Meet the Authors.

Sarah Burlingame is passionate about Biblical truth. Her diverse church background has taken her through Mainline Methodist, Evangelical, Charismatic and Roman Catholic circles. Her calling as an intercessor led her to receive a certification in Advanced Spiritual Warfare from LMCI (Liberating Ministries for Christ International) lmci.org . Sarah has served as a small group leader, worship planner, liturgical dance leader and online ministry coordinator. She holds a M.S. degree in Education and lives in northeastern Pennsylvania with her husband and their sons. They attend North Rome Wesleyan Church.

Joanne Reinhart asked Jesus Christ into her heart at the age of nine in a Sunday school classroom in Maryland. Her journey with the Lord took her through various careers, colleges, and universities. She holds Bachelor’s degrees in Art/Dance, Theology, and Education, and a M.S. degree in Educational Administration. Her passion for the Lord is evidenced through worship, dance, and teaching. She was liberated into her spiritual gifts and callings through the teaching resources of LMCI lmci.org . Joanne has danced and taught at Christian conferences and various churches in PA and VA. She currently teaches classical ballet and coaches dance for gymnastics. Joanne attends Lighthouse of Faith Church. She and her husband live in northeastern Pennsylvania.

Friday, June 23, 2017

Blessed Hope




As the world turns and as time marches on, there is a collective feeling of unease growing on the earth. Angst (a gloomy feeling of anxiety or depression) has seeped into the collective pores of humanity. “We’ve seen it all, we’ve done it all, and we’ve imagined it all.” While some would like to believe in “world peace” hate and violence fills the streets.  With such discord, even the faithful remnant of Jesus Christ perceives the intensity of the “cosmic battle” which seems poised to consume us all. BUT GOD! Amid this turmoil, which surely is part of the end times prophesied in the Bible so long ago, we must have Hope. But, how do we receive this hope?  This Hope can be so tangible that we can know it, if we allow the Holy Spirit to stir it up within each one of us. The Hope we are speaking of is the Blessed Hope in Titus 2:13 (NIV) “while we wait for the blessed hope—the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ.”

Hope is an “expectation of good” that is given to us when we believe that God gave us His only begotten son, Jesus Christ.  When we ask Jesus into our hearts, we receive the blessed hope of our eternal life.  This “hope” will not fade away, but will endure and keep us to the end!  (John 3:16; Romans 10:9,10,13) 

1 Peter 1:3-5 (NKJV) Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled and that does not fade away, reserved in heaven for you

Perhaps one of the questions we ask is how can we have HOPE of a future event… the Hope of our inheritance in heaven? If our eternal life is only in the future, what about the pressures of today’s world?  Can we be joyful and expectant of good things to happen in our lives now?  Can we have daily patience to receive the promises of God while the world seems to be “heading down a slippery slope into a never ending black hole”? Can we “rejoice in hope? Be patient in tribulation? Continue steadfast in prayer?” (Romans 12:12)

Romans 8:24-25 (GNT) For it was by hope that we were saved; but if we see what we hope for, then it is not really hope. For who of us hopes for something we see?  But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.

We read in Colossians 1:27 that it is “Christ in us, the hope of glory.”  This hope of being glorified like Jesus was in His resurrected body, is difficult to understand. Since we are the Body of Christ who will be resurrected at the “gathering together” (rapture / harpazo), how do we “hold fast the confidence and the rejoicing of the hope firm to the end” of our lives? (Hebrews 3:6) How can we be encouraged?

The Word of God is clear about our hope and our rejoicing, not only at the end of our lives, but as we face each day…

1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 (AMPC) Now also we would not have you ignorant, brethren, about those who fall asleep [in death], that you may not grieve [for them] as the rest do who have no hope [beyond the grave]. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will also bring with Him through Jesus those who have fallen asleep [in death]. For this we declare to you by the Lord’s [own] word, that we who are alive and remain until the coming of the Lord shall in no way precede [into His presence] or have any advantage at all over those who have previously fallen asleep [in Him in death]. For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a loud cry of summons, with the shout of an archangel, and with the blast of the trumpet of God. And those who have departed this life in Christ will rise first. Then we, the living ones who remain [on the earth], shall simultaneously be caught up along with [the resurrected dead] in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so always (through the eternity of the eternities) we shall be with the Lord! Therefore comfort and encourage one another with these words.

WOW!! What a comfort to know that our loved ones who believed in Christ and have already died, will be with us at the “gathering together” of the Lord’s body. This HOPE in our bodily resurrection at the Lord’s coming for us in the clouds is an “anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast.” (Hebrews 6:19)

Let’s be clear:  this HOPE is that Jesus Christ, Himself, will call us up to be with Him in the clouds someday soon.  It is NOT when Jesus steps His foot down on the Mount of Olives (Zechariah 14:1-4) which is called “the Day of the Lord.” That is another future event in scripture that has to do with the battle of the nations against Jerusalem.

If we believe God is faithful and His promises are true, then we can “hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering.” (Hebrews 10:23)

Our prayer for all of us is that we can remain HOPEFUL, and be encouraged in the finished work of Jesus Christ at the cross.  We daily desire a greater revelation of what Jesus meant when He said, “It is finished.”

Romans 15:13 (AMP) May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you will abound in hope and overflow with confidence in His promises.

~ Joanne and Sarah

  

  

Monday, June 5, 2017

A Secret Weapon




Recently, we wrote about the spiritual armor that is at our disposal.  Jesus Christ gave us this authority (armor) when we believed that He is the son of God and made Him Lord of our life. (Romans 10:9,10)

In Mark 16:17-18 Jesus said: “And these signs will follow those who believe: In My  name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” (NKJV)

As believers, we can do the things listed above.  However, most of these promises are rarely seen in Christian churches today. 
Sadly, the teachings of John Calvin left a very strong impact upon the church. We say sadly because one of the main tenants of Calvinism is the unscriptural belief that the manifestations of the Holy Spirit somehow stopped after the dawn of the church age. Staunch Calvinists will argue that the Holy Spirit performed miracles through the earliest Christians to jump-start the church. They will typically tell you that manifestations seen today in believers, such as speaking in tongues or words of prophecy are not from God. Some current denominations today are more strictly Calvinist than others but it appears that the negative effects of this powerless form of Christianity can be seen across the board.
Most Christians seem to be comfortable with ineffectual doctrine. If that were not true, then we would see more people praying in public because they would be confident that their prayers had the powerful backing of the Holy Spirit. But, we rarely see that, do we? Instead today’s Christians feel they should pray quietly, go to church once a week and attempt to “behave” like good people. We have forgotten about the day of Pentecost and the sovereign ability given to us.

 Acts 2:3-4 (NRSV) Divided tongues, as of fire, appeared among them, and a tongue rested on each of them.  All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other languages, as the Spirit gave them ability.

Yes, the Holy Spirit, who is the Comforter that Jesus said He would leave with us, gave us the ability to pray in tongues. You may call it a “prayer language” … it is a special gift from God to help us in this world. It is interesting to note that many of the observers of the newly Spirit filled Christians, thought those speaking in tongues must have been drunk even though it was early in the morning.

Acts 2:11-13 (NKJV) Cretans and Arabs—we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.” So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean?” Others mocking said, “They are full of new wine.”

Why did God make that point clear in scripture? Could it be because today, many people are quick to claim that the manifestation of speaking in tongues is not from God? 

It wasn’t only the early followers of Jesus who were accused of not belonging to God when the Holy Spirit came upon them. Jesus himself was accused of working with Satan. Take a look……..

 Matthew 12:22-32 (NKJV)
A House Divided Cannot Stand
Then one was brought to Him who was demon-possessed, blind and mute; and He healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw.  And all the multitudes were amazed and said, “Could this be the Son of David?”
 Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, “This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.”
 But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand.  If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?  And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore they shall be your judges.  But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, surely the kingdom of God has come upon you.  Or how can one enter a strong man’s house and plunder his goods, unless he first binds the strong man? And then he will plunder his house.  He who is not with Me is against Me, and he who does not gather with Me scatters abroad.”

These are very important issues to consider when attempting to understand the role of the Holy Spirit in our own lives.
In Ephesians 6:11-18, we are instructed to “put on the whole armor of God.” Part of the whole armor of God states that we should “pray always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit.” 

Ephesians 6:18 (JUB) praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit and watching in this with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints.

What does praying in the Spirit mean?  Jesus told his disciples that they would receive “power when the Holy Spirit came upon them.” We mentioned this above but let’s take a closer look at (Acts 1:8). The word, power, is the Greek word dynamis = power, ability, workers of miracles, mighty works. 

Acts 2:4 (AMP) And they were all filled [that is, diffused throughout their being] with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues (different languages), as the Spirit was giving them the ability to speak out [clearly and appropriately]

That sounds pretty good as far as a spiritual weapon is concerned. We submit to you that “praying always… in the Spirit” is a secret weapon that many believers have missed.  We as believers have the Holy Spirit sealed inside us.  It is time to use that secret weapon in our lives so that we can attain the promises of Christ on the cross.

Ephesians 1:13-14 (NIV) And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit,  who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

When we do not know how to pray for ourselves, or a family member or friend, and we “pray in the Spirit” the Holy Spirit intercedes for us!
Romans 8:26 (NKJV) Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered.
Praying in the Spirit is also called: 1) our prayer language or 2) speaking in tongues.  So, if you have been in a Christian home group or church that believes “speaking in tongues” ended after the book of the Acts, well, why then is it listed in the whole armor of God in Ephesians?  Were you taught that the verses in the Pauline epistles about “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:16); and “continue earnestly in prayer” (Colossians 4:2) were prayers in your native language only?  Praying in the spirit is a “secret weapon” that many Christians have missed.

 Every year the church observes Pentecost…which occurs 50 days after Passover. As we have noted, Pentecost was when the early church received the power of the Holy Spirit. It was celebrated yesterday (June, 4, 2017) in the American church. Did you hear about it in the pulpit? Did you see the Holy Spirit noticeably working in your midst? Where has this power gone?  It was clearly given to us!
Even if your church wasn’t operating in the power of the Holy Spirit yesterday, it doesn’t mean that you need to live without the Comforter in your life.
Our prayer language (speaking in tongues) is a gift that we receive when we are born again as stated earlier.  This language is not something that we can understand in our native tongue, but it is called “the tongues of men or angels.” (1 Corinthians 13:1a NKJV)

The following is a list of the scriptural benefits or reasons for “speaking in tongues” by Rev. Paul Norcross (Kingdom Faith Ministries).  We trust it will be a blessing as you search the Word of God for this secret weapon of truth.
18 Scriptural Reasons for Speaking in Tongues (Maybe 19) by Paul Norcross
(S.I.T. = Speaking in Tongues)
1.  S.I.T is rest to our souls – a refreshing.  Isaiah 28:11-12; I Cor. 14:21-22
2.  S.I.T. edifies you.  I Cor. 14:4
3.  S.I.T. speaks to God mysteries.  I Cor. 14:2
4.  S.I.T. speaks the wonderful works of God.  Acts 2:11
5.  S.I.T. magnifies God.  Acts 10:46
6.  S.I.T. is perfect prayer for yourself.  I Cor. 14:14-15; Rom. 8:26-28
7.  S.I.T. is perfect intercession for others.  Rom. 8:26-28; Eph. 6:18; I Tim. 2:1
8.  S.I.T. gives thanks well.  I Cor. 14:17
9.  S.I.T. strengthens you with might in your inner man.  Eph. 3:16
10.  S.I.T. (“quickens”) gives life to your mortal bodies.  Rom 8:11
11.  S.I.T. puts to death the deeds of the body (“mortifies the flesh”).  Rom. 8:13
12.  S.I.T. gives us the “spirit of adoption” – an “Abba” intimacy with Christ.  Rom. 8:15
13.  S.I.T. bears witness with our spirit that we are the children of God.  Rom. 8:16
14. S.I.T. confirms you are “joint heirs with Christ.”  Rom. 8:17
15.  S.I.T. is a sign for unbelievers.  I Cor. 14:22; Mark 16:17
16.  S.I.T. builds up your faith.  Jude 20
17.  S.I.T. helps us be filled to capacity with the Spirit.  Eph. 5: 18-19
18.  S.I.T. helps us keep from being deceived.  John 16:13; I John 2:26-27; Rom. 8:16
19.  S.I.T. helps build your immune system 30-40% according to Dr. Carl Peterson, brain specialist at the former ORU Hospital in Tulsa, OK.  It also activates a portion of the brain that does not have other known activity to medical science.  (We do not find this in scripture, but it is very thought provoking.)

Please make sure to visit Kingdom Faith Ministry by clicking the KFM button listed on our page.

In closing, we humbly want to express our love for the church as the body of Christ in this world. You are part of that body. We pray that the Holy Spirit fills your hearts and minds and overflows with love and power through each one of you. God bless you all!
 
~ Joanne and Sarah

John 4:23-24 (NKJV) But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him.  God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”