Archive for April, 2009

Can you tell the difference?

Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction.
For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear. NIV 2 Tim 4:2-3

Can you tell when men teach to tickle your ears and to appeal to your flesh and when preachers preach the Word of God?

For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart. NIV Heb 4:12

Chances are, if you are having your ears tickled and your flesh fed (and you are enjoying it) and the teaching focuses on this world and this life (and the pride of man and focusing on self) rather than eternal things, the Kingdom of God, your sacrifice and self denial, your sin and your repentance, your complete crucifying of the old man and by faith living a holy and pleasing and acceptable life for the glory of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, then there is not a lot I can say or do because what I am saying to you is a Spiritual message and you enjoy ‘flesh teaching’ rather than the ‘Spirit preaching’.  Only the Spirit of God can penetrate and enlighten our hearts but He is a gentleman and will not force Himself upon us especially if we block our ears to anything that interferes with our self justified and self centre lifestyle.

It seems to me, that when the Spirit is absent, men have to resort to preaching to the flesh in men and use all sorts of public speaking tricks to get results (ie: worldly results).

Conversely, when the Spirit is present, preachers preach prophetically in the power of the Spirit and this speaks to the spirit in men resulting in conviction and repentance, revival and salvation and the Word produces fruit that will last (a great harvest for the Kingdom).

I beg you that when I come I may not have to be as bold as I expect to be toward some people who think that we live by the standards of this world. For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. NIV 2 Cor 10:2-5

What troubles me…

The ‘people of God’ being disempowered and distracted and still living for self and this world and buying into all the faulty (and ‘nice’ looking and sounding) teaching that feeds the flesh rather than the spirit.  May the reader be enlightened and have understanding.

I am sorry, I was going to go in depth about this but the Lord has told me to move on from this topic.  There are plenty of resources and articles and messages on the internet to study over.  The Lord bless you and wake your spirit, Steve.

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I am wondering whether we would be a better people if sin was somehow linked to physical pain?

Now you may think I am going a bit weird but this is what I am pondering at the moment.  I know that our sin sometimes does lead to physical pain to ourselves and to others but how about the Lord makes it so that each time we sin we have pain. Maybe we would sin less or maybe it would help us to be more aware of our sins.  Maybe it would bring a level playing field where others who lie and cheat to gain a worldly advantage would cease their sin compelled to do so by their pain.

Isn’t the present system a little faulty where our penalty comes years and years later only when we die and are judged?

Doesn’t this allow us to feel like we can get away with things because there is no instant consequences?

There is a problem, isn’t there?  We don’t get what we deserve straight away?   There is no instant penalty or judgement so therefore we think we can get away with things.  Isn’t this a little faulty?  Wouldn’t it be better to have some sort of instant measure  or penalty for sin.  You know, you tell a lie and zappo! you get pain in your left leg or you murder someone or you commit adultery and zappo! you get pain all over your body.

Hmmm, how are we going to work out a fair system to administer the different levels of pain for the different sins?  Should there even be different levels of pain?

Wait a minute!  Have I completely lost my marbles!

Wouldn’t a fair system for each sin that we commit be death?  Absolutely!  The Bible confirms that the wages of sin is death.  So if we received what we deserved immediately we would never live because the just penalty for our sin would be death.  We would live for 2 seconds (probably less) and then die.

Wait a minute, again!  Our sins have caused physical pain!

Jesus bore our sins on the cross and he accepted and endured tremendous physical pain on our behalf.  Our sins caused His pain, and death, and separation from His Father.

So… our sins have and do cause pain – in the body of Jesus!  And our life on this earth, what is it? – it is a time of grace.

Our life – it is all a time of grace!

It is a time of grace for each one of us to discover how wide and how deep and how high is the love of the Father for each one of us.  Our lives are a time of grace for each one of us to discover Jesus and the grace and the forgiveness of the cross.  Don’t waste a single moment.

If we received what we deserved we would never live at all.

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I was surprised to find that in the NKJV it mentions the terror of the Lord (even in the New Testiment).  In other versions it was ‘the dread’ or ‘the fear’ of the Lord.  Also, I am surprised that Isaiah, when prophesising the things to come (how the Lord is going to shake this world) that He uses in the same breath ‘the terror of the Lord and the glory of His majesty’.

Isa 2:6-21
6 For You have forsaken Your people, the house of Jacob, because they are filled with eastern ways.  They are soothsayers like the Philistines and they are pleased with the children of foreigners. 7 Their land is also full of silver and gold and there is no end to their treasures.  Their land is also full of horses and there is no end to their chariots. 8 Their land is also full of idols. They worship the work of their own hands (that which their own fingers have made). 9 People bow down, *and each man humbles himself, therefore do not forgive them.
10 Enter into the rock, and hide in the dust, from the terror of the Lord and the glory of His majesty. 11 The lofty looks of man shall be humbled, the haughtiness of men shall be bowed down, and the Lord alone shall be exalted in that day.
12 For the day of the Lord of hosts shall come upon everything proud and lofty, upon everything lifted up — and it shall be brought low —  13 Upon all the cedars of Lebanon that are high and lifted up, and upon all the oaks of Bashan; 14 upon all the high mountains, and upon all the hills that are lifted up; 15 upon every high tower, and upon every fortified wall; 16 upon all the ships of Tarshish, and upon all the beautiful sloops. 17 The loftiness of man shall be bowed down, and the haughtiness of men shall be brought low.  The Lord alone will be exalted in that day, 18 but the idols He shall utterly abolish.
19 They shall go into the holes of the rocks, and into the caves of the earth, from the terror of the Lord and the glory of His majesty, when He arises to shake the earth mightily.
20 In that day a man will cast away his idols of silver and his idols of gold (which they made, each for himself to worship) to the moles and bats, 21 to go into the clefts of the rocks, and into the crags of the rugged rocks, from the terror of the Lord and the glory of His majesty, when He arises to shake the earth mightily.  (

*v9 ie: they bow and humble themselves to their idols not to the Lord.

2 Cor 5:11
11 Knowing, therefore, the terror of the Lord, we persuade men… (NKJV)

May the Lord bring us understanding and revelation of the terror of the Lord and the glory of His majesty.

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Heb 12:28-29
28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have grace, by which we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear. 29 For our God is a consuming fire. (NKJV)

And what is the therefore there for? (I sound like Derrick Prince)  Let’s look at a couple of previous verses…

Heb 12:25-27
25 See that you do not refuse Him who speaks. For if they did not escape who refused Him who spoke on earth, much more shall we not escape if we turn away from Him who speaks from heaven, 26 whose voice then shook the earth; but now He has promised, saying, “Yet once more I shake not only the earth, but also heaven.” 27 Now this, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of those things that are being shaken, as of things that are made, that the things which cannot be shaken may remain. (NKJV)

We (mankind) are once more going to be shaken (and heaven also) and the things that can be shaken will be removed and the things that cannot be shaken will remain.

Praise the Lord we have a Kingdom that cannot be shaken if we hold fast to the Lord and we serve Him acceptably with reverent and godly fear.

And the stirred bit in the ‘Shaken not Stirred’ title pun is we won’t be stirred (or worried) because our complete trust and confidence are in the Lord and because we fear God more than we fear man or circumstances.

And if we don’t have complete trust and confidence are in the Lord and we don’t fear God more than we fear man or circumstances we will repent of our sinful, unbelieving heart and trust the Lord with our whole heart.

Praise His Holy Name, Amen

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I am seeking for one who will wait and watch
For my beckoning hand, my eye
Who will work in my manner the work I give
And the work I give will not pass by

And ALL the joy that is brought to Me
When one such as this I can find
A man who will do ALL of My will
Who is set to study His Master’s mind

I am but a slave, I have no freedom of my own
I cannot choose the smallest thing, nor even my way
I am a slave kept to do the bidding of my Master
He calls me night and day

When I was a servant I could claim wages
Freedom sometimes anyway
But I was bought , blood was the price my Master paid for me
And I am now His slave and evermore will be

He takes me here, he takes me there, He tells me what to do
I just obey, that is all, and I trust Him too

Poem from K.P. Yohannan’s Message – The Fear of the Lord – Part 1

Relevent Verses:

Rom 6:22
But now having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, you have your fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life. (NKJV)

1 Peter 1:18-19
You were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. (NKJV)

John 3:8
The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear the sound of it, but cannot tell where it comes from and where it goes. So is everyone who is born of the Spirit. (NKJV)

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Ps 34:9
9 Fear the Lord, you his saints, for those who fear him lack nothing. (NIV)

Enough said? 🙂

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Watch this, it will change your life…

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What is wrong with us Christian folk?  Why are we being tripped over and over by the same old things?  Why is there no growth in our lives?  Why is there no committment to holiness?  Why is there no increase in holiness?  Why aren’t we going from glory to glory, and from victory to victory?

Something is stirring in my spirit.  I believe it is important.  We are missing something. I believe we are neglecting the complete character of God.  Maybe we have no knowledge of the complete character of God.  Perhaps we have heard about the love of God and our knowledge of the Father has stopped there.

But there are other sides to our Lord.  Our Lord, He is Awesome and He is Mighty, He is Fearsome and He is Just and He hates sin.  As we come up to this time of Easter consider this, our sin caused His Son to die on that cross and if the Father hated sin before His Son was nailed and crucified on a cross how do you think He feels about sin now.  You see, our sin killed His Son.  The Lord hates sin and He hates it when we sin! 

Oh Lord, we have such a feeble understanding of your Majesty and your Power and your Might and your Magnificance, else we wouldn’t carry on the way that we do, give us new understanding of your full character, powerfully give us new revelation of your Awesomeness!  Oh Lord, if only we could get a glimse of His Might and Majesty, our self centred, self feeding lives would be stripped bare.

If only we would fear Him!

Yes reverently fear Him!

You see, if we ‘only’ see a loving God the cross does not make a whole lot of sense.  It’s like the cross is just an added extra to the Christian faith.  The cross is the centre of the Christian faith! The fearsomeness of God and the wrath of God, was poured out upon His Son so that the unrighteous might become righteous, so that we might LIVE!  Hell makes no sense if we just have a loving God.  The end times in Revelation makes no sense if we ‘just’ have a loving God.

But how do we balance, on the one hand, a God that loves us deeply and we are His children and He is our Abba, Father, and we (can) have His Spirit within us (and the intimacy that brings) and on the other hand, a fearful reverence for a Holy and Awesome God?

Let us have a look at some misconceptions about the fear of the Lord…

Misconception No 1:
The fear of the Lord is not for the New Testament Church

Acts 9:31
Then the church throughout Judea, Galilee and Samaria enjoyed a time of peace. It was strengthened; and encouraged by the Holy Spirit, it grew in numbers, living in the fear of the Lord. (NIV)

Jer 31:33-34, 32:39-40
33 “This is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after that time,” declares the Lord. “I will put my law in their minds and write it on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be my people.
34 No longer will a man teach his neighbour, or a man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ because they will all know me, from the least of them to the greatest,” declares the Lord. “For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.”
39 I will give them singleness of heart and action, so that they will always fear me for their own good and the good of their children after them.
I will make an everlasting covenant with them: I will never stop doing good to them, and I will inspire them to fear me, so that they will never turn away from me.

Misconception No. 2:
Jesus never had the fear of the Lord

Heb 5:7-8
7 who, in the days of His flesh, when He had offered up prayers and supplications, with vehement cries and tears to Him who was able to save Him from death, and was heard because of His godly fear, 8 though He was a Son, yet He learned obedience by the things which He suffered. (NKJV)

Isa 11:1-3
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse; from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.  The Spirit of the Lord will rest on him — the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding, the Spirit of counsel and of power, the Spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord and he will delight in the fear of the Lord. (NIV)

Misconception No.3:
3) Jesus never preached about the fear of the Lord

Luke 12:4-5
“I tell you, my friends, do not be afraid of those who kill the body and after that can do no more. But I will show you whom you should fear: Fear him who, after the killing of the body, has power to throw you into hell. Yes, I tell you, fear him.” (NIV)

Misconception No.4:
4) There is no fear of the Lord in Heaven

Rev 14:6-7
Then I saw another angel flying in mid-air, and he had the eternal gospel to proclaim to those who live on the earth — to every nation, tribe, language and people. He said in a loud voice, “Fear God and give him glory, because the hour of his judgment has come. Worship him who made the heavens, the earth, the sea and the springs of water.” (NIV)

Rev 15:2-4
…They held harps given them by God and sang the song of Moses the servant of God and the song of the Lamb: “Great and marvellous are your deeds, Lord God Almighty. Just and true are your ways, King of the ages.  Who will not fear you, O Lord, and bring glory to your name? For you alone are holy. All nations will come and worship before you, for your righteous acts have been revealed.” (NIV)

Rev 19:1-8
After this I heard what sounded like the roar of a great multitude in heaven shouting: “Hallelujah! Salvation and glory and power belong to our God, for true and just are his judgments. He has condemned the great prostitute who corrupted the earth by her adulteries. He has avenged on her the blood of his servants.” And again they shouted: “Hallelujah! The smoke from her goes up for ever and ever.” The twenty-four elders and the four living creatures fell down and worshipped God, who was seated on the throne. And they cried: “Amen, Hallelujah!”
Then a voice came from the throne, saying: “Praise our God, all you his servants, you who fear him, both small and great!”
Then I heard what sounded like a great multitude, like the roar of rushing waters and like loud peals of thunder, shouting: “Hallelujah! For our Lord God Almighty reigns. Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready. Fine linen, bright and clean, was given her to wear.”

Lord, may we love you and may we also fear you.  Do whatever is necessary to instill in us a reverent fear of you, in Jesus name, Amen

To be continued…

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There is an incredible amount of worldy dribble being preached at the moment that won’t save anyone (unless accidently).  Here are a few verses to ruminate over before you preach…

1 Cor 1:17-2:5
17 For Christ did not send me to baptise, but to preach the gospel — not with words of human wisdom, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.
18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.
19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”
20 Where is the wise man? Where is the scholar? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?
21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.
22 Jews demand miraculous signs and Greeks look for wisdom,
23 but we preach Christ crucified: a stumbling-block to Jews and foolishness to Gentiles,
24 but to those whom God has called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God.
25 For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength.
26 Brothers, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth.
27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong.
28 He chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things — and the things that are not — to nullify the things that are,
29 so that no-one may boast before him.
30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God — that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption.
31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let him who boasts boast in the Lord.”

1 When I came to you, brothers, I did not come with eloquence or superior wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.
2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
3 I came to you in weakness and fear, and with much trembling.
4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power,
5 so that your faith might not rest on men’s wisdom, but on God’s power.

1 Cor 9:17-27
17 If I preach voluntarily, I have a reward; if not voluntarily, I am simply discharging the trust committed to me.
18 What then is my reward? Just this: that in preaching the gospel I may offer it free of charge, and so not make use of my rights in preaching it.
19 Though I am free and belong to no man, I make myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.
20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law.
21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law.
22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all men so that by all possible means I might save some.
23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
24 Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize.
25 Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last; but we do it to get a crown that will last for ever.
26 Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly; I do not fight like a man beating the air.
27 No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize.

1 Cor 15:12-14
12 But if it is preached that Christ has been raised from the dead, how can some of you say that there is no resurrection of the dead?
13 If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised.
14 And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith.

Eph 3:8-21
8 Although I am less than the least of all God’s people, this grace was given me: to preach to the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ,
9 and to make plain to everyone the administration of this mystery, which for ages past was kept hidden in God, who created all things.
10 His intent was that now, through the church, the manifold wisdom of God should be made known to the rulers and authorities in the heavenly realms,
11 according to his eternal purpose which he accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord.
12 In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence.

13 I ask you, therefore, not to be discouraged because of my sufferings for you, which are your glory.
14 For this reason I kneel before the Father,
15 from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name.
16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,
17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,
18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ,
19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge — that you may be filled to the measure of all the fulness of God.
20 Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,
21 to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.

2 Tim 4:2-4
2 Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of season; correct, rebuke and encourage — with great patience and careful instruction.
3 For the time will come when men will not put up with sound doctrine. Instead, to suit their own desires, they will gather around them a great number of teachers to say what their itching ears want to hear.
4 They will turn their ears away from the truth and turn aside to myths.

Heb 4:1-13
1 Therefore, since the promise of entering his rest still stands, let us be careful that none of you be found to have fallen short of it.
2 For we also have had the gospel preached to us, just as they did; but the message they heard was of no value to them, because those who heard did not combine it with faith.
3 Now we who have believed enter that rest, just as God has said, “So I declared on oath in my anger, ‘They shall never enter my rest.'” And yet his work has been finished since the creation of the world.
4 For somewhere he has spoken about the seventh day in these words: “And on the seventh day God rested from all his work.”
5 And again in the passage above he says, “They shall never enter my rest.”
6 It still remains that some will enter that rest, and those who formerly had the gospel preached to them did not go in, because of their disobedience.
7 Therefore God again set a certain day, calling it Today, when a long time later he spoke through David, as was said before: “Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts.”
8 For if Joshua had given them rest, God would not have spoken later about another day.
9 There remains, then, a Sabbath-rest for the people of God;
10 for anyone who enters God’s rest also rests from his own work, just as God did from his.
11 Let us, therefore, make every effort to enter that rest, so that no-one will fall by following their example of disobedience.
12 For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
13 Nothing in all creation is hidden from God’s sight. Everything is uncovered and laid bare before the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

1 Peter 1:10-12
10 Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care,
11 trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow.
12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves but you, when they spoke of the things that have now been told you by those who have preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven. Even angels long to look into these things.

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