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Archive for December, 2018

My Highest for His Glory

Posted by appolus on December 30, 2018

I was writing a book of devotions but have decided to put them on a specific page called “My Highest for His Glory.” I will publish three a week, one at the beginning, one in the middle of the week and one on a Friday. If you want to read them, click om the link below and then “like” the page, and feel free to share with anyone you think might need to be blessed. https://www.facebook.com/My-Highest-for-His-Glory-1520600…/…https://www.facebook.com/My-Highest-for-His-Glory-1520600074738714/?modal=admin_todo_tour

Posted in Christian, christian living, Christianity, church of scotland, Devotions, end times, Jesus, pentecostal, revival, testimony, the crucified life, the deeper life, the gospel, the persectuted church, The presence of God, the remnant, the state of the church, theology | Leave a Comment »

Silent night and the glories of God

Posted by appolus on December 29, 2018

I know Christmas is over and many folks will be glad of it. I myself am not a big fan of what we call Christmas today, yet, one of my favorite hymns is Silent night. It was written originally as a poem by Joseph Mohr in 1816. In the very place that gave us Mozart from the city of Salzburg, Mohr was born into poverty and shame, being an illegitimate son of a soldier who abandoned the pregnant mother. He never became rich or famous and indeed the source of the song was unknown for decades after that. Hans Gruhber who composed the melody for the poem had a similar poor background. These two men from the very lowest parts of society, gave us the world’s most famous Christmas Carol, but to me it is not a “Christmas Carol,” but a song of worship and adoration. Consider these lines …………..

Glories stream from heaven afar,
Heavenly hosts sing Alleluia!……………..

Radiant beams from thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace,

These are words of adoration and glory and beauty. Just imagine glories streaming from heaven above and being enveloped in them, or radiant beams of glorious light shining from the face of Jesus and manifesting themselves in grace that dispels the darkness. Even as i write this it brings tears to my eyes, my hand reaching up into the glories of heaven. I think of this song being sung at the very dawn of WW1 as the Germans and the allies come out of their trenches and embrace one another. The love of God Himself compelling them to lay down their arms and reach out to the “other side,” in love and common faith. And the great tragedy of darkness that followed.

Songs like this should be sung every week, then we too might catch a glimpse of glory streaming from heaven above with radiant beams of grace and mercy shining into a world that so desperately needs Jesus. When we keep our eyes on Jesus, every day is a day as unto Him.

Posted in Christian, christian living, Christian poetry, Christianity, church of scotland, end times, Jesus, pentecostal, poetry, revival, spiritual poetry, the crucified life, The presence of God, the remnant, the state of the church, theology | Leave a Comment »

An atmosphere of hatred-the tipping point

Posted by appolus on December 23, 2018

Many years ago I watched a documentary about the rise of the third Reich. One of the women they interviewed said something I will never forget. It was in the 60s so it was more than 20 years after the war ended. She was asked why she had supported Hitler and why she attended the rallies and why she was so fanatical about him. She said the following “there was something in the atmosphere and we all breathed it in.” It was such an honest profound answer and in fact it was a spiritual answer even if she was unaware of that fact.

I remember when I was a teenager in Scotland. I had never been to a Celtic v Rangers game. This game was legendary. They were both Glasgow teams and the rivalry went back over one hundred years. There was an added element to their rivalry, in fact this was the major distinction of the two teams. Celtic was a “Catholic,” team and Rangers was a “Protestant,” team. This religious element only heightened the hatred between the two sets of fans. The “atmosphere,” at the game was supposed to be brilliant, such was the passion between the two sets of fans. I went to my first game when I was about 18. I discovered the atmosphere was one of sheer hatred. Even although I was completely neutral, I felt myself getting swept up in the “atmosphere.”

Today we are living in an atmosphere of hatred. One might argue, correctly, that rivalry between different groups such as blacks and whites, straight and gays, liberals and conservatives have always existed and have always been bad. I would agree but I would also argue that there is a tipping point. Once the tipping point has been achieved, it spills over into the atmosphere which then effects everyone to one degree or another depending on how much you give yourself to it. It is one thing to breathe it, it is quite another thing to breathe in deeply. The saint should be surrounded by rarified air, the air of love and grace, an atmosphere whereby one does not render evil for evil.

The tragedy of rendering evil for evil is all around us. If you hate, for whatever reason, you are being slowly eaten alive from the inside out. You have breathed in the poison. The great tipping point here in the States has been President Trump’s election. One side thinks their hatred is justified because the other side is so bad. Hatred, for whatever reason, no matter what side you are on, is a consuming fiery cancer The thing about hate is that either way it wins. And when the tipping point is reached and hatred runs amok, then the destruction of society inevitably follows. It could be World War one or two. It could be the Russian revolution. It could be the 1960s and the race riots. It could be Rwanda or the cultural revolution. There is an antidote and if we fail to seek it and to live it then we shall destroy ourselves and fall into the darkness. If you choose to breathe in deeply the air that is all around us and spew out more hatred into the atmosphere then your fate is sealed, or you could breath in the rarified air of peace and love as the Lord Jesus has commanded us saying……………

You have heard that it hath been said, Thou shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust. For if ye love them which love you, what reward have ye? do not even the publicans the same? And if ye salute your brethren only, what do ye more than others? do not even the publicans so? Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect. (Mat 5:43-48)

Posted in Christian, christian living, Christianity, church of scotland, end times, Jesus, pentecostal, revival, the crucified life, the deeper life, the persectuted church, The presence of God, the remnant, the state of the church, theology, Uncategorized | 1 Comment »

Letter released from Pastor Wang Yi of the Early Rain church in China

Posted by appolus on December 22, 2018

This is a letter from Pastor Wang Yi, the pastor of the Early rain church who was arrested last week by the Chinese government along with his wife and one hundred other members. The letter was to be released if the pastor was not set free after 48 hours. Please take the time to read this from a dear brother in prison for the cause of Christ. It should inspire you to not be afraid and stand upon the Rock that is Jesus. It is quite long but then what is a few oments compared to our brother and his wife and fellow brothers and sisters who now rot in a Chinese prison………………….

On the basis of the teachings of the Bible and the mission of the gospel, I respect the authorities God has established in China. For God deposes kings and raises up kings. This is why I submit to the historical and institutional arrangements of God in China.

As a pastor of a Christian church, I have my own understanding and views, based on the Bible, about what righteous order and good government is. At the same time, I am filled with anger and disgust at the persecution of the church by this Communist regime, at the wickedness of their depriving people of the freedoms of religion and of conscience. But changing social and political institutions is not the mission I have been called to, and it is not the goal for which God has given his people the gospel.

For all hideous realities, unrighteous politics, and arbitrary laws manifest the cross of Jesus Christ, the only means by which every Chinese person must be saved. They also manifest the fact that true hope and a perfect society will never be found in the transformation of any earthly institution or culture but only in our sins being freely forgiven by Christ and in the hope of eternal life.

As a pastor, my firm belief in the gospel, my teaching, and my rebuking of all evil proceeds from Christ’s command in the gospel and from the unfathomable love of that glorious King. Every man’s life is extremely short, and God fervently commands the church to lead and call any man to repentance who is willing to repent. Christ is eager and willing to forgive all who turn from their sins. This is the goal of all the efforts of the church in China—to testify to the world about our Christ, to testify to the Middle Kingdom about the Kingdom of Heaven, to testify to earthly, momentary lives about heavenly, eternal life. This is also the pastoral calling that I have received.

For this reason, I accept and respect the fact that this Communist regime has been allowed by God to rule temporarily. As the Lord’s servant John Calvin said, wicked rulers are the judgment of God on a wicked people, the goal being to urge God’s people to repent and turn again toward Him. For this reason, I am joyfully willing to submit myself to their enforcement of the law as though submitting to the discipline and training of the Lord.

At the same time, I believe that this Communist regime’s persecution against the church is a greatly wicked, unlawful action. As a pastor of a Christian church, I must denounce this wickedness openly and severely. The calling that I have received requires me to use non-violent methods to disobey those human laws that disobey the Bible and God. My Savior Christ also requires me to joyfully bear all costs for disobeying wicked laws.

But this does not mean that my personal disobedience and the disobedience of the church is in any sense “fighting for rights” or political activism in the form of civil disobedience, because I do not have the intention of changing any institutions or laws of China. As a pastor, the only thing I care about is the disruption of man’s sinful nature by this faithful disobedience and the testimony it bears for the cross of Christ.

As a pastor, my disobedience is one part of the gospel commission. Christ’s great commission requires of us great disobedience. The goal of disobedience is not to change the world but to testify about another world.

For the mission of the church is only to be the church and not to become a part of any secular institution. From a negative perspective, the church must separate itself from the world and keep itself from being institutionalized by the world. From a positive perspective, all acts of the church are attempts to prove to the world the real existence of another world. The Bible teaches us that, in all matters relating to the gospel and human conscience, we must obey God and not men. For this reason, spiritual disobedience and bodily suffering are both ways we testify to another eternal world and to another glorious King.

This is why I am not interested in changing any political or legal institutions in China. I’m not even interested in the question of when the Communist regime’s policies persecuting the church will change. Regardless of which regime I live under now or in the future, as long as the secular government continues to persecute the church, violating human consciences that belong to God alone, I will continue my faithful disobedience. For the entire commission God has given me is to let more Chinese people know through my actions that the hope of humanity and society is only in the redemption of Christ, in the supernatural, gracious sovereignty of God.

If God decides to use the persecution of this Communist regime against the church to help more Chinese people to despair of their futures, to lead them through a wilderness of spiritual disillusionment and through this to make them know Jesus, if through this he continues disciplining and building up his church, then I am joyfully willing to submit to God’s plans, for his plans are always benevolent and good.

Precisely because none of my words and actions are directed toward seeking and hoping for societal and political transformation, I have no fear of any social or political power. For the Bible teaches us that God establishes governmental authorities in order to terrorize evildoers, not to terrorize doers of good. If believers in Jesus do no wrong then they should not be afraid of dark powers. Even though I am often weak, I firmly believe this is the promise of the gospel. It is what I’ve devoted all of my energy to. It is the good news that I am spreading throughout Chinese society.

I also understand that this happens to be the very reason why the Communist regime is filled with fear at a church that is no longer afraid of it.

If I am imprisoned for a long or short period of time, if I can help reduce the authorities’ fear of my faith and of my Savior, I am very joyfully willing to help them in this way. But I know that only when I renounce all the wickedness of this persecution against the church and use peaceful means to disobey, will I truly be able to help the souls of the authorities and law enforcement. I hope God uses me, by means of first losing my personal freedom, to tell those who have deprived me of my personal freedom that there is an authority higher than their authority, and that there is a freedom that they cannot restrain, a freedom that fills the church of the crucified and risen Jesus Christ.

Regardless of what crime the government charges me with, whatever filth they fling at me, as long as this charge is related to my faith, my writings, my comments, and my teachings, it is merely a lie and temptation of demons. I categorically deny it. I will serve my sentence, but I will not serve the law. I will be executed, but I will not plead guilty.

Moreover, I must point out that persecution against the Lord’s church and against all Chinese people who believe in Jesus Christ is the most wicked and the most horrendous evil of Chinese society. This is not only a sin against Christians. It is also a sin against all non-Christians. For the government is brutally and ruthlessly threatening them and hindering them from coming to Jesus. There is no greater wickedness in the world than this.

If this regime is one day overthrown by God, it will be for no other reason than God’s righteous punishment and revenge for this evil. For on earth, there has only ever been a thousand-year church. There has never been a thousand-year government. There is only eternal faith. There is no eternal power.

Those who lock me up will one day be locked up by angels. Those who interrogate me will finally be questioned and judged by Christ. When I think of this, the Lord fills me with a natural compassion and grief toward those who are attempting to and actively imprisoning me. Pray that the Lord would use me, that he would grant me patience and wisdom, that I might take the gospel to them.

Separate me from my wife and children, ruin my reputation, destroy my life and my family – the authorities are capable of doing all of these things. However, no one in this world can force me to renounce my faith; no one can make me change my life; and no one can raise me from the dead.

And so, respectable officers, stop committing evil. This is not for my benefit but rather for yours and your children’s. I plead earnestly with you to stay your hands, for why should you be willing to pay the price of eternal damnation in hell for the sake of a lowly sinner such as I?

Jesus is the Christ, son of the eternal, living God. He died for sinners and rose to life for us. He is my king and the king of the whole earth yesterday, today, and forever. I am his servant, and I am imprisoned because of this. I will resist in meekness those who resist God, and I will joyfully violate all laws that violate God’s laws.

The Lord’s servant,
Wang Yi

Posted in Christian, christian living, Christianity, church of scotland, end times, Jesus, revival, the crucified life, the deeper life, the persectuted church, the remnant, the state of the church, theology | 4 Comments »

If I die

Posted by appolus on December 18, 2018

If I ever have to leave you
Just know that I’ll be there
I’ll be the bird that sings the morning song
And the sunlight in your hair

When you see the wind blow in the trees
And at night the falling star
And you hear the whispers in the breeze
You will know that I’m not far

For our love so true shall never end
It was birthed from God above
He took His ink and thus He penned
The story of our love

And so before the world began
Our story it was written
And across the heavens it did span
That you and I be smitten

So even though I leave you now
And my time on earth be finished
Yet listen love please here me now
Our love is not diminished

It was by His hand it came to life
This love that’s made us one
And forever you shall be my wife
And shine like the eternal sun.

Posted in Christian, christian living, Christian poetry, Christianity, church of scotland, end times, Jesus, pentecostal, poetry, revival, spiritual poetry, the crucified life, the deeper life, The presence of God, the remnant, the state of the church, theology, Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

There is power in the name of Jesus

Posted by appolus on December 17, 2018

One of my favorite songs right now ( I have seasons of favorite songs/hymns) is “Break every chain.” The lyrics start out “There is power in the name of Jesus, there is power in the name of Jesus, there is power in the name of Jesus, to break every chain.” I love that. I could sing that and declare that for a month and never grow tired of doing it. I love every aspect of those words because it encompasses everything I know to be true. The very name of Jesus, there is power in it. It’s at the name of Jesus that the demons flee. It’s at the name of Jesus that the angels sing. There is no other name given under heaven, whereby a man might be saved. In the first year of my salvation every time I heard even the name of Jesus tears would begin to roll down my cheeks. I would be speaking to people in the church and praying inside, oh lord don’t let them say your name because I knew I would begin to weep and they thought I was emotionally unbalanced. Such was His power and the impact upon my life. I could testify from the highest mountains that He had broken every chain. Oh how sweet the light is to one who had dwelt so long in darkness. The light was luxurious and encompassing. I tell you, I wish now that I would weep every time I hear the name of Jesus.

There is one line from the song that the lady sings that I would like to challenge, and it may seem like a distinction without a difference and it does not stop me listening to the song and being mightily blessed by it. The line goes something like this “just declare this night that your chains are broken.” Now brothers and sisters, if that line were spoken as a testimony then I say praise the Lord and hallelujah. If your chains have been broken then I say declare it to anyone who will listen. If, on the other hand you are still in chains, then you can declare all night long and at the end of that night you will still be in chains. You see, there is no power in our own declarations when they are used as an incantation, for then the power would lie with us. Think of Paul and Silas in the dungeon. They were in stocks and chains. In the midnight hour they began to praise the living God, lifting up the name of Jesus. They were not declaring that their chains were to be broken and the doors were to be open. But look with me at what happens when they praise God in spite of their circumstances.

Around midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening. 26 Suddenly, there was a massive earthquake, and the prison was shaken to its foundations. All the doors immediately flew open, and the chains of every prisoner fell off! (Acts 16:25-27)

Can you see that brothers and sisters? Can you see the great principle in action? There is power in the name of Jesus. When we praise His name, when we lift Him up, not our circumstances, He is glorified and when we are glorifying Jesus then down comes the power of God. The whole building shook, the doors flew open and their chains fell to the floor. Can you hear the chains falling? What are you burdened by today? What bondage do you find yourself in? Can I tell you, there is power in the name of Jesus. If you praise Him this day, if you lift Him up above your circumstances, if you glorify Him then He will glorify Himself in you.Those who have no strength, those who have grown weak He, by His power and by His glory He strengthens them. Even when younger men and women grow faint and grow weary all around you, you who wait upon the Lord, you who glorify the Lord, you who lift up that name which is above every other name, you shall renew your strength in Him and you shall run and not grow weary, you shall keep on walking and you shall not faint and you shall mount up with wings as eagles and dwell with Him in heavenly places.

Posted in Christian, christian living, Christianity, church of scotland, end times, Jesus, pentecostal, revival, the crucified life, the deeper life, The presence of God, the remnant, the state of the church, theology | 4 Comments »

Tozer on revival

Posted by appolus on December 16, 2018

Tozer on revival …

“Our mistake is that we want God to send revival on our terms. We want to get the power of God into our hands, to call it to us that it may work for us in promoting and furthering our kind of Christianity. We want still to be in charge, guiding the chariot through the religious sky in the direction we want it to go, shouting “Glory to God,” it is true, but modestly accepting a share of the glory for ourselves in a nice inoffensive sort of way. We are calling on God to send fire on our altars, completely ignoring the fact that they are our altars and not God’s. And like the prophets of Baal we are working ourselves into a frenzy as if we could by violence command the arm of the Almighty.

The whole error results from a confused notion of revival and a failure to recognize the moral laws that underlie the kingdom of God. God never moves whimsically; His ways are never impulsive or erratic. He never sends judgment unless there has been a violation of His laws, nor does He send blessing apart from obedience to those laws. So precise are His movements both in justice and in mercy that an intelligent observer, aware of the circumstances, could predict with complete accuracy any visitation of judgment or grace God might send to a nation, a church or an individual.

Of this we may be certain: We cannot continue to ignore God’s will as expressed in the Scriptures and expect to secure the aid of God’s Spirit. God has given us a complete blueprint for the Church and He requires that we adhere to it 100 percent. Message, morals and methods are there, and we are under strict obligation to be faithful to all three. Today we have the strange phenomenon of a company of Christians solemnly protesting to heaven and earth the purity of their Bible creed, and at the same time following the unregenerate world in their methods and managing only with difficulty to keep their moral standards from sinking out of sight. Coldness, worldliness, pride, boasting, lying, misrepresenting, love of money, exhibitionism — all these things are practiced by professedly orthodox Christians, not in secret but in plain sight and often as a necessary part of the whole religious show.” (Tozer)

Tozer says something very profound “We cannot continue to ignore God’s will as expressed in the Scriptures and expect to secure the aid of God’s Spirit.” Now, that is not some of God’s will, he says 100% Most folk I know disagree with that. They practice tradition, in fact tradition has long ago usurped and overtaken any Biblical notion of how we should gather and yet they are still puzzled as to why “revival tarries.” Can you imagine the level of audacity it takes to flagrantly disregard the expressed written Word of God on how we should gather and still expect God to move?

It is probable that we do not actually want to see revival, not the revival that the Spirit brings for it would change everything. The world as we know it, Christendom, would be tuned upside down. Traditions would be shattered. Positions would be lost, the clergy/laity system would disappear. As the Royal priests rose up and took their place, as they stepped into their Biblical positions, the order that we know now, the systems of men could not possibly stand.

But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he appeareth? for he is like a refiner’s fire, and like fullers’ soap: And he shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver: and he shall purify the sons of Levi, and purge them as gold and silver, that they may offer unto the LORD an offering in righteousness. Then shall the offering of Judah and Jerusalem be pleasant unto the LORD, as in the days of old, and as in former years.(Mal 3:2-4)

Posted in Christian, christian living, Christianity, church of scotland, end times, Jesus, pentecostal, revival, the crucified life, the deeper life, the remnant, the state of the church, theology | 8 Comments »

Soldiers of the valley

Posted by appolus on December 6, 2018

The bones are rising in the valley
The wind of the Spirit’s drawing near
Like a flood He is raising up a standard
That sweeps away every doubt and fear

An army’s rising in the desert
A broken people devoted to His name
At their head rides the Lord of all salvation
For since they met Him they have never been the same

Their songs of battle rises to the heavens
And all the world is shaken by the noise
The gates of hell begin to crack and crumble
And the hosts of heaven marvel and rejoice

Listen closely ye soldiers of the valley
Overcomers in the name of Christ the Lord
We are marching onwards unto glory
Behind the one who ever wields the sword

So march on my brothers and my sisters
And stand now for all the world to see
In lockstep we shall ever stand together
We are marching right on to victory

For we know the outcome of the battle
And we know what surely lies ahead
For we, the army of the risen
Once lay broken, battered cold and dead

Now we are the dry bones risen
To the heights of heaven we have scaled
The breath of life came down into the valley
He breathed out life and His soldiers all inhaled.

Posted in Christian, christian living, Christian poetry, Christianity, church of scotland, end times, Jesus, pentecostal, poetry, revival, spiritual poetry, the crucified life, the deeper life, the gospel, the remnant, the state of the church, theology | Leave a Comment »

Rarified air.

Posted by appolus on December 5, 2018

The manifest presence of God is rarified atmosphere. Those who have breathed it in have breathed in life itself. They have breathed in glory and majesty and beauty and holiness. It affects every part of who they are in their minds and their spirits and in their bodies. Indeed the prophet knew this when he wrote that those who wait upon the Lord shall run and not grew weary, shall walk and not faint, they shall renew their strength and soar with eagles wings. Brothers and sisters, have you breathed in this air lately? Are you weary, do you feel faint? Do you need your strength renewed and is there a longing to soar with the eagles in the updrafts of His majesty? Will you call upon Him? Will you wait upon Him. He is life itself and we cannot last long in this dark world without His light to fill us and His glory to edify the deepest parts of who we are. Without Him we would lose our way and lose ourselves.

One day the Lord will rend the heavens and His glory will flow down the mountains and fill every valley with His majesty. The seas will flee at His presence, the mountains will humbly bow and say ” Glory , glory to the risen King.” The sun will turn its face away in shame for it is outshone by the brilliance of His illumination. The moon and the stars will cry out ” Holy, Holy is He who was and is and forever shall be.” And every voice from every tongue will say “Jesus,” and acknowledge the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords.

And the beasts of the earth will fall down and cover their faces and then the lion will rise up and approach the lamb and they will lay down together. And every knee shall bow in every tribe and in every nation and even the hordes of hell will fall silent as He approaches. The earth itself will grow silent and shall be still and then a glorious noise will begin to rise and will fill the earth, it will fill the sea it will fill the night skies it will fill the whole universe and all that will be heard will be the choirs of angels, that heavenly choir and the glory of God will not only cover the earth but will fill up everything that there is or has ever been.

Gods saints, His children will rise on this glorious symphony, they will arise in the updrafts of His glory and majesty and it will carry them into the heart of God. And those who rejected this magnificent glory will fall and their cries will be heard as they fall into the depths of darkness, for what eyes can ever see light again that were not sanctified eyes. And He will reign forever.

Posted in Christian, christian living, Christianity, church of scotland, end times, Jesus, pentecostal, revival, the crucified life, the deeper life, the remnant, the state of the church, theology | 2 Comments »