We Leave Tabernacles Taking His Presence With Us

This morning I brought a message titled, “We Leave Tabernacles Taking His Presence With Us” at Grace Chapel in Honolulu, Hawaii.

This is the final day of Sukkot, but it does not mark the end of God bringing His family together. He is fitting us together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit (Ephesians 2:21-22). He is making us one in order to dwell among us.

So, as we leave Tabernacles, we take His presence with us. We are with Him so we can behold His Glory and be changed into His likeness. This is God’s ultimate fulfillment: the Body of Christ will be one and filled with His presence.

Listen to this message; it is our takeaway from Tabernacles.

Marilyn – The Woman Behind The Word

Today, October 21st, marks the one-year anniversary of the passing of my wife, Marilyn Hargrave, and we wanted to share “Serving The Word”, a message by her with all of you. As we remember her passing, my family and I feel it is a time in which we should be inspired and encouraged by the amazing legacy Marilyn leaves behind and press into our own personal relationship with the Lord. As the Scriptures state, we should not grieve as others do who have no hope (1 Thessalonians 4:13). I know that Marilyn went from life to life.

There are many throughout the world today who are honoring Marilyn and the life she lived in the Lord. The choices she made in serving the Lord have had far-reaching effects. Her love and faith touched thousands of people. Her practical dedication to the Word of God resulted in tens of thousands of scriptural teachings which have contributed to maturing sons and daughters of God all over the world. She was the “woman behind the Word”—an integral part of both my ministry and the ministry of John Robert Stevens. Marilyn made The Living Word Fellowship more than church; she made us a family.

It is difficult to adequately capture Marilyn’s awesome reverence, her deep wonder and all-consuming passion for the living, powerful, life-changing Word of God. So, I will let her explain it in her own words. In the message, “Serving The Word”, Marilyn explains how she fell in love with the Word of God and recognized that she needed to respond to it in very practical ways. She did whatever she could to create an atmosphere for God’s people to hear the Word. Now it’s for us to follow her example by serving the Word in this generation.

Marilyn’s heart cry was for His Kingdom to be on this earth. Everything she did in creating the Word, in creating family and in creating an atmosphere, was out of that cry. Her love and drive for the Word was not just to see it spoken and published, but to see it manifest in the earth and in our lives in a real and practical way. She couldn’t hear a word without finding a way to see it broken down into practical and life-changing steps. Marilyn had a mother’s heart for God’s people. And if she ever ministered to you, you know her ministry was personal. The best way for us to honor such a woman of God is to walk with the Lord the way that she did.

We know that God orders our steps and turns all things for good to those who love Him (Romans 8:28). We must trust God’s plan. Marilyn’s passing has certainly launched us into the next phase of God’s unfolding Kingdom on the earth. Now is the time for us to mature.

Over the past year, the Lord has shown us how our grieving has compelled us deeper into becoming a people living in two realms—the earthly and the spiritual. Marilyn is still ministering to us, from the cloud of witnesses (Hebrews 12:1). For this reason, be encouraged to open your heart to the Lord in a greater way today. Let’s respond to God’s calling the way Marilyn did, with a wholehearted dedication, driven by love to establish the vision of God’s Kingdom in the earth. Today, we remember the one who led us, who spoke the Word of God to us; and considering the outcome of her way of life, we imitate her faith (Hebrews 13:7).

Why We Tabernacle In The Wilderness

Last night I brought a message titled, “Why We Tabernacle In The Wilderness” at Grace Chapel in Honolulu, Hawaii.

God brought the Israelites into the wilderness, a place where there was nothing except Him and what He would provide. For God, the wilderness was to be a time of great impartation and blessing where they would become a unique people who know Him—to such a degree that they would be able to distinguish between what is Him and not Him.

For the Israelites, the wilderness experience was a difficult time during which they longed for their former life as slaves in Egypt. In God’s mind, the wilderness was meant to be a detoxification experience for them. He wanted to cleanse them, physically and spiritually, of all the effects of slavery. In order to accomplish this purification, God had to be the only influence on them, and they had to be sustained by only what He Himself would provide.

As we celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles, we cry out for our own wilderness experience. As we build our sukkahs, let us willingly separate ourselves from the influences of the world. God is about to give us the clearest picture of Himself. When our wilderness experience is complete, He will have the great witness of Himself to the nations: a people who live according to His ways. This Word changes our entire approach to the concept of the wilderness and to our celebration of Tabernacles.

Delay Or Appointed Time?

Last night I brought a message titled, “Delay Or Appointed Time?” at Grace Chapel in Honolulu, Hawaii.

We begin our celebration of Sukkot with a Word that transforms our thinking about the fulfillment of God’s promises. Our tendency is to think of appointed times as short periods when God moves, interspersed with times of delay. But God doesn’t see it that way. God brought the children of Israel out of bondage, through 40 years in the wilderness, and into the Promised Land. In His mind, this was all one appointed time.

The Kingdom is an appointed time in which God’s presence dwells among men. It began with Christ, it is a reality now, and it will continue to be a reality. In God’s mind, it is complete. We are not reaching for an appointed time; we are living in the completed reality of His presence in His Kingdom.

Sukkot — His Kingdom Is Our Reality

This morning I brought a message titled, “Sukkot — His Kingdom Is Our Reality” at Grace Chapel in Honolulu, Hawaii.

The Feast of Tabernacles begins at sundown. This expository Word from Colossians 1:13-23 sets our focus on what God has already given and done. He has rescued us from the domain of darkness, and He has transferred us to the Kingdom of His beloved Son. To God, His Kingdom is a present reality and we are already in it. Jesus Christ is reigning as Lord and King, and when He was on earth the fullness of God dwelt in Him; God has already tabernacled among men and will again. Come to the feast with expectation, and stand firm in your faith, knowing He will always expand and increase what He has done. This is a Word from the Lord to us.

Yom Kippur – You Must Believe In Transference

Last night, I brought a message titled, “Yom Kippur – You Must Believe In Transference” at Grace Chapel in Honolulu, Hawaii.

In order to understand the experience of atonement as described in Leviticus 16, we must believe in the principle of transference. First, we must believe that Christ atoned for our sins at the right hand of the Father and we received forgiveness. Secondly, we must believe that the sin nature that was transferred onto us by satan was dumped into the abyss by Christ and left there. Thirdly, we are washed and we put on the robes of Christ’s righteousness. His nature is transferred to us and we are free from the nature of sin.

We appropriate all these aspects of the Atonement experience at the throne of God, in the realm of spirit. We contend for the complete transformational experience of Atonement to be fulfilled, and our faith triggers this reality.

Shuvah – The Nations Return To God

This morning I brought a message titled, “Shuvah – The Nations Return To God” at Grace Chapel in Honolulu, Hawaii.

In the midst of our Ten Days of Repentance, the Lord is bringing us deeper into the spirit of Shabbat Shuvah – the Sabbath of return. Our repentance begins with a deep realization of our own need for Atonement by God’s grace and forgiveness. This revelation also creates in us a cry and intercession for the nations to return to God. The Father revealed His heart in saying, “In Abraham’s seed, all the nations will be blessed.” He is preparing in Israel a heart for the nations. Abraham had it, Moses had it, and it was expressed in Jesus’ sacrifice. This is also the focus of our repentance and prayer: to see the nations reconciled unto God.

Shabbat Shuvah — Return To The Lord

Last night I brought a message titled, “Shabbat Shuvah – Return To The Lord” at Grace Chapel in Honolulu, Hawaii.

In a wonderful family atmosphere, we celebrated Shabbat Shuvah, the Shabbat of return. Three passages of Scripture are traditionally read on this Shabbat: Hosea 14:1-9, Micah 7:18-20, and Joel 2:15-27. These verses speak of God’s unchanging love for His people and how He will cast their sins into the depths of the sea. He will have compassion and fulfill every promise He has made. During these Ten Days of Repentance, we return to the Lord with faith and joy, believing to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

Triggering The Principle Of Dedication-Revelation

Last night I brought a message titled, “Triggering The Principle Of Dedication-Revelation” at Grace Chapel in Honolulu, Hawaii.

After several years of hard work, final inspections are being completed at Grace Chapel of Honolulu, and now a door is open for a new level of revelation.

We have lived through a time of tremendous opportunity to grow in our obedience and dedication. As we are immersed in dedication, God opens the door for revelation. The revelation we are reaching for is the experience as described in I John 3:2-3: Beloved, now we are children of God, and it has not appeared as yet what we will be. We know that when He appears, we will be like Him, because we will see Him just as He is.

In these Ten Days of Repentance, we do more than just ask for forgiveness of sin; we press on to experience an appearing of the Lord that causes us to be changed into His image.