Tree of Life Blog

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Tag Archives: Truth

An Open Letter Regarding HEAL THE NATIONS

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Heal the Nations is our annual conference.  On Wed 20th August, our second Heal the Nations kicks off.  We have an amazing array of guest speakers and we have a great worship leader.  We also have great ushers and hospitality people—a massive thanks for everyone who is involved.  I really love and appreciate you and your help!

Last year Heal the Nations helped people so much, and this year it is about to do the same again.  There is something about hearing the Word all day, worshipping all day and being in a positive atmosphere.  Healings happen, financial breakthroughs happen.  Lives change.  Freedom comes.  Vision comes.

I am just writing this to say that I want you to come to Heal the Nations, or at least as many sessions as you can.  Some people have contacted me and said “who is speaking when”… I have told them and indeed the speaker schedule is online—unlike a certain conference I have just been too where it was cloak and dagger!  But the truth is that if you come to hear one speaker although you will be encouraged and inspired by the Word, the whole conference has been planned with me carefully listening to God and asking who to speak and who to bring.  The messages I believe will blend together (like they did last year with each speaker mentioning that God was calling us to a feast) in a special way to inspire you and give you a healthy balanced diet that you may grow thereby.

I don’t want people to come so I can say “there were xxx people at Heal the Nations.” I don’t care—in fact the less people the more personal attention we all get!  I don’t want you to come to give in the offering, it has all been paid for in advance because of the generosity of this church and the wise planning of finances.

I want you to come because I know it will be the most awesome time of spiritual growth in your life.  I go to conferences, I know about many conferences—I know some are all about money, I know some are all about bragging that our conference is bigger than that conference.  I know that we are doing Heal the Nations for you.  God wants you to be healthy, He wants you to receive the Word in its entirety, He wants you to be a church changer, a nation changer, a world changer.  He wants you to be fully equipped to do the works of ministry.  All of the preachers at Heal the Nations are equippers—their heart is your best.  They wouldn’t be invited if it wasn’t so.

So whatever you are doing Aug 20th-23rd, plan to be where you can be equipped to be all God wants you to be.  Plan to be where the Word and the Spirit come together, where grace and faith are mixed together, and where dreams come true! 

Plan to be at an event that is going to help you, heal you, equip you, inspire you, challenge you, encourage you and lift you!

Plan to be where revival isn’t prayed for but is happening.  Plan to be where you are going to find out your destiny and begin to walk in your destiny.

Plan to be at Heal the Nations.

http://www.healthenations.net

Faith Works By Love

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  • For years the faith movement has been telling people that “faith works by love”. It’s true, that’s how faith works, but they misunderstood “by love”, telling us that faith only works when we love.

    If we don’t love people, forgive people, help people, serve people, show compassion on people, help people, live for people then our faith won’t work, we will stay sick, stay poor, stay in defeat and that’s that.

    So we responded. We made our love confessions, we strained to feel good feelings for people who annoyed us, we made ourselves human doormats, we became our pastor’s armour bearers serving them to the detriment of our own families. In the name of love, we strained to the point we became unbearable to live with. Then we stayed poor, stayed sick, stayed in defeat and rather than receiving God’s grace and healing and prosperity and victory we wailed our lack of love, we condemned our unforgiveness, we beat ourselves up for not loving enough, not feeling enough love and not doing enough – no matter how much we did do and how much we sacrificed.

    The truth (which will set you free as you read this): the love that empowers our faith is not our feeble, human, limited, pathetic, self-obsessed, impure, roller coaster feeling of love; not that which we squeeze out of our hearts and then kick the dog the next moment because our heart now hurts so bad. It’s not even our love at all: it’s HIS LOVE.

    Faith doesn’t work because you have earned enough brownie points loving people. It works when you realize that no matter what you have done, no matter what you have felt, no matter what you have felt, no matter how half-hearted you have been, no matter how much you hurt inside: GOD STILL LOVES YOU.

    His love is unending, unconditional, undeserved. It is not a still, logical, passive love: GOD IS LOVE. He is alive with love for you, He is buzzing, sparking, zapping with love for you. He made you because He needed a vessel to love with all the love inside Him. He redeemed you through Christ and His death and resurrection just so He could pour that love inside you and love you from the inside out.

    God is eternal, and every moment of that eternity is crammed with His love for you. God is infinite – and every iota of that space is exploding with the heat of a million suns with love for you. It’s not love based on your goodness, your strength, your joy, your ability to do. It’s love that comes straight from His nature, His heart, His being. The core of God is love for you.

    God is all-powerful and every ounce of His infinite strength is for you not against you. God can think a million thoughts at once, and all of them are thoughts on how to prosper you, how to get you through, how to make your life heaven on earth. His whole nature is love.

    When you realize the depths of His love for you, and when you grasp that He will never let you go, never let you down, never do or think anything that is not for your highest. When you realize that Christianity is not your utmost for His highest, but His utmost for your Highest; when you find out that you are not a sinner in the hand of an angry God, but a child of a loving Father. When you find out that the faith-life isn’t about your love for Him, but His love for you: then FAITH WORKS.

    Why wouldn’t He heal me when He adores me? Why wouldn’t I get the promotion at work? HE ADORES ME. HE LOVES ME. He wants me to have good things to enjoy. He wants to supply my needs according to His riches in glory. He is awesome to me. He can’t stop thinking about me.

    Of course I am going to walk in victory because He loves me. Passionately. Always. Not based on what I do, but based on what He has done.

    That’s why faith works by love: it’s easy to believe good things are going to happen to me the more I realize and grasp and meditate on His love for me.

Ten Reasons to Speak in Tongues…

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10.  You edify yourself and build yourself up

9. You train your mind to shut up and listen to your spirit speaking out of your mouth

8. You build up yourself in the faith

7. You speak mysteries to God

6. You can pray with the spirit, and then interpret and pray with understanding.  It’s a better way to pray!

5. You can pray in tongues in the car, walking to work, doing the dishes – in any situation in which your mind is unfruitful

4. Paul prayed in tongues and he told us that we should imitate him

3. Mary prayed in tongues, and that’s just awesome!

2. In the early church, they all spoke with tongues – and the church hasn’t changed since then.

1. Jesus said “In my name, you will speak in tongues”

You Are Greater than Elijah!

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Matthew 11.11 says “Truly, I say to you, among those born of women there has arisen no one greater than John the Baptist. Yet the one who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he.”

Think about that statement for a minute! The group of people born of women includes Elijah, Moses, Isaiah, Ezekiel, Joshua, Hosea and Elisha! And Jesus said clearly that John the Baptist was greater than all of them. And then Jesus said – just as clearly – that the least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than John.

Do you realize the magnitude of what Jesus has said? You might be the worst Christian on the planet, the least Christian in the history of the world – but you are greater than Isaiah, than David, than Abraham, than Moses, than Elijah!

You are a born again Christian. You are right with God. You have the same spirit inside you that raised Christ from the dead. You can speak and it happens. You can live a life of freedom, grace and wisdom that the Old Testament Christians could only dream about!

They had to beg for the Holy Spirit, the Holy Spirit lives in you and will never leave you.
They had a set of commandments to obey to be blessed, you are already blessed.
They had accredited righteousness, you have been made righteous.
They had faith in God, you have the faith of God inside you
They had dead spirits, you have a living spirit.
They had to contend with the accuser of the brethren, you live in an age where the devil has been completely dealt with.

The Mandate for a Grace Filled, Guilt Free, New Testament Church

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Arthur’s messages during our Restoring Leaders conference have really challenged me and lifted my thinking.  He is possibly the single most powerful Bible teacher in our generation (yes, I know I have said something superlative there and I have considered my thoughts and words carefully).

Something he said several times was this: we have to take a stand.  And that is so true.  It’s all right claiming that we are a grace church, and that we are a church that take the New Covenant and the complete work of Christ seriously, but then when it comes to worship we sing “I’m so hungry, so desperate, I’m going to the enemy’s camp, I surrender all” when it’s nothing to do with “I” but with “HIM”.  This Sunday I determined to only select songs that would be appropriate in heaven – that led to me rejecting a huge number of songs.  Well over 80% of what is written today is about us, about begging God, and about “warring with the enemy”.

That is not the worship of heaven and it should not be the worship of the redeemed either.

Then we have the offering and we beg and plead for money and make prosperity something you have to “DO” to be prosperous, when prosperity is rooted in the redemptive work NOT IN OUR ACTIONS!

No – I am taking my stand.  This Sunday.  If I lose 1/2 the church, then that is what will happen, but Tree of Life Church is a New Testament Church.  We are not going back to the law.  I have already dealt with a lot of this in the series I did on Witchcraft in the Church, but I am going back to this ground and staking a claim.  The foundation of our church is God’s grace as found in the complete redemptive work of Jesus.

No more do to be.  No more heavy burdens.  No more guilt, no more fear, no more shame.  No more condemnation.  No more law – law was our master until grace set us free.

That nagging, doubting, harsh voice inside you – IT’S NOT GOD!  He loves you.  He adores you.  He only has thoughts to prosper you.  He isn’t angry at you, and he isn’t mad at you, and He isn’t out to get you.  

When people say it’s greasy grace: GOOD!  We need to slide in, we couldn’t even walk in through the door of works, none of us could!

When people try and make you feel ashamed because you preach and believe grace and that the law is over, let them know: you are NOT ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL!

I’ll let you know how it goes.  I believe it will go awesome because God is initiating it, and God is in it. And our church are a bunch that just want to know His Word so they can know Him better.

 

 

Harmony House *IMPORTANT NEWS*

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Starting April 4th (Easter Sunday) and every Sunday morning following we are meeting between 10.30am and 1pm in Harmony House for worship, fellowship and the preaching of the Word.

You are more than welcome to attend these meetings.  Don’t feel that you have to dress up or prepare to come and meet with us.  We welcome you as you are!  We have a crèche for pre-school children and a children’s ministry for 6-14s.

The address for Harmony House is:

Harmony House
Baden Powell Close
Dagenham
Essex
RM9 6XN

You can get directions to Harmony House here.

Romans 2.2-3

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But we are sure that the judgment of God is according to truth against them which commit such things. And thinkest thou this, O man, that judgest them which do such things, and doest the same, that thou shalt escape the judgment of God?

Religious people often think that they are immune from laws that apply to everyone else, as if their religious rituals and rites make them immune.

If you read 2 Chronicles 26.1-15 you will the story of Uzziah, and it is a wonderful story of a brilliant king. He was a man of vision, a man who sought the Lord, a man who built many wonderful things. You could preach many sermons on these verses about the need to have a vision, the need to seek the Lord, the need to be bold and build great things for God and do great things for God.

But I want to focus on what happens next because we need to know what to do when we prosper. We need to know how to avoid the pitfalls of success. God wants us to succeed, and God will heal you, bless you, prosper you and make you a success. If you spend time in his Word you will be a good success and everything you do will prosper. Look at what happens next to Uzziah:

But after Uzziah became powerful, his pride led to his downfall. He was unfaithful to the Lord his God, and entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense. Azariah the priest with eighty other courageous priests of the LORD followed him in. They confronted him and said “It is not right for you, Uzziah, to burn incense to the LORD. That is for the priests, the descendants of Aaron, who have been consecrated to burn incense. Leave the sanctuary, for you have been unfaithful; and you will not be honoured by the LORD God.

Uzziah, who had a censer in his hand ready to burn incense, became angry. While he was raging at the priests in their presence before the incense altar in the LORD’s temple, leprosy broke out on his forehead. When Azariah the chief priest and all the other priests looked at him, they saw that he had leprosy on his forehead so they hurried him out. Indeed he himself was eager to leave, because the LORD had afflicted him. King Uzziah had leprosy until the day he died. He lived in a separate house where he was relieved of responsibilities, leprous and excluded from the temple of the LORD. Jotham his son had charge of the palace and governed the people of the land. Uzziah rested with his fathers and was buried near them in a field for burial that belonged to the kings, for people said, “He had leprosy.” – 2 Chronicles 26.16ff

The Bible said as long as Uzziah sought the Lord he prospered. But at the height of his success, he went wrong. We have had in the charismatic church far too many people go wrong at the height of their success. And one of the reasons why some people go wrong is religious pride.

Now I am only writing this to people who are seeking the Lord and increasing in success because if you do not really care about the things of God, this problem will never happen to you. If you read 2 Chronicles 26.16 you find that when Uzziah got pride into his life he went to the temple of God. His pride led him to the temple of God – not to the world. This is not worldly pride; most Christians would be too smart to fall for worldly pride. This is religious pride – it goes to church, it prays and it wraps itself up in the pretence of being Biblical.

And one of the greatest problems of religious pride is that it makes you think that the rules that apply to every one do not apply to you. That what you judge and condemn other people for doing you will have no consequences for.

Uzziah knew his history – as a king he would have had to have known the history of his nation. In his case, it was even more important because the history of Israel is the history of a God who makes and keeps promises to people. Uzziah knew the stories of Abraham, Moses, Saul and David probably better than most Christians do today. Uzziah must have known that Saul offered a sacrifice he was not supposed to and stepped into a calling that was not his – and Uzziah must have known that this action cost Saul the kingdom. (The story is found in 1 Samuel 13, and contains one of the most important statements that will prevent religious pride: “To obey is better than sacrifice.”)

Uzziah knew that Saul tried to fulfil a priestly role and it cost him the kingdom. Yet Uzziah thought he could repeat Saul’s sin and not have Saul’s consequences. Why? Religious Pride!

When I was a teenager I remember reading in the newspaper about the Bishop of Gallaway who mysteriously vanished. When he was found again, it transpired that he had run away with a married woman. When he was interviewed in the newspaper, I remember he actually said that because he had spent 20 years sacrificing and serving God he was entitled to a weekend off. This was a blatant example of religious pride: the bishop saw the source of his serving God and sacrifice as himself, not the grace of God. He thought that he was above the rules that applied to other people because of his great service to God.

Now I am sure that most people reading this would never assume because they have twenty years good service they are entitled to a dirty weekend! However, we do act at times like we are exempt from rules that apply to other people. More recently in a discussion with a pastor he told me that he never tithed or gave offerings because he was in full time ministry and had given his life to Jesus. This is an example of making yourself exempt from rules that apply to others, because of his “great” sacrifice. It is religious pride.

I think sometimes we treat our religious services like a Tesco Clubcard. If we do enough religious works, we get enough points and we can trade them in for something we like. I can watch this rubbish on TV because I prayed this morning. I can be rude to that person because I lead worship at church and it is hard work.

This is the message of Romans 2: God does not work on a points system. It is all grace. So stop condemning other people. Stop pointing out how other people are unclean and unworthy – of course they are and so are you. Let’s realize we all need the grace of God and start showing that grace to the church and the world.

To serve God fully, we need a vision of God. We will never have a commissioning to bring the Word of God to this nation; we will never have a revelation of God’s holiness and goodness until we deal with the attitude of Uzziah – the attitude of religious pride – and eradicate it from our lives:

In the year king Uzziah died, I saw the Lord sitting on a throne, high and lifted up, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above it stood seraphim: each one had six wings, with two he covered his face, with two he covered his feet and with two he flew.

And one cried to another and said:

Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty.

Selah.

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