beam; and his spear’s head weighed six hundred shekels of iron: and one bearing a shield went before him. 8 And he stood and cried unto the armies of Israel, and said unto them, Why are ye come out to set your battle in array? am not I a Philistine, and ye servants to Saul? choose you a man for you, and let him come down to me. 9 If he be able to fight with me, and to kill me, then will we be your servants: but if I prevail against him, and kill him, then shall ye be our servants, and serve us. 10 And the Philistine said, I defy the armies of Israel this day; give me a man, that we may fight together. 11 When Saul and all Israel heard those words of the Philistine, they were dismayed, and greatly afraid. 1 Samuel 17:3-11 KJV

Do not put your confidence in man:

The Israelites begged God for a king, so He gave them one they were happy with, who stood head and shoulders above them. However, when an enemy larger than all of them appeared, they were all terrified, because their confidence was in the arm of the flesh. In the natural, the enemy was too big for them, and their king. They had put their trust in man and not in God. They were paralyzed by fear – their enemy had the upper hand without a fight – through threats and through their own fear.

And David left his carriage in the hand of the keeper of the carriage, and ran into the army, and came and saluted his brethren. 23 And as he talked with them, behold, there came up the champion, the Philistine of Gath, Goliath by name, out of the armies of the Philistines, and spake according to the same words: and David heard them. 24 And all the men of Israel, when they saw the man, fled from him, and were sore afraid. 25 And the men of Israel said, Have ye seen this man that is come up? surely to defy Israel is he come up: and it shall be, that the man who killeth him, the king will enrich him with great riches, and will give him his daughter, and make his father’s house free in Israel. 26 And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God? 27 And the people answered him after this manner, saying, So shall it be done to the man that killeth him. 28 And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle. 29 And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause? 1 Samuel 17:22-29 KJV

Is there not a cause?

David did not consider the size of his enemy – he considered the power of his God. Even his own brother thought he was being presumptuous. Every one believed in God, but still they could not see what David saw. Many people have a head-knowledge of God, but have no real faith in His power to save and deliver. Fear cannot receive or agree with faith talk. Fear tries to extinguish the fires of faith. David had total faith and confidence in God and not in the arm of the flesh. If there is a cause that is God’s cause, then through faith and obedience, we will prevail when we take up the challenge.

And David said to Saul, Let no man’s heart fail because of him; thy servant will go and fight with this Philistine. 33 And Saul said to David, Thou art not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him: for thou art but a youth, and he a man of war from his youth. 34 And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: 35 And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him. 36 Thy servant slew both the lion and the bear: and this uncircumcised Philistine shall be as one of them, seeing he hath defied the armies of the living God. 37 David said moreover, The Lord that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the Lord be with thee. 1 Samuel 17:32-37 KJV

Learn to trust God in the small things and it will be easier to trust Him in the big things:

David wasn’t just spouting off nonsense. He had actual experience of God’s help and strength in the face of much larger, more dangerous opponents. By God’s power, David killed a lion and a bear, why would a giant be harder to kill – especially since it was a just cause? Goliath defied God, when he defied the armies of the living God. God will not be mocked and His enemies will fall before Him – He is looking for the David’s who will not be afraid, and who will go at His command and take out the lions and the bears and the giants! Will you be one of them?

Testimony by Mr. James

But the Bible says “the power of life and death are in the tongue. It speaks of using it to edify, And says you will be judged for every word that comes out of your mouth and on and on so this is no small matter. So we must all watch what comes out of our mouths , as for me I make a conscious decision to do just that.

Thirty Things That Grace Can Do – Part I

1. Grace can save the world.

Genesis 6:8 AMP – But Noah found grace (favor) in the eyes of the Lord.

Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV – For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast.

2. Grace can give one all good things.

Psalms 84:11 NKJV – For the Lord God is a sun and shield; The Lord will give grace and glory; No good thing will He withhold From those who walk uprightly.

3. Grace can bring men to repentance.

Zechariah 12:10 AMP – And I will pour out upon the house of David and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem the Spirit of grace or unmerited favor and supplication. And they shall look [earnestly] upon Me Whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him as one mourns for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for Him as one who is in bitterness for his firstborn.

4. Grace can impart great blessings.

Acts 4:33 AMP – And with great strength and ability and power the apostles delivered their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace (loving-kindness and favor and goodwill) rested richly upon them all.

5. Grace can bring salvation.

Titus 2:11-12 AMP – For the grace of God (His unmerited favor and blessing) has come forward (appeared) for the deliverance from sin and the eternal salvation for all mankind. 12 It has trained us to reject and renounce all ungodliness (irreligion) and worldly (passionate) desires, to live discreet (temperate, self-controlled), upright, devout (spiritually whole) lives in this present world.

Ephesians 2:4-10 NKJV – But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

6. Grace can impart faith.

Acts 18:27 NKJV – And when he desired to cross to Achaia, the brethren wrote, exhorting the disciples to receive him; and when he arrived, he greatly helped those who had believed through grace.

7. Grace can justify.

Romans 3:24-25 NKJV – Being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, 25 whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith.

Titus 3:7 NKJV – That having been justified by His grace we should become heirs according to the hope of eternal life.

8. Grace can overcome sin.

Romans 5:20 NKJV – Moreover the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more.

9. Grace can reign in life if permitted.

Romans 5:21 NKJV – So that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

10. Grace can make one God’s elect.

Romans 11:5-6 NKJV – Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. 6 And if by grace, then it is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work.

11. Grace can give boldness.

Romans 15:15 NKJV – Nevertheless, brethren, I have written more boldly to you on some points, as reminding you, because of the grace given to me by God.

12. Grace can make the unclean, clean.

1 Corinthians 10:29-31 KJV – Conscience, I say, not thine own, but of the other: for why is my liberty judged of another man’s conscience? 30 For if I by grace be a partaker, why am I evil spoken of for that for which I give thanks? 31 Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God.

13. Grace can give power.

1 Corinthians 15:10 NKJV – But by the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain; but I labored more abundantly than they all, yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me.

Blessed is the Nation Whose God is the Lord

Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord…Psalms 33:12a

The nation who honors God as their God – God of that nation – is a blessed and happy nation. Conversely, the nation who will not recognize God and who dishonors Him is a nation who has a curse on it and its people. People tend to blame the leadership of their nation for all the problems of their nation – and indeed the leadership is responsible before God – but it is the people who choose the leadership! If the people are submitted to God, they will choose leadership who honor God. However, if they are rebellious against God and they elect those who are just like them, then all the people will suffer.

When a land transgresses, it has many rulers, but when the ruler is a man of discernment, understanding, and knowledge, its stability will long continue. Proverbs 28:2 AMP

When the people sin against God their nation will be very unstable. We can see that in all the nations of the world. Every one of them is being rocked to the foundations. There are wars and rumors of wars, there is economic collapse, immorality is the order of the day, people openly worship their pagan gods, the family has broken down, children are abused and neglected, covetousness and greed are tolerated and even encouraged, crime is rampant, slavery is increasing, peoples’ safety is threatened, and – worst of all – the Church is lukewarm and compromised and even ice cold in some instances. However, when the people repent and turn to God, they will not tolerate an evil ruler, but they will install a wise and godly leader who honors God – then he will bring peace and stability to the entire nation.

When the [uncompromisingly] righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; but when the wicked man rules, the people groan and sigh. Proverbs 29:2 AMP

When the wicked are in authority, transgression increases, but the [uncompromisingly] righteous shall see the fall of the wicked. Proverbs 29:16 AMP

The only way to change a nation is to have a revival in the Church that leads to a Great Awakening in the nation. 1 Peter 4:17 says, “For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God?” If the Church is not fully submitted to God and His Word, then how can they expect the world to do what is right?

The Church spends too much time telling the world what they should be doing, instead of doing it themselves. We must lead by example. Many Christians think that they will win the favor of the sinners if they compromise, but it never works out that way. The sinners despise compromised Christians. Sure, they’ll encourage a Christian to sin, but they will secretly despise his weakness in their hearts. Christians compromise for two reasons – either to avoid persecution or to win the world’s favor – but they will accomplish neither. It would be better to be on fire for God and persecuted, than compromise and lose your credibility.

Isaiah 9:6 says, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder.” The responsibility of leadership has been put onto the Church – the Body of Christ – who are to be completely submitted to the will of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The reason that the Christians are not in leadership is because they’ve believed the devil’s lie that they are to allow the worldly to rule. However, this is contrary to the Word of God. God says that when the wicked man rules, the people groan and sigh, but when the [uncompromisingly] righteous are in authority, the people rejoice!

Notice that it says that things go well when the uncompromisingly righteous rule. Notice that it doesn’t say the compromising, sometimes righteous person will be a great leader – it says that the uncompromised person is what the nation needs. One of the most difficult jobs in the world is to be a godly leader. It seems as if all hell is let loose on you, but you can’t afford to give in or give up. If you stand strong on your godly principles and if you do right, you can expect God to come through for you and to promote you.

By justice a king gives a country stability, but one who is greedy for bribes tears it down. Proverbs 29:4 NIV

Covetousness will destroy an individual, a family, a business, a church and a nation! When someone makes decisions based on the money, when someone can be bribed, they are already under the sway of the enemy and it’s only a matter of time before the whole thing collapses and is destroyed. 1 Timothy 6:10 says that, “The love of money is the root of all evil.”

Like a roaring lion or a ravenous and charging bear is a wicked ruler over a poor people. 16 A ruler who lacks understanding is [like a wicked one] a great oppressor, but he who hates covetousness and unjust gain shall prolong his days. Proverbs 28:15-16 AMP

A ruler who hates covetousness and refuses to be bought seems to be a rare commodity these days. Way too many of those in leadership allow themselves to be bought by the highest bidder. Their job is to be fair to ALL the people and not to show special favor to those who line their pockets. Once you accept a bribe, you lose your freedom and your independence; you no longer have any autonomy. You can no longer judge fairly or impartially and the people are the ones who will suffer. God will judge all those who take bribes and who allow evil men to prosper and oppress the poor and the weak – those who cannot defend themselves.

It’s time for the Church to submit to God and resist the devil. It’s time for the Church to take responsibility to lead in the nation! That is the only way to bring back the blessing of God to the nation.

The king who faithfully judges the poor, his throne shall be established continuously. Proverbs 29:14 AMP

The Tithe

Abraham brought the tithe to Melchizedek, priest of the Most High God:

Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine; he was the priest of God Most High. 19 And he blessed him and said: “Blessed be Abram of God Most High, Possessor of heaven and earth; 20 And blessed be God Most High, Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.” And he gave him a tithe of all. Genesis 14:18-20 NKJV

The word “tithe” literally means “a tenth”. Abraham brought his tithe to God through Melchizedek long before the Law was instituted. Through the ages, paying tithes is not a matter of Law, but a matter of FAITH and COVENANT!

For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, 2 to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated “king of righteousness,” and then also king of Salem, meaning “king of peace,” 3 without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually. 4 Now consider how great this man was, to whom even the patriarch Abraham gave a tenth of the spoils. 5 And indeed those who are of the sons of Levi, who receive the priesthood, have a commandment to receive tithes from the people according to the law, that is, from their brethren, though they have come from the loins of Abraham; 6 but he whose genealogy is not derived from them received tithes from Abraham and blessed him who had the promises. 7 Now beyond all contradiction the lesser is blessed by the better. 8 Here mortal men receive tithes, but there he receives them, of whom it is witnessed that he lives. 9 Even Levi, who receives tithes, paid tithes through Abraham, so to speak, 10 for he was still in the loins of his father when Melchizedek met him. Hebrews 7:1-10 NKJV

Jesus is our High Priest after the order of Melchizedek:

Where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews 6:20 NKJV

Abraham brought tithes to God through Melchizedek – a type and shadow of Jesus, our High Priest. When we bring our tithe in faith and obedience, we are bringing it – not to man – but to Jesus, Himself.

Jacob considered the tithe a just return for all of God’s blessings:

Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, 21 so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then the Lord shall be my God. 22 And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.” Genesis 28:20-22 NKJV

Before the Law was given, Jacob promised God that he would give Him a tenth of all that with which God would bless him. The order is this: first we receive the blessing of God, and then we give back to Him the tenth that is due Him of ALL He has given to us.

The Tithe belongs (is holy) to the Lord:

And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land or of the fruit of the tree, is the Lord’s. It is holy to the Lord. Leviticus 27:30 NKJV

And concerning the tithe of the herd or the flock, of whatever passes under the rod, the tenth one shall be holy to the Lord. Leviticus 27:32 NKJV

If the tithe belongs to God, then we have no business keeping it one day longer than we ought. If you have any respect for God and His word, then the moment your harvest (income) comes in, you will set it aside to bring to the Lord the very next time you go to church. When the Israelites brought the tithe to the temple, they were to speak a confession over it – that it was truly the tithe of their income and that it had been handled, according to God’s word, like a holy thing.

Tithe on ALL that God has given you:

You shall surely tithe all the yield of your seed produced by your field each year. Deuteronomy 14:22 AMP

Then there will be the place where the Lord your God chooses to make His name abide. There you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes, the heave offerings of your hand, and all your choice offerings which you vow to the Lord. Deuteronomy 12:11 NKJV

Bring all the tithes into the storehouse, That there may be food in My house, And try Me now in this,” Says the Lord of hosts, “If I will not open for you the windows of heaven And pour out for you such blessing That there will not be room enough to receive it. Malachi 3:10 NKJV

Since tithe means tenth – we are to bring the whole tenth of our income to God. We don’t tithe off of our leftovers, but off of the top. God knows when we bring Him the tithe or if we bring Him less. He is the source of our blessing and the one to whom we are accountable. Why would we even want to cheat God, when we know that we will be the only ones cheated (of a blessing). We bring our whole tithe because we love and honor our Father God and because we are both grateful for all He has provided and expectant for all that He will do to provide for and bless us in the future.

Twenty-One Proofs of Physical Resurrection – Part II

See My hands and My feet, that it is I Myself! Feel and handle Me and see, for a spirit does not have flesh and bones, as you see that I have. Luke 24:39 AMP

14. Jesus Himself stood in the midst of them (Luke 24:36; John 20:19). They thought it was a spirit (Luke 24:37), but Jesus assured them that it was not a spirit. It was His own body – the same one that had been with them for years (Luke 24:39-43).

15. It was necessary for Christ to be crucified and to rise from the dead (Luke 24:46). The same body that was crucified was raised from the dead.

Luke 24:46 AMP – And said to them, Thus it is written that the Christ (the Messiah) should suffer and on the third day rise from (among) the dead

16. Jesus – His body, not just His spirit – was taken up into heaven (Luke 24:50-51). He lifted His (physical) hands. If He was not merely a spirit, as He had said (Luke 24:37-43), then it was His body that went up.

Luke 24:50-51 AMP – Then He conducted them out as far as Bethany, and, lifting up His hands, He invoked a blessing on them. 51 And it occurred that while He was blessing them, He parted from them and was taken up into heaven.

17. They thought that someone took the Lord out of the sepulcher, because they did not yet know the Scripture, that He must rise from the dead (John 20:2; 9).

John 20:2 AMP – So she ran and went to Simon Peter and the other disciple, whom Jesus [tenderly] loved, and said to them, They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him!

John 20:8-9 AMP – Then the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, went in too; and he saw and was convinced and believed. 9 For as yet they did not know (understand) the statement of Scripture that He must rise again from the dead.

His “missing” body made no less than twelve appearances to hundreds of witnesses (John 21:14).

John 21:14 AMP – This was now the third time that Jesus revealed Himself (appeared, was manifest) to the disciples after He had risen from the dead.

It was not taken away. It was resurrected and is alive today at the right hand of God (Mark 16:19; Acts 2:33; Romans 8:34; Hebrews 1:3; Hebrews 12:2).

Hebrews 1:3 AMP – He is the sole expression of the glory of God [the Light-being, the out-raying or radiance of the divine], and He is the perfect imprint and very image of [God’s] nature, upholding and maintaining and guiding and propelling the universe by His mighty word of power. When He had by offering Himself accomplished our cleansing of sins and riddance of guilt, He sat down at the right hand of the divine Majesty on high

Hebrews 12:2 NKJV – Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.

18. Thomas said: Except I shall see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and thrust my hand into His side, I will not believe. Eight days later, Thomas had the opportunity, proving His body was literally resurrected (John 20:25-29; Luke 24:37-43).

John 20:25-29 NKJV – The other disciples therefore said to him, “We have seen the Lord.” So he said to them, “Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe.” 26 And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, “Peace to you!” 27 Then He said to Thomas, “Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing.” 28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, “My Lord and my God!” 29 Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

19. In all previous resurrections the bodies were made alive again, not the souls. Elijah raised from the dead the son of the widow from Zarephath (1 Kings 17:17-24). Elisha raised from the dead the son of the Shunammite woman (2 Kings 4:18-37). A dead man was resurrected when his body was placed in Elisha’s tomb and touched his bones (2 Kings 13:21). Jesus raised Lazarus bodily from the dead (John 11:1-44).

To argue that Christ’s body is the only one never to be resurrected is extreme rebellion, for so many scriptures say it was raised (Acts 2:31; Acts 4:33; Romans 1:4; 1 Peter 3:21; etc.).

Acts 2:31 NKJV – He, foreseeing this, spoke concerning the resurrection of the Christ, that His soul was not left in Hades, nor did His flesh see corruption.

Acts 4:33 NKJV – And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.

Romans 1:3-4 NKJV – Concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, 4 and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead.

20. Jesus will bear the wounds in His body in eternity.

Zechariah 13:6 NKJV – And one will say to him, ‘What are these wounds between your arms?’ Then he will answer, ‘Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.’

21. He was buried and He arose again (1 Cor. 15:1-58). In this passage it is clear that anyone who does not believe in the physical resurrection of Christ will be lost.

1 Corinthians 15:3-4 NKJV – For I delivered to you first of all that which I also received: that Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures, 4 and that He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures

1 Corinthians 15:20 NKJV – But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

Pastor Rodney Howard Browne and the Great Awakening Tour