Entries tagged with “Gospel”.
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Tue 31 Jan 2012
When the trumpet blew announcing the arrival of the Year of Jubilee—the 50th year in the Hebrew calendar—it was announcing that restoration was now.Freedom was now.
‘Consecrate the fiftieth year and proclaim liberty throughout the land to all its inhabitants.’ (Lev 25:10a)
The Hebrew word for Jubilee means, ‘sound of the trumpet’ or ‘joyful shout.’ [1,2]Property passed back to its original owners. Israelites who had been enslaved walked free. And the land was given rest.
God provided this year of restoration so that the inheritance He had allotted to each tribe and family would remain in that family:
- No matter what trouble or failure they had undergone, or debts they had incurred
- No matter what injustices had been done against them as individuals or families
- No matter what had caused them to lose their lands, or to sell themselves or their children into slavery
God—by Name and nature a Redeemer—provided a way of redemption for His people. 
The Year of Jubilee is Fulfilled in Jesus
The Year of Jubilee was a prophetic picture of the ministry of Jesus Christ, and the work of redemption accomplished through His sacrifice on the cross.
The Apostle Paul tells us that religious festivals were a shadow of the things that were to come: ‘The reality, however, is found in Christ.’ (Col 2:16-17)
Heb 10:1 says, ‘The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming—not the realities themselves.’
The reality of Jubilee is found in JESUS.
A New Era of Freedom
Announcing His ministry in the synagogue at Nazareth shortly after His baptism, Jesus read from the prophet Isaiah, saying:
“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners and recovery of sight for the blind, to release the oppressed, to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favour.” (Luke 4:18; Isaiah 61:1-3)
The ‘Year of the Lord’s Favour’ was a reference to the Old Testament celebration of the Year of Jubilee. 
The Jewish people listening to Jesus that day had no doubt as to His meaning. He was proclaiming:
‘I am the promised Messiah, the Anointed One.’
You can almost hear the blowing of the Jubilee trumpet as Jesus begins to go about His ministry following that announcement. Salvation, restoration, miracles of provision and protection, healing and deliverance abound.
However, Jesus’ ministry of restoration was not just relevant for the three years that Jesus walked on earth before His crucifixion—it is available to us today.
The Apostle Paul echoes His words in 2 Cor 6:2: ‘I tell you, now is the time of God’s favor, now is the day of salvation.’
Heb 13:8 says, ‘Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.’
Jesus not only brought the Gospel, or good news. He is the good news.
When Jesus said, ‘I have come to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord’, He wasn’t referring to a year in time, but to the beginning of a new era; that of the New Covenant.
The Year of Jubilee is Good News Now
For the Israelites, the Year of Jubilee came once every 50 years. They might have lost their inheritance—or have been in slavery—for one year, or they might have been in slavery for 49 years (that is what we would call a ‘worst case scenario!’)
But the reality is, that year may have occurred only once in an Israelite’s lifetime.
Imagine a Hebrew enslaved to a harsh master, with no property to call his own. Someone might come to him and say, “Next year is the Year of Jubilee!” You might think that is good news. Suddenly he realises that he has hope and a future.
But his situation for the present hasn’t changed. He is still enslaved. He is still living in misery. He has no property and he has to labour for someone else. Tomorrow he will wake up and still be a slave.
That is not the Gospel! The Gospel is this:
Take the same Hebrew slave. He wakes one morning to the sound of a trumpet blowing in the distance. Then, someone comes in and announces, “Today, as of RIGHT NOW, you are free. You may go home. Your debts are cancelled. Your property is your own again.
This is the power of the Gospel.
Both Now and to Come
The ultimate fulfilment of our salvation—and the Year of Jubilee—will be when we enter eternity and death and loss is wiped away forever. (Rev 21:1-5)
But the Jubilee message as declared by Jesus reminds us that the Gospel is not only about the hope of a brighter future.
To preach the Gospel is to declare that today is the day of salvation. ‘Believe…now! Be saved…now! Be released from the imprisonment of sin…now! Be healed and filled…now!’
The Year of Jubilee stands as a Biblical reminder of the restoration that is available to us through faith in Jesus every day of our lives. And that is good news.
 STRONG, J. Strongs Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. 1996. Electronic Edition, Ontario: Woodside Bible Fellowship (In PC Bible 3.1.) [CD-ROM.]
 You can read about the Year of Jubilee in Leviticus 25. For further study read Nehemiah’s parallel restoration in Neh 5:3-5 and Isaiah 61. For Bible Dictionary references to the Year of Jubilee, see http://topicalbible.org/j/jubilee.htm
 ‘Redemption’ is rich in meaning; ‘to redeem’ essentially means ‘to buy back.’ Jesus purchased on our behalf what we had lost—an intimate relationship with God as Father, along with the restoration of our Kingdom inheritance. (1 Peter 18, Gal 3:14, 4:5)
 Jack Hayford notes, ‘The prophecy of Is. 61:1,2 describes the deliverance of Israel from exile in Babylon in terms of the Year of Jubilee, but its ultimate fulfillment awaited the coming of the Messianic age…’ HAYFORD, J W, Ed. The Spirit-Filled Life Bible. 1991. Nashville: Thomas Nelson.
The Key To The Gospel’s Power: Share It Like Jesus Did
Key To Prophetic Evangelism: What Is The Father Doing?
A Beginners Guide To Prophetic Evangelism Pt 1
Do you have any further thoughts about the topic of the Year Of Jubilee? I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment in the comments box below. If the comments box is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.
Mon 23 Jan 2012
‘…by the power of signs and miracles, through the power of the Spirit. So from Jerusalem all the way around to Illyricum, I have fully proclaimed the gospel of Christ.’ (Rom 15:19)
The Hunk and I are seeing God move in the lives of people around us—and we want to see much more.
Those of us on the team at David McCracken Ministries are seeing people saved, healed, set free, and receive breakthroughs when we minister—and we are reaching for even more.
Like us, you may desire to draw closer to God and see more of His power released to lead people to Jesus and transform lives.
Jesus Preached a ‘Now’ Message
When Jesus came on the scene He was not like anyone the people had seen or heard before. He had confidence, boldness and authority. He commanded people, demons and sicknesses to do something NOW. 
Jesus’ words brought transformation. Atmospheres changed, people responded, demons and sicknesses moved – instantly, at His command.
When Jesus taught, there was a ring of authority in His words. The people were amazed, ‘because he taught them as one who had authority, not as the teachers of the law.’ (Mark 1:22)
- For years, they had listened the scribes and the teachers of the law as they reviewed God’s PAST instructions to Israel and taught the law of Moses.
- They were familiar with the prophets who spoke of the FUTURE coming of the Messiah.
Jesus, however, continually spoke words that impacted people’s lives in the PRESENT.
It was this dynamic, this immediacy, that set Jesus apart.
Not News as we Experience it Today
The Gospel is good news. 
When we think of ‘news’ we think of reporting. We sit down and watch reports on TV of what as been happening around the world, or we read headlines in the newspaper.
But that is not the kind of news that Jesus brings.
The Word of God is not merely a report of something that has happened.
When God speaks, something happens, something takes place, not only in the spiritual realm but also in the physical realm.
The God’s Word is alive, or as the writer to the Hebrews puts it, “living and active” (Hebrews 4:12).
Jesus said in John 6:63, ‘The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.’
When Jesus spoke concerning the kingdom of God, His messages resulted in repentance, healing, miracles, and deliverance. Everything He spoke and did was sourced in God’s love for people.
This impact and immediacy of approach did not stop with Jesus’ ministry. 
On the day of Pentecost, Peter began to speak in the same way under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit:
- “Repent… be baptised (implied NOW, Acts 2:38)
- “The promise is for you” (v39)
- “Be saved! (v40)
There is both authority and immediacy in Peter’s words. And so it goes on throughout the book of Acts. (Acts 3:6-8, Acts 9:38, Acts 14:8-10)
A 3-Dimensional Gospel
The bottom line of the Gospel is simply, ‘There is salvation through Jesus Christ alone.’ (Acts 4:8)
But the broader message of the Gospel —the good news about Jesus—contains facets relating to past, present and future.
Each of these three is vital, and if we under-emphasize one, we lack balance and power.
For this reason, I believe the Holy Spirit is highlighting the ‘present’ aspect of the Gospel message to the church at this time.
Reviewing our Message
Following are some examples of past, present and future aspects relating to sharing the Gospel message.
Each is important.
I invite you to join me in making a prayerful and honest appraisal:
- What is my current emphasis on this aspect—in my own life and ministry, as well as in the context of sharing personally with others around me?
Pray and ask God for inspiration and courage to grow and speak out in the areas the Holy Spirit is highlighting to you.
1. Past (Looking back)
Valuing and sharing:
- The Bible’s account of Jesus’ life, ministry, death and resurrection (1 Cor 15:1-8)
- What Jesus accomplished on our behalf on the cross: forgiveness of our sins and restoration to God (Col 1:20)
- Our own testimony of what God has done in our lives in the past—our past salvation experience and other encounters with God (Acts 26)
2. Future (Looking forward)
Valuing and sharing:
- The ongoing expectation of hope for God’s grace in our lives, and that of others, in the days and years ahead (Psalm 23)
- The hope of our future eternity with God (Rev 21:1-5)
Valuing and sharing:
- Our current testimony of God’s goodness towards us (Phil 4:4)
- The Father’s intent right now for those we encounter in our everyday life and ministry (John 5:19)
- The Gospel message bearing fruit in people’s lives, including repentance, restoration, spiritual freedom and healing. (Luke 4:18)
This is not about focusing on where we are falling short, but on catching a vision for more of what God has for us.
The secret of the Gospel’s power is to share it like Jesus did.
Next week I will be considering the Year Of Jubilee—and how understanding its fulfillment in Jesus can help us understand the breadth of the gospel message.
 The first chapter of the Gospel of Mark particularly highlights this.
 ‘Gospel’ comes from the New Testament Greek word, euangelion, which is comprised of two words, ‘good message.’ The English word ‘Gospel’ comes from an old English direct translation of the Greek word, ‘God Spell,’ meaning good news. In the Bible, the word Gospel refers to the message of salvation through Jesus and it also refers to the four accounts of Jesus life by Matthew, Mark, Luke and John.
 Prophetic preaching and teaching is an example of this dynamic in action. For more information on this see my article, ‘What Is Prophetic Teaching?
I am scratching the surface of a very big topic, and I would love to hear your thoughts, questions or examples relating to it. Leave a message in the comments box below. If the comments box is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.
The Greatest Evangelist In The World Today
You Don’t Need A Special Gift To Be A Supernatural Christian
How To Set Your Testimony On Fire Again
© Helen Calder 2011 Enliven Blog – Prophetic Teaching
On team with David McCracken Ministries: Prophetic Ministry That Empowers The Church
Did you receive this from a friend? Read more from Enliven Blog or sign to receive our weekly prophetic teaching updates at http://enlivenpublishing.com/blog
Wed 8 Dec 2010
Who is the greatest Christian evangelist in the world today?
Do I hear someone say, ‘Billy Graham,’ or ‘Reinhard Bonnke?’
The greatest evangelist on earth today is the Holy Spirit, and He lives inside of you and me  (John 14:17).
The Fullness of the Holy Spirit
I want to know and experience the Holy Spirit in His fullness—not just in part. This means embracing all He is and everything He has come to do in and through me.
The Holy Spirit empowers us and aids us in living the Christian life. He provides spiritual gifts for ministry; He is our Comforter, Helper, Teacher and Guide.
However, the disciples did not only receive Him as Helper. They also received Him as the One who would empower them to witness—share the good news of salvation and lead people to Jesus (Acts 1:8).
When the Holy Spirit came at Pentecost, He announced His arrival with wind and fire… and with 3,000 people turning to faith in Jesus Christ. (Acts 2:41)
Power From On High
It was October 1994, and I was reading Charles Finney’s book, ‘Power From On High.’  In his commentary on the coming of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost (Acts 1-2), Finney wrote:
‘We have the same promise that they had… Let us, then… accept the commission; fully consecrate ourselves, with all that we have, to the saving of souls as our great and our only life work. Let us go to the altar with all we have and are, and lie there and persist in prayer until we have received the enduement.’
I recorded in my journal:
‘I was greatly struck by Finney’s comment that our ‘life work’ is the saving of souls. Like so many others, I have considered this to be someone else’s lifework and not my own. If this IS true (and I believe it is), then there are great ramifications.
Have I accepted Christ’s commission as my own commission? Dare I?
If I have not accepted the appointing, how can I expect the anointing?
My reflections on Finney’s work coincided with an outpouring of the Holy Spirit upon our church and upon us. At that time I was set free from three years of emotional and physical pain—but the impact of the Spirit’s visitation did not stop there.
The tangible Presence of the Spirit on our lives and in our home spilled over to our neighbourhood. The Hunk and I saw salvation and miracles happen in the lives of people around us as a result.
As I look back on this past year of 2010, I see the same pattern. An outpouring if the Spirit on our personal lives has resulted in the drawing of people around us to Jesus.
The Holy Spirit Loves and Leads People to Jesus
The Holy Spirit is intimately involved in the process of salvation.
In the same way that the Spirit hovered over the waters at creation, He is at work, moving unseen in the lives of those of people around us who do not yet know Jesus. (Gen 1:2; 2 Cor 5:17)
The heart of the Holy Spirit is that of Jesus, who came to ‘seek and save the lost’. (Luke 19:10)
The heart of the Spirit is that of the Father, whose desire that no person perish moved Him to send and sacrifice His Son. (John 3:16, 2 Peter 3:9)
The Spirit of God loves people passionately and indiscriminately.
4 Ways that the Holy Spirit Helps in Evangelism are:
1. By testifying to people of the Gospel’s truth (John 15:26, Acts 5:30-32)
2. By confirming the message of salvation through answers to prayer—signs, miracles and the operation of spiritual gifts (Heb 2:4, Rom 15:19)
3. By bringing conviction that leads people to repentance (1 Thess 5, John 16:8)
4. By empowering Christians to be witnesses (Acts 1:8, Luke 24:46-49)
The Holy Spirit empowers ordinary Christian believers to be witnesses, but He also directly impacts the hearts of people who need salvation, convincing them of their sin and need for a Saviour.
Our prayers, our faith, and our actions help determine whether or not the Spirit is released to do His work.
What if you are not Gifted in Evangelism?
Maybe, like me, you would say that you are not gifted in the area of evangelism.
It is true that there is a gift and an office of evangelist (Eph 4:11, 2 Tim 4:5). An evangelist is empowered and called to make evangelism a primary focus of their ministry, as well as to equip the church for evangelism.
Can someone who does not a have a spiritual gift of evangelism be an effective witness?
Here’s the ultimate test: can an introverted, prophetic-intercessor-type person like me lead people to Jesus?
Evangelism may not be my personal strength, but my Divine Partner, the Holy Spirit, is the greatest evangelist in the world today.
- I am also a part of a Christian community that shares my passion to bring people to Jesus.
I have discovered that my inability is not a handicap to the Holy Spirit. The pressure is off. Instead of striving, I need only focus on cooperating with the Spirit, as He loves and leads people to Jesus.
How can we Partner with the Holy Spirit in Evangelism?
Here are some keys that can help:
1. Be filled with the Spirit
If you have already been baptised in the Holy Spirit, pray for a fresh infilling (Acts 4:24-31)
2. Acknowledge the evangelistic role of the Holy Spirit and take time to reflect on what that can mean for you and the lives of people around you
3. Recommit to being a witness—sharing the good news about what Jesus has done for you with people around your life
4. Pray for those around you who don’t know Jesus and believe that the Spirit is at work in answer to your prayers
5. Watch out for Divine appointments. Look for what the Holy Spirit is doing in people around you and simply cooperate with Him.
 This statement is made to my Christian readers who have been ‘born again by the Spirit of God.’ (See Titus 3:4-17) If you are not sure whether this relates to you, here is a great resource:
 Power From On High, Charles Grandison Finney (1792-1875). The book can be viewed here:
A Beginner’s Guide To Prophetic Evangelism Part 1
How You Can Have An Intimate Relationship With The Holy Spirit
You Don’t Need A Special Gift To Be A Supernatural Christian
Pentecost: How God Exploded My Box
What Pentecost Tells Us About God’s Heart For Nations
© Helen Calder 2010 Enliven Publishing http://enlivenpublishing.com/blog/
Now on team with David McCracken Ministries
If you you have any thoughts or experiences to share on the topic of the Holy Spirit, the Greatest Evangelist in the World Today, I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment below. If the comments section is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.
Tue 26 Oct 2010
Have you ever been told some exciting news and then asked not to share it with anyone?
You are bursting with it. Even if you keep your mouth shut, your expression may give it away. You may be distracted, or find it hard to keep still. You search your mind for someone—anyone—you can safely share the happy news with.
Last year my brother called from London, to share the news that he and his wife were expecting their first baby. The Hunk received the call while I was out shopping and couldn’t wait to tell me.
By the time my brother located me—on my mobile phone—my squeal of joyful surprise was not as genuine as it would have been if he had shared it first. My delighted hubby had beaten him to it.
It is a universal law: good news just has to be given away!
The Ultimate Good News
To all who received [Jesus], to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God— children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband’s will, but born of God. (John 1:12-13)
As Christian believers, we have been entrusted with the ultimate Good News, the story of how:
- Jesus came to earth and died for the forgiveness of our sins, so that we could be restored in relationship to the Father
- He was resurrected that we might share in His life
- We enter into this new birth, not through anything we can do ourselves, but by faith in Him alone.
This is wonderful news, and all of would agree, truly GOOD news
And yet, many of us go through times when we are no longer excited about the good news of the Gospel. We have lost the urge to share it with others.
There have been times in my own Christian life when I have known in my head that the Gospel is good news, but my heart has lost the song.
In these seasons, I can look back and remember what God has done in the past, but I do not have a current testimony of God’s goodness.
When this happens, I am not the only one who is affected—others around me lose the opportunity to hear Good News.
The Power Of A Testimony
Jesus sent him away, saying, “Return home and tell how much God has done for you.” So the man went away and told all over town how much Jesus had done for him. (Luke 8:38-39)
God has designed that the Gospel be expressed through the vehicle of our testimony. When the two are teamed up, extraordinary power is released to lead people to faith in Jesus.
Our personal testimony stands as proof of the truth of the Gospel—evidence that it is life-changing Good News.
- The root word of testimony, ‘testi’, comes from a word meaning ‘witness.’
Our testimony provides a witness to others of what Jesus has done for us—and that what Jesus has done for us, He can do for them.
The story of how we first encountered Jesus and how our lives were changed when we accepted Him into our lives powerfully illustrates the Gospel.
But our testimony is not just the story of what took place when we first believed.
The ongoing stories of God’s Divine intervention in our lives have tremendous power to witness to others, as we talk about:
- How God impacts our lives every day
- Answers we have had to prayer
- What God has spoken to us
- How we have seen Him at work in our lives and in those around us.
Through this current testimony of God’s grace, we know, and others see, that Jesus is the only explanation for what is taking place in our lives.
As the Apostle Paul explained,
‘You yourselves are our letter, written on our hearts, known and read by everybody. You show that you are a letter from Christ, the result of our ministry, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God.’
How To Recover Your Testimony
Right now, I can’t wait to share with others all the good things I am seeing happen in my life and in the lives of others around me. However, it hasn’t always been that way.
Have you lost the fire? Here are some things that have helped me to recover a current testimony of God’s goodness:
1. Recognise that Something is Missing
If you can’t come up with an existing reason to be thankful about what God is doing in your life, something is missing.
We can always have a current testimony of God’s goodness in our lives, even if that testimony is of His empowering or His comforting word to us in the trials we are experiencing.
2. Meditate on What Jesus has Done for you
Take some time to meditate on what the Bible says about God’s love for you personally, as well as what Jesus has accomplished through His death on the cross and how it applies personally to you.
Remember your experience of salvation and how encountering God for the first time changed your life. Think about what He has done since, and about all of His faithfulness.
3. Ask God for a Fresh Infilling of His Spirit
Pray and ask God to fill you with His Holy Spirit. It is a prayer He loves to answer.
As you encounter Him in this way, you will fall in love with Jesus again.
Every time I have experienced a significant new infilling with the Holy Spirit, my passion for God and for people has been restored.
4. Take time to Listen—Receive a Word from God
To hear God speak to you is to encounter Him. He wants to speak to you about His love for you, His involvement in your past and present circumstances, and His purpose for your life.
5. Pray—and Watch for what Happens Next
If you are aware that you have lost the fire of your testimony, talk to your Father about it. Ask Him to move in your life, pray and then open your eyes. You will soon see Him at work.
We can’t give away what we do not possess ourselves.
When we recover a fresh and vibrant testimony of God’s goodness to us, the Gospel will be Good News to us once again—and nothing will hold us back from sharing it with others.
Do you have any more ideas or thoughts on this topic? I would love to hear from you. Leave a comment in the box below. If the comments box is not visible, click on this link and scroll down.
How To Be A Supernatural Christian: The Good News
Spiritual Renewal: Cafe Moments With God
The River Returns: How To Be Re-Filled With The Holy Spirit When You Are Dry
© Helen Calder Enliven Blog http://propheticpeople.com/
Now on team with David McCracken Ministries