What does growing up in Jesus look like? It begins with submission to Jesus and self-sacrifice. Then, instead of doubting whether we’ve been born again and beating ourselves up over our failures, we determine to take our honest failures to Jesus in the prayer closet, renounce that way of walking, and claim the victory in Jesus. As we train ourselves to distinguish between good and evil, Jesus steps in to assist, vindicate, and defend us from every evil! Beloved, doesn’t having such a precious high priest fill your heart with love and yearning to live holy for Jesus?
What is the law of the Spirit of life? Simply, when a seed is planted, it dies and becomes a whole plant with much fruit and many seeds. To walk in the law of the Spirit of life, we must plant the seed of the spirit by forsaking all other loves and ownership of our lives; then, we will grow up out of the soil as a new man in Jesus with victory over sin. “For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection” (Romans 6:5). At Christ’s Second Coming, those who were born of the Spirit will receive a new, spiritual body; but those who walked in the flesh will receive an indestructible spirit given over to eternal damnation. Are you walking in the law of the Spirit of life, or the law of sin and death?
The Lord has said, “The soul that sinneth, it shall die.” But Jesus died so that our soul does not have to die! So how are we to die with Christ? We are to die first to our sinful actions, and second to our sinful nature. The sin nature is not part of our soul—it is a foreigner that affixes itself to our soul and controls it. Genesis 3:15 promises that this control is not total. You can repent! Glory to God! Listen to this powerful message to learn how to die to sin TODAY and walk in the freedom of Jesus!
Why did Lot’s wife look back? Jesus explains that she longed to preserve her life: to have all of her expensive stuff and friendships and still escape the fire of judgment on Sodom and Gomorrah. Are you, like Lot’s wife, trying to get to heaven without any self-denial? Or are you sold out for Jesus?
The battle for your soul needs to be settled so that you can pull sinners out of the fire. This three-stage process is depicted in the exodus of the children of Israel, their time in the desert, and their entry into the promised land. The first stage is an external battle with sin. When we leave Egypt and go to the desert, the battle turns inward. Many Christians die in the desert. To win–which is sanctification–we must submit to the Holy Spirit and His efforts to build a tabernacle for Jesus in our heart. Sanctification is not the work of a lifetime. After we determine that nothing will turn us from Jesus, and His blood wipes out lust and pride, we move into an external battle as we cooperate with God for the salvation of the lost. Has this inner battle for your own soul been won? Are you ready to go up and take the promised land?
As we head into Christmas, it is good to be on guard against the temptation to worldliness and materialism. Let’s consider how the wise men, King Herod, and the Sanhedrin responded to God giving his Son to a lost and dying world.
The wise men recognized that Jesus was God’s gift to the world, including them. As Pastor Ray stated in the December 19 broadcast, these wise men were not part of the Sanhedrin, and they were probably pagans. They did not outwardly belong to the people of God. But they recognized that the Messiah was sent for the world, and that included them.
The wise men brought gifts to Jesus. Have you given anything to Jesus this holiday season? Or have you been so caught up in buying gifts for other people that you have neglected to give to Jesus? Who has gotten more of your money: retailers, or Jesus?
The wise men brought precious gifts to Jesus: frankincense, myrrh, and gold. Have you given your gold to Jesus—have you given him what is most precious and expensive to you? Or have you given him just a little bit, and what you comfortably could have gone without, and spent the rest on others and yourself?
The wise men put their faces on the ground before Jesus. The wise men visited Jesus in Bethlehem, though it is uncertain from the Scripture if this was immediately after his birth or if some time had passed. Either way, Jesus was a young child–possibly an infant, and probably no older than two years old. A lot of humility is needed for a grown man, in the presence of others, to bow down before an infant or toddler. And, if the wise men did visit Jesus during the census time, their faces would have been on the floor of a stable. What would their faces have been in? What would it have smelled like? Dirt would be the best option. Have you given up your sense of being somebody before Jesus? Have you given up the pride that would lead you to feel shame at how low you would have to go in order to honestly worship God?
King Herod and the ruling Jews of the Sanhedrin wanted to kill Jesus. These men recognized that Jesus was a threat to their authority, power, and control. Indeed, with the fall of Jerusalem in 70 A.D., their reign was thoroughly destroyed. Now, the kingdom of God, with Jesus Christ as its head, is being brought in the earth. What is your response to all this? Have you given yourself fully to join the ranks of Christ and his saints? Or is Jesus a threat to you—someone who demands that you renounce control of your own life, which control you believe is rightfully yours? Are you part of the rebellion against the kingdom of Christ? If Jesus were to appear before you now, would you sooner kill him than submit to him? How do your actions this past week respond to this question?
Give to Jesus because you love him. Christmas is a wonderful opportunity to consider how, in your actions, you can honestly thank Jesus for being your salvation. If you’ve been caught up in the shopping and buying, get alone with God and allow the Holy Spirit to soften your heart. Consider what it cost Jesus, and still costs him, to save men and women. Stay in prayer until you find that your natural response is to give Jesus everything that you have because you love him.
Beloved, may you be blessed in Jesus Christ this Christmas!
As we grow in Jesus, our thoughts and prayers about His Kingdom and Righteousness consume more and more of our mind’s eye. Our aim on this page is to share these prayerful thoughts and contemplations with our online ecclesia.
Guy Bevington, an old-time American holiness evangelist in the 1900s, took God at his word when he promised to give us a Savior from sin, not in sin. In this encore Christmas Eve offertory, Pastor Ray weaves together the story of the birth of Christ with Bevington’s importunity in prayer that moved God to save Tom and Liz, an alcoholic couple, and transform them into new, holy people in Christ! Will you take Jesus at his word and receive this amazing gift this Christmas? Or, if you have already received this gift, will you simply allow Jesus to make you into an intercessor like Brother Bevington? There is victory dear one in Jesus!
Special Note: We have been asking Jesus to cover the cost of December radio because of some unusual circumstances with the holidays that made it look pretty tight. Today, we aired this encore broadcast without realizing that it was an offertory. Though this was a great embarrassment to us, one brother called the radio station to let them know that people might be calling in. $1,450 was donated!! Along with other donations that came in this week, this exactly covers the cost for radio. Thank you, Jesus! This is his Christmas gift to us! Be blessed, beloved!
The internet radio should be back online soon. We’ll also be exploring ways to improve it.
Next week’s radio broadcasts will be a series of “classic” sermons, some dating back as far as 2003. We pray that they are a blessing to you. In addition, our Saturday classic sermons will be coming back soon.
Finally, if the Holy Spirit has laid upon your heart to give or simply to share a testimony as to what Jesus has done and is doing in your heart and life, write to us at:
National Prayer Chapel
P.O. Box 2346
Woodbridge, VA 22195.
May the blessing of Jesus fill your soul with a burning heart full of His love!
Many have stumbled in their pursuit of holiness over 1 John 1:8. A close reading of this verse as one in a series of couplets shows that John expects his readers to leave behind their lives in Egypt–the world–and live without sin in this life. As Adam Clarke wrote, “So he that says the blood of Christ either cannot or will not cleanse us from all sin in this life, gives also the lie to his Maker, who has declared the contrary…” God will not walk with us if we walk like Egyptians. But, God will bring us into the desert, like he did with Moses, to cleanse us from all our Egyptian ways. Will you go all the way through the desert with Jesus, and let him give you a heart to weep for others and for revival?
What will you give Jesus this Christmas? The wise men who visited Jesus in Bethlehem brought gold, frankincense, and myrrh. These three gifts symbolize what we can give to Jesus today: the piercings that make us holy; the bitterness of our past failures; and a sweet-smelling smoke of joy, intercession, and ministering to Jesus. Each of these gifts will give God a handle on us to mold our character into the likeness of Jesus and open up the way for God to intervene on the earth and bring his kingdom in revival power!
Charles Finney described his conversion as, “I felt myself justified by faith…I was in a state in which I did not sin. Instead of feeling that I was sinning all the time, my heart was so full of love that it overflowed…I could not feel that I was sinning against God. Nor could I recover the least sense of guilt for my past sins.” Does this describe the condition of your soul? Like Finney, each of us must enter this state by faith: not an intellectual decision, but a voluntary trust in specific promises of God. Will you, this Christmas, receive God’s gift to us in Christ, and allow the Holy Spirit to take possession of your soul?
(Note: The first part of the video had audio problems and has been deleted.)
The virgin birth and the pre-existence of Jesus Christ are two key elements in understanding that Jesus is the atonement, the verdict against mankind, and the gospel. We’re not saved by punishment that Jesus endured; we are saved by Jesus himself. Do you respond to this like the wise men who put their faces on the ground before the newborn Jesus? Or, like the ruling Jews of the time, do you see Jesus as a threat to you keeping authority over your own life? Will you be wise??
Jesus is a person – He is not a set of philosophical principles that will help you have a better life. You must choose to humble your heart and lose your life for Jesus, just as He lost His life for us. Will you separate yourself for Jesus, and let Him change your heart from tin to flesh???
Have you ever asked, “How do I know if I’m enduring or not?” That answers hinges on whether or not you complain. It is not sin to admit difficulty–but will you take it to Jesus and pray through, or will you bitterly complain like a sinner? Jesus is pleased when we walk without sin through every trial of life! This sermon was originally preached on Sunday, November 20, 2016.
After Bunyan’s Christian and Hopeful leave the Delectable Mountains, they meet a pilgrim named Ignorance from the Country of Conceit. He entered the way by a crooked lane instead of the narrow gate. Ignorance refused to be convinced that he would be unable to enter the Celestial City unless he was crucified with Christ and born again. If you believe that Jesus was literally punished for your past, present, and future sins; that his obedience is credited to you; and that you will always be a sinner until you die; then you are following in the steps of Ignorance. Will you, like him, reply, “Follow the religion of your country, and I will follow the religion of mine?” Or, will you decide to hate sin and forever forsake it?
We re-aired Tuesday’s broadcast yesterday, and again the radio station went off the air. It came back up under auxiliary power but was very difficult to hear for about 10 minutes, during a critical period of the broadcast. We covet your prayers as the devil has been raging over this message of the wonders of the atonement. If the Holy Spirit has given you a burden to pray for us or to financially support our efforts, please write to us at The National Prayer Chapel, PO Box 2346, Woodbridge, VA 22195. God bless you dear one!
Your salvation largely depends on what you believe happened at the cross, as our behaviors simply mirror our beliefs. Did God punish God with the literal wrath for the past, present, and future sins of only the elect, who will be inevitably saved from hell? Or did Jesus, as both high priest and sacrifice, lay down his life to make provision for all men to be made holy here and now? The Bible, your own conscience, and saints throughout the ages testify that you will not be saved from hell unless you stop sinning. The Christian life was not intended to be a desert of struggle and despair until death. Just as Bunyan’s characters Christian and Hopeful arrived in the Delectable Mountains, you can–and must!–enter into the promised land with Jesus in this life!
In Bunyan’s Pilgrim’s Progress, Christian and Hopeful leave the path to the Celestial City and end up in Giant Despair’s Doubting Castle. When humanism, self-help, waiting, and chance fail, the brothers finally cry out to God. “What a fool I’ve been!” Christian exclaims, realizing that a key of promise, that will open every door in Doubting Castle, has remained untouched in his bosom. Does this describe your life? Have you been sitting around in a dungeon of misery, worry, and despair while the Bible with its promises gathers dust on your shelf? Beloved, wake up! Repent, stand on the promises, and watch Jesus supernaturally deliver you!
The atonement and its benefits are two distinct works that were prefigured by the two goats of the sin offering in Leviticus 16. The finished work at the cross made full provision for the forgiveness of our past sin and the removal of all sin from our souls. We have time to repent because Jesus died for the sins of the world. But to be saved, we must allow Jesus to do a finished work in us that makes us holy – this requires us to be crucified with Christ and to be born from above. Will you once and for all say “I’m done!” and give yourself wholly to Jesus?
Today’s welcome and sermon are from October 30. The call of Holy Spirit as uttered through Pastor James is to closely examine our words as they unveil those deep hidden things in our hearts. What do your words reveal about your own heart?
Does God answer your prayers? The foundation needed to prevail in prayer begins with repentance and being made righteous by faith in Christ. Through our suffering, God brings us to the place where we say, “I’m done with games. I will have Jesus!” In this place, the promises of God become stones that build the foundation of prayer. In Jesus, all these promises are “Yea” and “Amen”! Let the Holy Spirit teach you this foundation of prayer! This is the Sunday welcome and sermon from December 4, 2016.
Are you duck walking with Jesus? Do you have one foot in Jesus and one foot in the world? Using the fourth chapter of James, Pastor Ray lays out what this friendship with the world looks like in modern day America and how to submit completely to Jesus Christ. If you’ve been a duck walker and you know it, don’t waste time in self-condemnation–get your heart clean with Jesus, and walk in the life, righteousness, and freedom of Christ!
For the past 1,000 years, the doctrine of penal atonement, developed by Saint Anselm, has pervaded Christian churches of nearly every denomination. The Puritans, John Wesley, and Charles Finney were some who stood against this false teaching that Christ literally became sin and that believers will always be sinners. An in-depth look at Scripture, in translation and in the original Greek, reveals that Jesus Christ is atonement and that he offered himself to forgive our past sins and to remove sin from us in the here and now. We must be made holy now, and stay holy to the end, in order to be saved. If you’ve never considered this before, this broadcast is a good place to begin.
(Note: There is no YouTube video for today’s broadcast.)
God has delayed His judgments to give Christians time to pray for personal and national repentance and revival. He seeks an Elijah company: individuals who refuse compromise with evil, abandon all hopes for fame, and devote time to earnestly pray. Have you, by faith, been made righteous so that you can cooperate with Jesus in His revival plan? Are you at all sensible of the hundreds around you who are under sentence of death, who will meet you at the judgment, and, if you have done nothing, accuse you down to hell? Beloved, it is time to wake up, get clean with Jesus, and pray!