Standing Steadfast


In Matthew 24, Jesus gives a discourse of things to come before the end of the age.

Now as He sat on the mount of Olives, the disciples came to Him privately, saying. “Tell us when will these things be? And what will be the sign of Your coming, and the end of the age.” Matthew 24:3 (NKJ)

He continues with His prophetic discourse, saying there will be a progression of events, before the end of the age.

Down The Plughole

A few days ago, the Lord gave me a picture which has led me to write this article.
It was a picture of a plug that had come out of a bath, full of water, and the water was swirling around at a very fast rate, down the hole. Many people were caught up, in this water and they were being sucked down. Many were frail, others were younger, and going down as well at a fast pace.

The stronger ones were able to swim against the flow, and were trying to save the weaker ones, who were being sucked down by the swirling water.

Some were crying out for someone to put the plug back in to try and save them, but their cries were hopeless. The Holy Spirit showed me that if they cried out strong enough in desperation, God would have put the plug back in.

Their own efforts were useless, without His help, they were unable to save themselves.
It is very evident in these days, that society has turned it’s back on God.

And because lawlessness will abound, the love of many will grow cold. Matthew 24: 12

Enduring

Not everyone will give in to fear, persecution, or lawlessness, What does Jesus promise for those who remain faithful?

But he who endures to the end shall be saved.” Matthew 24:13

Thank God, we are saved now. But if we want to overcome, we have to endure. There is only one way to learn endurance, and that is enduring. Endurance, is God’s preparation for what lies ahead. We should not complain, as instructed in God’s Word. 

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of you faith, produces, patience, (endurance) But let patience have it’s perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. James 1:2-4

For us to be perfect and complete, we have to let our endurance be governed by the Holy Spirit. This is the key to surviving.

Waiting With Perseverance

When will our adoption be complete ?

And not only they, but we also who have the first fruits of the Holy Spirit, even we ourselves  groan, within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. Rom 8:23

In Jesus, we are already God’s children, we have the inner witness of the Holy Spirit crying out in us “Abba Father” but our adoption into God’s Family is still in process. We do not yet have our resurrected bodies free from sin, disease and death.

For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope, for why does one still hope for what he sees? Romans 8: 24

We don’t hope for what we already have, but what we don’t have.
But if we hope for what we do not yet see, then we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. Romans 8:25

He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes, I will give the right to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God. Revelation 2:7

And I heard a  loud voice from heaven  saying “Behold, the tabernacle of God  is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. Revelation 21: 3

The Future Glory of God’s People

The new Jerusalem is where God will dwell amongst His people for ever.
His bride will meet Him in the air, Jesus will return to earth and take His rightful place on the Mount of Olives, as King of All Kings, Lord of all Lords, and all nations will come and worship at His feet.

May the peace of God our heavenly Father, And the grace of Christ the risen Son, And the fellowship of God the Spirit Keep our hearts and minds within His love.

John Yates

John Yates

Keep in Step With God

 A Word of Encouragement     Sept 2020

Keep in Step With God

The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever. 1 John 2:17

When I served in the British Army the first thing we had to learn during basic training, was how to march in step.
In a squad of soldiers, this was the most important thing, otherwise one person out of step, would likely to affect all the others.

The only way for a unit to advance and keep in step was to march together in unity. This is the same principle with God going forward keeping in step with Him.

Doing The Will God

The scripture below can also apply to us, as it did for Jesus, he was totally committed to doing the will of God.

Then I said “Here I am, I have come -it is written about me in the scroll, I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart” Psalm 40:7-8

God is at present working out His end time purposes on the earth. He is in control, for those who put their trust in Him and flow with His plans, they will become unsinkable.
The world is not the permanent home for God’s people, it is a preparation for our eternal home in heaven.

Nothing on earth is stable, self-ambition, attaching ourselves to worldly possessions, does not earn ourselves a place in heaven.
Only surrendering to the will of God, under His mighty hand, will we find peace and security in all things, and have an eternal hope. This was John’s conviction, according to the facts of Jess’s life, death, resurrection, and promises.

Remember the former things, those of long ago, I am God, and there is none like me.

I make known the end from the beginning from ancient times, what is still to come I say, My purpose will stand, and I will do all that I please. Isa 46: 9-10

These verses declare God’s sovereign will. He is in control of all things in heaven and on earth, and in the universe. No one can alter His purposes He said “I will do all I please.”

God’s Will is Established

We can however know God’s sovereign purpose in history, for the Jew and Gentile, for He has made it known to us in His Word. He said to Abraham

“I will make you a great nation …and I will bless you: I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who curse you, and whoever curses you: I shall curse and all the peoples of the earth will be blessed through you.” Gen 12 2 :3

His sovereign will for Israel is well established in the Old and New Testaments, beginning with His promise to make Abraham’s seed (Israel) a great nation, and to bless all the nations of the earth through His seed, which is Christ.
(Gal 3: 6-9)

Calvary is proof of God’s sovereign will. About a thousand years before Christ died on the cross, David prophesied that the Messiah would be crucified. (Psalm 22: 14-18)
About seven hundred years before Calvary Isa prophesied the ignominious death of Jesus Christ, who suffered for our sins. (Isa 52: 13- chapter 53)

God is Sovereign Over All

Israel was tempted to waver between the Lord God and pagan gods. Isaiah affirms the sole leadership of God. He is the only one who knows when Jesus will return, as King of all Kings, and Lord of all Lords. God is in absolute control now and eternally. The Kingdoms of the world will not stand, they will collapse. Only the Kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ will remain forever, it is unshakable, it cannot be moved.

Who would want to remain in a Kingdom that is going to fail, controlled by demonic forces.

Therefore, since, we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, “For our God is a consuming fire.”
Heb 12: 28-29

 John

 

 

 

 

 

 

Psalm 91 – Finding The Shelter

This Psalm, is the voice of encouragement and speaks to the man of faith. Under God’s protection, nothing can harm him, neither man nor beast, wars or diseases, including pandemics. This is not to say our lives will be a bed of roses.
Psalm 91 has been called the “atomic” age psalm. A psalm of perfect protection from every kind of evil, danger and harm, whatever way it may come.

God is a shelter and a refuge when we are afraid . Our faith in the Almighty God as our protector will take us through all kinds dangers and fears of life. This should be a picture of trust giving all are fears to God. To do this we must dwell and rest with Him. This psalm is well known among Christians. I’d like to focus now on the first two verses of it.

(1) He who dwells in the secret place of the most high, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. (v1)
The word abide in Hebrew means ” to pass the night.” So, this tells us that during the hours of darkness, when we are
asleep, as believers we shall be spending the night, under the shadow or Protection of the Almighty. His angels take
change over us to guard us in our ways

(2) I will say of the LORD “He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.” (v2)
This is the gateway, into the complete protection of the remaining verses of the psalm.
It is our testimony “I will say.” We proclaim it in faith, only then do we have the right to live in it. It is the word of our
testimony that makes it effective.

My Own Experience of Hopelessness

Looking back over the years, I realise, I didn’t have that kind of hope and security, in fact it was a life of hopelessness.
As far back as I can remember, I could not focus on what I wanted to achieve in life, because of illness in my primary years. It was impossible to achieve and accomplish the basic requirements to build my life on.
This inadequacy eventually broke me, and I was brought to a place of complete brokenness. I needed a miracle.

This didn’t happen until I was 32, when I found Jesus in a Salvation Army Hostel.
Seven more years of struggle and battle ensued, until one day Jesus came into my life in a much deeper powerful way. It changed me completely. Now I know what it was to come under the Shadow of the Almighty, and to have a hope in the God who saves, and promises He will never leave us. At last I had a hope and purpose for my life, under God.
“At that time you were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, from having no hope and with out God in the world.” Eph 2:12

Ultimate Hope for God’s People

“For the grace of God has appeared bringing salvation to all men, instructing us to deny ungodliness and worldly desires, and to live sensibly, righteously, and godly lives in this present age, looking for the blessed hope, and the appearing of the glory of our great God and Saviour, Christ Jesus.” Titus 2:11-13

In verse 13, it tells us to look for the blessed hope and the appearing of our great God and Saviour, Jesus Christ. This will impact upon our lives in a wonderful way, (if we allow it to) and our ultimate eternal hope, will be established deep within our spirits.

“This hope we have has an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil.
Where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.”

Being Ready For His Appearing

“For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation, to men, instructing us.” v11

There are many yet to hear about this grace. That grace is available and provided for all, whether Jew or Gentile, rich or poor, young or old.
Grace provides a way to be a demonstration to others of this hope we have. This hope leads us to prepare our lives in such a way, that we shall be ready for His appearing. John adds, “when He appears, we shall be like Him because we shall see Him just as He is, therefore everyone who has this Hope fixed on Him, purifies himself, just as He is pure.” 1 John 3:2-3

God’s Word is the Living Word and He has the last word. But whoever listen to me will dwell safely, And will be secure, without fear of evil” Prov 1:33
“But the path of the just is like the shining sun, that shines ever brighter unto the perfect day.” Prov 4:18

John Yates

Bringing encouragement

Timothy has just now come to us from you, and has brought good news about your faith and love.
1 Thessalonians 3:9

All of us need encouragement at times, especially when we are going through hard times. Sadly many of God’s people are starved of acceptance and encouragement.

Paul arrived in Thessalonica on his second missionary journey in AD 58, and had heard good news of their exploits. They were growing in faith and working together to fulfil God’s purposes in their lives. Individually and corporately.

In the Amplified bible, Jesus says – I pray that all of them may be one.
Father, just as you are in me and I in you. May they also be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.
John 17:20-21

God has no favourites, He loves all mankind.

D L Moody once said. “There are two ways of being united. One is by being frozen together, and the other is being melted together.” When the body is united in brotherly love, they can then expect to receive power from on high. There will be an outward demonstration of growth, which will bring glory to His Name. It will bring great joy, both to the encourager and receiver.

If we don’t like what you are reaping, change what you are sowing!

How can this be achieved

1) Keep in fellowship with others.  
(1Thess 3:1)
2) Pray to be filled with a greater measure of God’s love.
(1Thess 3:12)
3) Spend time in His Presence, walking in forgiveness, keeping clean hands and a pure heart.
(Psalm 24)

Moving out of our comfort zone, we will be able to demonstrate God’s love and encouragement to others, and we shall be blessed beyond measure!

Don’t let a day go by that you don’t bless someone!

Finally declare:

I can declare all things in Christ who strengthens me.”
Philippians 4:13

Blessings,

John

Growth in God’s Time

A word of Encouragement

“This is what the Kingdom of God is like. A man scatters seed on the ground. Night and day, weather he sleeps or gets up, the seed sprouts and grows, though he does not know how.
Mark 4:26-27

Have you ever been in your garden weeding, and come across a couple of flowers that you have not sown before. You didn’t plant them, but maybe they were brought in the wind, or were dropped by a bird in flight.
This is like spiritual growth that Jesus spoke about in the parable of the growing seed.
He compares the Kingdom of God to a farmer scattering seed on the ground.

Of course it depends on the condition of the soil, but if it has been prepared well and watered, it will reap a harvest in God’s time. This should be an encouragement to all believers.

The development of the harvest, didn’t depend on anything more the farmer did.

“Neither he who planted nor he who waters is anything, but only God, who makes things grow is.
1Corinthians 3:7

The key to a spiritual harvest, is planting where God instructs us to plant. He will often use others to water, and others to reap, so all the glory will go to him.

It is the same law of sowing and reaping in prayer and intercession. Providing our prayers are in line with God’s will and purpose and His Word, they will come into fruition, if we remain faithful. There comes a time in heaven when the prayer bowls are overflowing, and their answers are poured out as blessings from above.

Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls, full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.
Revelation 5:8

We may never see the results of what we have planted, but if God ordered the sowing, it will produce a harvest in His time, so don’t give up.

This parable about the Kingdom of God, demonstrates that the Holy Spirit is continually at work, harvest time is coming, get ready!

Then another angel came out of the temple, crying with a loud voice to Him who sat on the cloud, “Thrust in Your sickle and reap, for the time has come for You to reap, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.”
Revelation 14:15
John Yates

The Lamb of God

The Lamb of God

A Word of Encouragement

“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you
were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you by your ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.
He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these times for your sake.
Through Him you believed in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.”
1 Peter 1:18-21

This time of year, we reflect on the days leading up to the Cross and Resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is also a time of personal reflection of ones own spiritual condition.
Some call it lent, but when one searches the Old and New Testament you will find no mention of it. It was unknown to the disciples, and it did not find it’s way into the church, until several centuries later. History suggests it is derived from the 40 days of fasting in the wilderness.

Jesus commanded His disciples to

“Go therefore and teach all nations, teaching them to observe all things whatever I have commanded you.”
Matt 28:19-20

They were commanded to keep Passover and the Days of Unleavened bread, remembering the Jews freedom from slavery in Egypt. They were given instruction on how to institute new Passover symbols, John 3: 1-7. At the last supper Jesus instructed them to eat the bread and wine in remembrance of Him. The High Priest took the sacrificial lamb to be tied at 9.00 am, the same time Jesus was hung on the cross.

As the lamb was slaughtered at 3.00pm, Jesus uttered His last breath,

“It is Finished.”

He became the “Lamb of God” who takes away the sin of the world, described by John the Baptist.

Three days later when Christ rose from the dead it was the Feast of first Fruits, which followed Passover, and the Feast of Unleavened bread. Jesus is called the first fruits of those who rise from the dead. Because Jesus rose from the dead, we shall also rise from the dead, with the promise one day of a new body and eternal life. Praise His Wonderful Name.

The resurrection makes Christianity unique, it is the only religion in the world based on the resurrection from the death of its founder Jesus Christ. Jesus is very much alive today, changing lives bringing salvation, healing and restoration to all mankind.
Denying ourselves of certain foods, might help us be more disciplined in study and prayer, but let us not forget it is only the blood of Jesus that can wash away our sin!

Pam Yates

Rivers of Living Waters

Rivers of Living Waters

A Word of Encouragement
 
It came to pass in those days that Jesus came from Nazareth of Galilee, and was baptised by John in the Jordan. And immediately coming up from the water, He saw the heavens parting and the Spirit descending upon Him like a dove.
Then a voice came from heaven “You are My beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”
Mark 1:9-11

 

When Jesus stepped into the river Jordan, He was stepping into the fullness of God’s purpose for His life on earth. These waters were teaming with the sins of mankind, yet Jesus waded in obedience to bring redemption for ALL. The Holy Spirit, then equipped and anointed Him, to fulfill all that is Father had ordained for Him to do.

Stepping into the waters of baptism ourselves, we are declaring we are burying our old life, and are being raised up to a new life in Christ! Freeing ourselves from satans river which only leads to destruction, bringing stench and death. It is stagnant, and many of us have travelled along it through sin, unbelief and ignorance.

When we rise victorious out of the waters of baptism, streams of mercy and God’s grace flow in abundance.

The apostle Peter said “Repent, and let every one of you be baptised in the Name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sin, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and your children, and to all who are far off, as many as the Lord or God will call.
Acts 2:38-39
On the last day of the Feast of Tabernacles, Jesus stood up and cried out, “If anyone thirsts, let him come to me and drink He who believes in Me, as the scripture as said out of his heart will flow rivers of living water.”
John 7:37-38

What a wonderful promise, and on the day of Pentecost, after Jesus had ascended into heaven, the Holy Spirit was poured out by a rushing wind and tongues of fire on the new believers in the Upper Room.

Peter recited the prophecy of

Joel v17-21. v17
“And it shall come to pass in the last days says God, that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh.”

We are moving in the last days, and it is possible we will see the complete fulfillment of this prophecy.

I leave you with

verse 21:
“And it shall come to pass that whosoever calls on the Name of the Lord shall be saved.
 
Pam Yates

 

 

Watching and Waiting with the Right Attitude

Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ
Was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and he will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for him.
Hebrews 9:27-28 (NIV)

These verses instruct us to fulfil the purpose of God, by finishing the course that is set before us. Waiting with the right attitude and motivation for the second coming of Jesus Christ.

Preparing our hearts also, that we might be ready for His return, this will happen in the twinkling of an eye. When this occurs, Jesus will come with salvation, only for those who are waiting for Him. Those that are indifferent will encounter His judgement.

I believe it is vitally important that we practice and develop an attitude of watching and waiting, and there is nothing more important for God’s people.

Luke 12:37a says;
“It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes.”
and in verse 40
“You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect Him.”

For many years I was lost and confused until God began to move in my life. It was only then I realised there was no hope in life without God.

In Psalm 34:4-5 David says;
“I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered
me from all my fears. Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.

My heart was determined to be free from a life of failure, confusion and hopelessness. God brought me to a place where I was completely broken, and all I could do was to cry out for His help and forgiveness. It took quite a few years though, before I came to a place of total abandonment, and able to receive God’s mercy, forgiveness and blessing in a wonderful way.
The day after this encounter, I know I felt completely different. Someone I knew, knocked my door, and immediately realised something was different about me, and they took off with fright!

So this was the beginning of a new life in Christ, one with hope, purpose and peace. A purpose to fulfil God’s calling on my life. The darkness had gone, and the light of life had replaced it. I was now in the starting blocks, and knowing that what work God had started in me, He would enable me to complete the race, provided I remained faithful.

Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made know. But we know that when He appears, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is.
1 John 3:2-3

This process of sanctification has taken many years of peaks and troughs, but God remains patient, for it is still a work in progress! So my desire these days is to watch and wait for the second coming of Jesus returning from heaven. It is a wonderful expectancy for all who put their trust in Him.

“Yes I am coming soon”
Amen Come Lord Jesus

John Yates

The Destiny of the Church

As you therefore received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,
rooted and built up in Him, and established in the faith,
as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. Col 2:6-7


A Word of Encouragement

The Church was commissioned by Jesus himself, to fulfil tasks which He himself had ordained, before He ascended into heaven. These tasks are as relevant today as they were then.

Firstly it exists to worship God, to express love and thanks. Next to minister to people, encouraging others to find salvation, baptising them into Christ’s Family.

Also, it exists to edify and disciple believers, to become more Christ like in our thoughts, feelings and actions.

 
For the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry,
for the edifying of the body of Christ,
till we all come to the unity of the faith and the knowledge of the Son of God,
to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.
Ephesians 4:12-13
 
 

God’s desire is for the church in these last days is to rise up in power and revelation. For the church to fulfill it’s destiny in victory. For too long the church has been asleep, unaware of the urgent days that lie ahead.

God longs for us to be attentive to His heart cry, and act accordingly and flow with His plans to see that destiny fulfilled.

He has provided wonderful gifts to the body, where individuals are anointed for various tasks, by the power of the Holy Spirit, to build and edify His church.

No one is surplus in the Kingdom of God. God needs you, and He wants you to know how valuable you are in His eyes. Also, He desires for you to experience that abundant life which has already been bestowed upon the church, through Jesus’s sacrifice on the cross. Be blessed! God is desiring to raise up an army, who will stand and fight shoulder to shoulder in the Spirit in prayer, undefeated until Jesus returns and takes His place as King of ALL Kings.

 
Let your Kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.
Yours is the Kingdom, the power and the glory, forever and ever.
Amen.
 
Your friends in Christ
John & Pam

 

A Season of Blessing and of Fruitfulness

“And let us not grow weary while doing good,
for in due season we shall reap if  we do not lose heart. Galatians 6:9

The daffodils are in full bloom, and buds are appearing on the trees, the season is changing rapidly, and memories of a long hard winter are diminishing.

Our walk of faith is very much likened to seasons in our lives. Mountain top experiences, seasons of fruitfulness and growth, followed by troughs of barrenness, hardship and testing.
The Christian walk brings constant change, new roads to walk down, and always challenging situations. Without these we would get stagnant, but trusting in the One who provides us with living water, our wells of salvation will never run dry.
When everything around us seems to be crumbling, that is the very time to trust God for strength and hope knowing that He will give us the enabling to carry on.

As they pass through the valley of Baca, they make it a spring, the rain also covers it with pools. Psalm 84:6.

God’s purposes are divine and His timing perfect. If you are experiencing hardship at the moment, where every door seems blocked and opposition lingers at the door. Be encouraged, a season of blessing, progress and fruitfulness is on it’s way to you! Trust in Him, and He will sustain you, He will not fail.

O Lord of Hosts, Blessed is the Man who Trusts in You. Psalm 84:12.