How to pray when threatened

We were reading that early passage in the NT book Acts where the authorities–the high priests and religious elites of Jerusalem–interrogated and threatened Peter and John not to proclaim Jesus any longer and the two leaders being let go, joined a house full of other believers and they all prayed . . . .

Indeed Herod and Pontius Pilate met together with the Gentiles and the people of Israel in this city to conspire against your holy servant Jesus, whom you anointed.  They did what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.  Now, Lord, consider their threats and enable your servants to speak your word with great boldness.  Stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders through the name of your holy servant Jesus.”

The authorities were conspiring, but not against Peter and John or the believers in the resurrected Christ but conspiring against the Lord’s anointed one.

But there are enormous consequences for their attitude, their opposition, their actions.

We can see that Jesus and his people who obey him, are one. Jesus taught that to act against his servants is to act against the King and the Rule of God. We who truly act in his name in obedience to his word are in an indissoluble union with him.

Acting against his people is to act against him. Not very wise.

The disciples could see clearly and proclaimed that these authorities were actually doing “what your power and will had decided beforehand should happen.” What confidence in the living God! They knew, prayed and lived out Psalm 2!

We realize we can live in that reality. He knows what he is doing.

“All things are working together for those who love God, who are the called according to his purpose”!

The living God cannot be defeated. He may be mocked but it is all in his stride. He will turn men’s plans to suit himself and he will have the glory.

Authorities today are making laws and threats of prosecutions against us who are led by the Holy Spirit. They seek to change the unchangeable, what IS and act as if they are gods. They are calling good evil and evil good.

They are acting against the Lord’s anointed, the Christ.

The living God is not taken by surprise! Politicians think they are in control. But they do not realize that God has decided beforehand what should take place. And at the same time they have chosen to act improperly and without the counsel of the Almighty.

If God is for us who can be against us, the apostle Paul excitedly and emphatically stated.

We looked and marveled at how these early believers prayed.

They asked for power and boldness in proclaiming the truth that saves. And at the same time, for God to stretch out your hand to heal and perform signs and wonders . . .

Both are necessary — us together boldly making the saving word known, emboldened by the Holy Spirit, and powerful signs following the words of life by the hand of God. Truly an exciting partnership!

After they prayed, the place where they were meeting was shaken. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and spoke the word of God boldly.

And that scenario has never been withdrawn.  Is there is any sensible alternative for us, for you, for me? But to pray like that and expect the Mighty Presence with us.


By Disciple — see

Now the Spirit expressly says that in later times some will depart from the faith by devoting themselves to deceitful spirits and teachings of demons, through the insincerity of liars whose consciences are seared – 1 Tim 4

In CS Lewis’ book, The Last Battle, a rather shrewd ape (called Shift) sews a lion skin around a rather dumb donkey (Puzzle) and uses him to control Narnia. Shift the ape, parades the look-alike lion before the Narnians only during twilight, and the innocent Narnians are left speechless at what they perceive the remarkable and legendary Aslan has become. How could one so majestic and powerful, have become so revolting and pernicious.

The ape then joins forces with the arch enemy of Narnia, the Calormenes, who have a god called Tash. Tash is an evil spirit, a vulture with 2 feet and 4 arms, and eats children who are given to him in child sacrifice. In a masterstroke of brilliance, the ape and Calormenes declare that Tash and Aslan are one and the same, and Aslan becomes Taslan. Everyone is utterly confused.

In the saddest twist that eventually destroys Narnia forever, even when the truth is finally revealed, when Tash is banished and the donkey exposed, Narnians are too dismayed to put their faith in anything other than themselves. A once beautiful country has now become worthless and fit only for destruction.

The Last Battle mirrors our own society so closely, that it would seem Lewis was writing while reading today’s news. Our society is so confused about the truth and who is really in charge, that the only person they feel safe putting their faith in, is themselves. The West it seems, has finally caught up with the world inhabited by Paul.

Paul’s final letters are replete with warnings on false teachings, spirits and deception within the fledgling church. While he specifically addresses what was happening in the church, it seems that if his society was anything like ours, that confusion was just absorbed from the world. Both the world and the church appear very mystified about Jesus Christ.

I met with a disciple maker this week, and we had a wonderful time sharing times of prayer, elation and trials. Our conclusions were remarkably similar, and that is, it is extremely difficult to engage Western culture in anything that resembles the demands of Jesus Christ. Jesus, Mohammed or even faith in yourself, is it really such a big deal? Sometimes sadly, the church appears just as jumbled.

Those with eyes to see will see this though – this is only the beginning, soon it is going to get much worse.

A happy Christmas message you might ask?

Well, I think so. To me and those who are committed to growing in Jesus Christ, this time reminds us of the sheer extraordinariness of God. We have a lofty, majestic King, God’s own Son, who is far above all else, and yet, and yet, this Christ still will condescend himself to accept us, heal us, forgive us, grant us total amnesty if only we would accept him. His lightness is more brilliant than the darkest of our dark, and he alone has the power to rescue humanity. He works in the lives of individuals dealing with each of us so perfectly and exactly where we are. Above all though, my Jesus is alive. Two thousand years after we nailed him to a cross, he continues to reign in heaven.

The world and the church will continue to grow cold in their devotion to Jesus Christ, and one day in this country we will be forbidden from celebrating him publicly. I am certain that will be the case. But it is worth reminding ourselves at this time of year, that such a fact does not alter one iota who the person of Jesus Christ is. World systems, politicians and those who are so full of hatred towards him, can no more make him go away than they can blot out the sun.

In The Last Battle, Aslan comes back when he is least expected. When all have dismissed his presence as no more than a mythical legend, Aslan returns. But by then it is all too late, for he has come for but one purpose, to wind Narnia up and only those who have remained faithful will be saved. So it is with our King, this Jesus that the world has largely dismissed. He is coming back.

My question to you, as it has been to those who I have met out on the streets all year is this though, why would you not embrace him with everything you have? A God who by rights should be at war with us, instead offers himself so willingly, so humbly, to each of us through his Son. Come to me he says, all who are weary and I will give you rest, freedom and life, both here and ever after.

Embrace it, embrace him with your all. He will never disappoint.

Merry Christmas, thanks for reading. May he be your rest and your peace this season.


By Christine RichardsChris Richards image Daniel

Chris is a dear friend of ours. This is both significant and encouragingIan

Many years ago God gave me a prophetic word which He brought to the surface again yesterday revealing that it was a “now” word for His beloved sons and daughters as they try to make sense of these strange and unsettling times when contrary winds are blowing especially in light of laws just passed.

It began with a dream where I was in a land where I was taken captive and surrounded by many who worshipped false gods. At first I kicked and bucked and yelled “I’m a Christian and I don’t believe as you do,” but I was so outnumbered I knew these tactics were useless. My cries were falling on deaf ears. As the dream progressed I began to settle down and make the most of the situation because there was no way of escape.
But I knew in my heart that I would never worship their gods or accept their way of life and so I began serving these people while still remaining true to the Lord. Somehow I knew this was how it had to be.

Then when I woke up God led me to look into the life of the prophet Daniel and I was struck by the remarkable similarities to my dream.
Daniel had been taken captive in Babylon but had learned to live for God amongst a people who were hostile to the ways of God and how this was all part of God’s plan and purpose. In spite of the suffering and persecution, Daniel and his friends held fast to their faith and remained true to their convictions, refusing to give into the pressures of an ungodly society and were all in the end elevated to powerful positions.

After being given this revelation the Lord then spoke these words to me,
“My precious one, you find yourself often alone living amongst those who worship false gods. Do not think this is an accident for it is part of my divine purpose and plan. It is not the time for murmuring and complaining and insisting upon your own rights as a child of God. See it as a school of preparation. Walk humbly and meekly in this time and at the end of this preparation you will be my minister. You will be promoted to minister before me with great power and authority.”

Now today I feel God is saying that there are many that feel this way. They feel that they have been like a voice crying in the wilderness in these troubling times and no one cares and no one responds.
God knows. God sees the stand you have taken over many years and says, your time of promotion is fast approaching!
Many will be raised up quickly and given new platforms of influence to be a voice of truth and authority.

Jesus Christ Does Not Drag His Followers Kicking and Screaming

By Jeff, fellow blogger

Jesus’ desire is that people repent. “Repent” means to turn. We turn from our old life to a new life in Christ. A life headed in Christ’s direction, not the direction our flesh was planning on going.

God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.

If this is God’s desire, and God has all authority and power, why doesn’t He just make it happen then?

This is where the Calvinist will tell you that God has many different kinds of will. They redefine words to fit their theory even though the Bible never speaks of differing wills of God.

If God desires (the same Greek word as “wills”) all men to repent, and yet also has a will that prevents people from repenting, then God is a house divided.

Instead, we should just go with what the Bible says. Sola Scriptura, don’t ya know.

God wills all people to repent. Not all repent. Therefore, we must conclude that God’s will is not always being done on earth.

In fact, we can see that clearly in the Lord’s Prayer where we request the Father’s will to “be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

God’s will is not being done here.

God leaves it up to us. Notice His words: “If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.

“If any man will” is an important part of the verse. Jesus does not force people to follow Him.

What He says is: if you desire to follow Him, if you are willing to follow Him, then deny yourself, take up the cross, and follow.

Jesus Christ does not drag people behind Him kicking and screaming. If you want to come, then come. He tells you how. It’s up to you whether you come or not. He’s done everything necessary by His grace to provide the way.

You just need to decide to follow Him in The Way.

The Bible and Big Government

Thanks Jeff for this. This message is very timely as we face both sate and federal elections here in Queensland, Australia.

anti-itch meditation

Although the Bible avoids politics, your beliefs about the Bible’s message will shape your political beliefs.

In a humble effort to make a very complex and muddled idea simple(r), and to more than likely offend everyone, let me step in some hot water!

The Bible says human nature is messed up. The heart is wicked and deceptive. The Bible’s solution to this problem is the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The wicked heart of humanity cannot be controlled. We must be given a new heart.

Although most Christians would agree in theory with this message (it is the Gospel after all), in practice most Christians don’t believe this one bit.

If the Bible’s message is true and our only hope is to receive a new heart, then we must conclude that other efforts to control the heart will fall short. Thus, we can not put our trust in laws, rulers, governments…

View original post 474 more words

What is Jesus’ real name?

November 16 at 7:40pm ·by my friend, Carl Musch on Facebook

Food for thought. (Not criticism or argument): Did you know that Jesus own mother probably didn’t call Him “Yeshua”.

That is His name in Hebrew but the only characters in the Bible who might have used that name to refer to Him would have been the Pharisees.

The NT was recorded in Greek…closest rendered in English is Jesus. Sickness and Demons seem to recognise the name of Jesus OK when I and thousands of others use it’s authority to bring deliverance. Of course they will respond to the names Yeshua or Isho or Yesu or Esu and others too because they are responding to your relationship to Him…The Father through The Son..”In His name” refers to a relationship not to a magic word ( not like “abara kadabera” or “open says-a-me”) Sickness and demons leave because you represent Him as an ambassador, as His son speaking His Word led by His Spirit according to and submitted to His will.

Jesus human parents were Galileans and they probably called him Isho ( this is where the Greeks got the name Jesus from. They added consonants to the front and back to make it easier to say for them like a Noonga might say “blekfella” because it is easier to say and not as weird as saying “black fellow”).

Mary and Joseph and his family are likely to have spoken Aramaic that says “Yeshua” as Isho or “Aeshoa”. As God speaks to us in our heart language usually it seems likely the Angel Gabriel used the Aramaic to speak to Mary. Jesus cried out in Aramaic to His Father on the cross in Aramaic (His heart language) As it says in Rev 5:9 every tongue will be before the throne and The Lord knows and receives them all equally. The Biblical significance of a name was not in it’s sound/pronunciation in a particular language but in the identity and character and nature and authority that the name communicated. Jesus himself sometimes seemed to read from and quoted from the Septuagint which is the Greek translation of the Old Testament. So it would seem Jesus was OK with translations of names because He read them as they were written not back translating them into Hebrew.

No matter how we say His name in the world as long as we know Him personally as Lord He will be our salvation…for that is what Yeshua means…The Lord is our Salvation.

My concern is that we can get caught up in “not really Biblical” “winds of doctrine ” that create divisions and pointless arguments in the Body of Christ and subtle elitism (meaning “holier than thou” huddles)

So let’s get focused on knowing Him and making Him known (John 17:3) rather than on what language we use except that we want people to understand what we are saying (1Cor 14:19)

If we are ministering in Israel or to Jews though of course “Yeshua” is the go.

Please forgive me if I have offended anyone. Unity is my hearts desire not more offenses.



We were reading together recently Paul’s first letter to the Thessalonians discovering some wonderful truths—eavesdropping on the reading to those saints meeting in Thessalonica.

We noticed how the authors, Paul, Silvanus and Timothy wrote to encourage their hearers as they sat and listened to the letter being read to them.

They were listening to the words of Paul who was a witness to the risen Christ! Clearly his testimony was critical to their life in the Spirit.

That’s how all of the letters to these young assemblies were received in the New Testament start. They listened together rather than read. The letters were composed to be read out loud to a meeting of believers. Never in their wildest dreams did the authors expect you and I could read this correspondence and gain so much insight into how they saw the application of the gospel.

To receive the word of God we have to hear the word of God rather than just read it. “My sheep hear my voice” said Jesus.

“Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts!”

Literally listening! Not just reading the print on the pages!

You have to be there. To be present.

Ekklesia (badly translated as ‘church’) means gathering or assembly. You cannot have a New Testament gathering unless actually gathered together. They came together and when they went back home they were no longer an assembly. They would eagerly look forward to the next time together, when they would assemble—to hear.

In the hearts of the authors, they saw in the Spirit the people to whom they were addressing when it would be read to them.

There is no way these believers could receive the word of God except they assembled. Right?

Each time together was unique.

No two meetings were exactly the time. Spontaneity. And as the Holy Spirit distributed his manifestations among them.

What is your gathering like? Is it a place where you HEAR His voice?

When we gather today, the living Jesus is with us to speak. But is He welcome? Does he have a voice in your meetings? Is He allowed to be Lord? Do we take seriously these living words?