The 7th Annual International CWM Conference was held this year on Queensland’s Gold Coast. To everyone’s great disappointment, Philip and Kath Powell was unable to attend due to a medical emergency. It is a tribute to Philip’s leadership that the CWM team was able to swing into position in his absence with such competence, and the Conference proceeded as scheduled.
Philip has now been able to complete a Synopsis of his latest book, “Who is Jesus?” the full version of which will be ready for distribution shortly, God willing.
The book stall has become an integral part of the Conference, and once again Maureen drove up from Victoria to take up her customary position behind the book table. So nice to be able to buy and to browse through these well-chosen titles, not readily available elsewhere, and being confident that everything on offer is worthwhile.
This year, the younger musicians emerged to take their place within the music team. Amy Pitman on violin; Joshua Gibson on clarinet, and his sister Laura on flute, their love for the Lord evident and underscoring their musical ability. Who could ever forget listening to Philip Morgan and his daughter, Bethwyn, singing duet the Love Song of the Welsh Revival “Here is Love, Vast as the ocean”, Aeron’s favourite hymn. How nice to have Dinah present and that she could share the moment.
Prayer has always been the engine room of CWM conferences, and this year was no exception with speakers and delegates alike gathering together each morning to seek direction for the day, strength for the speakers, salvation for the lost, and for whatever else God might have in mind.
With the exception of Philip Morgan, who effectively replaced his father Aeron whom the Lord called home since our previous Conference, each of the speakers has spoken at previous conferences, and their names will be familiar to CWM readers. Aeron too was greatly missed but is now rejoicing with Christ, which is “far better”.
Jeff Pitman opened the Conference, introducing the theme of “Knowing Christ and Making Him Known”, with the story of 1 Samuel 6, and King David seeking to bring the Ark of the Covenant up to Jerusalem. Here are men of good intention, but doing it their own way. The result, the Ark lost and the glory gone. The Holy is not designed to be in the world, nor the Ark of the Covenant in the house of Dagon. There was a way to bring the Ark to Jerusalem, and there is a way to carry the Cross. Unless Christ is presented the right way, He is not presented at all.
Tony Brown covered the entire book of Romans in four sessions, no small achievement; the following is a selection of points he gave to ponder:
- Paul gave no place to evolution. “Death came by one man” – no emergence from the swamp here. Man was there from the beginning.
- You can’t live by the Law, only by the Holy Spirit;
- If God sent Jesus for me, then I can trust Him with my soul and my life. God does the saving, but man must do the believing; God is willing if we are willing to believe.
- Everyone knows God, but only a child of God can say “Father”; when we are born again, we change from living under the master-ship of Satan to under the master-ship of God. Paul talks about the three freedoms Christ Jesus has won for us: freedom from judgement, (no condemnation); freedom from defeat (no obligation to the old nature); and freedom from discouragement.
- Under Roman law, an adopted son could never be disowned. The adopted son therefore had a stronger position than a natural son. When the adoptive father announced: “Today you have become my son, by Roman law, the natural father relinquished all ownership of the son, the son is now adopted and free, and all previous debts in the old family have been wiped clean. The son gains all the rights due to him in his new family and now bears the image of his new Father.
Paul Cohen explained that without an understanding of the Jewish context of the New Testament, we miss a lot, and much that is assumed knowledge is lost to us.
He illustrated this point by taking the Gospel of John’s account of the man born blind (chapter 9) and posing the question “why did John devote an entire chapter to this miracle”?
The question is unanswerable without an understanding of the context, in this case the Feast of Tabernacles, the setting of this miracle. To heal the blind was a Messianic miracle, and no one born blind had ever been healed from the Giving of the Law until the birth of Jesus Christ. God made clay from the earth and created Adam. Jesus uses clay to heal the blind man, demonstrating that He is the Creator.
The Pharisees’ attempted to counter this by asserting that “we are disciples of Moses”. However, their Moses was a Rabbinic Moses, in their estimation a bigger “Moses” than the Moses of the Exodus. Why were the parents reluctant to acknowledge the blind man as their son? The Pharisees were threatening to put them out of the synagogue. To be put out of the synagogue was to be put out of all synagogues, losing the right to buy and sell, or to enjoy social contact. It is noteworthy of Jesus’ compassion that when He learns that the man born blind has actually been put out of the synagogue He looks for him and seeks him out. (http://www.arielaustralia.com)
Why does Luke begin Acts 1 with the Ascension? Because the book of Acts is the continuing account of the works of Christ Jesus by the Holy Spirit, where the first 30 years of the Great Commission are recorded.
The Book of Acts is also the story of Wait! and Go! Without the Wait – there is no power; and without the Go – there is no obedience. The primary aim of the Church is to preach The Lord Jesus Christ, for Jesus is the Revealer, the Unveiler of God.
Flesh and blood in its present form cannot attain heaven. The appearance of The Lord Jesus Christ in Revelation is very different to that of the resurrected Jesus. The resurrected Jesus proved the body we shall have, but there is more to it than that.
Psalm 110 is quoted five times in the New Testament: “... seated at My right hand.” The enemy always trembles at the Name of Jesus Christ. We have a great High Priest, touched by our feelings of grief, loneliness and infirmities; we have an Intercessor. Remember that if others fail to pray for us, Jesus always does. Jesus said to Peter: “Simon, Satan would sift you like wheat, but I have prayed for you that your faith may not fail; and you, when once you have turned again, strengthen your brethren.” (Luke 22:31 i)
The time is fast approaching for the “Song of the Redeemed”. (Rev 5:9-11) Throughout the ages, the greatest story ever told has been set to music. This is unique to Christianity.
“There has never been a time when Satan had a victory over God. From the Garden of Eden, to Job, Esther, Jesus tempted in the wilderness, the Cross – you come to the end of the Book and find that all of Satan’s attacks were reversed; and so it will also be with the antichrist. It takes only one angel to bind and cast the dragon into the abyss, cf. Revelation 20”
The word “mystery” in Scripture, is something previously hidden, now revealed. A little like a detective story, which turns out in the end to be quite straightforward and plain.
Recommended reading from Philip Morgan: “The Way to Pentecost” by Samuel Chadwick.
Jeff warned of the perils of living a lukewarm life.
I must gather the manna every day, or I will revert to room temperature, where though I have the reputation of being alive, I am in fact, dead. My natural tendency is to keep at being neither hot nor cold.
How then DO we maintain our spiritual temperature? We need to maintain, not have periodic revivals. If we have “vival”, then we won’t need “revival”.
Jeff went on to make clear that the Emerging Church wants to take us back to Mediaeval Catholicism, with its relics, smoke, altars and labyrinths. Why should we resort to these pagan practices, when we can reach out today and receive from Christ, for our daily supply? We must recover our life with the Lord; and we need to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit.
What’s it going to be like in the Last Days? Read about the times of Noah and Lot, it will be like then. These latter-day petty chess players think they are in control, but no, God has all this under His control. God will fulfil, because He has already fulfilled what He said He would.
Live in this moment, serving the God of Daniel and of the Patriarchs and the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.
May God give us the grace to live in this day – but not defensively. We are here by God’s grace for this time in history.
Recommended reading and viewing by Jeffrey Whittaker: “The Last Crusade” by Major Vivian Gilbert (who served under General Allenby); DVD series “Beyond All Odds”.
This conference had an indefinable quality. Though the speakers were from different parts of the world, and taught in their own individual style, the unity of their message was unmistakeable, and so very pertinent for the age in which we live: the dependability of Scripture, the immutability of God, the reminder that this world is not our home, and that God will always have the last word.
The entire conference was recorded, and is available from CWM Resources. There is a wealth of material to watch at home, and to share with your church, your family and with others
About the Author:
Jill is from Melbourne and has been attending CWM Conferences since the beginning. She first heard Philip speak over 20 years ago, where she found him to be an almost lone voice crying in the wilderness, reassuring us that the "Old Landmarks had not been moved" following the confusion and devastation wrought by Toronto and the later deceptive phenomena which has followed.