Category Archives: word in season

Another Gospel?

ANOTHER GOSPEL? 

There are seemingly quite a few who are offering us – a more updated version of Christianity.

Challenging some of the fundamentals of the faith – confusing the fundamentals with the newly re-contextualised fundamentalism label.

Because there exists dogmatic Pharisees who want everything conformed to their image – they assume that those who hold fast to that which is good, has been good, and always will be good, are dead traditionalists/‘fundamentalists’.

…Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

That which is good is the articles of faith – long established and present in many Christian churches, from which we are never meant to depart, as per the charge of the gospel of Christ.

Those searching for a broader outlook. Those searching for a so-called more ‘enlightened’ approach – are apt to use the fact that we all cannot know all mysteries, and therefore this is a reason to alter, annul and eventually dismiss what is sound and cannot change, and has been established for centuries.

They do this act of watering down – in the name of tolerance, open-mindedness, and all-embracing love. And consider it theological progress.

The result is that they see so many sides to things that nothing ever becomes sure. But at least they reason we can ‘all get along’.

Soon they lead us to the ‘many roads to God approach’ – again in the name of tolerance and being nice.

And then slowly but surely we are meant to embrace every religion under the sun, in the name of tolerance and understanding of how the other half lives. As we partake of the ecumenical soup.

Jesus Christ is the Son of God. There is no other name under heaven whereby we can be saved and delivered from this corrupt generation. The God of the bible is called Jehovah and His son Jesus Christ The Lord. There is a heaven and there is a hell.

Pretty straightforward and dogmatic – but absolutely true.

To hold to this does not automatically make me an intolerant bigot, out to be rude and denigrate everyone who thinks differently.

The latest truth being tampered with – is the fact that there is a hell, there is a Gehenna.

Some so called ‘progressives’ consider the best way to get rid of hell is not to believe in it.

That way everyone is ok and marching to the promised land of heaven, regardless of what they believe or what lifestyle they practice or what god they serve.

Pan-everything-ism is the new (no, not really new – just rehashed) ‘enlightened’ way, they would have us believe.

And when someone makes a statement like my last paragraph they are perceived as dogmatic stick-in-the-mud fundamentalists who want to condemn everyone to hell. However there is only One who has the power/right/authority to do so –

Jesus said:

Luke 12:5

But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear Him who, after He has killed, has power to cast into hell; yes, I say to you, fear Him!

I believe in enlightenment/inspiration, or better put, revelation – but within the guidelines and confines of The Holy Bible.

As a painter/poet/preacher ‘etc’. I like to think I have some imagination. And I am open-minded enough to at least listen to those who have another slant on things other than my own.

I’m aware of dogmatism out of a heart bound-up with bitterness in the name of religion.

I’m aware that there are those who stand with Christ in doctrine, but with the devil in attitude.

But I’m also aware that there is such a thing as truth and error.

The bible is full of warnings (do a study on it – see how many you can find).

If there is no need to warn God’s true people – then there are no dangers.

Here’s a tip – Go for ‘sincere’ in people – rather than ‘nice’. And go for the bible and what it says even more than the preaching of it.

By that I mean – the words themselves, because:

Matthew 4:4

Jesus answered, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on EVERY word that comes from the mouth of God.’”

Notice the EVERY word aspect.

Regardless of whether we have experienced Revelation on every word – the revelation we have already received convinces us that the potential for further revelation comes through every word of scripture.

What has been established by revelation is to be adhered to. For example ‘justification by faith’ as revealed to Martin Luther. Does that mean that he is an infallible guide because he received revelation? No – but the bible is.

Sometimes we must take the word exactly as we find it, not blindly, (i.e. without a quickened understanding) but in trust – first. This leads to more revelation of what we are reading, as God has promised to lead us into more spiritual understanding:

John 16:13

However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.

We take it on board first, and then we are free to ask God what it really is saying.

The truth has been established of old. Jesus is the Only Begotten Son of God, He needs-must die on the cross to offer mankind a way back to relationship with God, there is a Gehenna to escape through Christ, there was a virgin birth and so on…

The exaltation of the intellect of man over the inspiration of scripture will produce all kinds of theories and unbiblical conclusions.

Christians beware.

30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.

Rejected

REJECTED 

Isaiah 53/3

He is despised and rejected by men,

A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.

And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;

He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

Not every preacher has found ministry/sermonising plain sailing.

Not every sermon that is preached is welcome.

At times the majority of the population are wrong – and can’t hear what they need to hear.

This is just a fact of life. The fact of a fallen world.

Smoking was once welcomed and embraced by the majority. The majority were wrong.

What does the preacher experience who is on the receiving end of his rejected message and person?

The Lord Jesus Christ, and God the Father, have a long list of descriptions in the scriptures, regarding their character and personality.

We could list the names of Jehovah, each adding a nuance to our understanding of who and what He is.

Jehovah-nissi, (The Lord our banner), Jehovah-tsidkenu (The Lord our righteousness), and so on…

Jesus is the lily of the valley, the bright and morning star, the fairest of ten thousand, Emmanuel (God with us), Saviour, and so on…

But Jesus, The Son of God, was also an itinerant preacher.

So He is the first we can think of – whose message and person were rejected.

Yet also – the common people heard Him gladly.

He was received by some and rejected by others, and yet the calibre and spiritual immaturity of his needy followers was exposed when everyone ran away, forsaking Him,  at the time of His wrongful arrest.

Paul the apostle is another example of a person and their message being rejected.

2 Timothy 4:14-16 (NKJV)

14 Alexander the coppersmith did me much harm. May the Lord repay him according to his works. 15 You also must beware of him, for he has greatly resisted our words.

16 At my first defense no one stood with me, but all forsook me. May it not be charged against them.

Again some believed and received – others rejected Paul and his words – and we read the list of the hardships he endured because of the gospel, and it’s rejection.

There are modern examples of persons rejected along with their message.

Not every preacher gets pats on the back after delivering his sermon – in the every (Sun)day setting – of church.

Perfect oneness of mind is a marvel to me. I could probably count on one hand the number of experiences I have had – of being in total unity with fellow believers. I mean real unity.

Truly it was a blessing and very pleasant. (Psalm 133)

But it calls for oneness of mind and right attitude of heart.

When we don’t agree with the preacher and his message – do we reject it?

If it is a false doctrine we need to reject it, there’s no denying that.

But with what attitude, do we do the rejecting?

Is it possible we fail to realise our attitude is worse than the points we don’t agree with?

Partaker

PARTAKER 

After fifty years walking with The Lord Jesus Christ, I feel often that I have only begun to understand the ways of God.

The more I think I know – the more it is clear to me that I have so much to learn.

But that does not surprise me.

Quite some time ago I came to the realisation that God allows the born again Christian to partake of His divine nature.

2 Peter 1:4

…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.

All that is in God’s personality. All that is in God’s character. All that is given to the Christian by inheritance as the free gift of God – is partaken of – by faith.

So God’s understanding too, is partaken of.

We continue to partake by faith and a good conscience which some having forsaken, end up floundering like a ship in a storm.

1 Timothy 1:18-20

… having faith and a good conscience, which some having rejected, concerning the faith have suffered shipwreck…

A good conscience gives us boldness towards God, which, as a result, means our heart condemns us not.

21 Beloved, if our heart does not condemn us, we have confidence toward God.

But I want to stay with, underline, and emphasise the fact that we are PARTAKERS.

IT’S WONDERFUL – to partake of Christ.

Hebrews 3:14

For we have become partakers of Christ if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast to the end,

So each truth we see – in fellowship with Christ, is like looking into a room or a palace where we see all the most beautiful, pure and loveliest things imaginable.

But we are at the threshold, and much as we would love to enter the room and partake of everything all at once. We must rejoice to be allowed to partake of each thing – one at a time. Otherwise it would be overwhelming.

So when I think I know something, I remind myself that it belongs to my Master, and there is much more He has in store.

Philippians 1:23

For I am hard-pressed between the two, having a desire to depart and be with Christ, which is far better.

Romans 11:33

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!

Partaking of the spiritual food Good provides – satisfies.

Partaking of the Divine nature, in relationship with Christ – satisfies.

As the old saying/lyric goes: Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim – in the light of His Glory and Grace.

The Great Exchange

THE GREAT EXCHANGE

There is a saying: God wants us to be spiritually natural and naturally spiritual.

Now that can be open to different interpretations.

But what I believe it should mean is:

God wants us to be spiritual without being weird. God wants us to walk close to Him in spiritual union – but we are free to enjoy life and the things that go with every day living.

Maybe a list of what I mean would be an idea?

Walking in nature, enjoying a well prepared meal, enjoying music, good humour (that is not at the expense of a friend), literature of a wholesome kind, family life, your own idea of what fits the hobby category (although I always think the word hobby is a poor description of something we really enjoy).

But in all of these things we are called by God to – ‘seek first His kingdom…’.

To put the spiritual side of life – first. When we do, we will, with peace of mind and conscience be then free to enjoy the natural things.

Certain ones in past generations had dwindled spirituality down to rigid rules.

In my culture if you didn’t drink alcohol, sleep around, go to the cinema, gamble and if you refrain from washing the car on Sunday – you had made it.

Failing to realise that you hadn’t started. God wanting us to change inside first, not outside first.

I am so thankful that the Christian’s life is all about EXCHANGE – exchanging our life for His.

As He comes to the welcoming heart – we yield ourselves to Him.

I like the old saying: ‘I can’t – but you can – thank you that you will’.

Christ in us the hope of glory.

Paul tells us – he died daily. Meaning the great exchange takes place every time we pray. Exchanging our life for His.

31 I affirm, by the boasting in you which I have in Christ Jesus our Lord, I die daily.

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.

Faith says “I can’t do this Lord, please take over and supply your Life-giving Spirit and live your life in and through me…”

1 Corinthians 15:45

And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.” The last Adam became a lifegiving spirit.

 

God loves you…

GOD LOVES YOU

God loves you!

What more needs to be said?

Paul Simon sings: “Who’s gonna love you when your looks are gone…?” And replying to his own question: he sings: “God will…”

Well – God is not really interested in our looks – even though He has our cosmetic count when it comes to hair –

Luke 12:6-8 (NKJV)

“Are not five sparrows sold for two copper coins? And not one of them is forgotten before God. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

He has an easier job with me – as my hair grew out completely to make room for my brains.

1 Samuel 16:7

… For the Lord does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.”

So God who looks into the heart – loves you!

That’s good news – the only problem is – do you/we love Him?

Now let’s be real: How can we love someone we have never seen, or heard?

Telling me a friend of yours ‘loves me’, isn’t going to make much of a difference to me. It might be nice to know, but that’s about it.

I would need to meet this person and get to know them, before this information meant much.

When we were young, on odd occasions the word would be passed to us, perhaps through an acquaintance or friend, that a particular young lady ‘fancied us’.

Admiration from afar. The message meant they would be open to the possibility of getting to know us more.

Young ladies used to scream and cry over their pop idols.

As someone once said this is ‘puppy love’ – but nonetheless ‘real’ to the puppy.

God loves you – it ain’t no puppy love.

So for me or any Christian to communicate to you that ‘God Loves you’, might be limited in it’s impact?

Limited only because as yet it is only a fact. A piece of information. A conversation starter.

Because unless you explore this possibility for yourself, you will remain at the nodding acquaintance stage.

A nodding acquaintance with a truth some Christian wants you to grasp.

Great as that truth is to hear, it needs to be acted upon, in order that you and the person who loves you can get to know each other.

Having entered into a relationship with the Person of Jesus Christ, through the enablement of The Holy Spirit of God in 1970, I am still ‘married’ to Him in the sense that I am part of His church – referred to in scripture as His Bride.

I have experienced His Love in a powerful way. Specifically and tangibly on a number of occasions in an extra-dimensional spiritual way. This is described biblically in the following words:

Romans 8/5

Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.

This is a literal, tangible, spiritually-discernible experience, overwhelming in it’s import and unmistakable in its impact.

Regardless of how much I think I fail to be all Christ wants me to be – His love for me is undeniable.

Firstly because the message He confirmed to mankind – He confirmed to me personally, by allowing me to experience His Agape love. A spiritual experience – as we say – more ‘felt’ than ‘telt’.

But also because He has responded to me, as I to Him, I can now believe in His love. Even if there are times when I may think I am not experiencing it.

You may not have experienced it – but here you are being reminded of it.

Seek to know personally this saviour I speak of. And if you already know Him – I want to remind you too, that He loves you. Seek for a fresh reminder as you pray. I will too 🙂.

Christians all differ, of course, in their personalities, and you will find they often emphasize some aspect of biblical truth that kind of reflects their personality. A truth or truths they warm to, more often than others.

But this is how God tempers the body of Christ (the church members) together. Using our personalities to express differing aspects of the Life of Christ within.

But the greatest demonstration of God’s personality is His love.

Demonstrated at the cross of calvary.

Ask God to take you there and to open your eyes to His love poured out in demonstration on the cross and later poured out on the day of Pentecost.

Ask Him to manifest His love to you in forgiveness and acceptance.

Familiarity breeds…?

Familiarity breeds..?

NB: There is much speculation and differing views theologically regarding the exact connection between Jesus, and those who are referred to in scripture, as his brothers. I hold the view that Mary had a normal married relationship with Joseph giving birth to further children, after the virgin birth of Christ.

Concerning the person of Our Lord Jesus Christ,

we can only speculate how his brothers viewed Him. 

We can only surmise that they all eventually came to the spiritual revelation that He was indeed ‘the only begotten Son of The Living God’.

Literally and ‘metaphorically’ initially his brothers represent all unbelievers (like myself), who then become believers.

We know that one brother named James certainly came to the revelation of who His half-brother really was. It is the same James who wrote the canonical book, or epistle, of James in the New Testament.

If the rest did believe in Jesus as the Christ, it would certainly not have been before a certain time or period in His (Christ’s) manhood.

As they were all younger than He – how they viewed Him in the years that they grew up together, we have no description.

But we are told in the gospel of John:

John 7/5 For even His brothers did not believe in Him.

The old saying: ‘familiarity breeds contempt…’ comes to mind. Although I would imagine ‘contempt’, would be too strong a word.

He performed many miracles. He was moved with compassion for the needy. He supplied food for thousands. He healed the sick, raised the dead, and suffered all kinds of contradictions against Himself. 

Suffering also His brothers spiritual indifference

However we are not certain exactly, how His brothers saw Him as they gazed upon their eldest (half) brother, whilst growing up together as children, seeing Him work with his ‘stepfather’ in His capacity as a carpenter.

We extend the query to His half sisters – how did they view him?

Extending the query further we ask how He was viewed by His local community?

We learn that they did not believe in Him. The few that did – received a miracle of healing!

54 When He had come to His own country, He taught them in their synagogue, so that they were astonished and said, “Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works? 55 Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, [h]Joses, Simon, and Judas? 56 And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?” 57 So they were offended at Him

But Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honour except in his own country and in his own house.” 58 Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.

5 Now He could do no mighty work there, except that He laid His hands on a few sick people and healed them.

His local community was offended by Him. Why?- because (we can safely surmise, they thought): ‘who is this ‘local boy’ that many outside this community are claiming to be someone special?’

We see that they were offended at Jesus, highlighted by the fact that in such a short number of verses we notice there are 6 question marks. Plenty to go around, summing up the consensus of opinion.

No faith – just questions. They had it all figured out – based on His ordinariness – just a man – just a carpenter’s son and so on.

They leaned on their own understanding and ability to figure things out. Even spiritual matters.

Do we realise that the consensus of mankind, means nothing when it comes to accepting Christ as the Son of God? You and I have to make up our own minds, regardless of majority or minority opinion.

Dare we say that the majority of mankind has rejected Him? This fact by no means makes them right. The majority have been wrong before.

The few that did believe, in His local community of rejection – received healing, as a result.

There is no way God wants us to accept sickness. If sickness comes into your life or mine you can own it or reject it.

Even if it doesn’t go away – don’t own it. It is part of the reward of rebellion and disobedience – it is part of the consequences of the fall of mankind. As a Christian you are to receive a full reward, which doesn’t include sickness.

Watch yourselves, so that you do not lose what we have accomplished together, but that you may receive a full and perfect reward [when He grants rewards to faithful believers].

Be careful Christian that you don’t side with the principalities and powers that Christ made an open show of – and over whom He triumphed.

Will we see Jesus Christ through the eyes of his brothers – or through the eyes of faith?

Faith that is convinced by the Word of God that He is the Christ.

Faith that is convinced that His stripes and suffering on calvary and before, represent the total reconciliation of man to God.

If God in Christ took upon Himself the sins of the world, that means He took the penalty of sin, and the fallenness that included resultant sickness.

I Peter 2:

24 who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose [a]stripes you were healed. 

Not blind unquestioning faith – but faith that is convinced by the sharp two-edged sword of God’s Word.

31 What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things? (including present or eternal healing).

Christian or non-Christian do no accept sickness as something that God happily allows. But see it as part of the characteristics of a fallen race.

We see a bunch of folks who did not believe He was the Son of God, and a few that He was – we read the result of so believing – they were healed.

As our minds operate and try to grapple with the contradictions our senses present us with (the old debate about how some get healed and others don’t). 

Let us look away in this to what the Word of God says and hold on to it all.

Proverbs 30/5:

Every word of God is pure; He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.

Matthew 24/35:

Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will by no means pass away.

What is required?

What is REQUIRED?

Nearing the end of last year I organised an Open Forum. I invited various folks – pastors and others to an event where they were invited to share on the subject: What does God require of us?”

This was based on the scripture in (Micah 6/7-9).

He has shown you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?

Each person had an eight minute opportunity to share. And so everyone got to share, before we knew it, the night was gone.

Some came more prepared than others. And I realised I had not made it clear enough that the exhortation through the invitation and theme was to seek God seriously in prayer and wait upon Him for direction.

I was hoping that I would be educated through God’s members of His church and enlightened further, as to how God wants us to respond to the days in which we live.

My own sense of what God requires is/was UNITY. We are assured that God commands a blessing when there is unity – it is good and pleasant, and fruitful.(Psalm 133)

Unfortunately human nature is prone to wander. Human nature is prone to self-righteousness. Human nature is that which must be subdued and harnessed so as not to hinder the ‘unity of The Spirit in the bond of peace’ – This is what the Lord requires. Only as we seek God, pray, and worship etc can the old nature stay ‘under’.

There is unity in error or unity in truth. Unity among thieves, or unity among the saints.

Light has no fellowship with darkness and therefore has no unity with it.

There is political-type unity or spiritual-unity.

Even the devil by dictatorship has unity in his own kingdom of darkness.

Matthew 12:24-26 (NKJV)

24 Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, “This fellow does not cast out demons except by [a]Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons.”

25 But Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them: “Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. 26 If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand?

Division or unity. There cannot be unity at any cost.

Differences of opinion can only be resolved when believers, laying aside their own ‘pet’ opinions, are willing to wait on God for fresh revelation.

Then having heard together from God’s word, after patience and perseverance, they enter into unity as they hear the same thing from The Lord, they fulfil the condition described below:

Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment.

There are degrees of unity amongst believers. There is however, a greater unity that the church falls short of achieving.

And this unity brings the commanded blessing of God. To my ears – that is what we refer to as revival.

Unity must be wrought by the Holy Spirit amongst believers. It is the unity of the Spirit (Eph. 4/3) – as we hear and speak the same thing together.

No one else left me, at the Forum, with a message that went beyond what the opening scripture upon which the forum was called contributed to our understanding:

i.e. But to do justly, To love mercy, And to walk humbly with your God?

Each (esp. Christian) man or women must answer the question individually, regarding what God requires of them. It is more difficult, however, to answer it as the corporate body of Christ.

What He requires of the church – we continue to search for, in order that we may respond correctly and in keeping with Christ’s proclamation: …I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it.

In these days when the church may end-up going ‘underground’ – I want to hear from and be part of the genuine followers of Christ, throughout the world, who find the wisdom of God and respond corporately to His requirements.

As what is coming upon the earth purges and perfects those who have not bowed the knee to Baal, I hope I will know many of the true, the genuine, the wholesome, and the sincere. The true members that make up the bride of Christ, the church of The Living God.

What is your hope?

The Presence of God

The Presence of God

One of the possible problems (it’s ‘kind of’ a nice problem to have) certain preachers of the gospel, or teachers of biblical truth, may have to face, is the fact that others can conclude that they are somehow of a different kind, other than ‘human’-kind.

Paul was looked upon as weak in appearance: “… his bodily presence is weak,”

lest I seem to terrify you by letters. 10 “For his letters,” they say, “are weighty and powerful, but his bodily presence is weak, and his speech contemptible.” 11 Let such a person consider this, that what we are in word by letters when we are absent, such we will also be in deed when we are present.

However his preaching, his letters, and his exhortations to the churches, his spiritual revelation communicated in his epistles were weighty and powerful.

When someone carries that kind of spiritual authority, it is the presence of God that others sense, and as a result sometimes, they can want to run and hide.

We read concerning Peter the Apostle:

And they beckoned unto their partners, which were in the other ship, that they should come and help them. And they came, and filled both the ships, so that they began to sink.

When Simon Peter saw it, he fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.

For he was astonished, and all that were with him, at the draught of the fishes which they had taken:

A great sense of unworthiness at the manifest presence of God (in this case in miracle supply through the Son of God) can take hold of us if we are truly in the Presence of the King of kings, in Peter’s case after a miracle.

Then we read of how Peter was on the receiving end of unusual behaviour, after God had revealed to Cornelius that Peter was chosen by Him to deliver a message.

Cornelius responding to the Revelation of God through a supernaturally given vision in which an angel spoke to him, concluded that Peter was something more than human.

Acts 10:25-27 King James Version (KJV)

25 And as Peter was coming in, Cornelius met him, and fell down at his feet, and worshipped him.

26 But Peter took him up, saying, Stand up; I myself also am a man.

27 And as he talked with him, he went in, and found many that were come together.

“Stand up; I myself also am a man…” was Peter’s correct response. The man was awed by The Presence of God, mistakenly thinking it had something to do with Peter being other than human.

So sometimes when we read the revelation of God in scripture, as written via dictation from God – we don’t know how to respond, it can be overwhelming.

This does not happen every time, but this sense of God’s presence is given that we might know what we stand upon – Christ the rock of revelation!

People can withdraw and feel their unworthiness in the Presence of God, if a preacher happens to carry that Presence.

So it is the Presence of God, that leaves us strangely uneasy, it is not that these ministers, are somehow superior to us. Or are somehow more than mere mortals.

There are other ‘presences’ that are not of the Only Living and True God, – these too can cause us to feel uneasy.

But this is a different experience entirely.

Alas some do not know the difference and end up deceived into following some cult.

Spiritual discernment is a given portion to true Christians. However, even they – can make mistakes, demonstrated in the rebuke of The Lord Jesus to his wrongly discerning disciples: But He turned and rebuked them, and said, “You do not know what manner of spirit you are of. 56 For the Son of Man did not come to destroy men’s lives but to save them.” (Luke 9)

The reality of both the existence of God and the experience of His unseen Presence, is lost because of a veil of unbelief that is over the minds of the unbelieving.

When we turn to Christ opportunity arises for the veil to be lifted and the reality of God to dawn upon the soul and spirit of mankind.

II Corinthians 3/

14 But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ.

In these days of falling away, we can nevertheless be sure that God working all things after the counsel of His own will – will manifest Himself to spiritually hungry hearts. The extent of this manifestation will be determined by The Lord Himself.

There was a time in Samuel the prophet’s day when there was what the scripture refers to as a time of ‘no open vision’. Here is how different bible translations express it:-

And the word of the Lord was precious in those days; there was no open vision.
The word of the Lord was rare and precious in those days; visions [that is, new revelations of divine truth] were not widespread.

In those days the word of the Lord was rare and prophetic visions were not widespread.

Living in such a day not dis-similar to what is described above – what is to be our response?

Well, Samuel was specially chosen to change the situation in as much as he had prophetic revelation, against the tide as it where of it’s absence.

Today the gospel message is sent out to all who will come unto Christ for salvation.

Those who receive Him become part of a priesthood of all believers and all receive this spiritual discernment, and enjoy fellowship with God through Our Lord Jesus Christ.

Even though they still live in an evil society in which there is no spiritual revelation, because of the rejection of the gospel, they are given God’s grace, and He will respond to them, when they come to Him.

Whether they are overwhelmed by the river of God’s Presence or they take a drink of the Water of Life, they belong to The One to whom they yield their lives.

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for Christ’s spiritual reality!

Which message?

Which Message?

Throughout history, messages for their time – have sometimes made a resounding difference to what took place subsequently.

Most of us ‘ordinary’ folks, are not going to make such speeches or write such messages.

One immediately thinks of Martin Luther King. Television has given us snippets of his famous speech, periodically, ever since it was delivered.

As I am not from USA, I hazard a guess that the message means more to Americans than the rest of us. Even though we can appreciate it’s contents, and how historic etc. it was.

Churchill’s famous radio speech(es) during war time, is/are another example.

Perhaps the best speech you have ever heard was when your teacher drew you aside and gave you an exhortation about behavioural matters, or presented you with a different mental outlook than the one you carried up to that point in your young life. You were never the same again.

Maybe a circumstance arose that meant you had no choice but to travel a certain career path, and it led unbeknown to you at the time – to a lucrative lifestyle. And the proverbial ‘haven’t looked back since’ came into play in your life.

Maybe you were going well astray into crime, and a caring policeman went the extra mile in showing you interest and concern. So that through his counsel you found a path to wholesomeness.

A good example was the influence the Preacher Man David Wilkerson made on a young Nicky Cruz. You can read the whole story in the famous book: The Cross and The Switchblade’.

Different deliverers of the message, different content, different times, words in season, when you needed to hear them.

Proverbs 15:23

A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, And a word spoken in due season, how good it is!

Isaiah 50:4

“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.

So is there a word for you in this season? Think of the enormity of the messages flying around the internet. Think of the enormity of the messages being posted as we speak.

Think of the ‘Likes’ you will hit, if you spend time reading posts. Each blog a different message.

Messages, photos, communications, philosophies, religions, teachings on ‘how to’, humour, zaniness, etc. etc.

All come at a certain time, or season.

According to Proverbs 15/23 we can have joy by what we say, by what message we pass on. Even ‘Hello how are you?” Given at the right time to the right person, can help.

In Isaiah the writer tells us that God can actually give teaching to us. Messages from the heart and mind of the Creator, written in the many books compiled into what we have named the bible.

The writer, given the tongue of learning. With the purpose that he should speak the right word at the right time.

Now all we need is a willing heart ready to act on what we have read or heard.

James 1:

22 But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. 23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer…

Cheated

CHEATED (2020)

Colossians 2/

Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;

The above scripture meant a lot to me when I first encountered Christ. (still does).

It showed me clearly that, whether by my own invention or the influence of others who had ‘invented’ before me – I had been cheated and robbed of the answer to life and the after life.

‘Cheating’ can involve fraud or deception.

Deceived into holding on to the theories of mankind, birthed in his own imagination alone.

What Paul describes here as ‘philosophical’, is the fruit of ‘empty deceit’. That which comes out of the very basic principles of the world, the unspiritual, the unaided intellect of man. The outcome being the concealing or misrepresentation of true truth.

The result too, that man is left to his own devices with that which he affirms as being correct having no infallible certainty.

No supreme authority to arbitrate between opinions. Only opinion versus opinion versus opinion.

Beware lest you are cheated from true spiritual reality, beware lest you are cheated and robbed of true-truth, as provided by and in the Person of the Son of God.

Don’t let anyone deceive you, or rob you, or cheat you, from pursuing the source of all wisdom and knowledge.

Proverbs 16:25

There is a way that seems right to a man, But its end is the way of death.

Notice – ‘seems right’. Most of us will stand for something we believe. We affirm most emphatically at times, that we are right.

We are good at this.

But though it seems right. We can be completely wrong because what we conclude and affirm regarding spiritual matters comes out of our fallen intellect.

We are no different than all those who have gone before. We have the same minds used in the same way to ascertain truth.

We think we have dreamt up something completely and totally new, but really it is simply history repeating itself.

Someone, somewhere, before you and I, has come to the same conclusions in keeping with the traditions of men,

We need a higher authority than man to step in and give us something.

Guidance, spiritual revelation, demonstration of Divine Power, only this affirms what is absolute.

All the philosophies that clutter the internet or as it used to be the bookshelves, fall short miserably, if they are [in the words of this telling phrase], of scripture:

…not according to Christ. For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily

We are on sinking sand, with our conclusions outside of the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

Whether you or I like it or not – unless, when it comes to spiritual matters – our conclusions are based on and according to the words of Christ we are cheated, and robbed of what only He can supply.

Strength of Humility

STRENGTH of HUMILITY

Now the scribes and the authors have

given us their words

And man exults in their earthly jive

All – holding out hands to affirm –

‘See there it is… and there you have it’

As though they are uncommonly wise,

Rather than servants of corruption

They accompany their ideas with a smile

But the fairy tale queen in disguise

suckered Snow White

And we too by giving too much import

Will die on sinking sand as we bow to their pride

For no man should offer a full

five-star response – if he is wise

Hold in reserve to realise that

man at his best is vanity

And besides, though catering to your need

Man’s solace ends at that place –

where it is engraved on a stone

No man ever spoke like this man –

that’s a different matter

That’s a different kettle of fish,

He spoke the words of spirit and life

He gave the words to end all strife

Peace that passes all understanding

As He stoops low – going to all lengths

With perfection – compassion and with humility

He shows us – He is The Rock of all strength

Gospel and Distraction

GOSPEL AND DISTRACTION

No one notices their own distracted mind

Lay out the plan from God’s hand

And watch how distraction takes them away

You look them in the eye – (oh preacher man)

And notice they again avoid your gaze

Can’t listen to this’ – their demeanour portrays

‘I half-hear what you say’ body-language reveals

But it’s time again to go astray’

I want you to stick with the programme

And study this through

‘No sorry I have too much to do…’

You cannot grasp that there is a distracting influence?

You say ‘you don’t believe in influences’

Are you influenced – not to believe?

You don’t like being corrected

Which is why you are distracted

The Word must find good ground

Your ground needs fertilised with the gospel sound

But you turn-off the rain

By walking away

Distracted again

for another day