Healing Through the Word

 

The healing anointing is manifested in several

ways and we can see it in the scripture as healing through

the Word. Psalm 107:20 says, “He sent his word, and

healed them.” Whenever the Word of God is spoken in

faith from the lips of a believer, then God’s healing power

is activated. Jesus often spoke the word and many were

healed.

 

Remember the story of the centurion who came to

Jesus seeking healing for his servant? The centurion said

to Him, “Speak the word only, and my servant shall be

healed. For I am a man under authority, having soldiers

under me: and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth; and to

another, Come, and he cometh; and to my servant, Do

this, and he doeth it” (Matthew 8:8, 9). Jesus said that had

not found so great faith in all of Israel. The centurion’s

servant was healed when Jesus spoke the word.

 

Healing Through the Gifts

 

We find that as God begins to use individuals in

the operation of the gifts of the Spirit, they begin to

function through that individual according to the

proportion of his faith and according to his character.

First Corinthians 12:9, 10 speaks of the three

power gifts of the Spirit. These gifts are given to the

Church to do something. They are the supernatural gifts.

 

The gift of faith is a supernatural manifestation of

God’s faith imparted to man at a specific time, at a

specific place, for a specific purpose. When that gift

begins to operate, a great boldness comes in an

individual’s life. As supernatural faith is poured into your

life, there is no room for doubt and unbelief. Those two

terrible twins from hell leave when the gift of faith is in

operation.

 

The gifts of healing is a supernatural gift of God’s

healing power for divers diseases without the use of

doctors or medicine. When the gift is in operation, many

are healed all over the place of divers diseases. Many

times you will see the gifts of healing operating with the

word of knowledge.

 

The gift of working of miracles is a supernatural

intervention of God in the course of nature and it can be

in the area of creative miracles. Acts 19:11, 12 says,

“And God wrought special miracles by the hands of Paul:

So that from his body were brought unto the sick

handkerchiefs or aprons, and the diseases departed from

them, and the evil spirits went out of them.”

 

Healing Through the Laying on of Hands

 

Mark 16:17,18 says, “These signs shall follow

them that believe: In my name…they shall lay hands on

the sick, and they shall recover.” We will discuss this

later in a chapter about the laying on of hands.

There is healing by the laying on of hands, but

also healing through the Word because God’s Word is

anointed. The Word will heal when mixed with faith in

the heart of the individual.

 

There is also healing through the gifts of the

Spirit. We need to realize the healing anointing flows in

different ways through different people.

 

God might use one minister in one way and then

another in a different way. We must never put God into a

box. God will not be dictated to by anyone. God is a God

of variety, of diversity. I will discuss this in more detail in

the chapter on the healing anointing.

 

You can minister by the laying on of hands, by a

tangible anointing, or by faith in the Word of God and see

healings take place. God does grace people with a special

anointing to minister to the sick. One can also believe

Mark 16 and lay hands on people in faith in the name of

Jesus and see great things take place.

 

Different Callings Mean Different Anointings

 

I personally believe that the anointing is

dependent upon the callings placed in the lives of

ministers. We know that the scripture also says, “Stir up

the gift of God, which is in thee by the putting on of my

hands” (Second Timothy 1:6). One can either stir it up or

let it lie dormant.

 

For example, the parable of the talents comes to

mind as we think of the one man who was given one

talent and another was given two talents and another five.

The man with one talent buried his and ended up losing

it.

 

As the saying goes, if you don’t use it, you’ll lose

it. We must be faithful with that which God has given us.

If we are faithful with the little, God will make us a ruler

over much.

 

Different Strokes for Different Folks

 

One ministry will emphasize healing, another

preaching or teaching, another salvation, another the

baptism of the Holy Spirit. It is because of this diversity

that we need to recognize the whole Body of Christ and

to understand that we need each other. The foot cannot

say to the hand, “I have no need of you.” And the eye

cannot say to the ear, “I do not need you.” If the whole

body were an eye, where would the hearing be? (First

Corinthians 12:15-17). We need one another.

 

Don’t try to work out with your mind another

man’s anointing. If he is getting results and people are

getting saved, healed, and set free, then glorify God for

his wondrous works among men.

 

Look beyond the vessel and see the glory of God,

for the scripture says we have this treasure in earthen

vessels. In these last days, God is raising up a group of

people who will flow together and stop criticizing one

another and will accomplish great things for the Body of

Christ.

 

It’s All in the Anointing

 

There is a difference between the fivefold

ministry and the laity, and the difference is the anointing.

In our understanding of the anointing, we have to realize

that it’s God’s grace upon man. In the book of Acts, the

Bible says, “When they saw the boldness of Peter and

John, and perceived that they were unlearned and

ignorant men, they marveled; and they took knowledge of

them, that they had been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13).

 

God anoints us in our daily walk with Him. Every

child of God has a ministry of reconciliation, but

everyone is not called to the fivefold ministry. In

Ephesians 4:7, the scripture says, “But unto every one of

us is given grace according to the measure of the gift of

Christ.” You could say, “But unto every one of us is

given ability, enablement, or anointing according to the

measure of the gift.”

 

Calling equals anointing and ability. God will not

call you to do something without giving you the ability to

get the job done. Those whom God calls, He anoints and

appoints.

 

JACOB’S VOW

Thoughts on Stewardship – Lessons from Genesis

Jacob’s Vow
Foundation Scriptures: Genesis 28:18-22

Then Jacob rose early in the morning, and took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it. 19 And he called the name of that place Bethel; but the name of that city had been Luz previously. 20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God will be with me, and keep me in this way that I am going, and give me bread to eat and clothing to put on, 21 so that I come back to my father’s house in peace, then the LORD shall be my God. 22 And this stone which I have set as a pillar shall be God’s house, and of all that You give me I will surely give a tenth to You.”  Genesis 28:18-22 NKJV

1. Right after Jacob saw the vision of the ladder with the angels ascending and descending, he took the stone that he had put at his head, set it up as a pillar, and poured oil on top of it. Then he made a vow to the Lord – with some conditions. He asked this of God:

a. If God will be with me

b. If God will keep me in the way that I go

c. If He will give me bread to eat

d. If He will give me raiment – clothing – to put on

e. So that I come to my father’s house in peace – so that I die content and satisfied; in right-standing with God

2. Then Jacob made his vow. He spelled out his commitment to the Lord and what he promised to do in order to maintain his covenant with Almighty God:

a. He made a sincere, heartfelt, committed vow – a covenant promise that he would keep all of his life

b. Jacob promised God at least one tenth of all He gave him from then on. Jacob felt that if God would do these things for him then the least he could do would be to give God one tenth of his increase!

c. A covenant is a two-way street. God takes you at your word and expects you to take Him at His. When you make a promise or a vow, God acts to empower you to keep your promise. If you do not keep your word after God has kept His, it is like a slap in His face. Jacob kept his vow to God and so, even in the middle of an extreme seven-year famine, he and his family were protected and provided for.

Pastor Adonica’s Thoughts:
How many of us really, truly appreciate what God, through Jesus, has done for us? I am sure that if we really believed and understood God’s undying, unconditional, sacrificial love for us, we would do most things very differently. We would be much more committed to God; we would be much more willing and generous in all our dealings with Him; we would be more prompt to obey Him; we would be more grateful for all He has done for us. What do you think that God’s “love language” is? Do you speak His love language? Do you know that God is so thrilled when his kids really love Him and show it? How does God know that you genuinely love Him beyond your lip service? How do you demonstrate your love for God? Do you praise Him with your heart and lips? Do you spend time with Him? Do you obey Him? Do you love your neighbor? Do you tithe? Do you sow financially into His Kingdom? Your tithe is not just supporting the Gospel – your tithe is your covenant promise to God that enables you to remain blessed all the days of your life.

Pastor Rodney’s Thoughts:
There is something about a vow that causes God to respond – He responds to genuineness, sincerity and faith. Throughout the scriptures, we see men making various vows to God. We see that God always honored His part and kept His vows, but unfortunately the men who made vows to God did not always keep their vows or honor their part. In our lives, Adonica and I have made several vows to the Lord. We made vows of consecration – I first made this vow when I was young and single. When we were married, we made a covenant vow to God and each other that we would be committed to each other. I made a vow to God at my brother’s death-bed and another one at my daughter’s and I have endeavored with all my heart and might to keep every one of them.

Remember, that anything you ask God for must be something He already promised in His word. Once you make a vow, God watches to see what we will do. If we will keep our word, He will keep His; He will do what we have asked of Him. God will meet us on the basis of our vow. If you have never done this then take a step of faith and make a vow and see what God will do.

Prayer and Confession:
Father, I thank you that You honor Your word and that You watch over Your word to perform it. As I make my vows to You and as I purpose, with all my heart, to keep my part I know that you will watch over your word and bring it to pass.

THE INTEGRITY OF THE WORD

The Logos of God is a living thing, active and more cutting than any sword with double edge, penetrating to the very division of soul and spirit, joint and marrow—scrutinizing the very thoughts and conceptions of the heart. 13 And no created thing is hidden from Him; all things lie open, exposed before the eyes of Him with whom we have to reckon.  Hebrews 4:12-13 Moffat’s Translation

The Word Is Our Contact With God.

  • The Word is God speaking to you.
  •  “Thus says Jehovah” is repeated over 2,000 times from Exodus to Deuteronomy.
  • God and His Word are one.
  • The Word of God is a living thing.
  • Jesus is the Living word—the Logos made flesh (John 1:14).
  • John 14:23 AMP – Jesus answered, If a person [really] loves Me, he will keep My word [obey My teaching]; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home (abode, special dwelling place) with him.
  • Nothing and no one is hidden from Him—the Living Word—the word searches and finds us out.
  • Without God’s Word we would never know all that is available to us through Jesus Christ.


We Are Convicted By The Word.

  • John 16:7-11
  • Jesus said in John 16:13 that the Holy Spirit doesn’t speak on His own authority. The Holy Spirit speaks only the Word of God. The Word of God convicts and convinces.

We Are Recreated By The Word.

  • James 1:18 NKJV – Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.
  • 1 Peter 1:23 NKJV – Having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word of God which lives and abides forever.
  • The Word of God imparts to us Eternal Life.
  • Salvation is only available through God’s Word.


Our Minds Are Renewed Through The Word.

  • Romans 12:2 NKJV – And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.
  • Colossians 3:10 AMP – And have clothed yourselves with the new [spiritual self], which is [ever in the process of being] renewed and remolded into [fuller and more perfect knowledge upon] knowledge after the image (the likeness) of Him Who created it.
  • The only way to renew your mind is to study the Word of God and act on it.
  • If you do not act on it, do it or live it, your mind is not renewed.
  • James 1:22 NKJV – But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.
  • Hearers who are not doers are self-deceived.


The Word Comes To Live In Us.

  • Colossians 3:16a NKJV – Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom, teaching and admonishing one another.
  • Receive the Word into your heart and life—let it live in you, guide, direct and sustain you.
  • John 15:7-8 NKJV – If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
  • When you abide in God’s Word and His Words abide in you, your prayers are answered and you become a good fruit bearer, bringing glory to the Father.
  • It is not just memorizing the Word of God, but letting the Word become an integral part of your life.
  • Being submitted to the Word of God is being submitted to Jesus. He truly becomes Lord of your life.


We Are Built Up With The Word.

  • Acts 20:32 NKJV -“So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.
  • The Word of God working in us builds us more and more into the image of Jesus—His nature and character.
  • Not head knowledge—not philosophies, theories or the history of the Word.
  • It is the Word living in us.


We Are Healed By The Word.

  • Psalms 107:20a NKJV – He sent His word and healed them.
  • Isaiah 53:5 KJV – But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.
  • 1 Peter 2:24 KJV – Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.


Faith Comes Through The Word.

  • Romans 10:8 NKJV – But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart” (that is, the word of faith which we preach).
  • It is the Word of faith that we preach.
  • Romans 10:17 NKJV – So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.
  • Hebrews 12:2a NKJV – Looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith.
  • Jesus is the Author and Perfecter of our faith.


The Word Is On Our Lips.

  • Romans 10:9-10 NKJV – That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. 10 For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.
  • The Word becomes a living thing on the lips of the believer.

The Word Sustains You.

  • Matthew 4:4b NKJV – Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
  • Jeremiah 15:16 NKJV – Your words were found, and I ate them, And Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart; For I am called by Your name, O Lord God of hosts.
  • Job 23:12 AMP – I have not gone back from the commandment of His lips; I have esteemed and treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.

Children Honor Your Father and Mother

Children, obey your parents in the Lord [as His representatives], for this is just and right. 2 Honor (esteem and value as precious) your father and your mother — this is the first commandment with a promise — 3 That all may be well with you and that you may live long on the earth.  Ephesians 6:1-3 AMP

Regard (treat with honor, due obedience, and courtesy) your father and mother, that your days may be long in the land the Lord your God gives you. Exodus 20:12 AMP

Honor your father and your mother, as the Lord your God commanded you, that your days may be prolonged and that it may go well with you in the land which the Lord your God gives you.  Deuteronomy 5:16 AMP

Honor your father and your mother, and, You shall love your neighbor as [you do] yourself.  Matthew 19:19 AMP

Jesus gave us two commandments: love God and love your neighbor. This love is agape – seeing others as valuable and precious – the love of 1 Corinthians 13. He defined your neighbor as being every person you know – this includes family. Each of us is commanded to love with no exceptions – therefore we have no excuses not to love. Husbands are commanded to love their wives and their children. Wives are commanded to love their husbands and their children. Children are commanded to love their parents and they show this love by honoring and obeying and being courteous toward their parents.

Both children and parents have a responsibility to each other. Children should honor their parents even if they think that their parents are demanding and unfair. Parents should gently and kindly care for their children, even if the children are disobedient and disagreeable. Both should be thoughtful and loving toward each other, putting each other’s interests above their own.

Children are to honor and obey their parents because:

It is right

It is a commandment

It’s a blessing of well-being

Long life is promised

This is the fifth of the Ten Commandments and the first commandment that has a promise attached to it. The promise is that your life would be lengthened, or extended, and that it would go well with you in the land which the Lord gives you. What a great promise – you will live longer than you would have otherwise – that means that you will be healthier than you should be at every age. A blessing of long life, favor, possessions, health, and blessings are pronounced over you when you honor and obey your parents!

Why wouldn’t anyone want these great promises over their lives? Unfortunately, too many people are too ungrateful, angry, unforgiving, selfish, self-centered, and/or entitled to obey God’s Word and honor their parents. We don’t honor our parents just because they are super, duper parents, because no one is perfect. Some parents did a better job than others; however, we are to honor them just because they ARE our parents.

When society honors their elders, then the wisdom of the elders is passed down the generations. However, when the younger generation thinks they know it all and that their elders are ignorant then society can do nothing else other than spiral downward.

If you are angry at your parents: Ask yourself why you are angry. Take it to the Lord; measure it against the Word of God. Ask yourself if you have a right to be angry. You may be angry because of things they did or didn’t do or it may be because you responded badly to things that happened or because you just had a bad attitude. Confront those feelings; acknowledge your anger and also the cause of your anger; ask the Lord to help you to release the anger to Him. Make a conscious decision to forgive them and to let it go and let it drop. Ask the Lord for forgiveness for the anger you have held onto.

If you are bitter and unforgiving: Do the things above. Forgive; let it go; let it drop. Ask the Lord to forgive you and to help you get rid of bitterness.

If you are selfish or self-centered: Repent and as the Lord to help you to walk in love. Start preferring others before yourself. Go and serve your parents in any way you can. Love them; be kind and patient and generous with them.

If you have a victim mentality: STOP! Remember that you are not the center of the universe and the sun does not revolve around you! Forgive – and then go help and serve others.

If you are ungrateful: Stop focusing on the negatives. Look for the positives. Make up your mind to appreciate all the good things your parents have done for you and the positive influence they have been for you. If you think you can’t find anything good then at least be thankful that they gave you life. Most of us have much more than that to be thankful for anyway.

If you have a sense of entitlement: Acknowledge that you have been spoiled. Realize that you might be an ungrateful person and decide to start appreciating things and people and to be grateful. Realize that no one owes you anything at all. Life is an empty cup – you must fill it!

Children, obey your parents in everything, for this is pleasing to the Lord. Colossians 3:20 AMP

Children are to obey their parents in everything. This means to obey: in all things; all (manner of, means); always; daily; in as many as; thoroughly; whatsoever; in the whole (completely); whosoever.

The obedience God requires includes inward reverence, as well as outward acts. There is a difference between obeying and honoring. To obey means to do as you are told; to honor means to show respect and love. One is an outward act; the other is an attitude of the heart. We obey God first and parents second. Obedience to parents does not include or involve disobedience to God and His Word. Adult children are not asked to be subject or subservient to domineering parents. While children are under their parents care, they are to obey. However, the responsibility to honor your parents is for your whole life long.

Our Spiritual DNA

And Jesus came and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen. Matthew 28:18-20 NKJV

And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned. 17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; 18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Mark 16:15-18 NKJV

The initials, DNA, stand for deoxyribonucleic acid – the molecule that contains the genetic code of organisms. DNA is inherited by children from their biological parents. This is why they share traits with their parents such as skin, hair, and eye color. DNA is what makes us who and what we are. Our spiritual DNA comes from God, at the New Birth.

Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer. 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:16-17 NKJV

The life of God in us made us a new creature – one who follows in the footsteps of his/her Heavenly Father, not merely in the footsteps of our earthly parents. We have been given His nature and He commissions us to GO with the Great Commission in our heart – and also to bear good fruit.

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. 2 Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. 3 You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. 4 Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. 5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. 6 If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. 7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. 8 By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples. John 15:1-8 NKJV

By bearing fruit, we prove that we are His disciples. A very important property of DNA is that it can replicate itself, or make exact copies of itself. Just as we pass our DNA, inherited from our parents, to our children; so we are to pass along our spiritual DNA, inherited from Father God, to others. This can only happen when our spiritual DNA shows in our lives. Your disciples will be just like you. We must be what we want others to be – more like Jesus. Always point people to Jesus and let them see Him in you.

“For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. 44 For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush. 45 A good man out of the good treasure of his heart brings forth good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart brings forth evil. For out of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaks. Luke 6:43-45 NKJV

When we preach the Gospel with power, great things will happen – increase and multiplication will take place. The Kingdom of God will advance and light will dispel the darkness. Our DNA at The River – as the Church – must be to obey the Great Commission. It is impossible for one man to do everything, so everyone must do something. Each one, reach one. Each one, teach one. Make them to be disciples – to be doers of the Word and not hearers only.

Therefore lay aside all filthiness and overflow of wickedness, and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. 22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; 24 for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. 25 But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does. James 1:21-25 NKJV

“But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say? 47 Whoever comes to Me, and hears My sayings and does them, I will show you whom he is like: 48 He is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently against that house, and could not shake it, for it was founded on the rock. 49 But he who heard and did nothing is like a man who built a house on the earth without a foundation, against which the stream beat vehemently; and immediately it fell. And the ruin of that house was great.” Luke 6:46-49 NKJV

EACH ONE, REACH ONE.

EACH ONE, TEACH ONE.

WIN THE LOST AT ANY COST!

The God of New Beginnings

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

Ezekiel 18:30-32  (NAS)
30 “Therefore I will judge you, O house of Israel, each according to his conduct,” declares the Lord GOD. “Repent   and turn away from all your transgressions, so that iniquity may not become a stumbling block to you.

31 Cast away from you all your transgressions which you have committed, and make yourselves a new heart and a   new spirit! For why will you die, O house of Israel?

32 For I have no pleasure in the death of anyone who dies,” declares the Lord GOD. “Therefore, repent and live.”

God, our God, is the God of new beginnings.  It does not matter what you have gone through or what you have done – there is a new beginning for you.  God has no pleasure in your death and destruction.  He has made a way for you to have a brand new start and all it takes is repentance being sorry for the sin in your life and turning around to follow the Lord.  You cannot let pride stand in the way of receiving a fresh start from God.  The first thing that God wants to do for you is give you a fresh, new heart – a fresh new spirit.
2 Corinthians 5:17  (NKJ)

17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have   become new.
As a Christian, you have a new heart, but you still make mistakes.  Don’t let sin stand in the way of your relationship with God and your spiritual growth.  Be quick to confess your sin and admit your mistakes so that your Father God can forgive you and wash you and so that you can continue to grow into all the new things that God has for you.

Ezekiel 36:25-27  (NAS)
25 “Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and   from all your idols.
26 Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from   your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

27 And I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My   ordinances.”
When God washes you and cleanses you and gives you a new heart and spirit, He also puts His Spirit in you to help you to walk in His ways.  You are not alone, struggling to make it through the day.  The Spirit of God is there to help you to walk in newness of life.  All that is required is that you totally yield yourself to the Spirit of God on a daily basis and keep a repentant attitude.

Colossians 3:8-11  (NKJ)
8 But now you yourselves are to put off all these: anger, wrath, malice, blasphemy, filthy language out of your   mouth.

9 Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds,
10 and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him,
11 where there is neither Greek nor Jew, circumcised nor uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave nor free, but   Christ is all and in all.

You have a new beginning in God and you keep on being renewed into the image of Him who created you as you walk in obedience to Him.  It is an ongoing process.

Lamentations 3:22-23  (NIV)
22 Because of the LORD’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail.

23 They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.
Thank God His love, mercy and compassion is extended toward us new and fresh every morning and great is His faithfulness.

OUR STATEMENT OF FAITH – What we believe and teach at the River @ Tampa Bay

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

THE SCRIPTURES
The Bible is the inspired Word of God, the product of holy men of old who spoke and wrote as they were moved by the Holy Spirit. The New Covenant, as recorded in the New Testament, we accept as our infallible guide in matters pertaining to conduct and doctrine. (II Tim. 3:16, I Thess. 2:13, II Peter 1:21).

THE GODHEAD

Our God is one, but manifested in three persons – The Father, The Son, and The Holy Spirit, being co-equal (Phil. 2:6). God the Father is greater than all; the sender of the Word (Logos) and the Begotten(John 14:28, John 16:28, John 1:14). The Son is the Word flesh-covered, the One Begotten, and has existed with the Father from the beginning (John 1:1, John 1:18, John 1:14). The Holy Spirit proceeds forth from both the Father and the Son and is eternal (John 15:26).

MAN, HIS FALL AND REDEMPTION
Man is a created being, made in the likeness and image of God, but, through Adam’s transgression and fall, sin came into the world. “All have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” As it is written, “There is none righteous, no, not one.” Jesus Christ, the Son of God, was manifested to undo the work of the devil and gave His life and shed His blood to redeem and restore man back to God (Rom. 5:14, Rom. 3:10, Rom. 3:23, I John 3:8). Salvation is the gift of God to man, separate from works and the law, and is made operative by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, producing works acceptable to God (Eph.2:8).

ETERNAL LIFE AND THE NEW BIRTH
Man’s first step toward salvation is godly sorrow that worketh repentance. The New Birth is necessary to all men, and when experienced, produces eternal life (II Cor. 7:10, I Jn. 5:12, Jn. 3:3-5).

WATER BAPTISM
Baptism in water is by immersion, is a direct commandment of our Lord, and is for believers only. The ordinance is a symbol of the Christian’s identification with Christ in His death, burial and resurrection (Matt. 28:19, Rom. 6:4, Col. 2:12, Acts 8:36-39).
The following recommendations regarding the water baptismal formula is adopted: to wit: “On the confession of your faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, and by his authority, I baptize you in the Name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Ghost. Amen.”

BAPTISM IN THE HOLY GHOST
The Baptism in the Holy Ghost and fire is a gift from God as promised by the Lord Jesus Christ to all believers in this dispensation and is received subsequent to the New Birth. This experience is accompanied by the initial evidence of speaking in other tongues as the Holy Spirit Himself gives utterance (Matt. 3:11, John 14:16-17, Acts 1:9, Acts 2:38-39, Acts 19:1-7, Acts 2:4).

SANCTIFICATION
The Bible teaches that without holiness no man can see the Lord. We believe in the Doctrine of Sanctification as a definite, yet progressive work of grace, commencing at the time of regeneration and continuing until the consummation of salvation at Christ’s return (Heb. 12:14, I Thess. 5:23, II Peter 3:18, II Cor. 3:18, Phil. 3:12-14, I Cor. 1:30).

DIVINE HEALING
Healing is for the physical ills of the human body and is wrought by the power of God through the prayer of faith, and by the laying on of hands. It is provided for in the atonement of Christ, and is the privilege of every member of the Church today (Mark 16:18, James 5:14-15, I Peter 2:24, Matt 8:1-17, Isa. 53:4-5).

RESURRECTION OF THE JUST AND THE RETURN OF OUR LORD
The angels said to Jesus’ disciples, “This same Jesus shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.” His coming is imminent. When He comes, “…the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air….” (Acts 1:11, I Thess. 4:16-17). Following the Tribulation, He shall return to earth as King of kings and Lord of lords, and together with His saints, who shall be kings and priests, He shall reign a thousand years (Rev. 20:6).

HELL AND ETERNAL RETRIBUTION

The one who physically dies in his sins without accepting Christ is hopelessly and eternally lost in the Lake of Fire and therefore has no further opportunity of hearing the Gospel or repenting. The Lake of Fire is literal. The terms “eternal” and “everlasting” used in describing the duration of the punishment of the damned in the Lake of Fire, carry the same thought and meaning of endless existence as used in denoting the duration of joy and ecstasy of saints in the presence of God (Heb. 9:27, Rev. 19:20).

THE FRUIT OF THE SPIRIT IS MEEKNESS

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

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

Galatians 5:22-23 KJV

The Greek word for “meekness” here does not mean weakness, but rather it has to do with humility. When you have humility you have a teachable spirit and you esteem and regard others more highly than yourself. You are humble toward God and man. You do not promote yourself, but you exalt the Lord in everything.

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others. Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death— even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.  Philippians 2:3-11 NIV

Humility is not selfish, nor is it pushy. Humility puts the interests of others above its own. Jesus did not first consider His own welfare or His own best interests when He agreed to be born into the earth in the body of a man. He was not thinking of Himself when He took the place of man, taking man’s sin upon Himself, being judged on man’s behalf, and dying a cruel death on the cross. Jesus was thinking only of His Father and of us. His Father asked Him to take our place and bring us back into His family. His sacrifice would save and redeem us. And because Jesus humbled Himself – Almighty God highly exalted Him!

The meekness – humility — demonstrated by Jesus was not weakness, but it was the fruit of power. He was not meek because He could not help Himself — He was meek because He had the infinite resources of God at His command!  When the soldiers who were sent by the chief priests came to arrest Jesus, His disciples tried to defend Him. He told them to put their swords away because He had more than 60,000 angels (twelve legions) at His disposal — all He had to do was to ask for them (Matthew 26:53). Jesus humbled Himself by laying His life down, even though He had heaven on His side. No one could have laid a finger on Him without His consent.

Therefore putting aside all filthiness and {all} that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls. But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.  James 1:21-22 NAS

When you are humble you are teachable. You receive God’s Word for your own life and allow it to discipline and correct you. You hear the Word and you do it. When you are humble you allow the Holy Spirit to lead, guide and teach you without excuses or rebellion. You obey the Spirit instantly and precisely. You conduct your life in the way that the Word and the Lord leads you to.

Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show it by his good life, by deeds done in the humility that comes from wisdom.  James 3:13 NIV

When you are full of God’s Word and when you have grown in His wisdom then you will display humility. A wise person is also a humble person. Proverbs 12:15 and 15:5 says that a person who thinks that he knows everything and refuses instruction is a fool.

Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted.  Galatians 6:1  KJV

Even when you have grown in the Lord and have become a very spiritual person, bringing correction and speaking into the lives of others, you must do it with a humble attitude. If you have a humble attitude then you will protect your own heart and you will not be tempted to fall into sin yourself. People who try to bring correction to others in an arrogant, know-it-all attitude tend to end up falling into sin themselves. When you are humble, you do not believe that you are infallible. You do not have to walk in constant fear of falling into sin, but by the grace of God you should guard yourself, never allowing yourself to be put into a situation where you could be faced with temptation. You avoid the very appearance of evil.

Proverbs 16:18 says, “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall.” When your head is lifted up in pride – you can’t see where your feet are going. You cannot see the trap that the devil would like to set for you. Humble yourself and let God do the exalting. You know that you are humble when you don’t care about being exalted anymore!

But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: “God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”  James 4:6 NKJ

Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.

James 4:10 KJV

DELIGHT YOURSELF IN THE LORD – PART TWO

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

Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.  Psalms 37:3-5 KJV

Psalms 37:4 says that when you delight yourself in the Lord — He will give you the desires of your heart. Notice that it says that God will give you the desires of your HEART – not of your head or your flesh! A man or woman who delights themselves in the Lord, is one who has a heart after God. They have a heart that longs to please God – a heart filled with good desires. God will not honor the ungodly, sinful desires that spring from an unrenewed mind or unrestrained flesh. He only honors godly desires. If your desire is toward the Lord, then it will also be toward the things of the Lord and He promises to fulfill those desires.

For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. Romans 7:18-23 NKJV

After we are born-again we desire God and the things of God in our heart, but the flesh hankers after those things that are sinful and evil. We need to allow our heart to rule our flesh. We need to allow the desires of our heart to take precedence over the desires of the flesh.

The desire of the righteous is only good, But the expectation of the wicked is wrath – NKJV.  The desire of the righteous ends only in good, but the hope of the wicked only in wrath – NIV – Proverbs 11:23

What the wicked dreads will overtake him; what the righteous desire will be granted.  Proverbs 10:24NIV

When you are righteous, your desires are righteous desires and God will give

you those things. Your righteous desires will be fulfilled.

The LORD upholds all those who fall and lifts up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food at the proper time. You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing. The LORD is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all he has made. The LORD is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth. He fulfills the desires of those who fear him; he hears their cry and saves them. The LORD watches over all who love him, but all the wicked he will destroy.  Psalms 145:14-20 NIV

God is good to all and His tender mercies are over all His works. He rains on the just and the unjust. He reaches out to bless all those who reach out for Him. The wicked will be destroyed and their plans will come to nothing, but God hears the just and save those who honor, respect and fear Him.

Psalms 73:25 NIV says, “Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you.”  There is nothing on earth or in heaven to be desired beside our God. Proverbs 3:14-15 says that she – wisdom – is better, more precious and more profitable than gold, silver or rubies and nothing you can desire compares with her. We will be blessed if we desire after, and ultimately find, wisdom. 1 Peter 2:1-3 says, “as newborn babes, desire the pure milk of the word, that you may grow thereby.”  1 Corinthians 14:1 says that we should, “Follow the way of love and eagerly desire spiritual gifts.”

A longing fulfilled is sweet to the soul, but fools detest turning from evil. Proverbs 13:19 NIV

Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life. NKJV. Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life. NIV – Proverbs 13:12

Desire the wisdom of God, the word of God, the gifts God gives and most of all God Himself and you will be refreshed and fulfilled.

DELIGHT YOURSELF IN THE LORD

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

Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart. Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.  Psalms 37:3-5 KJV

Psalms 37:4 says that we should “delight ourselves in the Lord.” The Hebrew word “delight” used here means “to be soft or pliable.” Our heart must be soft toward the Lord. It must be pliable, yielded and submitted to Him.

This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins. 1 John 4:9-10 NIV

The Father loves us completely and unconditionally. Because He loves us, we can trust Him. We can place ourselves totally –- spirit, soul and body -– in His hands. We can devote ourselves utterly to Him and to His will for our lives. We can delight in Him. When you love and respect someone, you want to please them, you want to honor them — you delight in them.

Isaiah 58:14 NKJV says, “Then you shall delight yourself in the LORD;

And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, and feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of the LORD has spoken.” This verse in the NIV says, ”Then you will find your joy in the LORD.”  In order to delight in the Lord, you must find your JOY in Him! You must enjoy Him – you must enjoy His presence – you must be satisfied with Him.

Psalms 40:8 NKJV says, “I delight to do Your will, O my God, And Your law is within my heart.” The NIV says, “I desire to do your will, O my God.”  We must delight in and desire to do His will – not our own. We must lay down our own agenda and we must put Him and his word first place in our lives. He must take precedence – He must have His way in us. We must find our pleasure in the things that are pleasing to Him.

But his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.  Psalms 1:2 NIV

I have rejoiced in the way of Your testimonies, as much as in all riches. I will meditate on Your precepts, and contemplate Your ways. I will delight myself in Your statutes; I will not forget Your word.  Psalms 119:14-16 NKJV

And I will delight myself in Your commandments, Which I love. Psalms 119:47 NKJV

God’s word is His will. It is our life and the length of our days. If we put His word first before anything else, we will be blessed all of our days. We must love His word. We must love to read His word, speak His word and do His word. We must willingly submit to his word and allow it to govern our thoughts, our words, and our actions. It is our standard and our counselor. If we truly delight in God’s word then we will yield to it and submit to it. We will allow His word to wash us and change us.

I will praise God’s name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving. This will please the LORD more than an ox, more than a bull with its horns and hoofs. Psalms 69:30-31 NIV

We are delighting ourselves in the Lord when we praise Him and glorify Him — and He delights in us. He would rather have our praise and our worship than any other sacrifice. We need to set our hearts to love Him, please Him and delight in Him in all things. He is so wonderful and He is so worthy. There is nothing else in this world that can compare with Him and no one else who can compare with Him – so delight yourself in Him right now!

Reaching the world, one soul at a time