ARE WE MADE IN GOD’S IMAGE OR EVOLVED FROM A MONKEY?

 

It is unfortunate that despite the revealed truth of the Word of God, some still foolishly believe in the lie called evolution; that man came into being as a result of random acts of nature  and evolved from a monkey into a human being. If that were the case, why is it that monkeys no longer turn into humans? Also, how do evolved monkeys act in today’s world? Why should you love your neighbour as yourself and why not steal? If there is no God, and this is all there is, then make the most of it? Why care about anyone else? Perhaps, it is fair to say, that Man become as a monkey, when he rejects the truth of scripture, and does not reflect the image of God, His creator.

The fool has said in his heart, there is no God…” Psalm 14:1

Image result for picture of evolution of man from monkeys

When Satan causes us to reject who we are in Christ, we face the threat of being destroyed in spiritual warfare. We are at war and the only way Satan can defeat us is to get us to forget who we are in Christ and identify with how we feel, what we do, and how others perceive us. Rather than who God created us to be and how He views us.
Walking in the image of God, which was our original nature before sin, is only made possible by Jesus. He made it possible for or Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to indwell believers in Him as Saviour and Lord. The Holy Spirit is our Counsellor, Comforter and Teacher. He produces the Fruit of the Spirit in our lives: love, joy, peace, faithfulness, gentleness, goodness, kindness, patience and self control and provides the nine Gifts of the Spirit for ministry. He is sanctifying us, making us more like Jesus everyday, preparing us to receive our new bodies when Jesus returns.

“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air.” 1 Thessalonians 4:16-17

The Holy Spirit is essential to living a successful life, knowing God’s best for us, and overcoming the spiritual warfare we face each day. There are seven characteristics to God’s image:

  • Spirit – God is not a physical being but an existing Spirit. The mistake we tend to make is to limit our existence to our physics, when that isn’t who we really are. Like God, the ‘real us’ is spirit and as mentioned, Jesus made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to indwell believers forever.  We must allow our spirit to be activated by the Holy Spirit and let Him take full control over our physical being. The physical is limited, while the spirit is unlimited.
  • Eternal – God has no beginning or end. He is, was, and is to come. Like God, our spirit is eternal; not that we are immortal, but death is the doorway to eternity. What is important is where we spend eternity.
  • Holy – God is pure. There is no imperfection in Him. He calls us to be holy as He is holy. Holiness for us is not the absence of sin, but rather, it is the presence of the Holy Spirit, evidence of a dynamic relationship with a loving Saviour whose blood has cleansed us of all transgressions.
  • Creator – God is an innovator and is industrious. He has the ability to create. Of all His characteristics, entrepreneurs can best relate to this one because they understand the process of creating. Like God, whatever we imagine, we can produce. There are no limitations to our creative abilities.
  • Loving – “For God so loved the world that He sent His only begotten Son…” (John 3:16.) God’s love is what led Him to send His only Son to die on the Cross. Like God, we must be love, and demonstrate our compassion for others. We must be willing to lay down our lives for others.
  • Just – God’s justice causes Him to judge wickedness and chastise those whom He loves. We must not cooperate with wickedness but take every opportunity to challenge it. We must resist the temptation to adopt “fairness” as a value. This is a dangerous attempt to play God, perhaps thinking that we’re going to make good decisions apart from submitting to God’s perfect righteousness and wisdom. God uses his perfect justice to ultimately yield redemption.

Ultimately, God is an eternal Holy Being who created everything that exists. Although sin brought destruction to His creation, His love for us compelled Him to come as a Saviour to redeem His creation and ultimately bring judgement upon the wicked.
Walking in the image of God is essential to our success in life. We need to be good stewards since that is God’s original and divine order. For us to conform to our original nature, we must make sure we have accepted His Son as our Lord and Saviour. We must have an active prayer and devotional life and submit to the Holy Spirit’s leading each day. This is essential in overcoming spiritual warfare.

My prayer for you today, is that God will give you the grace to recognise His presence and submit to His will, His guidance, so that you will be an overcomer and realise His plan and purpose for your life.

For more information on creation versus evolution go to http://www.creation.com

LIVING ETERNAL NOW

Have you contemplated why I called this blog Living Eternal Now?

How do we live in the light of eternity and see beyond the moment in a world of increasing darkness?

God has enabled us to look beyond today to see what lies ahead.

Jesus made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the Holy Spirit to indwell all believers. Our bodies are now the temple of the Holy Spirit. All believers have received the Holy Spirit to be their counsellor, comforter and teacher. We are Holy Spirit enabled.

We have a spiritual lens through which to view the world from God’s perspective.

Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.” 1 Corinthians 2:12

Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man the things which God has prepared for those who love Him. But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit.1 Corinthians 2:9-10

Considering we are living in the “last days” when persecution of Christians will increase. It is essential we live Holy Spirit enabled lives. He may not reveal what immediately lies ahead but we live our lives knowing He is in control of coming events. Moreover, we will not be taken by surprise, His Word tells us exactly how the “last days” play out before Jesus returns.

Living eternal nowis a way of travelling in the here and now, with our spiritual vision fixed on God and eternity so we are submitted to His will.

Remember, our days are numbered. The psalmist says, “So teach us to number our days, so that we may gain a heart of wisdom” Psalm 90:12 Hopefully, this admonition, will affect how we use our time, how we decide our priorities, so we don’t waste time..

Paul also tells us, we are now alive to the spiritual realm, we see what is important from an eternal perspective, we don’t dwell on earthly matters which are temporary:while we do not look at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen. For the things which are seen are temporary, but the things which are not seen are eternal.2 Corinthians 4:18

The preceding verses tell us how being Holt Spirit enabled, we know that whatever God allows into our lives, we will be able to see it as “light affliction” because we know it is for His glory.

Even though our outward man is perishing, yet the inward man is being renewed day by day. For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, is working for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory,” 2 Corinthians 4:16-17

If we are living Holy Spirit enabled lives then the fruit of the Spirit (9) will be evident in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, gentleness, goodness, kindness and self control. The fruit of the Spirit demonstrates how far along we are in the sanctification process, submitted to God’s will.

As well, we will be operating in the gifts of the Spirit (9). The gifts of the spirit are the ammunition that the Holy Spirit provides for our use as we walk Holy Spirit enabled lives. The miraculous will truly be evident.

But the manifestation of the Spirit is given to each one for the profit of all: for to one is given the word of wisdom through the Spirit, to another the word of knowledge through the same Spirit, to another faith by the same Spirit, to another gifts of healing by the same Spirit, to another the working of miracles, to another prophecy, to another discerning of spirits, to another different kinds of tongues, to another the interpretation of tongues. But one and the same Spirit works all these things, distributing to each one individually as He wills. 1 Corinthians 12:7-11

Note the counsel Paul gives concerning neglecting and quenching the Holy Spirits work in our lives.

Do not quench the Spirit. Do not despise prophecies. Test all things; hold fast what is good.1 Thessalonians 5:19-21

Do not neglect the gift that is in you… Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. 1 Timothy 4:14

Are you living eternal now? If not why not?

One aspect of living eternally now is based on what our expectation is of the hereafter. Where will you be, and what will you be doing? Sadly, most peoples view of eternal life is not that appealing. They view it as an eternity in heaven but have no idea of what they will be doing there e.g. plucking harps and praising God. As a result, not to many are anxious to leave this life and go there. In future posts, we will explore what the Bible really says about where we will be (new heaven and new earth) and what we will be doing there.

HOLINESS IS ESSENTIAL FOR THE MIRACULOUS

Before the Israelites crossed the Jordan they consecrated themselves. Before the Israelites took Jericho they circumcised the men. Before they defeated Ai they cleansed the sin from their camp. Holiness was needed for God to work the miraculous.

Ezekiel has a vision where the holiness of God pours out from the temple like a river, revitalising and purifying all the land it comes into contact with. Isaiah has a vision, where he enters the temple impure but is purified while he is there by a burning coal – a physical embodiment of God’s holiness.

The holiness of God is a term used in the Bible to describe both His goodness and His power. It is completely unique, and utterly all-powerful. In fact, the Bible gives us examples showing God’s holiness is so overwhelming it was perilous to approach Him.

These examples of God’s holiness purifying impure things all lead up to Christ. Christ, who is God’s holiness in human flesh, goes out into the land, healing the sick, raising the dead, and casting out demons – all of which are examples of God’s holiness now purifying the things it comes into contact with. God’s holiness is a powerful force that must be treated with the utmost respect.

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Jesus casting out demons from Jesus Film Project

In Hebrews 9 and 10 it tells me that the sacrifice of Jesus, the blood of Christ, is what sanctifies and makes me holy – once and for all.

 Not only do I need Jesus, His blood sacrifice and the Holy Spirit, I also need the Word of God. Jesus, in His prayer to His heavenly Father in John 17:17 said, “Sanctify them, make them holy through Thy truth. Thy word is truth” (paraphrased).

Ephesians 5 says that God wants to cleanse and sanctify the church by the washing of water of the Word. It is the Word of God that the Holy Spirit uses.

At the same time, God’s holiness is a gift, able to heal a broken and impure world. Best of all, as followers of Christ, the Father has now sent the Holy Spirit to indwell our spirit, to be our counsellor, teacher and comforter. We can’t be holy without the Holy Spirit. He enables us to minister in the power of the Holy Spirit. Sadly, we are told, we often grieve Him, and quench the work He wants to accomplish in us and through us.

Do you want to serve God? Understand, we need holiness to serve Him.

“As obedient children, not conforming yourselves to the former lusts, as in your ignorance; but as He who called you is holy, you also be holy in all your conduct, [Whatever you do.] because it is written, “Be holy, for I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:14-16)

Is there some filthiness in disposition or attitude in your heart? Is there some bitterness or resentment or complaint? God says, “You clean it up.” Is there something that we are doing in our lifestyle that is demonstrating the lust of the flesh? Clean it up! We are to walk in holiness, fearing God, recognising our accountability to Him.

Among believers there is to be a practical holiness where we cleanse ourselves, where we get right with God. There is nobody who is going to cause you to stop sinning but you. There is nobody who is responsible for sinning but you. You will be tempted and baited and enticed by the enemy, but if we sin, we need to repent of our sins and seek forgiveness, on an on going basis, to keep our relationship with God intact. “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us and to cleanse us of all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9.

We ask God to forgive us not to be re-justified but to walk before Him in confidence that Christ has paid it all.

2020 – YEAR FOR DISCIPLE MAKING MOVEMENTS

Joseph Mattera joins the list of Christian leaders in the USA that recognise that God is bringing about radical change in His church. It is imperative that believers have truly died to self and live life directed by the Holy Spirit.

He says in an article in Charisma News entitled Five Ways God is Reforming His Church in 2020. “I believe 2020 is the year when more and more leaders will attempt to build “disciple making movements”. The corporate business model of doing church—which took off in the 1980s—has proven that, irrespective of the crowds they garner, they usually fail at disciple making. Jesus proved that focusing on disciple making was the key to building the largest and most effective movement the world has ever seen.

This will be the year when disciple making will gain the traction needed to eventually challenge the assumptions of the “CEO convert driven” model of church.

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Luke called his historical narrative “the book of Acts” (or the book of Action), not “the book of theology or philosophy.” The Scriptures were written to tell the story of our missionary Father/God, who loved the world and gave up His only Son to save every tribe, nation and people. Those who are truly hearing the heart of God will read the Bible with a missional lens and desire to demonstrate the power of God to a lost and dying world!

In the context of the church, they will live to empower disciples for the work of the ministry (Eph. 4:12) and in the context of the world, they will desire to manifest His power in a way that proves Jesus rose from the dead. Consequently, many new evangelists will begin to arise (as we saw in the “voice of healing” movement in the 1950’s) and some will eventually fill stadiums, proclaiming the gospel and praying for the sick. (In the past decade, we have only seen a trickle of what is to come!)”

May the reformation of the church that started in the 16th century continue until the Lord Himself comes back for His bride. May all who read this post have ears to hear what the Spirit is saying to His Body!

THE COMING END TIMES AWAKENING

I am sure Ron Cantor is correct in his latest book that in the “end times” the church will operate in the gifts of the Holy Spirit much as they did in the early church as described in the Book of Acts.

In the Book of Acts we see:
• The dead raised (Acts 20)
• The lame walk (Acts 3)
• Powerful, convicting preaching of the Gospel (Acts 2)
• Speaking in tongues (Acts 2, 10, 19)
• Holy Spirit Outpouring (Acts 2, 4, 10)
• Judgements against sin (Acts 5, 8, 12)
• Casting out demons (Acts 16)
• Miraculous escapes from jail (Acts 12, 16)
• Martyrdom (Acts 7, 12)
• Congregations planted southern Europe, Asia, Middle East (Acts 13-19)
• A sizeable remnant of Jewish believers who lived as Jews (Acts 21:20)
• Philip was transported from one place to the other (Acts 8)

Because of reports like those in my recent post, Church in the Last Days – Iran’s Fast Growing Church posted October 26th, 2019, we are already seeing a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit promised by Jesus in the last days before His return.

Even in the midst of great darkness and tribulation this revival will overshadow the book of Acts. It has started in many places like China, Africa, Middle East , even India. While we are waiting for a move of God in many parts of the world, a great outpouring is already taking place in these countries where they are already experiencing intense persecution.

Sadly, Scripture tells us that in the last days we will also see a great falling away from the faith. In the west, we are already seeing entire church denominations compromising with the world, accepting gay marriage and homosexual pastors/leaders. In a recent post, I reported on Pope Francis declaring that Christians are not to try and convert Muslims or people of other faiths as “we are all children of the same God”.

Pope Francis and Sheik Ahmad el-Tayeb, grand imam of al-Azhar, a leading authority for many Sunni Muslims signed a document on “human fraternity” and improving Christian-Muslim relations in February, 2019. The document insists on the basic human right to freedom of religion, appealing to both Christians and Muslims not only to tolerate the religious faith of the other, but to recognise the other’s faith as something “willed by God in his wisdom.”

This Pope is consigning millions to the Lake of Fire. There is NO way back into a right relationship with God other than by repentance, acknowledging the sacrifice Jesus made for us on the Cross and accepting His Lordship over us and all creation.

BY THE POWER OF GOD, JEWS COMING TO JESUS

 Rabbi Eric Tokajer says the Good News of Jesus is beginning to spread throughout Israel, and it’s important for Christians to continue to support that effort.

The founder of Brit Ahm Messianic Synagogue in Pensacola, Florida, and the publisher of The Messianic Times, Tokajer, who conducts tours in the Holy Land, says the growth of Messianic ministries in Israel proves God’s hand indeed is upon that land

“Years ago, when I became a Jewish believer, there were only a handful of Jewish believers in Israel,” Tokajer told Dr. Steve Greene on a recent episode of Greenelines on the Charisma Podcast Network. “Now there are thousands, probably somewhere around 10,000 that are Jewish believers born in Israel. There are others that came from outside that live there, but when I became a believer, there were almost none.

Now, there are hundreds of groups that meet together around the land that are sharing the Good News, which is part of end-times prophecy being fulfilled as God is re-grafting the natural branches into the olive tree.

“A lot of the Christian world never hears those stories. But if they go to Israel, they will actually see what’s happening where the blind see, the lame walk, the deaf hear and people are preached to in prison.

The Jewish people are discovering the power of the Holy Spirit and the power of Yeshua. And by the power of God the Good News will continue to spread in Israel.”

CHURCHES MAKE DISCIPLES

The Importance of a Disciple-Making Movement (DMM) – Communities of Disciples.

Paul was able to win the city not by joining a political party, but by making disciples and releasing these disciples to turn the world upside down.

“Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need.
So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favour with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved.” Acts 2:44-47

There was a healthy fear of the Lord in the community after the deaths of Ananias and Sapphira.

Paul did not attempt to plant mere churches, but founded communities of disciples—which formed a kingdom ekklesia which can turn a city upside down!

They were not event-driven, but process-driven.

In his epistle, Paul wrote to explain to the Ephesian church (about four years after Acts 19) how they transformed Asia Minor and wrote in chapter 4 that the ekklesia is equipped by the five fold ministry to become a mature man—as the expression of the fullness of Christ and corporate son—who will manifest the government of God increasingly on the earth.

In Ephesians 4:12 we see both an inward and outward focus: one is missional and the other is focused on building the body of Christ.

The missional purpose of the apostles was to equip the saints to minister in every aspect of culture, according to Genesis 1:28, as His ekklesia, so the earth would be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.

The focus to edify the church is seen in Ephesians 4:12-16 when it speaks about the church growing into the fullness of the stature of Jesus. This passage shows what the ultimate goal of discipleship is: to be like Jesus as a corporate community (a nation within nations that disciples every people group and subculture).

Consequently, to the extent the kingdom ekklesia looks and acts like Jesus, it will have governmental authority and influence because the government is on His shoulders and because it was He who defeated the powers of darkness!

Isaiah 9:6-7 says: “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder. And his name shall be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Eternal Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end.”

Ephesians 4:11-13 says: “He gave some to be apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors, and teachers, for the equipping of the saints, for the work of service, and for the building up of the body of Christ, until we all come into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, into a complete man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”

As His corporate body, He called us to manifest His kingdom on earth as it is in heaven according to Luke 11:2. Moreover, Jesus made it possible for our Heavenly Father to send the third person of the Trinity to be our Counsellor, Teacher and Comforter and therefore enable us to do the job He has called us to do. The Holy Spirit enables us to overcome the powers of darkness and manifest the fruit of the Spirit and operate in the gifts of the Spirit.

To those who have an ear to hear and a heart to understand, let me leave you with this quote from Rene Bates book God’s Glory: And the Exhortation: “What we begin to see now is the deathwatch of the gloomy, deceptive, organised religious system. It gave birth to nothing but a dearth of life, religious institutes (mistakenly called churches), and canons of human pride, turning many toward insincere piety. May the Lord Jesus Christ forever be praised within your hearts as He delivers us from the people-pleasing business.”

DOES GOD SPEAK TO US AUDIBLY TODAY?

J.D. Greear, the new president of the Southern Baptist Convention, said God and the Holy Spirit can still audibly speak to believers today and are not limited to speaking through Scripture. His remarks came during a video interview with The Gospel Coalition.

Greear seems to moderate his comments later in the video, noting “we shouldn’t expect that we’re going to hear from God the way the Apostles did” and cautioning against the dangers of proclaiming “God just told me.” Yet though he affirms the primacy of the Bible, he acknowledges the Bible is ambiguous about the ways God can speak to us and says he would never place God in a box about what He could do today.

This is encouraging to know the leader of a major church denomination acknowledges the role of the Holy Spirit in the church today as it was in the early Book of Acts church.

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

LAST REFORMATION – TORBEN IN AUSTRALIA

Torben in Australia in November, baptising them in the name of the FATHER, THE SON and the HOLY SPIRIT.

I believe we are seeing an emergence of the church as it was in the Book of Acts, with the POWER Jesus said, would be evident when the Holy Spirit came UPON the disciples at Pentecost.

The disciples had already received the Holy Spirit when Jesus breathed on them as recorded in John 20;22. The word Jesus used here for breathed is the same word God used when he breathed life INTO Adam. This is when the disciples were born again of the Holy Spirit but after this event Jesus tells them to do nothing until the Holy Spirit comes UPON them at Pentecost in POWER. We all know that when the Holy Spirit came UPON them in power what happened 3,000 were added to the church day one. There are two events here, and God wants you to experience both: 1. Are you born again? and 2. Have you received the baptism of the Holy Spirit?