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Showing posts from March, 2012

Prosperity, Popularity & Indifference to God's Voice (Some Wisdom from D.P. Williams)

'When the nation turned its sail to the wind of prosperity, and the masses were being borne away on the downward drift of indifference to God's Voice, reckoning popularity as an evidence of truth, the prophets of God still held their ground, although denied, deserted, misused, and isolated. The Word spoken through them made nations ... boiling cauldrons; dethroned kings, and turned princes to dust.' (D.P. Williams, The Prophetical Ministry in the Church , p.14)

Apostle and Prophet Ministry

I've been away for a few days at Staff Conference, which is one of the few times in the year when the ministers of the Apostolic Church get together from all across the UK. It's good fun to meet up with friends and colleagues from other parts of England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland (and usually to meet some new people too), and it's encouraging to hear what God is doing in assemblies up and down the country. And, on top of that, it's also good to come together to worship, pray and hear from God together. Coming back from Staff Conference I've been thinking a bit about Apostle and Prophet ministry. In the Apostolic Church we've always seen something particularly special about the apostle and prophet ministering together. ' The Apostle and prophet are always to be considered as complementary and interdependent offices in the Body. God in divine ordination has always linked them together in the government of the Church. ' ( The Apostoli

Jesus is like Jehu, Only Better

Jehu of Israel (2 Kings 9-10) was a king with a rather dramatic reign. The things for which he's best remembered are the events through which he established himself on the throne, for when Jehu became king, lots of people died. Yet his reign didn't quite begin with bloodshed. His reign began when the Word of God came. The prophet Elisha sent one of the sons of the prophets to Jehu with the news that God had anointed him king over Israel. (2 Kings 9:1-3). The Word of God came and it changed everything. God's Word overthrew the House of Omri and established the House of Jehu. The Word of the Lord brought vengeance on Queen Jezebel (2 Kings 9:30-37). The Word of the Lord proved powerful indeed. Jehu reigned for 28 years (2 Kings 10:36), and yet the book of 2 Kings only really tells us about the events of him coming to the throne. Obviously other major events happened throughout his reign (otherwise it would have been one of the quietest reigns of any king in the ancient ne

Meanwhile, Elsewhere (14/3/2012)

20 Tips on How to Use Bible Commentaries - David Murray Biblical Commentaries are rather useful books, but how should you use them. David Murray gives some very good advice. Preparing for Easter - Tim Challies ' Easter is fast approaching. As Christians begin to turn their gaze towards the death and resurrection of the Savior, it seems appropriate that we should look for resources that will help us meditate on the cross and that will help prepare our hearts. To that end I’d like to suggest five books (plus a few more resources at the end) that you may wish to read as Easter approaches .' [And the books he recommends are excellent.] Three Misnomers to Avoid - Chris Castaldo A former Roman Catholic, who wants to reach out to Catholics with the Gospel, points out some mistaken ideas that Protestants have about the Catholic Mass. ' If effectiveness in gospel renewal is related to upholding truth and avoiding straw men, these lessons should be noted ...  Fruitful gos

He Received Death for Us

'And the Lamb of God ... was chastised on our behalf, and suffered a penalty He did not owe, but which we owed because of the multitude of our sins; and so He became the cause of the forgiveness of our sins, because He received death for us, and transferred to Himself the scourging, the insults, and the dishonour, which were due to us, and drew down upon Himself the appointed curse, being made a curse for us.' Eusebius of Caesarea, Proof of the Gospel (c. AD 275-339)

Call the Sabbath a Delight

It's easy to go one of two ways on a Sunday. Either down the road of making lots of rules and restrictions so that you can't wait for Monday, or else forgetting that there's anything special about Sunday at all and treating it just like any other day. A second Saturday, if you will. Yet, the Bible doesn't go down either of these roads. We're not told to keep Sunday special by keeping lots of rules. Nor are we told to forget about the fourth commandment. Rather, we're told to ' call the Sabbath a delight ' (Isa. 58:13). If it's to be a delight, it's not supposed to be a burden. That means it's not a day of painful restriction. It shouldn't be a day we can't wait to see the back of, but a day we eagerly anticipate and on which we rejoice. The Sabbath isn't about a work that we perform to please God, but rather it's about receiving a day of rest as a gift from God. It's not about an inconvenience of what can or ca

The Cross & the Baptism in the Holy Spirit

Christ is the centre of the Christian faith. More specifically, according to the apostle Paul, it is Christ crucified who is at the centre (1 Cor. 1:23; 2:2). This means that Christ and His Cross is the source of all the blessings of the Christian life. Every aspect of the Christian life links back to Christ and the Cross. This is certainly true of the Baptism in the Holy Spirit. Afterall, the role of the Holy Spirit is to glorify Christ (Jn. 16:14), and Christ is glorified in multiple ways by the Baptism in the Holy Spirit, both in its giving and its receiving. Christ is the Giver On the Day of Pentecost, not only were Christians baptized in the Holy Spirit for the first time, but a theological explanation was also given for the events that were witnessed that day. In his sermon, Peter declared:

Meanwhile, Elsewhere (6/3/12)

Hidden in the Heart - Jeremy Walker ' What of you? You have one primary offensive weapon with which to do battle against sin: "the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God" ( Eph 6.17 ). Can you afford to have that potent blade wrapped up in the electronic cobwebs of some computer programme when you need it for the fight? ' On Google, memory and Scripture. Baptism and Church Membership - James Hamilton ' The separation from paedobaptists we love may be painful, but it is separation to obey Jesus. The surpassing greatness of knowing him is worth whatever it costs. ' There's some helpful reading recommended at the end of the article. At What Age Should We Baptize? - Tim Challies Whilst on the topic of believers' baptism, how old should you be before being baptised? Here are a few different credo-baptistic answers to the question, with the reasoning behind the answers. "Do it in Remembrance of Me" - Andy Johnston 'P

Trinitarian Worship Songs

It can't be proven, but I highly suspect that if you're reading this blog, then it's due to one of either two things: either you know me somehow, or you stumbled across it while searching for songs about the Trinity. Believe it or not, the most read post of all time on this blog is about the Trinitarian content (or lack thereof, as the case may be) of worship songs. So, I thought today that I'd finally do a post on some Trinitarian worship songs. Of course, it isn't an exhaustive list, but hopefully it will give you some ideas for new worship songs, older worship songs, and a few hymns as well. (Where the composer has freely provided Chord Charts or Lead Sheets online, I've included links.) New Worship Songs O Splendour of God's Glory Bright (Zac Hicks) Chord Chart , Lead Sheet One of the newest of worship songs meets one of the oldest of hymns. Zac Hicks has taken Ambrose of Milan's ancient hymn and combined it with the Gloria Patri and

"Did you receive the Holy Spirit?": The Bible, Spirit-Baptism, and When?

When are Christians baptised in the Holy Spirit? Is it something that happens automatically at the same time as salvation, or does it come later? According to the New Testament, the Baptism in the Holy Spirit does not occur automatically at the same time as conversion. In fact we see in the Scriptural examples that it was something that normally happened to Christians after being saved. This is what we call the doctrine of subsequence: the fact that the Baptism in the Holy Spirit is subsequent to salvation. The Day of Pentecost: Acts 2:1-4 In Acts 2, with the day of Pentecost, it's very clear that the disciples were baptised in the Holy Spirit some time after being saved. Most of these people had been followers of Jesus for quite some time before His crucifixion. They knew that Jesus had died on the Cross and risen again. In fact they had probably all seen Him after His resurrection. So, in addition to the fact that they were already Jesus’ followers, we have go

Fullness: The Head, the Body & the Spirit

On Tuesday I was writing about how the Church is at the centre of God's purpose, and so it's not a means to an end, but rather it is an end. And yesterday I looked a bit more at the nature of this 'end', and saw that God's Eternal Purpose involves Christ filling the Church with all His fullness. Today I want to think a bit more about how. How is the Church filled with the fullness of Christ?