Grace and Truth

…all the words of this life…


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Missionary Quotations: Derek Prince

“Brothers and sisters you are missing a lot if you don’t get involved in reaching the unreached.  You can sit here in a comfortable church and derekhave a wonderful time but the real rewards are for the people whose hearts are with those who have never heard.”

Derek Prince


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The Root and Fruit of Humanism & Political Correctness

The news over the last few weeks of September was full of events with potentially major implications: the Pope’s visit topol in pic the US, Russia’s involvement in Syria, developments at the UN including the promotion of the Palestinian issue and even the last of the series of “blood” moons. But, here in Australia, two prominent news items during the first few days of October drew my attention and struck me as particularly significant. They were an anti-abortion “activist” from America denied entry to Australia while the other centred on all the hype surrounding the Australian Rules football finals.

 

The Fruit:

So why does the denial of an anti-abortion “activist” to enter Australia strike me as significant? The answer is simply that Australia is supposed to be a democratic country where freedom of expression is valued. In this case the politically correct machine sprang into operation to deny the activist entry. On TV an MP from Labour’s ranks explained that the authorities had been alerted to deny the man entry because a mature and sensible debate on the issue of abortion has been held and she more or less implied that, not only was the matter settled, but further discussion or other points of view, were not in the country’s interest. A similar situation arose a few months back when someone from the US wanted to put forward an argument against some of the mandatory vaccinations given to babies and young children. In that instance the medical fraternity sprang into action and the person was denied entry to Australia.

What about the Australian footy finals? Certainly in the state of Victoria, where the game was invented, there was a great build up to the finals with other news virtually taking a back seat. There was even the ridiculous and unnecessary action by the state government in declaring Friday 2nd, the day before the game, a public holiday! Apart from charlton hestondisrupting business, one wonders how it was supposed to benefit the players or fans for the game the next day – let alone the whole state of Victoria!

These two events are undoubtedly a product of current humanistic thinking and its offshoot, political correctness.

 

The Root:

What is humanism and where did it originate? My Little Oxford Dictionary answers the first part of the question by explaining that humanism is a “non-religious philosophy based on liberal human values”. I agree with the explanation that it is a philosophy based on liberal human values but challenge the idea that it is non-religious since it is clearly anti-God, especially our Judeo/Christian God, and has a “religious” life of its own. As to the second part of the question, we find that the origins of humanism, as we see it practised in the modern world today, can easily be traced back to the thoughts and practices of ancient Greece. So let us briefly look at some of the ideas put forward by those ancient philosophers and look at how their society behaved to see if any of it applies to us today. We will not only see that there are direct similarities between the two but will also get an idea of the future direction modern society is likely to take.

Firstly, the Greeks idolised the human mind. For instance, Aristotle’s concept of God was a perfect mind contemplating thinkeritself, because nothing less was worthy of its contemplation. Out of this the philosophy of rationalism developed: everything is rational but also relative so there is no absolute truth and man can do it his way. In order to enable people to function freely and without conflict the Greek philosophers came up with the idea of “democracy”. Today we see democracy promoted as the answer to a nation’s problems. It has been said of democracy that it is a bad system but is the best we have! Unfortunately modern democracy has developed further into the idea of a “collective will” which brokers no other points of view. It is also one controlled and manipulated by a few: as we see happening already. All of this of course opens the way for the appearance of a global dictator.

Next, and in addition to rationalism, was the emphasis on athletic contests, especially their games in Olympia, from which the modern Olympic Games are derived. The Greeks idolised athletic ability. I hardly need to point out the similarities we have today with the huge emphasis on sport: the most widely watched TV programmes are sports events, many of which are direct international events.

When it came to morality, the ancient Greeks were a pretty dissolute lot. The Greeks did not hold marriage in high regard. The relationship between a man and a woman was regarded as inferior to a homosexual relationship between two men which was seen to be more intellectually fulfilling. Even their art forms usually favoured the male body, often naked. Worse still, the Greek gods showed little in the way of moral guidance, displaying the basest of mankind’s failings: lust, immorality, vindictiveness, deception and more. And so mankind was left free to do his own thing and aspire to be his own god!

 

Conclusion

It is evident that ancient Greek thinking and practices have had an enormous influence on our society today and are everywhere evident in it where we see:

  • An open and deliberate rejection of God’s righteous and moral laws.
  • Carried to its ultimate conclusion humanism will believe anything but the truth.
  • The exultation of man will make way for the Antichrist, whose name is the number of man (Rev 13:18), who proclaims himself as God.
  • He (Antichrist) will have dominion over all who refuse the love of truth.
  • For this reason God will send them a powerful delusion so that they will believe the lie.

In this situation, as Christians, we are outnumbered and seemingly unable to halt the breakdown of moral values in our society but we do have one mighty weapon; prayer. It is indeed a difficult time, often depressing, but we can take heart that we have God to turn to. There is no doubt that the situation is going to become considerably worse, and quickly, but I believe that we can come out victorious, not through our own strength but with God’s help and by remaining faithful to Him always seeking truth.

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 Bible prophecy.

 


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Diary of a Girl Street-Preacher: 16th Oct 2015

Today the police were called as we were preaching. The same man from the railway station who took issue with us last IMG_4329[1]time stepped it up a notch today to try to get rid of us.

(I think perhaps my chalking the whole of John 3:16 on the footpath in huge letters didn’t help the situation.)

The police came and spoke to us. They were very polite and almost apologetic. I could tell they didn’t want to be there but had to look as if they were doing something as the railway man was watching on from a distance.

After they left and I began preaching again railway man was heard to proclaim in consternation:

“She’s at it again!”

Well what am I to do? As polite and respectful as I must be to these people, I have been sent there by a higher authority and I “…ought to obey God rather than men.” (Acts 5:29)

Another person who took exception to our presence was a young man who became more and more agitated as I preached. He was pacing back and forth in front of me. When I finished I went over to speak to him.

“You are going about it the wrong way! You can’t get up there and say that Jesus is the only way to God. Everybody has their own experiences. You are pushing your doctrines on everyone else.”

But Jesus is the only way to the Father, He says so.

“No He’s not. God isn’t a somebody anyway. He is quantum vibrations. We are all part of these vibrations and we are meant to co-create with him.”

(Does this sound wacky to you? This is classic New Age-ism. What if I told you that this thinking is actually gaining ground in the Christian church?

There’s a book called “The Physics of Heaven” that talks about the same “quantum vibrations” of which we are all part etc. Bill Johnson of Bethel Church contributed to this book, his wife wrote a chapter and his personal assistant co-authored it. [1])

The young man became more and more agitated as I shared more of the basic gospel with him. He told me that it is all about self, that self has to evolve to a higher level. I told him Jesus said we are to deny self, take up our cross and follow Him, that it is no longer I that lives but Christ who lives in me.

He literally pulled on his own hair with his two hands in exasperation:

“Well no wonder then!” he shrieked. He took off then, looking back at me over his shoulder still shrieking at me.

I tell you it’s never boring!

Feeling dead? Bit lifeless in a pew? Come to the streets!! Ha ha

Towards the end of our time there on Friday a young man came up to us.

“What church do you go to?” he asked.

street_preaching in chicago 1930I explained that we are from three different churches and come together to share the gospel.

He said, “Why don’t most churches do this? Why is it so hard to find anyone who does this, when the Bible is so clear about it?”

Good question mate.

 

“Not called!’ did you say? ‘Not heard the call,’ I think you should say. Put your ear down to the Bible, and hear Him bid you go and pull sinners out of the fire of sin. Put your ear down to the burdened, agonized heart of humanity, and listen to its pitiful wail for help. Go stand by the gates of hell, and hear the damned entreat you to go to their father’s house and bid their brothers and sisters and servants and masters not to come there. Then look Christ in the face — whose mercy you have professed to obey — and tell Him whether you will join heart and soul and body and circumstances in the march to publish His mercy to the world.”

William Booth

 

[1] The New Age Propensities of Bethel Church’s Bill Johnson, Lighthouse Trails booklet

 

 


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Jesus and the Door to the Holy Place

The Tabernacle of Moses contained three doors:Tabernacle

  • The Gate –  the entry point into the Outer Court of the Tabernacle
  • The Door –  the entry point into the Holy Place; and
  • The Veil – the entry point into the Holy of Holies

It will come as no surprise to the student of the Word that each door represents Christ Jesus Himself, He whom called Himself “the Door”.

“I am the door, whoever enters through me will be saved.” John 10:9

It’s all about Jesus. The study of the Tabernacle is simple when you realise it is all a testimony to God’s beloved Son. It is also a teaching tool He has given us to show us many wonderful truths about Christ and about us, the Church.

Previously we have looked at the Gate and the furniture in the Outer Court of the Tabernacle: the Brazen Altar and the Brazen Laver.

moses tab- revised

Now we will look at the Door, which was the barrier between the Outer Court of the Tabernacle and the Holy Place.

 

 

 

 

Contrast Between the Door and the Veil

The Doordoor The Veilveil
Provided access to fellowship with God Provided access to worship of God
No Cherubim embroidered on Door Cherubim embroidered on Veil
Door held up by 5 pillars Veil held up by 4 pillars
Set in brass sockets/foundations Set in silver sockets/foundations
Door for entrance into the Holy Place Veil to keep out from the Most Holy Place

 

Materials of the Door

The Door was made of woven blue, purple, scarlet and white fine linen.door

Five pillars supported the Door. These were made of acacia wood and overlaid with gold. The sockets for the door were made of brass.

 

Significance of the Materials

God specified the exact materials and proportions to Moses that were to be used in the Tabernacle, in order to convey eternal truths to us:

  • The Five Pillars

Acacia wood overlaid with gold is such a beautiful picture of Christ. The incorruptibility and earthliness of acacia wood signified His incorruptible (sinless) human nature and the gold signified His heavenly divine nature. Both God and Man in the one Person.

So we see that the five pillars point to Christ.

“He….upholds (the door) Himself as He invites every qualified person to enter for priestly privileges.” Portraits of Christ in the Tabernacle, Theodore H Epp.

Five is the number of grace.

In the Outer Court brass is the main material used, as seen in the Brazen Altar and Laver (brass signifying God’s judgment). However in the Holy Place it is a very different case. Gold is used extensively in the Holy Place and here, in the pillars of the Door accessing the Holy Place, we see for the first time the use of gold.

  • The Fabric

White fine linen- a picture of Christ’s righteousness

Blue – His heavenly nature

Scarlet – His sacrifice

Purple – His Kingly nature

  • The Brass Sockets

Brass always signifies God’s judgment and is used only in the Outer Court of the Tabernacle.

Remember that we are at the point in between the Outer Court and the Holy Place.  So while the five pillars point to Jesus in His dual-nature of God and Man, they also point to judgment (brass) and grace (five). There was only one place where God’s judgment and His mercy/grace met – and that is the cross of Jesus Christ.

As we saw in the study of the Brazen Altar, Christ took the judgment for our sin upon Himself at the cross. So now as we pass through this Door into the Holy Place we see once again that the only way to enter fellowship with God is through the atoning work of His Son at Calvary.

“I am the Way…..No one comes to the Father but through me.”

To approach the Father is only possible through the one Door, Jesus Christ.

 

The Purpose of the Door

doorImagine standing at the Brazen Altar or the Laver in the Outer Court and looking up at this Door. The brilliant colours of the fabric intricately woven together, the sunlight catching the light on the gold of the pillars holding up the fabric. Surely the beauty of that door would have caused the average Israelite to catch their breath and wonder what was beyond. The gold hinted at the beauty of the fellowship available to the priests beyond the door.

But the average Israelite would never enter the Holy Place. The door shut off the Holy Place from the Outer Court of the Tabernacle. While the Israelites were free to come into the Outer Court to bring offerings, it was only the priests who were allowed to enter the Holy Place to minister to the Lord and for fellowship with Him.

Primarily though, in contrast to the Veil, the Door was a place of entrance, but only for those qualified – the priests.

 

The Priesthood

Twice daily the priests entered the Holy Place through this door to tend the lamps of the Golden Lampstand, to burn incense on the Golden Altar and to eat of the bread from the Table of Shewbread.tabernacleholyplacerose

However today we are in the New Covenant and the Bible says that all believers today are a “royal priesthood” (1Peter 2:9).

So we now have the privilege of entering through the Door (Jesus Christ) into the presence of God for fellowship. Once our relationship has been established through our faith in the finished work of Christ at Calvary (the brazen Altar) and we have been cleansed by the Word (the brazen Laver) we do not have to stay shut out in the Outer Court wondering about the beauty of the Holy Place. We each have the privilege and responsibility of entering into fellowship with God in the Holy Place.  We each have the joy of moving onward from the brass (judgment) of the Outer Court, where Jesus took the judgment for our sins, and into the gold of getting to know our wonderful Saviour.

The priests daily entered into the Holy Place for fellowship with God. It may be asked – do we also enter the Holy Place daily for fellowship with God?

Are we still out in the Outer Court or have we moved forward into fellowship with God?

 

The next few posts will be focussed on the furniture of the Holy Place and the wonderful truths they convey:

  • The Golden Lampstand

    source: blog.ninapaley.com

    source: blog.ninapaley.com

  • The Golden Altar and
  • The Table of Shewbread.

 

 


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You May Not Like it, But I’m Gonna Say it

We seem to have forgotten that

It’s all about Jesus.

All of it.

He is the centre of it all.

 

It breaks my heart that I can now visit a church and not hear His Name even mentioned.church now

Bono is mentioned.

A new Christian super-star leader is mentioned

Mother Theresa and even Buddha may be quoted

(How very relevant and emergent of you)

 

But where is Jesus?

He who is the Door, is now outside the door.

 

Jesus is unfashionable in His own church:whoever

Truly the Father’s heart is grieved

 

The worst part?

Nobody even notices

 

They’re so busy laughing at the Pastor’s jokes

Busy building up their Christian reputations,

Their earthly kingdoms

Busy gettin’ known in Churchianity

 

Nobody cares

That the Body is dead if there is no Head

 

Oh yes,

There is a Body,

An eternal, living, breathing, organic, victorious Body

Of which Christ is Head!

 

But it is not thererob bell

Not where Jesus is forgotten

Dismissed, cast out

 

Not where people are ashamed of His Name

And His Word

 

(Funnily enough, there is no shame in distorting and abusing it

In order to compel the flock to “tithe”

There is a business to run after-all)

 

Where are you Jesus?

My Lord and My God

You are not there.

He who has eyes of fire

Would vomit that out of His mouth

 

There He is!

He is outside the camp

Always

I wonder who is willing to go to Him there?

 

Who is willing to let go of Christianized kingdoms?

Christians being crucified by ISIS

Christians being crucified by ISIS

Who is willing to forgo Christian-fame?

Who is willing to lose friends for Him?

Who is willing to be considered a crack-pot for Him?

Who is willing to go outside the camp

To bear with Him His reproach?

 

This will be the test of the Christian in these the last days.

What is it you are after?

What do you really want?

 

Is it Christ Jesus Himself?cross

Not a ministry, not a creed, not an organisation,

Not structure, not even Christianity

 

But Him, the Person

At the end of it all,

That’s what it comes down to.

There is nothing else

But Him

holyforchrist777.blogspot.com

holyforchrist777.blogspot.com


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Missionary Quotations: Leonard Ravenhill6

leonardravenhill“Not many Christians today can forget the fact that the devil goeth about as a roaring lion, but we seem to

The Lion of the Tribe of Judah

The Lion of the Tribe of Judah, watercolour/pencil

have lost sight of the fact that the Lion of the tribe of Judah has defeated the roaring lion of hell, and therefore every anointed Samson or Gideon or church can also slay the lion of hell. Though wicked men are doing wickedly, God’s promise to us is that “the people that do know their God shall be strong and do exploits” (Daniel 11:32).”

Today’s Sleeping Giant, Leonard Ravenhill