Archive for August, 2013

Some thoughts on Damascus

August 30, 2013

Damascus is possibly the oldest continuously inhabited city in the world. It is mentioned in the book of Genesis. Abraham spent time there, and so did Paul, and The Street called Straight (Acts 9:11) is still there today and people have been walking up and down that same street every day for thousands of years.

We read in Isaiah 17:1 that this ancient city is going to be totally wiped out in the last days and be in ruins. Damascus has never suffered wide-scale destruction in all its long history. So when we take the whole of chapter 17 into account then it is clear that Isaiah is speaking about end-time events, about a great shaking of the whole world, and he describes the fast-paced days we are living in:

Woe to the multitude of many people, who make a noise like the noise of the seas; and to the rushing of nations, that make a rushing like the rushing of mighty waters! The nations shall rush like the rushing of many waters: but God shall rebuke them, and they shall flee far off, and shall be chased as the chaff of the mountains before the wind, and like a rolling thing before the whirlwind. Isaiah 17:12-13

And during the tribulation time God will do this for many:

At that day shall a man look to his Maker, and his eyes shall have respect for the Holy One of Israel. Isaiah 17:7

What is the significance of the oldest city in the world being wiped out right at the time of the end? For one, it signifies the sovereignty of God: He calls the shots, not man. He determined the birth of Damascus and He determined her fall.

It can also be a metaphor or symbol representing mankind. When the oldest city falls it is God saying that time is up for the human race, and now it is time to give an account. The fall of the oldest outpost of civilization signals the end of civilization.

The intractable Syrian conflict also symbolizes the paradoxical position in which fallen man finds himself, in that he has to execute justice (law and order) but who will execute justice on him? It’s like a court where the judge is corrupt; he may execute justice justly, but who will execute justice on him? I’m speaking in regard to nations. Who is the policeman of the world? Who is the judge of the nations? Who has the last say? Does America keep Russia in line, or will it be the other way around?

When wicked people execute justice then the righteous cringe.

Ultimately, they will choose a man to do this, the beast, the antichrist, who is a counterfeit of the King of Kings coming to judge the nations.

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What’s it like to be lost?

August 30, 2013

It’s 26 years since Jesus saved me, and I can barely remember what it’s like to be lost, but I do remember something of what it was like.

It can parallel quite close to the experience you may have had as a child if you actually did get lost somewhere, either in a department store or a forest; regardless of the location, it was not nice.

As a child, then, the key element to your “lostness” was that you were lost in relation to your mom or dad. All that mattered to you was that you make contact with them. The experience of being in a place of total disconnection from them is what you experienced as “lostness”. It is a place of desolation and no hope.

But when mom or dad finds you, then your “lost location” is now irrelevant, you are “home”, you are found.

Salvation is no different bcos it relates totally to the Person of Jesus Christ. If you are disconnected from His Person then you are lost. That’s why lost people are desolate and have no hope, and why saved people have life, love, hope and joy.

The ego is a spiritual black hole

August 30, 2013

Trying to fellowship with, or have a meaningful dialogue with a Christian who is egocentric is like trying to fly past a black hole without being sucked into it’s vortex. The ego sucks the life out of any relationship. That person is just using you – you are just an extension of their ego. At any moment they could give you the flick if you are no longer deemed useful.

And in the corporate setting such people suck the life out of the church, bcos it becomes all about them, and the life gets sucked into that spiritual black hole.

It never works, as Christ is not at the center of it.

Made to serve

August 30, 2013

Yes, Jesus calls us His friends and not servants (John 15:14-15) but then once we know we are His friend then we begin to serve Him as a friend, in Spirit and Truth. Otherwise we would be people He calls “wicked and lazy servants”.

In this sense, all people either serve Jesus or they serve their flesh.

Religion steps in to give a seeming justification for serving your flesh – you are still serving your flesh but now you are doing it for God.

How do we treat God?

August 28, 2013

We all treat each person we meet or know in a certain way, either in a good, bad or indifferent way.

God is a Person. How do we treat Him? Lightly? Do we ignore Him? Are we indifferent? Do we only sometimes refer to Him?

Do we sometimes treat Him as if He were not a real Person?

Playing just one note on the piano

August 27, 2013

Whenever i hear someone teach the body of Christ i’m often struck with wonder at how God placed the various gifts in the body just as He willed ( 1 Cor. 12:11 & 18).

Think of the difference between someone banging-out just one note on the piano, with someone masterfully playing a rich piano concerto. The concerto is made up of many notes placed skillfully in perfect harmony together by a composer. This is how the Church and the body of Christ was always supposed to have functioned – a concerto and not a boring one-note song.

And this also rings true in us as individuals; we are not to become one-note Christians who specialize in one aspect, one doctrine, or one truth of Jesus, to the exclusion of the rest of the fullness of His truth in His Person. We are to seek the whole counsel of God and thus grow up into the Head in ALL things, and not just some things (Eph. 4:15).

One of the dividends of receiving the different gifts across the body of Christ is that is helps prevent us becoming one-note Christians. Receiving a broader spectrum of the gifts produces more of the fullness of Christ.

In Him we live, and move, and have our being

August 27, 2013

For in Him we live, and move, and have our being. Acts 17:28

The natural life which men live is from God; and they are supported in it by him; and from him they have all the comforts and blessings of life; and all motions, whether external or internal, of body or of mind, are of God, and none of them are without the concourse of his providence, and strength assistance from him; though the disorder and irregularity of these motions, whereby they become sinful, are of themselves, or of the devil; and their being, and the maintenance of it, and continuance in it, are all owing to the power and providence of God.

~ John Gill

Now, if God says of unbelievers that they live, move and have their being in Him (not referring to salvation, of course, but to God as the giver and sustainer of natural life) THEN HOW MUCH MORE DO THOSE IN CHRIST live, move and have their being in Him?

May we be highly conscious of the fact that we live, move and have our being in the Son of God, Jesus Christ.

New Testament Church Life

August 26, 2013

I listened to this brother Steve Atkerson for the first time today and was much encouraged to hear what he had to say from the Word of God about how Church was always supposed to have been. Steve makes a compelling case for the continuation of the practices and traditions of the Apostles today.

The “clergy” don’t like it cos there’s no money to be made out of it.

And the “laity” don’t like it cos it means taking on a lifestyle they don’t want, where there would be real commitment to others.

Have a listen.

http://www.ntrf.org/audio/index.php

The Importance of Wineskins (Steve Atkerson)
Timeless Apostolic Traditions (Steve Atkerson)
The Lord’s Supper: A Holy Meal (Steve Atkerson)
Participatory Worship (Steve Atkerson)
Elder-led Congregational Consensus (Steve Atkerson)
Relational Church (Mike Indest)
What Elders Do (Steve Atkerson)
Heresy & The House Church (Steve Atkerson)
House Churches (Steve Atkerson and Dan Walker)
Divine Order (Mike Indest)
New Covenant Giving (Steve Atkerson)
Church Discipline (Mike Indest)
Deacon & Elder Appointment (Steve Atkerson)
Disciple Making In The House Church (Steve Atkerson)
Prescription for Unity (Steve Atkerson)

God’s spokesmen

August 25, 2013

It’s almost amazing that God even needs to have spokesmen, but He does so in His great mercy.

I mean, it seems amazing that mankind would even need to be told about God in the first place, and of their fallen state, and of their need for a Savior. It’s amazing that any of the glorious and all-consuming glorious facts about God presented in the Bible could ever become subjects which mere men debate over.

It sometimes seems like a game we are playing with people, like as if God needs some good public relations agents, like as if people need to be convinced that God exists and that He is Almighty God the Creator of heaven and earth.

The glory of God is self evident in all of creation. Every man and woman knows that God exists and they know they are living in rebellion against Him.

But the Cross is the judgment of the entire world and hence every creature must be told, at least once, of what God has done to reconcile them to Him thru the death of His Son, Jesus Christ.

Don’t leave em behind

August 24, 2013

If you are walking in victory over willful, besetting sin, and are experiencing the power and grace of the Lord Jesus over it, just as He promised, then spare a thought for your brothers and sisters who are still not experiencing the victory you are experiencing, who are still living in a dead-zone of repeated failure and feel like they are the devil’s football he just kicks around for sport.

Bear one another’s burdens, and so you will fulfill the law of Christ. Galatians 6:2

Whatever victory Jesus has given you is so that you are in a position to be able to intercede for and help your brothers and sisters obtain the victory in Christ, by faith, which is now their birthright in the new birth, the new creation. We have to leave the glory cloud and mountain top of our own blessing and experience and understand that we are blessed to be a blessing to others, to serve them, to bear their burdens. We shouldn’t leave em behind.

If we don’t follow Jesus back down into the valley of despairing people to help them then we will find ourselves alone on the mountain top.

Forms of judgmentalism

August 23, 2013

We are living in bizarre times, when many talk a lot about “love”, but if you disagree with them they suddenly lose their love for you. And many preach Judge not! but if you disagree with them they become very judgmental. In fact, the trend In the institutional and mega-churches to censure and silence any form of Biblical discernment, dissent or criticism is actually a type of judgmentalism, and it is perhaps the worst form of judgmentalism as it so insidiously judges the truth of God’s Word and judges the people of God by censuring them.

There is a reason God created The Bible

August 23, 2013

If people would only read the Bible and believe what is written there and respond to the God who is presented there. We don’t have to try and convince anyone in our own words of anything concerning God, it is all written there and they can respond accordingly. Many times these days people discuss the Bible as if human opinion matters. Like the subject of God’s wrath – as if the Bible were not the last word on the subject – as if He didn’t at one time destroy the entire human race by a flood, except for eight people.

You see the pictures of children in Syria dying a slow and excruciating death from having their lungs burned out by gas, and you still don’t believe in the wrath of God? And you still follow fake-smiling money preachers who seem to be oblivious to the fact that the wrath of The Lamb burns against them?

Speak to His face

August 22, 2013

LORD Jesus, you endured the suffering of the Cross for me? You were willing to do that for me?

Going with the flow of truth

August 22, 2013

You will have more of the Holy Spirit if you can learn to flow with Him in every moment of your being and your life, heeding the truth of The Word He brings to your heart and conscience.

Your Father is waiting for you

August 21, 2013

Waiting on God springs from the revelation that God is waiting for you. The Father wants us to know that He is waiting for us and He is expecting us to come before Him and that He actually desires our fellowship. Let that sink in a bit.

Yes, Father, I also want to fellowship with you.

It’s always that He loved us first and we respond.

You are loved.

We are loved.

Looking up into the heavens

August 20, 2013

When we look up into the beautiful painted canopy of sky above us we see such incredible beauty with our natural eye. But there is far, far more beauty, splendor and glory to see if we will open our spiritual eyes and look up. The eyes of our heart, or spirit are activated by faith and they become clearer and stronger with use.

When Christians become preoccupied with things other than the things of heaven it is bcos they can’t see into heaven, bcos we all become occupied with the things we see, either the things of the world or the things of heaven, depending on what we fix the eyes of our heart upon.

You will hear my voice in the morning, O Yahweh; in the morning will I direct my prayer unto you, and will look up. Psalm 5:3

And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draws near. Luke 21:28

If I tell you earthly things, and you do not believe, how will you believe if I told you heavenly things? John 3:12

Searching for what?

August 19, 2013

Do you think you will ever find something in this life better than Jesus?

Earthquake-proof house

August 18, 2013

Just had these thoughts while out jogging this morning: Does anyone know whether this is an effective way to build an earthquake-proof house? You make a flat concrete base. Then you lay down flat slippery skid pads like nylon or teflon. Then the wooden house frame sits flat on these skids. It’s not fixed to stumps, the horizontal frame sits flat on the concrete base. It’s floating, not fixed, and this way the whole house can slide horizontally on the base. The energy waves of the quake get dissipated in the sliding action, with less shaking of the structure. Hopefully, the only damage would be the severing of the plumbing. If this works then it’s a very cost-effective way to have an earthquake-proof house, but will it work?

A meeting of hearts

August 18, 2013

The essence of the body of Christ assembling together in Jesus name (1 Cor. 14) is firstly a meeting of hearts and then it is a meeting of minds. Jesus is not looking to see that a program is followed, He is looking to see that He is free to express His truth thru whomever He chooses. His only concern is that He is allowed to lead His Church. He brings many hearts together and melts them into one heart, expressing His heart. He also brings many minds together and by His Word and Spirit brings them into the same mind, the mind of Christ.

To be in Christ is to be in salvation

August 17, 2013

To be in Christ is to be in the Savior and to be in salvation, for He is our salvation. It’s the indwelling presence of the Savior which saves, the indwelling of the Justifier which justifies and the indwelling of the Deliverer which delivers. He is the Redeemer who redeems, the Victor who gives the victory, the Healer who heals, the Sanctifier who sanctifies and the Teacher who teaches. His name is Jesus. He is the Light who lights our way.

And of Him are you in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption... 1 Cor. 1:30