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Monday, 31 March 2008

Some more from Bill

FAITH- Anchored in the Unseen
Bill Johnson
 
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for,
the evidence of things not seen."
 
Faith is the mirror of the heart that reflects the realities of
an unseen world—the actual substance of His Kingdom.
Through the prayer of faith we are able to pull the reality of
His world into this one. That is the function of faith.
 
Faith has its anchor in the unseen realm. It lives from the invisible toward the visible. Faith actualizes what it realizes. The Scriptures contrast the life of faith with the limitations of natural sight. Faith provides eyes for the heart.
 
Jesus expects people to see from the heart. He once called a group of religious leaders hypocrites because they could discern the weather but couldn't discern the times. It's obvious why Jesus would prefer people to recognize the times (spiritual climate and seasons) over natural weather conditions, but it's not quite so apparent why He would consider them hypocrites if they didn't.
 
Many of us have thought that the ability to see into the spiritual realm is more the result of a special gift than an unused potential of everyone. I remind you that Jesus addresses this charge to the Pharisees and Sadducees. The very fact that they, of all people, were required to see is evidence that everyone has been given this ability. They became blind to His dominion because of their own corrupted hearts and were judged for their unfulfilled potential.
 
We are born again by grace through faith. The born again experience enables us to see from the heart. A heart that doesn't see is a hard heart. Faith was never intended only to get us into the family. Rather, it is the nature of life in this family. Faith sees. It brings His Kingdom into focus. All of the Father's resources, all of His benefits, are accessible through faith.
 
To encourage us in our capacity to see, Jesus gave specific instruction, "Seek first the kingdom of God…." Paul taught us, "Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth." He also stated, "For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal."8 The Bible instructs us to turn our attention toward the invisible. This theme is repeated enough in Scripture to make those of us bound by the logic of this Western culture quite nervous.
 
Herein lies the secret to the supernatural realm that we want restored to the Church. Jesus told us that He only did what He saw His Father do. Such an insight is vital for those who want more. The power of His actions, for instance, the mud in the eye of the blind, is rooted in His ability to see.
 
WORSHIP AND THE SCHOOL OF FAITH

God is very committed to teaching us how to see. To make this possible He gave us the Holy Spirit as a tutor. The curriculum that He uses is quite varied. But the one class we all qualify for is the greatest of all Christian privileges—worship. Learning how to see is not the purpose for our worship, but it is a wonderful by-product.
 
Those who worship in spirit and truth, as mentioned in John 4:23-24, learn to follow the Holy Spirit's lead. His realm is called the kingdom of God. The throne of God, which becomes established upon the praises of His people,9 is the center of that Kingdom. It's in the environment of worship that we learn things that go way beyond what our intellect can grasp10—and the greatest of these lessons is the value of His Presence. David was so affected by this that all his other exploits pale in comparison to his abandoned heart for God. We know that he learned to see into God's realm because of statements like, "I have set the Lord always before me; because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved." 11 The Presence of God affected his seeing. He would constantly practice recognizing the Presence of God. He saw God daily, not with the natural eyes, but with the eyes of faith. That priceless revelation was given to a worshiper.
 
The privilege of worship is a good beginning place for those unaccustomed to addressing some of these kinds of themes found in Scripture. It's in that wonderful ministry that we can learn to pay attention to this God-given gift: the ability to see with the heart. As we learn to worship with purity of heart, our eyes will continue to open. And we can expect to see what He wants us to see.
 
SEEING THE INVISIBLE
 
The invisible realm is superior to the natural. The reality of that invisible world dominates the natural world we live in…both positively and negatively. Because the invisible is superior to the natural, faith is anchored in the unseen.
 
Faith lives within the revealed will of God. When I have misconceptions of who He is and what He is like, my faith is restricted by those misconceptions. For example, if I believe that God allows sickness in order to build character, I'll not have confidence praying in most situations where healing is needed. But, if I believe that sickness is to the body what sin is to the soul, then no disease will intimidate me. Faith is much more free to develop when we truly see the heart of God as good.

The same misconceptions of God affect those who need to have faith for their own miracle. A woman who needed a miracle once told me that she felt God had allowed her sickness for a purpose. I told her that if I treated my children that way I'd be arrested for child abuse. She agreed and eventually allowed me to pray for her. After truth came into her heart, her healing came minutes later.
 
Unbelief is anchored in what is visible or reasonable apart from God. It honors the natural realm as superior to the invisible. The apostle Paul states that what you can see is temporal, and what you can't see is eternal.12 Unbelief is faith in the inferior.
 
The natural realm is the anchor of unbelief. But that realm is not to be considered as evil. Rather the humble of heart recognize the hand of God through what is seen. God has created all things to speak of Him—whether it is rivers and trees, or angels and heaven. The natural realm carries the witness of His greatness…for those with eyes to see and ears to hear.13
 
REALIST/MATERIALIST
 
Most all of the people that I've known who are filled with unbelief have called themselves realists. This is an honest evaluation, but not one to be proud of. Those kinds of realists believe more in what is visible than they do in what they can't see. Put another way, they believe the material world rules over the spiritual world.

Materialism has been thought simply to be the accumulation of goods. Although it includes that, it is much more. I can own nothing and still be materialistic. I can want nothing and be materialistic because materialism is faith in the natural as the superior reality.

We are a sensual society with a culture shaped by what is picked up through the senses. We're trained to believe only in what we see. Real faith is not living in denial of the natural realm. If the doctor says you have a tumor, it's silly to pretend that it's not there. That's not faith. However, faith is founded on a reality that is superior to that tumor. I can acknowledge the existence of a tumor and still have faith in the provision of His stripes for my healing…I was provisionally healed 2,000 years ago. It is the product of the kingdom of heaven—a superior reality. There are no tumors in heaven, and faith brings that reality into this one.

Would satan like to inflict heaven with cancer? Of course he would. But he has no dominion there. He only has dominion here when and where man has come into agreement.

LIVING IN DENIAL
 
Fear of appearing to live in denial is what keeps many from faith. Why is what anyone thinks so important to you that you'd not be willing to risk all to trust God? The fear of man is very strongly associated with unbelief. Conversely, the fear of God and faith are very closely related.

People of faith are also realists. They just have their foundation in a superior reality.

Unbelief is actually faith in something other than God. He is jealous over our hearts. The one whose primary trust is in another grieves the Holy Spirit.
 
IT'S NOT IN THE HEAD
 
Faith is born of the Spirit in the hearts of mankind. Faith is neither intellectual nor anti-intellectual. It is superior to the intellect. The Bible does not say, with the mind man believes! Through faith, man is able to come into agreement with the mind of God.

When we submit the things of God to the mind of man, unbelief and religion14 are the results. When we submit the mind of man to the things of God, we end up with faith and a renewed mind. The mind makes a wonderful servant, but a terrible master.

Much of the opposition to revival comes from soul-driven Christians.15 The apostle Paul calls them carnal. They have not learned how to be led by the Spirit. Anything that doesn't make sense to their rational mind is automatically in conflict with Scripture. This way of thinking is accepted all throughout the Church in Western civilization, which should explain why our God so often looks just like us.
 
Most of the goals of the modern church can be accomplished without God. All we need is people, money, and a common objective. Determination can achieve great things. But success is not necessarily a sign that the goal was from God. Little exists in church life to ensure that we are being directed and empowered by the Holy Spirit. Returning to the ministry of Jesus is the only insurance we have of accomplishing such a goal.

FAITH FROM A RELATIONSHIP
 
The Holy Spirit lives in my spirit. That is the place of communion with God. As we learn to receive from our spirits we learn how to be Spirit led.

"By faith, we understand."16 Faith is the foundation for all true intellectualism. When we learn to learn that way, we open ourselves up to grow in true faith because faith does not require understanding to function.

I'm sure that most of you have had this experience—you've been reading the Bible, and a verse jumps out at you. There is great excitement over this verse that seems to give so much life and encouragement to you. Yet initially you couldn't teach or explain that verse if your life depended on it. What happened is this: Your spirit received the life-giving power of the word from the Holy Spirit.17 When we learn to receive from our spirit, our mind becomes the student and is therefore subject to the Holy Spirit. Through the process of revelation and experience our mind eventually obtains understanding. That is biblical learning—the spirit giving influence to the mind.

FAITH IS BOTH SUBSTANCE AND EVIDENCE
 
"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."18

Faith is the mirror of the heart that reflects the realities of His world into ours. It is the substance of the unseen realm. This wonderful gift from God is the initial earthly manifestation of what exists in His Kingdom. It is a testimony of an invisible realm called the Kingdom of God. Through prayer we are able to pull that reality into this one—that is how faith functions.

If I go into the local pizza parlor and order a pizza, they will give me a number and a receipt. I am to place that number in a conspicuous place on the table. Someone may walk in off the street and come to my table and announce that they won't give me any pizza. I'll just point to the number and tell him, When pizza number 52 is done, it's mine! That number is the substance of the pizza hoped for. If that guy tells me that my number isn't any good, I'll point to my receipt. It verifies the value of the number. When my pizza is done, the waiter will walk around looking for my number. How does the product of heaven know where to land? He looks for the substance…the number. If a question comes up over the validity of my number, my receipt, which is contained in the Bible, verifies my right to both the number and the pizza.

Heaven is not moved simply by the needs of man. It's not that God doesn't care. It was out of His great compassion that He sent Jesus. When God is moved by human need He seldom fixes the problem outright; instead, He provides Kingdom principles that when embraced correct the problems. If God was moved solely by human need then countries like India and Haiti would become the wealthiest nations in the world. It doesn't work like that. Heaven is moved by faith. Faith is the currency of heaven.
 
THE SOURCE OF FAITH
 
"Faith comes by hearing…."19 It does not say that it comes from having heard. It is the listening heart, in the present tense, that is ready for heaven's deposit of faith. Abraham heard God tell him to sacrifice his son Isaac.20 When he drew back the sword to slay his son the Lord spoke again. This time He told Abraham that the test was over and that he passed—he was not to sacrifice his son. Had he only done what God had said he would have killed his son. Hearing now is a key to faith.

The apostle Paul was driven by the command, "Go into all the world and preach the gospel…."21 However, when he was ready to preach the gospel in Asia,22 God said no. What God had said appeared to be in conflict with what God was saying.23 Paul then prepared to go to Bithynia. Again, God said no. Following this Paul had a dream of a man calling out to him from Macedonia. This was recognized as the will of God, and they went.

Even though we may know the will of God from Scripture, we still need the Holy Spirit to help us with the interpretation, application, and empowerment to perform His will.

FEARFULNESS
 
The biblical command repeated most often is: Do not fear. Why? Fear attacks the foundation of our relationship with God…our faith. Fear is faith in the devil; it is also called unbelief. Jesus would ask His fearful disciples, "Why are you so faithless?" because fearfulness is the same as faithlessness. Fear and faith cannot coexist—they work against each other.

The devil is called Beelzebub, which means, lord of the flies. He and his hosts are attracted to decay. We once had a freezer in a building detached from our house. One Sunday we came home from church only to be hit with a wall of smell that is unfortunately hard to forget. I realized in an instant what had happened. Our freezer had died. I thought the stench I had smelled for days was because my boys forgot to take all of the trash to the dump. Instead it was the ever-rotting meat and bear hide in the freezer.

From the front seat of my car I looked at the window of the shop about 40 feet away. It was black with flies…a number that is still hard to imagine these many years later. The freezer was filled with all sorts of meat. Flies found a happy breeding ground in spoiled flesh and were multiplying in unbelievable numbers. Both the meat and the freezer were taken to the dump.

Issues such as bitterness, jealousy, and hatred qualify as the decay of the heart that invites the devil to come and give influence24—yes, even to Christians. Remember Paul's admonition to the church of Ephesus, "Neither give place to the devil."25 Fear is also a decay of the heart. It attracts the demonic in the same way as bitterness and hatred. How did the flies know where my freezer was? Through the scent of decaying meat. Fear gives off a similar scent. Like faith, fear is substance in the spiritual realm. Satan has no power except through our agreement. Fear becomes our heart's response when we come into agreement with his intimidating suggestions.

REACT OR RESPOND
 
Many who have feared the excesses made by others in the name of faith have ironically embraced unbelief. Reaction to error usually produces error. Response to truth always wins out over those who react to error. Some people would have no belief system were it not for the error of others. Their thoughts and teachings are the antithesis of what others believe and practice. As a result those who strive for balance become anemic. The word balance has come to mean middle of the road—of no threat to people or the devil, with little risk, and above all…the best way to keep our nice image intact.

The Church warns its members about the great sin of presumption. God warns us of the sin of unbelief. Jesus didn't say, When I return will I find people who are excessive and presumptuous? He was concerned about finding people with faith, the kind He displayed. While we often huddle in groups of like-minded people, those with faith blaze a trail that threatens all of our comfort zones. Faith offends the stationary.

People of great faith are hard to live with. Their reasoning is otherworldly. My grandfather, a pastor, sat under the ministry of several great men and women of God of the early 1900s. He used to tell me how not everyone liked Smith Wigglesworth. His faith made other people feel uncomfortable. We either become like them or we avoid them. We find their lifestyle either contagious or offensive with little neutral ground. Smith is well loved today…but it's only because he's dead. Israel loved their dead prophets too.

There's something amazing about unbelief—it is able to fulfill its own expectations. Unbelief is safe because it takes no risk and almost always gets what it expects. Then, after a person gets the answer for their unbelief, they can say, I told you so.

A SUPERIOR REALITY
 
My faith is not just an abiding faith; it is active. It is aggressive by nature. It has focus and purpose. Faith grabs hold of the reality of the Kingdom and forcefully and violently brings it into a collision with this natural one. An inferior kingdom cannot stand.

One of the more common things people tell me when I'm about to pray for their healing is, I know God can do it. So does the devil. At best that is hope…not faith. Faith knows He will.

For one who has faith, there is nothing impossible. There are no impossibilities when there is faith…and there are no exceptions.

Sheri, for instance, came forward for prayer after a wonderful meeting just outside of Nashville, Tennessee. She had suffered with Lupus for 24 years, the last four of which had gone into Pulmonary Hypertension. It had gotten so bad that she had to have an aluminum shunt placed into her heart. To this a pump was attached, which supplied the needed medication to keep her alive. Her doctor told her that without this medication she could live for only three minutes.

When she walked up to me, I actually felt a presence of something I had never felt in that measure before. It was faith. I actually stood back and stared at her for a few moments realizing that I was seeing something completely new for me. As she received prayer, she fell to the ground under the power of God. When she got up I asked her how she was doing. She described a heat that was on her chest. (Heat often accompanies God's healing touch.) As she left I told her, your faith got you this one!

That was Saturday night. At 7 a.m. that following morning the Lord spoke to her saying she didn't need the medication any more.26 So she removed it. She showed up 14 hours later giving testimony of God's wonderful healing power.

She has since had the aluminum shunt removed—she doesn't need it anymore!

EARS TO HEAR
 
"So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Notice it does not say, faith comes from having heard. The whole nature of faith implies a relationship with God that is current. The emphasis is on hearing…in the now! In Genesis God told Abraham to sacrifice Isaac. As Abraham raised the knife to slay his son God spoke again. This time He told him not to slay his son, as he had passed the test of being willing to do anything for God. It's a good thing that Abraham's only connection with God was not just over what was said, but was based upon what He was saying!

ANSWERS FOR LIFE'S IMPOSSIBILITIES
 
What this world needs is for the Church to return to a show and tell message on the kingdom of God. They need an anchor that is greater than everything they can see. The world system has no answers to the world's increasing problems—every solution is only temporary.

Dale came to my office to confess sin. He lived quite some distance from my city, but because he had deceived us out of some money, he felt the need to come and confess in person. After I expressed both God's and my forgiveness, I asked him about his back. He had walked into my office with difficulty and was obviously in great pain. He lifted his shirt to show me two scars that ran on each side of the spine the full length. He had broken his back some years earlier and had recently been in a car accident that further aggravated his injury. He then told me that God would probably like to heal him, but that he just got in His way. I told him he wasn't big enough. All I could picture was the greatness of God and the puny condition of man. He looked at me with a stunned look on his face. I went on to explain that God was really big and could pretty much do as He pleased. Although Dale didn't move into great faith, he did begin to doubt his doubt. That was all it took. I laid hands on his back and invited the Holy Spirit to come and give His gift of healing. I then commanded it to be healed. He bent over, placing his hands flat on the floor, saying, I can't do that! He proceeded to do it over and over again, each time declaring, I can't do that! He left pain-free with full movement and a heart full of praise. This was a man who could barely walk only moments before.

Faith is not the absence of doubt; it's the presence of belief. I may not always feel that I have great faith. But I can always obey, laying my hands on someone and praying. It's a mistake for me to ever examine my faith. I seldom find it. It's better for me to obey quickly. After it's over I can look back and see that my obedience came from faith.

THE CLUSTER BOMB EFFECT
 
When the corporate level of faith grows, it has what I call a cluster bomb effect, where innocent bystanders get touched by the miracle-working power of God.

Francis is a woman who had esophagus cancer. One Sunday morning during worship she leaned over to her husband and said, "I was just healed!" She felt the fire of God touch her hands and concluded that it represented God's healing touch. When she went to the doctor she told him of her experience. His response was, "This kind does not go away." After examining her he stated, "Not only do you not have cancer, you have a new esophagus!"

Corporate faith pulls on heaven in marvelous ways. His world becomes manifest all around us.

Sharon had suffered an accident many years ago in which she had destroyed a tendon that ran down her leg. It left her with restricted movement and partial numbness in her foot. I was giving an altar call for people to get right with God during one of our Saturday night meetings. She began to make all kinds of noise. I stopped the altar call and asked her what happened. She told us of the tingling feeling that ran down her leg and the subsequent restoration of all movement and feeling to her foot. A creative miracle happened without anyone praying.

The crowd at this particular meeting was quite small. But power is not in the number of people in attendance. It's the number of people in agreement. Exponential power is the product of the unity of faith.

In some meetings it's easy to mistake enthusiasm for faith. In that setting I emphasize the use of testimonies to stir peoples' hearts to believe for the impossible so He might invade.

MORE THAN BEING LOUD
 
Just as fear is a tangible element in the spirit world, so faith is tangible there. In the natural a loud voice may intimidate another man. But devils know the difference between the one who is truly bold and aggressive because of their faith, and the one who is simply covering his fears with aggressive behavior. Christians often use this tactic when casting out devils. Many of us have yelled threats, called on angels for help, promised to make it harder on the demons on Judgment Day, and other foolish things only to try and cover immature fear. Real faith is anchored in the invisible realm and is connected to the authority given in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The authority to cast out demons is found in rest. Rest is the climate that faith grows in. It comes out of the peace of God. And it is the Prince of Peace who will soon crush satan underneath our feet!30 What is restful for us is violent to the powers of hell. That is the violent nature of faith.

This is not to be a soulish attempt at self-confidence or self-determination. Instead it is a moving of the heart into a place of surrender…a place of rest. A surrendered heart is a heart of faith. And faith must be present to please God.
 

VIOLENCE AND FAITH
 
"Until now the kingdom of heaven suffers violence, and the violent take it by force."
 
Two blind men who sat by the road called out to Jesus. People told them to be quiet. That only hardened their determination. They became more desperate and cried out all the louder. He called them forth and healed them saying, "The kingdom has come near you." He attributed their miracle to their faith.

A woman who had hemorrhaged for 12 years pressed through a crowd. When she was finally able to touch the garment of Jesus, she was healed. He attributed it to her faith.

The stories of this kind are many, all with similar endings—they were healed or delivered because of their faith. Faith may quietly press in, or it may cry out very loudly, but it is always violent in the spirit world. It grabs hold of an invisible reality and won't let go. Taking the Kingdom by faith is the violent act that is necessary to come into what God has made available.

FAITH EMPOWERS
 
An automobile may have several hundred horsepower. But the car will go nowhere until the clutch is released, connecting the power contained in the running motor and transferring that power to the wheels. So it is with faith. We have all the power of heaven behind us. But it is our faith that connects what is available to the circumstances at hand. Faith takes what is available and makes it actual.

It's not illegal to try to grow in faith. It's not wrong to seek for signs and the increase of miracles. Those are all within the rights of the believer. But learning how to pray is the task at hand. It is the only thing the disciples asked Jesus to teach them. And so we will examine His Model Prayer for insights on His view of prayer and the release of His dominion.
 
 

Sunday, 30 March 2008

Something from Bill

Apostolic Teams
By Bill Johnson

For centuries the people of God have gathered together around specific truths. Denominations and organizations have been formed to unite these groups of believers. Having common belief systems<!--[if !supportFootnotes]-->1 has helped to build unity within particular groups and define their purpose. Historically these groups were formed from people who were usually newly saved, or were asked to leave whatever denomination they were previously a part of.
 
Unity based on common doctrines has a measure of success. But there is an inherent problem with this approach – unity of this nature is based upon uniformity. When God is saying something new,2 those who are listening are usually asked by their leaders to leave the group they were a part of.3 Their newfound convictions and beliefs are considered threatening and divisive. If the whole group doesn't move in step with what God is saying, there will be a break in fellowship. When agreement in nonessential beliefs are considered necessary for fellowship, then division is natural and to be expected. While doctrine is vitally important it is not a strong enough foundation to bear the weight of His glory that is about to be revealed through true unity.
 
Change is in the Air
 
There are major changes in the "wind" right now. For the last several years people have started to gather around fathers instead of doctrine. In the natural, it would be easy to imagine a father with two very different children – one politically liberal and the other conservative. While discussions would probably be quite lively at the evening meal, they would not bring an end to the family. Gathering around fathers gives a stability that enables people to endure differences in opinion without falling under the influence of the spirit of offense. Fathers bring an element of peace that is impossible without them.
 
Spiritual Fathers
 
Apostles are first and foremost fathers by nature. True fathers continually make choices for the wellbeing of their children with little thought to personal sacrifice. They are not jealous when their children succeed, but instead are overjoyed because of those successes. It is normal for a father to desire his children to surpass him in every way. Brothers compete, fathers do not.
 
In the same way that a father and mother are to bring stability to a home, so the apostles and prophets are the stability of the church. The Apostle Paul calls them the church's foundation.4 Good foundations bring stability. The concept of team ministry starts with these two. Stability is the primary fruit of the ministry of the apostolic team.
 
Team Makeup
 
Apostolic teams are not necessarily made up of just apostles and prophets. They are a group of people that carry the 'family mission' without selfish agendas. They are sent by their leadership, and entrusted with delegated authority to establish God's rule in their realm of experience and expertise. When they go with that heart they carry an apostolic anointing because they function under the umbrella of the apostles authority.
 
We can't be co-missioned until we're in sub-mission to the primary mission. This is true of every believer before God. But it is especially true of apostolic teams. Setting aside personal agendas is a big part of the success of team ministry. Many teams have failed in their mission because of an individual who wanted his/her gift or opinion to be recognized.
 
Measure of Rule
 
A big misunderstanding occurs when apostles think they have the same measure of authority in every geographical location. When Paul went to Jerusalem to participate in the first Apostolic Council,5 he submitted his experiences to the other apostles who had also gathered there. It wasn't until James, the apostle in Jerusalem, spoke, that there were any conclusions. A true apostle carries their apostolic authority wherever they go, but it is foolish for him to not recognize local authority. The same is true with apostolic teams. It is their respect for the local church and the biblical authority that helps them to serve effectively.
 
Authority, like favor, is for the benefit of others. It is not a title to help in building ones own self-esteem, and is never for personal gain. For that reason the Apostle is at the 'bottom of the stack' . . . the 'least of all'. The title simply recognizes function. And that function is to make others better and more complete in their walk with the Lord.
 
The Purpose of the Title
 
Throughout history there have been many ordinary individuals who have become desperate for God in unusual ways, and have sought God with reckless abandon. The encounters they had with God made them appear extraordinary. Their breakthrough made them household names with remarkable gifts and ministries. But when God gives someone an unusual gift, it is never for the purpose of acquiring admiration and fame, or even drawing big crowds. Those things are normal byproducts, but they are not the purpose. The place of favor that one gets as a result of God's unusual touch on their lives is a God given position to equip others. It is God's heart to take those high points of human experience in the man or woman of God and make them the new norm for the believer. Equipping the saints becomes the focus of true fathers.
 
The Spirit of Revelation
 
One of the things that helped to keep the early church strong and healthy was their continual devotion to the apostle's doctrine.6 However, you'll notice that there is no mention of a list of beliefs that the Bible declares to be the official record of important doctrines. It is safe to say the "apostles doctrine" is referring to something other than a specific list. Peter understood this when he exhorted the church concerning 'present truth'.7 That phrase is to direct our attention to that which the Lord is emphasizing for this season. That is the apostle's doctrine. The word coming from apostles is to bring clarification of the Father's focus for the church, and in turn strengthen our resolve to His purposes. Fresh revelation carries fresh fire, which helps us to maintain the much needed fire in our souls.
 
Apostles carry a blueprint in their hearts concerning the church and God's purposes on the earth. They are used to bring fresh revelation to the church. Apostolic teams are sent to represent their spiritual father, and carry the word that has been entrusted to their 'tribe'. They help bring an understanding and establish an order needed in the particular location they were sent to.
 
The Need for Others
 
God never gives the whole picture of His plan for the church to one father/apostle, or even to one tribe. Scriptures declare that "we" have the mind of Christ,8 not "I". Dependence upon the whole is essential for us to grow up in a way that pleases Christ. As the various "tribes" learn to work together we will see a more complete picture of the Father's intent for planet earth.
 
The revelation carried by Apostles and the five-fold ministry will result in a church coming to a common knowledge of the Son of God.9 Much division presently exists in this area. He is our common focus. A study of the scriptures without the Holy Spirit giving understanding creates much religious conflict. Division exists because people are committed to different levels of truth that appear contradictory. Fathers are necessary to sort these things out. Variety, without uniformity, is important. These teams carry revelation to help the church to live out of a common revelation of Jesus – who He is, and who we are because of Him. God's aim is to fulfill His word in John 4:17 - "As He is, so are we in this world." We are to become like the Jesus revealed in Revelation chapter one – resurrected and glorified. We are not headed for the cross – we live 'from' the cross. Apostolic revelation has that in mind.
 
The Day of Power
 
One of the more notable prophets of our day recently told me that he wouldn't be able to come into all that God had created him for until the apostles came forth to their appointed place. The apostles help release the prophet into their destiny, and visa versa. In a sense they complete each other.
 
Apostolic order without apostolic power is to be questioned. Order based on biblical principle that is lacking biblical power is tragic at best, and deceptive at worst. Order does not exist unto itself. The wineskin exists for the wine. The wine is the focus. All order exists to house God Himself – not to restrict Him, but to accurately express Him. Wineskins need to flex in order to be useful, because of the expanding nature of the wine in the fermenting process. The Holy Spirit brings constant change, and to house Him means to embrace flexibility as a way of life. The goal is not to create a perfect structure or government. It is to create one that recognizes Him, and flexes with His changes.
 
Last Days Assignment
 
All of this serves one purpose – Jesus is returning for a bride. For this to happen the harvest must be brought in, and must be "cleaned." He's not returning for a bride that He has to heal up and put together like a puzzle in heaven. He is returning for a bride whose body is in equal proportion to her head, and whose parts work together in coordination. It's called a "glorious church, without spot or wrinkle"10 in scripture. Anything less is an illegitimate vision.
 
The bride is to make herself ready for that day.11 As Larry Randolph puts it, "it is a perversion to think that Jesus will dress the bride before the wedding." Our assignment is clear, and the gifts are in place. And they are all expressions of Jesus Himself. But they are simple in purpose. Re-present Jesus to the world!
 
The fire of God must rest in the souls of men. Christians without passion are almost as great a mystery as Christians without purpose. Apostolic teams carry fresh fire with divine purpose. They enlist men and women to God's dream, and in the process the church steps into her destiny.

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1 There are three basic levels of biblical doctrine. 1. There are doctrines that are essential to the Christian faith – For example, Jesus is the eternal Son of God. 2. Then there are doctrines that are important, but not essential – For example, how we use the gifts of the Spirit in a church service. 3. And finally, there are doctrines that are good but not essential – For example, the exact nature and timing of Christ's return.
 
2 This is never in addition to scriptures. Instead He unveils what is already there.
 
3 This is far from an absolute rule, as many leaders are in tune to what God is saying. However, some are more concerned with preserving past accomplishments over and above the advancement of the kingdom. This creates a weakness that tends to miss God's present word
 
4 Ephesians 2:20
 
5 Acts 15
 
6 Acts 2:42
 
7 2 Peter 1:12
 
8 1 Corinthians 2:6
 
9 Ephesians 4:
 
10 Ephesians 5:27
 
11 Revelation 19:7

Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Love Louisa...(25Mar08)

Hi Everyone,

Over the last while I have been thinking about being accepted by God. What an amazing concept!

It all started when I received a scripture from a woman at a ladies camp last year. At the beginning of the weekend away, we were all urged to pick a name out of the hat and pray for and find a scripture or some prophetic insight for that person.

At the end of the weekend an older new Christian, who had been praying for me, apologetically gave me Song of Solomon's 2:3. All I want is to sit in His shade, to taste and savor His delicious love. He took me home with Him for a festive meal, but His eyes feasted on me! I glanced at it thanked her thought that's great and didn't really think of it again, until recently. Little did she know how significant it would become to me. Now I often think of it and experience with amazing reality just that, Jesus seeking me out to catch my eye and look approvingly and lovingly at me!

Could this be real or is it just wishful thinking? It's very rare to be unconditionally accepted by anyone. The only times maybe is when we're babies and when we fall in love. Notice how new parents gaze lovingly at their darling babies who are perfect in every way and can do no wrong. And those newly in love, it's lovely to watch. All that loving acceptance and delight in one another. But how long does that last? Soon certain expectations have to be met and disappointments creep in. Fortunately in most cases love is enough to keep relationships strong but unconditional acceptance is long gone.

Is it the same with God? Does He accept us unconditionally in the beginning of our relationship and then expect certain things from me for me to be accepted. Or is His acceptance unconditional too?

I looked up scriptures pertaining to being accepted by God and found, in the Old Testament being accepted by God is conditional on what I do to please God (works) or someone else, like a priest or leader, offering a sacrifice on my behalf to make me acceptable to God. Exodus 28:38, Ezekiel 20:40 and Job 42:9.

But in the New Testament acceptance by God is linked to me accepting what Jesus Christ did for me. Ephesians 1:3-8 and 13-14 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For He chose us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will-to the praise of His glorious grace, which He has freely given us in the One He loves. In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God's grace the He lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation. Having believed, you were marked in Him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God's possession-to the praise of His glory.

WHAT ACCEPTANCE!!!!

I don't know about you, but I do much better around those who love and accept me. The Message Bible puts it this way in Colossians 1: You yourselves are a case study of what He does. At one time you all had your backs turned to God, thinking rebellious thoughts of Him, giving Him trouble every chance you got. But now, by giving Himself completely at the cross, actually dying for you, Christ brought you over to God's side and put your lives together, whole and holy in His presence. You don't walk away from a gift like that! You stay grounded and steady in that bond of trust, constantly in to the Message, careful not to be distracted or diverted.

It's so freeing to know that I'm acceptable to God no matter what. This frees me to want to do what pleases God.

I asked God for confirmation of this unconditional acceptance, because sometimes head knowledge isn't enough personal experience is great too. At a meeting I attended recently where we were worshiping and connecting with God, I saw a sign being placed on the heads of all those there that said "Accepted by God", almost like a SABS stamp of approval, only much, much better! It did something for me knowing that I'm walking around with God's stamp of approval on me for the entire world to see!

And now having God seek me out, I often feel His loving eye on me, I see the love He has for me streaming out of His eyes, and I know I am more than just acceptable to Him. He loves and approves of me. He's pleased with me. What more can I say accept that the same goes for you too!

Lots of love

Louisa

 

Quote from Bill Johnson

Testimony and Miracles

One of the fun thing about getting a renewed mind, and the Lord is working on that in all of us every day, is that you learn to see different.
The Bible says "Unless you are born again, you can not see the Kingdom".
Your conversion gave you the capacity to see.
What a renewed mind does is it allows us to see from divine perspective. What that means is, is that we start valuing what He values. For example, if I give a testimony of some body being healed of a certain problem. That testimony carries prophetic anointing that changes the atmosphere, that actually makes that miracle ready for God to duplicate again.
Now we have seen this, I mentioned it last night, perhaps this morning, I don't recall. But we have seen this many, many times.
What is needed by the people of God. It is needed by us to see the atmospheric shift, so that we can cooperate with the Holy Spirit as this happens.
It does not mean you see flashes of light with your eyes. It does not mean that. It means that we learn to see from our heart of hearts because it is your heart, your spirit man that discerns the moves of the Spirit of God. The natural man doesn't. The natural man is incapable of following after God but the spirit man, that place where the Holy Spirit resides in you, is very in tune to the working of the Spirit.
So what is needed for us, is to value what He values. He values things like testimony because atmospheric shift takes place. If we don't recognize that, we don't know when to step into the moment of our miracle. We don't know when the water is stirring to step into the waters for that miracle.
The word repent means to go back. Pent, penthouse, top floor of a building. Go back to God's perspective on reality.
That is the issue. "Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand". Change the way you think, come into divine perspective on reality and live from that place.
 
By Bill Johnson from "When Heaven invades earth 5" available from their podcast on at
 

Sunday, 23 March 2008

Wyane's World...(23Mar08)

Who are we, and where are we?
 
I'm reading a book by Michael Eaton..."living Under Grace"..It's preaches through Romans 6-7:25..awesome.
 
Here is a quote i really enjoyed..page 58
 
"Romans 6:11 is the first command in the letter. In Romans 6, Paul begins with the facts. He does not rush to tell us what to do. We are not ready to be told what to do, until we know who and where we are. We are the children of Christ, we are risen with Christ. It is only when we have grasped hold of these things, that Paul will then tell us to deal with sin...
 
Often people rush to urge men and woman to live good lives. But Paul does not do that. He is not simply telling people to live godly lives. He first shows them the basis of their doing so. He wants us to see our position in Jesus first. We shall never live a godly life unless we are rejoicing. The joy of the Lord is our strength. Any kind of discouragement will be our weakness.
The secret of holiness is to come at it indirectly. If you walk up to the high demands of God and simply try to reach up to them you will fail miserably. No! Go back to the position you are in first. See that you have died to sin. See that sin is not "in you", it's simply "the body of sin". You have "died to sin", and see that you are "alive to God"." Michael Eaton
 
We are not ready to be told what to do, until we know who and where we are. We are the children of Christ, we are risen with Christ.
 
Today I want to look at what Jesus experience with the cross bought us, or more specifically what it bought Him.
 
Before I do that I would like to read you a poem that I wrote.
 
Were pointed to the preferable future,
It stirs our longing and desire.
Were pointed to who we should be,
Motivated and stirred.
Hearing often, continuously, without ceasing,
Making every effort, trying to be pleasing.
If I only I can reach the mountain top,
I'll be able to walk it out then.
I see the goal.
I sense the prize.
How can I obtain it?
To God I cry!
Principles preached, but no power my son.
Drink of my Spirit deep, and with my love run.
You cannot do it you can not taste.
Unless you have my spirit, it's all a waste.
By Wayne Duncan
 
So much of what we hear today is principles preached but without a demonstration of the Spirits power. Today we are going to allow God to demonstrate His power. We are going to allow His glorious and powerful Spirit to confirm and seal this word on our hearts. These are not just some cute religious principles around Jesus and the cross. The cross is the most powerful message on the planet today. It contains all the fullness of the wisdom, love grace and power of the living God. Even as I preach this word, simply and clearly, let Gods spirit touch and teach you.
 
Colossians 2V13 When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. 15And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross. 16Therefore do not let anyone judge you by what you eat or drink, or with regard to a religious festival, a New Moon celebration or a Sabbath day. 17These are a shadow of the things that were to come; the reality, however, is found in Christ.
 
We're looking at where we were, what he did and where we are now.
 
1.     So where were we? 
We were lost. We were impure. We were controlled by our sinful nature.
 
In one place the bible says "we were dead in our sins".
What a wretched and distressed place to be, the place without God. Not knowing his love, his forgiveness, his tenderness, and not having or knowing all that is available to those who believe.
 
Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me, we were wretches. Lost, blind deaf, doff and dead.
But praise God, we see that
 
Romans 5v8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
 
This amazing truth, while we were still sinners, separated from God. He loved us.
 
Friends there may even be someone here that in not reconciled with God. My friend, you don't have to leave here today without being made right with God. God loves you, right here right now. You come to Him as you are and He makes you well. He came for the sick, not for the healthy. Come as you are and He will never turn you away, not now not ever.
 
So where were we? We were dead, blind, lost cut off from God.
 
2. What did he do?
God spoke to the Israelites and said if you fully obey all the law, you will be holy and perfect. In this holy perfect state you can approach God. Then you can be one with God.
 
The problem with this law is that is was the perfect standard of God. It required a life that God would live, if He were here. And for forgiveness of sins there was a complicated set of rules concerning  sacrifices and the shedding of blood. It was a cruel hopeless state designed to make people cry out for a savior. It was a shadow, the reality however is found in Christ.
 
Jesus came, He lived a perfect life without sin. He fulfilled every letter of the law. Then He made Himself a sacrifice for our sin, by the shedding of his blood.
 
He perfectly fulfilled the law, so we don't have to.
 
He died, so we can live forever.
 
As one scripture says "God made him who know no sin, to become some, so that we might become the righteousness of God."
 
This is deeply profound. Through Jesus we are as righteous as Jesus. In other words when God looks at you, He sees what Jesus did, and sees and treats you like He does Jesus. He sees us without sin, perfect, just as if we had always obeyed everything, like Jesus did.
 
With this sacrifice came an open door into the throne room of God. This means that all obstacles are removed and we can come boldly to his throne of grace, at any time. At any time we can burst into the Fathers inner chambers and run and jump on His lap, at any time. And He does not mind, in-fact He loves it, that why Jesus died, so we can be one with God.
 
The best way to describe this is that He made us His children…sons and daughters. One blood, one family. Royalty, and heirs and co-heirs to everything in the kingdom.
 
Which brings us to number 3
 
3. Where are we now?
 
Ephesians 2V6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,
 
We have become one with Jesus, we were in Him when He died, and our old self died. We were buried with Him, our old nature gone forever, and we rose with Him, new and clean..perfected. Then we were seated with Him in heavenly places. That's where we are in Him. Besides the throne. When the reality and revelation of this hits home, nothing will ever be the same.
 
Do you realize that we will not inherit eternity? We are already living eternity, we will never die, we will live forever, from now on. Co-seated means we have authority, the same authority as Jesus. We have all the resources of heaven available to us. We have favor, we have blessing…it's all our all available to every believer, all the time.
 
So where were we?
 
We were dead, lost, doff and separated from God under the influence and control of the devil.
 
What did He do?
 
He did everything perfectly in our place. He forgave all our sins, saved us, opened the way to the father. Made us sons and daughters.
 
Where are we now?
 
Seated with Him, one with Jesus. Made perfect forever.
 
Close with The quote from Michel Eaton
 
"We are not ready to be told what to do, until we know who and where we are. We are the children of Christ, we are risen with Christ."
 
Now the bible says that God puts his Holy Spirit in us to confirm the truth of this, and to help us understand this. Lets let Him do that.
 
by Wayne Duncan
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

Friday, 21 March 2008

Wayne's World...(21Mar08)

 
Michael Eaton

Hi Friends.
 
I'm reading a book by Michael Eaton.."living Under Grace"..It's preaches through Romans 6-7:25..awesome.
 
Here is a quote I really enjoyed..page 58
 
"Romans 6:11 is the first command in the letter.In romans 6, Paul begins with the facts. He does not rush to tell us what to do. We are not ready to be told what to do, until we know who and where we are. We are the children of Christ, we are risen with Christ. It is only when we have grasped hold of these things, that Paul will then tell us to deal with sin...
 
Often people rush to urge men and woman to live good lives. But Paul does not do that. He is not simply telling people to live godly lives. He first shows them the basis of their doing so. He wants us to see our position in Jesus first. We shall never live a Godly life unless we are rejoicing. The joy of the Lord is our strength .Any kind of discouragement will be our weakness.
The secret of holiness is to come at it indirtectly. If you walk up to the high demands of God and simply try to reach up to them you will fail miserably. No! Go back to the position you are in first. See that you have died to sin. See that sin is not "in you", it's simply "the body of sin". You have "died to sin", and see that you are "alive to God"." Michael Eaton
 
Food for thought
 
Wayno
 
 

Thursday, 20 March 2008

Wayne's World...(20Mar08)

 
Prophetic sence

We are part of an end time revival. A revival first to Christians, through believing who we are in Christ. This will cause great power to be released on the earth, as His kingdom advances forcefully, and to the end of His government there will be no end. This will cause the revival of the lost. Gods glory will be revealed on the earth...
 
Wayno March 08

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Wayne's World...(19Mar08)

 
"The life of the christian, without the indwelling power of the spirit in the heart, is a weariness to the flesh. It is an obediance to the commandments and an endevour to walk according to a pattern which you have no power to follow. The Christian life that is lived by the impulse of the Spirit if Christ within your soul, becomes a joy, a power, and a glory"

By: John G lake

How amazing is this quote...so true.Friends lets be full of the Spirit, and make every oportunity for the Spirit of Jesus to consume our people. This is our greatest gift to them...
 
Wayno

Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Wayne's World...(18Mar08)

Hi Friends
 
God has done some wonderful things for a few believers, and we want to give Jesus honor and Glory. He loves to do stuff for us. I pray these things increase for all of us, as we move into the reality of John 14:12. IT can happen friends, for we believe in Him.
 
We had a chap with a bruise on his back, as we prayed for him it disappeared.
 
One guy was healed of asthma and allergies to animals.
 
Another girl had a blocked ear, she audibly heard a breath in her ears three times, then her ear was cleared. The same girls has had an audible breath in her ear many times. The one night every hour on the hour as she was sleeping the breath woke her up!
 
We had a lady who had stomach pain for many years. Her love is to sew. When ever she sews, even for 20 minutes, her tummy is so saw she has to lie down for 5 hours. She was healed and made 80 handbags for orphans in the Transkei to celebrate.
 
Another lady had heart pain. She was healed, and cancelled the appointment with the cardiologist. The interesting thing about this healing, is that she came up for healing, and was prayed for to receive the Holy Spirit, she did and when she got off the floor…she was healed.
 
Another lady screamed Jesus, and fell violently backwards, as we prayed for her. She testified recently that in that moment she was set free from sleeping pills addiction, it's been over a month now.
 
Another man had a blockage in his stomach pipe that had to be cleared very month or so, it's now permanently open. Doctors amazed.
 
One guy was prayed for in Hong Kong by Rob Rufus (remember calling out the liver problem Rob?). Well he went to the doctor who ran a series of tests. The doctor was amazed and asked… "what did you do". There was radical improvement, not totally healing, but we trust for the completion.
 
Another two ladies were healed of back pain.
 
I personally was healed of a knee injury, and can surf and run again…thank you lord.
 
I prayed for a young man last week who had a short muscle in his knee, he felt it grow, and testing the knee found no pain or discomfort. What a miracle, were waiting for doctors reports to confirm. 
 
In terms of signs and wonders, we've had an amazing time….
 
We get this glitter/dust/sparkles. It's like tiny little glitter. Totally random. We've had it in various forms and places for 20 weeks now. Usually silver, sometimes gold. Less often is blue and red and pink and green. One girl had them last week green and then turned purple. Sometimes they stay for a few minutes, sometimes a few hours, and sometimes a few days.
 
Every Sunday at church, sometimes during the preach, sometimes afterwards. It's happened at home groups, at prayer meetings and when people are having quite times.
 
Some people we spend time with go to their church, and it gets released there.
 
People who come visit Jen and I for the weekend usually get it too. One couple from another church received the sparkles, now they get it at prayer and church since they returned home.
 
It can be transferable, a lady gave it to some other ladies at gym.
 
One Sunday all the kids got it (after falling under the anointing). The next day at school they gave it to other kids.
 
Many times while having coffee with friends at Mug and bean, or the waffle house or at VFC at relating elders, we've watched it form on peoples hands as I examine them.
 
I've watched it appear often on peoples hands as they stretch them out.
 
One couple got them in bed.
 
Another man while reading the bible in the garden.
 
Recently at a meeting of 20 or so we were ministering the presence of God, everyone got the sparkles, my wife Jen had them on her arms all the way up to her shoulders, lots, evenly spaced. They were still there the next day.
 
Recently on a ministry trip, all the guys got it and not the girls???
 
Here the girls seem to get it more.
 
Sometimes everyone gets it
 
Random.
 
One day all the babies got it at church.
 
I spoke to a friend on the phone and he got it.
 
Recently for the first time we've started having oil. Two people so far in the church. One girl had it drip off her fingers, while doing her homework?
 
WE ARE NOT AT ALL CONSUMED WITH THIS. I'VE NEVER PRAYED FOR ANYONE TO RECEIVE IT, IT JUST HAPPENS. ITS ALWAYS SPECIAL AND SEEMS TO PRODUCE POSITIVE FRUIT. INTIMACY, BIBLE READING AND PRAYER, AS WELL AS INCREASED FAITH FOR SUPERNATURAL. ENJOY JESUS FRIENDS..
 

What is the Law??

I love Wayne's preach on "What the law can and cannot do"
When I first heard Rob preach this message a while ago it was so liberating and at the same time raised many questions ...... as any good preach should.

The biggest question was, " Well what is the Law?"

The bible is very clear that the 'law' is the law given to Mosses and the Jews under the old covenant. What got me in a knot was when I would hear that the law was anything that that I did to earn or impress. A standard I had to try and achieve to prove or maintain my maturity in Christ. (don't get me wrong about maturity .... I have learned that it is the Holy Spirit that works in me that develops maturity, and even then I think it is more about a transformed mind than actions ...... the whole 'conforming without transforming is preforming')

Its is here that I think people / churches miss the Grace God gives us.
You can believe in grace and what Christ has done for you, but to what extent does His Grace work in your life?

Has Christ freed you from the Law of Mosses?
Has Christ freed you from 'ceremonial' or 'ethical' law?
Or are the 'ceremonial' & 'ethical' laws old covenant laws and fulfilled in Christ?
Is the 'new testament standard' a description or a prescription and a law in your life?

There are so many of these questions, and the more you dig the more legalistic you find this church culture that we live in.

What are your thoughts on this? What do you think is legalistic and the law?
Click on the link that says 'Post a Comment'

Coatesman

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Wayne's World...(16Mar08)

What the law can and cannot do

Modelled off a preach "Grace 1 Rob Rufus"
http://www.citychurchinternational.net/mp3/2007_02_02.zip

"Don't think Paul got all the persecution and hatred he got by teaching the law, it came exactly because he was teaching the grace of God. That's the enemy, he's obscuring the cross, and anyone who stands up and preaches grace, in this undiluted purity is going to be targeted, because the enemy knows, we got to stop this because a thin edge could open up a bit wider and then more people could discover pure grace, more and more, then more churches, then more miracles, more presence, more anointing, then more people. When the grace revolution starts in SA, the devils finished. Because the religious fundamentalist culture of keeping laws and rules is the biggest problem in the SA."

So, what's the use of preaching the law, the laws to be preached to the lost and lead them to the Saviour, when they come to the Saviour, they are no longer under the law, no, they step into grace.

Firstly, what the Law cannot do...

1. The law's not to make you righteous

Just remember this, that the laws not evil, the law's very holy and perfect and pure. The law of God is perfect and pure and holy. The law does not make you righteous.
Romans 3:21: But now a righteousness from God, apart from law, has been made known

2. It does not give you life,

2 Corinthians 3:6 He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant--not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life

3. The law does not save us

Romans 3:20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law

4. It is not to encourage us, the law is not to encourage us, the law doesn't make you holy, the law doesn't improve your life, the law does not strengthen you, it does not help you overcome sin.

Romans 8:3 For what the law was powerless to do in that it was weakened by the sinful nature, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful man to be a sin offering

So, what is the purpose of the law, what does the Bible say about this.

1. Number one, the purpose of the law, we see this clearly in the New Testament, the law is to condemn you,

2 Corinthians 3:9 If the ministry that condemns men is glorious, how much more glorious is the ministry that brings righteousness!

Romans 3:20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.

2. the law's to crush you,

2 Cor 3:6,9

3. The law's to stir up sin, to provoke sin and arouse sin in you,

Romans 7:5 For when we were controlled by the sinful nature, the sinful passions aroused by the law were at work in our bodies, so that we bore fruit for death.

The ironic thing is that preaching the law, even the "new testament law", as a list of do's and don'ts, is powerless to stop sin. It actually produces the opposite effect, it stirs up sin in us.

The solution is not an endless preaching of the standard, hoping people will some how rise to a default setting where they suddenly reach the standard.

But rather the solution is in being filled and lead by the Holy Spirit...live by the spirit and you will not...sin essentially.

4. To bring an awareness of wrath, the law brings an awareness of the wrath of God,

Romans 4:15 because law brings wrath

Living under law makes us feel that God is upset with us, and we better behave or else he is going to be mad with us. If the law is the standard for Gods anger, then he should be constantly angry with us, coz we constantly fail. Even if it's not conscious sin, there will be issues in the heart where we fail the standard.

If you are constantly worried that God will punish you, rebuke you or discipline you…the law is the louder voice in your life.

5. To make you feel constantly unworthy. If you feel nagging feelings of vaige condemnation, unworthiness, that means there's still elements were you believe the law has some relationship with you, because the law will make you feel unworthy.

The degree to which you still feel unworthy, is the degree to which your still under law.

Measuring our lives by the standard, leaves us constantly feeling like we miss the mark...this is true, we do. We don't measure up, we constantly fail.

Once we realise that this is not our measure, but that Jesus is, unworthiness is broken forever. Jesus become worth for us, so we can confidently approach the throne room of God. It's amazing for me, as i travel and spend time with Christians, how many live in this place of unworthiness. It's tragic, it sucks the life blood out of Christians and out of the church. It robs the faith for the supernatural, it robs the intimacy. The devil loves it. YOU are worthy friends, thank you for you blood and grace and new covenant Jesus.

6. The law opposes you, its against you, it does not want your success, it wants your failure.

7. The laws to make you aware that you are a transgressor

Romans 3:20 Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.

Romans 7:7 The law is an honest mirror

" It's like the law is totally honest, James 1 says, the mirror of the law. So you look in the mirror in the morning, mirror; mirror on the wall, whose the prettiest of us all. You look in that mirror, that mirror will not flatter, it will not lie, it's exacting, you just wish it would lie to you

You look in that mirror of the law, he says the perfect mirror of the law, perfect, it'll tell you exactly. In the morning, you look at it, you see a bit of snot running down your nose here, you see that meat that's still stuck in the teeth over here, a bit of sleep from the eye here, all the bags under the eyes, hairs out over here, wax running down the side of the head, you don't look at the mirror of the law and go, oh, this is terrible, I'm so unworthy and say come on mirror clean me up and lean against the mirror and just take this away, no the mirror is there to lead you to deliverance, the water and the soap and the hair brush. You're not to go to the water, hair brush and soap and go oh no, that's great, what am I doing here, I'm coming back to the law. Mirror cannot clean you up, it's to show you that you are in desperate need of salvation, but this mirrors showing you it can't help you at all. It's a lifeless, it just tells you the exact truth, alright."

8. The law will bring the curse of sickness, diseases, poverty, barrenness, defeat and destruction on your children, according to Duet 28.

Failing to keep all of the law...according to the law, produces these curses.

9. The law is to show you are not righteous; the whole purpose of the law is to strip you and me of our self-righteousness and the illusions of our self-sufficiency. And the more people conceive that, the more extreme Jesus began to interpret the law to the Pharisees, who believed they were going to go to heaven through there own faultless righteousness.

So then Jesus was saying, pluck your eye out, cut your hand off, better to enter heaven with one hand, then go to hell with two hands. He's trying to show them in the context of the law, but you know, you can cut your hand off, pluck your eyes out, you can still think the wrong things.

It's very important that we understand this principle...

When Jesus was addressing the Pharisees, if they were self righteous, he would raise the bar, to expose the rotten heart behind the apparent righteousness. Hence if you even look at a woman lustfully, you've committed adultery. If you call your brother fool, your guilty of murder.

We must also be very careful not to take any of these things, and other things Jesus said to those under the law, and appropriate them to us who are under grace. If you do, you interpret the word badly, and place yourself under that law that Jesus has delivered us from.

10. Once you come to Christ, we have no further association or connection to the law. I want to say that very boldly, and confirm with scripture, once you come to Christ, the Bible teaches, you have no further association or connection or relationship with the law at all.

Romans 10:4 Christ is the end of the law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.

Okay, quickly look at, Colossians 2:13, When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumsition of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave some of our sins, okay, he forgave all of our sins, alright, now how many, when did Jesus die, before we sinned or after our sins, before our sins, so to say he forgave all our sins as past, present and future, that is what justification is. Having cancelled the written code, say cancelled, the written code with it's regulations that was against us, say against us, the regulations, the laws are against you and that stood opposed to us, he took it away, nailing it to the cross and having disowned the powers and authorities. He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them openly by the cross.

I believe many Christians miss the connection that the way Jesus disarmed the principalities and powers and triumphed over them was by cancelling the written rules and regulations that stood opposed to us. Because the devil gets behind the laws and rules for the Christian and accuses you night and day that you're falling short. Now, the law was meant for the Holy Spirit to get behind to bring conviction to unsaved people that they need the Saviour. But if you go back under law, Satan will get behind the law and bring judgement and accusation and if you believe it, you will not live in the grace of God, faith will be nullified in your heart for the promises of God to be fulfilled and grace will not operate and the presence and power of God will not flow to the degree God wants his presence to flow.

Now, quickly just look at Romans 3, , let's have another look at what the Lord does, and it will make it very clear that not everyone is under the law, it says for those who are under the law, that's the unsaved, verse 19, Now we know that whatever the law says, it says to those that are under the law, so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God. Therefore, no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law, rather through the law we become conscious of sin.

The law makes people conscious of sin. If you live under law, you will be constantly conscious that you're not worthy and feeling sinful, but the law is meant to go to work on the unsaved to hold them accountable and they will realise that hey, no matter how good they are and how moral they are the exacting standards of the law will render them to a place were they are speechless, it will shut every mouth and everyone will be aware, I will not be judged with comparison with other people's morality, I'm going to be judged by the perfect standards of the holiness of God. The law makes people conscious of sin, but it's only for those that are under the law. You're not meant to be conscious of sin, but you're meant to be conscious of the grace of God and the righteousness of God that has been given to you as a free gift.

And in Romans 4:13, It was not through law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. For if those that live by law are heirs, faith has no value, say that with me – faith has no value, and the promise is worthless because law brings wrath and were there is no law, there is no transgression, were there is no law, there is no transgression.

You see, the promises are nullified if people come under law because that sense of wrath you feel, that sense of unworthiness you feel will strip you of consciousness of grace and nullify your faith in the promises of God, in the blessings of God, and in the presence of God and there'll be this sort of weak faith trying to believe for miracles, but unsure because the law is nullifying the faith in the promises.

Romans 10:4, Christ is the end of the law, say that with me – Christ is the end of the law, so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes.

Then go to Galatians 3, Christ is the end of the law, that's it, finished work of the cross, clear, graphic, vivid, justified freely, just as though I had never sinned, all my sins past present and future cancelled, removed, no laws to make me conscious of sins, transgressions, well Wayne, why don't we just live unholy, impure lives, no, the grace of God, , will bring liberty and freedom and if we do make a mistake, we don't live three weeks in condemnation and confusion, we instantly repent, if I make a mistake in mid-step I understand the grace of God, I am so sorry Father and I carry on just as if nothing has happened.(coz if you ask for forgiveness...nothing has happened)

Justification means just as though you had never sinned, but it also means according to Romans 5, just as if you have always perfectly ever second obeyed God fully, because the full obedience, the full righteousness of Christ was transferred into your credit account and the status you have before God is justified, not a sinner saved by grace, not a sinner with a stigma I'm a sinner, but one standing with innocence and purity and absolute righteousness just as if you have never sinned and just as if you have obeyed God totally, all your life, a joint equal heir with Christ and an heir of God, no longer an orphan, no longer a slave to fear, but the Spirit of adoption, the Spirit of sonship crying Abba, Papa, Father with boldness as a joint equal heir, as bold as an equal heir with Christ . Truly,

Truly I say to you, anyone who believes in me, Jesus said, the works I do shall you do also and even greater works because I am going to the Father.
I'm starting a New Covenant, I put the power of my Spirit on you, and every believer comes in a Covenant of grace has the power to do the works Jesus did. It's John 14:12 the early church did the works Jesus did. For the first 250 years, the power of God's presence, the works Jesus did in the Gospels was being manifested in church in the book of Acts.

Were is that presence today? Where is it? Has the Holy Spirit changed? No, but laws and rules crept in through the dark ages and we're coming out.,

Friends lets abandon the law forever. The law produces nothing fruitful or helpful in us. All we have is from Jesus, freely through grace. Free to us but not free to Christ. He had to suffer and die for us to have it. This great reward. Jesus is having His reward, through us, we are "His great reward". Live in it, love it, live free. Have faith, to approach God confidently, have faith for signs, miracles and the supernatural. It's all available.

It's all about who we believe...do you believe the lies of the devil, or the words and word of Jesus?

Believe in Jesus, believe Jesus and live.






Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Wayne's World...(12Mar08)

  
Were pointed to the preferable future,
It stirs our longing and desire.
Were pointed to who we should be,
Motivated and stirred.
 
Hearing often, continuously, without ceasing,
Making every effort, trying to be pleasing.
If I only I can reach the mountain top,
I'll be able to walk it out then.
 
I see the goal.
I sense the prize.
How can I obtain it?
To God I cry!
 
Principles preached, but no power my son.
Drink of my Spirit deep, and with my love run.
You cannot do it you can not taste.
Unless you have my spirit, it's all a waste.
 
By Wayne Duncan