Monday, July 15, 2019

Authority and Controlling Others

“When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice; But when a wicked man rules, the people groan.”(Proverbs 29:2 NKJV).

Let’s face it: there are many weak-willed people around us who need continuous guidance and correction (2 Timothy 3:6-7). In my observation, such people always need the approval of others in order to be more comfortable with their decisions and choices. This has unfortunately led to mistreatment of such people financially, emotionally and spiritually.

Brethren, we must also remember that life have been so design to allow for the measure of control and authority (Genesis 1:28; 3:16). The Lord told me that how we exercise this duty is largely dependent on how we would like to be treated if we place ourselves in the other's position (Matthew 7:12) and we must also remember that what we dish out to others that same will be returned to us (Matthew 7:2; Luke 6:38). The solution is, exercise control and authority fairly, with love, respect and kindness and not out of feelings of hatred and malice (James 2:1-4) considering that our Judge, Christ will give us the same measure we used in our dealings with people created in His image, BE CAREFUL HOW YOU TREAT OTHERS!

Short Vision of Undue Coercion

In a very short vision this morning (July 20, 2015), I was shown a young lady speaking on her cell phone with a man. I could not hear their conversation, but the Lord made me understand that she was blackmailing him. What I further understood is that she was angrily demanding of him to do something for her and if he would not, she would take some action against him.  The Lord said we should include this type of power play in our article, and that many Christians are guilty of this kind of sin. This is the power game people play over others, and it leads to people doing things under duress, pressure and distress.

Brethren, the Lord has shown us that when He ministered to people, He never demanded their respect or gratitude; instead He allowed people to respond spontaneously (Luke 17:11-18). This kind of action has nothing to do with a contractual obligation; the Lord is referring to things we do for others freely without expecting something in return (Luke 6:35; Matthew 5:25).

In this article, we are going look at authority and controlling others from a Biblical perspective. I will also share how the Lord responded to brethren who demanded submission while trying to control others. All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Jesus Christ (Matthew 28:18). He is the good shepherd and by His authority, He died and rose again that we may have eternal life (John 10:14-18).

God’s Teaching on Family Authority

In an address to the Corinthians Church, the apostle Paul rebuked and discouraged the brethren against those who were going about using their influence of Scriptural knowledge to control how people should live in relation to their commitment to the Lord (1 Corinthians 9:12). Likewise, there are some marriage relationships where a spouse deems themselves stronger spiritually; they may try to control how the other spouse should pray, read the Bible, and witness for example. Although these are good things to encourage one another in, it can become toilsome to the person being “forced” to do it (2 Corinthians 9:7). In other words, the conviction from the Holy Spirit as a result of the gospel should govern us to discern the way of truth instead of someone else burdening it upon us (John 16:13).

Briefly, to every truly born again Christian, the truth of the Bible holds authority over our lives and conscience. What I mean by this is that we simply submit our will to the Lord and consciously follow and allow His Word to control our actions and attitudes, while strongly believing by faith that such a submission leads to God’s approval and ultimately His blessings (Deuteronomy 28:1-2; Psalm 119:133). Since God is Supreme and superior to us, He educates our conscience through His Word and teaches us to submit to Him and others whom He placed over us for our well-being (Isaiah 48:18). In terms of authority, God has given parents authority over their children (Ephesians 6:1-4; Deuteronomy 5:16) not to abuse them but to respectfully teach them in godly living. Here we see God giving parents authority with a limitation to exercise Godly values of love and respect (Titus 2:4).

Furthermore, the authority of the husband in the family relationship should be one of love and respect to both children and wife (Ephesians 5:25). Brethren, sadly we as fathers abuse this right of authority from God by being too controlling and demanding unjustified submission. On this matter, judge for yourself where you unjustly demand things to be done for you when you could possibly have done it yourself and still demand the right of authority; are you not abusing both your wife and God’s Word? Similarly, there are wives who are outright rebellious by disregarding God’s teaching on the family's unity (Ephesians 5:22-23). From experience, this kind of attitude destroys the family’s unity, love and respect. This is what the Lord says makes for a divided home which will not stand (Mark 3:25; Proverbs 14:1); if we were to examine the relationship of every kind of problem in the house, wouldn’t the marriage hold together when we apply Scripture (Colossians 1:17)? I know that this kind of teaching is unacceptable to a wife who is influenced by the modern worldly view; but for those who enjoy a happy family unit, it is a crown of God’s blessing which overflows in peace in that house (Haggai 2:9). Although human quarrels start as a result of an individual’s self-interest (James 4:1), family feuds are avoided and destroyed by submission to God’s authority and in this case, Scriptural instruction (2 Timothy 3:16).

Controlling Others is Sinful

The apostle Paul had been given authority, but it was for building up the body of Christ, not for tearing it down (1 Corinthians 13:10). As we know, it is easy to exercise control over those under our authority. This might be our congregation, family or work subordinates with authority given by our position. God is interested in exactly how fairly and honestly we exercise our authority and our attitude in guiding others. The apostle Paul warned employers not to mistreat their workers, but to treat them with respect considering that the Lord exercises an authority of love and respect over us (Ephesians 5:25; Colossians 4:1). In emphasis, Christian employers are even admonished to treat their fellow brethren who work for them with Godly love as brothers in Christ (Philemon 1:16-17).

In addressing a problem of controlling others in our ministry, some time ago the Lord Jesus Christ showed Charis in a vision how someone in our ministry was busy controlling the finances and the way the other person should live. This message and teaching from the Lord was very sobering as He taught us not to take advantage of those who live under our authority by using their ignorance to benefit us. In other words, this sister was guilty of making the other person believe and do only what she said, and this was gross abuse which displeased the Lord. It is very unjust and humanly wicked to use the fear or respect others have for us to exploit them for our benefit. In a separate message to someone else, the Lord both warned and encouraged a brother not to fear people, as this would open the door for controlling others, or others to control you. For the Lord's sake, we are called to submit to every human authority and respect those over us (1 Peter 2:13; 1 Timothy 6:1-2). Therefore, I am not encouraging rebellion here, but people will often take advantage when we are too submissive due to our fear of them. When we allow such people to rule over us, we create a burden that may restrict and limit us, as well as blind us to truth.

God Gives Us Free Will

We have had quite a few people requesting us to ask the Lord how they should help our ministry or others; in a gentle message to them, the Lord admonished them to listen to the Holy Spirit for He would guide them in making a decision that is void of pressure and demand (Exodus 25:2; 2 Corinthians 9:7). Scripturally, while our Lord Jesus Christ is Lord over all the human race (John 17:2), He never exercises undue authority over us unless we were wrong and intent on harming others (Romans 14:9; Daniel 3:16). The enemy often uses deception to mislead people, but he also uses coercion, manipulation, and force (Job 1:13-19; 2:7; Matthew 27:40; Matthew 16:22-23). The Lord, however, has given us free will, and He operates with us on the principle of choices and consequences (Deuteronomy 30:19-20; Joshua 24:15; Galatians 6:7-8). The Lord Jesus Himself, as we mentioned previously, never demanded of people to follow Him; He simply shared with us Truth and the choice to either obey Him and enter everlasting life, or follow Satan's deceptions and suffer the consequences (Matthew 5:20; 7:13-14; 10:32-33; Matthew 18:8-9; John 3:3; Revelation 21:6-8).

In conclusion, I am a product of Bible school teaching and I warmly appreciate the culture of Biblical learning which well-intentioned men and women of God teach. However, the problem with some Bible institutions is that they teach formulas that promote financial gain and the pursuit of prestige through the pastoral qualification. The end result of such a student is only Biblical knowledge and demand for submission to them with NO fruit of the Spirit. Submission to our spiritual leaders is good, but we are equally warned to discern truth and motives and apply what is good (1 Thessalonians 5:12, 21). In this regard, our submission is to the Word  of God that our leaders proclaim; we must give them respect but NOT submission to their will for our lives (Matthew 23:3). Our total submission in word, will and deed should only be to Christ.

Have you been wrongly using your authority to control others? Have you been neglecting to allow the Holy Spirit to guide you in making decisions and allow the Word of God to control your actions and attitudes? If so, please repent. To accept Jesus Christ, who has authority to give you eternal life (John 17:2; John 5:21; John 3:16), 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,

Brother Glenn

Monday, July 8, 2019

Divisions To Separate Brethren Issues From An Evil Heart

Sowing Divisions Amongst Brethren

“I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive” (Romans 16:17-18 ESV). Also, “With perverted heart devises evil, continually sowing discord” (Proverbs 16:14 ESV).

We will be brief in this message that the Lord gave me to write. Also, this is a very serious message for the body and in the Words of the Lord Jesus He said, “A house divided against itself cannot stand” (Matthew 12:25 KJV). It is true, if a message that is contrary to sound doctrine is being presented we are scripturally obligated to object to such a message if there is scriptural authority (Acts 17:11).

Keeping A Pure Heart Before The Lord

Last week Friday morning (June 15, 2018), the Lord spoke to me in a vision saying, “A Christian should always keep a clean heart before Me and be blameless”. As a minister of the gospel, and being in Church services for more than 20 years, I have witnessed how some Christian brethren left the ministry God called them to serve without informing the pastor or minister under whom they served and soon after they left the spirit of malicious gossip would follow with venomous criticisms. And what we noticed, these brethren want to appear being better than the ministers under whom they served. We are telling you the truth here, a few years ago, the Lord revealed to us that a brother or sister who leaves a ministry where God called him or her to serve under, unless God calls him or her into ministry work, such a brethren should never leave under a spirit of strive and conceit like Satan (Ezekiel 28:15) but love should govern all our relationships with the brethren hood (1 Corinthians 13:5-7).

Do You Keep A Record Of Wrongs Against Your Brethren?

Additionally, the Lord further explained that if a brother or sister left under the spirit of strive, he or she did so because the love the brethren was supposed to have for his or her fellow brethren has gone cold and that is evident through the flood of false accusations and gossip sessions against God’s anointed leader(s) (Romans 16:17-18).

Furthermore, the Bible says, “...Love does not count up wrongs that have been done” (1 Corinthians 13:5 NCV), how noble such conduct which could help us walk in unity! Brethren as a Church, we need to highlight such evils in the body and discourage people from practising such because such behaviour sows divisions in the Church and it strains relationships between brethren. As a ministry, we fell prey to such malicious behaviour and that such conduct deeply displeased the Lord who said that strive breathes divisions and a brother who gossiped about his fellow brethren did not act from the Holy Spirit but out of hateful feelings. Being God, the Lord encouraged us to forgive and to pray for the brethren.

Finally, being an encourager lifts the brethren and it greatly pleases the Lord, but “A useless person causes trouble, and a gossip ruins friendships” (Proverbs 16:28 NCV). Let us seek the Lord Brethren, and pray for all the members of the body including those who allow evil talk to separate them from sincere members of the body of Christ. Do you keep a record of wrongs against your brother or Sister in Christ? IF so REPENT! The Lord wants us to remain blameless (Philippians 2:15).

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 love in Christ’s Peace

Brother Glenn

Monday, July 1, 2019

Are You In Control Of Your Faith?

Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; for He is faithful that promised; (Hebrews 10:23 KJV).

Look to yourselves, that we do not lose those things we worked for, but that we may receive a full reward (2 John 1:8 NKJV).

As a Ministry we would like to extend our warm and Peaceful New Year Greetings to all our fellow brethren and visitors to this website. We are looking forward to continue sharing the unadulterated Word of the Lord with you. There are some exciting messages to look forward to, and we hope to share a 2009 end time vision the Lord gave Brother Glenn which we may share publicly.

Our article for this week, we are reposting an earlier article and we pray that it be a blessing to you, as we prepare to serve you fully in the course of this year. Now, we often hear people saying, "I am going to my husband’s (or wife’s) church in order to keep the peace at home." How noble this sounds! The question we should ask in return is this: How genuine is your faith and relationship with God? Do you have the kind of faith that is flexible in order to tolerate and accommodate everyone’s feelings or wishes, without regard for God’s ways? (Colossians 1:10). If we genuinely examine ourselves in regard to our faith, and in the light of the Scriptures, our response should lead us to recommit ourselves to the Lord (2 Corinthians 13:5). It is true that quite often, pressure from our peers and others may lead us to compromise willingly in exchange for receiving favor and acceptance. However, when we compromise, do we consider how far we drive God from us? Do we please Him? A truly mature, Bible-reading and Bible-practicing Christian would always regard Scriptural guidance and purity of faith as areas of no compromise against the wishes of people. Wouldn't you rather disobey man in order to please God? (Acts 5:29). Otherwise, isn't obeying man at the expense of our relationship with God an act of living a compromised faith, a useless faith that will result in us losing "those things we worked for" (2 John 1:8), which is eternal life? (Romans 2:7).

Controlling the Faith of Others is Displeasing to Christ

The Lord has repeatedly warned a sister in our ministry not to follow the ungodly guidance of her husband. Let us be honest about this: an unsaved and worldly husband or wife cannot provide spiritual guidance or dictate matters of faith to a born-again and Holy Spirit-led Christian. The sword of the Lord, which brings conflict and division between light and darkness, between the followers of Christ and the followers of Satan, can also bring conflict between members of the same family, and it will prevail in favor of our righteousness, faith, conviction and commitment to the Lord (Matthew 10:34-38). We should, therefore, be prepared to embrace hostility, opposition, and abuse because of our union with Christ (Matthew 10:22). The Bible encourages us that it is better to suffer as a consequence of our faith than for wrong living (1 Peter 4:16).

We’ve had a strong-willed sister in our ministry who was in the habit of controlling the weaker and new babes in Christ. She would provide some of these new Christians with unscriptural guidance which affected their faith and life in the Lord. This situation became very displeasing to the Lord and this led Him to issue strong rebukes to both the new Christian brethren and the controlling sister. In these rebukes, the Lord freed the weaker Christians from the influence of the stronger Christian who used her knowledge of the Scriptures to cause the new Christians to stumble. In other words, the Lord’s rebuke focused on helping the new Christian sisters look to Scriptural guidance more than following the lead and bad example of the more seasoned but corrupt Christian.

I would like to point out from a Scriptural position that no one, not even a pastor, prophet or an apostle, has been given ‘power’ over the faith or life of another Christian. We find no such authority given in the Bible! Instead, what we are given is the Word of God and the power of the Holy Spirit to influence and empower us to teach, rebuke and correct ourselves and others while allowing them to live by their convictions as they grow in the grace of Christ (1 Timothy 3:16; Galatians 5:16-18).

Furthermore, the Bible also clearly warns not to lord ourselves over the flock (1 Peter 5:2), but to willingly serve (Luke 22:25-26). We are encouraged to preach, teach and lead by example in accordance with our blameless convictions (2 Timothy 4:2). As we know, a minister of the gospel is only anointed and clothed with authority to speak the Word of God in the name of the Lord and to exercise authority over demons (Luke 10:1-23; Jeremiah 1:9). Therefore, as we speak the Word of God, people may respond to God in submission and obedience (Jeremiah 42:6).

Should we Obey our Leaders in Christ?

The Bible says, Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves: for they watch for your souls, as they that must give account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief: for that is unprofitable for you” (Hebrews 13:17 KJV). As we shared in our message on The Love of Money, the Lord taught us that this does not give a minister of the gospel a lifetime authority over our salvation; it is only “… until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature…” (Ephesians 4:12-13). We do not remain infants forever, but we must keep learning God’s ways to avoid error and start bearing fruit (Ephesians 4:14-16; 1 Peter 2:2).

Another verse says, “And we urge you, brethren, to recognize those who labor among you, and are over you in the Lord and admonish you, and to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves” (1 Thessalonians 5:12-13 KJV).

Now, as we can see in the preceding Bible verses, their authority is their work for God, which is the preaching of the Word. In other words, the guidance we should expect from them should be in accordance with the Word of God, and thus, we must submit. Some Church leaders and those who idolize them often invoke and misinterpret Bible verses such as "touch not my anointed..." (1 Chronicles 16:22; Psalm 105:15) in order to exert their influence on the flock. The Word of God teaches us that we must also study the Bible and seek the Lord on our own and discern if the teachings we are receiving are consistent with what the Bible says (Matthew 6:6; Acts 17:11).

Therefore, if leaders want to use their authority to control us to their advantage and mislead us, we are Scripturally empowered to resist and follow Scriptural counsel (Acts 5:29; 1 Thessalonians 5:21). In addition, when we submit to church leadership, we are showing respect and this is a proper Christian attitude (Romans 13:7). However, a Christian leader is not allowed to dictate and control the lives of those under his authority (1 Peter 5:2).

Ministry Workers are Ordained and Appointed by Christ

No Christian leader, no matter how famous and well anointed he/she appears or claims, is allowed to discourage others from witnessing as an individual or in a group. The call to do ministry work is from God and not from men (Acts 13:2; Galatians 1:15; Luke 4:18). I do know of pastors who discourages some of their flock from witnessing as individuals. The Lord did not teach us that way, instead He encouraged me and others never to neglect witnessing as individual's to our friends, people in general, our colleagues and our family members daily.  As it is, the gospel message is urgent, because people are dying so it must happen daily (2 Timothy 4:2; 2 Corinthians 6:2). In August 2014, the Lord sharply rebuked a brother for following the unscriptural lead of a sister in the Lord who deceived him by saying that the Lord said he had done enough for the Lord and he should not witness. In a shocking vision to serve as a warning to the brother, the Lord exposed the lies the sister lived and spoke in His name (for details, refer to the Lying in Jesus’ Name article). Also, a few years ago when the Lord called me and my wife into the ministry, our former pastor wanted to let us know that he has the authority to appoint church leaders for ministry work. However, the Lord said church leaders are only allowed to Scripturally counsel and pray for the flock, but He alone calls, appoints and ordains leaders for ministry work in His body (1 Corinthians 12:5; Matthew 4:18-22).

There are many people who are unable to recognize the calling of God upon their lives. I have had people asking me how you know God has called you for ministry work, some even had us ask the Lord for them, and sadly, the Lord rebuked many of them for their lack of faith. Some of these people have a genuine desire to do the work of the Lord, but they are lazy to pray and fast. Additionally, when the Lord commanded many of them to witness to their own families, friends, and colleagues, they felt our message was not from God and that they were called into the formal offices like pastors, teachers, evangelist, etc. These position seekers fail to recall that no New or Old Testament prophet or apostle of the Lord ever regarded ministry work as an indoor affair. In fact, God sent them to public places and into the streets where the masses of people were (Matthew 22:9). The current perception that the work of sharing the gospel should only be carried out from the pulpit or by "professional" Christians (those who have been formally trained/anointed/ordained/appointed) coupled with the institutionalization of the church have blinded and hindered the zeal of some Christians to win souls. As an encouragement to you, when I was formally employed, the Lord told me to take tracts with me to work and give to people that I met. I would hand out tracts to people on my way to and from work, including sharing with my colleagues. Our ministry members also do this whenever they are out grocery shopping, at the park, the post office, at the museum, or whatever errands they may be running, and we strongly encourage you to do the same (Acts 8:4). The gospel message, which is being rejected and despised by the world, still has relevance. It is our duty as Christians to preach the Word and make it attractive to others through our godly living.

In conclusion, have you been wrongly controlling other's faith or allowing yourself to be controlled by others while following unBiblical teachings of leaders? Do you want to be a minister of the gospel? If so, then Go to the streets (Matthew 22:10). It is where we and many of the apostles of old started and you will witness how God will elevate you and your work for Him. Have you been lazy to pray and ask the Lord to give you peace and clarity about His will for you regarding what He called you to do?  If so, please repent and take ownership of your faith and keep working on it.

To accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, please pray this Prayer of Sincere Repentance. For any questions or comments about this article or our ministry, please contact us.

Blessed grace in faithful service to Christ,

Brother Glenn