This week, Pastor Evan Brown teaches from 1 Cor. 1:18-2:16 as we continue in the series, “Revelational Ministry.” We learn that God deeply loves us, and He wants to reveal Himself to us. Worldly wisdom, human philosophies, and intellectual pursuits cannot help us come to know God. God kindly seeks our affection and invites us to know him by the power of the Holy Spirit and through the scriptures. All worldly wisdom and earthly authorities will eventually pass away. Yet God has powerfully overcome death through the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Therefore, God can set us free from horrific afflictions that assault our minds and help us navigate any of life’s challenges. God freely gives wisdom, salvation, and rescue to all who seek Him in spirit and in truth.
Various behaviors can open the door to the occult in our lives—many are seemingly harmless. However, the effect of those “seemingly harmless” behaviors have a significant read-out in the spiritual realm. We will be specifically identifying many of the workings of witchcraft, rebellion, and sorcery, because they are likely not what you may think!
Understanding the spirit of the occult takes a lot of unpacking, then a redefining, of the many misconceptions around it. There are multiple components to it, as well as several different spirits connected to it. This first night of two, we will focus on fantasy, divination, and regret.
In the continuation of our Revelational Frameworks Series, our founding pastor Daniel Brown explains and defines some of the Spiritual Gifts, as noted in 1 Corinthians 12:7-11. These gifts (or "spirituals") are given to us by the Holy Spirit "for the common good", which means these "sparks" are not for us to keep, but to pass on to whomever they are meant for, and everybody in the Kingdom is a candidate for those deliveries!
1 Corinthians 12:7-11
The workings of a spirit of lust are very often misunderstood, and this spirit can thrive in the obscurity of that lack of understanding. However, God’s Word reveals the fullness of the true nature of this spiritual force. It’s much broader than you think and you’ll be surprised to find out what is really going on!
Self-righteousness, self-justification, self pity and self-preservation: once we open the door to one of these, the rest so easily can enter and align themselves to form a prison of “The Kingdom of Self.” This kingdom is full of our own isolation, our own deception, and our own bitterness. That can sound so intimidating and immovable! Yet, Jesus always has a way! This evening, we will dive into scripture and identify the Biblical truths that can obliterate the tangled mental and emotional web of these snares!
Today Pastor Lindsay Brown expands on an earlier teaching (7.17.18 podcast) in which she summarized various aspects of breaking free from that which hinders our walk with God and keeps us from entering His rest (the promised land). Her focus today is the heart. Since God knows what is in my heart, where is my heart for God? And since God goes before me, do I trust Him and am I willing to follow Him? Or am I suffering from hardness of heart? Pastor Lindsay takes us to the book of Hebrews, in which the author is reminding Jewish believers about God’s faithfulness in offering His rest and warning them to be careful not to let “an evil, unbelieving heart lead them away from the living God” (Hebrews 3:12 ESV). If you want to enter [God’s] rest, He says, “Do not harden your hearts” and do as the Israelites did (Hebrews 3:8–11, 15–19, 4:1–13).
Pastor Lindsay covers a variety of aspects of hard-heartedness (what that means, how to guard our hearts against it, how to identify hard-heartedness [for example, through pride, fear, unrepentance, unbelief, rebellion]). Her teaching encourages each of us to answer the following questions: how do I break free of it and enter God’s rest? (Hebrews 4:1–11, 12:1ff). And how do I apply the Word of God to my life? (Hebrews 4:12, which emphasizes our innermost being). Pastor Lindsay also points us to our Great High Priest (Hebrews, chapter 4 and 8, and Hebrews 10:19–22) as a reminder of whom we serve: a God of compassion, a God who has made a way for us to enter His rest, and a God who is with us through it all, God of hope.
Legalism, double-mindedness, selfish ambition, pride, judgment, a critical heart: all of these can be manifestations of a religious spirit’s influence in our hearts, minds, and actions. Let’s recognize these for what they are, and learn what truth the Bible gives us about this multifaceted foe.
Part One: “Walking Out Deliverance”
Everyone’s journey through deliverance is different. There is no one-size-fits-all “formula” to the breakthrough and freedom that we desire. However, the Lord does have patterns for accomplishing breakthrough in our lives and He wants to reveal those to us! There are predictably recognizable schemes of the enemy as well as the ever-present tendencies of our flesh that can trip us up along the way. This evening we will dive into these patterns, schemes, and tendencies to more easily find that “narrow path” that leads us to life!
Part Two: “Breaking the Hold of Fear & Anxiety”
Does anxiety have only natural explanations? Or, are there spiritual elements that cause and contribute to its intensity in so many of our lives? We are going to look at how fear and anxiety are linked, plus the traps they can bring about in our lives. More importantly, we will learn how the Lord can and will bring about the release and relief from fear and anxiety’s terrible burdens.
Pastor Daniel Brown taught about the contrary spiritual forces that oppose us and hinder our
walk with God. Why do I feel like such a failed believer? Why can’t I make headway? What
keeps blowing me off into wrong places? Our flesh, our old self versus our new self in Christ
means that we are perpetually faced with putting off the old and putting on the new. (Galatians
Pastor Daniel focused on four categories of death-dealing, loss-bringing, hope-stealing evil: the
WORLD, (1 John 2:16-17), our FLESH, (Galatians 5:16-17), the SIN-FORCE, (Romans 7:20, 22-23),
and the EVIL-SPIRITED, Acts 19:16, Mark 1:26-27, Matthew 7:18-20).
For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers,
against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the
heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12
What is spiritual bondage? What does the Bible have to say about it? How do we end up in spiritual bondage? We will discuss the story of the Gadarene Demoniac as a poignant example of the great exchange of deliverance: from bondage to freedom, chaos to peace.
The Lord intends for us to live an abundant life in freedom and to experience all the purposes He planned for our lives. So, why do we all have parts of our lives where those hopes feel out of our reach? We will examine how the Lord reaches out to us in our need, with His deliverance--doing what only He can do for us!
Pastor Evan Brown introduces an exciting new six-week series that will be offered this summer titled, “Revelational Framework.” Many of the topics that will be covered will revolve around the fact that God reveals truth to us that we cannot access by our own understanding and yet God’s truth is always founded and confirmed in the scriptures. This week, Judy Gonzales shares her personal story of how God has revealed Himself to her at various times in her life that has resulted in greater understanding, spiritual insight, and freedom to overcome areas of oppression. In addition, we study how Jesus gave his followers new revelation by: 1) Opening their eyes to see a spiritual reality within their physical setting; 2) Opening the scriptures to give them understanding beyond what they already knew; and 3) Opening their minds to give them spiritual insight that had not yet been revealed to them. God promises to be found by all who seek Him. He gives wisdom freely without reproach.Yet God’s truths are inaccessible with the human mind alone. These truths are only accessible by revelation from God and through the Scriptures. This week’s passages are from Luke 10:21-24, Luke 24:1-10, and Luke 24:27-32.
Pastor Steve Shober taught that just as Jesus lived a life in humble service to mankind, our attitude toward others can reflect that level of unselfishness by putting others before ourselves.
- “Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above ourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interest of others.” Phil 2:1-8
- God changes our spirit but we choose whether or not to heed his guidance. “He humbled Himself and became obedient even to the point of death on the cross.” Phil 2:8
- “Anyone who wants to be first must be last, and the servant of all.” Mark 9:35.
- “Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God…” 1 Peter 5: 6 and James 4:10.
- “But whoever wishes to become great among you must be your servant, and whoever wishes to be first must be slave of all. For the Son of Man came not be served but to serve, and to give his life a ransom for many.” Mark 10:43-45.
- “If any want to be my followers, let them deny themselves, take up their cross and follow me.” Matthew 16:24.
A testimony is so much more than an inspiring story shared by a believer. Testimonies are an invitation to join with the storyteller in communion—in intimate connection—with each other and with the God Who made the testimony possible. (1 John 1:1-4) This weekend, more than a dozen VBS volunteers shared what God did in them, for them, and through them because they said “yes” to VBS. Whether you were able to participate or not, this weekend’s services are an invitation to share in the experiences with us “so that our joy may be made complete.”
Evan teaches from Ephesians 1:13-14, that we are “are sealed by the Holy Spirit”. The enemy of our soul is wanting to break that seal, or at least convince us it is broken by reminding us of our sins and shortcomings. But that is not how it works: we are sealed in Christ and nothing can break that.
We as children receive an inheritance from God our Father: what we receive is super valuable. Evan challenges us to consider these questions: “Do I live my life knowing that I have a valuable gift from God our Father?”, “What do I believe about the inheritance God has for me?”, and “Does God’s calling on my life make me feel hopeful, or is it more a burden... and why?” Part of our inheritance is revelation in our lives, watch now and you may be reminded of the things God has shown or promised you in the past that have equipped you for today.
Ephesians 1: 17-19
Pastor Daniel Brown taught on the benefits of speaking in our spiritual tongue/language (1 Corinthians 14: 1-31). Pentecost was the first account of baptism of the Holy Spirit and the birth of the church (Acts 2:1). When we pray in the Spirit we become connected to the Source who knows how to align with God. To easier discern God’s will, it’s helpful if we are baptized in the Holy Spirit so that we can pray in the Spirit to God. This feeds understanding, making us dynamic spiritual agents for God.
Hearing the voice of the Holy Spirit gives us very specific guidance that we would not otherwise have access to. Although we aren’t permitted to know the meaning of the words when we pray in the Spirit, we can know that God is dealing directly (2 Corinthians 12:4). We don’t need to understand the mysteries (1 Corinthians 14:2). The Spirit intercedes for us according to God’s will (Romans 8: 26-27).