Sunday, February 27, 2011

Glory and Grace Conference 2010 - Hebrews 6:4-6 - Rob Rufus

The Complete Message

I was recommended highly to transcribe this message by Paul Ellis - one of the amazing leaders who attended the "Glory and Grace Conference 2010" in Hong Kong. I was feeling particularly miserable knowing that the conference was carrying on and I was stuck at work in Birmingham. Paul emailed and said the session was amazing and to look out for it! It was such a blessing to know that he thought of me - so I have duly taken his advice;

"Wow what a conference it's been. I love the varieties of God and the diversities of God. It is amazing how the religious spirit would love us to just be prophetic people or just teaching people or just apostolic people or just evangelistic people or just one-style or one-way of worshipping people. It is amazing how quickly we fall into personal preferences and we do not like it when our particular preference is manifested. I really believe that all of us are in the situation where none of us are completely comfortable with every style and expression and manifestation of ministry in the kingdom.

It is a very healthy thing to admit you are not comfortable because all of us are being stretched in these days - not to snap - but to understand the multi-faceted rainbow of God's wisdom that is to be expressed to the powers and authorities through the church.

I believe those powers and authorities are not evil ones but they are the angelic hosts glorifying God in what the church is doing on the earth. I really believe God wants us to break out and to different expressions. There is an older generation like me (I hate to admit that!) but we are older and we have particular histories and we like that and make no apology for our history.

I come out of four major moves of God on our planet in my lifetime. Four major moves - and I have learned so much from those four major moves - the good things and the bad things. I hold it all dear and treasure them because there is eternal revelation in those moves of God.

Then there is a younger generation coming through that I am literally wide-eyed with wonder and learning from them almost daily - but weekly and they have whole new insights and have come from a completely different angle than I have come from and I am learning.

It is not accommodating and tolerating them - but we literally have to find grace to celebrate these different expressions otherwise the church becomes stereotyped and we become little clones or puppets of our religious culture and sub-culture and the conditioning of our history. Every day we need to find fresh faith for new discoveries.

I believe exactly what God is calling us to a uniqueness and each of us to really be ourselves and utterly original. Original, unique realities are inside each of us! Many of us don't realise how much uniqueness is in us!

We often take the definition of who we are from other people's perspectives. We let other people define us!

From 30 years ago I had people saying to me; "I am telling you - you are an evangelist". Okay I am an evangelist. Someone else would say to me; "Rob I am telling you - you are a teacher". They would say it to me like they were the final authority! Okay I am a teacher - so I would try and teach. Then they would say; "No Rob - I am telling you - you are a prophet". Oh okay so I would try and prophesy. Then they would say; "No Rob - you are a psalmist when you lead worship". Okay great I'm a psalmist. A few would actually say; "No you are a pastor!". None said I was an administrator! Then some said I was an apostle! So I was living like a religious schizophrenic! Who am I!? I am an administrator of chaos! Then people would say - no you are an artist, a poet.

One day Bill Hamon - a wonderful prophet from the United States of America. He had never met me before and then one day laid his hands on me and said; "I have given you elements of the apostolic, elements of the prophetic, elements of the teacher, elements of the pastor, elements of the apostle, elements of the evangelist, elements of the psalmist". And I said; "Praise God for a word from heaven!". I want to say the same thing over all of you. God has given you diversity and elements in your uniqueness! I am telling you that if you believe you are pigeon-holed to a tight category then in your faith you will stay in that box and think you are being original.

Don't copy and mimic other people! We are called to imitate their faith - not mimic their methods! And there is a big difference.

We are more inside of us and becoming more as unique individuals than we realise. It is never too late to have a happy childhood!

When a chameleon stands on different colours - the chameleon becomes those colours. Paul the apostle says; "I become all things to all men to win some to Christ". Some may say - oh that's a politician, changing his colours to the political agenda of the day. No - hold on. Politicians move in fear to cater to their constituancy. They are so insecure that they want to be voted in again. That is not a chameleon. If you've watched a chameleon he does not change his colours out of fear but to be a successful hunter. He doesn't get eaten by predators like that - he gets close to his prey and out comes the tongue and he takes it out. When he touches a different colour. The colour-change doesn't come from the outside artificially. For within the chameleon is the capacity to become the colour of any colour he is standing on at that present time.

So if you don't know whether you are a poet then stand on a poetic colour. If you don't know whether you are prophetic then stand in a prophetic environment and you may see something inside of you become prophetic. If you don't know whether you are apostolic or not then stand in an apostolic environment Mr-oh-chameleon. Don't shrink your life! It is not an office you are to be unique in! You can be a whole diversity of rainbow things. It is where you express those rainbow things through the uniqueness of your personality that is most important.

What a conference this has been! What clear teaching! I think some of us had to learn that prophets have to sit under teachers for a while and just stop prophesying for a while and stop going up into the heavens and sit and hear truth sequentially unpacked. So what if there isn't any mighty manifestations going on for a while? We should not get bored so quickly with clear revelation of God's Word!

If the prophetic movement doesn't anchor itself in clear teaching then this prophetic movement is heading into New Age silliness.

I promise you guys, if we just have teaching, teaching, teaching then we are moving into dryness. We need both. We have had a great Ephesians 4 teacher among us - then Fini and Isi - what can you say? I have known them for 31 years and knew they have gone up levels in the Spirit but I thought I don't know them! They are in something I want! I want more of what they have! That is some of the highest level prophetic ministry and revelation that I have ever in my life been exposed to. The realms of God in this room and are still in this room by the way - was just out of this world. I believe the revelation of last night on giving became so clear to me - Paul speaks about "excelling in the grace of giving".

In this grace movement God has already given us generous hearts. Now we can excel in the grace of giving. Now the sowing and reaping is no longer works. It is not making God respond to us - He has already moved for our prosperity! He has given us seeds and we can sow!

It is interesting that on Andrew Wommack's website - he has all the sowing and reaping teaching there all free to download. Saturate yourself in this thing! What a conference it has been! A super-tsunami didn't destroy Hong Kong. It went somewhere else. I am sorry for Taiwan. A challenging budget has been dealt with by the grace of God. We have gone beyond the budget so we have money for the gospel and lives have been changed already.

I want you to the book of Hebrews please. Hebrews chapter 5. I am going to stand here today as a chameleon and I don't know how this will come out - as a teacher, or as prophetic - but it doesn't really matter!

Jesus said that man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. "Proceeds" is a present, continuous tense. This book is the word that (past tense) "proceeded" out of the mouth of God. So we are going to read what has already come out of God's mouth thousands of years ago. As we speak the word that has proceeded (in the past) the proceeding Word of God will personally rise up in each of your spirits and the Lord will talk to you - different messages. Different and unique proceeding words will rise up as we listen to the Word that has proceeded.

I want to deal with a scripture that the devil has used to undermine people in the revelation of faith and rob them of their confidence. Many of us know that the Old Covenant was written to strip people of their confidence and their self-righteousness. The New Covenant was written to fill us with confidence in our God and to understand how boldly we can approach Him with full assurance of faith even when we have messed up the most.

Where sin abounds, grace does much more abound and your sin can never supersede the grace of God EVER again! Your sin - your mistakes - can never break or block your fellowship with God - it is open heaven 100% all the time!

So that is a confidence booster - any time you read the perfumed letters of the New Covenant and you get confused or loosing your confidence in God, you are not rightly exegeting the Word of God. You are not rightly interpreting the Word of God. Confident people are creative people! Confident people are initiative people - they move out with initiative. Confident people attract wealth and attract prosperity. They attract the blessing of God!

They get over disappointment and discouragement far quicker than people who are not confident. There are Christians who go through the same disappointments you do but it takes them months, sometimes even years to get to stand before God again and say "Lord I am with this assignment again". Confident people go through excruciating disappointments, abandonments, rejections, horrific tales and within a short time are on their feet and going forward again with holy, naive, virgin-like purity and with a total absence of cynicism and skepticism.

What is the sand in the machinery of the church world? Cynicism and skepticism. Where does it come from? "I was hurt - I was rejected - I was disappointed". Please! Get over that by replacing that with how wonderfully you have been accepted in Christ Jesus! Let your definition of confidence be based on Who is FOR you and not who is against you! For if God be for you - WHO can be against you?!

If you have people who worship the ground you walk on and wash your feet every day - but God is against you, then you are finished! But if 20 million are against you and God is for you - you are guaranteed to fulfill the will of God!

People who lose their confidence cannot stay encouraged, bold and going forward. I lovingly say this. I hate the casualty rate in the church. I hate how many of our brothers and sisters are not going to church anymore and are cynical and skeptical.

I am NOT talking about going to a legalistic church. Friends - I could not go to a legalistic church! Let me make that plain.

But how many are hurt and; "Oh the church is so toxic and life is so hard and it's not fair and God didn't come through for me - what kind of God is He?". There are multiple millions licking their wounds and so full of self-centredness and self-pity that I hate the fact that this has happened.

A lot of this is because the gospel of grace has not been clearly taught and they have lost their confidence in the goodness of God and got hurt and disappointed and rejected and abused and have no where to anchor their hope in. They say; "If man has rejected me and God is angry with me then I don't want anything more to do with Christianity".

So I am going to read this Scripture that the devil has used over and over again. I am going to unpack this in whatever time it takes. It is not because I want to preach long - that's not the issue friends! The issue is that we have to unpack the Scripture today in sequence and in context. I hope this is a coaching lesson on how to read the Bible. Do get Wayne Duncan's book on "A Matter of Life and Death - How to interpret the New Testament so you are not confused". Get that book! If you get any book - get that book! I have sat across the table to leaders who have invited me to come and speak to them about the gospel of grace. I have gone like an innocent lamb to the ambush! You sit there and realise this isn't a question to learn but an interrogation! The only difference is that they haven't stripped me naked and tied my hands behind my back with handcuffs and put a bright light on me and prodded me with electricity!

They ask me a question; "Well what about this?" and half way through answering it, they ask you the next question and take extreme interpretations of what we teach. "If this woman is married to this man and he dies and then she marries another and he dies and she marries again and he dies then who is she married to?".

I would say the next man she marries must be suicidal or stupid!

So Jesus is not going to be interrogated! He answered them and said "We are like the angels and won't have sex in heaven". I'm sorry to say that but we won't and you won't miss it either - I promise you! So I realised that we should not let people besiege us with these questions within questions. Questions are good. The message provokes lots of questions and questions are good. We need to ask and search and get to the truth! But questions within questions that have a demonic agenda to interrogate and confuse are wrong. I am not saying I get confused by them - but they are sitting there with an agenda to go back to their people and say "We are into heresy". There was never an open Bible expositing truth!

So this verse is often thrown out. "What about Hebrews 6:4-6"?! So can we open our Bibles and go from Hebrews chapter 1 and see all that lies before? No - we have been held hostage to a verse instead of accepting and embracing the whole New Covenant and the types and shadows of the Old Covenant.

So we are in a grace revolution that is producing mighty signs and wonders and increased glory. If we are not theologically astute we in serious trouble.

There are already signs of trouble in some places of grace - not in what we are involved in - but they are getting into some stupid things. They are saying things like; "If anyone asks you for sex and you don't give it to them then it means you are not free". That is happening in certain grace movements! Or "I don't need to go to church anymore or read my Bible because I just walk in the Spirit". That is stupid! We need to know the Word of God really well - and Isi de Gersigny has got a part to play in what I am going to teach today. I will tell you why.

Let's go to Hebrews 6 and I will read the verse and we will exposit from chapter 5. Hebrews 6:4;

"For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, and have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame".

Now when I read that verse my soul just sings with joy because I know what Paul is saying. I really believe Paul wrote the Book of Hebrews because he came and told me the other night! No. The reason I believe it is very likely it is Paul (and we know it is the Holy Spirit) is because none of the other apostles used the brilliant method of comparison that Paul does. In all his letters he always shows the inferiority of the Old Covenant law and the superiority of New Covenant grace. So he always uses that comparison to keep it in your face to make us say; "What was I thinking going back to law?! It's ridiculous! It's weak and useless - Hebrews 7 says!".

We are now going to go to Hebrews 5 and go from verse 1 and I want to ask you at the end of this message - I will ask you the amount of times that Paul said the word "Perfect".

This is all about perfection. God requires perfection and nothing less. That ends any kind of stupid legalistic-based performance religion. God requires 100%, every split second perfection.

So there is the end of all striving - give up before you start! So let's read. How many of you are ready for a feast? Hebrews 5:1;

"For every high priest taken from among men is appointed on behalf of men in things pertaining to God, in order to offer both gifts and sacrifices for sins".

Alright it is very clear right here that what Paul is speaking about is that there is a high priest appointed to represent man to God or matters of God on gifts and sacrifices for sins. The Bible is saying is that God did not judge the individual sins of Israel or the individual lies but appointed a high priest to represent all of them. Obviously if there was a high priest that was perfect and a sacrifice that was perfect then everyone would be perfectly represented and everyone would be perfect continually every second of every minute of every hour of every day of every week of every year forever and ever - perfect. But Israel never had a perfect high priest before Jesus or a perfect sacrifice. So continually wrath and judgement came.

But God was sending up in that type and shadow to show that if there could be a perfect high priest with a perfect sacrifice then all of us could stand before the Father perfect forever in His eyes. Let's look at verse 2;

" ... he can deal gently with the ignorant and misguided, since he himself also is beset with weakness".

Now friends I love the word "gentle" there! This high priest under a harsh system of the law - yet was to deal gently with those who were ignorant and going astray! Now in Hebrews 6 we read that it is impossible to restore those who have fallen away and we are teaching under a superior covenant, that if you fall away far enough (we don't know how far "far" is) but if you fall away far enough then you cannot be restored to the perfect high priest Jesus. Under the Old Covenant with imperfect sacrifices and an imperfect high priest - you could be dealt with gently and lovingly when you were ignorant and go astray.

How many see something wrong with that picture right there? Hebrews 4 says we have a High Priest who is touched and sympathises with our weaknesses. He was tempted in all points of sin yet never gave into sin. He is perfect and without sin! He doesn't act gently towards us because He is weak like the Old Covenant high priests. He acts gently towards us because we are weak and He is gracious and compassionate. Now we are going to read that Jesus while He walked this earth had two identities and we are going to see what those two identities are. This is a revelation to prepare you for Hebrews 6 because the Bible is written in sequence to prepare you for what's coming. Alright - verse three. This is why he has to offer sacrifices;

" ... and because of it he is obligated to offer sacrifices for sins, as for the people, so also for himself. And no one takes the honor to himself, but receives it when he is called by God, even as Aaron was. So also Christ did not glorify Himself so as to become a high priest, but He who said to Him, "YOU ARE MY SON, TODAY I HAVE BEGOTTEN YOU" (Identity Number 1); just as He says also in another passage, "YOU ARE A PRIEST FOREVER ACCORDING TO THE ORDER OF MELCHIZEDEK."

Now you can read casually over those verses and miss the vital, pivotal point. Jesus was operating in two identities - as Son and as High Priest. Got that? Alright let's go to the next verse - verse seven;

"In the days of His flesh, He offered up both prayers and supplications with loud crying and tears to the One able to save Him from death, and He was heard because of His piety. Although He was a Son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered. And having been made perfect, He became to all those who obey Him the source of eternal salvation".

I remember reading this years ago when I was under a mixture of law and grace and going; "God! How can Jesus be MADE perfect by what He suffered? Wasn't He perfect all the time?". Well of course in His identity as a Son He was born perfect. A virgin birth and He lived perfect without sin. He was totally perfect all the time so why did He need to be perfected and how was He perfected? He needed to be perfected as our great High Priest. And how did He get perfected as our great High Priest? By taking our sins. The perfect Son without sin became the perfect offering of the perfect High Priest.

In His suffering at the Cross He became our perfect High Priest and perfect sacrifice! Now it says; "To all those who obey Him". So some Christians go; "Oh there we go!".

If you are looking at the New Testament through those lenses of performance then you read it into everything. That word; "Obey" is used all over the New Testament simultaneously or in the same way as "faith".

In Galatians 5:7, Paul says; "Who cut in on you? Who's agitating you that you do not obey the truth?". They were trying to get the Galatians to obey the law. Paul says if you are trying to obey the law then you are not obeying the truth of the Gospel! What is the truth of the Gospel? To obey "I have it all now by faith and I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus!". You need to know what these things mean so that any time you open the New Testament you are never afraid and go; "Oh no that contradicts everything!". I have seen people go to Glory conferences and I am a chameleon that steps on the prophetic and I become prophetic and can see in people's hearts they are running around the building harder than anyone else and jumping higher and are experiencing God's Presence but you can see they are so insecure because someone hasn't taught them clear enough by opening the Word of God in sequence!

Yes you can throw out a word of revelation here or there and something strikes their spirits and they go; "Wow I can see that!" but they need to see it more and more in the context of the whole picture of the New Testament! Then we can run around the building and jump over walls and scream and laugh and the power of God manifests and we become secure!

We don't need those manifestations to be secure - we walk in those manifestations because we ARE secure.

So He became our source of eternal salvation by suffering on the Cross - He was perfected as our High Priest by perfectly eradicating all sin and judgement and wrath. If you look at Hebrews chapter 10 quickly and reading from v1-4;

"For the Law, since it has only a shadow of the good things to come and not the very form of things, can never, by the same sacrifices which they offer continually year by year, make perfect those who draw near. Otherwise, would they not have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, having once been cleansed, would no longer have had consciousness of sins? But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins year by year. For it is impossible for the blood of bulls and goats to take away sins".


"Every priest stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins but He, having offered one sacrifice for sins for all time, SAT DOWN AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD, waiting from that time onward UNTIL HIS ENEMIES BE MADE A FOOTSTOOL FOR HIS FEET.

(v14) "For by one offering He has perfected for all time (perfected forever, forever!) those who are sanctified".

(v17) - "AND THEIR SINS AND THEIR LAWLESS DEEDS I WILL REMEMBER NO MORE." (v18) - "Now where there is forgiveness of these things, there is no longer any offering for sin".

Very, very important - the perfect High Priest offered the perfect sacrifice to END all sacrifices! So it is impossible to have any more sacrifices if you fall away - you don't need them! Let's move now back to Hebrews 5 and the next verse (v10);

" ... being designated by God as a high priest according to the order of Melchizedek".

A totally indestructible line - that is the power of his High Priesthood.

(v11) "Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing".

Now what has Paul got "much to say" on? He has got much to say about how glorious our High Priest is! He has got much to say about how perfect you are forever! He has got much to say that your sins and lawless acts - God will not remember anymore! He has got much to say that we can draw near with full assurance of faith in confidence and not feel shame or guilt when you have messed up! He has got much to say about this - but he says; "You guys can't receive this because you are dull!". You are slow of learning! He will tell us why they are slow of learning. They are not stupid people or low IQ. The Book of Hebrews was written to Hebrews - very clever people!

It was not written to Gentiles who had never been under the law. It was written to people that had either heard the message of grace and the message of truth but continued to take the blood of bulls and goats and insult the blood of Jesus by the Spirit of grace.

Their sin was to make the blood of bulls and of goats and the law system superior to the blood of Jesus.

That's Hebrews 10. If you continue in sin there is no sacrifice left for sin but only wrath and judgement. You have insulted the Spirit of grace and have trampled the sacrifice of Jesus under foot. Those who are Hebrews who have heard the truth but have not been born again. So their sin is not generic sin but a specific sin of unbelief in the goodness of God and choosing the blood of bulls and goats above the blood of Jesus. THAT is insulting the Spirit of grace! All they have to do is stop their continual sin of unbelief and say "Lord I believe the gospel!" - they will be born again and no more wrath - ever again!

In this chapter he is talking to believers who are in Christ and are Jewish people but are still confused with the mixture. The temple is still there and the law and blood sacrifices. They are confused. Paul is saying to them; "You are still in the milk of the Word".

I want to say something to you that a lot of people teach and we are going to depart from the traditional teachings and the traditional position in a moment. It is as great a rip away from the traditional position as Martin Luther's rip away from justification by works. How many know that the reformation is not over yet?

Truth is being continued! We are not making up a new truth or making up a new gospel! We are finding the real gospel!

Will the real gospel please stand up - because the nations need it!

An inadequate or false gospel is no gospel at all and it can deceive millions!

You can hear an inadequate gospel and be born again but you will live like you are in hell (on your way to heaven). Millions are saved by an inadequate gospel but they need to hear the fullness of this wonderful truth in context so their salvation can be a manifest experience to them.

The milk of the Word that they are in - is not the basics of New Covenant truth. I will show in a minute that the laying on of hands, faith towards God, baptism - is not New Covenant. He is talking about Old Covenant bondage that hinders you, makes you dull of learning, slow to learn, keeps a veil over your heads. He will show them that the milk is the preaching and teaching of the Law and the legal system.

He is about to say that the most difficult thing to reveal grace to is people who are living on diluted milk. When you dilute the law, you make people dull of hearing to grace. If you dilute the law then people get deceived into thinking that "I am okay" and pretty much keeping the law! But when you give them true milk - which is the trueness of the law then they will see that Jesus put the law into steroids! When people tell me that Jesus was a grace teacher before the Cross - I think; "You need your head examining!". Jesus preached the full-cream milk straight out of the udder of death and straight out of the udder of condemnation!

The New Covenant cannot start before the blood of the covenant has been spilt.

People are calling the New Covenant, the "four gospels". But the blood hasn't been spilt yet! How many covenants in the Bible (and there are seven) started before blood was spilt? Not one. Now we have people saying that the most important covenant started after John the Baptist. Come on now friends! The law and the prophets were all pressing in and prophesying before John - what were they prophesying about? Romans 3:21; "The Law and the prophets testify to a righteousness that is by faith apart from the law". They were testifying to the King who would come and bring this New Covenant - so the King had come in Luke 11 and had come as the fulfillment of the Law and the Prophets. But He had yet to go to the Cross and die and cut the covenant. He had yet to be perfected as our High Priest and you cannot have a New Covenant until the High Priest has been perfected!

In the Gospels He was the perfect Son but He was not yet the perfect High Priest. We have people demanding the Gospels are part of the New Covenant but the Son has not yet been perfected as High Priest. He was always the perfect Son in the gospels but He was not yet perfected as the High Priest.

Without a perfect High Priest, you are not perfect before God. God doesn't look at your individual sins - He looks at the one who represents you!

The Word of God is clear! Jesus did preach grace to humble people and Abraham's wonderful covenant. We have someone better than Abraham. But if you think reading the gospels will give you grace to feel safe then I don't know which gospels you are reading! I feel like by the time Jesus has finished I am on my way to hell! If the four gospels is the New Covenant then no one is going to heaven!

You shall be judged by every idle word you speak. How many of you speak idle words? You will be judged by those when you get to heaven. If that is the Gospel and New Covenant. If you look at a man or woman with lust in your heart then you are guilty of adultery. Some of you could have done that today - that is a death sentence right there. If you hate someone without cause then you have committed murder. That is a death sentence.

Come on! Cut your hands off - pluck your eyes out man! Better to enter heaven with no hands than to enter hell with two hands and two eyes! Is that good news?! If we really believe that is the New Covenant then we would have the whole church with both their eyes plucked out and both hands cut off and a whole lot of other things cut off as well!

In Adelaide, Australia a man literally went down to the beach from a seriously legalistic church and stabbed his eyes out. I know a man in the USA whose son of 18 was living under preachers preaching the law and saying the four gospels is the New Covenant, and he went to bed. His parents came the next morning and his sheets were full of blood - he had cut his penis off. Young men driven with hormones are sexually aware - it is not their fault it is testosterone! It is wasted not to deal with our sexuality in the grace of God. But I tell you - if I was a high powered New York lawyer I would sue some of the preaching from pulpits - it is criminal.

But I wouldn't do it because I've done it too in the past. I would also be going to jail with all the rest. We did it with good intention thinking we were being zealous for God but we were being dangerous. We need to know the Word clearly. People say; "Ooh the Beatitudes - they are so beautiful!". Read them again and see if that is the standard to win salvation then you are finished! I don't know a person on the planet who are living in all the fullness of the Beatitudes! "Blessed are you if you do this". What is He saying? "If you are not doing this - then cursed are you". He proves it right at the end of the Beatitudes in Matthew 5:20; "Woe to all of you if your righteousness does not exceed that of the Pharisees and Sadducees - you will not see the Kingdom of heaven!". These guys were the fanatics after the law - and He is saying that you have got to exceed it to get to heaven!

The reason why so many people are dull of hearing and slow to learn is because they have diluted the milk of the law. They are on basic principles going over and over them again and not moving onto the solid food of the gift of righteousness in Christ Jesus.

I said something at our first Glory and Grace Conference in 2007 and it freaked a few people out - I said the law is a composite unity. The whole law is indivisible. It is interconnected and a composite unity. James 2:10 says that if you keep some of the law but fail in any part of the law you are guilty of breaking all the law. "Perfect". Unless you have a perfect High Priest then you are finished!

Please hear this lovingly - the whole fundamental right wing part of the church (who Isi de Gersigny says she loves) do not know what they are doing. Jesus was put on the Cross by right wing fundamental church-goers. I did not know what I was doing when I was preaching law and grace! Yet He gave me grace.

Let's be careful when we judge - we are not to be grace Pharisees! "You preach any little bit of the law and I'm leaving this church!". Something is wrong with that picture if you are a grace person because then you must leave every single church on the planet! No one is preaching perfect grace yet!

We have paranoia in parts of the grace movement. Any lines in the song with law or control on - and they won't sing them! I think; "Come on man - become all things to all men to win some for Christ". Become a chameleon to hunt your enemy down. Become a chameleon to get the lost saved, make adjustments and be flexible - the whole church is in process towards fullness! I think that when we react to our past - we are holding our future hostage to our past. We are trying to chain our future to bad experiences in the past. People in congregations are trying to hold their leaders hostage because they have been abused in their past but some of the leaders have been abused in their past! Everyone is on a journey together and anything that sounds or smells like control gets reacted against! Leaders cannot abdicate leadership because they were appointed leaders and they are called leaders in the New Testament. It says those leaders who rule well are worthy of a double portion. The context was finances and honour. There is a governing well and a ruling well. When you have good leadership then you have holy chaos!

Leaders are to empower the holy priesthood - but they are to lead. Not to lead with a political spirit but to lead with control.

To see this grace movement accelerate forward we have got to break this spirit of paranoia and hurt in the past. After 2 or 3 years of being under grace, and we are easily offended or discouraged then grace hasn't worked in your heart. Just be honest! Say; "I need more grace in that area".

What Paul is saying is that by now - you need to have moved onto New Covenant freedom. You have heard it. You live in it. Don't go round these Old Covenant elemental teaching anymore. Move on to the understanding of the New Covenant and the gift of righteousness.

It says; "You have had so much milk but you need more milk" - what is he saying there? He is not saying going go back to the elemental teachings of the New Covenant! He is saying get the milk as full cream milk - let's dump the full cream milk of the law on you so much that you can see God demands a standard of perfection from you and your High Priest and if it is not there - then you had better leave the milk and go over to the New Covenant and righteousness as a gift!

Look at verse 12. "Though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary teaching of God's Word all over again. You need milk! Not solid food". In other words - let's put the law on you so intently that eventually you will go; "Oh my God - give me the fullness of the New Covenant and the solid food".

(v13); "Anyone who lives on the Law being still an infant is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness".

(v14); "But solid food is for the mature who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil". If you have been under law for long enough - you have trained yourself to distinguish between good and evil. What was the tree that Adam was commanded not to eat from? The tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Paul is saying if you have been under milk and are still dull of hearing on the gift of righteousness - then you need more milk! To really show you how perfect God requires you to be and the law requires you - when you see that, then you can move away from the law of the knowledge of good and evil and move into the training of the gift of righteousness.

Romans 1:16, 17; "I am not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God unto salvation - for in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed that is by faith from first to last". The gospel reveals a faith that is not by law or effort but from God that is revealed by revelation from first to last.

This revelation doesn't get you into the kingdom and then you have to go back under the law to stay in the kingdom. This is from first to last - just as you receive Christ, so walk in Him (Colossians 2:6).

Romans 3 - that there may be a righteousness that is apart from the law that is by faith.

Same with Romans 5 - which says where there is no law, sin is not credited to you. Romans 4 and 5 both say where there is NO law - God is not counting sin against you! Where there is no law - God is not imputing sin against you! Colossians 2:14; "God cancelled the law at the Cross" so from the time you came into Christ, God is not counting sin against you. Romans 4:8 says; "Blessed is the man who the Lord will not count sin against him!".

Romans 5:19 says God was in Christ reconciling the world to Himself NOT counting men's sin against them. God made Him who knew no sin to be sin so that in Him we might be made the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus! These things are simple to us but if you are under a mixture of law and grace - then you are dull of hearing and struggling to teach these things. What you need is more cream milk to totally devastate all hope in that old system!

How did Jesus become our sin? Did He have to sin to become our sin? No! He was made our sin. Our sin was given to Him as a free gift from the Father. How were we made righteous? By doing righteous things? No! Our righteousness is a free gift from the Father. Romans 5:17; "We reign in life by receiving the free gift of righteousness". This teaching in righteousness is not self-righteousness - it is the GIFT of righteousness. It is not unrighteous behaviour vs righteous behavior. The teaching in righteousness is the gift of righteousness vs self-righteousness that comes from the milk.

Romans 10:4 says; "Christ is the end of the law so there may be a righteousness for all who believe".

We are now breaking all records - this could be the longest I've preached.

Those who are dull on a mixture of law and grace need to hear the law on steroids so they will RUN for the perfection of the great High Priest.

Now we are heading into Hebrews 6 - we have been sailing and we are now heading into Hebrews 6. This is how we need to read our Bibles - in context! Hebrews 6. By the way I have no problem in God speaking to our hearts and saying; "Turn to ...". He has done it many times - saying for example, turn to Hebrews chapter 3. While I've been praying I have turned there and He has spoken to my heart. But we do need to read the Bible in context so we can all be teachers. We are all called to be chameleons.

Hebrews 6:1; "Therefore let us leave the elementary teachings about Christ" (the law on steroids), let us press on to maturity". I want to tell you - the day you were born again you were fully mature. You are the full righteousness of God with no room for improvement. The Gospel produces fully mature sons of God - the instant you are born again. "Not laying again". There are people laying again and again - and he says; "Stop. Blast it out of the way - it's obsolete and redundant". "Repentance from acts that lead to dead works and faith in God ... resurrection ... ".

Now five years ago I believed that he was talking about foundational works in the New Covenant. Over the last period of time by God downloading revelation of understanding and illumination - I realised he is not talking about the foundational teaching of the New Covenant after the Cross - but the elemental milk teaching that make people dull!

He is teaching about the teachings that make people still need to be taught over and over again. Without being unkind if you look at congregations across the planet, you will see people in Christ for 10 and 20 years who are sulking brats who are easily offended, jealous, envious - why? We think Hebrews 6:1-2 are talking about foundational teachings of the New Covenant - basic milk teaching.

But "faith in God" - surely that's teaching of the New Covenant? No! Faith in God under the Old Covenant is totally different to faith under the New Covenant!

So about five days ago I was wrestling in prayer going; "Dear God - I'm not getting up at a conference with a major departure from the traditions of the church!". Then I heard God say; "Well son - you've done it before - you did it a few years ago! You started saying things and thought you were a lone voice and you hadn't heard Joseph Prince or a whole load of other grace teachers!". I had to come to Hong Kong, walk the streets, read my Bible and I just knew something was on my life. On the runway sitting in Adelaide in the airport about to come and live in Hong Kong - and God said;

"Son you have been preaching a mixture of law and grace and a mixture of faith and works, flesh and Spirit, Old and New and Ishmael and Isaac, Saul and Paul - a mixture! From now on I want you to preach a pure stream of New Covenant grace; faith, Spirit, anointing and life!".

I didn't know what He meant! He began to reveal things and I began preaching things. Some were delighted and some were not that delighted! So He said; "You have been here before son - step out on the water!".

I said; "Lord - give me a sign! Confirm this to me! I need a sign - help me!". The next day I phoned Fini and Isi to check the schedule and Fini wasn't at home. Isi was and we had a great chat and she said; "Look I am just preparing a basic foundational course for believers and people with no understanding and I went to Hebrews 6:1 to go through foundation teaching. I was starting to prepare and God spoke to me and said; "These are NOT New Covenant elemental truths! These are Old Covenant elemental truths!". I kissed Isi through the phone and said; "YES!".

So I knew - I am going to preach this at Glory and Grace. I kept thinking; "Maybe I shouldn't - maybe I shouldn't". I am so enjoying sitting here and hearing the others preach.

1. Repentance from Dead Works.

So I am going to show you - repentance that leads to death, or repentance from dead works. Repentance from dead ceremonies, or repentance from dead works - is doing things to earn God's favour. Doing things over and over again to get God to love you. The question under the law - was; "Lord - am I pleasing enough to you?". The question under our High Priest who represents us is; "Father - is Jesus pleasing enough to you?". The answer is obviously; "Yes!". Then we are okay - because we are in Him! Repentance from dead works is literally trying to do good things to get a result of God liking and loving you. We are not to be living our lives constantly in repentance; "Oh I did that; I am sorry". We are not to live in this constant state; "I did this; I did that; I am so sorry!". That is Old Covenant.

2. Faith in God.

What about faith in God? I want to say to you right now that faith in God of the Old Covenant is utterly different to the faith in God in the New Covenant. Let's quickly go to Hebrews chapter 11.

Hebrews 11 is about the great men and women of faith under the Old Covenant. They were great men and women of faith and did great things with their faith.

Let's look at verse 39;

"These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect".

There's that word again - perfect. So all these great men and women of faith did not receive what was promised. They had faith to do all kinds of things but their faith could not receive what was promised. What does God require? Perfection. Their faith could not receive perfection. Only through us - the New Covenant people together with us, can they be perfected. The next chapter goes on and says that we have this great cloud of witnesses around us. So we think; "Oh my God - these great men and women of faith looking at us and saying 'Where's your faith?!". We feel so inferior because we do not exegete the Scripture properly. They are not looking at us saying "Where's your faith?!". They are looking at us saying; "Wow! Look at the New Covenant faith! They are PERFECT!". They are looking from the realm of the glory and waiting for us so they can have their status and receive the promise that we have already received!

There is no place for arrogance. We don't need to lay that Old Covenant foundation of faith again because that will keep people dull and slow to learn. Then he goes on and speaks of the great cloud of witnesses and says;

"Let's throw off every weight and every hindrance".

I have heard a thousand speculations about what it is that hinders us. Habits. Sin. That weight - we must get rid! No! Read the Bible in context! He has spent 10 chapters talking about how useless and what a hindrance the LAW and religious system is! He is saying that they couldn't obtain it through that system! You have got something better - now obtain perfection in Christ Jesus and throw off what THEY had and what hindered them and don't carry on your back the weight that couldn't get these people of faith to where you have got in Christ Jesus in the New Covenant!

Crazy! We take these Scriptures out of context and talk of habits that I have. It is hindering me! Friends!

That is NOT what is hindering you! It is that very condemnation of the Law that is hindering you!

We are not encouraging sin but when you are hindered - then you probably will sin a whole lot more!

Then he says; "And the sin that so easily entangles". What is this sin? He has just given a whole book on faith. "They did not enter because of faith". What is this sin? It is not generic sin but specific sin - it is the sin of unbelief in the goodness of God and in the goodness of our high priest.

Then he is going to say; "Listen stop trying to have faith - put all that blooming Old stuff and weights and laws and put it all off and run with patience". Not looking to have faith or trying to have faith! But looking to Jesus the author and perfecter of faith! The NIV says; "Our" faith but it is not in the Greek. "To Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith". So we have a high priest who authors our faith. You didn't author your faith. Your High Priest - HE is the originator and the perfecter! You need perfect faith to be perfectly saved!

Some say; "Am I really saved - I don't know if I have enough faith!?".

No - there is someone called your High Priest that represents you on all matters relating to God and He has perfect faith and is the author and perfecter of faith and so because of Him you have perfect faith before a perfect God and you are perfect in your High Priest!

I want to say a few things about this.

Old Covenant faith is me trying to please God. New Covenant faith is something God gives to me and something that Jesus has on my behalf. Jesus has faith for you. And Jesus has faith IN you.

Did you know that our New Covenant High Priest is better than the Old Covenant priest that failed? He dealt gently with those who are ignorant and went astray - this perfect High Priest is touched with the feelings of our infirmities and He sympathises with you. He has faith for you - but listen to me. He has faith IN you.

I want to say something life-changing here. Your life is not primarily or essentially changed by who you believe in. Your life is essentially changed by Who believes in you.

The most powerful influence over your life is not who you believe in - the most powerful influence over your life is Who believes in you. Our great High Priest has faith in you and has faith for you and is the author of faith and the perfecter of faith as the perfect High Priest because He has made you perfect forever.

When you know someone believes in you, it has such a powerful positive effect on your life. Everyone in this room has many natural gifts and talents - forget about the supernatural for a moment. Many natural gifts and talents. But most people do not exercise them in fullness unless someone you love and respect believes in you and lets you know that. Whether that be a mother, father, brother, sister, friend or a mentor. Take away the Old Covenant law and bondage and condemnation - and see this great High Priest who believes in you and a Father and a Holy Spirit who believes in you. Can you imagine the revelation of that supernatural power that would be released into your life?

Do you know that when someone recognises you it empowers you? Do you know that if you went to a celebrity concert and whoever your great celebrity is was performing on the concert with 20, 000 people there and they stopped and said; "Oh there's so and so! They were a great blessing to my life!". You would just feel a thousand feet tall! Someone as important as that has just recognised you!

It is not the lesser recognising the Greater - it is when the Greater recognises the lesser that the power of the supernatural of the New Covenant takes place!

The Old Covenant had great emphasis on faith in God. The New Covenant's emphasis is on God's faith in you and for you. The Old Covenant lays the burden on you to have faith in God. The New Covenant lays the burden on our Great High Priest to have great and perfect faith on our behalf so you are not examining yourself all the time to see if you have faith - but your eyes are on Jesus all the time - the author and perfector of faith.

It takes all the pressure off self-focus! It is not your concern anymore. No - my focus is on the revelation of Christ and in Him I was crucified. He did it because He loved me and gave Himself for me. I am crucified with Him! And the life I now live, I live by the faith of the Son of God.

Before the Cross, the flow of faith was us to God. After the Cross the flow of faith was God to us.

When someone asks you; "Do you believe in Jesus?" - you say one thing. "Well I know one thing - He believes in me!". And I am not insecure about whether I have enough faith in Him - I am very secure that He has enough perfected faith for me! If you ask me - do I believe in Jesus? I say - absolutely! How much do you believe in Him? That's not the issue. I do not even want to probe or analyse or introspect that. I just want to keep looking at His lovely face!

I want to keep looking at what He did at the Cross because THAT releases His faith and confidence in me. Your life is not stabilized by you trying to have faith. Your life is stabilized by the revelation of how much faith He has in you and for you.

You see - the High Priest has to have faith for you. The power of the King is not rooted in man's faith in God. That is Old Covenant elemental milk teaching. The power of this kingdom is rooted in God's faith in you. He believes in you - His faith in you is not a blind faith. He is not pretending. He invested everything at the Cross for you so that now His opinion of you is one of integrity.

He sees you not as one trying to be holy or trying to be righteous or trying to be sanctified or trying to be redeemed - He sees you AS YOU ARE. You are acknowledged by God because of the perfection of your great High Priest.

Yes - God says - I know who and what you are. I know everything I have made you to be through the Cross. Now what about baptisms? Surely that is a New Covenant thing. Of course baptism is New Covenant.

We are baptised in water not to get our sins forgiven. You don't bury people to kill them. You bury them because they are already dead.

So when you are baptised in water as a believer in Christ that is not to get your sins forgiven - it is because your sins HAVE been dealt with! Baptism into the body of Christ and baptism in the Holy Spirit. This word "baptism" (you can check it out in the Greek) it is talking about water purification ceremonies done by the Old Covenant people. It is to wash sins away. It is to be done regularly because you are constantly feeling condemned so they go through washing rituals.

Now the church doesn't teach it like that but in fact the church DOES teach people that your forgiveness and cleansing comes in installments. That is Old Covenant teaching on washing rituals.

Before the Cross - sin = dirty. Wash = clean. Sin = dirty. Wash = clean. Sin = dirty. That is what he is talking about! Leave all of that milky stuff behind! Go on to the teachings on righteousness!

What about the laying on of hands? Listen - laying on of hands on the sick to impart healing is New Covenant stuff. He isn't talking about that! He is talking about the great type of the High Priest of the Old Covenant laying his hand on the scapegoat! And transfer the sins symbolically (only symbolically - not literally) and then let it out into the wilderness and that was symbolical covering.

He is saying "Leave that silly symbolical stuff behind! Go onto the teaching on righteousness". What about the "resurrection from the dead Rob? Are we not going to be raised from the dead in the New Covenant?". Of course we are going to be raised from the dead in the New Covenant! But the Old Covenant is - if you are good enough, one day you may be raised from the dead. One day! You don't know for sure, but if you are good enough - one day you will be raised from the dead and then you will go to heaven and you will experience life. He is saying - stop teaching that stuff. Tell them according to Romans chapter 6 and many other passages - you were united with Christ in resurrection! You were raised with Christ! Romans 6 says we were raised with Him so that we may know new life with Him - we are already seated in the heavenly realms! This New Covenant is way superior to that milk stuff!

My physical body will be raised one day! I want to tell you categorically - I am very concerned with immortality teaching in some of this grace movement. These bodies are going to stay mortal until Jesus comes again and my mortal body will then become mortal. In the meantime I believe in renewing my youth and I want to be around until I'm 100. But be careful about teaching on immortality because when those people are teaching are dying and balding - listen, everyone has died! When these people get bald or die, people who are listening and not seeing the Word of God in context are going to get very confused and their faith will be damaged. But the teaching of the New Covenant is not "if your faith is good enough, one day you will be raised and you will go to heaven and have the life of God" - in Christ Jesus, we have already been raised, resurrected in Christ and seated in the heavenly realms and living in heavenly places!

Friends - why can't most of the church access heavenly realities? Why can't most Christians who are citizens of heaven strangers to the realm of the 3rd heaven? Why are they strangers to the invisible realm and the glory realm and the realities of the kingdom? Because they are still on the milk - one day you are going to die and be raised in 50 years time and experience life. No! You can experience life now! You can experience life of the heavens now! We must get people out of the milk and into life now!

Revelation will flow! In Thessalonians Paul said that a false teaching is going around that is unsettling you saying that the dead have already been raised. We are not teaching that! That is immortality teaching. We don't have our resurrection bodies yet. I wish I did. And the older I get, the more I wish I had! We are not saying the dead have already been raised. We are saying that you in your spirit with Christ have already been raised. That is New Covenant teaching on resurrection from the dead.

Okay - eternal judgement - I think that is pretty clear.

Don't EVER teach Christians that they face the possibility of eternal wrath or eternal judgement. That is OVER!

They didn't know if their good works would be greater than their bad works so they were never sure.

Eternal judgement was finished at the Cross! Gone forever! People need to know that! Never again will they be judged by the Father - He took an oath in Isaiah 54; "Never again will I be angry with you - I swear by Myself, I will NEVER withdraw My love from you, I will never rebuke you, I will never condemn you, I will never take My covenant of peace from you - I swear by Myself!".

Are you ready for the key verses now? Let's read these verses again - they should not be frightening at all. (vv4-6);

"For in the case of those who have once been enlightened and have tasted of the heavenly gift and have been made partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, and then have fallen away, it is impossible to renew them again to repentance, since they again crucify to themselves the Son of God and put Him to open shame".

Very important word there. Most people in the church today would say if you asked them - if a Christian falls away, goes into sin or diabolical things or does terrible things wrong and if they as Christians come back - then will the Lord restore them? Most Christians would say - of course. Yet - when the issue of grace and eternal security comes up - this Scripture is used as the weapon of the devil to intimidate believers. They can't have it both ways! If you fall away - you are finished! But they don't teach that. They keep asking Christians to come forward and repent. So it is either true or not true.

Some people say - and I respect and honour the theologians that say this - well this only refers to very mature Christians. This whole context we are reading is that you are not mature or immature. He is saying - you are immature! He is saying to them you are infants! He is saying you are dull! He is not talking to spiritual giants! Some say this is referring to mature believers who have tasted all these things and then if they fall away - in the light of that. Friends if you have tasted then you have been born again, you have got everything! So what is the context?

The issue is to leave the immature teachings behind, the milk teaching, the law condemnation teaching. Some of these believers believed in Jesus and were born again and tasted these glorious things but also believed in the law teaching and the Temple system so they were regularly repenting in insecurity in trying to get saved again. And stay saved. And this is required under the milk system and under the law system. You had to keep doing that!

Paul is saying - that is an insult to the awesome fullness of the complete work of the Cross of Jesus. He says to keep getting people to start over and over again and to go back and repent and try and get right with God, and to try and start redemption again - when you have been given a perfect eternal redemption through an eternal high Priest - if you keep expecting people to keep going back under the Law and the inferior system then that is an insult to the Cross.

You cannot go back and start all over again - it's impossible. Why is it impossible?

Jesus would have to leave heaven again, He would have to be born of a virgin again, He would then have to be the perfect Son and would have to try HARDER on the Cross to be a more perfect sacrifice to succeed in making us secure forever! But He did it once and for all - so it is impossible to put Jesus back on the Cross and put Him through that again! It's a disgrace!

It is a DISGRACE to our High Priest. It is saying what He did wasn't sufficient enough. It is impossible!

He became the source of eternal salvation;

It is to our loss and the church's loss to have endless repenting every time we mess up and every time we fall away.

The insecurity and all of that stuff is to our loss. It is impossible for Jesus to be crucified again - the first time He did it for us He did it as our perfect High Priest and under that Old Covenant people were not to be judged - but the High Priest was to be judged. If his sacrifice was perfect then they would not be judged. They weren't perfect so they were judged.

Our High Priest was absolutely perfect therefore we are secure forever in Him!

Keep a finger in Hebrews 6 and go to Romans chapter 6 please. I want to show you again why it is impossible for Jesus to be crucified.

Paul is not saying that every time you go back and repent, Jesus is being crucified again and again and again. He is saying you are giving that appearance to your Hebrew unsaved friends that this Jesus is an imperfect High Priest. You are making a disgrace to how wonderful this Jesus is.

Romans 6:8;

"Now if we died with Christ we believe that we will also live with Him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead then He cannot die again. Death no longer has mastery over Him. The death He died, He died to sin once and for all - that the life He lives, He lives to God".

How long was Jesus' death counting for? Let me ask you - did Jesus die to His sinning? No! Whose sin did He die to once and for all? Our sin! So it is impossible to be restored to repentance because to be restored to repentance would mean that you are under an Old Covenant with an inferior High Priest who failed to represent you in matters before God and to do that - is disgracing this High Priest of the New Covenant who died once and for all for our sins and cannot ever die again or be put on the Cross again!

How many of you know that if you misread a verse and think - I don't know where that point is where I fall away - how far do you have to fall away? Some say - falling away is doing one seriously bad thing once. Others say it doesn't it doesn't need a serious sin - you can do a lot of small sins for a long time repeatedly. Who makes up these definitions that keep God's people insecure and analysing and doing horrific things, mutilating their bodies? What I described to you about some of those mutilations - that is what is on the outside. Most mutilations have been done psychologically. It is wrecking marriages and people's mental health because we don't get these Scriptures clear.

Once we go down that line, the devil says; "There - you have crossed a line. You have fallen away too far this time, now it is impossible for you to be restored". Everytime you try and repent after that, the devil says; "No! Can't work! You have gone too far".

There is NO too far because Jesus went further, further, infinitely further than ANY too far you can go!


It is impossible! You can't disgrace Jesus like that - He's not going back there! He got it right the first time! One sacrifice and no more! The light went on in some people's hearts right there! The teachers wait for that moment - they get all the information out there and it may be a bit boring but when the lights go on in people's heart - that's a feedback for a teacher that is awesome! Once you get that verse misunderstood about falling away, then you read the next verse as backing up your falling away.

The next two verse do not talk about you but the message of the Old Covenant and the message of the New Covenant. Not you being a fruitful field or a cursed field - but one message of the New Covenant being a fruitful field of rain and blessing and the other message of the Old Covenant being a cursed field of thorns and thistles.

It is not you! You are not the cursed field! This is the message we must leave behind and stop laying it over and over again. Leave it behind! Let's go there. (v7-8);

"Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. In the end it will be burned".

He is not talking about you! But that is how people preach it. This New Covenant message produces rain that falls. Blessings that come. Fruitfulness. The Old Covenant exercising the law of good and evil produces thorns and thistles. Where have you heard those words before? Genesis chapter 3; "Do not eat of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil for the day you eat of it you shall surely die". The day man ate of it, God turned up and said; "The land shall produce thorns and thistles".

So what does the message of the Old Covenant law produce? Thorns and thistles. Sweating and earning and slaving by the sweat of your brow to make results happen.

What does the New Covenant message produce? Rain from heaven, the blessing of God!

He is saying go to that teaching on righteousness as a gift. Leave that other nonsense behind. For goodness sake - get the church on the right foundation!

Hebrews 6:1 is NOT the elemental teaching to put the church on. It will make the church dull if you put the church on that.

Let's go through this quickly now. I will quickly exposit and get through this. " ... things that accompany salvation". So he is saying these guys are saved - there's no problem with that. (v10); "in order to make your hope sure". Now friends - if you have performance glasses - you will be thinking; "Oh boy we have got perform to be absolutely sure!". He is not saying that we must qualify ourselves. He will say in the next verse - don't be lazy just because you are secure in Christ.

Under the old system if you were fanatics - you could still never be qualified. So don't be lazy if you come into the new system just because you are qualified. Go for it - because you cannot fail!

There is no New Testament law - but there are New Testament exhortations!

There is a difference - Old Testament law - if you didn't do it then God killed you and wrath breaks out. Under New Covenant - God is speaking to us all the time. Husbands - love your wives as Christ loved the church! Wives - submit to your husbands as unto the Lord! No one can put their hands up to that perfectly. But none of us are under wrath for failing because it is a New Covenant command! An exhortation. The more secure we are in Christ and the more diligent you are to see it is not putting law on people but on this foundation of security - he is saying "Let's move on!".

If you are failing in your marriage there is no wrath coming - stay secure in the great love of your High Priest and your marriage will get better!

Preachers - you have got to preach exhortations! There are people in grace churches who have got lazy. They don't read their Bibles anymore and don't turn up to church unless they feel like it. They don't even communicate with leaders anymore or tell them what they are doing! They just do their own thing! That spirit of independence is NOT New Covenant freedom. It is trying to prove you are free. It is as bad as going and having sex with anyone that asks for it because you are free.

Trying to prove you are free - means you are not free because when you are trying to prove it - you are not it!

Acting independent and not loving and humble is not freedom but demonic and flesh and law and legalism and the old system. This grace revolution is too precious to let a bunch of self-centered people go on a self-centered binge to prove their freedom. I wish I could gently dispatch them to heaven early because they are bad advertisements for the gospel. Well Paul did that - there was a man who was in Christ and in grace and yet was having sex with his mother-in-law and Paul handed him over to the devil so his spirit would be saved. It is frightening.

Paul only speaks about that twice in the New Testament so it is NOT something we should be doing regularly. Maybe we shouldn't do it at all!

But it shows something of the apostolic heart. This man was having sex with his mother-in-law and people in the church were saying "That's fine - because we are all in grace - we are all ok!". That is so discrediting to the grace message. Now if anyone in our ranks falls into the worst possible sin possible - under the law if you have broken one part of the law then you have broken ALL of the law.

If you lie once then according to the law you are guilty of adultery, stealing, murder, hating God - you have broken all the law! How Christians can look at homosexuals and go; "Yeuch!" and those same Christians put themselves under the law - whenever you judge people for their behaviour, you can only judge yourself through the lenses of the law so you have put yourself BACK under the law. So to say of the homosexuals; "Yeuch!" - under the law YOU are a homosexual. You are an adulterer. You are a liar. You are a pervert.

That is why it says in Revelation 21 that the lake of fire is reserved for perverts, the sexually immoral and people who work magic. Who are those people? Those are people under the law. But where there is NO law - sin is not imputed to you. Where there is no law - you are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus! When we die - even though there are things in our lives that are not perfect, we are not perverts, we are not magicians, we are not cowards or fearful or immoral - we are perfect in our Great High Priest! We are perfect forever!

People are going to the lake of fire who are living under the milk and living under the law system. Under the law system - you are guilty of all the perversions. So if any in our midst fall into the worst sin - this is a safe place.

God set the law up to say you are ALL homosexuals, you are all heterosexual adulterers, you are all murderers - according to the composite unity of the law. He set it up so that when we come out of that system and into the righteousness of Christ Jesus - we are ALL the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus! We are ALL holy - we are ALL sanctified.

So that stops this judgmental unkindness - anti-gay and anti-this and that. "Rob are you exalting a gay lifestyle?". Of course not.

Look at the church's success rate to homosexuals - pretty USELESS. Because of legalism. But heterosexual adultery? That's not too bad - friends, we are all useless under the law! Under grace we are ALL the righteousness of God - but people can't get that into their head because they are all dull of hearing because of drinking milk.

So they think they are okay because they are sort of keeping some laws. But they need to hear the full cream milk with all the steroids of the heavenly dairies. And it will frighten the very poo out of their pants and they will run to the great High Priest who declares them perfect forever through Him! Shouldn't the whole world flee?!

(v13); "He swore by Himself saying ... Abraham received". That's true - Abraham received righteousness as a standing before God. We have received more than Abraham - we have received righteousness as more than a standing but as a supernatural reality. We have perfection as a supernatural reality through the New Covenant. Abraham got something because God swore and made an oath to Abraham. For the New Covenant people God took two oaths -

(v16); "Oath confirms what is said and puts an end to all argument". What we are about to read puts an end to all argument that makes people feel insecure. (v17); "Because God wanted ...". God wants something for you and me and the whole world! "Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of His purpose very clear to the heir of what was promised with an oath - by two unchanging things - in which it is impossible for God to lie - we have fled to take hold of the hope that was promised and greatly encouraged". Now if you ask Christians today - what are the two things that are impossible to change? Most will go; "Eh?". It is impossible to be restored to repentance - it is ridiculously unnecessary - God has made an oath! He has established two impossible things that cannot change! It is impossible for these things to change! The Old Covenant is intrinsic - that means I have got to do it. If I do it then God will do His side and keep the law. That may change! If I change and fail under the Law (which is 100% certain) then God will change and not give me the blessing.

But now we have two impossible things that are extrinsic. God did not make a covenant with you. The New Covenant is not a covenant with you - God loved you so much that He said no more covenant with you! I want two things that are impossible to change! The idea of having to repent to be restored thus making Jesus die again is ridiculously impossible! What are the two things? God the Son and God the Father! What are the opposite ends of this great covenant? God the Father and God the Son! God the Father cut the covenant with the Son. It is impossible for God the Father to lie and change His mind and it is impossible for God the Son to lie and change His mind. God won't change! You are included in your great High Priest who represents you. You are IN Him so standing before God is in Him and the only way you can lose your standing is by God breaking oaths. You are in the infallible perfect faithfulness of the Trinity. The perfection of the Holy Spirit administering this perfect covenant into our lives.

So let's read this now. (v18) again;

"God did this so that by two unchangable things in which it is impossible for God to lie we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us maybe greatly encouraged".

When you look around the church world do you think Christians are walking around greatly encouraged? (v19); "We have this hope as an anchor for the soul". Say - the soul. Remember - spirit, soul and body. It didn't say your spirit. It didn't say this hope is an anchor for your spirit. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul - that is your emotions, your feelings, your mind - there is an anchor in your feelings, thoughts, mind and intellect. "Firm and secure that enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain where Jesus went before us and has entered on our behalf - He has become a High Priest forever in the order of Melchizedek".

This anchor for our emotions, feelings and thoughts - it is not an anchor like on a boat that is dragging below. It is an anchor in the immutable substance of unchanging eternity. It is an anchor in the perfection of our High Priest. It is an anchor for which it is impossible for this anchor to shift ever again! It is an eternal salvation - perfect forever! And Jesus is not coming down to try and be a better High Priest! It is impossible! Leave all that stuff that produces thorns and thistles and striving - and come to that which produces rain and fruitfulness and blessings and intimacy - anchored in the eternal realm!

Just lift your hands where you are.

Let's sing "Jesus is King and I will extol Him ... we have a Priest who has gone through the curtain, there interceding and touching the throne". At Coastlands I used to call that; the "National Anthem of Heaven".

Father may this Hebrews 6 go around the world that millions of people who have been confused by these verses get set free in Jesus Name!

Terry Virgo on the Spirit-Filled Church

This is a further interview between Simon and Terry Virgo on the life of the Spirit in church. I have transcribed two outstanding short interviews on the baptism of the Holy Spirit - a key doctrine abandoned by many churches sadly these days - here and here. But the mistake that many made in the charismatic movement of the 1970's was to believe that the experience and encounter with the Holy Spirit was a personal feeling for them as individuals and did not play out in mission or church life.

Here is the interview - the video is below;

Simon Virgo: How does that affect church life when different people experience the baptism in the Holy Spirit and how would you want it to affect church life?

Terry Virgo: Well I think it is important because the church is the place where the Holy Spirit dwells. We are told in Ephesians 2 that the church is the "dwelling place of God in the Spirit".

So the church should be open to the phenomenal manifestation of the Presence of the Holy Spirit.

So for me when I was first baptised in the Holy Spirit at the beginning of the Charismatic Movement - some would say well that is a private experience. And they would use expressions like; "You now have your private prayer language" and you may want to do that somewhere but don't mess with the church!

Simon: Why weren't you satisfied with that?

Terry: Well because the Presence of the Spirit is our huge privilege and it says that the manifestation of the Spirit is for the common good. So it is for all of us together to experience the Presence of the Spirit with us! We are not meant to live in a church where the Spirit is not manifest and then go away to charismatic conferences and then come back to church where there is no manifestation of the Spirit. It is obvious that you gather to the Presence of the Holy Spirit.

Simon: That sense of experiencing the Presence of God and living in the good of that - what does that look like in church life? How would you expect to see that manifested?

Terry: I think that when we come together, we come to the certain promise - Jesus said; "I won't leave you orphans - I will come to you.

So when we come to church and begin to worship - we are looking for the awareness of the Presence of the Spirit here.

I love that song of Matt Redman's that says; "Praise is waiting for you in this place". We are beginning to praise;

And we are waiting for the phenomena of the Presence of the Spirit.

We are not coming just to sing a few songs. We are not coming just to hear preaching. We are coming to meet with Jesus - we are coming to encounter our risen Lord.

Simon: So there is an expectation of an encounter?

Terry: Absolutely! So church without the Presence of the Lord - doing church without Jesus is terribly boring! So we want the manifestation of His Presence!

Simon: I remember you saying before that church can have almost a synagogue-model to it where the synagogue was the place where the people of God gathered to the Book but you would covet rather a Temple-like model where we would not gather to the Book but rather to the Presence of God.

Terry: Absolutely and I think going back to the Psalms and the building of the Tabernacle and then the Temple - this was the privilege of God's people - that God was dwelling among them! That glory was among them - that is what it is to be God's people!

This is what makes us distinct - His Presence is with us!

Synagogues were initially built when Israel was taken into captivity. They were away from the Temple and they build synagogues around the sacred Scriptures, to retain their distinctives, to remember the teachings and the promises - of course. But NOW - we are His Temple since Jesus came - He was the Temple - and now we are the Temple of His Presence. His Presence is manifestly with us.

So we are not looking for synagogue life as you say - we are looking for Temple life where ANYTHING can happen. God is with us!

4d. Baptism into Christ and the Holy Spirit from Terry Virgo on Vimeo.

Fini de Gersigny - a New Take on Depression!

I first met Fini de Gersigny when I went to the "Glory and Grace Conference 2007" - the first conference held by Rob and Glenda Rufus in Hong Kong! I have to be honest - I wasn't hugely impressed with him at first as a speaker. He was a fantastic, outstanding worship leader - without fail, he led us into the manifest Presence of God in a way I have only seen Kate Simmonds come close to. But as a speaker (I'm ashamed to say) I judged him - he didn't expound anything in the manner I was used to, and laughed a lot, spoke in tongues a fair bit and told lots of stories.

However the second time he spoke at the conference, the Holy Spirit very graciously began to unpeel my pathetic pride and arrogance and see what was really going on in my heart. It wasn't an issue about Fini's preaching. It was that I was jealous of his joy and wonder in the Presence of God. It was that I longed to have a similar experience and relationship with God that he had. Fini himself said at "Glory and Grace 2011" this year;

"There is nothing more annoying that someone who is more joyful than you are".

It's so true! That year I have to say I was more taken with his wife Isi - as both a worship leader and a prophetess. Indeed I had a powerful encounter when she laid her hands on me in the "fire tunnel" that so radically changed my life.

But progressively as I have listened to and followed the "Glory and Grace conferences" that I haven't been able to afford to get to - I've increasingly come to appreciate deeply Fini de Gersigny's wonderful ministry as a man of God and his insights into Scripture and to the mind of God. Yes - maybe he isn't an expositor in the fashion of Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones or Stanley Jebb or Terry Virgo. But he is different - and wonderfully so!

I have been listening to both Isi and Fini's messages from this year's "Glory and Grace conference" on the advice of Rob Rufus. I'm still struggling to lay off the legalistic ties of my past and really begin to enjoy and understand the unconditional love of God. My normal practice is to listen to preachers like Rob himself or Terry or others - but in one of Rob's messages, he made a comment about Isi and her ministry that I hadn't heard and so over the last few days I've been listening to Fini and Isi on the way to and from work. And how glad I am that I did!

Fini was just closing his message and beginning to minister to people - and he made a comment about the depressed people there. My ears pricked up - because as many know I've struggled with depression over the past few years due to very bad experiences at Acorns Children's Hospice (bullying) and of course Sovereign Grace Ministries and the excommunication. I have always traditionally believed that depression is a "sin" and that it is our sin that is to blame for it and we are somehow failures for not experiencing the joy of the Lord.

Fini however said;

"Depression - you didn't bring this on yourself! This isn't your fault! It isn't due to your sin - your failing. It wasn't something you did! This is the work of the enemy!".

That comment alone brought me such amazing and outstanding joy. And such freedom! If the devil can keep us believing that depression is OUR fault then we are effectively trapped in a vicious circle that is virtually impossible to break out of. But if we can see that actually it is a work of the enemy to blind us from the passionate goodness of God then we can begin to deal with the depressive feelings and recognise them as alien and not of our doing. Suddenly I can see a clear path ahead - that it is not anti-depressants that are the cure but encounters with the living God!

I have never heard any teacher or pastor bring this insight on depression before. Sadly many Christian leaders seem to uncomfortably avoid depression because they do not understand it. I dread to think what many leaders counsel depressed people in their church with when presented with them. Oh that we could hear more leaders grab this insight and agree and begin telling their people that depression is NOT your fault, you are NOT to blame and it is NOT your sin that is the cause of this! How can sin be the cause when it was crucified at the Cross and is now powerless?

Jesus Christ Himself said of His ministry;


Freedom for those who are oppressed and release to the captives! Surely this includes those who suffer with depression!

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A New Exposition of Hebrews 6:1-2

I am currently glorying in transcribing Rob Rufus's keynote session at the Glory and Grace Conference in Hong Kong from 2010. He spoke on Hebrews 6 - what he correctly identified as a "trouble" passage for many New Covenant believers. And I must admit - I have struggled as I have worked through the passage to get my head around the new teaching and revelation that Rob brought to it.

It all makes such perfect sense! But my entire Christian upbringing and background scream against it.

So what I have done for the purposes of the "Grace and Glory Blank Bible" is to separate and identify Rob's teaching on each of the "foundation verses" in Hebrews 6:1-2. I have previously always thought of these verses as being foundational for Christian belief. Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones even taught a series inspired by these verses on Christian living. But Rob shows clearly how there is a different and wonderful freeing slant that true New Covenant belief brings;

"Therefore let us leave the elementary doctrine of Christ and go on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God, and of instruction about washings, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment" - Hebrews 6:1-2 (English Standard Version).

"Hebrews 6:1 is NOT the elemental teaching to put the church on. It will make the church dull if you put the church on that.

Repentance from Dead Works:

So I am going to show you - repentance that leads to death, or repentance from dead works. Repentance from dead ceremonies, or repentance from dead works - is doing things to earn God's favour. Doing things over and over again to get God to love you. The question under the law - was; "Lord - am I pleasing enough to you?". The question under our High Priest who represents us is; "Father - is Jesus pleasing enough to you?". The answer is obviously; "Yes!". Then we are okay - because we are in Him! Repentance from dead works is literally trying to do good things to get a result of God liking and loving you. We are not to be living our lives constantly in repentance; "Oh I did that; I am sorry". We are not to live in this constant state; "I did this; I did that; I am so sorry!". That is Old Covenant.

Faith towards God:

I want to say that faith in God of the Old Covenant is completely different to faith in God in the New Covenant. Old Covenant faith is me trying to please God. New Covenant faith is something God gives to me and something that Jesus has on my behalf. Jesus has faith for you. And Jesus has faith IN you ... The Old Covenant had great emphasis on faith in God. The New Covenant's emphasis is on God's faith in you and for you. The Old Covenant lays the burden on you to have faith in God. The New Covenant lays the burden on our Great High Priest to have great and perfect faith on our behalf so you are not examining yourself all the time to see if you have faith - but your eyes are on Jesus all the time - the author and perfector of faith.


Now what about baptisms? Surely that is a New Covenant thing. Of course baptism is New Covenant. We are baptised in water not to get our sins forgiven. You don't bury people to kill them. You bury them because they are already dead.

So when you are baptised in water as a believer in Christ that is not to get your sins forgiven - it is because your sins HAVE been dealt with! Baptism into the body of Christ and baptism in the Holy Spirit. This word "baptism" (you can check it out in the Greek) it is talking about water purification ceremonies done by the Old Covenant people. It is to wash sins away. It is to be done regularly because you are constantly feeling condemned so they go through washing rituals.

Laying on of Hands:

What about the laying on of hands? Listen - laying on of hands on the sick to impart healing is New Covenant stuff. He isn't talking about that! He is talking about the great type of the High Priest of the Old Covenant laying his hand on the scapegoat! And transfer the sins symbolically (only symbolically - not literally) and then let it out into the wilderness and that was symbolical covering.

The Resurrection from the Dead:

What about the "resurrection from the dead Rob? Are we not going to be raised from the dead in the New Covenant?". Of course we are going to be raised from the dead in the New Covenant! But the Old Covenant is - if you are good enough, one day you may be raised from the dead. One day! You don't know for sure, but if you are good enough - one day you will be raised from the dead and then you will go to heaven and you will experience life. He is saying - stop teaching that stuff. Tell them according to Romans chapter 6 and many other passages - you were united with Christ in resurrection! You were raised with Christ! Romans 6 says we were raised with Him so that we may know new life with Him - we are already seated in the heavenly realms!

Eternal Judgement:

Eternal judgement was finished at the Cross! Gone forever! People need to know that! Never again will they be judged by the Father - He took an oath in Isaiah 54; "Never again will I be angry with you - I swear by Myself, I will NEVER withdraw My love from you, I will never rebuke you, I will never condemn you, I will never take My covenant of peace from you - I swear by Myself!".

Reference: Rob Rufus - "Hebrews 6:4-6" - Glory and Grace Conference 2010 - Hong Kong.