Monday, August 27, 2007

Reason and Revelation: Revelation (Part 4)

"But the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will fall away from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and doctrines of demons." (1 Timothy 4:1)
One of our primary sources of revelation is the spirit realm. However, not everything that comes to us from the spirit realm is from God. Paul specifically warns Timothy that, especially in the last days, people will be listening to and following the teachings and doctrines of demons. We must be discerning when receiving spiritual revelation as to what spirit, or kind of spirit, the revelation is from. The bible speaks of unclean spirits and of the Holy Spirit. This is why John charges us, "Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are from God, because many false prophets have gone out into the world." (1 John 4:1) When it comes to spiritual revelation, we should be "wise as serpents and harmless as doves." (Matthew 10:16 NKJV)

One of the ways we can open ourselves up to the influences and impressions of demons is through drug use. The Greek work for sorcery is "pharmakeia" from which we get our English word "pharmacy". Many religions around the world use drugs to archive an altered state of mind through which they hope to gain enlightenment. However, in reality, the "enlightenment" they are receiving is merely the communications of demons. This is what makes the drug culture so destructive. It not only destroys the body, but it also open our spirits up to the pollution of demons. The impact of drugs go far beyond the impact to our mind and body, they can lead to the destruction of our spirit.

In seeking revelation, especially spiritual revelation, we must be certain of from whom we are receiving revelation. Muses, spirit guides, inner voices, personal "angles", are all substitute names for demons. Our only protection is to ensure that, in our seeking, that we are seeking the Lord Jesus Christ. Only when our search is centered in God, will we be sure of the source of our revelation.

More to come... David Robison

Sunday, August 26, 2007

My first poll

I've added my first poll to my blog. Check it out on the right hand side and cast your vote!

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Reason and Revelation: Revelation (Part 3)

Teachers and Preachers
"The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our sons forever, that we may observe all the words of this law." (Deuteronomy 29:29)
Revelation is cumulative. What I mean by this is that the revelation gained by one generation can be passed on to the next, who, along with the revelation they gain themselves, then pass it on to the generation that follows them. When God wants to reveal something to mankind, He doesn't need to reveal it to everyone, He can simply reveal it to a few who then pass it on to others. In this sense, revelation can be taught and imparted. After Jesus' resurrection from the dead, He appeared to His disciples and gave them revelation concerning the scriptures. "Then He opened their minds to understand the Scriptures." (Luke 24:45) They then, in turn, took that revelation and passed it on to others. This is why John said,
"What was from the beginning, what we have heard, what we have seen with our eyes, what we have looked at and touched with our hands, concerning the Word of Life -- and the life was manifested, and we have seen and testify and proclaim to you the eternal life, which was with the Father and was manifested to us -- what we have seen and heard we proclaim to you also, so that you too may have fellowship with us; and indeed our fellowship is with the Father, and with His Son Jesus Christ. These things we write, so that our joy may be made complete." (1 John 1:1-4)
John had received revelation about Jesus that he wanted to pass on to others so that, though their shared revelation, they all may have fellowship with one another. Paul also understood this principal when he told Timothy, "The things which you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also." (2 Timothy 2:2) God also intended parents to be one of the primary teachers of revelation. This is why He told His children, "Remember the day you stood before the Lord your God at Horeb, when the Lord said to me, 'Assemble the people to Me, that I may let them hear My words so they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children.'" (Deuteronomy 4:10)

In our search for revelation, we must not neglect the revelation that God has given to others. We must be as willing to receive from teachers, preachers, and other Christians as we are to receive directly from the Lord.

More to come... David Robison

Monday, August 20, 2007

Reason and Revelation: Revelation (Part 2)

There are many sources of revelation. Here are but a few.

The Creation
"For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because that which is known about God is evident within them; for God made it evident to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes , His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse." (Romans 1:18-20)
One of the sources of revelation is the world around us. We can receive revelation through our study, observation, and experience of God's creation. Many great advances and discoveries have been the result of observing and experiencing nature. This picture shows Sir Isaac Newton "discovering" gravity by watching an apple fall from a tree. While I don't know if it is true that the apple actually hit him on the head, the story persists that it was by watching apples fall that Newton pondered and formed his ideas on gravity. The experience of the falling apple was like a spark that ignited his curiosity and his existing knowledge and lead him to profound understanding of gravity.

The revelation we can gain from the world around us is not limited to knowledge of this present creation. It is also possible to gain knowledge of God through our study of his handiwork. God Himself has left clues to His existence and His nature in all that he has made. When we look and experience His creation, it is as if His very voice is speaking to us, giving us revelation of who He is.
"The heavens are telling of the glory of God; and their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. Day to day pours forth speech, and night to night reveals knowledge. There is no speech, nor are there words; their voice is not heard. Their line has gone out through all the earth, and their utterances to the end of the world." (Psalms 19:1-4)
The truth of God is evident all around us, it we are only willing to see and acknowledge it. To grow in knowledge, we need more than a mere academic approach to life. We must not only observe but we must also experience the world around us. I had a friend that was an anthropology student. However, when he got saved he left the university and wrote all his class mates telling them that he had studied life long enough and now it was his turn to live it. There is a revelation that is only gained when we participate in life. This is why Jesus said,
"But go and learn what this means: 'I desire compassion, and not sacrifice,' for I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.'" (Matthew 9:13)
It is not enough to simply study the laws of nature, we need to experience them as well. Jesus said, "go and learn", not "study and learn". The world around us holds mysteries untold, but when we engage life it opens up to us the finner revelations that it holds.

More to come... David Robison

Friday, August 17, 2007

Reason and Revelation: Revelation (Part 1)

In chemistry, a catalyst is a compound that assists in a chemical reaction. For example, in the chemical reaction pictured here, ethene is converted to ethanol using steam in the presence of phosphoric acid. In this chemical reaction, phosphoric acid is a catalyst. Apart from the presence of phosphoric acid, ethene is stable, but when phosphoric acid is present, it triggers the chemical reaction to produce ethanol. A catalyst triggers a transformation of a substance from one form to another. I believe that, in the same way, revelation is a catalyst. Revelation triggers a transformation of our current knowledge, understanding, and beliefs to something new. Revelation is the trigger to bring us to a new understanding, new knowledge, and possibly even new beliefs. Without revelation, we simply will not grow in our knowledge, especially in our knowledge of God. We can reason all we want within the context of our current knowledge and understanding, but without revelation, we will never arrive at new knowledge.

While some knowledge is easily obtained by simple study of the world around us, other knowledge has been hidden by God. God has hidden knowledge that is only discerned by revelation. Consider what Jesus said, "I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight." (Luke 10:21) Learning takes more than our own personal efforts and reasonings, we are dependent on the catalyst of revelation to transform what we know into new knowledge. No one, no matter how smart or wise they are, can learn apart from revelation. Consider this scene from the Book of Revelation,
"I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a book written inside and on the back, sealed up with seven seals. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, 'Who is worthy to open the book and to break its seals?'" (Revelation 5:1-2)
John saw a book that contained the knowledge of what was to be and to happen in the end times. This knowledge was sealed up and hidden from knowing. An angel makes a proclamation asking who was worthy to open the book and to bring forth the revelation of future things.
"And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the book or to look into it. Then I began to weep greatly because no one was found worthy to open the book or to look into it." (Revelation 5:3-4)
In all of heaven and earth, no one was found who was able to open the book and to look inside it. The book was a closed revelation, it contained knowledge that could not be known or discovered, unless someone could open its seals. John understood what this meant, there was knowledge that was to be known, but it was hidden because there was no one to make it known.
"And one of the elders said to me, 'Stop weeping; behold, the Lion that is from the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has overcome so as to open the book and its seven seals.' And I saw between the throne (with the four living creatures) and the elders a Lamb standing, as if slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God, sent out into all the earth. And He came and took the book out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne." (Revelation 5:5-7)
Finally one was found worthy and able to open the book, Jesus Christ. The point of this story is that we are unable to know the full extent of the wisdom and counsel of God apart from that which is revealed to us by Jesus Christ. If we are to grow in knowledge, then we must be able to receive the revelation of Jesus Christ. Revelation is the key to growing in wisdom, knowledge, and understanding.

More to come... David Robison

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Washington DC Missions Trip: Report 3

My 11 year old daughter is presently in Washington DC on a short term missions trip with about twelve other 11 and 12 year old children. Please pray for them as they serve the Lord and learn about missions. Here is their third report:

Hi everyone!

Thank you for your prayers! We've had so many blessings from the Lord this week that only Nic & I recognize because this is our 6th year doing this particular trip. Yes, we've had low humidity, no traveling problems, wonderful wonderful accommodations, got lost only once and that was only for a few minutes (No Nic, let's not try Hwy 29 for a shortcut!) We've had favor regarding the Capitol tour tomorrow as the one we had scheduled was canceled due to a funeral.(Sen Warner's office) Thankfully, Sen. Webb's office was able to schedule a tour for us! Amazing!

No one has blisters, sunburns or any other visible problems. There is some homesickness (of course) and some grumbling. It's pretty safe to say most of these kids have never worked hard for 5 hours three days in a row. They're tired but right now very excited seeing the end of our third day. Many have expressed amazement that their parents work 8+ hours a day! Wow!
They appreciate you more!

Last night our time at the Homeless Women's shelter was very sweet. The ladies received the children enthusiastically. They played a couple of songs on our handbells, did a skit about being rejected by 'friends' or the world and Nic showed them the gospel doll presentation and talked about Jesus, the healer of broken hearts. We got a chance to visit with and pray with many of the ladies and of course they were delighted to receive the blessing bags. Thank you to all of you who helped us gather the items to put in them.

Today we're wrapping up our last hour at SHARE and then driving to Arlington Cemetery for reports at the Lee-Custis House and the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Dinner at Taco Bell in Arlington and then a evening stop at the Jefferson Memorial. Tonight we'll all be in bed by 10pm as we have a very early start tomorrow. We have to be at the White House ready to go in at
8:15! Yikes!

Again, thank you for praying for us. We're spending a lot of time trying to teach them some important life lessons along the way...........only using edifying words, obeying your leaders, not grumbling, doing your best whatever you're doing, being extra careful in public restrooms, putting others before yourself .............the list goes on.

We pray that this time spent with us in our nation's capital will be life changing in many ways. One thing for sure.......we can't do this in our own strength. Keep on prayin'!

No reports tomorrow or Friday as we'll be out & away from a computer both days.

Blessed to be a blessing,

Pastor Cheryl, Nic and Margarita
and YOUR DC Missions Team 2007

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Washington DC Missions Trip: Report 2

My 11 year old daughter is presently in Washington DC on a short term missions trip with about twelve other 11 and 12 year old children. Please pray for them as they serve the Lord and learn about missions. Here is their second report:

This is Katie again writing for Pastor Cheryl. The internet is still down at Share Organization (please pray that the internet will go back up - it has been a setback for the organization), so I will relay a message from the DC team!

Everyone is doing well - Pastor Cheryl said the kids are extremely grateful to be there. They're all a bit tired, but happy!

Today, they are bagging 1-pound bags of dry beans in a warehouse with no air conditioning. Please pray that they will stay cool and continue to serve with cheerful hearts! After working at the warehouse, they will spend some time visiting the Lincoln memorial, Korean memorial, Vietnam memorial, as well as the Roosevelt memorial. Later this evening they will participate in an outreach at a women's homeless shelter.

Pastor Cheryl also wanted me to convey a praise report! Last night the children were able to pray with Crystal, one of the Share employees - she has been unable to sleep well for the past several nights. This morning she told the team that not only did she sleep, but she was able to sleep in! Praise God!

Please continue to pray for the team!


Monday, August 13, 2007

Washington DC Missions Trip: Report 1

My 11 year old daughter is presently in Washington DC on a short term missions trip with about twelve other 11 and 12 year old children. Please pray for them as they serve the Lord and learn about missions. Here is their first report:

Hi everyone!

This is Katie (I'm the receptionist at New Life Providence Church!). Pastor Cheryl just called and asked me to send out an email update for her since she doesn't have internet access at the moment.

The team just finished up 5 hours of work which included bagging 5,000 pounds of rice! Everyone is in good spirits and is looking forward to an afternoon of site-seeing and exploring the city. Pastor Cheryl also wanted me to let you know that their accommodations are excellent, and she will send out another update tomorrow.



Thursday, August 09, 2007

What do you have to give away?

This is a message I preached on 9/25/2005. It challenges us to look to see what we have to give a way to those in need. Before we can give away the Kingdom of God, we must first receive the Kingdom of God. This message is about 35 minutes long. At the end, my wife joins me to share her thoughts as well.

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David Robison