Born Again – Again!


This is a strange title I know, but it refers to something in my life that was and is important, especially at this time in history. I will try to explain that in due course.

This is about surrender, commitment and trust. These are the vital elements of our faith in the finished work on the Cross. We are saved by our faith in who Jesus is and what he accomplished on our behalf, but faith is not faith unless it involves trust, commitment and surrender.

For many, and in some ways for me, absolute surrender was challenging.

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The Parting of the Ways: Truth or Lies?


Mental impulses can be more persuasive than rational strategy because of their emotional drive. They can recruit you into an alternative system of thinking that defies rationality. [Source]

We have come to a parting of the ways, a dividing in the pathway of life. This is true as much for Christians as anyone else. As always, what it boils down to is the needs of the flesh, as opposed to the voice of God.

This is a division created by the Devil and fuelled by his lies, in preparation for his grand endtimes rescue plan.

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What is ‘Normal’?


These days, many of us long to “go back to normal”. But in spiritual terms, the condition of our lives isn’t – and never was – normal at all.

This realisation came for me when I started thinking about God the Father, his Being, his Nature and his existence before the Universe (not an easy task!!).

However, one positive result of thinking about God, and Heaven was this: before mankind existed, and before things went lopsided with the fall of Lucifer, there was a state of PERFECTION. Perfect love, unity, order, direction, understanding – perfect everything. And THAT my friends is NORMALITY.

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MY way or the HIGH way?


Soon, the way the world is heading, Christians will have a stark choice: go along with the nonsense of the thrilling world-healing plan (that is man-made and excludes the return of Jesus Christ) or stay true to the bible plan of salvation – faith that leads to a heavenly destination.

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COVID-19: A Lamb For A Household


You might be wondering about the title of this post. I have linked together this present crisis with the time of Passover, which this year begins at sundown on Wednesday, April 8th and ends at sundown on Thursday, April 16th. Thus this year it encompasses the festival we know as Easter.

While those who celebrate Passover recall the blood of the lambs that saved the people of God from death, those who celebrate Easter remember the Lamb of God whose blood offers salvation to any who willingly accept its redemptive power.

In the one case it was the blood of a lamb dashed onto the lintels that caused the Lord to “pass over” the lives inside, averting death. In the other case, it was the shed blood of the sacrifice of Jesus, the Lamb of God, that provided a covering from eternal death.

Passover and Easter are therefore twin festivals, and have a common theme, but what about my mention of the present pandemic? Continue reading

God Is Love: That Explains It All


God is love

1 John 4:8: Whoever does not love, does not know God, because God is love.

God doesn’t just love as an attribute or a choice (as if his love might be fickle and some days he is judgmental or angry instead) but God IS love. Love is God’s nature. Knowing that, everything makes sense – creation, heaven and hell, salvation, and day-to-day life too.

There are some things the bible describes as essential aspects of God’s nature, and they are the exact opposite of Lucifer’s nature.

  • God is Love (1 John 4:8) – Satan is accusation, hatred and murder (1 Peter 5:8)
  • God is Truth (John 14:6–7) – Satan is a liar and the father of lies (John 8:44)
  • God is Light (1 John 1:5) – Satan is darkness (Colossians 1:13 and Ephesians 6:12)
  • God is Life (John 11:25-26) – Satan is death (Hebrews 2:14)

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Walk In The Light


Walk In The Light

Isaiah 2:5: “Come and let us walk in the light of the Lord.”

I just went to turn on my laptop, and today (unusually) the sun was shining right on it very brightly through the window. As the very bright rays of the sun hit the laptop I saw something I don’t normally see – that it was covered in fingermarks and dust. Continue reading

The Days of Noah, Lot and Today


Remember Lot's WifeJesus referred to two events to illustrate the condition of the world just before his return: Noah’s flood and the destruction of Sodom in Lot’s day. What are the similarities, and what can we learn for ourselves about these events?

As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. [Matthew 24:37-39] Continue reading

When God Withdraws


saul rejectedI want you to consider that God can and will draw back from this world, perhaps in a time not far distant, and then evil [which has always been present but lacked opportunity] will take advantage of its liberty from restraint and increase exponentially – making judgement inevitable.

My blog post today is about a transition from one phase to another; both good and bad.

It entails both a turnaround for believers, with greater liberty to speak out, but alongside that a hardening of hearts and an increase in wilful blindness for those who shun the truth. Continue reading

We Are All Alike


Today I read a news report that totally sickened and disgusted me. Having said that, it’s not an unusual circumstance these days! However, the report affected me so badly that I cried out to the Lord, “what sort of person DOES that??

I’m not going to spell out in detail what this twisted individual did, because it’s not appropriate, apart from giving an illustration of what I mean.

Just take it from me, this person is the worst of the worst – selfish, psychotic, murderous, depraved, cruel – and if you really want to know the details you can look them up for yourself here. (However, the point of this blog post is not the actions of this person, as you will see as you read on.) Continue reading

Overcoming Doubts


Are you ever troubled by doubts? Do you ever puzzle over unanswered prayer, or events that just don’t seem to add up?

I haven’t been a regular doubter in my Christian life, thankfully. I seem to possess an ability to accept things in an almost childlike way, without constantly asking why or needing proof. Continue reading

The Angel Moved The Stone – But Why?


I write on the Saturday of Easter weekend (as the westernised version of events has it) and it is no coincidence I am sure that in my recent re-reading of the gospel of Matthew I arrived today at the final two chapters, the account of the trial, crucifixion and resurrection of the Son of God.

As always, the bible text itself corrects so many popular bible myths that have been introduced over the centuries. We must not base our beliefs on myths or religious paintings, but the word of God.

Continue reading

Do You Have The Son?


eternal

God has given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. 1 John 5:11

This is for everyone who saw the bible text above, thought “I know that one” but has never asked: what does that actually mean?

Let’s read on: “He that has the Son has life; and he that has not the Son of God has not life”. 1 John 5:12

When I was a young churchgoer, that verse had me stumped. I knew that –

  1. I believed in God
  2. I read and believed the bible
  3. I went to church and enjoyed worship
  4. I prayed to God
  5. I wanted to be a good person
  6. I believed I would go to Heaven

BUT, when a friend showed me that verse, I realised I had NO comprehension of what it meant, in real terms, to “have the Son“. It worried me a lot that not having the Son meant that I didn’t “have life”. Would I therefore NOT go to Heaven when I died?

What’s The Difference?

On that same day my friend explained that I could meet and RECEIVE the Lord Jesus, and thus HAVE the Son instead of just knowing about him. That was news to me!

I had an external relationship with God, like the people of earth before Jesus died. I knew OF him but I didn’t KNOW him. He was WITH me, but not IN me.

On leaving his disciples, Jesus explained why he must go. It was in order to give them an even greater knowledge and experience of himself by the omnipresent Holy Spirit of God, the Spirit of the Father and the Son.

There was a reason for that: By leaving them he was actually improving their relationship with him, providing a much more intimate and powerful experience of himself than before.

Day-of-Pentecost

The Day of Pentecost

John 16:7
It is to your advantage that I go away, for if I do not go away, the Helper [the Holy Spirit] will not come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you.

And

John 14:16-18
And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate to be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot receive Him, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him. But you do know Him, ***for He abides with you and will be in you***

I Missed the Main Point

Now you see that in my own life I was a bit like the disciples, knowing about Jesus but not being ONE with him. I knew about the Son but I did not HAVE the Son. I believed IN the Son but not ON the Son!

Somebody said, the difference is this: you might believe IN a train leaving your local station because you read the timetable, but until you go to the station, buy the ticket and commit to the journey you are not believing ON the train.

So I came to see that I needed to receive the Lord in Spirit, to move from the experience the disciples had on earth in the Gospels, to their experience in the book of Acts. ***for He abides WITH you and will be IN you***

Receiving the Lord

Bread-and-wineWhen Jesus knew he was about to die and leave behind his disciples who depended on him, he did something strange. He took the cup of wine on the Passover table and said “Drink from it, all of you. This is My blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.”  [Matt 26:27-28]

Of course every Jew knew that the blood of the ritual sacrifices purged them of sins, temporarily at least. However, they never DRANK that blood! It was an external cleansing only.

The blood was sprinkled, as in Exodus 24:8 So Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said, “This is the blood of the covenant that the LORD has made with you in accordance with all these words.”

But with both the wine and the bread used at the last supper, the Lord directed them to Drink, Eat!

The sacrifice of the NEW Covenant was not applied just to the outside but to the inside, to the heart, soul and spirit of man.

It was a sharing in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ on the cross, a communion, a participation, a making-one in UNION with the Godly Sacrifice, so that it cleansed not just the outward appearance but the inward heart.

1 Cor 10:16
Is not the cup of blessing that we bless a participation in the blood of Christ? And is not the bread that we break a participation in the body of Christ?

The disciples as they drank and ate were therefore knowingly participating IN the Son of God and WITH the Son of God. They were receiving the Son, being incorporated into him (IN-CORPorated means made into one body) and thus were also dying with the Lord and rising again to new life in him.

Eat My Flesh! Drink My Blood!

Earlier, Jesus had given the same message, but because his followers failed to understand it, many turned away on that day. Nonetheless we now see:

John 6:48-51
I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

Let me quote from another website:

The people came looking for another miracle of bread. But Jesus offered them the kind of bread they were not looking for.

Then he said, “And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh” (John 6:51).

This sounded like cannibalism. His listeners balked. He pressed it even further:

“Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.” (John 6:53–55)

The “Jesus for King” campaign evaporated. The people walked away, shaking their heads. The crazy man wants us to eat his flesh! They completely misunderstood what Jesus was saying.  [Source]

Jesus explained that: “the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world”. John 6:33 and “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty”. John 6:35

It’s Not the Elements but What They Mean

I don’t want to get distracted into an argument about Holy Communion, so I will simply say that I’m not talking about real blood or real flesh here, and nor was Jesus at the Last Supper!

My point is this: unless we have entered into ‘communion’ with the Lord, that is, a sharing or participation with him in Spirit, then we do NOT “have eternal life”, for the life, as we see, is IN THE SON.

I do NOT mean attending a service of Holy Communion regularly!! I mean that we must receive the Lord in spirit as the disciples did at Pentecost, in order to HAVE the Son.

What IS eternal life?

When we read the words “eternal life” in the bible, do we think of it in terms of heaven? Or of going to be with the Lord? Or surviving the death experience so as to be “ever with the Lord”? These things are true, but it’s not what is intended by the eternal life that we receive when we have the Son.

We read that “As the Father has life in himself; so has he given to the Son to have life in himself.”  [John 5:26]

Clearly this does not just refer to human life, nor to life in Heaven because Jesus was on earth at the time. And, what does it mean that the Son can GIVE this life to those who believe in him?

Nicodemus [John 3:1-17] also did not understand. He said to Jesus, how is it possible to go back into your mother’s womb and be born again so as to have this spiritual life you speak of? For Jesus had told him that without being born again, being born a second time “in spirit”, a person could not see the Kingdom of God.

He said, “no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they are born of water and the Spirit. Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.” [John 3:5-6]

So Jesus was offering to provide a NEW kind of life, a spirit-born life, which the bible calls “eternal life”.

There are actually three words for ‘life’ in the Greek New Testament. [See Here]

1. Bios, in Luke 8:14: “…anxieties and riches and pleasures of this life.” This Greek word refers to the life of the physical body and is where we get the word biology.

2. Psuche, in Matt. 16:25: “For whoever wants to save his soul-life shall lose it.” The Greek word here refers to the psychological life of the human soul, that is, the mind, emotion, and will. It is where we get the word psychology.

3. Zoe, in John 1:4: “In Him was life, and the life was the light of men.” Here the Greek word refers to the uncreated, eternal life of God, the divine life uniquely possessed by God.

This word “life” in the bible is translated as ZOE.

Quote:
The tree of life in the Garden of Eden signifies the divine, uncreated, incorruptible, indestructible, eternal life of God—the zoe life. And in the Garden, God gave this tree of life to Adam as food. This was before Adam fell and sin entered the picture.

Although Adam was sinless, he possessed only the human life; he did not have the life of God. God’s intention was not just for Adam to be sinless, but even more, for Adam, representing all mankind, to take in and share His eternal life.  [Source]

tree_of_life

The Tree of Life in the Garden of Eden

We Are All Dead

So you see, although we are alive in a human sense, we are all DEAD because Adam robbed us of the ZOE life of God which is eternal, everlasting, powerful, healing, cleansing – and all things necessary to know and love God.

Then Jesus the Son of God, possessing this ZOE life within himself, called us to SHARE it (for he is the Tree of Life), to feed of him, partake of him, to be incorporated into him – in another similar metaphor – to become a branch that is part of the VINE of God. And dying, he enabled us to receive his ZOE life within ourselves just as he himself had life within himself.

The Vine and the Branches
John 15:1-7

“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.

“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.”

john15_5

A vine is not separated into a trunk and individual branches. The vine IS the branches!

We are not joined into Christ like individual pieces stuck onto a stem, but we are PART of the living vine, we ARE the vine, just as we ARE the Body of Christ – living members.

Thus, Jesus is saying that by becoming part of himself and sharing the same sap, the lifegiving ZOE eternal life that is flowing constantly through him, we also have that same ‘sap’ flowing through ourselves – thus inevitably producing fruit.

Those who appear to be branches but in truth have no divine life in themselves, who HAVE NOT THE SON are dead branches, not genuinely part of the Vine. They do not bear fruit, but become lifeless and barren.

They may even appear to be good church-going, God-believing people who read the bible, but as Jesus warned:

“You pore over the Scriptures because you presume that by them you possess eternal life. These are the very words that testify about Me, yet you refuse to come to Me to have life.”  [John 5:39-40]

The life of the flesh is death.

Without the ZOE eternal life of God within us, we are dead while we still live! Death produces nothing but rotten fruit. Whereas the life of the Spirit of Jesus – when allowed to flow unhindered – produces good fruit in abundance, such as love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control [Galatians 5:22-23]

This is a natural process, just as fruit WILL appear on a healthy branch of any fruit tree.

(Just how much energy, sweat and toil did that apple go through to appear on your tree? None! It appeared as a natural product of the sap flowing through the apple tree!)

Come to Me

So to anyone who is struggling, to anyone who doesn’t KNOW the Lord Jesus in truth, to anyone who desires to have the Son so as to have eternal life: Look up, believe, ask for the “promise of the father” [Acts 1:4-5] and RECEIVE him in fullness and in reality, because this is the promise of NEW LIFE and LIFE IN ABUNDANCE without which nobody can truly know victory and blessing.

Romans 8 Life Through the Spirit
Therefore, there is now **no condemnation** for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. …

Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires.

The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

You, however, are not in the realm of the flesh but are in the realm of the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God lives in you.

***And if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, they do not belong to Christ***.  [read that one more time!!]

But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness.

And if the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead is living in you, he who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your MORTAL bodies because of his Spirit who lives in you….

For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”

[and] The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God’s children.

Restraint Is Being Removed – For A Reason


Related imageWe already know that one of the signs of the approaching ‘End of Days’ is the increase of all kinds of lawlessness. Have you wondered how that might come about, what is the cause? Also, why does it happen – what is God’s longterm plan in allowing sin to increase so drastically. Continue reading

Unable to Forgive?


We just had a sort-out and threw away a lot of things, and passed on others to the charity shop. Things that once meant a lot but are now unused. A car full of boxes was driven to the local tip, and there the boxes and their contents met their final end, never to be seen again.

Later on, back home, I was wondering what the word “forgive” actually meant, and looked it up online. I discovered that the concept of forgiveness was very similar to our clear-out. Continue reading

The Empty Chalkboard


 

You lie awake, tossing and turning, night after night the same;
Blaming yourself, but more so, those who are really to blame:
What they said and did to you, how cruel, mean and heartless,
Leaving you angry, sad, despairing, frustrated and totally hopeless.

Listing the slights and injuries they committed without shame once,
Against the meek and vulnerable, who bore it with all patience,
How they cut you deep inside, a trauma that cannot be healed,
Brooding pain and anger about raw wounds you have concealed. Continue reading

The Rock of our Faith


devil-angelFor the past month or so I’ve been experiencing what I now believe to have been a spiritual battle. I also think it may have been necessary preparation, training camp if you will, that God allowed for a purpose.

Throughout my Christian life I haven’t been a person who has wavered in faith, or suffered real periods of doubt, thank the Lord. I think I’m one of those people who have the blessing of being naive and childlike in faith, and prepared to take things at face value. Continue reading

In The Boat or In The Water?


Iwaves think we have a very serious situation coming up, perhaps coming up fast, taking many of us by surprise – although that should not be, since the Lord kept warning us “be ready” and he didn’t just mean for the Rapture.

No, I sense that shortly we will all feel like we are floundering, that we have been cast into a stormy sea.

There are only two places for people to be in the storm, either in the boat or in the sea. Which is it to be? Continue reading

Submission or Demanding my Rights?


ArguingI’ve been watching a trend develop – perhaps it was always there but is now being encouraged – that we are justified in defending ourselves against any wrong, even to the point of violence or murder.

Instead of discussion we have immediate over-reaction, which then escalates into shouting, raging and sometimes physical violence as well.

It’s all about ME and MY RIGHTS!

Continue reading

Overcoming The Accuser


resist-the-devilWe all know we have a mortal enemy, the devil. We experience his attacks, temptations, accusations and lies all the time – and we also know that his activity will increase exponentially towards the End of the Age.

The bible doesn’t mince words in describing just how widespread, powerful and persuasive the latter-day deceptions will become, such that “even the very elect” could be deceived by them. Are we not already seeing deception spreading in almost every large church and ministry? As well as deception, the devil aims accusations and lies at us all the time.

But we have not yet reached the endgame of the devil’s plan, so we have to know HOW to stand firm. Continue reading