Monday, December 30, 2013

The Resurrection

We are going into the year 2014 with a message of great hope. The Lord in His great Mercy charged us this week to write an article about His and the believers’ resurrection. He said that many people who died and believed in Him will experience this event very soon! For the truly born again believer, this event already forms part of our basic tenets of faith. Recently, the Lord told me that He is coming very soon and that He is already at the door. Therefore, this message of hope will soon (in the Lord's timing) be a reality.

In this brief article, we will also share a very short vision from the Lord as a warning to those who honor man more than God.

The Resurrection of Christ

The Bible says that the Lord was delivered into the hands of sinners to be crucified. In the crucifixion account, many people witnessed the death of the Lord (Luke 23:47-56). This was confirmed by the Roman Centurion acknowledgement to Pilate (Mark 15: 42-47; Matthew 27:62-66). The point we are making is that if the Lord did not die, there would be no need for His resurrection. His death had to be confirmed, which we can agree with according to the testimony of all the witnesses in the above Scriptures.

Furthermore, after the Lord was buried, we read that He rose from the death (Luke 24:6-8). This event was confirmed by Mary Magdalene and the Lord Himself (John 20:10-18), the two angels (Luke 24:4-7), the Roman guards (Matthew 28:11-15),and the followers of the Lord (Luke 24:9-49). Likewise, the birth of the Lord was also announced by angels (Luke 1:26-38), and witnessed by the Shepherds (Luke 2:8-20) and the wise men from the East (Matthew 2:1-12). This is therefore credible evidence of the resurrection of our Lord.

Additionally, the Apostle Paul testifies in the Scripture that he, along with Peter, the other apostles, and more than five hundred of the believers saw the risen Christ (1 Corinthians 15:3-8). The evidence of the Scriptures concerning the resurrection of our Lord is therefore credible and sufficient proof that we too will be raised (1 Corinthians 15:20-23; 2 Timothy 2:11; Romans 6:8-9; Romans 8:11). We further have the testimonies of Luke, John, Matthew and Mark about our Lord's resurrection.

The Promise and Outpouring of The Holy Spirit Confirms His Resurrection

Initially, the disciples did not understand when the Lord told them that He was going to rise again (Matthew 16:21-23), and from their reaction and astonishment it is also evident that they also did not believe when they first saw the Lord after resurrection (Luke 24:36-43). However, they were convinced when the Lord reminded them of the things He had told them (Luke 24:44-45). The testimony of our Lord's resurrection was again confirmed with POWER when He fulfilled the PROMISE of the HOLY SPIRIT (Luke 24:49; John 14:15-17; Acts 2:1-4; 1 Corinthians 12).

Finally, brethren let us not lose hope and be discouraged by the things the devil and unbelievers throw at us; we will soon realize the reward of our faith (1 Peter 1:3–9).

The vision warning those who honor man more than God can be read on this page, titled "Vision of Dr. Owuor".

If you desire to have a relationship with the Lord Jesus, here is a Prayer of Sincere Repentance to get you started. For any questions or comments on this article or our ministry, please contact us.

Blessed New Year! Our journey of faith is still continuing.

Brother Glenn.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Christian Fellowship

The Lord commanded that we write an article on fellowship this week. This is also one of the most misunderstood topics within Christianity. Recently, the Lord made us understand that many Christians today mistake their socializing as “fellowship”. Instead, in socializing we enjoy one another’s company. Nor can “chatting” on social media (Instant Messaging, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) be considered as fellowship, as we will see from our definition and further explanation below.

Briefly, and without getting technical on some terms, the Greek word that is translated “fellowship” and other related word is Koinonia: meaning “common”; or “I participate in; or I share in” (Vine's Expository Dictionary of Old and New Testament Words). Per Wikipedia’s definition, Koinonia as transliterated from Greek means “communion, joint participation; the share which one has in anything, participation, a gift jointly contributed, a collection, a contribution, etc. It identifies the idealized state of fellowship and unity that should exist within the Christian church, the Body of Christ.

Fellowship is Sharing

Therefore, our understanding, and from a Biblical perspective, is that fellowship means people participating together in something. Fellowship is communion or having a share in something. As an example from the Bible, we fellowship when we participate in the Lord’s Supper or Holy Communion. Our act of eating bread and drinking at the Lord’s Table is an act of fellowship with the Lord Jesus Christ; it is a spiritual sharing in His body and blood, in other words, we are participating in (or having communion with) Christ and all that His sacrificial death means to us (1 Corinthians 10:16). Furthermore, by being united with Christ, we share in Him and have fellowship with Him (1 Corinthians 1:9; Hebrews 3:14).

In addition to having communion with The Lord Jesus Christ, we as believers have fellowship with the Father (1 John 1:3) and with the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 13:14; Hebrews 6:4; Philippians 1:21). Through our faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, we share in His Divine nature (2 Peter 1:4). By being in union with Christ, it means absolute surrender and faithful and obedient service to Him.

Our Fellowship With God

Beloved brethren, when we use the term “God”, it may refer to Christ as well. In the Lord’s many visits to us, He often referred to Himself as God (John 8:58). Also, we need to emphasize that fellowship with God does not necessarily mean when we come together as believers. We are individually called to fellowship with God (1 John 1:3). This fellowship with God may be Bible reading, praying, or having Communion as an individual member of the body of Christ (Genesis 5:22-24; 6:9; Mark 9:37; John 14:23). Based on the above Scriptures and countless others, don’t ever be deceived in thinking that fellowship with God involves going to church on a Sunday and coming back to continue in our sin! We will give account of ourselves before God as individual believers (Romans 14:12). I am emphasizing the individual’s fellowship with God here; our walk with God is determined by our own obedience to the Lord (John 14:15). God’s commands refer to the entire Bible, not just an isolated verses in Scripture (Joshua 1:8).

When we fellowship as a group, that is when others join or I join them, then we all have fellowship together with God, and by having fellowship together with God, we are truly joined together in a happy union (1 Corinthians 10:16-17; John 17:21-22; 1 John 1:3). As a warning, sin spoils our fellowship with the Lord and if we live in sin wilfully, we have no fellowship with the Father and this is a broken fellowship with God (1 John 1:6-7). When we fellowship with the Lord, we hear from Him and we express our gratitude to Him in obedience to His word by witnessing and testifying about Him to others (1 Corinthians 14:26).

Another area of fellowship and the less talked about is “participation in His suffering” (Philippians 3:10). This cup is what many Christians don’t like; yes they only prefer to share in His blessings but not in the cup of persecutions, witnessing and obedience. I will be quite bold here; many Christians hide themselves behind their pastors. What I mean is that they only do what the pastor says and not what the Lord tells them in the Bible. They only prefer the blessings more than the cup of suffering. I am receiving emails from many brethren around the world, complaining bitterly about their sufferings and situations. Quite frankly, a complaining believer is weak in faith and impatient with God (Philippians 2:14-15). When we complain, we are literally saying; “I did enough now God, so you must act, and if you don’t act I quit!” (Exodus 16:2-15). How absurd! Remember believer, when you display such an impatient and immature attitude, you will be the biggest casualty; it is after all your salvation for eternal life you are labouring for here in obedience to a righteous suffering (2 Timothy 4:7-8). I say your suffering is righteous because you have given yourself to God as a living sacrifice and you suffer for the truth; people persecute us not for wrong doing but for telling them about their sins (John 7:7) I am declaring in Jesus name that Christian fellowship includes sharing in His suffering; this is the way of the CROSS and after enduring, we will also have fellowship with Him in His GLORY (2 Timothy 2:11-12; 1 Peter 5:1; 1 Peter 4:12-14).

Christian’s Fellowship By Sharing

Finally, we know there is a corporate anointing when we fellowship as a group to God and to one another in the works of ministry, and there is also an anointing when we minister and fellowship as individuals to God and others (Acts 4:23-31; 19:11-12). In other words God supplies the gifts for ministry and fellowship to Him.

Moreover, as Christians jointly participate in Christ, this fellowship binds us together (Acts 2:42). I would like to emphasize again: this fellowship is not socializing, but about Christ whom we share in common (Hebrews 3:14; Philippians 1:7; 2 Peter 1:4). This makes our fellowship a joint sharing in our common faith, common salvation, and our common suffering (Titus 1:4; Jude 3; Revelation 1:9; 2 Corinthians 1:7). This corporate fellowship is sharing in the gospel by helping those who preach it (Philippians 1:5; 4:14-18); this include sharing in material and financial support of poor Christians (Galatians 2:10; Romans 15:27; 2 Corinthians 8:4).

In conclusion, there are certain things we are forbidden not to have fellowship with or share in or participate in. We should not identify with a person who does wrong things or share in their wickedness (1 Timothy 5:22; 2 John 10:11). Nor should we participate in a religious feast where food is to be offered to idols (1 Corinthians 10:20-21), neither having fellowship with unbelievers for they will lead you astray (2 Corinthians 6:14-15). Therefore, we are to have no part and no share in anything that is sinful (Revelation 18:4; Ephesians 5:11).

Let us therefore endeavour to maintain daily our fellowship with God; this is the strength and the very life supporting sustenance for our salvation (John 15:5).

Have you been "fellowshipping" by only socializing at church on Saturday or Sunday, but not truly fellowshipping with The Lord? Has your fellowship with the Lord focused only on receiving blessings? If so, here is a Prayer of Sincere Repentance. For any questions or comments on this article or our ministry, please contact us.

Christ’s Peace Be Upon You All,
Brother Glenn.

Monday, December 2, 2013

God, Our Heavenly Father

…The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth… (Exodus 34:6 NKJV)

The Lord has given us various subjects of Biblical foundation to write about, all centered on encouraging us to have a close relationship with Him. This message is a brief account about God, and we won’t even be scratching the surface because He is infinite, great and beyond our understanding (Job 36:26). With the current environment in the world where there is an increase in violence, economic hardships, and natural disasters, people are turning to God – some for solace and comfort, and others for blame. Surely these types of events lead us to timeless questions about God, and the spiritually discerning will turn to ‘sources’ that give understanding about God.

As we know, some people around the world (even those who claim to be atheist or agnostic) have invented gods or idols that come in various forms and shapes, including material things and personal possessions. We Christians, on the other hand, believe in a Personal God who revealed Himself through nature (both in the terrestrial and in the celestial realms) and the Holy Bible (Romans 1:19-20; Genesis 1:27; 1 Samuel 3:21). The Bible makes no attempt to prove to us the existence of God; it asserts His existence from the beginning (Genesis 1:1; John 1:1-3). This God is neither an impersonal ‘force’ nor an abstract ‘principle’; He is a Living Being, and people find the true meaning of His existence by coming into an active relationship with Him (John 17:3). In a vision, the Lord Jesus said to us, The message about GOD is very, very, very IMPORTANT. GOD is our GOOD NEWS!

Personal God

In order to understand God, as Christians our primary source should be His revealed truth—the Bible—which illuminates His character and Person more fully. This same God has also given us a spirit of faith to help us understand who He is and what He expects of us (Romans 12:3). Although Moses knew about the God of his fathers prior to fleeing from Egypt (Hebrews 11:24-26), he had his first personal encounter with God at the burning bush at the age of eighty (Exodus 3:1-4). Paul too had a personal encounter with God (Acts 9:1-6), and so did the rest of the Lord’s disciples (John 21:25). Their encounters with the Living Christ gave them a personal faith to trust and obey His teachings. Even without a dramatic encounter with God, He has provided us with faith (Ephesians 2:8-9; Romans 12:3) and revelation about Himself so that we may know who He is and obey Him (John 20:29,31).

Having received the revelation of God by faith, “…we also believe and therefore speak” (2 Corinthians 4:13 NIV), we do not try to “prove” or argue whether God exists or not. As we reflect upon our awareness of right and wrong, we may also conclude that there is a moral God to whom all rational creatures are to be answerable to (Acts 17:23; Romans 2:15-16). Indeed, God has revealed Himself more fully through history, and that revelation is recorded in the Bible (Jeremiah 1:1-3; 1 Peter 1:21). The central truth of this revelation is that there is One God (Deuteronomy 6:4; Isaiah 44:6; Jeremiah 10:10), who exists in the form of Trinity (Genesis 1:1-3; Job 33:4; Psalm 33:6; John 1:1-4; John 16:13-15).

When we undertake any study on the character of God, we must bear in mind that God is a unified personality. He is not made up of many parts. He does not simply have certain qualities like goodness, truth, love, holiness and wisdom; He is the full expression of these qualities. The Bible portrays God more fully in this way: He is love, He is light, and He is the way, the truth, and the life (John 14:6; 1 John 1:5; 4:16).

God is Eternal and Totally Independent

God created man in His image (Genesis 1:26-27), and we are dependent on Him for breath (Job 33:4; Isaiah 42:5) and food (Genesis 1:29-30). However, God is not dependent on man or anything (Acts 17:24-28). Throughout history and more so today, many people have, under the inspiration of the devil, tried to disprove the existence of God (Psalm 14:1). They have used every form of blasphemy and argument to try and discourage those faithful believers whom God has revealed Himself to, but to no avail. Today, God is still being preached and obeyed throughout the world. Soon, we will see His Righteous Judgement upon those who mock Him and don’t take Him seriously (Romans 2:15-16; Acts 17:29-31).Many don’t believe because they think they will be able to escape giving account for their sins. This is Satan’s trap to let them enjoy the temporary pleasures of sin while being blinded and corrupted by their “knowledge”. For atheists or agnostics who simply don’t believe that God exists, their unbelief holds no hope or future reward; they want to see in order to believe, but this is not a life based on faith (John 20:26-29).

Due to our human limitations, it is impossible to give a complete definition of God and the Bible forbids the use of anything in nature or anything made by man as a physical image of God (Exodus 20:4-5; Deuteronomy 4:15-19). When Moses asked for God’s name so that he could share with the children of Israel some idea of His character, God revealed the name “I AM WHO I AM” (Exodus 3:14). God’s response was to tell the people that He was independent, eternal and unchangeable.

God’s existence cannot be measured in time, for He is without beginning and without end (Psalm 90:2; Isaiah 48:12; John 5:26; Romans 1:23). His Wisdom is immeasurable and therefore beyond the full understanding of man (Psalm 147:5; Isaiah 40:28; Daniel 2:20). God is infinite and without needs; absolutely nothing in creation or in activities of humans or angels can add anything to Him or take anything from Him (Psalm 50:10-13; Acts 17:24-25; Romans 11:36). He is not under anyone’s obligation and He depends on no one. Whatever He does, He does because He chooses to, not because He is required to (Ephesians 1:11).

When the Lord gave us messages and visions about pastors and others, many people said we are “judging”, but that is not true. It is the Lord who exposed the wickedness of those brethren and He gave the messages to correct and lead them to repentance. As members of the body of Christ, we have been granted the grace to speak God’s message to the believers on His behalf, “For the time has come for judgment to begin at the house of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the end of those who do not obey the gospel of God?” (1 Peter 4:17 NKJV).

God is Majestic and Sovereign

God is the absolute Good News to those who fear and obey Him. As Creator and Ruler of all things, He is enthroned in majesty in the Heavens above (Psalm 47:7; 93:1-2; 95:3-5; Hebrews 1:3; Isaiah 6:1-3). God is the possessor of absolute authority and nothing can exist independent of it (Psalm 2:1-6; Isaiah 2:10-12, 20-22; 40:23). He maintains the whole creation (Psalm 147:8-9; Matthew 5:45; Colossians 1:17). God has absolute knowledge and Presence. This is a cause for both our fear and joy. We say fear because no sin can escape Him, and joy because those who trust in His mercy will never be disappointed (Psalm 139:1-12; Proverbs 15:3; Isaiah 40:27-28; 57:15).

In conclusion, since God is sovereign, all people must repent, submit to Him and obey Him (Acts 17:30-31). While the Lord has given us choice and free will, refusal to obey is rebelliousness against Him, and this has eternal consequences (Matthew 25:46; Romans 6:23; Revelation 20:15; 21:8). When we try to be independent of God, we automatically become slaves to sin (Genesis 3:1-7; John 8:34). Unless we repent of our rebellious ways and surrender fully before our Sovereign God, trusting solely in His grace and forgiveness, there is no other way to escape God’s wrath and judgment (Acts 17:30-31; Ephesians 2:8).

Finally, don’t allow anyone to hinder your faith and walk with God. If you keep seeking the Lord, praying faithfully every day, studying the Bible, obeying His commands, living holy and repenting of your sins, your salvation and victory will be sure in Christ Jesus.

Would you like to have a personal relationship with God the Father, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit? Here is a Prayer of Sincere Repentance to get you started. For any questions or comments on this article or our ministry, please contact us.

Your fellow brethren in the service of Christ Jesus,

Glenn and Preparing for the Kingdom Ministry Team.