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    Glory to the King
          Weekly (generally) messages from Glory to the King Ministries International.

    Sun, Jun 18th - 8:31AM

    Under Which Law?



     

    UNDER WHICH LAW?

    by Rev. Lynn Fowler

     

    Some years ago when I ministered in Vanuatu, I learned something of the interesting history of that small island nation. For many years Vanuatu, then known as the New Hebrides, was jointly governed by the French and English under a system known as the Condominium. The locals refer to the period as "the Pandemonium", and the nic-name fits very well. Two totally different systems of government existed side by side, French and English. When you arrived in the country, if you came from one of the British Commonwealth nations, you came under English law, but if you came from a French dominion, you came under French law. If you came from neither, they you had to choose under which law you would be governed (the story was that French law was harsher, but their prisoners received better food!) Even ten years ago, some areas had English schools and some French, and some unfortunate students could end up going to one for their primary education and the other for secondary!

     

    We also must chose under which law we will live. However, the laws between which we must choose are not the arbitrary decisions of a human government, but the natural outworking of the spiritual realities of our lives. Both are laws of cause-and-effect, and the results of their operation in our lives are the direct opposite of each other.

     

    Paul writes that in Christ the law of the Spirit of Life has set us free from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2). Before we came to Christ we did not have any choice. We were "dead in sin", the only law available to us was the law of sin and death. From the beginning, God made it clear that sin would produce death: "in the day that you eat of it (the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil) you will surely die." (Gen. 2:17) Sin produces death, but that is only the beginning, for death also produces sin. This kind of death is spiritual death; it means our spirits are cut off from the source of life, the Holy Spirit. Since the source of life is also the source of righteousness, this means that those who are dead in sin cannot be righteous before God. Under the law of sin and death we were trapped in a downward spiral of sin producing death, and death producing more sin.

     

    When we came to Christ, we were given another option: we were brought under the law of the Spirit of Life. Our human spirits were restored to life, and reconnected to the Holy Spirit. Now we can plug into His life, which produces righteousness. Instead of the old downward spiral, we can step into a new upward spiral, in which His life works righteousness in us, and His righteousness brings increasing levels of life.

     

    The catch is, we still have a choice. Just as the person arriving in the New Hebrides under the Condominium had to decide whether to be governed by French or English law, we too must decide which law will govern us. We can choose to continue under the old law, choosing to sin and bringing death upon ourselves as we do so; or we can choose to live by the law of the spirit of life, operating out of our renewed spirits instead of our old soul life, and growing daily in life and righteousness.

     

    Whichever we choose, we will see the natural outworking of it in our lives. We cannot choose sin without also choosing the consequences of sin. The two are inextricably tied together. Sin will always pull us away from God, lessening our ability to receive from His life. It also removes us from God's protection, making us easy targets for the devil's attacks.

     

    Likewise we cannot choose to be led by the Spirit of God without finding ourselves drawn closer to God, and being changed to be more and more like Jesus.

     

    Under which law do you choose to live?

     

    © Lynn Fowler 2006

     

    Rev. Lynn Fowler is the Founder and International Director of Glory to the King Ministries International and head of Glory to the King Apostolic Network.

    Subscribe to Glory Magazine, the official magazine of GTKMI.  

    Do you need FREE CONTENT for your web site, or in your online group or print publication? Go to http://glorytotheking.com/reprint.html



    Comment (0)

    Sun, Jun 4th - 1:15AM

    More Than a Blind Eye



    MORE THAN A BLIND EYE

    by Rev. Lynn Fowler

    As I have observed the Church over the years, it seems to me that most Christians have at best a very poor grasp of the concept of grace.

    There are those who ignore grace altogether, believing that the only way they are ever going to make it to heaven is if they somehow manage to stay on the straight-and-narrow, and along the way do enough good works to earn them plenty of brownie points. Of course, in a Biblical sense, such people are not really Christians at all. They follow a philosophy or a religion, but they have never really embraced and surrendered to the Person, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Bible makes it very clear that all our "goodness" and "good works" will add up to nothing when we stand before God, if we do not stand cleansed and forgiven through the shed blood of Jesus. Salvation is by grace, it is a gift. We cannot earn grace, we do not deserve it, and nothing we can ever do will stand in place of it.

    Others see grace as merely God turning a blind eye to our sin, like a kind of benevolent grandfather who simply pats us on the head and smiles benignly when we do wrong. They think that the fact that they can never deserve grace by "being good" excuses them from being good, and that they can never earn it by good works exempts them from good works. No matter what they do, they reason, God's grace will still be extended to them.

    This is as wrong a concept of grace as those have who ignore it. It is promoted by the standard Evangelical definition of grace as "God's unmerited favor." Whilst certainly not untrue, that definition is like defining a Lambourgini as "a car." It doesn't even come close to telling it all.

    The first use of the word "grace" (Greek "charis") in the New Testament is in Luke 2:40, where it says that the grace of God was on the boy Jesus. Now Jesus never sinned, so He did not need the Father to turn a blind eye to anything that He had done. Since He was equal with the Father in every way, it also could not be said that He did not merit the Father's favor. In fact, at His baptism 18 years later the Father publicly declared that He was well pleased with Him.

    The grace that was on Jesus, then, was something quite different. From the context, it is obviously referring to something of God's character: Jesus was, in every way, a true representation of the Father. Since exactly the same word is used for grace when it refers to us, it must have for us the same connotation: grace imparts to us something of the character of God. Unlike Jesus, of course, we are not deserving of that impartation. In a different way, it is God's unmerited favor to us.

    Grace – still the same word – is seen in another aspect in Acts 4:33. After the release of Peter and John from prison, the church prayed powerfully for their ongoing work and witness, and the Scripture declares, "With great power the apostles continued to testify to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, and much grace was upon them all." Again, it is not talking about the grace of seeing their sins forgiven, but of power and influence in their ministry.

    Paul, in Romans 1:5, speaks of himself as receiving "grace (still the same word) and apostleship to call people from among all the Gentiles to the obedience that comes from faith." Paul was not speaking of his salvation, but of his ministry. He recognized that his call to the office of apostle was not because of his goodness or anything he had done, but by God's unmerited favor. More than that, he understood that he could never fulfill the requirements of that office in his own strength, but was totally dependent upon the power and anointing of God's Spirit.

    It would take a whole book – perhaps several – to fully look into the various aspects of grace. Since we don't have that kind of time or space available right now, I would simply like to suggest a new definition for your consideration: "God's mighty power working in you to achieve that which you do not deserve and which you could not achieve by yourself." In other words, grace is God's ability: God's ability to take hold by faith on the merits of Jesus' death on your behalf. God's ability to live in a way that is pleasing to Him. God's ability to fulfill whatever works He has called you to do. God's ability to forgive others as He has forgiven you. God's ability to stand strong in whatever temptations, difficulties or persecutions come against you. God's ability, every breath, every heart beat, every moment.

    When we understand grace this way, we see why it can never be just a "blind eye" to sin. Grace is a package deal. We cannot accept grace to take hold of salvation, without also accepting grace to live a godly life. We cannot accept grace for our own forgiveness without accepting grace for the forgiveness of those who offend us. If we reject one part of the package, we automatically reject the whole package.

    Through the death of Jesus, God has made His grace freely available to every one of us. The only question that remains is, will we accept it?

    © Lynn Fowler 2006.

     

    Rev. Lynn Fowler is the Founder and International Director of Glory to the King Ministries International and head of Glory to the King Apostolic Network.

    Subscribe to Glory Magazine, the official magazine of GTKMI. http://groups.yahoo.com/group/glorymagazine

    Do you need FREE CONTENT for your web site, or in your online group or print publication? Go to http://glorytotheking.com/reprint.html



    Comment (1)

    Sat, May 20th - 1:22AM

    Prayer Doesn't Work!



    PRAYER DOESN'T WORK!

    by Rev. Lynn Fowler.

    Recently a team of scientists decided to test the power of prayer in relation to healing the sick. They took a group of sick people and divided it in two. One half of the group would receive prayer, the other would not, and neither group would know whether they were the receivers or the non-receivers. They then asked people around the world to pray for the first group. At the end of the experiment, the group which had received prayer had not made any better recovery than the group that had not, so the scientists in all their wisdom concluded that prayer for the sick simply does not work.

    What could have caused this outcome? Very simply, the terms of reference given to those who were asked to pray. They were told to pray to whatever god or supreme being or spiritual force they worshiped. Thus many prayed to false gods, some prayed to dead people, and some "prayed" to no god at all, simply "directing good wishes" toward those for whom they were praying. No wonder it didn't work!

    In a very real sense, the scientists' conclusion was right: Prayer doesn't work! There is nothing in the act of prayer itself which has any ability to release power into any situation, other than the psychological comfort of "having prayed".

    The power is not in the prayer, but in the One to whom the prayer is addressed.

    We see this graphically illustrated in the Old Testament in the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal (1 Kings 18). All day these false prophets danced around, shouting and even cutting themselves in an effort to get Baal's attention. If prayer worked, the outcome of this story would have been very different than it is! The point of the story is, you can't get the attention of someone who does not exist. If the object of your prayer is not real, then you can pray till you turn blue, but you will never get an answer! Likewise, if the object of your prayer has no power, then no amount of prayer will invest it with power. Prayer, in and of itself, does not work.

    How different when Elijah prayed! He did not need to scream and shout and jump around. He simply presented his cause to the Living God, and God's power – not the power of Elijah's prayer – did the rest.

    Prayer is like a pipeline. When the pipeline is connected to a water supply, you can turn on the tap and expect to get water. If the pipeline is connected to nothing, then no matter how fully you turn on the tap, nothing will flow.

    The flip side of that, of course, is that even when the pipeline is connected to the right Source, we still need to turn on the tap. The water will not flow until we do.

    There is only one God. He is the God of the Bible, the God who manifested Himself in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the only source of life, of wholeness, of power, of supply, and of every other good thing. If you are praying to any other god, your prayers will not work. Your pipeline is connected to emptiness.

    If, however, you have a relationship with the Living God through the Lord Jesus Christ, then your prayers to Him have the ability to release His power into whatever situation you are bringing before Him.

    Very simply, prayer in itself doesn't work. Our God does.

    © Lynn Fowler 2006.

     

    Rev. Lynn Fowler is the Founder and International Director of Glory to the King Ministries International and head of Glory to the King Apostolic Network.

    Support GTKMI’s programs for Child Sponsorship and Native Missionary Sponsorship.

    Do you need FREE CONTENT for your web site, or in your online group or print publication? Go to http://glorytotheking.com/reprint.html



    Comment (2)

    Mon, May 8th - 12:59AM

    For Freedom



    FOR FREEDOM!

    by Lynn Fowler.

     

    Freedom! It is one of the most cherished ideals of humankind. Throughout the ages men and women have fought and died for it. Songwriters and poets have glorified it. Film makers have capitalized on it who could ever forget the final scene of Braveheart? Statesmen have enshrined it in the constitutions of their nations, and politicians have cynically used it to promote their own agendas. A person can face the loss of all possessions, of reputation, of social standing, even of family and friends, as long as he can cling to freedom, even if it is only in his own heart and soul.

    Yet for all our idealization of freedom, in the world no-one is truly free. Even if we live in a "free" nation, with the liberty to live and work where we please, to associate with whomever we please, and to practice or not practice any religion as we please, there are other, more subtle things which restrict and limit us.

    One of the greatest promises Jesus gives is freedom. John records, "To the Jews who had believed him, Jesus said, 'If you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.'" (Jn 8:31-32, NIV) Paul takes up the message, adding a warning, "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery." (Gal 5:1, NIV). Unlike worldly "freedom", this liberty cannot

    be quenched by political oppression, imprisonment, beatings, persecution or even death.

    First, it is freedom from the guilt of sin. Seven hundred years before Jesus died, Isaiah had prophesied about Him "We all, like sheep, have gone astray, each of us has turned to his own way; and the LORD has laid on him the iniquity of us all." (Isa 53:6, NIV) Every one of us has failed to measure up to God's standards. We know that we are guilty. Every religion ever devised by humankind has tried to assuage that guilt by some form of sacrifice, yet none of it could ever be sufficient to deal with the problem of guilt. It needed One who was great enough to bear the sin of the whole of humankind, and the only one who has ever met that criterion was Jesus. Are you still struggling with guilt, trying to do enough good to offset your sin, hoping that somehow, maybe you'll scrape in? Jesus died for your freedom. He bore the full burden of your guilt: you don't have to bear it any longer.

    More than freedom from the guilt of sin, Jesus also offers us freedom from the power of sin. Are there habits in your life that you know are wrong, yet you feel yourself drawn back into them again and again? Wrong relationships, perhaps, or pornography, or anger and violence, or alcohol or substance abuse? These and many other similar things are what really steal our freedom. When the Pharisees responded to Jesus' offer of freedom by saying that they had never been slaves to anyone, Jesus responded, "I tell you the truth, everyone who sins is a slave to sin." (Jn 8:34 NIV) However, when we accept Jesus' gift of freedom, He gives us the means to break free of that slavery. Sometimes that freedom comes miraculously God instantaneously takes the desire for that particular sin out of our hearts. More frequently, it is a matter of us learning to walk in the freedom He has given us. By surrendering our life to Him, we receive a new nature, a nature that has both the desire and the ability to live as God wants us to live. We now must choose to live according to that new nature, rather than according to the old nature which wanted to do things our way. That can be as simple as, when faced with a temptation, saying something like: "My spirit (my new nature) knows that this is not what God wants for my life. I choose to respond out of my spirit rather than out of my flesh (my old nature)." If you fail, don't fall back into guilt. Simply repent and accept God's forgiveness, and determine that next time your new nature will prevail.

    Jesus also gives us freedom from the oppressive demands of religious legalism. In the Old Testament (Old Covenant) the people did not have the Spirit of God living within them. The only way God had to communicate His standards to them was externally, through a written code. Over the years the religious leaders, zealous that the Law not be broken, codified a whole spectrum of lesser laws to define and protect the Law of God. What they achieved was a system of total bondage. Now God has placed the Holy Spirit within the heart of every born-again believer. There is no longer need for an external code of rules and regulations, for the Spirit is able to show us how God wants us to live. Yet still people try to tie us up with rules wear a hat, don't wear a hat, don't use make-up, don't dance, don't watch movies, don't, don't, don't... If you have accepted Jesus gift of freedom, then you are free. If there is something which the Holy Spirit does not want you to do, then as long as you are listening, He is well able to make that clear to you.

    Are you standing in the freedom which Jesus has bought for you? Or have you allowed yourself to be brought back into the bondage of guilt, sin, or religious legalism? If you have, then rise up in your spirit today and break out of the shackles. For freedom Christ has set you free!

    Lynn Fowler 2005

     

     

    Rev. Lynn Fowler is the Founder and International Director of Glory to the King Ministries International and head of Glory to the King Apostolic Network.

    Support GTKMIs programs for Child Sponsorship and Native Missionary Sponsorship.

    Do you need FREE CONTENT for your web site, or in your online group or print publication? Go to http://glorytotheking.com/reprint.html



    Comment (2)

    Mon, May 1st - 2:42AM



    WAITING

    by Rev. Lynn Fowler

    A friend of mine is spending some time in the desert. God has taken him out of a very successful area of ministry, and he is waiting for the Lord to reveal the next steps in his walk with Him. I sympathize with him I've been there myself many times, and it is not a place that I enjoy at all.

    "Wait" is one of those four-letter words that most of us really don't want to hear. We want to be moving, to be seeing results. We want our answers now, if not yesterday.

    Yet so often God's answer to our prayers is "wait". Our reaction, depending on our personality, may be to get mad with God or to get mad with ourselves. In the latter case, we sometimes question our faith ("Don't I have enough?") or our position with God ("Have I done something terrible and now God doesn't want to know me?")

    Neither of these are necessarily true. As we read through the Bible, we find that many of God's saints had to endure a time of waiting, for all sorts of reasons.

    Abraham waited for the promise of a son. His waiting was not always patient, and he tried to help God out and in doing so created a huge problem for the world but ultimately, he held on to the promise. Why did he have to wait so long? Could it be that the very act of endurance increased his faith?

    Joseph also waited for the promise. Unwise in his early sharing of God's revelation, he endured years of set backs before coming into it. Yet those years were a growth time, as Joseph showed over and over again the naturalness of his leadership, rising to the top in whatever situation he found himself. Joseph at 17 could not have coped with the second rank of authority in Egypt, but by the time he was ready for the Prime-Ministership, Egypt was ready for him.

    Moses waited forty long lonely years in the desert before he was able to fulfill his vision of liberating his Hebrew people from the tyranny of Egypt. God needed that long to get Moses own strength out of the way, so that Moses would learn to walk in God's strength and authority.

    Caleb waited for his inheritance. Imagine what it must have been like for Caleb. He had been ready to go in and take the promised land from the first time he saw it, but because of the people's disobedience and lack of faith, they had to wander forty years in the wilderness before they could enter. Every time he looked across the Jordan river, Caleb must have thought to himself, "There's my inheritance over there. If it weren't for this lot, I'd be there now!" Yet he held on to the dream, and when the people finally entered Canaan, he did not hesitate to approach Joshua and claim his promise.

    In fact, even God waited. The plan for man's salvation was in place before ever man fell into sin, but God waited for the "fullness of time", the time when all things would come together to make it the right time for the manifestation of the Son. Now He waits again, for the sin of man to reach its fullness, so that no one can ever accuse Him of being unjust in His judgment.

    Waiting may be to build our faith, it may be to purify us, it may be to allow other people or the circumstances to come to the place where they need to be, it may be to bring us to a place where we are more interested in our personal relationship with the Lord than we are in whatever it is that we are seeking. Sometimes it may even be simply to give us a "breather" before we move on to a new and very busy stage of our lives.

    Can we speed up the wait? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. If we are waiting for others to come into line, all we can do is pray that it will happen swiftly. Perhaps the best thing we can do is to concentrate on seeking God's face, and allow Him to work it all out in His time.

    Whatever way you cut it, that means waiting.

    (c) Lynn Fowler 2006.

     

     

    Rev. Lynn Fowler is the Founder and International Director of Glory to the King Ministries International and head of Glory to the King Apostolic Network.

    Support GTKMIs programs for Child Sponsorship and Native Missionary Sponsorship.

    Do you need FREE CONTENT for your web site, or in your online group or print publication? Go to http://glorytotheking.com/reprint.html



    Comment (2)


    About Me

    Name: Lynn Fowler
    ChristiansUnite ID: revlynn
    Member Since: 2005-12-12
    Location: , Australia
    Denomination: Pentecostal
    About Me: Founder and International Director of Glory to the King Ministries International.

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