JESUS IS BUILDING HIS CHURCH

Another video from Torben that will encourage you as to what God is doing to build His church. Listen to the testimonies of three young people who were sent out as Jesus sent His disciples with no money, no two pairs of shoes. They were to be dependent upon God as provider, and their instruction was to find a person of peace in the town who would invite them into their home. Who is the person of peace – one whom the Holy Spirit is already at work in their life. Jesus told them to stay in that at home and bless them and train them. The stories are powerful and an inspiration for us all to do likewise.

WHAT ON EARTH ARE WE HERE FOR?

Dave Benson gave this presentation “What on Earth are we here for?” at Movement Day in Sydney, a gathering of Christian leaders interested in impacting their community for Jesus Christ. Most people there recognised that institutional church for the most part is not equipping the saints to do the work Jesus commanded us all to do.

You will need 16 minutes to view the video and I would encourage you to share it with other church leaders. Time is short let’s make sure we are in the centre of God’s will for our lives. Start living eternal now.

ARE YOU IN A CHURCH LIKE THIS? IF NOT FIND ONE.

I have across another great sermon from Francis Chan. He starts in Revelation and its importance for these “last days” including sound teaching on the “Mark of the Beast of Revelation 13:16-18, but he concludes with information on how they are doing church. It lines up with the church we read about in the Book of Acts: small groups that require all participants to use their Holy Spirit given gifts, no buildings, no paid pastors and those small groups giving rise to more small groups – disciples making disciples. The centrality and inerrancy of Scripture is KEY.

CHURCHES THAT WILL TRANSFORM COMMUNITIES – Part 2

In order for kingdom culture to rule and reign on the earth, we must repent as a church for a mindset that doesn’t foster kingdom culture. We are citizens of heaven on earth, but we must act like it. At Pentecost, we were reminded that Jesus made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to indwell all born again believers to empower them to do the things He is calling us to do.

We are living so far beneath our potential. As the church, if we don’t begin to live in the knowledge of His empowerment and guidance, then culture will not change around us. We have been given the Holy Spirit so God Himself can effect the changes He wants to make manifest in the earth, but we have to truly believe and act on it.

Repent simply means to change your mind. The church is not walking in the authority of God and His Word. We as a church are constantly submitting to the things of the world and the strongholds of the enemy that come from the second heavens, yet He has already raised us up and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms (Ephesians 2:6).

We need to step out into the world and use the gifts of the Spirit as Paul instructed. The church needs to work in John 17 unity of purpose to build His Kingdom on earth.

My book Living Eternal Now – Empowered by the Holy Spirit is a useful resource and is available as an ebook on Amazon.

“For as we have many members in one body, but all the members do not have the same function, so we, being many, are one body in Christ, and individually members of one another. Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, let us use them: if prophecy, let us prophesy in proportion to our faith; or ministry, let us use it in our ministering; he who teaches, in teaching; he who exhorts, in exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness.” Romans 12:4

CHURCH AS JESUS PRAYED FOR IN JOHN 17

Film “The Last Reformation – The Life”

It is now available for everyone to watch on YouTube for free. You can see the movie with subtitles in around 30 different languages. Since the premiere in Holland, a little more than a month ago, there have been over 1000 screenings all over the world and the response has been amazing. People really loved the movie and after watching the movie many people experienced healing, deliverance, repented, got baptised in water and received the Holy Spirit.

Now it is time to share it with everyone out there, so they can see church  as God intended.

 

WAKE UP CHURCH! LEARN FROM DR JORDAN PETERSON

True Arrow Events Group is an Australian professional events business with a strong focus on mental health and rescuing our culture from the chaos. They have sponsored Dr Jordan Peterson’s speaking tour in Australia. He is speaking to packed out audiences of young men. What is his message that draws such attendance?

A professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, Dr Jordan Peterson shot to global prominence when he objected to a university edict that staff refer to students by their preferred gender pronouns. For Peterson, the issue was one of compelled speech. He will not, he says, be told what he must say, much less by people who are driven by Marxist and postmodernist motives.

His YouTube channel is now approaching 1 million subscribers.

As Peterson takes the stage of his Sydney lecture, the auditorium erupts into a standing ovation fit for a hero of our times. But there is no showmanship here. As the audience resumes their seats and silence sets in, Peterson begins hesitantly. He is softly spoken, cautious, almost diminutive and yet these people are listening. I mean really listening. Nearly every one of the packed-out audience is leaning forward, totally focused, eagerly hanging on his every word. It remains this way for well over two hours.

“I like to get to the bottom of things,” declares Dr Peterson. “I mean all the way to the bottom, until you hit bedrock you can rely on.”

Peterson’s message is one of truth and meaning. In particular, he tells his audiences how to live in light of these things. It is a message of personal responsibility and self-betterment, but one that understands the vacuous postmodernism in which today’s young people are steeped, successfully tearing it down and building up some meaning in its place.

The fact that his message is literally taking the Western world by storm is testament to how hollowed out and emptied of substance we have become.

The young men in this room have been raised on a diet of video games, porn, and binge-watched television series’. Many of them are fatherless. Their postmodern education has given them nothing firm upon which to stand in order to understand the world. They hear that their masculinity is toxic, their deep desires to protect and provide are wrong or evil, they are rapists-in-waiting, and they need to get out of the way of the women in their lives.

They have been left with no idea how to deal with themselves on almost every level.

Now here is a man – a father figure – who literally tells them to clean their room, stand straight with their shoulders back, “lift heavy rocks” (take responsibility), be brave, change the world, get married, be good fathers and husbands, seek truth…

They’ve never heard anything like it. And they love it.

Read the comments on Peterson’s YouTube videos. Young men in their droves are writing, “Jordan Peterson is literally my dad.” “Dr Peterson – I made my bed this morning.” One YouTube clip shows Peterson choking back tears as he tells of the young men like these who write to him.

Significantly, Christians are flocking to Peterson. Though not a Christian himself, he speaks a language that we are instantly drawn to because it relies so heavily upon Christian principles. He even teaches the Bible in his lectures.

But listening carefully to Peterson, I couldn’t help thinking of the Apostle Paul’s sermon to the Athenians on Mars Hill (Acts 17:22-34). They, too, sought bedrock.

Many of them great Greek philosophers, the men who Paul addressed were engaged in one of the greatest quests for truth and ultimate meeting. The Western cultural heritage bears witness to their work. But they had not gone deep enough. Theirs was a drilling expedition that had stopped too soon.

Paul saw, as he walked through their city, altars and idols to many gods (v23). So many of these represented realities these people had discovered – gods who imparted art and music, fertility, victory in battle. Gods of the sea, of fire, of beauty, and so forth. But surely there is something even greater, that yet lies behind all of this?

Peterson is the same. The foundations upon which he relies are the “archetypes” of psychological theory. These are said to be deep, enduring truths, held in the collective unconscious of societies throughout the ages. They find expression in narratives, religions, social norms, psychological realities, and so forth. They exist because they are true, though often we know not how or why.

In his lectures, the Bible is held up as a text in which we find the paramount expression of some of these archetypes.

Jesus, says Peterson, shows us the deep truth that, if we bear the burden of our own vulnerability to hardship and injustice willingly and without complaint, then we will be able to transcend it.

Zion, the Heavenly City on a hill, tells us that we can struggle under the weighty burdens of our human brokenness in a way that carries us upwards until we reach a place where they will be no more.

The Sermon on the Mount tells us that, no matter the pain and difficulty of our own circumstances; no matter our lack of privilege, moral character is attainable by all.

Again, I say: surely there is something even greater than archetypes?

The realities of our world are not true because they spring from Greek myth, or even from archetypes that may be expressed by those myths and other sources, like the Bible.

As Paul once said, these things are true because of God who is yet unknown to Peterson and so many of his disciples. The true and living God – the “God who made the world and everything in it, being Lord of heaven and earth” (v24). God who made the bedrock truth which lies behind the archetypes. The One “in whom we live and move and have our being” (v28) – by whom we can be transformed to become the people of character that Peterson would have his followers become.

In many ways, I felt like I was sitting in a modern-day Areopagus (v22) on Monday night. The great philosopher stood before us, leading us on our quest for truth and meaning. An audience made hungry by hollowed out, postmodern secularism, hangs on every word. Questions follow.

It would have been fitting had there been an altar to an unknown God (v23) in the corner. The room does not know it, but He is the answer to all their questions – those they have asked, and those they do not even know.

He is the bedrock they seek. The Logos by whom all things have been made, who is the light and life of men (John 1:3-4).

There is a hungry, needy, confused generation growing up in Australia. The Dr Jordan Peterson’s of this world are feeding them something, but I can’t help thinking: why not the church?

If it is a message of truth and meaning we crave, then this increasingly unknown God, revealed in the pages of scripture, is the answer because He is true, and He has given all things their meaning.

Extracted from Martin Ile’s blog – acl.org.au

THE REMNANT CHURCH IN THE LAST DAYS

There is always a true remnant left during times of apostasy and persecution.  It is the surviving vestige of the body of Christ that remains true to biblical principles in spite of cultural opposition. Elijah the prophet found out that God always preserved a remnant, by His grace, that held true to the faith.  1 Kings 19:18 “Yet I have reserved seven thousand in Israel, all whose knees have not bowed to Baal, and every mouth that has not kissed him.” and Romans 11:5 “Even so then, at this present time there is a remnant according to the election of grace.”

Characteristics of the “remnant church”:

1. More entrenched in the word of God as the world opposes them.

The more resistance they face, the remnant church will become more resolute in their faith. Instead of compromising the message of the Word, they may change their method of presenting the gospel but will never consider watering down biblical ethics, values and the message of the cross of Jesus Christ.

2. Vilified in society.

The remnant church was merely unpopular but has now reached the point of being hated. It is very apparent that Christian values are constantly mocked, such as by shows like The View, The Late Show With Steven ColbertReal Time With Bill Maher and the like.

3. Preach counter-cultural biblical messages.

Remnant pastors will continue to preach the gospel of Christ, which always has vast implications related to human sexuality, the sanctity of human life, the definition of marriage and family and such, albeit they apply the gospel to cultural issues in a wiser, more winsome way. The remnant church will remain faithful in preaching the gospel in spite of the backlash they will receive from church attendees and the public.

4. Produce committed Christians and make disciples.

Liberal, progressive, compromising churches are shrinking, while conservative evangelical churches are still growing in numbers but the big growth is happening in “house churches” that are committed to growing disciples. It takes great sacrifice to believe in Jesus in the midst of hostile environments (consider the Christians still living under persecution in Iraq, Syria, Iran, Northern Nigeria, Sudan and similar regions.) Compromising churches produce wimpy believers and the remnant church produces committed disciples.

5. Experience the presence and power of God.

The first century church was a hated minority, yet great power and the presence of God accompanied its ministry! (Acts 3-5.) The more difficult it is to confess the truth of the gospel, the more God shows off His glory! Where sin abounds, grace does more abound (Rom. 5:20).

 

6. Excluded from mainstream secular evangelical churches and denominations.

Presently, it is still not as easy for the average person to discern between remnant and compromising churches. As the heat gets turned up more and more, compromising pastors and churches will choose to accommodate culture and compromise Scripture, thus making a clearer distinction between the remnant and mainstream church.

7. The remnant church will impact the world for Jesus Christ.

God allows difficult circumstances to weed out the un-committed followers from the committed followers (Gideon’s army of 300 in Judges 7.)

As it was during the days of Elijah, the early church period, and the time of the confessing remnant church in Nazi Germany, only the remnant has what it takes to bring about change! Only the remnant church has the conviction, the sacrifice, the devotion, the endurance, the message and the power to change the world. The compromising church will enjoy their temporary popularity in the present time, but those who are wise and turn many people unto righteousness will shine as the stars forever and ever (Dan. 12:3).

8. The remnant church will endure, whilst the compromising church will experience the wrath of God.

In Malachi 3:16-18 God promises that He has written a book of remembrance for those who speak of Him and fear His Name. The reward for them (the remnant) is that He will spare them as a man spares his son. The implications of this are vast. Whilst the children of the compromising church will probably become agnostic, the children of the remnant will carry the torch of Christ to the next generation, which will increase in strength and do greater works (John 14:12). The remnant church goes from strength to strength and faith to faith (Rom. 1:17). Meanwhile, the compromising church goes from strength to weakness and from faith to apostasy and eventually into oblivion.

I pray God will help us remain faithful to the end and participate in the remnant church!

adapted from article by Joseph Mattera in Ministry To-day – Characteristics of the Modern-Day remnant Church.

EXTREMES OF CHRISTIANITY: WHICH TRULY EXPRESSES JESUS EXAMPLE?

Simple missional forms of church were normal in the first century – and are proving relevant for today. Here are some insights on the early church taken from the New Testament. 1. All NT churches met in homes, 2. There were multiple churches in each community that loved on its people, 3. All members of the church participated, 4. Church was not a building Christians went to or a denomination they belonged to. Christians were church in their community. 5. Households provided natural leadership for home churches, 6. Paul did appoint ‘overseers’ to foster these networks. These were mature believers, not given to power seeking – but encouragers, able to facilitate disciple making and the planting of new churches, 7. They were relational communities – eating, serving, sharing. Christians shared in Sabbath fellowship, Communion, Scripture reading and prayers. There is no tension over culture or ethnicity. 8. They were ‘zero dollar’ – but high cost church plants. First century believers shared faith with family, friends and neighbours, inviting them to their homes. High cost because it is a sacrifice of time and energy to share faith with family and social networks. Offerings help with rent, food for someone who has lost their job or a struggling family. Maybe to assist school expenses for a single mum or support another church start up. 9. Church structures are simple and Holy Spirit directed. No hierarchical structures, 10. Churches easily reproducible. Disciples made disciples and baptised them and in turn they made disciples. 11. They are the best environment to hand on faith.

Developed from article by Peter Rosenfeldt. Check out his website http://www.newlifechurch.com

PASTOR IN INDIA

A pastor in India who was known for long five- to six-hour prayer sessions was found beaten, tortured and hung to death from the rafters of his church, parishioners said. The murder has deeply shocked the congregation.

Morning Star News reported on Sunday that the body of pastor Gideon Periyaswamy of Maknayeem Church in southern India was found early Saturday morning. His death comes after he had complained about Hindu extremists.

Pastor Azariah Reuben, a close friend of the 43-year-old victim, said that Periyaswamy converted from Hinduism 25 years ago, and has served as pastor in Adayachery for more than 12 years, becoming known as a “prayer warrior.”

“The local Hindus were not happy with growing Christianity,” Reuben said. “They had several times tried to stop the ministry.”

PASTOR IN THE U.S.A

Kenneth Copeland’s ministry announced last Friday the acquisition of the “debt free” jet, which hit the market with a $36 million price tag in 1998. The ultra-long-range business jet can accommodate up to four crew members and 14 passengers in an executive configuration, according to Gulfstream. It is unclear how much Copeland’s ministry paid for the jet but A V Buyer says they currently have the lowest priced Gulfstream V on the market priced at just under $6 million.

“Father we thank you so and I’m asking you now sir, according to your word, bless our partners beyond measure. Yes, in the name of Jesus. For you said in 2002, ‘I’m sending you new partners who are very strong financially and they will obey me.

And I will increase your longtime partners and they will obey me,” Copeland, 81, said in a prayer of thanksgiving for the new jet.

“And you will not come short. And you will not fail. And you will not lack. And you will not come behind and you will not be diminished. Praise God,” he said of his donors.

 

IN THE CHAOS, THE LIGHT OF CHRIST SHINES BRIGHTLY

Brandon Sanders, assistant pastor at Powerhouse Church in Katy, Texas reports on how their church responded to the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey.

Epic Flooding Inundates Houston After Hurricane Harvey

Our whole region has been devastated by the lingering rains and flooding of Hurricane Harvey, but the response of our people has been amazing. Powerhouse Church is built on the foundation of a Gospel lived, not just a Gospel preached. For 21 years we have been in Katy, Texas and any time there has been a need we have answered the call, Hurricane Harvey is no different. Members of our church and community made sure their families were okay and then sprung into action to make sure others were safe as well. With over 20 inches of rain, 9 straight hours of down pour, the water rose swiftly and many were overtaken in moments. Calls overwhelmed the emergency lines and we jumped into action via social media and text mobilizing teams alongside the City of Katy officials for shelter and evacuation. We housed over 200 people in our facilities overnight and mobilized rescue teams for high water evacuations. We are now a resource center working hand in hand with other local Pastors, churches, and government agencies to provide resources and relief for all those in need. From bass boats, diapers, dry clothes, high risk rescues or just simple prayers and words of encouragement.

It is a beautiful thing to watch the heart of God in action as his people selflessly put their lives aside for the sake of others. This how we witness for our King; we stand strong in perilous times, we remain faithful in times of fear, we are courageous in the face of danger, and we allow love for our fellow man to move us into action and watch ordinary people do extraordinary things.

BUILDING CHURCH GOD’S WAY

Church do you love your community? How is that expressed? Are you truly serving Jesus with your resources?

Build buildings that don’t load your church with debt and can serve your community. Is this what we see happening today?

God has raised up Dan Cook, architect and construction company owner and founder of Building God’s Way  to serve the church in these last days. Listen to several pastors talk about  church buildings that will serve Christ and the community.