Reassessing Father-Son Ministry – Part 2

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The theme of family saturates Scripture. The shared covenantal love in the Godhead is to be reflected on earth through natural and spiritual family relationships. The language, spirit, and methods of family are kingdom normal. However, the cults use the principle of family with great effect to win people into their association and to establish unbiblical belief systems and practices. Even the idea of family can be pushed too far.[1]

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Is It Necessary for Christians to Attend Church Meetings?

groupThe twitterverse and blogosphere is all abuzz with response and reaction to Donald Miller’s post about how he doesn’t attend church any more. Some time ago, I had the privilege of recording a podcast with my good friend, Steve Bremner of Fire on Your Head Ministries,  on the topic at hand. For the interested, you can listen to it here.

“Dysfunction Junction” – Has No Unction!

beijingtibetGod is magnificently redemptive. None of us would have any hope if that were not the case. Yet we must not confuse His redemption for His approval. Many people abiding in or gathered in dysfunction, is not the kingdom Jesus died for. Our redemption includes the healing/reconfiguration of Adamic brokenness, not the normalization of it “under grace.”

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Reassessing “Father-Son” Ministry – Part 1

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In this blog series I want to examine the topic of “spiritual fathers/mothers and spiritual sons and daughters.”  The higher the potential for good inherent in something, makes the corruption of that thing, proportionately wicked. Think of humanity: made a little lower the Elohim! That is potential for good! But enter sin,  and the depths of depravity exceed imagination. The concept of spiritual fathers (mothers) and spiritual sons and daughters is like this. When it is good, it is very, very good. When it is not, it is horrid.

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Searching for Authentic Relationships in Church

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There is a God-impulse in the hearts of millions of believers around the world for what could be called “authentic relatithonships” in contrast to the relational sterility common in religious constructs. This pursuit is, in my opinion, birthed of God’s Spirit. However, there is no limit to the creative capacities of our carnal religious nature to ruin a beautiful thing!

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Holiness is a Promise, Not a Demand:Part One – by Mark Drake

This blog is submitted by my good friend, and fellow in passion for New Covenant truth, Mark Drake.

Am I holy enough? Do I obey enough? Am I enough like Jesus for God to be happy with me? Am I trying hard enough?

As sincere believers, these kinds of questions torment many of us. We know our weaknesses and so does our adversary. And he frequently uses them to make us afraid that we are not working hard enough, we are not serious enough or we just don’t love God enough.

Our enemy knows our sincere fears and he uses them against us. And he uses Bible verses to beat us over the head; or more accurately, beat us over the heart, and steal our confidence with God.

Sadly, sincere but misguided preachers and teachers help drive us deeper into the pit by misquoting verses or taking them out of context and pressing them to mean something other than their intended purpose; which, according to the very scripture we quote, is to give us hope. “…so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” (Rom.15:4)

Most do not intentionally mishandle the Word, but the damage is done just the same, again and again. I know, because for many years I was one of those who, through lack of understanding of the true New Covenant, mishandled the Word…creating condemnation for myself and those to whom I ministered.

Context, Context, Context

The answer to our dilemma is relatively simple if we will learn to read Bible verses in context. Context simply means reading the verses before and after, and seeing how they influence the meaning of what we read.

And then we need to ask ourselves the simple questions we ask about anything we read; who is speaking, who are they speaking to, when and where were they speaking…and what might this mean in light of the death, resurrection and ascension of Christ.

Let’s look at John 14:15- “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments.”

For many years, I read this verse as if it said, “If you love Me, you better keep My commandments.” That certainly sounds like a threat. It’s hard to have excited faith in a threat.

If this verse is a commandment which I am supposed to do by my human ability, then I must ask myself if the Scriptures teach that human beings actually can obey God, perfectly, by their own effort. Most, I think, would answer correctly and say the Scripture does not teach that humans can act like God, by their own best effort.

At other times, I have read this passage as saying, “If you love Me, you will prove it by keeping My commandments.” That certainly sounds like a demand; a demand which none of us can live up to all the time. It’s hard to have enthusiastic faith in a demand I know I can’t live up to perfectly, all the time.

So when we fall short (and we do), we question our love for God. The thinking goes like this. “Well, if I really loved God as I say I do, I wouldn’t have acted that way. So I must not love Him like I thought I did.” When we question our love for God based on our imperfect behavior, we open the flood gates to fear, shame and condemnation.

Faith In A Promise Comes Alive

I can only put my faith and hope in a promise; not in a demand or a threat. Our adversary has succeeded in getting us to misunderstand some of the most basic, simple and important scriptures by twisting God’s promises into threats and our hopes into His demands.

But when God gives me a promise, when He promises to do something in me and for me that I cannot do for myself; now that’s something I can confidently and joyfully put my faith and hope in.

This Is The Good News

John 14:15 is not a threat or a demand; it is an awesome promise! An amazing promise that is fulfilled when I come to understand the true New Covenant.

Taken in context, Jesus actually said:
“If you love Me, you will be enabled to keep My commandments.”
“If you love Me, I will empower you to keep My commandments.”

Think about it in light of how we speak. “If you love me, you will obey Me.” He is speaking about the result that comes from loving Him.

This is like a good doctor saying, “If you take this medicine, you will get well.” The result of taking the right medicine is getting well. We don’t make ourselves well. Getting well is the result of taking the right medicine. Jesus’ words are about action and result, cause and affect.

See The Promise

When we read Jesus’ statement this way, we see it is a promise, not a threat. His promise is this: If we will choose to love Him, He will do something for us, in us and through us; something we cannot do for ourselves. He will empower us from within to obey Him in ways we never could by our own effort.

This is the promise of the New Covenant. Christ will come to live inside of us by His Spirit. Then He begins to empower and change us from the inside out.

Jesus said, “If you will choose to love Me, My love will empower you to obey Me!”

But How Can We Be Sure This Is What He Said?

This is all great, great news…if it’s true.

So how do we know if this is true? Is this really what Jesus said? How do we know Jesus was actually giving us a promise we can put our faith and hope in? By the context we find when we simply read the next verse.

“I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may be with you forever.” (John 14:16)

These are His next words. The Father will give you a Helper.

So we ask, “What is the Helper going to help us do?” And the answer is simple.
The context is love and obedience. We choose to love Him and the Helper is going to help us obey.

How is the Helper going to help us obey?
By living His life in and though us and empowering us from within.

And how do we know this is true? By reading the next verse.

John 14:17 “…and you know Him for He has been with you, but He shall be in you.”

The promise of the New Covenant is that the Spirit of Jesus will come to live in and through us, and make us holy from within. And John 14:15 is one of the greatest promises of this New Covenant. His promise is to make us holy from the inside out by living His holy life in and through us.

In and through. In and through. In and through.
This is the promise of how we are “being made holy.”

But we can only truly put our faith and hope in this great promise of “being made holy” when we learn to read the Bible in context.

John 14:15-17

“If you choose to love Me, I will empower you to obey Me.
The Father will send you the Helper to help you obey.
He will help you by living His holy life in and through you.”


  • Copyright © 2012 by Mark Drake of Mark Drake Ministries, author of God’s Brilliant Plan, searching for the easy and light life Jesus promised.

    Permission to copy, forward, or distribute this article is granted as long as this copyright byline is maintained in all duplications, copies, and link references.

Is God a “Revival Genie?” : Rub with Prayer, Get Revival?

If prevalent teachings about revival are to be believed, our God is more like a reluctant genie in Arabian Nights than a gracious heavenly Father.

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Surprised When “Doctrine” Isn’t Enough

surpBeing a life-long (now semi-lapsed) charismatic believer, I have seen a lot of things: some wonderful; some horrid. Many years ago I was imprinted by a powerful lesson about kingdom life beyond the boundaries of doctrinal understanding.

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“Sonliness” is the Final Word of God to Humanity

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Father Watching His Infant SleepIn an era of an inferior covenant, based on inferior promises, the Psalmist said that the Lord’s anger is for a moment, but His mercy endures forever. It’s interesting to me how in a supposedly better covenant, based on better promises, and secured with the blood of the Son of God, that for some, this gets turned into God’s anger lasting forever, and His favor/mercy being just for a moment.

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Tugging Rugs and Tired Horses – Disillusionment in the Kingdom

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In our interpersonal dealings with folks, as long as people are happy with the rug they are standing on, they will not appreciate you or I  trying to pull it out from under them – even if we really have a better rug for them, tug ever so gently, and try to convince them of how loving we are for tugging!

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