I was told in a recent email that one of my readers "misses my rants" and thinks I've grown up! I was going to prove them wrong with a rant about a recent tweet by Mark Driscoll. I've started following the bloke in an attempt to appreciate his giftings. And the other day he posted this;
I hardly need elaborate on some of the things I was going to say about Driscoll and his views on macho man-hood. But I've decided not to! Maybe I have grown up a bit since this blog began. I was cooking in the kitchen listening to an old sermon of Rob's - he was speaking at the Glory and Grace Conference in 2007 - the glorious conference I was able to go to.
And the truths he was bringing about "Staying Sane in a Revival" (audio version here!) were so true. I long for nothing more than a massive corporate outpouring of the Spirit of God. And yet can see that Rob's wisdom is so right! I can already see the dangers in the Bay of the Holy Spirit outpouring. Nathan Morris - the incredible evangelist there that God is using so mightily - hasn't seemed to have had a rest for days. So instead of ranting - I want to re-post this sermon! In a hope that this is a tool that we can use and hear - should God answer our prayers and pour out His Spirit - here's my notes I took from the session;
Thursday 25th October 2007 - PM Session - Rob Rufus
Following on from the outstanding Question and Answer session, we moved into a very powerful and God-visited time of worship. I remember standing with my arms raised during it thinking of the years and years of God-absent worship that I have been in and thinking - never again will I settle for somewhere where the Spirit of God is not welcome! Rob's message was once again vintage and much of what he preached totally answered my feelings during the worship. I cannot emphasise what a key message it was for the conference. From anyone else it may have been seen as an attempt to control the awesome Presence of God but from Rob it was a wise, shepherding, loving, fatherly message to keep the revival going!
For those again who are interested in the nuances of Rob's theology he went into a masterful treatise on the book of Hebrews and the warning passages within it. Any student of theology will know what a difficult area this is - and Rob dealt with it masterfully. Furthermore he had me almost leaping off my seat with joy as he dealt again with the issue of the type of the Promised Land and how the Land can NEVER represent heaven in type. It seemed to me again that Ern Baxter had returned from the dead and was preaching!
"Religious sub-cultures do not respond to the nuances of the Spirit of God but they try to mimic the same thing again and again. God has a multi-dimensional throne room with angels and elders and living beings and colours such as emerald rainbows! The Church for too long has been one dimensional. Jesus came as Apostle/Prophet/Pastor/Evangelist but He is primarily a Shepherd.
The apostolic ministry is still very embryonic and if we seal it and stop it now we will secure a brand of infantile apostles. Just so with prophets.
We need to hear the Word to keep digging wells until we have peace. The anointing refreshes your spirit but your body can get quite tired! The earthern vessel will always be a mortal body. Jesus Himself fell asleep on a boat and was grumpy by being awoken! Under the anointing strange things can happen! The Philistines couldn't work out the secret of Samson's strength so we can guess that he probably was a small man.
Many revivals burn out because people are so exhausted.
You forget that Romans 8 says we are waiting for our immortal bodies. When revivals come we mustn't kiss good theology goodbye! Let's be sane! Revivals are so intoxicating that we get hi-jacked into a strange world. We do have mortal bodies still! The "Manifest Sons of God" doctrine came out in the 40s and 50s and was heresy but driven by this hatred of our mortal bodies.
The answer to abuse is not no use but RIGHT USE!!
If some people get weird in signs and wonders and find their identity in that then the devil has a hook on them. You don't need a balance - but this move of God on the planet is increasing and is meant to increase until Jesus comes again! These 3 days of the Grace and Glory Conference are tame compared to what is coming!
But because of that we must keep good theology and tired people who don't take a rest become vulnerable. Sometimes the Word of the Lord is "go to sleep!". Someone phoned Kenneth Hagin and 03:00 and asked for a prophetic word. He said; "Bless your stupid head and your darling heart - go to bed".
The revival needs to be stewarded by sanity and heavenly ambassadorial dignity. Kathryn Kuhlman would come out of some meetings weeping saying; "They have taken my Jesus away".
One of the dangers of the anointing is that you become in high demand and people make the mistake of thinking you are invincible.
May the church become a place where our weaknesses are welcome! Everyone on this planet we think is anointed is still human and when they die they will leave their mantle on the earth. The higher and more powerful the anointing the more people will come to you. You will ask "Doesn't anyone love me for who I am or for what I can do?". It is sad that revivals aren't long-living because we don't get hierarchies and mortality sorted out.
Alexander Dowie and William Branham died prematurely because they didn't get law and grace sorted out and this issue of where you get your identity from.
We are not going into revival - we are in revival now! Never go back to dryness! Keep moving on until you find people who will sell out for revival! The only way to help nervous people come into revival is to show mighty signs and wonders in santity and freshness and longevity. Sometimes in revival we need to cut a cleft in the river and collect freshwater pools to let them drink from.
(Hebrews 6:4) - Some people see Hebrews 6 as the biggest stumbling block on grace. (v4-6) - There are 13 different theological views on these two verses! These people who are described here are clearly saved. But then it is taught if you re-dedicate your lives again you can be saved again. But here (v4-6) say it is impoosible to restore again to repentance.
That must be the devil's favourite interpretation for then he can bombard their minds that they have crucified the Lord of glory again!
How do you know when you have crossed the line? The Holy Spirit is the only One who can bring you to the Forgiver so when you resist Him, He can never again bring you to the Forgiver.
The main theme of Hebrews is the superiority of grace over law and New Covenant over Old Covenant. Hebrews is about inheritance on earth!
Those who teach that the Promised Land represents heaven are in error. The Promised Land had giants! It was never meant to be a promise about heaven or hell.
We get the promises of inheritance through faith and patience. Hebrews is a book about oaths. If God lies under an oath then His integrity is compromised and He can swear by no one higher than Himself. All nations will be blessed through Abraham because God took an oath! It is a gurantee that will happen. Sometimes storms are the devil's and sometimes they are God's. God will not back off from that oath - for instance He took an oath that Messiah would sit on David's throne and whatever David did it would happen.
David committed murder and adultery but Jesus sits on David's throne today!
When Israel came towards the Promised Land - God had not made an oath that generation would enter it but a promise. It was never made on oath that they would get their inheritance on earth. (Hebrews 2) - They didn't inherit because of unbelief. On the 10th time they vexed God - He had enough. Moses was humble enough to plead for their lives but He swore an oath that the generation would not inherit the land. When God takes that oath you can repent as much as you like but you will not change His mind. That generation had to return into the wilderness to die.
Even Moses didn't go in because 1 Corinthians 10 was showing that the Rock was a revelation of who Jesus was. If we pervert prophetic pictures about the Son of God then God isn't happy. A sprinkling on the forehead perverts the symbolism of baptism because it doesn't show burial.
What is the inheritance of the church? Nations, signs and wonders and glory! When Jesus takes His candlestick from a church or denomination then they can repent as much as they like but they will not go into their inheritance.
Don't be afraid! Live in the grace of God and keep your heart open to His Spirit! The problem isn't trying to be free from law but embracing law and building an inflexible theology to a point where God will release you to go to heaven but you won't inherit your inheritance. When you sin without the grace of God you are piling up judgement but under grace you are FREE! (Romans 7:1-3, 3:19-20). "Through the law we became knowledgable of wrath". The law has no power to make you righteous - but just to point out your faults. You can't divorce from the Law! The only way you can be free is for the Law to die but the law will never pass away!
So what is the answer? (Romans 7:4) "You died to the law ... that you might belong to Another". When you came to Christ you died to Christ and God cancelled for you the writing of the 10 Commandments. You DIED to the Law! The Law doesn't die - it is still around for the lost!
If you are dead to something then you are dead! But you are alive to a different Husband who has sympathy with your infirmities and He mediates a covenant depending on HIS performance! This Husband doesn't point your faults out!
The Gospel isn't a revelation of what's wrong with you but how right you are with the Father in Jesus Christ!!
If you feel condemnation then you are living under Old Covenant mentality. If you feel that you are yo-yo'ing between the two Covenants then you have a Husband issue. The spirit of religion is so ungodly and so powerful that Hebrews warns some Christians that choose to stay with the Law that will rape and abuse them but the broken heart of the Father can't lift the peripheral fence and let them into the glory.
They will go to heaven but they will never recieve their inheritance. A person under law has an ideal self that they are trying to live upto and fall so short that they feel they deserve the abuse of the law. God will never punish you again because all punishment was poured out on Jesus.
But God cannot allow you to inherit New Covenant life under law. If you commit adultery - stay under grace! God knows how to restore adulterers! He knows how to love adulterers! He wants heart transformation not behaviour modification.