Thursday, 31 January 2008

"Invading the Impossible" - 13th January 2008 - Part 2

Part 1 of this sermon was begun here.

City Church International, Hong Kong

So that is where we are going.

We are sequencing a book of Acts culture where every believer moves in signs and wonders and miracles.

Now friends - Philippians 2 - God has opened this chapter to me in the last week and He has revealed to me that this is a revelational key that unlocks to you and me the highest level of authority and power that heaven has got to offer and it is all about an attitude that we carry about in our heart.


The wrong attitude will determine the wrong low level of your life - the right attitude will determine the highest level possible God created the human being to live in. In this one simple basic message today, you will see that the revelational key of having the right attitude that will elevate you to the highest level of authority and power that God created human beings to live in. How many of you would like to know what that attitude is? How many of you have got impossibilities you are trying to invade and right now they refuse to bow their knee to you? You maybe feel like bowing your knee to them?

Well here in this attitude impossibilities will bow to you. It is the attitude of the most significant Person that ever walked the earth. And it is the attitude that the Bible instructs us, in wisdom that we should also have this attitude.

You won't want to have this attitude unless you see that this attitude will release to you the highest authority and power that heaven can give.

(Philippians 2:5) "Same as Christ Jesus". (v6) "Did not consider equality with God ... made Himself nothing ... He humbled Himself". God did not humiliate Him, God did not humble Him - He humbled Himself.

The attitude to have that will get you exalted to the highest place is not to grasp after the highest place. But to make yourself nothing.

(Acts 10:38) "How God anointed Christ Jesus with the Holy Spirit and power and healing ALL who were under the power of the devil because God was with Him". One of the most fascinating and amazing things to me is that Jesus never did ANY miracles until He was anointed by God with the Holy Spirit and power.

That is extremely significant because on a few occasions Glenda and I have stood before people, medical science has declared will not walk again and they have walked and are still walking. We have seen a few blind eyes opened and deaf ears opened. And we have had some advanced cancer obliterated out of bodies through the prayer of faith. But it is NOT ENOUGH and it is TOO FEW!

But this year I felt the invitation of God - the summons of God where what has been a rare occasion on my life and your life to become the regular weekly experience. We are going to someone with cancer and fear came on me. I am frightened of disappointing people! Then walking away and not getting healed. Then I thought "Well Lord if Your Presence is not on me in full measure like it was on Jesus then forget it. There will be no miracles anyway! But ... if you would give me Your Presence and on every individual in this church - if you would give us Your Presence without measure then it is a done-deal. It is a totally different situation".

I have to tell you I have seen people jump out of beds totally healed - I hardly knew what I was doing. Something came over me and I was partnering with Almighty God and it wasn't difficult.

It is profoundly nerve-wracking and frightening when the manifest Presence of God isn't there.

To be continued ...

"Invading the Impossible 2" - 20th January 2008 - Part 1

I am going to try a different form of transcribing Rob's sermons. Up until now I have favoured publishing the entire sermon in one long post (for example this one), but I realise that some people may not read quite as quickly as C H Spurgeon and so when faced with a long sermon in one post, you may just switch off. I would hate you to miss the glory of what Rob is preaching on at present and so I am going to try publishing this sermon in sections over a few days. Let me know if you prefer this format.

City Church International, Hong Kong

I've got a very short message - how many of you have got faith for a short message?! Open your Bibles to Philippians 2 - Part 2 of "Invading the Impossible". Now friends this is going to be a 6 part series and the excitement for me is that when it is on the MP3 and on our website, people around the world will be able to download all six and listen in a row and in that they will get the sequence in proximity to one another in a short space of time and they will see the bigger picture and the bigger pattern.

I, in my minds eye, in the Spirit of God can see weeks and weeks ahead where we are going on this. Glenda and I have made a decision to cut back on travel this year. We were away from this church for 4 months last year - a lot of ministry out there and we had a great time. We were able to literally touch 10's and 10's of thousands of face to face ministry. But this year we have already cancelled some things and we want to be on the ground here and give attention to this church and see momentum increase. I want to pastor this church well - we do with those that are coming through.

But in this sequence you are going to see little by little God opening up insights into how to invade the impossible and force impossibilities to bow their knee to you and bow their knees to the Name of Jesus. We will get more and more into practical equipping on how to do miracles. About a year and a half ago I did a series on healing but I didn't get into the practical stuff.

This sequence we are going to get into the practical stuff and we will see - we are contending for the miraculous. We are not just going to talk and pray about it and dabble in it. We have seen some great miracles and this church is a statement of the miraculous. But we are going to another level - we are going to contend for it with intention. We are going to give it focus because I am committed to a culture of revival.

I am committed to not being a charismatic church or a Pentecostal church or a Word of Faith church but a Book of Acts church which is the only church Jesus birthed. The first church in Acts 2 is the church Jesus birthed and they immediately were birthed when Jesus went back to heaven. That is the Church He gave us at the blueprint for what we are to build on. Everything else becomes deviations from the original.

If I want to know what the state of a river should be, I do not look at it as it is about to flow into the sea. I go back to the origins - the source of that river before pollutions and additives were brought in and introduced. I go up to that place in the mountains - it is the source of what is called the Umgami River - the source is up there. And it is crystal clear water. You drink it and it is like drinking champagne. You drink that water 50 miles down and you could die! Sometimes the church has become toxic and dangerous for human relationships.

We are looking at a church 100-300 years ago and we think that is the church! No! Go back to the source! The origin! Acts 2, 3, 4, 5 and you will see a church full of the miracle power of God. You will see a people that met daily and they all devoted themselves to the apostles doctrine, to fellowship, prayer and the breaking of bread and there was 3 thousand of them in the first few weeks of that church. They went from 120 to 3, 000 and it says ALL of that 3, 000 devoted themselves to the apostles teaching and to the breaking of bread, to prayer and to fellowship, prayer and to fellowship.

There wasn't a committed core and then a big peripheral of people looking in and being casual about the Kingdom. It was a people united in heart and mind together loving each other and introducing a heavenly society in the earth as a sign and a wonder for an age to come called heaven on earth as in heaven.

To be continued ...

Wednesday, 30 January 2008

"Invading the Impossible" - 13th January 2008 - City Church

I don't want to make many comments about this sermon for fear of distracting from the pure glory of what Rob said - but I have listened to this sermon three times know and have just been overwhealmed by the glory of revelation he has preached. Like his first sermon of 2008 - if this sermon is setting a pattern for the quality of preaching that City Church have in store for this year, then it is going to be QUITE a year in Hong Kong!

"I want to talk today about such an exciting subject - I have given quite a bit of thought to this. God dropped it into my head on Monday. I believe it is designed to bring every person that gets revelation as they hear this - to lift you to a new level of rest and into a place of peace from which you can invade the impossible and make impossibilities bow their knees to you as you walk over them with the conquering authority of the Creator of the heavens and the earth.

This subject is so wonderful I couldn't just give one title to it so I have decided to call it "Invading the Impossible" or "How to Make the Promises of God Manifest in Your Life" or "How to See God's Promises Fulfilled". It could be "How to access grace to invade the impossible" or "How to rejoice in the hope of the glory of God manifesting in your life". So let's pray together! I want to be like David and look at Goliath and be appalled at the fact that Israel has been intimidated by a man who doesn't have a covenant. Israel was looking at his size but David saw him as uncircumcised. He knew that Goliath was uncircumcised under the Old Covenant, he did not have a covenant with the God that he, David, knew as his intimate friend.

David saw that giant as opposition that looked big but it was an impossibility that would bow it's knee - if he didn't run off.

So he ran at that giant and took it out and he forced from a place of revelation, impossibility to bow it's knee to him - a friend of God!

Many of us have got giants we are facing. For some it can be cancer, for some it can be financial pressure, for some it can be marriage problems, for some it can be children problems. It can be all kinds of issues - these giants. But if we do not invade these giants then these giants will invade us. You do not hold up a white flag to giants and hope they will keep their territory. They will eat up your territory and even more of you.

There is no place for passivity in the kingdom of heaven. If we do not invade the impossible then we begin to form life philosophies and theologies that make excuses seem legitimate to live in defate. But there is no excuse in the kingdom of heaven to live in defeat. We are called to advance the authority of the kingdom of heaven.

Bill Johnson says something I can't improve on; "God majors on giving us assignments that are impossible for us to do. God seems to take great delight in asking you and me to do things that it is not possible for us to do". It is not possible for a South African man and woman who lived in Australia to come to Hong Kong not knowing the language and against all the challenges of the issues that the city faces and the pressures on ex-pats and cultural differences and try and build up a base church that will be a gateway church to invade China and the other nations with a new expression of Christianity. It's not possible! But God asked us to do it! He will ask you to do with me the equal thing of the impossibility. It's not just Glenda and me - it is us! Isn't that right?

But He is asking me on a personal level to do impossible things. He is asking you on a personal level to do impossible things. After a while when we realise we can't do it we think we are telling God something that profound or He will be amazed by. We say "God I can't do it". Elijah said "Kill me now God - I can't do". Moses said, "Kill me - I can't lead these people into the Promised Land - they are a stiff-necked people. I don't want to do it anymore. Kill me!". God said, "I won't!". He loves to hear us say "I can't do it". His answer to that - look through Scripture - is always "I always will be with you". That's His answer.

His Presence qualifies you to invade the impossible. His Presence requires every Christian to do the impossible. You and I, if we say "Jesus is our Lord" - that means we carry the Presence of another world. If we are not trampling on demons, we are not walking where we have been sent because they are subject to us.

Let me ask you this question; "Are you overwhelmed by troubles or are you overwhelmed by the assignment of God?". On Saturday night God gave me three sequential dreams with a recurring theme but different settings. When I woke up I was very disturbed but God was trying to talk to me. That in a particular area of leading I was being overwhelmed by troubles and not overwhelmed by the assignment He had given me. I wish I had time to tell you those dreams - they were very clear and very graphic. But I want to say this - to be overwhelmed by troubles is the demonic counterfeit.

It is illegitimate to be overwhelmed by troubles - it is the distraction of the devil to overwhelm you by troubles. The blessing of heaven is to be overwhelmed by your assignment to do the impossible. I want to say that again; "To be overwhelmed by troubles is the demonic counterfeit. It is the devil trying to make you think that is what life is about - to be overwhelmed by troubles". It is the distraction from the blessing of heaven to do the impossible.

If you are ovewhelmed by your troubles you are self-concious. If you are overwhelmed by the assignment of God to do the impossible then you are God-concious. If you are overwhelmed by troubles your prayers are focused on self-preservation. If you are overwhelmed by the assignment of God and it's enormity then your prayers are focused on abandoning yourself to obtaining supernatural resources from heaven to do the impossible.

If you and me live concious from an assignment from heaven that we came into earth for an assignment that is impossible to do - it will place us in a place of vulnerability and trust before God to keep receiving supernatural resources.

But if we reduce the assignment of God down to what is humanly possible then we condemn ourselves to dial down the power of God and live occupied and overwhelmed by our troubles.

To live more concious of who you are than who God is is foolish and you will not have the courage to do what you came to the earth for. But to live more concious of who God is than who you are is to have the courage to run the race with the last breath that you have and finish the assignment as to why you came to earth. The question is - okay Rob, how then do I live my life more concious of who God is than who I am? What is the answer to that? Well I have by trial and error and then revelation, I believe, gained insight into the answer for that - and I have been trying to tell people for years because I know the devil's trap is to always get me more concious of my inadequacies and deficiencies and my ego-centricities and plain simple weirdness.

But God wants me to be more concious of who He is than who I am. The devil wants you and me to be more concious of who we are than who He is. So when we look at the Goliath we are concious of who we are. But when we can see the man isn't circumcised that means he is more concious of God because he realises those who have a covenant and those who don't have a covenant are in an unfair fight! But the rest of Israel had been going to synagogue for years (like many Christians have for years). Because all they want is nice and comfortable church - they don't want to be challenged! Maybe a few people aren't here this week because of the challenge I gave last week! Maybe not. They don't want to be challenged so they will go to church for years. They will do all that is humanly possible - but it is humanly possible to go to the moon.

You can do amazing things without God - but this earth is crying out for the manifestations of the sons of God to bring in the Kingdom of heaven and the rule and government of God that manifests what man cannot do just by technology and cleverness.

Amen? No Christian should ever be against technology. I believe God gave us the talents to bring that about but it is natural operations. The way to become more concious of God than you are of yourself is very simple - I have been trying to walk in it and live in it especially for the last few years - it is simply this. Are you ready for the answer? Are you going to be disappointed? You may say that I know this! But thousands of Israeli troops are going to synagogue and learning about circumcision and they sat there on one side of the valley and the Philistine giant stood on the other and mocked and ridiculed them and NONE of them dared take him on! Because they were more concious of who they were than who their God was.

It is a reality - I have faced it and walked in it and felt very concious of who I am than of who God is. I have faced Goliaths like that and have backed off. The excuses I gave for backing off were very convincing. Because we become good at explaining away not doing the will of God which is impossible to do.

It is very reasonable and intellectually acceptable to explain in a reasonable and philosphical way why I am not doing what's impossible to do! That is logical! But David saw that the man wasn't circumcised. And he knew he did! And it was through that revelation of circumcision that he could take Goliath on at the impossible and slap the impossible down and pull out Goliath's sword and cut the impossible's head off.

He ran through Israel as the man that God loved with this gruesome trophy shouting "Yess!". And rallied an army to chase the Philistines away. He did the impossible away because of covenant revelation. So here is the answer - and don't be disappointed because you see people hear this - but this is the key to being more concious of God than themselves. Are you ready?


Amen? Let me ask you this question. How many of you believe that Jesus taught that having a child-like heart is what capacitates you to do the miraculous? It is having a child-like heart that enables you to invade the impossible. What is a child-like heart? It is a heart of innocence.

Innocent people have a capacity to believe in an awesome God.

I believe in 2008 God is going to restore innocence to those who believe the Gospel. How do we lose innocence? We lose innocence by disappointments. If you have disappointment about your sin or your failure or if you are disappointed about the way that others have treated you and the way that they have sinned against you - then you lose innocence. Disappointment produces defensiveness and cynicism. When you see people cynical and skeptical and full of unbelief, you are not seeing intelligent people but people corrupted by another wisdom - who have been hi-jacked by forces that are more intelligent than them.

Let me ask you this - and I want you to access your emotions when I ask you this. How would you feel if you had never sinned or failed once? Let me ask you another question; If no one had ever sinned against you or disappointed you or betrayed you - not even once - how would you feel whatever your age is now? Be honest! How would you feel? You would feel innocent!

You wouldn't feel the need to defend yourself and would feel childlike and trusting. Let me say this: Through the gift of God's righteousness - you have access to both emotions. To the emotions of innocence, feelings like you have never sinned (because that is how God sees you) and to feelings of the fact that no one has ever hurt you or offended you or disappointed you or sinned against you. Under the Old Covenant, it said "Forgive my sins as I forgive others". Under the Old Covenant if you did not forgive other people's sins then yours could not be forgiven. That means you are on your way to hell. No one under the Old Covenant could be sure of heaven - and you cannot be sure you have forgiven everyone then your sins can only be forgiven according to how you have forgiven others. But under the New Covenant, Paul says forgive others as Christ has already forgiven you.

So now we forgive not to get forgiveness but we forgive because no matter what we do we are innocent and we are forgiven. Accept one another as Christ has accepted you. (Romans 5:15). The New Covenant doesn't say if you don't accept others, I won't accept you. Accept others just as I have accepted you.

The Cross was never there so we would carry the pain of our sin or the pain of people's sins against us. In the gift of righteousness we are called everyone of us - we are empowered to live a life free from the painful memory of our sin and the memory of other people's sins against us.

(Philippians 2) People ask; "If I believe I have a righteousness that is equal with God's righteousness then won't I become arrogant and full of pride?". I would say the very opposite. We do have a righteousness equal to God's righteousness in the Gospel! I did not say an ability equal to God's ability - I said a righteousness equal to God's because the Bible says a righteousness from God is revealed that is by faith from first to last.

I promise you can sit there today and say "I don't want to invade impossible - I just want to retreat to a safe place in my life". Folks if you do not invade the impossible then the impossible will invade you.

There are nations that are talking about a war on terror. There is no war on terror. That's a cover-up. Terror is a means by which they are perpetrating the ideology but we are not having a war on terror. Nations are having a war on ideology and those ideologies are expressing themselves by rabid, fierce, suicidal expressions of terror. There are people who are voting presidents into their nations who are hoping they can pretend that its a war on terror not ideolo gies. But folks if it is just a war on terror then you can pretend its not there.

But if it is a rabid radical ideology of extremism that is committed to the death to fight you, if you don't deal with it then it will invade you. It will invade your homes and your children. You may think "I don't have a war on cancer". Yes but in the future you may have it. Or a loved one may get it. In Reading, they said they want Reading to be a cancer-free zone. The church want to be such salt and light and carry such an anointing that the whole of the earth will be the Lord's and the glory of the Lord will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea.

So evil government will be toppled and the government of God will reign in the earth and it won't be a weird religious Utopia but it will people who don't carry cancer or abused children or rape and no proud arrogant people oppressing others.

There comes such a pressure on me when I am driving to church and I think it can't be the perfect will of God to preach to just 70 or 80 people! Of course it isn't! We are contending for something bigger! If you don't understand it, you won't understand the passion or radicalism and if you don't contend for it, you won't understand the passion or radicalism. It will not go away - if you do not invade the impossible, the impossible will invade you.

I believe the righteousness we have is equal to God and that righteousness doesn't make us equal to us in ability but it means God can resource us with His ability because we are righteous in Him as a gift. So are we equal to God in righteousness? Yes! I want to say it loudly - because it is HIS righteousness that He has given us! So we don't have to take righteousness as something to be grasped through the law because if you are grasping for it then you don't really have it! But if you have it as a gift then you don't have to grasp for it anymore. So rest comes. Then when you don't grasp for it through the law anymore but rest can come.

The devil knew he wasn't equal to God but tried to grasp for it. He actually tried to exalt himself over God and he was flung down in the judgements of God. The Christian who tries to exalt himself through self-righteousness or through the law are not gaining righteousness and are flung down.

But those who have received God's righteousness as a gift and know that revelation will humble themselves knowing they don't have to grasp for it.

(Philippians 2:5) "Your attitude should be like that of Christ Jesus". That is an incredible request or advice! The SAME as that of Christ Jesus!

"Who being in very nature God did not consider equality with God something to be grasped but made Himself nothing taking the very nature of a servant being made in human likeness and being found in appearance as a man, He became obedient to death, even death on a Cross. Therefore God has exalted Him to the highest place and gave Him the Name that is above every Name, that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow in heaven and on earth and under the earth and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father".

As you humble yourself secure in the fact that you are righteous and become obedient to the purpose of God, God will exalt you, God will lift you up, God will reveal you. There's a whole load of stuff I want to say but I need to give up soon.

When revelation comes to you that you are equal to God in righteousness, you stop grasping for self-righteousness through the law and know you know it is your identity (your identity is 'I am the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus') and when you believe that you are righteous in Christ Jesus, you find rest and out of rest you humble yourself, you obey and then you work hard at invading the impossible.

Paul the apostle says in 1 Corinthians, "I work harder than all the other apostles - but not I, but the grace of God in me". Religion says you find your identity in working, in religious works and the keeping of the law. They work hard but still feel insecure with no rest and no sense of identity and they feel driven by franticness. The Gospel says righteousness is a gift and there is your identity. When people ask you "Where do you get your identity from, what do you DO? What works do you do to get your identity?". You say, "I do NOTHING. I do no works to get my identity. If I sat on my backside and did nothing for the rest of my life, if I sinned every day and made mistakes if I get this revelation - then I do no works. I get my identity by being in Christ and by being the righteousness of God. That gives me rest and from that rest I work hard at invading the impossible!

Are you getting this? (Romans 4:4) "Now when a man works, his wages are not credited to him as a gift but as an obligation". Say "obligation" - that is the key word for the next 5 minutes. Let's read (v4) again. "However to the man who does not work but trusts God who justifies the wicked, his faith is credited as righteousness". (v8); "Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord will never count against him". Have you got a revelation that the Lord will never count your sin against you? No matter how many sins you did yesterday or the day before, the Father is not counting them against you. He is not sending you an ultimatum - "Alright I won't count these against you but if you keep doing them then I will".

Why is the church not innocent with child-like capacity for great miracles? Because they don't understand righteousness. So they are grasping after it and it is making them so driven with insecurity and condemnation and they cannot work the mighty works of God and be the heirs of the world with global influence. They look at their Goliath's and run away because they don't understand covenant - New Covenant is an even better covenant than the one David had!

Now let's look at (v13); "It was not .... It was not ... It was not". I am not stuttering. "It was not through law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be the heir of the world but through the righteousness that comes by faith ... faith has no value and the promises are worthless".

If you are grasping at righteousness through the law then the promises of God will never work in your life. You won't get healed - you won't invade the impossible - you won't see the mighty powerful promises that the New Testament gives through grace. But if you try to grasp after right standing with God through your performance then you make the promises of God worthless.

Many people are saying today; "The promises aren't working Rob!". Then I ask them - "How are you trying to obtain these promises?". Then they tell me all the things they are doing. And I say "That is why they aren't working - you have made the promises worthless". I am slowly today because I believe it is sinking in even though I have preached this for 3 and a half years. I believe it is sinking in - I can feel seed is being sowed in good soil and hearts are going to germinate 100 fold. All you have to do is water and people suddenly start invading the impossible and the seed is bearing fruit. If you don't get the seed of revelation in your heart then nothing can bear fruit supernaturally. I believe seed is going in this local church and into the nations and as I speak over the internet to the nations.

(Galatians 5) Truth sets free! You shall know the truth and the truth shall set free! You So many people go to counselling and yet don't understand that they should sit under the preaching of the word in a disciplined way and when the truth registers on your heart then freedom automatically comes! But for some reason some people do not sit regularly under the Word and so therefore don't get revelation from the Word and they carry to their grave a feeling of cynicalness and defensiveness and get invaded by the impossible rather than invading the impossible and become prisoners of war sitting in church congregations and they are taken prisoner by an enemy called the devil.

Now I don't want you to fear being taken prisoner by the devil - this truth means you will deal with him and you will take HIM captive and you will never be put off your assignment - you will invade him! You will go on seek and destroy missions! A Christian is called to obey their commanding officer!

There is a mentality in the religious world that God is obligated to heal me or do healing through me or give me supernatural resources or do me favour or bless me through my works, my efforts, my keeping of the law. I don't know how to say this kindly - but that is almost blasphemy against the Cross - when you get revelation of this. That is entirely an Old Covenant mentality that was done away with at the Cross - "It is finished".

How many of you have heard this term - "They had fallen from grace"? Now that term is so prevelent that it is now used in the secular world. You will hear in companys that aren't Christian - the term will be used "They have fallen from grace" - when they lose their jobs. Now what Christians mean when they use the term fallen from grace is that they have fallen into sin when they use that term. That is absolutely unbiblical but it is so in our psyche that we actually think when we sin we have fallen from grace. Actually if we read this Bible and the New Testament, you will find it is the absolute opposite! Falling into sin is not falling from grace.

Falling from grace is going back under law and grasping for a righteousness that is through the law to obligate God to bless you.

Sinning can't cause you to fall from grace - because Romans 5 says where sin abounds, grace does much more abound so how can your sinning cause you to fall from grace when sinning causes you to fall into abounding grace?! The more you get a revelation that your righteousness is a gift from God and you are equal in righteousness and you are equal in righteousness with God - the more you get a revelation of that - the less and less you want to sin. In fact the more power you have to resist sin and habits and pattersns of life begin to fall away and gradually become something that doesn't even interest you anymore.

Whereas they used to seduce you with promises of such pleasure and life fulfillment that they pale into insignificance when you see the assignment of God to invade the impossible and you don't become more and more passive and lazy and people say "I don't go to church regularly because I am under grace not law". Folks that is not grace - that is licence for stupidity! People say I don't submit to godly authority ordained by God because I am not under law - I am under grace. Well they don't know the New Testament. I know people living under grace are godly and teachable and supportive.

People living in grace have the capacity to discern true anointed leaders and Hebrews 13:17 says "Submit to your leaders for they have an authority over you and must give an account for you". I have people who leave this church and don't tell me. They obviously don't think that I as a leader live in the fear of God, that one day I am going to have to give an account to God for how I led that person and that I was called and commissioned by God to present every member of the church I lead as mature in Christ. A leader will be judged more severely than the average Christian because one day he will have to give account. So I have to email these people and say "Look I am not trying to manipulate you into staying - I just want to know am I still accountable to God for you? Because you obviously don't think I feel accountable and you can leave just like that - you obviously don't have a recognition of authority and leadership, the government of God - for you it is just "I attend church!".

Folks there is nothing about - "I attend church" - in the Bible.

The church is a community for 24 hours a day - 7 days a week called together to invade the impossible.

Falling from grace is not falling into sin - falling from grace is falling into the devil's deception that if I keep laws and rules I obligate God to bless me. If anyone goes under law, that's what it is. (Galatians 5:4) - "You have fallen away from grace".

Next time someone says to you; "Oh someone has fallen from grace" then ask them. "Oh did they go back under law?". "Oh no - no - they broke the law!". "Are you reading the New Testament friend? Did Jesus die on the Cross for nothing? Are you still under the curse of the Law? Which Bible are you reading!?". "Yes but they sinned!". "Well praise God - grace more abounds! But my friend I think you have fallen from grace because you think sin causes you to fall from grace - so actually YOU have fallen from grace!". "How dare you?!". "Turn to Galatians 5:4!".

What does the word "justified" mean? A lot of people say "Well God looks at me just as if I had never sinned. Just as if I had always obeyed Him. And that is wonderful! But actually theologically what justification means is God gives you HIS righteousness as a gift and that is how God sees you all the time.

Millions of Christians in the church world have fallen from grace - I know I had for many years of my Christianity. I tried to get God to do good to me by me trying to be holy enough to earn it. But now under this Gospel I want to be holy. I hate sin! I don't want to sin! I want to live so holy, so obedient to God. I want to give my money and my time and invest who I am in eternal purpose. (Romans 11).

You have got 8, 000 hours a year and only 30 hours to teach you the Word of God. You say why don't we have more miracles, signs and wonders? I have only got 1 hour a Sunday morning and most people miss on average 20 Sundays because of travel and going all over the world. So I have got 30 hours a year to transform people with multiple religious cultures and ethnic into a kingdom culture that can carry the glory of God. In between that hour I got got on a Sunday morning, you are exposed to all other contrary influences throughout the week and then we have got some who come to Thursday night which is a wonderful shot at imparting the kingdom. But it is just two little shots a week. I don't think we go too long when we go to services for two hours. The early church went 3 or 4 hours average.

To try and obligate God to bless you by what you do for Him is just not on (Romans 11:35). "Who has ever given to God that God should repay Him?". God gave to the world! "God so loved the world that He gave His only Son" and out of that came the Gospel where God gives you His righteousness and then you no longer grasp after it but you find your identity in the gift of righteousness - you find rest, you find peace and then under the power of God you begin to invade the impossible.

(Romans 4:15) - "Because the law brings wrath and where there is no law, there is no transgression". If the law of God can be taken off your life then there would be no basis for God to have wrath on your life anymore. The law brings wrath - but where there is no law - there is NO wrath!

(Colossians 2:14) - "Having cancelled the written code with it's regulations that was against us and that stood opposed to us, He took it away nailing it to the Cross". (v9) - "You have been given fullness in Christ". He has cancelled the written code! Now why did He have to cancel that? Because Jesus could not give you His righteousness while the Law existed towards you and it's towards the world and those not saved but for those in Christ, we come into the benefits of the Cross and so that Law has been cancelled.

Why did it have to be cancelled? If it was not cancelled - the 10 Commandments would demand a righteousness of you that you couldn't give. But once it is cancelled now legally Christ can give you His. What did He give you? His righteousness. What's that? Right standing with the Father. That means right standing equal to the standing Jesus has. That means you stand before the Father on equal terms with how Jesus stands before the Father. YOU have access to the Father. Access to grace. Access to intimacy with the Father - you can stand there with innocence just as if you have never sinned and just as if no one had sinned against you. YOU are accepted in the Beloved just as Jesus is because the Law that demanded righteousness and brought wrath on your life has been cancelled.

"And where there is NO law - there is NO transgression".

Not only has God forgiven all your sins up until the point where you got saved and all the future has been blotted out on the Cross but He has taken away the means by which the devil accused you or God could condemn you. He has taken away the Law and you no longer grasp after righteousness through the Law or try to obligate God to bless you through what you do but now having got this righteousness as a gift and you no longer grasp after it and humble yourself and lay your life down to the point of death if necessary not out of a place to get identity but because YOU have identity.

There are millions of backslidden Christians around the world who had ideas to change the world and follow Jesus and they were hyped up to do it, but they weren't taught the foundations of this Gospel. They only lasted a few years because driven to get identity of righteousness leaves you with a feeling that you are never doing enough.

But when you are gifted with a righteusness by grace then even when you fail and mess up on your assignment - you STILL have peace and rest with God and you just get up and go on and invade the impossible.

I said one more Scripture and let's give it to you; (Romans 5:1-2). Please I am going to ask you friends even in the best humour, don't come up to me after the service and make jokes about how long I preached. Please don't do that anymore. If I choose to joke about it - let me joke about it but don't you do that anymore because it is not a joke. You know what it is saying to the devil? I am just making light of all that he said. I am just dismissing the content because I come to church to be entertained with 20 minute preaching - that is the way church is run today. So you have people entertained but they don't know how to invade the impossible! They know how to use their natural gifts and natural education and technology to do things man can do. Man can build a Tower of Babel but God came and smashed it down because God will not have man build Utopia on earth based on rejection of the living God.

When we humble ourselves in righteousness then technology and science will help us get the job done. But without this Gospel, technology and science will make man get 666 on his forehead. "3" - the number of perfection and "6" - the number of man unperfect without God. Self-righteousness - grasping for the heavens when they are going to drop into hell. But we don't have to grasp. We can humble ourselves and invade the impossible.

How do we invade the impossible? How do we access this grace? Through this gift of righteousness.

(Romans 5:1-2) - "By faith" - when you know you are righteous, a peace between you and God comes. "Access by faith into this grace and we rejoice in manifest glory". This is where the devil streals this profound revelation because we begin to logically reason, okay fine if I am righteous through faith then if my faith is not that strong one day or may decline a bit. How many of you may feel some days that you can fervently believe believe this message that God sees me as righteous? Some days I just don't feel that righteous!

We have a Covenant you see and it doesn't matter how I feel - that covenant is eternally true.

I don't feel very righteous on those days and on those days your faith may not be strong. So on those days the devil comes and says, "Okay Rob has shown you can't be righteous by the law - only by faith". The devil is a master at half-truths. "But today you don't have much faith so you are not fully righteous because you are only righteous according to the level of your faith". You may not have thought that though intellectually but sub-conciously you feel that and the devil has just turned faith into more works. Some people are not gifted to be intuative - but you have to monitor.

That is why God is bringing dreams into the Church again - lots of dreams! Some dreams are demonic. Some are Holy Spirit. Others are eating too much pizza. And Ryan and Kylie said; "Write your dreams down". You must must monitor what is going on in your sub-concious because if you are not monitoring it your innocence is being involved by something that pollutes that innocence and brings a jaded sense of cyncism again and defensiveness and then you are building your life on that foundation of child-like innocence, you are building a structure that will invade the supernatural and the impossible.

But if the outflow of your heart is one that is divided and confused and uncertain then you will sew uncertainity and confusion and uncertain then you will sew uncertainity and confusion into your relationships, your career, your prophesying, your Bible-reading (Proverbs 4) - "Guard your heart". Faith is not another means of working for your righteousness. The Bible says in Hebrews that Jesus is the Author and Perfector of our faith. Now if you needed a Messiah/Mediator/High Priest to perfect your faith and He is doing it all the time then it means God understands your faith is imperfect.

We have access into perfect grace and perfect righteousness so the devil says if you need perfect grace and perfect righteousness then you need perfect faith. "If you don't get through the law then you had better have perfect faith!". The devil is fast at changing his tactics. The devil is good at judo - he uses your strength - he has none because he lost it at the Cross! You need perfect righteousness because that is why the law is useless! You come to the Father with imperfect faith in a perfect Saviour and that's all God wanted.

(Hebrews 10:14) - "Perfect before the Father". The more you understand that, the more your faith will grow!

Boldly ask for baptisms of the Spirit every day! Get up in the morning and ask for more power today to invade the impossible! If I fall into sin, I don't fall from grace but into MORE grace! Jesus has enough faith that I am the righteousness of Him! Not through the Law or perfect faith - "I live by the faith of the Son of God".

Monday, 28 January 2008

A Letter from Rob and Glenda Rufus

I found this letter from Rob and Glenda Rufus on the City Church International website about the heavenly "Grace and Glory Conference". There are so hints at what we may have to look forward to this year!


"At the City Church International 2007 Glory and Grace Conference held in Hong Kong from 23rd to 26th October, over 300 people enjoyed a supernaturally significant time in the presence our awesome God of Glory over 4 days! The cloud of the glory was there! It was a time of open heaven! A time of visitation of God’s mighty power! A time of impartation in which those who attended the conference caught a new anointing for revival and miracles, signs and wonders to take back with them to their home churches! The glory of God was tangible and visible – many were miraculously healed in this conference of all types of sickness and crippling diseases, deaf ears were opened, columns of angels and rows of fire were seen, prophetic words were spoken, gold dust appeared. All have been permanently changed by this encounter with our loving father.

Many of God’s people are sensing a fresh powerful wind of the Spirit blowing.

God is presently birthing end-times first-generation grace congregations – where human effort under law is replaced by life under grace, achieved through the finished work of the cross. All received revelation how to clearly distinguish between the old covenant glory and the new covenant glory revealed in 2 Corinthians 3. They saw how to boldly transition out of the ministry of death and condemnation that the law brings into the glorious liberty of new covenant grace. They supernaturally discovered how wonderful Jesus our superior mediator and great merciful high priest is! It is the revelation of grace that immediately opens God’s people to the cloud of His glory, in which miracles happened easily. It was a conference for all who love the moving’s of the Spirit of God. All who attended grew in the prophetic and understanding of how to live in the glory of God.

A very special thank-you to our friends Fini and Isi, who led us through worship into the throne-room of Glory and Grace. They are having significant move of the Spirit in the church they lead in Sydney, Australia.

We have already started to pray about holding a follow-up conference in 12 months time. As soon as we have heard clearly from the Holy Spirit, we will post the announcement on our website.

With much love Rob and Glenda Rufus"

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Grace vs. Law - Part 1

First of all I must say Hello, this is not Dan! This is Lydia! Dan has graciously welcomed me to join in his endeavor to share the wealth of the teachings of Rob Rufus. I have had the privilege of listening to Rob since this past summer and have been so fed and so amazed by what an incredible gift of teaching, and exhorting this man has! So to start I wanted to share my first experience with Rob's preaching, from his Grace for freedom and fruitfulness series in 2006, the message entitled Grace vs. Law

-I am excited about this series, it's invaluable for our present and our future. The cry of the human heart is to live free, but not just free, we also want to be productive, we want to be fruitful. So we want to talk about being productive and fruitful through the grace of God.

For those of you who are new Christians, this teaching is exceptionally important for the foundation of your Christian life. But for those of you, who have been around for awhile, you've gotta understand this -that grace is not something like old clothes that you grow out of and then you throw away. Grace is something we need to be refreshed and renewed in all the time.

Truth needs to be looked at in a cyclical way. It's like a spiral staircase, you come around  to the same spot over and over but each time from a higher view point.

Our foundation Scripture is Colossians 1:3-6.
(vs. 6) this gospel is bearing fruit and growing. The key word here is understand, it's not just in the hearing of the gospel, it's also in the understanding of God's grace and all of it's truth.

I don't want a church that uses cliche/parrot phrases without content and without revelation. There needs to be a deeper supernatural influence. We need to renew, refresh our minds with the reality of what grace is. Spiritual warfare is you being equipped in the Grace of God. 
Grace is not only the foundation but it's the substance of the building we put up of our lives.

Now we are going to look at Romans 5 and unpack the Word of God. You must see this in the Word of God - not my teaching - God's Word!

Law vs. Grace - The relationship of the world to the law of God= everyone born into the world is born under the law of God, under the judgement of God. The law was put in charge to lead us to Christ. When we have come to Christ, as Christians we are no longer accountable to the law WHATSOEVER!!! 
It is not enough to preach Grace! If you leave the impression that the Christian is somehow under the law a little bit or leave a subtle insinuation in people's mind -"Yes there's grace, but we do have to keep a few laws." If you do that, it's that little gap that the enemy will take advantage of and will use it to undermine the whole super structure of Grace and the Whole Gospel is neutralized!!
You say but Rob, don't we have Christian duties, don't we have to do something! I want to say categorically, WE HAVE NO CHRISTIAN DUTIES!   WHAT?!?!  This is hard to hear because of 1500 years of indoctrination of religious control, but when you come under grace and are free from the law, there is nothing you have to do, but there are a whole lot of want to's that start rising up in the heart.
I just think some Christians need to go on a diet from everything else and go on a diet of grace for a long time because I believe that many Christians have been propped up by law and external behaviour and modification techniques, that's all their doing and they think that because they behave externally that God's impressed with that. GOD IS NAUSEOUS WITH THAT STUFF, IT'S CALLED PHARISEEISM!!! God wants what we do to come from our  HEART, that is released from guilt and manipulation, that is FULL OF GRACE!

God doesn't want people to do things out of a "HAVE TO" mentality.
~I just want to say that the Gospel that's exported all around the world is not always the Gospel.~
Paul said, in Gal. 1:8, if anyone preaches any other Gospel, let him be cursed or condemned.
We are in a New Covenant, and in the New Covenant, it's a circumcision of the heart! 
If you come back under the law, you are alienated from grace and you WILL be under condemnation.

ONLY believe on Christ Jesus and you will be saved!!!

Don't EVER put your life under your pastors or leaders, put it under God and His Word!!!

Rob reads, Romans 5:12-21
First Adam- is under judgement, condemnation
Adam is a pattern of the one to come. When he disobeyed God, the whole human race was under sin.
Last Adam- Christ, righteousness comes on all who believe in Christ Jesus.

-what the law does not do
  1. make you righteous
  2. give you life
  3. save you
  4. encourage you
  5. make you more holy
  6. overcome sin
  7. strengthen you
-what the law does do
  1. condemns and crushes you
  2. stirs up sin in you and provokes more sin in you
  3. makes you aware of wrath over your life
  4. makes you feel constantly unworthy
  5. opposes you
  6. curses you with sickness, death disease, poverty and defeat
  7. makes you aware you are a transgressor
  8. shows you how insane it is to establish your own righteousness by the keeping of laws
  9. to show you -You need a Saviour and the law is put in charge to lead you to the Saviour!

-stay tuned for the rest, in part 2

Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Learning from Our Mistakes!!

I found this article by Rob Rufus in an NCMI magazine called "One Step at a Time - Building Faith for the Supernatural". The whole article is so worthy of a read and it is wonderful that Rob's awesome material is being written down and published.

One point in particular caught my eye and it is a vital concept for 2008. How do we keep building faith for the supernatural?;

"Keep learning from your mistakes - fail FORWARD.

The twelve disciples had many occasions where they failed to cast out demons and heal the sick, even though they had been authorized and empowered by Jesus to do so. But Jesus came and healed where they had failed, proving the miracle was God's will and that God's first choice was that they did the miracle rather than Jesus! (Mark 9). The good news is that they continued to ask questions of Jesus, growing in faith, until (in Acts 5) we see them doing signs and wonders and healing miracles that were equal to what Jesus had ever done, proving that the new norm for every believer was to do the works that Jesus did.

Disappointment is a disastrous father of theology. It develops heresies and pervasive traditions that lowers and limits the word of God down to the level of your experiences, and unwittingly surrenders to the Spirit of unbelief while masquerading as main line orthodoxy!

If you are to keep growing in faith, you must let God turn your disappointments into divine appointments and elevate your experience up to the glorious unchanging promises of His Word. It is true that the Bible says hope deferred makes the heart sick. But the Bible also says with greater emphasis that it is through faith and patience, that we inherit the promises. Don't give up. Keep learning. A kingdom principle described in Luke 16 says those that can be trusted with very little can be trusted with much.

Don't focus on what is not happening in your life but give thanks to God for whatever He is doing through you supernaturally even if it is every little and soon you will see progressive increase".

I found Terry Virgo's latest "Firstline" unusally depressing this quarter. He shared honestly from his heart but it still doesn't make the truth easy;

"Why then do I feel some disappointment? ... I expected God to break out in power. We have been encouraged by remarkable waves of Holy Spirit breakthrough, but, so far, we've not experienced what could be described only as revival, when the Lord's intense Presence not only refreshes the saints but also overflows from the Church leading to multiple conversions and to the extension of Christ's rule and impact on the culture ... But I did expect revival. I must confess I still long for its coming".

We must tow a careful line between naive triumphalism and cynical disappointment. If we are not living in what the Bible would call revival - then let us be honest to that. But I am challenged by Rob's statement that disappointment is a disasterous father of theology. I have seen two men of God get toppled by disappointment and by hoping for more.

Let's fall forward!

Saturday, 19 January 2008

November 1st - Prayer Meeting and Conference Debrief

Rob Rufus made mention of the potential for training during the Thursday prayer meetings in City Church International. This meeting I think demonstrates just how much training potential there is. Although Rob is still preaching, there is a great teaching aspect to what he shared with the church. We are hugely blessed that this was made available. This was the first Prayer Meeting after the "Grace and Glory Conference" and there was a degree of de-briefing.

Here's the notes (after Rob finished speaking there were some prophecies worth taking note of);

"This conference has really been a launching and a release of something more significant than I think we are aware of and when we see it overflowing to the nations that people went back to and we hear it overflowing into schools like that and touching students and the power of God manifesting in the classroom - then I really believe that God wants to manifest His Presence in the marketplace and where we are at.

For me that is so key. In Bill Johnson's church they have hundreds of people a week healed in the marketplace! Not in their services. People say; "Where do you have your outreach" because they are thinking of streets and places they go. But they say;

"No we don't have any street outreach - it is just the people in our church going about their normal life carrying the glory of God into the secular world and seeing the transference of the power that comes into the services go out into the marketplace. So I really believe God is wanting us to see this glory impacting Hong Kong - the streets and the suburbs".

We are not alone in this. There are other churches believing for this in our city and thank God for that. Marina works with the marketplace and they are praying and interceding as well. But I just quickly want to see how this thing progresses and how we can pray tonight for the opening of the eyes of the people of Hong Kong more and more to the glory of God. So if you have got 2 Corinthians 3 - let me just say this.

When someone is healed in the meeting like that guy who had his deaf ear opened - that is a little angel, a healing angel. When we see personal blessings which are just so special to each one of us and it is special to each one of us to actually see that - that is precious and tender. But those are healing angels! They come and they minister and they bless us and we get goosebumps and we want more of that and God please give us more of that!

We get that blessing as the people of God - but the longer the revival is sustained and the longer the revival continues it begins to attract in bigger angels. Not just angels who bring blessing to us as individuals (and we want to keep those - we want more of those)

but the longer the revival is sustained the greater cherubim and seraphim start coming in and then arch-angels start coming in. And when they get attracted to that glory realm through sustained revival, those arch-angels and higher ranking angels begin to push back principalities and powers and open wider portals of glory over a city.

When that happens more and more people in a secular society in Hong Kong and religious life of Hong Kong are going to have glory encounters in normal every day life.

Now this is what I believe this conference opened up a portal of glory.

Look at 2 Corinthians 3 and this Scripture is becoming very familiar to us but let's read it again from (v6); "He has made us competent as ministers of a New Covenant" ...

He goes on and tells us what the letter is that kills - it is the 10 Commandments.

So what we are seeing is that the ministry written on tablets of stone brings death and brings condemnation and brings a fading glory because God looks at us through the law and has to withdraw His glory because the law scrutinises us and condemns us. But in New Covenant God looks at us only through grace and so the glory doesn't ever have to fade - it is an un-surpassing glory and it is the greater glory and we are transformed in the glory of God.

So we have had the peripheral fence lifted and we have gone into New Covenant glory. We are experiencing that manifestation. But now we need to see the greater higher ranking angels - the cherubim come in, in greater realms and greater manifestations so they will start pushing back the principalities and powers.

I wish I could go into that because I have been looking at that a lot more of that lately but they will push them back so there are greater portals of glory. So it is more than us just getting healing and blessing - and we want that - it is then the city getting blessed and the region radiating the glory that is not fading and when people's hearts are touched by the glory they just want to serve and to know this God.

It says in Haggai 2 - God says; "I will shake all things" and it is a New Testament promise because in Hebrews 12, He repeats that promise. He says; "I will shake all things and then the desired of all nations will come". Everyone is desiring Jesus whether they know it or not. They may be running after money - after sexual perversity - after religion - but actually deep down they desire Jesus. And when the glory comes and everything is shaken, they will know who they really are desiring - He is Jesus.

Even church people who are frightened of the manifestations and shrink back actually in their hearts they desire the Desire of All Nations. And He said; "The glory of the latter house will be greater than the former house - the gold and the silver is Mine and in this place I will give peace". So in the glory there is peace - out of the glory there is shaking. The Desired of All Nations is appearing in the earth!

So we are wanting to see, okay - how do we open this city so that everyone in the city can see the glory? What is the Gospel? It is the Gospel of glory! It is a glorious Gospel because this Gospel brings the glory. So let's look at 2 Corinthians 4:4 because I want to read it in context now - " ... the god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers so that they cannot see the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ who is the image of God". So people are in this city with their minds blinded by the god of this world to the Gospel of glory. They can't see the gospel of glory because their minds are blinded.

So if you go down to (v16); "unseen is eternal".

Now we have been in a church age where we put off "eternal glory" to one day when we get to heaven. But "eternal glory" refers to the "timeless zone". The glory is the "timeless zone"! It is God's realm coming down here! If a man had extensive cancer and he stepped into heaven - how long would that cancer last?

Well when you come into the glory, there is an instant disappearance of everything that is contrary to who God is.

That is why when the glory turned up and Marina saw two angels (who I believe were cherubim) with trumpets in our services in the middle of June, Gloria here who had a growth instantly disappear because she stepped into the timeless zone - the glory zone.

So there are people with their minds blinded - they cannot see the glory of the Gospel but he says we look at not that whic is seen but that which is unseen. We look at the invisible world with eyes opened. We have to pray with eyes opened to see into the glory realm and to bring the shout of the Lord and the intercession of the Lord that will bring the higher ranking angels in and who will push the powers of darkness back and open the portals of glory so that blinded minds will be opened and they will see.

There are two Greek words for "see" - one is "Βλεπε" and the other is "Αντιλαμβανονται". The first just means to see with natural eyes but the second means to see and discern. It doesn't mean to say that you saw or discerned God although some do see Jesus when they go into the glory. They see the angelic realm, they see the unseen and that's happened in this conference. I have had that experience a number of times and numbers of you have. But it's not just seeing something visually - it can also be discerning. You perceive what God is doing.

So you will "see and discern God". Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see and discern God. They will discern and perceive what God is doing. Jesus said in John 5; "I do nothing unless I first see My Father doing it". He sees - but not with His natural eye, what He perceives.

Remember Isi stood up and said that the Spirit of God was moving at the back there - coming round the side and as she pointed everyone just fell in that corner. She didn't see with her natural eye - she "saw and perceived". That is what God wants - that is the prophetic and everyone of us can see into the Spirit realm and know and discern what God is doing!

Now how are you pure? "The pure in heart". How do you become pure? Peter says is Acts, "Let us not put the law on the Gentiles or the Jews because our hearts have been purified by faith". It is faith in the Gospel of grace that purifies our hearts to see and discern what God is doing. Eyes have to be opened! (Ephesians 1) - We are going to pray because we want to see the descent of higher ranking angels into Hong Kong. (Ephesians 1:18) - "Eyes of your heart may be enlightened". The Greek word literally means we get a flash of enlightenment that leaves an indelible impression on your inner being. So that; "The riches of the glorious inheritance with the saints".

When your eyes are opened you see the riches of the glory that the Father wants for His church. It can only come when our eyes are opened! So we have to see! Paul is praying for Christians and it means they are not seeing. Otherwise he would not waste time praying and he says "I cease not to keep on praying for you". This is a high level church - Ephesus! Yet he is praying as an apostle that their eyes would be open so they can see and the eyes of their enlightenment be opened so they can see the hope of their glorious inheritance.

Folks, when your eyes are opened into the glory and you see into the unseen, you see how poor the church has been operating. How low-level signs and wonders - how low-level miracles and thinking it's okay - thinking it is acceptable and settling there but when your eyes are opened, you just think; "Wow God - lets see more and more!".

Alright if you just flip over quickly to Deuteronomy 29. It is more than seeing miracles with your natural eye. People think if we could see a lot of miracles with the natural eye then everyone would repent in the church. Actually they won't. Moses moved in signs and wonders and miracles more than anyone else on the planet. He split the Red Sea open - manna coming down during the day - he hit a rock and water came out to give 3 million people a drink and there was a lake afterwards it says. So there was miracles and signs and wonders and the people saw the miracles with the natural eye. Many Christians sit in meetings and don't recognise the visitation of God. They just look and hear of the miracles but they sit there and they are blind. Their eyes are not opened. They have got natural seeing and they are not seeing into the invisible.

All of those people who did not have their eyes opened but only saw with the natural eye - the miracles - they all backslid and they all missed their destiny and never crossed over into the Promised Land. There is a crossing over that needs to take place and people need to see more than miracles - they need to see God! They need to know what the glorious riches of God are - that what He wants to do. It is more than just signs and wonders - they are pointing to the glory of God for people encounter God.

(Deut 29:2) - "Your eyes have seen all that the Lord did in Egypt ... you saw the miraculous signs and wonders". The tragedy was they did not discern God. We have people come into church and are blind to the supernatural - they do not see the invisible but they talk about it and decide whether or not they will get excited about Jesus or not. They are undiscerning and don't know the hour of their visitation. They are guaranteed to backslide. They are guaranteed to fall away even with miracles happening around them if they do not see by revelation and their eyes are not opened.

The unsaved will not come in unless minds that have been blinded to the glory of God have their eyes opened and the bigger angels come in.

(Revelation 3) Much of the Western church falls into this danger because of their big buildings and big numbers and big income. They think they are wealthy but they don't have God - they don't have eyes to see in the Spirit realm - they are happy to do a few practical things because that is what they are happy with but take them into the supernatural of God's glory and they don't want it - they are frightened of it and they will push it away. They will formulate theologies to legitimise why it is wrong. They will rationalise the things of God away and they almost dishonour God and disdain the sacred things because they are rich in their natural knowledge but they are in poverty and poor in the supernatural and in the glory.

They need eye salve to open their eyes to see and perceive what God is doing in the hour of our visitation and the season we are in the earth. (Revelation 3:17) "You say I am rich ... but you do not realise I am poor ... salve to put on your eyes so that you can see".

I believe that is the Word of the Lord to the Western Church right now. It thinks it is rich - it has got it's theology, it has got it's doctrines, it has got it's big buildings, it has got it's big numbers. But there is very low level involvement in the nations where the unreached people groups are. Most missionary initiatives are coming from Eastern Europe not Western Europe - from Romania and people that are poor. From Africa and China and back to Jerusalem and among the poor because their eyes are opened.

Hong Kong is more part of Western thinking than China mainland- just across the border. You go across the border and it is easy to see people saved. You come back across the border and it is different. I believe God wants to move on China mainland. China is like Africa - you can get people saved by the thousand. I really believe God wants that to happen in Hong Kong. He wants the glory portals to open wider and wider. (1 Corinthians 2) - the standard we raise up in prayer is the finished work of the Cross - God loves Hong Kong! This is the gateway city to China mainland!

This is where we can train leaders to go in and impact China. Many of the great leaders of the underground church have not transitioned their giftings and anointings to the next generation coming through. So something is going to happen - there is going to be a blank of empty platforms when this generation of leaders die in mainland China. We have got to have Hong Kong as a gateway city to train a new generation of leaders and father them. Amen? In the ways of grace! (1 Corinthians 2:6) - God hasn't given up on the Western world by the way and I am not angry with the Western world. I thank God for the Western world and God is doing great and mighty things among them. Don't misunderstand me on that.

"God's secret wisdom destined for our glory" - there is the glory again. "None of the rulers understood it". So they were ambushed by God's foreknowledge. (v9) - "Seen ... heard ... conceived". You see and hear the miracles but your mind cannot understand - you haven't heard or perceived with your spiritual eyes and ears. Now watch this in the New Covenant - "But God has revealed this unto us by His Spirit ... no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God ... what God has given FREELY to us". So you see - God gives these things FREELY to us! (v13) - "Man without the Spirit doesn't accept the things that come from the Spirit of God for they are foolishness to Him and he cannot understand them for they are spiritually discerned". There is "perception" again.

In the Western world when people are born again but they don't have the Spirit - are not filled with the Spirit - they think they are wealthy, they think they are self-sufficient, they think they are self-righteous and the things of the Spirit that happened at this conference would be foolishness to them. They would think; "What is this?! This is crazy stuff!". But these things are a sign to offend the mind and offend the heart. These are signs! When God turns up and moves in power and people get offended, you can see where they are at. It is foolishness to them and they need eye salve to be able to see because they think they are rich, self-sufficient, got organized and got a good degree but actually they are naked and blind.

God said, let's declare - we want greater angels to come in. We want the portals to open wider over Hong Kong - this is our time! Something happened this week - it is a culmination of 3 years of guts! We are calling the next conference; "Glory, Guts and Grace!!". Maybe "Gold" as well?! This church has stood and paid a price for this grace message because the devil has tried to close us down and the culmination was this week where the nations were impacted by this little church. And something happened this week. Remember 3 weeks ago? God has opened a wider portal - and we must exploit this because God is going to send a higher ranking angel. We are going to pray now for our eyes to be opened to see into the invisible realm and to pray for wider portals of glory in Hong Kong.

Woman (?Marina) Prophesying:

"10 days before this conference began, I went up to the highest peak in the city. When I was up there, I saw the same 2 angels with trumpets as I saw in June. Flowing out from the top of the mountain down into Hong Kong. I saw a vision of a boat containing internationals discovering a continent landing on a new land. God said; "This conference will serve as a catalyst for the glory - for the opening of the portals in Hong Kong - to bring glory to different districts in Hong Kong. Explosions of God's glory! God is giving us these signs announcing His glory is breaking out in Hong Kong".

Rob Rufus Prophesying:

"Tipping point - tipping point. There comes those moments of God where you faithfully labour and consistently months and even years and suddenly there is a suddenness of God - a tipping point moment. God is about to break into the very administration of the government of this city. I believe God will come in His glory and visit those in the municipality - the governors - those who govern - even to the Premier in dreams and visions and angelic visitations in the government".

Wednesday, 16 January 2008

Rob Rufus's First Sermon of 2008

A comment from an old friend of mine made me realise that not everyone looks through each of my blogs so I thought it was important to re-publish this very key sermon of Rob's. It NEEDS to be read! It NEEDS to be heard! It NEEDS to be digested and lived out! I originally posted it on "Life on Wings" but I realised from this comment that not everyone reads it. So here it is again;

"I don't think any of us get to the point where we can say; "We don't need any encouragement any more". The Bible says encourage each other daily! I believe in a culture of empowerment - I believe that is the automatic outflow of being a son or daughter of the kingdom of heaven. Our Father is an encouraging Father - He is the God of all hope. People say the most bitter tears of regret are those over a graveyard on a funeral day because they were words never said to that person while they were alive. I don't want to reserve my greatest speech for Glenda's funeral - I want to say them all now.

We had an awesome holiday - it was an absolute delightful rich and fantastic time. I love deep sea fishing - we went out and caught 19 tuna out at sea. It was great. It is lovely to live a full life. We are men and women - not just worshippers, church-goers. It is good to go and read a novel - not just the Bible. Have you ever met Christians who can not do anything but pray, read the Bible and go to church? They are odd and they take themselves too seriously! Everyone wanted to be with Jesus not just because of His healing but because He turned water into wine!
And the evangelicals have been busy trying to turn the wine back into water!

We need to go into 2008 with no regret. Regret is an absolutely useless emotion - there is nothing positive about regret at all. Regret torments the mind and chains the mind to the past. Regret makes us re-live our past all the time and makes people keep looking back with the question; "If only" and "What if". People live with regrets that they didn't study enough, didn't spend enough time with their families.

You only get attacked by the devil in two situations - when you are in the will of God or when you are out of the will of God. He will attack you more when you are in the will of God than when you are not. When the pressure gets on and things don't happen, the devil gets you to make decisions that will end up like nightmares within weeks and months. When you live with regrets, you are looking backwards. Have you ever tried to drive a car for 20 miles looking backwards?
There are two ways to deal with regret - and you cannot deal with it by going back into your past because there is nothing you can do about it. Every person in this room has regrets! You cannot do anything about the "What-ifs" because they are gone. It is futile to try and change your past because you cannot.

Your past is powerless unless you give it power by going back and re-visiting it. 1. Attack your past by going and doing something about your future! Now is the time to see the power of your future! 2. The second way to deal with regret is to get a big picture of Who God is. God can turn a divorce into your good. God can use that to make you a greater person than you have ever been before!

"What-if" is a question we do not know the answer to! We are here to do the obedience of the great King of Kings who is coming back and we are going to give an account for our impact on this planet. We need stable marriage and stable homes - it reflects the Kingdom.
But if that is your goal then it is too small.

If we made their plans and purposes more important than Gods then we would have grown up with the kids feeling that Mum and Dad live to serve me and I am therefore more important than God. Kingdom first! And the kids realise Jesus must be amazing because He is more important than us! Those who make the living God their God will not live with regret. "As for me and my house we will serve God". We were terrible parents! We missed their birthdays! But the kids are serving God!

When Joshua invaded the Promised Land with Israel, they were given promises to inherit. They were given the geographic dimensions of the Land - they were given authority to clear the land of all foreigners and giants. We too have a Promised Land! To see cities shaken with the glory of God! Joshua before he died said; "Everything God has promised me ...". Yet there was still much of the Promised Land not occupied! But the next generation occupied what Joshua hadn't.
As soon as the people stopped fighting and settled down, the signs and the wonders stopped. Miracles are divine provision and coincidences that God brings. Contacts in nations for further advancement. When you put the Kingdom first, God will bless your career and your life.

As soon as you put up the white flag and say "I've had enough" - the signs and the wonders will stop and the Presence of God seems far away.

There are sections of the church today that are no more different than pagan worshippers. They have no passion! No faith! No signs and wonders! I love to meet men and women after God's own heart! There is something perverted about making plans for your future without any mention of God! You hear Christians talking about their plans for the future and God is rationalised in, in a reasonable way that God is just my servant to make me happy! 500 years after Joshua, David came and they conquered the entire geographic area of the Promised Land.
A day will come when a people with a David-heart - not settling for partial conquests and partial promises fulfilled and the miracles aren't happening as fast as we want BUT we won't go back to Egpyt and we will go on conquering and taking ground! David committed adultery and murder - check the context - David stopped fighting! As soon as he stopped fighting, he got back into things that can cause regret. Keep fighting! Keep advancing! The purpose of war is to occupy territory so that new occupation becomes a platform for further advancement. If we are not advancing, we cannot keep what we have got! If you lose your fighting spirit how will you guard and protect what you have got? We must learn to not only keep what we have got but ADVANCE!

The most famous person in the world today - the most influential man on the planet today is Osama Bin Laden. Every time you take a plane, you realise that nations will do all things because of fear out of him. Bin Laden was a millionaire but gave his millions away because he wanted to re-create a world of Utopia. Moslems are not worshipping idols! Paul, the apostle - used to be the most influential person on the planet but he was motivated by love not hate like Bin Laden. Paul is still affecting the world today! Bin Laden is so effective that even if the USA find him and kill him - his death will be to his advantage. How many Christians can admit we have a higer purpose than to kill and destroy? Do we have the influence of Bin Laden?

We have the passion and power to be suicide bombers with explosions of glory so we can run into masses and let loose the power of God? Bin Laden has coped with the fact that millions hate him! Many in the church today wouldn't like to sit down with him today!

We are called - this isn't radical preaching - this is normal Christianity! The other stuff has made people live with regrets! A few weeks ago I had to make a hard decision because I was offered to go back on team in Adelaide but I TURNED IT DOWN. I could rationalise why that decision would be good - but my heart said that would be wrong. (Romans 3). The preaching here over the last 3 Sundays was outstanding. Get those teachings - all 3! I hope everyone in this church makes sure you get the CD.

Every Sunday is a supernatural sequence staging us for the next step and if you miss it, you are missing out on a stage!

Everyone should be here on a Thursday in our house to pray! There's nothing more important! "I've got to keep my dogs" ... Shoot them?!! "Let's save the whale!" ... no let's save the nations! If Bin Laden can change the world because of a radicalness - and the church is absent of radicalness - then we are not going to change the world over him.

I want to read a few things and talk about what I believe we can expect to happen in 2008 but need to re-cap what I spoke about last time.

There are two purposes of the Law - one purpose under the Old Covenant and one under the New. The Old Covenant purpose of the law is to give conciousness of sin, to curse you. There is no such thing as the curse of the devil - it is the curse of the law. In the New Covenant when you come into Christ, the law changes it's role and is no longer a judge and prosecutor under you - but the law witnesses that you do indeed have a perfect righteousness in Christ - a righteousness apart from yourself. Once you come to Christ, the law which is the standard of God's perfection and integrity, stands up in the courts of heaven and says; "You - Ryan, Glenda - you have a perfect righteousness that is apart from me. It has got nothing to do with your obedience but the obedience of Jesus Christ".

The law testifies a good report that I am the righteousness of God. Sin is never an issue again past, present and future - it has been taken away at the Cross! I am the righteousness of God! "I have just sinned" ... but I am the righteousness of God! "I have just shot my dog because Rob told me to" ... but I am the righteousness of God! "I lost my temper" ... but I am the righteousness of God! "I just gossipped" ... but I am the righteousness of God!

This teaching of righteousness and grace is more than just you and I feeling God - it is the foundation for us to take over the world!

The purpose of the Gospel is for you to feel confident even when you sin and mess up! It's much more than you just feeling comfortable when you sin and mess up (although it would still have great value). This righteousness is a gift from God not earned. The Old Covenant (Romans 3:19) - "Through the law we become concious of sin". That is how people are living who are not in Christ. But when you come into Christ, the law changes it's purpose (3:21) - " ... which the Law and the Prophets testify". The Law is testifying to your perfect righteousness in Christ! The Law is testifying on your behalf! It is validating the fact that you are unconditionally righteous 24 hours a day 7 days a week! (3:22) - "Comes through faith in Jesus Christ to all who believe - there is no difference". It comes to ALL who believe! Do you believe?

How does this impact the world? Those who believe that are those who become heirs of the world. Those who do not believe that will never impact the world. The light that shines brighter is that which shines at home base. There is a world that God says is our parish. (4:13) - "His offspring receive the promise that he will be heirs of the world but through the righteousness that comes by faith". Anyone who lives under the attitude that my good behaviour obligates God to give blessing then you have missed it.

When there is no law, there is no transgression. 1 John writes - "Sin is the transgression of the law". Once you are in Christ and no longer under law - God doesn't even see you sin! Because where there is no law, there is no transgression! On the Cross, Jesus disarmed the law!
(4:16) - "by grace and guaranteed to all Abraham's offspring ... to those who are of the faith of Abraham, he is the father of us all". Heirs of the world! Jesus said "All authority has been given to Me ... Go and disciple NATIONS" - not just individuals! Those who have faith in Me have global vision to impact nations! NATIONS! It's too - too big to have a strategy for, it's too big to plan for - that will come. The main thing is to stay in will of God believing you are the righteousness of God, living with no regrets, going into your future and keep fighting - keep taking land!

As soon as you stop fighting signs and wonders stop!

From about 7 years ago, God began to start weaning Glenda and me off everything you find your identity in that is not Me. Every area you find approval from man but not Me, I will wean you off it. I said; "But God I am Rob Rufus - I know you! My identity and approval is in You alone!". He said; "We'll see". A lot of pastor's identity is in their church. Too many people in those churches like the pastors because of what they do not because of who they are. So you live with delusions about yourself and they do too because of who they are and what they are not - because they are intimidated by gifts and positions. I was lying in Him in Coastlands and He said to me; "Rob if you will give this church over to me, then I will give you the multitudes". We were co-ordinating an area of Australia and I was leading it! But one day I went away on holiday and came back and it had been taken away from me! They just took it! And I was left on the outside. God said; "I am weaning you. That bitterness you have in your heart? Deal with it boy!". In 2002 and 2003 I felt like a conspiracy - it was! God spoke audibly to my heart one day and said; "Son, man is not side-lining you. I am taking you out of the loop to re-position you for future inheritance and jurisdiction to influence nations which you cannot do in this context. It's too comfortable and too easy for you!".

Everyone in the last few years who have been going through a pruning and weaning process in which you found your approval and identity in and God has begun to move you out of situations with great pain - know this. God has been side-lining you! When you go through the pain that is involved and you wake up and maybe think "Slavery is better - let's go back to Egpypt. We can live without the signs and wonders. We just want peace!". It's not PEACE! It's bland sterility. When you can keep relationships for 25 years that is a sign of maturity. But a new wind of freedom is blowing in the earth and we have to be weaned off dependance for identity. Never never replace God! We must bless each other. We need partnerships and togetherness - but the Spirit of denominationalism will come in when you need those relationships over God.

In my last 3 years in Adelaide, I was travelling doing meetings and I was lonely. In the middle of this, God said; "Son you are in the middle of the biggest pruning ever and yet you are producing the most fruit. If you are producing fruit during pruning then how much more fruit will you produce when you are planted?". And then in 2003 He said "Go to Hong Kong and leave your friends and family. Lay your life down". What?! Will the pruning end when I go? No it won't. 2007 was an in-between stage between the pruning season and the fruit time.

While I was on holiday and was out running, God spoke to my heart and said; "Rob there will be no pruning. You have resisted the seduction. You have resisted the fear of being left out and have chosen to take My inheritance. You have understood grace and now in 2008 there will be no weaning and no pruning - you have come into the fruitful season".

The prophetic helps you live free from regrets because you are living with eternity in your heart.

This isn't just for a preacher! I want to work harder for God - I want to play better and have better holidays and be more than just what I have been doing. I have been weaned, I have been pruned - I am ready for fruit now! I have got books inside me that need to be written! I have got movies inside me that need to be filmed! When God said to the shepherd of the church, He means it is for City Church International! Some of us have been to hell and back as we haven't been deterred from the grace message! It is now time for rewards!

2008 ...

1. God will give us extrodinary, unprecedented favour for endorsement from heaven - and unprecedented global favour from the world. China is too small for those who are the offspring of Abraham! "Global approval - global favour".

2. God will call numbers and numbers of people from different nations to re-locate to Hong Kong and assemble on City Church International. They will leave behind visions of their happy little lives and they will come and learn Mandarin and impact nations. Hong Kong is an international city! Hong Kong is a hub of the world! It is opening up to a world and is right alongside China that is fast becoming the super-power in the world! 95% of preachers live in the world where 5% of the world's population is.

I have been in a group of churches that call themselves "International" yet live where the least population is. I don't think that is God's direction - I think it is comfort's direction. Where is the deployment?

The prophecies I could give to you - revival will come from Asia to awaken darkened Europe! The sun will rise in the East and set on the West! The glory of God will be seen in Asia and will awaken darkened England, and slumbering Scotland!

Christians go to church inducted into the guilt of law. The signs and the wonders stop when you stop fighting and pressing in to take more ground! It is fighters with tenacity that will bury loved ones and will go. The anonymous graves that pock-mark China of missionaries who went without a thought.

Go and live a small little life?! I puke on that with purpose! It is a crime against Heaven to have that mentality! To say I have been gripped by grace and gripped by God yet all I want is a nice little life!

The adventures that God will give to those who just walk with Him! You can live with no pain and little joy and yet have no purpose. Eternity is coming! The end of the age is coming! We are living with lost people around us! In 2008 God will call numbers of people to Hong Kong who are already trained and equipped. They are trained in science and administration.

They will come who aren't trained and equipped but with raw talent and we will train them! I speak it out - I call them out in Jesus Name! Come and invest your life!

There is 1 billion, 200 million unsaved in China - there are whole cities with no Christian witness. How are we going to train them? With groups? You train on the job! Every Thursday night I am training people to lead meetings! I am going to start coaching people - I am going to ask people what they think and what they do. I don't want academic theorists, I want people who can do the job! Western academic conceptualisation knows nothing about doing it "on the job".

Conceptual knowledge rather than experience. Heart experience not just concepts!

3. I expect resources to come from the nations into Hong Kong. We need millions! We need our tithes and offerings to come in from the nations! I believe God will pay for where He is directing us! There is a big bill to be paid God - but you can do it!

You bring your tithe to where you are being fed. You don't get cursed if you don't tithe - that is law! It is an investment into eternity.

Tithe to the local church in which you go. If you are tithing to another church - then go to them! You don't eat at MacDonalds and pay at Burger King. There is something wrong in feeding somewhere yet paying somewhere else!

4. I expect God and believe He will open up unprecedented doors. God is that our door!? It's open! Let's go in! Let's go through!

5. God will place expectation in the hearts of people who come to sew into City Church. I may not go - but I will stay here and build City Church. Preachers, administrators, greeters. We are going to impact orphans! We must invest! If this is not a base that is not getting stronger and stronger - then our preaching out there is invalid. If that is the case then I am just a Harvard lecturer preaching concepts. I am as bad as a surgeon who kills people when he operates and then goes around the world lecturing on how to operate. We are not into wish-ions but visions!

Vision connects your vision with reality and brings practical administration.

People are going to make eternal decisions to stay and invest in this church and get it stronger and stronger. Glenda and I will never put pressure on you to stay in this church. I don't want anyone to stay because I have emotionally manipulated them.

We make our decisions and then our decisions make us. What we are today are the decisions we made in the past.

I will never stand before God one day and hear Him say; "Why didn't you say everything you should have to that person? Why did you just smile and say that is fine?". I wish I could be just a nice guy!

6. I expect us to see unprecedented global favour in partnerships and associations with other apostolic/prophetic leaders that are not part of a wide thing and don't want a network but just partnerships. I have made a conference call to some of these leaders who don't want a President or a Pope but just want relationship. Paul wasn't even a leader of a team!

As soon as you get a head over a whole organization you have got a Pope by definition and everyone has to get permission from HQ as to what you do!

God will give us global partners of men and women of influence and we will link up relationally. There are ever-expanding partners and men and women will come and help us and we will go to them and their nations and help them. And we will raise up sons and fathers to release more sons. There is a free-flowing winekin in the New Testament not Popes!

7. With global favour and global endorsement from heaven, God will conspire to collaborate with us to give evidence and proof of this endorsement with magnificent signs and wonders not just with us but those who partner with us. I will never be a President of an organisation. The fluid-ness of the New Testament isn't static.

Father in the Name of Jesus, we thank You that You've called us to be alive in 2008. Thank You for the pioneers who came and poured all their years into Hong Kong and their influence will continue and grow. Thank You for the Chinese Christians. Thank You for the ex-pats who have come to this city and as Christians they are ambassadors of Your Kingdom and they have used their mouths to share the Gospel. I thank You for the missionaries who have come and made sacrifices and thank You we have opportunities this year.

We don't want to look back in 2009 with regrets being seduced from our highway of destiny! Let everyone of us in this room come to such a revelation of the Gospel that we are the righteousness of Jesus and that You have guaranteed us a promise to be heirs of the world - to have greatness about our name, to be a blessing to all nations! That all who bless us will be blessed! And all those who curse us and stand against us will be judged by You. Father we are part of that offspring and that generation. Father we want to exploit this to it's optimum. We want to leave footprints in the sand of human history. This Gospel can stop religious wars and wars. This Gospel can bring the peace of heaven to earth.

Our assignment is not to go to heaven - our assignment is to bring heaven to earth.

Let us not just occupy what we have but let us keep advancing because if we do not it will be lost and taken away. Father we want to be like those who take our talents and make risks and fail but Lord we want to be those people who took our talents and kept on fighting to the very end because we made decisions based on eternity. We ask at the beginning of 2008 for every member of this church. We love each one.

God let us as a people positioned at the climax of the consummation of the ages make Osama Bin Laden seem tame. Not to kill people with bombs but to bring the Glory-Gospel to all we can.

Let us pay the price and make the decision. City Church International - look at us and see our hearts. Father be pleased with what you see - we do know our hearts before You and we don't want to be hi-jacked by anything else. Let us not re-visit the past. Thank You today that You turn it all around for the good and use our failures and our bad decisions and our broken relationships for our good. Thank You God - today we believe You will use it for good. You are our righteousness. Let us stand".