Grace and Truth

…all the words of this life…


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World Outrage Grows Over Cecil the Lion

source:inquisitr.com

source:inquisitr.com

This case is outrageous. Infuriatingly so.

An innocent and beautiful lion was killed as a trophy for a rich man, yes.

But as reprehensible to me as that is, that is not what outrages me.

What outrages me is the hypocrisy of the moral-high ground that the media, government officials, social media and individuals are all taking.

How dare he kill a lion?” “He has no right to kill a defenceless animal.” “How dare he use it as a trophy?”

I actually don’t disagree with these statements, I hate hunting for sport. I hate that a defenceless animal is killed at the whim of a human-being sporting a gun. I surely do not understand how killing anything is considered sport.

But the self-righteousness of what I am witnessing makes me sick. It is incomprehensible to me that while the world becomes so “outraged” over the killing of one lion, an animal, outrage over the systematic killing of defenceless, innocent babies every day within our civilised society is almost non-existent.

The outrage over the death of a lion! To the point where the man who killed it has to go into hiding. Where is the outrage over:

  • 60 million babies aborted in the USA since Roe Vs Wade,
  • the estimated 80,000 babies that are aborted in Australia every year and the
  • 336 million babies aborted in China over the last 40 years?

One may argue that abortion has nothing to do with the killing of Cecil the lion and that the two issues should not be connected. After all one is to do with killing for sport, the other is “women’s healthcare”.

Agreed. They are not the same issue.

Of course they aren’t. One is to do with an animal’s right to live. The other a human being’s right to live.

The issue is completely different because of course human life is more valuable than animal life.

Isn’t it?

Guys?

How the hell have we come to the point where we are so outraged, so angry over the death of a lion that the man who killed it has to go into hiding, but at the same time we collectively don’t give a rats-you-know-what about millions of innocent baby boys and girls being murdered every day?

You tell me we haven’t lost our moral compass somewhere along the line. When we consider the life of an animal as of greater intrinsic value, as something more worthy to get outraged about than the life of millions of babies, then something is seriously, seriously wrong.

God help us


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Overcoming the Fear of Man

There is only one antidote to the fear of man, and that is the fear of God.fear of man

The fear of God needs to overtake the fear of man. It needs to be a stronger force in our lives than the fear of man or else the FOM will keep rearing up its ugly head and dictating our lives.

 

Natural Vs Spiritual

We all want to be liked. We all desire the approbation of others. To be recognised, affirmed and accepted. That’s natural. I am the same as everyone else.

But that is the natural man, the old man. That man is part of the temporal, earthly order.

When we were born again our spirit-man was born from above. Now we are a part of the heavenly order of things. It’s important to remember that the temporal order is on its way out and very soon the eternal will be ushered in.

God has placed this world under judgment and there is no escaping that fact. Remember the writing on the wall? “Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin” (Daniel 5:25). This world has been weighed in the balances and found to be wanting (or “too light”). Therefore God has numbered the days of the kingdoms of this world and shortly they will be brought to an end.

So when our natural man focusses on the earthly, material kingdoms around us we can forget that we are a part of something far greater, far more wonderful than this temporal order. Jesus removed the blinkers from our eyes when we were saved but we must know how to see into the eternal. We should be able to see what the natural man cannot. To see that the natural and temporal are passing away and that it is the eternal that counts and that lasts.

fear of godRemember Daniel: After he translated the above words, King Belshazzar ordered him to be promoted in his kingdom and highly honoured him in the sight of Babylon. But what did Daniel want with the King’s approbation? – He’d just told him that the days of his kingdom were numbered!   The promotion was meaningless!

Daniel had eyes to see. The great banquet, the flowing wine and the shine of the cups of gold did not distract Daniel from seeing the spiritual.

The way of the kingdom is a different way, a higher way.  Jesus came to deliver us from the bondage of the fear of man in the natural, and to bring us into His way – the way of the Spirit.

 

Obtaining the Fear of God

It is only in fearing God that the fear of man is supernaturally overcome. But how to obtain the fear of God?

Consider Stephen the Martyr.  Previously the high priest had strictly forbidden the apostles to teach in Jesus’ Name, they had even been imprisoned for the message they preached. It was a scary time to be preaching the gospel.

“But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: We ought to obey God rather than men. The God of our fathers raised up Jesus whom you murdered by hanging on a tree. Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Saviour, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. And we are His witnesses to these things, and so also is the Holy Spirit whom God has given to those who obey Him.” Acts 5:29-32

Not long after this event Stephen is accused of blasphemy and put on trial. How frightening! Other Christians had recently beenfear killed for the faith and this was fresh in their minds.

Stephen could have kowtowed to the accusers, but he didn’t. He didn’t fear them, he could see beyond them and their threats. He could see the God of eternity. And he feared God much more than these men.

So in the fear of God Stephen, rather than cowering in a corner, rose to the occasion and preached the truth.

“You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit, as your fathers did, so do you. Which of the prophets did your fathers not persecute?…” Acts 7:51, 52

Did Stephen fear man? No way. Did he compromise his message hoping they might let him off? Nope.

Yes, they killed him, but he didn’t fear them.

You see he had a vision of heaven. He “gazed intently into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.” Acts 7:55

The difference is that God’s people are able to see.  They can see beyond the temporal, physical realm. Rather than seeing man and his threats they could see the One who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

And that is the difference.

  • The fear of man comes from spiritual myopia – short-sighted vision that cannot see beyond this physical, material world.
  • The fear of God comes from a supernatural revelation of the glory of God.

Once you have seen it you are never the same.

 

The Revelation

Isaiah saw it.

“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled

source: idisciple.org

source: idisciple.org

the temple. Above it stood seraphim; each one had six wings: with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet, and with two he flew. And one cried to another and said:

“Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; The whole earth is full of His glory!” Isaiah 6:1-3

This is what this generation needs more than ever – a revelation of the glory of God.

Once you’ve had a vision of the holiness, the reverence, the majesty of God, you have a vision of eternity. Suddenly your eyes are opened to the temporal nature of everything that encompasses us. Suddenly you see that only the eternal matters.

Suddenly your eyes are also opened to your true self. Once Isaiah saw God he also saw himself.

“Woe is me, for I am undone!”

The power of self is undone in the presence of Almighty God. And suddenly how man and this world estimates you takes a second place to the revelation that there is a holy God who sees you. Only His estimation of you matters now. And now the fear of man takes second place to the fear of Almighty God.

 “Lord stamp eternity on my eyeballs” Leonard Ravenhill

Oh Lord God Almighty, give us, this last generation, a vision of Your glory. Let us see You in all Your awesome majesty. Give us a heavenly vision again Lord. I am asking for such clear spiritual vision that we can see past the distraction of this world and into eternity. Father, that we may fear You alone, and not man. Let us do Your will only. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

 

Previous post….God’s Prescription for Persecution


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Street Preaching & Something the Devil Doesn’t Want You to Know

IMG_4333[1]I’ve just come back after preaching on the city streets this morning with two other ladies.  The thing that has impressed me most is this : there is power and authority in the Name of Jesus Christ.

The devil knows it.  But he doesn’t want us to know it.

The devil was trembling and tried everything to stop us going in today. He wasn’t fearful of us.  He was fearful of the gospel being preached in the power of The Name.  I had horrible nightmares last night, two ladies who were supposed to come with us got sick, the road into the city was literally blocked and our usual car park closed off.

Within minutes of being there one of the young ladies with me was reduced to tears after a conversation with someone.

I knew it was the devil trying his hardest to stop this girl from preaching the gospel.  I advised her not to take it personally, the devil is doing his best to stop us and her in particular. She has just recently turned from sin and God is moving powerfully in and through her. So praise God she kept going.  And wow, she preached today!  First time ever on the PA and she preached the gospel!  Praise God.

A severely handicapped man tried to unplug me as the anointing fell.  I  politely told him to remove his hands from my property.

Another man tried to shut us down because we didn’t have a permit.  (We don’t need a permit).

I think Satan was particularly scared because yesterday as I prayed and fasted about street-ministry today Holy Spirit gave me this scripture:IMG_4329[1]

“…You are to cross over the Jordan today, and go in to dispossess nations greater and mightier than yourself, cities great and fortified up to heaven, a people great and tall, the descendants of the Anakim, whom you know, and of whom you heard it said, ‘Who can stand before the descendants of Anak?’  Therefore understand today that the Lord your God is He who goes over before you as a consuming fire. He will destroy them and bring them down before you; so you shall drive them out and destroy them quickly, as the Lord has said to you.”  Deuteronomy 9:1-3

I am here to tell you that there is power in the Name of Jesus.  At the name of Jesus every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that He is Lord!  The devil cannot stop the gospel going forth.  No man can stop it.  There is no power on earth that is more powerful than the blood of Jesus Christ! Hallelujah to the Lamb!  He is a great and mighty God and He is mighty to save.  The devil is aware of his own defeat at the cross, but he would like to stop us from finding that out.

“Satan cannot stand against us when we dare to believe God and claim the power God has for us, the same power God showed when He raised Christ from the dead and gave Him a place above all principalities and powers.” Joshua – Victorious by Faith, Theodore Epp

IMG_4331[1]Do not fear.  People are just people.  They are not nearly as scary as we imagine them to be.  What can man do to us? Kill us?  Maybe, but we will go to be with the Lord and the gospel will go out even stronger.

But God is God, and He is calling each one of us to go forth in the power of the Name of Jesus and wage war against sin.

All honour praise and glory to the Lamb!

 


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100 Years From Now

It will not make much difference, friend, a hundred years from now11219593_10152932989958261_4896805221278485865_n

If you live in a stately mansion or on a river scow;
If the clothes you wear are tailor-made or pieced together somehow,
If you eat big steaks or beans and cake …

A hundred years from now.

It won’t matter your bank account or the make of car you drive,
For the grave will claim all riches and fame and the things for which you strive.

There’s a deadline that we all must meet and no one will be late.
It won’t matter then all the places you’ve been, each one will keep that date.

We will only have in eternity – what we gave away on earth,
When we go the grave, we can only save the things of eternal worth.
What matters, friend, the earthly gain for which some men always bow?
For your destiny will be sealed, you see … a hundred years from now.

By Walden Parker


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Jesus and the Brazen Laver

bronze-laver-priestFollowing on from Jesus Christ and the Brazen Altar, we will now look at the Brazen Laver. As we have been discovering in this series, every item of furniture in the Tabernacle of Moses was a type or a shadow of the reality that is now available to us in Jesus Christ.

The Brazen Laver is a wonderful picture of two things:

  • the Word of God; and
  • sanctification, (or separation)

 

The Laver was Made From Bronze Mirrors

“He made the laver of bronze and its base of bronze, from the bronze mirrors of the serving women who assembled at the door of the tabernacle of meeting.” Exodus 38:8

Mirrors in those days were made from highly polished bronze, not glass. Bronze is always a picture of judgment in the Tabernacle. And wow – what a picture it is. Imagine moving forward from the Brazen Altar, where the blood of an innocent animal has been shed for your sins, to the Brazen Laver where you now wash your feet and hands. As you do so, you are confronted with your reflection in both the water of the Laver and the bronze mirrors holding the water.

…. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror;  for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” James 1:22-25 (emphasis mine).

 

The Word of God ExposesthVT2OSNBU

Once you are at the Laver you cannot escape the confrontation of your own reflection.

You are exposed.

This is exactly what the Word of God does. As we read, study and meditate on it we behold ourselves as in a mirror. We are exposed for who we truly are and we cannot hide from it because it is “alive and powerful and sharper than any two-edged sword…” (Hebrews 4:12)

We see where we fall short of the standard of God’s Word and we are convicted and pierced by it “even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart”. (Hebrews 4:12)

This work of the Sword of the Spirit is so close, so intimate, even to the division of joints and marrow. The marrow is inside the bone-joint. How sharp is that Sword and how dextrously is it handled by the Spirit that it exposes those hidden, secrets places in our souls that contain even our innermost intents of the heart!

The priest in the Tabernacle would cut up the sacrifice for the offering with a sharp knife. This is God’s intention for us. That He would be able to work in us in order to conform us to the image of His Son through the Sword of the Spirit (the Word of God). He wants to expose and cut away all that is soulish and instead fill us with the life of the Spirit.

 

Justification Vs Sanctification

Once we have been to the Brazen Altar, a type of the cross of Jesus Christ, we are justified before God.

“We were reconciled to God by the death of His Son” (Romans 5:10).

rickeyminor.orgWe are saved by blood and delivered from condemnation at the Altar.

Whilst the Brazen Altar is a picture of our justification, the Brazen Laver is a picture of our sanctification. This is the second aspect of salvation and it is to do with separation.

The penalty for sin is dealt with at the Altar, the cleansing from sin at the Laver.

 

The Word of God Cleanses

Just as “Aaron and his sons…wash(ed) their hands and their feet in water from (the Brazen Laver)” (Exodus 30:19), so too the Word of God cleanses us.

“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word” Ephesians 5:26

As the priests came into the Tabernacle their feet would have been dusty. Their hands would have needed cleansing after their work. The Brazen Laver had two washing basins, one for the hands and one for the feet.

  • Hands speak to us of our service for God.
  • Feet of our walk with God.

Daily we need to be washed by the water of the Word of God. Even though we are saved, as we go about life in this sinful world we pick up dust and dirt along the way. In order to fellowship with the Lord and come into His presence we need to be separated unto Him daily by the cleansing of the Word. The Laver shows us that whilst sin has been dealt with once for all at the cross, we need to come daily confessing our sins so that we may be cleansed from any defilement of the world.

 

The Word of God Brings us to Maturity

The Laver also speaks to us of going on to maturity in Christ. At the Altar we have been born again, but at the Laver we grow as we look into the mirror of the Word of God. Those heart-motives and intentions that were exposed by the mirror of the Word are also cleansed away by the water of the Word.

We must remember that the priests regularly came to the Laver to wash. We are now “a royal priesthood” (1 Peter 2:9) and we too must come regularly to the Word of God to be convicted, cleansed and sanctified.

The Word of God is integral to maintaining our life in Christ. The Brazen Laver could not be avoided in the Tabernacle on the way into the Holy Place.  The priests were required to stop there and take the time in order to be convicted, cleansed and set apart. So too must we take the time to spend with our wonderful Saviour in feeding on His Word.

God bless! 🙂

 


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God’s Prescription for Persecution

1160_doctors_prescriptionWhen Jesus sent out His disciples two by two He knew he was sending them out as sheep amongst wolves. He knew that they would be met with persecution and rejection along the way.   He knew the hearts of the people had by and large grown callous in their religiosity.

Yet He still sent them out.

Jesus gave them one prescription to be able to withstand the ongoing rejection and persecution He knew they were to encounter :

“…do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.” Matthew 10:28

He taught them the fear of God.

This is God’s prescription for persecution.  This is the only way ongoing rejection and persecution can be met with strength and courage and be withstood.

Jesus still sends out His disciples today.  He has given all of us the Great Commission.  He knows that we will be rejected and persecuted for the message we bring to the world, yet He still sends us.  And the prescription that was good for the early disciples is still good for us today too.

You see as God’s mouthpiece in a fallen world, above all else we must fear God.

You cannot simultaneously fear both God and man.2014_03_16-PM-The-Fear-of-God-vs-The-Fear-of-Man-580x200

We all fear either one or the other.

The one you fear will be the one who dictates your life. The one you fear will determine where you stand.

Why did Jesus command us to fear God?  Because He knows that:

“The fear of man brings a snare.” Proverbs 29:25

  • The fear of man contaminates pure truth.
  • The fear of man leads to bondage.
  • The fear of man brings fear of rejection.
  • The fear of man shuts your mouth when you should speak.
  • The fear of man changes the truth of God’s Word into something more palatable.
  • The fear of man brings compromise.

And thus the fear of man cannot please God.

God’s prophets are those who will stand in the midst of rejection. These are ones whom will not stop speaking truth even in the face of resistance, hostility and open aggression. They will not bow to the pressure of man. God’s mouthpieces are those who understand the consequences of speaking on His behalf, and may even be afraid to, yet they will still speak it.

God’s ambassadors are those He sends forth in the fear of Him.fear

You cannot simultaneously please both God and man.

Choose which one you are going to fear, because that is the one you are going to serve.  The one whom you try to please is the master to whom you bow.

If you want to get far in this world, to be accepted, promoted, have lots of Facebook friends, to be asked to speak at conferences, if that’s what ultimately motivates you, then you fear man.

But if you are willing to let it go: the popularity, friends, followers of your blog, even family, if you are willing to follow Christ whatever the cost, to please Him, to obey Him, to be faithful to Him. If what motivates you is to one day hear these words:

“Well done my good and faithful servant…”

then you fear God.  And no matter what persecution comes your way, even unto death, you will have the courage and the strength to withstand.

 

Blessings, Belinda

 

Next post….       

  • How to overcome the fear of man
  • How to get the fear of God


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Noah’s Ark: A Picture of Jesus Christ

noahs-arkJesus compared the days we are living in to the days of Noah. He said:

But as the days of Noah were, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, and did not know until the flood came and took them all away, so also will the coming of the Son of Man be.” Matthew 24:37-39

Just as in Noah’s day, there was a day appointed for judgment, so it is today. This time however, it will not be by flood, rather it will be by fire.

For this they willfully forget: that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of water and in the water,by which the world that then existed perished, being flooded with water. But the heavens and the earth which are now preserved by the same word, are reserved for fire until the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.… But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in which the heavens will pass away with a great noise, and the elements will melt with fervent heat; both the earth and the works that are in it will be burned up. Therefore, since all these things will be dissolved, what manner of persons ought you to be in holy conduct and godliness, looking for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be dissolved, being on fire, and the elements will melt with fervent heat? “ 2 Peter 3:3-12

The day when the door will be shut on the Ark is fast approaching. There is not much time left. So what I say to one I say to all:

Get on board the Ark now! Take your friends and your family with you. Make sure you are safely within the place of refuge and flee from the wrath that is to come!

Of which Ark do I speak of nowadays? This Ark is not made of gopher wood, no it is Jesus Christ Himself. The Ark of Noah is a picture of Christ and points to Him as the refuge from God’s coming judgment.

The New is in the Old Concealed, the Old is in the New Revealed.

 

The Shadow of the Ark The Light of Jesus Christ
There was only one Ark. One boat.   One way to escape the coming judgment. Likewise there is only one way of salvation.Jesus said “I am the Way….no man comes to the Father but through me.” Forget religion, Christ is the only place of refuge from the coming Day of the Lord.
The Ark was planned by God not by Noah The plan of redemption was foreordained by God to meet the judgment of sin and to make provision for the safety of the elect
Whilst God planned and designed the Ark, He commissioned man to build it. This is a picure of the Incarnation of Jesus Christ. The Saviour must have a human body and nature as well as the divine. God came in the flesh of man through the virgin birth.
Noah “found grace in the eyes of the Lord” We are saved by grace through faith in Christ
Noah believed God’s Word that there would be a flood on the earth, even though there was no evidence of this.   Previously the earth had been watered by a mist coming up. Noah received God’s Word of a coming deluge by faith. We also received Jesus Christ by faith in God’s word. “…Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith—the salvation of your souls”. 1 Peter 1:8
The Ark had only one door.   There was only one way in. Jesus is the only way in to the Father. Jesus said “I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved….” John 10:9
The door had no dimensions given No matter how great a sinner may be, there is room for him through the door – Jesus Christ
The Ark had three levels This could be a picture of the Tri-unity of the Godhead.
There was only one window in the Ark.   It was in the flat roof of the boat and about 18”x18” and covered by a hatch. Noah and his family could only look Heaven-ward out of the window God wants us to be looking upwards to Him, rather than being overwhelmed by difficult circumstances.
God told Noah to “pitch (the Ark) within and without with pitch” Genesis 6:14. This is the only place in the Bible where “pitch”, a bituminous substance, is translated as “kapher”. “Kapher” everywhere else in the Bible translates as “atonement”. It means a covering. Lev 17:11 says “For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls”. This word atonement  in this verse is the same as the word translated as “pitch” in Genesis 6:14 It is because of Jesus Christ’s atonement for our sins at the cross, that we have a way of escape from what is coming upon this world. He took our place on the cross and shed His precious blood in order to make atonement for us. Once we are in Him His blood covers us and keeps us safe. In Him there is perfect peace and safety which is apart from this world.
God invited Noah and His family into the safety and refuge of the Ark. “And the Lord said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark…” Genesis 7:1 God still invites us today into the safety of Christ, “Come unto me all who labour and are heavy-laden and I will give you rest…”
God told Noah to make rooms in the ark (Genesis 6:14). Rooms here is translated as “a nest”. God provided comfort as well as safety within the Ark. Jesus said: “In My Father’s house are many mansions:….I go to prepare a place for you.” John 14:2
God Himself shut the door to the Ark“And the Lord shut him in” before the judgment began. Whilst the door is open all may enter in. However one day soon the door will be shut and the age of grace will finish. Then the time of judgment will begin.

 

“By faith, Noah being warned of God of things not seen as yet, moved with fear, prepared an ark to the saving of his house; by the which he condemned the world, and became heir of the righteousness which is by faith” Hebrews 11:7