30 July 2018 “Doctor’s code implies endorsing harmful cultural beliefs”

A proposed Code of Conduct, which is open for public submissions until August 3, could force doctors to accept ‘cultural beliefs and practises’ that are opposed to good medical practise, according to a group of doctors.

The Medical Board of Australia draft code of conduct that will apply to all Australian doctors requires doctors to be “culturally safe” and comply with a patient’s beliefs about gender identity and sexuality, with no provision given for a doctor to differ in their professional judgement.

A doctors’ group convened by Dr Lachlan Dunjey of Perth, has expressed concern for the future of medicine in Australia in light of the changes.

“We are concerned with the possible interpretation of ‘culturally safe’, that it should not impact on good health outcomes and good medical practice”, the group stated.

“We are concerned that ‘respectful practice’ is significantly different to ‘respectful of the beliefs and cultures of others’ and that this change also could impact on good health outcomes.

“Respect for a patient does not equal respecting ‘cultural beliefs and practices’ that may be antithetical to good medical practice.”

Dr Dunjey hopes language of the 2009 Code of Conduct remains unchanged in the new version:  “‘Culturally safe’ does not necessarily equate to medically safe … ‘Respecting’ can be taken to mean agreeing with, affirming, and accepting that we cannot challenge false medical belief and inappropriate treatment.”

“To actually achieve good medical outcomes for patients, doctors have to be free to challenge difficult problems that patients might seek to avoid, such as “excess weight, excess alcohol, dangers of sexual behaviours – at the very least to tell medical truth”, he said.

Other possible areas of conflict relate to treating Body Dysmorphic Disorder, dealing with patients affected by Islamic cultural issues such as female genital mutilation and child marriage, and with issues stemming from indigenous cultural practices, such as sub-incision and pay-back.

The other point of contention is around access to medical care, and making sure doctors do not discriminate against patients on “medically irrelevant grounds”, which in the new set of guidelines includes “race, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, disability or other grounds, as described in anti-discrimination legislation.”

The group has expressed concern over the addition of gender identity and sexual orientation to this list.

One of the reasons for questioning this provision, Dr Dunjey says, is that the term “medically irrelevant” is not appropriate for the additional grounds.

“Gender identity is relevant in so many ways including age, experience, psychological factors and last but not least any possible therapeutic intervention both medical and surgical with life-long outcomes and consequences. Likewise, sexual orientation is also medically relevant preventively and therapeutically with regard to past and current sexual practices.”

The group believes the wording of the 2009 version of the Code is ethically sound and should therefore not be changed.

The doctors insist that “a good health outcome is what we are about. It is intrinsic to good medicine and Good Medical Practice.”

It is also unclear whether doctors will be compelled to act contrary to their own conscience regarding patient requests for referrals. Labor MPs in Queensland including Deputy Premier Jackie Trad have demanded that Queensland doctors be compelled to refer women for an abortion, and thus violate the conscientious beliefs of many doctors.

What is clear is that the new guidelines will have a chilling effect on the freedom of doctors to publicly debate the merits of medical treatments.

Section 2.1 of the code warns doctors, “you need to acknowledge and consider the effect of your comments and actions outside work, including online, on your professional standing… you should acknowledge the profession’s generally accepted views… when your personal opinion differs”

The Medical Board is already bringing an Australian GP before the Medical Board for retweeting on Twitter. If the Code of Conduct is changed, this would stifle free speech and debate. The threat of deregistration would silence dissenting doctors who speak out — or even retweet — on debatable topics.

According to the Code of Conduct (1.2), “serious or repeated failure” to meet its standards may result in a doctor losing their right to practise medicine.

The draft Code can be accessed on the Medical Board of Australia website. The public can provide written submissions by email, marked: ‘Public consultation on Good medical practice’ to medboardconsultation@ahpra.gov.au by close of business on 3 August 2018.


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Source:Family Voice Australia | Date Published:Monday, July 30, 2018 | By: Darryl Budge | Article: Doctor’s code implies endorsing harmful cultural beliefs | Article URLLinkfava.org.au


Until the return of the King!

 Lachlan Dunjey:
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| repealsection8.net.au | conscienceinmedicine.net.au | doctors4family.com.au |

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Under the Canopy of Heaven 1. The Throne of Joy


At a foundational level the spiritual impoverishment of contemporary Australian Christianity can be traced to our inability to enter the worldview of the first followers of Jesus. They were seized by a sense of being on the edge of eternity with Christ coming “soon(1 Cor 10:11 ESV; Rev 1:1, 3 ESV; Rev 22:10, 22 ESV) and believed that the veil between heaven and earth had been lifted.

God’s plan for the reconciliation of all things was now revealed in Christ (Acts 3:21 ESV; Eph 1:10 ESV; Col 1:20 ESV). They knew that everything “in heaven and on earth” had been made through and for Jesus as the “the Beginning and the End” of all God’s eternal purposes (Col 1:16-17 ESV; Rev 22:12 ESV).

Compared with this limitless horizon most teachers in today’s Church are fixated on the horizontal, they have much to say about a better life on earth but little testimony about the heavenly world.

We may rightly decry the progressive exclusion of godly values from the arts, education, commerce, justice, medicine, government and so on [UCA this week re SSM] but we ourselves have largely lost the plot of living under a sacred heavenly canopy which gave centuries of European civilisation a sense of order and meaning in everything.

Sexuality, for instance, was once about conformity to the design of the Creator but today it’s been reduced to a coveted expression of personal identity. Everything is being desacralised, stripped of sacredness e.g. euthanasia and defacing human dignity in the image of the eternal God.

The Church will remain powerless to halt the advance of dark cosmic powers in the heavenly places (Eph 6:12-13 ESV) unless it receives a revelation of the reality that heaven was made for Jesus so that he rules from there now (Acts 2:32-34 ESV). In the urgency of the hour this series is about what it means for us to be under Christ’s heavenly canopy (cf. Isa 4:2-6 ESV).

The Reality Of Heaven On Earth

For Jesus heaven was a concentration point of attention and the source of his guidance, inspiration and empowerment. Before breaking the loaves and fishes to feed the 5,000 Jesus “looked up to heaven(Matt 14:19 ESV) and he was moved to do the same at the tomb of Lazarus and as he commences his great prayer in John 17 (John 11:41 ESV; John 17:1 ESV). This was an action of conscious communion and dependence on “my Father in heaven(Matt 7:21 ESV etc.).

Of particular significance for tonight’s message is Jesus’ ecstatic response to the news that the demonic powers were subject to the authority of his disciples, “vs.20 rejoice that your names are written in heaven.vs.21 he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said,I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth…(Luke 10:20-21 ESV).

As communion with the Father in heaven was totally real to Jesus when on earth it can be real for us because he is now in heaven on our behalf (cf. Rom 8:34 ESV; Heb 7:25 ESV).

The power of Paul’s exhortation to the Colossians flows from this realisation, “vs.1 If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. vs.2 Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. vs.3 For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. vs.4 When Christ who is your life appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.(Col 3:1-4 ESV).

Why am I (and the pastor I spoke with yesterday etc.) constantly hearing of the fragmenting of the lives of individuals, marriages, families… churches.

It’s because this saying is wise saying is as true as it is tragic, “Unless there is within us that which is above us, we shall soon yield to that which is about us.” (P. T. Forsyth).

Without a living witness in our hearts of the unity/solidity of the heavenly world disintegration here below is inevitable.

Thankfully for us the New Testament writers frame the existence of the Church in terms of Jesus’ heavenly journeys.

Ascending And Descending

Baseline God’s place and man’s place

Luke’s account of the ascension at the start of Acts is completely clear, “vs.9 And when he (Jesus) had said these things, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him out of their sight. vs.10 And while they were gazing into heaven as he went, behold, two men stood by them in white robes, vs.11 and said, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.”” (Acts 1:9-11 ESV).

Jesus left for heaven, is in heaven, and will come back from heaven (Phil 3:20 ESV; 1 Thess 1:10 ESV; 1 Thess 4:16 ESV; 2 Thess 1:7 ESV). In terms of saving history our life in God is surrounded by heaven and knowing this magnifies our sense of who Jesus is.

A living consciousness of Christ’s ascension into heaven frees us from thinking of him, as Paul puts it, “from a human point of view(2 Cor 5:16 ESV). Jesus’ triumphant entry into the heavenly world where “all God’s angels worship him(Heb 1:6 ESV; Rev 5 etc.) marks his exaltation in a way that this earthly sphere could not contain.

The difference, for instance, between the way the resurrected Jesus talked, walked and ate with his disciples (e.g. Luke 24:13ff ESV; John 21 ESV) and the glorious revelation of Christ from heaven which blinded Paul and caused John to fall down as dead is immeasurable (Acts 9:1-9 ESV; Rev 1:12-20 ESV).

Jesus is no longer “the bearded sandaled one of the Gospels” (Ortiz). A Christian classic was titled, “Your God is Too Small” (J.B. Phillips), our crisis is that our Jesus is too small. We fail to be grasped by the breathtaking reality that by ascending into heaven Jesus has transformed the essential nature of heaven on our behalf.

The psalmist made a categorical distinction between God’s place and man’s place, “The heavens are the LORD’s heavens, but the earth he has given to the children of man.(Ps 115:16 ESV). Now however Jesus has humanised heaven and heaven is where Christ is. Heaven and earth are now essentially united in Christ as God-and-man.

Through the ascended Christ the glory of heaven visits earth.

Pentecost was the first sign of this all embracing union.

Peter tells us that having received the Holy Spirit from the heavenly Father Jesus “has poured” him out(Acts 2:33 ESV).  The “wonders in the heavens above and signs on the earth below” he describes are prophetic signs of the cosmic significance of Jesus’ heavenly lordship gathering up all things (Acts 2:17, 35 ESV cf. Eph 1:10 ESV).  

Peter spoke boldly of these things because filled with the Spirit he is filled with a sense that having arrived in heaven Jesus began to reign over all things (Acts 3:21 ESV). As he says in his letter, “vs.21 through …resurrection…Jesus Christ, vs.22 …has gone into heaven and is at the right hand of God, with angels, authorities, and powers having been subjected to him.(1 Pet 3:21-22 ESV).

The sovereign heavenly reign of Christ is expressed in its most concentrated form in the New Testament in relation to the throne of God.

The Throne Is The Centre Of Heaven.

Everything proceeds from the throne (e.g. 1 Kings 22:19-23 ESV; Isa 6 ESV; Ezek 1 ESV; Rev 1:4 ESV) because the One who sits there is God (Rev 4:9 ESV; Rev 5:1; 7, 13 ESV; Rev 6:16 ESV; Rev 7:15 ESV; Rev 21:5 ESV).

When the apostles preach the elevation of Jesus “at the right hand of God(Acts 2:33 ESV; 5:31 ESV; 7:55 ESV; Rom 8:34 ESV etc.) they do not mean that the throne of God is partitioned in two with Jesus to the side of the centre of all things.

By quoting Psalm 45 about “the Son”, Hebrews testifies that the glorified Jesus shares completely the rule of God with his Father ““Your throne, O God, is forever and ever, the sceptre of uprightness is the sceptre of your kingdom.(Heb 1:8 ESV citing Ps 45:6 ESV).

There’s is a communality of enthronement in a shared glory (cf. John 1:18 ESV; 10:30 ESV). Revelation makes this transparently clear where Jesus says having “I…conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.” (Rev 3:21 ESV). The Lamb is in “the midst of the throne(Rev 7:17 ESV cf. Rev 5:6 ESV), and “him who sits on the throne and…the Lamb” are consistently paired (Rev 5:13 ESV; Rev 7:6 ESV; Rev 22:1,3 ESV). The vision of the End is that the glory of the intimate familial throne relationship between Father and Son will irradiate the whole new creation (Rev 22:1-5 ESV). Such visions have great power, power that is to make us more like Jesus.

This is what happened to Stephen; “vs.55 full of the Holy Spirit he gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God. vs.56 And he said, “Behold, I see the heavens opened, and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”…. vs.58 Then they cast him out of the city and stoned him…. vs.59 And as they were stoning Stephen, he called out, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.” vs.60 And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep.(Acts 7:55-60 ESV).

The spirit of the all forgiving sacrifice of the cross was poured into the heart of Stephen because he saw the glory of the heavenly Lord (cf. Rom 5:5 ESV). The power of the enthroned Christ we need to see and receive today has, I believe, a particular tone.

Hebrews chapter one continues its citation from Psalm 45 with, “You have loved righteousness and hated wickedness; therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness beyond your companions.”” (Heb 1:9 ESV from Ps 45:7 ESV).

The rapturous reception of the Son into heaven (Heb 1:6 ESV) is the perfect fulfilment of the delightful familial scene about God and wisdom in Proverbs 8; “vs.30 I was beside him, like a master workman, and I was daily his delight, rejoicing before him always,vs.31 rejoicing in his inhabited world and delighting in the children of man.(Prov 8:30-31 ESV).

Having completed the atonement of the world in the death and resurrection of his Son the Father took Jesus back into heaven and sat him down on his own royal throne immersed in infinite joy (cf. Heb 2:10 ESV; Heb 5:9; Heb 7:28 ESV).  

HEAVEN RULES” In The Affairs Of Men

Enthroned by the government of God Christ is himself the perfect reality of the supreme sovereignty for which we pray,  “vs.9 Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. vs.10 Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.(Matt 6:9-10 ESV). “heaven rules” in the affairs of men (Dan 4:26 ESV cf. Ps 110:1 ESV, cited 17 times in NT) because it rules through the one who was illimitably ruled on our behalf.

Contrary to human thinking the throne of God in Christ is a throne of joy because it is a throne of righteous rule (Matt 6:33 ESV). The Old Testament wisdom writers pair righteousness withshouts for joy six times (Job 33:26 ESV; Ps 32:11 ESV; Ps 33:1 ESV; Ps 35:27 ESV; Ps 68:3 ESV; Ps 132:9 ESV) and righteousness with having joy five times (Ps 97:11 ESV; Prov 10:28 ESV; Prov 21:15 ESV; Isa 64:5 ESV; Rom 14:17 ESV).

It is to Jesus seated in heaven that the psalmists expectation of a joy saturated life properly belongs, “You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.(Ps 16:11 ESV).

Filled with joy at the completion of his good work in Jesus (Gen 1:31-2:3 ESV; John 19:30 ESV) from his throne ourAbba! Father!” has initiated a reign (John 20:17 ESV; Rom 8:14-17 ESV; Gal 4:4-6 ESV) from heaven for the Church (Eph 1:22 ESV).  Jesus and the Father cannot and will not keep their joy to themselves (John 15:11 ESV).

Church Renewal

Filled with the Holy Spirit (Acts 2:4 ESV) and communing with the heavenly Lord Peter preached at Pentecost, “vs.32This Jesus God raised up, and of that we all are witnesses. vs.33 Being therefore exalted at the right hand of God, and having received from the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit, he has poured out this that you yourselves are seeing and hearing.”” (Acts 2:32-33 ESV).

Surely as he proclaimed the outpouring of the heavenly life of Christ in the Spirit Peter’s own heart was filled with “joy unspeakable and full of glory(1 Pet 1:8 ESV). A joy which when communicated through the gospel bound the first church in a common life filled with the gladness of the Father-Son relationship in the heavenly world (Acts 2:44-47 ESV).

Pentecost may be unrepeatable but the fruit of the Spirit filled gospel preaching is reproducible. To the degree we are caught up in the Spirit sent from heaven (1 Pet 1:12 ESV) to adore the one who sits on the Father’s throne in heaven, “the man Christ Jesus(1 Tim 2:5 ESV), we will share his boundless joy.

This is intensely powerful and practical.

Standing before his disciples pronouncing the liberality of his Father, ““All authority in heaven and earth has been given to me”” (Matt 28:18 ESV cf. Dan 7:14 ESV) Jesus is filled with the joy of the righteousness of the gospel (Rom 14:17 ESV), a righteousness empowered joy that makes disciples of all nations (Matt 28:19-20 ESV). This is what he would impart from heaven to us.

As the Father has happily shared his authority with his Son so the resurrection joy of the Lord is the power by which our own lives are transformed and the power by which we share Jesus with others (cf. Neh 8:10 ESV; Luke 24:41 ESV).

A righteousness empowered heavenly joy is the only solution to the dearth of discipleship that’s overtaking the Church. I was talking this week with a young adult’s pastor who’s mourning the problems of alcohol, pornography and so on amongst Christian young people. I said to him there’s only one solution, an outpouring of the life of Christ from heaven.


For Christians “heaven” stands for the superiority of the newness that’s come in Christ over the brokenness of present earthly existence (2 Cor 5:17 ESV).

The present heavenly dimension is as real as the fact that Jesus has been raised from death. An enduring spiritual revival hinges on the recovery of the revelation of heaven as the place where Jesus lives today.

In an age when personal fulfilment is thought of only in terms of this world a vision of the heavenly man will fill us with a sense of the limitless dignity what it means to be in the image of God in Christ (1 Cor 15:47-49 ESV).

P. T. Forsyth did put it wisely, “Unless there is within us that which is above us, we shall soon yield to that which is about us.

Without a vision the “things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God(Col 3:1 ESV) the world will (continue to) dominate your life.

The psalmist said, “I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy(Ps 43:4 ESV). Our altar is in heaven (Heb 13:10 ESV) and Jesus is our superlative joy. Let us come to Jesus “who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God(Heb 12:2 ESV) and let us ask him to pour out on us his “joy unspeakable and full of glory(1 Pet 1:8 ESV cf. Ps 51:12 ESV).   

MESSAGE DELIVERED: 15th July 2018 | Alive@5

Author: Dr. John Yates

MESSAGE YouTube or PODCAST: 15th July, 2018 


Related Link: Nil

Armageddon Today

Rev 16:1-16


The legalising of same-sex marriage, the passing of euthanasia laws and the prosecution of anti abortion protesters have left many Bible believing Christians in Australia feeling besieged.

Some Christian spokesmen are saying it’s no longer possible to have reasoned dialogue with non-Christians about the meaning of life (Eternity magazine 14.6.18). None of this should depress us for as “God does nothing without revealing his plans to his servants the prophets.” (Am 3:7) he will give us a witness from heaven about his plans in the circumstances of our time.

As external pressures from the world on the Church intensify the Spirit of God is working to enlarge “the eyes of our hearts” (Eph 1:18) so we see in new depth the intensity of the struggle in which we are immersed.

Despite our immaturities (1 Cor 3:1; Heb 5:13) we have been placed on a steep learning curve concerning the clash between the dominion of darkness and the kingdom of Christ (Col 1:13).

Unlike us the first Christians believed they were living within the “end of days” (Dan 12:13 i.e. eschatology) on the edge of the consummation of the age long cosmic struggle between Satan and God (1 Cor 10:11).

As followers of Jesus they believed they could see into this spiritual world because through Christ the veil between heaven and earth has been lifted and God’s plan for all things was now revealed (Eph 1:10 i.e. apocalyptic).

The book of Revelation is the part of the Bible that speaks most directly to an oppressed Church like our own and for its message about Armageddon is especially significant.

But certain scales must be removed from our eyes if we are to understand how Jesus is speaking to us today.


Revelation opens with a message that its visions “must soon take place…. for the time is near” (Rev 1:1, 3 cf. Rev 22:10) and Jesus’ ends the book with words of tremendous assurance, ““Surely I am coming soon.”” (Rev 22:20).

Everything in Revelation is going to happen soon because for the New Testament writers knew that the “last days” embraced their own time. As Peter expounded the events on the day of Pentecost by saying, “in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh” (Acts 2:17)

Hebrews starts with, “in these last days God has spoken to us by his Son” (Rev 1:2). With the coming of the Word of God in Christ and the outpouring of the Spirit of God the Church is by nature in the last days when, as Paul says,  “the world as we know it is passing away” (1 Cor 7:31).

The whole message of Revelation is (cf. Rev 1:4) in some important way relevant to our day and its atmosphere of urgency applies to us NOW.

Its final battle called “Armageddon” could happen any time soon for its only the last in a series of battles stretching across the history of salvation. When evil angels trespassed onto earth (Gen 6 ff; Jude 1: 6) God destroyed their schemes through the Flood (cf. Matt 24:38-39; 2 Pet 2:5 ff.).

Through the many conflicts threatening the existence of Israel to tyrants like Herod the Great and the emperors of Rome and throughout Church history beast powers rise up whose goal is to exterminate the people of God (Ezek 38-39; Dan 7:21, 22; Matt 2:16; Rev 20:7-9).

There is no armistice, truce or peace in their unholy war.

The conflict between the deceptions of Satan and the Lordship of Messiah simply comes to a climax at Armageddon. This is straightforward and beyond our control but Revelation’s testimony to the Armageddon event is to a Church beguiled by seducing powers and unprepared for the End; vs.13And I saw, coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs. vs.14 For they are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty. vs.15 (“Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!”) vs.16 And they assembled them at the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.” (Rev 16:13-16). These words are a warning to us.


Armageddon” literally means “mountain of Megiddo” but the fact that in the Old Testament Meggido is described as a “valley” (2 Chron 35:22; Zech 12:11) indicates John is speaking in symbolic not literal terms.

There is no physical mountain anywhere near Megiddo.

Most likely Armageddon means “mount of assembly” (cf. Isa 14:13)1)See https://www.worldslastchance.com/appointed-feasts/why-does-wlc-claim-that-qarmageddonq-is-har-moed-when-the-word-is-actually-har-megiddon.html for detailed arguments about Hebrew roots.; but which mountain?

The mountain in the Old Testament at which the anti-God forces gather against God’s people is always the temple mountain, Mt Zion, (Pss 47; 48; 102; Joel 3:2; Zeph 3:8; Zech 12:3; 14:2 cf. Ezek 38-39).

In Revelation itself (Rev 14:1, 20; Rev 20:8-9) “the beloved city”, Jerusalem, is the location of the final end-time conflict.

Since in the New Testament the “Jerusalem above is our mother” and we have “come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem [mountain of God]” (Gal 4:26; Heb 12:22 cf. John 4:21-24) Armageddon stands for an attack on the whole Church across the world as it worships Christ in heaven. This final assault will climax at some future time but that time is always impending.


Jesus’ own words sandwiched between the two references to this last battle make the immediacy of the danger crystal clear, “(“Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!”)” (Rev 16:15).

This is the language he used in one of his Gospel parables, “vs.39Stay dressed for action….if the master of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have left his house to be broken into. vs.40 You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.”” (Luke 12:35, 39-40).

Throughout the New Testament the thief image always describes an unexpected sudden Return of Christ as Judge (1 Thess 5:2, 4; 2 Pet 3:10). The first hearers of Revelation would readily recall these words of Jesus to the church of Sardis; “Remember, then, what you received and heard. Keep it, and repent. If you will not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what hour I will come against you.” (Rev 3:3).

It is absolutely clear that the outpouring of the plagues described in Revelation 16 consummating in Armageddon could happen at any moment! The power which lulled the church of Sardis to sleep and has sent most Australian Christians into a dangerous spiritual slumber is the power of deception.


Revelation repeatedly warns of a global campaign of deception by the forces of evil (Rev 16:14, 16; Rev 19:19; Rev 20:8). vs.13And I saw, coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs.vs.14 For they are demonic spirits, performing signs, who go abroad to the kings of the whole world, to assemble them for battle on the great day of God the Almighty.” (Rev 16:13-14).

Frogs are unclean animals (Lev 11:9-12; 41:47) and by the plague of frogs in Exodus (Ex 8:2-11; Psalm 78:45; Psalm 105:30) the Lord proved his power over heqet the Egyptian goddess of the resurrection who was pictured as a frog (Ex 12:12; Num 33:4).

From ancient religion to religions like Islam to communism and Nazism and the contemporary doctrine of gender fluidity seducing spirits entice humans with wondrous promises of a re-creation beyond the bounds of their present humanity,  but in the end “destruction” will come (Ps 78:45; 1 Tim 4:1).

Dragons and the beasts are noisy creatures easy to spot (Dan 7:8, 11, 20, 36; 2 Thess 2:4; Rev 13:5-6) but “false prophet” is an expression always used of evil within the Church (Matt 7:15; 24:11, 24; Mark 13:22; Luke 6:26; Acts 13:6; 2 Pet 2:1; 1 John 4:1).

Revelation warns repeatedly that the Church of the last days will suffer from demonically induced idolatry and immorality (Rev 2:14; 20-21; Rev 17:2 ff.). God’s response to such compromise is uncompromising.

Throughout the Old Testament the Lord exposed the shameful idolatry of Israel by assembling hostile nations against them to strip their cities bare through battle;  symbolically, to quote, he lifted up the skirts of Israel to expose their fornication with false gods (Ezek 16:36-39; Ezek 23:29; Isa 20:4; Jer 13:22, 26; Nah 3:5).

Such actions of holy jealousy are not restricted to the old covenant. As we have seen in Revelation (Rev 16:15) Jesus warns his Bride to stay clothed lest she be found “naked” and “exposed”. Only a people blinded by idolatry (cf. Psalm 115:4-8; Rev 3:17) could fail to see that the Lord Jesus is exposing the shameful spiritual state of his Church today.

By uncovering the depravity in institutional Christianity the royal commission into child abuse should have provoked agonising lament and ongoing 24/7 prayer across the nation!

But through centuries of compromise with the Babylonian harlot/false religious system Western Christendom seems to have lost the ability to conceive that God Almighty is exposing her nakedness by judgement (Rev 17:6).

Whereas a holy Bride is on constant spiritual alert we must accept Christ’s witness to his church in Laodicea applies to us; ““you say, I am rich, I have prospered, and I need nothing, not realizing that you are wretched, pitiable, poor, blind, and naked.”” (Rev 3: 14, 16-17).

Even Adam and Eve could recognise their shame and nakedness (Gen 3:7) but mainstream Western Christianity is too blind to see she’s been stripped bare!

Let me use a contemporary illustration of our spiritual sightlessness. Lots of “Bible-believing” Christians appreciated the vigorous preaching of the African-American bishop at the royal “wedding of the century”.

A man who speaks so passionately about love and Jesus must be a Christian, mustn’t he? The truth is that he leads a “church” famous for celebrating same-sex relationships and which cruelly offers poor Africans development aid on the condition that they change their traditional views on marriage.

Was his preaching inspired by the Spirit of God or some other spirit? Wolves in sheep’s clothing look like… sheep (Matt 7:15)! Thank God his Spirit has instructed us how to recognise deception, by looking through the blood of the cross.


The garments which Jesus places on his Bride (Matt 22:11-13; Rev 16:15) are robes ““washed…and made…white in the blood of the Lamb.” (Rev 7:14).

By symbolising our “righteous deeds” (Rev 19:8) in Christ these spattered garments incite intense satanic warfare against “the saints” i.e. against us (Dan 7:21; Rev 13:7).

Yet in God’s purposes as we remain faithful under attack our discernment of spirits becomes sharper and sharper (1 Cor 12:10; Heb 5:14) so that the great acclamation belongs to us, “they have conquered him (the devil) by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, for they loved not their lives even unto death.” (Rev 12:11).

This victory in spiritual conflict is a share in Christ’s victory because it is a share a share in his own righteous life (Isa 53:11; Acts 3:14; Acts 7:52; Acts 22:14; 1 John 2:29; 1 John 3:7). God’s justice is revealed on earth as his people triumph over evil.

In the Old Testament the Lord revealed his righteousness by his warring against evil nations (Isa 11:4; Ps 96:13) but in Revelation it is the Lamb of God who conquers supernatural evil by “making war in righteousness” in the power of his own shed blood (Rev 19:11).

The sacrificial blood of Jesus stands for his righteousness, his complete obedience to the Father to the point of death in order that lost people might be saved. When we trust in the death of Jesus his righteousness becomes ours through grace; to be “washed in the blood of the Lamb” (Rev 7:14 cf. 1:5) is to “have been made right in God’s sight by the blood of Christ” (Rom 5:9).

Satan no longer can justly accuse those who are washed in the blood of Christ (Rev 12:9-10 cf. Rom 8:33-34 cf. 1 John 2:1-2). With Christ’s blood as our covering (Rom 3:25) by faith we stand righteous fearless and unashamed before God’s tribunal (cf. Heb 12:2).

The battle preparedness of the Church is rarely experienced today because most preachers have no biblical understanding of how the blood of the cross revolutionises the human conscience.

how much more”, says the writer of Hebrews, “will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, cleanse our conscience from dead works…. let us draw near (to God) with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with our hearts sprinkled clean from a guilty conscience” (Heb 9:14; Heb 10:22 cf. 1 Pet 1:2).

When the Word of the cross (1 Cor 1:18) penetrates cleanses our consciences from idolatrous thoughts spiritual realities become more and more transparent.

Those with a blood cleansed conscience see the conflict in the heavenly realms and are not deceived by the designs of the devil (2 Cor 2:11).

Seeing in the Spirit (Rev 1:10) means seeing that the real warfare in our culture is not driven by social, moral or political forces (Eph 6:12) but by powers that can only be overcome in the way of the cross; by sacrificial obedient love for the sake of others, even unto death (Rev 12:11). 

This is the righteousness that makes manifest the victory of the Lamb. This call of God is great but it is not glamorous or easy.

From the shedding of the blood of the righteous Abel (Matt 23:35) to the martyr Antipas named in Revelation 2 there have always been those chosen to suffer more severely than others for the sake of the victory of God.

Only those who see that we are in an end-time cosmic conflict that could consummate at any time can be a part of this elect and privileged group (Matt 5:10-12; Acts 5:41).

If to suffer for Jesus is to be gloried with him (Luke 24:26; Rom 8:17; 1 Pet 4:12-13) why aren’t there lines of Christians queuing up to enlist for the fight; wanting that is to be Christ’s disciples?

It’s because deceived by demonic wisdom much of the Church has placed itself outside of the biblical plot (James 3:14-16).


To engage seriously with the revelation that we are already in a clash of spiritual kingdoms which will conclude in Armageddon is folly to mainstream Australian Christianity.

Few feel an urgency to examine their consciences checking if they are washed in the blood of the Lamb (2 Cor 13:5 cf. 1 Cor 11:27-32).

We have been deceived in a way that a most famous tale of Hans Christian Andersen lays bare.

In The Emperor’s New Clothes counterfeit tailors promise a vain emperor a new suit of clothes invisible to those who are unworthy of their positions. In reality, they make no clothes at all. But when the emperor parades in his new “clothes” no one dares to say that they do not see any clothes on him for fear that they will be reckoned unworthy. Finally, a child in the crowd cries out, “But he isn’t wearing anything at all!” and the truth is exposed.

Much of the Church today is trying to clothe itself in programmes, celebrity ministries and political activities as if these could ward off the assaults of the devil. The sin, divisions, psychological disorders, disturbed marriages, family strife and prayerlessness amoungst believers expose these devices as defenceless before the powers of evil.

Just as God promised Israel that he would put none of the diseases of the Egyptians upon them if they were faithful to his covenant (Ex 12:13; Ex 15:26) so in parallel form the plagues of Revelation are designed to come upon the world (Rev 3:10; Rev 6:10; Rev 8:13) and not on the Church.

But today Christians seem to be as plagued by disease and disorder as anyone else. Jesus warned that people would be carrying on with life as normal right up until his sudden coming to judge (Matt 24:38-39). This is necessarily true of the world, but it is also largely true of the Church!

Karl Marx spoke as a secular prophet when he described religion as the “opium of the people”.

Look up many websites of larger churches and their home pages picture a brightly lit stage with a worship band and a host of ecstatic worshippers. Many Christian meetings are like opium dens producing a self-intoxicating emotional high lifting the spiritually weak to get through to the next Sunday fix.

There is no corporate lament, no anguished intercession for a world lost, and looking through the lens of Revelation, hurtling downhill to the final conflict when God’s fiery wrath will consume his enemies (Isa 66:15-16; Mal 4:1; 2 Thess 1:7-9; Rev 20:7-10 etc.)


Armageddon stands both for the decisive final battle at the End of history finally separating good and evil and also for a conflict which even NOW is separating a naked compromised idolatrous “Church” from a Church of righteous uncompromising witness (Rev 19:8-9) whose garments are dazzling white and beautiful in the sight of Christ (Rev 3:4-5 cf. Luke 9:29).

To have such a spotless Bride (Eph 5:26-27) is very dear to the heart of Jesus and why he prayed to his Righteous Father, ““keep them from the evil one”” (John 17:15, 25).

Decades later the same Jesus promised the afflicted but faithful little congregation in Philadelphia, “Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth.” (Rev 3:10).

This promise of spiritual protection is not made to all the churches in Revelation. To how many congregations in Perth can Jesus make this promise? How many even care?

This dreadful situation should incite in us holy fear and urgent intercession (Phil 2:12).

We need to be praying for a visitation of the Spirit to apply the power of the blood of the cross to the conscience of the Church; “how much more will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without blemish to God, purify our conscience from dead works to serve the living God.” (Heb 9:14).

In our present state of war with casualties littered all over the battle field the Church can no longer afford to tolerate her own dead works (Rev 3:1).

May God’s Spirit unveil to us that the time is near (Rev 1:1, 3) so that longing for more of Jesus we might come into a much richer share in the righteous victory of the blood of the cross.

Apart from answers to such prayers the state into which both nation and Church will plunge is too dreadful to imagine. Let us pray for the manifestation of the victory of Christ through the Church i.e. us, whatever the cost. 

MESSAGE DELIVERED: 8th. July, 2018 | Zion Fellowship

Author: Dr. John Yates

MESSAGE YouTube or PODCAST: Date. Month, 2018 


Related Link: Nil

References   [ + ]

Under the Canopy of Heaven 3. The Will of Heaven

 Rev 4:1-11; Mark 14:32-42


Over the last few weeks I’ve emphasised that the heavenly world which once belonged exclusively to God has now been united to the earth in the God-man Jesus Christ (Ps 116:15 ESV).

Now by faith we “ vs.2 set our minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. vs.3 For we have died, and our life is hidden with Christ in God

Col 3:2-3

If our life is hid with Christ in God then our wills should be directed from heaven.

This is where we need much help today. Much popular preaching assumes we have the power to will whatever we choose, but our failure to choose holiness exposes this as untrue. I know I don’t have it in me to move my will into a greater godliness (cf. Rom 7:15 ESV). The will is the steering wheel of life; if God has our wills he has all of us.

P.T. Forsyth made a correct pastoral observation when he remarked, “our will is our deepest life, the thing we cling to most”, or, “our will alone is our ownest own”.

Even on their death bed some people who should know better refuse entrust to entrust their wills to Christ choosing to possess their own wills to the very last. Whatever philosophy, psychology or neurology may teach us about us about the nature and meaning of the will only a revelation of the character of the will of God can turn our wills to conform to his will.

To say the same thing from the opposite angle, a rebellious will always flows from unbelief concerning the goodness of the will of the heavenly Father (Jer 16:12 ESV).

Q: What do we know from scripture about the overarching will of God for his creation?

God’s Will

When John was taken through the open door into heaven he beheld the heavenly host around the throne of God glorying in his will, “vs.1 the twenty-four elders… vs.10 worship him who lives forever and ever… saying, vs.11Worthy are you, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honour and power, for you created all things, and by your will they existed and were created.”” (Rev 4:1, 10-11 ESV)

Heaven is where the will of God is always done; this is what makes it a place of supreme blessedness. The heavenly beings however are praising God not only for their heavenly locale but for his creation of “all things”.

They exult in the will of God not simply for the “very goodness(Gen 1:31 ESV) of his original creative acts but in all things across history.

This language echoes the praise of God in Daniel 4:35 ESV, “he does according to his will among the host of heaven and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand or say to him, “What have you done?””.

Not all things on earth are good but the will of God for all things is “good and acceptable and perfect(Rom 12:2 ESV).

Our wilful disobedience is a sign that we do not believe God’s will is for our best. One of the worst decisions I ever made as a young Christian was to consciously shut off from the presence of the Lord.

This caused me great inner grief and distress for quite a long time.

When Paul speaks of, “the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will(Eph 1:11 ESV) we must accept that even in his dealings with suffering and evil God has a good will.

The question of the alignment of heaven and earth in the will of God raises sharply the problem of an evil will.

Satan’s Will

The battle between God and the devil for humanity is centred on the human will, a will designed to centre on the revelation of God’s will in his Word.

In Eden Adam and Eve were deceived into exchanging obedience to God in his Word for submission to Satan in his word (Gen 3:1-6 ESV)

This was a total choice to turn away from the God as a faithful Father (Luke 3:38 ESV) to trust in a lying father.

As Christ said to the Pharisees, “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires.(John 8:44 ESV).

To sin means to share in the satanic nature (Matt 13:38 ESV; 1 John 3:10 ESV).

Luther used this analogy; “the human will is placed between the two like a beast of burden. If God rides it, it wills and goes where God wills…(Ps. 73:22 ESV f.)If Satan rides it, it wills and goes where Satan wills… the riders themselves contend for the possession and control of it.

When God’s will rules our wills we are truly free, but Satan’s will brings enslavement.

When “Satan entered into Judas… Iscariot(Luke 22:3 ESV) he was rendered impotent under the power of the devil.

Paul isn’t embarrassed to use such strong language about the bondage of the will, “God may perhaps grant them (opponents of the gospel) repentance…and they may escape from the snare of the devil, after being captured by him to do his will.(2 Tim 2:26 ESV cf. 1 Tim 1:20 ESV cf. 1 Cor 5:5 ESV).

We were not created to have a self-standing will; we were created with the goal of being filled with the love and knowledge of God and being irresistibly moved to submit to our creator as our true end.

Failing that we will be ruled over by a “strong man” stronger than us (Matt 12:29 ESV). God said, “‘I have found in David… a man after my heart, who will do all my will.’” (Acts 13:22 ESV).

But when “Satan stood against Israel and incited David to take a census of the people of Israel(1 Chron 21:1 ESV) David sinned and judgement fell on the nation. Only Jesus defines his existence in terms of infallibly doing the will of his Father in heaven.

Jesus and the Kingdom of God


The Son of God came down from heaven and was born in order to keep God’s will and give him pleasure in a way we never could. “Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, “in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your willO God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.’”” (Heb 10:6-7 ESV).

Complete obedience to the will of God is at the heart of Jesus’ identity as God’s Son, ““My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.”(John 4:34 ESV cf. John 19:30 ESV).

This line from the Lord’s Prayer is justly famous, “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.(Matt 6:10 ESV).

God’s will is done perfectly in heaven because his throne is there, and the complete earthly expression of the will of the Father is the Son’s obedient words and works.

The will of Jesus is held within the will of the Father in a constant communion between heaven and earth. By “seeing” and following what his Father is willing in heaven (John 5:19 ESV) the kingdom of God breaks into earth through Jesus in an unprecedented way.

No wonder the crowds that welcomed him into Jerusalem supposed that “the kingdom of God was to appear immediately.” (Luke 19:11 ESV).

Being “of the earth” rather than “from heaven(John 3:31 ESV) they were grossly mistaken, mistaken because they could not see that the will of heaven was that Messiah “must” die (Mark 8:31 ESV; Luke 21:7 ESV).

The Will Of The Cross

The will of God brings together joy and suffering in a way that only makes sense through the life of Jesus. Christ was baptised into the “pleasing will” of the Father at the Jordan but at the same time this is a baptism to “fulfil all righteousness” through atoning death (Matt 3:15-17 ESV).

Only as he approaches this hour are there signs of a struggle between Jesus’ human will and the will of God; “ 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.28 Father, glorify your name.”(John 12:27-28 ESV).

His struggle to will the will of God progresses until he prays in Gethsemane, ““Abba, Father, all things are possible for you. Remove this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.”(Mark 14:36 ESV).

The “cup” stands for the wrath of God (Isa 51:17 ESV; Jer 25:15-17 ESV; Rev 14:9-10 ESV) and Jesus is recoiling at the knowledge that obedience to God’s will bring separation from the life of his Father.

This prospect was so dreadful that when Jesus says to his disciples, ““My soul is overwhelmed with sorrow to the point of death.(Mark 14:34 ESV) we must take this literally.

Jesus is dying in Gethsemane and needs to be helped on by “an angel from heaven(Luke 22:43 ESV).

It was impossible for the will of Jesus as a human being to say “Yes” to the impending prospect of the dereliction and darkness of the cross (Mark 15:33-34 ESV) without heavenly help of the profoundest kind.

The anguish in Christ’s heart is unimaginable to us sinners but the insights of Karl Barth are helpful, “The will of God was done as the will of Satan was done. The answer of God was identical with the action of Satan. That was the frightful thing…. What shook him (Jesus) was the coming concealment of the lordship of God under the lordship of evil1)CD IV/1, 59 p.268f..

That the Father would use evil to destroy evil was something to which Jesus had to submit and it would mean the complete obscuring of the will of heaven, ““My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”(Mark 15:34 ESV).

How was it possible for Jesus to embrace the humanly impossible?

This is a mystery only scripture can point to.

The will of God symbolised by the cup Jesus accepts in Gethsemane is one with the will of God praised by the angelic host in Revelation 4.

The good pleasing and perfect will of offering up his body as a living sacrifice to redeem creation (cf. Rom 12:1-2 ESV; Heb 10:5-7 ESV).

The heavenly will Jesus receives in Gethsemane is one with “with the precious blood of… a lamb without blemish or… chosen before the creation of the world(1 Pet 1:19- 20 ESV), one with “the Lamb who was slaughtered before the world was made(Rev 13:8 ESV).

The intelligibility and unity of heaven and earth of God and humanity is found in the agreement of the will of Jesus with the will of his “Abba, Father,(Mark 14:36 ESV) to be crucified for us.

Through the obedience of the cross (Phil 2:8 ESV) the willing of heaven and of earth are united indivisibly and eternally in Christ.

In him our earth bound human wills have been taken up into the will of God in heaven (Col 3:3 ESV).

The outworking of this in the life of the Church is both marvellous and difficult.

The Will in the Church

Since “ vs.9 God has now revealed to us the mystery of his will… which he set forth in Christ vs.10 as a plan for the fullness of time, to unite all things in him, things in heaven and things on earth.(Eph 1:9-10 ESV) we should be able to discern God’s reconciling will in all the circumstances of life (Col 1:20 ESV).

Whereas under the old covenant God willed our wills (Prov 21:1 ESV) through dwelling in us through the new covenant he wills in our wills.  Born “from above” our wills are being recreated according to the will of heaven (John 3:3 ESV cf. Phil 2:13 ESV).

The more powerful the will of God in us the more powerful our wills become in ever deeper communion with the heavenly Lord. This has a deeply practical outworking.

Jesus said to Peter, “I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be/shall have been bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be/shall have been loosed in heaven.”(Matt 16:19 ESV).

Peter will pass on decisions that will have already been made in heaven (cf. Matt 18:18-20 ESV).

This possesses great authority. For example, communion with the heavenly dominion when Peter says to Sapphira, “vs.9Behold, the feet of those who have buried your husband are at the door, and they will carry you out.” ……. vs.10 Immediately she fell down… and breathed her last.”” (Acts 5:9-10 ESV cf. 1 Cor 5:3-5 ESV).

The heavenly-earthly connection explains why the healings in Acts involve declarations rather than petitions, “vs.4 Peter directed his gaze at him…vs.6 In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk!”…. vs.8 And leaping up, he stood and began to walk”….vs.9 And Paul, looking intently at him and seeing that he had faith to be made well, 10 said in a loud voice, “Stand upright on your feet.” And he sprang up and began walking.(e.g. Acts 3:4, 6, 8 ESV; 14:9-10 ESV).

In these examples the healings are preceded by a “stare”, where a Greek word is used that indicates a revelatory experience, an epiphany of divine power (cf. Acts 7:55 ESV).

Insight into heaven means that deeds performed on earth have the power, right and validity of the will of God in heaven.

In a way that is more real than anything in this age those who receive the presence and power of the kingdom of God are seen in the light of the End where everything in heaven and earth will be united in Christ (Eph 1:9-10 ESV cf. 1 Cor 3:21-22 ESV).

Their healing occurs not because faith influenced God’s will but by an agreement in Christ between an earthly human will and God’s will in heaven. As a church community we are always called to manifest this end-time rule of God in Christ living out the rule of the heavenly dominion.

I remember listening to Yonggi Cho recount a time when a sick person was carried into his office. He was so convicted that it was God’s will to heal them he simply told them to get up, and they did! I remember praying for someone in Argentina in a way that pronounced God’s power over them, and it happened.


Having a heaven’s eye view of the will of God assures our faith in the knowledge that God’s purposes cannot fail. Why then are we so often confused about what is the will of heaven and then are afraid to do it?  

I believe an answer is found in the teaching of Philippians 2 about the humiliation and exaltation of Christ.

It was the will of God that Jesus empty himself, die on the cross and be exalted so that the worship which the Father receives might be his also,that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord(Phil 2:11 ESV cf. Isa 45:23 ESV).

This is Paul’s way of saying that the will of God praised by the heavenly host in Revelation 4 shall be realised in Christ.

He then goes on to apply this exalted theology in a way to how we should live, “vs.12 Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling,vs.13 for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.(Phil 2:12-13 ESV).

God is working his will out in our lives by the same means and for the same purpose as he did in Jesus; suffering for glory, humiliation for exaltation and all for his “good pleasure” which he delights to share with us (cf. Eph 1:5, 9 ESV).

We have something more wonderful than the angelic powers ceaselessly worshiping the will of God for creating (Rev 4:11 ESV), for they can only do so only from some distance (1 Pet 1:12 ESV).

For unlike us they cannot “suffer in the flesh” as Jesus did (1 Pet 4:1 ESV) that God might be glorified in all things. 

This is our unique privilege in the will of God beyond all other creatures.

The Church as we know it today struggles to know and obey the will of God because it is put off  by the struggles and suffering that following Jesus will always bring.

This is understandable; but more fundamentally the people of God are held back because they lack a heavenly revelation that such suffering is more than worth it (2 Cor 4:17-18 ESV).

Let us ask God for an unveiling of the greatness of the heavenly realm in Christ, which is our destiny in him, in order that our hearts might be moved to a deeper and deeper obedience.

MESSAGE DELIVERED: 2nd July, 2018 | Alive@5

Author: Dr. John Yates

MESSAGE YouTube or PODCAST: 2nd July, 2018  

References   [ + ]

1. CD IV/1, 59 p.268f.