A TIME TO GIVE THANKS

Psalm 100:4 NIV Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name.

 

Thanksgiving is often brushed aside in all the frantic business of life, but it is the very attitude of Thanksgiving which should not only be reserved for the holiday we will celebrate today, but thanksgiving should something that lasts all year long. In the Scripture we are commanded to be thankful.

 

What must we do to develop and cultivate thanksgiving? How can we be thankful for everything in our lives? What does it mean to be truly content? First, we can remember the all that the Lord has done for us. David said in Psalm 103:2-5,  Praise the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits–who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases, who redeems your life from the pit and crowns you with love and compassion, who satisfies your desires with good things so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

 

What does Thanksgiving do for us? It helps us to focus on His Name, His love and His faithfulness as well as His goodness, His glory and grace. Thanksgiving reminds us of Who He is. He is the Rock of our Salvation. The Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In His hand are the the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is His, for He made it, and His Hands formed the dry land.

 

The Apostle Paul said he was thankful for the following…

  1. I thank God for allowing me to partner with you in the gospel. (Philippians 1:3)
  2. I thank God for your love. (2 Thessalonians 1:3)
  3. I thank God for your faith. (1 Thessalonians 1:2-3)
  4. I thank God for your flexibility. (2 Corinthians 3:17)
  5. I thank God for your generosity. (2 Corinthians 8:2-3)
  6. I thank God for your vision. (1 Thessalonians 1:3)

 

 

I am convinced that the Apostle Paul knew how that thanksgiving led to living a life filled with praise and worship. He knew that the principal of praise and worship in the Old Testament is found in the Hebrew word shachah. Shachah means to “depress,” “bow down,” or “prostrate,” as in Exodus 4:31, where they bowed their heads and worshipped.

 

The context of Exodus 4:31 speaks clearly to the physical act of thanksgiving, praise and worship being both volitional and emotional. The Old Testament idea is therefore the reverential attitude of mind or body or both, combined with the notions of giving the Lord the adoration, obedience, and service due Him.

 

The principal of praise and worship in the New Testament is found fifty-nine times in the Greek word proskuneo. The word literally means to “kiss (the hand or the ground) toward,” hence, as often in the idea of kneeling or bowing prostrate upon the ground.  The New Testament idea of praise and worship is a combination of the feeling of awe, veneration, and adoration.

 

The Lord Jesus told the Samaritan woman in John 4:23-24, Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth. True worshippers are genuine without guile or false humility. They worship in spirit and in truth. It is the attitude of the heart that matters, not where, but how (in reality, out of the heart of man, the highest and best part of man, as well as in purity of expression, purity of heart. All praise and worship should be in accordance to the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:5) who is the Spirit of truth (John 16:13). These kind of worshippers the Father is still seeking today.

 

I encourage you to thank the Lord today by saying…I love You Lord Jesus. I bow my knee and lift my voice to worship You. Hear my heart today, there is none like You my God, there is none like You. You are my everything. You are my all. I bless Your Holy Name. Amen.

 

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Day.

 

Robert

Give Thanks

 

Find Your Spiritual Trysting Place

In my book, The Altar of His Presence, we studied some of the geographical places where altars were built and graced with the Lord’s manifested Presence to those of precious faith. These hallowed sites are known either because of the divine revelations or angelic appearances that supplemented the building of an altar. Mostly for sacrificing, sometimes only as a memorial, altars were named.

 

Moses named his Jehovah Nissi, and Gideon named his the Lord is Peace. Others, like the one built by the leaders of Reuben, Gad, and Manasseh, were not for burnt offering, nor sacrifice, but as a witness and testimony (see Josh. 22:26-27). Altars were made only of earth or unhewn stone on which no iron tool was used and without steps going up to them (see Exod. 20:24-26). With each of them there was neither spectacle nor decoration allowed. The altar was to be plain and simple, for it was the meeting place between God and man and therefore a place of shedding of blood without which there is no remission of sin (see Lev. 17:11; Heb. 9:22). The altar is a place of interaction with the Lord for us only through the offering of an innocent life.

 

From our solar system’s blazing hot sun to the tiniest moon in Jupiter’s orbit and everything in between, God has places. An altar is a place of purpose that conveys this truth—the Lord wants to meet with us. What could be the purpose of human beings having a meeting place with God? For what purpose would God choose the altar as His place to meet with man? Perhaps you have similar questions about the possible alien visitations or odd manifestations found at Stonehenge or Easter Island.

 

Apparently, the early patriarchs found the real answer. Surviving worldwide flood, generations-destroying famine, and the loss of mankind’s righteousness for sin, Noah, Abraham, Moses, David, and Elijah all built altars. Upon these altars these men of faith offered sacrifices to the Lord as an offering of thanksgiving and praise for the Lord’s guidance, protection, sustenance, strength, or blessing. Each one found the altar’ed life as promised in Exodus 30:6.

 

Each altar had one ultimate purpose. That purpose was to create a meeting place with the Lord God Almighty. The Hebrew mind viewed the altar as a place where men and women came to worship. It was the place where the passion for and the movement toward the Lord came together. At an altar, Abel offered his finest lamb, while Noah’s provided a sweet aroma that rose to the Lord. Where Abraham’s altar saw the salvation of a promised son; Joshua’s celebrated the entrance into the Promised Land. Gideon’s altar saw deliverance, and Elijah’s changed a nation.

 

Through the day where is the place that you meet with the Lord? Can you sense the sweet stirrings of the Holy Spirit there? Are you tired of living without passion or unfulfilled purpose? Does your heart still thirst for the living water of the Spirit as the deer pants for a cool mountain stream?

 

If you haven’t found a trysting place, do so now. Find an uncommon place, either in space or time, to get together with the Lord and His people. Meet regularly. Wait patiently. Call expectantly. Pray unceasingly. At the altar, the Lord will meet you. Every meeting you have with Him will alter your life toward the divine plan and purpose given to you by the Lord.

 

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Ten Marks of A Prophet

The office of the prophet is probably the least-understood and most-neglected ministry office in the Church today. If we refuse to receive an apostle, we refuse order. However, if we refuse to receive a prophet, we refuse destiny. Where there is no destiny there is no future. The Church then becomes relegated to the narrow existence of the here and now. The prophet is the key to the Church’s destiny and power.

The Church today needs to recognize and receive the ministry of the prophet and to pray that God will raise those with the prophetic gifting into their proper prophetic office. Those who hold the office of prophet form a charismatic order to which a recognized position should be given in the Church. A special recognition and authoritative status should be conferred upon those who have manifested certain gifts in a prominent and/or continuing manner. The prophet is the Lord’s instrument, one of several means by which Jesus Christ leads His Church. In the power of the Spirit, the prophet manifests the character of the Lord, who is the prophet of the end time.

The Authority of the Prophet

When a prophet is recognized and comes into his office, he brings with him an authority from God that accomplishes two things in the Church. First, it helps us to realize that God is a God of the now. A prophet is always reminding us that God is, not just that He was; he tells us what God is doing, not just what He has done. Knowing what God has done throughout history is important; it is a powerful legacy for us. However, we also need to know beyond doubt that the God of the Bible is the God of today; that the God who blessed Moses, helped David, and anointed Jesus will also bless, help, and anoint us. Our God is a now God, and the prophet helps us to remember that.

A prophet has the ability to see things that are not seen. He focuses not on the circumstances, but on the God who rules the circumstances; not on the mess of today, but on the solution that God will provide down the road. The office of the prophet is to speak to us continually in the here and now.

The second thing that the authority of the prophet accomplishes in the Church is that it brings back the fear of the Lord. The sad truth is that there is very little fear of the Lord today either inside the Church or outside. There was a time when a church could be left unlocked 24 hours a day, seven days a week without fear of someone stealing the sound system, vandalizing the building, or spray-painting graffiti on the walls. Now many churches have to allot a significant portion of their budgets to security systems and higher insurance coverage. There was a time when only “essential services” were open for business on Sunday. Now our society treats the Lord’s Day as just another day of the week. Gone is the general civic understanding and belief that the nation that honors and serves God will be blessed by God.

Fear of God is lacking in the Church, too. Many believers have only a shallow and immature commitment to God that allows them to constantly rationalize and justify attitudes, behavior, and lifestyles that go against God’s will as revealed in His Word. Because there is little understanding of what God expects and requires, there is little fear and a limited sense of awe and respect for His holiness and glory.

The prophet in his office, however, gets our attention and brings us back to a holy fear of God. The Lord is looking for a holy Church, a pure and spotless Bride of Christ. A restoration of the fear of God in the Church is necessary if the Church is to grow into full holiness.

The Marks of a Prophet

There are at least ten distinguishing marks of the prophetic office; these characteristics in the lives and ministries of believers identify them as prophets. These traits should be evident in varying degrees in the life of anyone with a prophetic gifting who is attempting to grow and develop in that gifting. They are most fully developed in those who have been raised into the prophetic office. Whenever we see any of these qualities displayed in someone’s life, we should encourage that person to grow and develop their gift.

  1. Preaching that exhorts and strengthens the disciples. The prophet’s message always builds up the lives of disciples; it never tears down. A disciple is a student; someone who is learning, maturing, and growing up in the Christian faith. These are the ones who are encouraged and strengthened by the prophet’s message. Those believers who have refused to mature, on the other hand, may find the prophet’s message to be harsh and painful. It always hurts to be outside of the will of God. A prophet’s word always builds up those who are striving to grow in Christ.
  2. Character that is true, honest, faithful, and holy. A prophet points to and reminds us of our destiny in Christ. Therefore, his life should display the character of Christ. While this is true of all believers, it is particularly critical for those in the prophetic office. The Old Testament prophets were held to a very high standard, not only by the people but by God. Moses was a prophet (see Deut. 34:10); yet one lapse on his part in representing God before the people resulted in God denying him the opportunity to enter the Promised Land (see Deut. 32:48-52). Character matters.
  3. A message that appeals not to the flesh but to the spirit. Growing disciples want messages that challenge and stretch their spirits. Babes in the faith who have no interest in growth usually don’t like prophetic preaching because it brings them under conviction. They are more interested in gratifying the flesh. The message of a true prophet always speaks to the spirit directly and without compromise.
  4. Prediction and fulfillment of prophecy. In other words, a prophet speaks something concerning the future, and God fulfills that prophecy. It could be a prophecy spoken into the life of an individual or an entire congregation. Whatever form it takes, such a prophecy will be specific in nature with clearly measurable fulfillment. Once the event comes to pass we know that God has raised that prophet into office.
  5. Spiritual discernment in the lives of others. This one sometimes makes people nervous, particularly those who know that their lives are not what they should be in the Lord. A prophet has the ability in the Spirit to discern spiritual reality in the lives of others, good or bad, and speak concerning that reality. This prospect creates anxiety in some people who fear that the prophet will uncover all the mess they have allowed into their lives. Have no fear. A mature prophet will never publicly uncover mess because God does not embarrass people. The prophet may address the problem privately with the person, if the Lord leads that way. However, he is more likely to exhort the person to follow God’s will and obey what God has told him to do.
  6. Declaration of divine judgments when needed. This is another one that makes people nervous. Sometimes a situation is so bad or has gone on so long that the word of the Lord through the prophet is one of judgment. Prolonged rebellion or disobedience to God, or refusal to heed prophetic warnings or respond to calls for repentance, will ultimately bring about God’s judgment. No one likes these kind of pronouncements, least of all the prophet, but sometimes they are necessary.
  7. Willingness to suffer for speaking the truth without saving self. A mature prophet has long since committed his or her life totally into God’s keeping and has recognized that suffering is an “occupational hazard.” Speaking the truth for God is more important than personal comfort. Sometimes suffering comes as a result of declaring divine judgment. Jeremiah spoke the truth about God’s coming judgment on the southern kingdom of Judah and was convicted of treason and imprisoned in a dry cistern. A true prophet is not afraid to suffer for the truth.
  8. A message in harmony with the Word of God and the known will of God. A prophet’s message will never, repeat never, contradict the Word of God. The Spirit and the Word always agree. Since a prophet is a “pneumatic” (Spirit-person), his word will also be in agreement with the Word of God. A message that goes against God’s Word is a sure indicator of a false prophet.
  9. Employment of symbolic actions. Prophets preach with pictures. Jesus used this method all the time in His teaching, painting pictures in people’s minds through the stories and parables He told. Prophets use pictures because that’s the way God reveals His will and His Word to them. A prophet sees how things are done in the natural and applies it to the spiritual.
  10. Ability and authority to judge the manifestations of prophetic gifts. A prophet serving in a recognized and acknowledged prophetic office has the ability and authority to identify and judge the presence, display, and use of prophetic gifts in others. In other words, a prophet has the ability to recognize and identify other prophets (both true and false).

Robert Stone, author of Gifts From the Ascended Christ

Having a Heart After God

Earlier this month the Holy Spirit opened my understanding concerning the altar. He began by leading my time of worship, prayer and meditation to a specific idea. That idea was that the Altar of Incense was the “heart” of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness. In the outer court stood a priest, the brazen altar and the laver. The Holy Place, which was filled with the light coming from the Golden Candlestick (to the far right) and the smell of fresh bread off the Table of Shewbread (from the far left), had at its center, the Altar of Incense. Behind the Altar hung the heavy and wide curtain separating the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies and the Ark of the Covenant.

 

But, if you look upon that which Moses built, i.e., the Tabernacle vertically instead of horizontally, it forms a symbolic cross with the Ark at the top. And, in the middle or heart of it…the Altar. The Altar was Jehovah’s meeting place with Moses (Exodus 30:6)and as I have shared throughout my latest book, the Altar is where the Lord desires to meet with all of us. For the Altar was first a place, then a Person–in the Lord Jesus Christ and finally, a people–in the people of God.

 

The Altar of Incense was the “heart” of the Tabernacle. And like the heart organ in the center of our physical bodies, the spiritual heart described in Scripture stands for the center of our moral, spiritual and intellectual life. It is the meeting place between the Lord and the believer. In other words, the heart is our “spiritual core or center.” Perhaps that is why many believers learned the following song as children; “Into my heart. Into my heart. Come into my heart, Lord Jesus. Come in today. Come in to stay. Come into my heart, Lord Jesus.”

 

How important is it to have the Lord in our “heart?” Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God,” (Matthew 5:8) and “For where your treasure is, your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:21). From these and other Scriptures it appears, in the words of Owen: “The heart in Scripture is variously used, sometimes for the mind and understanding, sometimes for the will, sometimes for the affections, sometimes for the conscience, sometimes for the whole soul. Generally, it denotes the whole soul of man and all the faculties of it, not absolutely, but as they are all one principle of moral operations, as they all concur in our doing of good and evil.”

 

The Bible speaks to the importance of having the Manifest Presence of God in our heart. Solomon wrote in Proverbs 4:23, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.” And David said, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever” (Psalm 73:26). And Jesus told His disciples, “Let not your heart be troubled, believe in God, believe also in Me (John 14:1).

 

There are specific reasons for “having a heart after God” (filled with the Manifest Presence of the Holy Spirit).

 

A Contrite Heart.

 

First, when we encounter His Manifest Presence, we are made to realize our need of salvation. That realization takes place in our heart. Then, the more we experience His Manifest Presence, the more we want to experience Him. Such has caused me to realize my shortness and His fullness, which I believe has resulted in me being broken and possessing a “contrite heart” before Him.

 

During my prayer time the Lord has repaired, revived and restored my heart by turning my heart even more toward Him. Isaiah 57:15 says, “For this is what the high and lofty One says– he who lives forever, whose name is holy: “I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.” A “contrite heart” seeks after the Lord through prayer, worship, the study of the Word and the Person of the Holy Spirit. And, like the blood that pumps from the heart through our body, a contrite heart sends the nourishing Presence of God into all areas of our lives.

 

A Heart Full of Faith and Assurance

 

Secondly, as our hearts are filled to overflowing with His Presence, a “heart full of faith and assurance” develops. This heart enables us to overcome doubt, fear and unbelief. Jesus told His disciples in Mark 11:22-24, “Have faith in God,” Jesus answered. “I tell you the truth, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours. Having the faith of God is a result of being filled with the God of faith! When our hearts are filled with His fullness we reject timidity for the spirit of power, love and self-discipline (2 Timothy 1:7). We no longer talk “about” the mountains we are facing, but by faith, we speak “to” the mountain and the mountain moves!

 

A Hearing Heart

 

Lastly, having our heart filled to overflowing with His glory enables us to have a “hearing heart.” This term describes the Lord Jesus during His time on the earth. The King James Version of John 4:3-4 says, “He left Judaea, and departed again into Galilee. And he must needs go through Samaria.” By having a “hearing heart” our Lord “knew” that He was to “go through Samaria.” Jesus knew He was supposed to take a certain path because there was a certain woman with a certain need. We don’t know if He knew that He would meet that specific woman at Jacob’s well that day. We do know that He was led by His heart to that specific well and woman. His hearing heart resulted in a whole city getting to hear the Good News.

 

This level of spiritual relationship with the Lord causes our ears to hear and our hearts to understand (hearing and understanding). Being able to know the direction to go, or the words to say, or the actions to take in a certain situation, enables ministry on a whole new level. When we are able to hear what hasn’t been heard, or to see what can’t be seen or to know what we cannot possibly know in the natural realm, we are spiritually enabled to share spiritual wisdom and understanding with those that are in great need.

 

How can we develop the heart that I have described? This is my story. I find a quiet place to wait upon the Lord. At least once a day I find a place where I can be physically, emotionally and mentally quiet. I then turn off the media, the internet, the cell phone, the television and move away from the noise of life. This enables me to move away from anything that is confusing or distracting and to focus on being filled with His Manifest Presence.

 

I encourage you to do the same. And to meditate on His Word. Mull over a specific passage or Scripture verse. Spend the time singing and making melody in your heart. Ask the Holy Spirit to pray for and through you. Pray that your heart and mind be filled with the spirit of wisdom and understanding, in Jesus’ Name.

 

And remember, The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He will not grow tired or weary, and his understanding no one can fathom. He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who wait upon and hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles, they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. Isaiah 40:28-31.

 

 

I love you!

 

Robert

DEVELOPING YOUR INNER LIFE

When we pray and meditate consistently on God’s Word there is emotional and spiritual space created in our hearts.  The Holy Spirit fills this space (OUR INNER LIFE) for the purpose of creating a greater level communion with us. He seeks inward fellowship with us.

 

I was encouraged early in my ministry to read The Art of Prayer (Faber & Faber). The Art of Prayer is concerned in particular with the most frequently used and best loved of all Orthodox prayers – the Lord’s Prayer. It deals also with the general question ‘What is Prayer?’, with the different degrees of prayer from ordinary oral prayer to unceasing prayer of the heart, with the dangers of illusion and discouragement, and the need for seclusion and inner peace.

 

(See https://www.faber.co.uk/9780571191659-the-art-of-prayer.html)

 

There is an excerpt that describes the holy need for developing our inner life through prayer and meditation. The excerpt reads, “There are many among you who have no knowledge of the inner work required of the man who would hold God in remembrance. Nor do such people even understand what remembrance of God means, or know anything about spiritual prayer, for they imagine that the only right way of praying is to use such prayers as are to be found in Church books. As for secret communion with God in the heart, they know nothing of this, nor of the profit that comes from it, nor do they ever taste its spiritual sweetness. Those who only hear about spiritual meditation and prayer and have no direct knowledge of it are like men blind from birth, who hear about the sunshine without ever knowing what it really is. Through this ignorance they lose many spiritual blessings, and are slow in arriving at the virtues which make for the fulfillment of God’s good pleasure.”

 

To develop inwardly and walk the path of spiritual growth, we must first be willing to grow in our devotional, relational and personal commitment to worship, prayer, study of the Word of God and to our relationship with the Holy Spirit. The initial steps to such growth happen naturally as we seek to be continually filled with the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 5:18) and stay committed to our own personal growth.

 

For we who want to go deeper in our personal growth need spiritual guidance from the Holy Spirit. He truly desires to lead us into an intimate and exciting realm of spiritual learning. Like attending any school, be it elementary or college, it is best to set a fixed time each day to worship, pray and study. It is best that during this time we allow no interruptions. If we remain committed and consistent in such disciplines, our spiritual life will become deeper and more glorious. The result will be a new found awareness of God’s Presence and power.

 

I encourage you to start with three mornings a week and then add a morning each week until every morning begins with Him. There are many of testimonies of people who chose to meet with the Lord each morning. This practice has resulted in the majority of them (from St. Francis to John Wesley to Billy Graham) experiencing marvelous spiritual experiences, including victories, miracles and great joy.

 

In my own life, I have found the continual development of my inner life to be encouraging, exhilarating, and very satisfying. I am reminded even now of the words to an old hymn. These words are the theme to the development of my own inner life. They are the goal to all I desire to become and I hope they inspire you as well.

 

“To be like Jesus, to be like Jesus. All I ask is to be like Him. All through life’s journey, from earth to glory, all I ask…to be like Him.”

 

 

Why I chose to write The Altar of His Presence

I want to thank everyone who had ordered a copy of my new book, The Altar of His Presence. I encourage you who have read or are reading your copy to review the book on either Amazon or Barnes and Noble.

 

Many have asked why I chose to write The Altar of His Presence. My answer is that I wanted to give people a unique look at the ministry of the Holy Spirit. I truly feel that there are many people who are looking to deepen their spiritual lives and are spiritually hungry to have an intimate encounter with the glory of God. I also feel that it is important that we continue to grow in our relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ and the best way to do that is embracing the Holy Spirit in His person and purpose.

 

Jesus told His disciples the night He was betrayed that the Holy Spirit would lead us to a deeper knowledge of the gospel truth. He said the Holy Spirit would also give us divine strength and enable us to undergo trials and persecutions on behalf of the Lord’s divine kingdom. We, who have been called and chosen by the Lord Jesus, must choose to fully know the Holy Spirit and become acquainted with Him in an intimate and personal way. In my own life, this kind of spiritual knowledge has resulted in the Holy Spirit leading me in thought and deed. Paul noted the importance of such in Romans 8:14, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.”

 

By being led (by the Spirit and as a son of God) I have truly experienced His rest. I believe that is it possible for any of us to experience the rest Jesus mentioned in Matthew 11:29-20. “Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” His rest is “found” when we “learn” and such learning is “given from” the Father and “sent into” our hearts by the Holy Spirit. Because the Holy Spirit remains, abides, stays and tarries within us, the rest Jesus promised can be ours.

 

One of the results of this rest is the Holy Spirit being experienced as the Spirit of Truth. When rest comes, struggle ends. There is no need to “struggle to know God.” Why? When we rest in the Spirit of Truth, we are made to know what is true in things appertaining to God (hidden from the minds of men—see 1 Corinthians 2:9-16). He also reveals to us what is true in things that have a bearing on to our duties toward God and others (which we were blinded to prior to our coming to Christ—see 2 Corinthians 4:4).

 

By resting in His truth, He enables us to oppose the superstitions of everyone without a relationship with Jehovah (i.e., the Gentiles) and to expose the inventions of those chosen by Jehovah to reveal God to the world (i.e., the Jews). The Spirit of Truth also exposes the corrupt opinions and ideas of historical and modern false teachers while enabling us to be free from worldly affection, pretense, simulation, falsehood and deceit.

 

I believe The Altar of His Presence articulates this kind of rest. In His rest we can experience a new level of spiritual intimacy. In fact, the cover of my book is a snapshot of such and was designed to quickly attract the attention of its intended target audience. As you can see, it has a very distinctive design that speaks to those seeking to cultivate their relationship with the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit. Our publisher (Destiny Image) is confident that the book’s people-friendly style will inspire people toward biblical truth and practical application.

 

The_Altar_of_His_Presence_FINALFRONTCOVER

 

Please pray with that that the book will make a difference in the lives of people. Rather than the typical 175 plus page Christian Living “self-help” book that seems to be filling the market these days, the book is a people-friendly devotional book, designed to help people move forward in their spiritual lives by experiencing the manifest Presence of the Holy Spirit.

 

Our research to-date has indicated that there is a sizable market out there for a book just like this. Many who have read the book have been thrilled with the step-by-step approach. They have said the message has helped them experience the dynamic Presence of God in new and exciting ways.

 

If you have not purchased your copy, I encourage you to do so today. If you have read or are reading your copy, please remember to write a review and share with others that they can purchase a Kindle copy at Amazon.com or at www.thealtarofhispresence.com.

 

Have a blessed day. Robert

Becoming a Model to Others

And so you became a model to all the believers in Macedonia and Achaia. 1 Thessalonians 1:7

 

When I was writing The Altar of His Presence I spent a lot of time reading the book of Acts. I wanted to do my best to “see” through the eyes of the writer, Luke. The reason is that Luke saw firsthand the manifest Presence of the Holy Spirit. He saw how the Holy Spirit brought the light, life and love of the Lord Jesus Christ where there had been none. He saw how the Holy Spirit could alter a life, a church and a city. One such city was Thessalonica.

 

The life of the Thessalonians changed dramatically.  From the moment that the Apostle Paul’s ministry team entered their life, belief in the Lord Jesus was not merely a religious idea, but the power of God unto salvation. Their lives were revolutionized by the Presence and power of the Holy Spirit. They were transformed from worshipping the pagan gods of the Greeks and Romans to being in constant communion with the Holy Spirit. Their activities and lifestyle were quickened and maintained by the Spirit’s divine strength. By keeping their eyes constantly fixed upon Jesus, the Word who became flesh, they were changed from faith to faith and from glory to glory.  Their “becoming like Christ” was first experienced, then fully embraced and finally, enjoyed.

 

Both of Paul’s letters to the Church at Thessalonica were written to encourage them. They faced great persecution because of their testimony. They struggled at times like all of us do. And, like them, each of us need encouragement from the Lord, from the Holy Spirit and from others.

 

The word encouragement means to, “inspire with hope, to support and to stimulate.” I have found that encouragement comes more readily to those who embrace excellence as a means to their becoming.  Our Lord is the living example of excellence. His Name is excellent. Psalm 8:1 says, “O LORD our Lord, how EXCELLENT is thy Name in all the earth!” But, not only is His Name excellent, but everything He is and does is excellent. Psalm 150: 2 tells us to, “Praise him for his mighty acts: praise him according to his EXCELLENT greatness.”

 

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Out of the Thessalonian experience flowed the Holy Spirit. And, with the encouragement of Paul the Thessalonians became a model OF EXCELLENCE.  A model is the picture that inspires others to move forward and be encouraged to be the same.  For if the model is not excellent, what will people be inspired to be? How does one inspire someone to become more than they are?  It is by telling and then showing them to follow the model (Paul and his ministry team) and then to become the model or example for others to follow. To do this, they had to be convinced that there was room for improvement.

 

By encouraging others to become more than they are, we are imparting the expectation of help. Paul had sent Timothy to encourage the Thessalonians. In doing so they expected the Holy Spirit’s help which resulted in them being established and comforted (1 Thessalonians 3:1-2).  By sending Timothy they were reminded that they were not alone. Paul, Silas, Timothy and most of all, the Lord Jesus and the Holy Spirit were on their side, wanting to bring help in their time of need. 

 

It is important that each of us encourage others to become all that they can be in Christ Jesus. To do so, we must first model what becoming looks like, we must be willing to help those we encourage and we must have the expectation that where our help falls short, the Holy Spirit rises to the occasion. He is our Helper. He is our model of encouragement. He desires to encourage all that we meet to move to a higher level of God’s goodness, grace and glory.

 

I encourage you to go to click on the image below. The link will take you to our new website, http://www.thealtarofhispresence.com. Purchase your copy of The Altar of His Presence today. Read each section slowly. Ask the Holy Spirit to encourage you and to use you to encourage others. Experience the glory of God on a whole new level. I promise you that your life and the lives of those who are watching you…will never be the same.

 

I love you.  Robert

 

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Will You Be 1 of 300?

The Altar of His Presence. My new book will be available online and in bookstores on July 17 (next Monday). For thousands of years altars have played a significant role in the spiritual lives of God’s people. From the first mention of the word in Genesis Chapter Eight, the altar has been a “meeting place” between the Lord and His people.

Inside the Tabernacle of Moses there were two altars. The first, in the Outer Court, was named, the Brazen Altar. Built out of brass the Brazen Altar was the place where animal’s blood was shed and “covered” the sins of an individual. This “covering” enabled them to be “seen as righteous” in the sight of God. The second altar was placed in front of the large and imposing curtain that separated the Holy Place from the Most Holy Place. It was called the Altar of Incense. This altar “uncovered” the heart of the true worshipper. Morning and evening the High Priest offered incense “up” to the LORD. The rising aroma of the incense was an ongoing offering of praise and worship given by the Priest and God’s people.

 

The altar is no longer about shedding the blood of animals or offering incense. It doesn’t have to happen at a tabernacle, sanctuary or cathedral. It is not about us making an attempt to get God’s attention or to stay His wrath. Coming to the altar is about us humbly calling upon the Name of the Lord. Those who call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved. But salvation is much more than entrance into heaven. Salvation is about wholeness. Wholeness comes through relationship. Such a relationship is based on the Lord’s promise to meet with us, live in us and minister through us. His Word declares that if we will come to Him, He will deliver, heal, and create in us a new heart and mind.

I urge you to make plans to purchase your own copy of The Altar of His Presence. I encourage you to read it slowly. As you read, respond to the nudging of the Holy Spirit. Experience Him in ways never experienced before. He desires to put Himself on display to, in and through you. He wants to show the world and all who are in it how gracious, great and glorious He really is.

Here’s where I need your help.

 

You can help us spread this much needed message to America and the world.

 

Next week the book will be sold in stores for $16.99 per copy. But, I believe the Lord has given me a plan to get a copy of this new book into the hands of thousands of Christian leaders before the end of the summer. How is that possible?

 

In Judges 6 the Lord called Gideon to lead a small contingent of Israelite volunteers (300 to be exact) to one of the greatest victories that has ever occurred on the earth. Like Gideon, I need 300 people to stand with us and give a $100 donation to our ministry before July 31st.  Every person who gives $100 will be given a signed copy to keep for themselves and 7 copies to give away to the leaders in their church, their friends and/or their family. This donation will also enable us to give another 8 books away to pastors, civic leaders, business people and to those who hold political office in our country.

The Lord has assured me that by giving away 5000 copies of our book, tens of thousands of people will hear the message of directly as well as in discussions, sermons and songs. We believe millions more will want to purchase their own copy of this powerful book.

Will you be 1 of 300? Would you go online or send your check today? Are you ready to receive your copies and give them away? You can do so by either emailing us at info@altarofhispresence.com (we will send you a link to give your $100 online) or by going to our bookstore at: http://www.thealtarofhispresence.com.

 

Now is the time for the world to hear this message. Our staff is standing by to send a first edition signed copy for you and the people in your life.

 

Don’t delay!

Moving Into New Spiritual Dimensions

If we are going to fully understand the relationship between the spiritual environment we live in and the advancement or lack thereof of personal growth, we need to look at nature. Such an observation was made by a man who makes his living by diving for exotic fish. The fish he catches are used to fill large aquariums. According to him, one of the most popular aquarium fish is the shark. The reason for this is that sharks adapt easily to their environment. The size a shark becomes is determined by the environment it lives in. If you catch a small shark and confine it, it will stay a size proportionate to the aquarium in which it lives. Sharks can be six inches long and yet fully mature. But turn them loose in the ocean and they will grow to their normal size.

 

The same is true of most people. Some people live in a spiritual environment that causes their opportunity to “become” small. This is generally due to them living in a spiritual setting that is filled with disagreement, fear, doubt or unbelief. This type of spiritual atmosphere continues to focus on what God cannot or will not do. Rather than experiencing growth, their lives suffer spiritually causing them to remain small and underdeveloped. While we cannot always control the environment around us, we can choose to stay or leave. Each of us can decide to be open to new theology, new spiritual experiences and to experience new horizons.

 

One of the reasons I wrote, The Altar of His Presence, was to help people move into a new spiritual environment. Such movement usually requires people experiencing the glory of God on a new and intimate level. Such experiences inspire the kind of spiritual growth that transforms the heart and renews the mind. Romans 12:1-2 says, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God– this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is– his good, pleasing and perfect will.”

 

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How can The Altar of His Presence assist you in becoming all that God has planned for you to become? Reading, embracing and experiencing this kind of devotional material will help you to examine your own desires. Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desire of your heart.”

 

Desires can be changed. Sometimes they change because of something we have experienced. Desires can wane or grow. The desires that are in our heart can be ignited by reading a new book, hearing a new message or having a new spiritual experience. And, while it is true that that many people generally do what people see, each of us must decide to go beyond what we have previously known or seen and to be open to new experiences and ideas.

 

It has been my experience that desires change greatly for those who truly delight themselves in the Lord. When we delight ourselves in the Lord, have new and divine experiences in the Holy Spirit, we are given opportunity to respond positively or negatively to the Lord’s Manifest Presence. I encourage you to respond in a positive manner. Why? Because, the Holy Spirit would like nothing more than for each of us to have intimate and experiential knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. Paul said he considered everything a loss in comparison to “knowing” Christ Jesus his Lord (see Phil. 3:8). Such “knowing” can only happen when as we experience Him in spirit and in truth.

 

I encourage you to decide today to contend for the experiential knowledge of the Holy Spirit. Ask the Holy Spirit to help you hear the Voice of the Lord. I encourage you to do so by purchasing your copy of The Altar of His Presence and by choosing to act on that which you read. Take the time to meditate on, digest, respond and reflect. I believe such action will cause you to be delighted in the Lord on a whole new level, cause you to fully desire to know Him and become all that you can be in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Have a blessed day.

Robert

Our New Book Has Arrived!

I am so excited about our new book, The Altar of His Presence. While it won’t be available at Barnes and Noble, Walmart, Amazon and Target until July 17th. But, I have some wonderful news…you can receive your own advance signed copy today!

 

Without hesitation, I can say that the message of The Altar of His Presence will help you find the secret to living the “altar’ed life.” Like Enoch who walked with God, if you are willing to walk with God, He will take you. He will take you places you cannot possibly visit or live without Him. He will lead you into paths of righteousness–for His Name’s sake! He will take you to ascend His holy hill and into His marvelous glory! I can promise that you will find yourself in the very “secret place” of The Most High!

 

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This new devotional book will truly inspire you and enable you to experience intimate encounters with the Glory of God. In the book I lay out a revelatory blueprint for how you can take your intimacy with God to new, marvelous and wonderful levels. I am confident that by reading the book, you will:

 

  • Receive new revelation on how to experience the Holy Spirit more deeply
  • Gain new clarity in how to follow the Holy Spirit’s leading
  • Experience deep spiritual fulfillment as you learn to fellowship with God on a more personal level
  • Enter into greater depths of worship where you can witness God’s glory more powerfully

 

To order your advanced signed copy, visit our online bookstore today at: www.thealtarofhispresence.com

LISTEN TO WHAT MANY CHRISTIAN LEADERS ARE SAYING…

 
“I highly recommend this book both as a study guide and a daily devotion to discover the beauty of God’s Presence more fully. It will truly alter your life.”
– Charles Patterson, Pastor Emeritus, Church of the Hills, Charles Patterson Ministries

 

“I would personally encourage every serious man of God to get a copy of this ever inspiring devotional book. I can promise that you will be blessed each time you read through it.”
– Bishop McOwen Andrew S. Mwale, Senior Pastor of Katawa Jerusalem Temple, Mzuzu, Malawi and a Former Division Director, Northern Region of the Malawi Assemblies of God

 

“The Altar of His Presence is not for those who wish to be motivated by other people’s stories. Instead, Robert Stone skillfully weaves life lessons of his own, richly seasoned with Scripture, in order to lead the reader into an altar’ed life.”
– Ric Shields, President of Doorways

 

“Follow these principles through study and reflection in each chapter and find a whole new way to experience Christ and the dynamic of the Holy Spirit with life changing results.”
– Doyle Fulkes, Superintendent, Southern Idaho Ministry Network of the Assemblies of God

 

“In writing The Altar of His Presence, Robert Stone has put biblical truth at our fingertips. This is a valuable read for all Christians.”
– Fran Bates, Mary Kay Independent Beauty Consultant

 

“I encourage everyone to read this book with an open heart. I can promise that by doing so they will find that it is not important where we build an “altar” and that by doing so they will be positioned to receive the best of blessings from Him— His Presence.”
– Dwight Karm, Retired Owner, Paramount Construction

 

“In his new book, The Altar of His Presence, Robert Stone provides a pattern and a process to establish a growing, intimate relationship with God by experiencing His Presence.”
– Reverend Alton Garrison, Assistant General Superintendent, The General Council of the Assemblies of God