It Is Finished Audio

Monday, February 29, 2016

I AM Coming Back

Who is God?
I AM Coming Back Again

 Revelation 22:12 “Look, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to each person according to what they have done.” (NIV)

               Prior to the great fall, God walked with man and he was able to see I AM face to face. Genesis 3:8 Then the man and his wife heard the sound of the Lord God as he was walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and they hid from the Lord God among the trees of the garden. (NIV) Consequently, sin separated man from Him and therefore, the plan of redemption was the only way to restore man to Himself. John 3:16 For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him shall not perish but have everlasting life. (KJV) There never would have been a need for Jesus to come through a virgin birth had man been obedient to I AM’s command. Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel. (NIV)  Jesus would have never had to suffer and die if man had not fallen into the enemy’s deception. Hebrews 2:9 But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, now crowned with glory and honor because he suffered death, so that by the grace of God he might taste death for everyone. (NIV) The devil and his angels could have been destroyed in God’s timing and evil would have stopped in its tracks. Unfortunately, that was not the way the story went, but thanks to the sacrifice of I AM, we will not have to be eternally lost. Ephesians 1:7 In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace. (NIV)
               I AM’s original plan for His people had been sidetracked by the devil’s lies and schemes over the centuries. Nevertheless, he can only have temporary satisfaction because in the end, I AM will give him the punishment that is due him for all the misery that he and his demonic angels have caused upon the earth, along with those who refused the way of Truth. Matthew 25:41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.’ ” (NIV)

                I AM is coming back again. He will not be coming as a helpless baby lying in a manger this time, but He will be coming back as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords with His Heavenly Host. He is the GREAT I AM who has been spoken about over the centuries by both those who truly served Him and those who chose to mock Him. Jude 1:14-15 Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about these men: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones to judge everyone, and to convict all the ungodly of all the ungodly acts they have done in the ungodly way, and of all the harsh words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.” (NIV) It is up to every individual to choose what side they will be on prior to His return. No one will be able to switch sides once He comes back, for He will be coming with everyone’s reward and whoever’s name is not written in the book of Life will not make it into the kingdom. Revelation 20:12-13 And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the throne, and books were opened. Another book was opened, which is the book of life. The dead were judged according to what they had done as recorded in the books. The sea gave up the dead that were in it, and death and Hades gave up the dead that were in them, and each person was judged according to what he had done. (NIV)
                Some people believe that the Great I AM will be returning in secret, and that the saints will be raptured out quietly; however, the Bible only supports a public display of His return. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. (NIV) At the sound of the 7th Trumpet will be when I AM returns and so shall we ever the with the Lord for those who are ready. I AM is coming back SOON! Will you be ready?

Sunday, February 28, 2016

I AM the True Vine

 Who is God?
I AM the True Vine

John 15:1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. (NIV)

                Farmers take great care in tending to their farms. Anyone who has ever had a farm or a garden can attest to the fact that it takes great diligence to ensure its proper maintenance and upkeep. Farmers have to plant crops in the right season, ensure that the soil’s tillage is adequate, protect the crops from pests and possible weather damage, as well as keep weeds from choking out the crops –  especially, at their beginning growth stages. When I AM first created Adam, he was to be the keeper of the garden. However, after Adam’s fall, his work became more complicated in that it would take pain and sweat to do what was once an easy job. Genesis 3:17-19 To Adam he said, “Because you listened to your wife and ate from the tree about which I commanded you, ‘You must not eat of it,’ “Cursed is the ground because of you; through painful toil you will eat of it all the days of your life. It will produce thorns and thistles for you, and you will eat the plants of the field. By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.” (NIV) Adam failed with regards to living up to I AM’s expectations, but where he failed, Jesus succeeded. 

               Jesus lets us know that He is the True Vine and his Father is the Gardener. I AM does the pruning and discards any branch on the Vine that is not productive. John 15:2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful. (NIV) A branch that is loose on the ground will not grow any fruit on it, but if it is attached to the vine, it will flourish. Jesus tells us that we are to stay attached to Him because He is the True Vine and therefore, all that we need to be productive spiritually is found in Him. John 15:4-5 Remain in me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing. (NIV)

               As believers in Christ, we are supposed to be the fruit that is attached to the Vine. What characteristics are we to have as fruit attached to the True Vine? Galatians 5:22-23 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (NIV) If we lack in these areas, we must ask I AM to help us to be the fruit that we are supposed to be. Let’s break each one down so that we can have a full understanding into the characteristics of the fruit we should be as an extension of the Vine.

a.)    Love – For those who wish to be attached to the True Vine of I AM, love is a must. Without love, we cannot truly be in Christ because I AM is love. Therefore, we must exhibit this quality and understand that even if we do everything else right, without love, I AM will cut us off the branch. 1 Corinthians 13:1-3 (1)If I speak in the tongues of men and have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. (2)If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. (3)If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. (NIV) Therefore, the text lets us know that it doesn’t matter how well you flow in other spiritual gifts, if you cannot love, your gifts are useless and therefore, your branches will be cut from the Kingdom of I AM. So what exactly is love? 1 Corinthians 13:4-8, 13 (4)Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. (5)It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. (6)Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. (7)It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. (8)Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. (13)And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. (NIV)

 b.)    Joy – I AM desires for us to have joy regardless of whatever circumstance we may find ourselves in. In having joy, it is a sign to I AM that we have released to Him all of our worries and cares. Nehemiah 8:10 Nehemiah said, “Go and enjoy choice food and sweet drinks, and send some to those who have nothing prepared. This day is sacred to our Lord. Do not grieve, for the joy of the Lord is your strength.” (NIV) There are situations in life that we will not have control over such as death, illness, lost of employment, or some other unfortunate circumstance. However, Jesus let us know not to worry and to cast all of our cares on Him. Philippians 4:4-7 (4)Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! (5)Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. (6)Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, present your requests to God. (7)And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (NIV)

c.)    Peace – I AM wants all His children to be in a state of peace. That peace is only found in His son Jesus Christ. The Bible lets us know that we are not to worry about anything, but to rely totally upon I AM. Colossians 3:15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. (NIV) The worries of life can cause you to be in a state an anxiety. The bills have to be paid, the children need new clothes, the doctors have bad news, or the job may be about to issue you a pink slip, but in all situations know that I AM is in control and He will care for you. Matthew 6:25-27 “Therefore, I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air, they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life? (NIV) Jesus is the True Vine of peace. He is the I AM that gives peace to all who abides in Him. 

 d.)    Patience – We are to be patient in the Lord. This is a virtue that many people do not have, but as fruit of the Vine, we are called to be patient with others, and in doing so, we show the love of Christ. Ephesians 4:2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. (NIV) We are all recipients of I AM’s patience. He could have judged us in our sins and condemned us to a devil’s hell. However, He has given us chance after chance to get right with Him, and sent His Son to die for us instead of giving us the punishment that we deserved. 2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. He is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. (NIV) We in return are to display the same patience with others and with God. There are times when you may feel that God is being slow in keeping His promises. Nevertheless, I AM desires that we put our trust totally in Him and even if what we wait for is not done right away, I AM will keep His word. Habakkuk 2:3 For the revelation awaits an appointed time; it speaks of the end and will not prove false. Though it linger, wait for it; it will certainly come and will not delay. (NIV)

e.)    Kindness – Treating people kind is characteristic of the Vine’s fruit that represents Him. Rather that is helping someone in need, fixing a sick person a plate of food, or changing someone’s flat tire, I AM loves for His children to display acts for kindness. Luke 6:35 But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. (NIV) There are many people in the world who are focused only on themselves. However, when we show the world acts of kindness, we are also showing them Jesus. For many people, the only I AM they will see is through YOU. Be kind to all you meet for this is a fruit of the Spirit. Colossians 3:12 Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. (NIV)

f.)     Goodness – I AM wants us to be good to all people because He is good to us. Psalm 31:19 How great is your goodness, which you have stored up for those who fear you, which you bestow in the sight of men on those who take refuge in you. (NIV) I AM provides for His children even when we are undeserving. Because we are His, I AM gives us a taste of His goodness daily and we are to be good to others in return as part of His Vine. We can never do enough to pay for the goodness of I AM nor should we boast about what we’ve done for others. But our debt has already paid for by the blood of Jesus Christ our Lord and our works are just a seed of appreciation for what He’s done for us. Isaiah 64:6 All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away. (NIV)

g.)    Faithfulness – I AM is faithful to His children. He never turns away from us, but there are times when we have turned away from Him. I AM expects us to be faithful to Him as a wife is to be faithful to her husband. 1 Samuel 12:24 But be sure to fear the Lord and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you. (NIV)  We serve a faithful God who is unwavering. He stays consistent with us in His undying love even when we fail to do the same. I AM expects us to have the fruit of faithfulness, so that we do not turn away from Him and are in good alignment with Him to receive all that He has in store for us. Lamentations 3:22-23 Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (NIV)
h.)    Gentleness – Jesus told us to learn from Him for He was gentle. Matthew 11:29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (NIV) Jesus never raised a hand to do harm to anyone, but only to heal. Even when He turned the tables of the money changers, it was not to do them bodily harm, but to bring respect to the House of I AM. Matthew 21:12 Jesus entered the temple area and drove out all who were buying and selling there. He overturned the tables of the money changers and the benches of those selling doves. “It is written, “ he said to them, “ ‘My house will be called a house of prayer,’ but you are making it a ‘den of robbers.’ ” Today’s society glorifies violence and brutality, but I AM wants His children to glorify Him. We are to live as such in our homes, at school, work and play. Being of a gentle and not quarrelsome Spirit is of the Lord. Titus 3:1-2 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good, to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men. (NIV)

i.)      Self-Control – Jesus exhibited self-control during His ministry here on earth. When the religious leaders called Him names, he never retaliated. Luke 11:15-16 But some of them said, “By Beelzebub, the prince of demons, he is driving out demons. Others tested him by asking for a sign from heaven. (NIV) When He was beaten and insulted, He never said one wrong word. 1 Peter 22-23 “He committed no sin, and no deceit was found in his mouth. When they hurled their insults at him, he did not retaliate; when he suffered, he made no threats. Instead, he entrusted himself to him who judges justly. (NIV) When He was mocked, spit on, and humiliated in the worse way, He never uttered one curse against those who wronged them. Instead, He asked the Father to forgive them. Luke 23:34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots. (NIV) Jesus also used self-control when the devil tried to tempt Him prior to beginning His ministry. This is why we have the power in I AM to resist temptation because Jesus did it first. James 4:7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. (NIV) We must use self-control in all areas of our lives, so that I AM gets the glory in all that we do. If we allow anger, greed, lust, selfishness, and other manners of evil to make us lose focus, we will be cut from the True Vine because I AM will prune us off of His Vine. No branch will remain on the Vine that is not producing fruit. Just as Jesus cursed the fig tree because it did not produce any figs, we too will be cursed into the eternal fire if we fail to stay connected to the True Vine. Mark 11:12-14 (12)The next day as they were leaving Bethany, Jesus was hungry. (13)Seeing in the distance a fig tree in leaf, he went to find out if it had any fruit. When he reached it, he found nothing but leaves , because it was not the season for figs. (14)Then he said to the tree, “May no one ever eat fruit from you again.” (NIV)

       I AM is the True Vine. We must stay connected to Him in order to be in alignment with His will. Within the Vine, we receive all the nutrients that we need to sustain us spiritually. To fall away from the Vine means that we will no longer be spiritually sound in order to survive and therefore, our capability to produce fruit will diminish. As a result, dried branches are only good for firewood and those who remain disconnected will have a fiery end.

Thursday, February 25, 2016

I AM the Resurrection and the Life

Who Is God?
 I AM the Resurrection and the Life

 John 11:25-26 Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in me will live, even though he dies; and whoever lives and believes in me will never die. Do you believe this? (NIV)

               In the beginning, I AM created a perfect universe. There was no sickness, pain, misery or death. These terms would have been foreign if used because everything was full of life and beauty. The first time that the Bible mentions anything concerning death is when I AM told Adam to stay away from the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Genesis 2:16-17 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden; but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die.” (NIV) This death was not an immediate death, but one that would have lasting consequences upon all of mankind and a separation of man from God. The fall of man and its ramifications was probably more then Adam could have ever possibly imagined when I AM first issued this warning. Unfortunately, Adam did not heed the warning and the world suffered the greatest separation from God, resulting in the breakdown of life, and ending in death. Isaiah 59:1-2 Surely the arm of the Lord is not too short to save, nor his ear too dull to hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; your sins have hidden his face from you, so that he will not hear. (NIV)
               Despite man’s disobedience, I AM had a plan of salvation, which would save man from spending an eternity without Him. Jesus would come and be the sacrificial lamb to take on the sins of the world. During the interim period, from the time of Adam till Jesus’ return, there would be much death that man would see and encounter. Nevertheless, there was and still is hope in Jesus Christ our Lord. Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. (NIV)

               Because I AM is the Creator of all things, He is also the Resurrection and the Life. I AM is the Life Giver for He gave life to the first man. Genesis 2:7 The Lord God forms the man from the dust of the ground and breathes into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being. (NIV) Adam’s very breath was given from I AM; therefore, he literally was breathing the air of I AM. This is why when the breath of a person is gone, there is no life in them. Cells cannot function, the organs shut down, and the brain ceases to function when there is a lack of oxygen. The body becomes totally incapacitated when it is deprived of air. Job 33:4 The Spirit of God has made me; the breath of the Almighty gives me life. (NIV)

               I AM used a powerful illustration with the prophet Ezekiel showing that He was the Life Giver when Ezekiel was in a valley of dry bones. Ezekiel 37:4-6 (4)Then he said to me, “Prophesy to these bones and say to them, ‘Dry bones, hear the word of the Lord! (5)This is what the Sovereign Lord says to these bones: I will make breath enter you and you will come to life. (6)I will attach tendons to you and make flesh come upon you and cover you with skin; I will put breath in you, and you will come to life. Then you will know that I am the Lord.” (NIV) Why is it important to understand that I AM is the Life Giver?

               When we look at the world and see the dying condition that it is in, it can be easy to give up and lose hope. All around us is death, cold hearts, suffering, heartache, struggles, and injustice. Nevertheless, we can have hope in knowing that I AM is able to restore all that is dead, broken, and seemingly hopeless because He is the one who gives the breath of life. Ezekiel 37:8-10 (8)I looked and tendons and flesh appeared on them and skin covered them, but there was no breath in them. (9)Then he said to me, “Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to it, “This is what the Sovereign Lord says: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe into these slain, that they may live.’ ” (10)So I prophesied as he commanded me, and breath entered them; they came to life and stood up on their feet – a vast army. (NIV) In this particular illustration, I AM was giving hope to Israel whose situation was seemingly a valley of dry bones. He was letting them know that their situation was not dead, but He was the Resurrection of dead circumstances and would breath into theirs once again. Ezekiel 37:13-14 Then you, my people will know that I am the Lord, when I open your graves and bring you up from them. I will put my Spirit in you and you will live, and I will settle you in your own land Then you will know that I the Lord have spoken, and I have done it, declares the Lord. (NIV)

               While Jesus was on earth, He performed many miracles – one of which being the resurrection of Lazarus from the dead. Lazarus, the brother of Mary and Martha had taken ill, so the two sisters immediately sent word to Jesus. When Jesus heard the news, He did not leave his location for another two days, for He knew that God would get the glory in the end. John 11:4 When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” (NIV) Sometimes, there are circumstances that arise in life in which we desire for them to be worked out right away. However, I AM oftentimes wait until they become seemingly dead to us in order to stretch our faith and have us to rely totally on Him as the Life Giver who can resurrect our dead circumstance as He did with Lazarus. John 11:11 After he had said this, he went on to tell them, “Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep, but I am going there to wake him up.” (NIV)

               Jesus was letting the disciples and others around know that He was not confined by time or circumstance. He was showing them that I AM is the Resurrection and the Life. John 11:14-15 So then he told them plainly, “Lazarus is dead and for your sake I am glad I was not there so that you may believe. But let us go to him.” (NIV) If Lazarus had not died, Jesus’ followers would not have known that He could raise the dead. Not only was Lazarus dead, but it had been four days since his death and his body had not been embalmed, therefore, his body would have started to decay and smell. Nevertheless, this did not stop I AM. Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead after he had been ill, after he had died, after he had started to decay and after his body had started to smell. The I AM that I AM showed that nothing is impossible for Him including not being bound by death. John 11:43-44 When he had said this, Jesus called in a loud voice, “Lazarus, come out! The dead man came out, his hands and feet wrapped with strips of linen, and a cloth around his face. Jesus said to them, Take off the grave clothes and let him go.”

               One day, there will be no more sickness or death. Those who make a choice for I AM will be welcomed into His glorious kingdom where we will live forever when He comes back to take His children home. 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17 For the  Lord himself will come down form heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. (NIV)  Because He died, we can live. I AM paid the ultimate price for our salvation. He took on death Himself and now, we have a choice to choose eternal life and not death.