Category Archives: Heart of the Father Blog

Better Covenant means a better future

Most of us have heard end time teaching in some form or another. This study is written to bring the focus back on the word of God, this I believe will help us keep our hope & faith in the One who is faithful. The foundational part to most popular end time teaching is Israel, as in the nation of Israel. I want to talk about this foundational part first, so we can approach any theory of end time teaching we hear or read from a biblical & contextual stance.

(This study deals with a biblical truth that will help us understand the scriptures better that usually gets referenced when an end time message is preached. We will not be touching on specific end time scriptures in this study yet.)

So at first let us look at what Jesus said about Israel as a nation(Jews). Keep in mind, Israel as a nation had a covenant with God, so according to them, they are Gods people. Lastly don’t forget throughout the new testament, that Jesus & also His disciples were sent first to Israel because God honoured the first covenant while it was still active.

Those who have received Him.

John 1:12-13 ESV

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

Notes :

Many read this today & apply it to themselves. Obviously we who accept Jesus get to be Gods children. But we apply it without thinking of the context.

The context here is the Jews of those days. Israel of the bible times that had the covenant with God. Because John 1:11 says that “He came to His own & they did not receive Him”.

That is why it is intense that it says here “But to all who did receive him” & then also “who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.”

It means the Israel(nation) that did not receive Him are not His children since they rejected Him. The fact they were Jews(blood) or had the law & Jewish culture( the will of the flesh nor of the will of man) did not make them right with God.

Jesus addresses the Jews(Israel nation) & told them about their sin.

Scripture comments : Below We have many verses to read from John 8, so read them slowly and take in the all around feel of these scriptures together.

John 8:

24 I told you that you would die in your sins, for nunless you believe that I am he you will die in your sins.” 25 So they said to him, “Who are you?” Jesus said to them, “Just what I have been telling you from the beginning. 26 I have much to say about you and much to judge, but he who sent me is true, and I declare to the world what I have heard from Him.” 27 They did not understand that he had been speaking to them about the Father. 28 So Jesus said to them, “When you have lifted up the Son of Man,  then you will know that I am he, and that I do nothing on my own authority, but speak just as the Father taught me. 29 And he who sent me is with me. He has not left me alone, for I always do the things that are pleasing to him.” 30 As he was saying these things, many believed in him.

Notes : Interesting that many believed, yet still struggled to recognize that they are slaves of sin.

31 So Jesus said to the Jews who had believed him, “If you abide in my word, you are truly my disciples, 32 and you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” 33 They answered him, We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”

34 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, everyone who practices sin is a slave to sin. 35 The slave does not remain in the house forever; the son remains forever. 36 So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed. 37 I know that you are offspring of Abraham; yet you seek to kill me because my word finds no place in you. 38 I speak of what I have seen with my Father, and you do what you have heard from your father.”

You Are of Your Father the Devil

John 8:


39
They answered him, “Abraham is our father.” Jesus said to them, If you were Abraham’s children, you would be doing the works Abraham did, 40 but now you seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth that I heard from God. This is not what Abraham did. 41 You are doing the works your father did.” They said to him, “We were not born of sexual immorality. We have one Father—even God.42 Jesus said to them, If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me. 43 Why do you not understand what I say? It is because you cannot bear to hear my word. 44 You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies. 45 But because I tell the truth, you do not believe me. 46 Which one of you convicts me of sin? If I tell the truth, why do you not believe me? 47 Whoever is of God hears the words of God. The reason why you do not hear them is that you are not of God.”

Notes : Notice here that Jesus tells the Jews they are not Abraham’s children, because of their rejection of Him. They tell Him that they have God as their Father, yet Jesus says their father is the devil! Verse 47 He tells them that they are not of God even though they believed the opposite.

Before Abraham Was, I Am

John 8:

48 The Jews answered him, “Are we not right in saying that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” 49 Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon, but I honor my Father, and you dishonor me. 50 Yet I do not seek my own glory; there is One who seeks it, and he is the judge. 51 Truly, truly, I say to you, if anyone keeps my word, he will never see death.” 52 The Jews said to him, “Now we know that you have a demon! Abraham died, as did the prophets, yet you say, ‘If anyone keeps my word, he will never taste death.’53 Are you greater than our father Abraham, who died? And the prophets died! Who do you make yourself out to be?” 54 Jesus answered, “If I glorify myself, my glory is nothing. It is my Father who glorifies me,  of whom you say, ‘He is our God.’ 55 But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. 56 Your father Abraham rejoiced that he would see my day.  He saw it and was glad.” 57 So the Jews said to him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have you seen Abraham?” 58 Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I am.” 59 So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out of the temple.

Notes : Jesus tells them how  Abraham believed Him, yet the Jews were missing that. It has always been faith that pleases God & Abraham was their example of that, but they were clinging to their heritage instead of the faith that those before them lived by.

Jesus includes other nations(Gentiles) & speaks of Israel(nation) that is thrown out.

Scripture comments:

A centurion from the Roman army encounters Jesus & asks Him to heal his servant. This centurion honours Jesus’ authority to speak a word only to heal his servant & Jesus replies.

Matthew 8:10-12 ESV

When Jesus heard this, he marveled and said to those who followed him, “Truly, I tell you, with no one in Israel have I found such faith.  I tell you, many will come from east and west and recline at table with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heavenwhile the sons of the kingdom will be thrown into the outer darkness. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Notes : You realise Jesus says here that gentiles(not the sons of the kingdom) will be with Abraham, Isaac & Jacob in the kingdom of heaven! These were the heroes of the Jews because of their history & faith!

Isn’t it about the sheep? Israel only?

John 10:  14 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, 15 just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep. 16 And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.

Notes : One flock! One Shepherd!

Jesus declares a new time(hour), new in the Spirit & truth.

John 4: 19 The woman said to him, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet. 20 Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you say that tin Jerusalem is the place where people ought to worship.” 21 Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe me, the hour is coming when neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem will you worship the Father. 22 You worship what you do not know; we worship what we know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23 But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. 24 God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.”

Notes : Jesus removes the idea of physical places that Israel & the Samaritans held dear through their culture & heritage. Now worship is in spirit & truth.

Promise of Covenant made to Israel first:

Jeremiah 31:31-34                                                                                      “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt, my covenant that they broke, though I was their husband, declares the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people. And no longer shall each one teach his neighbor and each his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they shall all know me, from the least of them to the greatest, declares the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”            

Notes : This is a good example of where God promised to make a new covenant with Israel & Judah. The promise is unique since He says He “was” their husband, yet the new covenant will be different. The promise gets made to Israel & Judah, because we know they were the people of God at the time, yet today we believers, are all Israel(spirit) today. There are other places in the old testament which God says the gentiles will be included as well. Like for example Hosea 2  where God talks about about making a covenant & then in verse 23 says this as well :

“I will say to Not My People, You are my people and he shall say, You are my God.”

The New Covenant :

The dynamic of how the Old Covenant was setup to how Jesus made the New Covenant is different and is missed much in today’s theology.

Hosea 11:1- When Israel was a child, I loved him, and out of Egypt I called my son.

Notes : I won’t explain too much on how the old covenant is setup since most people know. Just see here that the way it is stated in Hosea, Israel is called a son & we know the covenant was made with Israel.

Matthew 2:15- and remained there until the death of Herod. This was to fulfill what the Lord had spoken by the prophet, “Out of Egypt I called my son.”

Notes : This speaks of Jesus as the Son & therefore is the fulfillment of that scripture. As the old testament always spoke of the shadow of the real things to come. Israel fell short as a son, so God sent His Son to make the covenant with His blood. Now we can be right with God through His Son – Jesus Christ. This is why it is so different from the first covenant, in the new covenant the terms & requirements  are fulfilled by Jesus, we partake of the covenant by receiving Jesus.

Isn’t there a church age now? Isn’t the church the Gentiles & Israel the Jews?

The first church members was & have always been Jews. Since the gospel came to them first.

Dispensationalism, which is a part of many end time teachings today, says that God put Israel on the side for a moment to start the church age.

Wasn’t the church born in the book of Acts? No, because Stephen makes it clear :

Acts 7:

37 This is the Moses who said to the Israelites, ‘God will raise up for you a prophet like me from your brothers.’ 38 This is the one who was in the congregation(KJV translates as “Church”, Greek is “ecclesia”) in the wilderness with the angel who spoke to him at Mount Sinai, and with our fathers. He received living oracles to give to us.

Notes : So as Stephen lays down this message from Abraham to Christ, makes a statement to link between Israel & the church. Moses was in the church! Israel has always been the church. As it was never to separate things or something that only started later after Jesus.

Even if we try imagining them as different parts, like Jews(Israel) & Gentiles(Church), then the first church(in Acts) members would still mostly contain Jews anyway! Only in Acts 10 does Peter start to go out to the Gentiles(Cornelius). In Acts 2 the church finally gets endowed with power from Holy Spirit, so that was new to the already existing church.

Now we can also go through the parts where Paul explains things thoroughly.

Scripture Comments : Jesus faces the old natural in order to create a new way of the Spirit for us.

Galatians 4:

4 But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law, 5 to redeem those who were under the law, so that we might receive adoption as sons. 6 And because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!” 7 So you are no longer a slave, but a son, and if a son, then an heir through God.

Scripture Notes : The law was the terms that the Old Covenant was made upon, that is also why they were slaves of the sin, since the law empowers sin. The law could never make them sons since they would forever fall short, so Christ came to redeem & enable them to be sons.

Example of Hagar and Sarah

Galatians 4:

21 Tell me, you who desire to be under the law, do you not listen to the law? 22 For it is written that Abraham had two sons, one by a slave woman and one by a free woman. 23 But the son of the slave was born according to the flesh, while the son of the free woman was born through promise. 24 Now this may be interpreted allegorically: these women are two covenants. One is from Mount Sinai, bearing children for slavery; she is Hagar. 25 Now Hagar is Mount Sinai in Arabia; she corresponds to the present Jerusalem, for she is in slavery with her children. 26 But the Jerusalem above is free, and she is our mother. 27 For it is written,

             “Rejoice, O barren one who does not bear;

            break forth and cry aloud, you who are not in labor!

            For the children of the desolate one will be more

            than those of the one who has a husband.”

28 Now you, brothers, like Isaac, are children of promise. 29 But just as at that time he who was born according to the flesh persecuted him who was born according to the Spirit, so also it is now. 30 But what does the Scripture say? “Cast out the slave woman and her son, for the son of the slave woman shall not inherit with the son of the free woman.” 31 So, brothers, we are not children of the slave but rof the free woman.

Scripture Comments : We can see the two covenants like this –

 Old Covenant = law = slave = physical Jerusalem =born flesh = Hagar = Cast Out

New Covenant =free = from above = promise = born Spirit

Israel gets redemption from previous error.

Hebrews 9:15

Therefore he is the mediator of a new covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred that redeems them from the transgressions committed under the first covenant.

Old covenant starting to fade.

Hebrews 8:13

In speaking of a new covenant, he makes the first one obsolete. And what is becoming obsolete and growing old is ready to vanish away.

Notes : It is always good to keep in mind that the old covenant was still practiced as reality by many Jews during the whole new testament. The temple was still standing in the city of Jerusalem so most rituals were still being honoured by the Jews, except for the Christian Jews of course..

Old covenant had flaws.

Hebrews 8:7-8

For if that first covenant had been faultless, there would have been no occasion to look for a second. For he finds fault with them when he says: “Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah,

Covenant of the spirit:

2 Corinthians 3:6

Who has made us competent to be ministers of a new covenant, not of the letter but of the Spirit. For the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.

Romans 7:6

But now we are released from the law, having died to that which held us captive, so that we serve in the new way of the Spirit and not in the old way of the written code.

How can it change?

Scripture comments : I have added these passages below, please read them slowly & take in the complete feel of the chapter(I did skip some verses though).

Romans 9:1-11, 13-33 ESV

I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— that I have great sorrow and unceasing anguish in my heart. For I could wish that I myself were accursed and cut off from Christ for the sake of my brothers, my kinsmen according to the flesh. They are Israelites, and to them belong the adoption, the glory, the covenants, the giving of the law, the worship, and the promises. To them belong the patriarchs, and from their race, according to the flesh, is the Christ, who is God over all, blessed forever. Amen. But it is not as though the word of God has failed. For not all who are descended from Israel belong to Israel, and not all are children of Abraham because they are his offspring, but “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” This means that it is not the children of the flesh who are the children of God, but the children of the promise are counted as offspring. For this is what the promise said: “About this time next year I will return, and Sarah shall have a son.” And not only so, but also when Rebekah had conceived children by one man, our forefather Isaac, though they were not yet born and had done nothing either good or bad—in order that God’s purpose of election might continue, not because of works but because of him who calls— As it is written, “Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated.” What shall we say then? Is there injustice on God’s part? By no means! For he says to Moses, “I will have mercy on whom I have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I have compassion.” So then it depends not on human will or exertion, but on God, who has mercy. For the Scripture says to Pharaoh, “For this very purpose I have raised you up, that I might show my power in you, and that my name might be proclaimed in all the earth.” So then he has mercy on whomever he wills, and he hardens whomever he wills. You will say to me then, “Why does he still find fault? For who can resist his will?” But who are you, O man, to answer back to God? Will what is molded say to its molder, “Why have you made me like this?” Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles? As indeed he says in Hosea, “Those who were not my people I will call ‘my people,’ and her who was not beloved I will call ‘beloved.'” “And in the very place where it was said to them, ‘You are not my people,’ there they will be called ‘sons of the living God.'” And Isaiah cries out concerning Israel: “Though the number of the sons of Israel be as the sand of the sea, only a remnant of them will be saved, for the Lord will carry out his sentence upon the earth fully and without delay.” And as Isaiah predicted, “If the Lord of hosts had not left us offspring, we would have been like Sodom and become like Gomorrah.” What shall we say, then? That Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have attained it, that is, a righteousness that is by faith; but that Israel who pursued a law that would lead to righteousness did not succeed in reaching that law. Why? Because they did not pursue it by faith, but as if it were based on works. They have stumbled over the stumbling stone, as it is written, “Behold, I am laying in Zion a stone of stumbling, and a rock of offense; and whoever believes in him will not be put to shame.”

Notes : Paul said to the Roman church that the calling of Israel is in the gentiles as well since they are speaking of the Jews(Paul’s kinsmen according to the flesh) & their failure to accept Christ. This is the main focus of Rom 9, Israel(Jews). So the Jews were to be the vessels of God’s wrath/dishonour because of their disobedience. This is why Jesus prophesied their destruction in Mat 24 & other places as well, this was God’s wrath being poured out on them(We can talk about that more in the next study).

Gentiles & Israel – For the gifts and the calling of God are  irrevocable :

            Romans 11:1-6, 11-32

I say then, has God cast away His people? Certainly not! For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not cast away His people whom He foreknew. Or do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he pleads with God against Israel, saying, “ Lord , they have killed Your prophets and torn down Your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life”? But what does the divine response say to him? “I have reserved for Myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal.” Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace. And if by grace, then it  is no longer of works; otherwise grace is no longer grace. But if it  is of works, it is no longer grace; otherwise work is no longer work. I say then, have they stumbled that they should fall? Certainly not! But through their fall, to provoke them to jealousy, salvation has  come to the Gentiles. Now if their fall is riches for the world, and their failure riches for the Gentiles, how much more their fullness! For I speak to you Gentiles; inasmuch as I am an apostle to the Gentiles, I magnify my ministry, if by any means I may provoke to jealousy those  who  are my flesh and save some of them. For if their being cast away is the reconciling of the world, what will their acceptance be  but life from the dead? For if the firstfruit is holy, the lump is also holy; and if the root is holy, so are the branches. And if some of the branches were broken off, and you, being a wild olive tree, were grafted in among them, and with them became a partaker of the root and fatness of the olive tree, do not boast against the branches. But if you do boast, remember  that you do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, “Branches were broken off that I might be grafted in.” Well said. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and you stand by faith. Do not be haughty, but fear. For if God did not spare the natural branches, He may not spare you either. Therefore consider the goodness and severity of God: on those who fell, severity; but toward you, goodness, if you continue in His goodness. Otherwise you also will be cut off. And they also, if they do not continue in unbelief, will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. For if you were cut out of the olive tree which is wild by nature, and were grafted contrary to nature into a cultivated olive tree, how much more will these, who are natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree? For I do not desire, brethren, that you should be ignorant of this mystery, lest you should be wise in your own opinion, that blindness in part has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. And so all Israel will be saved, as it is written: “The Deliverer will come out of Zion, And He will turn away ungodliness from Jacob; For this is My covenant with them, When I take away their sins.” Concerning the gospel they  are enemies for your sake, but concerning the election they  are  beloved for the sake of the fathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are  irrevocable. For as you were once disobedient to God, yet have now obtained mercy through their disobedience, even so these also have now been disobedient, that through the mercy shown you they also may obtain mercy. For God has committed them all to disobedience, that He might have mercy on all.

Notes : Paul says we have all been disobedient so we can now all obtain mercy the same. So when he says gifts and callings are irrevocable, it is not to still label them as a special nation as they were in the old covenant, but to convince the gentiles that God doesn’t reject Israel totally because of their disobedience, but that as God did call them, He will still have mercy on them as He has mercy now on us. If we accept Christ, then we receive His mercy & grace, it is a spiritual thing now. Said in a simpler way, Jews have the same access to the New Covenant that we now have.

What does this mean for end time’s messages?

It means when we look at future events for us today, we can’t look at the nation of Israel(Jews) to determine what God wants to do. We have to walk with the Jesus & the leading of His Spirit.

Now there are some key passages that you might be wondering about or prophecies that you are expecting to happen, we will talk about those in the next study. It is as simple as that, you are the Israel(spirit) of God today, so if it is prophecies that ignores the new covenant or the price Jesus paid on the cross to make a new way for all by the Spirit, then you know that prophecy was NOT spoken/written for you, but for the nation of Israel in bible times(not today) as the old covenant that singled them out as Gods people is now gone. The Old Covenant finally was gone when the city of Jerusalem & its temple was destroyed 70AD, about 40 years after Jesus ascended.

Hope you enjoyed this study, let me know if you learned anything or caught some revelation.

Blessings
Carlo Merrick

Heart Of the Father Ministries

Three Identities

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There are three identities we choose from everyday, we could call them three different perspectives as well. These are places we choose to live from, act and react from. This is a simplified explanation of them.

No 1. Identity of Value.

This is the place God created for us through His Son on the cross. Here He showed us our value according to Him, we are worth His Son. So in this identity we know who we are according to our Father, we are completely loved, we are affirmed, we are fulfilled and live from His divine power where He has granted us all things that pertain to life and godliness. Here He is our Source and reason for living, He completes us from the inside out. Lastly here we are secure, we have no need to change others or manipulate them to meet our need or feel obligated to meet theirs, and we have the choice like the Samaritan to walk the extra mile or not.

No 2. Identity of Need.

In this identity we have come to know what we need, we need love. Our source is love and affirmation. These we usually get from other people, in what they perceive us to be, how they describe us, what we could do for them and not forgetting what they could in return do for us. This is where most people find themselves. Here we know terms like “bend over backwards” for people or “always be strong” for others. This is a very sincere place of wanting to be good.

No 3. Identity of Greed.

In this identity we make sure we take from others, they need to do things for us because we deserve it and they need to listen to us. Things need to happen the way we want it to happen, otherwise we will give others a hard time. We reject love here, we rather want something that makes things easier than love since love just feels like work, work is hard, we don’t like that. This identity tends to abuse the identity of need & lives off of it like a parasite.

When Identities Meet.

These identities we choose from everyday, not necessarily all three of them, some of us go back and forth between the first two while other people choose the last one or stay in the middle.

If we look at these three we can make it easy to explain the Christian life and even practice discernment in a simple way. When looking at these identities, we know they will flow to our relationships. So how does it affect them?

Let’s say you are in the identity No 1, you have a friend with identity No 2 and also one with No 3. You are fulfilled and complete since you are no1 and have no need to cater to the demands of other identities. Will you stay friends with No 3?

Then you also see what No 3 does to No 2 everyday, demands, manipulates and has no sincere regard for No 2. No 2 on the other hand tries to love, gets heartbroken and abused by No 3. No 2 believes if they loved, cared more, did more for No 3 that it will change their identity to No 2 as well. No 3 uses this to demands that No 2 walks the extra mile and more. No 2 feels this is what they need to do to be a better person, they see and feel their own void and therefore recognizes the void No 3 has. No 2 feels guilty for not making No 3’s life better. What will your advice be to No 2?

Lastly, when you are No 1 you see Gods value for No 2 and No 3. You will be able to discern whether there is a willingness in No 2 or No 3 to see their value or not.

Trick about this is, when we are No 1 and try force others like No 3 to see their value, we actually become No 2 and lose our fulfillment since we pour our own value into a hole that we cannot fill. We are to be filled with God, only He satisfies. So how do we influence others to switch identity? Live fulfilled! Shine His light! They will see and come…and they will then be willing to start cultivating a No 1 identity.

What identity do you choose today? Jesus said we should love our neighbour, how will we do it by any other identity, than the one He gave us. How else will we ever live fulfilled, unless we let God complete us.

Written by Carlo Merrick

Photo by Tom Parsons on Unsplash

Realm of potential

Our rebirth reality from a different world is not completely off planet in origin, but different in realm. Realm is accessed through heart intent. So discerning between good & evil or spirit & flesh is hardly as religious & external as we have made it.

It is either an internal desire to satisfy self or a desire to make room for the One who is The All Consuming Fire, then also purposefully being present with Him in one’s intent & awareness. Here we become representations of His love, purity & glory, we become those who react to His intentions & desires, instead of responding to the world that is fallen because it is only concerned about “self”.

It is in regarding God & His destiny for us that we really find who we are, but it works from the inside out. This is the opposite of what a large part of Christianity teaches, they teach an “outside in” gospel & therefore it always feels like a losing battle since the world is lost to begin with!

But the truth is, in Jesus you & I have already won! We take this victory to the world so hope an arise & they can believe through the Word in us.
So it is paramount to our growth & understanding of why we are here while we make room inside of us for the reality of Christ’s victory & fulfillment.

1 John 5:4
For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

Faith is fueled by knowing realities that aren’t visible(Heb11:1). So we feed off of inner thoughts, intentions & purposefully realign our reality according to His will/word. (This is why Jesus says” if you have thought it in your heart, you have committed the very act” – Mat 5)

This was not said to create greater judgement on people, but rather a reality to live according to, to really live free & access Gods promises to us, because we are not slaves to the world, we are not what we have done, we are who He says we are when we believe. Free sons of the kingdom! Our judgement becomes greater on the things that keep us back from growing in our destiny! We cut those things off! (Mat 5)

I want to encourage you to tap into your potential in Christ, because it will only remain potential, unless we intentionally grab it & start wielding it, doing this will result in stepping out in the physical & expecting results from the realm you are born from!

You are not of this world! Your world has come here, the kingdom is at hand!

The earth is ours

The are Christians calling death & curses over our country & over our land because they look & people’s sin around us.

But the whole dynamic is off, it is as if we are in the old covenant with God on the outside, where we are separate from Him, calling Him down to bring rain.

So then they tell people to repent before God can move & if that doesn’t work, they start breaking curses. Real bummer if then still no rain comes!

But God has given us this earth. Even from Adam God gave him dominion over all the things of the earth. But now in the new covenant God gave Jesus all authority in heaven & earth. Now Jesus lives inside of us when we are born again, meaning that authority is available for the believer.

So then we don’t ask God to please bring rain. Because when we don’t see results we get confused about sin & curses that Jesus paid for on the cross already as if that never happened. He is waiting for us!

Now we can speak to clouds & the things on the earth as we speak to our dog. There is no arrogance in tell our dog what to do, why would it be wrong to tell the clouds what to do? We know where the authority we have comes from!

But what about the sin in the world we ask? Are we called to preach the gospel? Aren’t we the light of the world? Didn’t we receive the ministry of reconciliation? Or are we just waiting for God to judge people that we are not willing to reach with the truth in love?

Let us as new creations in Christ speak life over the earth so people can see the goodness of God(it does lead us to repentance?). If the results vary then we know we have space to grow in authority.

Rom 8: 19 says that creation waits expectantly for the sons of God to be revealed…

Even the earth is waiting for you…

Come on guys…no one likes to wait. 😁

The God who doesn’t change

So many times I have seen God being presented as an unchanging God, like a Robot or static force that is always the same & never changing in the full sense of the word.

But is this true? Does nothing about God ever change? How is it that people are not judged today like they were in the Old Testament through natural or supernatural means? Most Christians might say : But Jesus came & paid the price for us! So did that make God change? Because we still live in a world that sins everyday & acts horrible in so many ways. We say the wrath of God was satisfied in Jesus on the cross, yet His promise of wrath still came on Israel in 70AD when the temple was destroyed(point just being, wrath still happened) about 40 years after the cross of Christ.

For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed. Malachi 3:6 ESV

This is the famous verse, yet it ends with therefore you, O children of Jacob are not consumed! So He is saying He is merciful and that does not change! Whoo! That is good news right there!

You will see right through the Bible that God likes to be merciful. People forget that in Gods’ mercy, what He has always desired with man is relationship even though man messed up. Right from the beginning, after Adam & Eve sinned, the All Knowing God goes to look for them to talk to them about it. Cain & Able, God warns Cain before he kills Able that sin wants him…but he could overcome it. But yet Cain chose sin. This shows that God believes in us & our potential as the only creatures that are created in His image & likeness.

There was the two cases where God changed His mind because of humans. One of the cases was with Abraham asking God not to destroy the city of Sodom while Lot was living there. So asked God not to destroy it for the sake of the righteous & God didn’t. Only when Lot left the City it was made waste.

Second case was with Moses :

But Moses implored the Lord his God and said, “O Lord, why does your wrath burn hot against your people, whom you have brought out of the land of Egypt with great power and with a mighty hand?

And the Lord relented from the disaster that he had spoken of bringing on his people
Exodus 32:11,14

He has always been fascinated with us & when we discover Him, we become absolutely fascinated with Him! It’s like we were meant for each other. The stories like Noah when so many people died are harder to understand to some of us. But the moment we see Him protecting us against evil people who did not want to turn to love & cause death for the rest of the planet, it makes more sense.

I like using this example :

What will love(as a physical person) do if a criminal runs straight at you to kill you? He would stop him and if need be kill the criminal to protect the innocent.

Now where am I going with this? I am telling you that you do have a good God & also have a good Father. When you start believing in Him(following Him) then He sees you as innocent. This is His desire by His mercy to have you innocent & come into your original potential He created you for.

Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.
Romans 5:9 (ESV)

So if He always wants to be merciful & wants relationship. But why at times was it so seemingly harsh? Covenant! Covenants have always been about God & man, because He seeks relationship with us. The covenants were harsh, time & again God would look at what the punishments results were , then He would stop the process because it would sadden Him.

For judgment is without mercy to one who has shown no mercy. Mercy triumphs over judgment.
James 2:13 ESV

But here we are today, in a New Covenant. So when did the Old Covenant officially stop? The Cross? Nope I dare say.

70AD when the temple & the Old Covenant System was destroyed & brought to an end. Jesus did start the NC through the cross though.

For the promise to Abraham and his offspring that he would be heir of the world did not come through the law but through the righteousness of faith.  For if it is the adherents of the law who are to be the heirs, faith is null and the promise is void.  For the law brings wrath, but where there is no law there is no transgression.
Romans 4 :13-15

It may be argued that from Adam there were no law either. Problem is that there were fallen men & cursed men, Love Himself will jump in the gap to save the innocent, warn the guilty & ultimately stop them if needed. Whereas now we have Jesus that became a curse for us & was the propitiation for the whole worlds’ sin!

He is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world.
1 John 2 : 2

Now everyone can have the grace while they live, only those who receive the grace will experience their inheritance whether they are alive or have died. God no longer has need to pour out His wrath since the covenant declares us under grace. So what’s the answer today? New Covenant! For out of it flowed His love & grace.

So this is what stays the same about God : He wants relationship & He will remain merciful! Have you ever wondered why there were all the other covenants? Noah,Abraham,Moses,David & then Christ. I mean the NC is the greatest because it came out of Gods’ heart & He just gave so we can receive. It is a covenant based on grace.

I believe God & us had the other covenants so He could do it with us even though our requests & wants were detrimental to our relationship at times, He remained merciful & was bearing with us even though sometimes to bring His part by covenant to punish us saddened Him.

I feel this is important because God can’t be filtered through one lens of grace or even love. But He can through relationship, out of that comes His love & grace because His heart will always beat with mercy toward those made in His image.

Written By Carlo Merrick
Carlo Merrick

HOTF T-shirts

Ok so after getting a few requests on some of the HOTF T-shirts, here is the first one.  It is R200 a shirt. Make a deposit into our account(bank details on bottom right corner of this page) with your name as reference & send me your postal/living address via our contact page & the size T-shirt you would like. If you are outside of South Africa, please add a extra R100 for postage. Blessings! (Another New HOTF T-SHirt Coming soon!)

Godfidence T-SHirt. R200

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Heart of the Father T-SHirt. R200

Abusive relationship with a good Father?

God is good! All the time! All the time, God is good!

Tell me you heard that at some stage in a church? There is such an importance in the fact that God, our Father in heaven, is good! As we know the Bible states that He is the giver of good gifts!

In John 10 Jesus says :

Joh 10:10 The thief does not come except to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.
Joh 10:11 I am the Good Shepherd. The Good Shepherd lays down His life for the sheep.

There are so many verses that let’s us know God is good. But so often I hear these questions :

1 : Why would a good Father let this happen in the world?

2 : Why doesn’t God want to give me this or that since He is good?

We try to reconcile the idea of His goodness through our circumstances while we find ourselves and others’ lives in questionable circumstances.  we base our ideology on a Father that made promises & then we demand to see that He fulfills it! Soon ,in having these questions, without us stating it, we feel like we are in an abusive relationship with a “Good Father”; making promises that He never keeps & we have to suffer  while we wait.

If you are asking these questions today, I would like to ask some questions too if I may.

Is a Father truly good to their child if they do everything for him or her? Wouldn’t that child be completely dependent on that Fathers actions? Of course they would. This might even sound ok, since we should be dependent on God!? But should we be dependent on Gods actions now?

To that I say ..NO.

The fact that He laid down His life for you showed you His actions &  He overcame the world for you! That’s a good God! But now today we don’t always or even sometimes see that victory in the world. How is this possible?

Joh 1:10 He was in the world, and the world came into being through Him, and the world did not know Him.
Joh 1:11 He came to His own, and His own received Him not.
Joh 1:12 But as many as received Him, He gave to them authority to become the children of God, to those who believe on His name,
Joh 1:13 who were born, not of bloods, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but were born of God.

This is the Word of God, Jesus Christ. He came not to give us cars & houses or trouble free lives even, but He came to give us Himself. Now we have this great opportunity to receive Him! But it is left to us to do this since there were some who did not receive Him.

So if you have been given the authority as a child of God, what will you do with your life? Will you not do everything to not just let bad things happen in the world? Here comes the main two questions :

What kind of person do you need to be to walk in the promises of God?

What kind of person do you need to be to help bring answers to the problems you see around you?

If you step into the identity God gave you as someone that is born of God, He will give you the things needed for the journey through the world. Mat 6 : 33

Never let the world tell you your identity.

Joh 1:13 who were born, not of bloods, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but were born of God

So does He let stuff happen? No, not since He now lives in you & gave you the power walk as His child.

Does He not come through on His promises? He does to all His children, because it’s all about who they are to Him & it is not just a external relationship as He now lives through us from the inside out.

Too many of us still try to live a life as if we belong to ourselves, while Christ paid such a great price in order for us to live His life & leave our old life behind. So we try ask God to tend to our old life & make sure everything works well while He hung on that cross to kill our old life with Him! it’s time to leave it ll behind & follow Him & trust that He is a good Father & you are a good son/daughter through Christ!

2Co 5:14 For the love of Christ constrains us, judging this, that if one died for all, then all died;
2Co 5:15 and He died for all, that the living ones may live no more to themselves, but to Him who died for them and having been raised.
2Co 5:16 So as we now know no one according to flesh, but even if we have known Christ according to flesh, yet now we no longer know Him so.
2Co 5:17 So that if any one is in Christ, that one is a new creature; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Carlo Merrick
Carlo Merrick

Possessing the Kingdom

Rom 14:17  For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

One of the biggest lies I have ever believed as a Christian is materialistic evidence of righteousness. Growing up we were relentlessly harangued on a counterfeit prosperity gospel. A fundamentally unsubstantial doctrine of materialistic gain as a sign of spirituality infiltrated the church, and I fear I was the recipient of the brunt of it. I felt an inordinate amount of pressure on me to “manifest” my well doing by having a comparable amount of wealth.  This ideology has its roots in a mentality of lack.

Matthew 6:33  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.

We have made Matthew 6:33, in practice, a means to an end. Seeking the Kingdom has become synonymous with gain and has caused us to feel entitled to the things we need. Our faith journey, our prayer life, and our thought patterns too often revolve around the things we need from God, as opposed to having the fullness of God. With the value the church has placed on having materialistic things, our prayer lives has become increasingly overwhelmed with demands. Growing up poor, as a young person I constantly struggled with the reality of God’s kingdom because I apparently lacked the basic evidence of said Kingdom, namely money.  The perpetual cycle of not having, and praying to get to give, to get had me in a whirlwind of frustration of never having enough, yet having to always give to get more. The lack mentality will have us ever wondering if we are sowing enough, ever fixated on when our breakthrough is going to make its debut- in glitter and gold.

I do believe in tithing, sowing, generosity and giving. Yes, God will supply our needs. Yes, He is aware of and concerned with our needs.  But there is a position we come to relationally, where we find our needs met in Him. I have come to realize that God wants to give us all of Him. I firmly believe He is enthusiastically encouraging our hunger and thirst after Him. He stirs our hunger, so we can have our fill of Him. He does not take away so we can seek Him more so that we can in turn have more things.  We will have our needs supplied through riches in glory, by Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:19  But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

There is no bypassing Him, our righteousness, peace and joy is found in Him. When we find security in His peace and joy, our supplies will follow. We do not possess more of the kingdom when we possess more things, the things come as a result of possessing kingdom, and they aren’t synonymous with the kingdom. God wants to have a relationship with you. Matthew 6 says “and” all these things will be added unto you, not “so that” all these things will be added unto you. There is a state we enter into when we are in the kingdom of God where we experience righteousness, peace, and joy regardless of our physical circumstances. Often times in my pursuit of breakthrough and provision, in my limited view of His heart, God was the barrier between me and the things I needed. The point of my life was to see how much I could acquire, as an attestation of my righteousness. Because I was fixated on material gain, God became a threat to my wealth. What if I pray and don’t receive? What if I spend time studying the word and stay poor for all to see? What if I fast and pray and don’t make rent? With thoughts like that there was no right standing with Him, no peace, and no joy. Because when we do to get, we are no longer in a covenant, but operate as a slave under the law. Seeking His kingdom comes naturally to a believer. It is meant to be easy to receive from the Father. God does not operate as a vending machine; put in the right amount, press the right buttons, and you get what you want.

Philippians 4:6-7 Be careful for nothing; but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.

This is one of the most practical Scriptures you will find in aiding your prayer life. When we realize God is a person and wants to have fellowship with us, our prayer life starts sounding a little more intentionally sincere. In reference to Philippians 4, your prayer life should include the words “please” and “thank you.” When we talk to God it moves Him when we are sincere in our need of Him, acknowledging Him as our provider. Philippians encourages us to demand less, but ask more. One of our good friends calls this having spiritual manners.

Abundance will look different to different people.  The issue will never be how much stuff you got, but indeed how much Kingdom you portray. This life should only ever be about containing and manifesting the fullness of God. I want to be so bold and say that we could potentially come to a place where what we possess and don’t posses no longer has any bearing on how righteous we are perceived. When we are concerned with elevating people’s hearts to the full knowledge of Christ, instead of their financial status, we have embraced Kingdom principles.

Written by
Franciska Merrick

Heaven & Earth

Something I’ve been thinking about. Jesus says that not one part of the law will pass away until heaven & earth passes away.

Not one part! Which means the whole thing is intact & ongoing or it passed away. Plain & simple.

Here is the verse with some before & after scriptures :

“Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished. Therefore whoever relaxes one of the least of these commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever does them and teaches them will be called great in the kingdom of heaven. For I tell you, unless your righteousness exceeds that of the scribes and Pharisees, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment; whoever insults his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.
Matthew 5:17-22 ESV

Problem with thinking the law is still intact is that we have to obey it all….all! Jesus after then made it worse by saying our inside feeling & thought is the sin & not just the act! There’s got be more to what Jesus was saying here right?

Problem with thinking it has passed away is that it says it will not until heaven & earth passes away & until all is accomplished.

We can maybe say all was accomplished on the cross but then what’s up with this heaven & earth statement? Is it a literal heaven & earth? If it is we better keep the law, the whole law(Law & Prophets)! Many of us just read through it without thinking twice.

The Bible mentions “Heaven & Earth” on multiple occasions.

“For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, and the former things shall not be remembered or come into mind.
Isaiah 65:17 ESV

Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.
Revelation 21:1 ESV

These verses show us that God promised a new heaven & earth.Rev 21 (above here) even says there is no more sea? Does this mean no one will swim anymore? 😜

Here is another promise :

Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will not pass away.
Matthew 24:35 ESV

He also promises that heaven & earth will pass away & in Luke 21:33.

Both these passages(above here) in Mat & Luke saying heaven & earth will pass away is found in the same chapter that speaks of the temple being abolished & the Jews being killed (all part of the tribulation).

So Jesus came to fulfill, He did the law & lived a sinless life so everyone in Christ could be perfected in the Spirit, that’s why He says He did not come to abolish the law. But when does heaven & earth pass away? When is it all accomplished? It is when the former things are destroyed :The Old Covenant, Temple, Old Traditions.

Note :

These things(Temple) were not destroyed in the New Testament, even after the cross, everything in the NT was written before the destruction happened in 70AD. That is why you still read about the apostles doing things that were according to the law or event feasts of the Old Covenant at times even though as Paul said, it is fading away. For this same reason Jesus tells the Jews to teach the commandments & not to slack in them, then He makes it worse by implying our sin happens internally before the act. So there are believers today that still want to enforce the law from the Old Covenant, but only some of the laws. This is in direct opposition to what Jesus said here, He said : Not an iota, not one dot shall pass away!

If they are questioned to why they are not keeping the whole law, they say that they cannot since there is no more Temple or system in place. So isn’t it interesting that Jesus says in Mat 24 & Luke 21 that heaven & earth will pass away & that those are in the very chapters that He says the temple will be destroyed! Not so much coincidence if you ask me.

So what is heaven & earth? By simple interpretation, it is the whole system that the Jews held onto via the Old Covenant, the way they did things for God & interacted with God via physical objects & places.

Why this truth has not hit every ear across the world is because of Mat 24 & Luk 21 that speaks of a coming of the Lord and so this whole chapters gets flung into our future & way out of context. I won’t write on the “Coming of the Lord” here, but I can tell you that this “coming of the Lord” from these two chapters was a coming in Judgement like the comings from the Old covenant where the prophets would say God would be coming upon them, but what it looked like was not the imagery the prophet said it would be. It would be another nation attacking them by surprise. Just food for thought.

Is everything that was prophesied in the New Testament also fulfilled? No, Jesus will still return according to Acts 1:9-11. The glory of God will still fill the earth through His Children as well.

Point is, you are either stuck keeping the whole law & believing in the tribulation & Jesus coming that way or you believe the law passed away & Jesus is coming more like in Acts 1 or some other way according to scripture in the New Testament.

Got any questions on Heaven & earth? Contact us through our contact page. Blessings

Carlo Merrick
Carlo Merrick

I must decrease?

He must increase, but I must decrease.”
John 3:30 ESV

Is this verse for you today? Please bear with me. John, the prophet that declared the coming of the Messiah said this while the Messiah was being revealed. Now Johns disciples was saying that people are now going to Jesus & being baptized by Him(although it was His disciples I’m sure).

Johns following was decreasing,so John is saying he must decrease as well so the attention can be on the Bridegroom & not the Bridegrooms friend(John).

But is this verse applicable to you today?
Today, the Bridegroom lives inside of you.
You died with Him on the cross & rose to life with Jesus.

I believe the works of the flesh, is not yours, so I do not claim those deeds as my own. But does that mean I don’t take responsibility for them? Of course not, I take responsibility for the righteousness that Christ gave me with integrity & cast off any deed that contradicts that which I’m called for. Paul says to put off those deeds of the flesh, this implies that they aren’t part of you anymore.

I’m called to walk & talk like Christ, He didn’t not just call me to avoid being like the old me. Jesus the Son of God is my example to follow after.

So do i decrease? No, in fact He increases me in Him for His glory & this is me growing up in Him, I am not fully matured yet in how I live..I’m going for it though!

#imustincrease