Monday, April 25, 2011

The Seven Sentences Jesus Said On The Cross

1. Father forgive them, for they know not what they do (Luke 23:34).

• They arrested Him while He was innocent

• They spat on His face

• They whipped him

• They forced him to carry the heavy cross

• They exposed his nakedness

Imagine someone doing all of the above to you. Would you kindly say: “Father forgive them?”

Did they really know that they were making his life unlivable? Were their actions premeditated? It is easy to say that they knew what they were doing; but Jesus highlighted in His message: “they do not know what they do.” What an amazing Guy, this Jesus!

How good am I in praying for my enemies?

 Imagine being one of Christ torturers - how would I feel/what would be my attitude when I hear Him praying for me: “Father forgive them…”

2. Truly, I say to you, today you will be with me in paradise (Luke 23:43).

• Regardless of all His pain and suffering, He continues to give a message of hope. He continues to welcome bad guy(s) in His kingdom.

• He puts His pain aside, focuses on him and gives a priceless promise (be with me in paradise)

When crossing such a terrible situation, would you be patient enough to listen to an unknown person bothering you with his philosophy?

 If you were the bad guy, would you sincerely mind or having the courage to confess to Christ that He is innocently crucified but you, you deserve to be punished as salary of your wrongdoing?

3. Woman, behold your son: behold your mother (John 19:26-27).

• What a powerful message full of encouragement? (Mother look after son and son look after mother – not mother look after yourself or son take care of yourself first and the care of mother will follow)

• He recommends us to look after each other. Do we? We are very often selfish – ‘me, mine and my’ come first and others later. Isn’t it?

4. My God, My God, why have you forsaken me, (Matthew 27:46 and Mark 15:34).

• When do you realize and notice that God has forsaken you? What is your barometer?

• When you feel forsaken by Him, do you shout to Him: “My God, My God” and ask in prayer: “Why have you forsaken me?”

He is ready to welcome you. He is just waiting for you to make a step – repetence! That is all, nothing else.

5. I thirst (John 19:28).

• “I thirst” and He was given vinegar…

• When you are thirsty, what do you do? I believe that you drink to quench your thirst.

• You are thirsty… thirsty of what? Of money? Of new clothes? Of glory?

The word of God will quench you. The bible proclaims that the word of God is water.

When someone’s soul is shouting ‘I thirst’ what do you offer to them? Vinegar like Jokes? A glass of wine? Cup of tea? Dry advice (without mention of God) or do you just say: “it will pass” and promise that I will visit/talk to you again or do you offer the word of God?

6. It is finished (John 19:30).

• He accomplished His mission

• He knew He was at the end of His journey

• Every single task was completed

Do you have a mission in this world?

Do you realize that God created you with a purpose?

What have you so far accomplished for God’s glory in your life?

What tasks have you completed in the last three (3) months?

Are you a good worker?

Are you ready to tell God today: “Dad the mission you gave me is finished?”

7. Father, into your hands I commit my spirit (Luke 23:46).

• In whom hands do you commit your spirit? Do you have a clue?

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Revelations 8 (Part VI) Plague of Frogs

By Odon Bulamba (Friday 1st July 2005)

Revelations 8:8-11, Then the second angel blew his trumpet, and a great mountain of fire was thrown into the sea. One-third of the water in the sea became blood, one-third of all things living in the sea died, and one-third of all the ships on the sea were destroyed.

Then the third angel blew his trumpet, and a great star fell from the sky, burning like a torch. It fell on one-third of the rivers and on the springs of water. The name of the star was Bitterness. It made one-third of the water bitter, and many people died from drinking the bitter water.

One thing Moses was taught by God is to go and punish Egypt. Moses was already aware of what was coming. Pharaoh and the Egyptians didn’t know.

As today, the church knows what is coming for this world and the world is completely ignorant. The world doesn’t know what God holds for its future. People find explanations with evolution, progress, science and such and such but they completely forget the coming danger. God will tell his people every time something is coming. God told Moses everything the first time, asking him to go to Pharaoh, to do such and such things and he told him what would happen. Moses went to visit Pharaoh and already knew if Pharaoh refuses God’s request that day, frogs will be everywhere, except in the small town where the Hebrews lived.

As Moses knew the frogs will spread everywhere that day, the church today, us, knows Jesus is coming back soon. We know this world will be punished with sickness, famine and war everywhere. These are the signs and we are aware of them but what shall we do now?

We must move to find a small town where we will be protected, where those things will never reach us. That small town is what we call our faith in Jesus Christ. We must be protected under the blood of Jesus, we must put our faith in Him and know that although war and problems are expected, we will be safe and we must inform others about the punishment that is coming.

When the 1st angel blows the trumpet, the rain that will come (let me call it rain) or the hail will be mixed with fire and that rain of fire and hail will burn a third of the world. That has already happened spiritually and it will happen physically exactly the same way. We are already living spiritually in the time of the trumpets described in Revelation 8; but when God removes the church from the earth He’ll complete them physically.

It was the same when He told Moses, “Go, do this and frogs will come”. Moses knew something would happen, something would be created from whatever he’d say. Moses was like a small god because he just had to tell the frogs to come and frogs would come. Whenever he does something, something would happen.

God gave us those promises, saying that whenever He will take His church from this earth, it must happen, and it will happen. Now we have to tell people, “This is coming. Are you ready?” Some Christians are not in that place of refuge. What will happen to them if they are not there? If they are out of that small town, it will be a disaster.

So frogs are small animals, which really look funny. When frogs want to lay eggs, first of all they go down to the river. Something like a tissue covered with oil will come out of their bodies and eggs will be laid underwater. So, although the eggs are in the water, the water will never touch the eggs. They are protected there for an amount of time, they’ll grow and hatch.

Today, our water is the Word of God. Among Christians, some people lay eggs, which will be fully covered by the Word of God. But down there, those eggs will not produce the glory for God. Although these people use the Word of God, they actually put something under that Word that will produce a danger for the church tomorrow.

Frogs lay eggs and after a time leave them underwater until new frogs come out. When they come out they don’t look like frogs, they just look like small fish. They have a head and a tail and they can swim. They don’t have a proper colour but you can see them moving in the water. After some time, they loose their tails, grow legs, and finally they become frogs, that jump around.

And that’s the same thing with the church today:

Satan puts something down in the word of God, he hides it there and that thing is growing up slowly and then one day it will come out. After coming out it will go around everywhere and destroy the church. That thing is what we call the spirit of no trust. That’s the first thing Satan puts into the church.

For example, Colleen is a Christian, Marcia is a Christian but when we talk together I have doubts. Is what she’s telling me really true? Is it correct? Is the way she is serving God true? Is it true… is it true? And when that doubt grows amongst us it will keep growing bigger and bigger. It will lead us to start doubting the Word of God. Who really cares about God? Is it really true that God is there? Is it really true that one day we’ll be in the kingdom of God? Is it true that something like that will happen tomorrow?

God says that when Moses goes to Pharaoh’s house something will happen. Frogs that are in the Nile and in all the rivers around the city will come out. When your brother Aaron raises his staff the frogs in the rivers will go into the country areas of Egypt. Tonight, we are crossing a hard situation, which doesn’t please God. Already we can see many things coming from the church. Many things are coming from different corners of the world. We have many rivers in the world and those rivers are compared to Bible versions. The Nile, which is the biggest river across Egypt, is what many people used to call the Jerusalem Bible. It was compared to the Nile because the Jerusalem Bible has a lot of things that our Bibles don’t have. They have added things, removed others and everything can vary according to the author. But it’s not only the Jerusalem Bible. The other small rivers that can provide life are our other Bible versions. They also will start to produce frogs and those frogs will come to the city. Those frogs today are in the city of Egypt, which is this world. The politicians, magicians, students, even researchers will use the Bible. We can easily use the Bible for everything that we want.

What do frogs do? I’ve never seen anyone who has a pet frog. If they do, it might just be to watch them grow and teach our children how they change. But when frogs are fully-grown up there is no use of owning a frog unless you want your frog to wake you up every morning, or hear its noise every night. That’s what today people who come out of the Word of God are doing in this world, they just stand there to complain and make noise in front of God.

Look at a frog! It is a small animal. You will never notice when it is angry or full. You will never know when it cries or laughs either. But a frog has got all those small things in its life. When it is time now to complain the frog doesn’t only complain with its voice, but you can see something popping up under its mouth. It goes “Croak, croak, croak, croak”. You may say to the frog, “What are you talking about”? But if you talk, the frog will keep quiet, completely silent. After 2 seconds the noise of the frog will start again.

Today, in our churches, in our governments and our countries, we have many Christians living like frogs. For everything, they will jump to talk, not to talk for God’s glory but to talk and hide things. When a frog does that movement or croaks, we can hear it. But you will notice something under its mouth. Not everything comes out, there is something hiding under the mouth or the tongue of the frog. Scientists have never told us what it is, or what makes it to inflate and then deflate again. They just say, “It might be the respiratory system, or it’s their way of breathing”. But that is not correct, there is something hidden.

The frogs (spiritual frogs) have destroyed our world today. They or we are many and everywhere. I say we because we, the church contribute to that. We are supporting the world to know the Kingdom of God. We want them to know the Word of God but unfortunately we are the only ones who cannot express our ideas clearly. It’s just like “Croak, croak, croak.”

Whenever preachers go somewhere to talk about God, they try not to be clear because they think, “ If I talk clearly Colleen or Steve might not agree with me. So let me make it sound like someone is talking but I won’t make it clear.” Many servants of God tonight as we are talking right now serve God but they are not sure whom they believe in. They are not sure who they are preaching and teaching. They are afraid of it.

This is the first thing.

The second thing: when a frog grows it has 4 legs – 2 at the front and 2 at the back. But the 2 back ones are dangerous and really scary. They can make a frog jump 5 metres long within 2 seconds. They are really good at jumping. When they jump they don’t care what they land on, they just do it.

Many people today in the church of God have that movement of jumping. They are not stable in their lives. After a jump, you will not see its feet or its legs land they will just fold them again and be back in their first position. Nothing will tell you the frog has just jumped from here to there unless you have eyes to see. That’s why God warned us, people of God, to open our eyes so that we can see what is going on around us because our church is really losing control. The compass is turning toward the west instead of being toward the north. So we are moving away from God’s will.

The frog is a minister of God who does not recognize God’s power and wants to lead the church or his ministry according to his knowledge and ability. The people now will get some eggs (I don’t know where from, maybe Satan) they will put them in the Word of God and produce new Christians who are Christians without faith.

For example, in the Bible, we saw many people who used to be people of God. Last time we talked about Genesis 49, Jacob with all his descendants. He chose who would be who and he blessed them according to God’s will. He chose them according to what God had put in him. Although all of them were his descendants some of them were cast out. In the church also, we’ve got that group of people who were cast. They can say, “We are servants of God and we belong to Him!” but they are not God’s messengers. They pretend to be God’s messengers but they act for the glory of Satan. So please brothers and sisters, pray, ask God for help so you can discern who is who in the churches and who I am myself in the church so that maybe I will not find myself to be a part of this population of frogs.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Why Do Some Christians Give Up?

By Hayley Boud

A couple of weeks ago a friend of mine from church was telling us that a friend of hers has decided to not be a Christian any more. This was very difficult for her and she wondered why do some Christians give up along the way? She was afraid because this person was really on fire for God at one point and seemed to be a true Christian and this made her fear that other Christians she knows could give up and may be even herself.

So the question in her mind was, “why do some Christians give up and what can I do to make sure my friends and family and myself don’t give up?”

I have been asking this question to a few people and here are some answers:

1. They weren't really true Christians, they were only religious Christians.

2. They were discouraged by some event or by people in the church

3. They never had a true encounter with Jesus

4.  They weren't filled with the Holy Spirit

5.  They didn't have friends or family to keep them on track.  We need people to pray for us.

6.  It happenend slowly, they decided not to go to church this week and then they decide not to go to the Bible Study next week and slowly, slowly they give up.

I think that all of these points are true, we need a personal encounter with Jesus, we need the Holy Spirit, we need friends and family to pray for us and keep us on track and we are sometimes discouraged with life and Christians and the church.

But I think we need more.  Look at John the Baptist. Didn’t he have a personal encounter with Jesus? Yet some where he doubted that Jesus was the Messiah (Mathew 11:1-19).  Jesus called him the greatest man that came from a woman and yet he doubted Jesus was the Messiah.  If John the Baptist can doubt, then what stops me from doubting?

Peter (the apostle) said he would never deny Jesus, he was convinced and yet he did. Does this mean that being convinced that you would never give up, is not enough to make sure you will never give up?

Is being filled with the Holy Spirit or baptised in the Spirit enough to keep us from giving up?  What about those people who are slain in the spirit. They are really in the presence of God, they fall down but when they stand up, nothing changes, they go out the door and light up a cigarette. I was slain in the spirit once but I was still rude, proud and selfish, nothing changed.  What about Abraham, the Father of Faith, was he baptised in the Holy Spirit? 

Philippians 2:12, “Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling,”

“Work” means that we have to work and it’s hard, not easy. If we are cruising along, then we run the risk of losing our salvation. We have to strive, we have to fight and it’s a battle everyday. We have to force ourselves to read the Bible, force ourselves to pray, force ourselves to meditate, to memorise scripture, to fast, we have to push ourselves to overcome temptation and make ourselves to change the areas in our life that need changing and we have to be tough on ourselves. We have to fear and tremble about the fact that we could lose our salvation if we don’t work hard at it.

More people commit suicide in NZ than other countries and yet we have everything so easy. In countries where people have to fight for survival, they fight for survival. Let’s fight for our spiritual survival.

Mathew 7:24- 27, "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash”.

When trials and temptations come, if we don’t have a firm foundation, we will fall. What is the firm foundation? It’s everyone who hears the Word of God and then acts on them, they are the wise ones and they are the ones who will not fall. Therefore the key to standing firm is to read the Word of God and then act on it.

Also, we have to remember that some Christians give up because of what other Christians say or do, they get discouraged. When we feel discouraged, we have to encourage ourselves and keep going. We also have to try our hardest not to be a discouragement to others, we don’t want to be a stumbling block, so let’s always try to encourage one another.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Our Words Give Us Away

By Kirk Cameron of Living Waters

"If the tongue is frequently without a bridle; if it may be observed, that a person often speaks... lightly of God and of divine things, proudly of himself, and harshly of his fellow-creatures; if he is a liar, a talebearer, a railer, a flatterer or a jester--then, whatever other good qualities he may seem to possess--his speech betrays him! He deceives himself, and his religion is worthless!"
~ John Newton

There are few things worse than to be a religious hypocrite. Atheists love them, Jesus condemned them, and the Bible says Hell is full of them. Loose lips, wild words, and an untamed tongue are sure signs that something in wrong in the heart.

"The Man upstairs," "the Big Guy in the clouds," and other titles for the King of Glory rarely come from one who knows Jesus Christ as his great God and Savior. "I've got a heart of gold," "I'm not perfect, but better than most," and similar phrases hardly proceed from the lips of the man who has looked into the mirror of God's Law and seen his wretched self in truth. "You're an idiot!" "I'll can forgive, but I'll never forget!" and other prideful outbursts betray the lack of humility produced by the Holy Spirit in the heart of a true Christian.

Remember, it wasn't Jesus who said, "You can't judge a book by its cover." He said you will know a tree by its fruit. Words are the fruit and the overflow of our heart. If we want to know the health of our hearts and the worth of our religion, God says we are wise to do a word check.

If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless. James 1:26

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Revelation Chapter 8 (Part V) The Third Angel

 By Odon Bulamba (24th June 2005)

Revelation 8:10-11

The third angel blew his trumpet, and a great star fell from heaven, blazing like a torch, and it fell on a third of the rivers and on the springs of water. The name of that star is Wormwood. A third of the waters became wormwood, and many died from the water, because it was made bitter.

Because we misinterpret the Word of God, God will send a big spirit of misleading and it will come down into the church and start to kill seriously. It will get to the point that if we want to give the Word its proper meaning, people will refuse to listen to it and say: There is a lot of confusion in your Bible, Jehovah’s witnesses say one thing and Mormons another … the Word has now become bitter for us and we don’t want to listen to it anymore. Because of our way of preaching, people will be put off to go to church, they don’t want to hear about God anymore. They think it’s just a philosophy, they don’t understand.

That star is already here under the sun and has been working as a spirit of false teaching or false prophecy. It’s been here for a while and today most preachers under the sun are false preachers. They don’t preach properly and spread a Pharisee or Sadducee’s teaching. They want to convince people and show off their teaching but behind it there is no truth.

Before Jesus came down there were many teachers, rabbis and masters who would teach people and explain to them the Word of God. When Jesus came though he said their teachings were not true, they didn’t know what they were talking about. They give fruit to you as Satan also gives a fruit and commands to eat it to become someone and if we are not careful and eat that fruit forgetting God told us not to eat that fruit, we will die.

That’s why, after any preaching, the Bible asks us to go back home, open our Bibles and find out the truth. Don’t believe what I am telling you without reading it, find it, read it, and accept it. If you can’t find it, come back to me and let me know and ask me to explain what was said.

If you lose your salvation, I’ll not be responsible for it. In front of God, you can’t say as an excuse: “Odon was the one who taught me that”. You will still be judged. God will answer you: “Time has come for you to be judged, deal with your own matter, you could read, you knew how to pray, why didn’t you practise it?”

So that star is here today under the sun.

How many corners does a star have? Usually it has five corners, and there is a pentagon in the centre. So the pentagon, which represents America, is the centre of that big star coming down to the earth. The Pentagon controls all the five big continents that exist under the sun so every corner represents one continent. At school, I’ve learned there are only 5 continents but now in NZ I’ve heard there are 7 continents, or sometimes they talk about 4 continents or another time about 8 continents around the world.

NB: From the Robert French dictionary, there are 5 continents:

Europe, Asia, Africa, America and Oceania.

Others refer to 7 continents:

North America, South America, Europe, Africa, Asia, Australia and Antarctica.

Science tries to cover reality. When that big star comes down, one third of the earth will be destroyed and today one third of the earth is controlled by the American church. If you want to know about churches and contact their head office, go to America. Do you want to know about the Baptist church? Their archbishop lives in (maybe) Los Angeles. Whatever you want to know about churches you’ll find their head offices/ headquarters in America. Only few churches have their head quarters in another country and these ones are the poorest churches in the world.

If today Michael or Peter wants to start a church, they’ll be looking at a sponsor. This will not come from NZ, the NZ government will not fund them so they will look to America. The Ecumenical Council in America governs all churches around the world. In that Council, they use the New American Version, the only version allowed to be used when you are invited there. If you come with a King James Version, they will not accept it because it’s “old fashion”.

What is their reason to use the New American Version only? We don’t know.

This Council doesn’t build up a strong church but is actually destroying it. This has led some churches to blaspheme the Word of God: for example to bless a gay marriage.

- But what about Romans 1:26-27?

- Oh, this was for the Romans and now we must understand real life, of modern times. Romans 1: 26 doesn’t even exist in my Bible.

So when that star comes down we will see blood in the church: people will hate each other. In 1 John 3:15, it is written if you hate someone you are the same as a murderer; hating and killing are the same. So whenever you hate someone, you are already a murderer. I think hatred occupies the first position in some churches today. You can get away with hating someone in the church.

1 John 3:15

All who hate a brother or sister are murderers, and you know that murderers do not have eternal life abiding in them.

So hatred is everywhere in our churches, pastors hate others, and Christians hate other Christians and children hate others, and others hate children, black people hate white people and white people hate black people, and yellow people … it’s all there and we are called murderers.

And that Council has encouraged it, for example if I am black I will never be a priest and even if my grandfather died in sin, I cannot be baptised for him so that he can get salvation, because I am black, God can’t accept it, they say. But if a white person and especially from America asks today to be baptised in the name of this ancestor, who died in sin four generations ago, he will get what he wants. He will be baptised, his ancestor will be saved and belong to the Kingdom of God.

NB: this practice is not biblical but they do it anyway.

So hatred is there what shall we do? If one is from a Pentecostal church and another one from a Brethren church, they can’t cooperate. Even if they meet in a party, they’ll keep their distance, but if they meet another person from their own denomination, they’ll share together and cooperate.

So, where are we going and what will happen tomorrow?

Blood is everywhere in churches.

Once I visited a church and I was the only black person there. Everybody was very white. That day, I wore a black suit and everything was black on me. At the main entrance someone was welcoming people. When I arrived, he looked at me, opened big eyes, looked at me again, so I said:

- Can I help you? I’m coming in your church.

- Here?

- Yes.

- Who told you about this church?

- That’s not the problem. I just saw the cross and I came.

- And have you visited other churches?

- No, I am coming here.

- Maybe you can find some African and go to their church.

- No. I want to come here.

- Give me your name.

- I am late and I want to come in.

I chose my place to sit in the church where it’s tidy and old ladies have a special seat. I sat in the middle of the bench and everybody started to move away from me. Finally, the person on the right corner left and went to the back and the person on the left did the same. In the end, I was alone on that bench. When they started praying I stood up and went to pray by them so they moved again and when it was time to preach, they couldn’t believe the preacher was a black person! So he started and first thanked them for that opportunity to be among them, black and white together even though he was the only black person there.

So let me tell you something: “When I came to the church, I sat somewhere but everybody ran away from me. Why did you run? Don’t you know that discrimination or other reasons cannot separate us from the love of God? He talked and most of these people were sick and by the grace of God after praying some of them were healed. They testified they couldn’t accept that God worked with black people as well and this was the first time they’d seen such a thing. “We had learned black people just belong to hell”.

In this country or other countries you might see similar things.

So, the time is here, and the third of our churches is completely dead. If you visit a church with 90 Christians, you’ll see 30 of them are away from the Word and among these 30 you’ll also find pastors and leaders.

Three years ago, I wrote a letter to Pastor Tamaki, to warn him about his political party. I told him what God wanted and I wrote more than two pages. I prayed and asked God if it was His will for that he would receive this letter. I was given his personal address and his email address, I sent him an email. He answered two lines, “Thank you brother for that and I hope God loves me”. No other comment.

Six or seven months later, God revealed something else saying “You are far, it’s now a matter of business, and I will punish you”. He received the message and didn’t listen. Two days ago, I heard he is now a bishop. Who is a bishop, and what is that “bishop” ministry in your Bible? There are only six ministries, and none of them is called “bishop”. To become a bishop it’s to take on a big responsibility. First of all they are given a staff and that staff has a meaning. It is different from Moses’ staff, or Aaron’s staff, it’s not a “good shepherd’s staff”. They call it a “pure or holy” staff and it is similar to the pope’s staff. Secondly they are anointed with oil. What type of oil is it? Cooking oil, a body lotion, or special oil?

It is better to understand our actions and their consequences.

On the day of the ceremony, something will change in the “bishop’s” life. They don’t talk about God anymore, but most of them glorify themselves. They command because they are given an authority that will be fulfilled in the book of Revelation chapter 17. That power will come into them and make them work hand in hand with Satan. What a shame for the church! Tomorrow, you’ll find out your pastor is a political leader who quarrels on TV with Helen Clark. Is he a pastor or is he something else?

Let’s pray.

Pray for your country, pray for your people, pray for the church in general.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Our God is a Jealous God

By Colleen Podmore

We sing the song, ‘Our God is an Awesome God. He reigns from heaven above. With wisdom, power and love. Our God is an awesome God’ pg 54

And it’s true; Our God is an awesome God! Not only is He Yahweh, a personal God, He is El Shaddai, Lord Almighty. He is El Elyon, the Most High God. He is Creator of the heavens and the earth. He is the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. He is El Olam, the Eternal God.

He is Yeshua, Jesus, a God who saves. He is Hamashiach, Messiah, the Anointed One. He came to earth to save people from their sins and to reveal the Father. John 3:16 says: ‘God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten Son, so that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life’.

Our God is an awesome God! He is also a servant king. He came to earth not to be served but to serve and to give His life as a ransom for many. He came to suffer as we suffer, to identify with us and to deal with the root cause of our sufferings which is the sinful nature and to rescue us from the kingdom of darkness.

Our God is an awesome God. He is also the Spirit of Truth and of Life, a Counsellor and a Comforter. He is Holy. He is the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding. The Spirit of Counsel and power and knowledge!

Our God is an awesome God!!

Tonight I would like to speak about another of God’s attributes and that is Our God is a Jealous God!

Exodus 34:14

‘Do not worship any other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God’

This verse really reiterates the second commandment – Exodus 20:4

‘You shall not make for yourself an idol...for I, the LORD your God am a jealous God...

Does it surprise you that God is a jealous God?

There are many references to God’s jealousy

Dt 4:24 ‘a consuming fire, a jealous God’

Dt 32:16,21, ‘They made Him jealous’

Josh 24:19, ‘He is a jealous God’

Psalm 78:58, ‘They aroused His jealousy’

God’s jealousy is also connected with judgement. For example:

1Kings 14:22 talks about how the actions of Israel ‘stirred up Gods jealous anger’

Paul asks the question in 1Cor 10:22, ‘Are we trying to arouse the Lord’s jealousy?’

And in James 4:5 it says, ‘the Spirit envies intensely’ or jealously’

Well by now you might be confused because isn’t jealousy a sin? How can God therefore be jealous?

Let’s look up some verses - Romans 13:13. 1Cor 3:3, 2Cor 12:20, Gal 5:20

Yes jealousy is a sin so how do we explain God’s jealousy? Does God sin?

Well, we know that there is no sin in God. He is sinless. I thought of two reasons to explain this apparent contradiction. You may be able to think of more.

Firstly, we’ll turn to 2Cor 11:2 which may help us understand,

Paul says, ‘I am jealous with a godly jealousy’

So there is a difference between God’s jealousy and our human jealousy.

Secondly, I was thinking it might have more to do with the character of God verses our character. When we are jealous, because of our sinful nature all sorts of other ugly sins are aroused: hatred, revenge, maybe murder, strife etc.

But when God is jealous because He cannot sin, His jealousy is completely different as His character is Holy he cannot be lead into further sin. But I love the fact that our God is a jealous God. Imagine if He wasn’t and didn’t care whether we worshipped Him or some other idol?

Let’s have a look at the dictionaries definition of jealousy, this is human jealousy: envious, suspicious, apprehensively watchful, zealously careful and compare that to Godly jealousy

Godly jealousy is an expectation of exclusive right to possess and to claim our love and allegiance. God’s jealousy demands our exclusive devotion to Himself! He can only do that because He is God.

We will never be able to claim exclusive devotion from another human being in the way that God can, because we are not God.

Our God is a Jealous God – Hallelujah – he will not share us with anyone or anything. God demands our exclusive 100% devotion.

The final question that I would like us to think about is this, ‘Is there any indication in the new testament that Jesus is also jealous? Did he show jealousy when He walked on earth?’

• Another way of translating the Hebrew word which mean jealous, is to use a similar word which is zealous.

In John 2:17, it says of Jesus, ‘zeal for your house will consume me’ quoting Ps 69:9. Jesus was intensely jealous for the Name and temple of God.

• Jesus made His desire for the exclusive devotion of His disciples clear.

(Read) In Matt 10:34-37, ‘…anyone who loves his father or mother more than me is not worthy of me; anyone who loves his son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.’

Exclusive devotion – Our God is a jealous God – He wants and deserves our 100% devotion to Himself.

Let us follow Him Jesus, with our whole heart, soul, mind and strength (Matt22:37), for our God is an awesome God!


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Revelation Chapter 8 (Part IV) THE SECOND ANGEL

By Odon Bulamba (24th June 2005)

Revelation 8: 8-9

The second angel blew his trumpet, and something like a great mountain, burning with fire, was thrown into the sea. A third of the sea became blood, a third of the living creatures in the sea died, and a third of the ships were destroyed.

The second angel will blow his trumpet and fire will come from heaven thrown to the sea and the sea will be changed to blood. Before the first angel has finished blowing his trumpet, the second one will start. Notice that fire will come into the sea, instead of coming to us, people. Consequently a third of the species in the sea will die and the sea will be changed to blood.

In Exodus 9, remember that Moses was sent to Pharaoh, which was supposed to give the people freedom. Pharaoh accepted to receive Moses but was unwilling to release them because they served him. They were doing everything he wanted so if they left, who will replace them and do their work?

If today NZ says: Let’s close the churches around this country, what would happen? It’s likely that many people will lose their faith, many children will change their Christian lifestyle into a different one, and within ten years everything will be changed in this society because people will not pray anymore, God will not protect the country anymore and we will lose some of our privileges. This will happen just because the politicians will do their work and forget God.

Pharaoh knew he’d be a loser if he allowed these people to leave the country and he decided to keep them for the best interest of his people, the Egyptians. He wanted them to stay. Today Christians around the world have been used for their work.

I have another friend who worked for the CIA for more than 20 years and he is very famous in the world. He could go to countries and preach the gospel but at the same time he was carrying a bag of plagues. For example, he’d invite Steve to come to the prayer meeting and because of his fame, Steve will come. After meeting with Steve, he’d give him an appointment at a certain place and time. But Steve reaches that place he’d be arrested on his way, killed or kidnapped. That man of God spent more than 20 years doing this job, he is called the Paul of the 20th century.

But one day God knocked at his door and told him he’s been doing Satan’s work for so long, he had to stop now. So, he decided to stop. But the government of America pushed him again to work for them as a contract, because he had committed himself, he had to keep his word. He defended his cause and told them he was old and didn’t want to work for them anymore, but the government tormented him and wanted him till the day of his death. It was really hard. This man testifies today that people he betrayed to get arrested 40 years ago are now coming back in his dreams asking him why he killed them. He completely lost peace in his life and went to live in another country. But still sometimes, the American government force him to work with them, threatening to kill him.

Because he started badly, he will also end up in a bad way. But I thank God so much because God accepted his prayer and forgot his sins and said: “Just change your ways, follow me and I’ll be with you”. This person is really kind and nice on the outside but behind he is holding something that can destroy the church.

After blowing the trumpet, the second angel will say fire will come from Heaven, a fire that will go straight to the sea, not to the earth. The sea represents the Word of God. As the prophet said, fire will come from heaven, a spirit will come from heaven and mislead many. That spirit is not a spirit of God that can bless us but a spirit filled with curses. It will come to churches and people will start to misinterpret the Word of God: for example, they’ll say if the Bible says this, it was only for the people from Corinth, not for us today. Why do we read the whole Bible that was written many years ago, do you think it’s really for us today?

“Paul went to the Corinthians but I am not a Corinthian so I don’t need to read that book and people will find it’s better to remove this or that from the Bible or write a note to tell readers this was only for the church of Ephesus or the Egyptians”. This is wrong, God says there is nothing new under the sun, and everything is the same yesterday, today and forever. In fact, everything that is written in the Bible concerns us too. For that reason, many people, preachers and servants of God will start to mislead people.

For example someone would say: How come Jesus didn’t marry?

“According to my knowledge, I think Jesus didn’t marry because … he couldn’t control his family. He was not responsible, he was just every day on the street going everywhere, so how could he be with his wife and family, he didn’t even have a house where he could sleep? So I think he just lacked the sense of responsibility and that’s why he didn’t marry. Others will say he couldn’t marry because he liked women so much everywhere he went there were women around Him. So which one could he marry among all of them? Others say he couldn’t marry because he was God”.

People will give reasons that might make sense but are not from the Bible and someone who doesn’t know the Word of God will say:

- Yesterday Odon, Catherine, Peter told me such and such, brother or sister where is it written?

- Oh, … it’s not written I just thought that would make sense.

By doing that you are adding something to the Word of God. If you don’t know why Jesus didn’t marry, just say you don’t know.

One day he will come back and marry the church, and he’s been preparing himself to marry us, and one day he’ll come back and take us. As for now, keep quiet and wait. He just came to visit us as a fiancĂ© and he found the church, found it beautiful and decided to go back to prepare the ceremony and a house, that’s why he didn’t marry. That might make sense but if you start talking about your own thoughts, you might be misled.

Most of the preaching today are just philosophy. What is preached is not the gospel anymore but psychology....
“If you want to become famous, you must pray.

- How to pray? …

- To pray properly come with me, 3 days on top of the tree and sit there and pray. When you get down from that tree you’ll be famous.

- How to be healed? …

- Go to Peter’s garden, collect some leaves, make a juice, drink them and you’ll get healed.

- How long shall I take this? … Maybe 6 years or 3 months”.

Because you were told you’d be healed, you feel better psychologically, so it works. And you come back: Praise God, it works, this is a testimony.

I visited another man and he prayed for us, when he touched people, they would just fall. That man used to be a magician and he had left magi and became a Christian. One day, we went to see him. He sat on a chair, and decided to pray for me so that I could speak in tongues. Which tongue? He told me to just talk about anything I wanted and the Holy Spirit will guide me. In my mind I thought this is not true, to speak in tongues I don’t need to organise my words. He started to mutter a “bla bla bla” prayer, he came to me and put his fingers in my ears, clapped his hands and “prayed”. I was looking at him: “What are you doing?” He came again to me, touched me, and did lots of things. I just looked at him. Finally, he said:

- God said that you must get what you want.

- So tell me what do I want?

- God said you will get it.

- What is that?

- I think you need a car.

- No, I’ve got more than ten.

- You need a house.

- I’ve got more than 6.

- You’ll need this.

- I’ve got more than that.

- I can see now,

He went to a small cross on the wall, brought it and said

- Do you believe Jesus died for you?

- What? This is just two pieces of timber from your wall and you say Jesus died for me. I can’t believe in that, brother.

- The Bible says you’ll become someone.

- Look, if you allow it I will help you. What you are doing is not from God and you need to repent. You are teaching people something that is not correct. It’s not written in the Bible you must teach people like that. To touch them, give them leaves from your garden and ask people to drink it. If God says so, then we can do it. But what you are doing is wrong. Let me pray for you.

We prayed for him and he had more than 17 evil spirits. They came out, they were screaming and talking and talking. Hundreds of people use to come to him everyday to find solutions to their problems. They understood this man was used by Satan and Satan was guiding them.

Today, churches are like that. Don’t be surprised when your pastor picks up his Bible, stands up in front of you and says: from today on, women in my church must wear mini skirts, young boys can pierce their ears to put whatever they feel like, be free, women and men are equal. We are all the same because in the kingdom of God, “there is no longer male and female”. If you hear something like that, just step back, sit down and ask God to intervene.

When someone stands up in front of an assembly, some people will not accept wrong teaching but others will and remember it forever. In many places people are trying to use the Bible as a springboard. They use it so that their life will fit into the Word of God and the Word of God will fit into their lives. There is a danger. This fire is already in the Word of God, that’s why people have already changed its meaning.

When Moses reached Egypt, he told pharaoh many times to release the people and Pharaoh answered: “What can you teach me, Moses? You were here, fed by my daughter and you grew up here? Who are you Moses, do you remember who I am, the king? You know me very well. What God sent you here? We don’t even know that God you are talking about.

In Exodus 7, Moses looked at his brother and told him to do whatever God said. Aaron threw his staff, and it was changed to a serpent. Pharaoh was surprised and scared but the people at his side reassured him, they told him they could do the same and they did it.

So, God sent his people to do miracles and on the other side, Satan also proved the people of God their miracle is nothing because they can do the same.

Look, how science and politics have been fighting the gospel. The Bible says at the end of the times this and that can happen but science comes along and tells us they can do it too. Or they give us reasons why this and that God said can’t happen. It’s to the point that today, you can take a Bible in front of scientists but you don’t know what to say because they know everything! They can read the Bible and study it for 10 years and do their research not to know the gospel but to find traps for you and I.

So Pharaoh answered Moses:

- What are you talking about? These men can also do the same thing.

- Oh, God, we didn’t succeed. What’s next?

- The next thing will be water changed to blood. Maybe everyone will realise God can do it and believe in God.

Moses did this miracle but the magicians, Jannes and Jambres did the same too. Jannes was a powerful man in witchcraft. Jambres was powerful in magic. So, these two people were really respected in the Kingdom of Egypt.

Moses wondered what he could do next. He thought God could show Pharaoh He is God but now this has become a competition.

How many times have you reached a point in your life having wondered if God is really alive because your situation becomes harder and harder? Does God really exist, where is He? Every time you start something, others things come and contradicts what you want to do, and you must stop. You wonder if it’s better to trust in God or to just give up. You have been praying every day and there is no result, you have been studying your Bible instead of your course, you have been spending time coming here to meetings instead of working somewhere, without success. How to overcome this?

This is God’s answer: “Don’t worry, I’ll keep doing something for you”.

As for us, we keep praying: “God, educate our leaders and support us so that we can feel free and live in the way many people will be saved. God, you gave us that mission to go around the world and spread the gospel”.

The Gospel is something to pray for. If our leaders mislead souls how will people turn to Jesus tomorrow? If they hear to not believe in God but in evolution for example, how will we convince these people tomorrow to become Christian? It’s a fight.

God told Moses to persevere. Day after day Pharaoh told him he could believe what they were saying a little bit but… anyway, he’ll see tomorrow. “Just tell your God to heal us and then I’ll let your people go”. But the following day, he changed his mind because he wasn’t under the plague anymore.

Every time we pray and claim our rights, our government say they understand our problems but … not easy to accept it. For example, when Maori or Pakeha claim their rights to the government, the answer is sympathetic but they do nothing about it. Who will accept or believe that today in our parliament people vote for things that are not pure, bills that dishonour this country?

Around the world, many people testify that NZ is a unique country: good people, nice things… beautiful testimonies from outsiders. But what our politicians are doing doesn’t sometimes reflect the image of our country. Their decisions are made according to their ideology. We can’t blame them because we know this is the end of the time. Let’s accept it and pray to God that we want to see 99% of NZ in His Kingdom. That’s our mission, to give freedom to these people.

We are doing the same as Moses who gave freedom to the captive people, we also need this country to be saved and the entire world to be saved. We’ll do it through prayer and also through spreading the truth. If we change the meaning of the Word of God then we’ll cause the world to get lost.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Be like the animals

By Shari Bhandal

Proverbs 30:25

The earth is full of small, virtually unnoticed creatures; yet pointed out (in the Old Testament book of Proverbs) four inconspicuous species possessing attractive traits and using wisdom: the ant, the rock badger, the locust (grasshopper), and the spider (lizard).

In the New Testament, Jesus also commends birds (Matthew 6:26-27) for possessing great faith.

(1) Ant

Go to the ant, you sluggard! Consider her ways, and be wise. Which having no captain, overseer, or ruler, provides her supplies in the summer, and gathers her food in the harvest. Proverbs 6:6-8

Ants are truly wise little creatures. For example, they know instinctively that winter is coming; therefore, they take advantage of the warmer weather. We have all seen them at picnics; while you're dousing your hamburger with ketchup and chugging down a soda, they're marching off with your french fries! No the ants will not gorge themselves on their new found treasure, but instead, they will fill their storehouses so that when the harsh winter comes, they will have enough food to sustain themselves.

For us, the first step in "preparing for winter" is to accept Jesus Christ into our hearts. Paul warns us in II Corinthians 6:2 that "now is the day of salvation." Once we are saved, we as new believers might think that our work is done; on the contrary, our work has just begun. If we are to display the "wisdom of ants," we'll prepare for "winter." We can equip ourselves for difficult times by storing up God's Word in our hearts (Psalm 119:11) and by praying without ceasing (I Thessalonians 5:17). Then, when we face the blizzards of life, we'll know right where to find food for our spirit (Luke 8:13).

We as Christians need to be opportunists like the ants. We must be diligent, not lazy or sluggish. We need to tackle projects (like homework and housework) right away and not put them off.

(2) Rock Badger (Conies)

The rock badgers are a feeble (physically weak) folk, yet they make their homes in the crags. Proverbs 30:26

We as Christians can also learn a lot from the rock badger. This small, fiesty animal (also called a coney or hyrax) knows exactly where to go when danger comes.

The large tattered crags jutting up from the mountains form a perfect hiding place for the badger. For example, if an eagle decides to swoops down and capture this fiesty little animal for a meal, he is protected by the rock. The eagle would virtually have to tear the entire mountain apart to get to its prey!

Another way the rock badger avoids danger is by camouflaging himself to the colour of the mountain. Therefore, if a lion is on the prowl for lunch, the badger goes undetected and remains safe and secure because he dwells in the safety of the rocks. However, if the badger carelessly wanders away into the grassland, he is a wide-open target. Thus, the apostle Peter urges us to "Be sober, be vigilant; because our adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about seeking whom he may devour" (I Peter 5:8).

The most courageous badger in the world is no match for even the smallest lion! Fortunately, the badger is wise enough to know that his strength lies not in what he can do, but what the mountain's shelter can do for him.

If you have the brains of a badger, you'll figure out where your strength lies -- in the "firm foundation" (II Timothy 2:19) of the mountain being Jesus Christ who is the Rock of our salvation. "Be strong in the Lord," the Scripture urges us, "and in the power of His might" (Eph. 6:10). It's not by (our) might, nor by (our) power, but by His Spirit, saith the Lord of hosts" (Zechariah 4:6).

We as Christians will experience trials and tribulations in our lives; and, at many times, we may feel weak. But Paul says in I Corinthians 12:9-10, "When I am weak, He (Jesus) is strong." Therefore, we must build our foundation on the Rock -- Jesus Christ.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:24-25 that "whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will like him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock: And the rains came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock." That's right! If we are both hearers and doers of His word (James 1:22), Jesus will fight our battles for us! "If God be for us, who can be against us?" (Romans 8:31)

(3) Locust/Grasshopper

The locusts have no king, yet they all advance in ranks.
Proverbs 30:27

Let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works.
Hebrews 10:24

One little grasshopper seems insignificant as it leaps across the lawn; but when it joins forces with other grasshoppers, watch out! The resulting swarm can soon devour all the vegetation in its path. That's because grasshoppers demonstrate the power of community. What they cannot do by themselves, they can accomplish together.

We can also learn a valuable lesson from these small creatures. Believers can make far greater advances for Christ's cause when they act and pray together than they could ever make alone. When Christians are united in serving the Lord, they can become a mighty force for God.

Although the New Testament urges us to possess a personal faith in Jesus Christ and to go into our "prayer closet," it never says anything at all about a private faith. Simply put: we need other believers, and other believers need us. In Hebrews 10:25, Paul urges us "not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together"; therefore, we should regularly attend church to help build each other up and meet each others needs.

Remember: there are no Lone Rangers in the kingdom of heaven. We as Christians must use teamwork and offer our time, talent, and treasure whenever it is needed. The locusts are all considered equal; this is also true with Christians. No Christian is better than another Christian. God shows no favouritism of persons (Ephesians 6:9). Locusts stick together and move in unison even without an obvious leader. Two Christians are better than one -- when they're one.

(4) Spider/Lizard

A lizard can be caught with the hand, yet it is found in kings palaces. Proverbs 30:28

Most lizards are small and somewhat disgusting, yet it's amazing where they can go. lizards can be seen lodging high up in 5-star hotels.

How do they get there? Did they climb the stairs or scale the walls? Did they take the elevator perhaps? Who knows? Spiders and lizards can sneak past guards and maids undetected and can even end up in the finest establishments. The author of Proverbs 30:28 marveled that spiders and lizards could be found even in the throne room of kings!

Something else that should cause us to marvel is the thought of who will live in the royal palaces of heaven.

Think of the Christians you may be tempted to avoid: The teenager with bleached hair, earrings, and tatoos you don't approve of. The guy with bad breath and body odor who gets a little too close to you when he speaks to you. The obese woman who sings rather loudly and a bit off-key. If you could see them now as one day they shall be, you would certainly marvel at their beauty! "For the Lord seeth not as seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh upon the heart." (I Samuel 16:7) Yes, that's right! It's not our appearance or hygiene that gets us into heaven; it's our hearts!

We as Christians will be sitting in king's palaces when we go to heaven. Jesus says in John 14:1-2: "In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you."

However, this would not be the case if it were not for God the Father sending His only Son to die for our sins (John 3:16); for Romans 3:23 says that "all have sinned, and have come short of the glory of God." According to Isaiah 64:6, "We are all an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags." That's right! We all look like spiders and lizards to God without the blood of Jesus covering our sins! But praise God for the next two verses which say that we "being justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus: whom God hath set forth to be a propititiation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God." (Romans 3:24-25)

Although our sins make us unlikely future residents of heaven, God's grace saves us so we will be able to inhabit heaven as sons and daughters of God (Ephesians 2:8-9). "There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female; for ye are all one in Christ Jesus." (Galatians 3:28, Colossians 3:11)

(5) Bird

Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature? Matthew 6:26-27

We as Christians need not worry what tomorrow brings. We need to take one day at a time, and believe God will provide for all of our needs each day and give us our daily bread." This request acknowledges that God ultimately provides for all of our needs. He gives each and every one of us different skills and strengths, jobs and income, and a world rich with resources. Therefore we have nothing to fear, but everything to believe in.

Final Thought:

Foresight and planning, safe building, teamwork, excellence, and faith are valuable traits. If tiny creatures such as these exhibit such qualities, how much more should human beings, who have been created in God's image? Reflecting on these creatures, we do well to ask: "In what ways do we need to improve our work?"