Monday, February 27, 2017

Obeying the Laws of your Country

The Authority of Scriptures Should be our Measure

“Let everyone be subject to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God. Consequently, whoever rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves” (Romans 13:1-2).

Message from the LORD

This message was given to Charis on the early hours of 25 February 2017. "In this vision, I was walking with somebody when the Lord started giving us this message. I heard the Lord saying with the message being repeated several times over, “You must obey the law of the Country, but if it contradicts the law of the Lord than you don’t have to follow it. For even I was persecuted and got into trouble for following God’s law and commands (John 8:40; 19:8-11).

This message is very important for the body of believers! The Church does not operate without being influenced by the laws of a country. The reality is that we are operating in a legal and political environment and as a body, we need to know how to respond to the threats posed by these realities. As a ministry, since we became aware of these developments we turned to the Lord in prayer and this led the Lord to give us the message above. Currently, there are some sweeping recommendations which could become law soon here in South Africa if it is passed. Some of these recommendations could adversely affect the work of the Church in this Country. We therefore appeal to you to pray for the body of believers here in South Africa and all around the world. Let it be known, this message is not only for the the local body, but for all Christians the world over. In order to guide you in prayer, you may read some of these recommendation right here .

Notice, where the word ‘law’ appears in this article, it has no reference to the Mosaic Law unless so indicated scripturally. The law we are referring to here is a reference to the normal laws passed by countries governing authorities. As we know, this is not a new message, and our aim is simply to reminder the brethren to obey the laws of the Country as the above scriptural reference commands a point the LORD emphasized recently. Also, since there are numerous articles elsewhere on this subject, we don’t intend producing a drawn-out article on this matter. Now scripturally, the Lord is a God of peace and order, and it displeases Him when people behave lawlessly (1 Corinthians 14:33; 2 Peter 2:9-10). God in His Sovereignty, has given people autonomy and the ability to make rules and to govern their own activities (Exodus 18:21). However such self-rule should be exercised to the benefit of all in society and within the sphere of Godly living (1 Samuel 8:19-20).

Socially, the aim of law in human society is to encourage social unity and to strike a balance against extreme behavior by some which could prejudice and adversely affect the interest of others. Without going into a deeper historical overview, the law of the earlier times only served the elite and those in power. In other words, its interpretation favored those who presented a strong and persuasive counter argument (Luke 23:13-25) which led to the acquittal of the guilty and the conviction of the innocent.

In our times, though, we have seen the formation of democratic systems of government almost anywhere around the world. The democratic system of government is a government which has been elected by the people for their common good. People want to be governed by those who will represent and protect their interest which leads to laws as a guarantee of saving guarding such interest (1 Samuel 8:19-20). I don’t want to sound all legal and political here, however, if rules of law which are meant to encourage an acceptable behavior is applied across all of society then it promotes justice and equality amongst its legal subjects (Zechariah 8:16).

While a country’s laws are there to serve as a deterrent and to control human behavior fundamentally, it does not always agree with the tenets of our Christian faith. This article is NOT meant to encourage civil disobedience amongst Christians, in fact, the Lord Himself said, "Render therefore to Caesar the things that are Caesar's; and to God the things that are God's" (Matthew 22:21 NKJV). As Christians, we are duly commanded to obey the governing authorities and to be submissive (Romans 13:7). Modern law and more specifically in democratic states, no religion is favored above the other to maintain the principle of ‘equality.' Therefore, Church and state operate independently from each other. However, in some instances, there is some government interference which is evident through some regulations to control relations among church bodies and its members.

A Christian’s Response Against Unjust Laws

Throughout Church history, countless Christians risked their lives to preserve their faith and relationship with God (Acts 12:1-2; Revelations 2:13). The price the Lord paid for our salvation is regarded worth more than this life (2 Corinthians 6:20). Additionally, “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword…”? (Romans 8:35-39). Truly, this is a love that cannot be extinguished, it embraces and rides every storm of displeasure this life could offer.

Biblically, when a Christian is confronted by a choice that involves compromising his or her faith then, "We must obey God rather than any human authority” (Acts 5:29 NLT). Without going into too much detail, when Pharaoh commanded the Hebrew midwives to kill all the Jewish male boys, they put their feared for God first other than Pharaoh’s decree (Exodus 1:17). Also, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego defied the Kings order to bow down to the image he set up (Daniel 3:16-19). Additionally, the prophet Daniel would not allow the King's decree to interfere with his relationship with God, so he risked death to maintain his faith and love for God (Daniel 6:11-16). Furthermore, the Lord Jesus Himself was subject to human authorities (Matthew 17:27), but He stood firm on the message He proclaimed, defying death He made the good confession (Luke 22:69-70; 1 Timothy 6:13).

Finally, let us lead obedient lives as Christians without being ashamed of our faith while we discern “…what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will” (Romans 12:2 NIV).

In conclusion, don't miss this opportunity, we would like to extend an invitation to anyone who does not know the Lord Jesus Christ yet, or of you are not born again, to pray our suggested prayer on this link Prayer of Sincere Repentance by faith and come follow the Lord (Matthew 4:19). You may also contact us for any questions or comments about this article or our ministry.

Faithfully Yours in Christ

Brother Glenn

Monday, February 6, 2017

Being a Faithful Servant of God

Faithfulness, Mark of a True Christian

“But be sure to fear the LORD and serve him faithfully with all your heart; consider what great things he has done for you” (1 Samuel 12:24 NIV). Again, we read “Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people” (Ephesians 6:7 NIV).

Initially, the word faithful has a very deep and wide meaning, and if we apply this virtue in the biblical context, then it takes on a serious meaning. What I mean is this, faithfulness should be an attitude that constantly flows from a Christ-fearing person’s character (Isaiah 11:5). Thus, the content of a Christian’s character is measured by his faithfulness. Therefore, this all-encompassing quality covers every sphere of a Christian’s character. It measures the content of our speech, faith, fear of God, our conduct and character. Additionally, we are measured by the unsaved, unfaithful and mockers through our faithful conduct. Thus, our Christianity is evident if we display the fruit of faithfulness (Ephesians 5:22). From experience, a faithful Christian displays a gentle and patient spirit with everybody and this a hallmark of maturity.

Being a witness of the Lord’s rebukes to countless Christians both here and around the world, I am confidently testifying to you that the Lord was greatly displeased by the unfaithfulness of some Christian brothers and sisters. Responding with love to them, the Lord had frequently rebuked the brethren about their shallow relationship with Him, their careless attitude towards others and their lukewarm approach to towards His will. We cannot emphasize enough that laziness has a destructive effect on our relationship with the Lord and sadly personal needs and circumstances are always favored above the Lord’s will (Colossians 3:23).

Perseverance of a Faithful Spirit

Additionally, we often hear that certain ministers have given up on their ministry commitments to serve under other ministers citing lack of experience as an excuse. While this might be an expression of humility, several years or months of ministry is held together by prayer and faithful commitment (2 Thessalonians 1:11). Also, if the work of ministry continued for such a good period why the need to discontinue it? Would we attribute the decision to discontinue in ministry service to God or the minister? Knowing that God’s gifts are unchangeable (Romans 11:29) we may safely conclude that the minister was responsible for discontinuing work in God’s service. During this past week, the Lord revealed to me that His calling of ministers into ministry work is meant for the duration of their earthly lives. In other words, once anointed and ordained, ministers has a generational ministry commitment (John 4:34; Acts 20:24). Furthermore, I was personally warned by the Lord that there would be consequences if I fail to complete the course of my ministry work and this warning is extended to all those who committed but failed to continue.

Throughout the Bible, we read may have read how faithful and committed Daniel, David, Jeremiah, Paul, Esther, Ruth and a host of others were to their faith and commitment to God (Daniel 6:10; 1 Kings 15:5; Jeremiah 1:7-9; 1Corinthians 9:16; Esther 2:20; Ruth 3:11). These men and women including our Lord Jesus Christ despised their will, the abusive insults of others and sacrificed their lives of pleasure to obey and follow the LORD faithfully each day. Now, this may sound foolish, but if we were to compare today’s Christians with the saints of old, we are found to be lacking in faithfulness. Being in ministry, I regularly meet with many Christians and ministers and disappointingly, the quality of faithfulness lacks in most of them. What I further noticed is that these gentle souls are highly literate scripturally and eloquent, and some of them simply just show off their ‘talent’ to impress others. The Bible says, ‘show us’ (James 2:18). Also, some Christians are more concerned about their lives then the things about God, in fact, the only thing most ‘Christians’ concerns themselves with is to reserve just one day a week for God. Is this not a questionable commitment because materially it lacks true faithfulness. A truly faithful Christian never looks back (Luke 9:62), or regrets the course of action in Christ he or she undertook either to witness, pray, give and support the work of God. We do not intend overloading you here with a long message, but do you know that your conscience as a witness will testify against you when the Lord demands of you the output of your labor? (Romans 2:15; Romans 14:12; 2 Corinthians 5:10). And at the end of your Christian journey don’t you want to hear Lord saying to you, 'Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!'(Matthew 25:21 NIV).

Measuring up to True Faithfulness

Finally, please examine yourself based on these few questions. Are you always in a hurry to finish your prayers because you have to attend to some other matters? Surely, this is not true faithfulness! Do you make commitments to others and don’t keep it? Are you not being faithful? Are you skipping days or weeks not reading your bible? You are disobedient and dishonor you’re the Lord and your salvation. Do you ‘bunk’ church activities like prayer meetings, witnessing events, tithing or contributing because your needs must come (Luke 21:3) first? You have put your hand to the plow, but you are looking back, the Lord says this exercise is fruitless (Luke 9:26). Do you like lying and excuses? I can assure you, you are very close to the devil, the Lord rebuked and warned countless brethren for this, and they were shown the source of their behavior. Do you always want to be right? People with such an attitude likes to dominate others I can assure you this is very displeasing to the Lord for talking down to your fellow brother or sister in Christ. Is this not a questionable faithfulness? Are you always more concerned about other’s opinion about of you and causing you to hide your Christianity because you are ashamed of your faith? You are not faithful to the Lord; it seems your feelings matters more than your faith which should be publically known (Luke 9:26; Matthew 5:15).

In conclusion, brethren lets get serious with God and stop pretending for our commitment to God requires some serious and sober commitment.

Don't miss this opportunity, we would like to extend an invitation to anyone who does not know the Lord Jesus Christ yet, or of you are not born again, to pray our suggested prayer on this link Prayer of Sincere Repentance by faith and follow the Lord (Matthew 4:19). You may also contact us for any questions or comments about this article or our ministry.

Blessed Regards
Brother Glenn