Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Ern Baxter on Experience and Phenomenon

I wanted to post two short video clips by Ern Baxter from the series he preached on Romans at the Anglia Bible Week. They are well worth listening to because he very wisely addresses the issue of "experiencing the Holy Spirit". I debated whether to post these or not because I was watching to see if the Lakeland, Florida Revival has got over the issues that Toronto used to have. What do I mean by that? Don't get defensive! I am very VERY pro the Lakeland Revival! I am so excited! I can't believe that Chuck Pierce prophesied this in 2005! This is of God! But the critics of Toronto quickly seized on the fact that there was a "copying" of phenomenon. In some instances it became such an issue that; "if you didn't fall then you hadn't received the blessing". Or if; "You didn't shake, rattle and roll then you hadn't received the blessing".

Now it seems Todd Bentley likes to go "Pow!". So what?! God is moving and using him! But let's not get into the temptation of thinking that we all have to go "Pow!" for God to use us in the same way as He is using Todd Bentley. We can listen openly to Ern Baxter speak about this because he was a self-proclaimed and proud charismatic! He lived and died not regretting his openness to the Holy Spirit but his love for the Word of God! As Rob Rufus frequently says; "Let's not go seeking after the power but the Presence". What happens when He comes is not as important as the fact that HE HAS COME!!

Here they are (they're quite funny!):

Part 1

Part 2

Did you note what Ern said at the end of the second video clip? Sounds very similar to Rob Rufus doesn't it! He isn't belittling our spiritual experiences or our "goosebumps" (one of Ern's favourite phrases for describing the coming of the Spirit). But we MUST MUST MUST have this revelation that we are righteous before God the Father! That will set us free to enjoy all the shaking, falling, rattling, rolling, and "Pows!" that we like!

Ooh come Lord!! The United Kingdom needs Your Presence!! Hong Kong needs Your Presence!! Canada needs Your Presence!!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

A Testimony from Lakeland, Florida!!

I was absolutely thrilled to receive the following email from a new friend of mine - Amanda - who has been able to visit Lakeland, Florida. It absolutely speaks for itself so I don't need to add anything to it! Before I get on to Amanda's wonderful testimony, something occured to me today. I brought a book that was in the bargain bin at Wesley Owen a few months ago. It was called; "Releasing the Prophetic Destiny of a Nation" by Dutch Sheets and Chuck D Pierce. For those who haven't read it, the book is a compendium of prayer, intercession and prophecies about the different states in the United States of America. Out of interest I flicked to see what it said about Florida. Bear in mind this book was published in 2005.

"You have been halted between two opinions. But the halt has ended this night. Will My people rise up and move forward to the next level of conflict? I have come with a sword to break the religious war over this state.


(Prophesied by Chuck Pierce - pp171-172).

So let me repeat what Rob Rufus has to say about testimonies - read what Amanda testifies with FAITH!!

"Testimony" comes from the word; "To do it again". When you share a testimony of what God has done in a miracle in your life - that testimony is a sharing of a prophecy and it carries with it a power to duplicate what you are testifying happened to you".

I had a wonderful conversation with my dear friend Pete today and we agreed that in the light of these testimonies (and of those who are benefitting from Rob's ministry in Hong Kong) we are no longer struggling to reconcile they have been blessed and we have not yet been! No - we are in a new atmosphere of the glory. We may not be seeing the signs and wonders and miracles, gold dust, feathers and heavenly manna ... yet - but we are pursuing His Presence!

Here is Amanda (I haven't edited it at all aside from highlighting a few things that I saw):

"Dan -

Got back from Lakeland Sunday night, after attending the mtgs there Wed thro Saturday. As you can imagine, since you've been watching some of it live, it was mind-bending and I have lots of processing yet to do but OH MY GOSH!! It was so amazing to be there, in that environment of people from all over the world seeking God and watching Him move. OH MY GOSH! [Did I already say that?....] You've been seeing many of the miracles so I won't even address those except to say it was glorious to see.

Todd's unconventional look and style of ministry took only a blink of an eye to get past before you began to see what appeared to me to be a heart fixed on Jesus, a child-like excitement at what God was doing and a tenderness toward both the people and the Lord. He is crazy and bold but sensitive to the Spirit and as hungry as any of us for more of the Glory of the Lord to be revealed. I came away convinced he is for real. I was thinking how very young he is to be the center and face of a move of this magnitude and knowing we must cover him with prayer. Thankfully I think he has a lot of support and connection to older men of real stature in the Body, like Bob Jones, Bill Johnson, and others who love him and can help him walk through this. And across the board support, I think, from the fathers of the previous waves. That is so important and so great. They have all blessed him and been excited with him about what God is doing now -which hasn't been the attitude sometimes in the past. And he has been so honoring of them too. Great humility on both sides.

I will tell you that our last night there, from the moment the band came on stage to start the worship, the atmosphere was electric - the people truly on fire. Before it even started! As if they/we all came already in worship mode. People danced and jumped and shouted and sang -seeing all ages and all colors from everywhere worship like that together was so great. As they were finishing the last song of the worship time I was thinking to myself "good luck shutting this down, mr worship leader. These people are on fire!" And I was right. When the music was over and the announcer was approaching the podium to share some testimonies and whatever else, the people just began to cry out to God, worshipping Him with no need of a leader or music or anything but hungry hearts.

The Presence was so tangible and so heavy.....and it went on and on with everyone shouting and praying and worshipping the King. At one point I opened my eyes and the worship leader was on his face under the keybd, the announcer guy was on his face several feet behind the podium, other ministers on the platform were out of their seats on their knees, Todd was on the floor behind a chair. It was the most awesome thing I have ever been part of . 4000 people of all ages from all over the world in worship together in one place. It must have gone on like that for 45 minutes. Totally spontaneous, no one leading except the burning hearts of the people in His presence. I will never forget that. As I worshiped I saw in my spirit walls crumbling around nations, with worshippers flooding over the walls into the cities bringing the Fire and the Glory. It was almost impossible to stand up in the room during that. Impossible not to be forever ruined and wrecked by the level of worship and interaction between the Lord and His church in those moments. The atmosphere shifted from shouting and crying out chanting "JESUS JESUS" to a hushed sense of awe at His holiness and awesome glory filling the room. Dead religion just can't stand in the face of that. If this truly does break out globally I just don't know what will become of a lot of what calls itself the church.

And there was a real emphasis on not just coming and experiencing this revival but catching it and taking it home to give away. Of the directive of the Lord to His whole Body to spread the gospel of the Kingdom, including doing the works of Jesus and seeing people saved healed and delivered -not just getting their "eternal fire insurance". Oh pray that we as the Church will truly grasp that. Grasp that He's made us to be carriers of the Glory, carriers of the fragrance of Jesus, knowing our position in Him is as sons, not slaves, seated with Him in heavenly places able to see with His eyes and do what we see Him doing, say what we hear Him saying. Not just depend on a few 'ordained ministers' to do a bit of that and be satisfied. Well, I could go on much longer but I'll spare you. I would hope you and many others who are longing for His presence will be able to go, if it doesn't come to you first, Praise God! ha I hope that wave you had the vision of last summer will hit you broadside in the UK!!

Blessings to you and all the 'burning ones' who connect thro your blog. Thanks for your faithfulness to write and for displaying your hunger with every post. It's contagious. I stumbled onto it myself last summer just before the Brighton conference, then discovered the people there like Terry Virgo, David Holden, and our beloved Rob & Glenda thro your posts on that conference. Rob stays on my ipod, along with Bill Johnson and others that help keep me growing and burning! Don't know why I suddenly felt I had to write a comment except I knew you and the other 'regulars' would want to know about the revival to see what it might become and help pray it through. Please feel free to use any or none of this email on your blog. I didn't mean to go on so long but you know how it is.....thanks for listening!


Thank you so much again Amanda! May God's Spirit continue to burn upon you so fiercely with the knowledge of His manifest Presence!

Ern Baxter and Rob Rufus Stand Together!!

I am constantly staggered at how similar these two great heroes of mine are. Their vision, their preaching, their passions - just utterly thrill me. I have been working through a series of DVD's that I made from the Anglia Bible Week 1984. Ern Baxter was the keynote speaker as usual and he presented an academic series of sermons on the first half of the Book of Romans.

I caught this quote:

"That has got to do with the revelation of God that Jesus Christ is yours by faith before God and you are as righteous as CHRIST is before God!".

We have got to start waking up to the fact that Rob Rufus is not some lone maverick on a personal crusade. He is merely restoring the lost message of grace and taking it a step further than Ern Baxter (I believe) in letting it WORK in signs and wonders and miracles. "You are as righteous as CHRIST is before God!". Wow. That's going to affect the way I wake up in the morning!

New Rob Rufus Resources Available!!

I am thrilled to note that the "Glory and Grace Conference" from Sydney now have made their MP3's available - thanks to Jubilee International Church (Fini and Isi de Gersigny). It was a conference that I desperately wanted to go to but couldn't because of financial constraints so I am looking forward to hearing the riches of teaching. The testimonies alone are so exciting hearing what God did during that week! Here are the sessions:

Rob Rufus - Wednesday 26th March - Session 3 (19:00).

So there is that to listen to and access and fire your faith!

Furthermore it seems that Newfrontiers are making their videos of the Brighton conferences available free and online! They have only got "Together on A Mission 2006" sessions available so far. But for those who (like me) love seeing preachers speak visually and not just listen - this is well worth accessing. The other speakers may be of interest - men like Terry Virgo and Wayne Grudem. The highlight speaker for me was Dave Holden speaking on the Ministry of the Holy Spirit (aside from Rob of course!).

So enjoy - let's raise our expectation to the level of the Word of God! And let's look expecting for more! Because the tidal wave is coming - and it seems to me it is coming from Florida and from Hong Kong. So I believe the United Kingdom is going to get swamped in a deluge of spiritual rain from two directions! A double portion - a double blessing - the atmosphere in our land is changing. And the barren times are over. The sound of rain can be heard! The tremours of earthquakes can be felt by those who are listening and the powers of darkness are trembling.

Monday, April 28, 2008

Rob Rufus on the Lakeland Revival

I've been eagerly waiting to hear Rob's opinion on the Lakeland Revival. Here it is:

"If you are watching via the world wide web, the healing revival that is going down in Florida - it is AWESOME what God is doing and the prophets are saying it is going world wide! I preached 2 weeks ago on the "Flood of Glory is Coming" and 2 weeks later a flood of glory is released in Florida and going world wide over the web and it is happening around the world! If I wasn't preaching to a 1000 leaders in Europe and in conferences and churches in the UK in 2 weeks time then I would be on my way to Florida right now and would sit there and grab it all".

Rob Rufus - "Fully Free From Guilt In Order To Be Fully Covered By The Glory" - City Church International, Hong Kong - Sunday 27th April 2008.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

When You Believe ...

It's interesting how a kind of secular song and a secular TV personality have both been used by God to speak to me in the last couple of days! I've been taking the concept of God speaking through dreams a lot more seriously since I listened to Kylie and Ryan Rufus's excellent sermon; "Unlocking Your Ability To Hear God Through Dreams". So the night before last I had quite an odd dream but I have been thinking about it and feel God was trying to say something through it. Here's what I saw;

"I was standing in the background to basically what was the talent show; "Britain's Got Talent" and Simon Cowell was of course on the judging panel. Only I could only see Simon there. Suddenly a little baby appeared that I knew without a doubt was his son! Simon Cowell seemed as amazed as everyone else in the room and it seemed that it was some sort of miracle. So everyone was scrambling for their phones to try and video whatever this baby was going to do but I suddenly had my phone out and was recording".

So a couple of things came to my mind and I read Jim Goll's book which had some useful insights. I think I saw Simon Cowell as representative of God. This isn't particularly a good thing because it suggests that despite months of listening to Rob's teaching on grace I still see God as a kind of "judge" who needs to be impressed with me! But the baby seems to represent the new move of God - the new atmosphere that God is bringing into the earth at this hour. Lakeland in Florida and the Glory Encounters Conference are just two examples of this. I am seeing miracles and signs and wonders that I NEVER thought I would before!

And what I felt God say was that the calling He has on me at the moment is to record what I see. As C H Spurgeon put it; "Write down what you see". I don't know why. I would much prefer to be moving in signs and wonders and miracles but as Kaye Beyer said - be faithful in what you are doing and God will provide a ministry for you. So to the best of my ability I will go on watching eagerly what happens in Hong Kong and in Florida and in Canada and in London and in Brighton and I will write down what I see.

The second thing that happened was that I was debating with myself how best to transcribe Rob's sermon from last Sunday; "Invading the Impossible - Part 14 - Condemning Condemnation". The first 40 minutes virtually of the sermon are him reading out testimonies from people over the world and I didn't intend to bother transcribing it. I was just going to type out the last ten minutes or so of Rob teaching on "Condemnation" - because it truly was masterful. However I was driving to work last night and this song came on my IPOD quite randomly;

And all the hurt and disappointment began to flow through me as I drove that I have yet to see miracles and signs and wonders and the heavy manifest Presence of God break out here in Birmingham where I live. Do I have to spend my life travelling to places like Hong Kong or Florida? Why can't there be a portal of glory HERE?! I felt God apply this song so gently and fatherly and tenderly to my spirit. KEEP believing! KEEP looking! KEEP hungry! KEEP trusting! KEEP longing! It's coming!

So I guess I dedicate this song to those of you who are like me. You're not seeing the full blast of glory yet! The gold dust and the angel feathers and the gems and all the sorts of wonderful things that I am hearing about in these testimonies that Rob was reading. And I knew without a shadow of doubt that I should type the whole sermon out in it's entirety. Yes it's not Rob preaching - but these testimonies are faith-building and they are reminding us of what can be! And what will be! I dread - I utterly dread - coming to a point where I adapt my theology to cessationism simply because "I'm not seeing it". So it will be coming soon .... here!

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Rob Rufus's Ministry Statement!!

Rob said this statement governs his ministry, that of City Church International and the "Glory and Grace Conferences".

"To the degree that you get rid of condemnation over your life, to that degree the glory Presence of God will manifest over your life. Much condemnation? Little glory Presence on your life, your home and your family. Little condemnation over your life? Much manifest glory of God over your life! No condemnation over your life? FULL manifestation of the fullness of glory over your life!".


Friday, April 25, 2008

Raising from the Dead Has BEGUN!!

Those of us who were at "Together on a Mission 2007" may remember this well:

I was very excited to read the "Fresh Fire Blog" that is bringing news from the Lakeland, Florida revival. It reads:

"Melissa writes:

I was in the upper-chat room when my husband came in and told me my best Friend Cara had just had a massive heart attack. I immediately shutdown the computer and went to get dressed to go be with her. Then I stopped and turned straight back to the computer (lead of the Holy Spirit) and asked them to all start praying… The way I understand it, she was clinically dead for 30 minutes and as soon as the prayers started she came back. OUR LORD BROUGHT HER BACK TO US! She is sitting up , eating talking!!!!".

Yes I appreciate that we can't see or verify the testimony of what happened - but I am tired of being cynical now. I see nothing in the Bible to suggest that the Spirit of God cannot raise someone from the dead in response to the prayers of the saints - so why not?! Praise God!

Joshua Mills Prophecies Over Rob Rufus!!

I was so blessed this morning - was just getting ready to go to a study day at work and listening to "Invading the Impossible - Part 14" and Rob was sharing very honestly how he and Glenda have come under some heavy criticism recently. Pete and I speak quite often about Rob (!!) and pray for him and we agreed that we suspected that we couldn't actually even imagine the kind of fire he has to walk through to pioneer the grace message.

So Rob shared this. And in light of what I have learnt recently about the prophetic from Rob - I hope I can dedicate this transcript of a prophecy from Joshua Mills to pastors and elders everywhere who are going through persecution for preaching the grace message (A.P.W.B.D - you know who you are!!). May the Spirit of God fall on you and apply this to your hearts with power and give you encouragement to stand up, hold your head up high and keep preaching that we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, now - forever and always!!

Here's the transcript of Rob's account:

"So we are sitting in the car agonising (about the attacks) saying "What can we do? What shall we do?" and we didn't tell Joshua Mills about the criticism and he comes in and as you know, in the middle of the meeting he started prophesying over us. I was blessed by what he said but I didn't actually get everything because I was getting more blessed by your support as you were shouting and clapping because you knew what was going on!

So I was getting so blessed that I had to get it typed out to know what he said. But he says here;

"God says you have been on display and others have been watching. You have been on display for others to look and people to criticise, for people to accuse and for people to point fingers but God says in the middle of the fire there is a manifestation of the glory that is coming forth in your life that wasn't there before the fire and what the enemy has meant for harm - I am taking that thing and turning that thing around and I am causing the greatest gold to come forth.

I am causing the greatest glory you have ever known to begin to manifest in your life for surely you shall begin stepping out of the fire (Rob: "Whoopeee!") and you shall begin manifesting the glory of My Presence in a greater way than ever before and those that were watching while you were on display who said you will never make it - for surely you are a failure, surely it is not of God - God says surely they shall see and it shall not only be a sign and a wonder but it shall be a testimony - the testimony of Jesus Christ, the hope of glory inside of you.

I see you stepping out of the fire and I see you walking into a new place - a new season of blessing. It is opening for you even right now and in that place there is a divine acceleration and a divine increase - supernatural favour, abundance and blessing being poured out upon you. I see miracles beginning to flow where there were no miracles before. I almost see like garden flowers beginning to spring forth where it doesn't seem like they could be any flowers. Didn't seem like there could be any harvest in areas where people have looked and said; "Surely there can not be a harvest" - God says, "I am going to GIVE you the harvest".

Not only shall you see it, but you are going to reap it! You are going to reap it for many see the harvest but do not receive it but God says you shall see it and you shall have it".

I love this! Rob then commented;

"Men cannot dis-appoint you because they never appointed you! God appointed me to this message before time began! He chose me to bring a recovery of the gospel of grace to bring the church to be restored to living only in the freedom of the New Covenant. I believe we should read the Old Covenant and know the types and shadows that were in the Old Covenant. For Christ is hidden in shadow in the the Old Covenant and revealed in substance in the New Covenant! But we don't live under the Old Covenant law AT ALL! God appointed me for that so no man can dis-appoint me. No man can fire me because no man hired me! God called me not as my Boss to salary me but as my Father to do the family business!".

This should be the absolute motto of my life. He then said; "Friends you can NEVER submit to a controller! There are signs and traces of cult-like bully control (in the church) but GOD says; "Let My People Go that they may worship Me and know it is unto Me they are called!".

I said to Scott the other day that I know I have a weakness for submitting to manipulating control spirits. I am having a dreadful week at the moment because someone who once was a friend is very angry with me at the moment and is very successfully making me feel terrible and using every manipulative technique that works. Scott can't understand why it is such a fight for me to try and resist this. I have tried to explain that throughout my life I feel as if I DESERVE to be treated badly and made to feel bad. Because I am a bad person! And many, many people (including my family and the church as well as former partners) have successfully come into my life and made me feel bad - which I enjoyed in a sado-masochistic sort of way. BUT! Now I am learning that is a satanic lie because I am NOT A BAD PERSON! And I DON'T deserve to be treated badly because my Jesus got treated as badly as any living Person could on my behalf and took MY punishment for me - that I could enjoy being treated as a Son!

So the full title of "Invading the Impossible - Part 14" is very apt for me!

"Why you should condemn condemnation and accuse accusation and grab guilt by the throat and get out of the religious boat and float and wear your Father's glory coat!".

Speechless ...

Everyone's favourite Mahaney seems to be developing slightly odd markers for "what makes a man". He told us that no "true man" would use emoticons on the internet. I am guessing that he would figure that every "true man" would play sports and now ...

"Like any man’s man, I relish being out of style".

Speak for yourself C. J. I guess it is a good thing he places all these "markers for true manhood" in the context of this disclaimer: "Now I am no academic". No kidding. I need hardly point out that if a book on manhood is next on C. J's list ... I won't be racing to reserve a copy.
Er .... am I missing something here? Is this just his idea of humour? Again? I need hardly state that I am not in favour of fashion obsession to the detriment of anything else. But why oh why is it necessary to make objective, unarguable statements (because no one seems to argue with Mahaney) that logically therefore suggest that if (like myself) you DO enjoy wearing stylish clothes then you are NOT a man's man?! Well ... good job I don't look to C J Mahaney as my role model for manhood eh?! :-) (that's a manly emoticon).

"Real men are those who weep before the Lord, who are filled with the Holy Spirit, who are passionate for the glory of God. Real men pray without ceasing. Real men serve - their wives and children if they have them, if not, the people who God brings into their path. Real men will go the extra mile - and yes, will resucitate a child through the night.

We have this terrible distortion of Christian manhood. Manhood is not measured by humour, nor by interest in sport, nor by an enjoyment of beer. Manhood is not about being macho. Manhood is about growing in likeness to our Lord Jesus".

It's time to get that distortion of manhood back to biblical standards not the opinions of a man. That's why I recommend again Pete Day's website; "After God's Own Heart". Why should the world be interested in Christian men who dress unstylishly?! That's what they think of Christian men anyway (dare I mention socks and sandals?!). Why should the world be interested in Christian men who are obsessed with sports?! Most men are obsessed with sports! Ah - but when the world sees a Christian husband metaphorically laying down his life for his wife, when the world sees a Christian man weeping with arms raised in worship of his Lord - then they will begin to ask questions. Something is different. Something SHOULD be different! And something MUST be different in the way we live (not just what we say) if the lost are to be reached.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Glory in Lakeland Florida!!

I just can't stop sharing this! It is truly incredible what God is doing! I turned to Scott at one point while all these testimonies of healings were taking place and I said; "I've waited ALL my Christian life for this! THIS is what it is all about!". I was intrigued - most of the people that Todd Bentley prayed for crumpled to the floor and so I asked Scott as a relatively newer Christian with less legalistic baggage than I what he thought about falling over. His reply was brilliant. He shrugged and said;

"Well you would if God touched you wouldn't you!?".

I have to post this video. There have been at least 10 children who have come up and testified to healing. One beautiful little blond girl who was about 6 had nerve damage in her eye and total unequal eyes. Todd Bentley gave a word of knowledge for people to touch the problem area and the mother of this child saw her touching her damaged eye and when she took her hand away - the eyes were totally equal and normal! I love his sensitivity in ministering to children. Although Todd is a somewhat interesting looking guy - tattooed everywhere(!) and shouts a lot - he is so gentle with children and yet one touch and they fall under the power of God.

Here's a small clip of another child healed of asthma:

These are some of the things that Todd has said during the meeting while we have been watching. Such faith-building stuff! We must hear this! We must read this! We must hunger after this because the promises are coming that this will break out all over the world and we will see the manifest Presence of God unveiled!

"What is the difference between Your glory and Your Presence? Moses wasn't satisfied with the angel or even the Presence. So God what's the difference between Your Presence and Your glory? The glory of God is the inner Person - the inner reality of God. "Show me Your glory".

The glory of God is a manifestation of the very nature and character of God.

"I will make all My goodness pass before you". When Moses said; "Show me Your glory" he was saying; "I want the Person. Would You me something that is more than Your peace. The glory is even more!". What would happen if "all" the goodness of God came on Florida, on your life? In 1977 God said to a prophet; "You will not see the glory again until you are an old white haired man".

I am talking about the kind of glory like the cloud by day and the fire by night. I am talking about a radiant glory, the colours of glory, the glory that brings the wealth of the nations that brings back the prodigals, the kind of glory that appeared on Mt Transfiguration.

We are too easily satisfied with 45 minutes of worship and the Presence that soothes. But the church hasn't come into the glory.

Thank God for the gem stones, the oil, the gold. But God - please show me Your glory! I want Your Person! I have got so hungry for the Person! Could it be that the very Person of Jesus could walk into the room tonight?!

How much glory can I have?!

This prophet told me that God told him that the glory has begun to fall early. But the fullness hasn't come yet! The glory of God is all over this building! "What kind of glory is going to happen" I asked. "The smokey glory". The smoke of His glory filled the temple! How come the prophet Isaiah and all Israel saw the glory, and Ezekiel saw the glory! We have had glimpses of glory!".

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

It's Coming to the UK ... !!

Scott and I are glued to God TV at the moment watching the revival in Lakeland, Florida! A pastor from Southampton in the UK just came up and gave a testimony and Todd Bentley prophesied;

"A Healing Revival is coming ... it's going to errupt in the United Kingdom!! ... This anointing can go anywhere! ... Come on all you New Agers! I've got real euphoria for ya!".

I don't quite understand what is happening but these are such exciting days that we are living in! Something very unique happened to me at work today. I was sitting with a child in the lounge at the hospice feeding them some yoghurt and I was flicking through the channels on the TV trying to find a channel for the child to watch. And I happened to pass by God TV. Rodney Howard-Browne was ministering in Minneapolis and I paused momentarily to watch. As I did, Rodney was moving around the audience and he said this;

"Lord give him a download ... (He was touching someone at that point) ... When I got touched in 1979 I wanted EVERYONE to get touched the way I got touched! ... You don't have to be present here - you watching on TV, the Holy Spirit can fall on you in holy fire!".

I have an unfortunate history with Rodney Howard-Browne. He was held up as Public Enemy Number 1 in the Toronto Blessing in my home church. And even though I am a charismatic and proud of it - but I guess if I am honest I have never been that keen on Rodney. But as he said; "Download" - I felt a firey rush all over me and I began weeping! I couldn't stop trembling and had to stop feeding the child because the Spirit of God was so present in that room in the hospice! I have been humbled by God - He will use WHOEVER He will!

History is unfolding as we watch and may it fall on us too!! May we not miss the moment!!

First Hand Reports from Hong Kong!!

Our wait is over! Julie has heard the call of God and is sharing their testimony!! ;-) If you, like me, have been eagerly wondering what it was like to be at the "Glory Encounters" conference in Hong Kong - then you must read this wonderful, descriptive and honest testimony. Remember this definition of what happens when a testimony is shared. Rob Rufus said:

"Testimony" comes from the word; "To do it again". When you share a testimony of what God has done in a miracle in your life - that testimony is a sharing of a prophecy and it carries with it a power to duplicate what you are testifying happened to you".

So I pray you will read this testimony with faith expecting for much from our lavish and loving Almighty Heavenly Father! This trip for Julie and Aaron to Hong Kong was such a miracle - as much as a miracle as my trip last October to "Glory and Grace". So here is;

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

The Colliding of Two Worlds!!

I knew this would happen before long. The Gospel in it's true radical form begins to affect and radiate throughout human life, and although the evangelical church has done an incredible job of confining the Gospel to Sunday mornings - it is like a roaring lion that must be set free! When Paul proclaimed in Romans 1:16 that he is; "Not ASHAMED of the Gospel for it is the POWER of God unto salvation ..." - did he mean that he was not ashamed to stand in the open air and warble out songs (nothing wrong with that) or wash people's cars (nothing wrong with that!). No - I suspect that what he wasn't ashamed of was the radical call of the grace message. That salvation isn't just the "Wicket Gate" but affects the WHOLE of our lives!!

I had a very hard and tearful day at the hospice yesterday. I've spent the weekend looking after some lovely teenage lads who have the condition; "Duchenne's Muscular Dystrophy" - which in brief is a muscle wasting condition that leaves them wheelchair bound by their early teens. In short I HATE this condition with as much passion as I hate the cancer that stole my beloved grandpa, my second mother and others from me. There is something VEHEMENTLY wrong with a condition that robs the individual of any movement but leaves their brain functioning well and locked into a place where they depend on others for total care. What is worse/better depending on your outlook is that these lads are living longer with the invention of ventilatory support.

Here is a video clip of a lad with this speaking about what he goes through. Can I just say I don't know this lad - I found the clip on You-Tube and found it very moving. What he says and what he looks like is very similar to the lads I work with. For those who are wondering - the plastic tube in his neck is called a tracheostomy and it helps him breathe;

During my time at work, I sat and listened to this lad ask why girls would never find him attractive. And I wept. I heard another guy with Muscular Dystrophy explain how he went to university and hoped he would find a good group of friends but was disappointed and largely left to spend three years in his room dealing with his electric wheelchair alone. And I wept. And today I have spent a lot of time weeping and I couldn't really understand why. Don Baker gave me some incredibly helpful insights into what is going on. He said in our discussion;

"You're being allowed to share in the sufferings of Jesus ... this is a great privilege ... your intercession for this boy and others are precious jewels to the Father ... the compassion and broken heart you're experiencing is vital to someone with a healing and/or prophetic gift ... and your simply showing compassion and love for these kids is sharing God's own heart for them ... i believe you can ask God to reveal his heart to you - his love for broken humanity ... over time, He will tenderize you so, that you will share his heart for the broken and the lost ... and the power of his love will begin to flow through you into these people".

So I guess when we are faced with impossible situations like these dear lads that I work with - and am extremely privilidged to work with by the way - or with our friend who has contracted HIV, what do you do with that? I guess one option is to distinguish between suffering and decide that one group such as the lads at my work didn't deserve it and my friend did. But who are we to deal out judgement? The evangelical church may feel free - but I certainly don't. Another option is to secularise our view and put our trust in medical science and hope that something crops up in the future.

The other option is one that is driving me at the moment and that is the question; "What would Jesus Do?!?!". And I am well aware of how some evangelical leaders despise that question and argue it's about "What Jesus has done" ... not what He would do. I don't care. What WOULD Jesus do if He walked into my hospice and met the lads who are in the wheelchairs and suffering as they are? What WOULD Jesus do if He met my friend who has contracted HIV? What WOULD Jesus do if He met some of the women I have encountered recently who have been diagnosed with Huntingdon's Disease - a fatal brain disorder that will incapacitate them before death claims them?

I've got no doubt what He would do;

"Many followed Him, and He healed them ALL".

Well that is Him - but what about us?

"Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do, he will do also; and greater works than these he will do; because I go to the Father".

I realise that there are varieties of opinions about whether "greater works" refers to qualitative or quantitative "greater" (I used to adhere to the quantitative school of thought but am vascillating now being very persuaded by Rob Rufus) - but the essential point is that we are simply not ... yet ... doing the works of Jesus. When was the last time you drove out a demon? When was the last time I laid hands on someone and saw them stand up and walk? It is happening in the earth today - but we want ... MORE!

Revival in Florida!!

I spent an hour talking to my dear friend Don Baker last night after I got home from work and he alerted me to the fact that God is doing something quite wonderful in Lakeland in Florida. So I've spent a few glorious hours this morning watching some of the videos there. There are healing miracles taking place and what particularly moved me was that two children got powerfully touched by God near the end of the first video that I am posting. I love it when children testify to the power of God - because in my nursing experience children of those ages rarely lie when asked open questions. Their truth is often quite humiliating to their parents! But not here. The second video was the testimony of two British pastors who have travelled to the revival and are giving their very-British opinions!

I want to touch on something before I post the videos for your blessing. I was always taught in my home church that it was wrong to travel to revivals or to places where God is moving to "bring back the blessing". It was the Toronto Blessing that really sealed our fate as a practicing cessationist church (although we had been functionally cessationist for some years). The hype and the excesses were used as scare-mongering to prevent us from seeing what God was really doing in Toronto. However I heard Rob Rufus relay something that Bill Johnson told him about this issue and it really struck a chord with me:

"Because you see there is a transfer - what a man has taken 30 years to accumulate, it can be given to you in 5 seconds through the transfer. Christians say; "Oh we don't run after signs and wonders - they run after us". But Bill Johnson says; "If they are not running after you then you run after them until they run after you". He said; "I went everywhere in the world where there were men and women ministries I put myself under". It is just a matter of humility! He has been prayed for many ministries in the world".

I have spent 18 years adhering to that belief that I should wait and pray and that signs and wonders and miracles and revival will come to me. But they haven't! Yet. However my life HAS changed since I went to the "Glory and Grace Conference" in Hong Kong! So I am sure I can be forgiven for watching eagerly across the world (thanks to the internet) for signs that God by His Spirit is on the move!

Here are the videos. They are both only 10 minutes (the time it takes to boil the kettle and make a cup of tea!). And WELL worth it!

This video in particular moved me and excited me! Todd Bentley - the pastor - had a word of knowledge that God would heal a broken elbow. A SIX YEAR OLD GIRL testified that Jesus Christ came down from heaven and touched her elbow and then went back to heaven! Near the end of the video the mum shows the x-rays of the elbow before and after the miracle. I have seen enough of x-rays in my intensive care and accident and emergancy nursing to know that the elbow was most definately broken before and was most definately different after! I looked at the x-rays very carefully about 10 times on the video and noted that there are certain distinguishing features that satisfy me 100% it is the same girl.

God does miracles today!

I agreed with Don Baker last night that were it not for limitations of finances I would love to follow Bill Johnson's example and travel the world seeking to have ministries lay their hands on me. But until I am in that position, I will continue to pray, continue to hunger, continue to long and get excited by people who HAVE travelled - which is why I wait with many others expectedly for Julie and Aaron's testimony of what God did for them in Hong Kong!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Kaye Beyer made me WEEP!!

I've been eagerly following the "Glory Encounters" conference that has been taking place in Hong Kong recently and was profoundly moved by Joshua Mills ministry. But I was driving from a night shift to my work at the hospice listening intently to Kaye Beyer's ministry and without quite knowing why found myself weeping at the testimony of Kaye Beyer who spoke on the Monday. I'm looking forward to Julie and Aaron telling me more about what actually happened that night. But the manifestation of heavenly manna has been following Kaye and her late husband Harold around.

Here are two video clips narrated by Joshua and Janet Mills that I found giving more information about this couple;

This is a woman that loves her God! And she deserves a hearing!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Self-Righteousness versus the Gift of Righteousness

I've just published the transcript of Rob Rufus's sermon on the 9th December 2007. It's a really key foundational sermon that is "vintage" Rob. I'm sure many won't agree with it - but I'm increasingly coming to see that the stakes are just too incredibly high to keep this message quiet. This isn't just a question of a theological viewpoint - this is a question of people's lives! Scott and I had a mutual friend share something very personal to them recently that they found understably almost impossible to tell. They've sadly contracted HIV but absolutely will not contemplate telling anyone in the church. I'm sad to say I can understand why. But what I find so devastatingly sad is not only the evident lack of God's true grace in many UK churches but also the faith in signs and wonders and miracles to believe and see the healing of HIV along with cancer and other so-called "incurable" diseases.

It's not a question of "concepts" anymore or simply theological debate. This is a friend's life at stake! Either this teaching of grace and the "imputed righteousness of Jesus Christ" is absolutely true both and conversion and throughout life or it is not. And I am prepared to go for it. As I have said before, I have been in two legalistic churches that mixed Old Covenant and New Covenant teaching and I haven't seen signs, wonders or miracles or the manifest Presence of God (apart from small touches). I am hungry! I am desperate! And I think Rob Rufus's teaching of grace DEMANDS a hearing!

Here it is;

"It has been a long and tiresome year and we have overcome many challenges but I am standing and looking back with a sense of holy, righteous gloating. Can you have sanctified gloating in the Spirit? I am gloating because God showed me that everything the enemy had planned for this year has failed! A New Year Resolution should be; "Lord what do You want me to do this year?". Don't make promises to God! That's a stupid thing to do - a spirit of stupidity. Your New Year Resolution should be; "Father what do You want me to do with my life next year? What is Your will for this year? Where do You want me to be?". And so forth. God showed me some of the plans of the enemy for 2007 for us as a church and they were horrific plans. I want to tell you that right at the centre of the plan was the complete and utter elimination of the existence of this church. And after a year we sit here healthy, wealthy and wise! We sit here with the anticipation of 2008 being so awesome because this year was the warm-up. In 2008 we are going to walk into the realms of the glory a lot more!

Glenda and I have had 10 international ministry trips this year and it is not just going into churches and speaking for a Sunday morning but going in for 5 or 6 days and taking 16 meetings - 2 to 3 hours each meeting. Seeing leaders between meetings for dinners and breakfasts. We have been finding that pretty tough but we are finding this church is beginning to stand up more mature like you are the A-Team. We don't have an eldership team, the deacons and pew-warmers. There is no B-team! This is the priesthood of all believers! 3 and a half years of investing the grace message into people and being a God-centred church, a people-empowering church, a purpose-driven church - that is beginning to kick in and take effect you know. I am so grateful to God for this year and it has been an awesome year!

With all that trouble, we put on the "Grace and Glory Conference" and lives were changed all over the world. Every week we are getting reports that lives are being changed! On our website, we have had a report that downloads have gone up to 30, 000 and drop to 20, 000 when I preach too much. But goes way over that when Glenda preaches! But in this year alone and the God Channel which I preached on - we have literally preached over the website and Christian television - we have touched the lives of multiples of millions of people. And that is not just one or two people but we are the A-Team. If any person doesn't play their role then that limits the influence and our far-reaching effects that we can have. No matter how small you think your role is, you will be shocked if your role was taken out how it would affect every single one of us in ways that we wouldn't even be aware of but we would be minimised because your role was not there.

I am meeting with some folk after the service - Glenda and I and we are so keen about keeping impetus through the Christmas and New Year period. We don't want to slow down.

Momentum is more precious than diamonds and gold and momentum costs blood and guts to produce and if you lose it, it costs more than blood and guts to get lost momentum in action again.

Keep in faith and keep in prayer over this Christmas and New Year period - pray for this church. Pray for Glenda and me on holiday. When you go on holiday, the devil doesn't want you resting so everything breaks down and goes wrong. Pray for us to have a great holiday as I will for you! I believe we will see more people saved and more people added to this church! When we get back we will have more baptisms in this church. I love the moving of the Spirit and I love the gold dust!

A lady went back to Vietnam and was all frustrated with something and gold dust fell over her! We have people experiencing encounters with God with gold dust and so on - but it that does not translate into people being saved then what is it about? The church is being self-indulgent. I believe in 2008 we are going to see a lot of people saved!

People talk about how grateful they are that the downloads of messages are free. It costs us money as a church to run our website. International ministries around the world charge for their messages. You get one free podcast but all the other ministry you have to pay. We would be well within our rights to charge at minimum 30 Hong Kong dollars per download. 30 dollars a download - 30, 000 a month and we are looking at a million Hong Kong dollars a month! That could be coming into this church!

But I have this conviction - let's get this message out to as many people as we can and especially to people who can't afford it because it will lift their lives up.

That is the heart of this church - we want to be a blessing! We need resources in this church - we want to reach out to orphans. I need billions of dollars! I have got a vision that demands billions of dollars! To reach the homeless, the poor, the AIDS, the hospices and orphans and so forth! To plant churches and to resource leaders. I would love to resource one or two more leaders financially on salary in this church so Glenda and I can travel more into the nations and the home base can be looked after and I feel sometimes we neglect you a bit. We don't want to but we get back with jet lag and are pretty tired. We neglect spending time with leaders we want to bring through. God is raising up leaders and is raising up a team and I would love to see two or three full time leaders here helping us so the church can grow and not be neglected without travel. We feel we can't turn all invites internationally down. It is God! He is opening these doors!

Next year we are going to be holding a "Glory and Grace Conference" in Australia and speaking to 1, 000 key leaders in Europe that will affect many nations across Europe so we can impact nations! We can't turn that down but we can't neglect here either. That is abusive of you. So we would like to see another pastor come through. And I am being direct. We do need more money to bring in another pastor full time.

We are very grateful for the income of this church - as you know we don't preach tithing as a law. I reject that you tithe under law. You tithe as Abraham tithed because the heavens are open already. Tithing doesn't open the heavens - Abraham had an open heaven and 430 years before the law but he did tithe. Tithing is investing into God and helping the local church be guaranteed of the resource to do eternal work and do the fruits - that's all it is. If you believe tithing is of the law, then I beg you - don't tithe. Because you will be wasting your time. People who tithe under law are wasting their time. I don't need your tithes. I don't want anyone's tithe if you believe in tithing under the law. But if you believe in tithing 430 years before the law like Abraham and Isaac and Jacob did and the heavens were open not because they tithed but because they were under a covenant of grace, then we need your tithe and we need your offerings!

Open your Bibles please to Romans chapter 1. Grace brings incredible release to the captives! I decided this morning that I was going to teach on the manifest glory of God but I am going to go back and teach on something key - the righteousness of God. It was on teaching on righteousness that this lady with a suicide problem and sexual abuse and depression got set free. I am going to show you why. I want to bring some clarity today.

Father we pray for the spirit of revelation to come so that we will not just hear this message with our heads but light will be illuminated in our hearts and we will see things we have never seen before and have such a transformation that will cause us to have such rest and peace and confidence before You Father that we could walk in Your manifest Presence on a daily basis of open heaven over our lives. We pray that all gloom and doom and condemnation will evaporate and be dealt with and we will be equipped today Father to supernaturally live in Your freedom - in Jesus Name. Amen.

How many of you know that it says in Galatians 5:1 that it is for FREEDOM that Christ has set you free? It didn't say set you free to be an evangelist. It is for freedom! The objective of the Gospel is not to make you an evangelist or an apostle or a successful businessman or anything else - it is for FREEDOM! Freedom is the end in itself. Freedom is the end of the gospel. Freedom from gloom, oppression, condemnation and guilt - that is the goal of the gospel! The goal of the law and the Old Testament will rob you of confidence, strip you of all self-righteousness, crush you, curse you, condemn you and send you to hell and make you concious of sin every day. That is the purpose of the law. Because God wanted the law to show you that self-righteousness will never get you to heaven and would never produce miracles. But righteousness that comes as a gift is what God wants to show in the gospel.

How many believe that man fell in the Garden and was born again from spiritual life to spiritual death? What was his fall? What was his great sin? He ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Mankind was cut off God and all the generations up to Christ were cut off from God and Adam's death and disobedience was visited on the human race - everyone was born. The law didn't make you a sinner. Sinning was a condition you were born in from first Adam.

It is not your sin that essentially would send you to hell - it was first Adam's. And it is not your righteousness that will get you to heaven - it is Christ, the last Adam's righteousness!

So the human race is either in first Adam or in last Adam. How did first Adam cause the human race to fall into spiritual death and be cut off from God? By eating a fruit of evil? No - when Adam ate from the tree of good and evil, he didn't extract all the goodness out and ate only the evil. Goodness is as much part of the fall as evil is! The answer to man's return to a confident face to face relationship with God can't be trying to be God and avoiding evil. Because good was as much part of the fall as evil was! Much of the church today is preaching from the wrong truth. Religion and the major religions at that preach from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. You see that preaching produces self-righteousness which condemns men to be cut off from God. That is why most Christians don't see miracles, don't see signs and wonders, don't feel the Presence of God and don't walk in His Presence because they are coming from the wrong tree.

There is a tree we must preach from - it is called the Tree of Life and it is the Cross. On that Cross, Christ destroyed the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and He cancelled the written code with it's rules and regulations opposed to us and disarmed the powers.

The Book of Romans is not a book about good and evil - it is not a book about a comparison between righteous behaviour and unrighteous behaviour.

The Church world is fixated and obsessed with morality. Jesus did not come to make immoral people moral. He came to make dead people live.

I am not against good morals but I am against the fixation and the obsession with just preaching right living. The Gospel is not right living - it is right believing. If you believe wrong then you will end up living with an outward appearance of righteousness but with condemnation and misery and you will be self-righteous and judgemental. The downside of self-righteousness is gloom and guilt. If you measure your performance as your basis for approaching God and you measure your own righteousness that is self-righteousness. So when you are doing things well (in your opinion) you look down your nose at everyone that is doing it less and feel superior. But when you are doing less in your own standards of self-righteousness you feel guilt and condemnation.

You need to say this tenderly to people living in guilt - the problem is you are self-righteous.

It will shock them because they only think self-righteous people are those who parade around. So you will never understand the book of Romans - and this is not some private revelation - the book of Romans is not a comparison between righteous and unrighteous living. If you think that you will never understand this book - it will be confusion to you! You will hate this book and you will be condemned by this book! This book does not speak from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.

This book is singularly, uniquely and entirely about the comparison between the gift of God's righteousness to you and self-righteousness.

The gift of God's righteousness to you (as theologians call it) is "imputed". That is imparted - it is not important, it imported - it is imparted! Imparted would mean it comes into you as a power that would make you live righteously all the time. It doesn't do that. The imputed righteousness that is a gift gives you perfect right standing before the Father irrespective of your failures, your shortcomings and your sins. That's what imputed righteousness is. You seem as perfectly righteous every second of every minute of every day of every week of every year for the rest of your life! That is what Hebrews 10 says! Hebrews 10:14;

"By one sacrifice He made perfect forever all those that are being made holy".

We are being made holy and we are becoming more like Jesus! How many of you are aware that some of you are not at all like Jesus?!

The Church is so obsessed with moral behaviour and changing people's external behaviour - and that is a focus on good and evil and produces an alienation from God - instead of focusing on the gift of righteousness that says you are perfect forever so that when you are being made holy and you make mistakes, God doesn't cut you off while you are in the process of being made holy because He doesn't relate to you on the basis of your holiness - He relates to you on the basis of the gift of righteousness which is righteous forever!

If I could take a pill that made me instantly like Jesus how many of you would take a pill and from that moment you talk like Jesus, walk like Jesus, be holy like Jesus, resist sin like Jesus - how many of you would take that pill?! I would - I would take it today! There is no such pill! That's why you have to have the Gospel - the good news! If you can't have a pill to make you like Jesus, then you need the Gospel to save you from going insane with guilt. If you live to be 120 years of age then you at 120 would still need to change in some area of your life to be like Jesus. So let's get off this trip; "I have got to change - I have got to change". When I didn't understand this message years ago when I was in Coastlands and Victory Faith Centre all I began to realise was that when I preached grace (and I would only preach it for about 2 or 3 weeks and then I would have to balance it with the law because I felt guilty because I thought it was too extreme and people would go out and sin and do wrong which some do) I felt happier in myself and I also noticed that I found it easier to love people!

I wasn't so judgemental about their behaviour - I just looked at them with more tenderness and grace and patience and kindness and goodness. I became a better husband! If you are living from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil then all you want to do is change yourself and change everyone else around you and it is disgusting. It is self-righteous. I felt better as I preached grace - even if my performance in holiness hadn't improved, even though it was the way it was I just felt a lot happier! Then sooner or later I would hear someone preach about how you have got to give more, do more, be more, pray more, stop sinning and then God will like you better! He will like you if you just do more. Like an idiot (because I respected some of these people) I would try and I would try to be more holy and try to do more good and try to avoid evil. You know what I noticed? Within days I was unhappy and miserable and didn't really love people. But boy was I en-route to be holy and to sort out my life!

God spoke to me one day and said; "Isn't it amazing - every time you try to get more holy, you become more unloving". One of the things by which we recognise Christians is that we love one another. Have you noticed that self-righteous people on a quest to improve themselves and be more holy are very unloving?!

There is a friend of mine who preaches grace in the most beautiful way. You have never heard me say his name before. He preached on how you are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus irrespective of your performance and if you have a self-righteousness then it depends on your performance but if you are in Jesus Christ then you are given all of Jesus' righteousness permamently as a free gift all your life. He preached this and he said; "Your obedience and your disobedience does not affect this righteousness because it has got nothing to do with you - you didn't perform it, it is not your own righteousness - it was given to you as a gift". He said; "So that means if we take it to it's logical conclusion you are always righteous in God's eyes and perfect forever - no matter what". People are scared to preach this because they think people will go out and sin. If it is the truth - I am going to preach it whatever people do with it! I am going to preach it!

When you preach grace you will find out that when someone is a gracious person who preaches grace Christians feel the safety to share their secret life with you. In the Church there are huge problems going on and everyone is acting all holy because we are all having self-righteousness being forced on the Church to behave like they are not! That's why Church is such a strain for some people because it is hard to act like something you are not. This guy came to my friend and said;

"Look I have been in this Church for many years and it is a charismatic, spirit-filled church and I have a problem with prostitutes. Every week I go and pay $100 and I sleep with prostitutes and I have been doing it for years - I am so trapped in this thing. Are you saying because I am in Christ that while I am doing the act of illegitimate sexual behaviour with prostitutes that I am the righteousness of God and afterwards I am still the righteousness of God?".

It is amazing how hypocritical we are in the church. Pride - conceitedness - gossip - well no you are still righteous if you do that. So my friend said;

"Actually sir, yes you are still the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus".

This guy very unwisely (he wasn't wise with the message) got up at his church and said; "I want to testify pastor!". This friend of mine was the visiting speaker by the way. "I was with prostitutes last night and I believe I am still the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus!". This friend of mine said the pastor looked at him and if looks could kill - he would have killed him! He got my friend afterwards and had a go at him. My friend said; "Well you have been preaching law here and preaching if people sin then God withdraws from them. That is Old Covenant teaching and not the New Covenant. You threaten them with hell as a Christian if they sin. You threaten them with the anger of God if they sin. You have taken Scripture out of context from the New Testament and preached Old Covenant. Did it stop or help this man? It didn't".

Even fear of judgement will not stop these deep-seated patterns going on in people's lives.

Months later my friend went back to the city where he lived and this guy rang him. "Hi, hi I just rang to see how you are doing?". My friend said; "Well fine thanks - how are you doing?!". He said; "I am still going to prostitutes!". My friend thought; "Oh no - I am going to have to get a different job!". He went on;

"No - no it's not like that anymore! I will still go to them regularly and take my $100 and give it to them. As soon as I give it to them, they start to undress and I say; 'Don't undress'. What happened was that as I began to realise that I was sinning with these prostitutes yet God still saw me as righteous, I began to realise how valuable and precious I am to the Father and He really is My Father. I am not on prohibition or "if" - but I am His Son because I have the DNA of the re-birth and the Father is not my Judge or my Enemy but my Father and He still sees me as a son and the righteousness of God! When I began to see that I saw how valuable I am for the first time and then I began to see that these women who haven't come to Christ - there is a message that they are perfectly righteous forever! Then I began to see how God loves them and their esteem".

He said; "From that day on I saw that I am the righteousness of God despite the fact that I was even doing it with prostitutes for weeks and weeks after heard the message - I got delivered from my sexual addiction and I gave them the $100 paid for the hour and said; 'You don't need to take your clothes off, I will not have any kind of sex with you, for you or anything afterwards. I want to tell you that I as a one who came to many of you and paid you $100 not to have sex with you but to pay for the privilidge of telling you what Jesus did in my life and how He sees you as the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus".

The Church is going to have to wake up and is going to see world-wide that there is a gospel revelation that God is recovering the New Covenant again and He wants to remove the confusing cocktail of Old Covenant and New Covenant mixed together.

The law is so radical! It is utter judgement! It demands perfect righteousness of your judgement. New Covenant is radical - it provides God's perfect righteousness for you. You cannot mix 2 radical messages together. But the Church has somehow succeeded in bringing them together and confusing believers world-wide. "Rob can you dare tell someone who's life as a Christian that you are the righteousness of God every second of every moment of every day?!". Yes! Because it is the only empowerment!

When you are free FROM the guilt of what you do - you get power OVER what you do.

But your guilt is a useless motivator and psychologists have preached against religion because they rightly realise that religion is the cause of guilt and psychologists will say that guilt is the major problem of mental instability and they can trace most mental instability back to guilt. The Church has got the audacity to stand up and say; "We are the answer to mental problems!". No - we are the cause of it!

Because we preach from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil - where good was as much part of the fall as evil was. Preaching good against evil produces self-righteousness. The Book of Romans is not a comparison of righteous behaviour and unrighteous behaviour. But a comparison between the gift of righteousness and self-righteousness. Many of us don't understand a thing of what I have just said to you.

They quote Romans 1:16; "I am not ashamed of the gospel" but what they are saying is they are not ashamed is totally different to the context in which Paul is saying. For them; "I am not ashamed of the gospel" means I will stand at traffic lights and cars have to stop because it is a red light and open my Bible and preach in through their windows that they are going to hell and I will preach that they can be saved.

That's what they call being unashamed. It drives people to ram Bible down people's throats and force things on people out of their self-righteousness.

I am all for preaching the Gospel in streets. I preached Gospel in streets! I played my guitar and preached to those who would listen. I am all for preaching the Gospel to anyone who would listen either 1-1 or thousands. But that's not what Paul was referring to when he said; "I am not ashamed of the Gospel". You have got to look at the context! Paul was living in a culture and a context of a society dominated by Judaistic thinking. Now please don't get me wrong - I live Jewish people and I love Israel. I don't want to have to qualify that again. It was dominated by Judaic thinking. In Judaic thinking for anyone to say; "I am righteous apart from works - apart from holiness - apart from personal obedience - I am perfectly righteous apart from works" - for anyone to say that would have been frowned upon, would have been stoning, would have been hatred and religious disapproval to such an extreme!

But Paul the champion of the law - Paul, the legalist of legalists - got a revelation of the gospel! Not from Jerusalem or even the apostles there but in an Arabian desert where the gospel was revealed to Paul. When Paul saw that there is a righteousness apart from works and he realised that the society he lived in was dominated by anger and disapproval to claim that you are righteous apart from works, he could still say; "I am not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God unto salvation" and (v17) - he tells us why it is the power. "For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed by faith that is from first to last". Now the word "revealed" is very important and we are going to read it in a moment.

If this isn't revealed to you by the Spirit then you are not living in the reality of it yet but one day the light will come on and you will see revealed righteousness. When that happens to you, you will eat your Bible, kick chairs and go mad with joy for condemnation is over from that day!

This is a righteousness revealed from God. This is righteousness FROM God. It isn't a righteousness from the keeping of the law. It is not a righteousness from man's efforts. It's not man's best efforts. It is a righteousness from God. It is a righteousness from God revealed in the Gospel that is by faith - not works - by faith from first to last!

Now in the church world today you have got people that think they are so generous and say; "Oh I believe in grace - praise God". We say "by grace"! Yes when we get saved, God wipes the slate and all our sins are cleansed away and we are righteous but everytime I sin, I am becoming less righteous and now I am becoming more and more unrighteous. Then I have got to repent and confess and clean my slate and do a whole lot of good things and then the slate will be clean again and then it is only clean while I am maintaining it clean by my good works and my efforts". That is NOT the Gospel - that is heresy! That is demonic - that is Old Covenant. It has NOTHING to do with man - it is simply by faith from first to last. I don't just get saved by faith and am now righteous for a little while. It is a righteousness that is by faith from first all the way through eternity to last!

In other words when I stand after 10, 000 years in heaven I am as righteous on that day as I am now!

Let me quickly say this; when we go to multi-congregations and Cantonese congregations and ex-pat, mixed congregations, Filipino congregations and then meet together thousands of us in one big congregation once every three months - some of you sitting here today are going to be the preachers in those congregations and I hope you take notes! The DNA of those congregations is going to be this DNA!

"What does the gift of righteousness mean? Let's quickly define what it means (and I am going to say some things here that are going to thrill you). It means "right standing with God!". The gift of righteousness gives you permament, unconditional, irreversible, from first to last right standing with God. Now what does that right standing with God mean? It means that there is nothing between you and the Father. It means the Father is looking at you as if you were perfectly righteous all the time. He is not just looking at you; "Just as if you had never sinned" (as great as that would be) but He is looking at you "JUST AS IF YOU HAD ALWAYS OBEYED!".

Christ's obedience has made the many righteous. His obedience has been credited to you in fulness forever.

So He is looking at you and you are saying; "Well I went with a prostitute last night - am I still the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus?". If this gospel is true - yes.

If you are not ashamed of this gospel then you are going to have to tell people that who are in Christ. That is the issue - are they in Christ!? Oh we are ashamed! We can say; "We are saved by grace up to a point" but we won't go the whole way because we are ashamed. Many of the church - many preachers today - are ashamed to preach this gospel as Paul preached. We live in a modern age of fundamentalists who are self-righteous. I love Christian TV and I am not a judgemental person but more and more if I was not a Christian and heard the way some Christians preach I would hate the Church. It is SO self-righteous. It is SO disgustingly self-righteous. I love people like Joyce Meyer - she preaches grace.

Righteousness as a gift means you have perfect standing before the Father - all the time. No matter how much you have prayed or haven't prayed. No matter how much sin you have done or haven't done - no matter how holy you are or how unholy you are at that moment. I have got to say that because if you could take a pill to be like Jesus but the fact is we have all tried to be as holy as we can and the more holy we try to get the more unholy we become.

So we may as well just settle this - there is a Gospel that has made us perfect forever and there is a process of being made holy but while we are growing in sanctification and holiness God is not relating to us on the basis of our unholiness but is relating to us on the basis of righteousness.

Let me make this point - Jesus was so desirous that we would have this one to one fellowship and right standing with the Father that before He went to the Cross He prayed a prayer and Jesus ALWAYS gets His prayer answered! He said in John 17:20-23; "Father" (talking about the Church - He is talking about us those who would believe through the message are those disciples and future generations - us included!) "Father, I pray that they may be one with US even as WE are ONE Father". He says it three or four times in the next three verses in different ways that we the Christian would be one with the Father as Jesus and the Father are ONE. Now that is His desire and then He goes to the Cross and He becomes all our sin so that we may become all His righteousness as a gift so that we may become one with the Father because He is one with the Father!

Right standing - nothing seperating us! Does the Father have any problems with the Son? Is there any conflict between the Father and the Son? Does the Father point out the Son's faults?

No you are in Christ and through what happened at the Cross you are ONE with the Father! So actually friends - every second of every moment of every day you are as close to the Father as Jesus is.

I know I cannot convince all of you with this. "Ooh I haven't heard this before". Well then my darling - you haven't heard the Gospel. You have just not heard the Gospel. You were sold a bed of lies. But it is not too late to get free. You may not have the manifest glory Presence on your life every day all day. I don't - I would love to but I don't! It probably would kill me because my mortal body couldn't handle it. That is why we will need an immortal body but what I do feel all day, every moment of every day - every second is open heaven - fellowship closeness with the Father - no condemnation - even when I do wrong and I don't want to do wrong - I don't feel condemnation!

Feeling that freedom of security of in Christ has made me a lot more loving and I can say sorry a lot more quicker to people I do wrong to but if you are self-righteous then "sorry" admits that you are wrong. You don't want to be wrong because "sorry" admits that you are self-righteous. When I gave up trying to be more moral and more holy and more ethical and better and pray better and be better, I just started relaxing on the inside. It still doesn't work in the traffic with slow drivers!

Go to Romans 1 quickly. Let's read this. I wanted to give you much more. Let's read these marvellous words here;

(v16); "I am not ashamed of the Gospel". Are you ashamed of this Gospel? "Because it is the power of God unto salvation of everyone who believes first for the Jew and then for the Gentile". (v17); "For in the Gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last - just as it is written, the righteous will live by faith".

A few more Scriptures and then we will close. Go to Romans chapter 9. I used to try to be so desperate to become more righteous, not realising I was becoming self-righteous. I lived uptight all the time but I was more angry with those who didn't change fast enough but the ones I was most angry with were those who didn't change and didn't care about not changing and were happy! Isn't it amazing that when a man goes out and squanders his father's wealth and goes out and spends it with prostitutes and whores and then comes home and the Father runs out and welcomes him and people think the Bible is trying to show something about the Father but He's not - He is trying to show something about the older brother.

It is the older brother who says; "All these years I have been labouring for you". What is that? The ugly boot of self-righteousness. The Father turns to the older brother and says with amazement; "Everything I have is yours!". You thought you could earn it!? You are my son - it's automatically yours! Irrespective of your behaviour - it BELONGS to you! What is Jesus trying to do!? Under the New Covenant the standards are higher under the New - God help those people! Because in that case everyone in this room has committed adultery!

That is insane to preach that to the Bride of Christ. Jesus was not preaching the New Covenant Law - He was letting them know that this is what God revealed to Moses and let Me show you the real spirituality of the Law. You people that are so self-righteous that you think you are keeping the law because you have never got into bed with someone! Let me tell you the spirituality of the Law and how it will scrutinise you and rob you of any ounce of self-righteousness. It is so perfect! Even if you don't murder someone physically but hate them in your heart then you are guilty as if you had actually murdered them! What is the Law doing? Not to give you a standard to live up to - that is evil self-righteousness! The Law comes to tell you - give up! Give up pursuing self-righteousness! Stop it! Have fun! Enjoy Jesus! Enjoy one another! Enjoy life! Be happy!

Some will not change even when you preach this even for months. But hope returns! Otherwise you are living in misery. Be careful what you listen to. Sift preaching through the Word of God. The problem with most legalistic preaching is that it does not read the New Covenant in context and what it does read, it reads through the lense of Old Covenant thinking. I am not ashamed of this Gospel.

I was not pursuing righteousness! I was pursuing drugs and rock and roll. God encountered me and saved me and has kept me for 30 years in love with Him. I believe the fundementals of the Bible but the fundementalist culture is no fun and it's mainly mental. I watched them trying to pursue their own righteousness and they are not happy! Others - righteousness is dumped on them as a gift and don't realise how happy they are!

The ones who are pursuing don't get it and the ones who aren't pursuing it - get it!

It isn't fair! Thank God it isn't fair because it was fair I would be on my way to hell! Romans chapter 9 and let's read from verse 30;

"What then shall we say? That the Gentiles who did not pursue righteousness have obtained it?". He didn't understand it and wanted to put them under the law to understand better. "A righteousness that is by faith - Israel who pursued a law of righteousness has not obtained it. Why not? Because they pursued it not by faith but by works. They stumbled over the stumbling stone". What is that? Every week millions of people around the Church world are stumbling! It can't be that good! Jesus is the stumbling stone! True Christianity is a stumbling stone to self-righteousness! The Church world is riddled with self-righteousness dressing itself up as if we were New Covenant people and it is a mixture of Old and New. God says in Galatians 4; "Kick out Haggai and Ishmael". Not people - the mentality.

Look at (v33); "See I lay in Zion a stone that causes men to stumble and a rock that makes them fall and the one who trusts in Him will never be put to shame". If you trust in this Gospel of grace and the gift of righteousness then you will never be put to shame, therefore you should never be ashamed of this Gospel - as great as it is, don't stumble over how great it is. There are dear people in this church who have stumbled as I have preached this. It is a stumbling. For the Chinese evangelicals in Hong Kong. Up to a point we believe in grace - but not this far Rob! I want to open the gates and let the light of glory to come into Hong Kong.

This is the Gospel that Paul preached. It's not so good to be true - it's so good it is true!

Two more Scriptures. 10:1; "Brothers my hearts desire and pray for the Israelites is that they may be saved for I can testify for them that they are zealous for God". Self-righteous people can be very zealous - don't be impressed by that. They zealous for God but their zeal is not based on knowledge. (v3); "Since they did not come to know the righteousness that comes from God and saught to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness". What is seeking to establish a righteousness of your own? That is self-righteousness. (v4); "Christ is the end of the Law so that there may be righteousness for everyone who believes". I believe! (11:6); "And if by grace then it is no longer by works and if it were, then grace would no longer be grace".

Romans 4:4; "Now when a man works his wages are not credited to him as a gift but as an obligation. However to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness. David says the same thing when he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works. Blessed are they whose trangressions are forgiven - whose sins are covered - blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him!".

How long is never?! Your sin will never be counted against you because you are as close to the Father as Jesus is to the Father because you are given Christ's righteousness to stand before the Father as your status. Romans 3:19; "Now we know that whatever the law says - it says to those who are under the law so that every mouth may be silenced and the whole world held accountable to God".

What is the purpose of the law? To shut everyone's mouths! If you read the symptoms of self-righteousness from (v10-19) then you will see the ugly fruit of self-righteousness. Violence, judgementalism and misery. They think they are righteous because they have got the law. He comes to (v19) and says the purpose of the law is to hold everyone accountable and to shut every mouth. The law is meant to show you how high the standards of God is - your self-righteousness is like filthy rags so give it up! Give up the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and find the gift of righteousness. It is not based on righteous behaviour or unrighteous behaviour but a gift!

There is so much confusion that the law is not doing it's job that the law is being preached as the thing that can make you righteous. It is meant to be preached in a way that will silence every self-righteous mouth. The reason it isn't because people are confused. (v20); "Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law, therefore we become concious of sin".

How do you become concious of sin? Through the law. How many of you are concious of sin? If you put up your hands then that shows you still have a law mentality. The law is still operating in you and you haven't seen this clearly enough. If you are concious of your sin then you still have a legalistic mentality.

"There is now therefore NO condemnation". If Christ is the end of the law and the law is what makes you concious of sin then in your own mind you have not come to the end of the law in Christ yet. Because you are still concious of sin. But if I am not concious of sin then I could be an axe murderer.

No you won't - you will be concious of grace, of the love of God, of desiring to walk with God and when you fail and sin it won't cripple you with condemnation but you will move on without a conciousness of sin because you are not into good or evil but LIFE and wanting to walk with God.

Conciousness of sin means being condemned by sin. You know when you have sinned. That isn't conciousness. (v21); "But now a righteousness from God apart from law has been made known to which the law and the prophets testify - this righteousness from God comes through faith in God to those who believe - there is no difference". This is what is making churches break out in revival! We are still too conservative!

There is nothing in worship that is to cater to your temperament. Worship is to cater to God's temperament and His Bible invites His people to do this and the reason why they don't do this is that they are still self-concious and legalistic, condemnation control. When this message gets into your heart ... the level of your worship is determined by the level of your revelation of grace. If you feel condemned, then how can you worship a God you feel is condemning you? When you know there is NO condemnation, NO seperation from the love of God then you will worship!

(v21); "But a righteousness from God apart from law has been made known to which the law and the prophets testify".

What do they testify to? A righteousness that is from God that is apart from the law! So the law under the New Covenant is testifying to the fact that you now have a righteousness that is apart from itself - the law! Under the Old Covenant the law was your judge! Under the New Covenant the law has stepped into a whole new category in the court of God's justice! The law under the New Covenant - once you come into Christ - the law is no longer your judge! It is now a good report, witness and testifier that you have obtained a permament perfect righteousness without the law's help!

The law is God's perfect integrity! Under the law, the perfection of the holiness of God's law testifies against every devil of condemnation! Glenda Rufus, Heather - the law says in the courts of God says;

"I the law testify that this person has received a righteousness that I never gave them! But I as the perfect standards of God declare that they have a righteousness apart from me that is the perfect standard of God's righteousness and they have it forever! I witness! I testify!".

The law is no longer your judge - but is now your witness in the high court of glory testifying that you are the righteousness of God. But if you are not in Christ then the law judges you and silences your mouth and holds you accountable and makes you concious of sin. The law now is making you concious that you are righteous by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Good news?! Good news!