Grace and Truth

…all the words of this life…


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Israel Folau, Political Correctness & Nebuchadnezzar

What has Israel (Izzy) Folau done wrong?Israel Folau’s Insta post

 

He’s gone up against the spirit of this age. He’s broken the rules of the religion of political correctness by telling the truth. In doing so he’s exposed that “tolerance” is only tolerant of it’s own.

Now he must either recant and bow down to the god of this age or he must pay The Price. And he must be seen to pay the price to deter any others from trying to challenge this god.

It’s the new statue of Nebuchadnezzar. Bow down when the music plays, dance to our tune, or be thrown in to the fire.

And he is being thrown in to the fire. People are literally saying to him “your career is in tatters, where is your God to help you now?”

Thrown to the fire by the public, thrown to the fire by the Christian leaders… Our Christian PM has issued a carefully worded statement about being sensitive to others. Neither has Brian Houston (head of the biggest church in Australia Hillsong), supported his persecuted brother.  Rather Houston openly condemned Izzy on Twitter, then deleted his comment and has written a more sugar-coated condemnation of him for a left-leaning publication.

  • Houston’s deleted Tweet

 

 

 


To me, it comes down to this: who are we sold out for? Izzy is sold out for Jesus, to the detriment of his career and a $4 million contract. Sadly it seems our Christian leaders sold out to this world long ago. 

Izzy’s response

Meanwhile as the world chants for Izzy to be thrown to the fire, the great cathedral of Notre Dame burns…


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Back to the Streets: Diary of a Girl Street-Preacher

Last night, after two years, I went back to the city to street preach.

Why did I stop? I don’t know, only that the Holy Ghost compulsion to go simply left me two years ago.

It’s not like I’ve been doing nothing in that two years, I’ve been preaching in a homeless mission on a regular basis, I have preached twice at a drug rehab centre and also a Baptist church. I’m almost now qualified as a Chaplain too, but the street preaching just stopped. I didn’t have any idea if I ever would go back to the street, but I knew that I certainly didn’t want to go back in the flesh.

The fact that I had been given an amazing PA system for free and I’d only used it once street-preaching sometimes haunted me. I had said a number of times to a fellow street-preacher that he is welcome to it, but he never came to collect it.

So why did I go back? I don’t know either. Only that over the last few months I’ve started to feel the desire to go again. Every now and then, little things, and then the fire inside would leap a little. And then I’d pray “Do you want me to go back Lord? I will go back but only if You want me to and You need to show me”.

And then I’d let it rest again.

And then my Mum said she’d take my kids last night for the night as it’s school holidays at the moment. Then I heard on the grapevine that the team was going out last night to the city. It was a perfect set of circumstances to go. And I wanted to go.

Then….I woke up yesterday morning with that familiar nervousness in the pit of my stomach, thinking why do I have to go? Why does it have to be me? All the other Christians are going out for dinner or sitting at home in their comfy PJ’s watching tv, why me? Sad huh.

If you want me to go, please confirm it Lord, because I don’t want to. I’m scared.

Then I see Pst Bill Randles Blog title “Wisdom Cries In the Streets”. I turn to Proverbs 1:20, 21:

“Wisdom cries aloud in the streets

She raises her voice in the open squares.

She cries out in the chief concourses

At the openings of the gates of the city…”

 

Hmmm. I remember that right now it is Sukkot and that Jesus cried out in the street at Sukkot:

“On the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried out saying, “if anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.” John 7:37, 38

So I went. I took a darling daughter in Christ with me, for her first time, and we went. When we arrived Pst David prayed over us John 7:38.

I thought I wouldn’t preach, that I’d just hand out tracts and see how I went.

That’s what I thought.

When I got to the “gate of the city” at the steps of the great station I knew I was to preach. Seas and seas of people crossing the road toward me, coming down the steps from the trains behind me. Seas and seas of people whom perhaps had never heard the gospel, who may never hear it. So I preached. And man, it just felt like home. It felt so good, so right, so amazing.

Even when the two lesbians very deliberately came and stood right in front of me passionately kissing as I preached the gospel. Even when the father leant over on his small son’s back in mocking laughter at me. Even as people called out “My god is football!”

I was so glad to be there. Because that’s where Christ Jesus is.

I had forgotten that “all the while He was down (by His Spirit) among the poor struggling, drowning creatures in the angry deep, with His arms around them trying to drag them out, and looking up – oh! so longingly but all in vain – to those on the rock, crying to them with His voice all hoarse from calling, “Come to Me! Come, and help Me!” [1]

Blessings,

Belinda


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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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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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We Need to Pray for our Sister

This pregnant Christian woman is facing hanging, after receiving 100 lashes, for apostasy.  She has been sentenced by an Islamic court in Sudan.  Her lawyer is going to appeal.  Please pray for this sister and her family:

 

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/africaandindianocean/sudan/10837365/Islamic-court-permits-pregnant-woman-to-give-birth-before-she-is-hanged.htmlMeriam-Yehya-Ibrah_2914047b

 


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Bible Prophecy: Do Not Be Deceived

deceptionIn Matthew 24:3, when four of Jesus’ disciples asked Him “ . . . what will be the sign of your coming and of the end of the age”, before listing the events that would occur prior to the end of the age, Jesus warned them in Matthew 24:4 “ . . . Watch out that no one deceives you. . . . ” In Mark 13:3–5 and Luke 21:7-8 we also read about this interaction between Jesus and those disciples.

The first thing to note in the disciples’ question is that they linked Jesus’ coming again and the end of the age together. Jesus, in His answer, did not refute this so we can know that His coming and the end of the age will happen simultaneously. It may seem obvious but is, nevertheless, worth highlighting.

Following up on His warning to those disciples not to be deceived, He immediately warns them to be on the lookout for the appearance of false Christs’ and not to go running after them. Most Christians would automatically assume that, since they are followers of Jesus, know and regularly study God’s Word and regularly fellowship with other believers, such a thing could not happen to them. Clearly, in the way Jesus warned His disciples and ultimately us, that will not necessarily be the case and should be a sobering reminder to us that it is possible to be deceived. However, we surely can also take some comfort from Jesus’ answer when He tells us to “Watch Out”, meaning that if we are alert we can avoid being deceived.

Many Christians believe that we are nearing the end of the age and that many of the signs Jesus and other prophets spoke about are beginning to manifest themselves. That being the case, we are surely nearing the time when Christians could face being deceived. So what are we to do and to watch out for?

If we stop to think about what we are to watch out for, surely some answers are already staring us in the face? The main one, we would suggest, is the falling away from the faith, or apostasy, that is continually taking place today and the deception that goes with it; a situation ripe for false Christs to appear and be followed. In Matthew 24:10 Jesus said it would happen. These are His Words: “At that time many will turn away from the faith . . . . .” In many Christian denominations we constantly see God’s Word being changed and watered down by their leaders and accepted by many in their congregations. In doing so these leaders and congregations have not only moved away from God’s Word but are also setting themselves up to be deceived by false Christs. It seems easier for them to fall into line with secular standards than keeping to God’s standards.

The uncomfortable reality is that you will know you are on the right track not to be deceived when you start beingtruth ies persecuted! In Matthew 24:9 Jesus said: “Then you will be handed over to be persecuted and put to death, and you will be hated by all nations because of me.” Some Christians around the world are already facing such persecution.

We believe we need not only “Watch Out” but need to warn other Christians not to become complacent or compromise God’s Word, in addition continually asking God to help us keep to His path. Of course, we also need to carry on with our efforts to bring the Gospel to the notice of others who do not yet know or have a relationship with Jesus.

(Note: All quotes are from the NIV Bible.)

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

 

 


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33 Christians Sentenced to Death in North Korea

 

North Korea B

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2014/mar/6/kim-jong-un-calls-execution-33-christians/

33 of our brothers and sisters will be executed within the next few hours in North Korea.

Because they are Christians.  Like us.

“When the Lamb broke the fifth seal, I saw underneath the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God, and because of the testimony which they had maintained; and they cried out with a loud voice, saying, “How long, O Lord, holy and true, will You refrain from judging and avenging our blood on those who dwell on the earth?” And there was given to each of them a white robe; and they were told that they should rest for a little while longer, until the number of their fellow servants and their brethren who were to be killed even as they had been, would be completed also.” Revelation 6:9-11

OH LORD, save us from our complacency and luke-warmness.  Save us from our idols of comfort and convenience.  Save us from our obsession with self.  Save us from our Western mindset.  Save us from our dullness of heart.  Wake us up from our comfortable bed of luxury.  OH LORD save us!

Here we are – so wealthy in the West.  We have food, money, cars, houses, freedom, church buildings, light and sounds systems and, of course, smoke machines, and yet – we are spiritually bankrupt.

They are the rich ones in North Korea.  They are the ones for whom a crown of life awaits.  They are the ones whose underground churches are flourishing and the Holy Spirit is moving upon.  They are the ones who are awake. They are the ones who know Jesus and the “fellowship of His suffering”.  They are the ones who are watching for His return.

hebrews-13-3We are not separate from them.  We are all a part of Christ’s Body.  Let us pray from them and their families.  Let us pray for the persecuted Church.

In Christ’s Name, Amen

 

 

 

 

 


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Missionary Quotations – Richard Wurmbrand1

richard w“It was strictly forbidden to preach to other prisoners, as it is in captive nations today. It was understood that whoever was caught doing this received a severe beating. A number of us decided to pay the price for the privilege of preaching, so we accepted their terms. It was a deal: we preached and they beat us. We were happy preaching; they were happy beating us, so everyone was happy.”

“The following scene happened more times than I can remember. A brother was preaching to the other prisoners when the guards suddenly burst in, surprising him halfway through a phrase. They hauled him down the corridor to their beating room. After what seemed an endless beating, they brought him back and threw him bloody and bruised on the prison floor. Slowly, he picked up his battered body, painfully straightened his clothing and said, ‘Now, brethren, where did I leave off when I was interrupted?’ He continued his gospel message! I have seen beautiful things!” Tortured For Christ

(Two quotes today, because they are both so good I couldn’t choose – blessings!)

 


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594 of His Last 600 Sermons Wesley Preached on the Street

street preachingHere is a list of the “persecutions” that I have personally suffered whilst street-preaching:

  • Been called an “idiot” to my face
  • Been mocked and ridiculed
  • Been leered at
  • Been outright laughed at
  • Been screamed at to “shut-up”
  • Been heckled
  • Rude gestures made at me
  • Blasphemies and curses screamed at me
  • Having the cord of the PA system pulled out while I preach
  • People taking photos of their friends standing next to me
  • People trying to rip the microphone out of my hand
  • Another PA system turned up loud to drown me out
  • Man putting his arm around me

BIG DEAL

Maybe it will get worse, I don’t know.  Maybe if you went out you would be beat up or put in jail or worse, I don’t know that either.

But what I do know is that there is a whole generation out there going to hell.  HELL.

(Do you really believe it?)

And why are they going to hell? Largely because of:

  • Our fear of man
  • Our excuses
  • Our feebleness in following Christ
  • Our “ministries” and church mindsets
  • Our busy lives

Why are we just letting Satan do whatever he pleases?

And that IS what he is doing.  If you don’t believe me, go out there and see for yourself the kids on drugs, the alcoholics, the homeless people, the business people spending their lives coveting, the girls wearing hardly clothes for attention.  Go to your nearest city and just sit and observe.

Open your eyes and open your heart.

That man with tattoos on his face, Jesus died for him.

That kid wandering aimlessly, Jesus died for him too.

That young woman with skinny legs and a hole on the inside of her elbow, Jesus shed His blood for her too.

“How then shall they call on him in whom they have not believed? and how shall they believe in him of whom they have not heard? and how shall they hear without a preacher?” (Romans 10:14)

You know, I’ve seen it with so many Christians, myself included.  We are so nice and polite.  We don’t want to offend people. “Best not to cause waves by shoving the gospel down people’s throats….”

And meanwhile the devil rubs his hands in glee and dances all over our craving to be accepted.

Jesus never told us to be gentle with the devil.  He never told us to accommodate him in any way or let him walk all over us.  No sir.

He did in fact say: “Behold I give you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy, nothing in any wise shall harm you.” Luke 10:19

One of the most powerful and effective forms of spiritual warfare is to preach the gospel.  Go to the sinners, don’t preach to the converted.  Get to where the sinners are and preach your heart out.

“Preaching is not a profession, it’s a passion” said Leonard Ravenhill.

Let’s get so full of the Holy Ghost fire that we are constrained by the love of Christ to take the good news of the Kingdom to the lost.

Let’s stop being cowardly, let’s stop being polite and comfortable, let’s meet the devil head on and give him something to worry about!

You can read more about what happened as I street-preached tonight here

Watch this for inspiration:

http://www.bing.com/videos/search?q=Leonard+Ravenhill+Agony&Form=VQFRVP#view=detail&mid=87A580689D3A172D462B87A580689D3A172D462B

In Jesus name

Amen and Amen


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Ministry Accredited by God

What is true ministry?

How is true ministry accredited by God?

You may be surprised to learn that truly accredited ministry is through suffering.

T Austin Sparks explains:

“Accredited ministry represents a tremendous victory, set in a background of great conflict.

A determined effort is made through the age to discredit spiritual ministry, and to do so through the one engaged in that ministry.

In the case of the Lord, there was a persistent effort to discredit Him, and thereby discredit His ministry. It drew forth the words: “No prophet is acceptable in his own country” (Luke 4:24).

In the case of Paul, the Judaisers sought to discredit him, and thereby discredit his ministry. At Corinth a great battle raged over his position as an Apostle, and 2 Corinthians is much taken up with the establishment of his own position, and therefore his authority in ministry.

“For we would not have you ignorant, brethren, concerning our affliction which befell us in Asia, that we were weighed down exceedingly, beyond our power, insomuch that we despaired even of life: yea, we ourselves have had the sentence of death within ourselves, that we should not trust in ourselves, but in God who raiseth the dead.” (2 Cor. 1:8-9).

One who counts for the Lord, is a joint of supply, who can be of value in any way to the Lord’s people, and stand in His testimony, will know the enemy’s effort to render those spiritual values nil by discrediting. The enemy will give a strong sense of unworthiness, unfitness, uselessness to the Lord, or he will cause something to be associated with the vessel for the discrediting of the ministry; he may even patronize in order to compromise, as when the demons cried: “These men are servants of the Most High God, which proclaim unto you the way of salvation”. Sometimes he will cause to associate with a pure thing people who are unsaved, to bring discredit.

The Lord’s answer to that is to keep the vessel of ministry in weakness, dependence upon Himself; so that all is kept spiritual, and all is of the Lord alone….

Metal is passed through the crucible and refined then the stamp is put upon it to show its calibre.

So God brings through the fires of Satanic antagonism, allows the thing to reach a point where He alone is its life, and then brings it up out of the conflict, and puts the stamp of resurrection life on it, so that it has in it the power of an indestructible life – that only comes through death.

All ministry that is to be accredited will be bound up with suffering; a decision we have to make is as to the object of our ministry. A good many things can be taken into consideration, but there comes a point where all other things have to be ranged on one side, and one thing on the other side – the real spiritual value, without alloy: that which is wholly of God and not at all of man. In the measure in which that is true there will be suffering. To stand utterly for what is spiritual is a costly thing.

There must be a willingness to be dealt with by the Lord, in such a way as to keep the ministry living and pure. All ministry which issues from such suffering is going to count. It may not be welcomed or desired by the mass, but where there is need and a call for that which we have gained through suffering there will be response.

Two tragedies today amongst the Lord’s people:

(1). So many have no knowledge of the truth in any adequate way, and are therefore spiritually immature.

(2). So many have a great deal of truth, and are dead. The Lord needs a vessel to meet these conditions – a vessel that has gone through the fire, and is living in the power of resurrection.

Such a vessel is going to be a suffering vessel, which has come to the place where God Himself meets the situation.

This may explain much; it may be a challenge; it may be a call.

“Seeing we have this ministry… we obtained mercy” – we have received grace to help – and so “we faint not”. But the treasure is in vessels of fragile clay, the vessel is being broken day by day. To stand in the power of God, the revelation of the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ, represents cost. Are we prepared for that? That is the way of the accredited ministry.

God has accredited the ministry of His Son, yet there was a universal combination to set Him at naught.

God has accredited the ministry of His servant Paul, but he was taken through depths of suffering.

So for us; ministry accredited of God is linked with suffering, but the suffering produces that which is wholly of God and cannot be destroyed.”

First published in “A Witness and A        Testimony” magazine, Sep-Oct 1946, Vol 24-5