Finding Church – Wayne Jacobsen

I am coming back in 2016, so stay tuned for more works and media. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

So a quick post on my latest read..I recently read ‘Finding Church’ by Wayne Jacobson, at lifestream.org. Wayne also has some wonderful free E-books you can download. They have added clearer insight into my walk about simplifying Christianity and inspiring alertness to the true desires Christ has for our lives. If you get a chance have a read over this Christmas break – give me your feedback here to start the conversation.

Blessings Daniel

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The Most Dangerous Man In Tudor England – Part Two

This is part two of the series.. inspiring influencer on the Christian landscape, amazing that not many know how influential his works truly are!

William Tyndale was a scholar, a theologian and a genius often referred to as the ‘Architect of the English Language’ second only to William Shakespeare. Fluent in eight languages, his translation of the New Testament was the first ever to be printed in English. Yet his work was denounced as heresy by authorities of the Roman Catholic Church and he was burned at the stake. Presenter and writer Melvyn Bragg charts the extraordinary life of a great reformer whose ambition and determination changed history forever.

PartTwo

http://www.abc.net.au/compass/s4103012.htm

 

The Most Dangerous Man In Tudor England – Part One

Its been a while.. so while I get myself organised, enjoy this episode from ABC – Compass Part 1

This guy really made my hairs stand on end.. a true protector of Gods Word!

This two-part program tells the story of one of the most influential men in English history.

William Tyndale was a scholar, a theologian and a genius often referred to as the ‘Architect of the English Language’ second only to William Shakespeare. Fluent in eight languages, his translation of the New Testament was the first ever to be printed in English. Yet his work was denounced as heresy by authorities of the Roman Catholic Church and he was burned at the stake. Presenter and writer Melvyn Bragg charts the extraordinary life of a great reformer whose ambition and determination changed history forever.

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http://www.abc.net.au/compass/s4102995.htm

Preaching The Gospel – The Spiritual Release

This teaching talks about being effective in Gods kingdom, it has less to do with you and more to do with God working in you..

‘Many people have the wrong concept that a man believes in the gospel because he has heard the right teachings, or because he is touched in his emotion. But this is far from the truth. Those who base their acceptance of the Lord on emotional impulses will not last, nor will those who are convinced by persuasion in the mind. There is nothing wrong with using the mind and the emotion, but these things are not enough. A man is not saved through emotion and thought. A sinner falls at the Lord’s feet because the speaker’s spirit has released light through his speaking. As soon as our spirit gushes out, others are struck. This is the reason we need a released spirit to preach the gospel.

A coal miner was greatly used by the Lord in preaching the gospel. He wrote a book entitled Seen and Heard in which he described his experience with the gospel. We were deeply touched by this book. This brother was not an educated or gifted man; he was only an ordinary brother. But his absolute consecration to the Lord became the basis for the Lord to use him greatly. Do you know what was so special about him? He was a broken man. His spirit could be released easily. He started to preach at the age of twenty-three, when he first experienced salvation. In one meeting the word of a preacher kindled a burning desire within him to save souls. He asked to be allowed to speak. After he stood up, he was unable to say anything, even though his heart was burning with fire for lost souls. His tears came down like a torrent. In the end he could only utter one or two sentences. God’s Spirit filled the meeting, and everyone was convicted of his own sin and waywardness. Here was a man who, in spite of his young age, was broken in the outer man. He did not have much to say, yet his spirit was released and men were saved. He led many people to salvation during his lifetime. When we read his biography, we sense that he was a man with a released spirit.

This is the way to preach the gospel. The way to preach the gospel is to release the spirit. When the hardness of the outer man is removed and the outer man is broken, the spirit is released. If the very sight of an unsaved person compels us to do something to save him, it means that our spirit is released.

This is the basic issue. The preaching of the gospel has everything to do with the breaking of the outer man. When the outer man is broken, our spirit will be released and will touch others. It is our spirit that reaches others’ spirits. It is God’s Spirit that touches the darkened spirit of man. When this happens, a man is saved, and no reason can account for this change. However, when the outer man chokes the spirit, God does not have a way through us and the gospel will not be released. We always have to pay attention to the matter of the breaking of the outer man because all of our problems lie in the outer man.

If we, the person, are not dealt with, it is useless for us to memorize more teachings. The only thing that will bring salvation to men is for our spirit to touch others’ spirits. If our spirit touches others’ spirits, they will fall on their face before God. If our spirit is discharged in a strong way, they will have no choice but to prostrate themselves before the Lord.’

This extract is from ‘The Breaking of the Outer Man & the Release of the Spirit’ – Watchman Nee Pg. 32

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Washing Feet & Being Cleansed

“Although we Christians are bathed once only, the Bible shows us that foot-washing happens many times. There is only one bathing, but there are many foot-washings. It is like the cleansing: There is only one cleansing by the blood, but there are many cleansings by the water of the ashes. The accomplished redemption of Christ occurred once only. But there are many applications by the Holy Spirit of this accomplished work to us. We are bathed only once, and all our sins are washed. But it takes many foot-washings to wash away all the dirt that we pick up on the wilderness journey. There needs to be only one bathing. But foot-washing is a daily work before the Lord. Foot-washing is a washing that comes about by the Word of God, through the work of the Holy Spirit, and based upon the work of the Lord Jesus. If we have been cleansed once by His blood, we must continue to be washed daily by His blood as well. The Lord Jesus does not have to come and do another work. We are cleansed again and again based on that one work. It is not the ashes that are cleansing us but the water of the ashes. The ashes of the red heifer are the mark of our judgment.

God did not substitute our judgment with the judgment of the Lord Jesus. Rather, He judged us in Christ Jesus. Today man thinks that the Lord Jesus died in place of man; but actually, we died in and with the Lord Jesus. In other words, we are judged in Christ. This alone will cleanse us. My daily cleansing is based on the death of the Lord Jesus.

We know that we have taken a bath, that is, our sins have been cleansed. Once we are saved, we are eternally saved. All the problems are solved. What then should we do when we touch the dirt while living on earth and coming into contact with the world every day? We all cannot be like the thief on the cross, who went straight to Paradise without his feet ever touching the earth after he was cleansed by the blood. Most people are not saved while on their deathbeds. Most still have to take the wilderness journey. Every one of us knows that while we take the wilderness journey, we should not sin. But sinning is a fact with all of us. As a result, our feet get dirty. Many times we are rash and speak words that we should not speak. Many times we have improper thoughts. Thus, we admit that we are defiled. But God has prepared the foot-washing of the Lord Jesus for us. This is not just a sign of His love for us, but a sign of His love to the uttermost. He loved us; hence, He was crucified for us. Now He loves us to the uttermost; hence, He washes our feet. Figuratively speaking, foot-washing is not the love before marriage. Foot-washing is the love after marriage. He causes us to be continually clean before Him. This is why the Lord said that he who has been bathed will be wholly clean once his feet are washed. We thank the Lord that His Son has given us a bath already.”

Read More Watchman Nee Here From Original Source (bathing and foot washing – Nee)

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Opening Your Eyes To Seeing The Work He Is Already Doing In You!

‘We do not become qualified for God’s work simply by learning some doctrines. The basic problem is our very person. Our person is the means by which we carry on our work. It is a matter of whether or not our person has passed through God’s dealings. If the right doctrines are committed to a wrong person, what can be ministered to the church? The basic lesson for us is to make ourselves usable vessels. In order to make ourselves usable vessels, our outer man must be broken.

God has been working in us all these years. Although we are not very clear about this work ourselves, nevertheless, God has been carrying on the breaking day by day. We have gone through sufferings and difficulties for years. Time after time God’s hand has halted us. We want to go one way, but God does not let us do it. We want to go another way, but God stops us again. If we do not see God’s operation through the working together of all these environments, we have to pray, “God! Open my eyes so that I may see Your hand.” The eyes of the donkey are often sharper than the eyes of a self-proclaimed prophet. The donkey has seen Jehovah’s messenger already, but the self-proclaimed prophet has not seen it yet. The donkey realizes God’s halting hand, but the self-proclaimed prophet is still ignorant of it. We have to realize that breaking is God’s way with us. For years God has been trying to break our outer man. He has been trying to crush us so that we will not remain intact. Unfortunately, many people think that what they lack is doctrines. They wish they can hear more doctrines, pick up more ideas for preaching, and understand more expositions of the Bible. But this is absolutely the wrong way. God’s hand is doing only one thing in us—breaking us. We cannot have our way; we have to take God’s way.

We cannot have our thoughts; we have to take God’s thoughts. We cannot have our decisions; we have to take God’s decisions. God has to break us down completely. The trouble with us is that while God stops us time after time, we blame this and that for the blockage. We are like the prophet who did not see God’s hand; instead, we blame our “donkey” for halting.

Everything that comes our way is meaningful and under God’s sovereign arrangement. Nothing accidental happens to a Christian. Nothing is outside God’s ordering. We have to humble ourselves under God’s sovereign arrangements. May the Lord open our eyes to see that God is arranging everything around us; He has a purpose in us. Through everything He is crushing us. When God grants us the grace one day, we will gladly accept all the arrangements He places in our environment. Our spirit will be released, and we will be able to use our spirit.’ – Watchman Nee

‘The Breaking of the Outer Man & the Release of the Spirit’ – Watchman Nee Pg 18

OuterMan

Resurrection Power & The Holy Spirit – Christ!

Some gold from Watchman Nee – Part 3

“Acts 2 shows us clearly what resurrection is. It also reveals to us what is the Holy Spirit. Resurrection rids us of the imprisonment of death. The Lord of resurrection transcends all things. What, then, is the Holy Spirit? As the Lord Jesus was raised from the dead, He was exalted by the right hand of God to be seated at God’s right hand. As he arrived at the right hand of the Father, He poured forth the Holy Spirit. And hence we can rightly say that the power of the Holy Spirit is the power of resurrection. The Lord locates resurrection and its power in the Holy Spirit who in turn brings it down to earth. Today we have no way to separate resurrection from the Holy Spirit. Whoever encounters the Holy Spirit encounters resurrection. That which was poured forth from heaven on the day of Pentecost and which the disciples saw and heard is the Holy Spirit. Why was the Holy Spirit given? To testify that the Lord has been resurrected. Does the Holy Spirit testify only in words. No, everyone who has met the Holy Spirit knows that the Lord Jesus has risen.

When the Lord was on earth some had leaned on His bosom, some had received things from His hand, some had touched the border of His garment, some had had their feet washed by Him, some had had their bodies raised by Him, and had had their eyes anointed by Him with spittle and clay. Today, though, he is risen—He is in the Spirit. The Lord whom we now may see is what those who had touched Him or were touched by Him on earth could not see. He whom we see today surpasses the One whom they saw on earth. For today we have met the Lord of resurrection. Those who knew the Lord Jesus on earth might say He advanced in wisdom and stature. They might recall how they met Him when he was only 12 years of age or when He was 30 years old. They might relate His history, who his brothers were, and who were His parents. But the Lord we now meet transcends this being “advanced in wisdom and stature”: He transcends all boundaries; even the last boundary—death—has He also transcended.

How can the church continue on for nearly two thousand years? Because there are always people who see the Lord of resurrection. For almost 20 centuries, here and there are many saints whose inner state is bright because they have seen the Lord inwardly. We acknowledge that we are not as clear towards the outward Christ as were those people who lived in the age of the Four Gospels. We do not see what they saw. We do not know, as they did, the exact appearance of the Lord in the flesh. Nevertheless, our knowledge of Him today is clearer than those people in the time of the Four Gospels. Our inner state is much brighter than theirs. We have touched the Lord inwardly.

What does the Holy Spirit do on earth today? He communicates the risen Christ to men. If anyone should say he knows the Holy Spirit but not resurrection we will answer that this is impossible. For today this Christ transcends all space, time, death, and every limitation. The Holy Spirit is that Spirit who has raised the Lord Jesus from the dead. The power of the Holy Spirit is therefore the power of resurrection. Wherever the work of the Holy Spirit is, there is the manifestation of the power of resurrection. Where the Holy Spirit is, there is resurrection.”

Continue Reading On Here (Watchman Nee – Power Of Resurrection Life)

Tomb

 

Wasting Time Focusing On ‘Things’

“Upon reflection, it seems that many Christians regard salvation, evangelism, peace, power, holiness, joy, service, church practice, ministry, and doctrine as simply divine “things,” all detached from the living person of Christ and made something in and of themselves. But God never gives us spiritual things. He never gives us virtues, gifts, graces, and truths to acquire. Instead, He only gives us His Son. He gives us Christ to be all things for us. Consequently, Jesus Christ is the embodiment of all spiritual things. He is the substance of all divine realities.”

– Pg 302 ” Book – From Eternity To Here, by Frank Viola”

I am currently tracking many people who are pursuing ‘good things’ – that is they strive toward perfection, greatness and achieve much by world standards. I have come to the conclusion we could spend a lifetime striving toward these things and gain greater knowledge and power in the process, never actually getting closer to God. I was challenged by Franks statement, it made me realise that I was still pursuing the ‘fruits of my creator and not the creator himself’.

People, having innovation, discipline and virtues are good, but if we seek for these things and don’t derive them from Christ himself then they will fade away like everything else in this world.

To put it plainly, if we live a Christ-centred life (derive our living water and bread from Him) we will notice an abundance of these ‘things’ coming forth from our lives, and they will be eternal character traits of our creator and wont perish fade away like everything we try to create.

Jesus Christ is; hope (1 Tim. 1:1) peace (Eph. 2:14) wisdom (1 Cor. 1:30) redemption (1 Cot. 1:30) holiness (1 Cor. 1:30) righteousness (I Cor. 1:30). 

Galatians 2:20 “I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

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One aspect of Church that Im looking forward to seeing pass away!

I recently attended a research symposium and spoke on organic, missional and simple church. During the meal breaks I was speaking to several ministers, and after some probing questions, I was promptly and repetitively referred to as a ‘layman’. I have read endless material on the clergy system and how some denominations think there is a distinct divide between the ministers ‘elite’ and regular folk ‘laymen’, but I had never experienced it first hand until now.

Karl Barth summarises my view well – ‘The term ‘laity’ is one of the worst in the vocabulary of religion and ought to be banished from the Christian conversation’

At the conference, the first minister that said it to me made me chuckle, but when the second used the same term.. I questioned him. “why do you create a distinct separation between yourself and your congregation?” He looked at me with concern, I then explained “the term laymen is sectarian and places a wedge between yourself and the priesthood of all believers, do you truly believe that divide is biblically warranted?”.. lets just say he scuttled away very quietly into the crowd.

Are you a minister/priest/pastor?.. do you truly believe you have authority to tower over the priesthood of all believers possessing higher abilities or powers from God? Today I question your pride and pomp, and hope the following articles can bring some insight into where the nasty doctrinal perspective was birthed.. lets  learn how God intended the Church to function, not bow down to the world and its military-roman style ways.

Here are some links that explain it better than what I can;

http://frankviola.org/2012/07/17/christianleadership/

http://www.churchauthority.org/resources2/mattamclergy-laity.asp

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Demons Fear Jesus – They know who Jesus is! Do you?

According to Luke 8 we can extract three characteristics of Demons;

– Demons like solitary places (like seclusion and privacy)

– They don’t like returning to the abyss (must be a awful place)

– They fear Jesus, His authority and Power over them (they thought Jesus was there to torture them)

What captured my attention in this story was how the demon identified Jesus and his authority. The demon immediately was intimidated by Jesus and thought he was going to be tortured! Our saviour has power over creation, man and principalities in spirit dimensions, what a great King He is. Its great to be reminded of the power our saviour has to overcome all circumstances; his intention was to free the demon-possessed man and restore him to his natural state, removing the influence of the evil one.

We are children of the most high, through Christ we have been restored into a right relationship with our Father in heaven. What a blessing it is living each day knowing that Christ now dwells in us through his spirit and the power He has to restore us, strengthen and protect us. He has our best interests close to His heart.

‘They sailed to the region of the Gerasenes, which is across the lake from Galilee. When Jesus stepped ashore, he was met by a demon-possessed man from the town. For a long time this man had not worn clothes or lived in a house, but had lived in the tombs. When he saw Jesus, he cried out and fell at his feet, shouting at the top of his voice, “What do you want with me, Jesus, Son of the Most High God? I beg you, don’t torture me!” For Jesus had commanded the impure spirit to come out of the man. Many times it had seized him, and though he was chained hand and foot and kept under guard, he had broken his chains and had been driven by the demon into solitary places.

Jesus asked him, “What is your name?”

“Legion,” he replied, because many demons had gone into him. And they begged Jesus repeatedly not to order them to go into the Abyss.

A large herd of pigs was feeding there on the hillside. The demons begged Jesus to let them go into the pigs, and he gave them permission. When the demons came out of the man, they went into the pigs, and the herd rushed down the steep bank into the lake and was drowned.’

– Luke 8:26-38

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Ministering to a Foreigner (knowing where God wants you to be) – Acts 8

I was listening to the audio book of Acts and was moved by Philips obedience when the Angel prompted him to step out of his comfort zone and minister to a foreigner on the road to Gaza from Jerusalem.

‘Now an angel of the Lord said to Philip, “Go south to the road—the desert road—that goes down from Jerusalem to Gaza.” So he started out, and on his way he met an Ethiopian eunuch, an important official in charge of all the treasury of the Kandake (which means “queen of the Ethiopians”). This man had gone to Jerusalem to worship, and on his way home was sitting in his chariot reading the Book of Isaiah the prophet. The Spirit told Philip, “Go to that chariot and stay near it.” – Acts 8:26-29

Phillip was obedient, he listened  and responded to Gods prompting without questioning. The angel asked Phillip to do a simple task, nothing extraordinary.. just to be obedient and a willing vessel. Phillip run up to the chariot and knew what the angel wanted him to do, share the truth of Christ with the Ethiopian eunuch. The Holy Spirit had prepared the heart of the eunuch while he was reading scripture, Phillip was able to share the good news of Jesus and baptised him immediately.

From this story I gain insight into how God wants us to be obedient to his prompting and respond to his mission. We are commissioned to spread the Good News of Christ and baptise people into his name. The challenge is to pray and understand what God has ahead for us, Listen the the holy spirits prompting,  desire to be used by God and step out in his strength. You may even find yourself encountering captives being set free and seeing people healed! 🙂

‘When the crowds heard Philip and saw the signs he performed, they all paid close attention to what he said. For with shrieks, impure spirits came out of many, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed. So there was great joy in that city.’

– Acts 8:6-8

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Identifying Spiritual Abuse – ‘They know not what they do’

My friend who has been in active ministry for 30 years was recently delighted by an opportunity for a visit from his relatively new local church minister. This Minister had been directly involved in the running of this congregation for over 12 months, but had never visited my friend to know his life or personal circumstances. This meeting was expected to challenge and bring a fresh insight into a person he knew was visibly trying to bring change in his congregation.

Several minutes into the meet and greet, the true intention of the meeting become evident. He strongly indicated to my friend that his attendance wasn’t satisfactory (benchmarked against other attendees and the role of attendance) over the last few months and unless he improved, his role in once-a-month services he would no longer be required. To my friend this gutted him, he had been involved in active congregational life for many years and this was a low blow to his ‘spiritual calling’ he could never have predicted.

I was discouraged hearing this story by the tenacity of this person thinking they could can place judgement on others without seeking understanding my friends personal and family circumstances, heart, love and passion for Christ and his body. The worst thing is, over the last few years these stories among others, are becoming a usual occurrence as I minister to people the life of Christ. The consequences of such spiritual abuse are profound, invasive and destructive.
People, if some have reduced our Christ to a 2 hour slot on a Sunday where we sit and conform to the likeness of a stream of our religion then we truly have lost sight of our first love – our Saviour and King Christ Jesus. For those who are familiar with this behaviour, I encourage you to persist in the faith and strive toward Christ, don’t conform the the likeness of man and his expectations but to Gods – found in His Word.

I would encourage all who seek a relationship in Christ that we worship him ‘in spirit and in truth’, that is, we seek him the other 98% of our week and know that judgement man brings will be burnt up like chaff when its tested by fire!

‘Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, instruction about cleansing rites,[b] the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgement. And God permitting, we will do so.’

– Hebrews 6:1-3

‘I am astonished that you are so quickly deserting the one who called you to live in the grace of Christ and are turning to a different gospel— which is really no gospel at all. Evidently some people are throwing you into confusion and are trying to pervert the gospel of Christ. But even if we or an angel from heaven should preach a gospel other than the one we preached to you, let them be under God’s curse! As we have already said, so now I say again: If anybody is preaching to you a gospel other than what you accepted, let them be under God’s curse!
Am I now trying to win the approval of human beings, or of God? Or am I trying to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a servant of Christ.’

– Galatians 1:6-10

I found a great article that helps identify spiritual abuse in Christian churches, a must read!

Click to access spiritualabuseprofile.pdf

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Expanding your understanding of scripture – a sensory experience!

Typically we isolate understanding scripture to one human sense, God has given us the ability to see, hear, taste, smell and touch and I believe we can understand things deeper by using more than just one of our senses. Quite often we rely on our ministers, preachers and teaches to fullfill our sensory experience through hearing and listening. We all read scripture, but why not listen to it?

Over the last two years I have taken a keen interest in listening to scripture while driving to work and home. I have found a massive change in my understanding of scripture, my ability to focus longer while reading and obsorb more content. I would recommend that if you arnt listening to scripture in some form… your missing out on a fresh experience in Gods Word. His Word is living and real, by listening we can give full attention to what the author is saying helping us to gain a better understanding of its original context and meaning.

It is widely acknowledged that the inspirational Word was spoken and god breathed, many of the New Testament authors utalised the skills of scribes and listening diversifies the readers expression and can add greater insight.

A helpful APP I frequently use on my iphone to deliver audio books is Amazons Audible (www.audible.com)

A rich bible experience I have found extremely helpful is the award winning ‘The Bible Experience: New Testament & Old Testament inspired by the Media Group’ for more info Click Here

‘For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.’ – Isiah 55:10-11

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