Archive | March 2013

THOUGHTS ON HELL by Francois du Toit

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THOUGHTS ON HELL

by Francois du Toit

It is so sad that for many years the church had to reduce its message to a heaven or hell theme in order to persuade people into a decision for Christ.

The Gospel persuades man what God believes and what God achieved on humanity’s behalf in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. If the Gospel has the power to get people to fall head over heels in love with God and to love their neighbor as much as they love themselves, then this Gospel demands our total attention and emphasis. This automatically frees anyone anyway from the dread of hell or any sense of pending punishment. There is no law against the free expression of the fruit of the spirit. No one can exaggerate love, peace, joy, endurance, kindness, goodness, faith, gentleness, self control. Legalism can neither match nor contradict this. There is no law against love! Galatians 2:22,23. The urgency to tell everyone the good news of their redeemed innocence because of the success of the cross and God’s act of kindness in Christ to rescue mankind from an inferior expression of life into the most attractive life possible can never be matched by a fear motive! Paul gives such context to the motivation of ministry when he declares that “the love of Christ constrains us, because we are convinced that one has died for all, therefore all have died!”

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Our message is powerful enough to stop people in their tracks with the best news ever! Sin in its every disguise doesn’t have what it takes to even remotely match the attraction and total contentment and appeal of the Christ life!

The truth of our original identity revealed and redeemed in Christ, sets us totally free from every distortion in our minds about the life of our design. We declare the intimate resolve of God and his attraction to engage with the individual in the most personal tangible way possible. The biggest waste is to miss out on one day of fellowship with your Creator.

I amount often overwhelmed with the thought of the ultimate extent of the great work of redemption and act of reconciliation that God undertook to rescue the human race. Underestimating this great salvation has always been the biggest sin of the church. The greatest safeguard we can ever give someone against a wasted life is in our message that reveals truth in such a way that every possible excuse we could have to experience distance from God or to continue in any form of sin, guilt, fear or an inferior lifestyle is done away with. In its stead there remains only the wide open arms of Father God longing to embrace the individual and the world into unrestricted friendship. There is enough content in the positive revelation of Christ in you to rid you of a sin consciousness and its dreadful consequence. Our message is not to persuade people that there is no hell, but rather to convince them that Christ suffered the horror of it to liberate us from its dread both in this life and the next. To influence people into making a decision for Christ based on hell is to distract from the truth. The focus and central theme of the Gospel is the revelation of the mystery of man’s inclusion in the death Jesus died and our co-resurrection and joint-position in the father’s right hand. The liberating truth of the forgiveness of sins and an understanding of their innocence that leads to a tangible intimacy with the living God and spontaneous love for people. God pleads through us to bring people to realize their full inclusion in the Gospel. Let his love in you reveal him to your neighbors and the nations. His love is unthreatened and needs no defense! Col.4:4 This is my prayer request, that I may be able to present this message in the most effective way possible. 4:5 Do not spoil your chance to touch others with the word through a lack of wisdom. Redeem the time by making the most of every opportunity. (Time only finds its relevance in redemption-realities) 4:6 Season your conversation with the revelation of grace. This remains the most attractive and appropriate option to respond in every situation.

The object of New Testament ministry is not in the first place to get people to go to heaven one day! It is the unveiling of the most attractive life possible, the life of our design redeemed again. Now to be enjoyed in an immediate, intimate, daily, constant, conscious feedback encounter with the Living God in Spirit and in truth and undiluted friendship with our fellow man!

He overlooked the times of ignorance and now urges all men everywhere to discover his eternal thoughts about mankind, revealed in Christ, when we were judged in righteousness in one man’s death, and raised in his resurrection as the trophy of justice redeemed! Acts 17:30,31. Having made purification for sins he sat down! His throne authority is established upon our redeemed innocence.

The more we declare the integrity of God’s persuasion concerning us demonstrated in his son’s obedience in our favor, the less we have to prompt people to believe, their believing will be most spontaneous! Even our faith is from him! Eph 2:8 Your salvation was a grace thing from start to finish, you had no hand in it; because it is all God’s gift to you, because he believes in you. (Mirror Bible) Eph 2:8 For by grace you have been saved through faith; and this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God– (RSV)

Paul preached in such a way that many believed! Acts 14:1 Yet he never asked for a show of hands to indicate their ‘decision’ to believe! The more we make an issue of “Now do you believe this? Because if you don’t you’re going to hell!” the more we disguise the very message we’ve just proclaimed!

God’s work of redemption is valid with immediate effect. “The hour all creation was waiting for has come. The son of man is glorified! The single grain of wheat did not abide alone; it fell into the earth and died and bore much fruit!” John 12:23,24. Mankind died in his death and was made alive together with him and raised together with him and is now seated together with him in heavenly places. Every human life is fully and equally represented and justified in one man’s act of righteousness. 2 Cor 5:14,16; Acts 10:28. “Jesus reveals that man pre-existed in God; he defines us. He justified us and also glorified us. He redeemed our innocence and restored the glory we lost in Adam. (Rom 3:23,24; prohoritso, pre defined, like when an architect draws up a detailed plan; kaleo, to surname, identify by name) What further ground can there possibly be to condemn man? In his death he faced our judgment; in his resurrection he declares our innocence; the implications cannot be undone! He now occupies the highest seat of authority as the executive of our redemption in the throne room of God. (See verse 1, also Rom 4:25) Rom 8:30,34 Mirror Translation Jesus is what God believes. If every human life is equally included in God’s economy of grace then man deserves to hear this Gospel more than what any man deserves to be judged.

Our influence in society, regardless of our profession, is determined by our faith and not our job-description; our faith is sourced in Christ, in his perfect work of reconciling a hostile world to himself. While we proclaim the sinful state of humanity we are not proclaiming the gospel, and life changing faith cannot come to the people! This conviction is critical, if we are serious about impacting our world with the proclamation of the Gospel.

So sad that we allow the deception of a Christless “universalism” to hijack words like ‘inclusion’ and ‘universal,’ These words powerfully and significantly describe the masterful genius of God when Jesus died humanity’s death! This is the mystery that none of the rulers of this world understood, otherwise they would never have crucified the Lord of glory!

The point is that the gospel is good news for all people because the gospel reveals how fully included they are in Christ by God’s doing; truth is already true before anyone believes it; a diamond doesn’t become a diamond when you discover it, obviously God hid the diamonds and treasures in the earth for man and not from man! That is why we preach with passion, urgency and persuasion in order to awaken every mans mind and instruct every man and present every man perfect in Christ Col 1:28, because the mystery that was hidden for ages and generations is now revealed.

We have underestimated the Gospel of Jesus Christ for centuries, because we have adopted an interpretation that robbed us of the true impact of salvation in its relation to life in the here & now on planet earth. We have felt more comfortable with a faith that refers us to a place in heaven one day rather than to see faith as the now & relevant substance of things we always longed for & the evidence of unseen realities around us & within our grasp; the life of our design is redeemed!

Jesus didn’t die 99% or for 99% He died humanity’s death one hundred percent! If Paul had to compromise the last part of verse 14 of 2 Cor 5 , to read: “one died for all therefore only those who follow the prescriptions to qualify, have also died,” then he would have had to change the first half of the verse as well! Only the love of Christ can make a calculation of such enormous proportion! The same all who died in his death were raised together with him! According to the only scripture in the entire OT that refers to the 3rd day resurrection, we are included! “After 2 days God will revive us, on the 3rd day he will raise us up!!” Hos 6:2 When Paul ponders this scripture (he also quotes it in 1 Cor 15:4) he makes one of his most radical discoveries in his gospel; he writes “While we were dead in our sins (before we knew or believed the gospel) God made us alive together with Christ, and raised us (mankind) together with Christ and seated us together with Christ in heavenly places! That is the point of the gospel; what happened to Christ happened to us before anyone but God believed it! We’re not window-shopping here we are gazing into the mirror! For so many years we’ve read 2 Cor 5 verse 17 out of its context! Verse 14 and 16 gives context to verse 17 Therefore the IF cannot be a condition it must be a conclusion otherwise verse 14 also becomes ‘iffy’!!

The gates of hades will not prevail against the testimony of truth; the weapons of our already won warfare tears down every argument and resistance to the knowledge of God; love wins, I can see even the ‘other brother’ awakening to the festive sound!

I suppose I would still have questions if I think about all the contradictions and issues that theology presents us with; but for years now I have determined to go with what I know by revelation concerning his perfect work of redeeming his image in us: to live daily in the full benefit of that and to unveil him in every person I have the privilege to meet; that keeps one pretty busy enjoying him and sharing him! I am addicted to the Philemon 1:6 kind of koinonia! The koinonia (communication) of our faith is ignited by the acknowledging of every good thing that is in us in Christ!

Exploring the extent of his love initiative and where it leads us truly exceeds any limitation or dimension! And we are all in it together! Wow what eternal bliss and glory we participate in! The hubble telescope surely increases our horizon daily, only to realize again and again that we are dealing with measureless dimensions in outer space that reflect in us! That we may be filled with all the fulness of God is a thought that breaks all boundaries, we are fearfully and wonderfully made and equally fearfully and wonderfully redeemed! The whole earth is full of his glory, “and as truly as I live”, says the Lord, “all the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of my glory, even as the waters cover the sea!” Jesus said: if you believe that I am what the scriptures are all about, then you will discover that you are what I am all about and rivers of living waters will gush out of your innermost being!

The good news unveils the love of God spectacularly! The dimensions of his love exceed any concept we could possibly have of height, length, breadth or depth! The gospel can be underestimated, but never exaggerated! The half could not be told of Solomon’s wisdom and wealth and in Luke 11 Jesus says, “A greater than Solomon is here”! Rev 5:13 And I heard every creature in heaven and on earth and under the earth and in the sea, and all therein, saying, “To him who sits upon the throne and to the Lamb be blessing and honor and glory and might forever and ever!”

While we argue that all would be OK regardless, we still miss the point! The urgency to communicate this gospel is not compromised thru speculations about the future, but constrained by the revelation of how God’s faith included hostile indifferent mankind in the sacrificial death of Christ, and his triumphant resurrection, when he represented the entire human race; multitudes are living in torment right now because they have never heard the truth of their redemption; what a waste to postpone redemption to life hereafter if it can happen now! How all will eventually discover what they have missed and how they will be ‘judged’ is none of our business anyway; it is our business to live the living epistle to be known and read by all men! And to give everyone within earshot on this planet the opportunity to hear truth that ignites life-changing faith!

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Misty Edwards and Isaac Meyer (Prayer Room)

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A little change of pace. One of the perks of living in Kansas City is being a part of the International House of Prayer . We moved here about 13 years ago to be a part of it. We moved here in August 99 and in September of 99 is when they officially were able maintain 24/7 worship and intercession.  I was on staff full time 2000-2005. I wore multiple hats and worked at all hours but in the beginning we all did.

If you haven’t heard about it or want to know more click here. You can also access the live webstream here.

Here is a YouTube clip of Misty Edwards and Isaac Meyer (my brother in law). It’s one of my favorites.

Faith, Where does it come from

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Is it our job to conjure up faith?  This has been a concept that has taken me 30+ years to even start to grasp. Have you ever heard someone say something to the effect of  God didn’t answer your prayer because you didn’t have enough faith?  Have you ever been told you need to go out and get faith go dig for your breakthrough? 

Did you get your salvation that way? Most of you should say no to this. (If you said yes contact me you may have some other issus to work out). Of course not!  Salvation is a gift! The same with faith. This is actually fairly new to me. I came from the charismatic faith camp where we worked to get faith.

My faith does not define God,  his faith defines me, his faith is flawless and perfect.  Hey I would rather choose what his faith declares than mine.

Watch this 16 minute video. It will be 16 minutes that won’t be a waste.

The Locator (Sons and Daughters)

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So have you ever had one of those days? Well all six of us are on antibiotics. It has been one of those stay in bed days. I flipped on the television and there was a show on called The Locator. The pretense of the show is for family members to be reunited after years of absence do to splits at birth, family splits, foster kids, etc. I watched two different segments, one was about reuniting a brother who was seperated by a marriage split when he was two (currently he is 40) the other was reuniting a mother and daughter.  Where am I going with this?

Well I found this interesting as turned off the television and opened up the word. I opened up to where I had left off.

Romans 8:15-19 (TMT)

Slavery is such a poor substitute for sonship! They are opposites; the one leads forcefully through fear while sonshipI resppnds fondly to Abba Father.

His spirit resonates within our spirit to confirm the fact that we originate in God.

Because we are his offspring, we qualify to be heirs; God himself is our portion, we co-inherit with Christ.  Since we were represented and included in his suffering we equally participate in th glory of his resurrection.

He has taken the sting out of our suffering;  what seemed burdensome in this life becomes insignificant in comparison to the glory he reveals in us.

Our lives now represent the one event every creature anticipates withheld breath, standing tiptoe as it were to witness the unveiling of the sons of God. Can you hear the drum roll?

The Locator was all about reuniting lost relationships. All of mankind has lost relationship with God because of Adams sin. We need that reuniting that relationship with our original father. From the moment God created man he was, is, and always will be our original father. Just like any family there are different levels of function or disfunction. Some people walk in that sonship amazingly while others are black sheep, prodigal sons, foster kids, etc. Our father is like that parent on the television show who is continually trying to reunite his family. We were his sons and daughters from the beginning, his death and resurrection brought that ability to walk in sonship full circle. No one who calls themselves a Christian can deny Jesus is the son of God. Jesus is in me and I am in him. 2 Corinthians 3:18 says that we look into a mirror and see Jesus, he uses that same reflection and sees us. If a mirror sees in the present tense the fact that what Jesus sees is him in us and we see him in us. The image seen both ways is sinless, blameless, perfect at that current moment. Jesus calls us co-heirs, sons and daughters. We are Gods sons and daghters. Sure some of us feel like orphans, foster kids, or black sheep but just like the prodigal son we have a father waiting arms open wanting us to run to him. Don’t worry about showering or cleaning yourself up. If yiu think I have to make myself presentable before going to him, get over it. Man will never on their own be able to make themselves good enough, that’s what grace is all about.

Malachi 4:6 New Living Translation

His preaching will turn the hearts of fathers to their children, and the hearts of children to their fathers. Otherwise I will come and strike the land with a curse.”

Placement over Positioning

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Placement: to be set in to be put or placed.

. The state of being placed or arranged. 2. a. The finding of suitable accommodation or employment for …

Positioning:

The act of placing one self in a position,
creating an identity in the minds of a target market

Placement is where you are set beyond your control, submission rather then the Positioning where it is self based

 The difference is is one based on trust and grace where as the other is self works. What God plows and plants will surely grow and prosper whereas what man plows and plants is dependent on the circumstances. One is mandated one is concocted.
 
“When you receive a mandate it changes everything” Noel Alexander 
 
Ephesians 1:17-18 (Mirror Translation)
 
I desire that you draw directly from the source; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ , the Father of glory ignites the spirit of wisdom and revelation in you in the unveiling of his Master Plan. I desire that you know by revelation what he has known about you all along! (His intent doxa, glory.)
I pray that your thoughts will be flooded (OVERWHELMED) with light and inspired insight; that you will clearly picture his intent in identifying you in him so that you may know how precious you are to him. The saints are his treasure and glorious trophy of his portion! (we are God’s assets and the measure of his wealth!) (I’M HIS TREASURE HIS TROPHY) 

The History Channel’s The Bible

The Bible on the History Channel is in full swing. I have been reading some reactions and critiques on line. I have noticed that many people have been positive but there have been many cutting it down saying its inaccurate. I have a simple 5 point argument in favor of it.

1. They are putting the Bible on prime time

2. Twitter and Facebook have lit up over it.

3. People are talking about it outsidevof church.

4. It’s a better option than_________ (fill in the blank with almost anything else on ).

5. Did I mention they are putting the Bible on prime time.

The facts are not perfect I agree, remember they are trying to fit the whole bible into 10 episodes I believe. I realize it is no perfect but I’ll take the positives and run.

Faith/Identity

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Gods identity is not determined by my faith, but my identity is determined by his faith, his faith is flawless and perfect #selah

Are you qualified to represent Jesus?

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Are you qualified to represent Jesus?  This is a valid question. Many of us probably have asked ourselves that before.  Let’s look at Paul. Was Paul qualified? Well considering he wrote a good chunk of the New Testament I wouldn’t hesitate to say YES. Paul was commissioned. Look at the first verse in many of the books in the NT.

Ephesians 1:1 (TMT )

Paul, employed by the delightful resolve of God and commissioned tobrepresent Jesus Christ to the saints…..

I’m going to ask you the reader a question:

Have you ever killed anyone?  How about have youvever killed lots of people?

Paul did, he was a zealous murderer.

Acts 26:10-11 NLT

Indeed, I did just that in Jerusalem. Authorized by the leading priests, I caused many believers there to be sent to prison. And I cast my vote against them when they were condemned to death. Many times I had them punished in the synagogues to get them to curse Jesus. I was so violently opposed to them that I even chased them down in foreign cities.

How big are your sins? There is ni difference between a lie or murder,  both are sin and God looks at his followers,  his sons and daughters as spotless and shining pure.

2 Corinthians 3 : 18

The days of window-shopping are over! In him every face is unveiled.  In gazing with wonder at the blueprint likeness of God displayed in human form we suddenly realize that we are looking at ourselves! Every feature of his image is mirrored on us! This is the most radical transformation engineered by the Spirit of the Lord; we are lead from an inferior mind-set to the revealed endorsement of our authentic identity.  Mankind in His glory!

Paul had a transforming moment and we have had that same transformation made available to us via Christ on the cross. 

Romans 5:16 NLT

And the result of God’s gracious gift is very different from the result of that one man’s sin. For Adam’s sin led to condemnation, but God’s free gift leads to our being made right with God, even though we are guilty of many sins.

It is time to shead the guilt,  shame, and condemnation.  You are qualified in him. Yoi don’t have to be accredidated by man. You don’t have to have attained somw certain level in your Christian walk. The mere fact that yiu are walking in Christ is your accreditation and your qualification.  He is looking for open and willing hearts.

Not the Best but…

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I have been reading a book by Andrew Farley titled God without religion can it really be the simple. He poses a statement to the effect; I’m not good at religion and I’m a weak Christian. This is probably true for most of us. I definitely fit the category.  I have sinned and more than likely it (sin) will probably pop up again. Whether that sin is lieing, , cheating, murder, swearing,  etc. it really doesn’t matter what the sin is. There is no scale saying once sin is greater than another. Sin is sin…

My God has grace and forgiveness enough for all of us.

Just saying

Old Time Religion

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I heard a reference to that gospel song “Old Time Religion” and I started to think. Nah, I really don’t want that old time religion. I really in all my life known what pure Christianity really is. I have just lately gotten a glimpse of what I believe to be Christianity is supposed to be.

I’m pushing the 40 + mark right now and I’m looking back at what my impact or how I’ve tried impact those around me. Looking at your spiritual roots can sometimes be a little bit painful. They say we learn by trial and error, and sometimes I feel there’s more error the trial. About 12 years ago I move to Kansas City and took a job teaching at Dominion Christian school. I have the privilege of teaching really bright kids. Many of them have moved on to some really awesome ministry in everything from music, preaching, sports, etc.

One of the classes that I taught was the homeroom Bible class. I often wonder how effective I really was and what my motives we’re. There was one studeny who often said “Oh no, it’s time for one of Mister K’s guilt trips.” I look back and my paradigm was probably one of outside appearance and works.

I have recently been spiritually challenged and with that some blinders have been removed. I was bound up in a works mentality. I was a slave to a set of laws.

Romans 8:15 (TMT) Slavery is such a poor substitute for sonship! They are opposites; the one leads forcefully through fear while friendship responds fondly to Abba Father.

I was moving in a spirit of “look what I can do. ” There’s the Marys and the Marthas, I was a Martha. I moved as a servant not a son.

Luke 10:41-42 NLT

But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”

Jesus blatantly said Mary chose the better. There has to be a balance as sitting at his feet or gazing on Jesus and getting things to happen. How much easier would it be to move out of passion then self will. The DIY attitude works when you are building a deck but in the spiritual world I now know He can do it much better than I could ever do. I worked and pressured change out of guilt and condemnation. Many of my students were striving to change out of will power. I’ve been a part of The International House of Prayer and one of the things stressed there is time spent worshipping and gazing as it were on Jesus will turn you from a Martha to a Mary.

Romans 6:11 “…Calculate the cross; there can only logical solution: he died for your death; that means you died unto sin, and now are alive unto God. Sin-consciousness can never again feature in your future. You are in Christ Jesus; his Lordship is the authority of this union.

His death on the cross brought the New Covenant (Grace) into the equation and wiped out mans reliance on the Law.

James 2:10 If you the standard of the law in just one aspect of it you failed entirely.

Jesus wiped out that old time religion. The law to me is thst old time religion. When I heard the words old time religion I conjure up pictures of fire and brimstone preachers who point that gnarled finger in your face yelling “Repent! ” This is a form of Christianity that to me leaves much to be desired. I do not want to spend my life trying to achieve some level of acceptance that is based on guilt and condemnation God. I love the fact that I now know there is a God who sees me as blameless now. He exudes grace. He knows me and likes me anyway.

No old time religion (law) for me.

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