Monday, September 26, 2016

How to Care for Your Fellow Brother or Sister in Times of Need

“Therefore, as we have opportunity, we must work for the good of all, especially for those who belong to the household of faith” (Galatians 6:10).

Encouragement to our Faithful Readers

Short visions

Important notice: We have made some additions to our "Blazing Holy Fire" Teachings and the Sabbath Question article. Also, beloved people of God, our second book is now available in both E-Book and paperback formats. Our intention is not to use manipulative marketing ideas to coerce you into buying our books. We however, expect you to support us and pray for us as we labour to reach the lost, the discouraged and those who are hungry for the word of God. I (Brother Glenn) has received two short visions from the Lord and I am permitted to share it with you here.

On the 22 September 2016, I had a vision from the Lord. I present the vision to you just as I received it. I need to point out though that I am not a soccer fan nor a follower of any soccer club. The Lord simply used this sport to illustrate the message He wanted me to share with us.

When the vision opened, I knew it was a soccer world cup event taking place somewhere in the world. Two strong African teams (Cameroon and Nigeria) were in the world cup final and they had to compete for the coveted world cup trophy. I heard someone whom I couldn't see saying, 'It doesn't matter who wins, either way we win'. Suddenly the vision changed and I saw a man scoring a goal with his head. I could sense the man's thoughts, he was thinking, 'if I score a goal, the people would vilify me as being unpatriotic'. However, when the soccer ball landed behind the goal post I heard everybody loudly applauding and celebrating that goal throughout the world. I could feel the joy and excitement of people everywhere and I heard a voice saying, "People has lost Country loyalty".

Interpretation: Football as we know it, divides people and Countries alike. The Lord used this most loved sport to show that there will be a common unity of nations. I perceived in the vision that countries of the world are uniting and working towards a single government system. People everywhere would welcome and embrace this new system. There is scriptural evidence of this (Daniel 2:41-43; Revelations 13:3). Brethren, we must remain praying while we are looking forward to the rapture!   

Also, on the 23 September 2016, I had another vision. I saw a group of about 5 people having a conversation. These were white South Africans, male and females having a normal conversation.  They could not see me, neither could I hear what they were saying. However, I knew that they were talking about Mr Mandela (our late former president). I perceived that they were praising him for his leadership and longing for a man of his stature. I then heard a gentle voice saying, "These people should be praying for their Country so that the Lord can give them peace". (1 Timothy 2:2; 2 Chronicles 7:14). End of vision. This vision needs no interpretation.  The Lord is encouraging the people of South Africa to pray for our Country, which is facing wide-spread student protests. Please pray for rain also, as our livestock and food security is being threatened.

Fellow brethren, the Lord Jesus Christ Himself who appointed us to do this work is aware of everything we do or say. As it is, He measures the content of our hearts (Jeremiah 17:10). Therefore, He is shepherding us to ensure we deliver a truthful message to you. In expressing His Holiness and truthful nature, the Lord admonished me to side with the truth only and this will secure my salvation and ultimately my redemption as well (1 Corinthians 9:27). Having you in mind, the Lord gives messages and visions that are specific to what we should know and do. In our work on this website no church, doctrine or leader is elevated except Christ Jesus our Saviour and Lord.

This article concerns that we should extend our love and care to our fellow brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus. We often find many truly born again Christians ignoring the plight of others because they reckon those in need are not from "our church" or don't belong to our group.

The denominational spirit of our times is largely responsible for this selective care in today’s society. Understandably, while it is easy to extend a helping hand to those of our immediate fellowship, we should not limit the Lord’s work and fail to care for others outside our immediate fellowship. Neither should we fear those in our fellowship who are driven by a spirit of sectarianism (Acts 11:2-18). What we do for others, we do for Christ (Matthew 25:40).

Bible Examples of True Christian Care

The effectiveness of our faith is always expressed through a spirit of unity (Acts 2:44). Therein do we see faith in shared action. Furthermore, when our Lord discoursed on the parable of the Good Samaritan, He emphasized compassion for the wounded. The Lord discouraged sectarianism, pointing out that all men are our neighbours (Luke 10:30-37).

In denouncing sectarianism within Christianity, the Lord rebuked John for trying to stop someone (who was not part of their immediate company) from ministering deliverance in His name (Luke 9:49-50). Even so when Tabitha, a disciple, became sick, concerned brothers and sisters nursed her, remembering her loving and caring spirit before the Lord; they stood as one and trusted God to bring her back to life, and He did by honouring their faith and care for their fellow sister (Acts 9:36-41).

Often, people who consider themselves Christians lack compassion for the needy and they show their impatience with the needy person by avoiding contact, citing uncaring excuses (Luke 9:57-62). If I may put it this way, the ‘package’ of salvation includes a great deal of discomfort to ourselves and our families while God delivers His care and love through us to those in need (2 Corinthians 5:20).

In addition, our Lord Jesus Himself expressed compassion and care on many occasions to the sick, needy and the dead (Matthew 9:36; 20:34; 15:32; John 11:33-36). The Lord did not expect anything in return from those He took care of; His gift to them was to restore them in fellowship to God (2 Corinthians 5:18).The Lord’s care for the needy is real because He always initiates the action for help and deliverance for our good (Philippians 2:13; Acts 10:2).

Furthermore, when my family and I were on the verge of losing our house with the court summoning judgment against us, and being weak in our faith through sorrow, we turned to the Lord in desperation. In His compassion He lifted our faith in Him by commanding us to fast for a day. He used the fasting to draw our attention to Him, which served as an expression of faith, and this He did to deliver us from the bondage of our circumstances. In other words, He used fasting to motivate us to believe, so that He can help us. What an all Wise God we serve!

Do We Care Enough for Our Fellow Brethren?

It is disgraceful and hypocritical for us as Christians to claim that we know Christ when we grudgingly overlook the dire or desperate needs of our fellow brethren (1 John 3:17-18). Having said this, the Christian faith does not encourage dependence on man (Jeremiah 17:5) but dependence on God for everything (Philippians 4:19; Psalm 121:2). The ministry of care to those in need is an expression of Christ’ love through the believer. It is very easy to take care of those close to us; while this is good and commendable, we should not overlook helping those beyond our own immediate association.  Like I mentioned above, discriminating compassion is not from God, but man. Also, if we give up on a needy person while they remain in that situation, we are proved fruitless and it is a mockery of our faith (John 15:1-17). Often, needy people, whether saved or unsaved, are always looking at the Christian response. Such situations could render a powerful testimony or hatred for the cause of Christianity. Those needing care often abandon their faith using their experience as testimony to embrace either another faith or some lifestyle outside Christ. Indeed, many false religions and denominations reach out to such needy people in order to win them to their false teachings.

In reality, when saying we must care for the needy brethren, the Lord is not expecting us to go door to door and look up for needy people. Scripturally, He sends them to us or sends us to them (Luke 10:31-33; 1 Kings 17:9). Our caring must not be grudgingly, but from a pure heart of love (2 Corinthians 9:7). The needy often recognised Christ being the source of our caring. Also, our mere knowledge of a person’s need should spur us into action and not just our physical presence. The Lord recently rebuked somebody for not showing enough care and compassion to a fellow believer who is in need of care. As a word of caution, our care for others should never be used by us or others to elevate us. Where Christ the giver through us is absent, we point people to our compassion for them, and the Lord says we have no Heavenly reward for our effort (Matthew 6:2).

In conclusion, when we care for our needy brothers and sisters in Christ Jesus, we ourselves will not fail to receive mercy when our turn for mercy shows up; this is a Biblical fact of faith (Matthew 5:7). Furthermore, if we express and give care to the needy in Christ against our own will and discomfort, our response would either be out of genuine love or out of guilt. Guilt is fruitless and can be identified by the impatience of the giver, but care from a loving heart shows no remorse and the recipient of such care recognises God, whose Goodness to us we express through praise and thanksgiving.

Let us continue to practice hospitality, for it is not a matter of what we have or where we are, but being available to give care from our hearts wherever we are.

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

God bless you all in Jesus name,
Brother Glenn.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Courage is Expressed Faith

One of the Greatest Casualties of our Faith is Courage

Brethren, the Lord has revealed to us through various messages and visions that the courage of many Christians are failing them to walk fully in the will of the Lord. This, the LORD said, led to many Christians  dishonouring Him and they instead choose to honor man more than Him. Therefore, after prayer we are reposting this message to encourage and remind the brethren to be courageous and stand firm especially given to the times that we are living in. We are going to need courage to overcome the temptation of being ashamed of the gospel and our good confession that Jesus Christ is LORD! Be blessed and share the word as you continue serving.

We have numerous Biblical examples of failed courage and how this led to disaster. Here is one powerful incident of failed courage. Moses sent out 12 spies to explore the promised land of Canaan, and upon their return they displayed some of the rich produce from that land. They also reported how powerful the people were. They saw giant-like people there, “descendants of Anak”. The spies (with the exception of Joshua and Caleb), presented the report in such a negative and unfaithful manner that the people were discouraged and their hearts failed so that they longed back to the days of bondage (Numbers 13: 1-33).

Even though Moses, Caleb, Joshua and Aaron pleaded with the community to trust in the Lord and not to be afraid, the people were determined to turn back in disobedience (Numbers 14:1-9). Brethren, I encourage you in the Mighty Name of our Lord Jesus Christ never to turn back to bondage after you experienced the Lord’s deliverance. This will result in your destruction (Numbers 14:21-30). From the above Scripture, we learn that this same rebellious community experienced the mighty acts of God’s judgement upon the Egyptians, and yet they still doubted Him. They were driven by fear and they had given up. The Lord forgave them and promised judgement for their lack of faith, and we know that He fulfilled the judgement He promised them (Joshua 5:6).

God: Our Source of Courage

God the Father says, “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with My righteous right hand” (Isaiah 41:10 NIV). Furthermore Joshua, being a man of faith, took God’s Word literally when the Lord said to him, “Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. Be strong and courageous. Be careful to obey all the law My servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go” (Joshua 1:6-7 NIV).

As it turned out, Joshua took faith in the words of the Lord and God’s command to be strong and courageous, and he brought the Israelites into the Promised Land (Joshua 24:8-14). This was a combination of faith and obedience which resulted in the promise. Faith is expressed through courage in facing the uncertainty. I am not talking about human courage that seeks to elevate our own strength and abilities. I am talking about taking courage in God’s abilities. If we expressed such faith, God would be recognised as the Source of our achievement, rather than us. The result is always supernatural and beyond human ability (Joshua 1:3-9).

In addition, courage is often mistaken for risk in today’s language. The world encourages people to take risks by experimenting their strength and weaknesses. The benefit of success in taking the risk is wealth and self-glory. When we take risks, we base our faith in our own abilities and not in the Lord. In the Lord however, we express our courage by faith in God’s abilities for His glory and our deliverance. In other words we say, “Lord you said, so we do” (John 15:14).

In many instances, I have witnessed how the Christian’s courage is usurped by fear. In the examples above, Joshua had faith but he needed to have courage as well. We have also seen how fear seized upon the people‘s courage and they gave up (Numbers 14:4). Although they fell in the desert, God used Joshua’s courage to bring their children into the Promised Land. Likewise, God wants us to take up Joshua, Paul and Peter’s courage as a testimony to trust in His ability. We read how they overcame all adversities. These courageous men witnessed fearlessly (Acts 4:33), they had courage to face prison, ridicule and death, and yet they persevered (2 Corinthians 11:23-33).

Today, many Christians are discouraged to witness because they fear what others might think about them. They fear being ridiculed more than witnessing to save souls. We often see and hear the lukewarm, disobedient and self-righteous believers hurling insults, such as “fundamentalists”, to truly God-fearing servants of God. Do not lose your courage because of insults and abuse, and do not allow man to judge you on the convictions coming from the Holy Spirit. Keep marching on in obedience and inherit God’s promises! (Joshua 1:7, Luke 6:22-23). God has promised success to the courageous and obedient believers. Also, let your courage not fail because you see that many Christians have befriended the world and live contrary to the scriptures; don’t join in, but hold on faithfully to your confidence (Hebrews 10:23, 1 Corinthians 15:58).

Furthermore, have courage like King Josiah who, when he heard about God’s judgements, repented and led his entire kingdom to national repentance (2 Chronicles 34:39-33). King Josiah took God’s word literally and acted in obedience to it. He was led by a strong conviction and committed himself to follow the Lord with all his heart and soul. He was possessed by fear for God and he followed the commands of the WORD (2 Chronicles 34:31). He showed contempt for the wrongs his forefathers did by destroying the evil they did against the Lord. A flame for God’s justice was burning within him (2 Kings 23:4-25).

Before I conclude, I would like to share with you a short testimony. Before I arrived to the position of faith and courage I enjoy today, I faced many tests and challenges. I fought the fear I had for man through prayer and obedience to God. I am not mentioning this to be pitied, but when the Lord tested our faith and courage, He sent us out witnessing with our Bibles only. He sent us out from morning till late at night. To read more about our faith and the courage we displayed kindly read our article “Obedience Through Test.” This is the courage we expressed in God to protect us and to provide for us.

In conclusion, I encourage you as a fellow servant of God not to allow the ungodly talk of the faithless to consume your courage. Instead, use your faith to draw courage from God, since He said in Scripture “…And I am with you always, to the very end of the age” (Matthew 28:20 NIV). We therefore say AMEN to His promises and unfathomable ABILITY!

How do your faith and courage measure up? Is your faith like that of Joshua and Caleb, focusing on the Lord as your strength and courage, or are you like the 10 unfaithful spies? If you have a desire to start trusting the Lord, here is a Prayer of Sincere Repentance. For any questions or comments on this article or our ministry, please contact us.

Grace to you in His courage,

Brother Glenn.