LIGHT OF THE WORLD
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SEASON OF LOVE & JOY
Christmas is meant to be a season of love and joy. It gives us an opportunity to celebrate the reality of God’s love for us expressed by the gift of His Son to be our Messiah and Leader, who brings us out of darkness into light.
The Kingdom of Heaven, that Jesus brought with Him when He came to earth, is the rule of love, joy, peace and righteousness, through reconciliation with His Father by His Cross & Resurrection. The prophets foretold it and He fulfilled it.
“Glory to the newborn King!
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled"
Even in the middle of a broken world, filled with pain, strife, oppression, and political mismanagement, anyone who comes to the Father through Him can experience and live in this kingdom of love, peace and joy today.
Soon the long era of man’s mismanagement of the earth will be replaced by God’s direct rule over the earth through His Messiah, Yeshua when He returns. In the meantime, as we wait in great expectation for this event, we can have His direct rule over our individual lives if we choose. As God’s team of redeemed people, we are called to proclaim the gospel of the Kingdom and reconciliation with God, Our Loving Heavenly Father.
JESUS - THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD
As this message goes out the darkness that covers the earth is replaced by the light of His love and redemption. Wherever this message is EMBRACED people and societies are lifted into new levels of well-being and enlightenment. On the other hand, wherever this message is REJECTED, ABANDONED or SCORNED, societies descend into depravity and oppression. That is why the most patriotic and effective thing we can do for our nations is to spread the gospel of the Kingdom. This is MORE than proclaiming forgiveness of sins. In sharing the gospel, we are also called to urge people abandon the old foundation on which they build their lives and establish them on a completely new foundation – the foundation of God’s calling, mercy, life, work and plans. This is where the gospel causes offence. In presenting Jesus as the ROCK and the foundation on which everyone should build their lives, we are also implying that the foundation on which they are presently basing their lives is not adequate.
ARE WE FOLLOWING HIM, OR OUR MADE-UP VERSION OF HIM
Though 2000 years have gone by since the coming of Jesus, the gospel remains to be heard by countless millions including many who think they heard it. Why is progress so slow? Why do we not have more combustible revival? Is it possible that we have not followed, misunderstood, or ignored Jesus’ instructions?
The Bible we read is the same Bible the first followers of Jesus read, but are we reading it the same way they read it? The Jesus we follow is the same Jesus they followed but are we hearing Him the same way they heard Him?
It is a fact of psychology that we look at reality through the lenses of our own perceptions, including culture, political views religious assumptions etc. Which is a nice of way of saying that we look at everything through our own prejudices. When we read the Bible, we don’t always read it as God’s message to us - we tend to make it say what we want it to say. We tend to use it to reinforce our perceptions and prejudices and ignore the words that don’t fit with and challenge our world view. We tend to see it as a way that advances our interests and to ignore the places where it challenges us to abandon our interests so that we can discover our true destiny.
The gospel challenges us to abandon our humanistic and egocentric worldview. It confronts our assumption that everything must revolve around us. It overthrows the values and vision of this present
THE HORRIBLE MIRY PIT
“I waited patiently for the Lord; and he inclined unto me, and heard my cry.
He brought me up also out of an horrible pit,
out of the miry clay,
and set my feet upon a rock,
and established my goings.
And he hath put a new song in my mouth,
even praise unto our God:
many shall see it, and fear,
and shall trust in the Lord.” (Psalm 40:1-3)
The “horrible pit” He lifts us from is not only the “miry pit” of sin and destructive behaviors. It is also the “miry pit” of the Adamic self-centered, nature (we are all born with) and the ‘miry pit’ of the mindsets, values, philosophies and political conflicts of this present world order. That is why Peter, in the first proclamation of the gospel after the Ascension of Yeshua, calls the crowd not only to receive the Holy Spirit but to ‘save themselves from this corrupt generation’ (Acts 2.4-41)
The first church was a society of missionary evangelists. They were a community of ‘special people’, deeply aware of the fact that they had been rescued from the corrupt values and ways of the surrounding world.
“But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light.” (1 Peter 2.9)
Only when we recover this God centered rather than man centered gospel, will we recover the conditions that will make us the light of the world again. Only when are aware that we are called out of the darkness of the world around us can we stand with
Jesus and be part of His lampstand that shines His light into the world.
At Christmas we celebrate that the Word of God, made flesh in Yeshua and lived out in us is the Light of the world. Simultaneously with Christmas we celebrate Chanukah which is also known as the Festival of Lights. We cannot give light to the world if we are the same as the world. Our task is not to ‘fix’ or repair the broken world but to give light to it and point it to the New Foundation.
The word ‘Chanukah’ means dedication. it recalls the re-dedication of the Temple in Jerusalem to God’s original purpose after it had been defiled by pagan Greek invaders who despised and rejected the word of God. It is also known as “The Festival of Lights” because during the re-dedication of the Temple the Menorah (Seven Branched Lampstand) that had been extinguished was relit. Miraculously the oil lasted for eight days until new consecrated oil could be prepared.
It is celebrated each year because we need to periodically rededicate ourselves as the Temple of The Holy Spirit to live for God’s interests. Periodically we need to shake off and remove any contamination from our secular humanistic culture and dedicate ourselves to carry the light and presence of God, Our Father, and of Yeshua the Light Of The World to the world around us.
Could the reason that we don’t see more revival in the west be that our gospel offers forgiveness of sin and blessing but it does not call people to renounce building their lives on the shaky systems of this world? Could it be that we don’t have revival because we have presented ‘joining the church’ as place we to go to on Sunday rather than an invitation to become part of the Lord’s team of evangelists and light bringers? Could it be that we don’t have revival because the values of the humanistic word have quenched our light?
As we recover our destiny and intentionally shake off the defilement that has come upon us from our hedonistic culture, the light of God’s glory will shine again in His living Temple, the Body of The Messiah. And when it is re-lit in us it will shine through us to a needy world that gropes in darkness, We will be, together with Yeshua, THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.
WHAT OTHERS SAY
FIVE FACTORS THAT MAKE THE CHINESE CHURCH UNSTOPPABLE
The underground church in China is "unstoppable" despite extreme persecution because Chinese Christians are willing to suffer for the Gospel.
“When we were forced back underground it was so refreshing," one Chines pastor told him. "We got our DNA back, because the underground church was built upon these five pillars.
1. One, we were devoted to the word of God.
2. Two, we were deeply devoted to prayer.
3. Three, we expected every single believer to be out sharing the Gospel.
4. Four, there was a regular expectation of miracles.
5. Five, we embraced suffering for the glory of Christ."
While embracing suffering and finding joy in hardship seems counterintuitive, the idea every book in the New Testament." The underground Chinese church, has grown so large because Chinese Christians actually believed they could make disciples and start these gatherings because Jesus was enough." - Francis Chan
ENGLAND BEFORE & AFTER JOHN WESLEY
Wesley's central understanding of Christianity was individual redemption leading to social regeneration. He believed that the main purpose of the Bible is to show sinners their way back to God by the atoning sacrifice of Christ. This and this only he preached. But he understood also that social changes are an inevitable by-product and a useful piece of evidence of conversion.
Therefore, because of the preaching, the high moral principles enshrined in Scriptures slowly began to take root in people's minds. Wesley knew that God's Word calls for the salvation of individual souls but also gives us firm ordinances for national existence and a common social life. Under God, this was his goal, and he never lost sight of it.
.. Moreover, it can be shown that the Evangelical Revival, beginning among the outcast masses, was the midwife for the spirit and character and values that have created and sustained free institutions throughout the English-speaking world. England, after Wesley, saw many of his Century's evils eradicated, because hundreds of thousands became Christians; their hearts were changed, as were their minds and attitudes, and so the society, the public realm, was affected.
- (Exerpted from a lecture by Dr. Donald Drew published by Disciple Nations Alliance)
I WILL GIVE YOU REST
“When Jesus says I will give you rest He is not saying “I will put you to bed, hold your hand, and sing you to sleep.” He is saying, ‘I will get you out of bed – out of your listlessness and exhaustion and out of your condition of being half dead while you are alive. I will penetrate you with the spirit of life and you will be sustained by the perfection of vital activity.” Yet we become so weak and pitiful and talk about ‘suffering’ the will of the Lord! Where is the majestic vitality and the power of the Son of God in that?’ -
- Oswald Chamber My Utmost For His Highest (June 11th)
THE SECRET TO RADIATING JOY & SERENITY
A newspaperman once asked Rufus Moseley, “How is it that you radiate joy and serenity and friendliness while most people look so worried and unhappy”. He answered “The secret is vital union with the Source of love and friendliness, joy and radiance and keeping oneself and open channel for the out flow of His (Christ’s) love and friendliness and radiance and joy.”
- “The Rufus Moseley Story by Wayne McClain p.220
THEY WILL LOOK ON HIM WHOM ThEY HAVE PIERCED - ZECHARIAH 12
In Israel a resurgence in the number of Jews who believe in Jesus is getting a lot of attention. Many leaders say it's the strongest growth since the time of Jesus and that the Messianic movement could be on the brink of a great revival. "This is the first time where we've seen Israeli society in general being so open to consider who Yeshua is," said Messianic leader Asher Intrater. "This is a real miracle, and there's beginning to be grace and favor with us in the land."
Although Jesus and the early disciples were Jewish, for nearly 2,000 the gospel has been viewed as a religion mainly for Gentiles. Even the name Jesus or Yeshua has been a forbidden word among many Jews. But in the last few years, Messianic leaders in Israel say something important is happening.
"I believe with all my heart, after we have come back to the land, we are seeing the Lord, the Holy Spirit, is removing the veil from the eyes of the Jews and more and more Jews are realizing," Tel Aviv pastor Avi Mizrachi said.
Although nobody knows for sure how many Messianic Jews live in Israel, it's believed there are about 120 congregations now and 10,000-15,000 (known) Jewish believers in Yeshua. That may not sound like many, given Israel's nearly six million Jews, but it's a far cry from 10 years ago, when there were only about 3,500 Jewish believers and 80 congregations. A good example is Shemen Sasson in Jerusalem, where attendance has nearly tripled over the past four years. – CBN NEWS
PAUL & NUALA'S NEWS
It is good once again to have the opportunity to wish you the highest blessings of Christmas and Chanukah. We pray for a wonderful year ahead filled with Lord's blessings and many opportunities to bless others. The greatest blessing of all is to know the true meaning of Jesus' coming to earth and the consequence of this for those who believe.
MINISTRY IN EUROPE
As we write this newsletter we have just returned home to Florida and are catching up with friends and reconnecting with the ministries we work with in the area.
We spent September, October and the beginning of November in Ireland, U.K. and Israel. Our Tour to Israel once again blessed those who joined us by deepening their love for Jesus, the Word of God and the land and people of Israel
We had the privilege of ministering at over 50 meetings and were aware of a strong presence of the Lord at many of these meetings. We are also aware that it will take the hand of God Himself to bring revival and transformation to our lands.
• No one can come to Jesus
except the Father draw Him.
• No one comes to the Father
except by Jesus.
• No one comes Jesus
except by the Holy Spirit.
The work of God is truly God’s work - He includes us in it but it is His work. Our part to pray, to obey and to ask Him draw the seemingly disinterested masses to Himself. It is sad to see a nation such as Ireland turn its back on God’s mercies and succumb to the seduction of
Our “New Testament For Ireland” project continues to flourish. A number of evangelists who witness in the streets and at public events throughout Ireland use them in their outreach. Our first 14,000 were distributed by these workers so we ordered another 5,000 copies which are available for free to those who use them in outreach evangelism. In spite of the falling away we believe the Lord is releasing a new spirit of evangelism in Ireland and we shall yet see revival and a harvest.
Our friend Bill Lacy was promoted to heaven at the end of October. He was also a friend of the Lord and a great servant of the Body of Christ. He had a special love for Israel and the Jewish people. Our loss – heaven’s gain.
We especially thank the pastors and leaders of the churches and fellowships throughout Ireland who allowed us to minister the Word of God. These laborers for the gospel need our special prayers, support and encouragement.
Our deepest thanks to all who help us with your encouragement, prayers and financial support. Without you this ministry could not function. Let us know if we can serve you in any way in 2018.
One in His great love and service,
Paul & Nuala
(feel free to copy)