Monday, June 27, 2011

Lou Fellingham and Phatfish with the All Souls Orchestra at Prom Praise!

I've had two great loves and two different expressions in worship for many years now. One of course is the more contemporary style of choruses led by worship bands. The other is the mighty and triumphant hymns that express great theology. The first is the reason why I love attending Bible Weeks like Stoneleigh Bible Week and indeed church life in general. The second sadly is a little more hard to come by since I left my home church in Dunstable. Hymns! There is nothing greater or closer to heaven than singing a mighty hymn like "And Can it Be?" or "Oh for a Thousand Tongues" along with a great organ.

Fortunately thanks to the All Souls Orchestra and Noel Tredinnick - that is possible by attending one of their great "Prom Praise" events (they will be visiting Birmingham in October!). There is nothing greater than standing with thousands of others at the Royal Albert Hall singing one of these great hymns.

So I was thrilled to read on Lou Fellingham's Twitter that she and Phatfish were special guests with Noel Tredinnick at the last Prom Praise event at Easter. Here's a video that Simon Brading shot for their You-Tube account!

The best of all worlds of worship have come together!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Rob Rufus on "The Flow of the Anointing"

I did publish this transcript on the "Rob Rufus blog" but this truth is one so vitally important that I felt led to publish it here too (I think Ern Baxter would approve!). Until I heard Rob begin to teach on the anointing at Brighton 2006, I was always of the legalistic school of thought that impartation of the anointing was for the "gifted" (meaning men of God like Terry Virgo and Rob and William Branham and so on) - not plebs like myself. After hearing Rob - I see now that is actually a proud get-out clause to excuse myself from expecting great things from God through MY life!

Whatever our understanding of Mark 16, we cannot get away from the challenge the Lord Jesus left for us as the New Covenant Church;

"And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation. He who has believed and has been baptized shall be saved; but he who has disbelieved shall be condemned. These signs will accompany those who have believed: in My name they will cast out demons, they will speak with new tongues; they will pick up serpents, and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

So then, when the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, while the Lord worked with them, and confirmed the word by the signs that followed".

"Open your Bibles please to Acts chapter 19.

An apostle has a government over their life to set the church in order - to bring a grace government to liberate and work with pastors and to help pastors coming alongside them. To lay foundations for churches. The Bible says in Ephesians 2 that the church is built on the foundation of apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus as the chief cornerstone.

Jesus is a living Saviour, a living Lord - and the church is built on the foundation of a living Head but also on the foundation of living apostles and living prophets. It is not built on the foundation of apostles who lived and then died and prophets who lived long ago and then died. These living apostles and prophets need to get into churches and lay foundations of a living Christ and a foundation of what the church is in Christ and the foundation of grace.

This is the last session here and I was hoping to speak on the "Seven Ugly Faces of the Grace-Hating Spirit" - we will not have time to do that and I feel that is for another time. I want to talk about the transference of the anointing. I was in the faith group and Kenneth Hagin was the man that God used to bring me into encounter with the power of God in 1981. I want to talk about this because the anointing is the grace of God - the anointing carries grace and we want to speak about how the anointing is carried in your words. I want to talk about how the anointing is transferred through the laying on of hands and other ways.

When you leave here I believe God wants to spread the supernatural aroma and flavour and perfume of grace wherever you go. He wants us to see that the anointing can be transferred. The anointing is transferable, transmittable and tangible. The anointing of God is like supernatural electricity. The anointing of God is like heavenly materiality - it is real. You can feel the anointing. You can feel it on your hands and you can feel it on your face. You can feel it leaving your body and going into someone else's body.

I was in Holland just a few weeks ago and we taught on the transfer of the anointing. I said; "Any five people who are sick - I don't care how sick you are - I want to show you the transfer of the anointing and I will pray for you". So five people came out and within a minute or two three of them were completely healed. The fourth had to go for a checkup and a few weeks later we got the email saying they were healed. The fifth one I don't know about - but four were healed about them understanding how to receive the transfer of the anointing!

How many want to know how to give the anointing into people's lives after receiving it? We are all called to be competent ministers of the Spirit that gives life. When we walk in the gift of righteousness and speak about the gift of grace we should be able to back that up with the transfer of the ministry of the Spirit of life.

We should be able to give away the Spirit of life. Some years ago a man invited me to go to the United Kingdom and
preach to a big outreach in London. The network was called "Pioneer Ministries" and they were doing an amazing work with people suffering with HIV/AIDS and they were ministering to them. So they knew many many precious homosexual folk - people who were lesbians and homosexuals. I want to tell you that God loves homosexuals and lesbians the way He loves adulterers and murderers and every unsaved person. Jesus has died for the whole world! Somehow Christians have put homosexuality in a different category and said their sin is worse. I don't know - everything is bad! Under the Law everyone falls short and everyone has missed the glory of God!

The church has not been successful in reaching homosexual people or gay people. In the Western world the church has not had a good result with the gay community. Much of the church has bashed the gays and marched with big "anti-gay" slogans. That doesn't represent Jesus! I really believe Jesus walks amongst the gay people and wants to love them into the freedom of the Kingdom! So I was going to minister to hundreds and hundreds of people who hated church - hated Christianity and didn't go to church and certainly didn't trust Christians and are in the gay community.

Now I had never preached to hundreds of gay people at once - so I went to the United Kingdom and went out to the forest to pray and wait on God. I began to pray and wait on God for 1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hours, 4 hours until I got the breakthrough in prayer. Now the breakthrough came at the Cross but I was praying the victory of the Cross into this community. While I was in the forest, I felt the breakthrough of God. I had a white T-shirt, white running shorts on and was so happy when the breakthrough came and knew the victory had been released and I was running and jumping in the forest and even rolled down the hill and rolled down into a big pile of cow dung and my T-shirt was covered in cow dung but I was so happy I kept running and knew tonight there would be blessing and liberty and people saved tonight!

I heard God say to me; "Son, the anointing of blessing is all over your white T-shirt which was now the colour of green cow dung. Tonight I don't want you to preach for more than 10 minutes - I just want you to go to the meeting and wave it over the crowd and I'll do the rest". So I said; "Jesus please don't ask me to do this! These are British people with stiff upper lips and won't appreciate this!". He said; "Okay Rob - don't worry but you will be preaching on your own". I said; "No Lord don't leave me on my own!". But you see - sometimes to do the miraculous we have to do the ridiculous. That is why grace liberates us to become bold and adventurous. We can step out in faith when we hear the voice of God. We do things people are too afraid to do but we do them because we are walking in the grace of God.

So that night I went to the meeting and there were 100s of people there. Someone was trying to lead them in worship but they were not interested. They were angry and mad and upset. I came out and began to speak and spoke for 10 minutes. Everything was so tight and unfriendly and hostile and terrible that I wanted to run out the meeting. I thought; "Lord I will just preach for a little longer to get their faith up". The Lord kept saying; "Son I am telling you - just wave the T-shirt over the crowd". I had the T-shirt in a plastic bag and hidden it under the pulpit and was dressed in a clean shirt and trousers. But nothing was happening - it was getting worse. So finally I said; "Ladies and gentlemen - I just want to say to you that I have been disobeying God for the last 20 minutes". As soon as I said I had been disobeying God all these unsaved people - I had their attention. I said; "The Lord told me to only speak for 10 minutes and then He told me to do .... this".

I was feeling embarrassed and nervous and felt no great faith. I pulled the T-shirt out which was green and yellow from cow dung. And I said; "The Lord told me to do ... this" and as I waved the T-shirt over the crowd the power of God was released across that room and hundreds of people fell from their chairs. Demons began to come out. People began to scream and repent. Then I said; "He told me to do THIS!" and then they went hysterical. When God told the disciples to feed the masses with fish, don't think Thomas was breaking the loaves in half and throwing them out. They were taking little crumbs! When they saw the bread and fish was not running out - then they got bolder. And I began to get bolder and bolder. Literally 100's of people - I have a video recording of this - 100's of these people without me asking them to do it, got up off the floor, fell on their knees at the front, taking their lovers rings off and throwing them onto the pulpit and repenting and calling out on God.

I was amazed! But I saw one man standing in a pin-striped suit standing by himself. Everyone was on the floor kneeling and weeping and repenting. I ran up to this very British man with the white T-shirt and went pow in his stomach! He fell and began to cry out and weep before God! I didn't realise that man worked at Buckingham Palace and was the legal advisor to the Royal Family. God got him! I wanted to give him my white T-shirt and ask him to take it and wave it over Prince Charles!

There is an anointing that flows out of grace that will radiate out of our lives and through our churches. We just have to learn how to release it and many Christians have to learn how to receive it. So let's have a look at Acts chapter 19. You remember Elisha had the double anointing of Elijah. When Elisha died in an open grave and his flesh rotted away until it was only bones left - when a dead person was dropped into his grave, the dead body touched the bones of Elisha and the dead person came to life. In the bones of Elisha there was still enough anointing resident or present in his bones enough to raise a dead person.

If the bones of a dead prophet can raise someone from the dead - how much more the anointing of Jesus Christ in the church of the living God moving in resurrection power in supernatural signs and wonders?!

Many people have misunderstood 1 Corinthians 12 and the gifts of the Spirit. They feel like some people have special gifts and other people do not have those gifts.

Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers have a mantle of Christ to equip God's people to do the works Jesus did and to come to the full stature and measure of Christ.

Ephesians 4 Ministries are not superior - they just have a mantle of Christ and their job is to serve and equip the church and become full in the operation of the works that Jesus did! Every believer has the Holy Spirit inside of them! I do not have any gifts of healing. Rob Rufus does not have one gift of healing, working of miracles, gift of tongues, speaking in tongues, prophecy - I don't have any of those gifts but I have the Person inside of me who has all nine gifts of the Spirit and whenever they need to be manifested, He will manifest them inside of me. You can do the works Jesus did and greater works because you are a son and daughter of God! Life gets exciting when you are living secure on a foundation of grace - you don't have to prove your sonship with miracles or turn stones into bread to prove you are a son. You don't have to jump off a building to prove you are a son. You don't have to do anything to prove you are a son! When you are secure in acceptance grace, there is an adventure to step out and go for it.

In Matthew chapter 10 Jesus said; "Go and preach the Kingdom - raise the dead, cast out devils, heal the sick and tell them that the Kingdom of heaven is near".

So how are we going to raise the dead if we don't pray for some dead people?

Lord give me the power to raise the dead! He already has! You have to give it a go - maybe you will pray for 10 people and they don't come alive but maybe the 11th will and then a whole village will hear about the power of Jesus Christ! Sometimes you have to do the ridiculous in order to see the miraculous. How many blind people have you prayed for? How many deaf people have you prayed for? We have got to step out and just go for it! Acts chapter 19:11;

"And God did extraordinary miracles through Paul so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that touched him were taken to the sick and the illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them".

Handkerchiefs and aprons became like supercharged batteries with the anointing and carried miles to a distant city and placed on the sick and they were so full of the anointing that they would drive out demons and heal the sick. This is a New Testament practice - driving out demons and healing the sick with hankies or the laying on of hands. I want you to look at Mark chapter 5 - the famous Scripture. The doctrine of the laying on of hands (and we are not talking about Hebrews 6 - that's another story and we can't go there) but there is a New Testament ministry of the laying on of hands. Now in religious circles it is empty hands on empty heads.

If you don't give something away through the laying on of hands it is just a ceremony. It is just an empty ceremony.

When we lay hands on people there is meant to be the currents of heavenly electricity that supernaturally comes out of our hands and flows into someone or flows into a handkerchief or an apron and into someone's body and they receive it.

I want to encourage you to listen to how to receive and how to give the anointing. When Peter was walking past the Gate Beautiful and a man begged him for money he said "Silver and gold we don't have right now" but in the next chapter they will be throwing piles of money at our feet - but right now we don't have silver and gold but such as we have we give to you. "In the Name of Jesus Christ rise up and walk" and the man stood up and went leaping and praising God. Peter said; "Look at us - such as we have - we give you!". You have got to know that you are loaded with heavenly power, you have got to know that such as I have - I give to you! So you will hear about how you are forgiven and one with Christ!

You have got to let go, you have got to give in and give the power out to the world around you! "Such as I have - I give to you" - that is what Peter and John said. So we are going to release that anointing - there is going to be an anointing release as we end this conference. There is going to be an anointing that will go out and be released into people's lives here and activate people. Let's read Mark chapter 5:21;

"When Jesus had crossed over to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around Him while He was by the lake. Then one of the synagogue rulers came there seeing Jesus, he fell at His feet pleading earnestly with Him; "My little daughter is dying - please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live". So Jesus went with him. A large crowd followed and pressed around and a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for 12 years. She had been under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had. Instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus she came and touched His cloak. She thought; "If I can just touch His clothes I will be healed". Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

At once Jesus realised that power had gone out from Him, He turned around to the crowd and asked; "Who touched my clothes?". "You see the people crowding around you - and yet You can ask 'Who touched Me?'" His disciples asked. But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. The woman came and fell at His feet trembling with fear and told Him the whole truth. He said to her; "Daughter your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering". Now this is an amazing story here because Jesus did not walk through the crowds and say; "The Father has given Me a revelation in the crowd here somewhere there is a woman who has an issue of blood here and it is your lucky day - your name has come up in the computer of heaven and God is just in the mood to heal you today - this is your lucky day - where are you lady?" and then gave her healing.

No! That's how many people think of healing - of some kind of sovereign mysterious thing that God does when He heals you. He gets in a good mood when He heals you and we don't know why He doesn't heal anyone else! Today the reporters would have said - you see, it's not God's will to heal everybody! But Jesus healed one man and everyone else could have jumped up and said; "Hey - me too!" and He would healed everyone! Because over and over again it said - "He healed them all". Jesus healed all who came to Him - and He is the perfect will of God. He didn't pray for this woman - He didn't give her healing! He didn't lay His hands on her - it was illegal for her to be in a public place and she could have been stoned by Jairus the Temple ruler if they had known she had an issue of blood. But she had heard about Jesus and she heard that Jesus was healing everyone and she heard that power was going out of Him and healing them all. So she sneaked up behind Him and touched Him and her faith made a demand on the anointing.

Her faith pulled the power out of Jesus and went into her and she felt the power come into her and knew she was healed. What she thought was that she could sneak away and no one would know. What she didn't realise was that the anointing is so like electricity and you can know and feel - she didn't realise that Jesus would feel it leaving Him and said "Who touched Me?". Everyone was around Jesus - they were all touching Him and all touched Him! They were all curious and hoping to get healed! They all were curious for some kind of experience yet no power flowed to them but one woman touched Him and pulled the power out of Him and she was healed. What does this mean? You can have hands laid on you hoping you will be blessed - this woman was not hoping or curious - she knew if she touched Him she would be healed - she knew if she touched Him her faith would make a demand and that her faith could pull the anointing out of Jesus. You have people come and think you are the guru and they come and stand passive in the prayer lines and are closed and think you can do it.

Jesus wants to heal all and at the Cross has healed all on the planet. But when He went to His home town - He could there do no mighty works. Why? Because they didn't pull the power of God out of Him but this woman did! She pulled it with her faith! She wasn't pleading or praying - she didn't even ask for healing! She sneaked up behind Him and with her faith pulled the healing out of Him. 12 years of bleeding was finished! It amazes me that hundreds were touching Jesus and they didn't get the same result.

This is what I believe - if we as a Church begin to learn how the anointing flows and if we learn how to give the anointing and start seeing the increase in grace anointing then we more and more will see people hearing about and know that the grace message is ministers of the Spirit releasing the ministry of life through the power of the Holy Spirit. This is how the disciples in Luke 17 understood it - "Lord, teach us how to have faith - Lord give us great faith". Jesus said; "If you have faith like a mustard seed then you will speak to mulberry trees and they will be pulled up by the roots and thrown away". A mustard seed is a small little seed and Jesus was using farmer's language.

You don't need a quantity of faith - you need quality of faith.

Today I believe Jesus would say if you have faith as small as a little fuse, a little electric fuse - then you can release resurrection power and receive resurrection power when hands are laid on you.

An electric fuse is a small little thing and the metal of the fuse is chosen because it has low resistance to electricity. Electricity will not flow through lead or through wood. There are certain metals and substances that do not conduct electricity. Unbelief does not conduct the anointing or receive the anointing. Copper is a good conductor so many electric fuses are made with copper so when you switch your light on at home and the power comes from a nuclear power station or a hydro-electric station - it comes down the power lines and the power lines are the Word of God. It gets to your home, comes through the electric fuse and then lights up your house and your fridge and television. If suddenly that electric fuse has got too much resistance to the electric fuse then the fuse will short circuit and your house will be plunged into darkness and your television won't work and your fridge will die.

It would be a foolish thing to drive to the power station and say; "Hey why have you closed down? The power isn't flowing anymore!". No! The first thing you do is go and look at your electric fuse to see if it's been broken. And then you make sure that you put a new one in that has low resistance to the electrical currents of God. I believe we all have the faith of God but that we are not all operating in the faith that God has given us. There is little faith, great faith, strong faith and weak faith the Bible speaks about. I believe that as you learn to have a fuse that has no resistance to the anointing then as soon as the anointing comes to you - you just surrender. You don't resist it - you just receive it.

If you have got high resistance because you are afraid of the Presence of God or the power of God and resist and push away then your electric fuse will break down and you will short circuit the flow of God's power.

The more people that have low resistance and receive the anointing ... you see;

The anointing is Spirit-life and the power of God. You cannot understand the anointing with your head. You cannot receive the anointing with your brain. You have got to receive the anointing with your heart.

When I lay hands on someone I can tell immediately if they are in their head or in their spirit. If they are in their head, they are all analytical, all tense and all trying with their head. If someone is pulling the anointing (like this lady) from their head - then as you lay your hands on them - BOOM! They suck it out of you and the miracle happens so easily! Because their electric fuse has no resistance to the anointing. Then when they lay hands on people they just release the awesome power of God by the spirit of faith and words of faith.

I want to close now by reading another passage. I want to show you that once someone breaks through with faith - once a local church breaks through with faith or a community of churches break through then you will see that the reputation spreads and spreads. This woman was the only one who got her healing - though hundreds were touching Jesus, they got nothing from Him! But one woman got her healing because she touched Him with faith. Once people see an example - they begin to realise; "Boy I need to touch Him with faith - not hope or curiosity or desperation but a low resistance and receive that anointing and see miracles leap to a high level". So let's go to the next chapter - Mark chapter 6.

This is one chapter where a whole crowd got nothing and one woman did. Look at the difference following this woman's example. Mark 6:53; "When they had crossed over, they anchored there - as soon as they got out the boat people recognised Jesus". People recognised Jesus. People recognise your church - the priesthood of all believers in your church and it is then known as a community that is known how to release the anointing into people's lives. "They ran throughout the whole region and carried the sick on mats to wherever they heard He was. Wherever He went into villages and towns, they placed the sick in the marketplaces and begged Him to let Him touch even the edge of His cloak and ALL who touched Him were healed".

What is the difference here? Before hundreds touched Him and they didn't get healed. One touched Him and got healed and now they release power is coming out of this Man - all we have to do is touch Him with faith. Everyone who touches Him - all were healed. God wants churches to get to that reputation where if you can go into that atmosphere in worship - there is a release of the anointing of God, where hands are laid on you - it is not symbolism or screaming and shouting and nothing happens - there is a release of heaven's voltage, a release of the currents of God. The power station in heaven is more powerful than a nuclear power station - the Cross has set the power station forever on and the power lines is the Word of God. The power has been flowing ever since Jesus said "It is finished" - ever since He said that and redeemed us from sickness and disease - ever since the Day of Pentecost, the power has never had to increase or be switched on. It's always on and always flowing! Every second heaven's power station will never break down - full voltage of heaven's life and power!

The Word of God will never fail - Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever! The only difference is - you can have the nuclear power station and the power coming to your house but if your resistance is too high then you will short circuit and lose the power. Then you can say; "The power station has passed away, the power station is no longer doing miracles".

God is still doing miracles today - the power station is as flowing today as it was 2000 years ago when Paul's handkerchiefs and aprons were supercharged. The power is as strong and available as when Jesus ministered and when the apostles ministered.

The power has not decreased and there is no problem with the power line - the problem is with the faith fuse in the church because of lack of understanding! You cannot stand there passively and receive something - you have got to reach in and seize. You don't even have to ask Jesus! She just crept up behind Jesus, grabbed His garment and pulled the power out of Him.

Jesus can I have permission to get prosperity or a good wife or be blessed or have a good job? You don't need permission! Everything is yes in Christ Jesus! He has given it to you - you just need to reach in and take it because it's yours already! Sometimes you lay hands on people and they are in this grey matter called the brain trying to figure the anointing out - I can't get this into them.

When they don't receive it by impartation then you have to resort to the authority command. I have had people healed who didn't pull the anointing out of me, I have had to speak to the cancer and command it to go - it was the authority command that brought the anointing not their faith.

You can get people healed if they are in unbelief, but if people don't get enough faith. If someone has got their car in park - you can't push it forward. But even if it's in neutral you can push it forward. Even if they don't have great faith, they can receive the anointing from you. I want us to stand please and let's demonstrate the release of the anointing and go out of this conference full of the revelation of grace and righteousness. Full of the revelation we have received fullness in Christ. Let's go out of this place to give it away and release the anointing.

We - the church - want to become the garment of Jesus that the world is always trying to touch to get the anointing!

My job is not to do the ministry but release others to do the ministry. Ephesians 4 Ministries are to train you to do the ministry of Jesus otherwise the pastor goes on a big ego trip because he burns out. We had a lady come into our church 2 years ago and she was wheeled in a wheelchair and I didn't know she had been in the chair for about 20 years. I thought; "I wonder if I will have a chance to get her out the wheelchair". When I had finished preaching I started walking towards the back of the hall and saw this lady out of this chair and walking! And I saw 2 members of our church smiling because they had prayed for her and seen her come out of the wheelchair. Almost everyone in our church pray for the sick!

The Phillipines can be saved by a people living at rest in the grace of God and the acceptance - from that place of rest they can release the anointing! If you pray for someone and they are not healed yet die - don't blame yourself for killing them. They were on the way to the grave anyway! Without being hard on them you have got to say "next"! I prayed for 5 people in 1981 who were blind and saw 2 healed. I have had to pray for many people with cancer and seen many of them not healed. Now we see many healed. We have gone on TV in Australia because we saw a lady in a wheelchair with doctors saying she will never walk again. She was wheeled into our church totally paralysed. I said; "In the Name of Jesus Christ come out of her". A man's voice came out of her saying; "I'm not coming out". I laughed and said; "You are coming out - I'm from Africa and we see devils out". They are all coming out because of the Name of Jesus.

The primary ministry of an apostle is government of grace and laying foundations and the primary sign of an apostle is signs, wonders and miracles. Apostles equip the church for miracles as do evangelists!

Are all apostles? No not all are. Not all are prophets or evangelists. Their job is to equip the body of Christ but every priest can move in signs and wonders and miracles.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Transcribing ... a Major Part of This Blog

I remember when I started this blog some years back, blogging was all the rage. Nowadays it seems to have died out a bit with only a faithful few still blogging away. I think one of the main reasons I kept mine going was that I wanted a vehicle (or two) for transcribing sermons - a practice I really enjoy and benefit from.

Why did I start transcribing?

I remember the first thing I began transcribing were interviews. I have always had a love of interviews - I feel they give insights into servants of God that you do not always get in sermons. You get more instant answers. While I am a self-confessed bibliophile (lover of books) and collect books as fast as I can and as much as I can afford for my own personal library (now several thousand books) - it always irked me that audiotapes seemed like a hidden treasure. There was so much gold discussed in some preaching and teaching tapes which unless you knew what you were listening to - could be missed. The printed word made that available.

What have I transcribed?

So my first few transcription projects were "Panel Discussions" from the Bethlehem Conference for Pastors. John Piper is renowned for gathering world-class preachers and teachers and the panel discussion was a part of the conference I was always fascinated in.

So I transcribed the 1999 conference where James M Boice, C J Mahaney and Piper discussed many issues. I then transcribed the 1991 conference where Wayne Grudem and Piper sat together discussing "Spiritual Gifts and the Sovereignty of God" and finally the 1995 conference where D A Carson was attending.

I then began to move onto transcribing Dr Ern Baxter. It was (and is) one of my major regrets that Ern never published more books than he did. I've collected and gathered all of his (now out of print) books but there is so much more of his ministry that should have been published! My first project was "Life on Wings - Interviews with Dr Ern Baxter" - a series of 4 interviews that Ern Baxter gave before his death. Mark Heath kindly published the document on his blog for me. I then transcribed "The Priestly Clothing" - a monumental series that Ern gave at our very own Anglia Bible Week in 1983.

I have recently commenced an even bigger project - transcribing (in my view) the most significant series that Ern Baxter preached at the Dales Bible Week in 1976 called "Where are we going?". It was a call to not waste the renewal and moving of the Holy Spirit but to go on and "take the land" - preach the gospel to the lost. Sadly largely ignored by many in that generation - it still has prophetic timeless truth which is why I hope it will be read and maybe even published.

When I encountered Rob Rufus at the "Together on a Mission" conference in 2006 and 2007 I knew instantly that this was a man of God who would change my life. My love for Rob's ministry came because he expressed and enunciated many of the kingdom truths that Ern Baxter did - but his passion for grace teaching meant freedom from much of the legalism I have inherited. It seemed a lethal combination! So I set up the "Rob Rufus" blog - aimed at making much of his teaching available in printed form. Rob and his son Ryan know and approve of this blog.

Transcribing - a Business?

I was interested to see Justin Taylor mention this "transcribing company" that offer this service to church pastors and teachers. It's encouraging that many local pastors can take advantage of this and ensure their ministry is not forgotten. I always used to badger a former hero of mine to write because it was my concern that teaching not written can be forgotten - sadly he never did.
I don't get paid anything for my transcripts - it's a hobby and one I really enjoy. But it's great to see it isn't just me that believes the preached word should be written down. Imagine how lost we would be if Dr Lloyd-Jones had persisted in refusing to allow his ministry to be taped and then written down! We would be without all those timeless books on Romans and Ephesians. I don't want the same to be true of Ern Baxter or Rob Rufus or Stanley Jebb.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Thoughts following Anthony Hopkins in "The Rite"

I watched Anthony Hopkins star in the 2011 film; "The Rite" last night and have to say I found it quite thought provoking. For those who are unaware of the film - it follows a young atheist who decides to go into the priesthood and ends up conducting a course on exorcism at the Vatican. He is advised to meet "unorthodox" exorcist Father Lucas (Hopkins) and ends up watching a number of exorcisms that (in typical Hollywood fashion) are quite disturbing. Hopkins makes a number of profound statements about the reality of spiritual warfare;

"Does a burglar turn on the lights? No - he prefers you to know that he isn't there. Just so with demons ... Choosing not to believe in the devil won't protect you from him".

But what occurred to me while I was trying to go to sleep was a couple of issues;

1. Why do we not see more exorcisms or demons manifesting in the Western world? I can't believe the demons have left simply because we are more "intelligent". No - as Hopkins says, like a burglar I think they prefer to let us continue believing they're not here.

2. I was reminded of something that C J Mahaney said about the late John Wimber. While I didn't agree with the context Mahaney used the statement - I agree he had a point. Mahaney was addressing the SGM Leadership Conference some years ago just prior to the launch of Jeff Purswell's "Amendment" paper on the Holy Spirit.

Mahaney commented that John Wimber believed the baptism of the Holy Spirit happened simultaneously with conversion - and yet was one of the most powerful men of the Spirit that he knew. He said something like;

"If I needed healing - who would I go to? Mahaney who believes the baptism of the Holy Spirit is distinct from conversion or Wimber?".

The logic of the statement is breathtakingly doubtful but Mahaney had a point that re-occured to me last night. The head bishop leading the exorcism class knew all the "head" knowledge about the forces of evil - Satan's hierarchy and so on. But it was to the Hopkins character that the doubting young judge was sent - the "unorthodox" priest.

The only exorcisms I have seen are by Christians that would probably be also called "unorthodox". I think particularly of Rob Rufus. I remember being amazed (although I shouldn't have) at the "Together on a Mission 2006" conference in Brighton when Rob called out a word of knowledge that there was a man there with a spirit of suicide on him. The man came to the front and manifested a demon instantly which Rob calmly cast out. There was no Hollywood dramatics - in fact I remember Rob told the demon it was not to show off.

What kind of Christian leaders would you go to if you realised you were afflicted by demon possession? Or what kind of Christian leaders would you go to if you were desperately afflicted with cancer and needed a divine miracle of healing? New Testament scholars like D A Carson or Thomas Schriener (if they would even see you?) or Reformed, non-charismatic leaders like C J Mahaney or Mark Dever or Al Mohler (if they would see you too!) or even "cautious" charismatics like Mark Driscoll? Or would you go to men or women that some would consider "unorthodox" - indeed some claimed guilty of telling "urban legends" like Rob or Terry Virgo or David Devenish?

It's an interesting thought.

In my life I so try to "hold the tension" between Word and Spirit - Reformed doctrine and charismatic experience. Am I falling too far on the "Word" side because I want to be well thought of? Is it really possible to be buck the trend and not fall into the error Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones called; "Perfectly orthodox - perfectly useless"?!

But it's interesting thinking who you would go to for help if say a demon was to manifest itself and you needed guidance and help!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

What Foundation? Pastoral or Prophetic?

I have greatly been enjoying Terry Virgo's new book; "The Spirit-Filled Church" and have almost finished it. One of his greatest giftings is presenting a sound theological apologetic for Ephesians 4 Ministries - all of them! While speaking at Brighton 2002 on Ephesians 2 - Terry made the point that the church hasn't finished being built and so continues to need apostles and prophets to lay a foundation! The issue is not even about the sufficiency of Scripture. It is about the church being properly built in regions beyond such as China or the Middle East!

In "The Spirit-Filled Church" Terry compared a church built on a pastoral foundation to a church built on prophetic foundations;

"Churches are sometimes built on a predominantly pastoral gift. When this is the case, they run the risk of concentrating on the needs of the flock rather than on the purpose of God. The flock can come to see pastoral care as the key factor of church life. The church can be constantly evaluated on the basis of whether their church can be constantly evaluated on the basis of whether their personal needs are being met rather than whether God's purpose is being fulfilled".

What about churches led by strong teachers (such as Westminster Chapel when Dr Martyn Lloyd-Jones or Dr R T Kendall led it or indeed New Covenant Church in Dunstable when Stanley Jebb led us)? Terry wrote;

"If the church is built essentially and exclusively on a teaching gift it will tend to produce a preaching centre that gathers a crowd but does not build a body".

It is the desperate need of churches in the UK I believe that God raises up prophets and churches who happily welcome such prophets so these foundations can be re-laid. We have a far-too great majority of churches led exclusively with pastor/teacher foundations. I can only think of a few churches that could claim and show a true apostolic/prophetic gifting.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Dead Formalism

One of the greatest tragedies of my formative years (I believe) was the elders of my home church in Dunstable relentlessly banning life and dragging us from charismatic experience - all because of fear of excess. They had seen things like the Kansas City Prophets and the Toronto Blessing and felt it was fake and excess and were determined (even to the point of erasing years of awesome ministry tapes) to ensure we were "safe".

I wish they had paid heed to this excellent quote by C H Spurgeon;

"I would rather risk the dangers of a tornado of religious excitement than see the air grow stagnant with a dead formality".

Quoted in: Terry Virgo - "The Spirit-Filled Church" - Monarch Books, Oxford (2011) - p69.

Where are the Fathers?

I am enjoying a couple of days off work presently - yesterday I spent a wonderful morning with my dear friend Pete Day in London. We spent time praying, hearing from God and one of the aches on our hearts was the apparent lack of spiritual fathers. And our prayer was that God will give to us - not organisational apostles but relational fathers who can lead and father us.

It is not a coincidence I think that I decided to listen to the DVD of Dr Ern Baxter speaking
during his final visit to us at New Covenant Church in Dunstable before he went to glory in 1991 on "History Making Prayer". He opened his message making some comments about one of the young assistant pastors to Stanley Jebb and emphasized his heart for what he called his "Timothys". He said that men would contact him after hearing him in conferences and he would write to them, and recommend books and have contact with them.

What moved me so much was that this mighty man of God who probably knew that he was nearing the end of his time on earth still had a heart for young men and fathering them. I think the below beautiful photograph (thanks to Terry Virgo for the link) demonstrates this perfectly. Ern Baxter had a wonderful love for eagles:

I didn't notice the young eagle under the wing of the magnificent parent eagles for a minute. I was too caught up admiring their proud bearing. But then I did. Terry Virgo spoke at Stoneleigh Bible Week 2001 on eagles also - and spoke about how parents will push their children out of the nest and make them take flight. This baby eagle to me looks like he should have passed that phase. But I love the fact that the parent is still protective towards it. We used to sing a beautiful song in Dunstable during our charismatic days called; "Living under the shadow of His wing - we find security".

Of course we always have our heavenly Father - but it was His divine design and indeed resurrection gift in Ephesians 4 that we should have earthly spiritual fathers also. And I fear that many current Ephesians 4 Ministries do not have that heart for fathering sons and daughters. The pressure is too great to treat our churches like businesses. When I used to try and contact men in the very same way that Ern spoke off - the phrase I would hear all too regularly was; "I'm too busy". It made me wonder how you can be too busy to father. Many of the excuses for business were valid - but they were outside their Ephesians 4 giftings. That's why so many pastors these days are caught up in administration, in finances, in church affairs - and are indeed too busy to father! Just the same with apostles - they are too busy leading their movements, trouble-shooting and so on.

The beauty of true Ephesians 4 Ministries means that each is freed to follow their true giftings - and that surely involves fathering. I realised that true Ephesians 4 Ministries all should see fathering as key! Oh for apostles who can father up and coming young men and women with apostolic gifting. Oh for prophets with recognised and powerful prophetic gifting (such as Greg Haslam or Jon Cressey or Ginny Burgin) who are prepared to spend time sitting with young men and women with prophetic giftings. Oh for evangelists (like Lex Loizides) who can inspire and fire those with evangelistic gifting.

And of course pastor/teachers - who perhaps may have opportunity to father more than any because of their local church involvement. I have to pay tribute to Stanley Jebb for being the only pastor/teacher in my experience who really had this heart for fathering young men. When he was leading the church in Dunstable he committed so much time to the Bible College we ran, and even when he had retired from church leadership - he still graciously spent some time with me years back fathering me for a short season. And I believe he still does - even though he is in his 70's! Alas - I have yet to meet other church pastors with that heart.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

Why We Must Allow the Song of Solomon to Burst Forth in It's Glorious Colour!

I am grateful to Dave Bish for these couple of links on one of my favourite books in the Old Testament - the Song of Solomon. A number of people have asked me now and then why I have so avidly defended the way we read the Song against men like C J Mahaney and Mark Driscoll - who insist on the book being a sex manual for married couples. I think if I was asked to summarise in one statement why I do defend it - probably the main argument is this;

If ALL Scripture is God-breathed and profitable for teaching, doctrine and so on (2 Timothy 3:16) then I cannot understand how a sex manual can fulfill this standard for those single people who read and believe and love the Word of God. However if primarily the book draws us to a picture of Christ and His passionate love for us, and secondly is profitable for married couples then we can be mightily blessed learning about our Lord and Saviour and then rejoice for those married among us.

Ed Goode cites seven reasons for reading the Song of Solomon and they are so helpful;

1) The Bible is a book about the Father seeking out a bride for His Son. Why does everything exist? For this reason, so that we can know the Father through intimacy with the Son. Reading the Song Christocentrically (it's a word now!) fits far better into the flow of the story of the Bible.

2) Amos wrote about Heaven as a farm, Ezekiel as a temple. Why wouldn't Soloman wax lyrical about the coming King in terms he was familiar with?

3) You have to do odd things to the text to make it speak of human relationships first. Why do vineyards and gardens and trees become anatomical parts? Why can't a garden be a garden? And a vineyard a vineyard. Do we meet gardens and vineyards elsewhere in the Old Testament?

4) I think if the Song was about Soloman going to court, and being let off the punishment due his treason against the King, we'd have no problem reading it Christocentrically. (still a word!) I want to/hope to blog about this more in the coming days, how God reveals Himself as love, and yet we think of Him as law, about how our affections must drive our will and not the other way around. The Bible ends with a wedding feast, it doesn't end at the judgement. I don't think John was given his revelation in a haphazard, meaningless manner.

5) This mystery is profound and Paul says it refers to what?

6) Look at some of the imagery in the Song. What is that coming up from the wilderness like columns of smoke? (3:6) The wilderness! A column of smoke! A. Column. Of. Smoke! I mean what do we want, the groom to say he burns like a bush as he looks for his beloved?! The groom seeks, the groom is rejected, the groom wins his bride and they are united. The bride longs for the day when she and her groom are united forever. The final verse reads 'make haste my beloved, and be like a gazelle or a young stag on the mountains of spices.' What is that if not 'come Lord Jesus!'

7) I don't believe we do violence to the text reading it this way, i think we allow the text to burst forth in its glorious colour. We can still learn about human marriage from it, but again, what is marriage about? I am married so i can learn (slowly) and demonstrate (poorly) to a watching world the glories of Christ love for the church.

I really think we need this emphasis in the church today. Yes, Christians have a personal relationship with Christ, but that's not all we have. We have a relationship with our church, and Christ is coming back for His church. Your personal relationship isn't all there is. If you want a real relationship with Jesus, you'd better fling yourself into the local church. And boy, does Jesus ever love the church! Why would you not want to be involved?

You can read far more helpful and coherent thoughts here and here

Ryan Rufus - Glory and Grace Conference - Philippines

Rob and Ryan Rufus shared the keynote preaching at a "Grace and Glory Conference" held in Manila in the Phillipines recently. I am working through the conference messages and the power and manifest Presence of God hung heavy over the time there. Ryan's message particularly is of significance - he spoke with such authority and anointing on three vital revelations. One of the reasons I love Ryan and Rob preaching together is that their preaching styles are different. Ryan tends to be a little more structured than Rob (Rob would admit that I think!) but the similarities - wow! Both men - father and son - share a passion for setting people free into the grace of God.

So here's the transcript of the message and the link to the

"Totally Forgiven! Totally United! Totally Filled!"

Alright I want to preach three truths to you today - just coming with three very simple, Bible, New Covenant truths and I believe they will bless you. You may have heard them numbers of times already because of such amazing grace teachers in this place. I want to speak three grace truths to you today. You may hear other sides of them you have never heard before.

Holy Spirit illuminate the Word of God today - bring revelation, an unlocking, open up eyes and open up hearts. Bring supernatural revelation and supernatural change. Lord where repentance is automatic, it's accidental - where we find ourselves changing the way we think not even on purpose but just because the Word of truth is lighting in our hearts and awakening in us and we cannot go back to the old patterns, the old ways of thinking.

1. The first truth is - you have been TOTALLY forgiven!

You haven't been partially forgiven, you have been totally and completely and utterly and fully and absolutely forgiven of all your sins - past, present and future!

Most Christians do not have trouble believing Jesus has forgiven them of their past sins. But many Christians have trouble that Jesus has already forgiven them of all of their future sins. They struggle with that so they feel if they sin then they have to confess the sin and repent of the sin and be cleansed of the sin and enter into all of these dead works and faithless works because they do not have a revelation of total forgiveness.

God doesn't forgive us our sins - God forgave us our sins!

(Colossians 2:13-14) - our forgiveness is past tense. It is not present continuous or future tense. Our forgiveness is past tense - because it happened 2000 years ago and when we came into Christ, we came into total and complete forgiveness of all the sins we have ever committed and all the sins we will ever commit in the future!

"When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive in Christ. He forgave us ALL our sins".

Before I had done one thing - while I was still dead - He forgave me all my sins. Jesus - the Cross - dealt with every single one of your sins. At the Cross God looked ahead at every single sin that will ever be committed and He dealt with it right there. The Cross looked at every single sin you would commit and it dealt with it right there. If the Cross didn't deal with all of your sins, past, present and future - then everybody born after the Cross could never be forgiven of all of their sins. If the Cross only dealt with past sins then only people born before the Cross - that were the righteous dead and had offered sacrifices when they sinned - His blood could only then forgive the past sinners and sins. Everyone born after Jesus couldn't receive forgiveness - they would still be in their sins. So if you sinned then Jesus would have to die again.

If Jesus didn't forgive all your future sins then every time you sin He has to die again and pay for your sins again. No! The Bible says that He forgave us ALL our sins - past, present and future sins!

Hebrews chapter 10:11: "Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties".

The Old Covenant is a standing and working covenant. The New Covenant is a sitting and resting covenant.

"Again and again he offers the same sacrifices which can never take away sins. But when this Priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, He sat down at the right hand of God. Since that time He waits for His enemies to be made His footstool because by one sacrifice He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy" - those who are being sanctified, coming into Christ, being set apart.

Did you notice one of the most powerful verses in the whole entire Bible? Did you see it? (v12); "But when this Priest had offered for all time". For all time. Past, present and future. "One sacrifice". Not continual sacrifice but one perfect sacrifice for sins for all sins for all time. Past, present and future.

I want to declare to you today - all of your future sins are already forgiven!

Many Christians when they sin feel unrighteous, dirty, unholy - they feel they have let God down and that God is no longer pleased with them. They feel they need to do "something". So guilt drives them to want to do something to get rid of the sin, or get rid of the guilt of their sin. That guilt wants to lead them to get rid. So they say; "God I have got to confess my sins and I have got to repent of these terrible sins and get cleansed of these sins - I have got to promise I will never do this sin again".

I want to tell you know that there is no Scripture in the New Covenant for New Covenant believers that tells you, you have got to continually confess your sins and repent of your sins and ask forgiveness for all your sins - why? Because ONE sacrifice for ALL time for ALL of your sins has already dealt with EVERY single one of your sins!

We are not called to confess our sins - we are called to confess our righteousness in Jesus Christ!
Get your eyes off your sins and get your eyes onto Christ! The more you do that, the more you will overcome sin in your life.

We are not called to ask for forgiveness even after we have sinned. This is challenging some of you right now! You may say; "No - no - I have been taught in church all of my life that after you sin, you confess your sin and ask forgiveness as a Christian". Yes - you may have been taught that - but did you go and study it in the Word? Did you find in the Word of God where it says you have to go and do that? You shouldn't always believe everything we preachers tell you! You have got to find out for yourself and base your life on the truth and on the Word of God and not just on what someone else says.

You may have sinned and feel a bit guilty and want to say sorry to God and to ask for forgiveness now. The heart is not wrong. That is not bad! The heart is right but the full revelation of the finished work of the Cross is not in the heart. It is okay to say; "God I'm sorry - I did not want to do that. That's not part of my new creation nature - you know what God though? I am not going to get all morbid and introspective and sorrowful and guilty! You don't want that - You want me to lift up my head, get in the Spirit and stay in the Spirit and thank You for the free gift of righteousness and total forgiveness and I fix my eyes on Jesus who has forgiven me of all my sins. I thank You that I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus".

God doesn't want guilt-ridden and introspective focusing on our sins - He wants us in Him. So we feel like asking for forgiveness. For many years in my Christian life if I sinned I would always feel like I wanted to ask God forgiveness. In fact I did always asked God. "God please forgive me - please cleanse me". How many of you have ever prayed that prayer as a Christian? Until I came into the revelation of TOTAL forgiveness! When I came into the revelation of total forgiveness - you know what started to happen? If I sinned and did something silly and started to feel guilty and go to God and say; "God I am so sorry would You forgive me" - I would always hear the voice of the Father speaking straight after I said that and He would say;

"Ryan - I already have. I did it 2000 years ago at the Cross. And you know those future sins you are probably going to commit? I have already forgiven those too!".

But then Christians who are not secure in grace will say; "Oh come now Ryan be careful - if you preach this stuff, then Christians are going to hear this and go out and sin and go crazy and sin! Because that's what Christians really want to go and do! Christians just want to sin and sin!". I don't know about you - but I'm born again! I don't want to run out and sin! My new nature that is the God-nature wants to live for God! Wants to serve God! It is not even a sacrifice - the desire and passion of my spirit is to live 100% for God!

If you could live just by your newborn spirit - your new creation nature - then you would live in absolute holiness and righteousness and the perfect will of God, if you walk totally by your spirit. Some corruption has come to our spirit and our flesh and our mind. So the Bible says we offer our bodies as living sacrifices and renew our mind. Basically we learn how to surrender our mind and our body to our spirit. So our spirit can rise up and lead us in life. As we walk by the spirit and live by all the riches that God has put inside of our spirit as we walk by His nature.

Ephesians chapter 4 it says; "Put on the new man that has been created after the nature of God in perfect righteousness holiness". Your new nature has been created after the nature of God in perfect righteousness and perfect holiness. The Bible says that God has put His law on our hearts. He has put His law on our hearts! That's not the 10 Commandments! Goodness gracious - if God did that it would kill us! No - the law God put on our hearts is His nature. It is His perfect nature.

No one has to say to God; "God, You shouldn't lie - You shouldn't steal! You shouldn't commit adultery!". That's crazy! Why? It is His perfect nature! It is just not in His nature and when we live by that nature, we live by His desires. I am teaching you grace here - sometimes it is a bit scary the first time you hear a truth because it may contradict everything we have been taught. "Is this wrong?". Let's just see if this witnesses with our spirit alright? The Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth.

As a New Covenant born again believer, to now go and ask forgiveness after you have sinned - is a sin. It is the sin of unbelief. You don't believe in the finished work of the Cross. You are trying to do something and don't realise it is already done!

All my sins have been dealt with! All my sins have been forgiven! If you do sin - oh heaven forbid! - sometimes I sin! Sometimes we do sin. We are not running out and wanting to sin and certainly not preaching license to sin. I don't know any grace preachers that are preaching a license to sin - not one! Even after if we sin - don't start asking God forgiveness, don't start trying to confess that sin or repent of that sin. Get your eyes on Jesus and keep your faith in Him! Keep walking in the Spirit covenant! Keep walking in the grace covenant! Keep declaring your absolute forgiveness!

"Father thank You that even that sin has been dealt with and I am still perfectly righteous!".

That is good news! The Holy Spirit lives inside of us. We are temples of the Holy Spirit and when we got born again and baptised in the Holy Spirit, He came to live inside of us with our spirit. Spirit to spirit. We are one with Christ in the Spirit. He said I will never leave you - I will not leave you as orphans and send you My Spirit.

That is proof that even after you sin - if your sin made you unholy and unrighteous then the Holy Spirit would have to leave. If you sinned and all of a sudden you became unrighteous and were not righteous until you confessed that sin and repented and got forgiven and cleansed then the Holy Spirit would have to leave until you got cleansed again! No! He never leaves!

He is ever present! Why? Because you are ever righteous, ever holy, forever and eternally forgiven!

Grace makes you happy! It is good news! It is always good news! If someone comes and turns the good news into bad news - don't listen to them! They are not preaching the good news! It is always good and should always make you happy and produce supernatural joy in you!

2. You have been totally united with Christ.

This is one of the most profound revelations that you will ever have.

In the Spirit - your spirit has been fully united with Christ so that means that you are united with Christ in His death, in His burial, in His resurrection, His ascension and in His seating on the throne.

Everything that happened to Jesus also happened to you! The good thing about it is that when He hung on the Cross, you were united with Him in that - but you didn't have to go through it! He hung there for us - He took all our sins and sickness for us and the full weight of the wrath of God, the full fire of the judgement and punishment and wrath of God was poured out fully upon Jesus and He died for your sins! Thank God we didn't have to face that judgement! Jesus faced that for us so we will never have to face that.

God will never punish the same sin twice. If God has already punished Christ for your sins, He is not then going to punish you for your sins!

That's either true or it's not! Some people preach as though God is going to punish you for your sins! Some will preach that you are sick because God is punishing you for your sins. That is a sin to say such things! That is unbelief! The Bible says that Jesus was punished for all of our sins!

God will never ever punish you with sickness for sin in your life!

Some of you are sick today and feel like it is God punishing you for your sin - you need to get free right now in Jesus Name! You need to challenge that lie from the pit of hell and not accept it! I have been forgiven of my sins! This sickness is not from God and is not because of my sins! Challenge that lie! You died with Christ! You were buried with Christ! You were raised to new life in Christ! You used to be dead to God but then God raised you up in new life - resurrected and new creation life in Christ. The life of Christ is your life. You were born again!

You were first born of water in the natural but now of Spirit by the Holy Spirit who made you alive with Christ and ascended into heaven. Ephesians 2:6; "Seated you in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus!". Do you know where you are seated right now in the spiritual? On the throne with Christ! You are a co-heir with Christ and joined to Him! That is greater than any of us realise in this room! That is so powerful and so profound. You are seated with Christ and reigning together with Christ! That is good news right there!

Do you know that if you are born again and saved and the miracle of salvation has come into your life - and He has made you alive - and you are sitting on the throne with Christ, do you know that if that has happened to you - then you can never lose that? You can never lose your salvation! You can never lose your salvation! Why? Because Christ is our life. He is our life! In order for you to lose your salvation, you would have to spiritually die again. That is impossible for you to spiritually die - because you are united with Christ and His life is your life! And He will NEVER die again! He is indestructible life - He is our High Priest in the order of Melchizadek and He ever lives to intercede for us! We are in Him - that means we can never die again! If you can never die again then you can never lose your salvation!

But what about all the Scriptures that sound like you can lose your salvation? I have looked at many of those Scriptures and when you look at them in context they are actually proof that you CAN'T lose your salvation! It is amazing! People have taken those Scriptures and used them to try and scare Christians and put fear into Christians; "If you don't stop sinning then you will lose your salvation". Ah - so I had better stop sinning because I am scared I will lose my salvation! That is the wrong motivation to stop sinning! If you do this for God then He will bless you! I don't serve God to get blessed. I serve Him because I love Him! I serve Him because His nature is inside of me! I don't not sin because I am scared of His judgement - I don't sin because I love Him! His nature is inside of me! Sanctification says your nature has been born again and made perfectly righteous in God and His nature is inside of you - your mind and flesh just need to catch up!

Sanctification isn't a process! We do not become more and more holy - no - we become holy once and for all! We are sanctified once and for all and the life we live is the overflow of what has happened! That miracle of overflow goes through our mind and through our body!

Don't ever be manipulated to serve God - you don't need to be manipulated to serve God! If you are a leader you do not need to manipulate Christians to serve God! You don't need to make Christians fearful to do things for God. No! Teach them about what has happened inside of them. Show them their new nature and what God has done in their spirit and watch those Christians come alive! You won't be able to stop them serving God! Many of you have got that revelation because I see the way you are serving God! It is not out of fear or manipulation but the way you have been gripped.

3. You have been totally filled with the fullness of God!

Colossians 2:9.

You can never come into the fullness of grace as long as you believe you are still under the law.

If you believe you are under the law even a little bit you will never come into the fullness of grace.

It is only when you believe the law covenant has completely passed away and you have died to it, God is not putting it on you and does not want you bound by it - it is a ministry of death and He has bought you out of it and resurrected you into the covenant of the Spirit! You are released from the law! You are no longer accountable to the law! God has put His Spirit inside of your hearts and where the Spirit of the Lord is there is liberty! Liberty from that Old Covenant - you have been liberated from the letter and come into the new way of the Spirit! You can have freedom in that covenant! You don't have to run back to the law! Stay in the Spirit and watch Him transform your life!

You have been filled with the fullness of God - "In Christ all the fullness of the Deity live in bodily form". These people that say that Jesus was born of God and deny His deity are wrong! They are deceived. Jesus is God! All the fullness of the Deity of God lives in bodily form and "you have been given fullness in Christ!". It doesn't say we will be given fullness. It says (past tense) we have been given fullness in Christ! All of the riches of heaven - all of the perfection of Christ live inside of us because we have been united with Christ. 1 Corinthians 6:17; "one with Him".

There is no sin nature in there. There is nothing of the old creation that lives inside of your new creation spirit. There is no sin or unrighteousness. Your spirit has received full perfection! Full holiness! God is not trying to give you anything else - He has already given you fullness! The fruit of the Spirit - many say that if you live by the Spirit you will eventually develop the fruit of the Spirit. Actually - that's wrong! The fruit of the Spirit is what is in your new nature - the fruit of your spirit being united with His Spirit. All of the fullness of God lives inside of you!

You have the fullness of God's love, joy, patience, goodness, and all that! There is way more than nine - it's infinite! So when we walk in the Spirit by our reborn spirit then we manifest the fullness of God through our lives! Let me tell you what it means to 'walk in the Spirit'! There is three dimensions to walking in the Spirit:

1. The Spirit covenant - the grace covenant
2. by your spirit
3. in fellowship with the Holy Spirit.

Focus on it! Focus on grace! Don't focus on the law or sin! Focus on the gift of righteousness - the grace of God and the finished work of the Cross! Speak it and confess it! When you sin don't run back to the law and get under condemnation. Stay in the grace covenant! Focus on your reborn spirit.

Too much of the church is focusing on the weakness of people's bodies and the corruption of their minds and are condemning them! Their spirit doesn't want to do that stuff! Activate their spirit and as you do that, the spirit will take control over their bodies and minds and they won't do it! Teach them how to activate their spirits!

Don't teach how terrible the body and the mind is! Teach how incredible our reborn spirit is!

The world is full of so many lies! But the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of truth and is our closest friend leading us in truth. Become more and more aware of His Presence in our lives. I can feel Him - I know that He is here. He doesn't leave us and walk around condemning us or convicting us of sin. He walks around and is our Comforter - our Counselor - our legal defense in the courts of heaven - He stands up and says; "They are totally forgiven and made righteous through the Cross! They are not guilty!". Follow and focus on the Holy Spirit - not the things of this world.

Saturday, June 04, 2011

Preach the Word!

I've just come back from a fantastic day spent in the historical city of Oxford. Scott and I both had the day off and decided to do something "different". Oxford is only an hour's drive away and somewhere I've visited once or twice (once in 2001 to hear John Piper speak at St Aldates and St Ebbes churches) but never to appreciate some of it's historical features.

One amazing place I was fascinated to visit was the famous Bodleian Library. It is the main research library in Oxford, one of the oldest libraries in Europe and second in size only to the British Library (some 11 million items!). I could have spent hours there. Why do libraries thrill me so? I think it is the historical marvel that words written down up to centuries ago can still be enjoyed, read and benefited from now.

Video tapes and audiotapes may erode and the spoken words of the sermon lost (one reason why I transcribe so much). But books manage to survive!

I've spent the last couple of days reading a novel I enjoy greatly - the series of books by Christopher Paolini about the character Eragon and his dragon Sapphira. At one point Eragon (the hero of the story) is severely hampered in his battle against evil because he doesn't have a sword. He tries out many inferior swords but ends up seeking the perfect sword made by elves which he calls "Fire". That always challenges me and reminds me of many Christians and Christian churches. Ephesians speaks of the "Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God". Spirit and Word are seen as an offensive weapon in our fight!

There is much to challenge our generation. I've just been absolutely thrilled to find hidden in the archives of the Martyn Lloyd-Jones Recording Trust - two sessions that Dr Lloyd-Jones held after he had finished speaking his famous "Preaching and Preachers" lectures in the USA. No one knew that after these lectures he held two Question and Answer sessions with the students -and the recordings were SAVED! (I will of course be transcribing them).

But Dr Lloyd-Jones is in glory. Terry Virgo and Stanley Jebb are in their sixties and seventies. Rob Rufus and Greg Haslam are in their fifties. Ern Baxter is in glory. Where are the young men and women of OUR generation ready to rise up and obey the Great Commission set by the risen Lord Jesus;

"Go into the world and preach the good news to all creation!".

Will our generation put down the words God speaks through preaching that can be set down in books for generations and centuries to come (if Jesus Christ doesn't return)? I have got a few things that I feel God is challenging me with that I may share in time - exciting days!

Thursday, June 02, 2011


I was tremendously impacted yesterday while watching the wonderful rendition of C S Lewis's "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader". The great character Reepicheep (the mouse) during the film is talking about his belief in Aslan's country and says;

"We have nothing if not belief".

I'm sure that's biblical! I think one of the reasons why the modern day church is so pathetic at times is because I'm not sure exactly what we believe in. I was taken aback by a few comments I had via email and Facebook about my re-posting Ern Baxter's comments on a glorious future. Does it seems restorationism well and truly is out of fashion?

That isn't a problem if (as Terry Virgo says) we can be persuaded that a glorious future for the end-time church is not actually biblical and we should see the 2nd coming of Christ as a salvific act for His church. Unfortunately I have yet to see that - so will persist in believing! One of the reasons why I love remembering and delving through the past is because like a "mound of stones" - history reminds us God acted in the past and can and will do again.

This picture was from the New Wine Magazine - December 1977 (the month and year of my birth!) and fronted Ern Baxter's report from his visit to the United Kingdom and particularly the Dales Bible Week. Just looking at it reminded me that we can always have hope! We do not look to men or women necessarily apart from servants of God. We look to God Himself to intervene, surprise us and change history!