Archive for the ‘Church’ Category

John 14: 17 [Even] the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you

Picture by Michael Dudash

How do I know I have the Holy Spirit?  In the past the main deciding factor among many Pentecostals was that people could speak in tongues.  tongues became the focus as to who did or did not have the Holy Spirit.  For others it might be the sacrament of Baptism.  For the more radical it might be drop down and roll that persuades them that the Holy Spirit dwells within.But what does the Bible say about this matter.  We are aware that tongues have been one of the most counterfeited of the spiritual gifts .  Anyone can have a few drops of water or even be fully immersed and still not be indwelt by the Holy Spirit.  A person can have full membership within a church and still not have the Holy Spirit..

John 16:13- 15  Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, [that] shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew [it] unto you.   All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew [it] unto you

THE HOLY SPIRIT IS THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH:

There are several things we can gleam from these verses

  1.   The Holy Spirit >> will be the spirit of truth.  So you will not expect to see him lying, but will always uphold the truth of scripture.
  2.   The Holy Spirit >>  will guide the believer to the truth.  So the end result should see an imparted desire for the truth.  He will always lead us to the truth.  That means exposing error and falsehood either within our lives or elsewhere.
  3.   The Holy Spirit>>  Does not speak or glorify himself.  So you would not expect the emphasis to be on the Holy Spirit.  Just as Jesus came to glorify the father, so the Holy Spirit has come to glorify the son.
  4.  The Holy Spirit>> Will take what now belongs to Jesus and reveal them to the believer.  So we would expect the Holy Spirit to reveal Jesus.  

John 15: 26 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, [even] the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me

Now how does this work out within the believer’s life?

THE HOLY SPIRIT GLORIFIES JESUS:

If an individual is glorified more than Jesus, there is a good chance that this has not been initiated by the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirits Job is to POINT us to JESUS.  It is his job to make real who this saviour is.   He takes what he has been shown and unravels it within our hearts and mind. 

Heb 10: 16 This [is] the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them.

The focus of which is his truth, his revelation and the knowledge about him!!!  Scripture is at the heart of this.  Take scripture out and be assured it is not the Holy Spirit. 

Jesus made it clear

John 15: 7 If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you

THE HOLY SPIRIT POINTS US TO HIS WORD:

Now the out working of the ministry of the Holy Spirit is to encourage us to abide in his word .  If you abide in everything but his word then you can positively say you don’t have the Holy Spirit.  Just as some have placed the teachings of individual men above the scripture.  Allowing  what they have said to reinterpret scripture and change it to conform to ideas which are so contrary to scripture.  Others who places curses on anyones right to read and believe what scripture alone states.  Stating that they alone have some special dispensation to interpret the Bible.

Scripture states that we should study to show ourselves approved of God,  Sadly there are those who would deny such a right.  The HOLY SPIRIT takes the Bible and reveals it to the believer, making it both real and understood.  Often the difference before and after conversion of a soul is liken to one who only reads the Bible but without much understanding.  Then Reading the Bible after the conversion and the words just leaps out of the page.  The change is often dynamic and remarkable.

John 14: 15 If ye love me, keep my commandments

THE HOLY SPIRIT HELPS US TO LOVE JESUS:

How can we LOVE someone we have never met, let alone keep his commandments?  How is it that the believer has a love for Jesus whom he has not seen?  That too is the out working of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is always  working to bring the reality of the godhead within our lives.  So that we can say we will follow this man Christ Jesus, but we will not follow anotherWhilst many have played the part of Jesus in blockbuster films and their acting have been well praised by fellow actors, they simply don’t express the real Jesus.  Or communicated the one in whom the believer adores above all else.

The Holy Spirit is our helper  and  he is able to take what we offer up in our worship and praise  and make it real and significant before God.  For how can we approach a throne that is beyond our vision, and yet feel we are truly there.  How can such worship be made acceptable  unless God himself is fully approachable and open to receive us.  Yet even in this the Holy Spirit continues to make his presence felt.

  The work of the Holy Spirit is to place God central to our lives.  If he is not then I would question WHY NOT?

John 17: 26 And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare [it]: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.

One of the signs has to be the same LOVE which the father had towards the son might also be within the believer.

So if we have a person who claims to love his church or institution more than Jesus that too will be a glimpse that something is wrong.  Now it’s not wrong to loves things, its only when we love them more than God that there is a problem.  Now even here some have manipulated people in order to control others for their own benefit. 

The argument goes like this:   

if you love God you will submit to his authority. That authority has somehow been placed in the hands of men. so you must obey that authority as if it came from God himself.  However when that authority  wants you to submit  and points you in a direction which is contrary to God.  In such a situation we are morally bound to resist such evil and obey God. Sadly history has seen such abuse place anathema upon anathema upon ordinary people to create an atmosphere of fear.  To stop them from even questioning such abuse.

 Biblical Love places God first, his word the Bible.  then our love for others.  But always in a true Biblical setting.

 You might respect your minister as a great man of God.  But you will never place him equal or above Jesus.  His authority will always be subject to Gods word.

Nor would we expect a true Holy Spirit filled man to start promoting new age mysticism, heresy, or to promote unscriptural teachings.  The true man of God would be prepared to submit his life to Gods word.  Nor would you be comfortable as Catholics do to exalt the finite and claim that this is the Holy Spirits doing.  Mary may have been Jesus earthly mother but no where is she promoted to some queen of heaven.  Such promotion does not stem from the inspiration of the Holy Spirit.

Catholics will go to great lengths to get around the simply fact that there is no evidence that God crowned Mary, and that includes time itself.  When you had one catholic woman who started to talk about linear time and that God can bend time and thus crown Mary ahead of  anyone else . Such excuses are almost laughable if they were not so serious.

However Scripture cannot be broken and no one gets crowned before the rest of us. Nor would anyone of us be crowned with an ungodly title as the Queen of heaven.  Where in Catholic teachings do we have a Joseph the king of heaven, Or Paul and Peter as the Kings of heaven.  Or even Elizabeth as another queen of heaven.   In fact to date such a title has never been conferred upon anyone else.  Such a title is reserved for Mary alone, which exposes it as Idol worship.  No such inspiration is from the Holy Spirit.  Those who do so and are comfortable with it cannot know God.  When the simple  “Hello” from an angel becomes so distorted and made into a repetitious prayer.  A point which even Jesus rebuked.  Or as someone remarked its like saying to someone every second hello hello hello hello hello.  That not praying let alone talking to God. 

THE HOLY SPIRIT CHANGES US :

The Holy Spirit will also convict us of our sins.  He will not let go and will never cease to challenge convict exhort and teach the believer.    You will simply not be comfortable in a sinful situation.  It will always lead to repentance and a change of direction.

Heb 12: 7 If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not

John 16: 9-10  Of sin, because they believe not on me, Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more;

But he will also convince us of the righteousness of God.  Which mean we will grow in our desire to be righteous?  WE JUST WILL NOT BE COMFORTABLE LIVING IN SIN OR IN SINNING.  There should be a hunger within the believer to do right and be right with God.  To walk in holiness and in a manner that is separated from what we know to be wrong.  As I often say God never leaves us how he finds us, but changes us to be like himself.  If you are happy as you once where and no change has occurred again the question is WHY, because there should be  a change.

John 14: 21, 23  He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him…..Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

There is a real sense that those who belong will experience and know the saviour in an intimate way.  The Holy Spirit is the one who makes this real.  So we can say we rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory.  Yet whilst we cannot say how he physically looked like , yet we can say we know him and love him.

Now Jesus makes it clear that those who don’t know him will not keep his word.  They may sing and speak about “a” Jesus, but not really know the true Jesus of the Bible

John 14: 24 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father’s which sent me

THE HOLY SPIRIT PROMOTES THE TRUE JESUS :

The Jesus of the Moslems is most certainly not the Jesus of the Bible and as such they don’t seek to obey or believe the scriptures.  To them this Jesus was nothing more than a prophet.  A prophet that had to be rescued before he was killed, who allowed another innocent man to die in his place,  Then after three days pretended to be resurrected.  Such a deception does not express the true nature of Jesus. 

 Sad to say many a Roman Catholics see  Jesus submitting himself to the hands of a priest who pronounces some magically words over some cookie and Jesus becomes the Eucharist.  What you eat cannot produce the intimacy that scripture speaks about.  True Intimacy produce true obedience.  Obedience does not come out of a ritualistic relationship of I must or else, but out of a Love and devotion to the one whom the Holy Spirit reveals.  True intimacy realises that all glory belongs to God.  Our joy is to see God glorified and lifted up.  If you see a minister begin to glorify himself and basically say “LOOK AT ME, HOW GREAT I AM  ”  QUESTION IT!!!  When God moves he gets the glory and man is always humbled.

Many people will throw up the excuse that God can do anything he wants.  The one things God cannot and never will do is go against his nature.  We can glimpse that truth from scripture itself.  We would expect God to reproduce that very same nature within his people.  To love the way he loves and see things as he sees them.  That means we will have a love for his word.  If you don’t have a love for such a treasure, then ask yourself WHY NOT

Rom 8: 16 The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God:

THE HOLY SPIRIT BRINGS ASSURANCE OF SALVATION:

Now it is the work of the Holy Spirit to bare witness to Jesus and to witness to us that we belong to God.  Now as you can see he does not witness to our flesh, but to our spirits.  There is a deep knowing and assurance of belonging which cannot go away.  We become aware that this hell hole called earth is not our home.  We look forward to a home that we have never seen and yet we know its ours.  It’s the work of the Holy Spirit to convince this truth to us.  Because we are his, we long to be with him and be fulfilled in him.

There is a bridge ahead which you know is down.  Below is a fast running river that will take all who fall into it into a Christless eternity.  You stand on the verge screaming shouting waving with frantic appeals to the oncoming traffic.   As they pass you can see their faces and expressions.  You glimpse momentarily a snapshot of their lives.  Their faces laughing at a joke someone has told, others enjoying the music from a local radio station: Kids playing in the back seat: others the odd kindly argument and banter.  They rush pass ignoring the screams and waving.

Pro 16: 25 There is a way that seemeth right unto a man, but the end thereof [are] the ways of death

Some as they pass wind their side windows down  only to shout abuse and accuse you of hatred.  They shake their fists violently at you.  How dare you interupt their peaceful journey.

You try with great desperation to warn and explain.   You try to point to the stark reality of a collapsed bridge and the ford below.  You try your best to explain that there is another narrower road but it’s a safer road.  It will lead to safety.  But the windows are soon wound up and they proceed onwards.

But more and more the traffic ignores your shouting and frantic weaving.  Occasionally a car turns to take the narrower road.  But by far the majority of the traffic heads down to the bridge and over the edge.  You can almost hear their frantic screams.  You remember their faces.  That’s the red car with the lady wearing a brown top,  Or the black convertible with a man who had some crazy beads hanging from his mirror.   You stand wondering as car after car is rushed  down the torrent river into an abyss.  WHY oh WHY will they not listen.  Was it their destiny to take this road?  Was I not loud enough or bold enough?    It’s their faces you remember, the snapshot of individuals which for a moment you entered their lives before they pass you by. There is a brief  memory of this or that face.  The anguish of knowing that at the last moment the full horror of their mistake will dawn upon them.  The final realisation of what is to come.  The ultimate knowledge that there is no turning back,  and they have sealed their own fate.  All the bravado fist shaking, abuse and accusations of hatred and stinking pride no longer matters.

Mat 7: 13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide [is] the gate, and broad [is] the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat.Because strait [is] the gate, and narrow [is] the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find

But what makes all this so difficult is that you know where they are going.  There is a darkness, a futility not of a day or a week or a month, but for an eternity.  As they pass you can see in many faces the hardening resolve to across the bridge.

It seems that your cries instead of being a deterrent, becomes the means to encourage  and harden ones resolve on a road that will only lead to futility and ruin.  The message is ignored, and the waving despised.

There are two roads and two eternal destinies.

For one is the security of the narrow road upon which there is a narrow bridge which Gods own son Jesus Christ bridges.  By far the most secure bridge there is.  It can cross that chasm and into the warm embrace of a fathers love.  It becomes the ever-loving delight of children in the comfort of a parents embrace; The security and knowledge that we have finally made it home; There will be a joy and a peace that will never fade or disappoint.

However for those who have chosen the highway with no bridge comes the futility of a terrible darkness.  No joy to comfort; no pleasant smiles of assurance; no joy or contentment;  no friendship to make their eternal state less troublesome, for they shall become the object of Gods terrible wrath.  His righteous judgement vindicated.

In my flesh I struggle to let go.  The need to grab hold of these people and hold them back from the continuation of their journey over the bridge and to futility of the ravine below.

The knowledge of what is to come becomes too fearful, too terrible to let go. 

The passing faces might remind one of loved ones, or friends of long ago.  But there must also come a point of the realisation that people have chosen to make this journey.  One has to be willing to bow the head and acknowledge

“  FATHER THY WILL BE DONE.”

John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven

Rev 3: 12 Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, [which is] new Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven from my God: and [I will write upon him] my new nameThe path between the garden to the book of revelation has been a long one.   

In Genesis we see Adam walking with God in the cool of the day.  Fellowship would have been loving and pleasant.  Then came the fall, the hardship of expulsion from the garden and the loss of that sweet fellowship with God.

That separation did not just alienate us from God; it also brought alienation between each other. Almost everything we do is an expression of that alienation.  My space, my room, my time, my boundaries, my driveway, my garden and my fence,  my country , my home.

We have relationships only because we choose to bring down the walls, and let others come in and share our alienation.  The unity we have arises because we share a common interest.  People feel alienated because we have a society that’s ravaged by sinfulness.  The hand that slew his brother in Genesis did not for a minute consider the consequences of depriving himself of a loving brother. But of a jealousy that  drove Cain to steal  from Abel that which was the most precious  possession Abel had and that was his life.  In some twisted way I wonder if he thought he might be depriving God himself from one who offered up a better sacrifice than his own?

The approval of God might not have meant much to Cain, but it did to Abel.  But the division that existed between them was such that one had to go at the cost of a life.  It is the heart that brings separation and the mind finds ways to accomplish it.

Over the years God recreated intimacy with certain individuals but they were few and far.   Then under the Law we see the tabernacle,  a tent which was constructed according to Gods specifications.  although God was with his people there was still a separation.  The Holy of holies which was the very innermost sanctum of the tabernacle still speaks of the fact that he was with his people, but still separated from them.  Mankind was never created to stand at arms lengths.   It was always his plan to establish a fellowship with a people who would enjoy him and be with them.  The intimacy that he now calls us too we experience only in part, but in the fullness of time it will be glorious. 

The Bible says that there is no temple in the New Jerusalem because there will be no need for one.

In the past the temple as created by Moses and later by Solomon spoke of a continual presence but also a continual separation between God and man.  But the temple of the New Covenant no longer speaks of a separation but a unity between himself and us.  The temple of the old has man standing outside his presence.  For there had to be a sacrifice, blood had to be shed to atone and only the priests may do service in the Holy place, and only one man the High priest was even allowed to venture into the Holy of Holies.  A place so sacred they remained the fear that the priest could still be struck down.

Under the New we become the temple which God dwells and we dwell within him.  Now we can enter into the very Holy of Holies and minister to God personally.  We are welcomed as friends and family, a kingdom of holy priests who will enjoy the sunshine of Gods favour.

Rev 21: 3 And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God [is] with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, [and be] their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.

Rev 21: 22  And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it: for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb [is] the light thereof. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.

The temple of God is open for all to enter.  It is heartbreaking to see people enter everywhere else but into Gods holy of holies.  When the curtain of the temple was torn in two which signified that the way into the holy of holies was now open, the priests simply replaced the curtain and carried on.  The welcomed sign was put out and men carried on and ignored it.  They had got used to rituals, ceremonies, labour and endless repetitious sacrifices, they could not see that the light had dawned and a new day had risen.  The darkness had passed; God and man could now enjoy communion together. 

What is so heartbreaking is that so many cant see it. But still choose to keep God at arm’s length. Feeling their own shame and unworthiness they remain in the darkness.  The arms that is stretched out to embrace them is more gracious and loving than anyone could imagine, but he will only do it if you come out into the light.   He made the first steps in reconciling and calls upon us all to take the next step.  Whoever calls upon the name of the Lord will be saved.  The Promise by one who holds the galaxies in place can be trusted.

For God has prepared for us a home, a place where the friendship remains forever. There will be no clouds of darkness to cloud that relationship.  Nor rain to spoil the day, nor darkness to hide his face from us.  The watchword will be holiness, purity, and righteousness.  

Rev 21: 5 And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.

In the olden days the gates of the city would be shut at night to keep out the rogue elements which would enter in and cause havoc among the peace abiding citizens.  But in this city No gate will be shut because there will be no fear of the sinful in entering, and spoiling that communion.  There will be no night to hide anything either spiritually or physically. The facts that all the gates are open illustrated the openness of that fellowship.  Peace of that city will be universal.  The light of that city is truly cosmopolitan.  It will never sleep and it will never slumber. Its radiance eternal.  Its fellowship all-inclusive

Whilst many have tried to picture such a city , they never quite depict the glory and majesty that this city will contain.  It will not be governed by any laws we now consider,  Its values will be eternal, its structures remain unspoiled by aging.  It’s as tall as they are wide and it is deep.  It will be complete in every area.  Spiritual as it is physical.  Some skyscrapers almost seem out-of-place in some cities but in that city its heights will not diminish it.   Its beauty radiating across the new world, because the King will be eternally in residence.  What once separated us will no longer exist, for truly we shall be one.

The Bible of King James

First printed 400 years ago, it molded the English language, buttressed the “powers that be”—one of its famous phrases—and yet enshrined a gospel of individual freedom. No other book has given more to the English-speaking world.

King James Version

To many the King James Version is just another version of the Bible.  Few however realise the authority it holds, or even the degree that’s its language and concepts have been enshrined in our everyday language. Its ideas and words have influenced generations.  Possibly no other version carries with it so much respect.

I can remember as a child being given a Small New Testament King James Bible by the Gideon’s after the morning school service.  Whilst other children joked about what they would do with it, I found myself holding what I believed was a treasure.  There was something about this little book that was to be held in the greatest respect. This was not just any book, it was thee book.  This was HOLY GROUND!!!

I did not know then the power and influence it would make on my life until years later.  But what I read from time to time was sowing and eventually what was sown would reap a harvest.  God knew my heart better than I knew it myself.  Whilst I have opened many a version, the power of the King James is still my version of choice.  I can remember picking up and reading it as a young lad page after page, but they were simply words on a page with no understanding of the concepts.  Until I surrender my life to God, and those same word suddenly were opened to me.  Suddenly the words took on meaning, verses became chapters, with it came knowledge of who God was and what he did in my life.  I have never forgotten that awesome reality.  This is GODS WORD and his spirit brought it alive and shone the light of his truth into my being.

Recently the National Geographic did an article entitled the KING JAMES VERSION. Although it was not completely written from a Christian perspective, it never the less revealed some fascinating and dynamic aspects. 

“The King James Version has introduced 18 classic phrases into the English language and made famous some 240 more from earlier English Translations.  Googled searched 2.4 million of its digitised English – language books with its nigram viewer for the 18 original phrases and a selection of others.  Phrases such as “ From time to time” Ezek 4: 10 which has been the most popular over the last 200 years.

 

Here is a list of the more popular phrases that have become institutionalised into the English language
“Thorn in the flesh”  2 Cor 12: 7  “Set thy house in order “ Is 38: 1  Much study is weariness of the flesh” Ecc 12: 12 
“Fell flat on his face” Numbers 23: 31  “Pour out your heart”  Ps 62: 8 “Be horribly afraid” Jer 2: 12
“Lay up for yourself treasures in heaven” Matthew 6: 20  “The skin of my teeth “ Job 19: 20 “Fell flat on his face” Num 22: 31
The root of the matter”  Job 19: 28 “Stand in Awe”  Ps 4: 4 No small stir” Acts 12: 18
“Suffer little children “ Luke 8: 16  “Unto the pure all things are pure” Titus 1: 5  “Know for certainty” Joshua 23: 13 
“East of Eden” Gen 4: 16  “Beat their swords into Plowshares” Is 2: 4 “As a lamb to the slaughter”Is 53: 7

Its thoughts and ideas has influence countless including poets writers,  and governments. The beauty of the King James has endured far longer than most modern versions

Only eternity will disclose the numbers of lost souls who found sanctuary in its pages.  When men’s hearts doubted this word brought Assurance.  When the sick were lying on beds of pain they found comfort.  The lost found a light to guide their way.  Fearful were assured.  Those who hoped found peace. Those who cried out found grace.

 The article in the National Geographic starts with this story

Wager, a Baptist preacher now, is a former bull-riding and saddle-bronc pro, “with more bone breaks in my body than you’ve got bones in yours.” He’s part Dutch, part Seneca on his father’s side, Lakota on his mother’s, married to a full-blood Jicarilla Apache.

He tells them about his wild career. He was raised on a ranch in South Dakota; he fought and was beaten up, shot, and stabbed. He wrestled and boxed, he won prizes and started drinking. “I was a saphead drunk.”

But this cowboy life was empty. He was looking for meaning, and one day in the drunk tank in a jail in Montana, he found himself reading the pages of the Bible. “I looked at that book in jail, and I saw then that He’d established me a house in heaven… He came into my heart.”

The heads around the preacher go down, and the words he whispers, which the rodeo riders listen to in such earnestness, are not from the American West: They are from England, translated 400 years ago by a team of black-gowned clergymen who would have been as much at home in this world of swells and saddles, pearl-button shirts and big-fringed chaps as one of these cowboys on a Milanese catwalk. “Second Corinthians 5. ‘Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.'”

When I read this I almost stood to my feet and cheered.   Take the time to read the rest of the article as its takes the time to reveal the history of the King James Version from its humble roots to one of the best loved versions ever printed.

Origional source

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2011/12/king-james-bible/nicolson-text

Further source files.

Is the King James Bible harder to read?

King James Version

Jamie Murray

Police have given a partial apology to the owner of a Christian café who was wrongly told displaying Bible verses on a TV screen was a breach of public order laws.

Police visited the café owner on Tuesday, admitted they got the law wrong, and said sorry for the ‘manner’ of their investigation.

But they refused to apologise for launching the investigation and they also denied banning the display of the Bible texts in the café.

Forgiven

The café owner, Jamie Murray, says he accepts the police’s apology as far as it goes. He forgives them but he believes some important matters remain unaddressed.

Mr Murray says he will not allow the police to brush the incident under the carpet, because he is worried that it could happen to another Christian.

Supported by The Christian Institute, he has taken legal advice and intends to lodge a formal complaint with the police.

Obfuscate

The police claim they never told Mr Murray that he couldn’t display the Bible texts. But Mr Murray says the police are obfuscating.

He says he asked the police whether displaying the Bible texts was a crime, and they indicated he could be arrested if he continued to display the offensive or insulting material.

There also appears to be confusion over which part of the Public Order Act 1986 the police were using to justify their actions.

Confusion

Originally two police officers told Mr Murray they were investigating a possible Section 5 offence, which outlaws insulting words that are likely to cause distress.

But days later the police told the media they were investigating a possible Section 29E offence, which outlaws the broadcasting of offensive material intended to stir up homophobic hatred.

The Christian Institute’s solicitor-advocate, Sam Webster, says that simply displaying Bible texts in a Christian café does not fall within the scope of either offence.

And many will doubt whether the police action was an ‘investigation’ at all, given that the police failed to look at the material that allegedly caused offence, or give Mr Murray an opportunity to refute the allegation or explain his position. They seemed to have predetermined that he was in the wrong.

Relief

The Christian Institute’s Mike Judge said: “Mr Murray is obviously pleased that the police have admitted to some of their mistakes.

“He is certainly relieved that he doesn’t face arrest for displaying Bible verses in his Christian café.

“As a Christian he accepts the police’s apology, as far as it goes, and he forgives them.

Unfinished

“But there are some issues that the police have not acknowledged or apologised for, and some important details remain in dispute.

“Mr Murray doesn’t want to see this happen to anyone else, so he intends to lodge an official complaint with the police.

“He isn’t doing this for himself, he’s doing this so that we can live in a free society where the text of the Bible can be publicised without police interference.

Shuddering

“It is shuddering to think that a British police force in the 21st Century needs to be reminded of such basic civil liberties.

“There is clearly a need for Lancashire police force to review the training of its officers.”

Lancashire Police told the BBC: “It appears that the officer has misinterpreted the Public Order Act and we have apologised to the cafe owner for any distress we may have caused.”

The constabulary said it respected all religious views but said, “we have no issues with the professionalism or courtesy shown by the officer”.

Origionaly posted in http://www.christian.org.uk/news/police-say-sorry-over-christian-cafe-bible-case/

Moslems will often accuse the apostle Paul of changing what Jesus taught, however God found in Paul another Moses.  Moses was trained in the highest levels Egyptian traditions.  Paul was also trained to the highest level of Jewish tradition.  God got both their attention in a miraculous way.  God spoke to both of them.  Both were called and trained to help establish Gods people

Through Moses God brought out a bunch slaves.  God set them free from their taskmasters who treated them cruelly.  Moses led them into the wilderness where he established and taught them to become a people who could govern themselves.  They were to become a physical nation, trained up to establish a physical kingdom.

God took another bunch of slaves delivered them from their superstition and paganism, and setting them free from their wickedness. They too were under a heavy taskmaster.  Then through the apostle Paul taught them how to be a people.  Helping them to see who they were in Christ and to establish what they were in Christ.   Through the apostle Paul God defined  some of the most basic principles which defined our worship, preparing  the way for those would become a spiritual people who would be trained up to establish a  spiritual kingdom

The argument that Paul changed the law and subverted the teachings of Jesus simply collapses when one understand the background as to what was happening.  By the time Jesus was born the temple and all that went with it was well past its sell by date.  God was moving beyond that to something better.  The Jewish people were themselves moving beyond the temple as Jewish people were ever-moving further across the known world.  Synagogues were being established for local Jews in many places including Israel.  Jesus became the final paschal lamb to be killed.  And once that was done the whole structure upon which sacrificial sacrifices were offered was done and finished.   One of the main reasons that Christians do not adhere too much of what the Torah demanded is because most of these things were established around the temple, the Levite priests and the sacrifices.  Once they were gone there was no longer a need to base ones faith around this temple complex.  God was moving away from a structure and into the very lives of those who believe.

Now Jesus asked which of the commandments was the most important.  Many Jewish scholars would spend hours debating which law was the most important.  Jesus cuts through the lot

Deut 6: 5 And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might

 Luke 10: 27 And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

 Jesus is simply quoting what the Old Testament itself says.

 Paul reiterates this in 1 Cor 13  

1 Cor 13: 1- Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become [as] sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal. 

1 Cor 13: 3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed [the poor], and though I give my body to be burned, and have not charity, it profiteth me nothing

 Remember through Paul, God was establishing the basic practical principles of the kingdom and how to put those principles into effect.

 Many believe that Paul was very anti circumcision and he developed the idea of doing away with it.  Yet few realise that it was God himself through Moses who established that circumcision had to of the heart long before it was ever of the flesh.

 Deut 30: 6 And the LORD thy God will circumcise thine heart, and the heart of thy seed, to love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, that thou mayest live.

For what good is circumcision externally if the heart itself has not been changed.  Circumcision therefore becomes a meaningless
ritual without a change life.

A man can have a scar and still be as wicked as a man without one.

 THE FIRST JERUSALEM COUNCIL

 The accusations that many Moslems throw at the apostle Paul that he changed the direction upon which the Christian faith moved is fruitless.  Considering also that even Moslems don’t adhere to what the law demanded either.  They have no background in a Jewish temple, Levitical priesthood or sacrificial offering.  So they themselves would be seen as apostates as far as the Torah are concerned.  More like calling the kettle black.

We are told that Paul; in case he was preaching another gospel went up to the Jerusalem church and submitted himself to the apostles.

 Gal 2: 2  And I went up by revelation, and communicated unto them that gospel which I preach among the Gentiles, but privately to them which were of reputation, lest by any means I should run, or had run, in vain. But neither Titus, who was with me, being a Greek, was compelled to be circumcised:

Acts 15 was the first Jerusalem council where many of this issue were thrashed out.  It should be remembered that this was a predominantly Jewish council

Acts 15: 1 And certain men which came down from Judaea taught the brethren, [and said], Except ye be circumcised after the manner of Moses, ye cannot be saved.

 Acts 15: 5 But there rose up certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed, saying, That it was needful to circumcise them, and to command [them] to keep the law of Moses.

 The temple and all that went with it was still an active complex at this time.  The fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple were still many years ahead.  So the whole issue was very much a hot topic.  Was it salvation by faith alone or salvation plus works rituals etc.

 Acts 15: 6 And the apostles and elders came together for to consider of this matter.

 Acts 15: 10 Now therefore why tempt ye God, to put a yoke upon the neck of the disciples, which neither our fathers nor we were able to bear?

 Acts 15: 24 Forasmuch as we have heard, that certain which went out from us have troubled you with words, subverting your souls, saying, [Ye must] be circumcised, and keep the law: to whom we gave no [such] commandment:

 Now it was made clear that NO such message was delivered either by the apostles or Paul that Gentiles believers were to keep the commandments.  This by application meant all the rules and regulations which were imposed
upon the Jews. 

 WAS THIS DECISION RIGHT…….  YES! 

 Within a few decades the temple and all that went with it would be gone.  They knew that salvation had to be in Christ alone through faith alone. 

 Acts 15: 11 But we believe that through the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ we shall be saved, even as they.

  It was made very clear from the chapter that what Paul and other preached was indeed the same gospel.

 The practicalities of keeping the temple rituals were all gone  destroyed by Roman legions.  The Jews were for the most part scattered.   So any continuation of these rituals was now impossible.

 2 cor 6: 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols?   for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in [them]; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.

 The tabernacle was but a shadow of what was to come.  God for a time dwelt within its tents situated between the cherubim which rested on top of the Ark of the Covenant.  There God would meet with the high priest . But God desired a better coveant through which to communicate with his people.

 Jer 31: 33 But this [shall be] the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.

 Ex 29: 45 And I will dwell among the children of Israel, and will be their God

 Lev 26: 12 And I will walk among you, and will be your God, and ye shall be my people.

 Jer 32: 38 And they shall be my people, and I will be their God:

                                         

Now as we can see Paul was not in conflict with either what Moses taught or the prophets.    But was Paul in conflict with Jesus ?

John 14: 23 Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.

Jesus made this promise that he and the father would come and dwell within the believer.  So we can see this whole train
of revelation being revealed from as far back as Moses himself.

 DOES PAUL TEACH THAT WE SHOULD OBEY GOD?

Mar 3: 35 For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother (Jesus)

 Rom  12: 2 And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what
[is] that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God  (Paul)

 1 Peter 4: 2 That he no longer should live the rest of [his] time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.  (Peter)

Again we see that what Paul teaches was what Jesus and the rest of the disciples taught.

 Whilst Moses and Paul lives ended differently it could be said that they never saw the full fulfilment of what
they started.  But on both accounts they were instrumental in establishing two great nations.   Establishing the simple practicalities of worship order decency morality and doctrine  In many ways both were instrumental in establishing the church.  Both received their revelation direct from God.  Both it appears receive that training in the backside of the desert. 

John 1: 17 For the law was given by Moses, [but] grace and truth came by Jesus Christ.

Rom 5: 15 But not as the offence, so also [is] the free gift. For if through the offence of one many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, [which is] by one man, Jesus Christ, hath abounded unto many.

1 Peter 5: 10 But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle [you].

So we have an agreement that what Jesus taught the apostles taught.  There was no conflict between them.

WHO DECIDED TO TAKE THE GOSPEL TO THE GENTILES

 Many Moslems will try to add that the gospel was only to the Jews and that Islam is for the world.  Such a suggestion is just plain foolish.  They will also try and argue that it was Paul that took the gospel to the gentiles.  As you will see that was also not the case.

Let us  see what scripture says on this matter.

Even in the OT with Moses there was a hint that even gentiles would be allowed into the covenant provided they were prepared to keep the law that was established under Moses.

 Ex 12: 38 And a mixed multitude went up also with them; and flocks, and herds, [even] very much cattle.

This meant there were also Gentiles (Egyptians )  that fled with the Jews.

 Ex 12: 48 And when a stranger (gentile) shall sojourn with thee, and will keep the passover to the LORD, let all his males be circumcised, and then let him come near and keep it; and he shall be as one that is born in the land: for no uncircumcised person shall eat thereof.

Nevertheless prophecy did speak of a time when the gentiles would play a greater part in the affairs of God.

Is 60: 3 And the Gentiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the brightness of thy rising

(NO arguement there… it says gentiles shall come to the light)

  Is 62: 3 And the Gentiles shall see thy righteousness, and all kings thy glory: and thou shalt be called by a new name, which the mouth of the LORD shall name.

(Gentiles would see the righteousness of God)

 John 10: 16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice; and there shall be one fold, [and] one shepherd.

(John confirms this revelation that this is what Jesus  declared)

 Acts 11: 18 When they heard these things, they held their peace, and glorified God, saying, Then hath God also to the Gentiles granted repentance unto life.

(Holy Spirit confirmed by baptising gentile believers)

Acts 13: 46  Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you: but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.

Hosea 1: 10 Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured nor numbered; and it shall come to pass, [that] in the place where it was said unto them, Ye [are] not my people, [there] it shall be said unto them, [Ye are] the sons of the living God.

 So from both the old and the new there was still the revelation that the gentiles would indeed come into the covenant of grace.  There is no conflict whatsoever in the Gentiles being brought into the covenant.  From the start it was always Gods intention to save both Jews and Gentiles; to bring them into one fold under one shepherd.

When I escaped from the Middle East more than 40 years ago with only the clothes I was wearing, I had every reason to turn my back on the people who persecuted me. But God changed my heart. And that’s why I want to share a key verse that the Lord used to help me understand why I had to love those who hated me.

Jesus said to the disciples in Matthew 10:16, “I am sending you out like sheep among wolves. Therefore be as shrewd as snakes and as innocent as doves.”

Jesus did not say, “I want you to domesticate the wolves so you can love them.” He did not say, “I want you to speak well of the wolves so that you might befriend them.” Or as many in the media and some in the church would say, “I want you to tell others how peaceful the religion of the wolves is.” Jesus did not say, “I want you to speak of how wonderful the wolves are.” Or “I want you to declare that the wolves are just like sheep, only different.”

No. Jesus told us that we must know the price of discipleship. You and I must understand the cost associated with obedience. We must sacrifice in serving Him. In saying so, He challenges us to love the unlovable. But also in this passage, Jesus is pointing the disciples and us to a paradoxical truth that is throughout the Bible; it is a tension between our vulnerability and our invincibility at the same time. It is a tension between our weakness and the strength that is in Him. Tension between the power of a hateful persecutor and the power of a loving and obedient disciple. Tension between the worldly power of the flesh and the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit.

Jesus knows exactly what we’re made of. He really does. No one is more amazed at how the Lord works, and I’ve been walking with Him since 1964. The Lord knew that given my selfish instincts, I would rather see the enemies of the cross suffer than be saved and become saints. Given my instincts I would rather choose the easy, convenient and comfortable way than the dangerous way.

And that’s why Jesus deliberately uses the image of the sheep – the most dependent, helpless and stupid of all domesticated animals. They are easily disturbed by harmless things, and they are easily disturbed by dangerous things. And when danger comes, sheep have only one natural defense: running. And they’re not very good at it. The sheep’s greatest enemy in ancient Palestine and in many parts of the world is, was and always will be the wolf.

In fact, the number-one task of a good, faithful shepherd is to protect his sheep from wolves. And that’s why I have no understanding or even comprehension of why a pastor would turn his pulpit over to an imam to talk about the wonderful things about Islam. I have heard of it happening many times since September 11, and they are literally opening the doors for the wolves to come in.

But amazingly in Mathew 10:16, Jesus did not say, “I’m going to keep you from the wolves.” He did not say, “I am going to keep the wolves away from you.” No. He said, “I actually am sending you into the wolves’ territory. I am sending you into the enemies’ territories. I am commissioning you to go to the wolves.” Again, He did not say, “The wolves’ religion is really a peaceful religion. You just misunderstand them.” Or “I am going to de-fang the wolves so you can love them.” Or “I am going to educate and sophisticate and misrepresent the wolves so you can accept them.” Jesus is saying that you will be hated by Jesus haters for His sake.

We are seeing it every day in this blessed land that I longed to come to as a boy to breathe the air of freedom. I escaped Islamic ideology in the Middle East, and now I’m facing it here in America. I never thought I would see the day.

Acts 20:28-31 tells us: “Keep watch over yourselves and all the flock of which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers. Be shepherds of the church of God, which he bought with his own blood. I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard!”

The wolves will try to deceive you. The enemy will try to trick you. They will try to put on sheep’s clothing. They will try to lull you to sleep. But the irony in all this is that the Good Shepherd is sending His sheep into wolves’ territory. The perfect Good Shepherd is sending them into hostile territory.

What a contrast to what Jesus is saying in those few words to the preaching of today. Pastors today are preaching ease and comfort and no cost of discipleship. They’re preaching about going to heaven on the cheap, and it’s not going to happen that way. They teach that we can have salvation without repentance and sanctification without surrender. They are preaching about a Jesus who gives them everything but demands nothing.

My friend, that is a false gospel – one every believer should refuse to accept and identify with. Because if you don’t, someday the wolves will come for you and you will not be able to defend yourself with the Truth

origionaly posted by Sermon index

We are at the beginning of a new year.  Every New Year speaks about new challenges and new choices.  In many ways what has gone past still exists with us today.  The sufferings of last year do not simply go away just because we have changed our calendar.  But we are given the opportunity to make decisions which we hope will make a difference.  Something that says we have decided.  Last year presented many challenges both in the area of health, ministry, and friends.  Some we have lost and others we have just started to know. But all in all what has passed became a year that I have begun to be challenged.  It was a time to reach out again with a voice of ministry.  It has been both humbling because I could do none of this in my own strength.  The flesh will always be a point of failure.  We are all dogged by our own flesh and the weakness which we still have to suffer until we rise with the incorruptible body.  We all long for that incorruptible body which will have no taint of Sin or decay on it.  One day that hope will become a reality.  What has transpired before will be nothing more than a distant memory that passes away, the shadow of a former nightmare in which the day forgets.

 PERSECUTION:

 For many fellow believers this has been a year of persecution and suffering and many have died for their faith. We must continue to uplift them in prayer.  In many ways they are the real heroes of the faith.  For they stand in the face of some of the most difficult situations imaginable

 Hebrews 11: 39-40 And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise: God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.

 Many seeing their love ones killed, many have lost everything, and many have been driven from their homes.  But they have a God will reward them for their stand.

 I have no doubt that this year will see new challenges and I hope in Gods grace we will meet those challenges.  The issue of Church continues to be an issue.  While I believe that God gives grace to live in the wilderness that cannot always be said of family.  In one sense every believer wherever he lives is going through the tribulation, some more than others.  The climate is slowly changing where Christians will become more vivified and rejected by the world.  We exist as aliens in a foreign land, an oddity among a Christ rejecting world.  That neither understands nor wants to. 

BIRTH PANGS:

I am also realised that the birth pangs which the Bible speaks about are becoming more and more of a reality.  Scientist pontificate   Governments establish their laws, but none can change what is coming.  The world is STRAINING and GROANING and the end is coming. We desire that none be left or lost.  The warning signs are there but many choose to ignore them.  Despite all the inventiveness of men we still teeter on the edge of a precipice.  It is only Gods grace that stops the world from finally plummeting over the edge of the precipice. 

God at this time in mercy is restrain mans capacity to plummet into the horrible depths of depravity, but God will not restrain for ever and one day all that will transpire will.

  WITNESS:

If ever there was a time to witness and see souls saved it has to be now.  The need to shout out and call people to the one reality that will last.  Eternity beckons and few realise the awful consequences of what eternity means.  There is a wondrous Glory for those who received Christ as Lord and Saviour but an awful state for those who reject.  We can only hope that this will become a year of witness, which will see souls saved and delivered from sin and damnation. 

 FALSE TEACHERS:

Last year saw a number of false teacher’s return, Todd Bentley being one of them.  Just when we thought we saw that last of him, he returned with a wife who was as crazy as he was.   It should be remembered that this relationship which was born out of open adultery.  Todd expects everyone to believe that his marriage to his mistress was repentance.  Not in any Bible I have read.

 Sadly Last years saw a number of false teachers getting air time like David Vaughan, the crazy monk who entered the Big Brothers house.  I suspect he was kept there as some oddity and almost won.    I have no doubt that this trend will continue.  Last year also saw the proposed divorce between Benny Hinn by his wife Suzanne Hinn.  We have all with waited breath waited to see if this divorce will be finally finalised.   So far even the revelation of Benny Hinn relationship with Paula white has kept the lid on this divorce.    I personally view this silence with a bit of suspicion.  But we will wait and see. 

 The continued exposure of false teachers has made many of them go quiet although they are still there grafting in money and making the gospel in a money racket.  Time does not allow for the mention of all the ones who have been exposed.  I suspect that this will and must continue.  We cannot let up and become comfortable.  The pressure if anything must grow against these false teachers, for if we do not then the world will.  The best place to hit these false teachers is in their pockets.  Last year saw many develop financial problems Robert Schullers church the Crystal Cathedral being one of them, which filed for bankruptcy?

 If anything the rise of false prophets especially those who can do false signs and wonder will increase.    While many of these are continuing to be exposed, look for someone who can appear to do the genuine.  Or at least that is what it will appear.  False signs and wonders exponents are becoming more and more subtle with their deceptions.  They are learning from the failures of those who have gone before them.

Philip explains how many years ago he and his dad, Simon started a ministry.  Even after the death of his dad Philip has continues with the vision. 

This took  place in Manchester  England. 

He is courteous without being offensive.  He tells the gospel straight, no soft peddling of the gospel.  But he is able to preach it in love and grace.  No strong arm tactics, but interacts with those who were present.  Despite a rowdy crowd he does not return anger for anger,  profanity with profanity.   UC MINISTRIES stands with those who trully preach the gospel.  Giving no offence where possible , but also NO  short changing either