Category Archives: TRUTH

Back from the dead

BACK FROM THE DEAD

Here is someone, making request, that a dead person come back from the dead and preach to his unbelieving family. He is taking  it for granted that such a back from the dead preach – will guarantee they do not enter the place of torment he was in, because they will believe.

Luke 16/

27 “Then he said, ‘I beg you therefore, father, that you would send him to my father’s house, 28 for I have five brothers, that he may testify to them, lest they also come to this place of torment.’ 29 Abraham said to him, ‘They have Moses and the prophets; let them hear them.’ 30 And he said, ‘No, father Abraham; but if one goes to them from the dead, they will repent*.’ 31 But he said to him, ‘If they do not hear Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded** though one rise from the dead.’ ”

Sometimes It is not a bad idea to be able to simplify and ‘boil down’ to one or two salient points, certain ponderings we might have.

What is being communicated in the above verses, is that – what one might consider an infallibly persuasive proof of the truth of life after death and the need to repent, (i.e. someone coming back from the dead) – in fact is not a guarantee of necessary persuasion** that comes to those who will believe in God.

If someone you know that has died – appears to you tonight in your bedroom as you are nodding-off to sleep, one would imagine, such an experience would guarantee from that moment on, that you would become an out-and-out believer in Jesus Christ as Lord, because of the warning they would bring. But in itself it is no guarantee.

So again – here we read that someone coming back from the dead and sharing the reality of the afterlife with you – is no guarantee that you will choose to receive Christ and thereby inherit eternal life.

Something else must take place before the faith you have is true saving faith, the faith that pleases God and the faith He is looking for from every human being on the planet, before eternal life is guaranteed.

In this context therefore, we read that there is no guarantee, even though reached by a person ‘back from the dead’ that someone, will repent* (change their mind) and become a dedicated follower of Christ Jesus The Lord.

It reads: ‘neither will they be persuaded** though one rise from the dead.’

So what will persuade you and I to follow Christ? We are given the answer:

When we hear the Word of God from the Old or New Testaments, as given by the prophets, (Old Testament prophets and New Testament prophets or apostles as the case would also be), and believe – i.e. commit our lives to the One who gives us this bible truth (i.e. Jesus the Christ).

So the five unbelieving brothers if they had rejected the bible, would also reject any idea that they should come to Christ and forsake sin, even though one back from the dead was to bring the message, that they should do so.

Jesus exhorted others to believe in Him, to believe His words, or to believe Him because of the miracles He had performed. And yet the Pharisees and others refused to do so. Jesus, as in John 1/14 – is shown clearly to be The Word of God. The Word made flesh. The Personification of all truth.

John 14/ Jesus said:

11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.

The Pharisees would often unbelievingly ask for a sign from Jesus. 

They had no intention of believing in Him. Even when they witnessed miracles they still would not believe, and turn to Him in acknowledgement of His Messiahship.

They were part of the generation – the evil and adulterous generation – who looked for a sign.

38 Then some of the scribes and Pharisees answered, saying, “Teacher, we want to see a sign from You.”

39 But He answered and said to them, “An evil and adulterous generation seeks after a sign, and no sign will be given to it

The heart and mind must open to the Word of God – only by so doing is the whole reality of all that Christ both began to do and to teach, consequently able to dawn upon us.

This will bring the revelation to us, of our need to bow our knees and receive Him as King of kings and Lord of lords.

So this Bible is the most important document on the face of the earth, – yes the all time best seller – but more than that, a God-given, God-ordained means of reaching mankind with the message that leads to eternal life.

John 20/

30 Jesus performed many other signs in the presence of his disciples, which are not recorded in this book. 31 But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name.

Madly feeble

MADLY FEEBLE 2021

Madness.

No – not the pop group.

According to the dictionary, madness refers to one or all of three definitions:

* The state of having a serious mental illness.

* Extremely foolish behaviour

* A state of wild or chaotic activity

All of these ‘conditions’ can cause great anxiety, pain, and sorrow, in those who observe them in another loved one.

We don’t want those we love to be foolish, involved in wild and chaotic purposeless activity, or suffer from mental illness.

A great sense of inadequacy comes over us when we seem to be ineffective in helping them.

I Thessalonians 5/14

Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

This is God’s tall order that we can only begin to obey with His enablement.

The word feebleminded here can be translated (and is) faint-hearted, or discouraged.

This scripture therefore may or (may not) directly apply to those who are mad, in that, it is not directly addressing such.

When I first read the word ‘feebleminded’ – I half-embraced the idea that they, were those, who had mental problems. But an actual  mental illness? I wasn’t so sure.

We have all heard of a ‘feeble excuse’.

Someone who is weak or poor in demonstrating what they are reputed to be good at, is usually referred to (unkindly) as ‘a feeble excuse for a goalkeeper’, another example might be – demonstrating ‘a feeble attempt at trying to be a gardener’, or ‘a feeble contender for the boxing crown’ and so on.

Feeble.

My opening presentation of my subject matter has changed into a study of the word feeble.

Not many would use the adjective ‘feeble’ when describing for example – a ‘nutty’ kind of drummer who sets instruments on fire or who gesticulates facially and impudently, demonstrating that ‘he doesn’t give a …….’ (Not sure what word to use here)? How about ‘toss…?’…about living a constructive and stable life.

But is not such an attitude mad and feeble?

We have all seen examples of those who were hell-bent on self-destruction to the applause of the crowd.

Sometimes such are salvaged, by being infected with a strong dose of ‘grown-upness’ or ideally salvaged (saved) by finding Christ as Saviour, before it is too late.

To be ‘patched-up’ with ‘grown up-ness’ is better than continuing with an open wound. But to be healed completely is the best option.

In life sometimes, physical healing is greatly delayed. 

To be physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually healed is what Christ The Lord offers us.

However sometimes the completion or fulfilment of His Promise to do this healing, only takes place in eternity, when we have shed this mortal coil.

There are sure and present promises that He gives, that can be fulfilled now. Here are a few – 

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

I’ve experienced this.

I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

I’ve experienced this.

Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.

I’ve experienced this.

that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life.

I am assured of this – but have yet to experience it fully by passing from this life – though eternal life starts now through knowing Him. (See John 17/And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.)

And so one could go on itemising Promises that will be fulfilled now or in the eternal realm.

Either way, whether in this life or the next, these promises cannot fail to be fulfilled, unless we refuse to be the recipients of them.

I started this post on the subject of madness, moved to feebleness, and now I am emphasising the promises of God.

To refuse Christ’s salvation, and a relationship with Him – is madness to me.

Our excuses for not following Him are feeble.

But all His promises are yes and yes and amen and amen.

19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me, Silvanus, and Timothy—was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes. 20 For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God

Positive only…II

PART II ‘POSITIVE ONLY’ PREACHERS

(see previous blog post for part I)

I am not drawing a comparison with the ‘positive only’ preachers and the Pharisees, but Jesus instructed his disciples regarding the Pharisees – 

saying: “The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. 3 Therefore whatever they tell you to observe, that observe and do, but do not do according to their works; for they say, and do not do.

So we learn from this, that anything that is backed by the Word of God we must ‘amen’ asking God to help us embrace it and see it manifest in our lives.

But bear in mind the preachers of all things positive, also need to grow in grace. 

Their presentation of the 100% pure word of God, they are publicly reading and referring to, – is in fact, being referred to and read – by those who are subject to like passions (sin) as everyone else.

The transmission of the divine thoughts given to prophets like Isaiah, Jeremiah etc. were pure, and they received the Word of God, in a state of Grace whereby the Holy Spirit suspended their sinful nature leaving the Word they received uncontaminated by flesh.

Isaiah 6:6-8

Then one of the seraphim flew to me, having in his hand a live coal which he had taken with the tongs from the altar. And he touched my mouth with it, and said:

“Behold, this has touched your lips;

Your iniquity is taken away,

And your sin purged.”

No earth-born though born-again preacher or prophet will be used in that way again, after the close of the cannon of Scripture. We can only expound the Word imperfectly. Not because the Word is errant but we are, and need to maintain a place of humility as we handle this Word of Truth.

Proverbs 30/4-6

Every word of God is pure;

He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.

Unintentional though it may be when we listen to ‘positive only’ preachers there can be  a frustration one can experience because we are left feeling we ‘do not have enough faith’.

Due to the hyper-positive presentation it can seem affirmed that ‘It is your fault that you don’t get healed.’ And so on.

This frustration can challenge or diminish the faith that people already have. 

It can discourage and condemn, even unbeknown to the preachers, and rather than sowing The Word to create faith, frustration at not living up to the mark, can instead be the result.

Giving them the benefit of the doubt, this is the opposite result the faith preachers are trying to achieve.

When Jesus corrected unbelief there was always a positive outcome. Why? Because He was/is The Son of The Living God!

The gentleman who cried out: “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”– had unbelief, but still obtained a positive outcome because The Sovereign Lord saw his humility and healed his son, despite his limited faith. (Mark 9/24)

God is so for us – He marvels at the unbelief of humans, who fail to grasp the fact that He is.

Often what ‘Positive Only’ (again – my description) preachers do not refer to from the pulpit – is the struggles that all Christians and non-Christians can experience.

It might be an idea and would possibly help, if they were vulnerable enough to admit their own struggles. And to add how they overcame by faith, (if that is the case).

But they choose to emphasise God’s perspective, and I can understand this.

But knowledge ‘puffs up’, and if ‘successful’ preachers, are not careful, spiritual pride can creep in, and the enemy can get an undetected hold.

The danger of this sin of pride, God was aware of, when He faithfully dealt with Paul the apostle.

And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was given to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure. 

This (Paul), is the same man – who was perhaps the prime example of someone who celebrated the promises of God, more than anyone, and saw the miracle working power of God in action, time and time again. The same man who said:

For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells…

With our limitations, common to man, we must come to The Lord and exercise the faith we have, in the hope of further increase.

But I would suggest – that increase will only come with the revelation of The Holy Spirit, and not by paying lip-service to the preacher.

Nor will it come by mental gymnastics that hope to manifest the miracle working power of God without enduement from On High.

Mental agility that tries to manifest spiritual realities without the enabling power of The Holy Spirit, will not do.

We must look for the manifestation of The Holy Spirit – yes even in such a day as this! Why? Because…

7 …the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all:

Notice it is profitable to all.

Let’s finish with the words of Paul:

I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.

‘Positive Only’ preachers

POSITIVE ONLY’ PREACHERS

PART I

There is a certain kind of preaching which is A to Z, wall to wall, positive.

We could say it’s the best kind.

Some Christians have experienced only a little of what ‘100% positive’ preachers preach. 

[But then again who can make such a statement – as to what other Christians have experienced when it is subjectively between you and God?

How much you have experienced of the Divine nature, just as a measure of faith is given to each Christian, is determined by our hunger for The Living God, and the acts of Grace The Lord of all, deems suitable for each individual. Though Saving Grace is equally exercised for all. (II Peter 1/4) (Romans 12/3).

Conversely it is true that the depth to which, we have experienced God, will show in our lives.]

Christian knowledge is true knowledge when accompanied or married-to spiritual experience (of the Christian kind of course).

I am not overly familiar with the controversies that some folks engage in with regard to criticising what I think is called ‘Word of Faith’ preachers. (?)

I personally only see preachers. What they preach I try to discern on an individual sermon per sermon basis.

Many of the ‘Positive-only’ preachers (my description), emphasise faith, faith, faith.

Rightly so – they refer to all the promises of God – 

II Corinthians 1/

19 For the Son of God, Jesus Christ, who was preached among you by us—by me, Silvanus, and Timothy—was not Yes and No, but in Him was Yes. 20 For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us.

We are challenged to believe the promises, embrace them, and allow the Holy Spirit to make them real, real, real.

When you listen to faith-(‘only’?) preachers, their main concern is to get people out of their limited mentality when it comes to the mightiness of God. 

We as human beings sooooo limit God, in our mental appraisal of His Greatness.

But one is tempted to say we are in good company. If you consider Peter and the rest of the disciples good company (?).

I’m guessing we could objectively conclude, that they did not live up to what the faith preachers, would perhaps suggest should be in everyone’s life, permanently, perpetually.

Conversely, once we concede perversely, that ‘all spiritual blessings in heavenly places’ –  somehow should ‘not!’ be in our daily lives, then we go against God’s desire for us. (Eph. 1/3)

But the reality of the disciples limitations is also apparent:

Mark 9 – 17 Then one of the crowd answered and said, “Teacher, I brought You my son, who has a mute spirit. 18 And wherever it seizes him, it throws him down; he foams at the mouth, gnashes his teeth, and becomes rigid. So I spoke to Your disciples, that they should cast it out, but they could not.”

19 He answered him and said, “O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I bear with you? Bring him to Me.”

The disciples openly (howbeit privately to Jesus) confessed their limitations:-

Matthew 17

19 Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?”

When we think of how Peter was used after Pentecost, we can see his/their improvement was down to the work of The Holy Spirit’s actual manifestation/moving, and not just to their mental/spiritual faith development.

So the next time you marvel at how little faith you seem to have, marvel too at how little Peter, James, John, Andrew, et al also initially had.

The ‘Positive Only’ preachers who preach the promises, or simply the Word of God, can seem to be in a league of their own. Elite, untouchable, head and shoulders above the rest of us.

The reason we can perceive them as such – is because they preach The Word of God, and emphasise, rightly, all the promises of God, and all that Christ has purchased for us on the cross, and so it seems that they are swimming in a faith-filled, problem-less existence, where they have only success, success, success.

Unless they tell us of their failures also (?).

As a possible consequence of ‘positive only’ preaching (again my term for it), we can be persuaded to consider that they are as perfect as The Word they preach, (the Bible) and that they have it together 100%. Whereas if such were the case there is no room for improvement, or spiritual growth in their lives.

If what they preach is in The Word, then we aught to embrace it and seek to live-it-out – miracles an’ all.

But sometimes these preachers, in correcting those who have criticised them, or their ‘positive only’ approach, are prone to creating the impression that they (those who criticise them) are lesser individuals, because they do not ‘get’ their positive-plus preaching, or the results that they claim for their lives.

And (it must be also pointed out) that sometimes their critics don’t get what is being preached, because their hearts are skeptical to the point of blatant unbelief.

But it is also possible that those who have faith, are having their present measure of faith undermined and belittled, because it doesn’t fit the preacher’s idea of what it should produce.

Jesus Himself, of course, corrected many:-

O faithless generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you? bring him unto me…

But Jesus was perfect in thought word and deed and as such is seated at the right hand of God The Father, in the heaven of heavens – as we speak (and forever).

Preachers representing Jesus the Christ of God, must preach The Word (II Timothy 4/2), and all the purity and perfection of that Word.

But they too are ‘works in progress’.

The ‘positive only’ preachers, having preached against those who believe things are unattainable for mortal man – can create the impression that they have ‘arrived’, and perfectly practice and walk by faith.

Again they may not mean to do this – but the impression can be taken from their positive-only stance.

With that message there can be a certain kind of ‘positive dogmatism’, that leaves out of the picture, e.g. the fact that they had a bad day – the other day – and said something in the flesh. Or that something they prayed for didn’t come to pass.

For example, having prayed for someone to be healed, who subsequently rather – died, wouldn’t exactly re-enforce their faith building message. So often this example from their experience is not mentioned.

Unless to make the point, or suggest, that the person who died, didn’t fully embrace faith as they should have. (Which may or may not be the case).

They can’t bring this failed moment, into their preaching as it takes away from the ‘Positive Only’ message.

However someone listening carefully to a ‘faith/positive only’ ministry, may discern correctly, hints of imperfection, in the course of their presentation of all things bright and beautiful.

That’s just how it is – people not only get the benefit of God’s gifting in an individual whether as an apostle, prophet or teacher, but also we receive the ‘benefit’(?) of their limitations and idiosyncrasies.

(Look for Part II in a few days time)

Born a second time?

Born a second time? 

There is no doubt that approaching the things of God in a cold theological way is not enough when it comes to being convinced that you should give your life over to The Son of God, – done so – through prayer.

But what’s the difference between studying presented truth, perhaps presented in some book of theology from whatever source and coming into a Living relationship with The Christ of God?

There is no fixed way that a person must adhere to, when it comes to experiencing the born again experience. No fixed way in the sense that every personality is different and must discover God’s working in their life, as it lines up with His Word.

The term ‘born again’ is found in the gospel of John 1/1:

Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

So Jesus is calling all, to an experience that He calls ‘being born again’.

Unless one is born again…..

Well – unless one is – we cannot see, – experience, – understand – know the things of God as God intended us to know them.

However many have started their born again journey in the very way I have suggested at the beginning – namely: in a cold theological way.

The reason for this is that such a person may be genuinely looking for the answer or answers regarding this born again experience.

And as I have stated before a number of times – the door of truth must be gone through or initially sought before this born again experience can take place.

Buy the truth and do not sell it—

    wisdom, instruction and insight as well.

And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free

Notice I have clumped these few verses together without even giving the references – simply to say these verses could be the start of the search that will bring you to the born again experience.

Rather than elaborating on the ‘how to’ – let this be the start of your own search of the scriptures, if as yet you have not been born again.

Acts 17/11

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.

A friend indeed

A FRIEND INDEED 

I’m crying out to you!

I’m using hand and arm gestures

I have a frantic look upon my face

I’m pained at the core

Your soul’s condition needs mending

But are you comprehending?

Why should I care?

Huh! Do I really care indeed?

                    …

Walk away on the other side

Walk away Priest or Levite

Pharisees leave

                    …

Samaritan man approach with care

Help him on your donkey

Take him anywhere

Anywhere – away – to be healed

You pay for him – room and board

Call back again sometime

I know you will reap

Reap what you have sown

Without religious hype

No name in lights

No followers – like stalagmites

Just a new friend

Forever Yours – to the end

Luke 10/31-33

Paul’s Race

PAUL’S RACE

Acts 9/

15 But the Lord said to Ananias, “Go! This man is my chosen instrument to proclaim my name to the Gentiles and their kings and to the people of Israel. 16 I will show him how much he must suffer for my name.”

This is possibly the last thing we would expect to hear when encountering Jesus for the first time.

We who rejoice in the Wondrous Grace of God – so glad that He (The Lord Jesus) did it all for us. All our efforts to be good, righteous, pure etc. etc. – were imperfect and not enough to obtain salvation and peace with God through Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Until Jesus came along with the offer of Salvation through faith in Him, – giving His life for ours, we were left incomplete through our own efforts.

Now He lives in us both to will and to do of His good pleasure, if we have had the born again experience.

But in light of all the blessings of God’s love and acceptance, how would we respond to such a word as this – the word given to Paul the Apostle:

How much he must suffer for my name…!

Did Ananias pass on directly and verbally, the words quoted above, concerning how he (Paul) would suffer?

We do not know if Paul was shown right away, supernaturally, all that he would suffer, or whether God is referring to the ongoing experience that Paul would discover day by day as He communed with God.

Either way whether God spoke into his spirit to prepare him for what was ahead in suffering, or whether he affirmed him daily in the fact that his suffering was for the progression of the gospel, he who had persecuted the church and caused it to suffer, would go on to lose his life in service to Jesus Christ The Lord.

Here are the things he suffered:

…in labours more abundant, in stripes above measure, in prisons more frequent, in deaths oft.

24 Of the Jews five times received I forty stripes save one.

25 Thrice was I beaten with rods, once was I stoned, thrice I suffered shipwreck, a night and a day I have been in the deep;

26 In journeyings often, in perils of waters, in perils of robbers, in perils by mine own countrymen, in perils by the heathen, in perils in the city, in perils in the wilderness, in perils in the sea, in perils among false brethren;

27 In weariness and painfulness, in watchings often, in hunger and thirst, in fastings often, in cold and nakedness.

2Beside those things that are without, that which cometh upon me daily, the care of all the churches.

We are inclined to judge whether something is worthwhile if we sense the Presence of God in/on it. And of course this is correct.

However the whole realm of human feeling, and/or spiritual sensing – at times, as in the life of Paul, will include outward circumstances that bring pain. 

Reminding us that God will always be in our storms, regardless of the whole realm of feeling or sensing – 

 – the ever-present faith-sense (for those who believe) of ‘Emmanuel’ – God with us – always!

Oh to be so anointed that the overwhelming strength of God in every experience of life, would be our portion, and that He would enable us to endure all things, through the inner awareness of His love.

Love (of God)…bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things

Lord have mercy!

Long-suffering

The best we can do to capture precious moments is to draw the moment, write and record what happened, take photographs, or videos, or raise some kind of memorial stone as in sculpture perhaps, all efforts to capture the moment, even though the moment is gone.

Stating the obvious: Time never stands still. Time and tide waits for no man.

As I write, time – seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years, decades, centuries have gone by.

Human beings think thoughts continuously. These thoughts pass. But we can recall them, make them new by revisiting them, – having them again.

Some thoughts we want to forget and not revisit.

Everyday we repeat certain actions from clothing ourselves, sitting down, rising up, walking, running, cooking, cleaning, creating, and so on.

This is the substance of life and living. And we all engage in thoughts and activities wanting to record them or forget them.

We are born, we die, we live to love, to work rest and play.

All humans engage in similar activities and experience similar things.

There is no human being who does not engage with and experience something of that which is common to all.

Anyone with a moments conscious thought realises the world is getting more and more evil. But there are many responses within the human psyche to this realisation.

Stay focused on our own patch and live – providing and protecting our own families.

Become reclusive, hiding away in some distant forest, attempting to live a life of self-sufficiency cut-off from civilisation, because we might think it uncivilised, and be glad to escape the increasing evils and rampant selfishness.

There are many ways to respond to what is taking place on the earth – in the heart of man, and in the environment.

We attempt and will continue to attempt to change the environment for good.

But to change the condition, heart attitude, and behaviour of mankind is a different task. One that no one has totally effected – permanently for good. Simply because the one thing given to man – which is freedom of choice – is grossly mis-used.

In one sense western democratic civilisation celebrates freedom of democratic choice – but chooses daily the practice of what is best termed sinful behaviour.

Yet, that abused freedom of choice, abused since the beginning of creation, beginning at an unknown time – God does not take away, until He sees fit. Until as in, the time of the deluge, He has had enough. (Genesis 7/10).

God’s point of ‘having had enough’, – no one can fathom. It is within the divine mandate, and choice, of One who sees absolutely perfectly and judges according to everyone’s work, or lifestyle in thought word and deed.

II Peter 3/ 15 and consider that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation—as also our beloved brother Paul, according to the wisdom given to him, has written to you…

The long-suffering of God is overwhelming – more so revealed, if we could get a glimpse of the atrocious behaviour, His heart sees everyday – as He beholds the ways of His nature being violated to such extremities, on the planet, again through man’s thoughts, words and deeds.

No one sees this as God sees it, knowing every single thought in mankind’s heart continuously.

The stench of mankind’s rebellion and inhumanity to man arises to God’s ‘nostrils’ daily.

His long-suffering is immense. How I need to check daily that I am not abusing it.

God Absolutely Just and Absolutely Loving must decide when love dictates, that He must put a stop to this rampant mis-use of the freedom of choice given to mankind.

[Meantime] – His long-suffering conquered me – despite the fact that I violated His right-ways constantly. I obtained mercy, in my unbelief, and embraced His voice through His Word as it came through – loud and clear.

His long-suffering patience – continued with me until I saw it! I saw it! And embraced His forgiveness and found His Salvation.

My best desires for you – is to likewise find Him longsuffering towards you, while you hasten to receive His Gift of Salvation.

Experiencing

Experiencing

Throughout the Old and New Testaments certain men have been allowed spiritual/heavenly experiences according to the plan of God.

All the spiritual experiences given by God, that are contained and recorded in scripture are true, real, and genuinely God-given – revelations of the most profound kind.

We can mention some of the men who received these revelations – Elijah, Moses, Jeremiah, Isaiah, Peter, Paul, Stephen, John and so on.

We can quickly access all that was given to them (given in a place of spiritual revelation in and through The Holy Spirit sovereignly imparting these divine experiences) for the record of God’s Word to be made.

The reason they were chosen for these revelations, is known only to God Himself.

We can look at their lives and realise that they were godly, faithful, and zealous for the righteousness of God, but what were the qualities that qualified them to be chosen – we cannot exactly say.

II Timothy 2/

Nevertheless the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal: “The Lord knows those who are His,” and, “Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.”

We know that their lives were in order, that they had a relationship with the Only Living and True God – but God in His infinite wisdom sovereignly chose them to receive the Divine Revelations that they did.

This is to do with an experience of the working of the Holy Spirit beyond (shall we say) the norm.

All Christians should desire and long to experience the working of The Holy Spirit in their lives.

There are two extreme mistakes that the New Testament believer can make.

  1. to be so wary with regard to spiritual experiences, we remain closed to anything further happening to us.
  2. To be so overly zealous for ‘experiences’ we open ourselves to wrong spirits.

There are many experiences to be had in this world.

The so called bohemian will indulge in every sensual pleasure he/she can find. This takes its toll in premature deaths caused by the fruit of such doings.

(We could split hairs over the exact definition of a bohemian but I refer to excesses of those so-called)

These so called Bohemians however, may make the defence: ‘You only live once – so go for it!’ or the variation usually is ‘enjoy yourself when you are young’. His/her defence is an empty one in the light of eternity.

There is an interesting verse in Proverbs 29/

v8 

Where there is no revelation, people cast off restraint*; but blessed is the one who heeds wisdom’s instruction.

This highlights a major truth:

When people do not know God. When people have not experienced God – and search for Him in the wrong place or in the wrong way – they give up their search too quickly and have only one alternative (so they think) and that is to cast off restraint*.

Having failed to experience the true spiritual life that God has for us – they over-indulge (often to their own destruction), in everything to do with the natural, sinful nature we are all born with.

The human heart is longing for the revelation that only Christ can give.

Until that is experienced through His offered salvation or conversion – there is only an endless fruitless quest through indulgence in the things of this world to find what only Christ can supply and satisfy.

It is a strange paradox that often the persons most zealous for the answer to life, are often the most extreme in their blind indulgence of the lower nature.

I am thankful for the spiritual experiences I have had. Extremely thankful. If there are to be more such God-given experiences of the Presence of God – God must decide to give them to me.

Either way – there is always an abiding peace and sense of His lovely presence in my life. But there is always more.

There is coming a day when I shall know Him as I am known. Meantime He has promised me “…And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”(Matt. 28/20) (I Cor. 13/12).

I live in the hope that I have not disappointed Him, but want to humble myself and ask for

‘More Lord! More!’

As the song says: ‘More love, more power, more of You in my life…’

All we are saying is…

All we are saying is…

Of all the things one could teach in the context of the Christian Faith – what is happening in the (western) world etc. – leaves us wondering…

Wondering what to teach in the midst of the moral falling away and disinterestedness that seems to prevail.

Of course the automatic cry of the human heart for the reality of God in Jesus Christ, although lying dormant below the surface in individual’s lives, is ready for the divine ‘match’ to be struck, that will bring the light of the revelation of Jesus Christ.

We cannot become a Christian any other way than individually. Kinda obvious I know.

Before you become part of any Christian community – you must first experience what is commonly referred to as ‘The Born Again experience.’

There is part of your being that is born – dead or comatose*.

Col. 2/13: (And you, being dead in your trespasses…).

Just as a swan will not know it was made for water until it touches the water. Just so we will not know the spiritual realm, until our spirit* comes alive to Jesus Christ, through an experience of The Holy Spirit.

In our natural state we cannot appreciate spiritual realities. We will enter spiritual realities through the door of truth. That’s why we need to give ourselves to the Word of God (The Bible).

There is within every person, a ‘natural’ bias against the things of the Spirit of God. To face up to this – calls for a choice of the will.

We therefore must choose to search for spiritual answers – even though as yet, we are not convinced of the possibility of finding them.

Recognise that, first of all – all of us are – ‘numb’ to the spiritual reality of all that the Bible declares.

This is the ‘feeling’ or ‘unfeeling’ starting point to further revelation, when God Himself eventually convinces you of His reality.

That’s why, in simple terms, we are exhorted to ‘Seek and you will find.’ Matthew 7/7.

God draws people to Himself. He does this by touching the human heart and mind – that experience – includes the revelation of instruction delivered by God Himself whereby we become persuaded that all the Bible declares is true.

Even if you have problems with parts of the Bible – you decide to be willing to keep searching to have those problems or doubts resolved.

All we are saying is give – (not peace) – but God a chance. His Peace will follow!

Conforming?

CONFORMING?

I wonder if it were possible to make a survey of the world’s population – how many folks would fit into the ‘ordinary’ category?

Ordinary people. Only ordinary in the sense that they are married with children, working perhaps an 8-5 job or some variation on that theme, have a few holidays a year, and use their leisure time in pursuit of some ‘hobby’ (never liked that word). 🤔

‘Ordinary’ people who have some semblance of humanity, and morality, and hold no extreme views, politically or otherwise.

We might add: ‘having a typical suburban western society outlook’.

I think you get the picture, and if you, like me, consider yourself to be part of such a slightly suspect categorisation, you pay your taxes, decorate your home, love your wife and kids, and want to provide for them. Stated as a male person of course, but equally true of a female.

Covid has been released upon the world, it knows no class barriers, is no respecter of persons, and devastates many families. It has been an unwelcome motivation for change. And we need to ask ‘what kind of change?’ – for the better or the worse? But disease is another subject, not for this post.

The older one gets, the more one is able to look back on how things have changed.

And can form the opinion that the changes – are not for the better.

But this may be too sweeping a statement. (?)

[Depends on the subject matter of our conversation]

After all technology has given us an improved existence with all the positive things it has provided.

Conversely it has given us greater headaches.

Are we, the ‘ordinaries’, holding society together? While the ‘misfits’ (Dict.: a person whose behaviour or attitude sets them apart from others in an uncomfortably conspicuous way:) are forcing us to accept the abnormal as the new normal?

Back in the day (my pre-Christian days) I had no intention of conforming to society’s norms, if it hindered my creative ability. After all I was an artist! I was unique!

And then I woke up.

And Jesus slowly but surely renewed me in the spirit of my mind.

Now normality for me is to be spiritually natural and naturally spiritual.

I still don’t conform – but in an entirely different way.

My goal is not to conform to the abnormalities all around me, and which are being increasingly promoted as normal.

Likewise my goal is to not conform to dead religion, which can have a ritual-like involvement by adherents but with no life of God in it.

II Timothy 3/

having a form of godliness but denying its power. And from such people turn away!  

Rather I desire to live in spiritual awareness and escape the corruption that is in the world through evil desire.

2 Peter 1:3-5

as His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.

Romans 12/

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

The thousand years day

The thousand years day

The concept of eternity is difficult to grasp. In fact we can’t grasp it. We could say that if we can grasp it – then it is no longer eternity.

Just like we cannot fully grasp the Almightiness of God, or know in full – but rather – in part. [see I Cor. 3/9-12].

If we know all there is to know about Him – He is no longer God, but has been reduced to a human level and bottled in man’s finite intellect.

There is one simple statement in Scripture that confirms the existence of eternity and time:

I Cor. 2/

…we declare God’s wisdom, a mystery that has been hidden and that God destined for our glory before time began. 

So before time began what was there? Well, apart from a hidden mystery – it can only mean eternity – from which God set in motion what we know as time. Time had to begin.

But to help a little bit at least with the concept of eternity – we can consider that with God one day = thousand years.

Psalm 90/3-5

For a thousand years in Your sight

Are like yesterday when it is past,

And like a watch in the night.

II Peter 3/

But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. 

So God waiting and not performing or doing for a day – is a short wait – it’s only a thousand years.

But we say – “What?!”

That’s sooooo long.

It took God a thousand years to do that – no it only took a day!