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.

NAMES OF JESUS—JESUS MY REDEEMER

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

“’If an alien or a temporary resident among you becomes rich and one of your countrymen becomes poor and sells himself to the alien living among you or to a member of the alien’s clan, 48 he retains the right of redemption after he has sold himself. One of his relatives may redeem him: 49 An uncle or a cousin or any blood relative in his clan may redeem him. Or if he prospers, he may redeem himself. 50 He and his buyer are to count the time from the year he sold himself up to the Year of Jubilee. The price for his release is to be based on the rate paid to a hired man for that number of years. 51 If many years remain, he must pay for his redemption a larger share of the price paid for him. 52 If only a few years remain until the Year of Jubilee, he is to compute that and pay for his redemption accordingly. 53 He is to be treated as a man hired from year to year; you must see to it that his owner does not rule over him ruthlessly. 54 “’Even if he is not redeemed in any of these ways, he and his children are to be released in the Year of Jubilee, 55 for the Israelites belong to me as servants. They are my servants, whom I brought out of Egypt. I am the Lord your God. Leviticus 25:47-55 NIV

Under the Old Covenant, if the Israelites owed a debt they could not pay, they were sold into slavery. However, they retained the right to redeem themselves—to buy themselves back out of slavery. If they prospered enough to cover the debt, they could redeem themselves, otherwise they needed to be redeemed by a wealthier family member. If they were not redeemed, they remained enslaved until they were set free in the Year of Jubilee.

Adam and Eve initially belonged only to God, but through sin and disobedience they became slaves of the devil and all mankind together with them from then on. We all became subject to the devil and his death and destruction in our lives. Psalms 49:7-9 AMP tells us that, “None of them can by any means redeem [either himself or] his brother, nor give to God a ransom for him—8 For the ransom of a life is too costly, and [the price one can pay] can never suffice—So that he should live on forever and never see the pit (the grave) and corruption.” At that point, not one man or woman could ever redeem themselves back from the devil, because the ransom of a life is too costly and all the wealth of the world would never be enough to pay for even one life. Mankind was doomed to end up in hell! We were desperately in need of someone with the means to come and redeem us. Father God promised a Redeemer for those who put their trust in Him and from then on His people looked for their Redeemer to come.

David rejoiced in the promise of God, that He would send a Redeemer, “But God will redeem me from the power of Sheol (the place of the dead); for He will receive me. Selah.” (Psalms 49:15 AMP) David encourages Israel to continue look to the Lord for their redemption, “O Israel, hope in the Lord! For with the Lord there is mercy and loving-kindness, and with Him is plenteous redemption. And He will redeem Israel from all their iniquities.” (Psalms 130:7-8 AMP)

Just as the Son of Man came not to be waited on but to serve, and to give His life as a ransom for many [the price paid to set them free]. Matthew 20:28 AMP

For there [is only] one God, and [only] one Mediator between God and men, the Man Christ Jesus, 6 Who gave Himself as a ransom for all [people, a fact that was] attested to at the right and proper time. 1 Timothy 2:5-6 AMP

Awaiting and looking for the [fulfillment, the realization of our] blessed hope, even the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One), 14 Who gave Himself on our behalf that He might redeem us (purchase our freedom) from all iniquity and purify for Himself a people [to be peculiarly His own, people who are] eager and enthusiastic about [living a life that is good and filled with] beneficial deeds. Titus 2:13-14 AMP

But it is from Him that you have your life in Christ Jesus, Whom God made our Wisdom from God, [revealed to us a knowledge of the divine plan of salvation previously hidden, manifesting itself as] our Righteousness [thus making us upright and putting us in right standing with God], and our Consecration [making us pure and holy], and our Redemption [providing our ransom from eternal penalty for sin]. 1 Corinthians 1:30 AMP

Thank God, Jesus came to ransom and redeem us and buy us back from slavery to sin and the devil. Only Jesus, the only begotten Son of the Father, could afford the price of our redemption. The price was His own life—His precious blood poured out as a sacrifice! He gave His life as a ransom for ALL! Everyone who accepts Him as Lord and Savior is redeemed from out of the devil’s grip straight into the arms of God! We belong to Him and only Him. The devil no longer has any more rights over us! Colossians 1:13-14 AMP says, “[The Father] has delivered and drawn us to Himself out of the control and the dominion of darkness and has transferred us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, 14 In Whom we have our redemption through His blood, [which means] the forgiveness of our sins.

Jesus is my Savior, my Redeemer and my Jubilee!! Thank God, I can rejoice with Job and David and all the saints and say, “For I know that my Redeemer lives!” (Job 19:25)

My Joy

 

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

Foundation Scriptures: Luke 1:41-44; Luke 2:8-10; Matthew 2:10-11

And it happened, when Elizabeth heard the greeting of Mary, that the babe leaped in her womb; and Elizabeth was filled with the Holy Spirit. 42 Then she spoke out with a loud voice and said, “Blessed are you among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb! 43 But why is this granted to me, that the mother of my Lord should come to me? 44 For indeed, as soon as the voice of your greeting sounded in my ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy.
Luke 1:41-44 NKJV

Now there were in the same country shepherds living out in the fields, keeping watch over their flock by night. 9 And behold, an angel of the Lord stood before them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and they were greatly afraid. 10 Then the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people.  Luke 2:8-10 NKJV

When they saw the star, they were thrilled with ecstatic joy. 11 And on going into the house, they saw the Child with Mary His mother, and they fell down and worshiped Him. Then opening their treasure bags, they presented to Him gifts—gold and frankincense and myrrh.  Matthew 2:10-11 AMP

l.  The whole Christian / Christmas message is based and rooted in JOY.

  • Even in the womb, the baby John, who would become known as John the Baptist, leapt for joy in the presence of the unborn baby Jesus.
  • The angels announced glad tidings of great joy to the world, singing and worshiping the Lord. This word “great” here in the Greek is “megas” and means: exceedingly, great; greatest; high; large; loud; mighty. (We get our word “megaphone” from the same root word as the word “great” here)
  • When the wise men saw the star they were filled with ecstatic joy. The KJV says exceeding great joy. The Greek word for “exceeding” means: vehemently; in a high degree; much. The word “great”, as in the previous scripture, means: exceedingly, great; greatest; high; large; loud; mighty.
  • So their joy was as big and loud as joy can get!

ll.  Wherever the presence of the Lord is, there is JOY – whoever the Lord touches is filled with JOY.

  • Psalms 16:11 AMP – You will show me the path of life; in Your presence is fullness of joy, at Your right hand there are pleasures forevermore.
  • Acts 2:28 AMP – You have made known to me the ways of life; You will enrapture me [diffusing my soul with joy] with and in Your presence.
  • Psalms 2:4a NKJV – He who sits in the heavens shall laugh.
  • Job 5:22a NKJV – You shall laugh at destruction and famine.
  • Acts 13:42 Wuest – And the disciples were continually filled with joy and controlled by the Holy Spirit.

lll.  Jesus faced and endured the cross for the JOY set before Him.

  • Hebrews 12:2 NKJV – Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
  • Acts 2:23-28 NKJV – Him, being delivered by the determined purpose and foreknowledge of God, you have taken by lawless hands, have crucified, and put to death; 24 whom God raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible that He should be held by it. 25 For David says concerning Him: ‘I foresaw the Lord always before my face, For He is at my right hand, that I may not be shaken. 26 Therefore my heart rejoiced, and my tongue was glad; Moreover my flesh also will rest in hope. 27 For You will not leave my soul in Hades, Nor will You allow Your Holy One to see corruption. 28 You have made known to me the ways of life; You will make me full of joy in Your presence.’
  • No matter what Jesus had to endure, He chose to obey His Father. He knew that He would face death, but His hope was in the fact that the Father would never let Him remain in the grave. He knew what great joy lay on the other side of obedience and He expected to experience that joy!
  • Matthew 25:21-22 NKJV – His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’
  • Eternal joy awaits the faithful, in the presence of the Lord.

lV.  Those who know and serve the Lord have many reasons to be full of JOY.

  • Luke 10:21-22 NKJV – In that hour Jesus rejoiced in the Spirit and said, “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight.
  • Luke 10:20 NKJV – Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.
  • The source of your joy is not in yourself, or your accomplishments, or even in the fact that devils run from you. Your joy is in the fact that Jesus has saved you from death and destruction, brought into fullness of life and that your name is written in His book of life!
  • Isaiah 61:10 AMP – I will greatly rejoice in the Lord, my soul will exult in my God; for He has clothed me with the garments of salvation, He has covered me with the robe of righteousness, as a bridegroom decks himself with a garland, and as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.

V.  God’s Kingdom—here on earth—is a JOYFUL, JOY-FILLED Kingdom.

  • Romans 14:17 KJV – For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
  • In God’s kingdom, what we eat and drink is not what matters to the Lord. What does matter is a right way of life, peace, and joy, which all come by and through the Holy Spirit.
  • Galatians 5:22-23 AMP – But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness, 23 Gentleness (meekness, humility), self-control (self-restraint, continence). Against such things there is no law [that can bring a charge].
  • The greater the work of the Holy Spirit in you, the more of the fruit of the Spirit will be manifest in your daily life, including the fruit of joy. A joyless religion is just that – religion. Serving Jesus means a life full of the joy of the Lord!
  • 1 Peter 1:8 AMP – Without having seen Him, you love Him; though you do not [even] now see Him, you believe in Him and exult and thrill with inexpressible and glorious (triumphant, heavenly) joy.
  • Our joy comes from the fact that the blood of Jesus has eternally saved us from sin and death. No matter what else happens in our life, we need have no fear of death, hell or the grave ever again.

Vl.  No matter what you go through, you can still be filled with JOY.

  • John 16:22 NKJV – Therefore you now have sorrow; but I will see you again and your heart will rejoice, and your joy no one will take from you.
  • Happiness and joy differ in that happiness is dependent on circumstances and joy is not. Joy comes from a heart filled with the Spirit of God.
  • Job 8:20-21 AMP – Behold, as surely as God will never uphold wrongdoers, He will never cast away a blameless man. 21 He will yet fill your mouth with laughter [Job] and your lips with joyful shouting.
  • True joy can only be experienced by those who fully serve God. The sinner can never experience this joy; the backslider is the most unhappy person on the earth!
  • Proverbs 14:12-13 AMP – There is a way which seems right to a man and appears straight before him, but at the end of it is the way of death. 13 Even in laughter the heart is sorrowful, and the end of mirth is heaviness and grief.
  • Without Jesus in your life, your laughter is empty and your happiness is temporary.
  • Psalms 5:11 AMP – But let all those who take refuge and put their trust in You rejoice; let them ever sing and shout for joy, because You make a covering over them and defend them; let those also who love Your name be joyful in You and be in high spirits.
  • Psalms 126:1-6 KJV – When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream. 2 Then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing: then said they among the heathen, The Lord hath done great things for them. 3 The Lord hath done great things for us; whereof we are glad. 4 Turn again our captivity, O Lord, as the streams in the south. 5 They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. 6 He that goeth forth and weepeth, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.
  • Philippians 4:4 NKJV – Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice!

 

NAMES OF JESUS—JESUS OUR SAVIOR

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

But when the goodness and loving-kindness of God our Savior to man [as man] appeared, 5 He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but because of His own pity and mercy, by [the] cleansing [bath] of the new birth (regeneration) and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 Which He poured out [so] richly upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. 7 [And He did it in order] that we might be justified by His grace (by His favor, wholly undeserved), [that we might be acknowledged and counted as conformed to the divine will in purpose, thought, and action], and that we might become heirs of eternal life according to [our] hope. Titus 3:4-7 AMP

Because God, our Savior, loves us so much, He sent Jesus Christ as our Savior to rescue us from our helpless state of bondage to sin and death. We need a Savior, because we are powerless to save ourselves—if we could help ourselves, we would not need a Savior. Savior means: a person who saves, rescues, or delivers; a person who rescues another from harm, danger, or loss; one who saves from any form or degree of evil. Jesus was the goodness and loving-kindness of God in the form of man. The Father sent Jesus to save and rescue us out of His pity and mercy, not because of our righteousness, because we did not have any. He saved us so that we could be justified by His grace and become heirs of His eternal life.

There are seven different Hebrew and Greek words for “salvation.” The word “salvation” in the Hebrew and the Greek is an all-inclusive word. It encompasses all that is included in the redemptive work of Jesus Christ: salvation; deliverance; save; health; help; welfare; safety; victory; Savior; defend; avenge; rescue; preserve. Salvation is redemption made effectual to the individual by the power of the Holy Spirit.

1. Jesus came to save us from our sins:

She will bear a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus [the Greek form of the Hebrew Joshua, which means Savior], for He will save His people from their sins [that is, prevent them from failing and missing the true end and scope of life, which is God]. Matthew 1:21 AMP

God exalted Him to His right hand to be Prince and Leader and Savior and Deliverer and Preserver, in order to grant repentance to Israel and to bestow forgiveness and release from sins.
Acts 5:31 AMP

2 Peter 2:20 AMP says that we escape the pollutions of the world through the full and personal knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

2. Jesus is the Savior of the Jews, the Savior of the Gentiles
—the Savior of the whole world—no one is left out:

And He has raised up a Horn of salvation [a mighty and valiant Helper, the Author of salvation] for us in the house of David His servant. Luke 1:69 AMP

And so all Israel will be saved. As it is written, The Deliverer will come from Zion, He will banish ungodliness from Jacob. Romans 11:26 AMP

For with my [own] eyes I have seen Your Salvation, 31 Which You have ordained and prepared before (in the presence of) all peoples, 32 A Light for revelation to the Gentiles [to disclose what was before unknown] and [to bring] praise and honor and glory to Your people Israel. Luke 2:30-32 AMP

And they told the woman, Now we no longer believe (trust, have faith) just because of what you said; for we have heard Him ourselves [personally], and we know that He truly is the Savior of the world, the Christ. John 4:42 AMP

3. Jesus is not just the Savior of a select few. He becomes the
Savior of every person, from every nation, who confesses
and acknowledges that He is indeed the Savior of the world:

And [besides] we ourselves have seen (have deliberately and steadfastly contemplated) and bear witness that the Father has sent the Son [as the] Savior of the world. 15 Anyone who confesses (acknowledges, owns) that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides (lives, makes His home) in him and he [abides, lives, makes his home] in God. 1 John 4:14-15 AMP

With a view to this we toil and strive, [yes and] suffer reproach, because we have [fixed our] hope on the living God, Who is the Savior (Preserver, Maintainer, Deliverer) of all men, especially of those who believe (trust in, rely on, and adhere to Him). 1 Timothy 4:10 AMP

4. Jesus annulled death depriving it of its power over us and
brought us life and immortality:

[It is that purpose and grace] which He now has made known and has fully disclosed and made real [to us] through the appearing of our Savior Christ Jesus, Who annulled death and made it of no effect and brought life and immortality (immunity from eternal death) to light through the Gospel.
2 Timothy 1:10 AMP

5. Jesus purchased our freedom from iniquity and purified us
to be His own people, who are enthusiastic about being
good not bad:

Awaiting and looking for the [fulfillment, the realization of our] blessed hope, even the glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Christ Jesus (the Messiah, the Anointed One), 14 Who gave Himself on our behalf that He might redeem us (purchase our freedom) from all iniquity and purify for Himself a people [to be peculiarly His own, people who are] eager and enthusiastic about [living a life that is good and filled with] beneficial deeds. Titus 2:13-14 AMP

6. Jesus saved us from the limits of this world, making us
citizens of heaven:

But we are citizens of the state (commonwealth, homeland) which is in heaven, and from it also we earnestly and patiently await [the coming of] the Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) [as] Savior, 21 Who will transform and fashion anew the body of our humiliation to conform to and be like the body of His glory and majesty, by exerting that power which enables Him even to subject everything to Himself. Philippians 3:20-21 AMP

Thus there will be richly and abundantly provided for you entry into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. 2 Peter 1:11 AMP

God’s Mandate to the End-Time Church





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

Foundation Scriptures:

Joshua 10:1-14

And it came to pass, as they fled from before Israel, and were in the going down to Beth-horon, that the Lord cast down great stones from heaven upon them unto Azekah, and they died: they were more which died with hailstones than they whom the children of Israel slew with the sword. 12 Then spake Joshua to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon; and thou, Moon, in the valley of Ajalon. 13 And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day. 14 And there was no day like that before it or after it, that the Lord hearkened unto the voice of a man: for the Lord fought for Israel. Joshua 10:11-14 KJV

1. The Mandate is Three-Fold:

a. Pray. Get in the Word. Fasting and prayer.
b. Preach the Gospel – win souls.
c. Make disciples.

2. Prophetic Words for the Last Days:

a. Phoenix, Arizona. “Tell the Church to speak to the sun. Tell the sun not to set just yet, for the sun is fast setting on the horizon of time. Just like Joshua commanded the sun and the moon to stand still, and they did. So the church will speak to the sun. I do not say, I will grant one more day, for there is not one day left, but I will give you one more hour.”
b. Megiddo, Israel. “We race to Armageddon.”

3. God’s Mandate – the Harvest.

a. Mark 16:15-16 KJV – And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.
b. Acts 1:8 KJV – 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.
c. James 5:7 KJV – Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain.
d. Romans 8:14-19 KJV – For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. For the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.
e. 2 Corinthians 5:17-21 KJV – Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new. And all things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Jesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation; To wit, that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them; and hath committed unto us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God did beseech you by us: we pray you in Christ’s stead, be ye reconciled to God. For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

4. This Mandate is for Every Believer, Not Just for the Five-Fold Ministry:

a. From the littlest child, to the oldest saint.
b. Everyone mobilized.
c. Stay plugged in to the Body of Christ – the local Church.
d. Making disciples.

5. The Only Thing You Can Take with You is People.

a. John 3:16-17 KJV – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. 17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.

6. We Must Have a Great Awakening in America.
a. 1700
b. 1800
c. We need one now!

THE NAMES OF JESUS—JESUS OUR GOOD SHEPHERD

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

And you Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, you are not in any way least or insignificant among the chief cities of Judah; for from you shall come a Ruler (Leader) Who will govern and shepherd My people Israel. Matthew 2:6 AMP

He will feed His flock like a shepherd: He will gather the lambs in His arm, He will carry them in His bosom and will gently lead those that have their young. Isaiah 40:11 AMP

Shepherds in the Middle East had a very busy life. It was their job to watch, protect, care for and provide for their sheep all day, and sometimes all night if they were too far from home to return at sunset. They had lead them out every day to find pasture for them to eat and water to drink; if there was no water readily available, a well would have to be dug; they had to guard them from any and all dangers that might come; they had to chase away or kill any predators; they had to know where they all were and go find and bring back any that wandered off; they had to count them every night when they returned home to make sure they were all there; they had to be tender with the young and the feeble and even lift and carry them when necessary.

All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has made to light upon Him the guilt and iniquity of us all. Isaiah 53:6 AMP

For you were going astray like [so many] sheep, but now you have come back to the Shepherd and Guardian (the Bishop) of your souls. 1 Peter 2:25 AMP

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. 12 But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. 13 The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. 15 As the Father knows Me, even so I know the Father; and I lay down My life for the sheep. 16 And other sheep I have which are not of this fold; them also I must bring, and they will hear My voice; and there will be one flock and one shepherd. 17 “Therefore My Father loves Me, because I lay down My life that I may take it again. 18 No one takes it from Me, but I lay it down of Myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This command I have received from My Father.” John 10:11-18 NKJV

Jesus is the Good Shepherd, who laid down His own life for His sheep. He came to give us life more abundantly (John 10:10). He will never abandon us, but will always protect and provide for us. We can relax, knowing that He is always watching over us. If we wander off, He will never give up loving us and looking for us to bring us home. He is kind and tender with us, but fierce with our enemies. He gently leads us by His Holy Spirit. He said that His sheep would hear His voice and follow Him and not follow the voice of the stranger – the enemy (John 10:4-5).

As Jesus landed, He saw a great crowd waiting, and He was moved with compassion for them, because they were like sheep without a shepherd; and He began to teach them many things. Mark 6:34 AMP

And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, “This Man receives sinners and eats with them.” 3 So He spoke this parable to them, saying: 4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it? 5 And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. 6 And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’ 7 I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance. Luke 15:2-7 NKJV

Like a Good Shepherd, Jesus loves His sheep and is moved by compassion to give them what they need. Each and every person is important to Jesus. He won’t ignore the one lost sheep even as He takes care of the ninety-nine. He is willing to go wherever and do whatever it takes to get that one lost sheep back and when He does, all of heaven rejoices!

When the Son of Man comes in His glory (His majesty and splendor), and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory. 32 All nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them [the people] from one another as a shepherd separates his sheep from the goats; 33 And He will cause the sheep to stand at His right hand, but the goats at His left.
Matthew 25:31-33 AMP

When Jesus comes back, He is going to be looking for His sheep and will separate them out from the goats. Keep serving the Lord and following His voice. Don’t be tempted by the world or think that it is better to hang out with the goats – stay faithful to your Good Shepherd – He is going to come back and when He does, He is going to be looking for you!

The Lord Takes Pleasure in the Prosperity of His Servants

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

Let those who favor my righteous cause and have pleasure in my uprightness shout for joy and be glad and say continually, Let the Lord be magnified, Who takes pleasure in the prosperity of His servant. Psalm 35:27 AMP

Almighty God created the magnificent heavens and the earth, and everything in them, and He said, “It is good!” Then He created mankind and placed them in the most beautiful garden. He blessed them and He commanded them to be fruitful and multiply and have dominion over the earth and everything on the earth. In the plan of God, blessing, peace and prosperity were all that they experienced in that garden. Poverty and lack, however, were introduced into the earth by sin and disobedience. God told Adam, “Because you have listened and given heed to the voice of your wife and have eaten of the tree of which I commanded you, saying, You shall not eat of it, the ground is under a curse because of you; in sorrow and toil shall you eat [of the fruits] of it all the days of your life. Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth for you, and you shall eat the plants of the field. In the sweat of your face shall you eat bread until you return to the ground, for out of it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you shall return.” (Genesis 3:17-19 AMP). The ground was cursed because of sin! This situation was not satisfactory to God. Mankind belonged to Him and He wanted them to be blessed, not cursed. So He sent His only begotten Son to take on the sin, sickness and poverty of all mankind.

For you are becoming progressively acquainted with and recognizing more strongly and clearly the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ (His kindness, His gracious generosity, His undeserved favor and spiritual blessing), [in] that though He was [so very] rich, yet for your sakes He became [so very] poor, in order that by His poverty you might become enriched (abundantly supplied). 2 Corinthians 8:9 AMP

In His death, Jesus took upon himself all our sins, all our, sickness and disease, all our lack and poverty, and death itself. In their place, He gave us all that was His: life, health and blessing!

We must always remember and acknowledge that it is God who is our source and supply of prosperity. Meditate on these scriptures, take them to heart, obey the word of the Lord to you, and act on His word. In so doing, you will begin to walk in all the wonderful blessings of the Father that He desires for you to walk in.

Only you be strong and very courageous, that you may do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you. Turn not from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success. Joshua 1:7-8 AMP

Then you will prosper if you are careful to keep and fulfill the statutes and ordinances with which the Lord charged Moses concerning Israel. Be strong and of good courage. Dread not and fear not; be not dismayed. 1 Chronicles 22:13 AMP

He set himself to seek God in the days of Zechariah, who instructed him in the things of God; and as long as he sought (inquired of, yearned for) the Lord, God made him prosper. 2 Chronicles 26:5 AMP

And every work that he began in the service of the house of God, in keeping with the law and the commandments to seek his God [inquiring of and yearning for Him], he did with all his heart, and he prospered. 2 Chronicles 31:21 AMP

Have You not put a hedge about him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have conferred prosperity and happiness upon him in the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. Job 1:10 AMP

And the Lord shall make you have a surplus of prosperity, through the fruit of your body, of your livestock, and of your ground, in the land which the Lord swore to your fathers to give you. Deuteronomy 28:11 AMP

God places the solitary in families and gives the desolate a home in which to dwell; He leads the prisoners out to prosperity; but the rebellious dwell in a parched land. Psalm 68:6 AMP

Praise the Lord! (Hallelujah!) Blessed (happy, fortunate, to be envied) is the man who fears (reveres and worships) the Lord, who delights greatly in His commandments. 2 His [spiritual] offspring shall be mighty upon earth; the generation of the upright shall be blessed. 3 Prosperity and welfare are in his house, and his righteousness endures forever. Psalm 112:1-3 AMP

Happy and blessed are the people who are in such a case; yes, happy (blessed, fortunate, prosperous, to be envied) are the people whose God is the Lord! Psalm 144:15 AMP

He who gains Wisdom loves his own life; he who keeps understanding shall prosper and find good. Proverbs 19:8 AMP

Riches and honor are with me, enduring wealth and righteousness (uprightness in every area and relation, and right standing with God). Proverbs 8:18 AMP

A good man leaves an inheritance [of moral stability and goodness] to his children’s children, and the wealth of the sinner [finds its way eventually] into the hands of the righteous, for whom it was laid up. Proverbs 13:22 AMP

And their offspring shall be known among the nations and their descendants among the peoples. All who see them [in their prosperity] will recognize and acknowledge that they are the people whom the Lord has blessed. Isaiah 61:9 AMP

We ARE the people the Lord has blessed!

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.

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

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