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Articles & Lessons

Welcome to Grace Tabernacle's articles and lessons. These articles and teachings will cover a multitude of topics from man's disobedience in the garden to the seven churches addressed in the book of Revelation. There are four things you should do as you go through these lessons:

  1. Listen ............ and think about what you heard
  2. Read ............. and think about what you read
  3. Study ............ and think about what you studied
  4. Memorize ...... and think about what you memorized
Now, apply what you heard, read, studied, and memorized.  How does one apply the scriptures?  Four points follow.

  1. Make it practical
  2. Make it personal
  3. Make it possible
  4. Make it provable

Empowerment for Us Today

posted Apr 4, 2014, 1:28 PM by Allen Lundy   [ updated Mar 4, 2017, 4:57 AM by Antonio Lundy ]

“And of Asher he said, 'Most blessed of sons be Asher; let him be the favorite of his brothers, and let him dip his foot in oil . Your bars shall be iron and bronze, and as your days, so shall your strength be" Deut.33:24)

So much of life in modern society is based on ability. We look at athletes who can run, throw, tackle, flip, etc. and watch them for hours on television.  We apply for jobs where owners are looking  for someone who can do the tasks skillfully and efficiently.  But what is God looking for?  Our perfect example is the Lord Jesus Christ.  Here are some of His words:  "I can do nothing on my own..." (John 5:30).  He lived in a state of absolute dependence on His heavenly Father, at every moment of every day.  That is life as God intended it.  Paul learned this lesson when the Lord said to him, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness" and Paul goes on to say, "Therefore I will boast... of my weakness, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me... for the sake of Christ, I am content with weakness..." (2 Corinthians 12:9-10). 

 Now, I've heard a lot of people brag and boast, but not many emphasize their inability!  So where does our strength come from?  The source of strength is God.  "His delight is not in the strength of the horse, nor his pleasure in the legs of a man, but the Lord takes pleasure in those who fear him, in those whose hope in his steadfast love" (Psalm 147:10-11).  So we can tap into the eternal, fresh spring of power when we turn our eyes and expectation on the living God.  Have people let you down?  He won't.  Has life left you wounded?  He will heal you.   Maybe our weaknesses and inabilities are designed to re-orient our focus on our savior.  Let's draw near to Him, and watch Him draw near to us.  He can do it a whole lot better than we can!"  Thanks Art for allowing God to use you as he does.   

Contributed by:  Minister Art Cuneo, GTC

 

Is perfection possible?

posted Feb 4, 2014, 11:45 AM by Allen Lundy   [ updated Apr 9, 2015, 7:21 PM by Antonio Lundy ]

In the fifth chapter of Matthew, these are the words of the Messiah:   "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect."  Let us just respond to this question in this way.

Is perfection possible? Yes, on the basis of the Messiah's mandate to be perfect, even as...

Let us put first things first.  Out of the 21 translations of Matthew 5:48, only one of 21 translations uses a different word for "perfect."  

Weymouth New Testament

You however are to be complete in goodness, as your Heavenly Father is "complet".  Oops, complete is misspelled at the end of the previous sentence.  It is, therefore, incomplete.  Without a relationship with the Messiah (the Lord Jesus Christ), seems to me, we are also incomplete, imperfect.  To get to the root of the matter, it seems necessary to turn to Old Testament Scriptures where the word is first used.  

"These are the generations of Noah: Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God" (Genesis 6:9). 

So right here we find that many years before Christ uttered the words in Matthew 5:48, there was a man on the earth who was perfect in his generation!  Wow.  How many today can say that they are following in the footsteps of Noah?  The word perfect needs to be defined.  The Strong Concordance addresses it (perfect) in the following manner:

Strong's Exhaustive Concordance:  Hebrew word: tamim, #8549 

  1. Adjective: Without blemish, complete, full, perfect, sincerely, sound, without spot, and undefiled
  2. Verb: Root word is tamam; entire (literally, figuratively or morally); also (as noun) integrity, truth -- without blemish, complete, full, perfect, sincerely (-ity), sound, without spot, undefiled, upright(-ly), whole.
So, let us just clear the air:  None of us are perfect as Christ was perfect, that is, without sin or transgression.  But this does not mean we cannot meet the perfect mandate.  How so?  Glad you asked.  
  • By being men and women with integrity, as was Noah before his drunkeness
  • By fearing "the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness" (Joshua 24:14a)
  • By shunning evil (Job 1:1)
  • By having our hearts fully committed to the LORD our God, to live by his decrees and obey his commands, ....." (I Kings 8:61)
  • By being sincere and upright in our relationship to Jehovah (Deuteronomy 18:13)
  • By being sound and wholesome in all that we do
  • By not being immoral, even in our thinking (Matthew 5:28)
===================================================================================
Use the foregoing information to dig a little further into this key subject to get additional knowledge, understanding and wisdom --- and then apply as the "shoe" fits.  
  • What is Christ asking us to be? Perfect!! In what way!
  • Is it possible to achieve perfection in this life?  YES! NO!
  • How did Abraham meet the "be thou perfect" mandate? 
  • How can we meet the same mandate in layman terms, being perfect in our thinking, being fully assured, perfect and entire, perfect and complete, safe at peace, able to bring something to an end and finally, a man or woman of integrity?

A Word On Desperation

posted Aug 28, 2013, 2:55 PM by Allen Lundy

Desperate                                                  Author:  Kimberly Thompson

We live our lives and ask/expect God to bless our plans but how much of all this are you willing to give up for Jesus? 

Let's talk about this word "desperate" for a moment. Webster's dictionary describes "Desperate" as: having lost hope, a desperate spirit crying for relief.

What would cause one to lose hope or cry for relief?   Let's take a look at Jonah's situation as an example.

Starting from the book of Jonah chapter 1 verse 1-17.   God gave Jonah a word to warn the people of Nineveh that his wrath would fall upon them if they did not repent; but Jonah rejected that word because of what: principle, bitterness, or vengeance perhaps?   We will never know exactly what was running thru his mind at the time; but what we can evaluate is that his selfish pride would not allow him to surrender to God's will immediately.   He ran from God and in the process put the fishermen on the boat to Tar-shish in danger.   The fishermen who had no knowledge of God feared him and acted in obedience by throwing Jonah overboard and in return were saved.

After being swallowed up, Jonah was in the belly of the whale for three days and compared this time of solitude to being in prison.  He utilized this time to reconnect with God in desperation (Jonah 2).  Ultimately he was stuck between a rock and a hard place, with his only choice to be surrender or die.   We all know how the rest of the story goes but what we fail to realize sometimes is that it's not just a story. 

Using this passage into our own lives, is God looking to grasp our attention by allowing a whale to come our way? Whether its financial, relationships, legal issues, health issues, mental turmoil, and so forth.  Here’s the question?

 How long, brothers and sisters, will you sit in the belly of the whale before you reach desperation?  By stripping away all the factors keeping us from truly connecting with Jesus Christ --- will reveal the things most important to you and I but by surrendering to him heart, mind and body (Romans 12:1-2), this will reveal his will for our lives.

In the voice of the most interesting man on earth: "Stay desperate my friends."  Click here for more on desperation.

What Do We Do?

posted Jun 1, 2013, 1:27 PM by Allen Lundy

“Tell them this, God’s Message:  “‘Do people fall down and not get up?   Or take the wrong road and then just keep going?   So why does this people go backward, and just keep on going—backward.  They stubbornly hold on to their illusions, refuse to change direction.  I listened carefully but heard not so much as a whisper.  No one expressed one word of regret.  Not a single “I’m sorry” did I hear.  They just kept at it, blindly and stupidly banging their heads against a brick wall.  Cranes know when it’s time to move south for winter.  And robins, warblers, and bluebirds know when it’s time come back again.  But my people? My people know nothing, not the first thing of God and his rule. (Message Jer. 5-7)  

Author:  Elder Al Lundy

Nehemiah, Man of Prayer, Staying in the Flow

posted Mar 19, 2013, 8:14 AM by Allen Lundy

What do you when you get troubling news that causes you to sit down!  Nehemiah offers us a course of action that  all of us can follow.  When you read the account, you will find this King's cupbearer was proactive and not reactive as others who have faced with a similar situation.  At one time another or another, all of us will find ourselves in this kind of predicament. Consider the words of Paul in 2 Corinthians 4:8.

We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair;  Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;  10 Always bearing about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.”

Author: Elder Al undy

Eight Points for Identifying False Religions

posted Dec 13, 2012, 11:56 AM by Allen Lundy

This is part I of a series we will continue during 2013.  This first lesson focuses on eight points for identifying false religions, including false apostles, which is the first of the eight points addressed.  This is a power point presentation. 

Click on the presentation and download to your computer.

Author:  Elder Al Lundy

Smooth Stones

posted Sep 5, 2012, 10:28 AM by Antonio Lundy

Minister Art Cuneo

David was a giant killer who did not come to Goliath with a sword or a  spear, but he came in the name of the LORD.  This teaching is a reminder that as men and women of God, we can not afford to put trust in our own height and strength, or a sword and spear but, we must always put our trust in the LORD (Psalm 46). With orders from Saul (1 Samuel 17:37), David moved forward to take down the giant.

Then Saul clothed David with his garments and put a bronze helmet on his head, and he clothed him with armor.

David girded his sword over his armor and tried to walk, for he had not tested them. So David said to Saul, “I cannot go with these, for I have not tested them.” And David took them off.

He took his stick in his hand and chose for himself five smooth stones from the brook, and put them in the shepherd’s bag which he had, even in his pouch, and his sling was in his hand; and he approached the Philistine”   (1 Samuel 17:38-40, NASB).

 David and Goliath has become so familiar to us that even people who don’t read the Bible know the basics; it is used as a metaphor when contrasting an insurmountable obstacle with the hope of overcoming it.  But there are some interesting things about this account that the LORD decided to include in scripture.  Why wouldn’t David choose the conventional weapons and armor of his day – man-made forged, hammered, “standard” instruments for battle?  Why would he choose one stone over another?  What was it about the stones that he chose that made them useful?   In the above passage the key word is “TESTED.”

In Hebrew, the word is ‘naw-saw,’ #H5254, and almost every time it is used in the Old Testament, it means ‘to put to the test, to prove, attempt to learn the true nature of something’.  David had not put these to use in real life circumstances.  He didn’t know how they would perform.  However, he KNEW where to find tested, tried and true weapons that had been tested; HE WENT TO THE BROOK!  Let’s bring this home. Where does Jesus go to get people He KNOWS He can use?  Does He go to the “wise”, the “powerful”, the “noble”, the “approved-by-humans” methods?  I remember reading that

“…God chose the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised…” (1 Corinthians 1:26-31, KJV). 

Where are you right now?  Are you in a brook?  Have you been there for a while?  Take heart!  Be encouraged!  The brook is a place to FORM YOU INTO A SMOOTH STONE!  Those waters of affliction relentlessly cascading over every square inch of your life are forging you into a weapon that God will use!  You may have been kicked into the brook; someone nonchalantly left you there and went on their merry way.  Remember this: the Lord is the one who sees everything; you are not forgotten!  When it has done its work, He will pick you up out of the brook and put you with some other smooth stones and SLING YOU INTO YOUR DESTINY!  He won’t go the rock quarry – He needs aerodynamic proven stones!  Listen to this quote from Michelangelo: 

“In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action.  I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it.”  

What does God see in you?  More than you or anybody else does.  Be encouraged in that!  Father help us to wait on you and allow you to change us – even when it seems like a slow process, and it is uncomfortable.  Thank you that you haven’t forgotten us!  You are the ‘God of hope’… in Jesus’ name.  Amen.

Set Yourselves and Take a Stand

posted Sep 5, 2012, 10:14 AM by Antonio Lundy

Elder Al Lundy

 Let us take a brief look first at what God has been sharing with us through our set man of God.  Through a series of lessons, God has blessed the man of God to let us know that there are some battles where we need to just step back and let God do what He needs to do.  Look at the words of 2 Chronicles 20:14:17.

"Then upon Jahaziel the son of Zechariah, the son of Benaiah, the son of Jeiel, the son of Mattaniah, a Levite of the sons of Asaph, came the Spirit of the Lord in the midst of the congregation;  And he said, Hearken ye, all Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem, and thou king Jehoshaphat, Thus saith the Lord unto you, Be not afraid nor dismayed by reason of this great multitude; for the battle is not yours, but God's.  To morrow go ye down against them: behold, they come up by the cliff of Ziz; and ye shall find them at the end of the brook, before the wilderness of Jeruel.  Ye shall not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves, stand ye still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; to morrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you"  (2 Chronicles 20:14-17).


Isn’t it good to know that when you are out on the battlefield in the heat of the battle that the Lord can send the Spirit of the Lord right in the midst of the congregation and give you a WORD?   It seems that no matter what kind of battle you are going through, God always provides His covenant people a way of escape.  Look at Israel and all those years they were in Egypt and God made a way of escape for them.   An example is found in the book of Exodus:

“And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever” (Exodus 14:13).

Think about Israel’s 40 year journey in the wilderness, a situation brought about because of their own disobedience and yet God provided a way of escape, across the Jordan and into the promise land.  Amazing to say the least.

Think about David, who allowed himself to be caught up with a married woman and then later murdered her husband, but God made a way of escape.  Thank God for men like the prophet Nathan who stepped forward and addressed David's problem.  David is the same man who later became a giant killer.  

Think about the battles you have faced over just the last 12 months and how God stepped in and brought all of you and me out of them all.  And brought you (me) to a place of safety and gave us peace.  He brought us out of things such as: sexual perversion, greed, lust and anger.

In the book of Nehemiah, we find a man there who took on the heavy task of bringing restoration to Jerusalem, a place where the wall had been torn down and the gates thereof burned with fire (See Nehemiah 1:1-3).  Here, the Bible says that the gates were burned with fire and the walls were torn down.  They obviously needed some help!  And to make matters worse, the people were in great affliction.  It is times like these, we have got to set ourselves and take a stand.  

Knowing that when we take that stand, there is an enemy that is waiting to hinder the work that God has set before us but still we have to set ourselves and take a stand!  Let us now take an even closer look at Nehemiah and this man of God who was not afraid take a stand.  The scripture text is found in Nehemiah chapter 1 verses 1-11

"1 The words of Nehemiah the son of Hachaliah. And it came to pass in the month Chisleu, in the twentieth year, as I was in Shushan the palace,  

2 That Hanani, one of my brethren, came, he and certain men of Judah; and I asked them concerning the Jews that had escaped, which were left of the captivity, and concerning Jerusalem. 

 3 And they said unto me, The remnant that are left of the captivity there in the province are in great affliction and reproach: the wall of Jerusalem also is broken down, and the gates thereof are burned with fire. 

4 And it came to pass, when I heard these words, that I sat down and wept, and mourned certain days, and fasted, and prayed before the God of heaven,

5 And said, I beseech thee, O Lord God of heaven, the great and terrible God, that keepeth covenant and mercy for them that love him and observe his commandments:

6 Let thine ear now be attentive, and thine eyes open, that thou mayest hear the prayer of thy servant, which I pray before thee now, day and night, for the children of Israel thy servants, and confess the sins of the children of Israel, which we have sinned against thee: both I and my father's house have sinned.

7 We have dealt very corruptly against thee, and have not kept the commandments, nor the statutes, nor the judgments, which thou commandedst thy servant Moses.

8 Remember, I beseech thee, the word that thou commandedst thy servant Moses, saying, If ye transgress, I will scatter you abroad among the nations:

9 But if ye turn unto me, and keep my commandments, and do them; though there were of you cast out unto the uttermost part of the heaven, yet will I gather them from thence, and will bring them unto the place that I have chosen to set my name there.

10 Now these are thy servants and thy people, whom thou hast redeemed by thy great power, and by thy strong hand.

11 O Lord, I beseech thee, let now thine ear be attentive to the prayer of thy servant, and to the prayer of thy servants, who desire to fear thy name: and prosper, I pray thee, thy servant this day, and grant him mercy in the sight of this man. For I was the king's cupbearer."

His First stand

Many of us would jump us and be ready to mount our beast and get on down to Jerusalem to assess the situation.  Let’s learn a lesson from Nehemiah.  Here is what he did once he heard the report from his breathen:

1.  He sat down
2.  He wept (shedded tears as an expression of emotion)
3.  He mourned certain days (to feel or express grief or sorrow)
4.  He fasted 
5.  He prayed before God (This one is critical)

In John Maxwell’s Leadership Bible, page 575, he states:  

“Something powerful happens when a leader prays and stands in the gap for his people." And he goes on to say that "intercession must always be a primary role for a leader.”

John Maxwell goes on to say that prayer accomplishes four things (based on his experiences):

1.   "Prayer internalizes the burden, deepening our ownership of a need."

2.  "Prayer insists that we quiet our hearts and wait, slowing us down to receive from God."

3.  "Prayer infuses the vision, enabling us to see what God wants us to do."  infuses means to: 

           a. To put into or introduce as if by pouring: infused new vigor into the movement.
           b. To fill or cause to be filled with something: infused them with a love of the land.
           c. To introduce (a solution) into the body through a vein for therapeutic purposes.

4.  "Prayer initiates the vision’s fulfillment, acting as a catalyst for us to act."

His Second stand

Nehemiah devoted himself to many days of weeping, mourning, fasting and praying.  
Look at chapter 2, verses 1-6:

"1 And it came to pass in the month Nisan, in the twentieth year of Artaxerxes the king, [that] wine [was] before him: and I took up the wine, and gave [it] unto the king. Now I had not been [beforetime] sad in his presence.  

2 Wherefore the king said unto me, Why [is] thy countenance sad, seeing thou [art] not sick? this [is] nothing [else] but sorrow of heart. Then I was very sore afraid,"

 Nehemiah was gripped with total fear but he took a stand.

"3 And said unto the king, Let the king live for ever: why should not my countenance be sad, when the city, the place of my fathers' sepulchres, [lieth] waste, and the gates thereof are consumed with fire? 

4 Then the king said unto me, For what dost thou make request? So I prayed to the God of heaven.  (no less than 11 times, he was standing in prayer)

5 And I said unto the king, If it please the king, and if thy servant have found favour in thy sight, that thou wouldest send me unto Judah, unto the city of my fathers' sepulchres, that I may build it.

6 And the king said unto me, (the queen also sitting by him,) For how long shall thy journey be? and when wilt thou return? So it pleased the king to send me; and I set him a time.” (Nehemiah 2:1-6).

Here are some nuggets to take away

Nehemiah has taught me and should teach all of us that when dire situations do arise in our lives, we need to take a proactive rather than a reactive approach to the situation.

He took the initiative in praying, he took the initiative in planning the rebuilding project,and he took the initiative in persuading the people to act and to get the job done.

His Third Stand…against the enemy    

The enemy will attempt to get in our way and bring discouragement. Take a stand!  
Look at what happened when the enemy heard that Nehemiah had taken off on his mission.

“When Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, heard (of it), it grieved them exceedingly that there was come a man to seek the welfare of the children of Israel" (Nehemiah 6:10).

Seems to be that when one is on a mission for God, one has to be ready to take a stand because it will grieve the enemy exceedingly (v10) and that enemy, that adversary, will do any and every thing possible to stop the work.  When we take a stand, we cannot afford to be like fools but use wisdom in all that we do.  Take a look how Paul in the New Living Translation addresses this issue.

 “So be careful how you live. Don’t live like fools, but like those who are wise. 16 Make the most of every opportunity in these evil days. Don’t act thoughtlessly, but understand what the Lord wants you to do. Don’t be drunk with wine, because that will ruin your life. Instead, be filled with the Holy Spirit, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs among yourselves, and making music to the Lord in your hearts.  And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ" (Ephesians 5:15-20). 

His Fourth Stand – Was When the people made up their mind to stand with him

Keep the following in mind:  the enemy never quits.  So we have to always be ready to take a stand even when we feel we are under severe distress.

“Then said I unto them, Ye see the distress that we are in, how Jerusalem lieth waste, and the gates thereof are burned with fire: come, and let us build up the wall of Jerusalem, that we be no more a reproach.  Then I told them of the hand of my God which was good upon me; as also the king's words that he had spoken unto me.  And they said, Let us rise up and build. So they strengthened their hands for this good work.  But when Sanballat the Horonite, and Tobiah the servant, the Ammonite, and Geshem the Arabian, heard it, they laughed us to scorn, and despised us, and said, What is this thing that ye do? will ye rebel against the king” (Nehemiah 2:17-19).

His Fifth Stand:  against a persistent enemy

The Lord and His word has a way of teaching us how to deal with a persistent enemy.  The answer:  Take a stand.

 “Now it came to pass when Sanballat, and Tobiah, and Geshem the Arabian, and the rest of our enemies, heard that I had builded the wall, and that there was no breach left therein; (though at that time I had not set up the doors upon the gates;)  That Sanballat and Geshem sent unto me, saying, Come, let us meet together in some one of the villages in the plain of Ono. But they thought to do me mischief.  And I sent messengers unto them, saying, I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down: why should the work cease, whilst I leave it, and come down to you? Yet they sent unto me four times after this sort; and I answered them after the same manner" (Nehemiah 6:1-4).  

The enemy will try every trick in the book to discourage you from doing a great work. But we need to stand, and take a stand and let them know face-to-face that the work will not cease in spite of their persistent push to stop the good work.

Our Stand

How will we respond when the enemy comes and tries to hinder the good and great work being done?  We certainly encourage you to take a stand.  Let us reemphasize that as a people of God, we have to set ourselves and stand. 

When the Bible says set yourselves and stand, it has essentially has given us an  imperatives.  What is it?  It is an order or command to do something.  In no way does it even remotely suggest that we should sat down.  No.  We are to stand fast in the liberty that Christ has given to us. So, none of can afford to stand with the enemy.  We have to take a firm stance against the enemy and all that the enemy stands for.  We have to keep on our armor and be deal with the enemy.  We have to uphold or sustain the authority that God has given us.  We have to be of a steadfast mind.  Ladies and gentleman, men and women of God, put ye on the whole armour of God and take a stand (Ephesians 6:11-14).  

“For now we live, if ye stand fast in the Lord" (1 Thessalonians 3:8)

Here is the question: Are you ready with a Nehemiah spirit to take that  stand?

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