7 Things Christ's Death Accomplished

James Preston Reply 7:47 AM
Happy Easter!  On this week's blog it is only fitting that I share around the significance of Christ's death on the Cross.  And specifically what that remarkable feat accomplished for all of mankind.  Yes, you!

If you can grasp the significance of what Christ accomplished for you in His Death on the Cross, your life will never be the same.  That single revelation will open you up to a whole new world of limitless possibilities.  You will have a new energy and life driving to make a difference in this world.

My prayer is that as you read these, you would see for yourself how Jesus' death means a whole new life on a whole new level for you.


1. Revealed the Love of the Godhead

I say Godhead and not “God” because if I say “God” you may just imagine “God the Father”. No! All 3 of the Family of God love us just the same... passionately, deeply, unconditionally.

How does the most powerful being in the Universe reveal His Love for his pathetic little creatures* who are way below his intelligence level? The most powerful way is to lay down all His Might to the lowest possible weakness... and say “this is how much I love you!”

Take This Very Weak Example:
My son Joel would know for sure how deep my love for him goes if he was say about 12 years old, still his whole life ahead of him, but able to comprehend what's going on. That would make me 39 years old.  Arguably in the prime of my life. Business is booming. Life is flourishing and massive success awaits me.
But we're held hostage in a terrible crime situation. The hostage locks me up in one room and Joel in the other, and they say they have to shoot one of us to get their way... I could stay in my room and Joel would understand. People would understand. I was locked in another room. I couldn't do anything.
But when I heard that they chose to kill Joel, I smashed down that door and ran to Joel's room and jumped in front of him just as the guy pulled the trigger. Joel would know how much I loved him because I wanted him to live and not me. I loved his life way more than mine. I loved him that much. Joel would have a pretty good idea of how much I loved him then...

In the same way, God dying on the Cross reveals to us how much He Loves us! He did everything He could to prevent us from dying, and making a way for us to succeed!

1 John 3:16
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.

HOW AMAZING IS THIS??? Did you know that John 3:16 and 1 John 3:16 both reveal how we are to know God Loves us?

John 3:16 
For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.

2. Forgave All The Sins of the World – ALL OF YOURS

Colossians 2:13 
When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made you[d] alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins...

If ALL your wrongdoing has been forgiven, paid for you... do you owe any debt? NO! Do you owe any pennance? NO! What do you owe? NOTHING!

ALL your sins have been forgiven at the Cross! Before we were even born they were forgiven! You don't need to do another altar call. You don't need to say another prayer. You just need to receive it!

If you continue in sin and you battle with this, then simply you have not fully received the reality of this Truth in your heart. When you do, it will change your Life forever!

3. Destroyed the Law

The Law made very serious requirements on us as mankind. God didn't even want to institute the Law in the first place (another blog post). The Law destroyed and was only ever useful for leading us to the beauty of our Saviour.

The Law stood in our way of approaching the Throne of Grace. As long as there was the Law, there would always be a guilty conscience. God had to destroy it.

And the very one who created it, destroyed it! In His Own Body!

Colossians 2:14 (NKJV) 
having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. 15 Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.

4. Disarmed Satan

Have a look at the verse above again...
If satan doesn't have the Law of requirements of how you should act as a child of God, then he has no ammunition to accuse you!

Zechariah 3:1 
Then He showed me Joshua the High Priest standing before the angel of the Lord, and Satan standing at his right side to accuse him...

Revelation 12:10 
...the accuser of our brothers, who accuses them before our God day and night, has been hurled down!

If you look at Zechariah 3, you will see that satan's name actually means "accuser"!  He got that name because all he does is accuse.
 And now, everything that gave satan ammunition to accuse has been removed forever! He is scrounging around for evidence and can't find any!

5. Destroyed Our Disconnection With God Forever

This one is HUGE! We think we still have to do a certain amount of things in order to hear God's voice. We believe we have to do certain things in order to be able to “hear God”.
No, we are connected 24/7! NO MATTER WHAT!

Check out this verse in Jeremiah.  The context of this is the annunciation of the New Covenant.  This is one of the promises of the New Covenant...

Jeremiah 31:34 
No longer will a man teach his neighbor, or a man his brother, saying, “Know the Lord,” because they will al know me, from the least of them to the greatest.” declared the Lord!

Under this New and Everlasting Covenant ratified by Christ's sacrifice, we all can know the Lord personally and intimately.  No matter what.

Hebrews 4:16 
Let us then approach the throne of Grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find Grace to help us in our time of need.

See that word "confidence"?  It means that no matter how you look or what you've done, you can come in with confidence!  Just like a dirty little prince who's been playing in the mud is allowed to run into the courts of the King because the King is his dad.

Everything that could have possibly disconnected us from God was forever removed on The Cross of Christ!

6. Paid For All Sickness and Disease 

Matthew 8:16-17 16 
When evening had come, they brought to Him many who were demon-possessed. And He cast out the spirits with a word, and healed all who were sick, 17 that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “He Himself took our infirmities And bore our sicknesses.”

Jesus healed all the sick because he took upon Himself the payment for all sickness and disease!

1 Peter 2:24-25 (NKJV) 
who Himself bore our sins in His own body on the tree, that we, having died to sins, might live for righteousness—by whose stripes you were healed.

Notice, this is past tense promise.  You were healed at the Cross.  Christ's stripes on His back paid for you to be healed.  Utilise that payment right now and declare with authority your healing!

7. Established the New, Final and Everlasting Covenant

The Ten Commandments aren't going to be reintroduced.  God had a better plan from the beginning.  To impart His Ways into the hearts of His children.  This is a way, way better Covenant.  And when Jesus died, the Covenant was "ratified", or established.

Hebrews 10:9 
Then he said, “Here I am, I have come to do your will.” He sets aside the first to establish the second. 10 And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.

This is why we take communion.  Communion is a celebrate meal.  It is a meal to celebrate the induction of the New Covenant that we will liver under forever!

Matthew 26:27-28 
Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 For this is My blood of the new[a] covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.


And there you have it.  Just 7 among many significant things that Jesus Christ's death on the Cross accomplished for you.

What else can you think of that Jesus accomplished?

Which one of these are most real to you?

End Note:
* "Pathetic little creature" - Used as an expression in our comparison to the Almighty God.  Our perspective.  Most certainly not God's perspective!  He views us in a much, much higher light.  This expression is used simply for effect.

4 Areas To Bring Honour In Business

James Preston Reply 7:02 AM

Just before this post.... I have been nominated for an SA Blog Award 2014! I would really appreciate your support, just by taking literally 90 seconds to click below and vote for me in the 2 nominated categories. Thanks so much! SA Blog Awards Badge
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Imagine the relationship within the Trinity.  Holy Spirit, Jesus, The Father, all in perfect unity and perfect Love and honour towards each other.  Perfect.  Just imagine it.

I imagine there would be very little jostling for position, insecurity and pulling rank.  Very little selfish demands and very little dishonour.

Of course, when I say "very little", you know I mean "none".

I imagine the relationship to be one of perfect honour.  Jesus honours His Father as much as Holy Spirit honours Jesus as much as Father honours Holy Spirit...

Jesus revealed a little piece of this Nature when He said “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve others...” (Matthew 20:28).  Jesus wants us to do the same as what His Father does for Him.  Serve and honour others.

You see, the realm of the Kingdom of God is one of unconditional Love, and seeks to serve others before oneself.

There's a problem though...  The Gospel is about us.



I said it.  The Gospel is about us.  The Gospel is about you.

Jesus died for us.  Jesus died for you.  He did that because God wants us to succeed!

But somewhere along the line, we Christians lost the heart of God in our interpretation of the Good News Message.  (And I'm talking historically to the Great Awakening days - more on that some other time).

The heart of God is always looking to serve the needs of others.  We took one part of the Gospel, and not the whole package.

In Genesis 12:2 God declares to Abraham “You will be blessed to be a blessing!”

We got stuck on “we will be blessed”.

YES!  We will be blessed!  But if we don’t pick up the second part of that promise, we move from operating in God’s realm and into the realm of this world.  When you begin balancing your successes based on the principles of this world (Capitalistic thinking) your successes will always have certain conditions to them.  But when you go beyond the selfish success principles of this world, you access a much higher level of success and blessing!

They key is to understand God's nature, and then change our minds to realise we have God's nature.

Why does God say to Abraham “you will be blessed to be a blessing”?  Because His heart is always for others!

God is always considerate of others.  So should we.

You see, God does want to bless us!  He does want us to be successful!  But!  He wants that blessing to run over into every person we come into contact with!  Including our...
- staff
- suppliers
- attorneys
- service providers
- government officials...

The term “be a blessing” encompasses everyone.

You see, the problem with not considering others in a Kingdom Business is that business just becomes about how much profit we can make.  And that?  Is Pure Greed.  Simple as that.

Business should not be about how much profit we make.  Business should be about much influence we can have.  As Kingdom ambassadors we should be looking to better the lives of as many people as possible.

I am all for profit!  Why?  Because I know that the more profit I make, the more influence I can have!

But if I lose sight of the fact that I am doing this to influence others, something switches in my soul...  The need and desire for profit becomes greater than the desire to influence and better the lives of others, and if I am not considerate of the lives of others?  What happens?  They either become obstacles or partners to my profit.  In essence, they become a tool that I use to make more profit.

Think about the tools you use:  Pots, cutlery, screwdrivers, cars, phones...  You don't really care what they feel.  As long as they help me get the job done.

As long as we treat people like “tools”, they won’t learn much from us, and they most certainly won’t want to learn from us.  Let alone learn valuable Kingdom Culture!

You see, people, are... people.  Dearly loved children of God who Jesus died for.

I believe there are 4 categories that we as ambassadors of the Kingdom of God can be aware of in our dealings with people.  From staff, suppliers, and our very own friends and family...

1. Be Careful of Angry Responses
Does Jesus want people feeling upset and angry because a client shouted at them for poor service?  No.  What is the solution to that problem?

2. Generous Staff Structures
Does Jesus want people working long hours with basic pay that can barely keep a family afloat, of whom they barely see at home anyway?  No.  How does Jesus want people to live?

3. Don't Always Go the Cheapest Route
Does Jesus want people to get disappointed by a client who promised a good order but chose to abandon them for something cheaper at the last minute?  No.  How would Jesus approach such a situation?
This goes for local manufacturing in order to boost local economy, thinking about job creation etc.

4. Be Environmentally Conscious
Does Jesus want this world to be polluted & abused till it is barely inhabitable any longer?  No.  What is Jesus’ view of this planet?

If we consider people before profit, if we have a healthy view of the future, our businesses will succeed in the long-term.  I am 100% confident of it.  It may be tough at times to take the higher road, but there is no doubt in my mind that if by portraying an attitude that places a high value on people, we will be rewarded handsomely.  Because people...  will want to do business with those who care about them.  We can't build that reputation without making this massive character trait our very own, and building it into the very culture of who our businesses are.

You want to see the world a better place, right?

It starts...


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The Perfect Diet! LCHF

James Preston 31 8:04 AM
13 AUGUST 2015 NOTE:
Welcome to my most popular Blog Post of all time. When I wrote it, I didn't think it would still continue to get the traction that it would for a full 3 years later! But that's the sign of good health advice coupled with good blogging (updating my Blog regularly) I guess.  So, thanks again for visiting. I really hope this post helps you as much as the likes of Diet Doctor and Tim Noakes helped me. In 2012 I lost about 10kgs! (I didn't need to lose those, it was just excess fat!)

And now... I feel the most healthy that I ever have been in all my life (The pic above was taken about 8 months ago, where I looked nice and trim. This is pretty much how I look now.)  LOW CARB HIGH FAT is a wonderful way to enjoy good food but keep within good health markers etc.

What I can tell you now and honestly is this... I eat LCHF Monday - Friday around lunch time. Then introduce a few carbs by Friday afternoon. I then enjoy 2 "cheat days" with carbs and the odd sugar treat on Saturday and Sunday.

This isn't particularly advisable if you battle with cholesterol (as the sugar CAN inflame your arteries - this inflammation is not good if you do eat high fat). But I don't eat "copious" amount of fat (but certainly more than average Western society.)
I enjoy lots of cream, eggs, nuts, and fatty meat during the week. But the key is to cut out the carbs. It keeps my energy levels up, and my weight down.
Either way... you do what works for you. But below is a full introduction to LCHF (Low Carb High Fat, the nutritional revolution!)


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Also... If you don't have time to read this whole post, I have summarised it HERE.

But here goes (written in March 2012)...
So... last week my wife and I started a new diet which we've been researching for quite some time.  As per normal Christmas is filled with an over-abundance of chocolate, drinks, desserts, sweets and chips.  Then there's New Years, another great excuse to eat like a glutton.  My birthday then follows a month later in February (thanks for all the wishes); which means additional indulgences.

With all this in mind, somewhere over the Christmas period, I made a decision that I was going to do the "Atkins Diet" in March.  Why March?  Because I knew February was my birthday month and I was quite happy to give myself one more month of indulgence.

I think I know what most of you are thinking... "But James doesn't need a diet."  Thank you for the compliment.  I don't want to delve too deep into the reasons for why I want to diet.  But it has a lot to do with taking pride in my own body and feeling good about myself.  This is entirely different to the revelatory belief of one's Identity in Christ, I am not insecure about myself, instead, this is like a personal goal I aim to achieve.  (Remember what I've said before, goals are essential for a positive mindset!)

Why did I choose the Atkins Diet?
Three words:  Professor Tim Noakes.  I have followed his opinions since he almost singlehandedly won the Springboks the Rugby World Cup in 2007.  Along with a few of my friends (Lisa Haynes you legend) and nurse mother, he has convinced me of the evil of Carbohydrates.  It was also his promotion of LCHF that sparked my interest.

By 2011 or so I had started to believe that Carbohydrates truly were the primary problem affecting most of our health today.  The blood-sugar spikes & crashes, the ravenous hunger so soon after a carb-filled meal, the excess of insulin in the blood.  I knew most of the science, and hence understood why cutting down on Carbs could only be a good thing.

Like the majority of mankind today, my staple diet is Carbs and Sugar.  The result of millions of dollars of industry marketing has made it that way.

Many of you may remember my 30-day experiment of gymming everyday, in mid 2012.  I did that based on a theory that more energy burned than consumed should reduce body fat.  I bumped into a friend in the gym in Week 4 who said the only way to see success with such a programme was to cut Carbs and Sugar.  I didn't want to believe him.  But he was right, I stalled on weight and inches loss by Week 2.  By Week's 3 and 4 my body had adjusted to the extra physical activity.

It was after that 30-day experiment, my conversation with my friend, and some posts by Prof. Tim Noakes; that I decided the only way to successfully lose this body fat was to cut Carbs and Sugar.

The most common diet that suited such an ideology?  The Atkins Diet.  Hence.

LCHF - Move over Atkins, LCHF is the new revolution!
Atkins' primary theory is more protein.  Careful not to have too much saturated fat in one's diet, and cut Carbohydrate intake down to 20 grams a day (30gms in first 2 weeks).  The diet requires a fairly well planned menu and eating plan.

LCHF (Low Carb High Fat) on the other hand is very fat friendly.  (Immediately my brain-washed mind said "that can't be healthy!")  LCHF prefers you to cut down on Carbs and Sugars significantly, cut them out entirely if possible.  Replace the carbs with fat as your energy source.  This theory is backed up by new science that proves our body burns fat as energy far more efficiently than carbs, and it is a whole lot healthier for our body when it does.

This theory means...  Eat as much fat as you want!  Obviously you need to have a healthy balance of protein and veg, but do not be afraid of fat!  Your body needs it.

The primary reason for the fat intake is because it makes you fuller for longer, and thus you end up eating less.  The research shows that people on LCHF eat 1000 calories less a day!  Without calorie counting or an eating plan!

No Eating Plan
I don't know which part of this diet is my favourite...
- the fact that I can have as much fat as I want, or...
- the fact that I don't have to plan what I am going to eat when.
Both are such paradigm shifts from all the other diets I have tried.

That's right people.  You don't have to count your calories, watch how much you're eating of a certain food, limit your fat intake.  Nothing.

1. Cut out as much Carbs & Sugars as possible.  (Sweetened yoghurts, starchy veg like Potatoes, Butternut & Carrots)
2. Have adequate portions of protein.
3. Have adequate portions of veg (Peppers, Lettuce, Broccoli, Cauliflower, etc.)

The Science
It is common scientific knowledge that insulin is a hormone that causes your body to store fat.  Unfortunately, this is not common public knowledge.

The more insulin you have in your body the more fat will be stored.  Of course if fat is being stored, it isn't going to be burned.

So the logic would be:  Stop insulin getting released into your body!  How does this happen?  By cutting Carbs & Sugar.  Carbs & Sugar cause the body to release insulin, and the body then burns the Carbs as energy.  Thereby storing any fat in your food, but also preventing current body fat from being burned.

By cutting out Carbs & Sugar, your insulin levels slowly decrease (it takes a few days to weeks).  This will increase a process called Ketosis, which is a process in the body that burns fat.  When your body goes into Ketosis, you're in the sweet spot.

Heaps of research shows that consuming fat (even saturated fat!) does not increase your risk of heart disease!  So why don't we ever hear about these scientific conclusions?

Because the food industry is dominated by Sugar & Carb manufacturers.  Their science will always be funded to make public circles.  And their science says "eat less fat".
Guess what?  If you eat less fat you have to supplement your energy with something else... Carbs and Sugar.
Low-fat yoghurts, milk, meat, you name it, are the order of the day.

If they can make you afraid of fat, they can make you buy more of their products.

It's really quite simple.

My Experience Thus Far
So for me...  I'm loving it.  A common day looks like this:
- Coffee with heavy cream in the morning (no sugar, cream over milk because there is less lactose and carbs and the fat helps make me feel fuller. My wife has full-cream milk though.)
- Bacon & Eggs for breakfast, no toast.
- I only start getting hungry at 1pm, which is a salad packed with chicken, bacon, gouda, mozarella.
- A snack of Brazil & Macademian Nuts in between lunch & dinner, or some Greek Yoghurt (high fat, no sugar!) and Cream.
- Some beef/fish/chicken/pork and veg for dinner.  (Steak is my fave!)  All fat remain firmly on the cut!
- About 1,5 - 2 litres of water a day.  I'm not strict.

You may say that you should rather eat smaller portions more regularly, but that is based on the theory that Carbs should be our main source of energy.  It's also practically impossible in today's busy lifestyle.

I feel much less hungry than before.  And I know I am eating less in total.  I don't have drops of energy (so common after lunch!) and I actually feel more focussed.

This all after 8 days!  Oh, and I lost 2.1kgs in my first week!
(JUNE UPDATE:  I have now lost 7kgs after 13 weeks!)

This is by far the easiest diet I have ever been on.  I can eat most of my favourite foods (except bread rolls) without having to worry about how much is too much etc.  I can eat till my heart's content!

My plan is to be on it strictly for a month, and after that consider my results and be a bit more liberal.

Until then, I encourage you to consider the health benefits of cutting out Sugar & Carbs.  And consider the science.

Start with this guy here, DR Andreas Eenfeldt, who has the most comprehensive collection of science proving the benefits of the LCHF diet.

Also, check out this video he did with an American GP here.

Am I against Carbs & Sugar?  No.  I will go back to the odd Steak Roll, chocolate & cold-drink.  But I'm now keenly aware of what they will do to my blood systems.  I want to get to a place where "all things in moderation".


What about you?  

Have heard of the LCHF?  Would you consider trying it out?

Does this information differ from your understanding?
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6 June 2013 NOTE:  
It has now been 13 weeks since I started the diet, and I am now down 7kgs where I seem to have stabilised (I can't get much thinner!).  I still love this diet, and find it easier than any program I've ever done.  I don't have to go to gym as much because the diet keeps my weight off.  I have more concentration than ever, and don't get tired at all.  I now have the odd cheat day about once a week where I have the odd hamburger and chips, a chocolate or the like.  But it doesn't affect my results, weight or emotional health at all!  All thumbs up!  I have added a pic here of me 6 weeks into the diet.  You can see around my waist there is no "pot-belly" which used to stick itself out in the past when I was in such a pose.

Phil Drysdale on religious mindsets, his dream job, the end times, and God's goodness - Guest Post!

James Preston 2 6:31 AM
Just before this post.... I have been nominated for an SA Blog Award 2014! I would really appreciate your support, just by taking literally 90 seconds to click below and vote for me in the 2 nominated categories. Thanks so much! SA Blog Awards Badge
Now back to this Post...

This week it is my honour to introduce to you Phil Drysdale. A scottish revivalist who is preaching the Gospel with Radical Clarity! Phil spent 4 years serving at Bethel Church in Redding, California, and he and his wife now live in Aberdeen, Scotland. Phil travels full-time ministering into communities declaring and demonstrating God's goodness and Love.

I believe Phil is part of a radical generation rising up in the world today who aren't afraid of differences and divides, but instead are willing to work together no matter the differences to see the Kingdom of God come on earth as it is in Heaven. In this interview I wanted to tap into some of what makes Phil tick, and hopefully bring a different perspective on what you may believe.

Phil was in the air between London and Dallas on his way to Birmingham while responding to the interview, so I really appreciate him making the time for being part of the blog this week.  

This week's post is the first time I am experimenting with a new feature, "Click to Tweet". So if you have a Twitter account, you can post some quotes from the interview onto your Twitter page and encourage your followers with some great inspiration. Whenever you see this (tweet) after a paragraph, it means the sentence before it is quoted and you simply click the word "tweet" in brackets, and you will go to a page that will send the tweet for you! Give it a go!

Let's get started... Enjoy!

Phil, could please give us a little overview of who you are, your growing up years, school & after-school life, and your background as a Christian?

What a huge question, I'll give you the abridged version!

I grew up in an incredible Christian home, my parents were really open to what God was doing in and through them as they pastored several Baptist churches throughout my childhood. As such I did the typical pastor's kid thing and got saved about 30-40 times up until the age of 16 when I really felt connected to God and got baptized. In hindsight, though; I really just got more religious and started reading my Bible, praying and going to church meetings more.

It wasn't until about 6 years later that I really had a profound encounter with God, when I was on a business trip to London. I started reading a book by Bill Johnson called, "When Heaven Invades Earth". In the space of a day I was completely turned upside-down and inside-out. I left my business that I had started with two partners which was doing relatively well. Everyone thought I was crazy, but I just packed my bags and moved to Bethel (in Redding, Cali) to do their School of Supernatural Ministry.

After 3yrs in their school, including a year interning for Steve Backlund at Global Legacy and a further year volunteering full-time with Global Legacy I am now ministering the Gospel in every which way I can think of. I have a website (www.phildrysdale.com) were I provide audio & video resources, daily devotionals, and articles explaining the Good News of the Gospel - all available for free. I also have a Facebook account and Twitter page where I post quotes I find inspiring and thoughts throughout the day.

Finally, I travel the world around 180days a year and get to minister publicly primarily through sermons, healing and prophecy. I am also married to the most wonderful woman I've ever met, Sarah. She is an absolute inspiration to me and believes in me more than I believe in myself!

Why the move back to Scotland?  And why Scotland over say somewhere like London or USA, where you could've been more central?

This is a great question. The truth is Aberdeen is one of the worst places to be in the world when traveling as much as I do! I have family in Aberdeen, it's where most of them have been the last 12 years or so and so in one sense it feels like home. The primary reason however is that Sarah is currently studying her final year English at Aberdeen University. Will we stay in Aberdeen? I don't know, but for now we have family, friends, a great home and a wonderful church we can call home, so I'm not desperate to leave.

What is your greatest passion? Or to use the cliche, "dream job"?

I often ask people when I meet them, "what would you do if you had unlimited resources, time, money, people and God was 100% behind you?" - The answer of course should be what all of us are working towards. I'm lucky enough that I'm doing my "dream job" - I'm sure there will be some tweaks here and there as we go but I'm right in the gooey centre of it!

It seems that there is fresh revelation around the world for people to step into their dreams and calling, and sometimes to take risks to do that. What advice would you give people who don't yet feel like they are doing their "dream job"? What steps can they take to get to their "dream job"?

I think for me the biggest obstacle was to actually start dreaming. I think as a society we are trained to squash dreams like bugs from an early age. When your kid comes to you and tells you he wants to be an astronaut or a footballer our typical response is "that's nice but not everyone can do that" we have to be "realistic". As Wendy Backlund says, "God has not called you to be realistic, He's called you to be supernatural." (tweet)

The biggest hurdle for me was security, I had a real wake-up call just after going out to Bethel when I realized that most of the decisions I had made in my life were to do with my comfort and security. Not only that, but most of those decisions were ones I didn't derive any joy from. Looking back: the best decisions in my life were decisions full of risk and were not made to make me more secure but to move me towards my dreams. From that day I decided a core value of mine was to never make a decision based on money again. That one has changed my life more than most other decisions combined!

There seems to be fresh revelation about the "end times" in many circles. Many people are moving away from a fear-based, tribulation and rapture theory. How important is one's eschatological beliefs in them fulfilling their calling?

How you believe things will end is always going to determine how you live today. We've taught for centuries a fear-based gospel. I've heard countless sermons stating "If you walk out that door today and get hit by a bus do you know where you will end up?" The problem we have in the church is that the people we are leading aren't getting hit by buses. The message should be "If you go out that door today and have to live 70 more years, what are you going to do?

Eschatology is under the same influence. It's fascinating that the modern, fear-based eschatological view is actually very recent, for example up until 160 years ago or so there was no concept of a rapture, nor the world getting worse before Jesus came back. 

If we think the world is supposed to get worse and that Jesus is coming back for a shining spotless bride hiding in the corner while the devil takes over the world we simply aren't going to change the world. In fact, the church can stay in a building and give themselves high-fives as the world gets worse because, "hey, that's what's supposed to happen, right? Jesus must be coming back soon."

A great resource on the end-times that is available completely free is Jonathan Welton's book "Raptureless" which is a very deep study of the end-times from a true Biblical scholar who knows the Scriptures and Church History regarding this topic better than most of us.

There is much controversy circling church organisations at the moment around "institutional church". What is your opinion on "institutional church" and what is the perfect setup (if there were one of course)?

One of my favourite things about traveling full-time is that I get to see every flavor of church imaginable. I actually love that nobody can agree what way "church" should be done, I think we aren't supposed to have a model. We all love Jesus and should just focus on doing that together, whatever way is most natural to us. Does it really matter if we meet in a home, a school building or a football stadium? 

So long as we are getting together and enjoying each other, Father, Son and Holy Spirit in fellowship so that we are all being mutually encouraged and equipped I say that is a successful Church. 

How important is the Ephesians 4, Five Fold gift set within the leadership of a local church?

I think our understanding of this is evolving. Leadership is a big topic and is viewed very differently everywhere I go. What I am seeing is that the common denominator is that we are evolving towards understanding not just the gifts of Christ but their purpose… "the equipping of the saints". Everywhere I go more people are being equipped to have an apostolic mindset, to be prophetic, to evangelize everywhere they are, to be able to teach and equip others and to be able to pastor those in their lives. 

I think it's important that we have those who hold these offices not so that they can become superstars but so that they might equip others. The apostle is not there to be "Apostle Blah Blah" but rather to help create apostolic people. The prophet is not there so he can be the only person to give public prophecies but so that everyone would have the training required to hear God's voice and share that with His children. The evangelist is not supposed to be the one we bring all our unbeliever friends to hear, but rather the one who trains us all to reach out to those around us.

This journey looks very different for different ministries and churches but it's all evolving in the same direction in my opinion.

Religious mindsets and traditional lies seem to be crippling the growth of God's children. What are, in your opinion, some of the worst lies the church?

I'm well known for killing some sacred cows so I guess it wouldn't be an interview without me doing that!

The biggest lie in the church today is that we think God is smaller than sin. (tweet) We somehow believe that God can't look upon sin and that somehow sin separates us from God. This is ridiculous and hugely unbiblical but unfortunately it's pretty much evangelical doctrine. God's a big boy and not only can He look upon sin but He's had very little to look upon since The Fall :)  (James' note: I can hear a big "moo" there!)

I don't want to make light of sin, but it's important we don't lose focus of how huge Christ's victory over sin was.

It's important that we remember when considering sin that it was Adam and Eve who hid from God, not the other way around.

The second biggest lie is that we believe we are still sinners. Sinners saved by grace are not called sinners… they are called saints. 

Romans 5:17 says we have received the abundance of Grace and the gift of Righteousness. The church isn't ready to walk in an Abundance of Grace because we don't believe the Gospel. We don't believe we are Righteous, we think we are sinners. Until we recognize that we are New Creations and completely spotless, righteous and holy we will never walk in it and never really let an Abundance of Grace flow. 

Who are some of the most important leaders that have influenced your beliefs and ideologies that you suggest people to read / listen?

I've been on such a huge journey, I think Bill Johnson, Kris Vallotton, Joseph Prince and John Crowder really got me started on my journey and honestly without them I have no idea where I'd be today. Someone I have to add to the list who has profoundly influenced me has to be Andre Rabe who has such a beautiful spirit and articulates the Gospel like nobody else I know. 

What is the most important message "the church" (as a whole) needs to understand today?

I think if we tackled the two lies I mentioned above we'd be in a very healthy place as a body. 
(James' note: That was easy! Haha.)

What do you sense is happening in the earth today in terms of the church, politics, philosophy, etc?  Big question, but you're a big man.

If we look back 10-20 years there was such a huge question hanging over the church "Does God really still heal the sick? Can we as believers really walk in the supernatural?" It's funny to me because I'm seeing that these questions are being asked less and less. These days such a huge portion of the church simply isn't asking that question any more? Why? Because most have had the question answered, more people have been healed or seen healing today than ever before on the planet! Even the skeptics know one or two people who have been healed and so they just awkwardly avoid the topic.

I think in the next 10-20 years we are going to see two questions slowly die:
"Is God really good?"
"Am I really righteous?"

And finally, what advice would you give to people like me who want to change the world?

Look for the image and likeness of God in every man, woman and child and you'll find it. If you can show them Jesus as in a mirror they will be transformed. (tweet that!)

Phil, thank you so much for taking the time to write these answers for us. It is a real privilege having you post on JamesPreston.org, and we can't to hear from you again! Maybe in a video interview next time on the Sonic Substance Leadership Podcast. You're a mighty man and we together as an audience speak abundant blessings, provision, health and wealth to you, Sarah, and the coming family!  ;)

What would you, the reader, like to ask Phil? If you ask a question in the comments section, we will try and get him to answer as many as possible.

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