1) Message 20 12 12
Then said Boaz unto his servant that was set over the reapers, Whose damsel is this?
Ruth chapter 2 verse 5
In the Christian life one aspect is not only to know what is the Lord’s will for us but to constantly remain in the centre of His will. How many are prepared to listen for the voice of the Holy Spirit whispering to us what is that perfect will of God for us. Those who have been greatly used by God over the centuries have been the ones who have heard the Holy Spirit telling them what to do but also realise it is not themselves who can do the work but only God Himself in the person of the Holy Spirit.
The great danger is to hear the Holy Spirit and then try and act on our own or move out of the Lord’s perfect plan. It is only by being in the centre of God’s plan each and every moment that God is able to do all He wants to do through us. When we move out of God’s plan we not only frustrate God’s plan but place ourselves in danger of becoming a prey to Satan himself.
Although using the Old Testament book of Ruth as an example this provides a perfect illustration of what happens when we move out of the centre of God’s will. There was a man named Elimelech who lived in Bethlehem with his wife Naomi and two sons Mahlon and Chilion. Bethlehem means House of Bread. Although there was a famine Elimelech failed to believe that God was greater than the famine and was well able to provide for Elimelech and his family in Bethlehem.
There was no need to leave Bethlehem and go to the land of Moab. Not only did Elimelech move out of the centre of God’s will but he went to live in Moab whose people were not God’s people. Elimelech walked away from God and he soon died. The situation grew even worse when Mahlon and Chilion decided to marry. They chose wives from amongst the Moabites. They had gone against the will of God as they should have married from amongst their own people. After around ten years both sons died without having children.
The situation looked bleak for Naomi. Not only was she in a foreign land but away from her relatives who would have helped her in her time of need. God in His mercy, though, was gracious to Naomi for she had had no choice but to go with her husband and sons to Moab. At first both her sons wives said they would go with her to Bethlehem but in the end only Ruth decided to go. Although not of God’s people Ruth shows a faithfulness and purity which would have been pleasing to God.
The people of Bethlehem were moved at the sight of Naomi on her return. They said “ Is this Naomi?” Without doubt Naomi was a changed woman. Instead of being content as she was before she had left she now called herself Mara as she believed God had dealt bitterly with her. Naomi confessed that she had left Bethlehem full but returned empty.
This is the experience of many a Christian who steps outside of God’s will to follow that of their own choosing. God wants to give us His best if only we will accept this on God’s terms and we fulfil His conditions. When we do so although the road will never be easy because our Lord showed clearly that like Himself His followers would also need to go the way of the cross, this is God’s way. It is when we start going our own way that we become discontent like Naomi.
In our own time there is an industry which draws those who like Elimelech have walked away from God’s provided ways. These are the ways clearly set out in the Bible. It is the Bible where we have all the promises we can stand on for a holy, righteous and pure life, a life which can always be at the centre of God’s will. This is a life which does not need to have constant introspection and examination to look at its past.
There is no need to go to residential centres and pay to deal with fears from the past. No this is a Satanic scheme to bind Christians and has nothing to do with our Lord Jesus Christ. Is not our Lord’s words sufficient enough to show that anything which is not based on God’s word is Satanic and should not be touched? We are to believe and act upon that which is written. It is written that Jesus Himself said:
And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.
St John chapter 8 verse 32
It is the truth of the word of God which sets us free not the Satanic courses which go under the name of Christianity. No these courses can never set you free they can only lead to further fear and take you further away from God’s will for your life.
The only ones who will benefit from running centres which put on courses which cannot be supported by the Word of God are those who run the courses to make money for their own ends. These people and their courses are no better than the moneychangers who Jesus drove out of the temple. Where in all of the many courses which are introspective and self centred is the vision to obey the words of Jesus to preach the gospel to every creature.
Have you considered whether you are in the centre of God’s will?
Like Elimelech you may have gone right out of God’s will. If you have by going your own way of continual introspection and by your choices shown that it is my way and not God’s way be warned. We are not on earth to be happy but holy. We are to give God His rightful place in our lives.
Are you giving Jesus the pre eminence in your life each and every moment. It is no wonder we have waited so long for revival. God is shut out of the lives of the majority of those who call themselves Christian for they and not God, in Jesus Christ are on the throne. O that the stronghold of a Christianity which shuns God and chooses to follow its own way be bound and the captives set free. Revival comes through brokenness when hidden sin is publicly confessed. Is the Church ready to accept this condition?
Lord God come and take your rightful place and in doing so bring revival once more because lives are lived for you alone as they fulfil the words of the Psalmist.
The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: A broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.
Psalm 51 verse 17
Praise God, though, that like Naomi there is a way back into the centre of God’s will. Naomi was not only provided her daily needs but through the marriage of Ruth to Boaz (for Ruth was the damsel who gleaned in Boaz’s field) became a grandmother. Her grandson was named Obed who became the grandfather of David. It was of the line of David that our Lord Jesus was born. God ways are perfect if we will only accept His way rather than our own.
Lord Jesus Christ take your rightful place as head of every living stone in your body the Church. The Church of the redeemed for it was your blood and your blood alone which could pay the price for sin and set sinners free from the penalty of sin, the penalty of eternal death. Lord, risen Saviour, may your resurrection life fill the lives of your people as the Holy Spirit is invited to come and live as God in those who He indwells.
Lord show your people that the only place to be in the Christian life is at the centre of God’s will and not the self centred will so prevalent amongst the vast majority who call themselves Christian. Come Lord and help your remnant Church to be set apart from the worldly churches. May your Church be the living stones who are broken in humility and living sacrifices without spot or blemish whose lives are always lived in the light. In your mercy, Lord, as your remnant Church meets these conditions the windows of heaven will be opened and the longed for revival will come. This prayer seeks only to bring honour and glory to the name of our God. Amen.
2) BRIAN MASON MESSAGE 24 04 13
And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure.
1 John chapter 3 verse 3
Christ is alive. What a revelation when we have a living Christ within us. The Christ who the apostles gave great witness of His resurrection. The apostles who witnessed with great power.
And with great power gave the apostles witness of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: and great grace was upon them all.
Acts of the Apostles chapter 4 verse 33
The apostles witnessed to a living Christ who is ready to save and heal. What is missing in ministry today? It is those who are baptised in the Holy Spirit who are on fire for God with personal experience that Christ is a living present - day reality. This is a ministry which will carry conviction and be crowned with amazing results.
O the reality of the baptism of the Holy Spirit. The baptism which fills the human vessel with God. The baptism of holiness which brings in all the fullness of Christ. When the Holy Spirit comes into our lives and brings a living Christ in His fullness He has to take from us one by one, bit by bit all that is of the old self life. Not sin as this has been forgiven and destroyed at conversion. Entire sanctification the process by which the Holy Spirit makes the believer holy may have been already taking place. When the Holy Spirit comes, tough, with our own personal Pentecost we can never forget the experience or indeed be the same as prior to the baptism.
I will never forget my own Pentecost. This was on Good Friday in 1971 at The Assemblies Of God Convention in Preston, Lancashire, in England. The same convention in which years ago Smith Wigglesworth was the convenor. When in the afternoon meeting there was an invitation for seekers of the baptism of the Holy Spirit to go into another room I went to the room. I had little understanding of what was being talked about but it was as though an unseen hand was guiding me. What happened in that room changed my whole life. I was filled with a power not of this world, a power and presence from heaven and began to speak in another language that of tongues.
Whether our experience of is one of entire sanctification or the baptism of the Holy Spirit or both there will be a change within us for the old self life will be replaced but each area will only be replaced when we agree and allow the Holy Spirit to replace that area with the divine nature.
The standards are high. Out must go all that is of self. Self satisfaction, self seeking, ambition to own money or position, lust, together with all that defiles the body like alcohol, smoking and drugs. It is the standard of God as seen in the life of Christ. Only those who realise that it is by asking the Holy Spirit to change our natures who will become Christ like. How otherwise could we meet even one of God’s standards as spoken of by Jesus in the Sermon on the mount. Just consider this one.
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.
St Matthew chapter 5 verse 8
Pure in heart what a position to be in. The place where God alone has his own way in us as we hear his voice and obey when He says this is the way walk ye in it. Blessed hope. Blessed purpose. God’s purpose alone working in and through us in the person of the Holy Spirit as He has free course to give a daily experience that Christ is still a living reality. Pure thoughts. Pure life for it is His holy and pure life meeting God’s standards. Life which is in a right relationship with God. Life which manifests the righteousness of the Lord of life. This is so for as He dwells within He changes us to become like Himself. What a blessed thought but more than a thought, a living reality because this living Christ in the person of the Holy Spirit has come in forever. What a transformation. All things become new as His life changes our natures. No longer self centred, critical of others or rebellious of God’s plan for our lives for how can we be when the fire of God burns within us to consume all that is not Christ like in order to make us pure reflections of our blessed Lord. Joy unspeakable abounds within as this is nothing less than heaven on earth.
Lord I am as thirsty as any man on earth today to have a daily overflowing of your life. Not Lord for any selfish reason but so that you might be made manifest in me so that the world shall see you. O that there will be a vital Christianity because lives are on fire for Christ as the Holy Spirit manifests the living Christ to a world which is dead to God. Dead religion cannot manifest Christ so God Himself in His love for lost mankind is bringing His light into the darkness of an ungodly world through those whom He indwells. The remnant Church today are to be His flames. Jesus is life. He is the only answer to a world held in the grips of the god of this world. The baptism of the Holy Spirit empowers us. Within then comes a greater power than there is in the world. Let there be an awakening from present day unbelief to dare for God. God has given us all the power over the enemy as the Holy Spirit breaths through us the life of Christ so that this will lead others to know this living Christ as Saviour and Lord.
Lord give more of yourself to each living stone of which your Church is built; the priesthood of all who know you as Saviour and Lord. May in this day the true Church rise from the deadness of religion to know the living Christ so that God will never cease until He has accomplished His every purpose within the hearts of those who are His. Lord for all to be accomplished may each one realise that they need to have a broken spirit. I too as I get nearer to God the more broken I am in spirit.
Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
St Matthew chapter 5 verse 3
3) Message 13 12 12
But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost.
Jude verse 20
The Christian life needs to be one of growth. We cannot rely on the experiences of yesterday for today. There is no such thing as standing still as we either move forward daily with a fresh supply from God or we go backwards. We need always to be vigilant by guarding the development of our position in Christ. As Paul emphasises we are to press on.
I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus.
Philippians chapter 3 verse 14
There is the need to press on. There can be no slacking or we go backwards. In pressing on, though, Paul shows us that this is the high calling of God and this calling is only found in Christ Jesus.
What is this high calling? It is to be filled with the fulness of God.
And to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God.
Ephesians chapter 3 verse 19
Do we fully realise what God has for us? In these days of shallowChristianity I would say no. Self gets in the way. Self centred Christianity has become prevalent. There is a thinking of what God will give rather than who God is. God has to be at the centre each Christian’s life. God and God alone has to be reverenced for who He is and continually thanked for what He has done through Jesus when He reconciled us to Himself.
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.
Romans chapter 5 verse 10
Have we that depth of understanding that we all were enemies of God? Not one of us could reconcile ourselves to God. We have nothing in the unregenerate condition which could reconcile us to God. Reconciliation with God comes only through the offering of the blood of Jesus Christ. It is as we accept that Jesus and Jesus alone is our only merit and we avail ourselves of His offering of Himself for our sin that we are reconciled with God. Each one of us to be a Christian has had to repent of our sin and accepted Jesus Christ as our Saviour. That is the start of the Christian life.
What is the purpose of God for those who have come to know God as their Father and therefore become a son of God. It is to live life’s which shows forth the life of God.
As Peter informs us we are to be holy.
Because it is written, Be ye holy, for I am holy.
1 Peter chapter 1 verse 16
Above all else God is holy. This is what sets Him apart from His creatures. Yet we who know God through Jesus Christ are called to be holy. How do we do this? Not by any self attainment. It is by continually looking to and thinking of Jesus. As we absorb ourselves in Him we become more like Him. Through daily Bible reading and prayer and having Jesus before us we grow in Him and like Him. Not only do we become more holy but also grow in righteousness and become more pure. His love becomes our love and we become more like Him each day as we press on with Him at the centre of our lives. Few are prepared to pay the price of such a walk with Jesus. Shallow Christians come from having little fellowship with Jesus because there is little Bible reading and prayer or it is neglected altogether. We will only get out in relation to what we put in. If we put much in we will keep growing and becoming more like Jesus who has become everything to us. As the verse chosen for this message shows we are to build ourselves up on our most holy faith. We only do this as we become like Jesus.
Jesus is the one we are to grow into. However, we have not been left alone to do this as we are told by Jude to pray in the Holy Ghost. We are filled with all the fulness of God as the Holy Ghost lives His life in and through us. The Holy Ghost as God is the only one on earth today who can live a life like Jesus. Each believer has received the Holy Ghost. You will know the measure by which the Holy Ghost is real to you. You may know Him as a person who is able to live a life through you like that Jesus would have lived had He been in your place. You may have had an experience like that the Apostles received on the day of Pentecost when they were baptised in the Holy Ghost. Whichever of these two you may know or like myself know them both as they were two distinct experiences is not the overriding factor. What matters is that the Holy Ghost is as much God as the Father and Jesus. The Holy Ghost was sent into the world by the Father to do the work of God. This work can only be done through human vessels who are filled with the Holy Ghost. O what a wonderful God we have who wants us to be filled with Himself as we are to know the fulness of God and in doing so become like Jesus . The more we become like Jesus as the Holy Ghost takes over each part of our lives then the Holy Ghost can release His power and authority through us to do the mighty works of God.
Lord Jesus Christ you are all in all. There is no one like you for you have shown us what God is like. We had no hope in a world of sin and were condemned to be cut off from God for ever. Yet Lord you left heaven’s glory and were prepared to die in our place so that our sin could be forgiven. Thank you Jesus. Your blood dear Jesus has reconciled each sinner to God when they have accepted you as the only Saviour and repented of their sin. Lord what a great salvation is ours when we go on with you. To know that we can be filled with all the fulness of God and become holy as God is holy. Lord may there be a willingness amongst those who call themselves Christian to want to become like you. Lord may the Holy Ghost find many who will let Him live in and through them a life just like yourself had you lived in their place. This prayer seeks only to bring honour and glory to the name of our God. Amen.
13 08 18
And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high.
St. Luke 24:49
Father the disciples had to wait until the day of Pentecost not just for their own preparation but also until the Lord Jesus was glorified historically. It was immediately that our Lord was glorified in Ascension that the Holy Spirit came into this world and has been here ever since.
We have to receive revelation that He is here for there are those who deny the workings of the Holy Spirit. May there be the understanding that the baptism of the Holy Ghost is not an experience apart from Jesus Christ: it is the evidence of the ascended Christ.
Father, still receive glory through your Son in these days of unbelief and denial of your Word. Amen.