Tuesday, October 18, 2016

Whatever You Do, Do For the Glory of God!

Crisis: a stage in a sequence of events at which the trend of all future events, especially for better or for worse, is determined; turning point.

I must confess that when I first heard the word crisis I assumed something bad.  I learned that a crisis in and of itself is not evil. Everything that has happened and will happen is within the perimeter of God’s divine, perfect, and eternal wisdom. What determines whether a crisis is good or evil is what you do with it; how you use that crisis is determined by the influencing spirit. Unless we see God’s wisdom in every crisis that He brings us into, we will never see Christ, because CHRIST IS WISDOM.  

During my last visit to Haiti, Pastor Ezekiel and I were on our way to visit various orphanages to conduct Bible studies for the youth that had received the Bibles we sent. When we came to a bridge we had to cross, it was down.  Someone had removed the bolts supporting the bridge in order to sell them; this gives you an idea of the economic state of the country.  We had to drive through the river, but Pastor Ezekiel was very hesitant about crossing. I told him God knew what was ahead for us that day and he hadn’t brought us this far to turn back.  There is one thing I have learned about our heavenly Father, he does not go halfway and neither should we.  We crossed the river to the other side only to confront another test. Cars were backed up trying to get out of the village onto the main road.  Men were blocking the road with a tree trunk forcing travelers to pay to cross.  As we got on to the main road I knew it was another teaching moment. I told Brother Ezekiel, “The world will take a crisis, man-made or not, for their own benefit to push their own agenda.” A few years ago a politician said, “Never let a crisis go to waste.”  As the Holy Spirit brought that quote to my memory I heard Him say, “A crisis can be used for good or evil.”  We must conclude that self driven agenda’s are part of human nature which have been corrupted by the fall and can only produce evil. When we turn to the Lord with all our heart and receive His sacrifice on the cross we have a new nature.  II Peter 1:3-4 reads, “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of Him who called us by His own glory and goodness.  Through these He has given us His very great and precious promises so that through them you may participate in the Divine Nature and escape the corruption in the world caused by evil desires.”

I am asking the Lord to help you understand what you’re reading because it’s not how much we read that’s important, but the understanding we get from what we read. Don’t forget what we are discussing, ‘CRISIS’.

The first crisis recorded is in Genesis 1:1-2 which reads, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”  Take a moment and marvel at WISDOM on display.  Here is something we must never forget, ‘God is the beginning, and the end is God’.  By definition wisdom is the power of discerning and judging properly what is true and right; having the ability to use knowledge with understanding.  Proverbs 8:22-30 reads, “The Lord brought me forth as the first of His works, before His deeds of old; I was appointed from eternity from the beginning, before the world began when there were no oceans, I was given birth, when there were no springs abounding with water; before the mountains were settled in place, before the hills, I was given birth, before He made the earth or its fields or any of the dust of the world.  I was there when He set the heavens in place, when He marked out the horizon on the face of the deep, when He established the clouds above and fixed securely the fountains of the deep when He gave the sea its boundary, so the water would not overstep His command, and when He marked out the foundations of the earth, then I was the craftsman at His side, I was filled with delight day after day rejoicing always in His presence, rejoicing in His whole world and delighting in mankind.”  After reading these scriptures it becomes clear that another realm is in control; the spiritual realm of the Kingdom of Heaven. The Spirit of God will reveal to our hearts the wisdom of God in creating a crisis in His universe.

We know the story in Genesis of Joseph and his brothers and how his brothers hated him.  They were jealous of the tremendous love their father Jacob had for him.  When the opportunity presented itself they sold Joseph to traveling Ishmaelites.  Next we see him being sold again in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials. Reading the complete story, you will note other events that happen to Joseph which to the natural man seem evil and cruel.  We see God’s wisdom all through the story.  Most important to note is that God’s wisdom was in each crisis that Joseph was brought into; the hand of God working in Joseph through each crisis.  We can read the story of Joseph’s life in thirty minutes or less; therein lays the problem. If we read too quickly we overlook the fact that many years pass between the crucial turning points in his life; there was something God was working towards. Note the phrase in Genesis 39:2, “The Lord was with Joseph and he prospered.” God prospered Joseph as Potiphar’s right hand man but when he was put in prison God continued to prosper and give him favor.  Prosper is a word the church has confused with wealth, some of the words in the dictionary to describe prosper are: to succeed, thrive, grow, etc. vigorously. God prospered Joseph with wisdom and favor.  Colossians 3:1-4 says, Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthy things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life appears, then you also will appear with Him in Glory.” I am sure the Holy Spirit will bring many more similar scriptures to your memory.  Genesis 41:39-40 says, “Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘Since God has made all this known to you, there is no one so discerning and wise as you. You shall be in charge of my palace, and all my people are to submit to your orders, only with respect to the throne will I be greater than you.’“  Unless we see God’s wisdom in every crisis, we will never see Christ, because CHRIST IS WISDOM. In Genesis 50:20 Joseph says to his brothers, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.”  With natural vision we would ask, where was God? After reading Joseph’s statement it becomes obvious God’s eternal wisdom was in total control. Here is a warning to the Body of Christ! We must be very careful how we view crisis when it happens to us personally, to a member of the Body of Christ, or anyone.  Joseph’s brothers sold him to get gain for themselves, but God used it for His Glory in bringing Joseph, his family and their servants into the blessing of His Glory and Wisdom. How important to have a discerning heart so as not to be deceived and influenced by a wrong spirit.
Look at the cross and see the wisdom of God in Christ.  God did not first think about our redemption when Adam fell from his position in God’s grace. Redemption was included IN the wisdom of God.  In the book of Acts 2:22-24 Peter says, “Men of  Israel, listen to this: Jesus of Nazareth was a man accredited by God to you by miracles, wonders and signs, which God did among you through Him, as you yourselves know.  This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge and you, with the help of wicked men, put Him to death by nailing Him to the cross.”  Once again we see how God in His divine eternal wisdom was in control of His Son’s death; using His chosen Jewish family who had rejected Him to fulfill His purpose.

Inspired by the Holy Spirit, Paul writes to us in I Corinthians 1:22-24, “Jews demand miraculous signs and Greek’s look for wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified a stumbling block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles.  But to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks Christ the Power of God and the Wisdom of God.” 1 Corinthians 2:2, “For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.”  Paul is letting them know that what he is preaching did not come through human intellect nor did it come through the wisdom of man.  What he is preaching is a person, Jesus Christ revealed in him and expressing Christ through him in every crisis he went through.  Colossians 1:15-16 reads, “He is the image of the invisible God, the first born over all creation, for by Him all things were created, things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities, all things were created by Him and for Him.”  The wisdom that created all things is in us and that wisdom in us has a purpose.  I Corinthians 2:7 reads, “We speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our Glory before time began.”

Our Lord came into this hostile world with only one all inclusive purpose and that was to glorify the Father.  Jesus said to Phillip in John 14:9-14, “Don’t you know me, Phillip, even after I have been among you such a long time? Anyone who has seen me has seen the Father. How can you say, show us the Father? Don’t you believe that I am in the Father, and that the Father is in me? The words I say to you are not just my own. Rather, it is the Father living in me, who is doing His work.” We have a destiny in God’s kingdom.  When we take every circumstance, trial or crisis and use it to glorify our Lord, we are glorifying the Father.  John 1:4, 5 says, “In Him was Life, and that Life was the Light of men. The Light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.”

Have you heard God’s people say ‘we are going to rule and reign with Christ’?  I ask you how can anyone rule and reign if he has not seen the King or His Kingdom.  The early church saw Him and His Kingdom, they had clear spiritual vision.   Today Christianity has so many things hindering spiritual growth.  Man appointed spiritual leaders have brought their traditions, false teaching, self centered Christianity; only looking out for number one.  This is completely the opposite of how our Lord lived and taught.  Jesus taught if we are going to be His disciples we must deny ourselves, take up our cross and follow Him; this is still for today.  If we honestly believe what scripture says in I Peter 2:9, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a Holy Nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His wonderful light.”  We must listen as he speaks in Isaiah 57:14-15, “Build up, build up, and prepare the road! Remove the obstacles out of the way of my people. For this is what the high and lofty one says – He who lives forever, whose name is Holy: I live in a high and holy place, but also with Him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.” Isaiah 43:6, 7 reads, “I will say to the north, give them up and to the south, do not hold them back.  Bring my sons from afar and my daughters from the ends of the earth.  Everyone who is called by My name, whom I created for My Glory, whom I formed and made.”

Jeremiah 22:13-16 gives us a warning, “Woe to him who builds his palace by unrighteousness, his upper rooms by injustice, making his countrymen work for nothing, not paying them for their labor. He says, ‘I will build myself a great palace with spacious upper rooms.  So he makes large windows in it, panels it with cedar and decorates it in red. “Does it make you a king to have more and more cedar?” Did not your father have food and drink? He did what was right and just, so all went well with him.  He defended the cause of the poor and needy and so all went well. Is that not what it means to know Me?” declares the Lord.”

I close with two scriptures;  Isaiah 9:6 declares, “A child is born, a son is given.”  Revelation 1:6, a King is made. Selah!
John Casarez

Wednesday, August 10, 2016


Jesus states in John 15:26,27, “When the counselor comes, whom I will send to you from the Father- the Spirit of Truth who goes out from the Father- He will testify about me. And you also must testify, for you have been with me from the beginning.”  John 16:5, “Now I am going to Him who sent me.”   There was one more step Jesus had to take in order to finish the work of redemption and return to the Father; the CROSS.  The cross was not avoidable, it was ordained. Acts 2:23,24 reads, “This man was handed over to you by God’s set purpose and foreknowledge; and you, with the help of wicked men, put him to death by nailing Him to the cross. But God raised him from the dead, freeing him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for death to keep its hold on him.”  As we continue with scripture we will understand the spiritual condition of the disciples before the cross and then by revealed knowledge appreciate the vital purpose of the Holy Spirit after the cross.

Let’s read so that the Holy Spirit can illuminate our understanding and be transformed by the power of God’s word. John 16:12-15 “I have much more to say to you, more than you can bear. But when He the Spirit of Truth comes He will guide you into all truth.  He will not speak on his own; He will speak only what He hears and He will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. All that belongs to the Father is mine that is why I said the Spirit will take from what is mine and make it known to you.”  Wow! What a statement of Truth.  Our Lord is saying that we can know all that belongs to Him.  Is it possible our Lord would tease us?  Do you think Jesus would say this to tempt us?  No, never!  Our heavenly Father loves us.  John 14:21 reads, “Whoever has my commands and obeys them He is the one who loves me.  He who loves me will be loved by my Father and I too will love him and show myself to him.”  I John 3:1 reads, “How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!”  That is who we are.

 I have met many Christians who are not seeking the things that have been freely given to us by the Father through Christ Jesus. I Corinthians 2:12 says, “We have not received the spirit of the world but the spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us.”  It pains me to say there are Christians looking to the things of this world to build their lives.  I Corinthians 3:13 reads, “His work will be shown for what it is, because the day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work.”

Jesus said the Holy Spirit will take from what is His and make it known to us.  John 17:22 reads, “I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one as we are one.”  According to this the first thing our Lord reveals is that He has given us His glory. What our Lord has given us is all that He has and all that He is.  The second part of verse 22 gives us the purpose of his glory, That they may be one as we are one.”  What a magnificent revelation.  Here’s where we see the great significance in our Lord’s crucifixion, resurrection and exaltation.  It is not possible to read this and not be moved to bow our heads and ask God to forgive us for allowing the enemy to deceive us into thinking that the world’s goods somehow are included in the glory of Christ. We need to be united to the Father, Son and Holy Spirit more than ever because of the world’s influence on Christianity.  This Unity in the Spirit cannot in anyway be produced by human wisdom, intelligence, force or strength.  It is supernatural and it flows out from God.  Romans 11:36 reads, “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to Him be the Glory forever Amen!!”

The Lord has given us this inexhaustible revelation of ’Unity in the Spirit’ to deliver to the church.  Once we, as Sons of God, know our place in the Kingdom of God, the Spirit of Truth will reveal to us how we will live in a world full of hate.  To qualify this our Lord makes a request to the Father in John 17:24, “Father, I want those you have given me to be with me where I am and to see my glory the glory you have given me because you have loved me before the creation of the world.”  The answer to that request is in Ephesians 2:6, “And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the Heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.”  Not only does the Holy Spirit reveal to us our place, but our destiny as mentioned in Romans 8:17, “Now if we are children, then we are heirs – heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in His sufferings in order that we may also share in His glory.”  The last part of this scripture gives us a little insight to the process we must all go through.

 John 14:27, Peace, I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”  We are learning what we have received and who we are in Christ.  Jesus demonstrated this peace as He walked through this world in total control of the spirit of death and darkness.  This peace is the result of knowing that God is in control of everything in His creation.  All who receive Him according to John 15:9-13 receive what comes with Him, “As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you.  Now remain in my love.  If you obey my commands you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Fathers commands and remain in His love.  I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be complete.  My command is this:  Love each other as I have loved you.  Greater love has no one than this that he lay down his life for his friends.”  Is it not amazing how our Lord is revealing all this just as He said the Spirit of Truth would do?  Consider this, Jesus is talking to His disciples knowing He is about to lay down His life, resurrect and ascend to the Father.  Contrast Jesus’ stance to his disciples. Peter denied our Lord three times after He was arrested according to John 18:17,25,27.  Thomas says in John 20:25, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.”  Another passage in Mark 16:1 reads, “When the Passover was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Salome brought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus’ body.”  Now if they had believed what Jesus had told them that on the third day He would resurrect, I ask you what were they dong?  Did these disciples of Jesus really believe?  The point I want to make is that there are two types of knowledge; one is mere head knowledge which will not help us when the trials come and the other is revelation by the Holy Spirit. Selah!!

The Apostle Paul, by the Holy Spirit, wrote in 1 Corinthians 2:2,5,7,9,10, (2) “For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. (5) So that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power. (7) No, we speak of God’s secret wisdom, a wisdom that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. (9) However, as it is written, “No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love Him, (10) But God has revealed it to us by His Spirit. The spirit searches all things even the deep things of God.”  Amazing isn’t it, that we have received the Spirit of the Son according to Galatians 4:6, “Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts….”  We have been given the spiritual ability, right and privilege to know the deep things of God. If we have received the Spirit of the Son, we have received the faith of the Son like it says in Galatians 2:20, “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I live in the body I live by the faith of the son of God.” (KJ) 

I believe it’s time we stop looking to man, to be delivered from all the chaos in this world and see that we have already been delivered in Christ Jesus.  It is time we ask God to remove the cataracts of religious traditions and remove the hidden idols in our hearts by a revelation of Jesus Christ.  One final word in Colossians 3:1, “Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God.” 

To make our standing
The result of conduct
Instead of conduct
The result of our standing
Is a grievous error.
(Author unknown)

John Casarez