2010 Westbury Meeting
7 years, 4 months ago Posted in: BLOG 4
2010 Westbury Meeting

Over the Labour Day weekend, we were blessed to be in Westbury, NY for their annual fellowship meeting.  It was a time of reflection and self-examination, but also of worship and thanksgiving to the Lord for His mercy and goodness.  Below we have summarized, in point form, some of the key thoughts covered over this weekend.

Please feel welcome to browse this carousel of images from the meeting as well (click images for larger view):

Saturday Afternoon:

Brother Antoine Clairant, host pastor (Westbury, NY):

  • there is a difference between being called a church and living as the church in our present age
  • we must know where we are going at this time; be alert and vigilant
  • we need a “better” church a “quality” church; not dying but strong in Christ
  • we must avoid the foolish notion that the world has more to offer than God; our hope and understanding must be firm
  • intense need for humility
  • a man who has a vision must work to maintain it against all odds
  • importance of genuine conversion, resulting in a change of life and our affections
  • we must be genuine in our interaction with each other: no hypocrisy, double-mindedness, flattery and gossip
  • our actions prove what we really are
  • how has what Christ done for you really impacted your life?
  • if you are not rooted and grounded in Christ, it is just a matter of time before you are blown away
Jesus suffered for us; how many of us have suffered for Him?  He left everything for us; what have we left behind for Him?  
  • importance of a true calling of God on the lives of ministers (not just filling the role)
  • Rom 15:5: “Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to be likeminded one toward another according to Christ Jesus”
  • Col 2:2: “That their hearts might be comforted, being knit together in love, and unto all riches of the full assurance of understanding, to the acknowledgement of the mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ”
  • Phil 2:1: “If there be therefore any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any bowels and mercies, fulfil ye my joy, that ye be likeminded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one mind.”

Brother Desmond Singh, Mississauga, ON (Canada)

  • outwardly we can create an impression, but inwardly God knows what I am
  • we must reckon with reality: “Am I for real?  Am I playing a game?  How sincere am I when I clench my face or my hands are shaking?”
  • something to deeply consider: if God didn’t compromise with Israel’s rebellion, will He compromise with us, the “wild olive”?
  • it is time for sanctification
  • when the congregation becomes an audience, the preachers become entertainers
  • Isaiah 30:9-11 represents the day we live in very well:
    “That this is a rebellious people, lying children, children that will not hear the law of the LORD: Which say to the seers, See not; and to the prophets, Prophesy not unto us right things, speak unto us smooth things, prophesy deceits: Get you out of the way, turn aside out of the path, cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before us.”
  • As a people, what will be our end destination if we continue along our present course?  Are we moving forward or drifting further and further into worldliness?
  • we must keep in mind that no people are infallible; Christ will build His church, but history demonstrates that churches continue long after the presence of the Lord has departed
  • pastors must be called of God to the ministry: look what happened in the days of Jeremiah (23:26-29) when preachers were simply stealing words one from another
  • today, preachers are concerned with titles like “reverend”, “apostle” and the like and strive to attain these
  • what would you prefer to hear?  The gospel of Jeremiah (“you will spend 70 years in captivity, therefore builds homes and plant crops”) or Hananiah (“after only 2 years you’ll be back home and God will destroy the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar, giving you the victory!”)
  • preachers must never compromise the gospel – never!
  • as people, if the only time we live for God is during church services, we are hypocrites
  • John 17:9-14: can we differentiate between light and darkness; the world and godliness?
  • There was a time that when you came against Israel, you came against God…  but there came a time after that that the Lord Himself ordained kingdoms to enslave and destroy His people because of their spiritual adultery and hardness of heart
  • do you want the Lord to be specific about your sins or do you prefer a general message that allows you to continue if sin without a bad conscience?
Are we advancing spiritually into holiness?  Are our words and claims coordinated with our actions?
  • 1 John 1:6: “If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darkness, we lie, and do not the truth”
  • James 3:11-14: “Doth a fountain send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter?Can the fig tree, my brethren, bear olive berries? either a vine, figs? so can no fountain both yield salt water and fresh.  Who is a wise man and endued with knowledge among you? let him shew out of a good conversation his works with meekness of wisdom.  But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth.”
  • 1 John 2:15-17: “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.  For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.  And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.”

Saturday Evening:

Brother Johnny Miller, Rock Hill, SC:

  • preachers ought not to fear one another or be in competition with each other: “Is he a better preacher?  Does he have a bigger church?”
  • these things are rooted in pride
  • Gal 3:1-5
  • there is a need for the leadership to get themselves together, so as to better the lead the people under their care – “like priests, like people”
  • 1 John 4:15-21
  • you can’t get much accomplished with honesty
  • if you stand for righteousness in a wicked world, you will suffer persecution in some form
  • primarily we need a healing of the soul
  • Ephesians 4:1-7, 32
  • Phil 2:1-11
  • God will not share His glory with anyone

Brother Jonathan Goodwin, London, UK:

  • “I love to take the scriptures and apply them to others, but they weren’t written to the world, but us.”
  • therefore, let a man examine himself (2 Cor 13:5)
There is a deep need for a relationship with the Lord
  • in England, despite the many millions of sheep, there are no longer any shepherds.  The care and protection of the sheep has become largely automated, so that caring for a flock now takes less than 3 hours of work per week.  The sheep rarely, if ever, see their owners.  Now they are fed by machines; the hedges keep them from wandering too far.
    The issue is that there is no personal relationship developed.  No one runs his hands through the fur to look for burrs; the meat of the sheep is actually of poorer quality because they haven’t received adequate exercise; the diet of the sheep has become so mundane, since they eat the same thing every day, that they are not as healthy since they need a varied diet.  People can actually tell the difference in the meat between these type of sheep and free-range animals.
  • likewise, as children of God, if we have a distant (or non-existent) relationship with our Shepherd, we will not be what we ought to be
  • the importance of children (for example, his 2 sons) growing into adulthood, no longer needing to be spoon fed or told exactly what to do
  • likewise, we are to grow in maturity
  • The Hebrew church seemed to be in a sad position: “For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.” (Heb 5:12)
  • we must abide in Christ

Sunday Afternoon:

Brother Narain Richard, Elmont, NY:

  • attending service does not guarantee salvation; you can be a part of an assembly but not a part of the church
  • God is not beholden to any of us
  • Israel experienced God like no other people, yet missed out on the promises (1 Cor 10)
  • there are always consequences to sin
  • we have been translated from sin into the kingdom of His dear Son; though death reigned, God’s arm (Christ) brought salvation
  • Galatians 1: this epistle was written in AD 50 – just 17 years after Christ had ascended to heaven, and yet we have verse 6: “I marvel that ye are so soon removed from him that called you into the grace of Christ unto another gospel”
  • How dear is Christ to us?  How dear is He to me?
  • How many legitimate things do I deny myself that I may more fully follow Christ?
  • What are the controlling influences in my life?
  • God is in the process of redeeming us from a fallen kingdom destined for destruction to an eternal kingdom which is to come
  • we should never pit law against grace or grace against works
Once law has magnified sin, it chases me to the only outlet – the cross of the Lord Jesus.  I realize my need for a Saviour because I will never be saved by the keeping of the law
  • We have been called to the church – Hebrews 12:22-23: “But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and church of the firstborn, which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect”
    we have a lot of the word, but we are at a disadvantage when it comes to God’s active working in our midst; there is a famine of sorts
  • we need much more of God… we must be on our knees, not just reading the scriptures
  • look at the power of Christ over the man possessed with a legions of demons
  • 12 men were able to turn the world upside-down because of their faith in this One
  • We must remember, He is the same yesterday, today and forevermore!

Brother David Wight, Des Moines, IA:

  • looking back at Hebrews 12, we realize that the experience at Mt Sinai was tremendous, regarded by the Jews as one of the most important aspects of their history
  • Yet, Sinai is not as great as Mt Zion, to which we have been brought by the blood of Christ
  • 2 Kings 10: looking at Jehu
    – lots of religious activity (he was responsible for killing the evil King Ahab’s sons and destroying Baal worship), but that does not necessarily equate with eternal life (he ended up departing from the truth in the end)
  • we must get our hearts and spirits right
  • Christ died for the church: it is and should be pivotal in our lives
  • any excuse can be justified, but we must be truthful
  • In Joshua 12, we see the tribes of Israel working together to overthrow the “ites” in the land of Canaan; they overthrew 31 kings, but many of the tribes didn’t move into their inheritance earning a rebuke from Joshua
  • In Joshua 17, we see compromise creeping in (:13): “However, when the Israelites grew stronger, they subjected the Canaanites to forced labor but did not drive them out completely.”
  • The prevailing thinking was, “Hey, here’s a great opportunity for additional income!  We’re strong; we’re in control!” – Really?
  • due to their slackness in claiming what God had told them was theirs, the whole Book of Judges chronicles the nation winning a little and losing much more as their identity mingled more and more with the “ites” of the land
  • they never actually conquered until King David came on the scene
  • instead of destroying the “ites” in our land, we imagine we can get them to serve us somehow, when we want them to.  We’re in control.  But as we can see, just as in the days of the Judges, the “ites” eventually become your master
  • Romans 8: there is a difference between a victor and a conqueror; the conqueror destroys completely

Sunday Evening

Brother Hogarth Louis, Brooklyn, NY:

  • we are living in days of darkness; there are things in the church today we would never have imagined would be there
  • there is a need to kill the beast in us by yielding to the Lord Jesus
You can have a great gift but if you don’t have a right spirit, it will not profit you in the end.  In fact, your gift can kill you.
  • the Lord is looking for people that are desirous of living for Him, not just for their own benefit
  • we need to suffer against our own will
  • ministers are called as servants of Christ – not as kings preoccupied with maintaining position and title; there is only One King in the kingdom of God and He positioned Himself as a servant.  How much more His ministers?
  • Matthew 20:20-23 – the sons of Zebedee (James and John) had put their mother up to requesting Jesus give them position (we know this because Jesus didn’t address the mother, but the sons)
  • you have 12 men, and 2 are looking for the best positions: the Prime Minister and the Minister of Finance
Jesus’ response?  If you want greatness, abase yourself
  • when you have a humble, servant-like spirit, God will bless you to help His people
  • The Body of Christ is not a declaration but a way of life
  • Ephesians 4:1-2: “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with longsuffering, forbearing one another in love”
  • Ephesians 5:1-6 – these are key qualifications for saints to examine ourselves by
  • sadly, people want to live for this world; the world is actually changing the church
  • Jeremiah 6:16: “Thus saith the LORD, Stand ye in the ways, and see, and ask for the old paths, where is the good way, and walk therein, and ye shall find rest for your souls. But they said, We will not walk therein.”
  • we must resist fleshly ambition; today ministers are more concerned with having their name written everywhere but in heaven

Brother John Githinji, Hartford, CT:

  • had it not been for what Christ has done, we would not be here
  • they that were FAR have been brought near by the precious blood of Christ and now belong to the family of God
Jesus lost nothing through obedience, but we (humans) are “allergic” to obeying God
  • yet obedience is better than sacrifice
  • consider that Christ gave everything up – everything.  Consider Philippians 2:6-7 (in the Amplified Bible)
  • “Who, although being essentially one with God and in the form of God [possessing the fullness of the attributes which make God God], did not think this equality with God was a thing to be eagerly grasped or retained, but stripped Himself [of all privileges and rightful dignity], so as to assume the guise of a servant (slave), in that He became like men and was born a human being.”
  • you never lose when you’re obedient to God; obedience will overcome the Devil every time
the human spirit is tuned exactly to the frequency of the prince of the power of the air (Devil), but Jesus is the answer to this sickness and can deliver us