Allow God to Strip Off the Junk that Trips You Up

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

Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony to the Truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us.  Hebrews 12:1 AMP

We have a great cloud of witnesses, who have gone on before us, who led and paved the way for us, who made sacrifices, some paying the ultimate price, to uphold the truth and lift Jesus up, who are watching us over the banisters of heaven. We owe it to them and ourselves to strip off the worldly stuff that wraps itself around us to trip us up and the weight of sin that is so easy to pick up and so difficult to get rid of.

Looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the Leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. He, for the joy [of obtaining the prize] that was set before Him, endured the cross, despising and ignoring the shame, and is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God.  Hebrews 12:2 AMP

The devil will try to lure and distract you with all kinds of sins and temptations and unfortunately some people are very easily distracted. If you want to do the right thing, you need to look away from all distractions and keep your eyes on Jesus. Jesus is our example. He did not give in to temporary temptations, He had His eye on the prize and the joy that was set before Him, and therefore He endured the shame and pain of the cross. We are His joy!

Just think of Him Who endured from sinners such grievous opposition and bitter hostility against Himself [reckon up and consider it all in comparison with your trials], so that you may not grow weary or exhausted, losing heart and relaxing and fainting in your minds. 4 You have not yet struggled and fought agonizingly against sin, nor have you yet resisted and withstood to the point of pouring out your [own] blood.  Hebrews 12:3-4 AMP

Jesus struggled so intensely against the temptation to disobey God and not go to the cross that He sweated blood. You haven’t resisted sin till you sweated blood yet. When you look at what Jesus endured at the hands of man, you can encourage yourself and keep your spirits up, knowing that your trials are nowhere near as bad as His. He made it through and so will you.

And have you [completely] forgotten the divine word of appeal and encouragement in which you are reasoned with and addressed as sons? My son, do not think lightly or scorn to submit to the correction and discipline of the Lord, nor lose courage and give up and faint when you are reproved or corrected by Him; 6 For the Lord corrects and disciplines everyone whom He loves, and He punishes, even scourges, every son whom He accepts and welcomes to His heart and cherishes. 7 You must submit to and endure [correction] for discipline; God is dealing with you as with sons. For what son is there whom his father does not [thus] train and correct and discipline? 8 Now if you are exempt from correction and left without discipline in which all [of God’s children] share, then you are illegitimate offspring and not true sons [at all]. 9 Moreover, we have had earthly fathers who disciplined us and we yielded [to them] and respected [them for training us]. Shall we not much more cheerfully submit to the Father of spirits and so [truly] live? 10 For [our earthly fathers] disciplined us for only a short period of time and chastised us as seemed proper and good to them; but He disciplines us for our certain good, that we may become sharers in His own holiness. 11 For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it [a harvest of fruit which consists in righteousness–in conformity to God’s will in purpose, thought, and action, resulting in right living and right standing with God]. 12 So then, brace up and reinvigorate and set right your slackened and weakened and drooping hands and strengthen your feeble and palsied and tottering knees.  Hebrews 12:5-12 AMP

As a child of God, it is important for you to allow God to bring correction to your life, knowing that He has your best interests at heart. God only corrects His own children. If He doesn’t correct you, you are not His. Just as an earthly father disciplines and corrects his child, whom he loves, so God disciplines and corrects you by His word and His Spirit. He also allows you to reap what you have sown and face the consequences of your actions and choices. At the time you are being disciplined, it is not pleasant, it is painful. But afterwards, if you submit to it and allow God to train you, it will yield the peaceable fruit of righteousness.

THE TRANSFORMED MIND

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

He saved us, not because of any works of righteousness that we had done, but because of His own pity and mercy, by [the] cleansing [bath] of the new birth (regeneration) and renewing of the Holy Spirit, 6 Which He poured out [so] richly upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Titus 3:5-6 AMP

Sin and death has corrupted man from the time of the fall in the Garden of Eden. Jesus died and rose again to restore what the devil has stolen and restore us once again, not only into relationship, but also into fellowship, with our Heavenly Father. There are two things that happen to you. The first is instant and the second is progressive. The first thing that happens to you, when you receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, is that you are “bathed” in the Holy Spirit and washed clean from all sin. Your spirit is regenerated—made brand new. The second thing is a work in your mind and body. As the Holy Spirit is allowed to work in you, your mind will be progressively renewed to the truth and filled with light. Sin, darkness, and the lies of the devil will be dispelled and freedom and faith will reign in your life.

Strip yourselves of your former nature [put off and discard your old unrenewed self] which characterized your previous manner of life and becomes corrupt through lusts and desires that spring from delusion; 23 And be constantly renewed in the spirit of your mind [having a fresh mental and spiritual attitude], 24 And put on the new nature (the regenerate self) created in God’s image, [Godlike] in true righteousness and holiness. Ephesians 4:22-24 AMP

You make a choice to strip off the junk of your old carnal nature. You choose to renew your mind to the liberating truth of God’s Word. You choose to put on your new nature, created in God’s image—righteous and holy. You cannot sit back and do nothing and expect God to do everything. You have a choice and a responsibility to serve God and not the flesh. You must exercise your freedom of choice and choose life over death, liberty over sin, and blessing over cursing.

If then you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, thus sharing His resurrection from the dead], aim at and seek the [rich, eternal treasures] that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2 And set your minds and keep them set on what is above (the higher things), not on the things that are on the earth. 3 For [as far as this world is concerned] you have died, and your [new, real] life is hidden with Christ in God. 4 When Christ, Who is our life, appears, then you also will appear with Him in [the splendor of His] glory. 5 So kill (deaden, deprive of power) the evil desire lurking in your members [those animal impulses and all that is earthly in you that is employed in sin]: sexual vice, impurity, sensual appetites, unholy desires, and all greed and covetousness, for that is idolatry (the deifying of self and other created things instead of God). 6 It is on account of these [very sins] that the [holy] anger of God is ever coming upon the sons of disobedience (those who are obstinately opposed to the divine will), 7 Among whom you also once walked, when you were living in and addicted to [such practices]. 8 But now put away and rid yourselves [completely] of all these things: anger, rage, bad feeling toward others, curses and slander, and foulmouthed abuse and shameful utterances from your lips! 9 Do not lie to one another, for you have stripped off the old (unregenerate) self with its evil practices, 10 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. Colossians 3:1-10 AMP

Set your mind and keep it set on heavenly things and ideals. Get rid of the earthly things that once dominated your life and your thoughts. Kill the evil desires of your flesh. Strip off your old, unregenerate self with its evil practices. Clothe yourselves with your new spiritual self, which is continually in the process of being renewed and remolded into the image and the knowledge of God, Who created you.

I appeal to you therefore, brethren, and beg of you in view of [all] the mercies of God, to make a decisive dedication of your bodies [presenting all your members and faculties] as a living sacrifice, holy (devoted, consecrated) and well pleasing to God, which is your reasonable (rational, intelligent) service and spiritual worship. 2 Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]. Romans 12:1-2 AMP

Present your body and your mind to the Lord as a sacrifice—a living sacrifice. You must make the choice, with the Holy Spirit’s help, to not conform to the world’s standards. When you renew you mind to God’s ways of thinking and doing, you will also find God’s perfect will for your life.

THE TRUTH THAT SETS YOU FREE

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

So Jesus said to those Jews who had believed in Him, If you abide in My word [hold fast to My teachings and live in accordance with them], you are truly My disciples. 32 And you will know the Truth, and the Truth will set you free. 33 They answered Him, We are Abraham’s offspring (descendants) and have never been in bondage to anybody. What do You mean by saying, You will be set free? 34 Jesus answered them, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, Whoever commits and practices sin is the slave of sin. 35 Now a slave does not remain in a household permanently (forever); the son [of the house] does remain forever. 36 So if the Son liberates you [makes you free men], then you are really and unquestionably free. John 8:31-36 AMP

Jesus said that if you abide in His Word you are truly His disciple and you are truly free. Abide means that you believe His Word and you commit to His Word. It means you conduct your life according to His Word. God’s Word shapes your decisions and your choices. You become a doer of His Word. When you have done this, you will know the Truth and this Truth will set you free. People in the world think that being free is about the liberty to do whatever you want to do – to sin without guilt or restraints – but Jesus said that if you continually sin, you become sin’s slave. The rule of thumb is this: whatever God wants you to do will bring you into more and more freedom, but whatever the devil wants you to do will bring you into more and more bondage.

In John 17:17 AMP Jesus prayed to the Father, “Sanctify them [purify, consecrate, separate them for Yourself, make them holy] by the Truth; Your Word is Truth.” God’s Word is the Truth and it will sanctify and purify your heart. The Truth of God’s Word will set you apart and make you what you ought to be. You can’t do it yourself – you need to be washed with the water of the Word (Ephesians 5:26).

For all flesh (mankind) is like grass, and all its glory (honor) like [the] flower of grass. The grass withers and the flower drops off, 25 But the Word of the Lord (divine instruction, the Gospel) endures forever. And this Word is the good news which was preached to you. 1 Peter 1:24-25 AMP

A lie has a short life, but the Truth will go on indefinitely. The Truth does not change – it is always the same. The Truth will stand up from age to age – it will stand forever. You can trust the Truth – you can stake your life on it.

For the Word that God speaks is alive and full of power [making it active, operative, energizing, and effective]; it is sharper than any two-edged sword, penetrating to the dividing line of the breath of life (soul) and [the immortal] spirit, and of joints and marrow [of the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and sifting and analyzing and judging the very thoughts and purposes of the heart. 13 And not a creature exists that is concealed from His sight, but all things are open and exposed, naked and defenseless to the eyes of Him with Whom we have to do. Hebrews 4:12-13 AMP

The Truth of God’s Word cuts down through all the junk and exposes what is real – the truth – even those things that are hidden from sight. Nothing is hidden from God’s eyes – everything is open and bare to Him. God requires that we be truthful and honest with Him. Honesty is liberating in itself. The power of sin is in its secrecy. Secrecy binds you to your sin. Being open and honest – acknowledging your sin – breaks its hold on you. Telling the truth brings freedom from the bondage of sin.

For while the Law was given through Moses, grace (unearned, undeserved favor and spiritual blessing) and truth came through Jesus Christ. John 1:17 AMP

Jesus said to him, I am the Way and the Truth and the Life; no one comes to the Father except by (through) Me. John 14:6 AMP

Now the Lord is the Spirit, and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty (emancipation from bondage, freedom). 2 Corinthians 3:17 AMP

Jesus is the Truth. Truth comes only through Him. The more you embrace Jesus, the more you become acquainted with the Truth and with true freedom. Anything else is nothing more than feeling around in the dark. God created you with a free will – free to choose whom you will serve. You are free to believe anything you choose to believe about life and the meaning of life, but anything outside of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit will not bring you into the Truth or into true freedom. Only when you believe in Jesus Christ as the only begotten Son of God, who shed His blood for you, died and rose for you, will you experience the Truth and the freedom of walking in the Truth. By faith, you embrace the Truth, and with Truth come both light and freedom. If the Son makes you free, you shall be free indeed!

Seedtime and Harvest

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

Thoughts on Stewardship – from the Book of Genesis

Seedtime and Harvest
Foundation Scripture: Genesis 8 verse 22

While the earth remains, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, and day and night shall not cease.  Genesis 8:22 AMP

1. While the earth remains:

While the earth remains, the rhythms of time, seasons, weather, and temperature will continue on as they always have and seedtime and harvest will continue on without interruption. God promised that we would always be able to count on these things. Sowing and reaping is an eternal principle – it will always be so – in the Spirit realm and this earthly realm.

2. In order to reap a harvest you have to sow a seed:

Whether its fruit or vegetables or grains – if you want to produce food to eat – you must take those particular seeds and plant them in ground that has been prepared for that purpose. Then you must water, and continue to water the seeds, and the plant as it grows, and keep weeds and bugs out of the area. God is the one who grows the plant and brings the increase, but He can do nothing for our harvest unless we first plant that seed in the ground. No harvest can come from an unplanted field!

And He said, The kingdom of God is like a man who scatters seed upon the ground, 27 And then continues sleeping and rising night and day while the seed sprouts and grows and increases–he knows not how. 28 The earth produces [acting] by itself–first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. 29 But when the grain is ripe and permits, immediately he sends forth [the reapers] and puts in the sickle, because the harvest stands ready.
Mark 4:26-29 AMP

3. You have to be patient:

You will reap a harvest if you do not give up. Have the faith and the commitment to the word of God to keep doing what you know to do. Do not allow the devil to discourage you or talk you out of the promises God has made to you. Galatians 6:9-10 NKJV says, “And let us not grow weary while doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”  The devil will try to rob you of hope. He will try to wear you down and make you tired and then try to convince you to give up, but Isaiah 55:11 says that God’s word never returns void, but it accomplishes what He pleases and it prospers in the thing for which He sent it. So keep your faith out over your seed and you will reap the blessings of patience!

4. Every seed produces after its own kind:

Apples seeds produce apples; corn seeds produce corn; etc. Galatians 6:7 NKJV says, “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.”

5. The harvest is inevitable:

1 Corinthians 3:6-7 NKJV says, “I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. 7 So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.”  If you are faithful to plow, plant, water, and weed, you will see the results; you will see the harvest. This is an immutable law of God!

Pastor Adonica’s thoughts:

God is a faith God – He does everything by faith. We are His children, created in His image. We do what we see our Father do. Obey God; sow in faith; expect the harvest; be blessed!

Pastor Rodney’s thoughts:

I learned a lesson about seedtime and harvest, as a young boy, when I planted my own garden. I decided to plant peanuts, but I was impatient for results. I put them in the ground and watered them, expecting them to immediately begin growing out of the ground. I kept digging them up every day, because I wanted to see why they were not growing and poking out of the ground. I did not realize that I was disturbing the seed and not leaving it to die and then bring forth fruit. Eventually I just washed them and ate them. Well you guessed right – I never did harvest any peanuts! So it is with any seed we sow. Have patience – the law of seedtime and harvest will go into effect. God’s word declares that God is not mocked – whatever a man sows that will he also reap. Be patient – have harvest patience – know that when you plant your seed in the ground a harvest will come to pass.

Prayer and Confession

Father, I pray that you will give me harvest patience as I sow my seed (my finances) into the Gospel. You are the Lord of the harvest and my harvest is inevitable! I have sown and I expect to reap. I WILL REAP! This week is my week of great harvest and increase. I believe this and I speak my faith as I sow my seed.

Worship at a Set Place

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

Thoughts on Stewardship
Worship at a Set Place
Foundation scriptures: Deuteronomy 12 verses 5 – 19

But you shall seek the place which the Lord your God shall choose out of all your tribes to put His Name and make His dwelling place, and there shall you come; 6 And there you shall bring your burnt offerings and your sacrifices, your tithes and the offering of your hands, and your vows and your freewill offerings, and the firstlings of your herd and of your flock. 7 And there you shall eat before the Lord your God, and you shall rejoice in all to which you put your hand, you and your households, in which the Lord your God has blessed you. 8 You shall not do according to all we do here [in the camp] this day, every man doing whatever looks right in his own eyes. 9 For you have not yet come to the rest and to the inheritance which the Lord your God gives you. 10 But when you go over the Jordan and dwell in the land which the Lord your God causes you to inherit, and He gives you rest from all your enemies round about so that you dwell in safety, 11 Then there shall be a place which the Lord your God shall choose to cause His Name [and His Presence] to dwell there; to it you shall bring all that I command you: your burnt offerings, your sacrifices, your tithes and what the hand presents [as a first gift from the fruits of the ground], and all your choicest offerings which you vow to the Lord. 12 And you shall rejoice before the Lord your God, you and your sons and your daughters, and your menservants and your maidservants, and the Levite that is within your towns, since he has no part or inheritance with you. 13 Be watchful not to offer your burnt offerings in every place you see. 14 But in the place which the Lord shall choose in one of your tribes, there you shall offer your burnt offerings, and there you shall do all I command you. 15 However, you may kill and eat flesh in any of your towns whenever you desire, according to the provision for the support of life with which the Lord your God has blessed you; those [ceremonially] unclean and the clean may eat of it, as of the gazelle and the hart. 16 Only you shall not eat the blood; you shall pour it upon the ground as water. 17 You may not eat within your towns the tithe of your grain or of your new wine or of your oil, or the firstlings of your herd or flock, or anything you have vowed, or your freewill offerings, or the offerings from your hand [of garden products]. 18 But you shall eat them before the Lord your God in the place which the Lord your God shall choose, you and your son and your daughter, your manservant and your maidservant, and the Levite that is within your towns; and you shall rejoice before the Lord your God in all that you undertake. 19 Take heed not to forsake or neglect the Levite [God’s minister] as long as you live in your land.  Deuteronomy 12:5-19 AMP

1.  Even though this is an Old Testament passage concerning, the children of Israel, and the altar—the place of worship—we believe that several aspects of it apply to us today:

a. It is not scriptural to hop from church to church.
b. It is not scriptural to not go to church at all.
c. God sets the solitary in families.
d. We are not to forsake the gathering of ourselves together—even the more so when we see That Day approaching.
e. It’s not a matter of control—it’s a matter of covenant.

2.  We believe in the local church as the modern day “altar”—the place where we bring our worship and our offerings (our sacrifices).

a. God does not live in tabernacles made with hands.
b. We understand that He lives in us and that we are His temple.
c. Corporately we come together to fellowship with one another, to worship, and to bring our offerings, in the place that God chooses.
d. Not every church is where you should be but you should be where God sends you. Bring your families; your kids. Be rooted and grow. Come to a place of maturity.
e. Those who refuse to do these things are out of order—they are not under God-given authority. The apostle Paul said, “Follow me as I follow Christ”. The prerequisite for leadership is that they must follow Jesus and point you also to Jesus and not themselves. If they do not do this —what are you doing there?
f. Put your seed into good ground—that which produces for eternity.

Pastor Adonica’s Thoughts:
If you call yourself a Christian and you are not submitted to God in every area of your life, especially giving, then you are nothing less than rebellious. If you do what seems right to you and you do not obey the written word or allow the Lord to lead you on all these things, you have idols of self-will and un-submissiveness in your heart (Ezekiel 14:4 AMP). Pray about which church you should commit to and then commit, through thick and thin. Don’t follow the line of least resistance. Commit to a church and allow God to burn the junk out of your life.

Pastor Rodney’s Thoughts:
This passage is very plain. God did not want people sacrificing on any altar available. Even though we are on television, we have always believed that you are to tithe to the local church. The tithe does not go anywhere other than where you are being fed. That would be like living in your parent’s house, eating at your parent’s table, using their electricity, their covering, their wisdom, and paying board to the next door neighbor. You would be supporting those who do not even care for you. It is important for your spiritual well-being, just like the commitment of marriage. You don’t go around sowing your seed all over the place—only with the wife of your youth. You must be committed to a local church and bring your offerings and sacrifices there.

Prayer and Confession:
Father, this day I commit to support Your work in the place You have chosen for me. In faith I give and I worship You with my giving.

JESUS—THE LAMB OF GOD

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

The next day John saw Jesus coming to him and said, Look! There is the Lamb of God, Who takes away the sin of the world!  John 1:29 AMP

All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord has made to light upon Him the guilt and iniquity of us all. 7 He was oppressed, [yet when] He was afflicted, He was submissive and opened not His mouth; like a lamb that is led to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so He opened not His mouth.  Isaiah 53:6-7 AMP

But [you were purchased] with the precious blood of Christ (the Messiah), like that of a [sacrificial] lamb without blemish or spot. 20 It is true that He was chosen and foreordained (destined and foreknown for it) before the foundation of the world, but He was brought out to public view (made manifest) in these last days (at the end of the times) for the sake of you. 21 Through Him you believe in (adhere to, rely on) God, Who raised Him up from the dead and gave Him honor and glory, so that your faith and hope are [centered and rest] in God.  1 Peter 1:19-21 AMP

At Passover, there were specific things that the Israelites were to do and specific procedures they had to follow. All this pointed to what Jesus would do and go through and was fulfilled in Him.

Comparison of the Passover lamb and Jesus, the Lamb of God:

1. Observe the month of Abib and keep the Passover in this month (Deut 16:1).

“Abib was the Egyptian word for green ears, referring to the green barley that was offered as the firstfruits to God in that month. The Septuagint calls it the month of new things. Nisan is substituted for Abib after this. It means the month of flowers or blossoms” (Dake’s Annotated Reference Bible). On the 10th day of Abib, later called Nisan, a year-old sacrificial lamb was to be selected from the flock. The chief priests and the scribes were already looking for their opportunity to arrest Jesus secretly and kill Him without causing a riot, because Jesus was popular with the people (Mark 14:1-2).

2. Sacrifice the Passover to the Lord your God, of the herd and the flock, in the place where God chooses to place His name (Deut. 16:2). Do not sacrifice the Passover in your homes, but at the place where the Lord shall choose to place His name (Deut. 16:6).

No family could observe the Passover in their own home. The lamb was to be sacrificed where God chose—Jerusalem—where the tabernacle was located. At the beginning of the week of Passover that culminated in the sacrifice of the perfect lamb, the disciples asked Jesus, the Lamb of God, “Where do You wish us to go and prepare the Passover supper for You to eat?” (Mark 14:12). This same 10th day was the day Jesus made His triumphal entrance into Jerusalem!

3. Thoroughly inspect the lamb for spot or blemish for 5 days (Ex 12:3+5).

Only perfect specimens were acceptable. The chief priests and the scribes had Jesus arrested. They cross-questioned Him ruthlessly and brought false accusations against Him, but no charge would stick and no fault was found. In spite of that, they dragged Him before Pilate to try to get him to do their dirty work. Pilate tried to have Him released, saying three times, “I find no fault in Him!” (John 18:38; John 19:4+6).

4. Eat no leavened bread with the Passover. Eat unleavened bread for seven days, during the Passover and Feast of Unleavened Bread. Leavened bread shall not be seen in all your houses or land for seven days (Deut. 16:3-4).

Leaven—yeast—represented sin. Jesus had no sin in Him—He had been tempted in every respect as we are, yet without sinning (He 4:15). The sin of the world was placed on Him. Hebrews 7:26 AMP says, “[Here is] the High Priest [perfectly adapted] to our needs, as was fitting—holy, blameless, unstained by sin, separated from sinners, and exalted higher than the heavens.”  He took our place; He took our sin upon Himself; He gave us His life in exchange. 1 Corinthians 5:7 AMP says, “Purge (clean out) the old leaven that you may be fresh (new) dough, still uncontaminated [as you are], for Christ, our Passover [Lamb], has been sacrificed.” We must be washed in His blood and walk in purity before the Father.

5. Sacrifice the Passover at evening, before the sun goes down.

The acceptable animal was to be sacrificed on the evening of the 14th day—the ceremony led and initiated by the High Priest (Ex 12:6). The High Priest ordered Jesus to be crucified on this day.
6 PM was the start of the next day, so the lambs were slaughtered at 3 PM (the ninth hour of the day). At the exact time the lambs were killed, Jesus cried out to the Father and breathed out His last breath (Luke 23:44-46).

6. Roast and eat it in the chosen place and go to your tents in the morning (Deut. 16:7).

The lamb was to be roasted and eaten—symbolizing us partaking of His body—receiving all He has for us. We look to Him for life and sustenance; we live on His Word—not bread alone.

7. Neither shall the flesh of the animals sacrificed be left overnight (Ex 12:8-10).

Jesus was taken down from the cross and buried in haste, because preparation for the next day—the Sabbath—had already begun.

8. The leftovers were to be burned—nothing left behind.

For when the blood of animals is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin, the victims’ bodies are burned outside the limits of the camp. 12 Therefore Jesus also suffered and died outside the [city’s] gate in order that He might purify and consecrate the people through [the shedding of] His own blood and set them apart as holy [for God]. Hebrews 13:11-12 AMP

9. Eat unleavened bread six days, and on the seventh day you shall have a solemn assembly to the Lord, and do no work on it (Deut. 16:8).

There is a rest for the people of God. “So then, there is still awaiting a full and complete Sabbath-rest reserved for the [true] people of God; 10 For he who has once entered [God’s] rest also has ceased from [the weariness and pain] of human labors, just as God rested from those labors peculiarly His own.”  Hebrews 4:9-10 AMP

Thank God that He sent Jesus, the Lamb of God, Who was sacrificed for your sin and mine—so that we might have favor with God and receive, as a free gift, His grace and mercy.

THE COVENANT NAMES OF GOD

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

Foundation Scriptures: Psalms 72:17; Psalms 148:13

His name shall endure forever; His name shall continue as long as the sun.  Psalms 72:17 NKJV

Let them praise and exalt the name of the Lord, for His name alone is exalted and supreme! His glory and majesty are above earth and heaven!  Psalms 148:13 AMP

A.  A name is the thing by which a person or thing is known. God is called by many different names in the Bible, each of which reveals aspects of His nature and character.

1.  ELOHIM. ELOHIM is the first word used in scripture used to designate “God”. “In the beginning ELOHIM created the heaven and the earth.” (Genesis 1:1)

  • EL: meaning “God, god, mighty one, strength” (Deuteronomy 32:4). EL is usually used in compound with other terms as EL Elyon, EL Shaddai, etc.
  • EL ELYON: “The Most High” (Deuteronomy 32:8).
  • Genesis 14:18-20 KJV – And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God [EL Elyon]. 19 And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God [EL Elyon], possessor of heaven and earth: 20 And blessed be the most high God [EL Elyon], which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand.
  • EL OLAM: “The Everlasting God.” Not only is He everlasting in duration, but He is everlastingly faithful.
  • Isaiah 26:4 KJV – Trust ye in the Lord for ever: for in the Lord JEHOVAH is everlasting strength.
  • EL SHADDAI: “The Almighty God.”
  • Genesis 17:1 KJV – And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou perfect.
  • Some scholars say the word “shaddai” is derived from the word “shad” meaning breast, giving rise to the names “The Satisfier” and “All Sufficient One”. Some say “shad” means “mountain”. Either way, He is still the God who is more than enough!

2.  ADONAI: Lord, lord, master, owner, ruler.

  • Used in reference to men and God – it can refer to a person who is a master, owner or ruler, or it can refer to the Lord God, because He is the Master and Owner of everything.
  • When we call Jesus “Lord” we are recognizing Him as our Master – if we call Jesus Lord and do not obey Him then our language and conduct are contradicting each other.

3.  JEHOVAH: the personal NAME of God in His relationship as REDEEMER.

  • Exodus 3:13-15 KJV – And Moses said unto God, Behold, when I come unto the children of Israel, and shall say unto them, The God of your fathers hath sent me unto you; and they shall say to me, What is his name? what shall I say unto them? 14 And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. 15 And God said moreover unto Moses, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, hath sent me unto you: this is my name for ever, and this is my memorial unto all generations.
  • Exodus 6:2-3 KJV – And God spake unto Moses, and said unto him, I am the Lord: 3 And I appeared unto Abraham, unto Isaac, and unto Jacob, by the name of God Almighty, but by my name JEHOVAH was I not known to them.
  • Jehovah is the name for the Lord God occurring most frequently in the Old Testament (5,321 times). Jehovah is the covenant name of God expressing personal relationship and when His name is compounded with other terms, together they identify and make specific those relationships.

4.  The Compound Names of JEHOVAH:

  • JEHOVAH ELOHIM: SUPREME GOD
  • Genesis 2:4 KJV – These are the generations of the heavens and of the earth when they were created, in the day that the Lord God [Jehovah Elohim] made the earth and the heavens.
  • This name identifies Jehovah with the creation of all things. The Triune God is also the Redeemer of His people.
  • JEHOVAH JIREH: The LORD will PROVIDE
  • Genesis 22:14 AMP – So Abraham called the name of that place The Lord Will Provide [Jehovah Jireh]. And it is said to this day, On the mount of the Lord it will be provided.
  • God provided a substitute for Isaac and He provided, for us, once and for all a substitute – the Lamb of God. Romans 8:32 AMP – He who did not withhold or spare [even] His own Son but gave Him up for us all, will He not also with Him freely and graciously give us all [other] things?
  • JEHOVAH RAPHA: The LORD my HEALER
  • Exodus 15:26 NASU – And He said, “If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the Lord, am your HEALER.”
  • He is speaking here about physical diseases and physical diseases. This promise is conditional upon obedience – yours and mine.
  • JEHOVAH NISSI: The LORD is my BANNER
  • Exodus 17:15 AMP – And Moses built an altar and called the name of it, The Lord is my Banner. Moses built this altar to commemorate the victory God gave Israel over Amalek. Aaron and Hur had held up Moses’ hands until sunset, and while they did so Israel prevailed.
  • Song of Solomon 2:4 KJV – He brought me to the banqueting house, and his banner over me was love.
  • JEHOVAH SHALOM: The LORD is my PEACE
  • Judges 6:24 KJV – Then Gideon built an altar there unto the Lord, and called it Jehovah-shalom. When God called Gideon to lead Israel to victory over the Midianites, the Angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon. When he realized that it was the Angel of the Lord, he thought he would die. The Angel assured him that he would not and spoke peace to him. Jehovah assured him that he would live and lead Israel to triumph. Jehovah was peace to him even before the battles began.
  • Shalom (peace) means more than freedom from conflict; it means prosperity, health, well-being, and faith in the face of conflict.
  • John 14:27 KJV – 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.
  • JEHOVAH RAAH: The LORD is my SHEPHERD
  • Psalms 23:1 KJV – The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
  • John 10:11 AMP – I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd risks and lays down His [own] life for the sheep.
  • 1 Peter 5:4 NKJV – And when the Chief Shepherd appears, you will receive the crown of glory that does not fade away.
  • JEHOVAH TSIDKENU: The LORD our RIGHTEOUSNESS
  • Jeremiah 23:6 AMP – In His days Judah shall be saved and Israel shall dwell safely: and this is His name by which He shall be called: The Lord Our Righteousness.
  • 1 Corinthians 1:30 KJV – But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.
  • JEHOVAH SABAOTH/TSEBAOTH: The LORD of HOSTS
  • Psalms 24:10 AMP – Who is [He then] this King of glory? The Lord of hosts, He is the King of glory.
  • 2 Kings 6:13-17 Elisha’s servant’s eyes are opened to see the hosts of God – horses and chariots of fire – surrounding the city.
  • JEHOVAH SHAMMAH: The LORD is THERE
  • Ezekiel 48:35 AMP – The distance around the city shall be 18,000 [4 x 4,500] measures; and the name of the city from that day and ever after shall be, The Lord Is There. God – the great God – is ever present with His people!
  • Hebrews 13:5b-6 NKJV – For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”  6 So we may boldly say: “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”

Jesus Our Healer

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

He sent his word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions.  Psalms 107:20 KJV

Father God sent His Word to heal and deliver us. Proverbs 4:22 tells us that God’s Word is, “Life to those who find them, healing and health to all their flesh.” Jesus is the Word made flesh. John 1:14 says that, “the Word became 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.” The Father sent Jesus, not only to save us from our sins, but also to heal our bodies. Everything that Jesus took upon Himself, when He offered up His life was done for you — to remove all traces of the fall; to restore back everything that was lost. On the cross, it was not only your sin that was removed, but also your sickness and disease.

Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. 5 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.  Isaiah 53:4-5 KJV

On the cross, Jesus bore our griefs. The Hebrew word “griefs” means malady; anxiety; calamity. It is translated in different passages as disease, grief and sickness and should have been translated here as sickness. Jesus bore all our sickness and disease in His own body while hanging on the cross and becoming a substitute for us. Jesus also bore our sorrows. The Hebrew word here means anguish or affliction and is translated as grief, pain and sorrow. Because Jesus bore our griefs and sorrows, if we believe God’s word to us, we can walk free from all and any sickness, disease, anxiety, anguish and affliction! 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!

Who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness — by whose stripes you were healed.  1 Peter 2:24 NKJV

Notice that Isaiah 53:5 is in the present tense and 1 Peter 2:24 is in the past tense. Neither of them says, “You will be healed one day, in the future, maybe…” — they both make healing a “done deal” for you. In other words, as far as the Father is concerned, you are in fact healed — you just need to activate it in your life by adding your faith to His Word. God told the Israelites, “I am the Lord who heals you” (Ex 15:26). Psalms 103:2-3 says, “Bless the Lord, O my soul, And forget not all His benefits: 3 Who forgives ALL your iniquities, Who heals ALL your diseases.”  

Meditate on these scriptures — God’s Word to you — and allow them to minister to you and to build your faith:

Proverbs 3:7-8 AMP – Be not wise in your own eyes; reverently fear and worship the Lord and turn [entirely] away from evil. 8 It shall be health to your nerves and sinews, and marrow and moistening to your bones.

Malachi 4:2 AMP – But unto you who revere and worshipfully fear My name shall the Sun of Righteousness arise with healing in His wings and His beams, and you shall go forth and gambol like calves [released] from the stall and leap for joy.

Matthew 4:23-24 AMP – And He went about all Galilee, teaching in their synagogues and preaching the good news (Gospel) of the kingdom, and healing every disease and every weakness and infirmity among the people. 24 So the report of Him spread throughout all Syria, and they brought Him all who were sick, those afflicted with various diseases and torments, those under the power of demons, and epileptics, and paralyzed people, and He healed them.

Matthew 8:16-17 KJV – When the even was come, they brought unto him many that were possessed with devils: and he cast out the spirits with his word, and healed all that were sick: 17 That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses.

Mark 6:56 AMP – And wherever He came into villages or cities or the country, they would lay the sick in the marketplaces and beg Him that they might touch even the fringe of His outer garment, and as many as touched Him were restored to health.

Luke 5:17 NKJV – Now it happened on a certain day, as He was teaching, that there were Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting by, who had come out of every town of Galilee, Judea, and Jerusalem. And the power of the Lord was present to heal them.

Luke 7:21 AMP – In that very hour Jesus was healing many [people] of sicknesses and distressing bodily plagues and evil spirits, and to many who were blind He gave [a free, gracious, joy-giving gift of] sight.

Luke 9:11 AMP – But when the crowds learned of it, [they] followed Him; and He welcomed them and talked to them about the kingdom of God, and healed those who needed restoration to health.

Acts 8:5-8 NKJV – Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them. 6 And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did. 7 For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed. 8 And there was great joy in that city.

Revelation 22:2 NKJV – In the middle of its street, and on either side of the river, was the tree of life, which bore twelve fruits, each tree yielding its fruit every month. The leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

THE SCAPEGOAT


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

“And he shall take of the congregation of the children of Israel two kids of the goats for a sin offering, and one ram for a burnt offering. 6 And Aaron shall offer his bullock of the sin offering, which is for himself, and make an atonement for himself, and for his house. 7 And he shall take the two goats, and present them before the LORD at the door of the tabernacle of the congregation. 8 And Aaron shall cast lots upon the two goats; one lot for the LORD, and the other lot for the scapegoat. 9 And Aaron shall bring the goat upon which the LORD’S lot fell, and offer him for a sin offering. 10 But the goat, on which the lot fell to be the scapegoat, shall be presented alive before the LORD, to make an atonement with him, and to let him go for a scapegoat into the wilderness.”
Leviticus 16:5-10 KJV

“And when he hath made an end of reconciling the holy place, and the tabernacle of the congregation, and the altar, he shall bring the live goat: 21 And Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the head of the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat, and shall send him away by the hand of a fit man into the wilderness: 22 And the goat shall bear upon him all their iniquities unto a land not inhabited: and he shall let go the goat in the wilderness.”
Leviticus 16:20-22 KJV

The Lord instituted the Day of Atonement, and commanded Aaron and every High Priest after him to follow specific rituals for the cleansing of sin for him and his household and for all of Israel and anyone else that chose to participate. It was a day when Israel was to humble themselves before the Lord and to put all their faith and trust in Him for their sins to be atoned for by blood. As part of the proceedngs, the High Priest was to take two live goats and cast lots over them. One of them would be sacrificed and the one would be released into the wilderness. The first goat was sacrificed for a sin offering, typifying the death of Christ, who became sin for us though He knew no sin. “For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.” (2 Corinthians 5:21 KJV) After fully reconciling the most holy place, the holy place, and the brazen altar with the blood of the sacrificed animal, the High Priest brought in the live goat and laid both his hands on its head, confessed over it all the sins of himself, his house, and all Israel, and handed it over to a man, who was chosen and ready for this, who would carry it away and chase it out into the wilderness.

The scapegoat was the one who bore away the blame on the behalf of the people; he was not killed, but released into the wilderness. He did not die to atone for sins; he completed the atonement in that he bore sins away and was cut off; separated from human habitation; typifying the removal of them by the
resurrection of Christ. The two goats represented one atonement for sin – blood was shed and sins and transgressions washed away and removed as far as the east is from the west (Ps 103:12). This is certainly what Jesus did for us. He took all our sin and shame, bore all the punishment we deserved; died and carried it away. “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.” (Isaiah 53:4 KJV)

The two goats represented the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. “Who was delivered for our offences, and was raised again for our justification.” (Romans 4:25 KJV) His atoning work was not in vain, for it was the resurrection that made it effective! He rose in victory – forever establishing our freedom from sin and righteousness before God. “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.” (1 Peter 2:24 KJV)

What Jesus did for us was more than monumental! It is the difference between death and hell – being
eternally cut off from the presence of God – and eternal life, forever in the very presence of God! This was no light and easy thing Jesus did. It was a huge feat and He did it out of His intense love for us. It was not just three days of hell that He went through for you and me, but it was His life lived yielded to the Father, in complete obedience. In 33 years, He never once committed sin, for no sin was found in Him. “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin.”
(Hebrews 4:15 KJV)

Because He was sinless, death could not hold Him. Yes, He carried our sins upon Him to the grave and buried it there, but death could not keep him there. He rose in victory to bestow this same resurrection life upon all those who will call upon His wonderful Name. We gave Him our sin and unrighteousness and He gave us His life and His righteousness. What an honor that our sin should have been laid on Him, that His blood should have been shed for us and that His resurrection power should resurrect us from the dead and give us a brand new heart and life!

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy
hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead.”
1 Peter 1:3 KJV

 

TWENTY ONE REASONS WE KNOW THAT WE KNOW THE LORD – PART FIVE

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

We know we know the Lord because:

18. We have faith in Him

“Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.”
1 John 2:23 NKJV

“Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him.” 1 John 5:1 NKJV

“He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son.” 1 John 5:10 NKJV

We know God because we believe in Him and we believe His word. We know Him because we acknowledge that He is who He says He is. We know Him because we have made Him Lord of our lives, personally. We acknowledge Him before men and angels. We also know that we know Him because we receive His word in its entirety. We do not pick and choose which scriptures to take and leave. We are submitted to every word that proceeds from His mouth!

19. We confess Christ

“And we have seen and testify that the Father has sent the Son as Savior of the world. Whoever confesses that Jesus is the Son of God, God abides in him, and he in God.” 1 John 4:14-15 NKJV

“By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God.” 1 John 4:2-3a NKJV

“Who is a liar but he who denies that Jesus is the Christ? He is antichrist who denies the Father and the Son. Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father either; he who acknowledges the Son has the Father also.” 1 John 2:22-23 NKJV

“For with the heart one believes unto righteousness, and with the mouth confession is made unto salvation.” Romans 10:10 NKJV

If we know God, we will say so – we will confess that He is the Christ; we will confess that He is Lord, God and Savior. Anyone who will not confess Him as the Son of God, the Lamb of God, the Christ, and the Savior of the world, is not His and does not know Him. Some people say that they believe in God, and yet, they cannot or will not acknowledge Jesus Christ. These people do not know God.

“For the Father judges no one, but has committed all judgment to the Son, that all should honor the Son just as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him.” John 5:22-23 NKJV

20. We have received Christ

“He who believes in the Son of God has the witness in himself; he who does not believe God has made Him a liar, because he has not believed the testimony that God has given of His Son. And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life. These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.” 1 John 5:10-13 NKJV

“But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name.” John 1:12 NKJV

Many people know about God, they know about Jesus, they know about the Holy Spirit, but they do not actually KNOW any of them; they are not personally acquainted with them. When we believe in Jesus and we receive Him as our personal Lord and Savior, we truly come to know Him.

21. He answers our prayers

“Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God. And whatever we ask we receive from Him, because we keep His commandments and do those things that are pleasing in His sight.” 1 John 3:21-22 NKJV

“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.”
1 John 5:14-15 NKJV

God does not answer prayers arbitrarily. He is not capricious. He does not toy with us. His word never returns void and if He has made promises, He always keeps them. There is an area where prayers are answered. If we are inside that area, our prayers are answered; if we are outside that area they are not. We cannot sit where we are (outside the Word and will of God), doing what we do, and expect God to bend and come to where we are and do what we want Him to do. He is not our servant; we are His. God is where He is and we are the ones who must bend and change and move to suit Him. If we want answered prayer, we must keep His commandments, and continue to keep them, and do those things that are pleasing in His sight. If we want answered prayer, we must ask according to His will. The fact that our prayers are answered is proof that we do know Him and that He knows us!

Christian television with Rodney Howard Browne

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