Limitless in 2012 - Part 1

James Preston Reply 11:59 PM
So here we stand.  On the brink of another year.  As this week begins to unfold, we will all slowly get back to the routine of our daily lives and something unfortunate could potentially happen to many of us:  Our dreams, expectations and resolutions will fade into the back of our memories as we become consumed with the mundane.  I am here to help you prevent that.  How?  By encouraging you that many of those dreams will impact many lives, and reminding you to keep the important stuff at the top of your to-do list.

I don't know about you, but this year, I am going to make a conscious decision to keep those dreams at the top of my to-do list!

When we consciously decide to complete the dreams we have tasked ourselves with, the opportunities for us are endless.  There are no limits.


This picture above was a prophetic painting by Jennifer Weir, one of our youth leaders at Highway.  For the first sermon of 2012, my wife and I wanted to encourage the people of Highway with the Promises of what Jesus wants to do for us in 2012.  My wife had 5 visions representing each aspect of Jesus' work this year, and we asked Jennifer is she would be willing to paint those visions.  And in 1 week she painted the most incredible pieces of artwork!

I want to use these pictures here on this blog this week, along with much of what I shared on Sunday, to encourage all of us to go for our dreams this year.  Pursue them.  And see them through. No matter how big or small they may be.

Jon Acuff, Christian author and regular blogger, is doing something similar over at his blog.  (Only on a much larger scale).  He has dubbed 2012 as "Finish Year".  The year that we finish those little or large jobs we have been wanting to do for years.  I encourage you to go check out his blog, he has a lot of great advice on how to plan to finish those important tasks or dreams as well as great tools of encouragement to actually get it done!

This week, I want to use the 5 prophetic paintings in a separate blog each day to encourage us to do the same!

Remember that we are all Christ's workmanship, created by Him to do good works.  Those good works aren't merely going to church or helping the poor.  They are the desires that He placed on our hearts in the first place that we long to see fulfilled!  From small to big:  Planting your own veggie garden, traveling to another country, going on a mission trip, starting your own business, etc.  They are the dreams dwelling in our hearts that when we think about them everything inside of us gets excited!

Just have a look at that picture again.  When we tap into Heavenly resources, we truly are limitless!  Paul was lying when he said in Philippians 4:13 that "we can do everything through Christ who gives us strength."

So the first thing I want to say to you at the outset of this year, is that every dream that you have in your heart has the potential to become a reality!  Never think otherwise!  Never believe the lie that those dreams and desires in your heart are unattainable.  You can do everything through Christ!

Those dreams, those plans, those tasks that you so badly want to see become reality in 2012, they are extremely possible.

Make the first step.  Write down what you would like to accomplish this year.  And then plan when you will give time to those tasks and don't give up!  Keep at it.  And let's trust God together for an incredible 2012 of many dreams and desires fulfilled!

I also encourage you to check out Jon Acuff's recent blog posts about writing a "Finish List" where he dares his readers to join him in writing a "finish list"; as well as how to write a one, and every day for the month of January is giving encouragement and advice about how to realistically accomplish your goals.

I will be posting the remaining 4 prophetic paintings by Jennifer Weir each day this week, where I will use each one to encourage you to "go for it" in 2012!

See you tomorrow!

Another Addition to the Grace Revolution

James Preston Reply 12:13 PM
Well, as usual, a lot has happened since my last blog post.  Most notably, I published my first book!  Now, before you go to Amazon and start searching for "James Preston" by author, I didn't write the book.  I just published it.  And I'm really excited about it!  For a number of reasons.

Primarily because this book is going to impact countless people all over the world in search for something more in their walk with God.  It is a significant tool in this Grace Revolution God is releasing in these days.


Written by my friend and senior pastor Steve Wheeler, it is a book that documents the journey of our church from preaching a mixture of legalism and Grace into preaching the Gospel in its concentrated form!  After all, the Gospel is the Power of God!

I don't know about you, but more and more I am hearing of people all over the world who are discovering this "Message of Grace".  (I quote that because really it is best referred to as simply "The Gospel" - but the word Gospel has become synonymous with simply evangelism or a form of music.  It is so much more than that!  So, in order to categorise what we are talking about, often the terms Grace Message or Gospel of Grace are used.)

Back to my point there...  all over the world people are "discovering" this Grace Message more and more.  I keep hearing about it.  And the reaction is always the same...  It is either "why have I never seen this before?"  Or it is "I am not so sure about this Grace Message."  The fact is, people are hearing this Message of the Good News of God's Grace and it is setting them free in their walk with God!  It is awesome!

And this book about our church's journey is going to be such a helpful tool in the hands of so many of these people.  That's the main reason why I am so excited.

On top of all that, it has been written extremely well, as well as being laid out and divided up perfectly for systematic reading.  And the presentation of the book is about as professional as you can get.  If I do say so myself. :-)

The book is written from Steve's perspective as the senior leader who had a supernatural revelation of the Grace of God.  In the wake of that revelation, he faced a difficult task...  Admit to being wrong for so many years, apologise for preaching a legalistic righteousness, and trust God that the congregation would also come into this revelation as he began expounding it.  The book takes the reader through a very entertaining journey of how approached all of that, all while pointing out why the Message of God's Grace makes so much sense Scripturally and why it is the vital centre-piece of the Gospel.

No matter who you are, whether you have been on this journey for a number of years now, or if you are just coming into this understanding, then I really can recommend the book.  (Excuse me for all the promotion, but I wouldn't publish and get involved in a book I didn't deeply believe in!  Plus, I really do believe this will impact your life!)  You can find out more about the book, read endorsements, download the book's Intro, and buy the book online at the website:  www.highwaytograce.com

Now, one of the other reasons (if you remember my opening lines of this post) for my excitement about the publishing of this book, is that it is the first of many!  Now, I want to be careful here, because I don't want to get into too much detail on a public forum and get carried away with myself; but I really do feel like my excitement is worth sharing.

For those hungry for more of the Kingdom and Presence of God, and those who understand the Message of God's Grace, Christian bookshops aren't often the place to stock up on inspirational material unfortunately.  (Of course there are a few good books and CDs available, just not enough!)  And God has given me a vision and a deep desire to see a myriad of Grace-based and Kingdom building materials available to as many Southern Africans as possible, for as cost-effective as possible, but as professional as possible.  And Steve's outstanding book "Highway to Grace" is all that.  Truly the first of many.

So, watch this space!  And remember the name "King's Domain".  Just saying.

Until then, and the next blog, may you be filled more and more with the Wonder of God's Grace and Love!  And remember who you are as His child.

As always, comments, input and dialogue are always appreciated.

The "Name of Jesus" Isn't Some Tag-Line You Use To Show You Have Power

James Preston 3 2:54 PM
What is it with Pastors using the Name of Jesus as a mere little tag-line to everything they stand against like It were some sort of trigger that you push to get the bullets to come out? Come on people! The Name of Jesus is all about identity! The Ambassador of England doesn't have to say "in the name of Her Majesty" after every sentence. They just get on with their job!


Come on Children of God!  Know who you are! Speak in authority!! Not religious jargon that has very little Power because it's rooted in unbelief.


We have been given authority to take over the Earth, disciple nations, and bring the Kingdom of Heaven to Earth, in Jesus' Name. Done Deal. It's Done. We don't have to keep repeating His Name as if it still has to be done.


We are His children, Royalty in the Kingdom of God. Period. Now, just live it out and act like it!


Enough of the religion!!


So, to repeat the title in the 1st person; the Name of Jesus isn't a tag-line I use to show I have power. No, I know I have power. Now, I am not against using the Name of Jesus where necessary, I am just tired of It being thrown around after every sentence to do something we have already been given authority to do.  So, if you continue to use the Name of Jesus often (as I most probably will) then no-one's going to judge you.  I just think this is a revelation we need to grow in as children of God.  One based entirely on our identity as Royalty in the Kingdom of God.

Prophetic Signs and Symbols - Language of the Spirit

James Preston 7 9:24 AM
Most people will see this post as weird, silly or too far out there.  That's ok, because I understand most people don't have the child-like mind Jesus encourages us to have if we are to experience all of His Kingdom here on Earth.  But yesterday, God spoke to me clearly in the most exciting way I have ever experienced!  And I just have to document it, because I feel a number of my readers may come across this specific post after having something similar happen to them.

What I am talking about has been termed "the language of the Spirit" by the prophets of today.  I was first introduced to this way in which God speaks to us when going through Bethel's school of supernatural ministry material.  In fact, Bethel speak about it quite often.  In Kris Vallotton's recent book "Heavy Rain" (which I have already touched on in a previous post here) he talks about what God is doing in the nations, and mentions how God was confirming this new move in his church's life with some prophetic symbols; the language of the Spirit.

In their case, they were having some very strange encounters with Owls.  Yes, Owls.  On one occasion, the night before Kris was about to speak and mention the language of the spirit and specifically owls, a member of their congregation was driving home and an owl was in the middle of the road and wouldn't budge.  He eventually took it home!  On another occasion, Kris prophesied over an unchurched business man, and after the prophecy the man went on to have a number of very strange encounters with Owls.

Now, the language of the Spirit doesn't always involve animals, and when it does, it is not always owls.  But I use these examples because of what happened to my wife and I on our way home from church last night.

Firstly, when I read these encounters in Kris' book "Heavy Rain", I had a real desire to have God speak to me in such a way, specifically with owls (for what they represent, which I will touch on later).  A few months later, God did start speaking to me in such a way.  Not through symbolic animals though.  But I realised God most certainly is speaking all the time, and we just need to have our spiritual senses awakened and we will start to "hear"!

Then, during our first ever Highway School of Supernatural Ministry, we had a testimony of a prophet in our church who had an owl outside her window every morning for the past few mornings!  I couldn't believe it!  God was speaking again!

Then!  This week, I was going through some of my books in my book collection.  I hadn't read anything lately, so I was just flipping through "Secrets to Imitating God" by Bill Johnson just to remind mysel what it said.  The first page I land on speaks about how God speaks to us through the language of the Spirit, and he specifically used an example of symbolic animals!  Immediately my mind thought of an owl.
So, yesterday morning, after church, a number of people were having coffee after the service in our garden area, and suddenly a chameleon walks across the garden!  They called me and I knew God was speaking to us, just confirming what He is up to.  Again, I was reminded of an owl.

And then last night in the evening service, Jimmy Duguid let all heaven break loose and the River of God was flowing like a Torrent!  Just before He called everyone up, a moth flew directly in front of him from one side of the stage to the other.  Coincidence?  I think not.

The ministry after Jimmy's sermon involved some powerful encounters with God!  A Fire Tunnel meant everyone had a fresh touch of Heaven's Wine.  And then me...  Well, toward "the end" of the night I decided to go through the Fire Tunnel myself (I was praying for people) and I walked past Janet Wheeler he prophesied "make him drunk, Lord.  He can't do this job sober!"  Now, let me tell you, I have been consumed with the Love of Heaven before, but never like that!  Last night, for the first time in my life, I was too drunk to drive home!  It was incredible!  God was ministering deeply to me, and I lay on the floor till the last few people in church.

So my friend Andrew and my wife carry me to the car, and my mind is completely set on the things of Heaven.  Suddenly, as we turn on to Old Main Road in Pinetown, approaching the nearest Traffic Lights directly in front of the church, there... sitting on one of those traffic lights IS AN OWL!!!!!


I couldn't believe it!!  Corinne did a U-turn to go back and check it out, and sure enough, it must've been the biggest Owl I have ever seen!  Sitting on a traffic light directly outside our church in central Pinetown after one of the most amazing church services ever!  Yep, God was confirming a whole lot!

It was unbelievable.  I cannot even begin to describe the excitement I felt when I saw that Owl.  I had been thinking about owls since reading the passage of the book earlier in the week.  Then the chameleon.  Then I actually see an owl!  I was (and still am) so excited for what God is saying in this significant time.

What is it that He is saying?  Well, firstly, the prophetic significance of an Owl is that it represents the "apostolic".  An owl can see things from a distance in very dark places.  And it hunts rats.  The church is moving into an age whereby they will go into the so called "darkest places" and see exactly what needs to happen for Heaven to invade those situations.  And they will hunt the "rats" of this age, the forces of darkness.  The Kingdom of Heaven is coming like a flood, and the forces of darkness no longer have anywhere to hide!


I believe the chameleon we saw in the morning represented the changing season our church was in.  The moth represented people flocking to us, the Light, for deliverance, healing and salvation.  And the Owl represented the purpose we were moving into:  An apostolic focus whereby each and every member of the church will know they are sown like seed into the world, ready to terrorise the servants of darkness and usher in the Kingdom of Heaven!

When I think about it, I just get so excited!  As I have said only this week on my Facebook page...  "Aslan is on the move."

God is speaking all the time.  We just need to listen!  May you hear and see what it is He is saying to you today, and may it change your life forever!

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Glory & Grace, Durban 2011 - Diary 4

James Preston 2 11:04 AM
Well, it's all over.  Months of planning and anticipation are all behind us, but what remains are hearts stirred and burning with the Fire of God.  What an incredible week sitting under the firey teaching of Rob Rufus and Fini & Isi de Gersigny. (Glenda was quiet this week :-) )  


Overall the conference was very different to 2009's Increasing Glory (It wasn't called Glory and Grace for some reason).  On Friday Rob admitted that in 2009's conference he specifically revved it up and preached Grace in its most extreme.  Had he not done so, I doubt most of those attended would have received such revelation.  But this year's conference wasn't necessarily an unpacking of the Truth about the Grace of God, probably because Rob recognised that most of the attendees now understood the foundations of Grace.


Instead, this conference focussed much more on the Presence of God, the anointing, bringing the Kingdom to Earth, and realigning people's thinking that may have subtly drifted into various forms of passivity.  Each of the sessions were typically incredible and deeply inspiring.  Now, we all recognise that our own pastors, preachers and worship leaders are equally gifted and anointed; but I believe part of the reason conferences such as these impact us so significantly is because there is an atmosphere of expectancy, a level of faith in the room that affects the atmosphere and thereby creating a corporate receptivity to what God is doing through the apostolic gifts sent to preach.


Sunday's sessions were again awesome.  Fini de Gersigny shared at Highway on Sunday morning, and it was glorious.  He tried to share on the glorious freedom in the sons of God from Romans 8.  I say tried because he must've touched on it for 10 minutes or so and instead followed the leading of the Holy Spirit to speak about our ability as children of God to tap into the Presence of God.  It was an incredible service as the worship was explosive as we danced and sung out our glorious freedom!  2 ladies were inspired to express their freedom by dancing on stage, and both of them ended up in trances on the floor after doing so!  It was an awesome thing!  Some of the most exciting worship times I have ever experienced.


Isi then shared a prophetic vision that she saw of the Holy Spirit joining the fathers and sons around the world, intertwining them together to build lasting revival.  Significant.  It laid a great platform for what we did next; pray for the elders of Highway.  As an eldership, we felt it would be important to have recognised apostolic gifts such as Fini and Isi pray over us before the church.  It was a powerful time and I personally felt like a fresh wave of God's breath blow over me; preparing me for what was to come.  I know my wife also felt something, because she could barely stand under the weight of God's Glory!


By then it was 10:25, and we usually end a Sunday service at around 10:30!  I love it when God interrupts "regular" Sunday services!  Fini then went into his message, and he opened up by saying what he says at his church services back in Sydney: "if you need to leave, be free!"  Guess what?  Barely anyone left!


It was an amazing message and if you can download the session to be on our website soon.  Fini then ended the service by calling anyone who needed healing to come forward and he then said if people at that pointed wanted to go they could.  Typically, most people stayed!  We must've had about 100 people come forward for healing; and God did His thing!  One woman who couldn't bend down for 25 years because of arthritis was doing so freely and with such joy and passion on stage as she testified to how Jesus healed her!  I had the privilege of praying for a young who injured his spine over a year ago.  As I laid hands on him, a white feather literally popped out of the air into out line of sight and floated above the crowd waiting for healing.  It was a sign and wonder pointing to the Wings of Healing in that place!  The young man ended up feeling the pain in his back physically move down his left leg and out his foot.  Wow!  There were a number of other people healed and touched by the Power of God that morning, and by the time I left the church at 1pm there were still people lingering in the hall being ministered to!  That's right, 1pm!  Oh how I love it when church gets messy.


That night Rob wrapped it all up with a firey message of passion!  The people again streamed in for the last session with Rob, scheduled to start at 6pm, but must've got underway a little later due to the amount of people arriving.  The worship was again amazing, and to quote a young man at the conference; "the best of the whole week!"  Fuzion Worship, with Robby Slabbert, Janine Price and Jennifer weir all led that night and it was sensational.  The electric atmosphere was typical of the last night of a conference of this magnitude.


Rob tried to preach a message from 2 Corinthians.  None of us will ever know what verse or passage, because he never got there.  Instead, each time I tried to get to his text, he was led so go somewhere else.  And that somewhere else was a passionate motivation for the church to be awakened to who they really are.  Sons and daughters of the Lord of Glory with the All Consuming Fire of Heaven within them!  When you know and believe that, passivity is not an option!


Hopefully not too many people saw the message as a correctional message.  Although it may have come across that way.  Rob acknowledges that after a revelation of Grace, many people can celebrate their freedom so much that they "swing the pendulum" all the way in the other direction into almost complacent passivity.  And Rob said that's understandable.  But surely there must come a time when the Lion of the Tribe of Judah so captivates our hearts that all we want is for His Kingdom to be established?!


Rob really burned in that last session and it was an inspired call to the people of God to rise up and take their places as heirs of the world!  Personally, it excited me deeply as since coming into a revelation of Grace, ministry from the likes of Bill Johnson and Kris Vallotton has come alive to me; and I recognised that what is left now is to push back the forces of darkness and establish the Kingdom of Light here on Earth.


I have always longed to be part of a church that was doing that with passion and purpose.  And after a message like that, it would seem the foundation is set for revival!  COME ON!!


So, all in all; it was another remarkable weekend.  We truly are in a worldwide awakening to the Goodness of God.  It is accelerating.  We are in a LOVE REVOLUTION and the enemy is shaking in his boots as he has no idea how to oppose LOVE.  God's Kingdom is being established, and we can't stop now!  And a conference like this is a significant time in building the Body of Christ to be that unstoppable force God has made them to be.


Thank you to those of you who followed the Blog, Twitter updates and Facebook photos.  I really love getting in touch with my readers and followers.


Until the next blog post...  remember that God your Father loves you unconditionally and that He has given you the Earth!

Glory & Grace, Durban 2011 - Diary 3

James Preston Reply 7:39 AM
This post may just be a little shorter than the other 2 thus far, as there is a little less to share about, to be honest.  I unfortunately had to leave just after Rob started preaching as I had to do one of my friend's weddings.  So I wasn't able to hear the rest of what seemed to be a mighty meaty Message!


Diary 3 of course should cover Saturday, and Saturday's sessions were only scheduled from 9am to 1pm.  So naturally this diary should be a little shorter.  Although look out for most posts coming as this morning (Sunday) we have Fini de Gersigny sharing and tonight Rob wraps it all up with a celebration service.  Everyone is expectant.


That is one thing that makes conferences such as these so special... the expectancy level of those that attend.  These aren't conferences that churches force their members to go to, no.  These conferences are usually discovered by hungry people over the internet, newspaper, word of mouth etc. and people do everything they can to get there.  So when they come, they are hungry!  And what that does to the atmosphere is revolutionary.  It reminds me of the upper room.  Most would have heard that the earliest disciples numbered around 500, but only about 120 were in the upper room when Holy Spirit was poured out.  Those 120 were the hungry ones!  They weren't after anything else but the Promise of Jesus!  Friends, Jesus has promised us some mighty, mighty things for things! (Just have a look at John 14:12) and I won't settle for anything less!


The morning exploded out of expectancy in the front (I like to worship right up in the front!  I just find the atmosphere a little bit more charged because like-minded people are around me!)  and Fini and Isi launched us into a praise party of epic proportions!  It was a dancing fiasco as we celebrate our King turning our water (old selves) into Wine (New Selves) and the angels and Holy Spirit were so enjoying it with us as we all celebrated together!  Like a Mighty River flowing, it flowed from celebration to intimate worship, as most of us in the room found ourselves on the floor before our King, pouring our hearts out to Him.  So deep and intimate!


Rob must've got up on stage about an hour and a half later, and continued to pour out his heart to our King and Lover, Jesus.  It was Gloriously Special.


There was a real prophetic charge coming through and Glenda shared a word that many people were about to have great gates of opportunities be opened to them.  She saw people being given passports, authorising them to go into places of significance declaring the Kingdom of God.  A real commissioning took place.


After praying for this commissioning, another commissioning took place.  Rob called forward a few people who were being ordained as elders in some local churches, as well as a family who were planting a church in Umhlanga.  Rob, Glenda, Fini and Isi, as well as a few other leaders from the local churches represented laid hands on these people and commissioned them and released them into their office of eldering and leadership.  It was a joyful celebration of new leaders being raised up, but having said that, most of them were knocked down under the Weighty Presence of the Lord!  :-)


The prophetic words and praying for and ordaining leaders took us through to a short tea break.  And then Rob got straight into the heart of what he wanted to say.  And from the short amount of time that I was there to hear it, it would seem as though that was "that our commission as children of God is to usher in the Kingdom and order of Heaven, pushing back the kingdom of darkness gripping this world so tightly."  As mentioned, I was only there for about 15 minutes before I had to leave, but to be very honest with you, it seemed as though it could've been one of Rob's most powerful sermons of the week!


He was getting into the Sovereignity of our Mighty God, and His Power in creation, but He handed to authority and rulership of this planet over to us in the garden of Eden, where we handed it to satan.  Rob then explained that Jesus had to come as a man to redeem us from what we put ourselves under, in order for mankind to once again have legal authority to overthrow the powers of darkness.  Which is now our commission; to go into all the world and preach the Kingdom of God.


It is a powerful message and one that gets me so excited.  It is the kind of vision that I live for!  I honestly live for one purpose; and that is to see the Kingdom of Heaven be established here on Earth.  I truly believe Jesus left us here on Earth empowered by the Holy Spirit to carry out His commission of discipling ALL nations.  So such a message is one that excites every cell in my body!  I will just have to download the sermon or get the DVD!


By the way, if you would like to download the sermons, I will post a link to them once they are up on my Twitter and Facebook pages.  And if you would like to order the DVD Box set you can do so for $40.  Just email me and we can send you copy.


That was it for me for Saturday.  I had to painstakingly pull myself away from the preaching early on, but there is still so much more to come!  At least I was able to soak up the Glory of the Lord in the beautiful surrounds of the African Bush, at Tala Game Reserve where the wedding was held...




I better grab myself some breakfast and get going to church, as Fini will be setting the place on Fire this morning!  Until next time...  GRACE AND PEACE ON YOU ALL!

Glory & Grace, Durban 2011 - Diary 2

James Preston 1 7:23 AM
It's Saturday morning and I am already getting that feeling when you know a good thing is coming to an end.  Although we probably have at least 2 power-packed sessions awaiting us today and 2 equally powerful services tomorrow (Sunday).  But here we are...  Saturday morning.  The majority of the conference is behind us.


By now hundreds of people would have been given fresh vision from God for their lives; or set free from guilt and condemnation into the Glorious Freedom of being a Son or Daughter of God; or been healed of a critical disease.  God has done so much already.


Yesterday started off with the weather deciding to defy the weather predictions of my most trusted weather forecaster; AccuWeather.  What was meant to start off sunny was in fact a downpour of heavy rain that didn't stop for most of the day!  But it didn't stop the people from making their way to Highway to hear what Rob Rufus or Fini de Gersigny had to say that day.


Rob shared for most of the day, taking the first 2 morning sessions and next 2 afternoon sessions.  He took us through most of his history as a pastor from 1981 all the way through to where he is today.  Taking us on a journey of being bound by religion, a revelation of faith, the countless opportunities he's had to pray for the sick, and focussed mostly on the "anointing" Presence of God.  Stating the difference between praying for the sick from the "anointing" and praying for the sick from authority.


They were deeply impacting sessions as the Holy Spirit was tangibly present throughout them.  Mostly because I believe He loves to confirm His Message and so comes in to make His Presence known to those hearing about Him.


It truly was a privilege to listen to Rob impart of their 30 years Glenda and him have been pastors, what they've learnt, and what they've inherited throughout those 30 years.  As we were listening, we felt as if God was imparting to us those years of history and learning and we were being quickened to the same level of understanding and revelation.  And immense privilege that keeps one humbled.  It actually confirmed what God spoke to Rob in his early years, where God said to Rob that if he continued to go after Him, and learn and draw all he can from the leading of the Holy Spirit, God would bless other people in his latter years with the same gifting, experience and anointing in only a matter of hours.  Friday the 29th of July was a fulfillment of that prophecy.  (I say "a" because I am sure he will continue to impart for years to come!)


And the evening session...  Worship was just downright electric!  Fini and Isi with their son Jordan on drums led us into intimate, deep places with God that every human being longs for!  They are moments you will remember for all your life.  Again, the Power of God was so tangible people were crying, laughing hysterically, crumbling under the weight of His Manifest Glory, and receiving greater outpourings of the Spirit and Love of God!  I personally found myself at one stage completely unable to stand and all that was left to give in to the Full Weight of His Glory as I crashed into the chairs behind me!  The Lord continued to release Powerful Heavenly Voltage through my body as He spoke to me about some significant opportunities to come.  God was encountering His people like this throughout the entire room during this powerful time of worship and adoration!


It must've lasted well over an hour, maybe even 2, but who really knows (or cares) when God is tangibly present?


Isi then got up and released a prophetic word for the sons of God in this significant hour in history.  She shared a message about the "Age of Innocence".  That we are a prophetic people called to release people from guilt, shame and the bondages that come with that into the innocence of the Lord!  She was stirring up the prophetic voice in every child of God to speak boldly and with courage, and inviting them to partner with God in seeing those lives transformed.


It was wild.  It always is at times such as these.  But it was a holy wild.  God's Spirit was touching people and opening their spiritual eyes throughout her preaching.  It was clearly evident!  But there was a holy focus and intent on people as they listened in to what the Lord was releasing through Isi that night.


The night ended with an invitation for prayer for fresh Rivers of Heaven's Wine to be poured out over people.  Someone, I think it was Steve Wheeler, said if you want that prayer, come up on stage.  I am not sure how good an idea that was as the entire stage was packed!  Fini's face was one of "uh-oh!  HOW are we going to do this?"  Hahaha!  They managed just fine and again God continued to pour out His Fire on people in dynamic and transformational ways.  It continued for me too, as God was releasing new purposes, new dreams and new insight over so many people that night.


Eventually the time came for me to get going...  10h30pm!  Usually meetings like that finish before 10pm allowing people to grab a coffee or visit the bookshop.  That wasn't happening as the coffee and bookshops remained dead quiet while people were caught up in the Heavenly realm!  When I left, there was still about half of the crowd there absolutely lost in Heaven and not wanting to move.  It is times like those that I am thankful our full-time security guard works on the property, and that he is such a patient and humble man!  I thanked him and his team profusely when I left!


And now today...  The final "official" day of the conference (although still great services tomorrow) and there is still so much to be done in people's lives and in our city!  I cannot wait.


Don't forget you can follow some updates with quotes from the sessions on my Twitter account and see some photos of the day on my Facebook.


Until the next entry...

Glory & Grace, Durban 2011 - Diary 1

James Preston Reply 7:11 AM
Night one down. And already we feel completely overwhelmed and soaked in the Love of Heaven!  Because that is what these kind of things are all about...  the Love of Heaven.  Everywhere I go I am seeing and hearing about the "Love Revolution" that is sweeping the Earth.  Friends of mine in New Zealand, preachers from Canada, Bethel and Bill Johnson, Israel Houghton, Andrew Wommack, Rob Rufus!  They are all saying the same thing...  we are in a "Love Revolution."  And any person with even the slightest inclining toward what Heaven is up to can pick up that that is what is stirring in Heaven.


And last night was no different.  Rob got straight into the Glory and Grace, Durban, 2011 conference with the emphasis of the Character and Nature of God... that it is His Love that makes Him so Glorious, so Powerful, so full of Light.  That Light is His Love.


We had been on the move all week, even giving up a pastor's "holy day" and coming into work on Monday!  But with some amazing new staff and four incredible Interns this time around, the workload has been so much more manageable and it really all has been a breeze.


By Wednesday evening we had 850 people officially registered for the conference, and we were ready to complete everyone's registrations by allowing them to come in and collect nametags to get in.  By Thursday late-morning, the day of the conference, we had just under 900 official registration!  And registration was meant to close on Monday!  But by 6:30pm on Thursday evening, we had another 60 people pay at the door, meaning we were at complete capacity just under 1000 people!  People are hungry for Grace!


Besides my few technical glitches with video feeds and the like, it all went off smoothly, and by 7:15pm Fini and Isi were rocking us into the Glory Realm as 1000 people jumped and danced with holy anticipation for God to once more break into our lives and do what He does best!


Once again, as is so often the case with Fini and Isi, the worship time was completely "off the chain", glorious, indescribable!  (I truly am at a loss of adjectives!)  But we are talking thick Heavenly atmosphere as every heart in the room was fixated on the Person and Beauty of Jesus, singing a new song with the angels in Heavenly tongues.  There were moments when you could physically feel the Presence of Light and Love Himself in the room with us.  And this was confirmed when Rob got up with his opening statement of Glory and Grace 2011:  "A few minutes ago, I saw Light physically enter the building."


And that was the start!  Everyone knew this was going to be something special.  Another moment Heaven would look upon and say "at that time, God stirred something great in Durban."


Rob went on to share what he has been up to over the past year or so, and just giving God the praise and thanks for all the opportunities he's had; like being given the privilege of preaching with Bill Johnson next year; preaching to the entire nation in the Philippines on national TV; preaching "A Christian Cannot Lose Their Salvation" on God TV; and so many other significant moments!  Testifying to the Goodness of God and how preaching this Glorious Gospel has opened so many doors!


He then felt to go into a bit of "correction"... which, to be honest, made me a bit nervous.  Since coming to a revelation of this Glorious Gospel for myself some years ago, I have often (if not always) found that when a preacher veers from their focus and feels the need to correct, the "anointing" seems to lift.  (Which is strange because we know under "Grace" we shouldn't talk like that etc.)


But not this time...  Rob was very gentle in his approach of a small subject he felt to touch on for a brief moment.  And that was the "institution" of church.  With the revelation of Grace, a number of people the world over have come to a place where they feel the church is far too institutionalised and in order to get back to our roots in the early church we should simply go back to organic meetings of brothers and sisters in the Kingdom.


Like I say, I was a bit nervous, but my word my nervousness was allayed when Rob came across in such Love and got his short message of "correction" across clearly and with a lot of sense.  And while I have heard a few sides of the debate, I tend to agree with Rob that we can still have organised church but with a culture of family and love passionate for Freedom.  Personally I feel it all comes down to leadership, a great book to read for this argument, especially those already in church leadership, would be "Culture of Honor" by Danny Silk at Bethel Church, Redding, California.


After his intro of testifying to the doors God had opened up in the last year and a short word of "re-alignment" (a better description in my opinion), Rob got into the real heart of his point laying the perfect foundation for remaining 3 days of what is going to be an incredible conference!  Rob shared a message that I am hearing everywhere I go and look at the moment.  He shared the importance of understanding our new identity, and seeing ourselves the way God sees us.


Comparing us to Gideon, we so often look at ourselves believing we are unworthy or unqualified to "disciple nations", "bring Heaven to Earth", "prophesy" (whatever it may be!)  But it is not how we see ourselves that matters, it is how God sees us.  God sees us from the perspective of Heaven; regarding no man according to the flesh, perfect, righteous, strong and powerful in Him!


It was such a potent reminder of who we have become in Christ, and the more we identify ourselves with the resurrection of Jesus we we will find out who He truly has made us to be in the spirit!


The atmosphere grew more and more charged, full of faith and tangible with electric hunger for more of God to consume us and reveal more of who He has made us to be!  It was then that Rob asked us all to stand and join hands, praying for each other, worshipping the King, allowing Jesus to reveal the Power of what He has done in and through us.  Rob asked Christian Holmes (I think it's Holmes) to come and sing a song he wrote called "Holy Fire Burn In Us" and it was a glorious celebration of what we can accomplish with the One of Fire on the very inside of us!


The night ended on such a high note no one wanted to go home, but considering it was almost 10pm, it seemed fitting we all got a decent night's sleep ready for the next day full of no less than 7 preaches declaring the Power of the Gospel!


I left the building at around 10:30pm and there were still around 100 people left in the building soaking up the sweet Presence of the Lord.  It was such a glorious night.  And it was only session 1!  There is still so much more to come, as you can sense that God is going to build on what Rob had laid in this first session.


I will keep you posted throughout the conference.  Those updates may not be as comprehensive as this one, we will just have to see how much time I have!  You can also get short updates via my Twitter and Facebook.


Until the next post...  Know that God is for you; He has called you; and He has made you!!

The Core of the "Grace Message" (Gospel) Part 2

James Preston Reply 8:05 AM

I am excited to say that I got round to finishing my article on the Power of the New Creation!  You can download the whole article as a PDF "booklet" by clicking the link below.  If this is fresh revelation to you as a church or group, then I encourage you to print the article out and distribute it among each other.

Right-click / Apple-click to down booklet.

For now, as a simple blog, I have only pasted in part 2 of the article, as it has turned out to be much longer than I expected!  There is just so much material to cover.  I will post part 3 as a blog within the next few days.  It spreads out your reading.  Enjoy!
------------------------

New Life Birthed From Above

Ok, so hopefully I have laid a good foundation for understanding the power of the “New Creation”.  Let’s go back and have another look at some of the verses I quoted earlier:  

Ezekiel 36:26  (NIV)
I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh.

John 3:3 & 6  (NIV)
In reply Jesus declared, “I tell you the truth, no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again... (6) Flesh gives birth to flesh, but the Spirit gives birth to spirit.”

One translation of Jesus’ words in John 3:5 uses “born from above” instead of “born again”.  I love that, because it shows the work of salvation. 
When a man receives the Good News of what Jesus has accomplished for them, God births in them new life from above.

What these verses are all pointing to is that when a person hears the Good News (Gospel) of what Jesus accomplished for them on their behalf, and how much God Loves them, and they receive that salvation work as their own; God births in them a new spirit.

And according to Ezekiel’s promise, the old heart of sin and corruption is even removed!  And it is replaced with a warm, sensitive, spiritual heart born of God!

Completely New!

Paul then goes on to say in 2 Corinthians 5:17; “if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

When a person receives the salvation work of Jesus as their own, they are in Christ.  And the old person of who they were is gone!  Done away with!  And they are an entirely different person altogether!

Now, what is very interesting is to note the original Greek language Paul used when writing this.  The Greek word he uses for “new” is the word “kainos”.  Now, this is very, very interesting because usually the word “new” is used in Greek as “Neos”.  When we understand the difference between the two, it further blows our mind to what really happens to mankind when they are transformed by God’s Love!

Let’s just have a look very quickly at the official Greek translation of the word in Strong’s Greek Lexicon:

“KAINOS”
1. as respects form:
recently made, fresh, recent, unused, unworn
2. as respects substance:
of a new kind, unprecedented, novel, uncommon, unheard of

“NEOS”
1. recently born, young, youthful
2. New

Notice the difference?!  See why it is so important to understand what Paul was saying in this verse?  When a man is in Christ, they are not just “renewed” and “young”, no.  They are “of a new kind!  Unprecedented”!!

I love the example a Biblical scholar once shared with me...  Let’s take a car as an example.  If you have a 1998 Mercedes Benz C-Class 1,6 car and you receive a “neos” car, you would receive a 2011 Mercedes Benz C-Class 1,6, brand new.  No kilometres done on the clock, interior, exterior, all shining in its newness.  But it is simply an upgraded version of the original car you had.

But if you a received a “kainos” car, it would be like nothing you have ever seen before!  It would be completely different to any car ever made!  It would have the ability to fly like a rocket-ship, it wouldn’t use tyres but another form of technology, it would be completely and entirely different to what we usually understand to be a car!  This is what it means to be “kainos” new!

You see, this is what happens to the Christian when they are brought into Christ.

Change of Bloodline, Change of Species!

Their bloodline changes.  Their very species they originate from changes!  They become entirely new!!  So completely novel and different they become unlike anything else the world has ever seen!

It is interesting that Paul says earlier in 2 Corinthians 4:18 and 5:7 that “what is unseen is more real than what is seen” and that “we live by faith not by sight”.  So while the Christian may not see or sometimes not even necessarily  “feel” anything when they “come to Christ”, it is not a physical work, it is an entirely spiritual work!  But because the spiritual realm of God is more real than the physical realm, that new spiritual birth can and does effect our physical lives!
You see, it is like this; when a person comes to be in Christ, they change their very DNA.  They become a new species!  Now, this gives light to what Jesus said to the Gentile Syrophoenician woman in Mark 7:27 when he actually referred to her as a dog!

Now, Ephesians 2:11 - 19 tell us that the Gentiles who were once far from God and separated from Him, foreigners, now have access to Him through the Cross.  There is now no longer Jew nor Gentile.  There is no separation.  All are brought near!

What that means is something like this...  When mankind fell from their position of “utopia” in the Garden of Eden, something in them died, and death entered the whole world through that “fall” (Romans 5:17).  It is as if though mankind became another species, different to God, lower than God.

Using Jesus’ words to the Syrophoenician woman, it is as if though since the “fall”, mankind was like a dog.  And the best mankind could do was to be a very good servant to God, his master.

But God loved mankind too much.  He didn’t want dogs.  He didn’t want to express His Love to slaves.  God Loved His “dog” so much that He wanted to marry her!

But the problem was that He was a different species to His “dog”.  It was as if though He were a “man” and His beloved was a “dog”.  It just wasn’t right to marry.

So He set up the perfect plan of redemption.  By crucifying the “dog” species in His own body, He rose again as the “new man”, He legally put in motion the redemption of His beloved to become the same species as Him!  And now He is legally allowed to marry His beloved!  Because they are no longer dogs, they are like Him!  They have been redeemed from what they were!

They are a completely different species!

This is the power of the new creation!  In Him we are made completely and entirely new, and become like Him!  We are the God-kind!


-----------------------------------------  


Part 2 will be available on the Blog on Monday.  If you want the entire article, download it as a PDF at the top of this post!

The Core of the "Grace Message" (Gospel) Part 1 - The New Creation

James Preston 1 8:07 AM

As a Christian, I hope you know that you are living under the New Covenant!  The New Covenant started at the Cross, and anything before that is not what you are under.  Especially the Law of Moses/Mosaic Law/Ten Commandments.  You are under the best Covenant mankind ever has and ever will be under!!  It is entirely and completely different to anything that had happened since Adam & Eve sinned in the Garden of Eden.  And far, far better, too!!

It is so unfortunate, but far too many Christians today do not understand the Power of this New Covenant they are under, and are still putting so much emphasis on man’s effort and not glorying in the Power of what God has done on their behalf (this is why Jesus said to Peter “If you want to have any part in me you must let me wash your feet!”)*

The "New Creation" Not Understood by Christians

Now, there are a number of things that make this New Covenant so glorious.  But one of the most important aspects, that again has been downplayed by Christians for so long, and one of my personal favourites, is what a number of people would term “the New Nature” or “New Creation”.  When believers understand this, their fears of Pure Grace preaching would be allayed.  (Pure Grace AKA the Gospel).

Yesterday evening I was having a conversation with a very well-meaning gentleman in our church who was so concerned about the youth of today and how they should all be taught the Ten Commandments.  As we ventured further into the conversation I realised that he had absolutely no idea about the concept of the New Nature.

This man simply wanted young people to follow a set of moral rules and thereby change their ways in their own strength.  If only believers would realise how futile this is!  We are trying to change society in our own power.  When will we realise this will never work?!  If you want to get political, this is why communism will never work!  While it is a fantastic concept, it will never work because without the Love of God within a man’s heart, corruption is but a choice away.  

But with the Love of God bursting within a man’s heart, we are edging ever closer to Heaven on Earth!

Let’s have a look at two of the most significant verses highlighting this “New Nature” and then allow me to explain why it is so important for us as Christians to understand.

2 Corinthians 5:17  (ESV)
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.

Ezekiel 36:26  (ESV)
And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh.

There are a number of other Scriptures that confirm this most powerful truth.  A truth that not enough of the Body of Christ understand!  John 3, especially verse 6.  Jeremiah 31:31-34 is a powerful prophecy of what God will do in the New Covenant, while Hebrews 8:10-13 and Hebrews 10:14-22 both confirm that this is indeed what has now happened under the New Covenant thanks to what Jesus accomplished on the Cross.  If you don’t know too much on this subject, I would encourage you to read those passages.  (But take note that when God says “I will move them to keep my laws” He is not referring to the Ten Commandments but to the Royal Law of Love, the Nature of God.  God is Love, and His Nature is imputed into us.)

So, while there are a so many other passages of Scripture confirming this subject, these two are enough for me to make my point here.

The New Creation Changes Man's Capabilities

You see, I believe man is incapable of loving unconditionally without God.  God is Love (1 John 4:16), and the Greek word used for love in that verse is “agape”.  Agape means an unconditional, undying love.  This means nothing the recipient does can reduce the amount of love the giver has, and the giver’s love will never cease for the recipient.  I believe mankind is incapable of this kind of unconditional love without God.

Most Christians would agree that mankind is unfortunately corrupt.  How that came to be or actually works out is another topic altogether.  But I am just going to agree with a certain level of serious corruption at the heart of mankind.  And again, most Christians (in fact, most people) would agree on this corruption.

The problem enters when we think that this corruption can be solved by ourselves.  That is religion at its core; that the corruption of mankind can be controlled and even overturned by holding to certain rules.  The more rules you are able to discipline yourself into keeping, the less corrupt you become, and the more moral you become.  Even holiness could possibly be attained by such discipline.  That, friends, is the core of religion.

And what a pity Christian philosophy has descended down the same path.  

Jesus Came To End "Religion"

The whole point of Christianity is that it was never meant to be another religion.  Jesus came to cure the disease of man’s corruption, put him right and set him on a new path.  He came to end religion.

He did that by taking on our sinful nature, then died as sinful man, and rose again as the New Man, who we too become in Him.  Jesus didn’t just die for us, He died as us!

The old nature of sin that had no ability to love unconditionally was crucified in the body of Jesus, and in Him a New Nature is born.  You see, at the core of mankind’s strong inclination to sin is the inability to love unconditionally, because at the root of all sinful acts is a selfish nature that is only looking after one’s own interests.  From lying to murder.  One is an act of protecting one’s reputation, the other is an act of revenge, or selfishness to gain something from that person.  But at the root of both is selfish love.  The love for oneself is stronger than the love for others.  The core of man’s corruption.

But in Christ, the spirit, or the heart, is flooded with the unconditional Love of God.  That heart, or spirit, (or whatever you want to call it) now has a supernatural ability to Love unconditionally.  The Love of God consumes the selfish love within a man’s heart, and there is now a new Force driving that man.  This is the power of the New Creation.  This is the power of the Gospel.

We all can quote Paul’s famous line that he was not ashamed of the Gospel in Romans 1:16, but why was he not ashamed?  Because the Gospel is the Power of God.  Paul knew no other formula could address mankind’s condition.  Not even the holiest formula of them all; the Law of Moses.  Nothing could cure man’s condition but the Gospel.

And it is this point that I am making here that makes the Gospel so powerful.  That when the Gospel is revealed to a man’s heart, a supernatural event takes place, and that man’s heart is changed internally forever.  That is the most powerful thing that could ever happen to this planet.  That man’s heart can be changed.

And this is what so many Christians fail to understand.  They don’t realise at the root of the Gospel Message is true heart change.  God is not after moral replicas, He is after hearts changed by His Love.

Instead of trying to make people follow external rules, we should be simply preaching and demonstrating the Gospel and allow God to work within people’s hearts.

This is why Paul said what he said in 1 Corinthians 15:10; “I worked harder than any of them, though it was not I, but the grace of God that is with me.”

The Core of the "Grace Message"

This is the core of Grace!  This is what makes the “Grace Message” so powerful!  That when people get a true revelation of this Message, His Grace works within them!  Not man’s own efforts to be good Christians, but God’s Power at work within man to be His hands and feet here on Earth!  Grace is the most powerful message we can preach!

If you hadn’t yet considered all this, I do hope this has helped you see why we shouldn’t fear the “Grace message”.  And why we should trust in the Power of the Gospel.  I haven’t really delved fully into the power of the “New Creation” just yet, but I will in a soon-to-be-published blogpost.  This post here lays a good foundation for what I will say in that future post.  For now, I feel like I have said enough for what one person can read on a blog.  :-)  Part 2 will come soon.

My sincere hope is that this article has blessed you deeply, and by God’s supernatural revelation it has showed you how powerful the Gospel is.  I always appreciate comments, so please feel free to give us your opinion.

In Love,

James Preston

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