Friday, December 25, 2009

Revelations Introduction (Part I)

By Odon Bulamba (2 February 2001)

I really thank God for each one of you tonight. It is a grace we have because people try to find what we have but look in vain. Go to a hospital and you'll see that people want to pray, but because their bodies are so weak it limits them. They really want to seek God's face but don't have the opportunity. In some Arabic countries, people try to find God's Word but struggle to find it. But here in New Zealand you can get a Bible freely. It's a grace. Because we also come together and meet to share the Word of God that also is a grace. Most people want to find this opportunity but can't. In order to get this knowledge we share one might have to go to university and will buy this knowledge with money, and when they have finished their studies they say there are some things they still don't understand. God's grace is with us because God loves us very much. We are going to speak about the sign of the times and recognize in which days we are living.

Hosea 6:1-11
1 "Come, let us return to the LORD; for he has torn, that he may heal us; he has stricken, and he will bind us up.
2 After two days he will revive us; on the third day he will raise us up, that we may live before him.
3 Let us know, let us press on to know the LORD; his going forth is sure as the dawn; he will come to us as the showers, as the spring rains that water the earth."
4 ¶ What shall I do with you, O Ephraim? What shall I do with you, O Judah? Your love is like a morning cloud, like the dew that goes early away.
5 Therefore I have hewn them by the prophets, I have slain them by the words of my mouth, and my judgment goes forth as the light.
6 For I desire steadfast love and not sacrifice, the knowledge of God, rather than burnt offerings. 7 But at Adam they transgressed the covenant; there they dealt faithlessly with me.
8 Gilead is a city of evildoers, tracked with blood.
9 As robbers lie in wait for a man, so the priests are banded together; they murder on the way to Shechem, yea, they commit villainy.
10 In the house of Israel I have seen a horrible thing; Ephraim's harlotry is there, Israel is defiled.
11 For you also, O Judah, a harvest is appointed. When I would restore the fortunes of my people

We can see the prophet wrote something about God's people, and as we know the Word of God is the same yesterday, today and forever. It does not mean that this passage is for just the Israelites, it does not mean it was for the tribe of Judah, or the people from Gilead, but it is for us Christians today. It is now time that God wants His people to come back to Him, it's now time that God wants them to think about what they are doing with their time. God wants His people to think about what time they are passing through on this earth. A time of wounds has been but now it is a time of healing. It is time that God will call His own for healing.

Remember what happened with Moses and the bronze serpent? Moses raised a stick on which he put a bronze serpent and said that if anyone looks at this serpent he will be healed. So whoever had been bitten by the snake and looked at this bronze serpent would be healed. Today God always invites us to look at this snake but we don't want to. People of God today refuse the total healing of God, they look for other things where there is death, they look at things that are very dirty to God, and they forget that the cross is there to find salvation. Remember what happened in Moses’ life? Moses was someone like you and me. God chose him to release his people from Egypt, and God said to Moses, "It is now time to leave pharaoh’s house, forget about royalty and forget your power, you must leave all that you have”.

If I was Moses I would have said, "Who am I going to give all these treasures to follow a God I don't know, how can I abandon all this success and loyalty from the people to follow a God I have never seen?" That is exactly what the church lives today: "Because I am a pastor, I don't have to confess my sins, people must think that I am above the rest, and if I kneel down before the church I will lose my success and glory”. The glory doesn’t belong to us but God. So God said to Moses, "Moses because you are my son, listen to me, you must leave”. God did not come down from heaven to speak with him, but because of the way Moses’ mum looked after him, she taught him everything. Moses knew who God was right from his childhood. He learnt the Hebrew language from childhood even though he was working for the Egyptians.

The time came for Moses to leave Egypt. What did he do? He came and took a stand against injustice. That's what the church today doesn't want. If you fight against injustice you are unjust. If you want to show that Satan is unjust, Satan will fight you through other Christians. If you want to show the world that it is not fair or unjust, you will be fought in many ways. Moses left Egypt and did not take anything with him only the breath of life.

So what would Pharaoh think or do? Pharaoh was wasting his time trying to make his city beautiful. He made the slaves work over time and beat them seriously, for what? To make Egypt more magnificent on the outside? Pharaoh forgot to make his heart more beautiful and forgot to work over time for his spirit. This is what we live today in many churches and in Christian life. People work hard all their life to own a house, have flash cars and do their best to have nice skin, but they forget to make their hearts more beautiful. This worldly sickness has come into the church and Christians don't want to take care of their souls. They just live like Pharaoh. They are authoritarian, they are the leaders, and they are kings, but they forget where this authority comes from.

God said to Moses, "You must go back to Egypt”. Moses knew it was the right time because God said that after 400 years He would release His people from slavery. Pharaoh didn't know that is was time for God to free up His people. This is what we are living today on this earth. Jesus is knocking on the door of our hearts and He is saying, "Leave Egypt for now is the time to start your journey and go to Canaan”. What are we waiting for? Some Egyptians who followed the Israelites understood the strength of God, and those who had the spirit of discernment followed. Pharaoh knew that he had lost everything and instead of 1000 bricks per day the production would be only five bricks per day. So who will whip the people now? For if they are not whipped how will they work towards a more beautiful Egypt. Pharaoh forgot that these people needed freedom.

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