Month: September 2010

Is More Than the Bible Needed for Bible College and Seminary?

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book-glasses2 Timothy 4:13 (NKJV)

"[13] Bring the cloak that I left with Carpus at Troas when you come—and the books, especially the parchments."

This past week, I had an interesting conversation with a young man that was investigating the possibilities of completing his undergraduate degree through Biblical Life. As we discussed the programs, he asked if we used more than the Bible in our studies. When I replied "of course," he began to chastise me as if I had committed some sin for using materials beside the Word of God in our degree programs.

The attitude of this young man surprised me. When I first surrendered to ministry as a young Baptist boy, my training (even before attending Bible College) was that a minister’s library was essential and, over the years, would become a trusted resource in ministering to the people of God. Great ministers of the past were known for two things: their prayer lives and their diligence in study. All of them had substantial personal libraries. I still remember standing in awe of one great pastor’s office in St. Louis. All four walls of his spacious office were shelves filled with books from floor to ceiling. When he opened his mouth behind the pulpit, the wealth of his knowledge of the Word would fill the hearts and minds of his listeners.

What Made the Apostle Paul so Qualified to Minister to the Gentiles?

The Apostle Paul was a graduate of the School of Hillel. In fact, the wise Gameliel (found in the Book of Acts and highly respected by the Sanhedrin) was Paul’s teacher. Under Gameliel’s instruction, Rabbi Saul (Paul’s Hebrew name) was thoroughly trained in the Torah, the writings, and the prophets. With a solid foundation in the Torah, he was then trained in understanding Greek/Roman mythology and philosophy. He was well versed in showing the superiority of God’s Word over the pagan concepts of these gentile cultures. Without the extensive training he received under Gameliel’s watchful eye, he would have been ill equipped to be the Apostle to the Gentiles.

We should note in 2 Timothy that Paul asked young Timothy to bring his books to him. Most commentators believe that the parchments refer to his scrolls of the Torah, writings, and prophets. As far as the other books, we can only speculate as to what they were. We do know that by his differentiating the books from the parchments, they were not Scriptures.

It was also at the feet of Gameliel that Paul learned the art of writing epistles. It was the leadership style of Gameliel, as a leading member of the Sanhedrin, that Paul used as he was presented with problems throughout the Jewish community and, subsequently, addressed them with biblically based solutions through the writing of epistles. This may be the reason that we have so many writings by the Apostle Paul. His school years trained him to address issues in the communities of faith through the written response.

Foundations for the Hermeneutical Process:

Hermeneutics is the science of biblical interpretation. There are many levels to examine in the proper application of this science.

1. The first step is to look at the context of the sentence, then examine it within the chapter, and then the entire book. Finally look at the concept throughout the Scriptures. It is like dropping a pebble in a pond – all the ripples must be examined. Scripture always interprets Scripture.

2. The next step is to look at the historical and cultural settings of the Scriptures that you are examining. The New Testament has an abundance of Hebraic colloquialisms that are full of meaning. Many ministers completely misinterpret things that Jesus and the Apostles said because they do not understand what was culturally behind what was being said. Such understanding comes from additional books outside of the Word of God.

3. Understanding the basics of Hebrew and Greek is essential for any serious minister. Even if this understanding only comes from knowing your way around Strong’s Concordance, a good Bible dictionary, and lexicons such as Thayer’s for Greek and Brown, Drivers, Biggs for the Hebrew. Digging a little deeper into the original meanings will cause the Word to explode with deeper understanding that can be life-changing. All of these are books beyond just using the Bible.

4. What has God shared with the saints before us? It is right here that some will chide in "See, I do not want manmade doctrines." First, not everything written is manmade doctrines. Many of the saints of old had devotional lives that would put most of today’s ministers to shame. Second, many of their books were what they preached. Like Spurgeon, all those volumes are their sermons written down to inspire those that followed. God even instructed the Prophet Habakkuk to write down what was given to him.

Habakkuk 2:2 (NKJV)
2 Then the LORD answered me and said: "Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it.

If you do not want to expose yourself to the sermons of these men, then what makes you think others should be exposed to yours? They just need to read the Bible, right?

Finally, after the conversation, I looked up his previous school. Their claim to fame was using only the Word of God. Following this model, they were hard pressed to come up with the curriculum to fulfill the proper requirements for degree programs. They were offering Associate Degrees by completing only 36 semester credit hours and the Bachelor Degree for completing 64! In fact, their Associate, Bachelor, and Master programs combined fall a good number of credits short of a true Bachelor Degree (120). Taking such a strong stance on studying the Word only, and then utilizing such poor standards academically, can bring reproach to the name of Christ. As believers, a commitment to excellence should exist in biblical interpretation, academic standards, and lifestyle.

Let us all have excellence of life, ministry, and education through due diligence in our examination of the greatest book on earth – the Written Word of God!

2 Timothy 2:15 (AMP)

[15] Study and be eager and do your utmost to present yourself to God approved (tested by trial), a workman who has no cause to be ashamed, correctly analyzing and accurately dividing [rightly handling and skillfully teaching] the Word of Truth.

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© Copyright 2010 by Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E. All Rights Reserved.

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Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E.

Chancellor and Founder

Dr. Lake is the chancellor and founder of Biblical Life College & Seminary and serves as an educational consultant for various Christian organizations around the world. He also serves as the Pastor of Biblical Life Assembly in Marshfield, MO. In 2009, Dr. Lake also established Biblical Life Publishing to make the same materials that thousands have enjoyed at BLCS available to everyone. Dr. Lake is listed in the US Registry’s "Who’s Who Among Outstanding Americans," Sterling’s "Who’s Who Executive Edition," and the "Who’s Who Among American Teachers" for his accomplishments in ministry.

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The Power of Paper

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Over the years, I have tried about everything available for planning, goal-setting, and project management. In my earlier years, I tended to be a gadget freak. I used PDAs, which predated the PalmPilot. I have used the Psion 3a, the Casio, various versions of the PalmPilot, various versions of the PocketPC, smartphones and enough software for my personal computers that I could have run NASA. I have settled in on Outlook, PlanPlus for Outlook by Franklin-Covey, MindManager Pro by MindJet and Microsoft Project for my basic recording (once it is developed) and keeping up to date with plans and projects. Now don’t run out and purchase all of these because you may be surprised to find that I use an extremely low tech method of brainstorming and planning: pen and paper! With more years experience than I care to count, I have found pen and paper to be the most powerful medium ever developed.

In Habakkuk, we find God telling the prophet to write down his visions:

KJV Habakkuk 2:2

And the LORD answered me, and said, Write the vision, and make it plain upon tables, that he may run that readeth it.

Although this is used in the context of sharing a vision from God to others, there is a principle here. When we write something down and make it plain to understand, there is an anointing for those that read it to accomplish it.

In the Success Mastery Academy taught by Brian Tracy, he shared powerful information in this area with the attendees (which included many executives from Fortune 500 companies). I am going to share a summary of what he presented. (To be able to get an exact quote, I would have to listen to all twelve hours of the seminar again.) Here is my summary:

In having these men and women prepare their goals for the next year, he had them brainstorm on paper. He shared that there is a “hand to brain connection” discovered by success psychology experts that they cannot yet explain. By writing down the goals, an individual increases his chances of completing them by about 300%. To illustrate this, some in attendance made their lists, only to tuck them away in the folios they use for such conferences, and never looked at them again until the following year. To the surprise of many, when they pulled the paperwork out the next year, they had completed over 70% of the goals that they had written down!

Now imagine what would have happened if they had looked at them each week or rewrote them and expanded them each week. The power of paper is amazing. How many powerful business plans started on the back of a napkin written down during dinner at a neighborhood restaurant? How many world-changing ideas were quickly jotted down on paper when the Holy Spirit first breathed it into the heart of someone!

I personally have found that technology can be a hindrance to establishing goals, brainstorming, and jotting down inspiration or the initial phases of project planning. Paper and pen provide a permanent record of not only the ideas, but the process. It is readily available. You never have to wait for it to boot up. You never will have a pen or paper hang up on you (i.e. the MS blue screen of death). You just grab, write, scribble, draw, sketch and develop!

Here are some tips to keep you moving forward:

Always keep something with you to write with. I keep a notepad in my briefcase and on my desks at the office and home at all times. I also carry 3 x 5 cards in my pocket to jot down ideas, tasks, etc. This is paramount to you moving forward in life and ministry. You have no clue how many sermon ideas, inspirational truths and powerful teachings I have lost over the years because I did not write them down the moment they came to me. When the Holy Spirit breathes something into your spirit, there is an anointing for understanding and accomplishment in it. When you write it down, the anointing will stay with what you have  written!

Once you write it down and hash it out on paper, you then can move it to some electronic format. This is really helpful if you are like me; when I write in English, everyone thinks it is in some ancient biblical language. So typing everything out is important for not only yourself, but others as well. Remember to create a file system and ALWAYS keep those papers of hand written inspiration. The anointing to understand and accomplish will always be there for you  to refresh yourself when you need it.

It’s time to pick up your pen – inspiration is about to be loosed in your life!

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© Copyright 2008 by Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E.  All Rights Reserved

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Profile on Author

Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E.

Chancellor and Founder

Dr. Lake is the chancellor and founder of Biblical Life College & Seminary and serves as an educational consultant for various Christian organizations around the world. He also serves as the Pastor of Biblical Life Assembly in Marshfield, MO. Dr. Lake is listed in the US Registry’s “Who’s Who Among Outstanding Americans,” Sterling’s “Who’s Who Executive Edition,” and the “Who’s Who Among American Teachers” for his accomplishments in ministry.

Lessons from the Day of Atonement

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Most of the Body of Christ has gone about their daily business without a clue of the biblical significance of the past few weeks. The centuries of manmade traditions have disenfranchised us from our rich Hebraic heritage and the biblical feasts that belong to the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. These biblical feasts serve many purposes:

  • They remind us of what God has done for us.
  • They teach us more about what Jesus has done and will do in the future.
  • They are cycles of God’s process of sanctification in the life of the believer.
  • They are cycles of God’s process of positioning believers for greater blessing.
  • They are God’s way of bringing us back into step with the Kingdom of God. (This one is especially needed in this day since everyone is in step with the current Babylonian system of the world!)

This Wednesday, we will begin filming a new series on “The Feasts of the LORD and Their Spiritual Significance in the Life of the Believer.” This new DVD series is designed to reintroduce believers in Messiah to His Feasts. As we prepare for His coming, we need to get back into the rhythm of His Kingdom; the Feasts play a vital role in our realignment.

Since we are in the middle of the Fall Feasts, I thought it would be a great opportunity to teach on several aspects of the Day of Atonement (Yom Kipper) and how it can apply to becoming more effective in your spiritual walk and ministry. This month’s Mentor Tip is about divine accountability and realignment.

There are many aspects to the Fall Feasts (the Day of Trumpets, the Day of Atonement and the Feast of Tabernacles) that we could cover. The Fall Feasts are all about the second coming of Messiah and become a template to lie over the top of the Book of Revelation to see fully what God is showing us. Without the Fall Feasts’ template, the Book of Revelation is constantly being misinterpreted by believers. We will not be examining the Fall Feasts from an Eschatological view point, but one for daily living.

The Feast of Trumpets signifies a time of announcements from Heaven. It is a time designated by Almighty God when He speaks with greater clarity for the sake of His people. It also begins the countdown to the Day of Atonement called “The Ten Days of Awe.” During the Ten Days of Awe, God’s people spend a great amount of time examining their lives and hearts. They make sure that all relational accounts are settled between them and God as well as between them and their fellow man. There is also intense examination of what they have done with their lives since the last Day of Atonement.

The Fall Feasts teach us the importance of ownership. In fact, the Torah has a great deal to say about ownership of land and property. The concept of ownership is important because it reminds us that this world, our bodies and all other things are owned by a divine Creator, the God of Heaven and Earth. Since He owns this planet and all the people that dwell upon it, we must live our lives with the understanding that one day we will stand before Him to give an account of how we lived our lives and what we accomplished.

This year I have personally done that very thing. I have examined my past year, to include my accomplishments and my failings. During the Ten Days of Awe, I have been repenting, making plans, and making many adjustments. I did not accomplish as much as I wanted to this past year. There were places where I stumbled, dropped the ball or allowed other things to crowd out what was really important.

The Fall Feasts and the Day of Atonement were a type of “wake up” call to me. I have examined every weight that so easily besets me (Heb 12:1), examined what is most needful in my walk and ministry, and have determined to completely devote myself to those things alone.

Devote and devotion are very powerful words. Devote means “to commit to a particular purpose.” Devotion means to have “fervent dedication and loyalty” to something. This not only involves placing a great amount of time and energy into its accomplishment, but to remain loyal to it when distractions present themselves.

Here is what I am going to be devoted to this next year:

  • Writing new courses, articles and books.
  • Researching to ensure accuracy and integrity in all that I teach.
  • Re-teaching every major course I have taught in the past for DVD.

To accomplish this, many things in my life that took the focus away from my pursuits of God are being set aside. The things of the flesh (to include most entertainment) are there to distract us from our purpose, to steal our time, and to steal our focus. I am sure Satan will also bring many opportunities that sound wonderful but are simply distractions. Everything must be weighed concerning what I must give an account to God for and what He has called me to devote myself to. I must then purpose in my heart to remain loyal to those things.

Bringing It Home for You

This time next year the Day of Atonement will roll around again. Will you be prepared to present your life before the judgment bar of God to give an answer for what you have done with those twelve months? Can you give an account for what God has called you to be devoted to so you can work in His fields of service?

It is time for you to take inventory. What has God instructed you to do? Categorize them to include: personal relationships, education, ministry direction, etc. Once you have the categories, examine this past year to see what distracted you or held you back. Make plans to remove those weights!

Now make a list of the things you must devote yourself to. Be specific, and write it with great clarity. This list becomes your litmus test for everything that comes into your life and even how you plan your day. Is it part of your devotion to the accomplishment of something that God has called you to, or is it a distraction to test your loyalty? You are the gatekeeper to your life. The Fall Feasts teach us that it is time to wake up and redeem the time. In fact, the Day of Trumpets is also called “The Awakening Blast.” Consider this your wake up call to enter into Kingdom living with devotion and purpose!

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Copyright 2008 by Michael K. Lake, Th.D.

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Profile on Author

Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E.

Chancellor and Founder

Dr. Lake is the chancellor and founder of Biblical Life College & Seminary and serves as an educational consultant for various Christian organizations around the world. He also serves as the Pastor of Biblical Life Assembly in Marshfield, MO. Dr. Lake is listed in the US Registry’s “Who’s Who Among Outstanding Americans,” Sterling’s “Who’s Who Executive Edition,” and the “Who’s Who Among American Teachers” for his accomplishments in ministry.

Redream to Redeem

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The past several months have been a very powerful time at Biblical Life, both with the Seminary and with our local fellowship. Little did I know when I started the “No More Compromise Series” at our fellowship what God had in store for us. The past several months have been a time for divine realigning with Heaven. In these few short months, we have seen:

  • The birth of the mentoring program, to include the Mentor’s Tips.
  • A breakthrough for writing that I have never experienced before (a real answer to prayer).
  • The prophetic increasing in our meetings with a new level of anointing to bring to pass what was spoken quickly (sometimes instantaneously).
  • God is beginning to realign the lives of both members of our congregation and students as they enter into what God is doing.
  • Financial Breakthroughs: One family even experienced a miracle with being released from the mortgage of their home. We have also seen many other financial turnarounds.
  • Many students have seen breakthroughs in their studies, families and ministries.

This past week as I was preparing my message for our congregation, the Lord was so gracious in giving me a missing piece as I was watching TBN. Bishop Mark Huskins was on the short segment that I was watching. He said one statement that exploded in my spirit and was the missing piece for my message: “You have to redream before you can redeem.” Locally, we have been dealing with Ephesians 5:11-16. In Mentor’s Tip # 5 (Living Life Awake), we also dealt with part of that scripture. In the midst of coming back awake spiritually and realigning ourselves with Heaven, the next question is: “How do I redeem the time?” The answer is in redreaming.

Before I go any further, there are several things that I want to touch on:

a.         The Difference Between a Fleshly Dream and a Spiritual Dream

When I speak of a “dream” I am speaking of the vision, purpose and destiny of your life. Satan has one for you that speaks through your flesh, and God has one for you that was released in your spirit when you were born again. The closer we get to the LORD, the more we move away from sin and the spirit of the world and the more the old fleshly dream dies and a new spiritual dream begins to come alive. The dream or destiny that God has for you is very important. It is part of what will shape you and empower you for the days ahead. A dream or vision can give you strength to go through hard times. Lack of a dream will cause you to stumble even when times are good.

As we realign ourselves with Heaven in this move of God, He is going to begin bringing to life His dream for your life. You have several things that you need to do to guard the dream. First, do not let it be tainted by the flesh or worldliness. Don’t let the devil contaminate what God wants to do through you. You need to realize that Satan will fight you getting a hold of your dream.

He will either bring things of this world into your life or bring discouragement against the dream! You need to get ready to fight his advances. God’s dream for you is worth fighting for. Second, you need to feed the dream. As you meditate on the Word of God and His promises for you, the dream will grow and become stronger. Worshippers always empower their spiritual dream from God. The very presence of God in our lives speaks forth the dream and empowers it. The more time we spend in His Word and in His presence, the clearer the dream will become.

b.         The Conundrum of Dreaming

In the natural, you have to be asleep to dream. The opposite is true in the realm of the spirit. You have to be spiritually awake to dream. This is why everything about the flesh and the spirit of this world tries to put you to sleep. A man or woman with a dream from God can change the world. I remember a powerful man of God that was facing racial hatred and prejudice. What was Dr. King’s response? He said “I have a dream!” A dream from God can change your life, your family, your community, your ministry and even a nation! Wake up and dare to dream with God!

C.            A Dream Brings Change

You will never dream where you are. If you did, it would not be a dream; it would be a reality. In the dream God gives, He will show you new ways of doing things, new ways of thinking, new ways of building and new ways of living. You have to be willing to change yourself to match the dream. That is the purpose of the dream. It is there to show you what you can do if you became what God calls you to be. When you yield to it, you are transformed, and it begins to come to pass. If you refuse to change, it becomes nothing more than a pipe dream — something that will never be because you would not yield to the call.

Your Dream and Your Placement in the Body

To understand what I want to touch on, we will need to look at 1 Peter 2:4-5:

1 Peter 2:4-5 (NKJV)

4 Coming to Him as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen by God and precious, 5 you also, as living stones, are being built up a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Those of you that are unfamiliar with your Hebraic roots will read right over this and not understand what is in the heart of the Apostle Peter. The Torah teaches that when you build an altar for the Lord, you must use stones that have not been cut. God chooses their shape, not you. You should also never use brick; brick is connected to Babylon and Egypt. In fact, Rabbi Daniel Lapin, in his audio teaching entitled “Genesis Journeys: The Tower of Power,[1]” shares in detail from the Hebrew how God was upset with Nimrod for building the tower from brick. It is also interesting that while the children of Israel were in bondage in Egypt, their task was making bricks.

What is so troublesome about brick? The spiritual emphasis is this: Like natural stones, God has made you an original. There is a uniqueness in you that was created by the hand of God, and the Body of Christ (and the world) need you to move with the way God made you. This is why both the spirit of this world and a religious spirit try to mold everyone into a mold of conformity. This brick-type mold is something God did not create for you to be. It is a mold of sinfulness and uselessness in the Kingdom. We also need to realize that the wounds of the past and circumstances Satan has created around you are there to conform you to his mold and to kill the dream! It is time to break the mold of sin and be free in the ultimate truth of God. This truth is so powerful that when you are born again, God says you become a new creature. (2 Cor 5:17) The old brick mold is now supposed to be dead to you, and you are being transformed into a new original as your mind is renewed to the Word of God (Rom 12:2).

God’s dream for you is crucial! It will bring you back into what you were destined to be. It will take you from being a brick shaped by religion, adversity and pain to a living stone shaped by the hand of God. In a moment you will understand why that is so important.

Have you ever seen a rock fireplace? We have one in our home. Finding the right rocks to make up the face of the fireplace is like putting together a jigsaw puzzle. The rocks that are there fit together and will not work anywhere else. You cannot move them around like bricks. Each rock will only function and fit in one specific place. This is what the Apostle Peter was trying to get across to us. You have only one unique place where you will fit in your place in time, space and the Body of Christ. Only in that one place can you plug in, fit in, find fulfillment and be empowered to reach your potential. Only there will you find contentment and will your gifts be fully developed and fully released. Only there will you make the maximum impact upon the world! Can you see why the enemy has worked so hard in destroying your spiritual dream and vision? Can you see why he has hit you so hard with circumstances and pain to mold you into a shape that would not fit?

We are in a time that God is giving us all a grace to realign with Heaven. It is as if He is hitting a “reset” button within the Body of Christ to bring us where we should have been before the devil forced us to detour. (This is only for those that have ears to hear.) Now is not only a time to realign, it is a time to awaken and to dream again! Dare to dream what the Holy Spirit is giving you! Regardless of past hurts, failures and frustrations, dare to be bold in God and to dream. As you dream, the Holy Spirit will remold you back into what He had in mind when He gave you life in your mother’s womb.

The Gold Principle

Remember when Jesus prophesied over the Temple that not one stone would be left upon another? The Romans wanted the gold that was used as mortar between the stones. In the Bible, gold represents holiness. As we leave worldliness and sinfulness of our old nature behind, our nature is covered in a new holiness that is based on God’s Kingdom and the completed work of Messiah. We see this in some of the furniture of the Tabernacle in the Wilderness. Wood was overlaid with gold. This represents the natural man being overlaid with true holiness unto the LORD. God’s dream for your life does not bring you into sin; it takes you away from it and can only function properly in true biblical holiness.

Another interesting thing about gold is that it is a powerful conductor. There is less resistance to the moving of power through it. That is why the expensive cables for electronics will have gold plug-ins. Here is the lesson we learn: as we move in true holiness and in our dream, the power that can move through all of us is increased! As each one of us in the Body finds our place and begins to move in it, we all increase in God.

This is why God is realigning us all with Heaven. We can either hold each other back or we can add to each other’s destiny in Christ. God is positioning all of us to move forward. We have been held back for too long!

It is time for you to dream again, redeem the time the enemy has stolen and to become what God has called you to be!

Copyright 2008 by Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E.  All rights reserved.


Footnote:

[1] You can purchase this 2 CD series at: http://www.rabbidaniellapin.com . Every believer can benefit from the teaching of this good rabbi.

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Profile on Author

Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E.

Chancellor and Founder

Dr. Lake is the chancellor and founder of Biblical Life College & Seminary and serves as an educational consultant for various Christian organizations around the world. He also serves as the Pastor of Biblical Life Assembly in Marshfield, MO. Dr. Lake is listed in the US Registry’s “Who’s Who Among Outstanding Americans,” Sterling’s “Who’s Who Executive Edition,” and the “Who’s Who Among American Teachers” for his accomplishments in ministry.

The Power of Biblical Order

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Genesis 1:1-3 (NKJV)

‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. 3 Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.

Reading Between the Lines

There is so much in the first chapter of Genesis. I have been told by many scholars, both Evangelical and Rabbinical, that one could spend their entire lives in study just to properly understand the first three chapters of this powerful book. To properly understand what God is revealing here, we will need to take a look at the Hebrew in verse two.

Most of us would overlook the word “was” in verse two. Yet the Hebrew reveals so much more:

Was: Strongs # H961 hayah {haw-yaw}[1]

Meaning: 1) to be, become, come to pass, exist, happen, fall out 1 a) (Qal) lal)1 al a) to happen, fall out, occur, take place, come about, come to pass 1 al b) to come about, come to pass 1 a2) to come into being, become 1a2a) to arise, appear, come 1 a2b) to become la2b1) to become 1 a2b2) to become like 1 a2b3) to be instituted, be established 1 a3) to be 1 a3a) to exist, be in existence 1 a3b) to abide, remain, continue (with word of place or time) 1 a3c) to stand, lie, be in, be at, be situated (with word of locality) 1 a3d) to accompany, be with 1 b) (Niphal) 1 bl) to occur, come to pass, be done, be brought about 1 b2) to be done, be finished, be gone Origin: a primitive root [compare 01933]; TWOT – 491; v

Usage: AV – was, come to pass, came, has been, were happened, become, pertained, better for thee; 74

Verse 2 could easily read “And the earth BECAME void.” When God creates something, He does not create something imperfect. Many Evangelical scholars believe that the fall of Lucifer occurred between verses 1 and 2 of Genesis Chapter 1. Sin and darkness bring chaos. The Word also tells us:

1 Corinthians 14:40 (NKJV)

40 Let all things be done decently and in order.

James 3:16 (NKJV)

16 For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there.

When sin takes a hold of the things of the earth, it produces confusion. Let’s look at the Greek word here that James used to properly understand what he was saying.

Confusion: Strongly # G81 akatastasia {ak-at-as-tah-see’-ah} [2]

Meaning: 1) instability, a state of disorder, disturbance, confusion

Origin: from 182; TDNT – 3:446,387; n f

Usage: AV – confusion 2, tumult 2, commotion 1; 5

Chaos, instability and a state of disorder are places that darkness can easily operate and manipulate people and circumstances. No wonder those in the occult promote anarchy.

Biblical law and biblical principles bring stability and order to God’s creation. Stability and order always live within light, thus darkness finds it extremely difficult to operate.

In tip # 5, we touched on “redeeming time.” It takes two elements to redeem time in your life:

1.         You must be living life awake.

2.         As a person that is sanctified and has a sanctified place in sanctified time, you can take control of your time and bring order to it.

Bringing Biblical Order to Creation

Whenever God begins to speak, light always comes. As God begins to bring light to your life, biblical order will always result. Our old nature will fight against biblical order, accountability, Holy Spirit breathed priorities and structure. Our old man prefers disorder. This way he can hide what he is really doing from your new man (i.e. new nature in Christ).

Everyone seems to be interested in bringing biblical order to the Church, to the home or even to society. We have not understood the fact that it must first start with us. As I taught in the Leader of One, you cannot properly lead in your home or ministry until you properly lead yourself! I believe one of the reasons the Church is no longer bringing order to homes or society in general is that believers are not walking in biblical order in their personal lives! We have made everything external, instead of internal. Remember, Jesus taught us:

Luke 17:20-21 (NKJV)

20 Now when He was asked by the Pharisees when the kingdom of God would come, He answered them and said, “The kingdom of God does not come with observation; 21 nor will they say, ‘See here!’ or ‘See there!’ For indeed, the kingdom of God is within you.”

What we are teaching in these Mentor’s Tips is bigger than just you getting organized in your life, to completing your education and starting ministry. Once you bring biblical order to your personal life, you can bring it to your home. Once it is established in your home, you can bring it to your ministry. Once it is established in your ministry, you can begin bringing it to your community.

I am going to recommend two secular books that will help you clear away the clutter. Once the clutter has been taken care of, we can work more on biblical order in your life. As long as the clutter is in the way, it will fight any type of order you need to establish.

  • “Getting Things Done” by David Allen
  • “Time Management from the Inside Out” by Julie Morgenstern

You can get them both from Amazon.Com for $19.20 or you can purchase them in audio format from Audible.Com. (I enjoy listening to books while I do other busy work or workout.)

When you decide to bring order to your personal life, God will begin speaking light into your life and aid you with setting things in order. Here is the important part to remember, as you mature, God wants to do things with you (not for you). Bringing order to your life is what happens when you grow up, so this is something God will not do for you; He will only do it with you.

Are you ready to roll up your sleeves and work with the Holy Spirit? Let’s begin bringing order to our lives and see God work!

© Copyright 2008 by Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E.  All Rights Reserved.


Footnotes

[1] Strong’s Enhanced Lexicon. BibleWorks for Windows 7.0. BibleWorks, LLC, Norfolk, VA. Copyright ©  2006

[2] Ibid.

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Profile on Author

Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E.

Chancellor and Founder

Dr. Lake is the chancellor and founder of Biblical Life College & Seminary and serves as an educational consultant for various Christian organizations around the world. He also serves as the Pastor of Biblical Life Assembly in Marshfield, MO. Dr. Lake is listed in the US Registry’s “Who’s Who Among Outstanding Americans,” Sterling’s “Who’s Who Executive Edition,” and the “Who’s Who Among American Teachers” for his accomplishments in ministry.

The Power of Discipline

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In this article, we are going to be dealing with the power of discipline. I also want to deal with the conundrum that many believers find themselves in when trying to balance discipline and spontaneity. This will take a little bit of time, but if you will bear with me, you will understand where we are headed.

 Foundational Scripture:

1 Corinthians 9:24-27 (NKJV)

24 Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it. 25 And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things. Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown. 26 Therefore I run thus: not with uncertainty. Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. 27 But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

In many of Paul’s epistles, he uses both soldiers and athletes to teach on the necessity of discipline. In a society with Greek influence in athletics and Roman soldiers everywhere enforcing Rome’s peace, there were strong visual illustrations for this apostle of God to use.

Today’s Athlete

What does the daily life of a professional, cutting edge athlete look like here in the U.S.? Do they sit around all day watching TV and eating junk food? Do they skip all of the practices and strategy sessions and only show up for the games? That may be the way the average American prepares for playing on the Church softball team, but not professional sports where millions of dollars are on the line!

The professional athlete will invest countless hours into practice and training. He will stretch his abilities farther each year, learn new plays and tactics and will only allow foods into his body that build, cleanse and strengthen. He will condition his mind to know every play until he can do them in his sleep. He will condition his body so that he executes each play with effortless grace. When he reaches this level, the opposing team finds it almost impossible to stop him! This is the paradigm that the Apostle Paul speaks from when he relates to ministry! So let’s run with that paradigm in this article!

Many times God takes us through the paces to learn a new spiritual habit. We are in “drill” mode, whether in learning to pray, study, apply certain biblical principles or articulate it to the universe. We see no immediate fruit; we just do it over and over again. This is where discipline is so important. Do it just like God told you to do it. Do not deviate from the example. Do it until it becomes second nature to you. You are building a foundation from which to live your life and to minister from.

The Practice

Once you have the basic foundation laid in some areas, God will require you not to be so rigid in the implementation of a thing. In practice, you take the basics of what you have learned and practice flexibility, spontaneity and innovation in your implementation. The discipline is still there, but you have matured to the point where you can join two or three concepts together “on the fly” to counter what an opponent is doing.

I remember an episode from The Unit that I really enjoyed. This episode gave more background on the unit’s newest member (Bob) and how he qualified to become part of this elite team. They had placed a large pile of parts to various handguns in front of these soldiers. They were instructed to put them together blindfolded; they had to use all the parts and there were five weapons there to be assembled. When the first soldier finished, he had five handguns that appeared to be assembled correctly, but he had extra parts. The instructor asked him “Why? Could he guarantee that the five he had assembled would fire, since he had extra parts?” Needless to say, he failed the exercise and never made it to the unit. Then there was Bob. He set there with a big smile on his face. He did not have five weapons, he had seven. Five of them were standard issue and two were smaller weapons. When he was asked how he came up with seven weapons, he responded: “Easy! Start with five and add two!” He demonstrated that he was able to assess the situation, recognize the parts from the standard issue handguns, assemble them and managed to assemble two others that were thrown into the mix. Because of his dedication to discipline, he was able to think creatively and had tipped the odds in his favor. (When you are in a gun fight, seven is better than five.)

After we have submitted to the preparation time of the drills, God will take us through practice rounds in our lives. These times are more “supervised,” but ample opportunity is given to us to improvise what we have learned in the basics.

The sad part is that many of us never really get to this level because we will not submit to the  drills. We pray and hear nothing. We study and nothing is exciting or life changing. Then we are told to do it all over again. Why? So that when we enter into a situation we know nothing about, we will pray and study our way out of it! If the basics are not in place, you have nothing to stand on to help you overcome. Maybe this is why so many Christians run from meeting to meeting trying to find what they never received in the drills — they are looking for someplace to give them a footing in the game of life!

Three Levels of Discipline and Four Areas of Execution

Three Levels of Discipline:

  • The Drill
  • The Practice
  • The Game

Four Areas of Execution:

  • Prayer
  • Study
  • Application
  • Articulation

[Side Note: Why is discipline so important? The word “Christian” is only used three times in the New Testament. The word “disciple” is used 270 times. The word “disciple” means “one that disciplines his life after someone’s teaching.” In this case, it is the teaching of Messiah (God come in the flesh).]

The Three Levels of Discipline

Personally, I have never served on a professional sports team. I have served in the military, so I am prone to use some examples from my time in the military to bring certain points across.

The Drill

Whether you are learning moves in a contact sport, or you are learning how to take apart and reassemble your weapon, the drill is the time that you do it over and over again until you can  do it without thinking. No immediate fruit is seen during “the drill” time: just doing the same thing over and over again.

When I was going through basic training in the military, I remember one day we spent the entire afternoon taking our M-16s apart and putting them back together. I felt like I took my weapon apart a thousand times that day, only to put it back together and then start all over again. To this day, I think I could assemble one without even looking at it.

At the end of boot camp, our drill sergeant had us perform a demonstration. We were under enemy fire and our weapons had been taken apart for cleaning. How long do you think it took me to assemble my weapon, load it and prepare to fire? Under a minute! I remember him smiling while he said “Congratulations Lake, you get to live today!”

The Game

You know the basic moves. You could do them in your sleep. You have shown the ability to be creative in their application and execution. Now you are facing the giants. You rely on two things: your knowledge of the basics and your ability to hear your coach from the sidelines giving commands. You see, in the game, the coach is the Holy Spirit. You finely tuned your spirit man to Him all of those times you were in prayer. You filled your mind with His game plans when you were in study. Now it is time for the real thing — welcome to ministry.

The Holy Spirit (your coach) is counting on you knowing what He is talking about when He tells you how to handle the enemy and to bring victory to the situation.

“Take this concept! Implement it before the enemy realizes what you are doing. Good. Now use the name of Jesus. Quick, plead the Blood. Now cast it out! That a boy. You did that with grace!”

A fellow that has not done his homework will not recognize these commands: he will pause, stumble and fall.

As we mature, we will be in various places in this cycle. You may be able to play the game with certain moves, but when you are learning something new, you go back to the drills!

The Four Areas of Execution

1.         Prayer

Prayer is a routine, a discipline, a source of life and a conversation. It takes on all of these forms at various times in our lives.

There are many times I have prayed and heard nothing, felt nothing and thought it was a waste of time. So I pushed in harder, stretched further and disciplined myself to keep going no matter what. Then all of a sudden it is like God is right there and drops so much into my spirit man that it takes months to work through it all.

I have asked God about the quiet times. He always refers me back to this scripture:

Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV)

6 But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.

God wanted to reward me with new revelation; before He could, I had to diligently seek Him. The discipline of diligence in seeking Him opened the door to the reward of revelation.

I can also add that it helped develop a greater sensitivity to His voice and presence. The more I seek Him, the more I become aware of Him and am able to hear His voice in the den of life’s circumstances.

2.         Study

Study is not something you do to make it through Seminary. It is what you do to make it through life! Seminary is the place where you learn the art of study (drill time). We have you study and study and study and study and study and study. It becomes second nature to you. When the enemy throws something at you that is unfamiliar, you instinctively do two things: (1) You seek the face of God about it and (2) you go to your library and search out answers to what is going on.

Proverbs 25:2 (NKJV)

2 It is the glory of God to conceal a matter, But the glory of kings is to search out a matter. You are never going to get to the deep things of God until you instinctively respond through diligent prayer and study!

3.         Application

What good is all that prayer and study without application? How can application be executed correctly without prayer and study?

God wants you to be victorious and prosper in every situation. But He is limited. God is limited by you. 3 John 2 tells us that God wants us to be in health and prosper, but the limitation is “as your soul prospers.” If you have only learned mole hill moving faith, how are you going to move mountains?

Everything in the Word of God falls into two categories: relationship or application. If my relationship is right with God and His Word, I am in a powerful position for application. Do it just like in the drills: observe what the enemy is trying to do and adjust your strategy. Be sensitive to the Holy Spirit as He gives you insights on new ways to apply the basics. Remember, Jesus always moved in authority and power, but He seldom ministered the same way twice. (He always kept the enemy confused and off guard.)

4.         Articulation

There are four places that we speak and move in authority. We speak to: (1) God, (2) man, (3) the spirit world and (4) to physical circumstances. This is where discipline will pay off. You will know where to speak, how to speak and what to say. Through discipline in the drills and practice, you will understand basic and now advanced warfare. You can sense where the Holy Spirit is leading you before He tells you. You have studied the enemy enough to know his moves and already have several counter punches in mind to block his advances.

Many believers and many ministers never get to application and articulation because they have no discipline in prayer and study! It is time to stop flying by the seat of your pants and to become a disciplined, matured soldier of Christ!

© Copyright 2008 by Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E.  All Rights Reserved.

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Profile on Author

Michael K. Lake, Th.D., D.R.E.

Chancellor and Founder

Dr. Lake is the chancellor and founder of Biblical Life College & Seminary and serves as an educational consultant for various Christian organizations around the world. He also serves as the Pastor of Biblical Life Assembly in Marshfield, MO. Dr. Lake is listed in the US Registry’s “Who’s Who Among Outstanding Americans,” Sterling’s “Who’s Who Executive Edition,” and the “Who’s Who Among American Teachers” for his accomplishments in ministry.

Completing Your Education Can Be Done!

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Mark 9:23 (NKJV)
23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.”

Any time that we try to move forward in God, the enemy places roadblocks in our way and tells us that it can’t be done.  Those that know God and the power of His Word always gird up their loins with God’s truth and move forward.   From time to time, we need to remind ourselves that Jesus can commission us to be mountain movers!

 Mark 11:22-24 (NKJV)
22 So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God. 23 For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says. 24 Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

It is my pleasure to share an article written by Michele Davenport, A.B.S.  She is a recent Biblical Life graduate that faced insurmountable odds, yet was able to cross the graduation finish line in victory!

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It Can Be Done!

by Michele Davenport, A.B.S.

 “For nine long years the record of the mile hovered just above four minutes.  As early as 1945, Gunder Haegg had approached the barrier with a time of 4:01.4.  But many people said the limits of physical capacity had been reached; it was impossible to break the four minute barrier.  However in 1954 Roger Bannister broke the tape at 3:59.4.  And what was the result?  Well, as soon as the myth of the “impossible barrier” was dispelled, the four-minute mile was attacked and pierced by many with apparent ease.  In almost no time the four-minute achievement was bettered sixty-six times by twenty-six different runners!  If one dismisses this as merely the power of competition, the point is missed.  There was just as much competition before the four-minute mile was broken.  What the succeeding runners discovered from Bannister was it can be done” [1]

It can be done!  I started my Associates at Biblical Life College and Seminary while my husband and I were stationed in New York.  I was home schooling two children, running a household, working out, and ministering to my unsaved neighbors (who are now in Japan serving the Lord.)

It can be done! Eight months after I had started college we received orders to Missouri.  As we prepared for transition the final home school classes had been taught, books had been put away, the last item was positioned on the moving truck, and our good- byes had been said, I was still studying for my classes. 

It can be done!  As the new directions of our lives were leading us west, I quickly realized that some of our toughest challenges still lied ahead but little did I know the challenges I would face personally would be the eventual challenge of my own survival.   We had to find a house, set up camp, and start home schooling again, my girls were becoming young ladies, and my husband was transitioning into his new job as I was trying to stay the course, run the race, and continue my journey at Biblical Life.  It was only moments after we arrived that I knew something was terribly wrong.  My mother’s health was failing her, she was weak, fragile, and fighting for her very life.   For seven months we were in and out of the hospital with my mom, who was also my best friend, seven months she fought for every breathe she breathed and on December 12, 2007 my mother finally  had her crossing over moment that ushered her to the feet of Jesus. I did survive my best friend’s death.  I took several months off from school to mourn my mother’s presence in my life, but then I picked up my books, gathered my strength, and proceeded to the finish line which I crossed on July fifteenth 2010.   Why am I sharing my life with you?  Because it can be done! 

You can start school yourself while your homeschooling two children. You can be a wife, a husband, a mother, a father, a minister of God’s Word, a friend to the lost, the house keeper, the meal maker, the bread winner, the teacher, and the student.  You can start your training in one state only to end up in another.  You can say hello to love ones, and good-bye almost within the same breath, but you can never do any of it without the will to finish.  It can be done!  But it cannot be done alone, you will need the guidance of the Holy Spirit every step of the way

The education I received from Biblical Life College and Seminary has been character building, life-changing, and transforming to the extreme of my own comfort.  Students, sometimes the journey is about the scenery, on occasion the journey is about the geographical location, now and again the journey is about a method or a process, from time to time the journey is about life, and occasionally the journey is about death, but every moment of the journey has the potential to tutor those who say, “It can be done!”   

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About the Author

 Michele enrolled into a customized Associate of Biblical Studies in 2005 and graduated the program Magna Cum Laude in 2010.  She and her husband Marty operate a ministry called “Faith Builders” (http://www.fbministries.com/) in the Kansas City area.   Michele is a Christian columnist for a local paper in Kansas City and she has authored three books: Ripened on the Vine, From My Heart to Yours Devotional, and Unexcused Absence.  All three of her books are available at her ministry website (www.fbministries.com) or on Amazon.

 


Footnote:

[1] McGinnis, Alan Loy. Bringing out the Best in People: How to Enjoy Helping Others Excel.  Augsburg Books, Minneapolis MN.  Copyright 1985.