Monday, December 29, 2014

Fearing God

Traditionally, it is regarded as a sign of goodwill to exchange favorable messages on certain days. While we acknowledge the customs of society, we above all strive to uphold the values we are taught in the Holy Scriptures (Romans 13:7). Since this is the last article for the year 2014, as a ministry we would like to take this opportunity to bless each person with a spirit of love, good health, peace, and a strong desire for the fear of God in 2015.

We pray that the will of the Lord God be made clearer to you all, and that you be found perfectly in His will. We pray that you celebrate life through Christ this new year. Have a blessed New Year all around in Jesus' name! Please remember to seek the Lord’s face and Celebrate Christ in Praise and Worship on New Year's Day.

And do not be drunk with wine, in which is dissipation; but be filled with the Spirit, speaking to one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord, giving thanks always for all things to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, submitting to one another in the fear of God (Ephesians 5:18-21 NKJV).

A simple search of the online Bible reveals that the word “fear” is used well over 100 times in reference to God. The Bible admonishes us not only to honor all people (including our leaders) and love our brothers and sisters in Christ,but to fear and honor the Lord as well (1 Peter 2:17 NKJV). Furthermore, the Word of God also teaches us that fearing God is required for one to gain wisdom (Proverbs 1:7; 9:10; 15:33; Psalm 111:10).

Initially, when we fear God, we spontaneously and submissively yield to His will in humble reverence and awe to His authority. The single best freedom humanity can enjoy for all time is Truth! Why? Because Truth sets us free (John 8:32)—no guilt, worry, fear, possessions, or fleshly desires are attached to truth. That Truth is Jesus Christ, and it is only through Him that we can have true freedom and eternal life (John 8:36; 14:6).

Naturally, when we correct our children (who have been taught in the ways of the Lord) after they have misbehaved, their response to our rebuke is often with reverence and with a sense of fear for God. As our Lord said, children are humble and more responsive to the fear of God than adults (Matthew 18:3-4). The Lord’s promise to us, as parents, is that if we bring up our children in the ways of the Lord, we would reap the benefit of them walking in the fear of God all the days of their lives (1 Samuel 1:21-28; Proverbs 22:6).

How We Lose our Fear of God

From the Bible, we learn that the fear of God is the foundation to attaining wisdom (Proverbs 1:7; 9:10; 15:33; Psalm 111:10). Alluding to this fact, the Word of God warns us to guard against and avoid “godless chatter” or “profane and idle babblings and contradictions” or “irreverent empty speeches” that the world considers to be “knowledge” or “staying informed”; these types of talks and arguments will surely dilute and deviate our faith (1 Timothy 6:20-21). In my experience, and from what I have observed, we indeed start losing our fear for God when we are drawn to other interests which direct us away from God. Some of these distractions are well explained in the Bible; for example worldliness, love of money, and addictions (1 John 2:15; James 4:4; 2 Corinthians 6:14). In addition to these, I have identified a few other influences that also contribute negatively to our relationship with God.

Desires: To us Christians, the Bible is God’s infallible Word which carries a life-changing and life-giving instruction to mankind. We read in the Bible how several people, who knew God and had a relationship with Him initially, defied His will and chose to walk contrary to His ways (2 Chronicles 24:17-19; 2 Timothy 4:10). Exercising God’s will is a choice, and defying sin brings us two victories: God’s acceptance of our obedience and freedom from guilt. Our weakness as humans is that our choices are often influenced by our desires, which come either through someone or something that our senses capture. For example, Adam and Eve gave into the devil’s temptation when Eve "saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom...."(Genesis 3:1-6). Likewise, David gave in to lust and committed adultery when he saw that “…the woman was very beautiful…” (2 Samuel 11:1-4).

Influence from others: Bad influence from others can also detract our choice for obedience (1 Corinthians 15:33). For example, two arrogant men, Azariah and Johanan, falsely accused the Prophet Jeremiah of lying, and they influenced the people to flee to Egypt, contrary to God’s warning (Jeremiah 43:1-7). Also, in the Garden of Eden, the serpent influenced Eve to sin, and in turn Eve influenced Adam (Genesis 3:6). Rehoboam, who succeeded his father Solomon as king over Israel, was influenced by the young men he had grown up with to impose greater burdens on the people. He rejected the wise counsel of the elders who had urged him to be a servant leader and serve his people with equity and kindness (1 Kings 12:1–15).

Fear of man: Many people often fall into the trap of rejecting Godly counsel in exchange for human counsel and sympathy; this is giving victory to the devil. In the Scriptures, such an attitude is best described by these words from King Saul: “I have sinned. I violated the LORD's command and your instructions. I was afraid of the men and so I gavein to them” (1 Samuel 15:24)During the time of Exodus, of the twelve men sent by Moses to spy the land of Canaan, only two (Caleb and Joshua) expressed confidence that God would help Israel conquer the land, and they urged the people not to have confidence in God and not rebel against Him, because the Lord was with them (Numbers 13:30; 14:6-9).The remaining ten spies were afraid and scared of “the giants”, so they discouraged the people and influenced them to rebel against Moses and Aaron (Numbers 13:31-33; 14:1-4, 10). The Hebrew midwives (Shiphrah and Puah) stood faithfully; they “… feared God and did not do what the king of Egypt had told them to do; they let the boys live” (Exodus 1:17). The prophet Daniel also, when he learned of the plot against him, was not afraid. Instead of giving in to fear, “he knelt down on his knees three times that day, and prayed and gave thanks before his God, as was his custom since early days”(Daniel 6:10 NKJV)The Bible warns us that “fear of man will prove to be a snare, but whoever trusts in the LORD is kept safe”(Proverbs 29:25). We should not fear man or seek to please others, but God alone (Isaiah 2:22; Isaiah 51:12; Galatians 1:10; 1 Thessalonians 2:4; Colossians 3:23; 2 Corinthians 5:9; 2 Timothy 1:7).Moreover, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself reiterated that we should“not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell” (Matthew 10:28).

Possessions and power: Today’s economic environment is quite enticing to many. The explosion of goods, services, and flashy new technologies in the market makes it very easy for the devil to tempt us. Consequently, material things and thirst for power can separate us from God’s will (Matthew 19:16-23; Luke 8:14). There are some wealthy and influential people in this world whose power is their possessions and they have no fear of God. In their lust and greed for more material things, they reject eternal life—the most precious of all gifts—for worldly gain and the short-lived pleasure of sin (Luke 12:13-21; Hebrews 11:25). Sadly, many people are following them.

As a fact, today’s booming worldly entertainment media, such as television, movies, the Internet, videos and social media, promote the breakdown of family relationships and have become great stumbling blocks to godly living. In personal messages to many of us, the Lord admonished and encouraged us not to fear men. Although we are commanded to respect all men (1 Peter 2:17), we must not be afraid of their opinions of us, nor should we be ashamed of our convictions and our faith in the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 5:26-32).


Are You Living for God or for Your Own Pleasures?

Not too long ago, the Lord spoke to us in a vision, saying that we are hated by many Christians because of sharing His strong messages of rebuke against sin and wicked practices in the Church (John 17:14). We love doing the Lord’s work and our fear is for the Lord God alone. The Lord’s message is a strong warning against worldliness among Christians (Matthew 13:18-22; Romans 8:7).

As a ministry, the value we attach to truthful living and holiness far exceeds the luxuries of this life. While some may boast about their [temporary] power and earthly possessions, we know they are also driven by guilt and a strong fear of death. We should not value useless things above God and allow others to sway us from the path of truth; even in caring for others we must seek to please God (Matthew 7:13-14; 13:18-23). In the Book of Acts, we read about how Ananias and his wife Sapphira lost their lives as a result of greed for money and love of worldly possessions (Acts 5:1-11); what they treasured controlled them (Matthew 6:21). Using their example as a warning, we should not exchange the fear of God for anything; be it riches, power, or fame (Matthew 16:26). Instead, we should strive to faithfully and obediently serve God and allow nothing to separate us from Him (Romans 8:38-39). Like Job, we are encouraged to be wise by fearing the Lord and shunning evil (Job 1:1; 2:3; Proverbs 14:16; Ecclesiastes 12:13).

There are many Christian leaders who encourage us to “follow your heart” and “pursue your dreams.” The question we should ask ourselves is this: how do those dreams and plans in our hearts measure up to God’s will? Are those dreams only in pursuit of worldly happiness, comfort, and “success”, without the Cross of Jesus? If so, as the Lord Jesus explained in the Parable of the Rich Fool (Luke 12:16-21), your dreams are self-serving and for your own glory, and they will only inspire those who seek praise from man! In contrast, pursuing godly dreams through the cross of Jesus, despite persecution and hatred from the world, will lead to the salvation of others, resulting in glory to Christ. The Bible teaches us that Truth through the cross comes at the cost of insults, hatred and blood (Luke 6:22; John 15:18; 2 Timothy 3:12; 1 Peter 3:16; 4:12-14; 2 Corinthians 4:8-12). Do you think any of Christ’ followers conquered the world being applauded by the masses, without insults and hatred from the world which hates the truth? (Matthew 5:11; John 15:18).

Are you struggling with sins or temptations, be they thoughts, habits, addictions, or behaviors that drive you from the fear of God? Repent and conquer them in Jesus’ name, for the power is in your possession—choice (Genesis 4:6-7) and the Lord is willing to set you free (Acts 2:38; 3:19; 8:22; 1 John 1:9; Romans 6:6-7). Is the fear of man and of persecution holding you back from fearing God, serving Him, and doing His will? The Lord Jesus can set you free if you receive Him into your heart and follow Him as your Master, Lord, and Savior (John 8:32; 36). I, therefore, urge you to “...fear the Lord, serve Him in sincerity and in truth, and put away the gods… Serve the Lord! And if it seems evil to you to serve the Lord, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… But as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord” (Joshua 24:14-15 NKJV).

If you are not yet born again, please pray this Prayer of Sincere Repentance to get started. For any questions or comments on this article or our ministry, please contact us.

Have a blessed New Year in God’s fear.

Brother Glenn and Preparing for the Kingdom Ministry.

Monday, December 15, 2014

God’s Forgiveness

“If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness” (1 John 1:9).

Note: Brethren, please don’t take offense when I use some of my own or other people’s experiences when presenting the Lord’s messages. The Lord taught us that the best way of getting the message across is to demonstrate, through our experiences, our wrong conduct and how through our failures we applied His Word and received correction. I honestly don’t seek to promote myself or any other person, but to make our message simple, personal and applicable. Our aim is therefore not to be "theological" in our message, but to identify ourselves as sinners who apply the Word of God by faith to experience His truth, love and forgiveness.

Forgiveness Involves Confessing Our Sins to God

When I was about 10 years old or younger, I heard from my elder sisters and other children that walking in the rain would wash my sins away, and that if I died I would go to Heaven. Being at that tender age, I also heard from elderly people that swearing, stealing, lying and fighting, which are common sins in this age group, were sinful. As a boy, I was always conscious about the wrong things I did and how to overcome feelings of guilt.

Now with respect, I saw how some Catholic people made the "sign of the cross" and I thought this was a way of prayer and asking for God’s protection and favor. After observing that and having gone to some Catholic church services, I started doing the same, hoping that by so doing it might grant me protection and favor with others. You may laugh! But I had my successes in this practice, and I also had my misfortunes. My participating in that religious practice as a boy was based on ignorance and lack of true faith, thinking that I could earn God’s favor and forgiveness simply by making the sign of the cross sign and saying a three-sentence prayer line.

Furthermore, since this was really all I knew about "being right with God", I grew up doing this and believing that was the way of salvation. I honestly and ignorantly thought I was right and that I was not going to share my "secret" with anyone, despite the many challenges I experienced, including a suicide attempt to get my Aunt Lily’s (see Salvation Received on Deathbed article) attention; this resulted in me getting a very good spanking for my egocentric efforts.

As it is, I parted ways with my practice in February 1990, when I started reading the Bible for myself and thereafter made a commitment to Christ. Without repeating my testimony, I read in Romans 10:9-10 on how to make a confession of faith and forgiveness, accepting Christ as Savior (1 John 1:9). This experience was very real as peace from the Lord Jesus Christ filled my conscience, leaving me guilt-free. This is when I really knew I was saved. Like we said previously, the born again experience is by faith and the accompanied joy from the Lord is only known by the person being saved. The unbelieving, doubters, skeptics, agnostics and atheists must first experience by faith this joy before slandering our Christian experiences as illusions and wild imaginations.

How Do We Ensure God’s Eternal Forgiveness?

In the Old Testament, the Lord required animals to be offered for the people’s sins, and once a year God commanded Aaron to take two (2) goats from the people to atone for their sins; one (1) to be killed as a sin offering and the other one (1) for Aaron to lay his hands on and confess all the sins of the people of Israel to God. The goat (or "scapegoat") carried all their sins on itself to a place where there were no people (Leviticus 16:15, 20-22). But under the new covenant, Christ took all our sins upon Himself through His death, resurrection and shedding of blood (Isaiah 53:5-6, 12). As the Bible says: "For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life" (John 3:16). Since Christ died and rose again for our sins, we are required to humbly confess and repent of our sins. There is no blessing for those who hide sin, but there is mercy for those who confess and renounce their sins (Proverbs 28:13; Psalm 103:12).

After experiencing God’s forgiveness of our sins, we have a duty as Christians to obey and walk in the new life (Colossians 3:5-10; Ephesians 4:17-32). Our acceptance of the Lord was an acknowledgment that we are guilty before Him through the condemnation of our conscience accusing us of sin (Romans 2:15). Therefore having confessed, we promised or vowed to God that we will no longer do the wrongs we did before with an attitude of willful disobedience (Psalm 19:13). If we confess, the Lord does grant us forgiveness; if we ask, He forgives without reservations. I am going to share some experiences some of us had in this ministry as a way of demonstrating that our willful sinning hurts the Lord and arouses His wrath (Isaiah 63:10). The Lord God of Israel has not changed; He has only changed the requirements of receiving salvation (Romans 11:28-32; Hebrews 8:13; 9:11-12).

I therefore share some of my moments of disobedience and the Lord’s reaction. One evening I had an incident involving one of my daughters, and this led me to say things that I was not permitted to, and what I said clearly hurt everybody in the family. This particular incident also hurt the Lord and for my effort I received a stunning rebuke from Him that left me licking my emotional pains for weeks, feeling ashamed of my conduct. As it is, what the Lord told me was embarrassing, and I felt that He was angry with me for what I had done. That night was the most unfortunate in my life as a Christian and I felt the anger of the Lord with great fear and trembling. Even though the Lord had been speaking to us more than 2 years then, I felt that I was all alone and that God was against me. The moment following my outbursts I was conscious-stricken like David when he had the Israelite army counted (2 Samuel 24); I felt ashamed even to the point of not knowing how to ask the Lord for forgiveness. Through a strong conviction by the Holy Spirit I summoned courage and I went to bed that night praying and asking the Lord to forgive me. I knew that He might bring me a message, and He did. Being a gracious and forgiving God (Psalm 86:5), He accepted my repentance prayer and forgave me. This was evident in the subsequent message of rebuke that He gave me. Although the rebuke itself was strong and filled me with fear for God, I could also sense His love for me. He removed the guilt that tormented me (1 Chronicles 21:8) and what remained was just the embarrassment and a great lesson learnt. This was good for me as it served as a warning and humbling experience.

In another incident, we have a very dear sister in this ministry who is in the habit of covering up her children’s mistakes, giving other children the blame and not acknowledging the mistakes of her own children. I can tell you, the Lord is very displeased with parents who "seal up" or "cover up" their children’s wrongs and do not correct them on how to treat and live with others. That is a very dangerous position of parenting, including overlooking our children’s mistakes and siding with them when they’re wrong. This is like saying to them when they are wrong: "what you are doing is right and I am at your side to defend and protect you." The Lord handed this sister a strong rebuke which led her to tears of humility as she confessed her wrongs to the Lord. Although the rebuke came with a promise of punishment, after seeing how she humbled herself the Lord relented His anger and forgave her (1 Kings 21:29) saying that the vision was only a warning.

These above two examples are not they only ones we have experienced in this ministry. Other brethren elsewhere had their moments of sharp rebukes from the Lord.  However, when they would show a humble and obedient attitude, the Lord would graciously wipe the tears of the rebuke away and give some heart-warming encouragement to express His approval and forgiveness.

There are also many instances throughout the Bible where God displays His forgiveness and compassion. For example, God had intended to destroy the city of Nineveh within 40 days. After giving them a warning through Jonah, they believed Him and humbly repented of their sins (Jonah 3:3-9). When God saw what they did and how they turned from their evil ways, he relented and did not bring on them the destruction he had threatened (Jonah 3:10). God's mercy is indeed great and beyond our understanding. Manasseh was one of the most wicked kings that Israel ever had and the Bible details his many sins:
From  twelve years old when he became king, and he reigned fifty-five years in Jerusalem. He did evil in the sight of the Lord... rebuilt the high places... raised up altars for the Baals, and made wooden images; and he worshiped all the host of heaven and served them... he caused his sons to pass through the fire...; he practiced soothsaying, used witchcraft and sorcery, and consulted mediums and spiritists. He did much evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger. He even set a carved image, the idol which he had made, in the house of God. Manasseh seduced Judah and the inhabitants of Jerusalem to do more evil than the nations whom the Lord had destroyed before the children of Israel" (2 Chronicles 33:1-9).
Furthermore, the Bible says that "The Lord spoke to Manasseh and his people, but they would not listen, "therefore the Lord brought upon them the captains of the army of the king of Assyria, who took Manasseh with hooks, bound him with bronze fetters, and carried him off to Babylon." (2 Chronicles 33:10-11).  In this deplorable and helpless state, deeply afflicted, Manasseh sought God's grace and forgiveness: "... he implored the Lord his God, and humbled himself greatly before the God of his fathers, and prayed to Him; and He received his entreaty (prayer request), heard his supplication, and brought him back to Jerusalem into his kingdom. Then Manasseh knew that the Lord was God" (2 Chronicles 33:12-13). After Manasseh repented, he (Manasseh) forsook his wicked ways and began reversing all the wicked and detestable things he had done before (2 Chronicles 33:14-17). If the Lord God loved, forgave and restored this king who had committed such gross wickedness, how much more is He willing to forgive you for your sins if you likewise confess and repent? "He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?" (Romans 8:32). 

In concluding, the Lord is not pleased when we take advantage of His forgiving nature and keep sinning willful. Also, willful sin results in habitual sin, and such behavior becomes addictive and sadly this drives the Lord away from us. As I have come to know Him, when we turn back to Him in submission and obedience, He will forgive us and keep us from falling from His grace (1 John 1:9; Ezekiel 18:21-24). Before closing, I would like to confess and testify that while the Lord is a forgiving and loving God, He cannot be fooled by people who try to manipulate Him into action to deliver a blessing. Instead such provocative behavior earns punishment. We must confess our wrongs and remain faithfully obedient; only then do we secure salvation (Matthew 24:13; 25:1-10). Let us honor the Lord and value His forgiveness.
Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name. Praise the Lord, my soul, and forget not all his benefits—who forgives all your sins and heals all your diseases (Psalm 103:1-3).
Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy (Micah 7:18).
Are you missing out on God's favor and forgiveness by hardening your heart and failing to humbly confess and repent of your sins (James 4:6; Proverbs 3:34; Psalm 51:17)? Are you weighed down and imprisoned with the guilt of unconfessed sin? If you would like to receive in God's forgiveness and be set free from the guilt of sin, please begin by with a Prayer of Sincere Repentance. For any questions or comments on this article or our ministry, please contact us.

Blessed regards in peace in Christ,
Brother Glenn.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Word of Encouragement and Short Visions

Brethren, we have no specific article or message to share with you for this week. However, the Lord said we should encourage you by sharing some refreshing visions. Furthermore, the Lord said His children must not lose their faith; they must be obedient to the end, and He loves all His children. As your fellow brother in Christ, I encourage you in Jesus' name to hold on; The Lord is near, and our sorrow, pain and suffering in this world will soon be turned into joy (John 16:16-22).

Short Visions (2014)

The visions below were given to Charis by the Lord Jesus Christ recently.

Vision About Color Blocking (Serious Warning)

“I had a vision that I was in a very colourful room. I saw various colors: red, blue, green, purple yellow, pink, etc., and I said to myself, “these are very pleasing colors, I like them!” Soon after saying this, I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “You may just like a color, but you must not go on senselessly about colors. Some people are busy with color blocking”. I replied to The Lord, “You are telling the truth!”

I left and went out of this colourful room and I entered into a room that was grey and black. Upon entering, I heard the voice of The Lord say, “The color grey is a very seductive color, and even the celebrities wear masks that are grey or silver.”” End of vision.

Interpretation:

Color blocking is a recent trend of showing off in fashion, where people wear blocks of solid colors together – either buying items that come already color blocked, or doing it themselves by pairing brightly colored separates. This draws attention to self and can lead to idolatry. The Lord is warning people not to idolize colors, be infatuated, or be controlled by them (1 Corinthians 6:12).

Brethren, neither Charis nor I ever knew that the word “color blocking” even exists, until I looked it up after this vision. This message is a warning from the Lord, that though we may appreciate colors, we should not idolize them (1 John 2:15-17).

Vision of the Devil and Rebuking him in Jesus' Name

“In a vision, I saw the devil appearing with his back facing towards me (although I was not allowed to see his face, I knew it was Satan). He made fun of me saying things that I am not allowed to share here. I replied and said in a loud voice “I rebuke you in the NAME OF JESUS!” He screamed at me saying, ‘Don’t say that name; I hate it!” And I saw him covering his ears. I kept on saying “I rebuke you in Jesus Name!” and he said, “STOP! STOP! STOP!” When he realized that he could not have me stop rebuking him in Jesus name, he ran off in a funny way”.

Interpretation:

Our victory against Satan is Jesus. Submit yourself to God; resist and rebuke the devil steadfastly in faith and he will flee from you (Mark 16:17; 1 Pet.5:8-9; James 4:7;Luke 10:19).

Vision of The Lord Jesus’ Glory

“I was standing outside our main bedrooms window, and suddenly a BIG pure white cloud appeared. The cloud opened up in the middle and a white page appeared. While I looked at the page, The Lord Jesus Christ appeared in blistering BRIGHTNESS. I tried to cover my eyes from the strong light, but I could not; I could only sparsely see the form of a Man, and I saw The Lord waving at me and said "Bye". The cloud closed and the Lord disappeared.”

Interpretation:

This was a glimpse of the glory of the LORD! (Matthew 17:2; Ezekiel 1:28).

Have you been busy focusing on cares of this world, and losing battles to Satan? If you would like to accept Jesus and experience true joy and victory in your life, 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 Grace,
Brother Glenn.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Harmful Words and Vision of Two Raptures

“Don't use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them” (Ephesians 4:29 NLT)

Before delivering the Lord’s message for this week, kindly allow me to share a short vision with you given to me (Glenn) by the Lord on the morning of October 11, 2014. I have searched the Scriptures and the Lord confirmed with me that the Bible passages mentioned here are relevant to the vision. Brethren, I am in no ways writing an article on the Rapture, nor am I supporting or endorsing a specific view – whether post-tribulation, mid-tribulation, or pre-tribulation. I certainly don’t want to get involved in such a web of speculation. I only share what the Lord permitted me to say for now. Let me also clarify that even though the English word "rapture" is not used in the Bible, the meaning is Biblical. “Rapture” is derived from the Latin verb "Rapere" meaning "to carry off," or "to be caught up" as written in 1 Thessalonians 4:17: “Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them [the dead in Christ] in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”

I prayed to The Lord saying: “Lord, please don’t make me write an article about the rapture, because I read many and various explanations on this subject, and I certainly wouldn't want to be influenced by any. I believe in the rapture, and there is much speculation relating to the rapture that has caused widespread confusion leading to the shipwrecked on many people’s faith.”

In His goodness and faithfulness, The Lord answered my prayer, and I will share what He revealed to me, along with the relevant supporting Scriptures. If The Lord so wills to reveals more, I will update this article accordingly.

Vision of Two (2) Raptures

In the vision, I saw myself preaching to a group of people who were listening attentively to me. The message the Lord gave me to minister to the people was about ‘Rapture’. I saw a book lying on the pulpit and I read from it the following words regarding the rapture from the Lord Jesus Christ: There is a FIRST ONE and the NEXT ONE. As I attempted to explain to my audience the message while looking into the book on the pulpit, the above words were the only ones left and the rest of the text disappeared. This was the end of the vision.

The Scriptures that describe the first rapture are these:
For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17).
I looked, and there before me was a white cloud, and seated on the cloud was one like a son of man[a] with a crown of gold on his head and a sharp sickle in his hand. 15 Then another angel came out of the temple and called in a loud voice to him who was sitting on the cloud, “Take your sickle and reap, because the time to reap has come, for the harvest of the earth is ripe.” 16 So he who was seated on the cloud swung his sickle over the earth, and the earth was harvested (Revelation 14:14-16).
While there are no Scriptures that explicitly mention the second rapture, The Lord says there would be another rapture, this one occurring after the great tribulation:
“I [Apostle John] answered, “Sir, you know.” And he said, “These are they who have come out of the great tribulation; they have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb” (Revelation 7:14).
Again, I am only sharing what the Lord revealed to me. I urge you, Brothers and Sisters, to be ready so that when the Lord comes you may be found awake and clothed (Revelation 16:15), with your lamps full of oil (Matthew 25:1-13), for The Day is near!
And do this, understanding the present time: The hour has already come for you to wake up from your slumber, because our salvation is nearer now than when we first believed. The night is nearly over; the day is almost here. So let us put aside the deeds of darkness and put on the armor of light. Let us behave decently, as in the daytime, not in carousing and drunkenness, not in sexual immorality and debauchery, not in dissension and jealousy. Rather, clothe yourselves with the Lord Jesus Christ, and do not think about how to gratify the desires of the flesh (Romans 13:11-14).
The Power of Words

There are many Scriptures in the Bible that deals with the use of words and the price one would pay for it, for example:
"From the fruit of their mouth a person’s stomach is filled; with the harvest of their lips they are satisfied. The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit" (Proverbs 18:20-21). 
“But I tell you that everyone will have to give account on the Day of Judgment for every empty word they have spoken. For by your words you will be acquitted, and by your words you will be condemned” (Matthew 12:36-37).
With the “freedom of speech” most of us enjoy today, many people including Christians are in the habit of offending, insulting and hurting others with their words. While I acknowledge that some social media platforms can play a positive role in promoting friendships and family bonds, people often use these channels to spread malicious gossip, slander, and poisonous words intended to hurt others.

The above quoted Scriptures serve as a warning to Christians and others not to belittle or shame other people. Christians are commanded to make every effort to live in peace with everyone and to do what leads to peace and mutual edification (Romans 12:18; 14:19; Hebrews 12:14). By this we are not saying that you should ignore a person’s wrong doing; the Lord commands us to rebuke wicked conduct in a spirit of love (Galatians 6:1; 1 Timothy 5:20; 2 Timothy 4:2), since this warning may help save a person from hell (we also discussed this subject in the “God’s Serious Judgments” article and visions shared in April, 2014).

Some people are not humble enough to accept a rebuke which is aimed at correcting them. They defensively see it as an insult or feel disrespected. In the Lord’s recent rebuke and judgement to at least three (3) of our ministry members, He chastised them for “feeling sorry to hurt their children and offending people’s feelings,” thus allowing them to continue in their wrongdoing. I guarantee you that you will be hated and persecuted for your efforts (Matthew 10:22; 24:9; John 17:14) but remember they hated Christ first (John 15:18; 24; 25)

Often times, people feel hurt when you correct or rebuke them in love. As children of God, we also may feel hurt when The Lord corrects us (Hebrews 12:11; John 21:17). This kind of hurt is acceptable as "Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death" (2 Corinthians 7:10); some might even be saved as a result, like Paul who received salvation through the Lord’s rebukes (Acts 26:14-18).

The Lord said that a truly God fearing Christian would abstain from insulting others and calling them names to make their hearts sore: “Do not repay evil with evil or insult with insult. On the contrary, repay evil with blessing, because to this you were called so that you may inherit a blessing” (1 Peter 3:9).

Don’t Use Words to Hurt others

Admittedly, I was in the habit of insulting and hurting others earlier in my walk with God. I adopted this habit from friends who were in the habit of proudly peddling their arguments as superior, while using insult to belittle and hurt those who disagreed with them. This is a common practice among politicians and the ‘wise’ of this world. The Lord forbids Christians from engaging in such practice; our work is to “spur on one another in love…” (Hebrews 10:24), in our hearts revering Christ as Lord, and always "prepared to give an answer …with gentleness and respect” (1 Peter 3:15; Proverbs 15:1). The Lord told me not to say things to hurt or make others feel bad, for when we say something we have the choice and motive to present it to either hurt or gently correct others. I was also warned for being loud when talking or rebuking; the fruit of love and of the Holy Spirit encourages us to be gentle (Galatians 5:22; 1 Corinthians 13:4-5).

Likewise, many other brethren were warned not to engage in strife, offend others, or hurt people who are otherwise disabled or of a different race. In addition, laughing at people even if or when others do offensively is equally wicked. The question we should ask ourselves is this: are we building up or offending? (Luke 11:23; Luke 17:1-3).

In conclusion, let us work for peace with our neighbours and fellow brethren. Using social media as a tool to insult and pour hurtful feelings onto others is not building up, but breaking people’s hearts. I was warned several times by the Lord against such behaviour. Learn to hold your peace and say only what will benefit others. In a recent visit to my parents, I heard people around me hurting one another with abusive words. Some were swearing and saying nasty things to one another, while others poked fun at the kind of sins others commit. They were doing all these in front of my children and I took liberty to rebuke themIn Jesus name, brethren, be gentle with your words, and keep them few; avoid being loud when rebuking, for that too may be construed as being offensive and ill- mannered (Proverbs 10:19;Proverbs 15:1).

Finally, don’t forget that the Lord is near and He is coming for a pure and spotless bride, so be fit to enter the first rapture, for the second one will bring untold tests. Do you have the faith to survive the coming storm and the dreaded Day of the Lord? (Isaiah 2:12; 13:6, 9; Ezekiel 13:5, 30:3; Joel 1:15, 2:1,11,31; 3:14; Amos 5:18, 20; Obadiah 15; Zephaniah 1:7,14; Zechariah 14:1; Malachi. 4:5; Acts 2:20; 2 Thessalonians 2:2; 2 Peter 3:10; Revelation 6:17; 16:14). Or would you rather take refuge from the Coming Judgment (Isaiah 26:20-21)? If you desire a relationship with the Lord, 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 grace and peace to you in Christ Jesus our Lord,

Brother Glenn.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Christians Must Be Blameless To Enter Heaven

The Bible admonishes us to be blameless and spotless, stating: “So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to have the Lord find you at peace and without spot or fault” (2 Peter 3:14). Furthermore, “He did this to present the church to Himself in splendor, without spot or wrinkle or anything like that, but holy and blameless” (Ephesians 5:27).

Resist Sinful Appetites

Warning: Brethren, the Lord recently reminded us that Christians should be blameless to enter Heaven. Some might ask but we all sin and make mistakes daily.Point taken! The Lord means that we should have no sin yes. We are supposed to have no unconfessed sin in our lives. Equally, the Lord warned that those who sin deliberately will also not escape his Judgments because such Christian are disobedient!

Now, as believers in our Lord Jesus Christ, we face daily struggles against sin and evil, which desire to make us gratify our fleshly appetites and stumble, rebelling against God (Hebrews 12:4). We call it a struggle because sin presents itself to us in many forms, overtly or covertly, and we are faced with the inevitable task of choosing either to yield to its demands, or to steadfastly resist and continue in righteous living.

In previous articles, we repeatedly alluded to opportunities that Satan presents to Christians, making sin look natural and appealing, while at the same time deceiving us to do evil and disobey The Lord. While we are not encouraging any severe or harsh religious practices, a true mark of a truly born-again Christian is his daily victory against the demands of sin (1 John 5:3-5).

Similarly, we also mentioned that the worldly Christians are leading a compromised Christian life; such people live only to please themselves and others, and not Christ Jesus our blessed Lord (1 John 3:7-10; Philippians 2:21). This is how we can know that we are not fully committed to Christ: when we show bad fruit, including a wicked hateful attitude; when we have a constant appetite for worldly things and power; and when we concern ourselves more with things to please man rather than Christ. If we should test our conduct against this Scripture: “Do everything without grumbling or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, “children of God without fault in a warped and crooked generation.” Then you will shine among them like stars in the sky” (Philippians 2:14-15), would we rate ourselves as blameless? Truthful living in Christ is real freedom from guilt.

If we are loaded with the Word of God and heed the warnings coming from the Holy Spirit, we would be discouraged from exercising wickedness (John 10:27). We sin in many ways: through our mouths (James 3:6; Psalm 34:13; Proverbs 10:19); sin is also seen by the condition of our hearts, which is laid bare through our attitudes (Matthew 12:34); and our motives are assessed by our conduct, which issues from our hearts. A healthy Christian attitude, however, issues forth love, obedience to Christ, and hate of evil (1 Corinthians 13:4-8; Romans 12:9-21).

Wicked Christians

While the principle of “freedom” has been around since man’s presence in this world, this pursuit of freedom and rights has become more visible through legislative works by our governments. Increasingly, legislation in various parts of the world is being used to promote or defend behaviour that would have been regarded as shameful, detestable, or wicked in the past; turning sin into an acceptable way of life (Isaiah 5:20; 2 Timothy 3:1-5). The secret power of evil makes itself acceptable in human society through deceit, hinging on the principle of ‘freedom’ to corrupt and destroy values based on the Christian truth of peaceful co-existence (2 Thessalonians 2:7). When the church warns the world of the presence of Satan and evil (Revelation 2:9; Matthew 6:13), the secular ‘wise’ men and women repudiate this message as unscientific, outdated and dictating. Admittedly, modern legislation “frees” the conscience of man, and those who have an appetite for wickedness embrace it.

Furthermore, we do acknowledge the presence of evil in our world (1 John 5:19) and the institution of government which God uses to enforce rules to peaceful and just living in human society (Romans 13:1). However, through the collective interest of individuals with self-serving interest in our society, many governments are ‘forced’ to acknowledge the appetites of lobbying groups, leading to widespread acceptance of destructive behaviour, which ultimately eats away our conscience and our fear for God, and the end result is corruption.

People, I would like to boldly confess and declare that the only safe escape from evil is Christ Jesus! Wherefore let us pray for our countries and governments, and abide to the laws promoting equity, peaceful co-existence, and righteousness. However, let us also oppose laws that corrupt society and promote rebellion against God (Acts 5:29). Our Judge, the Lord Jesus Christ, is going to judge us based on our obedience to Him, not obedience to man (2 Corinthians 5:10).

As it is, countless Christians have accepted the worldly definition of liberty and adopted it as a standard in their relations with others. As a result, some Christians exhibit behaviour that is more widely accepted by the world (or “professional”) in their conduct with others, in the process muting true Christian character and not following the commands of the Lord to love (John 13:34) and be a light in the world (Matthew 5:14). Their primary focus is care for themselves and others in order to impress society, with half-devotion to Christ. Also, the appetite for material goods and services outweighs the need for holy and obedient living. So then, we must ask ourselves: on what or on whom is your primary focus? Is it on Christ and what pleases Him, or is it on your needs as emphasized by prosperity teachers and the world?

Judgment is Looming

I must remind you that Judgment is coming against those who practice evil and ignore the Gospel that truly sets us free from sinful corruption and God’s wrath (Romans 2:5-11; John 8:36). Let me remind you further: while love must be the one motivating us to good and peaceful behaviour, love can also be self-rewarding; we must also be driven by our fear and reverence for God our Creator (Hebrews 12:28). Like the Scripture says, riches, influence, friends and status will count nothing on the day of reckoning (Proverbs 11:4; Zephaniah 1:18).

Last week Monday, in a powerful vision, the Lord took Charis into a Heavenly Room as He entered into Judgment with each one of us in this ministry, including our children who have knowledge of right and wrong. This was a very serious discussion as she was allowed to hear the most common three (3) sins we each commit daily. After she shared with us, we shed tears and prayed in heartfelt repentance. If we in full-time service to God are judged often, how much more should those fear who are lukewarm and ungodly? (1 Peter 4:18).

I was also warned this past Saturday morning by the Lord in a dream when discouragement hardened my heart and led me to sin. I was awakened by my own voice and fear, in which I said, “God we are in the flames!” I got up and prayed confessing my sins, instead of allowing wickedness to overwhelm me and eat away at my faith and salvation. The Lord said that neither death nor His soon coming should find us with an unrepentant sinful heart (Revelation 2:10). This is evident by Charis’ rapture visions that we shared previously in July and August of this year.

In conclusion, this ministry has repeatedly warned people that Christ is coming and that He is near. We have been given no specific dates; however, let us live as if the Lord is coming today! (Revelation 3:11; 22:7, 12) The Lord has also recently given us, as a ministry and family, a great shake-up or awakening. Stay tuned and focused on Christ, and be always repentant and holy so that you may escape God’s judgments and be found worthy to enter heaven.

Are you living a blameless and holy life, walking in the fear of the Lord? Are you maintaining a repentant heart? If you desire a closer 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.

Peace and Grace to You!

Brother Glenn.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Christian Testimony

Recent Short Vision from The Lord to Claudia, Age 8

Given on September 12, 2014

“In the vision I saw myself, Charis and Jaydeen playing outside in our yard with a soccer ball laughing. I suddenly saw the Lord standing close to Charis’ bedroom window. I saw a tall figure dressed in white and gold robe. I could not see His face, but I saw the Lord had pure white hair; His face was covered with blinding light. I ran towards the Lord and I said crying, “Lord I am very sorry for the wicked things I have done, please forgive me”. I tried hugging the Lord, but the light surrounding Him prevented me from reaching closer to Him; at the same time I heard in my mind the words, “THE LORD IS NEAR!” This was the end of the vision”.

We believe the above vision is authentic. Claudia was literally crying uncontrollably when she told us her vision. She was so convinced that she even challenged us to ask the Lord (through Charis) on the truthfulness of this vision. This vision has been confirmed to be true and from the Lord.

Faith-edifying Testimony

Brethren, we have received no Word from the Lord for this week’s article. As you may see, we too are being tested (in addition to what we shared in last week’s “How to Know God is Testing You” article). Without divulging the details of the test that we are currently facing, The Lord has been subjecting us every year, at different times, to some tests, and we hope to share with you at a later stage if the Lord permits. Please pray for this family and ministry for strength and increase of faith! As a ministry, and after prayer, it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and us that we share part of our testimony with you. This will be a rather brief account with some excerpts from our ‘testimony book’. We call it so because the messages we received from the Lord have been recorded and preserved in this book(s).

As Christians, we have a mandate and command from the Lord to tell everyone “…what great things God has done for [us] you” (Luke 8:39).

From the onset, we do not claim to have a superior testimony to that of other believers in Christ, nor are we attempting on setting ourselves apart as having the best testimony. We humbly share the truths from the Lord for your edification. To us, and many other believers in this ministry, our testimony, together with the testimony of the apostles and others, is convincing proof that Jesus Christ, the author of the Christian faith, is ALIVE (Revelation 1:18).

Furthermore, we must recall that the Christian faith is based on the testimony of the work of Christ in the lives of the earlier witnesses (Acts 2:32; 5:32), with the deep convicting power of the Holy Spirit convincing us through the evidence of our outward living. Christianity is not based on a forced lifestyle and carefully coded rituals, but on a joy-driven appreciation for the saving power of Christ Jesus (John 15:11). In addition, every Christian has been given a testimony that lines up (or should line up) with the Bible.

Therefore, the Christian message is a joyful testimony of faith to what the Lord Jesus has produced in our lives. We encourage Christians everywhere to share their testimony of love, peace and hope in Christ Jesus without being ashamed of their faith. Don’t allow the offensive insults from the worldly-driven people to slow you down; excel in love, good works and the joy of your testimony (1 Corinthians 4:1-2). Keep your testimony and don’t lose your confidence in Christ (Hebrews 10:35).

Our Testimony

As it is, we have been sharing our testimony through various messages, visions, experiences and words from the Lord with you. Remember, we freely share what we have heard and experienced in order to encourage you in your most holy faith in Christ Jesus while preparing you for the Kingdom of Heaven, which is very, very near according to the Lord’s own Word to us.

Below are some words Charis wrote down as she heard from the Lord. My wife and I later encouraged her to write down exactly what the Lord said, instead of just telling us what He said. We have decided to selectively share, without any alterations, from the earlier accounts, which started the establishment of this ministry. The latter of her writings are direct commands and some serious rebukes; it is not our intention to ‘expose’ our hidden sins, so these will therefore not be made available here. It must be considered that Charis was only nine and half years when she started writing down the Lord’s words. Her spelling was therefore based on the sound of words from the Lord, and that is how she wrote at the time. Therefore, for your better understanding we have transcribed some passages, and included pictures of  the original messages at the end.

March 18
The Lord said to me that my father (Glenn) must starting praying by this house (our place) and then they will see where they will pray next. They must pray for five(5) Saturdays by each one’s house. The Lord loves us. They can pray as long as they want because as long as they pray now the Lord said that He is coming tonight [This was for His next visit].

March 19
The Lord said to me that He is coming for something so we must go on a fast again but this time we must fast for one (1) day because the next day the Lord is coming for the something and it starts on Monday. The Lord is coming on Tuesday.

March 23
The Lord said to me that we can tell some people about what the Lord showed me and the Lord said to me, when we went on that fast, we were very strong and He came for that something. And that something is that the Lord is going to bless my father with that something and it is going to be his spiritual gift and the Lord said He loves us very much because we obey His Word. The Lord is coming tonight.

March 24
The Lord said to me that my father must pray for his five (5) people because they are beginning to not take note and the Lord is coming tonight.

March 26
The Lord said to me that we must come in agreement tonight because if we come in agreement, my father is going to get his spiritual gift any time but we must believe that he is going to get the spiritual gift. The Lord is coming Sunday for something. The Lord said I wrote the right thing; it was “note”. [We had questioned a phrase she used and the Lord came confirming that she wrote the word "note" correctly]

March 29
The Lord told me that He has nothing more to ask us because we obey and we come in agreement every night. We don’t sit in front of the TV. We go and eat the word of God (Bible reading/studying) and even if we make mistakes, we did ask forgiveness and He loves us for obeying His Word and we must continue what we are doing. The Lord is coming on Wednesday and He is almost done. He will show me about the spiritual gift for my father and for the 5 people and what they must do. We already did do what the Lord wanted us to do.

April 19
My daughter Sophie is going to get her gift of tongues after the prayer meetings and you must not be afraid because you already can pray in tongues and I love your father and mother too. I am coming on the 24 [April 24th].

April 24

The five(5) People must go on a fast for three (3) days and the fast starts Monday and if they go on the fast they must go and pray by each one’s house for 3 days and they may continue with the prayer meetings for three(3) weeks. I love you too and I love the five (5) people too and I have forgiven my son Stanley for out bursting. I am coming tonight for something very big and your father is going to like it.

April 25 - Rapture Vision:

I saw the Lord come down from a cloud and me and mummy and Claudia and Daddy went high in the sky and people were running away and when they tried to hide away, the Lord would find them and the Lord said thatThis is the Rapture and after the Rapture, the devil came and people made a line and then the devil asked the people if they want that 666. The end. The Lord is coming tonight.

May 24
You and your mother and father are doing a great job when you read [The Book of] John. I like it. You must continue what you are doing. I love you and I am coming Wednesday.

May 26
You and your mother and father must just pray and your father must not worry about anything. I will provide and I love you. I am coming on Thursday.

May 28
You and your mother and father are doing a great job when you pray for my son Kevin and I love you for that. I am coming tonight.

May 29
You and your mother and father must pray very hard for your mother’s spiritual gift because I am going to show you and tell you what your mother’s spiritual gift is and I love you. I am coming on Sunday morning.

July 14

Your mother must preach about Judgments of God and I love the home cell people and I love you, your mother, and father. I am coming tonight. [I was working night shift when this message was given; she was so used to her father that she made a mistake; that is why she crossed out the word 'father'.]

July 15
You and your mother and father must pray very hard so that you won’t lose this house and you must go on a fast on Saturday for half day [from 6 to 6] and I could see that the Home cell people were blessed by the Word. I love the Home cell people and I love you and your mother and father and Claudia. I am coming tonight.

July 17
You and your mother and father must have faith that you are not going to lose this house and you are always strong when you must going on a fast and l love your mother and father and Claudia. I am coming tonight.

July 17
I liked it when your father did put the house in the prayer request. And I love you and your mother and father and Claudia. I am coming tonight. [Charis was asleep when I came from late shift work that evening. She did not see me entering this request into our prayer book of request, but the Lord did to my amazement].

July 18
You and your mother and father were very strong and you [Charis being only 9 and half years then] were very strong to go till half past six [18:30] and I love you and your mother and father. I am coming Wednesday.

July 19
You and your mother and father must continue to pray for the house for a month starting today and You won’t lose this HOUSE in Jesus' Name. I love you and your mother and your father and Claudia. I am coming Sunday morning.

July 25
You and your mother and father must pray for another five (5) people. You must pray for My son…









Stay blessed and focused on Christ; be faithful, enduring and praying.

Blessed grace,
Brother Glenn.

Monday, September 22, 2014

How to Know God is Testing You

“The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love Him with all your heart and with all your soul” (Deuteronomy 13:3b NIV).

Fellow brethren, I would like to reiterate that the subject line for our weekly articles on this website is given every Saturday evening to us by our Lord Jesus Christ. As it is, the Lord is also responsible for the visions that we share on this website. Therefore, those who have been looking forward for visions from the Lord on this website, please pray and be patient; the Lord will provide as He wills. He is surely testing many of us, knowing that people only like to read His visions and not His messages. The Lord is testing our faith!

Furthermore, the messages that we present here might not be new, but they are refreshing as we also include some practical visions and messages from the Lord, including actual experiences to augment our message.

Why Does God Test Us?

In last week's article, we discussed how God does not create evil nor tempt us to do evil (James 1:13). The Bible also warns us against testing God (Deuteronomy 6:16; Matthew 4:7). However, God does test us, and in this article we will discuss how to know when He is testing us.

The dictionary defines test as when "the presence, quality, or genuineness of anything is determined; a means of trial or process of assessing".

God searches the hearts – He sees, hears and knows ALL things (Jeremiah 17:10; Romans 8:27; Hebrews 4:13; 1 John 3:20; Rev 2:2, 19; 3:15); He does not test us in order to learn or know what we do, but He does this to humble us, so that in the end it is for OUR OWN GOOD, that all may go well with us (Deuteronomy 8:16; Job 7:17-18 NKJV).

Some of the reasons why The Lord tests us or allows us to be tested include the following:

1. To see if we will be obedient and follow His commands:
  • Then the Lord said to Moses, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day. In this way I will test them and see whether they will follow my instructions (Exodus 16:4).
  • “…I will use them [the nations Joshua left when he died] to test Israel and see whether they will keep the way of the Lord and walk in it as their ancestors did” (Judges 2:22; 3:1, 4).
  • “On the contrary, we speak as those approved by God to be entrusted with the gospel. We are not trying to please people but God, who tests our hearts” (1 Thessalonians 2:4).
2. So that the fear of the Lord will keep us from sinning:
  • Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning” (Exodus 20:20).
3. To know what is in our hearts and see if we love Him with all of our heart and soul:
  • But when envoys were sent by the rulers of Babylon to ask him [King Hezekiah] about the miraculous sign that had occurred in the land, God left him to test him and to know everything that was in his heart (2 Chronicles 32:31).
  • Search me, God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts (Psalm 139:23).
  • “You must not listen to the words of that [false] prophet or dreamer. The Lord your God is testing you to find out whether you love Him with all your heart and with all your soul. It is the Lord your God you must follow, and Him you must revere. Keep His commands and obey Him; serve Him and hold fast to Him” (Deuteronomy 13:3-4).
4. To reward us for obedience and prepare us for heaven:
  • Blessed is the one who perseveres under trial because, having stood the test, that person will receive the crown of life that the Lord has promised to those who love Him (James 1:12).
5. To prove if our faith is genuine:
  • “In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:6-7 NKJV).
6. To fulfill His will, purpose and promises to us:
  • Until the time came to fulfill his dreams, the LORD tested Joseph's character (Psalm 105:19 NLT).
For reference purposes, God tested Abraham to offer his only son, Isaac, as a a burnt offering.   Abraham,was willing to obey God's command completely, until the Lord intervened and provided a ram for the sacrifice (Genesis 22:1-12). His attitude and response was one of faith and obedience. In this account, we don’t see Abraham questioning God; instead He complied with God’s command in a submissive and obedient attitude. It is important to know that God knew Abraham before he was (Psalm 139:16). Therefore, for the benefit of us who wondered why was it necessary for God to test Abraham if He knew how he would respond, this was for Abraham's own benefit, so that he might know God and have a personal experience with the Father. A living faith in God expresses itself in action in order to make our experience real with Him.

Similarly, in our everyday relationship with our families and friends, what shows our interest in them is what we do for them; they value and respond to that. Abraham’s faith was an act of obedience and an expression of love to God (Genesis 26:5; John 14:15). It must be remembered that the Christian faith involves test and such tests measure our faith, attitudes and seriousness in our relationship with God (Jeremiah 17:10). When we are being tested, we always respond from our self-will (Luke 22:42). In this regard, our will is in agreement with God’s command in an active response which we know as faith.

How Do You Know God is Testing You?

We should not blame God when bad things happen. This often happens when we confuse being tested by God with falling into temptation, and suffering the consequences of our own folly, sins or unbelief as a result of allowing Satan to wreak havoc in our lives.

Usually, God's testing can come in two ways: Firstly, we can ask the Lord to test our faithfulness, as David did, when he asked The Lord to examine his heart and mind and determine that he was true to Him (Psalm 26:2; 139:23). Secondly, The Lord can also test us, or allow us to be tested, as He pleases – as was the case with Job (Job 1:12), Abraham, and the Israelites.

When many people go through testing and trials, they immediately start to complain, have strife, feel pity, or look to others for help or "bail-out", when all that is needed is to have faith, pray and look to God instead. For example, when the Israelites were tested at the Waters of Marah and Elim, they grumbled and complained against Moses. But Moses cried out to the Lord who showed him a piece of wood which he threw in the water and the water became drinkable (Exodus 15:22-26).) Moses trusted God and his faith was an act of obedience. These tests are opportunities to show and grow good fruit.

So, how can we tell whether God is truly testing us? Here are some of the ways to identify when our testing is from God:
  1. When trials come your way even though you are walking blameless and upright, fearing God and shunning evil (Job 1:8; Daniel 3:17-18).
     
  2. When you are genuinely and sincerely seeking a closer walk with the Lord Jesus Christ, and ask Him to examine your heart (Psalm 17:3).
     
  3. When the Lord has made specific promises to you, you believe, and trials come your way before the promises are fulfilled, as was was the case with Joseph (Psalm 105:19 NLT).
     
  4. When, after seeking the Lord, we get into situations where we must make a choice between right and wrong (Daniel 6:6-13). God is pleased with integrity (1 Chronicles 29:17a) and never tempts us to do anything wrong (James 1:13).
     
  5. God tests our hearts (our desire for Him and our obedience to His word) leading to a closer relationship with Him and salvation of our souls (1 Chronicles 29:17a; 1 Pet 1:6-9); Satan tempts our hearts in order to lead us away from God and His will (Matthew 4:1-11), causing us to desire and pursue worldliness (including material or outward things and spiritual falsehood), and eventually end up in hell (Romans 6:23).
Brief Testimony on God Testing Us

Briefly, as a family and ministry we have been subjected to many tests from the Lord and I have well chronicled most of them in an article titled Obedience Through Test. We often don’t know when God is testing us. He can use anybody and any situation, for example: a beggar asking for money (Acts 3:1-5); or someone losing their money bag and you knowingly picked it up but kept quiet; someone cursing you and you retaliate (2 Samuel 16:5-13); you are lied to and flow with it (1 Kings 13:16-18); or you are in a situation where you feel “stuck” and need God help but you don’t faithfully pray (2 Chronicles 16:12).

Admittedly, tests are not always pleasant experiences; however the testing of our faith is part of the Christian walk, and it produces good fruit such as patience/perseverance (James 1:3). By the test, God is refining our faith (Psalm 66:10; Job 23:10; Zechariah 13:9). It is necessary for one simple reason: to see if we trust and agree with God; after the testing the Lord has reserved a blessing (Hebrews 12:2; 2 Timothy 4:8). While the Lord is going to reward us (materially or otherwise), spiritually our relationship with Him is growing in love, trust and obedience. Test from God is not a torment or suffering, but a test of obedience and endurance. During testing, we are ‘pruned’ to obey and surrender fully to God. He is teaching us to put our reliance on Him (Deuteronomy 8:2).

Before the Lord blessed us with our own vehicle, my wife and I, along with our ministry people, walked back and forth between our witnessing destinations and home. There were also times after our evening prayers when my wife and I would walk our fellow prayer partners home, leaving each person in front of their homes before we made our way back home. Those were times of great test; God saw our commitment and He graciously blessed us with our own means of transport.

In addition, one of our tests that the Lord gave us was that we should take in and care for a mother, her two children, and two additional girls – five people in total. I earned about $80 a month, from which we had to reserve for my monthly transportation costs to work and our mortgage. It was little but we had contentment and peace. Through all these, the Lord was faithful to provide and supply all of our needs (Philippians 4:19); we made it through by His grace!

In conclusion, brothers and sisters, the Lord tests us for our good. He has also promised us that “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it (1 Corinthians 10:13). So,let us be encouraged to stand firm in our faith and persevere through tests from the Lord, or trials and temptations from the enemy, that we may receive the victor’s crown that the Lord has promised to those who love Him (James 1:12).

May God’s tests refine you like silver and test you like gold, that the genuineness of your faith – which is of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may be proven and result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed (Psalm 66:10; Zechariah 13:9; 1 Peter 1:7).

Have you been going through tests and trials lately? If you desire true refuge in a close 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.

God’s peace and abundant grace be upon you,

Brother Glenn.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Blaming God When Bad Things Happen - Part I

Why Do People Blame God for Bad Things that Happen to Them?

Brethren, in this article I do not claim to have all the answers to why people blame God. I solely rely on the Holy Spirit to guide my conscience in relation to this message. Many Christians fail and give up on their faith after allowing sin to eat away at their faith and obedience.

The Lord has given this message in response to people (saved or unsaved) who blame Him for their misfortune(s). The principal reason why people blame the Lord is based on their understanding that God is all powerful and He directs all things; so why does/did He allow such evil to happen to them?

As a ministry, we too have our set of problems and challenges, even though the Lord is speaking to us the way He does. He expects us to pray and have faith in Him if we are trapped by bad thing; sitting around and blaming Him only gives rise to more trouble! Therefore, in our own suffering we accept the discomfort of the situation we are facing, while trusting the Lord for complete deliverance and continuing to gather the fruit of perseverance and longsuffering (2 Timothy 3:10-11).

Why is God Blamed?

Briefly, we find a few instances recorded in Scripture where people directly blame the Lord for their unfortunate situations. Naomi, the widow of Elimelech was one such person, who was bitter after losing her husband and two sons. For we hear her say, “… my daughters, my life is much too bitter for you to share, because the Lord’s hand has turned against me” (Ruth 1:13 HCSB). She also says, Don’t call me Naomi. Call me Mara, … for the Almighty has made me very bitter. I went away full, but the Lord has brought me back empty. Why do you call me Naomi, since the Lord has pronounced judgment on me, and the Almighty has afflicted me?” (Ruth 1:20-21).

Furthermore, when tragedy struck Job, he said, “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will leave this life. The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Praise the name of Yahweh (Job 1:21). Equally, after discovering he was in trouble, Adam blamed God saying “the woman You put here with me…” (Genesis 3:12 NIV).

Similarly, Moses blamed God for sending him to Pharaoh, given the harsh treatment Pharaoh and his officials meted out to the Israelites (Exodus 5:22-23). In these few Scriptures, we see two undeniable facts, namely: God is present and has a direct interest in the status quo; and knowing God’s fearful POWER, the affected individual questions why He has allowed this unfortunate situation to happen.

As humans, our immediate response to an unfortunate situation is “where is God and why did He allow this to happen to me?” The Bible says that a day of evil is reserved for all mankind (Ecclesiastes 9:2-3; Job 14:1; Acts 20:24). The world, as we know it, is filled with every kind of evil all around. I have heard people arguing that God is the author of all the confusion and evil in the world since He created everything (1 Corinthians 14:33). We do know that all things are from God (Psalm 24:1; 50:12), and that He is almighty, but He does not bring evil (James 1:13). Evil is executed upon us when the evil doer intends to harm us (Genesis 50:20; 1 Peter 5:8-9). It is wicked to blame God when we are being trapped by evil. Shall God, who says “Avoid every kind of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22 NIV), still bring evil upon us? If we consider God to be a fair and righteous God, after having brought evil upon us, would He have a basis to judge the guilty if He was the author of such evil? (2 Thessalonians 1:5-8; 2:5-8; Proverbs 11:21). Therefore, if the Scriptures declare that our sin reveals God’s righteousness (Romans 3:5-8), can we still blame Him when bad things happen to us? No! The Lord God will punish those who are responsible for the evil against us! (2 Thessalonians 1:6).

Scripturally, we have proved above that God created everything except evil, for evil is an act of rebellion against God (sin or wickedness). The Bible tells us that He created "the tree of life [which] was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil" (Genesis 2:9). God gave man free will and choice to eat from every tree in the garden, but He commanded him not to eat from tree of the knowledge of good and evil; violation of this command would lead to man's death (Genesis 2:17). We know that death and evil entered the world when man disobeyed this command (Genesis 3:6; 16-19). In His great love for man, God gave man commands to live by, choices and consequences that lead to eternal life or death, blessing or disaster. He pleads with us to "choose life, that both you and your descendants may live" (Deuteronomy 30:19-20). Some might find the Scripture in Isaiah 45:7 as saying God created evil, but we know evil was allowed to co-exist with good in the world so that man may choose good and life. The word “evil” as used in the Bible is from a Hebrew word that means “adversity, affliction, disaster, calamity, distress, misery” -- the consequences God allows to come upon us a result of our rebellion against His Word and commands (Jeremiah 32:23). If God was the author of evil, He would not have given us commands to live by in order to root out evil; would He? (Luke 11:28; Deuteronomy 11:13). Being a just and holy God, He thus separates Himself from sinful behaviour - He is light and in Him is no darkness at all (1 John 1:5).  Therefore, blaming God when people sin against us, or when bad things happen to us, is wicked and shows folly and faithlessness. Job reacted in a dignified way when he rather praised God despite his predicament (Job 1:20-21). In addition, Satan asked for permission from God to make job’s life miserable. The devil used all kinds of evil devices, causing death, suffering and devastation (Job 1:1-22; 2:1-10). Briefly, Satan used evil, but God preserved and rebuilt Job’s life and fully restored him (Job 42:12-17). During King David's 40-year reign, he had many ups and downs, and he wrote many of his Psalms when he was under great distress. Instead of blaming God, he chose to humble himself and trust Him, finding comfort in God's goodness and praising Him in spite of the dire circumstances he was going through.  In the end he was blessed - "he died at a good old age, having enjoyed long life, wealth and honor" (1 Chronicles 29:26-28).

Is There Evil in the World?

Without going into complex theological questions and debates, The Bible asserts that after the fall of man, evil became part of human nature and bad things followed as a result of that condition (Genesis 3:1-19; 6:5). As human beings, we conveniently only blame God when things are going against us, but when things are going well with us, we express our satisfaction through indulgent appreciation. We receive God's blessings without complaining, and celebrate these as "good fortunes" or "good luck". After the fall, God allowed evil into this world to exist alongside us so that in our distress we should long for His grace and deliverance (Genesis 3:22-24; 2 Corinthians 1:1-11). Humans share this planet with Satan and demonic spirits who come and go as they please (Job 2:2; 1 Peter 5:8). It must also be recalled that Satan used people,  nature and his own evil powers to cause Job harm (Job 1:13-19; 2:1-9). Satan also requested a similar request to destroy Peter, but an intercessory prayer from the Lord Jesus rendered the devil's evil plans useless (Luke 22:31).

In addition, the Bible warned the inhabitants of the earth that Satan has come to the earth to steal, kill and destroy souls (John 10:10; Revelation 12:12). This prophetic passage is an account of what happened in the Heavens at the fall of Satan; he was hurled down to the earth together with his demonic host (Revelation 12:9; Luke 10:18). His work is to deceive and give God a bad name so that he can "cash in" on people's souls. Therefore, evil is decreed to operate on this earth until the final consummation (Matthew 13:27-30). Our relief and protection is in Christ alone against the unseen evil. WATCH OUT O' PEOPLE, EVIL IS OUR NEIGHBOR; JESUS CHRIST IS OUR ONLY HIDING PLACE! (Genesis 4:7; Colossians 1:15-20).

As it is, God having seen the evil that man brought upon himself through disobedience (Romans 5:12-21), He gave us Jesus Christ to rescue us from the effects of sin and all the evil resulting from this. The Lord God came with a message, saying that He loved the world and wants to save the human race from the coming evil (wages of sin) through the suffering, death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ (John 3:16-18; Matthew 3:7). By coming to Christ, we become children of God (John 1:12-13; 1 John 3:1a) and are guaranteed victory and a complete escape from all harm and evil, and lasting peace for the hereafter (Isaiah 57:2; Psalm 37:37; Matthew 25:21). In this age, however, we will have trouble, for the nature of evil is kindled against all mankind; but God gives comfort and hope (John 16:33; Romans 15:13; 2 Thessalonians 3:16).

Warning of Pending Trouble

In a short message recently, the Lord warned a sister (through Charis) that trouble was decreed against her and that she must "WATCH OUT for wicked people". The Lord warned her saying that Satan was using people to destroy her life in three messages. She disregarded the Lord's warning and she was trapped by evil and this led her to sin. The Lord in His Mercy granted her grace. This is reminiscent of trouble that was decreed against Paul; it still occurred, but God was glorified through his suffering (Acts 21:11). In a separate incident, my wife lost her cellphone and in comforting her, the Lord said that she had ignored the Holy Spirit who warned her to guard her phone. As a result of her ignoring the Holy Spirit her phone was stolen.

If we are constantly in prayer and have faith, the Lord will warn us of looming danger, otherwise if we are not vigilant in prayer and shun sin, we'll be trapped by evil (Luke 21:36). When we continue in sinful desires, such evil will catch up with us, for sin is generous - it pays a wages! (Romans 6:23). Therefore, when we sin the compensation for evil is just because we fail to heed warning.

There is earned evil as a consequence of our actions and our failure to heed warnings: for example the Lord allowed an evil Spirit to torment Saul (1 Samuel 19:9); David was promised calamity after the extramarital affair with Bathsheba and subsequent murder of her husband (2 Samuel 12:9-14); after Solomon sinned, God raised adversaries against him (1 Kings 11:14-25); Some people were also struck with leprosy as in the case of Miriam when she spoke against Moses (Numbers 12:10), and King Uzziah who sinned in the temple of The Lord by trying to burn incense (2 Chronicles 26:20); King Josiah died in battle as a result of ignoring God's command through Necho king of Egypt (2 Chronicles 35:21-24); etc. Likewise, many people will ultimately inherit wrath in Hell for rejecting Jesus as their Savior (Matthew 25:46; John 5:27-29; Matthew 13:46-48; Hebrews 10:26-31; Hebrews 12:25; Revelation 20:12-15). The Bible also warns us against evil that is planned against us resulting in trials, and this is equally dangerous (Jeremiah 38:6; John 16:33); however, the Word of God encourages us to rejoice in such sufferings (Romans 5:3-5; 1 Peter 1:6-9; James 1:2-4).

Remember, the Lord chastises those He loves, and He wants us to repent (Hebrews 12:6; Revelation 3:19); we need not confuse God's judgement of his children against the consequences of sin. In the Old Testament sin was punished almost immediately, but when Jesus Christ came God allowed events to run the way they are, but set a day aside to finally judge all rebellion (2 Thessalonians 1:3-11). However, this marvelous act of God's grace should not be taken advantage of (2 Corinthians 6:1; 2 Peter 2:4-9); Sin still results in evil consequences (Galatians 6:8), the ultimate and severest of which is is death (Romans 6:23).

God our Comforter

In this evil world, bad things happen to the righteous and the ungodly alike (Ecclesiastes 9:2-3). However, for the righteous, God stands ready to provide us with help we need, if we wholly trust Him (Psalm 50:15; 91:15; 121:1-2). The Lord promised that He would never leave those who trust in Him, nor forsake those whose faith is in Him (Hebrews 13:5). These are familiar Scriptures and I know when trouble hits us we usually don’t appreciate the value of such comfort from the Lord.

The most discomforting thing in life is trouble that comes against us. Sometimes, we are directly responsible for the trouble, and sometimes we are just innocent victims. The point we are making is this: if we face trouble, we have God to comfort us and to deliver us from such discomfort, as He did with Job, Naomi, Daniel, and many others. Trouble is therefore unavoidable in this life and an evil day is reserved for all of us (Ecclesiastes 9:12). Scripturally, we know God uses the evil that was intended and turns it into comfort for us and for His glory (Genesis 50:20). God does not bring evil, He works against evil for our good (Isaiah 9:6; Romans 8:28).

Finally, throughout the Bible, God promises deliverance (Psalm 91:1-16; Isaiah 43:2; Job 5:19). Therefore, brace yourself for deliverance when you trust in God in the day of trouble! It is not right to blame God when we are trapped by bad things. The Lord warns us that bad things are bound to happen, through temptations or otherwise (Matthew 18:7), but the one causing it will be held responsible. While trouble is inevitable, it might be an opportunity for us to reach to God for help and apply His grace to obedient living (John 5:14; 8:10-11).

I would like to conclude by saying that serving the Lord is NOT a guarantee that we would be trouble-free. In their address to Christians, Paul, Peter, James and the Lord Jesus Christ acknowledged that suffering would be part of the salvation package (Romans 5:3; 1 Peter 4:12-19; James 1:2; John 15:20). It is our response, through faith and obedience, that would determine if we trusted in the Lord, rather than blaming Him.

Let us therefore stop blaming God when bad things happen to us and in the world; this heaps up judgement against us. Is our situation blinding us to make God our scape-goat when He promises to help us? Do you think God genuinely intends to cause us pain, trouble and conflict when He commands us to come to Him for comfort (Matthew 11:28-29)? Brethren, we must acknowledge the existence of evil and that bad things are as a result of evil. God plays no malicious role; His intention is to genuinely rescue us from all evil and things that troubles us.  That is why He will create a new heaven and a new earth as a new beginning and also wipe away all our tears (Revelation 21:1-4).

Being a parent, I would not like to cause pain to any of my children; do you genuinely believe God delights in our troubles? The Lord Himself says: “I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live”; He urgently pleads with us to “Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die…?” (Ezekiel 18:32; 33:11)? The Lord Jesus encourages us to be "faithful servants" who are always prepared (Matthew 24:45-51; Matthew 25:19-23). He has already forewarned us that things will only get progressively worse as His second coming nears (Matthew 24:1-35; 2 Timothy 3:5; Revelation 8:13).

Have you been blaming God for all your troubles and growing further away from Him? Have you been under attack from the enemy and feel that God is far from you? Do you want to become a child of God who will overcome evil? Our Heavenly Father has reserved just love for the entire human race; repent now and escape to Him for deliverance! Here is a Prayer of Sincere Repentance to get you started in a renewed relationship with Him. For any questions or comments on this article or our ministry, please contact us.

Blessed grace,
Brother Glenn.
PS: You may read Part II here Blaming God When Bad Things Happen – Part II.