WALKING BY THE SPIRIT IN THE COMMANDS

WALKING BY THE SPIRIT IN THE COMMANDS

(Download PDF Print-friendly version) This piece continues in the same vein as the previous article, which provoked not a little controversy as we expected. But, nonetheless, it is a matter greatly overlooked in church doctrine and must be considered as our salvation is connected to it. Jesus in His conversation with Nicodemus said that unless a man is born again of water and the spirit he cannot either see, or enter, the kingdom of heaven. One cannot enter what one cannot see. A blind man cannot enter a room if he cannot see the door. The kingdom of heaven is not of this fleshly world, which will pass away and burn up. It is eternal and spiritual. So unless one is truly born again, one cannot see or understand according the ways of the Spirit. If we are born again of the Spirit, we are no longer slaves to this fleshly world, which we are sojourning through, but on the contrary, we are able to bring our flesh into submission to the Spirit. This ability is given freely through faith and grace. If we walk according to the flesh then we are slaves to the law of sin and death, because it is impossible to bring our flesh into submission to the law of the Spirit, except through the power of the Holy Spirit. If we walk according to the flesh we gratify the flesh, which is in opposition to the Spirit and therefore the will of God. And herein lies a very important point for those who feel that the commands, ordinances and precepts of God are not...
WARNING! THE LAW OF MOSES APPLIES TO GENTILE BELIEVERS

WARNING! THE LAW OF MOSES APPLIES TO GENTILE BELIEVERS

(Download PDF Print-friendly version) Warning: The Law of Moses Does Apply To Gentile Believers! “Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices as much as in obeying the Lord?  For rebellion is as the sin of divination, and insubordination is as iniquity and idolatry. Because you have rejected the word of the Lord, He has also rejected you from being king….”  1 Samuel 15:22/23 The prophet Samuel spoke these words to King Saul after he disobeyed God, proving rebellion can be extremely costly – in Saul’s case he lost his kingdom!  Refusing to obey God is considered equal to the sin of divination, and such insubordination is also considered equal to iniquity and idolatry.  The King James translation uses the word stubbornness for insubordination.  It says; rebellion is as the sin of witchcraft and stubbornness as idolatry.  Why idolatry?  Because refusing to obey God means by default placing someone else’s ways  before His, in other words one worships another before God’s – that is idolatry.  However: “Blessed are those who do His commandments, that they may have the right to the tree of life, and may enter through the gates into the city.  But outside are dogs (unclean people) and sorcerers and sexually immoral and murderers and idolaters, and whoever loves and practices a lie.”  Revelation 22:14-15 God frequently called the early Israelites a stiff-necked people.  People with stiff necks cannot (or will not) turn their heads to see things differently.  The Israelites were stiff-necked by choice, not wanting to change their old ways so they rebelled.  Like Saul, they too lost their place in the Promised Land....
ROMANS 11 & THE 2 OLIVE TREES

ROMANS 11 & THE 2 OLIVE TREES

(Download PDF Print-friendly version) Those who understand Paul’s teachings in Romans 11, know he likened Gentile disciples of Christ to wild olive branches, who through Christ, are grafted into a cultivated tree, a symbol of ‘spiritual Israel’. In the Middle East and southern Europe where olive groves abound, it’s very noticeable how harshly cultivated trees are pruned in order to produce better fruit.  Cultivated olive groves have lines of well-ordered and pruned trees, whereas wild trees grow everywhere on the hillsides, straggly and wild, producing lesser fruits.  The harshness with which cultivated trees are pruned, even using chainsaws to cut off major branches is significant when considering Paul’s parable in Romans 11. Why, because Gentile branches should expect to be pruned and trained as the host tree is.   If Gentile believers are grafted into the cultivated tree, becoming spiritual citizens of the commonwealth of Israel, they too should expect to do as the Lord requires of Israel.    Otherwise we risk falling into the trap of wanting to have our proverbial cake and eat it.  We want the blessings that Israel receives without paying the full price of commitment and obedience. Jesus makes clear: love = obedience to His word, all of it!   This is not out of legalism (a trap into which Israel has fallen) but out of love for our Father in Heaven. God placed laws and commandments for the Israelites to follow with the counsel that great blessing or cursing would come too, depending on whether they obeyed or rebelled.   The Western church majors on the doctrine of grace, a doctrine which has been placed on such...
SERVE THE KING!

SERVE THE KING!

(Download PDF Print-friendly version) Our Lord and King came not to be served, but to serve so; “Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men.  And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.  Therefore God has highly exalted Him and given Him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow…’   (Phil 2:5-10) The concept of a servant king is somewhat alien to our understanding, for ordinarily it is kings who are served by others.  Jesus demonstrated something remarkable, something that challenged contemporary thinking during His time on earth and still does today.  As God and King, He came to earth to represent His Father, teach about the kingdom of heaven and prove it by manifesting kingdom power and authority with signs and wonders.  He knew that “a servant is not greater than him who sent him”, words He shared with His disciples just before the last supper, after He’d washed their feet.  He was teaching them an important point – that they too were called to humble themselves and serve the kingdom and God as He was. However, in 21st century England, servitude carries negative connotations.  Perhaps the notion of servant-hood conflicts with our imperialist past?   Modern society places so much emphasis on...
THE TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH & NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH

THE TRUTH, THE WHOLE TRUTH & NOTHING BUT THE TRUTH

(Download PDF Print-friendly version) The above words, declared daily in Magistrates and Crown courts the length of Britain, are meant to bind people by swearing an oath on the Bible, to tell the truth.   Ironically, such a request for an oath on the bible is actually in direct opposition to God’s word,  for Jesus expressly commanded: “But I tell you, do not swear an oath at all: either by heaven, for it is God’s throne; or by the earth, for it is his footstool; or by Jerusalem, for it is the city of the Great King.  And do not swear by your head, for you cannot make even one hair white or black.  All you need to say is simply ‘Yes’ or ‘No’; anything beyond this comes from the evil one.”  (Matthew 5:34-37) Words echoed by James: “But above all my brethren, do not swear either by heaven or earth or with any other oath.  But let your “yes” be “yes” and your “no”, be “no”, lest you fall into judgment. (James 5:12) The British justice system, whose role is to establish truth in court, opens proceedings by asking people to make an oath in opposition to God’s word, yet will convict the righteous for doing the Lord’s will.  Recently two street preachers were convicted for committing a ‘religiously aggravated public order offence’, which falls under the Crime and Disorder Act 1998.’ [i] Both were fined and one, a UK citizen, may well have a ‘Criminal Behaviour Order’ (CBO) [ii]imposed upon him restricting his ability to share the gospel publicly.  A CBO (replaced ASBOs’ in 2014) can stay on...