All posts by Douglas Thomas

Bless Billy’s Heart

Billy Graham gave evangelism a good name. He had wisdom to know that new believers need to be connected to some congregation quickly at the level of being a family member if they were going to continue to be related to the church.

Still,  only 4 – 5% of his converts lasted more than 4 years in a congregation without separating from the church. Most congregations don’t value new, messy believers, so they don’t hold on to them and grow them up.

Billy taught in his sermons that Jesus said, “Ye must be born again!”

What Billy interpreted that to mean was, “If you want to go to heaven when you die, you have to be born again.” That’s not what Jesus said to Nicodemus, though.

He told him, “I tell you that unless a person is born again from above, he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” (CJB John 3:3)

If you have not been born of God, you cannot SEE the Kingdom. It is all around you, but you have to be born from above or you can’t discern its presence and involvement and accomplishments.

Paul wrote to the congregations at Corinth, “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”  (NKJV 1 Cor 2:14-15)

Yahweh Sent the demon

In 1 Samuel 16:14-23 there is the story of a tormenting spirit that Yahweh sent to Saul after He removed His Spirit from him. Even the servants around the palace knew somehow that Yahweh had sent the demon to torture the boss.

Tormenting Saul was not the point of sending the spirit, though. The point was giving David the throne. You can’t see either of those truths at the beginning of the story. That is important to notice with the advantage we have of knowing the end of the story.

The first impact Yahweh made with the missionary demon was drawing David into the palace. He was called in to play anointed music that drove the demon out of the palace. But Yahweh sent the demon, so it always came back.

Eventually, the demon drove David out of the palace, by influencing Saul to try to kill him. It accused him of evil. It drew on the resources of the throne to chase David with the hope of cutting him off from his destiny. It forced him to form an army. It forced him to serve other thrones. Finally, it caused Saul’s death.

David could not prevail against Saul because of the demon. He could not prevail permanently against the demon for two reasons: If he really overcame the demon, he would have to harm Saul, because of Saul’s alignment with the spirit. Second, Yahweh sent the demon.

David was destined by the call of Yahweh. He was strengthened by the fight with Saul to hate Saul’s ways enough to refuse to walk in them.

He did not quit expecting to sit on the throne, therefore, he did not fail.


Most of your body is water.

If you get dehydrated, your brain doesn’t work at full force. Each cell struggles to draw nutrition in and wash spent nutrients out. Your eyes get dry. Your throat gets dry. Your head hurts.

If you are working or playing hard, and don’t have enough water in your blood to turn into sweat, you can overheat. When you do sweat while dehydrated, you get more dehydrated.

If you are thirsty, you are already dehydrated. Sometimes you are so dehydrated that your stomach is asking for water, not just your mouth and throat. It feels like hunger.

The time to do something about dehydration is before it happens. Drinking water before you are thirsty is called hydration. Just like breathing deeply before you run up stairs so that you are not out of breath when you get to the top.

Your spirit needs breath from Yahweh’s Spirit. You need it ahead of time all the time. You need to have a mind set on peace before you need peace. You need to have a mind filled with how awesome your God is before you hear how bad your circumstances just became.

You need to drink from the fountain of Living Water before you get thirsty. Read something or listen to something or someone that speaks of faith or agape or joy before you need those to be in your spirit for a quick response to a bad situation.

On purpose, ahead of time, make habits of pouring truth about Who your God is, and about who He says you are into your mind. Take responsibility for making Spiritual hydration available to yourself.

Drink often. Drink deeply.

Offer a drink of Life to your neighbor at every opportunity.


One day recently I was whining to Yahweh. The whine du jour was related to how tired I was of fighting. I was wondering if the next level of humanity, for those born of God who would move on into the next epic thing Yahweh does after producing a Bride for Jesus, would just be more fighting. I was walking across a parking lot while “praying.” Before I got to the other side, I got a text. From a dear and trusted friend. It said, simply, “You were born to fight.”

There you go. I remembered that He called Himself Yahweh Sabaoth – Commander of Armies – over 200 times in the Book. He called Himself Yahweh-other things (like Jireh) maybe 30 times altogether. OK. We are here to war.

The greater the battle you are going to enter, the greater the power of unity will be against you. The greater the battle, the more unity you will need with you in order to prevail.

Unity = Power. It is not good or evil. Good can exact as much power with it as evil can.

If you are going to cast a demon out of someone who doesn’t want to be possessed, you and a friend have the demon cornered. Agree with the Spirit of God in you and you have the demon outnumbered. Your authority in the earth as a son or daughter of Adam is greater than any demon, actually. Two can just do it easier.

If you are going to deal with a witch, the power of unity is at work against you. A human agreeing with a demon. When several witches and several demons have  gathered to assault you or your city, you should gather some unity before confronting it unless Yahweh has given you some special assignment that you don’t need the rest of the Body for. (Unlikely…)

If you are planning to confront a principality, or world power, or a territorial spirit, you need lots of unity. The prince that is ruling is in a position to rule because the humans in the area are giving him power by unifying in lending him their authority. Examples are Sedona, Las Vegas, DC, San Francisco, New York City. The agreement among the people that is in agreement with the ruling spirit’s nature is empowering the spirit to rule, and creates an area where the spirit’s brand of evil is accepted or exalted.

As darkness increases, light will increase more, if I am reading Isaiah 60 correctly. Some of the greatness of our light will only be found in unity. Some of the works we are called to are only possible when we learn to discern the presence of Jesus in each other and agree with Him and His ways.

1 Corinthians 12:31 says that chapter 13 is the way the unity Paul wrote about in chapters 10 – 12 & 14 is possible. Be washed away in that deep water.

Apostle is a Kingdom Word

We should really be something between surprised and perplexed by the fact that one of the times Jesus spent the night praying, He called his disciples around Him and called 12 of them “apostles.”

“Disciples” makes sense. Some of His followers were in deep relationships with Him. Some were intent on being obedient to His instructions and on applying His teachings to their hearts and lives. Other rabbis had disciples. Saul of Tarsus was a disciple of Gamaliel, a rabbi and a member of the ruling council of Israel. No rabbi had apostles.

“Apostle” is a socio-political word. Rome was considered a supernatural city in the first century. Caesar was considered a god. The laws that governed the empire ruled by Rome made special provisions and protections for citizens of Rome. Not citizens of the empire – the city. Some cities in the empire were given a special status that elevated them to some sense of having the super nature Rome had by being “colonized” by Rome.

If the imposition on the colonized city had been sickness, it would have been “infected.” Since, instead, it was being “blessed” by a manifestation of the supernatural identity of the city of Rome, it was a “colonization,” or an impartation of Rome’s magical wonderfulness. The status included that city’s citizens being given the status of being citizens of the city of Rome. It was useful for implementing what some people call “gold chains” – an enslavement that looks like benefit and prestige. Ephesus was such a city. Tarsus, where Saul (Paul) was born, was another.

The colonization that accomplished the change of status included sending citizens of the city of Rome to the lesser city to impart the aura and identity (the magic) of that great city to bring its glory into the colony. The process was “apostolic.” The people who were sent, including the servants who drove the wagons or piloted the ships, were apostles. The fact that they were “sent” was the reason. “Apostle” means “sent.”

Jesus was colonizing the earth with citizens of Heaven. The leaders of that colonization project are apostles. Just like the first twelve, apostles look, think, and work differently from each other today. Some are well educated, some are hillbillies. Some make messes. Some do astonishingly wonderful things. Some get blueprints for big projects. Some you never hear what they did.

Jesus is creating colonies in which the culture of Heaven is providing an environment where His family can flourish. Being a citizen in one of these colonies has the status of Heavenly citizenship.

Manifest Heaven in yours.

The Kingdom and the Church

The Kingdom of Heaven is not the Church of Jesus Christ, and it is not “going to Heaven when we die.”

In perhaps the narrowest terms, the Church is the family of Yahweh and the Kingdom is the people who obey Him, whether they are members of His family or not. Identity is only indirectly characterized by work. “Manager” is my work, not my identity. “Son” is my identity, not my job title. You can describe yourself in terms of what you do, but your identity is more truly expressed by your relationships.

John the Baptizer was the greatest prophet that was ever born of a woman, according to Jesus. When faced with the works of the Kingdom being done by Jesus, however, he could not recognize the King. He only knew Jesus as a King because of the revelation he had received as a prophet. He sent word from prison to ask Jesus what was wrong when he couldn’t see Jesus taking up the continuation of John’s ministry of seeing everything through his filter of sin, of right and wrong – good and evil. He was not born of God, so he could not see the Kingdom. Righteousness was out of reach. He could only see sin. Jesus told him to examine His work as manifesting the Kingdom.

To Nicodemus, Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God.  That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.  Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’  The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit.” Whoever has been born of God does not sin, for His seed remains in him; and he cannot sin, because he has been born of God. (John 3:5-8; 1 John 3:9)

Having been born of Yahweh, His sons and daughters have His nature in their spirits. That will never change, without regard for their behavior in flesh. To be able to grasp the stark line dividing the unconditional acceptance of sons from the fierce judgement of servants in the Kingdom makes you able to then easily sift through previously unanswered questions about eternal security as sons and being thrust into outer darkness as disobedient sons.

The disobedient virgins were simply outside when the party began. The unclean creatures caught in the dragnet were thrown into the fire. The virgins all had the same nature, therefore were divided based on obedience, and even then, not to destruction. The fish had different natures, therefore they were divided based on their natures, the unclean to destruction (Matthew 25:1-13; Matthew 13:47-50).

Please read The Kingdom of Our God, a paper I have written on the Kingdom of Heaven.

Living Water

“If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” … this He spoke concerning the Spirit, Whom those believing in Him would receive…

When you are born of Yahweh by believing the death of Jesus became payment for your failures, you begin what can become a life of much manifestation of the Spirit of Jesus. To manifest means to become apparent, or visible. It doesn’t mean to “appear,” but to be perceived. The Spirit of Jesus is present in you somehow all the time, but when you bear the fruit of His presence, Joy, Love, etc, (Galatians 5:22,23), He becomes apparent: He manifests.

He is manifest when you do the supernatural things that relate to the gift He has given you. When you teach (if you are a teacher), when you evangelize (if you are an evangelist), whatever work of His you let Him do through you, causes Him to be experienced by the people who are nearby.

He flows through you and becomes a river of Living Water.

Let Him flow.


Being Negative

Here are some things you can’t do:

Fool Yahweh.

Love someone too much.

Forgive someone too many times.

Waste anything by giving too much of it to Jesus.

Grasp how much Jesus loves you.

Memorize too much Scripture.

Agree with a demon without losing something for having done it.

Get sick in Heaven.

Hide from Yahweh.

Prosper by cheating.

Fail to improve something by cheering up.

Imagine yet how valuable unity with other Believers is.

Cursed with Disunity

Yahweh responded to the building project at Babel with a word and a deed (Genesis 11). The word was a declaration that the people were united, and could, therefore, do ANYthing. The deed was to divide them into groups, separating them by the varied languages that He caused them to suddenly be able to speak.

From the perspective of the people, Yahweh had cursed them. He ruined their project, and He created division between them. This division is the root of racism, nationalism, even the contempt and competitive attitudes that arise between rival universities, generally related to their sports departments.

The division did not cause the “isms,” however. It simply exposed them. It was actually a blessing, not a curse. It was the voluntary empowerment from Yahweh that He gave to humans to make them able to proceed with His instructions to Noah – fill the earth.

Much of the discomfort that happens in our lives, seeming to be a hindrance, is really the King exercising His power to influence our futures by opening and closing doors. You cannot see His Kingdom until you are born of the Spirit.

Even then, you must be willing. Even better is to desire it.

Ask Him to show you how much of what you have been rebuking the devils over is really your Dad giving you a rebuke. Or maybe giving you an invitation.