GCR Articles and Sermons

Who is GOD using today?

Its was a very interesting 2016 with Brexit and other world events, shaking up the elitist status quo. Many people prayed for Brexit and many prayed against it. The same could be said of Germany and the UK during WW1 and WW2. Both sides had many wonderful men and women of conviction and submission to GOD. They prayed for their side to wide and to bring a swift end to the war.

Ultimately Germany lost, so how did that effect the faith of those in Germany? Did they loose the war and also their faith?

Well actually yes many did.

The same thing happened in the UK and across the globe with our Allies.

I think we need to learn the lessons from Israel that winning and loosing are totally dependant on GOD alone. We must follow his plans, seek his advice and direction. His will must, and will be done, regardless of our own agenda or preference, no matter how noble or democratic the opinion. There will be situations deliberate and through ignorance that you find yourself on the wrong side.

There is only one response, stand up and be counted and “come out of her my children”

  • After WW1 many new Christian theologians came to the fore with new thinking and ideas as a result of this dilemma.
  • Which side is GOD on? Karl Barth,  Louis Berkhof , CS Lewis & N T Wright and many others came up with differing conclusions and solutions to world and biblical problems.
  • They tried to redefine our understanding about GOD, and our relationship with him. Does the Bible really mean what it says?
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  • They asked: Is there an alternative viewpoint? Have we misunderstood GOD all this time? In short they proclaimed a better way, an enlightenment that would shake the church and mankind and hopefully usher in peace and better understanding.
  • The problem was many of the viewpoints conflicted, some overlapped and then went off at tangents.
  • None however answered the burning questions, is GOD real and does he mean what he says? Is he the same yesterday, today and forever?

The issue really is this!

Is the bible sufficient and inerrant to provide the answers, or are their omissions and irregularities. 

You see many of these men made profound statements and clarified many misconceptions, but they also added to the confusion and ignorance by introducing new concepts. They denied other Biblically established doctrines thereby allowed the start of a continuing situation we see today: “what does GOD mean to you” and “does Hell really exist” these were just some of the questions they posed while providing their own new alternative answers. Up until this point in church history the Apostles established doctrine and practice in accordance with GODS word. If you were not a Bishop, or ordained minister etc, who would listen to you if your ideas were different, than that, maintained by generations.

In essence many of these Theologians simply quoted from other theologians and not GODS word, they argued about who got it right and the virtues of each thesis. They scrutinized the smallest word often playing semantics in establishing their view point. Don’t get me wrong they got many things right, but that only confirmed what we accepted about GOD and his word already.

Their new thinking and acceptance encouraged many other whacky and bizarre beliefs like the JW to present a plausible alternative to a world that was seeking answers, as it recovered from so much death and destruction.

This then spawned the proliferation of alternative translations we now see today. Some are good and many are not, but what you will find common about modern teachers who use them, is they jump from one translation to another to emphasise their point. There is no consistency, and it is becoming common for modern preachers to cut and paste sections of alternative verses together to make a coherent statement to emphasise their point.

Rick warren is the master of this, but many are learning his tricks. The Bereans would be very busy. Correct language and translation are vital to our growth and understanding.

Having the printed word in front of you is our safe guard. So many modern teachers exploit this by bouncing around the bible and from translation to translation. This simply causes the listener to stop following the bible as they cant keep up.

Instead they hear buzz words, blessing, promise, best life now, happiness and prosperity. So what did Barth say that helped promote this modern understanding of GOD and his word.

Barth said” No one can be saved - in virtue of what he can do. Everyone can be saved - in virtue of what God can do.
On examination this is almost true, however we know we are saved not on what GOD can do. We are saved because of what he did on the cross, and our acceptance of him as our saviour through his grace and our repentance. God being GOD is insufficient for salvation. Our belief in him is in itself insufficient. Our repentance is insufficient. It needed the price of sin to be paid for. GOD is Holy he can only associate with holy things. Jesus his son, GOD himself is the only sufficient means of clearing the slate clean. Having done so, our belief in him as the Son of GOD allows him to hear our genuine repentance and have a new life in HIM.

A small point perhaps, but actually its crucial.

You cant shorten the gospel, you cant edit what Jesus did into a punchy clever slogan. The issue is that so many people try to adopt a better linguistic and catchy phrase, rather than say what GOD has told them.

They do everything they can to avoid reading the bible, to use the words GOD used. They want their phrase, their presentation to be clever and memorable and thereby get fame and all that goes with it.

Believing in GOD, and his potential to do things for you. According to Barth, is sufficient for salvation. He does not mention repentance, or faith in this instance, but does discuss it in detail in other publications.

This statement was his argument against Calvinistic teaching regarding election. He did not take an outright Armenian perspective, instead he structured his own definition called double pre destination. So, Is his argument correct or is he proposing universalism? The reason I mention Barth as an example is that so many modern denominations that came from the time period, have selected certain aspects of the Gospel as their main focus, while denying others on the basis of this and other new prescribed wisdom. He essentially was the spark to the flame, with this new kudos of the wise sage the Theologian.

What many have done is to use their own understanding and reinforced this with teaching from Barth, Kierkegaard, Schleiermacher, Calvin, Rick Warren, Joel Osteen, Joyce Meyer or whoever impresses them most. 

We have lost the blessing of consulting GOD, We are out of sync, and seek mans opinion about GOD and his word.

In short we stopped relying on the scripture for the answers to our questions.

I am not here to criticise Barth or anyone else. I am using him and others as an example of this modern development in our thinking and acceptance of alternative view points. It really is no different that the situation of Moses when he went up the mountain and came back down to find the Golden calf. People are fickle and want things they can see, feel and aspire to. Biblical consistency sadly does bore many people who want what the church across the street has. This really confirms who is with GOD and who is not.

Those that drift, still looking for that Je Ne Sais Quoi. Were they ever actually saved? This is the question that has stood the test of time & Barth and his double pre destination theory fails to answer the question without condemning the double pre destination idea to the recycle bin. The fact that we get some things wrong and others right should not exclude us from being used by GOD for his glory and also for his judgement, Many even in error, but with a genuine contrite heart are used by GOD to bring him Glory and bless his people. While others are used to bring judgement and GODS retribution, even when many don’t realise they are being judged and cast adrift by GOD. Being used by GOD for his Glory and purpose does not confirm salvation or even establish a better understanding of who GOD is. His famous doctrine on revelation regarding the “heavens declaring the Glory of GOD” Psalm 19. According to Barth should bring people to realise there is a GOD who created all this splendour, and that should be sufficient for people to then seek out and the answer and open the door for the Holy Spirit to do his work.    Sadly it does not happen. For as many recognise there must be a creator, there are many who become Buddists, Catholic or any other religion, that fits their understanding and idealism.

The theory sounds great, and does have an established Biblical principle regarding people having no excuse regarding the realisation their must be a creator GOD```

There is a big leap from that to salvation, and recognising you are a sinner lost without Jesus. The simple fact is that if we ignore scripture Rom 10-17 “Faith comes by hearing” then no mater how intellectual our argument or proposal if it does not accord with scripture then it fails.

Barth did write many wonderful and correct things that do accord with scripture. The errors however are serious and can, and have lead many astray, as they focus on such a great man’s thinking while ignoring the Bible given by such a great GOD.

He clarified and addressed many issues of error. However he is just a man, like you and me he was not always right in the things he said, wrote and did. So does this bar him from fellowship, is he a heretic? I would suggest not. He is not doing it for personal gain, money or status. His quest was noble and genuine, albeit wrong in a few areas. He loves Jesus and shows great clarity and understanding of the scriptures. The simple fact is this. 

No mater who you are, if you lean on your own understanding you will get it wrong and if you allow pride and vanity to creep in you are in serious trouble with GOD. So what is the difference with the so called false teachers of today and people like Barth or Louis Berkoff and others from the so called enlightenment?

I suggest its simply the heart. What were their intentions? was it for filthy lucre, status and control? I say no their title theologian is not even a church office, in the same way modern Christian apologists are not given any rank in the bible. However if you stand behind a pulpit, week after week even with a lovely smile and gentle voice and preach the word of GOD for gain.

Or preach your version of scripture or publish books that are leading people astray. Giving them false hope, and a stage show for entertainment while focusing on their weakness, whether their need is for physical healing or prosperity is condemned by GOD and is subject to judgement for heresy. Peter famously got things wrong even denying Jesus, but GOD new his heart and his mind and used him for his Glory. This is very different to manipulating people and Gods word.

To uphold false teaching of more recent ones like, Oral Roberts, Jesse Duplatis, or Brian Huston as inspired and co relevant to scripture is a dangerous leap. Sadly many do. Just like those who study Barth, you will find millions buy and read the publications of Brian Huston and Hillsong, Joyce Myer et al and quote them in church. They follow them on twitter and Facebook, and along with many others on the false teaching buffet set before us, they can choose their favourites, and have their ears tickled all for a direct debit payment of £19.99. People are deliberately doing this, they know the truth, they know who Jesus is and what he did and stands for. They simply choose their own version that accords with their own life style preference, just as we are told in 2 Peter 3-5 they are willingly Ignorant.

Please don’t miss understand there are many fine commentaries and books written by men of GOD that explain and help us understand GODs word and our walk with him. However they do not supplement, replace or become teaching in themselves. They are there to assist us and identify specific Biblical texts and principles that will encourage and teach us more about GOD and our walk with him.

Scripture is Holy, and men called by GOD to teach his word will do so at the pulpit, the High street and with published mater

ial for the sole purpose of feeding the sheep.

Not for personal gain or notoriety.

In modern Christian book shops you will find so many self help books. Books on Christians and debt, Psychology, counselling relationships, and so on, with every kind of Bible you could think of. The green Bible that focuses on environmental issues, the LGBT and homosexual Bibles, and every other translation you can imagine, all tailored to give you the bible that fits your religious outlook and lifestyle. 

Why has this happened? I suggest its simply a business, there is money in it and the devil directs and exploits it. Seminaries and Bible schools have all become effected by this enlightenment and liberal teaching and don’t focus on sound exposition.

They worry about their bills and retirement plans for the Dean, a new annex building or the success of a rival college.

As a result they follow the model of rival colleges who they think are successful and have full fee paying classrooms.

Liberal and alternative teaching creeps in and before you know it, they are a business.

They are no different to any high street shop,who market them selves on best value and customer satisfaction.

Just type Bible college into Google, and you will find they entice you with discount plans, better room and board, guaranteed pass and future employment etc.

Modern teaching methods do not use exegesis. There is no teaching Gods word from the pulpit. Instead they have a chic backdrop with mood lighting, and move around the stage, joke occasionally, use anecdote and personal experience to get their attention.

There is no letting the bible speak for itself.

We now hear sound bite and fluffy encouraging words to lift people up, to keep them going until next week.

You will hear nice scriptures, mainly from the NT, you wont hear challenging teaching, NO “says the word of The Lord “

They don’t want to be accused of lecturing people. They  want them to come back next week and bring their friends, and go to the social events, make them feel that they belong. They wont use words like sin, repentance, salvation, they don’t want to put people off.

Instead they say “how you all doing today, God has a plan and a purpose for you, You will receive a blessing today, can I get an Amen. I know im playing with the idea but we know so many churches and pastors like that.

Today’s church use so many other books and quotes from other so called experts and famous Christian teachers, in equal proportion to the Bible. You will get video presentation from some trendy teacher, who everyone loves and who God has blessed with a great wife and BMW for him and a Range Rover for her.

We are encouraged to follow them and their teaching, and hopefully we will get what they have, and then thank GOD for it!

While we buy their latest book.

Consistency is the hallmark of GODS teaching Hebrews 13.8  “I am the same yesterday and tomorrow”  Malachi 3.6” I am the LORD I change not” come to mind.

We all have our flaws, personal and theological but if we are called by GOD he will use us, not because we have skill or ability, not because he needs us, not because we want to do it.

Simply because there is a need and GOD will be glorified in the process. Its not about you or me, its not about what we think we can or cant do, its all about him and his purpose.

The same could be said about many biblical heroes:

Abraham and his wife would doubt GOD by having a child through Hagar GEN 16-3.6 But GOD would use this to for his Glory in his people Israel.

Samson. The judge would later fall because of his sinfulness and lust towards Delilah (Judges 16:20-22), but ultimately God would bring His purposes to pass through Samson.

  • Moses was a prince of Egypt, but he was also a murderer. After killing an Egyptian (Exodus 2:12), he fled to Midian only to be called there by God in the form of a burning bush. In fact his whole story from birth, and the basket in the bull rushes, and being found by Pharaohs  daughter would seem to be going against GODS will and plan, but our GOD is awesome and nothing frustrates his intentions.
  • Peter wasn't always bold, but he was always impulsive and often acted before thinking. Our Lord still used him for mighty things.
  • I cannot think of anyone used by GOD who did not have flaws, or as the modern world calls them today “personality disorders” But sin is sin and we have the assurance that God forgives.
  • Our lord uses the underdog, the King, the pauper, and the rich man according to his needs, not ours. Its not the skill, or abilities of the man on display. It’s the grace and power of GOD demonstrated by him, in someone who in many ways contradicts the expected requirements of the world and even the church.
  • Can you imagine my name sake Amos or John the Baptist today, they would be sectioned for their own good on medical authority. This really is the whole story. The world still looks to the man and not what they say or do. The test is this: Does he accord with scripture, is he holy and gentle in spirit, does he led by example, does he spend much of his time in prayer, does he recognise his failing and error and repent. Does he give GOD all the Glory? submitting to his authority, and word, is he sober? the Husband of one wife? does his children and family respect him? Does he control his temper? is he respected outside the church? is he disciplined and not prone to quarrels? Is he called or is he a hireling? Is he humble in Spirit? and does he protect and lead his sheep?
  • This list of requirements listed in Titus1 ,5-9, Peter5 ,1-4, Acts 20,28 and 1 Timothy 17,  Sets a high bench mark that none can attain, unless they are led by the Holy Spirit. And yet we still look for personality and performance rather than principle, power and prophecy.
  • We live in an X factor world and that is filtering into the church with celebrity preachers, and worship leaders becoming the main focus of many churches. The Pastor and the word are becoming the warm up act all built around some feel good dynamic worship music from a trendy worship band.
  • However this fickle style of church will give rise to a hunger, with the Holy spirit challenging those who genuinely seek him. Its simply the sifting of the wheat, those who realise they have been duped and are now searching for the real Jesus.
  • They will find him, and that’s the important role the steadfast church must play. We must not become liberal, and dilute GODS word and become acceptable.
  • We must provide that choice, we must be a Holy Place, a house of prayer. We will be called fundamentalist, old fashioned, bigoted etc. That will only declare GODS glory, and confirm we are doing the right thing. So don’t worry about the means GOD uses to achieve his objective. Don’t be concerned about the people and circumstances he uses.
  • Keep your focus on him and recognise he knows what he is doing, and rejoice that his ways are not mans ways.
  • Oh how he loves to confound the wicked. Don’t be fatalistic, don’t worry, don’t beat people up about it, but don’t be silent.
  • Start with brothers and sisters inside your church. Show them the reality, show them the errors they follow and how to put it right.
  • Be patient and pray for them without ceasing, don’t leave it all for your pastor to do.
  • In Ezra we read about King Cyrus a Pagan Used by GOD to build the temple.  Pilots wife and her dream not to harm Jesus. There will be others I’m sure you can mention who were used by GOD. Some probably didn’t even realise the overall purpose they had been given, and achieved.
  • This brings me on to People like Nigel Farage a drunk and supporter of Israel, but not saved. He harnessed the feelings of the masses and probably unknown to him was being used by GOD to achieve Brexit according to GODS will.
  • Theresa May an Anglican believer, who sits on the fence on some issues and is strong on others. She probably didn’t realise the importance of her role in Gods agenda. Many thought it would be Angela Ledsom who would become Prime Minister, thousands even prayed for her victory. But God chose Theresa.
  • Donald Trump a sober reformed liberal believer, womaniser and empire builder. Who would have thought it possible, actually no one really, not even him.
  • That’s why there is so much hostility to Brexit so much hatred for Trump, so much media attention on Theresa May. The devil and his cohorts have been kicked where it hurts, they are injured but not dead.
  • They are vile and will use every opportunity to exploit any weakness real or perceived to destabilise the new norm and return to their self indulgent ways. If you stop and look, all the left wing luvies, celebrities and failed politicians who are ganging up to bleat about  how unfair it all is. How undemocratic it is, how this, how that! any excuse, they clutch at straws they are desperate.
  • GOD himself appoints our leaders according to his will, even if we don’t agree or even like them. That’s why we must pray for them, they are GODS instrument. In simple terms we get what we deserve.
  • If you want a liberal ineffective preacher and gospel the Lord may well provide it. If you want a secure steadfast pastor who honours GOD and his word, be assured he will provide it.
  • You see the proliferation of false teaching, and teachers.
  • The dubious and shallow publications the deliberate denial of the real Jesus is not just the result of the liberal theology and doctrine, ITS GODS JUDGEMENT ON IT.
  • You want it! well be prepared to receive it with all the bells and whistles. I believe if GOD is building his church, then only he has the authority to allow the wayward teaching we have today.
  • The church is being sifted the genuine believer and teacher from the false and self appointed. The enemy perhaps is not Islam, Catholicism or other false religions, they have always been there and are lost anyway.
  • The real elephant in the room is the church itself. The persecution like in Jesus time on earth came from within. The Jewish nation divided into Israel and Judah, they forsake their first love. God maintained his promise to David albeit with a smaller following.
  • We use words like remnant today, the point being, GOD does not measure success by mans standards. A full church of heretics means nothing to him, he is not there.
  • A small room with genuine repentant believers gets his presence every time without fail.
  • I believe the church will fragment and we will be cast adrift.
  • I don’t think we will have a schism as such. The mainstream church will abandon us and deny we are Christian, as our beliefs will be classed as cultic, and extreme. GOD appoints Political leaders and he also appoints Church leaders, he is in charge, we are subject to his authority if we submit to his pastoral authority under his appointed pastor.
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  • Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. 
    — Romans 13:1
  • Jesus answered [speaking to Pilate], “You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above.”
    — John 19:11
  • By me kings reign…
    — Proverbs 8:15
  • …he removes kings, and sets up kings…
    — Daniel 2:21
  • Then God removed Saul and made David their king…
    — Acts 13:22
  • No one … can exalt themselves. It is God who judges: He brings one down, he exalts another.
    — Psalms 75:6-7
  • …the Most High has power over human kingdoms. He gives them to whomever he wishes.
    — Daniel 4:17
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  • Let us be in no doubt, recent events are ordained and managed by GOD so we have nothing to fear.
  • The people used by him are his choice, even with their flaws and sinful nature. We need look no further than King David to understand the reality.
  • Because the worlds opinion is driven by the media with false reporting, omission and bias. People are controlled and trained to respond as the media whip cracks. They are mainly ignorant and cant see the wood for the trees. It exactly the same tactic Satan uses to challenge the gospel and dismiss Jesus, as a romantic Christmas time irrelevance.
  • The very first thing Satan said was “You shall certainly not die” casting doubt on GOD and building man up.
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  • Satan actually controls man by allowing man to make his own decisions with limited and false information. He says you are master of your destiny, GOD has lied to you. He tells us to look what science, Islam, the UN, the EU, The world council of Churches and many others have achieved through diversity and respect of alternative viewpoints and beliefs.
  • It’s the same tactic and lie he has used for ever more, and we keep falling for it.
  • By recognising the real we see the counterfeit for what it is. Don’t underestimate GOD, even when he seems to Tarry.
  • His purpose and method may not seem practical or even achievable. Remember Jerico. What must those people have thought, “march around the city 7 times”
  • Not understanding is very different to not believing, and that’s the basis of our faith. Our faith is not in the situation, nor the person being used. It is in GOD himself, to doubt GOD is a serious failure. Its not even faith in the evidence, the frequency of accurate prophecy, or even the reliability of scripture.
  • These are evidential and therefore not technically faith.
  • They reinforce our faith, give us hope and example to encourage others. Our faith comes from our walk with GOD in his Triune being, knowing him personally, no mater what the world says, no mater what happens to you.
  • So what about Trump, Farage, May , La Pen  and others are they also being used by GOD for his purpose?
  • Even with the best will in the world and the prayers offered by both sides in the Brexit and US elections. No one really expected the results we have got.
  • In many ways this confirms GOD’s hand was in it, simply because it could not have happened any other way.
  • So what of those Christians who voted against, is their GOD, our GOD?
  • Why did he listen to us and not them? Perhaps the answer is in the question itself, perhaps the question is wrong in its assumptions and understanding. Is it not simply a case of MY WILL BE DONE, the template given by GOD himself.
  • Yes God listens to us, he encourages us to ask for things, for ourselves and others. However the most important thing is being in step with GOD, knowing his will trusting in him and not our own intellect, or the wise words of some other acknowledged preacher or Theologian, no matter who they are!
  • When he says can two walk together unless they are agreed, this must include walking with him, in harmony and submission to his authority. Even if like the disciples we do not always understand.

The Lord gives us ample scripture to live and teach this point:

 

Proverbs 3:5-6

5 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; 6 In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

 

Recognise GOD in all things and situations give him the Glory let him be your guide.

 

 Romans 12:1-2

1, I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. 2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

 

This most wonderful of scriptures encourages us to renew our mind to GODS ways. This in turn will transform our lives and we will realise how perfect and amazing GODS ways are. We will see him even in the most bizarre and unusual circumstances.

In this we will learn to hear GODS voice among all the confusion, and rhetoric, the false teaching and the politics.

 

 

 

John 10:27

My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me.

 

If sheep don’t trust the Sheppard, if he is harsh, or they are influenced by other Sheppard’s, they become jittery and confused and anxious. They get lost and others in panic follow them.

Trust and believe in GODS plan, its laid out in front of you in his word.

See the reality that others don’t see, speak the reality that others don’t hear, live the reality that others should follow.

 

 

Matthew 13:16-17 (KJV)

16 But blessed are your eyes, for they see: and your ears, for they hear.

17 For verily I say unto you, That many prophets and righteous men have desired to see those things which ye see, and have not seen them; and to hear those things which ye hear, and have not heard them.

There is a range of emotion sweeping across the Church, don’t get caught up in it. Emotions are feelings, they are physical and can be used by the Devil.

Trust GOD live by his spirit and rejoice that you are alive at this amazing time in history. You are witnessing a pivotal episode further confirming Jesus return and your place with him.

Focus on Jesus not the situation, be aware of it, alert others, monitor it where necessary. Don’t let so called important people or fine words by others distract you from you walk and place with our saviour.

Colossians 2:8 

See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ.

 

Amos Farrell Genesis Christian Radio

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