Monday, August 31, 2015

O God of the highest heaven, Occupy the throne of my heart!


O God of the highest heaven,
Occupy the throne of my heart,
take full possession and reign supreme,
lay low every rebel lust,
let no vile passion resist thy holy war;
manifest thy mighty power,
and make me thine for ever.
Thou art worthy to be
praised with my every breath,
loved with my every faculty of soul,
served with my every act of life.
Thou hast loved me, espoused me, received me,
purchased, washed, favoured, clothed,
adorned me,
when I was worthless, vile, soiled, polluted.
I was dead in iniquities,
having no eyes to see thee,
no ears to hear thee,
no taste to relish thy joys,
no intelligence to know thee;
But thy Spirit has quickened me,
has brought me into a new world as a new creature,
has given me spiritual perception,
has opened to me thy Word as light, guide, solace, joy.
Thy presence is to me a treasure of unending peace;
No provocation can part me from thy sympathy,
for thou hast drawn me with cords of love,
and dost forgive me daily, hourly.
O help me then to walk worthy of thy love,
of my hopes, and my vocation.
Keep me, for I cannot keep myself;
Protect me that no evil befall me;
Let me lay aside every sin admired of many;
Help me to walk by thy side, lean on thy arm,
hold converse with thee,
That henceforth
I may be salt of the earth and a blessing to all.
The Valley of Vision: A Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions

Monday, August 24, 2015

Christian Headcovering And Recovery Of Godly Reverence In Worship


Serving amongst the refugee communities in Europe, I have contact with various people from Middle East. One of the complains which I often hear from those who are seriously seeking the truth and come to church is this;

"I feel so shocked to see Jesus being treated so lightly and downgraded in the modern Christian churches. They perform skit, for example, playing the role of Jesus and let him say something which sounds almost like joking. Jesus is a holy man! We should respect him and show our deep reverence toward this holy man."

O may God forgive us! Isn't it ironic and lamentable that those who recognize Jesus as merely a prophet show much more reverence to Him than those of us who consider and worship Him as holy Son of God? We have seen that many evangelical church services have degraded into entertainment and show nowadays so much so that we have almost lost the sense of holy fear and reverence in front of the Holy One.

Regarding this, brother Greg Gordon (a guest author of mentioned as follows;

"One golden chord of thought and belief in early Christian theology is that when we corporately worship together we are entering also the worship of the holy angels and cloud of witnesses in heaven. Worship has become so self-centered that such thinking seems absurd in our day. Worship has always been lofty as we are worshipping God, not some idol or lesser deity. One minute in heaven of true heavenly worship will seem like an eternity.

"What is sacred anymore in our Christian life? Are things in the Church still holy to you? Is worship something that gives you the sense of angels worshipping with you? Christianity has always been a holy religion. There is nothing mundane about it, yet modern thinking wants to bring Christ and all the holy things of God into the mud of common things.

"Father in heaven, please allow me to recapture the sense of awe and respect for the holy things of God. Let me sense how holy heaven is and the angelic worship that even now resounds. Amen." (source)
So, what is the connection between Christian headcovering and godly reverence in worship?

"When we look a bit closer at this passage about the tradition of head covering, we find that the practice should be done in the fear of the Lord," says brother Gordon.

"Symbols are powerful things because they speak of the greater reality. The symbol of head covering represents women as testifying to the unseen angelic hosts in true worship and reverence of God, being in his order. When a sister covers her head in godly sincerity and reverence for God, the act of putting on the veil speaks of her inner desire to obey the Lord and reverence the things of God. ...In our day, it is important for evangelicals to rethink and consider the symbols that God has given to the church, which speaks of the eternal realities of the kingdom of God." (source)

The symbol of headcovering speaks of the eternal realities of the Kingdom of God, which is unseen in our mortal eyes but nonetheless real and substantial. I've heard from many headcovering sisters that this biblical practice influences upon their depths of the soul and penetrates so deeply into their being that it awakens the sense of holy reverence and heavenly affection toward the Holy One.

Is the recovery of the headcovering practice in the 21st century,promoted by men? No. I believe that it is the pure working of the Spirit who "maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered." (Rom 8:26 b). Jesus said that "(the Spirit) shall glorify me" (John 16:14 a). Yes, the whole and ultimate purpose of this recovery movement is to glorify Jesus the King of kings and to satisfy the heart of the Father in heaven.
(He) who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords;
Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see; to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.
1 Timothy 6:15b,16

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Comfort for those who are downhearted and sad: Elizabeth Prentiss

Я посвящаю эту поэму Моя дорогая сестра , Ирина .

Псалтирь102:1,2 Господи! услышь молитву мою, и вопль мой да придет к Тебе.
 Не скрывай лица Твоего от меня; в день скорби моей приклони ко мне ухо Твое; в день, [когда воззову к Тебе], скоро услышь меня;
Dear Lord, I do remember Thou hast said
That I may cast my every care on Thee;
But see, this deep oppression will not go,
But with its leaden hands holds fast to me.
Holds fast, and drags me down, and shuts my mouth,
Strangles the cry that fain would pierce the skies;
Helpless I lie before Thee, with no words
Upon my lips, with sad tearless eyes.
So be it, Lord; my joyous soul has need
Of its dark days, and in this dreary night,
Roots shall strike downward, that anon shall shoot
In rich and living branches to the light.
Oh may these branches bear some fruit for Thee,
In grateful memory of the loving hand,
That cast me in this gloomy, cheerless spot,
And all its dreariness and darkness planned.
 -Elizabeth Prentiss

picture from here

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

O let him be a "voice" crying in the wilderness of modern theology and stagnant "churchianity": L. Ravenhill's earnest message



"The prophet in his day," Ravenhill once said, "is fully accepted of God and totally rejected by men." He also said that the degree of his effectiveness is determined by his measure of unpopularity. That's because compromise is not known to him.

Whenever I hear his sermon, my heart's got burned from inside. Oh how I wish I could live up to His words! And how we are hungry for the pure spiritual milk! Sheep are wondering and looking for their selfless, godly shepherds. But many of us wonder, "where can we find such shepherds? Where can we find such prophets?"

"There is a terrible vacuum in evangelical Christianity today," Ravenhill said. "The missing person in our ranks is the prophet. The man with a terrible earnestness. The man totally otherworldly. The man rejected by other men, even other good men, because they consider him too austere, too severely committed, too negative and unsociable."

Dr. Carlton McLeod, who is a guest author of the head covering movement said, "The American church is suffering now in part, because we refuse to take God at His Word. In fact, I believe the church has lost her prophetic voice…her willingness to declare what thus says the Lord, and the entire world is hurting as a result."(here)

Oh our gracious Lord, please do send us Thy prophets! And let him be a "voice" crying in the wilderness. There are so many false teachers in our evangelical churches today. Oh God, please don't let us astray like wondering sheep. Send us Thy prophets, Thy true prophets! In Jesus' name. Amen.


Sermon by Leonard Ravenhill 

The Spirit of a Prophet

Prophets are a strange breed of men.
Their God's emergency men for crisis hours.
And the price of being a prophet is that a man has to live alone.
All God's great men have been very very lonely men.
I said very often that when I turn over the pages of the Bible.
That one of the most challenging pages is the white page that divides the testaments.
It's a white page but it tells a period of 400 years of total darkness.
400 years of darkness without any light.
400 years of silence without any prophetic voice.
,,the greatest character read of all time was Jesus himself.
And He said that the greatest man that was ever born of woman was John the Baptist.
A man who spent some 20 years there in the fastness of the desert.
A lonely man, a strange man.
And the great need in America tonight I'm convinced of this,
as good as Bible schools are with their assembly lines and producing their preachers,
the greatest need in America tonight is prophets.

He went into the wilderness until the day of his showing forth...
Oh, I'd love to have heard John the Baptist preach wouldn't you.
I'd love to see this man when God said,
"John, you've been here 20 years now, you better go out and preach."
I told you this morning, it takes God 20 years to make a man,
it took Him 20 years to make John the Baptist.
And he preached for 6 months.
Your boys went to Bible school for 6 months and been preaching 20 years.
No wonder you're dry.
You'd better go back, go back to the wilderness, go back to the desert, get into the loneliness.
There's nothing on God's earth like silence.
Just take your Bible, forget, forget everybody and shut yourself away.
Until you have a new revelation from God Himself.
...Why do people want Jesus to come today?
Because their scared stiff of suffering, that's why...
After all, the church has been getting lashed, and tormented and stripped and prostituted.
400 years and God never moves.
400 years of ritual and formality of sacrifice and all the ritualism that they went through.
But somehow it was a form of Godliness.
And God decided to upset the applecart if you'd like.
What did He do send a legion of angels? No no no no no...
He took a little man out of, baby out of the womb of its mother. He separated this man and He educated him in the Spirit and sent him into the wilderness.
And he came out and he had no form of man and he asked for no program and
he wasn't seeking prestige and he didn't beg for anybody's power.
And he didn't find some secret way of promotion!
If you'd walk down the desert there, you could hardly tell the man the color of his skin,
he was sunburned on the inside and fire baptized on the inside...
and fire baptized with the sun on the outskirts.
,,,You see we think if we're really blessed and successful evangelist, you get a bigger home, a bigger car, more prestige and brother, you feel good because now you could buy 150 dollar suits where as you wore 30 dollar suits not too long ago.
But brother, if you moved up with God, I'll tell you what you'll do, your hearts more broken now then it was when you started 10 years ago.
You'll see the nation going downhill more rapidly than she's ever gone before. Prostitution is increasing, crime is increasing, immorality is increasing, lawlessness is increasing.
Ahhh the prophets were men who walked with God,
they felt like God,
they saw like God,
they wept like God,
they yearned like God.
They had no satisfaction in seeing the beauty of the temple.
The ritual, the formality.
All the things that they went no no no God is gone from them.
We keep up the formality, the money is coming in,
people are nice, one or two come to the altar.
But oh what a difference when a man gets a heart that craves for revival,
that longs that God will make bare his arm.
That all nations will have to acknowledge.
When John the Baptist came,
he came with no lip that was buttoned, he had nobody to please,
he had no program, he had no priorities that he was trying to push ahead.
He ever raised a dead man? Noooo he didn't raise a dead man.
He raised a dead nation!
And he did it without the miraculous or the arm of the flesh.
He did it in the power of the Holy Ghost.
...I say again most of you men ought to preach better than you know, then you do preach.
But you won't do it because you'll get kicked out of the synagogue. That's why.
You'll really have to trust God and that will be trouble won't it? And you've been paying into the minister's pension fund, oh brother, wouldn't that be awful to have to sacrifice that for Jesus.
You say "I'll lay everything on the altar. I'll set my golf clubs, my minister's pension fund, and my big T.V. And anything else you can have,
Lord, but don't intrude just too much on me kind of thing.
Oh I like to think of John the Baptist standing there no sponsors,
nobody to agree or disagree with him.
He stood there and they came to see this strange man anointed by the Holy Ghost.
And I tell you this, if a man is anointed by the Holy Ghost, folks will seek him.
We have blinded our eyes to truth and we have put our fingers in our eyes to the voice of God. And the judgments are going to fall if we don't get revival and maybe, if it's not an alternative of Christ or Chaos but Christ and Chaos. Not revival or revolution but revival and revolution.
Ahhh the prophets were men who walked with God,
they felt like God,
they saw like God,
they wept like God,
they yearned like God.


Friday, August 14, 2015

For those who are under pain: Encouraging christian poem by Frances Ridley Havergal


I dedicate this poem to sister Ruthie and her dear husband who is under physical trials.
[Written in severe pain, Sunday afternoon, October 8th, 1876, at the Pension Wengen, Alps.]

I TAKE this pain, Lord Jesus,
From Thine own hand,
The strength to bear it bravely
Thou wilt command.
I am too weak for effort,
So let me rest,
In hush of sweet submission,
On Thine own breast.
I take this pain, Lord Jesus,
As proof indeed.
That Thou art watching closely
My truest need:
That Thou, my Good Physician,
Art watching still;
That all Thine own good pleasure
Thou wilt fulfil.
I take this pain, Lord Jesus,
What Thou dost choose
The soul that really loves Thee
Will not refuse.
It is not for the first time
I trust to-day;
For Thee my heart has never
A trustless 'Nay!'
I take this pain, Lord Jesus,
But what beside?
'T is no unmingled portion
Thou dost provide.
In every hour of faintness,
My cup runs o'er
With faithfulness and mercy,
And love's sweet store.
I take this pain, Lord Jesus,
As Thine own gift,
And true though tremulous praises
I now uplift.
I am too weak to sing them,
But Thou dost hear
The whisper from the pillow,--
Thou art so near!
'T is Thy dear hand, O Saviour,
That presseth sore,
The hand that bears the nail-prints
For evermore.
And now beneath its shadow,
Hidden by Thee,
The pressure only tells me
Thou lovest me!

Frances Ridley Havergal, A Song In The Night

Do Jesus' words apply merely to private retribution and not to state-sponsored actions?

What if Jesus meant what He said?

Now let us set aside our denominational/national/traditional way of interpretation for a while and ponder the following verse of Jesus with a child-like simplicity and fresh spirit.

"But I say unto you, love your enemies." Matt 5:44

Today I'd like to share with you an excerpt from the pamphlet entitled "How many men are necessary to change a crime into a virtue?" by Adin Ballou.

How many does it take to annul the commandments of God, and render that lawful, which HE has forbidden? How many does it take to metamorphose wickedness into righteousness?
One man must not kill. If he does it is murder. Two, ten, one hundred men, acting on their own responsibility, must not kill. If they do, it is still murder.
But a state or nation may kill as many as they please, and it is no murder. It is just, necessary, commendable and right. Only get people enough to agree to it, and the butchery of myriads of human beings is perfectly innocent. But how many does it take? This is the question. Just so with theft, robbery, burglary, and all other crimes. Man-stealing is a great crime in one man, or a very few men only.
But a whole nation can commit it, and the act becomes not only innocent, but highly honorable. So a whole nation can rob on the largest scale, and perpetrate burglary on an entire city by martial power, without crime. They can do all these things with impunity, and call on the ministers of religion to say prayers for them.
Verily there is magic in numbers! The sovereign multitude can out-legislate the Almighty, at least in their own conceit. But how many does it take?
--quotes ended--
Unlike the ways of the earthly nations, I believe that―in Jesus' Kingdom, the end does not justify the means.
In Jesus' eyes, our means are as important as our ends themselves.
Our means must also reflect the Lamb of God, our suffering Savior who literally loved His enemies and prayed for those who cursed Him and killed Him.

 O Jesus! help us to live up to Your words and
to be faithful to You until the end. Amen.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

We see their face set toward Jerusalem; Let us not hinder them: Amy Carmichael

O Father, help, lest our poor love refuse
For our beloved the life that they would choose,
And in our fear of loss for them, or pain,
Forget eternal gain.
Show us the gain, the golden harvest There
For corn of wheat that they have buried here.
Lest human love defraud them, and betray,
Teach us, O God, to pray.
Teach us to pray remembering Calvary,
For as the Master must the servant be.
We see their face set toward Jerusalem;
Let us not hinder them.
Teach us to pray. O Thou who didst not spare
Thine Own Beloved,
lead us on in prayer;
Purge from the earthly;
give us love divine,
Father, like Thine,
like Thine.
Amy Carmichael, Toward Jerusalem
And it came to pass, when the time was come that he should be received up, he steadfastly set his face to go to Jerusalem. Luke 9:51

Monday, August 10, 2015

The Recovery of Headcovering Practice (1 Cor 11) Uplifts And Furthers Complementarianism


I am your fellow complementarian and I deeply appreciate the efforts which our fellow brethren have done over the years, in order to recover biblical manhood and womanhood.

Today, I'd like to testify to my dear complementarian friends that the practice of fabric headcovering which is written in the 1 Corinthians 11 has deepen my relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ. It is so wonderful. And I came to be convicted more and more that the recovery of Headcovering practice uplifts and even furthers our complementarianism itself. Our fellow headcovering sisters also testify that this practice really encourage them to seek biblical womanhood with all their hearts.

We can discern whether one teaching is from the Lord or not, by their fruits. And indeed, regarding the headcovering teaching, we have seen and tasted the wonderful fruits so far. After covering their heads, many wives have become much more obedient and tender toward their husbands. Many young sisters who used to wear immodest clothes started to wear modest dress after they practiced headcoverings. Through simply obeying this biblical command, the symbol has come to be alive in the depths of our soul and it penetrates both our inner and outer spheres. It is too wonderful to explain in words!  

Oh, how blessed we are to be able to obey this biblical command of headcovering freely and joyously! It is the way of spiritual blessings and recovery. It is the way that we sisters find the beauty of biblical womanhood in a deeper level. Dear friends, I encourage you to watch the following short message made by Brother Jeremy Gardiner. I am sure it inspires you, too! May our Lord bless you and your family abundantly.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

We are too high; Make of us something like the low green moss: Amy Carmichael


We are too high;
Lord Jesus, we implore Thee,
Make of us
something like the low green moss
That vaunteth not, a quiet thing before Thee,
Cool for Thy feet sore wounded
on the Cross.
Like low green moss-
and yet our thoughts are thronging,
Running to meet Thee,
all alight, afire.
Thirsty the souls that burneth in love-longing;
Fountain and fire art Thou, and hearts' desire.
Therefore we come,
Thy righteousness our cover,
Thy precious Blood our one,
our only plea.
Therefore we come,
O Savior, Master, Lover;
To whom, Lord,
could we come save unto Thee?
-Amy Carmichael, Toward Jerusalem

O that my heart would stay silent and still: Gerhard Tersteegen

O that my heart would stay silent and still
and be pure of every stain;
beautified by suffering
and like a polished mirror!
How lovely, then, that Sun of the Godhead
would shine in me
and how soon would he paint his picture
upon the inmost place of soul!
Gerhard Tersteegen (1697-1769)

Holy Spirit, flow through me, let my life Thy channel be: Margaret.E.Barber


Holy Spirit, flow through me,
Let my life Thy channel be;
Let no doubt obstruct Thy way.
Flow through me, O Lord, today.
Flow in rivers, not a rill.
All Thy word to me fulfill.
Holy Spirit, flow through me,
I would just a channel be
For Thy mighty living tide.
Reaching souls both far and wide.
Flow in rivers, not a rill,
All Thy word to me fulfill.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Seeking the pure spiritual milk: what we can learn from the late Leonard Ravenhill (1907-1994)

The late Leonard Ravenhill (1907-1994) was a devout evangelist in the 20th century. He was born in Britain and witnessed the authentic revivals in Wales in the 40s. He had spent many hours in the prayer closet and lived what he talked. His genuine love for Jesus and for the lost souls, and his uncompromising attitude toward sin drive us to dedicate all of our lives to Christ, and Christ alone.

Now, I am going to write down one of his sermons. You can also listen to the youtube which is attached below.

   We have never seen the agonizing death of a man on a cross.
Immediately, a man was nailed to the cross, he lost all his rights. And if you ever get nailed to the cross,
you'll lose all yours, too.
Paul says, "Don't trouble me! I'm branded;
I bear the marks of a slave! I'm a bond slave of Jesus Christ."
I've no will of my own!
I've no rights of my own!
There's an old hymn established on that very theme-
Let my hands perform His bidding
Let my feet run in His ways
Let my eyes see Jesus only
Let my lips speak forth His praise.
All for Jesus!
All my being's ransomed powers
All my thoughts and words and doings
All my days and all my hours.
This man is no professional preacher-
Preaching is not a profession;
it's a passion!
If a man can't preach with passion,
he shouldn't preach at all.
There's no breath of professionalism anywhere in the ministry of Paul.
And thanks God, there's no breath of commercialism, either.
Paul has no fear;
Do you know what he did? I would to God some of you fellows would do it.
You know what he once did? He said, "I bow the knee to the Father."
And because he bowed the knee to the Father, he never bowed the knee to anybody else, neither demons or politician or kings.
He stood there regal.
"I bear in my body the mark of the Lord Jesus."
In America alone, we have hundreds of millions of gospel cassettes,
and we have millions of gospel books, and we have hundreds of bible schools,
and we have hundreds of seminars, and we have people memorizing the scriptures.
And we have 5000 radio stations, which everyday gives some part of the scripture.
And yet with all this stuff to feed on-
Dear God where are we? With all this stuff to feed on-
95% of us are spiritual cripples!
Spiritual infants.
Spiritual babes.
Children full of self-pity.
me first.
And some people love God because He gives!
We've got this wretched prosperity stunt.
Paul's very clear, isn't he? Doesn't he say (writing to Timothy there)
"There'll come a day when people think that gain is godliness."
Peter said in his day.
"There are some who will make merchandise you."
That wouldn't be more true than the day in which we're living.
I see God's money going in
stately buildings and swimming pools and tennis courts and I want to vomit.
With the world starving, with the mission field needing money,
Paul never glamorized the gospel.
It's a very gory gospel!
It's a bloody gospel!
It's a sacrificial gospel!
I believe the cardinal ethic of Christianity is sacrifice not success!
The most precious thing we ever handle is the human soul!
There is only one way to Heaven-
There are a million ways to Hell!
What do you do to go to Hell?
Just do nothing- that's all.
You don't have to thumb your nose at God.
You don't have to blaspheme the name of Jesus.
You don't have to be an adulterer-
Just coast on!
For the greatest sin in the world is not adultery. The greatest sin in the world is-
"I can manage my life without God."
That's the greatest sin.
You say sometimes,
"I wonder God doesn't burden me?"
Do you know why?
Because He can't trust you. That's why.
You're not strong enough to carry the burden. A lot of you, here this morning,
you don't need more light. This will only make it worse for you at the Judgment.
What you need is more obedience.
Some of you have known for years what you should do, and you haven't; you hold back.
Do you remember some of those awesome words Jesus said to the disciples?
"I've many things to tell you, but you cannot bear them."
I say reverently. "Almighty God, don't say that to me at the Judgment seat! Don't let me stand before John Wesley and Finney and all the great saints of the ages."
And say, "Ravenhill, I'd many things to tell you, but you were so preoccupied with this or preoccupied with that. I couldn't get through to you and
if I could, you won't be true enough to handle it."
95% of Christians in the nation are weak!
God can't trust them with vision;
He can't trust children with jewels!
You can't trust them with something that needs bravery;
they're too timid!
You can't trust them with the burden.
You'll break down!
Five minutes inside Eternity-
I believe everyone of us will have wished that
we'd have sacrificed more,
prayed more,
loved more,
sweated more,
grieved more,
wept more!"
I will attach three more inspiring sermons by Leonard Ravenhill


By the borders of my day, the river of Thy pleasure flows: Amy Carmichael


O Prince of Glory,
who dost bring
Thy sons to glory through Thy Cross,

Let me not shrink from suffering,
Reproach, or loss.

The dust of words would smother me;
Be all to me anathema
That turns me from Gethsemane,
And Golgotha.

If Thy dear Home be fuller, Lord,
For that a little emptier
My house on earth, what rich reward
That guerdon were.

And by the borders of my day
The river of Thy pleasure flows;
The flowers that blossoms by the way
who loves Thee knows.

Amy Carmichael, God's Missionary