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Saturday, May 23, 2015

The Power of the Tongue

In chapter 2 in the book of James, the author makes it clear that faith yields works when it is genuine. If not it is useless and dead – and useless and dead faith is non-existent faith! James explains:

You have faith and I have works; show me your faith without the works, and I will show you my faith by my works.” 19 You believe that [God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder. 20 But are you willing to recognize, you foolish fellow, that faith without works is useless? 21 Was not Abraham our father justified by works when he offered up Isaac his son on the altar? 22 You see that faith was working with his works, and [s]as a result of the works, faith was [t]perfected; 23 and the Scripture was fulfilled which says, “And Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness,” and he was called the friend of God. 24 You see that a man is justified by works and not by faith alone. 25 In the same way, was not Rahab the harlot also justified by works when she received the messengers and sent them out by another way? 26 For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so also faith without works is dead.”

So, IF you have allowed God to truly work in you through being born again and submitting to His will, the faith that He grants you will manifest through doing works for the Kingdom.

Mark 16:17 defines the works or signs that accompany believers: They will cast out demons, heal the sick, speak in other tongues – these are works of the Kingdom of God and signs that you are a believer in Christ Jesus. This is Jesus’ own definition of a true believer. So, let me ask you, what do we have to do to allow God to work through us to heal the sick? We have to speak! We have to take a hold of the authority...

that Christ has left us and utilize it to command truth into the person being prayed for. The same is true with casting out demons…we must speak and command the spirits to leave the afflicted party. With tongues, we must open our mouth and speak, in faith, and allow God to take over our tongue.

Notice that the key element to all of these works is faith. We must have faith in order to succeed in anything we undertake in the Christian walk. We must step into the realm of supernatural authority that Jesus promised would come to us in Acts 1:8 when He said “You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you!” He didn’t say that you might receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you. He stated this as an emphatic promise that you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you. The evidence of receiving this power that comes with the baptism in the Holy Spirit is most often evidenced by speaking in tongues. In fact four of the five times that receiving the Holy Spirit is mentioned in scripture, it was evidenced by speaking in tongues. It’s no coincidence that the very first action, or proof, of receiving this power is acting on faith, opening your mouth and speaking His words – the language of angels. And if you understand that when we speak or pray in tongues it is the Holy Spirit speaking through us directly to God on the throne, it is no wonder why, it is? What could be more powerful than having a direct pipeline to the ear of God? And we do it by faith, knowing that when we open our mouth to speak that God is going to supply the language.

So, faith without works is dead and we have defined what the works are that accompany those that truly believe in Jesus Christ and that these works require speaking for them to be performed. Please understand this, all Christians are called to a life of warfare, and victory in war can only come when you are an active participant in the battle. Are you living the Christian life of spiritual warfare? If you aren’t then you’re missing you’re general calling as a true believer. 

In chapter 3 James talks of the specifics of the words that we speak and he starts with a word of caution to teachers –or I should say those that teach, because not all who teach are true teachers, according to the word of God. The KJV uses the term ‘masters’ here but the more accurate translation is teachers, the term ‘masters’ comes from the old English, much like the modern English still call school principles ‘Headmasters’. So, not everyone who teaches is a true teacher. In other words they have not been called into the office of teacher as a part of the five-fold ministry talked about in Ephesians 4:11, those being Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers.

James starts off in chapter 3 by saying that, in fact, very few are actually called to be teachers. He says “Let not many of you become teachers” Why does he say that? He answers himself in the very next line when he says “knowing that as such we will incur a greater judgment” The Amplified here says “Not many [of you] should become teachers (self-constituted censors and reprovers of others), my brethren, for you know that we [teachers] will be judged by a higher standard and with greater severity [than other people; thus we assume the greater accountability and the more condemnation].” I love the Amplified because it really lays out the translation and different word meanings quite well.

Now, that’s a pretty threatening statement isn’t it? Why do you think James put this warning in there? It is because the judgment will be upon those who appoint themselves teachers without being called as a teacher! The same applies to all the offices of the five-fold ministry but, obviously James is emphasizing the office of teacher here. Why do you think that is? Because teachers speak the word of God and are held responsible for imparting knowledge to the bride of Jesus Christ, the church. Hence, they are extremely accountable for what comes out of their mouths as instruction. 

Teachers that are not actually called by God to teach are as “blind leaders of the blind” as stated in Matthew 15:14. No man has a right to promote himself or exercise the sacred functions of the appointed offices without being called into them. For example, today we see many speaking at conferences, etc carrying the title of Apostle. The only thing I want to say on this is that unless you are specifically called by God, by hearing His voice tell you that you are called as an Apostle, you are in serious danger of severe judgment. And when you consider the works of the 1st century Apostles, everywhere they went miracles were occurring like popcorn – and unless these that carry the title of ‘Apostle’ exhibit the same, they have illegally appointed themselves into a position that only God can appoint – and He pays special to the office of Apostle because it is the highest ranking office for the Kingdom.  All these offices of the five-fold come with POWER and are appointed by God Himself! These are Holy offices of the Lord and are given out to whom He decides should fill them. No human has the right to appoint anyone to any of these offices - not a church, a pastor, not a seminary or a council. Only God calls His followers – and His followers hear His voice.  

Have you ever thought about the fact that each of these offices is involved in speaking the word of God? Not just the written word but the words spoken through the voice of God as well. And to know the voice of God you must hear and obey the voice of God. The Prophet knows this all too well because he or she hears the voice of God constantly.  God is very careful who He selects to place in any of these offices because He guards His word and will severely judge anyone who makes mockery of it.

James goes on in verse 6 to say that the tongue “is a fire, the very world of iniquity (sin); the tongue is set among our members as that which defiles the entire body, and sets on fire the course of our life, and is set on fire by hell.”

In verse 8 he goes on “no one can tame the tongue; it is a restless evil and full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in the likeness of God; 10 from the same mouth come both blessing and cursing.”

So, the tongue can bless or it can curse. It can speak directly into the ear of God or it can speak life or death over a situation or person. This is why it is extremely important to be very careful in what you declare over anyone – you are wielding a powerful weapon!

This idea is reinforced throughout scripture:

Proverbs 18:21 says “The tongue can bring death or life”

Proverbs 15:1 says “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”

Proverbs 10:19 instructs us that “When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent.” 

Matthew 12:36-37 warns that “on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.

In Psalm 14 David prays “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips!” 

Then in Psalm 19:14 he again prays “Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord

Proverbs 15:28 instructs to wait on the Lord for the words to say “The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer, but the mouth of the wicked pours out evil things.

This is echoed in Proverbs 17:27 when it says “Whoever restrains his words has knowledge

Scripture also speaks of true Kingdom power in the tongue:

Proverbs 12:18 tells us “…the tongue of the wise brings healing.”

Mark 11:23 tells us “Truly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be taken up and thrown into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will come to pass, it will be done for him.”

In Matthew 6 Jesus is instructing us in The Lord’s Prayer and it says “Thy Kingdom come, they will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven

How is God’s will going to be done on earth? Who is going to facilitate this happening? We have ALL been called to walk in spiritual authority and power and this is absolutely necessary in order to establish the Kingdom of God on the earth.

You see, when Jesus left earth He gave us His power of attorney to act on His behalf. He left us the same power that He carried inside of Him and He proved this by instructing us in John 14:12 that we would do the things He had done – and even greater things. 

How do we know that we’ve been given this authority? Are we supposed to actually speak to Satan and his principalities?   Matthew 18:18 instructs us so: 

"Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven."  

Luke  10:19 says “Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall hurt you.”

Mark 11:23  Further tells us "For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, 'Be removed and be cast into the sea,' and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says."
There is no doubt that we’ve been given the authority to act on Christ’s behalf – to the point of binding evil spirits and losing blessings.  But how? Please notice that the key element to all of this is faith! The Word very clearly says that if we speak without doubt and KNOW in our heart that the things we command will be done, then the things we command are already done! 

That’s about as clear as crystal isn’t it? That’s authority! What we bind and loose – by speaking, declaring and proclaiming - on earth is performed by Jesus in heaven, but we have to exercise faith and speak! THIS is how the Kingdom comes on earth, THIS is how His will is done – through His appointees acting on His behalf and calling down the Kingdom on earth by declaring it!

John 15:7 tells us “If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.”

Psalm 8 reveals that those suffering at the hands of evil forces are those made in the image of God and valued highly by their creator. Indeed, the Psalm proclaims that humans are God’s agents on earth and made a little lower that Himself! Second, this psalm emphasizes God’s sovereignty (8:1, 9) and proclaims that man needs to exercise their legitimate authority within the rule of God.

In verse 1 David begins by crying out to the Lord “O Lord, our Lord” and continues to try and express the Glory of God, saying the whole of creation is full of his glory and radiant with the excellence of his power; his goodness and his wisdom are manifested on every hand. The Lord’s presence is displayed for all to see, everywhere in the heavens. How obvious is the power of the Lord our God that all we have to do is to glance at the supremacy of His creation, that the very existence of the universe is supported by His hand. 

In verse 2 David begins to speak of the power that we carry in our mouth:
Out of the mouths of babes and suckling infants You have established strength 

Who are the babes that David speaks of here? We are! We are but babes in the Spirit but God has established power in our mouth. The words that we speak possess power beyond anything we can imagine. Why? The verse continues…

because of Your foes, that You might silence the enemy and the avenger.”

We need the power of God in us to combat the enemy and please notice here that we have to do the speaking that causes the enemy to be silenced! God has given the power to us to handle any situation that arises on earth and when we speak the Word of God into a situation the enemy is silenced! We, as children of God, babes and suckling infants, when we stand in authority and speak the Word of God the enemy has no choice but to stand down, be silenced and obey! 

Please also take note that He says that He has already established this power in us. The word “established” is past tense! And please understand this because this is the key to this entire message – the power is already there but is activated only when we speak it! God’s DNA that He breathed into Adam is still in us, it just needs to be switched on. This power, like faith, is useless until we open our mouths and speak it into the atmosphere– and we can change the atmosphere by our speech. We can calm the storm that Jesus admonished His disciples for not taking authority over.  And please listen to this, we don’t have to be spiritual giants to be victorious. If we simply act on God’s authority with child-like faith and speak in Jesus name, the power of God that is activated will perform through us!

The truth is that everything has already been provided for us! Jesus paid the price in full for all of our needs on the cross and when He said “it is finished” that means that your salvation into eternal life is complete, your healing has already taken place, the price for your liberation from demonic forces has already been paid! You need to step up, step into truth and speak it - claim it in Jesus name without doubt that it has been done for you!

Christ was a doer of the Word – He performed the very words that He spoke and we, as followers of Christ, have a responsibility to be doers of the Word! James 1:22 tells us that to be mere hearers of the Word isn’t sufficient! James says that hearing the word but not doing the word is an act of self-delusion. He draws the analogy of a man who looks in a mirror and then goes away without thinking anything further about his appearance. The man doesn’t need to keep thinking about his appearance throughout the day because it is useless to him once he has finished looking at himself, so he pays it no mind. If we hear the word of God but do not do what it says, we are treating the word as if it were useless! We deceive ourselves about the very nature and purpose of the word of God – it is to be performed! In order for it to be performed, we must take action and speak it!

This is exactly what happens in the majority of churches today. People go to church, hear the Word, then go about their business until the next Sunday. Then they go to church that Sunday and repeat the process all over again. This is a deception and an insult to God! We need to get on our face before God and repent for insulting Him! We need to repent for not being doers of the Word of God.

This scripture in Psalm 8:2 is reflected in Matthew 21:15 when the children cried "Hosannah!" in the temple, when the Pharisees were silent and Jesus quoted these very words as a justification of their infantile cries saying “Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise

When we speak the word of God it is praise to Him – and He promises to act!

Do you believe that we carry the same authority that Jesus walked with? I’m going to prove to you that we do in this scripture. 

Psalm 8 verse 3 & 4 says “When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained; What is man that You take thought of him, And the son of man that You care for him?”  

David is saying is that when we look at all the glorious works of God in the heavens, who is man in comparison that God is mindful of us? We are His children and He loves us. He loves us so much that when He created Adam, He gave him complete authority over the earth – total rule. He delegated to Adam the privilege of naming every animal and to rule over all the earth.- to establish God’s Glory “on earth as it is in Heaven”  When man sinned that authority was taken away and given to Satan, which is why man has been born into a sin-state ever since. But the Glory is reinstated through belief in and yielding to Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit! You see the Glory of God was breathed into His image - man. The Glory of God is the image of God and the image of God is the Glory of God. We are God’s Glory! But we lost the Glory through our sin in the garden. 

Matthew 18:11 tells us “For the Son of man came to save that which was lost.” Jesus came to restore the Glory of the Father to us – and that Glory is manifest through His power – and His power is activated when we speak! Do you see how this all ties together?

When he speaks of man in verse 4, he is referring to Adam, which literally translated from the Hebrew means ‘man’. The son of man is who? Us! We are all descendants, or sons, of Adam. 

Now, pay special attention to verse 5. The KJV says, “For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honor.”

The problem here is the word ‘angels’, which is a bad interpretation. In the original Hebrew text, the word there is Elohim – and Elohim is God! More specifically Elohim refers to the Trinity, the plurality of God. The ‘im’ at the end in Hebrew is the same as our ‘s’ in English. This exact same reference to God as Elohim is found in the very first line of scripture in Genesis 1:1 when it says “In the beginning God (Elohim) created the heaven and the earth.” The first line of scripture establishes the concept of the Trinity in creation – Father Son and Holy Ghost.

In Psalm 8 verse 5, the more accurate translation is found in the NASB or the AMP which says:

Yet You have made him (man) a little lower than God…”
This goes back to the idea that we were created in the image of God. We were created in the image of God with His Glory as a part of our DNA.

The second part of that line in verse 5 says “And You crown him with glory and majesty!” Who wears a crown? A ruler! And what is the crown a symbol of? Authority!  Not only were we created in the image of God, with His Glory as part of our DNA, but He has crowned us with His authority! This authority gives us, as believers in Christ Jesus, the right to rule over the earth and do God’s will here as it is in Heaven. How is this authority activated? By the words that we speak! 

Is there disease in heaven? Is there depression in heaven? Do demons infest people in Heaven? Of course not.

When we speak the Word of God, when we speak Jesus into a situation, a circumstance or a person, the Kingdom of God invades earth and heals whatever it is that we speak into! Do you understand the power that has been given to you by the creator of the universe?

Verse 6 further explains that “You make him (man) to rule over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet” Is that not authority?

What are the works of God’s hands? Everything! John 1:1-3 tells us “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things came into being through Him, and apart from Him nothing came into being that has come into being.

First off, notice that The Word is God. Also notice in verse 2 that The Word is referred to as ‘He’. This means that the Word is a person, not an ‘it’. Also, notice in verse 3 that ALL THINGS were created by Him and there is not one thing in existence that was not created by Him.

Now jump over to John 1 verse 14. It says “And the Word became flesh, and dwelt among us, and we saw His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.”

What member of the Trinity became flesh? Jesus. So then, Jesus is the Word. So, it was Jesus, the Son, the living Word of God who spoke everything into existence. In Genesis 1:3 it specifically says “Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light” He continued to spontaneously create everything by speaking it into existence…and we have been given this exact same authority! Is that awesome?!?
So, when we exercise the authority that God has given us to speak The Word, who’s power are we activating? The power of The Word, the Lord Jesus Christ. When we speak the Word of God, we are allowing Jesus to work through us. This is why when we speak in faith miracles happen – the sick are healed, demons run scared, the storm is calmed and the dead are raised! Jesus said “ANYTHING you ask in my name I will do” 

The question is, do you believe it? Do you accept, by faith, that you carry this power of God inside you? Do you have the understanding that when you pray knowing, without doubt, that what you are praying for you have already received. I pray that this teaching has blessed you with that understanding. AMEN.

Be a blessing...

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