Saturday, 26 September 2009
Here's the transcript!
"Well Holland Glory and Grace! It is such a joy and a privilege to be here! We have had two or three days in Amsterdam which was a great delight. I don’t like shopping much – but an anointing to shop came on me in Amsterdam! This is one of the manifestations! My wife brought nothing! That is one of the biggest signs and wonders I have ever seen! I want to thank you for hosting this conference. You have a reputation of doing everything well with excellence. Thank you for having us. The whole of the church too. It is our joy to speak to people from different countries as well.
I do want to say to the people of Holland that as we were praying last night, we really sensed that God wants to increase His Presence and power in this land. We felt right across to Eastern Europe including Russia; a move of the Spirit established in the Netherlands will go right through to Eastern Europe. We are trusting this time will light even more fires and that we will be partners together in this move of the Spirit across the land.
I want to honour and welcome my daughter Bonnie who I am very proud of. This has been a great and very challenging year. We have seen cripples walk; we have seen teams moving into China, seeing many people saved in the towns and rural areas of China. We have a team of 11 people from our church preaching the gospel in China. They have seen communist government officials saved when they see the miracles.
We had a lady wheeled into our church 2months ago in a wheelchair and I thought “I hope I get a chance to pray for her!” because our people believe that they are in Christ and can do the works that Jesus did. I am getting out of practice! They just get in before me! They are very rude and pray for the people before I can get the chance! At the end of the service I was heading for the back of the church, before I got there this lady was up and walking! Some of the church had prayed for her.
The next week this lady – a Chinese lady – came walking into the service next week. She had been in a wheelchair crippled for 20 years. God is doing some wonderful things in our days! We have had two Glory and Grace conferences this year already – one in Hong Kong and one in South Africa. We have seen amazing hunger in God’s people. So what I have come to realise is that God uses anybody! He really likes using those who know they are weak. Paul the apostle said we can boast in two things – our weakness and God’s strength! God doesn’t need our strength! He is incredibly strong! All our strength is flesh! This flesh can’t make people come out of wheelchairs or change people’s lives.
When we are weak – then the Holy Spirit moves in power and does great miracles, transforms lives!
I think we will be laying hands on people in some of the meetings but don’t wait for human hands! The greatest miracle can happen in your chair as God does what He wants! How many believe that God has more power to reveal in His church today?
There are four things that will establish a move of the Spirit at a deeper level in our churches:
1. We need to preach the gospel of grace that Paul preached – it liberates God’s people.
2. We must have a desperate hunger for more of God’s glory Presence.
3. We mustn’t be afraid of the manifestations of the Holy Spirit.
4. We must not be afraid of what man says – especially religious men! We must not be afraid of the rejection!
They rejected Jesus and hated Him, they hated Paul! This message of grace is the thing that the devil fears the most. Religious people fear this message the most! I don’t fully understand it! When religious people hear that the gospel means that you are free from the law of Moses, completely free and only under grace – it frightens them! But Paul the apostle said when he was under the law, he said he was a violent man!
People under law are violent – they have murderous attitudes. All religion that is legalistic, performance-based makes very unhappy, angry, violent people. Paul said according to the law – he had legalistic righteousness. He said it was faultless! But he said he considered that legalistic faultless righteousness as rubbish. The Greek is a stronger word – “dung”. Something that stinks! When someone is legalistic, they like to tick off boxes as to what they did not or did do. “You must be pleased with me God”. He says; “It stinks”. Paul said “I want to be found in Christ having a righteousness that is by faith in Christ and is apart from the law – that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and share in the fellowship of His suffering”.
I don’t understand how people can mix law and grace together! Under the law – the law curses you. The Bible says it is a “ministry of death”. It kills you. Under grace – we are redeemed from the curse of the law! The blessing given to Abraham is given to us freely! The law makes you conscious of your sin, grace makes you conscious that you are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus! Under law God says “I will by no means forget your sins”.
Under the law God forgives your sins through the blood of bulls and of goats – but He doesn’t forget them. Under grace God says “I will by no means remember your sins and your lawless deeds”. Under law God demands a perfect righteousness by our performance. Under grace God provides His perfect gift of righteousness through His Son. The law says “Do – do – do!”. Grace says “It’s done!”. The law is a revelation of how wrong you are with God. Grace is a revelation of how right you are through Christ.
I know this is very simple! But the Church has made it very complicated. You are either under law or under grace. You can’t mix these two together. They are impossible to mix together! The law is so radical – if you fail in one area then the Bible says you are guilty of failing in every area. You must pluck your eyes out, cut your hands off, stone your children even! That is extreme! Under law people stand outside abortion clinics and shoot the doctors. They feel they are right in doing that! I do not believe in abortion – I know it is killing children! I don’t like it! But under law they say you must kill those who break the law and stone them. Under grace, it says you must love your enemies. The grace of God is so extreme! Right across the church world there is no argument about the definition of grace. There is no conflict! Almost every Christian will agree that grace is “God’s unmerited favour to you, that grace is God’s riches at Christ’s expense, that grace is God doing good things for us when we don’t deserve it, that grace is God’s empowerment on our lives”. Most of the church world agrees with that. The real problem comes trying to convince Christians that if you are in Christ the only way God relates to you is always and totally through grace and grace alone! That is where the fight comes!
There are two glories – there is an Old Covenant fading glory and a New Covenant ever-increasing glory! The Old Covenant glory is God’s view and opinion of you through the law. When God sees you through the law, all He sees is sin and man coming short. He must bring judgement and walk away. Under the New Covenant God sees you only through grace and grace alone. When He sees you through grace He sees you continually and permanently in Christ’s righteousness and can keep blessing you and causing His glory to come on you. Romans 5:21 says “grace reigns through the GIFT of righteousness”. Isn’t this good news?! It is so good! We have mixed law and grace together for centuries. There is a generation of believers rising in the earth – NO more mixture, NO more condemning cocktail that has confused and crippled us with condemnation, NO more fading glory! We are a generation of the EVER-INCREASING glory!
Some of the greatest insights into the New Covenant are seen when you read the Old Testament prophets. They see a day when the New Testament is coming. In Isaiah 61 he is announcing the New Covenant coming! Under law there is only mourning and sack cloth and ashes – because it is only gloom and doom and judgement. Under grace there is joy and freedom and that is why Isaiah says “The Spirit of the Lord is on me to preach freedom to the prisoners – to bring the oil of joy instead of mourning – beauty for ashes!”.
When I was a university student, I worked as a volunteer in insane asylums. I thought I was going insane! Many of the people in insane asylums have got a religious background and they are so depressed and so confused because there is a condemnation from the law that destroys the human being psychologically! God never wanted to bring the law! He came to Abraham and said; “Abraham – I will bless you! I will make your name great! I will make you a blessing in the earth! All nations will be blessed through you!”. Abraham didn’t have the law of Moses! The law was coming 430 years in the future! Abraham was an Iraqi sinner! He had done nothing good – he had no faith in God! He wasn’t behaving morally! God said “I will bless you! I will make you a blessing in all nations”. And Abraham said … “Okay!”. He hadn’t been to church or been taught the law – that you have to earn and deserve! He just believed that God wanted to bless him – and God credited that to him as righteousness. But God didn’t offer him righteousness! He offered to BLESS Abraham and Abraham believed it! God said “That faith in My goodness declares you righteous”.
Who are the seed of Abraham? The people of faith? The people that believe God wants to bless you out of His own goodness – THEY are declared righteous!
God brought 400 years after Abraham – because of Abraham’s covenant and they went through the Red Sea and were blessed and blessed, yet they complained and complained – but still God didn’t kill or judge them! Finally God said; “Because of your unbelief in My goodness – I will give you something that is NOT based on faith in My goodness. I will give you the Law”.
(Galatians 3:12) says the Law is not based on faith. (Hebrews 11:6) says without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God. The Law is based on something that is IMPOSSIBLE to please God – the Law is based on a faith on me being good enough to earn the blessing.
Hebrews chapter 10 said God did not want to bring sin offerings or the Temple system – but the Law required it. On the day that the law came on Mount Sinai – what was the name of the religious day? The Day of Pentecost. 50 days after the Passover meal in Egypt. That was the day the law was introduced. On that day 3000 people were put to death by the wrath of God. The law had no power to make them holy and they were already worshipping a golden calf. When the Law arrived they were committing adultery and 3000 were put to death by the wrath of God. The law is based on man’s human effort, self-righteousness, human arrogance, the Law is there to show you and me that we can never get the blessings through us earning it. 1500 years later there was another day of Pentecost. 50 days after the Passover lamb had died on the Cross. At the Cross He cancelled the law and took it away. 50 days after that Passover lamb died, there was another Pentecost. The people in that city had done something worse than a golden calf – they had crucified the Lord of Glory! But on that day 3000 were saved!
Why would anyone want to live under law? On that day they walked out completely drunk! People were amazed! They said these men were drunk with new wine! Psalm 2 says God laughs at those who thinks they can advance against His anointed! Hebrews 1:8 says that Jesus is anointed with the oil of joy above anyone else in heaven. The Bible says the Holy Spirit is called the new wine. So – we have a trinity. A Father sitting on a throne laughing from His belly at the devil thinking he can destroy the church. Jesus at His right hand is full of more joy than any other creature in heaven! He is the uncreated eternal God by the way! The Father laughing, Jesus anointed with the oil of joy above His fellows and the Holy Spirit – powerful, intoxicating new wine and then you have the church in the earth. Conservative. Formal. “Have you prayed 5 hours today?! How much have you read your Bible?! Have you confessed your sins?!”. Depressed with an epidemic of melchnolia. Some people think the Trinity says “This isn’t right – look at the Church and how sad they are!”. We should become like them. The Trinity says “Let’s stop all this joy in heaven and laughter and angels from being happy. Stop all the joy when a sinner gets saved. When anyone gets saved we want depressed angels”. Because one day all these depressed Christians and grumpy brothers and sisters will come to heaven and if they see all this joy then they will be in hell, uncomfortable and not at home! Does the Trinity say that?! The Trinity says “NO! Let’s make as in heaven – on earth!”. Let Your Kingdom come to earth! Let Your will be done on earth as in heaven! Let’s let them know that Our joy is their strength! Let the fruit of the Holy Spirit be love, joy and peace!
The Kingdom of heaven is not food and drink but a matter of righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit! Let them see that a merry heart does good, like medicine! Let sorrow and sighing flee away! Let God arise – let Zion be the joy of the whole earth! When we get there Jesus will say “Well good and faithful servant – enter into the JOY!”. He will not say “Enter into the depression of the Lord!”.
There is another thing God is doing in the earth – not only is He pouring out joy but ecstasy! Blessing!
You say “But Jesus was a Man of Sorrows”. What is the Man of Sorrows? That is Isaiah 53 – when He was on the Cross, carrying our sorrows and our pain and our suffering and our punishment so we can carry His joy, His freedom, His happiness! He is no longer a Man of Sorrows but the happiest Man on earth and heaven!
The other thing the Holy Spirit is doing is He is pouring out FIRE on the church. It is the fire of His jealous love. This fire is burning out of us – everything that loves something else more than Jesus. The Law says “Stop that – stop that”. It doesn’t help because Christians just carry on! When the fire of God’s love burns in us, it fills us with an awareness of how much He loves us and how glorious He is – it is supernatural!
It just burns out that which will steal our love away from Jesus. And the revelation of grace and the revelation of joy and freedom – there is a fire that is capturing our hearts with a passionate love for Jesus and a love for Him above everything else. In that is coming signs, wonders and miracles and healing filling us with drunkenness – bliss – ecstasy (not the drug but the same effect!).
Why do all these young people want to take ecstasy? I don’t blame them! So much of the Church is depressed so they have got to take something! But imagine when they see us in the supernatural joy!
Not Mount Sinai Pentecost where God is killing people because of the law but Pentecost in Mount Zion where God is saving sinners and the Church is drunk with ecstasy from heaven!
People will give up their ecstasy drugs for something much better! In this conference the wind of God is going to blow. He is blowing here tonight already! He will blow with the winds of the Spirit over all of our lives. In the winds of God we are going to smell the perfumes of heaven and the spices of the anointing among us! We are literally going to smell vanilla! Myrrh! These are the spices!
Exodus 30 is the ingredient of the anointing. It is literally going to drip from us!
Our cups are going to overflow and when it overflows it will splash on people around you! They may be sitting here like this saying “I am not going to get drunk – don’t give me that ecstasy or happiness! My grandfather was depressed, my father was depressed and I am going to keep the tradition of the family!”. Even though God is laughing His head off! Jesus is anointed with joy in heaven! The Holy Spirit is called the new wine. “It’s disgusting this happiness! I am going to keep the family tradition! I wouldn’t do that ‘joy’ stuff even if you paid me!”. Listen – when the Holy Spirit touches you, you will do it without being paid! As you come into overflow you are going to splash on people around you. You are going to splash on people in the streets, in your homes, hotels!
Fini and Isi were walking in Australia some time ago and had been in a meeting where the joy of heaven had broken loose. They were walking through the streets of Adelaide a few weeks later and walked past a young Australian woman. As they came in shadow contact, these unsaved, non-Christian, un-churched women fell under the power of the Holy Spirit totally drunk! There are coming signs and wonders that will break out in the streets! On the Day of Pentecost it was their drunkenness and the sound of heaven breaking into the earth that attracted the crowd and the people said “What is this?”. Peter’s sermon was “This is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel”.
Evangelism is not going to be knocking on doors and saying “Can I preach to you?”. No! Shut and close the door! Evangelism is going to be because the unsaved people SEE the joy and the Presence of God and the fire of God in US!
I was also walking through a place in Australia and there was a street café and someone called me over. I leant over the table and looked at the people. I was under such a heavy anointing. They were normal and then suddenly they were all covered in gold, oil dripping off them. They fell off the coffee table drunk in the street! People walking by saw them drunk in the street and I was able to say, “Don’t worry they are not drunk as ye suppose” and then was able to share the Gospel with them. Signs and wonders! Religion has been a people thinking “It is so hard to get a goat from our Father!”. In the parable of the prodigal son, the man had been with prostitutes and spent all his father’s inheritance! He came home and his father ran to him and kissed him on the neck and gave him a ring, shoes, a robe, party, a fatted calf. There was singing and dancing and happiness because there had been grace! The older brother had been working very hard doing everything right and said “I come into this place with singing and dancing and you give him a fatted calf and he has been with prostitutes and I have worked so hard for you and you didn’t even give me a goat!”. The father said “Son - everything I have is yours”. You are a son!
The New Covenant says this in Ephesians 2 and Romans 6; “If you are in Christ then you were co-crucified and co-buried”. God does not live within time. God doesn’t live limited to time. God created time and God lives in the glory. He lives in the eternal now. So you are already crucified with Christ! It has happened already! You have been buried with Christ, ascended, glorified and co-seated with Christ in the heavenly realms.
You are a co-equal heir with Christ and an heir of God! This has already happened! You start the Christian race at the finishing line as a WINNER!
This has all happened already. If you were going to play cricket for Holland and you knew you were guaranteed to win. How would you play? If you knew it was impossible to lose, that in the mind of God you have already won! Every ball that came your way – you would go for it! You would play! How would you play football? You would play with reckless confidence! People that think God is judging them and God is putting condemnation on them – Jesus said they take their talents and they bury it. They are so cautious – they think God is a hard taskmaster. Those that know God is good and we are guaranteed to win, they take their talents and take risks and multiply!
The New Covenant is superior to the Old Covenant! It has a superior mediator – Jesus. God took an oath in Isaiah to NEVER be angry with you or me again! He said “I take an oath, as surely as I took an oath with Noah’s flood – that the world will never be destroyed with a global flood – so I declare I will never be angry with you again, I will never withdraw My covenant of peace with you. I will establish you in My righteousness and you will have nothing to fear! Terror will be far from you! No weapon formed against you will succeed for your righteousness is from Me!”.
Your Father is the umpire of the game of life. The referee! The devil is bowling! Every ball you want to hit right out of the ground. You miss! The wicket breaks. The Holy Spirit puts the wicket back up! Jesus said “Not out!”. The Father says to the devil “Bowl again” and you swing and swing until you hit the ball out of the ground. Father is not umpiring the game by religious rules and regulations. He is umpiring the game by the finished work of the Cross. We just step out and swing the bat and we take risks over and over again until we win because we are guaranteed to win.
This is what righteousness means as a gift. You are as righteous in the Father’s eyes as Jesus because you have been given His gift of righteousness, completely apart from the Law! And there is no possibility that the Law can come back over your life because Colossians 2:14 God CANCELLED the Law and disarmed the powers and authorities at the Cross! So the devil can no longer accuse you because the law has gone. Now you are under grace and you are as close to the Father as Jesus is. In John 17 Jesus prayed, regarding all of us, “Father – may they be one just as We are one”. The Bible says in 1 John 4:17 “As He is, so are we in this world”. When I want to know what my relationship with the Father is like, I don’t look at me; I am finished with that inward looking stuff – if you spend all your time looking inwards, then you will get very depressed!
Corrie Ten Boom in Amsterdam said “If I look at myself I am depressed, if I look at the world I am unimpressed but if I look at Jesus I am so impressed!”. Even David under the Old Covenant said; “Search me O Lord and lead me in the paths of righteousness”. You don’t search yourself. In the New Covenant when the Holy Spirit is searching you, He is telling you as the Comforter; “Grace – grace – you are righteous! The Law has gone!”. If I want to know my relationship with the Father, I look at Jesus relationship with the Father because I am in Christ. Under the Law God made a covenant with man and said “If you do the law then I will bless you, but if you don’t do the law I will curse you. If you break one part of the law then you are guilty of breaking it all”.
Under the New Covenant God said; “I love you so much – I am not going to make a covenant with you. I will cut a covenant with My Son – outside of you – I will cut it with My Son at the Cross and then I will include you in Him”. So His standing before Me will be your standing before Me. It is within the infallibility of the Trinity. For you to fall from favour with the Father, Jesus would have to sin. Because you are in Him. You are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus ALL the time.
Rob, what happens when I make a mistake or sin? You are STILL the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus not under the law. I don’t want to sin and I know you don’t want to sin but the Law will not help you get victory over sin! Living in the victory of grace will bring you into true victory!
Wednesday, 23 September 2009
As with Ryan's two books - if you live in the United Kingdom and would like to get hold of one of these three awesome books then please do drop me an email and I would be thrilled to ship one or any of them to you.The "Invading the Impossible" series was a particularly significant and life-changing series for me. Rob preached it in the early part of 2008 at City Church International and it was put into book format. Rob Rufus deals with these issues in this book:
1. Enjoying the Benefits of the Resurrection Power of Jesus.
2. The Designer's Original.
3. The Revolution has Begun - Overthrowing the Spirit of Control!
4. Lifting the Limitations - a Mirror Mentality vs a Window View.
5. No Regrets!
6. Dealing with Disappointment.
7. Authority to Invade.
8. Invading by Reigning.
9. Let God Impress You - (a powerful prophecy to Rob).
I can't urge you enough! Read this book! Listen to the sermon series! It is dangerous!
Tuesday, 8 September 2009
"I have a sheer joy of being together with you today in Your Presence, God – in Your Covenant Keeping faithfulness. If You are with us – who can be against us! Nothing can separate us from Your Love! Through us gathered here – Your AMEN is spoken for ALL Your Yeses are Yes and Amen – O God!"
Recap of Word and Spirit Conference (WSC) in South Africa: testimony re Johnny praying a blessing in Cantonese
Something was birthed in South Africa with leaders from different denominations coming together as one.
The teaching of Michael Eaton has moved us into something new. Word and Spirit Conference was a time of breaking through legalistic churches. It is not the revolutionary’s fault but the leaders of 30 years ago who had the political power to change the church but chose not to use it according to God’s leading. They held onto political and leadership positions and oppressed the people of God.
When Jesus came there had been 300-400 years of religious oppression – there was no other option but for Him to be a Revolutionary and break people out of bondages and religious oppression.
Now there is a Grace Revolution taking place on the earth and you can’t make it a sweet tame little renewal. This one is wild, passionate and not for the faint-hearted. It is not for the insecure – it is for those who love Jesus with all their hearts; who love the lost and who love the church and who want to see a new generation come through in a revival culture.
Introduction to the Series - Attitudes that Attract the Empowering Grace of God.
If you have the empowering grace of God operating in your life – you’ve got IT happening for you! God is urging us to not just settle for something that’s god – He wants us to go for the BEST because the good can become the enemy of the best! God’s got far more for the church.
When you are regularly raising the dead and seeing blind eyes open - when this is happening and the whole of Hong Kong is aware that City Church International is a Book of Acts church then HK will see that traditional denominational churches have not been making people aware of the authority and authenticity of the Kingdom of God.
But when a Book of Acts church appears – CCI hopes to be amongst the many because we love God’s church. The Book of Acts church is one where people are healed because our very shadows are healing people and then all 7 million people in HK will know that there is a Kingdom of Heaven that is not an optional extra – it is the ONLY Government of God’s Peace and the Kingdom of God through the Gospel of Jesus Christ – Amen!
So we must not settle for the good when we know there is MORE. When we have all the empowering grace operating in our lives – those things will begin to take place. Right now we have empowering grace and we’re grateful – we’re excited about the healings we’ve witnessed however, we believe there is more – much, much more! Our desire is not for less to be healed but for MORE ... We want to see each member of this church seeing people set free and saved.
We look at that awesome church in Acts 5 – but the key we have to see is in Acts 4:33 With great power the apostles gave their testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and great grace was upon them all. Rob Rufus does not know of one church in the world where each single person in the congregation is carrying GREAT GRACE on them! May the blessing of GREAT GRACE be upon you ALL in CCI! (Some of you would be even louder than me and more assertive than I am!!) GREAT GRACE to preach the gospel with liberty and joy!
Exploring the attitudes that attract empowering grace does not mean working or earning or deserving GREAT GRACE! That would be a contradiction in terms – you can never earn or deserve of work for the empowering grace of God!
These attitudes are not something you work on – they are fruit OR the result of you gaining revelation of you gaining acceptance grace. The more you understand you are accepted IN the Beloved: IN Christ Jesus – the more you understand you are made perfect forever ...
Heb 10: 14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are sanctified.
Eph 1:6 to the praise of his glorious grace that he freely bestowed on us accepted us in the Beloved.
God accepts us in the same love, honour and respect as He does Jesus – for we are co-heirs with Christ and an heir of God ... that’s acceptance grace! We are not co-equal with Jesus but we have a co-equal righteousness with Him which makes us a co-heir with Christ Jesus and an heir of God!
When you have more understanding of acceptance grace – that there is NO disapproval from the Father: no possibility of rejection from Father: that the foundation of your acceptance is NOT your fluctuating performance or obedience – bit it is ALWAYS the perfect obedience of Jesus on my behalf: that is where I stand in the Father’s Eyes.
When that acceptance grace builds into your inner life a strong healthy sense of security and an inner sense of safety is it from that place of humility and safety – you can build attitudes that attract the empowering grace: for you to have more victory over circumstances, life’s attacks and difficulties and to operate as a partner with God—doing the works that Jesus did and greater miracles even!
Comment on the South African experience:
In all the meetings with leaders this was the most commonly asked question ...
Q: Rob - tell us how your prayer-life works!
People want to know that what you produce in the public has something to do with your private life. Artificial religion is form a people who are so embarrassed in public ministry because they know they have NO substance in their private prayer life and interaction with God. Such leaders are caught out as fraudulent when they are asked to pray or do something ... listeners can hear that there is no connection between them and God.
A: The Holy Spirit and I have a very simple and uncomplicated relationship: this is how it goes ... He really likes me!
He really, really loves being with me (and me with Him!) – therefore, all I have to do is get up in the morning and invite Holy Spirit to Come! And there is an immediate manifestation of His Presence – therefore I don’t pray to get the Presence – I pray IN the Presence.
Folks! It is very hard talking to Someone Who is not Present! They don’t have to answer you back because they are not present! You can’t hear God unless He comes in manifested Presence! As soon as Holy Spirit manifests His Presence – you have access to the Father in a tangible way – and now you are talking with the Trinity – as a Reality! This is Authentic! You may then move on to do other things in your day – and all day there is an awareness that He really likes me and really wants to be with me!
Q: Do you know why this works?
A: The Holy Spirit knows that I know, that I know the Holy Spirit know that I know, that He know that I know that the Father accepts me the way He accepts Jesus – because He’s placed me INTO Jesus: that’s why Holy Spirit like me and He loves being with me!
When you believe that acceptance grace, that’s when empowering grace comes upon you!
I am concerned about the emphasis in churches on empowering grace to the exclusion of acceptance grace. If you don’t build empowering grace on the foundation of acceptance grace: when you over-emphasise empowering grace to do mighty things and to overcome sin all the time – that emphasis allows the devil to bring the law up and disguise the bondage of the law in the appearance of grace that takes them into self-righteousness and makes them very insecure on the inside.
When they don’t feel safe on the inside they then begin to live in jealous insecurity comparing themselves with others and feeling inferior – rather than knowing God’s acceptance grace. When you believe the gospel of grace – the first thing you understand and should understand and should be made clear to you – is not the empowerment—it should be the acceptance!
When you believe the gospel of grace – that faith in the gospel of grace will produce 3 spontaneous fruit that will come out of your life: when you truly, truly believe – the gospel of grace is acceptance on your life – these 3 fruit immediately and spontaneously grow and develop:
Re obedience: obedience of faith – Holy Spirit tells you to do something – you do it! Either you do it because it is a good thing to do OR you stop doing something that is not a good thing to do. When you have obedience you have grace ... Please note: no-one is obeying perfectly yet! But the fruit is there ...
Q: What is humility?
A: It is not gained through apology and self-deprecation. Humility is the revelation of grace that fills your inner life with security: with such a sense of significance: validated by God’s Love for me ... therefore I am significant, secure and valuable—I don’t have to prove anything! I don’t have to boast or compete with people or be jealous because I feel so significant and safe and secure because I am accepted in the Beloved.
The 3 fruit (i) boldness; (ii) obedience; (iii) humility simply flow out of simply believing the message of grace.
Now for those Christians who are in unbelief (and there are many unbelieving Christians!) The majority of Christians in the church-world today are unbelieving believers. They do not walk around with boldness, obedience and/or humility ... and with empowering grace on them. They walk around with condemnation, insecurities, jealousies, fear and they can’t worship God extravagantly.
The fruit of unbelief is fear, rebellion and pride. When you don’t believe you are accepted in the Beloved – you fear rejection from God and man and so you will try to do everything to get people to like you – even if it includes NOT obeying God!
Thus you will go the way of secular religious humanism; you’ll do what man wants because you are so insecure; you don’t believe the gospel ... you want man to love you so you become a man-pleaser and you are easily manipulated off your destiny!
Jesus did only what He saw His Father do – because He knew His Father loved Him and He was secure in His Father’s Love.
The fruit of not believing the acceptance grace gospel is fear, rebellion and pride.
1 Peter 5:5b-7 ... all of you must clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”6 Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, so that he may exalt you in due time. 7 Cast all your anxiety on him, because he cares for you.
Here we have a God with a Mighty Hand: when you humble yourself under that Mighty Hand – He lifts you up ... now when a Mighty Hand lifts you up you will have influence over nations – your home – your marriage ... ! Children will come into order and security – you will have freedom and influence in your jurisdiction ... When God lifts you up – that’s empowering grace!
But when God resists/opposes you – it doesn’t matter if you have an army backing you or you have the wealthiest people on your side – if God is opposing you ... you are in trouble!
But if God is lifting you up by His Mighty Hand – it doesn’t matter how many human beings are against you – you are going to succeed in your destiny. You are going to leave footprints in the sand of human history. You are going to change nations – you will have an effect on the way history is going to unfold. You will be the ambassadors of God: ambassadors of the highest Government in the universe—authorised to activate the Power of the Kingdom in the earth and have influence.
But we need to remember that we don’t have the luxury of letting our grumpy moods go where they want to! We don’t have the luxury of having a little tantrum now and then ... instead of ‘deserving a depression’ ‘deserve yourself’ the blessing of grace to refresh you! When you go down the depression track for a few days it takes a whole lot longer to get out!
I know there are some Christians who are so into this warfare stuff! ... Somewhere in all their activities of fighting devils they have lost the Gospel – they’ve lost the gospel of grace; they’ve lost sight of the fact that God is ruling the earth with a Sovereign Authority! They’ve focused on devils etc and yet it was at the Cross that they were disarmed! Jesus disarmed all powers and authorities!
The Christians who worldwide live under this thing of focus on spiritual warfare rather than focus on the completed works of the Cross are those who (i) do not believe the acceptance gospel of Grace; (ii) who do not find their inner security and safety and confidence that produces the three fruit from believing acceptance grace; (iii) who do not find it from acceptance grace but what they will find is fear of rejection; performance pressure to look like you are obedient and holy; rebellion against the Truth of the Word of God and there will come pride in trying to perform and then God resists and opposes you!
When such people feel a spiritual force opposing them and resisting them they think it is the devil! Then they fast and prayer and end up with more pride, self-effort and self-righteousness. AND the devil says This is fantastic! They think I’m resisting them but actually God is resisting them because they’ve not believed in the Gospel of acceptance grace! Now they’ve gone into pride ... and I don’t have to do anything! But I will do what I can to make things worse for them!
I have watched people get into this spiritual warfare stuff and eventually they just look like they’ve been pulled backwards through the exhaust pipe of a car. They are not happy people because they are focusing on the defeated foe.
When you spend hours praying with God you should come out ecstatic with joy because your focus has not been on demons and devils – but on Jesus; the gospel; Holy Spirit; the Beloved.
I used to do that stuff in Adelaide – then he heard God say ‘Son – if you’ll just believe how much I love you; how much you are accepted in My Kindness in Christ Jesus; and just find release to humble yourself before Me – you’ll see empowering grace come on you!
Rob: Father – have I been wrong?
God: Son – I have to oppose the proud: for what you are doing is contrary to My Nature ... I have to oppose self-righteousness.
Rob: Father – do you mean I have proud, arrogant and self-righteousness?
God: Son – I tell you with redemptive kindness – YES!
Rob: God You are so good to me ... I repent of my pride; performance pressure and self-righteousness – I repent!
AT this point these demons seem to go out of existence ... and empowering grace comes upon me and I just walk in the Peace of God – casting ALL my care on Him because He care for me!
The devil wants to lure you into fights everyday – don’t get into them!
Humility is the greatest weapon against demonic oppression: humility = keep reminding yourself of acceptance grace!
The church has truly robbed Christians around the world of dignity through religious systems and we have degraded them by judging them on their performance rather than helping them to understand who they are in Christ and that they are accepted in the Beloved. When they develop that inner security and inner sense of safety that the Mighty Hand of God will lift them up and God will give them the stewardship of empowering grace to do mighty signs, wonders and miracles – then they won’t fall into the trap of pride!
There are many Christians who try to find a formula to ‘get into the Power’: without relationship with God we cannot ‘get into the Power’. When we use formulae to get into the Power we will find we can do a few miracles but then it is over – you can’t sustain it because pride comes in. Because you didn’t access the supernatural empowerment through humility but you accessed it through formulae – you only get temporary anointing for temporary release – but you can’t sustain it.
What I am talking about will bring such inner-security into the People of God SO THAT you can steward mighty empowering grace year after year – decade after decade and not be worn out; not mess up marriages; stay normal and not go weird!
One of the most attractive features of the Bethel Church in Redding is that all the leaders RR has met are normal – they still love hunting and fishing and hiking! They are normal people who don’t get all religious and weird!
I wants to see generations birthed who can sustain high level of supernatural power without becoming weird!
If you live under the performance pressure of the law you have to do religious things to maintain your performance power. This environment produces an artificial life wherein people burn out. Under the empowering grace of God you wake up in the morning; invite Holy Spirit to Come! and the power to do miracles is there through grace! Holy Spirit likes being with you! He wants to be with you! You are able to go to work every day, raise children and walk in the empowering grace for signs, wonders and miracles.
We do not have to feel God before we DO anything! You do not need to feel God before you do anything! You start in faith – you step out and Power comes!
In South Africa when I started praying for 2000 people – there was very little corporate anointing in that room. There was no Glory Presence – however, I started praying and eventually I was walking down the aisles and 10m in front of him people were falling under the Power of Holy Spirit ... You start out in faith and God just comes!
We are great ones for putting performance pressure on ourselves and others and even giving a star-rating for our performances! All based on pride! >>> pushing people to make things happen instead of making them secure in Christ and allowing 5 star things to happen through Holy Spirit! When this latter happens we’re at the stage of not being aware we’re doing it – we’re not boasting in it—we JDI! (Just did it.) We boast in our weakness and boast in the goodness of God and we move in signs, wonders and miracles.
A 5 star Christian leaps tall buildings with a single jump
is faster than a speeding bullet
is stronger than a locomotive
walks on water
talks with kings.
A 4 star Christian leaps tall building with a running start
is as fast as a speeding bullet
is as strong as a bull elephant
keeps his head above water under stress
talks with governors.
A 3 star Christian can leap short buildings if prodded
can keep up with a slow bullet
is almost as strong as a bull
washes with water
talks with himself.
A 2 star Christian bumps into buildings
shoots the bull
argues with himself.
A 1 star Christian cannot recognise a building
wounds himself when handling a gun
smells like a bull (!!)
passes water in an emergency (!!)
loses arguments with himself.
The 5 star performance-Christian is like a shooting star – coming down tragically ... OR they can learn the attitudes of humility and when God lifts them up they will forget about acceptance grace and go back into the cycle of performance more ... the devil loves to say do more! Do more! Do more!
We are here to stay! Emphasising acceptance grace so that as God raises us up to 5 star Christianity we are not even aware we are doing these things- as we are just so in love with Him.
Apostle Paul had such a revelation of acceptance grace like no other apostle did. On the basis of that foundation of acceptance grace God poured empowering grace out upon him (See p5 session 2).
Not once did Jesus call his Disciples brothers: He called them foolish and ye of little faith ... servants and friends by not brothers until ... after the Cross! Before the Cross they did not have righteousness in Christ Jesus: after the Cross they now share a common righteousness – WITH THE SON OF God! That is profound! The King of Heaven is my Brother; the King of Heaven is your Brother ...
Rom 8:29 For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn within a large family/many brothers.
Heb 2:11 For the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. For this reason Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.
Q: Why is he not ashamed to call us brothers?
A: Because we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus! He ACCEPTS us as brothers!
Apostle Paul does not put the title APOSTLE before his name: people do not call him Ps Paul: He says: By the grace of God I am Paul called to be an Apostle – Apostle is my function NOT my title ... The legalistic church has become too enamoured with titles in front of minister’s names.
When Jesus calls us brothers ... and Paul addressed fellow-believers as brothers – we do not need titles! Some Bible Colleges even train ministers to keep their distance between themselves and the people: that’s not brothers! (Ladies you can be brothers because we men have to be the Bride of Christ!)
We are bonded together firstly as brothers and with brothers we relax: in a healthy home brothers don’t have titles – they can joke and reals and have fun and friendship and be transparent. Everyone of you who are born again are brothers and you are brother to the King of Heaven! Jesus is NOT ashamed to call you brothers!
Heb 2:11 For the one who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one Father. For this reason Jesus is not ashamed to call them brothers and sisters.
In the 30 years of my ministry – whenever we come to the time to appoint deacons and elders – there is always tragedy that takes place: that is why I have not yet made such appointments in CCI. I have been waiting to kill this demonic hierarchical mentality that is in the church-world. It is rampant across the globe. As soon as people are designated leader there are two extremes that happen in the church ...
(i) people look at them and say now they are superior to me! Now I have to keep my distance ...
(ii) people are disdainful and say who do they think they are? I’m more spiritual than them! I’m not going to listen to them!
There is a rebellious, jealous lack of acceptance grace.
There are people operating as elders in CCI already and they’re not seen as superior to anyone else – because we’re brothers! Because I stand up here and speak – it is not because I am superior: it’s just what God has called RR to do. God hasn’t called all of us to be a mouth (thank God!): He’s called us to do all different things.
An aside on leadership ...
Q: What’s my ministry = the WRONG question!
Q: Where should I serve? That’s what ministry is ... serving. It does not take long to see who has a servant attitude!
All roles in the church are that of servant – i.e. to love the flock and to make sure everyone is growing in freedom in Christ. A shepherd is not someone who is a boss. Initiative has been crushed by hierarchical regimentation in church and culture: it has produced a bureaucracy and high level control-management that has dwarfed, diminished and robbed the people of God of initiative, creativity and of growing and developing in the ministry.
I will always encourage you to pray and seek Holy Spirit’s guidance: He will talk and counsel you – but he will not say Yes do that or NO don’t do that – he wants you to learn how to walk with God: he wants you to be liberated to walk with God.
That’s what liberators are: liberating leaders who liberate the people of God – they don’t manage the people of God. One day at CCI we will appoint leaders and he hopes no one will be shocked! All I am looking for is people who regularly turn up on time and who are a basic good example – people who give you a model of life to follow. I need people whom U know where they are at ... not people who engage in highs and lows – because such people can’t lead. I need consistency of behaviour.
When you have the idea of brothers and inner-security and safety – there can be no jealousy, no comparison ... whether you are appointed or not appointed – Father loves you fully! I want to build CCI into and lead CCI as a church like I have never led before. In every other church I done my best to break the hierarchy and insecurity and jealousy ... AND WE DID NOT SUCCEED. I pray we will succeed this time!
Some Christians, when they are not appointed cry out Why not me? And they leave the church AND that proves why they shouldn’t have been a leader! Leaders have to take enormous abuse and rejection and they can’t react back like some people do – they must stay stale, loving, gracious and consistent ... year after year after year ... Leaders must always be part of the answer: never part of the problem.
I want to get onto the attitudes ... you whom I love ... the kinds of attitudes that come out of acceptance grace that will produce in us humility, boldness and an obedience to God that will attract the empowering grace of God.
I want to lift my heart to You and I want never to drift from acceptance grace; I don’t look for empowering grace – I believe if I live in the revelation of acceptance grace – God’s empowering grace will come looking for you! If you live with the attitude Paul had toward his fellow believers and it doesn’t matter how much empowering grace he is walking in as an Apostle – Paul sees his fellow believers as brothers ... beloved ... I long for you ... (This is the strongest Gk word to express human emotion ...)
I long for you – with all the affections of Christ – my joy; my crown ... when that atmosphere begins to permeate the church world – we will see such empowering grace.
We want to live as 5 star Christians: we want to demonstrate the Power of our Lord Jesus Christ in signs, wonders and miracles but that’s not what we want to focus on ...we don’t want it as a badge of merit that grades our spirituality: we don’t want to fall into that deception ... Our hearts want to grow in revelation, understanding and richness of the gospel of grace – of acceptance, of true humility, true inner security – having nothing to prove; not comparing ourselves with others; no jealousy, no gossiping, no devouring one another ... We want to be those kinds of people who walk in a humility that attracts Your Mighty Hand, O God! To lift us up – in due time that we may see Your Manifest Power – as 5 star Christians.
Release any attitude of negativity towards any Christian in the world – wherever, whoever ... we repent and seek a pure heart: we want to love everyone (when you love everyone that doesn’t mean you have to trust everyone – particularly if you have been betrayed ... you don’t have to trust them until they have earned your trust!) ... but you can love them – because you are already loved perfectly by our Father; you can forgive them – because you are already forgiven perfectly by our Father; you can accept them – because you are already accepted perfectly in Christ by our Father.
Father – we’ll make every effort to keep the bonds of peace: we preach a strong gospel message here and we thank you for every brother and sister IN Christ in this city and the world ... we want it be a blessing as far as we can go with your people around the world. We want no attitudes of arrogance or pride or superiority or self-righteousness. We choose to be humble ourselves – we’d rather humble ourselves than be humiliated. O Father! I’ve been humiliated and I know that humbling oneself is a lot better! We choose to humble ourselves because of Your Grace ... in Jesus’ Name.