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A Change in Atmosphere

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As Christians, the atmosphere that we exist in should be permeated with the presence of Holy Spirit!

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OPEN WITH READING and then pray.

Did you know that the earth’s atmosphere is composed of four important gases: Nitrogen (being the most abundant at 78%), followed by Oxygen at 21%, then Argon at slightly less than 1% and the fourth being Carbon Dioxide at 0.03%.
Did you also know that God formed our atmosphere with these 4 gases to operate at an optimal level for life and growth on this earth?
Why am I telling you this, this morning? Is it because I have a deep and burning desire to expand your knowledge of our atmosphere and the science involved therein?
NO! Although, the more that we learn and testify about God’s perfect creation, the more we become aware of how He perfectly formed and fashioned everything! AMEN?!
I mention this to you this morning, about our earth’s atmosphere, to simply point out that we exist within a designed atmosphere that allows for life, mostly undetectable, but there and critical for life, non-the-less!
But there is also another atmosphere that we exist within and like the natural atmosphere that we exist within, this other atmosphere is also critical with regards to our spiritual life and health.

According to the dictionary, there are really two main definitions of the word “atmosphere”, that I will recognize for the simplicity and clarity of today’s message. The first one, we have just delved into: the envelope of gases surrounding the earth or another planet; the air in any particular place.

It is the second definition that is really the main point of emphasis this morning: the pervading tone or mood of a place, situation, or work of art; a surrounding influence or environment.
This definition has associated synonyms with it such as: ambience, air, mood, feel, feeling, character, tone, tenor, aura, quality, undercurrent, flavor and vibe.
You will sometimes here people, when they walk into a place, mention things like, “The tension is so thick in this place you could cut it with a knife!”
Or, “This place has a great aura about it!”
“There is a lot of positive energy flowing in this place!”
In each of these situations and others like them, the people are talking about the “atmosphere” of their surroundings; that is, the tone, mood or influence in the abode around them.
Right now, each one of you may be sensing/feeling something different in the immediate space that you are sitting in, as the atmosphere could be dramatically different in your 2’x2’ sitting area!
You may be saying, “The temperature is the same throughout the room! How can we each be sensing/feeling something different when we are all in the same room with the same temperature controlled environment?!”
THE ANSWER: I am not talking about what your natural body feels and senses, but rather, what your spirit is picking up on!
I mentioned to you last week, about the necessity of having the discerning of spirits and we even prayed about this over many of you!
I hope that you guys pressed in and began seeking this for your lives,as Paul says in I Corinthians that we should each desire the special gifts of Holy Spirit!
You may not have a spiritual gift of discernment about the nature of the spirits that you encounter, but we each one have the ability to pick up on and read the spiritual atmosphere around us.
I think that most of us would say that we have been in a good mood before (that is, happy/joyful), having a really good day and then you walk into a room and just instantly, you begin to feel tension in the room. Like the happiness was just sucked right out of you, RIGHT?
You may have someone come up to you and you can just sense anger or distress all around them.
Maybe, you are the one who is feeling down and you encounter someone who just exudes happiness, to the point that it just feels contagious!
Do you guys all see and understand what I am talking about, when I mention the “atmosphere” of a room or place?
Like I always say, “Never assume that everyone is on the same page as you are.”
We all walk at different levels of understanding and intellect, right?!
If at first, you don't succeed, destroy all evidence that you tried.
Sometimes I wake up grumpy; other times I let her sleep.
I didn't fight my way to the top of the food chain to be a vegetarian.
If we aren't supposed to eat animals, why are they made of meat?
I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me.
There are 3 kinds of people. Those who can count, and those who can't.
Sometimes, the road less traveled is less traveled for a reason.
When I was a kid, my parents moved a lot, but I always found them.
When in charge, ponder. When in trouble, delegate. When in doubt, mumble.
We owe a lot to Thomas Edison; if it wasn't for him, we would be watching TV by candlelight.
For every action, there is an equal and opposite Government program.
Take my advice! I'm not using it.
OK, so back to the atmospheres that we dwell in and around and how we respond to those atmospheres.

We know from reading the Bible, that there exists around us, a spiritual realm, that is referred to as the heavenlies. Just as Paul makes mention of in , “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places.”

And there exists a higher realm in the heavenlies, that is above everything and everyone and the other realms and that is the abode of God, Himself. Just as Paul mentions in , “I know a man in Christ who fourteen years ago was caught up to the third heaven. Whether it was in the body or out of it I do not know, but God knows.”
The third heaven is the realm that our Lord resides in. It is here that Jesus dwells at the right hand of His Father, Paul reminds the church in Colossians, “If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.”
Paul then tells us, as Christians, “God, has raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus. He has blessed us in Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places.”
The point being, we know were God the Father and the Son of God reside; in the third heaven.
We will come back to the point of our being seated with Jesus in the heavenly places in a few minutes.
It is the matter of where the Holy Spirit of God resides that plays a big importance in our message this morning and of the atmosphere that surrounds you.

Everyone must understand, whether you believe in Jesus as Lord and Savior of your life or not, you and I are created beings in the image of God, as the Bible tells us. This refers to our spiritual entity, not our natural bodies, because God is a Spirit. Jesus said, “ For God is Spirit, so those who worship him must worship in spirit and in truth.”

So, as we are triune beings, (body, soul and spirit), and thus able to respond to our natural/physical environment, then in a like manner, we can also detect and respond to the spiritual environment around us, even when we do not completely understand what it means. WE RESPOND TO A SPIRITUAL ATMOSPHERE THAT IS ALL AROUND US!
This is why you can instantly sense something in a room full of people, or with one person, that resonates inside of you as good or bad or troubling or joyous; there is a spiritual realm all around you!
Even the secular, natural world knows that there is something else out there. This is why people spend so much time invested in watching and reading about ghosts and the spirit realm. This is why there are people who live and die by the word of the zodiac and psychics and palm and tarot card readers and all of the other occultic stuff that exists.
According to a study by Market Watch, more than half of young adults in the U.S. (Millennials), believe astrology and horoscopes are actually scientific. Even more, the occult, tarot-card reading, and witchcraft services market grew 2% between 2011 and 2016. The industry analysis firm IBIS World says these services rake in about $2 billion annually.
People, are naturally tuned towards the spiritual realm, because the spirit that exists inside of you, wants to link back up with “THE SPIRIT” that is was fashioned by!
This is why Paul said to the church at Thessalonica, “Now may the God of peace himself sanctify you completely, and may your whole spirit and soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
And there definitely two sides of the spiritual heavenlies that we respond to: the demonic and the realm of God.
tells us, “And you were dead in the trespasses and sins in which you once walked, following the course of this world, following the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that is now at work in the sons of disobedience.”
The devil is called the “prince of the power of the air”, because he is the spiritual evil in the second heaven around us, in the air around us, in the spiritual atmosphere around us, at all times!
Well, just as the enemy is present at all times, in the course of this world and the atmosphere in the heavenlies, so is another spiritual force!
And just as it can be undeniable when someone has the presence of demonic powers around them (whether through possession, or oppression, or just lingering, because the person doesn’t know that they can remove that presence), it is even more so AMAZINGLY obvious when the presence of God shows up within the atmosphere around us!
Let me quickly give you a few examples from the Old Testament, of the presence of God showing up and of how it is undeniable and unstoppable!
, “On the morning of the third day, thunder roared and lightning flashed, and a dense cloud came down on the mountain. There was a long, loud blast from a ram’s horn, and all the people trembled. 17 Moses led them out from the camp to meet with God, and they stood at the foot of the mountain. 18 All of Mount Sinai was covered with smoke because the LORD had descended on it in the form of fire. The smoke billowed into the sky like smoke from a brick kiln, and the whole mountain shook violently. 19 As the blast of the ram’s horn grew louder and louder, Moses spoke, and God thundered his reply.”
, “Then Moses and Aaron went into the Tabernacle, and when they came back out, they blessed the people again, and the glory of the LORD appeared to the whole community.  Fire blazed forth from the LORD’s presence and consumed the burnt offering and the fat on the altar. When the people saw this, they shouted with joy and fell face down on the ground.
, “When Solomon finished praying, fire flashed down from heaven and burned up the burnt offerings and sacrifices, and the glorious presence of the LORD filled the Temple. The priests could not enter the Temple of the LORD because the glorious presence of the LORD filled it. When all the people of Israel saw the fire coming down and the glorious presence of the LORD filling the Temple, they fell face down on the ground and worshiped and praised the LORD, saying, “He is good! His faithful love endures forever!”
Do you see that the occurrence of fire in these verses being representative of God’s presence with His people?
Well, let’s jump forward to the New Testament and witness the presence of God showing up under the New Covenant after the finished work of Jesus Christ on the Cross and His resurrection and see how it is depicted!
, “On the day of Pentecost all the believers were meeting together in one place. Suddenly, there was a sound from heaven like the roaring of a mighty windstorm, and it filled the house where they were sitting. Then, what looked like flames or tongues of fire appeared and settled on each of them. And everyone present was filled with the Holy Spirit and began speaking in other languages, as the Holy Spirit gave them this ability.”
Again, as God’s presence shows up, it is represented through the image of fire. This time, however, the fire is also likened to that of tongues of fire that rests upon each person in the upper room.
The reason being, it is the power and authority of the gospel message (as “spoken” and taught by the believers), that the Holy Spirit was poured out upon all flesh to begin with.
That is, Holy Spirit was sent to empower us to “SPEAK” the truth of the gospel message with boldness and authority. That is why He came. That is why Jesus said that He must come.
Without Holy Spirit being poured out upon the new church, the gospel message would have ceased, before it ever really began.
We need a spiritual force to strengthen us to overcome a spiritual force!
And here is the thing guys, both sides, when they show up and become dominant within the space of our atmospheres, (whether the spiritual darkness of the enemy, or the glorious light of God), both are easily perceivable and will dramatically influence the course of people’s actions!

Let me give you some examples of each kingdom’s presence within the atmosphere of people’s lives, here, in the first heavenly realm on earth and see the outcome of those atmospheres.

In I and II Kings, we read of a king named Ahab, who became king over Israel, after is father, Omri, passed on. And as the old saying goes, “like father, like son”, Ahab did evil in the sight of God, more than all of the others who were before him, just as his father had done!
As bad as Ahab was and would become, it was his marriage to the evil queen Jezebel, a princess from the pagan land of Phoenicia, that would be the evil that would infect and change the spiritual atmosphere of an entire nation!
Under the rule of this evil and wicked woman, the nation of Israel would build actual temples for the worship of Baal as well as any of the other polytheistic gods that the Canaanites worshipped.
Under her rule, sexual sins would prevail in Israel, idol worship would prevail and even the horrible and deplorable state of the Israelites sacrificing their own children to Baal, would become acceptable and practiced.
How could a nation who, previously would kill someone for trying to indoctrinate foreign god worship and the like, now embrace it and even desire it?
Easy, when the enemy has a portal, a willing door to operate through, he will come in like a flood and change the atmosphere of that person, those around that person and if unchecked, the atmosphere of an entire nation!
However, in , God would raise up a standard against the enemy, through His willing vessel, Elijah and begin to dismantle Ahab’s kingdom and the priests of Baal that served it!
Let’s jump forward a little and go to the New Testament and the gospel of Marc 4 and 5.
In , we see Jesus and the disciples in the boat crossing over to the region known as the Decapolis.
Most of us know this story as the boat is caught in a bad storm and the disciples are freaking out.
TELL STORY! (Mention of change in the atmosphere when Jesus shows up and speaks to the storms in our lives!)
THOUGHTS ON THIS STORY: the region was obviously used to the demonic presence; that atmosphere.
The enemy, (AT ANY LEVEL OF AUTHORITY), recognizes the presence and authority of Jesus through Holy Spirit.
Just as the demons mentioned to the 7 sons of Sceva in . They said that they recognized, JESUS and that they also knew of Paul, BUT these men they did not recognize.
Interestingly enough, when the demons say that they recognize JESUS, the Greek word used there is the word, “ginosko” (they deeply, intimately, knew Jesus) and when they said that they recognized Paul, the word used there was, “epistamai” (they were acquainted with him, he had got their attention and they had begun to take note of him).
Can the same be said of any of us in the church body today? Has the enemy become aware of and know that you or I have walked into the room?
AND LOOK AT THE FINALITY OF THE ATMOSPHERE CHANGE IN THE DECAPOLIS. THE NEXT TIME JESUS RETURNS THERE IN , THE PEOPLE INSTANTLY APPROACH HIM TO HEAL A DEAF MAN WITH A SPEECH IMPEDIMENT! (Why? Because the atmosphere in one man’s life was changed and he began to change the atmosphere all around that region!!!!!!!!!)
In , we read of another clashing of the atmospheres.
In this account, Paul and Silas are in Thyatira and they are heading to the place of prayer, when all of a sudden they encounter a slave girl who has demonic spirit about her that enabled her to tell the future.
She was making a lot of money for her masters.
Day after day, she would follow them, crying out, “These men are servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to you the way of salvation.”
Finally, Paul had had enough (the Bible says that he became annoyed) and he turned and said, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” AND DO YOU KNOW WHAT HAPPENED?
The demon came out that very instant and the girl was free!
However, when Holy Spirit invades the atmosphere, it changes the EVERYTHING!
The whole atmosphere of the prison changed when God began being exalted!

Look here, in , God gives Moses the process by which the people must use to clean out a house when they enter in to the land of Canaan.

Although this was a “physical” process, there is a spiritual nature with it also. Any vessel that is to be inhabited by the Holy Spirit must be cleaned out!
You have the authority to clean out anything that is changing the atmosphere in your “house”.
The Bible tells us in , “The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof, the world and those who dwell therein.”
The earth is the LORD’s and the fullness thereof,
You and I do not own anything, it all belongs to God! We are simply the stewards of what He has allowed us to have.
the world and those who dwell therein,
WE ARE THE MANAGERS of the property and as the managers, if there is any unwanted tenants of the property, we have the right and authority to EVICT those unwanted occupants, thus changing the nature of our atmosphere!
Let me ask you something this morning. When you walk into your home, or your office, or your church, is there instantly strife, arguing, tension, fear anger, etc.?
If there is, then you have a demonic presence that has taken residence by legal right somehow and through someone.
If more families and homes and businesses and churches took authority over what God has entrusted to them, we would see a HUGE change in the atmosphere of this nation!
Many people use home air purifiers in their homes, or at least, air filters in their heat/air units, to keep the air clean in the atmosphere of their home, RIGHT?
Well, as the enemy is called the “prince of the power of the air”, we need to clean the air around us!
Begin to read the Living Word and speak it out over your home and your family and your job, IN FAITH AND BELIEF and watch the atmosphere change.
Play P&W music all of the time, even when you’re not there, and watch how the atmosphere begins to change!

In we read of what the presence of Jesus can do to even the most sinful of lives.

When you truly receive forgiveness and you become FREE from this world and its darkness, the ATMOSPHERE of love changes everything about you!
You and I simply must have the heart of the prayer that I opened with, when Jesus taught us to pray, “Your kingdom come, Your will be done, (here, right here in my life, in my home, in my family, in my job, in my church), YOUR KINGDOM COME AND YOUR WILL BE DONE GOD” and watch the atmosphere change!
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