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A CRY IN THE WILDERNESS
By

JEFFRY DAVID CAMM MISSIONARY/EVANGELIST

A Cry in the Wilderness

TABLE OF CONTENTS CHAPTER
DEDICATION COPYRIGHT FOREWORD CHRIST IS RISEN FIVE POINTS OF EVANGELISM THE WOMAN AT THE WELL THE ANGEL ON THE MOUNTAIN THE WORLD AND ITS PEOPLES TODAY THE CHURCH – A CHANGE IN DIRECTION GOD LIKES RIGHTEOUS PEOPLE GOD’S RIGHTEOUS ONES PASSING THE TEST(S) IN THE CHRISTIAN WALK FACELESS MEN OF THE BIBLE WARRIORS FOR CHRIST GETTING CLOSER TO GOD –THE PRAYER SERIES WHERE DO WE GO FROM HERE ? DETAILS ABOUT THE AUTHOR AND NEW LIGHT MINISTRIES OUT REACH PROGRAMMES

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DEDICATION This book is dedicated to my wife Rani, who has served as my helper and co-worker in God’s service for more than seventeen years. It has not been easy for her to leave her beloved Pakistan, culture and family, to go out into the unknown world, to serve the Lord, firstly in the Sultanate of Oman, then Australia, Thailand, Tanzania, Pakistan (again) and now here in Australia. During the seventeen years on the mission field, we have travelled to preach in more than 40 countries, and she has had to be my constant travelling companion, as well as a loving and caring wife, under all sorts of difficult circumstances. It is my desire, that in reading this book, you will feel a conviction to serve the Lord more and more, in whichever area of the Lord’s work, He has called you to become involved. In serving your employer, work as if unto the Lord, who, by His grace, has provided the work for you to do. In all things remember to lift up the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, whilst remaining a humble person yourself, not allowing pride or other worldly desires, to cause you to move away from the Divine Grace of Jesus Christ. In all things, and in all situations, be a living example, worthy of the name of Jesus Christ, as you show His pure love to all those around you, both believers and unbelievers alike. COPYRIGHT The contents of this publication remain the sole property of New Light Ministries & Consulting Services Pty. Ltd. Permission is given to reproduce text and diagrams from this publication for evangelistic and/or teaching purposes provided the said text and/or diagrams are not sold for profit, but are used to glorify God Almighty. FOREWORD New Light Ministries & Consulting Services Pty. Ltd. are pleased to release the sixth book in the series by Rev. Jeffry David Camm, called: - “A CRY IN THE WILDERNESS”. In studies of God’s Holy Scriptures, I have been continually fascinated by the tasks that God Almighty has given to His Prophets and Teachers throughout the centuries. As I read about these mighty men of ancient times, I try to imagine how they must have felt in their day and age, trying to follow the TEN COMMANDMENTS given by God Almighty, in a world completely filled with sin of every conceivable type and nature. I then think of the Scriptures written by Apostle Paul in Ephesians Chapter Four, where he outlines the “Special Gifts” that God Almighty has given to mankind for the building up of His church, namely Apostles, Prophets, Teachers, Evangelists, Pastors; and I wonder why there are very few people recognised and acclaimed today, as people called by God to operate in the office of the Prophet - to be God’s mouthpiece - a “Voice crying in the wilderness” to this generation. In preparing to write this book, I prayed to the Lord to show me how to write, and about whom. Would it be just about John the Baptist, who was referred to in the Scriptures as “A Voice Crying In The Wilderness”, or should it be more than this. In searching the Scriptures, I find that there was a person chosen by God to cry out His love and His mercy to each generation. “Woe unto me!” I cried. “ I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord God Almighty”. Then one of the seraphs flew to me with a live coal in his hand, which he had taken with tongs from the altar. With it he touched my mouth and said. “See, this has touched your lips; your guilt is taken away and your sin atoned for.” Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send ? and who will go for us?” Moreover, I said, “Here am I Lord Send me!” and the Lord said: - “GO AND TELL THIS PEOPLE; Be ever hearing, but never understanding; be ever seeing, but never perceiving. Make the heart of this people callused; make their ears dull, and close their eyes. Otherwise they might see with their eyes, hear with their ears, understand with their hearts and turn back to God and be healed.” Then I said, “For how long Lord?” And He answered : “Until the cities lie ruined and without inhabitants until the houses are left deserted and the fields ruined and ravaged, until the Lord has sent everyone far away and the land is utterly forsaken; And although a tenth remains in the land, it will again be laid to waste. But as the terebinth and oak leave stumps when they are cut down, so the Holy seed will be the stump in the land.” [Isaiah 6 : 5-13.] In times of old, just like today, many people refused to listen, (or heard - and did not believe), that a God would be so caring, as to love them, just as they are. But I can say from personal experience, that this is in fact the case.
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God’s love is so immense that it is able to reach down and cover us just as we are - right here and now today. I can also say this love of God, is a wonderful feeling. A wonderful promise of things to come, when we go to be with Him forever. In reading this book I want you to be challenged, to look at your life and see what is your position with God and especially the Lord Jesus Christ.  Do you believe He is the Son of God ?  Do you believe He can save you from destruction and wash away your sins ?  Do you believe there will be a day of Judgement and that you will have to give an account of your life to God Almighty, standing there right before His throne of Glory ? All of these things are important questions which we must be able to answer. So read on and may the Lord open up your spiritual eyes to His glory.

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JESUS CHRIST IS RISEN
For some people, Easter Sunday is a day of rejoicing - a time to remember that Jesus rose from the dead, confirming all the Prophetic Scriptures, which were given by the Old Testament Prophets and also the words of Jesus Christ Himself. For others, it is a mystery they do not understand, or that they have rejected altogether. For the Priests and the Levites who had rejected Jesus during His earthly lifetime, they made up a story to cover up their own disbelief They accused the followers of Jesus of stealing the body, so that it would not appear as if Jesus Christ had risen from the dead. Even after the miraculous event of Jesus’ resurrection, they (the Jewish Hierarchy) still refused to acknowledge the truth of the Scriptures amongst them. For Thomas, it was a time of disbelief. He told the other disciples that he would not believe that Jesus had risen from the dead until he could put his fingers into the nail marks himself. He had to see to believe. Three times before in Scripture, God Almighty had done a miraculous thing like this, so they all should have recognised the truth of the risen Lord. The Scripture says that ENOCH was a righteous man, who walked with God, and the Lord took him. MOSES went up the mountain to survey the Promised Land that the nation of Israel was to enter, then the Lord took him. ELIJAH crossed over the River Jordan with Elisha and the Lord sent down the chariot of fire to take him home to be with the Lord - the facts are clear again - the Lord took him. Today, whoever you are, as you sit and read this book, you are required to make a decision about the risen Lord, Jesus Christ: Do you believe the Old Testament Prophets ???  Do you believe the words of Jesus Christ Himself ???  Do you believe the testimonies of millions of people, who have been saved by His grace, as they recognise the wonderful love that is present here amongst us every morning ??? Jesus told us that wherever two or three are gathered together, He is present in our midst. The Scripture also tells us that Jesus dwells - in fact He inhabits, the praises of His people. This morning let us invite Jesus into our presence, to dwell with us in our praise and worship, to rejoice with us as we sing to glorify and honour Him. CHRIST HAS RISEN ::::: HALLELUJAH !!!

FIVE POINTS OF EVANGELISM
Isaiah 43:19 says: "Behold I will do something new among you; now it shall spring forth; will you not be aware of it: I will even make a roadway in the wilderness; rivers in the desert; I will do something new." The Lord wants to do something new and very exciting right here in the heart of you, Yes, you !! right here in the seat where you are right now as you continue to read this book. As the Holy Spirit works in the heart of a reborn Christian, pumping new power and enthusiasm through them, so the Lord wants to do the same for you, the heart of your soul, so that your whole being can be reclaimed for Christ, out of the clutches of the evil one. 2 Chronicles 7:14 says: "If My people; which are called by My name; shall humble themselves; and pray; and seek My face; and turn from their wicked ways; then I will hear from heaven: and will forgive their sins: and will heal their land". We are Gods' people, We are called "CHRISTIAN" - which means that “we belong to Christ”. This Scripture from the Old Testament is just as important to us today as it was to the nation of Israel. We are called to Humble ourselves. To get down off our social and religious pedestals, and kneel before the Lord, to seek His face, to REPENT OF OUR SINS (both individually as Christians, and collectively, as the whole Body of Christ) The five points of Evangelism are listed below. Without these things being set in motion, God cannot, and will not move amongst His people, because God cannot contradict His own Word.

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1. REPENT OF OUR SINS

For too long, Christians have been trying to get into Heaven without fully opening their hearts completely to God, so that the blood of Jesus Christ can cleanse them and make them whole. Jesus wants to change that today ! 2. BE YE HOLY - AS I AM HOLY

The Lord wants His church to be Holy, so that the effect of the church is felt in the streets, in the workplaces and in the homes. God wants the individual Christians to get Satan upset by being holy, just like Jesus did when He walked the earth. When this happens, Satan and his territorial spirits are put on notice that this is the dwelling place of God's people and that Satan and his demons have to leave. 3. RENEWAL IN THE CHURCH

Before God can move in the streets, we have to let God first move in our individual hearts, then in our church, and then all of the churches. 2. Chronicles 7:14 tells us : "to seek His face". Ephesians Chapter 6 tells us to put on the full armour of God. In verse chapter 6, verse 18 it tells us : "Praying Always With All Prayer And Supplications In The Spirit, And Watching Thereunto With All Perseverance And Supplication For All The Saints". We have to first start with prayers for all the saints. We first have to get the church back to full power, as in the days immediately after Pentecost, so that God can move with signs and wonder following. In the New Testament the Lord tells us to get into the spiritual battle and pray, so that the saints are fully equipped for war against Satan in the spiritual realm. Before God can do anything mighty in the world, the church must get back into the right way of doing things, that is - according to His Word. Christians can only “PRAY IN THE SPIRIT”; if they have the Holy Spirit manifested and operating in their individual lives. If you don't have it (the Holy Spirit) working in your life, then you need to “Seek His face”, and ask the Lord to give you what is rightfully yours. Acts 2:38 says: a) REPENT OF YOUR SINS b) BE BAPTISED IN WATER c) AND YOU SHALL RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT These three things are all linked together in the same Scripture. Your cannot have salvation without receiving the Holy Spirit. If the Spirit of God is not manifested and working in your life, you are going around like a car with the handbrake permanently on. It restricts the power to the wheels and won't let you perform to your whole potential. YOU NEED TO CHANGE THAT SITUATION - STARTING RIGHT NOW - STARTING TODAY !!! 4. REVIVAL IN THE CHURCH

Church history clearly shows that church revival starts only when people, who desire to be closer to God and be used by Him, get down on their knees in prayer. Jesus Himself charged us, each and every Christian, with the responsibility to go out into the streets, the villages, and the cities and teach the people to become disciples, showing them how to live a life, like Jesus lived, as He walked the earth. Jesus also told us in Acts 1:8: THAT WE WOULD RECEIVE POWER; WHEN THE HOLY SPIRIT COMES UPON US; TO BE HIS WITNESSES:  Why do we need this power ? To be His witnesses.  Can we be His witnesses without this power ? NO. !!! Without His power operating in our lives, we are operating in the flesh. We are doomed to failure. The Scripture says that our bodies are (to be) the temple of the Holy Ghost. In Psalm 127:1, it says: Except the Lord build the house, they labour in vain that build it, except the Lord keep the city; the watchman waketh but in vain".

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The “church” of the world cannot do anything positive unless it follows God's laws and rules. God wants to put revival back into each and every church, which follows His Word, right across the nations. The challenge goes out to you today. Are you ready to accept that challenge ? It has been reported in 1995 that over 65,000 people have responded to accept Jesus Christ in the UK, through the Christian publication called "FROM MINUS TO PLUS". God wants to do more than this in Germany. HALLELUJAH !!! Get excited !!! Get ready !!! God wants to do this in each and every nation on earth - to use each and everyone of you!!! God is waiting to release the Spirit of Revival across each and every nation. But it cannot happen unless the Church and the people in it, are holy and acceptable vessels that the Lord can use. Please prayerfully consider what you have just read today. The success of God's plan, for this generation rests with you.

THE WOMAN AT THE WELL
Today, I wish to challenge you on the theme of learning deeper meanings from the Scriptures, by understanding some of the traditions of the land and culture at the time that the Word was written - in fact to see the Scriptures through the eyes of the writer. There have been many teachings about this series of Scriptures, by many learned people over the last 1900 years. In each case, the pastor, or bible teacher, always seems to be able to reveal some previously hidden new truth to the congregation. This is a good thing, because it proves that the Bible is not a dead book, but is alive, and that God Almighty, through the Holy Spirit, opens up different levels and depths of understanding of His Holy Word, depending upon the levels of the faith of the reader, especially to the people who trust in Him completely and follow His commandments. For the people in Western society today, this story has been told with many different twists to it. Unfortunately, some of them I feel, are incorrect teachings, due to the lack of understanding of the eastern cultures of that time in history that this incident took place. To really understand the significance of this story, we must know the history, and culture of the area, just like the people of Israel did, at the time of Jesus Christ, otherwise some of the important points can easily be missed. For example : When Isaiah prophesied (many generations before Jesus was born) that Jesus would be taken out and “hung by a tree” he was in fact identifying a new form of torture, because at the time of Isaiah, the death sentence was not carried out in this way. This horrific torture was introduced by the Romans into Israel. In a similar manner, we can learn a lot about the encounter between Jesus and the “woman at the well”, recorded in John Chapter 4, if we know the Scriptures, the political and cultural situations of that period. Hostility between the Jews and the Samaritans had been long and intense and it started back at the time, just after the death of King Solomon - some 700 years before the time of Christ. King Solomon turned from God's path, by marrying into many foreign tribes and cultures, and allowed his wives to built temples within Israel to worship their own God's. He caused, (by his own example) the people of the nation of Israel, to be lead away from the rules of obedience, from following God Almighty. Because of the actions of the king, the Lord became angry with Israel and said he would destroy it. But because of the promise He made to David, a small remnant was to be left. Thus the twelve tribes, which were cemented into a nation under the Kingship of David, split up. The majority favouring the free and idolatrous life, given by the example of King Solomon - and a few, who were righteous in their hearts, who decided to follow after the ways of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, that is, to follow after the path that the Lord had revealed to the nation through its prophets. The ten northern tribes, seceded from the nation of Israel, and its capital city of Jerusalem, and formed themselves around a new capital city, which they called Samaria. In biblical writings, these ten tribes are usually referred to as ISRAEL whilst the two remaining righteous southern tribes, were referred to as JUDAH. This is why Jesus Christ is known as "the Lion of Judah", because he came from the righteous line of the tribes of the nation of Israel. In 722 BC, the Assyrian army laid siege to Samaria and captured the city. The remainder of the ten tribes, still living in the city were captured, and deported en-masse away to another place into captivity. They were replaced by Near Eastern captives, from previous battles of the Assyrians, mostly Gentiles and polytheists, (which were people who believed in more than one God). The planted captive peoples adopted the religion of the captive country. By the time of the New Testament, some 700 years later, they believed in and worshipped Yahweh, and acknowledged Moses as the supreme apostle of God.
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They accepted the Torah - which are the first 5 books of the Bible (Genesis - Deuteronomy) as canonical (sacred) Scriptures. They recognised Mt. Gerizim (not Mt. Zion) as the chosen place of God, as mentioned in the Scripture in Deut. 14:23. They believed in and expected the Messiah to come. They believed in and expected a final day of judgement. So when you compare them to their southern brothers, their beliefs were very close, just like Protestants, Pentecostals, Evangelicals and Catholics today. And just like today, we seem to fight with our brothers over very small issues of doctrine, instead of combining our forces and fighting against the evil of our common enemy - Satan. To make matters even worse, by the time the Romans arrived on the scene in Israel, orthodox Jews occupied the areas, both to the north and to the south of Samaria. The Samaritans were looked down upon by the orthodox Jews. Their feelings of hatred was so intense against the Samaritans, that they would rather travel twice the distance, by going around this area, than to take the short-cut, which saved them 25-30 Kms, which was more than a days' journey in those days. On the other hand, the Samaritans were not a hospitable people either. They treasured the famous well of Jacob, the direct descendant of Abraham, but left no container at the well, to allow travellers to have a drink, if they needed one. They believed that the water from this well was sacred and for their use only. The orthodox Jews would not have used the container, even if it had been left there by the Samaritans anyway, because they believed that if they drank from a jar which had previously been used by one of the Samaritans, they would be defiled and would not be able to go to the synagogue, without first following the laws of purification. So now you start to understand the real situation of both sides, at the time that Jesus Christ started out on his journey. Both sides needed to be taught a lesson. In John 4:4 it reads that : “Jesus must go through Samaria”. There were two distinct route he could take. The most common one for "so called righteous Jews" was via the Jordan Valley, which bypassed the area of the Samaritans. As explained above, the orthodox Jews did not like the Samaritans' attitudes, nor their brand of religion and they did not want to associate with them in any form or fashion. They did not even trade with them, if they could avoid doing so. For Jesus to decide that He must go through Samaria would have been of concern to His disciples, and it is possible that certain of His disciples may have raised a question about their proposed route and their safety. We don’t know if they did, or what was Jesus’ reply, but go through Samaria He did, because he had a special purpose of going there - to reveal Himself and His identity to the Samaritan people, who lived near the well of Joseph. There was a divine reason for Him to go this path. He was a righteous Jew. His disciples would automatically expect that he take the path around Samaria, like all other orthodox Jews. When Jesus had laid hands on his disciples and sent them out previously, he had told them only to go to their own people, not to go to the Samaritans, or to the Gentiles. But here now was Jesus, taking the short-cut across Samaria, to get back to Galilee. I am sure that the disciples must have been a little puzzled by this decision, but were too shy to ask Jesus directly why He was going this way. Jesus arrived at the well, which was on the ground deeded to Joseph by Jacob - a very historic place for this encounter to take place. It says that Jesus got tired - (just like us after a long walk in the hot sun) and He sits down near the well alone - for He has sent his disciples off into the village to find food. He has walked many miles, he is tired, hungry and thirsty, but there is no vessel in which to collect the water from the bottom of the 100 foot well. The well is situated in a field which Jacob purchased near Shechem (Gen: 33:18-19). It was in this field that the bones of Jacob were finally laid to rest, as recounted in Joshua 24.32. Jacob's well is still there today ! Jesus is tired, hungry and thirsty, but there is no utensil at the well to get any water. Jesus Christ now has two choices open to him: Choice 1. We have seen that He was able to change the water into wine. We have seen that He was able to calm the seas. All He has to do is order the water to come up out of the well and calm His thirst. If he had given such and order, the water would have obeyed, because it was the Word issued forth in the beginning, that created the universe, and all matter in the universe must obey the Word of God. But would that use of God's power given glory to His Father in Heaven ? NO !!! Whenever Jesus Christ used His power on earth, it was ALWAYS FOR SOMEONE ELSE'S BENEFIT, NOT HIS OWN. Therefore the misuse of God's power was not an acceptable option open to Him. "Though He was in the form of God, He humbled Himself to become a man like you and me." (Phil 2:6-8)

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Jesus needed the woman to come to the well, so that He could show, by His own actions, what we need to do sometimes, that is, let someone else do for us, what we know we could do for ourselves, so that they (the other person) can receive God's blessings. So Jesus Christ had to become a humble person and waited for someone to come to the well, who had a container to get the water from deep down inside the well. It is very easy for us to be proud and to give to others. But it really hurts our pride when we have to be dependant upon others - to receive from them. Choice 2. The Scripture says : It is better to Give than to Receive. Also it says, God will bless a cheerful giver. Consider this in the light of the sentence from the Lord's prayer : "Give us this day, our daily bread". We have to learn to be a receiver of someone else's giving. The most important aspect of this story is that the giving was in response to a direct commandment from the Lord. We have to be always sensitive to the Holy Spirit, so that we are able to : hear the commandments from the Lord;  respond immediately to that command;  know that the Lord will honour His word, and that blessings will follow to those who are obedient to His commandments.

REMEMBER OBEDIENCE IS BETTER THAN SACRIFICE.

We have to learn also to receive gifts that the Lord has commanded other to give, TO US, so that they (the giver) can receive their rightful blessings. For example :- A pastor is not supposed to receive a salary from his congregation - like any other professional worker. He is, like the Levites of old, dependant upon the congregation and their tithes for his daily bread. The tithes and offerings given by the church are to be available for the pastor to use. He may not use all of it, but the amount decided between the elders and the pastor should never make the difference between whether he accepts the job or not. An ordained pastor works as God's own servant. God is responsible for providing for him. The more obedient he is to his calling, the more the Lord shall bless him. (Read Luke 6:38 and John 10:11-13) Jesus was practising what He had been preaching to His disciples, when he sent them out to witness. "Take nothing with you for your journey, neither staves, nor script, neither bread, neither money; neither have two coats apiece. And whatsoever house ye enter into, there abide, and thence depart. And whosoever will not receive you, when you go out of that city, shake off the very dust from your feet as a testimony against them" (Luke 9:3-6) God was about to bless a giver, the person who came to the well, if she gave Jesus water when He asked her for it. ("for whosoever shall give you a cup of water to drink in My name, because you belong to Christ, verily I say unto you, he shall not lose his reward (here on earth, as well as in Heaven). (Mark 9:41) In the eastern cultures, it is a common site very early in the morning, between 6-9 am, to see the man of the house taking his cattle or goats out to the fields, or going to tend to the crops. At the same time, the women go out in the cool of the morning to the wells, to gather water for the rest of the day. There they gossip and pass news from one family to another, in a time of joyful sharing. Sometimes they sing folk songs, or songs of praise, in thanks to God, for the well and the water, as they labour in pulling up the rope with the buckets containing 4-5 litres of water each time. Each family may need up to 40 litres of water per day, which they balance in two pottery containers on their heads as they go back to the village. Thus in some households the women have to make several trips. So it would be uncommon for a lady to be at the well at the middle of the day. There had to be a specific reason for this, so let us now examine the Scripture closely to find out the Divine reason. The time is about midday (the Jewish sixth hour). A woman comes to the well, carrying her crockery water pots, to draw water and take it back to the house in which she was living. Some pastors say that the woman who came to the well, had an incurable disease, like Leprosy. Therefore she was an outcast, and that is why she came to the well in the middle of the day. If this was the case, she would not have been allowed to even use the well to get water, because the Samaritans would have considered the water was polluted if she used it, if the woman indeed had leprosy. Secondly, if the woman has leprosy, the Lord would have healed her of her disease and she would have gone back into the village praising the Lord of her healing, a very different story than the one she eventually used.

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Other pastors say that the woman was a prostitute, that is why she came to the well in the middle of the day, because she was up late entertaining her clients and did not get up early enough to come to the well, at the usual time with the other women. If this was the case, she would not have been allowed to even use the well to get water, because the Samaritans would have considered the water was polluted if she used it, if the woman was a prostitute, she would have been considered a sinner, an outcast, and not allowed to use the water from Jacob's well - which they believed to be a “Holy Place”. If she had been a prostitute, then Jesus would have told her that her sins were forgiven, and to go away and sin no more. But Jesus did none of these things. !!! What He did do, broke across all accepted customs of the times. It was to become a lesson for the whole nation. At that time, it was forbidden for a Jewish Rabbi to speak to a woman in public. This was later proved by the surprise on the faces of his disciples, when they returned and saw Jesus talking to the Samaritan woman, a complete stranger. (read verse 27) Because of the belief of being made unclean, if an orthodox Jew shared the same water container as a gentile, or a Samaritan, to ask her for a drink of water was the second custom broken. Jesus looks carefully at the Samaritan woman. He is looking deep down into her spirit.  He disregards her tiredness.  He disregards the heat of the day and the physical exertion required to draw the water from 100 feet below.  He also disregards the fact that she is a total stranger and that she is a hated Samaritan.  Jesus commands her to give him a drink of water. The custom of that time does not allow for a strange man to speak to a woman in public. To do so brings shame and humiliation on the woman, and she who would run back to the menfolk of her own family and tell them what happened. They immediately would require an apology from the offending man in question. If they did not get the apology, the man would be severely beaten, in some cases even killed. Only 2 types of women would answer a strange man in public : a prostitute;  or a prophetess. We have already ruled out the first of these two, (the prostitute), so let us examine the possibility of the second.( a prophetess) (John 4:9) The Samaritan woman replies to the command of Jesus. "How is it that thou, being a Jew askesth drink from me, which am a woman of Samaria? (YOU KNOW THAT) the Jews have no dealings with the Samaritans". Her response ignores that he “commanded” her to give him a drink of water, instead she replaces the word “command” with a milder, more acceptable word “request”. At this moment she is not ready to accept that Jesus is indeed also a prophet. The Samaritan woman is standing (unawares) before the Lord of Glory. But she, in her own flesh and understanding, is changing the command of Jesus into a request. We are often guilty of the same sort of things. (changing the commandments of the Lord, into small requests). Jesus could have revealed His identity to her immediately. He could have said "I am the Son of God, the one you have been waiting for". But Jesus likes people to learn things for themselves. He is never forceful. She has encountered a prophet (Jesus Christ) unawares. The way she asks her question to Jesus reveals that she is a prophetess among her own people. Jesus now wants to start to stir up her faith. He wants to let her recognise Him for who He really is. (verse 10) [Amplified version] " If you only knew what a wonderful gift God has for you, and who I AM, you would ask me for some living water.” Again Jesus could have revealed who He was, but again the woman misses the point of what He said, or is not yet ready to believe her good fortune. So the woman continues to question Him in the ways of a prophet. Notice she is not ashamed, to be talking to this complete stranger, she is in fact setting up a deeply religious dialogue with Him. "But you don't have a rope or a bucket, and this is a very deep well. Where would you get this living water? Besides, are you greater than our ancestor Jacob ? How can you offer better water than this which he and his sons and their cattle enjoyed ?" She recognises that Jesus was indeed talking in parables, as do many prophets, but still see could not believe what He was saying to her. "If you knew the gift of God ......" Jesus Christ Himself is the gift of God. This woman has had terrible tragedy throughout her life, she has lost 5 husbands. As divorce was very rare in those days, all of them probably died. This woman is used to bad news, to terrible tragedy. She is starting to suspect that maybe the man standing before her is the Messiah. To think that she has found the Messiah, is such wonderful news that her mind refuses to believe it, to comprehend it. Her spirit starts to believe, but she is scared in her mind, to accept the complete truth of what she now perceives that Jesus
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is really saying to her "I AM, the living water", so she flees from the spiritual realm of a prophetess, back into the physical realm of an ordinary woman. "Sir please give me this water that I thirst not, neither come here to draw any more water." NOTE : Many times in the Scriptures, Jesus will meet with a person in the spiritual realm at their level of faith. In the case of Zechariah, the angel Gabrielle delivered the Lord's message. In the mind of Zechariah was doubt, so a second sign (as proof from the Lord was necessary). He was made deaf and dumb until the birth of his promised son, John the Baptist took place. In the case of Mary, she accepted with humility the news given by the angel and it came to pass without any problems, or further confirmation necessary. Jesus does not try to force her mind to understand, and to come into line with what her spirit already perceives to be correct. Instead, Jesus gives her a chance to flee from Him (in the physical realm, that she has now returned to). Jesus, (using the gift of the Word of Wisdom), already knows that this lady is a widow, that she has no husband, so he says to her : "Go, call your husband and come back here." Now, if she wants to flee, here is her opportunity. The important thing is not that she answered Jesus, it is that she remained, to further question him and find out more. Her spirit is now trusting in the truth and it is awakening her mind also to this same truth. She has decided to overcome her fears and find out for sure the revelations to be revealed to her, both good, or bad. Real faith is a matter of what we do, not what we say or think. (James 2:18). Jesus told us to be doers of His Word, not hearers only. Now her faith is starting to come into action. Instead of leaving, she answers Jesus with the truth. "I do not have a husband". "Jesus said unto her, Thou hast well said, I have no husband: for thou hast had five husbands, and he whom thou now hast is not thy husband: in that thou hast said truly." Jesus now reveals to her that he can see into her life. He now reveals to her that he is a real prophet. Many people have misinterpreted the answer of Jesus, because they do not understand the culture or the customs of the times. They thought that Jesus was accusing her of being a wicked woman, but this was not the case. The Old Testament law (Deut. 25:5) required that a widow's brother-in-law succeed her husband, if she was childless, so as to guarantee an heir. This is clearly shown in the example of the widow Ruth. Boaz could not marry her, until the first relative - the brother-in-law Elimelech, refused to fulfil his obligations under the law. In truth, the woman at the well did indeed have five husbands and each of them had died. The sixth relative has taken her into his household in accordance with the Old Testament law, where she will be closely guarded and chaperoned by many of their relatives, until a new marriage could be arranged. If a woman was not married, or lost a husband, she was thought to be cursed of God refer to (Is. 4:1). If she subsequently re-married and lost a second husband, she was considered doubly cursed. However, if she lost a third, fourth and fifth husband, the people began to realise that the Lord was preparing her for a high office of service to her people, as a prophetess. A prophetess could talk to men, or women in public. Everybody came to them for counsel. They were God's chosen servants, a different set of rules applied. There was no shame for a stranger to talk to a prophetess in public, nor for a man or woman of the village to enquire of her, the Lord's will for their lives. The answer that Jesus gave back to the woman at the well, bore no reproach. It bore no condemnation whatsoever. In fact, it revealed to her that Jesus already knew who she was, that he acknowledged her as a prophetess. Jesus already knew of her suffering, her inner pains, but also He knew of the work she had done for the Lord since she became a prophetess. Now Jesus has given her 2 signs :a) His direct command for a drink of water; b) His revelation about her life; But Jesus wants to reveal more to her. Again she is reluctant to accept the reality of the truth that Jesus has revealed to her, and asks of him a direct question. (Verse 20) "Our fathers worshipped in the mountain, and you (a Jew) say Jerusalem is the place we should worship." She is challenging Jesus (as a prophet) to solve this spiritual question. Jesus must use the limit of faith she has, to reveal to her the real situation. Jesus has to use whatever faith level the person has, as ground upon which to build. This is the only way to meet a person at their level of faith !!! Jesus starts from this point and then builds upon it. Paul explained this in (1. Cor. 9:19:22) You must be prepared to be at different levels for all men, so that you can win their souls.

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(Verse 23) "A time will come, however, indeed it is already here, when the true (genuine) worshippers will worship the Father in Spirit and in Truth: (not at Jerusalem, nor in this mountain), for the Father is seeking just such people as these as his (true) worshippers" By giving the woman at the well this new revelation about the Scriptures, Jesus is indeed revealing to her that He is more than a Prophet. (but can she accept this?) HIS HOLY PRESENCE IS ALREADY FLOODING OVER HER SPIRIT. Gone from her now is any thought of fleeing from His presence. She suspects that He is the Messiah, but she will not come out with the question directly - as a prophetess should, but reverts to the polite indirect ways of the eastern culture. (Verse 25) "I know that the Messiah cometh, which is called the Christ: when He is come He will tell us all things". She confirms her faith in the promises of the Prophets. Jesus has come as the Messiah, but more than the Messiah. He has come as the Son of God. The Jewish community did not recognise Him as this, even though the prophets of old had proclaimed it as such. Jesus now gives her the third and this time a MAJOR SIGN. (Verse 26) Jesus said to her: "I that am speaking to you now am He" Jesus has revealed Himself to her in all His Glory. The Holy Spirit quickly confirms this to her. When the disciples return (verse 27) they are amazed to see Jesus speaking to a woman in public. But they do not question the woman, nor do they ask Jesus the reason for this. This is another clear sign to her of his position and authority over the disciples. This same situation must exist in the world today. People must see (by our examples as Christians) that the Lord is indeed in authority over us. It has been said that Mahatma Ghandi of India, was quoted as saying: " I would accept your Christ as my Saviour, if it was not for the bad example of all the Christians I see around me." But back to the woman at the well. She is now so excited, she cannot keep this news to herself, and she must share it with the whole village. She confirms her belief to Jesus, by leaving her water pot at the well and running off to spread the news in the village. To the eastern culture, water is sacred. It is a sign of life. A water pot was a treasured possession. If one was broken, tragedy struck a household. The pieces were not thrown away. The larger pieces were used as serving bowls or dishes. The fact that she left her water pot at the well is a very significant sign to Jesus. It means that she believes and that she will return, to claim her reward. She quickly goes off to the village to tell them the good news. But as a prophetess again, she does not force this revelation upon them. She must draw them to the well, and let the Holy Spirit reveal the truth to each of them individually. When she goes back into the town she tells the people to go to the well. "for there they will find a man which told her all about her life." If she was not a respected person in the village, the people would have ignored her. They would not have gone out to meet Jesus. The fact that she was recognised by the people of the village as a prophetess, placed more weight on her words, when she revealed to them, that there was one who knew the complete life of their prophetess. Indeed he must be a great prophet indeed. They went out to the well to see because she was their prophetess. They believed because Jesus awakened their own individual faith to the spiritual truth of who He really was. This is why the villages replied to the prophetess later, after Jesus had stayed with them for 2 days. (Verse 42) "And they told the woman: Now we no longer believe (trust, have faith) just because of what you said; for we have heard Him ourselves - personally; and we know (without any doubt) that He truly is the Saviour of the world. the Christ." The story of the woman at the well is a story of faith. It is a story that we should all carefully examine and learn from, because it could happen to anyone of us, at anytime. A person, a complete stranger, could talk to you in the street, and he/she could have a message from God for you. Learn to listen carefully to what other people have to say. Don't be impatient with them, because it may be an opportunity lost for you forever. In this case, not only would the prophetess not have received the revelation about who the stranger (Jesus Christ) really was - but the whole village would also have lost their subsequent blessings. In view of this, your actions can sometimes have drastic effects on others around you. Please consider this carefully. It is also interesting to note what Jesus commanded the Disciples (after His resurrection) in Acts 1:8 - let us look at the verse very carefully. [Amplified version] “But you shall receive power - ability, efficiency and might - when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem and all Judea and Samaria and to the ends - the very bounds - of the earth”
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Jesus told His disciples to go back to Samaria, to re-confirm to the people there, who believed upon Jesus Christ when He visited them. Jesus instructed them to explain from the Scriptures about the Crucifixion and the Resurrection, so that they would completely understand what had taken place in their midst - and what has happened to the Disciples after they had received the Holy Spirit. The Scripture (Acts 8 : 5-17) reveals that Philip (the deacon - not the Apostle) obeyed this commandment from the Lord and went to Samaria and great joy and mighty miracles took place in that city. When Apostle Peter and John were sent down to Samaria and prayed and laid hands upon the people - many received the Holy Spirit also. It is clear from the sequence of events that Jesus was preparing this people to receive salvation, even before His death. The events after His death and resurrection clearly show that the trip to Samaria was something special and we should also recognise it as such. It started out with just those few small words in John 4 : 4 [Amplified Version] “It was necessary for Him to go through Samaria”. But what a mighty change took place after His visit !!! The same thing applies to each of us today. It is necessary for Jesus to go through us also. Without His influence in our lives, there cannot be any changes taking place. In the story of the Woman at the Well, we see not only a change in the woman - but in the whole village and later in the surrounding villages and towns as well. We must be prepared to meet Jesus at our own level of faith, to let Him reveal Himself to us - just as He did to the woman at the well - so that we can be changed and those around about us can be changed as well. We have to become “a voice crying in the wilderness” to our generation, because Salvation comes through no-one else, except Jesus Christ our Lord.

THE ANGEL ON THE MOUNTAIN
For many years I have been travelling from Australia to Pakistan and there are times when I get into discussions with devout Muslims about their beliefs and the belief of Christians, when it comes to things of God - or about God (Allah). This occurred on February 7, 1998 with a very devout Muslim lady, who was concerned about my spiritual well being. She had heard that only a few days before I had been in hospital in Australia with a suspected heart attack and she pointed out that none of us (both Christians or Muslims alike) knew the day, nor the hour, when our life here on earth would cease - because that was in Allah’s hands - not ours. She prayed that I would soon make a decision and recognise that Allah had sent Mohammed, after Jesus Christ, as the last Prophet, to remind mankind of the Words which Allah had already spoken through His previous messengers - the previous Prophets, to make a decision to turn back from their wicked ways and follow Him and the teachings of the Holy Koran. I indicated that I was studying the Koran very carefully and had already recognised that it was a Holy Book and that Allah would make a revelation to me - at His timing and in a method of His choosing - to convince me that I should follow after him in this way - if it was His will for me. After praying for each other and wishing God’s (Allah’s) blessing upon each other we parted company. The next day was Sunday - now a public holiday in Pakistan - which is a significant thing for an Islamic country - to put aside “Friday” - the Islamic day for prayer, as a holiday, and accept the “Christian” day for prayer Sunday, a day set aside, according to the Holy Books, to seek God and His righteousness, His mercy, His wisdom, His Compassion and His Truth. I studied my Bible for several hours of the day - and offered up prayers to God for revelation on this important matter. Was it in fact true ? Had God decided to send another Prophet, some 600 years after Jesus Christ - when, at that time in history, there was so much confusion in the churches across many countries ? Had God decided to give mankind one last chance ? - to try and understand His Mercy, His Compassion, His Righteousness and to remind mankind of His Judgements ? It was such an important question - it was something I could not fathom out for myself - only God Himself could intervene and help me in this situation. Although I have been studying the Torah, the Talmud and the Bible for many years, and I believed these were definitely the Holy Words of God, and I had in my own life many experiences, to know that God Almighty truly exists - I was now being challenged by a question which required a definite answer - to allow my spiritual life and level of faith to progress. I was reminded of the Scripture in Hebrews chapter 11 which states :  New Light Ministries & Consulting Services Pty. Ltd.

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“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. This is what the ancients were commended for. By faith we understand that the universe was formed at God’s comman d, so that what is seen was not made out of what was visible.” [God spoke forth the Word, and formed the worlds and the universe out of nothing - just by the mighty power of His thoughts and His mind] Here I was, after many years, put into a point of decision. I was reminded about the story of Adam and Eve in the garden. Eve had been tricked by Satan - who only told her 99% of the truth about what God Almighty had said to them about the forbidden fruit. She had been tricked into eating the forbidden fruit and as a result she immediately became “spiritually dead” and commenced to die a physical death - although she “felt no different”. When Adam came along and found out what she had done, he immediately reminded her that God Almighty Himself had told them they were not to eat of this fruit - he knew it was not allowed - he knew it was wrong. Eve explained that she had already eaten of the forbidden fruit and “see I have not died - I am still alive”. We know what happened. Adam knowingly ate of the forbidden fruit - by wilful choice, and that is why God Almighty placed the sin upon His head and not upon the head of Eve - although now both of them were spiritually dead - and both of them were now to die a physical death also. Was I now in the Garden of Eden ? Was I now being tempted by Satan to accept something which was not true ? Was this the same situation for me ? Or was this in fact the most important decision of my life and of the life to come in the hereafter ? I needed to know the answer to this question. I went to the window of the guest-house in which I was staying and looked out the window towards the western sky and there before me was the Margalla Hills - a wonderful example of God’s beauty and His power of creation - reaching up at least 2,000 feet above the city of Islamabad. It was a beautiful site. I was reminded that only a few days before, there had been snow on these mountains - the first time in over 20 years - everybody thought it was a special occasion - a special kind of blessing. For some reason I got the urge to go for a walk. I had been cooped up in the guest-house for too long. It was time to go outside and get some fresh air - to clear my head and allow me to think on this issue more clearly - so off I went - walking along towards the bottom the mountains - singing praises to God - thinking how wonderful it was, to be able to walk along and view God’s mighty handiwork. With the afternoon sun shining on the hills they looked very beautiful. For no apparent reason at all, I decided to climb to the top of the Margalla Hills. For me this was completely out of character. I don’t waste energy on such an activity. I like to walk - yes, but always along the streets - or on well marked paths - but definitely not climbing mountains. So I set off along the foothills, looking for a path which may allow me to start upwards. I found a carpark where many people park there cars and walk along the paths in the foothills. I saw and arrow pointing upwards - I choose the path and started to walk. I started to climb - the path was getting steeper. I started to breathe more heavily, as I was definitely not fit enough to tackle such a mountain as this - but pride and stupidity always seem to go hand in hand - so I continued onwards and upwards. After climbing for about 30 minutes I was able to look down over the city and see the wonderful view that God had initially created - with its flowing curves - its changes in colours and forms. I was also able to see how mankind had come in and built the city. How he had laid it out in clear design with lines and squares, set out in a definite pattern - but in no way as beautiful as the original creation set out by God Almighty. I continued to climb for another 30 minutes. By now I was really starting to feel my age. This was now about three o’clock in the afternoon. I had passed several people along the path. They were all coming down - I was still going up - yet still I felt I was in no danger. There was still plenty of light - the air was still very clear - no clouds in the sky - everything was OK for a beautiful walk on the side of the mountain - so I continued my upward climb. By three thirty I was about halfway up the side of the mountain. I was starting to get very short of breath and my legs were starting to feel like pieces of lead. I needed to get to the roadway which goes up to the top of the mountain, to the restaurant lookout, because I knew if I got to the road then the walking would be easier - but which path to choose to get to the road ? I did not know where the road was. I could not see any cars on the hillside. I could not even hear any noise of any vehicles - all I could hear was a slight breeze whistling through the leaves of the pine trees, and the noise of the twittering of the birds. Suddenly, I realised that I was all alone. All the other walkers had left and gone on down the mountain. I was here on the mountain all by myself. I did not know which path to take and I was only half way up the mountain - it was a time for making some very serious decisions and I suddenly came to realise that my life may depend on what decision
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I made. I realised that I had not made any preparations for this walk at all. I had not prayed to God about this walk before I started. I had not asked for His protection - or His blessing. I had not told anybody where I was going. I had not taken any provisions, no water, no coat or warm clothes in case the weather changed - nothing! This decision to climb the mountain was a very unwise decision on my part - and completely out of character. But at the time when I started to climb up the mountain, none of these things even entered my head. I was just walking along and talking to my God - not really aware of what I was doing. But now the whole situation came into very clear focus. Here I was halfway up the mountain. It is the middle of winter - the sun will set at about 5 p.m. If I go back down the mountain the way I came up, will I slip and fall ? I realised that some parts were very steep and I could easily slip and maybe sprain an ankle - or even break a leg. This alternative seemed to be very dangerous. On the other hand, if I continued to go up the mountain, would I be able to have the physical strength to reach the top ? Already I was puffing and breathing very heavily. Here I was - a man in his middle 50’s trying to climb up the side of this mountain, in very poor physical condition. I now remembered that less than 2 weeks before I had been in the hospital with a suspected heart attack. These pains in my chest was it another heart attack - or was it just the pain of heavy breathing, due to my poor physical condition ? These questions were going around in my head. What should I do now ? “In times of trouble, from whence cometh thine help ?” “Cast you r burdens upon the Lord and He shall sustain thee”. These passages of Holy Scripture seemed to jump into mind. Here I was definitely in trouble. Now was a very good time to put these Scriptures into practise. I cried out to the Lord (even though He already knew my situation). I gave thanks for His creation and that He had raised me up and given me life and that He had protected me through many trials and tribulations in the past. I prayed that He would now give me guidance. I was reminded that the lady had told me, only yesterday, that we do not know the day, nor the hour when our lives were to finish - it was all in Allah’s hands and under His control. I prayed that if today was to be my last day on earth - if it was God’s will for me to die on the side of this mountain, then it was OK by me - I was ready. I accepted that God had given me life and it was His choice to decide when to take it back - it was now all in His hands. After I finished praying this prayer I felt a peace in my heart that I had not felt in many years. All the doubts were gone. I felt completely safe - even though the situation on the mountain had not changed at all - but on the inside everything had changed. God had now filled me with His peace. I knew it - I could feel it. I did not try to decide whether it was the God of the Torah, or the God of the Bible, or the God of the Koran, I just knew that the Spiritual force, the Spiritual being I know as God Almighty, had just done something very special in my life. He had come and put His presence into my life, to re-assure me that everything was going to be OK. The pains in my chest seemed to be receding and the heavy breathing was not so bad. I looked up at the mountain (it wasn’t so big after All) and decided to continue to climb to the top - but which path to take ? There were three paths in front of me all going off in different directions - all going upwards - which one to follow ? I had to make a choice. I looked up at the mountain again to these three paths and I saw what appeared to be a man standing on the pathway to the right-hand side of the mountain. His clothes were glistening white in the sunlight. He had a stick in his hand and he was pointing up the path he was on already. He turned and walked on up the path for a few metres and disappeared behind some bushes as the path made a turn. Another person on the mountain - my heart was encouraged. If he was going on that path I would follow the same path. If I walked very quickly, I could catch up with him - he seemed to be only about 300 metres above me on the pathway. I climbed as fast as I could. Again the pains started in my chest - again the huffing and the puffing as I laboured up the side of the mountain until I reached to top of that particular ridge. There in front of me was the ridge cap, which connected this ridge to the next part of the mountain. I could see the path up ahead for at least one half a kilometre stretched out before me. The man was not in sight - he had completely disappeared. I was so surprised, I sat down to think and to catch my breath. It was impossible! There was no way that he could have walked up over the top of the ridge and along that pathway, now in clear view before me and disappear out of view. I thought back. I did not see any other pathways going off the one I had followed. Where had the man gone ? I did not seem to make any sense ? But my mind kept going back to the sight of that man when I first saw him - how bright were his clothes - I had never seen any man wearing clothes so bright as this in Pakistan before. Could it be that God had sent down an angel to show me the way ? Could it be that God wanted me to live ? Could it be that this was the sign I had been praying for ?

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Suddenly I had new strength. The tiredness seemed to have gone. The pains were all gone - even the breathing was now easier. I stared up towards to top rejoicing in praise to the Lord. Now I was actually speaking out aloud my praise to God - not just thinking thoughts about God in my mind as I walked as before, but actually saying the words out aloud - giving praises unto God for His mercy, His compassion, is strength, His wisdom. As four o’clock came, I reached a high point where I could see the road and cars passing by. It was about 1 kilometre away and I was actually higher up the mountain than the road, so the climb down to the road was easier. When I reached the road, I again gave thanks to God, for His mercy and His strength and for the fact that He hears people, (who love Him) when they are in trouble and need His help. He has promised never to leave them nor forsake them and now I know first hand that this is true. But the journey was not yet over - I still had to walk all the way back down the road to the bottom of the mountain - which was to take more than two hours. I reached the guest-house well after dark - with very sore feet and legs and completely exhausted. I got my key and started upstairs. Oh, to climb those stairs to the second floor was complete agony, but the thought of soaking in a nice hot bath kept me going. Today, four days later, I think back, as I write this down and give glory to God, as I again think of the situation I was in. I think back to the man standing on the path and his picture comes instantly to mind. I can see him very clearly - still shining very brightly in the sun and him pointing up the path with his stick - showing me the way to follow. You may read this account and you maybe sceptical - you may think I made it all up - it was just a dream. But let me tell you, I know it was real and you will never convince me otherwise. I have two sore legs to prove it. I have the vivid memories of the beautiful scenery of God’s creation that I saw while I was on the mountainside. I have the memories of the fear, when I realised that I could possibly die on the mountain that night, if I had to stay on the mountain all night in the very flimsy clothes I was wearing - with no protection against the elements - where the temperature at night sometimes does down below freezing. I believe that God almighty sent down an angel to show me the way back to Himself - and I will be forever grateful for that. May God bless all those people who read this account and may it touch your hearts and reinforce your faith in God and His wonderful world. Amen.

THE WORLD AND ITS PEOPLES TODAY
The people in the world today are being bombarded with all kinds of news information, on radio, television and the Internet - most of it, is not good news at all. The talk show host gives us accounts of bizarre lifestyle situations - where men are sleeping with the girlfriend - and also with her mother - both living in the same house - and they don’t think it is wrong! Young people are so bored or frustrated with the established lifestyles of their parents, that they are easily led into strange sects and cults, which end up with drugs, gang sex, or mass suicides, with tremendous grief and heartache for the families left behind. We have countries committing gross atrocities against their own people - we have ‘ethnic cleansing’ of whole tribal systems, so that the grab for power will not be compromised by tribal loyalties. We see farmers in some countries dumping excess food into the sea - or ploughing it back into the ground, because the farmers say it is uneconomical for them to harvest it and to take it to market. Yet, in other countries, children (and even adults) are literally dying of hunger, because there is not enough food getting to them - even though the NGO’s and the UN are spending enormous amounts of money on so-called “food aid”. “What is the world coming to?” - I hear many people ask. Well, the Scripture tells us quite clearly, that in the “End-times” things will become just like this !!! People will walk away from God’s Laws and His values and s et up their own “god-figures” and worship other things. Lawlessness will become the normal thing. Bombing of public buildings, transport systems, abduction and rape of children and teenagers will become such an everyday event that it will no longer cause outcry in the society. Parents will give a sigh of relief because they are happy “that it was not their child who was abducted and raped”. In the Governments, Bribery, Corruption, Vote Rigging, Making of Unjust Laws, Contradiction of the Country’s Constitutions, Manipulation of the Judiciary, etc. will become so common an event that the Police Forces will be forced “to arrest the innocent - to protect the guilty”.
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Sound impossible ? Sound like a fairy story ? Wake up all you people and look around you !!! - what I’m describing is happening around us, in many countries in the 1990’s right now. As Christians we are told to watch and pray - but also to become aware of the events mentioned in God’s revelations to Apostle John, aptly recorded for us in the Book of Revelation. We must be aware of these events so that we can recognise what they are and where we are in God’s timeplan for this world on which we live. We are told that we will not be surprised and caught unprepared when Jesus returns because “ we are in the light” not in the darkness. It will be like a thief in the night for all those people who are not prepared for His return - for His coming in glory to claim His victory and to take His chosen ones to be with Him forever. We are commanded to encourage one another, but also to be out there in the marketplaces spreading God’s word so that others may know the truth of His word and follow Him. We are to become “a voice crying in the wilderness” to this generation. In Isaiah we hear God ask the question : “Who will I send ?” and we hear Isaiah’s answer : “Here am I, Lord - send me”. As you continue to read on through this book I want to keep challenging you with this question. Are you ready to accept God’s challenge and respond with those words spoken so long ago by Isaiah the Prophet “Here am I, Lord send Me.” ?  Are you ready to start living a life which goes against the accepted norms of this world age - but instead start living a life which lines up with the Word of God ?  Are you prepared to stand up in your local society and speak out against corruption in high places in Government, the police force, and the judiciary ?  Are you prepared to suffer rebuff by your friends and work associates because you no longer fit into the “mould” required by present day society ?  Are you prepared to be declared a radical - an outcast in your own street, town or nation ? Jesus did that for us !!! are we ready now to do it for Him ??? As we move towards then end of this century and look forward to what God is planning to do in the twentyfirst century, we must ask ourselves some very basic questions about our beliefs and our actions.  Are they in unison - or are they in conflict ? In faith are we believing one set of values, but living by another set of rules ?  Are we believing God, but living by Satan’s rules - ignoring God’s calling upon our lives, not being an active witness for Him in our homes with our families, in the workplace, is the streets ?  Have we all become “armchair Christians” - people who have become too comfortable in their local surroundings People who don’t want to become contentious, who don’t want to stand out in a crowd because of our beliefs ?  Have we become like Lot’s family in Sodom - just before the angels came to destroy the city ?  Have we become so complacent that when Jesus come back we won’t recognise be ready for Him ? Well hang onto your hats !!! remember what the Word says : “Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord”. If we are ready we will be praising His return. If we are not ready we will be trying to hide under any rock we can find - so that we don't have to suffer His gaze upon us. Unfortunately they will be no place to hide !!! So what am I trying to say here ? I think it is “time for all us Christians to wake up out of our sleep - for the time of the Lord will soon be upon us”. We must also recognise that there is still a lot to be done - millions of people still have not heard the Gospel - or have not seen its affects in the lives of Christians, to verify the truth of God’s word in us - making them desirous to have the “spirit of life” which many claim to possess, but seldom demonstrate in the world today. Alarm bells are ringing all around us, but we are all still asleep. Again I say wake up for the time of the Lord is at hand. We are to become the “voice crying in the wilderness” to this generation, just like Noah - to warn them of their wrongdoing - to show them a better way - to lead them into the truth of Jesus Christ, so that they may make a choice for Him. This is the task that Jesus Christ set before us as he spoke to His disciples before His ascension into heaven over 2,000 years ago. His word has not changed, nor His plan for the salvation of mankind. It is our responsibility to ensure that we do our part, so that we may be greeted as a “good and faithful servant” - not cast out because “I do not know you”. Jesus said : Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptising them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. [Matt. 28:19-20] Are you actively doing this ???

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GOD’S PROMISES FULFILLED Throughout the Scriptures, the Word of God gives prophecies of things to come and then gives the confirmation that these events have come to pass. 1. THE BIRTH OF JOHN THE BAPTIST. The Promise: John the Baptist was prophesied to be born and to live the life of a Nazarite (Luke 1:17) as referred to in Numbers 6:2-3. and as recorded in Malachi 3:1.- to prepare the people for the coming of the Lord. The Confirmation : His birth was confirmed to Zechariah, by the angel, who told him to call the boy “John”, and Zechariah was made dumb (because of his unbelief) until such time as the birth took place. He named the child John and then the dumbness left him. 2. CHRIST SHALL BE BORN OF A VIRGIN. The Promise : In the Book of Isaiah Chapter 7, God gives us the promise : “Will you try the patience of my God also ? Therefore the Lord Himself shall give you a sign: The virgin shall be with child and will give birth to a son and will call him Emmanuel.” The Confirmation : In Luke’s Gospel the birth of Jesus foretold in Luke 1: 26 -38. and in Luke chapter 2 the birth of Jesus is confirmed by the Angels when they tell the good news to the shepherds. 3. THE HOLY SPIRIT SHALL COME AFTER THE RESURRECTION OF JESUS The Promise: In Joel Chapter 2 the promise of Christ is re-affirmed and in 2:27 it states : “ And ye shall know that I AM in the midst of Israel, and that I AM the Lord your God, and none else: and my people shall never be ashamed.” The next verse indicates a change in time has taken place. Verse 28-29 says : “ And it shall come to pass afterwards (this means after Jesus has been among the people of Israel) that I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophecy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions. And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days I pour out my spirit.” John the Baptist confirmed that the Lord would baptise with the Holy Ghost and with Fire. Matt 3:11 says: “I indeed baptise you with water unto repentance but He that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear: he shall baptise you with the Holy Ghost and with Fire”. In Luke 3:16 it says : “ John answered and said unto them : I indeed baptise you with water; but one mightier than I cometh, the latches of whose shoes I am not worthy to unloose; He shall baptise you with the Holy Ghost and with fire.” Jesus Christ confirmed that this would take place when He told His disciples that he would not leave them alone, that they were to wait in Jerusalem for the Promise from the Father - the Holy Spirit (the Comforter) (Luke 24:49) and Acts 1:4. and Acts 1:8. “But ye shall receive power after the Holy Spirit is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth”.

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The Confirmation In chapter 2 of Acts , it is recorded that the 120 in the upper room received this promise in its completeness by receiving the Holy Ghost and by the tongues of fire resting on each of them - a purifying fire. Because this event caused confusion among those of the public who heard them speaking in strange languages, Peter had to teach the people about the promises given by Joel, so that the multitudes could also increase their faith and their understanding and receive this same blessing of the promise. In Acts 2:38 he told them to : 1. 2. 3. REPENT OF THEIR SINS BE BAPTISED IN WATER RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT.

3,000 PEOPLE BELIEVED AND WERE ADDED TO THE CHURCH THAT SAME DAY. 4. THE HOLY SPIRIT GIVES GIFTS - AS HE WILLS The Promise and the Fulfilment In 1. Cor 12 : 1-11 the gifts of the Holy Spirit are explained and it is clearly indicated who decides which gift is to be given to whom and for how long. The gifts of the Holy Spirit are given to individuals - chosen by God Himself - so that the Body of Christ can grow and become purified and Holy. In 1. Cor 13-8-10 it states that “ Charity (Love) never faileth; but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away. For we know in part, and we prophecy in part. But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away.”  Why do the prophecies fail ? Because we sometimes prophecy outside our levels of faith.  Why do the tongues cease ? Because Paul commanded us to seek a better thing - that we all desire to prophesy, so that we can edify, exhort and comfort the Body of Christ. 5. CONFIRMATION OF THE WORD IN THE SCRIPTURE

In all the Scriptures, the Lord never leaves anything to our imagination. He is not a God of confusion, but a God of order, who also gives us a sound mind. In each of the situations I have mentioned above, and in fact throughout the whole Bible, the Lord always confirms His statements in more than one place. It is true that prophecy and tongues will cease - at some time after Paul wrote this letter to the Corinthians but the question is when ??? For God to be consistent in His Word, there must be a Scripture which clearly tells us when this shall happen. In fact Paul does not leave us guessing. Paul tells us that Prophecy and Tongues will cease when THAT WHICH IS PERFECT IS COME. When Jesus comes back to earth, when all perfection is with us, we will not need to have prophecy or tongues, or Words of Knowledge, because the Lord Himself will tell us what we need to hear, because we will have become part of His army. If people today claim that Prophecy and Tongues have already ceased, then it means that Jesus has already come to claim His bride and that means unfortunately for all of us - we have been left behind!!!

THE CHURCH – A CHANGE IN DIRECTION
Since the time of the Old Testament Prophets, God Almighty has been calling His people back to Himself, through the words, signs and deeds of His Prophets. We know from the Scriptures that the people of Israel were a "stiff necked people". They did not want to continually follow the Words of the Lord. Their attitude to the God who took them out of Egypt was that He was an army general, their understanding of God Almighty (Yahweh), was of a person who must
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be obeyed at all times, or suffer the consequences. This was only one of the Faces of God Almighty. They did not understand and recognise that He has many other faces. This is why their sacrifices and worship was not acceptable to Him, in some cases, because of their inward sins of the heart, and their disobedience, as a nation to follow the words of the prophets. John the Baptist came to the nation of Israel, with a new message. It focused on a new relationship with God. John started to teach the people around him that each individual was as precious to God as the whole nation of Israel. Each individual's sins were an abomination before the Lord, just as much as those of the nation of Israel as a whole. It was preparing the Way for His coming onto the earth, in physical form, as Jesus Christ. When Jesus Christ was asked by His disciples about John the Baptist, He answered with these words: "What did you go out in the wilderness (desert) to see? A reed blowing in the wind? "What did you go out to see then? A man clothed in soft garments? Behold, those who wear soft clothing are in the house of kings. (Tell me) what did you (really) go out to see? A Prophet? Yes, I tell you and one (out of the ordinary, an extra ordinary prophet) more eminent, more remarkable and superior to any other prophet before him.. This is one of whom it is written. Behold I send My messenger (Elias) on ahead of You, who shall make ready your Way before You. Truly I tell you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist, yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he." We have learnt to weigh heavily on the Words of our Lord in the Scriptures. But sometimes we fail to understand (or miss) the significance of some of the words He spoke to His disciples, or to the crowds round about Him. If I asked you, as an individual reading this book, to identify the most important prophet of the Old Testament times, I am sure that I would receive many names of mighty prophets. They would probably include : Abraham, Moses, Noah, Elijah, Elisha, Isaiah, and David, just to name of few of them. I would be very surprised if anyone would offer up the name of John the Baptist, as the most important prophet of the Old Testament. But indeed he is. Why do I say this? Because in the eyes of God, he was the most important, and Jesus Christ confirmed it in His own words. If we look at the other prophets I have named, we can identify special things that they did, from the Scriptures under obedience to the Lord. For instance Abraham, - he left his house freely under the commandment of the Lord, to go to a place that the Lord had chosen. His obedience was judged as righteousness. Moses was chosen by God in the desert, to go back into Egypt, to free the Jewish people, at the end of the 400 years of slavery, as promised in the prophecy to Joseph. Noah, cried out to God about the sin of the people and why God would not listen to them. God protected Noah for his righteousness’ sake and destroyed the whole of creation which was in sin and started afresh. Elijah commanded the skies to cease sending rain and for three and a half years, there was no rain upon the earth. Elisha prayed to the Lord to save the Shunamite woman's son and he was revived and went on living for many years. David prayed for the salvation of the Jews and from his seed came the Branch - the root of Jesse, which was Jesus Christ the Lord. So you say, we know all of these things. What is so special about them? Each one of these special stories have been recorded under the power of the Holy Spirit by the writers of the Scriptures, over many centuries. But we don't have one record of any miracles, or predictions that John the Baptist made, which would make him more special, in the eyes of God, than all of the prophets mentioned above, or do we? If Jesus Christ considers he is very special, then we should examine his life, and his teachings very closely, because Jesus built upon them, as John came to prepare the way for Christ. As a builder constructs a house upon solid foundations, so Jesus Christ presented His teachings upon the foundations prepared by John the Baptist. So what were these teachings and how have we missed them so easily in the past. John the Baptist came to change an individual’s heart and attitude towards God. Prior to this, the prophets had been directing their attention at the "Nation of Israel" as a whole. [If the nation turned away from its sinful nature, then God would bless the nation], etc., etc.. But now, John the Baptist was identifying sin, on a personal level. each person was now accountable for their individual sins. This was something new. More so was the teaching that each individual had to individually repent of their sins, and then - as proof of their repentance they were to bear fruit worthy of repentance. No longer was God Almighty a collective being, associated with the collective nation of Israel. John the Baptist made people aware that they were individually accountable to God Almighty for their sins, and that they, as individuals, could be punished for them. John brought people to a point where they were made consciously aware of their sins and the penalty for them being death. John prepared the people for the coming of the Messiah, Who, by grace, (by a free gift from God the Father), we may be saved, that is through His death on the cross, His victory over death, and His resurrection to everlasting life, as
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the first fruits of the resurrection. John prophesied that he baptised with water, but that Jesus would baptise with the HOLY SPIRIT & WITH FIRE. Now many books have been written about the Baptism of the Holy Spirit, and what an impact it has on the life of every Christian. But what about the baptism of fire ? what is it? what does it mean? If John was the greatest of all the prophets, and we have seen the evidence of people being baptised with the Holy Spirit, when can we expect the baptism of fire to commence ??? Has it happened already ? What will happen to those people who are effected by it? When a storm is in the area where I live in Australia, it is quite common for lightning to strike a tree and set the surrounding bush on fire. The fire races through the forest, burning everything in its path, without fear or favour, everything gets burned. Shortly after, maybe one or two weeks later, the forest will start to sprout new growth from among the trees which had previously been consumed in the fire. but not all the trees will start to bloom again. some will be dead for ever. When you go into a jeweller's shop he has a small fire in which he melts the copper, the tin and mixes them together to make a new metal - (Brass). He also uses fire to purify the silver and gold, to take all the impurities out of it. Only when the impurities are removed can he then start to make the wonderful pieces of jewellery worn by many women today. the baptism of fire, that John the Baptist was talking about - is the same in function. As the Holy Spirit has come and has spread across the world, causing revival in old churches, salvation in new churches, making the people take the church, out of its ivory towers, and into the streets, just like in the first century churches, so a major change is about to occur, when the BAPTISM OF FIRE COMES. It is the responsibility of pastors around the world today, to identify what the BAPTISM OF FIRE is, what is its function and to start to prepare the church for it’s coming. Jesus did not send the Holy Spirit to the disciples unannounced. He commanded them to wait in Jerusalem, until the "promise from the Father shall arrive". Because of their obedience to His words, the Holy Spirit came down upon them. The BAPTISM OF FIRE will come. It may come like the bolt of lightning, or it might come in some other way, that is not clear to me. But in faith I know that God will honour His word and send the fire down upon us. The fire shall consume both the believer and non-believer alike. Everyone in its path shall be affected. For the believer, it shall be a refining fire, a cleansing of all sins, those special sins which have been secretly hidden away from the eyes of the family, the eyes of the other church members, but not hidden away from the eyes of the Lord. The fire of the Lord could also be a series of testing and trials, to put your faith to the test, to make you rely completely upon the Lord, instead of upon your pastor, your financial stability, your family or your intellectual abilities. This shall be necessary, so that the Lord can start and finish the task of preparing His bride for the wedding feast. Hebrews 6:1-3 says that we should press on to the finish, to become like Christ, but only if God shall permit. Like the tress after the fire, new shoots spring forth from among the ashes, (if God permits them to continue living) so shall the individual Christians spring forth with new levels of faith. This is essential for us to reach the same level of understanding, the same level of faith and complete unity in the Body of Christ, all things which are stated further along in Hebrews chapter 6. This may not happen in our lifetime, but it will never happen if Christians don't commence to claim this Scripture as a promise of God for the Body of Christ. I am sure many people are afraid of the baptism of Fire because it shall finally make them make a stand for Christ. All the unnecessary parts of the Flesh Body shall be stripped away and leaving a purified physical and spiritual body. This is all necessary before the promise of the Lord's prayer can be fulfilled. --- "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done on earth, as it [already is] in Heaven.

GOD LIKES RIGHTEOUS PEOPLE
The Scriptures show us in many places that Jesus loved and respected righteous people and poured out the blessings of Heaven upon them. Abram was obedient to God’s calling on his life and God judged his faith as righteousness and promised that all the nations of the earth would be blessed as a result of him. Noah cried out to the people, to repent from their wicked ways and Jesus found him to be worthy of salvation, both him, his wife, his three sons and their wives.

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In the New Testament there are also several cases where Jesus recognised the righteous man and rewarded him for it. Let us look at just a few of them this morning and see if we can learn from their experiences. In Matt. 8:5-9, it says: When Jesus entered Capernaum, a centurion came to him asking for help. “Lord” he said, “my servant lies at home paralysed, and in terrible suffering”. Jesus said to him, “I will go and heal him.” The centurion replied. “Lord, I do not deserve to have you come under my roof, but say the word and my servant will be healed. For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one “GO” and he goes; and that one “COME” and he comes. I say to my servant “DO THIS” and he does it. Jesus went on to explain that he had not seen faith like this in any person who belonged to the nation of Israel. Here was an outsider, a gentile, who was clearly professing his faith in Jesus Christ and in the belief that Jesus could heal his servant. Jesus went on to explain that there would be many who would sit in Heaven with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, but also there would be many who thought they belonged to the selected nation, who would not be accepted in the last days, because their faith and righteousness were not acceptable to Him. In Acts Chapter 10, we see another centurion, another gentile get God’s attention because of his righteousness. “At Caesarea, there was a man named Cornelius, a centurion in what was known as the Italian Regiment. He and all his family were devout and God fearing; he gave generously to those in need and prayed to God regularly. One day at about three in the afternoon, he had a vision. He distinctly saw an angel of God, who came to him and said. ”Cornelius !” Cornelius stared at him in fear. “What is it Lord ?” The angel answered : “Your prayers and gifts have come up as a memorial offering before God. Now send men to Joppa to bring back Simon, who is called Peter. He is staying in the house of Simon, the tanner, whose house is by the sea.” Now we know that Simon Peter came to the house, as a result of the obedience of Cornelius to send the men to Joppa, as instructed by the Angel of the Lord. As a result all the people assembled in his house heard the Word of God, the revelation of Jesus Christ and each of them were filled with the Holy Spirit. Peter even said to the men who accompanied him, that all the people in the house should be baptised, because the Lord has also put the Holy Spirit upon their heads, just the same as it happened to the Jews in Jerusalem. What we can see from these incidents recounted in the Scriptures, is that righteous people get God’s attention, and God honours their righteousness. In James chapter 5:16 it says : “Therefore confess your sins to each other, and pray for each other, so that you may be healed. THE PRAYER OF A RIGHTEOUS MAN IS POWERFUL AND EFFECTIVE.” I am sure that all of us want our prayers to be powerful and effective, so that they are answered by God. If we didn’t, it would be a waste of time praying at all. The Scripture says in Hebrews 2:11 that:- “Jesus is not ashamed to call us brothers.” and we should rejoice and shout it from the rooftops. The Scripture says in Romans 1:16 that :- “I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes; first for the Jews and then for the Gentiles.” Today, we need to be righteous people who get God’s attention, because we are not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and we are seen to be living proof of its teachings. Today, we need to be people who are recognised and respected, because of our lifestyles, and by our righteousness and faith in God Almighty. Today, we need to be a people who are able to experience that same feeling of joy and trust, that the early disciples experienced, when they walked side by side with Jesus. Today, in this generation, we need to be seen as a “peculiar people”, a group of people who do not confirm to the issues and doctrines of this world - a people who live out their lives in the society, helping one another, whether they be Christians or not, because we love them with a special kind of love the world does not know or understand. If you don’t feel like that today, then it is clear from the Scriptures, that you are not living a righteous life - in God’s eyes (not mine). You need to do some soul searching and confess your wrongdoings before the throne room of grace, knowing that Jesus loves us, while we are yet still sinners, and that by His blood we can be washed completely clean of all unrighteousness and be brought into a renewed and wonderful relationship with Jesus Christ. As we close this session today I would encourage everyone of us to examine our hearts carefully, unlock all the secret compartments of hurt and shame and to lay our whole life before Jesus Christ for His examination. Only then, can He deal with our individual problems and make us one of His beloved righteous ones, whom He is not ashamed to call His brother or sister.

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GOD’S RIGHTEOUS ONES
I give thanks to God, that we live in this country of Australia and that we can come together and have a meeting like this, to praise and worship our God, without fear of persecution. As some of you people know, my wife and myself have been missionaries overseas, in mainly Islamic countries for the last seventeen years, and it is not always this easy to worship the Lord and to have fellowship together. The Lord has blessed Rani and myself, with the privilege of allowing us to see Himself in action, as He has fulfilled His word in Isaiah 55:11, as we have preached His Word and shared His love among more than 40 nations of the world. Isaiah 55:11 says :- “So is my Word that goes out from my mouth; It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire, and achieve the purpose for which I sent it”. We give thanks to God, that we have had the privilege in seeing more than 17,000 people, come to the front of meetings and church services throughout the world, to accept Jesus Christ as their Saviour and publicly declare that they want to change their present life style and follow Him. This is a time for rejoicing HALLELUJAH !!! What happens next, brings great sadness to my heart, and we have been praying consistently, for this situation to change, in the Body of Christ today. God’s Word tells us that we are all part of the one Body, with Jesus Christ being the Head of the Body and we being the other parts, all functioning together in unity, to achieve God’s plan of salvation here on earth, for all races and all nations. If we look around us today, that Body clearly exists of many parts. There are Methodist parts, Presbyterian parts, Pentecostal parts, Catholic parts, etc. In fact in this city alone, I believe there are more than 40 different denominations (parts) proclaiming Jesus Christ as their Saviour. When we look closely at these individual parts, we unfortunately find that many of them are not connected together - they don’t function as a complete body, but as individual par ts, each doing their own individual thing - some with God’s direction - going God’s way - others with man’s direction, going different ways. Unfortunately, this is not according to God’s Word, so God cannot bless a Corporate Body which is not following His own commandments: “To love one another, as Christ has loved us”.  The world outside this room is crying out for a solution to its problems.  We all know that Jesus Christ is the answer to their problems. But the world will not be saved, and the Church as a whole, will not be blessed if we, the Body of Christ, are not able to reconcile and put aside our petty differences, distrusts, jealousies and hatreds for each other, within the Body of Christ and become united into one God Almighty, one Jesus Christ, one Holy Spirit, and one loving body of believers all working together, to lift the name of Jesus Christ higher than any other name in this city and this nation. The Scriptures tell us that we are set apart -- that we are separated -- that we are a “peculiar people”. We are supposed to exhibit that special quality of Agape Love, which is able to cover all types of sin and hurts and to love each other - without pre-conditions. I challenge each of you reading this book, to ask yourself these simple questions: Does the world outside this room see me as a “peculiar person” ?  Do I possess this special kind of love, which allows me to do the following things -- without any reservations ?  As I look around this room, can I honestly say that I love each and everybody who is here ?  Can I honestly say that I love the person who is lying in the gutter down the main street, who has had just a little too much to drink, or is affected by drugs ?  Would I offer him help - or would I pass over to the other side of the street and go on about my business, pretending that the person just isn’t there ? (Just like the Pharisee and the Levite)  Can I honestly say that I love the stranger who comes to my door, asking for a handout, or to buy raffle tickets ?  Can I honestly say that I love the policeman, who stops me and tells me that I have been speeding, or driving incorrectly, he charges me and I have to pay a fine of several hundred dollars ?  Can I honestly say that I love each of these people ? If you and I cannot honestly say “yes” to each of these questions, then brothers and sisters, we all have a problem. Jesus spoke these words, as recorded in John 8:12:- When Jesus spoke again to the people, He said. “I am the light of the world, whoever follows me, will never walk in da rkness, but will have the light of Life”. Jesus said: If you follow Him you will walk in the Light, as He is in the Light and you won’t walk in darkness. Jesus also told us that if we Love Him, we will obey His commandments.
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Jesus told us in Mt. 5:43-44: “You have heard that it was said : “love your neighbours and hate your enemies.” But I tell You: Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in Heaven. He causes his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous. If you love those who love you, what reward will you get ? Are not even the tax collectors doing that ? And if you greet only your brothers, what are you doing more than others ? Do not even the pagans (the unbelievers) do that ? BE PERFECT, THEREFORE AS YOUR HEAVENLY FATHER IS PERFECT.” Jesus has made it perfectly clear. If we want to be his true followers, then we must have this capacity to love each other without reservations or pre-conditions. Apostle Paul writes, under the anointing and power of the Holy Spirit, these words in Romans 13:8:- “Let no debt remain outstanding, except the continuing debt, to love one another, for he who loves his fellowman has fulfilled the law.” Paul tells us that we have to love our fellowman - not some of them - but all of them - if we are to fulfil the law of Jesus Christ. Until we all learn this simple truth, Jesus Christ cannot bless the corporate Body of Christ and cause mighty things to happen in our midst. If we remember the incident at Pentecost, we will remember that the 120 people in the upper room were all together, unified in direction, unified in purpose, unified in obedience, to the instruction of the Lord, to wait in Jerusalem for the promise to come. As a result, the Lord poured out His promised Holy Spirit and Holy Fire upon them and the world has never been the same since. We have to get back to this simple truth of God’s Word. We have to pray for unity of direction in the Body of Christ. We have to pray for unity in obedience to His word, so that the Lord can move in a mighty way through us as individuals, and collectively as the moulded, jointed, knitted together parts of the Body of Christ. This action has to start with each individual person who is here tonight and spread throughout all of this city and this nation. Each of us have to truthfully say, before Jesus Christ, that we love our family members - without reservations without preconditions. We have to able to say that we love each and every brother and sister in our own individual church. We have to be able to say that we love every person who claims Jesus Christ as their personal saviour, irrespective of which church they attend, because they are part of the Corporate Body of Christ, and Jesus Christ has commanded us to love them - without reservations - without preconditions. Let us start by making this commitment right now, as we go into a time of prayer. Let us pray for forgiveness, because we have failed to follow 100 percent, the commandments of Jesus Christ. Let us ask the Lord to give us through His Holy Spirit, the Agape Love, which allows us to love all out family members, our church brothers and sisters and the unbelievers out in the streets. Let us come show the Lord that we means this, by taking the hand of the person next to you, as we come together in prayer. Dear Heavenly Father, we thank you for your son Jesus Christ and for His sacrifice on the Cross for us. We thank you that while we were still sinners, Jesus Christ loved us and died for us. Lord , we humbly beg you to forgive us for all our unrighteousness, and our inability to love our neighbours, as you loved us. Teach us Your ways, oh God. Brings us closer to you and help us become more obedient to your word and your calling on our individual and collective lives as part of the Body of Christ. Cleanse us and makes us strong. Give us the vision of becoming a unified Body of Christ, to allow you to move mightily in this city, in every church, in every school, in every shop, in every home, in fact in every life in this city. Give us the courage to declare - In Jesus’ name - that Satan no longer has a strangle hold on this city. Let us unite right now and declare - In Jesus’ name, to the principalities and powers - that we break Satan’s hold on this city, we break you hold and influence on the people of this city, and we command that you leave this city and not return, because this city belongs to Jesus Christ. We claim the blood covering of Jesus Christ over this city, its occupants and every visitor who come here. Lord we pray that you now start to pour out your covenant blessings upon each and every believer in this city, upon each and every Elder, Priest and Pastor in this city, and that their leadership be anointed with a fresh anointing of your Holy Spirit. Show them, individually and collectively, what is the particular purpose for Coffs Harbour in your redemptive plan for this nation. Let them see that you want this city to become a Lighthouse to this coast and to this nation. Let them understand that the Southern Cross, which shines above us in the land down-under, is your sign of your Cross in the South Pacific and that we are to take it to the nations of the earth, to make them right side up for God. Lord put your power and thunder down under !!! Let the angels rejoice tonight, as we recommit our lives to you and your Kingdom and to your calling on our lives. Let
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there be tears of reconciliation and tears of joy as we move onto glory. Let your Holy Spirit fall, oh God. Let your Holy Fire fall and do a refining work in us right now. Let our praises ring out in your temples right across this city. We give you glory, oh God. We give you thanks and we ask this be done to bring glory and honour to Jesus Christ and for His Kingdom on this earth, forever and ever. AMEN.

PASSING THE TEST(S) IN THE CHRISTIAN WALK
When we go to school we are taught the basics of reading, writing & arithmetic at an early age, as a grounding and preparation for the higher levels of educational learning. At the end of each year, we are subjected to a test or examination, to see if we have learned these subjects correctly. If we pass the tests we are allowed to progress to the next harder level of teaching. If we don't, then we are advised to repeat that class level and learn the subjects again, so that when the next examination occurs, we will pass with flying colours, thus enabling us to proceed with the rest of our education, on the correct educational foundations. Our walk with Jesus Christ is the same as the education learning process I have outlined above. We are first taught elementary stories when we go to Sunday School and then more advanced stores and lessons in the Church and Bible study groups during our later years of Christian lives. Unfortunately not all churches follow this path and do not progress past the elementary levels of Christian teachings. This was the problem that Apostle Paul found when he wrote the letter to the Hebrews. Some of the early churches were getting people to convert to Christianity OK, getting them baptised by immersion in water OK, teaching them the elementary lessons about forgiveness of sins, etc., but they were not progressing from there. This meant that when a Christian was faced with a time of testing, he did not have a strong Spiritual base upon which to rely and as a result many were falling by the wayside. In Hebrews Chapter 5, Paul indicates that this manner of teaching is not good enough and encourages the churches to stop repeating the elementary teaching, and move onto something more beneficial to the believers. Paul was trying to encourage the Churches to change over from MILK SCRIPTURES, to MEAT SCRIPTURES, something with good sustainable Spiritual foundations. Hebrews 5:11-14 says : "concerning this we have much to say which is hard to explain, since you have become dull in your [spiritual hearing & sluggish, even slothful in achieving spiritual insight] for even though by this time you ought to be teaching others, you actually need some-one to teach you over again, the very first principles of god's word. you have come to need milk, not solid food. or every-one who continues to feed on milk is obviously inexperienced and unskilled in the doctrine of righteousness [that is, of conformity to the divine will in purpose, thought and action,] for he is a mere (spiritual) infant - not able to talk yet (of spiritual matters). but solid food is for full-grown men, for those whose senses and mental faculties are trained by practise (not just by hearing) to discriminate and distinguish between what is morally good and noble and what is evil and contrary, either to divine, or human law." Paul was telling these people (many who had been trained in the Jewish law from birth), that they had become spiritually lazy and needed to go for a refresher course in the important things of the Christian life. They had become so blaze' about the way they went about their lives, that they were now unable to distinguish between shades of evil in the community they lived in, because they lacked the spiritual experience, sharpened by continual practice of spiritual battles with the forces of evil. Paul told them to go back to Christian Kindergarten and learn these basic teachings again. But once you had re-learnt them, don't stop there - go on to spiritual perfection. In Hebrews Chapter 6, Paul defines Spiritual Kindergarten. All the brothers here tonight should be able to freely converse on all these topics and in fact as the elders in the church, teach on any and all of the subjects, not just from theory, but from practical experience in our individual lives. So let us look quickly at the Kindergarten subjects of the Christian life. HEBREWS 6:1-2 "therefore let us go on and get past the elementary (kindergarten) stage in the teachings and doctrines of Christ, the Messiah, advancing steadily towards the completeness and perfection that belongs to spiritually maturity. let us not again be laying the : foundation of repentance  abandonment of dead works  faith by which you turned to god  teachings about purification  the laying on of hands  the resurrection from the dead  the eternal judgement & punishment

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These are all matters of which you should be fully aware about long, long ago". We have heard that people are starting to question if Jesus was really the Messiah. I saw a book published here in Coffs harbour, called "Jesus, the man". If we are Spiritually alive and aware of the things which are against the Divine Law, then every Christian in any country should be up in arms about allowing things like this to be published, because it is against God's Divine law. In Hebrews :1-2, Paul outlines 7 basic teachings which he considers to be the Milk Scriptures, the Kindergarten Scriptures, for every Christian, which must be taught in all churches. Unfortunately not all churches teach these 7 basic lessons today, as they claim they don't believe in them. This means that the people who go to these types of churches don't even get the basics taught properly, let alone the mature teachings. This is why Paul makes a startling statement in Hebrews 6:3. "if indeed god permits, we will now proceed to advanced teaching." Many Christians today are falling by the wayside, because the church does not teach the 7 basic foundations correctly, or fails to proceed to more mature teachings, so that the congregation can grow in spiritual strength. Paul charged the spiritual leaders of the early church with the responsibility of checking their spiritual progress, against the yardstick of meeting spiritual tests, and progressing to the next level. He also pointed out to the believers that God would not allow us as a church, or as individual believers, to move up to the next level of spiritual maturity, until God Himself was satisfied with our performance. It is not when we are ready - but when God Himself knows we are ready. As the brotherhood of the church, we have the responsibility to conduct a spiritual audit of the church and to ensure that the church is continually progressing up the steps of spiritual maturity. If this is not the case, then the elders in the brotherhood have the responsibility to make sure that the necessary changes take place, to ensure that in the immediate future this will happen. By following the guidelines set out in the Scriptures, is the only way the church can grow, the way the Lord wants it to grow, bringing glory and honour to him.

FACELESS MEN OF THE BIBLE
Many people come to Rani & I, as we go around the world, and they lament that they wish they were somebody in the Lord, so that they could do something really special and really important for God. They look at people in the Bible, like Moses, Joshua, Samuel, John the Baptist, etc. and compare themselves with them and are continually depressed that they cannot be great like these people were. This attitude is a subtle deception from the devil. !!! It saps our inheritance away from us, the spiritual blessings which God Almighty has and wants to give to everyone of us. Today I want to show you from the Bible - from the Holy Scriptures that YOU don’t need to be someone special like the people of old, to do something great and mighty for the Lord. Today I want to speak about the Faceless Men and Women of the Bible and show you that if your attitude is right with God, He can use you in a mighty way to do God’s business - which is, getting as many people as possible into the kingdom of God. We all know the story of how Moses grew up, was expelled from Egypt, lived in the desert for 40 years, was purified by God Almighty and made ready to be called back to Egypt - to do the Lord’s business - deliver the message to the Pharaoh to “SET MY PEOPLE FREE !!!”. - LET MY PEOPLE GO !!! This was a great commission, requiring much trust in God, with continual communication between God and man (in one direction) and between man and God (in the other direction). However, there came a time when even this great man of God found the responsibility of caring for the chosen nation too much for him to bear, even with the powerful anointing of God upon his shoulders. The responsibility became so intense that Moses asked the Lord to take his life - he could not handle the responsibility any longer, the stress was too great - he had to escape.  Have you ever felt that the things around you were pressing in on you so much that you would rather die than continue to suffer that burden any longer ?  Have you thought one would be better off dead than having to handle this trial, or suffer in these circumstances on your own anymore ? Some make that decision and go out and destroy themselves - they commit suicide, others take drugs, or they get drunk, trying to blot out the problem for a while. But I tell you, none of these solutions work, on a permanent basis. Moses trusted in God, so Moses took the problem to Him. He explained the problem and then the Lord gave him the solution - the answer.
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In 1. Cor. 10:13 it says that God will give you a way out - a way of escape. God will deal with the problem !!! Hallelujah !!! In Numbers 11:16-17, God said to Moses : “Bring Me seventy of Israel’s Elders, who are known to you as leaders and officials among the people. Have them come to the Temple of Meeting, so that they may stand with you there. I will come down and speak with you there and I will take of the Spirit that is on you and I will put it on them. They will help you carry the burden of the people, so that you will not have to carry the burden alone.” The Lord told Moses to bring 70 faceless men into the temple, so that the Lord would talk to them and where the Lord would transfer the anointing of the Holy Spirit from Moses onto the heads of these people, to help do the work that Moses had been called to do. What an exciting thought. God took 70 people from among the tribes of Israel and gave them the anointing, the power and the wisdom which was reserved at that time for the prophets. In an instant these people became mighty men of God. They were chosen to become God’s army, to defend the nation of Israel against the enemy. They were chosen to be Warriors for Christ, in the spiritual realm - to battle against the evil forces which were making the lives of the nation so difficult and so rebellious. Likewise God chose an insignificant man to become “A MIGHTY MAN OF VALOUR”, when the Angel of the Lord confronted Gideon at the winepress and told him what the Lord would do for the nation of Israel through him. (ref. Judges chapter 6) When God gave the commission to Gideon, Gideon sent out messengers to call the nation of Israel to come and 32,000 men at arms responded to go into battle against the enemy. By a process of spiritual sifting, God reduced that number down to just 300 faceless men. Men whom the Lord had tested and proven worthy of the job at hand. God equipped these people with His weapons for battle with the enemy. The weapons God gave to these men were ordinary things, but when they were used under the anointing and direction of the Lord, mighty things started to happen as a result. These weapons were :1. A TRUMPET to sound the warning to the enemy that the battle was about to begin: The other use of the trumpet is to tell Satan and his followers that judgement is now to take place upon them. 2. A PITCHER A pitcher to represent the earthen vessel, or the physical part of man. We have to be prepared to surrender this up to God, so that at His appointed time it can be smashed, to reveal His light shining inside. 3. A CANDLE The candle represents the light of the Word - which is Christ.  When Gideon gave the order, the three groups of 100 soldiers sounded their trumpets, to get the attention of the enemy.  When they smashed the earthen vessels - making an enormous noise from the hilltops all about the camp. This revealed the light of Christ totally surrounding the enemy - there was no escape.  Finally they shouted the victory song : “THE SWORD OF THE LORD AND GIDEON” When the enemy troops heard these things, they were terrified with fear and in their confusion they killed each other or turned on their heels and fled. The troops on the hillside with Gideon did not use their swords against the enemy. They stood their ground as Warriors for Christ, performing the task that they had been told to do. As a result of their obedience to Gideon and to the Lord, 300 faceless men saw an army of over 300,000 defeated.  Today, right here where we are in this city, we can be chosen by the Lord to do mighty things, if we are prepared to listen to His voice and be prepared to answer His call.  God has promised that He will enable those who respond to His call with the necessary qualifications, gifts, strength and financial means, to do whatever the Lord requires of His servants.  Today, right here and now, God is calling His people to respond to His calling on their individual lives.  We are the same faceless people, as those who were challenged in the Old Testament. In Matt. 28: 19-20, Jesus Christ charged each and every one of us to go out into the streets, villages, cities and nations to teach the people to live their lives just as Jesus did when He walked upon the earth.  In Ephesians 6, we are told to put on the full armour of God and then in verse 18, we are told to : “Praying always with all prayer and supplications in the Spirit and watching thereunto, with all perseverance, and supplications for all the saints”. We, as Christians today can be mighty men and women of God, if we get the revelation to do this one simple task, as laid down for us in Ephesians 6:18.
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When we become Prayer Warriors for Christ in the spiritual realm, we set in motion many items that the Lord wants to deal with in the lives of individual Christians, Home Church Groups, individual Churches, and the Body of Christ as a Whole. Individual people in this ministry may not be recognised like Dr. Billy Graham, Leighton Ford, Reinhardt Bonnke, or other famous Christian people, but the treasures in heaven they amass, are just as important for them. Today, if you have a feeling that you were worthless to God, or that there was nothing you could do for Him, rejoice in the knowledge that Jesus Christ cares for you and thinks you are very special in His sight. He took me - just a small rebellious, insignificant person, - turned my life upside down, sent me off in a new direction, put me in the mission field, and now more than 17 years later I can share with you that my wife and I have had the privilege of seeing more than 17,000 people in over 40 countries making a commitment to the Lord Jesus Christ, and accepting Him as their personal Saviour. Who would have thought of this happening to me ? Or think of God anointing my mind with the ability to write Christian books - to encourage others - nor thought that I would write more than forty spiritual songs in word and music under the Lord’s anointing.  Praise the Lord !!! What He did for me, the Lord can also do for and through you.  The same Spirit flows through me raised Jesus Christ from the dead. Hallelujah !!!  Get excited about what the Lord could do with your life, if you say YES to Him. !!!

WARRIORS FOR CHRIST
The Scripture tells us that we are to be like watchmen upon the high towers and the parapets or city walls, continually marching and guarding the nation of Israel. To be a good watchman we must first be trained in the art of watching.  Trained how to watch for the enemy,  Trained how to conceal ourselves, so that the enemy does not find us easily and plan their attack in another position - away from us.  Trained how to sound the alarm, to alert the whole army, so that they can be prepared for the impending battle.  Trained how to fight until reinforcements come to our aid, when the enemy does attack us by surprise. All these things are easily understood in the physically realm, and I am sure that some people here have been in real battles for their country, in positions like I have just described. Many evangelists and teachers tell us that we must be good warriors for Christ, and as such, we must know how to use the full armour that God has provided for us in His Word - to go out and get people saved - to go out and do battle for the Lord. These teachers will draw your attention to the verses in Ephesians Chapter 6 about putting on the armour of God and then tell you to go out and do battle with the enemy, by using the sword of truth, which is the Word of God. Many people do what the evangelist/teacher has suggested and many times with disastrous results. WHY ??? Because they have failed to realise that before you go out to battle there is some basic rules that you must know. RULE 1. KNOW YOUR ENEMY

Before you can defeat your enemy, you must first know who he is, what he does, and in what form he takes. The enemy is not the drunken man, who comes home from the pub and beats his wife, or the woman who sells herself in the city for money, or the person who sells drugs to little children. NO !!! They are not the enemy. The enemy is the spiritual force which makes these people want to do these things. RULE 2. BE STRONG IN THE LORD

Ephesians 6:10 says :- “Finally, be strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the full armour of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” The first thing to acknowledge from the Scripture is that you can be weak in the Lord and without His mighty power.
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Many people go out to fight, who are weak and without God’s power of the Holy Spirit working in their lives. In other words, they go out to fight the devil in their own strength. This tactic is wrought with disaster, because no human being is able to defeat Satan using his own strength. If we look at the battle between Archangel Michael and Satan over the body of Moses, the Archangel was not prepared to do battle with Satan using his own strength. In Jude verse 9 it says :- “ But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses did not dare to bring slanderous accusations against him, but he said (to Satan) “THE LORD REBUKE YOU”. The archangel recognised that his own words were not powerful enough to defeat the devil, so he used the only weapon he had, which he knew would have 100 percent success against Satan. He confronted Satan with the rebuke of the Lord. He confronted Satan with God’s word. In effect he was saying “IT IS WRITTEN”. Satan had no answer to this challenge - he had to withdraw. If we look at the battle which took place between Jesus and Satan immediately after Jesus had completed 40 days & nights of fasting in the desert. The Word says that Jesus was hungry and thirsty - He was physically weak - but He was not spiritually weak !!!. It was the strength of the Holy Spirit which gave him the wisdom and the knowledge to stop Satan dead in his tracks, and Jesus did this by claiming a simple promise which we all need to claim for ourselves everyday. Jesus was tested three times by the devil. Let us look at each reply from Jesus and see if we can receive a pearl of wisdom from the Lord in His answers.

Changing the stone into bread.

“Jesus replied : IT IS WRITTEN : Man shall not live by bread alone.”

Test of Satan worship

“Jesus replied : IT IS WRITTEN : Worship the Lord your God and serve Him only.”

Throw yourself off a high tower

“Jesus replied : IT SAYS (IT IS WRITTEN) Do not put the Lord your God to the test”. Three times Jesus was tested and three times he had the correct answer because the Holy Spirit brought all things to His remembrance. Three times Jesus spoke with authority the Word of God and immediately Satan was defeated in that situation and had to leave. We have to learn this same basic lesson, if we are to go out as warriors for Christ. RULE 3.

KNOW THE WORD OF THE LORD & HOW TO USE IT.

Know the Word of God and be ready to quote it as a means of attack, which is our best defence against the evil one - because we know that Satan is defeated by the Words of our testimony.  Satan has to use a human body, to manipulate its owner, so that Satan can achieve his goals, which is to remove as many people as he can from the kingdom of God as possible.  We have to recognise that our battle is not against the person but against the wicked spiritual influence within the person. This is confirmed in Ephesians 6:12 which says :“For our struggle is not against flesh and blood (i.e. ordinary people) but against the rulers, against authorities, against the powers of the dark world, and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realm.” We must remember that Satan works in and through a physical body to do his work. The Scripture tells us that we have to love the person - but hate the works of the devil. This is why we have to have the compassion of God to be able to take authority over the satanic forces operating in a person’s life, by using the same tactics that Jesus used against Satan in the desert - claiming the promises of God’s Word for each and every situation. We have to be able to state with authority : “IT IS WRITTEN” and quote the relevant Scripture from the Word for that appropriate situation. RULE 4 PRAY FOR YOUR LEADERS
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As people guarding the nation, we have to be prepared to keep the leaders - inside the church, and inside the Government, under constant prayer protection. We have seen from recent history that Satan loves to topple people in authority, so that as much fear, doubt and confusion as possible can be created within the Body of Christ, or within a country. He uses “the love of money” (which is the root of all evil), “the love of power” (which is direct rebellion against God) and the “lusts after the flesh”, to bring these people into his control and under his influence. Satan is that ever present roaring lion, going around seeing who he can snare into his trap. In the natural world we know that even a fully grown lion will not attack some animals : e.g. a rhinoceros. In the same way Satan will not attack a person who appears in the spiritual realm, in the image of Christ, because Satan knows if he attacks such a person he will surely be defeated for his efforts, by the Words proclaimed against him by a “Spiritually knowledgeable Christian”. RULE 5 MANIFEST THE GIFTS OF THE SPIRIT

The Holy Spirit has made available to us 9 gifts which we can use, a part of our armour in the battle against Satan. These gifts are not available to Satan or any of his agents. If we look at the gifts in their reverse spiritual order (from the lowest to the highest) we can see how we can use them to better equip us for the fight against Satan and his deputies. 5.1 Gift of Tongues

The gift of tongues (prayer language) can be used by every individual to build themselves up spiritually, to better prepare themselves for their walk with the Lord each day. Speaking in tongues builds up your faith. 5.2 Tongues & Interpretations

These 2 gifts, operating in a Body Meeting or home group can be used to : Edify Illuminate the Word of God  Exhort Encourage the Body of Christ  Comfort Comfort in times of stress or trial All these things improve the Body’s collective capability to waive off attacks of the devil, therefore they are important tools for us to learn how to use. 5.3 Gift of Prophecy

Paul tells us that we all should strive and desire to receive this gift from the Lord. The effect of this gift is also to EDIFY, EXHORT, and COMFORT the Body of Christ. 5.4 Gifts of Healing

By the healing of members within the Body of Christ, by the laying on of hands, people see with their own eyes, the power of God in operation today. This is the sign that we are believers. This witness will convict people who are not believers of the mighty power and presence of God - right here in there midst. It convinces them that God Almighty is not a fairy story, but a living being, which can influence our lives in this day and age. 5.5 Gifts of Miracles

We need to have this gift operating in our midst - just like it operates on Prayer Mountain in Korea - where people go (with walking sticks - or wheel chairs) up into the mountains to pray and return - leaving their walking sticks and their wheel chairs behind them - completely healed of their afflictions - never to require these implements again.

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5.6 Gifts of Wisdom

This is the gift bestowed by God upon a person who is selected by God to operate in the “OFFICE OF A PROPHET”. Ephesians 4: 11-16 says :“It was He (Jesus Christ) who gave some to be Apostles, some to be Prophets, some to be Evangelists, and some to be pastors and some to be teachers, to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the Body of Christ may be built up, until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ. Then we will no longer be infants tossed back and forth by the waves (of trial and temptations) and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. Instead, speaking the truth in love we will, in all things, grow up into Him who is the Head, that is Christ. From Him the whole body joined together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work. RULE 6 BE PREPARED TO PAY THE PRICE

The Scriptures tell us that we have been bought with a price. That price is the blood of Jesus Christ, poured out for us at Calvary, drop by drop upon the earth. Jesus Christ was prepared to give up everything for us. Jesus expects no less of us. Matt. 10: 7-8 says:- “As you go, preach the message : The kingdom of Heaven is near. Heal the sick, ra ise the dead, and cleanse those who have leprosy, drive out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.” Jesus gave the following commandment to each and everyone of us :6.1  GO AND PREACH THIS MESSAGE !!!

If we want to be part of His kingdom, we must be prepared to acknowledge Him as King over all parts of our lives, because you cant have a kingdom without a king. So have we been obedient to His commandments over our lives ???  Have we gone out into the local neighbourhood and proclaimed Christ and His Kingdom are near at hand and available for every person to enter ???  Have we healed the sick ??? Not prayed for the sick - but healed the sick.  You see, Jesus Christ never prayed for the sick to get healed. He just took authority over the sickness and commanded it to go. Jesus never failed to heal any person who came to him for healing.  Have you raised anybody from the dead ?? Most people would say no to this question. But I want you to consider the Scripture which says “ the wages of sin is death”. Eve ry person you bring out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of glorious light - through the blood of Jesus Christ, you have helped save from eternal death. You have in fact helped to rise them from death into life. So you see, if you want to be a Warrior for Christ, you must be prepared to pay the price. For the last 17 years I have been going all over the world challenging people to become a Warrior for Christ. Accept the challenge and see God make you into a miracle worker, through the power of His Holy Spirit. He will give you the confidence to speak out with authority and see people come into the kingdom, through the Blood of Jesus Christ.

ARE YOU READY TODAY TO ACCEPT THE CHALLENGE ???

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GETTING CLOSER TO GOD THE PRAYER SERIES

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Introduction In Isaiah 56:1-3, it says :- This is what the Lord says: “Maintain justice and do what is right, for my salvation is right at hand and my righteousness will soon be revealed. Blessed is the man who does this, the man who holds it fast, who keeps the Sabbath without desecrating it, and keeps his hand from doing any evil.” Let no foreigner who has bound himself to the Lord say, “The Lord will surely exclude me from His people”. And let not any eunuch complain, “I am a dry tree”. ... Verses 6-7 : And foreigners who bind themselves to the Lord to serve Him, to love the name of the Lord, and to worship him, all who keep the Sabbath without desecrating it and who holds fast to my covenant - these I will bring to my holy mountain and give them joy in my house of prayer. Their burn offerings and sacrifices will be accepted on my altar, FOR MY HOUSE WILL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER FOR ALL NATIONS .” PART 1 - EFFECTIVE PRAYER James recognised this important issue and addressed it in James Chapter 4:3-7 as follows :- “For you have spent enough time in the past doing what pagans (and unbelievers) choose to do - living in debauchery, lust, drunkenness, orgies, carousing and detestable idolatry. They think it strange that you do not plunge with them into the same flood of dissipation (like you used to do) and they heap abuse on you. But they will have to give an account to Him who is ready to judge the living and the dead. For this reason the gospel was preached even to those who are now dead, so that they might be judged according to men in regard to the body, but live according to God in regard to the Spirit. The end of all things is near. Therefore be clear minded and self-controlled so that you can pray.” If we look around us today, we see that most of the praying we hear about nowadays is largely ineffective, because many believers have not learned “How to” pray properly. How do we develop effective prayers to God ??? Consider these four important steps. Step 1. LEARN TO ASK GOD EFFECTIVELY. (Refer to Matt. 26:41) Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation.

   
Step 2.

Jesus taught us to “Watch and pray” . He wanted us to learn the value of claiming specific requests. He wanted us to become sensitive to the specific details of a need. Although it is good and heart warming to hear a small child pray : “God bless the whole world, amen.” - this kind of prayer is hardly the type that changes communities and/or nations. Too often, older Christians even make excuses for such praying. Some say, “The Holy Spirit knows the need, so why should I bother with the details.” The truth of the matter is that God wants us to be alert to the needs of others round about us. This is why Jesus was so direct when He told us to “Watch and pray”. ASK CONSISTENTLY (refer to Luke 18:1-8) The Persistent Widow.

  

When a child asks a father for a particular item, day after day after day, for many weeks, one thing is for certain - the child really longs for the object requested. The same should be true with our praying. Certainly God could answer our prayers, any (or all of them) the very moment we pray to Him (the first time). In His wisdom, however, He knows that in delaying an answer to our prayers might teach us even more on the secrets of prayer – that is we learn to put our complete trust in Him.

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  
Step 3.

He sometimes withholds the blessing for a time, knowing that we will learn the value of being consistent in prayer, even when we don't see the immediate answers to our prayers and petitions to God. REMEMBER : Prayer Changes Things For The Better. NO PRAYERS - NO CHANGES !!!

ASK SYSTEMATICALLY (Refer Is. 41:21) “Present your case” says the Lord, “set forth your arguments”, says Jacob’s king.

   

Do you have a goal or plan for your prayer time ? It seems that we have a plan for just about everything in our lives - except our prayer time. Powerful praying is not only intelligent praying, but it is systematic praying as well. God told the nation of Israel to produce “their strong reasons” when coming before Him (in Prayer). Do you bring your reasons for prayer before the Lord each day - systematically ??? Learn to use a Prayer List and a World Map to help you pray more effectively.

Step 4. ASK FERVENTLY (refer Luke 22:44) In this text, Luke is describing the intensity and fervency in which Jesus Christ prays to His father when He is in Gethsemane: “And being in agony He prayed more earnestly: and His sweat was as it were drops of blood falling down to the ground”.

 
CONCLUSION:

A person who attacks a problem “earnestly” does so with an intense desire for victory and a stubborn refusal for defeat. He puts his whole effort and being into reaching a desired goal. So it must be so with our praying. Moses pleaded, Jacob wrestled, Elijah cried out to the Lord, Daniel mourned, and Jesus wept. If we really want to see our prayers answered, we must be willing to make great sacrifices of both time and energy. EFFORTLESS PRAYER IS OFTEN FRUITLESS PRAYER.

Truly effective prayer has many qualities - but at the heart of it you will find perseverance. Refer Eph. 6:18 where we are told (after putting on the full armour of God) to pray for the saints with perseverance. George Mueller was an ordinary man who came to England and saw the homeless children on the streets. He had compassion for them and started the first orphanage in a particular city, praying to God for accommodation, food and clothing and schooling for these children, for more than 40 years. At one stage there were more than 2,000 children in the orphanage. He writes that throughout this whole time, God never refused to answer his prayers and the Holy Spirit continually moved on people’s hearts to provide food and clothing, as well as medical supplies for these children. George Mueller once wrote : “The great point is never to give up in your praying until the answer comes . I have been praying for 63 years and 8 months for my friend’s conversion to Jesus Christ. He is not saved yet, but he will be. Because I have faith in God, how can it be otherwise. I am praying.” The day came when George Mueller’s friend received Christ as his personal Lord and Saviour. It happened the very moment George Mueller’s casket was being lowered into the ground in the cemetery. There near the open graveside, Mueller’s acquaintance gave his heart to God. Persistent, fervent prayer had won another battle against the

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enemy. George Mueller never saw his friend accept Jesus Christ as his personal Saviour, but his faith in Jesus never wavered and they will meet again in the life to come. PART 2 - THE NECESSITY OF PRAYER Introduction [Definition] : “Prayer is the slender nerve that moves the muscles of God Almighty. If prayer really does tap into all of God’s power, surely then its necessary for all believers, of every age, so that God can pour out His blessings to us, as our answered prayers. Let us examine six spiritual blessing from prayer.

1.

PRAYER IS NECESSARY FOR PERSONAL SALVATION (Refer Romans 10:13).

No man (or woman) can find Christ as their personal Saviour except they pray the SINNER’S PRAYER. Romans 10:13 declares : “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved”. To call upon the Lord is to offer up a prayer to Him. This is not to say that our prayer saves us, NO ! - only the blood of Jesus Christ can cleanse us from all our sins. But prayer to God is our necessary “confession” that activates the blood of Christ to cleanse our sins.

2.

PRAYER IS NECESSARY FOR PERSONAL VICTORY (refer James 4:7-8)

All power over Satan is directly related to the Christian’s life of prayer. James declares, “Submit yourself therefore to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw nigh to God and He will draw nigh to you”. Real prayer includes both a submission to God and a resistance to Satan. Both of these goal s are accomplished as we “draw nigh to God” in prayer.

3.

PRAYER IS NECESSARY FOR PERSONAL GROWTH (Rev. 3:20)

A very important truth is revealed about spiritual growth in the frequently quoted verse Rev. 3:20. Jesus says : “Behold I stand at the door and knock. If any man hear my voice and open the door, I will come in to him, and sup with him, and he with Me.” Personal salvation can only begin when we open our heart’s door to Christ. This is only the beginning however. Jesus wants us to sup (to commune, develop a personal relationship) with Him daily - something that every Christian needs to learn and understand. This is the only way to guarantee lasting and continual spiritual growth. 4. PRAYER IS NECESSARY FOR PERSONAL GUIDANCE (Refer Prov. 3:5-6)

Perhaps the finest piece of advice found in the Scriptures about divine guidance is found in the Proverbs, as recorded by King Solomon - who, we recall was given a double portion of Wisdom by God, to rule over the nation of Israel. In Proverbs 3:5-6 we read : “Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not on thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him. and He shall direct thy paths.” We “TRUST” and “ACKNOWLEDGE” God best, by meeting with Him daily in our prayer life. If we do according to Proverbs 3:5-6, God promises to “direct our paths”. It is always better to be on a path directed by God, than on a path direct by man. God’s path is perfect - man’s path is imperfect. 5. PRAYER IS NECESSARY FOR PERSONAL STRENGTH (refer Psalm 55:22)

It is impossible to maintain spiritual strength, when we constantly carry unnecessary burdens of life around with us - they just weigh you down. The Psalmist said : “ Cast they burdens upon the Lord and He shall sustain thee; he shall never suffer (allow) the righteous to be moved”. “Cast” means to get rid of - with great force. When we cast our burdens on the Lord, He promises to sustain us - giving us all the strength we need to continue steadfast in our faith. The act of “casting” is an act of prayer.
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6. PRAYER IS NECESSARY FOR PERSONAL BOLDNESS ( refer Acts 4:31)

When we study the Scriptures we find that prayer - in some form or other - was the necessary foundation for all instances of courage recorded in the Scriptures. In Acts 4:31 we read : “ And when they had prayed, the whole place was shaken where they were assembled together, and they were filled with the Holy Ghost, and they spake the Word of God with boldness”. Prayer not only shook the assembly hall, but brought the power of the Holy Spirit down upon all persons present. Soon a new boldness was discovered in their witnessing about Jesus. A famous preacher once said : “Whole nights of prayer always produce whole days of soul winning” Don't you want to be able to pray like that ??? CONCLUSION Prayer is unquestionably “THE” MOST VITAL BREATH OF THE CHRISTIAN EXPERIENCE. If for no other reason that it is necessary, simply because God has chosen to make it necessary. The great missionary E. Stanley Jones said : “When you pray you align yourself with t he purpose and power of God and He is able to do things through you, He could not do otherwise. For this is an open universe, where some things are left open, contingent upon us doing them . If we don't do them, they will never be done. For God has left certain things open to prayer - things which will never be done - except that we pray for them to be implemented. So in conclusion:PRAYER CHANGES THINGS !!! IN HEAVEN AND THEN ON EARTH !!! NO PRAYER - NO CHANGES !!! FOUR SECRETS TO HAVING SUCCESSFUL and MEANINGFUL PRAYERS

PART 3 -

Introduction A significant promise to all prayer warriors is found in Apostle Paul’s letter to the Romans, as recorded in Romans 8:26 : “Like-wise the Spirit also helps our infirmities; for (sometimes) we know not what we should pray for; but the Spirit itself makes intercession for us, with groanings which cannot be uttered”. When we pray using the Holy Spirit, as indicated in this verse, the prayer is always in line with the perfect will of God for our lives and circumstances. God has spoken much to His Church by and through the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was the agent to speak forth His written Word. Thus, whenever we study the Scriptures to learn about prayer, God’s Spirit teaches us more about how to pray. 1. PRAY SCRIPTURALLY (refer John 17:7) “If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you”. To pray Scripturally is the only way we can be assured we are praying according to God’s will. Apostle John said, “And this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He heareth us”. (1. John 5:14) Scripture tells us that all prayers are answered - if we ask according to God’s will. Note the words “IF WE ASK ANYTHING”. We can only understand God’s will by continually studying His Word. This is why we must learn to pray according to the Scriptures. Only as we abide in Christ, and His Words abide in us, will we be able to know that what we are claiming (in prayer) is truly in accordance with God’s will for the situation. If we ask God for a million dollars, and the desire of our hearts is not in accordance with God’s will, God cannot give the money to us. God still answers our prayer - but the answer is NO !!! 2. PRAY THOROUGHLY (Ephesians 6:18) “And pray in the Spirit on all occasions, with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert (on watch) and always keep on praying for all the saints.” It is important as part of your Christian life to develop a devotional habit which is thorough in its scope. Paul told the Ephesians to pray “always with all prayer”. Paul was in fact reminding them that there are different types of

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prayers, as identified in God’s Word and that we have to develop expertise in each prayer type. Prayers are broken into three basic types :a) Prayers of Adoration - prayers to focus on God; b) Prayers of Petition - prayers that focus on personal needs; c) Prayers of Intercession - prayers that focus on the needs of others. Have you developed a prayer life that is thorough and regularly consists of these three prayer types ??? If not, then maybe this is why your prayers are not being answered all the time. 3. PRAY INTIMATELY (Matt. 6:6) Jesus said : “But when you pray, enter into your closet, and when you have shut the door behind you, pray to your Father which is secret” Jesus was stressing the importance of having an intimate relationship with God. The only way to know someone intimately is to spend much time alone with them - on a one-on-one basis. The same is true on the spiritual level. Like the Psalmist, we must desire to know God above all else in our lives. We must desire to be alone with the Lord, to “behold His beauty”. (Ps. 27:4) 4. PRAY INTENSELY (Refer Duet. 4:29) Throughout the Scriptures we are challenged to seek God with all our heart - all our mind and with all our strength. This theme is frequently found in both the Old and the New Testaments. Intensity means to work at a task with exceptionally high levels concentration. It means to put everything aside and give all our attention to the matter at hand. To develop a meaningful prayer life (devotional life) we must seek to give God the best possible time in our lives each day. Only then can we give our full attention (and priority) to the matters of prayer. CONCLUSION Prayer is most meaningful when the total focus is on God - not the answers to our prayers. The main point of prayer is the ability to “connect with God”. Answers to prayer, then become the proof that the connection has been made. PART 4 PRAYING WITH EXCITEMENT

Introduction Hymns indicate in many ways our feeling towards God - and His feelings towards us. For example : “Oh, the pure delight of a single hour before the throne I spend”. Because prayer is time spent with God - our supreme delight should be a time of great excitement. In Ps. 40:16 it says : “Let us all seek thee and rejoice and be glad in thee.” Apostle Paul simply says “Rejoice evermore” (1 Thess. 5:16) Paul gave us this commandment, that we should rejoice evermore, just before he gave us a further commandment when he told us to “pray without ceasing”. Below are 7 keys goals to help us pray daily with excitement. (They all begin with the letter “F” - so praying with excitement can be “Fun”.!!!

1.

FIND THE BEST POSSIBLE HOUR FOR PRAYER Jesus often used the expression, “ When thou prayest.... (Matt. 6:6). Th content of our prayer is not the only important factor - the time we set aside for prayer is just as important. If necessary, experiment until you find the very best possible time for prayer - a time when you are most alert - not half asleep !!! 2. FORGET ALL PREVIOUS FAILURE IN PRAYER Speaking of his past failures, Apostle Paul said, “Forgetting those things which are behind, I press on towards the mark ... (Phil. 3:13). Nothing will hinder our prayers more than to remind ourselves of past failures. If you have made a previous commitment to regular daily prayers and are having trouble keeping this commitment - don’t give up keep trusting the Lord and you will finally succeed.

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3. FIGHT ALL PRAYER HINDRANCES FIERCELY Scripture is filled with many word pictures that use the analogy of warfare. Apostle Paul tells us to” fight the good fight of faith” (1.Tim. 6:12). In Ephesians, he speaks about putting on the “full armour of God”, as preparation for warfare (Eph. 6:13-18). We must fight all possible hindrances to prayer with fierce determination. Of course, problems of weariness, a wandering mind and periodic boredom are to be expected. The important factor is that we never allow these difficulties to destroy our prayer effectiveness. 4. FOCUS ON THE LORD - RATHER THAT ON THE ANSWERS TO PRAYER A major reason many people give up their praying is because they don’t see immediate answers to their prayers !!! These people have made their prayer focus the “ANSWERS TO THEIR PRAYERS” - not THE LORD WHO ANSWERS PRAYER. The writer of the Letter to the Hebrews talks of “running life’s race with patience - looking unto Jesus, the author and the finisher of our faith”. Heb. 12:2. We have to learn to run the race looking to Jesus, who loves and cares for us - not looking for the answers to our prayers. 5. FOLLOW A MEANINGFUL PLAN OF ACTION IN PRAYER The most meaningful plan of action that anyone can follow in prayer is a plan which gives glory and honour to God. It should include prayer for all lost souls - but be specific by name, because nothing can glorify God more than souls being redeemed out of the clutches of Satan and his demons. Do you have a definite plan of action for your praying ??? Jesus taught His disciples to pray “after this manner ....” (Matt. 6:9) In fact Jesus taught them a definite plan of action in their praying. If we want to have an exciting time of prayer, we should seek to develop an actual plan of prayer. The plan should include all facets of the topics we have studied so far and then add additional refinements as we learn more about prayer in the following lessons. 6. FEED EVERYDAY ON SPIRITUAL FOOD The Scripture says that Jeremiah found God’s Word and actually ate the pages. The Prophet then declared “And thy Word was unto me the joy and the rejoicing of my heart”. (Jer. 16:5). In the wilderness Jesus said : “Man shall not live by bread alone - but by every word which proceeds from the mouth of God ” (Matt. 4:4). If you study the great men of the Bible you will soon discover that they not only spent many hours in a prayer relationship with God, but also spent many hours studying His word.. In fact we must use God’s word as a guide to our prayers - so that all our prayers will be “in the will of God”. 7. FELLOWSHIP WITH THE LORD - IN LOVE God said to Moses, “I will meet with thee and commune with thee” (Ex. 25:22) We must always look at prayer, first and foremost, as a means of communion with the Lord. We must not adopt the attitude that we use prayer as a means of “telling God how to carry out His plans and how to run His universe”. Instead we must use prayer as a means of communion with God, to discover how God wishes us to become involved and be used, to help God carry out His plans. Far more time should be spent in just loving God in prayer - then we get closer to Him and He then can make us more easily aware of His plans and how He wishes to use us in carrying them out. CONCLUSION : In an age where mankind seeks many new thrills and excitements, we must recognise that our greatest excitement, as believers, is found in quiet prayer. It has been said that “ Time will convince even the blindest and most frivolous of us, that happiness is no more to be found in the places we usually look, than it is to be dug up out of the ground. But the man who knows the secret of prayer lives at the top of human happiness.” PART 5 - HINDRANCES TO PRAYER Introduction More than any spiritual force or power on earth, Satan fears the power of prayer. In the “Screwtape Letters” by C S Lewis, the author makes this very clear, as explained below:- “Screwtape”, a high echelon demon of the hellish state, is writing a letter to “Wormwood” a novice demon, who needs much helpful ad vice - if he is to survive.
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Screwtape writes to his nephew about prayer. He warns him : “Interfere at any price”, in any fashion, when people start to pray, for real prayer is lethal to our cause. Because Satan fears prayer more than any other spiritual weapon in our arsenal - he attacks prayer with a host of deadly hindrances. Consider some of the hindrances that Satan uses to try and stop us (as prayer warriors) to divert our prayer weapons. 1. WRONG MOTIVES ( A Distorted Heart) James 4:3 says : “You ask, and receive not, because you ask amiss (for the wrong reasons), that you may consume it upon your lusts (your desires)” One of the most important issues concerning prayer, is knowing whether your prayer is in accordance with God’s Word and God’s will f or your life. If you believe that God will answer all of your prayers, then you must ask yourself this question before you pray the prayer: “if God answers this prayer - will it bring glory and honour to Him ??” If you can honestly answer “Yes” to this qu estion, then the prayer will be in order and according to God’s will for your life. If you get “NO” as the answer to the above mentioned question - then it is obvious that the prayer is not in accordance with God’s word, nor in accordance with God’s will for your life and hence you should not pray such a prayer - because God cannot answer it - as it will not bring honour and glory to His name !!! 2. SIN (A sinful heart) Psalm 66:18 says : “If I regard iniquity (sinful thoughts) in my heart, the Lord will not hear me”. This is the reason why many believers do not have successful prayer lives, because they have refused to open up every compartment of their heart for the scrutiny of the Lord and they have kept some things hidden, because they are not ready, or have difficulty trying to deal with these sinful issues. This is especially the case with lustful situations, lies, deceit, etc. But “IT IS WRITTEN”, that the Lord will refuse to hear our prayers, if we continue to keeps these sins within our hearts and refuse to give them up to the Lord for Him to handle in our lives. 3. IDOLS (A divided heart) Ezekiel 14:1-3 says: “Then came certain of the elders of Israel unto me, and sat down before me. And the word of the Lord came unto me, saying, Son of Man, these men have set up idols in their hearts, and have put the stumbling block of their iniquity before their faces: should I be inquired of at all by them ?” Here were people of the tribes of Israel - of the chosen nation - who could trace their inheritance back to being “sons of Abraham”. They had refused to give up “the mouthpiece of the Lord for that generation” and ask God for divine guidance. It is clear from this and the previous sections that God Almighty expects - in fact demands that we are clean of all sins before we come into His presence to ask for prayers to be answered. The only prayer that God will hear and answer when we are in sin, is the prayer of confession, and a request for forgiveness through the blood of Jesus Christ. We must learn to keep short sin accounts with God and pray a prayer of confession for known and unknown sins each day. In this way we will always be in a situation where we can come before God Almighty and He will hear and answer our prayers. 4. UNFORGIVING SPIRIT (A bitter heart) Mark 11:25 says : “And when you stand praying, Forgive, if you have ought (anything) against anyone : (so) that your Father which is in Heaven may forgive you of your trespasses (sins). But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father which is in heaven forgive you your trespasses.” We have to be very careful that we don’t come before the Lord with a wrong attitude towards our brothers and sisters, or our neighbours. God Almighty makes it very plain in this Scripture that if you are not prepared to forgive somebody who has hurt you, or done something to you, then God Almighty will not forgive you your sins. If God refuses to forgive us our sins because of our refusal to forgive others, then it is impossible for God to hear, or answer any of our prayers. Therefore, our relationships with the people around us will greatly affect our prayer lives. 5. LACK OF GENEROSITY (A selfish heart) Proverbs 21:13 says : “ Whosoever closes his (her) ears at the cry of the poor, he shall also cry himself, and shall not be heard”. King Solomon was given a double portion of wisdom by the Lord. He clearly states that we have to be sensitive to the people around us. If we see somebody in need, we cannot turn our backs on them and refuse to offer them assistance. If we do then the Lord will turn His back upon us and that leads to our downfall- because the Lord will refuse to listen to our prayers until we change our attitude in this matter.

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6. MISTREATMENT OF FAMILY MEMBERS (A neglectful heart) 1. Peter 3:7 says: “Likewise you husbands, dwell with them according to knowledge, giving honour to your wife, as unto the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life: that your prayers will not be hindered.” Many families have problems in their prayer lives, because of incorrect treatment of the family members by the husband to the wife, the children - or other relatives. As God Almighty clearly made the family to be a special unit, bound together under the sacred pledge of the marriage vows, it is not surprising that the Lord will not listen to our prayers, if we (husbands) mistreat our wives or any other member of our families. The husband has a duty to be the Prophet, Priest and King in the family, with continual communication with the Lord to ensure that the whole family unit is on the correct road before the Lord.

7.

UNBELIEF (A doubting heart) Matt. 17:20 says: “ And Jesus said unto them, because of your unbelief; (you have not seen a miracle), for verily I say unto you, if you have the faith as a grain of a mustard seed, you shall say unto this mountain, remove (yourself) hence from here to that yonder place; and it shall remove (itself); and nothing shall be impossible to you”. It is no use praying any type of prayer to God, if you believe in your heart (before you pray) that the Lord will not answer that prayer. It is a complete waste of your time and you are insulting God as well. We must have faith that God can answer our prayers - only then will He honour our faith - (even if it is only as large as a mustard seed) and answer our prayers, bringing glory and honour to his name. CONCLUSION To overcome these hindrances to prayer, we must overcome the source of these hindrances - SATAN himself !!! We must remember that much of the ministry and teaching of Jesus Christ will remain a complete mystery to us, if we fail to grasp this significant fact, that prayer warfare against Satan is one of our most important tasks here on earth. No man can enter into a strongman’s house and steal his goods, unless first he bind the strongman. Only when Satan is bound and defeated in our lives are we assured of answered prayers from the Lord. PART 6 - PRAYING WITH POWER Text Jeremiah 33:3 : “Call unto Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things yo u do not know”. Scripture reading, Mark 11:24 “Therefore, I tell you, whatever you ask in prayer, believe that you have (already) received it, and it will be yours”. A famous preacher once stated : “The power of prayer can never be overrated. They who cann ot serve God by preaching need not have any regrets. If a man can but pray, he can do anything”. No true believer in Christ would ever argue that there is not great power in prayer. But first we must learn the secrets of developing practical prayer habits that brings power to our prayers. Here are several suggestions of how to achieve this in your individual prayer lives :1. PRAY EXPECTANTLY (MATT. 8:5-8) When Christ came to the city of Capernaum, a centurion approached Jesus in great distress. His trusted servant was at the point of death. When Jesus declared He would come to the centurion’s house to heal the servant, the centurion said simply : “Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof; but speak the word only, and my servant will be healed.” The centurion totally expected a miracle to occur when Jesus spoke the words. In the eyes of the centurion it was not necessary for the Lord to go to his house to heal the servant. All Jesus had to do was speak the words and he believed that his servant would be healed. When we pray, do we pray expecting miracles from God ? If we don't then it is about time we started to change our attitude to God and to our commitments to prayer. 2. PRAY SINCERELY (Luke 20:45-47) Jesus taught his disciples to beware of insincere prayers. He spoke of the scribes who developed a habit of praying “long prayers” simply for the purpose of attracting attention. (They were praying for the wrong reasons) It is evident from other lessons in Scripture that insincere prayer renders prayer ineffective. (read Luke 18:9-14) 3. PRAY UNSELFISHLY (James 4:3) “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with the wrong motive, so that you may spend what you get on your pleasures.”

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The Scriptures warn us that many prayers go unanswered because our goals In asking for a particular blessing is that we might “spend it on our individual passions” - not for the good of others. When Moses talked to God and asked things for the nation of Israel, God always honoured his requests and answered his prayers. But when Moses asked to see the glory of God, (for himself) God refused to answer this prayer. We have to learn to distinguish between “selfish” and “unselfish” prayers. Unselfish prayer is prayer that focuses on God and on others before it focuses on us, the person praying the prayer. To combat selfish prayers always ask this question before offering up a petition to the Lord . “Will this prayer I am praying, if answered in the way I am praying it, bring glory and honour to God ?” If it does not, then don’t pray the prayer that way - think about it and rephrase your petition to the Lord. 4. PRAY FREQUENTLY (Daniel 6:10) Few Old Testament Bible characters were used as mightily by God as Daniel. The Bible reveals that God let Daniel in on His most personal secrets (See Daniel 2:22). But how did Daniel get access to these secrets ? The Bible says that Daniel prayed 3 times a day. The Psalmist met with the . Lord “evening, morning and noon day” (Ps. 55:17) In 1. Chron. 16:11, we are challenged to “seek His face continually” In 1. Thess. 5:17, Paul challenges us to pray constantly (without ceasing). Frequent prayer to God keeps the lines of communication open - firstly between you and God, and secondly between God and you. There is no better reason for praying that this - to keep the lines of communication open - so you can be constantly in the presence of the Lord. 5. PRAY HUMBLY (2. CHRON. 7:14) Humility means to lower one’s estimate of oneself. This is best accomplished by enriching our estimates of others. God makes it clear in His word that prayer alone does not bring healing to our land - but humility with prayer does .The Bible says : “If my people, which are called by my name shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then (and only then) will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sins, and will heal their land.” Humility associated with prayer can result in miracles. 6. PRAY SPECIFICALLY When Gideon put his fleece before the Lord, he was offering a very specific prayer to God. Likewise when Hannah approached God in her deepest need, she was very specific in her prayer request. (1. Sam. 1:10-20). She not only requested God give her a son, but she also promised to give the son back to God to be “totally in His service”. How could God possibly refuse such a prayer ? He could not, because if answered it would bring glory and honour to Him. 7. PRAY JOYFULLY (Philippians 4:4-7) gives us clear instruction about how we should pray. In the same context that Paul told the Philippians to “be careful about nothing” and to offer “prayer and supplications” he also commanded them to “rejoice in the Lord always”. Paul was lining joy with prayer. Jesus actually said He wants us to receive answers to ou r prayers, so we will be “full of joy”. He told His disciples “Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full”. (John 16:24)

CONCLUSION God wants His followers to develop a ministry of prayer, that leads to an outflowing of His power. We must remember that “Prayer brings power.” Prayer is power !!! The place of prayer is the place of power. Jesus said: “My house shall be a house of prayer for all nations”. Jesus was really saying that he wants every church building to become a powerhouse. Again I remind you of the slogan : Prayer changes things. No prayer - no changes.

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PART 7 QUALITIES OF THE PRAYER WARRIOR Introduction It is clear from the Scriptures, that God uses praying saints most in His plans to change history. But what does it take to be a true prayer warrior? The psalmist asked the question: “Lord, who shall abide in thy tabernacle ? Who shall dwell in thy holy hill ?” (Ps. 17:1) In our study today, we will prayerfully examine 5 scriptural qualities necessary for those who would choose to develop a world-changing ministry for intercession. You must first notice that I say choose to develop this ministry. This is something we must be prepared to do. We must make a positive, conscious decision, that this is how we want to serve the Lord for the rest of our lives. 1. HAVE PURITY IN YOUR LIFE (Ps 4:3 and Job 8:5-6) It is the Law of God, that a pure life is essential for true spiritual accomplishment. The Bible says, “But know that the Lord has set apart him that is godly for Himself; the Lord will hear when I call unto Him.” In Job we read. “If thou wouldst seek unto God betimes, and make thy supplications to the Almighty; If thou were pure and upright; surely now he would await for thee, and make a habitation of thy righteousness prosperous.”(Job 8:5-6) When Jesus preached the Sermon on the Mount He said: Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God”. (Matt. 5:8) To be a true prayer warrior we must first develop a method and style of life which keeps us “pure in our hearts”. “Be ye Holy as I am Holy”. 2. HAVE HONESTY IN YOUR LIFE God is not only honoured by people who manifest honesty, He promises to be attentive and listen to their prayers. The Psalmist said : “The Lord is nigh unto all them that call upon Him, to all that call upon Him in truth” (Ps. 145:18). Personal integrity is essential to successful prayer. Webster’s dictionary defines integrity as “a state, or quality of being complete, undivided, or unbroken. In the Book of Hebrews the author requested prayer for honesty - “Pray for us; for we trust we have a good conscience, in all things be willing to live honestly” (Hebrews 13:18). If you want to be a successful prayer warrior, you must live an honest life, both with the believers and the unbelievers alike. 3. HAVE GENEROSITY IN ALL YOUR ACTIONS (Acts 10:4 & Isaiah 58:6-9) God sent an angel to the house of Cornelius to tell him what to do. The Bible says : “And He (the angel) said unto him (Cornelius), thy prayers and thine alms (offerings and generous gifts) are come up for a memorial before God. Because Cornelius was generous in his giving and in his caring for the poor, it got God’s attention. God had to do something about it. Through the Prophet Isaiah God declares that generosity leads to spiritual victory. He told Israel that if they loosed the bands of those living in wickedness, their prayers would be heard in Heaven. God says: “Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and He shall say, here I am.” (Is. 58:9) In both of the cases mentioned above, the outward action of the people was to help somebody else. When we do this constantly, God is impressed and will offer blessing to us in return. This is a secret that we all need to grasp if we wish to become successful prayer warriors for the Lord. 4. PRAYER WITH TENACITY FOR OTHERS (Is. 62:1) A spirit of tenacity is essential to effective prayer. We must boldly seek after the goal for which we are praying. Like Jacob in the Old Testament, let us refuse to give up in our wrestling with God over every issue. He said; “I will not let thee go except thou bless me”. (Gen. 32:24 -30) Isaiah said : “For Zion’s sake I will not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest, until the righteousness thereof goes forth as brightness, and salvation thereof as a lamp burning”. (Is. 62:1). We have to become like bull terriers, when they grab onto your leg, they refuse to let go - they lock up their jaws and hold on - even unto death. We have to be like that, as prayer warriors in our praying, continually holding onto God - not letting go until He answers our prayers.

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5. LOYALTY (1. John 3:22) Loyalty indicates a fierce commitment to any assignment give to us by a superior. It is also a total commitment to that superior. Loyalty includes a steadfast faithfulness to a task, no matter how difficult that task may appear to be, or what the circumstances may develop or become. Apostle John said : “And whatsoever we ask we receive of Him, because we keep His commandments, and do those things which are pleasing in His sight”. The truly loyal follower of Jesus Christ is the obedient follower of Christ. It is to this individual that God promises His richest blessings and the most lasting fruit. Remember in John 17:16 we are told to bear fruit and that our fruit must remain. It is only in loyalty to Christ that we can be assured that our fruit will remain. CONCLUSION From the dawn of history, it has been God’s plan to use mankind to carry out His plans and purpose s for the salvation of all the nations, here on earth. God has no other plans. God does not have a Plan “B”. If we fail to evangelise the world, then Satan is guaranteed a victory in many people’s hearts. God’s only plan to change this world is in the hands of Christ’s true followers in congregations around the world today. Each of us must live our lives with the recognition and confidence that God wishes to use us mightily to tear down satanic strongholds around the world with our prayers. Will you willingly commit a portion of each of your days to help change our world through your prayers ??? God expects no less from us !!!

WHERE DO WE GO TO FROM HERE ?
Well now – so far in this book we have looked at what has happened in the past, as told to us in the Scriptures. We have seen how men (and women) have gone out into battle for the Lord, trusting in Him completely for their food, shelter and protection. We have looked at the “signs of the times” and have identified that the world we live in is going downhill pretty fast, going down into what I would term a “Godless society” – a place where anarchy, mistrust, corruption, rape and murder rule the day. A place where “honest people” will be persecuted – just because they are honest. Why ? because they unsettle and trouble the consciences of the wicked ones. You may laugh and say “it could never happen”. Well I am sorry to tell you this, but it is already happening in the world today, in countries where dictators and military regimes are in power, the “righteous ones” are subject to all sorts of harassment, persecution and even death. We only have to look up reference information on the Internet to see the persecution of Christians in places like Vietnam and Laos (in Asia), as well as many Islamic countries around the world. In these countries they will tell you that their constitutions guarantee “freedom of religion”. Unfortunately what is written in the constitution and what is actually practised on the streets, by police and other Government officials is something else. As Christians we have to make a choice about what we are going to do in this next millennium. Are we going to allow Satan and his followers, the cults and false religions to take over this world and bring the Lord’s victory into question ? Are we going to continue to sit back in our comfortable armchairs and let others witness, let others evangelise, let others suffer persecution, for the Lord Jesus Christ ? Or are we going to be like to Good Samaritan and get off our “asses” and do something about it, to bring glory and honour to the Lord’s name in our lives?? In the picture you will see a road. It has double lines, so we know we cannot cross to the other side without first breaking the law and secondly risking certain death by oncoming vehicles on the road. This is also a clear picture of our individual Christian walks. The road is windy, has hills and valleys and areas which the Word has identified as being dangerous and we are warned not to crossover into those area – because Satan is waiting there to trap us into sin. So, in the next millennium, are you going to find Jesus at the end of your journey? Are your going to work continually on your relationship with God Almighty, with Jesus Christ and with the Holy Spirit, so that
 New Light Ministries & Consulting Services Pty. Ltd.

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A Cry in the Wilderness
Jesus will welcome you with open arms and say for all of Heaven to hear “Welcome, my good and faithful servant, come in and be with me in paradise forever”. Or is Jesus going to say in a loud voice, for all of Heaven to hear “Depart from me, I do not know you – go down into the fire and be tormented forever – you have forsaken me – therefore I will not proclaim your name before My Father in Heaven”. What a terrible outcome, isn’t there any others alternatives to choose from ? The Bible says a definite NO ! You only have two choices, to be chosen by Jesus Christ as His worthy follower, or be condemned by Him to an eternity away from God Almighty, in a place of continual torment (commonly referred to as Hell.) These are the only two choices available to you. Which one of these are you going to choose ? If you are not sure about your options, don’t understand or think that you are not worthy enough, then there is still time for you to find out and make a personal commitment to Jesus Christ, to accept Him as your own personal saviour – to welcome Him into your life with open arms. If you want to do this then please contact me at the address given in the author details at the end of this book and we can talk about this and decide your options. It will be a great time together – forever. DETAILS ABOUT THE AUTHOR AND NEW LIGHT MINISTRIES New Light Ministries was formed initially in Thailand by Rani and Jeff Camm, to promote the Word of God through the free distribution of books, music and video tapes, all of which have a Christian message. Jeff Camm was ordained as a Pastor of the United Presbyterian Church of Pakistan, in 1980 and has been lead by the Lord to preach and teach, wherever invited, as a self-support Pastor. The income to run the New Light Ministries organisation comes partly from his own salary, and from love gift offerings, from Christians who have been led by the Lord to support this ministry in a financial way. If you have found this series of lessons of value, please write to us and give us your name and address, so that we can advise you of future publications by NEW LIGHT MINISTRIES as they become available. SOME OF OUR PUBLICATIONS ARE FREE !!! However, if the Lord moves you to give a love gift for the continuation of His work, through this type of publication, our mailing addresses are given below :Rev. Jeffry David Camm New Light Ministries & Consulting Services, 15 Pottinger Street, Toowoomba, Queensland, 4350 AUSTRALIA. Telephone/Fax : [61]-7-46349560 Mobile : [61] 0414931473 Email : nlmcs@optusnet.com.au Webpage : Http://www.nlmcs.com.au

OUTREACH PROGRAMMES If you would like a member of the NEW LIGHT MINISTRIES team to visit your church, to hold revival meetings, to conduct teaching sessions, or just to have fellowship, please have your Pastor send us a written invitation. This will help with visa formalities in some countries. We will endeavour to meet each request, as the Lord leads us and as finances are available.
 New Light Ministries & Consulting Services Pty. Ltd.

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