Thursday, 30 April 2015

Overflowing God - John 1:5

Exploding old thoughts
As words through clouds of granite
Pulls the heart without a sound

Clear my rusted mind
I await a chink of light
Where your sun beams further shine

John 1: 5 “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness can never extinguish it.”

Monday, 27 April 2015

Gallipoli 100 - A Letter by Pte. William Hood, 6th Battalion, A.I.F.

This account is by Pte, James William Hood of the 6th Battalion, AIF and was published in the WEST WIMMERA MAIL on July 16th, 1915.

Private Hood did not actually take part in the Landing at Gallipoli on April 25th, but saw all the action on board ship with the unloading party. His account offers a unique perspective of the landings.

"Private Jim HOOD, son of Mrs. HOOD of Polkemmet, has written two interesting letters home. The first was written on May 2 on the troop ship Galeka, off Alexandria, and is as follows:--

"I suppose you were pleased to hear that Australia won her first victory in one of the severest battles of the war. I was unlucky enough to miss it, as I was left on board to help unload in the hold party, and after the hospital ships were filled with wounded they sent them onto our boat, and so we have been nurses and general sickmen's orderlies ever since. It was a rotten job, just about turned me up. I thought I could stand blood. They talk about the way the Germans play dirty tricks, but the Turks can loose them at it. They hold up the white flag and then shoot our men as soon as they approach them. German officers are everywhere in our uniforms, giving our men orders in English, and playing our bugle calls to entice our men out of the trenches. The Turks seem to use more explosive bullets then any other kind.

The wounds they give are awful. One chap had his hand blown off with the explosion. In the trenches they pop off above you just like crackers, and when you open them there is just an outer coat of nickle, filled with powder and a little soft lead to hold the powder in. The troops landed on my birthday. We had the ship right close to the shore, and the shrapnel was flying all over us. It was a terrible rough landing for the boys. First time under fire, and an awful lot were shot in the boats before they reached shore. One boat was sunk by a shell going through it, and the men were picked up in the water. The boys behaved beautifully. They charged as soon as they landed, in fact they jumped out up to their necks in water and charged the Turkish trenches 50 yards from the shore, and then chased the Turks a mile and a half inland.

Their snipers took heavy toll of our men. You couldn't see them 12 yds from you and they just murdered our chaps wholesale. One sniper they shot had 12 identification discs and about £200 in Australian money from those he had shot, and another had wristlet watches up to his elbow on one arm. I suppose you will have heard all this news long before you get this letter; but we have no time to think of anything else at present, as you may guess. It is a unique experience for all of us, and it is a scene that some of us will never forget. There are a lot of our fellows gone. Three of my mates at Mena are dead and two more wounded. Goodbye for the present. I will write first chance, but we land in firing line this week. Love to all home and Polkemmet, and to all the girls near home.

The second letter is thrilling :--

Some spot in Turkey, May 18 -- I must write a line to let you know I am still going strong, though the shrapnel are screaming musically about and above our heads, and rifles and machine guns are also doing their share of the orchestra. I don't know where my mail has been getting to, as I have only had two letters since we left Mena on the 14th of April. I met Bruce GREGSON (wounded) the other day, but he is back in the firing line again. If the Australians can do nothing else they can play this game well. At present they are laughing and joking at every shell that comes. It is funny the difference between death in civil life and death here. It seems such a common thing to expect to get your turn, and still it doesn't come, and even when you see a friend shot you have no time to do anything but just fire on for all your worth.

There is one thing about the Turks, you can't bayonet them, because they won't wait for you and you have no chance of catching them for they run like hares. They say this is more serious fighting than that in France, and they call it "Hell on Earth". It is worse here because it is full of bullets, Lyddite, hand grenades, shrapnel and various other articles. Tell the girls I have no time for more than one letter and not much time for that. I am writing this on my water bottle, well down in the ground in a dug out with just room for three in it. Jack CHARLTON, Will HOLDEN, and myself all writing. It may be the last time for months or it may be forever (Kathleen Mavourneen style). Someone just sang out that from the amount of fireworks there were here he reckoned it was the 5th November and not 18th May. The light horse are in the trenches with the infantry now. Goodbye mother. Say goodbye to all I know, as it is 10:1 chance if I ever see them again. You can't realise what it is like.

[ An official post card, dated May 20, said he was well, but have since heard that he was wounded on June 24 ]

Later Mrs. HOOD informed us yesterday that she received a wire the night before containing the bad news that her son had been severely wounded in the right leg. "

James William Hood enlisted on 14th September 1914, in the 6th Battalion AIF as 2nd Reinforcement, he was injured in 1915 and returned to Australia.
However, he reenlisted when recovered on the 16th March 1916 again with the 6th Battalion, 18th Reinforcement.

On 18th August 1918 he was awarded the Military Medal for his bravery during the Battle of Lihons.

The citation reads:

Military Medal

'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty on the 10th day of August 1918 at LIHONS. During the attack this Stretcher Bearer did magnificent work and displayed great courage in going out under heavy Machine Gun and rifle fire across extremely flat and open country and rescuing wounded. On many separate occasions, after his comrade had become a casualty, he bandaged the wounded by himself and at great personal risk repeatedly carried them great distances on his back to a place of safety. His courage was superb.' (Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 109. Date: 15 September 1919).

He survived the war and returned to Australia on 22nd August 1919.

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Gallipoli 100 - A Letter by Lance Corporal Vivian Brown, 8th Battalion, A.I.F.

This report from the West Wimmera mail comes from Lance Corporal Vivian Charles Brown, 8th Battalion AIF.

He was a carpenter from Natimuk, Victoria. He enlisted on 19th August 1914 aged 27, regimental no. 643. He returned to Australia on 17th March 1917, injured.

A newspaper report of the 23rd June 1920 updates “Mr. Viv Brown is back in Natimuk from the Caulfield Military Hospital, where he underwent an operation on his foot, which was shattered by a shell.”

This account gives a different angle and even has time for some humour, “As the hills were very steep many rolled down instead of walking”.

Mrs. EKMAN writes:-- I noticed in your last issue that you stated my brother, Viv. C. BROWN was at Malta (minding prisoners), I beg to inform you, that is incorrect, because Monday, 21st June, I received a letter from him, which runs as follows:--

"Just a few lines to let you know I am still able to eat three meals a day. We are right in the thick of it here, if you know where "here" is, as we are not allowed to say where we are at present. We landed on a Sunday and I do not think I will ever forget it. The first salute we got was a hail of shrapnel as we rowed ashore in the boats, and as we got ashore it was like someone throwing stones. They (the stones) were flopping all around us. It was all uphill work.

There was a funny side to it as well. As the hills were very steep many rolled down instead of walking. I experienced it myself, and it was not too pleasant, as there was a lot of prickly bushes where I lobbed. The fire was not too bad until we got to another hill. Colonel GARTSIDES (he is dead now poor chap) said we would be under heavy fire when we were going down the other side, and he was quiet right, we were. I reckon I could have given any of the crack runners of "Nati" a start and then have beaten them down the next gully. I will ring off now as paper is scarce. H. HALLAM was the only one from Natimuk that got hit, he is still in the hospital. Remember me to all over there as I cannot write to everyone."

Saturday, 25 April 2015

Gallipoli 100 - The Landing A Letter by Pte. Cecil Edward Edmondson, 12th Battalion, A.I.F.

This letter appeared in the WEST WIMMERA MAIL on June 18th, 1915. Written to his mother by Pte. Cecil Edward Edmondson, 12th Battalion, AIF. He enlisted on 12th September 1914 no. 1021 and returned to Australia on 24th June 1916.

It gives a pretty graphic description of the landing and of how lucky he was not to get hit.

"This is the first opportunity I have had of writing to you. I am at a disadvantage at present, as I have lost all my belongings and have got no money, so couldn't get any paper until I got up, otherwise you would have heard sooner. We will be freshly equipped before we go back. I got a bullet in the leg, and have been waiting for the x-rays, but they have decided to leave the bullet in, as it doesn't seem to be going to affect me. I am at Cairo, but will be back at the front before you get this. No doubt you have an account of the landing in Turkey. It was rather a warm reception that we got, but our boys were very brave and fought against great odds. Poor old Australia, she has lost a lot of her best lads, and is likely to loose many more. Our officers were very brave, and the poor chaps were picked off in great numbers. Our battalion lost Colonel and Lieutenant. Colonel the first day, and I hear that our Captain, who was a splendid man, was wounded badly. No doubt you wondered where we were after we left Cairo.

We were at Lemnos Island, a Greek possession, not far from the Dardanelles. We did some hard training there, climbing big hills, rowing, climbing rope ladders off the boats on to destroyers. Our brigade, the 3rd, was the one chosen to land first, and they have got great praise. One would never think it possible to land troops there, and I'm sure we wouldn't have only for the warboats. The forts had there fire on us, also machine guns and rifles all day Sunday, and all through the night the firing kept up. It was a fearful row, battle ships behind, Turks big guns and machine guns in front and on the left of us, and our own guns as well. It was war in earnest ; but with all this noise, when I was relieved, I was able to sleep as soundly as if I were in bed. There were some fearful sights and I shall never forget them.

I don't mind the bullets so much, it is the shrapnel that is so terrible. The earth shakes under you when a shell bursts, and the effects are awful. Several of our men, where they burst close to them, were blown to pieces. There is a difference between shell and shrapnel. Shrapnel is a shell full of round bullets and when it burst the bullets go forward about 30 to 40 yards wide, and 200 to 300 yards forward, so you can see it is hard to dodge. I have had quiet a number of experiences, and can tell you I have been in about the thickest fire that has been experienced, and one can hardly believe he is alive the narrow shaves I have had. One experience out of a number was when I was lying wounded. I propped my head on my arm and a bullet went right through between my arm and head and hit a chap behind me in the chest. There are others waiting to write, so I must now leave you. Although we were at times in storms of bullets I wasn't at all afraid. I really think your boy would be a good soldier so don't worry about him. "

Friday, 24 April 2015

Forgotten Heroes - William Scorer. DCM.

William Dobson Scorer, 24th Battalion, of Essendon, Vic. A clerk prior to enlistment he embarked with the 6th Reinforcements from Melbourne on board HMAT Ulysses on 27 October 1915. He was taken on strength and transferred to the 8th Battalion on 24 February 1916. After a series of promotions he reached the rank of Sergeant (Sgt) on 27 July 1916. 

Sgt Dobson was awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal (DCM) 'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in an attack on Broodseinde Ridge east of Ypres on 4 October 1917. According to the recommendation "he assisted in guiding the battalion to the assembly position. During the advance he maintained direction on the flank in a most efficient manner, and, when held up by machine gun fire, crept forward alone and put the gun out of action. Though wounded, he continued at his task until badly wounded at the final objective, setting a fine example of courage and initiative.'" 

Sgt Scorer was admitted to hospital on 9 October from the extensive wounds he substained; he later developed pneumonia and died on 24 October 1917, aged 24. He is buried at Etaples Military Cemetery, France.

Thursday, 23 April 2015

The Parable of the Searching Heart

Year-long, weekdays, he passed an orchard,
Mornings, in the company of sparrows
As colour rained across each shadow
Of fruit trees immersed with butterflies.

In the season of woven blossom
A tapestry of blown petals may contain
Every promise he could ever anticipate
A ballet of trees imploring his provision

But soon, in the warmth, he forgot them,
He looked towards the distant autumn
Distracted by the warehouse of his heart
Of black banners and fluttering crows.

High over the fields, he viewed lemon petals
In an empty heart, he walked towards the edge
Of others harvest ripe for collection
His face to the wind he drifted away.

He let his heart be filled with sorrow
And left behind the drizzle of spring
The scent of each blossom called him back
To the touch of love and the kiss of grace.

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Overflowing God - John 1:4

You are life
Symphony of grace
Song of praise
Constant love
Sweet affection, pure desire
Hope beyond measure

You are light
A raging furnace
Flame of grace
Precious prism
Illuminated delight
Creation’s new life

You are breath
With gentle spirit
Joy of day
Living truth
Wondrous galaxies alive
Declare your glory.

John 1 : 4 “The Word gave life to everything that was created,  and his life brought light to everyone.”

Saturday, 18 April 2015

From Moment to Moment

I had often wondered
Why I did not feel
Of God’s hand supporting me
When I was alone
Weary of myself
Tired of pain
Feeling dirty, exhausted, foolish

~From moment to moment~

The pure gift of grace
Present in everything
Kept me safe
In the unconditional love
When I was sustained
With His resources
Finally set free
Filled with wonderful spiritual delight

Friday, 17 April 2015

Forgotten Heroes - Captain James Ernest Newland. V.C.

Captain James Ernest Newland, 12th Battalion, AIF, Victoria Cross action on 8 April and 15 April 1917 at Lagnicourt.

James Newland was born at Highton, Victoria. He served in the Boer War before becoming a regular soldier. In August 1914 he transferred to the AIF. He took part in the Gallipoli landing; he was soon wounded and evacuated and, later that year, commissioned. In 1916 he went to France as battalion adjutant, and was Mentioned in Despatches at Pozières.

Newland was awarded the Victoria Cross for his actions on three occasions over 7–9 April, and 15 April 1917. Near Boursies and Lagnicourt, France, he led strong attacks and repelled enemy counter-attacks. "It was [his] tenacity and disregard for his own safety that encouraged the men to hold out." In early May, Newland was again wounded.

Returning to Australia, Newland served in the army until 1941. He worked briefly for the Red Cross then joined the inspection staff at Footscray Ammunition Factory, Melbourne, until his death in 1949.

As well as the Victoria Cross Newland received service medals for the Boer War and First and Second World Wars, the King George VI Coronation Medal, and long and meritorious service medals. The oak leaf denotes that Newland was Mentioned in Despatches.

Thursday, 16 April 2015

Grace Gems - The Ocean Of Grace by Mick Mooney

The ocean is one body of water, but it is made up of an immeasurable amount of drops. Though small when compared to the whole, each drop has an equally important place in making the ocean what it is.

I think of God's love like an ocean, and each time someone shares about it, it's like a drop of grace, a beautiful drop of grace, that has been shared from this cosmic-sized ocean of love.

When it comes to expressing God's love, no one person, no one group, no one generation will ever be able to express the fullness of God's love, but each of us still has an important part in the expression of God's love on earth. We share drops of grace in words and deeds with one another, with ourselves, and with the world around us.

We are all drops of grace. The joy of this reality is experienced when we remember the ocean we are part of, and that our part, while seemingly small, is in no way insignificant. Truthfully, there is no such thing as an individual insignificance when we remember that together we more than a drop, we are an ocean of love, we are the light in the world. We are one.

Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Overflowing God - John 1:3

Spoken word
You are the morning
Burning sun
Golden dawn
Shinning bright creation
Crowned in glory

John 1: 3 "God created everything through him,  and nothing was created except through him."

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Overflowing God - John 1:2

Life’s pure song
Sung in unison
Love’s anthem
Heavens heart
In unparalleled splendour
Divine joyous dance

John 1: 2 -  “He existed in the beginning with God.”

Monday, 13 April 2015

Overflowing God - John 1:1

Endless love
Through immeasurable years
He was life
He was light
His eternal glory shone
Passionate embrace.

Radiant love
Magnitude greatness
Mutual adoration
Passionate delight.

John 1: 1  - “In the beginning the Word already existed.   The Word was with God  and the Word was God.”

Sunday, 12 April 2015


All our lives
We rise from our slumber
Run through the streets
Chasing and striving
Following the silhouettes
Into the dawn
We search for connection
Down well trodden paths
Fleeing the night
For secret assurance
And inner peace.
In the courts of our heart
Deep hidden chambers
The lover waits
With words of affection
And overwhelming grace
Love kisses our night

Saturday, 11 April 2015


In the place of his nearness
From the fountain of new wine
In the river of his power
In the closeness of his presence

Wednesday, 8 April 2015

Forgotten Heroes - Corporal James Lihou, DCM and BAR, MM.

Corporal James Lihou DCM and BAR MM of the 13th Battalion AIF.

Awarded the Distinguished Conduct Medal on 7 July 1918; bar to the medal, 18 September 1918, Military Medal, April 1918. Killed in action at Le Verguier, France on 18 September 1918, aged 23.

Distinguished Conduct Medal
'For conspicuous gallantry and devotion to duty in charge of a Lewis gun section during an attack. Throughout the advance he fired from the hip with great effect, and when an enemy post threatened to hold up the line he engaged it so effectually that a bombing section was enabled to approach it from a flank without casualties and kill all the occupants. Shortly after, when one of his section became a casualty, he carried his gun as well as his own right up to the final objective. He set a splendid example of cheerfulness and cool confidence to his men.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 31
Date: 4 March 1919
Military Medal
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 1
Date: 2 January 1919

Bar to DCM
'For great gallantry and initiative during the attack on the 18 September, 1918, near Le Verguier. He and a small party of seven attacked a machine gun post, killing three of the crew, and taking the remainder prisoners. Later, when the party reached the first objective, they met with opposition from several machine guns. Sergeant Lihou charged ahead, bombed and captured one crew, thus enabling his party to get into the trench. He was later severely wounded while charging a machine gun single handed.'
Source: 'Commonwealth Gazette' No. 35
Date: 15 April 1920

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Grace Gems - I Am A New Creation

You don't have to do another thing for God to get Him to accept you or to get Him to love you. He loves you completely and utterly and fully! We live with this thing in our mind that if we are not praying enough or winning the lost enough then God is a little bit unpleased with us! That is a LIE from the devil!

If you never read your Bible for the rest of your life and praying another prayer to God for the rest of your life or never tried to win one more person to Christ for the rest of your life then God would still fully love you, accept you and be pleased with you!

But then won't Christians not want to do anything? No! Actually it takes all the "have-tos" off Christians! I don't want to live my life by someone saying "You have to do this". That is the 10 Commandments again! Grace takes all the "have-tos" off us and says we don't have to do another thing! You don't have to live for God or try and stop sinning! It takes all the "have-tos" off and when they get taken off then all the "want-tos" begin to come out!

Grace awakens your spirit to all the goodness that God put in there at the point of salvation and draws those things out!

Because my spirit is being made perfect in Christ - Ephesians
4:23 - says we have been created after the very nature of God. My spirit has got the nature of God in it! So many people preach that we still have got a sinful nature and that is a load of rubbish! My spirit is part of the new creation order and that means nothing from the old got put back into my spirit.

Ryan Rufus

Friday, 3 April 2015

Good Friday

Through the veil
The buds are needles
Breathing mist
At each door
Thin and cold the heart waits for
Sacrificing blood.

Thursday, 2 April 2015

Grace Nuggets - A Child Of God

We are made in the image and likeness of God. The very essence of God is the core of our nature. We are his delight, the joy of his heart, the overflow of his abundant love.

We are his treasure, when we are lost he searches the earth for us, his heart cries out for us and he sends encounter after encounter to us to woo us back to him.

We have as our origin the source of all things, the Father God

Great professors, academics and scientist debate and argue over the start of life. But God’s love letter to us, shows us that we all had our beginnings in the Father’s heart of everlasting, unconditional love. We are his prize, his cherished ones.

Each one of us is a precious gem in our Fathers crown. A son who was lost but is now found. A child of God.

Wednesday, 1 April 2015

The Blood - Substance or Shadow by Rob Rufus (Edited)

I want to talk about the substance of the blood.

I believe that by understanding by revelation the significance of the blood of Jesus is instant access into the freshness of God's Presence.

It has been a life-source to me - understanding the blood. The Bible says in Leviticus that the life of the flesh is in the blood. I do not want you to think of the blood and the blood covenant of God as something primitive and brutal. The ancient Aztecs had a lot of blood in their religion because they worshipped demons. Those demons demanded the sacrifice of human beings. Their own children at times - thousands of people were sacrificed because demon gods demanded human blood. People compare that to Christianity. It is utterly opposite to Christianity - our loving God did not demand we spill our blood or the blood of our children or anyone.

Our God came and made Himself man and shed His divine blood on behalf. The life of the flesh is in the blood. When you go for a blood transfusion it is not seen as primitive and brutal but rather kind and gracious and life-saving. What we are talking about is the greatest blood transfusion in all of the universe. The blood transfusion of the Lord Jesus Christ.

The value of the blood corresponds to the value of the life that is in it.

The blood that makes an atonement for the soul. Andrew Murray said this; "The power of the blood of Jesus is nothing less than the eternal power of God Himself. To talk about the blood is to talk about the eternal power of God Himself". So while I talk about this blood right now, I want you to open yourself out to get ready to see the power of God come fresh.

The anointing will come and "mantle" you with freshness.

This is a subject the devil hates more than any other subject - the blood of Jesus. It is so seldom preached in churches. You will almost never hear any messages on the blood anymore. Yet it is the scarlet thread that runs right through the book of God and without revelation of the blood you have no revelation of Jesus, kingdom, the power of God and the realm of the glory.

The Bible speaks about shadow and substance.

God went to great lengths under the Old Covenant to show us the shadow and prepare generations over 2000 years for the arrival of the substance. So when you see a shadow of an areoplane on the ground, you don't point to that shadow and say "There's an areoplane". But you see a shadow and that points to the fact that the reality of the substance exists. So you look up and see the substance and the substance is INFINATELY superior to the shadow. Now I want to quickly show you on a quick tour (no time to look up the Scriptures - I will quote them and you can look them up). Test the Bible yourself. Don't just accept it because I say so.

God went to almost mind-boggling extremes to show us the shadow blood of bulls and goats almost in a display of extravagance that makes my cynical mind go; "God that's a bit of overkill you know?!". That is pretty extreme God!

Yet it is the reason it is because He wanted to get the attention of a New Covenant generation of the centrality of the blood and power, Presence and glory anointing and intimacy with Almighty God.
So let's look at it - we know that Adam and Eve walked with God in the glory - they had the Presence of God on them every day - they heard God's audible voice and didn't have a Bible They had God and they talked to God face to face, eyeball to eyeball, conversations with God.

So when man fell he was really falling from the Presence of God. He sinned and lost the Presence of God. So restoration - salvation is really about a restoration to face to face intimacy with the Presence of God on your life every day!

It's one thing to come into a meeting where people have fasted through the week and had got before God and interceded and got down the glory and wiped themselves out in the background - yet you come into a meeting having not met with God all through the week and you come in and can experience temporarily an anointing and enjoy it for a while and then go out and spend another week and then go out and spend another week without God's Presence - which is your inheritance!

It's one thing to enjoy a glorious Sunday meeting and get anointed and another thing to know how to walk in the Presence of God on Monday through Friday and wake up in the morning in the Presence. Life in the anointing is different to life outside of the anointing!

What is religion? The absence of power and Presence = religion.

I don't care if there are 10, 000 people on a Sunday morning - with incredible programmes and incredible music and incredible speaking and preaching with great eloquence and persuasive words - if there is no demonstration of power, if there is no cripples walking and blind eyes opening or deaf ears opening or people being set free from demons then you have just seen a very impressive modernist demonstration of religion. You can have an encounter with expert musicians but not an encounter with God. Music is not there to entertain us or impress us - music is merely a servant to facilitate the manifestation of the glory of God.

I have walked out of services weeping and saying; "Jesus You are not there". But there were 1000s people there and everything was expert with smoke machines and presentation and lights and everything was so good - everything is hyped up in the soul realm. I walk out weeping and broken - I can't explain how horrified I am!

It is such a massive deception taking place because principles and cognitive cerebral ideas have replaced the Presence of Almighty God.

In the book of Acts there were glory and signs and wonders and miracles there. There is nothing judgemental about what I've just said about programmes! In my heart I MUST see His Presence! I want His Presence! When Adam and Eve fell, they fell from the Presence and glory of God! They didn't fall from the evangelical gospel; "Repent and live without the glory for the rest of your life". Sickness and disease is from the Lord - hallelujah. It's not from the Lord - its from the devil! "One day you will go to heaven and it will all be worth it" - that is the gospel of salvation - it's not the gospel of kingdom. I know one day I'm going die. I am not in total kingdom now.

The kingdom has come, it's coming and one day it will fully come at the return of Jesus!

(I just thought I would put that in for the heresy hunters and Pharisees and Sadducees, Couldn't-sees and Wouldn't-sees!). Adam and Eve covered themselves with fig leaves and it was the wrong cover and the cover must be blood. God was basically saying any other cover but the blood will leave you feeling guilty and will leave you feeling shamed so He slaughtered animals and put bloodied animal skins in order for them to find the peace of God.

Their son Abel understood the blood and Hebrews 11:4 says that by faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain through which he obtained witness that he was righteous. God testifying to His gifts and through it "He being dead speaks today". That's an amazing Scripture! That through blood Abel FELT righteous but Cain brought just fruit from the land and God was not pleased with his sacrifice so at the beginning of humanity, we see that Abel though he is dead, still speaks today. That without blood there can be no approach to God, no favour of God, you cannot know God experientially, you cannot walk with God - there is no grace, no blessing, no power in your life without the blood - the manifest Presence of God is absent.

Except that if you go to church and God turns up and the faith of some of the other people draws Him. That for me is not good enough - I want to carry His Presence every day. I know I wouldn't be alive today if it wasn't for carrying His Presence.

I have carried His manifest tangible Presence every day for 30 years. There has not been one single day where I haven't felt the Presence of God. I am so concerned when some people are impressed by that. I am SO worried about that! Because it is a normal Book of Acts inheritance - to walk in His Presence!

I don't walk in His Presence every day, all day, all the time. I like to watch movies and read a book. But I am saying that I MUST feel His Presence every day and so must you! Noah (Genesis 7:2). How many of you know that God told him to bring the animals into the ark two by two? God said actually to bring the unclean animals in 2 by 2 - but to bring the clean animals in pairs of 7. Most don't know that. God puts nothing in His Bible for nothing and He's got shadows in there to help us look and see what the substance is. The unclean animals could not be sacrificed in a blood covenant but the clean animals - the superior number in pairs of seven - they were brought in so that after the flood (Genesis 8:20) after the judgement was over - Noah got off the ark and sacrificed the animals on Mount Ararat.

One from each. That's a lot of animals (v21). It says God smelled a "soothing aroma" and God took an oath not to destroy the earth again or curse the ground again. Why? Because of the blood. Then you get Abraham in Genesis 12:7. God shows him the future Promised Land of the people of Israel. God showed him the Promised Land and says; "I will give this to your descendants" and Abraham built an altar and makes a blood sacrifice in response to the promise of receving the Promised Land. Genesis 26:24-25 - Isaac.

I was preparing this yesterday and felt God say; "Preach on the blood". As I was putting these thoughts together and preparing this, I felt the Presence of God come on me as I was preparing and I must say as I am speaking now I feel like I am wrapped in this beautiful atmosphere of God and His Presence. We talk on the blood and it is a soothing aroma because of our faith in the blood - it is a soothing aroma to heaven and it brings such a Presence of rest and peace. Can you feel that? It's so wonderful.

Isaac - he also sacrificed blood in (v24-25) of Genesis 26.

So notice Adam and Eve - not without blood. Abel -not without blood. Abraham - not without blood. Isaac - not without blood. Notice who is without blood. Ishmael and Cain and what happened to those 2? Cut off. Those with blood - prosperity and peace and friends with God and His glory-Presence. Those without blood - cut off.

(Genesis 33). Jacob is on his way back to the Promised Land (v18) and built an altar and made a blood sacrifice. Jacob had 12 sons - all of which ended up in Egypt with their wives and children and they stayed for 430 years and became Israel. But they did not know God. In that 430 years they went into darkness and there is no mention of blood for those 430 years. Without the application of blood, they go into slavery and into bondage to the extent that they have no concious knowledge of God at all. So that when God appears to Moses, Moses has no idea who God is (41:11); "Who are You?". It's hard to believe because of how intimate Moses became with God and how close to God he was. But God turned up and Moses did not know God at all. He commands Moses to go and set His people free. But when Moses first went back to the Israelites, they didn't believe He was from God.

When people aren't under blood, they are in darkness and are religious and in slavery and are so discouraged. As Christians we are meant to live so full of hope and so full of confidence and so full of purpose and certainty. You live under Old Covenant thinking and you will not have that unless you come fully over to the New Covenant. They were in darkness for 430 years - and how did they get out of slavery? How did they get out of darkness? They applied the blood of the lamb on the doorposts and to the lintels.

Now God had applied blood to Adam, Abel, Noah, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and now the power of the blood covenant is revealed to Israel and God says; "When I see the blood, I will pass over - I will not bring judgement". He did not say; "When I see your holiness or when I see how well you perform". He said; "When I see the blood ...". There are so many Christians trying to impress God - with how much they are not sinning and "I am not sinning and I am searching my heart to see if there is any sin in me". Don't go down that route to search your heart for any sin! It's depressing to look in there! Look out and up! Look into Jesus - the Author and Perfecter of our faith! Don't look in here!

I get very discouraged when people start a meeting by getting us to look in and see how much sin there is in there and repent of everything. 3 hours later you won't be finished! And when you have finished, you are so negative that you won't know how to worship! Thank God that woman didn't know anything about searching her haert - she knew she was a sinner but that wasn't what she was about. She walks in and throws an alabaster jar on Jesus's feet. She just worshipped Him and knew nothing about Hong Kong's religion. "Let's check our hearts before we worship". At the end of that He said; "I forgive you". The religious people say; "Doesn't HE know she's a sinner?". Of course He knew! But the law came through Moses and grace and truth came through Jesus.

"When I see the blood, I will pass over in judgement". Psalm 105 says the people came out laden with gold and silver. So the blood brought them out of darkness and slavery and into a knowledge and encounter with God and into freedom and prosperity and into assignment on their way to the Promised Land. In Exodus 24:4, 9 - 3 million people were to be sprinkled with blood. We are talking shadow so we can see the importance of substance. We will never slaughter cats and dogs and put blood on you! Shadow. All 3 million were sprinkled with blood - can you imagine the amount of calves that were slaughtered? Now don't get angry with God for that - if you eat red meat! City dwellers should go and see how animals are killed and still enjoy their red meat. The book was to be dripping with blood and all 3 million people had to be dripping with blood. It says in (v10) that they encountered God and met with God through the blood.

(Exodus 25) - God tells Moses to build the Tabernacle which is a mobile Tabernacle as they were travelling the wilderness. It had 4 coverings and around it stood a fence of linen. Blue, purple, scarlet - at the gate. At the gate they came into the Tabernacle - those colours spoke about Jesus very clearly. Don't have time to go into the details there. The priests would come in through the gate - and right before them stood the altar of sacrifice. The first thing you saw was a blood sacrifice altar - all ordained by God. Beyond the altar was a big laver-like cup that priests would wash in - it was full of water and beyond that was the tent divided into two sections. The Holy of Holies and the bigger part - the Holy Place. We think that is Old Testament stuff and we don't need to know about it. It is shadow that God took time to put in through the reality of the substance more alive in our faith for daily living.

We have to understand the Old Covenant so we can leave the shadow and come into substance. The larger section of the tent - the first section as you come in through the door was the Holy Place and you would see on your right the Table of Shewbread. On your left you would see the lamp-stand - the 7 minora full of oil. Straight ahead you would see the Table of Incense. Beyond the Table of Incense you would see the veil that separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies. In the Holy of Holies there was the Ark of the Covenant that had 2 cherubs with their wings nearly touching and a gold covered mercy seat and under that was the literal law written on tablets of stone with Aaron's rod that had budded.

God said; "I have to put the law under the mercy seat of gold referring to royalty and I have to cover that with blood otherwise I will have to kill all of you". They had to be hidden. Once a year the high priest would go into the Holy of Holies and sprinkle blood seven times on the seat. This is what would happen; here are some shadows that we need to catch and we need to see. Every day the priest would come through the gate, he would face the altar of sacrifice and then blood was offered from morning until night every single day. Blood was offered on the altar and then he would go in beyond the laver and the priests would wash themselves in the laver and then blood was splashed on the Table of Incense, on the veil itself and blood on the mercy seat once a year. Every day in the Holy Place - every day the priests would come into the Holy Place and would put fresh bread on the Table of Shewbread and make sure the wicks of the candles were clean and trimmed and filled with fresh oil and they would put fresh blood on the Table of Incense which refers to worship.

Our worship is unacceptable without blood. How often do people come into praise and worship on Sunday clue-less about the blood of Jesus and just go through the mechanical motions of praise and worship and God is a million miles away from them in their experience because they just cannot worship God without blood?

Daily they would spray the veil with blood - the veil between the Holy Place and the Holy of Holies and then once a year the mercy seat. Now what is God saying in all of this?

The blood is at the centre of His Presence, the blood is at the centre of open fellowship, living contact, communion with God and fellowship with God is only through the blood.

This continued for 1, 500 years. The mobile tent came to an end - the various temples but more than 1, 500 years later at the temple in Jerusalem, blood was still offered every day for 1, 500 years. Think of how many animals had been sacrificed and blood was shed? God was going to extravagant lengths to get a New Testament people to understand grace, to understand Presence and fellowship and how to hear His voice and walk in His glory and how to see signs and wonders and miracles and have an unfading glory - the reason they had to put blood there every day was that the blood of bulls and goats was a fading glory. The glory came and it faded so more blood, came and faded, more blood. That is the Church today!

Revival? Fade. Years and years of dead religion. Then re-discovery of the New Covenant, re-discovery of grace and revival and then back to law, back to Old Covenant thinking - we need another revival!

The church is meant to go from one degree of glory to the next because the devil has deceived the church and confused the majority of the Christian world today. The majority are deceived - mixing Old Covenant and New Covenant together. It is a confusing cocktail that is crippling the church of the supernatural. They believe in the New Covenant - the problem is that they do believe in grace. 

They believe in enough grace to make them believe they are New Covenant believers - but also believe in enough of pressure to perform to earn, to deserve the blessing by their own actions that they have enough Old Covenant there to nullify and neutralise the power and the authority of the New Covenant.

Let's look at Hebrews 9 - we are there and we can close in a little while. After 1, 500 years of this suddenly a Jewish prophet points to a Man born in Bethlehem and says; "Behold the Lamb of God - the true Passover Lamb - who takes away the sins of the world". Jesus at the Last Supper - the Passover Supper - takes the cup of wine and says; "This is My blood of the New Covenant for the remission of all sins". That's what we are going to see. Hebrews 9 and we will close with this.
We don't want to miss the substance. Despite all of those blood sacrifices no-one ever got free from guilt or condemnation under that blood.

How many of you know Christians today who live when they sin or make mistakes and then live with guilt or condemnation. In other words they are living under an Old Covenant mentality.

I want to show you in the substance that a Christian is never ever meant to live in or feel sin conciousness - never meant to feel guilt-conciousness - never meant to feel condemnation. That doesn't empower us to sin or live rebelliously or disobediently. That empowers us to love God and walk with God. We are not preaching a sinning Christianity - we preach a Gospel that empowers people to be free from the control of sin.

Hebrews 9:9; "Were not able to clear the conscience of the worshipper". That's Old Covenant. Now today some Christians live as though the blood of Jesus was not able to clear their conscience because they think Old Covenant. (v10); "until the time of the new order". You and I live in the New Order called the New Covenant. "When Christ came as the High Priest of the good things that are already here - He went through the greater and more perfect tabernacle". (In other words not Moses, tabernacle or the temple in Jerusalem). "That is not man-made - that is to say not part of this creation. He did not enter with the blood of bulls and goats and calves but He entered the most Holy Place once and for all and by His own blood on the hand - having obtained eternal redemption".
What kind of redemption did Jesus obtain for you? Eternal! So why do people keep asking me if I believe in eternal redemption? Of course I believe in eternal redemption! I don't believe in the blood of bulls and goats! I believe in a salvation/redemption that was purchased and got me eternal redemption. Not redemption on probation or in instalments - do you believe in eternal security? What kind of other security is there? Temporal?

I believe that people say; "Well you can lose their salvation" - absolutely have no idea of how horrific hell is. I have had a revelation of hell and I've studied the Scriptures on hell. If I thought there was some chance of me falling into hell and I was saved now but could one day get lost then I tell you I would have a nervous breakdown and psychiatrists are telling me and many other pastors more and more that the majority of their parents are Christians who live with a fear of losing their own salvation.

He brought us eternal redemption. I want you to look at (v13);
"... the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer sprinkled on those who are sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean, sanctify them so they are outwardly clean - how much more then will the blood of Christ who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death so that we may serve the living God?".
How many of you want to serve God, see signs and wonders and miracles and serve the purposes of God with a clear conscience?! Most Christians do not see signs and wonders in service to God because they always do not feel worthy enough. This is the blood of Jesus - not your good works! Not your; "I will never sin again - I promise you I will never sin again!". The clear conscience is based on the fact that the blood of Jesus will and is able. The Greek means; "He will cleanse your conscience from meaningless and useless ceremonies". So the blood of Jesus doesn't just cleanse your conscience from condemnation but from all Old Covenant thinking. All the meaningless ceremonies they did, that they still feel guilty after pouring out, all that blood the worshippers still felt guilty. This blood - the substance blood brings an unfading glory and a permamently second by second, week by week, year by year, decade by decade clear conscience!

This blood doesn't have to be offered ever again - it was offered once! I don't want to have to come every day and pray "Lord clean my conscience with this blood!". No - one application of this blood and your conscience is cleansed for the rest of your life!

Any condemnation, any sense of insecurity or guilt is a sign that you are still living under something of an Old Covenant mentality and I want to nail that in now - prove it and then finish. I want to show you that they were never free from guilt with shadow blood being applied through all of that millenia. (Hebrews 10:1); "The law is only a shadow of the good things that are coming". How many of you want to live in reality? I don't want to live in classroom Christianity. I don't want to be standing here 5 years from now talking about how we are going to move in signs and wonders and Hong Kong has not changed. I am expecting the sick to get healed in the streets - I am expecting people to get saved - I am expecting millions of Chinese people in Hong Kong to come to know Christ! I am expecting that!

Everyone knows when the church came to town 2, 000 years ago! The Church has been in Hong Kong for over 100 years and people ignore it.

Let one book of Acts church appear in true signs, wonders and miracles that don't happen just once every few years but happen every week and every day and not through some super-guru but through the ordinary priesthood of all the believers. ALL believers because we understand the blood. I don't want the shadow! I want the reality - the good thing!

Look at the next phrase. "For this reason ... worshippers would have been cleansed once for all". Why is he saying that? If all those blood sacrifices for 1000 years have cleansed the worshippers - then it is in God's intention and desire to have something that cleanses our consciences from guilt and condemnation not temporarily but once and for all! So God goes to millenia of shadow of the plane - look to the substance, you can get in that plane and fly around the world and do amazing things but with that shadow you can do nothing! So God takes millenia to show the inferior shadow that is not the realities so we can see the substance.

The majority of the Church lives in the shadow! Then it lives in a bit of the sustance, then a bit of the shadow, then the substance! It is spiritual schizophrenia!

Almost every meeting I go to nowadays outside of here, there is always some point in the meeting where we are told to be quiet and check the sin. That is shadow! There's nothing good about checking me - I want to check Jesus!

The shadow says that when the priest came, he didn't check you - he examined your lamb or your sacrifice! That's shadow! The Father isn't checking you out and analysing you - He's analysing the Lamb - Jesus. Perfect. Come on in! Glory Presence is yours! No condemnation!

You are in the New Covenant! Rob that is preaching license to sin - no it's not! The more you come into this glory Presence through a clear conscience the more you want Him, the more you don't want to sin, the more you want His glory Presence! For the worshippers were cleansed once for all - but these sacrifices were an annual reminder of sin. So that Old Covenant shadow was a reminder of sin and is false to the New Covenant people. Those sacrifices were an annual reminder because the blood of bulls and goats could not take away sin. Look down at our famous theme of City Church International in (v11);

"Day after day every priest stands and performs his religious duties again and again ... which can never take away sins. But when this priest had offered for all time one sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God and since that time He waits for His enemies to be made His footstool by one sacrifice, He has made perfect forever those who are being made holy".

Does the Holy Spirit convict the church of sins? No! Read the next verse; (v15) "by one sacrifice He has made us perfect forever!". That's what the Holy Spirit testifies to. We are perfect forever! Yes but Rob the Holy Spirit convicts us of sin - we've been through that boring stuff. John 16:7-8 says that the Holy Spirit will convict of righteousness, sin and judgement. Sin because the world doesn't believe on me, righteousness because I go to the Father and judgement because the prince of this world has been judged. If you are a believer He will not convict you because you are a believer. What righteousness will He convict you of? That you are the righteousness of God because Jesus went to the Father and He is the great High Priest mediating for you a better covenant and the Holy Spirit is testifying that you are perfect forever.

What is the judgement about? Judgement because the prince of this world - the devil - (John 14:30) - has been condemned. So condemn the condemner, accuse the accuser, grab guilt by the throat and float, get out of the religious boat and float and wear your Father's glory coat! The Holy Spirit puts the law in our hearts - not a law that we have to live upto but an empowerment of grace. Then he adds (v17) that their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more. Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more. The Holy Spirit testifies to that! So when you sin and say; "I must go and confess that" and go and say; "Holy Spirit I want to confess to something". He says; "I don't know what you are talking about - I don't remember anything!". Then (v18); "Where these have been forgiven" ... what has been forgiven? All your sins and lawless acts! "Has been" - past tense. Where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin.

(2 Corinthians 5:19); says God is not counting your sins against you. (Colossians 2) says God has forgiven your sins. God says you are perfect forever in the Father's eyes through the blood. So when you go and confess your sin and say; "Father I have just sinned" - it is an Old Covenant mentality and I have shown you the only place that says if you confess your sins He is faithful and just to forgive you and cleanse you from all unrighteousness - the only place is 1st John 1:9 - John is writing to Christians under the teachings of Gnostics and there is a confusion there that sin doesn't exist in the world. Now if sin didn't exist in the world then why did we need blood sacrifice for cleansing? So John is writing and saying; "If you say you have no sin, then the truth is not in you".
He is writing to people to GET saved in that community! And he says if you confess your sins then he is faithful and just to forgive you and cleanse you from ALL unrighteousness. How much? All. That's salvation! ALL - past, present and future!

He is not talking about the Christian that every time you sin; "Oh I've got to confess my sin now". The devil is teaching this doctrine in many churches that if you sin as a Christian and don't get a chance to confess that sin before you die, then you are going to hell. That's insane! The Holy Spirit is testifying to the opposite! That your sins and lawless acts He remembers NO more!
Did you notice that when Jesus finished all this He sat down? Do you know that if you study the tabernacle of Moses you will not see any chairs - you will see lots of tables. But no chairs because those priests never finished their job. They couldn't sit down! This One finished the job! "It is finished!" - He is sitting down and is not sitting in heaven saying; "I hope they make it - I hope they don't sin and lose their salvation!". No He is sitting down with confidence.

So then He says; "I want you to be seated with Me in heavenly places. Right now! Not one day when you die and go to heaven. In Christ we are in Him and seated! So you wake up in the morning and realise you are seated! What about if you do sin? Well look through every epistle that Paul wrote and he never once talked about confessing your sins - never mentioned it. This great apostle who knew the Law so well but also knew the revelation of the New Covenant. Not once did he instruct the believers to confess their sins to God. Confess your sins one to another - yes. But no instruction in the entire New Testament on this big confessing your sins - that is an Old Covenant mentality. You need to do that if you are under shadow blood. You sin - and relationship is broken! You need to get some shadow blood and a temporary relationship is formed. Sin again? More shadow blood!

But this thing of confessing sin every time you sin is just making you more CONCIOUS of sin.
That is the shadow friends! We are in the good things - we are in the realities! We are in the substance! We are in the unfading glory! So what do you do if you sin? You say;
"Father I want to thank You so much that You love me and I thank You that Jesus blood has got me eternal redemption and I thank You Holy Spirit that You testify that I am perfect forever and I thank You Holy Spirit that the Father never remembers my sins and they are not being counted against me because they have been blotted out, past, present and future - and I worship You Lord and I praise You God!".

That's empowering sin? No - it's empowering righteous living! It means we will have 100% believers turn up on Sunday and just come boldly into the Presence of God! I don't care if you messed up five seconds ago. You are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus! Somewhere, some congregation has to fully embrace the fullness of the New Covenant and fully reject and renounce the fully redundant and obsolete Old Covenant that is based on inferiority and shadow. We have got to see what the Old Covenant was for - shadow to point to substance! Get out of the shadows and step into substance!
"Therefore brothers since we have CONFIDENCE to enter the MOST HOLY place". What does confidence look like? Have you seen people that are religious going into a cathedral? Once a year the High Priest used to go into the Holy of Holies and they say they would tie a rope around his ankle in case he died in there and they could pull him out. There was great fear - but our great High Priest has gone through as an anchor of our souls beyond the veil - not of a human tabernacle but of a glory realm so that we can confidently come into the most holy centre of the universe! Even if you have sinned 5 seconds before! It's not about you - but about Jesus and His blood and His worthiness! You have got to live in this every day!

 (v19-20); "Open for us through the curtain, that is His body ... let us draw near to God" (not an idea about God, a theory about God, an intellectual theology about God but the living God) " ... in full assurance of faith having our hearts sprinkled ... and having our bodies washed with a pure water, let us hold unswervingly ... for He who promised is faithful".

When people get under guilt like these Hebrews are doing, then people stop coming to church because who wants to keep coming to church when you are being discouraged all the time? This was a mixture of born again Hebrews and some who were not saved.

To the unsaved Hebrews he is writing to and the saved, he says if you have heard the knowledge of the truth (but haven't been converted yet) if you keep trampling this blood underfoot and therefore wilfully sinning (and this is in the context of the chapter) and is putting the blood of shadow above the blood of substance! He is saying you are trampling the blood of Jesus underfoot and you are using the blood of shadow and law. All sin is deliberate! No one sins by mistake! It was deliberate! So you are on your way to hell according to how some interpret that! He is warning against going after shadow. You won't see any blood sacrifice going on in Israel today. Yet the Scriptures teach that there is no forgiveness of sin without the shedding of blood. That's why you can't to heaven through Mohammed or Buddha - because you can't get to heaven with blood.


For more Rob Rufus sermons visit Rob Rufus - Grace And Glory Blog


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