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HIDDEN REEFS – Sunday Sermonette by Marlene Anne Morphew
rustyalang@westnet.com.au

When the book of Jude in the Word of God was written, there were many heretics and distortions of the Christian faith as there seems to be today over 2000 years later! People who profess to be a Christian but refuse to accept correct doctrine.

This half-brother of Jesus is warning the ungodly. He appeals to believers in Jesus Christ to ‘earnestly contend for the faith which was once for all handed down to the saints’ (v3). 

He leads his readers to three strong examples from the Word which led to eternal fire, ‘for whom the black darkness has been reserved forever’(v6).

1. The Israelites died in the wilderness even after being delivered from bondage in Egypt – because they did not believe (Numbers 14:29).
2. Angels who did not keep their own domain but chose to follow the rebellious angel, Satan (Revelation 12:7-9).
3. The ancient cities of Sodom and Gomorrah as well as the cities around them were destroyed from indulging in gross immorality (Genesis 19).

Disobedience among those who profess to know God yet do the same and rebel against their Creator God, will meet the same end. They who go the way of Cain, who murdered his brother (Genesis 4:1-16), make the same mistake as Balaam (Numbers 22) and rebel against anointed spiritual leaders will perish like the sons of Korah who challenged Moses leadership (Numbers 16) according to Jude.
Describing these souls: (v11-19)
• Like hidden reefs causing others to shipwreck
• Like clouds without water
• Having no fear of the Lord
• Carried every way by invisible winds; unstable
• Trees without fruit
• Like wild waves of the sea carrying their own shame 
• Like foam on the seashore
• Like wandering stars; aimless
• Grumblers, finding fault, ungrateful
• Following after their own lusts
• Flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage
• Mockers, causing divisions
• Worldly minded and worst of all

• DEVOID OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

Finally Jude encourages true believers to: (v20-23)
Build yourselves up in the holy faith
Pray in the Spirit of God
Keep yourselves in the love of God

Wait patiently for the coming of eternal life (in heaven)
Show mercy to the doubter
Help the weak back onto the true path
But he warns – have nothing to do with those following after their own flesh

‘Now to Him who is able to keep you from stumbling, and to make you stand in the presence of  His glory blameless with great joy, to the only God our Saviour, through Jesus Christ our Lord, be glory, majesty, dominion and authority, before all time and now and forever. Amen’ (v24-25).

Posted 16th November 2019
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JESUS WEPT  - Sunday Sermonette by Marlene Anne Morphew
ruastyalang@westnet.com.au
 

Twice in John 11 is written, ‘a certain man’ and ‘the man who was dead’. 
Twice Jesus asks Martha, ‘If you believe’. 
Twice Jesus is told, ‘if you were here Lazarus would not have died.’ 
Twice it is written ‘Jesus was deeply moved’. 
It is easy to assume Jesus as fully human was deeply grieved that His friend, Lazarus, had died. But when you read this chapter with the heart of the Father, the eyes of Jesus and the ears of the Holy Spirit we begin to understand the deeper spiritual event recorded here. 
Jesus is drawing attention to the power of resurrection life in the Spirit of God from the Father in heaven that is coming for all who believe. 
He wept for the helplessness of man without the Holy Spirit.  
He wept because He knew He would not always be present in the flesh. 
He wept because he knew he had to leave this earth so others would have the Holy Spirit power. 
Jesus wept because people lacked the faith to exercise the same power and authority he had. 
He wept because death was necessary to have resurrection life. 
He wept too for the ignorance of God’s people, the Jews.  
He wept floods of tears at sin in the world. 
He did not weep for His own loss as the religious visitors assumed. Jesus thoughts were always with others. He knew His death was the only way to bring full salvation to mankind; to live an abundant life through resurrection power. 
When Martha went to meet Jesus on the road as He was coming to her house, Jesus said, ‘ I am the resurrection and the life; he who believes in Me shall live even if he dies, and everyone who lives and believes in Me shall never die. “Do you believe this?” Martha said to Him, “Yes Lord, I have believed that You are the Christ, the Son of God, even He who comes into the world.” 
In this passage Martha makes the declaration that Jesus is the Christ, the first person to state this (though later Peter did also) – the Messiah, the One who would come and save His people.  
This is not only a passage about raising someone from the dead, marvellous and awesome as the miracle is. It is a grand lesson on what was to come. It demonstrated to man who believes we will have the same power and will be raised out of darkness into new life. 
When Jesus says ‘unbind him’ – here we see the new birth in faith. We come from death to life to be delivered from all the past trappings and cultural bindings. 
Yes, Jesus wept. 
Posted 9-11-19
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 I DON’T GIVE A FIG

 Sunday Sermonette by Marlene Anne Morphew

rustyalang@westnet.com.au

In the vision, as I spoke out the Gospel message, I heard a whisper from the back of the crowd. “I Don’t Give a Fig”. Thinking the person had not been heard, but my spiritual antennae picked it up loud and clear. 

This contemptable saying told me what was being said was not important to this person. So I stopped, knowing this person was important to God, and looking directly at him, “God does”, I said. 

Picking up his direction of thought, I told him, figs appear 24 times in the Old Testament and 16 in the New. By this time I had his attention and with smiles from many of the crowd I went closer to him. The Holy Spirit held him firm in his stance as everyone else faded into a distant fog. There I preached to him as though he were the only person on earth. 

I told him the fig tree along with the Pomegranate are prevalent in Israel and Israeli history. It appears in the first book of the Word of God and the last. It appears in the historical book Judges and even in a hymn of the wonderful works of the Lord God on behalf of His people and the prophet Isaiah included it in an end times prophecy.

But then I told him, there was a time Jesus was walking along a road and becoming hungry He saw a fig tree. Expecting fruit when He approached but it only had leaves. Since it was all show and no produce, He said, ‘No longer shall there ever be any fruit from you.’ And at once the fig tree withered. Demonstrating God has all power and as a sign for the judgement to come. 

In the vision, I turned and walked away with these words echoing in his ears. “Time and opportunity happen to everyone. We don’t always control the events that can happen to us with the rush of everyday life. .”  Looking back I saw the person still standing where he was, then falling on his knees, weeping in deep conviction. The Holy Spirit had breathed on him.

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‘Can a fig tree, my brethren, produce olives, or a vine produce figs? Neither can salt water become fresh. Who among you is wise and understanding? Let him show by his good behaviour his deeds in the gentleness of wisdom.’ 

References: Genesis 3:7, Judges 9:10-11, Psalm 105:33, Proverbs 27:18, Ecclesiastes 9:11, Isaiah 34:4, Matthew 21:19-21; 24:32, James 3:1, Revelation 6:13. 

Posted 2-11-19 

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THE DONKEY WHO SEES - Sunday Sermonette
by Marlene Anne Morphew
rustyalang@westnet.com.au

Before I introduce this donkey who sees we need to glean from Numbers chapters 22, 23 and 24. 

God’s people, the Israelites, are out of Egypt camping in the plains of Moab, beyond the river Jordan and opposite Jericho. Balak, king of Moab sends emissaries to talk with the prophet Balaam in the hopes he would be persuaded to curse the Israelites, to weaken them so he could drive them out of the land. 

Taking fees to give to Balaam for divination, they approach Balaam. Balaam should have simply refused but instead goes before the Lord for counsel. The Lord speaks candidly to him and says ‘Do not go with them (the visitors); you shall not curse the people; for they are blessed’ (22:12).

In verse 13, instead again of simply saying I will not go with you and curse God’s people, he blames God for not allowing him to do this thing, ‘The Lord has refused to let me go with you’. 

I hope you are starting to grasp the weakening of Balaam’s resolve here. Next, king Balak sends more important leaders to appeal to Balaam’s ego and offers honour and power to Balaam if he will curse the Israelites. 

Balaam continues to play with sin by entreating God again for counsel. God tells him to go but only speak what He tells him to say. Why? Did God change His mind? NO! He wanted Balaam to obey Him willingl

 
Enter the donkey. Balaam saddles up and heads off to see king Balak, with two servants. This angers God (22:22). God sends an angel to block Balaam’s progress. By now Balaam is so deceived he is no longer able to see into the visual spiritual realm. But the donkey does. He “sees” the angel as God has stepped in.

After Balaam starts punishing the donkey for refusing to move, it is miraculously given the power to speak to Balaam (22:28), as it complains about Balaam's ill treatment. 

The angel of the Lord reprimands Balaam for his foolish actions against the donkey (read 22; 27-30). Balaam realises his sin of disobedience as the angel tells him he almost lost his life. He repents and offers to turn back but God wants him to continue on and show the king of Moab that he is a true servant of the Lord and will not curse the Israelites. 

 

Balaam's donkey provides a symbol of just how far God will go to ensure that his will be done. The story of Balaam and his donkey reminds us of God's power over man and nature.

 

In John 12 we see Jesus riding into Jerusalem on a donkey at the start of His final week on earth. This action is a symbolic demonstration of Christ gaining control over the animal nature too. And kings of the day often rode on a donkey. So the donkey was a sign of the rider's true identity, which those creating the carpet of coats and palm branches failed to see even as they cried out, ‘Hosanna, Blessed is He who comes on the name of the Lord, even the King of Israel.’ 

Posted 26-10-19

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 THE WAITING ROOM Sunday Sermonette

by Marlene Anne Morphew
rustyalang@westnet.com.au

You received a word from God?. And now He is making you wait in transition and you want another word. But what did you do with the last word you received?

Waiting can be hard work (Psalm 27:4). The frustration mounts. We don’t like delays. We want every promise NOW. Every blessing NOW. Every prayer answered NOW. We expect our plans to be fulfilled NOW. Our goals met NOW. And when this does not happen we chase after another word from God; a sign of our own choosing. 

But God’s time table is not as ours. He is not bound by the hours on the clock or the days in a week. God is expecting us to carry that word to a time of birthing. 

DON’T WASTE THE WAIT TIME

Unproductive ways hinder His word being formed in us (John 15:8). Pray for that word. Prepare for the next step. Speak faith over that word. Speak the language of heaven over that word. The waiting time is not passive. Reveal you value that word as you are tested on your willingness to act in faith and obedience. Don’t let natural, demonic, destructive unbelief steal that word. Study the WORD.

     The level of preparation will determine your next level of influence.

Zacharias and Elizabeth, a barren couple wanted a child desperately. The angel Gabriel visited the husband and told him they would have a son, what his role would be in history and even his name. What did Zacharias do? He questioned the angel. He did not receive the word of the Lord in faith. The result was he became mute. Why? He was not ready, not prepared to carry the word to its birthing time. His thoughts would not be spoken out his mouth to others, he would be mute for the entire gestation period. 

When the promised child was born, Elizabeth wanted to name the child after his father but at that moment Zacharias mouth was opened, he said, the child would be called John, the forerunner for Jesus the Messiah coming to earth (Luke 1). 

Zacharias received a word from the Lord but he needed to be prepared to carry it. From a fearful and feeble faith man to a man of great faith and bold voice. During his silent waiting time, Zacharias was changed, transformed and matured in his faith. Instead of fear and uncertainty, ‘…..his (John’s) father Zacharias was filled with the Holy Spirit, and prophesied.’

                                            Don’t get shipwrecked in your season of delay.

(Isaiah 54:2-3). Let the Holy Spirit grow your heart, widen your vision, firm up your foundations to spread to the right and the left in due season; at the birth of God’s word growing within you (Ecclesiastes 3:1). Let the Lord build a firm, unshakable resolve in your heart. He is deepening your trust; your intimacy with Him. 

The whole earth is pregnant with waiting for the return of Jesus. "Nevertheless, when the Son of Man comes, will He really find faith on the earth?" (Luke 18:8b). For faith is believing in the unseen (Hebrews 11:1-2).

Posted 19-10-19
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CYRUS – Sunday Sermonette by Marlene Anne Morphew
rustyalang@westnet.com.au

Isaiah 45:9, ‘Woe to the one who quarrels with his Maker – an earthenware vessel among the vessels of earth! Will the clay say to the potter, “What are you doing?” or the thing you are making say, “He has no hands”’?

530 years before the birth of Jesus Christ, God’s people, the Israelites, were in captivity in Babylon due to their rebellious ways. Cyrus, the king of Persia, was the monarch under whom the Babylonian captivity ended. In the first year of his reign he was prompted by God to decree that the Temple in Jerusalem should be rebuilt and any Jews who wanted might return to their land for this purpose.

Cyrus was a great military leader and led several military campaigns against the most powerful kingdoms of the time, including Media, Lydia, and Babylonia. 

Cyrus was relatively liberal. While he himself ruled according to an ancient Persian religion and beliefs, he made no attempt to impose his beliefs on the people of his subject territories. The Jews benefited greatly from this. Many who followed this religion later fled Muslim persecution in Iran by immigrating to India. 
 
According to historical records, Cyrus met an untimely death on the battle field. He was killed by armies of a woman who were defending an attack by Cyrus. Tomyris ruled an Iranian people from a pastoral-Nomadic group of central Asia, in parts of the modern-day Turkmenistan. When it was over, Tomyris ordered the body of Cyrus brought to her, then decapitated him and dipped his head in a vessel of blood in a symbolic gesture of revenge for the death of her son, who apparently died in the battle
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In Isaiah 45:1-7, we learn several important facts about Cyrus. He was chosen by God and anointed by Him to subdue nations. God opened doors before him that no one could shut. God even mentions revealing deeper revelations of Himself to Cyrus.. ‘treasures of darkness and hidden wealth of secret places in order that you may know it is I, the Lord, the God of Israel, who calls you by your name.’ Why? He did this, ‘For the sake of Jacob, My servant and Israel My chosen one.’  

God says twice that Cyrus did not know Him yet he was used mightily by Him for the sake of His own people, the Israelites. ‘I have given you a title of honour though you have not known Me’. This place of honour was inclusion in the WORD of God.

God uses people who do not know Him to perform His will. Who are we to argue with God whom He wants to honour and use to fulfil His plans?  

Posted 12-10-19
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OASIS OF FREEDOM - Sunday Sermonette
by Marlene Anne Morphew
rustyalang@westner.com.au 
Once we believe and receive Jesus Christ as our Saviour and Lord and decide to follow Him we have the freedom to overcome; to conquer. We have the freedom in trials as we enter an oasis of Freedom. 
 
‘…he who was called while free, is Christ’s slave. You were bought with a price; do not become slaves of men.’  
Being a slave to Christ is the ultimate freedom.

What destroys this freedom? Making choices and decisions that reflect what we desire. Are you free enough to say NO to a burning desire? 

In Christ we don’t need more freedom but we do need to be aware of the freedom we have; what type of freedom and how to operate in a demanding world in that freedom. 
Are you free enough to NOT do or say something? 
Are you free enough to say Yes to the Lord? 
Are you free enough to forgive someone who doesn’t apologise or admit what they have done? 
Are you free enough to give to someone who doesn’t need it? 
Are you free enough to serve someone who doesn’t acknowledge it? 
Are you free enough to sacrifice for someone who doesn’t deserve it? 

Are you free enough to change? When Peter, a simple fisherman heard the voice of Jesus, he walked away from everything familiar to follow Him. His settled existence behind him. 

The authority of full heaven spoke and Peter’s whole life was changed.

The messenger was changed. The message does not. ‘And Peter said to them, “Repent, and let each of you be baptised in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit”’.

Freedom GROWS when believers serve one another in love; bringing an explosion on the inside.
Are you free enough to grow in the freedom God intended? Increase the level of truth you live and you will increase your freedom to have the freedom God intended.
 

‘ If you abide in My word, then you are truly disciples of Mine; and you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.’   
References: 1 Corinthians 7:20-22, Galatians 5:13-15, Acts 2:14-40, John 8:31-32.  
Additional study scriptures: Luke 4:18, John 8, 36, Ephesians 3:12, Romans 6:22; 8:1-2, 32; 1 Corinthians 2:12; 2 Corinthians 3:17. 
(Inspired in part by Nathaniel Woods preach, “A Freedom that Changes Things”.)
Posted: 5th September 2019
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