home > Pastor’s Desk > 2022 > January 21st > SUPER NATURAL CHRISTIANITY 

¶ But Jesus answered them, “You are wrong, because you know
neither the Scriptures nor the power of God.
Matthew 22:29

The Sadducees, to whom Jesus was addressing in this verse (Matt. 22:29), were very religious. They were priests. They participated religiously in Temple customs. They observed all of the traditions of their forefathers. They practiced sacred rituals. They publicly recited well-known prayers. Yet…they did not know God, God’s Word, or the power of God. They were irrelevantly religious and completely disengaged with the power of God because did not ‘know’ the Scriptures —  and perhaps sadly — they denied that there even was a supernatural which means that these highly religious people denied that there was a God! And the amazing thing about this exchange between the Christ and the Sadducees was that the One they were denying existed was the One who was talking to them! 

The Sadducees denied the existence of angels, demons, miracles, and the resurrection of the dead (Matt. 22:23). Christ’s scolding of these Sadducees was not hate. It was said with deep and divine care (you are only truly loved by someone when they speak the truth to you). Jesus also showed the same care when He scolded another group, the very religious, scribes- 

¶ And in His teaching He said, “Beware of the scribes, who like to walk around in long robes
and like greetings in the marketplaces and have the best seats in the synagogues and
the places of honor at feasts, who devour widows’ houses and for a pretense
make long prayers. They will receive the greater condemnation.”
Mark 12:38-40

And He said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you will see heaven opened,
and the angels of God ascending and descending on the Son of Man.”
John 1:51

The disciples of Jesus were told by Him that from now on they would see extraordinary (super natural) things. And they did. Some of them saw Jesus transfigured on Mount Hermon (Mark 9:2). Some of them saw the angels who removed the grave-stone from Christ’s empty tomb. All of them heard Jesus say things that no ordinary man could have known. All of them saw Jesus raise people from the dead, cast out demons, and give sight to the formerly blind (Acts 10:38). 

Do you think that I cannot appeal to My Father,
and He will at once send Me more than twelve legions of angels?
Matthew 26:53

Sometimes the divinely supernatural is hidden from us in plain sight! It was only after Jesus displayed the greatest example of super natural miraculous power that the disciples could reflect back on their time of Christ and realise who He really was and how He could do what He did. Sometimes the divinely supernatural is hidden from us in plain sight! Jesus even told His disciples –

For truly, I say to you, many prophets and righteous people longed to see what you see,
and did not see it, and to hear what you hear, and did not hear it.
Matthew 13:17

Someone once said that the best way to open our spiritual eyes is to shut our physical ones! Perhaps this is why so many people in the Bible saw what God wanted them to see when they were sleeping (Matt. 1:20; 2:12-13, 22). 

¶ “‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares,
that I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh,
and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy,
and your young men shall see visions,
and your old men shall dream dreams;
Acts 2:17

After Christ greatly commissioned His disciples and ascended back to His father by being translated from this material realm into the supra-real realm, the first Christians saw many divinely super natural acts on their behalf. This included: a long-term lame man being immediately healed and able to walk (Acts 3:2-7); buildings being shaken as God the Holy Spirit entered it (Acts 4:31); the sick and the demonised being healed and set free (Acts 5:16); visions of heaven revealing the divine Son of Man standing at the right hand of God the Father (Acts 7:56); people who were physically afflicted by demons being delivered and healed (Acts 8:7); miraculous conversions of opponents of Christ who encountered the risen Christ  (Acts 9:1-18); spiritual trances revealing new revelations of God’s power and grace (Acts 10:9-20); Holy Spirit inspired dreams giving supernatural directives (Acts 16:9); encouraging appearances of God the Son in times of hostile opposition (Acts 18:9); many formerly pagan idolaters turning to Christ and being healed from an apostle’s handkerchief or apron (Acts 19:12); large portions of a city’s witchcraft community collectively turning to Christ and publicly declaring their repentance (Acts 19:19); raising the dead back to life (Acts 20:9-10); and, a martyred apostle coming back to life after the local believers prayed for him (Acts 14:19; 2Cor. 12:2).

For all who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God.
Romans 8:14

The early Christians were sensitive to the voice of God. Ananias, who prayed for the newly converted Saul of Tarsus, was told by the Spirit where to find Saul, what to say to him, and why it was important for him to do so (Acts 9:10-18). Sometimes followers of Christ are misled to believe that they need to “learn” how to hear the voice of God. There is no example of this need anywhere in Scripture. But there are, however, injunctions to seek the Lord (Deut. 4:29; 1Chron. 16:11; Ps. 34:10; 105:3-4; Isa. 51:1; 55:6; Matt. 6:33; 7:7). 

It was John Calvin who wrote in his commentary on Ephesians that the reasons believers in his day do not experience the divinely supernatural, as it seems the early Christians did, was their lack of desire. This is what I now want to both remind you of and encourage you to do: seek God. Seek Him. Be open to Him. Pray that you might pray effectively. Ask God to confirm His Word in the hearts of those who need a supernatural encounter with God that might lead to their conversion. Perhaps even pray that God will speak to them in their dreams (since they might hear Him more clearly then without all of the distractions of being awake). Begin to take John Calvin’s advice and desire the super natural activity of God in your life. Pray then that you and I might eagerly desire spiritual gifts to accompany our witness and service (1Cor. 14:1).

And then, be still (Ps. 46:10). And use your spiritual ears. But there’s one more important aspect of super natural Christianity that we each need to give our attention to. 

What am I to do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will pray with my mind also;
I will sing praise with my spirit, but I will sing with my mind also.
I thank God that I speak in tongues more than all of you.
First Corinthians 14:15, 18

On the first Day of Pentecost, after the Ascension of King Jesus (Acts 2:1-4), access to God the Father was thrown open to every by the filling of the Holy Spirit (Eph. 2:18). The Spirit-filled believer can approach God the Father confidently with their requests because the God the Holy Spirit has now transformed their soul into being a child of God (Heb. 4:16; Gal. 4:6). It was on that Day of Pentecost when Christ sent the Holy Spirit to regenerate, fill, baptise, and empower His believers — and the Holy Spirit continues to do this (Acts 2:39). The Apostle Paul was compelled to re-explain all this to the Corinthian believers (which we will examine this in our June-July Corinthians sermon series). Paul explained to the Corinthians that the Holy Spirit could lead the believer to pray in their mother-tongue (“with their mind”) and in a language that the Holy Spirit might give them (“praying in tongues” 1Cor. 14:15).   

¶ Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness.
For we do not know what to pray for as we ought,
but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words.
Romans 8:26

Jesus praying.Super natural praying is always praying to God. Therefore, prayer is not adjuring angels, binding Satan, or decreeing or declaring a desired outcome to who – or whatsoever. Only God commands angels. Only God binds Satan. Only God decrees or declares a desired outcome (because this is an exclusively divine prerogative). But the record of Scripture and history is that something uniquely super natural happens when God’s people pray in the Spirit — quite literally: prison doors have burst open (Acts 5:19; 12:5-12); signs and wonders happen; and persecutors of Christians become Christian!

May Christ’s words in Matthew 22:29 never be said of us, and may our children, grandchildren, and great-great grandchildren never have it said of them — that we or they do not know the Scriptures or the (super natural) power of God!

Your Pastor,


Let me know what you think below in the comment section and feel free to share this someone who might benefit from this Pastor’s Desk.


  1. Julie Davis

    Yes I agree Andrew, there needs to be an authentic renewed desire of people wanting to seek more of God daily, allowing His life to work through them, listening to his voice, seeing his working and living in his empowering. But the question that is often asked… how do people reignite that desire?

  2. Susan Taylor-Van Dongen

    Thank you Andrew.
    I really appreciate all the effort you have put into this.
    Once we accept the supernatural we can truly understand the word of God.

    • Wendy Williams

      Hear hear Susan! And hopefully one day soon, we’ll speak of the Holy Spirit’s relationship with humanity as it really is, a normal daily Christian interaction. Then when Christian awareness increases, perhaps we will describe our relationship with the Spirit as Supernormal.☝️

  3. Jean Brunning

    Thank you for this teaching, Andrew, with accompanying scriptures. It seems a real desire for more of the supernatural is the key to experience more of God’s power at work in His church.


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Anyone who has attended a large event such as the recent Will Graham Outreach event that was held at the Launceston Silverdome would be familiar with the varying levels of access that are provided to staff and volunteers associated with this type of event. The security system used included identification in the form of different coloured shirts, prayer volunteer cards, and all access cards that permitted access to the entire venue with no questions asked by security personnel. This is like the access level that God has to our lives. Being omnipresent, He has unhindered access to every aspect of our lives. He knows our innermost thoughts, sees all that we do, hears all that we say. God has the ultimate ‘all access’ card.


How can we determine whether a claim is true or false? Some people think there are different kinds of truth — my truth, their truth, and your truth. But how do they know that their assessment of truth is true? After all, their assessment – that there is my/their/your truth might just be based on their truth rather than the truth. Truth has certain qualities that distinguishes it from what is false-
 Truth corresponds to reality.
 Truth is verifiable (that is, if it is true, it can be evidentially shown to be so).
 Truth is falsifiable (that is, if it is false, it can be evidentially shown to be so).
 Truth is sometimes testable (that is, claims that are experiential can be tested by experience – including scientific claims, historic claims, and existential claims).
We have good reasons for the believing that the Bible is true because it is the divinely inspired, reliable and authoritative Word of God which has been superintendedly preserved by the Holy Spirit (read more about this).


Parents, Kids Church leaders, and Christian school teachers should be intentional about shaping children to be fully devoted followers of Christ who have reasons for believing Christianity is true – which shapes them into virtuous contributors to society and to find their role in God’s Kingdom. This will be one of the necessary and indispensable means for the Church to fulfil the Great Commission of Christ.


We live in a fast paced world. We expect things to happen quickly. None of us like to be kept waiting. Even when we order something online we expect it delivered straight away. Some of us having to work two or even three jobs just to be able to pay the bills. We describe ourselves as time-poor. Yet, we all get twenty-four-hours in a day. Sixty-minutes in an hour. And sixty-seconds in a minute. Most of us need to adjust how we see, understand, and treat our time. This will involve, what will be for some, adopting a foreign and largely unaccustomed view of time that involves worship, sabbath, and deepening relationships. From this biblical perspective we will come to see time as a gift from God, not a curse, or source of frustration. Within this gift of time God teaches us how to worship in those times when it is difficult to do so. Rather than thinking this divine gift of time is ours to do with what ever we want, God uses this gift to teach us that we should gift it back to Him beginning with (but not limited to) treating Sunday as a sabbath to come together to recommit our hearts, voices, minds, and presence with God’s people, back to God. God gives us passing time to learn to deepen relationships – especially with our kin, and our friends. Time is meant for relationship building. 


One of the greatest lies that the would-be enemy of all our souls attempts to perpetuate is that we are what we are and we can never change. This lie is whispered into the ears of many people’s invisible ears so imperceptibly that they actually think it originated with them. “You were born this way – and you can never change”, “This is who you really are – and you can never change”, “There’s no hope of anything ever changing for better – so you might as well just kill yourself” and so on. But these sly alien voices inside the heads of the vulnerable are lies. People can change. People do change. Some circumstances were always going to be temporary and were always going to change. I know this is true because I am living proof. I am who I am but I am not who I used to be and I am not yet who I will be.


It may well still be the best-selling book of all time – and continues year-by-year to be so – but certainly is not the best-read of our current times! If there was ever any doubt about this, the events this week in Hobart, at St. Mary’s (Catholic) College Girl’s School, should remove all doubt! A furore erupted over the news that the prescribed Scripture reading for the year-end graduation celebration, which incorporated a Mass, was “Wives submit to your husbands” taken from Ephesians. Callers into ABC radio’s breakfast program decried this assault against women – especially young, vulnerable girls. One caller, responding to the news that the text being used was a citation from Ephesians, denounced Ephesians and apparently demanded, “Just who does this Ephesians bloke think he is?!” Another caller stated, “Why are they quoting ancient Roman philosophers in the twenty-first century?!” And yet another caller somehow linked all religious wars to passages like this one in the Bible! He remarked, “I’m an atheist. All wars are started by those who are religious! No war was ever started by atheists!” (Perhaps he had never heard of Stalin, Adolf Hitler, Mao Zedong, Pol Pot, Vladimir Putin, who were collectively responsible for the deaths of over 20,000,000?) This furore led to the Archbishop conceding that the Ephesians passage did not have to be used at the graduation ceremony. But this furore has highlighted just how unaware many Tasmanians are about what the Bible is, what is actually says, and why it says it. And I am now about to correct this deficiency.  


Of the many tributes paid to her majesty, Queen Elizabeth II, was the often noted reflection that during her reign the world underwent a series of rapid changes that were dramatic and unprecedented in human history. There were technological inventions that revolutionised the way people could access international travel options enabling them to be virtually anywhere in the world within a matter of hours. New forms of communication emerged with the development of a global satellite communications network enabling people to watch Neil Armstrong take his one giant leap Live on their black-and-white TV screens (as I did in the corridors of Corio Primary School in 1969). Space exploration, the stuff previously just in the realm of science fiction writers, became a reality with manned and unmanned voyages to the Moon, Mars, and beyond. But the past one hundred years have also been a time of great upheaval with empires crumbling, governments toppled, wars waged, genocides committed, pandemics raging, nations birthed, rulers assassinated, and massive refugee movements from oppressive Islamic and Communist regimes. Added to this has been the demise of professional journalism and the rise of internet-citizen-journalism where it is now common for TV News reports to feature footage taken from someone’s cell-phone which was posted on social media rather than the more expensive option of sending their own film crew there. And while we’re mentioning the internet, let’s not forget to mention – the internet. This alone has possibly been the most monumental change in the way people communicate, work, learn, and shop. But while it was noted that the Queen had witnessed all of these many changes, it was also noted that the Queen herself was an unchanging constant during all these upheavals who brought about a sense of stability, peace and reassurance. To millions of people around the world, she was their rock in a world of turmoil and change. Yet this was only possible because she herself had an immovable, dependable rock upon which she had built her life.


home > Pastor's Desk > 2022 > October 7th > Who Builds A City On A HillFor those who don’t know, I was born in Geelong, and have always been fan of the Geelong Football Club. But I’m not just a fan, I’m a paid-up member of the Club. In fact, I’m a student...


This is not for everyone. If you are already a parent, this is not for you. Instead of reading this I suggest you read one of my other more abstract Pastor’s Desk articles. If you are not a parent and have no intention of ever being a parent, this is not for you. Instead of reading this I suggest you read one of my more weighty articles on FindingTruthMatters.org. If you are not yet a parent and one day hope to become a parent, this is for you. Find a quiet place, take the next six minutes thirteen seconds and use the reading of this article as an investment into your future parenting strategies. I did not invent these guidelines. Like many parents who have also discovered the value of these guidelines, once discovered, they seem obvious. These successful parents probably grew up with own parents who inculcated these guidelines almost intuitively. However, my suspicion is that this is becoming increasingly rarer. As with all true guidelines they are adaptable, flexible, and are not a guarantee of parental success — but if ignored they become the point in the mathematical problem solving where you can see you made an error in your working out. In other words, while these guidelines may not guarantee success, if ignored their neglect almost certainly leads to frustration and disappointment. Here are five indispensable guidelines for every prospective new parent.


I’ve been praying for Penn Jillette for some time now. It began when I first heard him ridicule the Bible and Christianity. My fascination with Penn (and Teller), and other world-class magicians, has been due to my pursuit to develop my craft of preaching. There are a lot of similarities between preachers and magicians (just as there is also a lot similarities between solo musicians and preachers). I seek to learn from magicians about how to keep an audience’s attention, how to tell a story, and how to make a point by employing the element of surprise. But there are some significant differences between what magicians do and what preachers do though. A magician is deliberately deceptive. A preacher is striving to uphold truth in an honest way.