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7 January, 2021 15:55

January 7, 2021

IN THE YEAR THAT KING UZZIAH (TRUMP) DIED I SAW THE LORD

The Bible is filled with divine encounters. Isaiah the prophets tells of his own encounter with God’s awesome and yet terrifying holiness; an encounter that was forever to change his life. Isaiah saw the Lord high and exalted, the train of His vestments filling the temple. The seraphim unable to gaze upon His blazing majesty covered their eyes with their wings as they cried aloud Holy, Holy, Holy, is the Lord of battle. The whole earth is full of His glory. Suddenly the very foundations of the temple shook and trembled under the weight of His magnificent glory and splendor. What, is so interesting about this incredible encounter is that Isaiah tells us it occurred in the same year as King Uzziah’s death.

Uzziah ascended the throne of Judah at the age of sixteen and reigned over God’s people for fifty-two years. Although extremely young at the time of his coronation he quickly turned his attention to seeking God. We are told that God prospered him and blessed him both militarily as well as materially. Uzziah’s fame spread throughout the region as far as Egypt and beyond. We read that as long as he sought the Lord, the Lord blessed and prospered him until he became strong. Tragically the moment he became strong or self-reliant God forsook him. Uzziah’s pride then led him to assume he could also function in a priestly role aside from that of being king and burn incense on the altar of incense. Refusing to listen to Azariah the priest along with eighty other priests, Uzziah became enraged…God’s judgment was both swift and severe, he was instantly struck with leprosy and cut off from the house of the Lord.

Uzziah’s fame and popularity went to his head. As far as he was concerned, he alone was responsible for all his mighty achievements. Like every pompous potentate he drew the attention away from God and glorified himself instead. It was only after Uzziah’s death that Isaiah saw the Lord.

The lesson here is obvious, God will not share His glory with another. John the Baptist came to the realization that ‘I must decrease that He might increase’. Self always blinds others from seeing God’s glory in us and through us.

Unfortunately, I believe God had to replace President Trump in order to turn the Church’s attention away from a man and back to where it rightly belongs, God himself! “Not unto us, not unto us, but to your name be glory.” How easily we lose our focus and turn to other things. I believe Trump has monopolized the limelight too long. His pride led to his downfall and demise and only through humility and repentance can he find salvation, peace and restoration. (Let’s pray to that end)

It’s time for the church to look off unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; He alone is to be the center our attention. “Let us exalt His name together.”

14 December, 2020 12:58

December 14, 2020

FORGIVEN

BORN TO BE KING

YET IN A MANGER LAY

CREATOR OF THE UNIVERSE

WAS BIRTHED UPON JUST HAY

THE SON OF GOD OUR SAVIOR

WAS BORN BUT FOR TO DIE

A SACRIFICE FOR ALL MANKIND

OUR SINS TO JUSTIFY

GOD WAITED TIL THE PASSOVER

TO OFFER UP HIS LAMB

HIS ONE AND ONLY SACRIFICE

JESUS THE GREAT ‘I AM’

AMIDST HIS PAIN AND SORROW

THE CROWDS CRIED CRUCIFY

HE KNEW THAT IF HE DIDN’T FORGIVE

HIS GIFT GOD WOULD DENY

AND SO, THIS CHRISTMAS SEASON

LET GO OF BITTERNESS

FORGIVE THOSE WHO HAVE HURT YOU

AND YOU’LL BE TRULY BLESSED

WE CAN’T RECIVE FORGIVENESS

UNLESS WE FIRST FORGIVE

JESUS SET THE EXAMPLE

OF HOW WE ALL SHOULD LIVE

DAVID RAVENHILL

11 November, 2020 15:28

November 11, 2020

MOVE OVER JEZEBEL, THERE’S ANOTHER SPIRIT IN TOWN FAR MORE SINISTER THAN YOU!

Those of you who are familiar with my writings know that I’m no fan of the JEZEBEL ‘spirit’ teaching. It seems in the last 25 years or so the Body of Christ has swallowed hook, line and sinker any teaching they can find regarding Jezebel.

Once a deceived and deluded woman who considered herself a teacher, Jezebel has now morphed into a major ‘spirit’ with tentacles that reach into almost every aspect of the Body of Christ. Her main attribute we are led to believe, is her manipulative power to control anyone or everyone she rubs up against, especially leaders. (Now I personally don’t believe this, but rather that she taught a distorted grace message, the fruit of which resulted in immorality among God’s people.)

A few things are worth considering about Jezebel. Jesus gave her time to repent. He didn’t suggest casting the ‘controlling spirit’ out of her through prayer and fasting. Neither did He state that He hated her. Which brings me to the NICOLAITANS.

Twice in the book of Revelation Jesus states. ‘I HATE THE DEEDS OF THE NICOLAITANS’.

It’s not very often in God’s Word that God states His hatred of something. For this reason alone, it should concern us and cause us to seek out what was so terrible about the Nicolaitans. Shouldn’t we hate what He hates? I’m assuming that if Jesus hates them, then the Devil must love them. I think that’s a fair assumption.

The name Nicolaitan comes from the Gk. “Nicholas” and means to conqueror the people. According to Warren Wiersbe: “It refers to the development of a priestly caste (clergy) in the church that throws aside common believers. While there must be pastoral leadership in the church there must not be “clergy” and “laity” in which the former, lords it over the latter…”

I’m well aware that there are conflicting views on who the Nicolaitans were. So even if Wiersbe and others are wrong it doesn’t alter the basic premise I’m about to expose.

Jesus hates any division of His beloved church body which results in the majority of members sitting idle while the clergy assume the role of babysitting or entertaining them. Nowhere is this more prevalent than in Roman Catholicism where for centuries the laity couldn’t even read their bible or partake of communion without their Pope or priest’s consent.

Little however has changed since the Reformation. Still today throughout Christendom we continue to condone the Nicolaitan’s demonic division of clergy and laity. This flies in the face of Jesus’ great high priestly prayer ‘that they may be one even as we are one.’

Jesus strictly warned His disciples that what was the common practice among the Scribes, Pharisees and Gentile of lording it over others, would not be condoned under His leadership. “IT SHALL NOT BE THIS WAY AMONG YOU”. Why then have we allowed the Nicolaitans to have their way? Why don’t we hear any teaching or warnings about the Nicolaitans? Why have we succumbed to the belief that the division of clergy and laity are perfectly acceptable and nothing to be concerned about? The vast majority of expositors give little if any warning regarding the Nicolaitans. Those who do comment about them, tend to speak of them as being a past problem not a present threat.

If there is such a thing as the ‘Jezebel spirit’ then the ‘Nicolaitan spirit’ has damaged the Body of Christ a hundred-fold more. The Jezebel spirit we are told seeks to control the leadership. The Nicolaitan spirit seeks to control the laity, by subjecting them to the rule of the superior clergy class.

A classic example of this is found in John’s Third Epistle in which John refers to Diotrephes who loved to exalt himself above the rest of the Body. The church along with the Apostle John wanted to support certain workers of the gospel but Diotrephes would have none of it, and used his position to throw out of the church, those who desired to help them.

Peter also warned the elders about abusing their sphere of authority as follows.

“The elders who are among you I exhort as a fellow elder…Feed the flock of God that is among you, exercising oversight not by compulsion, but willingly, not in fondness of dishonest gain, but with an eager attitude. Not as exercising lordship over your possessions; but by being examples to the flock of God (1 Peter 5:1-3)

Volumes could be written on this subject. It amazes me that this Nicolaitan ‘spirit’ has gone largely undetected and neglected for so long. In over 55 years of ministry I’ve never heard a single message or reference about the Nicolaitans. Clergy not wanting to lose their control over the people remain silent, while espousing doctrines like Coverings, Headship, Submission, etc. all of which play into the hands of the Nicolaitan ‘spirit’. There is a fine line between submission and servitude. Meanwhile the Devil delights at the idea of any doctrine or belief that paralyzes 95% of the Church from functioning as God intended them to.

The Bible makes it abundantly clear we are all Kings & Priests. The church has only one head, the Lord Jesus Christ. And our allegiance is first and foremost to Him. While I’m not suggesting we rid ourselves of all forms of spiritual leadership; I am advocating for the proper functioning of each individual member. We all have the same role to play, no matter whether we are unseemly members or apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors or teachers, and that is the role of a servant. Do nothing from selfishness or empty conceit, but with humility of mind regard one another as more important than yourselves; (Phil 2:3)

After all the greatest commendation we should aim for will have nothing to do with clergy or laity but rather; ‘Well done thou good and faithful SERVANT!’