Category Archives: word in season

Revive Revival…

Revive Revival… 2022

Habakkuk 3:2

O Lord, I have heard thy speech, and was afraid: O Lord, revive thy work in the midst of the years, in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy.

It is a principle – that if we give-out to others, what God-has-given-to-us – we bring ourselves into The Reception area of God’s office. 🙂

A reception area is where you meet the owners of the firm (or their employees) – but also they meet you.

But God’s reception area – is also a place where you receive from God Himself. God loves to give. Mankind is somewhat slower at giving, to make an under-statement.

God says: 38 Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.”

There are many things in this world that would distract us, and cause us to lose sight of the fact that God is a giving-Person.

Here is a scenario that we as believers, if we do not exercise due diligence, can drift into:

Hard times, bad times, perilous times, doom and gloom all around, a great falling away in moral standards, evil men getting worse and worse.

Because of all of these things we start to believe that God doesn’t care and certainly doesn’t want anything to do with a world of grossly misbehaving humans.

So we stop looking for Christian Revival. Revival as in firstly God moving in His church again, amongst His people.

Some think themselves Biblically correct when they conclude that there will be/is – a great falling away. That fits into their eschatological position, and they feel firmly justified in saying there could not be a revival.

Wow! God has lost His ancient power then? He can no longer save? He is powerless to do anything about this state of affairs?

In fact let’s just accept this and tell others the bad news. At least we are biblically correct, right?

Wrong. As unbelief increases, (because all sin begins in unbelief), we as Christians are not called to simply accept the inevitable, when the inevitable flies in the face of all that God is, and stands for.

God is the God of ‘the more’.  There is never a Time when God does not want to save.

When He is not moving, and saving and filling, it is not because He has ordained the falling away – or wants things to get worse and worse, it’s because He knows that rebellious man will fall away in increasing measure.

But that does not mean we abandon every revealed principle concerning who and what the God of our salvation is, in thought, word and deed.

Go to sleep church, don’t seek me anymore, I will not bless, I will not save, there will be no revival, I will leave you and forsake you.

How does that sound?

And so we stop. We simply stop. We have got (so many may think) the eschatology right – so do nothing because there’s nothing we can do. Wrong again.

God calls us to seek Revival – 2 Chronicles 7:14

if My people who are called by My name will humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.

We need God to move in power, if souls are to have the real thing in a true salvation/conversion experience, and God tells us nowhere that He is no longer interested in saving souls.

World wide Revival? If The Lord Jesus was on the earth still in the form of a man – and He prayed – could He bring worldwide Revival?

Only if He went to a cross, …

And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

Having triumphed and done what was necessary – Revival can come. And has – many times throughout history.

He doesn’t need to return to earth, become a man and do it all over again. ‘It is finished’. (John 19/20). Now anything is possible to those who believe. (John 14/12).

But if revival doesn’t come – it is not that God has ordained it to be so. It’s that His people stop looking for, or expecting it,  either in faith or hope.

Let’s seek The Lord for more of the manifestation of the Holy Spirit as God builds His church – one without Spot or Wrinkle, or any such thing. (Ephesians 5/27, Matthew 16/8)

The Manifestation of The Holy Spirit, is given for the profit of all. (I Cor. 12/7)

Is salvation by the convicting, convincing power of the Holy Spirit – often with signs following – not for mankind anymore? (I Corinthians 12/7) (Mark 16/17).

Of course it is – it is not God’s will that any should perish. (II Peter 3/9).

Let’s shake ourselves and hold forth/fast the Word of Life knowing that God is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all we ask or think. (Philippians 2/16) (Ephesians 3/20).

In conclusion when nothing of revival is happening – are we those who look away from The Saviour or are we those who look upon Him without distraction? 

Hebrews 12:2

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.

Jude 1:21

Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.

Attentiveness

ATTENTIVENESS 2022

So where is your attention?

Your attention will be with whatever – has got your attention.

Now that I have stated the obvious – let’s try to add a little to that.

By something getting the biggest part of your attention, there is every chance you will not be found listening to things you ought to give your attention to.

Habitual thinking is common to mankind. We have the same approach to things daily. It may be a showering routine. You might make a certain meal one way only. You turn the TV on at the same time to hear the news, because habitually you always do that. You always buy the same meal when eating out and so on.

You may pray – same time every day. All day is good.

When we hear a preacher give his sermon – there is a good chance that your mind can be on something else. Perhaps something that has been on your mind all week.

The preacher may have what you need. But your mind is elsewhere, rather than on what he says.

So you don’t hear. Really hear. You have missed it – the word – the word you needed.

You carry on anyway, and will return another day to hear(?) the preacher again.

Luke 8/8:…When He had said these things He cried, “He who has ears to hear, let him hear!”

Word in season

WORD IN SEASON 2022

Relatively speaking, it is not difficult for those so exercised, who have been approved through study, (II Timothy 2/15) over the years, to share a teaching on a given subject of truth in the scriptures. Perhaps bringing to us some theological treatise.

But a word in due season is a slightly different matter. Isaiah 50/

“The Lord God has given Me

The tongue of the learned,

That I should know how to speak

A word in season to him who is weary.

He awakens Me morning by morning,

He awakens My ear

To hear as the learned.

The Lord God has opened My ear;

And I was not rebellious,

Nor did I turn away.

Of course most expounders of The Bible, hope that their word is in season, and is that which is required by God, and fitting, for the listeners.

But to impress others with bible knowledge whether head knowledge or heart knowledge, is the least of acceptable motivations to ‘Preach the Word’ (II Timothy 4/4).

Indeed Paul says: KJV – Colossians 4/

Withal praying also for us, that God would open unto us a door of utterance, to speak the mystery of Christ, for which I am also in bonds:

That I may make it manifest…

as I ought to speak.

So there is a way to speak. A way to minister, a way it ought to be done. In my view not just concerning hermeneutics.

How we all should long to please God by understanding how to speak a word in season – and how it ought to be communicated.

I suggest that this is to do with utterance given by the Holy Spirit, and not our particular personality bent and ability of word-expression, which will differ from person to person.

For me The Word of God is either eternally powerful lying in wait, or eternally powerful exploding with dunamis power into the earth. As God wills it.

At this present time the prophetic clock ticks, and wars and rumours of wars are unfolding.

Time to take stock and to hear the Word of The Lord like never before.

Is this a word in season?

Toma(ay)to

Toma(ay)to

I have always marvelled at the inability of humans to really understand each other in their communications. This spills over into the Church (as in the company of God’s people).

It’s a bit like – you say tomato and I say tomayto – and if it goes on-through to fuller mis-understanding into vehement anger and division – we end up calling the whole thing off. ‘The whole thing’ being our friendship and fellowship.

When we examine examples of this, they are of course, innumerable.

But boiling it all down, I see it, as part of the fall of mankind.

There was a time in God’s perfect creation that mankind did not have the knowledge of good and evil. He only knew life without sin.

However one ‘shall not’ and he ‘did just that’. In Genesis we read:

2/19

And out of the ground the Lord God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

2/17

but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”

Now as a result of listening and obeying another (Genesis 3/1) – the woman’s and the man’s human spirit fell and mankind became dominated by his fallen nature. His mind began it’s journey of corruption.

And today there are many varying degrees of this fallen nature, this sinful mind, this earthly, sensual, devilish, make-up, manifesting itself in innumerable ways in mankind’s individual or corporate mindset. (James 3/15)

The fallen nature manifests itself in the little ‘white’ lie all the way to murder and rape by ruthless regimes.

Out of the heart of mankind comes:

18 But those things which proceed out of the mouth come from the heart, and they defile a man. 19 For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. 20 These are the things which defile a man, but to eat with unwashed hands does not defile a man.”

There are other lists of sins in the bible that describe the result of this nature that has inherited the knowledge of good and evil, from our forefather Adam. This is referred to as the ‘Adamic nature’.

But what I want to draw attention to, is this inability to properly communicate.

To properly understand each other.

I have noticed it over the years, and realised that unless Christians having fellowship, take the time to ensure that mutual humility is present, before they communicate, then when misunderstanding arises, it will end-up in some kind of division or parting of the ways.

If we fail to believe God’s truth as it is found (unadulterated), in the Scripture (The Holy Bible) – then as a result, we fail to encounter the One who is ‘The Truth’.

Christ gives us a new nature, as He gives Himself to us and enters us by The Holy Spirit, if we respond to the Word of the Gospel. This new nature is a renewed or born again human spirit.

Ephesians4/

23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;

But it is the old nature that has the knowledge of good and evil, that corrupts the true truth of God’s pure word. Man on innumerable occasions has corrupted the letter of God’s word.

Christians meeting to hear the public reading of God’s Word are hearing pure truth.

Proverbs 30/5

Every word of God is pure: he is a shield unto them that put their trust in him.

The preacher may present this pure truth well or corrupt it with his old nature.

Both things are possible.

The safest possible ground that believers have for communicating with each other is to simply repeat the Word of God from mouth to ear in the assembly of God’s people.

If I speak a scripture to you, and you in turn speak a scripture to me – we have communicated perfectly.

That’s why we read in Matthew 5/

37 But let your communication be, Yea, yea; Nay, nay: for whatsoever is more than these cometh of evil.

It is easy for communications to become confused, divisive, and eventually outright evil as we…

Galatians 5/15

bite and devour one another, take heed that ye be not consumed one of another.

So apart from necessary everyday communication in the workplace, school, or where tasks are being carried out corporately, being slow to speak isn’t a bad idea.

James 1/19

So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;

But even yea or nay can be misunderstood.

What are we to do?

We can only talk until things become clear. But sometimes it makes the situation worse if ego and oneupmanship take over, and talking becomes bickering.

The fact that divisions come, the fact that the world is in the mess it is in. And governments are at loggerheads internally and with other governments of other nations – shows clearly that the world is held captive by an inherited nature that can’t find agreement easily.

I’m reminded again of the humorous misunderstanding that took place between my friend’s wife and the weather forecaster on the car radio.

She heard the forecaster say: ‘Mister Fog’ will be about’.

So she made the comment to her husband (also in the car): ‘Who does he think he is addressing – children!?’

What he actually said was: ‘mist or fog will be about.’

If only the results of misunderstanding were as innocuous as this.

Spare a Prayer?

SPARE A PRAYER?

There are innumerous ways of looking at the subject and idea of prayer.

There is what is commonly known as ‘The Lord’s Prayer’ (Matthew 6/9-).This can be repeated or enacted in an emergency, at moments of desperation.

It can be vain repetition with no faith or proper understanding and yet because it is so powerful – being The Word of God – as it is, that God might surprise you and step in to answer it – even though you don’t know what you are doing, having never prayed before.

The atheist is going to experience many human dilemmas where ‘vain is the help of man’. Where many situations expose clearly their inadequacy that comes rushing to the fore.

Situations where he/she reaches rock bottom, their faith in unbelief, crumbles and they cry out: ‘God help me!”.

I consider that I have experienced many ‘variations on the theme’ of prayer.

There is the zealousness-of-youth kind of praying – fervent and loud.

There is the spiritual experience(s) aspect of prayer where you can experience God taking over and praying through you. (Romans 8/26).

There is the ‘in quietness and confidence’ kind of prayer where the believer waits on God, sensing His Presence.

There is the entering into a burden kind of praying – where we release the concern and burden we carry – back to God.

There is the God-consciousness kind of praying that can be a 24/7 walk with God. (Galatians 5/16).

There is the ‘praying without ceasing’ kind of praying where we commune with God continuously, perhaps at a time of crisis.

(I Thessalonians 5/17)

Someone once said it isn’t the long prayer, or the loud prayer that is effective – but the prayer of faith.

And in this short post, I have only scratched the surface of the subject of prayer.

The honest prayer has to take priority and is the foundational pre-requisite for successful praying.

Look up the full story of an honest gentleman in need, and how honestly he addressed The Saviour:

Mark 9:24

24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”

When believing is seeing

WHEN BELIEVING IS SEEING

Matthew 5/

37 And the Father Himself, who sent Me, has testified of Me. You have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form. 38 But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. 39 You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me. 40 But you are not willing to come to Me that you may have life.

There is some very significant truth to digest, as we meditate on the above scriptural passage.

First Jesus The Son of The Living God – who agreed with anyone who confessed Him to be so, tells us about God His Father.

He tells us that no one has saw God the Father exactly as He is. But of course the Son of God – did.

Jesus Christ’s Heavenly Father – is also Father to those who worship Him in spirit and in truth – we are told this in John 4/23.

Jesus goes on to tells us that: You (that is we humans) have neither heard His voice at any time, nor seen His form.

But is this not the very thing unbelievers set forth as ‘proof’ that there is no God (because – they wrongly reason) He has never made Himself known to mankind as He is?

Their reasoning goes something like this:-

He has never shown Himself. If He wants us to know Him why doesn’t He just show up as He actually is? And speak clearly wiping away all doubt of His existence.

Wow! What folly.

If The Son of God is telling us that we have not seen God’s ‘form’, and heard His voice, and yet He was clearly on a mission to lead mankind to God. Then there must be another way to know God without what some consider the missing requirements necessary before they will believe. Namely, the desire for God to just show up – and we shall believe in Him.

Exodus 33/20 But he added: “You cannot see my face, for no man can see me and live.”

This verse in Exodus reveals to us the fact that the nature of man and the nature of God are total opposites. So much so, that – like the proverbial oil and water – they cannot mix.

God’s nature is holiness. Man’s nature is sinful.

If man sees God’s form as it truly is – then it’s ‘good night man’!!

No man can see God and live!

So to see God the Father in actuality 100% – is out of the question.

That is until a coming day, when those who know Christ the way He has ordained for this scene of time, will come face to face with God, and then we shall know even as we are known. I Corinthians 13:

12 For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.

Face to face now in this life, could only mean that man would drop down dead.

We see, or experience God by degrees. (If you like – by how much we can handle without dying).

God’s ordained way of knowing Him without seeing Him 100% as He is –  is through the instrumentality of A MESSAGE.

That message is known as The Gospel of Jesus Christ. Hear Him! – And follow the instructions – simple.

So it is when we respond to the message and invite God to come into our very being, that we become those who worship the One we now know as described below:

John 4/

23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

Yes worshipping someone we cannot see completely, but someone who is willing to ‘manifest’ Himself to us if we come humbly and ask. Whilst waiting patiently until He shows up.

John 14/

And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.”

John 20/29

Jesus said to him, “Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

Gifting

GIFTING

John the Baptist had a particular ministry, a particular gifting, if you like, just like every Christian born again on the planet.

No two of us are the same. Many similarities, but all unique.

When we observe a particular gifting in another Christian’s life – we admire the handiwork of God. Chiefly we are appreciating the Presence of the Holy Spirit in and upon them.

Regardless of that particular expression, or gifting, it is the Holy Spirit who is the real enhancer, otherwise there is nothing to behold that has any spiritual dynamic in it.

There are some I might notice amongst non-Christians, in the realm of the arts for example, that might solicit my admiration, but I recognise that this is a natural beholding.

There is nothing of God in their gifting. If God is not in their lives, then how can He be in their natural gifting?

It could be said, of course, that the natural ability that someone is born with, or has cultivated, is from God in the sense that God has given life to every living person. But enhancement is a different matter.

An expert swimmer who has won gold medals, if he/she is not in the water then their gift and ability is not in it’s natural environment, where that gift can be demonstrated.

So unless we are in God, and God is in us, then our expression cannot have a spiritual environment in which to be expressed.

We read in Acts 17/27

though He is not far from each one of us; 28 for in Him we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, 

Paul is saying here that God who is omnipresent, in one sense cannot be avoided, as He fills the whole earth. Even the poets, the non-Christian poets, had grasped this truth.

God sees as no man sees. He sees and hears everything. Even what is gurgitating in every human mind.

God ‘not far from us’ – instructs us that He is not only willing to not be far from us, but wants to be close, very close, so close – He wants to live within us.

But until we recognise ‘The Only Living and True God’ as Jesus Christ The Lord, then we will not ask Him into our lives.

Knowing He is this Only Living and True God is described as: ‘The Revelation of Jesus Christ’. Peter the apostle had this revelation described by Jesus this way:

Matt. 16/

17 Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. 

So God omnipresent, – (everywhere) – must be invited into our very beings if He is to save us from this present evil world and if He is to use our natural gifting, whilst imparting also spiritual gifts, as He wills to do so.

I believe natural gifting can be enhanced by God The Holy Spirit and used in His hand.

Also He can impart spiritual gifts, some of which, may or may not be directly linked to natural gifts.

The gift that John the Baptist was given, the ministry that he was given, could be summed up in one word:

Preparation. An ability to prepare others. A preparatory gifting/ministry.

It should be noted that ‘the others’ in response to his ‘preparatory’ message were actually meant to prepare the way for Christ, themselves.

They repented (the preparation + water baptism) – next they must receive Christ as the Messiah.

John was sent to prepare human beings for the coming Messiah. By asking them to prepare the way of The Lord.

When He, The Messiah, came, John was content to ‘fade’, to decrease.

He did not stop functioning nor having pupils whom he continued to teach and guide, but someone far greater than John, came to those that John’s ministry-gifting had prepared to meet Him.

The preparation in the form of sermons delivered to the Jewish population, entailed the response of Repentance and water baptism.

Having obeyed the message of God, given to and delivered by John – each person was then ready for the next spiritual revelation in their life.

They were ready to meet the Messiah.

Are you and I prepared to meet the Messiah?

Even as one who has met the Messiah, am I prepared and ready to meet Him in a new way? In perhaps a small nuanced way? Or in a new major and dramatic way?

Either way – am I prepared?

Are you prepared?

Preparation is spring cleaning the heart, – repenting* – turning away from conscious sin and asking for the Holy Spirit to come to you in the same way He came down upon the Messiah as He stood in the water allowing John to baptise Him. (Matt. 3/16)

Matthew 3/

1. In those days John the Baptist came, preaching in the wilderness of Judea and saying, “Repent*, for the kingdom of heaven has come near.” This is he who was spoken of through the prophet Isaiah:

“A voice of one calling in the wilderness,

Prepare the way for the Lord,

    make straight paths for him.’”

Now hear this…

NOW HEAR THIS (Properly)

There is much that vies for our attention, in this day and age, perhaps more than in any other. One of the main reasons for this of course, is the fact that the different means of communication have exploded.

We are bombarded with images like never before. Bombarded with options like never before. Bombarded with advertisements like never before. Bombarded with opinions like never before and so on…

And yet with all of this communication overload, we ask the question(s): How much of this overload do we really take in? How much should we take in? What should we refuse?

In a spiritual context, Jesus addressing others said this:

…“Whoever has ears to hear, let them hear.”

Many heard Him but only a percentage listened to Him.

The listening that was necessary to really ‘get’ what He said could be described in this way: Listen and learn by inwardly digesting.

It is possible to be constantly learning in the sense of being confronted with information overload, and yet never actually coming to a knowledge of the truth.

We find this in II Timothy 3/

always learning but never able to come to a knowledge of the truth.

To really grasp what this means, will take more than the cursory glance, that you, in the course of reading this post – might give it. Same with all the things of God.

It could be suggested: ‘What’s the point in continuing on, in this post, and supplying further information of a spiritual nature, when it will not be properly and with effort, inwardly digested?’

Well – there will be those who seek – and they will find.

(At this point the blogger calmly put his coat on and walked out of the room, oblivious to everyone’s response…) 😍

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.

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.