The Eternal Unchanging God

The Same Yesterday, Today, and Forever

The Bible says,

For I am the LORD, I change not; therefore ye sons of Jacob are not consumed.”  (Mal. 3:6)

Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever.”  (Heb. 13:8)

The same Jesus that walked on water, calmed the storm, healed the sick, fed the multitudes, cleansed the lepers, opened blinded eyes, caused the deaf to hear, cast out devils, caused the mute to speak, and raised the dead is the same Jesus that ascended into heaven, sat down at the right hand of the Father, and is coming again in power and great glory.

The angels told the disciples,

“Which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.”  (Acts 1:11)

This is the same Jesus, who also told His disciples,

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.”  (John 14:12)

This is the same Jesus who lives inside of you by His Spirit.

In this verse of Scripture the word “greater” is the Greek word meaning “more”. We who believe would do more because He was going to the Father.

We are able to do the works that Jesus did because He has given us the same anointing.

“How God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Ghost and with power: who went about doing good, and healing all that were oppressed of the devil; for God was with him.”  (Acts 10:38)

“But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”  (Acts 1:8)

If we have been born again and filled with the Holy Ghost then the power for miracles is in our lives at this moment.

The door to these miracles is God’s faith that He has given us.

However, there are certain keys that God looks for in our lives that will unlock the door of Faith and release the manifested miracle working power of God.

One of these keys is love and compassion. The compassion of Christ is simply the motivational expression of the love of God, and the love of God is the empowerment of faith.

It is up to us to pray, ask, believe, and allow the Holy Spirit to change us in order that we are capable of having the same miracle empowering compassion of Christ flow out from us as it did from Him.

Another key is sanctification and consecration.

The people who are consecrated to God and separated from the love of the world are the people that God will use to be “chosen vessels”, sanctified and “fit for the Master’s use”, prepared unto every good work.

These are the people who have prepared themselves to behold and be part of the miracles created by God.

Another key is to prepare our lives to be a fertile ground for the manifested presence of God.

Sometimes all it takes to receive a miracle is to get into the presence of God.

Another key is to remember that miracles occur when the opportunity is provided for them because of a seemingly impossible need.

A miracle occurs when a miracle is needed.

If we are to see miracles, then we are going to have to go where the opportunity for miracles exist. We are going to have to go where the impossible needs to be faced.

We are going to have to allow ourselves to be put in a place where a miracle is needed.

Finally, and possibly most important, is the key that God can look into our hearts and know that once the miracle is given, He will receive all the glory.

“That no flesh should glory in his presence.”  (1Cor. 1:29)

God has not changed. Even today, there are people throughout the earth who are in great need and are waiting and praying for miracles to happen.

He is just looking for someone who is willing to go and enter into their lives with faith, someone who is willing to lift up the Name of Jesus, hear from God, and who is bold enough to pray and believe that with God, all things are possible.

“For the eyes of the LORD run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect toward him…”  (2Ch. 16:9)

Tomorrow- Born of the Spirit: Born Again

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK,  amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

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To God be the Glory

Great Things He has Done

The Bible says in First Corinthians chapter one and verse 29,

“That no flesh should glory in his presence.”  (1Cor. 1:29)

The Bible teaches that all glory belongs to the Lord, and that He will not share His glory with anyone.

As we have seen in our previous posts, there are several keys that the Lord may use to open the door of faith that leads to a miracle from God.

Although God may choose to use one or all of the keys to open faith’s door depending upon the situation, there is one key that is possibly the most important key of all.

This is the key of giving all the glory to God.

When the Bible talks about the glory of God, it uses Hebrew or Greek words that mean “bigness, largeness, or awesomeness” of God.

When it talks about “glorying in His presence”, it means to “vaunt oneself” or to “boast”.

When God is looking for someone to use to manifest a miracle, He is looking for someone who will always give Him the glory.

The Apostle Paul said,

“That, according as it is written, He that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord.”  (1Cor. 1:31)

Unfortunately, there was a time that Paul did not immediately give God the glory and a disastrous situation was narrowly avoided.

“And there sat a certain man at Lystra, impotent in his feet, being a cripple from his mother’s womb, who never had walked: The same heard Paul speak: who stedfastly beholding him, and perceiving that he had faith to be healed, Said with a loud voice, Stand upright on thy feet. And he leaped and walked.”  (Acts 14:8-10)

And when the people saw what Paul had done, they lifted up their voices, saying in the speech of Lycaonia, The gods are come down to us in the likeness of men. And they called Barnabas, Jupiter; and Paul, Mercurius, because he was the chief speaker.”  (Acts 14:11-12)

“Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice with the people. Which when the apostles, Barnabas and Paul, heard of, they rent their clothes, and ran in among the people, crying out,” (Acts 14:13-14)

“And saying, Sirs, why do ye these things? We also are men of like passions with you, and preach unto you that ye should turn from these vanities unto the living God, which made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all things that are therein:”  (Acts 14:15)

“Who in times past suffered all nations to walk in their own ways. Nevertheless he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us rain from heaven, and fruitful seasons, filling our hearts with food and gladness. And with these sayings scarce restrained they the people, that they had not done sacrifice unto them.”  (Acts 14:16-18)

These Scriptures show why it is so important that if we present ourselves as a vessel for the Lord to use and believe for God to do the miraculous, then we need to be sure that the following verse is fulfilled.

“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”  (Col. 3:17)

Everyone who hears our prayer should hear a prayer prayed in the name of Jesus Christ and should hear us immediately glorifying the Lord with thanksgiving and praise for the miracle that happens.

In the Book of Isaiah chapter 58, the Lord describes what an acceptable and spiritual fast to Him is.

Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?”  (Isa. 58:6)

“Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?”  (Isa. 58:7)

“Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the LORD shall be thy rereward.”  (Isa. 58:8)

The word “rereward” in verse eight is an old English word meaning “rearward”.

What these verses are saying is that when we crucify our flesh and pride, when we deny ourselves and fear, when we go forth in His name to do His work for His glory, then we are performing an acceptable spiritual fast unto the Lord.

His righteousness will make a way and go before us, and the Glory of the Lord is all that will be left behind when the miracle occurs, the need is met, and we are gone.

The Bible tells us in the Book of First Corinthians,

“But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;” (1Cor. 1:27)

We must always remember that “no flesh should glory in His presence.”

God is not looking for the noble, the strong, the talented, or the well-educated to use, although these can certainly be used by God if they are humble and willing.

God is looking for those with imperfections who He can anoint to perform the miraculous.

Both Moses and David were lowly shepherds when they were called and anointed by God.

The Bible says that Elijah was a man of “like passions”.

Elisha healed others and even raised the dead, but he fell ill and died. Yet his bones were still so anointed that when a dead man was thrown into his tomb and touched his bones, he was restored back to life.

Peter, James, and John were fishermen and the Bible says,

“Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.”  (Acts 4:13)

The fact that they were unlearned and ignorant gave those that heard them cause to give glory to Jesus.

The Bible says that Paul had an affliction that caused many to think less of him, but it was for a reason.

And lest I should be exalted above measure through the abundance of the revelations, there was given to me a thorn in the flesh, the messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I should be exalted above measure.”  (2Cor. 12:7)

“For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me.”  (2Cor. 12:8)

“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”  (2Cor. 12:9)

We should never believe that our imperfections will hinder us from being used by God. The greater our physical or mental imperfections simply mean the greater the glory that will be given to God when the miraculous happens.

“Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ’s sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong.”  (2Cor. 12:10)

Tomorrow- “This Same Jesus”

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK,  amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

When do Miracles Occur?

When Miracles are Needed

Miracles occur when the opportunity is provided for them because of a seemingly impossible need.

A miracle occurs when a miracle is needed.

If we are to see miracles, then we are going to have to go where the opportunity for miracles exist. We are going to have to go where the impossible needs to be faced.

We are going to have to allow ourselves to be put in a place where a miracle is needed.

“And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.”  (Mat. 10:7-8)

“Provide neither gold, nor silver, nor brass in your purses, Nor scrip for your journey, neither two coats, neither shoes, nor yet staves: for the workman is worthy of his meat.”  (Mat. 10:9-10)

In the Book of Second Kings chapter six and seven, we read of a time when the King of Syria besieged Samaria until there was a great famine in the city.

The famine had become so great, that even some of the people had resorted to cannibalism.

The King blamed the Lord and His Prophet Elisha for the famine and decreed that Elisha should die. When they came to take Elisha, He prophesied that the very next day the famine would end and there would be an abundance of food in the city.

One of the assistants to the King mocked Elisha saying that even if there were windows in heaven it couldn’t come to pass. Elisha prophesied to the man who mocked that he would see it with his eyes but wouldn’t taste of it.

The Bible then tells of four leprous men who were sitting outside the gate of the city.

“And there were four leprous men at the entering in of the gate: and they said one to another, Why sit we here until we die?”  (2Ki. 7:3)

And they rose up in the twilight, to go unto the camp of the Syrians: and when they were come to the uttermost part of the camp of Syria, behold, there was no man there.”  (2Ki. 7:5)

For the Lord had made the host of the Syrians to hear a noise of chariots, and a noise of horses, even the noise of a great host: and they said one to another, Lo, the king of Israel hath hired against us the kings of the Hittites, and the kings of the Egyptians, to come upon us.”  (2Ki. 7:6)

Wherefore they arose and fled in the twilight, and left their tents, and their horses, and their asses, even the camp as it was, and fled for their life.”  (2Ki. 7:7)

These four lepers were cast out of the city because of their disease. Even though they were starving just like everyone else, no one wanted to have anything to do with them. They were put out and denied the protection of the city walls to fend for themselves.

Then they uttered the soul stirring words, “Why sit we here until we die?”

They said if we sit here we will die, if we did manage to get back into the city we would still die of starvation, and if we go into the enemy’s camp they will probably kill us because we’re the enemy and we’re leprous.

Either way we’re still going to die, but if we go to the Syrians they might just take us prisoner and at least feed us before they kill us.

So they decided to take a chance.

Although this group of four leprous men, diseased, cast out, the lowest of the low, despised and rejected by all were just “nobodies” to everyone else, they were each one somebody in the eyes of God.

God had His eyes upon them.

The Bible says that at the very same time the four lepers rose up to go into the camp of the Syrians, in the twilight, God caused the Syrians to imagine hearing the sound of horses and chariots coming against them and they fled.

They fled leaving all of their supplies, food, and treasures behind them.

“And when these lepers came to the uttermost part of the camp, they went into one tent, and did eat and drink, and carried thence silver, and gold, and raiment, and went and hid it; and came again, and entered into another tent, and carried thence also, and went and hid it.”  (2Ki. 7:8)

“Then they said one to another, We do not well: this day is a day of good tidings, and we hold our peace: if we tarry till the morning light, some mischief will come upon us: now therefore come, that we may go and tell the king’s household.”  (2Ki. 7:9)

The lepers found the camp deserted and eventually returned to the city and told the King. The people of Samaria came out and spoiled the camp of the Syrians and all of Elisha’s prophecies were fulfilled.

The man who mocked Elisha was appointed keeper of the gate but the people trampled upon him and he died. He saw the abundance of food but he never tasted it.

The Lord had a miracle waiting, but He was looking for someone who was willing to go and do something about their situation. He found what He was looking for in the four leprous men.

He found that they were willing.

The Bible says,

“If ye be willing and obedient, ye shall eat the good of the land:” (Isa. 1:19)

He found that they were willing to try.

The Bible says,

O taste and see that the LORD is good: blessed is the man that trusteth in him.”  (Psalm 34:8)

In other words, “Try the Lord and you will not be disappointed.”

They were even willing to enter the enemy’s camp to get their deliverance.

The Bible says,

“And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.”  (Mat. 11:12)

“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”  (Eph. 6:12)

“And others save with fear, pulling them out of the fire; hating even the garment spotted by the flesh.”  (Jude 1:23)

Although the Bible tells us nothing about the faith of these four leprous men, whether or not they even had any faith, the Lord used them in the Old Testament to provide us an example of what He is looking to find spiritually in us in the New Testament.

God is looking for those who are willing to take their faith in Him and put it to the test. He is looking for those who are willing to be led by the Spirit into the enemy’s camp of unbelief, poverty, sickness, and disease.

God is looking for those who are willing to speak the Word of God over impossible situations and believe without doubt for the miraculous to happen.

To those who by faith are willing to enter places where great needs exist and provide the opportunities, He has miracles in store waiting to happen.

Tomorrow- To God be the Glory

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK,  amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

In the Manifested Presence of God (Psalm 16:11)

At His Right Hand

“Thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore.”  (Psalm 16:11)

Sometimes all it takes to receive a miracle is to get into the presence of God.

“And a certain woman, which had an issue of blood twelve years, And had suffered many things of many physicians, and had spent all that she had, and was nothing bettered, but rather grew worse, When she had heard of Jesus, came in the press behind, and touched his garment.”  (Mark 5:25-27)

“For she said, If I may touch but his clothes, I shall be whole. And straightway the fountain of her blood was dried up; and she felt in her body that she was healed of that plague. And Jesus, immediately knowing in himself that virtue had gone out of him, turned him about in the press, and said, Who touched my clothes?”  (Mark 5:28-30)

“And his disciples said unto him, Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me? And he looked round about to see her that had done this thing.”  (Mar 5:31-32)

“But the woman fearing and trembling, knowing what was done in her, came and fell down before him, and told him all the truth. And he said unto her, Daughter, thy faith hath made thee whole; go in peace, and be whole of thy plague.”  (Mar 5:33-34)

The Bible says that God is everywhere, that He is “omnipresent”.

In the Book of Acts, the Apostle Paul told the men of Athens on Mars’ hill,

“That they should seek the Lord, if haply they might feel after him, and find him, though he be not far from every one of us: For in him we live, and move, and have our being; as certain also of your own poets have said, For we are also his offspring.”  (Acts 17:27-28)

However, there is a vast difference between God being everywhere and all around us, and we being in the “manifested presence” of God.

As demonstrated by the disciples saying to Jesus, “Thou seest the multitude thronging thee, and sayest thou, Who touched me?”

There were many people pressing against and touching Jesus that day, but only one touched Jesus with faith and entered into His “manifested presence”, and that was the woman with the issue of blood.

There are miracles to be found in the manifested presence of God.

What can we do, if anything, that would prepare the way for God to manifest His presence?

First and foremost, as we have discussed earlier and have seen in the woman with the issue of blood, we can touch God with our faith.

“But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.”  (Heb. 11:6)

Secondly, and just as important, is love.

Faith works by love.

“For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.”  (Gal. 5:6)

Faith that would manifest the presence of God is ineffectual without love.

“And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.”  (1Cor. 13:2)

God is love.

“Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God. He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”  (1John 4:7-8)

“And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.”  (1John 4:16)

God’s faith and love are multiplied and the way is made plain for the manifested presence of God when His children come together in unity and agreement.

“Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching anything that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”  (Mat. 18:19-20)

“And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord, and said, Lord, thou art God, which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is:”  (Acts 4:24)

“And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the word of God with boldness.”  (Acts 4:31)

The Bible says that God inhabits the praises of His people.

“But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.”  (Psalm 22:3)

God’s presence is manifested and miracles happen when His people praise Him and He receives all the Glory.

That no flesh should glory in his presence.”  (1Cor. 1:29)

In the Book of Second Chronicles chapter 20, we read of a time when a very great army comprised of three separate nations came against King Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah.

King Jehoshaphat was a good king in the eyes of the Lord but his army was very small compared to the combined armies that were coming against him and the city of Jerusalem.

King Jehoshaphat proclaimed a fast throughout all of Judah and he stood before the people in the court of the House of the Lord to pray openly to the Lord.

When Jehoshaphat finished his prayer, the Spirit of the Lord came upon a man by the name of Jahaziel in the midst of the congregation and he began to prophesy.

“And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the LORD unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God’s.”  (2Ch. 20:15)

Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the LORD with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them: for the LORD will be with you.”  (2Ch. 20:17)

The next day, King Jehoshaphat and all the people went out to the wilderness to face the armies that had come against them. However, they did not go out prepared to fight because they believed the Lord and the words of His prophet. They went out to praise the Lord.

“And when he had consulted with the people, he appointed singers unto the LORD, and that should praise the beauty of holiness, as they went out before the army, and to say, Praise the LORD; for his mercy endureth forever.”  (2Ch. 20:21)

“And when they began to sing and to praise, the LORD set ambushments against the children of Ammon, Moab, and mount Seir, which were come against Judah; and they were smitten.”  (2Ch. 20:22)

When the people began to sing and praise, The Lord manifested His presence and caused the armies of the enemy to fight and destroy each other.

The Bible goes on to say that it took three days for the people of Judah to gather up the spoil from the dead bodies of the enemy and bring the wealth and jewels back to Jerusalem.

We have seen in the Scriptures that faith which works by love, unity, and praise prepare the way for miracles and the manifested presence of God.

The Bible also says that God is Light and in Him is no darkness at all.

“This then is the message which we have heard of him, and declare unto you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all.”  (1John 1:5)

“If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth: But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship one with another, and the blood of Jesus Christ his Son cleanseth us from all sin.”  (1John 1:6-7)

We cannot walk with God, see miracles happen, and behold the manifested presence of God if we have darkness in our life.

The darkness of unrepentant sin.

The Bible says, “How can two walk together except they be agreed?”

“Can two walk together, except they be agreed?”  (Amos 3:3)

If we are to walk with God then we are going to have to set our lives in agreement with God, and that means setting our lives in agreement with His Word.

We have the power to do this. God has set us free from the power of darkness.

“Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son:” (Col. 1:13)

If we will bring every hidden or dark area of our life before the Lord and into His glorious light, then the Light of God will destroy that darkness. We will dwell in His light and be a chosen vessel filled with faith, love, unity, and praise, fit for the Lord and His glory.

We will have prepared our lives to experience the miracles and manifested presence of God.

Tomorrow- When Miracles Occur

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK,  amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

You are a “Vessel Chosen unto God” (Acts 9:15)

Many are Called but Few are Chosen

In the Book of Acts, the Lord says that the Apostle Paul was a “chosen vessel” unto Him.

“But the Lord said unto him, Go thy way: for he is a chosen vessel unto me, to bear my name before the Gentiles, and kings, and the children of Israel:” (Acts 9:15)

Jesus said that “many are called, but few are chosen.”

“So the last shall be first, and the first last: for many be called, but few chosen.”  (Mat. 20:16)

The Bible tells us what God requires of those who desire to be a “chosen vessel” for the Lord and His glory.

“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let everyone that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”  (2Tim. 2:19)

“But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honor, and some to dishonor.”  (2Tim. 2:20)

If a man therefore purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honor, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.  (2Ti 2:21)

If we are to be a vessel unto honor then we must be “sanctified”.

Here the word “sanctified” literally means to “make holy, purify, or consecrate”. It also means to be “separated” unto God.

Sanctification means that we have consecrated our lives to Christ or that we have separated ourselves unto God.

It does not mean to separate ourselves from the world, from the very people that God has called us to reach out to and show the love of God.

The Apostle Paul wrote to the Corinthian Church,

“I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators: Yet not altogether with the fornicators of this world, or with the covetous, or extortioners, or with idolaters; for then must ye needs go out of the world.”  (1Cor. 5:9-10)

“But now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator, or covetous, or an idolater, or a railer, or a drunkard, or an extortioner; with such an one no not to eat.”  (1Cor. 5:11)

Paul had previously written to the Church at Corinth but they had misunderstood what he had written.

They misunderstood the Apostle Paul’s directions to separate themselves from the people in the Church that were continuing in sin. Instead, they had begun to separate themselves from the unbelievers that lived outside the Church.

Paul had received word that they were refusing to have any associations, business dealings, or communications with the non-Christians living in Corinth. The Church had begun to appear aloof and disinterested in the community where they dwelt.

This was hindering the spread of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and Paul had to write again to them in order to clarify himself.

Jesus sat and ate with sinners, but He had no use for the hypocritical, self-righteous religious leaders who harbored sin in their hearts.

We are to be sanctified to the Lord, not separated from the world. We are, however, called to be separated from the love of the world.

Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”  (1John 2:15)

For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth forever.”  (1John 2:16-17)

The people who are consecrated to God and separated from the love of the world are the people that God will use to be “chosen vessels”, sanctified and “fit for the Master’s use”, prepared unto every good work.

These are the people who have prepared themselves to behold and be part of the miracles created by God.

One good example of this is the story of the Prophet Elijah and Elisha in the Old Testament.

Elijah was one of the greatest prophets of God in the Old Testament. We can read of the great works and miracles that God did through him in the Books of First and Second Kings.

The time came towards the end of Elijah’s ministry that the Lord instructed him to find a man by the name of Elisha and anoint him to take his place as the prophet of God.

“So he departed thence, and found Elisha the son of Shaphat, who was plowing with twelve yoke of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth: and Elijah passed by him, and cast his mantle upon him.”  (1Ki. 19:19)

And he left the oxen, and ran after Elijah, and said, Let me, I pray thee, kiss my father and my mother, and then I will follow thee. And he said unto him, Go back again: for what have I done to thee?”  (1Ki. 19:20)

“And he returned back from him, and took a yoke of oxen, and slew them, and boiled their flesh with the instruments of the oxen, and gave unto the people, and they did eat. Then he arose, and went after Elijah, and ministered unto him.”  (1Ki. 19:21)

The mantle in the Old Testament represented the anointing of the prophet. When Elijah cast his mantle on Elisha, Elisha understood what it meant.

This was Elijah’s way of saying, “Come and follow me. Be my apprentice and be a partaker of the anointing and call that’s upon my life.”

Perhaps this was a sudden surprise to Elisha, or perhaps the Lord had already prepared his heart. Nevertheless, Elisha knew that this meant leaving home and family behind and so he wanted to go and kiss his parents “good-by”, possibly to explain to them where he was going.

Elijah told him to “go back again”, in other words “forget it, never mind”, but then he said, “What have I done to thee?”

Elisha knew exactly who Elijah was and what this meant.

The whole nation of Israel knew about this great prophet who would stand and rebuke kings, who could raise the dead, call fire down from God, who could shut the heavens to stop the rain, then pray again and the rain would fall.

Sometimes we have to decide what’s more important.

“And Jesus said unto him, No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God.”  (Luke 9:62)

Elisha went back to the field that he was plowing. He broke up the plow and built a fire with the pieces. He slaughtered the oxen to cook and feed the people.

The other workers might have asked, “What are you doing Elisha? Why are you breaking up your plow and killing your oxen?”

His answer might have been, “Because I’m never coming back.”

Elisha provided himself no place to ever come back to. He totally consecrated and sanctified himself to the call that Elijah had placed upon him.

Later, after years of faithful ministry, the time came for God to take Elijah up to heaven. Elisha asked one thing of Elijah before he was to go. He asked if he could receive a double portion of the anointing that was upon Elijah.

Elijah told his servant that if he saw him taken up, then his request would be granted. In other words, if you are still consecrated to me and haven’t left my side, then God will give it to you.

Elisha continued to follow Elijah as they went, and when Elijah was caught up to heaven by a whirlwind and his mantle fell to the ground, Elisha seeing the sight picked up the mantle knowing that the promise was his.

He struck the waters of the Jordan River with the mantle of Elijah and said, “Where is the God of Elijah?” and the waters parted so that he could walk across on dry ground.

Elisha had received the reward for the consecration he had committed himself to so long ago when Elijah had first thrown his mantle upon him.

The story of Elisha’s consecration to Elijah (if you see me when I go, if you’re still by my side, if we’re still step-by-step together) is a physical representation of the spiritual consecration we are to have to the Lord if we are to be a chosen vessel.

Many people erroneously believe that Elijah was taken up to heaven by a chariot of fire. This is not so. The Bible says that Elijah was caught up to heaven in a whirlwind.

“And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven.”  (2Ki. 2:11)

Elisha was so consecrated, sanctified, and close to Elijah that the Lord had to send a chariot and horses of fire to separate the two.

Elisha had determined in his heart that nothing was going to keep him from obeying God and receiving the anointing of the prophet.

He had decided that neither family, nor job, nor friends, nor anything else was going to get between him and the prophet to separate them.

Elisha was totally sanctified and consecrated to Elijah.

This is the type of sanctification, consecration, and dedication that God requires of us if we are going to be a “chosen vessel” fit for His use.

Not physically as it was with Elisha, but spiritually.

We need to determine that no hidden sin, no habit, no wrong attitude, no area of our life or mind that we have not submitted to Christ will get between us and the anointing of God.

We must determine that nothing in our heart or mind will hinder us from being a vessel fit for His use. We must determine to hold nothing back from God.

This is the life of sanctification and consecration to the Lord that will be one of the keys to opening the door of faith and beholding miracles from God.

Tomorrow- In the Presence of God

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK,  amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

“Faith Worketh by Love” (Gal. 5:6)

The Compassion of Christ

In the Book of First Corinthians chapter 12 the Apostle Paul explains the miraculous spiritual gifts that God has given to His children.

However, before he explains the gifts of the Spirit, he makes a simple statement.

“Ye know that ye were Gentiles, carried away unto these dumb idols, even as ye were led.”  (1Cor. 12:2)

The Greek word in this verse of Scripture translated “dumb” means “voiceless” or “mute”.

Before Paul instructs us concerning miracles and Spiritual gifts, he contrasts the Lord we serve with the “mute” and “voiceless” gods the gentiles serve.

We are to believe and expect that God will speak to us.

There are times when God speaks to His children but they do not recognize that it is His voice. They have not spent enough time with Him in His word and in prayer to know His nature.

Like Abraham, when we spend enough time with God that we have unshakeable faith in His love, His power, and His will, then He will speak to us, we will recognize His voice and obey, and we will realize that God has chosen us to be a vessel through which He will manifest His miraculous power for His glory.

Although faith in God is the door through which miracles enter, there are several keys that God will use to unlock that door so that His miraculous power and glory can be manifested.

One such key is the key of compassion.

“Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous:” (1Pet. 3:8)

Several times in the Gospels, just before Jesus performed a great miracle, the Bible says that He was “moved with compassion”.

“And Jesus went forth, and saw a great multitude, and was moved with compassion toward them, and he healed their sick.”  (Mat. 14:14)

“So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes: and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him.”  (Mat. 20:34)

“And Jesus, moved with compassion, put forth his hand, and touched him, and saith unto him, I will; be thou clean. And as soon as he had spoken, immediately the leprosy departed from him, and he was cleansed.”  (Mark 1:41-42)

“And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. And he came and touched the bier: and they that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. And he that was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother.”  (Luke 7:13-15)

The Bible teaches us that when we accept Christ and are born again, His Spirit comes and lives inside of us.

“But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.”  (Rom. 8:9)

“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:” (Col. 1:27)

If the Spirit of Christ dwells inside of us, and the Bible says that Jesus Christ never changes (Heb. 13:8), then the same compassion that moved Jesus to perform the miraculous lives inside of us also.

It is up to us to pray, ask, believe, and allow the Holy Spirit to change us in order that we are capable of having the same miracle empowering compassion of Christ flow out from us as it did from Him.

“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”  (2Cor. 3:18)

The compassion of Christ is simply the motivational expression of the love of God, and the love of God is the empowerment of faith.

“For in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth anything, nor uncircumcision; but faith which worketh by love.”  (Gal. 5:6)

Acting upon that faith is the works that keeps faith alive.

“But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead?”  (James 2:20)

It is hearing from God that directs us, it is the love of God that empowers faith and motivates compassion, it is the compassion of Christ that moves us to action, and it is the action that causes God to join His faith with ours and create the miracle needed; the manifestation of the will of God.

In the late 1970’s, there was a great outpouring of the Spirit of God upon the earth. It was during this time that I was saved and called by God.

Many great miracles were recorded and ministries were founded around the world during this great outpouring, and there was no greater outpouring of God’s Spirit than that which happened in the country of Indonesia.

Thousands upon thousands were saved as God called ministry teams to go out among the multiple islands that comprise this fourth largest nation in the world and bring the Gospel to millions of people.

As it was in the Book of Acts, God confirmed His word with signs and wonders following and many accounts of great miracles were witnessed and recorded by these ministry teams.

One such account is a great example of what God will do when the compassion of Christ is acted upon by the child of God.

The story is told that one of these ministry teams had been called by God to go and preach the Gospel to the people of a certain remote village.

However, as they approached the village they realized that the recent monsoon rains had caused the river that separated them from the village to reach an impassable flood stage.

As they stood there looking across the river and through the trees, they could see the people of the village going about their daily routine.

Suddenly, a great compassion began to well up inside the team leader as he gazed at the people of the village. All he could think of was how the Lord loved them, and gave His life for them, and that without the Gospel they would be eternally lost.

He began to feel water lapping at his feet, and as he looked down he realized that he had begun to walk on the water to go to the people of the village.

With their eyes fixed upon the people of the village and their hearts filled with the compassion of Christ, they walked on the water, crossing the river, and brought the Gospel of Jesus Christ to preach to the people.

After seeing them walk upon the water, the entire village was saved and many were healed, delivered, and filled with the Holy Ghost.

Our love for God and His love for others already lives within us through the indwelling Spirit of Christ in our hearts.

However, it is up to us to ask God to fill us with that compassion to the degree that we will act upon it in His Name.

Only when we hunger and thirst to see and feel for others the same way that Christ does will we be filled to the overflowing, and the compassion of Christ will pour out of us through our actions to be one of the keys that will unlock the door and release the miracle power of God.

“Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled.”  (Mat. 5:6)

Tomorrow- A Chosen Vessel

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK,  amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

The Faith of God and the Faith of Abraham

When We Hold Nothing Back

In the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke we read of the time when Jesus raised the daughter of Jairus from the dead.

When Jesus entered into the house and declared the girl was not dead but only sleeping, the mourners and doubters laughed Him to scorn.

But Jesus put them out of the house and took only the girl’s parents, Peter, James, and John into the room with him.

Jesus took only those who believed with Him into the room. Their faith joined with His and the girl was restored back to life.

“While he yet spake, there cometh one from the ruler of the synagogue’s house, saying to him, Thy daughter is dead; trouble not the Master. But when Jesus heard it, he answered him, saying, Fear not: believe only, and she shall be made whole.”  (Luke 8:49-50)

“And when he came into the house, he suffered no man to go in, save Peter, and James, and John, and the father and the mother of the maiden. And all wept, and bewailed her: but he said, Weep not; she is not dead, but sleepeth.”  (Luke 8:51-52)

And they laughed him to scorn, knowing that she was dead. And he put them all out, and took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise. And her spirit came again, and she arose straightway: and he commanded to give her meat.”  (Luke 8:53-55)

It is not our faith, but it is God’s faith that He has put within us.

And there is only one direction for the redeposit of that faith, and that is back in God.

“And Jesus answering saith unto them, Have faith in God.”  (Mark 11:22)

It is not whether we can believe enough that a miracle can happen, but it is whether we believe enough that God is able to do it and that it is His will to do it.

“Jesus said unto him, If thou canst believe, all things are possible to him that believeth. And straightway the father of the child cried out, and said with tears, Lord, I believe; help thou mine unbelief.”  (Mar 9:23-24)

This is having faith in the love, the power, and the will of God to such a degree that we are able to believe and not doubt.

This involves the faith that comes from hearing God and knowing the word of God.

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”  (Rom. 10:17)

The Bible says in Romans 4:3,

“For what saith the scripture? Abraham believed God, and it was counted unto him for righteousness.” (Rom. 4:3)

Other than Christ, Abraham more than anyone else is to be our example of faith. What is so special about Abraham?

In the book of Genesis, we read of how God chose Abraham and told him to leave his idolatrous home and go to a land that He would show him. Abraham obeyed, and later God told Abraham that his descendants would be as the stars of the heavens for multitude.

In his later years, he and his wife Sarah had a son named Isaac. As Isaac grew into manhood, God told Abraham that in Isaac would his seed be called.

In other words, that his descendants through Isaac would be as the stars of heaven for multitude.

Then a strange thing happened. God told Abraham to take Isaac and go to a certain mountain and offer him as a burnt sacrifice.

Most, if not all, believers would not have believed that God spoke this to them and would not have gone. This was contrary to God’s promise.

How could Abraham have descendants through Isaac and they be as the stars of heaven if Isaac was dead?

Isaac had not yet married and had any children.

This was also contrary to God’s nature, for God forbade human sacrifice and said that it was an abomination to him. But yet Abraham took Isaac and went anyway. Why?

Over the years Abraham had become so familiar with God that he knew His voice and never doubted. Abraham had walked with God. He had sat in the door of his tent and ate with God.

The more time that Abraham spent with God, the more he knew His voice, His nature, His power, and His plan.

Jesus said, “My sheep hear my voice and another they will not follow.” (John 10:27)

Abraham had learned that God always keeps his promise, so he knew that even though it seemed impossible for God’s promise to be fulfilled if he obeyed God, he still knew that somehow God would make his descendants through Isaac as plentiful as the stars of heaven.

Abraham knew that God would never require a human sacrifice, so he knew that something would happen to prevent it. Abraham knew that God’s power was unlimited, so that even if his son suffered death, God was able to raise him up in order to fulfill His word.

And Abraham knew that God does everything by design. He knew that God had a plan, and that everything was for a reason.

So he told his servants, I and the lad will go yonder and worship, and WE shall come again.”

Even when Isaac asked him, “Father, here is the wood and the fire but where is the lamb for the sacrifice?”

Abraham said, “God himself will provide a lamb for a sacrifice.”

After ascending the mountain, Abraham bound his son with cords, placed him upon the wood, and raised his knife. An angel immediately appeared and called to Abraham.

“And the angel of the LORD called unto him out of heaven, and said, Abraham, Abraham: and he said, Here am I.” (Gen. 22:11)

“And he said, Lay not thine hand upon the lad, neither do thou anything unto him: for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy son, thine only son from me.”  (Gen. 22:12)

“And Abraham lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold behind him a ram caught in a thicket by his horns: and Abraham went and took the ram, and offered him up for a burnt offering in the stead of his son.” (Gen. 22:13)

“And Abraham called the name of that place Jehovahjireh: as it is said to this day, In the mount of the LORD it shall be seen.” (Gen. 22:14)

“And the angel of the LORD called unto Abraham out of heaven the second time,” (Gen. 22:15)

“And said, By myself have I sworn, saith the LORD, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not withheld thy son, thine only son:” (Gen. 22:16)

“That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;” (Gen. 22:17)

“And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed; because thou hast obeyed my voice.” (Gen. 22:18)

The word “Jehovahjireh” means, “The Lord will provide”, or more literally, “The Lord will see to it.”

Abraham believed God and never doubted because he had come to know the voice of God. He also trusted God. He had come to know the nature of God.

The Bible says, “God is love.” He knew that God would never do anything contradictory to his nature, and so he knew that everything would work out for his good.

Abraham never doubted, even though the circumstances seemed against him. And because he never doubted but had faith and obeyed, God was able through this situation to foreshadow the coming of the Messiah.

God was able to portray not only a beautiful picture of the Heavenly Father willing to sacrifice his only Son, but He also was able foreshadow Jesus Christ the Lamb of God slain for the sins of the world so that we might go free.

Because of his obedience, Abraham received a blessing from God which now the Bible says we have inherited.

How did Abraham have the faith that never doubted, the God kind of faith?

By knowing and hearing the voice of God.

Romans 10:17- “Faith cometh by hearing…”

How could Abraham have been so certain that it was God’s voice that he heard?

Because he had come to know God by spending time with Him. God’s voice might be imitated, but never His nature.

Romans 10:17- “…and hearing by the word of God.”

Abraham could sit in his tent door and spend time with God to get to know Him.

God has given us His written word so that we can read it, spend time with Him in it, and get to know Him even more so than Abraham did.

“Then said I, Lo, I come: in the volume of the book it is written of me,” (Psalm 40:7)

“In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”  (John 1:1)

As you daily read the word of God, you get to know Him and His nature. As you spend time with God in His word you develop spiritual hearing and learn to recognize the voice of God.

God has promised in His word that He will speak to His children.

“He that hath ears to hear, let him hear.” (Mat. 11:15)

 “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me:” (John 10:27)

Tomorrow- The Compassion of Christ

All twelve books in the "How to Walk Christian Series" by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK,  amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices

All twelve books in the “How to Walk Christian Series” by Raymond Candy are available now in one collection of two volumes for $6.99 each at bn.com for the NOOK, amazon.com for the KINDLE, on iTunes at the iBookstore for the iPad and iPhone, and at Lulu.com for the PC and all e-reading devices