Banner Of Pure Unity

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BANNER OF PURE UNITY

Let me try and lay this down in a way that makes sense.

I watch various posts with interest and have noted that with a certain degree of consistency; many mention the word ‘evil’. We can put a mask in-font of this word such as ISIS, Politics, Banking & Financial Institutions, New World Order etc. But these are no more than conduits for evil to operate through. There is a significant ‘game plan’ that seems to be just under the radar of the ignorant – which I will call ‘Apostasy’. It is a deliberate ploy to divide and conquer a nation by getting’s its people to stop believing there is anything worth believing in – other than ourselves and our own little worlds.

We are being turned off to established financial, political, judicial and religious institutions through what is a blatant lack of trust and have come to a place where we no longer want these organisations to represent what we believe or what we stand for. When it comes down to it, a society is being created where we no longer have a choice, because there is ultimately nothing to put our faith in and any hint of stepping out is being sighted as offensive and intolerant. The danger of course, is that we will get washed out to a divided and hopeless people of apathy who are massively susceptible to domination.

Evil is a very real spiritual force that is aggressively taking ground and consuming us with increasing darkness. Where there is no light, darkness will always be and this is the very heart of all our world problems. Jesus Christ is the light of the world and on the Cross he conquered death and overcame evil but the problem is, we do not proclaim or walk in this authority. It’s like having a 6mm UZI under the bed, but never getting it out. No amount of protests or campaigns will succeed against such evil – it can only be a genuine move of God.

I am sharing these established and well documented biblical truths now, as never before in the history of man has this truth been so needed. I know to some this concept doesn’t seem to hold any weight, power or authority but the truth is, once we start standing in faith for what Jesus did – the power of God will move. So what does that look like you ask?

Jesus said;

Lift Me up and I will draw people unto myself

……and that is what the symbol at the start of this post represents. We are to lift up and proclaim the Victory that Jesus Won on the Cross. Also, what Jesus proclaimed below back then, is the same for us now. He said;

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed.’’

So, by putting these two together – we get this: (My Words)

First we must unite under one banner in Love, Power and Authority. First, the love is through God’s forgiveness, not condemnation. Anyone who looks to Christ will be forgiven. Second, the power of the Cross has overcome death and conquered evil meaning we walk in the same anointing as Jesus did as rightful sons/daughters and heirs of the Heavenly Kingdom. Lastly, Gods Word is the Authority over all things and is the gate-keeper to every promise to us through His faithfulness to His word because of the reconciliation of man and God, through the Victory that was WON on the Cross.

This central message of the Gospel has been totally lost. Only in the purity of this message, can and will God move. Imagine a people regardless of doctrine, tradition or denomination all united by the simplicity of the Cross in love, power and authority – raised up in confidence and hope. A body of people that darkness will have no hold, who will be added to daily. This non-judgemental people of purpose will stand up for their nation, regardless of the nations beliefs, colour, creed, gender, origin or background. A people of purpose who will defend their nation by proclaiming the Victory over it, by lifting Jesus upon high and declaring that the enemy is defeated. A shield of fearless faithful and full-hearted people who will protect and promote the safety of every person in every village, town and city. Imagine a nation of churches united under one banner yet outworking their individual ministries according to their calling and gifting.

Finally, in any warfare we must know who the enemy is – what is evil?

Mark 7:20-23 is the directive:

20 And he said, “What comes out of a person is what defiles him. 21 For from within, out of the heart of man, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, 22 coveting, wickedness, deceit, sensuality, envy, slander, pride, foolishness. 23 All these evil things come from within, and they defile a person.”

You see, a move of God will not come against ISIS, New World Order etc. because all people belong to God, he loves them and forgives them just as much as you and I. If only they would turn to Jesus to receive their forgiveness – but if Jesus is not lifted up in a united and clear way, how are they to know? Evil is never beaten by force but by repentance. People need to see and know love for themselves, the love that we received when we were once so far off – stuck in our own evil thoughts and ways. A united move of people on purpose will never come against a label, religion or religious activities, consortiums or brands – only against the evil that has enveloped them – DO YOU SEE THE POWER IN THAT? Totally inclusive, yet decisive against evil but set free through forgiveness.

So I guess in summary, a hardy gathering (no matter the size) is needed to make a start. To raise up and stand up under a Banner of Pure Unity, who will proclaim NO MORE to evil – who will make the way clear, easy to understand and to follow.

If you can think of people or are a person who would be prepared to listen or to become this message, at least in concept – I would be thrilled to hear back.

Craig

           

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Perfect Love Casts Out All Fear

Profound.

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There’s no such thing as Christianity

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Chapter 4:8 – Chosen by God

To be a Christian is often to be misunderstood and sadly there is a swell in our lack of purpose and relatability to others, especially in the postmodern age. This applies even with-in the Christian community. Part of the issue can be identified by truly understanding what it means to be a Christian. Some might say it is to be a follower of Christ or that our sins are forgiven. Perhaps it’s that we are in the right relationship with God through Jesus and have eternal life? Maybe it is to be saved by grace? Or is it to be baptised, born again and to have received the Holy Spirit?

 Whilst these answers are well known and well recited, let it be said that fundamentally; they are nothing more than the symptoms of Christianity and not the true cause. Let us ask the same question but in a slightly different way. If Adam and Eve had not eaten the forbidden fruit, what would it mean to be a Human Being? It’s interesting because do we really think God labels his most precious creation as Christians and non-Christians? In-fact, it is not until Acts 11:26 that the word Christian even existed and remarkably, it was given to us by the non-believers and meant as a derogative statement.

 If we could drop the word Christian and all the stigma it attracts, yet remain as a Human Being in light of the finished work of the Cross – we are left with nothing more than what we were originally created to be – ‘HOLY’

 …..for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.” (1 Peter 1:16 NIV)

 I am the LORD your God; consecrate yourselves and be holy, because I am holy. Do not make yourselves unclean by any creature that moves along the ground (Leviticus 11:44)

 You are to be holy to me because I, the LORD, am holy, and I have set you apart from the nations to be my own. (Leviticus 20:26 NIV)

 God’s heart is that we will be united with Him, in the eternal Holy Matrimony. The outworking of Gods plans through our lives and that of His Church are in direct proportion to the consciousness of our Holiness. This is not an act of precession, good works or elitism – but a humble and profoundly deep understanding that all we are and all we do, is from being Holy. Put simply, we will step into our true life purpose, the closer we become to who we were originally created to be. The goal of every Human Being is to be the person that we were created to be and if we want radical evangelism, surely this has to be the message.

 

 

 

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Unity

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Chapter 4:7 – Chosen by God

On a Sunday all across the world, Christians meet at the same place, at the same time and do the same things, yet there is no unity and what’s more, there is no device for calling this out. From the garden of Gethsemane until now, there is still a prayer that remains unanswered for Jesus.

I will remain in the world no longer, but they are still in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, protect them by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one as we are one. (John 17:11 NIV)

 As a Christian society, we are desperate to move in authority, power  and glory but we don’t. Psalm 133 promises that where there is unity, there will be blessing and conversely, Luke 11.17 tells us that a house divided against itself will fall. As individual Christians, we will never unite on doctrine or scripture, as no amount of uniformity produces unity – it’s not realistic nor is it biblical. Unity is of the heart and not an outward conformity. Outward conformity is dictatorial as it always seeks to satisfy others standards and behaviours. The case in point being the comparison of ministries between Jesus and John the Baptist. John was set apart to prepare the way for the One who was to come and under no circumstance was alcohol to pass his lips. Then, along comes Jesus and His first miracles turns water into wine.

We are all at different levels of understanding and varying degrees of closeness to the Father, so it is obvious that we will always be transcending from one level of beliefs to the next. The issue is not about unity but acceptance. As a Christian, there is no reason for us not to accept a person from a different religion but at the same time not accepting their beliefs – so why can’t we do the same with our Christian brothers and sisters to fulfil the following:

Therefore if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, fulfil my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind. (Philippians 2:1-2 NKJV)

 When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. (Acts 2:1 NKJV)

 I appeal to you, brothers and sisters, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another in what you say and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly united in mind and thought. (1 Corinthians 1:10 NIV

)  With all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love; Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. (Ephesians 4:3 KJV)

For he himself is our peace, who has made the two groups one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by setting aside in his flesh the law with its commands and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new humanity out of the two, thus making peace, and in one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit. (Ephesians 2:14-18 NIV)

 The true reason we lack unity is because we refuse to meet at the only place we can – THE CROSS. So let it be said; if Christians refuse to meet at the Cross;  where will we meet? The Cross is the ultimate and only symbol of unity. By meeting at the Cross there is absolutely no room for un-forgiveness, harmful judgemental attitudes, loveless legalism or fearful self-preservation and pride. Everything works from the Cross and everything leads back to the Cross.

When Jews gather for their Passover meal, it is a struggle to get a word in edgeways as each person speaks over the next in an attempt to be heard, desperate to express their individual take on tradition and religious customs. However, there is one event and proclamation of unity that will never be broken – They are no longer slaves of Egypt. Through the victory that was Won on the Cross – we are no longer slaves but free. And anyone who will unify in the blood of Christ can make a claim to be a brother or sister of yours and mine.  

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We are all public speakers

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Chapter 4:6 – Chosen by God

For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ. But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 2 Corinthians 4:5-7 (NIV)

 No one is really interested in Jesus or the Cross, it’s the Glory that ignites the heart in a man. Ralph Waldo Emerson famously said ‘’I hate quotations. Tell me what you know?’’ If we can make plain what was Won on the Cross and what that means to a person in the here and now, the Kingdom of God will have no difficulty in breaking through. The reason why darkness comes against us with such force, is because what Jesus did mobilizes the Church. Any Christian who will offer all they have in faith to Jesus, no matter how small – will feed the hungry by the thousands (John 6:5-13). The fullness of life and the riches of heaven were summed up, bound up and given up for us, the moment Jesus was raised up. Therefore, let us walk, talk, teach and show what and who we know, as truth is public – and like it or not, in Christ, we are all public speakers.

When we are at peace with God, we are at peace with ourselves. When we are at peace with God, there is peace in our homes. And when there is a united peace with God, there is peace on earth. That said, would it not be easier if God could just sketch this message in the sky for the whole world to see, as let’s face it, He would certainly be capable? However attractive this may seem, it really is missing the point because the true joy is ours, as God brings His people to salvation through us. It is that process of discovery and the releasing of our faith in the promises of God that turns on the Light of the World within us.

Being obedient to God is not some dictatorial, heavy or weighty obligation. Being obedient is aligning ourselves with Gods will and ways out of reverence and by taking God at His word. It is about seeing it through in order to get ourselves in a position for Gods glory to break in. It is out of our relationship with God that His promises and His sovereign ways can be activated, that we are used as part of His remarkable creative process. The question is; are we believing enough to take God at His word and are we prepared to carry the Cross and go the distance every day until things come to fruition?

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Being on purpose

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Chapter 4:5 – Chosen by God

First we find God for ourselves and then for others.

And no one pours new wine into old wineskins. Otherwise, the wine will burst the skins, and both the wine and the wineskins will be ruined. No, they pour new wine into new wineskins.” (‭Mark‬ ‭2‬:‭22‬ NIV)

The Creator of the world is the endless supply of resource, to include our spirituality and emotional stability. It is in the fires of life, when we come to realise how woefully ill prepared we are to cope with our struggles and the temptation is to rail against them. Trying circumstances or perceived needs do not make people seekers of Truth. It is the message of hope in a need, which supplies the answer. Before we can give to others, there is no shame in admitting when we have not drawn enough for ourselves from God – In fact, it’s remarkably liberating. Gods draws us to himself with His everlasting love and it is as we become closer, will we sense the time and season of when we are ready prepared to be poured out into the life’s of others. This is what it truly means to fulfil the heart’s desire of Jesus.

We are chosen by God, by choosing to be chosen, in just the same way that a child will put their hand up to volunteer in class, or a soldier’s for a dangerous mission. We are made to serve God, to give Glory to Himself but there will be a cost – and that cost is our will. When our character matches our calling, our hidden destiny can then be revealed. The way to be sure and to identify the obvious, is to simply ask ourselves; what are we prepared to give our lives for? What is it that truly breaks our hearts? What are we to do with our lives that will last forever? What passions are we specifically being generally drawn towards? What subjects do we read the most about? The answer is already with-in us, it’s just a matter of whether we are ready to receive it. We are significant to the Kingdom and through us could be the only chance in the entire life of another, that they may get to hear of the victory that was Won on the Cross for them.

In John 6:66, Jesus severely rebukes those who were not serious and made no bones about the fact. It was either a true relationship with the Father through Him, or it was no relationship at all. God has something totally unique for our lives that sadly, so few discover by choosing to turn back.

For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. (‭Ephesians‬ ‭2‬:‭10‬ NIV)

 Whatever the call on our life, the out working will result in the following:

Bring healing

– Where ever we are placed, people will be hurting or something will need fixing or a problem solving in one way or another. There will be something in the lives of others where we can bring relief, a solution or service or make things better.

Set captives free

– People are bound by lies and a lack of hope. We all have a desire for dignity and to understand what it means to be a person. We will add immense value and encouragement to the worthiness of a person’s soul through personal or product integrity and trust.

Preach the Gospel –

It will be out of the truth in us in action, that will make a person thirsty and so recognise a difference about us. They will be curious to know our source and therefore be open to the redemptive blood of Christ.

 

 

 

 

 

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We Matter to God

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Chapter 4:4 – Chosen by God

We are all on a journey of faith, so let us not despise the days of small beginnings. Our full inheritance is born out of the relationship with our Father and our character will always come before any calling. Knowing we were chosen and having fully absorbed the blood of Christ, we come to realise that it is not just about what we were saved from – but what we are saved for. Very few are qualified Theologians or gifted Preachers but it really doesn’t matter because what God intents for us, is unique to us – and invaluable to our part of promoting the Kingdom message.

You did not choose Me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit, and that your fruit should remain, that whatever you ask the Father in My name He may give you. These things I command you, that you love one another. (‭John‬ ‭15‬:‭16-17‬ NKJV)

Whilst we will have specific talents and giftings, neither is as important as whom we are in Christ. A person, who loves God and loves people can soften the most hardened of hearts by the simplest acts: such as making a cup of tea or the offer of a glass of water. The early believers had no access to the New Testament but what they did have was the joy of the Lord alive in them. Similarly, it is quite a thought to recall how King David danced out of sheer delight in front of the Ark in 2 Samuel 6:14, which perhaps poses the question of what a revived celebration in us should look like?

The beginning of all things, is in the acknowledgement that God is our God and that all is from Him and all will return to Him. In order to be a great leader, we must first have been a great follower, as it is by our acts of reserve and restraint, will things then become clear. The world teaches that ‘might is right’ or that we are ‘to make it happen’ – but this is not the way of the Cross.

Therefore humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt you in due time, casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you. 1Peter 5:6-7 (NIV)

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Spirit of unbelief

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WORN TO WON

Chapter 4:3 – Chosen by God

To understand the misery of our faith, there is a great need to press into the truth of the matter. The flowing water of Grace, stops with us and not into the hearts of those who so desperately need to receive. This is not the Fathers way. As Church, we will become an epistle for men to read, only when the full Gospel and its glorious riches are believed and felt for ourselves. It is said, that an unbelieving world, finds our lack of faith – unbelievable.

The Western Church is under a blanket of unbelief, a form of religiosity akin to the Church of Laodicea; in Revelation 3:14-22. Material wealth, high education and the general comfort of life, has halted the Good News to almost standstill. We are a deceived nation and under a genuine curse that is weighing on the hearts of the faithful and has crushed the Church beyond all recognition. Yet, we unwittingly walk around wearing impregnable spiritual dunce caps and wonder why our faith continues to operate by Diminishing Returns.

By taking a good look at Matthew 17:14-21, we see the ministry of Jesus was halted in exactly the same way. Things had by and large been going well, right up until the point of when His disciple’s unbelief failed to cast out a demon. This begs the question; why was Jesus so severe in His rebuke? Also, it is telling that the disciples did not seem to have the same problems previously, when Jesus had sent them out to minister without so much as a spare pair of sandals?

Let it be said that thankfully, unbelief is a demonic spirit that lives and thrives on the pride of man and not a condition or behaviour trait of our Christian authenticity. Unbelief acts as a shield around our minds to the truth and revelations of God and is placed upon us by Satan and his minions at any given opportunity. It directly defuses faith, robs our joy and renders the Kingdom of God defunct. If we can see this as an alien intrusion and disassociate it from who we are, we will not hesitate to ask Jesus in prayer and fasting to deliver us from the oppression, through the Victory that was Won in the Cross. The demonic spirit will have to leave and all that remains, is a mind to be filled with the fullness of faith.

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Dead Sea Faith

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Chapter 4:2 – Chosen by God 

Consumerism has saturated the church and a sad culture of ‘me first’ has embodied the hearts of believers. The moment we take our eyes off the Cross and the wonderment it beholds, we slope into self-obsessiveness where restrictive thinking prevails. There is an economic principle called Diminishing Returns; it is the process of when an output reduces or indeed stops, regardless of the input. The spiritual equivalent is; that no matter how much we read the Word; attend church or pray; nothing seems to change in our life, or in the lives of others. This is somewhat frustrating, if not a little demoralising based on our instructions and seemly desire to fulfil the great commission of Matthew 28:16-28.

God does not want us to have the Word, but to have the Word for others because a pool of self-centredness will soon go stagnant. So on the basis that God wants His very best for us and by being in a right relationship with Him through the Blood of Jesus means, we can ask Him for anything – why is it that our faith is so weak, our joy so lacklustre and our impact on society so futile? What is the reason we expect so much, yet experience and see so little ……………..?

…….“You expected much, but see, it turned out to be little. What you brought home, I blew away. Why?” declares the Lord Almighty. “Because of my house, which remains a ruin, while each of you is busy with your own house. (Haggai 1:9 NIV)

In introspective outlook is born out of the things of man and a mind-set of reason and worldly wisdom, will never bring out the fullness of God; nor be attractive to the eyes of those who are searching. God’s unique plan and great will on our lives should be a cause for celebration and immense excitement, and one that we can’t wait to share with the world – yet we struggle to invite people to church, let alone into the Eternal Kingdom of Heaven. In 2012, Richard Nicholls, a dear brother in Christ gave me a vision of Jesus in the pulpit – ready to preach. He addressed the congregation by asking how radical they wanted Him to be, what miracles they expected and proclaimed that He would not disappoint. Next, he descending the steps, walked down the aisle – and straight out the front door, leaving a trail of glistening footprints behind.

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Chosen By God

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Chapter 4:1 – Chosen by God

WHEN IT COMES DOWN TO IT, WE ARE CHOSEN BY GOD TO MAKE A CLAIM FOR OUR SOCIETY.

INTRODUCTION

God’s people are like the Dead Sea, taking it all for ourselves – but His ways flow directly from the throne like living water. We are Gods hands and feet on earth through which His work is achieved for His Glory.

Taking, is part of human nature as is it in all creation, but what we receive is for a purpose – for the growth and life of others and those who keep their eyes on God understand this. From the Throne Room there are many promises that we are to pass on to others, spoils of war if you will through the Victory that was WON on the cross as togetherness is where the blessing is, because life by itself is a lonely thing which was never the Fathers way.

Those who hear Gods words and act them out gladden His heart and is an honor to our relationship with Him which was in the original plan of creation. We are chosen, but the response to this choice is ours because everything works for the good in Gods Kingdom; for those who love Him. Also, how are Gods people to hear if they do not know the will of The Fathers heart? So there is a great commission, worthy of all praise and above all things and is precious in Gods sight.

Gods creates the openings to step into, but it takes a walk of faith to stand on His Words of Truth and in their Spirit for the Glory of Gods Kingdom. God is raising up a nation who know this, one which we can all be party to through simple obedience. And there is nothing to fear as the Father goes before us and His paths lead to the deepest needs. A fearless believing people will change the world and the world to come – in that fine and glorious day of ultimate unity with our Father.

Life grows on the move like living water, refreshing life wherever it reaches. So to be sent for Gods good work should be seen as the highest order in the growth of His Kingdom which is for everyone. He shall equip the saints in all knowledge and supply the keys to unlock the hearts and minds of those who are His. This is not a fruitless exercise but one of immeasurable value to Father, so lets be brave and have reason in all our endeavours because He goes before us –  for His Glory.

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