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5 February, 2019 13:08

February 5, 2019

THE LONELY GOD

There is no question in my mind that what sets man apart from the rest of creation is the fact that man was created to have fellowship with his maker.

Not only was man created for fellowship but even more importantly, God seeks fellowship with man. From man’s very beginning we read of God coming in the cool of the day to spend time with Adam.

How long these encounters lasted we are not told, nor do we know whether the days stretched into weeks and the weeks into months and the months into years before that fateful day when Adam chose to miss his appointment with God.

Rather than letting things go, God begins searching for Adam, calling out ‘Adam where are you?’ I believe it was Charles Spurgeon that suggested God is still calling out to His children ‘where are you?’ ‘I miss our times together.’ Suggesting that when we allow our devotional times with God to lapse God feels lonely, betrayed, and even hurt, by our lack of love and devotion.

The Apostle Paul reminds us that through God’s faithfulness we “were called into fellowship with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” This is the very essence of what our Christian life is all about – fellowship with God Himself.

Unfortunately the Church has emphasized our initial acceptance of Christ more than our daily relationship with Christ. Many believers are more concerned about securing their eternal destiny than developing a relationship with the Eternal Himself.

I’m convinced that when the prodigal left his father’s house and went into a far country there to experience a severe famine, that the Father also experienced a severe famine. The son’s famine was lack of food the Father’s famine was a lack of fellowship. I’ve often said the ‘far country’ was not measured by distance but desire. You can sit in church every Sunday and still be in a far country. Jesus stood within inches of the Pharisees and yet scolded them, saying that their heart was far from Him.

Just today, I was thinking of the repentant thief on the cross who said “Jesus, remember me when You come into your kingdom!” Jesus responded by saying to him, “Truly I say to you, today you shall be with Me in Paradise.” Jesus could have emphasized Paradise the place, but chose to emphasize “with Me” in Paradise.

I believe Spurgeon was correct concerning God calling us daily by name “Where are you?” God still longs to fellowship with us. If we don’t crave His fellowship here on earth what will change when we get to heaven? Could that be why He says ‘I never knew you, depart from Me?’

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16 January, 2019 16:20

January 16, 2019

My NEW BOOK.
"The Gentile Roots Of The Jewish Faith"
Is now available on Amazon.

16 January, 2019 16:13

January 16, 2019

NEW BOOK RELEASE. Available on Amazon

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31 December, 2018 11:40

December 31, 2018

The following is taken from Smith Wigglesworth, Devotional book. December 31.

There is one thing that can hinder our faith: a conscience that is seared. [1Ti 4.2] Paul sought to have a conscience void of offense. [Ac 24.16] There is a conscience that is seared, and there is a conscience that is so opened to the presence of God that the smallest thing in the world will drive it to God. What we need is a conscience that is so opened to God that not one thing can come into and stay in our lives to break up our fellowship and shatter our faith in God. And when we can come into the presence of God with a clear conscience and a faith unfeigned, [1Ti 1.5] our heart condemning us not, then have we confidence toward God, and whatsoever we ask we receive of him. [1Jn 3.22]

In Mark 11.24 we read, “What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.” The previous verse speaks of mountains removed, difficulties cleared away. [Mk 11.23] Veneering won’t do. We must have reality, the real working of our God. We must know God. We must be able to go in and hold converse with God. We must also know the mind of God toward us, so that all our petitions are always on the line of his will.

As this like precious faith becomes a part of you, it will make you so that you will dare to do anything. And remember, God wants daring men. Men who will dare all, men who will be strong in him and dare to do exploits. How shall we reach this plane of faith? Give up your own mind. Let go your own thoughts, and take the thoughts of God, the word of God. If you build yourself on imaginations you will go wrong. You have the word of God and it is enough. A man gave this remarkable testimony concerning the word: “Never compare this book with other books. Comparisons are dangerous. Never think or never say that this book contains the word of God. It is the word of God. It is supernatural in origin, eternal in duration, inexpressible in value, infinite in scope, regenerative in power, infallible in authority, universal in interest, personal in application, inspired in totality. Read it through. Write it down. Pray it in. Work it out. And then pass it on.”

And truly the word of God changes a man until he becomes an epistle of God. It transforms his mind, changes his character, moves him on from grace to grace, makes him an inheritor of the very nature of God. God comes in, dwells in, walks in, talks through, and sups with him [Rv 3.20] who opens his being to the word of God and receives the Spirit who inspired it.

16 December, 2018 21:32

December 16, 2018

A BLESSED CHRISTMAS TO YOU ALL

BORN TO…

Born to fulfill God’s word to man

Born to reveal the Father’s plan

‘Born to be King’ was his decree

Born to set the prisoners free

Born to be God’s spotless Lamb

Born to die for sinful man

Born to bruise the serpent’s head

Born to rise up from the dead

Born to break the chains of sin

Born to make men whole again

Born to be the light of day

Born to show to all the way

Born to heal man’s broken heart

Born to give, his peace impart

Born to reign in majesty

Born to rule eternally

Born to return again one day

Born to take his bride away

Born this blessed hope to give

Born that we with him shall live

That’s what Christmas means to me

LOVE, JOY, PEACE, ETERNALLY

David Ravenhill

2 October, 2018 19:52

October 2, 2018

THE GIFT OF TONGUES, A WEAPON OF WAR?

Of the nine gifts of the Spirit listed in First Corinthians, few would question the fact that the gift of tongues is by far the most controversial. If the gifts were likened to a family, tongues would be that member of the family nobody wants to acknowledge or be associated with. This is the one member we are embarrassed to be related to and even more reluctant to talk about. What is it about this gift that is so obnoxious to so many believers? For years certain denominations have warned their people about going anywhere near those who speak in tongues lest they become demonized or demented themselves.

Since every good and perfect gift comes from God, including the gift of tongues, then we need to ask ourselves what is really going on?

Some denominations hold to a cessationist belief which basically teaches that the gifts have all been withdrawn in this dispensation and therefore are no longer relevant. Behind this teaching is the devil who fosters this lie in order to strengthen his own agenda. What better way to undermine God’s purpose than to do away with the very means of equipping God’s people with spiritual strength and insight? Allow me to explain. The scripture teaches us that when we speak in tongues we edify ourselves. This word edify is the Greek word used for building or constructing a dwelling. We have all watched a building being erected or constructed. Day by day we see it change into the shape and purpose for which the owner and architect planned. The gift of tongues in like manner is one of God’s methods of strengthening and building up our spiritual house. Just as our physical body needs to be fortified by food our spirits also need to be strengthened and built up.

I personally believe God intended the gift of tongues to act as a doorway for all the other gifts. By building up your spirit you become more aware of the spiritual realm that God desires us all to operate in. Now if I were the Devil I would do everything possible to discredit this gift for that very reason.

A tongue has other purposes also. One of these is the supernatural ability of being able to communicate in a language unknown to the one speaking, yet understood by the one listening. We also know from God’s word that the gift of tongues, when interpreted, can edify those listening in a similar way to the gift of prophecy.

Now let me share with you another possibility concerning the use of the gift of tongues. Notice I used the word possibility. We are told in God’s word that it is the glory of God to conceal a matter and the glory of kings to search it out.

With that in mind allow me to piece together this possibility. What is the purpose of a tongue? A tongue is used to communicate with another person.

When I want to communicate with my wife I use English as it’s the only language I know. If I were able to speak in Mandarin my wife wouldn’t understand a word I was saying, as she doesn’t speak Mandarin. The Apostle Paul tells us in First Corinthians thirteen that we can speak in the tongues of men or of angels. If tongues are used to communicate, then speaking in an angelic tongue means I’m saying something or communicating something to an angel or angles. Now we know according to God’s word that we are not to worship angels. John fell down at the foot of an angel and was told, ‘do not do that I am a fellow servant of yours…’ A servant’s role is to serve. We are told in the book of Hebrews that angels are ministering spirits sent forth on behalf of those who are heirs of salvation. In other words, one of their functions is to serve us as directed by the Lord. We know that when we speak in an unknown tongue it is not something we can do naturally, but rather it is the Spirit of God speaking through us and enabling us. With that in mind then, isn’t there a good probability that when we speak in tongues the Spirit of God is giving orders through us to His angelic host of servants?

Remember when Jerusalem was surrounded by the armies of Sennacherib? King Hezekiah prayed with the prophet Isaiah. God’s response to their prayer was to send an angel who destroyed 185,000 Assyrians. The Psalmist reminds us that God’s throne is in the heavens and His sovereignty rules over all. We read that surrounding His throne are angels waiting to serve and carry out His orders.

With this concept in mind is it any wonder then that the devil hates the gift of tongues? If God’s people can partnership with the Holy Spirit by praying in tongues and thereby gain victory after victory; no wonder he seeks to malign, demean and deter people from seeking after this good and perfect gift.

God has provided His people with weapons for spiritual warfare, which include His name, His Word, His blood and yes, even Tongues. I encourage you to keep this weapon in your arsenal and use it along with all your other weapons.

24 August, 2018 11:41

August 24, 2018

A CULTURE OF HONOR

I believe it was Spurgeon who made the statement. ‘The Church has suffered more from its exponents than its opponents.’ With over fifty years of ministry behind me I’ve seen the Church survive one well-meaning teaching trend after another.

Take the teaching of covering or the heavy-handed discipleship movement, which gave its leaders unbridled authority while reducing its followers to mere serfs. While these teachings have a certain basis of truth behind them, that truth is too often stretched beyond what God intended. John warns us of this when he wrote ‘Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ does not have God…’ (2 John 9)

Ask any high-wire performer about the importance of balance and they will tell you it’s a matter of life or death. Which brings me to the latest trend or teaching regarding the culture of honor. A church I’m well acquainted with began asking the congregation to stand every time its leader stood to minister. Now this may seem like an honorable thing to do as we are told to ‘appreciate those who labor among you and have charge over you.’ But this can also lead to dividing the Body between clergy and laity. The laity being taught to ‘touch not the Lord’s anointed’ thereby making the leader immune from any wrongdoing or loving criticism; not to mention tempting him to become proud of his position and new found popularity.

Take for example Levi and his sons who presided over the house of God at Shiloh during the time of young Samuel. Levi’s two sons Hophni and Phinehas were abusing their authority by demanding of the people the portion of the sacrifice that belonged to God. Not only would they not listen to any correction, they seemingly used their authority to sleep with various women on the ‘ministry team’. God’s response to all of this was in the form of a stern rebuke to Levi for ‘honoring your sons above Me.’ Here is a clear example of where the culture of honor was perverted and the laity suffered. God later destroyed them for their actions.

I’m well aware of Paul’s instruction to young Timothy that those who rule well be considered worthy of double honor. Which incidentally doesn’t mean double pay, but rather the honor first of all in being given the responsibility of leadership and secondarily, being paid to do so. Paul however also addresses the church as a body stating that those members of the body which we deem less honorable, on these we bestow more abundant honor…but God has so composed the body, giving more abundant honor to that member which lacked; that there should be no division in the body.

(Let’s face it. When was the last time someone said to you. ‘You have the most beautiful kidneys.’)

Jesus sought to lay a foundation of what He considered to be of utmost importance among His disciples when He girded Himself with a towel and began washing His disciple’s feet. No doubt they were all shocked and embarrassed by His actions. This was not the ‘culture of honor’ they were accustomed to. Masters never washed the feet of their servants. Jesus before His death and departure was leaving them with a powerful lesson of how they were to take the role of servant leadership in His kingdom. This was in contrast to the position of power they envisioned for themselves prior to this.

Seldom do you hear of a church taking up a special offering for the poor among its members. Every year we pass the plate to honor our pastors by sending them away for a few days of rest and relaxation. No, I’m not complaining about having to give a few extra dollars to bless the pastors. I just don’t want to honor them above the rest of His body. James talks about the guy with the Rolex or gold ring that was ushered to the best seat in the house while the rest were treated by a different standard. I can hear the Master say, ‘It shall not be this way among you.’