Without the Resurrection there is no New Birth; there is no Eternal Life; no Salvation; there is no Infilling and Empowerment with the Holy Spirit. Yes there are many world religions and each one promising a way to some empty promise of salvation that wood, stone and metal cannot fulfil. Yes, many religions have even been made from the truths behind Christianity, but Christianity is NOT a religion filled with empty promises.
The truth and the hope that Christ provides are not built on empty promises. Instead the truth of the resurrection is that with all of the promises made by Jesus, unlike the dead prophets and silent Gods of world religions, Christ is Alive and able to ensure that all of the promises he made are fulfilled to the full.
A couple of Sundays ago, on 19 December, during the Sunday service, we entered into a time of Intercession for those who have not yet become acquainted with the relationship that God has to offer to anyone who will come to him and ask for him to accept them “just as they are”; in the same manner that Jesus did during his time on Earth, so many years ago.
Not asking to join a new religion. Not asking to add a set of rules and obligations; setting them up for failure. But, instead, asking for an opportunity, to learn to develop a close relationship in the fashion that God has desired to have with his creation since time began. The relationship that God offers, through Jesus and Holy Spirit; that has been available since the day of Jesus’ resurrection.
During that time one of the questions that I had on my heart was my desire to know the focus for the coming New Year, 2019. What would be the direction we would need to take as we seek to fulfil the call that God has placed upon our lives. In particular the mission of Open Arms Fellowship, as a church.
During that time I distinctly heard, down deep in my spirit, the phrase “2019, will be The Year of the Harvest”.
I sat on that for a couple of days and prayed about it. The more I did, the more distinct, the stronger that took hold. From then I sensed that the Lord wanted me to publish it abroad, at which time I added it as a post to the Covenant Network Pastors page and in some other locations. I made it known to others in the church and began declaring it from the altar at the Sunday evening services at Christmas and the New Year.
Only today I discovered that Brother Copeland, in his New Year address was moved by the Holy Spirit to declare 2019 “The Year of Abundant Harvest”.
With that confirmation I can gladly declare here on our own web page that:
2019 is The Year of the Harvest
for the Body of Christ on Planet Earth and also here at Open Arms Fellowship.
May you, your family your church and particularly your ministry teams be blessed throughout this coming year. May you receive abundantly ALL that the Lord has available for you.
May your Spiritual eyes be open to see clearly all the hope that the Gospel of Jesus Christ has for you, now, here, in this lifetime. So that you may be blessed. But, more importantly, that you may be a blessing to others around you; as the Lord leads you to change the world around you; one person at a time.
The Anointed One (Hamashiach/Messiah) who shall Save, Deliver, Set Free His People (Yeshua/Jesus) is the Hebrew Name for Yesus Christos (gr.) which translates into English as Jesus Christ.
Whichever language you choose to use The Name of Jesus is endued with all of the Heavenly Power and Authority that is behind the owner of the Wonderful Name.
Therefore, Christmas is a Celebration of The Anointed One and The Anointing.
The Coming of the one who was prophesied to bring about humanity’s rescue.
And in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent from God unto a city of Galilee, named Nazareth, To a virgin espoused to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David; and the virgin’s name was Mary. And the angel came in unto her, and said, Hail, thou that art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee: blessed art thou among women. And when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and cast in her mind what manner of salutation this should be. And the angel said unto her, Fear not, Mary: for thou hast found favour with God. And, behold, thou shalt conceive in thy womb, and bring forth a son, and shalt call his name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David: And he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end. Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man? And the angel answered and said unto her, The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee: therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.
Why is this “Salvation”; this “Rescue”; this “Deliverance” so important?
According to the prophecy of Isaiah:
Isaiah 9:2; 6(AMPC)
The people who walk in [spiritual] darkness Will see a great Light; Those who live in the dark land, The Light will shine on them.
For to us a Child shall be born, to us a Son shall be given; And the government shall be upon His shoulder, And His name shall be called Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
The Whole of Creation was yearning to know when this Mashiach, this Messiah, would be revealed upon the Earth.
Genesis 3:15 (AMPC)
“And I will put enmity (open hostility) Between you and the woman, And between your seed (offspring) and her Seed; He shall [fatally] bruise your head, And you shall [only] bruise His heel.”
Why didn’t God just fold the whole lot up and start again?
Why didn’t he wipe the slate clean and re-make humanity and cleanse the Earth?
Essentially the simple answer is that he couldn’t. He didn’t have the right to do it. You see, God had transferred all, yes ALL of the authority over the Earth to his humans.
Genesis 1:26-31 (YLT)
And God saith, `Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness, and let them rule over fish of the sea, and over fowl of the heavens, and over cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that is creeping on the earth.’ And God prepareth the man in His image; in the image of God He prepared him, a male and a female He prepared them. And God blesseth them, and God saith to them, `Be fruitful, and multiply, and fill the earth, and subdue it, and rule over fish of the sea, and over fowl of the heavens, and over every living thing that is creeping upon the earth.’ And God saith, `Lo, I have given to you every herb sowing seed, which [is] upon the face of all the earth, and every tree in which [is] the fruit of a tree sowing seed, to you it is for food; and to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the heavens, and to every creeping thing on the earth, in which [is] breath of life, every green herb [is] for food:’ and it is so. And God seeth all that He hath done, and lo, very good; and there is an evening, and there is a morning–day the sixth.
In fact the psalmist goes on to state that God had transferred the authority over everything he had created to humanity, the being he had created in his own image and likeness; placing him in a class of being higher than the Angels and only slightly lower than himself.
Psalm 8:4-6 (NIV)
What is mankind that you are mindful of them, human beings that you care for them? You have made them a little lower than the angels – (This word in the original text does NOT translate as Angels. It is the word Elohim which is literally translated God.) and crowned them with glory and honour. You made them rulers over the works of your hands; you put everything under their feet:
John 1:1-2; 14 (NIV)
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning.
The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the one and only Son, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
Notice Just how important that first statement is. God and His Word are One and the Same.
Now re-consider the question that you first asked “Why didn’t he wipe the slate clean and re-make humanity and cleanse the Earth?”
WE can see that For God to go back on his word transferring HIS authority to humanity he would have had to break his word and that would have destroyed himself. This is reinforced in the second statement from John; that Jesus, is the Word of God made flesh. The Incarnation of God in a fish and blood human body; subject to all of the feelings, emotions and temptations that every other human being has to face. But, because he was born without the seed of a man he didn’t carry the sin nature, in his flesh, that every other human being is born with since the fall.
Through his Incarnation he purposed to achieve these 9 things:
To reveal the true nature of the Father, which had been reverted by the traditions of men.
To proclaim a Gospel, the Good News, that God Was and Is on the side of All Humanity.
To Bring about the Freedom from Bondage and Slavery experienced in the Year of Jubilee as a perpetual state for Whoever would accept it.
To perform a Substitutionary transaction that would bring about a reverse of the Adamic curse through New Birth.
To Pay the Final Sacrifice, an Eternal Sacrifice, that would provide Anyone who would accept it, free and unfettered access to Full Relationship with God the Father; through Grace, by Faith and Not by Works.
To pave the way for human beings to become the residing place, the “Tabernacles”, “Living Temples”, Dwelling Places of, and filled with, Holy Spirit, God Himself.
To Fulfil the Whole of the Law and the Prophets; the Old Covenant (Testament), and to replace it with a New and Better Covenant (Testament); built on Better Promises than those stated in the original (Deuteronomy 28:1-14).
Through his Incarnation, Life, Death, Resurrection, and his Ascension he has achieved ALL of these and more besides.
Looking back at the prophecy of Isaiah once again we find a promise that clearly demonstrates just how BIG a statement the word Christmas really is.
The Celebration of The Arrival of “The Anointed One and the Anointing” marks the day that the stake of “Freedom” was hammered into the Earth.
Isaiah 10:17 (AV)
And it shall come to pass in that day, that his burden shall be taken away from off thy shoulder, and his yoke from off thy neck, and the yoke shall be destroyed because of the anointing.
In many translations that word “anointing” is also translated “fatness” or, “Prosperity”.Christ is far more than just a word we bandy about at this time of the year. It is Rich and Flooded with meaning and is as distant from thoughts of Poverty and Lack as the East is from the West.
The Incarnation of God in human form is not to restrict humanity from all that is good. But, instead, it is God making all of his abundance available and accessible to anyone who will recognise that relationship with him is the only way to truly enjoy the bounty that this world has to offer. By recognising HEIS LORD. By realising, that trusting his ability to not only make a promise to provide, but to be faithful to fulfil that promise, provides a life free from care about ‘where’ your next meal is coming from, and acknowledging that EVERYTHING you have and will ever enjoy has its origin IN HIM.
Yeshua Hamashiach (heb)
The Anointed One who shall Save, Deliver, Free His Peopleis the Hebrew Name for Yesus Christos (gr.) which translates into English as Jesus Christ.
Each of these translations of the Name of the Messiah is endued with such depth and meaning. By studying the richness of His name we become aware of what Power (Dunamis) and Authority (Exusia) we have been given, with the right to use His name, here in this Earth.
Yes, the commercialism that has developed around this season may well be an attempt to diminish the effect of that name, through familiarity.
But, instead of complaining, let us use the fact that the name of “The Anointed One and The Anointing” which is upon that name, Christ, becomes a seed that creates a curiosity to know more about WHO is truly behind that name; that Word.
Let us Call for the Labourers to enter the Harvest, with the words “In Season”; the words required for each individual, that will enable them to see the Hope that the Gospel, the Good News, that the true meaning of Christmas entails.
Let us pray that CHRIST is revealed through us in our acts of Giving and our Sharing of the Joy, and Love, and the Peace, that people already see associated with this season.
Father, let their hearts and minds be Good Soil, ready and prepared to receive that Ingrafted Word that is able to bring about the changes in their lives that they so heartily seek. Amen!
My Prayer For You: May I wish you All the compliments of the Season. May you be filled to overflowing with the fullness of All that God has to give you In this Life and may your awareness of the wonder and the hope of all that is contained within the Gospel of Christ become ever more apparent each day that you grow in him.
May the coming Year be a full and prosperous one revealing all the wonders that God has to offer to those who will trust in Him, and may you grow to know him in a deeper way than you have ever known him before, as you explore the wonders of his Love.
I’m very aware that for some people the idea of signing up to download the Podcasts has been daunting.
Even though there was no actual way to see who was downloading, or where they are in the world, I believe that it provided a barrier that should not be there that prevented people accessing the teaching in these recordings.
As a result, I have removed all requirement for anyone to have to register to download the materials.
There is no need to Log-in or Register to Download from Open Arms Archive
All materials are provided free of charge and may be copied to pass on to a reasonable number of friends.
However, it would be preferable if people interested in further materials downloaded them for themselves, so that they can access the other sections of the church’s website; which will be getting a revamp in the near future.
Don’t forget, that if you have been blessed by the materials provided here, you might be led to use our Giving button to choose to partner with the ministry, or to even consider giving a one off offering.
I’ve been talking a lot lately about hearing the “Still Small Voice” of the Spirit of God and How we NEED to be led by the Holy Spirit. This short article from Bishop Randy of New Covenant Church Atlanta is concise and communicates a great lesson on just how to hear the voice of God for your own life; so that we can be a real blessing to those around us and especially our own community.
Listen… God is Speaking
· Bishop Randy Morgan of The Covenant Network
In the 80’s, I was introduced to a remarkable book and teaching that forever changed my life – Prophets and Personal Prophecy by Bill Hamon. During that time in my life, I learned that God was ALWAYS speaking and that I could hear Him at any time I chose to listen. I was then hit with an equally vital revelation – I could say what God was saying, anytime. I could release the voice of God anytime God was speaking, and He was speaking all the time. When I realized this, everything changed. Now, many years later, as a member of the LGBT community, I’ve discovered that our single greatest need in this season in our community is the voice of God. Of course, we need the Presence of God equally, but right now, more than ever, we need the sound of the Voice of God in our lives and in our churches to refresh our vision, to give us new vision, to squash division, and to restore relationships and lives. We live in a very volatile time, and the release of the Voice of God is the method by which God will get His Peace into our souls no matter what is going on around us.
Today, you can tap into the Voice of God. Tapping into the Voice of God requires one thing – listening. God will always speak to you when you truly listen. When God first begins speaking, you may feel that it’s just your own thoughts or your imagination, but write it down and pray over what you see, sense, or hear.
God’s Voice doesn’t come booming from the heavens; it comes from your Spirit where the Holy Spirit dwells. He will begin speaking to you in such a way that it will sound like your own thoughts because Holy Spirit is communing with your spirit and those communications “bubble up” into your mind where your imagination, senses, and word center rests. God will show you things and speak to you in such a way that it seems that it is “just you.” Sometimes His voice will seem like a whole train of thought coming to you spontaneously, and His Voice will sometimes seem like images that come to your mind from your inner man. Knowing how to discern this will help you with so many of life’s decisions. The more familiar you become with this flow, the more the flow of His Voice will break into various life-moments bringing wisdom, comfort, direction, joy, etc.
Finally, the truest way to judge the difference between your own thoughts and God’s thoughts (as well as Satan’s thoughts), when you are listening to God, is through Scripture. If what you are hearing does not line up with the Word of God, it is not God. Here’s an example: if someone says, “God said to me that I was to leave my spouse and go be with this other person.” THAT IS NOT GOD. Don’t try to blame a lustful lapse in judgment on God by saying “God said” (see Mark 10:9). The Word of God will be the sword that divides the difference between the Mind of Christ and our own mind (the soul and the spirit). If what you are hearing doesn’t ultimately glorify Jesus, IT IS NOT GOD. If someone says, “I heard that reincarnation is real as well as multiple ways to God.” Then know that is not God (see John 14:6 and Hebrews 9:27).
Becoming skilled in hearing the Voice of God must be every believer’s goal. Knowing God’s Voice is the way we are going to fulfill God’s plans for our lives. He will guide us step-by-step when we listen.
If the argument regarding the ABS Marriage survey has caused you upset, or has you feeling beat up or just feeling Blah! then Open Arms Fellowship is the place you need to head to.
As our name suggests you will be welcomed with open arms no matter your opinion. All arguments are left at the door. Because All that really matters is the relationship between you and God, even if you don’t have such a relationship yet.
Church should be your “Go To” place when you are feeling hurt, abused, marginalised and lonely. That is one of the principles that I try to convey through Open Arms Fellowship, here in Perth.
More than anything I want people to know that there is a place where they will be welcomed, loved and respected on the basis of who they are, another human being on this journey called life. David didn’t refer to it as “The Valley of the Shadow of Death” for nothing. But, one thing we do need to remember, is that the shadow of a dog cannot actually bite anyone.
In recent times here, in Australia, a social divide has evolved polarising the population along lines of support For, or Against, the extension of the Civil institution of marriage to those of the GLBTI community.
The saddest thing about this melee, is that it has created the image of ‘The church’ against the rest of the world. This is, quite frankly, not a good look. Once the dust has settled on this battlefield, it will take some time for the institution that calls itself “The Church” to recover.
Most people know, or have at the least heard of John 3:16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” This haas been the basis of many Evangelist’s sermon throughout the years.
But, sadly, for many, that’s where they have stopped. But John 3:17 follows on from there: “For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” Yes you read that correctly: God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world”. If this is the case, then why has the greatest focus of the church been on their definition of what is and is not sin? That’s just one of the questions I like people to contemplate.
Too often there is a focus on the things that need to change before God will accept someone. Or, that they will be welcomed, as a member of this or that ‘church’ group.
In my experience God is only too happy to receive us ‘warts and all’ so that he can lavish his Love and Grace upon us as he leads us into a full and intimate relationship with himself. He did so with me.
We meet every Sunday at the UCIC hall on the first floor, 97 William St Perth, diagonally opposite the Murray St Railway station entrance. We start at 6pm and “Everyone Is Welcome”.
The Welcome Light is on. Come on In, Get Refreshed. Don’t Tell Me You Don’t Need it!
Come join us to celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead. The event that has shaped the world as we know it today. Our resurrection service will start at 6.00pm Level 1 Meeting Hall UCIC building 97 William St Perth 6000.
Find out about the whole purpose of his Life, Death, Resurrection and Ascension and its ability to change your life.
Open Arms Fellowship: Church for all of those who’ve been told they don’t belong in church!