FOLLOW US EVERYWHERE!
Our prayer for you is that the God of all grace anoints you with fresh oil and His precious Spirit illuminates the Word as you read. May He empower you to effectively communicate to others the vibrant hope that He has given you to persevere the struggles that you have overcome and continue to overcome.
-Pastor and Mrs. John W. Elmore, III
Psa 46:7 The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.
God is the Lord of hosts and this verse establishes the idea that God was with the children of Israel in the Old Covenant. We can read stories in the Old Testament when Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt, how God went before them in the day as a cloud and a fire by night. So we can clearly see how God was present with them during their time in the wilderness.
Isa 8:10 Take counsel together, and it shall come to nought; speak the word, and it shall not stand: for God is with us.
We can clearly see that there are implied benefits for God being with us as this verse says that God was with Israel. This verse is speaking about the subject of spoken words and this verse implies that they can be weapons against us. But, elsewhere in the Bible God also said that no weapon formed against us will prosper, so we can see this is possible because God is with us. God is on our side, by our side and that is a very good thing. We have specific benefits, because God is with us.
Mat 1:23 Behold, a virgin shall be with child, and shall bring forth a son, and they shall call his name Emmanuel, which being interpreted is, God with us.
This verse in Matthew is a little different than the others. This time God is spoken of in terms of becoming a man like us and walking around with us on this planet. God in the flesh, walking around looking just like us. That is the powerful story of the salvation and redemptive plan of God. If God never came to be with us, we would all still be in dire straits. Let’s shift gears and look at the next dimension of God, God For Us!
God For Us
Rom 8:31 What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
It is said that God is “for” us. This is contrasted as an antonym to the word to be “against”. I am certainly glad that God is not against us. However, I think that many religious people struggle with the concept of God not currently acting as the judge, the jury and the executioner. Whenever, 9/11 happened and terrorist flew planes into NY and Washington D.C., I heard many Christians try to say it was God’s judgment upon us. However, these are ignorant Christians who do not understand that God is “For” us and not “against” us. If God was “against” you and that was His judgment, no one would be alive to tell the tale. There is coming a day of judgment, but that is in the future. Right now Satan is responsible for all of the killing and murder going on in the world, not God! Satan is against you, God is for you. I could give you many more verses that speak to God being for us and not against us. But, I want to move on to the third dimension of God that makes our covenant much better than the Old Covenant God had with Israel. You see God was “with” Israel and “for” Israel, but never “in” Israel. We have this gift of God and it makes our covenant much better than the old.
God In Us
Rom 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.
You see in this verse in Romans, God is saying that those who are born again, have the Spirit of God dwelling in them. God further stipulates that the Spirit of God is also called the Spirit of Christ. You cannot separate Christ from God nor God from Christ, they are one in the same. What is the difference between Old Testament prophets and New Testament Prophets? Both have a prophets anointing, but the New Testament prophet has God living on the inside of them and the Old Testament prophet did not. An anointing is like an outward pouring of the Spirit of God. The Spirit of God comes “Upon” a human and is anointed to do a specific job for God. David was anointed to be King by Samuel. The prophet poured the oil over the head of David and this was symbolic of how the Spirit of God came upon him. If David would have had the Spirit of God on the inside of him, David would have had to drink the oil. Little details like these are often times missed when casually reading the Bible.
Rom 8:11 But if the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by his Spirit that dwelleth in you.
This is another verse in the same chapter of Romans, that declares that the Spirit of God dwells in the believer. This of course is very hard to describe to someone who doesn’t believe. I can tell them that I have sensed the presence of God within in me at times, in the past sometimes very strongly, like my insides were on fire. Other times I have felt nothing at all. But, regardless of the feeling or sensations that I perceived with my senses, I know He is there because His word says He is. He said He would never leave me nor forsake me, so I know He is there all the time. God can give you sensations that can be physically felt if He so desires and thinks that you would benefit from them. However, it is dangerous to pray and ask God to do this, because Satan can also manifest to deceive you. I never prayed or asked God to make me feel like I was on fire on the inside of my chest, God choose to do this because I guess He thought I needed it. Be very careful what you pray for, make sure it is based upon scriptures. I do not know of any verses that says God will give you any specific feeling in your flesh to confirm His presence.
Col 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory:
There are many verses like this one that I could include, but they just go to confirm the fact that the Spirit of Christ now dwells in those that believe. This is truly a mystery to the world and to the natural Jews. They have never experienced this, but they do have the opportunity to participate in this great mystery if they choose to. The free gift of life and salvation is open to whomsoever will. What does it mean to have God dwell in us? To dwell somewhere implies a place or a location that we live. Say a specific address or a specific city. I dwell in Dallas, TX, some might be able to say. A dwelling also implies a home. God has made his home in us. We are now the new home of God. Where we were not His home we have become His home. This is really an awesome difference between the New Covenant and the Old Covenant. The church is the New Jerusalem, the spiritual city of God’s new home. We have become this spiritual city built up in Christ, Jesus Christ the chief cornerstone, where in we all fit together being built up in the spiritual realm.
So God is For You! God is With You! and God is In You! if you are a believer and have made Jesus your Lord and Savior.
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Pastor John was interviewed by Lynn Smith (CNN) about the importance of increased security in church.
Pastor John Elmore, who is also a Grammy Nominated Music Producer, is the creator and visionary of The Unscripted Worship Concept. Check out the DVD today!