Hi this is our Blog on Grace. We hope and pray that the Grace of God will flood into your life like it has ours. A good place to start is to listen to the mp3 messages, they will not only turn your world around, you will feel like you have just been saved all over again!

Tuesday, 29 July 2008

Wayne's World...(29Jul08)

The Love of God…to you!!
Today's message is really simple.
God loves you. He really does. He loves you, He loves you just as you are. He is head over heals in love with you.
1Psalm 139 For the director of music. Of David. A psalm.
O LORD, you have searched me and you know me. 2You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. 3You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. 4Before a word is on my tongue you know it completely, O LORD. 5You hem me in--behind and before; you have laid your hand upon me. 6Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain. 7Where can I go from your Spirit? Where can I flee from your presence? 8If I go up to the heavens, you are there; if I make my bed in the depths, you are there. 9If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, 10even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast. 11If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me and the light become night around me," 12even the darkness will not be dark to you; the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you. 13For you created my inmost being; you knit me together in my mother's womb. 14I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. 15My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, 16your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be. 17How precious to me are your thoughts, O God! How vast is the sum of them! 18Were I to count them, they would outnumber the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with you.
God made you. He formed you, You are no mistake, you are handcrafted by Him.
He thinks about you all the time. 
Romans 8v30 And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified. 31What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us, who can be against us? 32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all--how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? 33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. 34Who is he that condemns? Christ Jesus, who died--more than that, who was raised to life--is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. 35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36As it is written: "For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered." 37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. 38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
While we were still sinners, he called us. He justified us. He put us in a position of…"just as if we had never sinned".
He fights on our behalf in very situation. We can therefore expect victory in everything we ever face. No thing evil can ever prevail over us.
He gives us all things.
No-one can bring a charge against us.
No – one can condemn us.
I like this one, Jesus is constantly praying for us.
Nothing can separate us from the Love of Christ…
neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, 39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
1Cor 13v4 Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. 8Love never fails.
This is an expression of Gods love to us.
God is loving and patient with us.
God is not proud.
He is not rude.
He does not get angry with us easily.
He keeps no record of wrongs.
He fills us with truth.
He always protects.
He trusts you.
He has hope in you, and good hopes for you
He wont give up on you…ever..
He will never fail you…

Friday, 25 July 2008

Wayne's World...(25Jul08)

Most asked questions about grace!?

Hi Friends...
I'm putting together a list of the "most asked questions about grace".
What are the questions you hear the most?
What questions do you have?
What question do you think need to be answered?
I'm attempting to put a list with answers together...Don't hold back we want the real issues and questions addressed.

Wednesday, 23 July 2008

Wayne's World...(23Jul08)

Latest brainwave

Brothers and Fathers
"Were called to preach and adminster the Kingdom of Jesus. We were distracted by all the rules and regulations we thought we had to keep in order to qulify to "do the work" of the kingdom.This deception was to the degree that we did not do the work of the king. We were busy tryng to earn the privalage and power of the kingdom. Who would have thought, we had it all the time!"
Go preach, raise, heal, save,free and deliver...by the grace of God you CAN!!!

Thursday, 17 July 2008

A bit long, but very interesting.

I. Biblical Arguments
A. For Multiple Elders
The argument from scripture is in fact so strong that most commentators today assume it.  But it is well-articulated in G. W. Knight, Commentary on the Pastoral Epistles (New International Greek New Testament Commentary; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1992) 175-77 (the section called "Excursus: Bishops/Presbyters and Deacons: 3:1-13").
The following points are relevant for our discussion:
(1) Presbyters (also translated "elders") and bishops (also translated "overseers") were apparently the same individuals.  That is to say, the two terms were synonymous. 
Note, for example, Titus 1:5 ("appoint elders"), followed by v. 7 ("for a bishop must be blameless").  The very fact that the sentence in v. 7 begins with a "for" shows a connection: bishops are elders.  Otherwise, why would Paul mention the qualifications of a group that were not whom Titus should appoint?  In Acts 20:17 Paul calls the

1One of the measures of how mature a church is is what happens to it when the pastor leaves.  If it continues to grow, there is an underlying network of mature leadership.  If it shrinks, this may well suggest that much of the size of the church originally was due to the magnetism of a single person.

2This is actually quite similar to the "checks and balances" in the U.S. Constitution.  This document was written with a heavy input from Christians who understood depravity.  They recognized, I think, that the best form of government was a benevolent dictatorship, and the worst was a malevolent dictatorship.  With dictators, there is no guarantee.  Hence, the second best form of government is one in which no single branch of government and no individual is given too much power.  This Constitution was written after the Articles of Confederation (inspired especially by Deists who believed in the inherent goodness of humanity)--which were very weak on checks and balances--failed.

"elders of the church" of Ephesus together for a final meeting.  Then, in v. 28 he addresses them as "overseers" (or bishops).  Thus, any passage that deals with bishop is equally applicable to elders.
(2) The leadership of the church from the earliest period always had elders, even if it did not have deacons.  Young churches only had elders; more mature churches had both elders and deacons. 
This can be seen by a comparison of Titus 1:5-9 and 1 Tim 3:1-13: the Christians in Crete (where Titus was ministering) were relatively new.  The qualifications for deacons is not mentioned because only the top level of leadership needed to be established in such a situation.  But in Ephesus the church was well established (where Timothy was ministering).  Consequently, Paul not only gives instruction to Timothy about both elders and deacons, but also says that the leaders should not be recent converts (cf. 1 Tim 3:6 [for elders] and perhaps implied in 3:10 for deacons).  But no instruction is given to Titus about new converts because that was the only pool from which he could draw.1  Thus, for young (and presumably small) churches, the leaders would do the work of both elders and deacons.2 
In sum, a church must have elders, but not necessarily deacons (at least at first). 
(3) Elder and pastor are not the same thing in the NT.  "Elder" refers to the office one holds by virtue of appointment or election; "pastor" is a spiritual gift that one is given by the Holy Spirit (cf. Eph 4:11; 1 Cor 12:7-11).  One can have the gift of pastor without being an elder; and one can hold the office of elder without having the gift of pastor.
(4) For elders, the one qualification that is other than moral is the ability to teach.  Note 1 Tim 3:2 ("able to teach" [didavktiko", didaktikos]).  Titus 1:9 expands on this: "he must hold firm to the sure word as taught, so that he may be able to give instruction in sound doctrine and also to confute those who contradict it." 
There is much confusion about what this means. 
This does not mean that an elder must have the gift of teaching, for the NT is very clear that all believers should be able to teach.  Cf. Heb 5:12 (the definition of a spiritual meat-eater is one who is able to teach [5:11-14]; the author indicts his entire audience for not yet being able to do this); Col 3:16; Titus 2:3.3
"Able to teach" does not mean seminary-trained or one skilled in the biblical languages.  This is evident from the fact that Gentile Christians were among the first elders (cf. Titus 1:5-9).  These men would not have known Hebrew.
It is recognized that some elders would be gifted as teachers and would especially exercise this gift (1 Tim 5:17).  Thus, the implication is that not all would teach equally.  (Personally, I see in this text justification for some of the elders to be pastor-teachers.  Further, those especially gifted in this area would want to hone such a gift by learning the scriptures as diligently and rigorously as they could.  Hence, there is justification for having seminary-trained teachers.  But, at the same time, it is evident that not all elders had this gift.)
The basic thrust of this qualification is that elders would hold to pure doctrine in guiding the church.  In other words, they would be mature men who could sniff out heresy and steer the church in the direction it

3That these lists were a bit different on this point (and some others) indicates an extremely important point: Much of the instruction given about church order is ad hoc rather than of universal principle.  It is our duty to discern which is which.  For example, I have no strong opinion about how the leaders of a church are to be appointed, because the NT seems to be flexible in this regard (e.g., some churches did it by congregational vote, others had appointments from apostolic delegates).  The NT is flexible on areas that are not consequential.

4The normal understanding of the difference in function of the two groups is this: elders are primarily concerned with the spiritual welfare of the congregation, while deacons are primarily concerned with the physical welfare of the congregation.  Thus, elders would oversee the direction of the church, work with the pastor (or pastors) on the spiritual needs of the church (what they should be fed, etc.).

5The fundamental principle of discipleship is the passing on of truth in the context of love to faithful individuals, who in turn would do the same thing (2 Tim 2:2).  The ideal is for every member of the church to carry on this task.  It is obvious (from 2 Tim 2:2) that discipleship and a teaching ministry were not to be restricted to just pastors or those with the gift of teaching.

needs to go.  Certainly in some especially delicate matters these leaders would defer to others who had the gift.  But the elders needed to make the final decisions about the direction of the church.
Pragmatically, one of the ways in which such teaching could be accomplished would be for the elders to oversee different home Bible studies.  Nowadays "mini-churches" are very popular.  Such mini-churches are actually very biblical.  The early church met in homes during the week.  Each home would presumably have its own elder. Thus, at least in the context of a small gathering, the elders should be prepared to teach. 
Teaching also occurs in another, less visible context.  When the elders and pastor meet together, the elders should have the freedom to state their opinions freely.  To be sure, the pastor is usually better trained in the scriptures, but this in no way gives him the right to demand allegiance to his viewpoints.  He must demonstrate that his views are biblical and submit them to the leadership.  At times, his case will not convince.  (Each one of us is responsible to know the scriptures and to examine the evidence for our beliefs.)  Further, many if not most issues to be decided by an elder board allow for a great deal of flexibility.  Two positions could equally be in line with scripture.  At that point, the collective wisdom of the leadership needs to reign supreme.1 
(5) The consistent pattern in the NT is that every church had several elders.
Note the following texts (where either elder or bishop is used):
Acts 11:30--elders at the church of Antioch
Acts 14:23--Paul and Barnabas appoint "elders in every church"
Acts 15:2, 4, 6, 22, 23; 16:4--elders at the church in Jerusalem
Acts 20:17, 28--elders/bishops at the church of Ephesus (v. 17--"elders of the church")
Acts 21:18--elders at the church in Jerusalem
Phil 1:1--the church at Philippi has bishops and deacons
1 Tim 5:17--elders at the church of Ephesus
Titus 1:5--Titus is to appoint elders in every town2
Jas 5:14--"the elders of the church"
1 Pet 5:1-2--"the elders among you"3
In every one of these texts the plain implication is that each church had several elders.
Note also that other more generic terms are also used of church leaders.  The pattern once again is that there are several leaders for each church:

6 One of the first churches I was in that was run by a plurality of elders had a rather mature pastor.  He was one of the brightest and godliest men I've ever known, thoroughly saturated in the Word of God.  Yet, he did not even have a vote on the elder board.  The elders frequently asked his opinion.  But he also respected their leadership.  He told me once that having the elders run the show gave him a greater measure of freedom, for it allowed him more time to work on his messages.  He didn't have to wear several hats and therefore did not get burned out in the ministry.  Further, he noted that the elders had maturity of years over him and collective wisdom that he wanted to learn from.  The man had a Th.M. degree and a Th.D. degree from a leading seminary, yet he eagerly bowed to the leadership and wisdom of the elder board!  That was humility!  In fact, every year he submitted to a rigorous personal evaluation of his life by the elders.  They asked him the tough questions, such as faithfulness to his wife, what he read, saw, participated in, and what he did with his money and his spare time.  This was not a 'big brother is watching you' lynching; it was something this pastor volunteered for.  The church grew quickly and profoundly because of such accountability at the top levels.

7The early church had but one church in each city or town.  Hence, Paul's instruction to Titus is to appoint multiple elders in every church.

8That each church to which Peter is writing had multiple elders is likely from vv. 2-3--"Tend [poimavnete, poimanete--a plural verb; thus, "you elders"] the flock [singular] of God that is your charge . . . by being examples [plural] to the flock."  Thus, multiple elders are linked to a single flock each time. 

1 Thess 5:12, 13--the congregation is to respect its leaders1
Heb 13:7, 17--heed the leaders of the church, "for they are keeping watch over your souls" (v. 17)2
The evidence is overwhelming.  So strong is it that Knight, after carefully evaluating the evidence, can argue:
An analysis of the data seems, therefore, to indicate the existence of oversight by a plurality of church leaders throughout the NT church in virtually every known area and acknowledged or commended by virtually every NT writer who writes about church leadership.   . . . [For example,] Every church in which leadership is referred to in Asia Minor either under Paul and his associates or under Peter's ministry has a plurality of leadership . . .3
B. For Single Elders
If the case is this strong, why then do some argue for a single elder?  The basic argument for this position is theological and historical, rather than biblical.  But biblically, there are five texts which seem to suggest a single elder.  We will look at these not in canonical order but from the weakest arguments to the strongest.
(1) Revelation 2-3--there is one "angel" over each church.  The word angel (a[ggelo", anggelos) is sometimes translated "messenger" in scripture.  Hence, perhaps the single "angel" over each church is the single elder (pastor), rather than an angel.
The problem with this view is manifold: (1) a[ggelo" (anggelos) is used 67 times in Revelation.  If we exclude the references in chapters 2 and 3 for the sake of argument, we see a remarkable thing: every instance of a[ggelo" [anggelos] refers to an angel.  (Unless of course pastors can fly!  cf. Rev 14:6).  (2) Even if Rev 2-3 were an exception, "messenger" is hardly an appropriate term for a pastor.  Pastors were, in NT times, restricted to a certain locale geographically.  But a messenger is one who moves about.  (3) The genre of the Revelation fits what is called "apocalyptic."  In apocalyptic literature there is a strong emphasis on angels.  Among other duties, they are responsible before heaven for groups of godly people.  Thus, when the Lord says, "to the angel of the church at _______, write" we have apocalyptic symbolism and imagery occurring.  Angels are evidently in view, not pastors.
(2) 2 John 1, 3 John 1--the "elder" writes to the elect lady and to Gaius.  Some argue that John describes himself in these two little letters as "the elder" because he is the lone elder at the church.  There are a few problems with this view, however. 
First, the author is writing to two different people at apparently two different churches.  Would he be their elder?  If so, then we have an anomalous situation unparalleled in the rest of the NT: a single elder for at least two churches.  If not, would he perhaps be the elder at the church of Ephesus writing to Christians at other churches?  That too is doubtful, because (a) why would he not mention which church he was elder over? and (b) if he were the elder at the church of Ephesus, what business does he have meddling in other churches' affairs?4
Second, suppose that John is actually writing to one and the same church in 2 John and 3 John.  If so, couldn't he be their elder?  Not only is there, at best, a very slim chance that only one church is being addressed,5 but such

9It is most likely that only elders are in view.  The reason for this is that, as we have argued above, young churches did not have deacons but did have elders.  Paul had spent only about three weeks with the Thessalonians.  But he appointed leaders before his departure.  Thus, it is likely that he appointed only elders.  In the least, there is not even a hint in this text that only one elder and several deacons were appointed.

10Since the duties of the leaders are described in this manner, it is obvious that multiple elders are in view (since deacons were not responsible primarily to keep watch over the souls).

11Knight, Pastoral Epistles, 177.

12Some denominations have a bishop over several churches and an elder at an individual church.  But John is called an elder, not a bishop.  Thus, these denominations have a difficult time basing their view on scripture.

13In fact, many today see three churches addressed: 2 John has one in view; 3 John seems to have Gaius' church and Diotrephes' church in view.  I am presently undecided on this issue (that is, whether two or three churches are envisioned).  One of the fundamental arguments against 2 John and 3 John being addressed to the same

a hypothesis produces a very large problem for itself: this lone elder apparently is an absentee elder who gives no certain evidence that he will even visit the church, let alone teach there!  (Although this is clearly his desire, he refrains from absolute certitude.)  Notice 2 John 12: "Though I have much to write to you, I would rather not use paper and ink, but I hope to come to see you and talk with you face to face, so that our joy may be complete."  Likewise, 3 John 10 says "if I come [to the church]" and v. 14 says "I hope to see you." 
Third, the apparent meaning of "the elder" in these two little letters seems to be the equivalent of "the old man."  The term used, in fact, can only be given a technical nuance in contexts that seem to demand it.  Presbuvtero" (presbuteros) is a word which frequently meant simply "old man" (cf. Acts 2:17; 1 Tim 5:1).  This fits well with the probable authorship of these letters (namely, John the apostle).  By the time he had settled in Asia Minor as the last living apostle, it would be quite appropriate for him to take on a term of endearment and affection: "This letter is from the old man."
(3) 1 Tim 3:2 (cf. Titus 1:7)--"bishop" is singular, while "deacons" (1 Tim 3:8) is plural.  This would seem to argue that there was but one bishop/elder per church, while there would have been several deacons. 
Again, such an argument has very little substance.  First, it is unlikely that only one bishop is in view because otherwise it is difficult to explain 1 Tim 5:17 ("let the elders who rule well be considered worthy of double honor") and Titus 1:5 "appoint elders in every town").1 
Second, it is likely that the "bishop" in 1 Tim 3:2 is generic.  The article is used this way in Greek very frequently.  That is, the singular is used to specify a class as opposed to an individual.  J. W. Roberts, a Greek grammarian, pointed out along these lines: "A case in point where wrong use has been made of the generic article is in reference to 'bishop' in 1 Timothy 3:2.  This has often been used to prove the existence of the monarchal bishop at the time of the writing of the Pastorals.  A majority of the commentators, however, agree that the usage is generic."  Cf. also Matt 12:35; 15:11; 18:17; Luke 10:7; John 2:25.  The generic article is actually used thousands of times in the NT.
Third, further evidence that "bishop" is generic in 1 Tim 3:2 is found in the overall context.  (Keep in mind that the NT had no chapter or verse divisions originally.  These were inventions of later centuries.)  Notice the context in which behavior in the church occurs: 1 Tim 2:8-3:13.  In 2:8 Paul addresses "the men."  In 2:9-10 he addresses "the women."  Then, in 2:11-12 he says that "a woman should learn quietly . . . I do not permit a woman to teach . . . a man."  Paul is not here speaking of a particular woman (otherwise he would surely have mentioned her by name), but women as a class.  In 2:15 he says "but she shall be saved . . . if they continue."  Thus, there is a free exchange of the singular and the plural here.  Immediately after this Paul speaks of "the bishop."  Then, in 3:8 he addresses "the deacons."  The overall context is very clearly dealing with classes of individuals.  The only time it is not, in fact, is when Paul speaks of Adam and Eve (2:13-14), yet even here he quickly gets into the relevance for his readers in v. 15 ("she . . . they").
C. Summary
The biblical evidence is overwhelmingly on the side of multiple elders.  The few passages which might otherwise be interpreted certainly do not have to be so interpreted and, in fact, most likely should not be.  This fact illustrates a fundamental principle of biblical interpretation: do not follow an interpretation which is only possible; instead, base your convictions on what is probable.
The rest of our arguments are presented here very briefly since the basic one, the biblical argument, has been addressed at some length.
church is that the situations are radically different: 2 John addresses the problem of heretics outside the church attempting to get in; 3 John addresses the sin of pride already within the church by an orthodox leader.  Thus, 2 John has to do with doctrine and 3 John is about ethics and holiness.  Hence, in the least two churches are in view in the Johannine letters, and perhaps three.  Is John the elder of all of them?

14Recall that "elder" = "bishop" and that each town had but one church.

II. Historical Arguments
In Ignatius (an early Christian writer who died in c. AD 117), at the beginning of the second century, already a monarchical episcopate exists.  It is interesting that Roman Catholics especially appeal to this as a model for their practices (since they rely on the tradition found in patristic writers like Ignatius far more than on divine revelation).  Those who deny the Pauline authorship of the pastoral epistles (i.e., 1-2 Timothy and Titus) also see the pastorals as reflecting a one-elder situation (=monarchical episcopate) because they regard the pastorals as having been written during the time of Ignatius.  But evangelicals should not consider arguments from either camp as weighty.  In particular, if we equate either what the early church fathers practiced or believed as totally in line with the New Testament, then we have some significant retooling to do in our churches today.  Some examples:
Didache (c. AD 100-150)--gives several regulations about baptism and fasting, much of which is pure legalism.  (For example, in one place he says, "Let us not fast as the Jews do, who fast on Mondays and Thursdays.  Instead, let us fast on Wednesdays and Fridays."  In his discussions of baptism, he argues that cold water is better than warm, etc.--all arguments that have nothing whatever to do with the biblical revelation). 
Most early church fathers (i.e., 2nd-3rd century AD) didn't have a clue about grace, eternal security, the gospel.  The church very quickly degenerated into basic legalism.  It was not until Augustine that the church recovered some of this.  But then it fell into the dark ages, waiting for a young monk from Germany to nail his protests on the door of the Wittenberg Church.  Dr. Ted Deibler (former chairman of Church History at Dallas Seminary) used to say, "the one thing we can be certain of learning from church history is that we learn nothing from church history."  He meant by this that we are on very dangerous ground if we assume uniformly correct theology from the church fathers.
Allegorical interpretation and eschatology: Origen and his school in particular promoted a view of scripture which was quite fanciful.
In sum, the argument for a single leader of each church is especially persuasive to Roman Catholics because it did occur throughout church history.  Yet, such traditions can never replace the Word of God.  In fact, with the birth of the Reformation came a renewed understanding of the priesthood of the believer which, in turn, moved away from the notion of a single leader at the top. 
III. Theological Arguments
The quirks of personality: a church becomes like its leader (a student becomes like his teacher [cf. Luke 6:40]).
The emphasis in scripture on doing the work of the ministry in company with other believers: e.g., Paul never went on a missionary journey by himself (Barnabas, Silvanus, Sosthenes, Timothy, Luke were especially his traveling companions).  Paul even included his companions' names in the greetings to various churches.  In fact, he regarded them unofficially as apostles (not holding the office, but certainly functioning in that capacity).  Jesus sent his disciples out two-by-two.  (This is not to say that individuals are paralyzed and can't do anything--cf. Philip ministering to the Ethiopian eunuch, Paul in prison ministering to Caesar's household, etc.  But the ideal is ministry by community.) 
This same principle is taught in John 13:35.  (Knowledge of Jesus comes through his disciples in a community effort, that is, in their love for one another.)
Accountability and our sin natures (see opening paragraph at the start of this position paper).  Each leader knows that he lacks complete balance, that there are things he continues to struggle with.  Further, even beyond the sin nature factor is the personality factor.  Some pastors are detail men; others are big picture men.  Some love music, others have gotten little from music (C. S. Lewis was one such man).  All of us together contribute to the way the body of Christ works.  But a church that follows in lock-step with the personality and foibles of one man will always be imbalanced.
IV. Pragmatic Arguments
Even if there were no decisive arguments for plurality of elders, the preponderance of evidence is decidely on the side of this view.  Further, in consultation with others (especially church historian, M. James Sawyer at Western Conservative Baptist Seminary), the following principle seems to be true: Churches that have a pastor as an authority above others (thus, in function, a monarchical episcopate) have a disproportionately high number of moral failures at the top level of leadership.  In other words, it is less likely for a pastor to fall into sin if he is primus inter parus ("first among equals" in the sense of his visibility and training, not spirituality) than if he is elevated above the rest of the church leadership.
Thus, the case of multiple elders in the local church is solidly based on biblical, historical, and pragmatic reasons.  By having several leaders, the church is more able to take on the personality of Christ rather than the idiosyncracies of any one man.
© 1997 Biblical Studies Press  http://www.bible.org

Wayne World...(17Jul08)

Hi Friends
check out this testamony about the power of grace working in our lives.
"The message of Bertie on grace turned my life inside out and upside down.
I asked for prayer from emotional stress which released all sorts of health issues in my life.Turmoil!
The personal problems, relationships etc tore me apart.
The understanding of my identity in Christ - My rightstanding through Jesus- the cross- the covenant...Gods love brought freedom from it all.
My personal situation increased in difficulties, the bar was raised and so did my freedom. My Jesus set me free and my problems increased. I am left with JOY JOY JOY... in Christ!- it blows my mind.
That stirrs me to share. I want to share all i have. I can go without coz i have so much in Christ.
My life before Christ, really bad relationships lead to abortion and a life of self hate and lots of law, mixed with religion, DISCARSTER!
Now the freedom I have , causes me to ache when i see poverty, abuse, want, lost people...
I want to burst into giving what I have- all I have. I pray for Gods guidance and recieve it!
I have been blessed beyond my own thinking...."
How awesome it this testamony from one of the ladies in my church...I think its safe to say...grace works!!!
Luv ya
Wayno and Jen

Wednesday, 16 July 2008

Wayne's World...(16Jul08)

Friends, at this time I feel God is calling pastors to turn to Him in repentance.
Not some form of morbid repentance from sinful behavior, but rather a changing of mind, a rethinking of thoughts. A joyous readjustment.
We need to repent in the area of the ministry of the Holy Spirit. God longs to move in great power in the earth today. We have restricted His movement and power in the body. How? By restricting, by hindering the work of the Spirit.
We have built wineskins and patters to channel the wine. The problem is that the wineskin then determines the size and description of the wine. A move of God has begun that no wineskin will be able to contain. Our programs, patterns and principles will come under tremendous stress during this outpouring of presence and power. Many wineskins will simply burst under the increase, many banks will give way to the flood, the river creating its own banks, as the river determines it's direction.
Repentance is the admitting that we have often placed ourselves, our own wisdom our own way, as the banks for the river to run between. If we repent we set the stage for the river to flow fresh, wild and unrestricted. Repentance, changing our minds about how god operates in people and in churches, will cause increase in power and presence, and minimize the damage,mess and hurt a restricting wineskin creates.
The Holy Spirit wants to be in charge of us, His people and His church. Let us approach the throne of grace and mercy, and repent. Humility will assist increase, and pride will resist it.
The bottom line is that God knows better than we do, ministers better than we do, and leads the church better than we ever imagined. Spirit filled; spirit lead communities are what God is looking for in the world today. People filled with the power and presence of God. People who live in and operate out of a deep understanding of who God is, and who they are in Him.
For those in co-operation with Gods spirit in this hour, there will be extraordinary power for signs wonders and miracles. Hungry and thirsty people too will be satisfied. The power and presence of His spirit is fertilizer to the saved, and a perfume to the unsaved, causing growth and salvation.
Gifting, anointing and calling will increase. The lost will be healed, and then saved. Great power will be with the church that allows the spirits ministry without restriction.
Friends, lets surrender and stay surrendered to God in this tremendous outpouring. Let's repent and turn to Him, allowing Him to have His way at every level. He who has ears let Him hear what the Spirit is saying to the churches.
Your friend,

Tuesday, 15 July 2008

Brilliant teaching by Ryan

Take a listen to this bit of freedom:

Just over a year

I was pondering over the fact that I have not written a post on this blog for quite a while now. Not feeling guilty, because I would rather not write anything, if I didn't have anything to write.
It now occured to me that Grace in Flood has been going for just over a year now.
Thats crazy. A parallel between the fact that time has passed so quickly, and how much has happened in this year.
From being in a space that was so frustrating, constricting, and restricting, to where I am now.

So where is this place that I am at now?
Able to just walk into my room and be with God. Confident that He just wants to be with me too.
Able to hear the Holy Spirit and slowly learn to walk with Him more and more.
Able to grow in grace without thinking I have been deceived.
Able to love my wife and let her be who God wants her to be.
Able to raise my son in an environment were the traditions of man are being destroyed.
Able to crush the fear of man.
Able to operate in the giftings that God has given me

Able to be in a community where we are free to be free.
Able to support people who are new in the grace walk.
Able to be part of a world wide outpouring and revival.
Able to be gracious to those who were not gracious to me.

In a nutshell I have gone from being unable to able.
That is what God gave me this year.

So please Father give this precious gift of "able" to all reading this humble blog, in the name of our
Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

Sunday, 13 July 2008

Wayne's World...(13Jul08)

Abraham's blessing through faith
Galatians 3
1Oh, foolish Galatians! What magician has cast an evil spell on you? For you used to see the meaning of Jesus Christ's death as clearly as though I had shown you a signboard with a picture of Christ dying on the cross. 2Let me ask you this one question: Did you receive the Holy Spirit by keeping the law? Of course not, for the Holy Spirit came upon you only after you believed the message you heard about Christ. 3Have you lost your senses? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort? 4You have suffered so much for the Good News. Surely it was not in vain, was it? Are you now going to just throw it all away? 5I ask you again, does God give you the Holy Spirit and work miracles among you because you obey the law of Moses? Of course not! It is because you believe the message you heard about Christ. 6In the same way, "Abraham believed God, so God declared him righteous because of his faith." 7The real children of Abraham, then, are all those who put their faith in God. 8What's more, the Scriptures looked forward to this time when God would accept the Gentiles, too, on the basis of their faith. God promised this good news to Abraham long ago when he said, "All nations will be blessed through you." 9And so it is: All who put their faith in Christ share the same blessing Abraham received because of his faith. 11Consequently, it is clear that no one can ever be right with God by trying to keep the law. For the Scriptures say, "It is through faith that a righteous person has life." 12How different from this way of faith is the way of law, which says, "If you wish to find life by obeying the law, you must obey all of its commands." 13But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When he was hung on the cross, he took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree." 14Through the work of Christ Jesus, God has blessed the Gentiles with the same blessing he promised to Abraham, and we Christians receive the promised Holy Spirit through faith. 15Dear brothers and sisters, here's an example from everyday life. Just as no one can set aside or amend an irrevocable agreement, so it is in this case. 16God gave the promise to Abraham and his child. And notice that it doesn't say the promise was to his children, as if it meant many descendants. But the promise was to his child-- and that, of course, means Christ. 17This is what I am trying to say: The agreement God made with Abraham could not be canceled 430 years later when God gave the law to Moses. God would be breaking his promise. 18For if the inheritance could be received only by keeping the law, then it would not be the result of accepting God's promise. But God gave it to Abraham as a promise. 19Well then, why was the law given? It was given to show people how guilty they are. But this system of law was to last only until the coming of the child to whom God's promise was made. And there is this further difference. God gave his laws to angels to give to Moses, who was the mediator between God and the people. 20Now a mediator is needed if two people enter into an agreement, but God acted on his own when he made his promise to Abraham. 21Well then, is there a conflict between God's law and God's promises? Absolutely not! If the law could have given us new life, we could have been made right with God by obeying it. 22But the Scriptures have declared that we are all prisoners of sin, so the only way to receive God's promise is to believe in Jesus Christ. 23Until faith in Christ was shown to us as the way of becoming right with God, we were guarded by the law. We were kept in protective custody, so to speak, until we could put our faith in the coming Savior. 24Let me put it another way. The law was our guardian and teacher to lead us until Christ came. So now, through faith in Christ, we are made right with God. 25But now that faith in Christ has come, we no longer need the law as our guardian. 26So you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus. 27And all who have been united with Christ in baptism have been made like him. 28There is no longer Jew or Gentile, slave or free, male or female. For you are all Christians-- you are one in Christ Jesus. 29And now that you belong to Christ, you are the true children of Abraham. You are his heirs, and now all the promises God gave to him belong to you.
Paul is concerned for the church, they have lost perspective. They have wondered, how so? They have forgotten the power of the cross. They have drifted from promise to performance. They have taken their eyes off of the cross. They were trying to earn Gods blessing and favor by going back to the law.
It's directly into this context that Paul was ministering. Note that Paul identifies this drifting as a demonic influence.
Obviously as a people we want to avoid demonic deception, and we want the blessings.
So how do we get them? How did Abraham get them?
Abraham simply believed in God. God spoke to him and he believed him. Once he believed God he then operated in obedience.
This I believe is the essence of Christianity.
God loves us and wants to bless us. His oath to Abraham.
God wants to talk to us. Relationship.
When we believe in Him we obey Him. The life of faith.
The blessing comes from right believing and not right living.
Law is a subtle manipulation of this. It undermines faith and says " if I do this, God you have to do that". If I do much for God he must do much for me.
This is a deception of epic proportions in the church today. Look at what the scripture says…
10But those who depend on the law to make them right with God are under his curse, for the Scriptures say, "Cursed is everyone who does not observe and obey all these commands that are written in God's Book of the Law."
Please note this…in order for the blessing to come to you via the old covenant, you must obey "all the law". Did you see the three letter condition. ALL
If you want to receive the promises and blessings through law, you need to keep all. …no one can, the process of believing you can, and trying to, and all the effort and disappointment that goes with it, is the curse!
Jesus obeyed perfectly on our behalf so that all the blessings to Abraham now come to us by faith. Jesus did everything perfectly on our behalf, so we may receive the full inheritance of the saints. Or as the bible calls it "the glorious inheritance of the saints."
How good is this covenant of which Jesus is the mediator?
How awesome and loving is our God?
How powerful the work of the cross?
What did God promise Abraham? 
Chapter 12
1The LORD had said to Abram, "Leave your country, your people and your father's household and go to the land I will show you. 2"I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. 3I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you." 
I will bless you.
You will be a blessing. 
God loves you. No matter what you do or what you have done, he loves you.
He loves being in relationship with you.  Jesus made it all possible. Now we can enjoy being with God, we can enjoy the blessing of being his people.
Friend, God wants to bless you, make your name great. He wants to bless you so much that everywhere you go you become a blessing. Everywhere you go, people will ask…who is this person? Who is his father? Who is his God? Clearly God is with him/her!
You can't earn it, you believe, rest and receive it!

Monday, 07 July 2008

Welcomes the new fire starter

Hi All 

I would like to introduce you to Corban Jadon Booyens.

Born at 13h20 on the 2 July 2008.

Weighing in at 3.96kg 

Thanks for all the prayers, support and well wishes. 

All glory to God.

Tuesday, 01 July 2008

From Ryan Rufus

Well it's just a real honour to have Michael Eaton read my book. I really respect him as a theologian, greek expert and just a good man! He has a lot to say about my book- wow! And I think if you boil it all down, you'll find that actually we're pretty much saying the same thing but each having a slightly different angle. Or at least arriving at the same place in the end but with different was of getting there! (To be honest though, and with all respect to him, I struggle a bit with his angle and believe it will leave confusion and doubt in the mind of a believer.) We're both saying that because of the effect salvation had on our spirit the power of sin is broken. That dying and rising with Christ is what brought us out of Adam and into Christ. Out of sins slavery and into righteousness' freedom. Out of the law and into grace. Out of being in the flesh to being in the spirit- as are the themes of Romans 5,6,7 and 8.
His angle on Romans 6:6 is that the 'body dominated by sin' is done away with. (If I'm understanding him correctly.)
My angle is that the 'sin dominating the body' is done away with!

The rest of verse 6 says why this happened- so that we would no longer be slaves to sin. It wasn't the body that was enslaving us, it was the sinful nature! It's not dealing with the body that frees us from slavery, it's dealing with the inner man that frees us from slavery. The sinful nature was not located in the body, it was located in the spirit.

I personally think it's a bit confusing to say that our body was done away with when we know quite well that nothing changed in our body at salvation. It's a bit confusing I believe to even say that the 'body dominiated by sin' was done away with. How can that be? I still have my body. It's exactly the same before and after salvation. Nothing changed in my body! The change took place in our inner man (spirit, old self now new self) that has the affect on our body. The body of sin is not talking about our literal body but the entity of sin- the sinful nature that was enslaving us! I think the context of the scripture is proof enough of that! This is the whole point of my book- to show christians that the dominating power of sin (sinful nature) has been done away with- circumcised. It's to break the lie that tries to build up in Christians minds that the reason I sin is because I have a sinful nature. Anytime you say to Christians you still have a sinful nature disarms them and empowers an excuse for giving into sin! 'Well it wasn't me it was my sinful nature. I just need to die more to myself'. I just believe that's robbing Christians from being able to do the things that God has empowered them to do! Now of coarse I believe it's still possible for a christian to sin and to feel like sinning. But as you teach the clear distinction between why an unregenerate person sins and why a regenerate person sins you'll empower people! We sin because of external temptation that entices the natural appitites of the body and can be triggered or strengtherened by unrenewed patterns of thinking carried over from before we were saved. Salvation only affected your spirit- not your body or your mind. We need to offer our body and renew our mind - Rom 12. The more we offer our body and renew our mind the less pull temptation is going to have and the less temptation will be triggered in us!

Well I do appreciate Michaels comments and there are some things I think I'll need to polish up on in my book, but as for the convictions I have on the general themes of my book- I stand by them 100%. And to be honest I don't think they're that far off what Michael was saying. I bless him and his work, and pray God increases his influence and impact in the nations! My dad is sharing a pulpit with him at Word and Spirit conference in Cape Town 2nd week of July! And we believe there's a Holy Spirit linking taking place across the globe with people who are hearing the sound of new covenant glory!

With much love and grace
Ryan Rufus