Pastor Steve Cassell
BelovedChurchIllinois.com

Beloved Church Page

 

December 2011

2 Kings 6:15, Genesis 39:2, 1 Samuel 12:7, Acts 9:6, Hebrews 4:15, Matthew 17:2, Matthew 28:17

Hello my beloved!

We have all heard the old adage that “perception is reality”. This is actually taught as part of management foundation. It is also one of the primary people relations principles espoused by the best of the best in the world’s system. It is also a potentially devastating belief as a Christian because it takes the finality out of the Word of God. I am here to offer you a different, and potentially revolutionary point of view. Perception is deception. This is going to take a serious amount of explanation so I am asking you to soften and open your heart to this teaching.

Let me start with a story that started me on this radical journey.

I was involved with a big hubbub in one of the restaurants I managed a few years back. An older black man entered alone and sat at one of the bar seats that we had to order breakfast. He was greeted by his server and then waited patiently for her to arrive and take his order. While he was waiting another young man entered, a white fella, and sat a few seats away at the other end of the high bar. The white guy’s server greeted him, took his order, and turned it into the grill team all within 60 seconds. This is actually what we as a company were trying to achieve as our service protocol. You can probably see where I am headed. The first guy eventually had his order taken and his breakfast served. He was about 3 minutes behind the white guy. Black verses white, right? Text book example of discrimination… This was his perception as well. Actually after the intensive investigation, internal auditing and legal threats we determined, “no.” The server for the black man was taking another order, for a very difficult table. The server for the white guy was completely free and ready to serve. The high bar was separated into 2 different sections. There are obviously a few minor problems with how we had our systems operated and a failure in teamwork, but absolutely nothing malicious or discriminatory.

This is the moral of the story. The black man grew up in the 60’s in the south. As you can easily gather, he was subjected to an enormous amount of discrimination, hatred and vitriol. A disgusting display of humanity but a reality none the less. He was programmed as a youngster to recognize and protect himself from these types of circumstances. His environment and training produced a certain attitude or level of knowledge; otherwise known as “perception”. Do to the fact that we all live in an imperfect world we will be taught right and wrong things. Oftentimes they will be taught to us subconsciously and simultaneously. This is a double edged sword. It is good how to learn to avoid certain painful and dangerous situations. It is wrong to allow the world to dictate to you what is truth or reality. The word of God is the only legitimate source of absolute truth and reality.

I am here to say of an authority that there is only one reality. The one that is in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. I am aware that you are thinking right now that I am one of those “kooks” that is “out of touch with reality”, and to a certain extent, I agree. I am out of touch with certain realities. Additionally the bible says that we are to be a “peculiar people”. The difference is, the realities I am in touch with are only the spiritually true realities. I know that seems a bit arrogant, but if God’s word is wrong, in any way, at any time, then we are all damned to destruction. If God and his word are united and perfect, then there are “realities” in our fallen world that are not as true as they pretend to be.

These are the points I intend to accomplish:

  1. Show the difference between what we see and how God does (or what is really true)
  2. How to make God’s reality a reality inside of all of us, practical application

Firstly, allow me to show some contradictions in order to force a thought process in you, my beloved. I am going to concentrate on the three main (in my opinion) oppositions to fully living in faith and dependance on God and His Word. These three are health or healing, prosperity or blessing and holiness or justification. (If your thinking that this sounds like a huge bite for me to chew, then we agree. But it will be fun!)

Healing/Health

This is such an integrated part of me it would literally take me years to fully cover this area. My intentions here are not to have a unabridged teaching on Divine Health, but to show the contradiction between the Word of God and the world’s opinion. It is heart breaking to see the way innocent people and even children are indoctrinated and propagandized by the media and the world’s system. You almost cannot read a publication of any kind, watch a television channel or listen to a radio station without being told about the flu/allergy season, the mental health problems you are bound to have, the symptoms you should be experiencing, the new disease pandemic that is approaching, the chemical imbalances in your mind and body, the problems with your age/gender/nationality/body type/diet/fitness level/sleep and so on, and so forth. We are told over and over how sick we are or should be or will be. All of this BOLDLY in the face of the atonement of Jesus. Our risen Lord and Savior right now, bears about in His glorified body the scars of the stripes that He took to pay for our healing.

1 Peter 2:24 “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed.”

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

Thank you for supporting our sponsors! They help us bring you the news.
Thank you for supporting our sponsors! They help us bring you the news.

Isaiah 53:5 “But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.”

I do not know how God could make this point any more clear. Jesus bore OUR sickness and disease. ALL OF THEM (Dt 28:61)! His crucifixion and atonement was complete! Please do not ever be persuaded otherwise. Every drop of His perfect blood was spilled purposefully, was spilled for you and I. He knew exactly what He was doing and what He was paying for. The day He purchased your salvation He purchased your healing!

Now I am about to make a very radical statement, if you can hear and believe with your heart, this could change your life. You are, right now, as healed as you will ever be. Read that statement again. “But I have this problem, this pain, this ache, this disfigurement… If I was healed I would know it!” you may be thinking. Oh really… Can you “feel” your salvation? If not then how do you know that your saved? Can you feel your sin? How do you know they were forgiven? This is how the promises of God become your truths. When God promises, it is done from His side. His word provides the power to deliver. God is a spirit (John 4:24) and His promises are in the spirit. We must believe the promise (faith) in order to manifest it in the natural world. Hebrews 11:1 tells us that faith is a substance that brings things hoped for into the physical world, the evidence of things unseen. The rest remains in our lap. Faith is the way we receive what God has offered freely by grace. We are saved by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8). Grace is what God has freely offered us and our faith is how we attain it. When you received Jesus as your Savior, you are saved. Saved is all encompassing. The Greek word SOZO was translated as “saved”, “healed”, “preserve”, “well”, “whole”. God never intended for the atonement of Jesus to be broken into categories. We (religion) have done that. Again, you are as healed as your ever gonna get!

Here is the problem. Our eyes and body are telling us something contradictory to what the Word says. So which is right?

Here is another radical statement… they both are. Romans 8:6 “For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.” Romans 12:2 “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” If you choose to live by the world’s standards then you will have worldly results. You can choose to conform to the world and it’s system of death or choose Jesus and His system that gives life (Dt. 30:19). If you live by God’s standards then you will have supernatural (above the natural) results. I can almost hear the incredulous reactions in your head. 1 John 5:4-5 “For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?” This is the difference between the victorious Christian life promised us and the “poor wayfaring pilgrim trudging through the heat and the cold” that those detestable hymns write about. Away with the blasphemy against the blood of Jesus! Romans 8:37 “Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.” More than conquerors! More means more my beloved. Your belief system determines your reality. Far too often we have this backwards. We allow the world and it’s circumstances to determine our belief system for us, even though it is contrary to the truths and promises of God.

Blessing/prosperity

This is an area that has been greatly abused and criticized. I will not spend much time here because, again, it is an area that requires in depth teaching that I do not have the time to cover. The simple point is this: God has created a grace for ALL Christians to enter into a financial system completely opposite of the world. God removed poverty with the atonement. “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.” 2 Corinthians 8:9. Again, Jesus knew exactly what He was doing. He gave up divinity to become part of humanity so that He could save all mankind and bring them to their real Father. This is something I would like for you to consider for a moment, God is rich. The difference is that God’s wealth is for giving and blessing. This is why Paul wrote in 1 Timothy 6:10 “For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.” God does not love wealth, He loves us. His wealth and blessing is to love and bless us. He has appropriated that wealth for all those that are in Christ Jesus as well. Deuteronomy 8:18 “But thou shalt remember the LORD thy God: for it is he that giveth thee power to get wealth, that he may establish his covenant which he sware unto thy fathers, as it is this day.” Two important parts I would like to expound from this promise. Firstly, He gives us power to get wealth, not money. God is not an ATM where you punch in the right code and money falls out. God has incorporated the wealth of His new covenant into our works of faith and action. Paul told Timothy that if a man does not work, then he does not eat. Seems simple enough. Yet many “prosperity” type preaching makes it sound as if you just squeeze God hard enough and gold oozes out. This teaching is contrary to the Word and an abomination to our Saviors life. God works WITH us, not independent of us. This is why the power to get wealth was given to us freely, so we could operate it through a relationship with the creator. The second part of the verse tells us the reason for the blessing of wealth. To give. If we use our prosperity as a means of showing our neighbors the goodness and faithfulness of God, then our wealth is establishing his covenant promises.

If we believe what the world has been publicizing then we are broke, in a depression, in a recession, unemployed, financially ruined and destined for poverty. They have been piping this into our homes and heads since 9/11. Particularly now in this season we are being told over and over how bad it is, and how much worse it will be. The truth, I dare say, is no where near their reports. Even so, let us see what God has to say on this subject.

God’s intention is for His earthly ministry to be properly funded. 2 Corinthians 9:8 “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:” EVERY good work. Can you think of a ministry or “good work” that you personally know about, that if they had greater funds could accomplish more for goodness? This lack goes against what God purposes for His ministry. We should be the ones who the world looks to for help, not vise-versa. We should be (as Deuteronomy 28:12 states) lending to MANY nations and not borrowing. This is not just referring to the nation of the body of Christ, but also each of us individually as well. Thank you Jesus that we can exit the system of debt and servitude to debt.

This area of Godliness is entered into the same way as salvation and healing… by faith. What is extremely important here is your actions of faith. James very clearly states in chapter 2 vs. 14, 17-18 that: “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him?… Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works.” The best way I have ever heard this restated is this; Faith alone can save, but saving faith is never alone. There is an old clique that says “Your actions speak so loudly that I cannot hear what you are saying”. Your actions do not “earn” you God’s favor, it cannot be earned. Your actions prove you believe that God has promised to favor you. The difference here is infinitely greater that most people actually know. I have another teaching coming on “Grace, Mercy and Faith”, so hang on and I will delve deeper here in the near future.

The reality of your blessed state lies in the reality of God’s promises. Ephesians 1:3 clearly says “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:”. Hath is past tense. We are already completely and fully blessed. Beloved, please hear me. When God promises, it is done. When Jesus was resurrected from the dead the New Covenant was completely accomplished and established. We have been 2000+ years figuring out what was already accomplished on our behalf. Praise God for his Grace!

Holiness/Justification

This moves us concurrently into Justification or Holiness. I understand that this is making every religious concept in you scream out, but I must obey my spirit. Just do as Jesus did when the religious idealists tried to stop Him, rebuke them. We have been told our whole lives that we are dirty sinners. All of our righteousness is as filthy rags. We have been separated from God by our sins. We are polluted and unworthy to approach unto God. Our sins make us unusable for God.

Here is the kicker with all of these statements. I agree! Every one of these statements are true and are based in scripture. There is only one small problem… Jesus. I WAS filthy, a sinner, condemned, polluted, separated, dirty and useless. Then I accepted Jesus as my Savior and He changed me. 2 Corinthians 5:17 says that I have become a new creature. Ephesians 4:24 says that the newly created man was created in righteousness and true holiness. 1 John 3:2 says that NOW we are the sons of God. Also in vs. 9 He states that we “doth not” commit sin. Our new created spirit is perfect. It cannot be defiled because it was born again not of a corruptible seed, but of an incorruptible seed which is the Word of God (1 Peter 1:23). We are not justified and holy because of us or our actions, we are made perfect because of our faith in a perfect Savior. In the same way that you were born into sin by your human birth, you were born again into righteousness by your spiritual birth. Read 2 Corinthians 5:21 and Romans the 5th chapter. Concentrate diligently on the parenthetical statement starting in vs. 13 and continuing through vs. 17. If you have never read these verses from this point of view then it will prove to be VERY enlightening for you!

This scripture changed my life. Romans 8:30 “Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.” I was reading through these scriptures one day and I started a little argument with God about this particular topic. I told Him it was obvious that I was unusable and unclean, “you know my actions AND even my thoughts, how could I believe that I am holy and righteous…?”. His response was soft and sweet, “your holiness is based on Jesus, of course you could not make it on your merit, no person can. That is why I gave you Jesus, He was the only one who could!” Then it dawned on my rocket fast mind, “I needed a savior!” (Don’t laugh at me, I am sure you have been slow in something too…) This meant that Jesus was my holiness, my righteousness, and my justification. Praise Jesus, my beloved! That is what God spoke to me through vs 30. He told me, “You (in your self) are not qualified to work for me, no one is. That is why I justified you through Jesus.” I was not qualified but I was justified! My qualification and justification happened on the same day my salvation occurred. Radical! What an awesome God we serve. He looked through eons of time and saw me in my struggles and justified me anyway. Wow.

So how do we turn this new revelation in to practical physical reality? First you need to determine to sever any and all ties that you currently have to the world’s way of thinking and its information delivery systems. Paul told the Galatian church in chapter 6 to “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.” You have to stop planting seeds to the flesh and start sowing into the Spirit of God. Spend time communing with God daily in his word. Remember that His word is incorruptible seed that will produce in the fruitful ground of your heart. This is the entire teaching behind Jesus’ parable of the sower in Mark 4. Once you have determined to start planting God’s word in your heart, act on it. When the world tells you it is a great time to be sick… refuse! Use God’s word as a weapon (Hebrews 4:12, Ephesians 6:17, Revelation 1:16) and confess it from a faith-filled heart. Speak the Word over your situations and command them to line up with the spiritual reality of the great and precious promises of God’s Word. If you are looking at a financial situation then reenforce your heart with scriptures that verify you are a blessed person though the atonement of Christ. Once your faith arises then speak to the problem and command it to line up with the spiritual reality. Once you have spoken to the “mountain” then just simply praise and thank God for his awesome power in the situation. Rest in your faith. Additionally, sow your finances into a work of God. There is no greater show of financial faith then giving. If you really believe that God is your supplier then speak it and show it. The other promises work exactly the same way. We have over complicated the Kingdom of God, in my opinion. God never intended for His power to be difficult to attain. He has made more that enough available to all of us through faith in Jesus and His word. Praise God my beloved!

Here are a few more scripture to meditate on this subject:

Numbers 13:32, Deuteronomy 29:2-4, Matthew 13:15, Acts 26:18, Psalms 19:8, 1 Corinthians 2:10-16, Ephesians 4:18-24, and James 3:16

Facebook Comments