Grace and Truth

…all the words of this life…


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Storehouses in Famine

God has been showing me that right now we are entering a new season. Right now we are leaving behind the years of “plenty” and entering into the years of “famine”.

In Amos 8:11 we read:grain

““Behold, the days are coming,” says the Lord God, “That I will send a famine on the land, Not a famine of bread, Nor a thirst for water, But of hearing the words of the Lord.”

I believe He wants me to share with you that whilst there is coming a wide-spread famine of the Word of God, He has a plan – a plan of mercy. And this plan is already well underway.

In Genesis 41 we read about another famine. One that spread throughout the whole world too. But of course back then God also had a plan.

God gave Pharoah two dreams. When no one could interpret their meaning, Joseph was summoned:

“Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “The dreams of Pharaoh are one; God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do: 26 

The seven good cows are seven years, and the seven good heads are seven years; the dreams are one. 27 And the seven thin and ugly cows which came up after them are seven years, and the seven empty heads blighted by the east wind are seven years of famine. 28

 This is the thing which I have spoken to Pharaoh. God has shown Pharaoh what He is about to do.

29 Indeed seven years of great plenty will come throughout all the land of Egypt; 30 but after them seven years of famine will arise, and all the plenty will be forgotten in the land of Egypt; and the famine will deplete the land. 31 So the plenty will not be known in the land because of the famine following, for it will be very severe.” (verses 25-31)

The first seven years were years of plenty. The second seven years were years of famine.

We know that seven in the Bible is used for perfection, divine completion. I believe God is saying now the first season of plenty is complete, it is over. Now we are entering the second phase: famine.

A famine of the Word of God.

However:

  • Just as God had a plan of mercy for the famine in Egypt, so too God has a plan for this famine. Just as God sent a man, Joseph, ahead to Egypt to prepare for the coming famine, so too has God sent a Man to prepare for this one.
  • Just as Joseph went out from the presence of Pharoah to prepare for the coming famine, so too has Jesus Christ gone out from the presence of the Father to prepare for this coming famine.

If we look at Joseph’s plan, we see that it was quite simple. In the first season of the seven years of plenty, he stored up one-fifth of the food that was grown in local storehouses all across Egypt.

Kashan_granary_Barry_Kent

Kashan_granary_Barry_Kent

“So (Joseph) gathered up all the food of the seven years which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities; he laid up in every city the food of the fields which surrounded them” Genesis 41:48

In His sovereignty God knew this famine was coming. In His sovereignty God had sent ahead of it a man to bring about His plan of mercy, so that the: “food shall be as a reserve for the land for the seven years of famine which shall be in the land of Egypt, that the land may not perish during the famine.” Genesis 41:36

Likewise Jesus Christ, by His Holy Spirit, has been gathering and building into God’s storehouses during this past season, in preparation for this coming famine.

Whilst Joseph used Pharoah’s stone or clay buildings to store away the grain, God has a very different type of building in which to store up His food.

It is us.

We are God’s storehouses. We are His plan for the coming famine. Into each of us He has been building day by day, year by year. Line upon line, precept upon precept, here a little, there a little.

“…we have this treasure in earthen vessels…” 2 Corinthians 4:7

Whilst Pharoah used earthen buildings, God uses earthen vessels.potter

Whilst Joseph used the local storehouses to hold the grain, God uses the local Body of Jesus Christ to store up His divine Life.   Every time we pray, we hear from God, we read the Word, we worship Him, we talk to Him, we spend time with Him He is building into us the bread of Life. He is storing away the grain in us of the Bread of God.

“For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” John 6:33

Remember: God always has a plan. He is in control. He is Sovereign.

When the second season began – the season of famine, the “famine was in all lands, but in all the land of Egypt there was bread.” Genesis 41:54

There is a time coming soon where there will be no bread for this world apart from what Jesus Christ has stored up in His own storehouses – in us, His people.

At that time Jesus will open up all of His storehouses and “all that is in them” (Genesis 41:56) will be given out to the starving masses.

Notice that it is the work of God to prepare for the coming famine. He is the one who gathers, who stores and puts away the food in us. All that is required of us is that we are there, receiving from Him.

Like Pharoah’s buildings we just need to allow the food to be stored up in us, and when the time comes, we need to allow our Lord Jesus to open us up and to use us.

grain-pouringWe will be emptied for the sake of others. But it is when we give out, that He is able to pour more of His life into us again.

I want to encourage you brothers and sisters that the years past of your time with Christ, of pain, of suffering, of being built into… it is not in vain. It is for a purpose. God has been preparing His storehouses for such a time as this. Take heart, God sees you, He loves you, He is about to use you.

Building in, building in….in order to give out, give out.

 

God bless you!


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Tonight’s Street Preaching 29 Aug ’14

flinders stThe last time I went in to preach in the city’s streets was in the battle with the Hares some weeks back.  That ended up taking a huge toll on me and I was sick for some time afterwards…

The good news is that they apparently haven’t been back to the area since.

“But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and manifests through us the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.” 2 Corinthians 2:14

Something else I discovered tonight: a large Muslim contingent has set up two tables in the city’s most popular mall.  There they distribute Islamic literature and even preach on microphones to the public.

Of course, they are entitled to do so, just as we are.

I find this disturbing though.  Why?  Because it is really hard to getLR preaching Christians out there to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ, yet the Muslims are seemingly doing it for Allah.

I suppose that may be because as Christians we are partakers of God’s wondrous grace.  We certainly don’t have to street-preach or to share the gospel to be saved.  We don’t have to work for salvation at all. No, it is all the work of God. And praise Him for that! However, I do wonder why it is so hard to get Christians out there when we have the greatest love story in the world to share (not to mention the Great Commission Christ gave us and the Holy Spirit to help us).

Christian brothers and sisters – we need to pray that God sends out more labourers into the harvest!  We really do.  Whilst most of the church is sitting in their comfy chairs watching tv or arguing amongst themselves over doctrinal issues, the devil is working diligently against the gospel of Christ.

I am not trying to put condemnation on anyone. It is hard to get out there.  Believe me, I know.  I also know that no-one wants to hear this….  But I think it necessary to speak the truth of what I see.

Brothers and sisters we urgently need two things :

  • intercessors, and
  • those willing to go.  We need those like Isaiah who will say:

“Here I am Lord; send me.”woman preacher

 

 


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Where is Jesus in the Church?

cropped-girl-praying1.jpgThe state of the Church breaks my heart. Yes it does.  I weep over it, and I believe so does Jesus.

The deadness, the formality, the coldness.  Where is the life?  Where is the joy?  Where is my Jesus?

I don’t seem Him in it.

I don’t see Him in the dry formality, I don’t see Him in the ritual, the “way we’ve always done it.”

Why do people’s faces look sad and somber in church?  Why do we feel we have to pretend to be serious to be spiritual?

Jesus where are You?

Not there.

 

The thing is, we know it.  We know it’s not right, that something is missing. We know that Jesus’ death on the cross wasn’t so we could sit and be bored in Church for two hours every Sunday morning.  We feel it.  Something in our spirit says this is not the way it was in the early Church, there is something more.  What are we missing?

 

So, we try to fix it in our human-ness.

Entertainment, rock concerts, frenzied behavior, yelling, emotional manipulation.  Get people to cry, yes, if that brings emotion, ANYTHING but that dead dryness.  Oh God, anything but that.

Entertainment for true joy.

Emotional manipulation for true broken-ness

Frenzied behavior for the real work of the Holy Spirit.

 

Jesus where are You?

Not there.

 

After awhile, the yelling makes us tired, the emotive manipulation falls on dead ears, and, after all, we are not changed.

That didn’t work either.  Oh  God, what next?

Look at pubs, worldly concerts, sporting events.  They are full of happy, excited people.  There are crowds.  They must know something we don’t.  We must learn from them.

Advertising, marketing surveys, seeker-sensitive churches.  Things not to mention:

  • the cross
  • sin
  • the Blood
  • God’s holiness
  • never ever use the word “sinner”
  • hell
  • judgment (shriek)

(But make sure you use the word “unpack” in your sermon at least 5 times.)

 

Jesus where are YOU?

Not there.

 

Something wrong. something missing.  something different than the Church in Acts.

Spirituality.  Candles, liturgies, labyrinths, darkness.  Ooooh, we get goosebumps again.  This is it! we feel again, we are not dead, not bored, we are spiritual.

We feel.

JESUS where are YOU?

Not there.

 

Don’t we see?  don’t we know where He is?

He is outside the Church.

He is outside the door.

Long ago He was asked to leave.  Oh yes, we use His Name, but we don’t really want Him.  We want to be comfortable, we want convenience at all costs.  We don’t want our formality and rituals confronted or thrown away.  We want to feel good, positive emotions. We don’t want to be convicted.  We want to feel intellectual and deep and have wonderful spiritual experiences.  We want lots of people around us because that shows we are on the right track.

But we don’t want HIM.

 

Him – the goodness, the holiness, the righteousness, the kindness, the love, the truth, the mercy, the conviction, the call to the lost, the call to obedience, the faithfulness to Him that is required, the cost of the cross of Christ…

 

Jesus is a gentleman, He will not stay where He is not welcome.

 

There is only one way back to Him.

Let us cast off everything else and fall on our knees before Him.

There is only one thing that is required:

BROKENNESS

Utter broken-ness.

Let us fall on our faces before our Lord and weep for the state of our own hearts, for the Church, for the lost around us.  Let our hearts be broken.  It is only when our hearts are broken before the Lord that LIFE, the real life of the Holy Spirit enters in.

 

I don’t know about you, but I can’t stand the deadness any more.  I have had enough of formality and boredom.  I have had enough of human solutions to the problem.  I can’t handle any more extraneous rubbish – I WANT HOLY GHOST REVIVAL!  This world needs men and women who have the fire of the Holy Ghost.

 

Lord, send Your Spirit.  Revive us again. We need You Lord.  I repent of my hardness of heart Lord. My heart breaks for the state of the Church Lord.  My heart breaks for those around me on their way to Hell.  Enough Lord !  Rend the heavens and come down!!!  In Jesus’s Name, Amen

 


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Tish B’Av …Israel’s National Day Of Sorrow

GraceandTruth:

This is very timely, and important…

Originally posted on Pastor Bill Randles Blog:

(Tish B’Av, the ninth of the Hebrew month of Av comes this year between August 4-5. I am republishing an earlier article for this occassion. Keep looking up everybody!)

How hath the LORD covered the daughter of Zion with a cloud in his anger, and cast down from heaven unto the earth the beauty of Israel, and remembered not his footstool in the day of his anger!

The LORD hath swallowed up all the habitations of Jacob, and hath not pitied: he hath thrown down in his wrath the strong holds of the daughter of Judah; he hath brought them down to the ground: he hath polluted the kingdom and the princes thereof.

He hath cut off in his fierce anger all the horn of Israel: he hath drawn back his right hand from before the enemy, and he burned against Jacob like a flaming fire, which devoureth round about.

View original 1,118 more words


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Bible Prophecy: In the News?

As we sit in front of our televisions and observe the present conflict going on between Israel and

Source:wikipedia

Source:wikipedia

Hamas in Gaza, one cannot help but recall that Gaza is sometimes mentioned in God’s Word, the Holy Bible. Following are a few important scriptures concerning Gaza and we cautiously ask whether any of these scriptures have any relevance to this present conflict?

Firstly, we wish to point out that some of these scriptures prophesied events that were to take place shortly after those prophecies were given; when God was angry at the way the Philistines had treated His Covenant People. However, it is also worth pointing out that the Bible is often written with “multiple fulfillment” in mind; that is there may be numerous fulfillments of a particular prophecy until the final prophetic fulfillment occurs. The classic example is the appearance of the antichrist. A number of antichrists have already appeared, such as Antiochus Epiphanes, until the “final” antichrist appears. This is confirmed in 1 John 2:18 where we are told that many antichrists have already come. So is it possible that those prophecies of old have any relevance to the situation in Gaza today?

Whether they point to the present conflict or not, they are nevertheless important to consider in the light of this present conflict.

Jeremiah 47:5

Verse 1 of chapter 47 of Jeremiah tells us that the prophecy was written before Pharaoh attacked Gaza and in verse 5 it was fulfilled when Pharaoh attacked. Yet we have to ask the question whether it is not being fulfilled yet again at this point in time? It reads:

“ Gaza will shave her head in mourning; . . . “

Gaza is presently in a terrible state; much of it because its own foolish behaviour towards Israel.

Amos 1:6-7

6 This is what the Lord says: “For three sins of Gaza, even for four, I will not turn back my wrath. Because she took captive whole communities and sold them to Edom, 7I will send fire upon the walls of Gaza that will consume her fortresses. . . . . “”

It is thought that the “whole communities” referred to in that scripture were in south Judah. Yet, in many ways does this not describe what has been going on there now? Certainly through use of their tunnels, Hamas operatives planned to abduct Israelis and take them back to Gaza where they were to be held hostage and possibly even killed. Certainly Gaza has had reprisal heaped upon her.

 

Zephaniah 1:14 reads:

“The great day of the Lord is near- near and coming quickly.”

Verses 4 to 7 of chapter 2 are about judgment on Philistia, of which Gaza was a part. Here we specifically look at verse 4 of chapter 2 which reads:

Gaza will be abandoned . . . “

In these passages Zephaniah is exhorting all to repent, not only Gaza, before the destruction comes that will sweep over the earth in the day of God’s wrath.

Zechariah 9:5

Zechariah chapter 9 is a Judgment on Israel’s enemies. In verse 9 we read:

“. . . . ; Gaza will writhe in agony, . . . “

Surely we can say that at this time Gaza is in agony; presently as the Israelis try to destroy the bases from which rockets and other acts of war have been aimed at her. But there will come a time when God Himself does it – for His own name’s sake.

Chris, from our fellowship, has an interest in Bible prophecy and from time to time will share his views with us on current events and how they relate to prophecy in this new series “Bible Prophecy”.


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Missionary Quotations: CT Studd3

“Christ’s call is to save the lost, not the stiff-necked; He came not to call scoffers but sinners ctstuddto repentance; not to build and furnish comfortable chapels, churches, and cathedrals at home in which to rock Christian professors to sleep by means of clever essays, stereotyped prayers, and artistic musical performances, but to capture men from the devil’s clutches and the very jaws of Hell. This can be accomplished only by a red-hot, unconventional, unfettered devotion, in the power of the Holy Spirit, to the Lord Jesus Christ.”

 

Oh hallelujah!

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