MEMOIRS (12)

MY VISON AND DREAM FOR EAST ASIA

I will never forget the vision God put in my heart at the airport at Hyderabad in January 1985 thirty three and a half years ago at the times of writing, that Jesus Christ is Lord of all the earth. The Word of God proclaims it, and it is wonderful when it comes as a Rhema Word to your heart.

As my Missions Ministry has been predominantly in Asia, and the difficulty of one’s mind taking in every nation of the world, my dream and vision relates very much to East Asia  and the many ministries I have  for years connected with and  continue  to relate  and pray for too right up until this very day.

Many Australians look with fear at China because of it’s massive growth and  economic develop, and now its encroachment into the South China Sea, and the associated islands. This does not concern me much, but I do look at the fast growing church in that nation, statistics would suggest the church there will be greater than the U.S.A. soon, and therefore the largest Christian Church in the world. I took a train out of Hong Kong one day, and went to a nearby Economic Zone in China, just to simply be able to say I have entered China.

I am praying that the Church in China which has so grown because of prayer and persecution will not only have a vision of “Back to Jerusalem” but will give serious thought to its three “daughters” Hong Kong, Macau & Taiwan and believe that the “River of revival” will flow into these Islands and onto the rest of East Asia.

Again you will have read of my experience in Northern Thailand as I looked into Myanmar and the burden that came for  that nation plus the burden that dramatically increased on my return home for the three Indo China nations of Laos, Cambodia & Vietnam. I see by  faith and  in the Spirit a river beginning to flow from China, and touching these four nations so crippled for many hundreds of years by Buddhism and Communistic type governments. There are regular reports of increased blessing in these for nations, may it continue.

I am in regular contact with Ministries in all these four nations, and even in Laos and Vietnam which is officially closed to Missions there is an increasing tide of blessing.

Right in the north of Thailand in Chiang Mei I have a spiritual son, who is building a great work for God, (in the North of Thailand almost 1% are Christian, only half % in the rest of the nation, I see the river flowing, and God using His servants  (again some dear friends I pray daily for) in Bangkok, and onto Pattaya & Phuket and into the South where there are growing churches (despite the additional problem of Muslims in this area). If the once Buddhist nation of South Korea which is now at least 50% Christian can see revival, so can Thailand, and millions of blind Thai eyes are going to be opened to Jesus as the Son of God and Saviour of mankind.

I see the river flowing into Malaysia, another dear brother I pray for daily lives in Sitiawan in the North  is building a great work for God. There has been tremendous answers to prayer in this nation. One political party has held sway since independence were defeated after much concentrated prayer,(over a number of years including 24 hour prayer meetings) and the positive signs for the Church and the nation are  exciting and encouraging. I see the river flowing down to Kuala Lumpur/Petayling Jaya where many dear friends are serving the Lord and believing for revival. Then onto Seramban and Melaka where I again have some very dear friends who are building great churches for the Lord. Then onto Singapore (the Antioch of Asia) our second home, there are a number of brothers I am praying for daily who are longing to plunge into the river.

Then the river is flowing and increasing in the nation of Indonesia, and many Javanese & Sumatrans and Chinese and every other ethnic group are coming to Christ. Indonesia may have the largest Muslim population within its borders, but the nation’s constitution gives perfect liberty to every Christian group and the signs are everywhere of the blessing and increase of the Lord upon the nation.

Then onto the largest Island nation in the world AUSTRALIA,it was prophesied by Smith Wigglesworth that we would be the last nation to see revival. It isn’t apparent yet, but I see it in the Spirit, the river of revival will flow across our great nation. Australia is virtually the uttermost parts of the world from Jerusalem, but it will happen, I trust I will be alive to see it and be a part of it. If that is not in the Lord’s plan then I will every day until my dying breath be praying and declaring  this last day outpouring that will cause millions of Australians to bow the knee and declare that Jesus Christ is Lord Amen

 

 

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YOUR COUNSEL AND COMMENTS PLEASE?

I wrote a blog three days ago entitled “A Prayer request”. I had been asked if I would consider Mentoring a young man in another country via Skype or WhatsApp. As Mentoring is a passion I sure was interested.

Previously, it had been suggested I consider putting all my teaching on video discs, this did not appeal to me one little bit, but I wasn’t sure why, now I know ,I realise as a result of a trial these past few days, I am that sort of teacher that wants to see my students  reactions and hear their responses.

As a trial I agreed to connect with this young man via WhatsApp, and we have had three excellent sessions together, we leave for holidays next week, so we won’t be meeting up again for about three weeks.

I am continually overwhelmed with the progress technology has made. As I wrote in my last blog I thought we would Skype on our laptops, but no, with the size of smartphones, I can clearly see my Mentoree.

I ask you to continue to pray regarding this new potential area of ministry for me, it is of course time consuming, and because of time zones around the world, it will take some coordinating.

I believe with all my heart that FACE TO FACE DISCIPLING AND MENTORING PRODUCES A QUALITY DISCIPLE. I  sure want to produce quality fruit for the Kingdom of God.

I also see the potential of ministering to a small group as well, thru WhatsApp or Skype particularly if the camera can move around and I can interact with individuals.

So is this where the Lord is leading me? Have I been so blind and slow not to recognise the potential of technology when it comes to Biblical Discipleship & Mentoring? Lord forgive me if this is so.

Only recently in a one on one session with a Youth leader I mentioned the “HARBOUR LIGHTS TEACHING, that in the past when a ship came into harbour at night  it had to line up a number of lights and when they all lined up the Captain knew he was in the right channel and would not hit rocks, or go aground. What are the 4 lights for a Christian to know the will of God?

  1. The Peace of God
  2. What does the Word of God say?
  3. Circumstances
  4. Godly Counsel.

The first three all sure seem line up, I now need people to speak into my life and give me counsel. Please write and give me your comments.

Have an AWESOME WEEKEND

 

 

 

A PRAYER REQUEST

You know the burning passion of my life is Biblical Discipleship and Mentoring. It was suggested sometime ago that I set up a video camera and put all my teaching on video disk, this hasn’t happened yet!!!Jest a few weeks ago a Youth Leader from one of the local Pentecostal churches here asked me if I would mentor him, this I am doing, and the results are truly wonderful.  Then  a few days ago a young Indonesian man I have known for some years, asked me “would I Mentor him?”  I believe the best way to do this is face to face. I asked him if he had Skype? I had used this once some years ago on my laptop. He said he would download the app (I assumed on his laptop). He called me on his smartphone and we had an awesome time of sharing together. I am not that up to date with technology (I am 77) and was so excited to have this session on my phone, and see his face and his reactions to my comments and questions.

For 20+ years I have had the awesome privilege of teaching and preaching about Biblical Discipleship and Mentoring around the world and especially throughout South East Asia. I recognise my travelling days are coming to an end, and this has saddened me (my time in Indonesia in September this year was a fantastic time of ministry and blessing blessing, and it saddened me that it was probably the last time.

BUT NOW I COULD DO IT FROM MY STUDY HERE AT HOME THRU TECHNOLOGY.

This truly excites me, but I only want to do it if it truly the Lord’s will. There is a pray I often pray,

IF THIS IS OF YOU LORD, LET IT GROW, IF IT IS NOT OF YOU LET IT GO.

So I sincerely request you prayer support regarding this endeavour.

There are some challenges, my home time here is GMT+11 hours. (normally 10, but have daylight time until April). Even Indonesia is 4 hours difference, and this took some juggling, but if the Lord is in it, it will work out.

Dawson Trotman the Founder of The Navigators reminds us WE ARE BORN TO REPRODUCE, and this is my only desire, Paul writing to Timothy puts is so well in 2 Timothy 2:2 AMP And the [instructions] which you have heard from me along with many witnesses, transmit and entrust [as a deposit] to reliable and faithful men who will be competent and qualified to teach others also.

Discipleship and Mentoring is very time consuming (and I am sure that is the main reason so little of it is done),  but doing it God’s way produces quality disciples of Jesus, and quality Leaders.

Lord help us to fulfil the GREAT COMMISSION, not simply getting people to raise their hand, coming forward and praying the “Sinner’s Prayer”  (none of which is mentioned in Matthew 28:18-20) but to MAKE DISCIPLES. AMP Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing theminto the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
Teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you, and behold, I am with youall the days (perpetually, uniformly, and on every occasion), to the [very] close and consummation of the age.Amen (so let it be)

BUILDING THE CHURCH ACCORDING TO THE PATTERN.

I do trust yesterday’s blog on “The Rhema Word” stimulated and challenged you. I said I loved to teach especially two of the Systematic Theologies, Bibliology and Ecclesiology. We sure thank God for the sure foundation of God’s inspired (inbreathed) Word of God the Bible, May our love for the Word, and hearing God speak to us through the Word ever increase, and we learn to feed on the “finest of the wheat” and grow ever stronger in the Lord. Ecclesiology is also an exciting Theology. I want to share some thoughts from my and I trust a Biblical perspective on this exciting topic.

Right back in the Old Testament God said to Moses and King David, they must BUILD ACCORDING TO THE PATTERN that God would give them, and this surely was the thrust and burden of the Reformers like John Calvin who said we must go back to the New Testament writings and reform and build the  current church as we see it there in the Scriptures, which he did and did very well in his teachings, I only have one question to ask him “why was his mind closed to Believer’s Baptism (by immersion)?

The Greek word for Church is ecclesia which is best interpreted as the “called out ones” a community of Believers on the earth that has been “called out” of darkness into the Kingdom of God, and are called  together to meet in “local churches” for fellowship, worship, teaching, training, discipleship and mentoring, and many other things.

The Church is not a material building, or a denomination, or Judaism extended, or the Kingdom of God,  but it is made up of those who are truly born again . We must understand this when we read the Word of God and distinguish between a local church and THE CHURCH.

Paul describes the Church as a mysyery in Ephesians 5:32 KJV This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church. It was conceived in the heart of God in eternity past and was born on the Day of Pentecost. Sadly, you can be a member of the local church, but not a member of the Church of the Lord Jesus Christ.

There is one area of truth I want to write about today and that is of government in the local church, as it appears to me, most churches before and after the Reformation just haven’t got it right, or do not want to get it right.

There are three major forms of church Government in the world today, the first two even use Greek words to promote their position.

There is numerous forms of The Episcopal church (episkopos, (Catholic & Anglican )means Bishop (an overseer) and this has developed into a central type of government, where a Bishop is the “ruler” over a group of churches which is known as a diocese. An Archbishop may rule over a number of dioceses, and the Pope rules over them all!!! In New Testament times, this title was used to simply describe some one who was a Pastor/Shepherd.

There is the numerous forms of the Presbyterian church (Presbuteros) meaning Elder and at local church level this is a local church that is ruled and led by a team of Elders, the “chief Elder” (The Captain) is usually the Senior Pastor. Paul wrote to Timothy and gave clear direction of the qualifications of Elders, sadly this to a great degree has degenerated today to usually simply mean  an older Godly person, without any real spiritual authority in the local church. Some other types of churches also have Elders mainly I think because it is a position mentioned in the Bible.

There are also numerous forms of Congregational churches, where the congregation has the rulership over themselves, in some groups, they have sadly so abused the awesome teaching of “The priesthood of all Believers” to say that they are equal with the appointed leadership and will not support the vision of the church unless it “suits” them (very sad). The keyword here is “function”  and Believers must recognise the gifts and callings God places upon a person who  is appointed to leadership in the local church. The Trinity is a plural team of le3adership, as is a husband and wife in a family setting.

Virtually every time the word Elder is used in the New Testament it is in the plural, this convinces  me that a local church is led by a plural team of Elders, with a Chief Elder (Captain) the reality is not one man has all the gifts and qualifications to lead a church, that is why Christ gave 5 ministry gifts to the church Ephesians 4:11-12 KJV
And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ.  Not that all Elders must be Ephesians 4:11 Ministry gifts, we will look at their qualifications and how they should function in the next blog. Peter declares in 1 Peter 5:1 KJV The elders who are among you I exhort, I who am a fellow elder and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that will be revealed:  this clearly suggests to me that:

ALL MINISTRY GIFTS ARE ELDERS, BUT NOT ALL ELDERS ARE MINISTRY GIFTS

The plural use of the word is  Elders in English and also the word Presbytery and a special function they have  is found in 1 Timothy 4:14 NKJV Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership (Presbytery). I will conclude this blog with a brief further mention of the fivefold ascension Gifts of Christ to the Church. Please note they are gifts to the whole Church (The Body of Christ), Pastors are almost exclusively linked to a particular local church, although as gifts to the Body, they should be free to minister across the Body of Christ from time to time. Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, and Teachers, are generally “travelling gifts”and the teacher may be based more in a College or Seminary more that a local church. I would suggest that all five Gifts, must have a “home base” as must not be “lone rangers”.

The AMP opens Ephesians 4:11-12 And His gifts were [varied; He Himself appointed and gave men to us] some to be apostles (special messengers), some prophets (inspired preachers and expounders), some evangelists (preachers of the Gospel, traveling missionaries), some pastors (shepherds of His flock) and teachers.
His intention was the perfecting and the full equipping of the saints (His consecrated people), [that they should do] the work of ministering toward building up Christ’s body (the church),
[That it might develop] until we all attain oneness in the faith and in the comprehension of the [full and accurate] knowledge of the Son of God, that [we might arrive] at really mature manhood (the completeness of personality which is nothing less than the standard height of Christ’s own perfection), the measure of the stature of the fullness of the Christ and the completeness found in Him.

All five ministry gifts are given and needed for the Church to be all that God wants it to be,  Please note these Gifts are for equipping the saints, so for example an Evangelist as well as conducting mass crusades she teach and train the believer in the work of evangelism.

The above are very much my interpretation of the Scriptures of what I believe, I am sure some of my readers, will have a different position, some areas  I have written about, you may have to ask for clarification, and there will be areas of truth that you think are important and I haven’t mentioned at all. Although Ecclesiology is the Theology (doctrine) of the Church, so much I have written here is about the local church, and the pattern we (I) see in the New Testament.

As a result of Moses and David “building according to the pattern” the cloud of God’s glory descended on the Tabernacle and the Temple,  as we seek to build the Church according to the patternmay we see more and more the glory of God descending and resting in the church amen.

Please let me have your comments and responses.

 

THE DAILY RHEMA WORD

I have mentioned a couple of times recently that most Believers have regrets especially in relation to their lifestyle pre-conversion, and sadly our lapses post conversion. the enemy loves to remind us of our past, and we must be strong and remind him, that our past is FORGIVEN AND FORGOTTEN. God has this awesome ability to be able to totally forget (oh that we had that ability too).

I have other regrets like “why was I so slow and unresponsive when God has so often sought to reveal truth to me”? I often wonder whether I would have been open to what Jesus calls the Baptism with the Holy Spirit Acts 1:5 NKJV “you have heard from Me; for John truly baptized with water, but you shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days from now.” if it hadn’t been because the book explaining it was written by William Booth-Clibborn, the grand son of the Founder of The Salvation Army the church of which I had come to Christ, and where I was serving the Lord. I am so glad I did embrace the truth and then the experience as it has been a continual life changer for me.

We have said in the past, that in Church History every time God restored truth to the Church, sadly, it seemed at times to come across as extreme and unbalanced, and so it was often rejected by some and they did what Martin Luther described as “throwing the baby (the truth) out with the dirty bathwater”. This, sadly I have done on a number of occasions, I am so glad that we read in the Word of God a n umber of times in Jeremiah & Jonah  And the word of the Lord came to me the second time, (Jer.13:3) The Lord wants to bring truth and revelation to us so He comes again a second and I am sure if we are so “thick” He will come a third time, so we get the message.

A truth that I rejected for years that  is now so real to me is the awesome truth that the Word of God is living and dynamic, and powerful, and that God wants to personally speak to me and let the Word of God become revelation to me, and work in me.

There are two Theologies that I simply love to teach (over and above all the Systematic Theologies) is Ecclesiology and Bibliology. Ecclesiology is the Doctrine of the Church (and I will refer to that more in a later blog, Bibliology is the Doctrine of the Bible. Sadly some aspects of this truth (although I loved to teach it) was simply information to me.

I have no doubt God raised up a man called Kenneth Hagin to bring to us The Word of Faith message which includes a broader understanding of the Rhema word.

There was much opposition to his teaching, and slogans developed like, he preaches “blab it and grad it” or “confess it and possess it” I have not personally seen anything in writing by Hagin that confirms this, but many of his “disciples” sure took the teaching to extreme. Some teachers recognise over emphasis and balance out over time. (Sadly, damage is done in the short term). So many Believers looked at the “dirty bathwater” and threw the truth out (including me). Many Theologians also concluded that as the 2 words for the Word of God  (Rhema & Logos)  were sometimes used interchangeably in the Greek text so therefore one could not build a truth on the Rhema Word. So again I rejected the teaching, and for years I believe I missed out so much not letting The Word work in me.

In the Old Testament the Psalmist especially speaks of letting The Word be quickened in me. (At least 14 times) Asking God to make the Word of God so come alive in them and let the information become revelation, and change their lives.

I don’t know when this truth got through to my heart, was it second or third time?? but I thank God it did.

Interestingly, many believers have had that isolated (once in a blue moon experience) when they were quite casually reading the Word and something happened, the bells rang, the thunders roared, the lights flashed. God very clearly spoke to them from the Scriptures. Sadly through lack of teaching they are happy for it to be occasional.

I BELIEVE WE CAN AND SHOULD BE PROACTIVE AND EXPECT GOD TO GIVE US A RHEMA WORD EVERY DAY.

So what do we need to do?

  • Do not open your Bible until you have prayed and prepared your heart to receive.
  • We must learn to meditate on the Word of God
  • Of course read a number of chapters of the Scripture (Old & New Testament).
  • Choose a separate Book of the Bible to meditate in, particularly a New Testament book.
  • Begin at verse one chapter one and chew over every word in the verse,
  • Read it in other translations.
  • Ask the Holy Spirit TO TURN THE LIGHT ON  AND GIVE YOU REVELATION
  • Expect and anticipate receiving a personal quickened Word from the Lord
  • The Rhema Word will never be contrary to the Logos Word, but it will be personal.

Paul describes the Rhema Word as the Sword of the Spirit Eph.6:17 NKJV And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word (Rhema) of God; There will be times when you will have to use this sword against the evil one, he hates the Word of God.

Paul tells us that faith is received as a result of receiving a Rhema Word Romans 10:17 NKJV So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word (Rhema) of God. I need more faith don’t you ?

I wrote recently about maintaining a “good confession” I love Romans 10:8 NKJV The word (Rhema) is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”. Don’t keep your Rhema Word to yourself, share it out, let it become truth and blessing to others.

The Rhema Word has a sanctifying ministry in your life Ephesians 5:26 NKJV that He might sanctify and cleanse her (YOU AND THE CHURCH) with the washing of water by the word, (Rhema).

May I encourage you to do a Word study in your Bible using your Strongs Concordance, the Strongs number is 4487 for Rhema and see how often it is used and of course look at the context, I am sure it will bless you greatly. May the Lord help you, to learn to meditate and take your time “chewing” over the Word of God and letting it come alive in you.

The only time I do not receive a Rhema Word daily is never God’s fault, it is because I have let my body call the shots and let it tell me “I am tired” really it is because I am simply  lazy and undisciplined (pray for me please).

Some may say as they read this, I have heard all this before, hasn’t John got anything new to say? I do actually, but have you got a hold of this truth above, I know it will change your life.

Please feel free to comment on this truth.

 

 

 

MY DECLARATION AND PRAYER REQUEST

As I read some of the statements of the great reformers like Calvin and Luther, and men like Spurgeon, I am encouraged, that despite the revelations they received they still honestly declared their inadequacies. I have written many times in my blogs, we do not have a single excuse and yet we fail the Lord so often.

I guess I am an idealist, yet get so discouraged when I do not reach the standards I believe the Word of God tells me I can reach. Sadly my idealism can make me judgemental of others too.

If you asked me this morning “WHAT IS MY NO.1 PRIORITY? I believe I can honestly say, I want to be more like Jesus, so people can see Jesus in me. Yet I fail so often, I can be lazy, undisciplined, and at 77+I sure get physically tired these days (but these are excuses) that have been completely dealt with through the death and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ.

You may ask me why am I writing this way today? I met a Pastor this week (with a past student) and at the end of our 2 hour conversation, he volunteered that he was blest by some of the Godly qualities in me!!!!!!!!! I phoned a Pastor friend yesterday (for a brief catch up) who had been an Interim Pastor at our local church, and he concluded our discussion with the same language. Please believe me when I say I was utterly humbled by their words, I could not feel proud, because I am constantly aware of the depravity and deceitfulness of my heart, (Jer. 17:9) and sincerely get frustrated by my many failures.

I am beginning to understand what Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:27 NKJV Thus I fight: not as one who beats the air. But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.

The AMP says But [like a boxer] I buffet my body [handle it roughly, discipline it by hardships] and subdue it, for fear that after proclaiming to others the Gospel and things pertaining to it, I myself should become unfit [not stand the test, be unapproved and rejected as a counterfeit].

I have quoted this verse numerous times, and I am more aware than ever THAT MY BIGGEST PROBLEM IS ME.

I thank God for His work of grace in me, and He is sure working in my life, (and others can see it), but would you pray for me.

I WANT TO BE MORE LIKE JESUS EVERY DAY.

DAVID A MAN AFTER GOD’S OWN HEART

I have been sitting quietly reading some of King David’s Psalms, and being blest as I hear this man’s heart towards God. I must admit I love this man so much, and get so frustrated even righteously indignant at the comments Preachers say about him. I am not lessening David’s sin with Bathsheba or setting up Uriah’s death in battle. BUT,There is such a depth of repentance that flows from David as he prays in Psalm 51 1-12 NKJV Have mercy upon me, O God, according to your lovingkindness; according to the multitude of your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is always before me. Against You, You only have I sinned, and done this evil in your sight-That you may be found just when you speak, and blameless when You judge, Behold I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin my mother conceived me, Behold you desire truth in the inward parts, and in the hidden part you will make me to know wisdom. Purge me with hysop, and I shall be clean; Wash me and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me hear joy and gladness, That the bones you have broken may rejoice, Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take your Holy Spirit from me, Restore to me the joy of Your Salvation, and uphold me by your generous spirit.

I have spelt out these 12 verses for us to see the depth of David’s repentance. Why do we keep condemning David and remembering His sins, when God Himself says in Hebrews 8:12 NKJV For I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and their lawless deeds I will remember no more.”  GOD FORGETS OUR SINS AND SO WE SHOULD FORGET OTHER PEOPLE’S SINS  !!!!!

May I remind all the men who are reading this today of the words of Jesus in Matthew 5:28 NKJV But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.  There are probably tens of millions of men who sit in church pews every Sunday who have committed adultery in their mind,  and Jesus says this is the same as if committing the physical act, but they have repented Jesus does not remember their  (or our) sin, and we all say praise the Lord.

In relation to King David, I am often reminded of 1 Kings 15:5 NKJV David did what was right in the eyes of the Lord, and had not turned aside from anything that He commanded him all the days of his life, except in the matter of Uriah the Hittite. From David’s repentance recorded in Psalm  51David, walked in purity and victory ALL THE DAYS OF HIS LIFE.

That is why we read in Acts 13:22 NKJV God raised up for them David as king, to whom also He gave testimony and said, “I have found David the son of Jesse, a man after My own heart, who will do all My will.’ What a testimony, what do you think it means?

HERE ARE 10 REASONS WHY DAVID IS A MAN AFTER GOD’S OWN HEART

  • He was Humble Psalm 62:9
  • He was Reverent Psalm 18:3
  • He was Respectful Psalm 31:9
  • He was Trusting Psalm 27:1
  • He was Loving Psalm 18:1
  • He was Devoted Psalm 4:7
  • He Recognised God for who He is Psalm 9:1
  • He was Faithful Psalm 23:6
  • He was Obedient Psalm 119: 34
  • He maintained a Repentant heart Psalm 25:11 Psalm 139:23-24

Are you looking for a role model in the Bible? I recommend you look at the life and ministry of the Sweet Psalmist Israel, I am sure it will bless and challenge you.

HOW IS YOUR CONFESSION?

I was challenged afresh as I read Hebrews 4:14 NKJV again recently.

Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.

I asked myself the question WHAT IS OUR CONFESSION ?  Is is Romans 10:9 NKJV

that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Surely this is where it must all begin, do you remember that day when the Holy Spirit so convicted you of your sin and drew you to God, and put faith and grace in your heart to confess that Jesus took the wrath of God (that should  have been poured out on us) upon Himself and carried it away plus confess and believe Jesus also rose from the dead , and as a result we were saved. Paul in Romans 4:25 NKJV  expresses it like this who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification.

WE WERE DECLARED NOT GUILTY AND ACQUITTED

Ephesians 2:8 NKJV  spells it out so clearly For by GRACE  you have been saved through FAITH, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God.

We could only make this confession because the Holy Spirit put this awesome truth in our hearts.  So when the pressures and temptations come with God’s continued help

LET US HOLD FAST OUR CONFESSION

An area that I have to work on in my life is to make sure:

MY CONFESSION ALWAYS LINES UP WITH THE WORD OF GOD

Romans 14:23 NKJV tells us whatever is not from faith is sin. 

WHAT IS THE OPPOSITE TO FAITH?

  • FEAR
  • DOUBT
  • UNBELIEF
  • NEGATIVITY

How easy it is for things to come out of our mouth that has their basis in these four things. Personally, every day when I begin my Quiet Time knowing that if I have sin in my heart God will not hear my prayer Psalm 66:18 NLT If I had not confessed the sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.  I ask the Lord to search my heart, and if my confession has not lined up with the Word of God would he please forgive me.

I guess there are many areas relative to confession we could talk about today, but let me just comment on one more area. Hebrews 4:14 NLT let us hold firmly to what we believe.

This translation sure opens it up, and as we are living in a time where fundamental truths are getting watered down, we need to know what we believe, and regularly confess them. Let me encourage you, that I believe it means commitment & confession of the essentials. Let us not get bogged down on the non-essentials. The Baptist church for example here in Victoria deliberately does not have a lengthy Statement of Faith, but are committed totally to the essentials. They hold the Holy Spirit is still shedding light on the Word of God, and we need to be like the Bereans and be open minded when it comes to those truths that are sure not essential to our Salvation, but that we let the Holy Spirit lead us into all truth  John 16:13. AMEN

 

THE PLACE OF DOCTRINE AND RELATIONSHIP

I don’t know what sort of description you would give this blog, it is a testimony, but also an expression of what I believe. I wrote in FB this morning “I am so blest, it is all undeserved, THANK YOU JESUS”. It is now over 67 years I have known Jesus as my personal Saviour and Lord, and live in the daily assurance, I have eternal life, ” I am a new creation, old things have passed away and all things have become new. My name is engraved in the palm of His hand (Isaiah 49:16) He knows my name, and loves me with and everlasting love.  I have failed the Lord so many times, but he has never forsaken mefor which I will thank Him throughout eternity.

We are all a product of our church environment and what they teach, we simply picked it up consciously or unconsciously and accepted it, and to a great degree not even checking what the Word of God says.

I was gloriously saved in an Arminian believing church, and in my late teens was exposed to the Pentecostal Movement (which is also strongly Arminian). The Second Blessing teaching that was birthed nearly 300 years ago, saw the development/addition at the start of the 20th century of people “speaking in unknown tongues” as recorded on the day of Pentecost. This second experience again was life changing thrusting me into the realm of the Holy Spirit”s  moving and giftings . I already had a “call of God” on my life so entered Bible College, and begun to be exposed to the truths found in the Word of God. I also had some friends who quietly and lovingly encouraged me to “search the Scriptures” and I began to see that both the Arminian and Calvinist positions (on some aspects of truth) were not as balanced as many people would suggest. Regarding these 2 Theological positions I am somewhere in the middle.

IT IS SAID IT IS DANGEROUS TO BE IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD AS YOU WILL GET RUN OVER!!!

So some of my readers are already preparing to challenge me as they read this.

I believe in Mass evangelism and thank God for men like Billy Graham, and Reinhard Bonnke who have seen millions of people make “decisions” for Christ, but I came to see, that it is one thing to make a “decision” it is another thing to know if “they have passed from death unto life and are truly born again. That is why Biblical Discipleship is essential, and the “decision” may simply be the beginning of a pilgrimage until they come to that place that “they know because they know because they know”.

2 Peter 3:9 NKJV tells us The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance. THE GOSPEL IS FOR THE WHOSOEVER.

Three important components we must recognise in the Salvation process is:

THE TRINITY IS INVOLVED, FATHER, SON AND HOLY SPIRIT.

  1. John 6:44 NKJV No one can come to Me unless the FATHER who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. 
  2. THE HOLY SPIRIT must convict the Sinner of his lost estate.
  3. JESUS CHRIST died and shed His blood to deal with the sin question once and for all.

There are some words that it appears Arminians seem to hate like:

ELECT/ELECTION/CHOSEN/PREDESTINATION, all I can say is they are Bible words, and if they are in the Bible they must be significant, although sadly Hyper Calvinists seem to take these words to extremes. Romans 8:29 NKLV helps me understand these words. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.

GOD’S CHOOSING IS SEATED IN HIS FOREKNOWLEDGE

Our God knows everything (about everything) He saw us in eternity past and on the basis of His foreknowledge He chose us Hallelujah.

Oh that more Believers were like Spurgeon who said something like this, it is not my business who is “elect’ I must simply fulfil the great Commission.

I am so sad that the some of the Reformers felt that what they declared was everything we need to know and believe, as within a few short years God continued to shed light on His Word and important truths like Believer’s Baptism (by immersion) was revealed. Then truth after truth continued to be restored to us including for example the Gifts and ministries of the Holy Spirit like Divine Healing, Prophecy, Speaking in Tongues, the Five fold ministries (Ephesians 4:11) most Reformers said these ceased when the last Apostle died.

I believe there is more Light going to be shed on the Word of God as we come closer and closer to the Lord’s return, so let us not be inflexible, and be closed minded, but be like the Bereans in Acts 17:11 NKJV These were more fair-minded than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness, and searched the Scriptures daily to find out whether these things were so.

I have joined many Reformed and Pentecostal forums on FB and enjoy the discussions very much, but am extremely saddened (and I trust) righteously angry when I read questions like Can an Arminian be saved? 

DOCTRINE IS IMPORTANT BUT IT WON’T GET YOU TO HEAVEN

I totally agree with Paul when He wrote to Timothy 2 Tim. 1:12 NKJV for I know WHOM I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day.

Knowing Biblical truth is very important but knowing Jesus is the essential thing. I somehow think we may all be surprised when we get to heaven that what we thought about a certain truth, was not  completely correct.

This blog is not a Theological treatise, I may not have made myself as clear as I should or could, I am most happy to receive your comments and responses, but I WILL NOT ARGUE with you ok?

LET US HAVE COMMITMENT ON THE ESSENTIALS AND LIBERTY ON THE NON-ESSENTIALS

LEARNING TO DO THE WILL OF GOD

What comes to your mind when you think of the Prophet Jonah? Like King David I think he was more heavily criticised than he deserved. Jonah was the very first Jewish Missionary sent to a heathen nation. Yes, Jonah was a typical Jewish isolationist believing that salvation was for the Jews only, and this was the general thinking of the day in Judaism. Seekers of truth were to come to Jerusalem not people go out to them. It is in the New Testament under the New Covenant are we told to go out into the whole world and reach out to the sinner in every ethnic group in the world..

So with that isolationist mindset Jonah is told by God to go to Nineveh, and he “freaked out” and went the other way to Tarshish, and  he paid his own fare v.3, there is always a cost when you don’t do the will of God. Jonah like I guess millions of Believers over the years,find out their is a cost because they had refused to do the will of God, and consequently lost the blessing of God from their lives. The cost of the fare quickly increased when Jonah had to make the decision to ask the boat’s crew to throw him overboard, thus thinking he would also lose his life for disobeying the Lord.

Our Sovereign God had bigger plans for Jonah than he ever realised, and God had prepared a big fish to encompass Jonah.  Let us remember that Jonah was in the big fish for 3 days and 3 nights (72 hours) so he had plenty of time to think through his situation and pray and repent, chapter 2:1-8, then in verse 9 David offered a prayer of thanksgiving, that immediately caused God to speak to the big fish and it spewed Jonah out onto dry land. What an example of the power of THANKSGIVING

Jonah had repented and embraced the will of God,  he may not have known the principle Paul preached but he sure practiced it as we see in 1 Thess. 5:18 NKJV in everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. Jonah was literally inside a horrible situation, and like Jonah we must learn, that And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 NKJV Our Sovereign God is in control, ands we must maintain an attitude of gratitude at all times.

It is believed the big fish’s stomach acids would have terribly disfigured Jonah’s body, this plus his revival preaching caused a whole city of 120.000 to repent and embrace Jehovah the God of the Jews. Because of Jonah’s isolationist mentally he did not want to see these “unclean people” embrace the truth. So the Book of Jonah ends with Jonah’s bigotry robbing him of the joy of being obedient to God.

If you have rejected the will of God in the past, I trust you have repented, and are now walking in the Lord’s will. Remember the Lord has forgiven and forgotten your wandering away, do not listen to the accusing words of the evil one, , do not let regrets rob you of your joy. Be convinced in your heart the Lord is in control and he only wants your very best, so the only place to be is in the centre of God’s will. We experience this, by re-affirming His Lordship over our life constantly every day, and make this our daily prayer:

I WILL GO WHERE YOU WANT ME TO GO

I WILL DO WHAT YOU WANT ME TO DO

I WILL SAY  WHAT YOU WANT ME TO SAY

I WILL BE WHAT YOU WANT ME TO BE

AMEN

 

THE FRUIT OF COVENANT (2)

Two weeks ago I wrote the first blog on this topic, and there was a very good response for the teaching, as it is something that it not mentioned much or enough. There was some surprise when I recorded that David and Jonathan also personally could have cut a covenant, this  was a common practice in the Middle East then and to this day.  I preached this message in a Black African church in Sydney some years ago, and after the service over coffee, the Pastor informed me, that “cutting the covenant” was also very much part of many African cultures. He then went on to tell me a story of an English lady from London he knew, who through business had met this lady from Saudi Arabia, because of business they spent a lot of time together over a period of weeks. The day before the Saudi lady was to return home, they met. She said to the English lady, I have really got to appreciate and love you over these past weeks, so much so I want to do something we do in this type of situation in our culture in Saudi Arabia. She said I want to enter into a Covenant with you, I make my self available to you to be anything and everything you may ever need. She then made a tiny cut on the English woman’s wrist, and her own and put their wrists together to let their blood intermingle. It would quickly heal but would leave a tiny scar that neither would forget. The English lady didn’t know what was going on, but simply went along with her new friend’s action.  The next day the Saudi lady returned home.

Some time later the English woman was diagnosed with a very nasty cancer, she simply messaged her Saudi friend to let her know about the situation. Within 24 hours there was a knock on her door, and when she opened it, here was the Saudi lady, “What are you doing here” she said, the response came quickly “remember the Covenant I made with you? I didn’t tell you my father owns 24 oil wells he is a very rich man, I am here to take full responsibility for your condition and see you have the very best treatment at my expense. The Saudi lady remained in London until the treatment was complete and the lady was cancer free. THAT IS WHAT COVENANT MEANT TO THE SAUDI LADY.

My Jamieson Fawcett & Brown Commentary tells me that the Jews had a custom of “puncturing” their hand as a reminder of God’s Covenants with His people and the City of Jerusalem.

When we have Holy Communion we are encouraged to “Look at the scars” and remember Christ’s suffering and death for us. It would be a good exercise to sit in the Lord’s presence at home regularly too and “Look at the scars”  and meditate upon all the Lord has done for us.  In eternity we are going to be always  “Looking at the scars” as we will always be looking upon a Lamb that had been slain.

Last night I couldn’t sleep so was praying and meditating on these glorious truths, and the thought came to me, that as Jesus always lives to make intercession for us. Hebrews 7:25 NKJV JESUS IS ALSO ALWAYS LOOKING AT HIS SCARS, let us look at Isaiah 49:16 NKJV See, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;   The AMP  says this Behold, I have indelibly imprinted (tattooed a picture of) you on the palm of each of My hands. The New Living expresses it this way I have written your name on the palms of my hands.

If there are any Theologians reading this, they will say this is talking about Jerusalem or Zion, and that is 100% correct. Now let us pass this verse through the Cross and apply New Covenant Principles to it. OUR BIG GOD HAS BIG HANDS, Christ’s hands is His prayer list, and my name is on His hand and so is yours.

I felt I could weep as I meditated on this awesome truth, Jesus knows my name,He sees it often when he looks at the scars, He knows everything about me, AND STILL LOVES ME and while I was yet a sinner he died for me, what a Saviour.

I THANK GOD FOR THE NEW COVENANT DON’T YOU?