One Flock and One Shepherd

I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.  15 As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep.  16 And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd.  John 10:14-16 NKJV

Jesus said: “I am the Good Shepherd. I have other sheep, which are not of this fold. They will hear My voice and there will be one flock and one Shepherd.” Jesus was Jewish and salvation was offered first to the Jews, but ultimately it was intended for ALL people – ALL tribes and ALL nations. “This fold” refers to the Jews and those “not of this fold” are the Gentiles. Jesus laid down His life and died for Jews AND Gentiles – He died for the sins of the world! People are always trying to restrict God’s salvation to their own little group, but Jesus said that anyone who hears His voice is included in His flock. There is ONE flock and ONE Shepherd!

I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word;  21 that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. 22 And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one:  23 I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me.  John 17:20-23 NKJV

Jesus loved us before we were born! He prayed to the Father for His disciples and also for each one of us, in succeeding generations, who would believe in Him through the testimony of His disciples and His Word. The glory of God in our lives makes us all ONE in Him. The Father’s plan was for us to be made perfect together, as ONE body. The Father’s plan is for the whole world to know that He sent Jesus and that He loves each one of us as much as He loves Jesus!

Therefore remember that you, once Gentiles in the flesh — who are called Uncircumcision by what is called the Circumcision made in the flesh by hands — 12 that at that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far off have been brought near by the blood of Christ. 14 For He Himself is our peace, who has made both one, and has broken down the middle wall of separation, 15 having abolished in His flesh the enmity, that is, the law of commandments contained in ordinances, so as to create in Himself one new man from the two, thus making peace, 16 and that He might reconcile them both to God in one body through the cross, thereby putting to death the enmity. 17 And He came and preached peace to you who were afar off and to those who were near. 18 For through Him we both have access by one Spirit to the Father. 19 Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit.  Ephesians 2:11-22 NKJV

Jesus came and preached peace to you who were afar off (Gentiles) and to those who were near (Jews)! We can ALL belong to Jesus’ flock through faith. We don’t need to be born into the “right” family; we don’t need to belong to a particular nation or a particular denomination; we don’t need to do certain works or rituals; we just need to believe in Him. Jesus is our Peace! He broke down any and all walls of separation between man and God – and man and man. He reconciled all of us to God in one body through the cross. We ALL have access to the Father through the Spirit of God. Jesus is our Good Shepherd and our Chief Cornerstone! We are no longer strangers and foreigners, but we are citizens of God’s Kingdom and also members of the household of God! We are brothers and sisters of the same Family!

For the Scripture says, “Whoever believes on Him will not be put to shame.”  12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek, for the same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him. 13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”  Romans 10:11-13 NKJV

WHOSOEVER calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved – whether Jew or Greek (Gentile)! The same Lord over all is rich to all who call upon Him!

For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body — whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free — and have all been made to drink into one Spirit.  1 Corinthians 12:13 NKJV

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there is neither male nor female; for you are all one in Christ Jesus.  Galatians 3:28 NKJV

By ONE Spirit we are baptized into ONE body! Your station in life has no bearing on your salvation – Jew or Greek; slave or free; male or female – we are ALL His flock; we are ALL His children. Every man, woman, or child who ever lived, has the same privilege and opportunity to become God’s child. God’s Kingdom is the great equalizer!

Suffering For The Cause Of Christ by Rodney Howard Browne

Worship Soundtracks from RMIRiverSong on Vimeo.

You have been granted [the privilege] for Christ’s sake not only to believe in (adhere to, rely on, and trust in) Him, but also to suffer in His behalf.  Philippians 1:29 AMP

The Bible speaks about Christians suffering with and for Christ. This is not the undeserved suffering of sickness and disease as some misinformed, religious people have taught, because that is unscriptural.  The only suffering that is appropriate and even inevitable for a true Christian is persecution and the pressures and opposition that come from obedience and yieldedness to God’s will. Opposition and persecution come from the devil and demons and from ungodly people. Sometimes, even lukewarm or backslidden Christians are the ones who are used by the enemy to persecute those who are living godly lives and who are on fire for God. Persecution is a consequence of faithfulness toward God and His word and being a doer of the Word and will of God.

1. It is not strange or unusual for Christians to suffer—godliness attracts persecution

1 Peter 4:12 AMP – Beloved, do not be amazed and bewildered at the fiery ordeal which is taking place to test your quality, as though something strange (unusual and alien to you and your position) were befalling you.

2 Timothy 3:12 AMP – Indeed all who delight in piety and are determined to live a devoted and godly life in Christ Jesus will meet with persecution [will be made to suffer because of their religious stand].

2. You should rejoice when you become a partaker ofthe sufferings of Christ­—you are not alone—and great is your reward

1 Peter 4:13 AMP – But insofar as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, rejoice, so that when His glory [full of radiance and splendor] is revealed, you may also rejoice with triumph [exultantly].

Matthew 5:10-12 NIV – Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 11 “Blessed are you when people insult you, persecute you and falsely say all kinds of evil against you because of me. 12 Rejoice and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven, for in the same way they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

3. The greater the suffering you experience, the greater also your joy and glory

Romans 8:17-18 AMP – And if we are [His] children, then we are [His] heirs also: heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ [sharing His inheritance with Him]; only we must share His suffering if we are to share His glory. 18 [But what of that?] For I consider that the sufferings of this present time (this present life) are not worth being compared with the glory that is about to be revealed to us and in us and for us and conferred on us!
4. Not only is there a greater glory that is to come, but Christians also have the Holy Spirit upon them now to help them and enable them to endure

1 Peter 4:14 AMP – If you are censured and suffer abuse [because you bear] the name of Christ, blessed [are you—happy, fortunate, to be envied, with life-joy, and satisfaction in God’s favor and salvation, regardless of your outward condition], because the Spirit of glory, the Spirit of God, is resting upon you. On their part He is blasphemed, but on your part He is glorified.

Romans 8:26-27 AMP – So too the [Holy] Spirit comes to our aid and bears us up in our weakness; for we do not know what prayer to offer nor how to offer it worthily as we ought, but the Spirit Himself goes to meet our supplication and pleads in our behalf with unspeakable yearnings and groanings too deep for utterance. 27 And He Who searches the hearts of men knows what is in the mind of the [Holy] Spirit [what His intent is], because the Spirit intercedes and pleads [before God] in behalf of the saints according to and in harmony with God’s will.

5. Christian sufferings glorify God and it is an honor and not a shame, to suffer as a Christian

1 Peter 4:16 AMP – But if [one is ill-treated and suffers] as a Christian [which he is contemptuously called], let him not be ashamed, but give glory to God that he is [deemed worthy to suffer] in this name.

6. Christians should patiently bear sufferings according to the will of God, realizing that God is always faithful  toward those who are His own, in the midst of their sufferings

1 Peter 4:17-19 AMP – For the time [has arrived] for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us, what will [be] the end of those who do not respect or believe or obey the good news (the Gospel) of God? 18 And if the righteous are barely saved, what will become of the godless and wicked? 19 Therefore, those who are ill-treated and suffer in accordance with God’s will must do right and commit their souls [in charge as a deposit] to the One Who created [them] and will never fail [them].

1 Corinthians 10:13 NKJV – No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

Jesus suffered major persecution and when we accept Him as Lord and Savior, that is what we sign up for as well—whether we like it or not. But for those who endure and don’t buckle under the pressure—there remains great rewards from our Father in Heaven! You will not be tested beyond your ability to endure—God’s grace is always enough for you. So don’t back off; don’t give in, keep hanging in there and praising God, and you will finish your race and win your prize!

THINGS I CANNOT COMPROMISE

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.  Romans 1:16 KJV

[My precaution was] because of false brethren who had been secretly smuggled in [to the Christian brotherhood]; they had slipped in to spy on our liberty and the freedom which we have in Christ Jesus, that they might again bring us into bondage [under the Law of Moses]. 5 To them we did not yield submission even for a moment, that the truth of the Gospel might continue to be [preserved] for you [in its purity]. Galatians 2:4-5 AMP

Rodney Howard Browne teaches that Jesus is the Only Way for Salvation.

  1. John 14:6 AMP—I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) Me.
  2. 1 Timothy 2:5-6a
  3. John 3:13-18
  4. 1 John 5:20


Rodney Howard Browne teaches that The Word of God is the Only Truth.

  1. Truth is absolute. A partial truth is a lie. For something to be called true, it must be completely and thoroughly true.
  2. In the Old and New Testaments, truth is a fundamental moral and personal quality of God. It is impossible for God to lie.
  3. 1 Samuel 15:29
  4. Hebrews 6:18—It is impossible for God to lie.
  5. Titus 1:2—God cannot lie.
  6. God is true and He cannot lie, God’s Word is truth and is no lie. God’s Word is also called the Word of Truth.
  7. John 8:32 AMP—And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free.
  8. John 17:17 NKJV—Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth.
  9. Ephesians 1:13
  10. Psalms 25:10
  11. Psalms 111:7-8
  12. Psalms 119:142—Your law is truth.
  13. Psalms 119:151—All Your commandments are truth.
  14. Psalms 119:160


Rodney Howard Browne teaches that Repentance is the Only Way.

  1. Luke 13:3
  2. Acts 3:19-20—Repent therefore and be converted.
  3. Acts 17:30-31—God now commands all men everywhere to repent.
  4. Revelation 3:19—Be zealous and repent.


The Belief in the Cross, the Blood, the Resurrection and His Lordship.

The Cross

  1. John 3:14-15—Jesus was lifted up on the cross to impart eternal life.
  2. 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.
  3. 1 Corinthians 1:18 NKJV—For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

The Blood

  1. Matthew 26:28 NKJV—For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.
  2. Ephesians 1:7 NKJV—In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His grace.
  3. Ephesians 2:13—You have been brought near by the blood of Christ.
  4. Colossians 1:19-20—Having made peace through the blood of His cross.
  5. Hebrews 9:12-15
  6. Revelation 5:9-10—You were slain, and have redeemed us to God by Your blood.

The Resurrection

  1. John 11:25-26a—“I am the resurrection and the life.
  2. Romans 1:3-4
  3. 1 Peter 1:3

His Lordship

  1. Acts 2:36—God has made Him both Lord and Christ
  2. Acts 10:36—Jesus Christ is Lord of all.
  3. Philippians 2:9-11—Every knee should bow and every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.


The Gospel—What is it?

  1. All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.
  2. Romans 3:21-25
  3. The wages of sin is death—the gift of God is eternal life.
  4. Romans 6:23
  5. Whosoever calls on the Name of the Lord shall be saved.
  6. Romans 10:8-13
  7. The Gospel is Good News.
  8. Luke 2:10-11
  9. Romans 2:4-5

The Lord is Calling to Us

A whistle can get our attention quickly, can’t it? Whistles are used to manipulate uncontrollable behavior, signal the start or finish of an event, or interrupt the action. Blown by a sports referee, a teacher on a playground, or a police officer at a junction, the sound is a signal for us to stop and learn why the whistle was blown. What does God use to get our attention? Occasionally it’s a twitchy spirit. Rodney Howard Browne tells us that it can appear as an obscure dissatisfaction with our life. Other times God uses somebody’s words to help us recognize he is talking to us. Blessing us in a bizarre way is another method God employs. ( Romans twenty-four ) In each case, we are to stop and ask, “Lord, are You making an attempt to say something to me?”

Rodney Howard Browne explains that God often allows our requests to stay unanswered to prompt us to sharpen our target Him. Or He may say no thanks to our request to gain our attention. Disappointments, problems, and disasters are sometimes used by Him for a similar reason.

If we are smart, we will swiftly seek Him out.

In crises, finance reversals, and physical affliction, God waits to determine if we are going to turn to Him and ask, “God, are You talking to me?” Rodney Howard Browne teaches us that God merits our complete attention, but we get engrossed. He waits to talk with us, but we are busy taking a look at our circumstances.

Permit the occurrences of life-both the agreeable and the painful-to prompt you to turn to God and ask, “Lord, are You asking for my attention?”. One more thing.

When We Are Lonely

Rodney Howard Browne explains that too often, believers in Christ are ashamed to admit that they struggle with loneliness. Some assume, “If anyone knows I’m lonely, they may not think I’m satisfied in my relationship with Jesus.” What a tragic mistake! Nowhere in the Bible does it say that it is a sin to feel lonely. The truth is, even the most committed Christians feel lonely from time to time.

Rodney Howard Browne show us that all throughout Scripture, we see godly men and women admitting their feelings of loneliness. Quite often in the Psalms, we see this of David. Psalm 25:16-17 shows David to be “lonely and afflicted,” while Psalm 102:7 reveals his sleepless nights due to loneliness. And this was a man who was famous for his relationship with God!

The apostle Paul struggled with loneliness during his travels as well. In 2 Timothy 4:16, he recounts a time of distress and remarks, “all [have] deserted me.”

Pastor Rodney Howard Browne shows us that these are all men who had unquestionably wonderful relationships with God, yet they admitted their loneliness. Even Jesus demonstrated the need for close relationships, as well as the heartache caused when they are ruptured. On the night of His arrest, He took His closest friends with Him to pray, only to sorrowfully discover that they had fallen asleep and left Him alone. (Matthew 26:36-46)

If you are struggling with similar feelings, do not be afraid to admit it to God and to your friends. Invite someone into the pain of your loneliness. That will be the first step on your journey out of it.

1.

Unto thee, O LORD, do I lift up my soul.

2.

O my God, I trust in thee: let me not be ashamed , let not mine enemies triumph over me.

3.

Yea, let none that wait on thee be ashamed : let them be ashamed which transgress without cause.

4.

Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths.

5.

Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.

6.

Remember , O LORD, thy tender mercies and thy lovingkindnesses; for they have been ever of old.

7.

Remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions: according to thy mercy remember thou me for thy goodness’ sake, O LORD.

8.

Good and upright is the LORD: therefore will he teach sinners in the way.

9.

The meek will he guide in judgment: and the meek will he teach his way.

10.

All the paths of the LORD are mercy and truth unto such as keep his covenant and his testimonies.

11.

For thy name’s sake, O LORD, pardon mine iniquity; for it is great.

12.

What man is he that feareth the LORD? him shall he teach in the way that he shall choose .

13.

His soul shall dwell at ease; and his seed shall inherit the earth.

14.

The secret of the LORD is with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant.

15.

Mine eyes are ever toward the LORD; for he shall pluck my feet out of the net.

16.

Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and afflicted.

17.

The troubles of my heart are enlarged : O bring thou me out of my distresses.

18.

Look upon mine affliction and my pain; and forgive all my sins.

19.

Consider mine enemies ; for they are many ; and they hate me with cruel hatred.

20.

O keep my soul, and deliver me: let me not be ashamed ; for I put my trust in thee.

21.

Let integrity and uprightness preserve me; for I wait on thee.

22.

Redeem Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.

Living in Accordance with the Holy Spirit

With enticement swirling around us every day, it’s tough to walk in what we consider “holiness.” But that could be as we don’t truly understand holiness. We frequently compare holiness with a religious life, one lacking in sin at every point. But holiness is not a characteristic you earn. Holiness comes when you understand your position in Christ. After you accept Jesus as your Lord and Savior and ask God to pardon your sins, God’s Holy Spirit starts to dwell in you.

And one thing is for certain: God is holy. So, if God is holy and His Holy Spirit inhabits you, would not that make you holy as well? The instant you gave your life over to the Lord, you became holy. Peter reminds us of our call to live a holy life : “Because it is written, ‘You shall be Holy, for I am holy” ( one Peter 1:16 ) . God would not need us to do something that we could not do. Walking in holiness comes when we are now not OK with sin. As sin becomes more repulsive, we grow more attracted to His methods, His methods that are higher than ours. No longer should we wish to walk in the way of the ungodly, nor should it feel cosy ( Proverbs 1:15 ) . God has rescued us from sin.

And when we remember this and select His way every time enticement crosses our trails, we are going to walk in holiness.

Jesus, Our Provider

The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they might have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows). I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd risks and lays down His [own] life for the sheep.

JOHN 10:10-11 AMP

 

God knows what you need. He knows everything about you. He knows when you’re rising up and when you’re lying down, when you’re coming in and when you’re going out. He knows your dreams and your desires. But most important, He wants to meet your needs. He wants to see the dreams and desires He’s placed in your heart fulfilled.

 

Jesus said He came to give us abundant life, but most Christians are having just-getting-by life. How does that happen? People in the Church accept Jesus as their Savior, and some in the Church accept Him as their Healer, but they often have a hard time, accepting Him as their Provider. What’s more, some of us accept Him as our Provider but we don’t accept Him as our Provider in every area of our lives. When we not only accept Jesus as our Savior and Healer, but also our Provider, we’re expecting His provision every day. We’re believing Him to care for our every need.

 

Therefore I say unto you, Take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than raiment?

 

Behold the fowls of the air: for they sow not, neither do they reap, nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they? Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

 

And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin: And yet I say unto you, That even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.

 

Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, what shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? (For after all these things do the Gentiles seek 🙂 for your Heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

 

But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself; Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

MATTHEW 6:25-34

 

According to Jesus, we should not even be thinking about our food, drink, and clothing, because our heavenly Father knows what we need and will take care of these things as we seek His kingdom and His righteousness. The problem is that most people — even Christians — spend most of their day worrying about small things that Jesus promised to take care of We need to stop worrying and start expecting God’s provision to be there for us as we serve Him.

I Know the Plans I Have For You

For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome. 12 Then you will call upon Me, and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear and heed you. 13 Then you will seek Me, inquire for, and require Me [as a vital necessity] and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:11-13 AMP

Verse 11 in the KJV says, “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the Lord, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end.” Father God has thoughts and plans for us for peace. This word translated “peace” means: peace, welfare, well-being, happiness, favor, rest, safety, health, and prosperity.

God has NO plans for evil. It is the devil who plans evil against mankind. The commitment that God expects from us is that we come to seek Him with ALL our heart, to pray to Him, and to call upon Him. Then He promises that He will hear us and answer us. We are the ones who can settle for the devil’s plan for us, or we can choose God’s plan. God’s plan entails welfare and peace and hope and fulfillment of promises. No matter what we go through, we know that God will have the final say and His good plans for us WILL succeed!

Blessed (happy, fortunate, prosperous, and enviable) is the man who walks and lives not in the counsel of the ungodly [following their advice, their plans and purposes], nor stands [submissive and inactive] in the path where sinners walk, nor sits down [to relax and rest] where the scornful [and the mockers] gather. Psalms 1:1 AMP

You can follow God’s plan for your life, or you can listen to ungodly people’s advice and ideas. God’s plan is for a hopeful future, but man’s plans will lead you down the road to nowhere. The decisions we make for our lives are not merely earthly decisions, but decisions whose impact is felt into eternity. God already has a path and plan laid out for you that will take you into life and blessing, if you will choose it.

Let all those that seek and require You rejoice and be glad in You; let such as love Your salvation say continually, The Lord be magnified! 17 [As for me] I am poor and needy, yet the Lord takes thought and plans for me. You are my Help and my Deliverer. O my God, do not tarry! Psalms 41:16-17 AMP

It doesn’t matter what your circumstances are right now, the Lord is thinking about you and planning good plans for you.

Then [Israel] believed His words [trusting in, relying on them]; they sang His praise. 13 But they hastily forgot His works; they did not [earnestly] wait for His plans [to develop] regarding them. Psalms 106:12-13 AMP

We must give God’s plans for us time to develop. Some people praise God one minute, and then the next, they forget what He has promised and they are off doing their own thing. We must believe God’s promises concerning us and not give up or get distracted. It is those who exercise faith and patience, who inherit the promises.

Many plans are in a man’s mind, but it is the Lord’s purpose for him that will stand. Proverbs 19:21 AMP

You can make all the plans in the world, but there is no guarantee they will come to pass. If you follow God’s plans, He will make sure that they come to pass, no matter what.

The Lord of hosts has sworn, saying, Surely, as I have thought and planned, so shall it come to pass, and as I have purposed, so shall it stand. Isaiah 14:24 AMP

God’s plans WILL come to pass. You can accept His plans for your life, and succeed; or you can go your own way and fail.

And the spirit of the Egyptians within them will become exhausted and emptied out and will fail, and I will destroy their counsel and confound their plans; and they will seek counsel from the idols and the sorcerers, and from those having familiar spirits (the mediums) and the wizards. Isaiah 19:13 AMP

Anyone who fights against God, and tries to find direction instead from the devil, and his agents, will utterly fail. God will confound the plans of your enemy.

But they know not the thoughts of the Lord, neither do they understand His plan, for He shall gather them as the sheaves to the threshing floor. Micah 4:12 AMP

Everyone will stand before God and will be at His mercy. He sent Jesus to take the entire wrath of God that sinners deserve, upon Himself; so that we could be shown mercy. Just as the sheaves were sorted after harvest, to keep the wheat and burn the tares, so all of mankind will stand before God and either be received into His Kingdom or be rejected and cast into hell, into the flame that never dies.

We are assured and know that [God being a partner in their labor] all things work together and are [fitting into a plan] for good to and for those who love God and are called according to [His] design and purpose. Romans 8:28 AMP

When we, who are called according to His design and purpose, work obediently with God to fulfill that purpose, then He works with us and makes our plans good and our path straight. Even though the devil might try to attack and harass, he cannot stop you, or the plan of God, as you faithfully follow that plan. God’s purposes for you will come to pass. He will cause every circumstance to turn and line up with His plans for you. Find out what His plan is for you. Trust Him and follow Him and you will succeed.

JESUS RULES OVER PRINCIPALITIES – BOTH GOOD AND EVIL

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

Foundation Scripture: 1 Peter 3:22  (NKJ)
22who has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, angels and authorities and powers having been made subject to Him.

All angels, authorities and powers are completely subject, subservient and subordinate to Jesus Christ. There are levels of authority under God – in this natural realm and also in the spiritual realm. In the Bible, the words “principalities”, “powers”, “authorities”, “dominions”, “rulers”, “thrones”, “angels”, and “might” are used to describe these levels of authorities. Some of them are holy (or good), under God’s command, and some of them are evil, under the devil’s command.  But all of them are subject to God and are under His authority.

Colossians 1:16  (NKJ)
16For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers. All things were created through Him and for Him.

All thrones, dominions, principalities and powers were created for Jesus, through Him and by Him – to serve Him and His purposes.

Colossians 2:14-15  (NKJ)
14having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

The enemy is disarmed – he is helpless and defeated. Jesus removed all and any authority that he ever had, including the keys to death, hell and the grave – in the sight of Heaven and hell – so that there could be no questions and no arguments. The Lord Jesus Christ has stripped him of his power.

Ephesians 1:23  (NKJ)
19and what is the exceeding greatness of His power toward us who believe, according to the working of His mighty power 20which He worked in Christ when He raised Him from the dead and seated Him at His right hand in the heavenly places, 21far above all principality and power and might and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this age but also in that which is to come.

22And He put all things under His feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the church, 23which is His body, the fullness of Him who fills all in all.

Everything is under Jesus feet. He is the head of the body – the church – and as His body, the devil and his demons, the evil powers and authorities – are under our feet. They will not be under our feet at some future date, in some other dispensation, but they are under our feet right now and right here! It does not matter what the devil tries to do – you have the power, you have the authority given to you by Jesus. You are not trying to defeat him or bring him down in the earth. He is already defeated – he has already been brought down. You just remind him of his status, enforce his defeat and walk in the victory that is already purchased with the blood of Jesus.

Ephesians 6:12  (NKJ)
12For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.

We enforce our authority over the enemy by our submission to God and His righteousness. The enemy is a liar and thief. He will attempt to take authority where he has none. We do not have to fight the battle to subdue him – we have to fight the battle to stand firm in the victory already accomplished in Christ. We overcome the wicked one by the blood of the Lamb and the word of our testimony. What is our testimony? Jesus is Lord, the devil is defeated and the blood of Jesus has washed us clean!

THE ANGELS LONG FOR WHAT YOU HAVE IN CHRIST

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

1 Peter 1:3-12  (NIV)

3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,
4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade–kept in heaven for you,
5 who through faith are shielded by God’s power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time.
6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials.
7 These have come so that your faith– of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire–may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.
8 Though you have not seen him, you love him; and even though you do not see him now, you believe in him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy,
9 for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls.
10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care,
11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.
12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.

The prophets, who prophesied about the grace that was intended for us, prophesied about Jesus and His sacrifice. They prophesied about the glories that would follow His birth, life, death and resurrection. They prophesied about salvation, redemption, forgiveness from sin, clean hands, a new heart, God being our Father, us being God’s children, restoration of fellowship with God, and all nations worshipping Him. They longed for the relationship with God, which has now been offered to us. They longed to experience peace with God. They could only look forward to the coming Messiah. Jesus has already fulfilled those things that were prophesied. They were only counted righteous by their faith, but we are righteous by our faith.

We need to realize exactly what we have in and through Jesus Christ. Because of the lies of religion and the devil, we have been led to believe that God’s people of the Old Covenant had it better than we do. We think that they had some special relationship and position with God that we don’t have. But we are the privileged ones. Because Jesus was the firstborn from the dead — Old Covenant saints could not be born-again we can.

We have been told that miracles, signs and wonders were only for those who lived before us, but we have been given the Name of Jesus and He has commissioned us to do just what He did. We have more and can do more than those who went before us. Let’s face it — serving God with a brand-new heart is a lot easier than serving Him with an unrenewed heart.

We have been led to believe that the angels are better than we are, but they were created to be servants, not sons. We were created to be family of God the Father. What a privilege we have  to experience redemption.

We are the redeemed of the Lord! Even angels long to look into the things that we can look into. They long to experience the intimate relationship with God that we have. We have not yet experienced the complete salvation of our minds and bodies. We will when we see Jesus, face to face, but we still have more than the Old Covenant saints and the angels. How blessed we are!

Never, ever take your salvation for granted. Be thankful always. Appreciate what God has done for you and be faithful to do the works of Jesus.

Rodney Howard Browne bringing revival to Forth Walton Beach

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