Monday 30 May 2011

Steve Harvey introduces Christ and Facebook furore

Steve Harvey stand up comedian ends his spot suddenly with the words....

If I had to announce'd be something like this.

Actually I posted this on Facebook about a year ago, but Jon Sidnell has just put it up on his blog. I'm posting it here, because of the furore I just caused on Facebook with these words:
Chris Welch
Everyone's seen the evangelical/charismatic bumper sticker "Don't follow me, follow Christ".While this crap might work in the States it frickin doesn't in the UK. How good that the real gospel is about The Way.It's safe to follow people in The Way

Friday at 19:15 via BlackBerry · Friends only ·LikeUnlike · .
Below, for those interested is the long ensuing conversation. But I'm posting this video on here to illustrate both sides of the coin. This video made me cry again. Why? Because this is not in church. This is a "freewill offering" done by a standup comedian of all people in a secular show surrounded by many unbelievers and some believers. He didn't need to do it. Professionally, it may have been suicide...but I think not. And the reaction of the audience, and him throwing the mike down just has me bawling again.

On the other hand Steve is exemplifying what the American Christian knows , then stopping short.......................

You see, our Jesus did all these things. You may have noticed He even played down the resurrection. It was about as muted as He could manage, bearing in mind how many angels were jumping down up and down in heaven, and how the Father was leaping around....but here on earth, Jesus got it down to a couple of angels, a welcoming committee of about 2, and one of those mistaking him for the gardner.

YOU SEE SAINTS...His resurrection wasn't really the point. And this is what I was meaning about this weak and feeble "Don't follow me (implication: I'm as lost as the rest of America) follow Christ".

NO....NO.....NO..... Jesus's point is this, caught by revelation in St Paul's Ephesians letter
chapter 3 verses 8 to 10.
8 To me, the very least of all saints, this grace was given,
to preach to the Gentiles the unfathomable riches of Christ,
9 and to bring to light what is the administration of the mystery
which for ages has been hidden in God who created all things;
10 so that the manifold wisdom of God might now be made known
through the church to the rulers and the authorities in the heavenly places.

So this is the bit Steve missed and most Americans miss, because their gospel doesn't work.
It works on Sundays. People turn round their lives a bit. They know more about the Bible.Many like Bill Johnson's church in Redding have pressed through into an anointing for healing and supernaturally imparting blessing to folk. But once out the door.....hmmmm. Yes, they pray for people on the street, and God really steps in. But without a third level understanding of "As He is , so are we in the world", your Christianity just cannot really work.

But you know saints, the point of the resurrection of Christ is that the Old Adam we were tied into is now dead. Utterly utterly dead. Have you seen an 18 classification film of out and out violence? You know, when the characters have destruction written right across merciless faces.
Well Jesus set His face in a similar fashion in the Garden. He'd made His announcement the day before in the Upper Room. Notice faith speaks FIRST. "Now is the ruler of this world cast down". The first Adam, the appended powers and principalities went down into the grave in the dead Body of Jesus. He brutally brutally murdered them in His own Body. Worse than the worst 18 film carnage you ever saw. Not one bit of remorse and mercy showing in Jesus eyes. He smashed them all to pieces and left them there in hell to rot!!!
Then the Holy Spirit breathed life back into His mortal body, this time to move all of His imprisoned creation back into the quarters they were designed for. He caught us up together with Him in the heavenly places. We are not in the first Adam. We are in Christ.

But when Jesus was raised, He had a problem. How to play down the resurrection just long enough for the FINAL DENOUEMENT of ALL TIME. You see if His own resurrection had been overplayed, and frankly , it could have been....if even His birth got a whole angelic orchestra and choir......but you see this would have wrecked the final ACT of the play. This would be like Miss Marple telling you who the murderer was half way through, and wrecking the end of the programme.

Jesus resurrection is SO REAL that it is going to be demonstrated in and through the Body of Christ NOW, this side of the second coming, through the BODY of CHRIST throughout the Earth. And indeed, individuals are the manifestation,the demonstration of this hidden wisdom of God even now, and ever since Pentecost.
It's just that in the same way 3000 of us were gobsmacked in Friends Meeting House in the Fountain Trust meeting in 1972 when we all started singing in tongues together, and wave upon wave of angelic goosebump swept left then right over our gathering.....when, hardly any of us knew singing in tongues existed, let alone how to do it....but here was heaven descending upon us to teach us.

Well , this is what I mean, when corporately, as we get caught up in the resurrection of Christ, catching the immensity of what has already been accomplished, we will in the same way find ourselves suddenly well out of our depth, doing things we had no idea were possible in a gravity ruled earth, and in a timebound earth. I already feel that I've been in some gobsmacking things in my time. Fountain Trust. The London House Church meetings. Darmstadt with Mother Basilea Schlink and her fruit trees and giant goldfish. The Dales Bible weeks with the angelic appearances, and experiences of spiritual warfare. The Presence of God in Emsworth Church. The Presence of God regularly and tangibly felt here in Havant Church, and so many jawdropping answers to prayer. But nobody, nobody can begin to imagine what power, what forcefield of heaven will be on a worldwide Body caught up with all three levels of understanding the revelation of Jesus Christ IN US , now, this side of heaven, demonstrating to principalities and powers,

that whereas they, IN THE MIDST of light, glory, praise, and heaven's throne, rose up to declare their own independence and entry into selfish darkness....

The Bride
standing by Night (Psalm 134) in the Holy place of God
Here on earth
making the choice
whose right it is to Bring all things into Himself
and Present them to the Father.

Now that gets an ovation !!!!!! Now do you understand my heart Connie Rockwell Cooke,having written me off as just another sectarian crackpot?
How close to madness is the True gospel. It is just too glorious for most Americans.


Connie Rockwell-Cooke In the U.S. there is a cult called The Way. I hope that's not what you are referring to. I would rather the bumper sticker stay the way it is and say "follow Christ". I don't know why you would have a problem with that if you are a true believer.
Friday at 19:21 · LikeUnlike · 1 personLoading....Carol Lucas Winkler Whhhhhaaaaat?????
Friday at 19:46 · LikeUnlike.Chris Welch I tell you why it's cultish....we proclaim the Way , which is Christ in us as us. Don't follow me follow Christ is the kind of abstraction the diciples spent 3 years having surgically removed!!!
Saturday at 09:32 · LikeUnlike.Connie Rockwell-Cooke You believe a different gospel. I don't know what your game is but I don't have time for it. See ya.
Saturday at 09:41 · LikeUnlike.Chris Welch The Way we preach is not us ofcourse,this is the very apostolic Zeus club we are removing ourselves from as did Paul in Acts.No we preach a Living Way which we model,which is Christ in us the Hope of glory.Do not take offense at the Truth.What on Earth would you have done when Jesus said Eat My flesh
Saturday at 10:15 · LikeUnlike · 1 personLoading....Paul Noble Hey Chris you've got my anointing for being misunderstood LoL - if we are "true believers" we are like Christ because he is in us I have his spiritual DNA - so actually if we are true disciples and following Jesus - ie we are in the way a...long with hundreds of other believers. Its ok for others to follow us ( Paul said follow me ) he wasn't being proud he just knew who he was in Christ. If I am truly discipling others they will be following us not in a cultish fashion but because they see beyond us because they see Christ in us.See more
Saturday at 11:03 · LikeUnlike · 1 personLoading....Chris Welch Imagine will you the first time a man widely perceived as a Rabbi looks you in the eye and says Eat my flesh, and drink My blood. That's all you've got to go on plus the healings and miracles, which actually wouldn't be so different to look... at than a Benny Hinn meeting or Morris Cerullo meeting.You've got no resurrection at this point, just a very human looking man saying this, and "follow me"....and talking blasphemy about God being His Father.See more
Saturday at 14:05 · LikeUnlike.Chris Welch The furore we have just seen here, is exactly what Jesus experienced in John 6. This is exactly the reason the Spirit gets people to use different phraseologies and pictures...because we "have the name of being alive, but are not". We say w...e're Jews but are not. Traditional American orthodoxy says it is perfectly OK to say to people to follow Christ,but don't follow us. What does this produce? It produces a Catholicism which sits snugly alongside the Mafia in Italy, as they murder their next victim then go to mass confession on Saturday. Absolutely people should follow us, until they too have learned to live in the Way too. Enough of American crap. We here in the UK want the gospel that's in the Bible. The one that stirs up cities and centuries of empty religious mouthings.See more
Saturday at 14:05 · LikeUnlike.Paul Noble Just had this flash of revelation: If Jesus was driving a car , and you were following him in yours, then it would be fairly logical for me to follow you and we would arrive at the same destination! I wouldn't say don't follow me follow Jesus! Thats what the Christian WAY is - a motor - WAY LoL.
Saturday at 14:37 · LikeUnlike.Paul Noble Have you listened to my latest musical creation based on Psalm 84 - funny it talks in that Psalm about those who are on a Journey
Saturday at 14:39 · LikeUnlike.Paul Noble
Saturday at 14:39 · LikeUnlike.Chris Welch While we were locked in the darkness of our minds...and this as Christians,we experienced a kind of Romans 1, tossing out judgements at each other according to our particular brand of reasoning. Then grace came and nervously at first we sta...rted crawling out of our tight little left-brain boxes and started to see that the gospel Has Us rather than the other way around. That the Way is Extremely obvious, with a Cross right in the centre of it, but with an umpire of peace in our heart, with a LIGHT that we walk and have fellowship in with all other believers, and with a surrounding universe thatSee more
Saturday at 15:01 · LikeUnlike.Chris Welch loves righteousness and indeed is increaslingly set free "as the sons of God see more light on what are ALREADY are the riches they have NOW in Christ".It's not something locked up in a box as the exclusive preserve of a super breed of Christian. It's just Jesus taking us wherever we are and asking us,"Seeing you've made a mess of your natural and spiritul lives how abou Me coming in to live in you As you."
Saturday at 15:02 · LikeUnlike.Bonnie Morris Paul said.. "follow me as I follow Christ"
Saturday at 15:08 · LikeUnlike.Paul Noble Exactly!
Saturday at 15:09 · LikeUnlike.Carol Lucas Winkler Chris. The real gospel is about Christ, and him crucified...but just like in the days after Jesus left, some thought it foolishness. If you want to follow, "The Way", why wouldn't you say to follow the way, who is Christ? Jesus said, "I am ...the way, the truth, and the life." It makes no sense for us to preach any other gospel...unless your way is an occult, you are a Universalist, or because you live in the Uk and people have been imprisoned for offending others with the preaching Christ and the cross. Brother....THE WAY is Christ. "I am not ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ, for it is the power of God unto salvation."See more
Saturday at 16:49 · LikeUnlike.Paul Noble Carol, I think you are missing the point if you don't mind me saying so! As you say the way is Christ because no man can come to the Father but by him but the way was the terminology the first disciples used in Acts. It was at Antioch they ...were first called Christians. Chris's original point is that the religious statement don't follow me follow Christ is rubbish and it is! If you are following Jesus and I am following Jesus then we are heading in the same direction! Paul could say follow me as I follow Christ because he was a signpost to Christ and likewise if we are following Jesus we are like lights pointing people to the truth. People should see Christ in you.See more
Saturday at 17:56 · LikeUnlike.Chris Welch The worst thing about the American gospel is that it is precisely the halfbuilt tower Jesus warned the whole world against....the one that would invite the world to scoff and laugh at the Precious Name of the One God.(As I've said on my blo...g,Brits don't even have a quarter built tower and believe the gospel of Dawkins)
The BEST thing about the gospel is it WORKS. The American one doesn't, because it invites Jesus into your heart, then you spend the rest of your life as a schizophrenic, half you, half Jesus, trying to subvert Galations 2:20 into some kind of fiction. So what you end up with is follow Jesus, but leave me out of the picture because I'm a hopeless schizophrenic.See more
Saturday at 17:58 · LikeUnlike.Chris Welch Ofcourse you are correct about the gospel being about Christ and Him crucified Carol.Let's leave USA out of it and continue with Catholics. Catholics wholeheartedly agree with that sentence Carol,but you know doesn't do a thing ...for them.We both know the sentence is correct, so then we have to work out by listening to the Spirit, what unspoken shortcircuit is causing continued spiritual death in Catholics. All I'm doing here is a similar process, I'm flagging up what is it in an American's belief system that thinks it's OK to disassociate themselves from someone anyone can follow. And judging by the reaction today, I'd say the Holy Spirit is touching a major shortcircuit.See more
Saturday at 18:35 · LikeUnlike.Chris Welch thru DS Lewis Axberg FOR THE CREATION WAITS IN EAGER EXPECTATION FOR THE CHILDREN OF THE LIVING GOD*JESUS CHRIST*TO BE REVEALED* God wants to mature a people and fill them with all the fullness of God.
Then the glory of the Lord will fill th...e whole body of the sons of God in the fullness thus far known only by our glorious Forerunner and Head. His glory shall flow and flow and fill the earth. Then shall be fulfilled the words of the Saviour, "The works that I do shall ye do also, and GREATER WORKS THAN THESE SHALL YE DO."See more
Saturday at 19:06 · LikeUnlike · 1 personLoading....Cliff Gableman I'd rather follow the car vs most so called believers
Saturday at 20:57 · LikeUnlike.Carol Lucas Winkler I still don't understand what you are saying...are you saying we become Christ or God?
Saturday at 21:02 · LikeUnlike.Chris Welch What's the alternative of eating Christ's flesh? Which bit's you and which bit's Him after the meal,huh?
Saturday at 21:04 · LikeUnlike.Carol Lucas Winkler You know...all he was talikg about was receiving salvation from the shedding of his blood, and feeding on his word. He was the word sent in the flesh. He explained it when he told them his words were Spirit and life. Whoever wants the truth will see it. Some didn't want it...just like today
Yesterday at 00:03 · LikeUnlike.Carol Lucas Winkler So what you are saying is we are literally Christ....or God. Isn't that what satan be God. Christ lives in me and i am a child of God but i am not God. I heard a Universalist say if we only knew who we were we would bow down to each other. This way of thinking goes way back. I do not believe we become God or gods. We are his body...but this is not literal.
Yesterday at 01:00 · LikeUnlike.Carol Lucas Winkler About eating his still don't get it. Jesus explained he was talking about his word, not his body.
Yesterday at 01:02 · LikeUnlike.Paul Noble Carol - the Bible says "we are partakers of the divine nature". "We are children of God and it has not appeared as yet what we shall be we know that when he appears we shall be like him" - new birth is more wonderful than just an evangelica...l free ticket to heaven it is an internal transformation - you're born again spirit is identical to his spirit (romans 8 : 11). How the heck do you think the Holy Spirit could reside in us if the vessel wasn't compatible? Yes our soul is not transformed yet - we still sin & our bodies to but our brand new spirit man is exactly like Jesus & cannot sin, it is completely righteous. It is when we realise that we ARE HOLY & RIGHTEOUS not just legally but because now that is our very nature that a process of renewal can begin from the inside out!See more
Yesterday at 08:36 · LikeUnlike.Carol Lucas Winkler I agree...what i wouldn't agree with, is that we become God. We are children of God, born of his Spirit...that doesn't make us God, himself. There is a difference. We are one with him, in that we have his Spirit...but we are not God, himsel...f. I do believe in the grace msg. I do believe, in my spirit i've been made Holy. If you believe you have become God, or that you have become a god, i would have to disagree with you on this. Some eastern religions believe they become god. Some, "Christians" believe that they are, "little gods". Being a child of God makes me a spirit being...not just flesh, but it still doesn't make me God.See more
Yesterday at 08:49 · LikeUnlike.Paul Noble PS many believers are trying to be like Christ , trying to be good Etc not realising they ALREADY are like him and as John in his Epistle points out then if they are not then they are not born again!
Yesterday at 08:49 · LikeUnlike.Carol Lucas Winkler BTW...when i lived in Virginia Beach, i met people who belonged to a group called, "The Way". I hope you aren't of this same group. These people ended up on the news, because they were having bible studies and they had been drugging the dri...nks. I was invited, but i didn't go...they were just so off on their beliefs. It just sounds strange how The Way has been brought up, like it's better than the gospel of Jesus Christ. I hope i'm wrong and you all aren't part of this group.See more
Yesterday at 08:54 · LikeUnlike.Paul Noble There is a sense that we are gods - in the day that you eat you will be as gods - so even Adam was created in the image of God. Jesus is THE son of God & we are sons. Obviously we are not God he is Father, Son & Holy Spirit & complete in himslef - but as I say even in the natural order man is a little lower than the angels but is obviously far above the animal creation.
Yesterday at 08:55 · LikeUnlike.Carol Lucas Winkler I am not a little god, i am not a god, and i am not the God. I am not Christ.
Yesterday at 08:56 · LikeUnlike.Paul Noble Carol - no we are not of "the way" that you are describing sounds freeky & I can understand your concern!
Yesterday at 08:56 · LikeUnlike.Carol Lucas Winkler Paul...what you quoted, was a lie from the devil to Eve. In the day that you eat you will be as gods. This was the temptation...the lie, the deception...and she fell for it. This didn't mean we would be gods. Apparently, people are being deceived by the same lie, today, that was used on Adam and Eve.
Yesterday at 08:59 · LikeUnlike.Carol Lucas Winkler The same trap...the same temptation, the same devil, but in a different form...false religion. "you will be as gods" i am glad that you aren't of that group.
Yesterday at 09:01 · LikeUnlike.Paul Noble Got to go now - going to church where we don't do drugs! look at what Jesus said when he quoted the psalm about being as gods in Johns Gospel
Yesterday at 09:03 · LikeUnlike.Carol Lucas Winkler What he really said is written that i said you are gods, but he didn't say it. Read the whole chapter, in context. NIght Paul...thanks for the talk.
Yesterday at 09:04 · LikeUnlike.Chris Welch If we have left brain discussions there are certain subjects that are off limits.The leftbrain cannot handle them. This is why Proverbs 3:5-6 is so vital.
Yesterday at 09:50 · LikeUnlike.Paul Noble Just reading it now John 11 35 Has it not been written in your law I said you are gods ( quotation from Psalm 82 ). The devil not only deceives by blatant lying - he is also an angel of light and will give you half truths or cause excess ...that will hide a truth. What do you think being a "son of god" really means? The angels were called sons of God but now because of the incarnation, the death & resurrection of Jesus and ascension we actually bare the image of the heavenly 1 cor 15. Religion will always downgrade us to think we are nothing but the fact is I died on a cross 2000 yrs ago in Christ & the life I now live I live by faith in the Son of God!See more
Yesterday at 13:00 · LikeUnlike.Chris Welch The sting of any talk about "gods"- whether we are or not,actually comes from the fall.The left-brain is a useful tool for step by step procedures but it really cannot handle this kind of subject. Why? Because even if we are saved,the best you can say of our minds is that they are still in detox. We were drunk on our own "independence".Our minds alienated from the life of God.
Yesterday at 14:39 · LikeUnlike.Chris Welch If you are a Christian you notice God doesn't answer a lot of our left-brain questions.You actually see this unroll in real time in the book of Job.And when God doesn't answer , we humans,who are all soaked already with the stench of the de...vils lie that God isn't good, add this as further proof that God doesn't love us. But God loves us so much,it's just that to even communicate with us He has to teach us a new language.We have to learn Spirit. Which for a people that are locked into the material world being the sum total of all existence...this is really foreign. He says "Enter into my courts with praise and thanksgiving" We look absolutely nonplussed.cont.....See more
Yesterday at 14:40 · LikeUnlike.Chris Welch How is that relevant? But it turns out it is the quickest way of making us aware of the new language of Spirit.The experience of baptism in the Holy Spirit is part of our repentance,our turning around.Meta Noia means either beyond nous, beyond the darkened confines of what we see,hear,touch, believing every Word that we hear God speak. Or meta means joining alongside the mind of God...but both meanings mean that our mind never stays the same.See more
Yesterday at 14:41 · LikeUnlike.Chris Welch So , saturated with the devil's lie that we can be independent gods in our own right....even after becoming Christians, any talk of us being joined to God still passes through our Marvel Comic , or Greek god, idea of what this may mean. So,... really our leftbrain doesn't know where to start on the subject. So the quickest thing is that God gets us moving in the Spirit. Which is why Paul was firm in his instructions in how we run churches and meetings. Every denomination and virtually every new church completely ignores the Word of God on this, and runs churches with CEO pastors who pull all the strings. But inthe beginning it was not so. The truth of WHO WE ARE is in John 15 , we are branches in God's vine. But God's life is both vine trunk and branch. He has caught us up in Himself again at the's just that Christians are still catching up.See more
Yesterday at 14:50 · LikeUnlike.Paul Noble I see what your driving at Chris - in fact natural human beings are all behaving like little gods, independent wills resisting the will of the almighty - selfishly only concerned with their own little worlds. Jesus came to serve others and lay down his life. He emptied himself.
Yesterday at 15:06 · LikeUnlike.Chris Welch The other description by Jacob Boehme from 400 years ago is the Life of God has a Cross in it.Jesus was the Lamb slain before the world was created.To be caught up into God's Life is to be caught up into a life of "going to hell for others" or Hebrews 13:13. It's stamped right through His Life like letters in a stick of rock.
Yesterday at 15:11 · LikeUnlike.Chris Welch When we're still young in God we spend our exertions like Peter with Jesus, and Agabus with St Paul, saying Jesus Life is prosperity and blessing, you don't need to go up to Jerusalem!!!! But 3rd levellers spend their life going up to Jerusalem! It's in their bloodstream.
Yesterday at 15:14 · LikeUnlike.Carol Lucas Winkler Paul...John 11:25, notice he said it had been written in THEIR law. This was man's law, not God's law. Jesus was just using this to show if they believed man's law concerning men being gods, then why couldn't they believe he was God.
Yesterday at 16:06 · LikeUnlike.Carol Lucas Winkler Levelers, and the left brain? I think i will bow out of this conversation is just too wierd. But i will be praying for you...that you will open your eyes to the truth. I think you are following some strange teachings. Get into the and ask God to give you understanding. If you follow man instead of will never know the truth that can set you free. The bible says, "Do not let satan beguile you of the simplicity of Christ." It is a simple, straight forward gospel. Our brains cannot keep us from the it right side, or left side. I am concerned for you. I will be praying...See more
Yesterday at 16:16 · LikeUnlike.Chris Welch I could have said mind, if it was offputting...but from brain scans this seems to be is just a celebration of how much recent science backs up the reality that the Bible's books always stated. We are NOT this little portion of mind ...that tries to get everything figured....nor is spirit confined to a brainbox either. Our lives are now hidden with Christ in God. Sorry this is all scaring you.That doesn't mean it isn't true.See more
23 hours ago · LikeUnlike.Chris Welch As for levelers,even my close friends don't use that....the Bible in 1 John 2 uses the lingo children,young men,Fathers.All a 3rd leveller is ,is like all the authors that line all the Christian bookshops in all the world,a mature ministry God. Unlike local ministries that we are acquainted with, people like Bonhoeffer,Madame Guyon,Watchman Nee,Mother Teresa,Richard Wurmbrand,Spurgeon,Wesley....have been chosen repeatedly throughout the Earth as having a mature voice in God.If what they say is not simple enough for you then rest assured they believe a simple gospel....but they have worked with this simplicity way beyond the American bumoper sticker, to where it is safe to follow the Way they travelled along in God.See more
23 hours ago · LikeUnlike.Paul Noble Carol - sorry thats not what it says in - Psalm 82:6 "i said you are gods you are all sons of the most high" - where Jesus is quoting from! No he was saying that why did they find it so hard to believe that Jesus was THE incarnate son of God when even in the natural they were created in the image of God.
21 hours ago · LikeUnlike.Carol Lucas Winkler I wasn't talking about the one in Psalms Paul...Chris, is, "The Way" an organization? And i still don't get the leveler thing.
21 hours ago · LikeUnlike.Paul Noble The devil tempted the Eve by saying in the day you eat your eyes will be opened and you will be LIKE GOD. This was a lie because she was ALREADY like God. The devil hates it because he wanted to be like God. He can't create only destroy. Ma...n is created in the image and even though fallen and marred by sin you can see the beauty in what he creates. Jesus was tempted by satan at the core of his identity by the temptation IF you are the son of God. Jesus didn't need to prove anything!See more
21 hours ago · LikeUnlike.Paul Noble Yes but Carol that is what Jesus is quoting in John 11:25!!!
21 hours ago · LikeUnlike.Carol Lucas Winkler There is a difference in Jesus and us...he is God. We are not. We are thankful to be the children of God.
21 hours ago · LikeUnlike.Paul Noble And the Way - have a look in the Acts the early disciples were called followers of the way. It was at Antioch that they were first called christians!
21 hours ago · LikeUnlike.Carol Lucas Winkler ‎(KJV)John 11:25
Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live:
21 hours ago · LikeUnlike.Carol Lucas Winkler Why did you bring up John 11:25?
21 hours ago · LikeUnlike.Carol Lucas Winkler Paul, let's go back to what Chris posted...why did he say don't follow me follow Christ, is crap, but The Way is the safe way and it is what the real gospel is about? This does not line up with the gospel of Jesus Christ. Following Christ is a good thing. Jesus said he was the way, how can you seperate?
20 hours ago · LikeUnlike.Paul Noble Yes I agree we are not God but we are LIKE God because we are his children & sons - just like our own children are in our image. Adam was like God because he was created in God's image but if we are born again it is even more so because we ...have taken on the image of the heavenly man we are not only in Christ but Christ is in us- the hope of glory! In Peter its says - we are partakers of the divine nature - new birth is in some way like the incarnation - we are born from above. We don't really understand the mystery of it but I'm being perdantic because its clearly what the scriptures teach and anything less lowers what God has done through Jesus!See more
20 hours ago · LikeUnlike.Paul Noble Carol - yes its got a bit far off the point! I know Chris personally so I can vouch for you he's not trying to lead you astray ( a bit difficult to understand) but thats what Peter said about the Apostle Paul! Of course there is nothing with following Christ but I think he's taking issue with nice trite statements that are not the truth - really maybe its just a car bumper sticker! I can understand you getting a bit upset about the Way stuff as far as I know Chris isn't in any heretical sect called the Way but as I said before it is a term used by the early disciples so its not a bad term to use.See more
20 hours ago · LikeUnlike.Paul Noble Oops sorry I meant John 10:34!
20 hours ago · LikeUnlike.Carol Lucas Winkler I think it may be how he put looks like the bumper sticker upset him. I just don't understand why. I don't think anything should be so deep that someone can't explain it in simple terminology. I think i asked a legitimate question. Paul, you told me about the disviples...but Chris hasn't explained, "The Way" yet. I don't like arguing...just wanted to know why The Way is safer, and what, exactly, it is. :)
20 hours ago · LikeUnlike.Chris Welch One of the meanings of the bumper sticker (which in the context of driving,was always meant light heartedly...but 20 years later is wearing thin, especially in view of the Christianity that is exported from the USA on TV and here on Faceboo...k)is the disconnect between asking Jesus the way,and a Christian's responsibility to become the answer to the question. Commonly the States version of Christianity is ,ask Jesus into your heart,get your sins forgiven,join a church and try your best to live a good Christian life. The real gospel, and in fact the meaning behind the story of every single saint in BOTH Old and New Testaments is that we follow Jesus into His Way for us.See more
19 hours ago · LikeUnlike.Paul Noble But 1161 this 5124 I confess 3670 unto thee 4671, that 3754 after 2596 the way 3598 which 3739 they call 3004 heresy 139, so 3779 worship I 3000 the God 2316 of my fathers 3971, believing 4100 all things 3956 which 3588 are written 1125 in 2596 the law 3551 and 2532 in 1722 the prophets 4396:
19 hours ago · LikeUnlike.Chris Welch This Way is unique for all of us, but is tailormade to lead us to the Truth? What truth? That every mouth be stopped! That neither we nor any other human is capable of living the Christian life even once saved.This awful truth brings us to ...the kind of Truthfulness and desperation before God that this time we really mean which point we learn it has to be Christ actually living our life as us. Not 2 peas in a pod, sharing the limelight.....but as Paul has shared,the reality of Chris and Paul crucified 2000 years ago, and now NOT I, but Christ actually living our lives.....yes through our souls,through our bodies....but Christ so fused with my spirit, that there is no join. "As He is, so ARE we in the world"See more
19 hours ago · LikeUnlike.Chris Welch I meant to spell out that this is the deeper meaning to I am the Way the Truth and the Life.It is much more dynamic and 3dimensional than the States version, which only really gets people to salvation and pewsitting
19 hours ago · LikeUnlike.Paul Noble Load of references to the way in Acts more than I bargained for in fact!
17 hours ago · LikeUnlike.Chris Welch It really was the word for Christianity. The other thing that's good is it implies movement and not doctrine.Other saints reduce it all to THE WAY that is Love. Everything else is self for self....some kind of agenda going on.
7 hours ago · LikeUnlike.Paul Noble Yes thats an interesting thought Chris that the way suggests movement. The christian walk is a journey of faith. I wonder why the early believers were first called christians at Antioch?
5 hours ago · LikeUnlike.Chris Welch It was probably the gobsmacking shock that here were the world's first people who had somehow missed a stage....(They weren't Jews,hadn't had thousands of years of pre-conditioning culturally) and here they were ex-Pagan thieves,homosexuals,liars,rapists,beaming out Christ in everything they said and did. You must admit,if this was the first time in would be gobsmacking!
4 hours ago · LikeUnlike.Chris Welch Oh...and not one of them had a donkeycart sticker with don't follow me, follow Christ...because their radiance and love showed they followed Christ, so others even created a nickname: Christian

Wednesday 25 May 2011

Daniel Yordy - Practicing the Presence of God

Practicing the Presence of God
(clip text via Alan Hiu - See the World through His heart blog- see link below)
Somehow, I was placed on an email prayer list. Pray for this problem, pray for that problem. Please don't mistake me. Every one of us needs prayer; every one of us has ongoing and very real needs.

But over and over, my spirit says to me as I look across these endless requests: "It is not prayer you need, it is Jesus." I want to holler, "Open your eyes, it is Jesus inside of you that is your salvation. He is life itself. Know Him! My prayer is not worth a hill of beans for you right now. At this moment you need to see Jesus as He fills you right now with all of His glory and power. You need to place yourself right in the center of His light. That's where you are, see yourself there."

One of the most important commandments to us in the New Testament right now is Romans 6: "Reckon yourselves to be dead indeed unto sin, but alive unto God through Christ Jesus our Lord."

'To reckon' means to speak, to declare, to call it to be so, to believe it is so, to place it to your own account that it is so. To shout out loud with your voice box: "Everything in me that needed to die is already and totally dead, vanished into the cross of Jesus." And then refuse all evidence that your natural sight wants to throw at you.

But a few weeks back, in a dream, I found myself declaring this truth, "I am alive unto God. I am alive unto God." My spirit declared this over and over. When I awoke, I realized that I had been overlooking the more important second part of this verse.

The cross is our foundation, the base upon which we stand, but the resurrection is our life. Jesus, alive in us, is no longer referenced by the cross. I am alive unto God. Only God can show us what that means by a revelation of His Spirit.

Consider these verses:

Then Moses went up into the mountain, and a cloud covered the mountain. Now the glory of the Lord rested on Mount Sinai, and the cloud covered it . . . The sight of the glory of the Lord was like a consuming fire on the top of the mountain in the eyes of the children of Israel. Exodus 25
. . . Moses did not know that the skin of his face shone while he talked with Him. So when Aaron and all the children of Israel saw Moses, behold, the skin of his face shone, and they were afraid to come near him. Exodus 34

And it came to pass, when the priests came out of the holy place, that the cloud filled the house of the Lord, so that the priests could not continue ministering because of the cloud; for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord. 1 Kings 8
. . . He took Peter, John, and James and went up on the mountain to pray, as He prayed, the appearance of His face was altered, and his robe became white and glistening . . . and they saw His glory." Luke 9
Every appearance of glory and power in the Old Testament was Jesus. All of it was limited and confined by natural sight and by human inability to believe. What the disciples saw upon the Mount of Transfiguration was also limited by human definition, but the difference was that now the glory and might of God was personal - Jesus.

This same Jesus is my life and He fills me with all of His glory. Not the limited glory of the Old Testament. Jesus stated that John the Baptist was the greatest prophet from Adam until Jesus, but that he who is least in the kingdom of God is greater than John the Baptist.

See Him. See Him as He is in you. From the top of your head to the tip of your toes, you are filled with more glory and power than was ever seen in Bible times.

Paul shouted, "WE ARE NOT LIKE MOSES! We do not cover over our glory."

We do not need our bodies healed, we do not need our debts paid, we do not need 'safety' from the coming storm. We NEED our eyes opened, that we might see the glory and the power of the Holy One who fills us with all of His glory. Then, out of seeing Jesus as He is in us, comes all of the things that we need, like a mighty river of life and blessing and favor.

I recently heard a fellow Christian say, "Be careful, if we get to busy and don't have time for chapel, then the devil can (do whatever the devil does)."

This kind of comment is very familiar to me from the past. But I am amazed at how differently I see things now. My first thought was to laugh. Are you kidding me? How can that possibly be? Then I realized that she would not understand if I said anything.

We are filled with all the glory and power and might of all the Holiness and Majesty of God, way beyond anything we read about in the Bible. We are surrounded by God like a mighty fortress wall, He keeps us at all times, nothing can come to us except that which He allows and all of it is for our glory.

The only possible way we can 'see' the devil and sin in that way, as something to be fearful of, is if we cannot see Jesus inside of us.

I am speaking to God's sons: "God, open our eyes, cause us to see this glorious One who fills all of our humanity with His power."

For all of you dear ones who are troubled about 'sin' in your life. For God's sake, get your eyes off of the sin. It is thoroughly nailed to the cross and cannot escape. God does not want your eyes to be on the cross, but on the Savior and the Salvation that fills your being right now.

This is why Jesus said, "In that day you shall know that I am in the Father, and you are in me, and I am in you." The order in which He said it is important.

If I don't know that I, all of me, all of my flesh and sin and humanity and weakness and debt and all of this dying body, all of me, I am in Jesus. If I don't know that, then the rug is jerked out from under my feet and I cannot see HIM.

But the very same Holy One who came upon the Mountain in consuming fire and clouds of darkness so that those people back then were terrified and could not stand before God - that same Holy One fills me, my body, my soul, my mind, my strength, my spirit, every part of my humanity, every part of who and what I am, He fills me with a glory and a fire that so far exceeds what they were capable of seeing back then. How then can I so miss the glory of the Resurrected Christ who fills me that all I can see is 'what the devil might do' or some 'sin' that I refuse to leave upon the cross.

It is wicked to 'weep' over sin. Weeping over sin is more wicked than the sin itself.

See Jesus. First you in Him, and then He in you. Sin is not in that picture, except already dead upon the cross. Jesus is our life; we have no other life. How can we see anything else?

Oh, how I want to grab people and shake them and shout, "The power and majesty and glory and holiness of Almighty God fills you from the top to the bottom, from the inside to the outside. How, how, are your eyes so blind, how are your senses so dull that you cannot see the Fire and Glory that fills you."

Yes, it is a dying body that the One who raised Jesus from the dead fills in His power. Yes, it is a weak human that is the earthen vessel that holds this Holy Treasure. Yes, my life is messy. Yes, when I look in the mirror, I see a very human face. That is the incredible wonder of this mystery. We imagine that we must see an outward glory with our natural eyes to know that we are filled with Christ.

We walk by faith and not by sight. We see Him who is invisible.
. . . that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ, whom having not seen you love. Though now you do not see Him, yet believing, you rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, receiving the end of your faith - the salvation of your souls. 1 Peter 1
It is not Jesus up in heaven that we do not see with our natural eyes, it is Jesus inside of us in all of His Ascended glory that we do not see with outward sight. But we see Him by faith and we are filled with a joy that cannot be expressed.

But now is the revelation of Jesus Christ, now we must walk in the knowledge of His Presence, His Parousia, His coming in us as we have never known before.

Practice living as if Jesus in all of His resurrected and ascended glory has returned to earth and now appears in a physical form - you. Practice living in the open consciousness of that reality - because it is true.

If Jesus showed up visibly, we would all fall on our face before His Majesty.

Jesus has shown up in a far greater way than anything we can read about in the Bible, Old Testament or New.He has appeared as you.

Preston Eby pointed out something that I had never considered before. When Jesus appeared after His resurrection to the two who were walking to Emmaus, they did not recognize Him with their natural sight. Though it was Jesus, the physical body He appeared in was structured quite differently from the one they had seen before. More than that, there were NO scars on his hands. They did not recognize Him until He broke the bread, seated across a small table from them. But when He materialized before them in the presence of Thomas, then, for Thomas's sake, He appeared in a body that showed deeply and plainly the scars from the nails. It was a different physical appearance.

And so now, He has appeared in your body, and He has appeared in mine.

Then, He said to Thomas, "Thomas, because you have seen Me (with your natural eyes), you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."
Believe what?

Believe that He has appeared in all of His resurrected and ascended glory in us. Jesus is our life.

Christ in us is our hope of glory. Christ, appearing in any form outside of our self can do nothing for us except weep. See Him as He is in you - by faith.

Then all of these many things we so desperately need prayer for will simply vanish from our sight and He will meet them with the favor of His hand that is always flowing out from our bellies.

Practice seeing Him in you. Practice it until you see nothing else.

And here is the truth. There is nothing else. Everything we imagine to be in us that is not Jesus, is just that, our imagination. How very sad if we keep our imagination more vivid before our eyes than the Ascended King who fills us in glory.

See Jesus. See His glory in you.

Friday 20 May 2011

Haywards Heath Meetup

... discover the most beautiful life possible ... Invitation via Facebook

Andre Rabe invited you · Share · Public event.See allFriends' events
.Catchup drinks with Al & Deb
04 June
.Like · 1,031 people like this.Time Wednesday 25 May · 19:00 - 21:00


Location Saltworkz Cafe
4 America Lane,
Haywards Heath

Created by: Andre Rabe


More info Join us for a coffee, listening to some songs by Mary-Anne and Dayne, and a chat about the value of man.
When God said: "Let Us make man in Our image and likeness", He did not make a mistake! He entered His rest, fully satisfied that what He imagined, He achieved. Christ Jesus is the guarantee of our innocence, of God's original and authentic thought realised in man!

Are there any saints want to go over together from Portsmouth/Gosport/Chichester area? reply below in the comments section or on Facebook.


Recent posts

Some of the Key Prophecies for the whole Body of Christ in the last four to six decades..... including Smith Wigglesworth,David Minor and Maurice Smith.But also includes a surprise from St Peter's Rome 1975.

The Collapse of Evangelicalism by (USA) Maurice Smith, no relation.

The outer forms of old style church are crumbling......

How well did I understand grace before I understood grace - by Paul Ellis

Many of us were convinced we understood grace,taught grace, ran church in grace......

Continuation of the Melchizedek series of God's interference in our "independence": Maurice Smith (UK) Part XI I have died

Maurice Smith (UK) Part XII I know who I am

Life in the Melchizedek Order XII : Maurice Smith - I know who I am

From 20th Century Pilgrim by Maurice Smith Chapter 8The darkness was lifting and as the springtime emerged I realised that I had been through what is commonly called today, an identity crisis. Many years previously, around the early days of my new experience in the Holy Spirit, I well recall hearing my eldest son, David, playing his guitar in the bedroom. He was a fine lad and a good son to me. He was a practising Christian and seemed to have some experience of the Holy Spirit. For some time he had been more and more absorbed with the music scene and was engaged in the coffee-bar evangelism we'd set up in the city of Canterbury. Now he was singing, what seemed to me, weird words 'Who am V 'Won't somebody tell me who I am?' It was all beyond me then. I thought everyone knew who they were. I knew who I was: Maurice Louis Smith, Sales Manager, gifted speaker, ex-Indian Army Officer, father of four, with few problems! Looking back it seemed that No. 1 son was certainly a few steps ahead of his dad at the time, for it was to be a full ten years before the same words would issue forth from my own mouth when under extreme pressure. I desperately wanted to know who I was, as a permanent awareness. For years I had been feeling in-and-out of the spirit, or in-and-out of Christ, like the weatherman on the clock. All going fair equals 'in Christ'.' All going wrong, not in Christ. Of course it was the cursed results of living under law , living by standards. As Paul wrote to the Galatians, when they lived under law they

removed themselves from the grace of God.' Either he'd got to be their life, or they had. He and they couldn't live it together or they'd be a split personality. Roger Davin from Minnesota, once delivered some ministry to our fellowship of Christians, and he entitled it: Identity Precedes Function. Marvellous I thought; but it became costly to discover that identity, and to learn to live believing in it. That meant coming to an end of my own living, to find my all in him; to find that he and I were truly one.
A few years ago it was my good fortune to spend a few days in the beautiful home of Derek Prince in Florida. Derek seemed as much at home in the deep comfort of his home as living in Israel, or previously I believe, in the scrubland of Africa in a hut. I spent a good part of the day languishing in his pool, as the temperature was high and the humidity incredible. It was all a far cry from home in Romford and most enjoyable. At the end of our stay, Derek -gave me an autographed copy of his book 'Appointment in Jerusalem', which was really the life story of his late wife, Lydia, and her great work in Israel. Try as I may, I could not get into that book. Several times I took it from my bookshelf and stoically tackled it. But no, I could not get interested. In the midst of my troubles however, I had nonchalantly taken it in hand again and was absorbed from the first moment.

Either he'd got to be their life,

or they had.

He and they couldn't live it together

or they'd be a split personality.

From this book I learned more of how easy it is to function when you are just being yourself, doing what you want to do, and not forever worrying about your identity. Lydia had heard that, 'to each one the manifestation of the Spirit is given for the common good's properly translated really meant 'God has a special task for everyone!' Having come
through my identity crisis, I could begin to see that my place is unique. There was no point envying who someone else was, or wanting to do what they were doing. I could just trust God. A vessel unto honour, a vessel unto dishonour? 6 'Of him, and through him, and to him, are all things." I suppose some will now have to add 'fatalist' to their list of designations, but it's not that at all, because I am speaking not with resignation but with faith. I can't escape from the sovereignty of God, and I want to respond! Once again I'm caught holding two seeming irreconcilables, one in each hand. It's a comfortable position to be in when you've nothing to prove.

The helpful pilgrims were crowding in now, I'm glad to say. At one time I seemed surrounded by Job's comforters," but now the appointments have a sort of divine timing about them. Six years had elapsed since my visit to Florida, and now I was preparing to go back to the States to the home of Peter and Brenda Parris. They were an English couple who had gone, with their children, to live in Little Rock, Arkansas. Eileen and myself, along with Matthew our youngest son, needed a break, and we jumped at the offer to visit the slow-moving Southern State. We found the advertising to be true, 'Arkansas is a natural'. We spent lazy day after lazy day by the pool at the 'Y', and soaked in the sun and the surroundings. The home was a haven of rest to us and I could almost feel myself being done good to.
There was just one small enigma hanging over the trip. Earlier in the year I had toured South West England briefly with a prophetic team of men under the leadership of Graham Perrins from Cardiff. It had been a most instructive time for me, when I had received several words of prophecy myself. All of them had a distinct ring of truth about them and seemed to me both complementary and progressive. One man in the team was Lattie McDonough from Joplin, Missouri, and he asked me one day when I was coming to America again.
'I'm not,' I replied, and he looked puzzled. 'Are you sure?' he persisted.
'Well, I'm not coming to minister-, but I do have a holiday booked and I really need that. I don't need a ministry tour!'
He smiled knowingly and said,
'When you come to the U.S.A., the doors will open wide for you!'
You could have blown me over, for it was the last thing I had in mind, and I had come to know that Lattie was usually spot on with his words from God.
So here we were, near the end of our time in the United States and no doors had opened, well, cer-tainly not wide. We'd shared a little with our friends in Little Rock, Russelville, and New York, but nothing you could call a fulfilment of such a specific word. Just two days to go and Peter asked me if I'd like to accompany him to a small house meeting on the other side of town. Eileen stayed home whilst Brenda and we men went off together. I'd already expressed that I'd rather sit and listen that evening and Peter said he had some thoughts he'd like to share. We arrived and settled in, and I met up again with some of the folks who were getting to be just like family to me after only a few weeks. First a short time of singing together, then Peter started to speak. He has always been an excellent communicator and brought a natural sense of God's presence with his delivery. This was different; it sounded just like a familiar tune - but now being played by the greatest musician on earth. I guess the setting was just right. It was perfect timing. Peter was telling us how seeing ourselves as separate from God, was the main problem with Christians today. This dualistic type of thinking had robbed us of our inheritance. I won't attempt to emulate it, because I couldn't. Every word was going home and revealing and confirming all God had been impressing on me over the recent months and years. He and I were one.Feelings were secondary not primary. The fact was our union." The performance in no way affects the fact. The reverse was the truth. Believe that and there would be a difference. I guessed Peter had learned all this in the hard school of experience. Then he suddenly stopped and said,
'If I continue we'll just have a good evening, but God wants to do something special here tonight.'
He then asked me to add anything if I could. I sensed that what he had spoken had had more effect on me than on many of the others. Briefly I recorded how many years ago I had seen myself as dead (to sin) I in Christ, and that I had enjoyed one year of ecstatic high flying when nothincy worried me. Then I had crashed from a great altitude and experienced gross darkness and confusion. How could I get back to that place when I saw I was dead with nothing to worry about: How could I rest continually and abide in the promised land? The fact that I had now died to the law also, was established in me. No more trying to be a Christian. I knew that didn't pay off. I thought secretly, 'But what a shattering experience it's all been, and what havoc all my self-effort has caused to myself and especially to others. My family had been through hell on earth really, and bore the marks caused through an insecure and immature father. Oh yes, my pilgrimage had been sincere enough, but at what cost to others?' The past concerned me.
'I think we should pray now,' said Peter and we were quiet for a while and a few took part in the same quiet spirit. To me we were on holy ground, I sensed the weight of God's presence more intensely than I've ever known it. I actually took my shoes off, nothing else seemed appropriate." It was a hot night so I guessed no one would think it strange, but I knew something special was happening. Then Peter started to read from Daniel and suddenly a phrase penetrated right into me, as though driven home by a divine arrow; 'Those that have revelation shall be brought down, in order that they might be purified . . . " 5 1 asked Peter to read it again. It was too good to be true. I had been brought down. Brought down! God had done it, not me. Not all my selfish struggling and striving. Not just my insecurity and self-centredness. God!
God was in everything. In all my failures, in all my circuitous route into the promised land of rest. No doubt I'd have to stand and declare that glorious positive fact in the face of many negative feelings and appearances in the days ahead, but no need to worry about that. This is now. This is God speaking again. I could explore at leisure, but this was a time for truth to do its work."
It was then that Brenda began to prophesy. 17 1 had shared nothing of Lattie McDonough's original prophesy with her, so you can imagine my surprise
was considerable when she said something like this:
'Your life has been one of doors. You have come up to a beautiful door and gone through it, full of expectation. Then you have found yourself in a corridor, and have walked the length of this and found another door. You have been delighted and gone through again and found another corridor. This has been repeated through all your experience; doors and corridors. But tonight in this place, the doors open wide for you and you walk through and into freedom.'
Word for word! 'The doors will open wide for you.' I could hardly believe my ears. They were Lattie's words exactly. And I had been thinking of doors of ministry! All through the years I had been coming to beautiful doors of revelation and walking through them and finding a confined space; but now the confinement was over. The death blow had been struck to separatist thinking. Christ and I were one. I knew it. He was in me; I was in him; we were in the Father. That long-loved chapter seventeen of John was coming true in my life. Not by the organisation of a super church, not by getting our structures all correct, but by his glorious way! By the mystery of. 'I have given them the glory that you gave me, that they may be one,' and 'Christ in (us), the hope of glory.' Christ in us all, as the be-all and the end-all. The mystery hidden for so long —God's eternal purpose, to sum up all things in Christ — had edged forward a notch, as I acknowledged my place in him. Now by letting Christ live through me, in good times and seemingly bad times, I had found my identity. I really was a permanent part of the body of Christ. I was Maurice
Christ. He was living as me. Jesus Christ was the unique son of God and my Lord, and to say I was Jesus Christ would be blasphemy; but now after years of trying to find my identity in myself, I had found my identity in him. These two words, 'in him', or similar, seem to appear more than any others in the New Testament. And, of course, they contain the secret of consistent living. The Good News Bible translates the phrase as 'in union with him' time and time again. I find that very helpful. Now the identity is fixed. Wherever I wake up, I wake up as myself. I don't have to do anything to become me. I am me. If I feel bad, I'm a new man in Christ, part of the second man 2(not the second Adam). The last Adam has gone, buried with Christ. If I don't behave like the usual me, it's an off day, but it's still me.
Perhaps it would be helpful here to repeat that, of course it never really was 'us' that were at fault anyway. We are always containers of someone else, expressers of one God or another. Previous to our receiving the life of Christ, the son of the living God, we did the works of our father the devil," the god of this world;" but now that one who so misused us has been dealt the death blow at the Cross." We see now that he was the trouble all the time, not us. You may object that not all works previous to conversion are evil, and I would agree; but they do all stem from the forked tree of the knowledge of good and evil and it doesn't matter whether we were up the good fork, or the evil fork –neither were the Tree of Life. We were not living by the faith of the Son of God" but faith in ourselves, and the fruit of that wrong tree was, and is, the law of sin and death . Once again we're back to
that old basic sin – independence. That was the life that Satan expressed through us, whether nicely or horridly; we were doing our own thing, producing fruit from the wrong tree." Now the axe has been laid to the root of that tree in our lives." But no more are we fooled into thinking separation. We are one with Christ and totally dependent upon his living out his life as us. From time to time we may forget who we are, but more and more we become fixed in our understanding that Christ is formed in us."
We can't really function properly, as Roger Davin says, until we know who we are; identity really does precede function. Once we do know, we stop worrying about ourselves and start living for others. Now I'm not referring to some obviously sacrificial life-style necessarily, but it just starts to be natural, because we've been released from concern with ourselves, and our own progress and performance. We are now depending on the one who cares, who lives in us.

At last those two confusing verses at the end of Romans seven held meaning for me. Hitherto they had ruined the whole argument; now they upheld it and gave it total credence. After Paul has ranted on desperately about not doing what he wants to do, and doing what he doesn't want to do, he concludes that it's not the real him that's doing all this, but an intruder called sin . 'O.K.' he says, `it's not really me; but who is going to deliver me from this dead body of sin ' which I continually carry around?' With a final shaft of divine revelation he shouts, 'I thank God through Jesus Christ!' He sees before that the blood of Christ has cleansed him from his sins 11 and now the dying body of Christ has really freed him from the sinner. Paul saw he was,Buried with Christ, and raised with him too; What is there left for me to do?
Simply to cease from struggling and strife, Simply to walk in newness of life.
Glory be to God!
T. Ryder (Hymn)
They are the facts. Then he goes on to say, 'So, then, with the mind I serve the law of God; but with the flesh, the law of sin' . . . and . . . 'there is, therefore, now no condemnation to them who are in Christl` There were no dividing chapter headings in his letter; it's all one flowing argument. He's totally free from condemnation and up into the promised land of rest at last. Whether he sins or not is not the issue. He is in Christ. Full stop! He has been set free by the death of Christ. He's free to sin or not to sin. Of course the new man in him hates sin, but he is no longer thrown because of his performance. He is completely dead to the law of pleasing God. He lives by faith. He takes it at absolute face value that he is in Christ, and Christ is living in him and as him, whether he observes sin in his members or not.
If you now try and interject, 'Oh, well then he will not sin'; you are going too fast. You have to simply believe what he says regardless of your performance. We die with our eyes closed. We do not keep opening one eye to peek at our performance, or continually dig the 'old man' out of his grave. Dangerous? It's dynamite. It'll set you free. Remember if we deep, deep down want to live in sin, we're not Christians at all. God just never condemns us, sin or not. The law will, and the religious people may stone us; but Christ will always say, 'I don't condemn you,' as he did to the woman when the stoners were all ready to go into action." He was condemned that we might never be. We were included in his judgement and death, and should not now judge ourselves . This will only ring true in those like Paul, and like me, and like countless others, who have ached and longed to live a holy life. They get the hymn-writer's revelation: 'Holiness by faith in Jesus, not by effort of my own.' We consent to the law that it is good, but find the only way to keep to it is to die to it! Even then it's not a set of laws we're referring to, but the higher 'law' of love.
It all finally locked into place for me when I returned home from a week's holiday with my wife. I nonchalantly asked if there was any news of my son, who was in Spain for the World Football Cup. Within moments I had learned that he'd had his money stolen and all his match tickets were taken too. With all else that was going on, this was the final straw. I was inwardly furious, but quickly covered up my anger with a graceful murmur of 'Praise the Lord' and forced myself to insincerely mouth, 'all things work together for good'. I quietly made my way to my garden office. Once inside I felt I wanted to rant and rave. I'd come to the end of this plastic attempt to be gracious and somehow trying to let a Christ-like image be squeezed through my raging emotions. On holiday, I'd just read an article by an American called Bill Volkman who had met a man who had said that he was free to swear, and Bill had at first reacted and felt the danger of it all. Now swearing was all I wanted to do. So I did. Not the one single expletive which I'd uttered all those years ago, when God came and showed me that he collected failures. Oh nol This was the works. I went on and on, letting God have my full-bridled vocabulary. Another son, Jason, looked into the office and I gave him a piece of my mind and shouted,
'Don't expect me to be nice; if God can't keep his eye on my family for just one week, he can't expect me to walk about like a Holy Joe!' My wife got an earful too and I never shouted at her, I was too nice a Christian. Daughter Josslyn was next In line.
`You've seen the last of gracious Maurice,' I stormed. I kept this up for two whole days. If Christ didn't come through without my help then he wouldn't come through at all, and I'd be like this for the rest of my life.
Gradually I noticed two strange things were happening. First I wasn't worrying at all about my son in Spain, whereas I had worried about my family ever since they were born. Secondly, I felt God's smile was on me continually. I sensed he was winking at my sin. I remembered vaguely the Archbishop who said, 'Oh that men would vent their anger into the bosom of the Lord who is well able to bear it!' God just would not condemn me. 'You're in Christ son,' was all I could hear. The price was paid, the slave set free. Absolutely free to do what I wanted. 'I didn't break your chains of iron to bind you up again. Any chains I put on you now, are chains of gossamer' – that's how a family friend, Doris Barton, expressed it so beautifully to me when I visited her in Aberdeen. 'You can break free whenever you want.' All of a sudden there was no point in swearing. The law was dead and sin had lost its power." Abuse turned to quiet praise. The superior law of life of being in Christ Jesus had
set me free from the law of sin and death." I could full-bloodedly sing the last two verses of Romans seven with Paul at last, and I leaped joyfully straight into Romans eight. (Do excuse anv theo-logical jargon but after so many years struggling in
those chapters, it's how I think now.) All I can do now is cry with the freed slaves of old, I love my Master. Make me a bond-slave Lord; pierce my ear at the door!" Having been set totally free I find I want to serve on; but it must be that way round. I know what the ancient hymn-writer meant now: 'In whose service is perfect freedom!' I can do what I like now; I'm really one with St. Augustine when he said, 'Love God, and do as you like.'
Dave Bryant, in one of his latest songs, sings these words:
There are no prison walls of religion and law that could ever hold the life we share; The bond of peace and irresistible love Are the only chains that we'll ever wear ...
and who could encapsulate our imprisonment to love more poignantly or poetically?
I do not care to debate with you the conse-quences of all this. If you say, 'Do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature"'; then my re-joinder is simply, 'Who wants to?' But 'It is for freedom that Christ has set us free' not to start keeping the law again." Whew! What a long haul it has been to take God at face value and trust in his son's complete work at Calvary. This was glorious and good news. It is no longer I that live, but Christ that lives in me. 'and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God'. I never knew those words. 'and the life which I now live' were in the text. Truly now, 'For me to live is Christ. "' Passivity is gone; I'm back with a bang, enjoying 'the life which I now live'. I know the revelation of this chapter of the book is all mixed up with that of the previous chapter, but that's how it happened with me. Not all chronological and clinical; but like mists clearing away. Getting a glimpse and losing it, until finally the light of day is breathtakingly clear. The fresh morning air cries out: 'Everest fills all'; or Christ 'fills all in all'. A continuous fixation has come. All is of God."'

Thursday 19 May 2011

Life in the Melchizedek Order XI : Maurice Smith - I'm Dead

From Chapter 2 - 20th Century Pilgrim by Maurice Smith
We were lost. There was no doubt about it. We had left Canterbury pushed for time, and now Eileen and I were trying to arrive in time for 'Here comes the bride' at a wedding in Barnet, Hertfordshire. We found London all right, but emerging from under the River Thames via the Blackwall tunnel, had taken a wrong turning and were now exploring the awful delights of the Mile End Road. In frustration I turned down a side street.
At least we were now facing north and not heading straight for the heart of the great metropolis.
'We'll stop and ask those two fellas,' I said, as I swung the car across the road, pulling up by a grimy corner pub where they were fixed in discussion over a matter that was obviously of worldwide importance. Both looked up inquisitively from under the peaks of their caps.
'Yes mate?' one enquired.
'I want to get to Barnet please,' I said as politely as I could manage, struggling under the pressure of being late. He looked blank.
'Barnet? ... Barnet?' His bewildered gaze questioned my face as if I'd asked for Bangalore. I thought as quickly as I could; we were wasting precious time. Maybe if I suggested somewhere between our present location in the Mile End Road and Barnet, then one of these East End philosophers could at least get me en route.
'Highgate,' I offered. 'Do you know Highgate Archway?'
They shook their heads in unison. By now I was approaching my normal state of desperation and blurted out,
'Finsbury Park! The Arsenal! Surely you know where that is?'
I reasoned that if I could get just that far at least I'd be going in the right direction. Their faces lit up in joint recognition. Impatience caused me to lean out of the window to hurry them along. No such luck. They were making a meal of this enquiry. It was obviously not every day that someone sought them out for advice. Finally they ceased their deliberations and the spokesman approached me with as much authority as he could muster. I waited expectantly. Drawing himself up to his full height, he announced with absolute finality:
'Sorry mate, you can't get there from here!'
I was dumbfounded. I began to remonstrate with the man. 'Where else do you expect me to start from?' I demanded logically.
He looked puzzled.
'I should close the window dear; we'll have to ask somebody else.'
It was my wife, the source of all calmness and wisdom, from the passenger seat.
How impossible to start anywhere other than where we are now. Why even God can't meet us where we are not (if you can sort that out!). I realised that on my spiritual pilgrimage I'd got myself into a fair old muddle, but there seemed no way I could guarantee to sort myself out. My Christian life looked like a big tangled ball of wool, and all I could do was pull one of the ends to see what came out. That was where I was at. I had to start from there. I was weighed down with over-re?
sponsibility, declaring 'his yoke was easy' but finding everything pretty difficult really. Trying to make this Christian life have impact, trying to live a godlier life, trying to bring maturity to the bunch of people who had recognised me as an 'elder' and were submitting areas of their lives to me for guidance. It was all so trying, and was certainly the blind leading the blind; although as ever, I was willing to wave my stick about in front a bit more than most. I'd just have to have a weak pull of one of the wool ends again and see what happened. All this effort was beginning to wear me down.
Dorrie Brooking was a lady for whom I had much respect. I suspected she was in her sixties, and she had that tell-tale twinkle in the eye that always tantalised me. These twinklers had what I was after, so when she invited Eileen and me to her Canterbury home one evening about fourteen years ago, I went gladly.
'We've a man called John Anderson from Scotland speaking,' she said.
Well speak he did. I've never seen anyone so relaxed. He sat there explaining that he didn't live this Christian life, Christ lived it instead.' He used to kneel by his bed at night and feel sorrowful for his sins; instead he said he now walked in holiness. He took a cigarette from his pack and lit it up, turned to the assembled company and asked, 'Any questions?'
Any questions?!! If he had suggested an orgy he couldn't have caused more impact. There were several of my evangelical friends in the room and the backs of their necks were nigh purple with rage. One man began, 'Every night I kneel down and confess all my sins . . .'
'Must be a miserable existence,' John commented with some concern.
'You don't keep sinning?!' 'You smoke?!' The questions came thick and fast. In spite of all their biblical knowledge about God not looking on the outer appearance but on the heart, they seemed obsessed by John's three inch tube of tobacco. In Hungary, I recalled, some of the finest Christians I've met smoked quite freely, and gave their lives in martyrdom freely also. The Germans drank wine without condemnation, and the American ladies wore make-up (what a stir Billy Graham's wife caused when she arrived in this country back in the fifties!)
'What about you, Maurice? How are you coping?' It was that still small voice inside. I admitted I was confused, and stayed behind for question time, while Eileen went home to relieve the babysitter. I was asking God to show me the truth, for it seemed the speaker was on one end of a spiritual see-saw and most of his hearers on the other. I was rushing up and down the plank, unable to settle either end. I felt the Lord was asking me if I could accept new light, even if it meant losing some of the friends I'd had for years. Although the connection eluded me, I said 'yes', and the Holy Spirit spoke more clearly in response than I'd heard him speak for years.

'You're dead, Maurice,'he said, and I instantly
knew I was.
Nothing ever happens to me by halves. It was as if I'd been groping about in the dark for years and suddenly all the house lights came full on. This was evidently to do with freedom from sin, because the contents of a verse from Romans seven planted themselves plainly in my mind: 'But if I do that I
would not ... it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwells in me." No more I! (Mistakenly I thought I had seen I was dead to the law also, but that was to come years later and after what seemed like reservoirs full of tears and lorryloads of anguish.)
This unlikely scripture was used to ram home the 'no more I' emphasis. It came simply as a direct revelation to my spirit, sealing the fact that I was dead.
I knew I didn't have to wrestle with sin anymore. The more I sinned, the more grace abounded.' But who wanted to sin anyway? Should I just go and have a good old sin-up in order to experience more grace? After all, He who is forgiven most, loves most! No, I found myself with Paul saying, 'God forbid'; or, more accurately with his modern translator J. B. Phillips when he penned, 'What a ghastly thought!'
Oh, what an emancipation. I bounded home to my wife; it was by now very late and she was in bed. In my elation I woke her up and shared my discovery.
'I'm dead! I'm dead!' echoed round the bedroom. She obviously wondered what it was all about, for I had never looked so much alive! Eileen reminded ,me that I had been preaching this truth from Romans for ten years. What was so different now? I just had to reply,
'I know, dear, but it's true!'
For years I had been telling myself it was true because it was in the bible and The Normal Christian Life.
'I'd like to run down the streets of Canterbury and tell everyone,' I said on waking next morning. We realised together, lying there in bed, that these
were exactly the words Watchman Nee had used when he had received the same revelation. Only with him it had been Shanghai, and considerably earlier on in his pilgrimage. Now I was free, really free from all those desperate attempts to stop sinning. I didn't live anymore, it was Christ that lived in me. That old accusing nagging self was dead and buried. Not only had my sins been carried away two thousand years ago, but so had 1. Jesus had not only dealt with the fruit, but with the root of the trouble. I had sinned because I was a sinner, and not the other way round. Now the sinner was dead.
It was not long before I was in trouble with my friends.
'You are so heavenly-minded, you'll be no earthly use!'
'You have to do your part you know.' 'You have to be responsible .. .'
On and on it went until finally I was labelled an antinomian. Until then I had jokingly half-thought that described a particular aversion to garden gnomes, but now I knew better. It is a relief to know that such an eminent scholar as Dr. Martin Lloyd-Jones has declared that anyone preaching the true good news of grace was sure to be called an antinomian, or one who uses the gospel as an excuse to sin. I'm sure glad the Apostle Paul didn't feel bound to add in a bit of self-help bad news to make sure his contemporaries didn't go off into licence. If they wanted to use their freedom as an occasion to fulfil their fleshly desires, then do so they must, with dire consequences; but he stressed primarily, 'It is for freedom that Christ has set us free!''
These friends of mine were serious. They really felt I had to fight to resist sin, to grit my teeth and stick at this Christian grind. Their actual words didn't go this far, but their attitudes did. They had no alternative but to try to stop sinning; failing time and again, then keep getting forgiveness. I'd crept further along the other end of the see-saw than that. I tried to explain that 'by myself (in this area) I can do nothing'. All I was capable of doing was 'yielding' 11 to Christ within. These dear friends seemed to have the ability to make even the give-up type of words, like 'yield', take on a massive personal responsibility. Gradually many began to refer to me as 'off the rails' and to edge me out of their company. Moving from doctrine to experience had proved a costly step and I guess it often is. Anyway, I would not be put off. I was going to trust God to keep me from sin.
O.B.H. (Old Brother Holloway)had been right again when he had caught me worrying one day. As I trudged along the Deal seafront early one morning with those two ungodly perpendicular lines creasing my forehead, he crept up behind me and whispered,
'It's perfectly safe to trust the Lord, old boy' And so it is.
This was a major blow against all those demons of false doctrine who had been successfully harassing me into trying to do what Jesus had already done. As far as I was concerned, he had freed me from both the guilt and the power of sin: I am dead to sin and alive to Christ;" I was crucified with him; I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. Thank goodness there are not two natures within me fighting for the upper hand. I am a container for the living God." I used to contain the spirit of my original father, the devil.'

I now contain the spirit of my new father, God. I'm glad I started where I was, in all my confusion, and went up to Dorrie Brooking's home with all the ensuing controversy.
From time to time, as a new creation, sin may penetrate my outer defences and get into my flesh and soul realm, but never deep into the depth of the spirit realm – that's where I am entirely new. Once gain a foothold and, of course, Satan makes a great fuss and starts to argue that 'The old man is alive again' or 'you never were crucified with Christ" or you would not be behaving like this'; but we know he is a liar 17 and can quickly send him packing. Sin 'dwelling in us' (taking up a dwelling or a temporary residence) is quite a different matter to having a sinful nature.
As usual, I thought I'd arrived and Jesus would be here by the weekend. Maurice has had revelation And will have no more problems! Well, it hasn't been quite like that you can be sure, but the impact of that wonderful revelation has never left me during the many following years. What I know now is that I was finally in the good of Romans six. I was dead to sin; no more effort in that direction; but I had a long way to go before I could say the same of Romans seven – before being dead to trying to serve God," and trying to be an effectual Christian was a reality.
Freed from worrying about sin, now I was to turn my full attention on 'growing up in Christ'. More effort! And that's what the last fourteen years have been about. It was subtle, and painful, and doubtless all part of the divine plan to get me across the wilderness and up into the promised land. Like the Israelites, I seemed to have turned a few days'
journey into years of misery, and he has been there in it all. I realise now that Jesus 'lured' me into the wilderness that I might come out 'leaning on my beloved', but there was no awareness of that during the troubled years.
Are you just a little perplexed by the ups and downs, the winding route? Join the club. I've been perplexed for years and according to his testimony to the Corinthians, so was Paul, for he openly stated, 'We are perplexed.' We're in good company. I've a large shelf in my life and on it I place all the things I don't understand. From time to time, I take some of them down and review them. Some go back up, some go out, and some of them I am able to receive into my life. I cannot believe everything now. There is a time for everything and group pressure from others, or trying to keep up with the spiritual Jones' from my side, will only mean an abortive birth of the truth in me, with all the attendant traumas that follow in its wake. I want to go on, I want to be changed into all the Lord has for me, but I'm all right where I am too. In fact I shall probably never go on to be all that I desire to be until I've fully accepted that where I am is all right. So let's stay perplexed, if need be, and live with things we don't understand. We're running full stretch; let's first maintain our form and not try to go faster than we're capable of, that's the way to get our best time, and if running isn't your sport I'm sure you can find another analogy.

How Well Did I understand grace before I understood grace by Paul Ellis

Have you ever seen those Magic Eye 3D pictures that look random at first glance but then reveal a hidden picture? Maybe there’s a group of you looking and someone says, “Wow – look at that! It’s a ship!” Then another person sees it and now they’re both describing the picture to you. But try as you might you just can’t see it. They try to encourage you. “Look – it’s right there. It’s huge!” But still you can’t see it. You’re starting to think there’s no picture at all and they’re all deluded when suddenly, revelation comes and a ship appears! If you’re like me and you’re usually the last person to see these things, you’ll no doubt embarrass yourself at this point by shouting, “I see it!”

That’s how it was for me with grace.

I knew people who looked into the Bible and saw radical grace but I didn’t. Sure, there were pockets of grace but there was a whole lot of other stuff as well. Then one day, revelation came and I saw Grace! He’s right there on every page and in every book! How can you miss Him? He’s huge! I now find myself reading old scriptures with new eyes and saying, “Look! This is speaking of Jesus! This is all about Him – I never saw this before.” Now that I’ve seen Him once I see Him everywhere. I was saved decades ago and I have always loved God with my whole heart. But when I got this revelation of His amazing grace, it was like being born again, again.

A friend recently asked me, “How did you understand grace before you understood grace?” Here’s my answer: I thought I understood grace perfectly well. For as long as I can remember I’ve considered myself a testimony of His grace. But when Grace Himself came into focus, I was floored. I realized that I had barely understood grace at all. Looking back I can identify nine signs that showed I did not fully grasp the grace of God.

1. I understood that I was saved by grace but not that I was kept by grace

I had received Christ by faith and without doing a thing, but I was not continuing in Him by that same faith (Col 2:6). Although I would never have said it, I had taken out a little works insurance. Faith is a positive response to what God has done, but I liked to initiate things. And so my walk became “do, do, do,” rather than it’s “done, done, done.” There was no rest, only performance anxiety. There was always another meeting to lead, another plank of truth to teach, another stray sheep to gather. I thought this was normal. I could get excited about the idea of being saved and saving others, but I was not drawing from the wells of salvation with joy (Is 12:3). I was constantly stressed and I treated grace as grease for my engine.

2. I felt obliged to serve

Jesus had done everything for me, what would I do for Him? Of course I didn’t use the word “indebted” – that would’ve alerted me to the poverty of my theology – but much of what I did was motivated by a sense of obligation. I thus cheapened the exceeding riches of His grace (Eph 1:7) by trying to pay Him back for His priceless gift. Inevitably this shifted my focus from Him and His work to me and mine. Instead of being impressed by what He had done, I was trying to impress Him with what I was doing.

3. I motivated others using carrots and sticks

Because my own motives were screwed up it was inevitable that I would preach rewards and punishments to others. Do good, get good; do bad, get bad. At the same time as I was preaching against legalism I was putting people under law! My gospel was like an ash-tray – full of “buts”! God loves you but… Jesus died for you but… God’s gifts always came with a price to pay. But grace is free – you can either receive it or reject it but the moment you start charging for it, you’ve missed it. There’s only one motive in the kingdom and that is love. The Son of Man didn’t come to threaten us, judge us, or scare us, but to demonstrate love (Rm 5:8). I no longer believe that evangelism means scaring the hell out of people. The good news that the world needs to hear is that God is good and He loves us. The new covenant of grace is the formal expression of His unfailing love for us (Is 54:10).

4. I saw myself as a servant rather than a son

My identity was in the things I did rather than in my Father. I saw myself as working for God (a noble cause!) rather than doing the works of God. I would not have said I was justified by what I did for I knew that grace and works don’t mix (Rms 11:6). Yet I was mixing grace with works like there was no tomorrow! But here’s the strange thing. Even though I preached servanthood more than sonship, whenever there was a crisis I was quick to relate to Him as Papa. It was only when I was strong and healthy that I was seduced by the religious need to do something for God. Happily, there were many crises!

5. I kept asking God to provide things that He’s already provided

I knew enough about grace to approach Him boldly in my hour of need, but I didn’t know that He has already given us everything we need for life and godliness (2 Pet 1:3). If someone was sick I would ask for healing when I should’ve just healed them (Mt 10:8). I would ask for more faith instead of living by the faith of the Son of God (Ga 2:20). Like the prodigal’s older brother I felt that God would bless me as I did my part. I didn’t realize that I was already blessed, deeply loved, and highly favored. In my ignorance I wasted a whole lot of time doing a whole lot of nothing. I thought I was being active and fruitful but in reality I was passive and faithless. God had already come but there I was face down asking Him to come again.

6. I was more sin-conscious than Christ-conscious

Like many Christians I was afraid of sin (keep it out of the camp!) and I was not known as a friend of sinners. I defined sin as bad works only and I taught that the solution to sin was repentance. I had read that the grace of God teaches us to say no to ungodliness (Tit 2:12), but I wasn’t quite sure how that worked. So when preaching against sin I used inferior incentives like fear and punishment that led, at best, to temporary, will-powered changes in behavior. I emphasized what people must do (repent!) more that what God has already done (forgiven us!). I kept the focus on us when it should’ve been on Him and my preaching was powerless as a result. If anyone failed to experience victory over sin, I just figured they were unacquainted with God’s transforming grace – even though I had given them none.

7. I always tried to do the right thing

Someone under grace says, “I trust Him from start to finish. He will lead me in the right path” (Ps 23:3). But in subtle ways I preferred rules to relationship. What I craved were clear Biblical guidelines for living. I thought I was choosing good, but then so did Adam. We both had an independent spirit that led us to eat from the wrong tree. I felt particularly good when people came to me for guidance. I thought I was giving them wisdom when really I should just have got out of the way and taught them to lean on Jesus (Jn 10:27).

8. I had a stronger relationship with the written word than with the Living Word

I did not read the scriptures to find Jesus (Lk 24:27) but to learn, what should I do? I read indiscriminately and was often confused by scriptures that seemed to contradict each other. My solution was to go for balance: A little of this, a little of that, for all scripture is profitable. But by failing to filter what I read through the finished work of the cross, I unwittingly poisoned myself. I was mixing the death-dealing words of the law with the life-giving words of grace. Although I was zealous for the Lord, in truth I was lukewarm. I was neither under the stone-cold reality of the law nor walking in the red-hot heat of His unconditional love and grace.

9. I knew I was righteous, but I didn’t feel righteous.

When I stumbled I would more readily confess my sins to God than allow the Holy Spirit to remind me of the gift of His righteousness to me (Jn 16:10). I knew I was a new creation (2 Cor 5:17), but in many ways I acted and spoke as if I was merely an improved creation. I thought honesty about my struggles was the key to getting more grace. But I probably would not have struggled so much in the first place if I had just learned to see myself as God sees me – redeemed, righteous, and holy.

I am convinced that grace comes by revelation. If you don’t yet see it this post may sound like the ramblings of a man who is unbalanced. (Thank God I am! I’m done with balance!) If you do see Grace, then right now you will be resonating like a tuning fork. So let me finish with a few words for those of you in the first group. Please be patient with those of us who are leaping for joy. Don’t walk away from the Magic Eye picture scowling, “I can’t see it, there’s nothing there.” Just keep looking! Grace really is standing right there in front of you. And He’s huge!