Household Salvation — Prophet Tony Mathias

There is only one way to salvation and that is through faith in Jesus Christ. Salvation only comes through an individual believing in Christ. It is not something a father can do for his son or daughter. There is no guarantee that if one member of a family believes the rest will do so. Matthew 7:13-14; John 6:67-68; John 14:6; Acts 4:12; Ephesians 2:8.

Jesus Himself indicates that the Gospel often divides families. Also, God elects individuals to salvation and the elect believe and are saved. This indicates that both ‘election and salvation’ are more individual in nature than corporate although God does have a family plan. Matthew 10:34-36; 24:24,31; Mark 13:20; Romans 9:16-18.

If salvation is an individual action, how are we to understand passages in the Bible that seem to promise of household salvation? Let us consider a few examples.

Cornelius’ Household
Acts 10: 33; 11: 14-18; Romans 1: 16

A promise was given to Cornelius that his household would be saved. This does not mean it applies universally to all households. It was a specific promise to a specific person at a specific time.

Cornelius and his household gathered to hear Peter commanded by the Lord speak. They were in a position to hear the Gospel which “is the power of God to salvation.”

Hearing Peter preach the Gospel Cornelius’s entire household believed and were baptized. So, they were saved was according to God’s plan of salvation, the preaching of the Gospel. They were saved because they believed not because Cornelius did.

The Philippian Jailer
Acts 16:30-33

The jailer asks “Sirs what must I do to be saved.” Paul and Silas responded, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you shall be saved, you and your household.” Again this promise is given to a specific individual in specific context yet universal in nature unlike the promise to Cornelius. The promise is not one of household salvation but is entirely consistent with every other verse in the Bible that speaks of salvation – believe in the Lord Jesus “you shall be saved.”

Again we see that salvation came as the result of hearing the Word of God and responding in faith which is also consistent with every other verse in the Bible concerning salvation. They were not saved because they were part of the jailers household, instead they were saved because they believed the Gospel message and responded in faith. – Individual people hear the gospel, respond in faith and are saved.

However, God’s plan is also a family plan. All of the beautiful ties of home and family are meant to be eternal. We may not understand how God can accomplish a family relationship in heaven. His desire is that none should perish but all be saved. It is impossible to understand his methods. Romans 11:33

Rahab saved the spies who went into Jericho. The spies, inspired by God, said, asked Rahab, to bring her family here into the house and they would all be saved. Rahab did so and her family was saved. Joshua 6:17-25

God showed his keen interest in families by forming the home before he made the church. He wants that same wonderful unity, and recognition of himself, which people expect to feel in the church, to also be in the home.

Many Christians have been praying for the unsaved loved ones in their families. “Does this mean they are already ALL saved?” “No, God will not violate the free will, but it means that he is going to do everything necessary to bring people to the point where it will be easy for them to make the choice to serve him. And yet they could reject his offer.

If you have laid your loved ones before him in sincerity and in faith you can start praising God right now. He is on the job, and has released forces to bring about circumstances which would make it hard for these people to resist God. The Holy Spirit is preaching to them along with his angels on errands. God desires none to perish but all to be saved. He really loves people!

Fellowship — Prophet Tony Mathias

Fellowship is a place of ‘invitation,’ ‘birthing,’ involvement,’ and ‘testing.’

INVITATION: The Gospel invites to people to become friends in close fellowship with God and his people Christ gave us the ‘Ministry of Reconciliation’ to bring into friendship and fellowship with God and his people.

And friends do share things in common speaks about the day of Pentecost the fiftieth day after Passover when they were in ‘one accord’ in close harmony, unity, agreement and fellowship.  1 Corinthians 1: 9; 1 John 1: 3; 2 Corinthians 13: 14; 2 Corinthians 5: 18; Acts 2: 1

BIRTHING PLACE: Fellowship has always been the ‘birthing place’ for God’s Plans – a principle also employed in the secular world, marriage, business, prayer and so on. What was the result of the close ‘one accord’ fellowship of
believers?’ The Church was born on Pentecost day!

INVOLVEMENT: When people are good friends and in close fellowship good things often begin to happen as a result as they get involved. Let us see what happened to the Church then.

The believers regularly attended the fellowship, teaching sessions of the apostles, communion & prayer services. There was a deep sense of awe and the apostles worked many miracles. All the believers met together constantly and shared everything with each other, selling their possessions and dividing with those in need. They worshipped together regularly in the Temple daily and met in small groups in homes for communion and shared their meals with great joy and thankfulness, praising God. The whole city was favorable to them and God daily added to them all who were being saved. Acts 2: 42-47

What was the result? – Miracles; sharing; caring; bearing each other’s burdens; meeting needs of people; joy, thankfulness, praise and worship; favor of God and people; salvation; additions to the Church.

TESTING: Fellowship is also a place of testing. For example, David in 1 Samuel 17: 40 chose and picked five smooth stones from the brook.’ Surely there must have been some jostling among the stones so will there be among believers. A friendly discussion is as stimulating as sparks that fly when iron strikes iron. Fellowship is a place of testing – ‘jostling.’ No Fellowship, No Brook; God can’t pick and choose you – he can’t find you. So welcome testing, you are sharpened! Proverbs 27: 17.

YOUR RESPONSE? – WALK IN THE LIGHT1 John 1: 6-7.
‘‘If we say we are his friends but go on living in spiritual darkness and sin, we are lying. But if we are living in the light of God’s presence, just as Christ does, then we have wonderful fellowship with joy with each other, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from every sin.”

John 3: 19-21 “They are condemned because light from heaven came into the world, but they loved the darkness more than the light, for their deeds were evil. They hated the heavenly light because they wanted to sin in the darkness. They stayed away from that light for fear their sins would be exposed and they would be punished. Those doing right come gladly to the light to let everyone see that they are doing what God wants them to do.”

‘Avoiding Fellowship is ‘Walking in Darkness’ – sinfulness with evil deeds.

‘Out of Fellowship is really being Out of Light.’

No light – No Protection by the Blood of Jesus! Knowing him does not save us. We are saved because he knows us. “I will say to them I never knew you! Depart from me, workers of iniquity!” Matthew 7: 21-22.

Hebrews 10: 24-25 “In response to all he has done for us let us outdo each other in being helpful and kind to each other and in doing good. Let us not neglect our church meetings as some people do.”

Let us walk in the light doing what is right, being involved, helpful and kind to each other doing good, sharing; caring; bearing each other’s burdens; meeting needs of people with joy, thankfulness, praise and worship; having the favor of God and the people; not neglecting church meetings; welcoming testing because He always causes us to triumph; sharing things in common as friends in close fellowship with God and his people. We will then birth God’s plans, see miracles; salvation; additions to the Church like the first disciples.

Labour of Love — Prophet Tony Mathias

The Lord ‘records and rewards’ all the hard work and sacrifices you make for the sake of the gospel.

The Lord listened and recorded the names of those who feared and honored Him and what they spoke with each other. Malachi 3:16

God does not forget how hard you worked for him and how you showed your love to him by caring for other believers…Hebrews 6:10

Let’s take Peter’s example. Let’s see the ‘record and reward’ in his case.

Jesus on the shore of Lake Gennesaret, taught the people who crowded around him to hear God’s message. Jesus got into the boat that belonged to Simon Peter and asked him to row it out a little away from the shore. He then sat down in the boat to teach the crowd. Peter was disappointed and exhausted. He had spent a night of fruitless fishing. Imagine how he felt when the Lord asked him to give him his boat yet he helped the Master to preach his message. Jesus noticed this and rewarded him for it. How?

After having finished speaking, He told Simon to row the boat into the deep and let down his nets. When Simon and his men obeyed they caught so many fish that their nets began ripping apart. They signaled their partners in the other boat to come and help them. The men came, and together they filled the two boats to the point of sinking Peter toiled all night caught no fish. Now he had plenty, just because he helped the Master. Luke 5:1-7

Have you made any sacrifices for the sake of the gospel? – Time, money, family, friends, relationships
God hasn’t forgotten.

Your blessings don’t wait till you get to heaven; they begin to rain down here on earth. Peter didn’t receive his harvest of fishes in heaven. He got it on earth!

Mark 10:29-31. Jesus said: “…anyone who gives up home or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or land for me and for the good news will be rewarded. In this world, they will be given a hundred times as many houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and pieces of land, though they will also be mistreated. And in the world to come, they will have eternal life.”

God doesn’t forget your labor of love. He will reward you in due time.

Finally, you prove your love for God and your love towards Him in the way you show your love to others, especially fellow believers.

1 John 4:20“He who does not love his brother whom he has seen, how can he love God whom he has not seen?” – If you don’t actively love those for whom Jesus died for, then you really don’t love God.”

We must do good to others at the slightest opportunity.

“My dear children let’s not just talk about love; let us practice real love.”
– 1 John 3:18

God records and rewards our labor of love!

The Web Of Deception — Prophet Tony Mathias

Deception – ‘believing a lie as the truth,’ & Disobedience were the first sins that broke God’s family and is doing the same today! We were born liars. Some of the first lies we were told as little babies was about the Boogie-Man and we repeated the same to other babies.

We lie to protect or hurt ourselves or others. Two main reasons for which we ‘lie’ are:
1. ‘Fear’ of consequences and
2. ‘Pride’man’s approval.

What will others think of us? Lying causes hurt, disappointment, and disharmony in the body of Christ. It makes people lose respect, creates conflicts destroys relationships. Are Christians guilty of lying? – Very much! What happens when people make it a habit to lie? –there is the danger of the Lake of Fire Revelation 21:8.

Is there hope? Yes! Repent!

Satan is a liar and the Father of lies John 8:44. He deceives the whole world Revelation 12:9. His ‘favorite and fundamental’ lie is ‘Has God Said?’ That means that according to him God is not who He says He is. By saying this he got Eve & Adam to get deceived and to disobey.’

As someone said: ‘The Snake will always be a snake who twists and turns as it crawls. He even twists the truth for his own purposes.’ He used this lie in the Garden of Eden, and he will use it against you and me. Satan deceived Peter, Solomon, and David, and he will try to deceive us unless we are careful. Let us examine the three persons we have mentioned.

PETER Mark 14:27-31 – Jesus told them that they would all fall away. But Peter declared that he would not. Jesus then told him that on that very day he would deny him thrice. Peter again insisted that he would never deny him. It is clear that Satan deceived Peter. He may have whispered to him that he was strong like a rock, others would fall not he. He had caused him agree with Satan that God was lying.

SOLOMON 1 Kings 4:29-31; 11:1-4. – God gave Solomon great wisdom and insight and yet Satan deceived him. How? – God’s original plan for marriage was ‘one man – one woman,’ yet he had around a thousand wives from surrounding nations living in idolatry against God’s clear command. And that resulted in him being an idolater.

DAVID 2 Samuel 11:1-4 – God called David a man after His own heart yet, he was deceived. Like Solomon, he disobeyed God’s plan for marriage. He already had many wives and yet commits adultery with Bathsheba and covers up his sin with the murder of Uriah her husband who is one of David’s most loyal army officers.

Perhaps Satan deceived him by telling him that a little break of adultery after serving God so faithfully would not make any difference, that no one would know [secret sin]. David’s sin brought disaster for himself, his family, his country. And God’s enemies mocked the name of the Lord 1 Samuel 12:14.

What lies has the devil whispered in your ears? – “just a little sin” “you are different” “it doesn’t apply to you” “you’re strong!” Just this once” “No one will ever know!” “You can’t resist this temptation – don’t try!” You don’t need to worry about this temptation!”

Here’s an easier way to do it!”
What did Jesus do when He was tempted? He drew out His sword – the weapon of God’s Word against that temptation and he quoted – ‘it is written!’ Be wise when you are tempted and do likewise.

1) 1 Timothy 6:12. ‘Fight the good fight of faith’ – Fight the ‘lie’ by declaring God’s specific Word
2) John 15:5. ‘Apart from me, you can do nothing.’ –Be assured ‘God is a very present help.’
3) 1 John 2:5-6: ‘…Whoever claims to live in Him must walk as Jesus did.’
4) Luke 12:2: ‘There is nothing…hidden that will not be made known…’
5) 1 Corinthians 10:13: ‘…God is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.’

Know that Satan is a liar. Know his ‘lies.’ You can resist his ‘lies’ when you are in the Word, Prayer, and Fellowship.

Blessings And Miracles — Prophet Tony Mathias

Although we serve the God of miracles who performs miracles [temporal bypass of natural laws] to draw people to himself, yet he desires to bless us even more than perform miracles. What is the difference between a blessing and a miracle?

Blessingprevents crisis; renders a permanent solution; always brings abundance.

Miracledelivers from crisis, offers temporary solution, brings abundance once in a while.

To be healthy is better than getting healed repeatedly.

To be wealthy is better than getting financial breakthroughs.

To avoid problems is better than getting delivered from them.

Isn’t it? Which do you prefer?

As someone said and how true it is? – Living from miracle to miracle is living from crisis to crisis. When it comes to personal needs, miracles are for people who don’t have a revelation of God’s blessing. God always wanted His creation to remain blessed but sin polluted it and blessings flew away. Sin brought sickness, poverty and wars. Then came the need for miracles.

Believers pray for financial miracles, healings or other temporal needs yet disobey God’s Word. For example, God told us to work so He could bless the work of our hands. God told us that if we would give, it would be given to us. If believers don’t work and don’t give offerings, how will they be blessed?

If we abuse our bodies, we can receive a miracle of healing. But if we go on abusing it, sickness returns and we need another miracle. Following instructions on diet, exercise, work, sleep and right use of emotions will work like medicine.

Laughter they say is the best medicine. Ignorance of God’s Word, as well as unbelief, stops God’s blessings and in turn brings crisis, and disaster.

If in a crisis if they believe for a miracle, it will come; yet, again and again, they need more miracles. Deuteronomy 28:12.

The Lord prefers to keep you healthy and wealthy rather than to heal you miraculously or give you financial breakthroughs repeatedly.

Abraham’s blessing belongs to us through faith in Christ. Divine favor brought him abundance. It will do the same for us when mixed with faith Galatians 3:13-14

How would you receive blessings instead of looking for miracles? Ephesians 1:3; Luke 6:38

– Knowledge and Faith. Meditate on his Word and act like it is so.
– Be a good cheerful giver

Overcoming Temptation — Prophet Tony Mathias

Temptation is a problem every Christian faces. Overcoming temptation is a process and God makes provision to enable us to be victors and not victims.

PURPOSE
Many Christians struggle with the same type of temptations over the years but don’t seem to get free. James 1:13; Genesis 22:1-2; Matthew 4:4-11.

God does not tempt, although He tests. God tests us at our strong points. Satan tempts us at our weak points. Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, so He can identify with us and we can receive mercy and grace to help us in our time of need Hebrews 4:15-16.

God tests us so we can develop our inner spiritual strength and reign. James 1:12.

Satan uses three basic emotions in temptation to ensnare 1 John 2:16.

  1. Lust of the flesh – Physical desires
  2. Lust of the eyes – Mental desires
  3. Pride of Life – Emotional desires

PROCESS
Generally, a thought progresses through four stages:

‘Thought’ > ‘Imagination’ > ‘Desire’ and ‘Action.’

The Bible tells us in Matthew 6 ‘take no thought saying.’ You take a thought or the thought becomes a stronghold by saying and words form pictures. In order to be victorious over temptation, ‘nip’ the destructive thought right at the budding stage of thought if possible even before the imagination stage of forming pictures begins. Because beyond the imagination stage desire takes over and it’s only a matter of time we act and fall into temptation.

PROVISION

Be Filled With the Spirit.
Prayerlessness on the other hand is costly! We are overcome by temptation Luke 22:46. That is why we need to be continually filled with the Spirit by Praying in tongues. This will affect our speech and relationship Ephesians 5:18-22. Prayer brings a life of surrender Romans 6:12-14 where sin no more has dominion, releases God’s blessings, moves heaven and earth, turns back our enemies, fulfills God’s Will
and much more!

Stand On the Word
Be soaked with the Word of God. We should stand on the Word In all circumstances, and in every situation. Lord Jesus fasted 40 days in the wilderness and was then tempted. The enemy knew He was hungry. But Jesus stood on the Word Matthew 4:4-11. God’s Word gives power against temptation Psalms 119:11.

Walk In the Spirit
Being filled helps you walk in the Spirit. This means being led by the Spirit, obeying and following him daily. As you walk in the Spirit, God will enable you to live in the Spirit and give you power to escape temptation and not fall into recurring sin Galatians 5:25-26; 1 Corinthians 10:13.

Launch Your Weapons
We should use the spiritual weapons God has provided. We must keep the Spiritual Armour ‘on.’ Ephesians 6:10-18.

We should use the missiles – Name of Jesus, Blood of Jesus, and Word of God along with praise against temptation.

 

The Power of Jesus Name - Prophet Tony Mathias

The Power of Jesus’ Name — Prophet Tony Mathias

The Two Keys: Praying in the Name of Jesus & Praying in the Names of Jesus.

THE FIRST KEY
The Name of Jesus – the First Key to Heaven. To do business with the Heavenly Father, you must come to him in the name of Jesus, because His name is the Key to heaven. When Christ was on earth, the disciples didn’t need to pray to the Father for Jesus provided their needs. When they needed food, Jesus provided it. When Peter’s mother-in-law was sick, Jesus healed her. When they needed to pay taxes, Jesus supplied the money. When they needed a place to meet, Jesus made preparations for it. When they needed anything, they asked Him directly. Since Jesus was going to the Father, they would no longer be able to ask him directly. – Because Jesus would now be actively working on their behalf as well as ours, at the Father’s right hand.

John 16: 23-24. “Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name he will give it to you. Hitherto you have asked nothing in my name; ask and ye shall receive that your joy may be full.” – That is praying to the Father, asking Him to do something in Jesus’ Name! – It is like Jesus saying: “You ask the Father in My Name – I will endorse it and the Father will give it to you.” – It is like Jesus signing a cheque and handing it over to us. All we have to do is fill it up.

Too many people have filled it up for a thousand rupees instead of one lakh of rupees and so have lived a low level of life bringing disgrace to the name of Jesus. Is that all his Name can provide? Every time we talk about hard luck, sickness, inability to cope up; we are bragging of the devil. We need to study on all the resources Jesus has for us where we can use His Name in prayer to the Father and receive them. His Name guarantees answer to prayer. In this aspect of prayer, the Father grants you your request. But there is also another aspect of using the Name of Jesus: – This is not praying to the Father to do something. It is talking about you doing something – using the Name of Jesus against the enemy of our daily life. In the Acts of the Apostles, they used the Name of Jesus this way. John 14:13-14 “And whatever ye shall ask in My Name, that will I do that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If ye ask anything in My Name, I will do it.” ‘Ask’ here means ‘Demand.’ “Whatever you demand in My Name, I Jesus will do it.” It is making a demand of the devil to give back all he has stolen…Jesus ensures we receive our request.

Matthew 28:18-19 – “All authority is given unto me in heaven and in earth, go ye therefore…” – The authority that Jesus received after his resurrection with a Name above all names has been given to us. – Jesus is saying “I authorize you. I am sending you out to make disciples …I am with you always!” Peter says to the crippled man: “Silver and gold have I none…” – Why isn’t it happening much today?

Acts 3:12, 13, 16 – “…why look so earnestly on us as though by our own power or holiness we had made this man walk? The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the God of our fathers glorified His Son Jesus…Through Faith in His Name hath made this man strong… We have had the Name, but our faith in the Name has been weak. How can we correct this? – The Bible says: “So then faith cometh by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” Romans 10: 17.

How can our faith in the Name of Jesus be increased? By hearing what the Word of God says about the Name. That will educate our spirits and raise our faith to higher levels. Then it will be natural for us to act on the Word like Peter. You need to know that: – You are standing in the place of Jesus with the power of attorney to function in His place and with legal rights to use His name. You have become His voice. Though you ask the Father for something, it is Jesus asking and doing it for you. Where do we use the Name of Jesus? In Prayer; getting people saved; Water baptized; Spirit baptized; in demanding our rights; Casting out demons; Healing Establishing God’s Kingdom & Will “When we pray in Jesus’ Name, we are taking His place, using His name, using His authority to carry out His will on the earth.” 1 John 4:17. “As He is so are we in this world.”

THE SECOND KEY
The Names of Jesus in the Old Testament God had many names, each reflecting aspects of His nature and character – ‘a consuming fire’ ‘shepherd’ and so on. Yet the name ‘I Am’ is all-inclusive. It includes all the qualities of God’s nature and character. Jesus, the Son of God, also has a variety of names that describe Him since He is both human and divine: ‘The Branch’ ‘Emmanuel’ ‘Wonderful Counselor’ ‘Mighty God’ ‘Everlasting Father’ ‘Prince of Peace’ ‘Jesus’ ‘Lamb of God’ ‘King of Kings’ ‘Lord of Lords’ ‘Bread of Life’ ‘Living Waters’ ‘Savior’ ‘Redeemer’ ‘True Vine’ ‘Word of God’ ‘Great I Am.’ And so on…. Mary and Joseph were told by the Angel to call Him Jesus Luke 1:31 & Matthew 1:21

Why did God name Him Jesus?

1. To show that He was God’s Son;
2. That his name was to reflect His human & divine nature and character.

Jesus, the Son of Man, came to earth as Savior of the world. Jesus the Son of God the ‘Great I Am’ came to meet our needs. Establish God’s Kingdom and Will. Here is your Second Key: – If you want God to meet your need base your prayers on His specific divine name which meets your particular need. That is how prayers are answered – by calling upon His names. For example, Jesus was confronted with a dead man Lazarus. His name addressed the need – He said, ‘I am the resurrection and the life.’ John 11:25
If you believe Jesus is your Savior and Redeemer that is wonderful but that’s only the beginning. The names of Jesus have been given to meet our needs. For example: For a friend’s salvation: ‘Jesus my Savior, save Judy.’

  • If you feel weak say: ‘The Lord Jesus is my strength.’ Psalms 18:1.
  • If you’re experiencing poverty say: ‘Jesus is my provider’ Genesis 22:8.
  • If your body is sick –‘Jesus is my healer’ Exodus 15:26

You could pray in line with His names according to the need: Jesus you are my Jehovah Jireh, my Rent Payer; Debt Canceller; Tuition Provider; Healer…

List the Names of Jesus. Use them at every opportunity you get to meet your needs and those of others.

Superman — Prophet Tony Mathias

Acts 1:8. “But you shall receive power [ability, efficiency, might] when the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you shall be my witnesses…”
If you are born-again, you are a superman with extraordinary powers abilities gifts might strength rights and privileges given to you by God. You may not fly in the air with a red cape and a large ‘S’ on your chest but you do have supernatural abilities and super powers not displayed among ordinary people on earth.

As a Christian, you are a superman with the ability given to you by God Himself to change any hopeless situation around. One thing is necessary that you become aware of it and act like it is so, performing the task and mission God has assigned you. What does scripture say about this?

Luke 10:19 “I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” That means that you have been given authority over all the power of the enemy. And no matter how poisonous, harmful or evil a thing is, it has no power to hurt you.

Mark 16:18 “…if you drink any deadly thing it shall not hurt you and when you lay hands on the sick, they recover!” Why? Because you are extra-ordinary, not of this world – the life of Christ in you makes you supernatural.

All you need to do recognize and become aware of the divine ability, efficiency, might that the Holy Spirit has brought in your life – that you are a Superman!

A story is told of an Archbishop who was in an airplane flying with several others. The Pilot announced they had lost one engine and the other was having trouble and might fail soon. The passengers panicked and imagined the crash. But the Archbishop got up, spoke in tongues, used his authority in the Name of Jesus and said to the plane, “Move” – The engine and the plane became steady until it landed perfectly and safely. The cockpit crew couldn’t explain how everything turned normal; they thanked the Archbishop for saving their lives.

You have been given authority in the Name of Jesus. You have been given the power of attorney to use His Name against sickness; you can use it to improve your job, finances, marriage, family and all that concerns you. You are a Superman with the Holy Ghost power residing within and with authority given to you in the Name of Jesus! All you need to do is use your authority and release the Holy Ghost power in you!

You could make a simple prayer like this – affirming your God-given abilities.

“Heavenly Father, thank you for the life of Christ dwelling in me that makes me superhuman! I recognize your divine ability, efficiency and might at work in me today, and by virtue of this divine life I declare I’m superior to Satan; I call those things that are not as though they were and nothing shall be impossible to me in the Name of Jesus and for the glory of God!”

Glory and Prophecy — Prophet Tony Mathias

Many attend Church, hear sermons, read their Bibles sing and praise but never change; sinners leave church services unchanged. Why? – They are not touched by the Glory of God. A person who does not encounter God’s Glory remains unchanged. God’s Glory changes both believers and unbelievers. The Church is a place where you must experience the Glory, the tangible presence of God in action and experience change.

When God’s Glory or presence is manifest or made visible, captives are set free, works of the devil are destroyed through the tangible anointing, healing and deliverance manifest, along with answers to prayer. That’s how you build God’s Kingdom and receive anything you ask. The Bible says call on Him when He is near i.e. when He is manifesting. Luke 4:18; Matthew 6:33. Luke 10:19; Acts 10:38.

Although God is omnipresent, He does not manifest his tangible presence everywhere. When He does, you will see it, feel it and be changed. If you are sick, you will get well. If you are broke, you will become wealthy, you will change into the image of Christ. Galatians 1:15-16; Colossians 1:27; 2 Corinthians 2:14

There are ways to release or make manifest God’s glory – God’s Glory is released when we ‘Love and Obey’ him John 14:10, 21, 31; – God’s Glory is released when we welcome the true prophet. 2 Chronicles 20:20; Matthew 10:41

Before God does anything supernatural in a place in a big way, He changes the atmosphere through prophetic utterances. That is why we must welcome genuine prophecy and prophets because they change the spiritual atmosphere, stir up the gifts, manifest miracles by bringing down the Glory in that place.

When God brought Israel out of Egypt He had to bring down the ten plagues with signs and wonders through his prophet Moses to break down something in the supernatural holding them back. Many times God does this through his prophets. Their anointing breaks the powers of darkness in the heavenly realm and opens the way for miracles, deliverances and changed lives. The word of the prophets is like a hammer that…brings damage to Kingdom of darkness.

Some churches teach their people that all they need is to study the Bible and get all the answers they need – to put away the prophetic word. Such never get personal words because they despise prophecy. We are fortunate under the New Covenant – to hear God speak to us individually and by prophets John 10:27; Matthew 10:41

To recognize the genuine from counterfeit prophets check the fruit Matthew 7:15-20: – character; fulfilled Word; Christ glorified; scriptural agreement; anointing, freedom, and so on.

God can speak prophetically in two ways: – God puts words in your mouth or you stir up the gift by faith in action Isaiah 51:16; 2 Samuel 23:2; 2 Timothy 1:6.

All Christians are called to prophesy – simple prophecy – encourage; exhort; comfort; build 1 Corinthians 14:3. The Office of Prophets Ephesians 4 are few – They destroy the works of the devil, build God’s house [you] bring direction; correction; confirmation; prediction; impartation; activate ministries; protect, release miracles blessings; bring down mantles of anointing, change spiritual atmosphere bring Glory

You are asking what God’s Specific Will for my life is – Do you have a burning desire for a long time? If your heart is clean you are not in sin that is God’s desire – fulfilled as you delight in the Lord Psalms 37:4; Psalms 39:3; Jeremiah 20:9; John 10:27

Secret Of Transformation — Prophet Tony Mathias

RENEWING THE MIND
God is a Spirit. He made you in His likeness and image. So you are a spirit too. You have a ‘soul’ [mind] and you live in a physical body. John 3: 3-6; 4:24; 1 Thessalonians 5:23; When you are born again, God lives in your spirit, which becomes brand new. You are then able to fellowship, communicate and live in friendship with God spiritually.

Your spirit becomes God-conscious. Your physical body and mind are the same as before. Being in contact with the physical world they make you world-conscious and self-conscious.

The mind thinks in a worldly way, rejecting what the Spirit says Romans 8:6-7; For example, it continues to think negatively, be depressed, gossip, have fear… Even Christians are known to live in this way. A major reason: – they lack knowledge of God’s Word, or even if they know they are unable to walk in it. And we will find out why. If the soul [mind] is poor your whole life will be poor. If your soul prospers, your whole life will prosper; One who has a prosperous soul is quick to repent, believe and forgive. He has a positive mind, led by the Spirit. 3 John 2; Romans 8: 14; Romans 12:1-2; He thinks in line with God’s Word. Old ways of thinking have been swept away. He is disciplined, holy generous and so on.

The secret of a victorious Christian living is to renew our mind by changing the way we think, by thinking in line with God’s Word. Therefore we need to keep reading God’s Word, meditating on it and obeying it daily. Then we will be able to renew our minds and be transformed!

REJECTION AND LONELINESS
Satan has devised many weapons to destroy you. One of them is the self-destructive weapon of Rejection & Loneliness. When you are overcome with this weapon, you lose your peace, joy, and happiness, get discouraged, wallow in self-pity, get depressed, sick, fall an easy prey to temptation and worst still, reject God your only help.

Newspapers, magazines, films are full of stories of revenge, murder, suicide victims trying to deal with rejection and loneliness in their own ways. Satan has many friends who help him; parents, teachers, lovers, friends, and people we depend on, society…they hold this weapon in their hands

Someone wrote this letter:
God do you understand the pain of my rejection and loneliness? Where are you when I need you the most? I am lonely, afraid and insecure. Those I trusted most deserted me. Can I count on you Lord? Will you desert me? Is there an answer, a hope for me? Oh God help me! I’m confused.

God Replies:
Those the Father has given me I will never reject John 6: 37 – Though others may reject and desert you, I will not! I willingly accept those who trust me. I did not condemn the woman caught in the act of adultery though others did. I reject the sin but not the sinner. I freely forgive those who ask me to. I will never forget you I have carved you on the palms of my hand…do not be afraid for I am with you.” Isaiah 49:15-16; 41: 10
I am with you night and day. I love you and I will never leave you. Yes, I understand your suffering, pain of rejection and loneliness. I suffered too. I was despised and rejected by others. You are not alone. Haven’t you read the scriptures? He came unto his own and his own received him not. John 1:11 He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, acquainted with grief: and we turned our backs on him. Isaiah 53:3 Moses said –My own people won’t listen to me anymore…Exodus 6:12.. Cheer up! There is hope!

You are an over-comer, you can overcome rejection and loneliness. Don’t deal with it all by yourself. I’ll show you the way. Here is the solution. Don’t turn away from God. He takes care of you. He heals your broken heart “Give all your worries and cares to God he cares about what happens to you.” 1 Peter 5:7 “He heals the brokenhearted, binding up their wounds.” Psalms 147:3. Don’t turn away from others; Go where you are assigned. Get Involved in the local church – “take care of traveling teachers, missionaries” “care for orphans and widows in their troubles” and there are many other things you can do. 3 John 1:5; James 1:27.

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!

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!

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!