Thursday, 31 December 2015

George Ladd's Theology of the New Testament

"By their fruits ye shall know them".

George Ladd's theology of the New Testament inspired the healing ministry of John Wimber (and John Wimber's ministry provided the crucible which fostered the 'Toronto Blessing').

So that says something for Ladd's theology!

Ladd's theology of the New Testament inspires me in my own calling too (world missions), and inspires my message (the Gospel).

Friday, 25 December 2015

Wednesday, 16 December 2015


Male, female and neuter gender:

1. John wrote a book. He wrote a book

2. Jill is writing a book. She is writing a book

3. The book is on the shelf. It is on the shelf


I was saved - born again - on this day, 36 years ago.

It was a Sunday night.

The guest-preacher gave an altar-call, and several people were responding, but I couldn't.

While in the throes of decision, the words came to me, "Do you love Me?"

"Of course I love You, Lord!" I thought. How could I not love Him Who first loved me?

But then I remembered a Bible-verse I'd seen as a child in an illustrated tract:

"If ye love me, keep my commandments" (John 14:15).

I realised that if I loved Him, I would become a Christian.

But still I didn't go out. The guest-preacher handed the service over, and took his seat in the congregation.

"Please give me another chance, and I'll go out," I prayed.

Straightaway the guest-preacher stood up, went forward, grabbed the microphone again, and said, " I wouldn't normally do this, but I still feel there's one more person who needs to come. Let's sing that song again, and if that's you - you come".

They sang the song again - but still I didn't go forward.

"Make them sing that song again, and I'll go out," I pleaded with the Lord.

"Let's sing that song again," the preacher said.

Another person went forward, but still I didn't.

"Make them sing that song one more time," I pleaded with the Lord.

"Let's sing that song one more time," the preacher said.

And finally I did it - I went forward.

An elder of our church came to me, and asked what I wanted.

"I want to become a Christian," I said.

He led me in a prayer. I pledged my life to JESUS. My tears flowed.

I felt like a load lifted off my shoulders. All guilt and fear of death were gone. I felt clean - born again!

"This is good - I should have done this ages ago!" I felt.

My father came and gave me a big hug. I remember thinking that dad's hug was somehow symbolic of a hug from our Father in heaven.

It was a balmy Sunday night, between 7:30-7:40pm. After the service our family went for a swim in our relative's pool. As I sat in the water looking at lightening in the distant clouds, I said to my 'aunt' - "I'm not afraid to die anymore."

I knew that if I died that night, I would go straight into the loving arms of JESUS.

How about you?

It's possible to go to church regularly, and yet not have been born again.

"Verily, verily, I say unto thee," Jesus said, "Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God" (John 3:3).

Being born again is more than just a new resolve (although it includes that) - it's something which only God can do for you - something all men desperately need to happen.

And when He's done it for you, believe me - you know it!

Just ask Him for it today, once and forever - and believe:

"...him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out" (John 6:37).

Past, Present & Future Tense

1. Past tense - I read a book
2. Present tense - I am reading a book
3. Future tense - I will read a book

1. I ate chicken for lunch
2. I am eating chicken for lunch
3. I will eat chicken for lunch

1. He went home for Christmas
2. He is going home for Christmas
3. He will go home for Christmas

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

How to Reduce Exposure to Radiation from Cell-Phones

1. Don't carry the phone close to your body
2. Keep the phone away from your body during a call
3. Don't use the phone while moving in a car, train or elevator
4. Put the phone on Airport mode or out of the bedroom when sleeping

Sunday, 13 December 2015


  • An Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman walk into a bar. The bartender turns to them, takes one look, and says, "What is this - some kind of joke?"
  • The past, present and future walked into a bar. It was tense.
  • A horse walks into a bar. Sensing the potential volatility of the situation, everyone leaves.
  • Knock knock. Who's there? Dave. Come in.
  • Lysdexia
  • What do you get if you combine a joke with a rhetorical question
  • A man walks into a bar. It hurt.

Understanding the Gospels

The Synoptic Gospel writers (Matthew, Mark, Luke) didn't teach theology - they merely recorded history.

Perhaps the writers each made their own indirect theological contribution however, through the way they saw the story - through the way they told it, the plot they saw, the characters they saw as important, the things they emphasised, words, people, places, events, themes, other details - the things they included and the things they ommitted, the ways in which their account differs (without contradicting) another Gospel writer.

Luke had traveled with Paul. So had Mark. It wouldn't be surprising then to see their accounts portray a basis, in the story of Jesus, for the focus of the Gospel-outreach ending-up being strongly towards Gentiles, more so than Matthew's account, seeing Matthew's pastoral concern may have been primarily with Jews.

Saturday, 12 December 2015

Nice Songs

Jesus What a Wonder You Are

Let Your Healing Waters Flow in this Place

He is

Holy Spirit We Welcome You

Consider Others In Non-Essentials

With issues of conscience, it's the party who feels free - who thinks it's okay to do something - not the party who thinks something is wrong - who has to do most of the bending.

Someone who thinks something is okay to do, can always refrain from doing it for another's sake, and still maintain a clear conscience; 

whereas the person who thinks it's wrong can't do it to please the other person, or else he violates his own conscience.

And not only that, but the person who thinks it's wrong can't help but feel grieved that the other person is doing it; 

he feels duty-bound to pray for and rebuke and try to save the person who he perceives as doing something wrong; 

he's always wishful, watching whether the person has had a change of mind yet;

and in addition, he also feels obligated to spare others from being influenced by the person who's doing wrong;

meanwhile that person loses whatever status he had as an inspiration, example, and leader of the values he aspires to.

Consequently he tends to withdraw and separate himself from whatever level of involvement he once had with him.

Unlike the person who think it's okay - he or she isn't bothered at all if someone else isn't doing the thing which he allows. 

So if a person who thinks something is okay truly understands and cares about the impact their action will inevitably have on others who think it's wrong, they ought to choose rather to refrain. 

If he doesn't refrain, he's either ignorant of or doesn't care how his action is affecting those who think the thing is wrong.  

But after explaining this burden which those with a more tender conscience (or weaker, depending on what the thing is) some can only think of it as being judgmental. 

It would be judgmental only if they weren't trying to save the person.

It would be tantamount to being complicit in someone else's destruction, if they didn't try to spare others from the person's influence. 

To insist on a non-essential freedom, that's going to put someone else's conscience in that position, and then only to accuse the person who has to try to save him and others of being judgmental, is either ignorant or careless. 

Instead, we should consider one another (one another's consciences, not just our own rights) to provoke unto love and good works (rather than provoke dilemmas of conscience). 

And as I said, it's mainly the person who thinks something is okay who can do this.

Thursday, 10 December 2015

Fivefold Ministry





TEACHERS instruct

...among other things. 

Abraham's Blessing

Jesus said Abraham rejoiced to see His day, and he saw it, and was glad.

Paul also said that God preached the Gospel (the justification of the heathen through faith) ahead of time to Abraham, saying, "In thee and in thy seed shall all nations of the earth be blessed".

So Abraham's promise refers to the Gospel.

This fact qualifies the meaning - the application and scope - of Abraham's blessing.

It expands the meaning - but also limits it to exclude some common misunderstandings.

It expands it to include Gentiles - but also limits it among Jews to mean believing Jews only.

It multiplies the sense of righteousness, salvation, and blessing which we have the right to enjoy in Jesus (and we do well to learn our privileges as heirs of the blessing) - but it also means that the blessing is received only through the Gospel-scheme (that is, only through faith in Jesus) and not through some alternative scheme (such as Judaism), and only in this time (now is the day of salvation) not in some future time (such as at Christ's Second Coming nor during some future Millennium) - it must be received while it is called Today, or else it will be too late.

(The Gospel-scheme does include waiting patiently for the Second Coming, but it doesn't include an alternative way of salvation or an extended time of salvation beyond Today. "That there should be time no longer," says Revelation. The "everlasting Gospel" is to be preached while it is called Today.)

Now, go consider the greatness of Abraham's blessing for Today - and enjoy! 


Abraham's promise was to be through the righteousness of faith.

We know this, because he was given the promise before he was circumcised - before the Law was given. And when he was given the promise, he believed God - and He credited his faith to him for righteousness.

We've got to be righteous if we're going to inherit the promises of God - but that righteousness is a free gift from God through Jesus Christ unto all and upon all who believe.

Righteousness. What a beautiful gift!

It has made us children to Abraham. It has caused us to inherit the blessing of Abraham. Abraham's blessing is being experienced now, in them that believe.

Abraham inherited the world, in the sense that it is his children - those who follow his example of faith - who are being blessed (justified, saved).

And it all came about through Abraham's seed - singular, which was Christ Jesus. And we are in Him.

Justification Through Faith Witnessed by the Old Testament

After concluding that a man is justified through faith without the works of the Law, Paul said that the Law and Prophets gave witness to that fact.

The Law and Prophets. The Law gives witness to that fact, on its own; so do the Prophets, on their own - but considered together their witness to that fact is amplified. 

Abraham and Many Nations

Abraham was promised that he would become the father of many nations.

He did become the physical father of a number of nations.

However, what the promise really foresaw was that Abraham would become the father of faith, to all who believe - in all nations.

Paul told the Corinthians that although they had many teachers, they didn't have many fathers, for Paul himself had begotten them through the Gospel.

You can beget people through the Gospel.

As John the Baptist said, God is able to raise up sons to Abraham even through means other than direct physical genealogy.

Sunday, 6 December 2015


If the New Testament is not our direct example and instruction, then the Church really is dependant on post-apostolic, extra-Biblical sources as authorities to explain to us what applies, what doesn't, and how. Kind of like a Third Testament.

No. I believe the Church is built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone - and no other conflicting examples, instruction and authorities are needed or valid.

The doctrine of the early Church should be our doctrine; the stance of the Epistles should be our stance; and therefore their experience can be my experience.

Living in Sync With God's Calendar

Must Christians live in sync with "God's calendar"?

Of course!

But the calendar God has given us in the New Covenant is not the same calendar that Moses gave them (the Jews) under their Old Covenant.

Under the Old Covenant, the Jews had to observe certain sabbaths, and feast days in set months and seasons with set sacrifices to be offered at the set place of the altar. 

Then God made a New Covenant with the house of Israel, through JESUS - and included Gentiles in it.

At that point it became unnecessary - and later impossible - for them to keep the obligations of the Old Covenant calendar. God made a New Covenant.

And what's in the New Covenant calendar?

It's simply called, "Now".

"...For he saith, I have heard thee in a TIME accepted, and in the DAY of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, NOW is the accepted TIME; behold, NOW is the day of SALVATION..." (II Cor.6:2).

Now is 'a time accepted'; 'the day of salvation' - the day when God saves all who call upon Him.

The Psalms spoke prophetically of this day, calling it "the day which the Lord hath made":

"The stone which the builders refused is become the head stone of the corner.

This is the LORD'S doing; it is marvellous in our eyes [speaking prophetically of Christ's death and resurrection, and His salvation].

THIS IS THE DAY WHICH THE LORD HATH MADE; we will rejoice and be glad in it" (Psalm 118:22-24)".

Through Christ's death and resurrection, God made a new day. This day of salvation, and rejoicing!

It's called, "Today".

"But exhort one another daily, while it is called, To day; lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin" (Hebrews 3:13).

It's a day which awaits culmination - at Christ's Second Coming. 

"For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence stedfast unto the end..." (verse 14).

No-one knows when the end shall come - for it is not for us to know the times, seasons, day and hour which the Father has placed in His own hands. Our part however is to keep believing the GOSPEL:

"While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation" (verse 15).

And keep being witnesses unto JESUS in all the world, in the power which you were given when the Holy Spirit came upon you.

"And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come" (Matthew 24:14).

Saturday, 5 December 2015

Feast of Tabernacles - to Keep, or Not?

Feast of Tabernacles - to keep it, or not?

When I visited a tribe in a jungle to preach the Gospel, I didn't teach them that they must begin observing the Feast of Tabernacles. (They didn't have calendars - some could even only guess their own age!)

No, it's unnecessary - but not only that, it's impossible.

The ancient Jewish month of Tishrei (September-October) cannot be synchronised with the end of summer agricultural harvest here in the southern hemisphere.

That means that at the time when we'd be required to bring our firstfruits, we'd still be sowing our seeds!

So half the globe can't live in sync with the ancient Jewish religious calendar even if they tried.

And since the altar and Levitical priesthood don't exist anymore, there is no place where grain, drink and animal sacrifices can be offered legitimately anyway.

Therefore not even northerners can't keep the Feast.

As for the future, the genealogies which were required to prove a priest's descent from Levi (required in order to authenticate a priest's service at the altar on behalf of all who were keeping the Feasts), have been lost.

So even if a replica 'temple' gets built in Jerusalem in future, still no-one will be able to begin keeping the Feast legitimately, not even in Jerusalem.

The thing about Moses' Law was that if you didn't keep one detail of it, you weren't keeping it at all.

Moses' Law forbad keeping the Feasts in alternative months, seasons, ways and means, and places. Making annual pilgrimages to Jerusalem in the month of Tishrei to offer the firstfruits of their end of summer harvest, and animal sacrifices, on the altar where there were genealogically authenticated Levites serving as priests, were each essential components - none were optional components - of the Feast of Tabernacles.

So if someone today throws a party - or hosts a conference - or maintains a cultural tradition - in Sep/Oct - calls it the 'Feast of Tabernacles' - even if they do it in Jerusalem - that doesn't make it the Feast of Tabernacles.

It's like, we can organise a backyard game of footy - but that doesn't make it the State of Origin!

No. Jesus said:

"...believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father...

...But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him"

(John 4:21,23).

The true worship which JESUS inaugurated was not to involve a set place, set times of the calendar, or ceremonies with harvest and sin-offerings...

...the true worshippers worship in spirit [not in Jerusalem] and in truth.

Jesus didn't just teach truth - He is the truth - the Feasts were only like shadows - but Jesus is the real substance. Once the Truth came, God isn't into returning to shadows!

So when I preached to the tribes, I simply told them the GOOD NEWS that JESUS gave Himself for us as an offering for our sin, once for all....

...that JESUS was the first to rise from the dead, a kind of firstfruits of our future resurrection day... the last day of judgement...

...and JESUS sent the Holy Ghost - the forestaste of that Day when God shall come to live with men forever: there shall be new heavens and a new earth wherein dwells righteousness.

And all who gladly believed, and were baptised - were SAVED.

As for the times, seasons, day and hour - the Father has placed it in His own hands, and it is not for us to know...

...but as far as we are to be concerned, every day is simply called, 'Today':

"But exhort one another daily, while it is called To day..." (Hebrews 3:13).

Every day is a good day to simply worship JESUS in a true heart!

That's who the Father is looking for, to worship Him, Jesus said.

Lest "your minds should be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ" (II Cor.11:3).

(I could have Posted this back in October when it was more of a hot-topic - but I didn't want to add to the controversy. It's not worth creating controversy over this, because whichever way our conscience feels about days and seasons, we're each desiring to please the Lord anyway.

But I did determine to eventually Post something about it once the controversy was over - just to remind us again of the foundation of our faith - to keep us appreciating how wonderful our precious Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is to all of us through God!)

Wednesday, 2 December 2015

God Says Yes!


God says YES!

"For ALL...

...the promises of God... him [Christ]...

...are yea [YES]...

...and in him Amen...

...unto the glory of God... us".

God says YES!

Our lives are a resounding Yes and Amen, to all the promises of God.

Since my very life is a resounding yes and amen, it might as well start with my words.

(Confessing who I am and what I have in Christ. But I'm not confessing to get - I am confessing bcause it would seem unnatural not to, because I already am and already have!)

Tuesday, 1 December 2015


I woke up one Saturday morning.

Still lying in bed, I began to see a 'vision' of a flight path from Brisbane up to Malaysia, then another path off towards the east.

Then I saw a picture of a longhouse at dusk, with light shining out from the windows.

A missionary-friend had invited me to join a trip to Malaysia - and it turns out the trip was to include a second flight to East Malaysia.

I didn't have any money for the airfares, but I went ahead and made a booking anyway.

As the deadline drew near, the travel agent phoned asking if I was ready to pay. But all I had was $200 which my missionary-friend had given me.

Some days later the agent phoned again.

"This is a faith thing," I said, "I believe God wants me to go - so I'm just trusting Him to provide the money".

"Right - I'll leave it with you," the agent said, adding that he wouldn't be able to hold my seats any longer.

I asked some church friends whether they thought I was going - and two of them confirmed that I really was meant to go.

One of them said he saw me as if I was on the wing of the plane, but God wants you in the plane, he said.

I had to not be half-hearted, but be decided, resolved, committed, believing, and saying I'm going.

One night someone gave me some Malaysian currency. But still I had nowhere near enough for the airfares.

Then on the day before flying, at about midday, someone told me she'd just received word that she would be receiving some money into her account (from an estate) - and she wanted to give me some. The money was deposited into her account that afternoon, and she gave me a gift - enough for the tickets!

I quickly drove to the travel agency, arriving just minutes before closing time. The agent explained that although it was too late for a physical ticket to be issued, they could arrange for an electronic ticket to be waiting for me when I arrived at the airport the next morning.

So the agent proceeded with the sale, and found that a special fare had just been released. Had I been able to pay sooner, I would have paid some $200 extra!

My missionary-friend later remarked, "I'm going to let you handle my booking next time!"

What's more, it hadn't been possible to obtain Malaysian currency in Australia at that time - so I was also able to help my missionary-friend with some Malaysian cash too, when my friend needed it in Malaysia, much to my friend's surprise.

We ministered in churches in Kuala Lumpur, and in Malacca - then after some days we flew over to East Malaysia.

We ministered in churches; then when the time came to leave, we felt that I was meant to stay longer. So my missionary-friend returned to Kuala Lumpur, and left me in Borneo.

I had been invited to take a trip into a jungle, to the Iban tribe. We drove several hours to a village, then collected an outboard motor and some fuel, which was carried on shoulder to the river. The motor was attached to a wooden longboat, then we proceeded, deep into the jungle.

The river was flooded, so we had to avoid logs being swept downstream by the wide floodwaters. Nightfall was setting in - I could see the moonlight shining through the overhanging branches which formed a canopy over a narrow tributary we'd taken.

After 13 hours travel, we arrived. Our group walked up from the riverbank, along a narrow bamboo walkway - and there in front of my eyes was a longhouse. I could see lights shining through the windows, from a generator - exactly as I'd seen in my spirit when I woke up that Saturday morning at home on the Gold Coast.

The Ibans were once feared headhunters. Whole communities lived in longhouses rather than in separate huts, for protection.

Some longhouses are several hundred feet long, all of them with separate rooms for each family, plus common areas, some of them are over a hundred years old, elaborately constructed without nails.

Many such longhouses line the river systems. Some still have human skulls hanging up as decorations. I was told I was the first foreigner to ever visit this particular longhouse.

Next morning everyone gathered together to meet us. I told them the story of how I'd seen their place in a vision while at home in my country faraway, and that I had been sent to them with a message from God.

They looked eagerly at their visitor.  I told them the good news of our beautiful Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and His salvation. And we laid hands on the sick, in His Name.

Many of them received the Lord JESUS as their Saviour. One man's face was just glowing afterwards with his newfound faith and joy!

We also made a trip upstream to a neighbouring longhouse on the other side of the river. This longhouse was larger with double-storeys. We preached there also, then came back to the first longhouse.

In the afternoon the whole village went to the river to bathe. The women and children first, then after they got back, we men. The river current was strong enough that I had to hook my leg around a submerged tree trunk to keep from drifting away. I could feel fish nibbling at my feet.

(One thing I enjoyed discovering was that people in the jungle have exactly the same sense of humour as us!)

After a couple of days, we left, despite so many longhouses still needing to be reached.

One of the local pastors in our group committed to visiting the longhouses regularly afterwards, at considerable sacrifice to him and his family. (But I later heard he couldn't keep going.)

I just don't know if the story of this tribe is finished yet.

I wonder how they're going...