(September 14, 2021) Dr Robert McQuillan responds to this query about trusting the Spirit …
Dear Dr Robert I know you assured me that the Holy Spirit is within me and can lead me and help me be an achiever. Here’s the thing at the moment… I have to make a major decision about taking on a new staff member. She seems to be the right person; says she can introduce new profitable clients and so on. But I have this feeling – that’s the only way I can describe it, a strange feeling – that although everything seems okay, I should not take her on. Could this be the Holy Spirit warning me… just like you’ve said that there’ll be times when one feels to either do something or not? Am I making sense? Simon (not real name).
Of course you’re making sense. Yes, as we commit everything, including our business life to the Holy Spirit each day, there will be times when he will warn us not to down a certain road, to reject something… just as easily as we can feel it’s okay to accept something or do something new.
(September 6, 2021) Maureen McQuillan shares a concern…
Not a response to a question this month, but simply my thoughts about someone overseas that we were informed made the following comment – ‘Well, I’m not getting covid-19 vaccinations! It’s all a hoax. If God wants to take me home to heaven by covid-19, then that’s okay with me.’ Straight off, I thought along these three lines…
1. How irresponsible! That’s what I immediately thought. Would this person (Let’s call him ‘Mr X’) walk out onto a busy road without looking right or left because of an attitude of ‘Well, If God wants to take me home to heaven by a terrible car crash, then okay.’ I doubt it!
2. Thoughtlessness regarding others! Scripture is very clear… Jesus commanded us in various passages such as Mark 12:33 to love our neighbours. Leviticus 19:16 is very strong: ‘Do not do anything that endangers your neighbour’s life. I am the Lord.’ Paul wrote in Romans13:10 ‘Love does no harm to a neighbour. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law.’
But people like Mr X have no consideration for others and local government requirements! If such careless people catch covid-19 there would be concerned relatives, not to mention already overpacked hospitals and flustered, over worked medical staff. A major concern with the current Delta strain is that people in our communities (especially those who won’t wear masks) could catch this virus unknowingly and be spreading it before it’s caught on. And oh what covid-19 sick hospitalised people are suffering! No wonder we hear of many pleading from their hospital beds that we be wise and not only wear masks but get vaccinated as our governments require!
(August 15, 2021) Maureen McQuillan responds to a concerned couple…
Dear Pastor Maureen We have to make decisions on certain important matters. How can we know what God wants us to choose, to do? How can we be certain we’ve made the right decisions? Morris and Hilda.
Dear Morris and Hilda
I can understand your apprehension as I’ve had to make many important decisions myself over the years. Still do. Here’s what I’ve learned to do… Call these keys if you like.
1. Firstly I remind myself of that encouraging scripture which assures us our God won’t let us down if we ask trust him to help us – ‘Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding’ (Proverbs 3:5). Verses 6-7a go on to say ‘in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes.’
The Message Bible is very strong on this great truth – ‘Trust God from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track. Don’t assume that you know it all.’
(August 9, 2021) Dr Robert McQuillan responds to what used to what used to be an issue in some churches…
Dear Dr Robert I’ve moved to a new church but find that women are not permitted to preach, teach or lead, or even speak up at meetings. Paul’s 1 Corinthians 14:34-35 words are strongly quoted… ‘..women should remain silent in the churches. They are not allowed to speak…’ and also 1 Timothy 2:12. I’m now thinking I’m in a legalistic church. Deborah.
I think you are… but I have a question for you. You obviously know the Lord so what is your heart telling you, what do you feel the Lord is saying to you?
Have to admit that it’s quite a few years since I came across churches like you describe. For decades women have been active in church life (and I mean so active!), particularly evangelistic churches, encouraging church growth including various departments, and missionary enterprises.
Indeed, often it has been a woman who has gone alone as a missionary into foreign countries where no man has dared to go to share the gospel and such lone women both established and pastored churches! Of interest, read Erica Grace’s Marie Monsen.
In local churches, many a good woman has helped her husband grow their church not only by running women’s groups and Sunday schools but preaching herself. Praise God for active, effective female ministry!
(July 30, 2021) Maureen McQuillan responds to a challenging situation where someone wants to help a friend but that person just can’t receive help at this time…
Dear Pastor Maureen A good friend on mine is in quite a state… her husband walked out on her, ending the marriage. I want to help her but she doesn’t want to talk about it. What can I do? Sonya.
I sense your heart… but the truth is that if your friend won’t open up and talk with you, you just can’t help, nobody can. At least not at this moment.
It’s going to take time for her to adjust to what’s happened… she’s in shock, probably thinking she’s failed as a wife, trying to work out what went wrong that this has happened, how did it come about and why? She’s obviously closed up inside and needs some space.
(July 17, 2021) Robert McQuillan responds to a question linking with our The Wigglesworth Challenge article and Geraldine Brandt’s Abiding in the Vine…
Dear Dr Robert You’ve encouraged me to trust the Holy Spirit. Please explain about the fruit of the Spirit.Mitch
Most happy to share on this… but it means writing a full article!
Firstly, fruit grows and is meant to be enjoyed. ‘Fruit’ is karpos, usually used in connection with the vine (See John 15:1-5’s requirements!). Singular in source, it’s collective multiple manifestations are as if the first mentioned –love –is the fruit that contains all the rest.
In Galatians 5:25, Paul urges us to follow the Spirit. Follow is stoicheo– keeping in step, walking virtuously and orderly in respect to flowing in the fruit of the Spirit, thus displaying the character of Jesus, not the works of the flesh.
To simplify Galatians 5:22-23’s declaration of the love aspects of the Spirit’s fruit, let me quote Donald Barnhouse’s definition: ‘Love is the key. Joy is love singing. Peace is love resting. Long-suffering is love enduring. Kindness is love’s touch. Goodness is love’s character. Faithfulness is love’s habit. Gentleness is love’s self-forgetfulness. Self-control is love holding the reins.’
(June 12, 2021)Robert McQuillan responds to a question that comes up occasionally…
Dear Dr Robert I think I heard a preacher mention briefly that not all Israelites are Jews and not explaining. Did I hear correctly? Maybe I just heard wrongly… or can you explain a bit more.Stan
No, you heard correctly. But, let me share some background…
Old Testament characters such as Abraham are often referred to as Jews (especially in old movies). The reality is that Abraham was originally aHebrew (Genesis 14:13), and the term ‘Jew’ was not used until after the return of the exiles from Babylon (Ezra 4:23).
This term – Jew – is from the Hebrew word Yehudi, meaning from the ’Kingdom of Judah.’ It indicated a ‘worshipper of one God’ and related to returning exiles – Israelites, mainly from the tribe of Judahbut also including some Benjamites (In Esther 2:5, Mordecai is referred to as a Jew of the tribe of Benjamin). This was years before the other ten tribes of Israel had been taken to the old Assyrian empire.
For example, 1 Peter 2:24 is repeatedly quoted when someone requests prayer for healing. Now admittedly people have got healed, but I feel like God is being belittled in that he must do whatever we want or else… this isn’t word for word, but almost like: ‘God, you must heal immediately because your word says so in 1 Peter 2:24!’ And if the person doesn’t get healed, it’s said that their faith isn’t strong enough. Sorry, Maureen, if I’m not making myself clear enough.Kelvin
I understand exactly what’s troubling you… and agree that God is not some pinball machine!
Regarding healing, yes, we should believe that God is the miracle-working God. Countless times he has responded to our asking for healing… or a miracle or whatever! We praise him for many documented testimonies confirming his goodness and demonstrated love, such as those in GodReports – example: God had Other Plans for Covid-19 Lost Cause.
(May 26, 2021) Robert McQuillan responds to a further question on prophecy…
Dear Dr Robert You explained to me a while back what a word of prophecy is. Please tell me some more. Jono
All right…seeing we’ve justpassed Pentecost Sunday, the one day of the church year we should gladly celebrate as it recalls the coming of the power of the Holy Spirit, I feel to share the following, Jono.
It used to be common practice for pastors (especially Pentecostal ones!) to allow this precious Holy Spirit gift to operate in Sunday services… as well as other meetings. What would happen would be along these simple lines… At an appropriate moment that didn’t disrupt the flow of the service especially the preaching, say, after an exhorting chorus or hymn, or general prayers, someone (not necessary the pastor or other church leader) would in faith speak forth an encouraging, perhaps directive, word of prophecy from the Lord. (They were allowing the Holy Spirit to use their voice and would ‘just’ know when to stop speaking. They would be natural in it all, never saying anything foolish like ‘Thus saith the Lord-da…’).