In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness. Besides those things that are outside, that which comes upon me daily, the CARE of all the churches. 2 Cor 11:27-28
Archive for December, 2009
We say we have no time to pray secretly. We yet have time for all else: time to eat, to drink, for children, yet not time for what sustains all else. We say we have no private place, but Jesus found a mountain, Peter a rooftop, the prophets a wilderness. If you love someone, you will find a place to be alone.
The phrase, man of God, is mentioned twice in the NT : 1 Tim. 6:11, 2 Tim. 3:17. It is mentioned 71 times in the OT.
If God’s measure for a man is that he should be a man of God; or for a woman, a woman of God, then what happens when they don’t live up to what they are in Christ? Do we say they are less than a man or woman of God? Half a man of God? Not quite a man of God? Half-baked?
Wouldn’t it be a tragedy if, in the instance of a saved person, the brethren couldn’t honestly say confidently that person is a man or woman of God?
Regardless of our specific gifts and callings, we ALL should be able to be identified as men and women of God.
that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs;
heirs of God,
and joint-heirs with Christ;
if so be that we suffer with him, so that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us.
As this is our GLORIOUS future in Christ, then our present should be mindful of His glory. If i’m mindful of the eternal glory i share with Christ, as a joint-heir with Him, then i will be mindful of His glory today, in my sufferings, in testings and trials of faith. And this promise of future glory will encourage me to only seek the glory of Christ, in all things, and no other glory.
And if we’ve had a foretaste of glory divine; if we’ve tasted of the powers of the age to come; if we have this vision of the glory which is promised to every child of God; man…… what a gospel we will preach!!!
Faith account which keeps increasing with the increase of God
Everytime we exercise faith, everytime there is a spiritual transaction whereby we stand by faith, or take a step of faith, then God does something for us. Our faith grows. This means that more grace is supplied the more you trust God. It’s like we have a heavenly account, and God adds to it every time we trust Him. God gives the increase. We go from glory to glory. Ever increasing faith. THIS is Christian maturity : someone who has trusted and proved Jesus to be faithful. Not just theory, they’ve proved Him faithful.
This is a request for effective covering prayer from our dear friends and brethren who read this blog, as Sheela and i will, LORD-willing, leave for S India, by car, tomorrow, and be away for about 2 weeks. We are going through some dangerous Maoist-controlled jungle areas, as well as the roads in India are very dangerous anyway (mayhem, basically). We request prayer for protection and for the LORD to speak thru us to the believers we will meet in different cities. I hope to keep posting here as we travel, we will cover a lot of miles. Thanks.
God wants us to be truly unbiased when we read His Word and consider His Truth. We should be purely OBJECTIVE, not subjective, biased or prejudiced in our minds. That should be our goal, whether we are ‘there’ yet, or not.
We naturally have a bias, according to the teachings we’ve heard. If the teachings we’ve imbibed have a bias, then no surprise if the same bias is in us. We will not be able to see His Word, His promises, His commands, His wisdom, thru fully objective eyes; rather, we will be seeing them partly thru someone else’s eyes and understanding (someone else is doing the thinking for us). This is quite normal, BUT we need to be exhorted toward something better than this. We wouldn’t want to people to say of our teaching or life, That guy is biased in a certain way. He carries a bias.
We’ve heard the expression, Seeing the world thru rose-colored glasses ; well, that fit’s exactly what I’m saying: Seeing the Scriptures thru rose-colored glasses ; only, the ‘color’ is not rose, it’s a sect, a pastor, a teacher, or small part of the Body of Christ, that colors a Christian’s vision and view, and therefore, colors their understanding of the truth of God’s Word.
Don’t minimize ‘understanding’ and think that it means ‘theology’, and therefore you may be excused from ticking that box. Your life will be lived according to your understanding of the Truth, so a true understanding is vital, is paramount. Everything you do is according to your beliefs and understanding, for better, or for worse, for good, or evil.
Bias means unbalanced. Like a diet purely of beans and nothing else. Whereas, objective implies balance and wholeness – that which God supplies thru the WHOLE Body of Christ, and not from just a few individuals, or a movement, denomination, or our ‘pet’ teacher.
This is the goal of all spiritual teaching, as a whole, as is powerfully explained in Ephesians 4:11-16. God supplies thru every joint, and every part, so that we …may grow up into Him in all things, who is the head, even Christ. Eph. 4:15b
Most of us have been around the church block and been exposed to a lot of mixture – truth and error served up together as a buffet. How can we leave the past behind and be renewed in the spirit of our minds, discarding what is not true and clinging to what is true?
First, we would want to recognize how we came to be this way in the first place. It was due to immaturity or an immature faith; meaning, a lack of wisdom. We perhaps didn’t have the faith to spend much time alone with the LORD, in His Word, sitting at His feet, being instructed by His Spirit, not really expecting to be taught by God, as is the promise of the New Covenant (Jer. 31:34, 1 John 2:27) . Rather, we flipped the Christian TV channels, or the internet, or the Christian bookstores. And we went from church to church seeking the true church and never finding it. We also perhaps didn’t consider the life of those who taught us, whether their life matched the message of the gospel, of the cross. Virtually no famous preacher today has a life that matches the Gospel of the Kingdom. We shouldn’t listen to people who don’t have the life, who don’t LIVE the gospel in real life. Bcos we did listen to them we got mixed up. We got their warped take on things.
We also may not have considered the ‘body’ factor, in Ephesians 4, which is, Jesus supplies His Body thru every joint, every part. Meaning : real, close, deep, committed relationships of love between the brethren. Without those real relationships (which modern, independent Christians avoid like the plague) then the Spirit of God will not supply all that He intends for you. He has ordained that thru every joint He will supply. If you’re not compacted together in the Body, then you miss out. You get unbalanced, biased. Also, if you’re biased over whom you fellowship with, then you’re understanding will be biased. You could even miss out on appropriating His promises in your life if the bias you’ve received is a bias against those promises.
This is an exhortation toward objectivity: seeing things as they really are, as God sees them.
…Sheer JOY for the believer in Jesus.
Sheer TERROR for the unrepentant. Coming soon.
For the same reason i don’t. If you’re interested as to why they didn’t, have a think about it. The answer may be apparent.
(Later in the day) We just had the LORD’s supper together as a fellowship, and i received a revelation during the breaking of bread. It’s this : The LORD’s supper IS our ‘christmas’. We’re not missing out on anything. It’s the Holy feast God has called for, which our LORD Jesus instituted. He didn’t call for any other feast.
And, this teaches us that God only permits those washed in the Blood of His Son to worship Him, those with clean hands and a pure heart, in Spirit and in Truth. He called us to celebrate/proclaim His death, every time we partake at His table; not His birth, as wonderful as that is.
What would you do if a crowd of people came into your church and said they wanted to remember the LORD’s death with you by partaking of the bread and wine? You would ask them, Have you truly repented and been born-again, and are you living for Jesus? They say, No, but we would like to celebrate it anyway. Would you partake with them? Certainly not. It would be an abomination : …Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. (1 Cor. 11:27).
Would we warn them not to take it, but then add, that it’s OK for them to celebrate His birth, that’s not an abomination?
So, why didn’t the Apostles celebrate Jesus’ birth? (Even though they knew the exact date) God didn’t indicate to them that He wanted that; just the contrary (Col.2:16-17). And they knew the will of God in these matters better than anyone who’s lived since then.
So, after all the Godly men were gone (who understood this), and a bunch of unGodly men came into power, who couldn’t care less what God required or not; they went ahead and invented christmas, as it seemed like a good idea, even though God wasn’t in it (And this became the ethos of institutional religion).
Why wasn’t God in it? The answer is found in the LORD’s supper. God will not allow unrepentant unbelievers to celebrate or proclaim the death of His Son, so when they ‘celebrate’ His birth, what does He think? The stench of their hypocrisy reaches heaven.
…creationism could become a threat to human rights…
…the values that are the very essence of the Council of Europe will be under direct threat from creationist fundamentalists…
Note the word, threat. Christians are a threat. Evil people feel threatened by their goodness, by the Light in them. They call good, evil, and evil, good.
And also note the belittling of creationists, referring to them as ‘nonscientific’ ; meaning, they are simpletons/idiots. The next step is that Christians will be diagnosed as mentally ill, a danger to society, and rounded up or something.
But that’s only if they stand for the truth, otherwise they would not be a threat, so no problem.
Sin is like a puss-ey cancer or leprosy that grows and invades every part of our being, without Christ sin overthrows every part of our being, we become a stench in the nostrils of God, everything we do is from a basis of our own worth, our effort, our gain, our profit. Even the most kindly act outwardly is a self congratulatory effort of showing how good we are to others. Outside of Christ we are rebels fit for no other purpose than to be damned to hell forever without pity nor remorse, we are unmerciful, covetous, rebellious, self serving, mean, reprobate unholy. We revel in our own knowledge , self sufficiency, deviancy and outright denial of a thrice Holy God.
Without the knowledge of sin and its depravity we can never ever appreciate the Grace of God and what it cost Him to extend this Grace to us. If we deny sinners the knowledge of their sin and offer only Grace we deny the justice of God and the mercy of God.
Jesus died on a Cross and suffered the wrath of God on our behalf firstly for the Justice of God to be fulfilled and for the Glory of God, but He also died on that Cross because he loved us.
He had placed on Him the guilt of all mankind to the extent that the Father slammed the door in His face and cut Himself off from the Son in that hour of retribution for mankind. When he became our propitiation it was not just physical pain He felt the wrath of God. This is the cup He prayed and begged it should pass from Him.
If one needs to know what God thinks of any sin look at Christ and see what the Father put Him through and what He volunteered to do for us as a man. Sin is NOT a light thing or something we can continue NOT to preach about, nor can we continue to hide the horrors of hell from the unrepentant sinner.
(By my good mate, Billy O’Donnell )
Today i thought about my commitment to preaching the gospel. I thought, that someone like John Wesley, who preached the gospel tirelessly for many years, when he arrived in heaven would have been very glad that he used his short time on earth wisely, for the gospel. I don’t think Wesley would have had any regret that he had squandered his opportunity and responsibility to preach the gospel. Whilst others perhaps will have regrets, and realize they wasted much of their time on earth.
Knowing that our time is short, let’s examine our commitment to preaching the gospel. When we stand in glory we don’t want to have any regrets. Rather, we want to hear, Well done, good and faithful servant…
LORD, use me as a vessel to preach the gospel.
Just before Jesus comes back and the crisis breaks loose, it will be a time of detente, which we have never had before. There will be peace, and peace will be long. During the period of peace is the disarmament of many countries, also in Norway. The third world war will start in a way that no one had expected, and from an unexpected direction
People from poor countries will flood into Europe. They will also come to Scandinavia and Norway. People will dislike that they are here and will be tough on them. They will increasingly be treated like the Jews were before the war. Then, the measure of our sins reached. This will happen shortly before Jesus’ return – and the Third World War breaks loose.
It will be a short war. All of the war I experienced before is a breeze compared to this. It will begin as a normal war, but it will spread, and it will end with atomic bombs.
The air will become so polluted that it is impossible to breathe it, and it will hit several continents. America, Japan, Australia – the rich countries. The water will be destroyed. We can not farm the land there. The result is that a small residue remains.
Those left in the rich countries will try to flee to the poorest countries, which are not damaged, but they come right to treat us as we have dealt with them and not be willing to accept.
Rev. chapters 7 and 8 for a chronology.
Let’s be faithful to Jesus, who called us to serve Him. Let’s know whom we serve – only Jesus – no other Lord or Master. Let’s never forget He called us, personally, by name, to serve Him. Even when we were lost and dead in our own sins, He called us to Himself.
Always be mindful you are a servant of Jesus Christ. You can serve no other, not even yourself. We can’t serve things, objects, wealth, our self-image; for Jesus, Himself, called us to serve Him, and in this we should delight ourselves, in Him.
When doubts come, and those doubts want to be entertained, probably the only thing which can dispel those doubts is that you be clear, and not double-minded, about who called you and whom you serve. If it’s Jesus who called you, and you serve Him, what’s there to doubt or worry about?
When we’re tempted to sin, let’s remember Him, whom we serve.
There is a ‘divide’ between born-again Pentecostals and born-again Evangelicals, yet a remnant of both camps are coming together in wisdom, and understanding, ( whilst perhaps the majority of both camps are drifting further apart).
Some pentys are learning that they were too extreme, and unwise, and some evangelicals, that they were too cautious and too restrained. Christ is our meeting point.
The ONE church which Jesus requires and builds draws from ALL the Body of Christ, from all the gifts – from the wisdom the Spirit is speaking thru every member of Christ’s Body, as the truth of the Scriptures is revealed to them.
(From an email to a friend)
marking the end of an era. He was one of the original prime-movers of the ‘Word of Faith’ movement [WOF].
Regarding the ‘health gospel’ :
If a believer can believe God for good health, i say, More power to ya! Why should anyone resent that? It’s only wrong when believers go BEYOND that, and feel puffed up that they have special faith, and start teaching that Christians shouldn’t ever get sick, and if so, they are weak in faith, that they’ve sinned, etc…
The ‘persecution’ works both ways. If i gave examples of ‘my faith’ for my own life, and what God has done, i could have people jumping on me with all sorts of labels and accusations. What do you make of it when a person, who is bitten by malaria mosquitoes regularly for 12 years and never gets malaria, even though many all around are getting it? Scientifically impossible? Yes. But if God gives him the faith for that, then it is possible. Am i proud to mention that? Maybe i should keep it a secret. No. Why should i be ashamed of the power of God? Or of His goodness and kindness to me?
I’m against WOF, but i’m also against the other extreme.
There will be no peace in Jerusalem as long as modern Zionists are in control of the Holy Land.
OK, what are the options?
a) That Muslims control the Land of Israel and rule over the Jewish people?
b) That it would be better if the ultra-orthodox, anti-Zionist Jews had political power? Would they be able to make peace between the Jews and Arabs and solve all the issues?
Surely, the present form or system of government in Israel is a far better option than these ONLY other options? Are there any other options, other than the UN taking control? Or should the Jewish people flee the Land of Israel and wait for Messiah some place else? In a safer place? Of course not.
I want to take this from your own perspective, whoever reads this: Whom do you consider to be your leader or leaders? Who, officially, is ‘your minister’?
Is the relationship, if we could call it that, an institutional-official one, or is it a relational one, of love?
Reading a friend’s blog, where someone was supporting all the current leadership of the churches in America, i was reminded of the illusion which prevails; and that illusion is the belief that what sets a leader apart and above is the belief that they have a superior knowledge of the Bible than you; they are closer to God than you; they are more anointed than you; they hear God better than you; they have more gifts than you… i could go on. (And false leaders promote this illusion for the sake of their own interests)
People have put them there bcos they don’t know the truth for themselves. It reflects a deep and sometimes hidden sense of inferiority, that people think others to be far superior and then blindly follow them. We have all done that in our immaturity. But we didn’t need to stay immature for so long, if we were part of a NT church.
I’m talking about a ‘relationship’ to ‘leaders’ which is unBiblical. If the saints of God knew the truth and were established in the truth, there would not be one charlatan, or one ego or money-minded preacher or pastor in any pulpit (there wouldn’t even be a pulpit).
A friend called me yesterday from the States and he reminded me of this verse:
Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you. Heb. 13:17
If you find a brother or brothers who watch for your soul, who labor in prayer for you specifically, and know they have to give an account for you, for their responsibility, then you might have found a true elder and pastor. It’s that simple. But most don’t want this, they want a ‘pastor’ who is not so close to them, who doesn’t really know them, nor carries them on his heart every day. They prefer the institution over a NT relational church.
it is said of David, and alluding to our LORD Jesus Christ, in Psalm 89:22. A battle of wits, and the enemy fails to outwit him. It’s not a battle of brute-force, but of wits – of cunning snares, wiles, tricks, and hidden traps. Of being set-up by him, and you don’t even realize it until you’ve taken the bait.
If the devil is shrewd, we’re gonna have to be shrewder, by the grace of God. If he is ‘wise’, we have to be wiser.
…Who is sufficient for these things? 2 Cor. 2:16b
Not that we are sufficient of ourselves to think anything as of ourselves; but our sufficiency is of God… 2 Cor. 3:5
This is why there is no place for self-exaltation, or triumphalism in the flesh, in this life.
Therefore let him that thinks he stands take heed lest he fall. There has no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted above that you are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that you may be able to bear it. 1 Cor. 10:12-13