Who’s In Power Now?

Gen 11:1-9 “And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. 2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. 3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. 4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. 5 And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. 6 And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do. 7 Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another’s speech. 8 So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the earth: and they left off to build the city. 9 Therefore is the name of it called Babel; because the Lord did there confound the language of all the earth: and from thence did the Lord scatter them abroad upon the face of all the earth.”

Dan 2:20-22 “Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever: for wisdom and might are his: 21 And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding: 22 He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.”

Who is really in power now? Who is really in charge? In the food industry, there are only about 12 companies that own all the products and brands, including organic foods. 6 companies own the media outlets. There are many media outlets, but only 20-25 families actually own them. There are multi-billionaires who own these things. They represent a particular world view that they want the world to be like. They can dictate the conditions of the economies and wars and even pandemics all for personal gain and power. 

There is a great reset, a fair world that is in harmony with nature, but it’s essentially a plot to rebuild the tower of Babel. Who owns all the worlds’ money? There is a group of people that have this control. Compromise and corruption must be traded in order to gain this. 

None of this can be proven, nobody will ever give up the evidence. It’s all part of the enemy’s plan. 

God wants us to focus on what He is doing. 

People have talked about the end-time agenda since Jesus walked the earth. Jesus said, ‘Don’t worry about that. Instead, preach the gospel to every creature.’ The disciples knew the Messiah would rule the earth, that His Kingdom would come to earth. Messiah will have political power and be the ruler of the earth. 

John the Baptizer didn’t lose his faith right before his death. When he asked the question, ‘Are You the one?’ In the writings, people wondered if there were two messiahs. One was supposed to be a sacrifice and the other to rule. John the Baptizer wanted to know if He was both or do we wait for another? Jesus didn’t answer directly. Instead, He said, ‘Look at what’s going on. The blind see and the lame walk.’ 

Acts 1:6 “When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?”

There are evil things and agendas in high places. There are shadow people who control things all over the world. They control what goes on social media, what countries have good economies, and what countries don’t. Who controls them? Satan? Maybe. He is willing to reward those people with wealth and power. 

Mat 4:8 “Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;” 

Luke 4:6-7 “And the devil said unto him, All this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. 7 If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.”

So, who’s in power now? Satan says to Jesus, ‘I’ll give to you power.’ If Satan has power, what is it?

Acts 1:8 “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.”

These are two different kinds of power. Satan’s power is ‘exocea’ and includes authority, government, rulership, etc. Jesus has supernatural power. 

1 Cor 11:10 “For this cause ought the woman to have power on her head because of the angels.”

This same word gives women rulership and authority, through His angels. 

There are twice as many good angels of God as angels of Satan. It’s only going to take one to cage all of Satan’s angels. 

In Genesis 11, the people wanted to build a tower that would reach up into heaven. Babel in Hebrew means ‘confusion.’ In Assyrian, it means ‘gates of heaven’. They were trying to build a kingdom without God. It was a religion, not just a political thing. They didn’t want to answer to God. 

God said, ‘I have no other option but to go Myself and destroy them.’ 

This is the first time we have Baal worship. They were taking life and creating life. The process of reproduction got tampered with. Sacrificing of babies became practice as Baal worship began. Bizarre sexual practices became ‘sacred worship’ by these Baal worship. 

God came and scattered the people. He still allowed them to choose to not follow Him. They started their own Baal worship. This formed and organized until we got to this point today. 

Why does the book of Revelation tell us Babylon will fall when it fell long ago? What does Baal worship have to do with the world we live in today? 

Who is in power now?

God is in ultimate control of the nations. Why? Because He created them. Satan is trying to organize Baal worship worldwide again. Anytime an organization tried to take over the world, there was always someone against the Jews and Christians. These include the pharaohs of old, the caesars, Nero, Hitler, etc. 

How do we get good people in power? 

These evil leaders were well-loved by their own people, yet they had Satan driving them at the core, even manipulating them for his own personal gain. 

So, is God in control or not? 

Was God in control during the days of Moses? 

Isa 40:17-18 “All nations before him are as nothing; and they are counted to him less than nothing, and vanity. 18 To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?”

Countries who are blessed enjoy the blessing until they forsake God. When they forsake God, they will be judged even though there are Christians. Christianity is not a get-out-of-jail-free card. 

Isa 45:7 “I form the light, and create darkness: I make peace, and create evil: I the Lord do all these things.”

Jer 10:10 “But the Lord is the true God, he is the living God, and an everlasting king: at his wrath the earth shall tremble, and the nations shall not be able to abide his indignation.”

God builds up and tears down.

Satan says he’s in control because he’s a liar. He’s like a dog on a leash. God alone is in control. Satan is on a long leash, but God still is in control and will yank it back when He decides to. It was God’s will for Nebuchadnezzar to be in power. God determines who is in power. 

Eze 14:12-16 “The word of the Lord came again to me, saying, 13 Son of man, when the land sinneth against me by trespassing grievously, then will I stretch out mine hand upon it, and will break the staff of the bread thereof, and will send famine upon it, and will cut off man and beast from it: 14 Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord God. 15 If I cause noisome beasts to pass through the land, and they spoil it, so that it be desolate, that no man may pass through because of the beasts: 16 Though these three men were in it, as I live, saith the Lord God, they shall deliver neither sons nor daughters; they only shall be delivered, but the land shall be desolate.”

Prosperity is through almighty God and our submission to Him. It is important to understand the value that the church can bring. 

Ex 9:16 “And in very deed for this cause have I raised thee up, for to shew in thee my power; and that my name may be declared throughout all the earth.”

Rom 9:17 “For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth.”

Rom 13:1-2 “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God. 2 Whosoever therefore resisteth the power, resisteth the ordinance of God: and they that resist shall receive to themselves damnation.”

If a Christian is told to sin (worship another God), he does not need to obey, but the authority must be obeyed (pay taxes, etc.) because God gave them that power. 

Rom 13:3-8 “For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil. Wilt thou then not be afraid of the power? do that which is good, and thou shalt have praise of the same: 4 For he is the minister of God to thee for good. But if thou do that which is evil, be afraid; for he beareth not the sword in vain: for he is the minister of God, a revenger to execute wrath upon him that doeth evil. 5 Wherefore ye must needs be subject, not only for wrath, but also for conscience sake. 6 For for this cause pay ye tribute also: for they are God’s ministers, attending continually upon this very thing. 7 Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute is due; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour. 8 Owe no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that loveth another hath fulfilled the law.”

God has a plan and an agenda that He will work out. 

What are we supposed to do today?

We must know who we belong to. The Lord knows who are His. 

Luke 17:20 “And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation: 21 Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you. 22 And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it. 23 And they shall say to you, See here; or, see there: go not after them, nor follow them. 24 For as the lightning, that lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven; so shall also the Son of man be in his day. 25 But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation.

Jesus didn’t say, ‘within you,’ He said, ‘among you.’ It wasn’t a physical kingdom. 

John 18:36 “Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence.”

You don’t need to take your guns into the streets and fight for the kingdom of God. 

Media and the people who control the media have done a great job dividing this nation. If you want a nation to be cursed, you’ve got to build the tower. All the media are owned by the same people. The separation has gotten huge. 

Where is the Kingdom of God? It’s not to be seen with your physical eyes. It’s through acting like God wants us to act. The Kingdom of God is not physical. 

Protests from this moment forward will turn violent. This is exactly what the enemy wants.

Paul said, ‘I’m fighting but not as one who beats the air.’ We do fight. The weapons of our warfare are not physical, but they are mighty through God. God’s kingdom has soldiers, but the way we fight is not the same as this world. 

Don’t get caught up in a fake fight. Fight the ‘good fight.’ Don’t fight the way the world fights with rioting. Fight the way Jesus fought, a different, better way, through sacrifice and love, getting behind enemy lines and transforming lives and saving souls. 

Every athlete that wins follows the rules. They master those rules and strive. We too must strive, but the reward is incorruptible. We must still follow the rules and principles of God. 

We get strong, but in the spirit, not in the physical. Don’t take off the armor of God and get hooked by the world. Take up your armor and fight the good fight. There is a kingdom among us. 

There was a call to discipleship. Jesus said to take up your cross and follow Me. This doesn’t mean to go out and buy a pretty cross necklace. Jesus said to ‘take up your cross’ to illustrate what the Romans did, parading those convicted criminals around carrying their crosses and then being lifted up for all to see. 

We are called to preach the gospel. We are called to love God and our neighbors as we love ourselves. 

More Questions for Personal or Group Study:

  1. What really spoke to you in this sermon?
  2. What are your thoughts about the current political landscape? How has this sermon helped you navigate these times?
  3. Read Rom 12:1-5. As members of one body, how can we love, support, and encourage one another? How can we guard our hearts and minds to avoid conformity but instead be transformed? What are we to do in these crazy times? What are we to NOT do?
  4. How can we encourage and comfort the people God has placed around us?

Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio. 

For the sermon, click http://youtube.com/watch?v=oBThUu9cEXk

If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there! 

http://www.thelifechurchofglenview.org

Posted in Excerpts from Sermons by Pastor Anthony LoCascio | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Offense + Defense

The best way to defeat an enemy is to make them your friend.’ —Abraham Lincoln

Our Kingdom is different from  the world’s, and our warfare is too. The fight is to enlarge the kingdom, by winning souls and making disciples. (Kingdoms rise and kingdoms fall, by His Word will never fail, and His is an everlasting Kingdom.)

Truly the weapons of our warfare are mighty to pulling down of strongholds. (II Cor 10:4) But what are these weapons?

*Offense and Defense are wrapped up into one. The weapons of our warfare, what are they? They are us. Psalm 127:4 “As arrows in the hand of a mighty man, are children born…blessed is the man whose quiver is full.” God wants us to be his weapons of warfare, well equipped. 

The world’s rules and our rules are different, and we can turn things around if we follow His ways and Spirit. A man, woman, or child, equipped with God’s Spirit, and implementing His Word becomes a mighty instrument of change. He wants to use you to change the world. We are not carnal, (2 Cor 10:4) and won’t succeed if we are, or trust in worldly ways, or arguments. We must become useable to the Lord in order to change the world in Spiritual and eternal ways. 

Let me show you how a man, woman, or child of God is offense and defense wrapped up into one. 

*Eph 6: Be strong in THE LORD (#1 right away it is in Him, not us) and (#2) the power of His might. What is the power of His might? It is each piece of equipment, it becomes armor. It is powerful. People don’t realize how powerful the integration of the gospel is into our lives, and how it becomes armor that allows you to stand the wiles of the enemy, and advance deep into territory where angels fear to tread. You’ll also find this armor interlocks with itself, is perfectly integrated, and overlaps in function and protection. 

Eph 6:13-17 “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:”

Psalm 23:4 “Yea, thought I walk…” No light at end of tunnel. It doesn’t say, “Yea though I see the light at the end of the tunnel.” David was facing death. 

The Lord spoke to me about this verse once. In Bermuda there were no street lights, I pulled in on my bike, and couldn’t see in the garden to get to my apartment. I looked up to see outline of stars, overhanging landscape. I had walked the path hundreds of times, and so, I stepped out into the darkness. The Lord spoke to me. Just as I had trust that the destination was there even though I couldn’t see it, so the Lord would do that, like Abraham if I trusted Him in all things, to go to a land he had never seen. I don’t have to see it all, but I do have to follow. 

That was a truth in my life that made me free. John 8:32 “You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.” Guess what’s part of the armor, the belt of truth, and it strengthens the helmet of my salvation, (even when facing death, we are saved out of this world, and not of this world, that is true salvation, nothing can separate us, even death (Romans 8:38), it grows my faith (shield) in the Word of God (my sword), that allows me to advance in the kingdom, to be targeted by the enemy, but not be touched, and able to penetrate into previously un-walked territory, and liberate the captives. 

In fact, the more faith you develop in the Word of God, the larger and more powerful the sword and shield you carry grows. 

(Luke 4:18, Is. 61:1), The Bible says we will set the captives free because we can offer them the same armor we have. It doesn’t deplete yours to give some of it away. It is replicating faith in some one. You give them the scriptures that set you free, it actually builds your faith more to see it set others free, it becomes a greater shield to you and a greater more refined sword that you more deftly wield to reach men’s souls. You teach them to have the same faith, they find it for themselves and equip themselves. 

Do you see how it duplicates itself in others? This is spiritual warfare, taking spiritual territory, and you build the Body at the same time. 

*Personalize your armor. Invest in it. Customize it. Live it. Faithful and just (I john 1:9) Not just faithful, He paid for the right to forgive, He bought it. That’s my helmet of salvation, that’s my belt of truth that sets me free, that’s my personal Word of God which quenches the enemy’s fiery darts of doubt, fear, and condemnation. Depression dropped off me when I realized I was bought with a price, I am not my own, I was adopted with a Spirit of adoption whereby I cried Abba, father, (Rom 8:15). I was born again of the water and the Spirit (John 3:5). My Father is the King of Heaven (Matt. 6). That’s also the helmet of my salvation, the feet shod in the gospel of peace, and it adds a lot to my shield of faith. He is the judge (2 Tim. 4:1), all He has is mine (Luke 15), He looks at me as Righteous (2 Cor. 5:29). My trust in Him is counted as Righteousness (that protects me like a huge breastplate), I have peace with God (I can walk in that peace, feet shod in the predation of the gospel of peace,  and let His Spirit take control and exude that peace. It is also a fruit I can give away to others and influence powerfully the whole atmosphere. I can be asleep in the boat when He is not fretting, but at rest, knowing He is working everything together, hardships, lies, insults, pain, illness, everything He will use for good. So this is the feet shod in preparation of gospel of peace, integrated perfectly with the shield of faith and the sword of the Spirit, and notice they keep getting larger and more protective in my armor. Every promise I engage in from the Lord, strengthens my armor,  builds my faith to do more, makes my shield more impenetrable (shield of faith), protects me more, makes my armor more potent, and makes me able to walk into unforeseen situations protected, covered, and able to do exceeding abundantly above what I could ask for or think, and able to take more territory and reach more people, and the kingdom grows larger with everyone I contact, touch, impact.

*Abraham—Faith (shield), believed God, credited as righteous (breastplate), walked and believed more as God followed through (shield), sacrificed, made covenants with God (foreshadow of Gospel, made peace), even when others were at war with him, (inner peace, protects heart and mind). Phil 4:7 says it happens through prayer, letting God handle burdens. Trust, again, interlocked with faith, (breastplate as we trust Him), saved so many times (helmet, as well as building other things, faith, trust, peace, knew it to be true, belt, so he could move forward and trust Him more, faith, knowing God world always protect, deliver, provide, helmet. God’s Word was believed (allows us to advance into enemy territory, like a sword).

*Joseph—Do you see what kind of protection He had by trusting the Lord? What kind of peace he had, relying on the Lord for deliverance? Moses, Joshua, David, Jonathan (uncircumcised Philistine, trust in Word, (shield and sword go together, trust in truth that gives them the ability to move forward (makes them free), 

If you become like Jesus, you will be God’s greatest weapon to win souls.

*What not to do:

Saul: sacrificed, he even had zeal, but His way. He eventually lost out. 

Cain did the same. And he argued. 

Ananias and Sapphira (Acts 5) covered up things. They gave a lot, but held back some. Like Achan (Joshua 7). He was even a member of the Lord’s army and had great victory at one time. 

These people were chosen, part of the covenant, but went their own way. They even sacrificed, prayed, gave, but chose their own justification, pride, or desires, and pushed their own way. This made them vulnerable to falling. Korah (Num 16) thought he knew better than the submitted leader. Don’t pursue a Korah spirit or any of these.

*Weapons of our warfare are mighty (example):

Eph 6:10 “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.”

Samaritan woman at the well converted her whole village with a few words of God (sword), and trust in that Word (shield), and trust in the promised salvation the Messiah would bring (helmet, belt, feet shod). 

Side Note for further study: She didn’t even pray. I’m not saying don’t pray, but saying how powerful these weapons are. These hearts were open, these people were hungry already. Jesus says some things only come out through prayer and fasting, so it is important. (Matt. 17:21, Mark 9:29). Notice He called them faithless here (Shieldless). Without proper trust in His Word, swordless. This hearkens back to what I said earlier about Cain, Saul, Achan, Korah. They were faithless, trusted and demanded their own ways, fought those in authority, out of line. What is the kind of prayer that can make you faithful, that builds your shield of faith, and gives you truth to make men free? Submitted prayer. Matt 6, “Thy will be done.” Perhaps they couldn’t transfer faith because they were too much like Saul, stubborn in their own ways, anxious to get things done their way in their time, or like Achan, too attached to the world. 

Remember also, Jesus saved those who wanted to be saved, delivered who wanted to be delivered. Perhaps what Jesus was saying was to help people build their faith, “I believe, help mine unbelief,” Mark 9:24. You have to be able to be mature, free from this world, see things His way, and wield power the way He would to help build another’s faith. Otherwise you cannot help someone come to saving faith in the Lord. You can’t lead where you haven’t been.

*Saul, Achan, Cain, Korah also weren’t team players. The US military has very stringent rules of cooperation. If you are out of line, it doesn’t matter how tough or smart you are, you can’t win a war. Submission and understanding how to work with your platoon makes all the difference.

*Eph 4:11 apostle, prophet, evangelist, pastor, and teacher, they are C.O.’s, drill sergeants, boot camp instructors, designed to help perfect us to work the ministry. When they ask us to do things, or ask us to not do things, does something stir in us? If a man was repairing aircraft on a carrier, and his CO said, ‘You are doing it all wrong, lives are at stake, you don’t trouble shoot and fix things that way.’ Does he repent of that, apologize, and change for the greater good, for the safety of his fellow crew, and for the success of the mission? Again, which Spirit is in control? Are we submitted? Only then can we have His armor and walk in His power and ways and protection and provision. Carnal or Mighty? The choice is yours.

Implement what I’m talking about, and it will do everything I’m talking about, bring us to greater unity, maturity, and effectiveness, so that we will build, equip, care for, and protect one another, and make us equip us to powerfully impact our neighbors, etc., so their lives can be transformed and they can fight the good fight of faith and see their lives and families transformed and their trajectories changed for an eternity. Then, they enter the fight, gain this armor, advance in the kingdom in their own lives, and pass this on to others. And more are won. 

That’s what God Word says, if you follow it, it will make your armor stronger and the territory we take together will be much greater than the territory we take alone.

*One last word on Fruit: If your grow the Fruit of the Spirit, ultimately, you become like Jesus, and you become like an Apache Attack Helicopter in the Lord’s army.

*Apache Attack Helicopter: Offense and defense wrapped up into one. Kevlar armor, light and maneuverable, rotors are highly tempered to withstand hits from 23 mm rounds without shattering (temperance), evades radar (not recognized as an enemy), crushing cockpit (more Kevlar), bulletproof glass (self sacrificing, multi layered, each layer different from each other, bonded together, sounds like Body of Christ, makes it bulletproof!), tandem crew (can switch controls at any time), sit in line, shielding between cockpits (allows for both to survive independently while on mission together, significant redundancy in systems to allow great protection (notice how spiritual armor is all interlocked/overlapped in function). Frontline, night or day, gun can track from helmet display, armament can take out large and small targets, can fly around 200 miles per hour (turbo engines), climb almost 1800 feet in 1 minute.

*Gal. 5:22,23 (banana peel of love, slip and) fall in love with Jesus, eat of fruit, seed planted in fertile soil of the soul might grow into the tree of life for someone, with roots planted deep in the Word of God, drawing the life-giving water of the Spirit. 

The fruit is a product of growing this kind of trust in the Word of God, being like Jesus, letting Him take over. You can’t grow the fruit without being submitted. But if you grow it, as mentioned, it protects us and gives us weapons that are mighty to win men’s souls.

The fruit is mighty, defensive and offensive spiritual weaponry. Take love. If you love the way He loves, it doesn’t matter how mean or cranky someone is. The soldier at the cross, “Surely this is the Son of God,” (Matt. 27:54). What did he see and hear? Father forgive them; the centurion drove nails, Jesus offered forgiveness, after so much pain, that love of God, the most powerful fruit of the Spirit, looking beyond His own pain and suffering, offered forgiveness to His executioners, and paradise to a stranger on the cross next to Him. Even on the cross, He was ministering in this unconditional love, that anyone could be redeemed, and He was paying the price. What a powerful weapon to pulling down enemy strongholds, He reached past the Roman armor and got into His heart. He reached past his own suffering and unbearable pain, and reached beyond the condemnation of a thief (I deserve this), Luke 23:39, and reached his heart for forgiveness, redemption and adoption into a new Kingdom. Jesus was not detected as an enemy by them. It fooled even the devil, when He sacrificed Himself with this great love. 

This love was both a shield that held Him to His purpose, and motivator to drive Him deep into enemy territory to set captive free, and a potent weapon that turned men’s hearts to Him.

Jesus’ joy (the 2nd fruit) also allowed Him to fly in, again protecting His focus on the mission to save men’s souls. Heb 12:2 “For the joy set before Him, despising the shame, enduring the cross, and is set down at the right hand of the throne.” This was the greatest joy He had in saving others, it fulfilled his deep love by setting them free. He went to the cross to save the one next to Him. There was certainly pain and suffering, but the Bible says there was joy in His eyes, a contagious joy that despite everything, something beyond measure was coming, and the thief would be able to be a part of it. Peace, 3rd fruit. (That’s part of the armor.) Longsuffering, 4th fruit, Apache is always being refined to fly faster, farther and longer. That’s what the Spirit does for us, powerful equipment to allow us to bear more longer, patient, trust God longer, etc. 5th gentleness, (drew and attracted people to Him, kids, outcasts, hungry). Talk about powerful weapon, it draws people in. 6th goodness, same thing, 7th faith (huge shield, as well as grows into a fruit that can be given away, and others can receive immediate protection by trusting in God, 8th meekness, (humility, turn away wrath), 9th temperance (bend but not break, strong,  flexible, able to adapt to changing circumstances). This is probably closer to unbreakable, meaning not brittle. Powerful weapons that allow us to penetrate men’s hearts and put down their defenses. 

‘The best way to defeat an enemy is make them your friend.’ —Abraham Lincoln

More Questions for Personal or Group Study:

  1. What really spoke to you in this sermon?
  2. How can you implement these principles into your own life today?
  3. Read Rom 12:14-21. How are we to treat one another? Why? What difference will our attitudes and actions make in the world around us?
  4. How can you encourage someone in your life with these principles? 

Excerpted from a sermon preached by Charles Li. 

For the sermon, click http://youtube.com/watch?v=oBThUu9cEXk

If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there! 

http://www.thelifechurchofglenview.org

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Let the Weak Say, ‘I Am Strong!’

Joel 3:916 “Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: 10 Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong. 11 Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O Lord. 12 Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. 13 Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great. 14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision. 15 The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. 16 The Lord also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the Lord will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel.”

There is majesty in the mundane and royalty in the routine. 

You will not get your miracle until you take that first step. You’ve got to get out of the boat in order to walk on water. 

Jesus told a parable where a boss needed workers and went out and found some workers. He offered the first people roughly $100. Then, he found more and offered them the same. Finally, it got to the last hour and the boss still needed more people. He offered them the same as the first people. 

If you have the ability, as the Lord does, to choose whoever He wanted to fight in the battles, you would choose the strongest and best. In this parable, the first were the ones who worked the hardest, because it was all day, but as the day went on, the people brought in were less and less strong. Finally, the ones not chosen first were brought to work. These are 11th Hour Workers. 

If you think you’re an 11th Hour Worker, there isn’t much time, but God has called even you. Let the weak say, ‘I am strong!’ You are able. 

Isa 35:3-8 “Strengthen ye the weak hands, and confirm the feeble knees. 4 Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you. 5 Then the eyes of the blind shall be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be unstopped. 6 Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. 7 And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes. 8And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.”

Your ‘qualifications’ don’t matter. Only your willingness matters. You may be ‘wayfaring’ or even a ‘fool,’ even there, you are still chosen. God will equip the weak in these last days. 

You are chosen.

You might think Moses was a mighty man, but that was only because of God. This is not a time for fear. 

2 Tim 1:7 “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

Judges 6:12-14 “And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him, and said unto him, The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour. 13 And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the Lord be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt? but now the Lord hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites. 14 And the Lord looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?”

Gideon is complaining about a God who isn’t with him. See the irony? God called him a mighty man of valour. 

Judges 6:15-17 “And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house. 16 And the Lord said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man. 17 And he said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, then shew me a sign that thou talkest with me.”

You might see yourself as small and powerless, but God sees differently. You may not have been to Bible school. You might not be a Bible scholar, but God has called you and He will equip you and He will get the glory. God uses the weak to lead the strong. 

Let the weak say, ‘I am strong.’ 

Who do you think is with you in the daily battles you face?

You must have boldness in this hour. This means that you have been chosen by the Lord. ‘If God is with me, who can be against me?’ 

God will touch you and move in your life. 

Jeremiah was a prophet of God. He was chosen at birth.

Jer 1:4-7 “Then the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, 5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. 6 Then said I, Ah, Lord God! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. 7But the Lord said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak.”

Paul, before he was an apostle, was a terrorist to the church. He was all right with the deaths of christians. When he was struck on the road to Damascus, Jesus took the awful things that he did to His own, personally. 

You are not to down talk any of Jesus’ people—including yourself. Don’t say that you are a loser because you are the one that the Lord has chosen. Do you really think God has made a mistake in choosing you?! Go forward in the name of Jesus and do what He has called you to do. 

Let the weak say, ‘I am strong!’ 

Num 13:33 “And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.”

‘In our own sight…’ Looking at themselves, they saw themselves as small and powerless. They were only meant to do reconnaissance and report back. They were never meant to look down on themselves. They were meant to see all the good in that land and to remember how powerful their God is. This attitude that the Israelites had cost them their lives and the next forty years of their children’s lives. 

‘We were as grasshoppers in our own sight, and so we were in their sight as well.’ Even if the enemy sees you as a ‘grasshopper,’ God is greater. You are not weak if God is for you! 

Zech 4:10 “For who hath despised the day of small things? for they shall rejoice, and shall see the plummet in the hand of Zerubbabel with those seven; they are the eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro through the whole earth.”

Isa 60:22 “A little one shall become a thousand, and a small one a strong nation: I the Lord will hasten it in his time.”

There is no room for pride. Give God all the glory. Recognize the truth. God is the one who will get you where He wants you to go. God wants to use you. You are chosen.

God uses small things, a cloud the size of a man’s hand, a mustard seed, five loaves and two fish. None of these are enough all by itself, but with God, it all gets multiplied exponentially.

It’s not about how you feel. Your feelings will deceive you and cause you to act in the opposite direction of the will of God. 

Zech 4:6 “Then he answered and spake unto me, saying, This is the word of the Lord unto Zerubbabel, saying, Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit, saith the Lord of hosts.”

God doesn’t choose the people we would choose. 

God doesn’t choose the people who ‘feel worthy.’ He chooses those who are simply available and willing to obey. You are anointed because you are called and chosen by God. He will supply. 

The wisdom of God is foolish to the world. Stop listening to the things of the world and even what you have said to yourself. God will use you. Don’t listen to any other voice. Learn how to say, ‘I am strong!’ 

Let the beat down say, ‘I am strong.’ Let the weary say, ‘I am strong.’ Let the broken say, ‘I am strong.’ Let the wounded say, ‘I am strong.’ Let the addicted say, ‘I am strong.’ Let the divorced say, ‘I am strong.’ 

There is a battle. God is looking for someone who is willing to fight. ‘Here am I, send me.’ 

Though I am weak, I am strong—all because of Jesus. Look to Jesus and follow Him, walk with Him, obey Him. You are strong because He says so. 

More Questions for Personal or Group Study:

  1. What really spoke to you in this sermon?
  2. In what areas of your life do you feel weak? What does God want you to do in spite of that?
  3. Read Rom 12:1-5. How are we to think? What are we to not think? How will this transformation change our lives and the lives of those around us?

Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio. 

If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!

www.thelifechurchofglenview.org

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Shalom Has Come

Put aside the man or the conduit and receive the Word from God. If you can’t get past the man or woman speaking, you can’t receive from the Lord. 

Ministry is to the heart. 

There are wounded hearts, people who are discouraged because of what they’ve seen. They have been faithful in the midst of chaos. Now, it’s time to rest in God’s peace. In this flow, there will be endless strength. His authority will be in your lips and nothing will be able to withstand you. You need to not be exhausted by your own efforts but depend on Him. 

Isa 9:6 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

A prince is involved in the people. The King stays in the kingdom. The Prince of Peace is involved with the people.

Eph 2:17 “And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.”

This world is filled with dishonor. If you are not filled with God’s peace, this will frustrate you.

2 Tim 3:1-5 “This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. 2For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, 3 Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, 4 Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; 5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.”

Religious is box-checking. Relationship is being the body, understanding where our weaknesses and strengths are. The body must understand that Shalom (peace) should be running through the body.

Shalom means ‘peace,’ ‘completeness,’ and ‘wholeness.’

Shalom destroys the authority that is attached to chaos. Shalom has come to you. 

Mark 4:33-41 “And with many such parables spake he the word unto them, as they were able to hear it. 34 But without a parable spake he not unto them: and when they were alone, he expounded all things to his disciples. 35 And the same day, when the even was come, he saith unto them, Let us pass over unto the other side. 36 And when they had sent away the multitude, they took him even as he was in the ship. And there were also with him other little ships. 37 And there arose a great storm of wind, and the waves beat into the ship, so that it was now full. 38 And he was in the hinder part of the ship, asleep on a pillow: and they awake him, and say unto him, Master, carest thou not that we perish? 39 And he arose, and rebuked the wind, and said unto the sea, Peace, be still. And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. 40 And he said unto them, Why are ye so fearful? how is it that ye have no faith? 41 And they feared exceedingly, and said one to another, What manner of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”

The Bible wanted to point out that Jesus wasn’t just sleeping, He was deeply asleep on a pillow. In the midst of chaos, Jesus was deeply asleep. 

Jesus said to the sea, ‘Shalom.’ He didn’t just demonstrate some kind of an act. He spoke into the spirit world and in His authority destroyed the chaos. 

Whenever there is something that disturbs your peace, you can count on the enemy being behind it. 

The disciples feared exceedingly (above fear) after Jesus calmed the storm. They could’ve slept just like Jesus did. However, their fear is completely understandable. 

We have the Holy Ghost, Jesus operating inside of us. When something chaotic happens, we have Jesus already here with us and the storm has to stop.

Isa 9:7 “Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.”

You can speak peace over chaos every day. You have been given that authority. Use it! The Bible doesn’t say we ‘deal with it.’ The Bible says we are to speak to the chaos and it must cease. 

It’s not our own power or authority that can do anything. When we operate that way, we open ourselves up to sin (pride). Iniquity is doing our own thing. Chaos follows. 

Eph 2:13-14 “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ. 14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;”

The crown of thorns was put on Jesus’ head so that my mind would be under the thoughts of Jesus Christ. The mind is either the devil’s playground or under Jesus. 

Your mind is always going. There are many pathways in your mind. Your peace in your mind is dependent on how you think. If you have a struggles, it doesn’t mean you are backslid. It just means that you need more authority from Jesus. An untamed mind will drive you out of the will of God, will have you question God, will cause you to be busy for busy’s sake. Business is your enemy. 

Business fills your day. God may not want you to do all the things on your to-do list today. Folding laundry is not more important than obeying God’s will. When God’s yoke is on you and He’s in control, you will have His true peace. True peace comes when you get unyoked from your will and yoked to His will. 

Eph 2:15-17 “Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace; 16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby: 17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.”

Jesus is here today preaching wholeness and completeness. He is taking authority over those things that bring discouragement.

Phil 4:6-8 “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. 7 And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

God is impressed not by your performance. He is impressed by your obedience. 

If you’ve got God’s peace, you can have all kinds of crazy and you are unshaken. God’s peace keeps your hearts/emotions and your mind/thought-life through Christ Jesus. 

How do you get to that Shalom?

You need to create new pathways in your brain. People have traumas that impact how they think about people and things. In fact, you may have opinions about people before you even get to know them because of traumas. 

One of the new pathways is truth. Think about the truth. Verse 8 gives us a new mindset that allows God’s Spirit to flow through us. 

What are you thinking about?

Is it what’s true? what’s honest? what’s just and pure and lovely? Are you thinking of a good report? virtue? praise?

Colors and shapes affect our minds. Advertising is all about getting you to think a certain way. If you fill your mind with the things of verse 8, you’ll have less opportunity for the bad things to get in. 

The news is mostly negative and not the way God wants you to think. 

John 14:27 “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”

Worldly peace isn’t the same as Jesus’ peace. Know the peace of Jesus. Live in the peace of Jesus.

Rom 5:1-5 “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope: 5 And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us.”

This is the antidote. This is what we need right now in this hour. We’ve got to have the peace of God flowing through us. 

You have been found faithful through very trying times. Because of God’s faithfulness and your faithfulness to Him, peace was there. God destroyed the attack of the enemy and great revival shall come.

Col 1:13-16 “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14 In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: 15 Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: 16 For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him:”

You were created by Him and FOR Him. The key to peace is to follow Him.

Col 1:17-20 “And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. 18 And he is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence. 19 For it pleased the Father that in him should all fulness dwell; 20 And, having made peace through the blood of his cross, by him to reconcile all things unto himself; by him, I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.”

Jesus made all things. The only way to have peace is through the blood of Jesus. It’s only through death, burial and resurrection. You must be born again. Once you’re born again of water and spirit, you are given authority to speak. That means that you have the right in your prayer life to speak things as if they were, to speak things over your family to speak things as if they are going to happen, and to go on the offense against the devil.

Mat 16:18 “And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.”

Gates are meant to keep people out. The church is coming against the gates of hell. It’s about being on the offense, no the defense. 

Shalom means to destroy the authority attached to the chaos. You can be set free and have peace. 

God will do whatever it takes to get you where He wants you to be in His will. He will fight for you to make sure you get to where you ought to be. 

If you want peace in your life, what is it that’s causing the chaos? Is it your own mind? 

If we live by the Bible, we can’t do anything without God. You’ve got to stop doing your own thing in your every day life. Be conduits to allow His presence to flow through you. 

More Questions for Personal or Group Study:

  1. What really spoke to you in this sermon?
  2. In what areas of your life is there chaos? Why?
  3. Read Matthew 11:28-30. What are Jesus’ instructions to us? What are the results of obedience?
  4. How can you encourage someone else?

Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Dave Gardner. 

For the full YouTube audio/video, click: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=74zxycrKIy4&t=2s

If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!

www.thelifechurchofglenview.org

Posted in Guest Speaker | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Tabernacled

John 1:1,14 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.”

Did the Apostles know as they walked with Jesus that Jesus was who He said He was? Paul said that God was manifested in the flesh. Matthew says, ‘You shall call His name Emmanuel.’ 

The word ‘Shama’ means ‘listen’ or ‘hear.’ ‘Hear, O Israel, our God is one.’ 

Deut 6:4 “Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God is one Lord:”

Deut 4:35 “Unto thee it was shewed, that thou mightest know that the Lord he is God; there is none else beside him.”

Is 46:9 “Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me,”

Is 43:10 “Ye are my witnesses, saith the Lord, and my servant whom I have chosen: that ye may know and believe me, and understand that I am he: before me there was no God formed, neither shall there be after me.”

In the beginning was God. 

God was tabernacled among us, but what does that mean?

The time of Jesus was during the second temple era. 

God originally met Moses on top of Mt. Sinai. At its summit was where the first covenant was given. This was where the Torah was given. Nobody else was allowed to go there. A little further down, the priests and Joshua were allowed to meet, a group of 70, was the second level. At the bottom was the congregation of Israel. This was how God originally met with Israel. He set up a plan of how to approach Him. 

There were three levels of approaching God. The tabernacle plan was introduced by the way God chose to meet with them on Mt. Sinai. Later in Scripture, God moved from the top of the mountain and went into the tabernacle. 

Ex 40:34 “Then a cloud covered the tent of the congregation, and the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle.”

God went from the top of the mountain to a tent. 

After Exodus is Leviticus which means, ‘He called.’ 

Lev 1:1 “And the Lord called unto Moses, and spake unto him out of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying,”

God clothed Himself with a tent. 

Deut 26:15 “Look down from thy holy habitation, from heaven, and bless thy people Israel, and the land which thou hast given us, as thou swarest unto our fathers, a land that floweth with milk and honey.”

God’s habitation was heaven, but what was He doing in a tent? God speaks to us through many different ways. I speak to God in heaven, not from the Ark of the Covenant. The Torah teaches that there are two habitations of the Lord, one in heaven and one in the tabernacle. Are there two gods? No. He inhabits both because He can. He’s God. 

The teaching that Moses gave the jews and was reaffirmed in Hebrews is that there are multiple habitations of God. There is one God who has chosen to put His glory in various places. The Old Testament teaches that. The writer of Hebrews makes the connection between the two. 

Heb 8:2 “A minister of the sanctuary, and of the true tabernacle, which the Lord pitched, and not man.”

Just as the mountain had three areas, the tabernacle had three areas, the outer court, the inner court, and the Holy of Holies. That is the Tabernacle Plan of Moses. The writer of Hebrews said the Tabernacle Plan was a copy, a pattern, an example, of what he saw in heaven. 

Heb 8:5 “Who serve unto the example and shadow of heavenly things, as Moses was admonished of God when he was about to make the tabernacle: for, See, saith he, that thou make all things according to the pattern shewed to thee in the mount.”

God set up a better way of redemption, of speaking and dwelling with us. We beheld His glory when He tabernacled Himself in flesh. 

The Old Testament and the Old Covenant was a type and shadow of Jesus, Himself. This was to remove sin and to be in the presence of God. 

David wanted to build a ‘house’ for God. However, Solomon built the temple, set up the same way as the tabernacle. 

So, Jesus walked with the glory of God. He was the only one ever on earth to have the glory of God inside of Him. He was 100% human because He was the sacrifice. He was also the priest to do the sacrifice. It’s all Him. He’s the tabernacle, the priest, and the sacrifice. God never left heaven and dwelt in the body of Jesus Christ. 

Col 2:8-9 “Beware lest any man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit, after the tradition of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. 9 For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.”

God became a tabernacle and walked among us, but He never left His throne in heaven. God was in cloth, yet He never stopped being God in heaven. 

He can be wherever He wants to be. He could be in a box (the ark). But, they didn’t pray to a box, they prayed to God in heaven. 

1 Kings 8:10-11, 27 “And it came to pass, when the priests were come out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the Lord, 11 So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud: for the glory of the Lord had filled the house of the Lord. 27 But will God indeed dwell on the earth? behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain thee; how much less this house that I have builded?”

Nothing can contain God, but He chooses to dwell in the house. The universe doesn’t contain God, God contains the universe. 

Jonah was swallowed by a great fish. He was there three days. He tried to pray towards Jerusalem because that’s where the temple was. This was all about the glory of God. There is one creator and savior and shepherd. There was a manifestation in that temple. He never left the throne. 

We’ve got one God and one mediator, still the same one God. He had a plan and slowly unveiled it until Jesus was manifested in the flesh. 

Ezekiel saw a throne in heaven. 

Psalm 5:7 “But as for me, I will come into thy house in the multitude of thy mercy: and in thy fear will I worship toward thy holy temple.”

Mat 12:6 “But I say unto you, That in this place is one greater than the temple.”

God moved. He moved from the burning bush to the mountain, from the mountain to the tabernacle, from the tabernacle to the temple, from the temple to the body of Jesus. 

Micah 5:2 “But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, from everlasting.”

Isa 9:6 “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.”

God was contained in the flesh of a man—Jesus.

Daniel was written in Hebrew, then Aramaic, then back to Hebrew. He had a different audience in mind for the middle portion. It’s possible that he was writing to the Jews in those chapters. The first six chapters are the stories, the second six are about his dreams. Chap 7 is a hinge chapter. It starts in Aramaic and ends in Hebrew. A lot of understanding Daniel happens in chapter 7. This talks about what to bow down to and what not to bow to (chap 1-6). All of this was about worship and compromising worship. Chap 7 was a vision of Messiah. 

Dan 7:13-14 “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. 14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.”

Daniel didn’t worship the wrong God, but here, this man will be bowed down to, this is the Messiah. The teachings of Daniel and Isaiah were in Paul. 

How could we pollute what the original apostles understood? There is one God and He can manifest Himself anywhere. 

The Feast of Tabernacles was where the Jews would remember wandering the desert. They lived in booths for a week. 

John 7:37-39 “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink. 38 He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. 39 (But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive: for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)”

This was called the ‘joys of drawing water.’ 

Isa 7:14 “Therefore the Lord himself shall give you a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.”

When a siege happened there was so much famine people were willing to buy poop from a dove. King Hezekiah didn’t want that to happen. So, he dug a tunnel to find water. They dug about 1/3 of a mile and opened up an underground flow of water. The water came from the virgin’s fount and ended at the Messiah. This was their salvation. 

Jacob blessed his sons. He said Judah was blessed and from him the Messiah would come. 

During the feast the water was mixed with oil and wine. The water was poured out in silence. At that moment, Jesus couldn’t keep silence. He said, ‘Come unto Me and drink!’ Jesus was God tabernacled in flesh. His name means salvation.

Isa 12:1-5 “And in that day thou shalt say, O Lord, I will praise thee: though thou wast angry with me, thine anger is turned away, and thou comfortedst me. 2 Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation. 3 Therefore with joy shall ye draw water out of the wells of salvation. 4 And in that day shall ye say, Praise the Lord, call upon his name, declare his doings among the people, make mention that his name is exalted. 5 Sing unto the Lord; for he hath done excellent things: this is known in all the earth.”

It is the same voice that spoke in that procession. There is only one Lord. 

Stop looking for natural things on earth. The Kingdom of Heaven is tabernacled in His people. If the devil had known what Jesus was going to do, he never would’ve allowed Him to die. The glory of God was poured out into many others and the devil can’t destroy them all. 

You are not God. When Jesus said, ‘greater works than these…’ He meant that His Spirit would be in you. Pentecost was a celebration of the giving of the first law. The second Pentecost was to put the law in people’s hearts. Jesus put fire on our heads, He filled us with His Spirit. You are the tabernacle of the Lord. 

We are living in the era of the time of when the Lord will wrap everything up. Understand who Jesus is. We are not saved by OUR works. We ARE saved by works, but not our own. We are saved by what Jesus did. We must connect ourselves with that work.

Rom 10:9-13 “That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. 10 For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation. 11 For the scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on him shall not be ashamed. 12 For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him. 13 For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

If you call Jesus the same Jehovah that saved the Jews back in the old testament, you’ve got a chance. Healings are still coming from the body of Jesus Christ. Acceptance still comes from Jesus Christ. His body is still alive and well in the earth and the glory of God is still in the temple. 

Jesus, the true God, is tabernacled in you. If you have Jesus, you’ve got that greater. He has moved from the mountain to your flesh. He has become our salvation. You can call on His name. Everything that is Him is at your disposal. 

More Questions for Personal or Group Study:

  1. What really spoke to you in this sermon?
  2. What does it mean to you to have Jesus be ‘tabernacled’ in you? 
  3. Read 1 Cor 3:16-17. What are the dangers of ‘defiling the temple’? What are the blessings of being His temple? 
  4. How can you encourage someone else with the words from this sermon? 

Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio. 

For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.

If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!

www.thelifechurchofglenview.org

Posted in Excerpts from Sermons by Pastor Anthony LoCascio | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Better Together

Gen 11:1 “And the whole earth was of one language, and of one speech. 2 And it came to pass, as they journeyed from the east, that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. 3 And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for morter. 4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth. 5 And the Lord came down to see the city and the tower, which the children of men builded. 6 And the Lord said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.”

On July 1, 1776, the second continental congress met. The next day, they voted for independence. On July 4, 1776, after changes, they declared their independence. Later, they signed the Constitution in 1787. It was ratified in 1789. 

So, it was that a group of people met together unified with a common goal. True teamwork was all about the end results benefiting everybody involved.

In Genesis, the people were unified together with a common goal and a common language. They were aligned with a common purpose. 

God recognized that because of their unity, nothing would be restrained from them. However, their motives were all wrong. This was in direct disobedience to the Lord. They were to move and fill the earth. You can’t do that if you don’t leave where you’re at.

By confounding their language, they were forced to move and spread out. God forced obedience. God saved them from their own arrogance. 

What does a group look like that is unified with the right motives? What about Jesus’ disciples? 

They had bumps and questioned Jesus and had doubt, but Jesus used these instances as teachable moments. 

It was Judas who wasn’t unified with the rest of the group. You can go regularly to church but not be a member of the church. 

If you pick and choose who you serve and who you love, there will be a cap on how much you can grow. 

Even with all their issues, Jesus’ disciples recognized their potential. Thousands of lives were transformed. The apostles’ legacy still lives on thousands of years later. Miracles still happen today. Being unified with the right motives is the reason for this. 

Luke 11:17 “But he, knowing their thoughts, said unto them, Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth.” 23 “He that is not with me is against me: and he that gathereth not with me scattereth.”

‘Don’t let an elephant or a donkey rip apart what the lamb has brought together.’ 

Don’t argue and be entrenched in your own opinion. A church divided will fall, but a church unified will stand. If we are going to see the Kingdom of God here on earth, we must be unified. 

The Poncha Tantra is a collection of stories. An argument arose between a monkey and an elephant. The elephant said it was better to be strong. The monkey said it was better to be agile and quick. They asked the owl who said he would give them an answer after they got a certain fruit. The monkey quickly went after the fruit but was stopped by a river that was too strong for it. The elephant helped the monkey cross the river using its strength. The elephant couldn’t fell the tree to get to the fruit. So, the monkey climbed up and got it. When they got back to the owl, the monkey said he got it and the elephant said he got the fruit. The owl stopped the argument and said they were BOTH responsible. 

Our strengths and gifts are to be complementary to one another. We are not called to compete within the church. God did not create you to compare with someone else. 

One person may be ‘more successful’ than another, but that’s relative. Do not compare yourself. You are unique with a specific purpose from the Lord. 

Ecc 4:12 “And if one prevail against him, two shall withstand him; and a threefold cord is not quickly broken.”

Psa 133:1 “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”

Rom 15:5 “Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus:”

1 Cor 1:10 “Now I beseech you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.”

2 Cor 13:11 “Finally, brethren, farewell. Be perfect, be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace shall be with you.”

Eph 4:3 “Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”

Phil 2:1-2 “If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, 2 Fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.”

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

If you are unified with Jesus, you will care about the people you see everywhere around you. Your mission is not to be served, but to serve. 

We’re still pretty young as a nation and young people make mistakes. What will the church do? As our country stands divided, the church must stand unified. There is no place for division in the Kingdom of God. When everything crumbles, the church has the solution. The church unified has hope. Without unity, the church cannot offer what the world needs so desperately. 

The church must be united in the Great Commission to seek and to save that which is lost. ‘Minister’ is not a person, it’s an action that the church is called as a whole to do. You may never hold a microphone, but you can still reach out and love somebody and offer hope and comfort. You can tell people about the hope that you have because of Jesus Christ. 

While we may need to remain physically distant from one another, we must be united, in one mind and one accord as the apostles were. The apostles were in one mind and one accord and thousands were added to the church. 

Pray for the unity of the church, strengthen the church as a body, bound together, looking past differences. There is nothing wrong with having your own opinions, but if you hold that as higher than working with one another, unity is compromised. 

People are ‘eternity wrapped in flesh,’ broken vessels in need of restoration. Help us as a church to look past our differences and our opinions and focus on what really matters, souls—eternal souls. 

Be in one mind and one accord. We will stand together. If one falls, be there to lift him or her up. Be ready to help, encourage, comfort, and love. 

How can we say we love Jesus if we don’t love our brother or sister? People will know we belong to Jesus through a demonstration of love to one another. 

Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Michael Lagle. 

More Questions for Personal or Group Study:

  1. What really spoke to you in this sermon?
  2. In what situations or with which particular people do you struggle in being unified?
  3. Read Psalm 133. What is valued in these verses? What do these verses mean for your life?
  4. How can you encourage unity in your home, your workplace, your church, and in your world? 

Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Michael Lagle. 

For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.

If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!

www.thelifechurchofglenview.org

Posted in Excerpts from Pastor Michael Lagle | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Godless Esau

Heb 12:14-17 “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: 15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; 16 Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. 17 For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears.” 

This is why we follow peace and holiness, so we can keep our walls up, to protect ourselves. Many don’t think of Esau as a profane person. He was rejected. He did repent, but he was rejected. 

vs 16 “Lest there may be immoral or godless person…” ‘godless, without God.’ 

Have you ever thought of Esau as a person who didn’t have God? 

Not all godless people are bad. Some godless people have great success. There are some faithful, godless, people, committed workers who are godless. There are godless people who have good marriages and great kids. There have been godless people who have created great things. The air conditioner was invented by an atheist. 

Esau is not only dropped in among the godless, he is a picture of the godless. He is dropped in among fornicators. He was a really great son. He did everything his dad told him to do. He was a good husband. He was a neighborly citizen. He was even a good brother, perhaps even a man of morality, self sufficient. He worked and provided for his family. He had a strong physical build and a brave heart. He wasn’t lazy. He didn’t need to depend on other people. 

Here’s the problem: even today, we make the assumption of our judgement based on feelings and comparison. The reason we’ve never looked at Esau as godless is because we compare him to Jacob. ‘Poor Esau, look what Jacob did to him?’ 

We cannot base what is good, godly, etc on our comparison with other people. We are not godly based on what we do. We are godly if we have God who has made us righteous. 

The Bible says that none are good and none are righteous. But, in another place it says, ‘The steps of the righteous are ordered by the Lord.’ Whose steps are righteous? Whose steps are ordered? 

We don’t have righteousness of ourselves. Our righteousness is as filthy rags to God. Our own righteousness by human, moral nature, but that’s not enough to be godly. Measured against somebody else, you might look righteous, but measured against God, the Holy One, do not measure up in the Spirit. 

The reason we can call godless Esau good is because we compare him to godless Jacob, who wasn’t all that godless at all. Jacob obeyed God’s directions. With no help, Esau lived on his own. Esau’s grandfather was called the Father of the Faithful. Jacob was blessed by God over and over again. We did not see once Esau praying, worshipping, building an altar. 

We see the trickster, liar, Jacob build an altar when he had an encounter with God. Jacob honored God even in his flaws. Esau, as a standup man, never prayed, never built an altar, never worshipped God. Esau chose to live a life without God. 

Godless does not mean that God is not in their lives. It means that they don’t want to surrender to Him. They want to do their own thing. Esau was motivated by the love of the world. He cared only what he could control. He just wanted to do what was right by his own standard. He did not take time to care for his soul. 

Godless people are like wandering sheep in the dessert without a shepherd. They are helpless and powerless without the hedge of God’s protection. They are self-sufficient and prideful. They want God’s intervention without yielding to His plan. 

We want God our way. 

It’s noble to care for your children and work and provide. But, take God out of any one of those things becomes a human effort. Going to work and school and the grocery store is spiritual. Why? Because we are spiritual. 

The minute we allow this world to take us from the spiritual, we become humanistic and like Esau. That’s not what the Lord wants. 

It’s not just treating people right, it’s so much further than that. Jesus says, ‘turn the other cheek, walk another mile…’ 

Is it really easier being under grace? Under the law, we follow rules. Under grace, we follow Jesus. It’s judgement by action vs judgement by intention. It’s action vs heart, attitude. 

Grace is harder, but we have a Substitute. We don’t have to face the penalty of the law. Under grace we have a Substitute who teaches something greater than law. Law hasn’t gone away. Law is fulfilled in Jesus. 

There is still a penalty there. Without Jesus, we face the penalty. We’ve got to live His way, following after Him. We’ve got to be in relationship and worship and surrender to Jesus. 

People today want what they want right now. They want only what satisfies the flesh instead of what pleases God. We don’t have to go outside the church to find flesh pleasers. We are still loved by God, but wanting to please our flesh and wanting what we want. 

We have the desire to be moral and pay our tithes, but it’s mixed with a desire to please the flesh. We’ve got to surrender. Esau wasn’t surrendered. The one who didn’t lie or steal was godless never surrendered. 

There’s no right to do bad things. There is no justifying what Jacob did, but he was forgiven because he surrendered. 

It’s not how to have revival, it’s how to keep revival. It’s how to sustain revival. It’s complete and utter surrender to God. You can’t be God’s and your own at the same time. Either you are His or you’re not. It’s one of the other. You can’t have both. 

God wants custody, not weekend visitation. God is calling this church to a complete surrender. 

The thing about God is He’s gradual. He shows us the target and along the way, He blesses and keeps us. The closer we come, the closer He comes. We may not be where we’re supposed to be, but He’s still walking us through it. Draw near to Him. 

Sometimes, His gradual grace makes us comfortable. If we take only two steps toward it, but stop, that’s not good. It wasn’t God’s will for Peter and John to stay up on the mountain. They felt God’s presence and didn’t want to go any further. 

Sometimes, we feel the presence and approval of God and stop. Right here feels so good. Don’t stop! Keep going! Always press closer and closer to God. Every day, every day, get closer to God. 

Revival is not kept by doing what you did to get there. Often, it’s lost by repeating that. Revival is kept by continually obeying whatever God asks you to do. 

God doesn’t say, ‘Keep doing ‘it,’ whatever ‘it’ may be.’ God has a new season for you. He has something else for you. Seek Him and follow Him. Much is required. Sustaining doesn’t happen in the flesh. It happens in surrender. 

The enemy of great is good. Don’t stop pursuing GREAT. The enemy of great growth is good growth. Don’t be satisfied with ‘good.’ Keep seeking after Great! Keep surrendering to whatever God asks you to do. 

We just want the voice of God. 

God has a prophetic and new word for this church. It is time for a new level. 

Esau wanted his father’s blessing and was rejected. He traded eternal inheritance for temporary pleasure. Esau fed the hunger of his flesh but ignored the longing of his soul. 

People without God make the wrong decisions bringing major trouble into their lives. 

A godless have sent many to jail and prison and broken families. It makes hearts empty. The godless life is empty. Yet, all the human morality doesn’t make up for surrendering to God. Eternal destruction can be our end while we seek to enjoy the pleasures of the world. We need God to manage this life. 

Our knowledge is inadequate. We need Someone wiser than ourselves. We need Someone who sees further. We need Someone with real solutions, not a temporary, feel-good fix.

Don’t ever be satisfied with where you’re at. Keep surrendering. Keep worshipping. Keep seeking to be on His side, His will.  

More Questions for Personal or Group Study:

  1. What really spoke to you in this sermon?
  2. Why might you ‘stop’ where you’re at in your life? In what ways are you tempted to remain where you’re at? 
  3. Read Luke 9:23-25. How do we put these verses into practice in our lives?
  4. How can you encourage someone else to daily surrender to Jesus and follow wherever He leads?

Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Joe Guinta. 

For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.

If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!

www.thelifechurchofglenview.org

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Offenses Shall Come

Psalm 119:161 “Princes have persecuted me without a cause: but my heart standeth in awe of thy word.”

Everyone needs a ‘but,’ a ‘however,’ a ‘nevertheless,’ an alternative.  

Psalm 119:162-165 “I rejoice at thy word, as one that findeth great spoil. 163 I hate and abhor lying: but thy law do I love. 164 Seven times a day do I praise thee because of thy righteous judgments. 165 Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them.”

Today, offenses are everywhere, riots, so much anger, frustration, fear and lashing out. 

The Hebrew word for offense is ‘skandalon.’ It’s like a stick that is the bait of a trap for an animal. The enemy of our soul tries to ‘bait’ us into being angry and offended. When you are offended, you are in prison. You created the prison, but you blame someone else. 

You don’t have laughter or joy because of a wall or ‘a fence’ there. 

David said he would never be offended if he had a love for something.

Rom 8:2 “For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus hath made me free from the law of sin and death.”

Choosing to love the law of grace rather than the law of sin and death is the way to be un-offended and un-offendable. 

The law of the Spirit of life in Christ makes us free. There’s a reason why having the Holy Ghost doesn’t make you totally free. You still get angry. You can speak in tongues, but you still get triggered into being upset. This is a festering wound.

‘Shalom’ or peace means complete and whole in God. It’s not just a state of rest. When you are angry and offended, you are seeking the wrong thing, justifying your feelings. 

The law of liberty is what you need. You can be saved and not be free. You could be ready for heaven and yet be trapped by a spirit of offense.

James 2:8-9 “If ye fulfil the royal law according to the scripture, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, ye do well: 9 But if ye have respect to persons, ye commit sin, and are convinced of the law as transgressors.”

It may not be racism that triggers you. It may be unruly children or loud people or just things that bother you. You seek deliverance from that frustration ‘out there.’ The problem is the answer is not ‘out there.’ You’ve got to love the Lord and love people. 

In the end offenses will come. It’s easy to rise up and get angry. This is not the ‘Royal Law.’ 

You need a ‘however’ in your spirit. 

1 John 4:17-21 “Herein is our love made perfect, that we may have boldness in the day of judgment: because as he is, so are we in this world. 18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. 19 We love him, because he first loved us. 20 If a man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar: for he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen? 21 And this commandment have we from him, That he who loveth God love his brother also.” 

The Law of Love, the Law of Liberty, is what sets us free. If you say you love God but hate your brother, you are a liar. 

If you go to church then go home and complain about whoever, you aren’t following the Law of Love. God says to love. It doesn’t matter who that other person is or what that person does. You are still commanded to love. Love is a choice. 

‘He who loves God loves his brother also.’ 

James 5:1-2 “Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ is born of God: and every one that loveth him that begat loveth him also that is begotten of him. 2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God, and keep his commandments.”

Is it possible people don’t know you are a Christian because you are offended?

We talk about being holy and righteous and separated from the world. Follow peace with all men. Chase after unity with all men as much as possible. 

No government can take away the ‘freedom’ that Jesus gives. Righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost are the Kingdom of God. 

Rom 14:17 “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.”

Jesus Christ offended the Jews causing them to stumble and fall and get rejected when salvation came. It’s amazing how powerful of a jail cell offense can be.

Mat 7:3-5 “And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? 4 Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? 5 Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.”

Don’t try to help somebody with a flaw and issue in their life until you’ve figured out all the issues that are greater and bigger that you can’t see in your own life. Your Father in heaven sees the stuff inside you that need attention. 

If you work on your own self enough, when you talk to others, it won’t come out as anger, it will come out as compassion. You know you’ve forgiven someone when you can say, ‘Father, forgive them, they don’t know what they’re doing.’ 

The thief on one side said, ‘Jesus, get us down from here.’ The thief from the other side said, ‘We don’t deserve forgiveness. Have mercy.’ Jesus had the best attitude and asked God to forgive those who crucified Him. 

What’s in your heart?

Mat 5:21-23 “Ye have heard that it was said of them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment: 22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. 23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;”

‘Raca’ can be translated ‘knucklehead,’ ‘stupid,’ ‘moron,’ ‘blockhead.’ If you say that and have that in your heart, you will be in danger of Gehenna. This used to be a place where they worshipped Moloch and sacrificed unwanted children. This was a garbage dump. This is hell. This is what God rejects. If you carry issues in your heart, you are in danger of this.

Offense is progressive. Offenses grow. Seek reconciliation first. Don’t worship until you’ve repented and get your heart right with God. 

‘The difference between confession and repentance is confession is what you say when you go down on your knees. Repentance is what you say and do on your way up,’ turning away from sin.

Get your heart pure.

Don’t be you, change and be like Jesus. Jesus didn’t say, ‘Be you.’ He said, ‘Be Me.’ Get your heart right and pure. 

You know adultery is wrong, but what about lust? Grace has a higher standard than the Law of Moses. 

The power of God flows through those who allow God to be powerful in them. It’s through humility that we showcase God’s power. 

Satan’s plan is to cause division in your home. Ultimately, he wants to divide the church, but he starts in the home and temptations in your heart. 

Chase after peace. We live in a world of turmoil, but people long for the love and peace of Jesus. The only place they will find it is in the people of God. 

The closer you are to someone, the greater opportunity for intimacy and offense. The reason you get mad is because you care about what the other person says and does. This is a heart issue. It’s a wound, a bruise, that if anyone touches, it hurts. Healing is found by letting go and allowing Jesus to settle the issue. 

Mat 5:24-25 “Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift. 25 Agree with thine adversary quickly, whiles thou art in the way with him; lest at any time the adversary deliver thee to the judge, and the judge deliver thee to the officer, and thou be cast into prison.”

Offenses will come. 

Luke 17:1-2 “Then said he unto the disciples, It is impossible but that offences will come: but woe unto him, through whom they come! 2 It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and he cast into the sea, than that he should offend one of these little ones.”

How you deal with offenses determines how far you go in God. Jealousy and favoritism are some markers of offense. These are heart issues.

Prov 4:23 “Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”

Heb 12:14 “Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: 15 Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled;”

How can you fail the grace of God? Issues of the heart take root and grow. 

What’s in your heart?

More Questions for Personal or Group Study:

  1. What really spoke to you in this sermon?
  2. What offenses do you struggle with? How are you overcoming them?
  3. Read Rom 12:1-5. What do these verses command? How can you apply this to your life?
  4. How can you take this sermon and use it to encourage someone else?

Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio. 

For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.

If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!

www.thelifechurchofglenview.org

Posted in Excerpts from Sermons by Pastor Anthony LoCascio | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Satan is Under Our Feet

Eph 1:16-23 “Cease not to give thanks for you, making mention of you in my prayers; 17 That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him: 18 The eyes of your understanding being enlightened; that ye may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints, 19 And what is the exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, 20 Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, 21 Far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come: 22 And hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be the head over all things to the church, 23 Which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.

Eph 2:1-7 “And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins; 2 Wherein in time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others. 4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus.”

Before Pentecost, all the fullness was in Christ Jesus. After Pentecost, all the fullness is in the church. Only when Jesus shows up are spirits cast out. Before Pentecost, Jesus had healing in His clothes, after Pentecost, Paul had healing in his clothes and even in his shadow. That authority was transferred to the church.

God has been called, ‘The Mighty God,’ ‘The Most High God,’ ‘I AM Has Become My Salvation,’ etc.

Luke 4:33-34 “And in the synagogue there was a man, which had a spirit of an unclean devil, and cried out with a loud voice, 34 Saying, Let us alone; what have we to do with thee, thou Jesus of Nazareth? art thou come to destroy us? I know thee who thou art; the Holy One of God.”

This is ‘El Haggadosh,’ the Holy One of God.

Acts 3:14-15 “But ye denied the Holy One and the Just, and desired a murderer to be granted unto you; 15 And killed the Prince of life, whom God hath raised from the dead; whereof we are witnesses.”

There is praise all over Scripture. The word, ‘Hallelujah,’ is a command word, meaning, ‘Praise the Lord.’ 

In the last five chapters of Psalms, praise is found over and over again. 

The Hebrew language has three dimensions, phonetic, numerical, and pictorial. The pictograph of ‘hallelujah’ is a man with his hands raised and a shepherd guiding and pointing toward God. 

Hallal is the root word for hallelujah. This is another name for Lucifer. He was in charge of commanding praise to the name of God. His original purpose was to shine and reflect the light, pointing at God’s name. 

Hallelujah is what Lucifer was in charge of. He was meant to bear the light. He was to be the reflection and the light in charge of praising the name. 

Do you know why it makes the devil so mad and why he fights you so much? God’s people took his job, praise. We have the right to praise God. 

Psalm 149:1-6 “Praise ye the Lord. Sing unto the Lord a new song, and his praise in the congregation of saints. 2 Let Israel rejoice in him that made him: let the children of Zion be joyful in their King. 3 Let them praise his name in the dance: let them sing praises unto him with the timbrel and harp. 4 For the Lord taketh pleasure in his people: he will beautify the meek with salvation. 5 Let the saints be joyful in glory: let them sing aloud upon their beds. 6 Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand;”

This is a revelation, when we praise God, we battle. 

Psalm 149:7-9 “To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people; 8 To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; 9 To execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints. Praise ye the Lord.”

When we praise God, we’re freeing up angels to fight. We aren’t as ‘qualified’ as Lucifer, but we’ve been given that position. We release angels to fight our battles. ‘Praise is in our mouths and a two-edged sword in our hands.’ 

Hallelujah makes the devil mad. You have taken his place. 

The Bible says the name of Jesus and the authority that God gave that is far above the powers of the darkness and all other authority. We’ve been given that authority. We have the keys to the Kingdom. 

When you want to look at the devil, you need a telescope to look way down, below your feet. You need a telescope to find him. He’s not chewing on your ankles, he’s much further down below you. 

Understand who you are.

When Jesus was tempted by the devil (Mat 4), He spoke Scripture. What was the actual temptation? In Mat 3, God says, ‘This is my beloved Son.’ The temptation is ‘if you are the Son…’ The devil points out what you don’t have and magnifies the enemy and the hardships you’re facing. Let the eyes of your understanding be enlightened. Understand who you are and the authority you have. 

Mat 12:26-30 “And if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how shall then his kingdom stand? 27 And if I by Beelzebub cast out devils, by whom do your children cast them out? therefore they shall be your judges. 28 But if I cast out devils by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come unto you. 29 Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house. 30 He that is not with me is against me; and he that gathereth not with me scattereth abroad.”

In order to displace one kingdom, you’ve got to get rid of the king first. You’ve got to cast out the first king. Cast out the other king that is there illegally in His place. 

When Adam and Eve sinned, God started rebuking the devil. 

Gen 3:14-15 “And the Lord God said unto the serpent, Because thou hast done this, thou art cursed above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; upon thy belly shalt thou go, and dust shalt thou eat all the days of thy life: 15 And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel.”

Jesus said, ‘I am the Messiah.’ 

The devil tries to make people confused and cause doubt. He glorifies the power of the enemy. He challenges who you really are. He will go after your joy, your strength, your praise. ‘The joy of the Lord is your strength.’ 

We can choose to have joy because of what Jesus has already done. He is already the victor. We have that right and the devil can’t take it away…but he tries to make you doubt it.

Luke 10:17-20 “And the seventy returned again with joy, saying, Lord, even the devils are subject unto us through thy name. 18 And he said unto them, I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven. 19 Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. 20 Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven.”

Jesus dispatched his disciples to heal and cast out devils. Sometimes, Jesus taught, other times, He had His people go and do stuff, ‘on the job training’ and come back and report. 

Jesus listened to their report, then brought them back to reality. He told them that He had given them that authority. ‘Rejoice that your name is written in heaven and celebrate that you are saved from hell and condemnation.’ 

This makes the devil really mad. 

Joshua 10:24-25 “And it came to pass, when they brought out those kings unto Joshua, that Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said unto the captains of the men of war which went with him, Come near, put your feet upon the necks of these kings. And they came near, and put their feet upon the necks of them. 25 And Joshua said unto them, Fear not, nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage: for thus shall the Lord do to all your enemies against whom ye fight.”

Victory is prophesied. 

Rom 16:20 “And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.”

More Questions for Personal or Group Study:

  1. What really spoke to you in this sermon?
  2. In what situations do you find yourself confused or doubting God? How does this sermon help you?
  3. Read Phil 4:4-9. In these verses how are we commanded to think? What are we commanded to think about? If we ‘focus our attention’ on these things, what does that mean for what we should NOT think about? 
  4. How can you take this sermon and use it to encourage someone else?

Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio. 

For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.

If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!

www.thelifechurchofglenview.org

Posted in Excerpts from Sermons by Pastor Anthony LoCascio | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Cost of Compromise

Rev 2:12-17 “And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write; These things saith he which hath the sharp sword with two edges; 13 I know thy works, and where thou dwellest, even where Satan’s seat is: and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth. 14 But I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balac to cast a stumblingblock before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication. 15 So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitanes, which thing I hate. 16 Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth. 17 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.”

Food is a spiritual thing. The doctrine of the Nicolaitanes is getting God to curse His people because they’ve mixed with the things of the world. 

There is a cost in compromise.

In 1871, a man named Heinrich Slieman began excavation and discovered the lost city of Troy. According to Homer’s Illiad, the Greeks besieged Troy for ten years. So, Odysseus built a giant horse as a gift. So, the Trojans brought the horse inside the city. The horse was filled with soldiers who came out and opened the gates and started fires all over the city. 

The story of the Trojan Horse and the fall of Troy represents subversion from within. A great city can easily fall from within. Troy fell in one night. 

The enemy of our soul tried to persecute the church and it only grew stronger. So, to get God’s people to compromise and sin, causes decay from within. The enemy will crush you with hostility or destroy you with compromise. 

If you want to endure to the end, stay away from compromise. 

The fact is ten years, the enemy sieged the city, but in one night the city fell from within. 

The false doctrine caused the people to practice idolatry and adultery. The prophet Balaam couldn’t curse God’s people, but he did advise the enemy in how to defeat the Israelites by sending in women to tempt the people to compromise. 

Today we have a computer virus called a Trojan Horse that we invite in and will get through our ‘firewalls’ and corrupt and destroy files. 

If satan can’t get you through persecution, he’ll get you through compromise, just slightly contrary to the Word of God. You get destroyed from the inside out. 

We’re not to worship at the altars of the world. We’re not to be pressed into the form of the world. Don’t be conformed to the world, but be transformed by Jesus. 

The church at Pergamos was compromising and in danger. This same thing happens today. Just because times have changed doesn’t mean God’s Word has changed. Times have changed, but we must hold onto the Word of God. 

Pergamos was primarily known for religion of all sorts. Satan called this ‘home.’ God knew all the obstacles His people dealt with. He was with them, but there was one thing He had against them, compromise. 

The church clung to the fundamentals, calling Jesus, ‘Lord,’ but there was still compromise. This is not a validation of salvation. Just because God uses you to perform miracles does not mean that you are saved.

We would rather be entertained by God than know Him personally. Jesus wants us either hot or cold. Lukewarm is what Jesus hates. 

Balaam was a prophet that the donkey spoke to. The donkey had to give the man of God a word because he wasn’t paying attention. King Ballak wanted Balaam to curse Israel, but God had blessed them and they couldn’t be cursed. Balaam couldn’t curse them, but he could teach how to get them to curse themselves. It was through the flirting and the tempting of pretty girls to get them to compromise and start worshipping idols. 

Num 25:3-8 “And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel. 4 And the Lord said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the Lord against the sun, that the fierce anger of the Lord may be turned away from Israel. 5 And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baalpeor. 6 And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 7 And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand; 8 And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel.”

There was a couple who were flaunting their unholy relationship in front of everybody. So, a holy anger got hold of Phinehas and he took a javelin and killed them both. God wanted this kind of passion against unholy things. It’s better to get rid of stuff yourself or God will come and do some breaking for you. 

What is the Trojan Horse coming into your spirit?

We need a pastor and accountability still. We still need ministry. We need structure. The Trojan Horse is saying, ‘Go online and choose what you like.’ It’s about hearing the stuff you want rather than the stuff that you need. You’ve got to be seeking conviction from God and to submit to those He has placed as authority over you. 

We still believe in Acts 2:38 and God’s salvation, repentance, baptism in Jesus’ name, and the infilling of the Holy Ghost. We need Apostolic authority in our lives. 

Be careful what you reject. God has chosen the weak to lead the strong. You cannot step outside of the things of God and expect a blessing. Christian character is still way more important than your gifts and talents. The fruit of the Spirit is better than what you can do. You are foolish to go to the world to get the council of God. 

To hear from God, go to the Bible, to men and women of God, and prayer. 

Submit to the people God has put over you. 

The people that mock you and laugh at you will come to you later, when you’re successful, and compliment you and ask for things. When people start to hear from God, they stop listening to the man of God. 

Not everybody gets the limelight, but everybody needs the assist. The camera is on the one who scores the points, but not on the one who assists. God causes His team to win with both the assists and the person who makes the points. We need each other. We are His body. 

The cost of compromise is your eyes. You will be blind just like Samson. He flirted with Delilah and ended up losing his eyes, his freedom, and his life. 

1 Sam 11:1-2 “Then Nahash the Ammonite came up, and encamped against Jabeshgilead: and all the men of Jabesh said unto Nahash, Make a covenant with us, and we will serve thee. 2 And Nahash the Ammonite answered them, On this condition will I make a covenant with you, that I may thrust out all your right eyes, and lay it for a reproach upon all Israel.”

The cost of their compromise was the loss of their eyes. They said, ‘Give us a week to decide.’ Then they sent a message. King Saul got the message and sent to not compromise. Nabash means ‘serpent.’ 

When you are tempted and scared, send a message to the King and ask Him to fight your battles for you! 

Look past what you see and receive what God has for you. Don’t be afraid of the enemy of our souls. He’s not stronger than you. Jesus is with you. Your prayers are powerful. God will take care of you. He loves you and will provide for you. 

God will not appear to you in some mystical way. He speaks through His man. He speaks through prophets, evangelists, preachers and His Word. The job of the ministry and the saints is to study the Bible. You’ve got to listen to your pastor that God appointed to speak to you a Word from Him. 

God will never contradict His Word. He is consistent. Seek Him and His will, His way. You cannot compromise and expect God to bless you. 

People are living eternity, wrapped in skin. Be careful what you separate yourself from. 

More Questions for Personal or Group Study:

  1. What really spoke to you in this sermon?
  2. In what ways are you tempted and/or scared? How does this sermon help you deal?
  3. Read Psalm 91:1-10. What are the promises in these verses? Why shall ‘no evil befall you?’ How can you apply these verses to your own life?
  4. How can you use the lessons from this sermon to encourage someone else?

Excerpted from a sermon preached by Pastor Anthony LoCascio. 

For the full YouTube audio/video, click here.

If you are looking for an Apostolic Pentecostal church and are in the Chicagoland area, come check out The Life Church located at 3030 Central Road in Glenview, IL. Services are Sundays at 1pm and Wednesdays at 7pm. We would love to see you there!

www.thelifechurchofglenview.org

Posted in Excerpts from Sermons by Pastor Anthony LoCascio | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment