24 August 2018 AUSTRALIA: Pentecostal Prime Minister “Meet PM Scott Morrison”

Prime Minister Scott Morrison with his wife Jenny and daughters Abigail and Lily pose for photos after being sworn-in at Government House in Canberra on Friday.

vs.1 We may make our plans, but God has the last word. !

PROVERBS 16:1-3

Scott Morrison is Australia’s first Pentecostal prime minister, a branch of Christianity famous for stadium-sized gatherings and energetic sermons.

For more than a decade he and his family have been members of the Sutherland Shire’s Horizon Church in Sydney’s south, housed in a 1200-seat auditorium.

Horizon is a Pentecostal Christian church where pastors give rousing sermons, and followers can sometimes speak in tongues and engage in “divine healing”.

Horizon Church senior pastor Brad Bonhomme says Mr Morrison and his wife Jenny and daughters Lily and Abigail are regulars at the church on a Sunday, when more than 2000 people attend services.

More recently work has thwarted Mr Morrison’s regular attendance, however, his wife and daughters are heavily involved in the church’s children’s program.

The Morrisons met through church as teenagers and married at the age of 21.

Mr Bonhomme said the church would play no part in the running of the country or Liberal Party policy.

“Unfortunately there will be some that assume whatever policy direction the Liberal Party might choose to take, some would assume I or our church will be involved in that,” he said. “Nothing could be further from the truth.

“As far as growth of the church is concerned there may be some people who may like what they see and what is happening, as far as the Liberal Party is concerned, we have no involvement in their policy making and their decision making.”

Mr Bonhomme said he and his wife Alison Bonhomme, also a senior pastor at Horizon, had a good relationship with the Morrisons.

Mr Bonhomme, a South African who “knows a good curry when he sees one”, said Mr Morrison was famous for the ones he whipped up for friends at home.

“I don’t delve too much into it as far as Scott’s political world goes, my role in his life is more on a faith base,” he said.

“Yes, our PM is a Christian, he regularly goes to a church and with that my job is to provide a place for him to express his faith.”

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The pastor said he and his congregation were delighted about having one of their own in the nation’s top job.

“We are thrilled, we are just so excited and thankful and humbled all at the same time. There is a measure of responsibility too and we want to do our best. From our perspective we do all we can to represent our prime minister well,” he said.

“We are a bit more upbeat, a bit more up-tempo than a traditional church. The message is the same — love, justice, care — however the presentation is probably a bit louder, a bit more up tempo and a lot more musicians. I would say we are passionate in the way we share our beliefs.”

RELATED: Bill Shorten2)SEE URL: https://www.smh.com.au/topic/bill-shorten-26p

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Mr Morrison, a former treasurer and minister for social services, immigration and border protection minister, has been open about his faith.

He was an opponent of same-sex marriage (same-sex unions do not occur in the Horizon Church) and has been roundly criticised for his tough stance on asylum seekers.

In his maiden speech to parliament in 2008 Mr Morrison thanked Hillsong pastors Brian Houston and Leigh Cameron for their “great assistance”. Hillsong, like Horizon, is a Pentecostal mega-church. It was founded by Houston and his wife Bobbie in Sydney in 1983 and claims to attract 100,000 people around the world every week.

“Growing up in a Christian home, I made a commitment to my faith at an early age,” Mr Morrison said in his maiden speech. “My personal faith in Jesus Christ is not a political agenda.

“In recent times it has become fashionable to negatively stereotype those who profess their Christian faith in public life as ‘extreme’ and to suggest that such faith has no place in the political debate of this country.

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“Australia is not a secular country — it is a free country. This is a nation where you have the freedom to follow any belief system you choose. Secularism is just one. It has no greater claim than any other on our society.”

Hillsong, and therefore Pentecostal Christianity, has long been on the radar of the Liberal Party.

In 2005 the then NSW Premier Bob Carr, Treasurer Peter Costello and federal ministers Kevin Andrews, Alexander Downer and Peter Dutton attended Hillsong’s annual conference at the Sydney Superdome, along with another 20,000 people.

Date-stamped: 2018 August 25 | Time-stamped: 10:55 am | By: Anthony Colangelo  | Article Title: The Pentecostal Prime Minister: Inside Scott Morrison's church  | Article Link: smh.com.au

References   [ + ]

1, 3. SEE URL: https://www.smh.com.au/topic/political-leadership-jdb
2. SEE URL: https://www.smh.com.au/topic/bill-shorten-26p

The Faith of our Father

Rom 4:1-12

(Gen 15:1-6; Ps 119:65-72; Mark 7:1-8)

INTRODUCTION

In most of the first three chapters of Romans Paul concentrates on persuading his readers that since we are all under power of sin a right relationship with God is impossible by any human means.

Then towards the end of chapter 3 he explains the good news of how God has provided a way to be right with him through the sacrifice of Christ (21-26).

Suddenly at the start of Romans 4 he shifts the focus to the life of Abraham. This shift would not surprise a large part of his audience. Talking to a lady on a plane last week she described a conversation she overheard at the Jewish museum in Melbourne. A group of schoolchildren were visiting and at one point the tour guide asked, “Who is the leader of the Jews?” one of the kids replied, “Jesus”. To which the guide said, “Jesus was a Jew but our leader is Abraham.” For the Jews Abraham is the turning point in human history, to be descended from the great Abraham is counted as an immeasurable privilege. Paul upholds the significance of Abraham but in a bold counter stroke against those who see “doing things” as a way to gain acceptance by God shows that Abraham’s fatherhood is one of faith.

EXPOSITION

vv.1-2

vs.1What then shall we say was gained by Abraham, our forefather according to the flesh?  vs.2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God.

What was gained by Abraham” is a question about the cause of Abraham’s friendship with God (2 Chronicles 20:7 ESV; Isaiah 41:8 ESV cf. James 2:23 ESV). If Abraham pleased God by what he did then salvation by not by faith alone. Paul out-rightly rejects the possibility that anyone, even the great Abraham, could be confident before God on the basis of what they had done. To prove this point he quotes from one of the most crucial passages of the whole Bible (cf. vv. 9, 22; Gal. 3:6 ESV; James 2:23 ESV).

vs.3For what does the Scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.”

After waiting decades for God to fulfil his promise of giving him a son and heir, when he and Sarah are very old, the LORD speaks again to the patriarch in a vision saying, “Fear not(Gen 15:1 ESV) then shows him all the stars in the sky and promises his descendants shall be more numerous than them all.

Then we are told “he believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness.”” In a situation that was humanly impossible when understood he could contribute nothing to change things Abraham exercised a whole-hearted trust in God’s promise. This is true faith, to acknowledge you can’t do anything to be saved and it’s all up the Lord.

Arrogant human beings, which are all of us, hate the humbling power of the free grace of God. The Jews twisted the story in Genesis to say God accepted Abraham because of his great faith. Instead of God graciously treating his faith as righteousness Abraham’s faith earned him merit with God.

Christian people commonly think about the things of God in this slanderous way. I remember listening in on a conversation about rewards in heaven when someone remarked they couldn’t expect to be as close to God as Abraham. What’s wrong with this way of thinking is that our understanding about God’s ways has shifted to moral/spiritual self-evaluation. We so readily leave out of our understanding the only one who is the centre of understanding of all the things of God…. Jesus (Col 2:3 ESV)!

Hudson Taylor rightly said, “You do not need a great faith, but faith in a great God.” And the greatness of God is revealed to us in what Jesus has done to save us.

vs.4 Now to the one who works, his wages are not counted as a gift but as his due. vs.5 And to the one who does not work but believes in him who justifies the ungodly, his faith is counted as righteousness,

If you earn salvation by what you do then it is not a gift. But the gospel offers eternal life as what Paul repeatedly calls a “free gift(Rom 5:15-17 ESV; Rom 6:23 ESV).

Perhaps you are someone, like lots of other people, who get embarrassed, or suspicious, when offered something for nothing?

Do you know that being right with God is the gift of everything when you have done nothing to deserve it?

To accept this brings a comfort that is immeasurable a gratitude that is illimitable and an assurance of eternal life that’s unshakeable.

Paul says Abraham had a faith which was “reckoned/counted” by God as righteousness.

This was a gracious undeserved divine decision whereby Abraham was legally declared “not guilty(cf. Lev 7:8 ESV; Lev 17:4 ESV).

Paul proceeds to say something which must have scandalised many of his Jewish readers, God “justifies the ungodly/wicked(Rom 4:5 ESV).

The Lord had categorically said in the Old Testament, “I will not acquit the wicked(Ex 23:7 ESV cf. Ex 34:7 ESV). Here we are told that beyond any legal reckoning, even God’s, “the wicked” are accepted through faith; this includes Abraham and anyone else. Paul presses on to highlight the benefits of righteousness through faith by referring to a notorious Old Testament sinner.

vs.6 David…speaks of the blessing of the one to whom God counts righteousness apart from works: vs.7 Blessed are those whose lawless deeds are forgiven, and whose sins are covered; vs.8 blessed is the man against whom the Lord will not count his sin.

In Psalm 32 David records his life was in a state of misery, “when I refused to confess my sin, my bones wasted away through my groaning all day long.” (v.3), then by faith he entered into a state of blessedness through being forgiven. As a forgiven sinner David revelled in the restoration of his relationship with God because when his sin was covered he knew he would not be punished for his rebellious acts.

Forgiveness and justification are powerful transforming events.

After sharing at a meeting the other week I was given a book about a man who after coming from a humble background, living with deafness and losing a daughter in infancy went on to establish an international network of Christian businessmen (FGBMFI).

This is the book and you can see the title. Here is his testimony, “no matter the condition of the world around us, we will be the happiest people on earth.” (Demos Shekarian).

The gospel message of full free and unconditional forgiveness is at the heart of such happiness. What is our problem if we don’t look like the happiest people on earth? ….. We don’t have faith in the gospel.

The rabbis of Paul’s day taught that submission to circumcision was a condition to being forgiven and blessed by God. Paul however pronounces (vv.9-12) that the faith-based blessing Abraham enjoyed in being right with God came years before he was circumcised. Circumcision, as with baptism in the new covenant, was a sign of being already in a great relationship with God.

CONCLUSION

If you have never been offended by the gospel you have probably never understood its truly revolutionary nature (cf. Rom 6:1 ESV). That God “justifies the ungodly/wicked” (4:5) is offensive to our natural moral sense.

It really is very difficult to live by faith alone without taking things into our own hands. In the very next chapter of Genesis after God has declared him righteous through faith Abraham felt he had to do something to make God’s promise come true.

He went and had a son, Ishmael, by his Sarah’s slave girl. His unbelief has proved disastrous for human history. Have you ever wondered why Muslims hate Israel so much?

It’s because in their version of the story its Ishmael not Isaac who’s the child of promise and through Mohammed a descendent of Ishmael God’s promise that Abraham was to be the father of many nations has come true.

This however isn’t the main point. Whether it’s the ungodliness of Abraham or of David their sin did not cause God to change him mind about his relationship with them.

For when they believed all their sins were forgiven, including his future ones. No-one in the Bible is ever said to be “unjustified”. But these marvellous truths don’t fit together unless we bring Jesus front and centre into the picture.

Martin Luther famously said a Christian is “at the same time righteous and a sinner”/simul justus et peccator”. This is because the sin belongs to us and the righteousness reckoned to us by faith belongs to Jesus (1 Cor 1:30 ESV; 2 Cor 5:21 ESV).

Some people feel the need to say about themselves, “I’m not a bad person.” This may very well be true of most people but it is irrelevant to how God saves.In preaching last week Dale brought up the example of Ugandan dictator Idi Amin as someone who could have been forgiven, if they asked. When in was in Uganda some years ago one of the local Christian leaders talked about his conversation with a high ranking soldier from Liberia.

He used to have 7 year old boys picked up off the streets, killed, cooked and their body parts fed to his soldiers. In coming to Christ this man became as righteous in the sight of God, as Abraham, as David, as Paul, and if you understand the gospel, as righteous as Jesus.

Isaiah 1:18 (NIV)
18 “Come now, let us settle the matter,”
says the Lord.
“Though your sins are like scarlet,
they shall be as white as snow;
though they are red as crimson,
they shall be like wool.

All insane to ordinary human thinking but put in proper perspective by the way Paul concludes Romans 4; vs.23And when God counted him as righteous, it wasn’t just for Abraham’s benefit. It was recorded vs.24 for our benefit, too, assuring us that God will also count us as righteous if we believe in him, the one who raised Jesus our Lord from the dead.vs.25 He was handed over to die because of our sins, and he was raised to life to make us right with God.” (Rom 4:23-25 ESV). The righteous loving death and resurrection of Jesus completely covers any sin any person could ever commit so that anyone who puts their trust in Christ is made completely right with God.

If you’re lacking assurance with God, if you are not 100% sure you have eternal life, if you are experiencing spiritual dryness, dissatisfaction and distance between you and God, or struggle with guilt then your foundational problem is clear.

Stop trying to do things, anything, to win acceptance with God. Turn to Christ and trust exclusively in his sacrifice.

Then your spiritual state will be unshakeable and knowing sins forgiven will have a blessedness that is inexpressible. LET US PRAY. 

MESSAGE DELIVERED: 26th August, 2018

Author: Dr. John Yates

MESSAGE YouTube or PODCAST: N/A

ETHICS: The real question that needs an answer Fri 17 Aug 2018

Open Letter:

To all objecting to UWA hosting Dr Quentin van Meter re Transgenders Fri 17 Aug 2018

(venue now shifted for security/safety reasons)

The real question that needs an answer now is when your two-year-old boy tells you that he is a girl, what are you going to say? Will you tell him that’s OK and that no one should tell him otherwise, or will you pick him up, love him and tell him he is welcome to like girl things and pretend at times he is a girl but that you love him as “your boy” and he will always be your boy and that you are so proud of him?

And when your six-year-old girl tells you that because she has so much fun with boys that she thinks – like the school teacher told her she could – she is really a boy, what are you going to say? Will you say “of course, that’s OK and you can continue to work that out for yourself” or will you say that you love your tom-boy little girl and you are so pleased she can do boy things and even think like a boy, but “you will always be my precious beautiful, wonderful little girl” and that she may even grow up into a beautiful queen and yet always be adventurous and mischievous in the way she can think.

So, for our children’s sake

Personality vs. Gender.

According to most surveys 60-90% of children with “gender confusion” will, without interference, revert to or choose their biological/anatomical/genetic sex by adulthood.

According to Dr Quentin van Meter, with treatment before puberty, this figure is 98%.

We want to reassure parents that this is so and that giving hormones to delay puberty is not good medicine.

We want parents to be able to reassure their children – who have been confused by people, including through public schooling, insisting that they not be known as he or she – that they really are the biological sex they are and anatomically and physically apparent.

We want children and the parents of these children to rejoice and take pleasure in the sex that they are and that masculine and feminine traits in their personality are in fact normal and do not determine gender.

We do not want to see them going down the track of double mastectomy or penile amputation.

Yes, if as adults, they have made such a transition we will accept and respect them as they now are. Likewise, we will accept and respect someone who has had a leg amputation because they were convinced that they should not have that leg – a state or condition that we would usually put into the bracket of

Body Dysmorphic Disorder and would seek to persuade from such a course of irreversible action. Further we would regard such mutilating surgery as being unethical.

And although we now receive criticism (and hate) and accusations that we are in fact hateful (how weird is that) we still regard such states of mind as being disturbed and of psychological origin – and therefore, despite the recent re-classification of gender dysphoria, a disorder of psychology.

I call upon the students of UWA to uphold science above dangerous and damaging social theory and I do hope in their own parenting of their children they affirm and take delight in their children’s natural sexuality.

For parents – and all of our society: reassure our children they are what they obviously are and to take pleasure in this obvious fact and that they are not to listen to anyone trying to confuse them.

By: Lachlan Dunjey Date: 17 August 2018 Title: The real question that needs an answer URL: chooselifeaustralia.org.au

PS from an Article:

Title: I’m a Pediatrician. Here’s What I Did When a Little Boy Patient Said He Was a Girl.

If a girl who insists she is male has been on testosterone daily for one year, she is cleared to get a bilateral mastectomy at age 16. Mind you, the American Academy of Pediatrics recently came out with a report that urges pediatricians to caution teenagers about getting tattoos because they are essentially permanent and can cause scarring.

But this same AAP is 110 percent in support of 16-year-old girls getting a double mastectomy, even without parental consent, so long as the girl insists that she is a man, and has been taking testosterone daily for one year.

To indoctrinate all children from preschool forward with the lie that they could be trapped in the wrong body disrupts the very foundation of a child’s reality testing. If they can’t trust the reality of their physical bodies, who or what can they trust? Transgender ideology in schools is psychological abuse that often leads to chemical castration, sterilization, and surgical mutilation.

By: Dr Michelle Cretella | Date: December 11, 2017 | URL: dailysignal.com

U.W.A. Students: Time for mass inoculations against “Mind Control” a pandemic disease. Attached VIDEO: doctor Quentin Van Meter message

THINKING NAZIS @ WORK: US doctor Quentin Van Meter stopped from speaking at U.W.A.
(GOOD NEWS: doctor Quentin Van Meter Video Of Presentation Is Below)

The disease against “Free Thinking” is alive and spreading amongst U.W.A. Students: Time for mass inoculations against this pandemic disease.

U.W.A. Chancellor’s new tool to appear “Free Thinking” but able to exercise a gagging tool! “Fear of Violence”

[CRIMINAL BEHAVIOR NOW RULES THE RIGHT TO FREE SPEECH AND THOUGHT] the break down in LAW and ORDER has now taken control
“FEAR RULES”

Threats of Violence the new tool for censorship against “Free Thinking” the new intelligence at work: welcome to the world of the Zombies (Living Dead)


15th Aug 2018 “FREE SPEECH”
Chancellor No We Will Not Cancel Meeting

17th Aug 2018 “FEAR of VIOLENCE”
Chancellor Yes We Cancel Meeting


NEWS.COM.AU | by Bethany Hiatt | August 15, 2018

A student petition calling on UWA to cancel the event, which also includes the launch of a book on the movement’s legal consequences by Patrick Byrnes, has gathered nearly 5000 signatures.

An email sent to UWA students and staff yesterday said the speakers’ previously expressed views on transgender people were at odds with the university’s values of respect for human dignity and diversity.

But cancelling the event would create
“an undesirable precedent for the exclusion of objectionable views from the campus”. “It would also give rise to arguments that the values we hold are supported by intolerant and repressive policies against those who do not share those values,” it said.

The email, signed by vice-chancellor Dawn Freshwater and chancellor Robert French, said UWA’s executive was only informed of the booking this week. (Full Article)

By James Carmody | August 17, 2018

A talk by a controversial US academic has been cancelled by the University of Western Australia on safety grounds after students protested against the transgender sceptic.

American paediatrician Quentin Van Meter, who is known for denying much of the science around transgender people, was scheduled to speak at an Australian Family Association (AFA) event on the campus this evening.

UWA had initially declined calls to cancel the event (15th Aug), citing freedom of expression, despite protests by students.

In a statement today, the university said the event had since been cancelled because the organisers did not provide risk assessment paperwork in time.
 

“We have been advised the risk surrounding the event has been elevated to a higher level, which mandates a more robust event management plan,” it said.

Read Full Article Here



 I’m a Pediatrician. How Transgender Ideology Has Infiltrated My Field and Produced Large-Scale Child Abuse.

By  Michelle Cretella | @ dailysignal.com | July 03, 2017

I’m a Pediatrician. Here’s What I Did When a Little Boy Patient Said He Was a Girl.

By  Michelle Cretella | @ dailysignal.com | December 11, 2017


 doctor: Quentin Van Meter “PRESENTATION AT SYDNEY”

Post By Editor CIP: Gary Green

Under the Canopy of Heaven 4. Heavenly Worship in Hebrews

INTRODUCTION

Despite initial appearances, the dire situation of the recipients of Hebrews is strongly related to the spiritual crises of the Church today. In the thought world of Hebrews to “fall away from the living God(Heb 3:12 ESV) is to fall away from a “heavenly calling(Heb 3:1 ESV). A high calling expounded in this letter by its unique focus on Jesus the high priest ministering on our behalf in the holy places in heaven.

The expression “holy places” is the plural form for the entire temple complex (Lev 21:23 ESV; Ezek 7:24 ESV; Jer 51:51 ESV). Hebrews’ focus is on the holy of holies cf. Heb 9:3, 8 ESV; Heb 10:19 ESV; Heb 13:11 ESV .

Access to God is the spiritual concern of this epistle, and by repeatedly exhorting his readers to “draw near(Heb 4:16 ESV; Heb 7:19, 25 ESV; Heb 10:1, 22 ESV; Heb 11:6 ESV) the writer is confident that acceptable worship (Heb 12:28 ESV) can be offered in these “last days(Heb 1:2 ESV; Heb 10:25 ESV). But only through the new way God has provided in Christ (Heb 9:8; Heb 10:20).

To enter God’s presence is the chief end of human existence, and the means by which the worshipper is consecrated (Heb 2:11 ESV) and made fit for the service of God (Heb 9:14 ESV).

Rest

Hebrews is the book which sums up all of the benefits of salvation with the term “rest”. We are invited to enter into God’s own rest (Heb 3:11 ESV; Heb 4:1 ESV cf. Gen 2:2 ESV). Since this rest is God’s it can only be entered into through his ways in obedience to his Word (Heb 3:7, 15 ESV; Heb 4:7 ESV; Heb 12-13 ESV). This is the word of the cross, that Jesus has made purification for sins and has sat down in heaven (Heb 1:3 ESV). This is prophetically pointed to by the statement that the Day of Atonement is a day of “solemn rest(Lev 16:31 ESV).

Any other way of access to God involves works which are themselves “dead” or lead to the punishment of death as separation from God (Heb 4:10 ESV; Heb 6:1 ESV; Heb 9:14 ESV). These works may be the sins familiarly listed throughout the New Testament e.g. Gal 5:19-21 ESV, or works of the Law.

Central to Hebrews argument is the notion that to enjoy God’s rest means being where God is. In this letter this is a scene of a victory celebration in worshipful joy in the heavenly sanctuary.

The Old Testament has a theology of rest that understands it to flow out of God’s presence, concentred in the tabernacle/temple (Ex 33:14 ESV; Ps 95:11 ESV). Hebrews continues this tradition.

The rest of which Hebrews speaks so potently (Heb 3:7- 4:11 ESV) is not the final state of the believer in heaven (cf. 2 Thess 1:7 ESV; Rev 14:13 ESV)

but “a state of spiritual rest and deliverance from every thing that was grievous or burdensome unto the souls and consciences of believers”.

John Owen

A rest now entered into by faith (Heb 4:3 ESV) in Christ and the gospel.

Where the law and its worship brought bondage and servility we enter into God’s own rested glory in Christ.

The heavenly tabernacle/holy place is the epicenter of this rest.   

Rest is not blissful inactivity, but participation in Christ’s ever constructive activity in heaven.

TYPES

Hebrews is dominated by an intense prophetic understanding of the Old Testament tabernacle and temple.

The tabernacle was of foundational importance for Israel; from the wilderness wandering until the construction of the temple of Solomon it served the purpose of providing access to God. Especially through the rituals of atonement. It was God’s dwelling in the tabernacle in the midst of Israel that made her holy.

God commanded Moses on Sinai to “vs. 8 make me a sanctuary, that I may dwell in their midstvs.9 Exactly as I show you concerning the pattern of the tabernacle, and of all its furniture, so you shall make it.(Ex 25:8-9 ESV cf. Ex 25: 40 ESV; Ex 26:30 ESV; Ex 27:8 ESV; Numbers 8:4 ESV; Acts 7:44 ESV).

Prophetically, Moses saw the reopening of the Edenic sanctuary, the way into heaven and the beginnings of the new creation filled with glory of God (Ex 40:34 ESV ff).

God’s dwelling in the earthly tabernacle made it a pattern that communicated the greater things which were to come in Christ. It was “a copy and shadow of the heavenly things” (Heb 8:5 ESV) where Christ ministers as high priest “in the holy places, in the true tent that the Lord set up, not man” (Heb 8:2 ESV). The realities of “the greater and more perfect tabernacle” (Heb 9:11 ESV) in heaven now revealed through Christ made possible and gave power to the Old Testament rituals related to the temple.

Where the Jewish readers of Hebrews were attracted back to the physical structures of a temple, priesthood and sacrifices in this world they needed to understand that the real, eternal and unshakable sanctuary is in heaven. Where “Christ has entered… heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God on our behalf.(Heb 9:24 ESV).

They had failed to understand was that Jesus is the reason for the existence of both the earthly and the heavenly temple; “something greater than the temple is here(Matt 12:6 ESV). Everything that the tabernacle pointed to, i.e. the divine dwelling place, holiness and communication with God are fulfilled in Christ (John 1:14 ESV). Jesus has personally completed the heavenly world by his own personal presence there.

Since the present heavens and the earth will perish and everything that is of this creation shall be shaken out of its place (Heb 1:10-12 ESV; Heb 12:26-27 ESV) attachment to the forms of old covenant religion is useless. There’s no place for another physical temple. We look forward to possessing an unshakable kingdom which is the abode of God himself (Heb 12:25-28 ESV cf. Haggai 2:6 ESV; Rev 21:3 ESV).

The power of the heavenly tabernacle where Jesus resides is that through perfect self-offering and complete obedience (Heb 5:9-10 ESV) he has fulfilled the purposes of atonement that the Old Testament rituals could only point to.  

Unlike earthly priests Christ has gained access to the most intimate presence of God in heaven. He “entered once for all into the holy places… by means of his own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption.(Heb 9:12 ESV; cf. Heb 10:19 ESV; Heb 12:24 ESV).

He remains in the holiest place in perfect communication with his Father on our behalf. As the true priest-king reigning and worshiping in the heavenly temple the ministry Jesus is currently conducting is the centre-point of Hebrews.

The themes of such a ministry run throughout scripture. Adam was a king in the sanctuary of Eden called to bring God’s tabernacling presence in Eden to the whole world (Gen 1:26-28 ESV; cf. Psalm 8 ESV).

The language of Genesis 2:15 ESV, “to tend and watch over”, is used elsewhere exclusively of priestly duties around the sanctuary (Num 3:7-8 ESV; Num 8:26 ESV; Num 18:5-6 ESV).

Worship meant mission.

Israel was called to be, “kingdom of priests and a holy nation(Ex 19:6 ESV) with a holy vocation to stand out as a light to the nations.

In using Old Testament language about kingship (Heb 2:6-9 ESV) and priesthood of Jesus (Heb 2:10-17 ESV) Hebrews teaches that Jesus fulfils everything Adam and Israel were called to be.

This vocation is later applied to the new people of God, the Church e.g. 1 Pet 2:5, 9 ESV; Rev 1:6 ESV; Rev 5:10 ESV; Rev 20:6 ESV

HEAVENLY MINISTRY 

“Now the point in what we are saying is this: we have such a high priest, one who is seated at the right hand of the throne of the Majesty in heaven, 2 a minister in the holy places, in the true tent that the Lord set up, not man.” (8:1-2). Exalted to the right hand of God (4:14) Jesus serves his community on earth from a sphere where there is nothing partial, temporary, unreal or unclean. This text tells us that Jesus is a leitourgos, a word used in the Old Testament of the role of priests and Levites in the tabernacle on behalf of the people (Neh 10:39; Isa 61:6; Jer 33:21 cf. Ex 28:31, 39; 29:30; Num 16:9; 1 Chron 16:4, 6). Jesus is the worship leader of the present assembly of God’s people on earth, the Church.

So we read, “vs.11 For he who sanctifies and those who are sanctified all have one source. That is why he is not ashamed to call them brothers, vs.12 saying, “I will tell of your name to my brothers; in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.” (Heb 2:11-13 ESV).

Congregation” is ekklesia, i.e. church.

These words are taken from Psalm 22, a psalm he spoke aloud from the cross (Mark 15:34 ESV). With a joy and victory achieved through great tribulation Christ is from heaven preaching the gospel in our midst and singing the praises of his Father. Paul’s language of “be filled with the Spirit” and “the Word of Christ(Eph 5:18 ESV f; Col 3:16 ESV f.) about worship express the same reality. The subject of Jesus’ preaching and singing to us is the delivering power of God that took him to the cross and raised him from the dead (5:7-8).

Such thoughts appear elsewhere in the New Testament. “Therefore I will praise youamong the Gentiles, and sing to your name.”” (Rom 15:8-9 ESV). The quotation is drawn from two near identical psalms (2 Samuel 22:50 ESV = Psalm 18:49 ESV).

These record David’s exalting in God after the death of his enemies and his successful military campaigns.

Ultimately, this is Christ singing his triumphs to the glory of God; “sing with a free and loving heart the praises of his Father and He would set apart many brethren who would join Him in the chorus.” (Bingham).

As our priest Jesus is preaching, singing and also praying for us. “vs.25 exalted above the heavens ….he is able to save to the uttermost those who draw near to God through him, since he always lives to make intercession for them.(Heb 7:25, 26 ESV). Cf. Isa 53:12 ESV; Luke 22:32 ESV; John 17 ESV; Rom 8:33-34 ESV, for Jesus’ intercessory life.

In unity with the glory of God whatever Jesus asks of his Father will be granted (cf. John 11:41 ESV), for his enthroned triumphant life in heaven is his prayer (Swete).

Proclamation, praise and prayer should fill the Church because it is in union with Christ in the heavenly tabernacle.

The heavenly temple and the earthly temple, the Church, are distinguishable but inseparable (cf. Rev 13:6 ESV). 

This is a mystery, but one which is an outworking of our union with Christ.

As Paul says, “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.(Col 3:2-3 ESV).

THE CHURCH TEMPLE

Under the old covenant there was highly graduated access to worship in the sanctuary of God, from the outermost court being for Gentiles through to only the high priest entering into the holy of holies but once a year (9:7). Now through the full forgiveness of sins in Christ (8:8-13; 10:16-18) “we (all) have confidence to enter the holy places by the blood of Jesus, 20 by the new and living way that he opened for us through the curtain, that is, through his flesh” (10:19-20).

Since the new age (1:1) of apocalyptic realities has arrived the Church is the new end-times temple of unfettered access to God (1 Cor 3:16; 2 Cor 6:16; Eph 2:21).

Our access to the heavenly realms is dramatically expressed, “you have come to Mount Zion and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in festal gathering, 23 and to the assembly/church of the firstborn who are enrolled in heaven” (12:22-23). This “coming” into heaven is a permanent condition (Greek perfect tense) by which God’s people enjoy communion with him in a continuous liturgy of proclamation, praise and prayer.                                                                                                                                   Robert Jenson refuses to separate Church and heaven. “Any picture of God ruling the hearts of believers from the church’s table, font and pulpit, and ruling the rest of creation from someplace else called heaven…is radically   inappropriate.”

PRIEST-KINGS

The worship of the Church unites us with heaven where Christ is both our worship leader Heb 2:12 ESV; Heb 8:2 ESV and the worshipped One Heb 12:22-24 ESV.

We are priests and kings in him (Cf. 1 Pet 2:5, 9 ESV; Rev 1:6 ESV; Rev 5:10 ESV; Rev 20:6 ESV). “because of Christ’s ascension and because I am tethered to Him and He to me, my prayers are ascending into heaven and the presence of God…in the corporate worship…our singing goes into heaven itself.” (Bertolet).

We are one with the glad worship of the thronging angelic hosts in festal assembly(Heb 12: 22 ESV cf. Rev 7:9 ESV ff.).

A picture drawn from the festival gatherings of worshippers in great numbers at the feasts of Israel (Ezek 46:11 ESV; Hos 9:5 ESV; Amos 5:21 ESV). Here with fervour and exultation the people expectedly sought the face of God in his temple (Ps 27:4 ESV; Ps 42:4 ESV; Ps 122:1 ESV cf. Rev 21:2-4, 22-27 ESV).

As a cloud of incense shielded the entry of the high priest into the holy of holies on the Day of Atonement so that he did not die (Lev 16:12-13 ESV), through the blood of Christ in the holy place our prayers are united with his heavenly intercession forming a cloud of fragrant incense between heaven and earth. In unity with Christ who “loved us and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to God(Eph 5:2 ESV) we are called to “ offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe…. ii Through him then let us continually offer up a sacrifice of praise to God… the fruit of lips that acknowledge his name.(i Heb 12:28 ESV; ii Heb 13:15-16  [v.16 includes sacrificial sharing]). This is our priestly service in the likeness of Christ.

From the vantage point of heaven this is clearest in Revelation (Heb 5:8 ESV; Heb 8:3-5 ESV) where the “golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints” arise before the throne of God.

These prayers of the persecuted saints have a powerful impact on the actions of God against the wicked dwelling on earth (Rev 8:13 ESV; Rev 12:12 ESV).

Something of this reality is expressed by Paul when he describes the Christian presence; “vs.15 For we are the aroma of Christ to God among those who are being saved and among those who are perishing, vs.16 to one a fragrance from death to death, to the other a fragrance from life to life.(2 Cor 2:15-16 ESV).

APPLICATION AND CONCLUSION

There are signs all around us that the contemporary Church shares the problems warned about in Hebrews.

The plunge in the regularity of church attendance amongst committed Christians must ultimately be attributed not to the busyness of modern life (communion with God drowned out by “the babble of distractedness” (Bingham)) but by the inability of contemporary Christian communities to follow Jesus into the presence of God (Heb 9:24 ESV). If with Jesus we were consciously participating in the rich heavenly worship nothing could keep us away from gathering together (Heb 10:25 ESV).

Like the Israelites in the wilderness, and the intended recipients of Hebrews, we seem unable to hear our high priest constantly calling us to worship (Ps 66:1-2 ESV; Ps 81:1-3 ESV; Ps 95:1-2 ESV; Ps 100:1 ESV). We are struggling to share with him in the bursting joy of his having realised complete communion and unlimited access to the Father in heaven (Ps 12:2 ESV).

As a teaching priest Jesus preaches to us the gospel reasons why we should join with him in celebrating the victory of God (cf. Deut 15:2-11 ESV; Deut 27:9-10 ESV; Deut 31:9-13 ESV; 2 Chron 17:7-9 ESV; 2 Chron 20:13-17 ESV; Mal 2:7 ESV).

Hebrews focuses (Heb 3:7-11, 15 ESV; Heb 4:7 ESV) on one particular psalm where the priest exhorts the congregation to ecstatic delight:

Ps 95 “vs.1 Oh come, let us sing to the Lord; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation! vs.2 Let us come into his presence with thanksgiving; let us make a joyful noise to him with songs of praise!”, which then gives a dire warning;  vs.7 Today, if you hear his voice, vs.8 do not harden your hearts(Ps 95:1-2, 7-8 ESV).

Any teaching that fails to teach grace alone (Heb 4:6 ESV) For example, many churches which would be considered dynamic worship assemblies teach “tithing”.

An old covenant principle nowhere found in the New Testament. will leave its worshippers with hard hearts (Heb 3:11 ESV; Heb 4:3, 5 ESVcf. Ps 95:11 ESV) making it impossible for them to enjoy the Sabbath rest for which Christ shed his blood and entered the holiest place on our behalf (Heb 6:20 ESV; Heb 9:24 ESV).

With unperfected consciences such worshippers cannot render to God the worth that is his due and will remain plagued by dead works (Heb 9:9, 14 ESV; Heb 10:22 ESV).

Performance based church meetings that offer spiritual principles to solve problems are contaminated with the professional of secular culture and cannot communicate heavenly things that lift us out of superficialities.

Hebrews also warns against various causes of defilement common today, e.g. division, bitterness, sexual immorality,  which being unholy dilute the potency of priestly service (Heb 12:14-15 ESV).

The exhortation to “vs. 28 be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, vs. 29 for our God is a consuming fire.(Heb 12:28-29 ESV) is a warning to turn away from a vision for prosperity in the visible world to the invisible (Heb 11:1-3, 27 ESV) unshakeable heavenly world. 

A vain covetous grasping of the things of this creation brings the judgement of God on his people (Heb 12:16 ESV).

Hence the various warning passages of Hebrews (Heb 2:1-4 ESV; Heb 3:7-4:13 ESV; Heb 5:11-6:12 ESV; Heb 10:19-39 ESV; Heb 12:14-29 ESV).

It is not too much to consider that the terrible moral state of Western society is a sign that judgement has been “going out from the household of God(1 Pet 4:17 ESV).

This would spiritually fulfil the vision of Ezekiel and God’s command to his destroying angel:

vs.3 Now the glory of the God of Israel had gone up from the cherub on which it rested to the threshold of the house….vs.5 Pass through the city after him, and kill…. vs.6 And begin at my sanctuary.”” (Ezek 9:3, 5-6 ESV).

If the Church fails to be salt and light (Matt 5:13-15 ESV) societal decay is a consequence of a divine handing over.

The New Testament knows nothing of a passive God, it expects he will actively judge his people lest they completely fall away e.g. Acts 5:1-11 ESV; 1 Cor 5:1-5 ESV; 11:27-32 ESV; 1 Tim 1:20 ESV; Rev 2: 6, 16, 22-23 ESV; 3:3, 16 ESV).

The discipline of the “Father of spirits” is designed not to destroy but to perfect the Church so that we might enjoy “the peaceable fruit of righteousness” in the heavenly sanctuary where Christ is interceding on our behalf (Heb 12:9, 11 ESV cf. James 3:18 ESV).

Let us therefore exhort one another to assemble with Jesus (Heb 10:24-25 ESV) pressing in to enter the sanctuary in heaven as priests offering “acceptable worship, with reverence and awe(Heb 12:28 ESV).

For A Regression To Old Testament Patterns Of Graded Worship.
See:  Structures of Shame in the Church Today (Posted on 23 April 2005 by  John Yates)

For A Prophetic Picture Of The Rest We Need.
See:   A Prophetic Picture for Perth (Posted on 30 July 2009 by  John Yates)

MESSAGE DELIVERED: 12th August, 2018 | Alive@5

Author: Dr. John Yates

MESSAGE YouTube or PODCAST: n/a

No Reputation: the Humble Father

INTRODUCTION

Times of great uncertainty are typically paired with great moves of God.

Globally, “the Donald” is the Lord’s Trump card to whip up political instability and fear of economic meltdown.

Nationally, conservative believers remain in trepidation about the rising power of ant-Christian sentiment.

Can the teachings of, say, the conservative Centre for Public Christianity, prepare us for the coming tsunami. Or do our very Pentecostal friends in the Awakening Blaze Prayer Movement and Awakening Australia hold the key for revival.

With a host of prayer groups for different spheres of culture bubbling up across Perth will all this somehow hold together?

Or in a few years time will we look back at a firestorm of spiritual activity that will have burnt out after a couple of years, like the Welsh revival (1904-1905) or Lakeland “revival” (2008), leaving little long term gain?

At present the inflexible wine-skins of many leaders hearts mean any outpouring of the Spirit would surely split the skins and the new wine would be lost (Mark 2:22). Since humility safeguards unity what revelation will safeguard the work of God amongst us?

Surprisingly, it is the humility of the Father.

A HUMBLE FATHER

What It Means To Be In The Form And Likeness Of God’S Own Being.

The scarcity of teaching on God’s humility is a sign that most of our spiritual leaders do not believe this.

Even Bible translations reflect such a bad heart attitude.

Many English versions of Philippians 2:6 have, “though he was in the form of God…. (Christ) humbled himself” (ESV, NLT, NRSV, RSV, TPT).

But the Greek text has no word for “though”.

It is because Jesus shared the “form of God” with his Father that he humbled himself. Everything Jesus knew about humility was taught by his Father. Father, Son and Holy Spirit are essentially and equally humble. If seeing Christ in the way of lowliness you see the Father (John 14:9 ESV).

The father who runs to the returning prodigal is the humble God (Luke 15:20 ESV).

The Father defers to the Son by answering his prayers, granting him authority, and testifying on his behalf (John 3:35 ESV; John 5:22-23, 26-27 ESV; John 6:37, 43-44 ESV; John 11:41-42 ESV; John 12:26 ESV; John 14:10 ESV; John 15:2, 8 ESV).

All wonderfully true, but only the witness of the cross will change our unbelieving hearts.

The despised cruel cross of public humiliation and experienced abandonment meant for Jesus a place of “no reputation(Phil 2:7 ESV; Heb 12:2 ESV).

But we must see it is God’s reputation as a loving Father which is in tatters as Jesus experiences dereliction (Mark 15:34 ESV) before evil angels and an unbelieving world.

No one at the time looking at the Son’s immeasurable suffering could continue to give the one Jesus called “Father” a good reputation (Luke 24:19-21 ESV).

The Father however was willing to lose his standing in the eyes of creatures because it is his standing in the eyes of his Son alone which counts, whom he will raise from the dead into glory (Heb 2:9 ESV). If Father, Son, and Spirit (where was he when Jesus was in agony?) willingly sacrifice their reputation for us why do we cling to our self-esteem? 

We just don’t understand what it means to be in the form and likeness of God’s own being.

ABSOLUTE ORIGIN

EVERYTHING COMES FROM THE FATHER

All that Jesus receives from God flows from his humbly recognising his absolute origin is in his Father

He declared without embarrassment, ““the Father has granted the Son also to have life in himself…. I live because of the Father…the Father is greater than I”” (John 5:26 ESV; John 6:57 ESV; John 14:28 ESV).

His commitment to be the Way to the Father, the Truth of the Father and the Life of the Father comes out of a grateful heart of Father-consciousness (John 14:6 ESV). And it means the Father can bestow on his Son his own “name above all names(Phil 2:9 ESV).  That everything that Jesus has comes from his Father has massive implications for our lives. In his dependence on the Father the Son always speaks of him in the Church.

LISTENING TO JESUS

Our Humility Comes From The Cross

To becoming humble minded like Jesus (Phil 2:5 ESV) we must listen to what he is saying.  

Listening to Christ the Word of God means will grow in his image of lowliness (Matt 11:29 ESV).

Here is his testimony, “For he who makes holy (Jesus) and those who are made holy (Christians) are all of one/have one Father…. So Jesus says, “I will declare your name to my brothers and sisters; in the midst of the congregation I will sing your praise.”” (Heb 2:11-12 ESV).

Jesus keeps telling us that with him we owe our origin absolutely to the Father.

As he was sent “from above(John 3:31 ESV) so we are “born from above1)The usual translation of the relevant Greek word in John’s Gospel, John 3:31 ESV; 19:11 ESV.(John 3:3 ESV).

Knowing this we will like Jesus claim nothing for ourselves and follow him in the humility of the cross (Phil 2:6-7 ESV). What then is blocking the Church as we know it from living in the unity and solidarity such radical humility brings?

LIKE FATHER LIKE SON

“Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.

John 5:19-20

Christian leaders who badge themselves with “apostle”, “prophet”, “my church/ministry/vision” cannot breed humble children of God.  

The infallible mark of a true father/mother in faith is the production of spiritual offspring stripped of selfish ambition.

James’ is especially helpful; “every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father…. the meekness of wisdom…is from above”; this wisdom is opposed to “jealousy and selfish ambition” which bring “disorder and evil of every kind(James 1:17 ESV; James 3:13 ESV ff).

Only the spiritual children of humble men and women of God can manifest that unselfish freedom from personal ambition which is a prerequisite for lasting revival.

Paul contritely says; “What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.(Phil 4:9 ESV).

Such “peace” preserves the unity of the Spirit (Eph 4:3 ESV).

Where are our humble peace-makers to lead the Church today?

CONCLUSION

The endurance of a move of God in Australia hinges on a deeper revelation of the radical humility of God.

As sent by Father and Son the Holy Spirit never profiles himself (Luke 11:13 ESV; John 14:26 ESV; John 16:7 ESV).

The Son’s radical humility in never claiming anything as his own stems from the knowledge that his absolute origin is the Father (John 14:28 ESV).

Finally, the Father knows he cannot be Father without the Son.

To share in the humility of the Father perfected in the humanity of Jesus by the power of the Spirit is a core part of what it means to be conformed to the image of God (Col 3:10 ESV).

This is integral to our reason for being.

All of God’s promises are so that we might “become partners in the divine nature” (2 Pet 1:4 ESV).

When the leaders of the Church stop telling us we can be influential, gifted, healthy, wealthy, socially righteous etc, and image and teach the humility of God we can be confident that any emerging revival will not end in divisions and confusion.

But we will only be in that place when we see the Lord raise up fathers/mothers in faith who have lived through a trashing of their reputation or are quite happy for that to happen for the glory of God.

Please pray for such radically humble servant leaders. 

MESSAGE DELIVERED: 02nd August, 2018

Author: Dr. John Yates

MESSAGE YouTube or PODCAST: N/A

References   [ + ]

1. The usual translation of the relevant Greek word in John’s Gospel, John 3:31 ESV; 19:11 ESV.