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Romans 1.9

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For God is my witness, whom I serve with my spirit in the gospel of his Son, that without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers;

Let’s start with what Paul says first: he serves God with his spirit. This means that Paul is always serving God because he serves God from the inside.

He doesn’t need a crowd to listen to him to serve God, he can serve God chained up in prison. Sometimes we think that we have to do great things on earth to impress God – but God is impressed by our spirit, by us worshipping, praising and praying for people. Also – if you do mighty public works without your spirit being humble and pure before God you are wasting your time – you gain nothing (see 1 Cor. 13).

You can serve God right now – lift your hands to heaven and thank Him for making a wonderful day, pray for someone who has persecuted you and ask God to bless them and show them honour, then speak life over your family and your church. How easy it is to serve God!

Paul says that without ceasing he prayed for the Roman church. This word without ceasing is adialeiptōs in the Greek. This word is only used four times in the New Testament:

Romans 1.9 – without ceasing I make mention of you always in my prayers

1 Thess 1.2-3 – We give thanks to God always for you all, making mention of you in our prayers; Remembering without ceasing your work of faith, and labour of love, and patience of hope in our Lord Jesus
Christ, in the sight of God and our Father;

1 Thess 2.13 – For this cause also we thank God without ceasing

1 Thess 5.17 – Pray without ceasing

Notice that this word is only used in the Bible in the context of our relationship with God. We should pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5.17), and incase we dismiss this command as an ideal and not reality Paul says clearly in Romans 1.9 that he prayed without ceasing for the Roman church.

Now this does not mean that Paul prayed non-stop for the Roman Christians. It does not mean that whenever you found Paul he was lying prostrate praying in tongues for the Romans.

Firstly, Paul slept, he ate, he drank, he was a worker, he was a preacher. You cannot pray non-stop and nor can I. There is no Biblical command to pray non-stop.

The devil likes to get in to these sorts of commands and condemn us for not praying enough. He misquotes the Scripture to make you feel like rubbish.

Listen when God convicts us it is always three things:

1) Redemptive
2) Specific
3) Achievable

If the Holy Spirit says “Every day before you leave the house pray in tongues for 20 minutes” that is probably God because it is redemptive (it is something positive), it is specific (you can easily tell if you have done it or not) and it is achievable.

The devil is the one that says “you must pray more” – he wouldn’t dare tell you when to pray or give you a method of prayer or a goal, he just wants you to feel like rubbish. You must be more loving is another one of his phrases.

You cannot pray non-stop so stop feeling guilty that you don’t.

Let me explain what without ceasing means: it means without an intermission. Have you ever been to the cinema (I know all you holy people have never been to the cinema!) when there is a long film with an intermission: it is a break where something else happens.

You should pray without a break where something else happens. It means without an interruption to your prayer. Look at Strong’s Concordance:

Adverb from adialeiptos; uninterruptedly
When you read without ceasing in your Bible, translate it in your mind to without interruptions.

When you pray, you should be operating in faith and love. What praying without interruptions means is that just because you are not in your prayer time, don’t drop the faith and the love.

Let me try and make it practical for you so you can grasp this. Imagine you are praying for one of your children. You know that prayer must be in faith and you know that faith comes from hearing the Word so you search the Scriptures for a Scripture for your child. Maybe your child is having difficulties or starting to rebel.

Imagine you find Isaiah 54.13, which says great shall be the peace of thy children. So you go to prayer:

Father, thank you for Bob. Thank you that your Word says that His peace shall be great. He is not controlled by fear but by peace. He shall not have a broken life, but a peaceful life. He is a man of peace, and brings peace with him. Amen.

Now to pray for Bob without ceasing doesn’t mean that you pray non-stop, no drinking, no thinking, no sleeping, no anything that stops you praying and never doing anything else. Imagine if Paul prayed for the Romans like that and if pray without ceasing meant that, then Paul would never have prayed for the Thessalonians because that would mean to cease praying for the Romans! This is clearly not what pray without ceasing means.

To pray for Bob without ceasing means that after you have finished praying, you don’t phone Sister Bucketmouth and say “Man, what am I going to do with Bob? I can’t get a handle on him, it’s getting worse.” If you say contrary to your prayer, you have interrupted your prayer. You have failed to pray without interruption.

You have interrupted your prayer of faith with doubt, fear, worry and unbelief. You are undoing your prayer!

Listen: Paul prayed (and gave thanks – read Romans 1.8 and 9 together) for the Romans without ceasing. When he finished praying for them and thanking God for them, he did not go:

“Well, those Romans, it is so tough being church in Rome, I don’t know how they have made it. I hope they keep making it, I better go there and sort them out… you no what kind of mess they will be in without me…”

No – he refused to interrupt his prayer. He didn’t pray for his bills to be met on Sunday and get up Monday and worry and fret – he never interrupted his prayer. He didn’t pray in faith for the church to be revived and then tell his friend what a bunch of unspiritual fools they were down at the church as soon as he said amen.

Paul didn’t quit being thankful and appreciative for the church when he finished praying. He didn’t take faith and love into the prayer closet and leave them in there.

No – God was and is His witness, he refused to interrupt his prayers.

My encouragement to you today is this:

Pray without interruption (1 Thessalonians 5.17, Ben Conway Translation)

Do not let anything interrupt your prayers. When you have offered up your prayer in faith and love, don’t go and speak something in doubt and hatred. Don’t interrupt your prayers.

God doen’t interrupt prayers, He answers them. But if in the process of that answer manifesting, you interrupt yourself, then you are the one stopping the answer from manifesting.

You don’t have to pray non-stop, you need to pray and keep the attitudes of faith and love non-stop.

I hope this clarifies for you and helps you realize that 1 Thess. 5.17 is a command you can obey, and should obey, I hope it stops the devil ever thumping you on the head with this Scripture!

But more than that, I hope it helps you pray the prayer of faith for yourself, for friends, for enemies and for entire churches and see your answers manifest because you refuse to interrupt yourself.

Glory and freedom,
Benjamin

How to Heal the Sick (Benjamin Conway)

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Teach the Truth

And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases;   (Luke 6.17)

People need to hear to be healed.  The most important thing you can do to help someone receive their healing is to let them hear the truth.

There are three truths that every person who wants to receive their healing immediately needs to know:

  1. 1. Jesus Christ died on the cross taking their sicknesses and diseases
    1. Isaiah 53.4-6
    2. Matthew 8.16-17
    3. 1 Peter 2.24
    4. Galatians 3.13 and Deut. 28.61
  1. That according to the Word of God they are already healed
    1. 1 Peter 2.24
    2. Luke 13.12
    3. Mark 11.24
  1. That speaking faith-filled Words changes the physical realm
    1. Mark 11.23
    2. Acts 14.7-10
    3. Matthew 8.1-3

Now, if you are at a healing crusade, a good Bible teacher or preacher will have preached these three points and emphasised at least one of them.  If you are part of the ministry team, then your job will not necessarily be to teach these again or re-preach the sermon.  You may want to confirm the person has understood these points and heard them from the preaching and believes them.

If you are in the supermarket or in your house, the person may or may not be willing to listen to you.  You need to learn how to best present these truths as quickly as possible, using personal illustrations to yourself so that people can understand the point you are making.

Minister Life

Find out what is wrong with someone by asking them.  You can ask a couple of questions to confirm what is wrong, but don’t spend too long listening to symptoms and ailments.  Just know what you need to speak against and what organs you need to minister life to.

  1. Lay your hands on the person (Mark 16.17).  Touch is very powerful when it comes to healing as the life of God in you is transferred through physical touch (Matt. 8.1, 15)
  2. Command all sickness and pain and any other symptoms to leave the person immediately (Mark 11.23, Romans 5.17)
  3. Command every organ to function properly (James 3.2, John 5.8-9) in the name of Jesus (John 14.14)

Confirm Manifestation

Manifestation is just the word used for a healing or miracle moving from the spiritual realm to the physical realm.  After you have prayed with the person, ask them if there has been any change.  Remember though we are not asking to see if they are healed, they are healed (1 Pet. 2.24), we are asked to see if the healing has manifest (Mark 8.23-25).  Often I ask someone on a scale of 1 to 10, how much of the pain has gone.

If someone at this stage is completely healed, then rejoice with those that rejoice.  Be happy with the person and ensure they receive information on how to stay healed (either give them a teaching book such as God Wants You Well by Andrew Wommack or God’s Medicine Bottle by Derek Prince; arrange to meet them again at a set time – about a week; or take them to a good Bible believing church that knows how to teach faith).  Ensure YOU get THEIR contact details – a phone number or something – because you cannot rely on them to call you.

If the person is mostly healed, I would encourage them to thank the Lord for their healing and for them to continue to command the pain to be gone and their organs to function properly.  Again, ensure they receive information on how to stay healed.

If the person is about half healed, I would repeat step B myself, just like Jesus prayed again for the man in Mark 8.23-25.  Ask again how healed the person is – they should be mostly healed now.  If so, follow the guidelines above.

If the person is only a tiny bit healed, or feels no better at all, praying again at this stage may just discourage you and them.  At this stage, give them a good book on healing (as referenced above, or the mini-book Hear and Be Healed by Kenneth Hagin) or a list of Scriptures to meditate on for healing.  Ensure they get to hear more faith-filled messages on healing or study the Word more, then pray for them again at a later date.  In a crusade, if it is not the last night ensure they come back for another service and spend particular time paying attention to the healing message.  Again, get their details so you can see if they have spent time in the Word and meet them again to pray for them again.

Church Update for Sunday 28th June – All Welcome!

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Our next service is 3-5pm on Sunday 28th June.

Our monthly theme for our preaching and teaching for June is “Hope” and Benjamin is going to finish the series of 4 talks by talking about “Hope and Glory”.  In addition, Andy is going to do some teaching on the power of the prayer of agreement and we are going to agree for specific success during our healing crusade.  During the week, Ben is going to summarize the message and put it on the blog.

We do not put our address on the web for security reasons, but if you contact us we will be more than happy to give you directions and answer any questions you have.  We will be worshipping the Lord and allowing the Holy Spirit to speak to us as we do in any cell meeting.

We will be resuming meetings in the Fulwell Cross Library in August of this year, and in the summer are having a “Wonderful News” Gospel Crusade.  Watch this space for further details, or if you cannot wait, please feel free to email us: info@treeoflifechurch.org.uk

So Excited About Church!

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I can honestly say that I have never enjoyed church as much as I have today.

Including my wife and myself there were only 4 adults present, but it was such a beautiful service. It was what I always dreamed church should be like: people are loved and are loving, people can share their deepest needs and people are stepping forward in the gifts of the Holy Spirit.

Please pray for us for wisdom and boldness at this time. We have applied to the local council for a hall to use starting in August and intend to have a “Wonderful News” crusade in the week preceding starting our public meetings again. All is very very exciting at the moment…

Blessings,
Ben

I am now on Twitter – does that make me a twit?!

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http://twitter.com/holytwiglets

Please come and follow our Holy Twiglet’s twitter site.

Blessings,
Ben

Tree of Life Church

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We are growing praise the Lord – growing in depth and growing in the numbers of people we are impacting.  Last Sunday we had a lady baptized in the Holy Spirit and start speaking in tongues – she was healed in the week as well, praise the Lord.

Next Sunday we are having a pastor and his wife come and join us who run a church in Tooting and the director of the FGBMI of London-East is also coming.  We are overwhelmed by the love and support people are showing us at the moment.

We are planning a healing crusade in August – please pray for wisdom for us and boldness.  Will keep you updated on this website and on your church website http://www.treeoflifechurch.org.uk

Blessings,

Ben

Benjamin is a Ravenous Wolf

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Well, that is what the book of Genesis says – it says Benjamin is a ravenous wolf.  Jacob, the great patriarch is prophesying over his sons on his death bed and he prophesies over Benjamin that he would be a ravenous wolf.

The context is that Benjamin was given 5 times as much food as his brothers, and the Lord spoke this to me in a prophetic word when I was only 20 years old.  The Lord told me that He was going to open up His Word to me and show me many things as long as my attitude was always that of a ravenous wolf to His Word.  The prophecy was given to me by an old and trusted friend, who was the person who laid hands on me when I was baptized in the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues for the first time.

Many times when I have been tired of the battle, or haven’t felt like reading the Word, I have remembered that prophecy, and like Paul told Timothy to do, I have waged war with the prophecies that I have been given.  I have confessed that I am a wolf towards the Word of God: hungry and ravenous for it, and that I feed on it ravenously.  I then would pick up my Bible and start to read it, confess it, meditate on it and study it, picking every piece of meat up that I could get.  Thinking about wolves for me has always been a positive experience based on a powerful prophetic word that has beat in my heart for many many years.

Imagine my surprise last month to be called a wolf in a negative way by a blogger who I thought was trying to have a debate on healing in the atonement.

I always thought that the point of a debate is to have a healthy discussion of what the Word of God teaches.  It amazed me to see Christians put forth their ideas and opinions based on tradition, based on experience, based on what a certain preacher said and not based on the Word of God.  I would try and bring the discussion back to what the Word of God teaches which is that Jesus Christ on the cross completely redeemed us from all sickness (Gal. 3.13, Deut. 28.15-68, Isaiah 53.4-5, 1 Peter 2.24), but people wanted to talk about all sorts of things other than the Word of God!

People are quite prepared to call you names, but not deal with the Word of God!

Eventually two of my posts were actually moderated and not put up in the debate.  Then someone had posted a genuine question for me, which I wanted to answer, but I could not.  But the person running the blog, well she left the question to me up on the blog, but never allowed me to reply, which to me made it look like I wasn’t answering a genuine question or could not answer the genuine question.

I send a post to the lady running the blog saying could she either politely explain publicly that she was moderating my posts and that is why no answer was appearing to the question, or could she at least remove the question and pass on my contact details to the person who asked if she did not feel that she wanted her debate on healing to continue.

Now this is where it gets interesting: she then, directly because I asked her to be honest in the way she moderated her blog – and bear in mind we are talking about someone who is supposed to be a Christian,  sent me a post (which is public and I can direct you to it if you are interested!) in which she called me a heretic, a supporter of evil, a mocker and a total disgrace.  She then closed her rant with the comment: You are a wolf Ben.

As I read the last 5 words of this rant, which clearly did not come from the Spirit of the living God, I was reminded again of something I haven’t really thought about for a while, probably not since moving to London and starting Tree of Life Church: Benjamin is a ravenous wolf.

Since that moment, I have had such a hunger for the Word of God like I have not had for years – and I have been a Word person for 11 years now, ever since the 1997 International Believer’s Convention in Birmingham, England.

You see people who argue for this, that and the other and don’t talk about the Word – I don’t hate people like that, I feel compassion for them.  They have to fight feelings of shame, guilt, and rejection without the Word.  They have to fight rejection without the Word.  They have to fight sickness without the Word.  They have to fight poverty without the Word.

When every wind of doctrine and heresy comes through the church, they cannot stand because they don’t know the Word.  And I have committed to God what I committed to Him many, many years ago when He first called me to plant a church: Tree of Life Church will always be a Word based Church.  Every doctrine we teach, every practise we indulge in will be based on one question: WHAT SCRIPTURE DO YOU HAVE FOR THAT.

Tree of Life Church is a word of God based, word-faith, charismatic cell-church.  I promise I will never forget that.  And if you listen to the Word as we preach it and blog it and podcast it, and however we get it out there, then your marriage will be restored, your body will be healed, you will get out of debt.  Your life will be changed.  You will be able to stand before God without fear of shame or fear of embarrassment.

Jesus is Lord!

Blessings,

Ben

Run Through Romans (1:1-17)

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The text of Romans 1 can be found here. Please read it in its entirety before reading through my run through. If you want to read in a paraphrase so you can get a feel for the whole chapter, use this link.

Romans 1 has a very simple theme: the nations are not righteous. For a definition of the term righteousness, read our post What is Righteousness?

Romans 1.1-6 are Paul introducing himself to the church in Rome. It is beautiful to read. Paul uses fifteen words to describe himself, and then uses 82 words to describe the Lord. Even when introducing himself Paul cannot stop talking about the wonder of the Lord. Paul was completely God-focused. Verse 3-4 are important verses because they declare that Jesus is fully human and fully God. Most heresies originate because of misunderstanding that Jesus is fully God and fully human. Most people fail to move in the power of the Holy Spirit and see the miracles they should because they fail to understand Jesus ministered as a human under the anointing.

Romans 1.7-12 Paul announces who he is addressing: the Romans. He tells them that he wants to meet them to impart a gift to them, and he praises them for their faith. That must be fairly wonderful to have the apostle Paul praise your church for its faith!

In verse 13 -15, Paul has now got his introductions out of the way and tells the Romans he wants to preach the gospel to them. Now think about that for a minute – Paul is not writing a letter to a bunch of heathen or a group of people from another religion. He is writing the letter to people whose faith is spoken of around the known world (v. 8). Paul is writing to Christians, but he says to them: I want to preach the gospel to you.

If you ask the average Christian what the gospel is they would tell you that it is the new birth. It is the message that if you repent and put your faith in Jesus Christ then you will be born again and you will go to heaven when you die. Now I am not against that message – it is the most important message you can preach to a sinner. If I was standing in front of a crowd of sinners, my message would be the new birth. But preaching the new birth to a group of Christians is foolish – I believe the phrase is teaching Granny to suck eggs.

But if Paul’s desire was to stand in front of a group of people who were Christians – and not just any Christians, people who were world famous for their faith in Christ – and preach the gospel then I would have to conclude one of two things:

1. Paul was foolish. He enjoyed wasting his time.

2. What Paul meant by the phrase “the gospel” was not what we mean when we say “the gospel”.

Guess which one I choose. So the question is what does Paul mean by the gospel. Thankfully, Paul tells us what he means and defines it. In verses 16-17, Paul sums up the whole message of the book of Romans, and the gospel of Jesus Christ:

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth; to the Jew first, and also to the Greek.

For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: as it is written, The just shall live by faith.

Here are the same verses from the New Living Translation:

I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jew, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.”

The gospel has two elements and it is vital we know and preach both elements. The first element is that the gospel is the power of God for salvation of everyone who believes. Now this includes the new birth, but is so much more than the new birth.

The Greek word salvation is soteria. If you look it up in Strong’s it says this:

1) deliverance, preservation, safety, salvation

a) deliverance from the molestation of enemies

b) in an ethical sense, that which concludes to the souls safety or salvation

1) of Messianic salvation

2) salvation as the present possession of all true Christians

3) future salvation, the sum of benefits and blessings which the Christians, redeemed from all earthly ills, will enjoy after the visible return of Christ from heaven in the consummated and eternal kingdom of God.

Salvation includes: deliverance, preservation and safety.  The word is used in the gospels repeatedly to refer to physical healings.  Strong’s tells us that it is the sum of benefits and blessings which Christians will enjoy after the return of Christ.  I disagree with that: I believe we can enjoy the benefits of salvation now.  He heals now, He protects us now, He preserves us now.  He provides our every need now.  Paul tells us the power is available to those who believe, not those who die!

Christians know about the new birth (some don’t – they have had the experience but could not explain it or share what happened to another, and they need to be taught the new birth), but many Christians are not aware of the power of the gospel.  The good news is that Jesus Christ has not just covered up our sins and let us enter heaven one day some time when we die, but that Jesus Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law (Gal. 3.13) and that the blessing of Abraham is now on us.  We are redeemed from sin, from sickness and from poverty.  The gospel includes the new birth, but it also includes healing, prosperity, deliverance, protection and soundness.

We often think that God heals the sick because of some sort of divine fiat.  He looks down from heaven at all the sick people, holds a giant heavenly lottery and someone wins the healing.  We would never use those words, but we use phrases like “You never know what God is going to do”.  It is the same sentiment, just wrapped up in religious language.

Now we find out from Paul that healing is in the gospel.  It is the power of God for all who believe.  No wonder Paul wanted to get in front of the church in Rome, he wanted to tell them that Jesus bore their sicknesses, that Jesus redeemed them from the curse of poverty, that Jesus will never leave them, that the blessing of Abraham is theirs, that they can hear the voice of the Lord speak to them, that they are priests and kings before the Lord Jehovah.

Paul wanted to see the miracles of healing, of provision, of emotional deliverance that would happen when the Roman church realizes the power of the gospel.

I could spent several posts dealing with the nature of the gospel – one of the key things about the gospel is that it is good news.  It is news.  If you watch the news on the TV or read it in a paper you will realize that it is always events that have happened in the past.  The news does not predict the future.  The weather forecast predicts the future and can be – and often is – completely wrong.  The gospel is not the good forecast, it is the good news.  You need to know that your salvation, your healing, your prosperity have aleady been accomplished.  And the power is available to you as soon as you believe it.  It is an event that has past – the death, burial, resurrection and ascension of the Lord Jesus Christ.  Your healing is not a forecast of what might happen it is a revelation of what has happened – by His stripes, you WERE healed (1 Peter 2.24).  If you were healed, then you are healed – so don’t doubt and do without, believe and receive!

If this was all the gospel was that would be enough: the power of God for your soundness, deliverance, prosperity, healing and preservation and for the soundness and salvation of all who believe.

But it is more!  Paul tells us that in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed.  And this is the theme of the book of Romans: the righteousness of God is revealed.

Now if you look at the armour of God as outlined in Ephesians 6, you will find that we have a helmet of salvation.  Helmets cover your head.  Knowing about salvation affects your mind – it affects how you think.  But many, many Christians know they are born again, know they are healed by the stripes of Jesus, know that God supplies their every need.  But even with this knowledge, they still feel defeated, feel guilty, feel ashamed.  But the Bible also tells us we have a breastplate of righteousness.  Breastplates cover the heart.  If we truly understand the message of righteousness, our heart will be protected and our feelings will be protected.  Knowing the message of righteousness makes it easy to live by faith.  That is why the message is so important.

I have penned a great deal so far.  I wanted to run through Romans, but maybe I will be walking through at a slower speed than I first imagined.  In the next post I will cover Romans 1.18-32 and explain the key message of Romans 1: the nations are unrighteous and they have no excuse for their unrighteousness.  As we run or walk through Romans, we will find how righteousness is obtained, and the benefits it offers us.  If you follow us through, your heart will be protected from every attack and you will walk in a new level of peace, joy, health, wealth and soundness.
Every blessing,

Ben

Righteousness – Your Questions

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I believe that the most important teaching in the church today is Righteousness.

I want to spend some time looking at several Scriptures, especially in the book of Romans.

Tomorrow I will write an introductory post explaining what righteousness means. But before I do, I want anyone who has any questions on righteousness to have the choice to ask them.

All you need to do is put your questions into this thread as a comment. If you want your question to be anonymous, please say so when you post the comment. I will then not vet it and make it public.

Blessings,
Ben

Tree of Life Church

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Don’t forget for any information on any of our services, and a host of articles by Ben:

http://www.treeoflifechurch.org.uk

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