The 39 Stripes

Jesus in the Gospels

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“…With His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). Jesus was not only crucified, he was utterly and insanely beaten before He was crucified. The cost of our salvation must be estimated not only in terms of what happened on the Cross, but also what happened on the way to the Cross. Jesus took stripes upon His back to complete our redemption. The stripes of Jesus are anointed to release healing. His stripes are the means and the grounds upon which we can claim divine healing and supernatural deliverance.

Why do we say that Jesus endured 39 stripes? No where in the Gospels are we told specifically that Jesus received 39 stripes. Why then do we make any reference to 39 stripes?

According to the law of Moses no Jew was to be given more than forty stripes (Deuteronomy 25:1-3). In order to make sure they never violated the Law of Moses by giving even one stripe too many, the religious leaders began to count up to 39 stripes. Over time the 39 stripes rule became the established custom in the Jewish judicial system.

According to Roman Law and customs no man was to receive more than 39 stripes (II Corinthians 11:24-25). 40 Stripes was considered a death sentence. The Romans believed that 40 stripes would kill a normal man. They did not want the accused to die on the whipping post.  They wanted their prisoners to endure as much pain and suffering as possible. They wanted them to die nailed to a cross.

There are some who think it incredulous that anyone would hold to the claim that Jesus received 39 stripes. They point to all the laws the Jewish Council (Sanhedrin) violated to crucify Christ. They cite the barbarianism of the Romans and rebuff the idea that the Romans would have withheld any form of punishment prior to the Crucifixion. They consider 39 stripes too lenient a punishment for Jesus. Surely the Jews and the Romans would have trespassed any law or custom when it came to afflicting pain on the Saviour. They forget that what Jesus endured was not just a whipping, it was a “scourging”.

The 39 stripes that Jesus bore for our redemption, healing and deliverance came from a Roman flagellum. Allow me to explain. The Roman flagellum would have been the instrument used to beat Jesus. This whip was made of three belts or ropes of leather attached to a wooden handle. When the scourging began the administer would be a rough and rugged seasoned Roman soldier.

The flagellum was about three feet long. Every three inches on the belts or ropes of the whip would be sharp pieces of bone that are said to have come for the pelvis of a lamb. The pieces of bone would be placed in the knots that ran down the whip. Each time a prisoner was whipped a piece of the bone would break and leave jagged edges of bone protruding from the knots. The cuts and lacerations would be more unbearable each swing of the whip. In addition to the pieces of bone, there would also be small hooks hanging from the leather strands. Sometimes glass or some other deep flesh-cutting material would be attached. There would be at minimum three different kinds of crude flesh-cutting materials used. This why the Romans called it “a cat of nine tails”.

Some men died while being whipped by the flagellum. Jesus made it through the beating. He made it to the Cross! He made it out of the grave!

Jesus was beat that we might be healed. He bore the stripes on his back that we might not have to carry the burden of sickness and disease. Our healing and deliverance was secured by the stripes on his body.

Believe in your heart and confess with your mouth, “By the stripes of Jesus, I am healed!”

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House Bands and House Builders

House Of Dreams

The word ‘husband’ comes from an Old Norse word “husbondi”. This word is a combination of two words, “hus” and “bondi”. Hus means house and bondi means to bind or to band. A husband then is one who binds or bands a house. The role of  a husband is to be the “house-band”. Men are responsible for keeping their homes together. God designed men to defeat domestic division, for it is division (only) that can destroy a family. Husbands must cover, protect and defend their homes.

Proverbs 14:1 says, “Every wise woman buildeth her house: but the foolish plucketh it down with her hands”. Men may band their houses, but its the wife who builds it. Woman are house builders. There is a certain construction in the family life which only a woman can serve as the contractor. Solomon seems to understand the power of women in the home and family. They can “buildeth” or they can “plucketh it down”. That’s a lot of power!

What a man is banding needs a woman building. Authentic biblical home life requires a wise woman. Wise women contribute to the well being of their husbands and homes. Wise women add value to their family life. Wise women edify the experience of every one in the home. Wise women build.

They tell us that purchasing a home is for most Americans the most important financial investment they will make in  their lives. A wise woman knows that there is no greater investment than her family. She “buildeth” because building a home never ends. It requires remodeling. It requires renovations. It requires redecoration. The wise woman knows the seasons of her home and will do whatever is necessary to bless her family.

For every wise woman there is a foolish woman in waiting. Solomon makes us also consider the women who are poised and prepared to pluck down their homes. Feminine foolishness is a destructive dynamic that should never be unleashed against any family. “Foolish” in the Book of Proverbs is not linked to intellectual ability, it is a moral quality and ethical issue. The idea of a woman destroying her own husband and home is thought to be immoral and unethical.

The foolish wife “plucketh it down with her hands”. It is “plucketh” because you never destroy a marriage or home quickly. It is dismantled brick by brick, word by word, lie by lie, disrespect by disrespect, wound by wound, and hurt by hurt.  The word “plucketh” means ‘to break down and to break away’. When a woman is not building her home everyone is beat down. Eventually the family will lose its house band and the family starts breaking away. This is dangerous stuff!

The strong hands of a woman are what every home needs. We need gentle hands that we can hold tightly. We need the hands that will love us with comfort, an embrace, discipline, and a hug. Every wise women has the power and knows exactly how to pick up her home.

The Power of Companionship

Your destiny is directly determined by the decisions you make about the people you choose or allow to be joined to your life. God has great plans for your life that can be propelled or polluted based on the people you connect with. Everyone that wants to be in your life is not supposed to be in your life. The only people that need to be in your life are the people who bring wisdom to your walk with God. God wants to connect you to the right companionships.

“He that walketh with wise men shall be wise; but a companion of fools shall be destroyed” (Proverbs 13:20). Companionship is powerful. It will shape your psychology. Your thought process and mental potential is being developed in your relationships. Think of what I just said. When the people around us are operating according to God’s principles and precepts for life we are exposing our minds to positive patterns. The better our company and companionship the better our thoughts and intents.

Whom do you allow to walk with you? Whom have you chosen to walk with? How has your journey been lately with the people you have in your life? Are you seeing the wealth of wisdom as you are walking?  What signs are showing up in your life that indicate you are walking with the right person or right people? These are some of the questions of companionship.

“The companion of fools shall be destroyed”. Destroyed?  But what if I am anointed? What if I am greatly destined?  What if I have prepared myself for promotion and advancement? Destroyed! If you choose the wrong companions everything you have working for you is going to be destroyed.

The people you allow in association are the people you are allowing the privilege of assimilation. Companionship is more than just “rubbing shoulders”, it is transferring spirits and attitudes. Companionship is an unspoken commitment to be alike. Can your purpose and destiny really afford to hang out with the people you have been hanging out with?

Understanding 9/11

September 11, 2001 attacks in New York City: V...

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The world changed, never again to be the same the day of September 11, 2001. My wife, Stephanie and I had just entered the Friendship Christian Academy located on our church campus.We were doing what we did by ritual each day, drop our children off at the daycare and begin our work at the church. One of our staff members immediately approached us with the news that a plane had crashed into the World Trade Towers in New York City. I thought she meant a single engine plane with one or a few people at most on board had mistakenly crashed into one of the towers. We quickly moved to the television and watched in horror as a large commercial airliner disappeared into the South Tower.

This weekend, especially today, we remember the lives lost, the tragedy endured and the power of evil unleashed in the world. We also gladly remember the heroes, the first responders and the courage of a nation to move ahead in the face of such corporate trauma. As we look back over the last decade and a half we can thank God for His grace and mercy. There has not been another terrorist attack of that scale. We continue to pray for peace and protection over our nation.

There is an understanding we must all have of the evil that happened that day. This was not arbitrary evil. This was planned, coordinated, funded, and implemented with precision, practice and preparation. There were demonic powers that pressed and pushed for the attack of 9/11. This was not just an attack on the Western culture. This was an an attack against a  nation that is the number one exporter of the Gospel to the world. The spirit of Islam working in radicals and reprobates lead this infamy. Who said Islam was a peaceful religion?

The day was chosen for the attack for spiritual reasons. In bibilcal numerology the number nine (9) is the number of fruitfulness and manifestation. The number 11 is the number of confusion and disorder. 9/11 is then the day when the fruit of confusion and the manifestation of disorder was revealed. This was one of the signs of satan. The enemy of our souls wants to drive us, this nation, into confusion and disorder.

The attack of the end-times is an attack against peace and order. The 9/11 attacks manifested before the whole world what the next decade has revealed – we are in a world that hates order and will attack it. It is true about the governments of the world, and even truer of the kingdom of God. We are facing and fighting spiritual terrorists and kingdom anarchists. The Church is enduring the spiritual version of 9/11. We are under attack by those who hate the ways of God and will destroy any semblance of spiritual structure. We must “be sober, be vigilant for the devil as a roaring lion seeks whom he may devour” (I Peter 5:8).

To understand 9/11 we must understand the spirit realm. It was not just about Bin Laden and radical Islam. it’s about terror and creating panic in people. The devil is the author of destruction because he is the keeper of confusion. What we saw on 9/11 is a picture of a greater spiritual reality. There is evil in this world, an evil that can only be conquered by sober and vigilant believers who refuse to be bound by the “spirit of fear”.

Sanctify For the Supernatural

The Lord has urged and confirmed that I am to proclaim, “Sanctify September!” to the “remnant” that has ears to hear. Over the next 30 days we are believing for the supernatural to be showcased among the saints. The breakthroughs, the deliverances and the miracles we have prayed for and expected will be manifested this month, if we sanctify ourselves. “Sanctify yourselves: for tomorrow the Lord will do wonders among you” (Joshua 3:5).

When we sanctify we are setting aside a special time in order to accomplish at least three things:
1) To “take up the ark” (Joshua 3:6). The ark of the covenant represented the manifested presence of the Lord. It was called “the throne of God”. We sanctify in order to enter into a more intimate relationship with the Lord. This requires fasting and prayer.

2) To “stand still in the Jordan” (Joshua 3:8). We sanctify to enter a new experience with God. The Jordan is the place of new beginnings. There are places in God we will never stand in until and unless we take the time to give Him more of ourselves in prayers and fasting.

3) To “remove from their tents” (Joshua 3:14). We sanctify to exit from the places of our comfort. If we have become comfortable with the carnal or familiar with the fleshly our sanctification will draw us out of the bondages. If we have been comfortable with our spiritual condition we should sanctify so we can grow to the next level.

“Sanctify!” I urge you to join me in prayers and fasting. Daily from 6:33am – 6:33pm! Fast meats, sweets and wine. Read a half of a chapter each day of the Gospel of Mark. Begin your day on the National Prayer Call @ 6:33am (EST). (218) 237-3840. Passcode: 118129#. End your fast in prayer. Send your prayer requests to npc@prayereverywhere.org