Archive for March, 2012

Grace in motion

March 31, 2012

This is the most graceful dancing I’ve ever seen, from the 1971 movie, Fiddler on the Roof. See how the three girls move together in grace and harmony. What a heritage the Jewish people have given the world.

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Do you fellowship with God?

March 31, 2012

Do you see fellowship with God the Father, and fellowship with His children, as being two separate things? They’re not, they are inseparable (1 John 1:3). (I mean fellowship, not just socializing)

God fellowships with us to the degree that we fellowship with one another, according to that measure.

As we are pleased with one anothers company, then He is pleased with our company, bcos what we think of God’s children, the members of Christ, is what we think about Christ : How we treat them is how we treat Christ, how we love them is how we love Jesus.

Fellowship in the Church, the body of Christ, means to ENTER INTO and PARTICIPATE IN the same Fellowship which the Father and the Son have with each other, by the Spirit.

They have fellowship with their children. There are not two kinds of fellowship. If we have true spiritual fellowship in the Body of Christ, THAT is the actual, one and the same fellowship, of the Father and the Son : We have simply entered into, and are partaking and participating WITH them, with Him. There is no separation between the Head, who is Christ Jesus, and His body.

Perhaps, this is one of the greatest deceptions of our day, that religious programming has taken the place of real Christian fellowship, as was known, experienced and practiced in the NT Church. In the beginning, Church was fellowship, now it is an event one attends as a spectator (And that’s the way most people want it. We can’t blame anyone but ourselves).

When the members of Christ’s body are joined together, then God supplies every need thru that spiritual connection, and that CONNECTION with the members of His body, that exchange of His life, THAT is fellowship (Ephesians 4:15-16).

(I know that someone is bound to ask, What about the believer in jail, who can’t fellowship? Fellowship is an attitude of the heart. That believer WILL fellowship with us IN THE SPIRIT, by praying for us : absent in body, but not absent in the Spirit. We also can fellowship with them by praying for them.)

Ian on Facebook

March 30, 2012

http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100003672434902&sk=wall

But i won’t be replying or dialoging there (probably), it’s simply as a platform to promote my blog and website.

Email is better for me, if someone really wants to talk.

If anyone can help me disperse and circulate my articles on FB, please do, thanks.

A new way of thinking

March 30, 2012


(A remarkable invention, and very useful. Much more than a piece of meat)

Romans 12:1-2

Be transformed by the renewing of your mind...

Renewing has two senses here: God makes our mind new, and, He causes us to think in a new way. One leads to the other.

A renewed mind leads to a new way of thinking, and this, in turn, leads to personal transformation.

We don’t transform ourselves thru intellectual exertion, rather, God renews our thought life so that it is no longer a barrier or hindrance to Him transforming our life, and so that our mind is not the weak-link in the chain, restricting our spirit.

By renewing our minds He actually teaches us HOW to think.

God is a God of order, therefore He will renew our minds to think in an orderly way, as He does. If He can order our thinking, our thought life, and bring it into line with Him, His Truth and His Kingdom, then He can order our life, and such a life is a transformed life.

Where our thinking has been confused, and our logic and reasoning chaotic and haphazard, He renews our mind and brings order out of confusion. (So much conflict arises in Christian discussion due to un-renewed minds. Babylon literally means confusion. All the teachers in Babylon have one thing in common – they are confused, and they confuse others)

How does He renew our minds?

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world…

Therefore, whether our minds are renewed, or not, is really a moral issue, a matter of the heart.

LIFE

March 30, 2012

What is it? In the natural world we see things which are living and things which are dead. Some things we see in nature have lived and died, and other things have never had life in them.

Even in the natural order, what is this mysterious and elusive thing called “life”? Man observes it, but he can’t really explain what it is, where it comes from, and how it came to be in the first place. He can’t create it, and he can’t prolong it for very long, before it flies away.

But now, in the spiritual order, we CAN explain what life is, for Jesus claimed to be THE LIFE. He is our life, Paul wrote in Colossians 3:4.

What IS your life? What is it? Who are you? What are you?

What is your life?

Is it Christ?

Or, do you consider yourself as having a life independent of the life of the Son of God?

Do you still see yourself as having a life of your own?

Are you trying to cling to and preserve “your own life”?

Even as a Christian, are you obsessed with YOUR own life, as distinct from the life of Christ? Still seeing your life as separate from His life?

Were you once dead in your sins, and then Christ came in and became your life?

You didn’t come to life. He came in and now HE is your life. HE IS LIFE. JESUS IS LIFE! Either, Jesus is your life, or you don’t have any life, you are still dead in your sins.

He is not a religion, He is LIFE, and people are either dead or alive depending on whether they believe Christ is in them. You may be very religious, and very ‘spiritual’, even, yet still dead, if Christ is not your life.

The ONLY reason we are alive and not dead is bcos the One who IS LIFE has come to live in us. When Jesus comes in, the dead come to life. Then it’s a matter of, If Jesus lives, then I live... …purely on that basis alone.

Never see yourself, or consider yourself, to have your own life, separate from the life that Jesus has. Because I live, you live also… John 14:19.

(Philippians 1:21, Galatians 2:20, 1 John 5:12)

The new heart is the only real happy heart

March 29, 2012

J.C. Ryle 1816-1900

The new heart is the only real happy heart, for it is the only heart that is in order.

The true Christian is the only happy man, because “he has sources of happiness entirely independent of this world.”

The true Christian is the only happy man, because “his conscience is at peace.” That mysterious witness for God, which is so mercifully placed within us, is fully satisfied and at rest. It sees in the blood of Christ a complete cleansing away of all its guilt.

– JC Ryle

Read whole article in COMMENTS

How do you institutionalize a friendship?

March 29, 2012

Or a relationship? Just say you have 20 good Christian friends: How do you institutionalize that set of friendships so that those 20 people can identify themselves as an institutional church? Can spiritual fellowship and love be institutionalized? Can friendship?

Why do some people have Christian friends, and yet they don’t consider their fellowship with them as being church? Then, what is the “magical ingredient” which transforms fellowship into “church”?

The Protestant Reformers were not just bigoted zealots

March 29, 2012

His testimony put a whole civilization on trial.

Think of that. Who is really on trial here? And when Jesus stood on trial before Pilate, wasn’t it the whole human race which was really on trial?

Martyn Lloyd-Jones wrote:

The Protestant Reformers were not just bigoted zealots, they were not just fools. These men had their eyes opened by the Holy Spirit. That is what happened to Luther, that is what happened to Calvin, that is what happened to Knox, that is what happened to all of them. These men had their eyes opened, they saw it, they saw this horrible monstrosity depicted in the Bible in the warnings against it, and at the risk of even losing their lives they stood up and they protested.

They said that that was not true. So they began to assert justification by faith, the supreme, final, adequate authority of the Scriptures, the universal priesthood of all believers and so on. They were ready to die for those truths, and many did die for them!

I would not hesitate to assert that this system, known as Roman Catholicism, is the devil’s greatest masterpiece!

– Martyn Lloyd-Jones (1899-1981)

Read whole article here

This article changed my view of Martyn. Previously, i thought he didn’t have the guts to tell the truth about the religious system, but i was wrong.

God the Holy Spirit is opening the eyes of many saints today, just as He did back in the Reformation, from every part of christendom. The same thing is happening as happened in the Reformation, only, now, ironically, it is the ‘protestant’ daughters of Rome who most vehemently oppose the truth which is in Jesus.

Many are hearing Jesus voice, Come out of Babylon! Not to reform, not a new reformation, but, Get out!

And these saints are not bigots, they’re not fools, they’re not hateful, they don’t have a ‘religious spirit’, they’re not religious nuts, (but there’s always exceptions).

There is a man in a dirty warehouse with a little lamp

March 28, 2012

He makes sure that the little area that his lamp illuminates is spotless. He now believes his warehouse is perfectly clean. The only reason he believes this is because he does not have much light to judge by. If you shined a spotlight in the place his perception would be shattered, the warehouse is much larger than he ever imagined with all sorts of unsightly things hiding in the shadows.

Read more

In all things Jesus should have the preeminence

March 28, 2012

Colossians 1:13-23

...And He is the head of the body, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things He might have the preeminence. For it pleased the Father that in Him should all fullness dwell

Where and when Jesus has the preeminence, then that is the glory of God manifested in His Church.

When He doesn’t, and something, or someone else has the preeminence (see 3 John 1:9, Diotrephes), then that is un-glory in the Church – that is, a “glory” which is not the glory of God – a false glory – some other kind of glory : Which could simply be the fallen glory of man, glorying in his flesh – a fleshly, worldly glory, or it could be the “glory” of satan, coming as an angel of light, transforming himself into a minister of righteousness (2 Cor 11:13-15) – a counterfeit glory.

When a church exalts the Holy Spirit, and says that He has the preeminence, then we can safely assume that is not the true Holy Spirit, for He glorifies Jesus, not Himself.

How hard is it to let Jesus have the preeminence in His Church? It’s hard for the person, who, deep inside, seeks glory and praise from men (fame and position) or seeks after financial gain.

And, giving Jesus the preeminence in His Church, as truly the Head of His Church, goes far beyond lip-service and mental assent to the fact, but is only seen in our obedience to His words and commands, in love.

Further than a mechanical obedience, it is to retain Him at the very center of our lives, hearts and our thinking, having the preeminence IN us, ...in all things... , that we never live, think or act independently of Him – He must have the preeminence here, in our innermost being and our mind, before He can corporately.

When He has the preeminence in our hearts and minds, then, when we assemble together (Assembly) He has the preeminence – He is truly the Head – we look to Him to lead, guide and speak to us.

See also here and here and here

THE JUSTIFIER

March 27, 2012

Not guilty!

To declare, I say, at this time His righteousness: that He might be just, and THE JUSTIFIER of him who believes in Jesus. Romans 3:26

Do you have a Justifier – One who justifies you? One who declares you, Not guilty! ?

No one can justify himself, it would be futile to try that. No one should try that out on God.

Only another can justify us, and there is only one Person who can.

Do you know Him as YOUR JUSTIFIER? Millions, caught up in the “christian religion”, don’t.

Experience the joy of being justified by God, thru faith in His Son – the joy in knowing that it’s He who justifies you, and not you, yourself. Rejoice in your justification by the Cross and the Resurrection.

JUSTIFICATION defeats CONDEMNATION.

If you belong to Jesus, He will convict you, but He won’t condemn you.

He will justify you as a person. He will not necessarily justify all the things you do. He will glorify His name, not our name.

Worship this Justifier! Love and obey Him who justified you by His own Blood.

When you loved the least of my brothers

March 27, 2012

you loved me… When you served my people, you served me… When you loved my people, you loved me… (Matt 25 paraphrased)

I was hungry, and you gave me food: I was thirsty, and you gave me drink: I was a stranger, and you took me in: Naked, and you clothed me: I was sick, and you visited me: I was in prison, and you came unto me.

Do we really want to serve Jesus? Then why don’t we, today? When we love and help and serve His people, then we are loving and serving Him.

What Jesus is warning of here in Mathew 25 is a superficial approach to Him, where a Christian deceives himself into thinking that he loves Jesus, when he really don’t love Him at all, evident in the way in which he treats His people.

Offer someone the Bread of Life today.

LORD, if you would FILL my heart

March 26, 2012

and spirit and mind with your words, your truth, then it will be a simple matter for your words to overflow from my spirit and come out of my mouth.

He fills our heart with His words and truth, and, along with His word, He also fills us with the understanding of its meaning, so that we can worship Him in Spirit and Truth.

This requires intelligent engagement with God and His Scriptures. It’s not just the filling of an empty vessel.

Baruch Hashem Adonai

March 25, 2012

Jude spells it out

March 25, 2012

I say this because some Godless teachers have wormed their way in among you, saying that after we become Christians we can do just as we like without fear of God’s punishment. The fate of such people was written long ago, for they have turned against our only Master and LORD, Jesus Christ. Jude 1:4 The Living Bible

How did they turn against Jesus? It wasn’t that they denied His Deity, or Son-ship, or His virgin birth, or the necessity of regeneration, or even that salvation is by grace alone. If they had denied any of these they could not have worked their way in to a position of authority among God’s people and got their attention, they would have been stopped at the gate.

Their denial of Christ was more subtle than that, and so subtle that the people taken in by their teaching were unaware that it amounted to a denial of Christ, so Jude wrote to them.

How they denied Christ is by teaching that once a person is born again, that no matter what they do, or how far they fall into sin, God will not punish them, cos they are now under grace. Jude says that is to deny the LORD Jesus Christ, bcos it perverts His grace.

Christianity today is flooded with the very same “teachers” Jude described.

Fellowship or Socializing?

March 24, 2012

Socializing is great, but fellowship is much better, and without fellowship the socializing leads to a dead-end. If socializing leads to fellowship, that’s great.

Fellowship is Koinonia, and it means a common sharing of what we have in common, and what we have in common is not a “thing”, but a Person, and His name is Jesus.

When we share with each other of the LIFE we have in Christ Jesus, and share what He is teaching us in His Word, we are fellowshiping.

See 1 Corinthians 14. The Church assembling together was a time of fellowship, of sharing the things received from the LORD. Not going to hear a sermon or watch a performance.

Let’s not miss this: Fellowship means to share Jesus, to share what He is speaking to you and teaching you. And it also means to listen and receive what others share with you – giving and receiving.

Fellowship means to share. Where there is no spiritual sharing there is no fellowship, it may just be mere socializing.

Of course, it’s more than in word only, but in deed : it extends to sharing our goods and our help, as our brothers and sisters have need.

In fact, it would be impossible to separate love and fellowship, they are really the same thing. If we don’t fellowship it’s due to a lack of love.

Many Christians want to socialize, but they don’t want to fellowship. Socializing fulfills my own interests or needs, but fellowshiping touches on the interests of God – building His Kingdom.

Your truth has been my song

March 23, 2012

Your statutes [truth] have been my songs in the house of my pilgrimage. Psalm 119:54

And what a pilgrimage David had, especially in the early days! A tough life, on the run, being hunted down as if he were a criminal.

Here we see something of the heart of a Psalmist, a true worshiper : It wasn’t the music that was the center, but God’s truth. His truth was David’s song, in the midst of the severe struggles he had. The worship sprang forth from a delight in the truth of God’s Word, for it was the Word of God which sustained David on the hard road of his pilgrimage.

The Truth of God’s Word takes center stage, and the music is simply the vehicle or setting for the Word, but today it’s often the other way around, and no surprise, then, that the truth which IS presented in song is often distorted (like Hillsongs).

David means that God’s truth IS his song. When he thought about who his God is, and what He is like, and what He had done for him, then he could not help but to sing it out, and by that process the “songbook” was written.

And it was in the setting of great conflict, trial and suffering in which worship was birthed in David – from a position of great need. Worship was his victory cry in the midst of all that he faced.

May the Truth Incarnate, God’s dear Son, be our song of rejoicing today.

The Man of Sin is a messianic figure

March 23, 2012

2 Thessalonians 2:3-12

One way to look at it is to observe the way the world, both secular and religious, is heading, and look to see any common denominators or trends which could help piece together a composite identikit picture of the coming MOS, based on the assumption that he will embody and incarnate all that the apocalyptic era and the last generation aspires to. The MOS will encapsulate the hopes and dreams of humanity and speak on behalf of mankind, as the head of the human race (and hence, he usurps Christ as head of the human race : “anti”- christ , that is, in the place of Christ).

See WHERE the human race is heading and you see WHO is coming to fill that space, that job vacancy.

Is there an emerging global “spirituality”? Then look to see who arrives to unite it all together in global peace and harmony.

The world is creating the job vacancy for a world leader. The throne is being prepared for him, and no doubt he is preparing to sit on it.

IMO, when we see the current trends, it wouldn’t surprise me if the MOS claims to be Jesus.

The new emerging “jesus” of the Emergent church, and the liberals, mainline denominations and the ecumenical movement could certainly be accepted by the whole world.

There is a “jesus” emerging who has a message that is so close to the truth (in some respects) that it would even deceive the very elect if it were possible : the real Jesus offers freedom from religion and the false jesus also offers freedom from religion (but it’s the lying signs and wonders which could nearly deceive the elect, not the teaching – Matt 24:24).

There will be much talk of love and freedom. Freedom from religion, even – House churches will swallow it.

This “jesus” will destroy evil babylon. In that sense, he appears to execute God’s righteous judgment against the sins of religious babylon, and this could be interpreted to mean that he is the savior of the world, executing God’s righteous judgment against “evil”, and a deliverer of the people from the tyranny of religion. This “jesus” is certainly a messiah (a christ).

He could very well embody the hope people have of a world free from tyranny and religious oppression. The western world seeks a “spirituality” which embraces sexual immorality as good and healthy. They are ready to throw off the yoke of any organization which tries to pontificate on “sexuality”, and indeed, in the west, that time has already come, and you can get arrested for hate crime for saying that sexual immorality is a sin.

So, the MOS may deliver from actual religious tyranny and oppression (by destroying religious babylon), and also deliver from the perceived “oppression” of having to adhere to an “old fashioned”, “outdated”, and even, what is perceived to be, an “unjust” sexual morality.

And, how many Muslims secretly (in fear) groan bcos of the heavy burden that has been placed on them by men, and long for liberation? How many Muslims would jump at the chance to escape from the prison of their religion? (The “Arab spring” shows that not all Muslims will blindly submit to what their leaders say)

And perhaps the key to the final countdown is how the MOS steps in to the middle east and Israeli conflict.

The Bible says that the whole world will worship him – that means both Jews and Arabs, unitedly.

The MOS is the ultimate politician in that he has something for everyone – he has universal appeal.

My comment from here

It is not strength of religious feeling that is an indicator of godliness

March 22, 2012

but a deeply ordered inner life. Mature Christian living involves a death to the ‘ME’ which insatiably demands emotional self-satisfaction, and a re-centering on Christ alone. Through the power of the Spirit who raised Christ from the dead my emotional life becomes charged with new meaning (Rom 8:11). In the light of the death-and-resurrection of the Lord a grown-up believer accepts that even grief can be a term of victory rather than one of despair (2 Cor 7:11). In this way no realm of human experience is excluded from the glorious dominion of our Savior.

– John Yates

Complete article in Comments

Discussion on the Antichrist

March 22, 2012

Here