THIS I BELIEVE
In this chapter I want to write about those truths that have impacted my life, and still do to this very day. The Lord Jesus tells us I John 16:13 NKJV However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come. In both Church History and in the life of the Believer TRUTH IS PROGRESSIVE. Recently I have written a series of blogs on “Searching the Scriptures” and we see three possible responses to truth by the Church from the Reformation until now,, and these responses are typical of Believers in every generation, including myself.
- Embracing the Truth
- Rejecting the truth
- Taking the Truth to extremes
Sadly, I have done all three over the years, I am so thankful the Word of the Lord came a second and often third time to me. Let me say here Truth is very important, and we should seek to clearly know what the Word of God says, but we must never become DOCTRINE CENTRED BUT SEEK EVER TO BE CHRIST CENTRED.
We must also have the attitude that God is still restoring truth to the Church up to this very day, so need to remain Flexible, Adjustable, and Adaptable. I have been reading the recent history of the Baptist church of Victoria and in an official document they state: Baptists accept the principle that God has yet more light and truth to break forth from the Word. We serve a God of Restoration.
MANY ASPECTS OF TRUTH MUST BE PERSONALLY EXPERIENCED
- Justification by Faith. As a ten year old I was wonderfully born again by the Spirit of God through the ministry of The Salvation Army, and become part of that movement for over 10 years, simply embracing their Arminian position, which is strongly held by most of the Pentecostal movement as well. it is so interesting that the two major Schools on this doctrine Arminianism & Calvinism are based on the Bible yet in many ways take a different stand on aspecs of truth. Calvin shone the light on a great Sovereign God, where the other School majored on Human responsibility. It is so easy to over emphasise one aspect of truth, I have come to see we need BALANCE so these days I stand somewhere in the middle of both these Schools, some aspects of Calvinism I reject (I just can’t understand what he was on about, neither can I be a Cessationist because the Holy Spirit Gifts are still available and operating today.
- The Sacraments, Again The Salvation Army do not accept these “means of grace” but I am thankful the Holy Spirit led me into these truths, and I gladly followed the Lord through the Death, Burial, Resurrection experience in Baptism, and love to remember the Lord’s death in Communion, if I could I would do this weekly.
- The Baptism in the Holy Spirit, Acts 2:4 NKJV tells us And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. again in the Pentecostal sense The Salvation Army also reject this truth,(the term is also used in Holiness teaching) God had to use a book written by William Booth-Clibborn the grand son of the Army’s Founder to even get me to open my heart and mind to it. As a 19 year old kneeling at my bedside, I experienced this wonderful filling, and I spoke in tongues for the first time. Because of lack of understanding it was many years before I saw the truth that we Believers should use our prayer language every day of our lives. I personally and practically came to see that night the Gifts of the Spirit are still available today.
- The Great Commission, As I have already written about in my Memoirs, this is all theory and only information until is becomes a personal revelation, and it has sure changed my life.
- The Word of Faith Romans 10:17 NKJV So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.When this truth was restored there was plenty of “dirty bath water” and it was coined as “Blab it and grab it” and “confess it and possess it” teaching. Theologians love to say because Logos & Rhema are used interchangeably in the Greek text, it is not significant, but when you experience it, and the information becomes revelation you know it is an important truth. God wants to quicken His Word to us every day if we will spend time meditating on it.
- The Restoration of David’s Tabernacle Acts 15: 13-17 NKJV After this I will return
And will rebuild the tabernacle of David, which has fallen down;
I will rebuild its ruins, and I will set it up, so that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord, even all the Gentiles who are called by my name, says the Lord who does all these things. And I will set it up so that the rest of mankind may seek the Lord.
This was not a physical building that James spoke about at the Jerusalem Council, it was the restoration of the Worship order that King David had introduced to replace Moses order that he had in what was known as Moses Tabernacle. The awesome development of Holy Spirit worship in the 1970s through until the 90″s was unforgettable and when you have tasted of it you can never be satisfied with anything less. Perhaps it became extreme and was rejected my many, or replaced by the importance of “excellence”and instead of having congregations of participating worshippers, we now have congregations of spectators.
- The Body of Christ As a young person we sang a chorus that said “I don’t care what church you belong too, just as long as for Calvary you stand” we sang it but I sure didn’t mean it, our church was the “Best” church, and if you didn’t speak in tongues you were a 2nd class Christian. I thank God I have been delivered from denominationalism. I am so glad that when I stand before the Judgement Seat of Christ, I am not going to be asked “What doctrines do you believe”? But What did you do with Jesus, and how did you live for Him”? After holding Ministerial Credentials for over 50 years with my denomination these have now been withdrawn because age and circumstances do not permit me to attend a church associated with my “denomination”. This has made me very sad (in one sense) but in another sense , my vision is for “The Body of Christ” anyway and the basis of my fellowship and relationships with other Believers in NOT on the basis of what I believe, or what they believe, but the fact we are simply Brothers & Sisters in Christ who are born again of the Spirit. I consider for example two dear Singaporeans who are past students of mine special friends, they serve full time in the Archdiocese of the Catholic church in Singapore. I also love the teaching and ministry of Bruce Downes “The Catholic Guy”. I have many friends in many countries who serve the Lord in a multitude of different churches and denominations. Some will say I am a heretic, but I am not compromising what I believe.
I am sure I could highlight other truths, but the above gives you some idea of what I believe and how it has impacted my life over almost 67 years as a Believer.