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The Waiting Game

On this Advent Sunday, we are asked to evaluate our personal position against not so much God's standards, but His requirements for us to be included in His kingdom. That kingdom will be a reality for each of us sooner than we think, either by the direct return of Jesus Christ at His second coming or by our death/departure from this life, as we know it, where we have been given the opportunity to get a correct relationship with God our creator. The text we are directed to today is :-

2 Peter 3:7-13

7 And God has also commanded that the heavens and the earth will be consumed by fire on the day of judgement, when the ungodly people will perish.

8 But you must not forget, dear friends, that a day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. 9The Lord isn't really being slow about His promise to return, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish, so he is giving more time for everyone to repent. 10But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and everything in them will be exposed to judgement ( burned up ).

11 Since everything around us is going to melt away, what holy, godly lives you should be living ! 12You should look forward to that day and hurry it along - the day when God will set the heavens on fire and the elements will melt away in the flames. 13But we are looking forward to the new heavens and new earth he has promised, a world where everyone is right with God.

14 And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to live a pure and blameless life. And be at peace with God.

Peter's second letter, which was written shortly before his death, is a road sign warning of the danger ahead, and alerts readers to the return of Jesus Christ. Peter urges us to live lives that glorify God, and he cautions us to beware of false teachers who would distort the gospel. The theme points associated with this study are waiting, watching and wanting.

At the beginning of this passage, we are reminded of a fact which humanity it its wisdom has totally overlooked. Time as we know it is limited to our planet only. A day on earth is equal to 24 earth hours, on Mars is earth hours, on Venus is earth hours and on Jupiter is earth hours. Thus as soon as we leave the earth's immediate environment we have significantly different day durations, and we get ourselves tied up in great evolution arguments on God's timing using our day duration as the standard. Peter reminds us here that God's existence is a present situation without a past or a future, God identified himself as I AM to the Israelite nation. Thus a day is like a thousand years and a thousand years like a day to the Lord.

Peter then goes on to tell us that God is waiting for his created people to get a correct relationship with Him before Jesus returns. What is that right relationship ?

Well let us look in Genesis and find out.

In Genesis 1:26 Then God said "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness....." and in verse 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. Much has been said about this act, and it is still argued about today. However, it is pointed out that in John 4:24 Jesus stated that God is Spirit..... Thus Adam, the created man was part SPIRIT and since God did the creating and the creator is always master of the created so He is greater than man, His creation. So the Spirit realm is the real world as we would term it, and the created world, as we know it, is temporal and subservient to the Spirit realm. In Genesis 2, it is recorded that God and Man walked in the garden and conversed - obviously friends, or should it be classified as Father and son. There was a common bond between them. Adam was created in the image of God; body, soul and SPIRIT. God wanted the relationship between Him and Man to be a love relationship, reciprocated through faith. Thus, unlike the animal kingdom which is governed by an internal behavior mechanism that we call instinct, man was given a free will, since true love is only possible in a free relationship. This way God and man had a united spiritual life. Adam and Eve were living in a God ordained purpose in life by walking in a dependent love relationship with their creator. Thus, through that relationship, they were bearing a full, visible representation of the invisible God. Being created in God's image is not a physical image, nor mere intelligence, but a display of a certain kind of life - God's life, but since both Adam and Eve were not god, the life in them was determined by their free decision to remain in that relationship.

The next series of events are well known. God said in Genesis 2:16-17 And the Lord God commanded the man, "Your are free to eat from any tree in the garden, but you must not eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat of it you will surely die."

Satan, in the form of a serpent, sowed doubt in Eve's mind by questioning God's instructions. The decision to eat the fruit was thus a freewill decision on their behalf to act against God's specific instructions, and consequently broke the spirit relationship between God and Man - forever - that is until Jesus Christ, God's Son came to earth to make a full propitiation for that sin for all mankind. Immediately Adam and Eve ate the forbidden fruit, their eyes were opened and they realised that they were naked, indicating their death in the Spirit realm. God's later walk in the garden and the subsequent events are also well documented in Genesis and are widely known. They lived for some 900 years after that event before death, and some traditional teaching has allowed us to think that without that disobedience, humans would have lived for ever. However, Adam and Eve did die, immediately they ate the fruit. The Spirit part of the created man was separated from man and man died and immediately realised that he was naked.

God had made man in His own image - from the Spirit world, and the Spirit died in man, and severed an ongoing spirit relationship and link with God who is Spirit. Then, as recorded in Genesis 5: 1-3, When God created man he made him in the likeness of God. He created them male and female and blessed them. And when they were created he called them "man". When Adam had lived 130 years, he had a son in his own likeness, in his own image, and he named him Seth. It is quite clear that Seth was in Adam's image not God's, and since Adam's Spirit content had died, Seth did not inherit the Spirit content originally created in man. Thus as far as the real world - the spirit world - is concerned we are all dead - forever - that is, until Jesus Christ, God's Son, came to earth to make a full propitiation for that sin for all mankind, and we individually accept that reconciliation and repent of sin and have a restored spiritual re-birth.

Jesus' words recorded in John 3:5-8 "Truly, truly I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I say to you, "You must be born anew".....". The man created by God was body, soul and spirit, and through Adam's sin, the spirit section died, and we are all born in Adam's likeness, body and soul, but dead in the spirit. Since God is Spirit, and the Spirit world is the real world, we are dead unless we accept God's Grace through Christ's death, resurrection and ascension as our passage into God's kingdom.

Thus God is waiting for us, His created children to realise that we are incomplete and request and accept His free offer to re-fill us with His Spirit.

The second term we are considering is watching. Peter tells us in verse ten 10But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and everything in them will be exposed to judgement ( burned up ).


If we look at our society today, some call it progress, others see the claimed progress as a regression, while still others wonder what the world is coming to. Whatever your attitude and views on our civilisation, it is a progression from one opinion to another, and these opinions are created and governed by the society we live in. The so-called entertainment we watch on television today is governed by a far less moral and ethical set of standards than when television was introduced into Australia in the mid 1950's. We view all aspects of life by the standards prevailing at the time of the evaluation. However, the basics do not change at all. The basic laws of physics and maths do not change; even though we find out more about the effects and application of these basics, the actual foundations do not change.

It is the same with God. While evolving societies try to think God out of existence and church groups make changes to the interpretation of what God has said in His Word, we do not have the power or authority to effect these ideas. So what does God say ? God told Moses, in Exodus 3:14, to tell the Children of Israel, captive in Egypt that His name was I AM WHO I AM, and in Malachi 3:6 says For I the Lord do not change.

We need to watch carefully what we become involved in as today more than ever before there are theologies which just miss the mark, they are almost right and appeal to our often distorted ideas of what God is like. They are wrong and lead to destruction. We must know what we believe to be able to withstand the increasing deception of our present society. If we do not know what we believe, how can we discern the difference between truth and near truth ? We achieve this knowledge by constant revision of the statements of our faith such as the creeds, and more importantly by regular reading of God's Word our Bible. If we combine this with frequent prayer times, we get to know God and recognise truth, and then we can both accept and comply with Peter's advice to watch and be ready for the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. That time is not far off for most of us as we have the majority of our life behind us than in front of us. Peter refers to the world being burned up. Could the increasing hole in the ozone layer which allows much more destructive solar radiation to reach our planet and is indeed burning us up be part of this process ? Is it later than we think ? In these times I believe God is saying, forget the spaceship Earth, rescue the crew, and As in the time of Noah, people were eating, marrying and going about business, right up to the judgement by flood.

The third point being considered today is wanting. Peter tells us that we should want the second coming to be sooner rather than later, but since God has complete wisdom, He will chose the time and it will be when a number of conditions are met. What should we be doing ? In verse 14, Peter tells us 14And so, dear friends, while you are waiting for these things to happen, make every effort to live a pure and blameless life. And be at peace with God. Let us look at the peace with God phrase. A quick check of the original text reveals that the word translated as peace can also be translated as one, quietness, peace, rest or set at one again. Wow ! Complete as God had created Adam, now we can also be body, soul and spirit, and that should be our aim.

May I ask why we have come to this communion service ? Most people would respond with some acceptable comment about receiving from God, when in fact our duty is to attend and give ourselves to God. We should not come to get but to give ourselves to God, completely. Again by coming to get we have put ourselves in front of God, and that is a form of idolatry. What is your attitude to this communion service ? In a communion service we accept bread which represents the body of Jesus, which was sacrificed for us on the cross, and the wine represents the blood of Jesus shed for our sins also on the cross. This was a full and perfect propitiation for our sin and is acceptable to God for our redemption.

When cooking vegetables, and other food, the effect of including or forgetting a small portion of salt is evident as soon as we put the first portion in our mouth. Just a little salt transforms the whole pot full. Similarly, while I know I will be eating bread and drinking wine here in a few moments, I also accept that they represent the body and blood of Jesus Christ my Lord. Now, like all food I eat, it is digested into my body and becomes part of me. As the small portion of salt changed the whole pot full of food, so I can ask God to use the symbolic body and blood, as I digest it, to become part of me and change the whole of me into the complete person he wants me to be. Communion is not a confession/forgiveness activity, it should be a savoring process, where I return to the Adam type created man from the Adam descended man. Then we can become the blameless person Peter refers to in verse 14, and be at one with God as that verse concludes. God is unchanging, and He is persistent and we need to recognise that Jesus Christ did not just come to get men out of hell and into heaven; He came to get Himself out of heaven and into men!

Because the sinless saviour died, my sinful self is counted free: for God is just, and satisfied to look on Him and pardon me.

Praise God !!!


Where do you stand - right now ? Are you body and soul or body, soul and spirit?

Listening to God - A Course of Instruction

God does send us messages of encouragement and instructions, and as He said in Amos 3:7, “But always, first of all, I warn you through my servants the prophets. I the Sovereign Lord, have now done this”. When you become a parent, that inestimable love that flows from parent to child as we look at that wonderful creation absolutely dependant on us, is but a glimpse of the total love that God has for us - His created children. So you can see that God will continue to guide, advise and instruct us until Jesus Christ come back.

Regardless of how a so-called modern society operates, sets standards and tries to change the total environment in which we live, as it attempts to think God out of existence, the basic truth remains. There is a God who created us, loves us and is alive and well today, and loves us beyond our comprehension. Jesus, God’s Son, told us that God is Spirit, and we must worship Him in Spirit and Truth, John 4:24. I am not going to be diverted and waste time by trying to prove God exists and is The Creator. He does, and the evidence is the 6 billion people alive today, and those who were before us. I will probably be criticised for that stand, but what follows is important - in this instance.

God is alive, and loves us. Our bodies are made from “dust and ashes” and, after earthly death, our body returns to “dust of the ground” Genesis 2:7. The only difference between you and me and our future corpse, is life, and that life is from God via His Holy Spirit. When God decides I have been on this planet long enough, He will call me home - to the SPIRIT REALM where He lives.

Since we have a living, loving God, He still communicates with us in various ways, including through His chosen prophets and through prophecy. While God is unchanging, Malachi 3:6, (the same yesterday, today and forever), as well as giving us basic universal instructions/encouragement, God also speaks to and about local situations. These messages usually form a series, and if recorded and compared over time, a pattern emerges, which can be loving encouragement, warning, and preparation for the future. In my early adult life, I could see very distinct advantages in building a Christian/Christian-based society for all to live in, and as a basis for acceptance and commitment to Christ by the people. While I accepted that Heaven and Earth will pass away, 2 Peter 3:10, since they are temporal and the real world is the Spirit world I saw a need for God’s love to pervade our society.

One night while I was preparing a Bible Study, I was making reference to a widely-circulated prophetic word that generally stated that “the Prime Minister (at that time) would be a great Prime Minister when he became a Christian”. Unfortunately the word “when” had replaced the original “if” of the initial word. I had met with this man on a number of occasions, and he was very sarcastic towards God, even denying His existence. Regardless, I was preparing this study to pray for the PM to find God and Jesus as Saviour.

God then set me up. He asked me if I really wanted the PM to become a Christian. I responded “Yes” and began to point out how God had created us all, we were all His children, and we all had a right to accept Jesus as Saviour and be reunited with God. God then asked if I wanted the PM to become a Christian so he could have eternal life, or so that I/we could have a better life-style here under a Christian- principled Government. I responded immediately, and as doing so thought, “You are right God, why do I want this to be”? I thought about the question, and replied that I wanted the PM to have eternal life - yes, this man who I did not really like - he had the same rights as all of us, to have eternal life. I then sat back, assured that I had responded correctly. Then God said, “OK you can stand beside him throughout eternity !” I immediately shuddered, as God proved to me the difference between an academic understanding of God’s desires, and my true sub-conscious appraisal of God’s Word. That was a real test of my actual commitment and acceptance of God’s Word. I learnt !!!

God then started a special series of instructions/messages, which when spoken, many people just don’t seem to understand.

“Forget the Spaceship Earth, rescue the crew !” (1990)

Having sorted our my priorities as shown above, God now made it very clear that the churches we build in brick and people as institutions, organisations etc, just don’t really matter. It is being used by God to populate heaven that is important. It is the crew of this spaceship “Earth” that can be saved, not the spaceship itself or its operating facilities. As the bee pollinates the flower to produce fruit, so the Holy Spirit “pollinates” each life to bring forth fruit. As the flower and the fruit are supported and nourished from the branch, so Jesus tells us that He is the vine, and we are the branches, John 15:5, witnessing/showing our neighbours the love of God, so that the Holy Spirit can pollinate and bring forth the fruit to populate heaven.

“I am no longer working through large meetings, I have turned to the individual approach .” (1992)

I believe that God is saying that He is moving to the next phase of His plan. There is no criticism of the large evangelistic meeting, it is just so great to get together and sing praises to our God. However, we do need to acknowledge that television has been an effective tool and we have allowed Satan get control of this medium of large gatherings, and use them to destroy the standards God set for us to live by. With the pressures of modern living and controlling legislation, large gatherings are less attractive and fewer now than 15 to 100 years ago. It is by our life and behaviour that others will be pointed to Jesus, the Saviour. The “woman of Samaria” is a very good example of effective evangelism; no publicity, no TV ads, no big meetings. She just stood in the middle of town and shouted out for everyone to “Come and see the man who told me everything about me; is he the Messiah ?”, John 4"29. She just stood there and pointed to Jesus beside the well and directed the human traffic. She didn’t build an organisation or building; just pointed out to her neighbours the way to Jesus. Jesus taught a lot about neighbours. Yes, some are called to go to new locations and start or continue specific missions; however, all of us are called to demonstrate God’s love right where we have been put at home and work.

“I am on the Highways and Byways now .” (1999)

Matthew 22:1-14 records Jesus’ words about heaven and likens it to a wedding feast. The invited guests ignored the call to the feast, and so the servants were set out onto the streets (highways and byways) to seek guests to fill the banquet.

While this can be interpreted as the extension of the Gospel from the Jews to the Gentiles, it also has an “end time” meaning. Perhaps our witness to our neighbours has not been adequate; perhaps all who attend church services have not found truth, but work to a formula not a relationship with God, for salvation; perhaps there is still more room in My Father’s House; John 14:1, perhaps ........ The point seems to be that God still wants more/all of His created children to hear and be shown His love and grace, Matthew 28:18-20. It can be very “comfortable” being in a church group, and this fellowship is necessary for mutual growth and support, but we still have a responsibility to our injured/hurting/lost neighbour.

“Go out and compel them to come in !” (2000)

There is now an urgency in these instructions; “go and do it NOW !”Matthew 22:9-10. I am reminded of a verse whose authorship has been lost, but it fits well here for many of us :

My Friend


My friend, I stand in the Judgement now,
and feel that you are to blame somehow
On Earth, I walked with you day by day
and never did you point the way.

You knew the Lord in truth and glory,
but never did you tell the story.
My knowledge then was very dim;
You could have led me safe to Him.

Though we lived together on the earth,
you never told me of the second birth,
and now I stand this day condemned.
because you failed to mention Him.

You taught me many things, that's true,
I called you "friend" and trusted you:
but I learn now that it's too late,
you could have kept me from this fate.

We walked by day, and talked by night,
and yet you showed me not the light.
You let me live, and love, and die.
You knew I'd never live on high.

Yes, I called you "friend" in life
and trusted you through joy and strife.
And yet on coming to the end,
I cannot now call you "My Friend".

In Matthew 10:7-10, God calls all of us to share the good news that God loves us on purpose, that Jesus Christ is Lord, and that all who believe in Him as their Lord and Saviour will spend eternity with God. He wants us to share that message in the community where we live, in the community where we work, and with our friends and neighbours.

“Teach the people the difference between Truth and Near Truth.” (2001)

Scripture tells us that there are, and will be, many false prophets, and to expect them. I wonder how the disciples would have handled Radio, Television, Computers and the Internet ? It is now possible to start with a perfectly normal picture and turn it into a horrific scene, and vise-versa, so that not only young children, but all of us can never be sure of the truth of anything we hear and see today. There are many publications and internet sites readily accessed, which present signs and wonders which, under honest evaluation, do not stand the light of examination. But being presented as fact, the vast majority of people accept it as fact and will argue intensely against truth, when truth is brought to their notice. Satan has prepared many theories that just miss the truth, and seem both good and theological. But they all miss truth, and therefore are not of God, or helpful in knowing God. There is only one way to God and that is through Jesus’ sacrifice to pay for all sin; and our acceptance of that debt paid; Jesus’ resurrection, a victory over the eternal punishment for sin, and a rebirth into a new life; and Jesus’ ascension to be with His Father, the promise to be re-united back into the Spirit World of God, or is it easier to say “be given life to our dead spirit”. To return to be as mankind was when Adam was created in God’s image - body, soul and spirit, but the access to the Spirit World was forfeited by Adam’s sin and mankind’s spirit component died in the Garden of Eden until Jesus re-established the only way back to God, Romans 5:17

Those who teach and lead have an enormous responsibility - to get it right: get it wrong and God will hold us responsible for all those who are led astray. Matthew 22.

“As in the time of Noah !” (2002)

Noah was commissioned by God to build a great ship, Genesis 6:14, which was to be used by God to save a remnant of mankind. Humanity had become so depraved and Godless, that it hurt God to look upon the Earth. People in Noah’s time laughed at him as he worked for 120 years to build this vessel to save. They saw it every day, they derided God and Noah every day. They were going about their normal daily business, parties, weddings, picnics and so on, and then without warning, God acted, and only the people and animals inside the ark were saved, to start mankind off again.

Jesus said, as recorded in Matthew 24, TLB “Just so, when you see all these things beginning to happen, you can know that My return is near, even at the doors. Then at last this age will come to its close. Heaven and earth will disappear, but My words remain forever. But no one knows the date and hour when the end will be - not even the angels. No, nor even God’s Son. Only the Father knows. The world will be at ease - banquets and parties and weddings - just as it was in Noah’s time before the sudden coming of the flood; people wouldn’t believe what was going to happen until the flood actually arrived and took them away. So shall My coming be.”

I am in no way attempting to predict the time when Jesus will return to Earth. However, I do know that each of us individually have a finite time here on Earth, and once our earthly bodies die, we have passed the time for restitution with God and re-admission to the spirit world. So my personal attitude to the second coming is, that while Jesus Christ may return today or not return for many, many earth years, my last chance is in the minutes before my earthly death - and that can be at any time.

The world today is certainly doing everything except preparing “the bride” for Jesus’ return --- as in the time of Noah.

“Prepare My people for Battle” (2003)

Today, we live in both troubled and uncertain times. This has been stated many times over past centuries; and even last century, it was doubted that the world would “make it” to the year 2001 - the start of the new millennium. Well, we are there again, with international unrest, religious persecution and governments across the world legislating to make sin legal. Scripture tells us that God appoints governments, and I believe and accept that. God allowed the birth of Judas Iscariot who betrayed Jesus to be crucified, and Jesus said “Woe to him who betrays Me,” a crucifixion that was the means of reuniting God’s created mankind back to Him. God raised up the Babylonians to punish, strengthen and straighten-out the Israelite nation, then punished Babylon. Do we think that God will not purge His Church ? Revelation states that, in the end times, God shortens the period of turmoil/stress or none would survive. Now, He has said, “Prepare My people for battle”; not war, battle. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers and spiritual wickedness in high places. We need a firm foundation in the truth of the Bible, a close relationship with the God of Creation, and the guidance and protection of the Holy Spirit. Has not Paul already said it ? Ephesians 6:10-20 TLB


“Last of all I want to remind you that your strength must come from the Lord’s mighty power within you. Put on all of God’s armour so that you will be able to stand safe against all strategies and tricks of Satan. For we are not fighting against people made of flesh and blood, but against people without bodies - the evil rulers of the unseen world, those mighty satanic beings and great evil princes of darkness who rule this world; and against huge numbers of wicked spirits in the spirit world. So use every piece of God’s armour to resist the enemy whenever he attacks, and when it is all over, you will still be standing up. But to do this, you will need the strong belt of truth and the breastplate of God’s approval. Wear shoes that are able to speed you on to, preach the Good News of peace with God. In every battle you will need faith as your shield to stop the fiery arrows aimed at you by Satan. And you will need the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit - which is the word of God. Pray all the time. Ask God for anything in line with the Holy Spirit’s wishes. Plead with Him, reminding Him of your needs, and keep praying earnestly for all Christians everywhere. Pray for me, too, and ask God to give me the right words as I boldly tell others about the Lord and as I explain to them that His salvation is for the Gentiles too.”

We can certainly personalise Paul’s prayer request in that last sentence for us all, as we go into the future with non-Christian religions attacking the very basis of our faith.

God has presented a training course for us as we go through life here on Earth, and as we approach the personal or actual end time. Taken in sequence, there is a definite trend and course to study and to take.

Things are not going to be easy. As we go into the immediate future, don’t go alone.


“Put your hand into the hand of God; it will be better than a light; it will be as a known way”.