BEING OBEDIENT TO GOD

For Christians sometimes obedience comes before understanding.

To enable us, Jesus made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to indwell our Spirit to be our counsellor, teacher and comforter.

Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again.’ The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.John 3:5-8

In my own life, many times, I am confronted by the Holy spirit prompting me to do something I would not ordinarily do and when I am obedient and do it, I discover that God had orchestrated all aspects of the the event, circumstances, people and location and it invariably did one or more of the following things: helped others, proved God’s existence and brought glory to Him and His Word.

Even before Jesus made it possible for believers to be born again and receive the Holy Spirit, God was working with people like Abraham who by faith was prepared to be obedient . Think about it, Abraham could have had no understanding of why he was called to offer up Isaac as a sacrifice. This is trusting God to the uttermost.

By faith Abraham, when he was tested, offered up Isaac, and he who had received the promises was in the act of offering up his only son, of whom it was said, “Through Isaac shall your offspring be named.” He considered that God was able even to raise him from the dead, from which, figuratively speaking, he did receive him back.Hebrews 11:17-19

What did God promise Abraham because of his obedience:

By myself I have sworn, declares the Lord, because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, I will surely bless you, and I will surely multiply your offspring as the stars of heaven and as the sand that is on the seashore. And your offspring shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in your offspring shall all the nations of the earth be blessed, because you have obeyed my voiceGenesis 22:16-18

Long after Abraham had died the children of Abraham knew that:

Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.” Joshua 21:45

Jesus now calls us to do the following things, which in the natural you would not do, but by the power of the Holy Spirit you can do.

But I say to you who hear, Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you. To one who strikes you on the cheek, offer the other also, and from one who takes away your cloak do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who begs from you, and from one who takes away your goods do not demand them back. And as you wish that others would do to you, do so to them.Luke 6:27-31

Are you being obedient to the Holy Spirit’s leading each day of your life? Are you living eternal now?

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NINTH OF AV IS PROOF GOD IS IN CONTROL

Yesterday the 9th of Av began, Tisha B’Av, a sad day in Jewish history, but surely evidence for the fact that God is in control of history on His planet and that He judges nations.

  1. On the ninth of Av day 1445 BC, ten of the twelve spies sent by Moses to search the Promised Land came back with a negative report resulting in the Jews wandering 40 years in the wilderness.
  2. On the 9th of Av 586 BC the first temple was destroyed by the Babylonians.
  3. On the ninth of Av 70 AD the Second Temples was destroyed by the Romans.
  4. On the ninth of Av 1290 AD the Jews were expelled from England.
  5. On the Ninth of Av 1492 AD was the date designated for all Jews to leave Spain.
  6. On the ninth of Av 1941 AD, SS Commander Himmler formally received approval for the Final Solution.

If only the Jews, and our leaders for that matter, would read and obey the following Scripture:

When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among my people, if my people who are called by my name humble themselves, and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and heal their land.2 Chronicles 7:13-14

The Expulsion of the Jews from Spain (in the year 1492) by Emilio Sala Francés

Whilst the date these events occurred (ninth of Av) demonstrates God is in control of history. It also demonstrates the spiritual warfare that is raging on this planet as Satan strives to destroy God’s nation.

IS YOUR WORLDVIEW BASED ON A SOLID FOUNDATION?

William Kingdon Clifford was a philosopher who lived in England more than 150 years ago. He was not very well known because his life was cut short at age 33. His recently discovered essay entitled “The Ethics of Belief” is now receiving a great deal of interest. In this essay, written in 1877, Clifford says that it is a moral obligation to believe responsibly. We must base our beliefs on sufficient evidence that we have diligently investigated. He believed this to be of such great importance because beliefs influence one’s actions. They are foundational to life.

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Dr. Dallas Willard, former professor of philosophy at the University of Southern California, found that many of the students and scholars who considered themselves to be agnostic or atheist that he encountered on campus and in the world were guilty of what he called “irresponsible disbelief.” These bright men and women would often choose to disbelieve in something without any significant commitment to an investigation of that disbelief by way of sound reasoning and careful examination of the evidence. This is one of the great flaws in our human character. We stubbornly hold on to our beliefs because they generally reflect how we want life to be rather than how life actually is. For this reason, the evidence does not seem to matter.

Before he became a Christian, Dr. Francis Collins, Director of the National Institute of Health USA and Director of the momentous ENCODE project was in this category until he was challenged by one of his patients, She was dying but because she was a Christan had no fear of death. She asked Francis about what he believed.

Dr. Collins, you’ve been so kind as to listen to me and care for me and listen to me share with you about my faith. Tell me about your faith. Tell me what you believe.”

Collins reaction: “Nobody had ever asked me that question before, not like that, not in such a simple, sincere way. I realized I didn’t know the answer. I felt uneasy. I could feel my face flushing. I wanted to get out of there. The ice was cracking under my feet. All of a sudden, by this simple question, everything was a muddle.”

Collins had previously believed that Jesus and the stories of the Bible were nothing more than mere myths. As he studied the historical evidence, he was stunned at how well documented and how historically accurate the Bible is. He also saw a surprising fidelity of the transmission of the manuscripts that were passed down over the centuries. And, over time, Francis Collins, based on the accumulation of the evidence that he observed, concluded that God exists and that Jesus is the Son of God. He also concluded that most of the religious skeptics that he knew and that he meets today are just like he was. That is to say, they didn’t want to think about these things and never looked at any evidence, never drawing conclusions from the real evidence that was available.

If your an agnostic or atheist are you guilty of irresponsible disbelief?

Much of the above information was extracted from the excellent book Reflections on the Existence of God by Richard E Simmons 111

IRREFUTABLE EVIDENCE FOR DESIGN IN UNIVERSE

Eberlin’s book demonstrates that the currently available scientific knowledge increasingly points to the existence of a supreme being who carefully planned the universe and life. This breakthrough will revolutionize science in the years to come.

Two Nobel prize winners are happy to recommend Eberlin’s book to those interested in the chemistry of life. They state the author is well established in the field of chemistry and presents the current interest in biology in the context of chemistry. An interesting study of the part played by foresight in biology.
1. Sir John B. Gurdon, PhD, Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (2012), Co-Founder of The Gurdon Institute, University of Cambridge.
2. Brian David Josephson, PhD, Nobel Prize in Physics (1973),
Professor Emeritus of Physics, University of Cambridge

This book provides masterful information about teleology, an exciting and prominent scientific field that provides irrefutable evidence of foresight in nature. The arguments raised in the book are convincingly supported by incontestable and previously published experimental data, much of it gathered from prestigious scientific journals. Dr. Marcos Eberlin brilliantly makes use of his expertise, achieved in more than twenty five years applying mass spectrometry in assorted areas such as biochemistry, biology, and fundamental chemistry to outline a convincing case that will captivate even the more skeptical readers.

SEEING THE BIBLE AS GOD’S VIEW OF HISTORY

I do hope this account of the first five books of the Bible by RABBI ERIC TOKAJER will bring them alive for you as it did me.

The Bible is a history of the world from beginning to end, and that history is told over and over, one page at a time. Every word written adds more colour to the picture, and every phrase written provides more depth and contrast to help us see the fullness of the story as it is retold. To lay the foundation for what I am saying, let’s simply look at the first words of each of the five books of the Torah.

The book of Genesis begins with the words, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Gen. 1:1, TLV). So, Genesis begins by introducing us to GOD.

The book of Exodus begins with the words, “Now these are the names of the sons of Israel who came into Egypt with Jacob, every man with his family” (Ex. 1:1). ” Exodus begins with the word “and,” connecting us to the book of Genesis, which introduced us to GOD. Exodus introduces us to the children of Israel, who are in bondage because they went to Egypt.

The book of Leviticus begins again with the word “and.” “And the LORD called Moses and spoke to him from the tent of meeting, saying ..” (Lev. 1:1, MEV). The “and” connects Leviticus to Exodus and Genesis as the picture continues to be painted. In Leviticus, GOD calls Moses from inside of the Tent of Meeting while Moses is outside of the Tent of Meeting. We are introduced to a GOD who is inviting His people into His home.

At this point, we have been introduced to GOD. We have been introduced to His people in bondage in Egypt. We have been introduced to GOD calling to man.

The book of Numbers also begins with “and.” “And the LORD spoke to Moses in the wilderness of Sinai in the Tent of Meeting on the first day of the second month in the second year after they went out from the land of Egypt, saying” (Num. 1:1). The “and” in Numbers connects the book of Numbers to the book of Leviticus. In Leviticus, we are introduced to Moses as one who has entered GOD’s home.

So, in Genesis, we are introduced to GOD. In Exodus, we are introduce to GOD’s people in trouble/bondage. In Leviticus, we are introduced to a GOD who invites His people into His home. In Numbers, we are introduced to a GOD who has welcomed His people into His home.

The Book of Deuteronomy begins with the words, “These are the words which Moses spoke to all Israel on this side of the Jordan in the wilderness, in the plain opposite Suph, between Paran and Tophel and laban and Hazeroth and Dizahab” (Deut. 1:1). Deuteronomy, like Genesis, does not begin with the word “and” because it is the conclusion of the story being told in the Torah. What story, you may ask? The same story told with every word and every stroke of paint: the Gospel.

Genesis tells us about GOD. Exodus tells us we are in bondage. Leviticus tells us GOD wants us to dwell with Him. Numbers tell us how we dwell with Him. Deuteronomy tells us to tell others about Genesis through Numbers so they can participate in Deuteronomy themselves. You see, the Bible/Torah isn’t a bunch of commandments and a burden too heavy to carry.

The Bible/Torah is our history, yours and mine. Each word is a stroke of colour that introduces us over and over to GOD. And when we view it from the right perspective, we are impacted by the beauty and intricacy of the Good News in every word and phrase that GOD loves us so much that He wants to spend eternity with us.

ARE WE BLOCKING THE FLOW OF THE HOLY SPIRIT?

“Do not quench the Spirit.” 1 Thess. 5:19  “And do not grieve the Holy Spirit..” Ephes. 4:30

This testimony by J Lee Grady will challenge you. He was editor of Charisma Magazine for 11 years before he launched into full time Holy Spirit led ministry.

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A few years ago the Lord challenged me about my level of spiritual hunger. He showed me that even though I had stood in many prayer lines and repeatedly sung the words, “Lord, I want more of You,” I wasn’t as passionate for Him as I thought I was.

My church sponsored a conference on the Holy Spirit. At the close of one service, I was lying on the floor near the altar, asking God for another touch of His power. Several other people were kneeling at the communion rail and praying quietly for each other.

Suddenly I began to have a vision. In my mind I could see a large pipeline, at least eight feet in diameter. I was looking at it from the inside, and I could see a shallow stream of golden liquid flowing at the bottom. The oil in the giant pipe was only a few inches deep.

I began a conversation with the Lord.

“What are You showing me?” I asked.

“This is the flow of the Holy Spirit in your life,” He answered.

It was not an encouraging picture; it was pitiful! The capacity of the pipeline was huge—enough to convey tons of oil. Yet only a trickle was evident.

Then I noticed something else: Several large valves were lined up along the sides of the pipeline, and each of them was shut.

I wanted to ask the Lord why there was so little oil in my life. Instead I asked: “What are those valves, and why are they closed?”

His answer stunned me. “Those represent the times when you said no. Why should I increase the level of anointing if you aren’t available to use it?”

The words stung. When had I said no to God? I was overcome with emotion and began to repent. I recalled different excuses I had made and limitations I had placed on how He could use me.

I had told Him that I didn’t want to be in front of crowds because I wasn’t a good speaker. I had told Him that if I couldn’t preach like T.D. Jakes does, then I didn’t want to speak at all. I had told Him that I didn’t want to address certain issues or go certain places. I had placed so many cumbersome conditions on my obedience.

After a while I began to see something else in my spirit. It was a huge crowd of African men, assembled as if they were in a large arena. And I saw myself preaching to them.

Nobody had ever asked me to minister in Africa, but I knew at that moment I needed to surrender my will. All I could think to say was the prayer of Isaiah: “Here am I. Send me.” (Is. 6:8). I told God I would go anywhere and say anything He asked. I laid my insecurities, fears and inhibitions on the altar.

Three years later I stood at a pulpit inside a sports arena in Port Harcourt, Nigeria. As I addressed a crowd of 8,000 pastors who had assembled there for a training conference, I remembered seeing their faces in that vision. And I realised that God had opened a new valve in my life that day when I was on the floor of my church. Because I had said yes, He had increased the flow of His oil so that it could reach thousands.

Many of us have a habit of asking for more of God’s power and anointing. But what do we use it for? He doesn’t send it just to make us feel good.

We love to go to the altar for a touch from God. We love the goose bumps, the shaking, the emotion of the moment. We love to fall on the floor and experience one filling after another. But I am afraid some of us are soaking up the anointing but not giving it away. Our charismatic experience has become inward and selfish. We get up off the floor and live like we want to.

Pentecost is not a party. If we truly want to be empowered, we must offer God an unqualified yes. We must crucify every no. We must become a conduit to reach others, not a reservoir with no outlet.

Search your own heart today and see if there are any closed valves in your pipeline. As you surrender them, the locked channels will open, and His oil will flow out to a world that craves to know He is real.

MOVIE “THE ATHEIST DELUSION” – DESTROYS ATHEISM WITH ONE SCIENTIFIC QUESTION

Evangelist Ray Comfort’s “The Atheist Delusion” movie, claims that it’s able to “destroy atheism with one scientific question.” It is set to premiere at the Ark Encounter, a life-sized Noah’s Ark theme park in Kentucky.

“From the start, we were concerned that people wouldn’t take seriously a movie that ‘destroys atheism with one scientific question.’ But it does exactly that by scientifically confirming the existence of God. Having a respected, scientifically based organisation like Answers in Genesis being willing to premiere it is such an honour,” Comfort said.

Thousands have already viewed the movie within the first two days of its pre-release as a paid download, but on October 22, its official release date, it will be streamed live from the Ark.

Comfort said, “This film isn’t likely to convince the average proud and closed-minded atheist.” But hopefully, countless others who are open-minded, will be convinced by seeing the irrefutable proof for the existence of God.

The best-selling author and filmmaker, whose movies have been viewed by millions, added, “We would love for millions more to watch ‘The Atheist Delusion,’ and invite Christians to host the live-streaming event from their church or home. The world premiere will be highly evangelistic, as well as thoroughly encouraging, equipping, and inspiring to seasoned believers.”