All Scripture…

All Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training which is in righteousness; so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work. (2 Timothy 3:16-17 NASB)

…and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. (Ephesians 6:17b NASB)

There’s a statement I heard when I was younger, “nailing your colours to the mast”…

What it means (nautical origins of the phrase found here) is to clearly make your intentions known to others around you (so they can respond accordingly) and that you will fight for those intentions to the death…

In this vein, I would like to “nail my colours to the mast” in this post with respect to my un-dying aspiration to be surrendered to scripture under the interpretation of the Holy Spirit for the remainder of my time on earth before Jesus returns to reign…

Jesus is God, Jesus is the Word of God, we are told as believers in Jesus to “let the Word of God dwell in us richly”…

If we as believers are surrendered to Jesus then the proof of this is that we are surrendered to the scriptures which Jesus breathed…

for no prophecy was ever made by an act of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit spoke from God. (2 Peter 1:21 NASB)

…worship God. For the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.” (Revelation 19:10b)

Jesus claimed that He was the Truth, He also stated the below…

“Sanctify them in the truth; Your word is truth. (John 17:17 NASB)

and you will know the truth, and the truth will make you free.” (John 8:32 NASB)

When the Holy Spirit brings revelation to our new (born again) spirit of the truth of the scripture this is the Holy Spirit carrying the Sword of the Spirit and dividing to the very depths of our beings…

For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do. (Hebrews 4:12-13 NASB)

Jesus Himself is the Word of God, He breathed out the scripture through human writers and when the Holy Spirit wields that Sword and His truth is revealed to a born again spirit, that born again spirit is changed into the likeness of Jesus…

Each time He speaks in this way we are changed and we are never the same again…

I believe the old and new testament scriptures as delivered by the Lord in their original languages of Hebrew and Greek respectively – sixty-six books – constitute ‘All scripture’…

They are the benchmark for truth – if any other source claims to be speaking the truth but is not in agreement with ‘All scripture’ then that ‘other source’ is not speaking from or for Jesus who is the Word of God…

It is impossible to be surrendered to Jesus without also being surrendered to His word…

I am not saying that those of us who are surrendered to Jesus need to be perfectly practising His word before we make the statement that we are surrendered to Jesus – I’ve covered this in the preceding article – but for us to be surrendered to Jesus that will indeed be our stated aspiration – to practise what the word of God says that we as believers in Jesus are to be…

The whole of scripture paints a complete – or as complete as we need in this epoch of human history – picture of who God is, who we are without God, who we are with God and how our lives and our futures are all wrapped up in our decisions as to whether we want to know God or whether we don’t (the decision we make on this issue in the time between when we are born and when we finally die will affect where we spend eternity)…

So, for me, I’m making my public statement, I’m spelling it out…

I have surrendered myself to God the Father, God the Son (Jesus) and God the Holy Spirit and also surrendered myself to His word – the scripture – the sixty-six books in their original languages which we have in what is now commonly called the Holy Bible…

I do not presently perfectly practice the truth within the scriptures but I have surrendered myself to the Holy Spirit to guide me into all truth, to place truth in my innermost being and to enable me to practice truth for the remainder of my life…

As He reveals this truth to me, more and more and more, through His scriptures I will be transformed into His image by the renewal of my mind…

in these last days has spoken to us in His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things, through whom also He made the world. And He is the radiance of His glory and the exact representation of His nature, and upholds all things by the word of His power.  (Hebrews 1:2-3 NASB)

God the Father made the world through Jesus, Jesus upholds all things by the word of His power…

So when Jesus speaks, as He does, right throughout scripture from Genesis to Revelation, all the stories He tells, all the descriptions of human history He gives, all the insights, all of it is an expression of the truth…

He is depicting for us reality as viewed through various different eyes so that we can get a picture of what things are from His (the world and our Creator’s) perspective, i.e. what is the truth (as He is the Definition of The Truth)…

When God in scripture specifically tells us not to do certain things (even if we do not understand why) we can be sure that He is telling us this because doing these things are not good for us…

They harm us and He invites us to dialogue with Him to find out why…

Trust in Him at all times, O people; Pour out your heart before Him; God is a refuge for us. Selah. (Psalm 62:8 NASB)

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God as a workman who does not need to be ashamed, accurately handling the word of truth. (2 Timothy 2:15 NASB)

He will speak to us through His Holy Spirit who lives within us as believers in Jesus and His Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth through the scriptures…

If any of us say we believe in Jesus but also say that we do not believe that the scripture is the truth then our confession is incompatible (these two statements can’t coexist together) because we can’t separate Jesus from the scripture…

He wrote the scripture, He wrote it so that – along with His physical life on earth – we could know Him – the whole book is about Jesus – Jesus is hidden in every page of the scripture – He is hidden everywhere and the Holy Spirit reveals Him to us as He leads us into all truth…

So I believe in Jesus and I believe in the scripture, Jesus and the scripture are true because Jesus wrote the book, I don’t understand everything about God but I know that His word is truth and this is what I want to practise for the rest of my life on earth as He enables me in greater and greater and greater measures, come what may…

Amen? 🙂

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Is it ‘hypocritical’ not to ‘practise what we preach’?

I’ve been alive for a while now (nearly 48 years) and I’ve seen a lot of people who believe things deeply keep their mouths shut about what they believe because they’re afraid of people accusing them of (or viewing them as) being ‘hypocritical’ as their own lives don’t (or they’re scared at some point in time won’t) measure up to what they believe on the inside…

To say that we believe in something, do we first need to be perfectly living that truth?

There are different scenarios with respect to our knowledge of the truth…

  1. We don’t know what’s right, don’t have the desire to do what’s right and don’t have the ability to do what’s right
  2. We know what’s right, don’t have the desire to do what’s right and don’t have the ability to do what’s right
  3. We know what’s right, have the desire to do what’s right but don’t have the ability to do what’s right
  4. We know what’s right, have the desire to do what’s right and have the ability to do what’s right

If we find ourselves in either scenario 1 or 2 above then most likely we won’t find ourselves wanting to share the truth with anyone…

Were we (being in scenario 1 or scenario 2) to share things which we didn’t know to be right as truth (i.e. lying) or did know to be right but didn’t have the desire to do as truth but stated them as if we did have the desire to do them or were already practising them (i.e. lying) then that would be hypocritical…

If however, we find ourselves in scenario 3 (i.e. Romans 7) then it is highly likely that we will want to be sharing the truth with others – as we know it’s the truth (and thus know it’s good for us and others) – but we may find ourselves ‘held back’ by the above belief that somehow it is ‘hypocritical’ for us to share what we believe due to us not now or maybe not later being able to perfectly practice that truth in our own lives…

If we find ourselves in scenario 4 then we would be very likely to be sharing the truth that we know and experience but maybe find ourselves being concerned that other people will think that we think that we’re better than them (there’s also a definite temptation to pride if we believe we’re walking perfectly in scenario 4 on any issue)…

Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall. (1 Corinthians 10:4 NASB)

It’s really scenario 3 that I want to focus on in this blog post…

This is where the majority of us who are followers of Jesus find ourselves (or somewhere oscillating between scenario 3 and scenario 4 in different areas of our lives – which I endeavour to elaborate on later)…

Sometimes it’s not just in sharing what we believe that we feel ‘handbraked’ but also in praying about certain issues we feel ‘handbraked’, i.e. why would God listen to me about this prayer when I’m not perfectly living His truth in this area?

I’ve been thinking about this blog post for about a week now in the back of my mind and personally would like to share that I live the vast majority of my life in scenario 3 with the remainder of my life spent oscillating between scenario 3 & scenario 4…

The Lord has shown me what He’s shown me in terms of the truth – objective truth about the way life is generally and also specific truth about what He has planned for me to do while I’m here on planet earth – I’m sure He hasn’t told me everything He’s going to tell me and I’m sure that what He’s told me so far is just a portion of what He will tell me over my entire life…

OK, so I’ve got this deposit of truth – however full the ‘carafe of water’ of my life (using this as an analogy) is presently in His eyes – in terms of what’s He’s revealed to me personally as being the truth…

Not that’s it’s ‘my personal truth’ as ‘truth is truth’ and is objective but it’s my portion of the whole of His truth (overall) and it’s my present portion of the hopefully larger portion of the whole of His truth that He’ll reveal to me (which is a subset of His overall truth) while on planet earth…

Anyway, of this portion of truth that I know now I’d say that I presently only repetitively practice (freely from a pure heart) under half of this in my daily life…

What I’m saying is that there is a huge gap (or lag) between what I know to be true in my heart (and want to do) and what I actually ‘day after day’ consistently, situation by situation (no matter the circumstances), reproduce, live out (or do) in my life…

Does this make me, or anyone else who can relate to what I’ve just shared, a ‘hypocrite’ if we share what we know to be true as ‘aspirational’, i.e. where we know we should be and where we are desirous of being in reality, before we are actually able to repetitively walk in that truth?

I don’t believe it does…

I’m not telling myself that I must do these things, I’m not telling anyone else that they must do them either…

I’m not trying to threaten or intimidate myself or anyone else to do anything…

I’m not pretending that I am perfectly practising these things…

I’m also not expecting anyone else to be perfectly practising them…

I’m not looking down on myself or anyone else but have accepted that there is a gap (or lag) between what I know I want to be and what I presently am and I also know that only the Holy Spirit can continue to reveal truth to me and continue to enable me to practice truth – thus I’m believing that there will always be a gap (or lag) between these two positions in my experience even as I progress towards the Lord (thus I’ll always be experiencing scenario 3 in some areas of my life at any point in time even if I am intermittently experiencing parts of scenario 4 before the Lord shows me that there’s more to scenario 4 that I’m yet to experience thus heading me back to scenario 3)…

If anyone supposes that he knows anything, he has not yet known as he ought to know; (1 Corinthians 8:2 NASB)

Who would be the author of the voice or voices that would condemn us (or make us feel worthless or powerless) for being in scenario 3?

Would that be the Lord?  Would that be our fellow brothers and sisters in the Lord (under the control of the Holy Spirit)?

I don’t believe so…

It would be the accuser of the brethren…

We overcome him by the Blood of the Lamb – speaking of our cleansed, forgiven and blameless status before the Father through our faith in the Blood of Jesus and the word of our testimony (and we don’t love our lives unto death)…

What is the word of our testimony?

That we believe in Jesus, that we believe such and such and such (which He has shown us through his word in the scriptures and through His Spirit who gives us revelation of the scriptures) to be the truth and also practically sharing about the areas where the Lord has moved us from scenario 1 to scenario 2 or from scenario 2 to scenario 3 or from scenario 3 to scenario 4 (although I don’t believe any of us ever really fully arrive permanently at scenario 4 as there are depths and depths upon depths of the perfection of Christ which I believe we are yet to have unfolded to us)…

All the above is the word of our testimony – our life’s story of God’s dealing with us to make us more and more and more like Jesus…

If none of us who believed in Jesus could speak the truth we know (in our hearts) until we were perfectly and constantly living it (with no gap or lag) in scenario 4 then I do not believe that the mission which Jesus left us on earth to complete would ever be completed…

How do we know as we share in scenario 3 what we know in our hearts (aspirationally) to be true with others whether the Lord will release to them the anointing to believe this, the desire to accomplish it and give them the ability to accomplish it?

I believe this is entirely possible – we share what we know in the hope that others will be benefitted from it and even more benefitted than we have been from it – that they will outgrow us in that sense – as what we want to see is more and more and more of the practice of truth through more and more and more believers in Jesus…

The more those of us who believe in Jesus practice the truth the more the rest of us whose practice of the truth is ‘lacking’ or ‘dormant’ in any certain area are likely to get ‘sparked’ by that grace exhibited through one of our brothers or sisters and be encouraged or empowered or stimulated towards going and doing likewise – ‘towards love and good deeds’ – as the scripture says…

Paul himself at the end of his life said that he hadn’t yet attained but that he was pressing on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of him…

Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:12 NASB)

Paul admitted that he wasn’t perfectly living in scenario 4…

And yet Paul wrote the majority of the new testament scripture telling us as believers in Jesus how to live…

Was Paul a hypocrite?

No, Paul had revelation given to him from the Lord – a whole lot of revelation – and shared that with us (in scripture) – and I genuinely believe that what Paul shared the Lord shared with us ‘aspirationally’ as believers so we’d know what it looked like to ‘fix our eyes on Jesus the Author and Perfector of our faith’ (i.e. to have Jesus living through us) – it was setting the ‘high bar’ (high jump analogy) of where He was taking us in our experience of Him living through us and making us more like Jesus…

What Jesus and Paul and others in scripture share with us who believe in Jesus is not condemning for those of us who believe in Jesus, it is encouraging – it is lifting our vision higher to see where He is taking us – we are already accepted in His Blood – there is nothing to prove – but we have however many years He has given to each of us on earth to get to know Him better – both in our spirits, in our souls (in our hearts) and in our bodies (out through our actions) – he is redeeming our complete inner beings and the crowning glory is that His truth is lived joyously and naturally out through our bodies in full sight of all other people (as appropriate) so they too can see His beauty… 🙂

In Jesus Name I set us all free – who know Jesus – to be who we are…

To speak out the truth which He has shown us (in accordance with His word in scripture)…

To speak out that we aspire to be like Him (Jesus)…

That we aspire to practise everything which He tells us to do in His word because He has told us in love and it is for our good to practise His truth…

I set us all free (me included) not to be afraid of what anyone thinks of us for speaking out and sharing the truth that we know (no matter how our performance of that truth pans out)…

I set us all free (me included) to accept ourselves in whatever stage of transition into the likeness of Jesus we find ourselves…

I set us all free (me included) from perfectionism which would focus on our performance rather than on the Person of Jesus living through us to be our source of pleasure in this life…

I set us all free (me included) to enjoy the freedom which He gives to each one of us in our spirit, in our soul and in our body to delight in and practise His truth and to be content in this (grateful for this) while pressing on for more as He releases it to us…

I set us all free (me included) to wait for Him to complete His work in us and to experience His pleasure in so doing…

I set us all free (me included) to live without fear of condemnation, punishment or persecution but to live in the love of God towards all humanity…

I set us all free (me included) to speak the truth in love and portray Jesus openly and honestly for who He is (irrespective of our behaviour)…

God, who while remaining fully God became a Divine Embryo transplanted into the womb of a human woman being born as a baby Man (without sin or without any contamination from the sin of His human mother being passed on to him) and who humbled Himself (a) to undergo Divine Amnesia (laying down His All-knowingness), (b) by laying down His All-powerfulness and (c) by laying down His Omni-presentness (being able to be everywhere at once)…

And Jesus kept increasing in wisdom and stature, and in favor with God and men. (Luke 2:52 NASB)

“But of that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but the Father alone. (Mark 13:32 NASB)

One day He was teaching; and there were some Pharisees and teachers of the law sitting there, who had come from every village of Galilee and Judea and from Jerusalem; and the power of the Lord was present for Him to perform healing. (Luke 5:17 NASB)

“But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the Helper will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you. (John 16:7 NASB)

He did not, however, lay down His Godhood (the Character of God, I AM WHO I AM) and He, the Word, who was never created and has always existed as God took on the form of a Man being made in human likeness…

He, as God and as perfect Man, then laid down His life taking upon Himself the sins of the entire world on the cross where He bore the eternal wrath of God for sin – carrying it all as His own – in our place for three hours of human time…

God, the Father, accepted His sacrifice and atonement for sin and provided proof of the acceptance by raising Jesus from the dead – as ‘the wages of sin is death’ (and Jesus now again – after carrying our sin to completion – had no sin) – on the third day and received Him up to His Right Hand in heaven some 40 days later after Jesus appeared to some 500 believers in Jesus alive at one time after He rose from the dead…

Jesus left us who believe in Him with a commission to go everywhere in all the world telling everyone about what He did for them…

He said that we would see the nations believe in Him and be baptised and He told us to teach the nations to obey everything He commanded us to do…

Finally, He said that He would be with us in this pursuit until the end of the age and as He ascended up into heaven and was hidden by a cloud two angels spoke and promised us that we would see Him return in exactly the same way that He left…

He is who we wait for, He is who we willingly choose to serve while we wait (as He enables us)…

He is who we long to know…

He longs to know us… 🙂

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There’s a one-way ticket for evil in our region…

I was on my run today thinking about something (the protection and provision over us as believers in Jesus worldwide) I’d seen earlier on this morning when the Lord woke me up and I was singing, “Our Father…” (what’s traditionally known as the Lord’s Prayer) on the piano to a new tune for me that was just coming out of me and I saw again (on my run) the transparent dome of protection over our region – the Pacific Ring of Fire (including Australia) – and I saw on the outside of this dome, kind of like sitting on the dome (awaiting instructions) or hovering next to it (looking outward and ready for action), a large number of closely spaced angels in white, ready to refuse entry into the dome of any fallen angels (demons) who were trying to penetrate the dome and ready for any other assignment to which they would be assigned (those sitting waiting on the dome)…

The Lord reminded me that the elect angels form two-thirds of all the original angels He created and thus the fallen angels (demons) are outnumbered two to one…

Then I heard the words, “There’s a one-way ticket for evil in our region”…

I don’t know who spoke those words but they were spoken authoritatively and I knew that they were the truth…

It’s possible for evil to exit our region – and it will (the demonic entities will flee our region) – but it is not possible for evil to enter our region…

Love does not delight in evil and love will fill our region…

That is our destiny in the Lord from this point in time until He comes again to reign from Jerusalem…

Our region is and will be secure…

In this environment, we will grow in purity and perfection, living in the light as love covers a multitude of sins…

Thank You Jesus… 🙂

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“My Kingdom is not of this world”…

Jesus answered, “My kingdom does not belong to this world. If my kingdom belonged to this world, my servants would fight to keep me from being handed over to the Jewish leaders. But for now my kingdom is not from here.” (John 18:36 ISV)

There’s something very profound about what Jesus spoke to Pilate when He was on trial for His life…

What Jesus said to Pilate still applies to us as followers of Jesus today and will continue to do so until He catches us up to meet Him in the air before we return with Him to earth when His feet touch the Mount of Olives…

Right up until that moment when we meet Him in the air we are to ‘do business’ until He ‘comes back’…

“And he called ten of his slaves, and gave them ten minas and said to them, ‘Do business with this until I come back.’ (Luke 19:13 NASB)

What sort of ‘business’ are we to do with the gifts and talents which the Lord has given us?

Are we to lobby governments for what we would consider to be morally acceptable laws?

If that fails, are we to endeavour to get ourselves elected into governments so we can put what we consider to be morally acceptable laws in place for our nations?

If that fails, are we to physically overthrow governments by means of force majeure or coup to place ourselves in control of our nations so we can put in place what we consider to be morally acceptable laws?

Assuming that we were to succeed in any of the above approaches, what would we do when the people of our nations didn’t comply with the laws we’d put in place?

Would we impose fines on them, take away their jobs, confiscate their property, put them in prison, kill them?

Is this the sort of ‘business’ which Jesus was talking about?

A political business?

No, it was not…

Jesus answered, “My kingdom is not of this world. (John 18:36a NASB)

So what exactly is it that Jesus does want us to be doing with the gifts and talents which He’s given us in this epoch of time?

But the eleven disciples proceeded to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. When they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some were doubtful. And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matthew 28:16-20 NASB)

It seems pretty clear to me that our role is to make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that Jesus commanded the eleven disciples…

We have been given authority to do this and a promise that Jesus will be with us always in this endeavour until He comes again and ushers in His thousand-year reign on earth…

If Jesus didn’t want his servants to physically fight to keep Him alive (think of how He told Peter to put away his sword) how much less would He want us, as His servants now, to physically fight to endeavour to force some sort of moralism (or legislated morality) over our societies or to physically fight to force the members of our societies to ‘believe in Jesus or die’…

This approach is just plain wrong in light of Jesus’ clear words…

Yes, there is a time coming, when Jesus returns to earth to reign from the throne of His father David for a thousand years – which He hints at in John 18:36b where He says, “But for now My kingdom is not from here” – when things will be very different…

That time, however, is not now…

So, as followers of Jesus in this present age, what should we be focusing our efforts on?

Encouraging free-will heart change in all people, holding out the opportunity for all people to turn freely and willingly to Jesus by sharing the truth and grace of Jesus in love with all people and also by sharing our testimonies of how Jesus has changed our lives and is still, in His grace, changing our lives…

How do we affect change in our own lives?  By having our hearts affected by an understanding of the truth and grace of Jesus and touched by God to turn the desires of our hearts freely and willingly towards wanting to do what He has told us is best for us to do (trusting Him that He knows best for our lives)…

How do we affect change in society?

By sharing what God has done in our lives and encouraging everyone that He can and will – if they want Him to – do this in their lives also…

This involves each and every one of us who knows Jesus surrendering to Jesus, giving up being moralistic ‘try-hards’ and giving up on our efforts of ‘self-improvement’ and allowing His Holy Spirit to do His work in us in His time…

To live honestly in this way before all those around us so they see that we’re real, we’re not perfect, we’re not ‘better than them’ but naturally and joyfully God is doing things in our hearts to turn our hearts, more and more and more towards Him and towards His ways…

As they see our maturing and ongoing relationship with Jesus they taste and see vicariously that He is good and the kindness of God through us leads them to repentance, a.k.a. to come to know Jesus, a.k.a. to submit themselves to Jesus and allow Him to take over in their lives, laying down their lives and dying that Jesus can live His life through them…

There are those of us who believe in Jesus whose ‘day jobs’ involve working in government, God calls us as His people into all different professions and all different work environments but in whichever environment we find ourselves our role is as explained above, one that is focused on bringing as many people as possible into a heart relationship with Jesus because this is the only thing that saves and this is the only thing that preserves (like salt) our nations…

In the spiritual plane, there are prophets and prophetic intercessors who have a call, as Jeremiah did, to their nations…

The word of the Lord came to me, saying, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations.” “Alas, Sovereign Lord,” I said, “I do not know how to speak; I am too young.” But the Lord said to me, “Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you,” declares the Lord. Then the Lord reached out his hand and touched my mouth and said to me, “I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I appoint you over nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and to plant.” (Jeremiah 1:4-10 NIV)

These ones could also be called watchmen or gatekeepers…

What this involves, in the spirit, is the casting down of every spiritual authority and power which raises itself up in our nations against the knowledge of Christ…

We, those of us thus called, have a mandate from God, to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow and also to build and to plant in the spiritual atmosphere’s of our nations an environment of peace which facilitates the sharing and expression of the good news about Jesus to all in our nations…

We have authority as specifically led by the Holy Spirit to remove the demonic principalities and powers from the spiritual environments over our nations and regions as we are given this authority by the Lord…

This opens the way for things to change, flourish and grow in the natural plane in our nations…

The prophet and prophetic intercessor – along with the apostle I believe – has an authority to build and to plant into their sphere of influence, under the jurisdiction that God has given to each one – what they release will come into being in time in the natural in their sphere of influence…

All this is done in the spirit, God works all this out ‘behind the scenes’ – no one in the natural plane is forced or coerced to change – as that wouldn’t be heart change, i.e. wouldn’t affect any change in any of our hearts – no government ‘strong-arming’ is required – however over time there will be changes in the way our societies operate as a result of these prayers and proclamations…

Why will there be changes in society?

Because every time in history where God has moved on His people to focus on helping others to come to know Jesus in truth, the society in which those people lived was also changed as a result of that focus…

The changes in society were an after-effect of the changes that had occurred in the members of those societies’ or communities’ hearts – a natural and free-will outcome, they just didn’t want to do certain things anymore…

Any authority structure which presently exists, we are told in Romans 13, presently exists because the Lord has set it in place…

This doesn’t mean that He’ll not remove it at some point if this is His will, as He lifts up and He casts down…

Nebuchadnezzar learnt this in Daniel 4…

“This sentence is by the decree of the angelic watchers And the decision is a command of the holy ones, In order that the living may know That the Most High is ruler over the realm of mankind, And bestows it on whom He wishes And sets over it the lowliest of men.” (Daniel 4:17 NASB)

We, thus, shouldn’t be surprised if the Lord chooses to rearrange those who hold the highest positions of authority in any of the authority structures which He chooses to remain in place from here on out until He comes again…

Again, even if some of us (who know the Lord) find ourselves as the Prime Ministers or Presidents of our nations – we are only servants of Jesus in that role and Jesus has very clearly told us not to politicize our mandate but to encourage freedom for all who know Jesus to share Jesus through their life and testimony with all those who are yet to come to know Jesus while giving those who do not yet know Jesus every freedom to reject giving their lives to Jesus and every freedom not be penalized, via any government ‘pressure’, for making that decision…

Our roles, those of us who know the Lord, as Prime Ministers and Presidents of our nations, is to ensure free-will is honoured for all members of our societies, which includes freedom of speech and freedom of religion for all, including ourselves…

We pray, as Paul tells us:

for kings and all who are in authority, so that we may lead a tranquil and quiet life in all godliness and dignity. (1 Timothy 2:2 NASB)

We pray that those in authority would govern our nations in such a way so that every believer in Jesus would have the freedom to live this way so that the sharing of the good news about Jesus can continue unhindered…

If there are those presently in positions of authority who are not acting in a way which enables what Paul instructs us to pray for then we are to ask the Lord to show them His truth and grace so they could have a change of heart, if it becomes clear that those ones do not want to have a change of heart then I believe our role, in line with Daniel 4:17, is to pray that the Lord would remove them from this position of authority and place someone in that position who He knows will enable those of us who believe in Him to live the way Paul instructs us to…

Jesus, after all, is the Ruler of the kings of the earth…

and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of the kings of the earth. (Revelation 1:5a NASB)

He has this right, He was the lowliest of men…

With respect to those in our society who knowingly choose not to believe in Jesus they should not be punished at all for this decision in this lifetime – they should enjoy freedom of speech and freedom of religion in our nations – this is what Jesus instructed us to do (emphasis mine) in the scripture below…

Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. “But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away. “But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also. “The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ “And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’ The slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’ “But he said, ‘No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them. ‘Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.”’” (Matthew 13:24-30 NASB)

So is the Lord calling those of us who know and follow Jesus into political activism or political lobbying?

I don’t believe so…

If He calls us into positions of authority in society (as our ‘day job’) I believe He does so to put forward (without any force or pressure) Jesus’ truth and grace to those who don’t yet know the Lord who are also in positions of authority in the hope that we all (in those positions of authority) will freely choose (in unity) to agree with God’s will for our nations – (a) to protect the peace and tranquility of those who know Jesus in our nations so that we can humbly and joyfully share Jesus and His free gift of eternal life and rescue from eternal death to all those who do not yet know Him in our nations and (b) to protect the free-will (freedom of speech and freedom of religion) of all in our nations (without vilification, ostracism or punishment)… 🙂

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To Israel Folau – I am standing with you in prayer brother…

Hi Israel, I’ve been following what’s been going on recently with great interest and the Lord has placed you on my heart to stand with you and support you in prayer…

I’ve read your article, Israel Folau – I’m a sinner too and hear your heart in your article and know in my heart that you belong to the Lord and are my brother in Christ…

In my article, Is Jesus a Bigot? and the articles referred to within that article I enunciate what I believe is important for us as believers in Jesus – to be both pro-grace and pro-truth at the same time – which I believe Jesus was, and from reading your article on Player’s Voice above, I believe that is what you’re endeavouring to do also…

I would like to encourage you that as the Apostles said,

“Whether it is right in the sight of God to give heed to you rather than to God, you be the judge; for we cannot stop speaking about what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:19b-20 NASB)

And as Peter the Apostle said,

Who is there to harm you if you prove zealous for what is good? But even if you should suffer for the sake of righteousness, you are blessed. AND DO NOT FEAR THEIR INTIMIDATIONAND DO NOT BE TROUBLED, but sanctify Christ as Lord in your hearts, always being ready to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you, yet with gentleness and reverence; and keep a good conscience so that in the thing in which you are slandered, those who revile your good behavior in Christ will be put to shame. For it is better, if God should will it so, that you suffer for doing what is right rather than for doing what is wrong. For Christ also died for sins once for all, the just for the unjust, so that He might bring us to God, having been put to death in the flesh, but made alive in the spirit; (1 Peter 3:13-18 NASB)

I’ve been praying for you that the Lord would give you peace, would give you wisdom and that no matter what happens you will keep your peace and your wisdom and that the Lord will direct you in the path which He has for you…

I would encourage you to forgive everyone who is speaking evil against you – from your heart – as this will protect your heart…

Remember, any authority which is set against you only has power over you as is given to it from above, as Jesus said to Pilate,

Jesus answered, “You would have no authority over Me, unless it had been given you from above; for this reason he who delivered Me to you has the greater sin.” (John 19:11 NASB)

Also, remember what the Apostle Paul did when he was falsely put into prison,

But Paul said to the officers: “They beat us publicly without a trial, even though we are Roman citizens, and threw us into prison. And now do they want to get rid of us quietly? No! Let them come themselves and escort us out.” The officers reported this to the magistrates, and when they heard that Paul and Silas were Roman citizens, they were alarmed. They came to appease them and escorted them from the prison, requesting them to leave the city. (Acts 16:37-39 NASB)

And finally, from the Apostle Paul, remember that,

In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren; and these whom He predestined, He also called; and these whom He called, He also justified; and these whom He justified, He also glorified. What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him over for us all, how will He not also with Him freely give us all things? Who will bring a charge against God’s elect? God is the one who justifies; who is the one who condemns? Christ Jesus is He who died, yes, rather who was raised, who is at the right hand of God, who also intercedes for us. Who will separate us from the love of Christ? Will tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Just as it is written, “FOR YOUR SAKE WE ARE BEING PUT TO DEATH ALL DAY LONG; WE WERE CONSIDERED AS SHEEP TO BE SLAUGHTERED.” But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Romans 8:26-39 NASB)

I believe that everyone has the God-given right to do whatever they want to under the sun (good or bad) – I don’t think any of us should try and ‘legislate morality’ or ‘bully anyone into change’ – but that doesn’t mean that we’re not all responsible for what we choose to do under the sun (good or bad) in light of eternity…

From reading your article above, I believe you believe this too…

I would encourage you to continue to speak as the Holy Spirit leads you, from the peace He gives you in your heart and remember that those speaking against you are not your enemies, they are the ones for whom Christ died, it is the entities which have been controlling them which are resisting the grace and the truth in you because they see that combination as a powerful threat to their continued presence in our region…

What is happening to you is more than just about you, it is about our region and what the Holy Spirit is doing in our region to turn our region to Jesus…

Be strong and keep surrendering yourself to the Lord, keep up your physical training also, don’t lose heart, be encouraged, don’t rush to speak but when the Holy Spirit gives you a peace to speak, then speak and know that as we acknowledge the Lord, He will make straight our paths…

Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. (Proverbs 3:5-6 NASB)…

I will keep praying for you until this season of fiery trial is over for you, I believe you will come out of this much stronger in the Lord and knowing/experiencing the Lord much closer to you and supportive of you than you do even now… 🙂

And the future is bright for you, wherever the Lord chooses to lead you, just follow Him, follow His Voice through His Holy Spirit and the peace He gives you and stay true to the scriptures… 🙂

I believe you are right where the Lord wants you to be (keep being humble and meek before Him) and He will honour and protect you and provide for your every need, in every area of your life, Jesus’ Blood is over you, He is your Passover and you are safe in His Hands… 🙂

Love you brother,

Andrew

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Is Jesus a Bigot?

There’s something going on over in Australia at present which the Lord has put on my heart and in my prayers and as I’ve been praying about this situation, this question has come up…

Is Jesus a Bigot?

I went to the Oxford Dictionary to see what they defined this word as…

Bigot:  A person who is intolerant towards those holding different opinions.

Then I went to the Oxford Dictionaries definition of intolerance…

Intolerance:  Unwillingness to accept views, beliefs, or behaviour that differ from one’s own.

In my last blog post, Viewing Freedom From God’s Perspective, I believe I laid out a pretty clear picture of how tolerant God is of all the behaviour which occurs in His world which He doesn’t agree with…

It seems pretty clear to me that God is not a bigot – under the sun, while people are alive on earth, God has given them freedom to make choices and to live their lives however they want to, no one is forced to do anything against their will by God, anyone who wants to know Him can and those who do not want to know Him don’t have to…

Thus, as far as I can observe and based on all the evidence I have at my disposal (including the scriptures), God is very tolerant of all human beings who presently reside on planet earth…

Jesus is God, He said this of Himself, “…before Abraham was, I AM”…

Jesus could have taken Himself down off the cross and undone all the injustice which had been done to Him but instead, He was tolerant of all those who have ever resided, were residing or would ever reside on planet earth and took all of our sin on Himself asking God, His Father, to forgive us all…

I can’t think of a more unbigoted or tolerant action which anyone has ever undertaken…

Jesus didn’t shy away from telling us the truth about our sin but then He doubled down and paid the penalty for our sin Himself…

He was full of Grace & Truth as I endeavoured to explain in Balance (Grace & Truth)…

Does this make Jesus a bigot?  Does this make Jesus intolerant?

Does this make any follower of Jesus who speaks truth and practices grace (who ‘accepts’ but does not ‘approve’) a bigot, intolerant or a ‘hate speaker’?

Jesus’ kingdom is “…not of this world”…

Jesus isn’t stopping anyone doing whatever they want to do during their stay on planet earth…

Jesus loves everyone…

Jesus isn’t expecting anyone to change themselves before they come to Him…

He is just asking each of us to come to Him so that He can change us to be like Him…

He will do all this for us, even if this involves a complete makeover of our entire inner beings, spirit & soul…

God isn’t putting any pressure on any of us to ‘sort ourselves out’ or ‘pull ourselves up by our boot laces’ – He tells us to come to Him as we are and “…taste and see that the Lord is good”…

He promises us that our relationship with Him as it grows will transform us into His likeness but that how transformed we get before we leave planet earth shouldn’t be our concern (it is our desire but not our focus) as He just wants us to enjoy that process and our experience of our relationship with Him, which He knows will end in its perfection when we leave this planet and go to be with Him where He is… 🙂

All we have to do is believe what He has done for us and trust Him to do whatever He still needs to do in us until we leave planet earth…

There is nothing for us to do but to receive His love and give ourselves to Him for Him to do everything in us to free us to know and understand Him more and more…

If we choose that we don’t want to spend our time on planet earth getting to know Him, or having a relationship with Him, then He will honour that, which will mean that we will spend eternity in the presence of His wrath – which is His anger against sin…

He doesn’t want any of us to experience this, which is why He tells us that the lake of fire and brimstone is real and eternal and warns us that all who choose not to believe in Him will experience this as the consequence of their decision forever…

He gives freedom but He does not give freedom from consequences…

Our decisions (to either believe in Jesus or not to believe in Jesus) have consequences but if we believe that Jesus is the best thing for us to be spending our time on while we are here on earth then we’ll reap the harvest of that focus once we leave earth and will know Him fully for eternity – His love for eternity – even as we are fully known by Him…

That’s the positive side but there is also a negative side…

The only thing we can do to avoid the negative side is to thank Jesus for dying on the cross for us and give ourselves to Him so He can live His way through us, this is a decision which we make on the inside, He then comes and lives in us through His Holy Spirit and begins to transform us into His image… 🙂

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Viewing Freedom From God’s Perspective…

This thought has been on my heart before but it is strongly on my heart tonight so I feel to share it…

Have we ever thought about what it is like for God to give humanity so much freedom?

I mean, God is the ultimate parent, operating primarily as a Father but also at times scripture tells us operating as a mother…

Imagine the daily dealings we have in our family homes, our interactions with our children, what we allow them the freedom to do, the boundaries we may or may not set, how much freedom we choose to give our children…

Now God has a guidebook, the scriptures, where He’s recorded a pretty clear path as to the heart we would want to exhibit if we were to enjoy life on His planet and with the other planet dwellers who He has created to cohabit with us during our time on earth…

The reality is that not many of us follow that heart, revealed in that guidebook and so many times during every day God looks on in sadness because we’re missing out on the happiness which He wants for us all…

But does He step in and force or coerce us to follow His Heart, the way He lives from His Heart, in our everyday lives?

Based on my observations during the first forty-seven years of my life, I’d say, in summary, not very often and especially not over the last nearly two thousand years since Jesus rose from the dead…

He seems, in my observation, to allow all sorts of things which many of us would be very uneasy about allowing our children to practice in our homes (the earth is His ‘home’, He is the Ruler of the kings of the earth) with no obvious interference or consequence…

If we look at all the things which are done and said on earth in opposition to His revealed Heart and especially the things which are spoken against Him by His children (as in some ways whether we believe in Him or follow Him or not, by His own definition, as He is our Creator, we are all in that sense His children)…

I marvel at how ‘un-controlling’ and ‘permission giving’ God is…

I truly do and am endeavouring to model my life, with the way I treat myself, the way I treat my wife, the way I treat my children, the way I treat my grandchildren, the way I treat people who work with me and in all other social interactions (which aren’t many for me to be fair), after this ‘un-controlling’ and ‘permission giving’ God…

It’s not like He’s disinterested, it’s just that He’s not smothering…

He gives a lot of freedom for us to do the exact opposite of what He’s said will make us the most fulfilled, He doesn’t seem worried when we ridicule Him or when we put Him down, He seems to be so ‘even’ and able to see things in terms of what would benefit us the most…

Yes, I know that He’s sad and yes I know that there’s an ‘accounting’ coming after we die but His attitude is one which I like and am endeavouring to emulate…

He’s put His truth out there…

He wants us to seek it out…

Anyone who does seek it out, He’ll start talking to and guiding them along the path to find Him and His way of living…

But He’s not afraid, He’s not swayed by our rejection of Him…

He doesn’t change depending on how we treat Him…

He is still Himself…

I AM WHO I AM…

He’s not falling over Himself to make sure at every step we know that we should be following Him, He’s not ‘needy’ like that…

He wants us to be ‘with Him’ but if we choose not to be, He’s OK, He’s sad but He’s not going to change who He is because we reject Him, His Purpose will continue, He honours our rejection of Him…

He is not desperate, He lets us go, it pains Him but He accepts our choice…

In any sphere of our lives, I believe we take ourselves too seriously when we believe that we hold, for example, our children’s futures in our hands and we get so overwrought trying to make sure we spell out to them all the pitfalls and things which may go wrong…

So much emotional energy is expended by ourselves as we ‘micro-manage’ every relationship in our lives, trying to ensure that it all works out perfectly…

God desires the best for us but His way is that we choose to seek Him out – to engage trustingly with him in open dialogue to find Him, He doesn’t ‘overshare’ – He’s shared enough, He’s demonstrated enough – through Jesus – He’s given us enough witnesses – and even the people who are getting to know Him who we come across – to be able to start that relationship – an open ‘back and forth’ with Him – if we so desire…

But He doesn’t force Himself or His way on us – He is (as I believe I’ve said before) the Perfect Gentleman… 🙂

Love You Lord… 🙂

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