Jesus is Not an Angel

Like most ministries, we receive many prayer requests. We believe that as Christians, we are to pray for each other and build each other up. The world is out there continually trying to defeat us and tear us down, so it is very important that we as Christians communicate positively and pray for each other. With that in mind, I’d like to read this letter I received:

Dear Reverend Ollison,

I have this question. If Jesus was an angel, then how did He become God? Why was He chosen as God over the other angels? Also, if God is the Father of Jesus and Mary is His mother, then is Mary God’s wife? I’m not trying to be silly; I just want to know. Several other books I have been reading talk about these things, but it seems so confusing to me.

Here is my response:

Dear Friend,

You have some interesting questions, and I am going to give you some straightforward answers. First, Jesus was not an angel. Jesus is not an angel. Jesus will never be an angel. Likewise, Jesus was not chosen out of a group of angels to be God and Mary is not God’s wife.

The Word says in John 1: “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. All things were made through Him, and without Him nothing was made that was made.”

Verse 14 in the same chapter says, “The Word (Jesus) became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory.”

So, you see, Jesus didn’t just appear on earth as a newly created being. He Himself was the Creator through whom all things were created, and He came to earth as man. He allowed Himself to be crucified and was raised from the dead and continues to live today. He did this for you and for me. He died so that we can live forever.

Now, my Friend, let me make this suggestion. Put away your other books for now. They are obviously written by men who do not have a full understanding of the Bible. Find a good Word-believing church in your area and get involved in some Bible study. You will enjoy it. The Bible is alive with truths of God. Everything you read in the Word is true. After all, it was written by God.

If you need a Bible, let me know and we’ll send you one.

Hosea 4:6 says, “My people perish for lack of knowledge.”We must read and meditate on the Word in order to have knowledge and know the truth. After all, Jesus said in John 8:31 and 32 that if we would abide in His Word, we would be His disciples and we would know the truth and the truth would set us free.

Devotion 0007

Should I Confess Empty Words?

“It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life” (John 6:63).

What keeps our words from being spirit and life like the words Jesus spoke? Would you like to know the answer to that?

One hindrance is familiarity. We have memorized scripture, but it has not become revelation knowledge to us yet. We must take the time to let the scripture sink in and become rhema to us.

Another major hindrance is a lack of patience. We jump fast, we pray, we meditate and then suddenly we grow weary when we don’t see anything happen, so we say, “Where was God? What happened? Why didn’t this work?”

When somebody says, “If I speak the Word, but it is not rhema in my heart, then I’m just speaking empty words. Is that correct?” No and yes. They are not empty words, but they don’t have the full power. Then why should we speak the words anyway if they don’t have the full power? Here’s why – because you cannot wait until the time you receive the power to start speaking the words.

Here’s an illustration. You are driving in a car. What do you do before you get to the intersection? You turn on the signal. Consider that signal your confession. Let’s say your problem is a financial problem and you start speaking the Word. “My God shall supply all my needs.” You get your confession right. You are saying it. It is in your head, but it is not in your heart. But you are saying it, so you turn the blinker on. The blinker is saying, “The Lord shall supply all my needs. The Lord shall supply all my needs according to His riches in glory. The Lord shall supply all my needs” (Philippians 4:19).

You don’t see it yet. You don’t even really believe it in your heart yet. But you are saying it. You’ve got your mouth in line. You are still going down this path when suddenly you reach the intersection, and it comes alive. “I get it! It’s coming alive! God supplies all my needs!”

So, you turn. Your confession is your signal of what you are headed toward, where you are going. So then faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God (Romans 10:17). You’ve got to continue to hear it. You’ve got to continue to speak it and meditate on it. Believe it and then as you act on it, faith will come alive in you, and then you will see the problem dissolve.

Devotion 0169

Pray the Promise, Not the Process

My background is a business background. Even though I was licensed and ordained as a Southern Baptist minister as a young man, in the decades since, I have been involved in many business ventures. Everything from retail stores, marinas, manufacturing, banking, and even oil wells have played a part in my business life. Currently, everything is going very well. Even though my life is consumed completely with ministry, I still have my thumb on the pulse of the business world.

Isaiah 48:17 says that God teaches His people to profit, and He leads them in the proper direction. I have always believed this verse, but during my days in the business world, many times I would pray the procedure instead of the promise. Here’s what I mean.

Many years ago, I found myself in a devastating business situation. My back was against the wall, and it looked like there was no way out. In fact, things looked so bad that I couldn’t even see how God could deliver me. I felt like I was locked in a room that didn’t even have a door.

When it looked like all was lost, seemingly out of nowhere a Christian businessman came along and offered a business deal that would completely bring me out of the financial pit I was in. The deal sounded good, it looked good, it felt good, and I needed it. It was my only hope!

As a Christian, I knew I needed to pray and I prayed daily that this business deal would go through because I saw it as my only way out. So I prayed day and night. Then all of a sudden, the entire business deal collapsed. I cried out to God, “Why did you let this happen to me? I needed this business transaction.” In the silence, I finally listened to God. He spoke to my heart and said, “I didn’t block your deliverance. I saved you from destruction.”

Later the right deal came along, and I was not only delivered from destruction, but also put into a better position financially than ever before. A few years later, I learned that the “Christian” businessman, who I thought was my salvation, was actually a crook who preyed on innocent Christians in their time of peril. God had blocked the destruction and made a way of deliverance.

We must pray God’s promises without telling Him how to fulfill them. He makes the promises and provides the process. Our responsibility is to believe in Him. Our trust must be in His promise without yielding to the fear and temptation to tell Him how to do His work.

“For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2 Corinthians 5:7).

Devotion 0407

The Spirit of Truth

Have you ever talked to someone who sounded like they knew what they were talking about, but the more you listened, the more you realized that they really didn’t know the depth of the subject?

Well, this happens all the time, and usually it doesn’t cause much of a problem. However, when we’re dealing with the things of God, we must know what we are talking about. Guessing and talking a big talk may impress some people, but it doesn’t impress God and can actually be deadly. He requires us to be knowledgeable and act on that knowledge.

Hosea 4:6 says, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I also will reject you from being priest for Me.” The knowledge it’s talking about here is knowledge of the Word of God. We must know God’s Word, or according to the Bible, we leave ourselves open for destruction. When we stand before God, we can’t say, “I didn’t know.” That will not be acceptable to Him.

There are many good Christians who think they know God’s Word. And because they think they know God’s Word, they quit searching for deeper truths. After all, if you think you have something, you don’t look for it. Well, sad to say, that is the case with many today. Some have even attended Sunday School as a child and grown into adulthood and still only know the outward appearance of the Word. A box full of Sunday School pins is good, but the Sunday School pins won’t set you free. It is only the Word that will do that.

Now don’t take me wrong. Any study of the Word, no matter how shallow or superficial, is better than no study. All of the Word is alive. But what I am saying is that there is more to God’s Word than just stories. And according to Hosea 4:6, it is possible to perish because of a lack of knowledge.

Jesus said in John 8:31-32, “If you abide in My Word, you are My disciples indeed. And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”

Jesus didn’t say that singing in the choir would set you free. He didn’t say that attending church every time the doors were open would set you free. Jesus said that through the Word we would know the truth and the truth of the Word would set us free.

You may say, “Okay, I know that the truth will set me free, but how do I actually go about getting the truth in me so that I can be set free? What is it that I have to do?”

In John 16:13, Jesus said, “When He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.”

Here, Jesus gives us a key to the understanding of truth. The Spirit of truth is the Holy Spirit. God sent the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, here to comfort and help all believers. But we cannot access Him in the natural. We must seek Him in the spirit.

First Corinthians 2:9-10 says, “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God.”

For a Christian to know and understand the truths of God basically requires these three steps.

1) Read the Word of God regularly.

2) Meditate and soak up what you read.

3) Listen as the Holy Spirit reveals the truth in your heart.

Devotion 0144

Breaking the Financial Curse

We must understand the difference between the curse and the blessing.

To rightly divide the Word of God, we must separate the works of God from the works of the devil. When we attribute the work of the devil to God and we attribute the work of God to the devil, it creates confusion in our soul and the result is a wrong decision and destruction.

Deuteronomy 28 describes the blessings and the cursings that are a result of obedience or disobedience to God’s law. The blessings of the law are life, health, and abundance. The curse of the law is death, disease, and poverty.

When I turned sixteen, my father took me to the bank to help me finance my first car. I had a job at the time, and I could have easily saved the money and paid for the car. However, my father wanted me to establish good credit and the only way to do that was to borrow money from the bank to pay for the car. If I had saved and paid cash for the car, the car would have been mine. But instead, the bank owned the car, and I owed them payments for three years. Unknowingly, my father was teaching me to live under the curse.

Borrowing money is not a sin, but it is a curse. It is not God’s best. God’s plan is for us to be the lender and not the borrower (Deuteronomy 28:12).

Recently, a young couple told me of the great blessing that they had received from God. They had received a credit card in the mail with a $5,000 limit. They were rejoicing at the blessing. Deep inside, my heart was sad for them because they were perceiving debt and usury as a blessing when God says it’s a curse.

Deuteronomy 28:12-13 tells us that the blessing of God is for us to be the head and not the tail and that we will lend but we “shall not borrow.” Verses 43-44 tell us that the curse of the law is that we will be borrowers and instead of being the head, we would be the tail.

Here, the curse of the law is clearly defined. When we are the borrower, we are the tail. When we are the lender, we are the head. Being the head is definitely better.

We must not be deceived. We must know the truth. As Christians, we have been delivered from the curse of the law and it’s time for us to start walking in our deliverance.

Scripture References:

The LORD will open to you His good treasure, the heavens, to give the rain to your land in its season, and to bless all the work of your hand. You shall lend to many nations, but you shall not borrow. And the LORD will make you the head and not the tail; you shall be above only, and not be beneath, if you heed the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you today, and are careful to observe them. (Deuteronomy 28:12-13)

The alien who is among you shall rise higher and higher above you, and you shall come down lower and lower. He shall lend to you, but you shall not lend to him; he shall be the head, and you shall be the tail. (Deuteronomy 28:43-44)

Devotion 0400

Who Has the Authority Now?

In Romans 8:37 Paul said, “In all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us.” What does this mean to be more than a conqueror? A person who is more than a conqueror is someone who didn’t have to fight the battle but gets to enjoy all the benefits of the victory. And, according to the Bible, if you are a Christian, then that’s you!

In the beginning, God placed Adam and Eve here on the earth in the Garden of Eden. He gave them authority over everything and only restricted them from one thing: they were not to eat the fruit of the tree in the midst of the Garden. If they ate it, they would die (Genesis 2:7,15-17).

Then Satan, in the form of a serpent, came into the Garden. He told Eve that God was a liar and that God’s motives were not pure (Genesis 3). Unfortunately, Eve believed Satan and acted against God’s command. The result was that Satan, through his deception, separated man from fellowship with God. It looked like Satan had destroyed God’s creation. Adam gave up his authority over this world to Satan. It looked like all was lost, but God had a plan.

God the Father sent His Son, Jesus, into the world as a man. While He was here, He taught about the nature of God the Father and He went about healing the sick, raising the dead, and proclaiming the good news.

Jesus said in John 8:44, that Satan is a liar and a murderer. And that’s what Satan tried to do to Jesus. The Bible tells us that on the night Jesus was betrayed that Satan himself entered into the body of Judas and betrayed Jesus (Luke 22:3). Satan was not leaving a job like this to one of his underling demons. Everything was riding on this one. He took care of it himself.

When Jesus died, I’m sure Satan thought he had just won a great victory, but was he mistaken! The Bible says that Jesus not only defeated death when He came out of the grave, but He also made a public display of Satan (2 Timothy 1:10; Colossians 2:15 KJV). He humiliated him in the spirit realm and took away from him the authority that Satan had taken from Adam.

Now we are getting to the point. The authority that Jesus took from Satan, He gave to His Church. Jesus gave the authority over the earth back to those who believe, and along with that, He gave us authority over Satan and all the works of his kingdom. Every believer has that authority.

Jesus said in Luke 10:19, “Behold, I give you authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” What does this mean to us?

As Christians, the only way Satan can destroy our lives is if we let him. Jesus has given every believer authority over the works of the devil. So, how does Satan get into the position to torment us? Once again, it’s because we let him. Remember, that’s what happened in the Garden of Eden. Satan didn’t pluck the fruit from the tree and put it into the mouths of Adam and Eve. He deceived them and they did it.

When Satan comes around with his bag of lies, don’t listen to him. Submit yourself unto God. Resist the devil and he will flee.

Remember, you are more than a conqueror through Jesus who loves you (Romans 8:37).

Devotion 0076

Call It Sold!

After church one Sunday, a gentleman grasped my hand as he was leaving and said, “Pastor, I really need for you to agree with me in prayer. My wife and I have a piece of property we have to sell as soon as possible.” He went on to tell me that he had the property listed for sale for over a year and that very few people had even looked at it. I believe that what he told me next was the reason for his dilemma: “All my life I’ve never been able to sell anything I need to sell. And when I do finally sell it, it’s always for a loss.” Then he added, “Don’t forget, we’re in agreement.”

As he tried to let go of my hand and walk away, I held on until I made eye contact. I told him, “Listen, if I agree with you, it never will sell. What we need to do is agree, but not with what you just said.”

As Christians, we have been given authority and power on this earth. Jesus said in Mark 11:23 that we could speak and if we believed in our heart that what we said would come to pass, we would have whatever we say.

Perhaps you have something you need to sell. Maybe it’s a car, a home, a farm, a motorcycle, a business, or you are in the business of selling a certain product. Isaiah 48:17 says that God teaches us to profit. His Word also tells us that we get what we say. So we must quit speaking words of defeat and loss and start saying what we want (as long as it lines up with God’s Word).

If you have a house or an automobile or something else that you need to sell, quit saying, “I wonder if it will ever sell?” Don’t say, “I can’t sell anything.” And definitely don’t say, “Every time I try to sell a car, it just sits and eventually rusts away.”

When a family member or best friend says, “Your house [or your car or whatever else you need to sell] is never going to sell,” quit listening to the words of doubt and unbelief and call those things that be not as though they are (Romans 4:17). You may be saying, “Well, I just call it as I see it.” If you keep calling it like you see it, then you will continue to see it like you’re calling it. We do not walk by sight, but we walk by faith. You must call it sold because if you continue to say what you see, then it will be “not sold.”

Listen to yourself and ask yourself this question: Do I really want what I am saying? Am I blessing the sale or cursing the sale? When you look out your living room window and see your car with a “For Sale” sign on it, say “Car, listen to me. I’m talking to you. You will be a blessing to someone else and you will be a blessing to me! You will be sold at a fair price, and I call you SOLD, in Jesus’ name!”

Now, you don’t have to gather a crowd in order to speak these things and prove a point. This is just between you, the car, and the spirit realm, and the car must obey.

If it is true that God takes pleasure in our prosperity (and it is), and if it is true that God teaches us to profit (and He does), then we should seek to learn from God and to please Him (Psalm 35:27; Isaiah 48:17).

Jesus spoke to the wind, mountains, the sea, and trees and they obeyed Him. In John 14:12, He said we can do the same works that He did. So don’t be in fear and don’t be embarrassed. Speak to that item that needs to be sold and call it SOLD!

Scripture Reference:

God, who gives life to the dead and calls those things which do not exist as though they did. (Romans 4:17)

Devotion 0461

Ability vs. Right

In the beginning, God placed Adam in a garden east of the city of Eden. The garden was complete and had everything that anyone could ever need.

The Bible says in Genesis 2:8-9, “The Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden, and there He put the man whom He had formed. And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.”

God commanded Adam to tend and keep the garden. He was made caretaker over the garden. He was given the authority to make all the decisions required to tend and keep the garden in good order.

Then out of the ground, God formed every beast of the field and every bird of the air and brought them to Adam to be named. Whatever Adam called each creature, that was its name. From the fish to the domestic animals, Adam named them all.

But then, God told Adam something he could not do. God commanded Adam to not eat of a certain tree in the garden.

Now, it wasn’t like God was trying to keep good things from Adam, because the Bible says in Genesis 1:29 that God gave every herb that yields seed on the entire face of the earth to Adam and also every tree that yields fruit with seeds. Also every beast of the earth and every bird of the air and everything that walks on the earth and everything that has life was given to Adam to rule over.

You might say that God had made Adam king of the earth. God had withheld nothing from Adam that was useful to him. The only restriction Adam had was this: Do not eat of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden.

Now, this is the point. Adam did not have the God-given right to eat of the tree. However, he did have the ability.

A few years ago I heard a man on a television talk show talking about marijuana. He said that it was okay to smoke it because God made it. And he concluded if God didn’t want people to smoke marijuana, then He would not have made it. That is possibly the logic Adam could have used when trying to decide whether or not to eat of the tree in the midst of the garden.

Just because we have the ability to do something does not mean we have the right to do it.

Let me give you an example. We all have the ability to kill someone. If you are strong, you may be able to break someone’s neck. If you own a gun and have one bullet, you have the equipment required for murder. Even if you are a weakling, you could still poison someone. There are thousands of ways to murder someone. Everyone has the ability. But no one has the right to commit murder. God says it is wrong and we are not to do it. The government says it is wrong and has passed laws that prohibit it. If you break the law, you are punished. We have rights in our country, but we do not have the right to murder, even though we have the ability.

As Christians, we need to understand that everything we can do is not something we have been given the right to do. We must choose to love. We must choose to forgive. We must choose to obey God’s Word. We have not been given the right to do otherwise.

Devotion 0185

The Nine Gifts of the Holy Spirit

“Now concerning spiritual gifts, brethren, I do not want you to be ignorant… There are diversities of gifts, but the same Spirit. There are differences of ministries, but the same Lord. And there are diversities of activities, but it is the same God who works all in all” (1 Corinthians 12:1,4-6).

As Christians, God has given to us the availability of the greatest power in the universe. This power can overcome any enemy or any obstacle that stands in the way of our complete victory. This power is the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of God. Since God is love, that makes the Holy Spirit the Spirit of love. To equip us for this victory, the Holy Spirit has presented to the church nine spiritual gifts that cover every aspect of life. In learning about the supernatural, spiritual things of the Holy Spirit, it is important to begin with the study of His Word.

While God does not intend for us to rely on learned knowledge alone, through Bible study, worship, and prayer, we create an atmosphere for the Holy Spirit to reveal supernatural truth and wisdom from the scriptures we already have in our hearts (2 Timothy 2:15).

As you study what the Word of God says concerning these gifts and as you meditate on the Scriptures, allow the Holy Spirit to reveal Himself to you. The gifts will flow as a river of living water to you and through you for the benefit of all.

“Now there are varieties of gifts, but the same Spirit. And there are varieties of ministries, and the same Lord. There are varieties of effects, but the same God who works all things in all persons” (1 Corinthians 12:4-6 NASB).

While there are varieties of gifts, ministries, and effects, we must remember it is the same God who works all these things in every person that is involved in a manifestation of the Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:7). Although these gifts are given individually, the purpose of the manifestation is for the common good of everyone involved.

The gifts of the Holy Spirit always work together in unison and never conflict with each other. Many times a gift is used in conjunction with and blends with other gifts, but they will always work together for the same purpose.

Here is a basic definition of each of the nine gifts.

1. The Gift of the Word of Wisdom – This is the supernatural revelation by the Holy Spirit concerning the divine purpose and will of God.

2. The Gift of the Word of Knowledge – This gift is the supernatural revelation by the Holy Spirit concerning knowledge from the mind of God.

3. The Gift of Faith – The gift of faith is the supernatural endowment by the Holy Spirit when God increases the faith of a specific believer for a specific purpose and miraculously fulfills that purpose.

4. The Gifts of Healings – These gifts are to deliver the sick and afflicted and to destroy the works of the devil in the human body.

5. The Gift of the Working of Miracles – The gift of the working of miracles is the supernatural suspension of the course of nature and physics to manifest the impossible in the realm of the physical through the Spirit of God.

6. The Gift of Prophecy – The gift of prophecy is a supernatural utterance of things of God in a known language.

7. The Gift of the Discerning of Spirits – Discerning of spirits is the ability to see into the spirit world and understand the source and purpose of a spirit.

8. The Gift of Different Kinds of Tongues – This is the supernatural utterance by the Holy Spirit in languages never learned by the speaker or understood by the mind of the speaker, and not necessarily understood by the hearer.

9. The Gift of the Interpretation of Tongues – This gift is the supernatural explanation by the Holy Spirit of the meaning of an utterance in an unknown tongue that is in an understandable language to the hearer.

While the above gifts are listed in this order in the Bible, they are not necessarily in order of importance. The Holy Spirit who works all of these gifts distributes each gift individually to whom He desires as He wills (1 Corinthians 12:11).

Devotion 0695

Grace is the Power to Defeat Sin

A person might say, “If I’m saved by grace and not because I’m good, and if Jesus died for my sins, that means that I don’t have anything to worry about. Whatever I do in life is okay.”

No! Grace is not a license (or permission) to sin! In fact, when you receive grace, it becomes a license to not sin. It is your license, or empowerment, to do whatever it is that you normally couldn’t do. “What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? Certainly not!” (Romans 6:15).

If a Christian has a problem with gossiping, it might seem that they speak without even thinking about what they are doing. They might even believe they can’t control gossiping. The truth is, that’s a lie. If you’re born again, then you’ve been given the ability to do something that a lost person can’t do. What is that? You can declare, “I’m righteous.” That entitles you to stand before God and ask the Father for something in the name of Jesus.

“Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need” (Hebrews 4:16). When you go to the throne of grace, the Father gives you grace. By going to the throne, you have now received grace to do what you normally couldn’t do. You no longer have an excuse.

But if you find yourself sinning again, then you need to repent and ask for forgiveness. The Father then hands you more grace to be forgiven. You’re now forgiven and by grace you can start over again. As long as you’re sincere and humble and you’re doing your best, that cycle can continue.

This might still sound like grace gives us a license to sin. Is it a license to sin if we know something is a sin, but we do it anyway because we know God will forgive us? No! It is not a license to sin. That is abusing grace! When someone starts relying on grace as a method to sin and get away with it, they are abusing God’s free gift. God doesn’t like that, and He will not allow them to continue “getting away with it.”

“What shall we say then? Shall we continue in sin that grace may abound? Certainly not! How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?” (Romans 6:1-2). God has a lot of grace. He can help us. God can give us the power to not continue in sin. This grace is the power to defeat sin – any sin!

Devotion 0158

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