Saturday, September 28, 2019


God Works Through Faith

We see great faith mentioned by Jesus in the healing of the centurion’s servant. This man was a Gentile outside the covenant, yet his faith moved Jesus. His faith not only caused Jesus to pay attention, but it got an answer! Great faith is answered. The centurion understood the rank of Jesus in the spirit and put a demand upon his authority. He understood the power of the spoken word, and he simply requested of Jesus to do what he was authorized to do.

And when Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him, entreating him, and saying, “Lord, my servant is lying at home, sick with paralysis, terribly tormented.”

Jesus said to him, “I will come and heal him.”

The centurion answered and said, “Lord, I am not worthy that you should come under my roof. But, only  speak the word, and my servant will be healed. For, I am a man under authority, having soldiers under me. And I say to this man, ‘Go,’ and he goes, and to another, ‘Come,’ and he comes, and to my servant, ‘Do this,’ and he does it.”

When Jesus heard it, he was amazed and said to those who followed, “Truly I say to you, I have not found such great faith, no, not in Israel. And I say to you that many will come from the east and west and will dine with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be thrown out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Then Jesus said to the centurion, “Go your way. And as you have believed, so let it be done for you.” And his servant was healed that very moment. [Matthew 8:4-13]

A Roman centurion caused Jesus to marvel. The Roman soldiers were not known to be friendly with the Jews, nor were the Jews fond of the Romans. I have discovered an amazing thing about great faith: it bypasses all limitations, including cultural limitations. It lays hold of the promises of God with no regard for what man deems acceptable.

Growing up as a Roman, this man would have had a pagan background. He was stationed in Palestine to enforce the emperor’s government and laws upon the Jewish people. He would have excelled to the level of leadership in the Roman army at times with brutal force. He would not have been a person you would expect to cause Jesus to marvel, and yet he did! This was a foreshadow of the exact thing Jesus came to do, to tear down the wall of sin and separation so all people can come to salvation. This situation was a demonstration of grace.

I believe the Roman centurion’s understanding of the spirit realm is what caused Jesus to marvel at his faith. He knew that whatever Jesus spoke would come to pass. He understood the power of God in action. This was revelation.

Revelation births faith and faith moves things from one realm into another. To tap into this realm of anointing and glory, it takes believing trust and faith.

We need patience to walk in the spirit by faith, to birth realms of glory, potential, and promise. We must be able to bear pain and trial. Times of conflict and challenge birth the most powerful deliverers. This should give you a different perspective on the presence of difficult circumstances. Often in these moments God chooses a man or woman to break the cycle in our lives.

For God speaks once, yes twice, yet man does not perceive it. In a dream, in a vision of the night, when deep sleep falls upon men, in slumber on their beds, then He opens the ears of men, and seals their instruction. [Job 33:14-16]

Each of us has been handpicked by God for a unique and timely work in the earth. It all comes down to our level of obedience. We cannot delegate our obedience to another or blame adversity for our lack of co-operation with the plans of God.

If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land. [Isaiah 1:19]

Obedience is critical in fulfilling personal and corporate destiny. When we obey God, we enjoy His blessings. Obedience can be costly and cause us to do things that are uncomfortable, but it is all part of God’s master plan for us.

Obedience is the fruit of surrender. When I am surrendered to the will of the Father, I am happy to follow His instructions even when I don’t understand completely what the end result will be. This comes as I plant my life in prayer. Prayer is a time of reflection and balance. I come into His presence with questions, seeking answers, realizing my helplessness, and as He quiets my mind, my spirit begins to receive instruction from my Father. His voice calms the storm and brings divine peace and understanding.

With His indwelling presence I am empowered to live boldly. I am free from the fear of man and ready to launch forth into His revealed plan. This is the journey of obedience. It is fueled by a hunger and desire to please my God and my Father. The world cannot understand of this because it is the mark of a disciple. An obedient one has yielded in faith-obedience to the discipline of the Father, denying his own desires, reckoning the self as dead, in order to fulfill His will. The rewards far outweigh the price.

My responsibility is to obey, to surrender my heart in total commitment and to yield myself to the will of God. It is though this process of obedience that we gain understanding of His williHHH. You can’t get the peace that passes understanding until you give up your right to self; until you die to self and walk in the spirit.

Seeds produce harvest. We must have a twofold faith: faith to sow and faith to receive!

See, I have this day set you over the nations and over the kingdoms, to root out and to pull down, to destroy and to throw down, to build and to plant. [Jeremiah 1:10]

Jeremiah was called as a prophet to root out, to pull down, to destroy, and to throw down! All those things had to happen before any building and planting can begin and have full impact.

It is for this reason that the apostolic and prophetic offices are linked together, along with the teacher, as foundational to the church. The prophets speak the heard things. The prophets receive revelation of what needs to change, what God wants us to do, and His heart behind it. Apostles come in with a grace of God to strategically build and plant by the leading of the Spirit of God.

Having been built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus God’s anointed one himself is the chief cornerstone. [Ephesians 2:2:20]

The apostolic office brings governing (kingdom enforcement and authority), liberty (bondage broken), and building to establish the rule of the Messiah! Apostles are direct ambassadors of Jesus the Messiah and his glory. The apostolic anointing is a Jesus-revealing anointing.

The prophetic brings forerunning (out ahead in seeing, knowing, and hearing), intimacy (praying, seeking, and pursuing), seeing (wondrous dreams, visions, and prophetic encounters), and speaking (releasing the voice of Yehovah).

In no way is this a complete list of all the attributes of these various anointings or offices. It is a partial, quick overview of the truths we know to be true. Volumes could not contain all the wonderful attributes of the various gifts and offices of God’s anointed one and his called-out Assembly, his body.

Thursday, September 26, 2019


Jesus said: Salvation is from the Jews (John 4:22.

This is a statement about spiritual reality, as Jesus said, “My words they are spirit and they are life” (John 6:63). The spiritual point of the reference to the Jews as the conduit of God’s salvation is to put into focus the “salvation history” delineated in the OT.

In Romans 11 Paul portrays the people of God as an alive tree whose roots stretch back in Biblical antiquity to Abraham and earlier; these godly men constitute the holy root (Romans 11:16), rooted in a deep relationship with Yehovah. Jews are the branches of this olive tree, but because of unbelief some of them were broken off by God (Romans 11:17); but the believing Jews, including Paul, and the members of the early Jewish congregation, remain a part of the olive tree. The breaking off the unbelieving “branches,” even if many, did not mean that Yehovah had rejected Israel as His people. If is with this very fact that Paul started this part of his letter: “I ask, has God rejected His people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendent of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected His people whom He foreknew.” (Romans 11:1,  2). In Yehovah’s wisdom and mercy, the breaking off of unbelieving branches created an opening into which believing Gentiles could be grafted into the olive tree; this olive tree represents the people Yehovah has chosen, also called “the elect” (Romans 11:5, 7). In thisway “through their trespass [unbelief], salvation has come to the Gentiles”

With this gracious provision of salvation for the Gentiles comes a stern warning:

“but if some of the branches were cut off, and you, although a wild olive shoot, were grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing root of the olive tree, do not be arrogant toward the branches [that were broken off because of unbelief]. If you are, remember it is not you who support the root, but the root that supports you (Romans 11:17, 18).

Notice: Salvation is portrayed as being grated into the olive tree [Israel] and drawing spiritual life and nourishment from its root. A branch stays alive only so long as it remains firmly grafted in the tree; no branch can survive being cut off from the tree. To remain in this tree is life; to be cut off from it is death. Jesus, the “deliverer” or “redeemer,” is an essential part of this tree (Romans 11:26; Isaiah 59:20); therefore, to be united with God’s anointed one Jesus through faith is another way to explain how one is grafted into the olive tree [Israel]. That is why in John 15:1 Jesus also speaks in terms of the Vine and its branches. Grafting is a regular procedure in viticulture; it is Yehovah who grafts in or cuts off, because He is the “vinedresser”: As Jesus said, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser” (John 15:1). He also warned that unfruitful branches could be cut off and thrown away and wither; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned” (John 15:6, NIV); but “whoever abides in me and I in him, “he it is that bears much fruit” (vs.5).

What all this means is that to be cut off from the spiritual “olive tree” (or “vine,” Isaiah 5:1-7) of Israel is to be cut off from salvation, whether he/she be Jew or Gentile, which is precisely what Paul warns would happen, and has happened to unbelieving Jews (Romans 11:22).

Note: Romans 11:20-24: They (the Jews) were broken off because of their unbelief, but you stand fast through faith. So do not become proud. But stand in awe. For if God did not spare the natural branches, neither will He spare you. Note then the kindness and severity of God; severity toward those who have fallen [because of unbelief], but God’s kindness to you, provided you continue in His kindness. Otherwise you too will be cut off.

On the other hand, those Jews who are willing to return to their God and believe in the one whom He has sent will be grafted back into the olive tree [Israel]: “And even they, if they do not continue in their unbelief, will be grafted in, for God has the power to graft them in. For if you were cut from what is by nature a wild olive tree, and grafted, contrary to nature, into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, the natural branches, be grated into their own olive tree [Israel] (Romans

Note the last words, “their olive tree,” for it was theirs by God’s grace in the first place, although it also becomes the Gentile’s by God’s grace, by their being grafted into the olive tree through faith; for it is through faith that we become members of “the Israel of God” (Galatians 6:16). When we are grafted into the olive tree through faith, the “their olive tree” also becomes our olive tree”.

Galatians 3:7: Know that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham.
vs. 29: If you are the anointed ones, then you are Abraham’s offspring, heirs according to the promise.

Romans 2:28, 29: For no one is a Jew who is merely one outwardly, nor is circumcision outward and physical. But a Jew is one inwardly, and circumcision is a matter of the heart, by the Spirit, not by the letter. His praise is not from man but from God.

Romans 4:12: (The purpose was) to make him (Abraham) the father of the circumcised, who are not merely circumcised, but who walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised.

Romans 9:6-8: But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but ‘Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.’ This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring.

Philippians 3:3: For we are the real circumcision who worship by the Spirit of God and glory in the anointed one Jesus and put no confidence in the flesh.

It is through faith that a person becomes a descendant of Abraham, and “heirs according to the promise” (Galatians 3:39) It is by faith, not physical descent, that one becomes a child of God. Being a Jew is not a matter of race or religion but “a matter of the heart” (Romans 2:29), so being an Israelite is not a matter of physical descent from Israel; to belong to Israel is a matter of being “children of the promise” (Romans 9:8) through faith. So Paul tells the Philippians, a proportion who are Gentiles, “we are the real circumcision”. “Circumcision is another word to describe Jews (Ephesians 2:11; Colossians 4:11; Romans 3:30; 4:9), So Paul is saying to the Philippians, “you and I, we are the real Jews”. [Paul a Jew was grafted into the Israel of God when he was baptized].

The point is that the true believer is the real Jew before Yehovah, the spiritual Jew whose praise comes from Yehovah, not man (Romans 2:29). Becoming a believer is to become a true Israelite, a real Jew. Little wonder that Paul declared that in God’s anointed one Jesus “there is neither Jew nor Greek (Galatians 3:28; Colossians 3:11) – there are only true Israelites.  The true descendants of Abraham (Galatians 3:29), the heirs of Yehovahs promises, the chosen people of of Yehovah, the spiritual Jews.

In the called-out Assembly of Yehovah there are only spiritual Israelites, all of whom are circumcised in heart (Romans 2;28,29; Philippians 3:3) even though not all were circumcised in the flesh.

The apostle Peter wrote to encourage persecuted believers by reminding them that “you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for His own procession, that you may claim the excellencies of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (2 Peter 2:9). In this verse the terms applied to the Israel of the OT were applied to the Called-out Assembly (which at the time Peter wrote were largely made up of Jews); what Peter writes echoes a passage like Deuteronomy 7:6: “for you are a people holy to Yehovah your God. Yehovah has chosen you to be a people for His treasured possession, out of all the people who are on the face of the earth” *(Malachi 3:17).

It must now be remembered that when speaking about “Jewish roots” we are not speaking primarily about Judaism in its various forms, but in particular about the Scriptures which the Jews have zealously guarded, preserved, and transmitted with the utmost care throughout the centuries. The unwavering commitment to the word of Yehovah and to monotheism is something that should put Christendom to shame. The Jewish root is the rich spiritual heritage made available to us, above all through the Jewish Scriptures [OT].

Yehovah has chosen in His wisdom and kindness to provide life through the Jewish root. Remember no branch can survive if severed from the olive tree (Israel). We who are in God’s anointed one are the real Jews grafted into the olive tree [Israel].

For the Jews, being a Jew was not exclusively or even primarily a mater of race or religion. The NT concept differs from theirs, not on the question of whether Gentiles can become Jews through conversion, but on how the transition is made. Paul proclaims that it is through faith in God’s anointed one Jesus. (Ephesians 2:11-13).

In God’s anointed one then, we are no longer “alienated from the people of Israel” (Ephesians 2:12), but are now members of Yehovah’s elect people.

“The Israel of Yehovah” is still His covenant people… into whom believing Gentiles are incorporated” (Dunn, Romans, p.540 – Romans 9:6).

The profound consequence of this incorporation into Israel is that the Gentile who is now a member of the real circumcision (Philippians 3:3), is no longer a “stranger to the covenants of promise” (Ephesians 2:12), but becomes “a Gentile convert entering into Israel’s promised blessing” Everything that Yehovah promised Israel becomes ours in God’s anointed one Jesus (2 Corinthians 1:20). So Paul could say that in God’s anointed one “all things are yours” (1 Cor:3:21), such are the unimaginable riches of our inheritance. “As it is written”: ‘No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has in store for those who love Him’ (Isaiah 64:4; 1 Corinthians 2:9); so there is abundant cause to give “thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in light” (Colossians 1:12).

Very few Christians today realize that the true believer is “the real circumcision,” the true Israelite. This shows how completely disconnected Christendom is from its Jewish roots, and from the NT teaching on this very matter.

Error leads to death: it is time t realize this and to heed the word of Yehovah: “come back to Yehovah your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger, rich in faithful love, and He relents about inflicting disaster” (Joel 2:13).

Yehovah the God of Israel, is not the God of the Jews only but of all who belong to “the Israel of God” (Galatians 6:16) God’s spiritual Israel, the true Israelite will love Him wholeheartedly (Mark 12:30) and learn to honour His name Yehovah, for “it is wonderful” (Judges 13:18; Isaiah 28:29).

Written by Eric Chang and edited by Bruce Lyon

The above is from Chapter 6 or Eric Change book “The Only True God”