Peter Williams

The Danger And The Blessing Of The Half Tribe Of Manasseh

Peter Williams (Sun, 27 Jan 2019)

Peter continued our series on Joshua, looking at the danger and the blessing of the half tribe of Manasseh.

A Prophetic provocation
Joshua 1:10‭-‬18 NLT

I could not get over the half tribe.

Joshua wrote this, or his source was used much later by Samuel or Josiah.

Half tribe of manasseh
Why half a tribe?
Manasseh was the firstborn of Joseph.

Twelve Tribes

He didn't command half the tribe to go.
But he writes it as such

How did it make them feel always being a half?
They were a split people, never a full tribe.
If they were all together they would have had the biggest land of any tribe. But they were divided.

How does this fit with their grasshopper mentality?

Vv16-18 if they did not obey, if they had small thinking, they were to be put to death! They were taking this command to go seriously.

There is a mentality of I'll not bother going, cos I'm quite comfy here thanks.
We cannot afford to have that kind of mentality.
What happened to the other half of the tribe? We never hear of them again. They disappear, intermingle with other tribes, and we don't see or hear from them.
Joshua 17:12‭-‬13
This is the consequence of the half tribe.

I believe God says if we settle, we die.
We need to go on mission, and there will be blessing of fertile lands for us.
We can go in partnership with others, like the tribes of Gad and Benjamin.
But we cannot afford to not go.
They all had to move, not a few. They all needed to cross the Jordan.

Matthew 5v10. You are the salt of the Earth
Not might be, could be, but are. It's your job to preserve
But if you are not salty, you have no purpose....

Not about being lukewarm although that wouldn't help
It's a no thanks I’ll stay put thanks.

The first week, Phil introduction, lukewarm.
Half tribe is essentially the same warning.
It doesn't say so as they all understood what he was saying implicitly.
It is possible to lose your identity and be lost to history.
Revelation 3:15‭-‬21 NLT

Phil. If you don't use your prophetic gift, you rob them, and yourself of blessing

Which half are you? Will you stay or will you go now?

People said they'd kill Joshua after he spies out the land and says that they should take the land - now you’ll die if you don't go!

What are you doing with the command to take the peak district?
3 responses
Yes, I'm doing that. No question
No. That's completely terrifying
Oh that's nice God, and you move on. Lukewarm response.Would you want to lead that kind of people? - This is the half tribe response
Facing the future with faith and courage.

Our past experience can hinder us moving forward. (Desert and finally settled, cake by the ocean)
We need to look forward with faith
There is no going back with God.
We can inherit things from the past, but we enjoy them in the future.

Instead, you will follow the example of those who are going to inherit God’s promises because of their faith and endurance.
Hebrews 6:12 NLT
First half is relevant....Then you will not become spiritually dull and indifferent.

We exist to worship God & encounter his presence, committed to advancing his Kingdom through local church communities caught up in mission here and to the nations.

What does the vision look like?
Securing Matlock, and taking the Peaks.


What have we achieved?
What are we doing?
So there is an invitation to go on the journey. Who is coming?
Pew filler or activist?

What are you going to do to help CitP take the land?
Joshua does not take the land, the people do.
What does that look like?
What practical steps are you going to take to help in that?

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Peter Williams (Sun, 02 Dec 2018)

Peter spoke about the importance of resting and how it is different from laziness.

Christmas, and the run up some of the busiest times

God is speaking to us about resting for the last couple of weeks.

“But the truth is, we are just as loved by God when we are resting. We are just as whole, just as precious and just as saved.”
Ems Hancock, the rest of your life

Biblical to take out time for God.
Sunday often a busy day.
So when do we take out time?

There is a difference between resting and laziness

We wear busy-ness as a badge of pride.

Work hard play hard mentality

We were made to be productive.
God's command to Adam, to be fruitful, to multiply. To plant and reap.
But on the 7th day, rest.

But resting does not mean we should not be productive.
However, His love is not based on what we do.

There are people that that cannot be productive, and they are not failures
Depression. Fatigue. Inability. Disability.

David grappled with the paradox of doing and resting.
Psalms 62:1‭-‬12
David puts the rest first, but makes sure he does what he needs to do as well.
But, he puts the rest first as a priority!

When we know what we don’t have to do, it frees us to do the things we are meant to do.

“The Hebrew for “be still” translates to let go of your grip, to make oneself weak. What a freeing idea! In our complete dependence on a God who won’t ever fail us, we find freedom.”

Bizarrely, busy people often prevaricate about resting! Yes you do!
As they stop, things pop into their mind.
Before you know it the hour you had diarised to spend with God is now 10 minutes squeezed in at the end.

For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ. Galatians 1:10 ESV

Col 3:12-17
Talks about the attitudes we should have as servants of Christ.
You might take that as doing, but it's not about rushing about doing stuff.

Prophetic challenge
Uptown funk
Stop, wait a minute
Fill my cup…..
Push pause
Allow God to speak
See what he puts in your cup

Bring your testimony next week.

Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.
Matthew 11:28 NLT


What to you tend towards, doing too much, or not enough?
What do you do to make you stop?
How do you hear from God best?
What has God been speaking to you about?

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Why do I do what I don't want to do?

Peter Williams (Sun, 28 Oct 2018)

Peter continued his "Why Am I So Crap?" preach from 23rd September, looking at Paul's comments in Romans 7 "I don't do what I want to do. Instead I do what I don't want to do."

Peter read the lyrics from "Gracious" by Simon Brading.


What of the 7 deadly sins do you think is most difficult?
Which do you tolerate least well?
Have you ever struggled with habitual sin? And what helped you get free?
How does it feel to be a slave to righteousness?

After the preach, Iris read the lyrics to "Flawless" by MercyMe.

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Why Am I So Crap?

Peter Williams (Sun, 23 Sep 2018)

Peter asked the question "Who Are You?"

Further notes and questions may follow in due course.

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Royal Priesthood

Peter Williams (Sun, 20 May 2018)

Peter spoke about the fact that we are a royal priesthood.

End of an era!
Last time in tent or mobile home
Moving in.
30 years

Tension, presence of God and moving on
Key is knowing who we are and what we are here for.
Accomplish our purpose
Enjoying the presence of God is essential in us being complete
When we are in the right place, we will see God's purpose accomplished

That's what Moses is telling Israel

Deuteronomy 7:6‭-‬9 and 7:12‭-‬15

Some responsibilities (keep rules, old covenant)
Many blessings mentioned

They only knew God in this way because they came into his presence and had relationship. Out of that came incredible blessing.

Royal wedding. Who could identity with what it must be like to be royal?

Who here is royal?
Who here is a priest?

Old covenant, new covenant.

1 Peter 2:4‭-‬10

Exodus 19:6

Priests had access to the temple, and thus God.
Priests were the intermediary between the people and God.
Priests had no possessions

We are the priesthood of all believers,
so we have full access to God….
We can be an intermediary for the non believer...
and we have no possessions….

How do we live in response to what/who we are?
Do we live in the knowledge of this?

Ephesians 4:1‭-‬3

All about identity.
Do you know who you are?

But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

Do you know who we are?

Once you were not a people, but now you are God’s people; once you had not received mercy, but now you have received mercy.

What have you achieved in the last 30 years?
What do you want to achieve in the next 30?
What are your dreams for the church in the next 30?
What is your place in that?

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Deuteronomy 2 and 3

Peter Williams (Sun, 22 Apr 2018)

Peter spoke from Deuteronomy 2 and 3 about going to war with God.

For a PDF copy of these notes, click here.

The story

Remember, this is Moses telling the story

2v2. Enough of travelling round the desert, I'm taking you closer, says God.
2vv3-7. Pass through Seir, be in peace
2v18ff. People of Moab and Ammon.
God has a plan for each people group. He asks us to live in harmony. Trade and engage with those we meet.
2v28. Pass through
Ignore us, there's nothing to see, just a million people walking past.
How to react?
Jealousy from Israel? Keen to stop there?
They attack Israel, quite opposite to God's plan…..
God gives them over to Israel.
2v34. Destroy everything. No survivors. Plundered the land, and then settled some people in it (ch3 says so)
3v1 They reach Bashan. They encounter Og. v11 tells us Og absolutely huge. If bed anything to go by, Goliath size. 10ft tall? Bed was 6ft by 14ft.
3v2 don't fear him. God's hand will protect you.
Start ch3, they killed everyone. They ransacked their houses, and plundered their wealth and livestock.
Fertile plains are Bashan, mount Hermon to the north. Sixty cities fell as the people of Israel attacked.
Absolutely ransacked, everyone but Og died. He survived.
The people of Bashan rebelled against God.
Travelled up Western side of Israel and took all the land that God gave them, but not what he didn't.
3v26. Moses won't see the promised land, but Joshua will.
God has a plan.
Sometimes we don't get to see the promised land.
It does not mean we are not an important part of the story.
Without Moses, Israel would still be in Egypt!

Our response

How do we react to this?
God of love who says do not murder.
God's people who kill a whole people group.
Emulation? Tutsis in Rwanda.

Our response to the story of war
Romans 13:1-5
Do good so you are not judged.
If no one did evil, then no need for war or judgement.
Authorities are there to rule and judge.
They can bear the sword to enforce the law.
However, the law needs to be godly……

1 Peter 2:13‭-‬17

Whenever you are attacked, whether on the national or personal level, there is the tendency to assume that you are totally righteous and the aggressor is totally evil. But this is never the case. The Bible plainly indicts us all: “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:23). “There is none righteous, not even one” (Rom 3:10). We may be right on a particular issue or occasion, but we need to check ourselves from the thought that easily comes when we are attacked, “I am without fault.” That thought leads us to pride, but the Bible enjoins us to humility by first taking the log out of our own eye in any conflict (Matt. 7:5).

James Jones, bishop
Thought for the day r4 16.4.18
Arrogance is the true enemy of peace

Our response to the story as church

We have taken land around the Peak District, but not in it.
We have fought and lost at times.
When God says it's time to go, he will just give us the land
Are you ready for us to take the land?

Personal application
What war are you fighting?
Should you be? Is that God's plan for you?
Are there wars you should be fighting?

Do we go into war in trainers t-shirt and shorts like it's going to be a picnic? No training or equipment.
Ephesians 6 is required…..

Train your body, athlete, letting go of what hinders.

In the 1968 Olympics John Akhwari represented Tanzania in the marathon. He was injured in the race, but kept on running. He entered the stadium, leg bandaged, long after the other competitors had gone home and the spectators had left. When asked why he replied "My country did not send me 7000 miles to begin a race, they sent me to finish it."
It's hard to persevere.
When it feels like God's keeping us from our Promised Land how do we react?
Does it drive is to God, or away?

Pete Greig God on mute p212
As we pay the price of obedience we can be sure that every short-term loss plays its part in the long term certainty of victory in Christ.
It's just that we never realised that winning could sometimes hurt like hell.
Some of you are hurting like hell as you go on with God. Due to injury, battle scars, loss, disease.

God says, I am with you…..
Fight my battles and you'll be a winner.
Fight where I am not leading you, and there will be misery….

Battle for your soul, won!
See healing and changed hearts, battles won…..

How do you reconcile a loving God and his instruction to go to war?
How do you respond to God's word for us to take the Peak District?
How are you personally getting ready for us to do this?

For a good explanation of the passage look at Matthew Henry.

For a good worship song to go with this look at Chris Tomlin, "Sovereign"

Map of Canaan during-the Book of Joshua

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Peter Williams (Sun, 25 Mar 2018)

Peter spoke from Deuteronomy 1, looking at why the Israelites were fearful.

To download these notes in PDF format, click here.

Israel and their journey and their fear.
Fear was the reason they did not take the land.
They felt like grasshoppers, they thought they would be crushed.
Surely God cannot be with us!
Why have you bought us here to die?

Who here is fearful?

My fears

Who here worries about their health?
Who worries about money?
Who worries about a loss of a job?
Who worries about their children?

What is the relationship between worry and fear?
Fears are what underpin our worry.

Why worry about losing your keys. Drain example.
Sensible worry. But if that meant I had to keep my keys on a lanyard, and walked 2m from any drain, then fear would have set in.

Not only is fear a hindrance in your life, but it also places a filter of distorted perspective over your mind. Fear and anxiety produce worry, a false sense of security, and a desire for the things in this world.

Put God first and everything that you worry about and fear will take care of itself.

Courage is not the absence of fear, but continuing despite the fear.

Fear is the thief of dreams
Look at Israel - a whole generation missed out on a land of milk and honey!

God wants to deal with our fears.

Coming up to Easter
Garden Gethsemane, Jesus knew what was going to happen
Relaxed? into the will of God....
Fear at the cross....
Jesus cried and wept to the point of weeping blood. Now that's worry.

What does Jesus tell us?

John 14:26-7

So how should we behave?
Israel needed to remember who they were in God.
Israel needed to remember what God had done for them.

Freedom from fear.

2 Timothy 1:7
Isaiah 41:10
Psalms 55:22
Psalms 89:6‭-‬7
Philippians 4:6

Worry and anxiety don’t add any value and only rob today of it’s value
Luke 11:22-34

Questions for groups
What are the things you worry about?
What would be the underlying fear?
Do you really trust God that he can deal with those things?
Pray together that God would deal with those fears.

At the end of his preach, Peter read the words of "Good Things".

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It's Time To Go

Peter Williams (Sun, 11 Feb 2018)

Peter started a new series - "From Exodus to Deuteronomy on the way to Joshua."

Deuteronomy 1:1‭-‬8

The Israelites were not lost in the desert, they were on a journey.
They learnt and grew on the way, physically and emotionally.

But God says “enough” and tells them to move on to their destination.
It's time to take the land.

But what about us?
Where have we been?

Website - mission statement
We exist to worship God & encounter his presence, committed to advancing his Kingdom through local church communities caught up in mission here and to the nations.

One of our founding prophetic verses was Isaiah 41:18: "I will make rivers flow on barren heights and springs within the valleys". Our expectation is for an outpouring of God's Spirit on dry and thirsty hills and valleys and we also believe that this river will flow out and affect towns and cities around the Peak.

God also gave a prophetic picture of fires burning in many places over the Peak District. This has shaped our vision for community groups in each community and for churches being planted wherever we have clusters of these groups

Our map looks like the desert Israelite one.

Church in the Peak journey

More recently God said that when we secure Matlock, then we will take the Peaks.
We are camped all around the Peak District.
We have small groups in the Peak District
But we have not seen the prophecy/command fulfilled to take the Peaks yet.

So how do you feel after wandering in the desert for the last 30 years?!

Disappointment or excitement?

People have left as they have not seen yet what god has promised.
Or because they are disillusioned on the journey.

God did not tell the Israelites how to get to where they were going, just that they needed to go.
Same with us.

Key people are doing things to gather, or change the expression of church locally.

Matt 28:19-20
Acts 1:8
Rom 10:13-14
Ps 96:3

Don't give up trying
2chron 15:7
Isa 41:10
Gal 6:9
Phil 4:13

What are people planning already / doing?

So as God tells us to go….. What are you going to do?

Israel were stuck in the desert, partly through choice, it's difficult to move a million people, but partly as it was not god's time yet.
Last week, Johnny B provoked us about why we might be disillusioned and not ready for new adventures. [Click here for last week's preach.]
But it takes the whole community to move, if they are to take new land, it can't be just a few.
As we read Deuteronomy we see them try with just a few, and it's not pretty. God is mobilising us, so together we need to start preparing to take the land.

What do you think of the journey we have been on as a church?
How do you feel about the command to take the land?
What are you going to do to see this realised?

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Law And Grace

Peter Williams (Sun, 03 Dec 2017)

Peter continued our series on Exodus, looking at the law and grace.

1. Why did they need the law?

Exodus 20. Where was Israel in their relationship with God?

Seas parted, we'd be better off dead or back in Egypt.
We are hungry, why don't you provide? We don't like quail and manna.
The presence of god came visibly and they made a golden calf.
Missed the point of worship.
Poor relationship with God. But they were his chosen people.

You are not living with me. You are not connecting with me, so I need to give you some parameters to live by.

2. What did the law say?

10 commandments we all know.
All countries laws based on them.

It told you what do in all parts of your life.
What you should eat, when, and how.
What to do about mildew.
Whether you could have tattoos or how to wear your hair.

Leviticus, numbers and Deuteronomy

Do’s in the law are to do with worship. Worship the Lord your God…. Rules re temple, sabbath etc.
Thou shalt not’s all to do with personal conduct, how to live life.

Impossible to keep the law.
Was it ever god's intention that we would get to heaven through the law?
He has always been about relationship.
The rest of the old testament after the law are stories about how people struggled to keep the law, and not being in relationship with God.
God repeatedly asks Israel, where are you? Why have you deserted me?
He repeatedly tells Israel worship me, I am the solution, but they focused on the law and not on God.

All the law had been broken in Israel's short history

3. What did Jesus say about the law?

If you look at a woman you commit adultery.
If you call someone a fool you as good as kill them.

Galatians 3:21‭, ‬23‭-‬25

4. What did Jesus do to the law?

He blew it out of the water! There is now no condemnation

Romans 5:17
Rom 10:14
1 John 5:13

Under the old covenant they had a relationship with the law.
Under the new covenant we are adopted and have a relationship with God.

5. What about us and the law?

World sees the law as the church.
A do not church, with a thou shalt not god.

Because…… The law we set ourselves to try to get closer to God. Read more, pray more, do more, drink less, laugh less.
We create ourselves a new law to live under…. Rather than operate in freedom

Rom 7 the law is like a husband, but we have been set free from the law
How do people act when they get out of a bad marriage? They have fun….

The law tells us do not covet etc, but it does not enable us to do it.
So why did god give us the law?

Public speak, no pick nose, make sure clothes right
Child queen for day, rights of the monarchy and do everything right.
Prime minister, know computer watched, everything you say monitored.
Except if you are trump!

We would live differently in these positions.

So as a Child of the king…….

1 John 5:2‭-‬3

Mark Driscoll The common portrait of god is that he must be manipulated and coerced into blessing people. Who do you think you are? P43

If I……. Then God will……
We create our own law all over again.

Law for the non believer. 1tim 1vv8-9
Law shows believers what is sinful. Rom 7v7

You will never reign in life and be free from the clouds of condemnation if you do not wholeheartedly embrace the free gift of righteousness. You need to enjoy the glorious liberty of being a child of God, thoroughly accepted, not on the basis of your present performance as a law keeper but thoroughly on the basis of his gift of righteousness of Christ fully reckon to your account.
P29 God's lavish grace, Terry Virgo.

6. Sinfulness, righteousness, and sanctification by Grace.

Rom 6:14 you are not under law but under grace.
First part, sin shall not be your master....
Grace sets you free. Free to live. Free not to sin.

How so?

It's all a matter of identity

"The meaning of life, the wasted years of life, the poor choices of life. God answers the mess of life with one word: 'grace.'"--Max Lucado

Tullian Tchividjian Contrary to what we would naturally conclude, the antidote to lawlessness isn't more rules but a deeper grasp of God's grace. Jesus + nothing = everything p101. Romans 6:1-2

But while the law guides, it does not give. It has the power to reveal sin but not the power to remove sin. The law shows us what godliness is, but cannot make us godly like the gospel can. The law shows us what a sanctified life looks like, but it does not have sanctifying power as the gospel does. So, apart from the gospel, the law crushes. The law shows us what to do. The gospel announces what god has done. The law directs us, but only the gospel can drive us. Jesus + nothing = everything p188

Stuart Gibbs
Legalism leads to Misery, Grace leads to Joy.
Legalism leads to slavery. Grace leads to freedom.
Legalism leads to being tight. Grace leads to generosity.
Newday 2010

Martin Luther The sin underneath all our sins is the lie of the serpent that we cannot trust the love and grace of Christ, and that we need to take matters into our own hands.

So what?
How do you want to keep living. Under law, or under grace?
Are you tied up in trying to obey the law rather than living in the freedom that grace brings?
God wants you to understand your true identity as a child of the king, and set you free to live in relationship with him, rather than as a slave to the law.

In what ways do you find yourself living under law?
So what parts of the law do you need to obey?
How does being released from the law by the grace of God help you with that?

Pray for each other for a revelation of your adoption

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Exodus Redemption In Action

Peter Williams (Sun, 17 Sep 2017)

Peter Williams introduces the new series on the book of Exodus, and looks at Chapters 1-11, ‘Living in Slavery. To view Peter's notes (in PDF format), click here.


1-11, Living in slavery, The effect of sin.

Do you have anything in your life that you are slaves to?

How did they end up there? God led them to Egypt.

Why were they in slavery? Because there was an evil Pharaoh.

They were enslaved just living life in a foreign land.

Phil ‘We need to be radical and ruthless’

Phil talked about sexual sin and pornography.

If lent what tomorrow, what might you consider giving up? What would you consider not giving up?





Phone. Do without. Distracted already this am. Airplane mode in church?


Reading, even Christian books

Church? Meetings and sermons.



Recurrent sin

Matt 5 - Where your treasure is there your heart will be also…..

None of these things is inherently evil

What is sin? Anything that gets in the way of God.

The root of all sin is that you don't have enough

Signs of slavery....

IF I don't.... then.


Not possible



What are we slaves to?

Why did we end up there?

How much was wilful?

Do you feel like you are in slavery?

What are you building with?

Are we building with bricks and straw?

We need to build on the cornerstone.

John 8:31‭-‬36 - How short were their memories. A bit like pharoah.

Where is freedom found?




Matthew 6:22‭-‬24

Divided loyalty

Even our light is as darkness to god. We need his purity not ours.

Money is an example. If if is your master you are a servant.

Wesley. Earn more, save more, give more.

Romans 6:12‭-‬16‭, ‬20‭-‬23



Saved by Grace.

Do I sin? Yes. Should I be mastered by it, no.

Redemption in action.

From slavery to adoption.

Name that tune

Pompeii by Bastille

Oh where do we begin?

The rubble or our sins?

So where do we start?

I’d suggest with the sins. Without the sin there’s less rubble.

When we try to clear our rubble, we keep sinning, and the rubble keeps accumulating.

We don't spot the sin rolling in, the sin that so easily entangles.

Romans 12:2

PJ Smythe -  When his kids misbehave  Daddy loves when you are good. Daddy loves you when you are naughty. Daddy loves you all the time.

God does not say “Stop doing that”, He says, “But you are my son!....”

Don't let the good things get in the way of the best.

Bad things obviously mislead.

Good things mislead more easily.

Do you have anything in your life that you are slaves to?

We need god's insight to see these things.

We need god's wisdom as to how to respond

We need god's spirit to lead us into righteousness

Knowing you are a son changes how we behave


Is there a ‘secular’ song that speaks to you about godly things?

Is there anything that you realises enslaved you?

How do we keep the right theology in our heads, and not focus on our sins or shortfalls?

What will you do differently as a result of thinking about slavery?

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