Monday, December 28, 2015

Leaning on God’s Strength

Brief Book Update: Dear Brethren, incase you missed it, we want to share the good news that both the paperback and Kindle format of our first book “Preparing for the Kingdom of God: True Divine Encounters and Teachings from the Lord Jesus Christ – Book 1” are now published and available on Amazon. We give all glory to God for His great help in writing, editing, and publishing it!

As we approach the New Year, many of us expect new things to happen, and some of us are looking forward to the Lord’s coming. While we patiently await that most BLESSED DAY, let us continue in obedience and faithful service to the Lord. We as a ministry would like to express our greatest love to all our brethren who faithfully supports us in prayer and in everything else that helps to keep this work stay afloat. In humble gratitude, if you did not return your love for us by praying, supporting and reading the work we publish here, we would have no joy in our work. The Lord gives us great comfort and joy, and He has blessed us with you and your fellowship, even if it is through this platform. Once again, we pray that you all have A BLESSED NEW YEAR in Christ Jesus, and we pray that this message blesses you more and more in faithful service to our Lord.

The Word of God exhorts us to trust in God and not to lean on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6). There is also another very powerful and familiar portion of Scripture, which is often quoted on the same topic:
“This is what the Lord says: The man who trusts in mankind, who makes human flesh his strength and turns his heart from the Lord is cursed. He will be like a juniper in the Arabah; he cannot see when good comes but dwells in the parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land where no one lives. The man who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence indeed is the Lord, is blessed. He will be like a tree planted by water: it sends its roots out toward a stream, it doesn’t fear when heat comes, and its foliage remains green. It will not worry in a year of drought or cease producing fruit” (Jeremiah 17:5-8 HCSB).
Encouragement to Depend on God

As Christians and believers in the Lord Jesus Christ, we should be depending on God. We will be sharing some real experiences from the Lord on this subject for your encouragement. It is worth mentioning that the Lord Jesus Christ is aware of our every suffering and the challenges we face (Hebrews 4:15). Evidently, some of our sufferings stem from panic and fear, forcing us to become dependent on man instead of depending on the Lord (Genesis 3:10). If we will literally denounce our dependence on the arm of flesh and choose to trust in the Lord, the Lord in His power, love and might will move the heart of whomever else He pleases to use or supernaturally meet our need. He is true to His promises to "… never leave you or forsake (abandon) you" (Hebrews 13:5). Furthermore, if we have a solid faith in God and are not being shaken by fear and panic, we are guaranteed deliverance, provisions, and protection (Psalm 125:1). The Bible also assures us: “I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his children (descendants) begging bread” (Psalm 37:25). Furthermore, as we know, our Christian journey is based on faith and the ‘evidence’ or proof of our faith is God’s response in the natural to our prayer requests (Mark 11:24; 2 Corinthians 5:7).

Godly Counsel in Needy Times

With the Scriptures being our guide to truth and encouragement, below we examine some Scriptural references about real people who literally trusted in God for protection and provision.
  • When King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon gave an urgent order to execute the wise men of Babylon, Daniel did not panic in fear; instead, he and his companions trusted God and sought Him to provide a way out of the situation (Daniel 2:14-19).
  • Similarly, when Sennacherib King of Assyria threatened King Hezekiah, he did not go and make a treaty with some foreign army like King Asa did (2 Chronicles 16:7-9). Instead, he went to the Lord, the Shield of Abraham, in prayer and the Lord was faithful and help him (2 Kings 19:1-7).
  • When the Reubenites, the Gadites and the half-tribe of Manasseh waged war against the Hagrites, Jetur, Naphish and Nodab, we read in the Bible that, "They were helped in fighting them, and God delivered the Hagrites and all their allies into their hands, because they cried out to him during the battle. He answered their prayers, because they trusted in him" (1 Chronicles 5:18-21).
  • King David, when he was fleeing from Saul, did not take matters into his own hand to fight Saul; he sought Godly counsel in prayer and followed God’s plan and fled (1 Samuel 23:12; Proverbs 15:22).
  • Likewise, when our Lord Jesus was arrested by the Roman soldiers, He did not depend on the swords of His disciples for protection but trusted in the LORD God Almighty (Matthew 26:50-53).
Dependence on Men and Ourselves Yields Cursing

We often hear these popular statements: "Believe in yourself!" or “Trust in yourself!” While these statements may sound quite encouraging and uplifting, as Christians we know in whose strength our faith must truly rest (1 Corinthians 2:5). God has not called us to believe in our own abilities, (2 Corinthians 10:17), but to believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, for in Him we have given up our rights and surrender to Him in full (John 6:29). Thus, we can do all things through Christ (not through ourselves) who strengthens us (Philippians 4:13 NKJV). If it is by our own strength, then we glory in the flesh (Judges 7:2).

As it is, there were some people in the Bible who trusted in themselves and even followed ungodly ideas of men and in return, they received curses rather than blessings:
  • When King Rehoboam chose to take the bad advice of his young friends, Israel rebelled against Him (2 Chronicles 10:10-19).
  • When Nabal chose to return evil for good by not acting in kindness to King David, the Lord struck Him down and he died (1 Samuel 25:5-38).
  • When King Ahab chose to listen to his wife Jezebel’s wicked advice to kill Naboth and steal his vineyard, the Lord promised punishment and disaster for Ahab's family (1 Kings 21: 17-24; 22:37-38).
  • Likewise, when King David relied on his own power and authority to get rid of Uriah the Hittite and took his wife Bathsheba, the Lord promised to raise evil against him from his own household (2 Samuel 12:7-12).
Therefore, “It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man” (Psalm 118:8).

We should not be Giving Orders to God

After my conversion in 1990 and being born again, like most new Christians, I was quick to blame the Lord when the reality of test appeared, crying, “this is not working!” and “God is not answering my prayers!” I panicked in fear as Peter did (Matthew 14:30). However, as I matured in my faith, I learned that I should not demand of God to act as if I am ordering a servant. It is true that most Christians have this perception that we can simply order the Lord around when we face steep challenges. One of the most popular but false teachings advocated by prosperity teachers is that Christians have a right or entitlement to God’s blessings and should, therefore, “name it and claim it”, demanding of the Lord to give us whatever material wealth or health we desire. In humility and truth, we are to be patient and steadfast in the midst of our situation, and the Lord will grant deliverance as He wills (Daniel 3:18). Over the years, I have since learned to employ faith, patience and humility to win God’s favor, because the Lord is not moved by our ‘quick and urgent’ and demanding attitudes (Isaiah 40:31). God responds to a humble request in faith (James 4:6). In one of our previous articles (please refer to Patience: An Essential Fruit to Inherit God's Promises) we mentioned that the fruit of patience slows us down and it helps us focus on God's salvation and deliverance. From my own experiences, consistent prayer might appear arduous, tedious and wearisome, but it brings forth trust, endurance and a patient faith (Luke 18:1-8). I can tell you, it pleases the Lord when we show our faith and dependence on Him. In a message to me recently, I sensed the Lord’s joy when He appraised my faith and in His good pleasure, He granted my request. Hallelujah!

In 1991, when I was retrenched from my first formal job, I had my first taste of frustration as a Christian. I had no income to pay my monthly rental, and after experiencing a few months of frustrations and disappointments of not finding a job, a brother whom I truly regard as a faithful mentor in Christ advised me to go on a fast for a few days and stop my dependence on people. I willingly followed the brother’s counsel and I went on my first ever fasting experience as a Christian, which was a three-day fast. On the last day of my fast, the Lord spoke to me through the Bible and said that He had opened a door of employment for me (Revelation 3:7-8). As confirmation, and what made this verse so shockingly true, was that those words of ‘an open door’ were similar to the wording in my page of prayer request, and back then I was not aware that such a verse of open door existed in the Bible. A few days after my fasting, I had a dream from the Lord in which I saw a man coming to me with a job offer. About a week after this dream, a man who lived in the same block of flats as I did, came and told me that the company he works for was looking for people. I was suitably qualified and when I went to the interview I was offered the job. In His faithfulness, the Lord honored my faith and granted my request.

In a similar experience, a brother in the Lord recently told me that he had failed his motor car driver’s test twice because he was depending on the ‘mercy’ of the officer to overlook his mistakes and give him a pass to obtain his driver’s license. However, after realizing that he had made man his dependence, he repented and went on a one-day fast and on his third attempt the Lord fulfilled a promise He had made to him a few months earlier in a dream that He would receive his driver’s license.

In another test, in January of 2010, I was unable to provide for my family and pay our mortgage. I had relied on many people to help me find a job, and to give us whatever money or groceries they had. In my desperation, I even approached my pastor, who had many contacts, for possible jobs but her promises did not yield anything. To add insult to injury, someone even told me: “You are praying so much, but God don’t seem to answer your prayers for a job!” I was hurt by those words, and I regard them as mocking to the Lord. My family’s suffering and frustrations drove sharp arrows of conflict at home, dividing the family. In another desperate act, I humbly went to God who had helped me previously; I fasted for seven days, giving myself literally to God (you may read my full testimony in our Preparing for The Kingdom Book 1, under the chapter on “Prayer is the Key to Solving All Problems – Part I”). After seeing my position of humility and helplessness, the faithful God took mercy on me, answered my prayers, and provided the financial means that we needed.

This is what the Bible says to encourage us:
  • I lift up my eyes to the mountains— where does my help come from? My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth (Psalm 121:1-2).
  • Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths (Proverbs 3:5-6).
  • Call on Me in a day of trouble; I will rescue you, and you will honor Me.” (Psalm 50:15)
Therefore, brothers and sisters, put your trust and faith in God’s hands, and He will not overlook your situation as many think He does. God knows your anxious thoughts and CARES FOR YOU (Psalm 139:2; 23; 1 Peter 5:7). The Word also says: “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous be shaken” (Psalm 55:22).

As we conclude this message, we must consider our attitude when asking help from the Lord. From our experience, we have learned that we must be submissive to God and not have a demanding attitude. We should also not base our faith on some formulated prayers or dogma, or look to a certain preacher for answers. Our hope and trust must be in the Lord alone to help through any trying situation we ma face.

A few years ago, I learned from someone about a Christian woman who, while lying on her sick bed, earnestly desired her pastor to pray for her healing. Due to his busy schedule, the pastor could not make it to her bedside to pray for her. This led her to think that her pastor didn’t care about her. In her desperation for her pastor’s prayers, this precious sister did not value the worth and power of her own prayers and that of other believers. If we would only turn with desperation to the Lord, He who sees everything is READY to take over our situation. As it is, after a few weeks the young woman died without receiving healing, because her dependence and faith rested on her pastor’s prayers and not on God’s ability and promises to heal her. This is the unfortunate situation of many Christians: their dependence, hope and confidence are in man and they like piggybacking on others. This should not be the case, "For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin" (Hebrews 4:15 NKJV)

We encourage you to read further on how prayer releases God’s blessings and deliverance by studying your Bibles. You may also reference our articles on Prayer: The Key to All Problems - Parts I and Part II. To accept the Lord Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please begin by praying this Prayer of Sincere Repentance. For any questions or comments on this article or our ministry, please contact us.

Have a blessed new year trusting in God alone, and may your year be filled with Jesus’ love!

Brother Glenn van Rooyen and Preparing for the Kingdom Ministry Team.

Monday, December 14, 2015

True Repentance

Repent and Be a Witness

Quick Update on the Book Project: We have finished editing the book and are doing the final touches and hope to have it available before Christmas. We plan to publish both in book print format and an eBook (Kindle format), both of which will be available on Amazon.com. The book includes Biblical teachings, testimonies, and visions which will stir up your faith by encouraging you to trust God, seek Him, and be patient through submission to God as He prunes us to grow in truth, obedience and bear spiritual fruit for service. The book is full of edifying insights to help you in your walk with the Lord Jesus Christ. We also share warnings which encourage the fear of God and living holy lives as we prepare for His soon coming!

Last week we wrote an article on being born again. It would be only appropriate to follow up with an article with a similar tone and this week we share with you, True Repentance. Biblically, the word repentance means to turn from the direction of living a sinful life to a godly life in Christ (2 Chronicles 7:14; Ezekiel 18:21-23). Many people believe that there is a God and savior, but only a few live repentant lives. Just recently, we were smitten with grief and disappointment when the Lord exposed a case of false repentance. The individual concerned practiced good Christianity in our presence but the moment he leaves us, he leads a secret life of sin. This is best described as hypocrisy and false repentance. It means he had repented for the wrong reasons: to please man rather than God. Often those who have repented falsely do so for the benefit of personal gain. How many people do we know who claimed to have repented of  their wicked ways in order to marry a person in the church whom they lusted after? Are there not people we know who ‘repent’ and speak our Christian language only for financial or some other gain? Well, such behavior may give us a temporary false gain by using God for the wrong purposes. In fact, such folly will only backfire on us with some dire consequences (Romans 8:13).

Therefore, every truly born again believer who has gone through the experience of repentance knows what the Lord expects of us (1 Peter 2:1-3; 1 John 3:9). This is where our relationship with the Risen Lord starts. In addition to pursuing a life of peace and upright living as the above Scripture declares, the Lord Jesus Christ called us to be His witnesses to the world (Acts 1:8; Matthew 28:19-20). As we know in today’s church environment, many Christians display their Christian ‘power’ and ‘authority’ by shielding themselves with lofty ministry titles. Church titles don’t win souls! If we use official church titles to impress and attract people to us, are we not sinning? Should we not be making followers of Christ rather than of us? (1 Corinthians 1:12).

Now many brethren in the Body of Christ are seeking after the official ministry titles, like apostles, prophets, pastors, evangelist, and teachers. In the past, we inquired of the Lord for some enthusiastic brethren who were eager to hear what their callings were. After hearing the Lord sending them to the streets to witness, many of them were disappointed, and like the rich young man whom the Lord called to humility (Matthew 19:16-22), they doubted the Lord’s message and clung to man’s approval of them. They thought the Lord would say ‘welcome apostle or prophet’; instead, they were encouraged to evangelize to the lost in the streets, to their colleagues at their work places or at home to their family members. The Lord knows that some of those who desire the formal ministry titles desire power and status. We know John the Baptist came as a prophet but his prophetic message was a testimony from our Heavenly Father to reveal our Lord Jesus Christ to the world (John 1:32-34). He started out his ministry preaching repentance (Matthew 3:2). This was repeated by Peter on the day of Pentecost (Acts 2:38), and subsequently the apostle Paul went through a similar experience; he repented and immediately started sharing his testimony (Acts 9:18-22).

What is Repentance?

There can be no salvation without repentance or being born again (John 3:3-8; Matthew 3:2; 4:17). Biblically, repentance means turning from sin to God (Deuteronomy 30:1-2; 2 Chronicles 6:26-27). In other words, once we have renounced our sins through confessing (acknowledging) our sins we have repented and we immediately receive God’s Holy Spirit as ‘down payment’ (Ephesians 1:13-14) and the adoption of sonship in Christ (Ephesians 1:5).

Sadly, there are many people who have faith in God and the redemptive work of Christ Jesus, but let me tell you: faith that does not involve repentance by living according to the Spirit (Galatians 5:16; 25) is not a reflection of a true faith (Acts 20:21). Therefore, obedience to the Lord is required with a complete yielding and submission to God as we follow the conviction of the Holy Spirit to correct our hearts and attitudes (James 4:7; Acts 2:37).

In addition, the Bible says repentance involves a complete change of the heart, soul (mind, will and emotions) abandoning of old ways (Ezekiel 11:18-20). It is more than just mere sorrow for sin; it is a total surrender to the Lord. True repentance as we noted above is acknowledging our sins as deserving God’s judgment and turning from that sin to ask the Lord’s forgiveness (1 Kings 8:47-50). If we are sorrowful for our sins and we ignore the conviction from the Holy Spirit to make right with the Lord, we act on self-pity. As the Word correctly declares, Godly sorrow leads to repentance and a new life in Christ (2 Corinthians 7:9-10; Psalm 51:1-17). Our repentance is proven by the genuineness and our change of behavior (Luke 3:8-14; 2 Corinthians 5:17 NKJV; 1 John 2:4-6).

I have come across a lot of people who expressed great sorrow for their sins. Some even quote this Scripture: “… God have mercy on me, a sinner” (Luke 18:13-14 NIV), but sadly, they continue in their sins. How many of you reading here merely have sorrow for your sins but you never truly repent? Will you only feel sorry for your sins and even confess them to others in self-pity, but not act by faith coming from the Holy Spirit’s conviction and repent? We know the consequences of sin brings about God’s judgments (Romans 6:23). Therefore, repent and follow the Lord in fearful obedience. Don’t give up on life and reject salvation! Remember, Christ is that life (John 14:6). Accept Him, see He is calling you to His love and rest (Matthew 11:28). For your assurance, I repeat what the Lord once told us: I will always love all people equally. Arise, don’t just sit there and say, "Yes, I know He loves me." Show Him love too by repenting of your sins and following Him in obedience (John 14:15).

We Must Be Committed and Faithful

In some of our experiences with the Lord, He revealed to us that there are countless Christians who will miss Heaven. He said those practicing deceitful living had a shallow repentance, ready to turn to sin when the flesh and occasions demand. He attributes this to their willful disobedience to Him, by leading unholy lives (Hebrews 12:14; Matthew 7:13-14).

Let me share a brief testimony, a few years ago I witnessed the gospel to a young man who lives about a stone's throw from us. In response, he told me that he saved a copy of the ‘Sinner’s Prayer’ on his desktop and every morning before starting work he would locate the sinners prayer on his desktop and read it out loud to himself while ‘repenting’. Meanwhile, he continued living in sin with his girlfriend. No doubt, this is a trend in today’s society. While we must confess our wrongdoing to the Lord, repeating our wrong living is outright disobedience and a life of bondage. We cannot be content with such a repentance, losing faithfulness and if that is YOU, my brother or sister, then you are playing with your salvation and not taking it seriously.

Kindly allow me to briefly share with you another testimony. We had people who left our fellowship and who could not endure the Lord’s corrections as He rebuked them for willful sinning (Hebrews 10:26). In sharp, but gentle warnings the Lord warned them that HELL is for sinners and disobedient Christians (John 3:36; Ezekiel 18:24). Previously we have shared on Sinning Deliberately, and you are welcome to read this article. Now, we know that the Lord does forgive us if we make mistakes. However, the above Scriptures also say that He will punish the wrongdoer for willful disobedience. In a rebuke to a young, nine-year-old girl in 2011, the Lord said that the girl loves sinning on purpose and then goes back to repent of her sins. This led the Lord to say, Many people say they have repented of their sins, but they repeat their sins without regard to My warnings.

As a further warning from the Lord, we share in part a rebuke below to a young man, and we pray that by sharing that you will learn, abstain from wrongdoing and live to please the Lord. Here is a how the Lord rebuked Sam (not real name): My son Sam is worldly, and My son Sam is busy with wrong things. My son Sam is an unfair person and My son Sam loves lying. My son Sam loves making empty promises and My son Sam is lustful.

In the light of this rebuke from the Lord, how many of us can identify with some of the sins mentioned here? Do we think this person is walking Heaven-ready and being a born-again Christian? This message was given to Sam but serves as a warning to all of us too!

Brethren, in concluding this message, we encourage you to lead a repented life daily remembering that “…without holiness no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:14).

To start living a life of true repentance by honoring the Lord Jesus Christ through obedience, please start by praying this Prayer of Sincere Repentance. For any questions or comments on this article or our ministry, please contact us.

Your Brother in Christ,
Glenn van Rooyen.

Monday, December 7, 2015

You Must be Born Again

Jesus answered him, “I assure you and most solemnly say to you, unless a person is born again [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, sanctified], he cannot [ever] see and experience the kingdom of God” (John 3:3 AMP).

Vision of a Crying Man

Given to Jaydeen on December 5, 2015

“I saw a vision of a man crying and begging to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, but He was denied entry. He begged, ‘Please let me in, let me in’ while crying bitterly with tears running. I then heard the Lord say, “You may not enter because only those who are born again are welcome here.” This was the end of the vision.

Brief interpretation

The man in the vision is known to us. This young man is doing some good charitable work in the community and he also attends some church services and prayer meetings. This has led him to believe that he will be accepted because of what he is doing. He is committed to the work he is doing, but not to the Lord. Our work must issue from a love for the Lord and this feat is possible only when we are born again. Therefore, the Lord’s message to the gentleman and to ‘Christians’ who reject the born-again message is clear: only the born again may enter His fellowship and not those who rely on self-effort (John 3:5-6).

Some Christian’s Rejection of the Born Again Message

I was recently introduced to a pastor by a friend who worked on our vehicle. Soon after our introduction, the pastor and I had a discussion, bearing in mind that Scripturally, we are expected to encourage one another (Hebrews 3:13). The Lord knows that I always avoid entering into quarrels regarding the Scriptures, but when people ask if some doubt or confusion exist, I am accommodating. However, my pastor friend challenged me to a ‘theological debate’, which I reluctantly accepted. In a nutshell, he outrightly rejected the born-again experience as unreal. I in return challenged him on his faith and acceptance of Scriptural testimony of which he could not provide adequate justification. He subsequently requested that we drop the discussion and left in a hurry without offering an excuse. In this case, simply ignoring Scriptural facts to uphold a position of belief has some serious eternal consequences. We have not been called to follow a church’s creed, but to obey and follow the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 5:29; John 10:27). Countless people are being led astray because they don’t spend time reading the Scriptures for themselves, and so they become followers of men rather than of Jesus Christ the Lord.

The world at large and some sections of the Christian communities grossly neglect and simply ignore the Lord’s command that we must be born again to enter the kingdom of God. In my observation, those who ignore this teaching come largely from the historically traditional churches. Some have offered similar reasoning like Nicodemus asking, ‘How can a man be born when he is old?’ (John 3:4). Others, due to ignorance of the Scriptures, are unaware that they should be born again. Yet others have dangerously rejected this teaching to their own detriment. The principle of faith is best presented by our Lord Jesus Christ when He said, “I assure you that whoever tells this hill to get up and throw itself in the sea and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that what he says will happen, it will be done for him” (Mark 11:23 GNT). Herein, the Lord clearly highlights that our faith will yield God’s approval and grant our request (Hebrews 11:6). The point is “… according to your faith will it be done to you” (Matthew 9:29). Therefore, if we lack faith and decide to simply ignore this command of the Lord of being born again, our choice would not be automatically converted by the Lord, because God’s rewards are tied to our faith and obedience to Him (Jeremiah 17:10).

There is no automatic superimposition of God’s will upon a believer's life; the order of God’s gifts, punishment and blessings rest entirely on our faith (Romans 2:6; Revelation 22:12). As it is, believers in traditional churches lean more on the teachings of socially acceptable behaviour and with faith in God attached to a church doctrine. These teachings disregard the gifts and fruit of the Holy Spirit and express a position of faith with the absence of expressing the truly born-again experience, which is the energetic expression of the fruits of the Holy Spirit (2 Corinthians 6:3-6).

Christian Attitude Towards Bible Teachings

Therefore, and in the light of this, it is utterly hypocritical of any person who calls himself a Christian to ignore clear and unambiguous Scriptural instructions. An equally disturbing tendency is that some Christian sects twist the actual meaning of certain Scriptures to lend more credence to a certain doctrinal position, while rendering the proper Scriptural context in a biased way. We have heard people saying that they believe they were born again when they were baptized or christened (committed as Christian) while babies. Children already belong to the Lord (Matthew 19:14) and being baptized by water is good and commendable; the Lord Himself was baptized saying, “…it is proper for us to do this to fulfill all righteousness.”(Matthew 3:16). However, the Bible is clear that being born again is not something a parent, husband, or any other human being can plan or decide for us; but those who repent of their sins and receive Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour are the ones who become born of God (Romans 10:9-10; John 1:13; 1 Peter 1:23; 1 John 5:1). The Lord promised in this new covenant (Ezekiel 36:24-29), that He would give His children a new heart (Acts 15:9) and a new spirit; His Spirit (1 John 4:13) to “move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws” (Ezekiel 36:26-27). And as we shared in the article, Duties of a True Born Again Christian, after we become born again (saved), we become a new creation and are told to "take off the old man corrupted by evil desires" (2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:22-25).The ‘old man’ is corrupted by worldliness and the desires our carnal natures feed onto (Romans 12:1-2; Galatians 5:17-26). The “old self” does not care about keeping God’s law, but in Christ “..our old self was crucified with him so that the body ruled by sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin” (Romans 6:6). We become slaves to righteousness and learn to walk in love and obedience while repenting of all our sins (Romans 6:17-18; 1 John 3:9; 4:7; 5:18).

Life in the Spirit

A systematic approach to the Scriptures gives us a justified position of accepting the truth of how we ought to live and believe. The Scriptures clearly declare the transition from the Old Testament way of life (Romans 2:12; Hebrews 8:6-13) to the new life in the New Testament dispensation - life in the Spirit (Acts 15:8-11; Romans 8:2-11). The apostles, who were eye witnesses of our Lord Jesus Christ, and who first experienced the powerful effect of the Holy Spirit in their own lives (Acts 2:2-4) urged us to build ourselves up in this new life (Jude 1:20; 1 John 4:13; 1 Peter 4:14; Galatians 5:16). How can we deny such a Scripturally well-defined and presented teaching such as being born again? Are we not denying the spirituality of our experience while we try to derive meaning from a carnal explanation which does not rely on faith but physical evidence (2 Corinthians 5:7). Therefore, this is uncompromisingly true that the believer upon accepting Christ as Lord by way of confessing faithfulness to Him receives by faith God’s Holy Spirit as an adoption to sonship (Romans 8:15). This experience happens in God’s realm and it is faith-based and simply beyond human reason or comprehension. On the outside, the external or more visible evidence being the fruit of our association with the Lord (John 15:4-5; Matthew 3:8).

As a direct result of our union with Christ (1 Corinthians 6:17), the born again experience of being gentle, kind, Joyful, loving, faithful, forgiving, humble or being truthful gives an expression to our Christian faith and way of life (Galatians 5:22-23). Additionally, in being a Christian we are not pretending when we serve you with humility and kindness, but we do so in obedience to the Lord and we are being enabled by His Spirit who is at work in us for your good (John 14:26; Philippians 2:13). Evidently, the Lord ascribes a Christians’ good character as issuing from a loving heart for Him, and it is an undeniable fact in life. Love unites and gives assurance even to the most hardened and unkind person (John 13:35; 1 Peter 3:15-16). In the Scriptures, we learned thatChrist came to offer us a new way of life and all those of us who accepted Him as Lord are being enabled by His constant corrections and convictions through the work of the Holy Spirit in us (John 16:7-8). The Scriptural verdict is clear “…Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God” (John 3:3 KJV).

If you are not yet born again and would like to put away your old self with its sinful desires and become a new creation (2 Corinthians 5:17; Ephesians 4:22-25), the Lord Jesus Christ is willing and able to do this and save you (Acts 16:31; Romans 10:9-10). As a born again believer and follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, you will overcome the world (1 John 5:4-5)! To begin a relationship with the Him, please start by praying this Prayer of Sincere Repentance. For any questions or comments on this article or our ministry, please contact us.

Blessed regards,
Brother Glenn and Preparing for the Kingdom Ministry Team.

Monday, November 2, 2015

Deception and Confusing Times Ahead

“Now the Spirit explicitly says that in later times some will depart from the faith, paying attention to deceitful spirits and the teachings of demons, through the hypocrisy of liars whose consciences are seared” (1 Timothy 4:1 HCSB).

“But know this: Difficult times will come in the last days. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, boastful, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, ungrateful, unholy, unloving, irreconcilable, slanderers, without self-control, brutal, without love for what is good, traitors, reckless, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, holding to the form of godliness but denying its power. Avoid these people!” (2 Timothy 3:1-5 HCSB).

Brethren, we will be very brief in this week’s article as we are sharing a warning from the Lord about confusing times ahead. Therefore, messages with prophetic overtones do not need human input in terms of interpretation, except that we are just commanded to convey God’s message. In my experience, the Lord would give me the interpretation of a message in a vision by what I sense or discern is being impressed on me. The Bible reminds us: “First of all, you should know this: No prophecy of Scripture comes from one’s own interpretation, because no prophecy ever came by the will of man; instead, men spoke from God as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (1 Peter 1:21 HCSB).

Short Vision of Confusing Times

On Friday, October 30, 2015, I (Brother Glenn) was shown in a vision by the Lord four sentences, of which I was only allowed to read and understand the meaning of only the first sentence and the last one.

The first sentence read as follows: “People must not be taught about Heaven anymore because it does not exist.”

The last sentence read: “We must not teach the people about the Lord Jesus Christ anymore, but about Lord … christ”. The three dots replaces the name that was written there but I was not permitted to remember it.

As an interpretation, what I was meant to understand after reading, was that the enemy, Satan, was working to spread a false message among people in an attempt to discredit the Bible and the actual existence of Heaven. Also, new teachings about another “Lord” welcomed as a “Christ” would be introduced. In the vision, I could feel how real this message seemed and how confused I was as to what the truth really is. I could also discern that many people believed and followed this ‘new’ teaching.

I also understood this ‘Lord’ was a reference to the Antichrist. While still stunned by this message, I heard the Lord say: You know the truth about Me, Lord Jesus Christ(John 14:6). It was after the Lord said this that I came out of that confusing state. In support of this vision, we cited the Scriptures above and the apostle Paul also briefly mentioned the power and influence that the lawless man would have (2 Thessalonians 2:4-10). People should not marvel at this vision because there are false churches like the Mormons, Jehovah witnesses and others which have a large and faithful following (We hope and plan to write a brief summary on the characteristics of false Churches in the next few weeks). Biblically, this spirit has been around since even during the times of the apostles (1 John 4:1-3).

In conclusion to this vision, I cannot say whether this was before or after the rapture. I only share what I saw, heard and felt in the vision. Personally, I am not comfortable speaking or writing about a message if I don’t understand it, and that is why I choose to only share what the Lord gives. In many prayers I asked the Lord never to send me with a message that I don’t understand or can identify with.

The Mistaken Approach to Bible Prophecy Interpretation

As Christians, most of us have fallen into the temptation of giving a narrow-minded interpretation to some end-time related prophetic utterances in the Bible. As a result, we find that there are countless books written on the subject with various interpretations. There are also very many failed predictions that some people have made over the years regarding the doctrine of eschatology, especially in relation to the second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Undoubtedly, the message of the end times is a great message of hope and every discerning Christian is eagerly waiting for this event to happen. However, throughout the Bible, we witness how God gave His servants (the prophets) messages and awesome, but highly symbolic, prophetic visions of future things and yet none of them lived to see them fulfilled (Daniel 12:1-13). These men, and in their fear for God, did not make an attempt to give their own interpretations to God’s hidden messages, unlike the trend today where almost everyone claims prophetic authority. While it is commendable to desire the higher gifts of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:31), we are cautioned that these prophetic utterances are to be as the Spirit determines (1 Corinthians 12:11).

In conclusion, the enemy is multiplying widely accepted lies in these last days (John 8:44; Isaiah 5:20) even regarding what Jesus Christ looks like as we pointed out in the Being Respectful article. However, the Lord will keep us in perfect peace as we keep trusting Him and keep focusing on Him (Isaiah 26:3). God is not the author of confusion, but of peace (1 Corinthians 14:33 KJV). He "is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you blameless before the presence of his glory with great joy"(Jude 1:24). Let us therefore trust in the Lord to give proper prophecy interpretation and also set all our paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6). Watch and pray that you may not fall into Satan's temptation (Mark 14:38, Matthew 26:41 ESV) and may we remain in God's word that we may discern His voice as His sheep and follow Him to the end (John 10:27).

If you would like to repent of your sins, begin a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, and prepare for His soon return, please begin by praying this Prayer of Sincere Repentance. For any questions or comments on this article or our ministry, please contact us.

Blessed Grace in Christ,

Brother Glenn.

Monday, October 19, 2015

The Joy of Knowing the Lord Jesus Christ

“I have spoken these things to you so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete” (John 15:11 HCSB).

Vision of Joy Gone Sour

In our message this week, the Lord highlighted the importance of having joy as a Christian. While it is true Christians are faced with many challenges that are competing to destroy our faith and confidence in the Lord, we must remember that the Presence of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer is equally real and He cannot be influenced by our moods (Romans 14:17; Galatians 5:22). It is true when a Christian displays a foul mood in the assembly of the brethren, they have allowed that mood of negative energy to possess them (1 Peter 1:6).

On Friday, October 16, 2015, the Lord gave Charis a short but powerful vision as a rebuke to someone in our ministry. He also used it as a message to emphasize the importance of joy in a believer’s life. In the vision, Charis saw me (Glenn) standing in our bedroom, and the Lord spoke to me (she could not see Him) saying, My daughter Grace (not real name) used to be jolly and full of energy when she came to the home church worship services but lately, she has lost her joy and her coming serves no purpose.

Brethren, this is a very serious message from the Lord. As you may recall, just last week, we were warned that the condition of our hearts must always be right before the Lord and at any given moment of time (Acts 8:21; Jeremiah 17:10). Indeed, the message the Lord gave above is true, because the negative energy of silence and withdrawal from the sister affects others in the assembly. When we give praise and worship to the Lord, it must flow from a spirit of great joy and jubilation, just like the Lord’s triumphant entry into Jerusalem (Matthew 21:8-10; Psalm 149:1-2). As it is, such an attitude contradicts the purpose of our gathering, which is to rejoice in the Lord (Philippians 4:4).

As an experience and in addition to the above vision, we had a sister who would also come to our meetings in a very sad mood. Her facial gestures and mannerisms displayed her dislike of the brethren, and that coming to our worship session was a burden to her. This was evident in her moods. She was thus always uptight. This was a disturbing trend and the Lord rebuked her for having such a spirit. The Bible tells us that there is freedom, joy and peace in the Presence of the Lord, and that we must consider how we ought to encourage one another. We must not come to our gatherings to destroy the joy and faith of others (2 Corinthians 3:17; Psalm 16:11; Hebrews 10:24-25; Galatians 5:13-15).

Joy is a Manifestation of the Holy Spirit

In a rebuke to me some time ago, the Lord told me that whatever things we do in His name enjoys  equal importance, and our humility must be evident in reverence to Him. In my observation of Christians in general, the spirit of joy is evident mostly when we hear or receive something good, but generally, our moods are affected and controlled by worries for other things more than our whole-being in Christ. We cannot ignore the importance of joy in a Christian’s life, for this is showing our hope of salvation to others who don't have a relationship with the Lord (Romans 15:13). Since joy flows from the Holy Spirit, it would be safe to say that a joyless Christian either ignores or stifles the Holy Spirit from expressing Himself through them. The Lord has given all born-again believers the gift of the Holy Spirit, and we are urged to walk in the Spirit–not in the flesh (2 Corinthians 1:21-22; Galatians 5:16). According to the Bible, we are identified as children of God through the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives (Romans 8:9-11). He is a serious Partner that we shouldn't lose sight of (Ephesians 4:30). Therefore, His manifestation is seen in our lives through the fruits of holiness which we exude (John 15:8).

Often, people are naturally attracted by powerful revelations from the Holy Spirit and these are considered manifestations and rightfully so. However, when Christ came, He repeatedly emphasized the love He had for us, and the Father expressing this in great joy through His actions (John 15:9; Hebrews 12:2). Like today, many people are attracted to others by the ‘powers’ they have, either through some position or worldly wealth. Christ’ command to us, however, is to give love, thus allowing His joy to flow from that love (John 15:11-12). As it is, joy is closely linked to hope and good-will and biblically God is that JOY our souls must yearn for.

Hindrances to Our Joy

Prior to Job’s trials, the Bible tells us that he led a prosperous and peaceful life (Job 1:1-3) and his devotion to God was unquestionable (Job 1:4-5). However, seemingly out of nowhere, his troubles suddenly started and he cursed the day of his birth (Job 3:1-8). This preceding Scripture highlights the sadness in Job’s heart, and with that his joy was gone, making room for more complaining (Job 21:4). Now, we know Job was a man greatly loved and approved by our Heavenly Father, and his patience and faith in God was unshaken (Job 1:22). He certainly lost his joy because his soul was bitter within him (Job 7:11), and through his discourses he came to terms with his situation, acknowledging and charging that only God was his joy (Job 19:25-27).

Having said this, the Lord is teaching us that we will have His joy to help and carry us through our moments of hardship. We should therefore not allow life’s trying situations to harden our hearts, neither should we permit sadness and the worries of life to trouble us (Mark 4:19; Colossians 1:24; Matthew 6:25-34). I’m sure many of you have experienced that the competing worries of life (school, career, parenting, etc.) serve as the greatest thief of our joy. Sadly there are many wounded Christian who are falling prey to this device of Satan. In this ministry, we have witnessed the joy of many brethren who rejoiced in the Lord for the blessings He imparted upon them, and the power of God they experienced in their lives. Even though with all good things from God comes a test (Genesis 22:1-2; Acts 9:16), it is the joy fuelled by love that must remain, not a bitter heart. In other words, the Joy of the Lord must counteract sadness, for our sadness often concerns worldly things. We must not substitute our joy in Christ for the benefit of things that bring suffering (Matthew 19:21-23). When we worry and focus on the object of our suffering, instead of focusing on Christ, our peace will be disturbed (Psalm 42:5).

Presently, as a ministry and family, we are facing some trying situations. The Lord showed us that Satan is using these trials as weapons to steal, control and manipulate our feelings. By encouraging us, He told us just to pray and hope in Him and use His joy as our strength (Nehemiah 8:10). No doubt, the devil attempts to use the cares and concern of things to steal our joy and embitter us against the Lord, leading us to complaining. We are resolute in our commitment, and through it all, we have His joy as a real combatant against worrisome feelings, and with that we retain peace.

A few years ago, a good friend of mine who was unemployed had financial challenges, but his joy and worryless attitude in Christ gave me great courage. Despite his challenges, God provided for him and helped him; he lacked neither food nor money to pay for his rent. I can truthfully testify that even to this day, that brother is still enjoying the fruits of his faith in the Lord, having received everything he owns by faith, and sharing it freely because he refused to abandon the joy of the Lord. Brethren, we must remember that we have a choice to either exercise joy or be handicapped by feelings of worry. Choosing the latter shows that we are weak and walking in the flesh, as opposed to being strong and choosing life in the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:16).

Restoring Our Joy

As children of God, we have not been called to complain, grumble, or argue (Philippians 2:14-15). Rather, since the Lord has been pleased to call us His children, we are called to be thankful (Ephesians 5:20; Hebrews 12:28).  If we at least have the basics of food, shelter, and clothing, let us give thanks and serve the Lord joyfully(1 Timothy 6:8; Philippians 4:11; Deuteronomy 28:47). Although it is not always easy, we are called to rejoice in our trials and consider it pure joy (James 1:2; 1 Peter 1:6). The Lord blesses and shows Himself to be full of love and faithfulness when we fast and pray by faith during our trials (Philippians 4:6-7). As the Jews in the time of Esther, we can only have joy when we see the Lord's deliverance after having obeyed, sought, and trusted Him (Esther 8:15-17). Also, when we wrong others in any way, it creates a lack of peace and division which hinders our joy. With humility and having a repentant heart towards those we have wronged and forgiving those who have wronged us, our joy is restored (James 4:6).

If you would like the joy of the Lord restored in your heart, pray for it as King David did when he said “Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me” (Psalm 51:12); and the Lord is faithful to give you this good gift (Matthew 7:11). To begin a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, please begin by praying this Prayer of Sincere Repentance. For any questions or comments on this article or our ministry, please contact us.

Peaceful love and joy to in Christ Jesus,

Brother Glenn and Preparing for The Kingdom Ministry Team.

Monday, October 12, 2015

Examining Yourself in God’s Presence

“Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test? And I trust that you will discover that we have not failed the test. Now we pray to God that you will not do anything wrong—not so that people will see that we have stood the test but so that you will do what is right even though we may seem to have failed” (2 Corinthians 13:5-7 NIV).

Brethren, the Lord has given me this message to remind us that if we examine ourselves in His Presence, He will help us receive deliverance and overcome spiritual bondage in our lives. Have you noticed that the messages we have been sharing recently almost all relates to the rapture? It is the Lord who provides us with messages relating to this awesome event (the rapture), and He desires for us not to lose sight of it. The message and visions below does not contradict earlier visions, the Lord who searches our hearts knows the spiritual condition of our hearts at every moment (Jeremiah 17:10).

As a ministry, we were warned by the Lord recently through two visions to two of my daughters (Charis and Claudia), and both were regarding the rapture and our readiness. The Lord also gave a rapture warning to a friend of this ministry. I am summarizing these visions below.
  1. On Wednesday, October 7, 2015, Claudia had a vision of the Lord appearing by our living room window. The Lord declared that the rapture could happen at any time, and that we must be obedient, and always humbly ready as we do not know His timing, and that we, as a family, should get our spiritual houses in order (Mark 13:35).
  2. On Tuesday, October 6, 2015, the Lord gave Charis a message for our entire ministry team. The Lord warned that one of our members risked being left behind for having unforgiveness (Matthew 6:15), and all the other ministry members were warned against various other sins. In this vision, Charis felt as if the entire ministry team missed the rapture, including herself. Through this message, the Lord warned all of us against complacency, assuming that we will be raptured anyway. The Lord also cautioned us (and this is a warning to you too) that we must all be found in a humble and repentant mood (1 Peter 4:17-18; James 4:6).
  3. Similarly, a very good brother and friend to this ministry also shared a rapture warning vision from the Lord with us on Tuesday, October 6, 2015. He was also shown that many people were not raptured, including himself, and only one person was taken from the crowd around him (Luke 13:24 ESV).
After prayer, the Holy Spirit ministered to me, saying that all these three visions are a warning against complacency and the false thinking that we have already done everything and it is only a formality that we will be raptured. Brethren, if you are so self-confident that you are perfect and ready for the rapture, you are deceiving yourself! (1 John 1:8). In a spirit of humility, if that has been your thinking, I encourage you to repent from it (1 John 1:9). On that hour when the Lord comes, He will be looking at our spiritual state at that moment (Luke 12:37-40; 2 Peter 3:14). If we are not found ALERT but only banking on our works in the Lord, we will lament and say, “…‘Lord, Lord, didn’t we prophesy in Your name, drive out demons in Your name, and do many miracles in Your name?’” (Matthew 7:22 HSCB).

Brethren, the Bible reminds us that such warnings must be accompanied by actions of true repentance (Jonah 3:6-10). As a ministry, therefore, we expressed humility and fasted for many days, in order to allow God to cleanse us and help us get our robes clean (1 John 1:9). As much as the Lord has given this ministry some great revelations, teachings and visions, we were solemnly warned not to be complacent and think we have an automatic entry, we cannot live on that false hope; we must be qualified and God knows how we cried out for His grace (1 Corinthians 9:27). We are sharing with you to show that God shows no favouritism (Romans 2:11), and neither is He a respecter of persons (Acts 10:34). He is God alone and people must bow, be humble, and submit to Him in full reverence (Romans 14:11).

How Do We Examine Ourselves?

In the book of Jonah, we can learn how to examine ourselves from the humble attitude of the people of Nineveh after the Lord declared judgment on them (Jonah 3:4). After hearing the warning from the prophet of the Lord, the King of Nineveh declared a national fast, ordering both man and beast to humble themselves and submit to God in repentance and turning from all evil (Jonah 3:6-9). They examined themselves in the Presence of God, and being a merciful God, the Lord relented from His Judgment and spared the city. Likewise, after the prophet Elijah declared the Lord’s words of judgment to King Ahab, the king fasted in a gesture of self- examination while repenting, and his humility was accepted by the Lord (1 Kings 21:20-29).

Additionally, through the prophet Joel, the Lord commanded the children of Israel to seek His face in repentance through fasting, weeping and mourning as a gesture of true humility and godly sorrow (Joel 2:12-14). We may read our Bibles faithfully every day, pray faithfully and witness. However, we are saved through repentance of our sins and a having humble attitude, not by our works (Psalm 51:17; Isaiah 66:2; 2 Corinthians 7:10; Ephesians 2:8). Nevertheless, our works serve as a witness to our faith (James 2:18) and the Lord requires us to have good works (1 Corinthians 3:13-15).

Similarly, some months ago the Lord rebuked a brother for not accepting and appreciating rebuke from Him. This brother's rejection of the Lord's messages to him grieved Him. In a vision to Charis, the Lord said that our brother Karl's (not real name) stubbornness is from the devil who has blinded him. As an expression of mercy, the Lord commanded that he fast for 3 days for deliverance and to repent to receive acceptance in His Presence.

How to be Ready for the Rapture

We have already shared on how to be ready for the Rapture in past articles like Be Watchful and Pray and Preparing for the Day of the Lord. In addition, just like it requires us to have faith to accept Christ as Lord we must also believe there is an event called 'rapture' and we must accept it, for that is hope (1 Thessalonians 4:16-18). Furthermore, the Lord has impressed upon my heart to mention that the Parable of the Ten Virgins (Matthew 25:1-13) is a reference to Christians. The five foolish virgins are some Christians who don't believe Jesus is coming soon and therefore have no urgency to repent of their sins and obey the Lord (2 Peter 3:3-4; John 14:24; Proverbs 13:19; 14:16). Distractions in the world are preoccupying them (Mark 4:18-19). Therefore, they are either hostile to the truth or complacent and not seeing any need to change (Proverbs 1:7; 1:32). They also value the work they have done in the Lord more than their relationship with Him. Our work in the Lord is commendable, but our love for Christ must be the burning force behind our motives (Mark 12:30-31; John 14:23). Now, this love we have for the Lord helps us to remain humble, ready to serve and being obedient in every aspect of the truth.

If you would like to repent of your sins, begin a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, and prepare for His soon return, please begin by praying this Prayer of Sincere Repentance. For any questions or comments on this article or our ministry, please contact us.

Bless you in Christ love,

Brother Glenn.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Regretting After Giving

“For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable” (Romans 11:29 NKJV)

“But a certain man named Ananias, with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles’ feet” (Acts 5:1-2 NKJV).

Brief Encouragement

As an encouragement to us and for the work on this website, the Lord revealed to us that He has blessed us with a great company of very simple-hearted, truly humble, truth-loving and faithful brothers and sisters. These are those who receive the Lord’s message we share here by faith. Truthfully, the Lord says that these brethren love Him, but they must be faithful in service to Him. We give glory to the Lord in sincerity of heart for being part of such a loving and truly God-fearing family of faith. The Lord is pleased with a child-like attitude and the fruit of His Spirit is evident in our humble state (Matthew 20:26).

Vision of Regretful Giving

On the September 29, 2015, the Lord gave Charis a short vision, and the message conveyed in this vision is our topic for this week. As you may have noticed, this is also one of the ways on how the Lord gives us subjects to write about.

Vision Given to Charis on September 29, 2015

“I had a vision this morning after our early morning prayers. I saw a minister of the gospel sitting on a chair, looking disappointed. I heard him say, “I honestly thought it was the Lord who blessed us with that gift, because Brother Sam is asking back the gift he gave us”. Then the Lord said, “My son [John] (not real name) is sad because I commanded My son [Sam] (not real name) to bless them with something they needed to do My work. My son Sam is now regretting doing good in My name and he has since taken back that gift in his heart. Whoever gives someone something in My name, and regrets his decision for helping My needy children, I tell you that person has forfeited his Heavenly reward for that act of kindness”. End of vision.

Rapture Vision of Consuming Fire in the Heavens

Briefly, brethren as you may have noticed we are sharing quite a few short visions on this website and we do so only as the Lord reveals. We are not exaggerating or inventing these warnings from the Lord. We have been equally warned by the Lord through the 'Lying in Jesus' Name' article never to lie in the Lord's name. This is what we share for your edification.

"I (Brother Glenn) had a beautiful rapture vision around 2:30 a.m. or earlier this morning (October 5, 2015). I saw the Heavens opened and a massive cloud of fire appearing in the sky. I knew the LORD was in that glorious glowing CLOUD but I did not see Him. I heard no voice, and as I looked on I saw myself enveloped in fire but I was not consumed, and I saw myself ascending up into the Heavens towards the fire cloud while someone who was with me and whom I cannot remember was left behind". END!

Remember the prophet Elijah was raptured into Heaven in a chariot of fire (2 Kings 2:11). I saw no chariot but a massive cloud in blazing full strength fire (2 Thessalonians 1:6-7; 2 Peter 3:12; Luke 21:26-27; Matthew 24:30; Exodus 24:17). 

Choosing God and Truth Above Unrighteous Living

Brethren, many of us overlook our giving habits. The Bible says we must give cheerfully and not grudgingly (2 Corinthians 9:7). In the above vision, the Lord showed us the condition of a brother’s heart who, after identifying the need of his fellow brethren, was moved with pity and prayed. After prayer, the Lord spoke to him. Since he was in a position to help, he obeyed and did so. We personally know this brother and the Lord acknowledged the good things he was doing in a message to him through this ministry (Acts 10:4; Proverbs 19:17). This message is not to shame or expose; the Lord allows us to share these experiences as examples, with the aim of helping those of us who struggle with such things.

Have you ever given something to someone and regretted your decision because along the way you had a disagreement with the person, or he just did not live up to your expectations? We are often tempted to initiate our own justice when others performed below our expectations and we end up regretting our giving. This is taking back not only the gift, but we also lose our blessing from the Lord. It is worth noting that when we give to others, the Lord does not expect us to demand accountability because this results in giving on condition.

From our experience, we have learnt that the Lord attaches very little significance to worldly things (John 6:27). He knows love and human relations are being compromised as a result of material things. He will demand an account from us as stewards of His assembly (1 Peter 4:10; Romans 14:12) and being a good shepherd, the purpose of His giving is to serve others (John 10:11; 15). Many of us are familiar with the fact that when we were children, we probably had the unpleasant experience of receiving something from a friend but later asked to give it back. Such giving is done grudgingly and is aimed at compensating for loyalty. Does this not remind you about certain people who give in return for future favours? A few years ago, we were blessed with some material things by some brethren. However, the Lord tested us and some of them as He issued some sharp rebukes to them. This resulted in some of these brethren questioning our motives. Little did these precious brethren know that the Lord was testing us to see if we would be faithful to His Word, or loyal to the brethren for giving to our ministry! Would we sacrifice telling the brethren things the Lord dislikes in their lives for their salvation for the sake of material things, or would we rather risk losing our own credibility when entrusted with truth? In our response, we chose truth and risked enduring ridicule and slander. We must never be afraid to risk losing friends when we are presented with the opportunity to minister truth to them in the name of the Lord for their good (Leviticus 19:17; Jude 1:23). Like the Lord, not everyone will welcome us, but only those He sends us to (John 10:27).

Keep Your Promises to God

In our Scripture reference at the beginning of this message, Ananias and Sapphira’s intentions were noble after seeing the genuine spirit by which the others were giving (Acts 4:33-37). They were encouraged and without being forced, decided to give too. However, after selling their property, they regretted their decision, and this resulted in their loss (Acts 5:1-10). Brethren, let us not be mistaken! Many of us think that entering into a covenant with the Lord is arbitrary and we can walk back any time. This is not so! We must honor our vows to Him, and that involves coming through with what we intended to do (Deuteronomy 23:21-22; Numbers 30:2; Psalm 76:11). The punishment the Lord meted out to the children of Israel was largely due to them dishonouring the Lord Almighty by not keeping their promises (Jeremiah 42:18-21; Deuteronomy 31:16-18; Ecclesiastes 5:4). We can remember how Joshua and the elders of Israel kept their promise to the Lord after giving their word to the Gibeonites after being deceived by them. They kept the covenant promise despite the false premise under which it was made (Joshua 9:9-19). It was a regrettable decision, but everything done in the name of the Almighty God must be irrevocable. Joshua feared God and upheld this covenant. Hundreds of years later, King Saul and his sons violated this covenant and killed some of the Gibeonites .Tragic consequences followed – there was a three-year famine in the land, and only after seven of Saul’s sons were hanged by the Gibeonites as retribution was peace restored to the land (2 Samuel 21:1-9).

In the Bible, marriage was also meant to be a covenant, a promise made unconditionally before God and not to be broken (Matthew 19:1-8; Mark 10:9). Many couples today, including Christians, enter into marriage without understanding the seriousness of their vows; they regard marriage as a revocable “contract”, as opposed to a covenant that is not meant to be broken. Even though many Christians and preachers justify their decisions to divorce, God’s Word on the subject has not changed (Malachi 2:16). For more on marriage and divorce, you may read The Sin of Adultery and Keeping Secrets articles. We are also aware that there are certain TV preachers who ask their listeners to be “covenant partners” or make “pledges” to support their ministry financially. Still there are other preachers who encourage followers or congregants to write and make “vows” to Jesus. Brothers and sisters, unless you are willing to follow through with your promise, at whatever cost, you are better off not making the promise in the first place (Deuteronomy 23:22)! The Bible sternly warns us against making vows to God and failing to honor them (James 5:12):

When you make a vow to God, do not delay to fulfill it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. It is better not to make a vow than to make one and not fulfill it. Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. And do not protest to the temple messenger, “My vow was a mistake.” Why should God be angry at what you say and destroy the work of your hands? (Ecclesiastes 5:4-6 NIV).

In conclusion, have you been giving or helping others and afterwards complaining and regretting? Please repent, brothers and sisters. Remember, Our Heavenly Father was pleased to reconcile us to Himself through Jesus’ suffering and blood on the cross (John 3:16; Colossians 1:19-23; Isaiah 53:10-11 NKJV). Therefore, let us also learn to be pleased in our giving (Romans 15:26-27) and may the Lord help us to be faithful and obedient in fulfilling our promises. If you would like to have a relationship with the Lord Jesus Christ, please begin by praying this Prayer of Sincere Repentance. For any questions or comments on this article or our ministry, please contact us.

Blessed in your giving,

Brother Glenn and Preparing for the Kingdom Ministry Team.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Holding Grudges and Hateful Feelings

“You shall not take vengeance, nor bear any grudge against the children of your people, but you shall love your neighbor as yourself: I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:18 NKJV).

Warning from the Lord Against Harboring Grudges and Hatred

On September 5, 2015, I received a vision from the Lord relating to state of things after the rapture occurs. As we mentioned in last week’s article, we intend sharing this vision with you in our book, which will be published in late October/November time frame. This vision pertains to things to come, and this past week, on September 16, the Lord again showed Charis the opening part of the same vision, and we are allowed to share this here with you. Charis and I were shown the same person, but different scenes.

In my vision, I was shown a Christian sister and the person whom she held hateful feelings and grudges against. I was made to feel the intense hatred that emanated from her heart, and why she felt that way. She found it very hard to forgive the other sister who had committed a wrong against her, even after she had asked for forgiveness. I heard the Lord say that this sister was left behind because she held grudges and could not forgive others, and neither did she heed correction to repent from this sin.

Charis’ was shown the same vision about this sister. The sister was shown pointing her index finger at a young lady who had wronged her, and she did not apologize. Likewise, Charis felt very uncomfortable when she saw the expression of hatred in this sister’s face; she felt the intense feelings of grudges and unforgiveness. The Lord said that we should forgive others even if they do not apologize to us for wrong-doing, and that we should pray for them. Additionally, our love for them must be unconditional and not given grudgingly.

Our Attitudes and God’s Judgements

Brethren, this is a very serious message from the Lord! Having experienced and learned first-hand through the rebukes He issued to many of us in this ministry, this message should not be disregarded or taken lightly. Like we shared in previous articles, the Lord revealed the true condition of the hearts for many of our ministry members as well as other people who made requests. The Bible warns that there are certain things that could render us ashamed and disqualify us from entering Heaven (1 Corinthians 6:9-10). The Bible also teaches that the Lord Judges the intentions of the heart (1 Samuel 16:7; Proverbs 16:2; Jeremiah 17:10).

I have identified at least seven judgments the Lord issued against members of this ministry. From our experiences with Him, He judged our motives with power, saying that these are very serious sins that must not be allowed in us. In messages to each one of us in this ministry, and to some other brethren around the world, we were rebuked and challenged by the Lord on all of the points considered below. In humble submission and obedience to the Lord, we share with you as a warning from Him.
  • We were rebuked against using our tongue and words to intentionally inflict emotional harm or hurt on others (Proverbs 18:21; Matthew 12:33-36; James 3:5b-8; Ephesians 4:29).
  • We were warned against holding evil thoughts and lustful feelings in our hearts and minds (Psalm 19:14; Jeremiah 4:14; Matthew 5:28).
  • Similarly, the Lord weighed the motives of our hearts whether we meant to do things with good intentions, or whether we meant to show off (Proverbs 21:2; Matthew 6:5)
  • The Lord was especially displeased when we deliberately engaged in sinful acts like fighting, stealing, lying or any other sins that resulted from our actions (Revelation 22:15; 1 Corinthians 6:9-10).
  • We were rebuked for following and defending false teachers (Proverbs 19:9; 2 Peter 2:1-3). We should not idolize people or things, but faithfully serve God (Exodus 34:14).
Being the Righteous Judge of all the earth (Genesis 18:25), the Lord Judges relationships between people, punishing the guilty and vindicating the innocent (2 Chronicles 6:23). He will also Judge the work we are meant to do for Him daily and the attitude with which we execute our tasks (Deuteronomy 15:10; Matthew 25:14-30). Being a loving God who has initiated a relationship with humanity through our Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 5:1; Colossians 1:20), He extends an invitation to us to fellowship with Him (Joshua 1:8; Daniel 6:10).

How to Guard Against Ill Feelings

As we are daily expecting the coming of our Lord and Savior, we should heed His call to guard and pray consistently (Mark 13:33; 1 Thessalonians 5:17; Matthew 26:41). In this life on Earth, it is impossible to ignore the existence of sin and what it does to us; the moral decadence that we are witnessing is only the beginning, and a time for reaping is coming (Isaiah 24:6; Romans 5:12; Galatians 6:7). Unfortunately, no one can claim that they are totally innocent and guilt free (Genesis 6:5; Romans 3:23; 1 John 1:8, 10). As humans we are confronted daily by the challenges of sin and the answer to conquer sin is through our choices (Genesis 4:7). The phrases ‘if you do’ or ‘if you do not do’ in this verse signifies a choice followed by an action that reveals our motive and in this case it is either to obey or disobey. Choosing to confess and repent should therefore be the first step (Ezekiel 14:6; 18:23, 32; 33:11; 1 John 1:9).

Similarly, the Bible says, “…but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God” (Romans 12:2 HCSB). Often, we slowly allow bad things to influence our hearts. Like the Lord said, we are motivated by the things (good or bad) that we have stored in our hearts (Matthew 15:18; Luke 6:45). The absence of correction and conviction from the Holy Spirit in a person’s heart renders such a person totally wicked and useless to inherit the Kingdom of God (Romans 8:5). Therefore, the purpose of the teachings from the Word of God is to help us fight and fend off sinful corruption that seeks to establish a stronghold in us. Even though the teachings from the Word of God via this medium or from your church are helpful, please do not neglect the DAILY reading from the Word of God. Reading God’s Word daily and praying consistently leads to growth and renewal of our attitude, and serves as a guard against the penetrating sinful thoughts that result in corrupt actions (Hebrews 4:12).

In our article on “Bad Company Corrupts Good Character”, we mentioned that Social Media can corrupt the heart because of the many wicked things that are perpetuated over the Internet, such as gossip, slander, lust, envy, pride, etc. (James 4:11; 2 Corinthians 12:20). As a testimony, we have been ministering to a young lady for over two years and she shared with me how pornography and computer/mobile games led her astray from the Lord, resulting in very bad thoughts, corrupt actions, and endless feelings of worthlessness. While she tried daily to read the word of God, her mind was controlled by the images of the wrongs she engaged in, and she found it difficult to resist those forces, leading her deeper into sin (Matthew 12:43-45; Luke 11:24-26). The Lord, in a teaching to us on how demons influence mankind, showed us how people operate under the influence of demonic forces to commit sinful acts (1 John 3:8-10). Truthfully, as in the case of the young lady above, these demons come as a result of our exposure to wrong or ungodly things (however innocent or common they may seem – for example Television, worldly music, books, etc.), which leads us to habitual actions and struggle with sin (James 1:14). Brethren, we do not need science to explain Biblical truth that exposure to wrong things results in corrupt actions, which leads feelings of shame and more wickedness (1 Corinthians 15:33).

We should also point out that harboring grudges and hate can lead to being vengeful, which is a clear violation of God’s command – vengeance belongs to the Lord alone! (Deuteronomy 32:35; Romans 12:19). We should therefore seek to forgive others as the Lord God forgives us (Matthew 6:12, 14), settle differences quickly (Matthew 5:24-25) and love others as ourselves (Leviticus 19:17-18; Matthew 22:39; Mark 12:31).

In conclusion, Brothers and Sisters, we encourage you to spend most of your time in God’s presence through prayer, Bible reading, and engaging in godly activities. This will serve as a safeguard against the ever-demanding appetite of sin to control us (Genesis 4:7). There is no better way out! Daily, in our first morning prayers to the Lord, we should set ourselves ready to guard our hearts against any sin or temptation that may come at us. We ought to acknowledge before the Lord the challenges we will face, and since our weaker nature may succumb to its habits, we should ask the Lord to help us survive the day through making godly choices, thus proving our obedience to Him.

The Lord bless you, Brothers and Sisters, as you seek to have pure motives for obedience, making godly choices and submitting to His will. Please make every effort to live peacefully with everyone and to be holy, for without holiness no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).

If you would like to receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please begin by praying this Prayer of Sincere Repentance. For any questions or comments on this article or our ministry, please contact us.

Grace and peace to you,

Brother Glenn and Preparing for the Kingdom Ministry Team.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Respecting Your Elders

“Stand up in the presence of the aged, show respect for the elderly and revere your God. I am the Lord” (Leviticus 19:32).

Brief Encouragement About September 2015 Predictions

We have recently been asked by some brethren about the reports of things looking gloomy and grim for the world economy, and that some brethren have bravely predicted or “prophesied” of an economic collapse to occur this month (September, 2015), particularly affecting the USA and possibly impacting the rest of the world. Admittedly, there have been some turbulence in the world markets recently, so the prediction of this doom is gaining further interest. This week, we asked the Lord on the validity of some of these claims. In response, the Lord encouraged us to pray and not to be anxious or worry about events that we have no control over (Matthew 6:34; Philippians 4:6-7; Luke 21:36). Like the brethren who have boldly predicted about the Lord’s soon coming, we also do believe the Lord will be coming soon, but He warned us saying “…It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by His own authority” (Acts 1:7 NIV). Therefore, we do not endorse the dates that some of these brethren have set! The Lord Jesus clearly warned us that “concerning that day and hour no one knows, not even the angels of heaven, nor the Son, but the Father only” (Matthew 24:36). So, while this ministry shares the excitement with the brethren of the Lord’s coming, the Lord says there is no truth in the things presented by these date-setters, and He has NOT sent people to set dates for His coming, whether linked to certain cultural practices, experiences, or otherwise. His coming will be a surprise to all! (Luke 17:34-36; 1 Thessalonians 5:3). Therefore, brothers and sisters, do not be troubled! Just keep praying, studying your Bibles, and keep witnessing and doing the Lord’s work. God will call us home when it is HIS TIME and no human anxiety can move Him; He acts by His own authority.

Who Are Our Elders?

This is a very important subject and it should not be undermined. I got this message from the Lord in a short vision on the morning of September 5, 2015. In this vision, I saw myself being confronted by two elderly men who asked me to do something for them. I declined their request, and I found myself arguing with them. This led them to remark how disrespectful the young people of today are. After their rebuke, I agreed and offered to cooperate with them. As simple as this might sound, there is reward in submitting to the elderly, and that is grace for longer life (1 Peter 5:5; Ephesians 6:1). With the advancement and wide availability of knowledge today, many of us assume that there is nothing to learn from the elderly. Well, that might be true in some respects, but we can learn from some of their manners and add to our days.

In the interest of order, our elders are those adults who could be our parents in terms of their age (1 Timothy 5:1-2), and we should accord them all due respect. Likewise, we should treat people slightly older than us as our brothers and sisters with proper respect, soundness of speech and integrity as is proper and fitting for children of God (Titus 2:6-8).

Teach the Youth Respect

It is sickening to even think of how dastardly wicked our youth have become today. Some even kill and abuse their parents. Others rob, rape, defraud, and disrespect the elderly, and this seems to be a daily norm that has received acceptance in society. Unfortunately, some people think that one’s higher level of formal education and higher socio-economic status trumps or usurps respect for the elderly, and gives one an air of superiority over others. While it is proper and respectful to honor those in leadership (Hebrews 13:17), it is godly to humble oneself before the elderly (1 Kings 2:19). We should not use the status of our professions to dishonour God; His word sets the standard of order in our society. This teaching might not be accepted by everyone or apply to all, but to those who fear the Lord it does, and it applies across the cultural divide.

What the Lord Taught Us

Some people raise their children solely based on their cultural system, and often this system conflicts with the word of God. I will share a few teachings we received from the Lord regarding child rearing. I have seen how powerless some parents are under the cultural system. They just allow their children to adopt the things they learn from others, without intervening and teaching them the way of the Lord. We have witnessed Christian parents lose complete control of their children’s rebellious behaviour. On one occasion, a six-year old child threw temper tantrums while yelling insults and attempting to blackmail her parents. Her parents were humiliated and embarrassed in our company, and when the parents had the first opportunity to receive a message from the Lord Jesus, He told them to discipline and teach their children obedience (Proverbs 13:24; 22:15; 22:6). Additionally, the Lord reminded them not to allow their children to speak to them disrespectfully as if they were children themselves (Ephesians  6:1-3).

As parents, we also had to deal with rebellion from our children. By the Lord’s authority, we have two weapons to use to encourage obedience and proper conduct: these are the teachings from the Bible, and the rod of discipline (Ephesians 6:4; Proverbs 23:13). A few months ago, one of our daughters grew increasingly impatient with me and my wife. In her frustration to our godly correction, our daughter Norah (name withheld) was in the habit of rudely answering back or even ignoring to answer when she was being called. This was very displeasing to the Lord, and in His love, He appeared to her in a vision and rebuked her while pointing her to the Scripture that reads, “Honor your father and your mother, so that you may live long in the land the LORD your God is giving you” (Exodus 20:12). With the Lord’s help, coupled with our daily prayers and encouragement to our children, we now enjoy an atmosphere of peace and mutual respect that has become the envy of many around us.

In addition, many young people are in the habit of rudely interrupting conversations or talking over elders to get their point across instead of patiently waiting like Elihu. In the book of Job, we see Elihu being very respectful and godly in his approach to Job and his friends (Job 32:1-4). God's order for human society is based on a model of respect and submission. Furthermore, a brother who delivered an offensive remark to an elderly man (who in terms of age could have been his father), was rebuked by the Lord for this bad character of disrespecting people older than him. As the Bible says, we are to be meek, gentle, and respectful in answering others; and we must not invite trouble and malicious talk to our sincerity and faith (1 Peter 3:15-16).  Therefore, if you have been disrespectful of others, including your parents or other elders, repent, fear God and obey all His word (Ecclesiastes 12:13)

If you would like to receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please begin by praying this Prayer of Sincere Repentance. For any questions or comments on this article or our ministry, please contact us.

Grace and Peace to You,

Brother Glenn.

Monday, August 31, 2015

The Committed Christian

“I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me” (Galatians 2:20 NIV).

Before we proceed with this week's article, we would like to share the vision below.

Vision of the Rapture train READY for departure

Given to Charis on August 25, 2015

"I had a short rapture vision this morning. I saw myself with members of my family at a beautiful neat, tidy and organised train station. There were countless people waiting in a long queue ready to purchase train tickets. I heard a voice of a young lady (I knew it was an angel of the Lord) announcing that there was room for only 5 more people on the train. The ticket attendant seemed to know the people whom the 5 seats were reserved for. I heard some people begging for a seat, particularly one lady who stood close by me. I saw some people trying to force their way through, but they could not succeed; the ticket attendant and the security personnel knew of all the plans these people were trying to make in order to get into the train." This was the end of the vision.

Brief interpretation

In this simple vision, the Lord is telling us that the rapture train is READY for departure and that there is room only for the 5 wise virgins (Matthew 25:7-13). The 5 signifies those who are ready and who will have their seats reserved. Those who are not ready will moan and beg to get on board to no avail. The Lord is pleading with you, BE READY! The Rapture train is already on the station ready for departure, REPENT and get right with God, booking your ticket to Heaven today!

A Commitment by Choice and Intent

True Christianity encourages a faith-based relationship with the Lord (1 Kings 8:61). As most of us would agree, in order to succeed, a relationship requires mutual respect and genuine love for the other person. Innately, no one wants to be taken advantage of in any given relationship, whether in marriage, business or other friendly relationships. In other words, we all expect the other party to fulfill their obligations and promises in order for the relationship to be sustained. Even in temporary relationships, such as business contracts or political agreements, failure by either party in the relationship to honor obligations often results in the termination of the relationship.

In our message today, our focus relates to the choice we made to have a relationship with the Lord, when we said to the Him: “Here I am, I have come to do your will” (Hebrews 10:9 NIV). When we commit to the Lord, our choice should never be based on "trying out" Christianity because the previous experience we had with religion could not help us find meaning or fulfillment in life. If we come to Christ with such an attitude or motive, we would not be happy, and sooner or later we would leave and try out another experience. This is typical of some people who have abandoned their faith in the Lord and joined other religions. This might seem right, but I doubt the initial choice was based on a true conviction and need for repentance. In an experience related to me recently, a brother told me that he responded to the call of the Lord out of a deep conviction fueled by a willingness to be freed from his old way of life.

Briefly, I heard someone very sincere and faithful in the Lord say to me: "Brother, before I exercised my choice of accepting the Lord to rule my life, I had the opportunity of reading the entire New Testament Bible, familiarizing myself with the various requirements, rewards and punishments. After satisfying myself with the content of the new life through the New Testament and comparing the direction and experiences of my old life, and after many days of inner conflict, I surrendered to the Lord. Therefore, my choice was informed and I had to embrace all good and bad things lined up for me in this path and this served as a revelation to my faith. As I grew deeper into my commitment to Christ, I learned truth through my many mistakes, and each time, I discovered how narrow my own virtues were leading me deeper in my need for the Lord."

In my opinion, the brother relating this experience knew what he was doing and he willingly and bravely allowed the Lord to transform him resulting in an appreciation and more of the Lord.

Test of Commitment

Biblically, no relationship with God is without test (Deuteronomy 8:2). In the beginning of his relationship with God, Abraham’s faith and obedience was tested (Genesis 22:1) and through this his commitment was revealed. In acceptance of His commitment to His ministry and the work of the cross, our Lord Jesus allowed Satan’s test and completed His work leaving us an example of commitment (John 17:4; 1 Peter 2:21). Furthermore, in his zeal and commitment to the Lord, Paul the apostle, boldly declared and said, “Why are you weeping and breaking my heart? I am ready not only to be bound, but also to die in Jerusalem for the name of the Lord Jesus” (Acts 21:13).

Generally, within the Bible itself and without having time to refer to external historical sources, Christianity has a richly decorated history of brave and bold men and women of God who defied Kings and rulers, hardships and persecution in their commitment to God and in His commitment to them God rescued and upheld their cause (Daniel 3:16-18; Esther 4:15-16; Romans 8:35). Unlike today’s Christians, these warriors of our faith did not allow the discouragement of challenges as a licence to complain and show bitterness. In contrast, they encouraged themselves on God’s deliverance because their refusal to bow to pressure shows their commitment (Daniel 6:20-22). Please allow me to share this brief experience, a few weeks into my new job in April 2010 after the Lord blessed me with the job He promised me (see Please Evangelize article), I complained to Him that the job was not what I expected due to the work demands and pressures. My complaints displeased the Lord and He told me to appreciate what I have and that complaining is an expression of bad spiritual fruit (Hebrews 12:28; Philippians 2:14-15). We often expect things coming from God to be easy and that is where we are wrong. The children of Israel were given and promised the Land of milk and honey but though obedience to God and at the cost of blood and sweat they received it (Numbers 33:53; Joshua 6:1-21; 7:3-12). When David was promised and anointed by God to take the Kingship from Saul, was his ascend to the throne easy? No! He faced endless troubles and persecution from Saul (1 Samuel 23:7-24). Likewise, the enemy is waging war against the children of God (Revelation 12:17; 1 Peter 5:8). However, as we obey God's Word and "Make every effort" to enter through the narrow gate, we will overcome him and receive God's promises (Luke 13:24; Revelation 12:11; Revelation 2:7).

The Christian message is being undermined by those who proposes God as ‘give me’ and ‘fix it for me” and the moment people realize that it was after all not that easy, they quit and forsake their initial commitment (Luke 8:13). Having been a Christian for more than 20 years, I admit that I tried different things with God to get His attention. These were amongst others, complaints, getting angry with God for not doing something for me, selfish crying, and refusing to obey by not reading my Bible or praying. Through all these manipulative acts, my gain was just frustration that left me at the cross roads of my commitment. And moments after finding courage I would remind myself of the humility and faith others before me expressed and endured and this served as my encouragement to endure with a humble attitude (James 4:1-10).

Unswervingly Giving of Ourselves to God

There are some noteworthy people in the Bible who were commended for following the Lord God wholeheartedly without swerving to the left or right. Among them is King Josiah (2 Chronicles 34:2) and King David (1 Kings 14:8; 1 Kings 15:5). As determined believers, they sought the Lord, humbled themselves at His word, repented of their sins, purged the land of wickedness and idolatry, fought God's battles, cared about the well-being of God's temple, and trusted God by looking to Him even in hardship (2 Chronicles 34:3-28; 2 Samuel; Psalm 51).

As a testimony, we have some ministry members who had set a meeting to get together for fellowship and prayer. Before their meeting, some of their family members got sick with a cold and had not fully recovered by the day they planned to meet. In their commitment, they did not to use this excuse to miss out on fellowship with the King of Kings who said, “For where two or three have gathered together in My name, I am there in their midst" (Matthew 18:20). Hence, they were blessed with God’s presence and encouraged to meet to pray together again. Likewise, there are many believers in Christ who show commitment to the Lord by seeking Him and serving Him despite discouragements, trials, or fear. They do it out of obedience to God and this shows love which is pleasing to God (1 John 5:2).

Therefore, in order to learn and receive from God, we are required to give ourselves wholly to His service and Lordship; in other words, our will in submission to His Will (Matthew 26:42; John 5:30). Our will becomes subject to His and His priorities become our interest. Knowing the heart and intentions of man, if we attempt to use God for personal gain, He renders our efforts fruitless and without reward (Matthew 6:33). This is surely not a pleasing teaching to the world and sadly, many blaspheme the Lord as being a dictator. If we only follow the world's self-centered way of "self-actualization", we stand to lose your life, but we gain it when we sacrifice it in obedience to Christ (Mark 8:35). Fundamentally, the Lord has only given the human race two choices: the broad way to destruction and the narrow road to life (Matthew 7:13-14; Deuteronomy 30:19-20). If we love life and the absolute good of life as promised by the Lord (John 3:16-17), there is hope of peace and eternal life. Living in commitment to God’s will always disagrees with rules given by man; but as it is, human rules seek freedom and independence from God (1 Samuel 8:6; Numbers 14:4; Exodus 32:4). As Christians, we have been given an opportunity to commit to a cause leading to eternal life. Let us therefore embrace it without complaints for this choice leads to a satisfying life of joy and peace (Romans 2:7).

In conclusion, have you been falling short of your commitment to God through compromise, complaints, excuses, or trials? In the Bible, Paul and Barnabas focused on “strengthening the disciples and encouraging them to remain true to the faith", declaring boldly that: “We must go through many hardships to enter the kingdom of God,” (Acts 14:22). So, be encouraged not to let any trials or discouragements hinder you from your dedication to the Lord Jesus.

If you would like to receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please begin by praying this Prayer of Sincere Repentance. For any questions or comments on this article or our ministry, please contact us.

Blessed Commitment,

Brother Glenn and Preparing for the Kingdom Ministry Team.