How to receive from God by Pastor Leon Forte
Prepare to be blessed! Prophet and Pastor Leon Forte shared a powerful message with us tonight. If you are anywhere near Kingston, New York, he is also speaking at Living Word Chapel tonight (12/05/07) and you would be abundantly blessed to attend. He has spoken to our church in the past and his teachings are incredibly deep and sound.
Tonight Pastor Don reminded us that, when we come to church, we should come expecting to hear from God. You may not hear directly from the prophet, but God can also speak through music, through his Word, through another person in the church, or through our inner witness. We need to be receptive to when God is speaking, and not judge the way He delivers the message. Come believing to receive.
Pastor Forte has such a sense of humor that we were chuckling through the entire teaching. Our church is very diverse, with many nationalities and races represented, so Pastor Forte told us our church looks like Joseph’s Robe. Multiculturalism is so important. If we are not prepared for multiculturalism don’t go to heaven. When Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt, there were mixed multitudes. We were told that right now the church is on the verge of going to another level of spirituality, and everyone has a call from God for something in their lives.
Pastor Forte told us that we were going to read a very familiar passage in the Bible, and at times familiarity and religion prevent us from hearing a fresh revelation from God for a passage. Remember the Word became flesh, and as we read the Word, it too becomes part of our flesh. He mentioned one pastor he knew always had a new Bible each year. When asked why a new Bible, the pastor said he is always expecting a fresh Word from God, and because he writes in his margins, he needed a new Bible so he was not leaning on last year’s revelation. Our minds need to be opened because the Word of God is like a prism, and when viewed from various angles sends out different lights.
The Word we looked at tonight was Matthew 9:18-22 While He spoke these things to them, behold, a ruler came and worshiped Him, saying, “My daughter has just died, but come and lay Your hand on her and she will live.” So Jesus arose and followed him, and so did His disciples. And suddenly, a woman who had a flow of blood for twelve years came from behind and touched the hem of His garment. For she said to herself, “If only I may touch His garment, I shall be made well.” But Jesus turned around, and when He saw her He said, “Be of good cheer, daughter; your faith has made you well.” And the woman was made well from that hour.
Pastor Forte said, if we all told the truth, at the end of this year most of us are tired, half mad, and dried up. He told us God is emptying out people at the end of 2007 so they are ready to be filled when 2008 begins. If you are still filled up with 04, 05, 06, and 07, God won’t have room to full you with fresh anointing. We want to be in control, to be the architect, and have God do it the way we think it needs to be done in the natural. We think, if we are to have a promotion, we have to do works. But things do not always work the way we think they should. We get to the place where we become the architect of our own life, we think that if we praise, tithe, and go to church then God will bless me. God is trying to reshape the paradigm.
We come to Jesus in this passage after he had recruited the tax collector Matthew, and dealt with some attitudes of the people regarding fasting. Then the ruler came and worshipped Jesus. We know the ruler was in a position of authority and not a beggar. We don’t know if the ruler was Jewish, pagan, or what the ruler’s ethnic background is. We just know he had authority, was a leader, and yet he bent down and worshiped Jesus. In Greek the word for worship assumes the person was in a worship posture, and regardless of his leadership status, he bowed down and worshipped Jesus.
We can tell the kind of worship the ruler was doing by listening to what he was saying. Tonight, at Living Word Chapel, we did a lot of different kinds of praise and worship. We sang, dancers danced, there was praise and prayers, and what we were doing was powerful for the presence of God was very strong in the sanctuary. Pastor Forte told us our praise blessed God, and since we have God within, it also blessed God within us. Christians do not always like to admit they have stuff in their lives to deal with, they pretend that things are okay, are outwardly praising God, but inwardly hurting.
Pastor Forte told us that worship differs from praise. Even satan praised God -worship occurs IN THE PRESENCE OF JESUS.
What the ruler said shows us the type of worship. He said, “My daughter has just died, but come and lay Your hand on her and she will live.” He was in the right position and worship came out of his mouth, that she will live. He had belief that God would raise his daughter from the dead – and by stating that Jesus touching her would raise her from the dead, he was acknowledging that Jesus was God.
That which I gave life to is dead and I can’t do a thing about it. I got self-esteem, am carrying more than I can deal with, I put it together in my own understanding, and it is dead. I can’t do anything with it. The ministry is not God breathed. Pastor Forte said we are not breathing, that we have bad breath, we have been anointed with so much anointing oil that we could grease a chicken, and yet the ministry is dead, the finances are in trouble, the marriage is shaken, the children are disobedient, there are problems with your job. What we are doing is ineffective, and not working anymore – it’s dead. I’m in a mess and I can’t fix it. Yet when we come to church we are actors. Our house can fall apart, we can have a spirit of homicide on us, and yet we smile, bless others, and put on an outward show.
There is a history of the devil fighting you, and we think we don’t have to be honest in the face of the One Person who can help us, Jesus. We won’t get what we want from God unless we are honest to the face of God. This ruler interrupted Jesus. What is worship? Worship takes you from the outer court and brings you face to face with God. Why in the world would you not tell Him what you want? When God asks a question He’s not seeking information – He knows. He wants us in His presence, face-to-face.
This ruler had realized who Jesus really was – Pastor Forte said that Jesus was like a mega minister today – and all the local priests were jealous that this upstart with only 3 1/2 years of ministry experience was attracting huge crowds. The ruler had to get past his mindset and get into worship for he was desperate. God will sometimes put you in desperate situations to get you to the point where you reach out to Him in worship.
Pastor Forte told us that once we know the mechanics of worship, the hymns, the songs, the dance we can worship by rote – only when we are desperate does worship take on a whole new role. Then we see Jesus from a whole different point of view.
Neither the ruler’s money or authority would change his daughter from being dead to being alive. His worship for Jesus came out of his emptiness. God permits you to get to that point sometimes so your worship is purified.
The man asked that Jesus would put His hands on the girl and she would live. The ruler’s request showed he no longer viewed Jesus as just a little rabbi, but as God, for he was asking something only God could do. In our situations there are things only God can change. Pastor Forte told us we have to see God in the people in our world, that we need to be desperate for us to see the person sitting next to you in church is carrying God within them, so is your wife, husband, worship leader, Pastor. There could be God on the inside.
Pastor Forte talked about how he can only see with his glasses. If there is oil on the lenses he won’t see clearly, he has to clean the glasses, and only God can totally clean the glasses of our senses so that we can see clearly.
There are a lot of people who have stuff from 2007 in them that God wants to clean out in preparation for 2008. Worship is the vehicle, not an offering, not supporting a faith ministry, sending in a love gift, becoming a monthly supporter, God just wants worship in its purest form. Some of us are out to praise. Worship will take us further than praise. In these verses the ruler came to Jesus to worship Him.
Jesus responds to the worship, and it says that Jesus rose (which means that he was in a sitting position while the ruler was at his feet.) Jesus responded, he and the church (disciples) with him. Jesus followed the ruler and so did the disciples.
Then SUDDENLY A WOMAN. (The way Pastor Forte said that, rolling his eyes, and with an expression that had all the men in the church laughing). He said that suddenly, when we finally begin to get to God, to pray, when we have been suffering enough, are in a state of loneliness, or down in depression we FINALLY get to God, then everyone comes over, calls you on the phone, the kids talk to you, your husband comes to you with that special cologne and wants to get alone with you, or whatever interruption that is trying to come between you and that time with God.
This woman had a flow of blood for 12 years. In the book of Mark the Bible tells us that she had been to everyone’s clinic, had taken those Christian vitamins, the Noni juice, every herb but (reefer), had done everything, seen every doctor, she was broke and had no health care plan. She was deficient, empty, desperate, totally desperate. She was in the same predicament as the ruler.
We laughed so hard when Pastor Forte’ spoke to the various ministers in our church about Granola Ministry – the fruits, nuts and flakes, wondering why God does not send some people with sense and money. But then he pointed out that your ministry reflects where God has put you, and what you allow. (Heather’s comment, granola ministries sound a lot more exciting than bland ministries).
This woman had her flow of blood for twelve years. Because she was bleeding she was ceremonially unclean, and couldn’t go to Temple (Church) where she could get healed. So she had NO WAY OF BEING HEALED. If someone in the crowd had caught a whiff of her blood, they would have had the right to stone her to death.
The church should be a place where a person can come to be healed. Yet in the Church there are wounded animals hurting other wounded animals. What does the Church do when homosexuals come? When that girl that had an abortion comes in? Or the drug addict comes? We, as the Church, have a reputation of hating – not helping. We are not attracting the very people who need us. Until the Church changes and repents the hurting will not come to our doors. If we repent of this attitude, our churches would be overflowing with those who come to be healed. We need to remember what we were like before we got saved. We used to be drunks, whores, hooked on pornography, in the old days people went to “art theaters” now people can get hooked on pornography from their computers. So many live double lives – housewife in the morning/hooker on the internet at night. It is the same for men – men seek younger women on the internet. A pregnant girl comes to church and we look down. There is sexual immorality in all churches, but we like to point to the Catholic priests as if they were the only ones.
James 1:12 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
To endure means that we have gone through something and been approved. A person who spent all of their life sanctified, in the church, never doing anything wrong is not going to be able to help someone who has gone through something tough- for they have nothing to relate to. People need a person who has been through stuff. We need to share, boast and praise what Jesus did.
Today in the church we stone with our mouths, our looks, we treat differently, isolate, label, not let our children get involved with their children. This kind of treatment of those who are hurting in our churches NEEDS TO DIE and not be brought into 2008. If we can cease condemning others, the Church of God will not be able to contain the number of people who come to the church.
Pastor Forte asked who was the generation X in the church – then he said that we are all “X” something.
Notice in the above Bible passage that the woman SAID TO HERSELF. She did not say to ANYONE ELSE. It is important what we say to ourselves. Sixty percent of the effectiveness of medicine is what the person believes, what they have faith to receive from the medicine. We need to listen to what I am saying about myself. Don’t put your hand in the destiny of anyone else. Be careful who you listen to.
The president of MENSA was told that he should drop out of school – get a job and survive for he would never succeed in school. So for 16 years he shaved a dummy, dressed a dummy, and looked in the mirror at the dummy. He went through 100 jobs in 16 years. The 101st job gave him a aptitude test and this man tested out as a genius. So from that moment on he shaved a genius, dressed a genius and looked in the mirror at the genius. He ended up making 11 US patents. He had allowed someone else to define him. DO NOT ACCEPT THE LIMITATIONS PUT ON YOU BY OTHER MEN. Pastor Forte looked at all the young people in the sanctuary and told them not to accept the limitations.
Pastor Forte said that church people do not GOSSIP – they SHARE. Remember there are situations that are only between you and God.
The woman with the issue of blood had to build herself up, to be ready to do what no one else will do. Take your situation to God.
Pastor Forte continued his teaching with more about the woman with the issue of blood. I will share this tomorrow – and also share what he teaches tonight. I pray, if you get a chance, that you come to Living Word Chapel to hear him yourself. This man is truly a prophet of God.
Have a blessed day!
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