Sharpen Your Axe — Prophet Tony Mathias

Abraham Lincoln said: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four hours sharpening the axe”

This is what I plan to do with this teaching – To show that you are God’s battle Axe [skills, talents, abilities, gifts, resources].

He is waiting to use you: He can only do so to the extent you are sharp and cutting edge. No one, not even God Himself will sharpen your axe for you. You have to do it for yourself. And when that is done you will be able to complete the work God gave you.

Two key scriptures I have selected here are: Jeremiah 51:20 & Ecclesiastes 10:10.
NLT Jeremiah 51:20 “You are my battle-axe and sword says the LORD. “With you I will shatter nations and destroy many kingdoms.” Ecclesiastes 10:10

If you don’t sharpen your axe, it will be harder to use. If you’re smart, you’ll know what to do.

A young strong and energetic wood-cutter was employed by a timber merchant. His assignment was to pull down trees. Given a good salary, good work-conditions and a strong axe he was determined to do his best. The First Day he brought down 15 trees and was congratulated by his boss- “Congratulations,” said the boss. “Carry on the good your work you are doing!”

The Second Day he worked harder remembering the encouraging words of his boss but was able to pull down only 10 trees despite his hard work.

The Third Day was even worse – He brought down just 7 trees though he worked much harder this time. Day after day lesser trees were brought down – He wondered why? He said to himself: “Am I losing my strength?” Plucking up courage – He approached his boss and apologized, saying: -“I do not understand what is going on. Day by day I am bringing down lesser number of trees though I work harder each day

The Boss replied: “When was the last time you sharpened your axe?”

“Sharpen? – I had no time to sharpen my axe. I have been so busy trying to cut trees…” A boxing match may last ten minutes. But preparation time for the event in sharpening boxing skills may take weeks. Preparation is the key ingredient to success

You Are God’s Battle-Axe Jeremiah 51:20

“You are my battle-ax and sword says the LORD. “With you I will shatter nations and destroy many kingdoms.”

What a privilege and honor to be God’s Battle-Axe! Are You God’s Battle Axe? This world is a battlefield. God is calling us to spiritual warfare. Ephesians 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood….” Because we are His battle axe to destroy the kingdom of darkness and establish the Kingdom of God in the hearts of man, we must be a sharp battle axe in the Lord’s hand. *

Signs Of A Dull Axe – Ecclesiastes 10:10 “If you don’t sharpen your axe it is harder to use; if you’re smart, you’ll know what to do.” It is pathetic to see one begin and end as a clerk in an organization. Perhaps he has little vision and motivation for arriving at the top. It is false security to only feel fulfilled at work, comfortable with colleagues, boss, and the company. Such people would never think of pushing themselves out of their comfort zone? One imminent danger! Complacency can derail your career.

If you are not cutting-edge, God cannot use you mightily. He will use you in proportion – The job you handle may include management of the home, finance, business, working in an establishment and so on. But wherever you are, you will portray signs of a sharp or dull axe. A dull rusty axe will show a mediocre person not willing to do his best; not interested in updating his field and industry; not seizing his God-given opportunities; no zeal; complacency, content to live life the way it is, non-repentant, no vision, no goals, no zeal for the Kingdom of God. Most never update, never improve their skills. They think what they have learned is good enough – not so! Good is the enemy of better. They become dull of hearing Hebrews 5:11 when they refuse to renew their minds holding on to their own mindsets and not taking on the mindset of the Lord.

Those that are dull of hearing are un-teachable, because they have no desire to listen and that can lead to hardness of heart. [Pharaoh had a hardened heart, he was un-teachable]. They must rise from doing good to doing better. It is our attitude [mindset] that determines our altitude. Sharpening our skills from time to time is the key to success. Many are busybodies who have forgotten the value of rest – they become burnouts or misfits. They need to rest in-between: Even the Lord himself went to sleep in the boat – Jesus “Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while” Mark 6:31

Psalmist says: “Be still and know that I am God. Psalms 46:10. 

Isaiah 40:31 “They that wait upon the LORD shall renew their strength…”

John Milton: “They also serve who only stand and wait!”

William Henry Davies: “What is this life so full of care we have no time to stand and stare”

Work became toilsome after Adam and Eve disobeyed God and sin entered the world. Sin and disobedience to God’s Word, make the “axe” dull and rusty. Therefore we must hide God’s Word in us Psalms 119:11.

Satan’s goal is that we lose our cutting edge and become ineffective witnesses for our Lord Jesus. He makes efforts to keep us constantly busy with other things and even in our secular work – so that we do not have intimacy with God. But God, on the other hand, has a way of sharpening dull Christians if we only return to where we lost our cutting edge reach out and reclaim it!

*Does Your Axe Need Sharpening? Do you feel you have lost your cutting – edge? Has your axe become dull?

You once had a great desire to read Christian books, attend seminars and conferences, hear Christian videotapes, attend gospel crusades, intercede, fast and pray meditate and evangelize and win souls, but it does not seem so now. Has more of the world come in? Has zeal for the house of the Lord diminished?

Are you a spectator at Church and not a participant? Have you made it a practice to keep sinning? Are you a busybody? [No time for God] Then you need to sharpen your axe.

*How to Sharpen Your Axe?

Acknowledge Lordship of Jesus Christ “Acknowledge Jesus Christ in your heart as Lord. If anyone asks why you do so, be ready to tell him, gently and respectfully.” 1 Peter 3:15. Take time to cultivate relationship, friendship and intimacy with God. Acknowledge God’s Word “For the word of God is active and alive sharper than…” Hebrews 4:12 Take time to cultivate intimacy with his Word.

The Bible shows you how – Seek his Kingdom and his Righteousness Matthew 6:33.

We need to judicially read and understand worldviews so that in that context we are able to reply according to God’s Word the reason for our hope in this hopeless world.

Be His Mouthpiece When the Word of God is rich in us, we will be a sharp axe in His hands.

We need to be His mouth-piece as ministers of reconciliation, while we seek his Kingdom and righteousness Hebrews 4:12; 2 Corinthians 5:18; Matthew 6:33

The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him that is weary: Isaiah 50:4

We are God’s Battle-Axe in his hands. We must ensure we are cutting-edge and not dull so that he can profitably use us in the battlefield.

If we don’t sharpen our axe [ourselves] it will be harder to use.

Complacency will not only derail our career but also calling, place and function in the Body of Christ which is an organism rather than an organization.

Sharpening our skills from time to time is the key to success. We are always in need of sharpening.

We sharpen our axe by:

  • Acknowledging Jesus Christ as our Lord [He owns us]
  • Acknowledging God’s Word
  • Seeking God’s Kingdom and His Righteousness
  • Becoming His mouth-piece

Reservoir of God’s Power — Prophet Tony Mathias

If anyone would tell you the shortest, surest way to all happiness and all perfection, he must tell you to make a rule to yourself to thank and praise God for everything that happens to you. It is certain that whatever seeming calamity happens to you, if you thank and praise God for it, you turn it into a blessing.

~ William Law, A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life

Parents will do more for their children when thanked. Can you imagine what God will do when we thank and praise Him Matthew 7:11; Luke 11:13.

As God’s children, we have just skimmed the surface. We are yet to tap the unlimited power of praise. There is much in God’s Word about praise.

Ephesians 1:6, 12. God created man to fellowship with him and praise him for his extraordinary greatness. We cannot repay God for what he has done for us. And that is all the more reason to praise Him. Yet we often petition rather than praise Him. How wonderful it would be if we could just praise and worship Him more often without any petitioning. That kind of praise certainly touches his heart.

“God, why did you let this happen to me?” Jesus tells us in John 10:10 that Satan comes to steal kill and destroy but He came to give us abundant life. Without faith it is impossible to please God. Hebrews 11:6. We hear of people complaining and blaming God for their problems when He is their way out. And when they do that it hinders their faith and He is unable to help them. Could that be you?

God, in fact, gets us out of trouble instead of putting us in trouble. We must have an attitude of gratitude, then we will experience deliverance in the worst of circumstances.

God says in His Word: “In all circumstances in every situation give thanks, for this is the will of God.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18.

Praise will turn circumstances around however impossible they look. No matter how high the mountain or black the sky – the mountain will crumble and darkness will turn to day.

The impossible will become possible. Mark 9:23. When we praise Him His blessing will overtake us.

David who wrote many psalms discovered at a young age the secret of praising God and he became a friend of God. When he played in praise unto God it brought anointing down and demons fled 1 Samuel 16:23, so could we. He says in Psalms 34 “I will bless the Lord at all times; his praise shall continually dwell in my mouth.” It was praise, not grumbling or complaining. He was a man of God’s heart even though he fell in sin because he was quick to repent and praise Acts13:22.

Someone aptly said: “When you wake up in the morning to the smell of breakfast cooking, what do you do? – run to the breakfast table! God’s Word says our prayers rise to him as a sweet smelling aroma Revelation 5:8; 8:3-4. Imagine what happens when God smells that aroma of your prayer of praise? – Praising God helps you tap into the reservoir of God’s power that never runs dry. Psalms 34:2-3; Psalms 100.

Listen to his Word that says: “In the midst of everything give praise and honor to God.” Habakkuk 3:17; 1 Thessalonians 5:18

‘When you do that He will deliver you from your fears and troubles. Psalms 34:4, 17, 19. He will deliver you when you praise Him.

Apostle Paul lived a life of praise which is noticed in how he begins or ends his epistles with praise and thanksgiving so must we if we want to tap into God’s reservoir of power.

Anyone can praise God if all is well but Paul’s did it when even when things went bad 2 Corinthians 11:23-28; Acts 16:25. You don’t hear him complaining or grumbling.

In fact, he and Silas were singing and praising God loudly in prison and what was the result? – Walls shook and people were set free. Praise will shake things. It will put things in order in your life and cause what you don’t need or are hindering you to fall away.

We need to praise and thank God despite difficulties and circumstances. Paul and Silas didn’t murmur and complain.

They sang praises to God aloud. Whatever you need begin to praise the Lord in faith and it will come, things will happen for you through your praise.

When you call those things that are not as though they were praising and thanking God for it, you will see it manifest Romans 4:17.

For that is your faith speaking it forth before manifestation.

Release this reservoir of power through praise and be blessed!

Principles of Praise — Jyoti Samudre

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TYPES OF PRAISE

1. HALLAL (haw-lal’)

Halal is the primary Hebrew root word for praise.

The commonly used word “hallelujah” comes from this root word.

Halal means “to be clear, to shine, to boast, to rave, to show, celebrate, to be clamorously foolish.”

Scriptures

  • Psalm 113:1-3 Praise (hallal) ye the Lord, praise (hallal) o ye servants of the Lord, praise (hallal) the name of the Lord.
  • Psalm 150:1 Praise (hallal) the Lord! Praise (hallal) God in His sanctuary; Praise (hallal) Him in His mighty expanse.
  • Psalm 149:3 Let them praise (hallal) His name in the dance: let them sing praises with the timbrel and harp.

2. YADAH (yaw-daw)


To worship with the extended hand
.

The giving of oneself in worship and adoration.

To lift your hands unto the Lord.

The opposite meaning is “to bemoan, the wringing of the hands.”

 

 

 

Scriptures

  • 2 Chronicles 20:21 Give thanks (yadah) to the Lord, for His lovingkindness is everlasting.
  • Psalm 63:1 So I will bless thee as long as I live; I will (yadah) lift up my hands in Thy name.
  • Psalm 107:15 Oh that men would praise (yadah) the Lord for His goodness, and for His wonderful works to the children of men.


3. TOWDAH (to-daw)

The Praise of Faith

By way of application, it is apparent in the Psalms and elsewhere that it is used for thanking God for “things not yet received” as well as things already at hand ‘yadah’.

This word is commonly found in connection with sacrifice-applying the giving of thanks or praise as a sacrifice before manifestation. Thanking God for something that I don’t have in the natural. Agreeing with His Wordfaith in His Word. This form of praise goes in operation just because His Word is true. “Father, I thank YOU that YOUR WORD is TRUE”.

The carnal mind would fight and ridicule this particular action, but there is great faith in TOWDAH as praise.

The lifting of the hand symbolizes agreement. The right hand symbolizes my covenant with my Father. As I go through the scriptures, God is seen extending His Right Hand to me. That’s the covenant. When He extends His right hand to me, He’s saying to me – ALL THAT I AM IS YOURS, and when I extend my right hand to Him, I am saying “All that I am is yours and I agree with what You’re saying.

It is the sacrifice that God honors by His performing of miracles.

The ATTITUDE for TOWDAH is: I’m thanking God. I’m agreeing with God that it is as He says. I don’t care what it looks like. I’m agreeing with what His Word says.
Example: Father, I thank You that I am healed.

Scriptures

  • Psalm 42:4 When I remember these things, I pour out my soul within me. For I used to go with the multitude; I went with them to the house of God, With the voice of joy and praise (to-daw), With a multitude that kept a pilgrim feast.
  • Psalm 50:14 Offer unto God praise (towdah) and pay thy vows unto the Most High.
  • Psalm 50:23 Whoso offereth praise (towdah) glorifieth Me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God.

4. SHABACH (shaw-bakh)

To address in a loud tone, a loud adoration, a shout!

Proclaim with a loud voice, unashamed, the GLORY, TRIUMPH, POWER, MERCY, LOVE OF GOD.

This word implies that testimony is praise.

The phrase “shout unto the Lord” can be understood as the action of SHABACH.

It is not just being loud. You should have the attitude of putting your whole being into it, an attitude of being totally uninhibited.

Scriptures

  • Joshua 6:20 So the people shouted when the priests blew the trumpets. And it happened when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat.
  • Psalm 47:1 O clap your hands, all peoples; shout (shabach) to God with the voice of joy (or triumph).
  • Psalm 145:4 One generation shall praise (shabach) Thy works to another and declare Thy mighty acts.
  • Isaiah 12:6 Cry aloud and shout (shabach) for joy, O inhabitant of Zion, For great in your midst is the Holy One of Israel.

5. BARAK (baw-rak)

Means “to kneel down, to bless God as an act of adoration, to salute.

To give reverence to God as an act of adoration.

It implies to continual conscious giving place to God. Blessing the Lord, extolling virtue.

There is a sense of kneeling and blessing God as an act of adoration in the word BARAK.

Physical application – To bow, kneel or to do this with the intent in my heart that He is my KING and I yield to HIM. I am acknowledging Him as KING and GOD.

Scriptures

  • Psalm 103 tells us how to bless the Lord and then goes on to enumerate those blessings: loving kindness, satisfaction redemption, honor, renewal. We bless the Lord by remembering all of these things.
  • Psalm 95:6 O come let us worship and bow down; let us kneel (barak) before the Lord our Maker.
  • 1Chronicles 29:20 Then David said to all the assembly, “Now bless (barak) the Lord your God.” And all the assembly blessed (barak) the Lord, the God of their fathers, and bowed low and did homage to the Lord and to the king.
  • Psalm 34:1 I will bless (barak) the Lord at all times; His praise shall continually be in my mouth.

6. ZAMAR (zaw-mar’)

Means “to pluck the strings of an instrument, to sing, to praise”.

A musical word which is largely involved with joyful expressions of music with musical instruments in praise to God.

 

 

Scriptures

  • Psalm 92:1 It is good to give thanks to the LORD, and to sing praises (zawmar) to Your Name O Most High
  • Psalm 150 Sing praises
  • Psalm 21:13 Be exalted O Lord, in Thine own strength, so will we sing and praise (zamar) Thy power.
  • 1 Chronicles 16:9 Sing to Him, sing praises (zamar) to Him; speak of all His wonders.
  • Psalm 57:8-9 Awake my glory; awake harp and lyre, I will awaken the dawn! I will give thanks (yadah)to Thee, O Lord among the peoples; I will sing praises (zamar) to Thee among the nations.

7. TEHILLAH (tehhil-law)

It is derived from the word halal and means “the singing of halals, to sing or to laud; perceived to involve music, especially singing; hymns of the Spirit or praise.”

A spontaneous new song. Singing from a melody in your heart by adding words to it.

This refers to a special kind of singing-it is singing unprepared, unrehearsed songs.

Brings tremendous unity to the body of Christ. Singing straight to God. Can move into tehilah anytime. Singing it the second time would be ZAMAR. It is the praise that God inhabits (sits enthroned on) (Psalm 22:3) God manifests Himself in the midst of exuberant singing.

Scriptures

  • Psalm 22:3 Yet Thou art holy, O Thou who art enthroned upon the praises (tehillah) of Israel.
  • Isaiah 61:3 To grant to those who mourn in Zion, Giving them a garland instead of ashes, The oil of gladness instead of mourning, The mantle of praise (tehillah) instead of the spirit of fainting, So they shall be called oaks of righteousness, The planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.
  • Psalm 149:1 Praise the LORD. Sing to the Lord a new song and His praises (teh-hil-law) in the congregation of saints

8. Karar (Dance)

We should dance before the Lord as King David did in the Bible.

Scriptures

  • Psalm 149:3 Let them praise (halal) His name with the dance; Let them sing praises (zamar) to Him with the timbrel and harp.
  • Psalm 150:4 Praise (halal) Him with the timbrel and dance; Praise Him with stringed instruments and flutes!

Holiness — Prophet Tony Mathias

God’s people are made in His likeness and image. We as God’s people are called to display a quality of His nature which is holiness for as He is so are we in this world. Hebrews 12 tells us that it is God’s desire that we should pursue ‘peace and share in His holiness’ without which no one will see God. Holiness and peace are connected. Without them, no one will see God. Our aim – Live in peace and holiness.

Holiness is like Marriage
Holiness unto God is two-fold: separation from the world and joined to the Lord.

In marriage, a husband and wife “forsake all others and cleave to each other.” The principle of leave and cleave. The husband – wife separate from others and cleave to each other. If they don’t cheat each other – good, but if they are not intimate with each other, that is only half-marriage. Intimacy makes married life enjoyable.

Many think Holiness is separation from the world and sin, but they forget the other part – intimacy with God. That’s how some Christians are – only half relationship with God. Abstaining from sin opens one up to God. Intimacy with God makes holiness enjoyable

A sinful life turns one away from God, and relationship with Him suffers. Most people fall into sin because they love sin – they are not leaving sin and cleaving to God in intimacy. This is why we must cultivate a relationship with God – how? – Meditation, prayer, fellowship, winning souls, producing good fruit. When you do this constantly you will not be drawn to sin, but you will draw close to God.

Without holiness, no one will see the Lord. That means Holiness enables you to see God. Holiness opens your eyes to see God’s goodness and how bad worldliness is.

There was a man who was given a very precious and expensive bowl, but he did not know what it was to be used for, so he used it as an ashtray. This is what happens when Christians easily fall into sin. They feel that since no one is perfect and God is very forgiving, they can continue to sin. Wrong! They are misusing grace meant to help them live a holy life.

Jude 4 warns us of godless men, who misuse grace as a license to live an immoral life and deny Jesus Christ the Sovereign Lord. You can use the grace of God to “say no to ungodliness” or misuse it to say “yes to immorality”

Someone writes: ‘In my senior year of high school there was a substitute teacher who began to talk about Jesus. I was excited to hear her because I had become a believer. A student asked her, “Is it alright to have drugs and still be a Christian?”
The teacher’s reply shocked everyone, “Of course, in fact, I smoke drugs. You see, it doesn’t matter what you do, it only matters what you believe. So as long as you believe in Jesus, you will be saved, even if you do things that seem wrong.” – Now, this kind of teaching is bad – it denies Biblical truth!

Another asked, “Do you need to make Jesus Lord to be saved, or can He just be your Savior and not your Lord? – He needs to be both Savior and Lord.

Romans 10:9“That if you confess with your mouth, ‘Jesus is Lord,’…you will be saved.” Jesus must be your Lord in order to be your Savior. He will not be your Savior if He is not your Lord.

Hebrews 12:15 says, “See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and ruin many.”

When a person pursues holiness, he sees his own weakness; therefore he is patient with others when they hurt him. A person, who is bitter towards another, is not grateful to God for his own forgiveness. – Bitterness causes believers to fall away from God. They stop going to church because they have to meet a certain member who has hurt them. When you understand the high price Jesus paid to forgive you, you will be grateful for His mercy towards you and quick to forgive

Salvation is like a coal. Holiness is like a diamond. Through pressure coal can turn into a diamond so can you godly discipline and pressure, become holy. Do not be satisfied simply with being saved, desire holiness as well.

“You shall be holy, for I the Lord your God am holy” Leviticus 19:2; 1 Peter 1:15-16 – A repeated command throughout the Bible. Holiness is compulsory, not optional. It is God’s Will that we should live a holy life and learn to do so.

Every child of God who knows Jesus Christ personally wants to please Him. He does not want to indulge in sinful acts like – sexual immorality, idolatry witchcraft; hatred, jealousy, rage, drunkenness, cheating…he knows that such people will not inherit Kingdom of God. He knows God is pleased with a holy life. Galatians 5:19-21; 1 Corinthians 6:8-10.

Hebrews 12:14 “Make every effort to live in peace with all men and to be holy; without holiness no one will see the Lord.” – Without Holiness you cannot see the Lord,

Holiness proceeds inside, out; not outside, in. It has nothing to do with your dress code or eating habits.

How then can live a holy and peaceful life? – Four things: Indwelling Spirit, Word of God, Blood of Jesus; Tongue

1. The Holy Spirit
The indwelling Spirit of holiness helps us live in holiness, without Him we can’t “Be renewed in the spirit of your mind.” Holy Spirit renews our mind. Ephesians 4:23. God lives in us. We are God’s temple set apart unto Him.
2 Thessalonians 2:13; 1 Corinthians 6:19 That is holiness!

God told Jeremiah He had set him apart right from his mother’s womb Jeremiah 1:5. We too are set us apart unto God and His work. That is holiness!
In fact, we need to discover our destiny even as Jesus did: Proverbs 40:7-8; John 4:34

2. The Word of God
Paul says, “Be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” Romans 12:2.

The Spirit of God transforms us making us holy through the Word of God. Unless you put God’s Word in your heart He has nothing to work with. The Spirit works with the Word to produce Holiness. It is our responsibility to meditate on God’s Word daily so He can use that Word and transform us. Joshua 1:8; Psalms 1.
We must declare what the Word says, acknowledge the Holy Spirit who lives in us and does His work in us.

3. The Blood
Jesus Christ makes us holy by His blood. Hebrews 13:12
Jesus shed His blood to redeem cleanse make us holy, set us apart unto God 1 John 1:7-9. “If we walk in the light as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus Christ His Son cleanses us from all sin…”
We are separated unto God, made holy and set apart by the Blood of Jesus. We need to declare what the Word says what the Blood does!

4. The Tongue
The tongue is like the rudder of a ship; it charts the path for our life. James 3:4-6.
What you say is what you get! Mark 11:23.

And you always say what is in your heart, from the abundance of the heart…Matthew 12:34. As a man thinks in his heart so is he! Proverbs 23:7.
‘‘No Mind Change- No Life Change.”
Death and life are in the power of the tongue Proverbs 18:21.
You release holiness or unholiness by your tongue –
Is your tongue holy? Are you walking in holiness? – Let your walk match your talk.

Many people think Holiness is a set of rules to obey.
You say to yourself, ―I must not lose my temper, I must not lose my temper, I must not lose my temper. What is the next thing you do? You lose your temper. Why?
Because you focused on the wrong thing – what you don’t want. ‘Not to lose your temper.’ And what you focus on you get.

Actually, you want to be calm and peaceful. Focus on that. Focus on what you want not what you don’t want. ‘Whatever things you desire when…’ You want holiness – focus on holiness!

For example, you notice you are angry, poor, a single, not walking in holiness and so on and you voice that. It is right to acknowledge and then repent! Next, how should you pray? Here your tongue is again involved. Call those things that are not as though they were Romans 4:17

You can say: “With the help of the Holy Spirit I am calm and peaceful; I am rich; I am married to the divine select; I am walking in holiness. Now watch the results – The Lord will help you. What you say you get!

Conclusion:
God is Holy. He wants us to live in peace and holiness – leave sin and cleave to Him. How can we live this life of peace and holiness?

By taking four steps:

1. Call upon the Holy Spirit;
2. Meditate on God’s Word;
3. Plead the Blood of Jesus;
4. Use Your Tongue Wisely

Angels Protect — Prophet Tony Mathias

People may doubt the existence of angels, but God’s Word is clear about their existence. There are heavenly beings assigned to Believers waiting for them to give them daily assignments. Hebrews 1:14 says angels are “ministering” spirits sent to minister to the heirs of salvation. Who are these heirs? You and me! Angels are part of God’s covenant promise of divine protection for us who believe in Him; however, it takes faith to activate angelic power in your life. I am a witness to the realm of angels, one of them being, receiving a mandate from the Lord through the Angel 0f Prophets to begin the school of the prophets – which gave birth to the ‘Eagle Vision School 0f Prophets International.’

Psalms 103:20 says, “Bless the Lord, ye his angels that excel in strength, that do his commandments, hearkening unto the voice of his word. Bless ye the Lord, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his that do his pleasure.” One of the keys to releasing angels in your life is to speak the Word of God because they hearken to the voice of God’s Word. They will not work on your behalf until you speak the Word of God.

The Bible says in Psalms 91:11, 12 “For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways. They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.” God has made provision for your divine protection. It is part of your covenantal right as a Christian. All you have to do is: receive it by faith and instruct your angels on a daily basis.

In Daniel 3, God sent angels to rescue three young men from a fiery furnace—Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego—because they trusted God and refused to bow down to another god. Because of their faith in God and His protection, the eyes of their persecutors were opened, and the king of the land had no option but acknowledge the God of Israel. Daniel 3:28 God sends angels to protect His servants. Here are some keys to activate angelic protection.

TRUST: When you are truly committed, your trust is empowered. When you trust God despite prevailing troubling circumstances, you demonstrate that commitment to Him. And that kind of trust will enable you to release your angels with confidence Psalms 34:7. God, on the other hand, is committed to those who believe His Word Luke 1:45, Matthew 18:10. You have to believe God will protect you and angels will carry out this aspect of your salvation at your command.

SERVICE: Being in service to God and His Kingdom motivates angelic protection Psalms 91:11

PRAYER: Prayer will release angels on your behalf Matthew 26:51-53. Jesus said God would have sent twelve legions of angels to His rescue had He prayed for them.

NAME OF JESUS: Angels will hearken to us when we call upon His Name Hebrews 1:6

COMMAND (Instruct) – You have to instruct your angels and give them assignments before they can work for you. You will receive their assistance when you speak the Word of God Psalms 103:20 – for they hearken to the voice of His Word upon our lips.

Get your angels involved in your protection and walk free from all kinds of fear daily.

Nuggets of Wisdom (From A Man Named AGUR) — Rachel Mathias

Agur the son of Jakeh is a Bible Character found in the Book of Proverbs Chapter 30, better known as Agur Bin Jakeh. The word Agur means ‘one who is brave in pursuit of wisdom’.

We can glean several prized nuggets from this chapter in verses 5 to 9 such as:
God’s Word is true and flawless, all else a falsehood. God always keeps His promises. We are not to add to His Words. He understood what it meant to live a life of contentment and the paradox of poverty and riches – wherein asking for poverty might lead to stealing or speaking evil against God or asking for riches that might lead to being full of himself and denying God. So he asked neither for poverty nor for riches but only for his daily bread.

Agur understood the significance of the Book of Proverbs which displays the need for God’s Wisdom to be found only in God’s Word that teaches you how to live well; the need to be open to hearing God, receiving His Wisdom through His Word recorded in the Bible.

We are told in 2 Chronicles 1:7, 10, how God was willing to give Solomon whatever he asked for and how Solomon opted for ‘wisdom and knowledge’ to govern and lead His people rather than riches, fame, honor, long life, and victory. Not – surprisingly, he received what he asked inclusive of great wealth (vs 12).

Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding. Proverbs 4:7. We need to start with wisdom, add to it knowledge, and we will get true understanding.

Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus I come before you today with a humble heart bowing down before you in worship. I ask you to fill me with the spirit of wisdom, knowledge, and understanding of Your Word.

Oh, how I long to be in Your presence. Speak to me words of wisdom through Your Word. Lord help me to be both hearer and doer of Your Word. Since the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom help me obey Your Word in fear and reverence; that Your Word would guide me to live a holy and peaceful life in Christ Jesus. Amen!

The Manifestation of the Sons of God — Shane Picardo

“For all creation waits in eager expectation for the manifestation of the sons of God.” (Romans 8:19)

Not everyone who calls themselves as a ‘child of God’ here on earth are truly recognized in heaven as a son or daughter of God. I believe there’s a difference between boasting- “I know God” and knowing that- “He knows you”. So as His child, He probably looks at you, beckons one of the angels and says, “See, that’s my beloved son/daughter there.” Because the Lord knows those that are His children.

Let me tell you a story:

Many years ago, a well-known ‘man of God’ went to visit a king. He managed to make it to the castle and reach the throne room. The king being busy with some work gave this man of God 10 minutes to speak. Meanwhile his 5-year-old son, whom he loved the most, just walks in with tear filled eyes holding a toy in his hand- “Daddy my favorite toy just broke while I was playing. Can you fix it?” The king then picks up his son, puts him on his lap and starts fixing the toy by putting its parts in order. After it was done, his son gave him a kiss & went to his room rejoicing.

The king looking at the clock, told the man of God, “You have 5 minutes left. My son took the other 5 minutes”.

If this scenario could be true with the king and his son, how much more would our Heavenly Father do for us as His children when we cry out “Abba! My Father!” It is the same when you walk in relationship with God. When you gaze upon the genealogy of Jesus in Luke 3:23 onwards, at the end you see it being stated that Adam was the son of God. In Matthew 6:9 and Matthew 23:9, Jesus Himself urges us to address God as “Father”.

Even though many of us believers have been prodigal, He has drawn us back to Him through His Son Jesus Christ. We should never forget that Jesus is not only our Lord and Saviour but also our big brother, seated at the right hand of Daddy, interceding and praying for us.

Daughters of God like Wendy Alec, Heidi Baker, late Kathryn Kuhlman and so on, have impacted the world through television and great revivals, healings, signs, wonders, and miracles by virtue of their relationship with God with no backup of titles.

Let me give an example. The great revivalist Kathryn Kuhlman stunned the world by mighty works of healings, signs wonders, and miracles, performed by God through her. Stadiums were jam packed with people just to hear her preach and experience the tangible presence of God she carried. And yet humble enough, to state: “I am neither a Prophet nor some Apostle.” God needs “yielded vessels.” She knew who she was in Christ. You too should let the world know you as a son or daughter of the Most-High God.
“And if we are His children then we are His heirs also; heirs of God and joint-heirs with Christ.” (Romans 8:17)

Your rights and privileges as heirs of God:

• Knowing that God is your Father, you have direct access to visit His throne and to spend time with Him.
• You are qualified to do the things Jesus did, and even greater works…John 14:12
• As the Father’s prince or princess, you have been given power and authority as co-builders with Christ to expand and build His Kingdom on earth. 1 Corinthians 3:9
• In prayer, to exercise dominion and take over uncharted territories of the enemy here on earth and to uproot and tear down all that the enemy has planted against God’s Kingdom.
• Unlimited access to heaven’s resources.

So how do you walk in authority and exercise your rights as a son of God?

Here is the key- “For all those who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God.” (Romans 8:14). To be totally led by the Holy Spirit requires being continually filled with Him. Peter who was ‘filled with the Holy Spirit’ preached to onlookers at the day of Pentecost and saved 3000 people (Acts 2:41). He was able to perform the instant healing of a lame beggar at the temple gate (Acts 3:1-10).

Another instance to cite is where people used to wait on the streets for Peter to pass by in the hope that his shadow would fall on them and they would be healed. (Acts 5:15) The same Holy Spirit who anointed Peter, John, Paul is also available to us!

The scripture in Romans 8:19 says that ‘creation awaits eagerly’ for the sons of God to be manifested. This is because the creation has been under the curse, bondage, death, and witnessed a lot of evil from the kingdom of darkness since the fall of Adam. It silently moans and wails for the Kingdom of God to be made manifest through the sons and daughters of God.

The scripture states, “For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself will be set free from its bondage to corruption and obtain the freedom of the glory of the children of God.” (Romans 8:20-21)

“Having canceled the record of charges against us, which stood against us and condemned us; has taken it away nailing it to the cross. And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.” (Colossians 2:14-15)

Satan’s status today: Defeated, Disarmed, Deprived of his authority.

To the reader of my article, I just want to ask you, how is your relationship with God?

In prayer, do you use words like- “Dad I love you.” “You’re special.” “I’m blessed to have you in my life.” “Let’s spend some time together in fellowship.” “I want to sit with you.” “Wrap your arms around me.” “I want to know what’s in your heart.” “I want to be like you.” “Let’s talk” and so on or do you always keep on asking, asking and asking for God to fulfill your every wish?

The scripture is very clear, “Delight yourself in the Lord & He will give you the desires of your heart.” (Psalms 37:4)

If you have Him, you have everything, but without Him, you are nothing.

When you know your Father is smiling at you, you can face the world! And it’s time to face the world. It’s time to walk in the power and authority given to us by the Most High! It’s time to reveal heaven on earth. Revival begins with you. So are you ready? Put down religion, put down traditions, put down rituals and start having a relationship with Daddy. I’m telling you, it will be worth it!

Stay Blessed!

– Shane Picardo

Keys to Overcoming Discouragement — Dr. Jonathan D’Souza

Definition of Discouragement: ‘a loss of confidence, or enthusiasm, or dispiritedness’.

I am certain that every individual has faced some form of discouragement during this wonderful journey called life. Discouragement can drain you of all motivation and make you give up on your dreams/goals. We live in a time where true success needs perseverance. Let’s take the story of the famous scientist Thomas Edison (the inventor of the incandescent light bulb).

In a 1910 biography, Edison’s friend and associate Walter S. Mallory said:

Thomas Edison 10,000 ways something won't work‘’Isn’t it a shame that with the tremendous amount of work you have done you haven’t been able to get any results?’ Edison turned on me like a flash, and with a smile replied: ‘Results! Why, man, I have gotten lots of results! I know several thousand things that won’t work!

Persistence is an outdated concept in our daily routine that is ‘instant-oriented’. Instant coffee, 2 min noodles, next day delivery etc. However, discouragement is the biggest killer of persistence.

overcome discouragementLet’s see a lovely example from the Holy Bible in Haggai 2:1-9. Here is a prophetic word given by God through His prophet Haggai to His people involved in the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple. The foundation of the temple was laid approximately 15 years before, but the project was shelved. In response to Haggai’s word, the leader and people commenced rebuilding of the Temple. In Haggai 2:1-9 we discover that God encourages his discouraged people to persevere in His work.

What touched me personally while reading this passage is that God—the Almighty, Lord of Hosts, all Powerful One—cares about His people being discouraged. What an understanding God!

There are 5 major causes of discouragement:

1. Loss of initial enthusiasm
Whenever we launch a project, we begin at 100%. But as time passes, that excitement dies down. This is evident in every aspect of our lives, be it a school assignment, an office project, even ministry work.

We can try and visualize how the Temple could have looked. Imagine the walls being constructed, tiles being set in place, gold decorations being arranged, but the finishing touches were simply missing. Maybe the gold available at the time was insufficient. Perhaps the number of laborers thinned down as the years passed by leaving the construction rubble aside.

2. Delays can discourage us
The Bible rightly says in Proverbs 13:12 “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.” People who love multi-tasking hate delays. In fact, delays affect our entire schedule and push a project way beyond its stipulated time. The Jewish Temple was huge and the material requirements would have definitely met with unexpected delays.

3. Opposition from outside (Criticism)
Haggai 2:5 mentions God’s message to His people “Do Not Fear!”. Ever wondered why God is telling His people not to fear.

Consider this. Why does a seemingly smooth activity within the Church or in work suddenly turn messed up? Why everything that is moving in the right direction has people falling out, afflictions coming by and roadblocks that suddenly seem huge (like a mountain)? Because, for every work of God, satan will try and bring obstruction.

4. Opposition from within (pessimism, comparison, and faulty expectations) Ezra 3:11-13
The youngsters celebrated the building of the new Temple. But the old timers, people who had seen the past glory of Solomon’s Temple, wept when they say that the temple of the present day was nothing like the past.

In church ministry and like any other task, the greatest hurt is felt when opposition comes from within. People may not intend to hurt you, but it just happens. Like it did in the temple.

Pessimism, comparison, and faulty expectation are like three musketeers that go hand-in-hand. Imagine when you go tell someone who is serving in ministry ‘hey, you know what, that church or that person is very anointed.’ However, what you are implying (even though it is not intentional) is ‘Hey..you know that this church or you, as an individual, lack anointing or you need to be doing something differently’. Imagine, what sort of encouragement you are giving the pastor or the serving team members?

5. Mistaken perspective (wrong view) of success. Haggai 2:7-9
People were expecting the Temple to have all the gold and silver they could put in. A grand memorial, an extravagant place of worship, a monument to the Lord! Seeing things through the human perspective can be really demoralizing. There was nothing in the present situation that made the builders of the Temple see the objective in sight.

We need to have God’s perspective of a situation. Do you know, this is the very temple in which Jesus (the promised Messiah) set foot after many years (over 500 years later).

The true measure of success is in the light of eternity.

What is really touching to see in the passage of Haggai 2:1-9, is how our Lord understands and feels the discouragement of His people. It is not that He criticizes them but rather provides His encouragement.

Here are the 5 Keys to overcoming discouragement:

Key#1 Be Strong! (Haggai 2:4a)
People become weak when they turn their focus off the Lord and instead look to the slow, disappointing progress at hand. Think how much our attitude affects our ability to persevere. The Lord asks His people to be strong!
What does He mean by this?

2 Corinthians 3:5 says “Not that we are adequate in ourselves to consider anything as coming from ourselves, but our adequacy is from God”. The Lord asks us to find strength in Him. Through His strength, we can achieve anything.

Philippians 4:13 “I can do all this through Him who gives me strength”. All we need to do is place our faith in Him.

Let’s recount the story of the 12 spies who went to look at Canaan land. Only Joshua and Caleb came back with a positive report. That is because they didn’t rely on their own might but on the strength of the Lord. That is the first key to overcoming disappointment.

Key#2 Work! (Haggai 2:4b)
While having the right perspective and being strong is good, it isn’t sufficient by itself. In Haggai 2:4, the Lord advises His people to be strong and work. James 2:22 says “Do you see that faith was working together with his works, and by works faith was made perfect?”. Joshua and Caleb had to be strong, not just by believing but also by putting their faith into practice. They had to go into the land and physically fight off the giants.

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13.

When you ask for God’s strength, you start out believing that you already have it. By putting your faith into action, you are allowing God’s divine strength to work through you. By this alone, people will see and marvel that it is not the hand of man, but the Hand of the Lord on your life.

Key#3 His Presence will be with You
God’s presence is sufficient for us. Haggai 2:4-5 says that the Lord of Hosts (Lord of the armies) is with us. Even Prophet Moses recognized the significance of the Lord’s presence. In Exodus 33:15 Moses said to the Lord “If your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here.” God’s presence assures victory in every situation in our lives.

Key#4 God reminds us of His Promises (Haggai 2:5)
God refers to the promise He made with the nation of Israel when He brought them out of Egypt. A God who honors His promises, He reminds the people of the promise He has made. We are fortunate that we worship an unchanging, loving and merciful God who doesn’t change and forget His promises.

In fact, the Lord has made a better covenant with us now. Hebrews 8:6 says “But now hath He obtained a more excellent ministry, by how much also He is the mediator of a better covenant, which was established upon better promises.” Jesus has sealed this New Covenant with His own precious blood and given us the indwelling of the Holy Spirit as promised in John 14:16 “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever”.

All we need to do is remember what God has promised us. That will give our lives purpose and the power to pursue our projects.

Key#5 God encourages us through His prophecies
The prophecies mentioned in Haggai were not to just show the future but also to strengthen, encourage and uplift the faith of His people. Haggai 2:6-8 is directly quoted in the New Testament in Hebrews 12:26-27 as a reminder of the supreme Power and Authority of God. When He says that silver and gold are His, the Lord is saying that He is capable of bringing in all the wealth that is necessary to rebuild the temple.

Finally, in verse 9 of Haggai chapter 2 God speaks that He will give peace. A quick reference to the fulfilment of these prophecies can be seen in Ephesians 2:17 “He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.” and Romans 5:1 “Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ”.

My dear friends…brothers and sisters in Jesus Christ, be encouraged in your work for Him, knowing that your work for the Lord is not in vain.

“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58.

Stay Blessed!

The Eagle Christian — Prophet Tony Mathias

A tiny eaglet fell out of its nest in a tall tree near a farm, & landed in a chicken coop. He found himself surrounded by little chicks & thought they were his siblings. He grew up like them, learning to scratch for insects & peck at the seeds the farmer scattered in the barnyard. The young eagle’s wings & feathers began to grow, but it never thought it was different from its chicken family.

One day an older eagle, soaring in the sky, spotted it in the barnyard. The eagle swooped down & had a face-to-face talk with the young eagle. “You are not a chicken,” he said, “You are an eagle. You are not supposed to hop around the ground looking for bugs. This is not your life. You are meant to fly in the heavens & ride the wind.” These words opened the little eagle’s eyes to who it really was & gave him the desire to join his new friend above in the clouds. It spread his wings & after a few attempts it lifted off and flew to the nearest tree. With each attempt, it flew higher & farther away. Soon it mounted up with the wind & disappeared in the vast deep blue sky.

Are you living up to your God-given spiritual potential? Are you soaring with Elect Eagles or scratching around with Chicken Christians? “ …those who wait for the Lord expectantly shall renew their strength; they shall lift their wings, rise up close to God as eagles rise up to the sun; they shall run and not be weary, walk and not faint or become tired.” Isaiah 40:31

Joseph waited years for his breakthrough Genesis 37-41 Potiphar’s wife lied about him, he was thrown into prison. Pharaoh’s butler forgot him and he continued in prison. Yet he kept trusting God and became 2nd to Pharaoh. Moses waited for 40 yrs before God used him to deliver the Israelites [Exodus]. – You are never too young or old to do anything important. God is not concerned about your age. He is more concerned about your availability and willingness to obey Him.

David waited for 15 yrs before he became King of Israel: 1,2 Samuel though he was anointed King 15 yrs. earlier. During the interim time of waiting, he continued to worship and trust God in a time of great hardship and King Saul’s attempts to kill him.

What happens to those waiting expectantly for the Lord? – They will ascend! How? – Close to God over storms of life by riding the wind of the Spirit with tireless energy, just like eagles rise up to the Sun soaring over storms by riding the wind with great energy. “The joy of the Lord is your strength” Nehemiah 8: 10. “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” Philippians 4:13. Christians are called to be Eagle Christians, but many live like chickens searching for worms with a mindset that resists change in their comfort zone. By doing this they hinder God’s plan for their .lives – their problem? – Complacency. They resist change.

The Eagle is a very active bird. “As an eagle stirs up her nest, flutters over her young, spreads out her wings, takes them and bears them on her wings.” Deuteronomy 32:11 The mother eagle watches her eaglets in the nest till they are fully feathered and sufficiently mature. Then she “stirs the nest” practically tearing it up making it uncomfortable for her little ones to stay on. She then trains them to fly.

Lately, have you found your nest, comfort zone being stirred, threatened? – job, career, family, church, potential… Wondering what’s happening to your life? Are you one who doesn’t like changes? Are you uncomfortable and worried about it? Did you consider it may be God stirring your nest? That’s His way of telling you that you’ve stayed too long in the nest and He doesn’t want His eaglets to be nest dwellers all their life. His eaglets are meant to fly. So are you!

God has a plan and purpose for your life. Get out of your comfort zone! Just as Mother Eagle spreads her wings and commands her eaglets to step out on them firmly grasping a feather in their beak. In the same way, God trains us by spreading His Word before us commanding us to step on it, grasping firmly to God’s promises in obedience. He has given us the Bible, His manual for life! Just as Mother Eagle watches her little ones in training making sure they don’t fall to the ground when they lose their hold on her feathers. And if they do she lifts them up on her wings to try again. Even so, God watches His own in training to keep them from falling when they lose hold on His promises. If they fall He lifts them up to try again.

Church, you are not chicken scratching the ground searching for bugs and small things. You are Eagle Christians. You are meant to fly and soar in the heavens. You are to think big and set your goals high and achieve them, to dream the impossible dream because you are the children of the King. You have to leave your legacy behind that you passed through this earth once, find God’s plan and purpose for your life and do it. So that your heart will be delighted when you hear the King of heaven say: “Well done thou good and faithful servant!” “He who began a good work in you will carry it onto completion…” Philippians 1:6.

Boost Your Confidence In God’s Spoken Word — Rachel Mathias

Deborah the prophetess – Judge has been cited in this article as a prime example to boost our confidence in God’s spoken word and watch the amazing results.

Deborah placed her confidence in Yahweh Elohim, the God of Israel, because she heard from Him and obeyed Him. She trusted in God alone and His plan for victory.

Consider, if the Lord has spoken will He not show up, will He not bring His words to pass? He will surely keep His Word. His promises are Yes, and Amen! Isaiah 46:11; Numbers 23:19. 2 Corinthians 1:20. The Master says: “My sheep hear My voice and they follow Me.” John 10:27 – All we need to do is follow the Lord closely, follow-after His Will – His ready plan for our lives.

Deborah did exactly that – she followed God and obeyed His command. This brought deliverance and victory to the Israelites. The battle was won, the Canaanites were defeated. She trusted in God and had confidence in His Word. She stepped into her calling as a prophetess, spokesperson, before the leader – ruler, with the message God had given her, assuring him of success and capture of the enemy. Judges 4:4-7

Deborah, the prophetess, was a judge of Israel. She held court between Ramah (elevated) and Bethel (house of God) in Mount Ephraim where Israelites came from all over the country so she could rule their cases. Deborah was also given the title of prophet, an acknowledgement that she was inspired by God in ruling the Israelite community. So we see that in addition to being a judge she was a prophetess, used to win wars, battles, sing victory songs, lead the people out of enemy-clutches, deliver the oppressed, lead as God’s spokesperson, speak to rulers and leaders, prophesy-speak as an oracle of God. She sang a victory song giving praises to the God of Israel Judges 5:1-5.

As Deborah would sit under the palm tree between Ramah and Bethel in the mountains of Ephraim and receive insight and inspiration, likewise where we sit and pray does have great significance.

This sharing is meant to encourage all Christians, especially women to place their confident trust in the Lord. From Deborah we learn that God can accomplish great things through people willing to be led by Him. Trusting in God can make the ordinary in our lives extraordinary. We can expect God to bring us before great, powerful, influential people in society, at our workplace, marketplace or amidst family members to deliver a word of encouragement, speaking confidently as God has spoken to us.