Sermons

"As a man thinks in his heart so is he." Prov. 23:7. Therefore it is imperative to receive good instruction in the Word so that we may have our hearts transformed to think like God thinks. The Bible tells us, "be not conformed to this world, but be transformed!" It then tells us how; "by the renewing of our minds." Rom 12:2. Our job is to get the Word in us, and then the Word will do the work. But this happens only when we understand it correctly! That is why the Lord gave us gifted and anointed teachers in the body of Christ; To effectively sow His Word into us. Though the world throws it’s problems at us, the Word of God teaches us how to face each and every situation of life and to do so victoriously and with Joy. The Lord did not say that we just have to put up with the problems in the world. He said that "We are to be more than conquerors through Him who loved us!" Rom. 8:37 As we hear the Word through anointed teaching, it comes alive inside of us and begins the transformation process. Hallelujah! Good teaching brings life! Good teaching will set you free! Come sit under the teaching at Agathos, and you can be assured to see more victory and more joy in every aspect of your life!

No Compromise and No Condemnation

9/4/16
- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary Blog Post

When something isn't operating according to its commission, we call it "out-of-commission." We don't want to be out-of-commission Christians. It's important to know what our job as believers is. So what is our job description as Christians–what is our commission?  According to the Gospels, our Great Commission is as outlined:

  • Go everywhere
  • Everywhere you go, preach the gospel to every creature
  • Make disciples of all the nations
  • Baptize those that believe in the name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit
  • Teach them to observe all things that I (Jesus) have commanded you 
We also see that these signs should follow those who believe: 
  • Cast out demons
  • Speak with new tongues
  • Pick up serpents
  • If you drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt you
  • Lay hands on the sick and they will recover 
Our Christian Job Description (our Commission) has NOTHING to do with our identity in Christ! The Great Commission is not "the great commission for righteousness...to earn righteousness!" It is just the Christian job description! 
  • In wanting to be transformed concerning the commission, the first stage is denial/avoidance. Look at the Commission and don't let it depart from your eyes. Don't gloss over it. Don't average it out (aka justify yourself). Don't claim that it doesn't work because you've tried it half heartedly before with correspondingly poor results. 
  • The next stage can be condemnation. At this stage, remember it is important to not let your identity get wrapped up in your job description. To the pure all things are pure. If you are looking at the Commission and you think "I don't do any of this." OK, that feedback is PURE. There's nothing more to it. It's just data. It's just feedback. It's not your identity. Don't get your identity from your job; you get your identity from Christ, and then you help people. 
  • The third stage is to embrace the tension. You want to look squarely at the Commission and the things that will follow and feel the tension that says, "I don't see that" or "I don't want to do that." You stay in that tension and say "I know, my heart's going to change, but I am not letting it depart from my eyes until I see my heart change to line up with the Word because that is my standard!" Be careful not to throw a pity party for yourself and go back into condemnation in the midst of the tension. Understand that we are prone to use condemnation as a cop-out. You are not victimized because someone or the Word told you the truth! Stay in the tension–you can do it and you will be changed!
  • You begin to actually have faith rise up in your heart for the scripture you are keeping before your eyes! 
We are going to do the Great Commission with zero modification AND zero condemnation! Commissioned! It's a good thing. The Commission has NOTHING to do with your identity in Him. It has everything to do with a job that needs done. Keep it before your eyes and we're going to build from there. Amen! 
 

Jesus Perfectly Demonstrated God's Will for Healing

8/21/16
- Brad Ettore
Audio Written Summary Blog Post

Jesus demonstrated the will of God perfectly. Jesus’ works are the Father’s works. He came to show us the Father. So, let’s look at how Jesus revealed the will of the Father as it relates to healing. In Mathew 9:35. we read that Jesus healed every sickness and every disease among the people. Does that say to you that the Father might heal some people and not heal others? Of course not! The reason Jesus healed every single person in all the cities that He went to was because it must clearly be the will of the Father to heal every sickness and every disease! Sickness is a curse. God is not using sickness to teach you anything. God is not doing anything other than healing sickness! 

Sickness can be demonic in its source, but not always of course. In Mathew 12:22 we read “Then one was brought to Him who was demon-possessed, blind and mute; and He healed him, so that the blind and mute man both spoke and saw.” Jesus healed this man of blindness and muteness by casting the devil out. Likewise, God has given believers the authority over all the power of the enemy!
 
Healing wasn’t just for Jesus to minister. In Matthew 10, Jesus sends out the twelve apostles to heal the sick, cleanse lepers, raise the dead, and cast out demons. And it wasn’t just the apostles! In Luke 10 Jesus sends out 70 others to heal the sick. Likewise in John 14:12 Jesus says those who believes in Him will do what He did and beyond. Finally in Mark 16:14-18 Jesus said “And these signs will follow those who believe.”  He said those signs will follow those who believe!
Some believers say “doesn’t the Word teach that we are to suffer for the sake of the gospel?” It sure does! But if you look at it and allow Scripture to interpret itself, the Greek word for suffering is used 65 times to mean “suffering” and only one time does it refer to sickness and in that case Jesus said it is a demon causing the suffering not God, and He cast him out. Sickness is not of God. The bible is very clear in the New Testament: when it is talking about suffering it is referring to trials, tribulation and persecution - never sickness, not even poverty. Those are considered a curse and God doesn’t put curses on His children. Difficulty, however, is not a curse. God will use situations to develop character in us.
 
Some will ask about Paul’s “thorn in the flesh.” When we read these Old Testament verses we see that Paul was using Old Testament language in describing his “thorn in the flesh”.  In Joshua 23:12-13, Numbers 33:55, and Judges 2:1-3 “thorns in sides” refers to people who harass you. Paul mentioned his thorn in the flesh in 2 Corinthians 12:7. Paul was describing people who were harassing him in every town he went into. (2 Cor. 11) What Paul is saying is that satan was stirring up people to attack him everywhere he went. This was not a matter of God trying to keep him from being prideful; it was the devil keeping him from being exalted by buffeting him, and he called it a thorn in his side. 
 
How can we just know for certain that healing is the will of God? If you just need a couple of scriptures, look at Isaiah 53:4-6, where you can see very clearly that sin and sickness were paid for on the Cross. And then if you think that healing for sickness referred to in Isaiah 53 wasn’t real physical healing (that perhaps it was just spiritual healing), thank God we've got Mathew 8:17-18. In Matthew 8, Jesus casts out demons and He heals all the sick that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah in Isaiah 53. There is also 1Peter 2:24 which says, “Who bore our sins on his own body on the tree that we having died the sin might live for righteousness by whose stripes you were healed.” God paid the price for you and I to be physically healed and walking in health our whole life. 
 
Finally, someone might say well then how are you supposed to die? Psalms tells you how. He takes away your breath. That’s how we’re supposed to go. When it’s time to go, He takes away your breath. Nowhere in Scripture can you find that you are supposed to die of cancer or diabetes or some other sickness. You are supposed to die well, healthy, and strong! And then you say “Lord, my work is done, I am out of here.” And He will say “OK, come be with Me!” And you check out nice and peacefully in the middle of your sleep. 

Understanding the Relationship between Sin and Sickness

8/7/16
- Brad Ettore
Audio Written Summary Blog Post

It is God’s will to heal everyone without exception and immediately. If you or I pray for someone and healing does not take place, the issue is always on the part of man – without exception. Healing is real. It is for today and we are seeing it happen at Agathos right now. Each believer is as capable of healing as any other, and God has commissioned all believers to pray for the sick.

It is imperative to know that God's will is to heal everyone all of the time or you will not reach any successful level in the area of healing. Jesus bore on the cross the things that God doesn’t want on you! According to Isaiah 53, Jesus “has borne our sicknesses and carried our diseases!” God doesn’t want sickness and disease on people because Jesus already bore it! When Jesus took care of the sin, He took care of the sickness. Sickness is the result of sin. In Luke 5:23-24, Jesus even demonstrates that he could forgive sin by healing sickness! Jesus instructively connected sin and sickness for us in that story. Sin is the source of all sickness - all of it!  
 
Not only is it God’s will to forgive you,He already has! And as a result, not only is it His will to heal you, He already has! Your healing is already done, that’s why 1 Pe. 2:24 says, “by His stripes you were healed.” Were – past tense. It is finished. Your healing is already done! This is why it is not even a question about God’s will to heal -- any more than it’s a question about God’s will to forgive! He’s already done it. Faith is what activates what God has already done. What does it take to get saved? Faith is what appropriates what Jesus did. Faith in His forgiveness causes the new birth. Faith in the fact that He’s already healed you causes the healing to take place. Amen!
7/31/16
- Bryan Mangerchine
Audio Blog Post

If we are not seeing fruit in our lives we have to look at our inputs - because input equals output. The Lord gave us very clear instructions on the inputs that lead to fruitful output. In Mark 4, Jesus says some of the seed falls in the wayside.  The wayside is Satan stealing the Word. Satan steals the Word by contradicting the Word or lying to us - by giving us different thoughts that are in opposition to the Word.  Jesus also warned about having a heart of rocky soil. If our hearts have rocky soil, we are going to hear the Word, we are going to be like, “yes I believe it! That is what I'm talking about, God is good!” And then we are going to go do very little with it.  You will not cultivate it and the result will be that trouble or persecution will cause it to wither away in your life. Jesus continued by warning about thorny soil. Thorny soil equals a lack of prioritization. Our prioritization of the Word has to outpace all of our other priorities if we want to see big fruit. Good soil on our hearts produces fruit - every time guaranteed.  And, so, if we are not producing fruit we can go back and look at what is it? 

- Do I have the Word coming into my heart? 
- Am I listening to the lies of the enemy? 
- Am I not really going after it and acting on the Word? 
- And, then, is it top priority for me or not?
 
For those of you who want measurably more without fail, seek the Word, make it a priority above all else.  Diligently cultivate, and out of a place of rest expect the harvest that is to come. Your fruitfulness is already provided for; it is just a matter of you living out this process in order for him to bring the sickle for you. You will get to your destination if you stay in your lane, keep your foot on the gas pedal, and don't get distracted.

Introduction

7/17/16
- Brad Ettore
Audio Written Summary Blog Post
When we look in the Bible, we see Jesus healing the sick. We read that and it gives us hope. Hope that God still desires to heal today. But, what we see around us doesn’t seem to support that idea. So the questions begin in our minds. “Am I misunderstanding what I’m reading or seeing in the Bible regarding healing?” In this teaching, the intent is to address and cover these issues. Here are two statements that will serve as the border for the rest of the teaching:
  1. It is God's will today (and will be forever) to heal spirit, soul, and bodily and to heal every single person without exception. In other words, it is God’s will to heal ALL who are sick WITHOUT EXCEPTION.
  2. Whenever someone is not healed, the issue (roadblock, hindrance) is ALWAYS on the part of man—never on the part of God.
Divine healing is real, it for God’s people, it’s alive and well today, and it is up to us to understand it, receive it, and then walk in it.  It is not up to God. He’s already made up His mind. He gave it to us, and it is not only for us. It is also a ministry to minister to other people. We just need to understand it, receive it, and then walk in it.  Amen!
 

Promotion Through Pruning

7/3/16
- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary Blog Post

“In theory only” is called religion. It’s form, no function.  It’s form, no fruit. Jesus hates that.  In John 10:37, Jesus said “if I don’t do the works of my Father, don’t believe me.” That’s the standard. The Holy Spirit is wanting to convict you of things in the Kingdom that you haven’t seen yet. But, if you are not bearing much fruit, the Father’s heart is to lift you up - not to cast you out! (Jn. 15:2) Fruitfulness is actually natural for a believer. Fruitfulness consists of both fruitful “works” (Eph. 2:10) and fruitful “ways” (Galatians 5). "Every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit.” There is only one reason God prunes you - that you would bear more fruit.  

Pruning looks like being transformed by His Word (Romans 12:2), being led like a sheep with a shepherd, or like being chastised (Heb. 12:11). Remember that pruning is progressive and makes you better equipped to bear fruit. We can trust God to prune us according the plans He has for us. The more we act, the more we grow, and the more we grow, the more we get pruned. The goal of pruning is not to avoid it, but to embrace it.

The Value of Fruitfulness

6/19/16
- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary Blog Post

When you expect more, you get more!  Jesus expected His relationship with His Father to make an impact in the lives of others, but a religious spirit tries to replace fruit with just words. 1 Cor. 4:20 says “for the Kingdom of God is not in word but in power!”

Those that are the most fruitful in the Kingdom of God know what the Word of God says, believe it, and practice it!  Wherever you are fine with fruitlessness is where the enemy will steal from you. We have to value fruitfulness.  Jesus said in Jn. 10:37 that if He didn’t do the works of the Father that we should not believe Him!  That’s the standard.’
 
But the pressure is not on us to bear fruit!  A self-righteous root will never bear kingdom fruit! God’s curse is on self-righteousness, but God’s blessing is on another root! Jesus said “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.” (Jn 15:5) Jesus’ disciples bear much fruit! Fruitlessness in the Kingdom is caused by being your own root - trusting in yourself. Fruitfulness is caused by being in Christ!
 
What do you have faith rising for in your heart? Hebrews 11:1 (ESV) tells us that faith is a conviction—of things not yet seen. The Holy Spirit wants to convict you of the things you haven’t seen yet!  He wants to convict you that there’s more.  May our hunger become so thick that we cannot have it any other way.

Dealing with Unforgiveness and Offense

6/5/16
- Brad Ettore
Audio Written Summary Blog Post

As believers, we all know that we are supposed to walk in love, but are we loving others like Jesus loves us?  We may think that the love walk is hard. But when you start believing correctly the love walk is really, really easy. In fact, you will actually find that not walking in love is infinitely times harder than walking in love.

 
The first reason to walk in love is because your Father wants you to!  The second benefit to walking in love is that it is how we experience God’s fullness. Jn. 15:9-12 says that if you obey God’s commandment—to love one another as I have loved you—your joy will be FULL!
 
Loving people is not about feelings.  God says “Overcome evil with good!”  Every part of Christianity is about whether we are going to be moved by our feelings or by the Word of God.That is our choice at all times. When I fail in my Christian walk, I always fail for the same reason—I was moved by my feelings instead of the Word. When I am successful is when I make a decision to be moved by the Word irregardless of my feelings.  The whole reason our feelings even get involved is because we are still way too alive! God says we are to die to self! Someone has said “you will never be greatly used by God until you get your ‘I’ punched out.”
 
The greatest hindrance to loving people is unforgiveness. Unforgiveness is always triggered by offense.  Our Father doesn’t want us to harbor unforgiveness.  We need to know that unforgiveness is a toxic poison in the heart.  It will literally cause you to physically decay. It will cause you to mentally bog down. It is emotionally destructive.  We need to realize that ALL unforgiveness in the heart is demonic in nature. Unforgiveness is NOT of God.  Unforgiveness is you and I drinking poison—hoping that they will die. So, let’s find a better way to deal with it!
 
So, how do we walk in love and constant forgiveness towards everyone?
  1. By possessing correct theology (or in other words, thinking like God thinks).
  2. We must have faith in our God-likeness.
  3. We often have a hard time forgiving someone because we mix the concepts of forgiveness and reconciliation, but God does not say “be reconciled to everyone.” NO. He says “forgive everyone.”  Reconciliation takes both parties, forgiveness only requires you. “With everything that is within YOU, be at peace with all men.”
  4. You and I are not the judge of the earth. Your Father asks you to give to them what He already gave to you in a much bigger way. God is saying “I forgave you of a massive debt. I am asking you to do the same for them.” God is actually going to balance all the books at the end perfectly! We can release them to the only lawgiver that there is and no that He is perfect in His ways!

Life and Life Abundantly: More Than Theory

5/29/16
- Peter DeWitt
Audio

Jesus came to give us life, and life abundantly. (Jn. 10:10)  But the enemy comes to steal, kill, and destroy.  The abundant life the Lord has for you is not in theory only!  When we are willing to know God in theory only, the enemy can steal from us in reality.  Jesus had no value for words without works (see Jn. 10:37).  Likewise, James had no value for faith without action.  In Luke 18, the blind man put action behind his faith when he cried out to Jesus.  The crowd tried to silence him, but he cried out all the more. Jesus recognized and responded to his faith: "what do you want Me to do for you?"  And that's the question for you today as well.  What do you want Him to do for you? What part of your walk with God do you want to promote from theory to reality?

Being Known by God (Part 6)

5/15/16
- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary Blog Post

Good students ask questions. We all have questions on our heart to ask God. The Lord today is saying “what do you want to know about?” Jesus said "Ask and it will be given to you … for whoever asks receives.” (Mt. 7:7-8) We need to go to God with our questions! Our experience as a student is determined by our initiative. If you sit in the back of the class, you cannot expect to have a front row experience with God! If you are not asking questions, you are not a student. Disciples are students. If you are not asking questions, you are not playing the role of disciple. In the New Covenant, you can go straight to God to ask Him questions for yourself! God wants to be the instructor in every area of your life! Be specific -phrase your questions to God in such a way that you can do something with His answers. Start asking Him questions about something - with the expectation of being changed by His answer. If you are willing to turn at the Lord’s direction, He will make His words known to you. (Prov. 1:23) Raise your hand (and your voice); He wants to make His secrets known to you! (Jer. 33:3) God does not want to just to puff up your heads without changing your life. God has prepared special revelation, special inventions, special innovations, special insight for you – with your name on it – in Heaven. Do you realize that you are God’s #1 choice to bring impact in certain areas of this world? When you are a friend of God, He tells you more! (Jn. 15:14-15) You are His friend if you do whatever He commands you. The Holy Spirit wants to teach us in every area of our lives! When you are obedient to the insight and direction He has already given you, He will give you more. Faithful with little … given much! Engage with God, inquire in His temple. Ask Him questions!

Loving Unbelivers

5/1/16
- Brad Ettore
Audio Written Summary Blog Post

“For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”(Rom. 5:10) When were we reconciled according to that verse? Was it when we accepted Christ into our lives? No! It was when we were still enemies that we were reconciled - before we accepted Christ! But how could reconciliation for the whole world have already occurred? It was Jesus’ death that paid the price! It has nothing to do with us. It was an agreement between the Father and the Son. Jesus came and paid the price for our sins and the Father said “accepted.” The whole world, literally, has been forgiven of their sins. However, that is not salvation.His death brought reconciliation, His life brings salvation (eternal life). If you believe God is angry and hating sinful people, it will affect your actions towards others! This is an era of reconciliation. God imputed everyone’s sins to Christ.  He is not holding any of them against anyone!  Yes, there will be a Judgment Day - but it’s not today!  Prior to The Judgment Day, the world has the opportunity to come to the Lord now with no animosity between them and God - so that they might receive His Son. God is already at peace with all people! And since there is no animosity between the God and the world, neither should we have ANY animosity between us and them!  Just love for them.

4/17/16
- Brad Ettore
Audio Written Summary Blog Post

Jesus gave us one commandment: that we would love one another in the same way that He has loved us.Our love is the signpost for the world to know Jesus! Loving people is being like God. Consider this: what is the one thing we can know that the Father is doing with everyone on the planet at all times? He is loving them! Why does God not hate sinners? Isn’t He just in His judgment of sin? Of course God is completely just in the judgment of sin; God has already punished their sin!God has already forgiven the sin debt of all people, but they have to CHOOSE to receive that gift. The world is just one step away from all the blessings of God in their life - and that is to receive salvation. This is the New Covenant and it is based on one single commandment and that is to love! You cannot love parents and hate their children. If you want to have the greatest relationship with God, the greatest joy, the fullness of God in your life, you can do it by loving other people! Throw off judgment - it is none of our business! It’s taken care of - God’s got it! All we have to do is love!

Trust in God, not Money (part 2)

4/3/16
- Brad Ettore
Audio Written Summary Blog Post

In order to understand God’s perspective about money we need to be spiritually minded and not carnally minded. So, here is the Biblical view about money in one statement: Money isn’t the issue; trust is. “Children, how hard it is for those who trust in riches to enter the kingdom of God!” (Mk. 10:24) Money doesn’t give you significance. There is only ONE PLACE that TRUE significance comes from - it’s from service. God will give you more and more as long as we prove to be good stewards with what He has given us. “Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things.” (Mt. 25:21) Remember that "finances" is not the big thing. It is actually the training wheels that God uses to teach His children to trust in Him.The tithe is the first rung on the latter. Giving is the second rung on the latter, but God has so much more for His children! He uses money to teach us. God has true riches for us that are far better than money! (Lk. 16:11)

Being Known by God (Part 5)

3/20/16
- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary Blog Post

God doesn’t want a one-way relationship with you. He wants us to be known by Him, but being known by God is not a relational auto-pilot experience.One of the keys to being known by God is we have to have time with Him. The Lord wants to have a thing, a special thing, with you. He doesn’t want the new testament believers to stand back from His presence while one believer is in front of the Lord face-to-face. The face-to-face relationship is available for each of us!  One of the best ways for God to get to know you is that He will ask you questions. When God asks you questions, He invites you to discover the answers with Him. The process of discovering answers with God actually causes you to own the answers once you’ve received them. God will ask us questions but He wants us to ask Him questions too!  When you read the Word, ask God questions about what you are reading! God also wants the experiences that you have day-to-day to provide opportunities to develop understanding of Kingdom principles … but in order to develop that understanding, you need to ask “why.” When you seek the Lord in your day-to-day life He develops understanding - because you have been crying out for understanding. (Prov. 2:1-7) You literally become a pillar of understanding that people flock to in order to hear what you’ve heard from the Lord. This understanding comes from asking Him questions! When you ask Him questions, it invites Him to be a teacher in your life. And what a blessing it is to you and others when you are His student!

Being Known by God (Part 4)

3/6/16
- Peter DeWitt
Audio Written Summary Blog Post

Our relationship with God is a two-way street, but you do not want to be the foundation of your walk with God.  He’s the Rock, not us!  Being known by God is wonderful, but it is not a relational auto-pilot experience. As it relates to our personal relationship with Him, God, Our Father, as omniscient as He is, generally chooses to make Himself dependent upon our invitation to be known by Him.  We have to invite Him in!  Allowing God to ask us questions is a great way for Him to get to know us.  The Lord’s questions in our life cause us to reflect or self-assess.  The Lord's questions will also challenge us, test us, and encourage or draw out our faith.  Great teachers ask transformative questions.  When God asks you questions, it causes you to own the answer. God’s questions invite us to be a student.  And then our questions invite Him to be a teacher.

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