Archives for posts with tag: Holy Bible

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In 1995, when I was 40, I met the healing and deliverance evangelists Pastors Noel and Phyl Gibson of Freedom Ministries based in Sydney, Australia. They were ex-patriot New Zealanders like me who’d made a life in Australia like so many Kiwis (New Zealanders in slang) do.

Noel was near the end of his life on earth. He’d had a heart problem for a long time and this was affecting his strength. He was gradually fading.

Noel spent most of his time in bed at Noel and Phyl’s apartment in Sydney. His heart was weak and he had no strength. He was using an oxygen tank to get by.

Phyl was a former nurse and an extremely devoted wife. It was her devotion and special love gift to Noel to care for and look after Noel until the end of his life on earth. To ensure his last days were spent in the best way possible. Going to hospital was untenable.

During this time I had conversations with Noel.

Phyl Gibson gave me Noel’s library after he died, as she knew I was theologically literate, had a Philosophy degree and loved old books.

I also inherited my father’s library which was far larger. Dad was an academic and a theologian, but not in a stuffy detached way.

Dad was a man of the people. A humble preacher and teacher of the Christian message.

Dad specialised in Evangelism, World Missions and Pastoral Care and lectured for 8 years at the New Zealand Bible College in Henderson Auckland in the 1970s to early 1980s.

This institution is now called Laidlaw College, a far weaker name. Why do Christians keep hiding their lamps under a basket? Please brothers and sisters in Christ, say it as it is. “Its the New Zealand Bible College and I’m not ashamed of it”. “I’m a Christian and I’m proud of it”. “The Holy Bible says homosexuality is sin. Deal with it”. “Smoking dope is wrong. No exceptions”.

I asked Noel, as a young man of 40, what was his advice to me for my future life, spiritually?

Noel replied simply, “Stay close to the Bible”.

My father, Reverend Reuben Donald Elley was a great and faithful man of God. Dad too was a man of the Word. A man of the Bible.

All great women and men of God are women and men of the Word.

Billy Graham. John G Lake. Katherine Kulmann. Aimee Simple McPherson, Smith Wigglesworth, John Hyde known as Praying Hyde, Andrew Murray, E.W. Kenyon, Charles Finney, Charles and John Wesley, John Knox, John Calvin, Martin Luther.

All the thousands and hundreds of thousands and millions of great and holy Bible-believing Christians who have gone before us. Think of a truly great woman or man of God and they will be a woman or man who believed steadfastly, and adhered ever so closely to, every word and letter of the Holy Bible. All great women and men. All women and men of the Holy Bible. All courageous. All great Protestants. All great women and men of faith. No Rome lovers.

Kathryn Kulmann met the Pope but she was trying to reach out to all peoples. That was her heart. It wasn’t that she compromised the Holy Bible or her faith. We have to take people where they’re at and show love. Many Roman Catholic priests and nuns came to her meetings and were touched deeply by the Holy Spirit of Jesus. We, as Christians, must show compassion to all peoples and all religions. It doesn’t mean that we compromise with the tenets of the Holy Bible by talking to all different types of people.

We must show love. That is the Bible maxim. That is our calling. Love is our responsibility. Grace is our language. Forgiveness through the Lord Jesus Christ is our message to humanity. It is the Bible message.

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The authenticity of the Holy Scriptures is being challenged by various interest groups in society in these times. This has always been the case.

As Christians it is as important as ever to be grounded in the Word of God. To know the Scriptures. To understand the Full Counsel of God from the Holy Bible.

Here is an extract from a book called ‘The Bible Questions’ by Hal Seed.

The publisher is InterVarsity Press who published a lot of evangelical biblical writings. They also publish Bible dictionaries and similar literature.

Extract from ‘The Bible Questions’ by Hal Seed. Copyright(c) 2012 by Hal Seed. InterVarsity Press, P.O. Box 1400, Downers Grove, IL 60515. http://www.ivpress.com

‘Hal Seed is the Lead Pastor of New Song Community Church

Who Decided What Went into the Bible?

Just about everyone wants to know how the sixty-six books got chosen to be in the Bible. Why these sixty-six? Why not a few more (or a few less)? Why these books and not others?

In Persecution in the Early Church Herbert Workman tells the story of a Christian who was brought before the Roman governor of Sicily during the last great persecution of the church. His crime? Possessing a copy of the Gospels.

The governor asked, “Where did these come from? Did you bring them from your home?”

The believer replied, “I have no home, as my Lord Jesus knows.”

The governor asked his prisoner to read a portion of the Gospels. He chose a portion of Jesus’ Sermon on the Mount: “Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Next he read from Luke: “If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.”

At this, the judge ordered the prisoner taken away, to his death.

Under Roman law new religions were illegal. In its first few decades Christianity was seen as a sect within Judaism. Once it was determined that Christianity was a separate religion, it became illegal to identify as a Christian. So, for the first three centuries of what we now call the Christian Era, it was a crime to be Christian. Persecutions sprang up throughout various parts of the empire. Believers were tortured and sometimes martyred for their faith. In 303, Emperor Diocletian ordered the confiscation of Christian property and churches, and the burning of Scriptures. Believers and their Book had become so inseparable that the way to eliminate Christianity was to eliminate the Bible.

How the Bible Came Together:

Who decided what went into the Bible? The short answer to that question is “no one”. Or maybe a better answer is God did. When scholars talk about how a book qualified to be called Scripture, they list five characteristics called the laws of canonicity. But these characteristics are recognized in hindsight; they weren’t developed by a particular group at a particular time in history.

After his Resurrection Jesus commissioned His followers to go and make disciples, and they did. They devoted themselves to sharing the Christ’s good news, enfolding people into local churches and teaching them to obey all that Jesus had commanded.

These Jewish believers already had Scripture. Around Palestine the Jewish Scripture is exactly what Protestants today call the Old Testament. Jesus referred to these books when he spoke of the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms (Luke 24:44).

Outside the Holy Land some Jews included twelve to fifteen other books as part of Scripture. The Septuagint, which was translated in Egypt, contains books that we now call the Apocrypha. (Apocrypha means “those hidden away.”) Early Christians differed over whether these extra books should be considered Scripture or not. Those nearest to Palestine tended to exclude them. Those closer to Rome tended to include them.

During the sixteenth century Reformation, Martin Luther spoke strongly against the Apocrypha.

In reaction the Roman Catholic Church convened a Council in Trent (now in Italy), where they declared the Apocrypha to be canonical.

To this day Catholics and Protestants disagree on this issue. Catholics uphold the Apocrypha. Protestants believe that the Apocrypha is useful but not inspired.

Wherever Christianity spread, Christians gathered for worship and instruction. In keeping with the customs of the Jewish synagogue, a portion of Old Testament Scripture would be read and explained. Meanwhile, the apostles, along with other evangelists and teachers, travelled from place to place to plant churches and encourage believers. When one of these recognised leaders was in town, he was invited to speak during the service.

As need arose, the Apostles wrote letters to various churches. When a letter arrived, it was read with great excitement in the worship service. Often the letter would be copied and shared with neighboring churches, who, in turn, would share it with still other churches. Naturally, the more inspiring letters were copied and shared more often.

In his letter to the Colossians, Paul wrote, “After this letter has been read to you, see that it is also read in the church of the Laodiceans and that you in turn read the letter from Laodicea” (Colossians 4:16). We still have the letter to the Colossians. The letter to the Laodiceans was not considered inspired or pertinent enough to be preserved.

Around A.D. 150, Justin Martyr described worship this way:

“On the day called the Day of the Sun all who live in cities or in the country gather together to one place, and the memoirs of the Apostles or the writings of the Prophets are read, as long as time permits; then, when the reader has ceased, the president verbally instructs, and exhorts to the imitation of these good things. Then all rise together and pray.
By this early date, “the memoirs of the Apostles” were considered as important to the teaching of the Church as the writings of the prophets”.

Marcion and Montanus. About ten years earlier a wealthy ship owner named Marcion sailed from his home near the Black Sea to the capital city of Rome. Marcion believed that the God of the Old Testament was different than the God of the New Testament. The former was distant and loved justice, while the latter was loving and emphasized grace.

Marcion rejected the Old Testament, along with any writings that might reinforce views other than his own. He developed a list of books he considered acceptable: portions of the Gospel of Luke, ten of Paul’s letters, plus a letter purportedly from Paul to the Alexandrians. This list is known as the Marcion Canon.

The church had to respond to this. Though nothing had been officially written down, decided or proclaimed, most Christians had a sense of what was Scripture and what wasn’t.

Between A.D. 156 and 172, a second provocateur appeared on the scene. His name was Montanus. Montanus was accompanied by two prophetesses, Prisca and Maximilla. “The Three” spoke in ecstatic visions and encouraged their followers to fast and pray, calling the church to a higher standard of righteousness and zeal. If that was as far as their teaching went, they would have been an asset. But their message included what they called “new prophecy,” which pushed Christ and the apostolic message into the background. The age of Jesus was being superseded by the age of the Holy Spirit, and Montanus was its spokesman.

Was Montanus truly bringing a new prophecy with new authority? Prophecy more authoritative than Jesus and the apostles? This question prompted the church to respond a second time.

In A.D. 144, the church of Rome excommunicated Marcion and continued the sifting process on what was Scripture and what wasn’t. The Montanus controversy pushed the church to ask further questions of their Scriptures. Specifically, was God bringing further revelation? Could that revelation be true if it contradicted things taught by Jesus and the Apostles? Could new truth change or add to the basic teachings the church had been feeding on for the past century? The answer was no. From this the church concluded that the canon of Scripture was closed.

Spurred by these dilemmas the church developed its list of Canonical Books. The following are guidelines for accepting a book into the New Testament:

1. Was the book written by a prophet of God?

2. Was the writer confirmed by acts of God?

3. Does the message tell the truth about God?

4. Did it come with the power of God?

5. Was it accepted by God’s people?

These are the marks of Canonicity. “Canon” is a Greek word meaning “rule” or “measuring stick.” These five questions are used to determine which books “measure up” to being labeled divinely inspired. They exhibit “the marks of canonicity.”

Turn to a Bible’s table of contents and you’ll see that each of the books was written by either a prophet or apostle (Ephesians 2:20), or by someone with a direct relationship to one.

Miracles were the means by which God confirmed the authority of his spokesmen. In Exodus 4, Moses was given miraculous powers to confirm his call. In 2 Corinthians 12:12, Paul teaches that the mark of an apostle is “signs, wonders and miracles.”

Truth cannot contradict itself, so agreement with the other books of Scripture was only logical. As was historical accuracy. If the facts of a book were inaccurate, it couldn’t have been from God.

The inner witness of the Spirit was equally important. A key question these early Christians asked was, When we read this, is there an inner sense from God that what is written is right and true?

Initial acceptance by people to whom the work was addressed was crucial. What was the original audience’s sense? Did they accept the book as an authoritative word from God? Daniel, who lived within a few years of Jeremiah, called Jeremiah’s book “Scripture” in Daniel 9:2. Paul called the Gospel of Luke “Scripture” in 1 Timothy 5:18. Peter affirmed that Paul’s letters were “Scripture” in 2 Peter 3:16.

The Muratorian Fragment. Even before Marcion and Montanus, the church was aware of these important criteria. In A.D. 96, Clement of Rome wrote “The apostles were made evangelists to us by the Lord Christ; Jesus Christ was sent by God. Thus Christ is from God and the apostles from Christ. . . . The Church is built on them as a foundation” (1 Clement 42).

After Marcion and Montanus, lists of New Testament books begin to appear. One of the first was The Muratorian Fragment. It was discovered among the Vatican’s sacred documents by historian Ludovico Antonio Muratori in 1740 and dates to about A.D. 190. The fragment is damaged. The portion we possess begins with “the third book of the Gospel is that according to Luke.” We assume the first and second Gospels to be Matthew and Mark. The fragment lists John, Acts, all of Paul’s letters, James, 1-2 John, Jude and the Revelation of John. It also includes the Revelation of Peter, the Wisdom of Solomon and (“to be used in private, but not public worship”) the Shepherd of Hermas.

Eusebius. By the early third century only a handful of books that we now call our New Testament were in question. In western regions of the empire, the book of Hebrews faced opposition, and in the east Revelation was unpopular. Eusebius, a church historian of the fourth century, records that James, 2 Peter, 2-3 John and Jude were the only books “spoken against” (though recognized by others).

Athanasius. In 367, Athanasius, the bishop of Alexandria, wrote an Easter letter that contained all twenty-seven books of our present New Testament. In 393 the Synod of Hippo affirmed our current New Testament, and in 397 the Council of Carthage published the same list.

Who Decided What Belongs in the Canon?

Theologians are careful to note that the Church didn’t develop the Canon, God did that by inspiring its writing and superintending each book’s preservation. The Church recognized the Canon by experience and mutual agreement’.

My comments:

Theologically speaking, to understand everything about the Holy Bible the type of information in the above extract helps us better understand the Holy Bible.

Where folks go off track is when they get into so-called Higher Criticism or similar spins on the Bible that lead people into apostasy and errors.

God bless you and keep you as you study the Holy Scriptures and make yourself a better Christian workman, better able to rightly and accurately divide the Holy Word of God.

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Still ministering despite dark skeletons from his past not faced up to and dealt with.

Neville Johnson. Still ministering despite dark skeletons from his past not faced up to and dealt with.

Neville Johnson. Liked blow jobs from secretaries.

Neville Johnson. Liked blow jobs from secretaries.

This is part two of a series of articles looking at the following question:

Was the death of Neville Johnson’s beloved daughter in 1983 an act of Divine Retribution for Neville seducing and sexually abusing three successive beautiful innocent young female Christian secretaries, who were the same age as his beloved daughter, for causing major devastation in the body of Christ and then running away without honestly facing his many sins, apologising and repenting?

 

For part one of my examination of this question please read the previous article on this site.

In this article I referenced the life of King David and his sins of adultery with Bathsheba and King David’s murdering Uriah the Hittite, Bathsheba’s husband, so he could have her, even though he had other wives and concubines.

King David and Bathsheba were judged when they lost the first child of their liaison.

I’ve also written a number of articles on this blog-site about Neville Johnson and his failings with church secretaries at Queen Street Assemblies of God, Auckland, New Zealand, in the 1970s.

‘Neville Johnson. Liked blow jobs from church secretaries. Former Queen St AOG, Auckland, NZ. Now Academy of Light Perth, Western Australia. How the corrupt priests of Pentecost sowed devils on each other. Part three. New Zealand errant Pentecostal pastors who couldn’t keep it in their trousers or sexually abused little kids’, published on 28 January 2015.

‘Neville Johnson. From secretary blow jobs at Queen St, Auckland AOG to the good life in Perth, Western Australia. New Ministry: the Academy of Light. How the corrupt priests of Pentecost sowed devils on each other. Part 7. Australian and New Zealand errant Pentecostal pastors who couldn’t keep it in their trousers or sexually abused little kids’, published on 16 February 2015.

There are also several articles published since then on this site about Neville Johnson’s sin of necromancy. That is, talking to the dead.

We can also look at other lives in the Holy Bible that when awry because of sin. King Saul, Samson and King Herod spring to mind.

King Herod was responsible for the slaying of the innocents and his life gradually unravelled until it ended in sickness and insanity.

King Herod was always in conflict with his sons and even murdered his wife and three of his sons.

The Orthodox Church in America, on-line. 

14,000 Infants (the Holy Innocents) slain by Herod at Bethlehem

14,000 Holy Infants were killed by King Herod in Bethlehem. When the time came for the Incarnation of the Son of God and His Birth of the Most Holy Virgin Mary, Magi in the East beheld a new star in the heavens, foretelling the Nativity of the King of the Jews. They journeyed immediately to Jerusalem to worship the Child, and the star showed them the way. Having worshipped the divine Infant, they did not return to Jerusalem to Herod, as he had ordered them, but being warned by God in a dream, they went back to their country by another way. Herod finally realized that his scheme to find the Child would not be successful, and he ordered that all the male children two years old and younger at Bethlehem and its surroundings be killed. He thought that the divine Infant, Whom he considered a rival, would be among the dead children.

The murdered infants thus became the first martyrs for Christ. The rage of Herod fell also on Simeon the God-Receiver (February 3), who declared before everyone in the Temple that the Messiah had been born. When the holy Elder died, Herod would not give permission for him to be properly buried. On the orders of King Herod, the holy prophet and priest Zachariah was also killed. He was murdered in Jerusalem between the Temple and the altar (Mt. 23:35) because he would not tell the whereabouts of his son John, the future Baptist of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The wrath of God soon fell upon Herod himself: a horrid condition struck him down and he died, eaten by worms while still alive. Before his death, the impious king murdered the chief priests and scribes of the Jews, and also his brother, and his sister and her husband, and also his own wife Mariam, and three of his sons, and seventy men of wisdom who were members of the Sanhedrin. He initiated this bloodbath so that the day of his death would not be one of rejoicing, but one of mourning.

the slaying of the innocents 3 the slaying of the innocents 2 the slaying of the innocents 1

My comments:

Another example of Divine Retribution is Ananias and Sapphirra, who deceived the Apostles and withheld part of the proceeds of the sale of a piece of land. The Holy Spirit, whose Presence was Mighty at the time, took them instantly in death as a warning to everyone not to mess with Him.

In the life of Samson God gave him super-human strength yet he squandered it by disobeying God’s laws and by being fascinated by the charms of exotic foreign women of the Philistines. The charms of exotic foreign women have taken out many a man. Mark Anthony is a non-Biblical example.

At the end of his life Samson exacted revenge on the enemies of Israel by pulling down a temple on them by dislodging a major support column. Yet how much greater Samson’s life would have been if he’d maintained his vow of a Nazarite.

There is a cleansing going on even to this day in society and in Israel. God has not finished his work.

God is always trying to work and bring redemption in human affairs.

It’s by His grace that goodness comes into our lives and into the earth.

 

The trouble for Neville Johnson is that we live in a Moral Universe. There are many ways of looking at the concept of a ‘Moral Universe’.

Wikipedia

A moral universe.

A moral universe implies that we live in a basically spiritual universe that is somehow ordered by a higher power, by invisible feelings of good and bad, a ‘cosmic order’ reminiscent of the early Greeks that underpins and motivates our actions. Or a ‘moral force’ that means our actions must have definite effects which we carry with us. In this respect its meaning comes close to the Hindu concept of Karma.

Those who reject this idea tend to believe that the universe is just physical, has no spiritual component at all, that events are random and have no deeper meaning or purpose, and that there can be no consequences of any kind to our actions and thus that we live in an amoral or nihilistic universe, as in Nietzsche’s “God is dead,” aphorism. Such might be the position of “anti-moral free spirits-nihilists.”

It is in Dostoyevsky’s oft-quoted saying, “if God does not exist, then everything is permitted,”that the notion of an amoral universe, and its implications, are explored. Similarly, some atheists, pagans and most Buddhists believe that we live in a moral universe (see Buddhist morality), but without the God aspect. The concept of a moral universe also implies that the good and bad events in our lives happen to us for a reason that life is good, and has a purpose, that human beings are basically good, that nature is good. In a moral universe, these meanings might be subtly discerned (see Hermeneutics), while it also offers the prospect of spiritual development, growth and enlightenment, whereas if we live in an amoral universe, these notions are utterly denied and in fact impossible (see Moral nihilism and Nihilism). Foucault, for example, is sometimes depicted as an amoral nihilist.

The concept of a moral universe seems also to underpin spirituality and forms the basis for kindness, compassion, altruism, and caring for others in human behaviour, including ecological activism and conservation.[citation needed] This is because it places a value on human life and living things that goes beyond what would seem suitable if we regarded people and living things merely as agglomerations of atoms essentially no different from any other unfeeling, non-sentient molecular structures such as rocks, soil, mountains or planets.

Immanent justice

Belief in a moral universe often involves “deciding that negative experiences are punishment for prior misdeeds, even when plausible causal links are missing…(or) immanent justice.”The term is also “used to describe the young child’s tendency to affirm the existence of punishments that emanate from things themselves…(which) implies a causal relation between the behaviour and the outcome.”In other words, it means “punishment for misdeeds (immanent justice).”Studies have repeatedly shown that “children use the belief in a just world in immanent justice judgements,”to try to make sense of life events. It involves the belief that “combinations of good or bad prior behavior [are] followed by a lucky or unlucky event.”Many people “believe they are living in a just world in which everybody gets what he deserves and deserves what he gets.”One study has even “demonstrated more evidence of immanent justice responding among adults than among elementary school children. “Arguably, immanent justice is a form of moral reasoning, and an aspect of the notion of a moral universe in which our actions are deemed to have consequences. Immanent justice is similar to the notion that ‘what goes around comes around’ or the proverb, ‘we reap what we sow.’

My comments:

The writer Donald Elley of Bellingen. Now coffee and food critic.

The writer Donald Elley of Bellingen. Trying to help Neville Johnson get sorted.

The Bible teaches from Genesis chapter 1 to Revelation chapter 22 that we live in a ‘Moral Universe’.

What we sow, we reap.

God has made it very clear in the Holy Bible that there is a greater responsibility and therefore a greater judgement on leaders in the Church, the body of Christ: apostles, pastors, teachers and evangelists.

 

The sins of Neville Johnson:

Committing the sin of adultery:

The first sin Neville Johnson committed from the early 1970s to the late 1970s was to seduce and sexually abuse a succession of young church secretaries at Queen Street Assemblies of God (AOG), Auckland, New Zealand.

This involved taking these secretaries to hotel rooms and telling them that God had revealed to him scriptures from the Old Testament in the Holy Bible that said it was OK for the girls to give him blow jobs.

When the first secretary resigned but didn’t tell anyone, Neville Johnson did it with a second secretary and then a third secretary.

The third secretary was his ministerial colleague’s daughter and she told her dad.

Then one of the biggest scandals in the history of the Pentecostal Church in New Zealand unfolded.

The sin of smashing a major church to pieces:

Neville Johnson’s sins cause the biggest church in Australia and New Zealand at the time to collapse and it never recovered.

All that was left was a ghost-town of broken promises, shattered visions and an unholy mess.

 

Not repenting of the sin of adultery:

To make matters worse Neville Johnson has never come clean about it all.

Neville Johnson has never repented of his sins of adultery, twisting the Holy Word of God to suit his lusts and never repented of anything bad he did at this time in his life.

 

King David repented and got prostrate. Neville didn’t:

In Psalm 51 we read about King David’s repentance and his prayer, ‘Create in me a clean heart O God, and renew a right spirit within me’.

This is what Neville Johnson should have done. He should have repented, publicly acknowledged his many sins and come clean.

When we sin it’s really important we acknowledge it before God and man.

If people see that, in Aussie terminology, ‘we’re fair dinkum’, it lets them see that we’re real with them. That we’re not pretending to be ‘holier than thou’.

Remember how the great Apostle Paul wrote about his weaknesses. Paul wrote about his personal struggles with sin in Romans 7 and the key to victory over sin, by walking in the Holy Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ, in Romans chapter 8.

Paul wrote how he was the greatest sinner of all, particularly because he’d persecuted and even murdered Christians before his confrontation with Christ on the road to Damascus. God took him as Saul and confronted him in a flash of Light, blinded him, then raised him up as Paul, the greatest Apostle.

Neville Johnson ran away to Perth. 

Rather than repent and face the music like King David, Neville Johnson ran away to Perth, Western Australia.

In those days Western Australia was like going to the moon. Neville Johnson thought this would be a safe haven.

Yet he has never fully escaped.

Like Australian businessman, Christopher Skase, who ran away to Majorca, off the coast of Spain, in the late 1980s after his company Qintex collapsed following the 1987 Black Friday Share market crash owing huge money, Perth hasn’t proved to be far enough to away to escape to from all the carnage.

God is now calling Neville Johnson to account.

We can run, lie, throw up smoke-screens in life but the truth will find us out.

As King David wrote in the Psalms, where can I flee from your Presence?

‘Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high, I cannot attain to it. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there.…’

Psalm 139: 6-8

Eventually the truth comes out. The truth will prevail. People lie, lie, lie and spin webs and webs of lies. But their lies wrap themselves up so tight that eventually they cannot move. They become paralysed by their lies. They can’t move. Then the judgment comes. Ask Frank the Rock Spider.

The same thoughts are reflected in the book of Job. We cannot run from the truth. We cannot escape God. Even suicide won’t work. Nothing we do can allow us to escape from God. Mick Jagger, Keith Wood, Elton John, Madonna, Putin, Mugabe, Brian Houston. All these men and women who have walked like princes on the earth will have to face their Maker and give account. We live in a Moral Universe.

We are dealing with a Loving God

The heart of God is a heart of redemption.

As it says in Psalm 103, ‘God knows are frame, He knows that we are dust’.

Here is Psalm 103: 14 in ten translations.

I’m printing it ten times, in ten different translations because I know we all need to hear God’s grace.

New International

for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust.

New Living Translation
For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust.

English Standard Version
For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust.

New American Standard Bible
For He Himself knows our frame; He is mindful that we are but dust.

King James Bible
For he knoweth our frame; he remembereth that we are dust.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
For He knows what we are made of, remembering that we are dust.

International Standard Version
For he knows how we were formed, aware that we were made from dust.

NET Bible
For he knows what we are made of; he realizes we are made of clay.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
Because he knows our form; he remembers that we are dust.

GOD’S WORD® Translation
He certainly knows what we are made of. He bears in mind that we are dust.

Today is the day of salvation and restoration

Don’t leave it to tomorrow or the future to get things right with God.

Neville Johnson has left it for over thirty years.

Imagine if Neville Johnson turned up in Auckland one day with a notebook with all the names of people he sinned against and offended back in the 1970s and early 1980s in Auckland New Zealand, sought them out and apologised. That would be something.

One day when I was 16 I pulled into a service station south of Cambridge in New Zealand on my motorbike. I filled my Suzuki 500 with petrol. No one came to the boozer. I called out. Still no response. So I rode off. When I became a Christian three years later I sought out the servo and paid them. The young lady looked at me with the greatest surprise.

We are called to absolute honesty.

Those people who lie lie lie will one day be brought to account by God.

God hates liars.

The Bible talks about fleeing from the fire. We mustn’t play with life, play with sin, play with the Fire. 

‘Flee from the wrath to come’.

New International Version.

You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that–and shudder.

New Living Translation
You say you have faith, for you believe that there is one God. Good for you! Even the demons believe this, and they tremble in terror.

English Standard Version
You believe that God is one; you do well. Even the demons believe—and shudder!

New American Standard Bible
You believe that God is one. You do well; the demons also believe, and shudder.

King James Bible
Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
You believe that God is one; you do well. The demons also believe–and they shudder.

International Standard Version
You believe that there is one God. That’s fine! Even the demons believe that and tremble with fear.

NET Bible
You believe that God is one; well and good. Even the demons believe that–and tremble with fear.

Aramaic Bible in Plain English
You believe that God is One; you do well; the demons also believe and tremble.

GOD’S WORD® Translation
You believe that there is one God. That’s fine! The demons also believe that, and they tremble with fear.

H S Fire 1 fire of God 2

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The purity and holiness that is the fruit of the Holy Spirit's anointing.

The purity and holiness that is the fruit of the Holy Spirit’s anointing.

holy Spirit b

 

The thing that is lacking in most Pentecostal Churches today is good solid Biblical Teaching.

 

The Bible often talks about people wanting to have their ears tickled rather than wanting to hear God’s words.

It is only God’s words that will set us free.

Please pray that the Holy Spirit will guide you and enrich you as you study the Holy Bible with me.

 

Romans chapter three.

 

verse 3: ‘Let God be true and every man a liar’.

The problem of lying is eternal to man.

It started in the Garden of Eden and has continued to this day.

If there is one thing that gets under God’s skin it’s lying.

The converse is also true. ‘The truth shall set us free’, and ‘The truth will prevail’.

Errant liars will be caught in the web of their own lies.

Those who have nothing better to do than to criticise and dream up traps for other people will fall into the pits they created themselves.

In time they will forget where the pits of lies they created are, and they will fall into the pits of lies they created themselves.

 

Please read verses 4 to 19.

 

Verse 20: ‘Therefore by the deeds of the Law no flesh will be justified in his sight, for by the Law is the knowledge of sin’.

These are two fundamentals of Christian doctrine.

‘Therefore by the deeds of the Law no flesh will be justified in his sight’.

In other words, no matter what we do, no matter how good and no matter how perfectly we try to fulfil the requirements of the Jewish Law, we cannot make it.

Because we as errant human beings always fall short, we will never make it without forgiveness of our sins and a sin-bearer: The Saviour, the Holy Lamb of God, the Lord Jesus Christ.

 

‘…for by the Law is the knowledge of sin’.

The Law helps us to know our sins. From our shortcomings matching ourselves against the Holy Laws of Almighty God, we come to realise that we are errant sinners.

From this knowledge we can reach out to God and allow Him to make a difference and get us there, to the right place, by His grace and mercy.

Verses 21 to 31 explain this.

 

I hope you’re enjoying and following me with this Bible study.

If you’ve had trouble understanding Romans or any other part of the Bible in the past, the best approach is to keep things as simple as possible and to break things down into bite-sized portions.

 

What I would like to help you to do is to think for yourselves, study for your own self and ask the Blessed Holy Spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ to lead you into all truth, as He loves to do.

 

The Heavenly Dove. The lover of our souls,. The Holy Spirit.

The Heavenly Dove. The great Lover of our souls. The Holy Spirit.

 

Bread of Life 1

 

The Holy Spirit is here on earth waiting for us to ask for fresh bread from heaven each day.

Yesterday’s Holy Spirit Anointing is not adequate for today.

 

What sustains our spirits, minds and souls is a fresh impartation, a fresh blessing from the Person of the Holy Spirit each day.

 

We ought to go to the Holy Spirit of Jesus each day and obtain fresh bread from heaven.

 

If we’ve sinned we have to set that right with a simple prayer of confession.

He understands our frailties. He knows that we are mere vulnerable mortal man. Subject to sin and failure.

 

We’re not infallible supermen Christians. Robots. Not one of us.

Take the Apostle Paul who yearned for good and right, yet wrote Romans 7 and 8, talking about the battle between our lower nature and our divine aspirations.

 

In much of the world bread is a staple food in the diet. In Asia rice, grains, vegetables and fish are staple foods. In Europe, the Mediterranean and the Middle East staple diets include bread, grains, olive oil, fish and poultry. Fish, rice, wheat, various grains and vegetables can be staples, depending on what is available in given location. A staple food is a food eaten regularly and being a fundamental nutrition source.

The Asians wake up and get stuck into a bowl of rice. My Western stomach likes to take things easy first thing.

 

Appealing to the conventions of the day in the Middle East, the Lord Jesus Christ said “I am the Bread of Life”.

 

Bread of Life 3

 

Jesus also said “I am the Living Water”.

 

These immortal eternal images are written about Jesus in the gospel of John.

The gospel of John is known as “the spiritual gospel”. Mark is more succinct. Matthew waxes lyrical more. Luke goes into precise details, reflective of the writer. Luke, the beloved physician, as the Apostle Paul called him.

 

Go to John 4 for the Living Water passages and to John 6 for the Bread of Life scriptures.

 

There are various ways God, the Holy Spirit, imparts this Bread of Life or Bread from Heaven and Water of Life to us.

You may be thinking, this is really simple stuff.

 

The thing about the wisdom of the Holy Bible is that it’s really simple.

Two women who were harlots came to King Solomon (a type of Christ) for judgment. They shared the same house. Each had a baby. One baby had died in the night. The other baby was alive. Both women were claiming the living baby was theirs.

Here is the scripture:

1 Kings 3:16-28  New King James Version (NKJV)

Solomon’s Wise Judgment

16 Now two women who were harlots came to the king, and stood before him. 17 And one woman said, “O my lord, this woman and I dwell in the same house; and I gave birth while she was in the house. 18 Then it happened, the third day after I had given birth, that this woman also gave birth. And we were together; no one was with us in the house, except the two of us in the house. 19 And this woman’s son died in the night, because she lay on him. 20 So she arose in the middle of the night and took my son from my side, while your maidservant slept, and laid him in her bosom, and laid her dead child in my bosom. 21 And when I rose in the morning to nurse my son, there he was, dead. But when I had examined him in the morning, indeed, he was not my son whom I had borne.”

22 Then the other woman said, “No! But the living one is my son, and the dead one is your son.”

And the first woman said, “No! But the dead one is your son, and the living one is my son.”

Thus they spoke before the king.

23 And the king said, “The one says, ‘This is my son, who lives, and your son is the dead one’; and the other says, ‘No! But your son is the dead one, and my son is the living one.’” 24 Then the king said, “Bring me a sword.” So they brought a sword before the king. 25 And the king said, “Divide the living child in two, and give half to one, and half to the other.”

26 Then the woman whose son was living spoke to the king, for she yearned with compassion for her son; and she said, “O my lord, give her the living child, and by no means kill him!”

But the other said, “Let him be neither mine nor yours, but divide him.”

27 So the king answered and said, “Give the first woman the living child, and by no means kill him; she is his mother.”

28 And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had rendered; and they feared the king, for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to administer justice.

 

It’s a pity more judges today aren’t wise like King Solomon.

 

Wisdom is simple and faith is simple. 

 

There are a lot of forces trying to stop us praying and reading the Holy Bible.

 

All the forces of darkness in the spiritual realm want us not to pray. How many times have we gotten drowsy or even fallen asleep while praying?

It’s partly to do with our busy lives and when we slow down and pray, we suddenly feel exhausted.

But it’s also to do with satan and his millions of servants, minions from hell, trying to stop us praying.

 

To beat this lethargy we need to pick a time of day when we’re not tired and devote that time to God.

 

I find early in the morning works best for me. When the birds wake at pre-dawn is a good time. Nice and peaceful.

It doesn’t matter when that time is in our day, so long as there is a special time devoted to fellowship with the Father, Son and Holy Spirit. The Father of Life, the Bread of Life and the Giver of life.

 

Bread of Life 2

 

 

 

 

discerning 5

 

Walking with the Holy Spirit, and using gifts of the Holy Spirit, like the gift of discerning of spirits, is not a scary thing.

Discerning of spirits is simply a tool the Holy Spirit provides for us, so we can tell what is true and what is false. What is good and what is evil.

 

Jesus talked about the truth setting us free.

Do we want to live in a world of truths, half-truths and even lies, or do we want to convert our personal world, where we have influence, into a truth zone, and into a false-hood free, sin-free and demon-free zone?

 

When our spiritual skill-set in discernment matures, a great sense of comfort and assurance comes into our lives.

 

As the readers of this site would know, I’ve had Christian Revival, the baptism in the Holy Spirit, speaking in other tongues and the gifts of the Holy Spirit on my mind recently.

These are essential topics for the Spirit-filled Christian.

And I’ve been writing many articles on these topics, almost daily.

 

discerning 9

 

My message is Bible based only.

 

Unlike a guru or holy religious teacher who says “my teaching is the supreme way”, or “I’ve found some special revelation or slant on religion”, I’m saying “look here, I’m not the message, I’m simply the messenger”.

The Message is the Word of God, as found in the Holy Bible.

What I’m interested in, solely, is exciting folks about the Holy Scriptures and the Way, which is Christ, the Anointed One.

He’s Special, not I.

 

A failure of Christians over the centuries is to look to “the man”.

In Roman Catholicism, it’s the priests and the Pope.

In Islam it’s Mohammed.

In Protestant Christianity, the Bible teaches us to look only to the Lord Jesus Christ, who is God Incarnate and not a man, in the mortal sense. Mohammad was a man. The Pope, the man Roman Catholics view as Christ in earth, is a mortal man. As are the fallible priests.

 

When it comes to the gift of discerning of spirits, it doesn’t have to be a scary subject. The closer we get, and feel, to the Holy Spirit, the safer we’ll feel, and the more peace we’ll get.

 

I recommend seeking God in worship, in prayer and reading the Holy Bible as the best ways to get deliverance from evil spirits.

 

Every man, woman and child on the planet needs to get set free from evil spirits.

 

The only person who has ever lived on the blue planet, the pearl of God’s creation gliding in orbit around the sun, who has not needed any deliverance, is the Lord Jesus Christ. God Incarnate. The Perfect One. God in the flesh. The One who the Apostle John wrote of as, “The Word became Flesh and dwelt amongst us, full of grace and truth”.

 

I have had a lot of deliverance, Heaps. Because I’ve sinned a lot at times. I’m not proud of it. But I’m being honest with you, the reader about it.

 

In February this year I was sovereignly healed from a 7 month relapse of a Chronic Fatigue Syndrome illness, which I’d battled for six years. 

 

When I got healed, I had an amazing desire to Worship God.

 

I started listening to anointed praise and worship music by Jesus Culture, Bethel, Ross Parsley and other worship music on my laptop and iPhone.

In fact I was listening to Praise and Worship almost 24/7.

Almost every moment, I listened to Praise and Worship music, except when I was sleeping, and sometimes I played worship while I went to sleep or slept while it was on.

 

As I continued to do this, all hell broke loose.

That’s when the local ACC Christians started attacking me. It was bizarre, but I knew what was going on, for they’re not baptised in the Holy Spirit. It’s not taught to them, or practiced, so they don’t have it. They’ve never been set free from demons either. Again, it’s also not taught or practiced.

For the leaders and older players in such churches, leading someone to Christ, prophesying and the dynamics of a Spirit-filled life is but a distant memory of spiritual successes and vitality of 30-40 years ago.

They’ve taken the keys to the kingdom and locked the door, so no one else can enter in. They’re culpable, but they’re ignorant of their malaise.

 

It was simultaneous with my seeking of God in worship that spiritual attacks came.

It’s happened every time over the years when I’ve really set my face to seek God in worship and in prayer.

It’s to be expected.

 

To me, as an experienced Spirit-filled Christian, this was a good sign.

It can be unnerving when we start seeking God and we sense there’s a negative spiritual reaction.

Satan and his minions express themselves directly spiritually and also through people, even Christians if they’re not right with God and not filled with the Holy Spirit and His love and kindness.

 

I continued to press into God undeterred.

 

it’s been hard, but it’s been worth it.

 

Nothing good and great in God comes without intense and dedicated effort. It’s a law of the universe. A law of God. In any talent, gift and achievement, it’s the hard work that goes on in private that allows the public success.

 

As in the natural, so in the spiritual.

 

This is how the deliverance happened.

At no time in the previous 9 months, when I was seeking God in Praise and Worship, did I focus on demons or deliverance.

 

Rather, as I sought God, the demons started manifesting of their own volition and wanted to get out.

They started to swear inside me, using the f word, and to say they wanted  to “get the hell out away from me”. I could hear them within me prior to each time of deliverance..

These demons aren’t in our spirits. They hang around parts of our physical body, our emotions and our mind and head, trying to muck up our lives.

The demons hate us and ultimately want to kill us. They want us to suffer like they suffer, and will suffer in the future, in the Judgment to come.

 

Like a spiritual oven, through Praise and Worship, prayer, praying in other tongues and reading the Holy Bible, the spiritual temperature in my life was becoming too hot and too uncomfortable for the demons which I’d let in through sin, so they wanted to exit stage left. And fast. All I had to do was to cough them out.

 

I feel as though I’ve almost expelled the last demons. I’m not sure.

What I’ve done though, and will continue to do, is to ask God continually to remove everything that’s not of the Holy Spirit, and everything that’s of sin or is demonic and not good, from my life.

 

It’s an attitude of great honesty, great vulnerability and great determination with God that will see us set free.

 

For the heart of God is for us to be set free. As free as a bird. Why hang on to demons? They’ve got to go.

 

This first thing I did and still do when I awake is to click on my favourite worship songs play list on my laptop. In this way I soak myself in God’s Presence from dawn. There’s no better way to start the day.

 

I’ve began to pray in tongues a lot.

I walk around sometimes praying out loud in tongues.

Often it’s out on the farm where only the cows, cattle wren and the kookaburras can hear it.

The result has been fantastic.

I’ve had at least 9 lots of deliverance.

I feel great in my spirit.

I’m on fire for God.

I have a passion to win others to Christ.

Nothing can knock me down.

When I feel overwhelmed, I pray.

Sometimes the Presence of God comes upon me out on the farm, while I’m in my nice air-conditioned John Deere tractor mowing.

Other times I’m listening to Worship, and I start interceding for others.

 

I’m hearing the leadings, voice and guidance of the Holy Spirit very clearly.

 

Last night I was due to go fellowship with a fellow Christian I’d met. He is an Aboriginal pastor. I love the Aboriginal people. He’s a nice man.

The problem was that I heard this pastor talking about Indigenous spirits of various cultures in a way that made me feel uncomfortable. Like he was into some mixture of Christianity and animism in his theology.

On my way in my car to meet him I felt uncomfortable about the idea. As I drove I felt more and more uncomfortable. I turned around and drove back towards home. Then I felt bad about going home as I was meant to meet him and I turned around and drove towards my appointment. I did this three times and each time I felt a deep caution not to go.

I drove home.

Later I realised it was the voice and leading of the Holy Spirit cautioning me not to go.

It was like Samuel in the Bible who heard God speak to him out loud, “Samuel, Samuel, Samuel”. On the third time Samuel heard this call, he asked Eli what was going down. Eli replied “It is the voice of the Lord”.

It’s a wonderful passage of the Holy Scriptures.

 

Do you not think that God is interested in your life? In the micro of your life, as well as the macro of the universe.

 

What was operating in my life last night was the gift of discernment.

The Lord, the Holy Spirit was clearly cautioning me against Christian fellowship with this man who was unclear in his spirituality. 

 

Many times in my life I’ve felt that same caution.

 

I don’t let anyone lay hands on my head and pray for me.

Why? Because I know what I’ve got, but I don’t know what they’ve got.

If someone tries to lay hands on me and pray for me at a meeting I say “no, please don’t lay hands on me”.

I’d only let someone pray for me like this if I felt completely OK with them.

Most people, including pastors, haven’t had deliverance from evil spirits, so why should I let them pray for me?

The laying on of hands is an important Christian Biblical act, however, when we lay hands on someone, what is in us goes on them.

I won’t lay hands on anyone at the moment until I’m sure I’m totally free from demons and in the right condition to do so.

 

When we feel the still small voice of the Holy Spirit cautioning us, we should listen. It’s the discernment He gives His sons and daughters to keep them safe.

God, the Holy Spirit, will only speak to our spirit and conscience a certain number of times and then He’ll give up and leave us to our own devices.

 

Let’s be those who hear God’s voice, and are obedient to the holy calling.

 

voice of God 2

 

 

 

baptism HS4

 

 

On the day of Pentecost, as recorded by the Apostle Luke in the Book of Acts in the Holy Bible, there was an outpouring of the Holy Spirit on the assembled disciples of Jesus.

 

Luke was known as “Luke, the beloved physician”.

Luke also wrote the gospel of Luke, so we can thank and honour Luke for his great contributions to the Holy Bible.

As a physician and a scholar. Luke was very careful and methodical in his writing style. The Apostle Paul was similarly equipped scholastically having had a rabbinical training as a young man.

 

There are lessons here for all of us: to study the Holy Bible and become accurate and careful exponents of the Holy Word of God.

 

Before Jesus had left the earth to go to Heaven, where He’d come from, and resume His Seat of Lordship over all Creation, He told His disciples to “tarry” or wait for the Holy Spirit, the Comforter, who Jesus said, would help His followers in the future do greater deeds.

 

If you have trouble understanding the Holy Trinity, I’ll deconstruct the above sentence. Jesus who is God humbled Himself to spend some time on this earth 2000 years ago. When Jesus who is God left the earth, He sent the Holy Spirit who is God and Jesus who is God returned to the Father who is God.

There are cults who attack the Holy Trinity doctrine. Don’t get hung up. Don’t give in to them either.

The Holy Trinity is a really important doctrine and although not directly stated in the Holy Bible, this doctrine is very apparent and very real.

 

The importance of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity to us in the context of the baptism in the Holy Spirit is to realise that the Holy Spirit is God on earth, and accordingly must be honoured with care and the greatest reverence.

 

In His Nature, the Holy Spirit is Fire and Dove.

As Fire, He is not to be messed with.

As Dove, He is extremely sensitive and gentle, and easily disturbed.

Everything has to be right when the Holy Spirit is around.

If you want a peek of the Holy Spirit you’ll have to put on the whitest of white gowns.

 

baptism HS2

 

God hasn’t left us short on how to get these white holy robes.

 

The Holy Bible talks about the cleansing power of the blood of Jesus and the washing of the Water of the Word.

The Word is the Holy Bible.

 

We come to Christ as sinners. We lay our sins and failings at the foot of the Holy Cross. We repent and turn from our sins. God wipes our slates clean.

 

Our next step is to be water baptised, which is the second baptism.

 

The first baptism is the baptism of repentance. A God washing act on our souls.

The second baptism is the baptism in water. A symbol of the baptism of repentance and reconciliation to God in actual water.

The third baptism is the baptism in the Holy Spirit, when the Holy Spirit comes upon us as tongues of fire and we speak with heavenly tongues. How glorious and wonderful. Let’s do it now.

The fourth baptism is the baptism in fire. Make sure you’ve done the first three baptisms before you try the fourth baptism or you’ll be blown against the wall. You may be anyway.

 

Our inheritance as Christians is these four baptisms and more.

 

There are other baptisms such as the baptism of suffering.

 

The main thing is to remember our inheritance as Christians is to receive all these baptisms and more, and in this way, with God’s minute by minute help, become better Christians.

 

baptism HS3