Key Seven–Formula for Success

These Six Keys for Effective Ministry, I believe, will be a major blessing to you as you minister the gospel of Jesus Christ.

I have personally proven their value and validity in my own life.

I would like to close by giving you a Three Step Formula for Success in applying these principles to your life and ministry.

I learned the several years ago from a great man of God and they’ve proven valuable many times over.

If you’ll apply these truths seriously, you’ll have success in every area of your life and ministry.  Nothing can hold it back from you.

Every Christian endeavor, no matter what it is, will succeed when it is backed by this kind of prayer and dedication because God Himself is behind it.

One— Find the will of God in your situation by prayer and meditation in the Word.

God’s word is his will. 

Consult with other man of God as needed to clarify your thoughts.

Whatever may be involved, find God’s plan.

Two–Once you have determined what the will of God is, confer no more with flesh and blood!

Don’t seek any more advice.

Don’t hesitate!

Just look to the word and stand firm on it.

Three -Get the job done and all costs!

If God has called you to do it, then with God you can do it!

You’re capable of doing anything the Word says you can do.

Put God’s Word first place in your life and let it be the final authority.

All of heavens resources – the almighty God in Christ, Jesus of Nazareth and all the Host of heaven – will ensure that you succeed.

Key Six — Commit Yourself to Prayer and Fasting

The sixth of our steps to excellence in ministry is to commit ourselves to a lifestyle of prayer and fasting.

Prayer

Prayer is the foundation for success in every Christian endeavor.

Jesus is our example.

Have you noticed how often the Bible mentions that he withdrew to a lonely and solitary place to pray?

In fact, if you study it out you’ll see that Jesus moved from one place of prayer to the next and in between, the Power flowed!

Mark 1:35King James Version (KJV)

35And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed.

Luke 6:12King James Version (KJV)

12And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.

These are just two of the many instances recorded in the gospels.

Jesus was in continual communication with God through prayer. 

He spent hours every day separated from the people, fellowshipping with His Heavenly Father.

If he had the need for preparation through prayer, how much more should we? 

In fact, such foundation and preparation is the only thing that will keep us together when we’re faced with the situations that require a great deal of faith.

Even the apostles recognized this need!

They chose deacons to assist them in their duties, saying:

Acts 6:2-4King James Version (KJV)

2Then the twelve called the multitude of the disciples unto them, and said, It is not reason that we should leave the word of God, and serve tables.

3Wherefore, brethren, look ye out among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business.

4But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word.

If we have taken the time to saturate our minds and hearts with the word of God – to the extent that we’re single-minded on that word, our thinking will no longer be influenced by doubt, fear, and unbelief.

We will stop wailing and begging God for power to do the job.

We’ll experience the truth of 1John 2:27; Which promises the anointing that abides or remains in us.

1 John 2:27King James Version (KJV)

27But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

All we have to do is open our mouth and of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.

The word will be what is in your heart in abundance and that is what will come out. 

Prayer and study are the keys.

The anointing is there – we have, past tense, received it

But it is accessed and released by prayer.

Our ministry will be severely limited if we’re not prepared to base it on fellowship with God.

It is in our prayer time; more specifically, time spent praying in the spirit –that we will find out what God would have us say in the moment and how to conduct ourselves.

Nothing can be substituted for prayer. 

Fasting

Now, a few words on a very popular subject – fasting!

We won’t get into the nuts and bolts and specifics on how to fast – that’s a book all by itself.

Contrary to popular belief, fasting was not given to us as a spiritual discipline that helps us convince God to do something he doesn’t want to do or influence Him to act on our behalf.

Abstaining from food does not impress God!

The purpose of fasting is to shut off the influence of the flesh in order to become even more in tune with the spirit.

It brings areas to the surface that need correction so you can deal with them in light of the word.

It will keep us keen to the voice of God for guidance– both for our own lives and the lives of others for whom we are interceding.

We must be very careful not to fast in order to receive visions or apparitions from the Lord.  Why?

Because Satan would love to step in and manifest himself as an “angel of light” in order to deceive you!

Make a quality decision not to seek dreams and visions.

If the Lord sees fit to bring them that’s great!

But we have to determine to base our faith on and receive our revelation from the Word of God alone!

Why?

Because, anything we receive, aside from the Word of God will not produce faith. 

Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.

Fasting helps us receive from God but it does not push God to action.

Faith is all it takes to move God to exercise of power for you.

The problem is not God’s unwillingness to help us or his inability to intervene on behalf. 

The problem is the believer’s spiritual density!

It’s our inability to understand and receive what Christ has already provided to Calvary.

Fasting is simply a tool that puts us in a position to be more spiritually sensitive and “tuned in” to God, so we can better receive from him.

Let’s talk about the rewards of fasting:

Matthew 6:17-18King James Version (KJV)

17But thou, when thou fastest, anoint thine head, and wash thy face;

18That thou appear not unto men to fast, but unto thy Father which is in secret: and thy Father, which seeth in secret, shall reward thee openly.

The reward of fasting is whatever motivated you to fast in the first place.

Whatever it is, establish it by faith and declare it before you even start to fast.

Expect to receive it! 

God will see in secret and reward you openly.

Perhaps you’re fasting for no other reason than to fellowship with God.

That is a sound reason and you will receive your reward of divine fellowship.

You may be fasting to better understand something from the Word of God that you know he has been trying to reveal to you, but you haven’t been able to grasp it, yet.

That understanding can be the reward you seek during your fast.

Perhaps you have been praying for an unsaved family member.  Your fast can be undertaken as a time a special intercession.

Declare the purpose of the fast and that will be the reward.

Key Five–Look to the Word Day and Night

Proverbs 4:20-21King James Version (KJV)

20 My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings.

21 Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart.

Joshua 1:8King James Version (KJV)

“8This book of the law shall not depart out of thy mouth; but thou shalt meditate therein day and night, that thou mayest observe to do according to all that is written therein: for then thou shalt make thy way prosperous, and then thou shalt have good success.”

When the going gets tough, the pressure builds, and it seems like everyone in the world and all hell together are arrayed against you, God demands that you walk by the Word and nothing else.

The Psalmist said:

Psalm 119:97 King James Version (KJV)

97O how love I thy law! it is my meditation all the day.

Closely related to step four,

Key Five to Effective Ministry is to look to the Word day and night.

Looking to the Word will produce several effects on your life and ministry you simply cannot get any other way.

Proverbs 4:5-9King James Version (KJV)

5Get wisdom, get understanding: forget it not; neither decline from the words of my mouth.

6Forsake her not, and she shall preserve thee: love her, and she shall keep thee.

7Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.

8Exalt her, and she shall promote thee: she shall bring thee to honour, when thou dost embrace her.

9She shall give to thine head an ornament of grace: a crown of glory shall she deliver to thee.

The ornament referred to here, is being clothed with the favor of God.

It is the result of seeking God’s wisdom by exalting his Word, which in turn brings divine favor.

The wisdom of God places a Crown of Glory (God’s grace or favor) upon your head.

This grace, or favor of God, is available to every person on earth, without exception.  Remember, “God is no respecter of persons.”

However, there are conditions.

Favor cannot be earned.  It is the gift of God you do not merit it; you receive it.

Although it is for all, God’s grace is not automatic.  It must be appropriated by the believer through faith.

We already know that “faith comes by hearing and hearing, by the word of God.”

The basis for receiving God’s favor is through faith. 

Therefore, you receive God’s favor through the Word.

The Word promotes.

If we will refrain from self-promotion and refuse to exalt ourselves, but, instead lift up the word of God – then He will promote us and bring us to a place of honor. 

Peter tells us in 1 Peter 5:6-7King James Version (KJV)

6Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:

7Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

We humble ourselves by:

  • Placing ourselves in God’s hands
  • Casting all our cares upon him
  • Holding our tongues
  • Refusing to pull strings or vying for power

Look, you might get what you desire!

But if you wrangle it on your own, then you will have to maintain it on your own without any help from the Spirit of God.

If he didn’t place you in a position, he’s not obligated to sustain you there. 

You will be responsible for your own failures.

Why all this time in the Word?

Think about what I asked earlier:

How effective do we want to be?

A music major in college practices hours every day.  Olympic skaters spend 6 to 8 hours daily in training routines.

We as ministers, ought to discipline ourselves in the Word constantly – especially in our beginning years.

We must permeate our minds with the Word and solid Bible-based sermons.

We must do whatever it takes to become totally saturated with the Word.

Many of you have done that for years.  The rest of us will benefit from your example.

A side benefit of looking to the Word :

Looking to the Word, helps control your flesh.

Psalm 119:11King James Version (KJV)

11Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.

  •  

Hebrews 5:12-14King James Version (KJV)

12For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.

13For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.

14But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.

People have the mistaken idea that as Christians, we have to fight against carnality until Jesus comes to free the body of Christ.

This is not true! 

Sound strange?  Listen:

We simply have to learn to consistently walk in the spirit.

We must walk in the spirit in order not to fulfill the lusts of the flesh.

Galatians 5:16King James Version (KJV)

16 This I say then, Walk in the Spirit, and ye shall not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

The body has no nature of its own.  It will do whatever it is told.

Many people have said, “When you’re born again.  The nature of God is in your spirit, but the adamic nature is in your body.”

Hey folks!  That is simply not a true statement! 

In the first place, sin was never Adam’s nature.  Adam’s original nature was perfection – he had the nature of God!

After the fall, satan’s nature took root in him and caused the problems.

Adam invited that nature through his high treason.

But it wasn’t in his body.  It was in his spirit.  His body was trained to follow his spirit.

Now, lest you think I’m somehow talking about “sinless perfection.” Let’s be clear.  I am not!  But we can sin less.

Our bodies will do whatever they are trained to do. 

If our reborn human spirit dominates our flesh, more of our actions will be Godly ones.

Did you ever notice that we can sin without even thinking about it? 

Most people sin without even trying – it just comes “naturally”! 

How then can we ever hope to overcome this situation?

The answer is found in Romans 12:1-2:

Present your body as a sacrificial offering to God. 

Reprogram yourself to automatically act on the word in obedient faith.

In sports, it is called “muscle memory.”

You repeat an action so often, that it becomes unconscious.

By continuing to put the Word of God into your mind, spirit, and body, you will eventually come to a place where the Word controls all three.

When that happens, the spirit becomes the dominant force in your life and everything else will conform to it.

We will have become separated from the world and we will have become Word controlled.

Key Four — Strip away all Else

Just before his crucifixion, Jesus prayed a special prayer for his disciples.

John 17:17-18King James Version (KJV)

17Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

18As thou hast sent me into the world, even so, have I also sent them into the world.

As we all know, to sanctify means to “separate” or “set apart.”

We are separated from sin and set apart unto righteousness so, to have an effective ministry – Key Four helps us to remember that we must strip away everything in the world from our lives until there is nothing left but the Word and things of God.

Sin

One of the first and most important things that must be rooted out is sin and sin consciousness!

The sin part is, I think, fairly obvious.

But what do I mean by “sin-consciousness”?

How many times have you heard, or ever said, like me: “I’m just an old sinner, saved by grace”?

The Bible truth – which is often hard for us to understand and accept is that we were sinners; but now, we have been saved by grace.

Since the time of our new birth, we’ve been made the righteousness of God in Christ!

2 Corinthians 5:21King James Version (KJV)

21For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Consider:

1 Corinthians 1:30King James Version (KJV)

30But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption:

What am I trying to say?  Or, more importantly – not say?

Do we still sin?  Of course we do!

But when we sin, we then go on to access and appropriate our right standing with God by confessing our sin and receiving forgiveness.

He is faithful and just to forgive and cleanse us.

For our part, we must begin to emphasize our right standing with God.

When we help people get born again, we need to teach them “who they are in Christ,” and what a glorious inheritance they have, not, “over yonder” but right now, because of what he has done for us.

Second – we must strip away negative confessions.

Don’t confess that you are sick, sinful, needy, weak and fearful.

 Find out what God has to say about you in His Word and begin to confess those things instead.

Say to yourself:

  • I’m the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus.
  • By his stripes, I am healed
  • The joy of the Lord is my strength.
  • The Lord meets all my needs according to his riches in Glory by Christ Jesus.

Begin to confess what the Word says you are.

The Lord is plain – He says what He means and means what He says.

His word is truth! 

We must learn to control our speech.

Matthew 12:34-37King James Version (KJV)

34O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaketh.

35A good man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things: and an evil man out of the evil treasure bringeth forth evil things.

36But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment.

37For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

For example:

We take for granted, common expressions in clichés.

  • I was scared to death, or
  • That tickled me to death or
  • I’m just dying to see that!

We must rid ourselves of this kind of thinking!

Do it out of respect for Jesus!

Do it out of respect for the word!

Let’s began to express ourselves, based on the truth of that word! 

Besides, expressions like this are simply untrue.

You weren’t scared to death; you weren’t tickled to death.  You were never even close to death.

But we pick up these expressions and they become such a habit that we’re not aware of what we are really saying.

When we have grown to the point in our spiritual lives where we have confidence in the integrity of our own words; we won’t have any difficulty believing the absolute truth of God’s word.

We must get rid of our “idle words.”

As ministers of the Gospel; whether it’s pulpit ministry or the ministry of the saints, we set the example.

We must make absolutely sure that what we say is accurate, true, and honest.

Thirdly, get rid of spiritual junk food!

Romans 12:2King James Version (KJV)

2And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.

Put the Word of God first in your life and let it strip away all the other things.

That’s not to say we can’t relax and have personal and family time.  But, none of these principles will work while we sit and watch TV day and night.

There are habits we must break sometimes!

By putting God first — we are establishing priorities.

Ever get bored?  I know I do!

Boredom indicates that our Word level is low.

It has been put into second place to some natural, physical thing. 

These are not necessarily sins per se – most are simply time wasters.

A steady diet of newspapers and social media, ( Facebook, Twitter etc.), is harmful to our spiritual well-being, just as junk food is to our physical health.

We simply cannot feed on carnal distractions and be effective ministers of Jesus Christ.

The media generally dwells on the negative side of life – wars, inflation, accidents, death, conflicts.

The Bible says in Matthew 13:22, that the cares and worries of the world will choke the word.

We must not allow the worldly media and circumstances around us to determine what we believe. We must instead, put our trust in God alone and what His Word says.

Everything in moderation!  That’s the key! 

Nothing wrong with reading the newspaper. 

But for some, reading their Bible the way they read the newspaper, would make all the difference in the world.

Finally, lay aside the cares of the world!

Philippians 4:6-7 reminds us to, “be careful for nothing”, but in everything, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let our requests be made known unto God.  And when we do that, it assures us that: the peace of God, which passes all understanding, will guard or keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

Let’s say we have a problem or face a crisis.

 By focusing on the situation – we begin to act out of fear and even panic, rather than by faith and the promise of God.

Some say, “Well brother, we’re only human!”

That’s simply no longer true! 

We are sons and daughters of the Most High God.

By allowing ourselves to be consumed by the problem; doubt, fear, and confusion can take over.

If we do that, we simply close the door to what God wants to give.

We must let the Word of God separate us from the cares of the world. 

For example: for pressing needs, find the scriptures that promise that the Lord will meet our needs.

Matthew 6:33King James Version (KJV)

33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

Matthew 7:7King James Version (KJV)

7Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:

Philippians 4:19King James Version (KJV)

19 But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

So, number four in the Keys to Effective Ministry is to Strip away all but the Word!

The Holy Ghost will always lead us in accordance with the Word, so our victory is assured.

Key Three: Follow the Leadership of the Holy Ghost

1 John 2:27

27 But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

In order to remain single-minded on the things of God, the third key to effective ministry is to rely on the leadership of the Spirit of God and not on our own understanding.

The Holy Ghost has been given to us as a teacher and a guide who leads us in accordance with God’s will

By Him, we have the mind of Christ and can handle every situation with the wisdom of God.

We are admonished to, “trust in the Lord with all our hearts” and warned to “lean not on our own understanding.”   In all our ways to acknowledge him and it is he who will make clear the way before us.”

When ministering, never trust the path your mind wants to take.

Don’t depend upon your natural understanding.  

Learn to follow the leadership of the Spirit within you. 

That’s his reason for dwelling within you.

If we’re going to minister effectively to people’s needs, we will have to be led of the spirit because, more often than not, we will find ourselves in situations that only access to the wisdom of God can handle.

During times such as these, our decision to meet the needs of the people must rise to the surface.

Jesus said that the Holy Ghost would lead us into all truth and assured us that His sheep would know his voice.

We can’t wait until we arrive in the situation to go and seek the wisdom of God.  We have to be prepared beforehand.

Once there, we don’t have time to “pray through”.  We have to be prayed up, open and sensitive to the things of the spirit in order to effectively deal with these situations.

We can forget about being led by the Holy Ghost if we spend the majority of our time attending to personal affairs, playing golf with the mayor, making business appointments, coaching Little League and watching television.

It’s not that any of those things are wrong, in and of themselves. It’s a question of where your priorities lie.

Acts 20:24King James Version (KJV)

24But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy, and the ministry, which I have received of the Lord Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.

We must spend our time in prayer and in the word beforehand – otherwise, we will simply not be spiritually prepared to meet the needs of the people and overcome the obstacles that Satan will surely place in our lives

Key Two — Singleness of Purpose

When we read the gospels, we find that Jesus was moved with compassion.  God’s Word and Will dictated everything He did.

He was dedicated – He was committed to it.

He had one thing in mind: fulfilling the Word of God.

Our Singleness of Purpose is to meet the needs of the people.

By doing God’s will, putting his word first place in our lives and making it the final authority in everything we do, we can be confident that God will work through us to meet the needs of the people.

It is essential however, that we remain single minded.

James 1:5-8King James Version (KJV)

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.

But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.

Let’s read it in the Amplified Version:

James 1:5-8Amplified Bible, Classic Edition (AMPC)

If any of you is deficient in wisdom, let him ask of [a]the giving God [Who gives] to everyone liberally and ungrudgingly, without reproaching or faultfinding, and it will be given him.

Only it must be in faith that he asks with no wavering (no hesitating, no doubting). For the one who wavers (hesitates, doubts) is like the billowing surge out at sea that is blown hither and thither and tossed by the wind.

For truly, let not such a person imagine that he will receive anything [he asks for] from the Lord,

[For being as he is] a man of two minds (hesitating, dubious, irresolute), [he is] unstable and unreliable and uncertain about everything [he thinks, feels, decides].

The double-minded man is one who hesitates

Why?

He is not made a firm decision about what he’s going to do.  He is irresolute or indecisive.

He has not resolved to handle things- once and for all – without changing his mind.

A double-minded man has not really made a decision at all.  He is “unstable in all his ways” and goes back and forth from one viewpoint to another.

What happens when you hesitate?

Your adversary takes the initiative and you find yourself on the defensive with Satan ahead of you, beating you at every turn.

If you’re not single-minded about your mission and purpose, you will not have any definite direction.  You will always be wondering what you’re supposed to do.

Do you know what a double-minded man really is? 

A double-minded man is one who tries to live by faith and protect his fear at the same time

He talks both ways:

His faith proclaims, “I believe God is going to heal me – someday.”

His faith whispers, “I wouldn’t want to say I was well, just yet.”

Inconsistency is hazardous.

Luke Eight records a significant event in the life of the disciples that illustrates the dangers of instability and hesitancy:

Luke 8:22-25King James Version (KJV)

22 Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth.

23 But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy.

24 And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm.

25 And he said unto them, Where is your faith? And they being afraid wondered, saying one to another, What manner of man is this! for he commandeth even the winds and water, and they obey him.

Jesus was quite clear about his intention when they first entered the ship: “let us go over unto the other side..” (verse 22).

There was enough power in those words to get the disciples all the way across the way, yet they became afraid and ran to Jesus.

This is a perfect illustration of double-mindedness:

-They were speaking fear in the presence of faith personify.

-They were consumed by the problem when they already possessed the solution.

“We perish”, didn’t sound unstable to them – it sounded realistic – but to Jesus, it was a direct contradiction to what he had plainly stated.

When Jesus said to them, “let us go over to the other side.” He knew, beyond a shadow of doubt, that’s where they were going.

The disciples should have known it as well!

If they were not capable of exercising such faith, Jesus would not have had the right to rebuke them after He had calmed the storm.

A single-minded man makes quality decisions and settles them forever.

If we’re going to put the Lord, his work and Word first place in our lives, there will be times when we will have to bypass what we see in order to meet the people’s needs.

Don’t hesitate!  Do whatever it takes!

Remember, your goal is to meet the needs of the people

Minister to everyone you meet, everywhere you go!

Even if you are not in a preaching ministry, make it your goal to have a Biblical solution for every problem you encounter.

Be willing to walk away from anything in order to get God’s word to those who desperately need it.

God’s Word is all you need – – it will sustain you in every way.

If there ever a choice between the Word and anything else – –Choose the Bible way!

Stay single-minded and meet the needs of the people.

Key One — Dedication: A Decision, Not a Feeling

The first key to effective ministry is dedication.

True dedication is a choice – it is a decision of quality. 

A quality decision is a decision for which there is no turning back.

True dedication makes a decision based on one’s commitment to God, rather than on feelings or emotions.

It is a decision, that with God’s help, you will never violate:

  • Men will not be able to change you,
  • Matters of life and death will not be able to change you,

and

  • Feelings will have no bearing on this commitment.

True commitment is like losing the engine in a single-engine airplane – you are committed to land!

Feelings of fear, doubt or inadequacy are of absolutely no consequence – you will land that plane.

When you accepted the call to ministry, you faced this kind of a commitment. 

How you handle it now could determine whether you succeed or fail or even whether you live or die.

For those of you who consider yourselves lay people or perhaps are newer to the ministry:

Take the time to get before God, and dig into the word.  Stay there and rest in the Lord, until the Holy Ghost and the Word of God transform your level of commitment.

Without this firm, quality decision, Satan will take advantage of every opportunity to make your life and ministry a failure.

But remember:

God is at work in us both to will and to do for his good pleasure. Philippians 2:13

He is faithful.  He will create in you the power and desire to make that uncompromising decision.

When you finally make a full, no quit, no turning back, forever commitment or renew that commitment to God – fulfilling and continuing your calling will be the most exciting thing you have ever done!

Don’t be intimidated by the commitment – God has provided the power, furnished the weapons and equipped you with everything you need.

It’s the same as when you experience the New Birth.

Once you made a quality decision to obey the Gospel, God met you there and he did the rest.

His power, His Spirit, and His words performed their functions and you were Born Again. 

A decision was all it took.  Your part is to determine in your heart to obey your calling and God will do his part.

What about finding your place in ministry?

Each and every believer is anointed and endued with the power to fulfill a specific function in the body of Christ.

By the Spirit of God, every individual is able to perform their calling with mastery and excellence.

The Bible says in Romans 11:29 that the gifts in the callings of God are without repentance.

Whether you are called to the five-fold ministry or to the all-important Ministry of the Saints – the Lord will not revoke your assignment.

What is the ministry of the saints? Notice, it’s not, “ministry to the saints.”

1 Corinthians 16:15–I beseech you, brethren, (ye know the house of Stephanas, that it is the firstfruits of Achaia, and that they have addicted themselves to the ministry of the saints,)

Every saint has a ministry calling!

He ordained you from the foundation of the world!

Consider 2 Timothy 2:20:

We’re going to knock a tradition right in the head.

“But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and silver, but also of wood and of the earth, and some to honor, and some to dishonor.”

Most times, people will stop reading right there and say, “Well brother you know…”

Right there, you know a tradition is coming at you.

“Well brother, yes!  But you know, we can’t all be vessels of gold.  Some of us are meant to be earthen vessels.”

We have a word for that in Texas.

Hogwash!

Satan will always attempt to twist the scriptures to keep believers bowed down with false humility, trying to live for God based on their feelings and their performance. 

Look at verse 21:

“If a man, therefore, purge himself from these, he shall be a vessel unto honour, sanctified, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work.”

It is important to God, that we become vessels of honor – yielded to his word and dedicated to doing his will in the Earth.

Here is the important point:

Whether you become a gold vessel or a mud pot is not the Master’s decision – it’s yours!

A decision for total dedication includes a determination to please God and a commitment to the truth.

The decision to please the Father must include the decision to live in victory.

God gets no enjoyment from our defeat. 

He was grieved with the children of Israel because they were overcome in the wilderness.

The victory that overcomes the world – is our faith (I John 5:4).

Put on the armor of God and fight the good fight of faith.

What is a good fight?  A good fight is the fight you win!

Take control of your life and resist the devil, by standing firm on the Word of God and controlling your feelings and emotions.

To control your feelings, you must control your tongue!

James 3:2 says that the person who can control his words can gain mastery over his whole body.

So, step one is Dedication – make a quality decision and commitment to the word and the things of God.

Become dedicated:

  • Decide to please the father
  • Decide to walk in victory
  • Decide to live the life of love
  • Decide to live by faith

Make the quality, no turning back decision, that if your faith won’t get it, then you won’t have it – because you are determined to please God by living by faith. 

Never go back on your faith!

Keys to Excellence in Ministry

Introduction

We demand excellence of God!  Have you ever thought about that?

  • We won’t allow him one little mistake!
  • We won’t allow him one little lie!
  • We won’t allow him one little failure!

Since we expect excellence from God, we should be ready, willing, and dedicated to demanding the highest form of excellence, both from ourselves and the ministry He has entrusted to us.

Matthew 5: 48 tells us to Be perfect as our father in heaven is perfect.

Ephesians 4:1 instructs as well that we are to–walk worthy of the vocation wherewith we were called.

This applies to whatever field of ministry we find ourselves in.  It applies both to the lay person, as well as, the fivefold vocational ministry equally.

Excellence of ministry – I want that to soak in.

You must become willing to demand excellence of the ministries you are involved in.

We also want to demand excellence from those that labor with us.

The Apostle Paul took the training of his disciples very seriously because he realized that they were handling the mightiest power in the universe.

The Gospel is not only the power by which people are saved from hell, it is more broadly, God’s unlimited power to save, heal, and deliver!

Paul told Timothy in I Tim. 1:11, that this Glorious Gospel had been “committed to his trust.”

As ministers of the Gospel you are entrusted with God’s awesome power and might.

You are, therefore faced with two responsibilities:

1) to develop and maintain a ministry of excellence and

2) to deal with satan directly.

By virtue of our role as Apostolics, we have been positioned and categorized, particularly as far as Satan is concerned, as some of the most dangerous and often hated human beings on the planet!

We pose a serious threat to satan and his people.

Our second responsibility then, is to deal with him effectively.

Without a firm decision to succeed, with God’s help, we cannot hope to maintain the measure of maturity and perfection that our ministries must command.

Not only Born Again and full of the Spirit but knowing how to use the Sword of the Lord and the power of Almighty God to change lives forever.

This requires boldness on our part.

We represent God’s divine power and authority in this world, the adversary must reckon with us.

Romans 1:16 –for I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ; for it is the power of God unto salvation to everyone that BELIEVETH; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

Now it’s real easy to read right past this verse and miss what the spirit is really saying:

Salvation is the great, inclusive word of the gospel, gathering into itself all of the redemptive acts and processes:

  • Forgiveness,
  • Justification,
  • Sanctification,
  • Grace,
  • Redemption,
  • Propitiation,
  • Imputation
  • Sanctification, and
  • Glorification.

The Hebrew and Greek words for salvation imply:

  • deliverance,
  • safety,
  • preservation,
  • healing and
  • soundness.

The gospel is not only the power by which we are saved from hell, it is more specifically: God’s unlimited ability to save heal and deliver in all realms.

The gospel is the power of God manifested.

If you think about that for a while, you begin to understand the need for a ministry of excellence.

A ministry of excellence:

  • Is built on faith – it absolutely will not tolerate unbelief in itself.
  • It will not tolerate taking the easy way out.
  • It does not rely on gimmicks and carnal methods.
  • It will pay any price to get the job done the right way – God’s way – based on the Word.
  • It will proudly uphold God’s name and will represent Jesus Christ to the world.
  • It will accurately handle the Word of God and again.
  • It does not plan for failure

This is not easy to do because as representatives of God, you’re going to have to do twice as much as everybody else.

We have to live exemplary lives by a higher standard — the world expects it — God expects it!

We have been entrusted with a grave responsibility.

Can I just admit to you, I have not always appreciated or lived up to that responsibility and I’ve had to repent.

We all have our heroes of the faith we wish we could emulate.

But, let me ask you a question: Do we really?! Do we really want that kind of ministry? Are we willing to pay the price to get it?

Let me give a Personal example:

In High School I was in ROTC, and competed as a marksman, gaining Distinguished Expert status.

It was quite common for me to have fellow competitors say to me, “Man, I wish I could shoot like that!”

I’d always thank them, politely.

What I really wanted to say was, “No you don’t!”

“If you did, you’d be up at 5:00 AM to be early enough to school to shoot 100 rounds every morning in order to perfect your technique and you’d stay after school every day to practice again.”

The same can be said for golf, tennis, football, or any other sport.

You excel at what you’re committed to.

Can you say along with me, “I can stand to increase my commitment to effectiveness in ministry?”

Success in ministry, as you know, doesn’t come because of personality or great speaking ability.

It comes as a result of what you have dedicated yourself to.

What do you long to do with this gospel?

Not just your good ideas, but what are your dreams!?

What will we actually commit to and what will we lay our lives down for?

As ministers of the gospel we have been entrusted not only with the truth; we have been equipped with the Lord’s strength and might.

Remember, satan is limited, you are not!

Your victory is assured, because:

Greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.

and we can say with the Apostle Paul,

“Thanks be to God who always causes us to triumph through the Lord Jesus Christ.”

It is this ministry of excellence we will be talking about in this series!

What Do We Really Believe?

(1Timothy 3:16)

And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

The Misconception

Where most trinitarians go wrong is in the accusation they bring against their oneness counterparts. They have labeled us things like “Jesus-only” and “deniers of the Father.” Some have said we do not believe in the work of the Father in the life of Jesus. They are very quick to point out that “we want everyone to go to hell who isn’t baptized like us”, when we ourselves have no such desire. In fact, our earnestness in sharing our message is proof that the opposite is in fact true.

The fact is that most people now-a-days have not looked into these topics for themselves, rather they have simply taken what they have heard from people and church tradition and trustingly believed it. Combine this with the accusations brought against oneness believers of denying the work of the Father, and our supposed insularity and you will soon realize why some have become such adamant enemies of the Apostolic Pentecostal church without ever having learned our true beliefs.

Reconciling For Truth’s Sake

The first step in reconciling the issues between oneness and trinitarian people is to understand the real differences in doctrine, as opposed to ones that have falsely been thrown around. We have to allow the bible to speak for itself without using vernacular that is not native to its pages. We must agree to see the truth for what it is; truth, without letting the personal opinions of our families, churches and ancestors to be stumbling blocks to our understanding of God.

We must commit to accepting truth whether it is what we previously believed or not. Let God be true and every man a liar (Rm. 3:4).

False Accusations

Oneness people have been falsely labeled as “Jesus-only”. It has been said that we do not believe in the Father. We have been called a cult for denying the traditional stance that there are three persons in the Godhead. We have said in return that we are not “Jesus-only”, we are “Jesus-everything”.

The Importance of Biblical Terminology

Many times, it has been said that oneness and trinitarian people are saying the same thing in different ways. Some have said that even if we use different words, the meaning is still the same. Truth is, these two doctrines are as far apart as the beliefs of Creation and evolution. To say three persons is simply not the same thing as saying three manifestations. It is actually quite the opposite.

The trinitarians are content to use non-biblical terminology such as the word trinity itself. They use oil in terms like: God the Son, God the Holy Ghost, triune, persons, three persons, eternal generation, etc…, also. Why are they so enthralled by a doctrine that they have to move away from the bible to prove?

The oneness movement uses such language as; one God, manifest in the flesh, Son of God, image of God, etc… (Mai. 2:10; 1 Tim. 3:16; 1 Jn. 4:15; Col. 1:15). These are terms that are used in the bible. They were used by the apostles themselves. The first mark of the right doctrine is always the one that stays within the parameters of the inspired word of God.

 Lifetime Warranty

As Christians, one of our core doctrines is the fact that the bible, in and of itself, is complete and void of nothing (2 Tim. 3:16). Everything that we need to know concerning this doctrine is found in the pages of the bible.

When someone buys a vehicle from the dealership they will receive paperwork that informs them that their vehicle is covered under a warranty. This warranty will cover certain parts and services that are needed in case of the automobile malfunctioning in some way. If the car breaks down, the warranty will usually cover the problem and thedealer will take care of it, because of the agreement made in the warranty’s contract.

If you read the fine print you will see where the warranty becomes null and void if you do not adhere to certain restrictions and policy. Once you have an aftermarket paint job done to the vehicle, the paint is no longer eovered under the original warranty. If you change the size tires you use, it will void certain parts of the warranty that tires pertain to. This is because there is a clause in the contract that states that the warranty will be void if you “change the original design of the vehicle”. Once the automobile is no longer the same way it was when the manufacturer made it, the warranty issues are no longer their responsibility. This is because the problems usually come from attaching aftermarket parts, which did not come from the manufacturer, to the car.

This is much the same guarantee that the bible comes with. We are under a guarantee from God that His words are true. The problem does not appear until we start adding aftermarket parts to the vehicle, which in this case is the doctrine of the Godhead. As the church, we are guaranteed to be under a blood covering warranty. The stipulation is that we do not change the original design of the vehicle. It is imperative that we stay within the bounds of the warranty if we are sure to be covered.

This is why it is so important to stick to using biblical vernacular when describing the doctrines of God throughout the bible. No good can come of Christians straying outside of the Master’s gate to find new vocabulary to bring inside of the discussion of biblical doctrines.

The Father

To say that the oneness doctrine denies the Father is an ignorant statement. The whole basis of the oneness message is the Father’s existence. If God is not in Christ then our message fails miserably. It is the existence of the Father that makes the message so harmonious with scripture.

We believe wholeheartedly in the Father’s existence. We believe that God is a Spirit (Jn. 4:24) and that Spirit exists in all of eternity. That Spirit is the Father (He. 12:9). The Father created all that is created (Ge. 1:1) and gave life to humanity by breathing His breath into man’s nostrils (Ge. 2:7). Everything that we see is here by the Father’s decree.

The Son

Understanding who the Son of God is equally as vital as the knowledge of the Father. It is this manifestation of God that gives the opportunity of salvation to fallen mankind.

The Son of God was a completely sinless human (2 Cor. 5:21). Though He was God manifest in the flesh, the flesh was very real. He was completely human while being completely God (Ph. 2:6-8). The Son of God was the most perfect and absolute manifestation of the Father that the world had ever seen (Jn. 10:30).

Man could not change its status as to its fallen nature and therefore was separated from God. The Father had a plan in place and the plan had a name; Jesus (Jn. 1:1). The Father came into the world in the form of His own Son and gave the life of that Son on the cross for sin and death to be abolished (Ph. 2:6-8). Man could not do the work of atonement for themselves, so God came as the redeemer and did the work on their behalf (Ac. 20:28). He is the judge, the jury and the advocate and He took the case pro bono.

This was not the work a separate and distinct person from the Father; this was the Father Himself who walked the earth in a perfect union of Deity and humanity. He went around healing the sick, doing miracles in the midst of the people showing exactly who He was; God (Jn. 10:33). Jesus stated that it wasn’t Him that did the works, but the Father that dwelt in Him (Jn. 14:10). What He was saying is that in His humanity He did not have the ability to do all the things they had seen Him do, but that in His divine or Spirit nature He could do anything (Jn. 5:19). Jesus, as a human, just did what He saw in the Spirit (Jn. 5:19).

This is all proof that the Father dwelt in Jesus. Jesus Christ is the embodiment of the Father. He is the Father robed in Humanity. Not just flesh, but humanity. He possessed the flesh, plus the weaknesses that come with humanity such as hunger, thirst, weariness and emotions. Jesus was the Father as a human being.

The Holy Ghost

To say Holy Ghost is another way of saying Holy Spirit. There is only one Spirit (Ep. 4:4). The Father is a Spirit (Jn. 4:24) and He is Holy (1 Pet. 1:16), therefore, He is the Holy Spirit. The Holy Ghost is not a separate and distinct person from the Father. The Holy Ghost is the Father.

When a person is born again they receive the gift of the Holy Ghost (Jn. 3:5). Much like when God came to the world as His son, doing the work of redemption Himself; so also is it with the work of regeneration in the Holy Ghost. When one receives the Holy Ghost they literally receive the Spirit of God; the same Spirit that is the Father. It is literally the Spirit of the Father (Mt. 10:20). It is not a different person, but the same Spirit that created the world now living in the heart of a human being.

This Holy Spirit is also called the Spirit of Christ (Rm. 8:9). This shows us that the same Spirit that was in Christ is in the believer (Ac. 2:17). Again, this is not a separate and distinct person from Christ, but the very Spirit that emanates from Christ. Christ was full of the Spirit limitlessly. He had the fulness of God in Him (Co. 2:9). We do not have the Spirit in us to the same measure; therefore, we cannot call ourselves God. Christ is full of the Spirit of God without measure; He is literally the center of operation for the Father (Co. 2:9-10).

Oneness

In a nutshell, The Father created everything that exists. His will is to save mankind from its fallen state. The bible says that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sins (He. 9:22). Since a Spirit does not have blood, God being the only perfect and sinless being, came to earth in the form of His son Jesus Christ (1 Ti. 3:16). He now had a body with blood that He could purchase the redemption of His people with (Ac. 20:28). He died upon the cross for our sins and rose again on the third day (1 Co. 15:1 -4). Jesus ascended to heaven after being seen 40 days alive (Ac. 1:9). Before He left, He told the disciples to go to Jerusalem and wait for the promise of the Father, which is the Holy Ghost (Lk. 24:49).

In the upper room, the disciples were filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance (Ac. 2:4). This Spirit that filled them was none other than the Father, the same Spirit that was in Christ and the same Spirit that created the world (Jn. 14:26). It is the Spirit of the Father that works in the church today under the title Holy Ghost. This is the oneness of God.

Conclusion

Oneness believers do not deny the existence of the Father; we deny that He is a distinct of the Godhead. We do not deny that there is any distinction between the Father and the Son; we deny that the distinction is that of two separate persons. The distinction is not in two persons, but in two natures. The Father and Son are not first person and second  person, but Spirit nature and human nature. We call the Spirit, Father and we call the humanity, Son. That perfect union grants us access to the Spirit, from which we were separated (1 Ti. 2:5), allowing us to receive the Holy Ghost, which is God in the church.

The Father of the Old Testament (Jehovah) became in the New. Jehovah-Jireh (Provider) became Jehovah-Shua (Savior). A God who we had no access to because of our sin became the mediator (1 Ti. 2:5) by which we would be reconciled to Him (2Co. 5:19). Paul said it best, “And without doubt great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.” (ITi. 3:16).

Scripture References

Romans 3:4

God forbid: yea, let God lie true, but every man a liar; as it is written, That thou mightest be justified in thy sayings, and mightest overcome when thou art judged.

Malachi 2:10

Have we not all one father? hath not one God created us? why do we deal treacherously every man against his brother, by profaning the covenant of our fathers?

1 Timothy 3:16

And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.

1 John 4:15

Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

Colossians 1:15

Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature:

2 Timothy 3:16

All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable l>» doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

John 4:24

 God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.

Hebrews 12:9

Furthermore we have had fathers of our flesh which corrected us, and we gave them reverence: shall we not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits, and live?

Genesis 1:1

In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth.

Genesis 2:7

And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.     

2 Corinthians 5:21

For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Philippians 2:6-8

Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

John 10:30

I and my Father are one.

John 1:1

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

Acts 20:28

Take heed therefore unto yourselves, and to all the flock, over the which the Holy Ghost hath made you overseers, to feed the church of God, which he hath purchased with his own blood.

John 10:33

The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thy self God.

John 14:10

Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.

John 5:19

Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: for what things soever he doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.

Ephesians 4:4

There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your catting;

1 Peter 1:16

Because it is written, Be ye holy; for I am holy.

John 3:5

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.

Matthew 10:20

For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.

Romans 8:9

But ye are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, if so be that the Spirit of God dwell in you. Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his.

Acts 2:17

And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams:

Colossians 2:9-10

For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power:

Hebrews 9:22

And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission.

1 Corinthians 15:1-4

Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to  the scriptures:

Acts 1:9

And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight.

Luke 24:49

And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry i/c in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.

Acts 2:4

And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.

John 14:26

But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

1 Timothy 2:5

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

The Lamb at the Throne of God

And I saw in the right hand of him that sat on the throne a book written within and on the backside, sealed with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the book, and to loose the seals thereof? And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the book, neither to look thereon. And I wept much, because no man was found worthy to open and to read the book, neither to look thereon. And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the book, and to loose the seven seals thereof. And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four beasts, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. And he came and took the book out of the right hand of him that sat upon the throne. And when he had taken the book, the four beasts and four and twenty elders fell down before the Lamb, having every one of them harps, and golden vials full of odours, which are the prayers of saints. And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation’, and hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth. And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; Saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom,   and   strength,   and   honour,   and   glory,   and blessing. And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying,  lessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever. And the four beasts said, Amen. And the four and twenty elders fell down and worshipped him that liveth for ever and ever.

–(Revelation 5:1-14)

The Trinitarian Question

The Revelation 5 question is one that many trinitarians will not bring up, because of the fact that there are so many holes in the argument. It is the equivalent of Godhead evolution because of its missing links, as well as its animals changing into humans. This is a flawed argument from the start. It is built upon a shaky foundation and gets even flimsier as we go up.

The presentation that will be made from a trinitarian viewpoint concerning this chapter is the following. God the Father is sitting on the throne and being exalted by all the elders and angels. He has a book closed with seven seals in His right hand. There is no one worthy to open it, until the Lion of Judah comes and takes the book out the Father’s right hand and opens it. At that point all worship is directed to the lamb, who is also the lion and the root of David. This, they say, shows that the Lion, Lamb and root are Jesus, while the Father, distinct from the son, was on the throne; therefore, two distinct persons of the Godhead are present. They explain it and then wait on us to find an answer to give them concerning who these two persons are.

The Trinitarian Dilemma

This, like the baptism of Jesus question, has a missing persons list. We see three different descriptions of their Jesus in this story. Isn’t it kind of funny that they am s.iy, concerning Jesus, that He is the lamb, the lion and the root, yet still be just one person? When we say He is the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, yet all one person, we are wrong. I guess it only works when it is convenient to their theology. We don’t get the same luxury.

Literal or Figurative?

This question, even more than the others, has numerous major flaws in its standing ground. First, is the obvious question: was the lion a literal lion? Was the lamb a literal lamb? Was the root a literal root? If so, do we have 3 separate beings taking the book from the Father’s right hand? How many can the Godhead contain before it is finally full?

We see in the book of Revelation throughout that it is full with both literal and symbolic instances. It is literal when it says that Jesus is going to return to reign on the earth (Rev. 19:11). It is literal when it says that there will be a new heaven and a new earth (Rev 21:1). It is literal when it says that there is a great city, New Jerusalem, coming toward us from the heavens (Rev. 21:10). These things are obviously literal. We are living in hope of a literal heaven and being in the presence of a literal God as He literally wipes away all tears from our eyes while we literally live eternally never experiencing death (Rev. 21:4).

There are some things, however, that are not so literal in the book of Revelation. Some things were not completely understood, due to lack of familiarity, by the writer so John wrote his best understanding of what he saw. For instance, there will not be a literal beast having seven heads and ten horns rising up out of the sea with literal crowns on his horns having the word “blasphemy” literally written on his head (Rev. 13:1). We know that this represents the nations that will rise up as the beast kingdom. John never could have known this in its fullness, because he is not alive in the time of its fulfillment.

There will also not be a literal woman, a whore, riding on a literal beast, literally clothed in scarlet linens and literally having these horrible words written upon her head (Rev. 17:3-5). People have had different interpretations of what this represents: the harlot Catholic Church, currency, false doctrine, even the trinity. One thing we know for sure is that it will not be a literal woman riding around fornicating with all the kings of the world. Again, how could John have known this when his day had not seen these things come to pass?

Neither should the picture presented in Revelation 5 be taken literally. There was no literal lamb, no literal lion and no literal root. Yes, these things all represent Jesus. If you were to ask who the lamb is, the answer would be Jesus. But Jesus is not a literal lamb or a lion. These are things that have been attributed to Him because of different characteristics of His nature. This picture in Revelation 5 was a symbolism of the great work of the mediator, Christ Jesus (1 Tim. 2:5).

The reason John could put this into these words was because he knew the names and titles that were given to Jesus as the savior. He knew he was called lamb by sacrifice (Jn. 1:29), a lion in judgment (Hos. 13:7) and knew that he came from the house of David (Is. 9:7). He was able to effectively attribute these things to Jesus because they had already in his day been fulfilled.

As we have seen, there is also no literal right hand of God. He doesn’t have a hand with five fingers located on the right side of His body (Lk. 24:39). Again, John could attribute this to God because it was something that he had already seen done. This was a symbolic story showing the power and authority that Jesus has because of the atonement He gave us through His sacrificial death. Because He was the one who died to save mankind, He also had the authority, as the savior, to pour out judgment upon those who received Him not (Mk. 16:16).

Where Is The Holy Ghost?

The next problem that faces the doctrine of the triune God in this passage is the absence of the Holy Spirit. If this is a picture of the trinity, where is the third person? Surely at such a momentous occasion the Holy Spirit would be present. The answer that the common trinitarian will give is that He is in the church at this time. Isn’t the Holy Spirit Omni-present? Can’t He, as a person of the Godhead, be everywhere? Further, wasn’t John the Revelator a part of the church. Wouldn’t he have mentioned the Holy Spirit that was within him if he recognized it as being there present in some bodily form? The reason we do not see the third person, God the Holy Ghost, mentioned, is because it is not a separate person from the one that was mentioned, God, who was on the throne. The Holy Spirit was present. He was sitting on the throne. The Father and the Holy Spirit are the same thing.

Who Was Found Worthy?

Now we get into the real problems that will face trinitarians using this argument to prove tri-unity in the Godhead.

Verse 2 and 3 of this chapter present quite a predicament for this doctrine. Verse 2 tells us that the angel stood to ask if there was anyone worthy to open the seals of this book. When the question was presented, no one came forth from heaven, from earth or from under the earth. At this point, where was the Son? With all three persons being coexistent shouldn’t He have been there the whole time? Why didn’t He step up right away? Did He have to have the Father’s permission before opening the book? If He was there the whole time, then why do trinitarians say that He came from somewhere else and took the book from the Father? This is a complete contradiction, not only to scripture, but also to their own statements.

Further, if the Lamb was the only one who was worthy to open the seals, does this mean that the Father was not worthy? No one in heaven was worthy until the Lamb came. This must mean that the Father was not worthy to do the work Himself. He is a person, right? This is borderline blasphemous. Beyond being blasphemous, it is a contradiction to scripture. This says that the Lamb (God the Son) was more worthy than the Father, while Jesus said the Father was greater than Him” (Jn. 14:28), and the triune doctrine itself says they are equal. So are they equal or what? Who is greater? I think scripture has proven its validity over the years. I will stick with the bible.

Who Holds The Scroll?

Another problem presents itself when we look at who was sitting on the throne. The scripture doesn’t say – though trinitarians would like it to – that the Father was on the throne or that it was the Father’s right hand that the book was in. It says God Almighty was the occupant of the throne (Rev 4:8). This, according to the doctrine of trinity, is not just the Father. God Almighty would be all three persons in one. The Athanasius Creed tells us that “the Father is Almighty, the Son is Almighty and the Holy Ghost is Almighty, yet there are not three Almighty’s but one Almighty…” So with this understanding the Father, Son and Holy Spirit were sitting on the throne, all three holding the book. If this is so, who is the Lamb that took the book from their hands? It would be the Son, of course. If the Son was the Lamb taking the book, from all three persons, are there two sons; one Son on the throne holding the book as part of the trinity and another taking the book from Him as the Lamb? We are adding persons to this Godhead continually.

This is an obvious contradiction to the word of God.  Of course there are not two Sons. In fact, there are not even two persons. John said he saw one throne and one sat on the throne (Rev. 4:2). He saw Jesus. Jesus is the embodiment of the Father. He saw all the fullness of God sitting on that throne in the body of Jesus. This was clear when the angels sang unto Him “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come.” (Rev. 4:8). “Which was, and is, and is to come” is an apparent reference to Jesus.

The Appearance of the Lamb

Finally, another point that will bring us more understanding to this passage is the location of the Lamb at His appearance in the story. Some would have you to believe that the Lamb kind of walked up from the distance as everyone searched for one who could prevail in opening the seals. This could be no farther from the truth. If you look at verse 5 the Lion of Judah was said to have prevailed to open the book. In verse 6 we first behold this Lamb as it had been slain. Where was He standing? Do we see Him walking up from some other place? No. We see Him standing in the midst of the throne. We see this Lamb rise up from the very throne that the Lord God Almighty was upon.

If we are to see this from the trinitarian perspective than we would have the literal Lamb (God the Son) taking the book from His own hand as He sat upon the throne. They would never say this because it obviously makes no sense scripturally. Bottom line, this is not the second person (God the Son) taking the book from the less worthy first person (God the Father). This is a beautiful harmony of scripture seen in a divine vision of the heavens.

What a Vision

What is actually being portrayed is a symbolic depiction of the work of Almighty as Father in authority and as Son in redemption. We are seeing the oneness of God in its most perfect clarity.

Remember the mount of transfiguration, where Jesus showed forth the indwelling Father and the disciples did not want to leave? From the earthly view we saw the Son of God as the vessel of the Father who emanated from His person. As natural humans, they could see Jesus and He revealed to them who was inside of Him: the Father. In the heavenly vision, it was almost opposite, if you would. Here we see the Father seated on His throne and the Lamb coming forth from Him (Jn. 16:28). This Lamb, a symbol of the sacrifice for atonement, stood up from the throne, yet when John saw the throne there was only one sitting on it (Jn. 4:2). This is because the Lamb that we see is a symbol of the work of reconciliation that God did as He dwelt in His son Jesus. It is literally showing, through symbolism, that the Lamb, who came from God, was God (Jn. 1:1).

Remember, this is a symbolic event and not a literal lamb at the throne. This is a representation of Jesus being the only one worthy to invocate judgment upon the world that rejected His offer of emancipation. Jesus is God manifest in the flesh, making this lamb a symbol of the work of the Father in the Son – namely, the atonement. The Lamb standing up from the midst of the throne is clear statement that the only one truly worthy to redeem and judge mankind is the Father Himself. It is almost as though God looks around and sees there is no man to open the seals, and He seizes the opportunity to show His limitlessness so the heavens can celebrate His greatness. When John sees that NO MAN could do it, God shows forth His own MAN, His own person, Jesus Christ, as the Lamb of God to open the seals, thus proving that God was the only person who could do the work of redemption.

One Name, One Face

The opponents of oneness will always ask for a specific scripture for everything (though they don’t appreciate when we ask them to follow the same rules). That

is no problem, however. We have an abundance of scripture to provide to make our case.

Just look at Revelation 22:1, 3, and 4 for our proof text to seal this position in stone.

Verse 1: “And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb.”

The throne of God and of the Lamb. It did not say the thrones of God and the Lamb. It is just one throne for God and the Lamb. This takes away any reason to believe that I there were two separate and distinct thrones to occupy.

Verse 3: “And there shall be no more curse: but the throne of God and of the lamb shall be in it; and His servants shall serve Him:”

His servants shall serve Him. Did it say their servants shall serve them? Of course not! That would be ludicrous. This takes away any reason to believe that there were two distinct persons present. The so-called “THEY” is called “HIM”. It cannot get any more oneness than that, can it?

Verse 4: “And they shall see His face; and His name shall be in their foreheads.”

So, not only are “THEY” declared to be one “HIM”, but that “HIM” has only one face and one name. This takes away any reason to talk about this any further.

Conclusion

This is why the oneness of God makes so much sense. Who else could redeem man but God, Himself? Who could be righteous enough to be able to judge us in integrity, but God? I ‘a u 1 said it perfectly, “God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the gentiles, believed on in the world, and received up into glory.” (1 Tim. 3:16)This celestial vision is a portrait of the oneness of God at its finest.

Scripture References

Revelation 19:11

And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness doth judge and make war.

Revelation 21:1

And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea.

Revelation 21:10

And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God,

Revelation 21:4

And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes: and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Revelation 13:1

And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

Revelation 17:3-5

So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns. And the woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet colour, and decked with gold and precious stones and pearls, having a golden cup in her hand full of abominations and filthiness of her fornication: and upon her forehead was a name written, MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.

1Timothy2:5

For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus;

John 1:29

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.

Hosea 13:7

Therefore I will be unto them as a lion: as a leopard by the way will I observe them:

Isaiah 9:7

Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even forever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.

Luke 24:39

Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle me, and see; for a spirit hah not flesh and bones, as ye see me have.

Mark 16:16

He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

John 14:28

Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I.

Revelation 4:8

And the four beasts had each of them six wings about him; and they were full of eyes within: and they rest not day and night, saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is and is to come.

Revelation 4:2

And immediately I was in the spirit: and, behold, a throne was set in heaven, and one sat on the throne.

John 1:1

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.

I Timothy 3:16

And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.