Especially Anointed Pt 2 (ATP)  

Question: Are “specialty anointings” or endowments real? For instance, a minister says, “God gave me a specialty anointing to heal eyes or cancer”.  Have you ever seen fruit to this that glorifies the Lord ? My assumption is that if a minister truly had a special gift- it would stand out and not need promotion… 

Well, I definitely think  that this question could be done in multiple parts, maybe even more. Here is the second part of the answer, so if you haven’t read last week’s Faith Fix. 

Someone once said to me when I was asking them about ministry offices, “I prefer not to get all wrapped up in that.” The idea they put forth was all that really mattered about these offices (or Biblically, gifts) was the one that’s important is the one needed at the moment. I like that because this seems more in line with scripture.

Paul said this about ministers, 1 Corinthians 3:5 (NASB), “What then is Apollos? And what is Paul? Servants through whom you believed, even as the Lord gave opportunity to each one.” The emphasis in scripture is never on the one gifted but the gift that’s needed. Does this mean the minister means nothing? Certainly not! The Bible says in 1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 (NASB), “But we request of you, brethren, that you appreciate those who diligently labor among you, and have charge over you in the Lord and give you instruction, and that you esteem them very highly in love because of their work. Live in peace with one another.” We must find balance in these things, however. How do we appreciate and esteem someone? Well, how do you feel appreciated and esteemed? These things are not hard when we determine to do to others as you would have them do to you.

As far as “anointings” go however let’s consider some things. Romans 12:3 (NASB) says, “For through the grace given to me I say to everyone among you not to think more highly of himself than he ought to think; but to think so as to have sound judgment, as God has allotted to each a measure of faith.” This scripture, if you continue to read, is dealing with the things God has gifted us with. First, the one “gifted” is to think soberly about themselves and the gift. Verse 6 instructs them to operate these gifts within the sphere of what their faith allows. No where in scripture are we directed to exalt a gift, even Jesus did not do this. Remember when the disciples came back all excited because “even the demons were subject to them”? His response was not, “Rejoice in your gift!” In fact, He specifically said not to!

You may be thinking, but didn’t Paul say that he magnifies his ministry? He did, in Roman’s 11:13. However, the context was not that he went around talking about it, inflating it, selling tickets to come watch the show. It means that he did right by it, operating in it as best he could so as to bring honor to God and draw people unto Him. Even the Holy Spirit does not speak of His own will, but that of the Father (John 16:13). In other words, He too pointed to the Father.

Self promotion is a dangerous thing and is the absence of humility. Paul spoke of this in 1 Corinthians 9:16 (NASB). “For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for I am under compulsion; for woe is me if I do not preach the gospel.” He did it because he knew in his conscience if he did not he would get in trouble with God. It is my opinion based on what I see in scripture that we should never seek opportunity, but rather follow opportunity. The devil even tried to get Jesus to self promote, and yet He refused. 

I am not saying that it’s unbiblical or unrighteousness to ever promote something. Don’t you appreciate when something you really want to partake of was advertised so you could make plans? Just before writing this, I was looking at a ministry’s itinerary so I could plan on being in meetings. Each date had a little promotion and I liked that as it made it easier to decide which one to be at. I just think we need to promote with the utmost humility. Consider this, when Jesus went about doing good, He often told people not to tell anyone. John the Baptist preached in the wilderness and people came to him. Paul simply preached Jesus and Him crucified and news went out that the one who formerly persecuted now preached. If it’s God, He will do the promoting. 

One last thing, I want to make sure I answer the question of is there “specialty anointings”? I do believe the Bible indicates, though not necessarily explains special abilities. You will see at different times in the Bible where people did different or similar things but not all things. Elijah, Elisha, and Jesus all multiplied food, however not everyone did. I think the sum of all this is really found in Romans 12. Operate in faith according to ability you know you can operate in and you will do just fine. Is it wrong for a minister to talk about what they know the Lord has gifted them to do? I don’t think so, if done in humility. But that’s a whole other discussion.

1 Peter 5:6 (NASB)

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you at the proper time,

Be Blessed, 

Pastor Jeff 

Especially Anointed Pt 1 (ATP)

Question: Are “specialty anointings” or endowments real? For instance, a minister says, “God gave me a specialty anointing to heal eyes or cancer”.  Have you ever seen fruit to this that glorifies the Lord ? My assumption is that if a minister truly had a special gift- it would stand out and not need promotion… 

One of the things that I have learned in nearly 20 years of serving the Lord is that if something is of God, it will definitely bear fruit that glorifies God. Now, with that being said, we have to be careful at what we mean by bearing fruit.

First, let’s tackle what it means to bear fruit. Philippians 1:11 (NASB) says, “having been filled with the fruit of righteousness which comes through Jesus Christ, to the glory and praise of God.” What, one could ask are the fruits of righteousness? Simply put, they are the same as the fruits of the Spirit found in Galatians 5:22-23. Some people think that righteous fruits would be seen in the size of the ministry, or the amount of money that one has, or the amount of following that one has. The Bible just never refers to fruit in this way. Let’s think about this honestly. Could this be the real way of judging? Consider groups like the Ku Klux Klan. They had quite a following at one time but were they righteous? Or how about Nazi Germany. For a time they really picked up steam, but were they righteous? Of course, the answer is no. Now, I am not equating ministries that have maybe gotten a little out of balance to Nazi Germany or the Ku Klux Klan but my point is this, that righteousness is not necessarily determined in all the things we see. It is however found in what God sees.

Because I am a context junkie I want to go back in Philippians to a few scriptures before and see this in context. When we do this, I think will see something pretty interesting. Philippians 1:9-10 (NASB) says, “And this I pray, that your love may abound still more and more in real knowledge and all discernment, so that you may approve the things that are excellent, in order to be sincere and blameless until the day of Christ.” What is being asked to abound? Is it not love? Or, in other words, if something that people are doing does not first point to love for God and love for people, not themselves, then it is not fruit of righteousness. Also, men are not called to draw attention to themselves. Jesus actually fought against drawing people toward His miraculous actions. The Holy Spirit we are told will not speak of Himself either. I believe it is dangerous any and every time an “anointed” person draws attention to themselves or their ministry. 

Moving on, notice it didn’t stop there. How does this love abound?  It abounds in REAL knowledge AND discernment. How important are they! What I want you to see here is that the direction for real knowledge and discernment is not pointing to ministers. It is written to those who believe. If we are to be good Christians we have to learn to discern and we do that through embracing real knowledge as opposed to false knowledge. We, like the Berean’s of Acts 17, are called to search the scriptures daily, not swallow every revelation or announcement of man.

With that said, let me say something else. This is not giving us license to get up in arms and fight, because we are also called to peace (remember the fruits of the Spirit are required in us as well). We, as Philippians 1:10 states, are to remain sincere and blameless until Christ returns. If we are in opposition to what is being taught continually we have to decide whether or not we may have to move on. It doesn’t do us nor those we are supposed to be in fellowship with any good to be at constant odds with each other. Let me add, that this also is highly displeasing to God. 

I believe we have a responsibility to either dwell in peace or move on, but we must stay in peace. As a pastor I am commanded to shepherd the flock that is among, not without. As sheep, people need to realize that they need shepherded. I don’t choose my flock, God does and people do. Where God has placed or does place you is where you will flourish. Don’t fight where He has you, but if where you are is a fight, perhaps you are misplaced.

Be Blessed,

Pastor Jeff 

Do This In Remembrance Of Me (ATP)  

In John chapter 6 Jesus says at least 4 different times that you must believe in, cleave to and trust in and rely on Him and you will have eternal life. Later in the chapter He changes it to he who feeds on My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life , John 6:54.  Before the end of chapter 6 many of His disciples have left and no longer accompany Him.  What does John 6:54 mean?

John 6:54 (NASB)

He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.

Well obviously Jesus is referring to the New Testament practice of cannibalism. Ok, I’m joking, but Jesus did say some interesting things didn’t He? His disciples actually questioned Him on that too, “You say things hard to understand.” Jesus had purpose for saying things hard to understand, and sometimes still does.

Jesus had great purpose in being here, and it wasn’t what many think. Jesus didn’t come to live, but to die. Everything He did while He was here was pointing to that place. He certainly explained many truths to His followers but most of what He was doing could not be understood until after. I’m going to say something that might shock you but it wasn’t as important to follow Jesus while He was here as it was after He left. Surely those with Him were blessed. But being with Jesus in life didn’t make the difference, being with Him in death did. Let me explain.

Judas was with Jesus in life yet he left Him at death, as did Peter. Peter was restored, Judas however was not. Judas surely could have been. Some people will say but Judas betrayed Him. This is true, but the Bible tells us we all have. Romans 3:10-12 (NASB) says, “as it is written,


What is happening in John 6:54? Jesus is pointing to what is called the last supper, which is the beginning of what we now practice called communion. In 1 Corinthians 11:26 (NASB) it says, “For as often as you eat this bread and drink the cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until He comes.” One cannot have faith in Christ apart from partaking of His body. To eat of His flesh and to drink if His blood is to believe in who He was and what He did. When we take communion we reflect on that and what we are doing in relation to it. 

When we see people leave Jesus at the end of John 6, it’s because they didn’t understand. They, however, didn’t need to. Their redemption was not Christ here, but Christ in the Cross. This was also looking to the future. If people truly understood what He was doing, everyone would come to Him. There are many reasons why people reject Him, but ignorance is at the top. I am convinced there are those that left Him in that time that came back after His resurrection. Just as there are those today that will come to Him, that had never known the truth before.

Be Blessed,

Pastor Jeff 

Drink And Be Merry?(ATP) 

Question: Lately my heart has been so incredibly heavy. The words from 1 Cor 6:9-10 play over and over in my head… specifically “drunkards will not inherit the kingdom of God”. So many of my family members and friends, even those who love the Lord, are caught up in this lifestyle. God is all righteous and His Word is the highest standard. Where does mercy come into play for those who love and adamantly try to serve the Lord but see no fault in substance use? Many churches don’t even touch this subject, or drink right along side their congregants. Are people drinking themselves right into Hell or will they just experience destruction here on earth and their souls be saved? 

Boy, this is a hotly debated topic in the body of Christ! To drink or not to drink, that is the question! As always I like to try and point to what the Word says and not what it does not say. In part, however, our understanding of the Word will always be affected by our motives. I believe motives is one of the greatest reasons for this debate. 

As a pastor, whenever I mention drinking in the pulpit, I tend never to do it from a positive light. This is not because I am on a soapbox, trying to force my opinions on other people. It actually comes from common sense. I often present this point in the debate on drinking. Show me where drinking, especially in this society, has ever been a positive thing. Ask any doctor about drinking liquor or beer and the effects of it. How many times have peoples’ lives been ruined by drunk driving, domestic abuse, or the various other issues that accompany drinking? Our society is literally plagued by the abuse of alcohol and yet still so many people partake of it. The question is why and the answer is because of their motives. They want to. If someone wants to do something they will justify it anyway they can.

When people argue that drinking alcohol is OK according to the Bible, they are actually being misleading. First of all, the Bible does not advocate for the drinking of alcohol. The only thing that could be argued, possibly, is that the Bible okays the usage of wine. No where in scripture do you see any righteous person advocating drunken parties, drinking to excess, or even casual usage of alcohol. In fact, the Bible CLEARLY tells us that excessive usage of alcohol called drunkenness is specifically prohibited. Anybody who says otherwise is simply ignoring scripture.

Now, I know some good Christians, who after having done extensive study of the Word, and have sought the Lord, and have sought spiritual counsel, have felt justified to partake of a little wine, for their health sake on occasion. They have never had and do not have a problem with drugs or alcohol and it is on a very limited basis. I am not in the place of judging that, and I certainly don’t think they are going to hell. However, most people would never have any idea they are doing it. Are they wrong? That’s between them and God.

The truth is most Christians that are trying to argue for the consumption of alcohol are not doing it from that perspective. They are typically people who are trying to justify doing somethings that the Bible clearly tells them they shouldn’t. People who are going and getting packs of beer, or wanting to drink with their friends and family are not supported by scripture. They will quote scriptures like when Paul told Timothy to, “drink a little wine for his stomach sake” but the truth is, this is not what they are doing. They are manipulating the Word in order that they may sin.

I know that may seem harsh, but sometimes people just need to hear it said clearly. One thing that people have gone to as good reasons for drinking is its health benefits. The truth is, there probably aren’t any. A few years ago it came out that the studies that were done on the health benefits of drinking were all funded by the alcohol industry. To me that sounds a little bit like a conflict of interest. I am not saying that wine does not have some good properties but certainly you can’t say the same really about any other kind of alcohol for the purpose of human consumption. There is a truth that before modern medicine some liquors were used for pain killers for surgeries and things of the like, to which I don’t have an issue with that because that was what was medicinal at the time. However, that too is not the same as bellying up to a bar and/or knocking back a few.

The Bible warns in many places about the effects of alcohol. Proverbs 20:1 (NASB) says, “Wine is a mocker, strong drink a brawler, and whoever is intoxicated by it is not wise.” Noah got in trouble with alcohol. Ephesians 5:18 says specifically not to be drunk and sobriety believe it or not can be seen in the fruits of the Spirit (self-control in Galatians 5:23). But even with that, what about the warnings about drunkenness? Of course the scriptures you mentioned in 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 but also in Galatians 5:21 (NASB). “Envying, DRUNKENNESS, carousing, and things like these, of which I forewarn you, just as I have forewarned you, THAT THOSE WHO PRACTICE SUCH THINGS WILL NOT INHERIT the kingdom of God.” 

My take away is this, if it could possibly take me to hell, then why on earth would I want to even get close to it? Too many Christians live, towing the line and as much as it’s up to me or in my knowledge, I want to stay far away from it. In closing, I will say that if a person struggles with alcoholism, it doesn’t mean that they will necessarily go to hell. I have great, compassion for people who struggle with addictions. But again, this is not the same as people who willfully choose to partake of things, ignoring the truth in order to do so.. When the Bible is talking about drunkards, these are the type of people it is referring to. As Christians, we have a responsibility to know the truth, accept the truth, and endeavor to live by the truth. If we refuse, then we are in the wrong.

Be Blessed,

Pastor Jeff

What’s On The Menu? (ATP) 

Question: What do you think churches should talk more about, but don’t?

This here is a very interesting question. It’s actually one that I ask myself often. It’s also one that people talk about often. There will be critics out there who pointed churches, and say you’re not teaching this or you’re not teaching that. It would be easy for me to jump on that bandwagon, and to be honest, I have probably done so too many times. Let’s turn to the Word though and see what it says.

There is quite a bit in Scripture that is talked about as pertains to pastors, sometimes called bishops, and or elders. These are people who God has equipped to feed His sheep. Sometimes referred to as gifts, but I think that can be misleading. If I were to look at it wrong, I would say I am gifted to do this or that. The truth is, the gift is for the people, the minister is simply a vessel. Recently, while my wife and I were traveling, we were stopped at a railroad crossing as we waited for a train to pass. It took quite a while for this train to pass, and I was a little bit annoyed as most people probably would be. As I sit here, now,  I smile as my annoyance becomes an example. That train had many different kinds of train cars with what I am assuming must’ve been a lot of different kinds of cargo. The cargo was what mattered not the train. The train was important as long as it was carrying the cargo, but it was the cargo that made the train important. The same thing goes with the gifts in the body of Christ.

What we partake of when we come to church is the gifts that God has placed among us however they will manifest. When it comes to the preaching, a very specific gift, there is much instruction on it.  2 Timothy 4:1-4 (NASB) says, “I solemnly charge you in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, who is to judge the living and the dead, and by His appearing and His kingdom: preach the word; be ready in season and out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with great patience and instruction. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths.” Jesus instructed Peter, “If you love Me, feed My sheep.” We as pastors are called to feed God’s people with the Word. When you are feeding people, you seek out what they need. Before I prepare any sermon I seek the Lord, “Father, what do your people need.” Sure sometimes I just know, but I still seek Him as well.

I say all that because each church has different needs but all of their answers revolve around the Word. With that understanding, what should be taught in churches can vary at different times. Sometimes there is a need for more emphasis in one area than another, depending on where the church is, what the people are going through, and what’s happening in society as a whole. Different people are bound by different things and so their needs can vary quite greatly. In the book of Revelation, chapters two and three, we see the letters to the seven churches of Asia minor. Each message pertains specifically to each church, and it seems as though they had their strengths and weaknesses.

As a whole, to answer your question more specifically, I think that the most important thing to teach is what we are commanded to teach by Jesus Himself, and that is the Gospel. To understand what the Gospel is is very basic, it literally means good news. The good news of Jesus Christ is that we were lost sinners, without any hope, and Jesus came and saved us and brought us back to God. I believe that every Christian should have a firm understanding of this and know how to share that with everybody. There are a lot of doctrines that are important, but this is the greatest need in every place. Sure there are times when we will share things that are less important in churches, but we have to keep what’s most important at the top of the list.

The aspects of our faith are incredibly important for us to understand, but I have seen that the foundations of our faith, the simplicity of the message of the Cross, seems to be lost on too many people. Many Christians have been so consumed with self-help that they have forgotten that we have been commanded to take love and truth to the world. Too many of God’s people are so focused on what they know that they cannot relate to those who know nothing about God. They are supposed to be the salt of the Earth and the light of His glory, and yet when dealing with the world, they leave bitterness in the mouths of unbelievers.

We need to teach truth, but we need to know how to do it in love. If we are not winning the lost, we are not fulfilling the most basic call of our entire faith. If the focus is on what we get, and what we want, we will miss every true opportunity of following Christ. With that said, there are many things that need to be taught to help people be equipped to share the gospel, and I believe that it is important for every leader, to seek God and get what is needed to be delivered in order to do so. Teaching people how to live godly, desiring His plan, is the greatest need in the Body of Christ. Though that can look different at times, if our focus always points back to Him, we can’t be that far off!

Be Blessed,

Pastor Jeff 

Hey, Did You Know…? (ATP) 

What does Proverbs 9:7-8 mean? Is it just a warning for us so we aren’t surprised when we try and correct people? Is it saying don’t waste your time on scoffers because it doesn’t lead to anything good? 

Proverbs 9:7-8 (NASB)

He who corrects a scoffer gets dishonor for himself, And he who reproves a wicked man gets insults for himself. Do not reprove a scoffer, or he will hate you, Reprove a wise man and he will love you.

Correcting people is a very interesting endeavor. Pastoring has taught me SO MUCH about it, although it doesn’t take being a pastor to understand. 

I think it is most helpful, when trying to be a good Christian to aspire to the life that Jesus led. Now when I say this I’m not telling people to focus on healing people, walking on water, or casting out demons. I am not saying that those things were not important, I’m saying they were not the point. They were an outflow of Jesus living in obedience to the Father. Jesus only did what He saw the Father do.

Jesus did not heal every person, and He did not minister to every person. This may be hard for some people to understand, or even take in, but the truth of the matter is, He did not. I often like to use the example of when He went to the Pool of Bethesda, and found the lame man there. We understand by the story that there were many people there who needed healing, and yet we also see in the story that He only approached one person and healed that one. Why is this important? It’s important for the same reason of why the pool was there in the first place, and why and how the healing’s took place there. It wasn’t about the healing but about connecting people to God.

All of that said, we can draw on this knowledge to understand why talking to a scoffer would be a waste of time. One of the ways that the Hebrew word for scoffer can be understood is “One who shows himself a mocker.” Somebody who refuses the truth, who just does not want the truth, and will do everything to fight the truth, cannot be helped by talking to them about the truth. The person that tries to help them will just find themselves frustrated, and probably even embarrassed. 

I actually have had this happen to me many times, but more specifically in defending the local church. During the time of Covid, we had some people lash out against us on social media. I decided that I would try to respond by being reasonable and explaining what we were doing, while maintaining our faith and our freedom to partake of it. The person I responded to, however, was not reasonable and they didn’t really care why we were doing what we were doing because they hated what we did anyways. Now they just figured that they had opportunity to be vocal about it. What I found myself doing was trying to correct a scoffer, and all that scoffer was going to do was mock us for what they didn’t understand.

Now, I shared what I shared at the beginning about Jesus and then the story for a very specific purpose. To tie it all together what we need to understand is this, not every person will be open to our faith, and so we must learn to be led by God‘s spirit to the ones who are. We have been given instruction to go into all the world and preach the gospel but that does not necessarily mean to each and every person. If that were the case, we would never get very far because there’s a lot of people in a short space of time. How much time would be wasted on people that never want to hear? I have found way more effect when we spend time with God and then go where He wants us to be, looking for those who want to hear. How can we know who they are you might wonder? You can never know in of yourself, but the Lord knows and if you are interested, He will show you.

The interesting thing is, He may surprise you. I had no idea of whether or not the woman who became my wife would want anything to do with God. She was raised an atheist, and I didn’t have much to offer her. Not knowing how I knew, I was drawn to her by God’s spirit. In time our relationship would truly glorify God, but I had no possible way of knowing this when she was a waitress bringing me my coffee.

The truths that are presented to us in these scriptures are that every person will not receive truth. Those who will are wise and those who won’t are not and it’s important for us to seek out them that will. It’s also important for us to recognize that when we are talking to somebody and they are just mocking us, it is not our place to continue. When we do so, we do it to our own frustration. 

Following God and living humbly will lead us to the people and places we need to be. There will be times when the Lord will lead us to a mocker for the purpose of being a witness to them at judgement. We should not however, make it a practice to just say everything to everyone. This is not an excuse to be lazy with our faith or to suppress it, but to be purposeful in His purpose as we walk it out.

Matthew 7:6 (NASB)

“Do not give what is holy to dogs, and do not throw your pearls before swine, or they will trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you to pieces.”

Be Blessed,

Pastor Jeff