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Tuesday, 8 February 2011

Fix Your Eyes Upon Jesus

I have been writing a series on the developing Apostasy within the Evangelical Church of our day and which groups and leaders are involved in this apostasy. I have already posted Part 3 and am still working on part 4. But, before I continue, I would like to step aside and remind ourselves something extremely important and critical.


As watchmen, it is so easy to get too focussed on issues of heresy, warnings, falsehood, etc. I do not believe a watchman can simply focus only on these things because one aspect of a watchman is to watch, pray, inform, warn, equip  but just as important (as part of equipping) is to encourage, motivate and point people to look to Jesus. Let's face it that without Jesus we are nothing and without Him we can achieve nothing.


So I want to step to one side, take "time-out" and remind us of how wonderful
and great Jesus is. He is the wonderful lamb of God that was willing to take our place suffering the consequences of our sin, being slaughtered in our place because He loves us SO MUCH. He then was victorious over the grave and lives forever more.


There is a song I sometimes sing, whenever I realise I need to refocus on Jesus:


"turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face. Then the things of Earth, will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace"


So simple and yet so profound. This was probably taken from Hebrews 12:2


"looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God."


All of us face many trials in this world (including unbelievers). We were never meant to have an easy life because we contain sinful souls and imperfect sin stained bodies that are dying with every day. But, when we believers focus on Jesus who is from everlasting to everlasting, who is perfect in every way, who has laid down His life so that we can also have eternal life and when we consider that this life is just temporal and we have a Heaven to go to, where we can be in the presence of Our glorious Saviour for eternity with bodies which will have changed into perfection - our struggles in this life pale into insignificance "in the light of His glory and grace".


This takes me to Romans 8: 18
 "For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us"


If we consider that God has saved for all eternity the repentant sinner who has accepted Jesus as their Saviour and been born-again, at that very point they receive Jesus. He is living within us and stirs our heart to worship and serve Him, to focus on Him rather than the things of this Earth. Nothing will separate us from God's wonderful love


Romans 8:38-39
"For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."


Can we keep our minds so focussed on God and the love of Christ and not get weighed down by the things of this Earth? Well, if we focus our minds too much on our problems, and worry about them, we will be weighed down.


However, we are encouraged that whenever these things get us down to meditate on Jesus. Who He is, what He has done, How glorious He is, His victory over satans dark kingdom and the door He has opened to his glorious kingdom. We have victory through the blood of Jesus.


Romans 8:37
"Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us"


So should suffering get us down? Not if we correctly fix our eyes upon Jesus and His words.


Romans 8:32
"He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?"


So what can we do to focus on Jesus?


Philippians 4:8
 "Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things."


Although this verse was focussing on the things within Paul's ministry, we can equally apply these things when thinking about Jesus, but can be applied in a much greater way.


Let us focus on how the angels worshipped Jesus in the book of Revelation to help us in our worship of Jesus. For example "holy, holy, holy" "the lamb who was slain" "who was and is and is to come" etc.


Then "seek those things which are above, not those things on Earth"


Colossians 3:1-3
"If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.  For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God."


Many of the problems we have with apostasy is because our focus is on the wrong things. It could be the charismatic teacher and teachings, experiences etc.


We should be focussed on Jesus and on HIS WORDS (as revealed through the Bible) and NOT teachers. Teachers are fallible, Jesus IS NOT!!! 


So, the apostasy surrounding us is because believers have been too focussed and dependant or BRAIN WASHED by “powerful personalities” soaking up EVERYTHING they say as if these leaders are God Himself.

Part of our worshipping Jesus and focussing on Him is to be Bereans, ie going back to the Bible and prayer (focussing on Jesus alone) and  check out (for ourselves) what these preachers are saying. If we all did all these things there would probably be far less chance of apostasy.



I will add more later.

29 comments:

deceived no more said...

Good point, brother John. It's vital to keep the cross of Christ as our primary focus. Without this, we only become a part of the problem instead of a solution.

blessings,
FFW

Tony Cox said...

John

Very powerful for me. I have had a rough time the last few months as you know - your responses to my private emails have been enormously helpful.

I far from being "out of the woods" but this really helps me put things in perspective.

Thanks again

Myfanwy said...

Hi John,

I just want to tell you how much I appreciate your site, and I agree with you about keeping our eyes on Jesus, as well as being aware and alert. I love that song so much too! I often sing it when I am discouraged, it often just 'pops' into my mind.

To all my brothers and sisters, and you John.. may the Lord continue to strengthen us and as we stay close to Him, may He open our hearts to the truth.

John Chingford said...

Thanks Myfanwy for those encouraging words. May the Lord bless you too by strengthening, enriching, equipping, that you may grow in gace and in the knowledge of the Lord.

RomaLynn said...

John you are doing a good job here, keep doing what the Lord has called you to do.
Each day, you have tried to make others aware of the dangers of false teachers, etc, something that truly needed to be done. As well as many other encouraging and helpful topics. Many appreciate your work, and many may not post but do read. Endure till the end.

John Chingford said...

Hi Guys
This is for all those who receive my automatic mail outs.

Please ignore all the "click here" comments within the comments section (which appeared above previously but have now all been deleted).

I was testing a coding which SHOULD enable shortcut links within the comments facility.

All the shortcut links within the body of all my articles, already work perfectly, but (up until now) I have not used direct shortcut links within the "comments" section because I didn't realise it was possible.

However, I have noticed that other bloggers ARE able to do it. I am still investigasting.

Hopefully I will find out how to do it and use it here in the future.

Sorry for bothering you. I didn't know how else to test it except to send out a comment (in testing).

RomaLynn said...

It was no bother at all, hope you get it figured out.

Myfanwy said...

Hi John, HELP! I am not very good at keeping up with your posts, so sorry to post this here as it is not the topic. I have seen a site called One True Church, run by Darwin Fish, and I was wondering if you could take a look at it sometime, and tell me what you think? Also, could you tell me how to keep up with posts that I comment on, so I can see your replies? Thanks!!

John Chingford said...

Hi Myfanwy

I will take a look at that site shortly. For now, I will let you know how to keep tabs on the posts you comment.

I think the best way is to copy the link to your "bookmarks" or "favorites". Just simply open the page where the comments are and then place that page in your bookmarks. You can do that for every single page you leave comments on

Every now and again check through these pages to see if I have replied. It is probably best to leave it for a few days to make sure.

If you need a quicker response, please email me from your personal email address (rather than leave a comment). I will then be able to reply far quicker as I am regularly checking my emails. You can find my email address in several places on this blog.

God bless

John Chingford said...

Hi Myfanwy

I have had a quick look at "A True Church" website specifically their statement of faith. Before I give my impressions, please let me know what are your thoughts and why you wanted me to comment on them.

Thanks

RomaLynn said...

Hello John and my Fanwy, when you make a post there is a place underneath where you put in the word verification, where you can click on the little box:
Email follow-up comments to then will have your email address. I receive all comments made then in my email, yours, mine, John's etc. That I hope works for you, it is somehow part of my google account.

As well I came across the website you mentioned, some time ago. Now, of course I do not remember all the particulars, but Darwin Fish, could be a real name, not sure, anyway. I am thankful for sure that you felt you could ask this here.

Love in Jesus Christ

RomaLynn said...

Well he does say it is his true name, so please forgive me Mr. Fish if you see this. I do understand how parents come up with names for children.

John Chingford said...

Hi Roma

One reason you get all comments is because you are on my list of automatic mail outs. However, blogger only allows me up to 10 email addresses, so I cannot add any more.

But, for those interested I sometimes inform all my email contacts via my email address of new posts.

In other words, those contacts who are not included in the 10 automatic blogger mail -outs, I can send out separately later from my email address which is unlimited in the number of contacts I can have.

So if anybody wants to be included in my email mail outs, please contact my email address direct (so that I can obtain your email address) and I will add you to my contact list.

Roma, are you saying that you ALSO get the comments by using google account option, ie twice? One from blogger and one via the email follow up?

If so, I find that interesting. I didn't know that. On other blogs I simply use the "name/URL" option.

John Chingford said...

Hi Roma and Myfanwy

Regarding "A True Church" and Darwin Fish, I am very concerned about his/their statement of faith.

However, I don't want to say anything yet because I would like to hear what your thoughts are. I don't want to give the impression that I am against every organisation, so on this occasion I would like to give the soapbox over to others.

If you look at his SOF I am sure you will see the obvious clues.

Once you let me know your thoughts. I will round it all up with my own thoughts.

I do not want to write his website address here because I don't want to be the cause of readers possibly being affected once they get there.

God bless

John Chingford said...

Hi Roma

Just checked. I THOUGHT you was on my automatic mail out for comments. Actually you are NOT on my list. I also note I have a space to add 2 new email addresses.

If you want to be added, first come, first served.

I will now add you Roma, so one email spot still available so that you can see ALL comments made on ALL my articles. That tells me that having a google account DOES enable automatic comments to be sent out and that it DOES work.

There is one other way. If you look down the left side of the blog home page, you will see a list of the last 20 comments sent. You could check to see if there is a reply there.

God bless

John Chingford said...

Roma

I was wrong. You are/were on my blogger automatic mail out list. As I don't have your name appearing within the email address I thought you were not there. Oh, I seem to be having a "mad" day.

Sorry to all my contacts who are seeing this dribble of mine.

By the way, I have now figured out how to test the shortcut links (in comments) without posting it, ie by using the "preview" button instead of the "publish one". So at least I will not be inundating you with "test" comments anymore.

So Roma, same question, are you receiving 2 sets of comments every time?

God bless All of You.

RomaLynn said...

No only one set of comments which is great. I am sorry and I wondered if I had set this up myself, because I have two google accounts, and had not been checking for the newer comments to be sent to my gmail account. So sorry, I added to your confusion, but there is a way for myfanwy to easily be added, that is great.

I always read all the comments on each article, may not always comment but always read to keep up. Thanks John

Myfanwy said...

Hi John and Roma,

Thanks for your replies.
If you read what he says, Darwin Fish is, according to him, his real name.
I wanted you to take a look John, because he seems to be very 'well researched', but some of his statements are quite diabolical! I would hate for people to be misled by this man, as with so many, some of his statements seem reasonable!

John Chingford said...

Thanks Myfanwy and Roma

I agree with you. I looked at his Statement Of Faith and could not believe the apparent nonsense, like he says:

"We believe God is Spirit (John 4:24) and this One Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:4) is God (2 Corinthians 3:17) and is literally Seven Spirits. For more on that, please see The Seven Spirits Are God (Revelation 1:4).

We believe the city of Jerusalem is God (Psalm 48:12-14).

We believe the Throne, Heaven, and the Kingdom Are God (Revelation 16:17; Luke 15:18; Matthew 6:33).

We believe the Horses of Zechariah 1 Are God (Zechariah 1:8-17).

We believe Jesus Is Love (1 John 4:8, 16) and hates everyone (Psalm 5:5-6; 11:5).

We believe Jesus Kills People (Revelation 2:23).

We believe Jesus Deceives People (Ezekiel 14:9).

We believe Jesus Causes People To Sin (2 Samuel 12:11-12)."

These are the clues I was talking about. What he teaches is clearly not even deserve discussing, so I will say no more.

God bless you and thanks for bringing it to my notice

RomaLynn said...

Thank you fanwy, I had run across his website some time ago for some reason, maybe someone asked me about it. I did not want to further comment until John answered you and I am so thankful that the two of you recognize this A True Church, or One True Church, now I forgot which it is, for a jumbled mess.

Remember Satan can use scriptures and distort them, just like he did to Eve, and then again to Jesus on the temptation, but our key is here to be like Jesus and know our scriptures in full, full context of the bible. I for one, even though I have read the bible many times, could not live a day without it.

Be like the Bereans. I so appreciate believers like the two of you, perhaps this question if someone runs across this blog, may keep them out of that mess. Hallelujah

Myfanwy said...

Hi Roma, my name is Myfanwy, with an M, lol!

Hi John and thanks for checking that site. I was looking at different links last night, and it is really distressing to see how ministries and teachers that seem right, are inter-linked with others that are going wrong.

As you say, the good ones are not necessarily going down the wrong path, just because they are linked with others who are going wrong, but it just seems like there is this whole 'system', like rivers all connecting into the sea.

I know we have to keep our eyes on the Lord, but sometimes I feel so weary, and I feel that it is really difficult to know whom to trust! Apart from you that is!

On this topic, I have listened to John MacArthur, on Premier Radio, before I stopped tuning into them. I even bought his study Bible,a while ago, but now I feel concerned as to whether I should use it. I know you rate him as good, and I have seen what you have written on him on your blog. However, I do wonder why he is associated with Premier Radio, and I also see that he is on another link I have, which is full of false teachers.

Please help me with this, I know you are very busy, and I am sorry to ask this of you. I am not having a very good time at the moment, I feel as if I am constantly under attack at home, and I need my brothers and sisters prayers. I would also appreciate if you could pray for my older sister, she has terrible pains from her gallbladder, and she cannot get anyone here to sort it out.

John you are such a constant blessing to me, I read through your blogs and see all the hard work and detail you put into everything, for our sake. I have learned so much from you here.

Yours in Christ, Myfanwy

John Chingford said...

Hi Myfanwy

As this article says "fix your eyes on Jesus". In these dark deceptive days we should not look to any man/woman (including me)as someone to trust implicitly for sound teaching because no one is spot on in their teaching (not even the soundest) because we are all learners and need to constantly update our understanding of the scriptures and learn truth from error.

Therefore, (to protect yourselves) I encourage everybody to "get into" the Word and allow the Holy Spirit to teach you. Of course, God has given us teachers of the Word to help us, but after they have guided us in understanding the scriptures we need to check it out for ourselves - not just take their word for it. Be Bereans.

Most believers (today) don't check out what their teachers tell them because they trust them too much. This is why they get deceived so easily.

Premier Christian Radio (as you have discovered) is heavily ecumenical with their largest contingent of supporters from the RC and Word of Faith. They have a real mixmatch of teachers. Most are from false or faulty "Christian" Organisations, but they do play recordings of messages from a few that seem ok.

Just because Premier play those teachings doesn't necessarily mean that those teachers are endorsing Premier. They might be, they might not - I simply don't know.

The reason I do not discount John Mcarthur is because (as far as I can tell) he is not ecumenical and equally speaks out against the same organisations that I do.

I am told that he teaches "Lordship" salvation. I am not that knowledgeable of Lordship salvation, but (what I am told) is that they preach that you cannot be saved until Jesus becomes Lord of your life. The concern is that this could lead to a "works" salvation.

However, just because someone preaches that we need to make Jesus Lord of our lives, does not necessarily mean they are teaching that you cannot be saved until you do.

I don't know John's stance on this and haven't heard him speak much, but the few messages I've heard from him sounded okay. I don't think we can call him a false leader (as such) but I may be wrong, I just don't know him well enough.

I am now happy to listen to people like John Macarthur and David Jeremiah (they are stirring teachers) because I am now confident that I know the Bible well enough to spot error when it comes and check what they are saying anyway. Really that is the only way.

By the way, what other link is John on. Could it be a similar type arrangement (grey area) like Premier or is it more blatant?

Roma, please join me in praying for Myfanwy and her older sister.

Myfanwy said...

Hi again John, and greetings to you also Roma.
I hope I did not offend you, with what I said about my name Roma? I have a sort of 'history' with my name, which I do not want to go into, but forgive me if I offended you.
John, I quite agree with you about only trusting 'in' God, but I do trust you, as a person. I went to a big church many years ago, I totally looked up to the Pastor and his wife, and I was bitterly disappointed when he fell, and fell far. That is what made me start to question what, and who I believed. As I have said, it has been a journey, and I feel the Lord is with me all the way.

The site I was referring to is Oneplace.com, John Mac Arthur is on under the 'Ministries' section, along with many other dubious teachers.

I really am stuck as to what to do about Christian Fellowship. I have few friends, and those I do, either live in other countries or are not interested in the Lord. I have been out of fellowship for so many years now, and the few I did try, were way off track. Very disheartening.

Thanks to you and Roma for your prayers. I see on the news today, there is trouble between Egypt and Israel.

Yours in Christ,

Myfanwy

RomaLynn said...

Oh no I was not offended at all myfanwy, do not worry about that.

I do understand what you mean about fellowship, it is for sure getting difficult to find those who stick to the scriptures. Now we will not all, always agree on each thing, but the totality of what they teach and where they place their eyes, and their treasures have to be on the kingdom of God, not on building up things on this earth which is passing.

Am praying for you and I do know John is very sincere in what he presents. I have heard a bit about John MacArthur, tell you the truth I have never been into reading a lot of men's books, I want to focus on that one book more than any other. If we are not careful reading a man's book telling us what the bible says, can get us off course.

Hang in there and read the scriptures, seek God through Jesus Christ, and I am certain HE will bring us all through this time.

John Chingford said...

Hi Myfanwy

I can vouch for Roma that she doesn't come across (to me) as someone who gets offended. She and her husband are becoming good friends and very supportive of me while I am going through a tough patch.

It is so encouraging and nice of you to say you trust me, but I am also human.

I do try to be someone who can be trusted.

However, I just want to be clear. There is always some danger in trusting people over cyberspace.

There was someone I believed I could trust as a supporter of this blog and confided in that person for assistance by email over a period (on and off) for about 6 months or so.

But then I shared something from the scriptures (in response to this persons statements) saying I could not agree with them because ......This resulted in that person reacting against me and then becoming my enemy. It was weird!

I won't go into details, but just wanted to point out that it can be dangerous to trust anybody TOTALLY on the internet as really they are only VIRTUAL people, not real until you meet them face to face and spend time with them.

There were actually a few warnings signs from this person (even at the beginning) which I decided to overlook and put it down to natural human weakness. There was a gut feeling though, but I naively ignored it.

However, I don't have such nagging feelings about Roma and believe she is someone you can share with, woman to woman.

If you would like to email me and if Roma wants me to give you her email address, maybe I can connect the two of you together??? Just a thought! I always think it is better for a woman (rather than a man) to encourage/teach, fellowship with another woman.

Just to finish. I will hope that I can be trusted and will not let people down (please Lord) but as a sinner saved by grace I may fail at times.

What Roma said is good advice to NOT look to any person. You can learn from them but be wary of trusting them wholly - especially in these dark days of deception. The Bible should be the only book we study in these days.

Regarding John Macarthur and Oneplace.com. I will let you know once I have checked it out. On first glance it seems similar to Premier Christian Radio and maybe JM is used by that site but not actually endorsing it. I see David Jeremiah is also there and Charles Stanley, just like Premier radio.

I thought David Jeremiah was sound.

I'll get back to you later on this.

God bless

Myfanwy said...

Hello again John,

Yes, I have had a good feeling about Roma since I first started to read her comments here. She will see this post, and Roma, I would love to be in contact with you through email.

I do agree John that it is better for me to fellowship, one on one with another woman. Although from a teaching and learning standpoint, I would very much like to still talk to you on here John.

John and Roma, you are right about putting our trust wholly in the Lord and His word. However, I do believe with all my heart John, that He led me to this site. I will continue to lift you up in prayer.

Roma, I have had the same thoughts myself, it seems it is not safe to even read books anymore! Better to keep to the Word.

Anyway, lots of love in Christ to you Roma, and to you and your wife John

John Chingford said...

Hi Myfanwy

I hope you don't mind but I deleted your reference to a blog site which I feel MAY not be helpful to show. I will explain why.

For the sake of readers who stumble in on the conversation, I do not want to show any questionable url's which could cause those readers to be led to./ They are perfectly entitled to go wherever they want to (free will) but I do not want to be the cause.

Regarding the site you mentioned. They may be okay. I only had a quick look at it, but immediately I was suspicious. Once I look in more detail I will let you know what i think. The first question I had is why the home page has a sort of Catholic image with "sun" halos? That tells me that they are probably "emerging church". But, I may be wrong.

God bless

RomaLynn said...

Hello, sorry I have been gone a bit, busy here at home, and other things, doctor appts for our elderly gentleman we care for. He made it to 92 as of 9/11, what a journey.

anyway yes we can communicate and hopefully encourage each other as we see these darker days approaching

Myfanwy said...

Hi John, thanks for your reply. I have no problem with you deleting that link. I can understand about leading others astray.

The home page is full of stuff, but alot of it is warning articles, to attract the readers attention to them.

I was also quite suspicious, but when you actually read the articles, many are very informative. They do seem to warn against all the Emerging, New Age etc churches, as well as individuals.The only problem I had was with their stance on Israel. However, there was alot to read, and I did not get thru everything.

Hope you have a good week and would like your thoughts on that site, when you have a chance.

God bless,

Myfanwy