Preached by Rev. Ed Brouwer at The Gathering Place, Osoyoos
Pulpit Series Volume 20 Issue 28 November 14, 2010

One of my favorite scriptures is found in Genesis 22.

Genesis 22:5 And Abraham said to his young men, wait here, the lad and I will come back to you.
Hebrews 11:1 Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.

The Amplified Bible states that faith is the leaning of our entire human personality on Jesus Christ in absolute trust and confidence in his power wisdom and goodness.

This means we believe that God has the power to help us, the wisdom to guide us and the goodness to be kind to us.
Faith is built up or developed by hearing the Word of God. Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.

The Word is put into effect when we obey it.

James 1:22 Be doers of the word and not hearers only, deceiving your own selves.

With this in mind consider Faith…. James 2:22 “by works was faith made perfect” James 2:26 For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.

Galatians says that you and I are to live our lives by faith! Galatians 2:20 … the life which I now live I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

This is actually a “lifestyle” of faith. A lifestyle of ongoing trust in God, believing what His word says over and above and most often in spite of our circumstances.

Where does faith come from? Romans 12:3 ...God has dealt to every man the measure of faith. This says that God has given every man a measure of faith.

We often ask “Do we have faith?”

However, it is not so much do we have faith as What it is we put our faith into.

The sad truth is that those who put their faith in anything other than God will eventually be disappointed.

Putting our faith in God means we are trusting and relying on Him to provide us with everything we need.

God wants us to put our trust in Him for things both big and small.

Mark 10:27, Matthew 19:26, Luke 18:27 with God all things are possible. I am convinced that putting our faith in God is supposed to be continual. Each day we should surrender ourselves to God

Romans 1:17a For therein is the righteousness of God revealed from faith to faith: In other words we increase our faith by exercising it. Each time we trust God’s word above everything else our level of faith grows.

Faith to faith—not faith-to doubt- to worry-to doubt-to faith again. BUT FAITH TO FAITH

Faith in God wipes out worry, destroys doubt and removes reasoning.

Romans 15:13 Now the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope, through the power of the Holy Ghost.

How do we release our faith—how do we walk it out?

Philippians 4:6 Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.

Our going to God in prayer shows that we are leaning, depending and relying upon Him.

A sincere heart is a fertile ground for faith to grow.

James 1:6-7 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavers is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord.

If doubt or worry come your way …. Run to God in prayer.

Remind God of all the other times you ran to him and how he helped you ….

Find some specific scripture verses that strengthen your faith …. Memorize them, write them out.

Stop going through life hoping and wish’n for something to happen…

Use the faith that God has given you to trust him.

Exchange your wait and see attitude for an attitude that says, “With God all things are possible!”

FAITH AND WORKS: Faith and works should travel side by side, step answering to step, like the legs of men walking.

First faith, and then works; and then faith again, and then works again—until they can scarcely distinguish which is the one and which is the other. William Booth

A young boy, on an errand for his mother, had just bought a dozen eggs. Walking out of the store, he tripped and dropped the sack. All the eggs broke, and the sidewalk was a mess. The boy tried not to cry. A few people gathered to see if he was OK and to tell him how sorry they were. In the midst of the works of pity, one man handed the boy a quarter. Then he turned to the group and said, “I care 25 cents worth. How much do the rest of you care?”

James 2:16 Let’s say someone in need comes to your door and you say to them, Depart in peace, be warmed and filled; yet you gave nothing to help them; what does that profit?

This verse points out that words don’t mean much if we have the ability to do more.

James 2:17 Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone.

Niagara Falls preparing to cross pushing a wheelbarrow

Belief or faith is more than an intellectual affirmation. Belief or faith are action words

Faith is simply acting on the basis of God’s promises…..

Two closing thoughts regarding Faith

It's hard for God to walk with a man who gets his mind made up to do things his own way! Can two walk together except they be agreed? Amos 3:3

It is not the greatness of my faith that moves mountains, but my faith in the greatness of God! . . . the exceeding greatness of His power to us-ward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power. Ephesians 1:19

God bless you in the week to come… may your faith grow…. May you be found pleasing in God’s sight…… Without faith it is impossible yo please God.


Preached by Rev. Ed Brouwer at The Gathering Place, Osoyoos
Pulpit Series Volume 20 Issue 27 November 7, 2010

Matthew 13:1-8, Mark 4, Luke 8 “Jesus said, Behold, a Sower went out to sow; And when he sowed, some seeds fell by the way side, and the fowls came and ate them up: Some fell upon stony places, where they had not much earth: and immediately they sprang up, because they had no depth. And when the sun was up, they were scorched; and because they had no root, they withered away. And some fell among thorns; and the thorns sprang up and choked them: and it yielded no fruit. But other fell into good ground, and did yield fruit that sprang up and increased; some 30, 60, and 100 times.”

No need to speculate the meaning because Jesus explains it.

Matthew 13:18-25, Mark 4, Luke 8

1. The seed is the Word of God, so the sower sows the Word.

2. The seed sown by way side, Satan comes immediately and takes away the Word that was sown in their hearts.

3. Those sown on stony ground; when they’ve heard the Word, immediately receive it with gladness, but when affliction or persecution arises for the Word’s sake immediately they are offended. They have no root, no depth, no sand.

4. Those sown among thorns are such as hear the Word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things entering in, choke the Word and it becomes unfruitful, choked with cares and riches and pleasures of this life, bringing no fruit to perfection.

5. But he that received seed into the good ground are they who hear the Word and receive it, having heard the Word, they keep it bringing forth fruit with patience.

Here are some key thoughts - I hope to provoke you to much thinking this morning!

Fruit bearing is the difference in the three ground types.
The heart of a person is not known until fruit is born.

It was the same seed in every case.

The fault is not in the seed, rather the differences in fruit production is in the ground.

All three ground types accepted the good Word (the seed).

The seed fell into the ground...and it all began to grow!

Many who receive the Lord become regular attendees at church and are honest and moral in their conduct,
but Christ is not All and All to them, He is secondary.

Jesus doesn’t blame the sower for scattering his seed in the wrong places.

Four types of thorns are described:
The care of this world
The deceitfulness of riches
The pleasures of this life
The lust of other things

1. The care of this world

The poor say, “What shall we eat, or drink? What shall we wear?” The rich say, “How can we keep what we got? How do I get more?” If you let care grow, it will choke your spirit. You can’t care for God and the things of this world too.

2. The deceitfulness of riches  It’s not riches themselves, but the deceitfulness of riches.
Your line of conduct ought never to be ruled by gain or loss.

Do right even if heaven falls, do no wrong even if a kingdom of wealth is offered you!

3. The pleasures of this life

This is the age of excessive amusement. Many have had holy thoughts and resolutions murdered by a continual pursuit for pleasure.

4. The lusts of other things

All things except the things that glorify God are “other things”.
The result: The seed grew, but brought no fruit to perfection. The proof is in the fruit!

I Samuel 16:7 “Man looks on the outward, God looks at the heart.”

Far too many are growing weak in this late hour. Prayer life is next to extinct, Bible reading and family prayer are neglected. And thorns are choking out the very life breath of the Christian.

Thorns are natural to the soil. That is why this preacher begs you be on guard.
Thorns were already established in the soil. The roots of sin run through and through our nature.
Watch and pray lest temptation choke that which is good in you!

Many professing Christians are like the thorny ground, because the process of dealing with sin has been for the most part omitted. Thorns need to be pulled out by the roots and burned. We know little of old fashioned “conviction of sin”, which caused what was known as an anguishing of the soul.

You can say you’re a sinner without feeling what it means!

Thorns are everywhere, but do we Christians have to grow more of them? Really?

Why do we so often cultivate thorns?

In the stony ground, we see a group of people who received the Word immediately. They recognized God's truth! They received it with gladness. Do not mistake happiness as a sign of conversion! These people never counted the cost!

They didn’t figure in the temptations and persecutions that would come their way!

Right arms must be cut off! Right eyes must be plucked out! There will be trials to endure and crosses to bear (daily). Matthew 5:30, 18:8, Mark 9:43, 45

These people made rapid progress...but in due time came the trial. No one gets to heaven without being tried! Not one fragment of God’s gold hasn’t first passed through the fire!

Untested faith is not faith!
Untested grace is not grace!
The testing came through the Word!

These folk were immediately offended.
Just as fast as they fell in love with the gospel they fell out of love with it!

Their radical defect lay in an unbroken heart! This ground was bedrock, a hard layer of rock with a thin layer of soil over it!

The seed sprang up immediately.

These people were so fast at accepting the seed that they were:
healed before they recognized they were wounded
clothed before they saw the shame of their nakedness
filled before they were empty
made alive before they were dead

These people were unbroken in heart and that my friend, is a fatal defect!

They lacked depth, everything was on the surface, superficial! No secret prayer, no fear of God, no intimacy with Jesus.

Think about this: If your vessel is near ready to go down in calm waters, what will become of you when a storm arises?

No sooner does the seed fall than the fowls devour it. The devil is punctual, “then came the devil”. The devil is powerful “and takes away the Word out of the heart”.

Satan could care less if a crow or a white dove steals the seed - just as long as I’s stolen. The word has been spoiled by demons and carnal believers alike.

I noticed something - I wonder if you did?

The influence (power) the devil has seems to be regulated by the condition of man’s heart or soul. It is easy for birds to pick up seed that lays exposed on a pathway. For those who may have recognized some weeds or stones in your soil, do you desire a change? Break up the fallow ground.

Zechariah 13:8-9 “It shall come to pass, that in all the land, says the LORD, two parts shall be cut off and die; but the third shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire and will refine them as silver is refined and try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name and I will hear them: I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.”


Preached by Rev. Ed Brouwer at The Gathering Place, Osoyoos
Pulpit Series Volume 20 Issue 26 October 24, 2010

Back in the 70's, Keith Green wrote a song called, “No One Believes in Me Anymore”. He subtitled it, “The Devil's Boast”. He wrote it from Satan's point of view, to open the eyes of Christians like us to the very real problems that follow when people don't believe that there is a devil. Listen to some of the lyrics:

Well, my job keeps getting easier as time keeps slipping away.

I put some truth in every lie to tickle itching ears.

I’m drawing people just like flies, ’cause they like what they hear.

Heaven’s just a state of mind, my books read on your shelf.

Have you heard that God is dead? I made that one up myself!

They’re dabbling in magic spells, they get their fortunes read.

They heard the truth, but turned away and followed me instead.

I used to have to sneak around, but now they just open their doors.

No one’s watching for my tricks, since no one believes in me anymore.

Everyone likes a winner - with my help, you’re guaranteed to win.

Hey man, you’re not a sinner - no, you’ve got the truth within.

And as your life slips by, You’ll believe the lie

that you did it on your own. But I'll be there to help

you share a dark eternal home.

I don't like to spend a lot of time talking about the devil. He and I are not on speaking terms. But the Bible mentions the word devil 61 times and satan 55 times (NT only). Jesus spoke about him from time to time, so it’s no sin for me to do it.

Jesus didn’t mince words when He spoke about Satan’s nature in John 8:44. “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desire. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

I Peter 5:8 ... Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.”

We often think this is only spiritual, but you must be aware that we are surrounded by darkness.
Even next week we will be celebrating an event that recognizes that we are entering a season of darkness.

The origins of Halloween itself lay in supernatural beliefs and an ancient Celtic festival (to honor the dead) that dates back some 2,000 years. Over the course of hundreds of years, early Christianity attempted to suppress and replace the Celtic festival with ‘All Saints Day’, which was celebrated on November 1, a holy day of obligation to honor saints and martyrs in the Christian faith. But even the powerful influence of the church was unable to squelch the supernatural festival and Halloween endured and flourished over the centuries to become a multi-billion-dollar industry that comes second only to Christmas.

People celebrate darkness, scary movies, fright festivals, ghosts and goblins. Sadly today, people are not alert. They play with things such as Ouija boards and Dungeons & Dragons. Now you may think it’s only a game. Perhaps, but in 1984, just weeks

after we moved into Orangeville, Ontario, a terrible thing took place.

Monique Babineau, 9, and her brother Daniel, 11, died at the hands of an acquaintance, a juvenile whose identity remains protected under the Young Offenders Act, at St. Peter Separate School. Their lifeless bodies were found between two portables at the school. The 13-year-old killer, an altar boy at St. Timothy Roman Catholic Church and an attendee at the funeral of his two victims before he was arrested a week after the slayings, was also a fanatical Dungeons and Dragons (D&D) player.

As the new youth pastors in town, we were invited to debrief the Roman Catholic Church membership. We also effectively shut down the D&D group who were meeting in the school.

From that point on, Judi and I were used by the Lord to shut down a coven of witches who met in a nearby town. We were able to pray with their leader and he repented and received Christ.

We were also used by the PAOC to speak to thousands of young people through our “The God Of Rock N Roll” sessions. We witnessed hundreds of young people come out from the darkness to the light of Christ.

Ezekiel 28:13 “Thou hast been in Eden the garden of God; every precious stone [was] thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created.”

One night a report was given by three witnesses, that angelic beings were in the sky over the church where we were preaching. Later we discovered that they saw these angels with swords guarding the church at the very moment 700 young people were responding to an altar call. Rockers and punkers wept, tore off their t-shirts, pulled off earrings and studs and smashed cassettes, as they knelt at the altar, in the pews, the aisles and the foyer.

Now, let’s clear the air on some facts regarding our enemy:

Satan is a created being, created by God
Satan is not Omni-anything - God is
Satan is finite - God is infinite
Satan has limits - God has none
Satan tries to hurt God by attacking our ‘faith’

Let’s expose several lies from our enemy:

Satan is not the ruler of hell
Satan hasn’t been to hell yet, but when he does go there, he won’t be king.

Here’s what the scripture tells us
Matthew 25:41 “Then he will say to those on his left, ‘Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.”

Revelations 20:10 “And the devil, who deceived them, was thrown into the lake of burning sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet had been thrown. They will be tormented day and night for ever and ever.”

The devil is cast into hell. He will be one of those tormented with fire, right alongside all the angels who followed him. Alongside of him, there will also be every human who does not accept Christ’s death on the cross as full payment for his or her sins.

James 1:13-15 “When tempted, no one should say, “God is tempting me.” For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed. Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death.”

You don’t fish for large mouth bass the same way you’d fish for lake trout. And you don't fish for lake trout the same way you’d fish for blue marlin. You don’t use the same bait, you don’t use the same hooks, you don’t use the same rod or the same line, and you don’t use the same methods. The bottom line is the same. You are trying to make the fish think that the hook on the end of your line is something he wants to eat.

And once the fish bites, it becomes a struggle of skill and strength to reel him in.

It’s not in your power to make the fish bite the hook. No, you have to lure him….trick him….entice him….tempt him.

Some Christians never get free of that hook and Satan has them where he wants them. Their integrity compromised, their reputation destroyed, their testimony useless to the Lord.

Those are the ones who try to fight free of the hook themselves. And satan is too strong a fisherman for us to outfight.

Other Christians just surrender and let themselves be reeled in. “The devil made me do it,” is their excuse for sinning. They convince themselves that it’s not their fault.

Ephesians 6:12 “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high [places].”

How do we get free of that hook, if we've bitten it?

We’ll take King David as an example in Psalm 51. When the Lord confronted him with his sin in the matter of Bathsheba, David might have said, “God, it’s not my fault! I didn't go looking for that woman, she was just there when I looked over the wall!”

No, he faced the issue honestly. “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are proved right when you speak and justified when you judge.”

If you’ve been drawn in by the devil’s bait, and if you’ve got the devil’s hook in your lip, the only thing for you to do is to forget the excuses and put all the blame on yourself, where it belongs.

Confess that sin to God and renounce it. The devil didn't make you do it and he can't make you keep doing it.
What are we supposed to do about satan? First, don't worry about him, just be aware of his methods. The devil can’t lift a finger without God’s permission. He can’t harm a hair on your head without God’s permission.

God did not call the church or the saints to fight the devil. That’s His job!