PLACING A DEMAND ON THE ANOINTING

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

21 Now when Jesus had crossed over again by boat to the other side, a great multitude gathered to Him; and He was by the sea. 22 And behold, one of the rulers of the synagogue came, Jairus by name. And when he saw Him, he fell at His feet 23 and begged Him earnestly, saying, “My little daughter lies at the point of death. Come and lay Your hands on her, that she may be healed, and she will live.” 24 So Jesus went with him, and a great multitude followed Him and thronged Him. 25 Now a certain woman had a flow of blood for twelve years, 26 and had suffered many things from many physicians. She had spent all that she had and was no better, but rather grew worse. 27 When she heard about Jesus, she came behind Him in the crowd and touched His garment; 28 for she said, “If only I may touch His clothes, I shall be made well.” 29 Immediately the fountain of her blood was dried up, and she felt in her body that she was healed of the affliction. 30 And Jesus, immediately knowing in Himself that power had gone out of Him, turned around in the crowd and said, “Who touched My clothes?” 31 But His disciples said to Him, “You see the multitude thronging You, and You say, ‘Who touched Me?’ ” 32 And He looked around to see her who had done this thing. 33 But the woman, fearing and trembling, knowing what had happened to her, came and fell down before Him and told Him the whole truth. 34 And He said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace, and be healed of your affliction.” 35 While He was still speaking, some came from the ruler of the synagogue’s house who said, “Your daughter is dead. Why trouble the Teacher any further?” 36 As soon as Jesus heard the word that was spoken, He said to the ruler of the synagogue, “Do not be afraid; only believe.” 37 And He permitted no one to follow Him except Peter, James, and John the brother of James. 38 Then He came to the house of the ruler of the synagogue, and saw a tumult and those who wept and wailed loudly. 39 When He came in, He said to them, “Why make this commotion and weep? The child is not dead, but sleeping.” 40 And they ridiculed Him. But when He had put them all outside, He took the father and the mother of the child, and those who were with Him, and entered where the child was lying. 41 Then He took the child by the hand, and said to her, “Talitha, cumi,” which is translated, “Little girl, I say to you, arise.” 42 Immediately the girl arose and walked, for she was twelve years of age. And they were overcome with great amazement. 43 But He commanded them strictly that no one should know it, and said that something should be given her to eat. Mark 5:21-43 NKJV

As we study the gospels, it becomes evident that there were certain individuals who received their miracle, or their healing, or their need met because they placed a demand on the anointing on the life of Jesus. In John 21:25 NIV, John says that, “Jesus did many other things as well. If every one of them were written down, I suppose that even the whole world would not have room for the books that would be written.” Jesus did many miracles, but the Holy Spirit prompted the writers of the Gospels to record only certain ones. I believe that these examples were permanently recorded for us so that as we read the Word, our faith is stirred up for our miracle and so that we will place a demand on the anointing and in so doing, receive our miracle as well.

Besides the woman with the issue of blood, who placed a demand on the anointing by touching the hem of Jesus’ garment and Jairus, who was convinced that his daughter would be healed if Jesus laid His hands on her, some of the people who placed a demand on the anointing were:

The wise men, who followed the star to worship Jesus and to bring Him an offering (Matt 2:1-12); blind Bartimaeus, who cried out loudly to Jesus for mercy so that he could receive his sight (Mark 10:46-52); the centurion, who believed that all Jesus had to do was to speak the Word and his servant would be healed (Matt 8:5-13); the four men, who ripped up a roof to bring their paralytic friend to Jesus (Mark 2:3-12); the Syro-Phoenician woman, who was convinced that the crumbs from the children’s bread were enough for the deliverance of her daughter (Mark 7:24-30); the ten lepers, calling for mercy, to be healed and cleansed and the one grateful leper who was made whole (Luke 17:11-19), little Zacchaeus the tax-collector, who climbed up a tree to see Jesus and Jesus and salvation both came to his house (Luke 19:1-10).

Although they were different kinds of people with very different needs, they had their own breakthrough because of something they had in common – they all placed a demand on the anointing. Placing a demand on the anointing will cause you to enter into the realm of the miraculous. Adonica and I would like to encourage you in this – that every time you come to The River you come hungry and thirsty, always placing a demand on the anointing. If you will do this, we believe that your needs and the needs of your family will be supernaturally met. We want you to know that we love you and we are placing a demand on the anointing for ourselves and for you as well.

GOD’S GRACE AND HIS PROMISE HAVE MADE A WAY FOR YOU

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

The Lord said to Abram after Lot had left him, Lift up now your eyes and look from the place where you are, northward and southward and eastward and westward; 15 For all the land which you see I will give to you and to your posterity forever. 16 And I will make your descendants like the dust of the earth, so that if a man could count the dust of the earth, then could your descendants also be counted. 17 Arise, walk through the land, the length of it and the breadth of it, for I will give it to you.  Genesis 13:14-17 AMP

When God chose Abram and set him aside, bringing him out of his own land and away from his family, he brought him to the land of Canaan. God told him to look north, south, east and west because He had already given all this land to him and his posterity – his descendants. God made acovenant promise to give this land to Abram and his posterity.

When the sun was setting, a deep sleep overcame Abram, and a horror (a terror, a shuddering fear) of great darkness assailed and oppressed him. 13 And [God] said to Abram, Know positively that your descendants will be strangers dwelling as temporary residents in a land that is not theirs [Egypt], and they will be slaves there and will be afflicted and oppressed for 400 years. 14 But I will bring judgment on that nation whom they will serve, and afterward they will come out with great possessions. 15 And you shall go to your fathers in peace; you shall be buried at a good old (hoary) age. 16 And in the fourth generation they [your descendants] shall come back here [to Canaan] again, for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full and complete.  Genesis 15:12-16 AMP

God prophesied to Abram about events that would take place for hundreds of years after his death – his descendants would not go straight into Canaan, but they would take a little detour. Before the time came to go in and possess the land, they would multiply in number, they would become slaves, God would judge the nation who oppressed them, He would bring them out with great possessions and in the fourth generation they would come back to Canaan again.

He says something significant at this time – Abram’s descendants had to wait a while before they went in to take possession of their promised land because “the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full and complete.”

Know therefore this day that the Lord your God is He Who goes over before you as a devouring fire. He will destroy them and bring them down before you; so you shall dispossess them and make them perish quickly, as the Lord has promised you. 4 Do not say in your [mind and] heart, after the Lord your God has thrust them out from before you, It is because of my righteousness that the Lord has brought me in to possess this land–whereas it is because of the wickedness of these nations that the Lord is dispossessing them before you. 5 Not for your righteousness or for the uprightness of your [minds and] hearts do you go to possess their land; but because of the wickedness of these nations the Lord your God is driving them out before you, and that He may fulfill the promise which the Lord swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 6Know therefore that the Lord your God does not give you this good land to possess because of your righteousness, for you are a hard and stubborn people. 7[Earnestly] remember and forget not how you provoked the Lord your God to wrath in the wilderness; from the day you left the land of Egypt until you came to this place, you have been rebellious against the Lord.  Deuteronomy 9:3-7 AMP

God did not drive all these nations out before Israel because Israel was righteous and upright – because they were hard, stubborn and rebellious – He drove these nations out because of their own wickedness and because of His covenant promise to Abram. God drove the Amorites out because their iniquity was now full and complete!

What can we learn from this? The Word of God says that He rains on the just and the unjust. God loves every man and every woman from every nation. There is not one nation better than another. He gives every one of us an opportunity to choose righteousness and be blessed or to choose unrighteousness and be cursed. Every one of us, as individuals and as nations and peoples, must humble our hearts before the Lord. We must realize that He has a plan for our lives and He has awesome things prepared for every one of us – blessings that exceed our expectations – if we will submit ourselves to Him and allow Him to direct our path and lead us in the way.

God’s blessing does not come from your own hand or worthiness, but it comes by His grace as we exalt Him in our lives, as we give Him place and as we stand on the promises He has made.

PASSED OVER OUT OF DEATH INTO LIFE

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

Now the judgment (crisis) of this world is coming on [sentence is now being passed on this world]. Now the ruler (evil genius, prince) of this world shall be cast out (expelled). 32 And I, if and when I am lifted up from the earth [on the cross], will draw and attract all men [Gentiles as well as Jews] to Myself.  John 12:31-32 AMP

Adam, in the garden, was given authority over the earth and everything in it. When the devil succeeded in deceiving Adam and Eve, he took this authority away from them. God told him that he should not get too comfortable, because the seed of the woman would bruise his head – representing his authority – and he would bruise His heel – representing the physical battering that the seed would endure. Jesus was this Seed. Jesus died and rose again and in the process, bruised the devil’s head, stripping him of his authority over all those who receive Jesus as Lord and Savior. Men would turn from the devil and his influence and turn to Jesus. He plundered hell to populate heaven!

For God so greatly loved and dearly prized the world that He [even] gave up His only begotten ( unique) Son, so that whoever believes in (trusts in, clings to, relies on) Him shall not perish (come to destruction, be lost) but have eternal (everlasting) life. 17 For God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him. 18 He who believes in Him [who clings to, trusts in, relies on Him] is not judged [he who trusts in Him never comes up for judgment; for him there is no rejection, no condemnation–he incurs no damnation]; but he who does not believe (cleave to, rely on, trust in Him) is judged already [he has already been convicted and has already received his sentence] because he has not believed in and trusted in the name of the only begotten Son of God. [He is condemned for refusing to let his trust rest in Christ’s name.]   John 3:16-18 AMP

God gave Jesus the right and ability to judge all men, but Jesus loves us so much that He chose to save the world and not to judge, to reject, to condemn, or to pass sentence on the world. He came to give every one of us an opportunity to miss hell and make heaven. You can see how much He loves us by the way He forgave those who crucified Him, and He even asked God not to lay this sin to their account. What we need to realize is that you don’t have to die before God decides whether you go to heaven or hell. That is already decided. Judgment has already been passed on every man. If you have not received Jesus – if you have rejected Him – you are already destined for hell. The only one who can change your eternal destiny is you!

If you want to make heaven your ultimate destination, then you must hear the words of Jesus and you must make a decision to believe them, receive them, and act on them. Jesus took the punishment that you deserved and when you realize this, believe it, and accept that it was done for you, personally, in the courts of heaven, you are acquitted of all your sin. Judgment ceases instantly. You will never again be judged – even after you die. You are made safe and sound in Jesus. You need never be afraid to die again. Those who have already accepted Jesus, already have eternal life now. Eternity lives in their hearts. They have passed from death into life.

The [basis of the] judgment (indictment, the test by which men are judged, the ground for the sentence) lies in this: the Light has come into the world, and people have loved the darkness rather than and more than the Light, for their works (deeds) were evil. 20 For every wrongdoer hates (loathes, detests) the Light, and will not come out into the Light but shrinks from it, lest his works (his deeds, his activities, his conduct) be exposed and reproved. 21 But he who practices truth [who does what is right] comes out into the Light; so that his works may be plainly shown to be what they are–wrought with God [divinely prompted, done with God’s help, in dependence upon Him].  John 3:19-21 AMP

Jesus came to shine His light into every heart. The way every person responds to Him is an indication of what is in their heart already. You will either want to be free from sin and will welcome Jesus or you will embrace sin and wrongdoing and reject Jesus. You are the one who chooses your judgment – not God.

I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, the person whose ears are open to My words [who listens to My message] and believes and trusts in and clings to and relies on Him Who sent Me has (possesses now) eternal life. And he does not come into judgment [does not incur sentence of judgment, will not come under condemnation], but he has already passed over out of death into life.  John 5:24 AMP

MERCY EXULTS VICTORIOUSLY OVER JUDGMENT

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

Therefore, whether we are at home [on earth away from Him] or away from home [and with Him], we are constantly ambitious and strive earnestly to be pleasing to Him. 10 For we must all appear and be revealed as we are before the judgment seat of Christ, so that each one may receive [his pay] according to what he has done in the body, whether good or evil [considering what his purpose and motive have been, and what he has achieved, been busy with, and given himself and his attention to accomplishing].  2 Corinthians 5:9-10 AMP

Nothing that you do here on earth goes unnoticed in eternity. You may think that you can sin and get away with it, or maybe you did a good thing and you think that no one took notice of it. However, at the judgment seat of Christ, everything you did – good and bad – will be revealed and exposed. The judgment seat of Christ is a judgment seat for believers.

So do not make any hasty or premature judgments before the time when the Lord comes [again], for He will both bring to light the secret things that are [now hidden] in darkness and disclose and expose the [secret] aims (motives and purposes) of hearts. Then every man will receive his [due] commendation from God.  1 Corinthians 4:5 AMP

Every one will be judged and receive his or her pay according to what they did – good or evil – and according to their purpose and motive in doing it. You will be judged according what you have achieved, what you have been busy with, and what you gave your attention to accomplishing. So it makes sense that we should all take a good hard look at our own heart, attitude, motives and works and judge them know. Then we can make the necessary adjustments so that on the day when all is revealed, we are not ashamed over anything that we have done on earth.

For whosoever keeps the Law [as a] whole but stumbles and offends in one [single instance] has become guilty of [breaking] all of it. 11 For He Who said, You shall not commit adultery, also said, You shall not kill. If you do not commit adultery but do kill, you have become guilty of transgressing the [whole] Law. 12 So speak and so act as [people should] who are to be judged under the law of liberty [the moral instruction given by Christ, especially about love]. 13 For to him who has shown no mercy the judgment [will be] merciless, but mercy [full of glad confidence] exults victoriously over judgment.  James 2:10-13 AMP

If you are a Christian, you are no longer subject to the Law – you have been redeemed from the curse of the Law (Galatians 3:13). Your focus is not on keeping the Law itself, but rather on walking in the love of God toward all men, because love fulfills the law – if you walk in the love, you will not transgress the Law (Romans 13:10). So you should speak and act like people who are to be judged under the law of liberty – the law that commands us to walk in the love of God. If you are merciful, you will receive mercy, but if you are hard and judgmental toward your brothers and sisters, then you will be shown no mercy either. So, in a sense, you are the one who chooses the measure of judgment that you will receive. You would be smart to start showing as much mercy as you can!

None of us lives to himself [but to the Lord], and none of us dies to himself [but to the Lord, for] 8 If we live, we live to the Lord, and if we die, we die to the Lord. So then, whether we live or we die, we belong to the Lord. 9 For Christ died and lived again for this very purpose, that He might be Lord both of the dead and of the living. 10 Why do you criticize and pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you look down upon or despise your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God. 11 For it is written, As I live, says the Lord, every knee shall bow to Me, and every tongue shall confess to God [acknowledge Him to His honor and to His praise]. 12 And so each of us shall give an account of himself [give an answer in reference to judgment] to God. 13 Then let us no more criticize and blame and pass judgment on one another, but rather decide and endeavor never to put a stumbling block or an obstacle or a hindrance in the way of a brother.  Romans 14:7-13 AMP

None of us lives or dies to himself, but we live and die as unto the Lord – whether we live or we die, we belong to the Lord. With that in mind, we should be constantly ambitious and earnestly strive to be pleasing to Him. We please Him when we are kind, considerate and merciful toward each other. If we do this then we will not be ashamed to give an account of ourselves to God when we stand before Him.

LIFE RULES OVER DEATH, GRACE RULES OVER CONDEMNATION

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

Therefore, [there is] now no condemnation (no adjudging guilty of wrong) for those who are in Christ Jesus, who live [and] walk not after the dictates of the flesh, but after the dictates of the Spirit.   Romans 8:1 AMP

There is no condemnation – no guilt – for those who have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. They are totally forgiven and the record of their sin has been completely wiped out by the blood of Jesus. Jesus bore the punishment of their sin. They are acquitted of any wrongdoing in the high Court of Heaven. There is no more accusation that can legally be brought against them.

Revelations 12:10 says that the devil is the accuser of the brethren. He is also a liar. He does not want you be forgiven or to receive God’s forgiveness. He wants you to be condemned to hell for your sin and if he can’t keep you from being washed in the blood of Jesus, he will try to keep you from the presence of God through guilt and condemnation. He wants you to remain in bondage to sin and guilt. He brings accusation and condemnation and tries to make you think that it is God Who feels that way about you.

However, the Word of God says that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit certainly do not accuse the blood-washed Christian. John 3:17 AMP says that, “God did not send the Son into the world in order to judge (to reject, to condemn, to pass sentence on) the world, but that the world might find salvation and be made safe and sound through Him.” Jesus has no desire to condemn you to hell at all – that’s why He was born and that’s why He died – to love you, to accept you, and to save you from death and hell.

Who is there to condemn [us]? Will Christ Jesus (the Messiah), Who died, or rather Who was raised from the dead, Who is at the right hand of God actually pleading as He intercedes for us?  Romans 8:34 AMP

Jesus is at the right hand of God right now interceding for you, standing in the gap for you, asking – pleading – for mercy for you. There is no way He would be condemning you at the same time.

For the law of the Spirit of life [which is] in Christ Jesus [the law of our new being] has freed me from the law of sin and of death.  Romans 8:2 AMP

There are physical laws and spiritual laws. On the earth, there is the law of gravity and the law of lift. Even if you said that you didn’t believe in gravity and jumped off a building to prove it, you would still fall all the way down until the ground suddenly stopped your descent! The law of gravity worked on you. However, there is a law that transcends the law of gravity and that is the law of lift. If you climb into an airplane and start the engines and go fast enough, you will take off and fly through the air. In this case the law of lift transcends and overrides the law of gravity. Only if you run out of gas or if something goes wrong with the plane, that compromises the law of lift, will the law of law of gravity then take over, once again, and the airplane will make sudden and unfortunate contact with the ground.

In the same way, the law of the Spirit of life which is in Christ Jesus transcends and overrides the law of sin and of death. The law of sin and death is in operation on the earth. However, Jesus holds the keys to death and hell and the law of the Spirit of life overrides the law of sin and death in the lives of all those who believe in Jesus and have received His eternal life and who obey His commandments.

But if Christ lives in you, [then although] your [natural] body is dead by reason of sin and guilt, the spirit is alive because of [the] righteousness [that He imputes to you].  Romans 8:10 AMP

When Jesus lives in you, even though your body has the law of death at work in it, the law of life is operating in your spirit and your spirit is alive. Your spirit will never die, never be separated from the presence of God. You are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus and you have eternal life living and working in your spirit right now.

Therefore we do not become discouraged (utterly spiritless, exhausted, and wearied out through fear). Though our outer man is [progressively] decaying and wasting away, yet our inner self is being [progressively] renewed day after day.  2 Corinthians 4:16 AMP

GOD DID NOT GIVE US A SPIRIT OF FEAR – PART 2

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

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

Fear does not come from God. God is the author of love and of faith, which go hand in hand. The Bible says that God has given us a spirit of love. There is no fear in love.

If anyone acknowledges that Jesus is the Son of God, God lives in him and he in God. 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. 17 In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:14-18 NIV

We know and rely on the love God has for us. As we live in God and He lives in us, His love is made complete in us. Perfect love casts out fear. The more we become aware of how much God loves us, the less we fear punishment and death. If we don’t fear death, if we don’t fear God, if we don’t fear His wrath, then what else is there to fear? When we are confident in God’s love, we are also confident in His hand upon us—His hand of protection and provision. We have nothing to fear from man or beast, because we know—we have a revelation—that God is on our side at all times and in all things. We can go forward confidently—fearing nothing and no one!

So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. Romans 10:17 NKJV

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Hebrews 11:6 NKJV

But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him.” 39 But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved. Hebrews 10:38-39 NIV

Faith pleases God—fear does not! God is not pleased with the fearful, faithless person. Those who have no faith cannot be His, because the only way to come to God is to come in faith. If you are His, it is because you have faith in Him. God wants you to know Him—His nature and His character—that He IS and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. It pleases God when you have faith in Him and when you press in to Him—believing that He is a rewarder. The whole foundation of your relationship with God is founded on faith in Him, confidence in His Word, and an expectation of receiving the rewards He has promised.

The righteous live by faith! The righteous are righteous because of their faith! They have met God; they know God; they have come to know His nature and His character; they know how much He loves them; they know how much He has done for them and how much He has promised to do for Him. They have the absolute confidence in their Heavenly Father that a young child has in their loving, caring, earthly father. Our Heavenly Father wants us to know how kind and loving He is. Anyone who believes otherwise does not know Him and, therefore, is not one of His children.

Those who shrink back in fear do so because they have no faith in God and no knowledge of Who He is. God is not pleased with those who shrink back in fear, but He is pleased with those who believe, because it is this very belief that is your salvation.

In Whom, because of our faith in Him, we dare to have the boldness (courage and confidence) of free access (an unreserved approach to God with freedom and without fear). Ephesians 3:12 AMP

Because of Jesus; because He loves you; because of what He has done for you; because you trust Him; you have no reason to be afraid of the Father. It is the Father Who sent the Son to die and be raised up again to bring you and me into a relationship with Him. He initiated the relationship and the fellowship. He is the One Who desires to bless us. Because of Jesus, when you come into God’s presence to speak to Him, you do not expect Him to punish you, but you expect Him to receive you, hear you, answer you, and bless you. The more you know of God’s love for you, the more confident you become in that love and the more confident you become in your everyday life.

Fear has no place in your life. Because you have faith in God, your Father, you have confidence to go forth and do His will and live your life in faith and in peace!

Walk, Talk and Live as to Please God

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

Furthermore, brethren, we beg and admonish you in [virtue of our union with] the Lord Jesus, that [you follow the instructions which] you learned from us about how you ought to walk so as to please and gratify God, as indeed you are doing, [and] that you do so even more and more abundantly [attaining yet greater perfection in living this life].  1 Thessalonians 4:1 AMP

When your mother gave birth to you, you had everything you needed to live on this earth as a member of your family. You were “you” only a smaller version, with no knowledge of the world you were born into. You had your body, but you didn’t know what to do with it or how to control it. All you knew how to do was to drink milk and to cry when you were hungry, tired, or uncomfortable, or when you needed to be held. You had to grow up and learn how to control your body and your impulses. You had to learn how to walk, talk, feed yourself, communicate, obey, be courteous, share, work, give, be kind, be a decent person, etc. You had to learn to obey and respect your parents. If your family did not care for you and teach you, you would not have the skills you needed to be successful in your relationships and your life.

When you receive Jesus as your personal Lord and Savior your heart, your spirit, is instantly changed. You are like a brand new baby in the spirit. The only problem is that you have this body that wants to do its own thing and you have to learn how to control it and bring it under subjection to your spirit. The way you do that is through the Word of God. Many people claim to be “born-again,” but their conduct tells another story. Some of them have never been taught that they must obey the Word of God and that they ought to walk and conduct themselves in such a way so as to please and gratify God. They are still pleasing themselves.

For you know what charges and precepts we gave you [on the authority and by the inspiration of] the Lord Jesus. 3 For this is the will of God, that you should be consecrated (separated and set apart for pure and holy living): that you should abstain and shrink from all sexual vice, 4 That each one of you should know how to possess (control, manage) his own body in consecration (purity, separated from things profane) and honor, 5 Not [to be used] in the passion of lust like the heathen, who are ignorant of the true God and have no knowledge of His will  1 Thessalonians 4:2-5 AMP

The best way to avoid sexual sin is to stay away from the source and cause of it. Protect your eyes and ears. Don’t even think that you can look at it and be okay. The battle between good and evil, sin and righteousness in your life begins in your mind. Guard yourself in this area. Don’t allow ungodly TV channels in your home. Put a blocker on your computer. In order to avoid sinning, you have to be able to control your body, but if you feed your mind pornography and perversion, you can be sure that you are going to have a very hard time preventing your mind and your body from leading you straight into sexual sin! You control your body by keeping your mind on things that are pure. The heathen don’t know God. They don’t feel that there is anything wrong with what they do with their bodies. You are not an ungodly heathen. You know the difference between right and wrong. Don’t follow ungodly people down the path of destruction. You are not ignorant of God’s will for you!

That no man transgress and overreach his brother and defraud him in this matter or defraud his brother in business. For the Lord is an avenger in all these things, as we have already warned you solemnly and told you plainly. 1 Thessalonians 4:6 AMP

Don’t defraud your fellow Christians with your sexual impurity. Don’t go after someone who is not your wife – she belongs to someone else. If you go after her, you will wreak havoc in many people’s lives through your lack of self-control. Keep your eyes and your hands to yourself. Keep you mind pure in this area.

Don’t defraud your brother or sister in a business transaction! There seems to be so many people, who call themselves Christians, who are liars and thieves when it comes to money and business. God is very serious when He tells us to be honest and faithful with money. He tells the thief to steal no more and to work honestly with his hands and to give to those who are needy (Ephesians 4:28). Don’t be a thief; don’t be a liar; don’t defraud people by deception; don’t make promises you don’t intend to keep; don’t take what is not yours. Do you have any fear of God? Remember that God is the avenger in all these things!

For God has not called us to impurity but to consecration [to dedicate ourselves to the most thorough purity]. 8 Therefore whoever disregards (sets aside and rejects this) disregards not man but God, Whose [very] Spirit [Whom] He gives to you is holy (chaste, pure).  1 Thessalonians 4:7-8 AMP

God has called us to purity – to consecrate ourselves to Him – to be dedicated to Him. If we disregard God’s word about sexual purity, we are not rejecting man, but we are rejecting God. Every person who chooses sexual immorality is also making a choice against God. It is a fact that Atheists and Agnostics are way far more likely to see nothing wrong with sexual impurity and sin, than a person who loves and obeys God. Always stay in close relationship and fellowship with God – this fellowship is your protection!

Don’t Eat of the Tree

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

Don’t Eat of the Tree
Foundation Scriptures: Genesis 3 verses 1-7

In Genesis 2:15-17, God took Adam and put him in the Garden of Eden to tend and guard and keep it. He gave him a commandment that he could freely eat of every tree of the garden, but not of the tree of good and evil because, “in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Now the serpent was more subtle and crafty than any living creature of the field which the Lord God had made. And he [Satan] said to the woman, Can it really be that God has said, You shall not eat from every tree of the garden? 2 And the woman said to the serpent, We may eat the fruit from the trees of the garden, 3 Except the fruit from the tree which is in the middle of the garden. God has said, You shall not eat of it, neither shall you touch it, lest you die. 4 But the serpent said to the woman, You shall not surely die, 5 For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing the difference between good and evil and blessing and calamity. 6 And when the woman saw that the tree was good (suitable, pleasant) for food and that it was delightful to look at, and a tree to be desired in order to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate; and she gave some also to her husband, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves apronlike girdles. Genesis 3:1-7 AMP

1. Have you ever wondered why God would  put a tree in the Garden if He did not want Adam and Eve and their kids to eat the fruit of it?

a. God made us to be stewards of all that He has given us and all that He has placed on the earth.

b. However, He always sets something aside, keeping it for Himself, and tells us not to eat of it. It’s Holy; it belongs to God alone.

c. It’s all about obedience and the free will of man. God gave us a free will so we could choose to obey. Obedience pleases God.

2. This is what Satan used to tempt Eve and cause her to sin. His plan was to get her to eat of that which was under their stewardship, but was not to be touched.

a. They could eat of every tree—including the tree of life, but they were not allowed to eat of the tree of the Knowledge of Good and of Evil. God told them, “the day that you eat of the tree in dying thou shalt die.” They would die spiritually (be cut off from God) and then die physically.

b. The scripture declares that if you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land (Isaiah 1:19). The devil knows that the only way that he can trap us is to get us moving in the direction of disobedience and against God’s Word.

3. In this day and this age, there is still a tree that is Holy, and it belongs to God. It is called the Tithe.

a. It is tempting to someone, who has not been taught how Holy the tree (tithe) is, to want to eat it.

b. To eat the tithe tree is to use the tithe for your personal use.

c. The tithe is Holy. Don’t eat that which belongs to God. Set it aside and bring it to the altar of worship where you are fed the Word of God.

d. Giving it as an act of worship as a first fruit to the Lord.

4. Many of those who have eaten from the tithe tree are now barren and naked and suffer lack. They have removed themselves from God’s protection.

Pastor Adonica’s thoughts:
From the time I received Jesus as my Lord and Savior, at the age of 17, I was taught about tithing. I fell in love with Jesus and fully committed to Him. I worked for my father at the time and when I received my monthly pay of 175 South African Rands, I immediately set aside my tithe, rounding it up to R20, and then sowed it into the offering the very next church service I attended. This became a committed habit for me, as it did for Rodney, and as God blessed and increased us, we continued to tithe on everything we earned. It is not a difficult thing to do because we committed to do it a long time ago and we would not dream of using the tithe for anything else. As a result, we expect—and receive—God’s blessing and favor on our lives and He has never let us down!

Pastor Rodney’s thoughts:
I can remember, as a child, being taught the principle of the tithe. I would tithe on my allowance. I would also tithe on the income I earned as a child working at whatever job I could find during school vacations. I knew that I wanted to do my part and sow seed into the Gospel. When we first arrived in America we heard that 20% of the body of Christ tithed. Apparently, the current statistic is that 6% actually tithe! This means that 94% spend their time eating of the tithe tree that is Holy and yet they wonder why they struggle financially and are unprotected—naked and barren.

I so desire God’s people to be blessed! God so desires to bless and increase all of our lives!  Even though He has a strong desire to bless you, His hands are tied when you eat that which does not belong to you. Don’t forget—the tithe is the Lord’s!  You are stewards over the tithe—don’t eat it—set it aside as Holy unto the Lord and allow the blessing of God to transform your life and overtake you from every side!

Prayer and Confession:
Father, I worship you with that which has been set apart for You—the tithe—it is Yours and I honor you with it and thank you that I will never be naked or barren or ashamed, and Your provision and protection will be upon me, all the days of my life.

Offering Of The Firstlings

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

Thoughts on Stewardship – Lesson 27 from Deuteronomy
Foundation Scriptures: Deuteronomy 15 verse 19-21

Offering of the Firstlings

All the firstling males that are born of your herd and flock you shall set apart for the Lord your God; you shall do no work with the firstling of your herd, nor shear the firstling of your flock. 20 You shall eat it before the Lord your God annually in the place [for worship] which the Lord shall choose, you and your household. 21 But if it has any blemish, if it is lame, blind, or has any bad blemish whatsoever, you shall not sacrifice it to the Lord your God.  Deuteronomy 15:19-21 AMP

1.  It is very important to God that His people set aside and bring the firstling of their flocks and herds to Him

a. They had to be firstlings – the firstborn of the flock
b. It took faith to bring the firstling – you had to believe that there would be a “secondling”, a “thirdling”,
and a “fourthling”, etc.
c. This firstling was to be set aside ahead of time and then brought to the place of worship
d. It was sacrificed to the Lord at the place of worship and then eaten in His presence
e. The firstling could not be lame or blind – it had to have no blemish or imperfection whatsoever
f. It would need to be carefully inspected
g. If something is inspected, it means that it has to be considered and carefully looked at – with much
contemplation and thought – rather than something brought haphazardly or as a mere afterthought

2.  Even though this command was given under the Old Covenant, why would we – under the New – assume that we are free to dishonor God by giving to Him any other way?

a. Maybe we don’t raise animals – but we do earn a living – we must bring the Lord the “firstling” – right
off the top
b. We honor God by putting Him first, rather than last in our priorities
c. We should set aside our offering with much thought, contemplation and inspection – and then bring it to
His house as an act of worship – to honor Him for His goodness, His mercy, His grace, His loving
kindness, and all of His bountiful blessings
d. If we really respect a person – a man or woman – and we really want to bless them, we will do
something to honor them, such as bringing a gift that reflects our gratitude and appreciation
e. It is extremely appropriate – and in some cases, expected – that you bring a gift when you are meeting
someone very important
f. Your gift sends a message. For instance, we give gifts to our husband, wife, family, or friends, on
birthdays, or anniversaries, or other special occasions, that reflect how much we think of them
g. They would be offended if we forgot to bring something or if we gave an inferior gift
h. What about our Heavenly Father? Is He not more important – is He not more precious to us – than any
mortal man? We expect His generous, abundant, timely blessings on us and so we should also honor
Him in kind

Pastor Adonica’s Thoughts:
Isaiah 43:22-25 AMP says, “You have not called upon Me [much less toiled for Me], O Jacob; but you have been weary of Me, O Israel! You have not brought Me your sheep and goats for burnt offerings, or honored Me with your sacrifices. I have not required you to serve with an offering or treated you as a slave by demanding tribute or wearied you with offering incense. You have not bought Me sweet cane with money, or satiated Me with the fat of your sacrifices. But you have only burdened Me with your sins; you have wearied Me with your iniquities. I, even I, am He Who blots out and cancels your transgressions, for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins.”
Is this you? Have you taken advantage of God’s grace and generosity? Have you offered God nothing but your sins and iniquities? Have you done nothing but burden Him and weary Him? If so, it’s time for a change. It’s time to make up your mind to start to please God and bless Him with your obedience and your blemish-free firstlings!

Pastor Rodney’s Thoughts:
Everything we have comes from God. Nothing we have comes from ourselves. He loves us – we love Him. He blesses us – we bless Him. It amazes me how many people expect the blessing of the Lord in their lives and yet the Kingdom of God is neither their priority nor their concern. When we make the Kingdom of God our priority – when we put God’s house first and bless and honor Him – then He will bless and honor us. Let’s honor God by bringing our first and our best – not the last or the lame or the blind.

Prayer and Confession:
Father, I honor You with my firstlings and I honor You with the best that I have. I will obey You and bless You, because everything I have is Yours.

THE WORKING OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

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

Foundation Scriptures: John 14:13-26; John 15:26; John 16:7-15

And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.  14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it. 15 “If you love Me, keep My commandments.  16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever — 17 the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.  18 I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you. 19 “A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also.  20 At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you.  21 He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” 22 Judas (not Iscariot) said to Him, “Lord, how is it that You will manifest Yourself to us, and not to the world?” 23 Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.  24 He who does not love Me does not keep My words; and the word which you hear is not Mine but the Father’s who sent Me. 25 “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you.  26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.  John 14:13-26 NKJV

“But when the Helper comes, whom I shall send to you from the Father, the Spirit of truth who proceeds from the Father, He will testify of Me.  John 15:26 NKJV

Nevertheless I tell you the truth. It is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I depart, I will send Him to you.
8 And when He has come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment:  9 of sin, because they do not believe in Me;  10 of righteousness, because I go to My Father and you see Me no more;  11 of judgment, because the ruler of this world is judged. 12 “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now.  13 However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.  14 He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you.  15 All things that the Father has are Mine. Therefore I said that He will take of Mine and declare it to you.  John 16:7-15 NKJV

The Holy Spirit is the Third Person of the God-Head. He IS God

  • He is omnipresent—every where
  • He is omnipotent—all powerful
  • He is omniscient—all knowing
  • He is the One Who makes Jesus real to us. He is the Artist Who paints Jesus on the canvas of life

The Work of the Holy Spirit in the Life of the Believer

  • You are born again by the Holy Spirit
  • John 3:5-7
  • The Holy Spirit bears witness to us that we are the children of God
  • 1 John 5:10
  • Galatians 4:6-7
  • Romans 8:14-17
  • We are baptized into the Body of Christ at the New Birth.
  • 1 Corinthians 12:12-13
  • The Holy Spirit seals the believer.
  • Ephesians 1:13-14
  • Ephesians 4:30
  • The Holy Spirit sanctifies the believer.
  • 2 Thessalonians 2:13
  • 1 Peter 1:1-2
  • The Holy Spirit helps us to mortify the flesh.
  • Romans 8:5-13
  • The Holy Spirit enables us to be transformed into the image of Jesus.
  • 2 Corinthians 3:18
  • The Holy Spirit produces fruit in the believer’s life.
  • Galatians 5:22-23
  • The Holy Spirit’s Work in Relation to Ministry
  • He baptizes us, fills us and empowers us for service.
  • Acts 1:8
  • He reveals to us God’s will through His word.
  • 2 Peter 1:20-21
  • He helps us to pray.
  • Romans 8:26-27
  • Ephesians 6:18
  • Jude 20
  • 1 Corinthians 14:14-15
  • He gives us the power to preach, teach and demonstrate the Gospel.
  • 1 Corinthians 2:4-5
  • 1 Thessalonians 1:5
  • The Gifts of the Spirit are made available to us.
  • 1 Corinthians 12:4-11

The Comforter – Our Comforter

  • John 16:7
  • John 14:16
  • He comforts us by leading us into Truth.
  • John 16:13
  • He not only teaches us, but He continues to remind us of God’s word and His promises.
  • John 14:26
  • He shows Himself TO us, He does a work IN us and He works THROUGH us.

Rodney Howard Browne | The outpouring of the Holy Spirit across America