Archive for April, 2013

Hit them with CONVICTION Lord!

April 30, 2013

And when He [The Holy Spirit] is come, He will convict the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and you see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. John 16:8-11

Convicted means convinced. Conviction of sin is a profound realization of one’s true sinful condition and guilt before God. Then after men are convicted of sin they are convicted or convinced of Christ’s gift of righteousness by faith and also of His judgment. These three things in this order are what the Holy Spirit convicts and convinces men of. Then these three become their personal conviction.

What unites all false revivals, what they all have in common is there is no conviction of sin and hence no real, genuine repentance. There is no real repentance in the leaders and therefore there is no true Holy Spirit to convict of sin.

But every TRUE revival in history has been marked by strong conviction of sin and genuine confession and repentance.

There can only be true rejoicing where there is genuine repentance from sin.

In the last days what is missing from Christendom is the conviction of sin. Multitudes are naked and feel no shame. Adam and Eve were ashamed to be naked. They were convicted of their sin. Yet even in his guilt and shame Adam came out of hiding from God and responded to God when He called, and this was the fruit of conviction of sin. But multitudes are not responding to the call of God, they don’t think they are naked (Rev. 3:17).

Of course we are speaking of spiritual nakedness, but the spiritual condition always manifests in the outward person in some way so that even professing Christians now wear revealing clothing which expose their nakedness, and they feel no shame about it. We see Christian women wearing skin-tight jeans which cling to their backside so that they might as well be wearing nothing. It’s right in your face. We see Christian men committing all kinds of hypocrisies.

This is due to the absence of the true Holy Spirit. They have become acclimatized to a counterfeit spirit, but as soon as the REAL Holy Spirit comes then they realize they are naked and are ashamed and cry out to God to cover their shame.

Any revival where there is NO powerful conviction of sin is a counterfeit revival or a counterfeit church. At the very least it’s an Ichabod Church, where the glory has departed.

Hit them with conviction LORD! Without the TRUE conviction of SIN by the Holy Spirit there will only be false conversions, but when the true Gospel is preached by men of truth and compassion then the true Holy Spirit convicts of sin, righteousness and judgment.

Clarity on healing and miracles

April 30, 2013

The infamous Todd Bentley is making a come-back in South Africa. It seems to be becoming established in the new version of Christianity that supernatural power trumps character. People are being primed to think that ultimately all that really matters is that there is supernatural power to heal etc. Whether a man is a serial liar becomes irrelevant. Has Bentley ever apologized for the many false claims he has made in the past?

Then you read Wendy Alec (GODTV: who are supporting Bentley’s comeback) saying that there is presently “…a great awakening sweeping the world which will usher in the coming of Jesus”. No, what is happening is that there is a great falling away, a delusion, sweeping the Christian world with lying signs and wonders which will usher in the Man of Sin, The Beast (2 Thess. 2:3-12).

What unites all false revivals and what they all have in common is there is no conviction of sin and hence no genuine repentance. There is no real repentance in the leaders and therefore there is no true Holy Spirit present to convict of sin. Every true revival in history has been marked by strong conviction of sin, much sorrow over sin and genuine repentance. There was the holy fear of God.

There can only be true rejoicing when there is genuine repentance from sin.

If you read Wendy Alec’s statement we are being asked to throw away all Bible prophecy and believe these people instead, on the basis of claimed miracles and healing. They have jettisoned most of what God said will happen prior to Jesus return. God takes it personally when His Son is treated like a fool.

Again, refer to Bible prophecy, to the warnings about those who come in Christ’s name and have real power and yet don’t have the power of godliness: the power of a crucified life, the power of genuine Christian character and integrity.

Miracles do not validate the Gospel and they don’t validate or legitimize a preacher. Jesus still heals and delivers today, and yet He warned that in the last days many bogus men would come doing miracles in His name.

We are to be nobody

April 29, 2013

Saying, The Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected of the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be slain, and be raised the third day. And he said to them all, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: but whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. For what is a man profited, if he gain the whole world, and lose himself, or suffer loss? Luke 9:22-25

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not a thing to be grasped to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name… Philippians 2:5-9

We are to be nobody, to be nothing, to be a servant.

When you deny yourself and take up your cross to follow Jesus then you are embracing the death of yourself, you are embracing the fact that you will be a nobody and nothing in the eyes of the world. It is to embrace the death of your pride, and that old man doesn’t die fast, he lingers on more than we may be willing to admit.

Don’t mistake Jesus. He is not saying we become nobody in the sight of God, just the opposite, that when we are willing to be nobody and nothing in the estimation of carnal men, and even willing to be trash in their eyes if need be, only then can we truly serve them and serve God.

Even unto this present hour we both hunger, and thirst, and are naked, and are buffeted, and have no certain dwelling place; And labor, working with our own hands: being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure it: Being defamed, we entreat: we are made as the filth of the world, and are the trash of all things unto this day.
1 Cor. 4:11-13

It’s not that anyone wants to suffer for the sake of suffering, that would be silly. And we are not of those who think that suffering is vicarious, no. The world we have been thrown into is of such a nature that it is against everything Jesus Christ stands for.

The conflict and the suffering we find ourselves in (even the conflict we have with our own flesh and pride) is simply that the nature of Jesus and the nature of the world and the flesh are opposed to one another. You don’t have to go looking for conflict, you only have to possess the nature of Jesus to realize you’ve been thrown right into the breach of the conflict, of a cosmic showdown where men’s souls are at stake.

Paul didn’t go looking for conflict, he didn’t create conflict, he simply was true to the nature of who Jesus is, and this was the nature of the conflict: conflicting natures.

It means that if you simply teach the truth of the Gospel and live it you find that a lot of people think you are fighting them or against them. But the reality of it is that the power of the truth of God’s Word has searched their hearts and exposed their heart motives and they don’t like that. It means that as soon as you begin to speak the truth into the world of lies you find yourself in a conflict.

And not just a conflict with others but an internal conflict: Who want’s the aggravation? Hey, this is not good for me! If I just tweak the Word of God to make it more appealing to the selfish desires of Christians then I can get out of the conflict?

Now, who do you stand with? With Jesus, or with the world or your flesh and your pride? Do you please man, or please yourself, or please God?

The Kingdom of God clashes with the phony little kingdoms of this world. Jesus conquered the whole world by becoming a servant. See the road He walked, see the road the Apostles walked, of not loving themselves or their own life even to the death, bearing their cross. See the humiliation and suffering they needed to embrace in order to fulfill their ministries: this is the narrow way Jesus spoke of, there is no other way than to walk in His steps.

The whole counsel of God in an Assembly

April 28, 2013

An Assembly of saints must seek to have the whole counsel of God from Scripture. This is only possible if the plurality of gifts are recognized, encouraged and embraced. Where an Assembly is based around one man’s gift it will naturally specialize in that man’s gift and be unbalanced. Only a plurality of elders and giftings ensures the whole counsel of God and therefore a balanced and mature people of God.

From whom the whole body being fitly joined together and knit together by that which every joint supplies, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part, makes increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love. Ephesians 4:16

Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety. Proverbs 11:14

What you are going to see

April 28, 2013

After these things I saw. And behold, a door being opened in Heaven! And I heard the first voice as a trumpet speaking with me, saying, Come up here, and I will show you what needs to happen after these things.

And at once I became in spirit. And, behold, a throne was set in Heaven, and One sitting on the throne.

And the One sitting was in appearance like a jasper stone, and a sardius; and a rainbow was around the throne, in appearance of emeralds.

And around the throne I saw twenty four thrones, and on the thrones I saw twenty four elders sitting, having been clothed in white garments. And they had golden crowns on their heads.And out of the throne come forth lightnings and thunders and voices.

And seven lamps of fire were burning before the throne, which are the seven Spirits of God;and a glassy sea before the throne, like crystal. And in the midst of the throne and around the throne were four living creatures, full of eyes before and behind.

Revelation 4:1-6

This is what we are going to see and whom we are going to see with our own eyes. This is where we will stand one day soon. Have a look and consider the reality of where you are going.

He is real. This is a real place. He is our Father.

Idols and Demons

April 27, 2013

But I say, that the things which the Gentiles sacrifice, they sacrifice to demons, and not to God: and I would not that you should have fellowship with demons. 1 Cor. 10:20

Demons energize idols and make them appear to come to life and be larger than life. An idol only has any meaning because demons give it meaning. An idol only has any power because demons give it power. Idolatry is a demonic bondage, and once that demonic power is broken and they snap out of it then they can’t believe how they could have been so attracted to something which is nothing.

When people get delivered of pop star idols it’s the same, they can’t believe how they could ever have come under that spell, and they feel foolish.

When Jesus switches on the light and shows you that you have an idol, then leave the idol and walk in the Light of Jesus, and you will see the idol as Jesus sees it, through His eyes, and it won’t have power over you anymore.

Why don’t we see a NT Church today?

April 27, 2013

(From the archives)

The New Testament Church in essence was relational. All the larger aspects of the NT Church stemmed from the basic relationships within. So rather than asking, why don’t we see a Book of Acts Church today? We should each ask ourselves, why don’t I love my brothers and sisters like they did back then?

If the true love of Christ was there we would be in relationship and fellowship with other saints in our homes often, and we would recognize that this commitment to one another in love constitutes the foundation of the Church.

This has to be the approach to “Church planting”: that we first deal with the core heart issues which prevent us from opening our lives, and subsequently our homes, to the saints.

It’s about relationship and people don’t want that because they’ve lost their first love. And then the traditional system steps in and offers them Church without any real relationship or fellowship.

New Covenant Blessings

April 27, 2013

Just read a Facebook notification from a money preacher and he was quoting: And all these blessings shall come on you, and overtake you… (Deut. 28:2a)

But when such people talk about blessings they invariably mean wealth or health, and not the blessing of being delivered from the power of sin, the world and the devil.

You will never see such a money preacher rejoicing in the blessing of being delivered from covetousness or from the love of money or fame or materialism, or the blessing of being delivered from pride, or the blessing of being delivered from corrupt practices like merchandising the things of God for profit.

They can never know the blessing of becoming like Jesus. They can never know the blessing of His love when they still love themselves and the things of the world. The only blessing they know is to get rich by scamming God’s people and living in luxury at their expense, and what kind of blessing is that?

Conspiracy of Silence

April 25, 2013

After watching the video of Bryan Melvin’s testimony of hell I feel profoundly moved by the Holy Spirit to preach and teach much more candidly, openly and vividly on heaven and hell. The video pointed me back to the Scriptures and the Scriptures convince me I have been negligent.

It seems to me there is a conspiracy of silence over the preaching of both heaven and hell. It is criminal negligence. The spirit of the world and of the age, the spirit of darkness, the spirit of antichrist, suppresses these truths: I suppose demons don’t like to hear about where they are going to end up and they also don’t want sinners to be warned of the danger they are in.

And because the enemy so opposes it he stirs people up to oppose it and intimidate any would-be preachers, to cause them to fear man, and either keep silent about it or water it down: a conspiracy of silence. The devil also deceives Christians into thinking that to mention hell would be unloving, and that’s a delusion.

The subject of hell is usually only preached by raving, compassion-less, judgmental preachers. It is rarely preached by people who really care.

But it takes a bulldozer in the spiritual realm to break thru the resistance and the conspiracy of silence: it takes men and women of faith who do not love their lives even to death.

Prayer life

April 25, 2013

No man is greater than his prayer life.

~ Leonard Ravenhill

A testimony of heaven

April 25, 2013

Towards the end he has an interesting message for the Church.

I don’t take any of these visions as authoritative, for God never gives visions for that purpose, it’s never to establish truth, but a true vision will awaken you to take the authority of God’s Word more seriously.

And no doubt about it, when satan gives a vision it is always to undermine the Truth of God’s Word and cause people to doubt the Truth.

A testimony of hell

April 25, 2013

And it came to pass, that the beggar died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham’s bosom: the rich man also died, and was buried; And in hades he lifted up his eyes, being in torment, and seeing Abraham far off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.

But Abraham said, Son, remember that you in your lifetime received your good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and you are tormented.

And besides all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: so that they who would pass from here to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from there. Then he said, I pray you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house: For I have five brothers; that he may testify unto them, lest they also come into this place of torment.

Abraham said unto him, They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them. And he said, Nay, father Abraham: but if one went unto them from the dead, they will repent. And he said unto him, If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead. Luke 16:22-31

Embrace your Humiliation

April 24, 2013

Humiliation is probably the only antidote for our pride: the LORD arranges things so that we will be humiliated by men for following Jesus, for keeping His words even though it is unpopular, and one benefit of us being humiliated for righteousness sake is that we know, deep in our hearts, that we have to swallow our pride and accept the humiliation of men, even as our LORD Jesus embraced His Cross and the humiliation of it, and through death defeated sin and death and the prince of death.

If we embrace humiliation when the enemies of Christ humiliate us, then we are in fact embracing His victory, for in the Christian life anytime we deny our selves and embrace our Cross then we are embracing the victory of Jesus, a victory that only comes thru death – death to self.

It’s not easy, it hurts, there will be tears, there will be brokenness and discouragement, but He brings us to a place where we can say, Go ahead and humiliate me for Jesus sake, it the greatest honor you could give me; go ahead and hammer in the nails, you are actually helping me as there’s still more pride inside me which needs to die.

Let the brother of low degree rejoice in that he is exalted: But the rich, in that he is made low… James 1:9-10a

Blessed is the man that endures trial: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to them that love him. James 1:12

The Crucifixion of Jesus from a medical perspective

April 23, 2013

Please see COMMENTS

What is fellowship?

April 23, 2013

You are thrashing your way thru the deepest darkest jungle of the Congo and you see another man coming toward you, and there’s just the two of you in the middle of the jungle. As the man draws closer you are surprised to see that the stranger approaching you looks a lot like you. You meet and get talking. So where ya from? I’m from Dixon, Missouri. That’s strange, I’m also from there! What’s your name? Smith. That’s very strange, so is mine! What’s your dad’s name? ………He has the same dad. ……So this is not a stranger at all, this is your long lost brother whom you never knew.

Fellowship (church) is a lot like that. We discover people who share the same Father, the same Spirit, the same Lord Jesus, and the same LIFE which is in Him, and we find out that they are our brothers and sisters by virtue of having the same Father and same LORD.

When people are filled with the LIFE of Jesus: that He is their life: then when two or more of these people meet you have fellowship and church.

If we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end

April 22, 2013

Take heed, brethren, lest there be in any of you an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from the living God.

But exhort one another daily, while it is called Today; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin.

For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end; While it is said, Today if you will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.

For some, when they had heard, did provoke: yet not all that came out of Egypt by Moses. But with whom was he grieved forty years? was it not with them that had sinned, whose bodies fell in the wilderness? And to whom swore he that they should not enter into his rest, but to them that believed not? So we see that they could not enter in because of unbelief. Hebrews 3:12-19

No Wrath, no Mercy

April 22, 2013

The mercy of God in Christ Jesus only has meaning in the context of the righteous judgment of God, the wrath of God against sin. It’s in this context alone that the mercy and grace of God has any meaning and that the Cross has any meaning and makes any sense: it’s because we fully deserve His wrath, and yet His mercy intervened thru Jesus Christ.

False teachers remove the wrath of God from the Bible so that they can supposedly teach “grace” and “mercy”, and therefore the result is a false grace and mercy and a false love with the resultant bad fruit that comes with distorting grace.

So therefore…. it is NOT loving and gracious to try and conceal the wrath of God and eternal judgment from people, for if you do then they will never understand the true mercy, love and grace of God in Jesus Christ, they will only have a merely human love, which is nothing.

Human wisdom says to avoid and conceal the wrath of God so that people can know His love, and then you will be loving toward people if you just avoid talking about the wrath of God and His judgment, and yet this only builds a barrier against them knowing the true love of God.

Mark of the Beast

April 21, 2013

The fact that those who take The Mark cannot repent of it later tells us something interesting, for considering the whole counsel of Scripture, this would mean that taking The Mark is synonymous with a conscious, willful rejection of the Lord Jesus.

Hebrews tells us that it is only those who have heard the truth and rejected it who cannot find repentance, the door of grace is closed to them.

So the Mark of the Beast implies a certain degree of Christianization of the whole world and then a rejection of Christ for another christ. For it’s not solely that they worship a man, The Beast, as if he were God, cos people have always done that; Hindus do that, and they also find repentance and get saved out of it, but they are not those who have heard the Gospel and then made a conscious rejection of the Lord Jesus. So for The Mark to be the unforgivable sin, then it is not a sin of ignorance, but of knowledge.

So the real issue with the Mark of the Beast is WHO they are rejecting, more than who they are accepting.

The time is short

April 20, 2013

But this I say, brothers, the time is short: it remains, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; And they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; And they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passes away. 1 Cor. 7:29-31

Comments?

The sovereignty of God and sickness

April 20, 2013

This topic often crops up in the minds of God’s people. Is sickness ultimately an issue of the sovereignty of God, that it is by His will alone whether you will get sick or whether you will die from sickness?

I don’t think any of us would just dismiss it in such simplistic terms.

Any time Christians go to an extremity in their thinking it is always because they are trying to escape or avoid something at the other extremity.

Like, if I just wanted to eat any kind of food and had no thought for maintaining a healthy body then it would be very convenient for me to believe that if I get sick then it is God’s will alone, for that then absolves me of any responsibility.

In fact when Jesus clashed with the Pharisees one of the key issues was that they were interpreting the Bible so as to absolve themselves of responsibility. They saw Scripture as a loophole to escape personal accountability.

Yet we can never get away from the Sovereignty of God. No matter how much a man tries to preserve his life, there is One who has the right to give life and to take it away.

Where does faith come in?

Here’s my point: if we understand that faith is a gift from God, and that He has given each one a different measure of faith, and even to some a “gift of faith”, then if I met a brother who steadfastly believes that the promises of God in Scripture include a long life and good health, and then his life actually does end up being just as he believed, then no one would despise him for that. We would rejoice with him and thank God.

People would only despise him if he grandstanded and showcased and paraded his faith, vaunting himself in front of others, which is not love, for love does not vaunt itself. He would be despised if he belittled others by saying the reason they are sick is they don’t have enough faith.

Yes, if the children of God sin then the Father may use sickness, among other things, to chastise them. That is another factor. To say otherwise is an escapist theology.

There is also a very real devil who wants to destroy the lives of the saints of God and who has the power to bring sickness.

But ultimately, even the man or woman who has been given a gift of faith to live in good health, and also a gift of wisdom concerning diet and lifestyle, they also need to bow before the Sovereign will of God just like everyone else and know that there is only One who keeps us alive and everything He allows or permits, and everything He does is right.

Related:

https://ianvincent.wordpress.com/2008/11/24/healing-in-the-atonement-laying-a-debate-to-rest/