“THE BREAKER HAS GONE BEFORE US”

MERRY MONDAY BY PARRIS BAILEY-

“The breaker is come up before them–they have broken up, and have passed through the gate, and are gone out by it–and their king shall pass before them, and the Lord on the head of them.” Micah 2:13
In so many ways we have it made. Christ has cleared the path. In no way are we left alone without help in this world. One would have to throw the word of God away and put cotton in your ears to think we are without hope. The BREAKER HAS GONE BEFORE US! He breaks the prison of our sins and leads us forth on the path to victory, marching ahead of us triumphantly. He presents us to the Father and never stops praying for us. All we have to do is follow in His steps. Jesus bids us to follow Him and to fear not!

Why is he called the breaker? He breaks down the obstacles that lie in the road. When Christ died on the cross he satisfied justice and all the claims that were made against us. He also breaks the hard heart- “he melts it, and softens it, dissolves it, and humbles it, and lays it low in holy admiration and adoration of this blessed Immanuel. And thus he breaks the heart by breaking into the heart, and breaks the soul by a sense of his dying love and atoning blood, and this breaks it all to pieces, so that it crumbles into nothing at his feet.” (Spurgeon)

The believer cannot break himself. We need the breaker to go before us and “break the gates of brass and cut asunder the the bars of iron”. (Is.45:2) Sometimes we face immeasurable difficulties in our personal lives, He can show his mighty arm of strength. He divides asunder both soul and spirit and brings healing in our inward parts.

“Where He has gone we shall go. In heaven, He will still be the leader of our progress and the captain at the head of our march. For He crowns all His other work by this, that having broken the prison-house of our sins, and opened for us the way to God, and been the leader and the captain of our march through all the pilgrimage of life, and the opener of the gate of the grave for our joyful resurrection, and the opener of the gate of heaven for our triumphal entrance, He will still as the Lamb that is in the midst of the Throne, go before us, and lead us into green pastures and by the still waters, and this shall be the description of the growing blessedness and power of the saints’ life above, These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth.” MacClaren

Let’s join in the victory!

REDEEMED FROM DESTRUCTION

MERRY THURSDAY – BY PARRIS BAILEY-

“Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies.” Ps. 103:4

“Why should I feel discouraged
Why should the shadows come
Why should my heart feel lonely
And long for heaven and home
When Jesus is my portion
A constant friend is he
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know he watches over me
His eye is on the sparrow
And I know he watches me”

I often think of this song when I make my way over to Marysong to visit with the girls. There are so many stories with the girls that got them there. All I know is they all end up needing the same Jesus that I needed when I was 16. It doesn’t take them long to realize that he has been “WATCHING OVER THEM THEIR WHOLE LIVES WAITING FOR THIS MOMENT”. Christ truly redeems their life from destruction. Redemption doesn’t stop at salvation but he gives us a crown of lovingkindness.
Spurgeon says, “Our Lord does nothing by halves, he will not stay his hand till he has gone to the uttermost with his people. Cleansing, healing, redemption, are not enough, he must needs make them kings and crown them, and the crown must be far more precious than if it were made of corruptible things, such as silver and gold; it is studded with gems of grace and lined with the velvet of lovingkindness; it is decked with the jewels of mercy, but made soft for the head to wear by a lining of tenderness. Who is like unto thee, O Lord!”
Watching the girls change is just supernatural. They are even amazed at the goodness of The Lord. But it isn’t easy!
The Lord surrounds us with His lovingkindness and His tender mercies. Our lives, from before we were ever born, are surrounded by God with His lovingkindness and His tender mercies.
This is one of those passages in the Bible that reminds us of how practical God’s love is for us. His love is not just a doctrine to examine in church or Bible class. It is actually an experiential reality that keeps us in the darkest of times. For David, this love is what held him when he was in exile for years. This mercy kept him and restored him when he fell into sin with Bathsheba. This lovingkindness and tender mercies were his bread when his son Absalom tried to take over his father’s kingdom. Maybe you are in trouble today. Maybe depression has grabbed you and tried to choke the very life from you. If so, remember this family love God has for you. Even better, He has loved you from your mother’s womb. You are His. He is with you, watching, caring, and loving you all of your days. Bless The Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless His holy name. Don’t ever forget His benefits. He has crowned you with life!
The stories never get old and they never stop at Marysong Restoration Center!

FALLING UNDER THE POWER

FALLING UNDER THE POWER

Rev. 1:17-18 And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death.

The appearance of The Lord has incredible effects upon human beings, in John’s case, the visible effect was that John fell to the ground like a dead man. The other effects were not as obvious to the casual observer. After this encounter with The Lord, John had a series of visions that not only effected John, but has had a profound result on the whole world throughout every generation. There are many Christians today who do not value this type of spiritual manifestation. I would expect that from unbelievers and even from the non-Spirit filled evangelical crowd, but there is a Holy Ghost operating table. This is where people get healed, delivered, and experience spiritual transformation. There are a large number of so called Spirit-filled Christians who speak openly against falling out under the power of God. Actually, that used to be me. I saw excesses (you know, shoving people to the ground) and I was adamantly opposed to that manifestation; at least until it happened to me. I was caught by surprise the first time I went out under the power. The thing that surprised me the most was from that event onward I experienced a profound change in my life. There was a greater hunger for the word of God, an insatiable thirst for His presence, and a stronger anointing on my life and ministry. Not only that, people began to fall under the power in our services. We call it the being touched by the manifest power of God that changes everything in your life. Here is what Adam Clarke said about this passage.

“I fell at his feet as dead. The appearance of the glory of the Lord had the same effect upon Ezekiel: and the appearance of Gabriel had the same effect on Daniel. The terrible splendor of such majesty was more than the apostle could bear, and he fell down deprived of his senses, but was soon enabled to behold the vision by a communication of strength from our Lord’s right hand.”

So I learned some powerful lessons from that encounter. First, don’t judge everybody by some people’s behavior. Secondly, don’t criticize what you don’t understand. Maybe there are some experiences with God that others have tasted that you haven’t. After all, The Lord is infinite, omniscient, and all powerful. Thirdly, don’t judge a spiritual experience by outward behavior alone. If we had seen the strange behavior at Pentecost (or even Azusa Street) we may have misjudged. Who would have thought the one eyed son of an ex-slave from Louisiana would usher in a move that would have millions of followers one hundred years later.

SUPERNATURAL PREACHING

SUPERNATURAL PREACHING

Acts 2:14 ¶ But Peter, standing up with the eleven, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words.

I’ll never forget my first experience of public speaking. I was asked to give my testimony at a service at our Bible School. Just as the service started I had to make a run for the men’s room, I was so scared I lost my supper. I was so consumed with my own inadequacies that I was unaware of the Spirit’s help in public speaking. Even though I still get scared before speaking publicly (almost 40 years later) I have learned about the supernatural help that comes when we speak out to glorify The Lord.
I love today’s scripture verse. If you do a word study, you will make an amazing discovery. The word translated “said” in this verse is a greek word that describes elevated discourse. It is describing supernatural preaching. The same word is used to describe speaking in tongues in verse 4 of this chapter. Just as speaking in other tongues is supernatural in nature, Peter is preaching by divine enablement. This is supernatural preaching. Peter is actually yielding to the outpoured anointing and is preaching by the Spirit rather than just from his intellect. This supernatural preaching is a powerful tool used by God in transforming the lives of the hearers. Here is something Arthur Wallis said about supernatural preaching.

“But Peter . . . lifted up his voice, and spake forth unto them” (Acts 2:14). When we speak of “apostolic preaching,” we do not mean that of apostles only but the kind of preaching that was characteristic of that first century—and of revivals down through the years. Although many souls are saved in revival apart from preaching, such times have nearly always been characterized by the powerful proclamation of the truth. Sometimes the outpouring has come through such preaching; at other times, as here, the preaching has come through the outpouring. There is a rugged grandeur about the apostolic preacher which recalls the fearless prophet of Old Testament days. They were clothed with the same power and impelled by the same boldness, for their torches were lit from the same holy fire. Neither was popular, but both were mighty to the pulling down of strongholds. “When a prophet is accepted and deified, his message is lost. The prophet is only useful so long as he is stoned as a public nuisance calling us to repentance, disturbing our comfortable routines, breaking our respectable idols, shattering our sacred conventions.” Of such a character was the apostolic preacher. Peter’s “address on this occasion reveals all the main features of apostolic gospel preaching.”

Maybe our “christian” culture is getting tired of its slick empowerment slogans called preaching. At some point the tide of modern day “christianity” will have to turn. As we see that slick professional “talks” instructing us on the next “revelation” on how to improve your life can never touch our God starved souls, there will be a growing hunger for the real. That hunger will bring a spiritual demand and heaven will respond with a new generation of firebrands that cannot remain silent because the word of God is like a fire shut up in their bones.

SIGNS AND WONDERS

SIGNS AND WONDERS

Heb. 2:4 God also bearing witness both with signs and wonders, with various miracles, and gifts of the Holy Spirit, according to His own will.

Have you ever thought about what kind of signs and wonders the Bible is talking about?Of course it speaks about healing miracles, but is that all? Were there other “signs” of His presence? Our church has experienced a fair share of what I would call signs and wonders over the years. I think one of these signs is the unmistakeable presence that often fills our services. The various ways He comes seems to inspire various responses or results as it impacts every one who is present. Sometimes the presence seems to erupt into shouts of joy, other times a holy hushed silence seems to fall upon us. Then there are the times of supernatural joy characterized in mass, unrestrained laughter. This laughter is quite powerful and seems to initiate an increase of the awareness of the presence of The Lord. Often, people are touched by His presence and fall under the mighty power of The Lord. Yielding to this sign and wonder can bring refreshing and healing to our soul. These manifestations have happened throughout history and often are the catalyst for criticism and even persecution. Arthur Wallis speaks about the power of signs and wonders in his book “In the Day of His Power”, check it out.

“Perhaps the most common sign in times of revival has been the prostration of convicted souls. It was common in the Wesley-Whitefield revivals. Lady Huntingdon wrote to Whitefield regarding the cases of crying out and falling down at the meetings, and advised him not to remove them, as had been done, for it seemed to put a damper on the meeting. She wrote: “You are making a mistake. Don’t be wiser than God. Let them cry out; it will do a great deal more good than your preaching.” Wesley, in his journals dated July 7, 1739, recorded a conversation with Whitefield on this subject, whose objections were evidently founded on misrepresentations of fact.
But the next day he [Whitefield] had an opportunity of informing himself better. For no sooner had he begun . . . to invite all sinners to believe in Christ, than four persons sunk down close to him, almost in the same moment. One of them lay without either sense or motion. A second trembled exceedingly. The third had strong convulsions all over his body, but made no noise unless by groans. The fourth, equally convulsed, called upon God with strong cries and tears. From this time “I trust, we shall all suffer God, to carry on his own work in the way that pleaseth him.”

Everyone seems to have an opinion about what the church should focus on in order to effect this generation. I am persuaded that we need more than practical sermons expressing ways to improve our lives in order to touch this generation. We need the power of signs and wonders to confirm that what we are preaching is actually true. Maybe the God of Wesley, Whitefield, Brother Seymour, and the Apostle Paul will visit this generation with the power and confirmation of signs and wonders.

SUPERNATURAL ENERGY

SUPERNATURAL ENERGY

Col. 1:29 For this purpose also I labor, striving according to His power, which mightily works within me.

The ways of God can seem very strange, as Isaiah declared, “My ways are not your ways” says the Lord.
In today’s scripture verse Paul seems to almost contradict himself. He is talking about laboring as a human and then he describes the supernatural energy of God working within him. The word Paul used was a powerful greek word, energeo. I learned to value word studies in the Bible from Dick Mills. Brother Mills said that this word has to do with active operation or working of power with effectual results. What Paul was describing was the energeo of the Spirit at work in his body. Paul was describing his life work as supernatural, it was a life-long yielding to the supernatural power of God. He was toiling or striving according to the power that was working in him.
If we look at the use of this word “energeo” in the scripture, we can get an idea of the supernatural effect the Holy Spirit has upon our lives. In 1 Cor. 12:6,11 Paul uses this word describing the activating of spiritual gifts in every Christian. The gifts of the Spirit are clearly the work of God, they are supernatural in nature and produce supernatural results. In Eph.1:20 Paul speaks about this supernatural energy that raised Christ from the dead and also brought us out of spiritual death. There is resurrection power working in me, resurrection power is the very energeo of the Holy Spirit. He changes our very nature to be conformed into the image of Christ. In Gal.3:5, Paul describes this supernatural energy in the working of miracles. Do you need a miracle today? Maybe your life is in a place of extreme vulnerability, it seems like one more set back will cause total destruction. Be encouraged, the same power, the energeo of the Spirit that worked in the ministry of Paul is at work in His church today. The energeo of Gpd will perform miracles in your life to bring Glory to our Lord. James also used this powerful word in his famous passage about prayer. He said that, ” the effective (energeo) prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much”. James is describing supernatural prayer. This is actually the prayer of the Spirit, praying in us, through us, and for us. These supernatural, effectual prayers can accomplish anything. What are their limitations? Their only limitations are the limitations of God Himself. He is able to do exceedingly, abundantly, above and beyond anything you ask or think according to His power that works (energeo) within you.

So Paul said he was striving. What kind of striving would the apostle be involved in? He would strive to connect with this supernatural power of God. The last thing Paul wanted was to try to do the work of God with only human energy. He wanted to move with the very energeo of the Spirit.

RESURRECTION POWER

WE’VE GOT RESURRECTION POWER

Rom. 8:11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

The Lord came down in our services this Sunday night, He always does but this was quite different. I knew we were in for a different night when I saw the girls from Mary’s Song getting out of their vehicles about an hour before church. They were singing and shouting in tongues, some of them appeared to be quite drunk ( drunk in the Spirit, a different kind of drunk than what they used to experience). As time for service began to draw near, the noise coming from the sanctuary was intensifying. You see the Mary’s Song girls stayed at it and were joined by many of the young adults who had been away at their retreat, the sound and feel of revival was in the air. As the worship started, the praying, singing, and celebrating intensified, God was in the house and there was no ignoring it. The service consisted of video clips from 1994, testimonies from the young adult’s retreat and worship, lot’s of worship. After the testimonies, Zach and Heather Prosser (two of our pastors) led a team of young people laying hands on the congregation, that’s when it really got messy. Shouting, crying, laughing, trembling, repenting, all of this happening in a supernatural disorder that was actually His divine order for the night. The singing and worshipping went on for hours (I think it ended around 11 pm), lives were being changed, nothing else seemed to matter.
Halfway through the second round of worship, another worship band stepped in so that the first band could receive prayer. The band had been singing Kelanie Gloeckner’s song, “Resurrection Power”, that song seemed to capture what the Lord was doing and is doing amongst us. The song only has a couple of lines that are repeated again and again, we must have sung that for an hour. Here are the words to that song, maybe they are for you today.

“Hallelujah- I am free
Sin and death have no hold on me
We’ve got Resurrection Power
Flowing on the inside”

You see the Resurrection power of Jesus is very real, one encounter with this power and everything changes. This power quickened the dead body of Jesus after He had been laying in the grave for three days. That same anointing quickens our inner man who is spiritually dead, enslaved in our sins. The life changing, life giving resurrection power awakens us from our sleep of death, and then it transforms us into new creatures. We are no longer the same, we actually become sons and daughters of the most high God. This same power quickens our physical bodies. Like Paul taught in Romans 8:11, this power brings life and healing to sick or injured bodies. This same power will transform our dead bodies at the the great day of the resurrection of the dead in Christ. Suddenly, without warning, graves all over the world will give up their dead as the sons and daughters of God are are caught up to be with the Lord in the air. In a moment of time we will be changed, our bodies will be made like His in an instant. These outpourings are just a taste, an awesome taste, of what is to come. Jesus is coming back, He is pouring out His Resurrection power to get us ready.