|This website comprises the Abrahamic Expression of faith, which goes to the Jew and the Gentile, with a Messianic slant. I affirm the fullness of biblical truth, embracing the cross of Calvary. I reject Babylonian paganism in the church and the legalistic excesses of the Messianic Movement. This ministry has a distinct kingdom vision, identifying with God’s call and plan for the Jewish people. My position is pre-trib! Personally: I was saved in 1976 while working as a war correspondent, journalist, photographer, artist and environmentalist. My interest in Bible prophecy was instant. My calling came soon afterwards. It is to share this great drama, to stand watching and to glorify my God.|
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●Gaza is again erupting in conflict with Israel. More than 370 rockets were fired from Gaza into Israel. Most were intercepted by Israel’s Iron Dome defence system, but some got through. The IDF has just hit 150 terror targets in Gaza. A ceasefire of sorts has just been reached, but generally don't last!
Shabbat (Sabbath) begins on Fridays at 6pm and ends on Saturdays at 6pm. The purpose is to help the church and Israel become reconciled in Messiah and to identify the rift, and the needed restoration. There is much in the church that needs to change before it can be fully reconciled with the Jew. Likewise, changes in Jewish thinking are also needed.
Edition 256. April 22nd 2015
The standard for the church today:
The standard for the church today:
The Church is the body of Messiah. This body has only one head. This body has been and is His living body representing His kingdom on earth.
The collective body of Messiah is called the Church, the ekklesia, the called out ones.
The true Church, in spite of all the divisions and troubles, is successful – it could only be successful! But there are many things that should not be and many things that still need to be changed.
The Bible itself reveals the great attacks of the enemy on the Church and it also reveals the standard for success. The Bible reveals that the end-time scenario has many special attributes to it that make it a unique time. As such there are many things that need to be specifically addressed.
Prophetically, we see a powerful, successful but small Church in operation right through to the rapture at the start of the tribulation period. We also see in numerous Bible prophecies, the identification and incredible failure of a certain part of the Church, resulting in it being left to endure the tribulation.
The great universal power play:
We live in a world full of invisible spirits. Spiritual forces and powers are all around us. Very few know this and even fewer can see and identify these forces. The Bible teaches that these spiritual forces will intensify greatly in the last days.
2 Thessalonians 2:9-11 “The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs and lying wonders and with unrighteous deception, among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth that they may be saved. And for this reason God will send them strong delusion that they should believe the lie.”
Note in the verse above, that the power of Satan intensifies as the revealing of the antichrist approaches. Please note also who it is that succumbs to the power of the devil. We know that all the unsaved are in the devil’s camp, by default, but this frightening verse spells out how it will worsen, and intensify especially for those who reject the truth.
Now have a look at this amazing verse:
Hebrews 2:14 “...Through death He might destroy him who had the power of death that is the devil.”
Note that it is Satan who has the power of death. This is a power in operation in this world to draw people into hell. But note the amazing answer to the problem. It is again death! But it is the death of our Messiah at Calvary. How wonderful is this? The death of Messiah on the cross defeated the power of death inherent in Satan!
But let me warn you that Satan’s power is very real and still at work in his kingdom, the world!
Now let’s go a step further:
1 Corinthians 1:18-19 “For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God. For it is written: I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and bring to nothing the understanding of the prudent.”
What an incredible verse! This is the exact opposite of the world’s ways isn’t it? Here we have an instrument of death – the cross, and its application - being the very source of power to live the Christian life. This same cross and its application, is pure foolishness to the world. But note who or what gets destroyed. It is the wisdom of the wise! My friends, you can be very wise and yet devoid of God’s power and full of the power of Satan!
Imagine spending your life gaining worldly wisdom and becoming totally wise and then having all your life’s work destroyed by God in a blinding flash!
You know, I’d rather listen to an individual scarred by the cross all over his life than any wise, truly stupid university professor. The well educated theologian and product of this or that seminary is an empty clashing gong compared to the uneducated one who has suffered under the weight of a cross.
Have you ever noticed that even a simple person becomes wise after walking with our Lord?
In these verses above we see that true foolishness is the wisdom of the world and the rejection of truth. We see the world’s wisdom being condemned by God. We see God deluding the worldly wise as they fall under the power of Satan and eternal death.
In the verses above we see the wonderful power of God working through the cross of Calvary and its application into our lives.
Unfortunately the worldly wise can’t even see the way to real victory.
2 Corinthians 4:3-4 “The gospel is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe...”
Romans 2:8 “To those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness – indignation and wrath.”
In summary then, we have two powers at work. Everyone falls under either one of them. The standard is for the power of God to be at work in the true Church, but because it has capitulated in many respects this is not so and the illegitimate power of the devil is at work in many churches.
The Church must be relevant to the world now – Oh yes?
I don’t know how many times I’ve heard that from so-called men of God. They go on to justify the idolatry and witchcraft of the world. Should we be relevant to the world? Of course we should. We should be speaking judgement against the modern world system and all its evil.
The tragedy today is that the Church is relevant to the evil and sin of the world. Being relevant from God’s point of view is the exact opposite from being relevant to the world from the world’s point of view.
The standard and measure of all things is the word of God and the voice of the Spirit of God. It is not the world and its ways. It is not success in the world that is important. It is not the value system of the world. It is not the world’s mouthpiece, the mass-media, that we should be following.
The standard today has become the world and its ways. Today’s ministers shield and protect their flock in the name of love, from the deadly work of the cross. They would never teach on the application of the cross or how to hate their lives in the world and deny self. They teach and preach self-preservation, self-glorification and self-motivation. They teach you how to fit in nicely with the world.
They try to overcome self, sin and the world by human effort with a few nice verses thrown in.
Until the day you realise that our Lord is not your servant to do your will, you will never encounter the deep things of God.
Empty sermons – clouds with no rain:
I listened to a few sermons on the net the other day by someone I know. I was shocked to see that almost every teaching on the sermon list was all about love and self-motivation.
As I listened I noticed that everything was about tolerance, and relevance to the world in the name of love. It all sounded good, but I had impending feelings of hopeless doom arising.
As I listened I noticed that there was not one mention of the cross or judgement or the severity of God. As I listened, I could also see that this was where the church at large is today.
As I listened, I couldn’t help feeling that the words being used were all hollow and empty. They were powerless! They were great words of self-motivation and great words like those of Shakespeare, but they were dead.
This church was powerful, but it was the power of the flesh at work. In fact it was the power of Satan in disguise.
The church has exalted the fruit of love above the tree and has fallen by the wayside.
The fruit is not above the tree. So what is the tree? It is truth. It is all pure doctrinal truth – all of it.
So what is the right way?
Shall I show you something powerful? Do you know that the entirety of all the doctrine of Messiah is wrapped up in two verses?
Paul the apostle taught the whole, full gospel. This is what we need especially today and not just cherry-picking.
Acts 20:27-29 “For I have not shunned declaring to you the whole counsel of God. Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock...for I know this; that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.”
The entire doctrine of Messiah is wrapped up in Hebrews 6:1-2. All the doctrines of Messiah fit in to this brilliant outline. This is the standard and what is desperately needed today. Let’s have a look at it:
Hebrews 6:1-2 “Leaving the elementary doctrines of Messiah, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith towards God, of the doctrine of baptisms, of laying on of hands, of resurrection of the dead and of eternal judgement.”
This wonderful verse above lays out the doctrine of Messiah in summarised form. All biblical doctrines fit in here somewhere. The doctrinal headlines are:
●Going on to perfection (holiness): This includes the work of the cross and its application to self, the world, and the demonic.
●Repentance from dead or self-orientated works: This includes the work of the cross in our lives and the taking up of our own cross daily. It includes identifying sin and true sorrow for sin.
●Faith towards God: This would include everything we do in Him and for Him.
●Baptisms (plural) this includes adult water baptism and the baptism in the Spirit.
●The laying on of hands includes the gifts of the Spirit – all of them.
●Resurrection of the dead includes all teaching on eschatology, the Second Coming and the like.
●Eternal judgement includes all eschatology including rewarding of the saints and all teaching on eternal hell.
So, now we have seven major doctrinal headline principles into which all biblical doctrines fit.
This is what produces a fully rounded, glorious, powerful Church full of the Spirit of God. The tragedy is that most of this is what is missing in the much of the church today.
You see, you can remove whatever doctrines from the list above that you don’t like. It’s easy; all you have to do is take a pair of scissors and cut those verses out. Then you can write your own doctrines and stick them in its place.
Or better still, you can do what the Methodists, the Presbyterians and most denominational churches do – just cast down the Bible. Take out a few nice un-offensive verses and ditch all the “hard sayings”. Then give yourself fully to CNN and the mass media. They know just how you should be! Give yourself fully to the entertainment world and Hollywood. They’re all very clever people who know just how you should be.
Oh by the way, should you be one of those who have elevated yourself to the position of God’s editor and removed parts of His doctrines that you don’t like, here is a verse for you:
2 John 1:10 “If anyone comes to you and does not bring this doctrine, do not receive him into your home nor greet him.”
Too many today have a God of their own creation, an emergency Jesus, or a back-pocket sponsoring Jesus. They give their cell phones more honour than our Lord.
We are all to believe, teach and preach the same thing. No church has the right to preach and teach on love alone and exclude teaching on the cross, judgement and hell, because all of those are included in God’s love.
1 Corinthians 1:10 “Now I plead with you brethren, by the name of our Lord Yeshua, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and judgement.”
The fruits of truth:
If you are in the Truth and going the right way there will be many fruits brightening your walk through the desert that is this world. These are some important ones:
If you are in and of the Truth you will overcome the world, the flesh and the demonic. These will be the big ticket items to guide you ever forward with our great God. Here are the verses:
Note that it is the power of the cross that produces victory in these areas.
►The world: Galatians 6:14 “God forbid that I should glory except in the cross of our Lord Yeshua, by whom the world has been crucified to me and I to the world.” (Note the two-way crucifixion here. “The world is dead to me and the world thinks it can’t use me because I am dead to it.)
1 John 5:4 “For whoever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world – our faith.”
►Self: Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Messiah; it is no longer I who live, but Messiah lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.”
►The demonic: Hebrews 2:14 “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil.”
If we have the full gospel applied to our lives it will have very real results. We will be full of the love of God, but this love is unique! It is love combined with and in the truth!
1John 3:1 “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called the children of God! Therefore the world does not know us, because it did not know Him.”
Here in this verse above is one of the great standards or measures. What does the world think of you?
Very few people are prepared to come to the Lord and lay down their lives and ideas. Very few are prepared to repent. Be careful if this is you because much of what is coming will be sudden! Sudden is the word and you may not have the time to untangle yourself from the trappings of the world.
The big problem with the “I can do it, you can do it, yes, you can”, crowd is that it appeals strongly to pride and the devil working in you. It denies that the power of God keeps Him out and empowers, enthrones and exalts self. Let me say it again; the power to live the Christian life successfully comes from an instrument of death – the cross and its application.
Oh yes there is power in self, but it’s an illegitimate power. God will not share His power with the un-crucified self.
The counterfeit church tries to be right with God. They try to be holy. Do you know that trying to be holy is a heavy burden? Trying to get rid of sin is a painful, futile exercise and most people can’t do it so they give up and just surrender to it. Sin and evil has an associated power. It is the power of the devil and you can’t defeat it or him while on his turf.
Once you realise that trying to live the Christian life is a waste of time you are on the road to wonderful victory. As you realise and apply the exchange of the life through the cross, it all falls into place.
If you are trying to live the Christian life by law-keeping you are doomed. No amount of law-keeping can make you right with God. But when you realise that the Spirit of the law is alive in your heart and He is your guide – you are free.
When a Church or ministry removes or downplays any of the doctrines of Messiah, false doctrine enters in its place – always!
The modern Church has cast aside most of the doctrines of Messiah and replaced them with the doctrines of the world.
The Church today is in a unique situation. We are already well into enormous amounts of false doctrine, and attack by savage wolves. Error is the order of the day. Most of the modern church is simply appeasing the devil.
Most of the modern church is full of self-motivational hogwash. It is devoid of the cross and it is full of division. The modern church is unholy and evil, in love with the world, and out to glorify self.
The worst horror to befall much of the church is the terrible doctrine of inter-faith. Of course it is successful and will become a lot more so, because it’s of the ‘successful’ powerful devil. But this success and power has a time-stamp on it.
Thank our Lord that there are many Churches and ministries moving ever forward in truth with our great God. This is where the Kingdom of God reigns and has authority.
Matthew 28:19-20 “Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all things I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”
Here are a few of my favourite verses:
John 17:20-21 “I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they may all be one as You Father are in Me, and I in You; that they may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me.”
1 Timothy 3:15 “...The Church is the pillar and foundation of truth.”
Job 23:11 “I have not departed from the commandment of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my necessary food.”
Hebrews 9:28 “...To those who eagerly wait for Him, He will appear a second time, apart from sin for salvation.”
The big take away from this edition is that there are two powers out there (The power of the cross and the power of self) and that you are under either one of them. Incomplete doctrine opens the door for false doctrine and that illegitimate power to come into play.
The standard for the true Church today is to apply the full doctrine of Messiah – all of it. The standard is the cross of Messiah and its application which is the victory and power of God.
As you prepare your heart for our Messiah, bear in mind that eternity is just around the corner!
I did this mixed media painting combining photography (the baobab tree) and abstract forms and textures. I took the baobab tree along the banks of the Limpopo River. It is called the “communion tree” because the original discoverers had communion under the tree. It’s about 3000 years old. The painting is one of a series I did.
I love flowers, orchids in particular. I placed them on a mirror on a table outside at night, set the camera shutter to stay open for two minutes and “painted” the flowers with a little hand-held halogen torch, dragging the light through the image. That’s a sparkler I placed behind.
Shalom and grow in grace!