Fear of God: Defining issues. Discerning good and evil. 2019 Implications for Voting.

The Fear-of-God builds up confidence and makes a world safe for your children. Prov 14:26 MSG

Which policies may we put into the category of “unsafe” for our children and what defines this choosing? Which policies show a lack of respect for and “fear” of God? We can generalise from the previous article #4 Fear of God: God’s Creation is a Safe Foundation that rebellion against God inevitably and crucially involves rebellion against his Creation which underpins so much of ethics and morality.

We may also generalise from the lessons of history and the underpinnings of Western Civilisation as shown for instance in the:

UNIVERSAL DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS 

eng-Universal_Declaration_Human_Rights

INTERNATIONAL COVENANT ON CIVIL AND POLITICAL RIGHTS.

volume-999-i-14668-english

PRINCIPLE 1. There are zero choices other than save or kill. Saving the mother’s life is not a factor in deciding yes/no as labour can be induced without deliberately choosing to kill the baby first. See the Dublin Declaration and many of the submissions by Medicine with Morality.

PRINCIPLE 2. Legal compelling of participation in evil once the evil itself has been legalised – one evil on top of another.

As we have seen with Section 8 of the Victorian Abortion Law Reform Act 2008 doctors can be compelled by law to participate in the abortion process either by performing it or by referral to a doctor who will perform an abortion. In this, permission has become a compulsion.

Another example of this is the proposed law to criminalise so-called “conversion therapy” assisting a person who wants to change sexual orientation. Therapists (no definition yet so it includes doctors who may be involved in counselling) are only permitted to reinforce the person’s present orientation, not assist in variation. Clearly such should be left to the ethics of the various therapist’s organisations and, of course (!) the patient/client’s wishes. How dare a government say it is illegal for someone to seek counselling for change.

A further example of this compelling is the charging of parents who will not affirm their child’s wish to transgender. Also, see what is child abuse?

(By the way, there is no “need” to follow any of these links unless you wish more info.)

PRINCIPLE 3. Crushing by the law of the freedom to discuss and debate the issues concerned by “anti-discrimination”, “religious vilification” and “hate speech” legislation. Labor wants to further expand the limitations on freedom of speech.

PRINCIPLE 4. Educational indoctrination by the state of “gender fluidity”; acceptance of homosexuality as a valid lifestyle with implied experimentation to find out; choices re virginity (at least two); and access to pornographic and sadomasochistic sites with instructions how to hide from parents. Labour policy even includes funding for “gender affirming” treatments including chemical castration and mutilating sex-change surgery such as bilateral mastectomy. As a result of such ideology, we are now seeing a significant rise in the number of children presenting with gender confusion.

PRINCIPLE 5. The further erosion of parental values by the compulsion (yet again!) of private schools – that are chosen for their values – to accept teachers that do not accept those values.

I submit all the above are very clear choices influencing voting, a choice between right and wrong, good and evil, all influencing a world safe for our children.

PRINCIPLE 6. A little less clear as it may involve Parental vs. Government responsibilities are issues where the government could ensure a safe place for our children, for instance, clean-feed internet as a default that needs overriding.

Other issues that will influence voting are those that involve the “how” rather than the “yes/no” (rightness /wrongness) of the issue and include rightly concerning issues and justice

Indigenous health, housing and education

Refugee intake particularly for peoples suffering religious persecution and genocidal threat

The management of asylum seekers entering illegally

World nutrition and poverty.

While the needs may be clear there is disagreement as to their resolution and the quantity of relief. The relief of world poverty can be through non-government aid organisations or government (I prefer the former and its methods of distribution) and there are competing strategies to protect our own industries and future vs development of the nation in poverty. Christian mission and aid agencies have been at the forefront of relief and development.

Less clear however is the issue of “climate change” despite it being made into a critical electioneering issue. Yes, of course, emissions should be reduced and forests conserved. But there is appropriate disagreement as to the severity and impact of the problem and its causes, whether suggested methods of control will be effective, and will they have other negative effects and international implications that affect our future economy and industry. As with other contentious issues, people who wish to debate the current mantra are simply dismissed as “climate deniers”.

I applaud all who work for the marginalised in and out of our country and all who work as stewards of creation. I applaud efforts to have good enshrined in party platforms. These matters however with their varying solutions pale in comparison to the former principles when it comes to the ballot box. They involve the “how” rather than the “yes/no”.

.

Remembering, with respect to a world safe for your children, the words of Jesus “whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea(Matt 18:6 ESV).

Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth.  Serve the LORD with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling. (Psalm 2:10 NIV).

The Fear-of-God

builds up

confidence,

and makes a world

safe for your children.

Proverbs 14:26 MSG

The Fear-of-God: The Fear-of-God and the Aussie “fair go”.

To be given a “fair crack o’the whip” – to be given a chance; to have a fair go – has been a part of our national identity and heritage and is now, once again, being promoted as a political slogan.

What does it mean and which policies should we regard as being important for a fair go? Which “fair entitlements” are currently under threat.

What do we want and cherish most?

A fair wage for a fair day’s work? Equal opportunity for education?

We tend to take for granted the right to have food in our tummy and clothes and personal safety. Yes, all these things are important and we know that some miss out, even in this “the lucky country”.

Freedom to vote in secret. Perhaps at a more basic level, freedom to barrack loudly for your favourite footy team or player without fear of being labelled.

So yes, freedom to be, freedom to live. Freedom to speak, to believe, to think, to debate, to choose, to express an opinion.

Further, freedom from class distinction, freedom to do well with minimal interference from government intervention or micro-management or taxes crippling enterprise.

In summary, I suggest, the Aussie “fair go” means the freedom to

express our beliefs and values

■ bring up our children in families that facilitate the sharing of these beliefs and values

■ join together with like-minded people who share these beliefs and values in the mutual association

■ set up educational facilities consistent with these beliefs and values and the liberty to exclude influences that are contrary

■ state these liberties without fear of accusation of intolerance or hate-speech

THESE FREEDOMS SHOULD SOUND FAMILIAR TO ALL WITH EVEN THE SLIGHTEST SMATTERING OF NECESSARY HISTORY.

1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights

ARTICLE 18. 

Everyone has the right to freedom of thought, conscience and religion; this right includes freedom to change his religion or belief, and freedom, either alone or in community with others and in public or private, to manifest his religion or belief in teaching, practice, worship and observance.

ARTICLE 19.

Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; this right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media and regardless of frontiers.

ARTICLE 20.

(1) Everyone has the right to freedom of peaceful assembly and association.

(2) No one may be compelled to belong to an association


These values, these freedoms are at risk with many of the policies being promoted at this election time – paradoxically by those shouting loudest about the fair go.

The Fear-of-God builds up confidence and makes a world safe for your children.

Proverbs 14:26 The Message

ARTICLE 26.

(1) Everyone has the right to education. Education shall be free, at least in the elementary and fundamental stages. Elementary education shall be compulsory. Technical and professional education shall be made generally available and higher education shall be equally accessible to all on the basis of merit.

(2) Education shall be directed to the full development of the human personality and to the strengthening of respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms. It shall promote understanding, tolerance and friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups, and shall further the activities of the United Nations for the maintenance of peace.

(3) Parents have a prior right to choose the kind of education that shall be given to their children.

The Fear-of-God: God’s Creation is a Safe Foundation. by Lachlan Dunjey. May 8, 2019

We should have a proper sense of wonder, awe and respect for God’s creation.

The prophet Isaiah said it well in Chapter 40

Rebellion against God inevitably and crucially involves rebellion against his Creation which underpins so much of ethics and morality. It is foundational.

To whom will you compare me?
Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One.

Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:

Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one
and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing.

Isaiah 40:25,26 ESV

God’s Creation Order.

Man created in the Image of God “let us make man in our image”

All human life has intrinsic value in all states of dependence and disability from fertilisation to life’s natural end.

It is attacked through abortion; euthanasia; physician-assisted suicide; destructive embryo research; embryo de-selection and eugenics including sex selection and Down Syndrome genocide; babies accidentally born alive after abortion procedure and left to die; after-birth abortion; cloning, chimeras and cyborgs.

Ultimately to control all reproductive and life processes, to create life and design it according to our own wishes, “cleansing” the human race for the future and in the meantime eliminating all that is deemed less than perfect.

Personal autonomy to the exclusion of any God influence.

Eden and the Tower of Babel revisited.

To be free of the Creator God, to render Him unnecessary and be our own gods. We will be in control of our own lives and will choose how and when to die and choose the same for others.

Terrorism.

Not putting the same value on human life, eliminating whole communities by conquest and genocidal killing with Christians as prime targets.

Further pushed: From within by the atheistic lobby and “God-haters”; atheistic or naïve genetic experimenters; leftist social engineers.

Remember: permission becomes a compulsion. Apart from the destruction of social order also at threat is liberty of conscience and discrimination in employment.

The creation of Masculinity and Femininity (“bone of my bones, flesh of my flesh”)

So much more than having physical intercourse but nevertheless includes the Creation Mandate to “Be fruitful and multiply”.

It is attacked through: Gender fluidity and transgenders; be whatever sex you like – you are in charge of your destiny – you are your own god. The rebellion against God’s design of “natural” intercourse.

Pushed by: The gay lobby, leftist social engineers and the PC brigade

Remember: permission becomes a compulsion.

Apart from the destruction of social order also at threat is liberty of speech, of belief and to teach our children.

Further specific attacks through public education e.g. Safe Schools Coalition Australia, “Respectful Relationships” and now re-badged yet again as “Inclusive Education” encouraging to declare sexual preferences early leading to identity confusion and also experimentation in sexuality.

Loss of liberty to speak about the dangers of these lifestyles and discrimination in employment and business.

Marriage as a specific subset of sexuality and a Creation Mandate; “one flesh”; “for this reason shall a man cleave to his wife”

It is attacked through: The destruction of marriage as an institution, pushing “marriage” and “family” as we choose and then discarding it as a useless concept with complete sexual freedom.

The decline of the West is achieved by intrinsic moral decay and by declining birth rate to demographic winter

Pushed by: the gay lobby, leftist social engineers and PC brigade

Remember: permission becomes a compulsion.

Apart from the destruction of social order also at threat is liberty of speech, of belief and to teach our children, even around the kitchen tableLoss of liberty to speak about the dangers to society and discrimination in employment and business ultimately also threatening parenthood and, in particular, Christian parenthood. The attacks are unprecedented.

Stewards of Creation 

The animal kingdom and the earth – bring order, subdue, care for, work.  Inclusive of a Sabbath rest – and God saw that it was good, and rested.

It is attacked through: Failure and neglect leading to ecological disaster; misdirected economics with chemical or radio-nuclear contamination and de-forestation; deliberate destruction through the war with the possibility of nuclear disaster.

We ignore the principle of a Sabbath rest to our peril.

Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth.  Serve the LORD with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling. Psalm 2:10 NIV.

What did Jesus say?  A direct application for today.

Firstly, Jesus affirmed the creation story. Matt 19:4-6 “Haven’t you read,” he replied, “that at the beginning the Creator ‘made them male and female, and said, ‘For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh’?  So, they are no longer two, but one flesh.

The warfare against heteronormativity – male and female – is an unprecedented rebellion against God and His Creation.

We must preach and teach the fundamentals of creation and their application – male and female (no spectrum), its complementarity as the ordinance of marriage and the Imago Dei – to be created in the image of God.

Secondly, Jesus explained and affirmed the command (Luke 10:27) to love our neighbour. Loving our neighbour and our neighbour’s children means not only caring for them in present calamity but also warning against approaching calamity (e.g. a flash flood) or helping to protect their future from encroaching evil – in this instance state mandated sexual indoctrination.

Loving our neighbour is not optional.  “Hate evil and love good, then work it out in the public square” (Amos 5:15 Msg)

Thirdly, Jesus said whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a great millstone fastened around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea” (Matt 18:6).

Jesus’ condemnation re leading children into sin is quite specific as is its judgment. Other evils that concern us do not merit the same specific judgment. May this truth be reflected in our thinking and our living.

If we, as informed Christians, support politicians and educators whose firm commitment is sexual confusion by indoctrination of our children, then we too are guilty of allowing our little ones to be led into sin.

The Fear-of-God

builds up

confidence,

and makes a world

safe for your children.

Proverbs 14:26 The Message

Sometimes you just gently teach

Sometimes you preach with invitation

Sometimes you confront and challenge

Sometimes you have to condemn

Sometimes you have to drive the money-changers out of the temple

Sometimes you have to walk with Christ to Calvary.

by Lachlan Dunjey. May 8, 2019

Church Leaders to exercise leadership Where was the Christian Vote in the Federal Election of 2010? by Lachlan Dunjey.

Below is a paper of 16 September 2010.

I am saddened and sometimes overwhelmed by the anti-God philosophies of our day and by the failure (still) of many Church “leaders” to give leadership on the issues that really matter, giving essential information and guidance on how not to support the passage of evil into law.

Yes, it is more than just a battle for logic,

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.

Ephesians 6:12

Lord, in Your mercy and grace, may the epitaph of September 2010 not be true of May 2019.

 

Did Church leaders fail to have a voice?

Did Church Pastors fail to give their people the necessary information?


Christianvalues.org.au
Checklists Current-Elections 2019


Lachlan, you were pretty outspoken prior to the election regarding what you saw as Christian issues in voting – do you think you were heard?

The few times I actually had the face-to-face opportunity in speaking at meetings, yes – but there were too few of those opportunities.

Is it a problem for you to be outspoken?

Yes, as a medical practitioner and a senior member of our society I have an obligation to be respectful of others and their opinions. Most importantly I must not bring dishonour to my Lord Jesus Christ.

Do you find yourself at odds with other Christian leaders?

Yes, I find myself at odds with what is said and what is not said.

Can you succinctly define those matters?

Firstly I don’t think the big issues are really understood by many, secondly, they get submerged in a lot of fairy floss or, thirdly, they don’t get said at all – these latter two for fear of offending people or for fear of being perceived as too radical and therefore not heard.

What do you mean by fairy floss?

I don’t mean it to be disparaging but I mean issues on which all Christians should be agreed as matters of concern even though there may be different opinions on how these should be addressed – concern for refugees, our place in international conflicts, third-world poverty, homelessness, overseas aid e.g. should this be provided by government or by private giving through international aid organisations?

Our vote may be split on how to tackle these matters but in my view, they are not the big defining issues. Biological sustainability and climate change are also matters of concern and bring out differences in how they should be addressed but they also are not big defining issues.

If these matters only are discussed and the really big issues are missed out then I consider we have failed.

So how do you define a “defining issue”?

Defining issues are wrongs actually brought into being by government introduced legislation as opposed to matters occurring or happening in our world.

With respect to things that are happening, we may argue about contributory negligence and about what might be required in legislation to rectify that and also to prevent it. But what we cannot argue about is when governments actually legislate to permit wrong.

What we cannot argue about is when governments legislate to permit evil. And especially what we cannot argue about is when governments legislate to compel evil.

Whoa! “Permitting evil” and “compelling evil” – that’s heavy stuff. How can you justify this language?

The law in Victoria regrettably illustrates this. In Victoria we have unrestricted abortion right through to term by any method which for mid-trimester abortion may mean simply pulling the baby apart with forceps – carefully reassembling it later to make sure bits are not missing – and for very late abortion may mean delivering it as a breach and then puncturing the base of the skull and sucking the brain out so as to collapse the skull thus allowing delivery of the head through an incompletely dilated cervix, and all of this without any consideration of anaesthesia for the baby.

As there are no restrictions for reason there is effectively state approval of eugenic selection of anything regarded as less than perfect through to birth, including readily correctable abnormalities such as cleft lip.

And – worse still – in Victoria, we have the legal compulsion of doctors to act against their conscience.

Doctors are compelled to refer to a doctor they know will support a request for an abortion.

Whoa again – that’s too much to take in!

Yes, agreed. It seems that the general public in Victoria have no idea what their government has done or have failed to realise its significance. But tragically it’s real. Do you understand?

But there must be some checks and balances surely?

Up to 24 weeks it only requires the mother’s request and a doctor to do it. Over 24 weeks it only requires one doctor in addition to the abortionist to agree with the mother. And if the doctor does not agree then he or she has to find a doctor who will.

Surely that cannot be?

One would think not but written into the legislation is the Section 8 provision to force doctors – even when such is against their deeply held convictions and conscience – to refer for abortion when asked by a patient. It is the first time in the Western world since Hitler’s Germany that doctors have been forced by government legislation to participate in evil. Now it is one thing to pass a law that permits evil but it is something more to pass a law that compels evil.

How come there wasn’t a huge amount of protest – at least from Doctors?

Oh, there was – from the AMA and from many groups. The overruling of conscience provision even flies in the face of Victoria’s own Charter of Rights and Responsibilities – all of this got ignored.

But how could this be?

It is a sad but inescapable fact that many MPs are elected with specific agendas to implement regardless of any logical argument that may be subsequently be mounted against those agendas. Victorian abortion legislation owes much to the influence of Emily’s List.

OK, tell me about Emily’s List.

Just under 60% of female Labor MPs nationwide are Emily’s List members. Founded in 1996, Emily’s List aim was to get Labor women into parliament and from its beginning, it was to be pro-choice.

This extremely pro-autonomy (seemingly at the expense of any consequences to society), pro-choice (read pro-abortion), the pro-euthanasia organisation boasts of the great victory of the abortion legislation “free of harassment”. The legislation was introduced by MLC Candy Broad, one of the founders of Emily’s List.

So what’s the connection between all this and the recent federal election?

Our newly elected PM Julia Gillard is also a founder of Emily’s List and wrote its constitution.

Oh! Would you like to enlarge on the significance of that?

The connection is inescapable. She is a believer in all that Emily’s List stands for and presumably in what it has achieved. If not, then she could easily have distanced herself from what it stands for and has achieved. To my knowledge, she has not.

And so, this is a defining issue for you?

Yes. And the majority of Church leaders have failed to get to grips with this as an issue or have been too reticent for fear of being seen as disrespectful.

But there is a time to grapple with the truth and declare it and challenge those who espouse the ideals of such as Emily’s List – a small issue in the eyes of some but immensely significant in terms of what I call straight-out good and evil and if you don’t like those terms then I challenge you to come up with another name for what has taken place in Victoria.

Does that mean that Julia Gillard can’t be a good PM?

No, it doesn’t. Although I would much rather have a PM who believes in traditional marriage as the bedrock of society and who believes there is a God, she has the potential to hold things together to actually work for the good of the nation.

We need to pray for her and all the disparate factions to this end and that the factions that would like to implement some of the bad – mostly social issues – will take a backseat and not make things difficult for her.

I do have some fears once the Greens hold the balance of power in the Senate – and I do not think enough has been said by Christian leaders about the bad side of the Greens.

So you’re still upset by Christian leaders not having said enough before the election?

Yes, I am. There’s a time to pussy-foot around and “be nice” and there’s a time to confront and challenge and tell the truth.

Now I don’t mean to condemn my fellow workers in Family Voice Australia or Saltshakers or Right to Life or the people who put together the Christian Values Check List or other outspoken individuals and bodies – I mean denominational leaders and individual pastors of congregations.

We all have an obligation, to tell the truth. Pastors should all have some prophetic role in telling truth – not telling their parishioners who to vote for but defining evil brought about by the government. I challenge anyone to call what has taken place in Victoria anything else but evil.

Now I know you have been very active in the Christian Democratic Party and have also stood for election four times now. How does this fit with what you have been saying?

I really don’t want to detract from anything I have already said but voting intelligently is a Christian responsibility. It is not optional.

We are not confessing Christ if we vote irresponsibly. I will not tell people who to vote for – although I obviously wish they would trust me and the party I work with – I do want people to use their vote intelligently.

I want them to understand that if they put their minor party of preference first and major party second their vote will flow on at full value if the minor party does not win. It is so simple but people still do not understand – I think out of fear of losing their vote.

I still have people telling me they voted for me yet put me down in second place. In the illustration, I only need to remind you that if just 91 Liberal voters who put me as number two in 2005 had instead put me as number one I would still be in state parliament. 

OK, God was in charge of that process as a lot of things have taken place that would otherwise not have been possible but it’s a good example of the importance of knowing how to vote. Only 91 supporters who understood the system…

And are you saying that church leaders and pastors have a role in this too?

Yes. I consider this to be a part of Christian living, Christian behaviour and confessing Christ – as much as intelligent and ethical behaviour in business or driving responsibly, eating responsibly or whatever.

Such behaviour needs to be taught and I consider it needs to be taught from the pulpit. We have shied away from such teaching over the last few decades.

But pastors will disagree, won’t they?

They won’t like me telling them but when will they inform?

OK, at the moment we have a PM whose party in 2009 removed the definition of marriage as being between male and female from Labor Party policy, who herself has not married but lives in a de-facto relationship, who obviously prefers “counsellors” in schools to chaplains, and who believes in the values of Emily’s List.

Wasn’t this enough to inform? But what if we had been faced with the possibility of a PM who said they would bring in same-sex marriage, compulsory euthanasia for certain conditions and ultimately age, physician-assisted suicide, restrict palliative care drugs and hospice funding as medical insurance bodies have done in Oregon, limit benefits for children of “genetic outlaws” who have refused to abort their babies when significant abnormality has been shown – would pastors then define what is good and what is evil and then teach their people how to vote in a manner befitting Christian responsibility?

Or would they still be silent, like the church in Germany?

Wow! So what are you going to do now?

I have known for 20 years that I had another task to do that would occupy the rest of my life and that I was marking time so to speak with three very important matters in the ninety’s and 2000-01. 

What I am doing now in speaking publically and challenging, first of all, God’s people, I will be doing until God informs me otherwise.

Author: by Dr Lachlan Dunjey.  Article Title: Where was the Christian Vote in the Federal Election? Original Posting Date: 16 September 2010 Original Source URL: chooselifeaustralia.org.au 

Sometimes you just gently teach

Sometimes you preach with invitation

Sometimes you confront and challenge

Sometimes you have to condemn

Sometimes you have to drive the money-changers out of the temple

Sometimes you have to walk with Christ to Calvary.

The Fear-of-God: When shame is a necessary ingredient. by Lachlan Dunjey.

When governments deliberately introduce legislation that permits evil – and even to compel it – shame is appropriate and needful.

The trouble is that the parliamentary members who introduce such legislation – particularly when the issue at stake is the intrinsic value of human life – usually also have no concept of what it means to Fear God.

Even when the issues are crystal clear. Such issues can be the shredding of an unborn baby limb by limb, right through to term, for any reason, when it is capable of feeling pain. Or the compelling of doctors to be part of the process.

The absence of fear, the absence of shame, is reflected in the following historical record:

It was the ninth month and the king was sitting in the winter apartment, with a fire burning in the firepot in front of him.  Whenever Jehudi had read three or four columns of the scroll, the king cut them off with a scribe’s knife and threw them into the firepot, until the entire scroll was burned in the fire.  The king and all his attendants who heard all these words showed no fear, nor did they tear their clothes.” 

Jeremiah 36:22-24

In just a few verses we get a glimpse of complacency, arrogance, ignorance and contempt for the message of God that so characterises some people of any generation.  There is no humility, no respect, no remorse, no fear, and no shame.

And in our time

“Repugnance, here as elsewhere, revolts against the excesses of human willfulness, warning us not to transgress what is unspeakably profound.

Indeed, in this age in which everything is held to be permissible so long as it is freely done, in which our given human nature no longer commands respect, in which our bodies are regarded as mere instruments of our autonomous rational wills, repugnance may be the only voice left that speaks up to defend the central core of our humanity.

Shallow are the souls that have forgotten how to shudder.”

Leon Kass 1997 The Wisdom of Repugnance

But shame is also appropriate and necessary for the person who understands when evil is promoted and yet remains silent.

“When principles that run against your deepest convictions begin to win the day, then battle is your calling, and peace has become sin. You must, at the price of dearest peace, lay your convictions bare before friend and enemy with all the fire of your faith.”

Abraham Kuyper

“The hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in times of great moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.”

Dante.

“If I profess with the loudest voice and clearest exposition every portion of the truth of God except precisely that little point which the world and the devil are at that moment attacking, I am not confessing Christ, however boldly I may be professing Christ.”

Martin Luther

And shame is also appropriate and necessary for the person who, when presented with a clear choice at the ballot box, votes for the promotion of evil.1)Date-stamped: 2018 Jan 03 | by Lachlan Dunjey | Article Title: Mourning into Dancing, A Year of Shame – a Failure to Protect  | Article Link: chooselifeaustralia.org.au

Shame on all who sin against the weak and powerless.

Shame on all committing sin against children.

Shame on those who in order to maintain “respectability” cover up the sins of others.

Shame on all those who failed to protect.

Shame on all those who failed to warn.

Shame on all those who failed to warn of the consequences of proposed legislation – not only failing to protect but failing to prevent the facilitation of evil to children.

Shame on all those who did not love their neighbour sufficiently to warn that their children were at risk.

Shame on pastors who failed to warn of the danger and thereby failed to protect.

Shame on all those who voted for the party that was determined to bring in same-sex “marriage” and “safe schools programs”.

Shame on all those who voted “yes”.

Shame on all MPs who encouraged and voted for SSM regardless of the consequences.

We need to declare who we are without fear. In our relationships in society may we be unafraid in upholding our liberty to believe, the honour and value of marriage and family as God gave it and the innate value of all human life as created in the Image of God – all of which are expressed so well in the Canberra Declaration.

Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth.  Serve the LORD with fear and celebrate his rule with trembling.

Psalm 2:10 NIV

The Fear-of-God

builds up

confidence,

and makes a world

safe for your children.

Proverbs 14:26 The Message

Date-stamped: 2019 May 05 | By Lachlan Dunjey  | Article Title: The Fear-of-God: when shame is a necessary ingredient | Article Link: chooselifeaustralia.org.au

References   [ + ]

1. Date-stamped: 2018 Jan 03 | by Lachlan Dunjey | Article Title: Mourning into Dancing, A Year of Shame – a Failure to Protect  | Article Link: chooselifeaustralia.org.au

The Fear Of God Builds Up Confidence And Makes A World Safe For Your Children.

There was a time when the fear of God meant something,

“when committed Christians were known as God-fearing people. This was a badge of honour.”

Jerry Bridges

What does it mean?

“a sovereign respect for God, and makes us dread, above all things, to offend Him.”

Jacques Forget
It is much more than simply being scared and has been described as a mixture of reverence, awe, worship. It should also entail a desire to please Him, to receive His pleasure and to be fearful of no longer receiving His pleasure.

It means a wanting to obey Him and His rules, statutes, laws, principles, precepts, decrees and ways as per Psalm 119.

If only all peoples were to have a healthy Fear-of-God. Then we would have a world safe for our children.

Easter reminds us of the determination of the authorities and the fickleness of the people that resulted in the crucifixion. We see the hate that blinded the eyes and deafened the ears to the miraculous evidence that Jesus was of God, in fact, the Son of God and the promised and longed-for Messiah.

Fear of God did not come into their considerations.

Here in Australia, we are facing what could be the most critical election of our lifetime. Some stated policies are the most anti-God and anti-Christian that we have ever seen – a defiant rejection of doing things God’s way, a seemingly total absence of any “fear-of-God” coupled with a determination to do things “my way” regardless of the consequences to our children and our children’s children.

What do we want to ensure a safe place for our children?

From the Canberra Declaration, we have freedom of expression, freedom of conscience, freedom of belief – even freedom to change belief – and to live in accord with such belief without fear of accusation of intolerance or hate-speech.

Intrinsic to freedom of expression is the freedom to debate. Such Freedom Is Essential For Democracy.

Also enshrined in the Canberra Declaration is the need for a stable family with marriage between a man and a woman guaranteeing children their biological birthright to a mother and a father with its proven track record in protection, education, welfare, support and nurture.

The third important set of values being the intrinsic value of human life in all states of disability and dependency providing sure protection for future generations.

Therefore, you kings, be wise; be warned, you rulers of the earth.  Serve the LORD with fear and celebrate His rule with trembling. Psalm 2:10 NIV.

The Fear-of-God

builds up

confidence,

and makes a world

safe for your children.

Proverbs 14:26
The Message

Lachlan Dungey

original source: https://blog.canberradeclaration.org.au/2019/04/18/the-fear-of-god-builds-up-confidence/

Made for Glory by John Yates

Isa 43:1-7 ESV
Ps 8: 1-9 ESV
2 Cor 3:7 – 18 ESV
John 1:1-14 ESV

Introduction

As a depressed teenager, especially when on alcohol, I was driven almost to the point of insanity about why I existed. I had no sense of being created to reflect the splendour of the glory of God and to display the overwhelming weight or worth of God’s character. An experience of God’s glory changes people forever.

Abraham was able to take his beloved son Isaac up the mountain to sacrifice him at God’s command because the glory of God had appeared to him1)See Biblical References Gen 22: 1-24 ESV; Acts 7:2 ESV. Moses became the leader of Israel because he saw the glory of God in the burning bush (Ex 3: 1-22 ESV).

The prophets faithfully brought the word of the Lord to a rebellious nation because they first had insights into the glory2)See Biblical References Isa 6:1-13 ESV; Ezek 1:1 ESV ff..

When Christ turned water into wine we’re told, “This…was the first time Jesus revealed his glory. And [so that] his disciples believed in him.(John 2:11 ESV).

The glory revealed in the blinding light that shone on Saul on the road to Damascus (Acts 9:3 ESV) converted him from a terrorist into Christ’s apostle Paul.

We were created and it is encountering with the glory which makes us more like God. see it or not, glory is everywhere.

Made for Glory

Since the psalmists testify,the skies declare the glory of God” and humans have been crowned “with glory and honour” (Ps 19:1; Ps 8:5 ESV) all of us we were born under a canopy of God’s glory and encounter the glory in every other person.

So when the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Sri Lanka exhorted the government to punish terrorists “mercilessly, because only animals can behave like that” his curses (James 3:9 ESV) effectively he denied these truths and that Christ died for the worst of sinners (1 Tim 1:15 ESV). To understand what Jesus has redeemed we must first come to terms with the gravity of what we have lost.

Losing the Glory

When a baby is born it’s natural for people to say, “s/he looks like his/her mother/father.”

When God first looked at humans made in his likeness and glory3)See Biblical References Gen 1:26-28 ESV; Isa 43:6-7 ESV he saw the reflection of his own grandeur and it gave him tremendous joy (Prov 8:22-31 ESV).

Adam and Eve were radiant with the glory of God as they walked in love, peace, joy and dignity with God and creation (cf. 1 Cor 11:7 ESV). Then when the serpent tempted Eve humans effectively said to God, “We don’t want you as our heavenly dad, we want the freedom to be like the serpent.” (cf. John 8:44 ESV).

Paul says of all those who have fallen short away from the splendour of the Lord, vs.22Claiming to be wise, they became fools, vs.23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images resembling mortal man and birds and animals and creeping things.(Rom 1:22-23 ESV)4)See Biblical References cf. Ps 106:19-20 ESV.

To one degree or other, every Australian has exchanged the glory of God for idols like happy families, financial security, ecstatic experiences, entertainment, sport, sexual identity, nice houses, pleasant churches and so on.

all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God(Rom 3:23 ESV), can sound like abstract theology, but the cost of our despising God’s magnificence is horribly clear when you visit a nursing home full of dribbling people, a neo-natal ward where little babies are dying, a psychiatric institution where a parishioner tells you he is Jesus, have a friend with terminal cancer before their time, witness a marriage breakdown, know someone who commits suicide or take a funeral of a 12 year old murdered by a teenager in cold blood.

Made for the indescribable glory of godliness fallen humanity is crippled by shame and enslaved through the power of sin, Satan and death (Heb 2:14-15 ESV). This is a tragedy so profound that it can only be remedied by “the Father of glory(Eph 1:17 ESV) and only at the cost of his own Son.

From the foundation of the world the Father’s plan was to share with us the glory seen “in the face of Jesus Christ(2 Cor 4:6 ESV), unlike the glory Adam lost but an incorruptible glory that can never perish5)See Biblical References 2 Pet 1:4 ESV; 1 Cor 15:42-43 ESV because it is a glory built through sacrifice.

Eternal Glory

At the start of his Gospel John summarises its message, “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth(John 1:14 ESV).

Jesus is the visible glory of the invisible God (Col 1:15 ESV).

His teaching, his power to cast out demons and do miracles and heal astounded people so that they spontaneously glorified God6)See Biblical References Mark 1:27 ESV; Luke 7:11-17 ESV; John 7:46 ESV.

But none of these great marvels could permanently deliver disabled humanity from the curse of sin, Satan and death.

Only a limitless concentration of God’s glory on behalf of others could do this-this.

The death and resurrection of Jesus transfers of glory from him to us by a wonderful exchange

Calvin

But the cost of this marvellous exchange is incalculable.

Listen to Jesus praying on his way to the cross, vs.27Now is my soul troubled. And what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? But for this purpose, I have come to this hour.vs.28Father, glorify your name.” Then a voice came from heaven: “I have glorified my name, and I will glorify it again.(John 12:27-28 ESV).

Jesus groans in distress for he knows that in, going to the cross he will be stripped of God’s glory there, but he also understands this suffering is so that in resurrection his fragile humanity might be clothed in indestructible glory.

He yields his fears and frailties to the Father so that we might share in this glory (2 Cor 8:9 ESV).

True glory, God’s glory is always for others.

To the natural eye, there is no dazzling splendour or weightiness of God’s presence in the weak broken bleeding man on the cross. But the resurrection (Rom 6:4 ESV) unveils the secret that eternal glory is a crucified glory.

The weightiness of Christ’s life is that in sacrificial love gives up everything that God might be glorified. Stripped of all temporal glories Jesus became for us the eternal glory of God in human form (1 Tim 3:16 ESV).

Wounded Glory

That the glory for which the world was made is the wonder of Christ crucified and raised i.e. the gospel (2 Cor 4:4 ESV), irresistibly moved the writers of scripture to exclaim in doxology again and again, “To God…our Saviour….be the glory forever and ever. Amen.7)See Biblical References Rom 11:25 ESV; Rom 16:27 ESV; Eph 3:21 ESV; Phil 4:20 ESV; 1 Tim 1:17 ESV; 2 Tim 4:18 ESV; Heb 13:20-21 ESV; 1 Pet 4:11 ESV; Jude 1:25 ESV; Rev 5:13 ESV.

This is what everything is all about. This is why I forbade our Bible study the other week to pray about health, finances, family, or workplace issues, so that we might concentrate on a prayer from 1 Peter that cannot fail to be answered, “…that in everything God might be glorified through Jesus Christ” (1 Peter 4:10-11 ESV).

This is a request that God reveals himself as the God of Jesus through all we think, say and do.

This is the meaning of life, the universe and everything but this grand truth needs some further exposition.

The educated consensus back in the ’70s was Anzac Day would die out with the passing of WW II veterans was a grossly mistaken expectation.

The expectation of Sri Lankan terrorists that they can mortally wound the Church is a fatal error.

The most profound truth of the universe is that when someone willingly suffers for a cause higher than themselves, suffers for the sake of others, exceptional glory is revealed.

True glory is a wounded glory, we know it is a crucified glory (1 Cor 2:8 ESV).

As Paul testifies, “Through suffering, we always carry around in our bodies the dying of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies…this shows the all-surpassing power belongs to God and not to us.(2 Cor 4:10-11, 7 ESV). I have preached this truth here on Good Friday and last Sunday night.

In the flesh we may be inadequate but when in Christ we yield our limitations to God for his glory everything changes.

When my previously depressed, alcoholic friend became a paraplegic but surrendered all to Jesus and began radiating his love to all around her, when through his disabling stroke Chris turned with his whole heart to the Lord Christ’s presence turned him into a street preacher, when I handed over to the Lord my apparent inability to enjoy undisturbed sleep I discovered a new level of dependence on God in prayer.

Each of us entered into a deeper measure of the mystery of Christ for manifestations of glory are manifestations of crucified glory.

Whenever we yield the wounds and weariness of life up to God for his glory something of Jesus life is infallibly communicated through us to others.

In the flesh we are inadequate but when in Christ we yield our limitations to God for his glory everything changes. “Christ in you the hope of glory(Col 1:27 ESV) says, Paul.

There is untold compassion, love, mercy, energy, salvation and healing…in the crucified and glorified Christ in us that God wants to release for others.

Conclusion

Whether  you have a heart for families in Ashfield to know Jesus, for children and mothers to know the Lord through Mainly Music, the people of Bassendean, and beyond, to find God through BGT, Coffee and Chat, Contemplation and Conversation, the Gospellers, Men’s Breakfast, MU, music ministry, youth meeting, Godly Play, the Bible studies and Sunday services, the mystery/key to the healing and restoring manifestation of Jesus’ life is crucified glory.

It’s not our feelings of fear, weakness and inadequacy that stop the manifestation of the healing and saving glory of God through us.

What stops St Mark’s people doing what God wants us to do in the power of Christ is our failure to hand over to Jesus all that holds us back. I’ll tell you what I think the Lord is saying about us and you can test it with him in prayer (1 Thess 5:19-20 ESV).

God is hiding his glory8)See Biblical References Job 23:8-9 ESV; Ps 13:1 ESV; Ps 89:46 ESV; Isa 45:15 ESV; Isa 54:8 ESV; Luke 10:21 ESV; 1 Cor 2:7 ESV; Rom 11:33 ESV in the dark tomb of our guilt, defeats, desolations, shames, anxieties and confusions, waiting until we hand them all over to him so that the resurrection glory of Jesus might shine forth in our midst.

Without the surrendering of our lives like this St Marks as we know it has no viable future. (The status quo is unsustainable.) But everything will change if in our deepest hearts we unite in the prayer of Paul; “to him (God) be glory in the church/(in St Mark’s) and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Eph 3:21 ESV)

MESSAGE, DELIVERED: Date 4th May 2019 Location: St Marks Bassendean

Author: Dr. John Yates

MESSAGE
YouTube or PODCAST:

4th May, 2019.

References   [ + ]

1. See Biblical References Gen 22: 1-24 ESV; Acts 7:2 ESV
2. See Biblical References Isa 6:1-13 ESV; Ezek 1:1 ESV ff.
3. See Biblical References Gen 1:26-28 ESV; Isa 43:6-7 ESV
4. See Biblical References cf. Ps 106:19-20 ESV
5. See Biblical References 2 Pet 1:4 ESV; 1 Cor 15:42-43 ESV
6. See Biblical References Mark 1:27 ESV; Luke 7:11-17 ESV; John 7:46 ESV
7. See Biblical References Rom 11:25 ESV; Rom 16:27 ESV; Eph 3:21 ESV; Phil 4:20 ESV; 1 Tim 1:17 ESV; 2 Tim 4:18 ESV; Heb 13:20-21 ESV; 1 Pet 4:11 ESV; Jude 1:25 ESV; Rev 5:13 ESV
8. See Biblical References Job 23:8-9 ESV; Ps 13:1 ESV; Ps 89:46 ESV; Isa 45:15 ESV; Isa 54:8 ESV; Luke 10:21 ESV; 1 Cor 2:7 ESV; Rom 11:33 ESV

AAOM Australian Aboriginal Outreach Ministries News

Brett & Justine Wiltshire 2019 Newsletter (Australian Aboriginal Outreach Ministries)

Greetings family and friends. We are excited to share with you all, that this Easter marked our 19th year in Indigenous Ministries. What an amazing journey it has been! Beginning back in 2000 with doing our first 18 months in Halls Creek under AOG World Missions ‘Training and Field Orientation’, and continuing on into becoming the Senior Pastors of the ACC Church in Halls Creek and training many of those people now ministering in AAOM, to the present, where we have for the last 4.5 years been the National Director of a ministry that is Australia wide, and leading people to Christ and discipling to maturity.

We certainly are not the same people we started out as.

We could never of imagined in a million years the people we would have met, the places we have seen and the many experiences that have shaped us. It has, and is a privilege and blessing to serve and love people in building the Kingdom of God.

We are so thankful for everyone that has enabled us to do so.

We are, and will be forever grateful and thankful for those that have walked beside us over the years, long and short and everything in between.. Our children are now grown, and are beautiful and kind people.

Brett Jnr has completed his trade in air-conditioning and refrigeration and continues to live in Halls Creek, and is loved by all. Kayla and Nicolas are expecting their first child in July, and continue to work and flourish in Newman, and build their bright future together, and Brittany is approaching her first 12 months in Geraldton after living in Halls Creek for 18 years. She is embracing life and loving her job at Sun City Christian Centre. In everything we have worked for, achieved and been given, we give God the Glory. What an amazing journey it has been!!

Presently we are working hard with our team and ACC WA State Executive, in seeing five of our Indigenous Leaders whom are presently leading AAOM Churches, in seeing the finalisation of their PMC application.

This has been a long time in coming and we are so excited to see it progress. Many of us understand the need for transparency and accountability, as well as continuing to understand the greater role and responsibilities of being a Pastor.

Gone are the days where one just visits and prepares their weekly sermon (not that we think it was this simple).

Today in ministry, we have to know and understand constitution, policies and legalities and the list goes on and on.

We understand that this is of the the highest importance, and it is necessary in today’s world, in caring for our people and churches.

Being in a cross cultural situation, we have found it has had many challenges along the way, not only for us, but for those that we are trying to equip.

So we would love it if you could be praying for us all, that it will go smoothly and successfully from here on out.  

We just want to say a huge Thank you to our ACC National and State Executive in helping us and supporting us through this entire process.

WHAT’S BEEN HAPPENING.

These last 4 months AAOM has held a number of events.

Each program offering something different, not only meeting physical and spiritual needs but also giving the local people the opportunity to take ownership, and outreach into their communities.The first was the AAOM Christmas Convention held in Derby.

This was a 5 day camping convention where Churches and people gathered together to fellowship and be encouraged. The second event was a  3 day Pastors and Leadership Summit at Fitzroy Crossing facilitated by our West Kimberley Area Support Leader, and where Ps Les Freeman and Ps John Cannone were invited to attend, to teach and encourage our leaders. And just recently the Easter Convention, hosted by Pastor Warren and Sheena Luscombe.

It was a great time and AAOM was blessed to have a team from SCKC (Southern Cross Kids Camp) led by Peter and Sandy Lusk. This was the first time that they have ministered to the children and it was a really special time for all and we genuinely look forward to partnering together again in the future.

We believe and understand that to build Pastors and leaders, we need to empower and trust them to lead. In these last 4.5 years we have worked hard to position people correctly, champion the call and designate Godly authority in the right places, at the right time.

For AAOM to move forward into the future, we have known that this had to be done, even though there has been many challenges, it is 100% worth it.

Our heart has never been about building a ministry but has always been about building Kingdom, working together, and building into people for Kingdom purpose. This is our calling..

HEALING TESTIMONY.

Ps Bernard Stretch rang just recently to speak about a local community Indigenous man that he recently reached out to. Ps Bernard approached him uptown in the park, on the main street in Halls creek, to talk to him about the Lord.

When talking the man mentioned how sick he had been and that he was needing to go to the hospital.

Ps Bernard asked if he could pray for Him, which he did and a few days later the man came to the church service, to say that  immediately he began to recover and that he didn’t need to go see a doctor.

Praise God! Since that time the man has been attending every and any service that he can, and in that time has made a decision to follow the Lord.

He is a quiet older man but seems very sincere and is drawing close and building relationships. 

This has excited and encouraged Ps Bernard very much. God is so Good!

AAOM NEWS

Brett & Justine Wiltshire

In December the AAOM Board gathered together in Sydney with us being Skype’d in. The 6 monthly report was given and received well.

During this meeting we brought up the need for extra support for our on field workers and it was also discussed that there was a need for a team to be put together to support us in our roles in practical areas such as tech support and some areas of ministry.

Our AAOM Board is such a blessing to us in ministry, and personally as well. This present season has had its challenges and we are thankful for their faithfulness, giftedness, wisdom, strength and their individual generosity in giving their resources, and their time.

Just recently Ps Michael Mackerell contacted the board to notify us all of some exciting news, with Pastors Michael and Karen moving to Germany, in being invited to take on Pastoring a local German Church for the next 2 years.

This sadly means that Ps Michael has had to step down from the AAOM board, but we are ever so grateful for technology, and we will continue to keep in touch and seek their counsel.

We just want to take this moment to Thank them both in loving us and being like our spiritual parents.. 

For serving as our Senior Pastors when we lived in Caboolture from 1993-2000, and releasing us into our calling, and then from 2000 to present day, ministering alongside us at AAOM Conventions, Seminars, Leadership Retreats, Men’s and Women’s events, and so on.

Michael and Karen have been a constant source of encouragement, wisdom, love and strength throughout all theses years.

We honour them as they continue to inspire us in our family, our marriage, ministry and life. We love you both and we are so excited to see what the Lord will do! So on behalf of all of our Board, Pastors, Missionaries, Churches, team and family at AAOM we want to say Thank you and you are in our thoughts and prayers.

Current Projects

Currently we are trying to gather a volunteer team together to help build the ‘ihope youth centre’ in Halls Creek.

We have an urgent need in securing a project manager and/or a licensed WA builder that would be able to oversee this project.

If you or anyone you know may be interested, we would dearly love to hear.

The finances have been generously donated by the wonderful Calaoukas Family, through the AAOM’ ihope Foundation’.

To see it built we need these things done:

Step 1: Build Prepare Formwork and Roughing for the Plumbing, for the Foundation and Concrete Poured and Leveled.

Step 2: Erect Kit Building to Lock Up Stage.

Step 3: Internal fit out and Electrics and Plumbing Completed

Our vision, is for it to be a fun and safe place, in which children and youth can gather together.

Where both indigenous and non- indigenous role models and respected elders, from the local community can come.

With the purpose of being an encouragement, inputting and teaching values and culture, and mentoring young people to know their own value.

Where young people can have the opportunity to choose to live a life with purpose! To be encouraged to dream and be given the tools to be able to make their dreams a reality.

We would love to see this built and completed by the end of 2020 or sooner.

We are always on the lookout for people and couples who are either looking to do a short term missions trip, or eager to possibly commit to something more.. maybe like serving for 12 months alongside some of our team in one of the AAOM churches.

If that’s you, or someone in your church, please contact us via our details at the bottom of this email.

Presently we are blessed to have a couple, Brian and Isobel Pither from Citylife church, whom have been great friends and faithful supporters and co workers.

Over the years as we shared about this need, they had expressed that they would be open in going and serving, in some capacity and do some relief work.

We were blessed, that when we reached out to them to ask if they would consider relieving some of our AAOM Pastors , that they said YES!.

It was wonderful to be able to help facilitate this.

It took some time but it is great that our people can take some much needed time off.

We are incredibly thankful for the partnerships that have developed over many years and we would really appreciate if you could be praying for Brian and Isobel as they are currently in Mount Isa, and teams from Citylife and YWAM Perth that are preparing to come and serve soon.

UPCOMING EVENTS

9th July – 14th July

In July, at Halls Creek the annual AAOM convention will be taking place.

This year at convention we have great ministry lined up with 3 Leadership morning sessions and nightly meetings with fantastic guest speakers.

Something a little different but AAOM is excited.

As we have had over the last few years, we once again have teams from YWAM Perth coming to minister to our primary school aged children.

It has been a busy time securing off site facilities, but we are thankful for the favour that we have in Halls Creek, as it has taken many years to build credibility.

So if you would like a pdf of the conference information poster, please contact us.

Where Most Needed.

The ‘Where Most Needed’ Project is exactly what is name implies.

It was created for the purpose of specifically raising funds for AAOM as a whole, in being able to be used for any emergency situations that may arise such as vehicle & building maintenance, and any other practical ministry on-field ministry needs such as Education and Awareness Support, Projects, Audio and Visual Equipment and Ministry Teaching tools etc.

People can Support monthly or make a one off donation by:

Direct Deposit

Australian Aboriginal Outreach Ministries Inc

BSB: 082-610

Account number: 892443682

Please clearly state in the ‘Reference/Description’ field if you would like your donation to go to the ‘where most needed’

Cheque

Australian Aboriginal Outreach Ministries Inc

Postal address: PO Box 2237, Tuggeranong DC, ACT 2901

PRAYER NEEDS.

We would really appreciate your prayers as we work from Geraldton.

It has been a season that has seen us having to stop in one place, after being on the road constantly these many years.


• Please Pray for Bretts Continued Healing from Muscle Issues, Stress and Anxiety.

We are blessed that we are able to lead and facilitate the work of the ministry from our base at this time.


Also Could You Please Continue To Pray For Our Own Ongoing Personal Ministry Support.

With so many pressures on Churches and families we know what a step of faith it is to partner faithfully with a ministry such as ours.


You have enabled us these 19 years to serve, raise a family, and see people come to know Christ in a real and life changing way.

Our greatest fulfilment has been in seeing people lives radically changed and empowered and equipped to be all that the Lord has called them to be. We love you and we give Thanks for you!  

God Bless, Brett & Jus

+61 (0) 428 168 480

 

 

Brett Wiltshire
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The Very Happy Executioner

Luke 23:26-49

Introduction

Is it OK for the AFL to put games on Good Friday, and for you to watch them on TV? Was my mum in tune with God’s feelings about this day when she refused to wash the clothes, or, in line with the title Dale chose for today’s Gospel reading should we speak of, “Very Happy Friday”?

Since God the Father doesn’t have opinions about the death of his Son it is imperative that we pay close attention to the inspired record of Christ’s death in scripture. In going through Luke we have seen how society’s outcasts, a Gentile soldier, a sinful woman, a Samaritan leper, a blind beggar, and a tax collector all found hope and healing in Christ. This is exactly what happens as Jesus is dying on the cross, those with status mock him but outsiders turn to him as the source of salvation.

EXPOSITION

The devout women lamenting over Jesus’ fate must have been shocked by his turning and (vv26-31) exhorting them to lament for themselves and their children.

The extreme language of people calling on mountains and hills to collapse on them to end their misery portrays a coming divine judgement without apparent limit1)See Biblical References Hos 10:8 ESV; Rev 6:16 ESV.

Jesus knows his innocent death will fulfil God’s salvation plan, but that within a generation Jerusalem which has rejected him will be flattened, its inhabitants slaughtered or enslaved (Luke 23:34-35 ESV).

The next time Jesus’ speaks he is praying from the cross. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.(Luke 23:34 ESV) Under the most extreme circumstances Jesus is practising what he has preached; “ vs.27 Love your enemies… vs.28 bless those who curse you, pray for those who abuse you….” ”2)See Biblical References Matt 5:44-45 ESV; Luke 6:27-28 ESV. Forgiving your murderers is a rare and remarkable thing; but even more potent is the fact that unconditional forgiveness solely for the sake of those harming us makes Jesus unique in the whole history of religious and moral teaching.

The Bible is painfully realistic about the corrupt state of the human heart when the Jewish leaders and Roman soldiers hear Christ’s praying for them their mockery only intensifies.

His Jewish slanderers know a suffering dying man can’t possibly be God’s Chosen favourite, the Messiah, and since his Roman attackers know how a real King behaves, this fellow on the cross must be an impostor.

To them, it is categorically obvious that if Jesus can’t save himself he cannot be the Saviour of the world. Then at a level that makes no sense to ordinary thinking the power of God starts to operate through the suffering powerless Jesus to save.

vs.39 One of the criminals who were hanged hurled insults at him, saying, “Are you not the Christ? Save yourself and us!vs.40 But the other rebuked him, saying, “Do you not fear God since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? vs.41 And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds; but this man has done nothing wrong.vs.42 And he said, “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.vs.43 And he said to him, “Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise.”” (Luke 23: 39-43 ESV)

The criminal who hurled insults at Jesus, “Save yourself and us!” has brought Jesus down to his own selfish level. In looking solely to benefit himself in his interaction with Jesus he cannot be saved. He cannot understand that God’s Son will be delivered not out of death through death.  

This is how the saving power of God works. In Romans Paul helps us understand how the cross works by saying we Christians must face “trouble…hardship…persecution…famine…nakedness…danger or sword” then concludes with “in all these things we are more than conquerors through him (Christ) who loved us” (Rom 8:35, 37 ESV).

If Christ doesn’t always pull us out of troubles the power of his love enables us to live above them. The video starts Let me share what happened to a clinically depressed alcoholic friend of mine, I’ll never forget finding her unconscious from a suicide attempt dragging her out of her house and getting an ambulance.

Sometime later she fell and broke her back. When I visited her in hospital, they had her laid out motionless on a special bed in the form of a cross. The symbolism was unmistakeable so guess what I spoke to her about?

When she cast herself unreservedly on the mercy of Jesus it was only some time before she was living in forgiveness and freed from anxiety, depression and addiction. She’s in a wheelchair, but through her physical brokenness, she shines as more than a conqueror through Christ’s love.

The other criminal in our story rebukes his blaspheming companion

“Do you not fear God since you are under the same sentence of condemnation? And we indeed justly, for we are receiving the due reward of our deeds, but this man has done nothing wrong.” ” This man accepts his sin and its wages (Rom 3:23 ESV) and his testimony to Christ’s blamelessness shows the power of God working in his heart.

Anyone who humbly let’s go of self-righteousness and looks to Jesus will enter heaven. “Jesus, remember me when you come into your kingdom.”

Unlike the mockers he addresses Jesus by his personal name and in so doing calls on the unique name of Saviour of the world3)See Biblical References cf. 17:13; 18:38; his plea “remember me” stirs echoes God’s promises to deliver his covenant people when they call on his name4)See Biblical References Judges 16:28 ESV; 1 Sam 1:11, 19 ESV; Ps 115:12 ESV.

This dying criminal is the first person in the Gospel to recognise that the sufferings of Jesus do not exclude but fulfil his Messianic kingly calling to save the world. He understands Christ’s voluntary suffering love is the triumphant power of God to save us, sinners.

Jesus answers him with words that must have filled him with inexpressible hope and comfort, “ “today you will be with me in paradise.” ”.

Today” means he doesn’t have to wait until the End of the world to be saved, salvation is close at hand5)See Biblical References 4:21 ESV; 19:9 ESV, for as Messiah Jesus possesses the kingly right to open the doors of paradise to all who come to him.

As a Jew this man knew “Paradise” as the home of only one type of person, the dutifully righteous whose blameless lives pleased God.

Now Jesus opens heaven to the very sort of person who the religious teachers of the day taught could never be saved.

Jesus is saving people – even as he hangs on the cross. We must all pay the closest attention to exactly what Jesus is promising the condemned man, “today, you will be with me in Paradise”.

Not with all your loved ones, as in popular Western imagination, not with virgin wives as in the Koran, not with pure impersonal bliss as in Buddhism but “with me”. Eternal fellowship with Jesus is heaven.

Everyone who turns to Christ as Saviour can have a sure knowledge of eternal life. 

The father of the Protestant Reformation, Martin Luther struggled long over whether his life could ever be worthy enough to earn God’s favour.

Then he understood that the good news of the gospel is that righteousness is offered as a free gift to be received by faith in Christ alone. “Thereupon I felt myself to be reborn and to have gone through open doors into paradise…whereas before the “justice of God” had filled me with hate, now it became to me inexpressibly sweet in greater love….”

In his grace, God now sends two supernatural omens concerning the murder of his Son. The darkness covering the earth for three hours is supernatural because an eclipse at the Passover time of full moon is impossible.

This is the prophetic darkness of “last days” judgement6)See Biblical References Joel 2:30-31 ESV; Amos 8:9 ESV; Zeph 1:15 ESV and a sign of the fate of those who ultimately reject Christ7)See Biblical References Matt 8:12 ESV; Matt 22:13 ESV; Matt 25:30 ESV.

Such signs are meant to prepare hearts for the gospel. In a few weeks’ time, many of this crucifixion crowd were in fact converted by the preaching of the gospel on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:22-23, 36 ESV). In our time the Lord can still warn from heaven today and we should pray for him to do so.

This is a true story.

A new professor at UWA (who I did meet once) was invited by the Christian Union there to speak on Creation and Evolution. When he entered the hall he was intimidated by the size of the crowd and especially by the number of hostile senior academics present.

Fearfully approaching the podium he was praying about how to start when suddenly there was a tremendous clap of thunder and all the lights in the place went out, all but one, the one illuminating the podium. So he said, “Now you know what you are up against”.

The second supernatural sign as Jesus died was the tearing of the curtain temple in two from top to bottom by the hand of God who was saying that law-based system of temple and sacrifice that had segregated Jew and Gentile, priest and lay, male and female was ended.

In Jesus, unrestricted access to God’s presence had been opened. In uttering his final words, “Father, into your hands I commit my spirit!” Jesus dies peacefully full of the assurance that God is a Righteous Father who will raise him from the dead8)See Biblical References John 17:25 ESV; Rom 6:4 ESV.

Then, climactically, the Roman centurion unable to contain what was going in his heart “glorified God” for by grace he sensed God was fulfilling his great saving plan9)See Biblical References 2:20 ESV; 5:25-26 ESV; 7:16 ESV; 13:13 ESV; 17:15 ESV; 18:43 ESV, his response was to the glory manifested in the sufferings of Jesus.  In testifying, “ ‘Surely this was a righteous man.’ ”10)See Biblical References Pss 22 ESV; 31 ESV cf. Acts 3:13-14 ESV; Isa 52:13-53:12 ESV he acknowledges Jesus’ supreme status before God the Judge as a blameless person.

Finally, the crowd go away “beating their breasts” They know something terribly unjust has happened but with Jesus departed they as yet have nowhere to turn for forgiveness. Meanwhile Jesus’ disciples, weak as always, “stood at a distance” (Ps 38:11 ESV)

CONCLUSION

The Good Friday story of the death of Jesus reveals an all-forgiving Father.

This Father is forgiving in his justice and just in his forgiving because his Justice and Forgiveness are not abstract concepts but real in Christ who prayed for the forgiveness of us all and who was heard because he is the One Righteous (Acts 3:14 ESV) Son of God suffering for us.

The criminal who called on the name of Jesus, and the centurion, were very happy men not because they thought they’d got away with, literally for both of them, murder, and we’re going to a “happy place” but because they had literally face to face come, with the goodness of God as Father and as Saviour in Jesus and were totally overcome.

If God can do that for them, he can do the same for us. Like them we need to turn to the Lord today, Jesus is the door into Paradise (John 10:9 ESV) and his is the name in which we are saved, (Acts 4:12 ESV).

For anyone who trusts in Christ’s sacrifice on the cross Good Friday is a Very Happy day indeed. Let us pray.

MESSAGE, DELIVERED: Date 19th April 2019 Location: St Marks, Good Friday

Author: Dr. John Yates

MESSAGE
YouTube or PODCAST:

Date 19th April, 2019.

References   [ + ]

1. See Biblical References Hos 10:8 ESV; Rev 6:16 ESV
2. See Biblical References Matt 5:44-45 ESV; Luke 6:27-28 ESV
3. See Biblical References cf. 17:13; 18:38
4. See Biblical References Judges 16:28 ESV; 1 Sam 1:11, 19 ESV; Ps 115:12 ESV
5. See Biblical References 4:21 ESV; 19:9 ESV
6. See Biblical References Joel 2:30-31 ESV; Amos 8:9 ESV; Zeph 1:15 ESV
7. See Biblical References Matt 8:12 ESV; Matt 22:13 ESV; Matt 25:30 ESV
8. See Biblical References John 17:25 ESV; Rom 6:4 ESV
9. See Biblical References 2:20 ESV; 5:25-26 ESV; 7:16 ESV; 13:13 ESV; 17:15 ESV; 18:43 ESV
10. See Biblical References Pss 22 ESV; 31 ESV cf. Acts 3:13-14 ESV; Isa 52:13-53:12 ESV

Revival Studies 1. Earnest Prayer

Part 1.
Earnest Prayer
17 March 2019

Part 2.
The Spirit and Revival
17 March 2019

Part 3.
Fullness is Christ
24 March 2019


Part 4.
Beautifying the Bride
15 April 2019

Part 5.
The End of Revival
28 April 2019

.


Acts 2:1-11; Luke 22:39-46

 

“a movement of the Holy Spirit bringing about a revival of New Testament Christianity in the Church of Christ and its related community”

J Edwin Orr

“a renewal of God’s people to do God’s work to fulfil God’s plan.”

Geoffrey Bingham
SOME HISTORY

Engagement with studying the fire of revival began in my early Christian experience, perhaps ignited by the teaching of Geoffrey Bingham in Adelaide, who had several revivals in Pakistan.

I still have notes from a sermon he preached at Adelaide University (17.6.74) titled, “The Revival we Need”.

It was stimulated by my reading of Jonathan Edwards’ classics, “Religious Affections” and “The Distinguishing Marks of a Work of the Spirit of God”. It was later fuelled by hearing perhaps the most famous student of Western revivals, J Edwin Orr, preaching at Ridley Theological College Melbourne (c.1980).

The challenging topic of Prayer and Revival presented at a conference in Adelaide 1985 by Paul Yonggi Cho which led me to deep repentance about my prayerlessness. Some subsequent some unusual acts of God in one of my ministry placements in Victoria kept an interest awake.

When I came to Perth to take up ministry in 1988, I was still a young fired up the preacher. The first 4 sermons I preached here were on prayer, by the fourth week the numbers in the congregation had doubled, and when I gave an “altar call” following my sermon on Prayer and Revival, half the congregation came forward. This confirmed my amazingly conceited conviction that I could “start a revival”, an ambition I held for quite a long time.

Over recent years I have been more likely to teach on the disorder that would result if God moved in the power of the Spirit.

Revival without reformation is a recipe for chaos. Whilst most people today think of revival in terms of a mere intensification of our present Christian experience, more miracles, healings, conversions, deeper love and so on, we must consider a genuine biblical revival to involve a restoration of the form of the Church found in the New Testament.

Anything fewer collapses in power struggles, false teaching, immorality and splintering. If the fish which the Lord sends into his net is not to escape through its many tears, extraordinary prayer and unity are to be expected as a preparation for a spiritual awakening.

This caution came to me from hearing a Pentecostal preacher in Mar del Plata Argentina in 1995. After a move of God involving the famous evangelist Carlos Annacondia, 10% of the population turned to Christ (40,000), but after some time only 1,000 remained in the churches. There were “too many holes in the net.”

My thinking and praying about revival was unexpectedly, and cautiously, reignited when I laid hands on a brother a few weeks ago and as I prayed “saw” what happened to the disciples on the Day of Pentecost (Acts 2:1-4).

I saw the heavenly wind and the fiery tongues entering into all the believers. Meditating on this insight I wrote a prophetic article called “Firestorm”. It ended with a challenge for a remnant to gather and pray for the wind and fire of God restoring new creation life in the Church.

About a month ago I was reading an article in the Prepare the Way magazine; which in some ways resembles old fashioned revival teaching, with articles by Andrew Murray, A.B. Simpson, A.W. Tozer, David Wilkerson and the like.

The article was titled, “The lost agony for souls.” 

It starts with a quote from the great 18th-century revival preacher, George Whitefield, “O Lord, give me souls or take my soul…there is a passion for souls, a depth of burden for men, care for the flock of God that defies words and sighs and tears.”

Then the early missionary to the Native Americans, David Brainerd, “no amount of brilliant stirring eloquence can atone for the absence of a deep, impassioned sympathetic love of human souls.”

Then followed a description of scenes from the Welsh revival, “the air became very heavy with sighs, tears, and groans…as if their hearts must break beneath the strain.” Other accounts speak of the ministry of Charles Finney, the Hebrides revival and so on in terms of recovering the “lost agony”.

“It appears that we have lost the power to weep, to wrestle, to plead, and to agonise over lost souls.” Evangelistic campaigns come and go but the cities are seemingly as lost as ever.

After reading this article I had to go out and pray. And I had very little to say.  There’s no way I can ever return to the sort of revivalist activism that possessed me as a young man. Where to from here?

Introduction

At the same time, I was in my “stunned state” about revival I believe the Lord was drawing my attention to the subject of “earnest prayer” and to do some teaching on prayer and revival from an embarrassingly different perspective from my past efforts. From a genuinely Christ-centred perspective.

I concluded last week’s sermon by saying, “Whenever God powerfully moves the Church to self-examination it is astonished at its self-centredness and turns to the Lord in urgent prayer. This makes self-examination the first step in revival and the catapult to extraordinary prayer. True self-examination involves a sharing in what Jesus saw of the depths of our fallen humanity in the cross and a sharing in the delivering power of his resurrection.

A foundational theology of revival isn’t based on ebbs and flows in the spirituality of the Church but will attempt to testify to what happens in the Church as the Spirit grants to us more intense participation in the “revival” of Christ’s own humanity from suffering and death into resurrection. This means the substance of the extraordinary prayer that precedes revivals is sourced in the prayer life of Jesus. This leads us to Christ’s prayers in Gethsemane.

The Praying of Jesus

The description of Christ’s praying in Luke is especially intense. “And there appeared to him an angel from heaven, strengthening him. And being in agony he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.(Luke 22:43-44 ESV).

Many early Greek manuscripts omit these verses. Scribes would have been motivated to remove this text as embarrassing because Roman critics argued it showed Jesus lost his composure in the face of death, something a true hero or god could never do. 

If we accept these verses as authentic, they give us insight into the extreme limit of Christ’s humanity. (Perhaps second only to the cry of dereliction, Mark 15:34 ESV.)

Matthew and Mark record Jesus in Gethsemane sharing with his disciples, “my soul is sorrowful to the point of death1)See Biblical References Matt 26:38 ESV; Mar 14:34 ESV. Believing that he could die in the Garden Jesus is moved to an “earnestness” prayer beyond our fathoming.

Usually at this point I would focus on Jesus recoiling (Luke 22:42 ESV) with horror at drinking the cup of divine wrath2)See Biblical References Ps 75:8 ESV; Isa 51:17, 22 ESV; Jer 25:15-28 ESV; Ezek 23:31-34 ESV, the judgement of the cross  which would separate him from his Father. But in the plan of salvation, there is another element at play.

In Luke (Luke 22:40 ESV) Jesus and the disciples have entered into a time of “testing” (Luke 22:3, 31 ESV) where the devil assaults the purposes of God with special ferocity because it his “hour and the power of darkness/ the time when the power of darkness reigns.3)See Biblical References cf. Luke 4:13 ESV; Luke 8:12-13 ESV; Luke 22:53 ESV; John 14:30 ESV. It is the devil’s “opportune time” (Luke 4:13 ESV), a time appointed by God when he is permitted to attack Jesus and the disciples with exceptional power.

If we take the humanity of Jesus and the intensity of his prayers, “his sweat became like great drops of blood falling down to the ground.” seriously, we must suppose that without supernatural angelic assistance he could not have persevered (cf. Dan 10).

The writer to Hebrews describes Christ’s Gethsemane experience like this, vs.7In the days of his flesh, Jesus offered up prayers and supplications, with loud cries and tears, to him who was able to save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverence. vs.8 Although he was a son, he learned obedience through what he suffered.” (Heb 5:7-8 ESV)

It is vital we ask what exactly was it that moved Jesus to such extraordinary prayer. I believe the key to such insight is the language of sonship used in Hebrews and underlying Christ’s unique prayer language, “ “Abba, Father, all things are possible for you.” ”4)See Biblical References Mark 14:36 ESVcf. “ “My Father(Matt 26:39 ESV).

In the New Testament sonship is consistently associated with light5)See Biblical References Luke 16:8 ESV; John 12:36 ESV; Eph 5:8 ESV; 1 Thess 5:5 ESVcf. 1 John 1:7 ESV. It is as the Son of God that Jesus is “the light of the world6)See Biblical References John 1:9 ESV; John 3:19 ESV; John 9:5 ESV; John 12:46 ESV in opposition to all darkness7)See Biblical References John 1:5; 3:20 ESV.

Because he is the enemy of God and a false father (John 8:44 ESV), Satan is the author of this world’s darkness8)See Biblical References Acts 26:18 ESV; 2 Cor 4:3-4 ESV and totally opposed to the light of Christ.

The conflict between the devil and Jesus is at the level of their deepest natures. Despite this, Jesus’ obedience to his Father’s will in Gethsemane means he must accept what Satan wills for his life. He knows submission to the Father will lead him to suffer the experience of Father-abandonment on the cross.

As the tide of darkness flows over Jesus in the Garden every element of his being recoils in anguish and all he can do is pray more earnestly. In the ultimate paradox, he is being led by the eternal Spirit (Heb 9:14 ESV) into the “outer darkness” where the will of God will be unknowable because there is no light in the Lord (Eph 5:8 ESV).

The lordship of God” will be concealed “under the lordship of evil and evil men.” (Barth); no wonder Gethsemane is saturated in cries, groans, tears, wails etc.

Revival prayer is an extraordinary share in the saving intercession of Christ whose light triumphed over darkness in Gethsemane and on the cross9)See Biblical References John 1:4-5 ESV cf. Acts 26:18 ESV; 2 Tim 1:10 ESV.

Releasing Earnest Prayer in the Church

Some of the language used about Christ’s praying in Gethsemane reappears in Acts.  Just after King Herod killed James, Peter was arrested with the same fate in mind, “but earnest prayer for him was made to God by the church(Acts 12:5 ESV).

Much the same intense character of interceding comes across when Paul describes Epaphras as “always struggling/wrestling on your behalf in his prayers(Col 4:12 ESV).

These are life and death struggles to bind the strong man, Satan, and bring down his strongholds10)See Biblical References Mark 3:27 ESV; 2 Cor 10:4 ESV. It is this praying which is a sign of revival.

Remember this type of earnest prayer by Nehemiah, “As soon as I heard these words (broken down state of the walls of Jerusalem) I sat down and wept and mourned for days, and I continued fasting and praying before the God of heaven.(Neh 1:4 ESV). And the boldness of the psalmist, “Awake! Why are you sleeping, O Lord? Rouse yourself! Do not reject us forever!(Ps 44:23 ESV).

Why are the characteristics of revival praying, such as heaven-sent persistence, zeal, energy, endurance and tenacity, so rare in the Church today?

Let me try to answer this at a number of levels. Firstly, in terms of the sovereign will of God.

“It is very apparent from the word of God, that he is wont often to try the faith and patience of his people, when crying to him for some great and important mercy, by withholding the mercy sought, for a season; and not only so, but at first to cause an increase of dark appearances. And yet he, without fail, at last, succeeds those who continue instant in prayer, with all perseverance, and will not let him go except he blesses.”

Jonathan Edwards said

In the ever-darkening state of our nation and Church in Australia it is not God’s will to quickly answer the prayers of his people11)See Biblical References Ps 6:3 ESV; Ps 13:1-2 ESV; Ps 69:3 ESV etc..

I was visiting someone recently who was in a state of shock when his 4-year-old came to him after 3 weeks of pre-school and asked, “Can someone have two daddies?” Tasmania is well on the way to having sex on birth certificates optional. Laws in some states (Victoria, Queensland) give latitude for late-term abortions and sex-selection.

Given such intensifying moral and spiritual madness, why isn’t the Lord answering our prayers?

The prayers of many Christians are muted and confused because they are deeply deluded about the ways of the Lord.

I remember when Donna came back from a prayer meeting a few years ago and said the consensus amongst the intercessors was that God would never allow same-sex marriage in Australia.

Those women were not in touch with the wisdom of God in allowing the kingdom of evil to flood our culture12)See Biblical References Dan 7:21 ESV; Rev 11:7 ESV; Rev 13:7 ESV.

It should be obvious by now that all the efforts of Christian lobby groups, all our think tanks, worldview institutes, centres for theological education, conferences, singing megachurches and so on are futile to hold back the tide of wickedness without a manifestation of the power of God.

We are missing a living revelation into the means by which the Lord of heaven and earth brings about foundational transformation in the Church and through it, eventually, the surrounding culture. This is conformity to the cross and resurrection of Christ.

Much of the Old Testament, e.g. Judges 2, is a cycle of blessing and prosperity (Deut 8) followed by idolatry and immorality, followed by God handing his people over to their enemies followed by them calling out to the Lord in their distress followed by a miraculous deliverance.

Then the cycle repeats itself. Exile and restoration are woven into the fabric of the biblical story because it is the means by which God gets all the glory and vindicates his own holy name13)See Biblical References Ezek 36 ESV; Ezek 39:25-29 ESV. Humiliation precedes exaltation according to the pattern of the redemption which is in Christ.

There is something drastically missing in our churches. There’s lots of grief in the hearts of Christian parents about the lost state of their children, sorrow in marriages about their deadness to true intimacy, anguish amongst real shepherds concerning the bruised and battered state of the sheep (Ezek 34:11-16 ESV), but very few seem to be in touch with the anguish of God.

It is his glory that is being lost in all the spheres of life. Surely today we are in the latter time “days of Noah(Matt 24:37 ESV ff.) when the wickedness was so dark on the earth that “God’s heart was filled with pain(Gen 6:6 ESV).

Surely this is what’s happening before our eyes in Gethsemane, wherein Jesus God’s beating heart is exposed (cf. John 1:18 ESV) in prayer.

In Christ’s vicarious humanity exposing itself to the anguish of the Father in prayer, the Lord is moved in the Spirit to act to save the world. to put this another way, God moves himself to save the world through the prayers of Jesus. Voluntary self-sacrifice through prayer releases divine power to heal all thing.

Prayer as Sacrifice

When Paul exhorts, vs.1First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for all people…vs.3 This is good, and it is acceptable in the sight of God our Saviour,(1 Tim 2:1, 3 ESV), we are once again in the realm of earnest prayer as of first importance to the life of God’s people.

When Paul says such prayer is “acceptable” to God he uses a word found only here in the New Testament but used in various places in the Old Testament for acceptable sacrifices14)See Biblical References Lev 1:3, 4 ESV; Lev 17:4 ESV; Lev 22:20-21 ESV LXX.

Such prayer does what is good and right in God’s presence15)See Biblical References Deut 6:18 ESV; Deut 12:25, 28 ESV; Deut 13:19 ESV; Deut 21:9 ESV LXX)) and immerses his people in the divine favour.

As Noah pleasured the Lord with burnt sacrifices and turned away the wrath of God (Gen 8:21-22 ESV), as the sacrifices on the altar burned day and night in the temple, and as fire fell from heaven upon its altar signifying divine acceptance16)See Biblical References Lev 6:8 ESV; Lev 9:24 ESV; 2 Chron 7:1 ESV, so the wind of the eternal Spirit came on the praying believers at Pentecost((See Biblical References Acts 1:14 ESV; Acts 2:1-4 ESV bringing the life of a new creation in Christ.

Fire on the altar of our hearts on earth is answered (Charles Wesley “O Thou Who Camest from Above”) by fire from heaven (see also Acts 4:24, 31 ESV).

Prayer is as central to God and his relationship to his people in the new covenant as a sacrifice was in the old, for it puts us in touch with the death, and resurrection, of Jesus the saving Lamb of God (John 1:29 ESV).

Conclusion and Application

Amy Carmichael, famous for her work in rescuing young temple prostitutes in India, describes a time when her community (Dohnavur) was “Overwhelmed with the sudden realisation of the inner force of things” and a “hurricane of prayer continued for over four hours”. One of her girls gives what I think is the most profound way of describing a revival. It was “the day Jesus came to Dohnavur”.

Contrary to our contemporary focus on signs, wonders and preaching, Jesus knew that only self-sacrifice carried out through the presence of God in prevailing prayer could deliver bound humanity from the power of the evil one. This must be our mind too (1 Cor 2:16 ESV).

As a first step, we must accept that God is sovereign over our own personal situation and the state of the churches and nation.

If we don’t accept this we will inevitably trust in our own efforts, especially as they harness the gifts of God and depend on talent, expertise and effort. I see this most conspicuously, though hardly exclusively, amongst thriving Pentecostal congregations.

In his classic on revival, Dynamics of Spiritual Life, written in 1979, Richard Lovelace commented, “Pentecostals are perhaps the truest representatives of the Evangelical tradition [of prayer and renewal] in the twentieth century.”

This is certainly no longer true of Western Pentecostalism whose numbers have exploded but whose spiritual depth has plummeted.

We must confess that the prayerlessness of us all reveals that in our hearts we don’t accept the Apostles’ Creed, “I believe in God the Father Almighty”.

And so we need to petition the Lord for an outpouring of the Spirit who so mightily worked salvation through the prayers of Jesus, especially in Gethsemane and on the cross (cf. Zech 12:10 ESV).

Finally, we need to ask the Lord that if we have no inner burden for a supernatural move of God that he gives us one.

If we do have such a burden, we should get on with praying and the more we pray the more the Spirit will be given to us for more prayer until finally, in God’s time, a great spiritual awakening will come.

MESSAGE, DELIVERED: Date 17th March 2019 Location: Alive@5

Author: Dr. John Yates

MESSAGE
YouTube or PODCAST:

17th March 2019.

References   [ + ]

1. See Biblical References Matt 26:38 ESV; Mar 14:34 ESV
2. See Biblical References Ps 75:8 ESV; Isa 51:17, 22 ESV; Jer 25:15-28 ESV; Ezek 23:31-34 ESV
3. See Biblical References cf. Luke 4:13 ESV; Luke 8:12-13 ESV; Luke 22:53 ESV; John 14:30 ESV
4. See Biblical References Mark 14:36 ESVcf.
5. See Biblical References Luke 16:8 ESV; John 12:36 ESV; Eph 5:8 ESV; 1 Thess 5:5 ESVcf. 1 John 1:7 ESV
6. See Biblical References John 1:9 ESV; John 3:19 ESV; John 9:5 ESV; John 12:46 ESV
7. See Biblical References John 1:5; 3:20 ESV
8. See Biblical References Acts 26:18 ESV; 2 Cor 4:3-4 ESV
9. See Biblical References John 1:4-5 ESV cf. Acts 26:18 ESV; 2 Tim 1:10 ESV
10. See Biblical References Mark 3:27 ESV; 2 Cor 10:4 ESV
11. See Biblical References Ps 6:3 ESV; Ps 13:1-2 ESV; Ps 69:3 ESV etc.
12. See Biblical References Dan 7:21 ESV; Rev 11:7 ESV; Rev 13:7 ESV
13. See Biblical References Ezek 36 ESV; Ezek 39:25-29 ESV
14. See Biblical References Lev 1:3, 4 ESV; Lev 17:4 ESV; Lev 22:20-21 ESV LXX
15. See Biblical References Deut 6:18 ESV; Deut 12:25, 28 ESV; Deut 13:19 ESV; Deut 21:9 ESV LXX)) and immerses his people in the divine favour.

As Noah pleasured the Lord with burnt sacrifices and turned away the wrath of God (Gen 8:21-22 ESV), as the sacrifices on the altar burned day and night in the temple, and as fire fell from heaven upon its altar signifying divine acceptance((See Biblical References Lev 6:8 ESV; Lev 9:24 ESV; 2 Chron 7:1 ESV

16. See Biblical References Lev 6:8 ESV; Lev 9:24 ESV; 2 Chron 7:1 ESV, so the wind of the eternal Spirit came on the praying believers at Pentecost((See Biblical References Acts 1:14 ESV; Acts 2:1-4 ESV