George Washington’s Faith – Preview

In recent years, I’ve heard a teacher I admire suggest several times in interviews that George Washington may have been a “deist” and not necessarily a Christian. This, he claims, is based on the opinion of Washington’s Pastor, who made the original suggestion.

Loving the knowledge that our colonies and country, America, were founded by many men of Christian faith, I was disturbed by this news. So, I set out to learn for myself whether or not it was true.

First President, George Washington, led a prayer of dedication, marking out our infant nation as the Lord’s. How sad would it be to discover he actually did not trust Christ?

In my Kindle library, I have several volumes of material written by Washington, seven to be exact. Modern technology makes it very easy to search them for key words and phrases. So, I carefully hunted for all indications of faith and Christianity.

In short, I found what I was looking for! I will compile all the evidence, and bring it to my readers in days ahead.

Coming soon…

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Day of the Cross

Good Friday. It is the day of the cross. Those who celebrate the death and resurrection of Christ remember this day as the day He hung on the cross for our sins nearly 2000 years ago.

For Jesus, it was the worst day of His human life. A day of torment, utter agony and humiliation. He could have stopped it with a word, but He chose to give His life out of love for us.

Sacrifice to end all sacrifices, atonement purchased for humans with God. If they would only trust Him.

He identified Himself as one with God and as the only way to God. I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. John 14:6

His life, every word and deed, proved this to be true. He was the culmination of every Old Testament prophecy.

The prophets centuries before all foretold a myriad of details about the One who would come, His life, what His death would be like, what it would accomplish. He fulfilled them all, 100%.

For just a taste of Biblical prophecies fulfilled by Jesus, check out this article on cbn.com. There are many additional articles available with a quick search online.

Once you believe Christ was the prophesied One, God Himself come to earth to give His life for us, the next step is to admit you need Him, and to trust His sacrifice was enough. It does not matter how bad your life has been, if you believe Christ and trust His death on the cross covers you, God says you belong to Him.

There have been some teachers who have said all anyone has to do is “believe” to be God’s child. They quote John 3:16 in the most popular English translations of the Bible, “whoever believes on Him will not perish…”

But the Greek from which the English translations came reveals more than simple belief. The definition of the word English translators changed to believe is actually “have faith in, or trust”. It is more than head knowledge, it is a giving of mind and heart.

For those who have struggled their entire lives to trust another, this is a big step of faith, isn’t it? On the testimony of many humans who lived thousands of years ago, to trust a man claiming to be God. Believing that faith in Him, that His death was for you, is enough to earn you God’s forever forgiveness.

And yet, that is the true story. This day in history changed the world. It is the single most important and pivotal event. God came down to reach us, to prove His love and restore us to Himself. He had to do it all for us, that we might be forever secure in Him.

For anyone needing help, wanting evidence, to believe, I recommend you search out this book or movie: The Case For Christ. It is the personal story of Lee Strobel. He was an award-winning legal journalist for the Chicago Tribune, an atheist, when his wife came to faith in Christ. Lee set out to disprove Christianity, but ended up coming to faith, based on the mountain of overwhelming evidence.

The culmination of his journey reminds me of a favorite line in Star Wars, episode VII, when an aged Hans Solo tells the young Rey and her companion something to the effect, “Everything you’ve heard is true, the force is real.”

The story of Jesus Christ is real. The evidence is undeniable. He loves you so much, He gave His life for you. Will you trust Him?

‘And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so it is good the Son of Man to be lifted up, that every one who is trusting in Him may not perish, but may have life eternal, for God did so love the world, that His Son – the only born – He gave, that every one who is trusting in Him may not perish, but may have life eternal.

For God did not send His Son to the world that He may judge the world, but that the world may be saved through Him; he who is trusting in Him is not judged, but he who is not trusting has been judged already, because he hath not trusted in the name of the only born Son of God.

John 3:14-18 YLT (slightly modernized) Young’s Literal Translation of the Bible (Revised Edition, with one-touch navigation) (Kindle Locations 52684-52688). Kindle Edition.

Holy Spirit Transforms Remnant into Living Menorah

So, then, be careful how you live. Do not be unwise but wise, making the best use of your time because the times are evil. Therefore, do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is. Stop getting drunk with wine, which leads to wild living, but keep on being filled with the Spirit. Ephesians 5:15-18

The key to understanding truth and experiencing God’s power in the life of a child of God is the Holy Spirit. Everything He has called us to do is made possible when His Spirit is in control.

Jesus told the disciples before His earthly departure that the Comforter would come to dwell with them and guide them. In the book of Acts, the Spirit was described as coming dramatically with a rushing wind and flames of fire appearing above everyone’s head in the upper room. They found themselves filled with joy, inspiration and power, speaking in languages they’d never known.

Can you picture it? A flame hovering above each of the heads of those in the room. Do you realize what had happened?

In that moment, the disciples, the first Jewish remnant – believers in Christ who had literally survived the transition from Old Covenant to New upon the death and resurrection of Christ – had become a living Menorah!

Christ, the servant lamp, had sent His Spirit to His people as promised, and each of them were set aflame to comfort His people and reach the world. They were His Menorah in His temple! And He had visibly identified them as His, set apart to carry out His mission.

From that point on, the disciples were empowered, emboldened, guided to exhort the people with divine wisdom, heal the sick, speak in foreign languages when needed to evangelize the lost, and more. All because of the Holy Spirit.

The Spirit infilling each believer today continues to enable God to flow through us in every situation. He then uses us to reach the lost world through every means necessary. We continue to be His living Menorah! The entire Body of Christ, His magnificent, living temple!

Sealed in Him with the Holy Spirit of promise…’ Ephesians 1:13

Certainly, the presence of Christ in our lives is sealed upon the moment of salvation, but the full power of the Holy Spirit is not constant. His ability to flow requires constant surrender.

The believer will struggle with surrender, finding it so tempting and easy to take back over his own life. But, only one can be in control at any given moment. When we are in control, He is not.

We have to relinquish the reigns and give them to Him every day, every hour, every moment. Perpetually willing the Spirit to take over is an absolute must in order to live a life flowing with the power and wisdom of Christ. It is why Paul in Ephesians 5:18 exhorted us to, “Keep on being filled with the Holy Spirit.”

It means simply, all the time!

Interpreting Scripture in the Spirit

This may be one of the most important truths I’ve ever shared. Fellow believers, please understand, when someone is not surrendered and filled with the Holy Spirit, their teaching of Scripture may actually be dangerous. Yes, dangerous. For, they will be studying and understanding in only human wisdom, and will often miss the mark, get it wrong. Many others are misled when a teacher is off target.

Have you ever watched a scene in a movie where the good guys are trying to decipher computer code in order to save the day? Until the moment they enter the right key to break the code, the characters on the screen are a jumble, gibberish impossible to interpret.

That is exactly what it is like, trying to understand and fully interpret the Word of God without the Holy Spirit. I’ve said before, the Bible is an incredible, 3D matrix of truth. It is deep and wide, long and mysterious with only a small portion obviously visible, like an iceberg. Without putting on the mind of Christ through surrender and filling of the Holy Spirit, we may scratch a little on the surface, but will miss the whole picture.

The Spirit is the key to the depths of Scriptural knowledge. Everything changes when He is put in His proper place, in the lead. The Word comes alive, springing into 3D focus, and the heart and purpose will be breathed into your being by the Spirit.

Walking in the Spirit will be even more vital in coming decades while voices of deception grow louder and more dominant, and truth becomes harder to discern. Only those filled and surrendered will keep their heads above water and be able to call out frauds and deceivers. The rest will be vulnerable to following false prophets and even well-meaning teachers who take us far away from our real priorities and away from our first love, Jesus.

‘His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness.’ 2 Peter 1:3

Practice today and every day surrendering and asking the Holy Spirit to fill you. Give Him charge of your day and of your study every time you open the Bible. He will keep you on center and will reveal truth.

In addition, His presence will comfort and guide you in every relationship and circumstance. It is His role, promised by Christ to the precious people of God. Don’t miss His wonderful gift to us, of Himself!

Praying for truth and integrity

Precious Jesus, wonderful Lion of Judah, we ask you to battle for our nation today, and bring your wisdom and grace in the midst of chaos. Give us Your vision. Open the eyes of this nation to all TRUTH and restore our important agencies to Your path, a path of integrity.

Wake up Your people, Jesus, and guide us to walk in Your ways. Place men and women of wisdom in positions of power and leadership. Bless and safeguard our President, leaders, and their families whom You have called, “for such a time as this”.

We understand only You can make our nation great. We trust You with the precious gift You gave us we call the United States of America.

Amen.

Blessings and peace to all reading today. United we stand. There is no other alternative.

How to Change a Country for Good

Hello, friends of Faith and Fasting! Happy New Year!

My prayer and encouragement is broadly for the people of God today, not just in America, but around the world. God’s precious people fill the whole earth, just as Isaiah prophesied they would some day, after the Redeemer had, well, redeemed them.

The followers of Messiah, Jesus Christ, have indeed, spread worldwide. But the densest population of His people live in the United States. By more than 30%, we contain more Christians than any other nation. This means we contain the metaphorical heart of Christianity, whether we want to be known that way or not.

America has not always been true to her role as heart of God’s people. Many have tried to make this a political battle. Maybe there is a place for that, but I prefer to see it as a spiritual battle.

Let’s revisit one of my favorite passages, 2 Chronicles 7:14:

“If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray, and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, then will I hear from heaven, forgive their sin and heal their land.”

I’ve spoken of this before, but it is my strong belief the way to apply this for our country (and for your country, wherever you may live), is to recognize God said “if MY PEOPLE will do these things… I will hear… forgive… and heal their LAND!”

God’s formula for blessing His land is for His people to get right with Him. The entire nation benefits.

In the same spirit, the entire point of this blog overall is to call American Christians to renewal. For, when we are right with Him, His blessing falls upon our nation. When God’s favor and blessing is upon this nation, we in turn bless the whole world with aid and refuge for the hurting.

A few years ago in my personal life, I came to a point where I began surrendering to the Lord every morning before getting out of bed. I tell Him, “I am Yours, fill me Holy Spirit, and take over this day.” At night, before going to sleep, I pray, “Holy Spirit, take over even my sleep and dreams!”

Try it, if you haven’t already, surrendering and asking the Holy Spirit to fill you, and then give Him even your night. You may be surprised how differently you see your circumstances, relationships, and beyond.

The Spirit brings every good gift with His presence, such as patience, wisdom, and love. Everything we don’t have, He has and gives freely to those surrendered to Him.

This is how we change our country. We begin by taking this first step of trust in relationship to the Lord, putting our hand into the hand of our great Savior, Jesus, and giving His Spirit full authority. Any other changes needed in our lives are up to Him from that point forward.

This is abundant life. This is the path to wholeness for individuals and nations!

God bless America, and may she continue to bless the world. God bless your nation, wherever you may be, through YOUR obedience to Him! That is the promise of God to His people, and isn’t it just amazing?

Will Elijah Come Again? No, Elijah has already come.

This is written to counter a recent article circulating the net claiming the people of God should expect Elijah to come back to earth before the Return of Christ. It is not the first time I have heard this teaching, and it is false! Realize, it is important to challenge such teaching, for if we are not grounded in truth, we make ourselves vulnerable to deception in the end times.

Here is the background. At the beginning of Matthew 17, Jesus was transfigured before Peter, James and John. They witnessed Him transform into His true, glorious form, where Scripture tells us ‘His face shone like the sun and His clothing became white as light’.

Appearing alongside Jesus were the spirits of Moses and Elijah. Peter in his enthusiasm offered to make booths for each of them, momentarily failing to realize Who should have been his only priority. God’s voice came from heaven in response, “This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Listen to Him!”

So often, just like Peter, we slide off point in attempting to interpret the will of God and His Word. The focal point, the bullseye if you will, is always Messiah. Any movement, however slight, off center of Him misses the mark.

You see, Moses and Elijah appeared along with Jesus on the Mount of Transfiguration to make a point. The most revered prophets of Judaism were with Jesus! Then God made sure everyone present understood which of them was solely Lord and Master: His Son!

The circulating article I mentioned at the start, conjectured that when Elijah returns in the end times, He will likely ‘restore’ traditions of Judaism before the return of Christ. Oops, he missed the mark and the priority, that being Christ, not Judaism!

Now, I love teaching that helps us understand our Hebraic roots and connects Old and New Testaments. It helps us put all the pieces of the Scriptural puzzle together, and when it is done right, it points us to our Savior again and again. This is already happening through great scholars today like Messianic Rabbi Jonathan Cahn, for one.

But, any teaching that the people of God must return to traditions or especially laws of Judaism is strictly false and mis-leading. The New Testament declared the law obsolete. Paul explained it once served as a ‘nanny’ to the ancient people of God, and was retired at the cross. We now have our Bridegroom and His Spirit to guide us. To crawl back to the nanny is absurd and offensive to Him!

Back to Elijah. Should we expect him to come again, to restore Judaism and usher in the end times before Christ returns? No. Jesus, in Matthew 17, makes it very plain that Elijah already came a second time, and His mission was none other than to point the way to Christ.

Listen in to His conversation with the disciples:

MATTHEW 17:10-13

His disciples asked him, ‘Why do the scribes say Elijah must come first?’ And Jesus answered them, ‘Elijah certainly comes first, and restores all things. But I say to you, Elijah has already come, and they did not know him, and have done to him what they wished. Likewise also the Son of man shall suffer at their hands.’ Then the disciples understood that he spoke to them of John the Baptist.

Friends, I do not pretend to fully understand how John the Baptist was Elijah. Was he a literal reincarnation of the ancient prophet? Or, did he possess a symbolic spirit of Elijah, bring back the same message as Elijah? I cannot say, and have heard it taught different ways.

But, the core message is clear. Jesus informed us no matter how you look at it, Elijah’s message did echo on earth a second time through John the Baptist before the ministry of Christ began.

This leaves us with a solid conclusion: Elijah is not coming yet another time. For, the focal point in time for which the prophet Elijah and John the Baptist were prepping us was Jesus’ ministry/death/resurrection, not His end-time return.

The time of the cross was the most important moment in human history! Within that pivotal event lies the identity of our Savior, that He gave everything for us, and that He became the only way through Whom we can be restored to the Father.

Once more, hear the words of God the Father, and then listen to those of His Son, as He instructed!

This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Listen to Him! (God, the Father; Matt 17:5)

I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. (Jesus; John 14:6)

Before closing, let’s reflect once more on the message of John the Baptist, for it is most certainly needed today!

MATTHEW 3:1-3

In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness and saying, ‘Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.’ This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah: “A voice of one calling in the wilderness, ‘prepare the way for the Lord, make straight paths for Him’.”

John did what was prophesied and prepared the way for Jesus to be received by His people. And Jesus brought the kingdom of heaven to earth, as John declared.

Will you recognize the focal point of the entire Bible, and of history: Jesus our Redeemer and Messiah, and know and trust Him today?

A Study on Healing in the New Testament

Healing… before the Cross/Resurrection:

In the Gospels, before the Cross, healing was apparently used mainly as a tool of evangelism, to draw the people and convince them of the power in Christ, His divinity. Christ, Himself, healed ALL who came to Him. In addition, He gave each of the twelve disciples the gift of healing as part of their evangelical mission.

Christ healed everyone (Matt 4):

And Jesus was going about all Galilee teaching in their synagogues, and proclaiming the good news of the reign, and healing every disease, and every malady among the people,

and his fame went forth to all Syria, and they brought to him all having ailments, pressed with manifold sicknesses and pains, and demoniacs, and lunatics, and paralytics, and he healed themMatthew 4:23-24 Young’s Literal Translation (YLT)

Disciples were all given healing gift (Matt 10):

And having called to him his twelve disciples, he gave to them power over unclean spirits, so as to be casting them out, and to be healing every sickness, and every malady.

`And, going on, proclaim saying that, the reign of the heavens hath come nigh;

infirm ones be healing, lepers be cleansing, dead be raising, demons be casting out — freely ye did receive, freely give. Matthew 10:1,8 (YLT)

Healing… after the Cross/Resurrection:

After the Resurrection, in the new, growing church, it is apparent the gift of healing was given to select, but not all believers, as demonstrated below in 1 Corinthians 12.

for to one through the Spirit hath been given a word of wisdom, and to another a word of knowledge, according to the same Spirit;

and to another faith in the same Spirit, and to another gifts of healings in the same Spirit;

and to another in-workings of mighty deeds; and to another prophecy; and to another discernings of spirits; and to another [divers] kinds of tongues; and to another interpretation of tongues:

[are] all apostles? [are] all prophets? [are] all teachers? [are] all powers?

have all gifts of healings? do all speak with tongues? do all interpret?

and desire earnestly the better gifts; 1 Corinthians 12:8-10; 29-31 (YLT)

In modern day, whether in person or through the testimony of documentaries such as those made by filmmaker, Darren Wilson [Finger of God, Furious Love, Father of Lights, etc], we can see evangelical teams witnessing on the streets around the world and healing the sick and lame. There are times not everyone is healed, however. It seems to be determined by the will of the Spirit for His purposes.

Yet, it also seems there are some unique individuals who are able to heal every person they lay hands on. This would indicate they have the gift of healing, specifically.

Perfectly in line with Scripture, we might conclude God can use anyone to heal when He wishes to reach the lost. However, some in the body of Christ possess the gift of healing to benefit both the body of Christ and non-believers.