Bob MacDonald Ministries
Laying Apostolic Foundations
Bob MacDonald Ministries
Saskatoon
Canada
bob@bobmacdonaldministries.com
Previous Articles:

"The Necessity of the Valley"

Last summer my wife and I went on
a vacation to the Rocky
Mountains. We had a wonderful
time in God’s magnificent creation.
As we drove, we faced the usual
ups and downs of mountain travel
and would see a splendid
mountain peak ahead that looked
to be only a short trip away. We
were excited to soon be on the
heights and to see an even larger
view of the surrounding mountains.
Very shortly we found ourselves
driving down a mountain side and
into a valley. The valley caused us
to look up to see the height and
splendor of the mountain ahead.
The valley almost seemed to be
necessary to make the mountain
heights more awesome and
necessary before we could travel
upward.
(Read More)



Master's Order's and Pilot's
Advice

A couple of weeks ago I had
finished watching the evening
news and decided to surf through
the television channels. I came
across a program that was talking
about some of the large container
and cargo ships that go through
the waters around British
Columbia, Canada. As I watched
the program on how they navigate
I realized an important spiritual
leadership lesson was being
illustrated through this
documentary.
(Read More)

"A Divine Appointment" - by
Bob MacDonald

As is my habit I went out on a
Thursday morning to do some
witnessing, using the Way of the
Master outline as my plan. Every
time I go out, I pray for the Lord to
give me divine appointments. On
this particular Thursday I also
prayed, "Lord give me a divine
appointment". The Lord was
faithful to give me several. From
one particular divine appointment,
two applications will flow that have
changed my life and I believe will
help you.
(Read More)

"Waves of God" - by Bob
MacDonald

When I first started my Bible
school training,  I attended a
college in California.  My first
semester was during the winter
months here in Canada so I was
glad to get away from the cold and
the snow.

About three quarters of the way
through the semester a friend
said, “Bob, lets go body surfing.”
Being a Canadian, I said sure  -
not quite knowing what body
surfing was.
(Read More)
amounts of water, so much that the normal water passageways could not
handle the volume.  The images on television also showed destruction
and devastation as a result of this amount of water being released without
any controls or boundaries.

This spring, flooding was a problem throughout areas in the prairies.  As
the snow melted and as the rain came down, the water began to exceed
the normal water boundaries and began to flow all over the place.  
Flooding was the result with much property and other damage.  Water
runs best through banks and boundaries.  It is good to have a flow of
water but it’s also good to have them kept within boundaries.

In this I see a parallel in the spiritual realm.  We desire a move of God with
powerful experiences.  We are happy for this flow of God and we are
caught up in all that is happening around us.  These are wonderful and
exciting times! I have enjoyed these kinds of times and desire to see them
even more. But just like large amounts of water without any guidance
creates flooding and causes havoc, so also do spiritual experiences that
do not have the guidance of the Scriptures and sound doctrine.

We have recently seen a number of movements where people flocked to
see what they thought was a valid move of God.  I believe there were
some components where God was moving within these events.  However
my concern was that just like water that is running out of control, there
were elements in that spiritual movement that caused some strange and
abnormal understandings of Scriptures – perhaps even some heresies -
that arose from using the experience to understand Scripture.  Yes it was
free-flowing and it was viewed as being responsive to the Holy Spirit.  But
the boundaries of the full counsel of Scripture and the boundaries of the
understanding of sound doctrine over the course of the centuries was
tossed aside. As a result there were many unusual and even bizarre
behaviors that came forward.

Perhaps even more troubling is the number of “new” teachings that have
arisen out this movement and have now found roots among segments of
Christians who are “looking for more”. They have built followings based
around these unusual understandings of Scripture that really come out of
their experience rather than the sound interpretation of the Word of God.

I am glad that the Scripture clearly tells us that God does not change! In
Jesus Christ we have the full revelation of God and all that He desires to
do among us. When we see Jesus Christ and His ministry and we see the
ministry of the early church, we see the pattern set out for the way that
God will do things.  These are what we need to return to!

When our own experiences are allowed to determine doctrines and
teachings and then whole systems of ways to minister to people are
established from that, we need to backup and review the Scriptures to
determine what God has spoken and indicated as His plan.  

Perhaps more than ever people need a greater understanding of the
person of God, understanding His greatness and the largeness and
awesomeness of God.  When we understand this great God, we have
context or boundaries within which we can experience God and His
supernatural manifestations.  We gain this understanding from the word
of God but also from those who have pulled together the various
Scriptures into understandable expressions of doctrine and theology.  It is
interesting that the early church gave themselves to the “understanding
of the apostles doctrine” (Acts 2:42). It is time again to give ourselves to
the apostles doctrine.

Christianity must be about an experience with God!  However this
Christianity must run down the clear expressions given in the Scriptures
and within sound doctrine.  I believe that when we regain some of this
greater understanding of God, we will experience more of the free flow of
His spirit because we will be relaxed and know that we are running within
the channels of God and therefore we can go with the flow and be free
within it.



Foolish and Offensive - by Bob MacDonald

As I continue to go out to witness, I find that most people are quite open
to a listening to the presentation of the Gospel if I do it in a conversational
manner.  I’ve been going out on the streets and in the malls just to begin
a conversation in the natural with strangers. I hope to move that
conversation to a spiritual conversation and follow the pattern of
presenting the Gospel as taught by Ray Comfort in the Way of the Master
course.  I have been so blessed by God’s awesome divine appointments.  
I have left these conversation times excited and overwhelmed at how the
Gospel is the light onto salvation.  The strangers that I meet are open to
talking about spiritual matters because I’m addressing their conscience
with the Word of God and the Holy Spirit is working with them.

Occasionally I come across some individuals who consider what I am
saying about heaven and hell as foolishness.  This is not surprising since
the Bible says that the Gospel is foolishness to the Gentile (1 Cor 1:23). I
understand Gentiles to mean those who are currently unsaved and have
no knowledge of things about God.  Part of the reason they consider what
I’m saying is foolishness because they consider that their life is normal.  
When I talk about how they have broken God’s moral law as outlined in
the 10 Commandments, a few of them think that these moral laws are
outdated and don’t apply today.  They look around at others in their circle
of contacts and see that others are living the way they do.  Occasionally
they also look at church people and find they are living contrary to the
moral laws of God. The ones I am witnessing to have so squashed their
conscience over time that they no longer have any sense of wrong doing.  
Therefore what I’m saying is foolishness to them.  Most then go on to
begin to justify why they act the way they do. I do not argue with them but
often end the conversation knowing that the Holy Spirit will continue to
work with them.

Occasionally I also encounter those who come up with some really foolish
understandings of spiritual things. Recently I was talking to an individual
who thought heaven and hell are right here now in earth.  I asked him
what he meant.  He said that we live in hell because we have bad life
experiences and then we when we die we move over to heaven but we
are still here on earth.  I asked him why he thought this and he went on to
explain this is why houses are haunted – the spirits of people still hanging
around. To him they are now in heaven here on earth. This is foolishness!

I am convinced that the only way the Gospel will move from foolishness to
making sense is by the work of the Holy Spirit.  His work is to remove the
spiritual blinders that are on people’s eyes (2 Cor. 4:4) so they can see
the Gospel. The Holy Spirit convicts them that they are indeed sinners,
having broken the moral law of God. The Holy Spirit convinces them that
they are helpless to help themselves and that Jesus Christ is the only
solution (John 16:8).

Other people that I encounter consider what I’m saying about Jesus Christ
as offensive.  Most often these are church attending religious people or
those with a churched background.  They find what I’m saying as
offensive because they think they are in good standing with God because
of their religious practices and their good works.  As we talk about God’s
10 Commandments, the Holy Spirit begins to convict their conscience. At
that moment there is a confrontation between light and dark. Their
conscience is convicted of the sin that they have committed and are
committing but their mind is working hard to justify them and say that they
are okay.  This internal conflict causes them to be offended.

Others are offended because they have believed the lie that tolerance
means that all ideas (in this case other religions) have an equal footing.
They think that all beliefs are equal. God seems quite “intolerant” to say
that Jesus Christ is the only way to heaven. “How could God be so
exclusive?”, they ask. Even some Christians no longer believe that Jesus
is the only way to salvation. This is the mind being offended at the truth of
God rather than acknowledging the need to come to Christ in repentance
as the Only Way to the Father and heaven.

With any of us, when the Holy Spirit shows who we really are, we could
say that He is offending us.  I’m surprised at the number of Christians who
are offended at the Word of God.  I’m surprised at the number of
Christians who are offended at God!  They’re mad at God because he
didn’t answer a prayer or didn’t do what they thought He should have
done.  The reality still remains that we are to serve God and He is not
there to serve us!

Did I offend you by saying that?

Did it seem foolish to you?

I trust not!!

Let’s  humble our mind to the wisdom of God and the ways of God and
then He will apply His grace that we may live with His life.



The Challenge of Challenging People- by Bob MacDonald

Yes the evidence is in my lawn!  The yellow blooms are all over the lawn
and it is time to deal with them yet once again. With the spring weather
comes the challenge of weeds.

In church and ministry life there are times we need to deal with
challenging people. These are ones who need to move on in areas of
their emotional and spiritual maturity.  If not dealt with, some of their “bad
seeds” will find root in other people. It is our task and privilege to point
people to the Word of God to show them the need to change their attitude
and actions.

1.         Grumblers and Complainers.  Yes you’re smiling because you
have them as well in your group. These ones always have something
negative to say about life, the church, the pain they feel, their debt and
lots of other topics.  I came to a point where I would no longer ask how
they were because I knew I would hear a litany of all that was bad and no
good.  We try to extend mercy to these ones. We give them lots of grace
in the hope that their life will change.  We pray for them.  We love them.  
Yet the change does not seem to come.

God had a group of these type of people in the children of Israel.  We see
in the Old Testament how they grumbled and complained about the
leadership, the food, their environment - almost everything. We also see
in the Scripture that this grumbling and complaining was an offense to
God.  

We need to start pointing out that God is offended and the body of Christ
is offended by the complaining and the grumbling.  We as leaders need to
clearly say to them, “It is time to stop. You are offending God, offending
this body and offending me as your leader by this complaining.”

Call their attention to the Word of God. Show them that their attitude and
actions do not please God.  Then let’s call them to grow and mature into
people who give thanks and praise to God, even in the midst of difficult
circumstances.

2.         Sowers of Dissension. These are those that go around whispering
and telling other people how they think the leadership is not living up to
their standard. These are the ones that secretly call into question the
leaders ability to hear God and flow in the Spirit. These are also the ones
who always have the latest Christian trend to talk about and books and
tapes to pass out.

What is interesting about sowers of dissension is that though they are
quick to criticize, they are very slow to serve.  Jesus said that those who
want to be great in the kingdom of God should be the quickest ones in
stepping up to serve. Their wrong heart attitude brings discord and
dissension among brothers and sisters in Christ.  Confusion and
disheartenment results in the group.

The Lord is quite clear how he feels about those who sow dissension.
Proverbs 6:16-18 says, “ There are six things the LORD hates, seven that
are detestable to him: . . .(six listed) and a man who stirs up dissension
among brothers.”

God finds detestable those who stir up dissension among brothers.
People need  to see what God’s perspective is on what they are doing.  
We need to call them to grow emotionally and spiritually so that they stop
this practice that is offensive to God.

3.         Gifted but Unbroken People.  They have a spiritual gifting, they
may even know that they have the gifting but they have not dealt with the
matter of laying down their life before the Lord in brokenness.  They often
view themselves as “special gifts from God”.  They fail to realize that God
said through Apostle Paul, “when I am weak and then I am strong”.  Paul
went through a very dramatic time of brokenness. I have wondered if
increased brokenness is required when the gifting is greater. Some
people need to go through this extreme crushing of self to let the
sweetness of the gift come forth. It seems to be God’s way.  The tragedy
comes when we place these gifted but unbroken people into places of
leadership.  They end up causing much grief for us as leaders and end
up sending tremors through the body of Christ.

After we have pointed these challenging people to what God has to say
about the condition they are in, there comes a time to call them to
account.  Yes we give them time and grace to grow into what God has
said.  If no progress has been made, then we must follow what God has
said in how to deal with these people.  Titus 3:10 “Warn a divisive person
once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do
with him.”

God is a loving and gracious God! God also takes his Word very
seriously. He expects us to live according to it. God gives these
challenging people time and grace to change.  So must we.  We must do
what God has said and call them to change or to leave.

Keep on being bold in your leadership!



"Preach the Word!- by Bob MacDonald

I know it sounds like an old cliché that we’ve heard lots of times but the
truth of the matter is, people need to hear the preaching of the Word of
God! How else will they know truth?  How else will they know how to
conduct their lives? How else will they be able to discern the strange
doctrines floating around?  How else will they be able to judge when
people say they have spiritual experiences?

I was reading in Amos 8:11-12, “I (God) will send a famine through the
land- not a famine of food or a thirst for water, but a famine of hearing the
words of the LORD.  Men will stagger from sea to sea and wander from
north to east, searching for the word of the LORD, but they will not find it.”

Those who do not consume the Word of God, are famished – hungry - so
like starved people they will rush to take in anything that appears like
food.  This will include accepting strange doctrines,  even doctrines that
are contrary to the teachings of the Bible.  Like starved people they will
rush -  mob – after someone or something that is offering them some type
of a spiritual experience.  They do not weigh or judge the spiritual
experiences. They just seem to accept it when someone says it is of God,
without checking what God has to say about it.

As leaders we need to be feeding on the word of God for ourselves! We
need to be grounded in the word!  We need to rightly divide the word of
truth!  We need to preach “in season and out of season – reprove,
rebuke and exhort”. God has given this is as our mandate, our calling and
our privilege.

It saddens me to see people who follow great ministers and accept
whatever they say,  even if it is contrary to Scripture. Those who are in
famine have lost their sense of taste of what is good food and is merely
something to fill themselves with. They may eat a lot of stuff yet starve
from malnutrition.

Some Christians are so hungry for a spiritual experience that they seem
to be ignoring some of the very plain teachings of the Bible.  We cannot
conclude that every spiritual experience must be of God just because it’s
offered under the name of God.  There are strange doctrines floating
around out there that have been contrived from a verse or a portion of a
verse. Some of these teachings even go so far as to contradict clear
teachings in other portions of Scripture.  Yet there seems to be a
mindless following and even excitement about some spiritual
experiences.  Is this healthy?

Does God have anything to say about the present state of things? In
Matthew 24 He says that in the end times there will be attempts to deceive
the very elect. These attempts at deception will be by leaders who talk
about their phenomenal spiritual experiences. It will be by having
manifestations that appear to be of God while the doctrine of the leader is
in error. The danger lies in the hunger coupled with a lack of
understanding of God’s written word. This makes is easy for a person to
be led astray.

It is our calling as ministers of the Word of God to be faithfully declaring
the full truth and counsel of God as found in the Bible. Our teaching must
include conviction of sin.  It may seems wise to say very little that would
offend or cause someone to re-examine their life.  It seems easier to be
gather people when we offer life enhancement through Jesus Christ.
However I see that Jesus came to offer us far more than life
enhancement!  I see Jesus came to offer us life transformation - for us to
be different,  changed, brand-new from the inside out! Jesus has called
us and commissioned us to be ministers to Him and of His Word.

2 Timothy 4:2  - “Preach the Word; be prepared in season and out of
season; correct, rebuke and encourage- with great patience and careful
instruction.”
I will be adding apostolic articles
the life of the church and leaders.
These topics often apply to each
person's own life journey. Read
and be encouraged by them.

- Bob MacDonald