Blog - All Categories

God’s Grace To See, Hear, And Understand

There is a cry in our spirits to see God unfold more revelation and understanding of the Scriptures. The Living Word Fellowship was born out of our founder John Stevens being granted revelation insight from the Scriptures. We want to continue to see God, through His grace, unfold mysteries of His Word for us today.

In Matthew 13, Jesus explained to His disciples that the eyes of the people had been blinded so they had no understanding. The disciples were blessed because they saw, but this sight and understanding was only granted to them by God’s grace. When the Lord met Paul, He struck him blind. But when the scales were removed from his eyes, Paul was set free in his mind and heart to understand the mysteries of the Scriptures.

God has much more to reveal to us in His Word, and the ability to see and hear it will be granted by God’s grace. We must spend time studying the Word. Like Paul, who was one of the most learned men in Torah, when God opens up to us the Word by His grace, the mysteries in the Scriptures will be understood by revelation. Lord, in our obedience, and by the granting of Your grace, let us search out that which You have concealed (Proverbs 25:2).

This message titled “God’s Grace To See, Hear, And Understand” came at Shiloh, Kalona, Iowa. It will be available at Living Word Publications.

Our Love Relationship With The Jewish People

For too long, the church has taken a stance of trying to convert the Jewish people to Christianity. In this message, we learn that the Jewish identity is sacred to God and should not be tampered with. “Israel has been saved by the Lord with an everlasting salvation.” (Isaiah 45:17). One of the fundamental points of the Jewish faith is belief in this salvation. As Christians, our concept of salvation is very different than the reality for the Jewish people, who are already separated unto God through His covenant with Abraham. Gentiles need salvation through Christ to be delivered out of the kingdom of darkness and into the Kingdom of God’s beloved Son.

Ignorance is a powerful weapon that has been behind much of the persecution and negativity against the Jewish people. I encourage the Body of Christ to become educated about Judaism and God’s relationship with His people. I Corinthians 13 says that when we see through a glass darkly, the best thing to do is move in love. With love we can bless the Jewish people, remind them of the Word over them in the Scriptures, and express sorrow for what the church has been to them. Father, give us a more perfect understanding of Your plan for Your people.

This message titled “Our Love Relationship With The Jewish People” came at Shiloh, Kalona, Iowa. It will be available at Living Word Publications.

A Clearer Understanding About God’s Judgment

This Word gives us a clear picture of what the coming of God’s Kingdom will look like. Jesus taught us to pray “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done.” This is to be a daily demand. However, you cannot separate His Kingdom from His righteous judgment.

Like the widow in the parable of the unjust judge, our responsibility as a school of prophets is to persistently cry for justice. “Now, will not God bring about justice for His elect who cry to Him day and night, and will He delay long over them? I tell you that He will bring about justice for them quickly. However, when the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on the earth?” (Luke 18:7-8).

Faith is knowing that He will render justice, and that becomes the strength in our prayer. Lord, let us be those who come to Your throne every day. Let the courts sit and let Your righteous justice be rendered.

This message titled “A Clearer Understanding About God’s Judgment” came at Shiloh, Kalona, Iowa. It will be available at Living Word Publications.

Shiloh University Commencement Ceremony 2018

I had the honor of delivering the commencement address for Shiloh University’s fifth annual graduation ceremony. The heart of Shiloh University is expressed in the Jewish roots of our faith: to pass down the transformational Word of God from generation to generation. “These words, which I am commanding you today, shall be on your heart. You shall teach them diligently to your sons and shall talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up.” (Deuteronomy 6:6-7).

Shiloh University is a mission and a ministry. It is about learning through relationships. It is about having a transformational meeting with God and writing the Word on your heart. Then as you tell the story, you teach, impart, and transform the lives of others.

This message titled “Shiloh University Commencement Ceremony 2018” came at Shiloh, Kalona, Iowa. It will be available at Living Word Publications.

The Two-Edged Sword Of Obedience And Confirmation

How are we going to move in the obedience the Lord is requiring of His people? In the structure of the church, there must be a way in which this revelation of obedience and submission is housed. The answer is in establishing a clear path for requesting and receiving greater confirmation.

The story of Gideon gives us a perfect picture of this principle of confirmation. When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon and gave him a Word to defeat the Midianites, Gideon asked God for confirmation three separate times. God did not only honor Gideon’s requests, He went above and beyond to provide confirmation that Gideon didn’t even ask for.

When God asks us to do something, it is easy to feel inadequate and fearful. However God is never offended by a submissive heart that seeks confirmation. Confirmation provides the strength and boldness you need to walk in what He has asked you to do. Our church structure should be a ministry and blessing that strengthens and emboldens its people. God help us to create a clear path to walk in greater confirmation.

This message titled “The Two-Edged Sword Of Obedience And Confirmation” came at Shiloh, Kalona, Iowa. It will be available at Living Word Publications.

Confirmation — The Safeguard For Our Absolute Obedience

This Word addresses the concerns for deception within the structure of divine order in the church. As we move to establish the Kingdom of God, our complete submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ in a pure, divine order is essential. We must submit to our elders and leaders, just as it says in Hebrews 13:17. However, we also have to recognize that these authorities are imperfect humans. There must be safeguards in place against the abuse of authority so that we do not have leaders who, like Saul, are deceived into disobedience. The safeguard against this deception is seeking confirmation, just as Peter and the apostles sought for in a oneness of heart as described in Acts 15. Every member of the Body of Christ, including the leaders, must boldly seek confirmation for the Word that is given to them.

Let’s pray for the Lord to give us wisdom. We are set to be obedient and submissive as a people. We must have a divine order that will keep us safe and give us the freedom to be absolutely obedient to walk in God’s ways.

This message titled “Confirmation — The Safeguard For Our Absolute Obedience” came at Shiloh, Kalona, Iowa. It will be available at Living Word Publications.

A Word To The Young Adults: God Wants To Be Your Focus

In a Word to the Young Adults School of Prophets, I talked about the importance of having a hunger for God and His Word. God has blessed this generation with an abundance of energy and time, so they are better able to seek Him. However, when they experience this time in their lives their tendency is to get distracted from God. God told the Israelites that when they come into the abundance of the promised land, they should not follow the gods of the people surrounding them (Deuteronomy 6:14). We, too, are influenced by a spirit realm of beings that seem stronger than we are. Having been baptized in the Holy Spirit, we should ask the Lord for perception and discernment about the natural and spiritual realms that influence our daily lives. God is more powerful than all these other spirits and when we make Him our only focus, He deals with them on our behalf.

This message titled “A Word To The Young Adults: God Wants To Be Your Focus” came at Shiloh, Kalona, Iowa. It will be available at Living Word Publications.

Our Survival Is Based On Obedience

Moving forward as a school of prophets, we will begin entering into spiritual warfare against principalities and powers mightier than us (Numbers 13:31-33). This Word shows us that as we move out of a place of relative safety in our walk with God and into harm’s way, our obedience to the Father will determine life or death. We will face lies about the Word of God and against the Father Himself which will attempt to deceive us into being disobedient and losing God’s protection. However, just as it was with Joshua and the Israelites when they took the promised land, we must trust God’s confirmed Word.

Lord, give us the eyes to see and understand the pattern of spiritual warfare, and show us how to write the Word on our hearts and minds as we bring forth Your Kingdom.

This message titled “Our Survival Is Based On Obedience” came at Shiloh, Kalona, Iowa. It will be available at Living Word Publications.

Obedience: His Standard For Judgment

This Word clarifies what we are to be as a school of prophets and why. God is looking to have a people by which He can distinguish between that which serves Him and that which does not. God is a gracious, just judge, and there is only one distinguishing factor that matters to Him: obedience. This is the basis of His judgments.

When Israel went in to possess Canaan, their victory or defeat was directly dependent upon their obedience (Joshua 5:1-11). When God sent Moses into Egypt, he was able to move in God’s judgments because of his obedience.

Like Moses and the nation of Israel, the school of prophets is to be a standard of obedience that God can use as an example. Do you want to be under the Lordship of Jesus Christ? Do you want to establish His Kingdom? There is only one way: become and remain obedient. You have been equipped. Now, be obedient.

This message titled “Obedience: His Standard For Judgment” came at Shiloh, Kalona, Iowa. It will be available at Living Word Publications.

Repent To Remove Disobedience

I kicked off the School of Prophets at Shiloh with a Word about repentance, surrounding the story of the Passover. As we become a prophetic community and a school of prophets, we will experience what Moses did with Pharaoh and the gods of Egypt. Judgment will not be something we do; judgment is something we will trigger. Just as God judged both the physical and spiritual realms through Moses, we too will move through the land with discernment and prophecy and affect all creation. Passover also shows God’s grace; God showed each god over Egypt that He was more powerful than they, giving them a chance to bow. Leading up to the time of the Israelites’ deliverance, God said to Moses, “Now is the time.” Likewise, God is coming to us and saying, “Now is the time.”

The story of Moses at Passover gives us another important lesson. Before we can move as God’s prophets in the earth, we must make Him our God by doing what He has told us to do. For Moses, there was just one covenant that would make God the God for him and the people: the covenant of Abraham. Moses, however, had not circumcised his sons. As a result, God sought to put him to death (Exodus 4:24). We must search our hearts for where we have violated what God has asked us to do. We cannot be a school of prophets unless we repent and do what He has directed. Lord, open our eyes and hearts; correct us, so that we can go forward and deliver Your children into the Kingdom.

This message titled “Repent To Remove Disobedience” came at Shiloh, Kalona, Iowa. It will be available at Living Word Publications.