Discernment: Does family heritage matter in the Kingdom? Maybe

HeritageQuestion: Does my family heritage matter if I am a Believer who’s heritage is the Kingdom of heaven?

Answer: No and Yes.

No: The moment we become Believers in Christ Jesus we are immediately adopted into the eternal Kingdom (Ephesians 1:5). We no longer belong to the human heritage but to the Creator of the universe. Essentially, the human methods of separating individuals by race, ethnicity, and tribe are moot. We either belong to the Creator of the universe or we belong to Prince of the Power of the Air (see Ephesians 2) aka the Father of Lies (John 8:44).

Yes: There are some communities that seem to have persistent troubles that seem woven into the fabric of the culture. In Christian outreach, one must consider the following when trying to reach communities who are not Believers. If there is any cultural history of tribalism, alcoholism, ethnic cleansing, sexual slavery, child soldiers, black on black crime, multiculturalism (forced secondary to slavery), etc. these persistent issues have a spiritual root deeper than the person or immediate family.

Exodus addresses this issue of generational/bloodline spiritual roots.

“You shall not bow down to them or worship them; for I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God, punishing the children for the sin of the parents to the third and fourth generation of those who hate me, but showing love to a thousand generations of those who love me and keep my commandments.” – Exodus 20:5-6

Often in communities where there is hardness towards each other and God, there are unresolved ancestry spiritual roots. One of the first things outreach workers should ask when one meets unbelieving individual(s) is “What is your heritage?”. This will give one a greater picture of the person’s potential spiritual baggage. If the unbelieving individual(s) have no idea of their heritage, this does not mean there are no spiritual roots. It may mean the individual(s) or community may be dealing with “orphan”, “abandonment”, or “trauma” spiritual blocks in addition to spiritual roots of “war” and “oppression”. Now think of communities where this might apply such as communities where there is no knowledge of where they derive or communities where there was trauma such as descendants of slaves or indigenous people who were pushed off their land into camps so new settlers could have a place to call home. Might these communities have some massive blood line spiritual roots to address before they will receive anything about God? These communities often state they would much rather give honor to their ancestors who were oppressed than give honor to a God who they believe was the source of turmoil in their communities (i.e. colonial “Christian” missionaries participating in slavery or land stealing practices).

Question: How does one in outreach begin to help individuals and communities with bloodline roots to become free and receive Christ Jesus?

Prayer.

PRAYER FOR HEALING THE FAMILY TREE

“Heavenly Father, I come before you as your child, in great need of your help; I have physical health needs, emotional needs, spiritual needs, and interpersonal needs. Many of my problems have been caused by my own failures, neglect and sinfulness, for which I humbly beg your forgiveness, Lord. But I also ask you to forgive the sins of my ancestors whose failures have left their effects on me in the form of unwanted tendencies, behavior patterns and defects in body, mind and spirit. Heal me, Lord, of all these disorders.

With your help I sincerely forgive everyone, especially living or dead members of my family tree, who have directly offended me or my loved ones in any way, or those whose sins have resulted in our present sufferings and disorders. In the name of your divine Son, Jesus, and in the power of his Holy Spirit, I ask you, Father, to deliver me and my entire family tree from the influence of the evil one. Free all living and dead members of my family tree, including those in adoptive relationships, and those in extended family relationships, from every contaminating form of bondage. By your loving concern for us, heavenly Father, and by the shed blood of your precious Son, Jesus, I beg you to extend your blessing to me and to all my living and deceased relatives. Heal every negative effect transmitted through all past generations, and prevent such negative effects in future generations of my family tree.

I symbolically place the cross of Jesus over the head of each person in my family tree, and between each generation; I ask you to let the cleansing blood of Jesus purify the bloodlines in my family lineage. Set your protective angels to encamp around us, and permit Archangel Raphael, the patron of healing, to administer your divine healing power to all of us, even in areas of genetic disability. Give special power to our family members’ guardian angels to heal, protect, guide and encourage each of us in all our needs. Let your healing power be released at this very moment, and let it continue as long as your sovereignty permits.

In our family tree, Lord, replace all bondage with a holy bonding in family love. And let there be an ever-deeper bonding with you, Lord, by the Holy Spirit, to your Son, Jesus. Let the family of the Holy Trinity pervade our family with its tender, warm, loving presence, so that our family may recognize and manifest that love in all our relationships. All of our unknown needs we include with this petition that we pray in Jesus’ precious Name. Amen.”

One of the first questions an outreach worker may be asked if they are a person of color who is ethnically ambiguous is “Where are you from?”. This simple question is an easy way to open the door to discuss family heritage and assess spiritual roots. You do not need to be a person of color to ask the outreach community the same question “Where are you from?”. Moreover, you do not have to pray the exact prayer above to free the outreach communities from spiritual blocks. But it is important that you do pray a prayer like it in order to release the individual and community from generational blocks in their home, culture, and community that blocks them from receiving Christ Jesus. – AMEN

Related Post: Heritage and Healing
Prayer: Saint Joseph, Patron Saint of Family Life
Photo Credit: Native American Lost Souls Geneaology

Prayer: 8 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Complaining “God’s Ignoring Me!”

God's Ignoring Me!

Question: “Why aren’t you answering me God?!”

In order for God to move and answer our petition prayers, a proper prayer foundation must be made. God isn’t simply a magic genie answering prayers upon command. No, He is a loving Father who takes our requests and graciously answers them in His timing and according to what is best for us. Often we think we know what is best for ourselves, even deceiving ourselves and others into thinking we know better than anyone else in the universe including the Creator. The following are eight questions every Believer should ask themselves, if they find themselves asking “Why aren’t you answering me God?!”

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Prayer: 8 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Complaining “God’s Ignoring Me!”

why_me_godQuestion: “Why aren’t you answering me God?!”

In order for God to move and answer our petition prayers, a proper prayer foundation must be made. God isn’t simply a magic genie answering prayers upon command. No, He is a loving Father who takes our requests and graciously answers them in His timing and according to what is best for us. Often we think we know what is best for ourselves, even deceiving ourselves and others into thinking we know better than anyone else in the universe including the Creator. The following are eight questions every Believer should ask themselves, if they find themselves saying “Why aren’t you answering me God?!”

• Do you believe and accept Jesus Christ of Nazareth as the only path to eternal life?
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.’” John 14:6
You may have heard the story of the world religions sharing a “belief” in Jesus with Christians. The Quran states Jesus was born of a virgin, was a revered prophet, was a miracle worker, who ascended to heaven, and will return to earth but is not the son of God. Hinduism states Jesus is a God, was a Holy Man, and was a Wise Teacher. Buddhism states Jesus was an enlightened man, was a wise teacher, was a Holy man, and was a moral teacher. Baha’i states Jesus came from God, was born of a virgin, spoke for God, had a divine and human nature, and was crucified for the atonement of humanity. Yet the difference between the world religions and the Christians is that the Believers in Christ Jesus firmly believe and rightly know that Jesus Christ of Nazareth, part of the triune God, is the only deity that leads to the eternal life. There are no other paths or gods that will lead to heaven.

• Are you born again?
“Since you have in obedience to the truth purified your souls for a sincere love of the brethren, fervently love one another from the heart, for you have been born again not of seed which is perishable but imperishable, that is, through the living and enduring word of God.” 1 Peter 1:22-23
Jesus shared a prophetic vision in Matthew 25 of “Believers” in Christ meeting Him at the end of the age and being shockingly turned away from the Kingdom of God. Jesus clearly spelled out it was not belief alone that granted eternal life, it was the ongoing demonstration of His character to others in need. The man and woman turned away were the ones who did not feed the hungry, did not give drink to the thirsty, did not give clothes to the naked, did not care for the sick, and did not visit the imprisoned. Their apathy to the needy was also apathy towards God. Truly I tell you, whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for me.’ “Then they will go away to eternal punishment, but the righteous to eternal life.

• Have you received the Baptism of the Holy Spirit?
“Now when the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent them Peter and John, who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit. For He (Holy Spirit) had not yet fallen upon any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. They began laying their hands on them, and they were receiving the Holy Spirit.” Acts 8:14-17

Paul said to them, “Did you receive the Holy Spirit when you believed?” And they said to him, “No, we have not even heard whether there is a Holy Spirit.” And he said, “Into what then were you baptized?” And they said, “Into John’s baptism”. Paul said, “John baptized with the baptism of repentance, telling the people to believe in Him (Jesus) who was coming after him, that is, in Jesus.” When they heard this, they (acknowledged) were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Spirit came on them, and they began speaking with tongues and prophesying. Acts 19:2-6

And I remembered the Word of the Lord, how He used to say, “John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 11:16

“For John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” Acts 1:5

Might you wonder why scripture references Baptisms in the plural and not singular (see Baptism of Repentance, Baptism of Water, Baptism of the Holy Spirit). There are many who have performed the act of the Baptism of Water but do not know Christ Jesus. They have performed the physical declaration of faith but have not followed through in the daily transformational process of sanctification. The Believer in Christ Jesus must have the Holy Spirit living within them. When the Holy Spirit lives inside of the Believer, you will see manifestations of God’s Fruit or Fruits of the Spirit (love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self control). The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is not complicated and only requires a simple prayer between two Believers in Christ Jesus such as “Leah, I declare in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth that you receive the Baptism and indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Holy Spirit work within her and transform her daily into being your daughter. Amen.

• Do you have any unconfessed/unrepented sin?
“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” 1 Johns 1:9

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” James 5:16

• Do you hold any bitterness or unforgiveness towards anyone?
“Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you. Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.” Mark 11:24-25

• Do you believe in God’s will for your perfect health (or other request)?
“Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you.” Luke 10:19

“These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Mark 16:17-18

Bless the LORD, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle. Psalm 103:1-5

• Do you agree with your prayer partner for healing (or other request)?
“Therefore I say to you, all things for which you pray and ask, believe that you have received them, and they will be granted you. Whenever you stand praying, forgive, if you have anything against anyone, so that your Father who is in heaven will also forgive you your transgressions.” Mark 11:24-25

“For we walk by faith, not by sight.” 2 Corinthians 5:7

“Again I say to you, that if two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father who is in heaven. “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst.” Matthew 18:19-20

• Are you praying for God’s will or your own?
There is no wisdom and no understanding And no counsel against the LORD. Proverbs 21:30

Many plans are in a man’s heart, But the counsel of the LORD will stand. Proverbs 19:21

The plans of the heart belong to man, But the answer of the tongue is from the LORD. Proverbs 16:1

The mind of man plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps. Proverbs 16:9

I know, O LORD, that a man’s way is not in himself, Nor is it in a man who walks to direct his steps. Jeremiah 10:23

The LORD foils the plans of the nations; he thwarts the purposes of the peoples. Psalm 33:10

Lord, thank you for the universal Body of Christ and your revelations. Help us to examine ourselves closely, show us personal roadblocks, and help us to move into your perfect will of obedience. We ask all of this in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Amen

Resources: IAHR; The Name of Jesus; World Religions
Related Posts: Answered Prayers
Photo Credit: Bing

Prayer: God NOT Satan is the author of Sickness

confusedJohn 9:2-3 gives an exception to the Satan is the author of sickness concept toted by Healing Ministries. Confused? Let’s examine these Truths.

“And His disciples asked Him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he would be born blind? Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” John 9:2-3

My wise father shared this verse with me during a time of trying to reconcile how dedicated Believers and families in Christ can be born with conditions like autism or bipolar, or receive a terminal diagnosis of cancer after retiring from 30-40 years of overseas mission work. There appears to be no specific spiritual roots or roadblocks. Like the man who was born blind, these individuals had committed no sin and neither had their parents. Yet, the man and these modern Believers were still beset with illness. So how does this shake up with scriptures on Healing like Luke 10:19 and Mark 16:17-18. These verses seem to contradict John 9:2-3. How can a Believer still be born with an “incurable” disease or receive a terminal diagnosis?

“Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you.” Luke 10:19

“These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” Luke 16:17-18

The answer comes from John 9:2-3 as well as the concept of God’s Decretive Will. God, not Satan, was the author of this man’s condition. Up until that point it was assumed that the man’s illness was the result of the man’s sin or generational sin of the parents. However, Christ Jesus knowing the Father’s purposes revealed the previously unknown Will to man.

‘Jesus answered, “It was neither that this man sinned, nor his parents; but it was so that the works of God might be displayed in Him.”’ John 9:3

God purposed or Willed this man to be born with a condition of Blindness with the specific purpose of displaying His glory and healing power through Christ Jesus. God Willed this man to be born with an “incurable” condition by man’s methods so that the world could see that nothing is incurable with the power of God in Christ Jesus of Nazareth.

‘So they were saying to him (Blind Man), “How then were your eyes opened?” He answered, “The man who is called Jesus made clay, and annointed my eyes, and said to me, ‘Go to Siloam and wash’; so I went away and washed, and I received sight.”‘ John 9:10-11

What is just as powerful is Yeshua’s revelation to the people then and to us today that there are exceptions. This man was born with a condition not because of personal or generational sin but because it was God’s Will. God Willed this man to be born with an “incurable” condition by man’s methods in order to display the Healing power of Christ Jesus.

Bless the LORD, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities, Who heals all your diseases; Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle. Psalm 103:1-5

Amen

Related Post: The People God Uses
Related Resources: Can You Hear Me God? ; God’s Hidden Will ; Decretive vs Preceptive Will
Photo Credit: Bing

Healing: My Story

UndercurrentBless the LORD, O my soul, And all that is within me, bless His holy name. Bless the LORD, O my soul, And forget none of His benefits; Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit, Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion; Who satisfies your years with good things, So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.
Psalm 103:1-5

Imagine you are in the ocean and a strong undercurrent comes and sweeps you under. You try with all your might to get to the surface but the undercurrent keeps coming. If you could get just one breath, you could keep going. The undercurrent continues to come, it feels like you are going to drown, and soon you feel like these will be your last breaths; you will soon die. This is not the dream you envisioned for yourself or your family. You cannot support them and help them to cope with the possibility of you not being there in the next few years. You don’t tell others about your true plight out of shame. You have heard the miraculous stories of others being healed and are frustrated that regardless of how hard you pray, you are not healed and at times worse. You begin to question if God really is up there and if He really wants you to die. You stop praying and become angry at God that you are not healed. You draw from your own wisdom rather than drawing to others in the Body and soon you shut down all opportunities for Godly fellowship. The sickness worsens, the medical visits and bills escalate, and the family harmony disintegrates. The family system is bound down financially, emotionally, and physically to the sickness. The sickness is now ruling the family system by consuming sizeable amounts of emotional time, financial resources, and fruitfulness in the home. This sickness led system is not the work of our Lord but instead the work of his darkness, Satan. Satan uses sickness cleverly to steal, kill, and destroy the fabric of many individuals and families lives. What better way to put someone through the wringer and challenge the family system dynamic than a life threatening illness that even doctors do not believe can be cured?

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. John 10:10-11

One bright, winter morning we ventured to a weekend Healing Center (Prayer Ministry specific to medical illnesses) for prayer of the sickness destroying the fabric of our home. The medical doctor had given the “I don’t know what else to do” speech and it would literally take a miracle to undo what the imaging showed. We prayed, received God’s promises, and homework on Kingdom healing. It wasn’t noticeable overnight but within six months or so, the weight began to return, the life began to return, and God’s Healing was showing. Fast forward to a year later and trust in Abba has been restored, active participation in prayer including community prayer has been restored, fellowship within the Body of Christ has been restored, and participation in Ministry outside of weekly worship has been established.

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.

Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
As we forgive our debtors.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.
For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen. Matthew 6:9-13

God’s plan is that what exists in heaven will exist on earth as well. God’s plan is that we be whole and not bound to sickness. God is the author of healing not sickness. God promises every Believer the same Kingdom healing Jesus Christ displayed in the Gospels. But there are some requirements of the Believer, for that Kingdom healing to be enacted: confession/repentance of sin (1 John 1:9, James 5:16), forgiveness of self and others (Mark 11:24-25), believing faith (Mark 11:24-25, 2 Corinthians 5:7), and agreeing faith (Matthew 18:19-20). Jesus Christ was a walking Healing Ministry and example to us of what every Believer is capable of receiving and extending to other Believers. He commissioned each of us as Believers to do the same healing work.

Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father. John 14:12

These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover. Mark 16:17-18

Heavenly Father, we thank you for your power demonstrated through Yeshua in the Gospels. Thank you for adopting us into your family, as your sons and daughters. Thank you for your miraculous heritage and saving grace. Work through us Lord in setting the Body of Christ free from all chains of sickness of the mind, the physical body, the emotions, and the spirit. In the Name and Blood of Jesus Christ of Nazareth we pray. Amen

Resources: IAHR
Related Posting: Kingdom Healing
Photo Credit: Bing

Prayer: Kingdom Healing

healing_crossWhy do some receive miraculous healing and some succumb to illness, despite many fervent prayers?

‘Jesus told the disciples to pray, in what we call the Lord’s Prayer, “Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven.” Sickness comes from the same source that sin comes from. It doesn’t come from Heaven. There isn’t any up there.’ – Kenneth E. Hagin, Founder of RHEMA Bible Training Center and Ministries. Therefore, if we are praying for God’s will to be done on earth and mirror what he has established in heaven which is no sickness or disease. There should be no sickness on earth.

Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted. But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed. Isaiah 53:4-5

That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Esaias the prophet, saying, Himself took our infirmities, and bare our sicknesses. Matthew 8:17

Our heavenly Father sent his perfect son, Yeshua, to be sacrificed or atoned for our sickness and sin once and for all. In sending Yeshua, The Law which required routine sacrifices for sicknesses and sin was abolished. Yeshua was the final sacrifice.

So if Yeshua was sacrificed for our sickness, why are some still suffering and not being healed?

Many Believers have no idea of God’s design for perfect health and don’t know their rights according to the Word. Some Believers know God’s design intellectually but do not truly receive this Biblical truth in their hearts.

Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And all that is within me, bless His holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And forget none of His benefits;
Who pardons all your iniquities,
Who heals all your diseases;
Who redeems your life from the pit,
Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;
Who satisfies your years with good things,
So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.
Psalm 103:1-5

So, why do some receive miraculous healing and others succumb to illness, despite many fervent prayers?

Confession, Unforgiveness, and Doubt

Unconfessed/unrepented sin, unforgiveness, and doubt in God’s inability (i.e. claiming sickness) to heal are open doors for God’s protective covering from healing to be removed and allowing the creator of sickness to move in (Satan).

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9 (Confession)

Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much. James 5:16 (Confession)

Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” Mark 11:24-25 (Forgiveness, Faith/Doubt)

‘Many times people have come to me, quoting Scripture, such as Matthew 18:19-20. They say, “Brother Hagin, will you agree with me about this?” I agree with them, have a word of prayer, and then ask, “Do you agree?” They say, “Yes, yes I do.” I say, “It’s done then, isn’t it?” “Yes, it is done,” they say, as they go their way. In the process, in conversation with these same people, I ask them about it. They say, “Well Brother Hagin, I didn’t much expect it to happen, anyhow.” There was no agreement. I did expect it to happen. They had quoted Jesus’ promise regarding the use of His Name in the prayer of agreement – but they’d said it out of their head. It did not work because they did not agree from their heart, from their spirit. They were not in the spiritual realm. They were not in the biblical realm. They were in the natural, human realm – in the mental realm.’ – Kenneth E. Hagin, excerpt from The Name of Jesus.

Abba, we thank you for sending Yeshua to bear our sickness and sin. Reveal to us any hindrances in our lives that block your Kingdom healing of all physical, emotional, mental, or spiritual ailments. We accept our inheritance of your incredible healing power and reject the work of the enemy which is sickness in the Name and Blood of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Amen