THE “EDEN” of THE NEW TESTAMENT – Andrew Strom

There is hunger inside man for the lost paradise of Eden which we were cut-off from through the fall. A place of harmony, purity, sharing, love and communion with our Creator. A place where sin has been purged and selfishness overcome – where people live together in true unity and love. A place that has a touch of ‘heaven’ about it.

But few of us seem to realize that the CHURCH is supposed to
be something of an “Eden” like this. Please read the below
passage carefully – even if you know it well. It is describing the
early church as it was in the beginning-

THE “EDEN” of THE NEW TESTAMENT – Here it is:

Acts 2:42-47 (NKJV)-
“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles´ doctrine and
fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came
upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through
the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things
in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided
them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with
one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house,
they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising
God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to
the church daily those who were being saved.”

Do you see the touch of “heaven” going on in the above passage,
my friends? Can you see why I refer to it as being “Eden”-like?

There are a lot of people who say we can “ignore” the description
of the early church in Jerusalem – as though it is not any kind of
‘ideal’ to emulate. “Just put it out of your mind,” they say. We live
in “modern” times, after all.

But I beg to differ. When there is chapter after chapter of Acts
devoted to the way this church lived, I have to believe it is there
for a reason. And it is not so we can simply “ignore” or cast it
aside. After all, this was the church literally founded by Jesus
and the apostles. In many ways it is the best biblical pattern of
“normal” Christianity that we have. Surely we ignore it at our peril.

So what are we to make of this hint of “Eden” today?

Simply that there is supposed to exist on earth a fully “redeemed”
people – a people of purity, love, sharing and harmony – a true
touch of “heaven” on earth. Not perfect – but truly and deeply
redeemed. A body of people who have been made so “clean” by
the preaching of the Apostolic gospel that the Spirit of God is
pleased to dwell among them in power.

And that is the key to it right there. You notice that at the founding
of the Jerusalem church, Peter preached to them a piercing gospel
that “cut them to the heart”. They were deeply convicted and deeply
repentant. They then had a powerful encounter with God’s Spirit
of Holiness – His Holy Spirit. This purifying and cleansing is the
secret to so much of what followed. The old “apostolic” gospel
preached under an ‘apostolic’-type anointing is what brings this
kind of transformation to people. And it is the key to the “Eden”-like
atmosphere that imbued the Jerusalem church.

Combine a truly “cleansed” people with the POWER of the Holy
Spirit, and that is the type of result you get – as so many Revivals
down the ages show us. This is precisely the kind of thing Jonathan
Edwards was referring to when he wrote:

“This work of God… soon made a glorious alteration in the town:
so that in the spring and summer of 1735, the town (Northampton,
Massachusetts) seemed to be full of the presence of God: it never
was so full of love, nor of joy, and yet so full of distress, as it was
then.”

This “Eden” experience occurs first in individuals, then in groups,
and can even occur across entire towns. I wonder what is standing
in the way of such an “Eden” occurring today, my friends?

-PLEASE COMMENT on this topic below-

God bless you all. – Andrew Strom. ( [email protected] ).

Posted in Articles by Andrew on December 4th, 2012 at 6:23 am.

342 comments

342 Replies

  1. My heart is for this and I know that I will see it…

    This is what I am living for…

    This demonstration of the Power of God…

    I place my “Amen” with yours brother Andrew – I sensed it in what you wrote – and say, “Amen, we will see it in our day”…

    What we have longed for and prayed for – we will see it in our day…

    Love in the Lord,

    Andrew

  2. Robert C. Thomas Dec 4th 2012

    Amen. A good word.

    What we are missing is repentance. John the Baptist came first, the Forerunner, and he preached repentance. We need the deep humility of knowing our deep need. Notice the text says they feared. Fear is a curse word in our society… we are to feel at peace, fearing nothing in our modern nation. But we do fear. We fear many things. God fears nothing and God’s people fear only Him. We bow before Him, receive His forgiveness and His Holy Spirit power, as we become the people of the Eden of Acts once again. Praise the Lord! A touch of heaven on Earth right here and right now. Amen and amen.

    Thank you my brother. You have touched my heart again.

    Bob

  3. sylvia Dec 4th 2012

    I have been feeling this for some months – it is all about “knowing” God and Jesus Christ as they truly are I believe. I had an experience which confirmed this to me on Sunday – I was praying about something that had distressed me that had been said about my son and I was saying “but you do not know my son as I do” in my mind when suddenly I sensed that my Father was saying to me “You do not know My Son as I do” and it all fell into place. John 17 verse 3 says “And this is life eternal that they might know thee, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent” KJV The old Redemption Hymnal is full of these things “Oh for a closer walk with God…” etc. When we are close to Him we will be close to each other. God Bless and keep you.

  4. Philip Smith Dec 4th 2012

    I agree Andrew. It seems that we are so intellectual in our day. We think we have all the right answers, spiritual, scientific, or otherwise. Yet it is our own experiences and knowledge that are our stumbling blocks. Our minds are our greatest problem. Oh, how we need the lies in the body of Christ removed that keep is in our slumber and far away from the saving truth of Christ Jesus. Yet there is such a history of man’s theology that has become a prison for so many people. These prisons of theology that keep people asleep need to be utterly demolished so that people can awake and turn and respond to the call of Christ Jesus. Many are called, few are chose, will He find any who are faithful in our day? I pray that He does!

  5. Brother Paul Dec 4th 2012

    It will be very interesting to say the least, to find what people have to comment regarding this topic.

  6. Joyce Dec 4th 2012

    All of THAT comes at a high, high cost, and I do not know anyone who wants to pay the cost it would require. If that were not true, we would be seeing this operate all over the earth. It has been available for 2000 years, but the problem is…..We have not be available! Few can even pray today. We are just not desperate enough…..YET!

  7. I think you nailed the issue Sylvia.
    The thing lacking is the knowledge of God.
    I don’t know how we got to this point…whether it’s the preaching, business or following people, but I’m struck by the lack of hunger for intimacy among the believers I meet. They will talk about their programs, their pastors experiences or their worship times, but they don’t directly know God.

    This lack of knowledge leads them to be wide open to every lying sign and wonder, their lives are already spirituals starved, so if they see a healing, gold dust, or hear that someone has done a great miracle they try to fill their hunger for the bread of life with these instead.

    Back in the early church they had one head over the church….Jesus Christ. In today’s multi-headed monster that calls itself the church, the connection with the head has been lost. If we read the motive recorded by the apostles, the truth stands out – ‘that you may know him!’ Not have a good worship team…see the ‘power of God’ or hear a nice encouraging message, the whole point is to know God.

    We’ve made this our focus, and I can honestly say it’s been the greatest blessing in my life since my salvation. We’re not waiting around for a revival or move of God…We live in him. ‘Turn to him and receive’ is the apostolic foundation…why are so many building on sinking sand. Their works will be exposed for what they are, how tragic the fall of those that seek another way.

  8. antipas4yahshua Dec 4th 2012

    Someone to keep in mind when reading about the early church and Acts.
    They early disciples and devot followers were all Jews who had a solid upbringing in Torah.
    It was against the Torah and the prophets to not care for the poor and those in need (ie Is 58:6-10). To sum it up – it is just being “a decent person”. However, the major difference was the outpouring and the indwelling of the Holy Spirit.
    The teaching of Christ and book of James specifically warns against people who have abundance and dont share with a brother/sister clearly in need.
    In addition, the backdrop of the period was a immoral / corrupt religious system coupled with a heavily taxed government system that was full of idols and hedonistic. Sound familiar ?

  9. Amen to the prior comments, to which I’ll add only this:

    We treat God as though He is our substitute teacher.

    At least here in America’s government school system, substitute teachers are notoriously dismissed. They are regarded as not having any true authority. The students do not pay attention to the substitute teacher. Instead, they carry on among themselves, sometimes wildly, but always irreverently, even if they are composed, to the humiliation and rejection of the substitute teacher. They do not believe the substitute teacher has any weight to bear, so they’re not taken seriously, they’re simply there to “fill in.” To the students, when there’s a sub, it’s considered a “day off” from class.

    Only deep repentance will restore this touch of Eden to the Church. That we might look again to Him who is the Head, the true Teacher from Whom and in Whom all things consist. (Colossians 1:17-18)

    We must repent from:

    -Seeking out other teachers apart from the Head.

    -Relying on our own intellect and reasoning.

    -Preferring to listen to our favorite preachers/teachers, authors, conference videos, and musicians over the pure instruction in the Word by the illumination of the Holy Spirit of God.

    -The detestable sin of humiliating God (if that were possible) by our lack of regard as to His wisdom and the all-sufficiency of Scripture.

    This is just one aspect of how the Church must repent from her moral failure. To call people to repentance, they must be told and held accountable as to the specific nature of the sin as it has become the norm–many do not even see the problem!–they’ve become blinded by their sin, deaf to the Voice of the Lord. This, too, is a judgment from God.

    May the uncompromised preaching of the Word which is able to unstop the ears and give sight to the blind sound the alarm and may the holy remnant come out.

  10. watchful Dec 4th 2012

    We will see that again, and MORE, if I am understanding the scriptures aright. There is also the issue of what time and season it is, God’s timing and HIS purposes for this hour. We should know the season and what the Father is doing right now, and make sure we are on board with that. The danger is in forming our own image (which comes from man’s image-ination). This is why It is a commandment that we are not to form (graven) our own images.

    A simple word search tells me that the bible never has a good thing to say about man’s imagination but instructs what we are to do with it:

    2Cr 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

    For is He not able to do exceedingly MORE than we can ask or imagine?

  11. Frank Viola wrote books on Organic House Church and how to get back to how the early church functioned. It is a radical departure from the current institutional church. But the institutional church is a radical departure from the early church too! His discoveries are worth investigating

  12. The inner longing spoken of in this article is a a deep, inner yearning for a special kind of unity. The only thing that will fill the void is a total unity, and the only way that is achieved is through blood covenant. The body a Christ, as described in Acts 2 – 4 is a beautiful picture of the way the body of Christ should be, and can be, once believers understand that we are born again through repentance, and that repentance is a covenant making act. I have explained this in detail at my blog “The More Sure Word”. Below is a link to one article of interest.

    http://themoresureword.com/2012/04/24/identifying-covenant-terms-in-the-bible/

  13. DonaldN Dec 4th 2012

    Many years ago I received a study on the Garden of Eden from a pastor and teacher. I would like to pass on the basic ideas of this study.

    The definition of the word “Eden” means pleasure. Also, the definition of the word “Garden” actually does not mean a place of plants and fruit, but it means a place that is hedged in, as for protection.
    So, Adam and Eve pleased God and were protected and provided for by God. When they sinned they were no longer in the pleasure of God, and they were expelled from the Garden, from God’s protection and provision.

    For us this means that if we are pleasing to God, then we will be in His “Garden”, or His protection and provision. When we are walking in obedience to His word, in holiness, and “practicing righteousness” then we are pleasing God and He puts His hedge of protection and provision around us.

    1 Thess 4:1 Finally then, brethren, we urge and exhort in the Lord Jesus that you should abound more and more, just as you received from us how you ought to walk and to please God;

    The study went much deeper than this but I thought this basic thought would fit in here.

    1 Thess chapter 4 continues to give information about walking in sanctification, holiness, love, etc, and even goes into specifics about what our actions should be.

    1 Thess 4:12 that you may walk properly toward those who are outside, and that you may lack nothing.

  14. Troll Dec 4th 2012

    Would love to be in a church described in your article. Unfortunately . . .I’ve not been able to find one . . and get treated like an outcast anytime I pointed out the way it was in Acts.
    Have found a lot of “clickish” churches and those in those groups treated each other quite well. Especially those that ‘have.’
    Those that have not, or were not in the ‘groups’ . . too bad.
    Anytime I brought up everybody sharing and caring so everybody had . . I was treated like I had a highly contagious deadly disease . . or accused of wanting other peoples stuff for myself.
    I am a cancer survivor, and I thank God for His healing, because not one Christian I know (and I know plenty) did anything to help my wife and I. Had one visitor that was not my wife when I was in the hospital. Pastor from a church I attended 11 years prior. He visited once. Have not seen him since.
    I no longer look for ‘brotherhood’ in church. I go to be amongst other believers, but the only reason I go is to worship God. Find a church like those described in Acts? In America?
    So not likely I’ve given up looking.

  15. Raul Cardenas Dec 4th 2012

    I do not want to bash your excellent message. However, no sooner this happened with Barnabas included, at the end of Chapter 4; and lo and behold Chapter 5 describes how soon this purest form of communism was destroyed by the flesh! So let us be careful that the stinky-old man is crucified and dead before we can enjoy the Spiritual Man blooming!
    Love and respect in Him, brrc

  16. gloria goold Dec 4th 2012

    I believe we are not in for a revival, I believe we are in for a reformation and a trans formation. We don’t need to be revived we need to be transformed to reform. God is about to do that. We need the kingdom of God to come as it is in heaven. When the Holy Spirit gets HIS rightful place, holiness, purity, joy, etc. then the power will come, the exchanged surrendered life, to have all of Chirst in us ….

  17. Excellent word my friend. This is how we conduct our ministry here in the US. I am convinced that there are others who are like minded, but I wish I knew more of them and we could work closer together and help each other. That is the view from my porch…

  18. DonaldN Dec 4th 2012

    Troll, I understand your situation. I have gotten very tired of the established churches. I do not attend any church any more. Even trying to gather with other believers is almost impossible because I can find none in the area that think like I do (willing to live in Holiness etc.) I would love to find a group of local believers that desire to live according to the actual Word of God. Where are they? I pray to God to connect me up with some, but as of yet I find none.
    The churches are nothing but social clubs. The preachers are membership promoters who will speak what the people desire to hear, not what they need to hear.

  19. goodwordtoday Dec 4th 2012

    What is standing in the way is a REALLY good question. Because people in the past were just as evil and life in Jerusalem and life in the Roman Empire was not so great. Slavery was common. If you weren’t a Roman citizen you had no rights. Homosexuality in Roman society was not uncommon. There was a LOT of hedonism. Children were considered property and were not protected. There was domination, oppression, fun times like getting stoned – and I don’t mean getting high – I mean getting rocks thrown at you until you were dead.

    The point is that it’s not our evil lifestyle that is holding God back. I believe it’s atheism. So many people don’t believe in any god, let alone our God. They aren’t searching for spiritual truth or truth of any kind. They life in a postmodern mindset believing that all truth is relative.

  20. gloria goold Dec 4th 2012

    I want to add another to my above message. It sort of annoys me if “power” is signs and miracles. If its about healing so to speak. Is not the power ours through Christ, it is our inheritance. Should we not have it??? Is Christ not the first thing, is not HIS ways our ways, the way of the cross is His ways. Taking on Christ and His sufferings is His ways, Its no longer me but Christ, the baptisimal of Christ is our death with His and our resurrection in Him. POWER?? For His is the power and the glory. It is ours too, if we die and He lives and with that is persecutions.

  21. marty Dec 4th 2012

    What are we missing you ask? What AREN’T we missing! An intimate relationship with our Lord, repentance, loving our lives not unto death instead of looking out for number one, our “right to privacy,” spirit inspired prayer, etc etc.

    Part of the reason for the coming judgement is to force the church to live in more dependence on the lord AND one another and grow in a community setting as we will soon have to do. Living in loving community relationships is one of the main missing ingredients to the much vaulted first century Church Eden.

  22. Andrew asked what was standing in the way of such an “Eden” coming now on earth.
    Well, as far as i’m concerned it’s me. I’m the hinderance. If I was like the Lord Jesus where I live, I can assure you things will change, people will change, church will change & viola…. Eden.
    The Lord Jesus didn’t say that if the pharisees (read pastors) changed then the Kingdom would come. Read Mt5.
    What you all say is absolutley right, except they are not the problem, you & I are, for not being like the Lord Jesus. Well, truly they are also the problem but we can’t do anything about another mans servant can we, except love him.
    Take a little advice from an old fool, join a church & LOVE them. Don’t try to change them with speech. Let them be knocked over by the REAL love of the Lord. Change them by what you are. Few folk are as frustrated as I am over church antics, but I think my frustration is just my pride. Napoleon, Caesar, Genghis Kahn & many others created huge kingdoms with the sword, but the greatest Kingdom ever made was created out of pure love. If you don’t know what to do….love. If you know exactly what to do…love first then act in love.
    why look for a perfect church? What are you going to do there? there’s nothing to do. Go find one that needs the love & light of God & be the light….not judge & lawgiver.
    If I told you what kind of a church i’m in you will tear your hair out. We had a cinderella play for christmas where the fairy godmother sent the fairy with a wand to save the girl in distress.
    You know what? I didn’t judge, I loved & they now listen & things are changing.
    Imagine if the Lord Jesus ran away every time we went all wrong. He came for the sick & many churches are sick. Folks, we are & must be part of the answer.
    Love you all.
    Be greatly blessed – Ian

  23. Ian. Amen, Dear Brother…Looking and pointing at others will never get us ‘there’. It’s just the way of not trusting the Holy Spirit, and that’s satan’s aim.

  24. Shelley Dec 4th 2012

    Very interesting topic Andrew, glad you touched on this one.
    I would like to share what we have been experiencing over the past several years.
    The Lord had laid on my husband and my heart to reach out to brother’s and sister’s in need, to open our home to them as the Lord directed.
    Well it was quite an experience, we had people stay with us from many different backgrounds and cultures, and trust me there were lots of clashes. It was a huge growing and learning experience, and mostly the Lord was using it to teach us to deny ourselves. So often we complain about others and say, “But Lord, they do this, or they do that and that’s not Christian like, please change them.” And the Lord says to us, “What concern is that of yours, YOU follow Me.” It was a crash course in dieing to self. We did this for about a year and a half, and then the Lord must have thought we graduated, they all moved out, and then He sent us out, He had us move in with a Christian family, they had 6 kids and were totally opposite to us. It was quite a different story being on the other side of the scene, on the receiving end. And NO we did not like it. hahaha But the Lord was once again dealing with us. Trust me, when you want the “early church model” get your mind straight right now, it’s not romantic at all, it’s death to self, your flesh is going to kick up a whole bunch of temper tantrums. Through all this we have grown (stretched) in ways we had no idea we needed to. I agree that we truly need a powerful move of God to come, however at the same time, God didn’t do that with us, He just said, DIE!
    It’s funny this article would come at this time, we are now in the process of moving out, going to the city to work, and I feel a sense of sadness, didn’t think I was going to miss them, LOL, so funny, our flesh complains and wines, but the Lord was doing a deeper work in all our lives, we have grown in His love, and I can see the fruit of that. Love is not loving people that are lovely or lovable, that’s easy, but true Christian love is tested and proven through trials, loving those who rub you the wrong way, and yet still you can leave with a tear in your eyes and say, “I’ll miss you.” God’s ways are not our ways, and His thoughts are much higher than our thoughts.
    I know that the Church will eventually come together, but it will be through circumstances where we will actually need each other, and then that’s where the rubber will meet the road, and our love will be put to the test. Glad the Lord is dealing with this in our lives already, sure wouldn’t want to go into this green, yikes, what a wake up call. LOL

  25. Shelley Dec 4th 2012

    Would like to mention, our journey’s not over with the comunity experience, I know the Lord is using us as a for-runner, many will have to come together in the future. God is preparing us, and He is giving us a vision for community, where the Christian community will be able to live separate from the system of this world, and rely on first the Lord of course, but also trading with other communities around the world, with commodities that we produce and they produce. It’s going to be an exciting time, yet a trying time as the Lord deals with our flesh, and that flesh has to die. The only way it can die is through trials and testings, through refinement and pruning, and well I can say from experience, the community setting does a great job of kicking the flesh in the but. God bless you all, and prepare your mind now brothers and sisters, we will one day be living together for survival, remember Jesus said, they will know we are Christians by our love. And that loves has to start growing, and must be tested. Yes Jesus also warned that in the end days the love of many will grow cold. Which road will we choose? Growing cold, or working this stuff out in our lives by submitting to God. I choose His way, even if it’s going to be the furnace. I was praying a short time ago and said, “Lord I come to buy gold refined by the fire.” and He said to me, “Are you willing to pay the cost?” Good question, what is it going to take for us to be refined, and are we willing to go through the pain and trials for it to be accomplished in our lives. Trust me, it’s easy to say, YES LORD I’LL GO WITH YOU!” while singing, coumby ya, but trust me in the midst of the trial you are fighting with yourself to stay in it, because it’s not fun at all. Praise God that He is faithful and will never leave us, it has been hard but very very good. I want Christ to be formed in me for the Glory of God. amen

  26. stella Dec 4th 2012

    How true! I have been wanting to be in fellowship with those who truly understand the meaning to worship him in Spirit and in truth.
    I was reading about the dead church in Revelations and I have compared it to churches= as people is the church ) Not a building where people meet. Use to be that in earlier yrs. One could enter into a church building where people had truly the ” Fear” of G-d and they moved by the power of the Spirit in the word they preached or taught. One saw mircles and healing and I saw one person raised from the dead my mother in-law. Today as mentioned in the article true ” fear” means reverance unto G-d with a heart to Exsult him every opportunity at home, in stores anywhere one was moved by the spirit of God. I miss thsi. Today the spirit of God is not taught; only ways to feel good about your self and how much to fleece the people to pay for their empires which is nothing but the love of money to invest in bigger building; but, nothing to move the hearts of people to repentance and receiving the holy spirit to manifest the power of G-d as its said: This signs shall follow them that believe. This ” Is the kingdom of G-d. The kingdom of God is within you ( meaning that the power of God`s spirit is the one that moves the hearts of man to repentance and if they need healing & eyc. The Spirit will accomplish it at the time true repentance in the heart has been established in the person. As Jesus said: What is easier to say pick up your bed and ” walk” = ( start walking being doers of the word and not just hearers of the word, or Thy sins be forgiven!
    Churches today are Dead churches because the Spirit of life in not in them= ( meaning– that people claim they are believers and yet their lives have no evidence of it. Its as the word says: These people worship me with their lips; but theirs hearts of ” far from me” meaning= There hearts have not truly been circumcised by the spirit of God that brings the change in in becoming a born again a new creater in him.
    This is what is so much needed in turning the lives of people around.

  27. The absence of “Eden” in the church is an absence of His Kingdom Reign.

    His Kingdom Reign is an outpouring of Love.

    The Eden in Acts dissolved personal ownership.

    I know of NO modern church movements that have achieved this.

    Real Christian Community is the result, and this is His way of revealing Himself to the world (Jn 17:23)

    Two barriers to this happening are Fear and Control.

    This ‘Eden’ is not an optional extra for some radicals that have ‘Lost it’

    If it aint happening HE IS NOT REIGNING.

    Wake up and let Him reign.

    Give the world something to see…

    Blessings,

    Carl Emerson.

  28. We are a product of our culture, “washed” by the polluted waters of entertainment and the godless lifestyles we choose to view. That brainwashing makes this early church seem impossible because of the way out culture has taught is to think. We do house church, with the goal that we will strive to be like 1st century Christians in brotherly love and church doctrine and practice. We don’t all live together in one house but we share our lives together nonetheless in our meetings. A family of people who are open with each other as we seek God together. It is possible. Seems like it by our experiences but of course we aren’t seeing huge numbers come to Christ either.

  29. P.s. I recommend everyone of you at least consider doing house church!

  30. I was biking home from work yesterday and the Lord reminded me of this scipture…

    It goes with what sylvia and gaz shared above…

    For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, The fountain of living waters, To hew for themselves cisterns, Broken cisterns That can hold no water. (Jeremiah 2:13 NASB)

    Another scipture which was on my heart the day before was the one which watchful mentioned above…

    We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, (2 Corinthians 10:5 NASB)

    The part which really hit me was, “and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God”…

    The Knowledge of God is Eternal Life and as sylvia said, “This is Eternal Life that they may know You the Only True God and Jesus Christ whom You have sent”…

    And as sylvia said, “When we are close to Him we will be close to each other”…

    Carl said the end result of this would be that the world would believe that the Father sent the Son – that’s real Power…

    I am personally looking for this…

    It is Supernatural…

    I am scared but I am willing…

    There is no other answer…

    Sharing everything and having all things in common with a group of likeminded surrendered individuals while maintaining your own family “boundaries” but being “caught up” in what God is doing is what I’m living for…

    That is Supernatural…

    The spirit of control is against this…

    This is Supernatural…

    This is where the blessing of God flows from…

    This is God’s Way…

    His Way is the opposite of our way…

    He says, “Trust Me and forget about yourself”…

    We say, “I’ll just get myself sorted out and then I’ll be free to serve You”…

    I have chosen to trust God and forget about myself…

    Because I have sought Him with all my heart He will give me Himself as my Very Great Reward and everything else I need to Know Him for the rest of my life…

    As I Know Him I share with others about Him (that’s the overflow) and as that reality is shared with them they come to Know Him deeper and as they share with me how they Know Him (that’s the overflow) I come to Know Him deeper…

    All is free and all is in love…

    There is no fear in love, there is no fear in trusting God once you know He loves you…

    To Know the Lord is to have a relationship with Him – not a spirit of slavery leading to fear again but the spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba Father”…

    To Know Him as our Lord, to know Him as our Master, to know Him as our Friend who sticks closer than a brother, to know Him as our Brother, to experience Him acting as a nursing mother, to know Him as our Counsellor as our Comforter as the one we can pour out our hearts to because He cares for us – to know Him without fear and yet to experience trembling and reverence and fear before Him for who He is (not fearing punishment)…

    This is our God – as we know Him and His unconditional Blood covenant commitment to us – we know our place in His Body, we see our brothers and sisters as equals (not competitors) and we love each other as He has loved us (laying down our lives for each other as He has laid down His Life for us)…

    Love in the Lord,

    Andrew

  31. Andrew Dec 4th 2012

    Some very good comments, my friends.

    One important point-

    I do not see “living in community” as being the place where this STARTS. Rather – it is the state of people’s HEARTS that need to change first to be able to see something of ‘Eden’ return.

    Thus it is the anointed preaching of an ‘APOSTOLIC’-type word that needs to happen first – to establish all that follows.

    Bless you!

    Andrew Strom.

  32. Eden is the past, the holy city with the walls of salvation and the gates of praise is the future. A spiritual paradise where we have love and fellowship with one another and God.

    But outside the walls is everyone that is into the occult, including the Christians that are into the occult. Anyone that enters into the holy city through the gates can drink from the river of living water for free.

  33. marty Dec 4th 2012

    Yes an apostolic preaching of repentance accompanied by a massive God given Spirit of repentance. Its pointless to give the answer if people don’t have the question and the burning need to hear, and ACT on the answer.

  34. Peter H Dec 4th 2012

    Is this an example which Andrew is talking about.

    See link http://www.message.org.uk/eden/

  35. Barnabas Dec 4th 2012

    Learning to be priests in our temples of the Holy Spirit. Aroma of prayer. Ark of our testimony. Boundaries and contents provided by God. Providing contentment in godliness. Loving other temples as we love our own. Sharing in Christ’s suffering and power of His resurrection. IMO as prompted above journeying with those where cancer,mental illness,divorce, incapacity are daily realities,are tests to our compassion. Start with two or three maintaining the unity. Note the maintenance is down to us responding to Him. Learning to be peacemakers not breakers or fakers. A journey for life not just for Christmas, Easter etc. Celebrate Passover, Tabernacles everyday. Every breathe a gift of grace. Let’s reclaim the phrases disgraceful and God knows what’s going on. The importance of knowledge, understanding and wisdom. Growing in grace.

  36. Graham P Dec 4th 2012

    The only eden project I have heard about lies in Cornwall, UK. Has a biblical name but is a commercial venture.
    However, I have heard of the Daniel Project where details are available on this site. Well worth looking at
    http://www.thedanielprojectmovie.com/

  37. What i believe is preventing the Garden mentality is institutional church.

  38. “downwardly mobile” – from the link Peter H gave us
    http://www.message.org.uk/eden/ – I like that phrase… :-)

  39. Andrew said

    “I do not see “living in community” as being the place where this STARTS. Rather – it is the state of people’s HEARTS that need to change first to be able to see something of ‘Eden’ return.

    Thus it is the anointed preaching of an ‘APOSTOLIC’-type word that needs to happen first – to establish all that follows….”

    Looking at Acts 4 these ‘threads’ were occurring together – the repentance, the Fear of God, the annointed preaching, the communal living, the signs and wonders.

    Acts 4:32-35 must be one of the most avoided passages in scripture…

    Blessings,

    Carl Emerson.

  40. Richard Savage Dec 4th 2012

    And now for something different!

    We all have our works, our things we do for the Lord, our rituals which doubtless bring great comfort and self assurance, our words of comfort to us which seem to be spoken of God. But wait a moment. Ask your self, is this what He, the crucified Son of God, wants of us? Are we the people He wishes us to be? Is this the Church, the Body, He died for, to give His Father as a love gift?

    We lament the lack of this, or that, reflect on times past and wish we were there, we anguish over this or that … we post on forums and seem righteous in our judgements.

    Now for the different … I’ll shout this as loudly as I can.

    STOP!!!!!!!

    Yes, stop your works, stop your good deeds, stop your giving, stop your self satisfied Christianity. Stop posting your righteousnesses on forums. STOP!!!!!!! Oh, please STOP!!!!

    Everything. Yes, Cease everything, now. Desist, set down, lay before the Cross of Christ, all that you are, all you think and feel, all … yes all of you. Only you may do this.

    I speak to myself here also.

    Kneel, lay face down on the floor … Father, what is your will for us and our times, that we may see and live your better times again, to your greater glory, and for the great benefit of those on our hearts? Father, thy will be done … remember those words? They will be done. And it follows, on earth as it is in Heaven.

    Our God rules supremely in Heaven, a place we aspire to inhabit. But will we do this with our ideas, our concepts of how things should be in the Christian life? Will we do this in our twenty first century Christian life?

    No!!

    STOP, cease and desist. Seek the Son, seek Christ crucified. Ask, what is your good will for me at this time. Show me and I will as You will.

    THEN, oh yes, then we will have what He desires most, a Bride fit for the marriage ceremony of the Lamb.

    Again, I find myself speaking to myself here. A hard teaching perhaps, but what isn’t that’s worthwhile?

  41. Amen Richard…

  42. I have given your word to the Lord Richard Savage and believe I have a freedom to continue with my post below… :-)

    Every single believer in Jerusalem was in the upper room – all 120 of them…

    These all with one mind were continually devoting themselves to prayer, along with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with His brothers. At this time Peter stood up in the midst of the brethren (a gathering of about one hundred and twenty persons was there together), and said, (Acts 1:14-15 NASB)

    Every single believer in Jerusalem waited (tarried) for the Holy Spirit to come…

    When the day of Pentecost had come, they were all together in one place. (Acts 2:1 NASB)

    Every single believer in Jerusalem was filled with the Holy Spirit…

    And suddenly there came from heaven a noise like a violent rushing wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them tongues as of fire distributing themselves, and they rested on each one of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit was giving them utterance. (Acts 2:2 NASB)

    This is the blessing of unity…

    They were with one mind…

    All 120 of them…

    This is why God came and blessed their city…

    He used the Apostles but He also used each and every one of them…

    When the Apostles appeared before the High Priest they came back to the Church and they all in unity prayed…

    When they had been released, they went to their own companions and reported all that the chief priests and the elders had said to them. And when they heard this, they lifted their voices to God with one accord and said, “O Lord, it is You who made the heaven and the earth and the sea, and all that is in them, who by the Holy Spirit, through the mouth of our father David Your servant, said, ‘Why did the Gentiles rage, And the peoples devise futile things? The kings of the earth took their stand, And the rulers were gathered together Against the Lord and against His Christ.’ For truly in this city there were gathered together against Your holy servant Jesus, whom You anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, along with the Gentiles and the peoples of Israel, to do whatever Your hand and Your purpose predestined to occur. And now, Lord, take note of their threats, and grant that Your bond-servants may speak Your word with all confidence, while You extend Your hand to heal, and signs and wonders take place through the name of Your holy servant Jesus.” And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness. And the congregation of those who believed were of one heart and soul; and not one of them claimed that anything belonging to him was his own, but all things were common property to them. And with great power the apostles were giving testimony to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and abundant grace was upon them all. For there was not a needy person among them, for all who were owners of land or houses would sell them and bring the proceeds of the sales and lay them at the apostles’ feet, and they would be distributed to each as any had need. (Acts 4:23-35 NASB)

    Again they prayed in unity and again they were filled with the Holy Spirit…

    And this unity was tangible – it touched everything they possessed…

    The Church was supporting the Apostles…

    The Apostles knew they needed the support of the Church…

    There was unity in everything – everyone was fulfilling their function…

    There was no schism in the Body…

    This is what I long for…

    Love in the Lord,

    Andrew

  43. Margaret Newcombe Dec 4th 2012

    This is so good, worth waiting for. . .a covenant keeping God who has a covenant keeping people in the earth…but a people who also do great exploits because they do understand the covenants in the old testament as well the the new, and as a result have the fear of God upon them ; they are educated in the ways of God and separated from the paganised harlot endtime church, and they live simply that others may simply live….

  44. Joy,

    In Acts 15 we are given insight into the Apostles view on the issue you raise as follows…

    “The apostles and the brethren who are elders, to the brethren in Antioch and Syria and Cilicia who are from the Gentiles, greetings.

    24 “Since we have heard that some of our number to whom we gave no instruction have disturbed you with their words, unsettling your souls,
    25 it seemed good to us, having become of one mind, to select men to send to you with our beloved Barnabas and Paul,
    26 men who have risked their lives for the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
    27 “Therefore we have sent Judas and Silas, who themselves will also report the same things by word of mouth.
    28 “For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay upon you no greater burden than these essentials:
    29 that you abstain from things sacrificed to idols and from blood and from things strangled and from fornication; if you keep yourselves free from such things, you will do well. Farewell.”

    30 So when they were sent away, they went down to Antioch; and having gathered the congregation together, they delivered the letter. 31 When they had read it, they rejoiced because of its encouragement.

    Let us then lay no further burden on eachother…

    Blessings,

    Carl Emerson.

  45. Ilana Dec 4th 2012

    Sorry about the typos in my comments.
    I hope you will still be able to read it as I wanted you to see the truth,

    The Gentiles who have been called out from the pagan ways are supposed to be grafted into ISRAEL

    PS This is one who knows and has been called by Him and yes of course healings,miracles,signs and wonders follow all those who love Him and are obedient to Him.
    Ilana

  46. Barnabas Dec 4th 2012

    Question 127 in The Heidelberg Catechism states, “‘And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.’ That is: since we are so weak that we cannot stand by ourselves for one moment, and besides, since our sworn enemies, the devil, the world, and our own sin, ceaselessly assail us, be pleased to preserve and strengthen us through the power of the Holy Spirit so that we may stand firm against them, and not be defeated in this spiritual warfare, until at last we obtain complete victory.”

  47. Roger Dec 5th 2012

    “….This “Eden” experience occurs first in individuals, then in groups, and can even occur across entire towns. I wonder what is standing in the way of such an “Eden” occurring today, my friends?…”

    I agree that this ‘experience’ occurs first in individuals, then in groups…

    The individual is in one accord with the Holy Spirit, with Lord Jesus, for this personal experience, this personal relationship.

    For that to happen in groups, they must be “..In one accord..” with the Holy Spirit, with Lord Jesus as individuals – then, (and only then) will that ‘group’ will be in one accord with each other

    Yet when do we today see a ‘group’ in one accord..?

  48. Roger Dec 5th 2012

    Richard – yes, to be in His will is critical, of utmost importance.

    Where 2 or 3 are gathered, and in His will, they are ‘in accord’ with His will

  49. Andrew Dec 5th 2012

    “And they continued steadfastly in the apostles´ doctrine…”

    The foundation of their unity, Roger?

    Unified around the “doctrine of the apostles”?

    -Andrew

  50. Hi Roger,

    The pattern we see in Acts is the Apostles in a foundational unity, the new born church enjoying unity together and being added to daily by those entering by the narrow way of repentance.

    This flame was not to remain in one place but by His will was scattered abroad through persecution.

    Sadly, in the West, we have lost the flame except in very rare cases.

    I think what happened in El Paso in the 60′s was a rare example of this.

    It is a pity in a way to refer to this as an Eden experience (although I understand that the use of the word refers to ‘beginning’) What He birthed was far more glorious than Adam ever knew….

    Blessings,

    Carl Emerson.

  51. Roger Dec 5th 2012

    Andrew – Yes, unified around “the doctrine of the apostles”.

    The “doctrine of the apostles” is surely their learning and teachings…? and their learning and teachings are the Gospel of Jesus, who is Lord and Christ.

    I would say that Christ Jesus our risen Lord is that foundation stone. It is in Him that the apostles had their unity.

    Act 2:36-42 Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ. Now when they heard this, they were pricked in their heart, and said unto Peter and to the rest of the apostles, Men and brethren, what shall we do? Then Peter said unto them, Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost. For the promise is unto you, and to your children, and to all that are afar off, even as many as the Lord our God shall call. And with many other words did he testify and exhort, saying, Save yourselves from this untoward generation. Then they that gladly received his word were baptized: and the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.

    **
    Carl – yes, persecution is one example of when we see true accord in Christ Jesus.

  52. Hi Andrew, I just read the email with this post in it, thanks.
    Simply put, it is a level purity and simplicity that jars and jolts with our modern world and the modern church.

    Fishing with modern boats, bait, hooks, nets and lures is fine so long as we can switch it all off and have true fellowship when we desire to be near to God!

    So many believers are caught up in the noise of this world that they cannot imagine the fullness, silence, tranquility and wealth of spirit that these passages depict. They lack all of the external stimuli that many have become addicted to, which means that many will not choose the simple life.

  53. Andrew Dec 5th 2012

    And that is a huge problem right there, my friend.

    Well said.

    Andrew

  54. ValleyAnt Dec 5th 2012

    I’d like to respond to so many comments, but for now, I’ll just say that the type of fellowship Andrew spoke about does come at a high cost, and the price of walking in the communion of the early Church is high. While reading the first half of the comments, I was reminded of a splendid book by Lori Wilke called ‘The Costly Anointing’. I had the book once years ago, but here is a link to read some of its pages free for anyone who wants to take a look: http://books.google.com/books?id=Kx0dCSCjkH8C&pg=PA7&lpg=PA9&output=html_text.

  55. David A. Whyte Dec 5th 2012

    In referance to ” Eden”….The early church walked in the FULNESS of the earnest of the Spirit. The five fold ministry was manifest in their midst for the perfecting of the saints. These ministries walked in humility (athoritive but lowely) before man and God. They were not controlers…they were clean responsive conduits. The “Gifts of The Spirit” being manifest from men of such character drew people in true conviction to a fresh clean new expression that was abiding as they continued in fellowship in the Apostles Doctrine. As we approach these vilest of times God is and will “Raise up a standard” in true leaders. A lot of us have been in the “desert place” being prepared to be manifest to the world around us….a clean uncompromised expression.

  56. I’ve been having that verse,

    So then, none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions. (Luke 14:33 NASB)

    going round in my mind today…

    This is what the early believers understood…

    They knew what it would mean to follow Jesus…

    They knew that they were laying down their lives…

    They knew that they were letting go of their ownership of the things in their possession…

    Have we laid down our lives for Jesus?

    Have we, in our hearts, let go of our ownership of the things in our possession?

    If we have not we cannot be Jesus’ disciples…

    No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon. (Matthew 6:24 KJV)

    Love in the Lord,

    Andrew

  57. It’s so good to read all the posts with no pastor & church bashing. It’s like were taking responsibility for ourselves.
    All the posts have a lot of truth in them but it seems like a chicken & egg situation. Is preaching first. I talk regarding the church not unbelievers, or is prayer first or repentance or obedience? They are all valid & I suppose each person would be different. Why aren’t we like we know we should be? What do we need first?
    I motivate a lot of prayer in churches for the suffering church in Muslim & Hindu countries. The holocaust of the last war is chicken feed compared to the killing & suffering of christians over the last few years, but the church is growing there & strong. I spent some days with an Egyptian pastor & some members of his church a few weeks ago & I love what they got.
    I ask, is the real problem not the fact that we don’t have to do all the things we know we need to do, were sooooo comfortable in our western lives.
    I dont think Andrews “Eden” is a circumstantial thing at all. It’s the life of the Kingdom of God within a person. Were the apostles living in “Eden” throughout their live. I think they were.
    ALL who love Godly in Christ Jesus will suffer persecution. Eden needs to be defined a little better maybe. but what seems to be absolutely certain is that it takes suffering. Either the self inflicted type you all mentioned in the posts, brought on by our choice or the type brought on by others like in Muslim countries.
    It will not come without suffering. The Churches call is to enter the sufferings of Christ. (NOT His salvific suffering)
    Bless you all – Ian

  58. Another verse which has been going around in my brain for over a week on a off now – which has just come back to mind now – is,

    If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself. (John 7:17 NASB)

    I’ve been seeing that if I’m willing to do His will, whatever that might be (which I don’t know at the time I’m surrendering to Him) then I can be sure that I will hear His Voice and know that He is speaking to me (telling me what to do) and obviously the same goes for receiving revelation from His word (the scriptures) – when I’m willing to do His will it frees Him to reveal it to me…

    If I find myself unwilling, I ask Him to make me willing…

    I have also had instances where I haven’t even been able to do that (without lying to Him) but some time later He has enabled me to be willing to ask Him to make me willing…

    We always conquer in Christ…

    All the best, Love in the Lord,

    Andrew

  59. Sheeja John Dec 5th 2012

    At that time a great persecution arose against the church that was at Jerusalem; AND THEY WERE ALL SACTTERED throughout the regions of Judea and Samaria, EXCEPT THE APOSTLES. – Acts 8:1
    Is it not amazing that God scattered the entire church, except the apostles? Wonder  why He permitted that?
    As a mother eagle always stirs up its nest to ensure that the eaglets feel uneasy, and that they would want to move out so that they explore their wings and the joy of flying; likewise, our God wants us to explore the graces and gifts bestowed on us on our conversion. And it is not possible to explore those blessings, graces and gifts sitting in our living room and enjoying a cozy and comfort lifestyle. It was when Hananiah, Azariah and Mishael were thrown into the fiery furnace that the Son of God chose to reveal Himself to the pagan king. And the king thus spoke: “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire? ….Look! I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.”
    Many times we come across verses like:
    - ‘He turned their hearts to hate His people, to deal craftily with His servants.’ (Psalms 105:25)
    - “..And against you I will deploy Sisera, the commander of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his multitudes at the River Kishon; (God then reveals why He is bringing Sisera against them) and I will deliver him into your hand.”
    Why on earth would a loving God do such a thing to His people?
    Because we are called to be WITNESSES. God does not want us to play ‘Church’, instead, He wants us to be His temple, carrying His presence. And what was the outcome of the persecution that arose against the church in Jerusalem? The Scripture declares: ‘Therefore those who were scattered, went everywhere preaching the word.’ (Acts 8:4)
    The hands of Zerubbabel have laid the foundation of this temple; His hands shall also finish it. – Zechariah 4:9

  60. David North Dec 5th 2012

    I read a few “I don’t know how we got to this point” comments above and would comment on that. I think I can tell you why this isn’t working (at least in the US).

    “You must be like us.”

    Both denominational and non-denominational, charismatic and fundamentalist churches practice this (at least in the US).

    “You aren’t holy enough.”
    “You aren’t spirit-filled enough.”
    “You aren’t evangelical enough.”
    “You aren’t committed enough.”
    “You aren’t doctrinally grounded enough.”
    “You watch secular television.”
    “You listen to secular radio.”
    “You read secular books.”
    “You have secular friends.”
    “You aren’t giving enough”
    “You don’t attend regularly enough.”
    “You have Christian friends not like us.”

    In every church I have visited–aside from the polite, “Hello visitor!” and pastor’s handshake, the first thing you encounter is scrutiny.

    People stand at a distance and slowly test to see if you are “like them”.

    To me, this is what has broken fellowship at the sort of level spoken of here.

  61. Brother Paul Dec 5th 2012

    Andrew (Strom) – do you believe that you have been called to be an Apostle?

  62. Richard Savage Dec 5th 2012

    Seek first the kingdom of Heaven and His righteousness. There is no other starting point. If we truly want to recover Eden to ourselves and the wider Body, it begins here.

    Unity yes, and unity in diversity. Derek Prince spoke of the Body as a symphony orchestra whose conductor is the Holy Spirit. It’s self explanatory.

    Until we truly set down ME and take up CHRIST JESUS no Eden-life is possible; His garden, not our back yard. In fact, one might say, until we do this all is as filthy rags.

  63. Christian journalist Dec 5th 2012

    The bible does prophecy a type of unity as this can be seen in recent phrases dictated by religious organisations and politicians. That unity of course refers to to where “all religions lead to God” which has become apparent for the church to consider. Such a unity will be the emerging church, ecumenical in theology and style, which will become finally the False Church as prophesied for the End Times. Notice recently the direction being taken to bring the church into the 21st century.
    The Body of Christ has seen christian movements come and go but a few still remain causing division in the christian church and will remain that way until the Bridegroom comes back for His Bride. Such movements have been the false Latter Rain, Restorationism and Dominionism, Charismatic, and the infamous Word of Faith. All have embraced unbiblical teachings and have and keep on predicting the world wide revival coming to the christian church which has and will not happen. What has been seen instead is the Great Deception, which in diguise, has all the flavours of another man made phrase and trappings of “God is doing something new” whereby occult practices such as seen with the Toronto Blessing (but again ongoing as this is dressed up to be something else and new for today) is said to be that of the Holy Spirit which has been not.
    Such movements will continue to deceive, even the elect, and rather than their predictions of revival, there has been a falling away from the Word of God with false teachings, practises, prophecies, to confuse those calling themselves christians.
    One word is lacking and being bypassed is REPENTANCE.
    This is an example of the Anglican Church which is tearing itself apart due to the falling away which is evident for those discerning the End Times. See this link taken from the current edition of The English Churchman journal:-
    http://www.cofec.org/sermons/7859
    The Lord himself, by His Holy Spirit, will draw those who are His, together. As already mentioned in the comments made, the established churches will continue to do their own thing in the sight of Almighty God. People will be following this leader and that person who is personified, idolised, and accepted to be the “anointed” one.
    But for the Body of Christ, which I believe Andrew is talking about, that is a different kettle of fish under discussion. For such a unity from those following the Lord Jesus Christ, facing persecution, trails and tribulations, and willing to lay down their lives for Him who died for them at Calvery, will see and experience His loving embrace. For He laid down His life for You. Are you willing to lay down your lives for Him? That is the question for true believers in Christ Jesus in the Last Days to consider.
    Maranatha!

  64. sharon Dec 5th 2012

    Your right Andrew, the road to Zion is in our heart.
    An earlier post said it true, we need to preach and hear repentance.
    There is such a lack of honesty in so many that name the name of Christ today. May His kingdom come and His will be done, in earth as it is in heaven.

  65. DonaldN Dec 5th 2012

    Unity? With who? If the church in general is actually unsaved then how can we be in unity with them, or how can they be in unity with anyone since they are in error? We cannot be in unity with someone who is not In Christ!
    The false church will never be in unity with anyone else.
    If we (the true church) are a remnant that is scattered how do we make a community and live in unity?

  66. Richard Savage Dec 5th 2012

    DonaldN, my post of last evening ref., Stop, is addressed to the Church, not the institutions of church, so unity is among the remnant only. We are the only ones who may experience unity in the Spirit.

    An over riding concern, based in part on recent months of this forum and JBTV, is that we expect much of the Lord Jesus and offer so little that He requires of us. So much business.

    You’re quite correct to say how may we be united with the unbeliever. Simply, we can’t.

  67. DonaldN Dec 5th 2012

    Richard Savage, i agree. Most of the posts here are complaining/commenting on the problems with the church and reasons they are not in unity. They give comments on where we need to be, but no practical advice on how to get there. In fact, so far as unity goes, we are to be of one mind, I believe the remnant is already in unity in the spirit. So what exactly is the “Eden” that we are all talking about here? Maybe we need a specific definition of “Eden”.

  68. Barry Schmidt Dec 5th 2012

    There are several questions I have regarding this article:
    1. Isn’t longing for an “Eden church” here in this age a misplaced hope? Isn’t the blessed hope of the ” apostolic gospel” the glorious appearing appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ ( Titus 2:8)? Didn’t the early church apostles say that ” If for this life we have hope we of all men are to be most pitied” ( I Cor 15)?

    2. How is it exactly that “we” are supposed to arrive at this “Eden church”? Doesn’t the “apostolic gospel” preached under the “powerful anointing of the early church” clearly teach us that it is by faith in Jesus alone that we get right with God, stay right with God and recieve the grace to repent, to be holy and to love each other as they did- and doesnt all this come to us apart form our self effort behavior and our performance (Romans 1:16-17 and Romans 4: 5) ?

    3. doesnt the “apostlolic gospel” clearly teach that we receive the power and annointing of the Holy Spirit by BELIEVING THE GOSPEL we and that we maintain the power of the Holy Spirit BY BELIEVING THAT SAME GOSPEL (Gal. 3:1-8)?

    4. Doesn’t the ” apostolic gospel” preached under the “powerful anointing of the Spirit” clearly warn us that if we attempt to change, find God’s favour or attempt to maintain Gods favour by our own self effort that we are cut off Christ and that we have fallen from grace (Gal 5:4)?

    5.Doesn’t the book of Acts clearly tell us that this so called “Eden Church” was filled with carnel racism , worldly favoritism and that huge sectors of the poor were being overlooked in food distribution (Acts 6:1-6)? Doesn’t the book of Acts clearly teach us that there were carnel selfish people who gave out of of impure motives and who gave to make a name for themselves ( Acts 5)? And doesn’t the Book of Acts clearly say that even though Jesus clearly told them the gospel was to go to the Gentiles – didn’t they clearly disobey that because of rampant racism to the point where God had to take extraordinary means with Peter to preach to the first Gentiles? And wasn’t that “Eden church” so steeped in Jewish racism that they severely criticized Peter for doing what Jesus, the Old Testament and the Holy Spirit commanded them to do in taking the gospel to the Gentiles ( Acts 10)?

    6. Doesn’t the same book of Acts tell us that this so called ” Eden church” became so in grown and self centred that God had to orchestrate a huge persecution to finally chase them all out of town to spread the gospel to the Gentiles and to the ends of the earth ( Acts 8:1-4)?

    7. Does the Bible or the annointed apostles of the early church ever teach that we by our own effort or our own self willed and self initiated religious zeal make this so called “Eden church” a reality.
    It seems to me I read about a people wanting to do that in the Bible. Oh yes now I remember !
    They said, “Come, let us build for ourselves a city, and a tower whose top will reach into heaven, and let us make for ourselves a name, otherwise we will be scattered abroad over the face of the whole earth.” (Genesis 11:4 NASB)

  69. DonaldN Dec 5th 2012

    Barry, I have had these same questions. If the early church of Acts was the ideal church for all of us to emulate, wouldn’t these apostles who were in this church have written about it in their epistles?

  70. DonaldN Dec 5th 2012

    If Fact, I just did a search in the Bible and there is no where in the Word that says we should seek to return to any “Eden” experience. Also, in Andrews original post, he included the statement by Johnathan Edwards, “This work of God… soon made a glorious alteration in the town:
    so that in the spring and summer of 1735, the town (Northampton,
    Massachusetts) seemed to be full of the presence of God: it never
    was so full of love, nor of joy, and yet so full of distress, as it was
    then.”
    Note the statement that this town was also full of distress at this time. Can that be included in a true “Eden” experience? Something doesn’t add up to me.

  71. Pauline Richmond Dec 5th 2012

    I agree with most of the comments made, how wonderful it would be if we could all truly walk in unity. This will not happen until we are all with the Lord.Little pockets of Eden’ are around when you have truly loving christian people living the life. Repentance is a huge need in the church.Listening another. I can tell you in our church sometimes the word is powerfully preached, messages come down from the Lord, what happens, they cannot wait to get out and have their cup of tea. Yes many church are just social clubs and until people start seeking in ernest the Holy Spirit in their lives nothing will change. If it were possible over the centuries surely things would have.Man is still wicked in his heart and God is still having a hard time changing it. But for those of us who love Him and want to serve, well I guess we do not give uptrying to help Him out by being, and not just telling who we are supposed to be. Jew and Gentile , one man in Christ is my hope.So many books written which are in many cases mans ideas. Let stick to the bible and ask God for revelationToo many people sprouting too many ideas contrary to Gods word. The Holy Spirit said He would be our teacher, I will stick with Him. Some book.good and interesting but really a sublte distraction which leads us away from reading His word, brings confusion nowonder there is chaos in the church, nobody knows what to think , what is true anymore. I have met many people who have given up going for many of the reason posted on this subject. As for me I keep going and pray that I can stay strong and encourage people to stay in the faith. After 47 years since I was born again reckon I have seen and heard just about all. All comes down to a simple heart felt trust and belief in Him who died for us. Keep it simple folks, cant analyse the Kingdom of God and we should all stop trying and just love Hime and others as He told us to do. Shalom to you all. excuse the typing errors, not got glasses on

  72. Barry Schmidt Dec 5th 2012

    I believe it pleases God greatly to long for a more powerful, unified and selflessly loving church? This desire is never a problem with God and is always a sheet delight to see such longings in His children .

    The question of the day is Andrew’s sincere and provocative question:
    “I wonder what is standing in the way?”

    Has anyone considered this to be WHAT IS STANDING IN THE WAY?
    For I testify about them that they have a zeal for God, but not in accordance with knowledge. For not knowing about God’s righteousness and seeking to establish their own, they did not subject themselves to the righteousness of God. (Romans 10:2, 3 NASB)

    The problem is our stubborn refusal to accept Gods gifted righteousness that comes bu faith alone in the cross and instead insisting on establishing OUR OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS!
    Why can’t anyone see this is what is standing in the way???!

  73. Richard Savage Dec 5th 2012

    Barry, my post way above, STOP, is about exactly that, ceasing from our own busy-ness and setting down our own righteousnesses.

    Now, whether we call it Eden or something else, letting go our righteousnesses means what remains is His righteousness, already imputed to us.

  74. DonaldN Dec 5th 2012

    Barry, the reason most cannot see what is standing in the way is because they do not want to. This is the established church. They have heaped up their teachers to preach what they want to hear. Those who would be faithful and dedicated unfortunately hear very little of the real truth, therefore they don’t know right because they are not taught what right is.
    I got this statement somewhere, perhaps another place on this website.

    The object of faith is no longer Christ, but our self-esteem;
    The goal of faith is no longer holiness, but our happiness;
    The source of faith is no longer the scriptures, but our experiences.

  75. DonaldN Dec 5th 2012

    I believe we need to change our direction of discussion on this subject. The false church (organized churches) will never listen to this sort of talk because they have a different agenda.
    We need to discuss how “we” as the remnant can accomplish what is mentioned here. Also, perhaps how can we get the attention of those few who are held captive in the established churches that would be willing to let “Christ live in me”, and set them free to do so.

  76. Renee Dec 5th 2012

    Matthew 6:33. THAT is the answer. Our God’s name is Jealous and He is. He won’t take 2nd place to anything or anyone else. If we would only seek HIM FIRST He has promised to add everything else unto us that we need. The Church will become truly ONE, and it will happen, when she begins to do Matthew 6:33.

    Can we do that of ourselves? Sure. Right after we add that inch to our stature.
    No, only God can do this mighty work and because of the greatness of His incredible mercy (not our own works) He will do it, because He is worthy. Imho He has already begun preparing the ground for this great work by causing His children to cry out to Him to restore us to our First Love as our Lord Jesus commanded in Revelation.

    We were born for this time, this great blessing. And I believe it is very soon to manifest before our eyes. Glory to God in the Highest! Forever and ever, amen!

  77. DonaldN Dec 5th 2012

    Barry and Richard pretty much have said it. We need to stop living our own agenda and begin to let Christ live His life in me.

  78. ValleyAnt Dec 5th 2012

    EBarry, Pauline Richmond, and Donald have, among others, shared some provocative things. Barry, you said it’s our own righteousness that gets in God’s way. As the Bible and history tell it, that’s just what it has always been. Hope deferred does make the heart sick, and when waiting for the Lord, temptations come to tempt us to build our own tower, light our own fire, birth our own Ishmael (ministry). But I believe that while so many are asking when this unity or return of an apostolic church will come, it won’t be through striving or desiring but will be through prayer and in God’s time.

  79. I have to say that i feel that the book of Acts, for the most part, is really a “recording” of what the Church “did” then, and shouldn’t be used as a template for the Church today. Yes of course there is some instruction/doctrine in it to the Church but not that much. We need to go to Paul for that.

    Gal 1:11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.

    1:12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

    For the most part, what Paul was given (revealed to him) supercedes what the early Church “did” then.

    Gal 1:17 Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.

    1:18 Then after three years I went up to Jerusalem to see Peter, and abode with him fifteen days.

    So the question of “how to do it” is found in the epistles of Paul and not so much in the book of Acts.

    As for an “Eden” experience, i dont see that in Pauls writings.

    The early Church were a pre cross post cross generation without the NT cannon of scripture, a very different situation than we have today or since around 90 something AD.

    TODAY we have the Word and the indwelling Holy Spirit so we don’t need any other “add ons”

    Here is an excellent study on the book of Romans

    http://www.wordoftruthkc.org/category/1/23/31

    What i find today is, that most wont to the work (study) but rather want some kind of quick fix or experience that never works.

    2 Tim :15 Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

    But sound biblical doctrine will work

    Blessings.

  80. Barry Schmidt Dec 5th 2012

    I received three great signs and wonders from God to confirm what I have been saying .
    A notorious alcoholic in my work community after successfully attending a year long Teen Challenge rehab community came to me to thank me for “coming to him and leading him to Christ” who graciously also then led him to sign up at a Teen Challenge.

    Here is the first great sign and wonder. I NEVER DID THAT!!! When I asked him to share his testimony he told me that I came to him, got into the back seat of his car, told him a story he had heard as a small child in a Sunday School class that only God could have known about and then preached the gospel to him and led him to faith in Christ!!!!
    When I asked The Lord how He did that he told me He had come to Stewart AS ME!!! And then said, “if My people will believe my gospel of grace I will do signs and wonders never done before in all the earth”

    The second great sign and wonder God did was when I was preaching about returning to putting all of our trust in Jesus alone and turning away from self effort. I looked at the clock and it was 11:13 and when I realized my time was up and I had ten more minutes to complete the message God gave me for the people I said, ” oh Lord you made the sun stand still for Joshua. And I preached for another 15 minutes and everyones clocks in that place remained at exactly 11:13 until I was was finished preaching. Then their watches along with the computer times and clocks on the wall began to move again.!!! Then one of the intercessors who knew nothing of what God had just done came out of the prayer room and told me while he was praying for me as I preached at exactly 11:13 he had a vision of me throwing “Joshua’s javelin and pinning the arms on the clock on the wall.”!!!!

    The third great sign and wonder God did to confirm this word of returning to faith alone was when I was preaching about how God worked mighty miracles for Aaron ( while he was sleeping which was a picture of resting in the righteousness which is by faith alone) making Aaron’s dead staff made of Almond wood sprout, blossom and bear almonds- all without any effort on Aaron’s part. As I told this story suddenly a women in the congregation I have never seen either before or after began to glow and shine with the glory of God. It so captured my attention that I called her forward and asked her what her name was and why she was there that day.
    She replied, ” MY NAME IS ALMOND! and I was just passing through the city and felt led to come here this morning.”"
    How cool is that eh?!!!!
    Friends God is calling us back to the ancient cross, back to the ancient Book and back to the ancient message of grace. That is the only message that He will visit with revival and with the mighty signs and wonders we have all desired to witness.

  81. Richard Savage Dec 5th 2012

    Barry: Just excellent, and thank you for sharing that with us.

    “Friends God is calling us back to the ancient cross, back to the ancient Book and back to the ancient message of grace.”

    Barry, DonaldN and friends, this is it!

  82. Roger Dec 5th 2012

    Amen..

  83. Sheeja John Dec 5th 2012

    Why are we struggling to have unity?
    - Yeshua said, ‘And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold.’ (Matthew 24:12)
    Why there is lawless within the so-called churches?
    - Because the sanctuary fortess has been defiled. (Daniel 11:31)
    Who defiled the ‘sanctuary fortress’ and how?
    Watching the following link will give you some insights…
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tkbXdXUPS5E&feature=BFa&list=PLFFD8ACFE2D529694

    Apostle Paul while writing to the Thessalonians wrote, ‘Let no one deceive you by any means; for that day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshipped, SO THAT HE SITS AS GOD IN THE TEMPLE OF GOD, SHOWING HIMSELF THAT HE IS GOD. (2 Thess. 2:3-4)
    Now what is the temple of God according to the New Testament? Is it not those born of God? So where is satan sitting showing himself as God???

    The following verses from Daniel 8:13-14 will help us understand that it is the Body of Christ which is the sanctuary fortress; and that it has been defiled, (the reason for lawlessness). ‘Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed.
    The above circumstances forces the ‘wise virgins’ to refuse from sharing their oil with the ‘foolish virgins’.
    Till the sanctuary is cleansed, ‘unity ‘is a difficult task.

  84. Barnabas Dec 5th 2012

    Q1 Where is the apostolic teaching in your personal temple of the Holy Spirit? What is the testimony of the new birth celebrated in your temple?
    Q2 What is the prophetic message you are listening to in your temple?
    Q3 What teaching are you eating at the moment?
    Q4 How are you pastoring yourself @ present?
    Q5 Where is your temple reaching the lost?
    Gently, humbly seek your temple’s position. Share your position with another. Seek the next step to take together. We maintain a unity of the Holy Spirit that already exists if we are prepared to listen. A unity of listening, reflective hearts, slow to speak and slow to seek conflict.
    Discover the rhythm of grace He wants to be exhibited where you are.
    Uniquely you in Christ, not a clone or a clown.

  85. I think there’s a lot of unity here in the comments being made… :-)

    Renee I was blessed by your comment…

    When I got,

    For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, The fountain of living waters, To hew for themselves cisterns, Broken cisterns That can hold no water. (Jeremiah 2:13 NASB)

    and,

    We are destroying speculations and every lofty thing raised up against the knowledge of God, and we are taking every thought captive to the obedience of Christ, (2 Corinthians 10:5 NASB)

    what was going through my mind was that “Seek first His Kingdom and His Righteousness” really means to give ourselves to Him, to trust Him with our lives, to make having a personal, intimate relationship with Him – where we do what He says because we trust Him, because we know Him, we know that He loves us, the focus of our lives – our obedience is based on love, a knowledge that He loves us and that we thus trust Him with our lives (O taste and see that the Lord is good)…

    This is what Adam enjoyed with the Lord in the Garden of Eden – we have forsaken that intimacy – which Mary enjoyed when she sat at Jesus’ feet and listened to Him – and gone after all other manner of “busy-ness” as Richard Savage is reminding us…

    But what we have in Christ is even better than what Adam had – we have the Spirit of the Living God living within us forever – a downpayment proving to the world that we will reach heaven – and in this place of acceptance before God – brought near by the Blood of Christ – we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ – the fact that we have peace then leads us to trust Him with our lives – practically – to give ourselves and every part of ourselves to Him unreservedly – not striving, not trying – but as Barry (I believe) shares with us, trusting in Him – letting Him do the work – “not by might, not by power but by His Spirit” as you share…

    A number have shared – and I agree – that the Church – the gathered church (in a local area) is not meant to be “a mixed multitude” – it is meant to be the redeemed only…

    That was the way it was in the early church – everyone else was afraid to associate themselves with the Church…

    That is the way it should be now…

    If it was we could have one Church for every city meeting in homes typically in smaller groups and then every so often in “the Temple” (a local stadium or whatever) with all of us together (as it was at the beginning)…

    We are to go out to preach and those who believe are to be added to our number…

    Love in the Lord,

    Andrew

  86. Steve Dec 5th 2012

    Not sure about that.

    Many Christains are called to suffer persecution some martrdom, and in the end times even betrayals from our own former brothers who fall away. We are also often harrassed and at times oppressed by the enemy because we follow Christ as the Apostles Peter and Paul mention. It is a difficult narrow road we are called to walk. There was nothing of this sort of life in the Garden of Eden. Eden was non stop blessings and ease.

    We dont reach a paradise like Eden until after reach the afterlife (obviously) which is why we should set out minds on things above not on things on earth.

    We dont really know if those early Christians were fully redeemed, nothing is said in the bible on that. Was it Anna and Saphia(?) who lied and tested the Lord over a donation of their house sale $s to the church? They were definitely not fully redeemed. It was real life and so I doubt all the others were either.

    The early church had a great time of following God for a while before being scattered by persecution. Soon though we see the Corinthian church emerge with its huge problems and immorality etc. I think its being over ramoantic in ones view of the Jerusalem church to think it was an Eden on earth. Even St Peter, its leader, compromised later on and started leading the jews back under part of the law so had to be rebuked by St Paul.

    Theres never going to be a great church on earth in that sense i dont think. And if there was the first thing that would happen is that those believers would feel pride in themselves and their church and the whole thing would become polluted by that and unusable by God anyway.

    Its just gritty down here on earth and we are never going to have amzing fellowships, I dont even think we are expected to, so long as we do our best.

  87. Steve Dec 5th 2012

    In a back to front sort of way this word may be encouraging, (if u believe it is from God):

    http://www.propheciesfortoday.uk.com/listA.php?id=182&PHPSESSID=66d72456b3e43681ecbdcde8508e2483

    In hindsight its where a lot of my views above come from, ie that God doesnt want a perfect church, it has to be riddled with errors and deception in order for those who are walking enough in the truth to be humble enough in their identity as Christains, and members of that overal church to be able to be used by God.

    Humility may be the key we should be looking for in fellowships perhaps? The Epistles of Peter, James (and John?), seem to emphasise “God gives grace to the humble but opposes the proud” as core, as a key.?

  88. Steve Dec 5th 2012

    Is it not basically pride that leads xians to rebel against scripture, exalt their own alternative spiritual visions, the hopes from their flesh, of blessings and authority over secular society before Christs return, with no suffering for Christ being needed or necessary – ie a basis of the whole prosperity error and emerging kundalini counterfeit Christianity?? (If thats relevant).

  89. I simply do not want the other ‘perfect’ church and circumstances. I can hardly recieve more than my Lord Jesus Christ is giving me now. He is all I need. Lord, You are the perfect gift. You gave me the perfect History Book, and how it all ends. Thank you Lord, Praise your Holy, perfect, Name. Amen

  90. I have been a part of home churches for the past seven years! I love it! We have couples that are elders over each home group (I mention this because some home groups do not think there should be leaders). Quarterly all the groups come together for service and meal. It would really have to be the Holy Spirit telling me before I would ever go back into the pyramid structure. I am so glad that something good is happening down here in Louisiana!

  91. AGazette Dec 5th 2012

    There sure is a lot of different views today.

    I’m just going to take one day at a time. Today is the day of salvation.

    Lord Bless

  92. David Marsh Dec 5th 2012

    Barry Schmidt,
    You are perfectly right.
    The Eden glimpses that we see in the scripture only occur when man / we come to God and walk along after HIM. When WE seek Him and follow as He leads.

    For this is – what it is to be Christ like.

    Eden can only be found in our Lord. When we each and all begin to seek Him ( and His will ).
    I believe this is absolutely possible for any home church group who seek for the Head to be their Head.

    God bless you and all,

    David Marsh.

  93. David Marsh Dec 5th 2012

    Barry Schmidt,

    PS. The apostolic teaching of the New Testament taught the new disciples HOW to hear and be led by Jesus Holy Spirit. This is what is missing – and has been missing for over 1,700 years now.

    You might be interested in my 10 year research in this area. Just email me and I will be happy to send it to you.

    David Marsh [email protected]

    God bless.

  94. Richard Savage Dec 5th 2012

    Can highly recommend David’s book.

  95. John DeVries Dec 5th 2012

    Much truth observed by most replies and I agree with what is observed. However, We will not see the fulness of the Eden church unless all of what you describe in Acts 2:40 and the 9 “and’s” are functional.
    This will not be until genuine apostles are first of all genuine today, in actions and dealings. They must be recognized and accepted in their Christ appointed placement to have this Eden picture fulfilled (1 Co. 12:28)

  96. Andrew Dec 5th 2012

    John – the passages seem to confirm what you say.

    Real apostles. Or at least ones that minister an “apostolic”-type word under and “apostolic”-type anointing.

    Bless you!

    Andrew

  97. Friends,

    Just pointing out that Acts chapters 2 to 5 records the Glorious beginning of His church.

    Satan clearly wanted that pure flame to be extinguished or contaminated and this was allowed to happen by Him.

    These chapters remain a model and an inspiration to hope for.

    Yes it cant be manufactured by human endeavour.

    Yes it can happen again by simple obedience to His word.

    An example of such a outbreak occurred in Juarez near El Passo in the 60′s, I recommend watching this YouTube Video without prejudice…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKZKXOCE43k

    Blessings,

    Carl Emerson.

  98. Andrew Dec 5th 2012

    Re: “APOSTLES”

    Instances of this kind of anointing (to me) include John Wesley, Charles Finney, Evan Roberts, George Whitefield and so-on.

    To fully restore “Acts” do we need such ones?

    ABSOLUTELY! – As far as I can see.

    Bless you!

    Andrew

  99. Lord, release Your Apostles, release Your Prophets, release Your Evangelists, release Your Pastors & Teachers, release Your People and let us all walk in every aspect of the calling which You have on our lives…

    Release the joy of giving ourselves to You…

    Increase our intimacy with You…

    Our obedience to You…

    Give us the ability to relinquish control to You…

    To trust You…

    To stand without making excuses and give ourselves to You…

    Bring us together with other like-minded people, who see what You see and are walking with You in the path which You have set for us…

    Bring together teams of people who are walking in this way…

    And begin to fulfil Your Plan that the world would see a demonstration of You – in unity amongst those who know You – before You return to earth to reign…

    Release this Lord and bring it to fruition – give revelation, give willingness, willingness to surrender, willingness to give up everything, willingness to obey You, let us lay our lives down for You – give us what we long for – intimacy with You and with each other as Jesus prayed for before He went to the cross – let it be Lord, let it be – whatever it takes Lord – let it be…

    Glorify Your Name in all the earth…

    We do not come before You today because we are anything…

    We know that we are nothing…

    We come before You today because we are empty and desparate…

    We need You Lord…

    Nothing is right without You…

    We have forsaken You…

    You have not been our first love…

    We are sorry Lord and we repent…

    We ask You in Your mercy to forgive us…

    We ask You to bring us back to where You would have us to be…

    We make no excuses Lord – we have forsaken You – our first love for You – our abandonment in following You with no thought of ourselves or tomorrow (or what will happen to us when we grow old)…

    We are sorry Lord, we give ourselves to You again…

    Take over Lord…

    Be Lord in Your Church…

    We surrender to You as our Head…

    You are Lord…

    And You love us…

    Every command is for our good – and even if it causes us pain it is for our good and given in love…

    We surrender to You Lord…

    Come Lord Jesus and take Your Place…

    Cover us with Your Blood…

  100. Barnabas Dec 5th 2012

    Is it too simple to believe that ‘Eden’ is tasted where the Kingdom of Heaven is present. The challenge is that we see Christ in each other, noting that Jesus knowing where He came from and knowing where He was going chose to disrobe and clean the feet of the disciples. Much to Peters dismay. Challenging the authority of the context. Thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven. Father, may we hear your voice.

  101. Mark F Dec 5th 2012

    I am one of those who has left the established church to have fellowship with like minded believers. For a church building hides people from the outside world. Today, it preaches to people that are already its members – to the converted whatever teachings that may be or denominational whatever name it may belong to.
    The modern church still resides in cliques and run by a few who think what wordly professions they work and are linked to, they in turn want to be professionals in leadership, hence hob knobbing with similar professional people at church.
    Women are placed in leadership with men and women serving them because they are told to. This is called church authority.
    Church services have entertainment to get bums on seats. Christian rock music is allowed in church to attract the youth of today.
    Prayer meetings are meetings to ask God to bless their shopping list for the church and to make everyone happy who attend church.
    Cheese and wine parties are a must for the elite so that they can get to know one another and to know the plans and direction where the church is heading.
    My church became a social gathering. The church vision was to impress the outside world and those who are religious.
    Hmmm…they forgot about Christ’s commission and to seek first the Kingdom of God – they are too busy doing anything else but preaching the Gospel message of Salvation and Redemption.
    The church became stagnant with no effect of influencing change or being rightenousness. For it must adapt and allow itself to be equipped and modernised for the purpose of the 21st century. Everything was done and structured within a church building with the leadership steering it whereever they wanted it to go to.
    And what type of church does this resemble? This was a charismatic church which I signed up to become a member of. It eventually wanted to control me and when I disagreed with the direction it was going, I was told to leave.
    So I did, and now have fellowship with brethren who do not go to church to have their ears tickled but are following Christ, preaching and teaching God’s Word, and use their homes for this purpose.
    Back to basics! Praise the Lord!!

  102. Renee Dec 6th 2012

    Brother Andrew J Horton, I’ve enjoyed (and agree with) all your comments in this thread. Oh, and a big AMEN to that wonderful prayer you prayed. AMEN! I’ve prayed it along with you, brother, with all of my heart!

  103. Thank you sister, Thank You Lord for the Amen… :-)

  104. Sheeja John Dec 6th 2012

    Barnabas wrote:
    Q1 Where is the apostolic teaching in your personal temple of the Holy Spirit? What is the testimony of the new birth celebrated in your temple?
    Q2 What is the prophetic message you are listening to in your temple?
    Q3 What teaching are you eating at the moment?
    Q4 How are you pastoring yourself @ present?
    Q5 Where is your temple reaching the lost?

    Could you please explain or elaborate what you mean? May be I am little slow to grasp what you mean.
    Over the years I have seen many wise and knowledgeable people falling straight into the hands of the devil, yet continuing to believe that they are right in their understanding. So I want to spare myself from seeing/understanding something that is not there.

  105. ValleyAnt Dec 6th 2012

    Amen. AJH, you prayed for God to release His Ministries. I was going to say amen specifically to that but then stopped to consider this: the Lord can most certainly release these ministers at any time. Nothing is holding Him back. I asked myself, “What prayer should we pray in the place of ‘Lord, release Your Ministries’?” Does that make sense? Asking Him to release is redundant; He already wills to. There’s another prayer we need to pray, because it’s become abundantly clear that His release will come at His own timing (or else people will pray down soul power and false manifestations trying to get God to ‘release’). It’s not “Lord, release” but “Lord [something else]“. Tell me if this makes sense to you. I know there are many people singing and praying, “Let it rain, let it rain. Open the floodgates of Heaven.” However, there are two issues with that:

    1.) God wants it to ‘rain’ more than we do. We don’t have to keep begging.

    2.) In all our years of imploring, pleading, begging, beseeching, interceding, etc., we haven’t really seen “the heavens opened and the angels descending and ascending on the Son of Man”, as Jesus said, but have mostly only seen false heavens open with false signs.

    In light of the above two experiences and truths, it certainly apears that we’re praying the wrong prayer when we focus on telling God to do what He wants to do. As soon as I read where you said, “Lord, release”, I began to perceive that another word or phrase should replace “release”. Does this make sense to you. I want to bounce it off of you but will also say a short prayer about it. It seems important, and I’m reminded that sometimes, prayers are more definite and EFFECTIVE when they are targeted specifically at their proper target (like arrows and missiles). This brings to mind praying in the spirit and also with the understanding as well as praying with insight so as to aim specifically. Does this make sense to you.

  106. Roger Dec 6th 2012

    Maybe Richard Savage covered this a couple of days ago, when he said:

    ******
    And now for something different!

    We all have our works, our things we do for the Lord, our rituals which doubtless bring great comfort and self assurance, our words of comfort to us which seem to be spoken of God. But wait a moment. Ask your self, is this what He, the crucified Son of God, wants of us? Are we the people He wishes us to be? Is this the Church, the Body, He died for, to give His Father as a love gift?

    We lament the lack of this, or that, reflect on times past and wish we were there, we anguish over this or that … we post on forums and seem righteous in our judgements.

    Now for the different … I’ll shout this as loudly as I can.

    STOP!!!!!!!

    Yes, stop your works, stop your good deeds, stop your giving, stop your self satisfied Christianity. Stop posting your righteousnesses on forums. STOP!!!!!!! Oh, please STOP!!!!

    Everything. Yes, Cease everything, now. Desist, set down, lay before the Cross of Christ, all that you are, all you think and feel, all … yes all of you. Only you may do this.

    I speak to myself here also.

    Kneel, lay face down on the floor … Father, what is your will for us and our times, that we may see and live your better times again, to your greater glory, and for the great benefit of those on our hearts? Father, thy will be done … remember those words? They will be done. And it follows, on earth as it is in Heaven.

    Our God rules supremely in Heaven, a place we aspire to inhabit. But will we do this with our ideas, our concepts of how things should be in the Christian life? Will we do this in our twenty first century Christian life?

    No!!

    STOP, cease and desist. Seek the Son, seek Christ crucified. Ask, what is your good will for me at this time. Show me and I will as You will.

    THEN, oh yes, then we will have what He desires most, a Bride fit for the marriage ceremony of the Lamb.

    Again, I find myself speaking to myself here. A hard teaching perhaps, but what isn’t that’s worthwhile?

    ***

    Surely if Lord Jesus is the Lord of our life, if Almighty God is truly the God that we worship – then it is His Will we should be asking and praying for..?

    (the bold highlight, I added to remind us all)

    In His love,
    Roger

  107. ValleyAnt Dec 6th 2012

    AJH, I want to add a few things:

    1.) I don’t mean that we should stop praying for God to release His Ministries as we’re fellow workers with Him and are to say, “Amen” (i.e. “Agreed upon”) when He says, “Yes” (i.e. “This is My will”).

    2.) The Bible says that sometimes we don’t know how to pray as we should. I believe that many people have died prematurely, many people are in various types of bondage, and many people are suffering needlessly who received prayer but didn’t receive ‘the right prayer’. (Perhaps, the case of the epileptic is the best example for now of how rescue was unsuccessful after the wrong ‘prayers’ but successful after the right one.)

    I believe that these are times of perplexity when we often don’t know what to pray or how to pray– that these are then times for us to be asking the Holy Spirit to help us to pray (to give us understanding in what and how to pray) and telling the Lord once again in all humility, “Lord, teach us to pray.” Amen. Again, I believe that we’re generally a little perplexed (i.e. we need light and wisdom) about things, and James gives us the correct admonition: “If anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask of God.” Amen. It’s easy to pray, but it takes another level of dying to self to ask God, “WHAT do You want me to pray” and then wait in prayer or meditation till He reveals it. Praying with this ‘method’ will cause an acceleration of God’s plans (as strange and contradictory as that may seem next to the fact that God does all things in His times and seasons) and will cause, among many other sudden miraculous interventions, more bodies of believers to be joined together supernaturally, finding each other in the Spirit.

    The apostolic fellowship or ‘Eden’ or early Church experience we all seek begins (or is immensely accelerated) by asking the Lord and the Spirit WHAT to pray and HOW to pray, then waiting for it, then praying it. As a testimony to this, and the Lord just brought this to mind now, I prayed something for five years; it was God’s will, but He didn’t act until after the Holy Spirit told me to specifically pray what I was already praying. This is occurring again now. I prayed something for years, but the Lord didn’t act until He recently told me specifically to pray it. Apparently, this has to do with the Lord’s timing; but we can ‘hasten His coming’ the more we align ourselves with His will. That aligning part, which takes greater death and waiting and coming more and more into God’s timelessness where there’s no hurry at all (much to the flesh’s chagrin), is the hardest part. Pardon the length. I was trying to explain it to myself too as I was writing.

  108. Brother Paul Dec 6th 2012

    Can someone please tell me.. what are the marks of a true apostle?

  109. ValleyAnt Dec 6th 2012

    Hi, Paul. It’s probably impossible to really tell one how to know an apostle or the marks of one as God really has excelled us in wisdom and makes His Creation, works, People, ministries, and ministers so different Abba diverse that no one can ‘nail them down’ and say, “I know just how it works.” (As you can see, there’s nothing in creation about which we humans and our scientists know just how they work. This is God’s doing, and He continues to do it at His prerogative.) While we can’t pin down exactly what an apostle will look like or how he or she will operate, the Bible shows that one of the main distinguishing features of an apostle is that he or she will have a father’s heart (genuine and unfeigned parental love) for people who are not their biological children. Here is a list of traits of an apostle that I trust: http://www.fireonyourhead.org/about-us/bryan/true-and-false-apostles/. Please take a look at it and ask the Lord to give you understanding as you read it. (If the link doesn’t work for you, google keywords: ‘fire on your head, true apostles’). Ps. 119:130 says, “The unfolding (revelation) of Your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple.” The Holy Spirit is able to reveal to you (unfold to you) the truth about traits of a true apostle as you search it out, giving you light (recognition) regarding true apostles.

  110. ValleyAnt Dec 6th 2012

    Paul, I believe you’ll like this article that speaks of true apostles and the true apostolic from the same site: http://www.fireonyourhead.org/2010/07/23/apostolic-considerations/.

    It’s a place to start. The Lord or/and the Spirit will unfold the truth to you, not necessarily the articles themselves (“the anointing which remains in you”), as you search. God bless.

  111. I believe the “Eden of the New Testament” is within us, as is the Kingdom of God.” The church, is when two or more born again believers are gathered together in His name and He is there in their midst, and I believe the Eden of the New Testament is the same.
    I believe why so many so called Christians have trouble relating to this, is that they are not born again, and never have been. No one can be a follower of Christ, and deny the Word of God. This is calling the Lord Jesus a liar, yet many church goers do just this. They read a verse of scripture which is a statement of God’s Truth, and will say, “I just don’t see it that way.” Their own confession convicts them of heresy. Jesus said in Matthew 7:21:
    MT 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

    Just as Jesus Himself only did the will of the Father, so it is with the sons of God. If I catch myself doing what I want to do, instead of doing what the Father wants me to do, I have not crucified the flesh (Gal 5:24) and I do not belong to Christ.
    GAL 5:24 And they that are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts.

    It is impossible for any person to be in the will of God if they still sin, for the minute they sin, they are outside of God’s Will. So anyone who still sins (hasn’t stopped completely) cannot be a true, born again Christian. This is clearly stated in scripture (1 John 3:9) and, using a Carl Emerson term, I believe that this is the Bible’s most “avoided scripture:”
    1JN 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

    It is only those who do not know Christ, who would in unbelief, challenge the truth of His Word.

  112. Brother Paul:
    Perhaps this will help answer your question:
    2CO 12:12 Truly the signs of an apostle were wrought among you in all patience, in signs, and wonders, and mighty deeds.

  113. Sheeja John Dec 6th 2012

    Please pray. Ask God to keep a watch over the door of your heart, the door of your mind, the door of your lips. Pray that God will shut every door and every voice that is not of HIM/HIS HOLY SPIRIT.

    Ask God to reveal HIS will and to establish HIS will. Dying to self is the need of the hour. Don’t be caught up in something HE has not ordained. Don’t be carried away. Stay AWAKE. WATCH and PRAY.
    This is my prayer.

  114. Barnabas Dec 6th 2012

    Sheeja John, The 5 questions reflect the five fold ministries in our own lives (as temples of the Holy Spirit). Out of abundance of grace from our temple we can share with each other. Q1 The foundation of the temple Q2 The calling on the temple Q3 The teaching accepted in building on 1and 2. Q4 The journey of encouragement, exhortation, enlightenment and enthusiasm based upon growing in grace. Q5 Reaching beyond ourselves. Living stones able to blend together in fellowship. Disciples of the Father, becoming like the Son with Holy Spirit assistance. Growing individually in grace rather than remaining children depending on others to build us up. The same questions can be asked of the church as a whole. Very few know the journey of there temple. I think this thread identifies the present weakness that exists with the apostolic and prophetic that leads to teaching and pastoring of fruits in illl defined gardens. Leading to giving of corrupt fruits. We need to be gardeners before, athletes, before soldiers. Boundaries need restoration. Cisterns and wells rebuilt. Neglected streams rediscovered. Eden rebuilt starting with ourselves.
    http://www.lyfe.org.uk/lyfe-sessions/
    And
    http://www.ivpress.com/cgi-ivpress/author.pl/author_id=6377
    Hope that gives clarity.

  115. David Marsh Dec 6th 2012

    My brothers and sisters in Christ,

    I fear that many of us are not taking very much notice of what God is doing in Barry Scmidts’ – work for the Lord.

    God, it seems, is greatly pleased with what Barry is encouraging his church to do.

    ————————————————————————-
    “I received three great signs and wonders from God to confirm what I have been saying” .

    (1) “When I asked The Lord how He did that he told me He had come to Stewart AS ME!!! And then said, “if My people will believe my gospel of grace I will do signs and wonders never done before in all the earth”

    (2) “The second great sign and wonder God did was when I was preaching about returning to putting all of our trust in Jesus alone and turning away from self effort.”

    (3) “The third great sign and wonder God did to confirm this word of returning to faith alone was when I was preaching about how God worked mighty miracles for Aaron”
    ————————————————————————

    To summarise ;

    (1) Firstly, Barry him self is definitely and accurately hearing God’s Holy Spirit Voice.
    This is extremely important.
    (2) Barry is preaching a return to 100% reliance and obedience to God Himself. ( For all of us )
    (3) Barry is preaching a return to ‘faith’ alone – which is only found in God, and given to us from God.

    If this is stirring you to the core of your soul – please email me and I will send you a free copy of my research work on these very things.

    God bless

    David Marsh.

  116. Barnabas Dec 6th 2012

    What you might provide for yourself by your effort, in your wisdom, and in your timing cannot be compared to what God has for you in His plan and in His timing. Are you at a crossroads of decision in your life? Are you dealing with a desire that’s pushing you to hurry? Fight the temptation to run ahead of Him. Lay your desires and petitions at His feet, and wait for His peace (Philippians 4:6-7).
    Joni

  117. Troll Dec 6th 2012

    Hey DonaldN . . .

    I’ve got to make this clear. . . . we are instructed in scripture to gather with one another and love one another . . . and the only person who will be answering for my life on judgement day . . . tis I.
    I am often accused of not loving people because I’m not involved with every charitable ‘mission’ my church puts forth. I do as my finances allow, but I look for ways to give in the community without the church or others knowing about it.
    I too quit going to church for many years because of what I described in my 1st post, but God wants us there. To mingle with other believers is part of the reason, but the main reason is so we can worship Him. I no longer go to any church expecting anything from anyone.
    I go to worship God.
    Period.
    If anything else should come from it. Great.
    If not . . . I’m not disappoimted because I’m not expecting it.
    I am a Elder of a motorcycle ministry and have had difficulty getting the other chapter members to come together more than once or twice a month for fellwoship and Bible study. One girl even went to the upper echleon of this international ministry and accused me of trying to “force my way into her life” because I did not have one of my own when I tried to get these monthly gatherings increased. The main reason for her actions is because she does not like me and does not think I should be the chapter leader. She even used part of my testimony about my old man in her attempt to get me replaced as Chapter Elder. For I used to be quite evil, as most satanist usually are, and force was a predominate portion of that lifestyle.
    It’s been a big mess for the past six months. The entire 2-year ordeal have not been very rewarding @ all and I have been tempted to quit . . but God put me that position and until He says time to leave . . I will continue.
    Nothing has improved, other than that girl is no longer in the chapter. Her’s and the upper echleons decision, not mine.
    What I’m trying to tell you DonaldN is . . do not go to church for other people. Go to church to be part of a church worshipping God. Make sure it’s a Holy Spirit lead church . . and leave everything up to God. For our purpose in life is to spend our time worshipping Him and doing our best to please Him.
    If we do that . . He promises He will bless us and our endeavors.
    Yes, you can worship God alone and you should, but scripture is clear. We are to gather. If fact Paul tells us to not put it off as some will do, but come together in love and greet one another with a holy kisson the cheek. And it tis not play acting YOUR heart and actions be pure.
    Which is, after all . . all YOU must be concerned about.
    No one else.
    Just yourself.
    Just as those other “christians” are responsible for themselves.
    So . . if their acting . . it’s up to God to set them straight. Either here . . or at judgement.

  118. Barnabas Dec 6th 2012

    Daniel Marsh, can you confirm that it is your belief that a person that dies from cancer or is suffering mental health issues, or has suffered a divorce, have done so due to lack of faith?

  119. William Dec 6th 2012

    A great article. I especially liked the referance to Northampton, Mass. I grew up in the next town over from NoHo, and can tell you how depraved the entire Northampton (pioneer valley) area has become. It is a cesspool of liberalism, feminism, homosexuality, moral relativism, and new Age “anything goes” kind of college town. Anything goes, except anything that hints of Judeao/Christian/Biblical Truths.

    It is also one of the most criminal friendly, anti-Constitutional friendly state in the USA. I praise God I am not living there anymore.

    I have read the accounts of the times of Jonathan Edwards and the true revivals that happened there. Accounts of ewewitnesses said that you could here hymns being sung in homes, “sinful” businesses like taverns closed and there was a powerful, authentic revival in that town. If you go there now, you will be shocked at the deparavation that is accepted there.

  120. Barnabas Dec 6th 2012

    We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; 9 Persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;
    Words of a faithful or unfaithful man?

  121. Averyl Dec 6th 2012

    Marks of a true apostle?
    ! Cor.4, 2 Cor.11.

    We cannot find a good church? We are supposed to be IT! at least, a part of IT. The Bride waiting for Her Bridegroom.

    There are times when we appear to be in isolation, like Richard Wurmbrandt was in prison, but are still a member of Christ’s Body.

    When we are dispensers of the living water of life, we will provoke jealousy & persecution, even from other Christians. They reveal themselves as accusers of the brethren.
    And how do we overcome this? By the blood of the Lamb & the word of our testimony.

    The Bride is preparing herself. She must recognise that the only thing that qualifies Herself to be the Bride is that she has clothed Herself in pure white garments washed in the Blood, truly cleansed, – and has topped up Her lamp with the oil of anointing, the Holy Spirit to do the will of the Father.

    He who says he has no sin is deceived & the truth is not in him.
    To repent means to confess sin. If you think you have no sin , you have no reason to repent.

    The only thing that perfects us is the Blood Christ Jesus shed on Calvary.

    The only thing about us that is perfect is the Spirit of Christ living in us.
    This also unites us with the rest of the Body, even though we are physically apart.

  122. Roger Dec 6th 2012

    Good morning Averyl :-)

    ..and thankyou for these truths you shared.

  123. There’s something exciting about this thread, I feel like the Lord is drawing us (those of us who know Him) together…

    We (our new selves, our new creation) are also perfect – we (our new selves, our new creation) cannot sin…

    This is what 1 John 5:18 teaches us…

    We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him. (1 John 5:18 NASB)

    Sin within me is not me, I died and my life is now hidden with Christ in God – this is why I am no more under condemnation – this is also why I am no more under the Law but under Grace…

    As we come to know what Christ has made us in Him we start to realise just how blessed we are…

    As we start to realise just how blessed we are – as this revelation dawns in our hearts – we see that we are not our own and that we have been bought with a price – precious Blood as Averyl reminds us – and we know that we have to give ourselves to Him – not out of fear but out of gratitude and because we do not want to be spiritual thiefs of our own lives – which are not ours anymore but are now His…

    This is why we can forsake all of our possessions – everything we hold dear in our hearts – this is why we can lay down our lives for Him…

    As we do this God will link us with others who He has enabled to do the same – we will have real fellowship with them – others will come to this place and on and on it will go in our cities…

    I see this – me linked with others in my city who see this and then more and more and more…

    Praise You Jesus…

    Hallelujah!!!

    Amen

  124. Barnabas Dec 6th 2012

    Grace – given what we don’t deserve. Mercy – not getting what we deserve. Daily we live with the gifts of grace and mercy.
    Blind but now see, deaf but now hear, hard hearts broken by compassion. Humbly we receive, humbly we give. The voiceless can be heard if listening is tuned by the Holy Spirit. Thanks for the references Averyl. A measured and challenging perspective.

  125. I don’t think that the church, whatever its composition and doctrines, is going anywhere, and at the moment, is being dismantled and its members scattered to all corners of the wind.
    It will never be the same nor will there be any sense of unity.
    This has become obvious not only to me but to many however people try to compliment it or keep it afloat with money. It has become a financial institution and greedy jusy like the bankers and their banks who have put the financial market in jeopardy and spiralling out of control.
    The leadership of the church are just as bad as politicians who no longer serve the people but themselves to keep themselves awash in luxuary. The church has become a business empire on par the big business who are out to fleece the flock, all done in the name of prosperity but themselves reaping the benefits.
    It is the blind who is leading the blind evetnually going over the precipice.
    The crossroads has been passed and those continuing on the road to destruction are themselves to blame due to unrepentfull hearts leading onto an unmarked road which is the highway to hell!
    They are oblivious to the call to repentance because they know better.
    So I say to everyone one concerned – now is time to seek the Lord while He may be found.
    And yes…the Body of Christ is the Bride awaiting to be wed to the Bridegroom. But then, who wants to go to the wedding where invitations have been sent out. It appears very few have not replied with all sorts of excuses being made.
    Such as shame for those not coming. But again, it is their fault for not responding.
    That is why I firmly believe in the Rapture of His saints. But once again, many folk don’t believe this will happen, exclaim that this is a figment of my or yours imagination, and that includes christians who think also and must complete their visions of claiming first towns, cities and nations for Jesus so that when this is done then will invite Jesus back to reign. Sorry folks if they are preoccupied if this man made mission, and the Bridegroom comes for His Bride, they will be left behind because they are not ready.
    Going Home to be with Christ is my Blessed Hope. This is the Eden which brethren are looking forward to.
    Is this correct or I am wrong because the Blessed Hope is a figment of my imagination, in other words which people have said to me – a mirage!
    Care to share your thoughts on my comments!

  126. Colin Dec 6th 2012

    Sorry Andrew! I have copied this as a reply to Rob. Taken off your recent posting.

    WHAT HOLDS Your HEART?
    by David Wilkerson

    What holds your heart right now? Does your soul yearn for Jesus,
    or for the things of this world?

    A woman on our mailing list wrote this distressing note: “My
    husband was once on fire for God. For years he gave himself
    faithfully to the Lord’s work but today he’s all wrapped up in a
    new pursuit. He no longer has any time for the Lord. I worry for
    him, because he’s grown so cold.”

    Jesus told a parable about this very kind of legitimate pursuit. A
    wealthy man sent his servant to invite all his friends to a great feast
    he was holding. But, Scripture says, the man’s friends “all with
    one consent began to make excuse” (Luke 14:18).

    One friend told the servant, “I just bought a piece of land, sight
    unseen, and I have to inspect it. Please tell your master I won’t
    be able to come.” The next friend told the servant, “I just bought
    a yoke of oxen and I haven’t had time to test them. Tell your
    master I can’t come, because I have to go into the field to plow
    with them.” Yet another friend told the servant, “I just got married
    and I’m about to take my honeymoon. I don’t have time to come
    to the feast.”

    This man had invited all his friends to enjoy an intimate time of
    fellowship with him. He had made all the arrangements for their
    comfort and convenience. The table had been set and everything
    had been prepared, but no one came. Everyone was simply too
    busy or preoccupied.

    Each person had a good, legitimate reason for not coming. After
    all, they were not avoiding their friend so that they could go partying
    or bar-hopping. On the contrary, the Bible commends everything
    these people were doing: Buying and selling can provide security
    for one’s family, and testing a major purchase is a sound business
    practice. Finally, marriage is a blessing that the Scriptures encourage.

    Yet, how did this wealthy man react? Scripture says, “The lord
    said unto the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges, and
    compel them to come in, that my house may be filled. For I say
    unto you, that none of those men which were bidden shall taste
    of my supper” (verses 23-24).

    Jesus makes a very clear point in this parable: Each of these
    good, legitimate things becomes sinful when it takes priority over
    the Lord.

  127. Roger Dec 6th 2012

    Colin, Rob, Amen – this thought is taken from an email sent to me very recently. The thought itself comes from another blogsite:

    “..The call of the Lord is not more important than the Lord of the call. The work of the Lord must not replace the Lord of the work. No amount of ministering FOR the Lord will make up for a lack of ministering TO the Lord….”

    This play on words explains that Christ Jesus our Lord must be our priority.

    We have the Bible, in which the basic message is this:

    - The O.T. prepares the way for the coming of Jesus the Messiah of God, as a suffering servant, and the sacrificial lamb.

    - The N.T. prepares the way for Christ Jesus our risen Lord, when He returns, or His ‘coming’, as KING of kings and LORD of lords.

  128. GaryH Dec 7th 2012

    with them.” Yet another friend told the servant, “I just got married
    and I’m about to take my honeymoon. I don’t have time to come
    to the feast.”
    _____________________________________________________

    Hopefully this is not off topic and is just considered breaking bread in Eden with other believers. I just noticed this scripture in the above comments and wanted to comment on it.

    I am about to go a little crazy here and say that marriage has probably ship wrecked as many people or more in fulfilling their destiny in God as anything else. Diminishing my own walk is something the Lord has been speaking to me lately. I had a dream, and in the dream I had a wife harping on me to get a higher paying job rather than doing the job God wanted me doing. In the dream I saw that scripture where Paul clearly state’s that it is better not to marry, and allows it as a concession. People would be focusing on the family rather than focusing on the Lord.

    The disciples ask Jesus if it was better not to marry, and the answer he gives them is:

    [His] disciples said to him, “If that is the case of a man with his wife, it is better not to marry.”
    11 He answered, “Not all can accept [this] word,* but only those to whom that is granted.
    12 Some are incapable of marriage because they were born so; some, because they were made so by others; some, because they have renounced marriage* for the sake of the kingdom of heaven. Whoever can accept this ought to accept it.”

    I am single. I do not think that all should not be married, as Jesus obviously said the command was only for those who could accept it. Maybe some are called to marriage I certainly believe God can provide a husband or wife. I know that at one point God offered me a choice of two different wives, and I chose him. I don’t know that I will always be single, but I know marriage at least at that time in my life would have drastically diminished my walk with God.

    “36 “But about that day or hour no one knows, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son,[f] but only the Father. 37 As it was in the days of Noah, so it will be at the coming of the Son of Man. 38 For in the days before the flood, people were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, up to the day Noah entered the ark; 39 and they knew nothing about what would happen until the flood came and took them all away. That is how it will be at the coming of the Son of Man.”

    I don’t want to bind any burdens on anybody, but I just know that if Noah hadn’t been listening to God and building the ark he would have gone down with the rest of them.

  129. Greg Simpson Dec 7th 2012

    I too believe God intends much more for us than most people realize. But we fail to realize because we either don’t know what God intends, or we refuse to believe it. The Church is not supposed to be anything other than what it is. The Bride of Christ. And it is alive and thriving. As I write this comment the saved are saved. The lost are lost. Jesus says he knows his sheep and his sheep know him. This is the true church. The confusion is when we take the gatherings of people that happens weekly all over the world and try to make them the “Church” on the basis of their claim. They have abandoned the inerrancy of the scriptures. They selectively read the bible. Avoid the parts that make them uncomfortable. They say things like “Paul must have had it in for women”, or “James is such a Jew. He’s stuck on works”. All to justify their own opinions. They are sitting firmly on the throne of their lives refusing to believe in a God who’s ways are above our ways and thoughts are above our thoughts. They have based their faith on what can be seen and heard, touched and felt. There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end is this church as we know it.
    Do you believe that God can save you to heaven, but that he can’t save you from sin on this earth?
    Do you believe a Christian is not perfect, just forgiven?
    God is calling a people that are willing to sacrifice their own beliefs on the altar of biblical truth. To do otherwise is to make God in our image.
    Adam and Eve were banished from Eden because of sin. You say we can have a touch of “heaven” on earth, Not perfect, but truly and deeply redeemed. I say you are asking God to change his mind and let Adam and Eve go on sinning in the Garden. It’s not going to happen.
    Jesus: John 8:11 …Neither do I condemn thee: go, and sin no more.
    Paul: Rom 6:17-18 But God be thanked, that ye were the servants of sin, but ye have obeyed from the heart that form of doctrine which was delivered to you. Being then made free from sin, ye became servants of righteousness.
    Writer: Heb 10:26 For if we sin willfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins.
    Peter: 1 Pet 4:1-2 for he that hath suffered in the flesh hath ceased from sin; That he no longer should live the rest of his time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God.
    John: 1 John 3:9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.

  130. New Jerusalem Dec 7th 2012

    In the time of Christ most of Israel completely missed the Word of God when He was in their midst. They were too busy with their nose in the book, to perceive the Word Himself as He came and dwelt among them!

    Certainly the masses must have thought…―But none of the teachers, Pharisees, or priests believe that Jesus is the Messiah! And they know the scripture better than me!
    That fact alone kept many Jews from daring to believe in Jesus. To do so was heresy and to admit faith in Him was basically asking for scorn and rejection.

    We have been quick to point the finger at the Pharisees, and not realize that we “christians” follow the same pattern today.

    Are we going to play it safe and side with the majority, who are clinging to their traditions… or risk it all and step out and follow Him?

  131. Sheeja John Dec 7th 2012

    Barnabas, I never share my life experiences. I believe I am called to speak forth His words and declare His truths; but I feeI the need to speak out today. (What I share here is a drop in the ocean)
    I used to go to a church, during that time there came an apostle to my home. This apostle did impart into my life, but had a lot of pride, which I detested. Once this apostle’s assistant told me, “Sister apostle so and so can take you to places.” I whispered in my heart, ‘Lord, all that I need is you. I want no apostles to take me anywhere. I am satisfied with what you have for me.’ A few months later, knowing that this apostle had imparted into the pastor’s life, where I used to go, I asked the pastor as to why he did not permit the apostle in his church (this apostle had shared somethings with us); the pastor was offended with me thinking I was on the apostle’s side. Unfortunately for me, each of them thought that I was supporting the other and I got hit from both sides.

    The man I am married to (I was forced into this marriage) has been showering blessings on me saying: “I will use you to promote myself.”; “I will never let you do anything in life”, “Normally people go mad, but she has no problem”, …. He was declared, by the so-called pentecostal people ‘Holy Spirit filled and anointed’, though he is not even born-again. You might be knowing how these churches operate, if not get it now, (the depths of satan in Rev. 2:24). He preaches in churches sermons that he has copied from others, and people get a witness in their spirit, that this is of God. What an irony! In the Book of Daniel it is written, ‘those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery’, (Daniel 11:32) and that ‘he shall wear out/persecute the saints of the Most High (Daniel 7:25)

    They put darkness for light and light for darkness and believe it is God.

    I am kept alive by the grace of God. I need the grace of God to live each and every moment. Each breath that I breathe is a gift of God. It was God who told me to get out of these churches. All the things that I share here is the tesimony of what God has taught me. I’m not a theological graduate. My life is not easy but very very tough.
    People judge looking at the outside, God judges the heart.

  132. Barnabas Dec 7th 2012

    Bless you Sheeja John for your disclosure. Sadly abuse of authority is not unusual. You appear to be making appropriate steps to protect your space. Your discernment being strengthened as you endure. Being forced into any relationship is not healthy. However, you would appear to be trusting the Father for a way forward as daily you walk in grace. May you discover and unforced rhythm of His grace that allows you to live freely and lightly. May the deception you have witnessed be brought to account.

  133. Barnabas Dec 7th 2012

    An unforced rhythm.

  134. Marilyn Crow Dec 7th 2012

    Hi everyone, I`ve been up the river (Murray) camping for a few days & just returned & read ALL the informative comments. What great comments – repentance, trust, focus on Christ, forgiveness etc & the heart felt prayer from Andrew J Horton.

    Then Andrew`s underlying question, `What is standing in the way?

    All of the above as everyone has said. I have pondered do I need to comment & just agree or add. I am slightly reticent to say my comment as I feel I may get `stoned.` All I ask is a `fair go,` (I am an Aussie) & a careful look at the word of God.

    My comment is related to the `Apostle`s doctrine,` as Andrew pointed out was so important to the early believers behaviour.
    Standing of the truth of Christ & to grow in that, (Eph 4: 13) not being `tossed to & fro,` which we all see.

    OK here goes….

    I was brought up in the `50`s & “60`s, before 5 fold ministries was popular. I was taught on the Body of Christ but never that we were the `Bride` of Christ. That symbol was never used by the Apostle Paul but refers to Israel.

    I have noted over the years that men find it difficult to be a
    `Bride.` This is not the Apostle`s doctrine, the truth of Christ that we need to stand firm on. This wrong teaching has just been assumed & is not backed by scripture. Today this teaching is leading many into `romantic` love & intimacy so called. Songs & books are written emotively on this subject & not based on truth.

    We will not have revival based on erroneous teachings.

    The Body of Christ has a `high calling, `on top calling,` as the Apostle Paul taught the early disciples -((Phil. 3: 14). The symbol of the `Bride,` is for another `calling.`

    This is what I was taught by men who came out of the last revival in Wales. It is generally no known in the Body as yet but worth a study. (2 Tim. 2: 15)

  135. Agazette Dec 7th 2012

    Quote :”We will not have revival based on erroneous teachings. ”

    Looking at the OT, God many times called the people back from the error of their ways.

    I believe true revival is: God calling His people out of all the deceptions of men. His sheep will hear His voice and follow.

    A number of times when true revival broke out, God called His people out of the systems of men and granted them the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, healing, deliverance, etc.

    If someone was raised in a certain brand of religion and they think this is the only way, Will God leave them in this situation? Especially when they have not the wisdom to understand that maybe what they are being taught is wrong or at least not the full gospel being preached.

    Revival is God calling His people back to their first Love.

    Lord Bless

  136. Agazette Dec 7th 2012

    One more thing, I apologize that this is not dealing with the main subject.

    I don’t know if you have heard the news but several states in the US have legalized Marajuana for recreational use. Last Wednesday evening on the nightly news they showed hundreds of people standing around the space needle smoking pot freely in America. Politians realize they are losing money by not taxing marajuana smokers.

    What is interesting is that David Wilkenson predicted that one day marajuana would be legalized in America. Its found in his book called the “Vision”.

    I apologize again for getting off subject but I wondered about some of David Wilkersons vision that did not come to pass in his lifetime but now we see many things taking place that God showed him would happen.

    Lord Bless

  137. John S Dec 7th 2012

    To Marilyn Crow.

    The Word of God say specifics regarding the Bridegroom and His Bride which of course is the Body of Christ.

    Please consider this…

    The Bible compares the relationship of Jesus and His church to that of a Bride and Groom. We, the church of Jesus Christ are the Bride, and Jesus is the Bridegroom. John the Baptist in explaining that he was not the Christ said in John 3:29, “He who has the Bride is the Bridegroom.” The most incredible writing of this relationship to me is in the book of the Bible “The Song of Solomon”. In chapter one verse fifteen, the Bridegroom declares, “How beautiful you are, my darling, how beautiful you are!” In verse sixteen, the Bride declares, “How handsome you are, my beloved, and so pleasant!”

    The Lord Jesus desires a relationship with His church of both intimacy and passion. He has that for us and wants to develop that in us. In Philippians 3:8, the apostle Paul says, “More than that, I count all things to be a loss in the view of knowing Jesus Christ my Lord.” This is a passion and desire for intimacy.

    Ephesians 5:22-33 compares the relationship and responsibilities of the husband and wife to the relationship of Jesus and his church. Verse 25 tells husbands to “Love your wife as Christ also loved the church.” Verse 27 shows the Lord’s desire to “Present to Himself the church in all her glory having no spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that she would be holy and blameless.” Such an accomplishment would take Jesus close and personal involvement in our lives, and a passionate response to Him on our part to have such relationship.

    The twenty first chapter of the book of Revelation describes a new heaven and earth. Verse 2 states, “And I saw the holy city, New Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, made ready as a Bride adorned for husband.” The teachings of the Bible show us that Jesus is not in love with architecture, but, the people who inhabit the city, His people, His Bride. Revelation 22:17 says, “The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come!” And let him who hears say, “Come!” Whoever is thirsty, let him come; and whoever wishes, let him take the free gift of the water of life.”

    The Lord Jesus, being God the Son, has infinite ability and capacity in His heart to love and be involved with countless individuals and His corporate church at the same time. The Lord and His heaven has room for ALL who will come to Him. Heaven is the pure, undiluted, eternal presence of God, and we’re all invited to be with Him there. Heaven is a choice. I hope this is yours Marilyn, and all believers reading my comments!
    Care to expand with further dialogue?
    With every blessing in Jesus!

  138. ValleyAnt Dec 7th 2012

    GaryH, I’m going to travel with you off the topic for a while. You said some things about marriage that interest me.

    1.) You said, “Paul clearly states that it is better not to marry… People would be focused on the family rather than… the Lord.”

    2.) You said that the Lord said that the command to not marry is for those who can accept it.

    I was going to ask you for more wisdom on this issue, but the Lord reached me first. I went to the passage you quoted where Jesus spoke about marriage, and as I began to read, I began to gain understanding on the Lord’s and Paul’s meanings on this issue. I want to first say that I’m sharing only a little, because that passage (Mt. 19:3-12) is ‘stuffed’ with wisdom, revelation, and hidden knowledge ( as is the whole Bible).

    Firstly, the Lord said that those who can accept His entire statement (some will marry, some can’t marry, some won’t marry) should, not just the part about those who won’t marry. Secondly, the unfolding of what you quoted came in response to a question stated in the negative: Pharisees, trying to trap Jesus, asked if a man can divorce his wife for any reason. They already had the Law tell them the conditions of divorce; why bait this Rabbi? Sometimes to understand Scripture passages, it’s needful to know that the Lord often dealt with people differently. Pro. 26:5 says to answer a fool according to his folly, and Ps. 18:25-26 says that God deals with people as they deal with others (eg. mercy for the merciful, shrewdness for the deceptive). Before Jesus stated what You shared above, He prefaced it by saying that a man should maybe his family to cling (in order to cling or in clinging) to a wife. In those days, men usually lived at home till they married (and sometimes afterward); and in those days, everyone usually married. It wasn’t just ‘culture’ ; it was ‘nature’– the way God created us to function automatically. (Adam and Eve didn’t date or court or play romantic games; they married as soon as they met.)

    If you read the passage again (Mt. 19:3-12), you will notice that the Lord began from the Kingdom aspect (which is perfect) and gradually ‘downgraded’ to the fallen human aspect that we’re so accustomed to. First, when the Pharisees approached Him with the negative, fallen aspect (divorce), He began by saying to them, “Have you not heard…” and proceeded to talk about the Kingdom aspect which is perfect– that God created marriage to last forever. He then says, “What God has joined together, let not man separate.” A close look at that (there’s a lot of information just there) will reveal that marriage is of God and Isa God’s design in every way, and that unless God Himself disapproves of it, no one else should. (This is where Grace and revelation are needed in church bodies in order to dissect things until they arrive at God’s perfect will for each person.) You’ll notice that the questions/comments get more and more negative and hopeless and that the Lord goes from the perfect Kingdom aspect all the way down to where we live as fallen humans. Since this post is already long, I’ll continue in my next post to conclude the thing.

  139. ValleyAnt Dec 7th 2012

    GaryH, this is the conclusion of my previous post regarding marriage and the Kingdom.

    In Mt. 19:3-12, Jesus began talking about God’s perfect will regarding marriage, but as the questions and comments got more negative, He began to meet the listeners where they were in their fallen humanity. Let’s look at the way this happened in the passage (I’ll be paraphrasing to save time):

    1.) Deceitful Pharisees tested Jesus and asked, “You know what the Law says about divorce, but what do YOU say?”

    - Jesus answered by saying, “God/I said in the beginning before sin that man and woman were created for marriage and a union of oneness which no one or thing but God should annul.”

    2.) Pharisees: “If God meant what You say, why did God give divorce through Moses?” (You can see their spiritual blindness and hardness of heart.)

    - Jesus: “Because your fallen nature was bent on it, and God is merciful; but it was never His intention nor is it now.”

    3.) Disciples: “Well that sucks. Some of us are already married (and others of us want to). If all this negativity we’re hearing is true, then we are not free to marry.” (You can almost hear the desolation in their tone.)

    - Jesus: “Not everyone will understand what I’m about to say but only those who have Grace (seek out and find the meaning)– that though God made things one way, there is now sin, evil, and weakness; therefore, wherever a person falls regarding marriage, it is okay. Let everyone have Grace according to where he is in the matter.”

    It’s because of sin that God (who has unlimited strategies) had to implement all kinds of things to save us who were once alive (before the Fall) but died (at the Fall) and now, crawling with all kinds of sin, wounds, weaknesses, and demonism (imperfections, condemnations), must be made alive again (salvation) by Grace alone (mercy) so that the truth must of necessity come second so it won’t be a stumbling block.

    Summary: it was always God’s perfect will that marriage be now as it was in the beginning (martial union and unity were His will as He stated in Genesis and Jesus quoted in Mt. 19); but we no longer live in perfection when marriage was perfect, therefore, God deals with us where we are in our beliefs and feelings as long as they aren’t causing us (and sometimes others) to stumble. People who don’t want to obey will always find a reason (as seen in the parable you quoted from where marriage is one of many excuses that people can give for disobedience). The thing is teaching the married and those who want to marry to live in community with others and to teach them satan’s strategies that he uses to distract them with spouses and children and family (and isolation from other likeminded families) so they can be married and know how to do God’s will and keep themselves from the enemy.

  140. Brother Andrew,

    Good thoughts, the Moravians had a revival that brought this EDEN back to the Church. They lived in such a godly way and had community living that was so heavenly that when John Wesley came to visit Hernhutt he stated that he wished this type of Christianity would spread all across the world. And it did for some part in that day.

  141. Richard Savage Dec 7th 2012

    There is a certain irony, in view of the statistical fact that Christian divorce rates are as high as others, that people are linking marriage with the perceived paradise state of Eden.

    I know it just is not so for very many Christians.

  142. Averyl Dec 7th 2012

    Perhaps we judge others & the church with our natural eyes & need to open our spiritual eyes so that we see as God sees.

    God looks on the heart.

    We can look for spiritual fruit.
    We can hear words, – out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

    We eat from the tree of knowledge of good & evil, which can be deceiving, instead of the tree of life.

  143. Roger Dec 7th 2012

    Marilyn – you raise a very good point. We are at this time members of the Body of Christ, which includes all those (past, present and future), who are ‘born-again’, who abide in Christ Jesus as Lord, – the ‘bride’ is not yet complete.

    **

    Which brings me to a caution for all – scripture clearly declares: 1Co 3:11 “..For other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ..” and this truth is the doctrine of the Apostles of Christ Jesus, as shown in Acts 2:36-42.

    However, we do have teachers today who have declared a ‘new thing’, that: “..The Lord is establishing the foundations of the church for the new millenium. This foundation is built upon apostles and prophets..”

    This is basically the creed of the NAR, (New Apostolic Reformation) and may be based on a misunderstanding, or misuse, of Eph 2:20 “..And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;..”

    Earlier, Averyl referred us all to 2 Cor.11, and we read there Paul’s correction, and explanation concerning false apostles.

    People, we need to be Bereans, and we need the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Truth, to teach us correct interpretation and insight to these scriptures.

    In His love,
    Roger

  144. Richard Savage Dec 7th 2012

    A timely warning, Roger, and thank you.

    Only with a Spirit of Truth indwelling us, and the Bible in hand, may we see these aberrant movements for what they are – at best money making scams, and at the worst, teachers leading people into the jaws of hell.

    The Divines of the Reformation taught to rightly divide the Word. It’s worth looking into, with some urgency!!

  145. When I began to truly study the scriptures and read Christain literature. and listen to teachers with serious zeal, I prayed firverently that the Lord would help me remember what I should know and let all the rest fall away. That has protected me many times over, plus some.

    In later years its helped me to avoid ‘what if, and how it should be’. There are some beautiful truths being spoken here. That is a yearning to be with Him. It verifies how an orchestra can sound after a lot of study and practice. AND, how His sheep love Him. Trust and Obey, there is no other way.

  146. Richard Savage Dec 7th 2012

    Yes Joan W, I know what you mean. Through the years in the Charismarit Movement and Pentecostalism so often I need to pray, Lord, show me that which is of You, and I’ll take that away with me.

    I’m truly sad to say, so little was of Him, and often I went away empty handed.

    All that was more than twenty years ago. Not much in the way of improvement since!

  147. Roger Dec 7th 2012

    Joan, Richard – I empathise :-)

    I thank God for the indwelling Holy Spirit, Spirit of Truth, Comforter, and so much more…

    Joh 14:26 But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.

  148. Marilyn Crow Dec 8th 2012

    Thank you Agazette & Roger for your encouragement & that revival is based on truth (of Christ) & not error.

    John S

    Also I appreciate your detailed reply John & said so graciously.
    Firstly it was wonderful to read of your expounding on our precious Lord & His abilities. How our souls thirst for more of Him & to speak of Him, His amazing qualities, virtues, & abilities. Thank you for that.

    Discussion on Body & Bride.

    The `Bride.`
    We see the symbol of the Bride applied to Israel by God in Isaiah 62:5, (& other scriptures). Then in Is. 54: 4 – 8 God speaks of Himself as the husband & Israel as the wife which He rejects for a time but then will restore. Thus Israel is referred to as the Bride, the wife, & God is the bridegroom, husband.

    Thus when Christ came to His own, Israel, they were looking for the Bridegroom to retore them. That is why John (in John 3: 29)
    refers to the bride & Bridegroom. It was a symbol Israel was taught by God that applied to their special nation who had a special relationship with God.

    The Body.
    When Israel as a nation (not individuals) rejected the Lord, we know that He said He would build His `called out ones,` the Body of Christ. (Eph.1: 22 & 23) The Apostle Paul was given this wonderful revelation of this new close relationship we would have with Christ – Head of the Body. That is why in Eph. 5: 22 – 32 (which you noted John) Paul talks of this close relationship.

    There has been much error in Bible versions replacing `it` to `her,` which has caused the confusion. The correct word is `it` referring to the Body. (Look up the Greek) As you so rightly point out it is the close relationship that God through Paul is drawing our attention to. Christ & His called out ones like a husband should love his own BODY.

    This is Christ as Head of the Body – us. What closer relationship can we have. And as you said `His infinite ability & capacity in His heart to love & be involved with countless individuals…` Utterly awesome.

    The Apostle Paul is not saying the Body of Christ replaces Israel & now we are the Bride, but He is showing us this wonderful revelation that we, the Body have this pure, close relationship with our Lord & Head.

    I will answer the Rev. 21: 2 later & give space for thus far.
    Thank you again for the discussion, John.

    In Christ, Marilyn.

  149. watchful Dec 8th 2012

    Would it make sense that we believing gentiles are part of the bride since we are also grafted into the same root..? I see the Bride and Body as being the same thing in Ephesians since the husband and wife become one flesh and the husband cares for His wife as though she were His own Body.

    Believing gentiles also are the bridesmaids (wise virgins) who light the way for the Bridegroom when He comes to fetch His Bride Israel, essentially bringing Him to Her. This agrees also with the book of Ruth (redeemed gentile), who placed her Son in Naomi’s (Jewish mother-in-law) lap, restoring to Naomi a Son. Israel being our mother-in-law since the Son she gave birth to is our Husband who died (and rose again). Ruth loved Naomi as her own family because of her love for her Husband, she had been one with Him becoming His body, whereas Orpah apparently not so much, reminding me perhaps of the 5 unwise virgins. Maybe there is more to it but this is how I understand it so far at least, and really I think the many different elements of this can only be seen as a whole cohesive picture in the Spirit.

  150. Marilyn Crow Dec 8th 2012

    Some interesting thoughts there Watchful. Good scripture to bring up – Rom. 11: 22 – 26. The Gentiles are grafted in to Christ, as well as Israel being grafted in to the root, Christ. This with other scriptures bring out the 2 different purposes Christ has for the `Body,` purpose & the `Bride,` purpose.

    In regards to relating the Old Testament to us the Body of Christ, the scriptures tells us that Christ is the one central to the Bible & we are just one of the great purposes He has. It is confusing to mix the two & becomes all about us, & not Christ.

    Thank you for your comments I appreciate the discussion.
    Have a good day. It is evening here now & will check again in the morning after others have had their say.

  151. Sheeja John Dec 8th 2012

    Good discussion on ‘the Bride and Bridegroom’. By the way, I want to remind that the bride belongs to the bridegroom alone and the friend of the bridegroom is happy to see the bridegroom having his bride.
    —————————————————————————————-
    When speaking to my children, I always tell them that they need to fix their gaze on Yeshua alone, and not to depend on their mum; the reason being, if the mum goes down because of the pressure/attack, the children will remain safe, their feet being firmly footed on the Rock our Saviour.
    ———————————————————————————————-
    Moses was told to speak to the rock the second time, to bring forth water for them to drink, but he being frustrated and angry struck the rock (that which symbolized Yeshua Ha Mashiach). His servants have therefore been called to provide water even when struck. His grace is sufficient in and through it all.

  152. AGazette Dec 8th 2012

    AveryL wrote:
    Perhaps we judge others & the church with our natural eyes & need to open our spiritual eyes so that we see as God sees.

    God looks on the heart.

    AveryL
    Good point, I have often wondered if we as Christians are to quick to judge a matter without regard for what God sees in the whole picture.

    Even though I see the church system as being a mess, I realize that God has sheep planted everywhere.

    Oh that the Lord would open our spiritual eyes and and cause us to see through His eyes.

    Lord Bless

  153. Brother Paul Dec 8th 2012

    If a true Prophet, one who operates in the office as a God-appointed Prophet and one with a true prophetic gifting and anointing was to be released among us, we would probably want to stone him (or her).

    We would be so afraid that by the enabling of the Holy Spirit, he or she could see deep into our souls and discern those things which we still have hidden in the dark recesses of our hearts – those things we think and hope no-one can see – not even God.

    When he or she exposes or gets too close for comfort to those hidden things, those idols which we think no-one can see or perceive, our flesh will rise up and demand that he or she be removed from our midst – and the sooner the better for us.

    Could we really tolerate a true Prophet in our midst? I, for one, doubt that we could… or would. Unless that ‘prophet’ was one of those whose prophesies are only about good things that are meant to tickle our ears, we would not listen for one minute to what he or she has to say…

    Could we then blame our own personal spiritual condition on the collective spiritual condition of the nation in which we live? Or instead, would we try to put the blame on the one who was sent to provoke and expose the true intents and contents of our hearts?

  154. AGazette Dec 8th 2012

    Marilyn Crow, Sheeja John, thank you for your kind words and encouragement in your comments.

    May the Lord Bless “all His servants here and give them His Wisdom”.

  155. AGazette Dec 8th 2012

    If a true Prophet, one who operates in the office as a God-appointed Prophet and one with a true prophetic gifting and anointing was to be released among us, we would probably want to stone him (or her).

    Brother Paul
    There is a lot of truth in your comment. Hopefully we would have more of the fear of God in our lives, which is a good thing to have.

    Lord Bless

  156. watchful Dec 8th 2012

    Hope you will continue with your thoughts Marilyn…is there any chance that where it can get confusing might be because we are sometimes inadvertently melding two ages together whereas they are distinct – the church age as opposed to the age of Christ’s kingdom rule on earth once the fullness of the gentiles is fulfilled and Israel is grafted back in?…I am in need of sight to see to sort this all out, and am hoping discussion will be helpful…

    One thing for this age is that His purpose was to create one new man out of both Jew and gentile – making them one body. We are still missing many Jewish (Israel) members of this one new man – these I believe will not be grafted back in until we see the fullness of the gentiles, when the blindness and hardening will be removed from all or virtually all of the Jews who are surviving. Without them His Bride/Temple is still not complete from what I can see.

    Just want to say that I’m blessed by your comments made through the Holy Spirit Barnabas and Sheeja.

  157. Israel is blinded in part, untill the end of the tribulation -

    Zec 12:10 And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.

    Zec 13:6 And one shall say unto him, What are these wounds in thine hands? Then he shall answer, Those with which I was wounded in the house of my friends.

    Eze 37:26 Moreover I will make a covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore.

    Rom 11:26 And so all Israel shall be saved: as it is written, There shall come out of Sion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob:

    Rom 11:27 For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins.

    Great promises to Israel in the end, the wife of God, He remarries them.

    We the Church are the bride/body of Christ.

    Church and Israel are two different identities but the Church did NOT replace Israel.

    The Church was a mystery hidden in the mind of God and revealed through one man, Paul.

    Gal 1:11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.

    Gal1:12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

    Gal 1:16 To reveal his Son in me, that I might preach him among the heathen; immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood:

    Gal 1:17 Neither went I up to Jerusalem to them which were apostles before me; but I went into Arabia, and returned again unto Damascus.

    Gal 1:18 “a” Then after three years

    Revelation of the Church was only given to Paul and that was over a three year period.

    Hope i am not of topic.

    Blessings.

  158. Sheeja John Dec 8th 2012

    Going through the comments, God brought few thoughts to my mind to be conveyed, which I lay before you. – The protocol..
    (Please bear with me, if this seems off the topic to anyone out there)

    1. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. IF ANYONE HEARS MY VOICE AND OPENS THE DOOR, I WILL COME INTO HIM AND DINE WITH HIM, AND HE WITH ME. – Rev. 3:20
    • Most assuredly, I say to you, HE WHO DOES NOT ENTER THE SHEEPFOLD BY THE DOOR, BUT CLIMBS UP SOME OTHER WAY, THE SAME IS A THIEF AND A ROBBER. But he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. – John 10:1-2
    • Then Jesus said to them again, “Most assuredly I say to you, I AM THE DOOR OF THE SHEEP.”

    We (the Body of Christ) never force ourselves on others. We never try to peep into others life in the spirit realm. We never try to deal with anybody through the spirit realm. If we need to see/perceive or understand something, Yeshua will show/reveal it to us. We restrict ourselves within the human realm while dealing with another human. When we have to deal with the spirit realm, we use the sword of the spirit, which is the Word of God.

    2. At that time Berodachbaladan, the son of Baladan, king of Babylon, sent letters and a present unto Hezekiah: for he had heard that Hezekiah had been sick. And Hezekiah hearkened unto them, and showed them all the house of his precious things, the silver, and the gold, and the spices, and the precious ointment, and all the house of his armor, and all that was found in his treasures: there was nothing in his house, nor in all his dominion, that Hezekiah showed them not. Then came Isaiah the prophet unto king Hezekiah, and said unto him, What said these men? and from whence came they unto thee? And Hezekiah said, They are come from a far country, even from Babylon. And he said, What have they seen in thine house? And Hezekiah answered, All the things that are in mine house have they seen: there is nothing among my treasures that I have not showed them. And Isaiah said unto Hezekiah, Hear the word of the LORD. Behold, the days come, that all that is in thine house, and that which thy fathers have laid up in store unto this day, shall be carried into Babylon: nothing shall be left, saith the LORD. And of thy sons that shall issue from thee, which thou shalt beget, shall they take away; and they shall be eunuchs in the palace of the king of Babylon. – II Kings 20:12-18

    We never open ourselves to the enemy/strangers, and we never show him/them our possessions. For the enemy comes to steal, kill and destroy.

    3. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep. – John 10:11
    • We have an altar, whereof they have no right to eat which serve the tabernacle. – Hebrews 13:10
    We never try to manipulate, control the sheep. The sheep belongs to the Shepherd who laid down His life for them. The servants are required to freely give what they have received freely from Him for His service.

  159. Barnabas Dec 8th 2012

    You’re a Jewel!
    The Lord their God will save them on that day as the flock of his people. They will sparkle in his land like jewels in a crown.     Zechariah 9:16
     
     
    The Bible gives us this unusual detail about the construction of the Lord’s temple. “In building the temple, only blocks dressed at the quarry were used, and no hammer, chisel or any other iron tool was heard at the temple site while it was being built.” (I Kings 6:7). An unbelievable amount of scraping, hammering, chiseling had to be done on those mighty rocks that were used in the construction. But it was all done out of view and out of earshot of the temple site.
     
    It’s a little like the way God “dresses” us, fitting us for heaven. The apostle Peter reminds us that you and I are living stones, and we are being mined in the quarry of earth, a place of noise, chiseling, and clouds of dust. God is using our sufferings and afflictions to hone and shape us so we might fit perfectly into heaven’s landscape, where there is “no hammer, chisel or any other iron tool.” Where there is no suffering. No tears, pain, sorrow, or death. As polished stones, not only will we fit in heaven, we will fit as glittering jewels in His crown. Soon we will enter the utter serenity of heaven — a place of peace and quiet — and God will set us in His diadem as sparkling and dazzling jewels.
                                                       
     
    God’s quarry is still busy. He is active with His hammer and chisel in your life, honing you and shaping you for a high and eternal destiny. The shaping isn’t always easy. How well I know! But take heart today, friend. Bear a bit longer with the noise and hammering. Serve others while you wait. One day all of heaven will be in awe over what the Master Jeweler has accomplished in your life.
     
    Lord, even though I am still in process, still being shaped and chiseled, I pray that your radiant beauty would shine through my life today.

    Blessings,
     
    Joni and Friends
    http://www.joniandfriends.org

  160. Barnabas Dec 8th 2012

    December 8, 2012

    Faith for the Future
    by Charles R. Swindoll

    [I rejoice] to see your good discipline
    and the stability of your faith in Christ.
    Colossians 2:5

    The nature of the beast within all of us resists change.

    Even though our past has been painful and in some ways unrewarding and perhaps even unproductive, it would be interesting to know how many of us would rather return to our past than face the uncertainty of our future.

    Being creatures of habit, we would rather have the security of our yesterday than the uncertainty of our tomorrow.

    But it’s the uncertainty of our future that really strengthens our faith. I mean, if we knew what it was all about, then it would take no faith. All it would take is obedience.

    If you knew what was going to happen in the next ten years of your life, what kind of faith would it take to walk that path?

    It’s the mystery of it all that gives it the power; the mystery of the whole process called God’s working that makes the power so magnificent.

     

    Excerpted from Charles R. Swindoll, Wisdom for the Way (Nashville: J. Countryman, a division of Thomas Nelson, Inc., 2001). Copyright © 2001 by Charles R. Swindoll, Inc. All rights reserved. Used by permission.

  161. Roger Dec 8th 2012

    With reference to ‘Living Stones’ in the Temple that God is building, I have shared this vision before on JBTV forum.

    *****
    Ralph Lane, October 1989, New Zealand

    I was confused about what constituted God’s church, so I asked Him to enlighten me. His answer came to me in the form of three different pictures and the statement:

    “My church is built of living stones “.

    Scene 1: I saw a large field full of stones. As I watched, the stones came to life and began to move. The majority of the stones moved to my side of the field. Then they broke up into groups. Some formed themselves into a rough heap in no form or order, while others as if under direction, stacked themselves in orderly fashion to form walls or fences. At the same time other stones moved to the far side of the field, too far off for me to see what was happening.

    Scene 2: I was in the same position but some time had passed. The stones which had formed into a rough heap had collected dirt and dust in all the holes and gaps, allowing weeds and scrub to overgrow the heap. The stones were now captive and unable to move. The various walls that had formed were in a sorry state of repair, some with weeds growing in the cracks where the stones didn’t fit. Some walls had split in two, while other walls had gaps where stones had fallen out. Stones were still moving between the walls, and a few stones were moving across the field to the far side. Generally the area had taken on a ‘dead look’. When I looked closer at the walls I saw that those which had collapsed had no foundation under them; they had been built on dirt alone, while the walls which had split had solid foundations in parts but not in others where they had crumbled. Walls where stones were falling out had very uncertain, disintegrating foundations.

    As I considered these pictures it seemed that God was saying that ‘We’ are the stones and we are to gather together in an orderly fashion under direction, but must watch the foundation on which we gather, and under whose direction we gather, and also how we are fitted into the structure.

    Scene 3: I was once again at the same field but this time on the opposite side. In the distance I could see the rough heap of stones and collection of now very dilapidated walls. Directly below me was a large wall with small walls attached to and forming part of it. These small walls jutted out to various distances on either side. The first thing I noticed about this wall was its foundation. It looked solid, smooth and strong, and had the appearance of going very deep into the ground. The wall itself seemed very solid and secure yet alive and with no joins or cracks between the stones which fitted perfectly. Stones continued to arrive from they other side of the field, moving to the wall and looking for a place to settle. One would find a hole and drop into it, but if it didn’t fit, it would move away looking for another place. When it found its place it became as one with the wall and left no gap or crack where it joined The stones seemed to be moving as if under direction but I could see no visible director. Then words seemed to form in my mind like a sign above the wall which said: “This is my church “.

    I understood that God requires His people to gather together on the foundation of Jesus Christ alone. The foundation should have none of those things that man would build into it, as man’s ideas will cause the foundation to crumble and give way.

    We must allow ourselves to be built together under the direction of the Holy Spirit alone, as He has a place already set out for our particular shape, and only He knows where it is.

    We must not allow men to reshape us and try to fit us into a structure to their purpose, as the fit they make will never be perfect and weeds will grow in the cracks causing stones to fall from the wall. The temple of God is built from living stones and can only be completed as they allow themselves to be perfectly fitted together to become one. When each stone supports all those stones that come in contact with it, then together they will form a single stone..

  162. Averyl Dec 8th 2012

    Amen, Roger!

    Maybe the next revival is coming to Israel during the great tribulation & we will see their saved ones as the 144,000?

    There still seem to be some, further back on this topic, who consider themselves without sin in body & spirit.
    I commented that whoever thinks he is without sin is deceived.
    That only the Spirit within us is without sin.
    All our righteousness is as filthy rags.
    Jesus Himself said there is only one perfect, God Himself.

    No wonder there is no repentance when we think we have nothing to repent of, or maybe we think repentance is for others to do!

    The serpent from Eden is still deceiving today!

  163. Barnabas Dec 8th 2012

    A poem I wrote
    Shaping Up

    There was a part to be played,
    The shape wasn’t clear.
    Not every whisper was to
    enter the ear.

    Many a knock was to be endured
    To become at rest and reassured.

    A humble heart became the choice
    To develop compassion as the main voice.

    You may not have the last shout
    But be content as you work things out

  164. Barnabas Dec 8th 2012

    A celtic prayer/poem I wrote within minutes of discovering a loved was diagnosed with cancer.
    We come to you

    Keeper of the boundaries
    Watcher of the gates
    Writer of the signs
    Architect of creation
    Sustainer of all life
    We come to you
    and wonder at the
    delicate balance
    that is maintained
    through your wisdom
    and might,
    placing ourselves upon
    your mercy and grace.

  165. Barnabas Dec 8th 2012

    A loved one.

  166. Marilyn Crow Dec 9th 2012

    A Spirit breathed prayer, Barnabas, thank you.

    On a lighter side – Thank you for all not `stoning,` me. As my husband, Trevor said, “Just as well we live in Australia!” (a long way to throw stones!!!)

    Appreciate the discussion so far – Ken`s scriptures on the Bride (Israel) in the Old Testament & the Body – the new revelation given to Paul. However Ken you wrote `we the church the Bride/Body` & didn`t write any scriptures to show the church being the Bride. Have you any?

    Watchful.

    Thankyou for asking for more thoughts. I liked how you brought out we the Body are one new MAN. (not woman) & that was God`s purpose to create one new man out of both Jew & Gentile -making them one Body. Great, & that group has a special eternal purpose which Paul goes into detail about.

    Then there is still Israel & the nations (before & after the Body of Christ) whom God has purposes for.
    Note: (1 Cor. 10: 32) The Lord differentiates between each group.

    The Church (Body)
    Israel (Jews)
    The Nations (Gentiles – named Greeks years ago)

    Each have a different purpose in God`s great plan. As we discuss, the Lord by His Spirit is unfolding how He desires the topic to unfold. `He is the keeper,…the watcher,…the architect,…& sustainer.` Thank you Holy Spirit.

  167. Roger Dec 9th 2012

    Marilyn – no stones thrown from NZ either :-)

    Please keep sharing, this ‘living stone’ is reading with interest..

    In His love, Roger

  168. ValleyAnt Dec 9th 2012

    To Andrew Strom and all:

    Going back to the Eden topic, there’s a disturbing trend here in the States which is causing many Christians to seek revivals, signs and wonders, and ‘Heaven on earth’ or Eden. Many churches are ‘crying out’ for revival and signs and wonders but are totally bereft of the Life of God (i.e. there’s no evidence they are even God’s Children as they have no ‘genes’ that make them godly or that give them a desire to obey God). Sometimes, just when it seems that a Christian message or article is well-written, it begins to major on miracles, revivals, and ‘Heaven on earth’. While this can seem harmless to some, it is when it doesn’t line up with the integrity of the Word.

    It seems almost everything revolves around signs now. I knew a Christian recently who believed that whenever and wherever he saw the color purple, it meant God’s signs and wonders were following him. (Yeah, you read that last sentence just the way I typed it.) When satan asked Jesus to perform a sign and wonder (throw Himself from the top of the temple so that angels would rescue Him), He refused; when the people asked Him to perform a sign, He refused. When people ask about ‘the signs of an apostle’, most people point out the signs and wonders aspect (though that passage, on closer scrutiny, doesn’t directly say that miracles are signs of an apostle but that miracles will follow an apostle as signs confirming his life and message; miracles aren’t the proof/signs that one is an apostle or they would be about the apostle; they are rather the Lord’s mark of approval on the life and ministry of an apostle, proving that the messenger is such and such a type of messenger and that the messenger is true/APPROVED by God; there’s a big difference between supposed ‘signs of an apostle’ and the Lord’s clearer ‘signs that will follow an apostle’, but it’s not always easy to explain).

    We are in a time when the lust for signs, miracles, and ‘Heaven on earth’ will make way for the great deception of the false signs, miracles, and Christian unity. I see a lot of error and mistakes and much deception coming through this ‘Heaven on earth’ (signs, revivals, ‘Eden’, etc.) issue. One reason why is because it isn’t biblical; the other reason is because many people (all in my experience) who cling to this ideology are not willing to lay down their lives in obedience. Deceived by not doing the very first thing (presenting one’s body as a living sacrifice– the reasonable service), such people must keep being deceived about everything else, including revivals, signs, and a Chrisian unity or Eden. Therefore, calling this thing ‘Eden’ is probably not a good idea in light of the fact that so many who are disobedient Abba rebellious are already seeking an Eden that is not God’s Eden (their disobedience tends to make them long the more for it in my experience).

  169. Brother Paul Dec 9th 2012

    Averyl… amen and amen to your last post. Well said… and brilliantly true! May your words be anointed and tug at the hearts of those among us who are self-righteous and unrepentant.

  170. Marilyn Crow Dec 9th 2012

    Roger.

    Trevor & I had a good laugh at `no stones from N.Z.` Though we know it would be hard to hit the `little island` off the coast of N.Z.!!!
    I so love N.Z. Have relations there & have been there many enjoyable, fruitful times. In the early `80`s I went to Paraparaum (spelling!!) at Te Nikea Bible College. Good grounding but we all know & is evident here we are all in the best school of His Holy Spirit.

    Valley Ant

    I was praying somehow we`d get to the discussion of heaven & earth & here you bring it up. Yes, like you say so clearly it is the `great deception` & `a lot of errors & mistakes,` come from it.

    We have all discerned the great errors concerning Salvation, Baptism in the Holy Spirit, Gifting, & the 5 fold Ministries. Andrew`s videos are a great help & have opened many people`s eyes over here.

    Now for the next great deception which is already upon us round the world. It is in relation to our destination – Heaven or Earth.
    There is a great pull & drive to keep us earth focussed.

    The world would have us save the earth (at the cost of people)
    The Dominionists would have us take over the earth & bring heaven to earth as Valley Ant so rightly discerned.
    And some false Evangelical & Pentecostal teaching have us coming back to earth from heaven.

    All earth focussed.
    Not in line with scripture.
    Does not produce the fruit of the Spirit because it is not based of truth (Christ`s character & His purposes)
    It is not the purpose for the Body of Christ.

    We are now moving in our discussion into the eternal Purposes of God which is the truth of Christ we are to stand on against this great deception, Valley Ant so timely has brought up.

    Looking forward to what the Holy Spirit brings out in everyone`s thoughts.

  171. Sheeja John Dec 9th 2012

    Averyl stated,
    There still seem to be some, further back on this topic, who consider themselves without sin in body & spirit.
    I commented that whoever thinks he is without sin is deceived.
    That only the Spirit within us is without sin.
    All our righteousness is as filthy rags.
    Jesus Himself said there is only one perfect, God Himself.

    Averyl, if you believe that you are called to bring in correction to somebody, please do it one on one. Speak directly and straight. We do not throw up words in the air. If we throw up words without being straight, it is the very proof that we are unsure as to where that thought is emnating from. To whomever you are speaking, have the courage to deal straight, if you are lead of God.

    With regard to 1 John 1:8, you need to get understanding as to what it means. Spend some time alone with God till you get revelation. Read 1 John, chapters 3 and 5; Hebrews 9:12-14 and Hebrews 10:1-18 and meditate.
    There is a need to unlearn that which has been taught in the so called Charismatic and Pentecostal churches, and to learn proper ways of dealing, the ways of our Lord and Saviour Yeshua.

    In Yeshua Ha Mashiach.
    ————————————————————————————————–
    The two witnesses are given into the hands of the evil one and are killed. Is that the result of their sin or is it because of the eternal purposes of God?

  172. Agazette Dec 9th 2012

    Valley Ant
    Included in this is the fact a lot of people are going to angels now for help. One individual said that they could not wait till they get to church to “see” all the angels there. Now when they pray they send an angel with the prayer to make it happen.

    Here’s the problem I see taking place and that is the charismatics have gone off the deep end. They use the Bible to confirm all their new revelations.
    In other words you see a lot of OT passages being pulled out of context to make a point about the NT passage they are using.

    Anybody can take an OT passage and make it say something that it is not saying.

    The book “the harbinger” is a good example of this. That book is so far from the truth but many swallow its message hook, line, and sinker.

    In eden we see the first sin committed that was cast upon humanity. Man’s rebellion which brought sin into the world, disease and every sickness known to man, the ground became thorns and man would work with the sweat in his face. Humanity turned to sin and wickedness.

    I don’t think were to get back to an eden experience rather were to look to a new heaven and a new earth that has been purged from sin and rebellion, where God will rule from a new Jerusalem.

    The pilgrims in the Bible were looking for a heavenly country where God has prepared a city for them.

    13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off were assured of them, embraced them and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. 14 For those who say such things declare plainly that they seek a homeland. 15 And truly if they had called to mind that country from which they had come out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But now they desire a better, that is, a heavenly country. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.

    Lord Bless

    One more thing, Valley Ant, I’m about eight or ten hours south of your area. Its good to know God has believers up in your area. My brother-in-law was an “upper”.

    God speed be with you.

  173. Marilyn
    Scriptures for the Bride/Body of Christ

    Rom 12:4 For as we have many members in one body, and all members have not the same office:
    12:5 So we, being many, are one body in Christ, and every one members one of another.

    1 Cor 10:16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?

    1 Cor 12:12 and following

    Eph 4:12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:

    There are many more scriptures on this but i think what i have posted is sufficent.

    Blessings.

  174. David Marsh Dec 9th 2012

    Dear Barnabas,
    “Daniel Marsh, can you confirm that it is your belief that a person that dies from cancer or is suffering mental health issues, or has suffered a divorce, have done so due to lack of faith?”

    Barnabas. The answer to your question is Yes and No.

    Did Jesus suffer persecution or His death on the cross due to a lack of faith ? We all know that the answer to that is NO.
    Jesus had perfect faith but it was the will of the Father that He undergo these trials, persecutions and death.
    I believe that it is God’s will that we are tested through trials. That our faith is tested to prove that we have faith.

    And then there are the times that we do not have faith or are not in faith and we can suffer for that as well.

    Your real question though, I believe, is. What is faith – exactly.

    Possibly up to one half of my 200 page book – details what faith is -exactly.
    If you or anyone else here wants to know what faith is – exactly. I would be pleased to email you a free pdf copy.

    Yours in Christ
    David Marsh. [email protected]

  175. Teshuva Dec 9th 2012

    What is faith?

    Faith is KNOWING He hears me.
    1John 5:15- This is the confidence we have in approaching God, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us- and we know that if He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have what we asked of Him.

    John 11;42 Yeshua said outside the tomb of Lazarus -
    I KNEW that You always hear Me- and then He raised the dead.

  176. Sheeja John Dec 9th 2012

    Verses for the Bride…..

    • Then I, John, saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a BRIDE adorned for her husband. – Rev. 21:2
    • Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls filled with the seven last plagues came to me and talked with me, saying, “COME I WILL SHOW YOU THE BRIDE AND THE LAMB’S WIFE.” And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and showed me the great city, THE HOLY JERUSALEM, DESCENDING OUT OF HEAVEN FROM GOD. – Rev. 21:9-10
    • And the Spirit and the BRIDE say, “Come!”…. – Rev. 22:17

  177. watchful Dec 9th 2012

    Heaven to me is wherever God is…..that’s why when the Holy Spirit was poured out the early believers were living in eternity even though still in the world. In eternity one has no need of possessions and like the song says the things of earth grow strangely dim in the light of His glory.

    He has the ability to pour His Spirit out any time He wants, I believe He can make His Presence felt and seen and every knee to bow anytime – and yet He waits, in His wisdom, for us to be ready, and His timing. It is not about making people blissful, the Father is doing deeper and more complex things and so we wait upon Him….it is for His purposes, His glory, the fulfillment of His word.

  178. Teshuva Dec 9th 2012

    Sheeja John,
    Thank you for posting Rev. 22:17.

    I was meditating on the Lord last week, and I heard these words. “The spirit and the bride say come”.
    So I just started singing the words over and over, and over.
    The spirit and the bride say come. As I was singing this, I then heard, this is the two witnesses of Rev.
    Have you any witness on this?

  179. AGazette Dec 9th 2012

    David Marsh wrote: What is Faith?

    Hebrews 11:1 Now Faith is the substance of things hoped for the evidence of things not seen.

    Christians are to:
    Walk by Faith and not by sight.

    David I may email you soon just to chat if your up for it.

    Lord Bless

  180. AGazette Dec 9th 2012

    Watchful

    Well said! My sentiments exactly.

  181. The church is not desperate for Jesus. We have programs instead of prayer, and replace the Holy Spirit with the works of the flesh, creating templates of “successful” churches where people think they’re saved but know nothing about true repentance, holiness, and the fear of God.

    The first century church had one thing we do not. They had persecution and that was one of the greatest forces in building the church. It’s easy to sing hymns, show up on Sunday, and hang out with the church. It’s another thing when your life is on the line.

    I don’t think anything will change until we see real persecution and it costs something to be a Christian. Sad, but true. We are a church ruled by intellectually, doctrinally argumentative men who have little if any power, little if any faith, and no real demonstration of the power of the Holy Spirit in their lives or their churches because they have quenched God’s spirit for so long that they don’t even know what God is doing anymore. And I have to wonder if they really know God.

  182. ValleyAnt Dec 9th 2012

    Marilyn, the whole world generally knows what’s true or false, real or fake. It doesn’t take spiritual discernment to say what I did. It’s when people become Christians (i.e. enter into the fellowship of the religious spirit) that they are blinded by religion (i.e. the desire to live for the flesh and call it God) and can no longer see the evidence of true and false that non-Christians readily see. And we haven’t all discerned ‘the errors’; ‘the errors’ aren’t all sitting out in plain sight waiting to be seen.

    Gazette, when Philip told his brother Nathanael about Jesus from Nazareth, the Messiah, Nathanael replied in disbelief, “Can anything good come out of Nazareth?” This is the same sentiment now for America: “Can anything godly come out of America.” With most people searching for Eden (i.e. looking to further abandon their responsibility to God, etc.) and signs that’ll make them feel warm fuzzies, godliness will indeed come out of this country but only in the bodies of a small remnant. Defiled terms like ‘Eden’and ‘signs and wonders’ need to be redefined, because the heart tends toward the glorification of everything but God. Eden and signs and wonders have their place among the Saints; they just aren’t what most people think they are (i.e. what most people want them to be). It sounds like you’re in Ohio or Indiana. I didn’t grow up in Michigan, but I’m guessing that by ‘upper’ you mean the Upper Peninsula. I’m waiting on God to plant me with those true believers in this area. As Watchful said, we are all waiting.

  183. ValleyAnt Dec 9th 2012

    Judy, you put this daunting and apparent truth well. You are being kind; those men don’t know God and therefore are so bereft of power and ufaith that it’s criminal. The humbling thing is that everyone comes to know God basically the same way (unless one is a little child), and it’s through suffering. Because of this, I’m able to leave the judgment of unfaithful leaders to God, because no matter how much we preach that we must suffer and die to the flesh, we aren’t masochists and simply weren’t originally created to suffer… and so we naturally hate it.

    A pastor is supposed to lay down his life for his sheep. Pastors who have no intention of doing this don’t know God and don’t want to suffer the cost of coming to know Him. As you said, it’ll take persecution to make the Church. Talk and pretense are cheap; it’s always “another thing”when one’s life is on the line.

  184. Barnabas Dec 9th 2012

    Thankyou for the sincerity of your response,Daniel Marsh. I have already received a copy of the document you provide, that is why I asked the question. It may help you possibly, if I confirm my reservation that Benny Hinn is referenced.

    Having experienced the death of a loved one to cancer at an early age and been told that they were ‘cursed’ by a person whose prayer of ‘faith’ wasn’t answered. The prayer I offered I posted above. Maybe it didn’t contain enough faith, but I know the Lord was faithful to us both throughout the journey to their last breathe on earth.

    Having experienced mental health issues and been told fellowship was the solution by a person of ‘faith’ who promptly walked away and made no further contact. Maybe I’m not faithful enough but Jesus has remained faithful to me.

    Having experienced a friend being divorced by a person of ‘ faith’ who attends a group that purport to have a ‘faith’ ministry of ‘revival’ yet accept divorce over reconciliation. In fact responded in silence when counsel was sort. Then no support from the the groups of ‘faith’ apart from ‘its happened get over it.’ And this from a group where ‘revival’ has been happening for at least 8 years.

    So my question isn’t what is faith, as I know the faithful One is the rock upon which I stand. How else could such a storm be endured. The question is exactly as it is written.

    I find myself wondering is it really lack of faith on the part of myself and my friends. Have we really struggled to get the right words and alignment of activity or is it plainly an experience of disgrace from the ‘faithful’ that we are enduring with the faithful One.

    I am comforted that Jesus wept more than me at the death of the love one and that they are at rest. I am comforted that He suffers more than me with me in my mental health. I am also comforted that He weeps more than us at the death of my friend’s marriage.

    I walk humbly with others who journey a valley of tears beneath a shadow of the mantra of ‘lack of faith’ as abuse from the ‘faithful’, but resting under the shadow of His wing.

    So I can sincerely say, David, that I find no comfort in the words of response. No taste of ‘Eden’.

  185. AGazette Dec 9th 2012

    Valley Ant

    I am surprised at how many pastors try to protect the system and call anyone who speaks out against it as church bashers, or use other terms. It is so obvious the church system has side stepped the Bible and are now following the creeds of men. The ministry should be following Paul’s example and warn the flock of the deceptions.

    They in the system want to silence everyone who stands for what the Bible plainly says to avoid. I do not think it is wrong to warn those who are being deceived by the cunning craftiness of men. At the same time I realize there is a balance and know the Lord does have sheep in these institutions and they are unaware of any dangers.

    This same attitude happened during the reformation when the RCC tried to silence Luther and others who saw what the Bible was saying concerning salvation. They were persecuted and attacked for taking a stand on Gods Word.

    Yes I’m in Indiana, and Yes the upper peninsula is what I was referring to, I thought it was humorous that they call themselves the “Uppers”.

    Lord Bless

  186. Fellowship may be a small part of the answer to mental health issues, but the biggest part of it is getting delivered by God from the emotional and spiritual oppressions, as well as confessing our own reactions (sometimes sin) to the things and people we have been crushed by.

    If Jesus came to set the captives free, why are so few delivered? It’s a good question and worth praying about. If he came to let out those who are in prison (and mental health issues are a prison), why, again, are so few set free?

    The church has no clue. And sometimes the church prefers that those with mental illness issues stay out of their buildings. It’s dirty work setting the captives free and most Christian leaders have no clue how God does it or how they can be a part of it. And many don’t care. It’s easier to send them to the psychologist.

    Imagine if Jesus had told the sick, infirm, and imprisoned to go see a psychologist.

  187. AGazette Dec 9th 2012

    Preach it Sister!

  188. ValleyAnt Dec 9th 2012

    Barnabas, I don’t know the answers to your questions about faith and healing, etc., but I do know where they are usually contained; they’re usually received through revelation in the context of genuine apostolic fellowship. God said, “Call to Me, and I will answer you and tell you great and mighty things which you do not know” (Jer. 33:3). This includes ALL things we don’t know but need to or desire to know. If God says to call and He will reveal but you call and He doesn’t reveal, God certainly isn’t reneging on His own Word. What, then, might be the problem.

    Firstly, let me point out that Jesus said, “I have come that they may have [abundant Life].” He didn’t fully explain, however, that this abundant Life is usually had not in isolation but in the CONTEXT of genuine fellowship among likeminded brethren as we see in the Book of Acts and in this OT passage: “… when brethren dwell together in UNITY… there the Lord command[s] the blessing: [abundant Life]” (Ps. 133).

    Secondly, the Bible says about God’s ‘future’ works, “Surely, the LORD does nothing unless He reveals His secrets to His servants the prophets” (Amos 3:7). When, however, God is revealing solutions to present issues and mysteries, He often does so through His servants the apostles. I watched a show several times called ‘Ask the Pastor’ in which people call in to a panel of five or six pastors who presume to know the answers to people’s problems, puzzles, and quandaries. Pastors, however, aren’t given the gift of revelation to know mysteries and answers to unanswered and unsolved issues; apostles are. (This doesn’t mean no one else can have this Grace; it is simply given first and foremost to apostles.) If this wasn’t true, then the lack of true apostles today wouldn’t so perfectly coincide with the extreme lack of solutions, answers, and resolutions to so many unanswered problems and questions. Churches can’t fully heal anyone, and the mentally ill, psychologically disturbed, and spiritually oppressed are sent to psychiatrists and psychologists, because this gift (apostles/revelation) is not in or allowed in the churches.

    Watching the pastors and their incomplete answers in the show I mentioned above, I was always pained and called in several times to ask them why they presumed to have the Grace (ability) that the Lord does not give to pastors; somehow, they never got around to answering my question (of course). God doesn’t spell a lot of things out: “Call to Me, and I will answer you and show you…” doesn’t tell us that today, most of the time, He answers and works through people. When He reveals hidden things regarding the future, He usually does so through prophets; but when He reveals hidden things regarding right now, He usually does so through His apostles.

    If you can ‘put two and two together’ from the Bible, history, and your and others’ experiences, you will begin to make sense of why the answers and solutions to so many issues and problems are missing. Paul said about himself and his apostolic company, “Men ought to consider us as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God” (1Cor. 4:1). He also said (paraphrase), “God gave me a specific Grace for you all by revealing to me the mysteries that I need to reach and help you in ALL ways. This Grace (ability, gift) is why I understand the things I do for your sakes. These mysteries are not revealed to anyone but apostles and prophets first (who then reveal them to others)” (Eph. 3:2-5). In our days when everything is about hierarchy, many people resist these truths (that God would reserve certain things for some and not for others); however, if what I’ve shared and what the Bible says and shows aren’t true, then God is a liar (eg. “Call to Me…”) and is withholding His Grace (His goodness) from us.

    The gift of wisdom and revelation (a multi-layered ability to see and understand hidden things regarding the things of God, satan’s kingdom, people, and things in general) is given first to apostles (having it, Paul could then pray for others, like the Ephesians, to receive it also). Because of this magnitude of the gift, pride can easily befall an apostle. Paul records for us that not only did he suffer much but that God allowed a special “messenger from satan” to torment him due to the gift of revelation; the gift produces results and solutions, and the enemy is adamantly opposed to its manifestation in any place.

    Again, I can’t answer your questions (I can, however, say that the “It’s because you don’t have faith” condemnation is straight from satan and false to the core according to the ministry of Jesus Christ Himself), but maybe I can point you toward the right way: if you still have these questions, ask God to bring into your life people who will have the answers. We are a body, therefore, He knows we need others and doesn’t condemn our need: “If anyone lacks wisdom, let him ask of God who gives LIBERALLY to all WITHOUT FINDING FAULT, and it will be given to him” (Jas. 1:5). Amen.

  189. There was a time, back in the 1980′s, our church, and all the scriptures and books I was studying, great subject, was on healing. On my left wrist was a ugly mole that the doctors called cancerous. One morning during prayer, I prayed for it to be removed. I not only believed it would be, in addition, I was given the time and an addition ‘the mole would dissappear and a “freckal” would re-mind me of the inoperable mole. I told my family, all my friends, and No-one, not a soul paid any attention to me. I wasn’t dissappointed, I was just beside myself with joy. To the day, it all happened as ‘I’ (He) said it would. My faith in “Him” has not waivered since.

    I’ve gone through 2 major concers (besides the mole dissappearing) I had kidney cancer, (right one removed) in 2001. Two years later, it was colon-rectal cancer. I knew that I knew it was not my time to leave this earth. My faith and my Savior confirmed it. It was a rough time to go through in my 70 years, but faith in the Lord outweighs all other things in life. I love Him so. He is my Shepherd, I shall not want.

  190. ValleyAnt Dec 9th 2012

    Gazette, those pastors will have to answer to God, and so many who have already passed already have heard, “I never knew you.” ‘Blessed are those who are slotted for eternal Life, who, after living a life of unfaithful stewardship, are given another chance to live.’ However, no leader needs to roll the dice and bet on God’s mercy to rescue him from a chosen life of sin.

    Judy, again, you have said it. You said, “If Jesus came to set the captives free, why are so few delivered? It’s a good question and worth praying about. If He came to let out those who are in prison (and mental health issues are a prison), why, again, are so few set free?” Amen. Those questions need to be answered. “Is there no Balm in Gilead?” Many dishonestly answer that indeed there’s balm and that “people are being healed!” The honest response to their dishonesty is, “Why then is there no recovery for the health of the daughter of [My] people” (Jer. 8:22). You’ve asked the right questions. If we hope for anything with a semblance of the fragrance of the presence of Eden on earth, we must discover the answers. Dishonest Christians don’t care for the answers, but honest Christians can’t hide from the fact that honest questions beg honest answers, and that today, in the churches and the world, honest questions are being asked.

  191. Barnabas Dec 9th 2012

    Thank you, Judy for your part response that relates in particular to my health.

    Yes, genuine fellowship will be assistance to anybody, however as you imply if the person is not received where they are and instead expected to fit into a perceived spiritual model first, then further harm can be done.

    I sadly find that your assertion that their is a definite need for deliverance from oppression of various sorts unhelpful. Especially, when the oppressors are ‘faith’ful people. I lose track of how many responses are that I’m clearly to blame for not being delivered in prayer. Even wondering whether my loved one’s cancer came from their caring for me. To add further, could I have colluded with a Jezabel spirit when defending my friend’s marriage.

    Yes, I do see a Consultant psychologist and Consultant psychiatrist. Your assumption that they are not purveyors of truth, reality and healing is of no comfort. In addition the implication that my sin has contributed with out any knowledge of me, is unhelpful. Maybe, you could be kind enough to identify such fruits in my posts. Am I mistaken in missing any direct word of comfort ?

    Sadly, AGazette your encouragement is if no help either.

    So in sharing my story I find further burden not through my choice. God alone knows why. Except maybe a over sensitive spirit on my part for seeking compassion. I’m so glad He comforts the poor in spirit and those that mourn. A personal with physical illness or injury is able to go to a doctor without spiritual assertions being made, but emotional, mental, spiritual, volitional and social illness from abuse becomes the domain of the ‘spiritual’.

    Poor perception of personal space created by lack of external validation and duty of care is of little help apart from confirming the poverty of wide that exists.
    An offer of prayer for a fellow pilgrim attempting to walk free from grave clothes to grace clothes may have been helpful. But hey your forgiven.

  192. Barnabas Dec 9th 2012

    Personal should be person.
    Wide should be wisdom.

  193. Sheeja John Dec 9th 2012

    “COME I WILL SHOW YOU THE BRIDE AND THE LAMB’S WIFE.” – Rev. 21:9
    As we all know, there is a difference between ‘Wife’ and ‘Bride’. ‘Wife’ is the one that has become one with ‘the Man’, (spiritually) whereas ‘Bride’ has not known ‘the Man’ yet. The bride is enamoured by his beauty (speaking of Yeshua) and has a deep desire to know Him, therefore she is preparing herself by learning more about Him and aligning herself to His desire. But Rev. 21:10 states that both, the Lamb’s wife and the Bride together form the ‘New Jerusalem’.
    In Rev, 12:13-17 we read that the dragon was enraged that he could not harm the woman and therefore he goes out to make war with the the rest of her offspring that keeps the commandment of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. Here in these verses it is the woman that makes up the two witnesses. ‘The woman’ has the Spirit and the Word of God..which are the two witnesses of God.
    In the Gospel of John Yeshua says, “And I will pray the Father, and He will give you ANOTHER HELPER, that He may abide with you forever.(John 14:16) As per this verse, Yeshua Ha Mashiach and the Holy Spirit are YAHWEH’s HELPERS. They are the two witnesses of YAHWEH. In 1 John 5:7 we read, ‘For there are three that bear witness in heaven: The Father, the Word and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one.
    Jeremiah 31:22 reads, ‘…For the Lord has created a new thing in the earth—A woman shall encompass a man.”
    Now you might ask, Who this woman is? My response is: Wait, time will reveal and make things clear, witnessing to your spirit, the mysteries of God.

  194. Sheeja John Dec 9th 2012

    The problem with the churches and their leaders are:
    1. They try to save others when they themselves are not saved. You cannot give to others, what you yourselves do not have.
    2. They try to judge others before judging themselves.
    3. They try to teach what they themselves don’t understand.

    “Is not My word like a fire?” says the Lord, “and like a hammer that breaks the rock in pieces?” “Therefore behold, I am against the prophets,” says the Lord, “who steal My words everyone from his neighbour…” – Jeremiah 23:29-30

    Is this not the Word of the Lord….
    “I will send out the curse,” says the Lord of hosts; “it shall enter the house of the thief and the house of the one who swears falsely by My name. It shall remain in the midst of his house and consume it, with its timber and stones.” – Zechariah 5:4

  195. AGazette Dec 9th 2012

    Barnabas,
    I did not make any comment in reference to your situation. Mainly I was addressing what Valley Ant and others were talking about in their comments on another subject.

    I did read your comment and my heart went out to your situation. I had thought of responding but to be truthful I knew not how to respond and I had no prompting of the Spirit on what to share that might help you.

    I was thinking about your situation and thought of my father in law. He trusted God for a healing where he had gang green in the feet and had diabetes. His foot was horribly turned black and a doctor told him if he did not amputate it he would die. In that situation he trusted God for healing by faith. Someone in the family took pictures of the foot that was swollen, black and starting to rot.

    After several weeks we were all amazed when his foot started to return to normal. The flesh was restored as new flesh and the foot was completely restored to normal. Even the doctor was totally amazed that something like this had happened.

    Maybe five or six years later the gang green returned even worse then the first time and he was in intense pain. He told us he was trusting the Lord to heal his foot a second time but this next time he died from the condition. In his situation I know that the second time around he was harboring bitterness against someone.

    Whether this was the situation that hindered his healing I cannot say for sure as I do not know all the details. Just sharing what I heard and saw in his case.

    I do not have the answers why some are healed and others are not or some receive healing at times and at other times are not healed.

    Only God has all the answers.

    There a lot of things going on in the world that I do not understand and sometimes people bring up things when you are trying to witness to them of salvation.

    For instance;

    Why do so many go to bed hungry at night and in this country we have an over abundance of food?

    Why do children suffer and are casualties of senseless wars?

    Why do some go to hell and some are chosen to go to heaven?

    I could go on and on with the “Whys”.

    The only thing I do know is that God in His wisdom has chosen to allow certain things to take place in the earth and who am I to question what is happening?

    Anyway in my comments as I stated, I was not referring to your situation but I do emphasize with what you are going through. I do not know if there is anything that I could possibly say that would help, but if it was anything it would be to get before the Lord and present to Him your petition in prayer that He would show you what you need to do to be set free.

    Lord Bless

  196. Barnabas Dec 9th 2012

    I’m pleased that you can testify to long life through I’ll health Joan W. Hopefully the medical people and not the church removed your kidney!
    Stand firm til He calls.

    Thanks for your valiant thoughts ValleyAnt. Where are the apostles could be the call. As you say humbly journeying with the Lord through the questions and the mystery is a healthy route, relying on the wisdom He imparts it. The treasures that He provides in our hearts equip us for the journey. What I perceive as ‘content meant’. Celebrating each day as a passover of daily bread and Christmas of incarnation. A gift of a day at a time. I find great comfort in ministry of Joni. I wonder how many times people have attempted to heal her. In addition, Rest Ministries who are made of people journeying with complex health needs. There is also a group Waving not Drowning on the Ship of Fools that have people journeying with mental health needs.

  197. Barnabas Dec 9th 2012

    Thankyou Agazette for your sincere and extensive response. Thankyou for your sympathy and prayer. I interpreted your comment as a support of Judy’s response. Thanx for clarity. The gospels show Jesus challenging the Pharisees at presumptive spirits in addressing consequences of sin. Paul gives the example of journeying in weakness with grace. I like the phrase ‘meet people where they are not where you expect them to be’.

  198. Barnabas Dec 9th 2012

    Sheeja John, could it be that we of have majored on loving the Lord, loving our neighbours at the expense of teaching on loving ourselves as the Father does. In fact if we truly loved others as we do ourselves we wouldn’t be loving.
    I heed and accept the challenge of correct weights, measures and boundaries. I am slightly unsure as to the reference to curses.

  199. Teshuva Dec 9th 2012

    Thank you Sheeja for your answer.
    I have seen this dragon thing in a vision a couple of times.
    My understanding of the dragon, is that it tries to bring a resistance to the truth, and that revelation of the truth is what removes him. The enemy and his identity as the serpent, leviathan, dragon, carnal mind etc. are different disguises used to intimidate, and bring a lie, deception.
    The only understanding I have for the woman encompassing a man is she establishes a wall around him. Like the temple in which He dwells which is us.
    The foundation is love, and the walls are patience and self control. These all protect the heart of the Lord.
    What I have from visions and words is but fragmented though I know that He will complete the puzzle and bring forth revelation.

  200. ValleyAnt Dec 9th 2012

    Thanks, Barnabas. Before, “Where are the apostles” should be “What is the vision.” What is it that God wants. I’ll give one clue: the vision is not division (pun intended) or isolation.

    In Hab. 2, God says to Habakkuk, “Write down the vision, and make it plain, so that he may run who reads it.” Many are crawling and slithering along, barely making it today, because we have no vision. As we all know, people perish without vision, God’s People are destroyed (come under satan’s thieving, killing, and destroying) and go into and remain in captivity when we don’t have pertinent knowledge (rhema words or present revelation, truth that makes free). It’s God’s vision for us that begins to restore us to proper alignment and with it healing, deliverance, and solutions of all kinds.

    So, what is God’s vision for us? Actually, when He wrote it down, He made it plain: Jesus prayed that we may be one as He and the Father are One. Of course this is God’s vision for His Church; it’s every parent’s vision for his/her children!

    From the Beginning, God does everything He does as ‘one’. Whether there’s only one entity or billions, God always operates as ‘One’. “Let us make man in Our Image.” Man was created as a tri-partite unity (three parts but still ‘one’). When God created Adam, Adam was able to relate to animals as things were perfect; but Adam was man’s picture of ‘one’ and not God’s. God then created Eve and, rather than having ‘two’, He immediately made the two to become ‘one’. We see this oneness with everything in creation, and we see it with God and Israel and Jesus and the Church.

    Our upbringing has trained us to be independent outwardly and continually dependent inwardly. God wants us to be individuals in every sense of the term but to entwine in unity as ‘one’. We often can’t see or understand our need for others, and because society frowns on need, we often don’t see when our problems are tied to our isolation or outward independence. Married couples suffer in silence, etc., because they are alone. People don’t trust others; people are afraid of rejection; etc. None of these changes God’s vision and the principles that hold promise only where there is oneness: “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor”; “If any two of you agree about anything”; “How can two walk together unless they are agreed”.

    I won’t say the answer is unity, because God’s definition of unity still hasn’t settled in for many of us in our independent times; I will say that God’s vision for us is unity, and it begins “where two or more are gathered” in His Name. After all, we can, simply by glancing through the Bible and employing a process of elimination, find out what we haven’t yet tried that those in the NT did. We see with Jesus and the Father, and in Jn. 15, that it is union with God (and therefore with those who are in Christ) that effects anything in the spirit and that we can do nothing apart from it. However, again, unity is God’s vision for us. We can’t make it happen by trying hard. We don’t each have everything (though society teaches everyone to strive to be independent of others this way), therefore, since God gave some to be this or that and gave some this gift and some that gift, we can do nothing but confirm God’s Word and wisdom in that, just as God created the universes to function well when in right order (and things don’t work well when out of order), the Body can only work well when we do things in order “according to the Pattern”. When it all comes down, with some not experiencing God’s promises and healing (etc.) and some experiencing them, God will always be vindicated: “Sanctify them in the truth; Your Word is truth” (Jn. 17:17). Amen. But we hope that more and more, people will experience the positive side of the truth much more often than the negative side.

  201. Sheeja John Dec 9th 2012

    Barnabas,
    Go through Zechariah 5:1-4.(The Flying Scroll). If it does not help, then I will elaborate.
    ———————————————————————————————
    No one has the right to take the office (authority) of an apostle, prophet, pastor, teacher or evangelist. Even Yeshua did not take upon Himself the Apostleship or the office of High Priest. In Hebrews 5:4-5 we read, ‘And no man takes this honor to himself, BUT HE WHO IS CALLED BY GOD, just as Aaron was. So also Christ did not glorify himself to become high Priest, but it was He who said to Him: “You are My Son, Today I have begotten You.”
    But what do we see today?

    REMEMBER THAT OUR GOD IS A CONSUMING FIRE. – Hebrews 12:29

  202. Agazette Dec 9th 2012

    Barnabus
    I see why you took it that way now, my apologies that was a “tongue in cheek remark” about the way Judy was sharing it. I should of wrote more clarifying what I was stating.

    I have a friend dealing with mental issues and I understand a little of what you are enduring. We have been in constant prayer and fasting off and on for her. It has been a real life battle for her.

    I have seen over the years that it is easy for people to give pat answers not realizing the whole scope of the matter.

    Just remember God is for you and not against you and He is working in your behalf. He has nothing but good in store for you as you look to Him for answers.

    Lord Bless your week and may the peace of God that passes all understanding dwell in your heart.

  203. Barnabas Dec 9th 2012

    Thanks for the further observations Valleyant. They link back in my opinion to Andrews seed to the thread.

    The vision encompasses the Pre-fall experience labelled as Eden, the Pentecost experience in Acts and the correct weights and measures. My personal guidance at present is gently, safely within bounds with appropriate disclosure. Clearly because thankfully I am in recovery. As previously posted on another thread I also seek guidance from restorers of the paths and rebuilders of the walls. Note Daniel, Joseph, Abraham, Nehemiah, Elijah’s restoration with sleep and food.
    The journey of the Emmaus Rd. Drinking from the right cup and taking on the appropriate yoke. Maintaining the unity that Holy Spirit has already birthed in us. Sharing the treasures Christ has placed in us.
    Taking time to meet those stood by the well. The voiceless, the orphan, the bereaved, the homeless. Poverty of authority, self value, family and compassionate community. Fresh bread appropriately prepared and shared. …………… Sincerity, humility.

  204. Barnabas Dec 9th 2012

    Thanks for the further clarity, Agazette. I’d encourage your friend to be gentle and safe with herself, as she seeks the unforced rhythm of His grace.

  205. Barnabas Dec 9th 2012

    Please elaborate Sheeja John.

  206. Marilyn Crow Dec 9th 2012

    Roger

    Thankyou for you encouragement.

    Barnabas

    Glad to hear you are in recovery. All the best. I have chronic fatigue – immune virus, & over the nearly 30 years I`m learning to pace myself. I have come closer to the Lord & learning to trust Him more.

    Ken

    Thankyou again for your notes & scriptures on the Body of Christ – good truths. However I did ask for scriptures specifically on the Body being the Bride.

    The point being that there are none.

    The Apostle Paul never wrote that the Body of Christ is the Bride.
    It is an error & needs to be challenged in people`s thinking.

    Everyone.

    Over here in Aussieland this false belief has led to what people call `Jesus my boyfriend,` songs. Romantic, sexual. earthly -untrue, unholy & disrespectful to our Lord & Master.

    As a woman I find it strange that men would accept being told they are `a woman/bride.` It is not in Paul`s writings. Scripture shows that it is Israel who is the `Bride,` which leads them to the New Jerusalem, (God`s purpose for Israel) which comes down out of heaven.

    God through Paul, tells the Body a different purpose. Our goal is `not on the earth,` or `coming down out of,` but the `upward call,` the `on top call. ` (Phil. 3: 14)

    I pray we read & have a heart to understand that calling & desire to look further into it, like the Bereans. (Acts 17: 10 & 11)

  207. Averyl Dec 9th 2012

    Sheeja John, – The Apostle Paul did not always name those he was alluding to when pointing the fingure & correcting them.

    1 John 1:8-10 says “If we say that we have no sin, we decieve ourselves, and the truth is not in us.
    If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.
    If we say that we have not sinned, we make Him a liar, and His word is not in us”.
    The only way we can say that doesn’t apply to born again Christians is by using the last verse as in the past tense.

    In Philippians 3:12 says “Not that I have already attained, or AM ALREADY PERFECTED; but I press on,that I may lay hold of that which Jesus Christ has already laid hold of me.”

    In Romans 7:15-25, he says “For what I am doing I do not understand. For what I will do, that I do not practice;but what I hate, that I do.
    If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with tha law that it is good.
    But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
    For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh), nothing good dwells.; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.
    For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I I will not to do, that I practice.
    Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
    I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good.
    For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man.
    But I see another law in my members.
    O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
    I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.”

    Romans 8:8 “Those who are in the flesh cannot please God”, read the whole chapter for context.

    This is what I’ve been trying to say about our eyes of flesh deceiving us, we need to ask God to open our spiritual eyes so we are no longer blind & bound, Romans 11:5-8.

    We have no desire to justify sin, but believe that God by His grace and patience, through faith, forgives & justifies us when we recognise & repent from our sin.

  208. ValleyAnt Dec 9th 2012

    Barnabas, I’m glad that was helpful even if a little.

    Gazette, I was going to ask how your fellowship is in Indiana. Are you part of a fellowship, a church, or none of the above. The last church I went to was a house church. It provided ample proof that ‘church’ doesn’t work automatically when it’s in someone’s home.

  209. Marilyn, thank you for yor reply, it is late here in Nothern Ireland, so maybe reply tomorrow, all being well.

    Blessings.

  210. Averyl Dec 9th 2012

    Barnabas, – I’m surprised that you have a problem with your mental health. You don’t write as one who has!

    I have yet to meet a Christian who has their thinking 100%, we all have some quirks! This is one reason why this site is so valuable, we help each other put on the mind of Christ as we see that we’ve been off course in our beliefs. It’s not easy to humble ourselves & admit our mistakes, – repentance!

    Our mental health can involve problems with sin, be it ungodly activity, erroneous beliefs, & all types of hang-ups, bondages.
    I subjected myself & my family to many years of stinking thinking, but God is so patient & gradually healed my seared mind, & still is.

    We are saved by ongoing faith, by grace, it is not of ourselves but the gift of God. We are His workmanship, He is the potter, we are the clay.
    We need to be soft & malliable so he can mould us, instead of hard, dry, & rigid.

    I hope your psyciatrist is a Christian, – Psalm 1:1 says “Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly”.

    I don’t want to come across as another of Job’s friends, but here are 2 texts which I cling to; –
    Job 13:15, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him”.

    Job 23:10, “He knows the way that I take;
    When He has tested me, I shall come forth as gold”.

  211. Averyl Dec 9th 2012

    Don’t forget to put on the whole armor of God to protect ourselves against the fiery darts of the enemy who will try to accuse us of not being saved etc.etc..
    Especially the helmet of salvation to protect our mind from the above, & the breastplate of righteousness which we are qualified to wear when we believe the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.

  212. Barnabas Dec 9th 2012
  213. watchful Dec 9th 2012

    Blessed are they whose hearts are set on pilgrimmage…

    This morning after catching up with the comments I did not have time to respond because of having to leave for work, but on the way to work I was filled with an inexplicable quiet joy and coming home this evening it was still bubbling up and I could hardly wait to get back here. Jesus is in our midst, and I’m just blessed by your company as we share our piece of the puzzle to see how it fits. It reminds me of the vision that Roger shared of the living stones trying to find a spot and adjust themselves to fit in the temple like so many pieces of a puzzle, since we after all are living epistles. As we ask, seek, knock and find, we are being found, by Him whom our hearts love.

    Just some more little pieces to see how they fit:

    Question: Did Adam need to walk by faith in the Garden (before the fall)?

    Something to ponder: Satan was so miffed that Job was living righteously that he wanted to test and needle Job almost to death to see if he could get him to fall and turn his back on God. God let Satan do this to Job. Why?

    Quote:

    Eph 3:8 Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;

    Eph 3:9 And to make all [men] see what [is] THE FELLOWSHIP OF THE MYSTERY, WHICH FROM THE BEGINNING OF THE WORLD HATH BEEN HID IN GOD, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

    Eph 3:10 TO THE INTENT THAT NOW UNTO THE PRINCIPALITIES AND POWERS IN HEAVENLY PLACES MIGHT BE KNOWN BY THE CHURCH THE MANIFOLD WISDOM OF GOD.

    Eph 3:11 ACCORDING TO THE ETERNAL PURPOSE WHICH HE PURPOSED IN CHRIST JESUS OUR LORD:

    Eph 3:12 In whom we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of him.

    Eph 3:13 Wherefore I desire that ye FAINT NOT AT MY TRIBULATIONS FOR YOU, which is your glory.

    (Point: tribulations are often intercessory for others, filling up that which is behind of the sufferings of Christ)

    Faith: (just one aspect of it besides the others that were expressed) Blessed are you who have not seen and yet believe. Pilgrimmage.

  214. watchful Dec 10th 2012

    ..a thought just came, it relates to the scriptures I just quoted: “the fellowship of the mystery” . What just came to me is “the fellowship of His sufferings”.

    Love to all the saints, especially the suffering ones. He has a purpose in it.

  215. Barnabas Dec 10th 2012

    Averyl, it saddening to me to observe your attempts to place me in boxes that you can grasp. I am touched that you cannot believe that I present mental health symptoms. They are more than quirks and not mistaken in diagnosis or distorted by me being off course in my beliefs. I recognise the mind of Christ that gives me the sincerity to know there is an issue beyond my present control. Much as a person cannot force a broken leg to mend. It’s not as the result of lack of repentance.

    It does not involve problems with sin, be it ungodly activity, erroneous beliefs, & all types of hang-ups, bondages. It simply shows the impact of injury from an indivual attempting to respond to numerous structural examples of disgrace. Too the extent that at one point I had no functional conscious control over my body, mind and sprit. I simply had to trust that Christ in me would bring stability and clarity. I choose not to disclose the full context. Except to say the journey has given me clear insight into complex health issues and how they are responded to by the carer and the cared for. The additional insight also of a journey of bereavement of life and marriage.

    I agree we are saved by ongoing faith, by grace, and that it is not of ourselves but the gift of God. That we are His workmanship, He is the potter, we are the clay. I agree we need to be soft & malliable so he can mould us, but refute that I am hard, dry, & rigid. Unless you’d refuse a plaster cast to heal a broken leg.

    I confirm that I have not enquired as to the faith of the psychiatrist and psychologist. Your scriptural reference is not relevant in this professional context. Again would you refuse having a cast placed upon a broken leg by a non-christian. I am familiar with your line of thought and find it unhelpful.

    Your concluding quotes appear to assert I lack trust and understanding of the Lord’s purpose. Again I disagree. If I didn’t trust and recognise a purpose I would not be in my present context.

    So in short I find little comfort in your words apart from the effort that you took to right your comments.

  216. Marilyn – you say “..chronic fatigue – immune virus..” if by that you mean M.E./CFS or similar, then me too diagnosed in ’88, and I empathise.

    Barnabus – part of the above ‘illness’ is depression, so I sympathise with your questions :-)

    To you both, and any others who need the encouragement – I can say (with Marilyn) that I have learnt to pace myself, and praise God for this ‘tribulation’, as it has brought me closer to God.

    Lord Jesus desires a personal relationship with each one of us, who abide in Him, this ‘illness’ has caused me to press into Him – and I am grateful, and give Christ Jesus the praise and glory for His knowing my ‘need’.

    Along with the scriptures that Averyl quoted, and there are others as well – explaining that the plans and purposes that God has for each one of us will be fulfilled as He knows best – may I share this from Romans

    Rom 5:1-5 “..Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; And patience, experience; and experience, hope: And hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us..”

    In His love, for each one of us,
    Roger

  217. Barnabas Dec 10th 2012

    Yes, watchful Ephesians celebrates the riches we have in Christ.
    However, it is often only the first 5 words of this verse that are preached upon.

    Philippians 3:10 That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;

  218. Barnabas Dec 10th 2012

    Thankyou Roger.

  219. A few thoughts here: looking back at various ‘tribulations’ in my life – some Lord Jesus has healed me of, a ruptured disc, and Menieres disease. Others, for me, have required medical intervention.

    Having seen x-rays, before and after, of the ‘ruptured disc’ – I can declare, confess – Lord Jesus healed this cartiledge, made it as new, as with Menieres, I no longer have incapacitating dizziness. All praise and glory are to Christ Jesus my Lord.

    I also had a perforated bowel, which required surgery, two ops., over a 3 month period.

    With the first two, (disc and menieres) at the time, I could only look at how they affected me.

    During my two stays in hospital, (bowel ops.) whilst recovering, I was able to look around the ward, and pray for others, and what they were going through.

    For ME/CFS there is no cure, except Lord Jesus. So, whilst learning to pace myself, I can also look outward at others, and either pray, or, physically help – as I am able.

    This long term illness, has taken me from looking consistently at my’self’ to a place where I may look more at the needs of others.

    Please understand, this is how my walk with Lord Jesus has been – it will be different for others. I must not insist, that my walk is anyone elses..

    **

    Thankyou Barnabus, and Watchful, for sharing that Scripture in Phillipians.

  220. My apologies – Barnabas, not ‘bus :-(

  221. Barry Schmidt Dec 10th 2012

    Just to clarify on my use of the word faith AND MY PROPHETIC CALL to return to faith alone ( reformation Latin phrase sola fide- “by faith alone”) I was referring the word faith alone as it relates to getting right with God, staying right with God, receiving the favour and blessing of God and receiving the grace of God to live the Christian life and to live a life that is pleasing to him and also Gods only prerequisite to revival. Specifically I was referring to faith or confidence in Jesus death alone to secure all of the above blessings AS OPPOSED TO FAITH IN OUR OWN BEHAVIOUR , FAITH IN OUR OWN PERFORMANCE or FAITH IN OUR OWN RIGHTEOUS ACTS OF REPENTANCE.

    Friends not even Gods own dear covenant people the Jews could secure any of these above blessings by their own self effort or performance. Are we so arrogant as Gentiles to believe that WE CAN????

    God has ONE WAY- ONE PREREQUISITE- ONE REQUIREMENT to receive a heaven sent revival and every other blessing pent up behind the floodgates of heaven – That one thing God requires IS BELIEVE THE GOSPEL! Stop trying to earn it, deserve it or work for it! Return to placing all of your confidence in the cross of Christ PLUS NOTHING!
    That is sola fide!
    That will turn this present darkness on its head!
    That will bring the Eden church we all long to see!

    FAITH IN THE CROSS OF CHRIST PLUS NOTHING IS THE ONLY THING THE CHURCH HAS NOT YET DONE !!!!!

  222. Barry Schmidt Dec 10th 2012

    I can testify that this message of placing all of our confidence in the cross plus nothing – this message of grace through faith alone to secure every blessing from God I have been preaching is bringing to a mighty revival of great joy, deep repentance and a return to their first love among the believers of my city. I can testify of marriages , families and estranged believers being reunited as they cease from self effort Christianity and return to simple confidence int he grace of God alone.

    I guarantee if you my friends will obey this prophetic word I have received by revelation from the authority of Almighty God and the authority of the Scriptures that i am bringing to the churches – this ancient message of grace – that YOU TOO WILL EXPERIENCE REVIVAL,IN YOUR CHRISTIAN COMMUNITIES.

    Thos is what the Holy spirit says, ” The greatest threat to My church in this hour is self effort religion.”

  223. Barry Schmidt Dec 10th 2012

    I will vindicate the holiness of My great name which has been profaned among the nations, which you have profaned in their midst. Then the nations will know that I am the LORD,” declares the Lord GOD, “when I prove Myself holy among you in their sight. Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you will be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. Moreover, I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will be careful to observe My ordinances. (Ezekiel 36:23, 25-27 NASB)

    This Scripture is being fulfilled in THIS HOUR! Be careful that you don’t miss it by insisting on stubbornly clinging to your OWN RIGHTEOUSNESS AND YOUR OWN SELF EFFORT REPENTANCE!

  224. Hi there,

    I have just looked through the posts, we seem to have talked around the topic.

    Any return to Acts 2-5 Christianity requires our obedience to His word. This will mean a change of lifestyle, not the familiar lifestyle based on personal ownership and individualism.

    Some say the early Church in Acts is not a pattern to follow, I believe that when He gets his way with us, such a unity and sharing fellowship results, and through this, the world can see His love and be attracted to Him.

    I posted a link to Viva Christo Rey and did not get even one comment.

    Do we not believe in food multiplying, the poor having the gospel preached to them, healings and miracles, a whole society being impacted by His Word?

    Is this because it happened under the banner of the Franciscans and must therefore be demonic?

    Please convince me that this was not an outpouring of His Love…

    Barriers to a return to Acts Church are fear and control.

    Remember that all of us were held captive to the fear of death and many still are.

    We are afraid to let Him take over control of our lives. Leaders are afraid to let Him take control of their churches, as a result we have self made Christianity with man made rules.

    Notice how simple obedience to the word – sharing ones food with the poor – resulted in so much abundance of food that they had to take it to several orphanages to get rid of it… Do you think He was trying to say something? Do you think that just maybe they were getting something right?

    I found out a couple of days ago that I have cancer in the left kidney, I am 66 and have had a passion for His purpose for 35 years.

    Time is short.

    I have tasted this unity and Love in a small way – every time folks simply obey his word together in unity, He commands blessing.

    This is simple and powerful, too simple for most.

    The world is hungry for His love.

    Lets stop complicating the task we have been given.

    Start with a small group of folks who really love Jesus, reach out to the world as He directs by the word and by His Spirit.

    Blessings,

    Carl Emerson.

  225. ValleyAnt Dec 10th 2012

    Watchful, that passage is such a blessing: “Blessed is the man whose strength is in the Lord, whose heart is set on pilgrimage” (Ps. 84). Amen. Those are some good questions. Job asks and says outstanding things about suffering.

    Barnabas, I sympathize with you and believe others here do too. I believe that Averyl also does also, but I also recognize the need for the right word usage when speaking to some. Pro. 25:11 says, “A word fitly spoken (spoken in season, aptly spoken) is like apples of gold in settings of silver.” God said, “Comfort… yes, comfort My people. Speak tenderly” (Isa. 40). Isaiah prophesied of Jesus, “The Lord God has given me the tongue of the wise, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is a weary” (Isa. 50:4). Most people don’t know how to speak “a word in season”, but God knows. It’s been a remarkable learning experience for me when Christians have spoken true words to me that weren’t spoken in wisdom, making them hurtful to me. On one occasion, the Lord came and spoke to me just what a minister had just told me; however, where I was smarting from the minister’s version, I immediately was filled with hope, strength, and joy when the Lord spoke it to me. This is because He knows just “how to speak [the right words the right way] to him who is weary”, therefore, all His words are life. I’m sure you’ve experienced God’s ability to ‘say it right’; His Grace is sufficient in the midst of human misunderstanding or/and shortcoming.

    Barry, what do you mean by the “ancient message of Grace”. Aren’t we saved the same way and all awaiting God’s revivals which will be ‘uncoerced’ and in God’s own timing.

  226. ValleyAnt Dec 10th 2012

    Carl, sorry about your kidney. What are doctors saying about recovery.

    I agree with you. The answer is too simple. Over and again in the Bible, God tells us where He commands the blessing and in what CONTEXT He is literally released to work among the Saints. His ways run directly opposite our ways. In Isa. 58, He clearly says that when a Christian’s lifestyle is to love each other and others in practical ways, then the blessing will immediately begin to be manifest: “Then… your healing will spring forth speedily… Then you will call and the Lord will answer; you will cry and He will say, ‘Here I am’.” I’ve also seen the principle of the blessing begin to work when the conditions were met; the blessing always began at once. It seems that some complicate things out of fear while others are waiting for someone other than them to take the first step in ‘starting it’.

  227. Marilyn Crow Dec 10th 2012

    I believe, because our Lord Jesus Christ is the head of the Body, that continually are we being sustained, renewed & revived. The organisational revival is no more, we all agree & as Andrew has said it will be in the streets, the market place, everyday life.

    I believe it is happening all round the world, -the madia does not see it, the religious organisation does not see it, but God sees it because His Son is building His called out ones, servants, humble & not broadcasting it.

    I believe, for i see it amongst the `living stones` I`m placed along side.

    I see the flame begin to rise.

  228. Hi VA,

    They want to take the kidney out, then I should be OK. – Prayer appreciated.

    Yes Isaiah 58 confirms the directive of Luke 14, I quote -

    12 …“When you give a luncheon or a dinner, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbours, otherwise they may also invite you in return and that will be your repayment.

    13 But when you give a reception, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,

    14 and you will be blessed, since they do not have the means to repay you; for you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.”

    This is a powerful yet avoided scripture in the same way as Acts 5 32-37 is avoided.

    Blessings,

    Carl Emerson.

  229. There’s a saying that goes ;

    ” Everyone wants to get to Heaven , but nobody wants to die ”

    We are told to seek first the Kingdom of God and all else will be added.

    To seek first the Kingdom of Christ is to take up our cross and follow after Him , in other words to die to our selfish desires and motives, come to know Him personally , on the inside so that He is giving us the desires and motives that drive us , that when acted upon by us, put us in His will.

    We can never reach this place of obedience through our own endeavor , desire or motives , no matter how righteous they may appear to us,

    … for until we get to a place of surrender unto Him on the inside so that we can truly know His will in a truly personal way , as it comes to us from His Holy Spirit, calling us into His will ,,,,,,,,,all we will walk in is self righteousness.

    The barrier to Eden has always been on our side of the agreement.

    We educated modern western ones seriously underestimate how empowered our intellects are , and how our sense of self , often defining who we think we are , by the qualifications or jobs we have etc, is the biggest barrier to truly letting the power of the cross work in our lives.

    The entry point and terms of entry to the ” Garden of Eden ” have never changed .

    It is our willingness to comply with the terms of entry , that is the only barrier to entering unto Him.

  230. Sheeja John Dec 10th 2012

    Averyl, I again repeat, spend time with God. The passage you quoted from Romans has been misinterpreted by you. Just empty yourselves of your preconceived notions and prayerfully read the passages I requested you to read.

    With regard to correction.. what is our intention? Is it to hurt further a hurting soul or is it to help them see clearly the error that they are in, that may cost them eternity? We deal one on one with our brethren to help them get back to the track. In Galatians 6:1 apostle Paul says, ‘Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself, lest you also be tempted.
    ————————————————————————————————-
    Barnabas, (Explanation for Zechariah 5:1-4)

    John 3:27 reads, “A man can receive nothing unless it has been given to him from heaven.”

    Man has a tendency to take things that does not belong to him either by force or by deceit. We call it ‘stealing’ and such who operate in like manner are called ‘thieves’. A thief may steal things that may be material, physical, or spiritual. Many are not called but behave as though they were called (e.g. many have crept in unnoticed- Jude:4), many do not receive revelations
    so they take from others and give it away and also take credit for themselves for it, and thereby, denying the other person the honor that is due, many try to steal blessing (as jacob did), anointing and gifting (as Simon the Sorceror tried, as sons of Sceva did). YEHOVAH God hates stealing. The Word of God says, ‘Ask, and it shall be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.’ Man, instead of following God’s ways, seek easy and cheap and quick ways to satisfy his appetite. God disapproves it and such people who do not repent will suffer the wrath of God.
    There are others who willfully deceive others for personal gains and or to harm others. They speak lies and practice falsehood, yet take the name of God with their lips, giving others the impression that they are godly; they are called ‘perjurers’.
    Basically, these two category encompass all those, who break the ten commandments of God. God is Holy ,and He is zealous for His name. To vindicate His Name, He pours out His wrath on them, those who do not repent. There is no forgiveness for presumptuous sins. It was not there in the Old Testament nor is there provision for it in the New Testament. And those who do such things being awake and alert receive double for their sins.
    You can refer to the following passages for reference: Hebrew 6:4-6; Hebrew 10:26; 2 Peter 2:20-21; Luke 12: 48; Numbers 15:30-36.

  231. Barnabas Dec 10th 2012

    Thanks for sharing the video Carl. I initially avoided it due to its length.
    The verse at the conclusion is a good prompt in this context
    1 Cor 14 1-3 Go after a life of love as if your life depended on it—because it does. Give yourselves to the gifts God gives you. Most of all, try to proclaim his truth. If you praise him in the private language of tongues, God understands you but no one else does, for you are sharing intimacies just between you and him. But when you proclaim his truth in everyday speech, you’re letting others in on the truth so that they can grow and be strong and experience his presence with you..

    In addition the challenge to seek ministry to the poor. My partner and I found ourselves withdrawing from a church ministry as the elders felt we were bringing the wrong types into the church.

  232. Barnabas Dec 10th 2012

    Pleased also to see that your kidney is to be removed.
    Thanks for posting Is 58. I post in full without apology as I personally have found this a clear guide for my present
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    Isaiah 58
    New International Version (NIV)
    True Fasting

    58 “Shout it aloud, do not hold back.
        Raise your voice like a trumpet.
    Declare to my people their rebellion
        and to the descendants of Jacob their sins.
    2 For day after day they seek me out;
        they seem eager to know my ways,
    as if they were a nation that does what is right
        and has not forsaken the commands of its God.
    They ask me for just decisions
        and seem eager for God to come near them.
    3 ‘Why have we fasted,’ they say,
        ‘and you have not seen it?
    Why have we humbled ourselves,
        and you have not noticed?’
    “Yet on the day of your fasting, you do as you please
        and exploit all your workers.
    4 Your fasting ends in quarreling and strife,
        and in striking each other with wicked fists.
    You cannot fast as you do today
        and expect your voice to be heard on high.
    5 Is this the kind of fast I have chosen,
        only a day for people to humble themselves?
    Is it only for bowing one’s head like a reed
        and for lying in sackcloth and ashes?
    Is that what you call a fast,
        a day acceptable to the Lord?
    6 “Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen:
    to loose the chains of injustice
        and untie the cords of the yoke,
    to set the oppressed free
        and break every yoke?
    7 Is it not to share your food with the hungry
        and to provide the poor wanderer with shelter—
    when you see the naked, to clothe them,
        and not to turn away from your own flesh and blood?
    8 Then your light will break forth like the dawn,
        and your healing will quickly appear;
    then your righteousness[a] will go before you,
        and the glory of the Lord will be your rear guard.
    9 Then you will call, and the Lord will answer;
        you will cry for help, and he will say: Here am I.
    “If you do away with the yoke of oppression,
        with the pointing finger and malicious talk,
    10 and if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry
        and satisfy the needs of the oppressed,
    then your light will rise in the darkness,
        and your night will become like the noonday.
    11 The Lord will guide you always;
        he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land
        and will strengthen your frame.
    You will be like a well-watered garden,
        like a spring whose waters never fail.
    12 Your people will rebuild the ancient ruins
        and will raise up the age-old foundations;
    you will be called Repairer of Broken Walls,
        Restorer of Streets with Dwellings.
    13 “If you keep your feet from breaking the Sabbath
        and from doing as you please on my holy day,
    if you call the Sabbath a delight
        and the Lord’s holy day honorable,
    and if you honor it by not going your own way
        and not doing as you please or speaking idle words,
    14 then you will find your joy in the Lord,
        and I will cause you to ride in triumph on the heights of the land
        and to feast on the inheritance of your father Jacob.”
    For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.

  233. Barnabas Dec 10th 2012

    Thanks for the further encouragement Valleyant. Yes, choosing words wisely in response to deep listening is wise counsel.

  234. Barnabas Dec 10th 2012

    Yes, Marilyn we can trust that He sees the big picture, it is for us as living stones to sense where He intends for us to be placed.

  235. Sheeja John Dec 10th 2012

    Barnabas,
    When we do spiritual warfare, especially on behalf of others we have be very cautious. We need to fast and pray and prepare ourselves before we get into things like that. I personally, have suffered m,uch standing in the gap.

  236. Barnabas Dec 10th 2012

    Barry, yes the cross is central in recognising that pain is an issue to be faced honestly and sincerely. A gospel without the cross denies the reality.

  237. Barnabas Dec 10th 2012

    Agreed Kevin.

  238. Barnabas Dec 10th 2012

    I hear what you say Sheejah. Do you see any of the wrath taken up in the work of the cross? Is forgiveness limited? Grace and mercy not to be considered. Are all cancers, mental health and divorce the consequences of one’s own choices?

  239. Barnabas Dec 10th 2012

    Not too sure as to your later point Sheeja, with regard to spiritual warfare. Is it an observation or guidance for a reason?

  240. Barnabas Dec 10th 2012

    God Impressions
    Live wisely among those who are not Christians, and make the most of every opportunity. Let your conversation be gracious and effective so that you will have the right answer for everyone.    Colossians 4:5-6 NLT
     
    Have you ever played with Silly Putty — that pink, squeezable, rubbery clay that comes in a plastic egg? One of the most fun aspects of the putty is the way it will copy color pictures out of a magazine or comic book.
     
    I often think of that property of Silly Putty when I want to leave what I call “God impressions” on people. You squeeze in a moment, or stretch out the time to press your love of Christ up against someone. Maybe it’s just a smile and a “God bless your day.” Or returning a kindness with, “Thanks for helping me, and the next time you’re near a Bible, look up Hebrews 6:10… it’s definitely you!” Often, I’m able to leave a God impression on someone by singing a hymn. People see me in this wheelchair, hear me singing praises to God, and wonder, Where in the world does her joy come from? It has to be God.
     
    It’s a way of pressing my life up against theirs for a brief moment so that when I peel away… I’ve left a God impression on that person — however brief or fleeting it might have been. And once you encounter the Lord, you find yourself thirsty for something this world can’t offer, hungry for something this world can’t satisfy.
                                                 
     
    Busy as you may be, you still encounter many people during the course of your day. Press your love for Christ up against that friend down the street or that co-worker or that woman you regularly greet at the cash register. When you do, you’ll leave them with a God impression… and make them thirsty for more.
     
    Father, may the fragrance of your Son be upon my life, so that even entering or leaving a room, some lingering sense of His presence will draw hearts to seek you.

    Blessings,
     
    Joni and Friends
    http://www.joniandfriends.org

  241. Barnabas Dec 10th 2012

    Hebrews 6:10 For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love, which ye have shewed toward his name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister. 11 And we desire that every one of you do shew the same diligence to the full assurance of hope unto the end: 12 That ye be not slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
    � KJV

  242. AGazette Dec 10th 2012

    Valley Ant
    Presently no we have no meeting to attend. The last home meeting denied sections of the Bible and spent time explaining them away. I tried to share what the Bible said, but was not received, finally the Lord gave me a check in my Spirit and I knew not to pursue the matter.

    I left the meeting and about a month later it strangely folded up and does not exist any longer.

    Lord Bless

  243. Agazette Dec 10th 2012

    Barnabus wrote: In addition the challenge to seek ministry to the poor. My partner and I found ourselves withdrawing from a church ministry as the elders felt we were bringing the wrong types into the church.

    Barnabus
    I don’t understand what you mean about your partner and you were bringing in the wrong types. Are you speaking of bringing the poor and homeless into the church?

    Lord Bless

  244. ValleyAnt Dec 10th 2012

    Carl, I will say a prayer for your procedure. The passage you shared is proper. I don’t know anyone who believes in that. I live in an area that is surrounded by Catholic everything and lots of Christian churches, but I know how cold such buildings are. If God wants to put any godly Christian through the fire, He can just refer them to any church, and it should be sufficient.

    Barnabas, thanks for posting Isa. 58 in its entirety. And thanks especially for Heb. 6:10 which has always been meaningful to me: “God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of Love which you have shown toward His Name in that you have ministered to the Saints and do minister.” That’s encouraging.

    Gazette, sorry to hear about your last home meeting. I think that’s very common (Christians twisting the Word). My last and only home church was so totally spiritually compromised that the Lord wouldn’t even enter the home (except my second time there when we had a passover thing which was surprising to me); He would remain outside the house. (I’ve been to one other church where I was aware of this happening.) It was a ‘Messianic fellowship’ that said they love and are sent to the Jews. I wondered what I was doing there if the Lord wouldn’t even go inside (except that one time). I could see, however, some of why He didn’t enter the home; the couple leading the meeting was compromised to the 6th degree, and the atmosphere was black with repression, suppression, and oppression and was entirely unholy. The woman wore the pants, and the man was extremely happy to let her do so; and the woman boldly stood against the teaching of the Lord (with her husband backing her), opposing and twisting what was clearly written in the Bible we were reading to the extent that even the others in the meeting disagreed with her to her face. However, everyone backed down in time to her stubborn need to control, and they all stayed in the home church and continue to learn about ‘the dumb things of satan’. I went three times and left.

  245. Barnabas Dec 10th 2012

    Agazette, exactly as stated. To clarify further without over disclosure.
    Having accessed the context with prompting from Nehemiah we were permitted to begin a ministry to rebuild the outreach and minister to those reached. It quickly became clear that it was regarded by the elders as ‘not appropriate’ in their eyes. Yet in the process during the first year more people from the local community ranging from all backgrounds and ages (7-81yrs) attended each week than the ‘faithful’ on Sunday.50% more. A bible study group began. We journeyed together through creation, Christmas, Easter and Pentecost.
    On each service for these occasions the congregation was double as people came to see the involvement of others. Throughout the new comers were regarded with suspicion and seen to be putting ‘the church at risk’. Comments of ‘we weren’t expecting people like this” and ‘they are not attracting the right sort of people ‘ were vocalised. We challenged them with ‘whats sort do you thing the Lord finds acceptable and worthy of attraction’. Silence. We challenged the elders as to whether they saw the ministry as a church ministry or just a personal ministry of ours. Siilence. So we offered that they could lead it instead. Within a week incidents of duty of care were apparent. The ministry closed a month later. We withdrew from the church for our own safety. We continued to minister to the people as we met them on the streets.

    Now I meet with those I’m able, in their or my home and journey with them, breaking bread and praying as appropriate and supporting each other. Limited obviously with my health and the loss of my partner.
    We each have experience of mental health, divorce, abuse, literacy and bereavement. We encourage each other as temples of the Holy Spirit. We seek to reflect a compassionate community of unity and understanding, at a rhythm of grace. We seek to meet each other where we are. I hope that clarifies.

  246. Barnabas Dec 10th 2012

    I’m intrigued at the phrase ‘if the Lord wouldn’t even go inside.’
    Maybe you could clarify. Do you not take His presence with you when you enter? Do other believers?

  247. Barnabas Dec 10th 2012

    Sorry, the last comment was directed towards Valleyant. Note the video referenced above is a challenge to minister to the local poor.

  248. ValleyAnt Dec 10th 2012

    Barnabas, it’s good to read about what you did and are doing for those who need it. Sorry about what happened at that church. It’s the bitter cacophony of Law which is so contrary to, as you say, “the unforced rhythm of Grace”.

    Yes, I said the Lord wouldn’t enter the home. God is everywhere, as we all know, but sometimes, He manifests in a place. At that time in my life (about two months ago), He was constantly “very present”, standing on my right. (He is near all who follow Him, but sometimes, He makes His presence known. That’s what was happening at the time.) There are places the Lord won’t go; one reason we can all understand is free will: He won’t go where He is rejected and not allowed to go. Also, the Lord and the Spirit sometimes manifest differently. E.g. the Spirit may direct you or teach you some things (or/and at times) and the Lord may direct you or teach you other things (or/and at other times). The Spirit may go with you into a place and the Lord refrain from it. I won’t pretend to understand this, but it does happen. At that particular fellowship, I was aware that the Lord would wait outside the house until we came out; He would not go in except once during a Passover dinner (which surprised me). I asked Him why He had chosen to come in; perhaps He answered, “To bring you out!” but I didn’t hear :) Whoops.

  249. Carl, I went into the hospital on a Monday morning at 5:00am and was discharged on that same Saturday (6days)at noon from my right kidney removel. How did I prepare. I was panic ridden. There was so much uncertainty in my fluffy thoughts. Finally I realized it was real and sanity returned. I started praying for my Doctors and nurses to have steady, caring hands. For me to be brave and let God minister to my heart and thoughts throughout the ordeal. Strange how humans react to illness directed at them, even Christains. I’d been in a hospital 5 times in my young life, to have five beautiful, precious children. Here I was 69 and whack, major surgery, a 7 hour operation….Kidney removal is a pud, having a baby, not so much. I learned so much in my Christain walk though. No matter how we yearn and study and capture our soul-man into the life of Christ, ‘the Spirit man’ will shows us we’re not where we want to be.

    Barnabas. I’d always looked pretty ‘down my nose’ at almost any illness when I was young, especially mental problems…like, how in the world can you be of God and have this or that happen to you…bla, bla bla. I’m here to tell you, After my second cancer operation.(the Dr. that knocks you out used a ‘new’ spinal medication). I was obviously allergic to it, had my mind messed up to everything that was right) I could not sleep, had this aweful angiush and nervous condition that took a psychiatrist, and a prescription drug to level me out. I stated after that experience, I’d never, ever shrug from those who have to face mental problems, for I wittnessed them myself. My doctor answered it for me. A chemical imbalance was the cause of my mental woes.,,I always think of Paul when an afflection is with us. It is now a favorite answer of mine…We will know His (strengh and Power) in our weaknesses. I’m no longer a self-righous little Pent. girl.

  250. Barnabas Dec 10th 2012

    Thankyou for that level of disclosure Joan W. Your words remind me of
    2Cor 2 Grace be to you and peace from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ.
    3 Blessed be God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies, and the God of all comfort; 4 Who comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God. 5 For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ. 6 And whether we be afflicted, it is for your consolation and salvation, which is effectual in the enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer: or whether we be comforted, it is for your consolation and salvation. 7 And our hope of you is stedfast, knowing, that as ye are partakers of the sufferings, so shall ye be also of the consolation.
    � KJV

  251. Barnabas Dec 10th 2012

    The Rescue

    3-5 All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too.

    6-7 When we suffer for Jesus, it works out for your healing and salvation. If we are treated well, given a helping hand and encouraging word, that also works to your benefit, spurring you on, face forward, unflinching. Your hard times are also our hard times. When we see that you’re just as willing to endure the hard times as to enjoy the good times, we know you’re going to make it, no doubt about it.
    The Message.

  252. Barnabas Dec 10th 2012

    I must accept ignorance of what you say Valleyant. However, I become very uncomfortable when I hear talk of the Lord/Holy Spirit being welcomed to a service. Especially when He needs to promptly arrive in so many places on a Sunday considering GMT as well. I often chuckle to myself shall I tell them You sneaked in with me. I much prefer to discern whether in words and actions people are acknowledging Him. How silence, slowness and stillness are approached can also speak volumes.
    Where are Spirit and Truth present at the same time. Is the Father’s will apparent ? Without that triple lock I err cautiously. In addition, the nudge of the season, position of growth, trial, temptation, hardness and the soil. Only with that farmer mentality will I choose to adjust to athletic acts then on standing firm to soldier.

  253. Barnabas Dec 10th 2012

    I note my failure to use the word ‘unforced’ before ‘rhythm of grace’

  254. Averyl Dec 10th 2012

    Barnabas, – thanks so much for sharing those great scriptures etc. with us.

    I’m so sorry for ending up being one of Job’s friends.
    It was far from my intention to categorise your condition or accuse you in any way of being at fault. Please accept my sincere apology and forgive me.

    I must take a lesson & learn to choose my words with caution & grace.

  255. Averyl Dec 10th 2012

    Sheeja John, – Please do not accuse me of not obeying you & not spending time with God, reading & meditating on His Word , having preconceived notions, etc..

    I honestly don’t think any of us want to hurt one another.
    Why do you say that we do?

    Could you share with us your interpretation of Romans 7.
    I think Paul went to great lengths in the entire letter to get his message across.

    Do we really pray “Forgive them their trespasses” instead of “Forgive us our trespasses”? You do leave me with the impression that you are without sin so have nothing to repent of.

  256. Richard Savage Dec 10th 2012

    Averyl, you’re just fine! Nothing more need be said.

    Except, post more often … it’s so good to hear from you.

  257. Greg Simpson Dec 10th 2012

    Directed to Andrew Strom
    I have read through these postings with interest and have noticed a common thread in some comments. I don’t know if the writers intended what I received, but nonetheless I feel compelled to bring it to the attention of all who would read.
    The comments are listed as follows:
    DONALDN wrote Dec.5: The reason most cannot see what is standing in the way is that they don’t want to.
    Averyl wrote Dec. 6: When we are dispensers of the living water of life we provoke jealousy and persecution, even from other Christians. They reveal themselves as accusers of the Brethren. A thought; ( Satan is the accuser of the brethren.)
    New Jerusalem Wrote Dec. 7: We have been quick to point our finger at the Pharisees, and not realize that we “Christians” follow the same pattern today. Are we going to cling to our traditions, or step out and follow Him?
    Brother Paul wrote Dec.8: If a true prophet was to be released among us, we would probably want to stone him.
    Kevin wrote Dec.10: It is our willingness to comply with the terms of entry that is the only barrier to entering unto Him.
    Andrew please read these posts.
    A lot can be discovered about the moderator by the posts he leaves and the posts he deletes. Some are supporting the truth, and others error. Some are entering the debate on Satans side and others debate for God.
    One post said: ….God doesn’t want a perfect Church, it has to be riddled with errors and deception….
    You Andrew left that post.
    One post said: Matthew 5:48 Be ye therefore perfect, even as your father in heaven is perfect.
    You Andrew deleted that post.
    Which side are you on? I don’t know yet, but if you stand in defiance of what the word says, if you stand on one isolated verse that appears to say the opposite of what many, many other verses say? If you, in an international forum delete the comments that oppose sin and display comments which promote the acceptance of sin, then you have become a subject of much needed prayer.

  258. I have personally had a very challenging weekend and commencement to this week… :-)

    The Lord has been going to the root of control in my life…

    Be careful what you ask for… :-)

    He is showing me that what Carl is sharing is true…

    Once we come to that place where we reliquish all our control to Him He will begin to get us to do Supernatural things…

    I am feeling like I have lost control (in the process of losing control) at present and it is not a very comfortable place to be but He is carrying me…

    My wife and I appear to be being brought into unity in this way – like we are being brought back together after a long time of walking in our own “worlds”…

    My wife is a very giving person – if someone in our extended family has a need she wants to meet it…

    I’ve been more constrained by budgets, what we can afford, etc…

    I’m starting to see that as I let go of the control the Lord will “come through” in a Supernatural way to honour generousity…

    I am only at the start of this journey…

    This verse comes to mind…

    And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed; as it is written, “HE SCATTERED ABROAD, HE GAVE TO THE POOR, HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS ENDURES FOREVER.” (2 Corinthians 9:8-9 NASB)

    Love in the Lord,

    Andrew

  259. David Marsh Dec 10th 2012

    Dear Agazette,
    I would love to hear from you, and to chat with you. Sorry for the late reply. My computer time lately has been rather limited Im afraid.

    God bless
    and looking forward to sharing with you

    David Marsh.

  260. Friends,

    I am really encouraged by some excellent posts and real heart sharing.

    Barnabas, I loved your quote from Joni… and Heb 6:10 was a good reminder for me.

    VA thanks for your prayer…

    Joan W very helpful what you shared thanks.

    Andrew H, the truth is that when we trust Him and give Him control, He works divine order into our circumstances !!!

    When we know this, it is much less a freak out.

    Faith not fear – Surrender not control…

    Blessings,

    Carl Emerson.

  261. Barnabas Dec 10th 2012

    Averyl, your sincerity is accepted. You are forgiven. Look forward to continuing the journey together. If it helps I often use the phrase not everything that fits in a box is a box. Also 1% on a spreadsheet could be 100% a person life.

  262. Averyl Dec 10th 2012

    Thank you Richard Savage, much appreciated!

    Greg Simpson & Andrew Horton, – amen!!!

    Carl, we’re praying for you, brother. God’s will be done.

    On the subject of Eden, please again excuse my ignorance & lack of diplomacy, but I understood that we enter into the excellence of the Edenic state during the 1,000 years.
    Until then we’re being tested to see if we qualify.

    What do you think?

  263. Dear Marilyn you said.

    Thankyou again for your notes & scriptures on the Body of Christ – good truths. However I did ask for scriptures specifically on the Body being the Bride.

    The point being that there are none.

    The Apostle Paul never wrote that the Body of Christ is the Bride.
    It is an error & needs to be challenged in people`s thinking.

    Ken
    By the way sorry for only getting back to you now, computer time has been limitied today.

    The following scriptures by implication certainly tell us we are the Bride of Christ

    2 Cor 11:2 For I am jealous over you with godly jealousy: for I have “espoused” you to one husband, that I may present you as a “chaste virgin” to Christ.

    Rev 19:7 Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him: for the “marriage” of the Lamb is come, and his “wife” hath made herself ready.

    Blessings.

  264. Dear Marilyn, i also meant to post this scripture -

    John 3:28 Ye yourselves bear me witness, that I said, I am not the Christ, but that I am sent before him.

    John 3:29 He that hath the bride is the bridegroom: but the friend of the bridegroom, which standeth and heareth him, rejoiceth greatly because of the bridegroom’s voice: this my joy therefore is fulfilled.

    Blessings.

  265. Averyl, I see no Eden or Revival during my lifetime. We ‘must’ learn to love others, as ourselves…if families can’t agree and get along, how, oh how can repentance, Faith, Love and obedience flow through all of us at once? In order to do the above it must be that: ‘ Your will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.’ I pretty much agree with you, Averl. It will be Heaven on Earth during the 1000 years of Christ’s rule.

  266. P.S. Christ can intervine, yes, but will He (as He will not tamper with our Will)>

  267. Yes, it’s all starting to make sense Carl…

    Words which the Lord has given are coming back to my mind…

    Yes, He told me that He was waiting for me to give Him control and then He would “come through”…

    I believe this is what I see unfolding…

    I am speaking of financial control…

    Love in the Lord,

    Andrew

  268. Dear friends,

    I have seen ‘the miraculous’ break out when folk simply take His word seriously and act on it.

    This is not a promise for a future time, it is available now through simple obedience to His word and His spirit.

    Acts 2 to 5 records what He will do if we wait on Him in unity and reach out to the lost in obedience.

    Satan will tolerate anything… but souls being saved.

    This is why believers generally miss this simple truth, because it is hotly contested.

    It can start small with simple folk moving in child like faith.

    He is ready to move.

    He is waiting on us…

    Blessings,

    Carl Emerson.

  269. David Marsh Dec 11th 2012

    Dear Carl,
    I for one, would love to hear you expand on the step by step process – of what you guys actually did to see ‘the miraculous break out’.

    Now to be clear, I am not a ‘signs and wonders’ fan so much. But I am a fan of seeing my Lord at work with His own, and how they ‘work’ with Him.

    We (I) look forward to hearing from you Carl.

    David Marsh. [email protected]

  270. David Marsh Dec 11th 2012

    PS. Dear all,

    This closeness with God is EDEN. – In response to Andrews article above.

    God bless you all

    David Marsh

  271. David,

    You could start by reading an essay I wrote some time back…

    http://thos1087.blogspot.co.nz/2009/12/may-i-have-your-attention-for-moment-i.html

    I have learned that the secular world has influenced our approach to gaining success much more than we realise.

    ‘Good planning’ for example attempts to eliminate the unknown and establish a very predictable pathway forward.

    If we are walking with Him our ways become anything but predictable.

    This is why “The Way” does not co-habit with the institutional framework… it cant.

    My experence has been that He is more than happy to show up when we step out in obedience beyond our visible means, in fact He loves to do so.

    Please watch “Viva Christo Rey” – a small group of believers step out on a verse in obedience with some food for the poor and He shows up big time.

    Blessings,

    Carl Emerson.

  272. Here is the link again…

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aKZKXOCE43k

  273. Marilyn Crow Dec 11th 2012

    Ken

    Thankyou for your follow up, it is appreciated. There`s no hurry if you want to respond to this.

    Discussion – Is the Body the Bride also?

    Your 3 scriptures.

    1. Rev. 19: 7 `the marriage of the Lamb has come, & His wife has made herself ready.`You answered this very well on the 8th Dec.

    Quote “Great promises to Israel in the end, the wife of God, He remarries them.” & ” The Church & Israel are two different identities but the Church did not replace Israel.” I totally agree.

    2. John 3: 28 & 29 I answed that one on the 8th Dec. John is talking to Israel about the Bride purpose which they knew & waited for. So again Israel is the Bride.

    3. 2 Cor. 11: 2 & 3. This is a personal message by Paul to the people he had been mentoring in Corinth. It is not a doctrinal passage, but pure exhortation to his converts only. He no more declares they are the Bride, than he (Paul) was their Father
    (1 Cor. 3: 15) or their mother (Gal. 4: 19)

    Thus we can see 2 scriptures are to do with Israel & the other is a personal message. We do not have a body of teaching. To be a doctrine there needs to be clear teaching & exponding of scripture as Paul does in al the great Apostle`s doctrines – Salvation. the Holy Spirit, law/grace, the Body of Christ, etc.

    Keep warm there in Ireland, God bless, regards Marilyn

  274. Barnabas Dec 11th 2012

    Hab3:17 Although the fig tree shall not blossom,

    neither shall fruit be in the vines;

    the labour of the olive shall fail,

    and the fields shall yield no meat;

    the flock shall be cut off from the fold,

    and there shall be no herd in the stalls:

    18 Yet I will rejoice in the Lord,

    I will joy in the God of my salvation.

    19 The Lord God is my strength,

    and he will make my feet like hinds ‘feet,

    and he will make me to walk upon mine high places.
    � KJV

  275. Sheeja John Dec 11th 2012

    Averyl, I wish,.. I could spend time with you at length and share my life’s journey thus far. Yes, I ALSO pray, ‘God forgive them their trespasses’ as Moses interceded for the Hebrews in the wilderness. I also have stood in the gap for many and have suffered heavy blows. I will not go on.. as I want my Father who sees me in secret to reward for my labor in Him.
    ——————————————————————————————–

    Before I expound on Romans 7, let me put it across to all, that apostle Paul was given a thorn in the flesh, (a messenger of satan buffetting him) because he had a tendency to get in the flesh [i.e. to yield to sin- pride] often as a result of the abundance of revelation he received. He initially boasted that he was not in any way inferior to the other apostles, and in his latter days he confessed that he was the ‘chief of sinners’. So we need to be cautious when we read the epistles of Apostle Paul.
    In older posts I had dealt at length with what is ‘God Breathed Scriptures’ and what are mere letters. So, I will not explain it all over again; but to put briefly, all words in those letters are not God breathed. God gives discernment to His children to distinguish between what is God breathed and what is not. More over many times people have the tendency to misappropriate/misapply Scriptures. E.g. In the Book of Revelation Apostle John writes: ‘For I testify to everyone who hears the words of prophecy of THIS BOOK: If anyone adds to these things, “God will add to him the plagues that are written in this book; and if anyone takes away from the words of the BOOK OF THIS PROPHECY, God shall take away his part from the Book of Life, from the holy city, and from the things which are writ en in this book.’ (Rev. 22:18-19) The above Scripture is applicable only to the book of Revelation and not to the epistles or any other books of the Bible. To clarify further my position: I will not take away or add to the compiled books of the Bible that we have today with us. But I pray and ask God, as I read the Bible, to reveal His truths to me from what has been made available to me.

    The Explanation of Romans 7…….
    Romans 7:15-20, deals with the condition of a sinner who sees his sin nature and feels helpless; he is repentant and understands that he does not have it in himself to do what is right; he knows that he is in need of God’s grace. Therefore he says:
    “For what I am doing I do not understand. For what I will do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do, what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh), nothing good dwells; FOR TO WILL IS PRESENT WITH ME, BUT TO PERFORM WHAT IS GOOD I DO NOT FIND. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members. …O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
    But then Paul himself says: ‘I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord!’
    Yeshua came to do away with our sin in the flesh. And if anyone be in Christ, he is a NEW CREATION. (2 Cor. 5:17) Now you cannot be a new creation, if you have not died to your old ‘self’. The ‘New Life’ of Christ has been made available; but there is a requirement to be fulfilled on your part: YOU HAVE TO DIE TO YOURSELF to do away with that sin in the flesh.

    Romans 6: 1-7 reads, ‘…How shall we who died to sin live any longer in it?…as many of us were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death. …… For if we have been united together I the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection, knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, THAT THE BODY OF SIN MIGHT BE DONE AWAY WITH, that we should no longer be slaves of sin. For HE WHO HAS ‘D I E D’ HAS BEEN FREED FROM SIN.’
    For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the Devil. (1 John 3:8) Destroy the works of the Devil where? In the FLESH.

    Hope this suffice….

  276. Dear Sheeja,

    Can you explain 2 Tim 3:16 which states that all scripture is inspired by God, do you believe that this verse was not inspired?

    Do you think this was a reference to the OT only?

    If you think that only some of the bible is inspired then we are without a reference to discuss apart from personal opinion concerning what is inspired and what is not.

    Similarly the warnings in Rev 22:18,19, you think these only apply to the book of Revelation and not the whole bible. What then do you think about the whole Cannon of scripture? is this an arbitrary collection of writings that Christians have deemed useful but have no divine status?

    We need to understand that if you assume the role of teacher which you are, that it is clearly understood how you view the scripture so that no one misunderstands.

    Blessings,

    Carl Emerson.

  277. AGazette Dec 11th 2012

    Joan Wrote:
    P.S. Christ can intervine, yes, but will He (as He will not tamper with our Will)>

    Joan
    I think the Lord wants us to come to a place where we pray, “Lord not my will but thine be done”.

    So many times we do it our way and want the Lord’s approval but it does not work that way.

    David Marsh
    Thanks Brother will write soon going through a few trials right now appreciate any prayers.

    Lord Bless

  278. Sheeja John Dec 11th 2012

    Averyl stated:’You do leave me with the impression that you are without sin so have nothing to repent of.’

    Averyl, it is immaterial to me as to what somebody or anybody thinks about me. My only desire is to please the ONE who has called me. The following are your very own comments:

    - When we are dispensers of the living water of life, we will provoke jealousy & persecution, even from other Christians. They reveal themselves as accusers of the brethren.

    - There still seem to be some, further back on this topic, who consider themselves without sin in body & spirit.
    I commented that whoever thinks he is without sin is deceived.

    - We can look for spiritual fruit.
    We can hear words, – out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

  279. Sheeja John Dec 11th 2012

    But from those who seemed to be something – whatever they were, it makes no difference to me…..for those who seemed to be something added nothing to me. – Galatians 2:6

    Was the above statement of Paul God Breathed?
    And there are plenty others to prove the point. I had explained in JTBT site in detail about what is God breathed and what is not. Seems to me that many posts from that site has been deleted. So I do not want to take the pain of rewriting everything again.

  280. To be or not to be has been the discussion all the way through on the subject matter.
    The topic is now exhausted.
    The conclusion I have come to is that there will be a wedding ceremony soon. The invitations have been sent out. The Bridegroom will wed His Bride whether or not you are coming.
    The Bridegroom is the Lord Jesus Christ and the Bride is the Body of Christ. He will not wed a corrupt, deceptfull, or a contaminated christian church whatever this title may mean.
    While arguments remain in whether or not false teachers and prophets should be exposed, that lies with the consciousnesses with believers. For christians themselves are divided on this issue.
    One thing for sure it will be “hell on earth” when the Anti Christ and the False Prophet take the helm of the leadership during the Great Tribulation. Those left and remaining after the Rapture will have to decide whether or not they receive the Mark of the Beast.
    There will no no Eden during this reign of terror.
    The question I pose to those making the comments on the web site is – are you ready and how long it will take you to be part of the Commission which has been already given to you by Christ Himself?
    You may like to discuss this until the cows come home but in the meantime are you a doer of His Word or just a talker.
    Repent and get of your backsides and stop sitting at your computer screens and get on with the job Jesus has already instructed to do.
    Action is better than words when sinners are on the way to Hell because no where has shared the Gospel message with them.
    Decide before it is too late.
    Shalom!
    Does anyone agree or disagree what has been shared?

  281. watchful Dec 11th 2012

    As for me I agree with you Marlene, that Israel is the Bride, but that it includes all the overcomers who are grafted into her root. I could be wrong, but for me as far as I am understanding it at this point, the issue is the matter of prominence and rulership – right now the gentiles have prominence and believing Israel is absorbed into the gentile church so to speak, but that will turn around once unbelieving Israel, the rest of the natural branches, are grafted back in. He will once again choose Israel and the prominence and rulership will be to the people and name of Israel, with foreigners joined to her. That will mark the end of the age of the gentiles and the beginning of the rule of Christ, through Israel. His wife. She will inherit the earth (along with all those grafted into her root).

    But we have yet to see the fullness of the gentiles – I believe this fullness is what is needed to graft Israel back in. Fullness is not about numbers, I believe it’s far more importantly about fullness of His Spirit. The Jews will not believe without it, they can spot a fleshly fake from miles away and only the Holy Spirit is able to bypass their mental and emotional objections etc to the gospel and give them a heart to receive it. So for me, I am looking for the fullness which I believe at this point is the latter rain which we are to pray and ask for in the time of the latter rain, it will be in His time. This is just what I seem to see the Father doing, how it is slowly shaping up to me, and just putting it out there – it is His work and to His glory, and maybe I still need tweeking on this, or maybe this is wrong completely, I am willing and glad to be corrected by the Lord.

  282. Simon, for the most part, it not all, i agree.

    Blessings

  283. if not it

  284. Barry Schmidt Dec 11th 2012

    I can’t help but notice how almost every comment on this site is an exhortation to become godly by something man does out of his own self effort, his own will and his own self produced initiative rather than trusting entirely in God’s grace alone and in what Only God can provide and work in us.

    This notion of self produced godliness is right from the pit of Hades and has the hiss of the serpent all over it!

    Wasn’t this self made and self induced godliness not the devils mantra from the beginning? ” I will be like the Most High”

    Wasn’t this self made and self produced godliness not the lie that Eve bought into in the garden? ” you shall be like God”

    Was not this Cains sin as well? Attempting to secure Gods favor by self produced and self effort produced offerings of grain generated by his own labors? And didn’t this very self righteouss attitude cause Cain to have a sense of entitlement to God and cause Cain to resent and kill his brother Able who obeyed God bringing a sacrifice that ONLY GOD COULD PROVIDE?
    Cain was attempting self made godliness and Able was trusting in Gods grace alone to make him godly.

    Wasn’t this self made and self effort attempt at godliness the mantra behind the Tower of Babel when they said , “Let us build a tower that reaches the heavens”?
    They were scattered by God an God will scatter everyone who attempt to secure hi favor and become godly by their own self efforts and their self induced acts.

    Friends God makes us godly as we cease from our own willful efforts and as we we wait on Him to work godliness in us -placing all of our trust in His grace alone to make us godly.

    The greatest threat to the church in this hour is self effort religion!
    This self made godliness was the devils rebellion against God from the beginning . His sons whom he plants in the kingdom like weeds in Gods field will have this same attitude. The apples don’t fall far from the tree.

  285. Hi Marilyn

    Thank you for your reply and i think it may be best for us to kindly agree to disagree.

    Jesus is our Bridegroom and that “requires” a Bride/Body of Christ. You cant not have a Bridegroom without a Bride.

    I also think “samantics” may be playing some part in all that is being said on this topic, about the Bride

    Every blessing.

  286. can not cant*

  287. Richard Savage Dec 11th 2012

    Barry, again, excellent. Thank you.

    My post way, way above rather forcefully says desist, stop everything and wait upon the Lord Jesus Christ. Here, although I neglected to say at the time, I include creating theories, theologies and opinions on everything and just wait to be told or shown.

  288. Teshuva Dec 11th 2012

    Barry, I seem to missing something here.
    Christ our Passover Lamb, whom we are to eat and grow thereby, so that we can be a living sacrifice, yet there is to be no change in me? It is not to affect me at all?
    So His voice that spoke to me and said to kill not in word or deed not even to eat/bite devour one another was just a phantom? So when Christ says to follow Me, I am just to assume His example does not apply to me, because He did all the works? Am I adding to scripture when I understand that to hate my brother is the same thing as murder, yet because of His sacrifice, I can ignore this? Does He not impute His righteousness/spirit to us that we can follow?
    Just wondering?

  289. zeal4thyhouse Dec 11th 2012

    2Ti 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

    Yes, ALL Scripture.

    Not just a part of.

  290. I agree with Carl and zeal4thyhouse, that all scripture is inspired/God breathed, not some but ALL.

    Blessings.

  291. Teshuva Dec 11th 2012

    Zeal4thy house,
    If I agree that all scripture is given by the “INSPIRATION” of God, and is profitable for…….
    Shouldn’t I also be “inspired” with the Spirit from above to understand it? Because scripture is of no personal interpretation, should I ask of Him who gave it what meaneth this, so I can be corrected, and instructed in righteousness/spirit?
    Can I say to myself that I see in Paul who says that he gave the whole counsel of God, because he took the words of God and made THE WORD of God, by the spirit to have the desired effect?

  292. Gal 1:11 But I certify you, brethren, that the gospel which was preached of me is not after man.

    1:12 For I neither received it of man, neither was I taught it, but by the revelation of Jesus Christ.

    Blessings.

  293. ValleyAnt Dec 11th 2012

    Barnabas, your name is fitting. Thanks for that 2Cor. passage: “Grace be with you, and peace…” Grace, peace, and comfort to you also. It’s not needful for salvation or a relationship with God to know the distinctions among the Godhead. However, some people want to know, and to some it’s given to know. And being aware of His presence in a placed is important. So far for me, His presence is absent or weak among Christians according to the level of their devotion to self or/and God. I like your Habbakuk passage. He repeats what David said in Ps. 18: “He makes my feet like the feet of a deer and enables me to stand on the heights” (v. 33). Amen! And Lord, AMEN. Carry it out, in Jesus’ Name. Amen.

  294. Teshuva Dec 11th 2012

    Ya know what Barry?
    I might just owe you an apology.
    Sheeja John wrote a couple of articles back to make sure of our calling. So this had me wondering, what is my calling? I am no apostle, prophet, evangelist, teacher or pastor. I was made to understand that my calling is to BE love.
    Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. 5 It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. 6 Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. 7 It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
    Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.

    Every one of the things of love are eternal, and do not pass away.

  295. Averyl Dec 11th 2012

    Barry Schmidt, – AMEN!

    Sheeja John, – thank you for taking the time to post your reply, much appreciated.

    Teshuva, – It sure does affect us, we are given new life emanating from a new heart.
    The outworking of this new life through our flesh is the battle we have.
    But we have entered into His rest so must trust Him to enable us.
    His yoke is easy & His burden light.
    He does not want us to be anxious about anything.

    Back to the Edenic state, – pre-fall Adam & Eve were innocent, blissfully unaware of good & evil.
    Can we imagine ourselves being like that?

    God bless you all today!

  296. Greg Simpson Dec 11th 2012

    To Sheeja John:
    2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, an is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
    To Barry Schmidt:
    First a question; Did Peter, when he got out of the boat do the seemingly impossible actually walk on water? Yes!
    Matthew 19:26: ….With men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.
    God does not require of his children that which he does not empower them to do.
    Burn this verse into your brain. Galatians 2: 20 I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and, and gave himself for me.
    Colossians 1:27 To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.
    What I can’t do for myself Christ does in me. Not through my self effort, but by dieing to myself so the life of the Son of God may be manifest in my life. I don’t become like the most high, the sin of Satan; I die and Christ lives. Amen? We live by faith alone in Christ alone.

  297. Sheeja John Dec 11th 2012

    Zeal4thyhouse, BarrySchmidt, Greg Simpson, Carl Emerson, Averyl, Ken and those who want to join in…

    How is the following verse profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

    But from those who seemed to be something – whatever they were, it makes no difference to me…..for those who seemed to be something added nothing to me. – Galatians 2:6

  298. Sheeja John Dec 11th 2012

    Now concerning virgins, I HAVE NO COMMANDMENT FROM THE LORD: yet I GIVE JUDGMENT…… 1 Cor. 7:23
    Was the above verse God Breathed or Paul breathed?

    For I consider that I am not at all inferior to the most eminent apostles. – 2 Cor.11:5
    Is this verse God Breathed? How is it profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness?

  299. zeal4thyhouse Dec 11th 2012

    Sheeja John,

    I am choosing God’s Word above human reasoning.

    2 Timothy 3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God….

    ALL SCRIPTURE!

  300. Sheeja John – read in the context of the passage, yes those verses you quote are profitable..

    The question is are we to take any one verse and because ‘I’ don’t understand it – now – assume that NOT all Scripture is given by the inspiration of God…?

    The danger is that once we deny that truth – we may then get to the point of spiritualising or allegorising scripture, interpreting scripture to fit our own belief – rather than basing our belief on the truth of all scripture.

  301. zeal4thyhouse Dec 11th 2012

    Paul was so full of the Holy Spirit that everything he uttered was God breathed.

    That is why he could say; “”I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”"

    You see there; he was living by the faith of Jesus Christ. Christ was living His Life in and through Paul. So it was Jesus’ faith that he lived by. Not his own. He has died to himself.

    All Scripture is inspired by God.

  302. Sheeja John Dec 11th 2012

    Roger, Zeal4thyhouse,
    None of you have given the answer as to how it is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness?
    ——————————————————————————————–
    Zeal4thyhouse, Paul fought with Barnabas over John Mark..Was it because he was inspired by God?
    I have seen and can see the fruit many are producing. The mouth betrays them. ‘He had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon.’ (Rev.13:11)

  303. Sheeja John – once you start doubting the truth of scripture, you are deceived..

    I’ll repeat what I said before:

    Sheeja John – read in the context of the passage, yes those verses you quote are profitable..

    The question is are we to take any one verse and because ‘I’ don’t understand it – now – assume that NOT all Scripture is given by the inspiration of God…?

    The danger is that once we deny that truth – we may then get to the point of spiritualising or allegorising scripture, interpreting scripture to fit our own belief – rather than basing our belief on the truth of all scripture.

  304. This scripture speaks of the Spirit of Truth, who is the Holy Spirit, and the Comforter – the Holy Ghost.

    When the Holy Spirit indwells, He (the Spirit of Truth) cannot lie to us.

    If a spirit is telling you that not all scripture is God inspired, then I do not believe those are words from the Holy Spirit.

    Joh 16:13-15 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you.

  305. Sheeja John Dec 11th 2012

    Roger, I am requesting you to explain to me as to how those scriptures profit YOU and what fruit does it produce in YOUR life.

    Did Yeshua my Lord and Saviour speak a word on His own? Did the Holy Spirit speak a word on His own? What do the Scriptures say?

    Every Scripture breathed of God is profitable. Is every verse in the epistles breathed of God???

  306. Richard Savage Dec 11th 2012

    Sheeja, the Bible as we have it sustained the like of John Owen, John Wesley, Charles Spurgeon, Billy Graham, and so many more I can’t name them .. even me. Yes, me, L’il ole me!

    Just take it as it is.

    Supposing there’s errors you may say, but Lord, I accepted this as your words for me. He’s gonna condemn you?

    I tell you, start splitting, not dividing the Word, and you’re already in deep trouble.

    Please, please, just accept, this is the Lord God’s words for you. Now laugh, you can’t go wrong!

    Now can someone tell me what this has to do with Eden, please?

  307. Sheeja John Dec 11th 2012

    In 1 Thessalonians 4:15 Paul specifies saying, ‘For this we say to you by the word of the Lord…’
    What does that mean? What does it convey?

  308. Sheeja John Dec 11th 2012

    Richard Savage, So far it was ‘Amen’… I was waiting…
    You cannot build unless the foundations are right. Am I right? You have been speaking,… I heard it. Thank you.

    I have been called of God. I draw strength from Him. I have an assignment, a responsibility. I am accountable to Him.

  309. zeal4thyhouse Dec 11th 2012

    Sheeja John,
    so you want to tell me that the Scripture is not all truth??

    You are directly saying that ALL Scripture is NOT inspired by God?

    You are really deceived if you question anything in God’s Word.

    ……God, that cannot lie,….. Titus 1;2

    So this is then also not true??

  310. zeal4thyhouse Dec 11th 2012

    I am committed to God’s Word and will stand on it.

    Thank you

    May the Lord have mercy om all of us.

  311. Richard Savage Dec 11th 2012

    Sheeja, just take the entire Bible as you have it, take it in hand, and kneel, pray, this is your Word to me Lord. I accept it as it is.

    All else is not your problem, although your honest enquiry will be well received of your Father.

  312. AGazette Dec 11th 2012

    I have to agree with everyone who says: “All Scripture is God Breathed”.

    The Lord can say what He wants when He wants. He’s the Creator, we are just worms in the dust.

  313. Sheeja – where do I start…? All of scripture is profitable to me, when taken in the context of ‘all of scripture’.

    Yes there are individual verses, even phrases that the Holy Spirit will highlight to me, as pertinent to me for a specific reason at a specific time – yet that same verse may not have the same ‘revelation’ to another.

    For instance: John 20:23, the word ‘remit’, may mean not much at all to anyone else – yet in one situation, Almighty God literally gave me that one word, and through that one word came healing, and understanding once I had followed His leading.

    **

    Richard – thankyou, you are right, this is off topic. It may be useful to share these things – but yes, off topic :-)

    In His love,
    Roger

  314. Richard Savage Dec 11th 2012

    Off topic doesn’t matter so much, if a person, and honest seeker after truth is pointed in the Lord Jesus’ direction.

    I now regret that part of my post.

  315. Greg Simpson Dec 11th 2012

    Sheeja John,
    I am afraid you are asking questions based on the wrong premise. We have to believe that God is able to protect his word down through the centuries and present it pure and undefiled to us today. We have to believe that God is unchanging. We have to believe that God is sovereign.
    Let me ask you three questions.
    1. Is your trust in the armour of God, or in the God of the armour?
    2. Do you want the wisdom of God, or the God of all wisdom?
    3. Do you want the gift or the Giver?
    Your answers to these questions determines what you will receive.
    God has revealed himself to us in scripture. In scripture we learn what God loves, and what God hates.
    When we read 1 Samuel 1-4 the judgement on the house of Eli, we see a God that does not tolerate sin, refusing sacrifice and offering forever and finally causing the death of Eli’s house. Yes, I said causing. A truly Soveriegn God.
    I have talked to many who say that God is not like that at all. That God is a loving God. A forgiving God. Well, God is a loving and forgiving God, but not at the expense of being a God of judgement. These people have fallen for the lie. They have rejected God as revealed in scripture and have created God in their image. You either have to believe what scripture says as the absolute truth of God, or we all are following different rules. Speaking a different language.
    Jesus said he knows his sheep, and his sheep know his voice. John 10:27
    What does that verse say to you?
    It is unwise to form our doctrine on that which is unclear to us.
    2 Peter 1:21 For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man; but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

  316. Sheeja John Dec 11th 2012

    Sincerely, honestly, ALL OF YOU, PLEASE PRAY. I AM ALSO PRAYING. PLEASE DO PRAY FOR ME TOO.

    YEHOVAH spoke through Jeremiah saying, “..I will put My Law in their minds,and write it on their hearts…” There is a reason for everything. I have presented what I need to present.You take whatever witness you receive in your spirit.

  317. AGazette Dec 11th 2012

    5 Every word of God is pure;
    He is a shield to those who put their trust in Him.
    6 Do not add to His words,

  318. Getting back to the issue of control which the Lord has been dealing with me on – financial control – this has been the enemy of the Church moving in the plans – the Supernatural plans – of God…

    Ultimately the true test of our love for the Lord is how we yield our finances to Him…

    As He said, “none of you can be My disciple who does not give up all his own possessions”…

    This goes to the heart…

    I have given away all my money before…

    But that didn’t “cut out” selfishness in my heart…

    I have left my job before – when I was quite young – but this did not “cut out” selfishness in my heart (and on hindsight I did this on presumption not real faith)…

    Only the Lord can “cut out” selfishness from our hearts…

    Love is not self seeking…

    We think about love but as human beings – in our natural (fallen) state – we cannot comprehend what the Love of God which is not self seeking is…

    God loved us while we were still sinners…

    He didn’t love us so that one day He could enjoy us praising Him in heaven…

    It wasn’t a calculated gamble…

    Short term pain, long term gain…

    His joy was that we would be in heaven…

    His love was pure…

    This is what sustained Him…

    Through the cross…

    If it was me or my children or my wife who had to choose who would eat the last remaining morsel of food I know in my heart that even if I gave it to them I would be angry…

    I saw that this morning…

    This is when the Lord showed me – really showed me – what it means that love is not self-seeking…

    Jesus said to His Father – “if it is possible… but not My will but Yours be done”…

    This is love which is not self seeking…

    When we get those desires to give and be generous we can do something about it…

    We can “let go” and give those desires to benefit others to the Lord…

    We can act as He specifically directs us…

    As we hear His Voice speaking to us – not out of fear but out of gratitude – we can act and in this place we can trust that He will provide…

    This is the path which He has chosen for us…

    The death of self and the death of selfishness…

    Once we are no longer protecting our own lives He can trust us with His and His provision will flow through us and out to those who really need it…

    Love in the Lord,

    Andrew

  319. Dear Sheeja,

    I would like to respond to your question.

    You asked “How is the following verse profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

    But from those who seemed to be something – whatever they were, it makes no difference to me…..for those who seemed to be something added nothing to me. – Galatians 2:6

    Firstly I have a deep love for the scripture. I expect treasure to be revealed through any passage in His word.

    This verse reveals something truely beautiful about Paul. He had a confidence that came from a direct encounter with Jesus on the road and subsequent healing from blindness. He had a deep passion and focus on the divine calling he was given. He saw Jesus working mightily with him, He knew that the encounter with Jesus was the only credential he needed to minister in His name BUT… he still went to Jerusalem and presented himself and his ministry to the other apostles. This is true humility, like Jesus, he did not consider his imputed status a thing to be grasped but followed his Lord even to a martyrs death.

    This is why he was able to write in Phillipians 2:5 – Have this attitude in yourselves which was also in Christ Jesus,
    6 who, although He existed in the form of God, did not regard equality with God a thing to be grasped,
    7 but emptied Himself, taking the form of a bond-servant, and being made in the likeness of men.
    8 Being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.

    So this scripture reveals a beautiful balance – deep confidence on the one hand and deep humility on the other.

    Some misunderstand Pauls intent in these comments – he was not putting the apostles down, rather he was just knowing that in Him he had all he needed.

    Blessings,

    Carl Emerson.

    P.S. Folks forgive me for responding further ‘off topic’ but It seemed to right thing to do…

  320. Sheeja – it may seem that a group here are talking at you, rather than sharing. Knowing a number of those here, I know that they desire to share their understanding with you.

    In your last post you say: “..YEHOVAH spoke through Jeremiah saying, “..I will put My Law in their minds,and write it on their hearts…” There is a reason for everything. I have presented what I need to present.You take whatever witness you receive in your spirit…”

    I ask of you, are you please able to expand on that..? to help our/my better understanding of your sharing..?

    In His love,
    Roger

  321. David Marsh Dec 11th 2012

    My dear Carl,
    I have just finished reading your essay and I agree 100% with your thoughts here.
    I do believe I know where you can find the answer to your question within this publication.

    You might want to have a look at;
    http://theapostleshandbook.publishpath.com/sample-pages

    If this sits well with you, then email me at [email protected]

    God bless you

    David Marsh.

  322. Hi David,

    Thanks for your post.

    Can you clarify what you think my question is? I may have lost the thread of the conversation…

    Blessings,

    Carl Emerson.

  323. The Word of God is a living, breathing Book to all who have the Spirit of the Lord. I can look at His Words at different times in search of an answer I need, and whammo, I find it and marvel how true and fresh it is. Months later I’II go back to those scriptures and can’t find same excitement the first time I checked. I may not be conveying this well, but when I need a certain answer to my moments delimma, I check and find it with tears and joy in my heart. (think it was Roger who explained it better) That’s why, long ago I knew the Bible lived so strongly in my heart, moment to moment….It would say exacty what I needed,,,,and later on, …A new question, a bright light on a different scripture….Amazing and encouraging, and always full of Truth…The Truth that sets us free.

  324. Amen Joan – you have explained that as I see it too. The words are alive, made alive by the Holy Spirit, as He knows we need that life.

    I don’t accept that I said it better – we all share our own testimonies of our walk with Lord Jesus, that we all may be encouraged and edified in our walk with Him.

  325. I too have problems with Paul’s delivery in the book of Galatians, but there is a reason for it. Paul was a shepherd in a sense. Sometimes sheep will bite the Shepard, and the shepherd needs to put them in their place. That seems to be what was going on there. I remember as a new believer disliking Paul because of his tone in that letter.

    Paul’s letters are true, but there are things in them that can limit you if you are imitating Paul and not listening to the Holy Spirit. One I specifically remember the Lord showing me was that scripture where Paul says says that he has become all things to all men so that he may “win a few.” I remember the Lord specifically showing me that is exactly what you would win if you try to be all things to all men – “a few”.

    I like the notion that there is a perfect pitch to everything in creation. In Genesis it says that the Holy Spirit “moved” over the waters. The connotation for the Hebrew word there for “move” is “vibrated”. Just like a glass shatters when you hit perfect pitch at the right level of loudness, if we allow the Holy Spirit to tune us to God’s perfect pitch everything will shatter.

  326. New Jerusalem Dec 12th 2012

    AMEN Gary H…….Definitely the Word from the Spirit of Wisdom.

  327. ValleyAnt Dec 12th 2012

    Watchful, Barnabas, and a Gazette, can I email you off-list? I’m in a time where I need to ‘solicit’ meaningful prayers. Please let me know all of you.

  328. David Marsh Dec 12th 2012

    My dear Carl,

    “How then do we return to a vibrant biblical Christianity with conversion growth, and transformed lives?”

    Carl, my apologies. I have not expressed myself very well in my previous post. You are absolutely correct that we need to return to the original, God designed, scriptural way of meeting together – as per the N.T. church.
    I was wondering if you would be interested in looking at my research on this topic?

    God bless

    David Marsh.

  329. ValleyAnt Dec 12th 2012

    Regarding the latest rabbit trail regarding whether or not the entire Bible is inspired by the Holy Spirit Himself, we lack wisdom once again. While we try to impart wisdom to others, the Bible says that the fear of God is the beginning of wisdom. How does this relate? By the fear of God, we learn to be quick to listen and slow to speech and aggravation with those who don’t agree with us. If the Bible is 100% God’s Word, then speak once and let God’s superior wisdom defend itself. If Sheeja is wrong, how many people should it take to tell her? With wisdom, only two or three, and in gentleness. Paul said to restore one caught in sin in gentleness. Did he simply mean to be gentle with them? No. He particularly meant to be humble/gentle, having an awareness that we aren’t aware of everything (in that case, we are gentle since Paul made us aware that we can become entangled in sin if we aren’t gentle (literally ‘watchful’, discerning, humble).

    I’m sure I’m speaking to many who don’t know what I’m saying, but it can’t be said any other way. When a person is wrong or perceived to be wrong, it shouldn’t take more than two or three who are spiritual (mature enough to be humble: “… taking heed to yourselves lest you also…”) to correct them; and it shouldn’t take forever. If they won’t be corrected, then pray and leave it to the Lord. After all, there are many who know the Bible but who will, like the Pharisees, miss the Lord, and there are some who are zealous but don’t fully understand the Word, like our dear Apollos (Paul’s companion), but whose hearts are right and who will be made champions for the Lord. Things aren’t always what they seem. “Agree with your adversary quickly,” Jesus said (Mt. 5:25), and “Answer a fool according to his folly,” Solomon said (Pro. 26:5). With heads full of knowledge, a lack of gentleness or at the very least couth, never ceases to betray that we don’t have “a heart of wisdom” (Ps. 90:12). Those who have hearts to understand (who are humble in their eyes) will understand. Let Grace, with peace, be the judge (the decider on who we agree with) and not beliefs.

  330. Hi David,

    Thanks for clarifying…

    It is very rare for me to read a Christian book with few exceptions I just read His word.

    I think the best learning is learning by doing.

    What is your target audience?

    I think that if you have something to teach that is on topic then go for it.

    How do you think we can return to a vibrant biblical Christianity with conversion growth, and transformed lives ??

    Blessings,

    Carl Emerson.

  331. Barnabas Dec 12th 2012

    Valleyant. Advise as to contact. Remember the faithful One continues to intercede for us http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bqqCVuSRkrQ
    .

  332. Barnabas, I am pressing the “like” button…

  333. Barnabas Dec 12th 2012

    Barry, Thanks for the prompt.
    Performance related religion and cash-point grace miss the mark.
    Christmas, Passover, Pentecost everyday. Rest in And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins;
    Eph 2

    1 And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses,
    2 Wherein time past ye walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that now worketh in the children of disobedience: 3 Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.
    4 But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, 5 Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) 6 And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: 7 That in the ages to come he might shew the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness toward us through Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: 9 Not of works, lest any man should boast. 10 For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.
    � KJV.

  334. Barnabas Dec 12th 2012

    Rest in Him

  335. ValleyAnt Dec 12th 2012

    Barnabas, no harm in asking! Lol. Truly, you are a ‘son of encouragement’. I’ve observed wisdom and not just knowledge in your words, and they have been encouraging. Like Carl, I also ‘liked’ the song. The Lord has been faithful and sufficient, and He is listening to and speaking to and for me before the Father. In coming days, I’ll be able to share news of breakthrough. God bless you and your work/labors and your family and friends. “Surely, He has borne our griefs (sicknesses) and carried our sorrows (infirmities, pains)… The chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed” (Isa. 53:4-5). Amen. I pray that this passage will be so for you by experience– that God will restore you in every place and restore to you every good thing that the enemy has taken away from you. Amen.

  336. ValleyAnt Dec 12th 2012

    Adding to what I said earlier about Gal. 6:1, “a spirit of gentleness” is really ‘a spirit/attitude of the fear of the Lord’. Paul doesn’t specifically say this but makes it clear by saying that one reason restoration should be in gentleness (humility) is because those who restore are liable to err if they don’t bring correction ‘in the fear of the Lord’ which promotes humility as it causes people to ‘take heed to themselves’ lest they. So, while the gentleness is partly for the sake of the recipient, the passage shows that the gentleness is primarily for the sake of the giver of Grace– to keep himself from [pride, a fall]. When we deal with each other and others in ‘a spirit of gentleness’, we are wisely dealing with each other in ‘the fear of the Lord’– treating others as we want to be treated which is the beginning of the Law of Christ (“Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfill the Law of Christ”– Gal. 6:2), the essence of selflessness and genuine love.

    On a lighter note, while we’re all endeavoring in sincere earnest to return to the topic of Eden, here’s a song by Phil Wickham that I like called… what else… ‘Eden’: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=LyPMj6E9d4M.

    And here’s my favorite song of his called ‘Divine Romance’: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=VBDLAZFLfIM.

  337. Averyl Dec 12th 2012

    On the one hand we have Sheeja John saying that a truly born again Christian must be perfect, while denying that the Apostle Paul was perfect.
    On the other hand, others of us say that none of us has yet attained perfection, while saying that Paul didn’t make any mistakes.

    Whether the Bride is Israel, the 144,00 or Gentile believers, or Messianic Jews is a relatively small matter.

    The solution to the above contradiction is a basic principle that surely can be sorted as the first scenario causes us to judge not only our brethren but also the scriptures.

    I think I understand where Sheeja John is coming from.
    When Paul wrote that all scripture is God breathed, he was, of course, referring to the Old Testament as the New Testament had not yet been compiled.

  338. Sheeja John Dec 12th 2012

    Carl Emerson,
    Thanks. I enjoyed reading your response. Please explain Why Apostle Paul Initially says, ‘I am not at all inferior to the most eminent apostles,’ (2 Cor. 11:5) then he modifies and says, ”For I am the least of the apostles, who am not worthy to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. (2 Cor.15:9) and finally ends up calling himself, the ‘chief sinner’ (1 Tim. 1:15)
    Does it convey anything to you? It does speak a lot to me.
    ————————————————————————————–
    Roger,
    Apostle John gave the warning in Rev. 22:18-19 with a reason. People tamper with the truths written on pages.
    People can tamper with the truths written on pages; but that which has been written in our hearts by His finger and that which has been placed in our minds by Him cannot be tampered with, by an outsider….
    ———————————————————————————————–
    I do not expect everybody to understand everything, as many are not of the faith. The secret of the Lord is with those who fear Him, and He will show them His covenant. (Psalms 25:14) Everything must happen as is written in the Scripture of Truth .(Daniel 10:21) The Son of Man went through.. as was written; likewise……..

  339. Dear Sheeja,

    I had hoped you would not need to ask, and to answer will be to partly repeat myself.

    Yes these passages do convey a lot to me.

    It is clear from what we know of Paul that he had extreme confidence and extreme humility. This is a rare combination.

    If we consider the passages you quote in this light, giving consideration to context, his claims make perfect sense and are not contradictory.

    No other contributor to the NT has revealed such deep aspects of his nature.

    So it should be with us, fully confident in what He is doing in us and fully aware that we are but dust and without hope without Him.

    Blessings,

    Carl Emerson.

  340. Sheeja, that progression is just how long it took God to show Paul who he really was. We are all horrible sinners.

    The things that jump out at me are things like Paul stating that he received the Gospel by Revelation of Jesus Christ. This in and of itself is exalting himself spiritually, and not God’s way. He is even knowingly doing it to maintain his authority. Now this is common place in the modern church (calling out healings, etc.), but Paul knew this was not right himself as he refers to this when talking about the most eminent apostles in Corinthians “he who exalts himself is as one who strikes you in the face”. He doesn’t really do it in the rest of his letters. Even being very careful to dance around it when he talks about the guy he knows who was taken up to the third heaven.

    I have a problem with this one too, and it probably takes a long time to get to the point where you can just stay as natural as possible. It is difficult when you are dealing with a supernatural God. I think Paul shows incredible spiritual maturity in his letters that he is able to do it without referencing the revelations themselves.

    I personally like knowing when something is from God and when it is just someone’s own thoughts. However, it creates a lot of problems.

    I think it is significant that the first thing Jesus did before he started his public ministry was that he went and was baptized by John. This identified him with what were considered the greatest sinners of his day – the tax collectors and prostitutes.

    Barry Schmidt posted this – “This is what the Holy spirit says, ” The greatest threat to My church in this hour is self effort religion.”

    I bear witness with this. Setting about to establish our own righteousness is the broad road that leads to destruction and exactly the main thing I believe God is going to zero in on in the coming judgment of the church. Many are trying so hard to be “good Christians”, and they are missing God. We all do it, but we need to allow him to set us free from it and be led by the spirit.

  341. Barnabas Dec 12th 2012

    Valleyant, I’m quite happy to prayer personally, I was just requesting your contact details for me to send mine to. My further comment was to prompt us both that in the mean time He knows exactly what is required. Are you able to disclose enough for us all to pray. My present thought for each of us is

    ‘Father, may we each today know from the workmanship You have created in us, the rhythm of grace for each moment. May each breathe we take be an inhaling of Your inspiration and insight. Bless you Lord for Your mercy and grace towards us. We walk trust you place our feet on holy ground. In Jesus name Amen.’

    Bless you for the music links………. Each shall bring a song………
    New to me but a refreshing start to the day. Thankyou.

    Just wondering with your comment whether you may be confusing meekness and gentleness?

  342. Barnabas Dec 12th 2012

    We walk trusting.