The Breastplate of Righteousness

Now, in terms of identity – and this is the year of identity – the bottom line is this: you must identify yourself as a righteous person.  If you are born again, you are righteous and you have to see yourself as righteous.  If you believe in Christ and His complete work, then right now you are approved by God, you are right with God, you are accepted by God.  You have free access to God’s favour, God treats you as if you are perfect, He answers your prayers like you have never messed up, He loves you like you never strayed, and He favours you like you always get it right.  There is no waiting for righteousness, there is no working for righteousness – you are right now righteous! 

Romans 3.21 says that a righteousness without the law has now been revealed – this is the great thing that Christ did on the cross – He made you righteous without you having to behave righteous.  You didn’t get it right, but you are right.  That’s good news!  But for some reason Christians struggle to accept this.  We often struggle in the same way as the Galatian church.

Read Galatians 3.1-5.  In Galatians, Paul is telling the church in Galatia that he painted a picture of Christ crucified for them.  He showed them that Christ died on the cross for their sins and all they had to do was believe and receive salvation.  But religion got in the way, and religion tried to add to the simple truth of believing in what Christ has done and added all sorts of works to it.

In Numbers 21.4-9, the people are being attacked by poisonous snakes because of their constant grumbling and complaining.  People are dying horribly due to snake bites, and they come to Moses and ask him to pray.  When Moses prays, God tells him to make a brass snake and put it on a stick.  Anyone who looked at the serpent on the stick was healed and the poison was neutralized, anyone who looked in a different direction died.  Now if you were in that situation, and you knew friends who looked at the serpent and lived and friends who didn’t and died you would go and look at the serpent Moses made.  It’s a no-brainer!  Now, if someone was obstructing your view of the serpent, knowing it would save your life, you would absolutely get them out of the way.

Read John 3.14.  Jesus is saying that He is the real serpent on the stick.  That what Moses did was just a picture of Jesus.  You see on the cross (the stick) Jesus became sin with our sin (2 Cor. 5.21) and became the serpent on a stick.  All we have to do is look at Jesus and realize that He became sin with our sin and that we are the righteousness of God in Him, and all the poison of sin in our life is neutralized by God as we gaze at Him.  It’s that simple.  Becoming a Christian is that simple, and living the Christian life is that simple.

The problem is that many people try to add to the Christian life.  Like the false teachers in Galatia who tried to tell people that to be filled with the Spirit and move in the gifts of the Spirit you had to meet a certain standard of holiness.  Jesus warns us against people who add to the simple gospel as well in Matthew 7.

Read Matthew 7.13-14.  There is a narrow road and a broad road.  I have heard people say the narrow road is when you are really living for God and really doing the things of God, and the broad road is when you go off and live for yourself – in other words, if you don’t live right all the time, you fall off the path and end up in hell.  That’s not what Jesus is saying: He is saying that there is only one place to look if you want the poison neutralized and that’s Jesus.  Just Jesus is your salvation, your healing, your victory and joy.  Just look to Him!  Now – if you add to just Jesus then you make the path broader because you are adding stuff to it – normally rules about how we dress, how we give, how we love, how we are.

Read Matthew 7.15.  After telling us about the narrow path, Jesus tells us to beware of false prophets.  There are always people who are trying to get you to add things to the work of Christ – add your effort and give you laws to obey.   Just like in Galatia, so it is today.  Jesus calls these people false prophets.  People who tell you that you have to obey certain rules to be right with God or have favour with God are false prophets, no matter if they are on Christian TV or seem lovely!  They come in sheep’s clothing – they go to church and look like you, and praise God like you, then they tell you that we haven’t got the full message and you need to add a bit of this or that – rules that take you away from looking to the complete work of Christ.

Read Matthew 7.16-20.  It’s all about fruit!  All false teaching has the following thing in common: they separate the tree from the fruit.  Let’s explain: an apple tree just produces apples – that’s natural for the apple tree.  Pear trees make pears and cherry trees make cherries.  According to Isaiah 61.3, you are a tree of righteousness.  You naturally produce righteousness as a Christian. 

A tree just produces fruit – you cannot sellotape fruit to a piece of wood and call it an apple tree.  Yet that is what we often do with people forcing them to do certain things to be a Christian.  Just get them planted in the Word and they will eventually produce fruit naturally.  Just keep feeding a Christian their identity in Christ and they will eventually bear fruit.

Most of our problems as Christians, and most of our sin is caused by not knowing who we are: not grasping that Christ has made us righteous once and for all.  All gossip is a lack of understanding righteousness – you run down others because you are not confident in who you are.   But you feed on your righteous identity, you study and meditate on the Scriptures you start to become confident in yourself and don’t need to snuff out someone else’s candle to believe that yours is burning bright.  Christians who don’t know their righteousness will never have healthy relationships because everything becomes a game to see who has kept the law the most.   Get off that path – it doesn’t work, and start to rest in your Christ-righteousness.

Read Matthew 7.21.  Jesus said that you will enter heaven by doing His will.  There are two ways we can do His will.  Either keep the law perfectly (and I think we have established that is not going to work) or believe the gospel!  When you believe the gospel you are made righteous (Romans 5.1) and you are right with God.  Lots of people say Jesus is Lord but they have never believed that He sent His Son to make them righteous.  You have to believe that it’s about Jesus and His work. 

Read Matthew 7.22-23.  Never think you are going to heaven because you have worked a miracle or done a good work.  You are going to heaven because Jesus Christ became sin with your sin so you could be the righteousness of God in Him (2 Cor. 5.21).  Not only that you can receive healing, receive prosperity, receive joy, receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit and the gifts of the Spirit not because of your works but because of the work of Christ on the cross.  That’s good news!

Jesus is not the reason for the season…

Every year we get people telling us “Jesus is the Reason for the Season”. It rhymes, it sounds spiritual, but it isn’t true!

Jesus is not the reason for Christmas. Jesus has existed for all eternity as part of the Godhead. The reason the Word became flesh wasn’t for His benefit, wasn’t for His safety, wasn’t for His joy. No – God joined the human race, and submitted Himself to the form and la

ws and life of a human not for selfish reasons, but for you.

You are the reason for the season. Christmas is about a God who saw you could never do enough to impress Him, never be able to earn peace with Him – never even have enough control over your own stinking heart and flesh to be able to try! And God became human, the Word became flesh, baby Jesus was born so that you could have a Saviour who is and was touched with every infirmity, that He would understand your weaknesses, and so He could die as a human and redeem all humanity from the curse of the law.

Christmas is about you. It’s about a God who is not demanding anything from you but who wants to pour His life and righteousness and peace into you. A God who became flesh for you. The angels sang “Peace on earth”. They didn’t sing peace in heaven, because there has always been peace in heaven. Christmas is for us on the earth; it is for you and for me.

Thank you, Jesus!

The Error of Ultimate Reconciliation (Jim Richards)

The Error of Ultimate Reconciliation

by: Jim Richards

Click here to enjoy this video of, The Error of Ultimate Reconciliation, by Allen Speegle and Jim Richards, also available at the end of the article.

George Santayana, the Spanish philosopher once said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it!” Solomon, the wisest man in the world, once said,“That which has been is what will be, That which is done is what will be done, And there is nothing new under the sun” (Eccl. 1:9). Sadly, those who don’t know history are doomed to repeat the failures of the past.

Church history is one of those topics that the “hyper-spiritual” deem to have little value. Putting down the study of church history ranks right up there in the “ignorant Christian” poll with those who boldly declare, “I don’t want to study theology or doctrine; I just want to read the Bible!” Jesus knew the history of His people and He knew the doctrines of the day, as did the Apostle Paul. It was their knowledge of these practical areas that made them so powerful in so many different cultural settings and doctrinal conflicts. This lack of knowledge is the doorway for error to cycle through the Church repeatedly and be welcomed by unsuspecting generations as “new revelation.”

The prophet Isaiah boldly declared, “Therefore my people have gone into captivity, Because they have no knowledge” (Isa. 5:13). While the Spirit-filled movements have introduced incredible truth into the body of Christ, they have, as a whole, been very poor theologians. The inconsistency of doctrine is a major reason Spirit-filled believers can’t get what they believe to actually work in real life. Our covenants are mixed, our doctrine is self contradictory, and we know nothing of how we got where we are! The 21st century church is a breeding ground for doctrinal error – not the kind that simply causes an argument between you and other believers; this is the type of error that could affect every part of your life!

Error, like all trends, tends to circulate every few years. When error emerges those who don’t know history, specifically church history, think they have a revelation. They see it as a “scrumptious morsel,” unaware of the damage it has wreaked in the past. In the race to have the next new revelation some preachers rush to their pulpits, or in the case of traveling preachers, they rush to your pulpit and create havoc in the hearts of believers.

One doctrine that emerges every few years is Ultimate Reconciliation, sometimes called Universalism. Regardless of the name it goes by, its message is the same: everyone is going to Heaven, whether they believe or not. This is an appealing message to people who will not reconcile their life and beliefs with particular aspects of truth. What seems like a message of endless love is actually a message of death, deceit, and depravity.

Years ago I traveled with a man who began the slide into Universalism. At first it seemed as if he was only preaching a mildly irresponsible grace message. People approached me after our meetings and said, “When I hear you preach about grace I believe I can live godly and I’m inspired to godly living. When I hear him preach about grace I feel like it’s just alright to sin.” In time, he was openly declaring that sin had no effect and he began rejecting any portions of Scripture that promoted responsibility and godliness. Ultimately he succumbed to a battle with sin that he no longer chose to resist! The way we know when the message of grace, peace and faith righteousness has gone too far is when they inspire irresponsible living!

All deadly truth has an element of truth; however, that truth is extrapolated into something that is no longer true. Extrapolation is how Lucifer became Satan. He followed a flawed reasoning. (Ez. 28:17) Based on his brightness and splendor he began to build a logic that departed from reality. In the end, he felt he could overthrow the One who gave him his splendor. God has given us grace, love, mercy and the gift of righteousness so we can have the power to live a godly life, not to excuse us from godly living.

Extrapolation is the process of ultimate reconciliation. It starts with some basic truths. First, it capitalizes on God’s unconditional love. It couples that with the fact (and it is a fact) that Jesus died for the sins of the entire world, not for the few. Add this with some humanistic logic that exalts man and his needs above God and His plan, and you have a recipe for devastating error.

Jesus died for the sins of the world, not just for those who would believe and receive, but also for those who would not. (1 John 2:2) God was proactive and preemptive in His limitless love. Because of Jesus becoming the sin of the world, all men were free from the wrath of God. No man in this life has experienced God’s wrath. The apostle John said, In this, the propitiation, we see the love of God”(1 John 4:9-10). Many people respond to His expression of love with love and trust and many others see it as a free pass for irresponsible living.

Everything God offers us must be received, (lambano) taken hold of, by our trust (faith) in God. (Rom. 1:16) Everything of God is given freely, but our personal participation is a choice, thus the idea of free will. The Universalist denies free will and insists that everyone is saved whether they know it or not, whether they want it or not. By lifting a few Scriptures out of context and ignoring dozens more, personal responsibility is glossed over as a moot point!

You see, the Universalists, much like the Spirit-filled community, actually miss the ultimate point: Jesus came so we could know (experience, be intimate with) God. For some, God is just the One we run to when we have needs. We really have no desire to know Him or His ways; we simply want His benefits. It may be this corrupt version of Christianity that creates such a breeding ground for an impersonal faith!

Extrapolation is based on a logic that creates non-existent formulas, “this equals that.” When questioned about the basis of their process of reasoning, it usually comes back to, “That’s what I believe” or “That’s how I see it.” It doesn’t matter how we see it if it’s not supported by the truth of God’s Word. We are called to cast down vain imaginations and reasoning that exalt themselves against the knowledge of God. (2 Cor. 10:4-5) This process is called ‘subjective reasoning’. A reasoning that is based on how it makes you feel regardless of all the other facts. Subjective reasoning places “me” at the center of the equation. I fall prey to the original temptation to be as God and choose good and evil from my own judgments.

One of the well known modern day proponents of Universalism is Carlton Pearson. I met personally with Carlton when he first made his exit from the faith. According to our discussion, his subjective reasoning seemed to peak when he held his newborn baby in his arms and said, “I would never send my child to Hell if he did something wrong.” That very statement, and the doctrine that Carlton had been preaching, made it clear he already had error in his theology. But even if God would do such a thing, who are we to say to the Potter, “You can’t do it that way.”

The Universalists are basically taking a stand that they are more righteous, more compassionate and more merciful than God. They, too, have exalted themselves above God by exalting their own logic and condemning His! It’s in this very attitude that we may see the real root of the problem. We are called to surrender to Jesus as Lord. We are compelled to renew our minds and put on the mind of Christ. It seems that too many seek Jesus as Savior but not as Teacher and Lord.

Failure to cling to Jesus as Lord of our logic leads us down destructive, unfulfilling paths. In the absence of a meaningful relationship, we search for knowledge to give what is missing in our heart. Maybe it is, in fact, the lack of an intimate relationship with God that spills over into an incredible sense of lack and insecurity that spurs the desperate search for something to bring us the peace that only comes through relationship.

It was Mike Williams who introduced, or finally convinced, Carlton Pearson in the doctrine of Universalism. Mike was a long time friend and associate. He is a man I loved deeply and grieved for as he made his departure from the faith. Mike came from a life of homosexuality and at the time he turned to Ultimate Reconciliation, he had fallen back into an immoral lifestyle. As his life degenerated, his message grew more and more compromising.

As someone close to Mike said, “You always know what Mike is going through, he always preaches his life.” And that’s true; Mike’s doctrine changed every time his life changed. When he couldn’t get grace to work in his life, he simply changed his doctrine of grace. Like many, he developed circumstance theology that justified his own life. This is a common tendency among those who lean toward permissive doctrine. They need a “revelation” that justifies their failing life!

In an interview with Allen Speegle, we discussed why grace preachers would be susceptible to the doctrine of Ultimate Reconciliation. It is my observation that there are three primary reasons for this.

  1. First, most grace preachers simply embrace grace as a doctrine, not as a means to a more powerful life. This, of course, means they are not experiencing grace. Grace is God’s power to live in righteousness, to live as it really should be. The doctrine is a sad replacement for the reality! 
    The power of grace is experienced to support the belief of faith righteousness. Faith righteousness began by Jesus obtaining righteousness by His faith; it is brought to fruition by us experiencing that righteousness by faith. As Romans 1:17 says, “It is revealed from faith to faith.” If Jesus’ righteousness is received by faith, then righteousness has to be the object of our faith.

    This brings another basic theological flaw to the forefront. The primary reason for receiving Jesus as Savior and Lord is not just to save us from the penalty of our sin but to save us from the power of sin. We are set free from the power of sin to live a righteous life. It’s in righteousness that we enjoy life as it was meant to be. When we forget the destruction of sin in our lives, we forget why we came to Jesus.


  2. The second reason grace preachers may succumb to this error is that our life often facilitates the need for self-justification. When preachers don’t reach the lost, when they don’t make their churches relevant, when they are seeking to build a ministry before building people, they need a doctrine that justifies the departure from New Testament goals and agendas. You see, it’s not the erroneous doctrine that leads to the compromised ministry and life. No! It’s the compromised life that needs a doctrine to justify itself! 


  3. The third reason is all too common. People who are not experiencing the grace of God, those who do not believe the Gospel of Peace in a way that leads to an intimate love life with God, tend to miss the point. In the absence of a life experience, they think it’s the new revelation that gets people excited about their ministry. They fail to realize the excitement isn’t in the message; it’s in the power of the message. In their shallow insecurity they think they need to be ever finding new revelation to preach to people with itching ears. (2 Tim. 4:3) The preacher who is trying to impress will always end up in error!


The church desperately needs the message of grace, peace and faith righteousness. But we need to live and model this message through our life, our character and our commitment to the true cause of Christ. It’s those who misuse and misapply these cornerstone truths that give the legalists the opportunity to decry the message.

One of the greatest ways you can tell that grace, peace and faith righteousness are no more than a message is when the life doesn’t change. Ultimate Reconciliation misses the point that we have a predestined purpose to be transformed into the likeness of Jesus. (Rom. 8:29) That is our destiny.

Being delivered from wrath and being unconditionally loved doesn’t equate salvation and righteousness by faith; it does, however, facilitate the opportunity. In the absence of fear and in the presence of love we can come unafraid. When we know everything God does is for our good we have every reason to trust and follow Him. If we continue in the same sins as before we knew Jesus, they accomplish the same destruction. That destruction is not the product of God’s wrath; it’s the fruit of sin.

In my meeting with Carlton Pearson and in discussions with Mike Williams and many others who began to follow this erroneous path, I asked the question, “Do you not believe there is any benefit to living a godly life? Do you not see the destruction of sin? If so, then why is the focus of your message the permissiveness of sin?” Paul, Peter, James and John all echoed these sentiments in various terminologies: flee every type of sin, don’t yield to the flesh, don’t use your freedom as an excuse for sin, and don’t suffer for unrighteousness. The message is clear: sin still kills. While the beginning of Ultimate Reconciliation is not a blanket invitation to a reckless life, in the end that is the fruit.

Churches that embrace even the slightest hint of this doctrine lose sight of biblical agendas and ultimately their purpose. The need for relevancy evaporates. The passion to win the lost becomes needless. The value for the most basic ministry needs disappear with the idea that all men are ultimately going to Heaven – so what’s the urgency?

We live in a day when people need God’s power working in them more than ever! The need for Spirit-empowered grace to take us to a life beyond our strength is imminent. We may be in what the Bible calls the “beginning of sorrows”; but whether we are or not, be assured we are living in difficult times, the likes of which the world has never seen. Our nation is disturbingly close to facing the horrors others nations have faced for generations. The church in America isn’t ready! We are poised for a great falling away! The only cure is a Gospel that works – which will require leaders that experience it.

Fresh new revelation doesn’t come because we discover what has never been seen. Revelation is when we look at a truth in a new way, a way that empowers us to live in victory. People don’t need their lives complicated by a lot of new doctrines; they need to know how to get the doctrines we have to work. People need to be led into a relationship with Jesus. They need mentors and models. They don’t need to hear a message of grace; they need to see a lifestyle of grace.

This righteousness of God is by faith from first to last. Jesus obtained it by faith; we take hold of it by faith; and it empowers our life by faith. Inspire people to a better life than they ever imagined – a life of knowing and experiencing God’s love, grace, and righteousness.

Click here to enjoy this video of, The Error of Ultimate Reconciliation, by Allen Speegle and Jim Richards.

Should Christians Celebrate Christmas?

This week, after sending out our weekly Wednesday Wisdom email, someone replied asking the question “does God really want us christians perpetuating an old tradition that is full of pagan influences?”  The implication was that I should not have encouraged Christians to celebrate Christmas.

It’s a good question and it deserves a full, Biblical and considered answer.  No one knows precisely when Jesus was born, although all scholars are agreed it certainly wasn’t in the middle of December.  Some information regarding when Zechariah was serving as a priest seems to lead to the us conclusion Jesus  was born in early September (ironically leading to a conception date of er… about the end of December!).  However, what date you celebrate something is not an issue, as the Queen knows full well!  The issue is whether Christians should celebrate Christmas at all.

I would have three answers for this question.

The first answer is that the first Christmas was celebrated.  I mean it was really wildly celebrated.  Wise men came from overseas to celebrate and worship the Word that had become flesh.  Shepherds came to worship and celebrate.  Angels in their scores turned up and praised and celebrated.  The first Christmas was a time of celebrating the fact that the Word became flesh.

Secondly, the Bible is very clear.  You must never let anyone judge you according to the days you keep (Col. 2.15).  You might think I am a stinky pagan for keeping Christmas but Biblically speaking I don’t care.  It has to be that way because the Bible says so.  If you want a tree, don’t let anyone judge you.  If you don’t want a tree, don’t let anyone judge you.  If you want a holly wreath, don’t let anyone judge you.

Someone might tell you that pagans had trees in their house or pagans had holly wreaths to protect you from demons.  Well, if you think holly protects you from demons you need help.  But putting leaves up in a house to make it look pretty is not a sin, is not pagan and is not a problem.  Man looks on outward things but the Lord looks on the heart.  If you judge someone for having a tree or having a wreath up, you are the carnal one, not the one who has the tree!  If you judge someone for taking their children to the shopping centre to see Santa and get a gift, then you are the worldly one.

Worldliness is not about what you do on the inside it is about the heart.  Fear is worldly.  Shame is worldly.  Sickness and poverty is worldly.  Worldly minded Christians would rather sit in the dark and in the silence rather than sing a few upbeat carols and enjoy the season!  Why?  Fear.  Shame.  Darkness.  Thinking like the world!

We need to be living as lights in the world.  Use Christmas as an opportunity to share the gospel of the Word that has become flesh.  Now if you don’t want to celebrate Christmas, I won’t judge you, but just make sure your motives are pure that you are doing it out of love rather than fear.  Make sure you are not doing it out of a sense of pride to make you feel like a better Christian than someone else.

Thirdly, Christmas is a great time of year to reach out to the community.  I personally believe that Christmas has been designed as a time to be spiritual and full of faith and to impact the community.  It’s the only time of the year you can talk about angels and not have people think you are loopy.  It’s a great time to talk about Jesus because it is in the backs of people’s minds.

Now, of course the devil wants people to be materialistic.  The devil wants people to be carnal.  But he doesn’t care if you are carnal because you drink too much or you are carnal because you drink nothing and hate in your heart anyone who has a glass of wine.  He doesn’t care if you are carnal because you max out two credit cards on Christmas or because you spend nothing on your children and judge and condemn people who buy their children presents.

Just as a personal aside, I buy my children presents all year round.  Just a few weeks ago, I bought my eldest an electric guitar.  I love my children and love giving good gifts to them.  This Christmas it has been quite pleasant: they don’t really know what to ask for, they already have so much!  Saves us a bit of money!  I don’t recommend going into debt for Christmas one bit.

Now as a pastor who has spent a lot of time door knocking and handing out tracts and invites in the street, inviting people to church gets a certain response.   Inviting people to a carol service gets a MUCH BETTER response.  Christmas opens people’s hearts to the church.  Which means you have more opportunities to get the gospel to them.  Which I like!

So, I say: enjoy Christmas.  Have a great time.  And as I said in my email on Christmas:

When you celebrate Christmas remember Jesus has already saved you from your sins.  It is not a future event anymore – it is a done deal.  Jesus Christ paid the full price for every sin you have ever committed and for every sin you will ever commit.

You are forgiven, redeemed, righteous and pure.  You are holy and clean and blessed and filled.  You have the spirit of Christ inside you.  God Himself lives inside you.  You have peace with God.  You have been declared righteous.  You have been made righteous.  You have been saved from your sins.

Every time you hear the name Jesus this week translate it: “The One Who Has Completed Rescued Me From my sins.”

You are free from the penalty of every single sin you have ever committed and ever will commit.  You are eternally redeemed.

Sin has been completed and totally dealt with.  You don’t need to be afraid of God.  He is not angry with you, He is not at war with you.  He is not upset with you.  He loves you and He likes you.  He is your Father and is rejoicing over you with singing and dancing.

It doesn’t matter if you went and wasted your life in sin, He simply wants you to fellowship with Him and give you a robe and a ring.

It doesn’t matter if you publically denied Jesus in front of everyone.  In weeks you could be preaching at the next revival.  That’s how Jesus restored Peter.  Why?  Because on the cross Jesus totally dealt with every sin Peter every committed and every would commit.

And Jesus has totally dealt with your sin.  This Christmas enjoy His love and goodness.

Healing and the Anointing (And A FREE BOOK!)

The gifts of healings are part of the ministry of the Holy Spirit and they are awesome to watch.  People being spectacularly healed before your very eyes, people receiving the anointing of God in a tangible way and then being set free from horrific malignant diseases.  Awesome!

This weekend we are going to watch Melvin Banks minister through the gifts of healings and it is going to be wonderful.  Come and see the miracles if you can!

But the gifts of healings often bring confusion to the church as often people leave healing meetings not healed.  The person in the seat next to them was powerfully touched and healed, but they were bypassed.

This is due to the fact that the gifts of healings are as the Holy Spirit wills.

But do not be in despair if this happens to you.  The gifts of healings are an accelerant: they are like petrol on a bonfire, they make everything burn quicker, they make the healing come quicker.

But even without the gifts of healings – if you stand on the WORD you will be healed.

If God did not heal you using the gifts of healings, don’t despair, get excited!

This means that God TRUSTS you to stand on His Word.  And as you stand on the Word of God, the power of the Holy Spirit inside you will manifest and your healing will come.   You are healed by His stripes and as you listen to that and say that and visualise that, your healing will come.

Then you will know God as Healer in a way you would never know Him if you had a healing through the gifts.  Watch carefully at healing meetings and you will see it is the non-Christians and the baby Christians that get healed through the gifts of healings.  You are expected to grow up and stand up for your own healing.  You have to reach a stage where you welcome men of God, but you don’t need them because you have become a man (or woman!) of God yourself!

For more Biblical teaching on this topic, and to hear Pastor Benjamin’s testimony of how God led him to stop looking for men of God and start being a man of God, purchase his book Rivers and Wells, or email us on THIS WEEK ONLY for a free copy of the PDF download.

Wonderful News Healing Crusade

Wonderful News Healing Crusade!

Melvin Banks has seen the deaf hear, the lame and crippled walk and lives completely changed by the power of God for over 40 years of ministry.

He is known throughout the world as an evangelist who preaches the Word of God with honestly, simplicity and integrity.

And now – for three days only – he will be in Dagenham with Tree of Life Church.  This is a sign of divine favour on our church and we are believing for awesome signs and wonders and salvations for these days.

Saturday 21st August 7pm
Sunday 22nd August 9.30am

Both these services are in Dagenham Park Leisure Centre.  For directions click here.  All services are free of charge, and all are welcome.  To reserve seats please contact us.

In addition, on Thursday 9th September at 7pm, Melvin Banks is joining us in Harmony House for a Special Free Buffet.  Again, all are welcome – but it would be preferable to call and let us know if you are coming for the purposes of preparing appropriate amounts of food!

Protected by Love (Kenneth Copeland)

Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven.

– Matthew 5:44-45

Love your enemies…turn the other cheek…to most people that sounds like a pretty weak way to handle somebody who’s causing them trouble. But, the truth is, it’s the most powerful way there is. It’s the way Jesus did it– and His way never fails.

Do you remember when Jesus went back to Nazareth and the religious folks were angry with Him and wanted to push Him off a cliff? What happened? He just walked right past them, and no one could lay a finger on Him. Another time they decided to stone Him, and He didn’t retaliate that time either. He just walked off. No one could touch Him.

When Jesus walked through that crowd, He wasn’t afraid. He knew they couldn’t hurt Him because He was walking in the love of God.

When Jesus said to turn the other cheek, He didn’t mean for you to stand there and have your brains beaten out. He meant for you to stand there in love and in faith believing that the protecting power of God that accompanies that love would keep you safe. He meant for a man to swing at you and not be able to hit you!

The story of Nicky Cruz as recorded in David Wilkerson’s book, The Cross and the Switchblade, is a perfect example of that. Nicky was reputed to be the most ruthless gang leader of his time. Yet, when David Wilkerson stood in front of him, telling him about Jesus, Nicky was totally unable to hurt him. He thrust his knife at David several times. But every time he did, David just said, “Nicky, you can cut me into a thousand pieces and every piece will still say, ‘I love you and God loves you.'” Because of love, Nicky couldn’t get his knife close enough to David to hurt him. A supernatural force always stopped it short.

“But I don’t have that kind of love!”

Yes, you do. Romans 5:5 tells us that the love of God is shed abroad in your heart by the Holy Spirit. All you have to do is make the decision to be motivated by that love rather than your own human feelings.

My friend, love never fails! You don’t have to be afraid of failure anymore. In fact, you don’t have to be afraid of anything. If you’re walking in the love of God, you’re living the most powerful kind of life there is.

Scripture Reading: Matthew 5:38-48

The Naked devil

Angels and Demons – Tree of Life Church London

One of the greatest dangers for the charismatic church at the end of the age is an obsession with the devil – that the church magnifies the devil and minimizes God and His greatness.

In this powerful and Biblical message, Benjamin shares what the devil really is and who we really are and what spiritual warfare really is. This message will deal with some of the charismatic traditions that steal our freedom in Christ and our victory.

Angels and Demons – New Sermon

New Sermon – Angels

Angels and Demons – Tree of Life Church London

In this message Benjamin teaches from the Scripture about what angels are and how humans encounter angels, all the time calling for a balance on this controversial topic and ensuring that we use the Bible as our measuring guide and exalt Jesus above all angels. Benjamin then candidly shares his personal experiences with encourage and inspire the church of God.

Note: please excuse the background noise in this sermon. Firstly, Pastor Ben’s three year old daughter had just come from a birthday party and was very excitable. Secondly, at one stage some youths outside the hall got into a ruckus and we all ran outside to make sure they were okay!