Testimony by D. Walton

I have noticed in my own life that I tend to settle for things, not always what deep down I really want. The Lord has been dealing with me on believing for the bigger thing, trusting Him that He is able and willing to do it. He wants to give us our hearts desire, not things we are just willing to settle for.

Twelve Duties We Have Regarding the Word of God – Part I

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

1. The Word of God is to be read publicly

Deuteronomy 31:11-13 AMP – When all Israel comes to appear before the Lord your God in the place which He chooses [for His sanctuary], you shall read this law before all Israel in their hearing. 12 Assemble the people — men, women, and children, and the stranger and the sojourner within your towns — that they may hear and learn [reverently] to fear the Lord your God and be watchful to do all the words of this law, 13 And that their children, who have not known it, may hear and learn [reverently] to fear the Lord your God as long as you live in the land which you go over the Jordan to possess.

Joshua 8:33-35 AMP – And all Israel, sojourner as well as he who was born among them, with their elders, officers, and judges, stood on either side of the ark before the Levitical priests who carried the ark of the covenant of the Lord, half of them in front of Mount Gerizim and half of them in front of Mount Ebal, as Moses the servant of the Lord had commanded before that they should bless the Israelites. 34 Afterward, Joshua read all the words of the law, the blessings and cursings, all that is written in the Book of the Law. 35 There was not a word of all that Moses commanded which Joshua did not read before all the assembly of Israel, and the women, and little ones, and the foreigners who were living among them.

2 Kings 23:2 AMP – The king went up to the house of the Lord, and with him all the men of Judah, all the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the priests, the prophets, and all the people, both small and great. And he read in their ears all the words of the Book of the Covenant, which was found in the Lord’s house.

2 Chronicles 17:7-9 AMP – Also in the third year of his reign he sent his princes Ben-hail, Obadiah, Zechariah, Nethanel, and Micaiah to teach in the cities of Judah; 8 And with them were the Levites — Shemaiah, Nethaniah, Zebadiah, Asahel, Shemiramoth, Jehonathan, Adonijah, Tobijah, and Tob-adonijah; and with these Levites were the priests Elishama and Jehoram. 9 And they taught in Judah, and had the Book of the Law of the Lord with them; they went about throughout all the cities of Judah and taught among the people.

Nehemiah 8:1-8 AMP – Then all the people gathered together as one man in the broad place before the Water Gate; and they asked Ezra the scribe to bring the Book of the Law of Moses, which the Lord had given to Israel. 2 And Ezra the priest brought the Law before the assembly of both men and women and all who could hear with understanding, on the first of the seventh month. 3 He read from it, facing the broad place before the Water Gate, from early morning until noon, in the presence of the men and women and those who could understand; and all the people were attentive to the Book of the Law. 4 Ezra the scribe stood on a wooden pulpit which they had made for the purpose. And beside him stood Mattithiah, Shema, Anaiah, Uriah, Hilkiah, and Maaseiah on his right hand; and on his left hand, Pedaiah, Mishael, Malchijah, Hashum, Hashbaddana, Zechariah, and Meshullam. 5 Ezra opened the book in sight of all the people, for he was standing above them; and when he opened it, all the people stood up. 6 And Ezra blessed the Lord, the great God. And all the people answered, Amen, Amen, lifting up their hands; and they bowed their heads and worshiped the Lord with faces to the ground. 7 Also Jeshua, Bani, Sherebiah, Jamin, Akkub, Shabbethai, Hodiah, Maaseiah, Kelita, Azariah, Jozabad, Hanan, Pelaiah — the Levites — helped the people to understand the Law, and the people [remained] in their place. 8 So they read from the Book of the Law of God distinctly, faithfully amplifying and giving the sense so that [the people] understood the reading.

Luke 4:16 NKJV – So He came to Nazareth, where He had been brought up. And as His custom was, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read.

Acts 13:15 NKJV – And after the reading of the Law and the Prophets, the rulers of the synagogue sent to them, saying, “Men and brethren, if you have any word of exhortation for the people, say on.”

Acts 13:26-27 NKJV – Men and brethren, sons of the family of Abraham, and those among you who fear God, to you the word of this salvation has been sent. 27 For those who dwell in Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they did not know Him, nor even the voices of the Prophets which are read every Sabbath, have fulfilled them in condemning Him.

2. The Word of God is to be read privately

Habakkuk 2:2 NKJV – Then the Lord answered me and said: “Write the vision and make it plain on tablets, that he may run who reads it.

Revelation 1:1-3 NKJV – The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave Him to show His servants — things which must shortly take place. And He sent and signified it by His angel to His servant John, 2 who bore witness to the word of God, and to the testimony of Jesus Christ, to all things that he saw. 3 Blessed is he who reads and those who hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written in it; for the time is near.

Thirty Things that Grace Cannot Do – Part VI

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

10. Grace cannot be responsible in the event that saved men should backslide.

For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, 4 who desires all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 1 Timothy 2:3-4 NKJV

The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. 2 Peter 3:9 NKJV

God has a wonderful plan for our lives – for hope and a future. On the other hand, the devil has only evil plans for us. We must all choose between life and blessing or death and cursing. We choose by either serving righteousness or serving sin. God’s plan for each and every person who ever lives is that they would accept His plan and believe in His salvation and end up in heaven and not hell. Even though God’s choice is for us to be saved and end up in heaven, He will not force us to get saved or to stay serving Him and never backslide. Grace is not responsible for the actions of backsliders or the consequences they experience.

Remember therefore from where you have fallen; repent and do the first works, or else I will come to you quickly and remove your lampstand from its place — unless you repent. Revelation 2:5 NKJV

11. Grace cannot free saved men from condemnation for future sins unless confessed.

But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. 1 John 1:7 NKJV

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 NKJV

Grace cannot save you from the eternal consequences – condemnation – of the un-confessed sins you commit as a believer. Thank God, when we confess – God forgives and grace springs into action.

Be watchful, and strengthen the things which remain, that are ready to die, for I have not found your works perfect before God. Revelation 3:2 NKJV

12. Grace cannot permit God to forgive un-confessed sin.

If My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land. 2 Chronicles 7:14 NKJV

Now I rejoice, not that you were made sorry, but that your sorrow led to repentance. For you were made sorry in a godly manner, that you might suffer loss from us in nothing. 2 Corinthians 7:9 NKJV

And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, 25 in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, 26 and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will. 2 Timothy 2:24-26 NKJV

13. Grace cannot guarantee any man eternal life if he refuses to obey.

We are privileged to exercise free will and free choice and can choose between good or evil. However, God will not guarantee eternal life to us if we refuse to obey Him and His word. Obedience activates grace in our lives.

Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you? 17 If anyone defiles the temple of God, God will destroy him. For the temple of God is holy, which temple you are. 1 Corinthians 3:16-17 NKJV

But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified. 1 Corinthians 9:27 NKJV

Son of man, tell your people: ‘The good things people did in the past will not save them if they become bad and begin to sin. In the same way the bad things people did in the past will not destroy them if they turn from their evil. So remember, the good things people did in the past will not save them if they begin to sin.’ 13 “Maybe I will tell good people that they will live. But maybe those good people will begin to think that the good things they did in the past will save them. So they might begin to do bad things, but I will not remember the good things they did in the past! No, they will die because of the bad things they begin to do. 14 “Or maybe I will tell some evil people that they will die. But they might change their lives, stop sinning, and begin to live right. They might become good and fair. 15 They might give back the things they took when they loaned money. They might pay for the things they stole. They might begin to follow the laws that give life and stop doing bad things. Then they will surely live. They will not die. 16 I will not remember the bad things they did in the past, because now they live right and are fair. So they will live! 17 “But your people say, ‘That’s not fair! The Lord cannot be like that!’ “But they are the people who are not fair! They are the people who must change! 18 If good people stop doing good and begin to sin, they will die because of their sins. 19 And if evil people stop doing wrong and start living right and being fair, they will live. 20 You still say that I am not fair, but I am telling you the truth. Family of Israel, everyone will be judged for what they do! Ezekiel 33:12-20 ERV