The King and His Kingdom – Part Two


The King and His Kingdom Video

Session 2

Welcome to session 2 of the King and His Kingdom where we are going to explore some more things about the Kingdom of God.

In the last session we said the following:

  1. We can enter the Kingdom of God here and now.
  2. The Kingdom Prophesied – The promise of the Old Testament was that “…the government will rest on His shoulders….” This promise was fulfilled by the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus would permit as many as were willing, to receive sight of this invisible system.
  3. Where is the Kingdom of God? – Jesus said His Kingdom is within us and therefore among us. It is not bound by physical boundaries but is that area where God does things according to His ways (in other words His principles or His Government).
  4. How do we get into His Kingdom? – Jesus said that firstly, we need to be ‘born again’, for this is the way that we catch sight (or become aware of) His kingdom. Next, we need to be ‘…born of water and born of the Spirit…’ in order to enter His kingdom. 
  5. How do we walk in the Kingdom? – Paul tells us in 2 Cor that FAITH must replace human sight as we live daily in God’s Kingdom, because here on earth, the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of this world run in parallel.
  6. Obedience in the Kingdom – Romans 13 says that all authority on earth has been put in place by God. We are all accountable to someone in our lives. ALL have been elected by God to have authority over us. Therefore, if we choose to disobey the worldly authority above us (which are God’s appointed), we are indirectly disobeying God.
  7. A kingdom’s most important asset, are its people. We can judge how Godly a king is by the condition of the people in that kingdom. A quick comparison with worldly kingdoms will show us how wonderfully God blesses His children.

What are the benefits of living in His Kingdom?

Deut.28:1-14 is a very good description of a person who lives according to the principles of God’s Kingdom. Please find time to read this scripture in the next few days as time does not allow us to go through it in this video session.

In the Kingdom of God, we live according to His ‘rule’ or ‘government’ and the results are that, as we obey, we are a people that are blessed.

We see in 2 Cor that God’s promises to us, are ‘in Him’ and ‘in Him is the Amen! (2 Cor.1:20). Therefore, the more we walk in His principles, the more God’s authority will flow through us. We see a good example of this in Acts 19 where the sons of Sceva failed to cast out demons by their own authority.

We become ‘agents’ of the Kingdom here on earth – permitting/forbidding that which has been permitted or forbidden in the Kingdom of Heaven. For example, when we share the Gospel with others, we are ‘permitting’ here on earth that has already been permitted in Heaven. When we do not pay a bribe to others, we are forbidding here on earth that which has been forbidden in Heaven. Agents act, look and feel exactly like their ‘head offices’.

What happens when we do not live according to His principles?

Duet 28: 15-68 describes what happens when we don’t live according to Godly principles.  Once again I would like to encourage us to read this scripture during this coming week as we don’t have time to go through it all on this video. In short, the more we are in His perfect will (His Government), the more we will experience blessings in this life and reward in the next life.

Let’s have a look at these diagrams:

(Fig.1a)

If we were to adhere to God’s principles 100%, we would be 100% blessed and walk 100% in His authority here on earth.

(Fig 1b)

As we partly adhere to God’s principles, we are partly blessed and walk partly in His authority here on earth.

(Fig 1c)

When we do not adhere to Godly principles we cannot be blessed and do not walk in His authority here on earth.

Examples of Godly Principles

There are many of God’s principles to be found in His word. Why not spend a bit of time looking for them and be enriched as the Lord opens these principles to you? Let’s look at some examples:

“Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap..

“For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you.…

“The one who says he is in the Light and yet hates his brother is in the darkness until now.…”

– “Let your speech always be with grace, as though seasoned with salt, so that you will know how you should respond to each person.…”                       

– “You have heard that it was said, `YOU SHALL NOT COMMIT ADULTERY‘; but I say to you that everyone who looks at a woman with lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart.…”

It is interesting that if we read these principles and turn them around, we can start to see why perhaps, we are not receiving a blessing from the Lord – in other words, let’s look at the same scriptures and ask ourselves some questions:

In Gal.6:7 – If we feel we are being ‘dealt a bad hand’ in life – we should ask: how are we treating life?

Matt.7:2 – Do we feel we are being unfairly judged by others? – how then, are we judging others daily?

1 Jn.2:9 – Are we going through daily life with unforgiveness in our hearts? – yet we tell others we are Christians?

Col.4:6 – Do we find it difficult to answer and respond to others? – how are we speaking to those around us daily?

And finally – Matt.5:27-28 – we need to check our daily thoughts – not only our actions!

What is the purpose of His Kingdom?

Under the New Covenant, God has permitted all who are willing, to gain sight of the kingdom, and by the power of His Spirit to enable them to live, not according to the world’s system, but according to kingdom principles.

God uses His principles on this earth to refine us. Each difficulty we face, God has permitted into our lives so that we will turn to Him and be strengthened as we overcome it (Rom.8:28).

From the viewpoint of Marriage, God requires ‘Godly offspring’. God’s Principles will help us fulfill our roles as Godly Husbands and Wives to produce Godly offspring. This to ensure that the authority of God is passed on from generation to generation.

It is impossible for us to live according to God’s Principles in our own strength. We need the power of His Spirit indwelling us to strengthen, teach and guide us.

All of this being done to prepare us for the greatest fulfillment of prophecy, the ruling of the saints with Jesus over the “House of Jacob” in the millennial reign.

OK… let’s just recap what we’ve shared this week:

  1. What are the benefits of living in His Kingdom? – In the Kingdom of God, we live according to His ‘rule’ or ‘government’ and the results are that we are a people that are blessed. His promises to us are ‘in Him’ and ‘in Him’, is the Amen! The more we walk in His principles, the more God’s authority will flow through us.

We become ‘agents’ (or vessels) of the Kingdom here on earth – permitting/forbidding that which has been permitted or forbidden in the Kingdom of Heaven (Matt.16:19).

  • What happens when we do not live according to His principles? – Duet 28: 15-68 describes what happens when we don’t live according to Godly principles.  In short, the more we are in His perfect will (His Government), the more we will experience blessings in this life and reward in the next life. This is also a measure of how God’s authority will flow through us daily (Psa.1:4-6).
  • Examples of Godly Principles – There are many of God’s principles to be found in His word. Why not spend a bit of time looking for them and be enriched as the Lord opens these principles to you? Try turning the principle around to discover why we are not living blessed lives.
  • What is the purpose of His Kingdom? – God uses His principles on this earth to refine us (Ph.2:12). Each difficulty we face, God has permitted into our lives so that we will turn to Him and be strengthened as we overcome them. (Rom.8:28). It is impossible for us to live according to God’s Principles in our own strength. We need the power of His Spirit to strengthen, teach and guide us.

All of this being done to prepare us for the greatest fulfillment of prophecy – the ruling of the saints with Jesus over the “House of Jacob” in the millennial reign as seen in the book of Luke (Luke1: 33).

Please join me next week, for PART 2a, where we will look at some examples of Godly principles and get an indication of how we measure up to them. Be blessed during this coming week – I look forward to being with you soon.

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others. Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers. Often, when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’ Button.)

The King and His Kingdom – Part One


The King and His Kingdom Video

Session 1

Some people think they will only enter the Kingdom of God when they pass from this earth. For the purpose of these sessions, we would like to say there is a difference between the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven. The Kingdom of God is not bound by physical boundaries but is that area where God does things according to His ways (in other words, His principles or His Government). We can enter His Kingdom here and now.

The Kingdom of Heaven, on the other hand, is that place we will see when we pass from this earth – provided we have followed the Lord in this life. Essentially though, they are the same place.

Please join me over the next few sessions where we’ll have a closer look at the Lord’s Kingdom and see some of the principles God would like us to adhere to – and then, understand what happens to us if we don’t. 

The Kingdom Prophesied

The Word of God predicted the arrival of a kingdom belonging to Jesus, which would last forever once established here on earth. In Matthew’s book, we see that John the Baptist came proclaiming the arrival of this kingdom and warned all at hand to repent.

In Matt 4, He said the same thing and promised that some would not die before they see Him arriving in this kingdom. Three of His disciples saw Jesus transfigured before them (which was the fulfillment of Matt 16:28). They were able to see with “Kingdom eyes” the resurrection body of Jesus spoken of in Matt.17.

The coming of the kingdom was no more than the time when Jesus, by His death and resurrection, would permit as many as were willing, to receive sight of this invisible system. (Known as the Government of God – and which has been in operation since the beginning of time).

This circumstance is portrayed when Jesus, speaking to Pilate, explained that His kingdom was not OF THIS WORLD. In other words, His kingdom did not run by the world’s system, but rather by His principles – a system called the Government of God.

The promise of the Old Testament was that “…the government will rest on His shoulders…. This promise was fulfilled by the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus.  His birth was accomplished as predicted and the events of His life were recorded in the Gospels. In these records, are the sayings of Jesus, making reference to the kingdom – more than one hundred times.

Where is the Kingdom of God?

The Kingdom of God is here and now. Jesus said it is within us and therefore among us.  He explained that the kingdom has suffered violence, since its proclamation by John the Baptist, and further, that entrance to this kingdom will be attained by one who is driven with a ‘violence of devotion’. 

How do we get into His Kingdom?

We can enter the Kingdom of God today! Jesus said that firstly, we need to be ‘born again’ because this is the way that we catch sight (become aware of) of His kingdom. Next, we need to be ‘…born of water and born of the Spirit…’ to enter the kingdom. 

Sight of this kingdom is the place that we are released to come to the understanding of what is really happening in this world—or simply put, we become more aware of God, more aware of our sinful nature (not only our sin but the engine that drives us to sin). Also, the activities of the devil are exposed to us.

Entry is the place where we begin to fully understand what we see with the human eye is very far from the real picture of what God is doing — again more simply put, our lifestyles reflect Godly behavior. This happens as we understand that our sinful nature has been crucified with Christ (please refer to the sessions in ‘The Gospel Explained’ for a deeper explanation of entering the Kingdom of God).

How do we walk in the Kingdom?

Do those with Kingdom eyes see physically into another dimension? – NO.  Those with kingdom eyes see with the sight of faith.  Paul tells us in 2 Cor that FAITH must replace human sight. The reason for this is simple.  The system of God’s kingdom is opposed to the system of the world.  Yet God has allowed, ever since the fall of Adam, the worldly system to function, opposite, yet in parallel, to the system of His Government – for the time being. Let’s find time this coming week to have a look at and allow the Holy Spirit to minister to us.

Not only should we live daily with eyes of faith and walk according to the Spirit, but Paul reminds us that we are to live for Christ. He said, “It is no longer I that live…. “. He goes on to say, for us to live this way, is our “reasonable service…”

Obedience in the Kingdom

In any Kingdom, the King owns everything. In God’s kingdom, God is the owner of everything. In this sense, you and I own nothing in this world but are stewards of God’s things. We are accountable to Him for our stewardship.

Romans 13 tells us that there is no authority on earth, which has not been put in place by God. We are all accountable to someone in our lives, whether it is the government of the country, the management of a company, or parents in our family. ALL have been elected by God to have authority over us.

Therefore, if we choose to disobey the worldly authority above us (in other words, God’s appointed), we are indirectly disobeying God Himself (Rom.13:2).

When we rebel against God’s appointed authority, we bring condemnation on ourselves (Rom.13: 2).

God’s appointed authorities are accountable to God, and when they disobey God and treat those in their care badly, God will judge them.

As children of the Lord, we are called to obey all worldly authority. However, we cannot obey authorities who instruct us to do things that are not within God’s Government.

A kingdom’s most important asset is its people. We can judge how Godly a king is by the condition of the people in that kingdom. A quick comparison with worldly kingdoms will show us how wonderfully God blesses His children.

Right… let’s recap what we’ve shared this week:

  1. We can enter the Kingdom of God here and now.
  2. The Kingdom Prophesied – The promise of the Old Testament was that “…the government will rest on His shoulders….” This promise was fulfilled by the birth, life, death and resurrection of Jesus. Jesus would permit as many as were willing, to receive sight of this invisible system.
  3. Where is the Kingdom of God? – Jesus said His Kingdom is within us and therefore among us. It is not bound by physical boundaries but is that area where God does things according to His ways (in other words His principles or His Government).
  4. How do we get into His Kingdom? – Jesus said that firstly, we need to be ‘born again’, for this is the way that we catch sight (or become aware of) His kingdom (Jn 3: 3). Next, we need to be ‘…born of water and born of the Spirit…’ in order to enter His kingdom (Jn3: 5). 
  5. How do we walk in the Kingdom? – Paul tells us in 2 Cor that FAITH must replace human sight as we live daily in God’s Kingdom, because here on earth, the Kingdom of God and the kingdom of this world run in parallel.
  6. Obedience in the Kingdom – Romans 13 says that all authority on earth has been put in place by God. We are all accountable to someone in our lives. ALL have been elected by God to have authority over us. Therefore, if we choose to disobey the worldly authority above us (which are God’s appointed), we are indirectly disobeying God.
  7. A kingdom’s most important asset, are its people. We can judge how Godly a king is by the condition of the people in that kingdom. A quick comparison with worldly kingdoms will show us how wonderfully God blesses His children.

Please join me next week, In PART 2, where we will explore some more things about the Kingdom of God. Be blessed during this coming week – I look forward to being with you soon.

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others. Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers. Often, when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’ Button.)

Let’s Look at Prayer -4


Let’s look at Prayer Video

Session 4

Welcome to session 4 of Let’s look at Prayer

How about a quick recap on what we said in last week’s session on Warfare prayers?

  1. Pray God’s Will – Warfare prayers are a matter of seeking God’s will. It is never man’s place to make a decision on behalf of God.
  2. What is warfare prayer? – Warfare prayer is asking God to come up against powers of darkness and spiritual wickedness, that we may witness in our day
  3. What are spiritual weapons? – Spiritual weapons are the unseen weapons of the spiritual world – through God
  4. When to pray ‘forbid or Permit’ prayers – The more we are one with God, the more we hear Him directing us when to pray
  5. How to pray ‘forbid and permit’ prayers – God will give us the wording for each burden that he gives us to pray for
  6. How not to pray ‘forbid and permit’ prayers – ‘Binding and Loosing’ prayers should never be prayed in our own strength or out of an emotional frenzy
  7. Where is our Authority? – The only authority that we have on this earth is “…through God…”

And lastly

  • How do we lay hold of this authority? – Our authority lies ‘In Christ’ only. The more our old nature is laid down, the deeper ‘in Christ’ we move and the more His authority is released through us

In this week’s session we’ll look at some important questions about prayer.

WHAT SHOULD MY ATTITUDE BE WHEN I PRAY?

In Luke 18, Jesus explains to us what our attitude should be when we pray.  He is saying that it is persistent prayer, inspired by faith and intensity, from a heart that is humble and repentant, that receives a response from the throne of God .

It’s not that God gets some kind of pleasure at seeing us begging and grovelling before Him day after day, but rather that the persistent prayer of a righteous believer will break down the evil forces that try to prevent the answers to our prayers reaching us as confirmed by these scriptures (Eph. 6:12; Jas. 5:16; 1Thess.5:17). Later, we’ll look more closely at the example of Daniel’s prayer in Daniel chapter 9.

Believing and trusting God (in other words Faith) when we pray, puts the emphasis on God Himself. It is all about Him and His faithfulness. Jesus did not teach us to rely on prayer alone – He taught us to rely on, and trust Him. Only when we can fully trust Him, can we fully pray believing. We are to believe Him first, and then express that belief in prayer. Trust must be in the heart before prayer comes out of the mouth. In Luke 18, we see how strong the beggar’s faith was. He trusted God to heal him.

Another example of prayer attitude is once again seen in Luke 18 where Jesus says that the Tax gatherer’s seeking God, was one of humility. We also see in Daniel chapter 9 how Daniel prayed from a heart that was humble and repentant, longing to understand God’s will. Please, if you have time this week, read through this chapter and let the Lord show you the state of Daniel’s heart.

CAN WE PRAY LIKE THE GREAT MEN OF GOD?

Let’s have a look at two examples of how great men of God prayed. In 1 Kings 18, we enter the story at the point where Elijah tells King Ahab that it is going to rain (and that’s after three and a half years of drought!).  Although he tells Ahab, what he is really doing is prophesying.

Elijah immediately then got onto his knees and prayed until what he had prophesied had come to pass.

Daniel, in chapter 9, said this: “So I gave my attention to the Lord God to seek Him by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes…” (Dan.9:3).

Daniel’s seeking the Lord was very serious – not a light hearted approach.

We must desire to pray the way Elijah and Daniel prayed because these types of prayers produce results.  Not only this, but they are within the reach of every believer.

We need however to take note of a very important factor here:-

Both these men prayed in God’s will. 

Elijah heard from God before he prophesied to Ahab that there would be no rain.

And

Daniel read about the prophecies of Jeremiah before he began to pray .

PRAY IN GOD’S WILL, PRAY BELIEVING

The next important issue is that they both firmly believed that their prayers would be heard by God.  This was visible by their behaviour.  Elijah went to Ahab and told him what was going to happen, then prayed without moving from his place until his servant reported a cloud.

Daniel never moved from his place for three whole weeks, neither eating, drinking nor bathing!!

HUMILITY AND BROKENESS IS WHAT WE NEED IN PRAYER

If we go back to Luke 18, Jesus describes two attitudes in prayer:

Firstly, the scribe who is proud of his achievements and legalistic in his manner of praying. 

Secondly, and very different, is the attitude of the tax-gatherer.  He goes to God with a heart that is looking for mercy.

Let’s try and remember these prayer attitudes, as we next seek God.

CAN I ONLY PRAY THE WILL OF GOD?

Praying in the will of God is really a way of life. In other words, people who have utterly surrendered their lives to God, don’t have much difficulty praying God’s will, because they KNOW Him – not just know ABOUT Him. Let’s just repeat that… they KNOW him – not just know ABOUT Him.

But for those of us still growing to that place, we need firstly to desire to pray in God’s will, and then ask Him to cause our prayers to be prayed in His will.  But we are certainly free to ask God for the things that we want, then ask Him to make it subject to His will.

WHY DOES GOD WANT US TO DO THE PRAYING?

God’s ways are unique to Him and they work in spite of what we do or don’t do. He does require us to pray and preach to fulfill His purpose on earth, but even where we are disobedient, He will find others that are willing, so He always accomplishes His will. The scripture of Romans 10 shows us this.

In Luke 18, Jesus gives us some idea as to why God wants us to pray:

In this instance, the judge can be likened to the position God holds over the earth.  He is in total charge.

The widow (who is a symbol of defencelessness and a particular focus of God’s deep compassion), is likened to a person who cries out for deliverance from their adversary.

The adversary is Satan who constantly seeks to bind people in slavery to his will.

The widow remained persistent, and it was because of this that the judge agreed to deliver her, “…lest by her continuous requesting, she wear me out…” (vs. 5).  Jesus says that God too, will deliver, when His children pray to Him, “…crying to Him day and night…” (vs. 7).

Jesus guarantees, in fact, that God will deliver speedily (vs. 8)!

WHY PERSISTENCE IN PRAYER?

Why would God insist that we persist in prayer, is He like a judge waiting to be wearied?  Never!  God is just and has a very good reason for us persisting in prayer. 

We see in Daniel 9, how and what Daniel prayed.  The answer to his prayer comes in chapter 10 when a messenger from God tells Daniel that his prayer was answered the first time he prayed, but it took twenty-one days for the answer to reach him.  Why?  Because it was hindered by the Prince of Persia (which we can understand to be a demonic strong-hold over the area – vs. 13).

Daniel fasted and never gave up on his praying.  His prayers were persistent and in deep sincerity.

In 1 John 3, we read that Jesus defeated Satan, yet Satan is still the god of this world as we see in 2 Cor.2.  How?  By illegal means, he does this.  He tempts man to sin and those that do not have the power to overcome, become slaves to him.  Therefore, he rules!

However, as the saints persist in prayer, many shall be freed from his evil clutches. In Heb.10, we see that through perseverance and the will of God, we will receive what He promises us (Heb.10:36).

SOME LAST POINTS TO CONSIDER…

In essence then, this is what Jesus is teaching us:

When we pray, first look for what GOD wants.

Ask God to empty us as we begin to pray and show us what’s on His heart.

Pray according to the will of God.

BELIEVE that God will not only hear our prayer, but will answer them as well.

Persist in prayer – don’t give up!

Lastly, when all this has been done, ask God to give you peace about that which you have prayed.

OK… let’s quickly recap what have we seen this week:

  1. What should my attitude be when I pray? – It is persistent prayer, inspired by faith and intensity, from a heart that is humble and repentant, that receives a response from the throne of God
  2. Can we pray like the great men of God? – Praying is well within the reach of everybody and is encouraged by God – there are many biblical examples of praying people.
  3. Pray in God’s Will, pray believing – All great praying people totally believed God would answer their requests
  4. Humility and Brokenness in prayer – God looks for humble hearts seeking mercy rather than arrogant prideful attitudes in prayer
  5. Can I only pray the will of God? – God’s will in our prayers will come naturally as we get to know Him – but we are free to ask for the things we want according to His will
  6. Why does God want us to do the praying? – God uses us to further His Kingdom here on earth – through prayer and His will
  7. Why persistence in prayer? – We need to persevere in prayer because answers are sometimes delayed in the heavenlies and through perseverance and the will of God, we will receive answers.

And lastly, when we pray:

  • Look for what God wants – ask God to empty our hearts as we begin to pray – pray the will of God – believe God will hear our prayer and trust Him for the answer – persist and don’t give up – and then ask Him to give us peace about what we have prayed.

Let’s end off this last session by praying together in your group. Hopefully by now we are all used to praying with each other and we’ve begun to hear God sharing His heart with us in the prayer time.

Remember – we hold a very powerful tool in our hands when we pray, not by our power – but by His. Talk to God all day long – get to know Him intimately and tell Him you love Him. Marvel as we see situations around us change by the power of our prayers, subject to God’s will.

Thanks so much for joining me as we’ve had a look together at the topic prayer over the last few weeks. I pray the Lord has used these sessions in some way, to bring us all that bit closer to Him.

May our Father in Heaven Bless you all.

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others. Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers. Often, when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

Please feel free to send in questions (see ‘Contact’) and comments (hit ‘Comments’ Button.)

The Holy Spirit – Part Four


Join our Pastor Ray as he shares the power of The Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit Video

Session 4

Welcome to number 4 of The Holy Spirit sessions

Last week, we had a closer look at some of the gifts that the Holy Spirit brings with Him as He resides in us.

Let’s quickly recap what we discussed:

1. A Gift from God – The Holy Spirit is a gift (singular) from God and He brings along with Him gifts of the Spirit (plural)

2. The Holy Spirit Comes to Live in Us – When the Holy Spirit resides in us, we display the Fruit of the Spirit and receive gifts.

3. God’s Nature – The Holy Spirit is the nature of God abiding in us.

4. God’s Tool Box – The Fruit of the Spirit is only part of the equipment we need; the gifts of the Spirit make up the balance.

5. God the Source – The spirit of God (NOT MAN), is the source of the gifts – the gifts glorify God (NOT MAN).

6. Nine Personal Gifts – The language gifts, Knowing or Revelation Gifts and Doing or Power Gifts, make up the group of personal Gifts.

7. Heavenly Language – Tongues is a heavenly language by the power of Holy Spirit, spoken to God – not Man.

8. Interpretation – Paul commands us to pray for interpretation of the heavenly language, so that all may be edified.

9. Prophecy – Words brought by the power of the Holy Spirit from God to man is called prophecy.

10. Given Freely by God – The gifts are given freely by God to all those who desire them.

In session 3, we said that there were nine gifts, which could be split into three groups of three; the first three we discussed were the ‘Language gifts’.  These consisted of:

1) Diverse tongues,     

2) Interpretation and      

3) Prophecy.

The next group of gifts we are going to look at are the gifts of ‘knowing or revelation’.

WORD OF WISDOM (HOW TO)

Word of wisdom is a gift which involves the imparting of divine inspiration to see, understand and respond to life situations from Gods viewpoint.  In other words, receiving divine understanding and insight, which enables one to deal with a specific situation or circumstance.

A good example of this gift is found in Matt. 22, where the scripture says,“…But Jesus, perceiving their malice, said, “Why are you testing me?…”  By divine revelation, Jesus knew that they sought to trap him, but this divine revelation showed him how to answer them in a way that would not allow them to trap him.  It was also a sign of the spirit abiding in him.

WORD OF KNOWLEDGE (ABOUT)

The Word of knowledge is a supernatural revelation of some detail of the knowledge of God.  It is God imparted information of facts and details which are humanly impossible to know.  It is receiving a portion of the mind of God, about a given life situation, at any one given moment.

A good example of this gift is Jesus speaking to the Samaritan woman at the well in John 4, where He says “ You have had five husbands, and the one you have now is not your husband, this you have said truly” (Vs.18).  Her response was, “Sir, I perceive that you are a prophet”.  In other words, “God, not man, has revealed this thing to you”.

The gift would be used to reveal a vital piece of information that could help deal with certain life situations.  It could also be used as a testimony of the indwelling Sprit in the life of the one having it, to cause others to turn to the truth (as in the case of Jesus at the Well).

DISCERNING OF SPIRITS

Being able to perceive the spiritual source behind a word, motive, attitude, mood or action of an individual or group, is the gift of discernment. Spiritual sources are either: Heavenly, Human or Demonic.

An example of this gift, which operates in the lives of all spirit filled believers at various times, in Acts, where the Spirit revealed to Peter that Simon was trying to buy the gifts of God with Money. Significantly, Peter also had a word of knowledge here as well, when he said to Simon, “…. for I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and bondage of iniquity…”

Finally, we look at the last group of gifts of ‘Doing or Power’.

HEALINGS

The supernatural ability to minister physical healing to those who are sick, is a gift of healing.  By virtue of the expression ‘gifts of healing’ (plural) in 1 Cor. 12:9, the implication could cover all areas of healing, namely: spiritual, emotional, mental and psychological.

It must be born in mind that this gift is firstly to glorify the name of God as we can see in the scriptures of John, and then for the benefit of the one that has been healed.

WORKING OF MIRACLES

A miracle is a phenomenon that is supernatural – an act contrary to the physical laws of nature.  Miracles defy reason and transcend natural laws. This gift requires God working through individuals to perform the impossible.  An example of miracle working is seen in Acts 13, where Paul is used by God to bring blindness to Elymas in order that Sergius Paulus would come to know the Lord.

FAITH

The ability to believe God for the impossible in a situation beyond the normal, is a gift of Faith.  It is the faith to accomplish specific tasks, face potentially overwhelming circumstances, or to persevere in the face of dangerous situations.  We should read Acts 27 sometime this coming week, to see Paul working in the gift of faith.

To try and give us better understanding of what we have been sharing over the last two weeks, let’s have a look at this diagram:

– The fruit of the Spirit can be seen all together (as one unit) in the green section – showing that all parts of the fruit of the Spirit are within us at the same time.

– The Holy Spirit brings ‘gifts’ (plural) with Him.

– The 9 personal gifts as we have been discussing this week and last week, can be seen in three groups.

– Language gifts – made up of Diverse tongues, Interpretation and Prophecy.

– Knowing or Revelation gifts – made up of word of wisdom, word of knowledge and discerning of spirits

– Doing or Power gifts – made up of Healings, Miracles and Faith.

Let’s recap then on what gifts we’ve heard about this week:

  1. Word of Wisdom (How to act or speak) – receiving divine understanding and insight, which enables us to deal with a specific situation or circumstance, is a word of Wisdom.
  2. Word of Knowledge (Know about a situation) – God imparted information of facts and details which are humanly impossible to know in any circumstance we may face, is a word of Knowledge.
  3. Discerning of Spirits – Being able to perceive the spiritual source behind a spoken word, motive, attitude, mood or action of an individual or group, is the gift of discernment. Spiritual sources are either: Heavenly, Human or Demonic.
  4. Healings – The supernatural ability to minister physical healing to those who are sick, is a gift of healing.
  5. Working of Miracles – God working through individuals to perform the impossible or an act contrary to the physical laws of nature, is the working of miracles.
  6. Faith – The ability to believe God for the impossible in a situation beyond the normal, is a gift of Faith

LET’S PRACTICE….

To close the session, once again, take a few minutes to go around your group, practicing the gifts that we’ve learned about over the last two weeks, as was done before in the previous sessions.

VERY IMOPORTANTLY though – The purpose of this exercise is to help us overcome the ‘fear of man’ (or shyness) – by practicing together. PLEASE – IT IS NOT AN EXERCISE TO FORCE GOD TO ACT BY OUR OWN STRENGTH. Rather simply, the more we practice in front of others, the more confident we will become.

As you pray now – remember:

With the language gifts, we must Firstly, Believe and

Secondly, open our mouths and move our tongues – otherwise absolutely nothing is going to happen!

Thirdly, we must get rid of any unforgiveness or anger in us by praying quietly for the Lord’s help. (remember we said forgiveness is a decision not a feeling!). 

Also, please be sensitive to those who are not comfortable praying out aloud. Don’t force them to pray, but rather allow them to be still and let the Spirit of the Lord, wash over them during this time.

The Lord be with you as you discover new things – In Him!

Thanks so much for spending this time with me – next week in session 5, we’ll look at some more gifts the Holy Spirit brings to us which we’ve grouped as ‘the gifts of Function’.  Until then, Bless you all.

“…time with the Master…” is an on-going series of teachings, about lifestyle in the Church and is published bi-monthly.

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The Power of Debt


Buried for my sins or resurrected for my life?

The Power of Debt

I was having a chat with my son the other day and he asked me, “Dad, if you lived your life over again, would you change anything?”

I had a little chuckle, knowing there would probably be a number of things I would do differently. However, without any doubt, I replied, “I would certainly live my life without debt… all my 45 some years of working life, I had debt of one sort, and I now see how much time and stress I went through to pay it back…on the treadmill of debt payment – day in and day out”.  

Had I not chosen to use debt, I realised things would probably have been a lot more difficult, but one thing is for sure…. I would have had a lot more peace of mind.

The scriptures are very clear when it comes to debt – NO debt – not any kind of debt – except to owe others love. Proverbs says those who borrow become a slave to their lender. Think about this. As we borrow money – or anything else – we have to pay it back. Immediately we complete the borrowing transaction, we put a yolk around our necks and begin the treadmill of repaying. Interest rates can go up and borrowing conditions can change but as slaves, we are powerless to complain.

As people go about their daily lives, some appear not to be concerned about their commitment to repay, while others are deeply troubled and find themselves worrying about the fact that if they lose their jobs, they have no means of meeting their commitment. Worry is borne out of the fear of not being able to repay. Are we one of those who are constantly walking around with a dark cloud of worry over us? More than likely debt is the cause.

The accuser of the brethren, the devil, has a wonderful time with this topic. Fear does not come from the Lord. Fear is a great tool for the accuser. In Ephesians, we see how easy it is for us to “indulge in the desires of the flesh and the mind”. How easy it is for us to fall victim to fearful thoughts. Fearful thoughts cause us to worry. Worry will lead us into depression. Worry will make us physically sick.

How many times have we prayed asking God to bless and prosper us, when we continue walking outside of His principles by making more debt? It simply cannot make sense to God to prosper those who do not obey Him. Would you keep giving money to a compulsive gambler who consistently squandered it?

DEBT FREE = FEAR FREE.

So what can we do to get out of debt? As with any negative situation, we first need to acknowledge that there is a problem. Next we need to ask God to partner with us in order to find a solution. We need a renewal of our thinking. If we continue to do the same things in our life, we will end up with the same results. Different results require different inputs. “Lord please change me”.

With the leading of the Holy Spirit, write down a plan of how you can begin immediately to reduce your debt. Implement the plan and be disciplined to stick to it. This requires us to pay attention to the battle which will be present in our minds – the battle to try and get us to stay with our old way of thinking. However, we see in Romans, that we are no longer slaves to our old way of thinking. Believe this verse by faith and be diligent to “stick to the plan”.

As you make up your mind to commit yourself to this challenge, God is faithful to bless your obedience. Immediately you acknowledge your wrong and commit to getting away from it, His blessings will flow and what may seem an impossible hill to climb, will be complete before you know it!

Fear will no longer be part of your life and you will truly feel the power of the peace of the Lord daily, as you walk in Him.

From: “…time with the Master…”

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others. Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers. Often, when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

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With God Nothing is Impossible


The Following article was submitted for publication by Vivi and is a timeous warning on the danger of alcohol abuse.

‘I’m not an alcoholic’! – many alcoholics claim. The good news is, even if you are, you can be cured.

Alcoholics have been heard to comfort one another with the fact that although they are alcoholics at least they do not have cancer.

Someone by the name of Don who died of cancer, had this read at his funeral:

Cancer is so limited – it cannot cripple love – it cannot shatter hope

it cannot corrode faith – it cannot eat away peace

it cannot destroy confidence – it cannot kill friendship

it cannot shut out memories – it cannot silence courage

it cannot invade the soul –

However, unless alcoholism is prevented through abstinence – it can cripple love, shatter hope, corrode faith, destroy healthy diet, drink away peace, cripple confidence, kill friendship, break up marriages, decimate families, kill the body and sometimes (in accidents caused by drunkenness) even kill other, innocent people!

If you had cancer, would you search for some help or treatment?  Perhaps even have an operation to remove it, in the hope that it will not grow again.  Why then, I wonder, do people with a drinking problem take so long to recognize the fact that they might be on the way to becoming an alcoholic and continue drinking when all they need do is get some help?  To abstain means that the alcoholism is arrested – even overcome and the Lord loves overcomers!!

After a few years of marriage, my husband realized that his drinking habit was spoiling our relationship and although he tried to come home after work without stopping for some drinks on the way home, he’d tell himself: ‘I’ll just have ONE beer’ but, after one, his resolve was broken down and he’d come home having had four or five!

I was attending weekly Al-Anon meetings at a local church-hall and after a few narrow escapes while driving, my husband agreed to come to the weekly AA meetings on the same evening.  The meetings were remarkably interesting and educational in that we both learned just how addictive and how poisonous alcohol/ethanol is!

He realized he was actually addicted to alcohol, that is, he accepted he was  an alcoholic and kept trying to shake off the addiction, which some of those attending the meetings had managed to do, though certainly not all of them!

When I say, ‘shake off the addiction’ and in the heading: ‘you can be cured’, I should make it clear that there is no cure, except for abstinence and the addiction is only successfully ‘shaken off’ when it is no longer being fed!  That is only possible it seems, with the help of God.

In AA’s “Twelve Steps” the word ‘God’ is mentioned four times, and ‘asked “Him” to remove our shortcomings’ in the seventh step.  However, now, in order to keep those of differing faiths accepting, they call the Lord a ‘higher power’. For me – He is the Highest Power!be7295ddfb9c2160832b9d09b4855ed8

After a few ‘slips’ my husband asked the men at our Bible study evening to pray for him, because he really wanted to be free of the addiction.  They got up, stood around him and prayed for him.

On only one occasion after that did he drink and the result was he fell down the stairs from the garage to the house!  When I arrived home he tearfully told me it was his fault, because he had had a drink!  But after that, he never looked back!  He had seen his folly, made up his mind, asked the Lord for the strength and received it.  He has not touched alcohol since then; nearly twenty years ago!  We are so grateful to God with whom nothing and no-one is impossible!  (However, He does not force them)!

So the answer to the question of how to deliver your loved one from the clutches of alcoholism is: you cannot, but the Lord can and will.  However, He waits for the person who is addicted to ask Him and commit themselves to His guidance!

When alcoholism/nicotine addiction/any drug addiction has been in our family we need to forewarn our children that they may be susceptible so that they are forearmed.  Although no-one knew anything about DNA when the scriptures were written onto scrolls, God did – and He warned us that the sins of the fathers would be visited on the children to the third and fourth generation.

It sounds like a gong of doom, but it is not a curse, it is a warning!  God inspired the prophets to warn us (because He loves us)!  So if your dad is a heavy smoker, or your granddad was a heavy drinker, not only should you be aware that these habits can become addictions, but also, be aware that the susceptibility can be passed on to the next vulnerable generation!Alcoholism

God does not blame the children or punish them for what their parents did, see Ezekiel Ch. 18, in particular, vs 20, we can inherit traits (strengths and weaknesses) and susceptibilities from our parents, grandparents and even great-grandparents, especially when the traits are on both sides of the family!

Although the advertising of cigarettes has been stopped in this country and a warning of the danger of lung cancer is now printed on the packets, there is no warning on bottles of alcohol, that alcoholism could be the result of consuming the contents!  It is socially acceptable to have a drink and good times are continually advertised on television, interrupting your entertainment and ‘brainwashing’ you to get started or to have another drink!

Scriptures that tell us to guide and teach our children: Deuteronomy Ch. 4 vs 9: ‘Make them known to your children and grandchildren’ (your seed and your seed’s seed).  We are encouraged to keep God’s commandments so that it may go well with us and with our children after us, so that we may ‘prolong our days/live long on the land which the Lord is giving us for all time’.

‘I will appoint you as a covenant to the people, as a light to the nations, to open blind eyes and free those that walk in darkness’.  If people cannot see that they are becoming addicted, they are blind to the disaster that could be lying ahead – and the Lord wants them to be free of that bondage – to whatever substance!

So the answer is to pray for those who suffer from alcoholism or other substance abuse and then encourage them to ask for help! They need to get to the point of acknowledging that they are addicted and the Lord will answer their prayer.

All rights reserved Vivi©2020

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The Greatest Power


Albert Einstein spoke of the greatest power on earth.

  1. If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a ringing gong or a clanging cymbal. 2If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have absolute faith so as to move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3If I give all I possess to the poor and exult in the surrender of my body,a but have not love, I gain nothing.

4Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no account of wrongs. 6Love takes no pleasure in evil, but rejoices in the truth. 7It bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be restrained; where there is knowledge, it will be dismissed. 9For we know in part and we prophesy in part, 10but when the perfect comes, the partial passes away.

11When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I set aside childish ways. 12Now we see but a dim reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.

13And now these three remain: faith, hope, and love; but the greatest of these is love.

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

If you are worldview inclined see my other site; www.sirpeterjames.com

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A Year of Fulfillment


Hello to all my family, friends, followers and readers.
I am excited, as I’m sure you are, that today, January 1st 2019 has dawned.

I am convinced that as Paul says, “….there are three things that remain – faith, hope and love – and the greatest of these is love”. (1Cor.13:13).

There is no doubt in my mind, that when we have faith in the accomplishment of our dreams – they will come to pass. If we are blessed with the gift of faith, then we are rich.

However, where our faith is weak, there is always hope. Hope keeps us moving through the suffering, pain, loneliness, loss, fear and the many other human traumas that we experience along life’s long rocky road. Hope gives us the strength to push on.

Yet, it is said in these words of wisdom that faith and hope will pass away in due course and the only one to remain, will be love. Of course, the love that these words of wisdom speak about is not the romantic love that is so exciting when we experience it; it is not the love we have for our Mothers, Fathers, Sisters, Brothers, but it is the love we have of God, ourselves, our fellow humans; the gratitude we experience for the world in which we live in and also the many different experiences we go through in this life.

The mystery in discovering this Love, that the scriptures speak of, is found in it’s advice to: “…….ask and you will be given what you ask for, seek and you will find, ….” (Matt. 7:7).

Have you ever asked God for His love, to come and live inside you, to become part of you? If love is the only lasting quality, then you are wise to ask for it, wise to search for it.

My hope for you is that this year of 2019 will be the best year of your life, that all your dreams will be fulfilled, that you learn how to negotiate the rocky parts of your journey through life, with peace, joy and contentment in your heart.

Above all, I wish that you will find the great everlasting love of God.

All rights reserved sirpeterjamesdotcom©2019-01-01

Please Note:
I will not publish articles on this site until end January, 2019 as I shall be taking a much needed break from all my usual activities, which include my business and writing.

 

If you feel this article has value, please send this link to others, Writings are meant for people, not for dormant files in our computers and very often when we share them, it results in positive changes in the lives of individuals and communities.

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A Day in the Life of the Narrow Road


“Consider it all joy”, says James from his book in the new testament, “When you encounter various trials…”

 One wonders why somebody would make that kind of statement. James goes on….. “Knowing that the testing (trying) of your faith produces endurance”. He further goes on to say,”And let endurance have its perfect (mature) result, so that you may be perfect (mature) and complete, lacking nothing”.

Continue reading “A Day in the Life of the Narrow Road”

Mission Malawi – Chapter Sixteen


Why don’t you start the series from the beginning – click here.

15.10.95
All has been quiet on the ‘wakhuba’ front. We are very tired but still blessed by our hourly watch and praying at night.

Continue reading “Mission Malawi – Chapter Sixteen”