TIME TO TAKE POSSESSION!

(July 21, 2017) Missionary statesman George Forbes challenges the church:

‘If the Lord delights in us, then he will bring us into this land and give it to us’ (Num.14:8).

These words of Caleb and Joshua, spoken on their return from spying out the Promised Land, are powerful and true. When ten of the twelve men chosen to investigate Canaan returned with a negative report, Caleb and Joshua demonstrated a different heart and mind.

Well able!
They did not allow the difficulties in the land to cause them to despair, as the ten other spies did.

Another of Caleb’s God honouring statements was ‘Let us go up at once and take possession, for we are well able to overcome it‘ (Numbers 13:30). (more…)

THE GOSPEL ACCORDING TO ALICE!

(July 16, 2017) Stuart Reynolds challenges some ‘Alice’ type notions…

‘Let’s consider your age to begin with — how old are you?’
‘I’m seven and a half, exactly.’
‘You needn’t say “exactly”’, the queen remarked. ‘I can believe it without that. Now I’ll give you something to believe. I’m just one hundred and one, five months and a day.’
‘I can’t believe that!’ said Alice.
‘Can’t you?’ the queen said in a pitying tone. ‘Try again: draw a long breath, and shut your eyes.’
Alice laughed. ‘There’s no use trying,’ she said ‘one can’t believe impossible things.’
‘I daresay you haven’t had much practice,’ said the queen. ‘When I was your age, I always did it for half-an-hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.’

What strange mis-realities declarations indeed … ‘Wonderland jam’ notions by the queen to Alice, in Lewis Carroll’s Through the Looking Glass. And aren’t they just ridiculous notions?

Ridiculous ‘Gospel According to Alice’ notions in today’s church
Yet how often in some churches today have many encountered ridiculous notions… mis-realities of a gospel misrepresented?

Such is The Gospel According To Alice, where suggestions are accepted and accommodated without question and nothing is rejected because, like the queen’s ‘wonderland jam,’ what was true yesterday and may still be tomorrow, somehow isn’t today! (more…)

MOVING FORWARD – ON THE CUTTING EDGE

(July 15, 2017) Missionary statesman George Forbes boldly declares:

Anyone who is moving forward is moving into new territory, new experiences, new challenges and new opportunities.

This is applicable in all areas of life, including world evangelisation. If ever there was a time to move forward, it is now as we move into the second half of 2017!

Obedience
Obedience is the key word as we consider the world situation of the growth of the church of Jesus Christ.
There has been much moving forward over the centuries as his church has grown.

When David Livingstone, the great missionary to Africa, said, ‘I am prepared to go anywhere, provided it be forward,’ he was expressing a heart of faith and commitment.

Dr Livingstone was prepared to face change, uncertainty and unlimited opportunity, to reach people who had never heard the gospel.

Passion, vision, dream, mission, inspiration
Livingstone had set his heart on China, however the opium war blocked his plans to leave England and go to that nation. (more…)

THE CRY OF OLIVER TWIST – AND SOME CHRISTIANS!

(July 12, 2017) Robert and Maureen McQuillan share a challenge on commitment in following and serving Jesus…

‘Please, sir, I want some more’ from Charles Dickens’ second novel Oliver Twist are words so famous that virtually everyone remembers them.

The outraged response of Mr Bumble, the workhouse supervisor, is well known too.  The musical Oliver portrays Bumble’s enraged reaction as ‘More? You want more?!’

In other words, ‘What you have already received is enough, more than enough!’

The Christian catchcry of ‘More’
Some twenty-five years ago ‘More, I want more’ became many a Christian’s Oliver Twist catchcry in various church circles.

Today as we minister around various denominations and engage in pastoral care/mentoring, we still hear another cry for more, and not  just from a mere few Christians.

It’s a cry of longing for something better than …

  • An unsettled heart
  • Discontentment with current personal circumstances or marriage
  • Churches not displaying friendliness and Christian love
  • A lack of taught ‘real’ biblical truths of meaningful ‘meat’
  • Weird so-called ‘new’ teaching
  • No personal relationship with our loving heavenly Father
  • Not knowing the written promises of God, and neither reading or grasping their truths
  • The absence of the supernatural Holy Spirit in church life and people’s lives (even leaders).

The above short list and other things result in that Dickensian expression of ‘More. I want more’ but for more of something precious, meaningful and wholesome. (more…)

A DEBORAH IN OUR MIDST?

(July 11, 2017) Dr Jim McClure, renowned theologian, challenges a current argument about moral values…

Currently the ethical values of the Western world are being turned upside down as moral relativism (that is, that there are no universal moral therefore all views are equal, that there are no values that are categorically right or wrong and that the views and behaviour of others should be respected even if we totally disagree with them).

There are a number of problems that flow from this argument. For example:

  • If there were no agreed values, society would disintegrate into anarchy and chaos, and
  • If all views are of equal value, why do those who push the philosophy of political correctness, so vehemently disagree with, abuse, attack and demonise those who maintain a different point of view? Isn’t there a glaring inconsistency here?

Apart from anything else, common sense tells us that two opposite values or views cannot equally be right! And that is confirmed even by the moral-relativists/politically-correct brigade whose views are foisted upon others by any possible means and who brook not dissent or disagreement. (more…)

WORDS OF LIFE (#G3) FELLOWSHIP – KOINONIA

(June 5, 2017) Dr Jim McClure, noted theologian, continues his series on selected Greek words…

 One of the words that often finds its way into Christian vocabulary is ‘fellowship.’ It is one of the great New Testament words but is has been used so often to describe such a variety of Christian groups that it has become devalued!

What is ‘fellowship’?
Is it just a term given to differentiate Christian groups from non-Christian groups, such as, Men’s Fellowship, Women’s Fellowship, Youth Fellowship and so on?  Or does the New Testament use the word in a different way? That is what we are going to explore.

In the KJV the Greek noun koinonia has been translated by the words…

  • fellowship (12 times)
  • communion (4 times)
  • communication (once)
  • contribution (once)
  • distribution (once).

The verb koinoneo has been translated partake of, communicate and distribute. It is clear that it is a much more significant word than is suggested by the way we frequently use it. (more…)

THE FEAST THAT NEVER ENDED

(June 1, 2017) Missionary statesman George Forbes shares on Pentecost …

The Feast of Pentecost (also known as the Feast of Harvest or the Feast of Weeks) was observed by Israel over many centuries. It was an important time each year to celebrate the beginning of the early weeks of harvest with thanksgiving to God. Also a time to celebrate God’s deliverance of his people from Egypt.

After his resurrection from the grave, Jesus had given his followers a command to not depart from Jerusalem but to wait for the promise of the Father. He told them: ‘John truly baptised with water; but you shall be baptised with the Holy Spirit not many days from now’ (Acts 1:4-5).

Luke, writing the Acts of the Apostles, begins the second chapter with the words, ‘And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place.’

Then, verse 2ff, the Holy Spirit fell!

The focus of the feast
The Day of Pentecost was a prominent feast in the calendar of ancient Israel. Devout Jews were used to celebrating the feast of Pentecost – but on the Acts 2 Day of Pentecost, the focus of the feast was changed for the followers of Jesus Christ! (more…)

‘THE PENTECOSTAL BAPTIST’!

(June 1, 2017) Stuart Reynolds shares a revelation…

From the presumed monopoly by denominations to the limits of our clever labelling, the Holy Spirit has been hijacked and sabotaged!

The sharp-sighted evangelist Vance Havner described the result of this misunderstanding, mishandling and misapplication: ‘Satan has scored a point in making us so afraid of extremism about the Holy Spirit…that we may miss the true in our fear of the false. We can be so wary of getting out on a limb that we never go up the tree!’

We need to let the Holy Spirit be himself, and that we may become and do all we were intended to.

May I introduce you to ‘The Pentecostal Baptist’ – someone the Bible records having these Holy Spirit credentials: ‘Though John never performed a miraculous sign, all that John said about this man was true.’  And in that place many believed in Jesus’ (John 10:41-42, NIV).

1) An inviting clarification
We believe in ‘full salvation.’ The reality of God in the gospel of Christ is radical – God’s book teaches it…truly knowing Jesus Christ demands it…the presence of the Holy Spirit enables it. (more…)

PENTECOSTAL PETER

(June 1, 2017) Brian Bell shares a meaningful meditation on the apostle Peter…

When you consider the experiences of Peter’s life from the day Jesus called Peter to follow him, then those experiences – which include presumptuous behaviour and speech rebuke by Jesus, and his denial of the Lord – they would not have pointed to him being the carrier of the powerful Acts 2 Day of Pentecost message for which he is best known.

Personally I draw great encouragement from Peter, for I know I am – at least – as imperfect as Peter, yet the Lord is prepared to use even me!

So, while it is true that aspects of Peter’s life before Pentecost may be less than impressive, it did not prevent the Lord from recommissioning and enabling Peter through the Holy Spirit – what an encouragement is that for every Christian!

Peter – an encouragement for every follower
Luke who penned the book of Acts makes specific reference to Peter’s ‘Pentecost’ message and writes of several of his ministry experiences that flowed on from that day. And while we don’t read of a repetition of the ‘Pentecost day’ experience, we can however see how the Lord clearly led Peter and he became an outstanding preacher, a leader with a pastoral heart in the early church. It is very clear that Peter was a changed follower of Jesus from that day! (more…)

PENTECOST – CHANGED, CHARGED, CHALLENGED, COMMITTED, COMMISSIONED!

(June 1, 2017) Robert and Maureen McQuillan comment on some Pentecost realities…

Acts 2:2-4 Message records an amazing breakthrough that the frightened, uncertain early church experienced on the Day of Pentecost – ‘Without warning there was a sound like a strong wind, gale force—no one could tell where it came from. It filled the whole building. Then, like a wildfire, the Holy Spirit spread through their ranks, and they started speaking in a number of different languages as the Spirit prompted them.’

Wow! This was out of the blue! But it was something more than just worshipping God in new languages! It mightily changed those first disciples and they became daring men and women of faith who immediately witnessed the gospel and saw many converts genuinely repent of sin and turn to Jesus for salvation!

This Sunday, June 4 – is Pentecost Sunday this year and many churches ( not just Pentecostal) will be celebrating it as the…

  • Fulfilment of Jesus’ promise to everyone who follows him (Luke 24:49 and Acts 1:45)
  • Supernatural occurrences of how that promise was fulfilled – flames of fire resting on everyone and a mighty wind (Acts 2:2)
  • Additional manifestation of the Spirit causing Jesus’ followers to speak in tongues that not only centred on declaring the wonderful works of God but so confounded unsaved people outside that it led to many salvations! (Acts 2:5-13)
  • First ever public pronouncement of the resurrection of Jesus from the dead (Acts 2:31, 32, 36)
  • Confirmation that the promise of the Holy Spirit is for every born-again believer, not just a chosen few or a particular church group or only leaders! (Acts 2:38b)
  • Ground-breaking declaration that repentance is the only way to forgiveness of sin and to gaining salvation – not like many of today’s weak pleas of ‘All you have to do is just give your heart to Jesus, nothing else’! (Acts 2:38a).

(more…)