Monday, March 18, 2019

Christian Reconciliation Comes From God's Spirit

Partnering For God's Work

“Leave your gift there before the altar, and go your way. First, be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift” (Matthew 5:24 NKJV). Also, “And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Ephesians 4:32 NKJV). Also, "There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called one Lord, one faith, one baptism;  one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all" (Ephesians 4:4-6).

Appeal for Tracts: Brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, we humbly appeal to you to please consider donating postage charges on our Ministry’s behalf directly to the Fellowship Tract League. As a ministry, we are constantly engaged in witnessing activities, and we are in need of tracts. However, since each member of the body of Christ works to compliment the work of God (1 Corinthians 12:12; Romans 12:4). Thus, soul winning is a shared burden, and the Lord promised that there would be material and spiritual fruits that God would provide to those who lends to Him (Proverbs 19:17; Philippians 4:17; Luke 10:30-37). We do have a ‘Support Us’ notice towards the right on this blog as commanded by the Lord Jesus Himself. For any further information, you may email us directly at bookorder@prepareforthekingdom.com or email Brother Glenn directly at  glenn.vanrooyen2@gmail.com . Thus, your prayers and support to help us reach the lost for the Lord will not escape God’s attention and your efforts will be duly rewarded (Hebrews 6:10). Brethren, PLEASE! Let this appeal for help not escape your notice in Jesus name.

Divisions Through False Prophecies

As for our message today, let’s be honest, it is common knowledge that Christians the worldwide are looking forward to the Lord’s Coming. We know that this excitement and enthusiasm have been created by the Lord Himself (Matthew 25:13; 24:42-51). The Lord also reminded us recently that His promise of Coming will happen and it will be suddenly. Sadly, though, many well-meaning man and women of God have sacrificed their reputations and fallen victim to the temptation of implicating certain people as being the anti-Christ. Instead of praying for our leaders as the Bible teaches, we are following the world and promote feelings of dislike and hatred (1 Timothy 2:2). Biblically, a Christian is not supposed to practice partially, love is impartial and all encompassing (Leviticus 19:15; James 2:1-7) and we should transcend the cultural (difference) divide through the unifying force of love (Colossians 3:14).

Christians Hating Each Other

I would like to share a brief testimony involving some members of our ministry. A few years ago, two brethren got involved in a bitter feud so severe that it threatened their salvation. This incident completely laid bare the ill-feelings the brethren had for one another. After rebuking both parties for their hatred and intolerance for one another, the Lord encouraged the brethren to forgive, love and to continue fellowshipping with one another (Ephesians 4:32). As the feelings of hatred grew deeper between the brethren, so did the Lord intensified (through messages) the need for forgiveness and love and this insistence from the Lord broke down the wall of unforgiveness resulting in love and true brotherly reconciliation. Through their actions, these precious brethren would not allow ill-feelings to keep them captive in bondage. Instead, their love for the Lord was evident in their respect and love for one another.

Token of Reconciliation

The message the Lord gave me this morning for our article came through a short vision this (22/01/2017) morning. I saw two men whom I perceived to be Christian brothers in the Lord. I could further perceive that one of these men had an intense hate (or dislike) for the other and this hatred led him to avoid the company of the other brother who seemed to be gentle and at peace with the other brother. The vision changed and I saw the two brothers having to face each other with nowhere else to turn to avoid one another. I heard the gentle brother greeting the other cheerfully, and the other brother responded reluctantly. As they walk towards each other, they hugged, and I heard the loathsome brother weeping as he leaned onto the other. He took something from his pocket and gave to the gentle brother as a token of a peace offering (Genesis 32:13-21). Just then another Christian sister passed by and asked, ‘what happened’? And the gentle brother replied, ‘we reconciled and saw the gift I received’ and both of them appeared to be happy and at peace with one another. Thus, this vision needs no explanation except to add that the Lord is teaching us that both parties in a dispute have a responsibility to pursue reconciliation and not just the guilty person. From this, we learn that these two brethren had a need for each other’s love, and being compelled by the love of the Lord in obedience (2 Corinthians 5:14) they ended avoiding each other’s company and made peace.

Fake and Shallow Christianity Equalls Godlessness

On a serious note, there are number of Christians who hate and dislike each other simply because of some points of difference; However, little do they know that their Christianity is being exposed either to love or hatred of others. It is shameful to profess to be Christian while openly harboring and displaying ill-feelings towards your brother(s) or sister(s) in Christ (1 John 4:20-21). Being disobedient to the Lord and allowing bitter roots (of hatred, envy, and unforgiveness) to grow results in us missing the grace of God (Hebrews 12:14-15). The Lord warned that nothing good you ever did would stand for your defense, but your inability to live in peace and pursue it with your fellow man will be your greatest lost (Psalm 34:14-16). Again, the Lord is warning you brethren, just because some Christians are in the habit of avoiding those they regard as enemies and being contemptuous towards others does not mean you have to conform. Let us live to obey the Lord and let us not despise His teachings that encourage us to be good and gentle people for only through these lofty virtues is Christ truly seen and well-regarded (1 John 4:16).

In conclusion, Brethren, if we live not to reconcile with our offenders we may be sure that our prayers are hindered (John 9:31; 1 Peter 3:7). Additionally,not forgetting that true peace from the Lord would be absent leaving us frustrated (1 Samuel 16:14). Thus, don’t be just a Christian in talk displaying your Bible knowledge with an empty, selfish heart, but be one in the power of love which is evident through a peaceful spirit.

Now, if you are ready and willing to pursue peace and reconciliation with those who offended you or if you have offended someone, let it be known that for reconciliation, you must make right with your offender and not God on your behalf. We thus suggest that you pray sincerely from the heart asking the Lord to open the heart of thine offender and after prayer, step out in faith and be at peace with your fellow man (Romans 12:18).

As always, 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 Peace

Brother Glenn.

Monday, March 11, 2019

How Satan Influences Our Choices Rob Us Of God's Blessings

But I am afraid that just as Eve was deceived by the serpent’s cunning, your minds may somehow be led astray from your sincere and pure devotion to Christ (2 Corinthians 11:3).

You would recall in our article, How This Ministry Started, how the Lord Jesus Christ supernaturally spoke to us through Charis in establishing this ministry. From Scripture, we learn that Satan is able to counterfeit supernatural experiences from the Lord (Exodus 7:8-22), and in order to challenge our faith, He establishes schemes to cause us to doubt the truth about God (Genesis 3:1; Ephesians 6:11; 1 Kings 13:11-24). Sadly though, I have noticed that many brethren reading on this website avoid reading articles that relate to the devil. Brethren, you must remember that the Bible is our source of information about the devil; we merely compare our experiences with Scriptural evidence. Therefore, it is not advisable to avoid a teaching from the Lord about the works of Satan. The enemy's quest to destroy your faith and ultimately your lives could result in disobedience and ultimately cause you to lose your souls.

In today’s secular society, experiences of faith and the supernatural are often disregarded and completely ignored. We hear unsaved people calling our experiences "unscientific", "hallucinations", or "superstitions". These are the opinions of those who have never experienced what we have, and yet they claim to have an answer and an explanation for our experiences. It is not prudent to question the experiences of others if we are not trained or have a relationship with matters relating to the spiritual realm and understanding things hidden to the natural (1 Corinthians 2:14). I would like to point out that it is equally foolish to reject truth relating to God if we have not, or have never, experienced a relationship with Him. On the other hand, and in my observation, Satan has trapped and deceived the unbelieving world, telling them: "Don’t believe the things you don’t see. They don’t matter to you!" (Genesis 3:4-5). Since faith is a spiritual experience, the only feedback on the reality of the spiritual realm is accepting the existence of the spiritual realm and its influence in our lives (2 Corinthians 4:13; Galatians 5:17).

Faith: The Only Link in Experiencing the Spiritual Realm

Briefly, before I came to the knowledge of truth, I was not aware of the existence of both God and the devil. My reality of their existence was not based on faith but on stories people told me about their existence. I had an option to accept or simply just ignore things relating to God or Satan. However, my ignorance and denying the existence of these beings was not a reason for me to assume they don’t exist. Naturally, it is impossible to imagine the existence of the supernatural unless there is a natural experience to link it to. In other words, in theory it is not something we can reconcile with or factually point to but our inability to prove it is simply not sufficient grounds to deny the existence of God and Satan (Romans 1:20; Job 1:7). Like I alluded above, the reality of experiencing the existence of God comes through faith and the result of faith adds the experience of God’s existence (Hebrews 11:6; John 14:21). Therefore, God reveals Himself to us only on the basis of our faith in Him.

Furthermore, God only revealed Himself to me after I searched (Jeremiah 29:13; Acts 17:27) for Him (please read my brief testimony in Deliverance Through Jesus Christ - Part 1). Through Bible reading, I became aware of God, and as I gained more He started revealing more about Himself (1 Samuel 3:21). My previous reality of simply ignoring God’s existence was swallowed by the light of truth He lit in my soul (Psalm 119:105; 130; John 1:9). As much as the Apostle Paul was sobered and blinded by the bright light from Heaven resulting in a change of faith and attitude, I was similarly affected (Acts 26:13). Again, like Paul, the output of my faith is this work of sharing my experiences about Christ with you. I'm not sharing that so that you may consider my experiences with the Lord as evidence of His existence, but that you may examine my claims by faith and Scripturally (Acts 17:11). As it is, faith always comes by a voluntary choice, and that through the Word of God (Romans 10:17). As much as knowledge of salvation and of Christ came through the Word of God, we equally learn about Satan and demonic activity through the Scriptures (Genesis 3:1; Matthew 8:10). So ignoring a teaching about them and their activity in the lives of people is foolish and preposterous.

How Satan Attacks Our Faith

It is not always easy to understand how the devil influences our thoughts and thereby affects our faith in the Lord. Like an enemy, he operates undercover, exploiting our ignorance of his opposing plans (Genesis 3:4-5). In the preceding verse, Satan portrayed God as being against human well-being and withholding good things from us. People often blame their suffering on God, even after Satan has crippled our faith (Ruth 1:20; Mark 4:3-16). The Bible warns us that it is the devil who comes to "steal, kill and destroy"; but the Lord gives us eternal life (John 10:10).

From Scripture, we learn that Satan attacks our faith, and once he has succeeded in weakening us that way, we are denied the blessings from God (Jeremiah 42:7-12; 43:2-7). Often, in attacking us, we are made to doubt the good intentions and promises of God, much in the same way that the snake tricked Eve into believing a lie (Genesis 3:1; 5). Once that confidence of assurance in God is shaken, the consequences are irreversible (Numbers 14:26-35).

As I attempted to explain in our introduction, any supernatural experience involving God will inevitably invite the presence of Satan too (Job 1:6; Matthew 4:1-4; 2 Corinthians 12:7). Satan's work is to confuse the good counsel of God; thereby troubling our faith (Acts 13:8-10). Therefore, where the gospel of peace which bears testimony to the salvation of our souls is preached, Satan also works there in a bid to obstruct and confuse God’s counsel (Matthew 16:22-23).

In the light of the above Scriptural experiences, as a family we were also the subject of attacks by Satan. After every good promise and message from the Lord through Charis or myself, the devil would give a false message of fear and doubt regarding the same blessing through another person in our family. This would be completely opposite to what the Lord said, and we discerned Satan's attack through the content of the message. Satan's messages are always filled with fear (2 Timothy 1:7), doubt and the encouragement of some evil practice (Ephesians 6:13-17; Matthew 4:3). In the year 2010, just after the Lord gave me a promise of a job, the devil gave a counter-message to someone, inducing fear in my family that I would be dead soon. I cried out to the Lord and said, "Lord, you have just promised me a job, and now I hear that I would die soon?" The Lord did not answer, and having discerned that this was the work of Satan to attack my faith in God’s promise, I encouraged my family that this was an attack of the devil to destroy my faith; the message was not from the Lord. In reality, it turned out to be a lie and by my persistent faith, I inherited the promise from the Lord (you may read the testimony of how I got the job in the article, Please Evangelize).

In another false vision in 2013 to a member of my family, the enemy showed that I would become blind. This again was to weaken my faith through fear. Being human, these things got me worried momentarily, but the Lord comforted me saying that He doesn't just pronounce judgment on us without giving us an option to pray and repent if we have done wrong (Ezekiel 18:30). As it is, in this and many other similar attacks to us, I knew that these attacks were against our faith. Remarkably, not long after these attacks on our faith, we would actual receive answers to our prayers! I have since learned that the devil's attacks on our faith, especially when we have trusted the Lord for a breakthrough in something, would precede the delivering of a blessing or prayer request. In a message to me, the Lord said that Satan is extremely envious of our relationship with Him and his jealously overflows in anger and hatred for us and for the Lord Jesus (Isaiah 14:12-17). This is the reason why he works tirelessly to destroy our relationship with God; he knows that his time short (Revelation 12:12).

Finally, brethren, let us discern truth. There is no greater way of conquering the schemes of Satan in attacking our faith but through our knowledge of the Word of God and persistent prayer (Joshua 1:8; 1 Thessalonians 5:17). In a message to me, the Lord told me that backslidden Christians have lost interest in Bible reading and prayer, which was the foundation of their faith. They allowed the arrows of doubt and appetite for sin and worldly things to pierce them, leading them astray (James 1:14).

Has the devil been causing you fear, doubt, and ebbing away at your faith through his attacks? Be encouraged in prayer, faithful obedience to Christ and He will expose the enemy's attempt to destroy your faith and ultimately your soul (2 Corinthians 2:11; 1 Peter 5:8). Remember, the Lord Jesus is victorious, powerful, and mighty to deliver and save His children (Isaiah 63:1; Genesis 45:7; Isaiah 59:1). He is able to rescue you from every evil attack and bring you safely to His heavenly kingdom (2 Timothy 4:18). To accept Him as your Lord and Saviour, 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, March 4, 2019

Conquerors Persevere And Overcome The World


Ministering The Body Of Believers

“For you need endurance, so that after you have done God's will, you may receive what was promised” (Hebrews 10:36 HCSB).

This week’s article is an encouragement to the brethren to persevere in this race of faith (Hebrews 12:1-2). The Lord led me to write this message and use a brother’s testimony to encourage the brethren who are overwhelmed by sin, falsehood and weaknesses to cleanse through the Blood of the Lord their filth garments and persevere to inherit God’s Kingdom. As a ministry, we often received some emails from folk around the world who details their struggles against sin and various stumbling blocks. While listening with a sympathetic ear, we would offer prayers and encouragement, and being encouraged too by our fellow brethren’s struggles we shared the unity in faith and spirit (2 Corinthians 1:4). It is true; the body of believers are strengthened by the struggles others endure in the name of the Lord Jesus as the above scripture declares.

Sin Hinders Perseverance

In all God’s dealings with humans, He laid down two paths (Deuteronomy 30:19; Matthew 7:13-14; 24-27; Romans 6:23; Matthew 25:46) and to obey or disobey (Genesis 3:2). Similarly, we could choose to follow the Lord and endure or we could choose to abandon our walk with God. I would also like to add, when we all first came to the Lord, and like the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, we each received a unique load of troubles that we should either persevere and endure or to live the wrong and solve our problems through worldly means (Acts 9:16; 2 Timothy 3:12; James 4:4).

We are going to share an experience a God-fearing man shared with us recently and we could all learn from some of his experiences. The brother explained how the sinful desires he had after giving his life to the Lord started leading him away from the Lord. He further explained how a burning desire to sin became addictive and uncontrollable and this particular sin opened the door for many other serious sins that left the brother completely powerless.

In other words, the dominion of sin in his life (Brother Fred, not real name) made him a slave to the dictates of sin (Genesis 4:7). By baring his soul, Brother Fred explained how he lost his appetite for prayer, witnessing and Church services. While he still has a fear for God, his heart like King Solomon was driven to the pleasures of sin (1 Kings 11:3-8). In his distress, our Brother Fred has turn to the Church of God and he is appealing to all of us for prayer. As he explained his faith has been rocked and he lost all his spiritual weaponry that is why he said that he have been operating between sinning and repenting without any commitment and back again to sinning. In his own words, he explains that he is basically backslidden with a thin layer of faith.

Fight The Good Fight Of Faith

Brethren, our intent is not to ridicule but to encourage others who reached this level of spiritual weakness in their faith, to turn to a trusted brother or sister in Christ for encouragement and counselling like our dear brother Fred has done. It could be easy for him to simply just give up and be lost (Hebrews 10:39) but he is concerned about his soul and eternal destiny. Being determined not to give up but to persevere, our brother Fred feels that he still have a fighting chance to reclaim his honour in Christ, not by his strength which failed him but by the grace he will receive from the Lord like Joshua and the prodigal son (Zechariah 3:2-7; Luke 15:11-32). In a confident statement, our brother Fred vowed to ask the Lord to help him endure one day at a time (Matthew 6:34).

In conclusion and given to brother Fred’s experience, we prayerfully hope to encourage our fellow brethren to pray, endure the pressure of our share of sufferings, minimize complaining as it displeases the Lord and leads us into sinning and to speak to a trusted, Spirit-led child of God to encourage and pray with you and share the pain of your burden (Numbers 11:17; Galatians 6:2). So then, if we preserve in our faith and the pain of our load we will emerge as more than conquerors (Romans 8:31-39).

If you would like to receive Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, 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