• Northwest Apostolic

Numbers 25:1-9 “And Israel abode in Shittim, and the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab.  And they called the people unto the sacrifices of their gods: and the people did eat, and bowed down to their gods.  And Israel joined himself unto Baalpeor: and the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel.  And the LORD said unto Moses, Take all the heads of the people, and hang them up before the LORD against the sun, that the fierce anger of the LORD may be turned away from Israel.  And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baalpeor.  And, behold, one of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman in the sight of Moses, and in the sight of all the congregation of the children of Israel, who were weeping before the door of the tabernacle of the congregation.  And when Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand; And he went after the man of Israel into the tent, and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel.  And those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand”

Jeremiah wrote in Lamentations 3:21-23, “This I recall to my mind, therefore have I hope.  It is of the LORD'S mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not.  They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness”

None of us would be here today if it were not for the mercy of God.  Psalm 130:3 “If thou, LORD, shouldest mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?”

On the other hand to put God into the box that says He never gets angry at sin, we have no responsibility for the consequences of our actions, and God’s grace causes him to look the other way regardless of whether we repent or not, is to totally disregard many scriptures in the Bible.

Paul wrote in the New Testament, “Behold therefore the goodness and severity of God: on them which fell, severity; but toward thee, goodness, if thou continue in his goodness: otherwise thou also shalt be cut off”. Romans 11:22

Paul instructed us that it is the goodness of God that leads men to repentance. Romans 2:4.  Furthermore he said, “Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound?  God forbid!  How shall we that are dead to sin live any longer therein?  Clearly the New Testament scripture does not give us license to sin!  In fact, we only have a form of religion and deny the power of God when with a permissive gospel we make excuses for living a lifestyle of sin.

In our text we find that Israel disobeyed God and went after the daughters of Moab, which they were instructed not to do.  The main reason for this was, God knew they would turn their hearts away from serving him and be turned to idols.  They went from sinning with the daughters of Moab first and then succumbing to the worship of their false gods.  One sin always leads to another.  Because of this, a plague started as God became angry with their transgressions.

One of the Israelite men, Zimri, was brazen enough to parade a Midianitish woman named Cozbi, in front of Moses and in the sight of all the congregation of Israel, who were weeping at the door of the church. Sometimes we must take action against sin’s impudence as it was displayed by Zimri and Cozbi.  Phinehas no doubt was among those weeping tears of repentance when something came over him.  He arose from prayer and grabbed a javelin.  Others looking on must have been dumbfounded as he marched right into the tent where the debauchery was taking place and thrust the javelin through both of them.  As a result of Phinehas’ zeal, the plague was stopped, but not before it took the lives of 24,000 individuals.

We are in spiritual battle for the lives of many, not to mention our own families.  Our battles are not going to be won with carnal weapons made by man but with the spiritual weapons obtained through prayer!  The kingdom of God suffereth violence and the violent taketh it by force.  We need the spirit of Phinehas to come upon us and take the sword of the Spirit and thrust it through the sins that have individuals bound today.  Sometimes in order to rise up victorious in a world where sin is abounding, we need to stop weeping and take action.  Repentance truly means to turn away from sin.  I have witnessed individuals literally take and destroy the things that had them bound and then receive the grace they needed to never turn back to the bondage that once controlled them.

What would happen in the world we live in if through prayer we rise up boldly to destroy the sins that have the world and even some Apostolics bound?  Where are the Phinehas’ of today that take appropriate action against the invading demonic spirits of rebellion and sexual promiscuity of our day and declare this plague is done destroying our families? A laissez-faire attitude of, “What will be will always be”, must go.  It must be replaced by getting inspired to take action against the darkness and spiritual wickedness of the world we live in today!

I am not advocating that we pursue with misguided zeal to destroy individuals.  Too many have died that way in the name of religion.  We are not wrestling against flesh and blood! Instead, we need to pursue the weapons that are mighty through God even to the pulling down of strongholds; Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself again the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.  II Cor 10:4-5

Prayer is the vehicle that affords us the spiritual weapons we need to fight off the wiles of the devil.  Through prayer you can obtain the helmet of salvation, the breastplate of righteousness, the loins girt about with truth, and feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace.  Furthermore, through prayer you can take the shield of faith to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked, and the sword of the Spirit to go on the offensive and attack sin.

Our world is in a spiritual battle today and we can make a difference through prayer.  The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.  Phinehas’ fervency stopped the plague.  Your prayers are vital today.

  • Northwest Apostolic

“Who (or what) shall separate us from the love of Christ?” (Romans 8:35). With all the chaos in the current times, some may wonder – where is God? Has he forsaken us, or does he care what we’re going through? The disciples also experienced a storm so great, they questioned if He cared about them. Mark 4 records Jesus was with the disciples on a ship, when they experienced such a powerful storm, the disciples believed they were going to die. The wind rocked them violently in the waters, until the ship was full of water. Meanwhile Jesus is sleeping somewhere in the back of the ship. Now, don’t for a moment believe that God is ever sleeping (unaware) when you’re going through a storm. He knows exactly what’s going on, He knows how it will affect you and He is in control. Storms have a way of bringing us closer to the Lord though. Storms bring realization that our dependence is on Him. The disciples woke Jesus saying, “Master, carest thou not that we perish?” They knew they needed the Lord to act on their behalf. They knew where to turn in the storm. Yet, after the Lord calmed the storm he asked them, “Why are ye so fearful? How is it that ye have no faith?”

Rest assured, the Lord is perfectly aware of the storms caused by this current world crisis. None of this has caught Him off guard or sleeping. God is not surprised by events unfolding before our eyes. It raises the question, is there a purpose for this storm? Jesus asked the disciples why they didn’t have faith. The Lord is looking for His people to shine brightest right now, with unwavering faith that He is in control. Could it possibly be, that the Lord is using this current storm to call people to repentance? It’s not only possible, but very likely. The Lord wants people to see His power and put their faith in Him. This is a great time for people to see there is no other god who can save, but the Lord. This is a great time for the people of the Lord, to be his witnesses as recorded in Acts 1:8 “But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses…”

Use the crisis as an opportunity to point someone to the Lord. Be a witness of the peace He brings, of the hope He has given, of the salvation He has offered. Now is a great time to let someone know, the people of God are inseparable from his love – regardless of the situation. “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Rom. 8:38, 39). There is nothing that can separate us from the Lord – we are inseparable, so long as we don’t turn away from him. “Be strong and of a good courage, fear not, nor be afraid of them: for the Lord thy God, he it is that doth go with thee; he will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” (Deut. 31:6). Lord Bless!

- Brother Michael

  • Northwest Apostolic

We have recently seen how much can change from one day to the next. Currently, we are experiencing unprecedented change on an hourly basis in this 21st century. The outbreak of the 2019 Coronavirus has reminded us that an 'ordinary hour' can quickly become an 'extraordinary hour.' Not only daily, but almost hourly we are bombarded with updates that are hard to process.

I recall to mind the passage of scripture in Acts 3, which records the first miracle of physical healing for the New Testament church. In this passage Luke records Peter and John approaching the Temple “at the hour of prayer being the ninth hour.” Commentator Adam Clarke indicates that: the ninth hour would correlate to 3 PM and the Jews seemed to have three hours of the day designated for public prayer. (See Psalm 55:17 and Daniel 6:10.) It is also important to note that Peter mentions the third hour of the day (9 AM) when preaching on the Day of Pentecost in Acts chapter 2, when he stated, “these are not drunk as you suppose seeing it is the third hour of the Day.” (Acts 2:15)

The timeframe listed in Acts 3 seems to be a common or ordinary thing for the Jews in the book of Acts. It would also seem that the hour of prayer was not just for Peter and John, but possibly other Jews gathering at the Temple to offer prayers or observe Temple rituals (Evening Sacrifice etc.) This busy intersection was also where they carried the lame man who was “Lame from his Mother’s womb.” He was at the gate “Beautiful” asking alms, and typically at this hour would ordinarily receive a little bit of money to help in his disabled condition. This 'ordinary hour' of prayer was about to become an 'extraordinary hour' for both the Lame man and the Apostles.

“And Peter fastening his eyes upon him with John, said, Look on us. And he gave heed unto them, expecting to receive something of them.” (Acts 3:4-5). Peter’s famous words “Silver and Gold have I none” was not what the lame man was expecting to hear. Typically, at the hour of Prayer he received a sum of money. But on this day, at this hour, he received more than silver and gold. He received his healing, because two men took the time to stop what they were doing, and extended to him what they had to offer. They offered him the changing power of Jesus Christ. “…In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth rise up and walk. And he took him by the right hand, and lifted him up: and immediately his feet and ankle bones received strength.” (Acts 3:6-7).

Brothers and Sisters, we may be in an extraordinary hour, different from any we can remember. However, instead of meeting the “Extraordinary Hour” with an “Ordinary hour of Prayer”, we must ask God to perform like he did for Peter and John. Let us have the Extraordinary ‘Ninth Hour’ of God’s power being poured out. In my mind, Peter and John did not anticipate that days’ events, but they seized the opportunity to make a difference.

Yes, it is an 'Extraordinary Hour', but we have Extraordinary power through the name of Jesus Christ. Consider Peter’s words: "Be it known unto you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom ye crucified, whom God raised from the dead, even by him doth this man stand here before you whole" and "Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved." (Acts 4:10, 12)

- Brother Jordan Riley