Saturday, 31 January 2015

When sickness returns to your house ~ Rabqa

Lk 11:24-26 NLT) When an evil spirit leaves a person, it goes into the desert, searching for rest. But  when it finds none it says, "I will return to the person I came from". So it returns & finds that it's former home is all swept & in order. Then the spirit finds 7 other spirits more evil than itself, & they all enter the person & live there, so that person is worse off than before.

Be warned that returning to a past bondage from which you were once delivered results in deeper bondage.

While the promises of the new covenant are free, seeing them manifest in your life is a battle-a battle that involves your faith. The enemy will throw mental darts such as:
                   Is it really God's will that I be healed?
                   Is God trying to teach me a lesson?
                   Is this problem the result of some sin?

Many believers struggle to receive because they are continually bombarded with negative messages from the enemy of their soul. One of the most challenging & difficult conflicts will manifest when the enemy attempts to return to your house.

Luke recorded the statement by Jesus that the unclean spirit departs but attempts to return to the same house from where it was expelled.

Notice that the house is swept & garnished, but it is uninhabited. The person in this story has made an effort to straighten up & has received temporary relief, but he has not properly allowed the Lord to move in & take up residence.

Eventually, the enemy moved back in & bought some unwanted company ( 7 other spirits) with him.

In Mk 5 Christ delivers the man of Gadara from 2000 unclean spirit  (v 13), this former maniac from the mountains wanted wanted to follow Jesus from city to city, Christ told this former demon possessed man to go home (v 19) & tell his friends what great things the Lord had done for him instead of encouraging him the man to follow Him.

He told the man to return to where he came from & testify his miracle. This man probably had a slight fear of returning-a fear that the demons would once again attempt to enter him.

Jesus gave him a powerful key to staying free. He said "Testify of what the Lord has done!"This statement agree with what Rev 12:11 says NLT) & they have defeated him by the blood of the Lamb & by their testimony, & they did not love their lives so much that they were afraid to die.

This verse teaches Spiritual victory we enter into. Jesus Christ has already won the victory through His death, burial & resurrection.
Conduct spiritual warfare on the basis of the shed blood of Jesus & through the declaration that He died for your sins & rose again for your justification. Love Jesus more than life itself.

Before that in Rev 12:10 it tells us that satan is called the accuser of the brethren. He tries to make us feel guilty & commended.

When we feel unhealthy, guilt, & condemnation, we must remember that God does not make us feel that way. God wants us to experience His love & feel the power of His forgiveness.

Guilt depresses us & makes us feel as though we are under a heavy burden. Jesus came to lift us up, to bring good news to us that our sins are forgiven & the penalty of them removed.

Resist guilt & condemnation by embracing the salvation authority of Christ in your life.
A born again believer who is under the covenant of Christ's blood & walking in the Word has a defence against the powers of darkness, including evil spirits.

However there is a spiritual principle that a believer should be made aware of. There are two types of conflicts: attacks & counter-attacks.

Most Christians are fully aware of a frontal assault from the adversary. However, many are caught of guard when a counter-attack comes. The purpose of the enemy's counter-attack is to regain lost territory.

When the person becomes born again the adversary may bring an old before Christ friend who will tempt you to return to late night parties & bars.

Believers who receive the baptism of the H S often must deal with skeptical  relatives who attempt to rescue them from their deception. The same is true with healing. The early full- gospel ministers were continually defending the practice praying for the sick as critics bemoaned or denounced the act of anointing with oil & seeking God for healing.

The adversary is a thief & a robber. He dislikes losing ground  & therefore will make any attempt to steal your blessing, if you permit him to do so.

Some people who are healed have experienced a relapse of a similar affliction. for eg  a person who is healed of a terminal illness is declared clean by their doctor.
Many years later the disease returns, but perhaps to another location in their body. while this certainly does not happen all the time, it does happen from time to time & should be addressed.

Once we have been healed, we must maintain our faith in Christ's ability to preserve our whole body, soul & spirit blameless unto the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ  Thes 5:23 Here we see Paul's final prayer is that we might be wholly sanctified that is our whole being-spirit soul & body maybe yielded to the will of God. The power for this accomplishment must come from the God of peace Himself.

Perry tells a story of a woman with cancer on her face was standing for prayer while the evangelist was fervently praying for God to perform miracles. Her hand was covering the large cancer on her face & she suddenly cried out as the cancer fell into her hand & her face was completely healed. People began rejoicing. The woman however, said, "I can't believe this...this is impossible...this can't be happening" she placed her hand back to her face & the cancer melted back into her skin! In shock she made a profound statement, "O God; what my faith has taken off, my unbelief has put back on.

The Story of Goliath contains a clue as to how to deal with sickness when it returns. In David's time there were 5 giants who lived in the promised land.

There names were:
Goliath 1 Sam17:4 we are told that he was 6 cubits & a span which is about 9 feet 9 inches. He lived Gath which was a major city of the Philistines not far to the west.  He was a champion which is literally a middle man, one who could decide the outcome of a particular  battle by one single handed fight with a similar champion from the opposing sides.

Ishbi-benob 2 Sam 21:16 He was one of the sons of the giant, the weight of whose bronze spear was 300 shekels who was bearing a new sword, thought he could kill David
300 shekels is about seven & a half pounds. Sons of the giants is a race of giants from which Goliath had come.

Saph 2 Sam21:18 He also was one of the sons of  the giant.

The giant from Garth. 2 Sam 21:20 This verse says that he was a man of great stature who had six fingers on each hand & six toes on each foot, he was also born to the giant.

Lahmi 1 Chron 20:5 says that he was Goliath's brother.

Goliath was a large & intimidating man that no man or army of Israel was willing to tackle him until a faith filled teenager arrived on the battle field.

Before approaching Goliath, David stopped by a brook (1 Sam 17:40) The reason is obvious to collect five stones that David was prepared to take Goliath out & his four other colleagues. Lahmi as we have just heard was Goliath's brother.

If Lahmi was part of the Goliath family, he may have been the same hight & had the same facial features & threatening voice of his brother, Goliath. & yet he was not Goliath, because Goliath was dead (1 Sam 17.51) which tells us that David took his sword & drew it out of it's sheath & killed him, cut his head off.
We see the very head of Goliath had been removed by the sword of David, a picture of the sword of the Spirit, or the Word of God getting to the root of the problem that is affecting us (Heb 4:12).

Once God has wrought a healing for you, whether through the prayer of faith, a manifestation or through communion, He makes good His healing work, & your faith & obedience maintain a continual flow of life into your spirit, soul & body.
However, occasionally the enemy will counter tack, attempting to bring the very thing you were freed from back into your body.

This is not Goliath because that giant is dead. It may look the same, feel the same, & act the same, but Goliath has a brother. Lahmi Must be dealt with just as Goliath was dealt with.
If a person comes to you asking for prayer because the same ailment is attempting to return. You can tell him it's not Goliath, it's his brother.

 BUT there are still stones in the brook! The point is the same faith that defeated Goliath will also defeat his brother.
The same anointing that brought the initial healing & the same faith that defeated the adversary years ago are the same anointing & faith that can conquer the enemy today! 

If the Lord tarries, we will all have our final day on Earth & pass from this life to the next. We are not presently in an immortal body, & our body which is the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 3:16) Our body which is the building identified as God's temple, made holy by the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit. Here the temple of God is the local Church. In Eph 6:19 it is the individual Christian body, & in Eph 2:20&21 it is the Church.

Our body occasionally needs repairs & maintenance. Throughout our journey storms will come & damage parts of our temple. But just as God cared for His house in Jerusalem, He is concerned about your physical house, which was created in His image.

Here are 3 points to remember:

1 God is able to keep (preserve) what we commit to Him, & this includes our health
(Thes 5:23-24) Now may the God of peace Himself sanctify you completely; & may your whole spirit, soul & body be preserved blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. He who calls you is faithful, who also will do it.

God's faithfulness gives assurance that we will be preserved blameless until the return of Christ.

2) If the enemy returns, use the same weapons  to defeat him again & again.

 Corn 10:4 For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.

Our warfare is not against flesh & blood (Eph 6:12) therefore carnal ( weak or worldly) these weapons will not do; we need weapons that are God-empowered (mighty in God) their purpose is for pulling down or demolishing strongholds which is anything opposing God's will.

3) We should maintain faith & fellowship through communion as often as we can or feel led.

1 Corn 11:25 NKJ) In the same manner He also took the cup after supper, saying "This cup is the new covenant in My blood. This do, as often as you drink it, in remembrance of Me.

Acknowledgement Perry Stone.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Communion ~ Ganeida.

When we come to Communion...

 And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me... John 12:32

Communion, Eucharist, The Love Meal, the Bread & the Wine is central to Christianity.  The partaking of it is a command.  One that most denominations follow though our understanding of what it means, the how & the when, may differ & the denomination I most closely affiliate with does not practise it.
The practise of communion, by whatever name it goes by, has always fascinated me.  What is it about this humble meal of bread & wine that Jesus had in mind at that final Passover meal?  It was then, as they shared the final cup, the cup of the Kingdom, that Jesus ended the old covenant, at least symbolically.  I know, it gets strange when a Lit major takes to religion, doesn't it?  The bread & the wine was never going to just be the bread & the wine.   How could it?  This is symbolism that goes all the way back to Abraham & Melchizedek.

This simple meal holds so much rich symbolism I am unlikely to cover it all so I will just touch on a few of the more pertinent points here.  

Firstly:  I have mentioned this is a covenant meal.  You will find a fuller explanation of covenant here. There are 2 elements to covenant: flesh & blood.  The flesh is broken; the blood is poured out because For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.  Oh. My.  Even way back in Leviticus!

Jesus names the elements: And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for youthis do in remembrance of me...

Ever since whatever is used to represent Jesus body, whether it is a wafer, flatbread, unleavened bread or ordinary bakehouse bread, it is broken in two ~ & it is broken in two so that the one making the covenant may pass between the pieces.  I don't think there is any mistake about what Jesus is doing here.  He is making covenant, which would be sealed on the cross & fulfilled at His resurrection. 

Now the bread that Jesus would have used would have been unleavened Passover bread such as this:
 Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed....1 Peter 2:24 

As you can see matzeo bread is striped ~ & punctured.  Jesus would have known he was about to be whipped bloody, have a crown of thorns pushed down on His head & nails driven between the fine bones of His wrists & ankles as He took this bread & tore it in two.  For centuries the Jews celebrated this meal with this bread not knowing Christ was represented there.

Likewise also the cup after supper, saying, This cup is the new testament in my blood, which is shed for you....Luke 22:20

I am going to say outright that while I have read & understand the arguments for the *wine* being grape juice & non~alcoholic I do not believe they are valid & I will tell you why.  Firstly, the custom, as it still is in many of these regions where wine is drunk routinely, was to water the wine: one measure of wine to 2 of water.  This is because the water is contaminated & full of germs.  The wine, being antiseptic, acted as a purifier ~ I'm sure you can make the analogy!  It is Jesus blood that purifies us!

Now there is one final point I would like to make because I think this is central to the taking of communion, to life in Christ, to walking out our faith.

What we are meant to do in communion is both to recognise Christ's sacrifice for us & to exalt him.  The word used in John 12:32 is  ὑψόω (hypsoō) & means to exalt, not simply to *lift up*.  We are to exalt our Lord & Saviour.  When we do this He is able to draw us with Him into the abundant life in God that we are meant to share.  

As we prepare for communion & enter into he fellowship of believers who are in covenant relationship with Christ, we are meant to exalt His Holy name & what He has done for us.  Then we can lay claim to all the promises Christ's sacrifice bought us: healing, blessing, grace, abundance, joy, peace ~ all this in the midst of trouble & turmoil because we have not been taken out of the world.  We are in the world but we are no longer meant to be of it.  In the partaking of the communion meal we recognise we are in a new covenant, a people called out, set apart, a holy priesthood, a peculiar people, salt & light in a world that knows not its saviour.

The Communion of Healing ~ Ganeida.

And so we come again to communion.

Oh, you may be saying to yourself.  What more is there to say about communion?  we’ve discussed the bread & the wine & the cup of the kingdom.  We remember our Lord’s sacrifice.

So much happened we can’t think of it all at once so the aspect of communion I want to look at today is healing ~ & the kind of healing that took place on the cross for us.

I am going to start with the word Gethsemane.  Yes, that is the name of the garden where Jesus went to pray.  The garden where Judas betrayed him.  The garden where Roman soldiers arrested him.  It still exists today, though the olives that would have been young saplings in Jesus day are full grown trees now.  

Now scripture doesn't do anything by default.  God is very careful & he is particularly careful about names & so the meaning of this name is important & tells us something.  Gethsemane means oil press.  That is somewhere where the ripe olives were put under pressure to release their oil.  Now recent studies of Gethsemane’s olive trees have revealed they are amongst the oldest in the world & are all the shoots from just one parent tree.  Stop & think about the implications of that for a moment.  Oil is almost always symbolic of the anointing of the Holy Spirit & so you have something very beautiful taking place here.  It will not come into fullness until the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit is poured out but the pressing takes place at Gethsemane when the sins of the world are laid upon Christ in the garden.  

We are prone to think that the weight of the world’s sin fell on Christ at the cross but it is here in the garden it begins.  See it was sin that was nailed to the cross.  For that to be so Jesus must already have been made sin for our sakes.  It is a process, tied into Jewish religious custom from the scapegoat to the High Priest’s robe woven as a single cloth.  Under the old covenant, as under the new, the was no redemption without the shedding of blood.  There was blood shed in the garden as the weight of mankind’s sin was transferred to Christ.  It was a struggle.  He was in agony ~ from agon which means a contest, a fight ~ so much so the extreme mental & physical stress caused the blood capillaries to expand then burst so that Luke could say Jesus sweated drops of blood.  It was so agonising Christ begged that if it were at all possible the cup would pass him by.

If we read John 17 carefully we find something very beautiful taking place. Yes, we know Jesus is praying for us; us in our time, before we were even born! But look at what He is praying! I in them & you in me.....that they may be one in us...There is only one way that happens ~ if the Holy Spirit abides in us & we abide in the Word. When you study the Greek in this passage you discover that what Jesus is saying is that he is willing (thelō) , He's exercising His will properly to bring this about.  In the process, in order to accomplish this for us, He is crushed, in God's olive press, just as the olives were pressed to release their oil!  

Hebrews 5 :8 remarks that Christ learnt obedience through what he suffered.  Here too I find something very amazing because what holds Christ steady in His purpose, a purpose that has been foreseen from the beginning of the world?  His friends fall asleep at the critical hour, then desert him.  On the cross even God turns his face away.  But Jesus is a rabbi.  He not only is the Word, he knows the word & what the word says is Surely he hath borne our griefs & carried our sorrows….or as Matthew says Himself took our infirmities & bare our sicknesses.  

Redeeming us from sin is one thing.  Redeeming us from the effects of sin is another & greater work!  When sin entered the world, sickness, death & destruction came in his train.  It was not only our sin Christ took to the cross, it was our sicknesses, our diseases.  When we are redeemed from one, we are also redeemed from the other.  The two go together.  There was no sickness, no disease until sin came through Adam.  When Christ took our sin upon himself he also took on our sickness.  If you are unsure of this go through the scriptures & see how often Jesus tied healing to forgiveness.  When the condemnation sin brings is removed, healing & health become possible because we no longer believe we deserve to be sick.

We have read the story of Christ’s crucifixion so often, watched it in gory detail on the big screen & given it cursory acknowledgement when we come to communion that much of it’s impact is now lost on us.  So we will stop & consider what Christ was doing from the moment he stood before the Sanhedrin betrayed & unjustly accused.

No~one spoke for Christ.  He took the unjust accusations that we might stand before God, declared righteous though we are not of ourselves righteous.  This is a fundamental healing of the relationship between us & God.  We must never forget the first purpose of Christ’s suffering was for restoration: of our relationship with God, of our personhood as originally envisioned by God, of our relationships with each other.

Peter, quoting Isaiah, tells us that by whose stripes ye were healed...healing for the body.  The 40 stripes minus one, to try & ensure the beating didn’t kill a person, was for our physical healing.  It is a very well known verse as it is the one quoted most often.  Thus we overlook that Christ was despised & rejected of men, a man of sorrows & acquainted with grief.  

The crown of thorns was probably made from the jujube tree that produced barbs an inch or more long.  As so often in scripture the symbolism  works on multiple levels but I do not want to focus on the redemption of the land from the curse of thorns & thistles but on the redemption of our minds & emotions.  When Paul tells us to take every thought captive to Christ he can because Christ bore our mental & emotional anguish   The crown reminds us both of his anguish & that he is indeed king of kings & lord of lords & his reign extends beyond the physical to the mental & spiritual realms as well.

All of this Christ took with Him to the cross & bore until the moment He gave up His spirit into the father’s hands.  At that moment he declared IT IS FINISHED, the words the high priest uttered ritualistically after the final Passover lamb was slaughtered.

The redemptive work of Christ was finished in that moment.  He gave everything to redeem all of us: our minds, our bodies, our spirits.  There is healing for every part of man through Jesus Christ.

Both John 14:30 & 1 Cor 2:8 tell us that if satan had known what the cross would accomplish he would have prevented Christ from ever getting there!  

During His time on earth Jesus ministry focused on three thing: Teaching, preaching, healing.  He proclaimed it, he taught it & he demonstrated it.  He went to the cross to restore everything that had been lost in the fall. 

 If you are in need of healing today bring your faith to the communion table. I am not talking superstitious nonsense. I am telling you to do what scripture tells you to do: to exercise your faith & not doubt. As Abraham did.  As Joshua did. Your God knows your every need.  He is the Lord that healeth thee.  Receive & give thanks.

Things That Happened in the Garden ~ Ganeida

When God says His word is a living word He means just that.  It is full of surprises.  And we grow blase because having read the scriptures over & over we think we know what they say.  We think we know what they mean ~ when in fact we know very little at all.

So I was thinking about John 20:17 ~ which is an odd little verse in the midst of an odd little scenario.  Jesus has been crucified & hurriedly tucked into a borrowed tomb because of the Sabbath.  At the first opportunity Mary heads to the tomb.  She has in mind to prepare Jesus body properly for burial but is worried about moving the stone that shuts the tomb.  She is probably carrying the necessary spices, something to hold water so she can wash the body, cloths & linens.  It is very early.

Now here's where I promptly stumble.  The Sabbath lasts from sundown to sundown, about 6pm to 6pm the next evening.  Don't ask me to do the math but because it was Passover there was an extended Sabbath because Jesus didn't just overnight in a tomb.  He was there a full 3 days, from sundown to sundown.  The messy logistics of this are not my point just now & better mathematicians than I have tackled them far more effectively.  What has always arrested my attention are 2 things:  Firstly Mary completely failed to recognise a man she had lived & traveled with & looked at for the better part of 3 years!  She mistakes him for the gardener.  Secondly Jesus says, in effect, Get off me, woman!

What is fascinating about all this is how the scriptures always tell it like it is. 

The first thing to note is Mary's expectations.  She is looking for a dead body, not a living man.  This expectation alone, let alone combined with the discovery of the stone rolled away & Jesus' body missing, has defined her reality.  When she finds a living man her immediate reaction is that it cannot possibly be Jesus because she *knows* that Jesus is dead.  She stood at the cross.  She saw the blood & water pour from Jesus side.  She recognised the signs of death.  She saw the body taken down.  She understood what it meant.  Jesus was dead.  No doubt about it in her mind ~ & dead men do not raise themselves.  She has no expectation of meeting Jesus.

Secondly she is distraught with grief.  Grief almost always distorts our reality.  She is grieving.  She doesn't even look at the *gardener* properly.  She is weeping [Jesus comments on it] & most people are not in the habit of looking others directly in the eye when they are weeping.  They avert their gaze, often their whole face.  They turn their body away.  They carve out a private place in public so others cannot intrude on their grief & need not be embarrassed by it.

Thirdly, & we know the story so well it is easy to miss it, it is really early in the morning.  If you are standing under trees at first light, just as the dawn forms the first bright streak across the horizon, before the first birds have begun to sing, you are standing in a murky gloom where nothing is clearly defined.  Seeing a strange man's features clearly would have been difficult.  What we do know is that Mary recognised his voice when he spoke to her. 

Visually Mary last saw her beloved Jesus beaten almost unrecognizable, his body twisted in pain upon a cross, naked & bloody.   Alive he was in the habit of wearing the usual male Jewish robe with the Tzitzit clearly visible [this is what the woman with the issue of blood touched] either on the robe or his  prayer shawl,  sandles on his feet.  Jewish men of this day & age did not wear a prayer cap.  

But Mary mistook him for the gardener.  Which immediately raises the question, at least in my mind, What did the gardeners wear?

Apparently something like what the High Priest wore at Yom Kippur [the Day of Atonement]: a linen tunic,  linen trousers, a linen belt & some sort of head covering & barefooted.  Now this is absolutely fascinating because what did the High Priest do on Yom Kippur?  He entered the Holy of Holies to make atonement for the sins of the people!

We need to stay in the garden for a bit & look at what transpires between Mary & Jesus.  Jesus asks why she is weeping ~ why not?  Boy, has he got a surprise for her!  Mary recognizes him & I imagine throws herself at him ~ as you do.  Yes?  In any event Jesus tells her to stop clinging to him.  This seems a little unfeeling on Jesus' part in the light of recent events & the shock Mary has just received on finding a dead man alive & well & chatting with her in the garden.  Issuing her instructions even.  However he also gives her an explanation ~ of sorts.  He tells her he has not yet ascended to his father.

Do you not find this just a little weird?  Not so long after he's letting Thomas poke his grubby fingers in the holes left by the nails.  And it is even later before he ascends on the clouds in full view of the disciples but Mary gets short shift.

Yet here's the thing ~ & it is wonderful & amazing & mind~boggling.  Sin did not originate on earth! Nope.  It did not.  According to Isaiah it began in heaven when Lucifer said: Is15:15 I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High.Yet you shall be brought down to sheol, to the sides of the pit.

Revelation 12:7 tells us that as a consequence there was war in heaven & a third of the angels fell...

The clues are all there for us.  When Satan sinned he defiled heaven.  In his hate & arrogance Satan set about corrupting what was God's, including what God had made in His own image: mankind.  There was no plan of redemption for Satan & his fallen angels, but there was one for mankind ~ & Jesus knew it.  He was preparing to ascend to His father, as He plainly tells Mary, dressed in His High Priestly linen to perform His first duty as our High Priest, enter the Holy Of Holies & sprinkle His blood on the mercy seat.  For us.

When He returned He set about preparing his people to walk in obedience & faith because He had prepared the way for the Holy Spirit to be available to all who believed on Him. 

 I believe the bible is very literal.  Jesus is not metaphorically our High Priest.  He is our High Priest.  The duties of a High Priest fall to Him.  And He had a duty to fulfill in heaven as our High Priest, the very first thing needed:  He atoned for our sins in the heavenly temple.  With His own blood.  Shed for us.

There is power in that blood.  Power to save.  Power to redeem.  Power to resurrect.  Power to give life.

Deuteronomy 30:19 says it best:

I call heaven and earth to record this day against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing: therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live:

Jesus said: I am the way, the truth & the choose life & live.


2 Corn 5:17-21(N K J) Therefore if anyone is in Christ he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold all things have become new. Now all things are of God who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ, who has given us the ministry of reconciliation, that is that God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself , not imputing their trespass to them  &  has committed  to us the word of reconciliation. Now then we are ambassadors for Christ as though God  were pleading through us; we implore you on Christ's behalf, be reconciled to God . For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Once you have accepted Jesus as your Lord & Saviour & you are born again, you become part of the family of God. Just like any natural family there are benefits that come with being a member of God's family. So when we talk about being in Christ we are talking about the position we have as a Christian & the benefits that come from being born again & joining God's family. Today we will look at some of those benefits.

AS a new creation you do not have to allow the old things that happened to you affect your new life in Christ (2 Cor 5:17) you can have your mind renewed according to the Word of God. Good things will happen to you REJOICE! it is a new day.

Appropriate the fact God has called you to live for Him. Avoid any selfish or personal ambition.

 Godly living may result in disfavour with others because it warns judgement for the ungodly. Godly individuals live by the ethic of love, selflessly asking "How can I live for the benefit of others?" They are not lawless or sloppy in the way they live; rather they seek to do right in everything.

We understand from 2 Cor 5: 18-21 that God wants us -& through us everyone on earth to be in favour with Him. we must understand that the devil will try & steal that favour through deceit & delusion. BUT Jesus came to restore favour to God's people-& through us to everyone everywhere.

Part of our inheritance is to have & enjoy that favour. Part of our ministry is to act as Christ's ambassadors by drawing others to receive God's wonderful gift of forgiveness & reconciliation & to share that marvellous grace of unmerited favour.

God wants to restore us to the favour of Him so we can act as His ambassadors in the earth.  This how we need to look upon ourselves as emissaries from a foreign land. The Bible teaches us we are aliens & strangers here, that this earth is not our home , that we are merely passing through(1Pet 2:11) Through us God makes His appeal to others to receive His forgiveness, grace, & favour.

Now think for a moment how are foreign ambassadors treated? Are they not treated royally? That is the way we should expect to be treated, & that is the way we should treat others to whom we are sent by the Lord for the sake of His kingdom.

The Bible tells us that not only are we ambassadors for Christ but that we are kings & priests (Rev 1:6). That is why we need a different attitude towards ourselves & others. We need to act like royal ambassadors, like divine diplomats, because we are God's representatives on earth.

Do not think about how terrible you were before you came to Christ. Instead think about the fact that you have been made the righteousness of God in Him. Remember: thoughts turn into actions. If you ever want to behave better, you have to change your thinking first. Keep thinking about how terrible you are, & you will only act worse worse. Every time a negative condemning thought comes to your mind remind yourself that God loves you, that you have been made the righteousness of God in Christ.

You are changing for the better all the time. Every day you grow spiritually. God has a glorious plan for your life. These are truths you must think about.

Gal2:20 (N L T) My old self has been crucified with Christ. it is no longer I who live but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me & gave Himself for me.

Rom 7:6 Teaches us that we are to be led by the inner promptings of Holy Spirit, who lives in us & wants us to willingly allow Him to lead guide, & control us, when we submit to His promptings, we experience newness of life. The law only gives us rules & regulations  we feel guilty  & commended when we do not follow them. BUT the Spirit gives us not only the desire to do what is right, but also the ability & a fresh zeal to do it. He enabled us to serve God with enthusiasm, NOT out of obligation.

Learning to be led by the Holy Spirit should be one of the primary goals of every believer of Jesus Christ. Only the Holy Spirit knows the mind of God concerning our lives & circumstances. He will reveal God's will to us & lead us into it's fullness as we diligently follow His promptings.

I encourage you to learn all you can about how to be led by the Holy Spirit because doing so is a blessing, a privilege, & an act of obedience for Christians.

God promises us that when we are born again He is our Father & you become His Child.
Gal 3:26-29 (N L T) For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.& all who have been united with Christ in baptism have put on the character of Christ, like putting on new clothes. There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female. for you are all one in Christ Jesus, you are the true Children of Abraham. you are heirs & God's promise to Abraham belongs to you.

These verses teach us to thinks as if we have put on the life of Christ like clothing. Let Christ live freely through you. & V28 tells us that we are all one in Christ Jesus. But as long as time has existed, satan has breathed life into the poisonous practice of one race or group of people being prejudiced against another. Most wars are birthed out of prejudice & hatred The Holocaust came from  that same poison, as did slavery. Even various religious sects have hated one another & allowed the spirit of pride to fill their hearts.
Ask God to reveal prejudice that may linger in your heart or mind. Repent of it & ask God to help you bring unity where there is division in you.

Rom 8:14 (N K J) For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are the son's of God.
& Vs 16&17 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, & if children then heirs of God & joint heirs with Christ.

The phrase "As many as are led led by the Spirit of God", describes the lifestyle of those who are sons of God. Paul is giving encouragement not to live according to the flesh BUT to put to death the deeds of the body.

Eph 2:8-10 (N L T) God saved you by His grace when you believed  & you can't take credit for this ; it is a gift from God . Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none can boast about it. For we are God's masterpiece. He has created us a new in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things He planned us long ago.

Grace describes the undeserved kindness by which salvation is given, but it is also the power-word describing the Holy Spirit's operational means. Grace is a force as well as a favour, verb as well as a noun. He the Holy Spirit ministers grace to us from God the Father. It can be said that grace is the Holy Spirit's power flowing out from God's throne to save us; it enables us to live a holy lives & to accomplish God's will.  

V 10 tells us that we are God's own handiwork. He created us with His own hands. We human begins got messed up along the way, so we had to be born again spiritually so we could go ahead & do the good works that God had preplanned for us before satan tried to ruin us.

Just because you & I have made mistakes it does not mean God's plan changed. it is still there. All we have to do is to get back to trusting & obeying Him.

Col 1:12 (N L T) Always thanking the father, who has enabled you  to share in the inheritance that belongs to His people, who live in the light.

2Pet 3,4 explains that God's power provides everything we need to live a godly life through our relationship with Jesus Christ. Devotion to Jesus supplies what we need for godliness. Strong devotion results from unyielding commitment to God's Word, which alone is the source  for Christian  thinking. Any other source will eventually corrupt the believers mind.

You can get as close as you want to God for He is no respecter of persons & if one person can have a close, intimate relationship with Him then so can everyone else. Why do some people seem so close to God & others not? I believe it all depends on how much time we are willing to put into developing our personal relationship with Him.

2Pet1 :3 tells us that God calls us to His own glory & excellence. He wants us to have an excellent lives, BUT He also expects us to learn how to behave excellently. Finding strength to do so comes as we wait on Him. They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength(Isa 40:31), & spending time in God's Word teaches right from wrong.

Make A Commitment of time to God & I believe you will see life & power that is available to you through His promises. I used to go to Victory Life when I lived in Perth My Pastor Margaret Court always say's Be a life time learner refuse to have a second-hand relationship with God; get to know Him for yourself.

Did you know that in Christ you have authority over satan.  Col1:13 (N K J) He ((God the Father) has delivered us from the power of darkness & conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love.

Delivered us from the power of darkness conveys the idea of salvation rescuing us from the tyranny of darkness. Drawing on an important O T Ex 6.6 which says: Therefore say to the children of Israel  "I am the Lord I will bring you out from under the burdens of the Egyptians, I will  rescue you from their bondage & I will redeem with an out stretched arm & with great judgements." It includes rescue from such negatives as danger, sickness, death, & hostile situations in general. These rescues include both present deliverances & future consummated deliverances.

Matt 28:18,19 (N K J) These were the encouraging words that Jesus spoke to His followers:... All authority has been given to me in heaven & on earth. Go therefore & make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father & of the Son & of the Holy Spirit.

Recognise that Jesus calls His followers to go to people of all nations & teach them to know Him & live for Him. Teach others that Christ must be the centre of their life. You have been called by God to teach others about who He is & what it means to follow Him. Last week Ganeida told us to read our Bible, it is a text book for daily living. It helps us keep satan under our feet. We also learn who our heavenly Father is & what it means to follow Him, so we can help others to.

God gave you the authority to do so & has promised not to leave you on your own (Matt 28: 18-20. Ask God to show you where He wants you to go-to someone in your office, in your neighbourhood, perhaps even in your own family-so that you can help others to follow Him too.

Col 2:10 (N K J) tells us that we are complete in Him.
& you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality & power.

AS the fullness of God fills, so His fullness fills members of the body. Not only is He the creator of angelic powers & spiritual authorities, He is head over them as He is Head of the body. Since in Him as the Head they were already complete, they had no need  to trust in angelic intermediaries to make up any deficiency. Through spiritual union In Him there is no separation.

Eph3:19 (N L T) May you experience the love of   Christ , though it is too great to fully understand. Then you will be made complete with all  fullness of life & power that comes from God.

Paul prayed that the Ephesians would understand God's love, In VV17-18 he prayed that they would understand the width & the length, & the depth & the height of God's love so that they may be rooted & grounded in that awesome love. Ask God to reveal to you more & more of His love so that you can receive His boundless love & all the fullness of Him.

Wisdom & understanding, as well as sound practical speech, recommended that today's believer both know & clearly express what is meant when he or she speak of revelations. The Holy Spirit does indeed give us revelation, as the Bible teaches. But such prophetic insight into the Word should never be considered as equal to the actual giving of the Scriptures. As helpful as insight into God's Word may be, the finality of the whole revelation of God's Word is the only sure ground for building our lives. (Matt7:24-29;       Jn 4:1-6; & Cor 14:1.

Eph 1:18-23 is a prayer for Spiritual wisdom, Paul is praying for people to receive the spirit of wisdom, this is because the Bible says those that walk in wisdom will be successful & live long lives. They will be exceedingly happy , they will be blessed, so blessed, so blessed that they will be envied (Pro 3:1-18). But there is no such thing as wisdom without worship Ps 111:10 & pro 1:7 says that reverence for God & worship are the beginning of wisdom, in other words worship & reverence are foundational to having fruitful life.

God's Word tells us to cry out for wisdom, to seek it as we would silver & gold, to make it a vital necessity in life. There is nothing more important than wisdom, & remember wisdom starts with reverence & worship.

Acknowledgement I Believe An Introduction to Christian Living.



Tuesday, 20 January 2015


This is a New Year, most folk gather together at the beginning of a New Year.

Yet for many the start of a new year is the toughest 24 hours of their lives. For those people New year's day serves only as a dim reminder & loss. It will simply mark the beginning of another year of failure.

What will this year be like for them?
They may appear to be happy enough. They may be passing out smiles & New Year greetings just like everybody else. But inside they may be hurting, they may be disappointed, or they may even feel like they can't go on.

If so  All that can change in an instant. They can start their life over again & make this year the most joyful year of their life.

How many times I wonder have they said to themselves, "If I could start over again, I'd do it all differently."? That doesn't have to be an idle wish. Jesus Christ has actually made it possible.

That's His present to them. He paid the price for all their sins. He paid the penalty for all their mistakes.

That is the reason He came to earth. That is the reason He was born just so they could start over again.

They may look at their life & say "But I've made some terrible mistakes, I've done some despicable things." That doesn't matter Jesus paid the price for them all.

They could be wondering how they could make a new start Rom 10:9 says That if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus & believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead you will be saved.

Oral confession declares, confirms,& seals the belief in the heart. So really it is as simple as saying "Jesus I'm turning my life over to you. From this day forward I'm Yours."

Every person, with no exceptions, will one day stand before the Lord & give an account of his  or her life Rom 14:22) I want you to encourage them not to live like there is no tomorrow, because tomorrow always comes.

Jesus will come for us when we least expect it, & then it will be to late do to all the things we intended to do, but never got around to.

One of the spiritual laws we see throughout the Word of God is that we reap what we sow. Galatians says very clearly that we are not to be deceived & misled, for whatever man sows that, & only that, only is what he will reap.

Salvation is a gift from God; it is given by His grace & is to be received by faith. We do not get into heaven because of our good works, Rev 22:12 teaches us that our works will be judged & rewarded according to what we have merited.

Our works are not even judged  by what we have done, but by the motives behind them. Works done for impure motives will be burned up. If we give money or things, but so do so to be seen by men & admired & well thought of, then we should be sure that satisfies us because that is all the reward we will ever get.

God sees what we do in secret & will reward us openly. Everything that is now done behind closed doors will one day be brought into the open, so we should be sure that we realise that  nothing is eternally hidden. The day of reckoning will come.

Some people might think :" Well, As long as I am going to heaven, that is enough." If this is their only motive in life, then they are living selfishly. We should live for God & His glory. We should realise that we are alive for a purpose & part of that purpose is to be used by God to reconcile others to Him.

We are actually created for the good works that God prepared for ahead of time (Eph 2:10). It is God's desire & will that we do the good works, we are to them because He love us, not to get Him to love us or impress Him.

Rom 10:1-13  Teaches: The word believe in the Greek is Pisteuo it means to trust, to have faith in, to be fully convinced of, acknowledge, rely on. Pisteuo is more than credence in Church doctrines or articles of faith. It expresses reliance upon  & a personal trust that produces obedience. It includes submission & a positive confession of the Lordship of Jesus.

Vv 9 & 10 is the most foundational lesson in the importance & power of faith's confession found anywhere in the Bible.

The principal is established at the very beginning of our life in Christ. Just as salvation that is God's righteous working in our behalf is appropriated by heart belief & spoken confession. So His continuing working in our lives is advanced by the same means.

The word confess in the Greek is homlogeo has a connotation of a binding public declaration  by which a legal relation is contractually established.

In V 14 Paul asks "How shall they hear without a preacher, this does not mean that we must enter public ministry to preach the Gospel.
The Greek word used here for preacher means one who heralds, proclaims, or publishes.
Clearly every believer is assigned a personal pulpit _In the home, the community, at the office or in school- from which to show &tell others the Good News.
Jn 3:1-8 NLT)

here was a man named Nicodemus, a Jewish religious leader who was a Pharisee. After dark one evening, he came to speak with Jesus. “Rabbi,” he said, “we all know that God has sent you to teach us. Your miraculous signs are evidence that God is with you.”
 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, unless you are born again, you cannot see the Kingdom of God.”
“What do you mean?” exclaimed Nicodemus. “How can an old man go back into his mother’s womb and be born again?”
Jesus replied, “I assure you, no one can enter the Kingdom of God without being born of water and the Spirit. Humans can reproduce only human life, but the Holy Spirit gives birth to spiritual life. So don’t be surprised when I say, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows wherever it wants. Just as you can hear the wind but can’t tell where it comes from or where it is going, so you can’t explain how people are born of the Spirit.”

When Jesus said the words born again to Nicodemus? He was talking covenant talk. He was telling Nicodemus what it meant to have a covenant with God.

Let me paint the picture. Imagine a baby, a little baby born to an unwed mother. No one knows who is the father is & no one wants to know.
He is a child that nobody wants. He doesn't belong to anyone.

Now picture the best kind of family you can think of. A family that loves God. The man has a good job. They are blessed financially. They're givers & lovers of people, & they fall in love with this baby. Before long they adopt him.

What happened is the baby was reborn, He got a new set of parents. Through adoption he has become an heir. Not because of anything  the baby has done. Those parents didn't say, "I want you to look at that baby, I'm so impressed what he has done for us, he has certainly earned our love & respect.

No, it's a baby. He couldn't have done anything to earn his new life. This man & this woman agreed together out of love in their hearts & bestowed grace on that child. Now he has access to everything they have.

When they offer him a bottle, he doesn't knock it back & say "I'm so humble & undeserving, just give me water."

Of course not. The baby acts like part of the family-& not just part of the family But the best part of the family. Because in Jesus' day a covenant or adopted child had the same birthright as the first born son.

That's what Jesus was talking about when He said "You must be born again". He was talking about grace, He was talking about a new relationship of favour. A new family.  A new authority. A new power.

If you feel unworthy to receive the rich blessings God has for you, think about that. Meditate on it, so instead of worrying about &  struggling with the needs in your life, you can just walk boldly into the throne room of your Father-your Heavenly Father & receive help to get those needs met. Then you will discover what it really means to be a blood brought child of Almighty God. & you'll discover what it means to be born again.

2 Cor 4:1-7 N L T)

Therefore, since God in his mercy has given us this new way, we never give up. We reject all shameful deeds and underhanded methods. We don’t try to trick anyone or distort the word of God. We tell the truth before God, and all who are honest know this.
 If the Good News we preach is hidden behind a veil, it is hidden only from people who are perishing.  Satan, who is the god of this world, has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe. They are unable to see the glorious light of the Good News. They don’t understand this message about the glory of Christ, who is the exact likeness of God.
You see, we don’t go around preaching about ourselves. We preach that Jesus Christ is Lord, and we ourselves are your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let there be light in the darkness,” has made this light shine in our hearts so we could know the glory of God that is seen in the face of Jesus Christ.
We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.

We need to handle God's Word diligently & with great care. Be careful not to read your own ideas into His Word. Ask God to enlighten his Word to you.

AS God is a gentleman meaning that He doesn't save anyone against their will, you may be wondering does it do any good to pray for people who consciously refuse to receive Jesus as Lord?

Yes, yes, YES it does!

You see in spite of the fact that most  unbelievers who have purposely refused to receive Jesus as Lord think they have made that decision of their own free will, the truth is, they haven't.

The Word of God says they've been blinded by satan. He's blocking their perception of the truth.

That's important for you to grasp. Because through the prayer of intersession, you can interfere with satanic forces & help take those blinders off. You can also change circumstances with your prayers & help create situations that will bring them into contact with the Lord. You're well within your spiritual rights when you do that.

Matt 9:38 says we can pray that the Lord of the harvest will send labourers forth into his harvest.
Matt 12:29  
For who is powerful enough to enter the house of a strong man like Satan and plunder his goods? Only someone even stronger—someone who could tie him up and then plunder his house.
Your prayers will interfere with the forces of satan which he uses to blind unbelievers. Jesus will create the circumstances to bring them in to the kingdom.

Don't sit by & let the devil take your friends & loved ones without a fight. Pray, pray, PRAY. Come against the god of this world. Take off the blinders & open their eyes to a glorious gospel of God.

2 Cor 6:2 AMP)

For He says, In the time of favour (of an assured welcome) I have listened to and heeded your call, and I have helped you on the day of deliverance (the day of salvation). Behold, now is truly the time for a gracious welcome and acceptance [of you from God]; behold, now is the day of salvation!

 The word time in the Greek is Kairos which denotes an appointed time or season, rather then a certain length of time. The right time to receive God is now.

Heb 3:7 & 8 tell us to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit & not to harden our hearts & ignore Him.

Regrettably when people do not get what they want, or when they go through trials & tests, many of them choose to harden their hearts.

This is exactly what happened to the Israelites when they made the trip through the wilderness. God led them into the wilderness so He could prove to them That He would do good for them & that they could trust Him (Duet 8:2 & 3).

He had great things planned for them, but He tested them to see if they were going to believe Him. That Is why He tells us not to harden our hearts as they did . He has great things planned for us too, so we must keep our heart soft & tender before Him.

Did you know that Jesus has unlocked the prison doors of guilt that have kept them captive? It doesn't matter who they are or what they've been. It doesn't matter if they have a  prostitute, a thief, a drug dealer, or a churchgoer who's never made Jesus Christ the Lord & Saviour of their life. The Bible says that today is the day of salvation.

A New life is only a prayer away.

I discovered that many years ago, someone said  that not even a sparrow falls without God's knowledge. (Matt 10:29). So I thought that if God knows & cares when the sparrow falls, then He must know the terrible shape my life is in right now.

Now I didn't know anything about the Bible or even if God would let me start over, again But when I stated to speak to Him & told Him that I wanted Him to take over my life, something supernaturally started to happen. I was born again

My journey was a long one simply because I couldn't find a Church with the teaching I wanted But when I did I never looked back.

When you have been born again & made a new creature in Christ that past doesn't matter any more.

Let me put it this way, If I was to take a baby in my arms, just a few months old & said "Oh isn't she pretty, cute & precious? But what about her past?" You'd think I was crazy & say what past? She doesn't have a past!

Well it's the same with us, once you've been born again, we don't have a past. Your life begins again the day we made Jesus the Lord & Saviour of your life. Then when satan comes around trying to remind you of our past, we must  tell him he's knocking on the wrong door.

God's plan for our lives has been established in the spiritual realm since before the foundation of the earth, & it is a good plan, as we seen in Jer 29:11 For I know the thoughts & plans I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts & plans for welfare & peace & not for evil, to give you hope for your final outcome".

Ps 139:16 tells us that before we were even born, God planned  our days. However, satan has worked hard to destroy the Lord's good plan in many of us, & he has had a high success rate.

God sent Jesus to redeem us & to restore all things to proper order. He has written down His will for lives, & as we believe it & confess it, it literately begins to become reality.

Some people believe for a greater number of things, but see very little manifestation of them. Perhaps this is because they are believing but not confessing or speaking. They may see some results of their faith but not the radical results they would experience if they had bought their mouths in line with their hearts into God's service (Rom 10:9 & 10)

Some people are trying to live in the blessings of the Lord while still talking to the devil. We must not make that mistake. We will not see positive results in our daily lives if we speak negative things.

 We should remember that we are speaking, what we are calling for. We are reaching into the spiritual realm & drawing out something according to our words. We can reach satan's realm, the realm of curses, & draw out evil negative things, or we can reach into God's realm, the realm of blessings, & draw out good, positive things. Words are like containers they carry creative or destructive power.

Some have been kicked around long enough, there’s no need to wait any longer. The prison doors are open encourage others to walk through to Jesus & let their life begin afresh to day. 

Acknowledgements:  Kenneth Copeland.