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Christian Carnality
The deadly poison of prosperity Doctrine has created a vast chasm in the church today. While studying the writings of Oswald Chambers and, most recently, a newsletter from Gary Wilkerson on God Ultimate Favor, I find the answer to the church impotent state regarding sincere worship in pirit and in Truth. Oh, we have thunderous praise in song, anointed messages and teachings that prompt excitement among God people, but might there be a misinterpretation of God Glorious Presence in our midst? Is our worship intended for intimate fellowship with God? Or merely to gain God favor for a life of peace and comfort..that we might squeak by in our existence here with assurance of residence in His eternal kingdom?
In Psalm 139:23-24, David asks God to search within his innermost being for anything that might separate him from the glory of God Holy Presence, knowing that he in himself is unaware of his own carnal desires. (Jeremiah 17:9).
We have to courageously ask ourselves What is preventing our total sanctification? Then we must decide to what we will surrender our lives, or to whom we can trust the keeping of our souls? Is knowing Him (John 17), the ultimate target of your affections and desires and is unrestricted worship of Christ your top priority?
I believe that at times we can be in deepest reverence and worship during our quietest periods of meditating on His Holy Word. The lifting of hands and sounds of praise are not always a sign of true worship, if our spirit is not prompting those actions. Beware of teaching seminars and practice sessions of communal prayer and worship; methodology which claims to be powerful and effective ways of getting God attention, favor and blessings. True worship comes from our innermost being, generating faith that pleases our Heavenly Father and separates us from worldly glitter and fleshly desires.
True worship is a place of very personal, intimate intercourse of our souls with His Glorious Presence, where time no longer is measured and this present existence is of little or no consequence. We no longer pray for His hand of provision or blessings, but rather seek to remain right there in His presence, no longer conscious of our natural existence.
Jacob, Isaiah and Peter at times fell into a trance as they witnessed God Glorious Presence. Even Baalam, a profiteering so-called prophet, experienced the awesome majesty of the Holy. Daniel as well, in the lion den, focused his mind and heart on God, separating his being from hungry lions.
When Uzzah touched the Arch of the Covenant with his hand, he was struck dead, approaching the Glory of God in his flesh. We cannot ever come into His glory bound up in all of our unbridled desires, and expect God to respond as we attempt to draw near His Glorious Holiness. Only through the implementation of the New Covenant, brokenness and complete humility, the birthing of new life in Him can be established and proceed.
Be blessed,

Salt and Light to a Dark and Dying World 

Dear Friends and Family,
          In the Book of Matthew, the fifth chapter, Jesus in speaking to His followers, says that they are to be salt and light, to a dark and dying world.  In all the violence and turmoil we are experiencing and observe through various media outlets, hope, joy and peace have become mere words, devoid of experiential, personal understanding and experience.
          Salt is meant to enhance flavor, and Light displaces darkness.  Does this describe the reflection of your life to others?  Does your light so shine before others through your good works?  Do your words of encouragement leave a pleasant taste in the minds and hearts of those in your company?
          During this season of mirth, we have excellent opportunity to reach out and gently touch lives and bring new meaning to Hanukkah and Christmas by merely sharing the love of Jesus with a perishing world, starving for truth.  Just Do It!
Matthew 5:13-16
Just a servant,
 
Hank

A remembrance ceremony of 9/11

September 4, 2015
A week from today, there will be a remembrance ceremony of 9/11, a day that will never be forgotten in the hearts and minds of many Americans. I remember exactly where I was and what I was doing when I first heard Peter Jennings on my truck radio, seemingly choking and trying to convey to his listeners what was happening in New York that morning. I was scheduled to attend a Hardware Presentation later that day, but it was cancelled due to the events that shocked America into some harsh realities of how vulnerable and frail our existence in this life can be. Instead of attending that hardware show, I found myself going to a Prayer Service that evening with a wonderful group of fellow believers, who realized that our great nation, the most powerful in the world, needed to be awakened from the slumber of complacency toward sin.
Daniel, in chapter 9, found himself and his people of Israel, in a much weakened condition of heart and mind toward the God of all creation. He realized that, without the intervention of the Holy One, they were all doomed to perish. Today, we find ourselves in very similar circumstances. The financial markets, not just Wall Street, but globally, are so fragile, that the world could fall into ruin and despair over worldwide depression; the End Time Prophecies of Matthew 24 loom menacingly before us. Instead of falling prostrate before the King, America has chosen to shake its fist at God, and scoff at His Holiness and Righteousness. Revelation 18:17 declares that in an instant, the wealth of the mighty will vanish. One of the Presidential Candidates running for office arrogantly declares his riches, without acknowledging Gods blessings upon his life, could soon be impoverished in a brief moment of time. The Middle East seems to be in flames, and Israels existence is challenged on every side, even here in the U.S.A.
Even as the call went out though Isaiah, the Prophet to the nation of Israel, the call to repentance goes out, not to the world, but to the Church. The problem is that the Church today, some 350 Protestant Denominations, as well as the Catholic Church, will not understand or perceive the lateness of the hour and will go about with blindness and dullness of hearing. They willingly ignore the call to repentance. Judgement begins in the House of God, not the world! Saints, surrender to the gentle wooing of the Holy Spirit and allow Him to conform you into the image of Gods dear Son. The hour is upon us.

In His love,
Pastor Hank
Read Rev.17:3-6 and see the image of our great nation.

Religious Gimmickry 

Several years ago, David Wilkerson wrote a book which exposed much of what was taking place in the church at that time. Church services and special evangelistic meetings tagged as Visitations by Gods Holy Spirit designed to energize believers and refresh those who had become spiritually despondent. The name of the book was The Charismatic Itch. I grew up in such a fellowship and loved the people who attended faithfully. I made many sincere Christian friends whose love for Jesus was never in doubt.
Today, the church has changed to a great degree. It has become more entrenched with doctrines reeking of demonic influence, diluting the true power of holiness and Gods Word of Truth.
II Timothy 4:1-5 issues a strong warning from Paul to his beloved Timothy to beware of those who teach strange doctrine. Laughing, falling down slain in the spirit, praying soothing, relaxing prayers, babblings which represent other tongues, screaming at God in prayer, energetic displays of flailing, running, jumping and other physical manifestations of unorthodox activities created to produce excitement in worship.
James 4:10 Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up. Do not ignore the gifts of the Holy Spirit, but dont grieve God with your interpretation of how they are to be used for the edifying of the body of Christ. Be filled with the Holy Spirit; dont chase Him off, dont put words in Gods mouth! Our Fathers plans for us are far-reaching and include all of eternity. What eternal benefits are there in the activities and rites that take place in some of our churches today? Will we fall out laughing when we come into Gods presence? Will He knock us unconscious when He passes by? Our feelings and senses were created for His, as well as for our, pleasure. I believe Jesus desires a relationship that encompasses the whole realm of our soul: mind, will and emotions. We have a distorted understanding of what and how to express and release our emotional being. In focusing our mind and will and surrendering them to His desires and will, makes us one in Him.
In His love,
Pastor Hank

Light and Darkness  

Let there be light was the first recorded act of God in the creation history of Genesis. God spoke, and it was. The darkness was eternally separated from what God saw as good. The New Testament refers to Gods Word as a sword. In the book of Revelation, chapter 19, verse 15, His Word declares that Jesus would strike the nations with a sword that proceeds out of His mouth. The word of God has never changed. It continues today to separate light from darkness, His Holiness from sin. Those who love darkness and sin are blinded by the light of His Holiness and Truth. They despise it, and they despise those who cling to the truth of Gods Holy Word. There is a great chasm that separates light and dark. Is it any wonder that the conflicts of this generation today are ignited by the moral absolutes of Gods Word? As believers, we must be prepared, not surprised, by the coming persecution which is directed at those of us who seek to live Godly lives according to His will and purpose. Remember, all those who live Godly in Christ shall suffer persecution. But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived. IITim.3:12-13 I Thessalonians 5:16, instructs us to Pray without ceasing. That is our source of strength and a lifeline that will illuminate our path when the persecution comes.
In His Love,
Pastor Hank

The Hearing Heart 

March 17, 2015
1st Samuel, chapters 9 and 10, tell of the first encounter the prophet, Samuel, had with the future king of Israel, Saul, son of Kish, a Benjamite. After an unusual introduction, dinner, some prophetic utterances, an anointing with oil, something very special took place that changed Sauls life: God gave him another heart (chapter 10, vs. 9). After his official coronation, Saul began to reign. Unfortunately for him, he did not nurture his new heart by seeking God and doing things according to the Word of the Lord.
When a person has a heart transplant, there are certain procedures following the surgery which must be followed to insure the new organ will not be rejected. Close monitoring and medications must be followed by the recipient for the rest of his or her life. The same is true for believers who have been touched by the Spirit of God, whose hearts have taken a new direction. Prayer and study of the Holy Scriptures is vital for growth and maturity, or the relationship that our Heavenly Father desires will never develop. The mind of Christ, His righteousness, and His kingdom, will never be established in the new believers life without the sacrificial surrender and eventual death of the old man. Old habits continually rise up to challenge the Holy Spirits cleansing work, and seek to abort the new life of Christ in us, the hope of glory. We tend to neglect the new disciplines during times of stress and anxiety, and soon it becomes easier to succumb to excuses. Before long, unaware of the danger, we have fallen back to our old ways and like Saul, we have rejected the new heart and it has become dull of hearing.
Beware of the intrusion of the world! It comes in many forms. 1st John 2:15 declares a need for total separation from fleshly lusts and desires is vital for the new heart to retain health and growth. Many teachings in the church today proclaim that it is alright to ask and possess nice things, because God desires that His people have the best of everything. Take heed, the heart is listening (See Jer. 17:9)
In His love,
Pastor Hank

In spite of all the commotion that rages all around us

December 14, 2014 
Dear Friends,
In spite of all the commotion that rages all around us, the peace of God is present to calm the most violent of storms. We still experience times of anguish and grief, especially when we hear of innocent young ones that are cut off suddenly in life, due to accidents, sickness, or senseless acts of hatred. Our brethren in the Middle East and Africa are still being chased from their homes and lands when religious fanatics are driven to violence in exacting judgment on others their desire to appease their god's thirst for blood and death. Still, we are offered life, joy, and a peace that surpasses all understanding. Also, a promise, that when all these things take place, Christ speaks to our innermost being, "Look up, for your redemption draweth nigh."
         
What are we to do as we await His appearing? "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works." What are these good works of which the scriptures speak?  Being a source of comfort to those who are hurting, a source of life to those who are lost, and a source of encouragement and light to those who are in great confusion and darkness.
Keep up the good fight of faith through our brief time here by praying constantly and fulfilling the call of intercession. Don't let up! Just when we think that everything around us is about to collapse, know that our Heavenly Father is wrapping up His plan and purpose in glorious fashion. Be certain that God sees everything that goes on, and that He indeed will complete the work in us that He started. The key to His completed work in us lies in our total surrender to the leadership of His Holy Spirit. Billy Graham's crusade meetings were not complete without an alter call. The hymn that was played during that altar call was "Just As I Am." The Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the Lamb of God, will be glorified in His church body. Be a part of something glorious.
In His Love,
Pastor Hank

When battling a prolonged illness

December 8, 2014
Friends,
When battling a prolonged illness, we have a tendency to wonder if our heavenly Father is trying to get a message to us, or if this is a test of faith. I, for one, do not question Gods sovereignty, nor do I put off seeking relief from the discomfort and pain. After agreement prayer with my wife, I begin to treat myself with medication or seek a doctors advice to conquer the attack, then put it behind me.
People who name and claim to live by faith are quick to express their beliefs and condemn the use of medications and doctors. I say to that According to your faith, so be it unto you. Romans 12:3 says, I believe, as a warning to all of us, not to judge others because their faith does not measure up to ours.
I can relate to the apostles when they said to Jesus Increase our faith. He was actually teaching them regarding forgiveness, which may be a very real challenge to faith. Faith, I believe, is a personal character quality that the Holy Spirit develops in the heart of every sincere believer in Christ. The scriptures are very clear in that the sincerity of a believers heart is what makes faith powerful and effective. See Habakkuk 2:4 and Romans 1:17.
In His Love,
Pastor Hank

Timothy 6:9-10

09/10/2014 
Friends,
I Timothy 6:9-10 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and unto many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. (NKJ)
Many years ago, my wife and I found ourselves caught up in several get rich quick opportunities, which, through the encouragement of fellow Christian believers, became a snare that had us tied up in meetings and various endeavors, consuming our time and thoughts.
We did not realize all that was happening, the lies of noble investments and charitable giving were the foundation of hypocrisy to which we had fallen prey. You will have financial freedom to pay all your debts, support missions and the local church, and still buy the best of all youve ever dreamed of.
The prosperity doctrine has enslaved many Christian believers and has become the most powerful tool that the enemy has wielded in his vast arsenal of entrapment. By not rightly dividing the Word of Truth, Christians have allowed the enemy to use Gods word out of context, and without resistance, they have followed the evil lusts of their own hearts desires.
The most powerful tool we have to fight off the enemys lies is still the Holy Word of God. Jesus demonstrated this in his forty day battle in the wilderness after being baptized by John.
II Timothy 2:15 is the key to victory, and James 4:7-8 must be applied for our understanding of scripture through a pure heart. Anything that exalts itself against the knowledge of God must be totally destroyed in order for us to have the freedom necessary to serve God without blemish.
In His Love,
Pastor Hank

The Truth and Grace of Gods character

04/07/14
The Truth and Grace of Gods character is best illustrated in a scene at Golgotha as Jesus was dying; Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do (Luke 23:34).  Even on the cross, Jesus was interceding on behalf of those who opposed the New Covenant, a great difference from the Old Testament teaching of law and justice.  Look at Davids request for those who opposed his goodness and love.  In Psalm 109, the king asks God to bring an end to his enemies with no chance of mercy; to bring swift judgment to him and to all his generations to follow.  Verses 6 through 20 he relentlessly implores
God to destroy all remembrance of them without recourse, but for himself, David asks God to bathe him in His mercy and to accept his offering of prayer and fasting.
Was David indeed justified in his suppliant cry?  Oh yes.  But Gods mercy goes beyond human understanding and natural reasoning.  John 1:17 compares the law of Moses to the New Covenant implemented through the atonement of Christ.  The fruit of this Grace and Truth solidifies our hope of a heavenly home when the believer has submitted himself to being crucified with Christ, so that he may eventually be glorified with Him.  The songwriter implores: Let us then be true and faithful, trusting,
serving every day til we all get to heaven.
In His love,
Pastor Hank

Grace and Peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God

February 24, 2014
Grace and Peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord, as His divine power has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who has called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. (II Peter 2:2-4) Whew!
That was a mouthful, all jammed into one sentence, but a focused mind full of thought and meditation is required to sort it all out!
Do I want to be a partaker of the divine nature? Of course I do! How do I get there? What promises are Peter referring to? There is corruption all around ushow do we escape? Am I still attached to things I love in this world? (I John 2:15) Do I still search for peace in the wrong places? Knowledge is mentioned twice in these verses: knowledge of God (verse 2) and knowledge if Him (verse 3). Is your utmost desire to know God the Father and His Son, Jesus? If not, then this could be your greatest problem as an overcomer. A close intimacy with Him is His desire, but that may not be yours. Therefore, you may be frustrating the Grace He offers. Pray, right now! Dont hesitate for a moment. He called us unto Himself by glory and virtue. Dont miss that calling.
Pastor Hank

Conviction can crush the souls longing for freedom

February 18, 2014 
Friends,
Conviction can crush the souls longing for freedom, but our heavenly Father lovingly lifts us up, dusts us off and challenges us to his righteousness. After the gift of repentance takes root, He brings His comfort and peace.
I have struggled at times because of past sins that may have deeply hurt people Ive known in my pre-Christian past. Even now, my memory of them seems to haunt and trouble me. I know that God has forgiven me of those evil times, but I will probably never forget what effect it may have had on the lives of those who thought of me as a close friend. David must have struggled regarding Bathshebas husband, Uriah, who was so loyal to the King even unto death.
Forgiveness of self is essential to a productive Christian walk or our enemy will use it to cripple us and make our testimony ineffective. The prayer of faith will save the sick (soul) and God will raise him up. James 5:15
Pastor Hank

Misappropriating God's Word 

Speak the Word only and allow your faith to rise up and claim what you feel is rightfully yours. God will honor His Word and your faith. After all, He is your Heavenly Father, so dont be afraid to ask largely!
The preachers word flowed with almost an arrogant tone. He had been a minister and Bible teacher for over thirty years, so he must really be acquainted with faith and knowledge of the scripture. My friend said that the Lord told him that He would give him the desires of his heart and that promise would be all he would need to acquire the new house he wanted.
I went back home with a troubled heart. Something was not right. I looked up Psalm 37:4 and found my friends scriptural promise, but it comes with a precursor which states Delight thyself also in the Lord; and. I realized that my desires change after I find delight in Him.
The scriptures are never to be used as a means to fulfill our evil lusts and desires, but if you will look up 2 Timothy 3:16, you will find the rest of the story.
Pastor Hank

Not I, But Christ

July 2013  
 
My friends,
I am currently reading a book titled Not I, but Christ authored by Jason Henderson. Not too far along in the first few chapters, I realized how little of my life is surrendered to the One in whose image I am created. My soul is so firmly entrenched in the things of this world, the lusts of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, little room is left for the Holy Spirit to develop Gods righteousness and His kingdom in me. After 40 years of Christian living I question where I stand as a disciple of Jesus, and I fight constantly against thoughts of measuring up to Gods standards of Holy living.not a good testimony for one who pastors, counsels and tries to encourage others in their walk with Christ. Has my faith become so diluted by the cares of this life that the future Kingdom vision is no longer a source of great excitement and power? I find great comfort in Phil. 1:6, which convinces me that He will never let me fall beyond His reach.
The enduring theme of this book is total surrender to Him who is able to keep me (II Tim. 1:12). Total trust leaves little room for fear, doubt, or confusion if the fullness of His life is channeled through me. What must take place in my life for this born again experience to manifest and firmly take root, then produce much fruit? I will probably have to read through this book more than once before fully digesting the truth as presented by this man, who has experienced adversity totally foreign to anything to which I was ever exposed. But then again, I have read and re-read the scriptures, and still I realize that I am only now beginning to understand simple truths regarding my being a new creature in Christ Jesus.
Take heart, brethren, God is not finished with us yet. As a slogan of a particular beverage product states: Stay thirsty my friends. Remember your thirst for His righteousness needs to be quenched, and your hunger can only be satisfied by His Holy Word. He loves you.
Pastor Hank
House Of Hope Church
In Tampa, Florida
4320 W. Bay to Bay Blvd.
Tampa, FL 33629
813-837-4535
Office Hours:
Monday–Friday: 9 a.m. – Noon
James 5:15-16
"15 The prayer of faith shall save the sick and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he has committed sin, they shall be forgiven him. 16 Confess your faults one to another and pray one for another that ye may be healed. The effectual, fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much." 
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