“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,