1 Corinthians

Keeping The Feast



In this message John Alley explores the significance of Bible prophecy including prophecy already fulfilled. John examines scriptures beginning with the parable of the wedding feast found in Matthew 22 and Luke 14. The prophetic message of this parable, says John, has already been fulfilled in the destruction of Jerusalem and the spread of the Gospel throughout the world. John explains at length the position of the guest found to be without wedding clothes, reminding the listener that there is grace and mercy to be found for the one who humbly repents before the Lord and seeks his forgiveness and the life that He so freely gives. John brings the message to a conclusion with 1 Corinthians 5:8, which speaks of keeping the festival, or feast. The meaning of keeping the feast is found in the way that believers walk together and recognise the body of Christ. The table of the Lord follows, with the breaking of bread, symbolising the breaking of Christ ‘s body so that we might be one.

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Other Messages About: Righteousness, Relationships, 1 Corinthians, Matthew, Feasts of Israel

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At The Lord's Table



No one, says John Alley, has been able to properly define the power and grace of the table of the Lord. The power and the grace are Christ. John goes on to outline various stances that different denominations take with regard to the bread and the wine of the Lord’s table before going to the Scriptures of I Corinthians, chapters 10 and 11. Here we find warnings against idolatry, as well as teaching relevant to the connection between the Passover cup and the shedding of the blood of Christ as well as a discussion of the broken body of Christ. We need not think that we are free of idolatry just because we do not worship demonic idols. Anything that we pursue with an unholy passion is idolatry, says John. There are further warnings against sinning against the body of the Lord. Further, whenever we eat the bread and drink the cup, a declaration goes out into the spirit world as a proclamation – we are taking a stand. If we are guilty of sinning against the body of the Lord, then the stand that we take is hypocritical. It is not right to abstain from eating and drinking if we have this sin in our hearts, because that is then taking a stand against Christ. Rather, we should confess our sin and receive forgiveness – and then take the bread and the cup. There is power in the table of the Lord. Christ is present and there ought to be no hypocrisy found in any believer present.

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Other Messages About: Communion, Body of Christ, Eucharist, 1 Corinthians, Idolatry

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Power In Your Spirit



These day s we are surrounded by lots of electronic devices which have their place, but are they the cause of many Christians being more “in the mind” than in the Spirit on the Lord’s day – or any other day? John Alley explores the whole subject of the soul and the spirit of man, explaining that while God has breathed His spirit into man, our spirit is dead in sin until such time as we become born again of the Spirit. When we fail to grow and become strong in the Spirit, says John, our spirit is weak and may be bound, preventing us from fully walking with God. Every Christian needs to be strong in spirit – not in an aggressive, willful way, but with a calm and quiet heart. John teaches from the Scriptures, taking passages from the books of Ephesians, Revelation, John, Philippians, Galatians, Hebrews and 1 Corinthians, exhorting the people to worship God in spirit and in truth, putting no confidence in the flesh – we worship by the impulse of the Spirit. John also teaches regarding the dividing of soul and spirit by the word of God as well as the value of praying and singing in tongues as a means of strengthening the spirit within. John closes this excellent message with a reminder that every time we pray we should by faith step into the realm of the Spirit and find God by surrender.

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Other Messages About: Prayer, Power, Galatians, Ephesians, 1 Corinthians

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The Choice: God's Kingdom or Man's



John Alley commences his message with a reading from 1 Corinthians 20-26, which speaks of Christ as the firstfruits of all who have “fallen asleep’, or died. This passage states that death is the last enemy to be destroyed, which implies that there are other enemies that will be destroyed first. The passage also speaks of Jesus destroying all dominion, authority and power. John goes on to speak of the rule, authority and dominion created by Jesus - but corrupted since the fall of angels and of man. God is waiting, says John, to give man a chance to choose to yield to God and his Kingdom. And yet, alongside the visible kingdom of man there is an eternal Kingdom of God that is at the same time visible and invisible. John then teaches on several scriptures to do with the judgements of Christ, and to exhort the listener that we must get our hearts right – if we choose the earthly kingdom of man, that leads in the end to death. John says, “We must never take our eyes off Jesus, and we must never take our hearts off the pursuit of Christ”.

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Other Messages About: Kingdom, 1 Corinthians, Death

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Be A Man!



What does it mean to be a man? John Alley opens with the central theme of last week’s message. Beginning with insights from 1 Corinthian 16:13-14, John describes the role of committed, dedicated men who form a Church Council. These are men who will meet and pray over the life of the church, with the spiritual authority of those men’s prayers strengthening and empowering the church. In seeking to define the image of God as stamped into men, John also greatly honours women and emphasises the powerful and vital role they share in the house and work of God. John explains that all the traits that we consider good and admirable in men and women are found in God the Father, who made mankind in His image. But John’s purpose here is to stir up the men of the church to aspire to the measure of the greatest man who ever lived – the man whose qualities were not just ideals he pursued, but accomplishments — our Lord Jesus. Using the life and teaching of Jesus from Mark 10, John illustrates qualities that must be found in real men. These include a proper view of marriage, a big heart towards children, servanthood, inclusiveness, an unflinching approach to purpose, big heartedness, and much prayer. The prayer meeting, says John, produces power to change cities and nations.

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Other Messages About: Leadership, Fathering, 1 Corinthians, Mark

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Church Muscularity



This message is about the one meeting of the church that establishes a church’s identity and muscularity. After years of great strengths in many areas of church life, John was burdened about growing weaknesses in many of the former indomitable strengths. The Lord took him to Psalm 89, where for 37 verses the faithfulness of God to David is extolled, but then its seeming failure lamented. Verse 40 stood out, “You have broken through all his walls, and reduced his strongholds to ruins.” From this the Lord spoke, and made clear that the great ‘strongholds’ we had enjoyed had been built as a result of the particular leadership structure we had had in place for 22 years, but weaknesses had grown because for the last three years we had followed a changed pattern. John lists seven areas in particular that needed to be strengthened, and shared that the Lord’s word was to return to what we had known before. And at the first of the re-instated meetings, the Lord had said, “This is the meeting that establishes the church’s identity. And its muscularity!” This was a return to a weekly leadership meeting where the ministry leaders of the church met with many of the mature men of the church as a church council, for a leadership meeting that was based on prayer, with a minimum of an hours prayer before anything was ever discussed. This was a men’s prayer meeting, meeting as leaders, husbands and fathers. Whilst in the church we had in place many other prayer meetings – strong daily prayer meetings, intercession meetings, cells praying, etc, this one particular meeting put something in place that no other did. Other prayer meetings were open to all as volunteers. This one was for a strong team who were obligated to it as servants of the church. It established a spiritual covering over the church, and brought a grace for protection and blessing that went over all things, in turn making other prayer meetings effective, and ministry empowered. Men are meant to take a strong position of spirituality and leadership in the church. Women may freely participate in every aspect of church life, but men must. For men, spiritual leadership is a duty that must not be shirked. As the Scripture exhorts, “Be on your guard; stand firm in the faith; be men of courage; be strong. Do everything in love.” (1 Cor 16:13-14) This message thoughtfully establishes the great need for the covering prayer of men in churches everywhere.

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Other Messages About: Prayer, Leadership, Men, 1 Corinthians, Identity

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