(November 16, 2021) Dr Robert McQuillan responds to this query about Christmas
Dear Dr Robert It’s me, Mitch… again. As mentioned before, I appreciate the help you’ve given me. Here’s something else – A couple of people have been pointing out things to me about Christmastime next month… that it’s unbiblical to celebrate as no one knows the date of Jesus’ birth… that Christians believe more in Santa Claus than they do about Jesus. What can I say to them? Mitch.
Yes it’s true that no one really knows the exact date of Christ’s birth, when Mary gave birth to the babe who would grow up able to understand all our feelings, problems, temptation and such… and become our Saviour. And, yes, the Bible encourages us to celebrate Easter, our salvation through Jesus and communion rather that Christmas.
So let’s cut to the chase here… we who know Jesus as Saviour should be grateful, but how can we really celebrate his incarnation, like the shepherd and magi did? Well, a very long time ago it was decided by ‘church powers’ to name December 25 as Christ’s ‘birthday’ and the day to be universally celebrated. The reality is thatthe date doesn’t really matter… Jesus willingly came for our benefit, to become our Saviour and we should rejoice over this (and not merely celebrating ‘Santa Claus fun time’ with our children)!
(October 18, 2021) Dr Robert McQuillan responds to this query about the Holy Spirit special brand of peace…
Dear Dr Robert It’s me, Mitch. Again. I appreciate the help you been giving me over recent months… advice and prayers. I want to ask you something… I was really struggling with something that I couldn’t get free from; it was hanging on me like some sort of trap. But then you prayed for me… in what I thought was unusual at the time… you strongly prayed for a special peace to come on me, drop on me, aneirenepeace. And I know that I know something happened! I felt so released and have been feeling good since. I know you wrote about this peace as being one of the fruit segments of the Holy Spirit, but please explain further (I still feel so good!). Mitch.
Firstly, I praise God that you’re feeling released in your mind and heart. Yes, back in July I explained this peace as Eirene… inner peace is ours, a very special assurance that all will be well… as Jesus assured his frightened disciples. Eirene is mentioned some 90 times in the NT and was (think Irene) a very popular girl’s name. Eirene related to serenity enjoyed under a good and just government ruler. Villagers would call the keeper of public peace, ‘the Eirene’ the one who would justly look after them. Think about this in respect of Jesus… the hand that holds the universe also holds us!
Perhaps if I share the following with you, it’ll help you further understand – and appreciate how releasing and what a blessing this special peace is…
(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.
(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 17, 2021) Robert McQuillan responds to a question linking with our The Wigglesworth Challenge article and Geri B’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.
(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…’).
(April 16, 2021) Robert McQuillan responds to a troubled family man’s question…
Dear Dr Robert Not naming my church, but our pastor demands we pay tithes to God, that if we don’t, we won’t be blessed. He quotes people receiving great new jobs or healings because they tithed and others receiving neither because they didn’t tithe. I feel uneasy about this… must I tithe to God? ‘Victor.’
This instantly causes me to query ‘What kind of a God of free grace are we worshipping if we have to pay for his blessings?’ The truth is that we could never financially pay God for all he has done for us! Your pastor is using God’s name but referring to the church and its responsibilities.
(March 14, 2021)Robert McQuillan responds to a young man’s question …
Dear Dr Robert I have a question. Can you tell me what is a word of prophecy? Jono (Not real name)
Prophesying means a Christian (not necessary only a church leader or minister) under divine inspiration from God boldly bringing a word – a message, short or longish – to bless and encourage people. Paul mentions it in 1 Corinthians 12 as being one of the nine supernatural manifestation gifts of the Holy Spirit (Hence the divine inspiration aspect, not from one’s imagination ‘making things up’ just to please, win favour or misguide).
It’s agift that’s used infaith (itself one of the nine gifts), believing that we’re being directed by the Holy Spirit. (more…)