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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God’s 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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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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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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Where’s The Fire?

This week I have experienced my first 46 degree (Celsius) day.  (I am in no hurry to experience another.)

On Thursday I was in Adelaide, and on Thursday Adelaide was officially the hottest city on earth.  It was so hot that as soon as I stepped outside my skin felt like it was burning, even in the shade. The hotel we stayed in became uncomfortable as the air conditioning struggled to cope with four consecutive days of over 40 degrees.

Extreme heat and a thirsty land are, of course, a recipe for bush fire in Australia, and, as of this morning, 100 bush fires were burning across South Australia and Victoria.  The smoke from the fires drifted over the beach where we were bathing, initiating many questions from our children.   As my husband and I tried to downplay the severity of the fires to them, internally we were wondering whether we’d even be able to get home, as the main road into Victoria had been closed by the authorities.

bushfire3

With all this talk of fire it has got me to thinking about the Holy Spirit, or Holy Ghost.  In the Bible the Holy Ghost is both symbolized by fire, and also directly referred to as fire.  In the Old Testament the pillar of fire which the Israelites followed in the wilderness was the Holy Ghost.  In the New Testament John the Baptist said of Jesus:

“I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but he who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire” Matthew 3:11

And then in Acts 2:2-4 :

“. . . suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one set upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance”

The thing about fire is that it is HOT.  It is intense.  All it takes is one little spark and a wild bushfire is ignited in a dry and thirsty land.

bushfire

Leonard Ravenhill said : “Again, the symbol of the church is fire…..The cross is no symbol of Christianity. The symbol of Christianity is the tongue of fire that sat on the head of each of them….Our God is a consuming fire.”

Oh and we are in a dry and thirsty land here in Australia.  Not just physically, but more so spiritually.  As I sat on the balcony of our accommodation each night this week, I wept for the people, for my country.  Yes, I could hear them drinking and laughing and singing drunken songs and I wept for them, for their state of barren-ness.  It is oh so dry.

We went into the city of Adelaide last night and there were two old men there, handing out tracts and preaching the gospel of Jesus Christ. They’ve been there for 30 years.  One of them preached, standing there shaking, in the early stages of Parkinson’s disease, and we helped them to hand out the tracts to passers-by, but hardly anyone took one.  As he preached, warning that there is an eternal hell, I could tell his heart was broken for this people, these people walking past him laughing at him, smiling with the smile of those in the presence of a fool.  Afterwards I commented on the hardness of people’s hearts and he answered sadly: “Oh aren’t they?  They don’t understand that the consequences are eternal.”

How dry! How barren and hard is the landscape here in Australia!

But also how ripe and ready this land is for fire….. After all – the drier the land, the easier a fire is kindled.  And a fire is powerful enough to change a landscape.  Australia is a land of fire; but may we become a land of Holy Ghost fire!

All it takes is one spark.  As followers of Jesus Christ, because He lives within us, we are to be that spark to a dry and barren world.  But we cannot be that spark if we are not full of the fire of the Holy Ghost.

Paul says to: “…. be filled with the Spirit, speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord” Ephesians 5:18,19.  We need to be filled with the Holy Spirit and fire.  This verse in the original actually says:  “Be being filled with the Spirit…”  It is a continual process. Like in the Pilgrim’s Progress, there needs to be oil constantly poured onto the fire to keep it burning, because, just as surely, the devil is always seeking to put it out.

I love Leviticus 6:12:  “The fire on the altar must be kept burning; it must not go out. Every morning the priest is to add firewood and arrange the burnt offering on the fire and burn the fat of the fellowship offerings on it.” (Emphasis mine).  This verse is such a wonderful picture of what the life of the believer, of Christ’s church, should be.  No, it’s what we need to be.  We have a responsibility to this generation as the church of Jesus to carry this fire wherever we go.  If we don’t, who will?

bushfire 2

As priests we are to keep the fire burning.  God sends the divine fire, but it is our responsibility to keep it burning.  Just like a bushfire, once it has started it requires ongoing fuel.

I don’t know about you but I know when the fire is burning bright within me and I also know when it is burning low.  When I am full of the Spirit I walk in the supernatural – amazing things happen.  When the fire is low I find I am walking more in the flesh than the Spirit and the things of God become a struggle.

Wesley wrote a hymn, which goes like this:

    See how a great a flame aspires, kindled by a spark of grace.     Jesus love the nations fires; sets the kingdoms all ablaze.

To bring fire on earth He came, kindled in some hearts it is.     Oh that all might catch the flame; all partake the glorious bliss.

When He first the work began, small and feeble was its flame.     Now the word doeth swiftly run; now it wins its widening way.

More and more it spreads and grows, ever mighty to prevail.   Sin’s strongholds it now o’throws and shakes the trembling gates of hell.

Sons of God, your Savior praise; He the door hath opened wide.   He hath given the word of grace; Jesus’ word is glorified.

Saw you not the cloud arise, little as a human hand?   Now it spreads along the skies, hangs o’er all the thirsty land.

May you be inspired to be the spark of Holy Ghost fire in your land in this dry and thirsty generation!


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Let God Arise

“LET GOD ARISE

Let His enemies be scattered”  Psalm 68:1

 

It is time for You to act O Lord,

Your law is being broken,

 

It is not time for a weak faith

that is shaken at every turn.

It is not time for our hands to hang down

And for our shoulders to shrug

“What can we do?”

 

NO

 

It is time to raise our heads

And our hands

It is time to “extol Him who rides on clouds

By His name YAH”

 

It is time for soldiers to rise up

Who will not shrink back

It is time to be as bold as a lion,

To take our courage by both hands.

It is time to advance

 

It is time to be filled with the Spirit

Of Almighty God.

 

It is time to trust Him

And have faith

That will not waver

Even in the face of a fearsome enemy

 

WHO WILL STAND?