Tuesday, 25 March 2008

Invading the Impossible - Part 10

I am running out of words to describe these amazing sermons! All I can hope and pray is that Rob Rufus considers seriously publishing this seriously as a book! Sit back - fasten your seatbelts.

Sunday 15th March - "Let God Impress You".

How many of you believe God is happy? He's always in a good mood! He's not angry because that was dealt with at the Cross. He's in a good mood now so we can get in a good mood so would you please open your Bibles to Romans chapter 4. Last week we looked at the revelation of righteousness and we saw 3 positive powerful benefits in living in revelation with the gift of righteousness. We saw;

1. (Romans 5:17-19) - That by receiving the gift of righteousness we are empowered to reign in life.

2. (Romans 1:16-17) - That as your faith grows in this gift of righteousness so God increases the power of "solteria" in your life.

"Solteria" that Paul is not ashamed of means, protection, preservation, wholeness and provision. He gives the basis of that "solteria" in the next verse. He says in the Gospel a righteousness from God is revealed first to the Jew then Gentile - a righteousness by faith from first to last. How many would like increased preservation from God, provision, wholeness, health? People think "salvation" means you don't go to hell - you go to heaven but in between heaven and hell you live like hell on earth. No, no - God's will is that His Kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven.

So the power of salvation only increases as our faith in the revelation that we have a gift of righteousness freely given - that is perfect righteousness and it is entirely the way God sees you all the time. Your sins - your shortcomings - your failures - your mistakes do not reduce that righteousness. That righteousness is your perfect standing permamently and irreversibly - that is how God sees you all the time.

If you want to live under Old Covenant thinking then the Old Covenant demands a perfect righteousness from you by your performance of keeping the law - the 10 Commandments. But when we come to the New Covenant the Bible says Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law that the blessing given to Abraham may come to the Gentiles. So that in Christ we are not under the law.

In Christ, God provides the gift of righteousness and no longer demands that we measure up to a standard of righteousness by our performance.

People say "Don't teach that" because if you teach that you are telling people God doesn't see sin or condemn them or reject them or disapprove of them because of their sin and then they are going to go out and sin as much as they want.

Actually the opposite is true - the more people realise that God sees them as righteous, the more they are motivated with faith to live righteously. But we don't preach right living - the Gospel isn't right living but right believing.

A righteousness that is by faith from first to last". Then Matthew 6 - we see that as your faith in righteousness increases so the worry and anxiety levels in your life begin to go down. Jesus said how many of you can add a day to your life by worrying? He said the pagans run after clothing, food, protection - He said seek FIRST the kingdom and ALL these things WILL be added to you.

The more you prioritise revelation of righteousness, the more these things begin to run after you.

Pagans are running after food, clothing, protection, provision, retirement schemes and are worried about getting old without money and welfare and care. Jesus said this is the pagans but the Covenant people of God seek first the Kingdom.

What is the Kingdom? It is righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Seek first the gift of righteousness. Seek to study it, seek to research it, seek to understand it, seek to see how the Old Covenant operated and how the New Covenant is based on better promises with a superior mediator - Jesus Christ.

You have no relationship to God through the law, through your performance, through your obedience anymore. Your relationship to God is through the obedience of the one Man Jesus Christ who obeyed perfectly on your behalf and delivered you from the whole thing of laws and rules and condemnation and guilt. So as we seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness then the worry levels go down because we find that God starts causing the additions of provision, clothing, holidays when we need holidays and blessings. So tonight I want to talk about something that is absolutely staggering - I want to get into it right away.

I have to say this: on Wednesday I was preparing a BBQ on our roof. I like a proper fire - I don't like to do it on gas. I think gas is a cheap substitute. I like real fire and I was getting it ready and the best way I can describe this is this -

I had a visitation from God on my rooftop. God came and He visited me. God came and He visited me. He does like doing that because He enjoys me. He came and visited me. My greatest visitations have not been in my most holy moments I have gone and fasted for a week once and thought that God would come and visit me because I have gone without food. It wasn't going without food on a fast. It was a hunger strike trying to manipulate God to come and visit me. The times I have really tried to get God to come and visit me, tried to be holy, fast, pray enough, good enough - He doesn't visit me. It's when I am tired and exhausted and having a BBQ - He comes and visits me because He wants me to know He wants a relationship with me based on grace and nothing to do with me earning it or deserving it because He's a gracious God.

So He came and He visited me and I felt this is what He spoke audibly into my heart. He spoke it to me but I felt He spoke it on behalf of the Church world-wide. I really felt that. He said;

"Son I long for My people to stop trying to impress Me. I long for the day when My people will allow ME to impress THEM".

You cannot impress God and we will see today that this is a message about knowing Him. God wants to reveal Himself to you on a personal level where you will hear His voice on a regular basis. I am talking about you hearing His voice. Can you put out some faith and hear me? How many of you like to hear the loving Voice of God on a regular basis? I am talking about you brushing your teeth and you hear His Voice! Very few people in the Bible heard the Voice of God with these physical flaps on the side of your head. He does sometimes speak in an audible natural realm where your audible, natural facilities can pick up the audible Voice of God but you see the Bible says God is Spirit. God is a Spirit Being - He is a Person - He has attributes - He has a will and intellect. But just because He doesn't have a Body doesn't mean He is not a Person. The Holy Spirit doesn't have a physical Body and God the Father doesn't have a physical Body. God the Son came in and was incarnated into a physical Body but you see God has made us in His image and likeness and God is a Spirit Being. So when you were born again your spirit on the inside of you was made alive to God.

Before your spirit was dead to God and alive to demonic deception and the wrong voices and the wrong dimensions of the spirit world. But when you get born again, your spirit is made alive to God so you can hear God! So God does not primarily operate in the natural - touch, taste, see, smell - natural realm. God has given you a physical body which is your earth suit so that you can operate in the earth realm as a spirit being clothed in an earth suit so you can touch things with your natural and hear things with ears and smell things and see things and your brain is not you. You are not your brain. Your personality is not in your brain. Your brain is a physical organ simply a tool or a servant to who you are - your spirit being - and your spirit being is who you are. If your body dies then your spirit steps out and everything that you are goes into eternal glory and your memories, your personality and your character with it. Do you understand that?

Your brain will go into the ground and will rot there but you will still be a living personality. So primarily God will not talk to you in an external Voice because mainly when He talks like that He has to borrow someone else's physical voice and speak through someone who is an oracle. He has to speak through someone who is a prophet but He is borrowing the voice of the physical earth-suit of the prophet to speak the Voice of God to you. Under the Old Covenant you couldn't be born again, you were cut off from God under condemnation of the law and under a curse.

But in the New Covenant you are dead to the law, you are alive to God in Christ Jesus in grace with a gift of righteousness so God doesn't primarily need to speak to you through the voicebox of a prophet. He will confirm His Word to you through the voicebox of a prophet and most times that a prophet speaks, you will say; "Yes I believe that is the truth - it resonates in my spirit - I have already heard God tell me that!". Most times that a prophet speaks to you in the New Covenant - it shouldn't be a surprise.

You should never seek prophets out under the New Covenant to get the will of God for your life. That is very dangerous. That is like psychic crystal balls. You are going to hear counterfeit lies sometimes! A New Covenant believer with a born again spirit that can hear God on the inside of you and you can get to know God. You can get to know His moods, what He is like, what He wants. He loves you and wants to be with you and fellowship with you every day.

So God came to me and my fire was going and I was scribbling down notes and this message was coming out of that where God said;

"Please Rob, I just want you to stop trying to impress Me and please tell My people to stop trying to impress Me with human effort and holiness and obedience. Let them please let Me impress them".

He said (and we are having a conversation. He asks me a question and I answer - normal New Covenant relationship with God. You don't need a prophet to hear the Voice of God - you a believer in Christ can hear the Voice of God as you get the revelation of tonight's message). So He said;

"Son - and I know this is a shock to you - but I was not impressed with man when they went to the moon. No big deal. I created the moon and the moon is such a small little thing in a small little solar system. I created vast galaxies that are expanding at the speed of light. I was not impressed with man's science in going to the moon. Man's impressed with that but I am not. Neither am I impressed with man's ceremonies and rituals. I am not impressed with man's efforts to be righteous before Me. I long for the day when My Church will be impressed with the gift of righteousness that I have given them and would actually believe it whole-heartedly and unreservedly!

If My people will stop trying to impress Me and relax and let Me impress them then I will show you demonstrations of miraculous powers and manifestations that you couldn't even imagine right now".

Then God said; "You can't impress Me with your strength! I don't need your strength or your determination. What I want from you is your weakness. I want your humility and your childlikeness. That's what I want! Then I want you to be impressed with what I can do".

How many of you think that the older brother in the parable of the prodigal son knew his father? On this rooftop God said to me;

"Some of My people are working so hard to impress Me by the way they don't do this and that and ask Me if I am impressed. They are working so hard to impress Me with their own righteousness when I am impressed with My Son's righteousness that I gave to them. But they are actually not impressed with My Son's righteousness and somehow think that it is not good enough. They worry and are anxious that the perfect righteousness of Jesus might be a shortfall on that so we have to impress Me with your righteousness and our goodness".

The older brother in the parable of the prodigal son was so busy trying to impress the father with his hard work and all he was doing for the father - it is very clear that he didn't even know who his father was.

It is my conviction that many Christians today are so zealous today to impress God that they have never met God and that if God walked into the room with a cowboy hat and two six-guns at His side and said; "Hello I am God" - they would not know it was God! They just don't know it is God. He comes into a room and He manifests His Presence and they are not sure if it is the devil. "What is this Presence in the room?". They know ABOUT God and they have heard about Him and can quote Bible verses that describe God as a God of love and grace and holiness. They know ABOUT Him but have never MET Him. They haven't heard His Voice and don't know Him.

That is appalling! The primary purpose of the New Covenant was that every believer would know God experientially. Yet I meet multitudes of Christians that don't know God.

The older brother did not know God. How do I know that? Jesus gave this parable and think of the words He uses. They are shocking to me who has been studying the gift of righteousness and living in it for years and it still shocks me that Jesus uses such a parable to reveal to the Church how legalistic, controlling and self-righteous the Church is. He was talking about Israel - but I am telling you He was talking about the modern Church. He said the one son squandered the inheritance of the Father. Now think about that - what does it mean when a son squanders the inheritance of the Father? He squandered the inheritance, took it prematurely and spent it on prostitutes. Rob are you encouraging people to go out with prostitutes? No I am just quoting Jesus! I believe Jesus was trying to get a radical challenge across to Israel and the modern Church.

He spent all his father's money on prostitutes and wild living and ended up in a pig sty! As a Jews in a pig sty! Finally he comes to his senses and goes home and when he goes home his father runs to him, kisses him and puts the first robe on him (which is the robe of righteousness) and the ring and sandals and gives him a feast and a party and a fatted calf. Now you would have thought that if the older brother knew his father he would have say; "Yes Dad!" - but the older brother was angry and he said; "All these years Dad I have been working hard for you and you have never even given me a goat but this brother of mine who spent the money on the prostitutes - you give him a fatted calf and a party!". Is that someone who knows God? Who knows his Father? He lived in the father's household and didn't have a clue who his father was.

Now that is a commentary on the tragedy of the modern Church. There are millions of church goers who know all ABOUT God and are working hard to IMPRESS God but have never let the Father impress them. They are missing party after party and divine encounter after divine encounter and supernatural manifestation after supernatural manifestation because they are working so hard to impress God.

"Let me just show you how strong I am, how determined I am, how righteous I am". And God is saying;

"No let Me show you how awesome I am. Let Me show you how glorious I am. Let Me show you how awesome I am". The Lord is saying; "I am the Husband, Church! You are the Bride! This is a Husband thing!".

This is a Husband thing! Husbands like to flex their muscles and demonstrate and show off how good they are! It is something weird and strange when a bride wants to show off how powerful she is to her husband and husbands are in the corner all cowardly and afraid of how powerful his wife and how hairy his wife's legs are and how big her biceps are! Something is seriously wrong! The Bride of Christ is trying to show off to the Bridegroom and say; "Look at us - be impressed!". And He is saying;

"Stop trying to impress Me - My role as Husband is to impress you but I cannot show My glory or manifest My power or perfume your life with My Presence or let the aroma of My glory manifest daily in your life while you are busy trying to impress Me".

Now if we say; "Lord if we can just be a bit more holy and if I can just ahve a bit more victory over this area of sin and just get triumph in this area then I am sure that I will be more attractive to you". Big deception! The Father is saying;

You have got the beauty of the garments of salvation - you have got My Son's salvation - you have got My Son's righteousness and I see you that way. Your sins and your short-comings are removed and not in consideration. They are not even in view! They are gone forever! They are not covered up. The Old Covenant covered up sin and hid it. The New Covenant obliterates sin and it doesn't exist in the Father's perception of you".

He said;

"You are unbearably attractive to Me - I can't wait to show you amazing things - I want to impress you! Please stop trying to impress Me by working so hard for Me".

You know when we get captured by this - we will become more holy. You will hate sin more and you will want to obey God but it is a result - it is a by-product - it is like an accident, it just starts happening! Then your zeal for God is based on pure motives not fear. Not working but pure love. It will always be Him impressing us - forget about impressing Him! Did I say turn to Romans 4? When this revelation comes alive fully in the Church world, we are going to see the most magnificent manifestations of signs and wonders and miracles - because just let God impress us and see what happens.

But He cannot impress us while we are trying to impress Him.

Have you ever been with people at the dining room table and they are playing the control game? It is one-up-man-ship? Someone tells a story and that is nothing what about this story? While you are talking you can see that they can't wait for you to shut up so they can tell a better story that is even more impressive. Or you see soldiers comparing war wounds and the next minute they are all half naked trying to out-do one another. "You think you are impressive God - have you seen my righteousness?".

"Yes" He says, "they are like filthy rags but the gift of righteousness from My Son is beautiful and the garments of salvation that you are wearing My Bride, My Church, My individual Christian - they are so beautiful! Be secure in the garments and rest - rest - rest - rest in them and let Me impress you with what I have got! Stop working so hard!".

Look at Romans 4:4-8; "Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift but as an obligation". The boss is obligated to give you wages because you worked. "However to the man who does not work, but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness. David says the same thing when God speaks of the blessedness of the man; "to whom God credits righteousness apart from works - blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, who's sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him".

I would really like to ask people in this room tonight - do you have a revelation that the Lord will NEVER, EVER, EVER, EVER count ANY of your sins against you? Most Christians I know live with the religious book-keeping that thinks that God is constantly counting their sins against them and it is appalling to hear Christians say; "I got sick but I deserved it because I did wrong. I am in this situation because I did wrong. I sinned so God is punishing me". That is such Old Covenant that it is shocking how prevelent it is in the Church. I want to categorically say that I am against sin. I don't want sin in my life. But the truth is that I haven't met one Christian who doesn't sin. So let's stop pretending because if you meet that one who doesn't sin then let me know because the rapture has arrived and we are going home because He is Jesus.

So I promise you that if you are the righteousness of God and God is never counting your sins against you that means your sins does not open the door to the devil. But if you live under the Old Covenant then your sin DOES open the door to the devil and that's why the devil is deceiving so many Christians to believe they are under the Old Covenant mentality so then when they do sin, they live under condemnation and guilt and open the door out of their fear to the devil. But when you are in the revelation of righteousness that God will never count your sins against you then you are blessed coming in and blessed going out and blessed all the time!

We have just got to give ourselves permission to believe this is true!

Let me read to you a prophecy. God spoke to me on Wednesday night and spoke to me of doors He is going to open in the nations. He said;

"Son I am about to impress you with what I am going to open to you in the nations".

He told me some of the things. Now Mike is a prophet whom some of you met at "Glory and Grace Conference". I have known him for about 25 years and he is an awesome prophetic man who walks in high level prophetic office. He didn't know what had happened to me in my visitation on Wednesday night so this morning he sent me this email and he prophesies. Forgive me if this sounds self-indulgent. There is no boasting here. This is God confirming what He told me on the rooftop and now is speaking through an email through a prophet to resonate and confirm privately what Mike didn't have a clue about. So it is not self-indulgent - there is no boasting here. This is God saying;

"I am going to impress you Son". And He is saying tonight; " I will impress you if you will stop trying to impress Me. Every time you sin and make a mistake you say, 'Oh Jesus I am so bad - so guilty'. What are you talking about!? You are the righteousness of God! Stop trying to impress Me with your weeping - that is Old Covenant! If you are going to do it properly then go and get sackcloth and ashes and mourn and be unclean for seven days!".

So this is what this dear prophet said;

"Remember you have an international ministry - this has been God's intention from the beginning. I remember from Wayne who once said about Rob, 'Rob is a princely man after God's own heart'. Your ministry cannot be restricted or inhibited nor controlled or maintained for even as man has tried to bind you and control you I have released you into My plans and the plans I have for you are good. I will open doors that no man can shut and you will sit back and wonder - how did they find out about me? I want you to know that I will shout your name from the housetops and no one will be able to stop My plans.

Again My plans are good plans and you will eat of the fatted calf" - (And by the way I have not just come back from prostitutes! The Lord wouldn't have to kill me - Glenda would!) - "You will know the sweetest wines and you will know the royalty by which I have called you. The two of you will move in My authority and will speak words straight from My mouth. Do not allow the enemy to put you down - I had a picture of a thumb pressed upon you trying to keep you in your place. The Lord says; "I will remove that thumb quickly and with force and you will be free. You will live in My royalty even when you don't feel royal for just because you don't feel royal does not mean you are not royal. For I am! As I am, you are in this world and for just a little while you will see the salvation of your God and you will see yourself catapaulted into new things that will amaze you and humble you as you realise that these things have not been by you but by God.

Be encouraged - you are not alone. Even when you do not see the hand of God at work, He is still working on your behalf and for His good pleasure because He loves you and is for you. May the peace of God keep your heart in Him. We love you guys and continue to war with you in the heavenlies. Seize the day! Mike".

Now that is what the Lord is saying to anyone who says; "Lord I am sorry - I will stop trying to impress you". Bring it on Lord! Impress me! Impress me with how this thing and that thing is going to be dealt with and this issue and that! I won't take it into my own hands! Now that's not easy. Because we have been trained for decades on how to take it into our own hands. "Okay God move aside - I can handle this. Look at me - watch how impressive this is going to be".

Let's look at Philippians chapter 3 and this is an amazing Scripture here. (Philippians 3:1) - This is the 3rd chapter and Paul says; "Finally". Then writes another two chapters! So praise God I am coming to the end of my sermon and then it goes on a bit! So I am just going to be apostolic with Paul. Now Philippians 3:1 - "Finally my brothers, rejoice in the Lord. It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again and it is a safeguard for you". Now I ask why did Paul say what I am writing is a "safeguard"? What is the church needing to be safeguarded from? What is the Church needing to be protected from through the writings Paul is about to write to us now? Because obviously the Church needs a safeguard - it needs protection from something and he goes on and speaks about evil men. When the Church hears about "evil men" we think about pornography, stealing, lying, getting drunk - well we don't want to encourage those activities certainly. But listen to me - Paul in this context is not saying that the Church needs to be safeguarded from those things. He is going to define what evil men are;

Evil men and women in the Church are those that try to control the Church and impress the Church with their righteousness. In fact they try to give out the idea that according to legalistic righteousness they are faultless, moral and look down on everyone else with faults and failures and they pretend that the only way God is going to love you and the only way God will reveal Himself to you is if you line up and do everything right.

Paul as an apostle says that is a seriously dangerous thing and I need to safeguard the Church from that evil.

We are so naive - we don't see that manipulation, religious legalism and control as EVIL that the Church needs to be protected from. Much of the Church is backslidden even though they may attend church occasionally - they are lukewarm, have no passion for God, don't know God, don't hear His voice, don't experience His Presence - because they have not been safeguarded or protected from this evil that is too prevalent in the Church of Jesus Christ.

It needs the emergence of apostles. Pastors can't do it - evangelists can't do it - teachers can't do it. Prophets and apostles primary purpose is to walk in authority and safeguard and protect the Church from trying to impress God and teach the Church to be impressed with God and His salvation and His gift of righteousness.

Now he is going to tell us what these evil men do that we need to be protected from. (v2) "Watch out for these dogs". That's pretty passionate! If I called anyone a dog I would be in very serious trouble - I would get emails against me. "Those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh". In other words they are demanding that Jews and Gentiles under the New Covenant still get circumcised as a sign of keeping the law - he says that is evil.

You put that on people - any kind of ritual - any kind of demand to be more righteous - Paul is saying that is evil because that is saying that the righteousness of Jesus isn't enough but you must do this and that and he says that is very evil.

"For we who are the circumcision" - in other words if you have been born again, it is your heart which is circumcised. "We who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Jesus Christ who put no confidence in the flesh" - our ability - "though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If anyone else has such reasons for confidence in the flesh, I have more. Circumcised on the 8th day - of the people of Israel, the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews. In regards to the law - a Pharisee. As for zeal - persecuting the church - as for legalistic righteousness - faultless". As for legalistic righteousness - faultless. As for legalistic righteousness - faultless. Paul is saying that as for legalistic righteousness - I was faultless!

(v7) "But whatever was to my profit, I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish". The Greek word there is "excrement". "Dung". "... that I may gain Christ and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection". I want to stop reading that half way through that verse because;

I want you to see that Paul connects knowing Christ and the power of His resurrection in the revelation of the gift of righteousness.

What did Paul call "rubbish"? Think about this for a while. Does the modern Church call what Paul called "rubbish"? We are too polite, we are too nice, we are too politically correct, we are too trying to impress one another! Paul says; "All these men are evil". You need to be safeguarded from them!

They have been brainwashing generations of Christians because the apostles did not safeguard the Church and so millions of Christians have backslidden and have no passion for God because they are under this control spirit of guilt and manipulation.

What does Paul call "rubbish or evil"? I will tell you straight; "Faultless, legalistic righteousness". Paul says that is evil and it is very very dangerous. Why do more and more people stop going to church in the Western world? Because it is full of leadership or people that walk around encouraging everyone with a moralistic, faultless, self-righteousness. I am telling you in the church world today from my experience in travelling in many, many nations there are many good, nice, moral people in the church world but I promise you this - many of those good moral people live with a lot of guilt, a lot of condemnation because they have not recognised God's righteousness which takes away condemnation. They are trying to get rid of condemnation by becoming faultless with legalistic righteousness. Paul calls that "rubbish" or "dung".

Paul called them "dogs"! I didn't! The trouble is that we don't discern who they are because they are nice people and smile a lot but they intimidate people and give the impression; "We are under the blessing and we have the blessing because we are so moral and up-standing". But they don't know God! They don't hear His voice! They don't know God and the power of His resurrection! It is evil and it is dangerous!

The Church is pointing it's finger at this evil in society and that evil in society and the homosexuals and the lesbians and they are pointing and doing it with legalistic self-righteousness trying to impress God with how holy they are and He says that smells like dung to Me! I hate the smell of that self-righteousness! Open the doors to the prodigals! Let the unsaved come in!

Folks, there are 7 million in Hong Kong - the majority of which don't know God at all, living under tyranny and legalism in the very culture! Ex-pats come here and come under that legalistic thing! We should be wild for God - we should be passionate for Him! God impress us! We worship You! I want you to see again - and I do know the Scriptures pretty well although there are many that know it better than me.

I am preaching with a man next July who is one of the top theologians living in the earth today. He reads his Bible every morning in Greek and Hebrew in the original language it was written in! I am preaching with him on the platform at a Spirit and Word Conference and I am so glad because I can face a lot of people there and he is so into grace. Michael Eaton. He is so into grace and in the Question and Answer session I am fielding all the answes but I can always turn to Michael and say; "Give us that in the Greek and Hebrew Michael!" and he believes this message of grace and he is the highest effective Greek and Hebrew scholar in the world today and he backs up my message! He must be a clever man!

It is nice to have guys like that on your side. People think "Oh with my sophisticated theology - we must balance this message of grace and don't be dangerous!". Older brother ... blah ... blah! Evil! Don't be nice with that kind of stuff - please don't! I just realised today that my message today is affecting 30, 000 people a month and what my message is doing is that those people who have suffered under religious control are being set free and are writing with joy and liberty. But you know what - I am not helping the controllers. The controllers are getting increasingly angry and that's when I realised that we are setting the controlled free and the controllers are screaming with rage at the name "Rob Rufus" and if they could destroy our website they would and if they could kill me they would! But they are not allowed to - my Father won't allow it! I know you think I am exaggerating but Glenda and I face the spirit of witchcraft every day not just from what happens in Hong Kong but from what is happening around the world. Whole nations are being overturned by what is happening on our website and I am not happy about that.

But what I am happy about is that thousands have been under control and are coming out. They are blaming this message for that and thousands are not being controlled any more. No it is not a commentary on the message - it is a commentary on the context of control. They have lived under control for so many years and when they first break out, they do over-react and I understand why! Give them time to establish the revelation of righteousness and they will become the biggest tithers and the biggest givers and the biggest servants and the most zealous, sacrificial servers for God but they need a time to break out of control! They have been tithing under a spirit of control and I am glad that they are not tithing. I am really glad. I want to say to people; "Look if you think this message stops people tithing - come to City Church International and the vast majority of people in this church tithe but they do so under the revelation of righteousness". They are not tithing under law - they are tithing under the Abrahamic covenant. No manipulation.

Let me get into this thing quickly. I just read to you from Philippians 3:1-8 and I am going to read it from the Peterson translation and it brings it out beautifully in modern English. I am reading what I read from the NIV. This is Paul speaking; "And that's about it friends". In other words, "Finally brothers". "Be glad in God. I don't mind repeating what I have written in earlier letters and I hope you don't mind hearing it again. Better safe than sorry so hear goes. Steer clear of the barking dogs - those religious busybodies who are all bark and no bite. All they are interested in is appearances. Knife-happy circumcisers I call them! The real believers are the ones the Spirit of God leads to work away at this ministry filling the air with Christ's praise as we do it - we couldn't carry this off our own efforts and we know it.

Even though we can list what many think are impressive credientials". Paul is saying they have a long list of impressive credentials. They are trying to impress God and impress man. "You know my pedigree! Legitimate birth, circumcised on the eighth day, an Israelite from the elite tribe of Benjamin, a strict and devout adherent of God's law, a fiery defender of the purity of my religion even to the point of persecuting Christians, a meticulous observer of everything set down in God's Book. The very credientials these people are waving around as something special I am tearing out and throwing out with the trash along with everything else I used to take credit for and why?

Because of Christ Jesus - yes all the things I once thought were so important are gone from my life compared to the high privilidge of knowing experientially Christ Jesus as my Master first hand.

Everything I once thought I had going for me is insignificant dog dung. I have chucked it all in the trash so I could embrace Christ and be embraced by Him - I didn't want some petty, inferior brand of righteousness that comes from keeping a list of rules when I could get the robust kind that comes from trusting Christ - God's righteousness.

I gave up all that inferior stuff so I could know Christ personally, experiencing His resurrection power".

I am almost done but notice (v10) - Paul says he gave up all that stuff and sees it as dung and rubbish in order that he may know Christ and the power of His resurrection in his daily life. So I have written here; Paul here links knowing Christ and the power of His resurrection to three things. Here it is - if you want to know Christ and the power of His resurrection, I am going to repeat myself quickly.

1. Consider faultless, legalistic self-righteousness as dung. You have got to see that! When the devil says; "You sinned, God doesn't like you and now He is going to punish you". You have got say; "That is a whole load of dung - devil! To the dung-heap with you devil! I reject that rubbish, I don't accept that rubbish! I have got the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus!".

2. Not only that - it is actually evil, it is a danger, it is something the Church needs to be safeguarded from by true apostolic ministry.

3. Simple faith in the gift of righteousness apart from the Law.

So one more Scripture and then we are ready to praise God. Hebrews 8. It is wonderful to see some of you guys writing notes! I want to say something now that may seem critical and unkind of the modern Church. I have been there and done it! This is how the modern Church teaches people to God.

1. You do not teach people under the New Covenant to know God. You should not have to teach people how to know God or have "Knowing God" seminars - that is Old Covenant methadology and a mind-set. It is an inferior covenant. The modern church is full of academic, cerebral knowledge and doesn't know God. It doesn't hear His voice, doesn't encounter Him at all in the day every day. They must go to a Church service with someone who knows God and walks in the anointing and releases the anointing and they have a brief exposure and am not quite sure if it is God. That's weird! The whole Bible is full of people falling down under the Presence of God! We have people in Hong Kong who are afraid of falling down under the Presence of God because they don't know God. They teach it is very evil and the Church needs to be safeguarded from that!

We need to be praying for doors and platforms to be opened to us so we can teach the precious people of God in the city and see the lost masses turn to God because God turns up in City Church International to impress US! Not impress them!

We could have smoke machines and God is not impressed! But when God turns up in miracles, signs and wonders THEN Hong Kong will turn up!

This is how the modern Church does it; "We are going to have a seminar on Knowing God". As soon as you hear that, say; "Well you already wrong. You don't know your New Testament! That is Old Covenant methadology. "We are going to teach you how to know God. Three steps to knowing God. It is all about moralising and about sophisticated theology". Then people start to think that I have got to be intelligent to know God! I have got to go to the cemetary ... I mean seminary to know God! I have got to study for four years the Bible to know God! No you don't - that is Old Covenant!

Adam knew God before there ever was a Bible! He walked with the glory of God in the cool of the evening! God visited Adam! God visited Rob on rooftop in Hong Kong! God visited Peter on a rooftop and he fell into a trance! He saw heaven opened!

Revelation of God is normal for a New Covenant believer who is not trying to impress God but who believes in the gift of righteousness and is impressed with that gift and not their own faultless legalistic righteousness!

"We are going to have a seminar on knowing God. Number 1. Attributes of knowing God - God is omniscient. That means God knows everything! He knows everything about your sins because God is omnscient. 2. God is omnipresent. That means you can't hide from anything because He is everywhere! 3. God is omnipotent. You are impotent. But God is omnipotent. You need His "omni" on your "imp"!". And everyone walks out thinking "I know God ... I think!".

If someone needs to teach you the attributes of God then they are putting you under the bondage of the Old Covenant. When you get the revelation that you are forgiven forever and God will never hold your sins against you and He has given you a gift of righteousness, then you automatically face encounters with God. You will get to know God and encounter Him on rooftops or on the bus or on the train or washing dishes - God will come to you and speak to you. No one will have to teach you to hear Him or experience Him!

As soon as people get up and hold seminars on "Knowing God" then you KNOW that they are Old Covenant in their mentality and they don't know the New Covenant. Look at this; Hebrews 8:6 - "That the ministry Jesus has received as is superior to theirs as the covenant is superior to the old one and is founded on better promises". What Jesus is saying is, look this Old Covenant is finished - it is obsolete - it is redundant - it has passed away! God doesn't operate through the Old Covenant at all! That was to show man how they cannot impress me because of the law!

Now the New Covenant isn't about us impressing God - it is God saying "Let Me impress you!".

Then the writer goes on to show the inferiority of that covenant - how they didn't know Him and were trying to keep the law and were under condemnation and bondage - which many Christians are under today! When we get to (v11) he tells us what the priority - the main reason for the New Covenant is! That you and I know God! That is why Paul says I want a righteousness that is apart from the law and that is by faith that I may know Christ and the power of His resurrection!

The moment you get a revelation and believe and are impressed with the gift of righteousness you will experience and encounter the Living God as a Father and a friend and Someone who loves you and wants to walk with you and you will be impressed because He will start showing you things that are powerful and that will impress you and you will give up trying to impress Him!

"Father what you did at the Cross, I am so impressed with the gift of righteousness!". And God will say;

"Keep getting impressed because I have got more! I am going to impress you son by getting you to raise the dead! I am going to impress you by using you to open blind eyes! I am going to use you by getting you to see the supernatural and see people get delivered from demons! You will get redemptive revenge on the pressure demons have given you! Let Me impress you! You believe in My righteousness and you see what is evil and rubbish and what you need to be safeguarded from!".

This gift of righteousness is so important that the opposite is EVIL that we need to be protected from! When Paul says "according to legalistic righteousness I was faultless - those were my credentials that I can consider rubbish or dung" - what was he referring to? Before he got saved!

If you read Romans 7 - the last part of the chapter, you will see Paul describing his life before he came to Christ when he was under the law! It is very different from this legalistic perfection of righteousness that he boasted of because in the synagogue he looked faultless! But Paul in his heart when he was saying; "According to legalistic righteousness - faultless" - Romans 7 describes what he felt like before he came to Christ. When you read it, he talks about "delighting in the law in his heart - but the things I didn't want to do, I did". And he talks about being under condemnation and confusion and guilt! So you have got many moral people that don't do ugly things - they are moral but filled with guilt and condemnation! They can't worship God - they are trying to impress God and aren't impressed with Him!

That's a whole lot of garbage! I am going to embrace Christ and His gift of righteousness and it is dangerous to live under condemnation! It's evil and it is wrong to live under condemnation! THAT'S what opens the door to the devil!

My mistakes and sins and failings do not open the door to the devil - if I believe in the gift of righteousness but if I am deceived by evil workers, mutilators of the flesh and open myself to the control spirit then when I do sin I am going to live under guilt and condemnation!

This is a superior covenant and you do not need to be taught. When you get this tonight and someone says to you; "We are going to a 'Knowing God' seminar", you can say; "Say hello to Moses for me. I am not coming. I am walking with God. I know God. And once you know He will never count your sins against you, this is a better covenant based on better promises with a superior mediator". Now down to (v6) he goes through all the inferior things of the Old Covenant and when he gets to (v11) he announces the New Covenant. Now what is the main thing of the New Covenant that Paul announces?

"No longer will a man teach his neighbour or his brother saying, know the Lord". Under the Old Covenant they had to be taught because they still didn't know Him but under the New Covenant; "No longer will a man teach his neighbour, or his brother" (talking about Christians now - Christian neighbour and Christian brother) "saying, know the Lord because they will all know Me" (Oh New Covenant believer) "from the least of them to the greatest for I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more".

So as soon as a believer has a revelation of righteousness as a gift that God will never remember your sins or count them against you - from that moment, that believer starts getting closer to the Lord, experiencing God, enjoying God, fellowshipping with God - not because of the hours of prayer. God just comes and visits you on a rooftop! He just comes and manifests many times and I am just standing there not even praying! He comes and manifests and I start shaking, heavenly voltage goes through me and I think "Oh God is here!".

God can't come and manifest in a room without you knowing it! How can God come in a room and manifest and you say; "Is He here?". You talk about Almighty God! Once this revelation is real to the Church - NO ONE will have to teach you to know God.

He is Billy Graham! No from the least to the greatest - ALL will know God. I look at the modern Church that says we are New Testament believers and the majority of Christians do not know God. They know about Him because they live under Old Covenant condemnation but once you know the revelation of righteousness you will know Christ and the power of His resurrection! What is the power of His resurrection? I am going to teach that next Sunday morning. When Jesus rose from the grave, He carried up from that grave a conciousness of certainity, of conquest of the devil's oppression and condemnation, He carried up a conciousness of righteousness that He had achieved for us at the Cross then He turned to His apostles and breathed on them and said; "Receive the Holy Spirit" and He imparted that conciousness of righteousness into them.

So when the Spirit of God breaths into the modern church like He did to the first century Church is a conciousness of righteousness - we know we are no longer concious of our failure, of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil - we are just concious of the Tree of Life. We are righteous concious in Christ Jesus! First Adam God breathed into his nostrils and the Bible says Adam became a living soul. The next verse says; "But last Adam - Jesus Christ - was a life-giving Spirit". So God breathed into first Adam's nostrils and he became a living soul and he died when he ate of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. Last Adam didn't get breathed into - He breathed out of Himself as a life giving soul after His resurrection and He breathed into His disciples the spirit of conciousness that;

"I know in Whom I have believed and I am persuaded that Jesus is alive and real". He breathed into them a conciousness of conquest; "I am not a victim to the devil - I am an authority over the devil - I trample devils under my feet and I am not afraid of the future, of man - I have a conciousness of conquest, of righteousness. I don't live with condemnation, it doesn't entertain me - it is evil to be condemned. I am in the conciousness of righteousness".

When the Church walks in that and is impressed with God's righteousness then God says; "I will show you a whole lot more to be impressed with". How many of you are ready to praise God?

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