Tag Archives: reality

Simplicity: Hold fast what you received

How simple it all is!

But so much has been added to the simplicity of Christ and as a result, that simplicity has disappeared.

In robbing us of that simplicity and embracing instead the religious ideas of human thinking, what has not been given to us, we have lost just about all.

I invite you to consider with me the utter simplicity of what was revealed to the first communities of Jesus.

For starters, consider these words from the mouth of Jesus to believers recorded for us in the book, Revelation.

 “To the angel of the church in Ephesus . . . . . ‘You have forsaken the love you had at first. Consider how far you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first.’” Rev 2:4-5.

“I say to the rest of you in Thyatira ‘I will not impose any other burden on you, except to hold on to what you have until I come.’”  Rev 2:24-25

 “To the angel of the church in Sardis write  . . . . . . ‘I know your deeds; you have a reputation of being alive, but you are dead.  Wake up! Strengthen what remains and is about to die, for I have found your deeds unfinished in the sight of my God.  Remember, therefore, what you have received and heard; hold it fast, and repent. But if you do not wake up, I will come like a thief, and you will not know at what time I will come to you.’”  Rev 3:1-3.

And “To the angel of the church in Philadelphia . . . .  ‘I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown.’” Rev 3:1, 11

Consider also these words from the pen of apostle John . . .

Let what you have heard from the beginning abide in you. If what you have heard from the beginning abides in you, you will abide in the Son and the Father. 1 John 2:24

Need I comment?

Dare I comment?

If you have ears to hear, then please join me in hearing, that is, obeying.


There are hundreds of thousands of teachers who seek to make their opinions, their interpretations known. You could spend a lifetime reading or hearing countless theological systems, books on doctrine, the web is full of them. Thousands of YouTube videos and blogs. Countless organisations each with their statements of faith and mission statements claiming to be correct and biblical.

So who are you to believe? Where, how, from whom, do you find truth?

When Jesus astonished the Jews in the Jerusalem temple with his surprising teaching and wisdom, they questioned how this Galilean could possibly have received such perfect understanding. So Jesus explained how. And his explanation was amazingly simple  . . .

 “My teaching is not Mine, but His who sent Me.  If anyone is willing to do His will, he will know of the teaching, whether it is of God or whether I speak from Myself. He who speaks from himself seeks his own glory; but He who is seeking the glory of the One who sent Him, He is true, and there is no unrighteousness in Him. John 7:16–18

His teaching was actually not his at all. He had no input of his own.

Astoundingly, he had no initiative at all in what he taught.

At the same time, there was tremendous variety as He spoke by the Holy Spirit. His approach to people was different on each occasion.

He teaches us to “call no one Rabbi (that is teacher), you have One Teacher” (Matthew 23:8)


Are you seeking truth?  How important is truth?

Surely we are living in a culture where knowing truth is not cool.

Post-truth. Anything goes. How it feels is what guides. What works for me.

Back in the 1960’s Francis Schaeffer saw Post-truth coming and found it necessary to coin the term, true truth.

True truth. We all know there are physical laws that are always true which we ignore at our peril . . . defying gravity, eating poisonous substances and so on.

So there are meta-physical things that never change. Faith, love, righteousness, goodness, for example.

Does your belief system come from someone you respect, admire, even place as your guru, bypassing, shortcutting the Lord Jesus? Wrong beliefs can kill, can lead to destruction and damnation. Cursed, wrote Paul, of those who decide to be justified by law.

Your fav preachers may want to get admiration from men and not from God. They may seek recognition, praise, reputation, advancement. Their desires colour what they teach. No wonder we are in such a poor state spiritually.


How do we recognise true teaching? Jesus said to make God’s will your will—no other. If you desire to do the will of God, you will know what teaching is true—the one who teaches will not seek his own glory but God’s glory alone.  He will not speak from himself—the true teacher from God does not dare bring anything beyond what God has said in his son Jesus Christ.

Ultimately, the one teacher of righteousness is Jesus. Are you surprised?


So, just humbly following Jesus, we shall be like him. Being like him, listening to him, we will desire above all else, to will the will of God.

So, passionately desiring to do the will of the Father, we shall recognise the truth when we hear it, and the truth will set us free.

Simple, isn’t it.

So when will you abandon your own belief system, your treasured traditions, and begin to love His rule, His will?


Whatever happened to the simplicity of Jesus and his Gospel? Now we have full-blown Christendom instead.

Sadly, my wife and I know many who have departed from the original faith of the apostles by going on sideshows, men’s ideas. Some turning back to Judaism, to Rome, to mysticism, to mediaeval teachings and practices–people who once walked in close fellowship with us. There are 1000s of sidetracks.

As if the Jesus of the gospels is insufficient! As if the Holy Spirit is not there to show us, to supply us with the power and authority from the Throne. As if we need more than what we have received from the mouth of the living God as given by the writers of the New Testament!

As if it is up to us to decide what commands of Jesus to obey—or ignore.

As if it is up to us to decide how to build the Kingdom of God!

Jesus, referring to the church leaders of his day said “Every plant not planted by my heavenly Father will be uprooted, so ignore them. They are blind guides leading the blind . . .” (Matthew 15).

All your efforts, all those works of yours, will be rooted up if they are not planted by the Father. Examine your life—is what you are doing “in Jesus’ name”, planted by the Father? Are you helping God?  As if we could!

Are we, are you, bored with the true gospel, with the simplicity of faith given to us by those who learned from Jesus and the Holy Spirit? Is there something secret in these deviations and systems which you practice that is hidden to everyone else and especially those who are determined to stick with the New Testament?

When you fail to stay, persist with, persevere in and fight for the “faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people” you are in grave danger of drifting into side issues, sideshows, blind alleys, instead of going straight ahead. The Holy Spirit goes straight ahead, takes no detour, constantly points to Jesus and the cross. Where else?

Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people. For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord. Jude 3-4

Jude was compelled to write about this knowing the addition and substitution of error for truth, even in those early days. Paul consistently warned about numerous false teachers and prophets to come. Jude goes on . . .

But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold. They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.  These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.

The people who divide you! These are those who follow natural instincts and the result is the 30,000 to 40,000 denominations we have today in the world. And they all claim to be the truth!

But in Jesus there can be no division, none. We must be one with one another and our oneness comes from being in Him and He in us, one in the Father and the Son as Jesus prayed (John 17). There can be no other way.

But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.(1st Timothy 6)

Christendom began to ignore Jesus and his words and has lived according to natural instincts to this day. But it is time to stop and to turn to the real Jesus, the one who has proved himself as the one to obey, to follow.


Article in the Guardian by Alex White, 18 Sept 2013.
Major donors to the Liberal Party prior to the 2013 election, according to the Australian Electoral Commission include mining company Santos ($227,880), Clive Palmer’s Minerology ($459,900), nickel miners Minara Resources ($358,000) and Mincor Resources ($120,000), Newcastle Coal Infrastructure Group ($50,000), and oil giant Chevron ($28,500).

Read the whole compelling article ..   http://www.theguardian.com/environment/southern-crossroads/2013/sep/18/tony-abbott-abolish-carbon-price

Oh Australian voters! You have just made the same mistake as the policies of the two major political parties : short-term thinking; never mind the world being made unfit for the little ones growing up and destined to be burdened to fix the unthinkable mess; just think of the next year or two; just have lots of comfortable fun, material security, empty prosperity from filthy, polluting, 19th Century technology for tomorrow?

Well, tomorrow we die, don’t we? Someone else can fix it all. And yair, let’s not think of what we will say to the Judge of all, how we will justify ourselves for our gross selfishness, our greed, our love of me, me wife, me home, me car, us four, no more. Let’s just go on living in Fantasy Land.

How shall we escape the hell we are creating for ourselves, the wrath we are storing up against us? There is more than just one inconvenient truth. There is a much more critical inconvenient reality.  And it is roaring towards us fast, unstoppable.

There is only one Teacher, one Guide, one Saviour, one Father, one Name to call upon, one Way out, one righteous Governor.

And that is the good news.

True Faith or Blind faith

“I have no need of redemption.” someone bluntly told me recently.

Well, that’s exactly what I used to say. Now I can say it with some conviction because my redemption is a fact, though I cannot prove this to anyone. But there is some evidence.

My angry correspondent remarked “Unlike your god, there is a wealth of evidence from a variety of sources that you exist. Even in the absence of thought about you, you continue to be.”

I am flattered.

However denial of our Creator’s existence is common, yet he continues to exist and to sustain us all and the whole universe despite my correspondent’s affirmation of blind faith in his absence. Dismissal of belief in God won’t make him go away. You may not believe in him but he believes in you.

My trust in God is based on evidence. And I think there is a wealth of evidence from a variety of sources that God exists.

You want evidence? Writers like Richard Dawkins (are you one of his disciples?) consistently refuse to examine the available evidence which is freely available to anyone who wants it. I think there is also ample evidence that followers of Dawkins and the so-called ‘new atheists’ put their faith in their remarks without properly examining their arguments, a sort of religious faith which like a lot of other religious faith is not based on demonstrable evidence. It is “blind faith”.

The whole point of my post I made about a month ago was to reject “blind faith” and call for faith based on evidence and I gave several examples of this in everyday life. More. I believe the sun will “set” tonight and “rise” in the morning. Now this is not proof, note, but it is evidence. I cannot prove the sun will “move” in this way. I cannot prove that my wife truly loves me but I have really good evidence that she does.

There is no point in going to my dentist if there is no good evidence that he is competent. There is no point in setting out on a journey to a certain place if I don’t have evidence that it exists.

So my point is belief in the absence of evidence is not the sort of faith demanded by the Hebrew prophets and sages. True faith cannot ‘allow me to adopt a set of beliefs that make absolutely no sense.’ Neither does any ‘level of piety that I might exhibit in believing something, count for anything.’ I cannot pull myself up with my bootstraps (that’s why I needed redemption) yet that’s what at least some atheists think how the universe began! Blind faith. Come on.

Let’s think about this. You may judge me of denying reality. But do you know all there is to know about everything that is reality? If you think you do then you are claiming omniscience. Blind faith again. If you don’t then you should not be so sure of your presuppositions. Is it not possible that you are mistaken and I have discovered something that has changed my world view radically?

When we cannot face up to reality we take a leap of faith in the dark into some metaphysical idea. Blind faith. Now that is ‘an abdication from reality, an act of self hypnosis, a cowardly cop-out.’ But reality presents us with many questions.

Can one believe in love without evidence? Is love among human beings provable? Where does ‘love’ come from? Is it real, or just some chemical reaction in our brains? Why is there anything at all and not just nothing? Why do we exist? Why is there this particular set of natural laws and not some other? What is the nature of reality and how can it be measured? Why does our world provide just the right sets of conditions (numbering dozens of fine-tuning conditions) for life? Where did all this come from? Where did the minute bacterial flagellum come from –with millions of these tiny machines in every cell in your body?

Can my reader answer these questions? Well I think I can. And it’s called reality with the evidence that is available. Exciting stuff.