Thursday, 28 June 2012

Follow the Check in Your Spirit

God has put His Spirit in each of us, if we've been born again. The Spirit will guide us in our spirit. He'll even do so in the small things of life, if we're sensitive to it.

For example, you may be about to walk out of your apartment to go down to the basement carpark and drive to work - but for some unknown reason you'll feel a hesitancy in your spirit. Instead of ignoring it, pause for a moment. It could be that you don't actually have your car keys with you. Or you may have forgotten something else important.

The Spirit likes to save us even from small inconveniences. How much more the big things in life! Lord teach us to listen to our spirit.

Wednesday, 27 June 2012

Music as a Ministry of Helps Not of Hindrances

I'm convinced that we'd see a greater manifestation of the anointing of the Holy Spirit in some of our meetings if we'd sometimes momentarily turn the music off and perhaps turn the lights up.

Certainly music can help bring the anointing. We see this in the life of Elisha where the Scripture says, "But now bring me a minstrel. And it came to pass, when the minstrel played, that the hand of the LORD came upon him" (II Kings 3:15).

Once the hand of the Lord came upon Elisha - once the anointing of the Holy Spirit came upon him - Elisha didn't just sit there focusing on the musician. No, he flowed with the anointing brought by the music - he prophesied. If he'd allowed the song played by the musician to continue to be his dominant focus instead of flowing with the anointing that came upon him, Elisha would never have prophesied, and the whole purpose for calling the musician in the first place would have been nullified.

We often do that in our meetings. Like Elisha, we give time in our services for a CD to be played or for a band to play - but then, once the anointing starts to come upon the congregation, unlike Elisha we continue to allow the music to dominate, rather than moving on and flowing with the anointing.

Learn to flow with the anointing when it comes into a meeting - make room for it. Music can hold people's attention, rather than allowing them to focus on flowing with the anointing.

Once the anointing comes into a Holy Ghost meeting (as a result of the music), I think we'll see a greater manifestation of the anointing if we help the congregation to focus more on what the anointing is actually doing instead of forcing them to continue focusing on the music itself. Sometimes in order to help a congregation do that, it might be necessary to completely stop the music.

While music is playing, it often remains a dominant focus. This is because people tend to sing along, or they assume a mode of waiting - as if they're expecting the music itself to be the thing that's going to accomplish what God wants to do in the meeting. God used the music at the start of the meeting - but maybe there comes a point where the music's role in a meeting ends and now it's the anointing on the people that's meant to become the focus. Now the Spirit Himself is moving directly on the people rather than through the music.

If we allow a period of time in the meeting where the congregation's undivided focus can be on what the anointing is doing directly on the congregation, there will come a moment later on where the music will once again have an appropriately strong role again. After everyone's been touched by an unhindered manifestation of the Spirit, the congregation will once again really have something to sing about! There's a right time for everything.

I've seen this done with great results. Often after singing for a while and the anointing began to fall on people in the congregation, I'd ask the band to stop playing - and most often the manifestation of the Spirit immediately intensified and increased as a result. People might begin to cry, laugh, or be filled with the Spirit in increasing numbers. More were heard speaking with tongues.

Have you ever tried drinking a glass of water while singing at the same time? It's not easy! It's a whole lot easier for a congregation to receive from the Holy Spirit and to manifest His moving when they're not trying to sing at the same time! And if someone is meant to interpret tongues, or prophesy, or share a vision with the congregation, it's a whole lot easier for the congregation to hear him if the music isn't already dominating. Putting the music aside is sometimes what's needed in order to allow the Spirit to be the Lord of the meeting. After He's had His way, as I said we'll really have something to sing and dance about!

So - when the anointing starts to come on the people, turn the music off and let the congregation flow with the anointing rather than with the songs.

There comes a point in a Holy Ghost meeting where the people ought to become less conscious of the music and more conscious of what the Spirit has begun to doin and on individuals in the congregation - and more conscious of what He might want to do through anointed individuals in the congregation.

Music starts out a meeting with a function of a ministry of "...helps..." (I Cor.12:28), but thereafter music can become a ministry of hindrances if we let it dominate.

The Holy Spirit is in the music to begin with - but once His anointing gets on the congregation there is a moment in the meeting when the anointing on the congregation, rather than the music, ought to be allowed to become the dominant expression in the meeting. Then later the music can start up again.

Music is a ministry of helps. A helper's role must change as the helped person gets stronger. The stronger the helped person becomes, the weaker the helper's role must become - or else the helper actually becomes a hindrance. It's the same with music. Music may start out helping a meeting, but once the anointing of the Holy Spirit has become stronger on people, the music may need to be backed off so that other expressions of the Spirit can become the focus. And there is a moment in a meeting where those other expressions of the Spirit come on and through the congregation rather than through the music. If at that point the music is allowed to continue to dominate, then the music which was meant to be a helper becomes a hindrance.

If the music is no longer helping people focus on what God is doing, then it might be better to temporarily stop the music. You can't drink a glass of water and sing at the same time. There's a right time for both.

Let me tell you - this works! I've seen a crescendo of the Spirit's manifestations take place in a meeting once we stop the music. Then, after everyone has enjoyed the fullness of the Spirit, they really have something to sing about - and that's the point in the meeting where music once again has a role to play as helper.

The anointing is to be the focus, never the music itself. While the highest work of the Spirit that God is doing in the meeting is being done through the music, then music is helping. But when the highest thing that God is doing is instead on the congregation, then the music needs to take a less dominant role. Otherwise it hinders.

Believe it or not, music isn't one of the nine spiritual gifts (I Cor.12). The Music Director is not a sixth ascension gift ministry (Eph.4:11). And God didn't set some in the church firstly Music Directors, secondly apostles, thirdly prophets, after that teachers, etc. He set some in the church firstly apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers...and helps is quite a bit further down the list (I Cor.12:28).

Music is a ministry of helps. But our focus at any given moment in a meeting ought to be on the particular vehicle and type of manifestation that God wants to bring at that moment in the meeting - and His chosen vehicle isn't always the music team. His chosen manifestation isn't always singing. What about getting filled? What about getting healed? What about speaking with tongues? What about being filled with joy and laughter? What about seeing visions? There's tongues, interpretations, prophesying, and singing a spontaneous new song. A CD or a band playing can certainly hinder the congregation from receiving and moving into these other expressions and working of the Spirit.

So be sensitive to use music as an assistant to the anointing, rather than as a blockage to the anointing. And sometimes this involves stopping it completely, if you find the congregation is being unavoidably dominated by it instead of being enabled to freely receive and manifest the Spirit in others ways which He may will.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Welsh Characteristics

"To a Welshman the benefits of the wonderful gifts of Welshness are so obvious that there is no need to boast about them..."

The following are from various forums on the internet, none of which are my own words.

Welsh characteristics:

Eloquence, intelligence, and cunning.

I met a welshman that couldn't sing once - I was very disappointed.

I was once told that, "The Welsh are a strange mixture of soppy and stroppy" meaning emotional or sentimental for soppy and stubborn for stroppy. It seems to fit me!

Funnily enough I watched a TV programme tonight that stated, "The Welsh are defined by the sea on three sides and by stubborness on the other side". True.

A lot of people I know (who are not Welsh) just can't get to grips with the way we Welsh insult each other as humour.

I visit this board vary rare, but I am well pleased each time I do, as I find a reason for my mannerisms. They are inherited. As for insulting each other, I saw my 2nd cousin in the store the other day and said, "Speaking of lame as-ed relatives, how are you doing?" Other people would not understand, but within my family, we give each other a bad time, all the time. Hope you all are doing well.

The Welsh are stubborn-very, very stubborn. The Welsh themselves would probably rather say "tenacious", but to anyone on the receiving end a better description might well be - bloody minded."

Once a Welshman gets an idea-any idea- in his mind, nothing will dislodge it, and he will go to incredible lengths to realise it. In Wales even pacifists are belligerent about their beliefs.

The Welsh Attitude to the English can be accurately summed up as 10% resentment and 90% pity.

To a Welshman the benefits of the wonderful gifts of Welshness are so obvious that there is no need to boast about them. After all the Welshman's world is made up of only two types of people: fellow Welshmen (who understand already) and the rest (whose opinions do not count.

Wales is run by a secret and sophisticated elite, the extent of whose power is carefully hidden. Wales is, in fact, run entirely by Women. Welsh Women are truly formidable. They are strong- minded and articulate, with clear objectives and absolutely no qualms about enforcing them.

The Welsh have a great military reputation as men who enjoy fighting and are good at it. This is probably because they find fierce and bloody warfare a pleasant and tranquil alternative to dealing with their womenfolk.

The Welsh enjoy talking. They talk incessantly. They talk passionately. They talk about anything. Two aspects of Welsh conversation can confuse outsiders. The first is their habit of mocking what they hold most dear. The second is the way they argue most violently with those closest to them, because they know what they can get away with. A casual listener, hearing the raised voices and the name calling of the most personal and insulting variety, might have difficulty in telling a normal discussion between two close friends from the start of a blood feud.

Welshness is an attitude of mind-sometimes psychopathic, often generous, usually friendly and always passionate.

I bet more of us are working class, than in say England.

Friendly. Like the Northern English. I love going back to Wales, because the people remind me of Northerners, in that they're by-and-large dead freindly and chatty. I've lived amongst the southerners (English) for far too long...

An English person once told me that the Welsh are sexy. Can't say I've noticed myself though.

The Welsh are profoundly unfriendly and taciturn, and extremely outgoing and welcoming.

I think the Welsh are whingers, with moany accents and a bit sly.

Depends what side of the bed we get out of in the morning really, doesnt it? But I do think we're more sociable than the English...

Poetic, Musical, Passionate, Funny, down to earth, gorgeous and amazingly romantic...

Welsh-language poetry has been consistently amongst the best poetry in Europe...

Sexy Welsh accents...!

Yes, certainly there is at least one very singular distinguishing characteristic that sets the Welshmen/women apart from all other U.K. citizenry. As rule, all Welsh men and women are much better looking than all the others, especially the English, the Irish, the Scots, etc., etc., etc. I cannot see how you could have possibly missed this very salient FACT as surely it is known the world over. By the way, we also
have the cutest accents and speak English far better than all the rest.
There now, glad to have been of service.

I think that you've gotten it just about right, although you neglected to mention the famous Welsh penchant for sarcasm and exaggeration! I must say, though, that we Welsh-Americans have tempered these a bit.

Hmm, you forgot to mention our tremendous modesty...

I've been in Canada now many years, but I'll vouch for the sarcasim. Everyone in my family is extremely sacastic. I've yet to meet a Canadian that can match it...

A chip on both shoulders. The ability to pick a fight in an empty room. Having a double-jointed tongue ( you try saying llongyfarchiadau i chi
without one!) The tendency to pin the blame on the English for anything etc etc.

1. A Tendency To Sing. There is a history/tradition of singing in Wales. By no means is every Welshman/woman a good singer, but there is a greater knowledge & appreciation of such things and a greater willingness to sing. I have been surprised in England by the numbers of people who listen to music but regard actually singing as unthinkable or 'for girls', as one English schoolkid put it to me. It is not so significant in the culture of England nor, I suspect, in Scotland. I suspect Ireland is different. This tendency probably comes out of poverty. The voice is the one
instrument we all own.

2. An Enjoyment Of Words. This is probably linked to the above - the way the Welsh speak has supposedly song-like elements (like the Irish. Compared to the English the Welsh seem to have a greater enjoyment of purely talking and/or playing with words. Some English people I know seem almost to feel distaste at having to speak at all! Again, this is only a minor and statistical tendency.

3. A Greater Ability To Deal With Death. I think that the Welsh may have more in common with the Irish here than the English (don't know about Scotland). Obviously, we all feel grief. However, I feel that in Wales there is a greater acceptance that death is part of life, however unpleasant. Maybe it's just my own experience here, but I don't think so.

4 Pacifism. Some people say that the Welsh are more pacifistic than other peoples. I don't see it myself. They can fight when they want to and I don't see that they have proved that they choose peace, only that violence hasn't been an obvious choice for Wales in recent history. So, some say this is true of the Welsh - I say 'not proved'.

5. In-Fighting. It is said that the Welsh take any opportunity to argue
amongst themselves and that this has weakened Wales in the past.

Are the Welsh stubborn?: Absolutely and emphatically YES.

Nationalism and Identity:
As far as identity is concerned, the majority of Welsh people regard themselves as Welsh whilst a minority consider themselves Welsh and then British. This has been borne out on many polls over many years. Below are two links where you can verify this. The first link is to the UK Statistics website which reveal the results of a survey carried out in Wales in 2001. In the survey 60% registered themselves as Welsh and 7% as Welsh and British. In a more recent poll (earlier this year) only 12% considered themselves British. See link below

With regard to Nationalism. The Welsh generally are a very proud people and are extreme Nationalists in certain areas such as sport. The nationalism is not an expansionist or violent nationalism such as British Nationalism but more of an insular nationalism.
This nationalism is not expressed politically due to a lack of self confidence and Plaid Cymru (Nationalist Party), whilst the second party in Wales in terms of the number of Councillors and Assembly Members, has at its best election results obtained approx 30% of the vote which was in the Assembly Election in 1999 and the European Elections in 1999.


Difficult to answer this as there are so many characteristics of the Welsh and you probably wont get 2 Welshmen to agree on them all. That is one of our charecteristics, we like to debate (argue). Here are some that come to mind : Stubborn (see above), friendly, welcoming (until you insult Wales), poetical, musical, passionate, sensitive, classless.

Attitudes and Values

I think I will pass on these. Attitudes to what or who????? As for values, I think you will find it hard to get a consensus of opinion. Values which I think most Welsh people will agree on is our history, language and the natural beauty of our country.

Sense of Humour

In one word "DRY".which is not always understood. I had a new English Boss some years ago and she enquired about the weather in winter. She said "I suppose you get a lot of snow here". I replied "No, very little in fact". She looked a little surprised and said " I thought you would have had a lot of snow coming down off the mountains". I tried to be humourous and replied "No , it comes from the clouds". My humour was lost on her, but that is an example. Welsh humour is generally of the dry witty type.

Monday, 25 June 2012

The New Heavens and the New Earth

ISAIAH 65:17-24
17 For, behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind.

18 But be ye glad and rejoice for ever in that which I create: for, behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.

19 And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people: and the voice of weeping shall be no more heard in her, nor the voice of crying.

20 There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: for the child shall die an hundred years old; but the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accursed.

21 And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them.

22 They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat: for as the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.

23 They shall not labour in vain, nor bring forth for trouble; for they are the seed of the blessed of the LORD, and their offspring with them.

24 And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and while they are yet speaking, I will hear.

25The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock: and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the LORD.

I don't think it necessarily means that everything mentioned in verses 18-24 are to find their fulfilment in the new heavens and new earth.

Rather, I think it means that the new thing which God was about to do, not only for His people but also for the whole world, was to be so thoroughly new as to foreshadow and somehow bear the characteristics of and abide until the new heavens and earth are made, in which shall dwell only righteousness.

It's like He's saying, "I'm going to do this now (restore Jerusalem, etc), with all the surety with which I'm going to make those new heavens and new earth later."

When Israel returned from captivity in Babylon, the state of things was once again so glorious that the former state of Israel was hardly remembered - though perhaps not completely forgotten.

This was fulfilled more completely when the new covenant was inaugurated. By the preaching of the Gospel, the true Israel became so much more glorious, and its former state under the Law was completely forgotten - and even the Gentiles were grafted in to this new creation.

All of this (the glorious Gospel age) was to be like a portend - was to bear the characteristics of - and would abide until - the new heavens and earth appear. And that has come to pass by the new covenant, fulfilling Isaiah's prophecy.

This Generation

When Jesus said, "This generation shall not pass before all these things be fulfilled", which generation did He mean?

Could it be that when Jesus spoke of "this generation", He spoke of the generation that would see "all these things" which He'd just mentioned come to pass.

The things which He'd just mentioned were: apostasy, earthquakes, wars, famines, the siege of Jerusalem, great tribulation upon Israel, the days of vengeance, the abomination causing desolation standing in the Holy Place of the Temple, the subsequent destruction of the Temple and scattering of the Jews, Jerusalem being trodden under foot by Gentiles until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled, distress upon nations, and the preaching of the Gospel all over the world accompanied by persecution.

It was said that these things would happen before the apostles would even had a chance to finish preaching to every Israeli town. The generation to which Jesus spoke was the generation that saw all those things happen. Therefore they knew it was the last time. From that moment on, the last day could potentially come at any time - but no man knows the time, season, day nor hour which the Father has put in His own power.

Having seen in their generation the fulfilment of all prophecy and the fulfilment of everything spoken of by Daniel and Jesus, they knew that the end was now at the doors, just like anyone ought to know that summer is near when he sees the fig tree and all the trees sprouting new branches. Notice that Jesus didn't specify the fig tree, He mentioned all the trees (see Luke's account); and rather than mention the rebirth of Israel He mentioned instead the destruction of Jerusalem.

Jesus summed up prophecy and vision in His generation, just like Daniel prophesied the Messiah would do, and all within his prophesied 70 'weeks' timeframe. The timeframe given by Daniel was the reason Jesus was able to preach saying, "The time is fulfilled..."

The time was fulfilled then. Jesus was the promised Messiah. The entire Gospel age, beginning with the ministry of John the Baptist, is called "the last days". A timeframe was given for the fulfillment of those things, but no timeframe was given for the day of His coming. We are told only that the interim would be a period of distress upon nations and the continued preaching of the Gospel.

But this doesn't mean other things aren't to happen before the end. Some things were revealed to John and to Daniel which they were told not to write. It is not for us to know. Instead we've received power to be His witnesses. And then He that shall come shall come and will not tarry.

Is that a possibility?

Nevertheless, if a man thinketh he knoweth anything, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know it!

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Revelation - Not All Chronological?

Could it be that not every vision in the Book of Revelation is meant to be interpreted as a series of sequential events to be fulfilled in chronological order? Instead could it be possible that at least some of the visions might largely overlap one another in their subject matter and in the timeframe of their fulfillment?

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Predestination - Quote from David Hall

David Hall Tweeted this today:

"God's sovereignty will never betray His Word by contradiction. If its in the Word it's already His sovereign will and plan."

Monday, 11 June 2012

How to Avoid Repeating the Cycle of Failed End-Times Predictions

Some tips:

1. Know for yourself what the prophetic text of Scripture itself actually says

2. Don't confuse allegory for prose.

3. Where there is a symbol, see if the text itself explains the symbol

4. Where the text doesn't explain a symbol, see if the same symbol's meaning is explained elsewhere in the Bible

5. Don't confuse fulfilled prophecy for unfulfilled prophecy

6. Keep in mind that whichever end-times view might be correct, no-one knows the hour, day, season nor times (years) when certain things are to happen

7. The main purpose for prophetic texts was not prediction per se, but to give re-assurance, to inspire purity, courage and preparedness.

8. If anyone thinks he knows something, he doesn't know anything yet as he ought to know it.

Jesus is coming at an hour when you think not!

Thursday, 7 June 2012

It is Not For You to Know

ACTS 1:6,7
6 When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
7And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

First, He will restore again the kingdom to Israel - but not in any other way than the way in which He already taught, and which Paul later taught. That is, by grace through faith, in the remnant of believing Jews, and in the believing Gentiles who are grafted into the true Israel, together comprising the "all Israel" who shall be saved.

Second, it is not for us to know the times or the seasons (or day and hour) when the kingdom shall come in culmination.