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Archive for April, 2023

The challenge of the second generation.

Posted by appolus on April 30, 2023

1Sa 8:1  And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel………………….And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment. 

Is it not an incredible thing that Samuel’s sons turned out to be corrupt? After everything Samuel saw in the family of Eli he now faces much the same issues. It seems that while his sons were under his influence and had no official capacity, they did well. Yet as soon as they get out from under the influence of Samuel and are given positions, their true nature comes forth. The second generation of anyone is never guaranteed. We are told that around 80% of young adults “lose,” their faith when they go to college. Yet, it seems clear that when these young people move away from their parents Godly influence their true nature comes forth. They are corrupted by a world they are drawn to, whatever their vice is. Bonhoeffer tells us in his book “The Cost of Discipleship,” that just one generation removed from the founders of the Lutheran church, cheap grace had taken hold.

Now, rather than dramatic conversions, there was mental assents to abstract truths. If their children could tick boxes one through seven and say yes to these truths, then they were counted as saved. The fire was gone, the glory had departed so to speak. The world had invaded and the “ark,” was captured. Ichabod was on the move. The second generation is often a pale imitation of the first. They are given positions as gatekeepers of the status quo by their parents and the main objective becomes keeping their positions. They create sacraments and traditions that are self-serving. These sacraments and traditions become the pillars that hold aloft the very structures of their denominations and organizations. Men who come along and challenge the status quo and speak the truth become enemies because the truth threatens to tear down the very pillars that hold it all together.

The only solution to all of this is the new birth. The genuine conversion of men and woman. Men and women who actually encounter God and are captivated by the truth that they find in the Scriptures. That truth burns in their veins like molten lava. It courses through every part of them and they are simply compelled to speak the truth no matter the cost. And the cost, for much of the last 2000 years, has been death through martyrdom. Has been rejection by their peers. They have been shunned and ridiculed and scorned by those who have but a mental assent to the truth. Why did Saul hate David so much even although David loved him very much? Jealousy. Jealous of the relationship David had with God. Some things never change. The heart of the merely religious man is fundamentally jealous of the heart of the man who is intimate with God. And just like the flesh wars against the spirit, then the once born man wars and rages against the twice born man. There can be no other way as there is enmity between the two.


Posted in Babylon, bible, christian blog, christian living, Christianity, churches, Daily devotional, Devotions, Jesus, religion, religious, revival, Spiritual warfare, testimony, the crucified life, the deeper life, the gospel, the persectuted church, The presence of God, the remnant, The State of the Chuch and Manifest presence, the state of the church, theology | 3 Comments »

Avoiding the traps.

Posted by appolus on April 30, 2023

We, man, are cursed with a religious spirit that dwells within our flesh. It’s a merit based spirit therefore it diametrically opposes grace. And yet the religious spirit knows that it stands in opposition to grace and knows that it is defeated and therefore it tries another avenue. It agrees quickly about grace and then tries to convince us that if that is actually true then it doesn’t matter how we live.
And so, like sand traps on a golf course, we face two major obstacles as we “approach the green.” (Green pastures) We can land in a bunker that is works based, that tries to convince us that we must be perfect in order to be accepted by God. Or we can land in bunker number two that tries to convince us that since we are not perfect and don’t have to be then why bother? Both are indeed bunkers.
In order to land on the green we must understand that we cannot work our way to heaven but we must be about the works of our Father. We also have to understand that although we are imperfect beings in-dwelled by a perfect God we are still called to resist the devil (and he will flee from you) and draw near to God having cleansed our hand and purified our hearts ( confession and a broken and contrite heart) In this way we “land on the green.” He makes us lie down in green pastures, there is peace and joy and stillness beside the still waters.
Those who navigate the narrow path with their cross upon their backs realize at some point that they are being followed. As they look behind them they see two objects and it sets there hearts on fire. They are being followed by goodness and mercy. And before them is the shepherd of their soul. They are hedged in as they make their way home.

Posted in Babylon, Christian, christian blog, christian living, Christianity, Daily devotional, Devotions, faith, Jesus, new wineskins, revival, spiritual growth, testimony, the crucified life, the deeper life, the gospel, the persectuted church, The presence of God, the remnant, The State of the Chuch and Manifest presence, the state of the church, theology | 2 Comments »

Using God to serve ourselves.

Posted by appolus on April 23, 2023

1 Sam 4:3 Let us bring the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of Shiloh to us, that, when it comes among us, it may save us from the hand of our enemies. 

Just for some context, this scripture occurs about halfway through a 40 year oppression by the Philistines. It had not been that long ago that Samson had been killed. How far they had fallen since his demise. And yet, in the midst of a corrupt priesthood, and perhaps because of it, they go to battle with the Philistines and they are roundly defeated. They do not learn from their defeat as they should but rather they are somewhat angry at God that He had not given them the victory they seemed to believe they deserved. So, they doubled down. Without leadership the people are now doing what seems right to them and the priests do nothing to stop them. How loudly they shouted when the Ark came into their camp. This is men trying to force the hand of God, its not going to end well. In their first defeat they lost 4000 men, in the next defeat they lost 30,000 men and the rest fled for their lives and the Ark was taken.What absolute chaos unfolds when we treat God lightly and try and use Him as some kind of talisman.

Now we may be temped to think how foolish these people were. Let me ask you a question. Have you ever “pleaded the blood,” over something? Have you ever commanded anything in the name of Jesus? Have you heard His voice in the matters that you speak to? When we put God before our troubles as some kind of talisman, usually in the midst of frightening circumstances, did we take a moment and step back and think? What is God saying to us in our troubles? Even in the earthquake and the loud storm there is a still small voice that speaks. Have you searched it out? The circumstances must never determine a quick response. In the end its not about our circumstances, its always about the glory of God. We do not use Him to alleviate our troubles, we use our troubles to draw closer to Him. Trusting in God, whether we live or whether we die, puts trust/faith in its proper context. In this context, glorifying God is the chief end of man. When our circumstances are our chief end, then faith is perverted into a “force,” which can either save us or condemn us depending on how much of the “force,” we have or have not. In simple terms, God is displaced.

The Israelites had bypassed God and used what was supposedly most precious to them to go and engage in an unsanctioned war. They were attempting to determine their own fate by using God in ways that made sense to them. How foolish to believe that God is ever confined by an Ark or a temple or a certain prayer or the so called faith of men. God is never confined by anything, period. If He were He would not be God. It is we, His servants, who are confined and contained by His will and the moment we step outside of His will then we have strayed off the narrow path. No good thing comes to pass when we wander away from His will. In all things we cry out to God. If for one moment the Isrealites had cried out to God and sought Him our before the battle or after the defeat they would not have lost 30,000 men or indeed the Ark itself. The Ark represented the presence of God. What can we do without His presence brothers and sisters? Where would we be without the Lord? He goes before us, certainly. Yet we cannot put Him before us. We cannot do it by a talisman, icons or chanting certain words. He is with us in relationship and only in right relationship. He is God and we are His bond-servants. He alone determines our battles and He alone is to be glorified at all times and sought after and waited upon. Everything else ends in disaster.

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There are fat men in the land.

Posted by appolus on April 20, 2023

1Sa 3:7  Now Samuel did not yet know the LORD, neither was the word of the LORD yet revealed unto him. 

Samuel, although a child of promise, did not know the Lord “yet.” In the previous chapter we read that the sons of Eli did not know God. “Now the sons of Eli were corrupt, they did not know the Lord.” Yet God was now calling to Samuel. Three times He calls to him in the night. What fear must have struck Eli when he realized that while God was not talking to him, the priest, he was engaging the child, Samuel. It must have been clear to him that his time had passed and that certainly his sons were passed over and under judgement. In fact we are told that the Lord desired to kill his sons and sure enough they would be killed. In order to know God we must encounter God. Samuel would have known the word and would have been taught the word even as a child, yet it was not until God encountered him that he “knew,” him. This concept of “knowing God is so important. God says to many in that day, who claim to know Him and who have done many works in His name “depart from me ye workers of iniquity for…..I never knew you.”

And what was the word that came to Samuel? A frightening word indeed in regard to the corrupt priesthood and those who refused to do anything about it.God says “For I have told him that I will judge his house forever for the iniquity which he knows, because his sons made themselves vile and he did not restrain them.” God says that the word is frightening, so frightening indeed that it would make the ears “tingle,’ which is akin to the teeth chattering with fear. Now how did Eli know? In the previous chapter we see that ” a man of God,” came to Eli. A nameless man of God. not another prophet or a king, a nameless man of God. No doubt Eli might have had little difficulty dismissing this nameless man of God. Eli’s greatest crime? “Why do you kick at My sacrifice which I have commanded in My dwelling place and honor your sons more than Me, to make yourself fat with the best of the offerings of Israel my people.” Eli honored his sons more than he honored God. Eli made himself fat with the offerings that were for God. His sons had made themselves fat.

Can I put it to you that there are a lot of fat men in the land of Christendom. They have fattened their hearts on the offerings they take in the name of God. They honor their own more than they honor God. They go to great lengths to elevate themselves and their own and yet in order to do this they must dishonor God. If you love anything more than God then you are not worthy to be His disciples. If you cause His name to be dishonored in the public square, if the name of God is mocked because you rob and you steal from the people ( you are actually stealing from God) then God will cause something to come upon you that you could never see coming. The very first thing that shall happen is they He will not talk to you. You will not hear the Word of God. He will speak to others, others you may actually despise, and it will make you angry and jealous and fearful, but He will not speak to you. What you have so meticulously built up over the years and decades, in one night God will tear down. Eli was warned by an unnamed man of God and he chose to ignore it. We ignore God at our great peril.

Posted in Babylon, bible, Christian, christian blog, christian living, Christianity, churches, Daily devotional, Devotions, end times, End Times Eschatology, Eschatology - Study of the 'End Times', False Prophet, false teachers, Jesus, Ravenhill, revival, testimony, the crucified life, the deeper life, the gospel, the persectuted church, The presence of God, the remnant, The State of the Chuch and Manifest presence, the state of the church, theology | 4 Comments »

Shall we tear down the idols of our fathers?

Posted by appolus on April 18, 2023

1Sa 3:1  And the child Samuel ministered unto the LORD before Eli. And the word of the LORD was rare in those days; there was no widespread revelation.

Can I put it to you that we live in days where the Word of the Lord is rare and there is no widespread revelation. And the reasons are very similar to the times of 1 Samuel. There was a corrupted priesthood. The world had invaded the priesthood and the world has invaded the modern day church. It was similar in the times of Gideon. We are told the Israelite’s did evil in the sight of the Lord and they were then oppressed by the Midianites. Gideon is confronted by the angel of the Lord and Gideon complains “where are all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt? but now the LORD hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.” Now, the Word of the Lord was rare means that God was not speaking though prophets. No prophecies, no words of wisdom, no discernment no miracles.

We live in such days. We have abandoned God’s ways for the ways of the world and the world has come flooding in. We have, for the most part, rejected the gifts of the Spirit and do not desire His manifestation in our midst. We outright reject 1 Cor as any kind of model for our gatherings and therefore remove the platform set up by the Lord by which He would speak to His people. He gets to decide how He speaks to His people, we don’t get to decide that. And therefore Ichabod is pronounced over us. In order to put this right in Gideon’s time, he was required to tear down the idols of his fathers. In the time of Eli the existing priesthood had to be torn down. What about our times? What should the Lord do? Should He wink at our disobedience. Only God knows how He will deal with us but for us it should begin with acknowledging there is a severe problem. Acknowledging that miracles are rare as are true prophecies. Then we should look to why and begin to turn it around. Will we tear downn the idols of our fathers? That remains to be seen.

Posted in Babylon, bible, christian blog, christian living, Christianity, Daily devotional, Devotions, revival, testimony, the crucified life, the deeper life, the gospel, the persectuted church, The presence of God, the remnant, The State of the Chuch and Manifest presence, the state of the church, theology | 3 Comments »

Anointed or appointed by men?

Posted by appolus on April 18, 2023

The gifts of the Spirit in the church today are not only desirable but absolutely imperative. It is extremely necessary that we should have the gifts of the Spirit in the church and let me show you why…….Un-gifted men can do religious work, but it is only the human mind doing a human work. Mortality is written all over the church of Christ today because men are trying to do in the power of their own genius , what only the Holy Spirit can do. Genius cannot do immortal work, genius can only do mortal work…often talent alone runs the church today not the gifts of the Holy Spirit as intended (A,W.Tozer)

When we have a corrupted priesthood, it leads to the birth of Ichabod. If indeed God has departed then what do men do? They keep on going in their own strength. They cannot acknowledge their own corruptions, they cannot give up the power and the prestige they so desire but at the same time they cannot have God in their midst. So, the anointed is replaced by the appointed. In the absence of God we appoint men and women of talent. We try to recreate the giftings and the moving of the Holy Spirit. It never occurs to men to simply fall back on the Word of God. We are several generations into appointed men in leadership, men who are appointed by other men and not anointed of God. Men and women of talent. They have the gift or oratory, in fact it was a required qualification. They can sing like angels, in fact it was required of them before they were appointed. They can take the Word of God and teach it, for they were taught how to do this very thing in their Bible schools and seminaries.

All day long the Sauls of this world rise in our churches and the Davids are left in the fields. They are tall and handsome, they are beautiful and talented just like the world and that is what they wanted. They are appointed men and they have not the anointing of God. And without the anointing it can only ever be a house of talent and not a house of victory. The giants of this world are left to roar at us and mock us and come against us for we lack the David spirit. The appointed try to figure out how to survive with the least amount of damage as the Philistines roar. The anointed run to the battle and care not whether they live or die for they are full of the Spirit of God. The appointed worry about offending the people because they were appointed by the people and in order to keep their position they must please the people. The anointed speak as they are moved to speak by the Holy Spirit. They are not hirelings and they do not run from the wolves and the bears.

The appointed employ all the ways of the world in order to “build,” their own kingdoms. What else could they do? They use talented people, they use pop psychology and business methods. They employ sales techniques. And the latest addition to the appointed is technology. Dimmed lights, blackened walls, smoke machines, theatre seating and concert style worship. The anointed may not have any oratory skills at all. They may not be able to fit into skinny jeans. They may not be the most confident people. They may not desire to have any position at all. Yet it is God who does the anointing. He chooses whom He will use and He builds His church not on methods of the world but by the gifts and the power of the Holy Spirit and upon the Word of God. The appointed must rip out whole chapters of the Bible in order to survive and the anointed simply stand upon the Word, even if it means a congregation of twelve.

Men always appoint men who will serve their purposes. God anoints those who will serve His purposes. In order not to share His glory with anyone He raises up paupers to walk with princes. He takes the teenage shepherd boy to replace the peoples choice. He takes the weak and the lowly, the contrite and the broken and He raises them up to high and lofty places to dwell and to fellowship with Him. The anointed walk, not in their human talents and genius, rather they walk in the anointing. In the power of the Holy Spirit. In the giftings of God that do not come through natural birth but rather come from the second birth. And by the baptism of the Holy Spirit. How can we tell an anointed church from an appointed church? You will see the gifts of the Holy Spirit in operation in Gods anointed. Could it be that simple? Is the word of God difficult to understand? Does it all come down to that in the end, obedience to the Word? It always does, whether in our personal lives or our corporate gatherings. There is life in the anointing. There is activity in the appointed. While there can be activity in the anointed, there can never be life in the merely appointed when the appointment is of men.

Posted in Babylon, Christian, christian blog, christian living, Christianity, Daily devotional, Devotions, gifts of the spirit, Jesus, new wineskins, pentecostal, revival, spiritual gifts, Spiritual warfare, testimony, the crucified life, the deeper life, the gospel, the persectuted church, The presence of God, the remnant, The State of the Chuch and Manifest presence, the state of the church, theology, Uncategorized | 4 Comments »

Do they have their hooks into you?

Posted by appolus on April 16, 2023

1Sa 2:12  Now the sons of Eli were sons of Belial; they knew not the LORD. 

Another way of saying this was that the sons of Eli were corrupt, wicked and worthless. They represented God but by their actions they misrepresented God. According to the Scriptures (Lev 7:34) they were entitled to the “wave breast and the heave shoulder.” Yet, they sent their servants along to the sacrifice with flesh hooks that would be plunged in and whatever it hooked would be taken. This was entirely un-biblical, yet they had made a ritual out of it and enforced this ritual with violence if need be. In other words “they had their hooks into the people.” Can I suggest that people have not changed very much. How many so called ministers or priests have their hooks into people, taking what does not belong to them. Enriching themselves by the fat of the land, the very fat that belonged to God. It has to be noted that the Scriptures tell us that these priests, the sons of Eli “did  not know the Lord.”

Just because one calls himself a priest, a minister, a pastor, this has no bearing on whether they actually know God or not. How do we identify those who pass themselves off as pastors but do not know the Lord? Let us look at the sins of Eli’s sons . We are told the sins were covetousness, sensuality, arrogance, authoritarian and gluttonous. They desired to have what was not theirs. They slept with women who had come to seek God. They made rituals out of their sins. They enforced their sin with violence if need be and they were very fat because of their lazy ravenous appetites. This might well describe religion down through the last 2000 years and many denominations. What are the opposing attributes of the men of God? Contentment, faithfulness to their spouses and to their God, humlity, meekness and moderate in all their ways. They give to God what is His and they serve God first. Their God is not their belly nor their lusts but rather their God is the one who enables them to put to death the lusts of the flesh.

There is no doubt we live in an age of a fallen priesthood with all the same excesses on display as we see in the family of Eli. Yet God did not permit that state to go on forever. The corrupted house of so called priests would fall and would fall at the hand of God. There are Hannah’s among us. There are faithful men like her husband and their household among us. God always has a Samuel. He always has a people who have not bowed the knee to the Baals or Belial or to the gods of this world. He is faithful to raise them up and also faithful to tear down men and women who bring dishonor and disgrace to His name. There are those who use God to enrich themselves and fatten themselves by the sacrifices of others and there are those who faithfully serve Him and Him alone and desire to see Him glorified. Those who rejoice in His salvation. Let us rejoice in His salvation today and rejoice in the fact that He has raised up a Royal priesthood, priests who know Him and are known by Him.

Posted in Babylon, bible, Christian, christian blog, christian living, Christianity, Church history, churches, Daily devotional, Devotions, discernment, False Prophets, False Prophets and Teachers, false teachers, Jesus, revival, testimony, the deeper life, the gospel, the persectuted church, The presence of God, the remnant, The State of the Chuch and Manifest presence, the state of the church, theology, Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Smile at the darkness.

Posted by appolus on April 13, 2023

1 Sam :2:1 I smile at my enemies because I rejoice in Your salvation.

Hannah was both faithful to God before her womb was open and after it was open. She was faithful to give thanks and glory to God for answered prayer. Can you see the balance? In the previous chapter she was still coming before the Lord, petitioning Him year after year, pouring out her heart to him over a long period of time. And when her prayer was answered she rejoiced in the Lord and in His salvation. Maybe you have prayed for a long time over a situation? Are you still moved by the conviction of your prayer? Is your heart readily on display for all to see? Persistent faithfulness whether we rise or whether we fall, in sickness or in health, in riches or in poverty is very valuable to the Lord. If you can cry out to God and call Him holy, despite your circumstances, then the glory of the Lord will rest upon you. I would put it to you that this is the place of miracles. One is the cart, the other is the horse. The horse belongs in the front, our faithfulness to God and our praises of Him should go before us. And it will sound something like this ………

No one is holy like you Lord, for there is none besides You. Nor is there any Rock like our God. The Lord gives and the Lord takes away, blessed be the name of the Lord. By the hand of God the poor can be raised up, the lowly can be lifted to high and lofty places. You take the beggar from the ash heap and you raise them up and set them among princes and they inherit the glory. The pillars that hold the foundations of the earth are yours Lord and you have set the world upon it. Is there anything too difficult for you? Shall I not praise you from the highest heavens? And listen, what is that noise that rises from the lowest valleys? Is it not the praises of your people as they travel along the narrow path? This is the highway of holiness that takes them home. Yes I can smile at my enemy because your salvation has set me free to love them. Your salvation has set me free to forgive them. Your salvation has set my feet upon a sure place where peace reigns. And light, though it be dark all around me, emanates from the depths of my heart for you sit upon its throne.

Posted in bible, Christian, christian blog, christian living, Christianity, Daily devotional, Devotions, Jesus, revival, testimony, the crucified life, the deeper life, the gospel, the persectuted church, The presence of God, the remnant, The State of the Chuch and Manifest presence, the state of the church, theology | 3 Comments »

Giving birth to life.

Posted by appolus on April 11, 2023

I am a woman who is deeply troubled… I have been praying out of. my great anguish and grief… I was pouring out my soul to the Lord (1 Samuel 1) The Story: Chapter 10 (1 Samuel 1-15)

1Sa 1:10  And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore. 

We can learn so much from Hannah’s situation. Although she was in “bitterness of soul,” she continued to sacrifice to God and to pray to Him. Her prayers were her praises and her tears was the evidence of a heart not closed down due to circumstances. And isn’t this always the danger? When we are hard pressed on every side and our situation seems impossible, what do we do? On the cross Jesus cries out to His Father. Some might say that Jesus cried out “in bitterness of soul.” My God, my God, why has thou forsaken me? Undoubtedly Hannah felt forsaken by God who had “closed up her womb.” How do we respond? In the depths of our despair how do we respond? Shall we rise up and call out to God and cry “Holy!” Shall we say like Jesus says “into thy hands I commend my spirit?” Hannah poured out her soul to God. She rose above the bitterness. She avoided hardness of heart by drawing close unto God despite her many years of continual disappointment, she was faithful in her offering of sacrifices and her prayers.

In the end brothers and sisters we are called to be holy. We are called to be faithful. We are called to be loving and kind and graceful, even to those who see our situation and take full advantage of it. To those who mock us and spitefully use us, who curse us and falsely accuse us, we are called to good to them, we are called to love our enemies. In doing this we fulfill two primary and fundamental aspects of the narrow walk. We are obedient to the Lord and we guard our hearts. Your heart is ground zero in this battle that we find ourselves in. If the devil take your heart then for him its checkmate. Your heart belongs to God and no matter what situation we find ourselves in, it is the conduit for His love to flow through you to a wicked world. Love your enemies brothers and sisters and pray to God. Accept fully the situation you find yourself in and then find God in the very midst of it. Whether for a day or for ten years, walk faithfully in this. In this “the fruit of your womb shall be blessed.” Life, eternal life, will spring forth from the wellsprings of your heart. Jesus is our inexhaustible source. Stay close to Him and you will give birth to life.


Posted in bible, Christian, christian blog, christian living, Christianity, Daily devotional, Devotions, intimacy, Jesus, revival, testimony, the crucified life, the deeper life, the gospel, the persectuted church, The presence of God, the remnant, The State of the Chuch and Manifest presence, the state of the church, theology | 3 Comments »

I am persuaded.

Posted by appolus on April 11, 2023

My father died on the 21st of March and I went back to Scotland for the funeral. Below is a a part of his eulogy that I gave.
A portion of my fathers eulogy………. (picture I took that morning)
On the morning of my fathers funeral I got up early and walked along the shore. In a country where it could easily have been pouring down with rain, it was cloudless. The sun rose in the sky and the air was sharp and clear. I sensed the presence of the Lord and a word came to my spirit, so tender, and so beautiful and it spoke to me. This was to be the opening of my eulogy…………………
I am persuaded this morning of the blessed hope in Christ my Lord. Just as surely as the river keeps running and the hills and the mountains stand guard over the valley, my hope in Jesus is even more sure than that. I am persuaded that just as the sun rose gloriously this morning, my father has been gloriously raised again into eternal life by the same power that raised Jesus from the dead. I am persuaded that………………….God is in this place. I am persuaded that God loves each person in this room and desires to know each of you personally.
For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us……….Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?………..For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Posted in bible, Christian, christian blog, christian living, Christianity, Daily devotional, Devotions, God's voice, inspirational, intimacy, Jesus, manifest presence, revival, testimony, the crucified life, the deeper life, the gospel, the persectuted church, The presence of God, the remnant, The State of the Chuch and Manifest presence, the state of the church | 7 Comments »