Spiritual Wrestling

Spiritual Wrestling

Gen 32:24  And Jacob was left alone; and there wrestled a man with him until the breaking of the day. 

Eph 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. 

There are two forms of wrestling mentioned in the Bible. One is with God and the other is with the devil and his forces. The form of wrestling undertaken in both is different from each other as chalk is to cheese. The wrestling with God is a fight one can never win; whereas, wrestling with the devil is certainly a fight one could win. 

 Spirit of God

 Spirit of God

When God opened the heavens and looked down on man, He saw the pitiable state of man. He decided then, He would give man His Spirit on a permanent basis. However, it was to be a process by which man was to attain to this lofty position of becoming a container of the Spirit of God. Added to this, man was due for a fullness of his inheritance in heaven which would come after his natural death. In order for man to attain either two, the deposit of his inheritance and the fullness of his inheritance, he had to die in the flesh. No flesh can exist in the Spirit because never the twain shall mix. This is a mystery because Spirit dwells in flesh but flesh cannot dwell in Spirit.

 Political or Spiritual correctness

 Political or Spiritual correctness

The aim of any speech is freedom. Freedom from constrained thoughts suppressed inside a heart till the mouth gives it release through the tongue. Why is the cooperation of organs important? What one believes in his heart and confesses with his mouth brings him salvation. Salvation from death and bondage that holds a human being captive till free speech of what one believes in their heart is released. This is an amazing concept. Once released, these words have the effect of breaking the stronghold of captivity and setting a person free. It takes the expression of speech to do this. If you only think something and do not express it, it is bound in captivity like a mind without a way out of a coma patient. 

 

So, freedom of speech is an essential right of a human being but often enough it is suppressed by law. The law of the land and the law of religiosity depend on political correctness which is bondage. Both of these practices make out that they are righteous and good for man but in actual fact they keep a person bound to a regime of thinking and an amputation of expression. When this happens, the poison of suppressed speech turns to emotional misbehaviour and depression. Have you come across a person who can never have a say? You will find this person to be quite a dangerous person or a depressed one. Suppressed speech actually is a poison to the soul and then to the body. Bitterness and revenge have their roots in the lack of freedom of speech or speech that another organ, the ear, has received which goes in to the heart of the listener and poisons it. Too many have suffered the lack of unrestrained speech that has led to disaster of a serious kind. People have taken to actions because speech has broken down. A common example is the failure of dialogue to resolve conflicts. Speech is finally made silent by the sound of gunfire and exploding bombs. In personal life, when speech has stopped, silence breaks out, punching begins and every other form of evil is let loose. 

 

There is a form of speech that is so restrained that it equates to the captivity of people as well. It is called “political correctness”. When this form of speech restraint is employed, people become so careful about what they have to say that it makes no sense in the end as to what they are saying. I am amazed at the people who actually coin this political correctness because they consider themselves intelligent. Then there is the spiritual correctness that rivals political correctness. This form of restraint on speech is full of hypocrisy and meaningless jabber. They go round in circles to say what they mean but the listener never gets to understand what is being said or the meaning and intent of what is being said.

 

Then there are all sorts of other speech which are expressed as flattery, foul language and rude speech to name a few. Boasting and half truths and outright lies are just a few more examples of bondage through speech.

 

The Bible actually has a lot to say about speaking and words. In fact, without speaking and words, the world would not have been made by God who spoke it into being. His words actually brought freedom to light to express itself in darkness. There was meaning suddenly to darkness and what seemed barren and desolate received life. Speech is made up of words and so they need to be put together properly so as to make sense, bring life and the effect of freedom. The fact that a person has words within them does not mean they have to express them without restraint. They need to measure their words correctly as a person is judged on what they say. Mat_12:36  But I say unto you, That every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. 

 

When a person speaks, they need to be wise about what they are saying as the tongue has power over life and death. Many have expressed wrong statements and have ended up suffering the consequences of such statements. For example; they have said things like; ‘I wish I was dead’ or they have spoken over someone words of condemnation. These expressions have brought both physical and emotional death to the listener. Words do not go into thin air and vanish. They seek a residence in someone. If no one is around, they will find a harbour in the person who spoke it. People have spoken to plants and have seen them do well when they have spoken well to the plants.

 

Since words do originate in the heart, the work internally in a person even when they are not expressed. So, it is important to have conversations with oneself that are meaningful and praiseworthy. If you express a negativity in the words that you speak to yourself, they will have a negative effect. Words can be sent long distances and so one must be careful what they hear as well. So, in this sense, correct speech is important. Most people express themselves well except when there have been speech suppression in their lives through something that went bad or when they have had no opportunity to express themselves. That is why lonely people will talk a lot when they meet someone.

 

It is a journey that one undertakes when they seek God for a controlled tongue and mouth. The following verse is a blessing when you know and receive what it says. Luk 21:15  For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. It is a comforting thought that wisdom can be expressed and not just thought. Once wisdom is expressed, it settles things to the extent that there is no gainsaying. It can divide correctly the truth and bring all concerned to the table of reconciliation, healing and restoration. It always shows the way, resolves problems and even builds and establishes what is needed. I am always fascinated by the power of wisdom over many other faculties even of God. Wisdom is highly regarded in the Bible and one would be wise to read about it in Proverbs. The man who wrote it was the wisest man in the world; King Solomon.

 

The true author of wisdom however is God. God, who made the worlds through wisdom and then established it for centuries through wisdom. It says in the Bible that God’s wisdom is past finding out. Rom_11:33  O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out! We must seek out true speech that changes lives and situations.

 

Preaching has been given for this purpose of bringing people to God in a way that makes sense of who God is and what He expects. Teaching solidifies and established correctness in the ways of God. All of the above disciplines have their origins in speech and words. It is words that are going to make a person or break a person. They have the power to heal and deliver a person or wound and destroy a person. When words are turned to speech, we must be careful how we speak. The day of speech is a day of incredible power. When the baby first cries it does not know how to articulate its emotions. In time words begin to formulate but not clearly as the baby grows. Even though it is able to understand speech, it cannot express speech. Eventually, through learning and interaction with others who speak to it, the child is formed by words in the inner man just as food shapes the body and makes it grow.

 

It is my hope that I will speak less and hear more. Then, when I do come to speak, I would only have said what is needed to be said and still have the peace of knowing I have been unrestrained in my speech. The human capacity to store information is great. However, I have found many people to be like sieves. They are the gossipers who can hold no words and express themselves at every turn with meaningless and harmful blabber. Their sound is like a canker (sores inside the mouth). It only causes grief and destruction if left unattended. Whereas, a person who stores harmonious and good words, expresses themselves in a manner that brings joy and life to the hearer. Col_4:6  Let your speech be alway with grace, seasoned with salt, that ye may know how ye ought to answer every man. 

Lots of love

Pastor Noble

17/12/17

 

 

 

 Life is not over yet

 Life is not over yet

Mat 12:18  Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles. Mat 12:19  He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. Mat 12:20  A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory. 

Imagine a never ending life on earth that in spite of all its sorrow and difficulty, people still want to live in it forever as it is. They cling to this life as though the future of their lives depend on it. It is because they do not know what comes after death in most cases. Few prepare for it and the majority just go about their lives, greedily living this earthly life, taking what they can get. The majority of people just don’t know how to respond to this earthly life. Even those who have become Christians find it hard to adjust to an earthly life while trying to live a Godly life at the same time. It seems that there is no settling on this matter of life and death for many of them. 

I am convinced that life was meant to be, for those of us who have been given life on this earth. It is not without purpose and reason even though babies who are born have no idea of what they are being born into. The cries of a baby and the tears of an adult bear no difference because of the lack of understanding of what life is all about till Jesus comes into the picture. Inventing life as we go along is a favourite way of living life for many and it has become the fashion to live life the way we see fit. Anything to do with God would be an abomination to most who consider themselves to be free thinkers. 

Life can be made up by small groups of people or a majority or even by an individual to mean exactly what they want it to be, irrespective of what the truth is. A person’s reality can be self made based on a perceived reality that emanates from the senses and its needs. Society is based on a loose set of rules that changes from country to country and even segments of society. The rush to satisfy everyone’s needs is the way governments run their business but with hidden agendas of achieving their own ends. All this makes for a very difficult life on earth for many who do not know that this life on earth is the beginning of a greater and better life with God in a place called heaven. The alternative is not pleasant to say the least. It is clear for those who are Christians that hell is real and a place that no one should go to because once in, there is no way out.

So, as long as there is life in a person on this earth, there is hope for a person to come into eternal life through the acknowledging of Jesus as Lord and Saviour and by living a Godly life after that. If the pursuit is anything else in life, then one must consider the dangers of hell. If they choose to ignore it, then only their demise will reveal it to them. There are others who have died to this life (given up) through many sorrows. Their lives are at best a misery with nothing to look forward to. For them life is over. This attitude ranges from the very old and infirmed to the ones who are lost in the despair of depression and tragedy in life that has come unexpectedly to them. The loss of life is so great to them that they just stop living life. This too is a great tragedy. The good news is, “life is not over yet” and so Jesus said; He will not break a bruised reed or quench a smoking flax.

Many who have come to that final phase in their lives, when nothing looks good and it is all dark and dreary around them with no hope, have found God at this stage. Nothing could have helped them except that touch from Jesus. We need that now more than ever.  Society is imploding over drugs, alcohol, violence and sexual misconduct that defies the imagination. Our God is watching all this and yet speaking into the situation of each one’s life but many are not listening. Hope is a premium product just now.

When a large portion of the Church has turned its back on true faith and have settled for a false faith based on loose teachings will suffer the consequences of such a faith. Who is to determine this? I believe God determines it  by beginning judgement in the house of God first. 1Pe 4:17  For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? 1Pe 4:18  And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? No individual who is saved or unsaved escapes the searing of heat of God’s judgment. This judgement is to the one who is saved and walking righteously an approval of his state of being through trials and tribulations. To the other, conviction and destruction when there is no repentance. Do not be fooled. Jud 1:5  I will therefore put you in remembrance, though ye once knew this, how that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed them that believed not. Jud 1:6  And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day.

As I said, no one escapes this judgment, not flesh or spirit. That is why we need to accept the mercy and grace of God and repent of our deeds. If we have come to the end of our tether, it maybe, it is because of our sin state that we have not yet recognised. If it is not our sin state, it maybe, we our being tested by God to see if we will love Him and obey Him in the most difficult of situations. This is hard to understand at best of times, yet very important to do so. The ways of the Lord are beyond understanding without trust. Trust is the key to our relationship as much as faith is. Faith may help us go along with many of His instructions and waiting on Him but trust will help us to accept the ways of God. Jesus had to trust His God when He was hanging on the cross. Who can understand the cross? It is beyond man’s wisdom but very much within God’s ways and wisdom.

When Jesus came to the earth, He said and did many things that were beyond understanding even by the religious zealots of the time. Even scriptures could not bring to light for them the knowledge and wisdom of God. They had to believe and trust Him for what He said and did. This proved extremely difficult because it was challenging their knowledge of the scriptures and of God. They had come to the very end of their tether (tolerance) and went the other way, which was to crucify the Son of God. This too was in God’s plan. Again, very difficult to understand especially when He wanted to portray His love to mankind. This is the difficult part that even today is difficult to understand based on those who are being lost everyday or being demonised or being left unhealed only to die in spite of many prayers.

To truly trust God and His word, we must submit to His sovereign rule and decision making processes. Many instances explaining this concept of bringing a person or even a nation to its last bit of strength has been given in the Bible for our edification. Shadrach, Mesach and Abed-Nego, along with Daniel in the lion’s den, Israel at the Red Sea with nowhere to go, the death of Lazarus, the journeys of Apostle Paul that ended in shipwreck and the list goes on. It isn’t over till God says it is over. Take heart, God is in the house.

No one it seems has escaped this way of God to bring a person to their knees before saving them. Those who did not bend their knees died miserably like Pharaoh and the Jews in the wilderness. Nations that opposed God and many people who mistook and partook of communion or lied to the Holy Ghost died in similar fashion.

I squirm at the idea that we worship a God who is so without anger or judgement that we dare to tell people that He loves them without condition. I see nowhere in the Bible that He loves unconditionally. If He did, why is there a hell for those who disobey and rebel against God? Surely we are not that foolish to believe that a holy God will tolerate sinners without judgement. Let us not just preach one side of the gospel but let us preach the whole gospel. Truth hurts but it is the truth. Even we as human beings do not tolerate fools gladly, so why do we expect God to? Surely, if we are made in His image, we have His mind as well and that means we should expect to behave in a manner that He did.

By sending Jesus to reveal His motivation of love, He separates for us the side of Him that is wrath and covers us under the blood of Jesus so that He can show us His love though it is with the condition of repentance. John the Baptist came to prepare the way of repentance for Jesus and when he died, Jesus took up the message of repentance. Being at death’s door or even passing from life to death does not stop God from wanting to save us. In His sovereign will God chooses what He does and no one can question Him. Rom 9:15  For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. Rom 9:16  So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. Rom 9:17  For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. Rom 9:18  Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. Rom 9:20  Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Rom 9:21  Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? Rom 9:22  What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: Rom 9:23  And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory

Lots of love

Pastor Noble

10/12/17

 

 

 

Let this mind be in you

Let this mind be in you

1Co 2:16  For who hath known the mind of the Lord, that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. Php 2:5  Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: 

There is a clear instruction to us by Apostle Paul to allow (let) the mind of Christ be in us. People do not get the mind of Christ automatically when they get saved. It has to develop in them. I believe Paul is talking about the mind of the Son of Man, the Christ who was sent by God to save the world. This mind of Christ is associated with His flesh (Son of Man) not His Spirit as the Son of God the Spirit man. However, as we examine the nature of this mind, we realise that though His mind is in the Son of Man it is a spiritual mind born of God. This mind is based on passion born of God, to save us and cause us to become sons and daughters of God just like Jesus having the same mind. This mind of Christ was sold out to God for what God’s thoughts were and not a mind that carried its own thoughts. It was a mind trained to receive Godly thoughts and function in Godly ways just as we are exhorted to do. Php 4:7  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Php 4:8  Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. 

 

Passion will dictate what you think and do. Act_1:3  To whom also he shewed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God: The word ‘passion” has to do with suffering. Jesus reveals Himself to His disciples after His suffering on the cross in a new and powerful way of life, not death. When your passions dictate your life, it will either bring life or death to you. Romans 1:26-27 “For this reason God gave them up to dishonourable passions. For their women exchanged natural relations for those that are contrary to nature; and the men likewise gave up natural relations with women and were consumed with passion for one another, men committing shameless acts with men and receiving in themselves the due penalty for their error.”
Second Timothy 4:3-4 ” For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers
to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths.”

The tragedy in life is in knowing that by reason of our passions we have sinned against God. However, the greater tragedy is in having a seared conscience or mind that does not allow us to repent of our sin because we can no longer recognise it in our lives. Jesus died for all who sinned but not all who have sinned or who will sin can understand this. The passion (suffering) we go through can be both mental and physical. The mental can be so severe that it will drive a person to perform acts that are inhuman or not Godly. Jesus did something that was driving Him to the cross with the mind that He must save His people and so suffered after His passion. Yet, others have failed in their understanding of what God has given us in the flesh (this body) and have indulged both their mind and flesh after their passion which has resulted in untold suffering and death for those who follow after this flesh. 

 

The mind is a dangerous place where turmoil and depression can hit at any time. Yet, when it is at peace, it is a powerful place. No amount of money or any other thing can take the place of peace. Millionaires and the like have often said; “I seek peace above all”. What good is it, if a man gains the whole world and yet loses his soul. His soul is made up of mind (intellect), will and emotions. The heart is closely associated with the mind. They are connected so strongly that some times it is hard to differentiate between them. That is why Apostle Paul said for many reasons; Php 4:6  Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. Php 4:7  And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. That can also mean through the mind of Christ. We must learn to put on this mind just like we must learn to put on the whole armour of God. The helmet of salvation is for the mind. We must wear it.

 

When we do not allow God’s thoughts to rule us but allow worldly thoughts to control us, our minds become a target for the devil to play games and run riot. As many have said; “The mind is the playing field of the devil”. The questions is, how does he get into the mind? This has always intrigued me because I know he cannot read my thoughts or so it would seem. It is obvious he can influence my thoughts just as he did with Eve. In the Garden of Eden, he guised himself in the serpent and talked to her. However, the question is, after Christ, how does he penetrate the mind of the believer? The answer I believe is, he uses our natural senses against us and influences our thinking through that. This is why, we must have the mind of Christ. Then, we will only be influenced by our spiritual senses and we will know when he comes to tell us lies and bring condemnation even through his false prophets. His true aim is to get us to disqualify ourselves from God like he did with the nation of Israel when Baalam showed King Balak how to destroy the Israelites. 

 

I have met and dealt with many Christians who have come under the influence of the Jezebel spirit. This spirit has influenced many Christians from the sublime to the ridiculous. The meaning of sublime is very interesting to note :  to cause to pass directly from the solid to the vapor state and condense back to solid form. Wow! How apt is this definition in describing the devil in all his subtlety and invisibility. Then, there is the raw side of his nature which is violent and brash to say the least. These Christians whom I have had to deal with were influenced by the devil in their minds, to act out what the jezebel spirit wanted them to act out. It never ceases to amaze me as to how the devil gets Christians to go up against one another and even against God. 

 

He is a such a subtle influencing evil spirit of thoughts that, the one who is influenced or is being influenced thinks it is an original thought and a righteous one to boot. Many a Church split and wrong decisions in life have been made by individuals and whole denominations of Churches as they have been influenced in their minds to sway away from God and His commandments. The devil, in these instances of contradiction between Christians has influenced the minds of Christians to behave in an ungodly manner that does not denote the mind of Christ.  1Co 6:5  I speak to your shame. Is it so, that there is not a wise man among you? no, not one that shall be able to judge between his brethren? 1Co 6:6  But brother goeth to law with brother, and that before the unbelievers. 1Co 6:7  Now therefore there is utterly a fault among you, because ye go to law one with another. Why do ye not rather take wrong? why do ye not rather suffer yourselves to be defrauded? 1Co 6:8  Nay, ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.

 

Christ is not divided and neither should we be. Obedience and humility was the mind of Christ as He prepared Himself to go to the cross. He did not defraud His brothers and sisters and did not take us to the heavenly court to accuse us, though He had a right to do so. Do you see Christ behaving in a manner that did not display the mind of His God? Never, because His mind is the mind of God in man displayed for the world to see not only on the cross but after the cross. That mind of God still suffers all manner of ridicule and persecution to save souls. We too will suffer the passion of Christ as we walk in the Spirit and with the Spirit who reveals the mind of Christ.

 

We live in a time when mental illness is rampant on an unparalleled level. What are we doing about it? That is the question. We have to seek God for power to influence the mind. Do you remember the story of the Gadarene who after Christ’s ministry was sitting in his right mind and clothed? His problem was an unsound mind that had been destroyed by the devil called “The legion”, (around 3000 to 5200 demons). Jesus pitied this man and set Him free by giving him a right mind. His mind once set right wanted to follow Jesus but Jesus told him to go and tell the world what God had done for him. When I was a drug addict and alcoholic going mad, I had a perfect job and wife but lost it all through an unsound mind. Jesus appeared to me and gave me a sound mind. 2Ti_1:7  For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. Wow! This is good news indeed. This is not a figment of my imagination because now I am clothed and walking around with a sound mind. Ever since I received the mind of Christ, I am influencing the world and breaking the chains of the devil. Further more, I have the word of God to break his further influences on me and others just like Jesus did in the wilderness. The Bible says; Jesus returned in the power of the Spirit after His wilderness experience with God and the devil. Then He said; “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me….” Now, we too have the Spirit of God in us and upon us to deal with this devil in the mental and physical realm. Let us do it with power from God.

 

Arise shine for your light has come. This is the Spirit speaking to you. Do not live in temptations and depression any longer. Break off that whispering evil spirit in your mind and listen to the still small voice of the Holy Spirit within you. No matter what your circumstances in life are, you are an overcomer and one who is fully equipped with all of the mind of Christ to achieve His ends. Be healed and blessed in your mind. Renew your thinking and get rid of that stinking thinking.

Lots of love

Pastor Noble

03/12/17

 

 

 

 The power of righteousness

 The power of righteousness

Rom 4:6  Even as David also describeth the blessedness of the man, unto whom God imputeth righteousness without works,

The coming generation is going to be so sinful that it will require the abounding grace of God in us to receive those who come. If God does not impute sin to them (on the basis of His love), we are nobody to reject them. However, in accepting the next generation of sinners, we must learn to walk in a way that Jesus Himself walked amongst sinners. He was untouched by the sin of humanity but gave a solution to mankind in his teaching and ways of power and finally through His own death on the cross. Therefore, we are to emulate Him in all our dealings with sinners because we ourselves were once sinners. 

 Signs of the times

 Signs of the times

Act 2:17  And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: Act 2:18  And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: Act 2:19  And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: Act 2:20  The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before that great and notable day of the Lord come: Act 2:21  And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. 

All this and more is happening right now. When we preach the gospel of Jesus, we must preach the whole gospel or else, we will not be doing it justice. In the verses above, Peter speaks of many types of signs of the times. They range from God pouring out His Holy Spirit on flesh to doom and gloom during the end times. Signs are for the times and work on the prophetic. If you want to know the signs of the times now, you must look at prophecy to see what is going on around you that reflect prophecy and then you will see the signs. Though some signs have been around for a long time, they are not the fulfilment of prophecy as they were only symptoms. It is always the intensity of a sign that indicates the ripeness, like when a pregnant woman receives birth pangs. Isa_26:17  Like as a woman with child, that draweth near the time of her delivery, is in pain, and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been in thy sight, O LORD. 

The cry of our hearts are based on the signs of our times, of which there are many, mostly bad signs of doom and gloom. Have we been born for such a time as this? It seems we just may have been. Even if we escape the worst of what is coming, the next generation is certainly not going to because the momentum has begun and things are pretty bad now. The question is, how bad is it? Is it bad enough to come to pass now or is the pregnant woman still travailing in her birth pangs?

The other signs of the times involve massive moves of God in various places of which many of them are in quite unlikely places. Added to this, countless thousands are coming to Christ through much persecution and through the boldness of many saints who have taken up the challenge of preaching the gospel. Another sign is, the increase in power and healing. Demonic forces are being routed and much healing of the body, soul and spirit is taking place. Though this may seem like a drop in the bucket, many are still coming to the Lord. The other sign of the times is the exit of many from the Church. This too is a sign of the times. Unprecedented numbers of people are disillusioned with the Church and leaving for greener pastures or into oblivion. The increase of falsity in the Church worldwide is another sign. False preaching, teaching and practices are all signs of the times. The problem with all these signs are, they are scattered in amongst the good seed. So, another sign of the times is the wheat and tares growing together. Many do not understand this and play into the hands of people who are actually not Christian but pretend to be. Since they do not want to throw the baby out with the bath water and because it is too hard to discern, they do not want to judge the Church. 

So, it seems there are many signs of the times for this generation to be aware of and avoid colliding with. Preparation is the cry of the Holy Spirit just as in the days of John the Baptist. “Prepare ye the way” says the prophet. This was his cry in the wilderness which is really the cry of the Holy Spirit. Though many are coming to know Christ, they are compromising their walk with God and mixing the world with the gospel by not mixing their faith with the gospel. This is a tragedy because we are seeing much of the form of Godliness. In some quarters of the Church, this is taken to be spirituality and much is allowed in the way of compromise and lack of repentance. I do not hear people genuinely accepting their faults and saying sorry. Instead, I see a lot of self justification based on their past. Yet, they profess to be Christians washed in the blood of Jesus with no past. Hmmmmm! It seems we are dealing with hypocrisy and self righteousness. Without true assessment of one’s ways, repentance cannot take place. Conviction alone is not going to cut it. One must recognise the evil in their heart and repent and be restored.

How does a Christian who is genuinely trying to walk in the Spirit make it? He or she must take up the cause of the gospel with authority and preach it to a dark and evil generation without fear. The more we compromise, the more we will suffer.

The other signs of the times are what is happening on a natural basis with the weather and natural disasters. More and more of these types of events are happening resulting in loss of life, destruction of economies and rendering places inhabitable. Animals are becoming more aggressive and they are taking human life too. This will increase as a sign in the days ahead.

In the spirit realm of darkness, we see increased activity of the demonic amongst men. The introduction of the demonic is no longer a problem to people. Many corporations are feeding off this frenzy through Harry Potter, Halloween, demonic movies, video games and the like by making billions of dollars while introducing mental illness and fear. Added to this, the drug and alcohol culture is out of control causing many problems in society. Nearly every family has a drug related member in some way. Sexual promiscuity and looseness is out of control and anything goes now. So much so, men do not know whether they are male or female. God has given them over to their lusts. Rom 1:24  Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: 

The end is near but which end? I think this age has to end to allow the next one to begin. If Jesus does not come back soon, the days will be unbearable. Unfortunately, they are going to become unbearable before Jesus comes back. Mat 24:15  When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:) Mat 24:16  Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains: Mat 24:17  Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: Mat 24:18  Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes. Mat 24:19  And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! Mat 24:20  But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day: Mat 24:21  For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. Mat 24:22  And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened. 

The emergence of a world leader will be the ultimate sign that our age has come to a close. Not many years after that, the end of this age will come. How do we react if we are on earth? Teaching preparation is the key to a soul being saved in body, soul and spirit. Many will lose heart because of what they experience and will face all manners of evil and even death because of this age.

It is my heart’s desire to preach the whole gospel of Jesus just as He did. He was sent to save us from our sins but also to direct us on how to live in an evil world. According to His teaching, it is possible for a person to have love, peace, joy, prosperity and a future in a dark and evil world. However, many will die badly in the process of living out a life for Jesus on earth. It is foolish to think, especially in these last days that nothing is going on that has not happened before. The other view point is equally bad and that is to think that nothing good can come out of all this evil. God has a plan. Those who are discerning of this truth will employ the plan, even if it is going to be at a great cost. Many, in the history of the faith have paid a terrible price for understanding the truth and trying to preach it. The persecution has been mostly at people who preach the truth. The devil has blinded the eyes of many people so that they cannot see the truth even when it is staring at them.

Signs are given by God in various ways and we must learn through the Holy Spirit to understand signs. No one drives down the road and ignores signs. They do so at their own peril. We need to STOP and take stock of our Christian faith regularly and not just go from one to the next because we think we are saved or anointed. Watch for the signs in our own lives that indicate, error, decay, sin or some other form of evil that is not pleasing to God. We must pay special attention to those signs that have intensified in us because we know that the manifestation of those signs will take place soon. We must avoid sin at all costs and determine in our hearts to walk uprightly with God and our fellow man.

Take time to examine your own heart and see what you are coming short of, based on the word of God. Correct the path and go slow where you have to and stop where you have to. When liberty comes, move with it and do not lag behind. Use signs as discernment in your own life and ministry. Above all, allow the Holy Spirit to read the signs for you because there is much confusion out there and the heart is evil above all. It is easy to be fooled by one’s own interpretation of the signs of the times. The Holy Spirit on the other hand will always reveal the truth because He is the Spirit of Truth.

Lots of love

Pastor Noble

12/11/17

 

 

 Body Parts

 Body Parts

1Co 12:14  For the body is not one member, but many. 

When we have a description of the Church as a body, we must recognise many aspects of such a concept in order to minister to it and through it. The lack of understanding of the body and its parts (members) is the prime reason for criticism of the Church. Anyone who looks at their own body and criticises it is not wise. On the contrary, one must honour the body parts. 1Co_12:23  And those members of the body, which we think to be less honourable, upon these we bestow more abundant honour; and our uncomely parts have more abundant comeliness.

So, what do we know about the spiritual body of Christ?

  1. The body is both local and worldwide
  2. A body has many members
  3. The parts are different to each other in appearance
  4. Their functions are different
  5. They all belong in the body
  6. Some are stronger than the others
  7. They work together for the good of the body
  8. No one member is greater than the other as they all belong in one body
  9. Each body part is held together by their common purpose and reason for existence
  10. If one suffers, all suffer. If one rejoices, all rejoice.

Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water

Don’t throw the baby out with the bath water

 Act 10:34  Then Peter opened his mouth, and said, Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: Act 10:35  But in every nation he that feareth him, and worketh righteousness, is accepted with him. 

 

When God decided to bring the Gentiles into salvation, two things were revealed. One is, God had not forgotten the Gentiles or had abandoned them. Secondly, in accepting the Gentiles, He did not throw out the Jews to bring in the Gentiles. His arms are still outstretched to them. Too often in life, we seek the exclusive and therefore judge beforehand what an outcome should be. For example; if one sees another commit a very bad sin, it has been a tendency amongst many to condemn the sinner. Secondly, we treat them as having no way back to God to re-possess their previous position of righteousness in the same way we ourselves who have not sinned possess. 

 

Many Christians have sinned badly and have failed God and man in despicable ways. As a result, do we who have not sinned throw the baby out with the bath water? This difficult scenario presents itself often these days to the one who must decide on how to handle this. When it involves family members, the difficulty is greater. Recently, I have been convicted by God about His heart for the lost who have in some way been abused in their childhood and some in their adult lives. Destruction of innocence in childhood and offence in adulthood have had severe consequences in people’s lives concerning their walk with God. Many have had their initial salvation affected causing them to backslide and fall into despair, pushing them far from God. I feel the heart of God is grieving for His children and sometimes, it is strong enough inside of me for me to physically cry.

 

There is a generation of people out there who are suffering the wrongs of society that have been inflicted upon them. Their lives have been disadvantaged because of this and the devil has driven the nails into their coffins with glee over these wrong doings they have suffered in their lives. Yet, God has not broken the bruised reed or quenched the smoking flax. Mat 12:18  Behold my servant, whom I have chosen; my beloved, in whom my soul is well pleased: I will put my spirit upon him, and he shall shew judgment to the Gentiles. Mat 12:19  He shall not strive, nor cry; neither shall any man hear his voice in the streets. Mat 12:20  A bruised reed shall he not break, and smoking flax shall he not quench, till he send forth judgment unto victory. When the Jews turned their hearts away from God, He turned to the Gentiles to save them and make them His people also. The loss of birthright by Israel eventuated this change of heart in God. Had they stayed in God faithful, they would have been chosen to bring the gospel to the world. Yet now, the Church has been chosen to do this and also to take the gospel back to the first child (Israel) who is in darkness. Let us not throw the “Israel baby” out with the bath water but rather intercede for them.

 

When we are faced with difficult situations regarding people that present themselves contrary at home, work and in the Church, we have a decision to make. Do we disconnect with them or do we do something about it in wisdom? Apostle Paul admonishes us strongly not to interact with a fornicator who is a brother but does not say the same of the unsaved people who are in the world. It seems, he has drawn a line between the Christian sinner and the sinner of the world. Yet, he is hopeful that the fornicator who is a brother will return to God. So, what must we do? I believe we must follow the instructions of Apostle Paul concerning the Christian brother or sister and pray for them that they return to God in repentance and be restored. Yet, the choice is theirs. When we do this it puts us in a place of righteousness with God as we have not acted to condemn someone who is still a brother and have loved by not throwing the baby out with the bath water.

 

Another interesting scenario of a meaty example presented by Apostle Paul to us is as follows. 1Ti_1:20  Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme. Here it seems that Apostle Paul terminated a relationship and actually handed over two people to satan to be dealt with. We then observe in the following verse something that is even deeper and harder to be understood. 1Co 5:5  To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. It is my reasoning that he is talking about two types of sinners. One type belong to those who are lost who have reached a point of no return and another type that would be better off dead than alive, so that, their spirits might be saved. Wow! Can we actually make such decisions?  In such difficult decision making processes only the word can clarify it further through the Holy Spirit.  Joh 20:22  And when he had said this, he breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost: Joh 20:23  Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained. It seems that Christ has passed on to us the ability to forgive someone their sins. I thought only Jesus can forgive sins. So, how can we forgive sins? It is really quite simple. Mat_6:14  For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: Mat_6:15  But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses. The Bible teaches us that unless we forgive, we cannot be forgiven. People commit sins against each other and we must forgive them. When they commit sins against God, then God must forgive them on their repentance. This is the equation of forgiveness.

 

We can go one further in the case of healing and see that we can obtain the forgiveness of sins of a person through the prayer of faith. Jas_5:15  And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. All this to say, don’t throw the baby out with the bath water but rather employ the power within us (The Holy Spirit) to act according to the word. This will breakthrough for many who need our understanding and forgiveness rather than our condemnation and judgement. In the days ahead, this particular attitude will be tested in more ways than one. What is coming, is going to be in many cases beyond forgiving and is already so. The Holy Spirit grieves at the ways mankind has decided to live in their free will. He is crying from the smallest of sins we commit to the rather large ones. Sin is sin, the attitude we have toward it is what grieves Him.

 

Judgement is coming in a big way and the sheep will be separated from the goats and wheat from the tares. We must understand that the reason God judges is, people do not want to listen no matter how much they are forgiven or given chances to change. God cannot let it go on and allow mankind to undermine His authority. His grace extends only for a period of time and then people fail the grace of God. Heb_12:15  Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; As we reach out to a bitter world, let us not fail the grace of God by becoming bitter towards the ones who are bitter. Let us save as many as we can with the love and power of God. I see a dying world and so do many but what are we doing about it? Are we victims ourselves or are we victors and overcomers?

 

The days are upon us when we will find many falling away from the faith for one reason or another. Some will be restored but others will not. The Bible teaches us to guard our hearts. If we don’t, we will be carried away with the dissimulation that is upon us. There are times when you will be forced to make choices. These are such times. By being forced, it will be placed upon you by the law of the land as in the case of same sex marriage. What you do with it will decide your relationship with God. Much wisdom is needed so that we do not throw the baby out with the bath water.

 

Even though same sex marriage is only one issue at the moment, many such decisions will have to be made in the future through what is coming in terms of globalisation and the antichrist’s rule and reign. If we happen to be here, we will have to make choices that have nothing to do with anything other than siding with God on the things He hates. This is not throwing the baby out with the bath water because there are and always will be wicked men on earth whose consciences are seared. They are children of satan. They cannot be changed because they are reprobates. A reprobate is a person who cannot be saved, who is wicked and without a conscience. We are coming across such people daily in the world and the news media reports on their atrocities everyday. Though we see them as human beings, they have become reprobates through their greed and lust for money, power and sex. satan has deceived them into working for him rather than they seeing God who watches them. They may have even heard the gospel once and even given their lives to Jesus but now have found satan’s way more interesting. 1Ti 1:19  Holding faith, and a good conscience; which some having put away concerning faith have made shipwreck: 1Ti 1:20  Of whom is Hymenaeus and Alexander; whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme. 

 

The whole point of faith is, to choose wisely at all times. One must never be deviated from the truth by the work of evil. If we do, the mind will give in to the ways of the devil who lost his own position before God forever through a reprobate mind. How long did he have in the presence of God before he decided to rebel? We don’t know but he sure failed God and was retained in chains of darkness for eternity. Hell is a real place and no one should go there but some do. Let us awaken to the saving of the soul and not to condemnation and disregarding of the soul. Yet, let us maintain discipline because evil communication corrupts good manners (morality).

Lots of love

Pastor Noble

29/10/17