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The glory and the lifter of my head.

Posted by appolus on July 23, 2021

Psa 3:3  But thou, O LORD, art a shield for me; my glory, and the lifter up of mine head.

The context of this psalm is that David is fleeing from his own son. David is not a young man anymore. In his lifetime, David has seen much trouble. And one would think that when you get to a certain age and have battled many battles that you get to retire into your dotage and leave all your troubles behind. If you are reading this and have lived long enough, you will know this not to be true. David cries out to God that he is surrounded by those who trouble him. They rise up against him, even from his own family and would seek to do him harm. He is mocked for his troubles and people say out loud that there is no help for him from God, surely God must have abandoned him.

They are all wrong of course. David would indeed once again flee just as he had fled from Saul but it is a very different, older, wiser David. He acknowledges God in the midst of his troubles. He testifies that God is a shield to Him, the glory and the lifter of his head. He lays down and sleeps. He awakes with the morning and he is sustained. He says that even if ten thousand people set themselves against him, he will not be afraid for his faith is in a God who hears him.

Maybe you had thought all your troubles were behind you? Maybe you have fought many battles in this life and thought that they were also behind you? Yet here you are, in the middle of maybe one of the greatest battles of your whole life. Sleep is a luxury that you know little of.  You wonder if God has abandoned you. You have cried until there is no tears left to cry, as David once did. And you know people whisper and wonder “where is his/her God.” I want to assure you today that “from His holy hill,” the Lord has heard your cry.

He is a shield for you. You stand because of Him. He has picked you up more times than you care to remember. He is the glory of your life. His glory and His majesty lies at the very core of who you are. He is the lifter of your head, He has lifted it a thousand times and He will lift it again. You will lie down and sleep, even this night for you are lying down in the very palm of His hand. It will not go well, in the end, for those who oppress you and would see you fall. Remember this saint, and it is more costly than any earthly treasure, His blessing is upon you. Stand strong in the Lord today, for great is your reward in heaven.

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Completing the revolution.

Posted by appolus on July 22, 2021

Baptism in the Holy Spirit completes the revolution. You are powerful when He walks with you. You are victorious when He dwells in you. You now have the power to subdue the conquered land. You are the conquered land. The Holy Spirit, by invitation, has invaded your spirit. Any invasion force puts down rebellion in the natural. It is the same in the supernatural. When a man or woman is invaded by the Holy Spirit, a war is unleashed between the rebellious holdouts and strongholds within ourselves that dwell in the outer regions of our flesh and in the depths of our souls. God gave the children of Israel the promised land, but it still had to be possessed. We surrender ourselves to God but we still have regions that need to be put down.

Areas of rebellion and holdouts must be ruthlessly attacked and vanquished. Remember Caleb? He volunteered to take on the giants in the mountains in the promised land. We have giants inside of us in our high places, they have to be taken down. Remember Davids indignation at the giant? It is only by the power of the indwelling Spirit that we can take on and conquer that which would be otherwise impossible to defeat. So you must be able to answer this question, are you baptized in the Holy Spirit? It is a matter of victory or defeat. Without the Spirit of the living God dwelling in us one must make compromises with with the enemy within and with the enemies without. Shall you live your life with an uncomfortable coexistence with rebellion and sin? Or, shall you walk in the overcoming victory and power of God the Holy Spirit?

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Ever present.

Posted by appolus on July 20, 2021

Psalm 46:1 God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. 

That is a wonderful promise. God is our “very present,” help. This word present means in the translation, to appear. In another context we would say of someone “he presented himself to her.” It means to make yourself known, to step forward so to speak. And remember saints, He is not just a present help, he is a very present help. When we add the word “very,’ it is intended to intensify the subject. And so we see that in times of trouble, God presents Himself to us by His manifest presence. He manifests Himself to us in very tangible ways which leaves us in no doubt that He is with us.

When we realize He is with us in our very present circumstances, then our fears are allleviated. Our circumstances may not have changed, but when our Lord has presents Himself to us and manifests His presence to us then we know we will stand. Imagine the three Hebrew Children in the fire and suddenly there is a fourth. Imagine Daniel in the Lions den and the presence of God enters. Imagine Paul and Silas in the dark dungeon and the manifest presence of God rains down.

I know a woman who was crying out to God as she stood on the beach contemplating a terrible set of circumstances and feeling alone and not being able to sense the presence or the promise of God. The waves were coming in and rolling back out literally and figuratively and suddenly before her feet appeared a cross in the sand, created by some drift material. One minute it was not there, the wave rolls out, and God speaks to her heart and it profoundly moves her to “know,” that God has heard her cry and that He is with her in her struggle.

Brothers and sisters, if the whole world is crumbling underneath your feet. And the mountains are tumbling and falling down all around you. And you find yourself surrounded by troubled waters. Hold on, for when God moves, when God speaks, right there in the midst of it all, then peace shall flow like a river, directly into your troubles and will make that troubled heart glad. Be still and know that He is God, He is your refuge and your strength.

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Jesus will be deemed immoral

Posted by appolus on July 20, 2021

Jesus said I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes unto the Father, but by me.  This scripture is the most profound truth ever written. This is why in the end of end days it will become the most infamous of all Scriptures. This will be banned and become illegal to share in our life time. It will be deemed as hate speech and once that occurs, almost all of what Jesus spoke will be considered detrimental to the spiritual health of the population at large. In the eyes of the world It will be deemed immoral to quote Jesus. This will be the ultimate irony, a wicked world condemning Jesus for being immoral.

Let’s just take a moment to affirm this truth. Jesus is the only way to heaven and every other road leads directly to hell, whether that be the Islamic road or the Judaic road or the Hindu road or the Buddhist road. The only way to God is through His son Jesus Christ. He is the only way. This is the way of Christ. We live and we strive to live as He did and taught. The truth is the word of God. It is not open for debate among saints, starting with the above Scripture. Jesus is the Truth and Jesus is the word made flesh and we stand upon it, even with our very lives. It burns at the center of our souls, it is a fire in our bones and flames upon our lips. The truth spoken in love scorches a Godless earth. To the ungodly it is a fire that must be extinguished.

Finally He is the life and no man truly follows Him without having His life in him. His life in us is joy and peace in the Holy Spirit. It is peace when all around us is turmoil. It is joy even in the depths of despair. It is love when we should hate. It is self control and meekness. It is a giving of ourselves and a crucified life. It is loving our enemies. It is continuing to preach in the name of Jesus even as the world warns us not to. And so saint, even in these ever darkening days let us stand upon the fundamental truth of our Lord and never waver even as the inevitable assaults come flooding in. He is true and let all men be liars.

Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.(Joh 14:6)

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God’s called out Church and what is to become of her.

Posted by appolus on July 19, 2021

 
Hi saints. In my mind’s eye I can see the Holy City far and deep into a mighty desert.I know that in my flesh I would avoid deserts. The vision in my mind’s eye would, I suppose, be metaphorical for the narrow path that leads to life. It makes no sense to think that if I was seeking life that I would go seek it in the desert. Yet there it is, the church of God, surrounded by a mighty desert.
 
The only way to the heart of it is by beginning the journey and heading deep into a place where my only resource will be God Himself and I will surely die without Him. If He does not go before me I will die, if He is not my rearguard I will die. If He does not feed my I will die. If He gives me no water I will die. If I have not His cloud over my head I will die. If there be no fire by night, I will die. Death is the prominent theme, all is death, only God is life.
 
We are told that Lot chose the well watered plains of Jordan which was in close proximity to Sodom and the cities of the plains. Well watered? Yes. An abundance for his cattle to graze? Yes. Did it make practical sense to dwell there? Room to grow his business and prosper there? Yes. Yet, he would find spiritual famine there. He is in a place of abundance and yet he is dying spiritually. What does it ultimately cost us to live with a soul that is perpetually vexed?
 
Does the choices that we make have consequences? We may not lose our souls in the process but can it be that we would lose our intimate walk with Jesus because of the cares of the world? The cares that inevitably come by living in proximity to Sodom, or being caught up in the systems of Babylon or remaining within a denomination or a church that has embraced the wickedness of the world that is was sent to seek and to save.
 
Can there be life in the desert? Would we willingly choose to enter into such a place where all flesh dies but for the Lord? Can we be drawn into a place where unless we encounter God Himself as we are stripped of all of our resources then we would surely die? God is raising up such a generation that will find abundant life in the desert. Who will find that water flows from Rock at the hand of God. That God Himself can make rivers in the desert. He can make a highway that leads to life.
 
Will you journey there? To journey anywhere you have to leave somewhere behind. What do you have to leave behind? Is there a desire in you to find God in such a deep way that He is life itself to you and that without Him you would surely die and have no desire to live? Can I encourage you today saints? God has made such glorious and mighty promises to those who hunger and thirst after Him with their “whole hearts.”
 
God has made glorious promises to those who will seek Him with their whole hearts. Desert places? Yes. Yet a burning bush and some sand can and will be transformed into Holy ground, for where the Lord is, that is Holy ground. He is not found within the structures of man but He is found deep in the heart of the longing sacrificing heart. There are sacrifices to be made to come into this place. Do you desire to make such sacrifices to come into this place, for this is the place where vessels are filled with oil.
 
There is a generation of desert dwellers being raised. A generation of wilderness dwellers ready to rise up and come forth. A generation of saints who have counted the cost. A generation whose only desire is to seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. A generation that shall be hated by the whole world. That very same world will see a manifestation of His glory through His called out saints.. The saints will behold His glory and His majesty. And they will make declarations from that place.
 
This is the purpose of God’s saints. There will be a glorious noise of worship in the desert to our King. We will sing hallelujahs to His glory. Paul and Silas sang such praises in the midnight hour. Despite their scourges, despite their fetters and chains, despite their location in the depths of a dungeon they sang out the praises of the living God. As they did, all of the prisoners listened in awe that men who should be most miserable were in fact encountering the glories of God. And suddenly the power of God fell to such a degree that the whole building shook upon its foundations.
 
Now imagine the whole world shaking upon its foundations saints! Shaking because the praises of the persecuted saints have caused the heaven to be rended, the skies to split open and the power and the glory and the presence of God to come down. The anointing of the anointed one will be upon us and the world will look into the desert, the prisons, the wilderness and hear a strange and glorious noise, a noise such as they have never heard before and a light that shines out of a place where no light and no life should exist, and they will be perplexed and be confounded.

Posted in Babylon, Christian, christian blog, christian living, Christianity, church, Church history, church of england, church of scotland, deception, discernment, end times, End Times Eschatology, Eschatology - Study of the 'End Times', revival, testimony, the crucified life, the deeper life, the gospel, the persectuted church, The presence of God, The Psalms, the remnant, The State of the Chuch and Manifest presence, the state of the church, theology, Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

The secret place of refuge.

Posted by appolus on July 19, 2021

Psa 91:1  He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. 

Saints, the Lord has set His love upon you. Therefore He shall deliver you. He will raise you up to the high and holy places because you know Him. This is where He dwells with the humble and the contrite. This is where He revives your spirit and and revives your heart. You shall call upon the Lord and He will answer you. He will be with you in the midst of trouble and He will deliver you. He will satisfy all of your needs, He sees what you lack, He sees into the depths of your soul. He is your refuge and your fortress and in Him you shall trust.

Brothers and sisters, these are marvelous promises from our heavenly Father. They are realized to their greatest depths in the midst of your troubles. His grace is sufficient for you. So when the waters threaten to overwhelm you, His grace raises you up to higher ground. When the fires threaten to consume you, He stands right there in the midst of the flames with you and rivers of grace surrounds you and keeps you. As the Royal priesthood enters into the darkest period of all mankind, then the world will see the greatest expression of light it has ever seen. Because of the darkness of their hearts they must try and consume the light that you bear, but this only produces more light.

The author of anarchy and chaos is on the march around the world and death follows after him. The horses of the apocalypse are riding with all their might through the night. Hell follows after them. A thousand shall fall at your side, ten thousand shall fall at your right hand, but you shall stand. The great falling away will sweep millions away in its mighty current, but you shall stand and the promises of God will dwell richly in your heart. Do not fear saint, for you have made the Lord your God your dwelling place, and in this dwelling place, in this secret place that no eye can see, you will find refuge under the shadow of the Almighty. And having done all, stand.

Posted in bible, Christian, christian blog, christian living, Christianity, church of england, church of scotland, Daily devotional, Devotions, Jesus, revival, testimony, the crucified life, the deeper life, the gospel, the persectuted church, The presence of God, The Psalms, the remnant, The State of the Chuch and Manifest presence, the state of the church, theology, Uncategorized | 6 Comments »

Illumination of our own spiritual poverty.

Posted by appolus on July 17, 2021

The bedrock of Jesus Christ’s kingdom is poverty, not possession. It is not “decisions for Christ,” but a sense of absolute futility. “I cannot begin to do it.” Then, says Jesus, you are blessed. It takes us a long while to believe we are poor, but that is the entrance. The knowledge of our own poverty brings us to the moral frontier where Jesus Christ works. (Oswald Chambers)

Oh how this flies in the face of almost everything we think we know. We spend a lot of time and energy engaged in sophistry. We feel the pull of one camp or another. Our preconceived notions are the high places of our spirits. We make virtues out of words and ideas and notions. We promote and defend what we call virtues and in the end it is all Babylon. It is is either “Jesus said,” or its merely vacuous noise. Cultures are mere reflections of ungodly people. All cultures. We have not been called to appease cultures. We stand as an expression of the Lord Jesus Christ to a dying world. Christ in us should shine a light into the darkness of this dying world.

This knowledge of this kind of poverty comes from encounter. “Who can understand his errors? (Psalm 19:12) There is a light that illuminates the heavens. God set it in its tabernacle. And there is a light that illuminates the hearts of men. God set that light upon a hill upon a cross. It has shone out like a beacon down through the ages. The revelation of our own personal poverty, commonly known as “the end of myself,’ is the beginning of Jesus. I have crossed the frontier and been swallowed up by the landscape of the Kingdom of God when I journeyed to the end of myself. Isaiah cries out “woe is me for I am undone.” And he is swallowed up by fire on his lips and majesty. It sets his course. Who will cry out “oh wretched man that I am, who will deliver me from this body of death?”

The carnal mind is death. So much of our speech is carnal. The camps within the camps within the camps. Each pushing and pulling and all the while being blind to our own personal poverty that is wrapped up in the high places of our preconceived notions. Its all death and it is all wretched. Yet, if you are privy to revelation and you can see your own poverty and the coals of fire are bought forth burning the dross away, then the spirit is refined and finds life and peace. And that very life and peace shall quicken your mortal bodies, empowered by the Spirit of God.

The Spirit of God bears witness that we are the children of God. We are the sons and daughters of the living God, a royal priesthood, very much apart from and above the sophistry and the noise of this world and all its ways. We are joint-heirs with Christ and we shall suffer as our Lord suffered for His own cause and we shall bless those who curse us and do good to those whose aim is that we should stumble. For we know that the sufferings of our day cannot be compared to the glory that is to come. It’s is for Christ’s sake we gladly suffer. For righteousness sake. If God is for us brothers and sisters, who can be be against us? 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 (Rom 8:38-39)

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The tyrannical you.

Posted by appolus on July 13, 2021

Mat 6:34  Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

Imagine brothers and sisters, if we simply took the Lord at His word and obeyed that command. After describing all the things the “gentiles do,” He told us not to do them. We have not to worry what we shall wear. We are not to worry what we shall eat. He is talking about life in general. We often quote that we cannot serve two masters, and we have in mind God and “mammon.” And yet, that was only a part of it.

Jesus goes on to talk about what ails most of us and He begins with a “therefore,” meaning given everything I have just said do not do ………….the rest of the chapter. For if you do, you are assuredly trying to serve two masters. If you are taken up with worries about tomorrow then this is self-serving. You cannot serve yourself and serve God. You cannot be taken up with worries about tomorrow and seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness. It is not possible. Something has to give.

The thing about being your own master, you are a tyrant. Your feelings are tyrannical. Your heart is deceitfully wicked. A beautiful woman can look in a mirror and see something ugly looking back. A good man can look in the mirror and and see a vile worm. Remember saints, the light of the body is in the eye. If the eye has a single focus on God, then your whole body will be full of light. If your focus is on the things of this world then it cannot be on God, you cannot possibly be seeking God and His righteousness. It is time to take Jesus at His word. Focus on God and not tomorrow, only then will you be able to seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness and walk in that Kingdom and in that righteousness.

Posted in bible, christian blog, christian living, Christianity, church of england, church of scotland, Daily devotional, Devotions, God's love, God's voice, Jesus, revival, testimony, the crucified life, the deeper life, the gospel, the persectuted church, The presence of God, The Psalms, the remnant, The State of the Chuch and Manifest presence, the state of the church, theology, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Run to the higher ground, the flood is coming.

Posted by appolus on July 13, 2021

A wise man once said that discontentment in the mind puts discontentment in the mouth and discontentment in the mouth puts a shackle on the neck. In America and Europe you are seeing divided populations which has led to violence in the streets. In Haiti we see an unfolding civil war. In South Africa stores and business are burning and open looting is taking place. I want to tell you brothers and sisters, a much more transmittable virus than Covid is spreading around the world. It has an incubation period that spans the human life. Discontentment rises up and sweeps over cities and nations and populations like an unseen tsunami. It has a critical mass. For the most part is is contained to local regions and smaller groups of people. Yet there was always coming a time when people would rise up and destroy themselves.

Jesus tells us in Matt 24 that in the beginning of sorrows that nation would rise up against nation. The word nation here is the word “ethnos,” it’s where we get our English word ethnic or ethnicity from. I want to use South Africa as an example. One would have thought that Apartheid was the root cause of all the South African problems. It was not. It was a problem, but not the problem. The virus runs much deeper than obvious societal problems. It is a fundamental flaw in our humanity. It awaits critical mass. It awaits to try and seize what it can never have, contentment. Once the levels reach critical mass it then needs a spark. It needs a way out. Once it is out it seeks the company of its own and garners strength in numbers.

George Floyd was a such a spark in America. His death was the spark that caused the virus to come forward. It will not be the last spark as the fire has not fully taken hold. Yet the fire is coming and we shall be consumed by it. Jesus said it and it will come to pass. In any inequitable society (every society that ever existed) the virus of discontentment is loose. There are certain forces that can contain it, for a while. Men rise up and champion its cause. Examples of its rise is without number down through history. The Chinese so called cultural revolution is one. The Russian revolution is another. The two great wars. The French revolution. The American revolution. Every war ever fought, the virus of discontentment lurks just underneath the shadows of such event.

Saints, it is a deadly enemy and will eat away your soul from the inside out. It will cause you to join its ranks, for it cannot truly exist on its own, its great strength comes in numbers. The human experience is to either be striving for riches and more riches, or to be striving to hold on to those riches once gained. It can never acknowledge any gain, it can never acknowledge that it is indeed rich or better off, lest its deadly enemy, contentment, the antidote, destroy it. A reflective heart that is bathed in thankfulness for what one has, perhaps simply the food on ones table and the roof over ones head is a highly effective counterpart to discontentment.

And so, the enemy of our souls, through his champions, must always have our eyes fixed upon what we do not have. In this scenario the glass is undoubtedly and eternally half empty. See it in every aspect of our lives. Our relationships, it is the major cause of divorce. Finances, it is the major cause of our anxieties. Politics, it is the major cause of our hatreds and divisions. Religion, it is the major cause of our divisions. A perpetual state of discontentment is perhaps one description of an eternal hell.

Now, the man or woman who has found Godliness with great contentment has found great gain. Paul tells us this in 1 Timothy 6:6-6 But godliness with contentment is great gain. Consider Gods advice to all men in regard to riches and the desires of it ….(1Ti 6:7-10) For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

And what does God say about all men who stir up such discontentment?(1Ti 6:4-5) He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. Withdraw brothers and sisters, from all men who promote discontentment with your lot in this world. That would cover just about every politician and also those who promote the ills of society for their own gain and advancement ( almost all men and women)

Thanking God in everything is the remnant’s stand at the end of the ages. It will protect us from the deadly disease of discontentment that is rising up in the world to levels we have never seen before. The “ethnos,’ are attacking the “ethnos.’ The peoples of the nations are destroying themselves as they drown in their own dark hearts. And according to Jesus, this is but the beginning of sorrows. Content in Christ, quite apart from our circumstances, is the key to an abundant life and is the solid Rock upon which we stand, all other ground is sinking sand. Can’t you see that the world is sinking? Come up and dwell together on higher ground brothers and sisters.

 

 

 

 

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Driven deeper.

Posted by appolus on July 11, 2021

2 Cor 12:9 Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.
 
What drives us deeper into the arms of our Lord and plunges us into the depths of the Father’s heart? Not the delights of this world and its so called blessings but rather when the darkness comes and touches us. We discover that the light pierces the darkness and is as a lamp unto our feet.
 
Can someone who is so hopelessly lost do anything other that cry out when he is found!! When the waters of life overcome him and he is to drown and the hand of God reaches down and pulls him up. What joy, what glory! The closer the saint is to death the closer he is to life and that more abundant.
 
When he is stripped down and left naked and emaciated by this world and he is redeemed from the market place and his nakedness is covered, what absolute joy in the depths of ones soul! When by the power of God we can kiss the rod that strikes us and love the one who bears it then we know, then we absolutely know, that the power of Christ rests upon us.

Posted in Christian, christian blog, christian living, Christianity, church of england, church of scotland, Daily devotional, Devotions, God's love, healing, Jesus, revival, testimony, the crucified life, the deeper life, the gospel, the persectuted church, The presence of God, The Psalms, the remnant, The State of the Chuch and Manifest presence, the state of the church, theology, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

The power of Christ Himself rests upon me.

Posted by appolus on July 10, 2021

I have often thought that the best of Christians are found in the worst of times. And I have thought again, that one reason why we are no better is because God purges us no more. I know that these things go against the grain of the flesh but they are not against the graces of the Spirit (Bunyan)

Brother John here speaks of something I have long since argued. The Body of Christ is the same yesterday today and forever. How can the Body not be the Body? What do we saints lack today to our disadvantage? Opportunity. Opportunity to suffer for the cause of Christ and it does not help us that we find ourselves in such a situation at least here in the west. It is to our severe detriment. What, in the natural, causes hunger and thirst and atrophy, paradoxically in the Spirit causes the Body to be full and to be strong and vital. When we are weak then we are strong, strong in the Lord and the power of His might. He is glorified in our infirmities. We have a good testimony if we bear the marks of persecution with joy and gladness.

Paul says that if he would glory in anything, he would glory in his infirmities. He goes even further and says that he takes pleasure in his infirmities in 11 Cor 12:10. Now why would he say such a thing? In verse nine lies the key not just for Paul but for you and I. God had spoken to Him in the midst of his afflictions and infirmities and Jesus Himself says to Paul “My grace is sufficient for you for (because) My strength is made perfect in (your) weakness.” This is beyond paradoxical, this truth lies at the heart of the Kingdom walk and turns the world upside down. When Paul walks in such a way, the very power of Christ rests upon him. What kind of power is this that transforms the weakness of man into the power of God? The enemy of our soul is altogether rendered powerless in regard to the saints in this matter. For the more horror and darkness that he rains down on the saint of God, the greater the revelation of Christ to the world.

Posted in christian blog, christian living, Christianity, church, church of england, church of scotland, God's love, God's voice, Jesus, revival, testimony, the crucified life, the deeper life, the gospel, the persectuted church, The presence of God, The Psalms, the remnant, The State of the Chuch and Manifest presence, the state of the church, theology, Uncategorized | Leave a Comment »

Let us kiss the rod that wounds us.

Posted by appolus on July 8, 2021

Rom 12:20  Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shalt heap coals of fire on his head. 

John Bunyan said “let us learn like Christians to kiss the rod, and love it………many of our graces are kept alive by those very things that are the death to other men’s soul.” Speaking for myself, I can imagine, perhaps, on my best day, kissing the rod, but loving it? It is just as well it is not my best efforts that empowers me to truly love my enemy. To walk in such a way, empowered by the Spirit of God, is to know that we have truly turned the corner on this world and see only the Kingdom perspective.

You simply cannot be walking in the world and be dictated to in anyway by the flesh if we are to kiss the rod that wounds us and greater still, love the unrepentant one who wields that very rod. Yet Bunyan would argue that many of the graces we enjoy and walk in are empowered by the very testing of our souls by the cruel actions of our enemies. Outside of the Spirit of God the actions of such cruel enemies engender rage, hatred and revenge and leave the soul embittered and dying. So to one it means death and to another, life. Shall we live brothers and sisters or shall we die? Our chains were broken and our fetters loosed on the cross, let us cling to that very cross and say with Christ “forgive them Father for they know not what they do.”

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The clipping of my wings.

Posted by appolus on July 8, 2021

My wife and I know something of the pain of losing. Our first child lived only for two days. In the end it was God’s unfailing healing love that brought us through. He gives, and He takes away, blessed be the Lord as Job would say. None of that negated the pain nor stopped the tears, but it did restore my broken heart. He wipes away the tears and catches them in a bottle as a memorial. And my pain ebbed like the slow receding tide as the world continues to turn. I have a firm assurance that when this tide rises again one day, and takes me up into my eternal home, there I will see the child of my youth. The why’s of it all are really just a faint echo of the world as I lay down wrapped in the arms of the one who ever weaves this tapestry of life.

In the end I had “two” funerals for my son, Stephen. The first was on an overcast rain soaked day in Scotland, which perfectly matched my darkened closed down unsaved heart. The second would come fifteen years later, many years after being saved. It came from nowhere and broke over me like a violent thunderstorm. Thunder and lightening and a torrential rain of tears. Healing, never saw it coming. God was working His way into every chamber of my heart, and everywhere the waters of life flowed, there was healing, and there was healing for me. These are the mysteries of life and a God who works in mysterious ways whose thoughts and ways are so much higher than ours. As you ponder your own loss in this world, it is very likely that no answers will ever come as to the why. When we learn to put aside the why and live this life rather than die, then once again we shall surely fly.

Great loss is a clipping of our wings. Here is the definition of wing clipping …..”Wing clipping is the process of trimming a bird’s primary wing feathers or remiges so that it is not fully flight-capable, until it moults, sheds the cut feathers and grows new ones.” I have had my primary wings clipped many times over the years as I am sure that you have dear reader. The moulting and the shedding of cut feathers and the growing of new ones takes time and comes with its own unique pains. And then one day………we fly. We live again, fully restored. A process full of mystery and undoubtedly unique to every single person.

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His thoughts are higher than the heavens.

Posted by appolus on July 7, 2021

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts (Isa 55:8-9)

The context of these well known verses comes in the verses prior. It is an appeal to the wicked to repent and He will “abundantly pardon.” Imagine that, God calls you to repentance with a promise of an abundant pardon. It is hard for us to imagine that in our earthly minds. If someone consistently sinned against us, over weeks and months and years, decades even, it can be almost impossible to think that we could so forgive them as to never even give all the previous crimes against us a second thought. To have the slate so wiped clean as to be brand new. This is miraculous. We could, in and of ourselves, never do this.

Yet, out thoughts are not His thoughts. His ways are so much higher than our ways. In our own power it would be beyond our ability to grasp. You might as well throw punches at the moon. Yet we do not stand by our own power. Those who know Jesus stand by the power of God, by His Spirit. Now, if the Lord our God offers such an abundant pardon to the wicked what does He offer to His children? “For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life.” An abundant pardon leads to an abundant life. You may think that you have blown it with God but His thoughts are higher than your thoughts saint. If you have been hiding behind the tree with some fig leaves, it’s time to emerge from there and to stand before God.

The rain that falls from heaven falls also upon your head. And the snow that falls from heaven and waters the earth waters you too oh child of God. It causes the buds to bloom and the seed to come forth and gives bread to the hungry and water to the thirsty. This is the Word of God and it does not return to Him void. It speaks life to you and prospers your soul. You shall go forth from here with joy and His peace shall lead you as the mountains and the hills break forth in praise and worship and the trees of the field shall clap their hands in wonder at His ways. A word to one of His children today.

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Birdcages made by men.

Posted by appolus on July 6, 2021

The Spirit of God is always the Spirit of liberty; the spirit that is not of God is the spirit of bondage, the spirit of oppression and depression. The Spirit of God convicts vividly and tenesly, but He is always the Spirit of liberty. God who made the birds never made birdcages; it is people who make birdcages, and after a while become cramped and can do nothing but chirp and stand on one leg. When we get out into God’s great free life, we discover that that is the way God means us to live “the glorious liberty of the children of God.” (Oswald Chambers)

There are two main types of garden in this world. There is the garden designed by man. Wonderful and regulated in its design, measured distances between flowers, well thought out patters that please the eye. And then there is the seed that has committed itself to the Wind of the Spirit which carries it and deposits it where it will, and there it springs up and flourishes in the garden of our God. The wide open fields of God’s great free life. The so called wildflowers that grows in open meadows or drainage ditches. or in the side-streets of slums or in valley floors or mountain ranges. Who knows where the wind of the Spirit shall deposit them. God knows.

So, shall you commit the seed of your life to the wind of the Spirit? Shall you surrender yourself to be taken wherever you shall be taken? Or shall you commit yourself to the hand of man? To the designs of men? To the relative safety found in regulation? One of those choices involves great risk but also results in great freedom. The other guarantees certainty and the price is conformity. Imagine a bird, designed to fly in open skies, trapped in a birdcage. What a tragedy. Guaranteed food and shelter but the cost is no flight in open skies. Maybe the one who constrains you lets you out of your cage every now and then and you fly straight to the window. There is something in you longing to be free as you gaze at open fields or eternal skies. It’s Gods calling. Are you free today or are you being called to freedom today?

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Grace and peace multiplied.

Posted by appolus on July 5, 2021

2Pe 1:2  Grace and peace be multiplied unto you through the knowledge of God, and of Jesus our Lord,

Grace and peace, multiplied to us adds up to an abundant life in Christ. Multiplied by many factors. In the very next verse we see that we have everything that we need to to live this abundant life, it is through the knowledge of God. The word is Epignosis, to acknowledge God in all of your ways. When we acknowledge God in everything, recognize Him in every part of our lives and seek Him first and His righteousness then we shall live in Godliness, Godliness meaning a continual awareness of Him which leads to holiness.

The enemy of our soul knows well that if saints begin to walk in Godliness then this is a tremendous threat to his kingdom here on earth. So, he must distract us. That is one part of the struggle. Life itself is the the other and may even be the greatest distraction of all. How many plates do you have spinning in your life saint? All of them demand your attention. All of them are a distraction away from this Godliness that walks hand in hand with a multiplied peace.

Our marriages, our children, our parents, our careers, even our walk with the Lord can be tyrannical distractions and we run to and fro, exhausting ourselves trying to keep these things altogether. And in the end many of the plates fall and break despite our valiant efforts. They have to be surrendered and vanquished. We cannot hold onto them and walk in the abundant life of grace and peace if we do not surrender all these things into the hands of God. We must commit our very lives, our soul, into His hands and that includes everything that occupies our hearts and minds and souls.

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Unchangeable and untainted righteousness.

Posted by appolus on July 2, 2021

Whosoever finds in the contemplation of God’s love, rest and peace and joy only, should carefully scrutinize his feelings lest they be excited by an erroneous view of the Eternal Majesty ; representing Him as being actuated by a mere tender affection melting into compassion. Stretching forth His hand only at an impulse of pity, that guilty men may cease to fear, and take to themselves rest ; as if His eyes looked not upon their guiltiness. The Eternal is not a being of mere emotion, but of unchangeable and untainted righteousness, and there is a law which all the universe knows “the pure in heart alone can see God,” -and the eye must behold Him, glorious in holiness, to measure in any way the depths of His love (William Carey 1827)

That my friends is totally profound. It is worth reading a few times over. What our brother is saying is that only the eye that has beheld His glory, the glory of His holiness, can rightly speak to the depths of His love. For within the depths of His love lies grace and majesty and glory and justice. Isaiah glimpses the majesty of God and falls down upon his face as one who is dead and cries out “woe is me…..I am undone.” Yet, of course, he also sees the glory of God who is high and lifted up and the train of His robe, His majesty and His glory, fills the temple. The fire of this encounter, both terrifying and glorious, changes Isaiah forever. He now has the fire of God’s glory in his bones.

Behold the goodness and the severity of God. The heads and the tails of the one coin. Focus on one part of God to the detriment of the other and you do God, yourself and humanity a disservice. The man that only “knows” God’s wrath knows not God at all, he has a mere head knowledge. The man who only knows God’s love, knows not God at all, he has mere “tender affections,’ which will not save him or anyone else. God’s love is a consuming fire. It has the power to save and the power to consume. The eye that has beheld the Lord our God can plumb the depths of His love. God is not the God of the vain imaginations of tender men and woman given over to emotions. Neither is He the wrathful vengeful God of the religious zealot. He is good and He is severe. He pardons and He rightly judges. Has the eye of your spirit beheld His glory?

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For the keeping of your soul.

Posted by appolus on July 2, 2021

1Pe 4:19  Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

How is it that the saints of old and the martyrs were so able to withstand the sufferings they endured for the cause of Christ? How could Paul and Silas sing praises to God at the midnight hour in the depths of a dungeon having been scourged to within an inch of their lives? How could Stephen have a vision of God’s glory in the midst of being so cruelly stoned stoned? In order to stone Stephen unencumbered, those wicked men laid down their coats at the feet of Saul. They laid down their coats and they picked up their stones.

When we lay down our lives, when we commit our very souls into the hand of God, then we are free to pick up His glory. When the very essence of who we are is given over to God, committed into His hands then we find a tremendous freedom in this, its called the Spirit of glory. It falls upon the unencumbered soul. It strengthens the inner man. Our “outer garments,’ the cares of this world are cast aside and we are filled to overflowing. So much so that we can sing songs of glory in the midnight hour of our trials. We can praise the living God as we are cruelly treated by man, so much so that we can love our tormentors.

Are you suffering today saint? Have you cast off your outer garments? Have you committed your very soul into the hand of God? When you deliver this into His hand, He delivers you from the torment of your circumstances. He shuts the lions mouth and He stands with you in the midst of the fire in a very real way, it is His manifest presence. It will lift the hands that hang down. It will feed the hungry soul. It will quench the thirst of those in drought. So, suffering saint, while outwardly you may be perishing, there awaits for you a crown of glory in the kingdom to come. This presence is you exceeding great reward.

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The ripping of the flesh.

Posted by appolus on June 30, 2021

Our temperamental outlook is altered by thinking, and when God alters the disposition, temperament begins to take its tone from the new disposition. These things are not done suddenly, they are only done gradually, by the stern discipline the life under the teaching of the Spirit of God (Oswald Chamber)

It might be helpful to give something of a definition of these two word, disposition and temperament. Although closely related there are some key differences. Temperament could be described as the emotional traits of a person. These traits can be many. You can be thrifty, angry, sad, funny, sensitive, sensual. standoffish, authoritarian, controlling and so on.. The list is endless. You can be some of these things. Now, disposition is typically the predominant trait. The one trait that rules over all the others. This would ultimately describe your character.

We often use our disposition to excuse our behavior. We will hear it said “that is just the way I am.” It might even be added to by “you can take me or leave me.” Or maybe we are describing our spouse or another “that is just who he is.” Now, while this may fly in the world, it is tragic for the saint. God is after our disposition. Our temperaments are led by our dispositions. When we say “that is just who I am,’ we are, in effect, saying to God “back of, this is my territory.” This far and no further. Do you say that?

Now, as Chambers rightly points out, our dispositions are not changed overnight, but they must be changed. If you have been following Jesus for years and your disposition remains the same, this is definitely a sign of an unruly spirit. A rebellious spirit resists the Spirit of God. This rebellion must be crushed. When the Holy Spirit invades the spirit of a man, He has come to conquer. By stern discipline (we love that, dont we) He will bring us to heel. Time and again our dispositions, our dominant characteristics will be challenged.

The thrifty man will be challenged to relinquish his hold on his money. The angry man will be challenged by countess situations that anger him until his anger is defeated. The sad woman will be encounter joy and life and be drawn into it. The overly sensitive will encounter situations that would make them withdraw until they withdraw no more. The authoritarian will lose his throne, he will cede control. The sensual woman will no longer seek to attract as she is convicted by how she carries herself.

What will they put upon your headstone brothers and sisters? Here lies an angry man? Here lies a sensual woman? The world knows you by your predominant characteristic. This is why the battle for your disposition is so fierce. For when the world sees you it should see Jesus. When it hears you it should hear the words of a transformed man or woman. A man or woman who is under the authority of the Spirit of God. Are you under His authority? Have you said to yourself or others “that is just who I am?” Rebel! You are not saying it to yourself or others, you are saying it to God. And you are saying that there is a huge part of you, in fact your predominant part of you that you will not relinquish.

Brothers and sisters. The saint who has surrendered his or her disposition to the Spirit of God has it replaced by the disposition of Christ Himself. How often we so easily say “He must increase and I must decrease.” This is it, right here is where the battle lies. Will you really decrease? If you do, then the world will see our Lord in you. Have we not been called to be the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved? I guarantee you that if your predominant characteristic is not that of a yielded soul to Christ then there shall be no sweet aroma, only the smell of your sweated flesh.

My prayers are with you saints as you yield to the stern discipline of the Spirit of God in your life. Not a popular subject for sure but it lies at the heart of who we are, who we want to be and what the Lord desires of us. Make it your lives work. You have been empowered to make this happen.

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Looking unto Jesus.

Posted by appolus on June 30, 2021

Heb 12:2 Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith;

Only that which flows from an uninterrupted gaze on the Lord Jesus is real. Everything else is the shadow of the object. Granted, the shadow of the Lord is more powerful than all that can be seen, and one can even enjoy the heat from the sun in the shadow. Yet the glow from the face of Moses was not the glow of a man who stood in the shadows. I believe that the Lord can pour out his unadulterated light if it is not diffused by the efforts of self appointed middle men or intermediaries.

Can it be that simple? Can we simply come into His presence and be changed? Does everything begin and end with the Lord Jesus? How does one continue to look to Jesus? It is a conscious act of the will to take our eyes off our circumstances and cast them upon Jesus. This is the great battle of our lives, not our circumstances. Our circumstances can simply be doors that if walked through leads directly into His presence. It is in that place, looking unto Jesus, that we are changed. Trust is the key that opens the door. To trust in God is to walk through the opened door of our circumstances into the throne room of God.

There are two Kingdoms. The kingdom of the world and the Kingdom of God. One is seen and affected by our senses and circumstances. The other is unseen and if walked in, relegates our circumstances to mere opportunities to go deeper into its depths. Now these two kingdoms compete for our attentions. You must cry out to God every day to bind up the reality of the kingdom of this world and to loose the reality of the Kingdom of God in your life. Cry out to God to give you eyes to see what He sees and how He sees it. Can you imagine the prospect of every situation you face being an opportunity to grow in grace and power? This is the Kingdom reality, will you walk in it today?

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