Thursday, 26 June 2008
As I was listening to the Sunday morning session I was actually driving down to see a friend in Cheltenham and as SOON as Rob Rufus began singing the prophetic song below I began to weep and weep and weep - and couldn't stop! I have listened to the entire song a few times and put the transcript of all that Rob sung and said below the video clip in case the quality doesn't come out. Here it is. SOMETHING is happening in Hong Kong - and I fervently believe it will spread from East to the West.
Here's the transcript of the song and the following prophecy;
"For I'm turning the hearts of the fathers to the sons, I'm turning the hearts of the sons to the fathers, I'm turning the hearts of My people towards Me and I am turning the hearts away from things of death. I'm turning the hearts to the ways of truth and life - yes I'm turning the hearts to My Presence and life.
In My Presence with your heart turn to Me - you will hear My voice so clear and so true today. Today. Today. So turn your hearts to Me - turn away from misery. Turn away from unbelief - turn away from every offence. Turn away from bitterness and turn to Me - your God.
For I'm turning the hearts of the city of Hong Kong! I'm turning the hearts of the multitudes around you. So turn your hearts to hear the cry of the city! So turn your ears to hear My words of life! For the city of Hong Kong - this is your day - this is your hour! I am coming!".
"Let's cry out to the city of Hong Kong! Father we hear Your words of love to the city of Hong Kong. We bless Hong Kong!
We declare over you - Hong Kong - that this is your time, your hour. The grace of the Lord is towards you and He does not visit you with judgement or rejection but the Father gives good gifts to you - Hong Kong! He is pouring out His glory on you - Hong Kong! He is pouring out mercy and grace! He is pouring out His love on you - Hong Kong!
The dead will rise, the lame will walk, the lonely will find family, the fathers will find their sons and the sons will find their familys in Hong Kong! Broken relationships will be restored and mother and father and children will find liberty and freedom and love in the city of Hong Kong!".
Friday, 20 June 2008
It has never happened where God has poured out His Spirit on all people's on the earth - only select people but we are coming into a time when God will pour out His Spirit on all the nations of the world.
Tuesday, 17 June 2008
"I am not going to teach - I am just going to share on our trip. The power of testimony. It's great to hear about what Ryan and Kylie brought back from Florida and the anointing that has been released and the anointing that was released when they prayed for people and the anointing released last Thursday! Please don't miss this Thursday - our Thursday nights in our home are getting very very exciting - very key to what we are about. Pivotal for what we are about as a church. I really believe they brought something back from Florida and we are building on that.
I really believe (Ryan and Kylie) brought back something from Florida and we really want to just add it to us. You need to know - just in case people think that we are now building our church on the Florida Revival - we are not building our church on the Florida Revival! We are building our church on the foundations of an apostolic/prophetic foundation, upon the foundation of grace. Revivals are wild! And we endorse it and we empower it and honour what God is doing in Florida.
We cannot say that everything that comes out of Florida will be God. There has never been a revival where everything is God. There are weird things that sometimes come out of a revival - sometimes things of legalism there (not with Todd Bentley but with others). Some things Ryan has shared with me. In the middle of the United Kingdom while I was preaching, I said; "We celebrate the Florida Revival - we believe it is a flash point - but we don't believe it is just located to Florida as many don't believe that. We believe it is world-wide, we believe it is global. Florida is a kind of tipping point. But many places are breaking out now all over the world and this thing is on the move. It really is on the move.
There are some high-profile ministries that are now endorsing it and recognising it. I spoke to Terry Virgo while in the United Kingdom who heads up hundreds of churches around the world and he recognises that the power of God is there. They are genuine and there are genuine miracles. He is saying that as a movement they don't necessarily embrace the whole package - there are some things they would have questions about.
There's nothing wrong with having a few questions - there's nothing wrong with not understanding everything. Put some things up on the shelf. Everything must be tested but by and large I want to strongly say that God is on the move all over the world and what is happening in Florida IS God. There is no question about that. That is God. But everything that happens through different levels and different doesn't necessarily represent everything that we would agree with. Behind this passionate, enthusiastic face - there is a thinking mind! I am going to test everything through right theology and all of that - and all that I don't understand I will put on the shelf and I will wait.
But I don't want people to be afraid of deception because we have got to break that demonic thing where people believe that the devil has more power to deceive us than Almighty God has to reveal truth to us. The Bible does warn in a few places about "Don't be deceived in the last days" and counterfeit signs and wonders - but then it speaks a whole lot more about how to know what the truth is and how to be free in the truth and how to recognise the truth. So if you live in fear of deception, you are not going to step out into the miraculous. Y0u were never meant to live in the fear of deception - you were never meant to live in fear. So many Christians (even in Hong Kong) are so afraid of being deceived and they say; "I am afraid of being deceived". So you think fear is legitimate? Do you think your fear will protect you?
Job said the things I feared the most have come on me. You don't live climbing a mountain trying not to fall. You climb a mountain trying to get to the top. You are focused on getting to the top! You don't live in fear of being deceived - you live full of faith of getting revelation and of being so full of God and the knowledge of God's truth that the moment the counterfeit comes - you can see it. I am so sick and tired of Christians being put on the back foot on these things. I am not afraid of a false angel coming to me and trying to decieve me and appearing to me all beautiful.
The moment that happens I will discern; "Is this an anointing from heaven or is this an anointing from the demonic". If you can't tell the difference between an ugly demonic anointing and the anointing of Jesus then you need to get saved. In you and me there is an anointing and in meetings I can discern what is of the flesh, what is of God and what is of the demonic. There has never been a revival - not one - where all three didn't manifest. Some people are pointing; "Look some of that stuff is fleshly - some of that stuff is demonic - that doctrine is a bit of heresy over there". Yes I know - but God is also moving powerfully! You will never have a revival where you can get rid of flesh, get rid of the demonic trying to come in.
In Azusa Street Revival they had psychics prophesying in the middle of the meeting! In the mid-80's in the Kentucky Revivals they had 20, 000 under the power of God and at the same time they had pimps running around and making whiskey in the middle of that.
Every revival has weird doctrines that come in and strange things that happen. The most weird thing is when there IS no power, no one is getting saved and NO miracles are happening! I would rather have to sift through some of the weird stuff, theologically sift through it, than have nothing happening and sitting in the boat of religion and sitting and criticising everything happening. I think the people who are most qualified to discern whether a move is a move of God or not are those people who have been in moves of God.There are people who are trying to judge this move who have never had a move.
I think if someone says "That's not God and those miracles are countefeit and that's not God" - I want to say to them; "That's fine - that is your right to judgebut show me YOUR miracles, show me YOUR signs and wonders, show me YOUR move!". "Err ... I don't have one". "Then shut up until you do!". There too many cryptics sitting on the bank and doing nothing and finding fault with what God is doing.
I want it to be registered that I don't agree with everything I am seeing in Florida and it's not up to me to tell you everything - but I tell you this. It is a move of God. Todd Bentley is a man of God. God is moving in mighty signs and wonders! Our focus is not on Florida - that thing will fade sooner or later. But it is not going to fade around the world. God's on the move.
One of the things in the UK that came to me more clearly than anything else is that this gift of righteousness - the revelation of it - is the most powerful weapon we have in our arsenal of weaponary for the supernatural. Condemnation is an insulation against the power of God wherever you can't get more of God going - there is an answer to that. Preach the gift of righteousness and it sets people free from condemnation and then they become open to the power of God.
We operated in four different areas - 2 in Europe (which was in Holland) and 2 in the United Kingdom down in Eastbourne and in Cantebury and in every meeting the power of God fell. I had to rub my eyes because you don't normally expect that in places like Holland and people from Lithuania and all from Sweden. Many of them are very cerebral and very conservative. Reinhard Bonke says; "My German people say I have got a screw loose! I want to loosen the screws even more because my German people - their screws are too tight!".
In the first meeting of all 4 areas - the fire of God fell and often first on the young people. God is saying something there. I would call all the young people out because the fire was on them. Young people like to look cool! But they came out there absolutely drunk! In every place we went to, there was always a young person who was twisting in the anointing. I said; "This was because they were deprived of the Elvis generation!".
God is a God of restoration and it would hit the hall and 80% of the people would be drunk in the Holy Spirit and the joy of the Lord gives you a breakthrough to the glory.
Often the way into the glory is through the joy of the Lord. Unspeakable glory through unspeakable joy!
I did a 2 hour interview with some from Sweden who are going to put the interview in a Christian magazine that will circulate throughout Sweden to 10's of thousands. They wanted to hear the testimony of my journey into preaching only pure grace not mixed in with law. Right now in Sweden there is a war going on between law and grace. I said; "Sorry guys - it's not only in Sweden - it is world-wide and it is a civil war in the Church unfortunately". But they said; "Rob you have no idea how bad it is in Sweden - there are very few churches that preach grace. Most preach heavy-handed law. Most preach this that you are saved by grace but after being saved, if you sin then you had better confess your sin because if you die before you get a chance to confess your sin then you are definately going to hell".
This beautiful couple in Sweden said; "Rob we have planted a church - we are one of the few churches preaching the grace message and we are being attacked big time". Please pray for that article that will bring revelation to the Church. A lot of people had long-term sickness and believed their sickness was a punishment from God and they believed they had opened the door to the devil by sinning and now they were being made sick because of that. When they heard the teaching of the gift of righteousness and the revelation hit them - they realised it is God's will to heal them and they also realised that after they get healed if they fall into sin or make a mistake then it doesn't open the door to the devil so that these gifts of healing can be long-living!
I went into the forest in Holland and spent some hours with God praying and while I was there, God said to me;
"Rob - if you will even more radically believe that you are the righteousness of God in Christ - if you believe that radically and preach that radically in Europe and in the United Kingdom then I will get My angels to stand about you and angels will whisper into your ear names and things that I am doing in the meetings".
That happened. I got the name "Patricia" and I saw 3 lumps and hands indeed went up. A lady in Europe - we saw her being pushed around in a wheelchair for the first few days of the conference and she had MS for a number of years. MS is the deterioration of the myleen sheath - the covering over your nervous system. So your nerves start getting damaged and you face loosing all use of your limbs and your body. In it's chronic phase your body bends like your back and it will snap because of it's crippling effects.
MS is the easiest crippling disease to get healed - most of the cripples we have got out of wheelchairs have all had MS because God revealed to me so clearly that all MS is directly a resident demon and all you have to do is cast the demon of MS out and these people are going to get healed.
If someone has broken their neck through a car accident or huge spinal damage from an accident - you need the workings of miracles to get through healed and they do get healed but with MS all you have to do is cast the demon out and you will see them get healed. So over a period of years she began to loose the use of her arms and legs. She was in a wheelchair and with an unsaved husband. You can imagine him thinking what God is this - He is an evil God and my wife has lost her dignity. My wife crippled in a wheelchair and wheeled around the conference. One of the nights I was talking about how I had ministered in the UK and God had brought a lady out of the wheelchair with MS and said; "Throw your husband in the wheelchair and you push him around!".
As she sat there the power of God came on her and she came out the wheelchair, threw her husband in the wheelchair and pushed him around the meeting, pushed him up hills, pushed him all over the place! So the next morning she came and testified and she ran and danced and ran around the building and;
I promise you in Europe - this is rare. It is not known as the place where miracles happen. I found it easier to get miracles in Europe and the UK than in Africa. I mean that. I would rather go for miracle crusades in the UK or in Europe than in Africa right now. Maybe it is just because God is giving us particular favour for the UK and Europe but it was the easiest thing.
So she was screaming and her husband was crying. What is he going to do now to resist God? We got this email yesterday just so you know it wasn't psycho-somatic and she has gone back to her wheelchair. This is Hank. He hosted the European conference. He says;
"Hello Rob and Glenda - it was so good to hear from you. Your ministry amongst us and the preaching and openness for the glory of God has impacted many. Reports are still coming back from the conference. People are buzzing with excitement and many with a clear sense of God's purpose for the future. It seems from what we hear that it has produced a greater hunger and thirst after God and a readiness to take the Gospel further. The woman who had MS is still physically healed of this and is at this moment going through examinations by a doctor to confirm this too ... she and her husband and many others are excited about the healing that definately took place. Also the woman with the neck injury, the hand injury and instability of the pelvis has received a definate healing and many others too. Thanks so much".
In this conference there were 40 significant healings just like that in this one conference alone! One Dutch man came up to me and said that I had a word of knowledge that someone's shoulder gets dislocated and God is healing your shoulder right now and then said; "Check your shoulder" and this is the story. He had a car accident and they put 12 pins in his shoulder because if he even moved it slightly then it would get dislocated and I don't know how many of you understand how painful a dislocation is. He said when I had said to check the shoulder, he checked it very carefully and he pushed it back and back and nothing happened. So he came up and testified that he had 12 pins and look at this! I was almost thinking; "Don't do it too much!". He was wild and his shoulder was absolutely fine!
We saw 40 like that and it wasn't difficult. Most of the people that got healed I didn't lay hands on. Just preached the gospel and preached the revelation of the unfading glory - led them into worship and called out healings and people just got healed and we had about 40 very significant healings.
Then we went from there to a church in Amsterdam. We had a one-off opportunity to preach there and it was a church that started 3 years ago with 40 people and they now have 600 people every Sunday. It is a Hillsongs-kind of church excellence in the way they present the service. They really are open to signs and wonders and the moving of God. They say that we are like the fathers of that work because we helped equip them in the supernatural years ago. They haven't seen many mighty healings and have been wanting to break through. So I preached on how to break through in healings and there were amazing healings there that night. The whole Church got drunk.
Peter - my translator and the pastor - was bouncing around like a kangeroo on the platform and then the whole worship team went out onto the floor. The Church was pretty much drunk. A lady was standing in the congregation and had a green shirt on and I could see she wasn't receiving and was in her head and was cerebral - trying to receive from her head not her spirit. So I pointed to her and told her what her issue was and God came on her and she was able to go and cancel a surgery because she had lost all sense of smell - and her smell came back right there in the meeting!
So God is absolutely wonderful! Folks - to get your smell back is the same as getting your hearing back, your sight back - it's one of the five senses. It is a miracle equivalent to deafness or whatever. There were people healed of asthma. This is even greater to me - I don't want to go into a church and see great signs and wonders there and then I go and it all stops. There was an impartation. I really coached people that night and got practical on how you pray for the sick. This is what he says about the next Sunday;
"The next Sunday we had an enormous breakthrough in healing - asthma, scoliosis, dystrophy and many deliverances. Five people had arms and legs growing and one guy had an arm or leg grow about 10 cms!".
So that is a result of our visit - City Church International - into this church which has just been in a national and local newspaper to millions of people as the fastest growing church in Holland with positive reporting from the secular press saying this church loves people! They listen to our downloads and enter into this thing of grace. He is fully into it - we spoke about it. They are fully into this message of grace! The fastest church in Holland and are an independent church but want to partner with us and walk with us and want us to host a "Glory and Grace Conference" there. They have a 3, 000 seater that they can box into different sizes with mobile walls. It is classic Dutch efficiency - the Dutch people are incredibly efficient - even the trees grow in straight lines. You fly out from Heathrow airport and look down on the beautiful English countryside and you will see fields going higgldy in all angles and as soon as you get across the English channel and fly over Holland you see the trees going the same way. And that is how the Afrikaaners go the same way!
Then we went over to the UK and we go to preach in Eastbourne and it is a local church. They had 800 registrations for the conference and so when I got there, they told us there is such expectation. He said this one lady - she has got such bad arthritis and has been in the church for years and couldn't pick her child up anymore. She couldn't come to church anymore because she was so crippled and riddled with this advanced arthritis. She had said to the pastor Graham, "When Rob is here, I know I am going to be healed!". When I hear that I think; "Oh God I want to get on a plane and get out of here - I don't need that kind of pressure!". Then they put us up in the Grand Hotel in Eastbourne. It is rated as the second top hotel in the whole UK. We had the second best! They put us into the executive suite and as they are booking us in the people said; "Oh we are happy to upgrade you to the highest suite! The top suite!".
Glenda and I have got jeans and T-shirts on and we have got these people with top hats on and they are taking us into the room and part of us are thinking; "Should we act like we are used to this?!". We are not - so let's not disguise it - and we are running around like little kids wanting to put the gowns on! Big bathroom - big entrance hall - big TV and big bedroom and 4 poster bed and balcony onto the beach front! You don't have to ask for the blessing - just believe that you have the gift of righteousness in God. But I am thinking these guys have paid for our air fare and our expensive hotel and this lady is saying; "I KNOW I am going to get healed this week" and I am thinking it is like I owe them and if I don't come up with the goods and they have paid out all this money! They also put us in an English country cottage with a fireplace and wanted to make a fire in the English country on the South Downs which must have cost them a fortune and I am thinking; "I owe them!".
So half an hour before the conference starts, I am in the back room and I am sweating and Glenda is looking at me thinking; "What's wrong?!" and I am thinking; "I am under pressure!". I want to tell you this;
If you want to produce miracles - then you have got to get that pressure off you. That pressure will make you artificial and dial up your own soul power and psychic human pressure. You will show off and shout.
It is a bit distressing trying to see some of the guys trying to copy Todd Bentley. It is not the way he does it but the content of revelation in his heart that releases the power. It is not doing the things he does or how loud you shout. You can shout or whisper - but it is the content behind your words. What are you carrying on the inside of you?
So I had to get away and said; "Father I just reepnt of even trying to think I could produce anything here. I can't. I repent". So the pressure came off me and I was hardly into preaching and worship and the first person who got healed was the woman who said; "I know I am going to be healed this weekend!". You must know that pastor and his wife - Graham and Belinda - I know what it is like to go through chronic disease in members of your congregation and you pray for them and feel like a failure as a pastor because she couldn't come to church or pick up her child and now she is running around, jumping, picked up her child and could handle her child!
There was another lady with fibromialgia and just lies of the enemy in her mind. She was in the worship team but couldn't stand - she had to sit in a chair in the choir. She came and was one of the few I prayed for by hand and as soon as she stood in front of me I knew it was demonic. So I was very aggressive and I think I shocked the people around and I prayed; "In the Name ... FIRE!!" and she went bang on the ground! As the power hit her this demon came out with shrieking. I am so sorry for intellectual people who have limited their world to the little grey brain and analyse skeptically and cynically. I have seen too much friends! Demons come out with shrieks!
She fell on the ground under the power so I said; "Pick her up again" and prayed for a second, third time while coaching everyone around. I said; "You don't lay hands on certain diseases. Certain different types of sickness like MS - you are not passive". You go to war and attack that thing and take authority and cast it out! Some diseases you have got to take authority and step up and see it happen! So she came back the next day and I walked in and she was standing in the worship - all the pain had gone and the movement had come back. Her husband led the worship beaming because he was so happy he had got his wife back!
I just stood on the platform and pointed at them sitting in the second row and said; "This is not about crowds or about names or about numbers - this is about the Father loving His daughter and not wanting His daughter robbed of a quality of life but wanting to see His daughter set free". We have so many testimonies from this church. Miracle healings from crippling diseases - fifteen people came to Christ in one service alone and God was doing staggering things! And most of it was not from me laying hands on people. We had 3 services with them - I spoke to their leaders and spoke at their Sunday morning meeting.
People were coming so early and crowding into the building. 700 seater building and 800 were crowding in. We knew after 3 meetings that we could have gone on for weeks and if Glenda and I had stayed there - the meetings were already out of control, the power, the healings taking place after 3 meetings! We actually went and found out whether the stadium was available because we were seriously thinking - this thing would have grown to 1000's because the word was getting out! But the stadium was in disrepair and they were fixing it so there were only a 1000 seats in the stadium so that wasn't of any use to us. We didn't feel that we should stay anyway.
We left there that Sunday afternoon and drove to Cantebury which most of you know Cantebury is a very historic town and is the religious capital of the UK and where the Archbishop is. There is a church up there led by a guy called Tom and the church is mainly university students who go to Cantebury University and are very intellectual young men and women.
What is exciting about them is that they were a TOTALLY different breed of Christianity - they were intellectuals but had faith in the miraculous power of God! They were open to the supernatural.
And it was a WILD meeting - one of the most wild meetings I had been in! I was nearly embarrassed in the prayer meeting - they were wild! The way they pray is that they get into a circle and put their hands on each other shoulders and pray and then they turn around and pray!
These are university students! On fire for God Many of them will be doctors and lawyers and professors - on fire! Not intellectual faith but supernatural faith! This is the UK - England! Third World countries say that the move of God is over in Europe - you have got to be crazy! It is not! One of the major moves of God is coming out of the UK and Europe and of course you need to applaud because we are part of all that! God is doing some amazing things there! We saw the fire fall on many of them - so many amazing miracles! A cerebral palsy man got movement back in his leg. I prayed for a lady in her wheelchair and went to her with MS - she had been in that wheelchair for 38 years and she got up and walked. I prayed for her for about 20 minutes and she started to cry because she said she could stretch her hands out for the first time.
I said; "What about your legs" because she had no feeling in her legs. So I moved the plates which her feet were on and I said; "Move your legs" and she was able - for the first time in many years - she could lift both legs up! She was giggling, screaming and laughing and I said; "Lady keep in touch - because I believe a miracle is in process here". These nerves are recovering and you are moving for the first time.
I just felt a fire on me and on us to go for anything. I didn't care if a blind, deaf person came in - we are going to pray for ANYTHING that moves! Some may say; "Well why don't we see those miracles here in City Church International? Don't we have enough faith?". Listen we have got more faith than anywhere else I have been - I tell you why we don't see cripples walk here. Because there aren't any cripples coming in here! The biggest miracle would be for a cripple to get healed here who wasn't here! We are not bringing in the deaf, the blind, the wheelchair cases and you will never see it happen until they come in here - you know what I am saying?
That is why we can report on all these miracles because we are in a context where people believe that when Rob and Glenda come - miracles are going to happen. It's wrong that they believe it is because of us - but good they have that kind of expectation! The pressure of course came on us - we pushed it off - and God took the pressure on and God did mighty things!
So we need to bring the wheelchair cases in to City Church and the blind and the deaf - and have a go! Are we going to get them all healed? I wish I could say yes - can't guarantee it. I would say we had about an 80% success rate. Now this is what I would do - say; "Everyone stand" and pray a general prayer. "How many of you have been healed?". 20 hands or whatever would go up. "How many of you weren't healed?". Maybe 30 hands would go up or 40. "Alright - everyone around them go lay hands on them" and they would pray furiously! So after about 2 or 3 minutes say; "Stop! Alright how many have been healed?". You see another 8 hands go up. "Praise God! Alright how many have not been healed?". Another 15 hands go up. "Alright get around them. Jesus prayed for people twice so we can pray 3 or 4 times". We would pray 3, 4 or 5 times until I said; "How many are still not healed" and VERY FEW hands were left. We are going to get to a place where everyone is going to be healed.
In this Dutch church I taught them how to persevere. I said "Come on now - sickness is stubborn but the Dutch people are the most stubborn people I have ever met". So I said; "Look at this - we have prayed and hardly anyone had got healed. We can leave feeling failures or we can pray again!". More people got healed. "Pray again". More got healed! Jesus prayed for a blind man twice and the first time the man didn't get his full sight back.
We are too afraid of failure! We are climbing the mountain afraid of falling - instead of climbing the mountain to get to the top! Get our eyes of failing and get our eyes on succeeding and seeing the sick healed!
It is all available now! We need to swallow our pride when people don't get healed and can't take it personally. It was the minority that didn't get healed in all 8 or 9 meetings - it was the minority! These are new days! I said to to those minority who weren't healed; "It is not your fault - let's not look for whose fault it is - God's will is that you get healed".
This is the truth - when God manifests His power and glory - it is God's invisible nature being revealed in the visible realm of man.
I don't want to just see in creation the invisible nature of God. I want to see the nature of God made manifest visibly in the realm of man through the glory of God manifesting in the earth. If society is deprived of hearing about and seeing miracles then they are being deprived of knowing the true nature of God. The true nature of God is to heal, to restore, to lift suffering off humankind and set people free - that is the nature of God.
Whatever doesn't exist in heaven - God doesn't want to exist on the earth! The glory is the light of God and when light shines - darkness cannot sit there and refuse to go. Darkness has no choice - when the light of glory comes darkness flees. There is no contest - light is so superior to darkness.
The explanation for so much darkness in Hong Kong and in the world is not that darkness is so powerful but it is just that darkness hasn't been challenged by the church through the manifest power of God's glory light.
As soon as light comes - darkness goes. Cancer is darkness! You put the light of the glory of God on and cancer can't sit there and say; "I am not going". It just has to go. Light is just so superior to darkness. There is no contest! There is no yin and yan. It's not light against darkness. There is no battle or contest because light is so superior. The real contest is in the heart of God's people. The question goes; "Am I worthy to carry the power that raises the dead? The power that brings cripples out of wheelchairs?".
If you think like that you are thinking in an Old Covenant mentality - obviously you and I are not worthy - but to win this contest by revelation that you are the righteousness of God and in that revelation you ARE worthy, you ARE qualified, you ARE the light of the world, you ARE God's ambassador, you ARE authorised to raise the dead, to set the captives free, to heal the sick - YOU are!
You ARE through grace! Let me just read this to you - this was given on May 17th;
"Hi Rob and Glenda, it's Donna from Coastlands - I have some great things to tell you. You prayed for Caleb at the Glory and Grace Conference in Sydney. He has cerebral palsy and is in a wheelchair. He is 8 years old - he had never walked. When we got home I was telling my son Daniel and he asked Caleb if he believed. He said; "Yes" and he spent half an hour praying for him. He has now taken fifteen steps for the first time in his life - we have an amazing God!".
We are seeing an acceleration and an amplification. We have seen more people come out of wheelchairs in the last three months than in previous years. I am not afraid of wheelchair cases. I have got to fight when I am in a plane or in an airport and they are wheeling someone in - I have to fight not to pray for them! It's like a twitch - it's wrong! They shouldn't be in that wheelchair! They should come out! Young or old!
God is going to come on us so that we will not be able to cope with seeing sick people around us. We will just HAVE to pray for them and we will see such results.
After that lady got healed in the one church with cystic fibrosis and it is a demonic disease. It was an absolute miracle to see the transformation in her life and the effect it had on her husband. We were sitting in the Grand Hotel having the most incredible breakfast and I am sitting there and said; "Glenda, isn't it amazing that the Father reached out through two people like us from Hong Kong and just reached out to His daughter and healed her of years of suffering". Then I just burst into tears and said; "This is what this is about!". It isn't about religion and church and theology and doctrine. This is about seeing our Father's works - this is about winning the contest; "Am I worthy to carry this power?".
Yes we are worthy! That's why the devil is fighting this grace message - because he knows it isn't a contest between light and darkness. The light is so superior - the darkness will remain unchallenged while the church is going through a contest of "Am I worthy?". Preachers, apostles and prophets around the world must repent of preaching a mixture of law and grace and start year after year on a journey sequentially to bring the church not into partial freedom but into full freedom - the inner contest will be over and there is no outer contest. The light of glory will just cause darkness to flee! I am never going go where there is unbelief. I am never going to churches where they are legalistic and want to fight this message. I don't want to go anywhere else and sit and try and persuade people. We get people now and again who come in and sit here and I think; "I love you but you are not on my radar". I am looking for places like where I have been to in the UK and Europe who say; "Rob - come and we will honour and receive you".
I am looking for someone like Dave Holden who is one of the major leaders of NFI who took my hands after I preached the most radical message on grace that would frighten most leaders. Here is a man of theology and integrity and 30 years of experience in church planting and success and he took my hands and said; "Rob - run with this message - run with this message - the Church needs this message!".
I get people who say, "I want to sit and debate with you". I don't have time to debate with people who are doing nothing - don't have signs and wonders - don't have people coming out of wheelchairs - aren't seeing the lost and the broken come. I sat and wept in a hotel dining room and I said;
"Glenda - THIS is what we were born for! We weren't born to be pre-occupied with our problems, we weren't born to be pre-occupied with other people's problems, we weren't born to put embroidery on people's prison cells, we were born to set the captives free - who WANT to be free!".
Some people don't want to be free - because freedom is too responsible for them. So they stay in self-pity, preoccupied with themselves, "Woe is me" - I have got zero time for that mindset! There is a world out there desperately open to the power of God. We are breaking into the greatest signs and wonders and miracles the world has ever seen and City Church International is not on the peripheral - City Church International isn't behind somewhere! We are in the frontline - we are pioneering! I get emails nearly every week from people saying; "You guys are pioneering the way - you are taking the flack - you are taking the persecution - but you have opened the ground for us and we are moving ahead because of you!".
We are right in the front as supernatural frontrunners in the Kingdom of God! That's us! Give Him a shout! Let me just read this one - this will be a shocker this one. These people who say that we are giving people license to sin. We actually are giving them license to sin - they get the license and don't want to use it! Because they find out how wonderful Jesus is and He loves them so much that they get free from their addictions. Listen to this;
"For the last 10 years I have been addicted to internet pornography". That would describe hundreds of thousands of Christian men worldwide - addicted to internet pornography and being told; "Stop it! Stop it! Stay off it!". "I have been involved in 3 churches in this time and I have confided to pastors who were good men and they suggested many things - I had also many revelations about ways I could get free but I could not stop my addiction. I attended church every week and was a zealous worshipper but refused to get involved in any Christian ministry because I didn't want to infect others". This was given Monday May 12th so it is very recent. "After 10 years of this I was absolutely desperate and was looking everywhere for an answer - I wondered what would become of me yet I was more addicted than ever.
The Bible says that there is no temptation that has overcome us except which is common to man and there will be a way out so you can bear under it - but where is the way out? Someone handed me a CD of your teaching and you said that Paul's answer to sin in the Corinthian church was not more law - but more grace. I always totally believed in justification by faith but didn't understand how more grace was the answer to sin. Especially my sin! I then got another CD on which you mentioned your website. So I started listening to your sermons about the power of grace and I decided to dare believe this strange new doctrine not knowing if it would take me to heaven or hell.
I acted on what you said and I re-offended on the internet maybe twice more". Now I didn't tell him to do that - I have never met him! He acted on what I said - believing grace. "When the desires would come instead of fearing and fighting them - I decided even if I did go to these websites again God would forgive me on the basis of Jesus performance. It appears as if I was giving myself license to sin but for the first time in 10 long years - exactly the opposite happened. The desire for internet pornography simply TOTALLY dissolved. Once I accepted that God accepted me totally on Jesus' performance alone - the tangible Presence, the love of God flooded my being and it was then the tangible Presence of the grace of God that dissolved my desire for pornography. Although it has only been 3 months ...". He hasn't visited those sites for 3 months whereas before he visited them continously before that for 10 years.
"It has been 3 months since I visited a pornographic website, I am totally confident that I am free of this thing at last and have no desire for it. Rob I am writing this letter to confirm that this experience bears witness with this doctrine of uncompromising grace is the truth. I want to shout it from the rooftops and advertise it in the newspaper that there is an answer! Rob - on behalf on hundreds of thousands of Christians held in bondage to internet pornography - KEEP PREACHING THIS MESSAGE!! Maybe advertise that there is a cure to internet pornography on your website so that when desperate people like me search for it on the internet, a link to your website will come up.
One area where I must disagree with you - you say a miracle is like a new eyeball growing - Rob what has happened to me is truly a miracle. I have my dignity, self-esteem and peace back. I have faith for the future. I can show God's love to my wife and children again. I had totally given up any hope of service to God - yet God is showing me that He isn't finished with me yet. Also strangely a medical issue I have had for six years and it appears to be gone. No one has prayed for me - but the grace of God is powerfully upon me!".
Come on guys - this is just awesome! All the persecution is worth it - being misunderstood is worth it. I am so glad I didn't give into the pressure - God prepared you and me for these days. Seven years ago God began to speak to me and say;
"Son you have got to get all your identity and sense of security from Me and Me alone. The fickle fans are fickle - the crowds come and go and will applaud you and reject you. If you perform to what they want then they like you - if you don't, then they won't like you. If you allow man's pressure to intimidate you to perform or compromise then you won't fulfill your destiny".
So He took five years to teach me the security in Him. If He hadn't prepared me for this - then I would have caved long ago. Some of my closest friends have sold out on me and are talking behind my back about this. It is the acceleration of results - amplification and acceleration. If the fear of man inhibits you from preaching the gospel and sharing with your workmates who Jesus is, from being ashamed to talk about Jesus, from being ashamed to bring people to church and invite cripples to come to church - if the fear of man cripples you then you can go to work year after year and no one knows that you are saved.
He comes to seek and save those who are lost. Today we want to be free from the fear of man. It is only when rejection comes that you realise how much you need deliverance. God is enough! From personal experience - from having some of my closest friends talk about me in the most slanderous way about this message - the pain I felt! Yet the fearless, bold confidence to carry on preaching this message is because God dealt with my need of man's acceptance. Beginning 5 or 6 years ago! God knew that you would be alive at this time and be positioned for this time. If you have got any remnant of the fear of man - something that stops you from coming to to the front to prophesy because you think if you come and prophesy and don't get it right - then I may look like a fool!
Friends I had to pray for a lady with MS and although her legs moved a bit, they had to wheel her out of there again and I had no reputation. It wasn't my reputation on the line! The Father says; "The more you pray for the blind, the deaf, the cripples then you are going to get results".
If you are proud and don't want to look like a fool then you are going to sit in the boat and be bored like so many Christians - bored, bored and bored and the more bored you get, the more critical you get and then you want to balance everyone and come out with all these amazing doctrines but you are not living in experiential power of the truth.
The UK has got a serious youth problem - young people are murdering one another with drugs and alcohol and bingers and problems. They are not the fault! They are not going to give up alcohol and drugs and all that associated with it to sit in a boring church that has no signs, wonders and miracles. Let people get drunk in the Holy Spirit and come out of wheelchairs, the deaf here, the blind see, people full of liberty, joy, rolling under the power of God - the young people will give up drugs and flock to the Church and the multitudes will come.
It is all about the Church getting free from self-conciousness! "My life - my problems - life is not fair - woe is me!" - NO! It is about the fact that you are the righteousness of God and then the blessings will come on you and the blessings will fall on you!
The curses and the judgement fell on Him! As soon as they fell on Him, the blessings will come on you as soon as you believe you are the righteousness of God. So let's pray this prophecy over us ... thanks guys: [recording of prophecy by Julian Adams commences:]
"I feel that in this atmosphere of God pouring out His Spirit - I feel the Lord has been giving me a word for Rob and Glenda - if you will come and stand here. I wonder if some of the apostolic team guys will come and stand alongside them. Rob - the last time I prophesied over you, I saw an angel and tonight the angel has been walking up and down the stage. The royalty of heaven - the protection of heaven is on you and I felt the Lord wants to speak to you about a new season you will enter into over the next 3 - 6 weeks. It's going to be a season of incredible visitation. It will be a season of incredible encounters. I saw you heading away in the room and out of the norm that you have been used to. I saw the Lord begin to visit you and I believe it is going to be with revelation from His Word - in this next season there is going to come a sharp prophetic word that is going to move people into a new experience of the glory.
But I felt God say you will encounter Me in some ways that would seem to many other people as irrational and out of the box. You will encounter Me in some ways that are going to challenge even some of the most experienced charismatics. Because God's going to visit you. I see the Lord encountering you in the secret place - it's almost like I see you in the secret place and it is like I see you eating scrolls from heaven because there's going to be a word coming to you that will become a part of you that you will begin to prophesy and speak into that will begin to cause a new wineskin to come to many movements. I believe the Lord is saying that the next 3-6 weeks are going to be weeks of incredible encounter - you are to get ready!
They are going to be encountering weeks. I felt the Lord showed me your church and I felt the Lord say to me; "Even as David had some famous men join his army, the Lord would say that I am going to give you famous men and women in your city. I am going to give you influential businessmen and women who will join your church and will flood in and it will be an incredible amount - it won't just be one or two but 10's and 20's who will begin to join the rank and join the army of the Lord in that local church". I felt God wanted to say to you - Rob and Glenda - that this next season will see an acceleration of leadership added to you. You will see an acceleration of men and women who will carry you in this season of visitation in order to prepare a wineskin of a local church revival.
The Lord says to you;
"You think you have seen downloads - now wait till you see what will happen in the next 2 to 3 years as many will get on a plane and come and visit Hong Kon and be part of the meetings that God is going to open up. There will be a residential anointing that the Lord will give you and the Lord says where it seems impossible for land and buildings - I will make a way in this next season. I will make a way in this next season and I will give you favour even with municipalities and governments and God says to you; "Son - you will begin to see a statesmen-like anointing come on you. Where you will find yourself in front of influential governments even in Hong Kong and you will bring the Word of the Lord to them".
God says at times it will be supernatural - an organisational supernatural appointment - it will not be man-made. The Lord says to you;
"Son and daughter - get ready for a new visitation because from you will come an anointing to begin to shape whole areas. God is going to give you a download of community city revivals. Son you have prayed and said; 'God I don't want to presume on you and don't want to think more of myself than I ought to' but the Lord says to you today that there is a ranking in the Spirit that comes on you and moves you into the realm of statesman and government anointing for I will give stadiums says the Lord. I will give stadiums says the Lord! I see stadiums full - I see stadiums full and I see you carry a glory that will begin to grab a hold of thousands of thousands.
And the Lord says;
"Son and daughter I want you to know that these next 6 weeks will be incredible visitations. I believe it has to do with those angels you saw in the past. I see those angels coming to commission you and you have been waiting in the decree room and the Lord says; "Today I am issuing you with decrees of old. They will begin to shape and disciple whole nations. So I want you to get ready says God. Because there will come incredible growth in this season in your local church - growth from affluent people and you will begin to see your church swell with numbers in order to shape a whole nation. His breakout is coming upon you.
Rob and Glenda I believe the Lord is releasing an anointing upon you for the resurrection of the dead. I see literally the resurrection from the dead! An anointing coming upon you for that for this next season. God is going to catapault you as a couple and He says; "I will provide men and women - even men who are able to work with both hands. David's men were added and they could work with the left and the right hand - multi-skilled men and women". God says; "I want you to get ready - because there is a commissioning and a decree that has gone out in this heavenlies and you will step into it in this season. You will begin to know My favour in a radical way".
So Father - we want to pray for this couple right now. Won't You proclaim victory over this couple? I believe the Lord will give you hundreds of intercessors that will be your portion because the enemy has attacked - the enemy is trying to steal and come against you and there has been a wrestling and a contending and a fighting. But God says to you today;
"Son I have given you apostolic authority in the heavenlies. Even right now there will be a spirit of intercession that will clothe and protect you from the works of the enemy in this next season. It's almost like Jesus when He came out of the desert place - the Bible says the enemy left Him for a season and I believe that you are about to enter into that kind of season where the enemy will leave you alone because God decreed it so.
You will gain much ground - much ground. Geographical and physical ground - physical buildings! Physical buildings! I see like a shopping mall. I see a building and you taking the whole floor of the mall. God says; "Get ready!". It's opening up for you. Buildings - training centres - releasing centres coming to you in Jesus Name. So we ask You for Your favour. And Your protection! Come Holy Spirit!".
I don't know if you could hear all of that but this guy Adrian (Ed: His name is actually Julian Adams!) knows very little of Glenda and I and this church. About 90% of what he said was confirmation - stuff that I had privately heard God say to me. I hope you heard that it is not about Glenda and me essentially but our togetherness. You hear about buildings - I am not interested in a permament building.What I am interested in is a facility that can serve our dreams and serve our vision.
We had a great worship time again, similar to Sunday night, and then Kaye got up to basically share her testimony. Her husband had died just 6 months before, and they had been in ministry together for something like 40 years, which is amazing! Some people had a difficult time hearing her as she was somewhat quiet and not at all dramatic, but this was one of my favorite parts of the conference. I love hearing testimonies and grew up reading biographies of famous men and women of God. She passed around some pictures of miraculous manifestations (such as some money with a note from God to her grand daughter on it) and was also wearing a huge ring with a beautiful green stone in it that God dropped at her feet. It was very sparkly, and green being my favorite colour I believe he should give me one too (though I'd probably have it set in a crown instead).
She shared about the joy that comes from knowing God in the midst of difficult times, and at the end invited people who lacked joy to come for prayer. She looked a bit shocked when nearly everyone came forward! . .(A lady sitting next to us from the church explained that depression is a serious problem in Hong Kong...) There were only a few of us still sitting in our seats, and soon we were busy moving chairs out of the way as many started falling to the floor. Kaye and Janet Mills moved around the room praying and laying hands on people in such a quiet and gently manner it was rather surprising the violent effects of their ministry! Josh was still manning the keyboard and singing, and we were happily taking it all in.
When Rob recovered and got up off the floor hehe, he started calling certain visiting people forward to be prayed for. He called some people from a church in China (I think?) up, and then he called us up. Janet was excited that we were church planting in Canada, asked us where and she answered that the Maritimes need churches. Neither Aaron or I remember another word she or Kaye said after that! She then very gently placed her hands on Aaron's face and he was out like a light, then she put her hands on my face and it was so glorious, God's loving joyful presence just wrapped me in light. I didn't fall or anything, I think was struggling to remain standing because I didn't want Janet to stop! Ahhh, but she did...
And then Rob was dealing with something demonic in someone and I was glad I didn't miss it. I had noticed earlier that someone was struggling with a demonic issue and hoped it would get dealt with, so I was intrigued to be able to be up close to see how Rob handled it. I always pay close attention whenever I'm close to someone experienced in casting out demons, which unfortunately doesn't happen very often. This is one area of ministry I'm dying to jump into more, and one thing I really have more than enough faith to make up for the lack of experience.
That night we stayed at the YWCA where the church met, and the next day a lady (Marika)from the church picked us up and drove us to nicer accommodations that she and her husband had arranged. She was so kind and generous and gave us lots of information about the city. That night we had quite an adventure getting lost with a taxi driver who spoke no English, due in large part to us being hungry at midnight for a real meal for most of the time we were there, 12 hour time difference! I think I won't get into that! Suffice it to say, God got us back to our room!
So Tuesday and Wednesday of our trip involved sightseeing and lots of walking. The weather was great, we went to the Peak (where we waved to the Mills and Kaye Beyer out the tram window!) and got to see all the great views. And we did lots of wandering around the shops and ate mysterious Chinese food.
On Thursday Marika picked us up again and took us over to the Rufus' house where we chatted with Rob and Glenda and then ate together with a few people from the worship team who were there early for the prayer meeting that night. The prayer meeting was really great and intense...and loud! There were lots of prophetic words and testimonies, and Rob asked Aaron and I to share a couple of things we'd shared with him as well, just some encouragement God had given us for the church. We got to meet even more people that night and everyone was so easy to talk to. If we weren't so obviously called to be planting a church here in Canada, I think it would be extremely tempting to move to Hong Kong! We then went back to Ryan and Kylie's house for the night as we were flying out early the next morning. We stayed up talking again, and the next morning as we stood by the taxi about to get in , I felt such a wave of sadness wash over me. I already missed them!
One little testimony here: We needed taxi money to get to the airport on Friday morning and I wasn't sure how much we'd need, I didn't think we had enough Hong Kong dollars left. We could have gone to a bank and gotten some more out but that would have been inconvenient and I didn't want to exchange more money than we needed, so I just asked God on Thursday to provide the money we needed. Well, at the prayer meeting, a lady from the church came up and slipped me some money, she said it should be enough for the taxi. Wow, God doesn't waste any time! As we were leaving, Rob and Glenda gave us money for the taxi as well, we told them we didn't need it anymore but they said to get a nice breakfast at the airport. It wasn't too long before Ryan and Kylie gave us some money for the taxi, also insisting we keep it when we told them we had more than enough! OK God, you've made your point, you're pretty generous, according to your riches in glory, not my need!
Anyway, we had a good flight back and safe trip home though it took me quite some time to readjust to the proper time zone. Thanks again to Dan for your faith and generosity and investing in kingdom building in Canada!
Monday, 16 June 2008
Here is a slightly older sermon of Rob Rufus's - again this is thanks to Todd - a member of City Church International in Hong Kong. This sermon was Part 1 from the series; "Grace for Freedom and Fruitfulness Series (1)" preached on February 19th 2006.
"Alright. Asking Ryan to come and just pray for us as we get ready to receive the word of God, so while he's coming, please just open your bibles to Colossians Chapter 1;
Lets close our eyes and fix them on Jesus this morning, I just as I was sitting there I just sensed that God wants to release a fresh grace even before we hear this message. I know something of what dad wants to speak on this morning, and I just feel that God has a release of grace for us this morning and he's already been releasing it but, no to, not to, not for that grace to kick in right before the message but right from the very start so that we here everything in grace and out of grace and as I was sitting there I just sensed that the enemy wants to come this morning and rob us of what God's doing this morning ah by a feeling of unworthiness. That's the word I had going around in my spirit, unworthiness, unworthiness. And many of us come in here this morning just feeling a but unworthy whether it's a great degree of feeling unworthy or even a small degree of feeling unworthy.
And I just feel that God wants to get rid of all of that, he doesn't want us to feel unworthy at all because Christ Jesus has made us worthy because what he did on the cross. This morning I felt God saying that I have qualified you. I have qualified you.
So Father we just pray that we come before you by your grace by your anointing, by your spirit and just pour out fresh grace in everyone's heart here this morning. Holy Spirit, we open our hearts to you, would you just come and flood us and saturate us with grace. We take authority over feelings of unworthiness, we take authority over demonic oppression and heaviness trying to crush God's people. We take authority over it this morning and break it in the name of Jesus by the blood of Jesus, by the name of Jesus, and by the word of God we break it in Jesus's name and release freedom, and grace, and life and peace and joy in every spirit here this morning. Holy spirit open our hearts to hear exactly what you are saying this morning Lord God and to hear it with your heart. Not the emphasis of the world not the lies of the enemy but with the very heart of God. May the heart of God come through this morning we pray in Jesus Name Amen.
I just feel like the Holy Spirit wants us to start a new series called "Grace For Freedom and Fruitfulness". Freedom is the cry of every human being's heart but if we are free without being fruitful, then we become unfulfilled and if we are fruitful without being free, we become frustrated. And I believe there is a kingdom release of freedom that guarantees fruitfulness that we don't seek fruitfulness, we seek the grace of God to bring us into freedom and in genuine freedom we find fruitfulness in our lives in every area of our lives. Productivity and fruitfulness that fuitfulness is not something that we work to achieve so that we become proud of our efforts. Fruitfulness in the kingdom is supernatural and it flows out of the kingdom that is supernatural in grace. While I was in Dubai just a week ago, and by the way the report came back again by email that the day after I flew out that Mat's physiotherapist was amazed and astointed to use her words at the increased mobility in his arms and legs, so there is a real progression of a miracle there and we are all part of it by God's grace.
But wlaking on the beach there I really felt God say,
“Son, be careful not to drift away from your foundation in grace. Be careful not to go back to human effort because it is so easy”.
Most of the apostles were, in a few years, drifting back into a mixture of law and grace. And Paul the apostle and champion of grace had to rebuke John and Barnabas to their faces because they had drifted from grace and they were starting to mix grace with law. And that's why God did not tell Paul to go down to Jerusalem and learn the gospel from the existing apostles. He took him in to the desert for three years and taught him from heaven the grace of God And then he went back down to Jerusalem and checked out the gospel is what they had heard.
And they confirmed it was, but I tell you this that if Apostles can drift from Grace, and they are the masters, the champions to make sure the church is kept in grace, and not under religious laws and legalism and regulations that rob our joy and rob our freedom and fill us with condemnation.
So I felt God say to me;
“Son, you're just beginning to drift, you're beginning to stress out. You're beginning to push in your own effort. You're to make things happen. You're taking on the responsibility for the church. Unless the Lord builds the church, you labour in vain. I'm the builder of the church and you're not. You just co-labour with me so enjoy the and freshly teach my people grace because whenever you are going to build further up, or higher up in your life, or in any structure in terms of spiritual structure or relational or emotional structure you have to make the foundations go down deeper. If you are going to add on to the existing house, they will get the building inspectors in to check the foundation and if the foundations are inadequate, then they will not allow you to build upwards. They will say that first you have to reinforce downwards so you can go upwards.
Grace is the foundation everything we do, our marriage, church life, everything we do must come from a foundation of liberty and freedom in grace otherwise it's just dead works and counts for nothing".
So I want to look at I want to unpack this thing sequentially over the next six to eight sundays. Just sequentially unpack. What about law and grace. Law and grace. What does the bible say about his. How to discern the operation of religious spirits that try to drive you off grace all the time. How to detect legalism that's developing in your life. There are some early warning signs that indicate legalistic living. Bwop, bwop, warning, danger, condemnation, guilt and loss of joy is coming if you go further down this track and we will learn how to detect legalism in early warning signs and symptoms. We are going to look at the great doctrine of justification by faith that is lost to most of the church, and we're going to examine these things little by little every week. We are going to cover some stuff we covered about a year ago and then we're going to go onto new stuff that God in one day opened up a whole new set of stuff. A whole lot of understanding on grace that I've never seen before as clearly as this. It really was.
Walking out in the country park he began to say this, this and showed me from the scriptures. And I tell you my heart just came into rest. My heart came into relief. And through this series, you will increasingly find that condemnation will increasingly become a stranger to you and grace will become a very dear friend. Full of peace and a lot of loy and a lot of deep breaths. Ah, thank goodness, rest in the grace of God. Alright? So lets enjoy this journey together. I want to get to the new stuff that I have never taught before but that can only really come in one on about the fourth teaching, alright? We've got to sequentially move there because if you get people there it will sound too good to be true. Our legalistic minds that are conditioned by legalistic propaganda will just automatically, subconsciously reject it, so we are going to have to move through the scriptures so you can clearly see this is God's gospel this is not Rob's gospel. This is God's gospel. This is not Rob's opinion. This is not NCMI's opinion or philosophy. This is not a denominational view that we want to give you, this is God's beautiful, clear, word, the New Testament.
Do you know that the New Testament, the whole essence of the gospel in the New Testament is to give people confidence before God so that they can approach God with confidence. They reason they can't approach God with confidence is they are living under laws that condemn them rather than living under grace that liberates them.
And yes, down the road we are going to talk about how a Christian can overcome sin and how a christian can have vistory over sin. But, folks, if we get to that too early, before a sufficient foundation of grace has been laid, then people will try to become holy and overcome sin froma faulty and inadequate foundation even an erroneous foundation that is motivating them to try to get over sin, and it will only condemn them to misery and deep disappointment. You can make your new year's resolution and you can set your world but unless there is a grace foundation, you are trying to change without a right foundation, and anything done on a wrong foundation will always lead to misery and disappointment.
You know the gospel is not about us changing, you knows you need to change in some areas. If you think the gospel is talking to you about changing, you don't know the gospel of Jesus Christ. That is the gospel of man where it talks about you having to change. The only thing about the gospel regarding change in the gospel is it's god's change. God changed the way he relates to you. He changed the way he relates to you from the old mosaic law. Now he's changed the way. He's not going to relate to you anymore by law or by your performance, but he's going to relate to you by grace and grace alone. Amen. And so we need to understand grace in all it's truth and then we will become fruitful. So let's read from Colossians chapter 1 and lets read from verse 3.
"We always thank God the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all of the saints – the faith and love that springs from the hope that is stored up in you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel that has come to you. All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit growing, just as it has been doing since the day you heard it and understood God's grace in all its truth".
Folks, we need to understand Gods grace in all its truth in order to come into freedom, in order to come into fruitfulness. It is not enough to have a superficial understanding of grace. It's not enough to pop into church and hear an odd sermon on grace and get a little aspect of grace. That will condemn you to destruction. To know just enough about grace and not the breadth of grace will get you confused, you see. You've got to know grace in all of it's truth.
It's not enough to have a few little cliches. "Well Grace is G-R-A-C-E, God's riches at Christ's expense". Folks, in the middle of a battle in life, cliches do not help you. You need a bedrock of the theology of the word of God. And too many churches and Christians have been built now on froth and bubble and hype and a lot of you know, skills on how to be practical and win in life. But folks, it's not about human skills and practical and how to win in life, it is on a rich foundation of understanding God's grace in all of it's truth that will produce fruitfulness and freedom in your life.
You need to on monday, tuesday wednesday when condemnation comes, you need to go ah wait hold on I can discern, I can detect legalism I know the operation of a religious spirit that is contradicting the word of god. I understand God's grace and all it's truth. I know what is the old covenant is, I know what is the new covenant is, the old covenant, and I know what covenant I'm in. I'm in Christ Jesus. That's what we need.
So now go to 1st Thessalonians which is, just turn right to the next book. And today I want to talk about freedom from dead works. Freedom from dead works. You know God wants us to live in works of freedom works that have life in them, alright. So we are going to look here, and I want you to see, what motivated the Thessalonians. What was the motive behind their works, their deeds, their labour and their endurance. This church was a model church and paul wrote about this - if you want to know what a model New Testament church is, if you want to know what a New Testament church he is saying is, “look at the Thessalonian church.”.
Now he would never say look at the Galation church because they went from grace back to law, he would never say look at the Corinthian church because they were so crazy. He spoke about, in scripture the Thessalonians were a model church. I pray that God will make City Church International a model church.
That when God want's to show off something of his grace and people say what is the new testament church like? Is it a denomination, is it a religious tradition, is it a mixture of dark ages and a little bit of superstition that came in from paganism, 1500 years ago when the church lost the grace of God and went into the dark ages and paganism came in and pagan rituals and pagan clothes and cloths that the priests wear that are not in the new testament at all. You know, what is a New Testament church?
I pray that God will say City Church International. Look at them. They haven't arrived, but they're on a journey to discover what grace is about what new testament life is all about. Not to boast and show off and think that you are elite. Now, because grace will never allow you to be elite or arrogant. Grace will cause you to say man, I just boast in the grace of God. I am weak but he is great. Come on, can you say amen. So lets look at what motivated the Thessalonians. From verse 2;
"We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ".
See here we've got a church. They're not just sitting around passively. They're not just doing nothing. They're not sitting around saying, praise God I'm under grace so I do nothing. They're working and they're labouring and they're enduring hardships and persecution and difficulty. The motive behind their work is produced by faith. The motive behind their deeds is that it is a motive of love. And the reasons that they are enduring hardships is that they are inspired by their hope in Christ Jesus. Now Jesus writes or speaks to seven churches in the book of revelation. And he uses to the one church, Ephesus, he uses the same three words that Paul uses to the Thessalonians. And he says this to them in Revelation chapter 2, he says:
"I know your deeds, your hard work and your perseverance". Then he goes in and he says; "But I hold this against you: You have lost your first love for me".
Now, let me ask you, what is the difference between the Thessalonians and the Ephesus church? Well the Ephesus church is working hard, they've got good deeds, they but the motive behind it is gone. It's no longer faith, it's no longer hope, it's no longer love. It's just religious mechanics, it's perfunctory performance. It's just going through the motions. And Jesus says to the seven churches, he brings correction to every one of the seven churches. But they are all loving corrections, they are redemptive corrections. They are not saying I hate you. I dissaprove of you because you're not lining up, here's corrections that are redemptive.
But to only two churches does Jesus give this warning, “If you do not change, I will close you down, I will take my candlestick away” to three churches. The other five had things wrong with them but he didn't threaten to close them down. But there are two churches that he said, I'm going to close you down if you don't change. The one was the Ephesus church. They were working hard, they were enduring they were doing deeds. The other was the Laodocian church which had become luke warm. The two churches he threatened to close down was because of the motives behind what they were doing.
We are very caught up in our society with what we do but God is concerned of why we do it. Because the motive behind it is more important to God than what we're doing. And that's where we are going now.
You say, does Jesus close churches down? All these churches closing down, is this Jesus? Yes, Jesus is the only one to close the church down. I don't have a right, no apostles, no prophets have a right. Jesus does close churches down. Because, you see, Jesus is life. God is absolute life, and He cannot be represented by creeping death.
Dead works, works done without fath, hope, or love are dead religious activites. The Christian world is filled with dead hyperactivity and much of it is dead works that represent God because God is a supernatural God, a miracle working God, and he can only be represented by life. I understand that every year in the United Kingdom, several thousand churches close down. I'm not exaggerating, that's well reported. Several thousand churches close down.
I heard from Terry Virgo recently that in the city of Brighton were I will be preaching at a conference this July, how many churches? Fouteen churches have closed down in 2006 already. People say why do we need to plant more churches, if we planted fourteen new churches into Brighton, we'd only be keeping pace. See, churches are closing down all over the world because of dead works, and Jesus will close things down that deosn't have life in it. But wherever the gospel is preached, wherever the grace of God is revealed, fruitfulness and life spring up. Jesus endorses that and there is freedom and and enlargment. Amen
So let's quickly have a look here at Hebews chapter 9. How does dead works creep in to our lives? How is it possible that people that are made alive in God can become so dull and dead? What happens to it. Have you ever felt yourself dying a little bit as a Christian? It's not a case of losing your salvation, your salvation is very secure in Christ. It's not about losing your salvation, you are safe and secure in Christ forever. The scriptures are very clear on that in my opinion. So, how does death creep in? I felt death creeping in to my prayer life, into my life, sometimes as a Christian. How does it happen? What is it that brings dead works? Well lets read chapter 9 of Hebrews, beautiful, and wonderful and passage of scripture. It just thrills me to read this every time. And we will have an insight here about what brings in this terrible phenomenon called death. Ok? Dead Works, verse eleven to verse fourteen.
When Christ came as high priest of the good things that are already here, he went through a greater and more perfect tabernacle that is not man-made, that is to say, not a part of this creation. He did not enter by means of the blood of goats and calves; but he entered the Most Holy Place once for all by his own blood, having obtained eternal (not temporary) redemption. The blood of goats and bulls and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God!
So the scriptures are saying here that the unblemished of Jesus, his shared blood cleanses our consciousness from acts that lead to death that we may serve the living God.
Now I want to show you from the context. I don't have the time know but we will see from this series, that the acts that lead to death that the writer is talking about here have nothing to do about sinning. This is not about sinning, this is the motives behind why we do what we do. In fact, the NIV is the only one that translates it “acts that lead to death”. Almost every other translation will say, “the blood of Jesus cleanses our consciences us from dead works that we may serve the living God.”This scripture here is talking about having your conscience cleansed so that you can serve the living God with faith, hope, and love. With living works and not with acts that lead to death, or with dead works.
Let me say this, if you think that the way to have a clear conscience is by your moral code, then all you are is setting yourself up for pride, arrogance, and self righteousness, and deep condemnation and then elevated into pride, arrogance, and self righteousness, and deep condemnation because you think that the basis of having a clear conscience is on the basis of your moral lifestyle, then when you are doing well, then you will feel arrogant and in your conscience, and when you fail you will feel absolutely crushed with condemnation.
Because to think to have a clear conscience in Christianity is on how moral you are, you have shifted from the finished work of the cross sacrifices of Jesus to a performance based lifestyle. When you are doing well, you have a clear conscience. Then when you are failing you feel a condemn conscience.
The Bible has nothing to say about the conscience of a Christian being based on their moral lifestyle. It's right here in the word of God. Not religious opinion, the word of God says, our conscience is clean through Jesus Christ offering him self unblemished and through the blood he cleanses our conscience from acts that lead to death, or dead works so we can serve the living God. So how does creeping death come in? By not being secure in grace and trying to cleanse our conscience by our own moral living. It's a clever dception of the religious spirit but it's happening world wide. Let's read Philips, sorry Petersons translation of verse 14. It's brilliant. Listen to this:
"Think how much more the blood of Christ cleans up our whole lives inside and out. Through the spirit, Christ offered himself as an unblemished sacrifice, freeing us from all those dead end efforts to make us respectable so that we can live all out for God".
That's a good way to define or describe dead works – freeing us from all those dead end efforts. That's what dead works are. I'm trying through dead end efforts, trying to do good things to gain some respect with God. But the bible says that the blood of Christ so cleanses our conscience that we are freed up from our miserable efforts to make God to like us more, to impress God with our goodness so that our conscience is clear so the motive behind which we do things cannot be manipulated by guilt or condemnation or have to but a supernatural want to joy springs up in our hearts. Come on can you say amen?
Go to Romans chapter 4. What have we just said here. What we just said is this: If your conscience is not secure in grace, if you do not have a clear revelation that the only way your conscience can stay free, and live free is by the sacrifice Jesus made. Your conscience cannot be free on the basis of your performance. That is not Christianity. That may be the Zama zama religion. That may be certain religious traditions but we have just read from the word of God that it isn't. It does not say through your own efforts your conscience is clean to serve the living God.
If you kept your conscience clean by your efforts, then we blaspheme and spit on the finished work of the cross. We trample on the blood and we say that the blood wasn't good enough to keep our conscience clean, I'm so self righteous I'll keep my conscience clean. That is self righteous that is Pharisee. The curse of the self made man is in the earth today, pride, arrogance. That's why people reject God. They say I don't need God. Look at me, I've got education, I've got this, I've got that. Yes but look at their lives, it's like a bomb hit it.
God's not calling strong self sufficient sophisticated, people. He doesn't need... You know some people think that when they volunteer to become a Christian, wow God's lucky he's got me now. I'm here, God, watch out. God says, is that what you think? Alright Moses, forty years in the desert. You want to use all your wise secular training of Egypt, forty years in the desert, then we'll find out. Amen? While you're still trying to justify your conscience by your personal ambitions of morality and your good works, and your achievements, you are basing your life and setting it up for dead works.
You’re setting yourself up to be manipulated, to be bullied, or through your pride to volunteer for every committee, every group that solicits your help because your pride and your conscience is driving you for greater and greater achievements because you want to fulfill more and more things out of pride and you think that your conscience will be cleared by being on this moral group and on that society and this group and running around the world doing this and that hoping that your conscience will be cleared but I challenge you in the wee wee hours of the night when everything is still and the radio is off and nothing is distracting you, check inside your conscience and see how clean it really feels.
Because every persons conscience is absolutely dirty, it is vile, it is polluted, it is driven by some of the most vile things, it is confused and lives in condemnation. And there is only one thing that can take that guilt away from your conscience, not your works, the unblemished sacrifice of Jesus and the blood.
And if you’ve got elements of condemnation in your conscience, then you will do Christian activity to try to ease your conscience and the motive is not faith, hope and love, it is guilt and condemnation. It is a dead work, it doesn’t impress God, he just doesn’t even give any rewards for it, doesn’t even acknowledge it. But once you’re secure in grace, and once your conscience is clear through grace, then when the spirit of God leads you and guides you, you can say yes there’s faith hope and love in this, there’s joy in this, wow I want to do this and you can say no to that, no to that. Well everyone else is doing it. Yes I know, but I’m not because I don’t need to do it to clear my conscience from condemnation. My conscience is clear to listen to the sweet voice of the Shepard inspiring me to do living works. See you sign up for things that are based on trying to feel important, or clear your conscience, you’ll sit on committees and everyone in your home is frustrated and eventually your frustrated saying why am I actually doing this? Why is my diary so full? Where’s the quality of life?
And you just feel manipulated and bullied by guilt and condemnation and vulnerable to say yes, yes, yes until you’ve said yes so much to everyone else you’ve said no to your wife, your children and you’ve cursed your destiny and your grand children yet to come. Because you filled your life with dead works that are conscience driven out of condemnation and not out of a free conscience that follows the leading of the Holy Spirit. How many thing that this is really important for the church? In this hour you are going to hear more prophesies and more preachers coming on Christian TV telling you what you should be doing and not doing. Come on, do more, do more and if you’re not secure in grace, you’re going to sign up for some deception. You’re going to sign up for a whole works program that so distract you and seduce you from the freedom you have in Christ to obey what the spirit of God’s leading you to do. And what the spirit of God leads you to do he smiles on you and endorses you and gives vision and favour and liberty and you will enjoy doing it.
Alright. Romans chapter four. We’re talking about dead works or life works, ok. Look at Romans four. Now are you going to have enough courage to believe what I read to you? Say yes by faith. Listen to this now, see if your heart can receive this. This is not my opinion, this is God’s word. Romans chapter 4 verse 4;
"Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift, but as an obligation. 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 he speaks of the blessedness of the man to whom God credits righteousness apart from works".
Say apart from works. Credits righteousness apart from works. The next verse says;
"Blessed are they whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sins the Lord will never count against him."
Let me say that to you again:
"Blessed is the man whose sins the Lord will never count against him."
You know that word never is a big word. It’s a long word. Blessed is the man whose sins the Lord will never ever ever ever never never never never ever ever ever count against him." Don’t you like that book keeping? Blessed is the man whose sins the Lord will never never never never never. For those of you on the CD may it crackle in your ears. Never never never count against you. Now when does that happen? Does it happen the moment you get born into this world? You come out of your mothers womb, eeeaa! No, you come out of the womb under law, under condemnation. We’ll see that in a moment. You come out of the womb spiritually dead. You can know about God and you can make imaginary gods in your head and you can serve any imaginary god or cult or no matter what you do in your head. But the moment you recognize the God of Abaham, Isaac, and Jacob, the creator of the heavens and the earth.
The living God. The triune God. When you recognize that God and you recognize Jesus Christ as the Lord, you are born again, you become a new creation. And from the time you were born again. From that moment, God is not counting any of your sins ever against you. He will never change his mind because he will never count them against you from that moment. Now lets ask this question: How many Christians in the world do you really believe have a clear, graphic, revelation in their conscience that their father in heaven is never ever going to count their sins against them. Not their past sins, not their present sins, not their future sins according to collosians chapter 2. How many do you think? How many in this room have total a freedom in your conscience. You walk around with every day. I’m so blessed because God will never count my sins against me.
See I know the religious minds are already going, yeah but if I believe that, I’ll just rush out and sin as much as I can. Now you see, you’re just jumping ahead. Just stay with what we’re reading right now. Ok? Just come with me on the journey, ok. Don’t get ahead. You’re going to run … you’re going to be like the centipedes that are trying to work out which foot of their thousand they should move forward first. Stop the paralysis of analysis. Just come with us step by step. Ok?
Wolfgang, how long have you been saved? 10 years. Since you got saved, have you ever sinned? Stella, Won’t you to… has he ever sinned Stella? Never, ok. And you’ve never sinned at lying either. He can’t remember any sins, ok. Let me find someone in this room who’s not on drugs ok. How many times have you sinned. No. What are your sins my son. Wolfie, you’ve done a few sins since you’ve been saved. One or two eh? Lex, have you done any sins since you’ve been saved? Plenty, ask Marike And you’re a pretty decent man, I don’t imagine you’ve run out with armed robbery and smashed peoples faces in, and ah. Do you have a revelation that God is never going to count one of your sins that you’ve done ever against you? I do. That’s wonderful, that’s wonderful.
Now go to 2 Corinthians Chapter 5. 2 Corinthians Chapter 5. Now in this passage we are going to see a favourite phrase of Paul the apostle. One of the most often repeated phrases of Paul the apostle was this phrase, in Christ, in Christ, in Christ, in Christ. What does it mean to become a Christian, Rob? It means to be born again. It means at a certain point in your life you turn to Jesus, you recognized that you are condemned under the law, you have committed sins, you have turned away from that you turn to Jesus as Saviour. You are made a new creation your spirit is made alive in Christ, you are born again, and you are placed into Christ. You are taken out of first Adam and you are placed into Christ. That’s what the Bible clearly teaches. Now lets read from 2 Corinthians chapter 5 and then lets just read form verse 17:
"Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come! All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation: that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting men's sins against them".
Not counting men's sins against them. Not counting men's sins against them. Why is religion so obsessed with accountancy of men’s sins that are heaped on people because they know they want to get people addicted to the religious system under the condemnation of guilt and then the priests or the pastors have got them. But the Bible teaches that those that are in Christ God is not counting their sins against them. Wooohoo! Now God counts a few of the women’s sins. If they don’t make their husband breakfast in bed, he does count that as a sin. I’m glad you brought that up because I was getting into some bad theology there. He does not count any of our sins against us.
Now let’s look why.
Is God so stupid, is he so unjust? He just says look, I’m just such an immoral God that I’m not going to count anyone’s sins against them. No, God’s got righteous justice behind this, folks. In fact he’s never going to count your sins. There is a transaction that’s taking place behind the scenes to set you up for the privilege to wake you up and walk around every morning with a clear conscience, God’s not counting my sons against me. Hallelujah, I’m blessed, he never will. And that way I’m just so motivated, I don’t want to sin. Oh what a wonderful God. And if I do sin by accident, I trip into it, he doesn’t count it against me, he never will. Hallelujah, my conscience is clear. I don’t have to do things out of condemnation and guilt to earn my justification. I’m free. Look at verse 21.
"God made him who had no sin (that's Jesus) to be sin (why) for us, so that (there’s the phrase again) in him we might become the righteousness of God".
I want to read that again, just to bring pain to the devil.
"God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of …...".
Billy Graham, the righteousness of Mother Teresa. The righteousness of the Pope. No. That in him . in him, we might become the righteousness of God. Here’s the deal. God made him who knew no sin to be sin for us. Now let me ask you a question. Let me logically take you through this. Very important that you listen very carefully for the next five minutes are the essence of the centrality of the gospel of grace that has been stolen from much of Christianity.
When God made Jesus sin, it was not because Jesus had to go out and do acts of sin because Jesus had no sin. So when Jesus was made sin, he didn’t earn the status of being made sin by doing sinful deeds. Let me say that again because some of you have already gone where I am going. For Jesus to be made sin, the bible is very clear he was one who was without sin. So him to be made sin or have that status he did not have to earn the status of being made sin at the cross by doing sinful acts. Why can’t we equally accept that for us to be made the righteousness of God, it is not because we go about doing righteous acts. It’s amazing to me to hear people say how could I be made by the standing of God righteous when I don’t always behave righteous. That’s not the most difficult thing for me, the shocking thing for me is he who knew no sin was made to be sin.
And he didn’t have to earn it by sinful acts. He was made it. Neither do you need to earn the status of being the righteousness of God by righteous acts. It is called what’s been imputed to you. Do you know what the word imputed means? It mean credited to your account freely. It’s a gift. Now you see, folks, every single morning you wake up doesn’t matter what you’ve done the day before, it doesn’t matter what’s gone wrong in your life. When you wake up, if you are living as a New Testament Christian, you should increasingly feel this wonderful thing in you conscience when you wake up. I am the righteousness of God and he's never counting my sins against me.
The religious mind is already going, if you teach that stuff man, everyone will just go out and sin. You know what you are arguing with? You are arguing with God's word. See, why would God put that in his word if he believed it would have that result? God knows what he's talking about.
Until you have a clear conscience knowing you are the righteousness of God, you are going to be vulnerable to clear your conscience from condemnation by empty, hyper, religious activity or sign on to every club and activity that demands your attention. And wreck your health, and wreck your family life and every demand out there because you think I owe it to this and I owe it to that. You owe nothing! You are free in Christ Jesus. You are the righteousness of God without hasving to do righteous acts. Just like Jesus didn't have to do sinful acts to be made sin, you don't have to do righteous acts to be called the righteousness of God. It's in Him.
Now, Romans 5 teaches this and I'm going to introduce it in the subject further down the road, but let me just briefly look at it quickly not. And we will not be much longer so just hang in with me. Romans chapter 5 very clearly teaches that everyone on this planet is either under the federal headship of first Adam, or under the federal headship of last Adam, Jesus Christ. So every person walking around, no matter what colour, creed, culture they are. They're either in first Adam, or they've been born again and they're in Christ Jesus. There's no middle ground, there's no neutral territory, there's no place where people can hide in between. They're either in Adam or in Christ. Now the bible teaches very clearly, it's class one, fundamental, basic gospel that needs to be recovered in the Church. It teaches this very clearly that if you are in Adam then Adam's sin and disobedience is imputed to them. If they are in Christ, then Christ's righteousness is imputed to them.
Are you still with me? Now come with me further, Romans five, we will clearly check this out. Romans five clearly teaches that people do not go to hell because of their sin but they go to hell because of Adam's sin. And people do not go to heaven because of their righteousness, they go to heaven because of Christ's righteousness. That is so plain and clear in Romans five but as I said it, I felt that it was going over like an atomic bomb here. Do you know what happened there? Supernatural power which is called divine power legalistic thinking patterns that where in your mind and went boowoowoo.
That's Romans five. It's right there. We're going to read it clearly one day. Now let me go a little bit further. I can hear religious demons beginning to shriek now. This is clearly the new testament teaching. That if a person is in first Adam, they can run around doing the most moral acts. They can do the most kind deeds, they can support everything and feed everything and give to everything but the bible says their righteousness is like filthy rags. But those that are in Christ, some of them can be a little bit of a rascal, mess up, make mistakes, even occasionally sin, and they are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. Folks, when that's established in your heart, you hear the Holy Spirit call you to do something, you will do with freedom.
Let me close. I haven't got anywhere near where I wanted to go but this is a good foundation. You see if this isn't foundation in our lives, then how are we going to go on to the spirit's leading? With living works. Because we are going to have to say no to a lot of good activities in
And we will have the authority so say that if our conscience is clear. But if your conscience is vulnerable to condemnation, you're going to find it very difficult to say no. One of the most difficult things to say no on un uneasy conscience. Well everyone else has volunteered for this!
In the early 90's when the allies went in to the Gulf War, Desert Storm. And they chased Sadam out of Kuwait, and they didn't finish the job. Whether that's right or wrong, I'm not giving you my opinion but that's Many of you would know what my opinion would be. If you've got someone on the run, just press harder. But anyway. Anyway, I gave it away. But anyway they didn't and for whatever reason, they pulled out. And I think secretly, the Allies hoped that Sadam, now weakened, would be in a vulnerable place, and the Kurds would rise up and take over the country. It didn't happen that way.
As they tried to rise up, Sadam used the most brutal force to crush them and kill thousands of them and they retreated right up on the Turkish border into the mountains and then winter came. The United Nations and the world forgot about them. And thousands of babies where dying of the cold. And every night I'd see pictures with these little funerals, these funerals with these little graves. These little children just wrapped in whatever they could find and being buried. Night after night I watched this. I tell you it just broke my heart. I was going crazy. Glenda was watching me going through the emotions of this.
I'm just giving you a drastic example, here. Eventually I said to Glenda, ”Listen, how can I sleep in a warm bed every night when children are dying on the mountains on the Turkish boarder”. I said “I'm selling our house.” We owned a house in Australia. We're selling this house. I'm going to travel to Iraq. I'm going in through Turkey. I'm going in were these people are. The Kurdish people are. And I'm going to buy food and clothing for them, blankets out of the sales of our house, and I'm going to preach the gospel of grace to them. I said “I don't want to give money to an organization because I'm never sure where that money really goes.” Take it to the people. So, I phoned up several agencies that were operating into that area. They all thought I was crazy. No, you can't go in there. No, no, no, just give us the money. And it went on for about a week. I was going out of my mind and then one day I went out to pray and I said, “Father, open a door, get me in there to save these children that are dying.” Then I heard the wonderful voice of the father say;
“Son, I love those children, and my heart breaks with what's happening. But did I ask you to go to the Turkish boarder?” I said “No, Lord you didn't”. He said, “Well, I am the Lord, and because I am the Lord, I deploy my people where I want them to go. And if you go to the Kurdish (Turkish) boarder, son, people may thing you are righteous and that you are so holy and dedicated, but it will be a dead work because I've deploy some of my people to the Turkish boarder already and I'm about to deploy you somewhere else. And if you go there you go in disobedience impressing man with your good works but it dead works without faith, hope and love it's to ease your guilty conscience. And you will miss where I am about to supernaturally deploy you for a mighty work”.
Instant peace, instant peace. And within a few weeks we were deployed into another situation that had a huge amount of fruit. See, is grace teaching important? It is absolutely essential and central to everything we do in these days. Can you say Amen? Let's just stand together.
"Father, we are enjoying an amazing flow of life in this congregation, just the flow of the life that was in the service this morning, and just the worship and the gifts of the spirit and the ministry to one another and the Children. It's such a wonderful thing, Lord. We believe you can only be represented by vitality and dynamic life and we pray that we would nurse and and preserve and protect this life. We are aware, Lord, how much the enemy would love to drive us off the foundation of grace push us into a place where are conscience becomes unsettled, and uncertain, and filled with condemnation and we begin to do good works out of obligation and guilt. Father, it's not that we don't want to do wonderful things, we want to touch the nations but Father, we want to do it in the freedom of grace, by the leading of the Holy Spirit.
And so we know Lord you are positioning us to take us into a higher place of life and so you are wanting to reinforce our foundations deeper in Grace. So that we do not get sabotaged or hijacked on this adventure of faith in flowing in the Holy Spirit. We truly ask for apostolic, prophetic foundations in this church with Christ Jesus as the chief cornerstone. We truly pray that upon that foundation and no other foundation, we would build. We pray that when Chris and Merril Weinant (spelling) come next week, that they will build in and add to that foundation of grace as we believe they will.
But right now, we look away from all of that and we just look up to this fabulous Saviour Jesus, the lamb of God who was made sin for us that we could be made the righteousness of God in Him. Father thankyou that your word has come with the power of the spirit this morning. Strongholds have been destroyed in our minds. We thankyou that the Holy Spirit has replaced legalistic, old covenant, guilt mentality with and increasing sense of freedom and grace.Thankyou that when we wakeup tomorrow morning, we can, even before we get out of bed. No matter what we feel. No matter how miserable or unworthy we feel, we can say with integrity from the word of God and by revelation, in our hearts, I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus. I didn't earn it by righteous deeds, it was a free gift. And Father thankyou that you are never never going to count me sins against me. What a wonderful gospel. What full assurance of faith. What a guarantee of confidence before God. May it be reflected in the way we abandon ourselves to praise and worship you. May it be reflected in the way we make decisions and values and priorities. Lord may we find our life less cluttered with frenetic and frantic activity.
may the drivenness depart our soul. May the rat race and the performance treadmill be absolutely terminated. May we find the unforced rhythms of grace, may our hearts harmonize with heaven's peace. May we volunteer for those thinks that have the smile and the whisper of the precious comforter in them. May we gladly say yes, Lord, to the leadings of the spirit. But God, as we go on in this series, teach us to discern the counterfeit, the operation of religious demons. Teach us to detect the symptoms of legalism in our lives. Oh Father, that we may model to a society that's enslaved by feeling important and valuable by their achievements, by their education, by their position, by their titles, by what they wear and what they drive. Oh , God what a sacrifice they make to obtain those petty, trivial, temporal things. When the greatest sacrifice has already been made for us to be the righteousness of God.Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine,
Oh what a foretaste of Glory devine
Heir of salvation, purchase of God
Born of his spirit, washed in his blood
This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Saviour, all the day long
This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Saviour, all the day long
perfect submission, perfect delight
visions of rapture now burst on my side,
angels descending, bring from above
echoes of mercy, whispers of love
This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Saviour, all the day long
This is my story, this is my song
Praising my Saviour, all the day long
I sing praises to your name, most high
praises to your name, most high
for your name is great and worthy to be praised
I sing praises to your name, most high
praises to your name, oh Lord
for your name is great and worthy to be praised
Just going to linger just a minute or two. But just, without musical instruments, we are deliberately not doing it [to] create a mood or atmosphere. Just stand in it, give your mind permission to believe the word of God. Do you know that even, just in a few minutes, the spirit of God by his power can do with years of conditioning, religious propaganda, and indoctrination, and demonic lies have taken to establish in your thinking patterns. Just in a few minutes, the spirit of God can take his word and demolish those lies of your thinking. Set you free. The free conscience to have confidence to come before the Father, he's not counting your sins against you. He's looking at you like you are the righteousness of God. Just let that sweet anointing. Lets just stay one or two more minutes. Just let that anointing just wash over your mind, wash over your emotions.
Jesus is the sweetest name I know
and He's just the same as his lovely name
that's the reason why I love him so
for Jesus is the sweetest name I know
His name is higher than any other
His name is Jesus
His name is Lord
His name is higher than any other
His name is Jesus
His name is Lord
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus, Jesus
Jesus, oh Jesus
Jesus, oh Jesus
Jesus, oh Jesus
Your presence makes me whole.
Wonderful Lord Jesus, we've been terrible sinners Jesus, and you've been a wonderful savior. Where our sin has abounded. Where our pride and our independence and our arrogance and our betrayals has abounded. Our unfaithfulness has abounded, your grace has much more abounded. Your antidote for our sin was so awesome and so sufficient, that we are no longer criminals condemned under the law of God waiting a sentence that's irreversible. Judgment. And we are elevated to the stature of joint equal heirs with Christ, heirs with God and declared the righteousness of God.
If you've never taken that step of faith to say “Lord Jesus I stop trying to save myself by my good works. I give up trying. Would you please save me today by your grace." If you would do that today. Just say Lord, I need you, save me. This very day, the Holy Spirit will take you out of first Adam, and put you in Christ. See I say that it is not our sins that lead us to hell. Not me, but the bible teaches that. That's Adam sin. But you say, hold on, hold on, but I've sinned. The reason why people sin is because of first Adam. But that is not what sends you to hell. It's from his fall. First Adam's disobedience and his sin. So, in the same way it is not your righteousness that gets you to heaven, it's Christ's righteousness to you. And as you walk in the freedom of conscience, you will find yourself living more and more righteously. Not to earn it or deserve it, but because your conscience is free you can respond to the Holy Spirit. But do you now to the last day, if you lived a hundred and twenty years, there would still be areas in your life that would need to change.
And you've got to know this that contrary to religious obsession, our heavenly Father is not at all focusing on your faults and failures. He's looking at you through the eyes of grace and through a covenant of grace. He's not relating to you any more on the basis of religious law. That is the clear, plain, obvious teaching of the new testament. The reason it has been so messed up is because of religious devils. And the fear of man to preach it clearly because of fear that people run out and do all kinds of weird things.
Father, I pray for everyone in this room that says Jesus come into my life today. They will be born again. And I pray in this coming week Lord I don't want us to mess up and make mistakes or sin, but I pray even in advance, throughout this week until the next sunday, if any of us mess up, trip up, sin, make a mistake, I pray Father will pick ourselves up, lift our hands up and say Father I thank you that my heart wants to obey you. But I want to thank you that you're not counting my sins against me. And I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus not because I made this up but you revealed it in your word. You might even need to turn back to Romans four and just say let me check that it really is still in the bible. And turn to 2 Corinthians five seventeen to twenty-one and say let me just check that it's still written there in black and white. And then when you're clear about that again, just say now Lord, my faith is in what you've said, not what my feelings are saying, not what my head is saying, not what the devil is saying. I am still the righteousness of God.
Even if you mess up this week, would you please do that. And now may the Grace of the Lord Jesus, the unmerited favour of God. The love of God that never fails, and the sweet and delightful fellowship with the wonderful Holy Spirit, be with all our brothers and sisters in this place now and forever more. In Jesus's name. Amen.