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Aaron shall burn on it sweet incense every morning…

Dear friends,

Grace and peace to you from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. It has been some time since I have written. I don’t want to write unless it is something that God has laid on my heart to write. I know if that is the case it will minister to someone, and oftentimes me, as I began to meditate on what I feel the Lord is saying. I hope these words will be an encouragement to you today. It is truly a season when it is increasingly important to hear the Father.May the Lord fine tune our hearing as we seek His face.

Aaron shall burn on it sweet incense every morning; when he tends the lamps, he shall burn incense on it. And when Aaron lights the lamps at twilight, he shall burn incense on it, a perpetual incense before the Lord throughout your generations. Exodus 30:7,8

The “it” in this verse is the altar of incense which was positioned before the veil of Tabernacle that separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place or Holy of Holies where the ark of the Testimony was kept. The Ark represented the presence and glory of God. Every morning Aaron would tend the lamps to make sure that they kept burning. Lamps or light are types of revelation. We see in the days of Eli that the lamp of God was about to go out when the Lord spoke to Samuel as a boy. (1 Samuel 7) In the first verse of that chapter it says that the word of the Lord was rare in those days and that there was no widespread revelation. When Aaron was tending the lamps he was also to burn incense on the incense altar in the morning and the evening. The incense was to burn perpetually before the Lord.

So what is the relevance of this for us today. First, we must consider what incense is a type of. I believe I can safely say that incense represents prayer. Look at Revelation 5:8. Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. Just as the smoke and fragrance of the incense burning wafted over the veil to where the ark was, so are the prayers of believers today. They come up before His throne as a sweet smelling aroma before God. Let’s look at a couple of other points and see how they relate to us today.

The incense was to be burned every morning and every evening. Some would say it is legalistic to say we need to pray every morning and every night. I am not saying you have to do that, but what better way is there to start the day than praying to the Lord and what better way to end the day than prayer. One Christian leader said,” I have so much to do today, I need to pray twice as long.” The fact is, the incense was burning perpetually so it is much more akin to the word of Paul in Thessalonians 5:17. Pray without ceasing.

If Jesus only did what He saw the Father doing and spoke what He heard the Father speaking then He must have been continually in tune to the Father. I believe it was Smith Wigglesworth who said, “I never pray more that 20 minutes, but I never go more than 20 minutes without praying.

There are a number of scriptures that do mention day and night, or morning and evening prayer and I want to look at a few of those, but I don’t think it’s about praying specific times as much as it is making prayer a continuous action.

I have set watchmen on your walls, O Jerusalem; they shall never hold their peace day or night. You who make mention of the Lord, do not keep silent, and give Him no rest till He establishes and till He makes Jerusalem a praise in the earth. Isaiah 62:6,7 I believe the role of a watchman is being an intercessor.

Other scriptures: Nehemiah 1:6; Psalms 55:17; Psalms 88:1: Luke 2:37: 1 Thessalonians 3:10: 2 Timothy 1:3.

There is one more passage I want to look at and that is Jesus’ words in Luke 18. I felt as I was writing this that there are some people who have become discouraged and have withdrawn from battle. If ever there was a time for us to push through in prayer, I believe it is now. I believe that we are beginning to see the kingdom advancing and there are walls which have separated God’s people and kept them from reaching the help they need. The battering ram is prayer and the walls are being struck repeatedly. There is not much damage evident, but the molecules of these walls are vibrating with each repeated blow and they will come down if we do not stop. We don’t want to be like King Joash who struck the ground only three times (2 Kings 13) when he could have kept striking the ground and insured complete victory.

Then He spake a parable to them, that men ought always to pray and not lose heart. Luke 18:1. The parable was about the unjust judge and the widow. If an unjust judge will grant this widow vengeance; what about our Father who loves us so much. Jesus said, “And shall God not avenge His own elect who cry out day and night to Him, though He bears long with them?” Luke 18:7

Do not be discouraged, God hears the prayers of His saints; don’t give up!

May the Lord bless and encourage you this day.

In His service,

Herb Dean

And the God of Peace will Soon Crush Satan Underneath Your Feet

Dear friends,

I hope you are well. This morning there were some things weighing heavy on me and I felt myself becoming discouraged. While taking a shower this morning I was meditating on both the good and the bad, when I began to think about the enemy being under our feet. The part of the verse above came to mind and I found myself encouraged by the word. My mind was flooded with scriptures where the enemy was put on his belly. I felt like this might encourage someone today so I am putting together some of the thoughts the Lord gave me. Be blessed today.

And the God of peace will soon crush Satan underneath your feet. Romans 16:20

So the Lord God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; on your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” Genesis 3:14-15

From the curse in the garden the position of our enemies has been upon their belly, underneath our feet. When we were saved we were seated in Him in heavenly places far above all principality and power and might and dominion. Positionally we are above and not beneath. We war from a position of victory. For some of these references I will give just a brief explanation of what happened in order to save time.

1. In Joshua Chapter 10 Joshua went to war against the five Amorite kings. the Israelites trapped them in a cave until after the battle was over. After the battle was over Joshua commanded his captains to put their feet on the necks of those kings. In verse 25 Joshua said, “Do not be afraid, nor be dismayed; be strong and of good courage, for thus the Lord will do to all your enemies against whom you fight.” Then he killed them.

2. In 1 Samuel Chapter 5 the Philistines had captured the ark of God and they had placed it in the temple of Dagon. When they went in the next morning Dagon had fallen on his face before the ark of the Lord. They put him back in place and the next day Dagon was again fallen on its face before the ark of the Lord, but this time the head and hands of Dagon were broken off on the threshold so that only the torso remained. Upon thy belly shalt thy go!

3. In 1Samuel 17 David fought Goliath and when the stone struck Goliath’s forehead he fell on his face to the earth and David then stood over him, took Goliath’s sword and cut off his head.

4. Psalms 18:39-40 “For You have armed me with strength for the battle; You have subdued under me those who rose up against me. You have also given me the necks of my enemies so that I destroyed those who hated me.”

5. Malachi 4: 2,3 “But to you who fear my name the Sun of Righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings; and you shall go out and grow fat like stall-fed calves. You shall trample the wicked, for they shall ashes under the soles of your feet on the day I do this, says the Lord of Hosts.”

6. Luke 10:19 “Behold I give you authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.”

7. Romans 16: 20 ” and the God of peace will soon crush Satan underneath your feet.”

The assigned position of the enemy is on His belly and our position is for our feet to be upon the necks of our enemies. These enemies are not flesh and blood (though it may seem so sometimes), but principalities and powers, spiritual wickedness in high places. Jesus spoiled them at Calvary crushing the head of Satan. Do they still have power? Yes, but it is the power of agreement. When we agree with their lies we give them authority. We must align ourselves with what God has said. Submit yourselves therefore to God; resist the devil and He will flee. James 4:7. I was greatly encouraged by meditating on these truths and I hope you will be as well. The God of peace will soon crush Satan underneath our feet. Be exceedingly blessed.

In His love,

Herb Dean

Having disarmed principalities and powers

Dear friends,

Greetings to you in the name of our Lord. Today I would like to share a few thoughts on spiritual warfare. These thoughts will be different from most you’ve heard. I pray that this will be an encouragement to you and that you will prayerfully consider these words.

Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it. Col. 2:15

The event described above was the greatest single act of spiritual warfare and apart from this all attempts to overcome the enemy are vain. The event ,of course, was the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. How was it that this act spoiled the principalities and powers and crushed the very head of satan? I’ll attempt to answer that question, but first let me share what my idea of spiritual warfare was. I would pray loud, energetic prayers rebuking this spirit and that demon, pulling down this principality and power and that principality and power. It was often invigorating, but there was very little change. I also got beat up a few times. Over the years the Lord began to show me that there were spheres of authority and that the only way to displace principalities and powers was corporate repentance. It is repentance that prepares the way of the kingdom.

For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil. 1 John 3:8b

The Bible clearly states that the purpose of Jesus was to destroy the works of the devil. The word destroy in the Greek is the word “luo” which means to loose what is bound. Jesus came to release us from the bondage of sin, the bondage of sin in which the enemy had us bound. What was His message?

From that day Jesus began to preach and say, ” Repent for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matt. 4:17

Jesus preached and demonstrated the kingdom of God (the rule, reign, and dominion of God). As He demonstrated kingdom authority people were healed and delivered from the oppression of the devil. Many expected Him to establish His earthly kingdom and there would be peace and prosperity, but Jesus clearly stated that the kingdom didn’t come with signs to be observed and that His kingdom was not of this world. The kingdom was in the Spirit and He (the Holy Spirit) could not come to be in them and upon them unless Jesus went away. They couldn’t understand why He must go away. His talking about His dying fell on deaf ears or in the case of Peter was adversely reacted to. He had taught and modeled the way we were to live and now His time was at hand. There had to be a deathblow to sin and satan. The justice of God had to be satisfied. This could only be accomplished by the perfect Lamb of God.

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Cor. 5:21

Jesus became sin for us that the body of sin might be destroyed, that we should no longer be enslaved to sin. Luo (loosed)
Satan the epitome of pride, selfishness, anger, and hatred had his works made a spectacle of in the ultimate act of selflessness, humility, compassion, and love.

But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. Romans 5:8-10

It was love that put Jesus on the cross. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten son that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

Agape, The God kind of love, the selfless, humble, compassionate love overcomes the selfish hateful antithesis of love. Love is the greatest weapon of spiritual warfare.

There was another great factor in this greatest act of spiritual warfare and that was obedience. The father of rebellion and lies had his works made a public spectacle by the ultimate act of obedience.

He (Jesus) humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Phil. 2:9

I was reading in Proverbs 28 one day and the Lord quickened some things in my spirit. In verse 2 it says, Because of the transgression of a land, many are its princes. The thought hit me that in the spiritual the sins of the people gives principalities legal right to invade. It is the repentance of the people and the acknowledgement of what Jesus has done that displaces these powers. Then in verse 4 He showed me something else. Those who forsake the law praise the wicked. I know we are not under law, but look at the principle. Those who disobey the word of the Lord are bringing praise to satan’s hordes. The second part of the verse says, But such as keep the law contend with them. Those who walk in obedience to the word of the Lord do battle with the enemy. Obedience is spiritual warfare.

Are there times when we bind and loose or take authority over enemies? Yes. Within the sphere of authority we have been given we should be casting out demons and pulling down strongholds in obedience to Him. We never see in scripture Jesus or Paul rebuking principalities and powers, but we do see them declaring the kingdom (the rule, reign, and dominion of God), casting out demons, healing the sick, raising the dead and so must we. When a demon is cast out, a sick person healed, or a lost person saved the kingdom has come in your midst.

Remember this: Hope will sustain you, faith will make you an overcomer, but love will make you more than a conqueror.

And now abide faith, hope, and love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. 1 Cor. 13:13

Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. Romans 8:37

Be blessed today my friends.

In His love,

Herb Dean

Intimacy with God

Dear friends,

I pray you are being blessed of the Lord. We are entering some difficult times. The dollar’s value is dropping causing prices to rise. Gas is racing toward four dollars a gallon. The threat of terrorism looms like a dark cloud, as we near an election that seems to be increasingly pivotal in the future of our nation. We could look at circumstances and become depressed. Take heart; God is not in heaven worrying or wringing His hands. He has not abdicated His throne. The glad tidings of the kingdom is that our God reigns and where He reigns there is righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Spirit. The psalmist says that when the foundations be destroyed the Lord is still in His holy temple. It is a time when we need to press into Him, wait upon Him, and hear His voice. Yes, it is a time of crisis, but to those who know His voice it is a time of great opportunity. Today, I would like to share a few thoughts about intimacy with God.

Several years ago, I was preaching from Luke 6 and as I was preaching I saw there were several groups of people represented there. The Lord put in my spirit that there are levels of intimacy. As I pondered this idea I thought of some passages in the old testament. In Exodus the people would see Moses go out to the Tent of Meeting. They would see the cloud come down and they would worship from afar, but Joshua would go with him. When Moses left the tent Joshua remained. Is it any wonder that God chose him to replace Moses when Moses died. So many choose to worship from afar, but hearing is a matter of proximity. God does not usually speak in a shout, but a still small voice. He wants us to draw near. James says if we draw near to God, He’ll draw near to us. I believe that within Israel we see a shadow of the levels of intimacy.

Israel (Those who have become sons of Abraham by faith in the finished work of the Lord Jesus Christ).
Within Israel there was Judah and within Judah there was Jerusalem, the Holy city and within Jerusalem there was Mount Zion. On Mount Zion there was built David’s tabernacle and in David’s tabernacle there was no veil. The Ark of the Covenant which represented the presence and glory of God, could be accessed by those who were not high priests. It pointed to the tearing of the veil of the temple when Jesus died. It may very well have been that David wrote Psalms 91 in the shadow of the Ark of the Covenant. “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” Psalms 91:1

Now how does this relate to what the Lord showed in Luke 6?

First there was the crowd. Within that crowd there were some believers. They believed Jesus was the Messiah. Among those believers were some who had committed their lives to follow Christ and walk in obedience to His word. They were disciples. Within that group of disciples there were the twelve whom Jesus had chosen, eleven who were apostles. Within that group of apostles there were three that got very close to Jesus. These three, Peter, James, and John went with Him when He healed Jairus’ daughter. They were with Him on the Mount of Transfiguration. They went deeper into the garden the night of His arrest. Even within that group there was the one who on the night of the Last Supper had his head on Jesus’ chest. John called himself the disciple whom Jesus loved. It wasn’t that Jesus didn’t love the others; it was the fact that John knew he was loved and was so secure in that love that he could lay his head on Jesus’ chest. He was so close he could hear the very heartbeat of Jesus.

Friends, we are living in a time when we must hear the heartbeat of our Father. Hearing is a matter of proximity and I believe God speaks softly so we will have to get closer to hear. We must hear the voice of the Father. If we are hearing Him, crisis becomes opportunity, but before it comes as opportunity, it comes as a summons, our Father’s desire for us to draw near to Him. Oh, that we might all be able to say with John, “I am the disciple whom Jesus loved”, or with David, “He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.” The Father is calling to us, “Come.”

Friends, I pray the Lord will prosper you even as He prospered Isaac and provoked his enemies to jealousy, that you might live a life for which the only explanation is God. Be blessed.

In His love,

Herb Dean

The evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know”


Do you know that as a born again spirit-filled believer you are known in the spirit realm? The demons know those who walk in authority. The seven sons of Sceva were attempting to exercise authority in a name that they did not have authority to use because they were not in covenant with Him. They were operating in the flesh. Our battle is not with flesh and blood and cannot be waged in the flesh.

“Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.” Acts 19:16

As I was sharing that, the Lord dropped in my spirit, “If you minister in the flesh your flesh will be exposed.” Theirs was both spiritually and in the natural. We have been given the Helper, the one along side, to empower us for a battle that cannot be won in the flesh. To walk clothed in the Spirit is spiritual warfare.

Just a thought from my sermon a couple of weeks ago. I love it when God does that while I’m preaching. A word from the Lord is always more effective than the best, most inspired sermon. Be blessed today and remember you are known in the spirit realm, but best of all you know Jesus.

In His love,

Herb Dean

The things which are impossible with men are possible with God

Dear friends,

It is my hope that you are doing well. It has been since last year that I have sent anything out. I pray that the year 2008 has been a blessing to you thus far, and that even as eight is the number of new beginnings that there are great things being birthed in the spirit realm for the people of God. As always I hope that this short teaching will be an encouragement to you.

I am thankful for the numbering of chapters and verses in the Bible and I am sure in God’s sovereignty He had something to say about that, but sometimes I wonder why they ended chapters where they did. You know in Paul’s writing he didn’t break up his letters, yet how many times does the first verse of a new chapter start with the word “therefore” and then we have to read the end of the previous chapter to see what it was “there for”. Sometime back I was reading Matthew 9:37,38 “Then He said to His disciples,” The harvest is truly plentiful, but the laborers are few. “Therefore pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” Then in the very next chapter Jesus sent the twelve out into the harvest. Jesus practiced what He preached. We don’t know that there was any time lapsed here between Jesus saying what He said in chapter nine and what He did in chapter 10. Chapter 10 begins with “And”. Jesus gave them authority and sent them out with this commission, Matthew 10:7,8, “and as you go, preach, saying the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” This was the model Jesus used in ministry. He taught and He demonstrated. He told the disciples to preach the kingdom and demonstrate it.

I believe there is another model here as well. Pray and go. We must be willing to put legs to our prayers. Praying for laborers does not exempt us from being laborers, no more than giving to missions funds exempts us from being a witness. I personally cannot pray that prayer without saying, “Here I am Lord, send me.” I know a number of years ago, I was asked to consider a pastorate in a region where it is extremely cold seven or eight months out of the year. I hate cold weather and it was an area of which I was not particularly fond. I was not going to even consider it until I heard the Lord say,”Will you go wherever I send you.” I immediately said,”Yes, Lord”, and sent in the necessary information. They called someone else and I was glad, but I knew the Lord had tested my heart. I don’t know whether or not the disciples prayed to the Lord of the harvest for laborers, but if they did, they received an immediate answer, “Go!” If we stopped reading in chapter 9 we missed Jesus’ response to His own declaration.

Another great example of Jesus declaring something in one chapter and demonstrating it in the next is in Luke chapters 18 and 19. The rich young ruler came to Jesus and left sorrowful for he was unwilling to part with his riches. Luke 18:24-27 And when Jesus saw that he became very sorrowful, He said, “How hard it is for those who have riches to enter the kingdom of God! For it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” And those who heard it said, “Who then can be saved?” But He said, “The things which are impossible with men are possible with God.” In the disciples’ eyes being rich was the blessing of God and if one blessed of God could not enter; then who could? Apart from faith in the finished work of Jesus Christ, no one can be saved. It is impossible for any man to enter the kingdom of God apart from God. That is true whether rich or poor, but there is the tendency for a rich person to be self-sufficient and unaware of their need for God.

One day as I was reading chapter 18 in Luke and went on into chapter 19, the Lord showed me something. Chapter 19 starts with the story of Zacchaeus, the wee little man that we all sung about when we were in Sunday school. Luke 19:3 Now behold, there was a man named Zacchaeus who was a chief tax collector, and he was rich. Notice Luke said he was rich. We could have assumed that by his being chief tax collector that he was rich, but Luke makes it a point of emphasis. Don’t you find it interesting that a morally good, rich, young ruler had rejected eternal life for riches and prompted a statement from Jesus of how difficult it was for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God and in the very next town there was an infamous, rich tax collector up a tree to see who Jesus was. Here was an awesome object lesson for His disciples. Zacchaeus didn’t know it but he was plant from God about to be ambushed. Luke 19:5 And when Jesus came to the place, He looked up and saw him, and said to him, ” Zaccaeus, make haste and come down, for today I must stay at your house.” Notice that Jesus knew his name and that Jesus said I must stay at your house. Jesus had come to demonstrate that God can put a camel through the eye of a needle, that a rich, dishonest man who quite probably obtained much of his wealth deceitfully could enter into the kingdom of God. Luke 19:9,10 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he also is a son of Abraham; for the Son of Man has come to seek and to save that which was lost.” Where sin abounds grace does much more abound. That which is impossible to men is possible to God.

I hope that was an encouragement to you. If you would like, check out our new web site. The most recent Kingdom Keys will be available there and you may also listen to sermons recently preached by myself or my fellow elder Joe Senter. The website is: We want to be a blessing to you.

In His service,

Herb Dean

Wise Men Still Seek Him

Dear friends,

It is my prayer for you that the Christ of Christmas is filling you with Himself and that His joy in you is full.

May the Lord bless you exceedingly in the coming year, that it would be a year of increasing revelation of Him and His kingdom and may you prosper in every area of your life. We pray that 2008 will truly be a year of new beginnings. It has been on my heart to express this sentiment to our friends and to share a brief Christmas message. I want to thank you all for your encouragement and prayers in this past year. God bless you.

Wise Men still seek Him.

I am sure that most all of you have see that statement written or posted somewhere. It impressed me the first time I saw it and I have appreciated its meaning, but I never really thought a great deal about the men in the scripture that we call the “wise men”. These men had seen a sign in the heavens and came seeking the newborn king. They journeyed to Jerusalem in search of this king. Notice their question to Herod in Matthew 2:2 ,”Where is He that is born king of the Jews, for we have seen His star in the east, and are come to worship Him. They weren’t just looking for a great king; they were looking for a specific king, the king of the Jews and they were seeking to worship Him. Notice that their search began in Jerusalem and they went to the current king. It would seem fitting that a king would be born in the lineage of the king and in his palace.

Matthew 2:4 And when he (Herod) had gathered all the chief priests and scribes of the people together, he demanded of them where Christ should be born. It was obvious that Herod knew the king they were seeking was the Messiah. Chief priests and scribes were given the news that the Christ was born, yet they sought Him not. Worse yet a jealous, paranoid king would seek to put the Messiah to death. Herod sent the wise men to Bethlehem to find Him so that He could destroy Him.

When they left the king, the star which they had seen went before them until it came and stood over where the young child was. vs. 10 When they saw the star, they rejoiced with exceeding great joy. Joy to the world, the Lord has come! They were truly joyful they had found the Messiah. These were men of great faith. They had made a distant journey seeking the Messiah. These men knew that they had found the one who was to come. They were believers. When they saw the young child they fell down and worshiped Him. They presented their gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. vs. 12 And being warned of God in a dream that they should not return to Herod, they departed into their own country another way. God spoke to these men. He knew what was in Herod’s heart.

Here are couple of thoughts that came up as my son and I were talking and I was writing. My son made the point that the scribes and religious leaders received word, but did nothing with it. They chose not to seek the child, but the wise men believed to be Persians were gentiles and they diligently sought the Messiah. Those who were supposed to know the truth rejected it. Herod heard the truth and was threatened by it. The others who received the word were the lowly shepherds who were considered among the lowest strata of society. Yet, it was the lowly shepherds and the Gentiles who sought the Messiah. Is. 60:3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising.

It is indeed a true axiom that wise men still seek the Lord. There are many promises to the seeker.

Jeremiah 29:11-13; Matthew 6:33; Luke 11:9; just to name a few. The wise men were men of faith and they should be an example to us today in our pursuit of God. Remember Hebrews 11:6 For without faith it is impossible to please God for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. If we seek Him , we will find Him and as He told Abraham, ” I am your exceeding great reward.” May God grant to you an ever increasing revelation of Himself in this coming year. Be blessed.

In His love,

Herb Dean

Forgive the Sins of Any

Dear Friends,

I hope that God is filling you with His joy and peace through the power of the Holy Spirit. I have been teaching some foundational truths at church. I believe that God has shown me some things during this study that I felt I should pass along. Forgiveness is an essential part of the Christian walk, both giving and receiving. Offense is a serious issue in the lives of many Christians. Many are held captive by prison bars forged in the pit of unforgiveness because they cannot forgive. They are forfeiting their inheritance because they cannot receive from God because they are holding on to offense. I hope this teaching will exhort Christians to forgive as we have been forgiven.

“As the Father has sent Me, I also send you.” And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained.” John 20:21-23

Could it be that Jesus has given authority to His people to forgive sin? Many would say that it is blasphemous to think that way and would make applications that would even deny the suggestion that God had given such authority to men. We may say it was only for the apostles. I believe that there is much of the scriptures we do not receive or do not walk in because we don’t believe God would give us that much authority. What was the resurrected Lord, who had just died for the sins of the world, saying if He was not giving us the authority to forgive? Could it be that God is not free to work in the lives of those who we won’t forgive? If we have authority to forgive; we also have the power to retain. With the authority to release comes the authority to keep bound.

In Matthew 18: 21-35 Jesus gives one of His “the kingdom of heaven is like…” parables. Rather than type all the scripture I’ll briefly give the gist of the parable. A servant was forgiven an insurmountable debt by the king and then went out and found a fellow servant who owed him a relatively small amount. When his fellow servant could not pay him, he threw him in debtor’s prison. When the king found out how he had treated his fellow servant, he was angry and turned him over to the torturers until the debt be paid There was nothing mentioned of the fellow servant, so we must assume he was not released from prison. Jesus said, “So my heavenly Father also will do to you if each of you from his heart, does not forgive his brother his trespasses.” If we do not forgive we can keep others in prison as well as ourselves.

If we have been crucified with Christ and the crucifixion provided forgiveness for sin, then by virtue of our position in Him not only were the sins we have committed put on the cross, but the sins committed against us were put on the cross as well. By refusing to forgive we are denying our position in Him. We have failed to appropriate the work of the cross.

The cross was both vertical and horizontal. God made provision not only for our being reconciled to Him, but that we might be reconciled to others. We have been given the grace to be ministers of reconciliation.

“Now all things are of God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, not imputing their trespasses to them, and has committed to us the word of reconciliation. 2 Cor. 5:18,19

“Reconcile” in one meaning of the word means to balance the books.

“Our certificate of debt consisting of decrees against us was nailed to the tree”. Col. 2 :14

When Jesus said, “It is finished.” The Greek word means “paid in full.” As ministers of reconciliation we do not impute the trespasses of others against them. As I was meditating before doing this teaching Sunday, I heard the Lord say, “If a man thinks he is right with me and is holding offense toward others he deceives himself.”

It is by His grace that we have been made ministers of reconciliation and if we do not walk in forgiveness we fall short of that grace allowing opportunity for a root of bitterness to spring up in us which affects everybody around us. C-Hebrews 12:15

In closing, know this, that there is not anything that you have done or that has been done to you for which the finished work of Jesus Christ is not sufficient. Praise God for his infinite mercy.

May you continually experience the abundant grace of our Lord.

In His service,

Herb Dean

And My God Shall Supply all Your Needs…

Dear friends,

I pray that you are well and growing in the reality of His presence. One of the operative principles of the kingdom of God is the principle of sowing and reaping. It is so often used in reference to money and sometimes to the extreme of manipulating people to get a bigger offering. It applies across the board in every area good or bad. If we sow mercy; we reap mercy. If we sow love; we reap love. If we sow judgement; we reap judgement. We reap what we sow; we reap later than we sow, and we reap greater than we sow. I felt impressed today to share a testimony that might encourage someone who may be going through a crisis of faith or a financial struggle. God’s word is true and He is faithful. I hope this blesses you.

And my God shall supply all your needs according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus. Phil. 4:19

I had been preaching out of Philippians 4 when I felt impressed of the Lord that we needed to put these things in practice by giving to another church. It was clear that the promise which is so often quoted was given to a group of people who had sown sacrificially to meet the needs of Paul and his ministry. I knew a young pastor who had started a church and most of his members were college students. I am sure most of you know that most college students do not have an abundance and most have little or no income to give from. They were struggling financially. We were a new church as well, meeting in a Days Inn and we didn’t have an abundance of money either. I shared what I felt the Lord was telling me to do and my people were agreeable. We took up an offering for this other church. I, personally, was paid at the end of every month and I had almost run out of money before I had run out of month. My family had practically no money to give and I sacrificially gave almost all I had left. I gave 20 dollars. We collected a total of 120 dollars. It wasn’t much, but we didn’t have much.

The next day I went to the pastor’s home and gave him the check. The young pastor teared up when I handed him the check and tears came to my eyes as well as a sweet presence filled the room. God honored our sacrificial gift. No amount of money could have equaled the richness of that moment. I left broke in terms of finances, but with joy in my heart money could not buy. If that were the end of the story, it would be enough, but that was only part of what happened. The next Sunday an elderly lady who would visit our church every now and again came. She was a dear precious saint of God, an intercessor who spent many hours in prayer and knew the voice of her Lord. After the service, she came up to me and stuck a wad of cash in my hand and asked me to pray over it. She was giving this money to me in obedience to the Lord. I didn’t know how much it was and after we prayed together she left and I counted it. It was 130 dollars. God had provided for the rest of our month. I was humbled and touched. I knew that for this lady that was a lot of money. She and her husband lived on social security and what he could earn from a few odd jobs. I knew this was a sacrifice.

I saw the lady a couple of weeks later and she said that she wanted to share something with me. She had some friends to call her and ask her to go shopping with them . They told her they needed to buy a refrigerator and would like her advice as to what kind and style would be best. They looked at a number of refrigerators and my intercessor friend gave them counsel on each one. They finally came to one that she felt would serve her friends well. Her friends then asked her, “Would you like one like this?” She said she’d be very happy with one like that.They said, “It’s yours.” She was so excited. Her refrigerator was very old and she said she had laid hands on it and prayed for it on more than one occasion. God is faithful.

That is as far as I can carry the story, but knowing God I’m sure the ones who bought the refrigerator were blessed as well and probably the ones God used to bless them were blessed and so on. God has given us a gift that will never stop giving. Some might say, I’ve sown and I’ve not reaped. Remember, you will always reap later than you sow. It may be a season, but we have His promise. Be not weary in well doing for in due season you will reap if you faint not.” Gal.6:9

It is my hope to day that I have sown a blessing in your heart. God bless you.

Herb Dean