Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Solo Sex: Release or Rejection?

This article was authored by Pastor Jack Hayford
and may be found at:


I've heard a lot of controversy over the subject of masturbation, but Pastor Hayford lays out a very sound teaching on the subject. Full of God's Word, and the truth will always set us free.

Solo Sex: Release or Rejection?

Jeff brought the book with him and set it on the table, though it hadn't been much of a comfort or validation for the problem he faced. We met for an early morning breakfast at a coffee shop near my office and sat in a corner booth, away from where anyone else could hear our conversation. Jeff is a dear, young brother who genuinely loves the Lord. The book was by a Christian author who proposed that masturbation ought to be viewed as an acceptable point of adjustment for a believer's life until marriage.
Among the questions posed by believers seeking biblical and moral guidance with regard to their sexuality, masturbation is a subject about which I am often asked by both single and married Christians.
"When I first read this book, Pastor Jack," Jeff began, "I felt liberated. But then all the confused feelings I had came back." He went on to talk about the condemnation and guilt he'd felt about his habit of masturbation. He'd hoped that by offering himself a solo sexual release, it would preserve his virginity for what he looked forward to as being a happy Christian marriage later on. But his sense of violating God's will for his life persisted, even given the compassionate (though spiritually misguided) permission to continue his indulgence.
Although we are assured by Scripture that "there is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus..." this is followed by a requisite: "...who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit" (Romans 8:1). The summons to walk "according to the Spirit" has to do with committing yourself to a direction in life, and though there are times you stumble into carnal exercise of any kind, your eyes, heart and mind are still on a spiritual goal.
While I understood this author's attempt to be sensitive to the pain and frustration of people who are habitually drawn to masturbation, the idea that it is acceptable—simply because sincere people labor with it—is as ludicrous as saying that any physical expression is justified because "that's how I feel." The issue isn't whether or not masturbation is a biological release, but rather: Am I first a biological being, whose physical nature dictates my response to what the Word of God teaches? Or am I a spiritual being, who has the capacity to receive the fullness of God's Spirit to produce triumph in my life?
And in that regard, when we talk about "solo sex," are we really talking about release? Or are we more accurately talking about rejection—the rejection of our commitment to the Word of God, to the disciplines of a believing life, and to the wholeness of God's intended purpose, destiny and fulfillment for our lives? For some—in the Church and in the world—masturbation has become approved as morally innocent and spiritually immaterial. Yet, just as I told Jeff that morning, I'm here to say to every person reading this article: The Word of God declares that it is neither.
Masturbation, as culturally accepted today, is world-minded and leads toward sin and personal bondage. Jeff's book said that masturbation was merely the act of "making love to the one you love the most." Interestingly, that definition touches at the heart of the matter: the self-centered, indulgent nature of our culture that worships "self" as god. What Scripture calls us to is not self-hate, or the negation of our sexual capacities, but devotion to Jesus Christ, which will dictate an obedience to the disciplines of His lordship in our lives—an obedience that the Holy Spirit will help us to walk in—and that flow of Spirit-led living will bring the maximum release of every fulfillment God intended for us to have, our sexuality included.
However noble it sounds, the proposition that masturbation is a means to retain one's virginity is faulty. In my years of counseling people, I've found that a man or woman who masturbates prior to marriage is more likely to violate the biblical standard on premarital intercourse because he or she has formed a habit of indulging in sexual release when tempted.
Is masturbation forgivable? Yes, but because sin may be forgiven does not make it a matter of casual indifference (1 John 1:9; Matthew 18:22; Galatians 5:1; 2 Peter 2:20). Jeff was worried about whether my disapproval of masturbation made him unacceptable to me. Hear me, please: I must demonstrate my acceptance of anybody who fails in any way because I, too, am a sinner saved by grace. However my acceptance of a person should not be equated with approval of their sinning. This distinction between acceptance and approval has, both in our culture and in the Church, become tragically blurred.
Although you will not find in the Bible the words, "Thou shalt not masturbate," let's look at what Scripture does have to say about "the sin that so easily ensnares us" (Hebrews 12:1).
Masturbation violates an internal witness. I have never had an occasion among the thousands of people I have counseled in my lifetime—believers and pagans alike—where someone hasn't felt an internal witness that masturbation was fundamentally wrong. Something is built into our human psyche that says, "This is not what you've been constructed to do." That's why, despite what Jeff read, he knew in his heart that what he was doing wasn't right.
Although masturbation is not among the expressions of sin listed in Romans 1:18-31, there are enough things on that list with sexual implications that would incorporate it. Still, if you are looking for a literal means to skirt the issue, you can always find a way to give yourself license to indulge. The Word of God speaks regularly against that which is licentious (referring to it as lasciviousness, lewdness or wantonness) (Mark 7:22; 2 Corinthians 12:21; Ephesians 4:19; Romans 13:13), because it bypasses God's monitors on the human heart that help establish our values. Time and again, the Christian is warned against it.
Masturbation panders to the spirit of lust (2 Peter 3:3; 1 Peter 1:14). You become like the spirit you submit to. Submitted to the Holy Spirit, holiness is manifest in your life. Submitted to the spirit of lust—which is actually a quest for control—lust begins to control your life.
Masturbation will not contribute to your growth in Jesus Christ (1 Peter 2:11; Mark 4:19; Hebrews 12:1). We're called to "flee youthful lusts" (2 Timothy 2:22). I don't know any more commonly acknowledged youthful lust than masturbation. It besets all young people. While fleeing from it, many of us, as teenagers, fell flat on our faces. This doesn't justify it (or disqualify us), but if, in faith, we keep running toward the goal of the Spirit of the Lord, not the spirit of the world, we'll be able to say we've finished the course in triumph.
Masturbation involves fantasy, which opens the way for moral corruption (Ephesians 2:3). When Jesus says that a man who looks with lust at a woman has already committed adultery in his heart (Matthew 5:27-28), He conclusively deals with the matter of masturbation, which involves fantasy. Let's not fool ourselves. Sexually provocative magazines are not purchased just for the sake of looking. I ask you, how many have masturbated before open magazines?
Masturbation is rejection, not release. There is no scriptural justification for it. I'm not saying it's damning, but I am saying it is a rejection of discipleship, of personal responsibility before the Lord, of an internal witness on the soul, and of Scriptural warning.

What should be done?

First, take masturbation seriously. Seriously enough to not approve of it, and not to argue in favor of it. Seriously enough to acknowledge it as a problem, and to confess it as a sin.
Does that put you under condemnation? No. Conviction and condemnation are two different things.Conviction is the Holy Spirit summoning you to something better; drawing you to Jesus Christ.Condemnation, being the instrument of the devil, will always drive you away from God and make you doubt His acceptance and love for you.
Second, don't take it so seriously as to be shocked when you hear of it. A response of shock—especially in young people—can provoke rebellion, a deepened curiosity, or fear and guilt that results in an unnatural attitude about their own bodies and sexuality as they grow up. Don't take it so seriously as to let satanic accusation condemn you. Masturbation does not render a person worthless, but, given place, Satan will make you think you are. Don't be insensitive to people bound by it. I said "insensitive" not "excusing." My brother or sister may be wrong, but that's no reason for me not to love them, nor am I entitled to judge them. There are points of brokenness in all our lives that we are each still moving through towards victory.

What steps do you take to get free?

Bring it to the Cross for cleansing and deliverance (1 John 1:9; Romans 6:10-14; Revelation 1:18). The Cross is the place where our deliverance from every aspect of hell's workings has been wrought. It is where we will find freedom the past and hope for tomorrow.
Let His love cast out fear and torment (1 John 4:18). Jesus Christ comes in love to cast out anything that would bind us. You needn't have arrived at perfection to be accepted and without condemnation before God, but the direction of your life must be toward the things of the Spirit in order to know the peace and satisfaction of all He intends for your life.
Keep tension between flesh and spirit (Romans 8:1). Don't let flesh have its way. I challenge anyone to successfully argue that masturbation will help you run the race of pursuing what Jesus Christ has called you to.
Although Jeff struggled with the habit of solo sex, he had a heart to know the truth. And that Truth—not a concession to the world's mindset—is what set him free. The Word of God promises to reward those who, like Jeff, diligently seek Him. The reward was that Jeff didn't have to go "solo" to confront the bondage of his habit and see it broken. He had a Helper—the Holy Spirit—who offers His power to produce victory and the release of genuine fulfillment in anyone who is committed to His work in their life.
Copyright © 2012 by Jack W. Hayford, Jack Hayford Ministries

Monday, June 27, 2016

Healing Scriptures – Dodie Osteen

The following is a list of healing scriptures Dodie Osteen, wife of John Osteen, stood on for deliverance from cancer. The scriptures are mentioned in her wonderful book about her healing – Healed of Cancer, by Dodie Osteen. See also Sickness and Disease, Finis Dake
Mrs. Osteen had an unmistakable report of death, with a diseased liver.  Her physician told her that there was nothing that could be done for her, and that she would die.
What she did was gather this set of Scriptures she chose from the Word, and fed herself the Word of God three times a day.  That was back in the 1980's and she lives still.  Thank God for His faithfulness to His Word.
Are you struggling with an illness that has had a stronghold in your life?
This will cost you nothing but your time.  
Exodus 15:26 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Saying, If you will diligently hearken to the voice of the Lord your God and will do what is right in His sight, and will listen to and obey His commandments and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases upon you which I brought upon the Egyptians, for I am the Lord Who heals you.
Exodus 23:25 Amplified Bible (AMP)
You shall serve the Lord your God; He shall bless your bread and water, and I will take sickness from your midst.
Deuteronomy 7:15 Amplified Bible (AMP)
And the Lord will take away from you all sickness, and none of the evil diseases of Egypt which you knew will He put upon you, but will lay them upon all who hate you.
Deuteronomy 28:1-2 Amplified Bible (AMP)
IF YOU will listen diligently to the voice of the Lord your God, being watchful to do all His commandments which I command you this day, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations of the earth.  And all these blessings shall come upon you and overtake you if you heed the voice of the Lord your God.
Deuteronomy 30:19-20 Amplified Bible (AMP)
I call heaven and earth to witness this day against you that I have set before you life and death, the blessings and the curses; therefore choose life, that you and your descendants may live and may love the Lord your God, obey His voice, and cling to Him. For He is your life and the length of your days, that you may dwell in the land which the Lord swore to give to your fathers, to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.
Joshua 21:45 God’s Word Translation
Every single good promise that the LORD had given the nation of Israel came true.
1 Kings 8:56 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Blessed be the Lord, Who has given rest to His people Israel, according to all that He promised. Not one word has failed of all His good promise which He promised through Moses His servant.
Psalm 89:34 God’s Word Translation
My covenant will I not break, nor alter the thing that is gone out of my lips.
Psalm 91:16 Amplified Bible (AMP)
With long life will I satisfy him and show him My salvation.
Psalm 103:3 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Who forgives [every one of] all your iniquities, Who heals [each one of] all your diseases,
Psalm 105:37 King James Version
He brought them forth also with silver and gold: and there was not one feeble person among their tribes.
Psalm 107:20 Amplified Bible (AMP)
He sends forth His word and heals them and rescues them from the pit and destruction.
Psalm 118:17 Amplified Bible (AMP)
I shall not die but live, and shall declare the works and recount the illustrious acts of the Lord.
Proverbs 3:5-6 God’s Word Translation
Trust the LORD with all your heart, and do not rely on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths smooth.
Proverbs 4:20-23 Amplified Bible (AMP)
My son, attend to my words; consent and submit to my sayings. Let them not depart from your sight; keep them in the center of your heart. For they are life to those who find them, healing and health to all their flesh. Keep and guard your heart with all vigilance and above all that you guard, for out of it flow the springs of life.
Isaiah 41:1013 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Fear not [there is nothing to fear], for I am with you; do not look around you in terror and be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen and harden you to difficulties, yes, I will help you; yes, I will hold you up and retain you with My [victorious] right hand of rightness and justice. For I the Lord your God hold your right hand; I am the Lord, Who says to you, Fear not; I will help you!
Isaiah 43:2526 Amplified Bible (AMP)
I, even I, am He Who blots out and cancels your transgressions, for My own sake, and I will not remember your sins. Put Me in remembrance [remind Me of your merits]; let us plead and argue together. Set forth your case, that you may be justified (proved right).
Isaiah 53:4-5 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Surely He has borne our griefs (sicknesses, weaknesses, and distresses) and carried our sorrows and pains [of punishment], yet we [ignorantly] considered Him stricken, smitten, and afflicted by God [as if with leprosy]. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our guilt and iniquities; the chastisement [needful to obtain] peace and well-being for us was upon Him, and with the stripes [that wounded] Him we are healed and made whole.
Jeremiah 1:12 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Then said the Lord to me, You have seen well, for I am alert and active, watching over My word to perform it.
Jeremiah 30:17 Amplified Bible (AMP)
For I will restore health to you, and I will heal your wounds, says the Lord, because they have called you an outcast, saying, This is Zion, whom no one seeks after and for whom no one cares!
Hosea 4:6 Amplified Bible (AMP)
My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge; because you [the priestly nation] have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you that you shall be no priest to Me; seeing you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children.
Joel 3:10 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruning hooks into spears; let the weak say, I am strong [a warrior]!
Nahum 1:79 Amplified Bible (AMP)
The Lord is good, a Strength and Stronghold in the day of trouble; He knows (recognizes, has knowledge of, and understands) those who take refuge and trust in Him. What do you devise and [how mad is your attempt to] plot against the Lord? He will make a full end [of Nineveh]; affliction [which My people shall suffer from Assyria] shall not rise up the second time.
Matthew 8:2-3 Amplified Bible (AMP)
And behold, a leper came up to Him and, prostrating himself, worshiped Him, saying, Lord, if You are willing, You are able to cleanse me by curing me. And He reached out His hand and touched him, saying, I am willing; be cleansed by being cured. And instantly his leprosy was cured and cleansed.
Matthew 8:17 Amplified Bible (AMP)
And thus He fulfilled what was spoken by the prophet Isaiah, He Himself took [in order to carry away] our weaknesses and infirmities and bore away our diseases.
Matthew 18:18-20 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Truly I tell you, whatever you forbid and declare to be improper and unlawful on earth must be what is already forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit and declare proper and lawful on earth must be what is already permitted in heaven. Again I tell you, if two of you on earth agree (harmonize together, make a symphony together) about whatever [anything and everything] they may ask, it will come to pass and be done for them by My Father in heaven. For wherever two or three are gathered (drawn together as My followers) in (into) My name, there I AM in the midst of them.
Matthew 21:21 Amplified Bible (AMP)
And Jesus answered them, Truly I say to you, if you have faith (a firm relying trust) and do not doubt, you will not only do what has been done to the fig tree, but even if you say to this mountain, Be taken up and cast into the sea, it will be done.
Mark 11:23-24 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Truly I tell you, whoever says to this mountain, Be lifted up and thrown into the sea! and does not doubt at all in his heart but believes that what he says will take place, it will be done for him. For this reason I am telling you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe (trust and be confident) that it is granted to you, and you will [get it].
Mark 16:18 Amplified Bible (AMP)
They will pick up serpents; and [even] if they drink anything deadly, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will get well.
Luke 10:19 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Behold! I have given you authority and power to trample upon serpents and scorpions, and [physical and mental strength and ability] over all the power that the enemy [possesses]; and nothing shall in any way harm you.
John 9:31 Amplified Bible (AMP)
We know that God does not listen to sinners; but if anyone is God-fearing and a worshiper of Him and does His will, He listens to him.
John 10:10 Amplified Bible (AMP)
The thief comes only in order to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have and enjoy life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows).
Romans 4:19-21 Amplified Bible (AMP)
He did not weaken in faith when he considered the [utter] impotence of his own body, which was as good as dead because he was about a hundred years old, or [when he considered] the barrenness of Sarah’s [deadened] womb. No unbelief or distrust made him waver (doubtingly question) concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong and was empowered by faith as he gave praise and glory to God, Fully satisfied and assured that God was able and mighty to keep His word and to do what He had promised.
Romans 8:11 Amplified Bible (AMP)
And if the Spirit of Him Who raised up Jesus from the dead dwells in you, [then] He Who raised up Christ Jesus from the dead will also restore to life your mortal (short-lived, perishable) bodies through His Spirit Who dwells in you.
2 Corinthians 1:20 Amplified Bible (AMP)
For as many as are the promises of God, they all find their Yes [answer] in Him [Christ]. For this reason we also utter the Amen (so be it) to God through Him [in His Person and by His agency] to the glory of God.
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 Amplified Bible (AMP)
For though we walk (live) in the flesh, we are not carrying on our warfare according to the flesh and using mere human weapons. For the weapons of our warfare are not physical [weapons of flesh and blood], but they are mighty before God for the overthrow and destruction of strongholds, [Inasmuch as we] refute arguments and theories and reasonings and every proud and lofty thing that sets itself up against the [true] knowledge of God; and we lead every thought and purpose away captive into the obedience of Christ (the Messiah, the Anointed One),
Galatians 3:13 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Christ purchased our freedom [redeeming us] from the curse (doom) of the Law [and its condemnation] by [Himself] becoming a curse for us, for it is written [in the Scriptures], Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree (is crucified);
Ephesians 6:10-17 Amplified Bible (AMP)
In conclusion, be strong in the Lord [be empowered through your union with Him]; draw your strength from Him [that strength which His boundless might provides]. Put on God’s whole armor [the armor of a heavy-armed soldier which God supplies], that you may be able successfully to stand up against [all] the strategies and the deceits of the devil. For we are not wrestling with flesh and blood [contending only with physical opponents], but against the despotisms, against the powers, against [the master spirits who are] the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spirit forces of wickedness in the heavenly (supernatural) sphere. Therefore put on God’s complete armor, that you may be able to resist and stand your ground on the evil day [of danger], and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place]. Stand therefore [hold your ground], having tightened the belt of truth around your loins and having put on the breastplate of integrity and of moral rectitude and right standing with God, And having shod your feet in preparation [to face the enemy with the firm-footed stability, the promptness, and the readiness produced by the good news] of the Gospel of peace. Lift up over all the [covering] shield of saving faith, upon which you can quench all the flaming missiles of the wicked [one]. And take the helmet of salvation and the sword that the Spirit wields, which is the Word of God.
Philippians 1:6 Amplified Bible (AMP)
And I am convinced and sure of this very thing, that He Who began a good work in you will continue until the day of Jesus Christ [right up to the time of His return], developing [that good work] and perfecting and bringing it to full completion in you.
Philippians 2:13 Amplified Bible (AMP)
[Not in your own strength] for it is God Who is all the while effectually at work in you [energizing and creating in you the power and desire], both to will and to work for His good pleasure and satisfaction and delight.
Philippians 4:6-8 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God’s peace [shall be yours, that tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. For the rest, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is worthy of reverence and is honorable and seemly, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely and lovable, whatever is kind and winsome and gracious, if there is any virtue and excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think on and weigh and take account of these things [fix your minds on them].
2 Timothy 1:7 Amplified Bible (AMP)
For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control.
Hebrews 10:2325 Amplified Bible (AMP)
So let us seize and hold fast and retain without wavering the hope we cherish and confess and our acknowledgment of it, for He Who promised is reliable (sure) and faithful to His word. Not forsaking or neglecting to assemble together [as believers], as is the habit of some people, but admonishing (warning, urging, and encouraging) one another, and all the more faithfully as you see the day approaching.
Hebrews 10:35 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Do not, therefore, fling away your fearless confidence, for it carries a great and glorious compensation of reward.
Hebrews 11:11 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Because of faith also Sarah herself received physical power to conceive a child, even when she was long past the age for it, because she considered [God] Who had given her the promise to be reliable and trustworthy and true to His word.
Hebrews 13:8 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Jesus Christ (the Messiah) is [always] the same, yesterday, today, [yes] and forever (to the ages).
James 1:5 Amplified Bible (AMP)
If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of the giving God [Who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him.
James 3:17 Amplified Bible (AMP)
But the wisdom from above is first of all pure (undefiled); then it is peace-loving, courteous (considerate, gentle). [It is willing to] yield to reason, full of compassion and good fruits; it is wholehearted and straightforward, impartial and unfeigned (free from doubts, wavering, and insincerity).
James 4:7-8 Amplified Bible (AMP)
So be subject to God. Resist the devil [stand firm against him], and he will flee from you. Come close to God and He will come close to you. [Recognize that you are] sinners, get your soiled hands clean; [realize that you have been disloyal] wavering individuals with divided interests, and purify your hearts [of your spiritual adultery].
James 5:14-15 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Is anyone among you sick? He should call in the church elders (the spiritual guides). And they should pray over him, anointing him with oil in the Lord’s name. And the prayer [that is] of faith will save him who is sick, and the Lord will restore him; and if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.
1 Peter 2:24 Amplified Bible (AMP)
He personally bore our sins in His [own] body on the tree [as on an altar and offered Himself on it], that we might die (cease to exist) to sin and live to righteousness. By His wounds you have been healed.
1 Peter 5:7-9 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully. Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring in fierce hunger, seeking someone to seize upon and devour. Withstand him; be firm in faith [against his onset–rooted, established, strong, immovable, and determined], knowing that the same (identical) sufferings are appointed to your brotherhood (the whole body of Christians) throughout the world.
1 John 3:21-22 Amplified Bible (AMP)
And, beloved, if our consciences (our hearts) do not accuse us [if they do not make us feel guilty and condemn us], we have confidence (complete assurance and boldness) before God,  And we receive from Him whatever we ask, because we [watchfully] obey His orders [observe His suggestions and injunctions, follow His plan for us] and [habitually] practice what is pleasing to Him.
1 John 5:14-15 Amplified Bible (AMP)
And this is the confidence (the assurance, the privilege of boldness) which we have in Him: [we are sure] that if we ask anything (make any request) according to His will (in agreement with His own plan), He listens to and hears us. And if (since) we [positively] know that He listens to us in whatever we ask, we also know [with settled and absolute knowledge] that we have [granted us as our present possessions] the requests made of Him.
3 John 1:2 Amplified Bible (AMP)
Beloved, I pray that you may prosper in every way and [that your body] may keep well, even as [I know] your soul keeps well and prospers.
Revelation 12:11 Amplified Bible (AMP)
And they have overcome (conquered) him by means of the blood of the Lamb and by the utterance of their testimony, for they did not love and cling to life even when faced with death [holding their lives cheap till they had to die for their witnessing].

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Sorting Out Spiritual Language

This article was authored by Pastor Jack Hayford
and was retrieved from: 


The need for "sorting out spiritual language" isn't unique to the last century. In his time, the apostle Paul also found it necessary to address believers on this subject. In his letter to the church at Corinth, Paul was dealing with people who were confused that spiritual language was an end in itself, which it is not. While the Bible says, "he who speaks in a tongue is not speaking to men but to God" (1 Cor. 14:2), if we are speaking only to God and not talking to people, we are not serving the ministry for which the Holy Spirit has empowered us.
The blessing and phenomenon of spiritual language commonly attends being filled with the Spirit. I've been asked if a person is truly filled with the Spirit if they don't speak with tongues. There are scriptures in the Bible that either side could argue, but I don't think it is supposed to be a point of argument. Neither do I believe it ought to be a point of passivity.
Over and over in Scripture, people receive spiritual language at the same time they are baptized with the Spirit. It's been my experience, and the traditional Pentecostal Church usually ties the two closely together. Spiritual language was available to everyone on the day the Church was born, and there's no reason to doubt that as the Church continues, it is available to all believers, regardless of when they receive Jesus Christ.
Every person who receives Jesus Christ as Savior has received the Holy Spirit as the indwelling Spirit. In fact, we wouldn't have come to the Lord without the Holy Spirit drawing us. He brings us to Christ, He glorifies Christ, and He magnifies Christ (see John 15, 16).
Jesus makes clear, however, that there is a difference between the indwelling Holy Spirit and the overflowing Spirit. In John 4, He tells the woman at the well, who needed saving grace, that the water He had to give would become in her a fountain springing up unto everlasting life. Then, in John 7, speaking about the Holy Spirit who would later be given, He says, "Those who believe in Me, out of their inner being will flow rivers of living water." Jesus distinguishes between coming to receive eternal life at the well of salvation, and rivers of living water that not only refresh us, but also flow out of us in ministry to other people by the power of the Holy Spirit.
The Bible distinguishes between spiritual prayer and our native language prayer: "I will pray with the spirit, and I will also pray with the understanding" (1 Cor. 14:15). While we may not understand the words we are speaking, spiritual language is not meaningless or gibberish; it is begotten by the Holy Spirit. The Bible says, "There are...so many kinds of languages in the world, and none of them is without significance" (1 Cor. 14:10).
With over 6,000 languages spoken on planet Earth, it is doubtful anyone is able to recognize them all, and thus, there are no grounds on which to judge someone's spiritual language. There have been occasions, both in my own ministry and that of others, in which, unbeknownst to the person praying, their spiritual language was later determined to be a language spoken by a tribe or people somewhere else in the world.
Along with seeking to correct abusive practices in the church, especially regarding the public use of tongues, the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 14 describes the very practical benefits of the private, devotional exercise of spiritual language.

Spiritual language enables us to speak to God

He who speaks in a tongue does not speak to men but to God, for no one understands him... (v. 2)
Speaking to God in spiritual language is not the only way to speak to Him, but it is a privileged benefit by which we gain intimacy with God, and by which the Holy Spirit empowers us to serve others. The Lord preciously and personally loves each of us in a way that is distinctive. When we pray in the Spirit, we are speaking only to God. While we don't know what we are saying, we do know to Whom we are speaking, as well as the texture of what our heart feels toward Him, as the Holy Spirit enables us to speak beyond the words we know.

Spiritual language equips us with insight

...however, in the Spirit he speaks mysteries. (v. 2)
The word "mysteries" is not talking about peculiar things but about God's truth being brought into the light. It may be fresh to our minds, but it's not going to be different from what's in the Bible. To us, a mystery is something we can't figure out, but in the Greek (musterion), it is an insight or revelation that now we understand.
Often when I am studying and come across something that I just don't get, I will bow my head over the Scriptures and ask the Lord to help me tap into His Holy Spirit to see where it fits. It's important to remember that the Bible was given by the Holy Spirit. While I am praying, another verse will come to mind, and then it will all click: Oh, this connects to that. Or the Lord will whisper something in my heart, and it all becomes clear.

Spiritual language is self-edifying

He who speaks in a tongue edifies himself... (v. 4)
When we speak in tongues, there is an edifying-or building up-of ourselves. That doesn't mean that people who speak in tongues are not interested in loving the lost and serving others. The Word says: "But you, beloved, building yourselves up on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life" (Jude 20-21). It goes on to say to have compassion for the lost, and reach out to those who need to be drawn from the threat of eternal loss into life in Jesus.
Spiritual language is also an occasion in which we may welcome the Encourager or the Comforter, the Holy Spirit, who comes alongside to help us. (Paraclete is the term.) As we pray in the Spirit, He flows refreshing to us. There is no human explanation for the supernatural infusion of His encouragement and strength into our being when we pray in the Spirit.

Spiritual language expands the dimensions of our praise and intercession

For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us... (Rom. 8:26)
There is power in our praise when it becomes an instrument in the hands of the Spirit to drive back the works of darkness. Praise is an instrument of warfare and intercession, and it is loathed by the Adversary. The Bible in Romans 8:26-27 says that we often don't know how to pray as we should, but the Holy Spirit knows the mind of the Father pertaining to the circumstance, and He will enable us to pray exactly the way we need to, beyond our human capacities.
When we look at these benefits of spiritual language, we see in the Word why, on the day the Church was born, the Lord gave everybody a release in spiritual language. I don't believe it was to prove to them that the Holy Spirit had come; the love of God overflowing their hearts would have done that. Nor was it to demonstrate that the power of God had come. Over each of their heads could be seen fire from Heaven that had come to energize. I believe spiritual language was given not as a proof but as a resource they would need in order for the Church to be the Church.
I will never argue against the idea that tongues are an evidence of the baptism of the Spirit, because I think there is sufficient evidence for that. But the Lord did not give us spiritual language as a point of argument for the Church. He gave it as a resource to capacitate the Church. The Holy Spirit, who has come to dwell in us, wants to overflow every one of us and, in that overflow, to release His spiritual language.
Copyright © 2008 by Jack W. Hayford, Jack Hayford Ministries

Friday, June 24, 2016

Pleading The Blood of Jesus

This article was authored by Pastor Jack Hayford
and was retrieved from: 


The Passover in the Old Testament Scriptures is the focal point of understanding the power of the blood. All sacrifice that proceeds after that in the Mosaic system is founded on this principle: through the blood of sacrifice, there is deliverance, protection, and a God-provided future. This mighty forecasting picture was fulfilled in the Person of Jesus.
Jesus had not even begun his ministry when, appearing before the waters of baptism, John the Baptist announced of Him: “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world” (John 1:29). Everyone present understood the implication of his words, but it was difficult for them to come to terms with the idea that the Messiah, who is the King, is also the sacrifice, who is the Lamb. John was raising a signal not only to that day but also to all history.
When we deal with the subject of the blood, we are not dealing with some gory residue of ancient human superstition. When we talk about the blood of Christ, we are dealing with that which the Scriptures refer to as precious for its transcendent value to address human sin, need, failure, and bondage. Its value is related to the inestimable price of human liberty from the bondage of spiritual torment. The blood of Jesus is the central economic factor in all human order. So central is it that the Bible says Christ’s blood will theme our praise forever.

Pleading the Blood of Jesus

When we talk about “pleading” the blood of Jesus, we are not talking about “begging.” “Pleading the blood” should not be considered a desperation exercise; God has not called us to come begging before Him. Many of us were raised in an environment where we heard the words, “Father God, we come under the blood of Jesus.” Or, “Lord, we cover this matter with the blood of Jesus.” Even before we understood it, we believed in the power of the Blood, because we believed that Jesus is the Son of God, and that the Cross was the instrument of global redemption which broke the power of hell.
Pleading the blood of Jesus is not the superstitious application of a magic formula of words. Rather, aspiritual dynamic is being applied. The power of the blood of Jesus Christ is greater than both the energy of our own humanity and that of our Adversary. The power that saves is also the power that releases, delivers, and neutralizes the enterprises of hell and the weaknesses of the flesh. The appropriation of the power of the Blood in tough situations is intended for every believer in Christ to know, to understand, and to employ.
It’s important that we understand the reason for the words we use so they do not become formula, otherwise one of two things will happen. Either what we say becomes a superstitious exercise in which we are depending on the words rather than on the understanding that gives the words their power; or some people will not use words related to the blood of Jesus because they don’t understand the spiritual dynamic, leaving them without a resource they need.

The Passover

Most of us are familiar with the story of Israel’s deliverance from the last plague of Egypt, in which the firstborn of every family was doomed to die. The Israelites were instructed by God to place the blood of a lamb on their doorposts and lintels, so that the plague of His judgment would “pass over” their houses:
“Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt. So this day shall be to you a memorial; and you shall keep it as a feast to the Lord throughout your generations.” (Exodus 12:13-14)
God also instructed His people to memorialize and celebrate the Passover in generations to come. As believers in Jesus Christ, we can look at four things which took place in that ancient event that have unmistakable, direct application to us today:

1. The Blood Provides Protection

First, the blood provided protection. With regard to the plagues, God was not dealing vindictively but redemptively. He was seeking to bring two million people out of slavery. The Lord’s directive to take a lamb into the house for four days—turning it into a beloved pet of the family before it was slain—was laden with emotion. God was teaching a lesson that there is a high and painful price in order for redemption to take place. As much affection as the family had for the lamb, nothing compares to the heart of God who so loved the world He gave his only begotten Son. Still, this act, which was required by God of His people, demonstrated more than the casual or indifferent attitude that can be so characteristic of human beings.
Imagine the blood being drained from that lamb’s small carcass and put into a basin. Then, with the brush of reeds, the slapping of the blood upon the side posts and on the lintel overhead. No one on that side of Calvary could have imagined that it was more than an umbrella over the door as it dripped down, but we see from this side a picture of the Cross of ultimate redemption. The Lord was providing a way, not only for Israel’s protection on that occasion, but also for the ultimate protection of all humankind from the judgment of death that is upon everyone unless we come under the protective cover of the Blood.

2. The Blood Provides a Means of Deliverance

By the blood of the lamb, there came the breaking of the yoke of Pharaoh’s strength to retain them, and God’s covenant people were released from bondage, literally overnight. It was a miracle by every measure and has become the central point of worship to this day in Jewish tradition. Every time you and I come to the Lord’s Table, we’re celebrating in Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God, the same thing that the Passover lamb provided—protection and deliverance.

3. The Blood Provides the Promise of a New Day

The Lord makes the Passover an important beginning point: “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you” (Exodus 12:2). Our children will ask about it; it relates to future generations. He’s saying that what happens through this blood is going to open the door to a new day for you. Like Israel, you may be right now at what seems to be the end of your own hope and strength. But through the power of the Blood, there comes the promise to you, just as it came to Israel so long ago: this will be the beginning of days to you. In addition to protection and deliverance, there’s fresh hope in the Blood.

4. The Blood Provides a Witness

As the blood was put over the door, it was a testimony that there was a place of safety for anybody who wanted to come in from out of the circle of death. The record of Scripture is that there were some Egyptians who did. Seeing the power of the God who had already visited fierce judgments upon their land, they believed that He was the God of all, and they fled into the Jewish households.
How is the Blood, as it’s expressed in your home, a witness? Is there a different mood and atmosphere in your home than that of the world? I’m not talking about religious pictures on the wall, but something that people can sense of the Spirit of the living God because the blood of Jesus covers your household. It provides a witness that invites them out of the circle of death and into His safety.
For Israel, there was a risk in putting the blood over the outside of their doors. Just imagine what the mockers might have said. Today, our world has no more value than Pharaoh had for the things that fill God’s people with hope, faith, and release unto life. We’re not people who simply make recitations of creeds. We’re people who have tasted of a power. And that power, having come into our lives, is to penetrate our homes. It is the power of the Blood that protects, that delivers, that opens a new day, and that becomes a witness and an invitation to others.
There is an abiding presence of power in the blood of Jesus—all the time, in every situation in which we apply it. We are not peddling in the realm of superstition. We are functioning in the realm of the supernatural. Because it’s invisible, it ought not to be seen as anything less real than that power that moved through Egypt that night when the host of Egyptians was slain. The next day, there was nobody who thought the people who put blood on their houses were just superstitious. They knew those people had penetrated a realm of divine power that had insulated them from the forces of darkness and death in the land. This is what we mean by pleading the blood of Jesus.

Lay Claim to the Body of Evidence

Pleading the blood of Jesus is a heaven-given resource that grants us a license to stand in dominion over the works of hell. We can use it in the same sense that an attorney stands before the court and makes a “plea” on legal grounds, based upon a body of evidence.
When you and I come before the court of heaven—and in every circumstance we face in life—we have the legal right, through the blood of Jesus Christ, to enter a plea and to lay claim to the evidence (His slain body, His shed blood at the Cross) which is proven to neutralize the power of sin, the power of affliction, the power of death, and the power of hell. It is to that I make my plea when I plead the blood of Jesus, whether I face demonic, physical, or personal attack, condemnation or the temptation to sin.
There is no circumstance in life to which the blood of Jesus isn’t key to God’s releasing, protecting, resolving power, whether it’s removing the potential of confusion, overcoming the impact of rebellion, breaking the torment of fear, or the shame of the past. When we “plead the blood,” we are to do so in the understanding sense, with the firepower of the supernatural, and on the basis of the body of evidence that through the blood of Jesus Christ, all hell has been broken in its power, all sin neutralized, the power of death overwhelmed, and every human need paid for once and for all.
Unless otherwise noted, all scripture verses are from The Holy Bible, New King James Version, (Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, Inc.) 1982.