Grace and Truth

…all the words of this life…


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The Anointing, the Devil and Preaching

Sorry....I just had to...

Sorry….I just had to…

Friday morning 3 others and I went into the city to preach.

Beforehand in prayer the Holy Spirit gave us Joshua 2:24:

“And they said to Joshua, ‘Truly the Lord has delivered all the land into our hands, for indeed all the inhabitants of the country are fainthearted because of us.”

Something the Body of Christ needs to know:

The demons indeed are fainthearted when the gospel of Jesus Christ is preached.

CT Studd said “If you don’t want the Devil to hit you, hit him first, and hit him with all your might, so that he may be too crippled to hit back. ‘Preach the Word’ is the rod the Devil fears and hates.”

Why? Because Jesus Christ has “disarmed the principalities and powers and made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in the cross.” Colossians 2:15

When the Word is preached, it is the proclamation of the public spectacle over all the powers of hell, over all the powers of sin and darkness, which was accomplished by Christ at the cross.open air

But.  And there is a “but”… preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ needs to be done in the power of the Holy Spirit.  The preacher needs the anointing of God.

Why?

Because it is essential to be able to preach to the “back of things” as T Austin Sparks would say.

We are not preaching merely at men and women.  We are preaching to the spiritual realm at the back of all things.  I would say that primarily we are preaching to the unseen realm.  And this requires power – the supernatural power of the Holy Ghost.

The greatest anointing I have experienced whilst street preaching is when I knew I was preaching directly to Jesus Himself.  That is when the anointing fell and folks were literally stopped in their tracks.

I have also known when I am preaching to the unseen powers of darkness.  This was in the Battle with the Hare krishnas.  I knew that the victory of Jesus Christ was to be enforced over the principalities and powers.  They fought and they tried, but Christ has “already lead captivity captive” and is already the victor.

When we are under the anointing of God we are standing in Christ’s stead, we are His ambassadors.

“Now, then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you, be reconciled to God.” 2 Corinthians 5:20

If we don’t have the anointing we are working merely in the flesh, the physical realm.  We may have the correct doctrine and the right words but we are merely skimming the surface of things because the unseen realm is left undisturbed. As a consequence nothing of much value is accomplished.

How is that ice-addict to be freed from the grip of Satan?  How will that young woman bound in witchcraft be made to see when the god of this age has blinded her eyes?  The devil has to be dealt with first.  Proclaim the victory of the cross of Christ, in the power of the Spirit, and his grip will be loosened enough for them to be able to hear the gospel.

With the anointing anything is possible.  By the power of the Spirit when the gospel is proclaimed, the devil trembles and knows he is defeated already.

“But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you, and you shall be witnesses to Me in Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8

May God bless you!

 


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Oppression, Anointing and Street-Preaching

 

I was under massive oppression all day today.  I felt like crying, like giving up, I felt IMG_2504condemned, useless, hopeless.

And so I almost didn’t go into the city to street-preach tonight.

But when my wonderful husband said “I think “someone” is trying to stop you going in there tonight…”  my will-power kicked in.  Why should I be trampled down when my Jesus says “Behold I give you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions”?

So in I went.

And boy, I am glad I did.

There is a Jehovah’s Witness Convention on in the city this weekend and those JW’s were everywhere tonight!  I know this because they wore purple badges.

cropped-misc-0515.jpgAnyhow, there was a real anointing on the preaching tonight.  People stopped and listened. Lots of people.  Lots of teenagers, lots of Muslims.  Lots of conversations were had. Praise God.

The JW’s didn’t stop though.  They kept walking in their well-trained, don’t-make-eye-contact way.  They wagged their heads at me, particularly when I quoted John 1:14 and proclaimed that Jesus IS God.  They didn’t like it when I said that as Jesus hung on the CROSS the people wagged their heads at Him.

Someone else actually paid me $5 as I preached.  That’s a first. I am not actually sure whether that’s a good or a bad thing.  Anyway I gave the money away because it just felt too weird.

Again someone tried to unplug me as I preached, but I caught the young man and gave him a good scolding as only a mother can do.

By the third time I preached the devil tried to stop me.  An angry atheist was sent to my left belting out antagonisms and an unstable person to my right continually tapping me on the shoulder saying “Do you have a minute?…Do you have a minute?”

My voice is hoarse now, my body shaky.

My oppression – ALL GONE!

 

Would you do service for Jesus your King?

There’s POWER in the blood! Power in the Blood!

 

Amen. Praise the Lord.

Bless you


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Jesus I love You, But Not Your Word

This is what I said to Jesus.life

Many times I said it. Even though I had always read the Bible, even from a young child. I read it a lot. I memorized verses even. I believed it was truth, I believed it was the Word of God. And over and over God used His Word to teach me and to speak to me.

But I didn’t love it.

I certainly didn’t desire to read it or look forward to reading it. I did it because I knew it was the “right” thing to do.

Then one day I watched that old “Jesus” movie…. In it Jesus picks up the scroll of the Old Testament in the Temple preparing to read from it. But before he reads Isaiah 61 he kisses the scroll. That simple act convicted me.

I blurted to the Lord in almost desperation: “Jesus, I love You, but I don’t love Your Word. Not like that.”

I knew I loved Jesus. I loved Him with my whole heart and soul and mind and strength. I could see that “in the volume of the book it is written of Him”, I knew that Jesus is the Word made flesh. And it didn’t make sense to me. If He really is the Word made into human flesh, and if I really loved Him, how could I not love His Word as well?

Well of course there was nothing I could do about it. I couldn’t make myself love it nor desire it.

Actually, there was one thing I could do – and that was to be honest with Him about it.

So I was. I just kept telling the Lord what was in my heart.

“Lord I love You but I don’t love Your Word.”

Then gradually my prayers began to change : “Lord, give me a love for your Word. Make it real to me.”

It took some time, but one day I realized that I could honestly say that I now loved His Word.  And I still do. I LOVE it. I desire to read it. I can’t wait to find more treasures in it. I can’t wait to discover my Jesus concealed in the pages of the Old Testament and find His beauty and grace revealed in the New Testament. I love reading the apostles revelations and teachings in the epistles. I often cry as I read it now, I am so blessed with this wonderful, old Book. There is nothing like it.

So what’s the difference now? The Book certainly hasn’t changed.

No, the difference is that now the Holy Spirit is bringing life where before there was death.

This principle is true not only with reading the Word of God, but with everything in the Christian life – doctrine, preaching, church meetings, worship, fellowship, prayer, giving to the poor… it can all be dry and lifeless. It may all be cold, dead duty, ritual or tradition with no life in it if it’s done in the power of the flesh.

Without the Spirit of life breathing His life into something, anything, there is in fact, a ministration of death. The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth, so when He is in something – whether it is prayer, reading the Word, preaching- there is reality there. There is Life. It rings true to us, it ministers life to us and we are changed by it.

A long, eloquent prayer may bring death…. If there’s no anointing of the Spirit.

A sermon with all the right doctrine may minister death to the hearers…. If it’s not infused with the life of the Spirit.

The ministry of the Holy Spirit is not an added bonus or extra in the life of a believer – His ministry of Life is essential. As Watchman Nee said “We either minister life or death. There’s nothing in between.”

Let us pray for the reality of the life of the Holy Spirit in every part of our lives, worship and ministries.

God bless you!


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Prophets and Revival : Leonard Ravenhill Quotation

“Ahhh the prophets were men who walked with God, they felt like God, they saw like God, they wept like God, they yearned like God…..leonard r

….And in the richest most comfortable country in the whole world….we stink in the nostrils of Almighty God tonight….

….But ohhh what a difference when a man gets a heart that craves for revival, that longs that God will make bare His arm that all nations will have to acknowledge…”

 

This man has to be the most anointed man I have ever heard preach.  Oh for more like him ! Holy Ghost anguish descends upon grown men as he preaches.  What does it sound like when Holy Ghost anguish comes upon grown men? “To some of you I am sure this is chaos but its music in the ears of Jesus…” (LR)

Listen here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nKLlcwd_nqE

leonardravenhill

 

 

 

 


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Mysteries and Mysticism

babylonThis post follows on from The Deep, deep Roots of Emerging Mysticism where we looked at Mystery Babylon, the Tower of Babel, Nimrod and the ancient roots of the “mystery” religions – all  sprung from the root of Satan’s lie:

For God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened and you will be like God….”

It is my belief that the Church is willing to accept rituals, prayer labyrinths and other pagan practices because we have lost the anointing of the Holy Spirit both in our churches and in our prayer closets.  Friends – we desperately need a revival!  Where are those who, like Elijah, will cry out to God until He sends the rain?

I believe we have lost the anointing in our churches and prayer closets because are not willing to pay the price to have it.  The anointing is costly. 

Yes, salvation is free to all because of Christ’s atonement at Calvary – that is undisputed – but the anointing of the Holy Spirit is an expensive treasure.  To follow our Master is not always easy.  The way of the cross is hard, it demands sacrifice, humility, self-denial and death to self.  Are we willing to pay the price?

This is something we need to decide, because there is an influx of Mystery Religions coming – and from the way of the cross they are completely opposed…

treeoflife

The Tree of LIfe

knowledge tree


The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil

                                                           Which Tree will you choose?

 

Characteristics of the Mystery Religions

In contrast to the way of the cross, these mystery religions all have one thing in common:

They elevate humankind to god-hood.

Rather than death to self, “Self” is exalted.

“.…you will be like God….” Gen 3:5

Just as Lucifer tried to exalt himself above the throne of God; just as Nimrod tried to elevate himself above the heavens by his tower, so too the mystery religions continue to attempt to exalt humankind to deity. What these mystery religions proclaim, in essence, is that : humankind is essentially divine, we just need to realize it.  Our divine consciousness simply needs to be recognized and released.

Hinduism, Buddhism, Taoism, Gnosticism, the New Age & Western Occultism all hold to this belief.

The Bible calls this the “Mystery of Iniquity”.  Man in his “divinity” seeks to reach up to god-hood.  He tries to elevate himself through some sort of works.  These may include: religious rituals, asceticism, enlightenment through meditation, good works etc.

New Age believes in the essential goodness of Man and the Divine Spark in Man (http://eastrovedica.com/html/newage.htm)

Notice that this “reaching up” is the exact opposite of what God did in sending His Son, Jesus Christ:

who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Phillippians 2:6-8

While mystery religions attempt to lift man UP to the heavens, Christ, the true God, humbles Himself and leaves heaven to come DOWN to save us from our sin.

The Bible calls this the “Mystery of Godliness”.  We cannot save ourselves. Our eternal salvation and redemption required for God to come down to us in order to save us.

  • The Mystery of Iniquity says that humankind is divine – our problem is that we don’t know it (PRIDE)
  • The Mystery of Godliness says that humankind is sinful, unable to save ourselves and that it required God to come down to us in the flesh to save us (HUMILITY)

Which is more appealing to human flesh?

Has the “Mystery of Iniquity” Entered the Church?

For Christianity, the central problem is how God could have become person. How spirit could transform itself into matter. Word become flesh. Consciousness become protoplasm. The direction is from the top down. For Judaism, on the other hand, the problem is how humanity could possibly attain to God’s word and intention. How matter could raise itself to spirit. How simple desert souls could hear the word. Human substance attain consciousness. The intention is “to permeate matter and raise it to spirit.” The direction is from the bottom up. Perhaps the two traditions, one moving down, the other moving up, are destined to meet in the divinity of humanity.” Leonard Sweet, Quantum Spirituality, pg. 191

We affirm our divinity by doing what is worthy of gods, and we affirm our humanity by taking risks only available to mortals. God had to become one of us before He could become heroic … Robert Schuller affirms our divinity, yet does not deny our humanity … isn’t that what the gospel is? Isn’t God’s message to sinful humanity that He sees in each of us a divine nature of such worth that He sacrificed His own Son so that our divine potentialities might be realized? … The hymn writer who taught us to sing ‘Amazing Grace’ was all too ready to call himself a ‘wretch’ … Forgetting our divinity and over-identifying with our [Freudian] anal humanity… Erich Fromm, one of the most popular psychoanalysts of our time, recognized the diabolical social consequences that can come about when a person loses sight of his/her own divinity …” Tony Campolo

Um, I’d say that’s a resounding “YES”.

But what does Jesus say? “If any man will be my disciple, let him take up his cross and follow me.”

The way of the cross is death.  First death, then life.  Christ Himself died and was raised up.  We also need to die to self and be raised up to resurrection life by the power of the Holy Spirit.  We need to confess that we are sinners only saved by God’s grace, not by any human works.

The anointing has a price: and it comes at the expense of human pride.

Definition of Mysticism

According to the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy “The term ‘mysticism,’ comes from the Greek μυω, meaning “to conceal.” In the Hellenistic world, ‘mystical’ referred to “secret” religious mysteriousrituals. In early Christianity the term came to refer to “hidden” allegorical interpretations of Scriptures and to hidden presences, such as that of Jesus at the Eucharist.”

knowledge tree

The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil

In all of the “mystery” religions, we see that there is something hidden or concealed, a higher knowledge that only the elite few, being enlightened, are privy to, whilst the majority are left in the dark…..Remind you of anything?…

Then the serpent said to the woman, ‘….God knows that in the day you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” Genesis 3:4, 5

Another mystic described (reality) as “It is hidden, it is hidden and it is hidden“.”  (http://eastrovedica.com/html/newage.htm)

This is why the triangle is a symbol of the mystery religions representing:

      The enlightened few at the top

tri

The majority of the un-knowing at the bottom

This is true for gnosticism, the New Age, Freemasonry, the cults and the occult.  In fact “occult”  is “from the Latin word occultus, meaning “clandestine, hidden, secret” is “knowledge of the hidden” (source: Wikipedia)

Contrast this with the pure simplicity of the Word of God.  God has spoken through His Word and it is open and available to whomsoever wishes to read it.  It is suitable both for the intellectual ex-Pharisee and for the uneducated fisherman.  God’s plan of redemption is through His Son Jesus Christ and is plainly declared throughout scripture.

The Mystery of God

This is not to say that there is not mystery surrounding God.  Of course there is.  He is so much higher than us, His ways are higher than our ways and His thoughts higher than our thoughts.  It is impossible for the human mind to fully comprehend God in all His goodness, power and glory – truly now we “see through a glass darkly”.  Yet He has made Himself known to us through His Word, through His Son and by His Spirit and because of Christ’s atonement it is possible for us to have a personal relationship with God.  This is indeed a divine mystery.

However what can be known of God is open and available to the lowest and the highest of the human race.  There are not different levels or hierarchies in the Kingdom of God.  Some are not privileged with a “special” knowing or knowledge whilst the rest of the plebs are left in the dark.  “God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all”.  God wants us to know Him and has revealed Himself to us through the Word made flesh (Jesus), and the Word of God (The Bible).

The thing that concerns me about the Emergent Church is that they are turning away from how God has chosen to reveal Himself to humanity – the Word of God – because, as Leonard Sweet says:

Doctrine does not convey the mystery of God.”

This is very subtle and very clever.  This statement is appealing because in a sense it is true. Reliance on pure doctrine in a Christian can bring about legalism, rigidity and life-less coldness.  Doctrine-only without the Holy Spirit’s anointing is dead.  I have known Christians and churches with a purity of doctrine. They do not tolerate false teachings nor teachers, and yet there is no warmth, no love and no life.   They label anyone who has had a personal experience of God as a “mystic”.  They have run to the extreme of “truth” with no grace.  This is not right. As Christians we need a personal experience with the living God, like Isaiah and Peter did.  We need a life-changing relationship with Jesus Christ.  We must know not only the Word of God, but the God of the Word.  We need the anointing!

Yet, the other extreme is also faulty – to give away doctrine completely in order to search out the mystery of God, usually through experience-only.  God has given us doctrine (or teaching) in His Word so that we can truly come to know Him.  If we base our knowledge of God purely on our experiences then there is no objective point of reference as to whether who/what we are experiencing is truly God or whether it be a deceptive spirit. The Bible says to “test the spirits to see whether they are from God”.  It is only through the safe-guards of the Word of God that we can measure our experiences to see whether they line up or not.  Anything that falls outside of scripture is prohibited and not of God.

treeoflife

Tree of Life

So we need the Word of God and the anointing of the Spirit of God.  Together they bring life.

The Holy Spirit bears witness to Jesus Christ, so when the Word is preached (in the power of the Holy Spirit) the Spirit is there.  When the authority of the Word is denied another spirit is able to gain access – the spirit of the “Mystery of Iniquity”.  We see that that is what is happening in the Emergent church.  Pagan spiritual practices are now acceptable and openly promoted.  Labyrinths are being installed in churches, Eastern meditative breathing techniques are being taught from the pulpit, people are praying to pictures of Jesus, prayer stones are being handed out.

In my next post I would like to look at:

  • Some of how these techniques and practices are being taught and promoted in the Emergent Church
  • Their (hidden) purpose and
  • Where its heading – The Age of Aquarius and One-World Religion

In A Meditation on Emergent Spirituality

Blessings!


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Tonight’s Street Preaching

IMG_2504
So tonight the anointing came down.

Most of the time when I preach with the microphone people have one of four reactions as they walk past:
1. they laugh
2. they roll their eyes
3. they scream out blasphemy or
3. they yell at me to shut the f*#k up

Ha, good times.

(Actually to add another element to the mix is the Black Magician that seemingly only comes out when I am there. In his black clothes, make up and top hat he stands across from where we preach and moves his hands and legs around constantly in snake-like movements, as if he is casting spells on us. If you go close to him you realize that he is mocking us and repeats everything we say. He does that for hours – he doesn’t stop).

So anyway tonight the second time I preached the anointing came down. When the anointing of the Spirit falls everything changes. My preaching changes, it becomes powerful and the words flow easily. Under the anointing I could preach for hours, I don’t want to stop. I feel Jesus there with me SO real. I feel He is pleased with me.

But the BIG difference is that the people’s reactions change. Instead of walking past ridiculing and mocking, they stop walking. I mean they literally stop dead. One man stopped tonight in the middle of climbing the steps up to the station. The police officers stopped dead as they were questioning a drunk and listened. Crowds of people just stop and stare and listen. It’s like they are rooted to the spot.

So I kept on preaching as long as I could. Then when I finished the Holy Spirit told me to go straight to that man who was still stopped mid-way on the steps.

So I did. He saw me coming over to him, but he still couldn’t move. We started talking and he said :
“I was walking past but I had to stop. You captured me.”
That’s the Holy Spirit – hallelujah to the Lamb!

He was under conviction for his sin but as he spoke it was obvious that he was utterly amazed at what was happening.
“I’ve never done this before,” he said his eyes wide in surprise at himself. God bless him.

Anyway I just wanted to share 3 points with you
1. that under the anointing ANYTHING is possible.
2. that God will always honour the preaching of His Word and
3. that if you are seeking God’s presence in greater measure – look no further than the streets of your nearest city.

“For since in the wisdom of God the world by its wisdom did not know God, God was pleased to save those who believe by the foolishness of preaching.” 1 Corinthians 1:21