‘Prepare ye the way of the Lord’
Topping up your oil & trimming your wick January 2024
As Christians, every day we are confronted with situations that require a discerning spirit. We live in a world that mixes truth with error blurring the line between good and evil, righteousness and lawlessness. Society inundates us with all sorts of misinformation, with schemes, scams and deceptions of almost every variety imaginable. If there is ever a time in history we need great discernment, it is now!
For example, the pro-Palestinian marches all around the world and the call to free Palestine. It needs to be understood there has never been a Palestinian state, people, language, or culture that goes back to time immemorial. The term Palestinian is used to refer to the Arabs living in the West bank and Gaza. The present day ‘Palestinians’ are an Arab people, with Arab culture, Arabic language and Arab history who basically arrived in the ancient land of Israel about one century ago in response to economic opportunities that Jews created under the Hand of the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. During the 1967 Six-Day war Israelis regained control of Gaza from Egypt, after Syria, Egypt, and Jordan attacked Israel trying to “destroy them.” After Israel won the Six-Day War, the Israelis set about founding 25 towns, reviving the land of Gaza with various agriculture and businesses, while providing employment for Arab ‘Palestinians’. For 38 successful years, Israelis raised families, worked hard and celebrated their biblical festivals throughout Israel and in Gaza while allowing the ‘Palestinians’ to cohabitate with them.
In 2005, due to the fact that surrounding Arab nations [since 1948] continued refusing to resettle their own people, the ‘Palestinians’, in Arab lands and with the ongoing international pressure placed upon the nation of Israel to do something, the Jewish government agreed to withdraw from Gaza, despite the fact billions of dollars of aid from all around the world, including from Israel had been poured into this situation only to be pillaged and plundered by the corrupt ‘Palestinian’ leaders. As a consequence, Israel removed from Gaza, some 9,000 Jewish citizens from their homes, businesses and synagogues. The ‘Palestinians’ were allowed ‘free govt’ of Gaza, a parcel of land on the striking shoreline of the Mediterranean Sea which had the potential to become a stunning tourist destination, yet the followers of Islam have desecrated and despoiled the land of Gaza. The ‘Palestinians’ have become pawns in the hands of their own Arab brothers who are using them to gain the sympathy of the world in an effort to destroy the Jewish people.
We are constantly being told that climate change has reached a red alert level for our planet. Our government tells us there is the need to introduce the misinformation and disinformation laws so that they can tell us what truth really is according to them and what is false. There is the secular realm of relativism where there are no absolutes, people are taught to avoid passing judgment, whether it be in regard to other peoples’ beliefs, or lifestyle preferences, sexual orientation, moral judgments, faithfulness, and personal ethics. There are no truth statements except to say that all views are acceptable - except the biblical one. In Judges 17:6 it says, “In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did what was right in his own eyes.” The secularists of today, like the kingless people of ancient Israel, want to do what is right in their own eyes. The world’s relativism and moral compromise continue seeping into the Christian church. While the left-wing activists of cancel culture and wokeism are persisting with their crusade to eradicate our godly heritage further undermining the truth of our Christian foundation.
To navigate through the minefields of deception and duplicity in the world today, our prayer needs to be the words of King David, teach me good discernment and knowledge, for I believe in Your commandments. Psalm 119:66 [NASB] The word discern means to distinguish, to separate out by diligent search. To be discerning as Christians we first need to know what truth is. To the Jews who had believed in Him, Jesus said, if you hold to my teaching, you are really my disciples, then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free. John 8:32 First and foremost, the source of spiritual discernment is the written Word of God. Your Word is truth. John 17:17 The unfolding of your words gives light; it gives understanding to the simple. Psalm 119:130 Since the Bible is truth, Christians ought to study it, working hard to understand and correctly apply it to their lives (2 Timothy 2:15; 3:16–17).
Discernment takes discipline and consistency in the Word of God. But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil. Hebrews 5:14 Discernment is not optional for the believer; it is absolutely essential for living a victorious Christian life. Without discernment we will be tossed back and forth by the waves and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful teaching. Eph 4:14 The Lord reinforces the importance of truth by presenting Christians with “the belt of truth” as the first piece of our spiritual armour (Ephesians 6:10–17). The rest of our armour is held secure when the truth is wrapped around us. Otherwise, we are defenceless against the lies and deception of our adversary, the devil, who is the father of lies (John 8:44) who is like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour [1 Peter 5:8].
Before ascending to heaven, Jesus promised His disciples the coming of the Holy Spirit. He referred to Him as the “Helper” and described what He would provide in the lives of believers. The Holy Spirit gives us direction, helps us understand truth, and reminds us of Jesus’ teaching [John 14:26]. He is called the Spirit of Truth [John 14:16]. God’s Holy Spirit is described as a spirit “of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Timothy 1:7). A mind aided by God’s Spirit can discern what is true and what is not. And of special importance, he wrote that “the Spirit of truth . . . will guide you into all truth” (John 16:13). The more time we spend in the Bible the more the Holy Spirit has to work with in our lives. The Spirit of God will always help us discern the truth through the Word of God. We must learn not to quench the Holy spirit through our lack of faith [1 Thess 5:19 ] or to grieve Him through our sin [Eph 4:30-31].
With a biblical foundation in place, discernment can be fostered even further through godly teachers. In the Old Testament, one of the Levites’ priestly roles was to teach the Israelites how to “discern between the unclean and the clean” or between the holy and profane (Ezek 44:22). Similarly, we can learn discernment from biblical teachers and godly role models. Though we should always heed the following counsel. “Do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world” (1 John 4:1). One especially important way to determine whether a prophet / teacher is genuine, or an imposter is to assess whether their message aligns with the teachings of the Bible. When Jesus was on trial, Pontius Pilate asked Him a very deep question to which Jesus gave no answer. Pilate asked Him “What is truth?” In fact, the answer was standing right in front of Pilate. As the Logos—the living, incarnate Word of God—Jesus Christ is truth (John 1:14, 17). Jesus Himself said, I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. (John 14:6). Growing in truth and discernment will ultimately mean we are becoming more like Jesus.
Everything we need for spiritual discernment is available through the written Word of God, the Holy Spirit’s guidance and godly teaching. Paul prayed the following prayer for the Philippian believers: And this is my prayer; that your love may abound more and more in the knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ- to the glory and praise of God. Philip 1:9-11
Greg and Judy’s Update: As we enter 2024 we are looking forward to a new year of opportunities in co-labouring with our prayer warriors as we continue to take forth the truth of God’s Word regarding the soon coming of our Lord and Saviour and the need to be prepared. We are planning a short trip of 2 ½ weeks to Toowoomba, Bundaberg and Brisbane area in early February. We will be doing a weekend seminar on the Central Coast in NSW on the 9th and 10th March. We have been invited to minister in South Australia in September.
As many of you would be aware, Greg contracted polio as an 8-month-old baby affecting particularly his left leg. This has meant his right leg has had to work almost twice as hard for the last 65 years. Over the last 4 to 5 months Greg’s mobility has significantly decreased with constant variable pain in his right leg during the day and often throughout the night. He now uses a walking stick the majority of the time. X-rays and ultrasounds reveal a degeneration in his right hip; hence he will see an orthopaedic surgeon on the 29th Jan 2024 at Dubbo to discuss the possibility of a hip replacement. If you could keep this situation in your prayers, it would be greatly appreciated.
Prayer Points: We praise God for the doors of opportunity that have already opened for 2024 and we would appreciate your prayers for ongoing direction throughout the coming months.
Continue to pray for the ongoing situation in Israel. Uphold Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu that the Lord will give him courage and great wisdom.
Pray that God will again rescue His Chosen people.
When the Spirit of Truth comes, He will guide you into all truth. He will not speak on His own; He will speak only what He hears and will tell you what is yet to come. He will bring glory to me by taking from what is mine and making it known to you. John 16:13-14
© 2016 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED