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Initial Steps to Discipleship 02: How to Be a Good Copier

Alphabet Writing Practice Sheets that will complement Jolly ...

Do not be lazy, be a follower (Hebrews 6.12)

That verse is a very specific instruction for us to be followers of others. To copy others. We spoke in our first post that the foundation of discipleship is to copy others. The Bible has loads of examples of people copying others, and we can copy them! We can copy others as they copy others and get better at copying by copying others who copy well!

I want to help you develop your skills and abilities in copying others, here are some great keys to being an expert copier of others:

  1. Copy God! The Bible tells us to be followers of God (Ephesians 5.1). So the first person you copy is God. You look at God and look at how He loves others, how He treats others with grace and compassion. And you copy that. You look at Jesus dying on the cross, extending forgiveness to the people who killed Him. Copy that. You look to Jesus taking our place and dying our death because of His deep, powerful love. Copy that! You copy God when you walk in love! A lot of Christians do not know that you can copy God, they think they are so far away from God that is impossible, but it is not – you can love like God, you can care for people like God, you can forgive like Jesus, you can fellowship with people like the Holy Spirit would! That is copying God and you do that and you will be a disciple indeed!
  2. Copy the person who copies Jesus! Paul said “be a follower of me, even as I follow Christ” (1 Cor. 11.1). Paul told the church – copy me guys. I am a good person to copy – then he added the caveat – as long as I am following Jesus. Sadly, a lot pastors are not copying Jesus. Some are copying businessmen, some are copying motivational speakers, some are copying politicians, some are copying satan! A lot of pastors are spending the majority of their time reading books by secular millionnaires, but they should be reading the Bible more! They should be copying Jesus. But when you find someone serious about copying Jesus, do yourself a favour and copy them!
  3. Copy the people who copy the people who copy Jesus! In Php. 3.17 Paul says “pattern your life after my life, and learn from those who follow my example”. In other words “copy me, and copy those who copy me”. As a new Christian, I read a lot of Kenneth Hagin and it affected me deeply. I wanted to be able to teach like him and copy him. There was a small problem with me copying him – he was with the Lord. But I found out Kenneth Copeland spent a long time copying Kenneth Hagin, so I copied Kenneth Copeland copying him. Now I have a few people I know well who knew Kenneth Hagin and copied him, and as I copy them, I see myself moving into that kind of teaching and miracle ministry! You can follow me, but as the Tree of Life Family grows maybe you don’t know me that well, so copy the pastors and elders and leaders and people who are copying me.
  4. Copy a group of people! Paul told the Thessalonians “you became followers of us” (1 Thess. 1.6). The “us” was Paul and his team. You can copy a whole team of people, copy a whole church. You can find a group of Christians around you who all copy each other. That would be encouraging for all of you! I want to dream big like Andrew Wommack so I copy him a lot, but I also copy the preachers he knows and spends time with, I copy Greg Mohr, Greg Fritz, Jerome Fernando, Arthur Meintjes and others. It’s an “us”, and we can all have an “us” to copy – it will make us better disciples.
  5. Copy delegates! Paul told the Corinthians to copy him, and then said “for this reason I have sent you Timothy” (1 Cor. 4.16). Paul sent Timothy to Corinth so that people could copy Timothy and therefore copy Paul. Paul wanted the Corinthians to grow up and the quickest way to mature and catch up was copy him. He couldn’t go so he sent Timothy, because if you copy Timothy, you copy Paul and you copy Jesus. A lot of us struggle to copy a human, but that is how God set up New Testament discipleship. A lot of us really struggle to copy the number 2 guy, but that is also how God set up New Testament discipleship. A lot of times people do not grow as Christians as they will not copy a human or at the least only copy the top person in a group or organization or ministry. Anyone who is too big to copy someone is never going to grow. Anyone who is too big to copy a delegate will equally never grow.
  6. Copy people with faith and patience (Hebrews 6.12). When you are watching someone to copy them, the two main things you should look for is faith and patience. Faith is trusting God and patience is consistency. When I spent time with Dave Duell, he trusted God so beautifully and was totally consistent in his walk with God. That I watched over and over, and copied. Robert Maasbach is the same, full of faith and patience. It is faith and patience that gave someone the fruit you want! Do you want to learn to copy someone? Look to their faith and patience and copy that. This week I heard Riley Stephenson speak, and I like copying Riley because he gets results. As he started to talk about the power of God’s Word, I realized that Riley really really expects God’s Word to always work when you share it with people. I was watching his faith, because that is what you must do when you copy someone – watch their faith and patience and copy that. That same Scripture tells us not to be lazy when we copy people. Laziness is often why we do not copy another person. A lot of people look to the grace on my life and say “you have a lot of grace on your life”, that’s true, but watching my grace will not help you be a better disciple – watch the faith and the patience I have, that will help you be a better disciple.
  7. Copy your church. In 1 Thess. 2.14, Paul tells the Thessalonians to “become followers of the churches of God”. In other words, to copy the church. You need to be in a church and you need to copy the church. Study the church, think about it, look at how it does good things. and copy it!

It takes effort to copy others, I know it. It takes some time, some energy and for you to be humble and diligent to copy. A lazy, proud man will never be good at copying. But as we copy others, we become great disciples and the doors for all sorts of success start to open to us.

Initial Steps to Discipleship 01: Learning to Copy

Curbing copying in tests, exams | Deccan Herald

Jesus told us that we need to both be disciples and make disciples. I see a lot of people today doing a lot of activity, but not doing the main thing – being and making disciples. So, in the next few posts I want to go right back to the basic, initial steps of discipleship. And the most basic of the basic steps is you have to learn how to copy someone else.

That’s all discipleship is when you take all the religious and all the theological stuff away, copying someone else. The Greek word for disciple is mathetes, which is the word for an apprentice. When a carpenter or plumber would take on an apprentice, the first thing the apprentice had to do, before anything else was watch their master, and learn to copy them.

The art of discipleship begins with copying. The art of discipleship is you copying someone else who knows more than you. Imitiation, emulation. Trying to be like someone. Doing what they do, the way they do it. Unless you look like a clone of that person you have not been a good disciple. Now there is a place later on for being your own man, I agree with that, but you have to start somewhere and this is where. You become a twin, a double of your master. There really is no other way forward.

Copying someone else is not something you need special training in, people fail to do it because they lack the character and humility to copy someone else. But when you were a child you copied others all the time, you copied speaking and walking, and running and dancing, and thinking. You did maths by copying the teacher, you learned to write by copying writing. And you learned loads as a child, you moved forward in leaps and bounds. You have never learned a language as quickly as you did as a toddler – because you were humble enough to copy others.

You know the wealthiest nations and people in the world? They are all excellent copiers. Whenever one nation did something good, the nations that copied benefitted, whether we are talking about roads, the printing press, a mobile phone network, a system of banking, military equipment and strategy. How do you catch up with people more advanced than you? Copy!

Look at nations that have only recently got wealthy – South Korea for an example – what did they do well? Copy! They learned how to copy, they made imitations. A Hyundai looks and drives in a very similar way to a Toyota because the Koreans learned to copy! They copied and copied to catch up and now they are innovating and developing and even surpassing the people they copied. But they would not be able to surpass anyone they did not first copy. A lot of us cannot be world changing Christians because we will never surpass anyone because we are not humble enough to copy someone.

Did you know Jesus encouraged people to copy him? Jesus took a bunch of wild fishermen and tax collectors and turned them into apostles leading the church into revival through letting them copy him. It was how He did everything, and so what makes us think He has changed? He is still behind copying today. Whenever Jesus wants you to know something, He brings someone into your life to copy. I needed to know how to flow in the gifts and heal the sick. Jesus gave me Dave Duell to copy. I needed to know how to pastor with sweetness and grace. Jesus gave me Robert Maasbach to copy. I needed to know how to dream far bigger than I have ever dreamed before. Jesus gave me Andrew Wommack to copy.

The art of discipleship is the art of copying. You see someone and you admire their faith, their love, their commitment, their wisdom. That connection is not by accident, it is Jesus helping you grow, and become a disciple. So, copy that person. Become a clone of them, become a replica! By copying you will catch up quickly and be able to do everything Christ has for you to do.

Think about this:

  1. Who around you should you be copying right now?
  2. What is stopping you from being a copycat?
  3. What benefits will you gain from copying that person?

Use those questions to lift your imagination and lead you forward.

Get Beyond the End of Your Nose 06: Be the Good Samaritan


In Luke 10.25-37, Jesus tells what might be the most famous parable in the Bible, the parable of the good Samaritan. The reason the parable is so popular is that it teaches us such a powerful lesson – we need to care about others. We need to go and do likewise – we need to be Good Samaritans in our everyday lives, not just concerned with people who look like us or worship like us, and we need to care about others.

I believe that Christians are still passing by people that they need to stop and help. They need to have a heart that feels the needs of others, an eye that notices those lying by the roadside and they need a wallet that doesn’t just spend all its money on itself and its needs and wants.

The priest and the Levite both saw the man, but they did feel any empathy. They did not see him with eyes of love, they were still in their hearts looking at their to-do list, their love of themselves led to them ignoring the needs of others.

But the Good Samaritan did not put his journey above the needs of others. He put the needs of others above his need to get his journey done. We need to be people prepared to deviate from our busy lives, or even our holidays to help others. I meet plenty of people who never have any money to help others, but they never lack money to go on expensive trips.

The Good Samaritan used his oil and his wine to help others, he didn’t bathe in it all, and didn’t drink all the wine himselves. I guarantee there are people out there who need some of your wine, and some of your oil. You need to start thinking of others.

Now the greatest need of the world is what? The oil of the Holy Spirit and the wine of God’s love! Nothing can save this world from hell apart from the love of God – we need to share our wine with others, we need to share our church with others, we need to share the gospel with others. We need to share our Jesus with others!

And your Christian friends, they need some of your oil. We need to flow in the Holy Spirit and bring life to people. We want to move in the presence of God – it is the presence of God that can change lives, it can reveal keys to life, it can take us to a higher level, it can lift us. We can share our life with others and help them.

People have been beaten up, wounded and left for dead by life and these people – these others are crying out for others to help them. You can be those others to them!

If you feel the Holy Spirit is telling you and leading you to care for others and calling you to commit to be a Good Samaritan, here are some key facts about being a Good Samaritan:

  1. The Good Samaritan never made a single excuse. Well, I am too busy, I bet that guy on the ground deserved it, he must have done something terrible, I have some many important things to do. I can’t help, who am I to do something about it. We must eradicate excuses from our heart and be willing to stop and help the hurting.
  2. The Good Samaritan did not care about danger. It was an area with bandits around, they could have attacked a vulnerable man helping others, but he risked his life to help the man. We need to think about that – maybe the Lord is leading you to go to another country, to take a risk and go to the end of the earth.
  3. The Good Samaritan paid a great price to help others. He gave up his oil and wine to help others – that costs money. He spent money on helping – there is always a financial cost to helping the lost! Any evangelism will cost money, and when you first give up money to help someone – that is the start of your ministry! That is when you really become a Good Samaritan.

I believe today the Holy Spirit is using this post to speak to you about someone – maybe someone unsaved, maybe someone blind, maybe someone poor, maybe someone beat up by life, maybe someone who needs a lot of help. Whoever it is, do not walk by on the other side, because God is about to use you to help someone and change someone’s life!

Angels of God 01: There are Good Angels!

angel in Spanish | English-Spanish translator | Nglish by Britannica

There are good angels. That is where I want to start this series. There are good angels. It seems that charismatics know so much about demons but not much about angels, but two-thirds of the angels stayed good and stayed on God’s side and those angels can freely move from earth to heaven.

Did you know though that even the best angel is nothing compared to Jesus? Hebrews 1.4 says that Jesus is so much better than the angels. So, do not start worshipping angels, do not let them take the place of Jesus in your life. But I do think the church does need to be aware of these angels.

They are spirits (Hebrews 1.7) and they are ministering spirits (Hebrews 1.14) – that makes them servants. They are spiritual beings, invisible, intangible, but they are in the room with us right now to serve us, to help us, to minister to us!

The ministry of angels did not end in Bible days, there are still angels around today. They still serve today.

Now yes there are bad angels, they fell with satan (Revelation 12.9) and were booted out of heaven. But let’s focus on the angels that didn’t right now:

They are created beings. They are not eternal like God. They were created by God. They are not people. The media likes to suggest that when we die we become angels, no – you are not angels now and you will not become one when you die. That’s not a Bible thing.

Angels are servants, and they are there to serve us, that means they have to do what they are told. Servants do not have the right to make their own choices, and nor do angels. Satan messed up by making his own choice – he wanted to decide where he would put his throne. He forgot he was a servant, he had no choice where his throne was, he should have just been grateful to get a throne.

Angels that didn’t fall, they kept obeying orders – they only speak the Word, they only do the Word, they only stand for the Word. They stand around you waiting for you to speak the Word then they help it come to pass! Those angels didn’t rebel against God and His grace!

Next time – we will discuss the Adam-angel connection in the garden. Look forward to it!

Get Beyond the End of Your Nose 05: Even Tax Collectors Love Themselves!

All Saints Tullylish on Twitter: "Above all, love each other ...

One of the things that we see whenever we look at the life of Jesus is that he loved others. He loved people different from himself, he loved people not like him, he loved people who hated him.

Anyone can love their wife, their children, their husband, their parents. Some people love their gran and grandad, and aunty. Some people love their tribe, their extended family, their people. But Jesus Christ loved everyone. Jesus Christ loved those trying to please Him and He loved those who hated Him, He loved the most wicked man on the planet, and He loved people who betrayed Him, He loved the people who looked like Him and the people who didn’t. This love for others is what makes Jesus absolutely unique, it is what makes Him different from selfish humans and their limited love.

The Church has sadly not flourished in areas where it has not loved others. And this is something we need to do – we need to stop being selfish, stop just loving our church tribe, and love everyone. We need to stop being self-centred, self-obsessed and just plan selfish. Other religions make headway ahead of us in some places because we do not love others!

We need to be like Jesus and love others. We need to get beyond the end of our own noses and start loving other people. We need to grow the church by loving others. We need to be like God – He loved the whole world so much He gave up Jesus to die for them. God was thinking about others. God loves others, and God has won many sons and daughters to Himself.

God loved the world and that love manifested when He sent His son to serve the world. One of the key ways we can show love to others is to serve them. Jesus served, He did not come to be waited upon hand and foot, He came to serve others. He came to minister to others. He came to help others. He came to serve others. He came to take God’s love and power and share it with others. Serving others is the way we love others. Serving others is the key to greatness. It is difficult for us to realize how important this is, but serving others opens the door to solve all your personal issues, it takes your mind off your issues, it opens the door to the real world in which people have big problems and you can serve them and love them.

Opening your heart to serve others helps you put your tiny problems in context. Most people in the West magnify their own problems, because they do not serve others. But you start loving others and serving others, it stops you being so spoiled. It stops you thinking about yourself, it stops you thinking about little things and helps you start thinking about the greatest things of all – helping others, loving others and serving others.

Jesus never once came to be served, He came to serve. He lived for others. He said that we should not live for ourselves, but live for others (2 Cor. 5.14-15) – how did Jesus live for others – through love and through serving.

Can you see the pattern? Jesus loved others, he served others, he lived for others. We need to model the same pattern. we need that love – and it cannot be constrained according to Paul – we need that attitude too – an attitude of love that cannot be constrained that leads to us serving others and living for others. We cannot be fighting for our rights, we need to be fighting for a place to serve others! That is how Jesus did it, and that is how we should do it.

Get Beyond the End of Your Nose 04: Lost Lives Matter!

Understanding of God's Salvation for Mankind Behind the Parable of ...

We can get so obsessed with the benefits of the gospel – we travel far and pay a lot of money to preachers to tell us we are blessed, healed, righteous – and we are all those things, but the church must exist for the lost. Pastors need to lead the way in this – are you standing week after week in front of overfed sheep and not doing anything to equip and prepare and plan and structure church to be reaching the lost? When was the last time you handed your pulpit over to an evangelist?

Sadly one of the reasons that so many pastors cannot do this is the rise of spoiled sheep – they want the whole service to be about them! They don’t want to praise Jesus, they want to sing about their identity (nothing wrong with either of those, but if all you do is the latter, there’s a problem!), they don’t want to hear a sermon on praying for the lost or sharing their faith – don’t you know that’s legalism and they are under grace?! We need to as churches exist for the lost! Some Christians are so far from thinking of the lost and so self-obsessed they do not even go to church! That’s the most selfish a Christian can be – not going to a church. How can you help a lost person on your own? How can you bring them into an experience of corporate worship and being equipped if you are not? That’s not grace you not going to church, it’s doubt and unbelief.

We have to realize that lost lives matter! They do not know Jesus, and are not heading for eternity in heaven with Jesus. They need to be reached with the good news. Jesus came for them and we should be like Jesus.

I had an email a short while ago from a pastor, he was upset that I was running a network of six churches, for some reason, maybe envy, I don’t know. I said that his church had more assets and more people than mine, and he could easily plant more churches. He said “I just don’t have the drive that you do, and I don’t want to go to small places like you do”. Now maybe he is just staying in his lane and maybe he isn’t called to plant more churches, but on the other hand, maybe he is waiting for a “call” that will never come. You do not need a call to go into all the world and make disciples, and you do not need a brain to know the best way to make disciples is plant churches.

We want to be like Jesus we need to come that people might have life! That is what Jesus did, isn’t it (John 10.10)?! Jesus came to bring life to people – and as His ambassadors that is what we should do! Think of ways you can share the good news with others. Think of how you can bring people to church, think about how you can welcome new people in church, think about how you can bring life to people – the gospel, the grace of God, the grace of healing to people! We need to be like Jesus – and bring life to others, especially the lost. Let’s not feed the well-fed all the time, but also feed the hungry.

Get Beyond the End of Your Nose 03: Be More Like Jesus!

Jesus loved being human! — Payton Minzenmayer

One of the main reasons Jesus did not go immediately to the cross when he came to earth was to hang around and train and teach us how to treat other people. The basic default of humanity is to love yourself. But we need to love our neighbour too, and one of the best way to learn to love our neighbours is to look at the way Jesus loved people.

Your neighbours are the others that William Booth was talking about – you have to learn how to love them! God has called you to care for more than just yourself – He has called you to care for others too.

And Jesus said to love others the way you love yourself. That’s a great way to help you think through how to think about others. Most people want to improve themselves, and so think about the ways you are thinking of improving yourself, and think about putting some time and effort into making those things happen to yourself.

Jesus thought about other people – He thought about blind people, deaf people, lost people, hurting people. He thought about people from other nations, He thought about sick people. Jesus was not consumed with self-pity and self-this and self-that, he was consumed with the thoughts of others. You know in today’s day and age, it is hard to find people who are thinking of others. Most people are thinking about themselves – what will people think of me, what will this do to my reputation, my future, my income? And base all their actions based on that.

This week I got a few people tell me I was very bold to address certain issues going on in our nation. It’s not boldness, and I am not trying to blow my own trumpet, but I love the people who are deceived and who are going astray from living a life of victory far more than I love myself. I will do what is right because I want to help others and what happens to me is not so big in my mind. Dave Duell really taught that to me, that’s how he lived and he inspired me to do the same.

Sadly, I have also met ministers not like Dave, and they only do good to furnish their pockets or get a better tax break, or make a show. A lot of people do good for show. We need to not just do things for others but genuinely love them.

It is no wonder that things are happened that are destructive, as people do not really care for others. But we have the spirit of Jesus inside us and four books about Jesus that should lead us to a better place. Look what Paul says in Philippians 2:

4 Don’t look out only for your own interests, but take an interest in others, too.

You must have the same attitude that Christ Jesus had.

We need to have the attitude Christ had – take an interest in others. Right now, think about something you want, and try to think about how to get it to someone else. Think about something in your life you are grateful for and try and get it to someone else! Think about others, take an interest in others. Deliberately plan how to be a blessing to others.

The next time you go to church, don’t think about you and what you want and what song you want and what you want the pastor to say, but think about others. What would they need? A nice welcome? Someone to take them out to lunch? Someone might need a baby sitter in the week, someone might need someone to come round and mow their lawn, your pastor might need to hear your testimony, the usher might need a big thank you from you. Have a think about it, show some interest in others.

Get Beyond the End of Your Nose 02: Do Not Promote Yourself!

What Is the Importance of Self-Promotion? | Grammarly

Jesus told us that to follow Him we would have to deny ourselves. It amazes me how much selfish ambition that still exists in Christians, how much they want to promote themselves above the message, above the Word, above their precious brothers and sisters in Christ. They live on roller-coaster bouncing from envy to strife and back to envy again. One of the major roots of this is self-promotion.

The greatest key to a joyous life is this – learn to promote and exalt and lift up others. You do that and you will open the doors to blessings greater than you can ever imagine.

At the end of the day you have decisions on a regular basis – shall I promote me, or promote others, shall I do what is good for me, or do what is good for others. If you listen to William Booth’s one word sermon “OTHERS!” you will realize that the greatest life is the one where you live for others.

But so many Christians live for their own interests, live for their own loves, their own enhancement, their own promotion. Today, I want to encourage you to become a promoter of others. Promoting others will produce a richer life than you could ever achieve by self-promotion.

Do you realize that satan lost all of heaven because he promoted himself? This is not a little issue I am blogging about today, this is life or death stuff! Satan should have been at the throne of God exalting Jesus and exalting the Father and exalting the Spirit, but he went and exalted himself. The Scripture says satan said “I will exalt myself” (Isa. 14.13) and “I will exalt my throne” and “I will ascend”. That is not a good place to be.

Adam fell because he wanted to promote himself to the level of God. Adam wanted a promotion so he disobeyed God to get it. He should have been promoting God, and exalting God and thanking God, but he promoted himself, exalted himself and thanked himself, then he helped himself to the forbidden fruit and walked himself out of paradise.

Self promotion cost satan heaven and Adam paradise, so this is important. And satan loves tempting Christians to self-promote because he knows that if you promote yourself into positions, places and with people that God never promoted you into, and you get things that God never offered you, you will be in a mess. Satan knows how badly self-promotion can cost you, so he loves tempting Christians into self-promotion.

Every Christian at some point will be tempted to self-promote. Jesus at the same time gives us opportunities to promote someone else. When you hit that crossroads, satan will be saying promote yourself, and get all that stuff. Jesus is saying “Promote God, promote righteousness, promote the others, promote the kingdom, and I will add these things to you”. Become someone who gets things added to them, rather than a self-promoter. If you seek for things yourself rather than seek the kingdom, and promote yourself rather than promote others you will never enjoy the fullness of life God has for you.

I have seen many men promote themselves in business, and now they are in a dark place financially and in difficulty. Just like Adam they wanted to be something outside of God’s Word and God’s instruction and it never ends well and never leads to paradise. I have seen self promoters in ministry and they can get to a certain level but their workload in maintaining what God did not give them burns them out every time.

Do not waste your time and energy on promoting yourself, that’s my advice to all of you today. Self promotion does not work. Self promotion is building the tower of Babel all over again. Let God promote you and you work on promoting and helping others.

What does the Psalmist say:

For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south. But God is the judge: he putteth down one, and setteth up another. (Psalm 75.6-7, KJV)

Get Beyond the End of Your Nose 01: It’s Not All About You

Koi Reflection: Looking past your nose

General Booth once sent a telegram to every captain in the Salvation Army. He insisted everyone come together in the churches to hear this telegram, and be there when it is read. Salvation Armies across the UK and further afield gathered to read this powerful telegram, sitting in their church halls with expectation for this powerful message from the General. When everyone was ready, the various captains all opened the telegram to tell their people and everyone was shocked. The telegram was not long, it was short. It was actually just one word, in capitals with an exclaimation mark: OTHERS!

The Salvation Army people in all the churches sat there and took it in: OTHERS! God started speaking to people across the Salvation Army and they started to realize afresh that the Christian life is not about you! It’s not all about you, it is about others.

There are other people on the planet than you. It’s not all about you, you should not be living your life for you. You should not be spending all your money on you. You should not just be serving you. You should not just be laying down your life for you. Paul said “Let each of you look not only to his own interests, but also to the interests of others” (Philippians 2.4, ESV). All the blessings and grace you have in your life – that should be used not just for you and is not all about you.

You need to know today that:

CHRIST IS NOT JUST FOR YOU. Other people need Jesus. Right now there are millions of people across planet earth not even close enough to a church to go to church. There are others that the church does not help because the churches around them think just about themselves. Jesus is not just for you! It’s great you love Jesus, it’s great you love worship, it’s great you love singing praises and you love His presence, but please please please realize that Christ is not just for you and so many people do not know Him! They have never heard the gospel! They have never seen the love and power of Christ. Think about and pray about and dream about how you can get Christ to others.

CHURCH IS NOT JUST FOR YOU. I know if you go to Tree of Life you go to a great church, with lots of love and care, and you probably help make that happen too. But church is not just for you – others need to be in the Tree of Life, others need to be cared for by us. All Christians need a church and all Christians need a pastor. It is great to be a Christian, but a Christian in a good church with a good pastor – that is whole different level. So, how can we help other people find church? Tell them about it, recommend it, maybe even pray about being an elder or helping us pioneer a new Tree of Life. I know the church is feeding you well, but how can you help others get fed, because it is not all about you! It’s great you are coming, great you are enjoying the great food we are feeding, the great messages that right now are coming almost daily to you, but do not forget about the others. Take heed of General Booth’s one word telegram: OTHERS! Others need shepherds, help us plant churches in more towns, more cities, more villages, more nations! Others need church, others need shepherds, others need to be discipled!

THE GOSPEL IS NOT JUST FOR YOU! The good news of Jesus Christ is for everyone. How can you take it to others? How can you help others get it? My passion is to go deep with the Tree of Life Family and really build us on the Word of God, but at the same time my passion is to go as far as possible and share the good news with as many people as possible. Others matter, and others need the gospel!

A GREAT SERMON IS NOT JUST FOR YOU! If you heard a great message, share it with people. Let them know about it.

YOUR MONEY IS NOT JUST FOR YOU! You should be tithing, giving offerings and using your money to help take care not just of your things but the things of others!

MIRACLES ARE NOT JUST FOR YOU. Since going on TV, I have found everybody wants their miracle, their healing, their breakthrough, but very few are actively helping others get their miracle. God wants you to be a worker of miracles, not just a recipient of miracles.

BEING FREE TO BE YOU IS NOT JUST FOR YOU. Paul became all things to all men to win them. He didn’t whine about his rights or his freedom, he adapted to the situation as not to offend people or upset them, without compromising the gospel Sometimes people want things so much their way because they have never considered the interest of others.

HAVING PROBLEMS IS NOT JUST FOR YOU. So many Christians are just thinking of themselves and their problems and their issues all the time. But other people have problems too. Some people have bigger problems than you, some people have more complicated problems than you. But most of us are so obsessed with our problems, we do not realize other people are having problems too, and we do not help others with their burdens.

I want to remind you all today we all have problems. We all need some compassion, we all need gentleness. Stop thinking about yourself all the time, and think about others – as you do the love of God will flow through you and start giving you wise ideas on how to help others. It’s going to change everything.

Natural Disasters and the Will of God 12: End of Days


What is the Battle of Armageddon & Is It Around the Corner?

When I start talking about the fact that God is not the Judge any more, that all that God’s justice does is subsumed by love and God’s work of justice in the world is to lay all our sin on Christ so that we can now be made as just, as righteous as He is, soon enough someone will ask a question about end-times.

The traditionally taught picture of God in the end-times, in Daniel’s 70th week, in the great tribulation, makes God out to be a vicious smiter.  To the point where some grace teachers are now teaching that there will not be an end-times, some are going so far as to teach that Jesus has already come back and everything in Revelation is a past event.  That is just foolisness. Jesus Christ did not return in AD70 and you have to mangle His words to teach that.  But that does not mean we do not need to re-examine select passages in Revelation in the light of the love and goodness of God, and so that is what we will do in this post, and we will find out that plagues – in Revelation as well as Exodus – come from satan not Jesus.

Now there is a lot to teach on in the book of Revelation, but my heart here is just to show that God is not the smiter.

Now the main verse that is used to show God is the destroyer in Revelation is found in Revelation 11.18:

And the nations were angry, and thy wrath is come, and the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward unto thy servants the prophets, and to the saints, and them that fear thy name, small and great; and shouldest destroy them which destroy the earth. (Rev. 11.18 KJV)

Now we know God loves planet earth and takes seriously anyone who is trying to destroy it, but can we take this verse at face value that God destroys anyone who destroys the earth?  Now the Greek word here does not mean “destroy” but more literally corrupt and ruin, but it is the same word both times: those who destroy will be destroyed.  You realize that the Bible has a thread of sowing and reaping inside it, you understand the Hebrew thought of John, and you realize that God is not destroying those who destroy the earth, their destroying seed has reaped a destroying harvest.   This ties straight into Galatians 6.8, using the same concept and the same Greek word: those who follow their sinful nature will reap destruction.  When we destroy things or people, we will reap a harvest of destruction upon ourselves.

Most of us do not really consider that because of the cross of Jesus and the care of the Holy Spirit and the continual prayers of the church, many seeds of destruction do not bring an appropriate harvest of destruction on the sower.   However, in the last days, all those harvests are coming in.  Not because God is actively smiting but because He is backing off from the world, and allowing those harvests in.  God did not plant and God is not the source of the harvest!  We planted, and the harvest is the harvest of our destruction.  Romans 1.28 explains clearly how God judges – “God gave them over to a reprobate mind to do things that are not convenient”.  That Greek word gave them over is didomi, which means to grant what is asked, to permit or to allow.  If you consistently choose death, God will let you walk into death.  He is not the source of death, but He will never force you into life if you do not choose it.

In his commentary on Rev. 16.5-6, John Hinds lets us know that God allowed those who persecuted the church to suffer terrible bloodshed, realizing that God is not the one actively punishing.   What is happening in Revelation is the end of a long sowing and reaping issue – Rev. 13.10 concurs with this telling us that “He that leads others captive will be taken captive, he that kills with the sword will be killed with the sword”.  Revelation is the harvest that Jesus tells us in Matthew 13 is the end of the age.

As we have said several times over in this series, the wicked are destroyed because they push God’s grace and glory out of their lives, and God withdraws rather than force Himself on people, and the harvest of their wickedness smacks them in the face.  It is the principle running throughout the whole Bible, and God does not suddenly change after 65 books of being love, and then in the last book become the Almighty Smiter!

Israel suffered when they booted God out of their religion and replaced Him with statues of pagan deities.  Job suffered because God’s protecting hand was pushed away by fear.  The enemy is our destroyer and although he cannot get through the shield of faith, when fear and sin abound, he has found someone he can devour!

Scripture is utterly consistent: God is good and satan is bad.  And one day, this planet will reject God so powerfully, that satan will be permitted to reign.  A planet under satan’s rule leads to death, sin, and tragedy.  God created a paradise for Adam and Eve, Heaven on earth.  Humanity turned the planet over to satan who is trying his hardest to turn it into hell on earth.

Right now, due to grace and mercy, you are not facing the full effects of your sin. No one on the planet is.  God would love to stop all evil, but humanity – who has dominion over the planet – is inviting satan and evil into this planet faster than the people of God are standing against it and being salt and light in the earth.  But the day will come where there is no restraining at all, and that is why we can say God “will destroy them which destroy the earth” and also say strongly that God is not the destroyer.  He is ultimately responsible, but only in that He has stepped aside rather than force Himself on people.  He is not destroying anyone actively, and never has and never will.

In Revelation 7.1 the angels were holding the four winds of the earth that they would not blow.  In other words, God in His grace and goodness was holding back tragedy, storms, earhquakes, storms, violence.  They could not step out of the way and let the harvest of sin flow until the saints were sealed.  How did these angels “hurt” the earth – they merely moved aside and let people face the consequences of their sinful actions.  They let the winds go.

Angels did not smite, they just stopped protecting.  Sin brought on the winds of destruction, not the wrath of God.

Ah, someone will say now – what about the wrath of the lamb?  Well, we will discuss that in our next post.

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