Saturday, 25 June 2011

Rob Rufus - "The Flow of the Anointing"

The final session from: "Grace and Glory Conference - the Philippines" 2011.
Open your Bibles please to Acts chapter 19.

An apostle has a government over their life to set the church in order - to bring a grace government to liberate and work with pastors and to help pastors coming alongside them. To lay foundations for churches. The Bible says in Ephesians 2 that the church is built on the foundation of apostles and prophets with Christ Jesus as the chief cornerstone.

Jesus is a living Saviour, a living Lord - and the church is built on the foundation of a living Head but also on the foundation of living apostles and living prophets. It is not built on the foundation of apostles who lived and then died and prophets who lived long ago and then died. These living apostles and prophets need to get into churches and lay foundations of a living Christ and a foundation of what the church is in Christ and the foundation of grace.

This is the last session here and I was hoping to speak on the "Seven Ugly Faces of the Grace-Hating Spirit" - we will not have time to do that and I feel that is for another time. I want to talk about the transference of the anointing. I was in the faith group and Kenneth Hagin was the man that God used to bring me into encounter with the power of God in 1981. I want to talk about this because the anointing is the grace of God - the anointing carries grace and we want to speak about how the anointing is carried in your words. I want to talk about how the anointing is transferred through the laying on of hands and other ways.

When you leave here I believe God wants to spread the supernatural aroma and flavour and perfume of grace wherever you go. He wants us to see that the anointing can be transferred. The anointing is transferable, transmittable and tangible. The anointing of God is like supernatural electricity. The anointing of God is like heavenly materiality - it is real. You can feel the anointing. You can feel it on your hands and you can feel it on your face. You can feel it leaving your body and going into someone else's body.

I was in Holland just a few weeks ago and we taught on the transfer of the anointing. I said; "Any five people who are sick - I don't care how sick you are - I want to show you the transfer of the anointing and I will pray for you". So five people came out and within a minute or two three of them were completely healed. The fourth had to go for a checkup and a few weeks later we got the email saying they were healed. The fifth one I don't know about - but four were healed about them understanding how to receive the transfer of the anointing!

How many want to know how to give the anointing into people's lives after receiving it? We are all called to be competent ministers of the Spirit that gives life. When we walk in the gift of righteousness and speak about the gift of grace we should be able to back that up with the transfer of the ministry of the Spirit of life.

We should be able to give away the Spirit of life. Some years ago a man invited me to go to the United Kingdom and preach to a big outreach in London. The network was called "Pioneer Ministries" and they were doing an amazing work with people suffering with HIV/AIDS and they were ministering to them. So they knew many many precious homosexual folk - people who were lesbians and homosexuals. I want to tell you that God loves homosexuals and lesbians the way He loves adulterers and murderers and every unsaved person. Jesus has died for the whole world! Somehow Christians have put homosexuality in a different category and said their sin is worse. I don't know - everything is bad! Under the Law everyone falls short and everyone has missed the glory of God!

The church has not been successful in reaching homosexual people or gay people. In the Western world the church has not had a good result with the gay community. Much of the church has bashed the gays and marched with big "anti-gay" slogans. That doesn't represent Jesus! I really believe Jesus walks amongst the gay people and wants to love them into the freedom of the Kingdom! So I was going to minister to hundreds and hundreds of people who hated church - hated Christianity and didn't go to church and certainly didn't trust Christians and are in the gay community.

Now I had never preached to hundreds of gay people at once - so I went to the United Kingdom and went out to the forest to pray and wait on God. I began to pray and wait on God for 1 hour, 2 hours, 3 hours, 4 hours until I got the breakthrough in prayer. Now the breakthrough came at the Cross but I was praying the victory of the Cross into this community. While I was in the forest, I felt the breakthrough of God. I had a white T-shirt, white running shorts on and was so happy when the breakthrough came and knew the victory had been released and I was running and jumping in the forest and even rolled down the hill and rolled down into a big pile of cow dung and my T-shirt was covered in cow dung but I was so happy I kept running and knew tonight there would be blessing and liberty and people saved tonight!

I heard God say to me; "Son, the anointing of blessing is all over your white T-shirt which was now the colour of green cow dung. Tonight I don't want you to preach for more than 10 minutes - I just want you to go to the meeting and wave it over the crowd and I'll do the rest". So I said; "Jesus please don't ask me to do this! These are British people with stiff upper lips and won't appreciate this!". He said; "Okay Rob - don't worry but you will be preaching on your own". I said; "No Lord don't leave me on my own!". But you see - sometimes to do the miraculous we have to do the ridiculous. That is why grace liberates us to become bold and adventurous. We can step out in faith when we hear the voice of God. We do things people are too afraid to do but we do them because we are walking in the grace of God.

So that night I went to the meeting and there were 100s of people there. Someone was trying to lead them in worship but they were not interested. They were angry and mad and upset. I came out and began to speak and spoke for 10 minutes. Everything was so tight and unfriendly and hostile and terrible that I wanted to run out the meeting. I thought; "Lord I will just preach for a little longer to get their faith up". The Lord kept saying; "Son I am telling you - just wave the T-shirt over the crowd". I had the T-shirt in a plastic bag and hidden it under the pulpit and was dressed in a clean shirt and trousers. But nothing was happening - it was getting worse. So finally I said; "Ladies and gentlemen - I just want to say to you that I have been disobeying God for the last 20 minutes". As soon as I said I had been disobeying God all these unsaved people - I had their attention. I said; "The Lord told me to only speak for 10 minutes and then He told me to do .... this".

I was feeling embarrassed and nervous and felt no great faith. I pulled the T-shirt out which was green and yellow from cow dung. And I said; "The Lord told me to do ... this" and as I waved the T-shirt over the crowd the power of God was released across that room and hundreds of people fell from their chairs. Demons began to come out. People began to scream and repent. Then I said; "He told me to do THIS!" and then they went hysterical. When God told the disciples to feed the masses with fish, don't think Thomas was breaking the loaves in half and throwing them out. They were taking little crumbs! When they saw the bread and fish was not running out - then they got bolder. And I began to get bolder and bolder. Literally 100's of people - I have a video recording of this - 100's of these people without me asking them to do it, got up off the floor, fell on their knees at the front, taking their lovers rings off and throwing them onto the pulpit and repenting and calling out on God.

I was amazed! But I saw one man standing in a pin-striped suit standing by himself. Everyone was on the floor kneeling and weeping and repenting. I ran up to this very British man with the white T-shirt and went pow in his stomach! He fell and began to cry out and weep before God! I didn't realise that man worked at Buckingham Palace and was the legal advisor to the Royal Family. God got him! I wanted to give him my white T-shirt and ask him to take it and wave it over Prince Charles!

There is an anointing that flows out of grace that will radiate out of our lives and through our churches. We just have to learn how to release it and many Christians have to learn how to receive it. So let's have a look at Acts chapter 19. You remember Elisha had the double anointing of Elijah. When Elisha died in an open grave and his flesh rotted away until it was only bones left - when a dead person was dropped into his grave, the dead body touched the bones of Elisha and the dead person came to life. In the bones of Elisha there was still enough anointing resident or present in his bones enough to raise a dead person.

If the bones of a dead prophet can raise someone from the dead - how much more the anointing of Jesus Christ in the church of the living God moving in resurrection power in supernatural signs and wonders?!

Many people have misunderstood 1 Corinthians 12 and the gifts of the Spirit. They feel like some people have special gifts and other people do not have those gifts.

Apostles, prophets, evangelists, pastors and teachers have a mantle of Christ to equip God's people to do the works Jesus did and to come to the full stature and measure of Christ.

Ephesians 4 Ministries are not superior - they just have a mantle of Christ and their job is to serve and equip the church and become full in the operation of the works that Jesus did! Every believer has the Holy Spirit inside of them! I do not have any gifts of healing. Rob Rufus does not have one gift of healing, working of miracles, gift of tongues, speaking in tongues, prophecy - I don't have any of those gifts but I have the Person inside of me who has all nine gifts of the Spirit and whenever they need to be manifested, He will manifest them inside of me. You can do the works Jesus did and greater works because you are a son and daughter of God! Life gets exciting when you are living secure on a foundation of grace - you don't have to prove your sonship with miracles or turn stones into bread to prove you are a son. You don't have to jump off a building to prove you are a son. You don't have to do anything to prove you are a son! When you are secure in acceptance grace, there is an adventure to step out and go for it.

In Matthew chapter 10 Jesus said; "Go and preach the Kingdom - raise the dead, cast out devils, heal the sick and tell them that the Kingdom of heaven is near".

So how are we going to raise the dead if we don't pray for some dead people?

Lord give me the power to raise the dead! He already has! You have to give it a go - maybe you will pray for 10 people and they don't come alive but maybe the 11th will and then a whole village will hear about the power of Jesus Christ! Sometimes you have to do the ridiculous in order to see the miraculous. How many blind people have you prayed for? How many deaf people have you prayed for? We have got to step out and just go for it! Acts chapter 19:11;

"And God did extraordinary miracles through Paul so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that touched him were taken to the sick and the illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them".

Handkerchiefs and aprons became like supercharged batteries with the anointing and carried miles to a distant city and placed on the sick and they were so full of the anointing that they would drive out demons and heal the sick. This is a New Testament practice - driving out demons and healing the sick with hankies or the laying on of hands. I want you to look at Mark chapter 5 - the famous Scripture. The doctrine of the laying on of hands (and we are not talking about Hebrews 6 - that's another story and we can't go there) but there is a New Testament ministry of the laying on of hands. Now in religious circles it is empty hands on empty heads.

If you don't give something away through the laying on of hands it is just a ceremony. It is just an empty ceremony.

When we lay hands on people there is meant to be the currents of heavenly electricity that supernaturally comes out of our hands and flows into someone or flows into a handkerchief or an apron and into someone's body and they receive it.

I want to encourage you to listen to how to receive and how to give the anointing. When Peter was walking past the Gate Beautiful and a man begged him for money he said "Silver and gold we don't have right now" but in the next chapter they will be throwing piles of money at our feet - but right now we don't have silver and gold but such as we have we give to you. "In the Name of Jesus Christ rise up and walk" and the man stood up and went leaping and praising God. Peter said; "Look at us - such as we have - we give you!". You have got to know that you are loaded with heavenly power, you have got to know that such as I have - I give to you! So you will hear about how you are forgiven and one with Christ!

You have got to let go, you have got to give in and give the power out to the world around you! "Such as I have - I give to you" - that is what Peter and John said. So we are going to release that anointing - there is going to be an anointing release as we end this conference. There is going to be an anointing that will go out and be released into people's lives here and activate people. Let's read Mark chapter 5:21;

"When Jesus had crossed over to the other side of the lake, a large crowd gathered around Him while He was by the lake. Then one of the synagogue rulers came there seeing Jesus, he fell at His feet pleading earnestly with Him; "My little daughter is dying - please come and put your hands on her so that she will be healed and live". So Jesus went with him. A large crowd followed and pressed around and a woman was there who had been subject to bleeding for 12 years. She had been under the care of many doctors and had spent all she had. Instead of getting better she grew worse. When she heard about Jesus she came and touched His cloak. She thought; "If I can just touch His clothes I will be healed". Immediately her bleeding stopped and she felt in her body that she was freed from her suffering.

At once Jesus realised that power had gone out from Him, He turned around to the crowd and asked; "Who touched my clothes?". "You see the people crowding around you - and yet You can ask 'Who touched Me?'" His disciples asked. But Jesus kept looking around to see who had done it. The woman came and fell at His feet trembling with fear and told Him the whole truth. He said to her; "Daughter your faith has healed you. Go in peace and be freed from your suffering". Now this is an amazing story here because Jesus did not walk through the crowds and say; "The Father has given Me a revelation in the crowd here somewhere there is a woman who has an issue of blood here and it is your lucky day - your name has come up in the computer of heaven and God is just in the mood to heal you today - this is your lucky day - where are you lady?" and then gave her healing.

No! That's how many people think of healing - of some kind of sovereign mysterious thing that God does when He heals you. He gets in a good mood when He heals you and we don't know why He doesn't heal anyone else! Today the reporters would have said - you see, it's not God's will to heal everybody! But Jesus healed one man and everyone else could have jumped up and said; "Hey - me too!" and He would healed everyone! Because over and over again it said - "He healed them all". Jesus healed all who came to Him - and He is the perfect will of God. He didn't pray for this woman - He didn't give her healing! He didn't lay His hands on her - it was illegal for her to be in a public place and she could have been stoned by Jairus the Temple ruler if they had known she had an issue of blood. But she had heard about Jesus and she heard that Jesus was healing everyone and she heard that power was going out of Him and healing them all. So she sneaked up behind Him and touched Him and her faith made a demand on the anointing.

Her faith pulled the power out of Jesus and went into her and she felt the power come into her and knew she was healed. What she thought was that she could sneak away and no one would know. What she didn't realise was that the anointing is so like electricity and you can know and feel - she didn't realise that Jesus would feel it leaving Him and said "Who touched Me?". Everyone was around Jesus - they were all touching Him and all touched Him! They were all curious and hoping to get healed! They all were curious for some kind of experience yet no power flowed to them but one woman touched Him and pulled the power out of Him and she was healed. What does this mean? You can have hands laid on you hoping you will be blessed - this woman was not hoping or curious - she knew if she touched Him she would be healed - she knew if she touched Him her faith would make a demand and that her faith could pull the anointing out of Jesus. You have people come and think you are the guru and they come and stand passive in the prayer lines and are closed and think you can do it.

Jesus wants to heal all and at the Cross has healed all on the planet. But when He went to His home town - He could there do no mighty works. Why? Because they didn't pull the power of God out of Him but this woman did! She pulled it with her faith! She wasn't pleading or praying - she didn't even ask for healing! She sneaked up behind Him and with her faith pulled the healing out of Him. 12 years of bleeding was finished! It amazes me that hundreds were touching Jesus and they didn't get the same result.

This is what I believe - if we as a Church begin to learn how the anointing flows and if we learn how to give the anointing and start seeing the increase in grace anointing then we more and more will see people hearing about and know that the grace message is ministers of the Spirit releasing the ministry of life through the power of the Holy Spirit. This is how the disciples in Luke 17 understood it - "Lord, teach us how to have faith - Lord give us great faith". Jesus said; "If you have faith like a mustard seed then you will speak to mulberry trees and they will be pulled up by the roots and thrown away". A mustard seed is a small little seed and Jesus was using farmer's language.

You don't need a quantity of faith - you need quality of faith.

Today I believe Jesus would say if you have faith as small as a little fuse, a little electric fuse - then you can release resurrection power and receive resurrection power when hands are laid on you.

An electric fuse is a small little thing and the metal of the fuse is chosen because it has low resistance to electricity. Electricity will not flow through lead or through wood. There are certain metals and substances that do not conduct electricity. Unbelief does not conduct the anointing or receive the anointing. Copper is a good conductor so many electric fuses are made with copper so when you switch your light on at home and the power comes from a nuclear power station or a hydro-electric station - it comes down the power lines and the power lines are the Word of God. It gets to your home, comes through the electric fuse and then lights up your house and your fridge and television. If suddenly that electric fuse has got too much resistance to the electric fuse then the fuse will short circuit and your house will be plunged into darkness and your television won't work and your fridge will die.

It would be a foolish thing to drive to the power station and say; "Hey why have you closed down? The power isn't flowing anymore!". No! The first thing you do is go and look at your electric fuse to see if it's been broken. And then you make sure that you put a new one in that has low resistance to the electrical currents of God. I believe we all have the faith of God but that we are not all operating in the faith that God has given us. There is little faith, great faith, strong faith and weak faith the Bible speaks about. I believe that as you learn to have a fuse that has no resistance to the anointing then as soon as the anointing comes to you - you just surrender. You don't resist it - you just receive it.

If you have got high resistance because you are afraid of the Presence of God or the power of God and resist and push away then your electric fuse will break down and you will short circuit the flow of God's power.

The more people that have low resistance and receive the anointing ... you see;

The anointing is Spirit-life and the power of God. You cannot understand the anointing with your head. You cannot receive the anointing with your brain. You have got to receive the anointing with your heart.

When I lay hands on someone I can tell immediately if they are in their head or in their spirit. If they are in their head, they are all analytical, all tense and all trying with their head. If someone is pulling the anointing (like this lady) from their head - then as you lay your hands on them - BOOM! They suck it out of you and the miracle happens so easily! Because their electric fuse has no resistance to the anointing. Then when they lay hands on people they just release the awesome power of God by the spirit of faith and words of faith.

I want to close now by reading another passage. I want to show you that once someone breaks through with faith - once a local church breaks through with faith or a community of churches break through then you will see that the reputation spreads and spreads. This woman was the only one who got her healing - though hundreds were touching Jesus, they got nothing from Him! But one woman got her healing because she touched Him with faith. Once people see an example - they begin to realise; "Boy I need to touch Him with faith - not hope or curiosity or desperation but a low resistance and receive that anointing and see miracles leap to a high level". So let's go to the next chapter - Mark chapter 6.

This is one chapter where a whole crowd got nothing and one woman did. Look at the difference following this woman's example. Mark 6:53; "When they had crossed over, they anchored there - as soon as they got out the boat people recognised Jesus". People recognised Jesus. People recognise your church - the priesthood of all believers in your church and it is then known as a community that is known how to release the anointing into people's lives. "They ran throughout the whole region and carried the sick on mats to wherever they heard He was. Wherever He went into villages and towns, they placed the sick in the marketplaces and begged Him to let Him touch even the edge of His cloak and ALL who touched Him were healed".

What is the difference here? Before hundreds touched Him and they didn't get healed. One touched Him and got healed and now they release power is coming out of this Man - all we have to do is touch Him with faith. Everyone who touches Him - all were healed. God wants churches to get to that reputation where if you can go into that atmosphere in worship - there is a release of the anointing of God, where hands are laid on you - it is not symbolism or screaming and shouting and nothing happens - there is a release of heaven's voltage, a release of the currents of God. The power station in heaven is more powerful than a nuclear power station - the Cross has set the power station forever on and the power lines is the Word of God. The power has been flowing ever since Jesus said "It is finished" - ever since He said that and redeemed us from sickness and disease - ever since the Day of Pentecost, the power has never had to increase or be switched on. It's always on and always flowing! Every second heaven's power station will never break down - full voltage of heaven's life and power!

The Word of God will never fail - Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever! The only difference is - you can have the nuclear power station and the power coming to your house but if your resistance is too high then you will short circuit and lose the power. Then you can say; "The power station has passed away, the power station is no longer doing miracles".

God is still doing miracles today - the power station is as flowing today as it was 2000 years ago when Paul's handkerchiefs and aprons were supercharged. The power is as strong and available as when Jesus ministered and when the apostles ministered.

The power has not decreased and there is no problem with the power line - the problem is with the faith fuse in the church because of lack of understanding! You cannot stand there passively and receive something - you have got to reach in and seize. You don't even have to ask Jesus! She just crept up behind Jesus, grabbed His garment and pulled the power out of Him.

Jesus can I have permission to get prosperity or a good wife or be blessed or have a good job? You don't need permission! Everything is yes in Christ Jesus! He has given it to you - you just need to reach in and take it because it's yours already! Sometimes you lay hands on people and they are in this grey matter called the brain trying to figure the anointing out - I can't get this into them.

When they don't receive it by impartation then you have to resort to the authority command. I have had people healed who didn't pull the anointing out of me, I have had to speak to the cancer and command it to go - it was the authority command that brought the anointing not their faith.

You can get people healed if they are in unbelief, but if people don't get enough faith. If someone has got their car in park - you can't push it forward. But even if it's in neutral you can push it forward. Even if they don't have great faith, they can receive the anointing from you. I want us to stand please and let's demonstrate the release of the anointing and go out of this conference full of the revelation of grace and righteousness. Full of the revelation we have received fullness in Christ. Let's go out of this place to give it away and release the anointing.

We - the church - want to become the garment of Jesus that the world is always trying to touch to get the anointing!

My job is not to do the ministry but release others to do the ministry. Ephesians 4 Ministries are to train you to do the ministry of Jesus otherwise the pastor goes on a big ego trip because he burns out. We had a lady come into our church 2 years ago and she was wheeled in a wheelchair and I didn't know she had been in the chair for about 20 years. I thought; "I wonder if I will have a chance to get her out the wheelchair". When I had finished preaching I started walking towards the back of the hall and saw this lady out of this chair and walking! And I saw 2 members of our church smiling because they had prayed for her and seen her come out of the wheelchair. Almost everyone in our church pray for the sick!

The Phillipines can be saved by a people living at rest in the grace of God and the acceptance - from that place of rest they can release the anointing! If you pray for someone and they are not healed yet die - don't blame yourself for killing them. They were on the way to the grave anyway! Without being hard on them you have got to say "next"! I prayed for 5 people in 1981 who were blind and saw 2 healed. I have had to pray for many people with cancer and seen many of them not healed. Now we see many healed. We have gone on TV in Australia because we saw a lady in a wheelchair with doctors saying she will never walk again. She was wheeled into our church totally paralysed. I said; "In the Name of Jesus Christ come out of her". A man's voice came out of her saying; "I'm not coming out". I laughed and said; "You are coming out - I'm from Africa and we see devils out". They are all coming out because of the Name of Jesus.

The primary ministry of an apostle is government of grace and laying foundations and the primary sign of an apostle is signs, wonders and miracles. Apostles equip the church for miracles as do evangelists!

Are all apostles? No not all are. Not all are prophets or evangelists. Their job is to equip the body of Christ but every priest can move in signs and wonders and miracles.

Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Glory and Grace Conference (Hong Kong) sessions on GOD TV!!

I was thrilled to be informed by Ryan Rufus recently that the sessions from the Glory and Grace Conference in Hong Kong are being shown on GOD TV and are currently available streaming online! I don't know how long GOD TV keep these online - so it's worth making the most of it!

Here are links to each of the sessions available - don't miss this glorious truth!

Rob Rufus - "The Lens of the Cross"

Andrew Wommack - "Body, Soul and Spirit".

The message of grace is getting out!

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

No Condemnation Now I Dread! (A New Book by Ryan Rufus)

I can't think of a better way to begin a review of a new and wonderful book by Ryan Rufus (pastor in City Church International in Hong Kong) - "Extra Virgin Grace" - than with the favourite lines of a well known hymn;

"No condemnation now I dread - Jesus and all in Him is mine!
Alive in Him - my living Head and clothed in righteousness divine!
Bold I approach the eternal throne and claim the crown through Christ my own!
Bold I approach the eternal throne and claim the crown through Christ my own!".

The hymn has to be heard to be appreciated so I've put the link to the video here of it being sung on the BBC programme; "Songs of Praise". I didn't post it - because I wish the gathered singers looked more happy! I can't sing this hymn without crying! The point is this;

"No condemnation now I dread! Jesus and ALL in HIM is mine! ... clothed in righteousness divine!".

These truths form the very essence of Ryan's new book; "Extra Virgin Grace". He writes in the foreword;

"My conviction is that free people will free people. Therefore the greater the freedom we come into the greater the freedom we'll be able to bring others into. The essence of freedom is to know that you are 100% set free from the law and are 100% righteous in Christ - 100% of the time. Bondage is to believe that you are still under the law and not always righteous".

It's so simply obvious. Why haven't we seen more conversions? Because we're not truly free and the answers are here! Ryan writes;

"Get ready to be armed with a key that will unlock many difficult Scriptures and distorted doctrines. What is this key? It is the key of discernment between the gift of righteousness and self-righteousness".

There are many different topics addressed in the book but the "golden thread" (as C H Spurgeon called grace) runs through it all giving the book such amazing unity. A couple of thoughts about this great book.

1. Ryan writes strongly.

I have no shadow of doubt that this book will offend some. But this strength is required! Ryan's father - Rob Rufus - wrote in the foreword;

"Intellectual preaching from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil has flooded this world and drowned entire nations in religious lies. These wholesale deceptions that have grossly misrepresented the true loving nature of God require and demand to be confronted with concentrated pure grace clarity. This book does that. Any sincere seeker will find the truth in these pages extremely emancipating. The grace revolution is accelerating. The earth is groaning for this message".

It is my suspicion that your reaction to this book will actually mark out where you are at in your spiritual walk. If you are offended because all your spiritual disciplines and righteous deeds are called "nothing" - then there it is. But if you are filled with hope and wonder because you see hope - then you are indeed a "sincere seeker" as Rob writes!

2. Ryan writes compassionately (as a true pastor).

His chapters 12 and 13 on "Rest" are the most loving compassionate chapters I have ever read on this. So much of Christianity these days is focused on "work" and "mission" and driving to see the lost saved. Of course this is true and must be done - but Ryan writes so rightly that you will accomplish far more if you are rested and sane - than exhausted and weary!

The reader knows that those under Ryan's pastoring (and I know this is true of CCI) will not be constantly made guilty by "applications" after sermons that demand more of them. "Come to the prayer meeting .... give more ..... do this .... do that". I know for a fact that there is no such guilt-driven exhorting in the church and we too are allowed to enjoy this!

3. Ryan writes as a teacher who writes what he lives not just what he believes.

So many books I've read are by men and women who don't really write with conviction. Especially those who are striving to "live more holy lives" under God! They come up with ideas and lists of "daily disciplines" to live more Cross-centred lives and so on. But there isn't a real heart of conviction there - because deep down, they too must admit; "I've blown it". Ryan's book is amazing because you read it and know he has begun to experience the thrilling joy of the freedom that grace brings. And it makes you want to experience that too! This book rings true!

4. Ryan isn't afraid to dispel wrong historical teaching!

My favourite chapter in this book is chapter 6 - his treatment of the Sermon on the Mount. I must admit as I have taken my baby steps into the gospel of grace since I encountered Rob Rufus properly in 2007, I have been worried by the Beatitudes and their implications for the Christian life. Many of the books in my library on the "Sermon on the Mount" take this historical approach that Ryan dispels.

For example, the great Dr Martyn Ll0yd-Jones wrote his collection of sermons on the Sermon and the book opens; "The Sermon on the Mount is not a code of ethics or of morals; it is a description of what Christians are meant to be". And that's how I've always read it!

Ryan writes masterfully however - going through each of the Beatitudes and explaining in context what each actually means. Here's a segment about the Sermon on the Mount;

"Matthew 5:1–7:29 is the "Sermon on the Mount". Is this sermon in-tended for the church? Absolutely not! It's intended for the self-righteous. It‟s a pre-salvation preach that exposes self-righteous pride and performance and reveals the need for God's righteousness as a gift through faith in order to see the Kingdom and become children of God ... He wasn't preaching to a church. He wasn't preaching to born again believers. He was preaching to Jews where the climate of the day was a striving for righteousness through works.".

So what do the various points Jesus makes in the Sermon actually refer to? For example Jesus said, "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God". Ryan said;

"Jesus wasn't saying that keeping most of the law is good enough. He was saying that if you want to live by the law then you can never break it. Not even once. The smallest transgression of the law brings about impurity in your heart and means you‟ll never see God. So if your “seeing God” is based on the purity level of your law keeping, then you better make sure you‟ve kept the law 100% of your entire life. Anything less and you‟re doomed! If that sounds rather extreme it‟s because it is. It‟s because it‟s meant to break down self-righteousness".

Here is a brief synopsis of each chapter and what it brings in Ryan's words;

Chapter 1: The Olive Tree vs. the Fig Tree.

The Olive Tree represents Christ, His gift of righteousness, faith, grace, The Spirit and the New Covenant. The Fig Tree represents flesh, self righteousness, works, legalism, human effort, unbelief and the Old Covenant. This chapter is a call to the Church to not repeat Adam and Eve‟s sin of trying to be more like God in eating from the Fig Tree but to rest in the Olive Tree and see the fruit of grace manifesting in your life.

Chapter 2: Re-defining What Renewing The Mind Is.

Renewing your mind is essentially about learning how to surrender your mind to your reborn spirit so that you become “spirit-led”. Transformation is becoming “spirit-led”. When you are led by your reborn spirit in fellowship with the Holy Spirit then you will walk in the perfect will of God manifesting all the riches of your salvation here on earth.

Chapter 3: A Moment Within God’s Eternal Grace Covenant.

If you‟ve ever struggled with understanding why God put the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil in the Garden of Eden or why Israel suffered for so long under the Law covenant then this chapter is for you, and makes it very clear. You‟ll discover how grace has always been Gods intent for relationship with Him and how the Law is but a brief moment in time and for a very clear and specific purpose.

Chapter 4: The New Way Of The Spirit vs. The Old Way Of The Letter.

The letter is a religious system of external pressure and motivation to get you to serve God whereas the spirit is an internal transformation and empowered ability to serve God. Under the letter you are forced to serve God. Under the spirit it becomes your desire to serve God. For born again believers it is no longer,“Do this in order to be blessed, or don‟t do that in order to avoid punishment.” Now it is, “This is who you truly are, perfect and complete in Christ” and “This is what is available for you now, a miraculous and victorious life!”

Chapter 5: Galatians 5 Explained In Context.

Because of the confusion around this chapter, many Christians have been taken into fear and legalism, but this is a glorious chapter that God is once again shining His brilliant gospel light on to reveal what it truly means to walk in the Spirit.

Chapter 6: The Beatitudes Are For The Self Righteous!

Matthew 5:1–7:29 is the „Sermon on the Mount‟. Is this sermon intended for the church? Absolutely not! It‟s intended for the self righteous. It‟s a pre-salvation preach that exposes self righteous pride and performance and reveals the need for God‟s righteousness as a gift through faith in order to see the Kingdom and become children of God. Unless you really understand grace, don‟t go near the Beatitudes. They will mess you up! Teaching the Beatitudes to Christians produces legalism and religious pride or condemnation in them.

Chapter 7: Re-defining What Holiness Is.

Holiness has got nothing to do with sinning or not sinning. If that is what we think, then we think that we are the cause of our holiness. There is only one person who is the cause of our holiness and his name is Jesus Christ! And if you are in him, then you are holy. You don't have to try and be holy or get holy, you are holy!

Chapter 8: Hebrews 12: Understanding God’s Disciplines Through Grace.

Many people read Hebrews 12 in a very negative way that causes fear in their hearts and in the hearts of others. But actually these verses were written to encourage believers and fill them with confidence. What is fundamentally important to see when reading Hebrews 12:5-11 is that firstly, it‟s not God doing the chastising and secondly, that the chastising was not coming because of moral sins but because these Hebrews were standing for the Gospel!

Chapter 9: Romans 5, 6, 7 & 8 Unlocked.

I believe these four chapters are the bedrock chapters of understanding grace. They form a solid foundation of what the Gospel is, and will give you confidence to stand in the grace of God. The more you study them and understand them, the more you will be able to look at other verses that seem to pose a “problem” for grace, that contradict grace, and unlock their true meaning.

Chapter 10: Hebrews 5 & 6: The Impossibility Of Losing Your Salvation.

To fall away means to spiritually die again. If Christ can‟t die again and we are united with Christ, it means that we can‟t die again. If we can‟t die again then it means that we can never fall away! I believe this Scripture is written to show the Hebrews, and us, how perfect our salvation is and how impossible it is to lose it, based on the fact that Christ can never die again! And it‟s written to help us come into an amazing confidence that God is for us, always relates to us through grace, and therefore we can walk intimately with him with boldness and confidence in this life.

Chapter 11: The Theology And Experience Of Rest.

Rest is about knowing where you are seated and why you are seated there. You are seated with Christ on his throne because you have become his perfect and complete righteousness. You are not standing and working but are seated and resting. And the Holy Spirit doesn‟t just want you to know where you are, he wants you to experience where you are.

Chapter 12: More Gets Done When You Rest!

When we‟re not living in the sweet spot of resting in the finished work of Christ, life seems harder, ineffective and frustrating. But when we live from a place of rest we find life becomes increasingly more enjoyable and effective. God wants us to live from the sweet spot. He wants us to enter his rest and live from that place.

Appendix: Keywords and Scriptures in Context.

This chapter is more of a study tool to help you unlock certain Scriptures rather than a read-through chapter. It focuses on a number of words like: sin, faith, lust of the flesh, fear of God etc that usually get interpreted incorrectly and explains their proper meaning. This chapter isn‟t thorough or in depth but will certainly assist you in your own studies by triggering helpful patterns of thought.

Sunday, 1 May 2011

Rob, Glenda and Ryan in Ministry in the Phillipines!!

I was thrilled to see City Church released this video today of their recent ministry trip to the Phillipines - here below. This truly is one of those moments when I ache to be financially free so I could follow and be with these guys as the grace revolution spreads across the planet!

Here's the video;

The Filler of Manila, Philippines trip April 2011 (Short Version.) from City Church on Vimeo.

Friday, 29 April 2011

Photos from the Rufus's Visit to the Phillipines!!

One of the benefits of being a far-off fan of the Rob, Glenda, Ryan and Kylie Rufus is the tremendous excitement of seeing their wonderful ministry grow and develop as the grace message gathers momentum around the globe. Of course one of my aching frustrations is that I don't have the resources or a church to bring them back to the United Kingdom!

However thank God for the internet - and the fact we can enjoy and hear the wonderful message from afar. So there has just been a wonderful trip to the Phillipines (while celebrating Glenda's birthday - who I swear does NOT look the age she is!) and I'm looking forward to hearing the ministry.

Here's a few photos from the event - thanks to Glenda;

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Rob Rufus LIVE on Phillipines National TV!

Watch from 1hr 6 minutes to see Rob speak to thousands in the arena. He'll be live on TV again today!

Video streaming by Ustream

Friday, 22 April 2011

Happy Birthday to Glenda Rufus!

A massive happy birthday to Glenda - Rob's wife - and a lady that we all (Rob most especially) have come to love and appreciate so deeply. She's not seen on the platform much (although when she does preach at City Church International it's outstanding!) but she's always in the front row supporting Rob in a way that he never fails to make mention of and appreciate. I know without her Rob would not be the blessing he is to nations.

I've never met her yet but she has got the ability to make me and so many others feel like she "mothers" us spiritually and it's a really amazing feeling to know! So she may not read this - but I wanted any readers here who may not be aware to know and I'm sure like me wish her a really great day in Hong Kong (or actually flying to the Phillipines with Rob - she's never still!).