Sunday, March 30, 2008

Invading the Impossible, Ern Baxter and Back to Bristol

I have finally finished transcribing the awesome Part 10 to Rob's series on "Invading the Impossible" and what an addition it is! The whole theme of the sermon is; "Let God Impress You". How freeing is the message of true grace! So far I have published:

Invading the Impossible - Part 1 - "How to Make the Promises of God Manifest in Your Life".

Invading the Impossible - Part 2

Invading the Impossible - Part 3

Invading the Impossible - Part 4 - "Dealing with Disappointment".

Invading the Impossible - Part 5 - "Refusing to Accept the Unacceptable".

Invading the Impossible - Part 6 - "Overthrowing Religious Control".

Invading the Impossible - Part 7 - "What Does Jesus' Exaltation Mean for Us?".

Invading the Impossible - Part 8 - "Overthrowing Religious Control - Part 2".

Invading the Impossible - Part 9 - "Invading By Reigning".

Invading the Impossible - Part 10 - "Let God Impress You".

I have said it before. Rob Rufus has spoken about having books inside him that will be published - I so pray that this is one of them! Secondly I have managed to upload a video of Ern Baxter speaking at New Covenant Church in Dunstable on his last visit just before he went to glory. He was speaking on the vital subject; "The Spirit and the Word". In this clip Ern highlights the dangers of living charismatic life without the Word of God. But on the other hand he makes this wonderful statement:

"The reason that I am a charismatic tonight is that for 60 years I have had the most delightful manifestations and evidences of the Holy Spirit in my life that I wouldn't trade for anything!".

There are so-called "Reformed charismatic" churches today that are investigating why the gifts of the Holy Spirit are not occuring in their meetings anymore but no one seems to know why it is vital that the gifts of the Spirit do happen in church meetings when we gather together! Surely Ern Baxter's comment (and indeed the entirety of Rob Rufus's 'Invading the Impossible' series) makes it clear! It is about God manifesting Himself! It is about encountering God! It is about knowing Him and being known by Him!

Here is the clip from You-Tube:

Finally I am just about to travel down to Bristol with Scott and visit the SGM church my family attends. It's the first time I have been back since my problems with them almost 3 years ago so quite a big step! The pastors have agreed to allow me back for this Sunday because my two younger sisters are getting baptised so it will be a day of mixed emotions I am sure. I may write something about the visit if there is something worth saying.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

When God Colours Outside the Lines

A little while ago, there was a post on this blog highlighting some of the more "unusual" signs and wonders that have taken place in recent times. That post attracted a rather forceful comment!

Today, I was reading in Bill Johnson's When Heaven Invades Earth, and I was struck by his comments:

"His [God's] world has been breaking into ours with regularity in salvations, healings, and deliverances. The manifestations of that invasion vary. They are quite fascinating, and too numerous to catalogue. While some are difficult to understand at first glance, we know that God always works redemptively.

On many occasions laughter has filled a room, bringing healing to broken hearts. Gold dust sometimes covers people's faces, hands, or clothing during worship or ministry time. Oil sometimes appears on the hands of His people; and it especially happens among children. A wind has come into a room with no open windows, doors, vents etc. At some locations, believers have seen an actual cloud of His presence appearing over the heads of worshipping people. We've also had the fragrance of heaven fill a room. In my own experience the fragrance of heaven filled our car while Beni and I were worshipping on a short trip. It lasted for about 30 minutes, and was a smell that I could actually taste, similar to granules of sugar sprinkled on my tongue. I have seen the small gems that suddenly appeared in people's hands as they worshipped God. Since early 1998 we have had feathers fall in our meetings. At first I thought birds were getting into our air conditioning ducts. But then they started falling in other rooms of the church not connected with the same ductwork. They now fall most anywhere we go - airports, homes, restaurants, offices and the like.

I mention this phenomenon because it seems to offend many that fully embrance this move of God. Jerrel Miller, editor of The Remnant, a newspaper whose purpose is to record the events surrounding this revival, took a lot of heat when he reported this unusual manifestation. Those who criticised this report are participants in the revival. It's easy once we've made some adjustments in our belief system about what God can and will do to think that we have stretched far enough. 'Our beliefs now encompass the move of God.' Nothing could be further from the truth.

Like the generations before us they are dangerously close to regulating God's work by a new and revised list of acceptable manifestations. No longer is it just tears during a special song or a time of repentance following a moving sermon. Our new list includes falling, shaking, laughter, etc. The problem is - it is still a list. And God will violate it. He must. We must learn to recognise His move by recognising His presence.

Our lists are only good for revealing our present understanding or experience. While I don't seek to promote strange manifestations, or go after novelty, I do refuse to be embarrassed over what God is doing.

The list that keeps us from certain types of errors also keeps us from certain types of victories.
Of course we are called to exercise discernment, but by the Holy Spirit (1 Cor 12v10) NOT by means of lists of things that WE deem acceptable. Our God is totally free to do everything apart from change or lie, and He delights to pour out extravagant and even unusual blessings as signs to us of His power and His love and to draw us more and more after Himself. We are not sign worshippers, but we are worshippers of Truth Himself who demonstrates His love and power in all kinds of ways.

So let's not put Him in a box of our own making and so miss His work. He is too wonderful for that!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

In Mission ... don't forget Empowering!!

There is a lot of talk about "Mission" today and this is tremendously exciting. That is our call after all! My favourite conference up until the "Grace and Glory Conference" was "Together on a Mission". So much is expressed in that name! There is nothing whatsoever comfortable about being at "TOAM" - if your idea and concept of a conference is to come and sit comfortably while academic speakers expound your favourite texts and make points for you to take away in a notebook - then "TOAM" is not for you! I consider it more a "working" conference. You will worship! You will laugh! You will cry! You will PRAY! You will get motivated! You will come away changed!

But this short clip by Rob Rufus - speaking at Mobilise last year - brings a balancing word;

Terry Virgo was excited by recent events at Mark Driscoll's church. And to be sure we can always rejoice when there is any news of any stirrings among non-Christians. But we must never forget that any news like this isn't necessarily an opportunity for techniques to be copied, but an opportunity for passion and longing to grow that we would encounter Him! And from that encounter, our lives will be changed and non-Christians will take notice!

New Grace and Glory Teachers!! ... Patricia King

One of the wonderful things about Rob Rufus's ministry is that every now and then he mentions ministry teachers just in passing. Pete and I have been hunting down books and ministry resources by these people he mentions and have understood why Rob has mentioned them! I am already overwhelmed with Bill Johnson and some of the books he has written. Rob recently mentioned Patricia King - again just in passing and I found these three videos on You-Tube that are well worth taking the time to watch.

Christianity is a movement of POWER accompanying our words! The world is watching what we are doing not listening so much to what we are saying anymore. Is our believing in the free gift of righteousness that has been imputed to us changing our lives?

Resurrection isn't just a DOCTRINE ... it is DAILY POWER!!

I am currently working through two sermons of Rob Rufus's simultaneously! "Invading the Impossible - Part 10" at home and "Invading the Impossible - Part 11" away. My mouth watered when I saw the title of Part 11!

"Enjoying the Benefits of the Resurrection Power of Jesus!".

I remember a few years ago, a rather vehement SGM-er who was unhappy with my promoting the Resurrection and critiquing SGM's over-emphasis on the Cross, called me (I think he meant it uncomplimentary) an "Avid Resurrectionist"! Well after listening to this sermon I can safely say that Rob Rufus is also an; "Avid Resurrectionist"! I was just making my way home and during the sermon Rob told this historical account about a man called John G Lake in South Africa. It's incredible!

Here is the account in Rob's own words;

"In 1905 in South Africa John G Lake - a man who raised the dead, God used him to heal cripples - started a revival and planted 500 churches in 5 years. The bubonic plague hit South Africa. 20, 000 dead here and 20, 000 dead there. A disease so contageous that if you touched the spittle or got near people who had it, you would catch it. They were burying people in mass graves. And John G Lake went into the areas where no one would go because the corpses were stinking. He and his friends would bury the dead and finally the vaccine came from the United Kingdom down to South Africa in 1905. It took a while.

They came in and said; "You should be dead sir. You have been handling the dead here - this bubonic plague. How come you are still alive and your friends also?". He said; "Take some spittle from that dead man over there and put it under a microscope". They saw it was seething with bacteria or virus. He said; "Okay - bring it here and put it on my hand". He held it on his hand for just a little while and he said; "Okay now - put it back". ALL the disease was dead! They said; "WHAT is this!?!?".

He said; "This is Romans chapter 8 verse 11 - the same Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you - He will make alive and give life to your mortal body!". He said;

"Sir, my mortal body is vibrating with resurrection life and power and disease can't penetrate this!".

Now THAT should be the testimony of the Church! But the trouble is a few men and women have stepped into the benefits of the New Covenant - just a few on the planet and they are upheld as special kinds of people when actually it is an inheritance of every pew-sitter! We don't want pew-warmers and pew-sitters - we want people who live and walk in resurrection POWER!!".

There is so much I could say in response to that account. My hair was standing up on end! I can do no better than close with another quote from Rob from the same sermon. Resurrection is more than a doctrine - more than a historical event - it is daily power for us today who BELIEVE!

"When you are walking in resurrection power, even your shadow will heal the sick but some Christians are settling for a Christianity that is cerebral and historical and that is not going to do it!".

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

A Glimpse of Death to Make You Glad Your Alive!!

I have never been afraid to state my opinion. Coming from a family who don't talk that openly about a lot of things, it's something I have tried to counteract in my adult life. However the trouble with stating an opinion is that you are faced with a dilemma if you are proved wrong. You either ignore it and pretend that you didn't state your original opinion or you confess you were wrong and show evidence to the contrary. I took time to state my unhappiness with Mark Driscoll's ministry and why I wouldn't be going to "Together on a Mission" this July - but Terry Virgo and Luke Wood between them managed to convince me that the price would be too costly to miss Brighton altogether! So I admitted that.

Just so with my concern on an over-emphasis on the Cross of Christ. I have always been somewhat bothered with SGM's preference in this area. "We will never move beyond the Cross" and so on and so on. Ern Baxter preached a masterful sermon on the "Neglect of Resurrection" and I think that is still a problem. Surely Cross and Resurrection must stand of necessity together. If we are going to use the "Cross" as shorthand for the "Gospel" then let's be clear in preaching to make plain that there is more to the picture than Jesus hanging broken and bleeding on the Cross. The story didn't end there! Because if it had done our faith "would be in vain".

I am thrilled therefore to see that C J Mahaney took time to preach on this recently (HT: Tony Reinke) - the video just won't play on this website so here is the link. To make up for this lack of video footage I thought I would post some far more awesome quotes from Rob's last sermon on "Resurrection Power" - this is from "Invading the Impossible Part 11"!

"The Resurrection is more than a historical fact, it's more than a doctrine - it has to be a daily life experience ... When the Resurrection is preached not just as a historical fact, not just as doctrine but when it is preached with apostolic revelation of how the power of the resurrection relates to daily living then you will see much grace come upon the Church and great power for the miraculous will be manifested in the Church".

Great stuff.

And finally I've been relatively quiet this weekend because I had a near-death encounter that somewhat shook me up. I was driving down the M25 to a engagement and was in the fast lane (travelling under the speed limit for the cynics among you!) and my driver's front wheel blew out. I have never had this happen to me before so was somewhat terrified by the very loud bang and the resulting chaos. I must testify however to the manifest Presence of God in the car and on me at the time. I felt absolutely no terror or fear (until it was all over and I was a bit shaky!) - and I absolutely knew that it was not my time to die ... yet. Henceforth I was absolutely safe.

Those who know more about cars than I do tell me that I am incredibly fortunate - apparantly a driver's wheel blowing out at that speed should have caused at least an impressive overturning of the car but I absolutely knew that angels were present in the car enabling me to keep some degree of control over the car. My dear friend Julie said something very profound in an email to me when I told her about it - that I think is true:

"I'm convinced for every time we're aware of our lives being saved there are many more we're unaware of. Every time I drive by an accident that has happened minutes before I think of things that delayed me at the last minute and kept me from possibly being on that spot to be in the accident. It does shake you up though! The devil can't get rid of you that easily though I can see why he'd give it a shot!".

Here's the offending tyre!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Manifestations of His Glory and Power!!

Wow I simply must state for the record that if I had heard about some of these events maybe 10 years ago while I was safely entrenched in my proud legalism, I would have turned my nose up and declared; "These men are drunk". But in the last few years God has truly humbled me and I am starting to see things afresh and believe things that I wouldn't have thought were possible or probable. How utterly arrogant! To say "God wouldn't do that". Who says He wouldn't?! I want to start off by highlighting a comment left by an anonymous friend on my post; "Only GOD should have that kind of power?!" - the blog that was inspired by the "Jumper" film. This friend comes from Fini and Isi de Gersigny's church - Jubilee in Sydney - and will be shortly participating in the "Glory and Grace Conference"!

But this person wrote this in response to my comments about "teleporting";

"Wow...I guess I'm going to be another anonymous...not to be confused with the others. Funny what a google search will turn up with! So actually I'm in a church whose leaders are best friends with Rob and Glenda Rufus, and Fini and Isi have had the priviledge of having being discipled under Rob and Glenda. He is also coming to our church next week for the 2nd Glory and Grace here in Sydney! But...what drew me to this Blog was the Jumper theme, loved the film. What I wanted to mention, just one little thing, is that I actually had the priviledge of meeting a missionary couple from Iris Ministries a few weeks ago.

They told our church of an incident where the wife was in Pemba, Mozambique dying from Malaria and the husband was in Northern Ireland. He was praying with the elders in the church and suddenly He was teleported to outside a hut in Mozambique. He went in and God told him to go into a room on the right (she had just been moved so no way he could have done that) She says as she took her last breath she saw him, He laid hands on her and cast out the sickness and she was healed. He was then teleported back to Northern Ireland. Now here is the thing. He was not only seen by her but also be others. Seems that God is still enabling people to teleport for His purpose! Just thought I'd share that".

Well Anonymous - thank you, thank you, THANK YOU for sharing this!! What an awesome testimony and so thrilling! I don't know if you have discovered our "Rob Rufus" blog but you have stumbled on some big fans of Rob and Fini and Isi here!! I first experienced your guys ministry at the "Grace and Glory Conference" in Hong Kong last year and was blown away - particularly by the prophetic edge to their ministry. Just so full of grace and the Father's love! Please do come back more and share with us when you can about what is going on in Sydney and particularly we would all love to hear what happens at the "Grace and Glory Sydney Conference"!

I remember there were a few negative responses to when Rob shared some testimonies about "teleporting" at Brighton last July. Indeed one person called it an "urban legend". However in the post, I noted two Scriptures where what could be called teleporting happens in the Word of God. Acts 8:39 and Ezekiel 3:14. We may be bold and ask well why did God allow that to happen then? I don't really know! But I was pondering this while I was at work last night - for most of the night actually! - and something struck me. God doesn't allow natural laws to prevent or withstand the advance of His Kingdom at times. He wanted Philip to be moved rapidly and quickly for His purposes (as did He want Ezekiel) and nature's law dictated that the only way they could have moved was by horse or cart. God overruled that.

I know that technology has advanced since then and we have airplanes now - but God seemed to impress on me last night that even they are too slow for His quickening and advancing purposes. For example I know it is the will of God that my friends Julie and Aaron Morris are in Hong Kong next month for the "Glory Encounters Conference". At present we are progressing down the "natural law" side of things and ensuring they have the money for air fares. But how absolutely COOL would it be for them to be suddenly "teleported" and arrive in Hong Kong so they could donate the air fare money to City Church International!??! Am I getting carried away here? Am I crazy? Or is this in the realms of possibility?!

I don't know about anyone else but I am going to be watching and listening carefully and with great excitement because I expect to see this happen more and more. Why should British Airways profit from us travelling for the purposes of the Kingdom of God?!

Now secondly - I got an email from a charismatic network I subscribe to and what caught my attention was the mention of "Joshua Mills" - the speaker at the "Glory Encounters Conference" that Julie and Aaron will be at. The email was advertising another conference; "Manifestations of Glory" and there is an incredible video on the link showing some of the manifestations I am interested in. Here's what they wrote;

"Joshua Mills ministers from the cloud of God's Glory. He is an intimate worshipper often seeing visible manifestations and unusual signs such as gold dust, gemstones and other incredible phenomena that point us to the heart of Jesus.

John Crowder is the founder of Sons of Thunder and has a heart to equip the church to move in supernatural Christianity. Unusual signs follow John's ministry such as instant weight loss, healings and creative miracles. He is author of The New Mystics.

The first miracle Jesus ever performed was to turn water into wine: This beginning of signs Jesus did in Cana of Galilee, and manifested His glory (John 2:11). Come be refreshed with the new wine of Heaven! This is marital wine, and Jesus is giving signs in this hour to point us to the heart of the Bridegroom. This is the hour to birth a manifestation of Heaven on earth. Jesus said: He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him (John 14:21)".

These are exciting days indeed to be alive! I need hardly mention that although it is exciting to hear about such signs, our longing is for the Presence of the Bridegroom Himself. He will choose to manifest Himself in whatever way He chooses and we do not dictate or become legalistic (as is possible) even in hungering after signs of His Presence! We want Him! We want His fire! We want Him!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

The BEST News EVER!!

Want to hear something that will make you want to scream, jump, shout, dance, twirl about, and generally go crazy?!!??! (Well it did me anyway!);

"This gift of righteousness declares that God will NEVER count your sins against you! NEVER! You cannot be righteous and have sins counted against you at the same time! If God be for us - who can be against us?! It is God who justifies, who is it who accuses? Let me say that again - you cannot be the righteousness of God and have God counting your sins against you at the same time!".

Rob Rufus - "Invading the Impossible - Part 9" - City Church International, Hong Kong - 9th March 2008.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Miracle Faith, Rob Rufus and John Piper

I just simply can't resist taking time out from transcribing "Invading the Impossible - Part 9" to highlight the odd few key quotes here. I hope that by doing that it will ensure that they are not missed when the entire sermon is published finally some time this week! I have just been amazed by the feeling of being on an ascending escalator in accompanying City Church International with Rob Rufus as he preaches through this "Invading the Impossible series". He repeats similar truths quite frequently but in the past my eyes would glaze over if someone said something like; "We will never move beyond the Cross". Now I see it! This Gospel being preached is truly God's POWER not just to get us to heaven but for daily living here and now and as Rob himself says;

"Folks there is NO distinction between the righteousness to get you to heaven and the righteousness to get heaven to you".

Before I post the various quotes from Rob on this awesome truth of FAITH - I just wanted to draw attention to John Piper's latest book; "The Future of Justification - a Response to N T Wright". I read it rather reluctantly because I am trying to limit my reading to a "grace diet" - but I did have a week's holiday and so fancied something Piper-ish. To begin with I had great sympathy with what N T Wright was saying but as I got into the content of the book, I was amazed at some of John Piper's masterful unpacking of the truths of justification. And how similar he sounds to Rob Rufus!

I posted a whole host of quotes here - but here's a few that grabbed my attention particularly.

Piper on radical, grace living:

"What makes radical, risk-taking, sacrificial, Christ-exalting works of love possible is the fact that Christ's perfect obedience (counted as our righteousness) and Christ's perfect sacrifice (counted as our punishment) secured completely the glorious reality that God is for us as an omnipotent Father who works all things together for our everlasting joy in Him".

Piper on the ONLY hope for Christian living:

"Our only hope for living the radical demands of the Christian life is that God is totally for us now and forever. Therefore, God has not ordained that living the Christian life should be the basis of our hope that God is for us. That basis is the death and righteousness of Christ, counted as ours through faith alone. On the cross Christ endured for us all the punishment required of us because of our sin. And in order that God as our Father, might be completely for us and not against us forever, Christ has performed for us, in His perfect obedience to God, all that God required of us as the ground of His being totally for us forever".

Piper on the ONLY way righteousness is given to us:

"Imputation is not the conferring of a status without a ground of real imputed moral righteousness. It is the counting of an alien, real, moral, perfect righteousness, namely Christ's as ours".

How awesomely wonderful! I was pleasantly surprised to read a book I thought would be a simple engaging in debate with a fellow theologian - but found my faith was re-inforced by reviewing again the truths of justification ... by faith. Faith! Faith is something I have struggled with as a Christian. In the past I have walked the Christian life by legalism, rules and regulations. Indeed I was once told that I had to go to church - not because I wanted to, but because I MUST. I was assured that the desire to go to church would follow after. I read my Bible by laws, rules and regulations. But faith was somehow absent.

So I found it thrilling that Rob Rufus dealt with this issue of faith - and HOW TO GET IT - in "Invading the Impossible - Part 9". Here's what he had to say (and incredibly this wasn't his main subject in the sermon! He was dealing with reigning in life!).

"How do you enter into reigning to invade the impossible? By resting in the gift of God's righteousness. How do you rest in the gift? By developing your faith more and more and more in the fact that you are currently, right now, irreversibly, perfectly the righteousness of God!"

And then;

"The more your faith in this righteousness grows, the more you rest and the more you enter into rest, the more and more you enter into reigning. And the more you reign, the more you invade the impossible and the more you invade the impossible, the more the Lord is glorified and the more exciting and fulfilling your life becomes".

But then of course the question comes - well how do we grow in faith? Rob has an answer;

"But you see faith has to grow and how does faith grow? Does faith grow by someone laying their hands on you? Not at all. I wish it did. I would ask the greatest men and women of faith to put their hands on my head and then I could walk in faith. No faith is not given that way. Romans 10:17 says; "Now faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God". So there is something you can do about little faith. You can hear and hear about the gift of righteousness and the more you hear the gift of righteousness, the more your faith increases! When faith in righteousness increases, the more peace and rest increases and the more they increase, the more reigning and ruling increases and invading the impossible increases!".

Faith comes by hearing - and hearing by the Word of God! It is so incredibly simple! Isn't it?!

"So faith comes by hearing the Word of God - but faith goes by hearing the word of law, rules and religion. Faith goes by just watching TV or hearing bad news. Faith goes by listening to backslidden Christians who are bitter and twisted and cynical and unimpressed and oppressed".

What we hear REALLY does matter! If we take time to listen to the Word of God, to hearing positive grace messages then we grow. But if we spend our time listening to TV and other things - our faith goes. It decreases! Rob goes on;

"Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Any person on the planet who is walking with faith - you know they are listening to CD's, that someone is listening to tapes and DVD's on a regular basis - because faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Faith goes by not hearing and hearing the wrong things. Faith is like Vitamin C - you cannot store it for long. You take it today and you are going to need to take it tomorrow because you don't store it for long. Faith can be used today but it will need to be replenished by hearing and the hearing of the word of righteousness.

Because when you use your faith to see a miracle happen, you use your faith for a marriage problem or for a demand or a challenge, then that faith is depleted. And you know that if you keep drawing out of your bank account without putting back in then the day will come when they will say if you keep drawing out of your bank account then you will go to jail. Do you know what a nervous breakdown is? A nervous breakdown is a sign that you are in a faith overdraft and there is nothing left in their account because they have not put faith back in. Faith comes by daily hearing the Word of God".

I heard this and realised that so often I leave myself in a "faith overdraft"! We need faith DAILY! Yet I realised that if I listen to one sermon mid-week I am wrongly proud of myself because it isn't Sunday! We need to be listening to faith-building resources DAILY! Not just any old sermons. And certainly not in a legalistic manner! Faith-building sermons! Sermons that you finish and sit back with your faith bubbling away because the Word of God has been expounded in Spirit and in power!

Finally Rob said;

"If your outflow of faith exceeds your income of faith - then your upkeep is going to be your downfall".

Rob then moves into the bulk content of his sermon about reigning in life - and so I will post these quotes with the hope that they are encouraging! I hope the point is clear - let's be careful what we listen to. Let's guard our ears! There is a reason I am positive why Ephesians mentions that the piece of spiritual armour for our heads is the "helmet of salvation". What truth will better guard our minds and our heads and our thoughts than the knowledge that;

"By developing your faith more and more and more in the fact that you are currently, right now, irreversibly, perfectly the righteousness of God!".

Friday, March 14, 2008

Re-Thinking Brighton

Everyone is well aware of my outspoken views and opinions on Mark Driscoll. I've always been aware of Driscoll's ministry from a distance but have never really got into it in much depth. However our paths became crossed when firstly my parent's church began to have a lot more to do with Mark Driscoll and his "style" of ministry - and then of course the announcement that Mark Driscoll was coming to "Together on a Mission 2008" - effectively ensuring I wouldn't be. However ...

No I am not changing my mind. I've still got no desire to hear Mark Driscoll live particularly although I am beginning to appreciate benefits to what he has to bring to the church. I read his interview for the Newfrontiers magazine with interest. The questions (as always) are so telling. For example, what would you say if you were asked; "Given your vantage point, what would you predict for the development of evangelicalism in the West over the coming 20 years?". In light of all I am learning about the true New Covenant from Rob Rufus's teaching (as well as Terry Virgo, Bill Johnson, Larry Tomczak and others) - I would agree with Driscoll's first point about the gospel. But then he says this;

"And call for dudes to act dudely".

And suddenly I know why I am not going to Brighton for the whole week. However gifted and useful to the Church Mark Driscoll maybe, I really don't want to grow and model myself on the kind of manhood he is propagating. I would rather learn from a website like; "After God's Own Heart" - and the plenty of positive male role models there are in the church who AREN'T ashamed to participate in all the activities that Driscoll would see as "un-dudely" (such as crying, singing intimate love songs to Jesus Christ and generally being quite comfortable with displaying affections and emotions).

That being said!

I have realised that I cannot miss being in the awesome atmosphere that is Brighton just because of one speaker. I got an amazing text today from my dear friend Luke which blessed me beyond words. The fact that he was courageous enough to text me what He believed was on God's heart challenged me. Newfrontiers is a people I need to be part of and among! They are the most faith-building people I have been privilidged to meet! I can't miss that. I can't miss the God-honouring worship that Kate Simmonds will lead us in.

So although we're not going to book for the entire week at the conference I have in fact booked the week off and we will probably be in and around Brighton. If there's room we will probably go for a few day visits and get to experience a taste of the worship and the Newfrontiers apostolic and prophetic speakers. I first thought when I heard about Mark Driscoll going to Brighton - that 2008 would be conference-less for myself. However in the lavish grace and providence of God that's no longer the case! But I still can't miss at least being at Brighton ... it's been too foundational in my life and to miss it - is a price to great to pay! I've got no shame in admitting I was wrong in declaring I wouldn't darken Brighton's doors while Driscoll was in town! I was wrong. If the manifest Presence of God is going to be welcomed and valued above all other factors then it doesn't matter WHO'S in town!

See you there Luke! And thanks again for being the voice of God's love to me today through prophecy when I needed it most! :-)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Rob Rufus's Travel Itinerary in 2008!!

What is your diet going to consist of in conferences in 2008 that you are going to? I'm becoming increasingly fussy and demanding! I don't want clever techniques or even academic head knowledge (although I love hearing professors of theology teach). I want GRACE expounded! I want a reminder of my RIGHTEOUSNESS in Jesus Christ taught! I want FAITH imparted by the hearing of the Word of God! I realised that one day I am going to give account for the money that I spent on going to the conferences I do along with the booked holiday time off work.

Although Rob and Glenda Rufus are staying based much more in Hong Kong in 2008 than in previous years, he is travelling to some key conferences that are worth being aware of. I know that most people are aware of how to get into the audio archives of his sermons but it is possible to find out information where Rob is going to be throughout this year. Hopefully this may make it possible for some to get to hear him a bit nearer to your homes rather than travelling to Hong Kong!!

March 2008

Glory & Grace Conference 2008. Jubilee International Church, Sydney, Australia. 26-29 March 2008.

Following the impact of the Glory & Grace Conference which Fini and Isi de Gersigny co-led with Rob and Glenda Rufus in Hong Kong in 2007, a similar conference will be held in Sydney at the end of March 2008, which will once again be co-led by Fini and Isi de Gersigny and Rob and Glenda Rufus.Jubilee International Church is a local autonomous church in Sydney, Australia, led by Fini and Isi de Gersigny and founded in January 1997. Their beliefs and methodology are based firmly in the Bible - plus nothing and minus nothing.

9-12 May 2008

Newfrontiers Northern European Conference. Delden, The Netherlands. 9-12 May 2008.

God has times and seasons in His purposes. We believe that God is intent on establishing healthy and expanding local churches joined in a sense of purpose together across the nations of Northern Europe. Relationships and friendships are forming and ministries to serve the churches are beginning to emerge. Momentum is gathering to plant new churches and to strengthen existing ones as many more people come to Christ. The Newfrontiers Northern European Conference is one of the events in which you can learn to hear from God, be equipped and encouraged together in your mission. Encouraged by the first conference in 2007, we believe that God has further plans for us to come together again in May 2008.

16-17 May 2008

Kings Church is a church that primarily praises God because the death and resurrection of Jesus changed history, makes a difference in our community because that’s what Jesus did, tells people the good news because it sets people free, and sees God’s power transform lives because God called us to change the world.Breathtaking, the power of God breaking out – Empower 08, is a conference at which the special guest will be Rob Rufus.

18 May 2008

Conference. The City Church Canterbury, England.

The City Church Canterbury began in 1989 and is part of Newfrontiers, a worldwide family of churches together on a mission. They are a group of Christians, from a wide variety of different backgrounds, ages and ethnic origins, who all share the same vision for what God wants to do in and through them: To be a big community of radical disciples which impacts Canterbury and beyond for Jesus.

July 2008

Word and Spirit Conference. Joshua Generation Church, Cape Town, South Africa.

Speakers: Rob and Glenda Rufus - Fini and Isi de Gersigny - Michael Eaton.

Early July 2008. Joshua Generation Church aims to impact their city, nation and the world through living out a New Testament apostolic / prophetic Christianity.

July 2008

Word and Spirit Conference. Southside Church, Durban, South Africa. Early July 2008. Mike and Nicky Ward Southside Durban

Glory and Grace Conference (Hong Kong) - February / March 2009.

As promised at the end of the City Church International 2007 Glory and Grace Conference, we have already started planning a follow-up conference. Due to the Olympic Games that will be held in Beijing and the Olympic Equestrian Events that will be held in Hong Kong from 8-24 August 2008, we have decided to schedule the next City Church International Hong Kong Glory and Grace Conference for early 2009, either in February or March.

An Alternative Version to "Draw Me Close to You"

For all the many fans I know are out there who just love the song; "Draw Me Close to You" - I thought you would be amused by this alternative version that I read over on "SGM Uncensored". It may be a bit more theologically palatable to those sorts of people who hate the song and don't sing it anymore.

"Claw me Close to you-Never let me go
I submit it all down again,because these claw marks say that your my friend
I cant’ trust my desires

there’s nothing I can do
cause nothing else will take the placeof my pastor’s wisdom and means of Grace

I am but a worm, boiling in sins’ stew
I’m so in want (I think, but I’m not sure cause I could never trust my heart)

This church is all I’ve ever needed
I’m so in want
Help me know what to fear"

Well ... I thought it was quite funny! :-D

Monday, March 10, 2008

Terry Virgo on Ern Baxter's Impact on Newfrontiers

I remember thinking (rather stupidly) at one point that I was one of the only people in the United Kingdom who remembered and treasured Ern Baxter's ministry - as my home church had gone to considerable lengths to forget his visits along with everything else associated with the Charismatic Movement. So when I was told by Peter Cockrell that Terry Virgo actually mentioned Ern Baxter during one of his messages at Stoneleigh Bible Week, I went to considerable effort to get hold of the video tape. Terry took one of his sessions at Stoneleigh Bible Week 1998 to tell "The Story So Far" of both his personal journey and that of Newfrontiers. That story is now detailed superbly in Terry's book, "No Well Worn Paths".

Terry had this to say about Ern Baxter's visit to the United Kingdom at the Lakes Bible Week in 1975.

The series that Terry refers to is called; "The King and His Army". I made sure it was one series that I transcribed and is available on George Kouri's website here. Terry himself was one of the first I made sure got a printed and bound copy for himself!

I don't mention Ern Baxter as often as I used to in the past few years of this blog - mainly because I am eagerly awaiting the launch of "Ern Baxter dot com" - a website being designed for us to continue publishing his audio and video ministry. But Ern's influence and vision continues to drive everything we do and am aiming to do. I have it on good authority that Rob Rufus also held Ern Baxter in great esteem and particularly valued Ern's message; "Life on Wings" - so it's a thrill that Ern Baxter ISN'T forgotten and indeed CANNOT be forgotten. His legacy lives on! His vision continues to drive and motivate and compel!

Friday, March 07, 2008

"Only GOD Should Have That Kind of Power"?!

Two events prompted this blog and even now I am not quite sure how it is going to turn out. I've just returned from the cinema with Scottie having absolutely LOVED seeing the film "Jumper" for the 2nd time. The first time I was taken aback with the absolute speed and thrill of the film. This evening I was shaking under the power of God seeing the thrilling (and disturbing) paralells between what happened in the film and in the Christian life today. But I am jumping ahead of myself. Before I explain what happened in the film briefly (for those who haven't seen it) while I was transcribing Rob Rufus's latest sermon; "Invading the Impossible - Part 8" - he made this very prophetic statement;

"If the Holy Spirit is not allowed to have control of the church, then man takes control of the church and the biggest leverage man has to control the church is the law - legalism - controls people to behave by putting rules and regulations and then kicking them out and punishing them if they don't line up with the taboos and laws and rules".

So "Jumper" (terminology here). Essentially there are normal people, there are "Jumpers" (Hayden Christenson) and there are "Paladin" (Samuel L Jackson). "Jumpers" can teleport anywhere in the world that they have either been before or seen a photo of. "Paladin" are (in the words of Jumper Jamie Bell) "religious nutters whose one sole purpose ... kill Jumpers". But what grabbed my attention was something Samuel L Jackson's character said during the film when he had Hayden Christenson captured. He said;

"Only GOD should have this power!".

Scottie and I were discussing what exactly would happen and how certain Christians groups would react if God pours out His Spirit in power on the earth and we do indeed see a resurgence of signs, wonders and miracles in the earth - as many of us are hoping for and praying for - rooted in the absolute grace of God. No ... panic not, I don't think God is going to enable Christians to begin to teleport ... although of course there is Acts 8:39 and Ezekiel 3:14 ...

But what is our expectation for signs, wonders and miracles? How high have we set the barrier of expectation? For as Julian Adams said; "Our expectation is God's invitation". I found some of the signs, wonders and miracles in the Bible. And as I read them, I kept hearing Samuel L Jackson in my mind; "Only God should have this power". Oh really?! Then why did GOD use PEOPLE to do what He did in the Word of God? As you read these miracles - ask yourself whether you can consider a future where you - the Church founded and basking in the grace of God

1. The miracle increasing of food - 1 Kings 17:9-16

2. The miracle raising of the dead - 1 Kings 17:17-24, 2 Kings 4:18-37, Matthew 9:18, 19, 23-26, Mark 5:22-24, 35-43; 49-56, John 11:1-46, Acts 9:40

3. The miracle coming of rain to barren wastelands - 1 Kings 18:41-45

4. The miracle healing of the sick from fatal diseases (AIDS, Cancer) - 2 Kings 5:1-19

5. The miracle blinding of an evil army and the restoration of their sight - 2 Kings 6:18

6. The miracle raising of dead when they touch our bones - 2 Kings 13:21

7. The miracle healing of "All" who come - Matthew 4:24, Mark 6:56, Luke 4:40

8. The miracle delivering of demons - Mark 1:21-27; Luke 4:33-36

9. The miracle restoring of withered limbs - Matthew 12:9-13; Mark 3:1-5; Luke 6:6-11

10. The miracle defying of nature's laws - Matthew 14:22-33; Mark 6:45-52; John 6:16-21, John 2:1-11, Matthew 14:22-23; Mark 6:45-52; John 6:16-21, Matthew 21:18-22; Mark 11:12-14, 20-25, Luke 5:1-11

11. The miracle feeding of the hungry - Matthew 14:1-21; Mark 6:35-44; Luke 9:12-17; John 6:5-15

12. The miracle escaping from prisons - Acts 5:19-23

13. The miracle transference of power via objects - Acts 19:11-12; 28:8, 9

How much of these examples from the Word of God are we seeing already? There's so much more that we should be expecting! As Rob Rufus's word made clear - should we really be so shocked at gold dust or at oil on hands? We are operating at a Level 2 anointing but we need to be saturating ourselves in the grace of God to see any more! As Rob said;

"The question is not will Jesus Christ have a glorious Church - the question is who will He use?".

Anyone want to join me in "jumping" - even if the "Paladins" will do their utmost to ensure that no human being operates in any spiritual power whatsoever and Christianity stays safely an academic, philosphical religion? Frankly - I am ready to take the risk!

What True Humility Is ... And Is Not

"Humility is your greatest weapon against the control spirit. If you live in humility, you can never come under the control spirit - never - you will never be controlled if you live in humility. I have written this in my Bible: "Humility is the mighty weapon that will keep you easily free from the control spirit but humility must not be false humility that comes from a fear of rejection that is a false submission. You are just humbling yourself out of fear of being rejected or disapproved of. Humility is a very powerful position of confidence and security before God that sets you free from the fear of man because true humility comes from God's wisdom - true humility comes from the wisdom that is above".

There is too much false humility in the church. "I don't want to be successful, I don't want to be blessed - I just want to be humble". Rubbish! Jesus was successful and He was humble. Moses split the Red Sea with his rod and yet was the humblest man at that time on the earth. Humble people are bold and confident in the mighty power of God and they cannot be controlled by the controlling spirit. But where did they get their humility from? From the wisdom of God. If you do not have God's wisdom then you cannot be truly humble. You have just learnt the lingo that sounds humble. But if you have God's wisdom then you have discernment about the control spirit and you can deal with it in true humility".

Rob Rufus - Invading the Impossible - Part 8 - 2nd March 2008.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

It is the Church!! The Hope of the World!!

I've been thinking a lot about the "Church" recently. It's been abused, scoffed at, mocked at, persecuted, martyred, praised, idolised, split off into cults, split off into Pharisaical, legalistic horror stories - yet despite all that it just won't go away after 2,000 years. It has been run by apostles and prophets where it has flourished, it has been run by pastor/teachers where it has developed strong foundations, it has been run by grace-haters who have controlled it and generally abused it for their own ends, it has been run by ego-maniacs who have drained the people dry of their money, their lives and their free-will - yet despite all that it won't give up the belief that Ephesians 4 Ministries have truly and genuinely been given by the ascended Christ to bring it to maturity. What IS this Church!?

Pete Day brought a note of severe perspective that any church leader (or indeed anyone who addresses the church) needs to take careful note of:

"The Church is the bride of Christ. Please be careful how you speak to His wife"

But what brought about this blog was a recent post by Mark Heath who is sharing some of his teaching on the Church from where he lives in Southampton. Mark asks; "If you could list up to five marks of the church, what would they be?". He noted that Calvin simply sees the mark of the Church as being the preaching of the Word and the administering of the sacrements.

I read John Piper and Justin Taylor's latest book; "The Supremacy of Christ in a Postmodern World" last night and Mark Driscoll has his own views on what makes the Church (or to be more accurate what makes the Gospel although he seems to reflect that in his church). They include female/male gender distinctions, Scripture as inerrant, timeless truth, the virgin birth of Jesus, our sin nature and total depravity, Jesus' death as our penal substitution and the concious eternal torments of hell.

It was very similar to Mahaney's right-hand man Joshua Harris's book; "Stop Dating the Church" that I found severely lacking. While I would agree with what both Driscoll and Harris insist is a vital part of the Church, I am left asking why they left what they did out. Or are those elements part of this; "two-handed approach to Christian ministry ... in our graciously open hand we must hold timely ministry methods and styles that adapt" - a concept that seemed to be very popular at John Piper's conference?

What about the manifest Presence of God? What about the Holy Spirit and His ministry not just in salvation but in sanctification, in empowerment, in glorification? What about worship? What about where we are going? It just strikes me that something is missing in our definition of church - "A form of godliness denying the power thereof".

I jotted down some notes that occured to me as "marks of a church" in a comment on Mark Heath's post and here's what I wrote;

"My answer is representative of the New Testament Acts Church stream (and it's inspired by Ephesians 2:19-22).

1. Church is a place where there is no hierarchy or clergy/laity but all are "fellow citizens with the saints".

2. Church is a place built on the foundation of apostles and prophets (not just the dead ones) with Christ Jesus living and reigning being the Chief Cornerstone.

3. Church is a place that is growing into a holy temple in the Lord - where holiness is not a set of rules and regulations imposed legalistically but holiness is a naturally flowing out of a realisation of our position in the righteousness of Christ - it's all about a relationship, not rules.

4. Church is a place that is increasingly becoming a dwelling place for God - the manifest Presence of God is more and more evident until unbelievers are coming in and rather than remaining indifferent are saying; "God is TRULY among you".

5. Church is a place where all of this is possible "by the Spirit". We recognise that all we do is only possible because we live in a "more glorious covenant" where we ALL are "ministers of the Spirit". Where it is not just about what we SAY but about what we DO. That the Spirit makes His Presence known by what we say (prophecy, tongues/interpretation, power preaching), what we do (signs, wonders, healing and miracles), how we live personally (crying "Abba! Father!" - in an intimate relationship with God Himself), how we worship (with bold access in the Holy of Holies) and where we are going as a people (seeing the entire earth covered with the glory of the Lord).

ALL because the Holy Spirit has been poured out and is our inheritance!!".

Ask yourself - (and leave a comment if you so desire) - what is the mark of my church? What should be it's mark? Are it's marks bound by the traditions of the Creeds or the traditions of the Charismatic Movement? Or are it's marks adhering as closely to the Bible as possible and to the Living Rhema Word of God as He speaks and sees His purposes come about now at the climax of the consummation of the ages?

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Rob Rufus is Coming to the UK!!

I got back this morning from a night and got an email from Pete telling me the heavenly news - that Rob is coming to the UK in May!

It is incredible that this is happening. Yesterday Scott and I were walking in town and we were discussing the original word God gave Rob about the great revival that is coming to the UK. God specifically said that Rob would come a number of times and then no more because the work was done. We both agreed how just coming twice to "Together on a Mission" in 2006 and 07 didn't seem "enough". That in Brighton 2007 we felt we were touching on truths about the glory of God that I certainly never had heard before - and surely there is more to be encountered! So I am thrilled (and not quite sure how I will sleep today!) that Kings Church in Eastbourne have organised this visit. Needless to say we are booked in already!

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

"Life on Wings" hits Wikipedia!!

I have never pretended to be much of an I.T wizz and if you start mentioning words to me like "RSS" and "Syndicate" you can pretty much guarantee that my eyes will glaze over. So I was quite interested thanks to a few pointers from friends to note that "Life on Wings" has occurred a couple of times on Wikipedia - the "the free encyclopedia" on the internet. One of my passions has been the preservation of truth. I've seen twice now in my 30 years of church experience the attempt by church leaders to not only forget the past but pretend that the past didn't exist - so it's great that "Life on Wings" is becoming a resource for people who are as interested as I am in the past.

Here's what I spotted:

1. Sovereign Grace Ministries - the page devoted to SGM has gone through a number of face-lifts thanks to the ability to edit the Wikipedia page to one's own taste. But a regular commenter on "SGM Uncensored" has managed to secure a pretty accurate and objective page. The page details Larry Tomczak's key involvement in the establishing of the "Gathering of Believers" and then "Covenant Life Church" - something that official SGM history ignores. The page notes how the leadership became disenchanted with the name; "People of Destiny International" and ended up with it's present "SGM" (thanks to a quote from Terry Virgo).

The page ends by noting the incredible site (love it or hate it) that is "SGM Uncensored". It was set up by a former member and now in it's three months of running has attracted an incredible 87,308 hits.

The page then ends by noting "Life on Wings" as one of the three external links alongside the official SG webpage and "SGM Uncensored". The link to "Life on Wings" is thanks to three posts I put up - one of which was an article written by Larry Tomczak in "New Wine Magazine" and a few older pictures - one of which was Larry and C J Mahaney sitting together on the Stoneleigh Bible Week platform!

*Update* - "Life on Wings" has now been removed! Ah well! The perils of internet life! :-) A good job I printed out the original page before the editing!

2. Ern Baxter - this page is slightly smaller but draws together some key details about Ern Baxter's life and history. The link to "Life on Wings" is thanks to a biographical post I did last year called "Who is Ern Baxter?". This is alongside the list of resources of Ern Baxter's writing that I have tried to make available over the few years.

Prophecy is FULFILLED in 2007!!

The other title I was thinking for this post was;

"Rob Rufus, Mike Bickle, Revival and the Control Spirit".

But I have been listening to Rob's latest sermon; "Invading the Impossible - Part 8 - Breaking the Control Spirit" while I have been driving too and from work last night. As I was driving home I was almost at the end of the sermon and Rob gave the following account that I have transcribed below. As I opened the door to my flat, the power of God fell upon me as I was listening and I couldn't stop shaking - my ear pressed to my iPOD. And I want - I know - to get this account shared as widely as possible. It MUST be heard! We are living in days when prophecy is being fulfilled!!

"A very interesting story I want to give you here. At the beginning of last year - January 2007 - we were in the USA in Los Angeles and we were speaking to the senior pastors of many, many churches around the States and Canada. They had all come together and I did 16 meetings with them in 6 days preaching and ministering to them all.

On the last day I really discerned that God wanted to release the prophets because the prophets have been bewitched by the Jezebel spirit and have been controlled by pastor/teacher controlled denominational churches. I don't know if that makes any sense to you but it's the truth. The prophets are the eyes of the church and when the prophets are silenced and controlled, the church has it's eyes gouged out and they are like a Samson who is blindly working the Philistines camp having lost his strength. And the prophets eyes are coming back - the prophets are hearing this message and are finding strength to stand up and boldly prophesy this message.

I love it! So on the last day I started praying for the prophets and I stepped up to this one man who had a Vineyard church background in the USA and as I walked towards him, I didn't even get a chance to get my hands on him as I recall - I walked towards him and he was thrown back under the power of God and he sobbed for 2 hours. When the sobbing and weeping stopped then he couldn't talk and the fire of God was going through him. I flew out a few days later and I was at the Los Angeles airport and I rang him because I got a message and he said; "Rob I have never experienced the power of God like that - I have got a CD that I think would be helpful to you that is by Mike Bickle".

How many of you know Mike Bickle? From the Kansas City Prophets. He leads a phenomenal church in Kansas City and his church is praying with other churches 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for revival. Any time you switch on TV and they are praying - every day, every moment and they are praying for world revival in the church.

He said; "Mike Bickle spoke a message on the control spirit and I really believe that God wants you to hear this message". I got the CD and I listened to this message about a year ago and I have to be honest while I was listening to it, it didn't really resonate with me. I just thought it didn't give me a buzz, it didn't register. I always make notes when I am hearing someone preach that I am interested in so I did write down what he was saying - an outline - and then I just forgot it. Now I don't think about the control spirit a lot - I just discern it when it is operating and I deal with it. But I don't talk about it a lot or preach about it - only these two Sundays in a row I have preached about it. If you talk about the control spirit too much you make the people paranoid and they see control in everything!

Anyway I wrote this stuff down and was preparing this message and thought that I would go and get some notes I wrote some time ago (and I haven't got the best filing system!) and so was looking through my notes and came to this outline of Mike Bickle speaking on the control spirit. I got the shock of my life because I started reading it and suddenly now it was alive to me! How many of you know that a message has a season for your life?

I am looking at this and I see that I have written down about Mike Bickle speaking recently about an incident that happened to him in October 1990 in the United Kingdom. He was travelling there with John Wimber. How many of you know John Wimber? He is with the Lord now but he was a remarkable man - I met him several times. God raised him up from California to open the door of the supernatural to denominational churches. He went primarily to the Church of England of all places! Thousands of Anglicans would gather to hear him and John Wimber would just talk and while he was talking they would begin to bounce in their seats and demons would come out and people would fall under the power of God. He is typically Californian - he is not like me - he has a goatee beard and a big paunch and Californian sunshirts on and he would just talk quietly and the power of God came.

Mike Bickle was invited to travel with him and Mike went into his hotel room at the end of a meeting and he said in the early hours of the morning Jesus walked into his room visibly. October 1990. Mike Bickle said he had only seen Jesus visibly with his open eyes three times in 30 years of ministry. He said a terror came over him and it wasn't just parts of his body shaking - every single part of his body began to violently shake. God is not a semi-senile Santa Claus - He is an awesome God, this Jesus! He walked into that room and Mike Bickle began to shake violently. He said he could hear the traffic outside and then he said Jesus began to speak to him and he said, he could hear Jesus like he was hearing with his ears! He began to say;

"I want you Mike to begin a prayer movement and prepare for the power of a visitation of My Kingdom that will begin in 2007".

Now isn't God amazing? He spoke about something 17 years before the event! Prophets have to be patient! Now I am thinking; "October?! October! 1990! Jesus visibly in a room telling a man that a visitation is coming that will begin in 2007!!". Now the Spirit is starting to rise up inside me!

"Hold on a minute -hold on. In JUNE of 2007 Marina saw two angels appear in this room". Which by the way people from Dubai saw as well and have told me since and they are sane, not weird people. So angels appeared with big trumpets and as she was seeing them, I didn't see them but I heard God speak in my heart and say that He was sounding a trumpet blast that was signalling the transitioning of this church out of an Old Covenant mentality and into a New Covenant mentality. And the power of God fell on this place and some of you saw this and we went to Brighton and we saw the power of God fall like we have never seen it before.

God said; "I am lifting the periphery fence - you are stepping into New Covenant glory and no one can go into New Covenant glory if they are under legalistic mindsets". Remember? What is a legalistic mindset? A control spirit. So Mike Bickle is shaking and Jesus says;

"In 2007 a visitation of My Spirit is coming to the earth". And then He says this to Mike Bickle; "No body under a control spirit will be part of that visitation".

Now I am preparing a message on the control spirit looking for other notes. I had forgotten I had written that down! Then Jesus said this to Mike Bickle - and by the way Mike Bickle is a holy man of integrity who fears God and he could be a multi-millionaire but he lives in a small house on purpose. He is a faithful man who doesn't make stupid stuff up. Jesus said this;

"Mike in the world at the moment in 1990, the Christians today who are moving at the highest level of the miraculous - if you want to talk about the anointing, the scale of the anointing from 1 to 10 and the book of Acts was 10 - the people in the earth who are moving in the highest levels of the anointing have not gone beyond a 2".

I heard that and thought; "Wow! Good news!". Because we are trying to do the works Jesus did with a number 2 when God wants to get us to a number 10! So He says;

"People that move at a number 2 - other Christians think they are moving at a number 10. But they are actually moving 8 scales below that and the reason why most Christians think they are moving at a number 10 is because most Christians are operating in a 0.01 level of the anointing. So when they see a number 2 they think it is a number 10.

I am willing to give a number 2 level of the anointing to any Christian anywhere on the earth at any time - but no one with a control spirit will go beyond a number 2. But I am willing to give the number 10 anointing to anyone who deals with the control spirit".

And then He said; "Now Mike at the next meeting you are going to preach to thousands of people and you will preach what I have told you".

Mike went to John Wimber and said; "John Jesus told me to do this - do you think it will be right John?" and he was hoping John Wimber would say; "No" because he didn't want to address the Church of England that have got serious control spirits. He didn't want to be remembered like that. He was under much persecution in the USA at the time and people were writing books against him at the time and he didn't want to be remembered as the guy who stood up and told the Anglicans they were under a control spirit and you need to repent!

John Wimber said; "I believe that is Jesus - you need to go and do that". So he came out and there were thousands in the auditorium and (this was October 1990) he spoke about the control spirit in weakness and in fear and in trembling. He said while he was speaking the power of God fell and hundreds had demons come out of them and they fell foaming from the mouth. This was British people! He flew back to Kansas and thought he would preach it and see the same power and he preached it and nothing happened! He preached it again and nothing happened! He said; "Lord what is happening here?". Jesus said;

"Mike I told you to preach that message about 2007 and I backed it up with signs and wonders so the message you preached would be backed up. But what I was talking about was for 2007".

So I am saying this locally and internationally. Jesus is coming after the control spirit in the church over His Bride and He will not just come and topple it off us. He doesn't do that. He will expose our hearts to the revelation of the control spirit and give us the choice to repent, humble ourselves and say;

"Lord not my plan, not my ambition - Father I want your plan, your ambition for my life and I repent of trying to control You, control people, control my life - I surrender to the control of the Holy Spirit. Do what you want Holy Spirit".

Let me give you an example but it is a sign of bigger things. The majority of Christians I have met when a level 2 anointing comes on them in the service and they will shake a bit and nearly fall over, they get a fright, get worried and get all formal and take control back. Who's in control of their life? Them. I am not talking about self-control over the sinning spirit. They are controlling the Holy Spirit and He came on them in a number 2 anointing!

Folks, I want to tell you I am not interested in a number 2! I have only got a number 2 right now! I am not interested in a number 3, 4, 5 or 6! I want a number 10! I am a prisoner of hope and I can see what's coming! I know what we need!

The power of God comes and they say; "God's in control of this church!? This is our church!". No its His church! The first whiff of God coming on you and what do you do? Welcome to the number 2 club. Enjoy number 2.

That's all you will have in 2007-2009 even though you know that in the Bible Jacob wrestled with God face to face, experienced God encounters, Abraham fell under the power, Daniel heard an audible voice, all the prophets had encounters with God, Jesus saw the heavens opened, the early church was drunk, Paul was knocked to the ground by the power of God and heard an audible voice, John was caught up to heaven!!

And yet it's NOT happening today!! Why is it not happening today? The spirit of control. We've got control of our lives, our church, our religion.

We must repent and open our heart! "Your will on this earth as it is in heaven".

Monday, March 03, 2008

Glory Encounters Conference in Hong Kong!!

City Church International in Hong Kong have just announced a very exciting sounding conference in April following the "Grace and Glory Conference" in Sydney in March. It is called "Glory Encounters" and a number of us are feeling the prompting that we should go!! Although I haven't heard of the guest speaker Josh Mills before, I have every faith that Rob and Glenda Rufus wouldn't invite anyone who would grieve or quench the Holy Spirit but welcome Him in awesome power.

Here's the poster:

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Farewell to Jesse and at one with Terry Virgo!!

This was going to be something of a "blog-spotting" post but I really want to emphasise two blogs in particular and they deserve a post of their own - so the blog-spotting one will follow maybe tomorrow or later in the week.

Firstly I am saddened to note that Jesse Phillips has decided to withdraw from the blogging world and focus on his family and church commitments. Jesse is probably one of the bloggers who has had most impact on me and from whom I have learnt much (alongside Pete, Julie, Lydia, and Terry Virgo). His passion for the Holy Spirit and for "more" of the manifest Presence of God is sadly rare in the blogging and Christian world today. He has taught me some very useful new words that are now part of my theological vocabulary such as "functional cessationist" (as so many sadly are) and "Charismatic Resurgence" (as we pray continues to grow!)
But Jesse mixed that passion with a rational, careful theology that respects the infallibility of the Word of God. He is an incredible gift to the Church and I hope that Sovereign Grace Ministries do not miss his gifting and make full use of him. His blog is going to remain public for only about a week so I urge everyone to go and make use of his resources - particularly his papers on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Such a key issue so vitally needed today. Thank you Jesse. We deeply appreciate you and you will be missed, although we respect your brave decision to put what matters most first.

Secondly I am thrilled to read Terry Virgo's latest blog post: "Filled with the Spirit" - in light of my last post; "Baptism in the Holy Spirit and Resurrection!". How thrilling when God speaks the same subject again and again through different people! Terry begins by noting that although Dr Lloyd-Jones was key in providing an irrefutable theology for believing in the Baptism of the Holy Spirit as a distinct, glorious experience and inheritance allowing us to cry; "Abba!" - he is right in asking why the Doctor did not put his theology into practice and lay hands on people. One quote caught my attention;

"I was fascinated to note that John Piper exonerated Dr Lloyd-Jones’ view of the baptism of the Holy Spirit but asked the question, ‘Where were the Doctor’s hands?’ He went on to answer, ‘Probably in his books.’".

Where do people say our hands are? I fear that if someone was asked where my hands are, the answer would probably be; "In his books", or "typing his blog". While that is an okay practice, I wish that people could say more and more that my hands are being laid on people for healing, or to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Terry Virgo is an awesome example of someone who loves theology and books but more and more he is being used of God to lay hands on people to receive the Holy Spirit and signs, wonders and miracles from God. Where are we laying our hands? Even if we aren't seeing Acts miracles yet, are we at least laying hands on people to give God the chance to act?

Terry closed his blog by saying;

"As people heard clear instruction on Sunday morning their faith was stimulated, their expectation lifted and they came and received".

Let us never be in danger of despising theology for experience. Rob Rufus taught us so ably at Brighton that the teaching of the Word of God is key for building people's faith. One one occasion one woman was vehemently opposed to his being there and didn't believe it was right she was healed - but that her sickness was for the "glory of God". As Rob opened the Word of God she became angry that she had been deceived so and was healed! As we read and soak ourselves in the Bible we will find our faith rising and rising.

There is so much more to receive and experience from God! Have you received the Holy Spirit in power? It's a promise of God for you! Not only that - Jesus Christ died in agony on the Cross so that heaven might be opened and the Holy Spirit be poured out. Look to Jesus and ask Him for power from on high today as you read. "Come to Me and drink all you who thirst". Come to Him! Drink! Receive! This world is crying out desperate for a church that is baptised in the Holy Spirit and speaking and moving in power.