He Tasted Death for You

History records a man known as Jesus of Nazareth, who walked the earth some 2000 years ago. This man declared Himself to be the Son of God. He was crucified, He died, and He was buried. He willingly offered His life for the sins of the world. After bearing the guilt and penalty for our sin, He was raised from the dead by God, His Heavenly Father, and now reigns as “King of Kings and Lord of Lords!”

Now, either Jesus was who He said He was, and did what was written of Him, or He was a charlatan, a fake, and a fraud. Personally, I believe that He was and is the Son of God, and that He “became sin” so that I could be “made righteous.” I believe that He bore the penalty of my sin and gave me Eternal Life when I believed on Him. This was all made possible through the shedding of His blood upon the cross at Calvary and subsequent bodily resurrection from the dead.

As you listen to this message, “He Tasted Death for You,” I pray that you will get a glimpse into the price that was paid and the sacrifice that was made by Jesus Christ to redeem mankind—to redeem YOU— from the power of sin and death!

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He was despised and rejected—a man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on him and looked the other way when he went by. He was despised, and we did not care. Yet it was our weaknesses he carried; it was our sorrows that weighed him down. And we thought his troubles were a punishment from God for his own sins! But he was wounded and crushed for our sins. He was beaten that we might have peace. He was whipped, and we were healed! All of us have strayed away like sheep. We have left God’s paths to follow our own. Yet the LORD laid on him the guilt and sins of us all.  ~Isaiah 53:3-6 (NLT)

The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!  ~John 1:29 (NKJV)

For God was in Christ, reconciling the world to himself, no longer counting people’s sins against them. This is the wonderful message he has given us to tell others. We are Christ’s ambassadors, and God is using us to speak to you. We urge you, as though Christ himself were here pleading with you, “Be reconciled to God!” For God made Christ, who never sinned, to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.  ~2 Corinthians 5:19-21 (NLT)

For if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. For it is by believing in your heart that you are made right with God, and it is by confessing with your mouth that you are saved. As the Scriptures tell us, “Anyone who believes in him will not be disappointed.” Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They all have the same Lord, who generously gives his riches to all who ask for them. For “Anyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”  ~Romans 10:9-13 (NLT)

Love Story


The story of Christmas is a revelation of God’s love for humanity. The gift of God’s Son to the world is at the heart of the greatest love story ever told. In this audio message, “Love Story,” we will search God’s Word to better understand the true nature of God’s love for us. When we realize just how much God loves us, we will not only be able to respond to His love, but, in turn, share His love with others.

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“For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” ~John 3:16,17 (NKJV)

For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. ~Romans 5:6-8 (NKJV)

But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. ~Ephesians 2:4-7 (NKJV)

Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. ~1 John 4:7-11 (NKJV)


Welcome to “Vanity Fair”


We live in a world at war. On one side of the conflict is the kingdom of darkness, on the other, the Kingdom of Light. We who have been delivered from the power of darkness through faith in Jesus Christ, are now in this world, but not of this world. In reality, we live behind enemy lines and are engaged in a spiritual battle with the enemies of God.

In this message, “Welcome to Vanity Fair,” I share truth from the Word of God and some passages from The Pilgrim’s Progress in Modern English, by L. Edward Hazelbaker*, an excellent revision of the original 17th century text of John Bunyan’s classic book, The Pilgrim’s Progress.

In his book, Bunyan tells the story of a man named Christian, who is on a journey from the “City of Destruction”—this present world—to the “Celestial City,” the heaven where God dwells.

I read The Pilgrim’s Progress a number of years ago, and its message made a lasting impression on me—especially the part that recalls Christian’s journey through a town called, “Vanity,” and the year-round fair that was held in that place. Even though Bunyan’s book is centuries old, it holds significant truth for the follower of Christ, today.

I invite you to take a trip with me to “Vanity Fair,” and discover how to overcome the temptations of this world as we journey to the City of God.

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We know that we are children of God and that the world around us is under the power and control of the evil one. ~1 John 5:19 (NLT)

“I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. And for their sakes I sanctify Myself, that they also may be sanctified by the truth. I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will * believe in Me through their word.” ~John 17:15-20 (NKJV)

Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. ~James 4:7 (NKJV)

* You can purchase a copy of The Pilgrim’s Progress in Modern English, by L. Edward Hazelbaker here.

Are You Ready?

The following is from a CharismaNews Opinion page post, August 3, 2014, by Tim Sheets. I have a sense that the Spirit of God is speaking here of things to come. The question is: will we be ready to move with God when He moves? That’s a question each of us needs to ask our self.

“The Spirit of the Lord declares to His Church: Doors to new history are now opening. A new movement will now move forth. A new stream from My Throne is flowing, and it will be a pure stream of My Gospel. For the stream of My Gospel has been diverted and dammed up by those who wanted the benefits of reservoired blessings; but I will now blow up the religious dams. I will now discipline the spiritual hoarders, and I will have a Gospel that flows freely with My Spirit.

“My movement will move. It is built to move, and it will move empowered by the fresh winds of My Spirit and soaked with fresh oil. It shall be a pure Gospel stream that is lit with the fire of My cause, one that I can confirm with signs, with wonders and with miracles, one that is not diluted with flesh or pride or immorality or greed, one that I can back with awesome Kingdom assets, one that I can marshal My angel armies behind; a Gospel of awesome power that will now surge forward, and the generations will synergize their efforts together for the revival of in-gathering such has not been seen before.

“And I am calling to My Gideons–come Gideons! Come from your hiding places and stop the raiding of harvests. I have seen you behind the winepress. I have seen your secret toil. I have heard your cries for relief. Now hear My cry. Now hear My voice rise and see the strong arm of the Lord your God. I have seen your heart, and I will now empower you. I will defeat the enemy, and you will enjoy the spoils of victory. You will say, ‘Our enemy has resourced us. Our enemy has stored abundance for us. We have more because of war.’

“A shift in leadership will now occur,” says the Lord. “A new breed of leaders will be revealed in My Kingdom. The obscure ones who have served faithfully will now receive promotion. Though man has not seen, I have seen. It will be said, ‘Where did they come from? Who are they?’

“And I will advocate saying, ‘These are they who have come from My presence. These are they who would not compromise. These are they who would not be muzzled. These are they who would not bow to darkness. These are they who would not appease humanity with enticing words but have stood strong with My words.’

“They did not flinch. They did not bow their knee to blended religion and doctrines of men. They did not tolerate the diluting of My message and the mocking of My ways. They have stood unashamed for Me. Now I will stand unashamed for them. I have proclaimed their victory, and I will oversee it.

“Multiplied grace is now flowing. Bound souls shall be set free. Captive hearts shall be delivered. Those blinded by sin and iniquity shall be liberated from hell’s bondage, as the revival of in-gathering now springs forward.

“The synergized generation in sync with My angel armies and soaked in the presence of My Spirit will now leap forward into great revival. It will be a movement that moves–moves in power, moves with passion, moves in purity. Notable miracles will spring forth. They are leaping in your midst.

“The revival in the womb of My intercessors is now leaping. It is leaping from the womb of their travail. It is now time for the birthing of forerunners who will run. Leap into your destiny. Leap through the open door. Leap into your future.” –spoken by Apostle Tim Sheets

Tim Sheets is an apostle, pastor and author based in southwestern Ohio. A graduate of Christ For the Nations Institute in Dallas, he returned to Ohio in 1979 to pastor The Oasis, a CityGate Church, in Middletown, Ohio. The site is one of the largest in the Cincinnati-Dayton area and is host to many ministries and conferences. His vision is to raise up people who will authentically demonstrate the church on the Earth and passionately evangelize the world. His heart is for awakening and reformation in America. He has written three books, Armed and Battle Ready, Being Led by the Spirit, and Heaven Made Real. Sheets resides with his wife, Carol, in Lebanon, Ohio. They have two children and five grandchildren.


Going On To Perfection

God has a destiny in mind for you and me, that is our perfection—that we would be conformed into the image of the Perfect One, God’s Son, Jesus. The author of Hebrews encouraged us toward this end, writing, “Therefore, leaving the discussion of the elementary principles of Christ, let us go on to perfection…” (Hebrews 6:1)

It’s time that we trust and allow God to finish the work that He started in us, so that when people look at you and me, they see and hear Jesus. Yes, I know, that sounds impossible. But, what is utterly impossible for us to accomplish is absolutely possible with God—if we only believe!

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“If you’re not going on to perfection, what are you going on to?” ~Anonymous

 And I am sure that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on that day when Christ Jesus comes back again. ~Philippians 1:6 (NLT)

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. ~2 Corinthians 3:14 (NKJV)

Conformed Into His Image

The true meaning of life is not about where you’ve been, what you have, or even what you do. It’s about who you are. And, if you are “in Christ,” the whole focus of your life ought to be on becoming more like Jesus.

Religion tells us that such a thing is simply not possible. After all, Jesus was and is the Son of God. But, a closer look into God’s Word tells a different story. It was God’s plan from the beginning that His sons and daughters would become just like His first-born Son, Jesus. That’s God’s plan, man!

I pray that God will open the eyes of your heart and give you understanding of this life-transforming truth, as you listen to this message, titled, “Conformed Into His Image.”

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And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. ~Romans 8:28,29 (NKJV)

I don’t mean to say that I have already achieved these things or that I have already reached perfection! But I keep working toward that day when I will finally be all that Christ Jesus saved me for and wants me to be. ~Philippians 3:12 (NLT)

“Work” is a Four-Letter Word

When I was a kid, there was a four-letter word that my dad wouldn’t allow to be spoken in our house. Actually, there were a few such words, but, one in particular was deemed particularly offensive. The word was, “FORD.”

You see, my dad worked for General Motors Corporation at Fisher Body Plant #2 in Flint, Michigan. He was Superintendent of Labor Relations at the plant that built full-size Chevrolets. Since Ford Motor Company was GM’s chief competitor back in the day, the Ford name was banned in our GM household. (I really think Dad was joking, but, then again, kinda’ not.)

Similarly, there’s a four-letter word that some have banned in God’s house, today. It’s a word that offends otherwise rational folks whenever and wherever it is uttered. The word is, “WORK.”

It seems that the word, “work” or “works” is found distasteful and grossly offensive to many who emphasize God’s grace.

Certainly, we are not saved BY our works, but, solely on the basis of God’s grace through faith. Nevertheless, we are saved to do good works. God’s grace has been given to us so that we might be co-laborers with Him while we are here on this earth–working to fulfill His plans and purpose.

As a matter of scriptural record, when Jesus returns, we shall all be judged as to whether or not we have been faithful to do what He has committed to us to do.

In this message, “Work is a Four-Letter Word,” I hope to shed some light on this controversial subject. God has not called any of us to be spectators–He has called us to be workers with Him. Be sure, only the faithful will abound with blessings. (See Proverbs 28:20)

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And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. ~1 Peter 1:17-19 (NKJV)

According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.
~1 Corinthians 3:10-15 (NKJV)

“But of that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father. Take heed, watch and pray; for you do not know when the time isIt is like a man going to a far country, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to each his work, and commanded the doorkeeper to watch. Watch therefore, for you do not know when the master of the house is coming—in the evening, at midnight, at the crowing of the rooster, or in the morning— lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say to you, I say to all: Watch!” ~Mark 13:32-37 (NKJV)

“And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.” ~Revelation 22:12 (NKJV)

The Devil’s Greatest Fear?

I believe that one of the Devil’s greatest fears, is when God’s people are gathered together in faith and unity.

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And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage and warn each other, especially now that the day of his coming back again is drawing near.
~Hebrews 10:25 (NLT)

“For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them.” ~Matthew 18:20 (NKJV)

And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness. ~Acts 4:31 (NKJV)

Create Your Future

“The future never just happened. It was created.” ~Will and Ariel Durant

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“Now listen! Today I am giving you a choice between prosperity and disaster, between life and death. I have commanded you today to love the LORD your God and to keep his commands, laws, and regulations by walking in his ways. If you do this, you will live…and the LORD your God will bless you…. But if your heart turns away and you refuse to listen, and if you are drawn away to serve and worship other gods, then I warn you now that you will certainly be destroyed.” ~Deuteronomy 30:15-18 (NLT)

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruit. ~Proverbs 18:21 (NKJV)

Those who are dominated by the sinful nature think about sinful things, but those who are controlled by the Holy Spirit think about things that please the Spirit. If your sinful nature controls your mind, there is death. But if the Holy Spirit controls your mind, there is life and peace. ~Romans 8:5,6 (NLT)


There’s a City in Your Hands

Wherever God has planted you–in whatever city, town, village, hamlet, or burg you live–you are to pray for that place. Your prayers can make a world of difference in creating an atmosphere conducive to the blessings of God. I pray that the Spirit of God will open the eyes of your understanding through this message, “There’s a City in Your Hands.”

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Then He began to rebuke the cities in which most of His mighty works had been done, because they did not repent: “Woe to you, Chorazin! Woe to you, Bethsaida! For if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say to you, it will be more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon in the day of judgment than for you. And you, Capernaum, who are exalted to heaven, will be brought down to Hades; for if the mighty works which were done in you had been done in Sodom, it would have remained until this day. But I say to you that it shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom in the day of judgment than for you.” ~Matthew 11:20-24 (NKJV)

And seek the peace of the city where I have caused you to be carried away captive, and pray to the LORD for it; for in its peace you will have peace. ~Jeremiah 29:4 (NKJV)

Count Me “All In”

Life presents each of us with many choices and a myriad of paths we could travel. I made a decision 41 years ago to trust and follow Jesus Christ–a choice that changed the course of my life.

Although I had been a regular church attender, Sunday School teacher, and an ordained Ruling Elder, I never knew what it meant to have a personal relationship with Jesus. That all changed one Friday night at the altar of Hope United Methodist Church in Flint, Michigan. Since the day I received Christ, I have gone through many changes and overcome many challenges. Through it all, God has shown me His amazing grace, awesome love, power, provision, and protection.

I believe that the Bible is God’s Word, and that He speaks to me through His Word and leads me by His Holy Spirit. I believe that My Heavenly Father has my best interest at heart. I believe that my faith in Jesus will allow me entrance into God’s heavenly Kingdom and that my service to Him in this life will result in rewards in the next.

Simply said, I’m “betting everything” on Jesus–that He is who He says He is, and that He will do what He says He’ll do. Yes, you can count me “all in.” I have decided to follow Jesus–no turning back, no turning back.

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Jesus said to him, “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. ~John 14:6 (NKJV)

So, what do you think? With God on our side like this, how can we lose? If God didn’t hesitate to put everything on the line for us, embracing our condition and exposing himself to the worst by sending his own Son, is there anything else he wouldn’t gladly and freely do for us? ~Romans 8:31,32 (The Message)

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 5:11-13 (NKJV)

Death by Pride

Pride is a killer. On the other hand, the one who walks in humility will experience the blessing and grace of God. The Word is clear–“God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble.” In this message, “Death By Pride,” we will search the Scriptures to see what God has to say about pride and how to avoid its disastrous consequences.

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Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Better to be of a humble spirit with the lowly, than to divide the spoil with the proud. ~Proverbs 16:18,19 (NKJV)

Yes, all of you be submissive to one another, and be clothed with humility, for “God resists the proud, But gives grace to the humble.”  Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. ~1 Peter 5:5-7 (NKJV)

Love One Another

When I was an instructor at RHEMA Bible Training Center (1978-1981), one of the courses I taught was “New Testament Survey.” I had a student in my class named Andy LaRocca. Andy was an extraordinarily talented individual. He would sit in the back row of my classroom and draw cartoons of that day’s lesson.  

Here’s one of his comic creations which was inspired by one of John’s epistles. Now, John is often referred to as the “Apostle of Love,” since God’s love is an oft-repeated theme of his writings.

loveoneanotherGet it? Good. Now, go do it!   😉

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Beloved, let us LOVE one another, for LOVE is of God; and everyone who LOVES is born of God and knows God. He who does not LOVE does not know God, for God is LOVE. In this the LOVE of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is LOVE, not that we LOVED God, but that He LOVED us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so LOVED us, we also ought to LOVE one another.
~1 John 4:7-11 (NKJV)

If I could speak in any language in heaven or on earth but didn’t LOVE others, I would only be making meaningless noise like a loud gong or a clanging cymbal. If I had the gift of prophecy, and if I knew all the mysteries of the future and knew everything about everything, but didn’t LOVE others, what good would I be? And if I had the gift of faith so that I could speak to a mountain and make it move, without LOVE I would be no good to anybody. If I gave everything I have to the poor and even sacrificed my body, I could boast about it; but if I didn’t LOVEothers, I would be of no value whatsoever. LOVE is patient and kind. LOVE is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. LOVE does not demand its own way. LOVE is not irritable, and it keeps no record of when it has been wronged. It is never glad about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. LOVE never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. LOVE will last forever, but prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will all disappear. Now we know only a little, and even the gift of prophecy reveals little! But when the end comes, these special gifts will all disappear. It’s like this: When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child does. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly as in a poor mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me now. There are three things that will endure — faith, hope, and LOVE — and the greatest of these is LOVE. ~1 Corinthians 13 (NLT)

“For God so LOVED the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.” ~John 3:16,17 (NKJV)

Think On These Things

Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. ~Philippians 4:4-8 (NKJV)

If You Seek Him…

The Scriptures are filled with admonitions to “seek the Lord.” In this message you will discover the importance of continually seeking God with all your heart.

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“So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!” ~Luke 11:9-13 (NKJV)

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be filled.
~Matthew 5:6 (NKJV)

And all Judah rejoiced at the oath, for they had sworn with all their heart and sought Him with all their soul; and He was found by them, and the LORD gave them rest all around. ~2 Chronicles 15:15 (NKJV)

Return to Zion

The Word of God has much to say about “mountains”–Mount Sinai, Mount Moriah, the Mount of Olives, and Mount Zion, among others. But, a closer study reveals Mount Zion holding a special place in the heart of God. Sadly, I think too many believers spend a greater part of their lives at Mount Moriah, which is known as a place of offerings and sacrifices.

The writer of Hebrews declares that “you have come unto Mt. Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem…” (See Hebrews 12:22). Mount Zion is a place of deliverance, freedom, worship, and joy and gladness in the presence of the Lord!

In this message, “Return to Zion,” we will search the Scriptures to discover the blessing of life on Mount Zion, the City of our King.

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Yet I have set My King on My holy hill of Zion. ~Psalm 2:6 (NKJV)

For the LORD shall build up Zion, He shall appear in His glory.
~Psalm 102:16 (NKJV)

For the LORD has chosen Zion; He has desired it for His dwelling place.
~Psalm 132:13 (NKJV)

And the ransomed of the LORD shall return, and come to Zion with singing, with everlasting joy on their heads. They shall obtain joy and gladness,and sorrow and sighing shall flee away. ~Isaiah 35:10 (NKJV)

But on Mount Zion there shall be deliverance, and there shall be holiness…
~Obadiah 17 (NKJV)


Divine Desperation

Could it be that our inability to experience the power of God in our lives is directly related to our desperation for Him? Actually, I think this might be true. We are often indifferent, rather than passionate, for the things of God. It seems that we seldom get serious about seeking God until we are overwhelmed by circumstances and have no place or no one to turn to but God.

In this message, titled, “Divine Desperation,” you will discover one of the greatest secrets to releasing and living in the power of God. I pray that God will speak to your heart by His Spirit as you listen.

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But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.
~Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV)

And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. [10] Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong. ~2 Corinthians 12:9,10 (NKJV)


A Way of Escape

vectorstock_1236670Take:60 with Randall Gearhart

think on these things…
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.
~1 Corinthians 10:13 (NKJV)

© 2014 Randall Gearhart

What Are We Becoming?

I read a very good article this morning that was written by R. Loren Sandford in September, 2013. He wrote about a “shift” that he observed in the Church–a change that I, too, have witnessed taking place in the Body of Christ.

Here is an excerpt from his article, titled, “A New Move of God is Occurring.”

Both in and out of the church, we created and catered to a culture focused on self-fulfillment, getting a blessing, having an experience and being fed and touched personally and individually. We became a “me” generation, in contradistinction to a culture of the selflessness of the cross, and then passed that sick cultural orientation to our children, who now suffer for it.

Conditioned by the culture we created, we gravitated toward teachings that told us how to personally prosper, receive a blessing, experience the supernatural and heal the pain that our self-orientation inevitably produced. We ended up with a faith focused in the wrong place, sometimes subtly and in some cases rather blatantly.

Worship became an individual experience to receive and enjoy rather than an offering rising as a pleasing aroma to God for His sake. Inner healing became not a tool to make us more whole for the sake of lives given away in the service of others but more of a means of relieving our pain so we could be “happy.”

Prophetic ministry too often gravitated toward flattering words of great destinies reflective of the content of the hearts of the people rather than life-changing truth. We began to attend conferences for the big names on the roster of speakers, hoping the anointed ones would spark life and impart something into us that would give meaning to our lives or catalyze a supernatural experience.

Jesus, however, came to reveal the nature and character of His Father: ‘He who has seen Me has seen the Father” (John 14:9).

I believe anyone who is serious about serving God has been experiencing a holy dissatisfaction with merely “receiving blessings” and having one more “spiritual experience.” The ultimate plan and purpose of God is, that, as His children, we would be “conformed into His image.” To this end, God is working to finish what He has started in us.

You can read the entire article here.

What’s Holding You Back?

If there was ever a time to move on in the things of God, this is it! But, often there are things in our life that hold us back—sins and addictions, feelings and emotions, offenses and unforgiveness, and haunting memories of days gone by. In this message, “What’s Holding You Back?,” I talk about those actions and attitudes that can hinder our spiritual growth and offer some thoughts about how we can move past those things into a closer walk with God.

think on these things…
“You’ve stayed long enough at this mountain. On your way now. Get moving….” ~Deuteronomy 1: 6,7 (The Message)

“What’s Holding You Back?” (45:26)
© 2014 Randall Gearhart

The Coming Revival

“The United States will be saved only through a massive outpouring of the Holy Spirit. I see the seeds of a movement of evangelism and the Holy Spirit that will sweep across the nation from sea to shining sea. Our nation is in desperate need of revival. The solution won’t come from the White House, and it won’t be fixed through the polls. It will only come from Jesus.” ~Reinhard Bonnke

The Question of Forgiveness

It was about a year or so ago that I began to see a number of posts on Facebook stating that, “all our sins have been forgiven—past, present, and future.”

To be honest, I had never thought about future sins being forgiven in advance of a person actually committing them. I have always been of the belief that, if a person sinned after they were born-again, repentance and confession were required to receive God’s forgiveness. The concept of “pre-forgiveness” was a new one to me. Certainly, I don’t know everything, and I feel I’m open to be taught, but, with the knowledge of Scripture that I have, I’ve had trouble reconciling this and some other teachings with God’s Word.

In the last few months, I have witnessed a marked increase in the number of declarations and discussions (and some ugly arguments) about forgiveness of sin, judgment and condemnation, law and grace, among other things. The matter has exploded on numerous websites, blog sites, and in Facebook posts. At times, the discussion has gotten quite heated and, sadly, has been the cause of much division in the Body of Christ.

As I began studying this teaching, I discovered that much of this “new doctrine” was being promoted by Joseph Prince, in his book, “Destined to Reign.” (He also deals with this subject in his subsequent book, “Unmerited Favor,” which, is pretty much a re-write of his first book.)

So as not to be ignorant on this matter, I spent about six weeks reading, studying, marking, and highlighting what Prince wrote in regard to God’s grace and forgiveness. What I found were some liberating truths that I, myself, have been teaching over the past 35 years. But, I also found many questionable statements and some things that clearly contradict the teaching of Scripture. I also have spent considerable time reading a variety of articles and blog posts, both pro and con, and watching and listening to messages from a variety of folks.

I will be addressing some of my concerns primarily in audio messages posted here on my devoBlog. It is not my intent to attack a particular person or ministry, even though I felt it was necessary to refer to Prince’s writings.

The Word of God warns us, “Now the Spirit expressly says that in latter times some will depart from the faith, giving heed to deceiving spirits and doctrines of demons” (1 Timothy 4:1), and, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables” (2 Timothy 4:3,4). True freedom only comes by continuing in the Truth of God’s Word. I pray that as you listen to these messages that the Holy Spirit will speak Truth to your heart. I might add that, if in anything I speak or write I am found to be in error, I pray that the Spirit of God would open my eyes to the Truth, also.

think on these things…
But now the righteousness of God apart from the law is revealed, being witnessed by the Law and the Prophets, even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all* who believe. For there is no difference; for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, [24] being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God set forth as a propitiation by His blood, through faith, to demonstrate His righteousness, because in His forbearance God had passed over the sins that were previously committed, to demonstrate at the present time His righteousness, that He might be just and the justifier of the one who has faith in Jesus. ~Romans 3:21-26 (NKJV)

And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. ~Colossians 2:13,14 (NKJV)

“And when we all had fallen to the ground, I heard a voice speaking to me and saying in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ So I said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ And He said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting. But rise and stand on your feet; for I have appeared to you for this purpose, to make you a minister and a witness both of the things which you have seen and of the things which I will yet reveal to you. I will deliver you from the Jewish people, as well as from the Gentiles, to whom I now send you, to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’ ~Acts 26:14-18 (NKJV)

This is the message which we have heard from Him and declare to you, that God is light and in Him is no darkness at all. If we say that we have fellowship with Him, and walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us. My little children, these things I write to you, so that you may not sin. And if anyone sins, we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And He Himself is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the whole world. ~1 John 1:5-2:2 (NKJV)

Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing psalms. Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord. And the prayer of faith will save the sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven. Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. ~James 5:13-16 (NKJV)

Beware, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief in departing from the living God; but exhort one another daily, while it is called “Today,” lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin. For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end. ~Hebrews 3:12-13 (NKJV)

For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment, and fiery indignation which will devour the adversaries. Anyone who has rejected Moses’ law dies without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. Of how much worse punishment, do you suppose, will he be thought worthy who has trampled the Son of God underfoot, counted the blood of the covenant by which he was sanctified a common thing, and insulted the Spirit of grace? For we know Him who said, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord. And again, “The LORD will judge His people.” It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God. ~Hebrews 10:26-31 (NKJV)

“As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten. Therefore be zealous and repent.” ~Revelation 3:19 (NKJV)

“The Question of Forgiveness” (55:15)start+new

© 2014 Randall Gearhart

The Weapons of Our Warfare

Satan’s most effective weapon against humanity is “The Lie.” The believer’s greatest weapon against our adversary, the Devil, is “The Truth.” In this message, I borrow from the United States Marine Corps Book of Strategy, “Warfighting,” to gain insight into the tactics our enemy uses in his attempt to discourage, defeat, and destroy God’s people. When we understand and use the spiritual weapons that God has given us, we can be assured of victory in Christ!think on these things…
“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.” ~ 2 Corinthians 10:4,5 (NKJV)
© 2014 Randall Gearhart

Where is the Love?

“Unselfish love, generosity, brotherly affection and sincere kindness is just as much a manifestation of the Spirit as healing or miracles. In fact, powerful signs and wonders are more likely to happen in an atmosphere that is bathed in Holy Ghost love.

“Could this be the reason we don’t see as many supernatural manifestations today? When we are smug, hypocritical, bitter, harsh, judgmental and hateful, we totally short-circuit God’s power.” ~J. Lee Grady

Fight the Good Fight!


When you are born-again into the family of God, you are going to come under attack from spiritual forces “hell-bent” on destroying you. If you’re going to thrive and survive, you’re going to have to know how to fight the good fight of faith. This message will help get you on the right footing and get mentally prepared for the inevitable battles that come to all those who have given their hearts and lives to God .

think on these things…
“This charge I commit to you, son Timothy, according to the prophecies previously made concerning you, that by them you may wage the good warfare, having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck.” ~1 Timothy 1:18,19 (NKJV)

“You therefore must endure hardship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No one engaged in warfare entangles himself with the affairs of this life, that he may please him who enlisted him as a soldier.” ~2 Timothy 2:3,4 (NKJV)

“Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.” ~1 Timothy 6:12 (NKJV)

“Fight the Good Fight” (40:06)
© 2014 Randall Gearhart

Birthing a Revival

Here’s my message from Mother’s Day 2012. Although, it’s not a “typical” Mother’s Day message, I do believe it’s a word that could help us experience a much-needed release of God’s power and glory in our nation, cities, churches, and homes. In this message, I also share some great thoughts from Francis Frangipane. If you are not familiar with Francis’ ministry, I encourage you to check out his website here.

“Birthing a Revival” (39:59)

© 2014 Randall Gearhart

Reaching a Post-Christian Culture

think on these things…
“…we must shift our strategy from trying to call a once-Christian nation back to God and refocus our efforts to thinking of ourselves and our ministries as the early Christians did under Roman domination. The former leads to shrill cries of prophetic judgment against a people who once knew God and should still. The latter acknowledges that the culture has long since ceased to be Christian and determines to win the hearts of those under its influence through love, grace, demonstrations of miracle power and service. Fail to make this shift and we will find ourselves ever more marginalized and ineffective in the days to come.

“The promise: For those who will receive it, a determined remnant is about to experience an unprecedented outpouring of the Holy Spirit that will prepare and propel us into these coming days as a people ready to shine as lighthouses of hope, healing and salvation in the midst of growing darkness. It is a season of equipping for signs and wonders, of character change in the deepest reaches of our hearts and lives, of learning the ways of God and of refusing compromise at any level. It is a time for awakening.” ~ R. Loren Sandford

“Reaching a Post-Christian Culture” (13:50)

God’s View of You

“…a Christian’s standing before God does not depend upon his standing before men. A high reputation does not make a man dearer to God, nor does the tongue of the slanderer influence God’s attitude toward His people in any way. He knows us each one, and we stand or fall in the light of His perfect knowledge.” ~ A.W. Tozer


“A Chance of Rain”

This track is from an extraordinary time spent in worship one Wednesday
night at The Sanctuary of Dublin. Nancy Clark played piano and I used a
Yamaha WX-5 controller and VL70-m module to emulate the flute, clarinet,
cello, violin, and harmonica that you hear on this un-rehearsed,
“play-as-we-go” melody. I added the sounds of an afternoon spring
thunderstorm that I had recorded a few days earlier.

  “A Chance of Rain”
reel© 2014 Randall Gearhart

Repent, Rinse, Repeat

I learned a lesson on repentance the other day when I was in the shower. Since none of you were there (at least I don’t remember seeing any of you there), I thought I’d share it in this brief audio message with you.

think on these things…
Write to Laodicea, to the Angel of the church. God’s Yes, the Faithful and Accurate Witness, the First of God’s creation, says:

“I know you inside and out, and find little to my liking. You’re not cold, you’re not hot—far better to be either cold or hot! You’re stale. You’re stagnant. You make me want to vomit. You brag, ‘I’m rich, I’ve got it made, I need nothing from anyone,’ oblivious that in fact you’re a pitiful, blind beggar, threadbare and homeless.

“Here’s what I want you to do: Buy your gold from me, gold that’s been through the refiner’s fire. Then you’ll be rich. Buy your clothes from me, clothes designed in Heaven. You’ve gone around half-naked long enough. And buy medicine for your eyes from me so you can see, really see.

“The people I love, I call to account—prod and correct and guide so that they’ll live at their best. Up on your feet, then! About face! Run after God! ~Revelation 3:14-19 (MSG)

“Repent, Rise, Repeat” (7:11)

© 2014 Randall Gearhart

Keeping Our Focus

“But the most important issue we face today is the same the church has
faced in every century: Will we reach our world for Christ? In other
words, will we give priority to Christ’s command to go into all the
world and preach the gospel? Or will we turn increasingly inward, caught
up in our own internal affairs or controversies, or simply becoming
more and more comfortable with the status quo? Will we become
inner-directed or outer-directed? The central issues of our time aren’t
economic or political or social, important as these are. The central
issues of our time are moral and spiritual in nature, and our calling is
to declare Christ’s forgiveness and hope and transforming power to a
world that does not know him or follow him. May we never forget this.”
~Billy Graham


Attitude Adjustment: 101

Hugh Downs once said, “A happy person is not a person in a certain set of
circumstances, but rather a person with a certain set of attitudes.” So
true. In this message I share some thoughts on how you can change your
attitude to meet every challenge you face in life.

think on these things…
“To You, O LORD, I lift up my soul. O my God, I trust in You…” ~Psalm 25:1,2a (NKJV)

“And there will be signs in the sun, in the moon, and in the stars; and on
the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves
roaring; men’s hearts failing them from fear and the expectation of those
things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of the heavens will be
shaken.Then they will see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and
great glory. Now when these things begin to happen, look up and lift up your
heads, because your redemption draws near.” ~Luke 21:25-28 (NKJV)

“Attitude Adjustment: 101”   (29:22)