Monday, August 10, 2015

End times

By Odon Bulamba
As we were singing today, this short song of three lines, “Let it rain”, I started to think, what should rain?  Is it the rain we see coming from the clouds or something else?  It is God’s anointing.  Rain represents the power of the Holy Spirit.  That is the only thing that Jesus left behind for us. 


When it doesn’t rain, everything dries up and that is where you hear people say, don’t use too much water to water the garden.  People complain about not seeing green anymore, especially farmers will complain and those who want to eat complain, even the soil complains because there is only dust.  But when it rains people don’t want to get wet, they cover their hair and body which matches my message today….


End times


God is God and He wants us to learn and let the Word explain itself.  We can’t talk about the end of time without having the beginning.  If there is an end, it means there was a beginning.  God is so amazing because whatever He gives to us, He explains to us in another way.  One word from the Bible can have 6 miliion explanations.


1 Thessalonians 5:1-4

We all know about the times and seasons and we all know the day of the Lord is coming like a thief in the night (not day).  When we say peace and safety is there – that is when destruction comes.  We are not in darkness so the day should overtake us.  At the beginning God started creation and it was God who said, let this happen and He made the day to be day and decided at the end of the day there would be night.  Why did God decide to have day and then give us night? 


God works 24/7, He does not get tired or sleep but He created Monday and at evening time, he took a rest.  Does God rest?  No but He said that He took a rest at evening time and the following day, He said this is evening again and I’ll take a rest.  We are in the end times which means we are in the spiritual evening when things are getting darker and we are getting more tired (just like the physical evening where we start to feel tired and ready for the end of the day).


Everyday there is a morning, afternoon and evening.  When the evening comes, it is the signal of night coming. When evening comes we see the light from the sun disappear.  The sun is so powerful, extremely hot but at evening the sun becomes weaker and finally vanishes.  Who makes that sun to vanish?  What is behind it? Something that is extremely bright that makes you to wear a hat and turn on your Air Con because it is very hot but at the evening, the light and heat goes away and there is darkness.


In Thessalonians, it talks about the end times.  I will focus on mostly the spiritual area because we know all the physical signs which are war, false prophets etc.  Let’s focus on the spiritual side.  When you were a child and you were born, your mum and dad looked for a cot for you and you slept in that bed, you could wet it, mess it up and your mum and dad will rearrange it and fix it up and you’ll go back to that bed.  Every day you will grow and eventually you won’t fit in that cot anymore and you will have to use a normal bed. 


When Anna was 2, her mother bought a pair of shoes for her and regardless of making a good choice, after a few montHoly Spirit, those shoes were useless because the time for those shoes had come to an end. There was a time when sleeping in the cot came to an end.  When you were 6 years old had a skirt but by 10 years old, no matter how much you love it, you could no longer fit it.


When time ends you regret because you lose what you loved.  When God created, He saw everything was beautiful.  When we see the sun outside, we enjoy and walk but when it is darkness, we don’t want to walk because during the night time there is a danger.  In 2 Peter 3, we can read that darkness has a danger, there will be fear even if you don’t see anything and you won’t feel safe.  God wanted us to learn, the end of the times and when the end comes, the joy that we had, the comfort we had in the Word of God will change.


You will reach a point where you will start to pray to God, look at my situation, I want you to help me in this but it doesn’t work.  I want you to help me God to find a message in Word of God for tomorrow but your mind will be blank and you try to read the Bible but nothing works.  So then you say, let me find the quickest way, a preaching from google and then memorise it and give it to the church.  Behind that, is there any anointment?  Is the oil of the Holy Spirit behind it? Yes or no?


The church is entering that darkness without knowing because everyone is getting weak.  Yesterday you used to read the Bible every day, now you read it once per week.  Yesterday you used to pray everyday and spend time with God but today you spend five minutes once a month.  When the time comes to read or pray, everything seems to present itself, I have to go to work, I have to do duties instead of doing what you should do, watch a movie and then you’ll be shocked because you haven’t done much and you start to rush and omit things and then night comes and you to stop all activities.


God created the night as a signal to us: even if I give you everything you enjoy during the day, I will bring in your spiritual life the time of darkness where I will allow a thief to come to you to steal during the night time.  How God can you allow a thief to steal from me?  When we lose things we think it must be satan but God sometimes allows things such as Adam and Eve who were given a garden.  God allowed satan to be in the garden.  Where did he come from? Why did God allow him to come into the garden?  Wisely, satan spoke to Eve, you know Eve, God is so amazing, He told you not to eat this (that is true) because if you eat that fruit you will be like God.  Look how selfish God is, He created you to be like Him but you are not. 


The garden of Eden had several trees.  You can find any preaching from the Bible.  Plus, false preachers and prophets, wizards and magicians use the Bible today.  When God created Adam and Eve, He left them to be naked, why?  That is not fair when He created them in God’s image.  We often think things are not fair but we don’t know the future or past like He does.  Adam and Eve used the same Word of God to take you away from God and that is the time of darkness.  Jesus said at the end of time, people will even use my name so be careful it is one of the signs.


When God made the night, He gave the light a time to reign.  Darkness starts during winter around 6pm in NZ and lasts for around 12 hours.  You can have a torch but you can’t light the entire world.  There can be lights along the streets but they will never make the entire NZ to be bright like the sun.  What you see with a torch is showing you where to step in darkness.  The church today is praying to remove the darkness but that will never happen, we have to pray for us to be able to walk through the darkness.


The ten virgins were praying and preparing to meet with the Lord.  God allowed the wedding to come during the night (lamps were burning).  During the night is when the test comes.  You know Jesus is your friend and saviour and God is your Father but He doesn’t tell you when He is coming back to pick you up.  Why doesn’t God tell you exactly so we can be prepared?  When Prince Harry came to New Zealand, the entire world knew he was coming.  We knew day and time he would land and the flight he would use.  Our Jesus hides that from us to see how much faith we have and how much we can be on our knees to pray to prepare for His coming back.


Five virgins were keeping an eye on the oil while the other five didn’t care as long as light was there.  What is the source of oil in your Christian life?  How much is in your container? Will it be enough to last for when Jesus comes back?  We might pray or worship for a short time because we don’t ask God to fill the oil.  The church does not seek for the power of the Holy Spirit.  People can pray for sick and situations and families but forget to pray for Holy Spirit to anoint us.  We pray, “God help me, I want to see your power and light” but we don’t want to get it.  We should pray, “Give it to me God, I want to be anointed”.  Jesus told His disciples to wait for the Holy Spirit and because they did, they received something.  That oil made us today to know the gospel.  But today, we just want enough to see for the night until we go to bed but we forget that night time isn’t the time for bed, it’s the time to wake up.


Sometimes we feel tired and feel like sleeping and giving up on our faith because we are disappointed but we don’t have to quit, we have keep ourselves awake.  If Robbie is sleeping and I wake him up, he will fall asleep again after two minutes and if I continue to shake him, he will get annoyed.  Most of us today get angry when we are told, wake up it’s time to pray.  When you sleep while the light is on, you lose the oil and then you might not be awake when Jesus comes back.


We know the gospel but we don’t use it and when we don’t use it, we lose the Holy Spirit.  Someone can tell you that Jesus had 14 disciples but you say, no I never read that.  We know the gospel but we don’t use it and when we don’t use, the Holy Spirit will tell God, you sent me to help these people to support them but they don’t use whatever I give to them, what shall I do next? 


The disciples in Acts, they went out and started to talk but for us when the Holy Spirit comes down, we say thank you I’m happy, I’ve got my job, I’ve got my family, God is the answer to my prayer.  But God asks, what is your next step?


The five virgins’ light was on all night while they were sleeping and when the groom came, they saw their light was gone.  Their containers were empty.  What is in your container (heart)? What do you hold in your heart?  When Jesus said I’ll give you my spirit, He said that old people will prophesy, young will speak in tongues but where are they today?  It’s not because God didn’t give it that we don’t see it, it’s because we don’t use it or even ask for it. 


God comes with the Holy Spirit and we say, no thank you I’m fine with what I have.  God reminds us, “You are my servants, why don’t you want to accept my offer to you”.  Then there are those who received God’s offer but they don’t want to use them.  So the end of times is where you will see yourself being led astray by anything small. Something that is simple to resolve, you will make a big issue.  Tomorrow I’ll pray but then you decide you can’t because Robbie said something.  Or we make a decision to pray but then we stop because of a phone call. 


At night time, the light disappears and there darkness.  Ninety percent of Christians live in darkness.  They hold a sign saying they are saved but they are not Christians.  For that reason, God opened the garden of Eden and said to get out and there you will work hard, face pain and problems out there.  By working hard outside, Adam and Eve realised they had to go back to God.  They realised they had to give sacrifices to get a good relationship with God.


When did you last make a sacrifice?  Some think it might be to sacrifice money but what did you give in terms of time?  He created time and He wants you to use it until eternity.  How do you share your time with yourself, family, collegues, neighbours, friends and God? I’m selfish because I share more of my time with myself than God.  My priority now is my family, my job, my studies etc.  God doesn’t need 20 minutes from you, just 5 minutes is enough to say thank you for taking care of you. He needs to just keep in touch but if you don’t during this end time, you may be lost in darkness when God comes. 


God used to come during the evening time in the garden of Eden.  He would say Adam, where are you?  Today He is saying your name, “Hayley, Trish, Odon, where are you” and we answer, “God when it was day time, you didn’t show up and now it’s night time you are here.”  We all feel like it is hard sometimes.  Some will run away when they are going through hard times and God is asking where are you? 


When you are sleeping and someone wakes you up, you feel annoyed.  When night comes, we become weak and that is when God comes and starts to shout, “Where are you?”  Tyrone was saying the church of Hamilton doesn’t pray and the ground is rocky so we need to pray.  In Africa we used the hoe to dig the dirt and when it hit the rock, it would feel like a horrible shock up the arm and your hands would produce blisters.  When the ground is hard, it is difficult for a seed to give birth to a plant.


God will wake you up.  Adam, where are you, why are you silent.  Adam thought he could hide from God.  Adam said, “here I am”.  God asked, “Why are you hiding?”  “I’m naked”.  “Who told you that?”  God knew where Adam was and that he was naked but he asked those questions to get Adam thinking.  He wanted Adam to understand that the Spirit of God is in him and you knew you were wrong to take the fruit because the Spirit was there to warn you, but you did it anyway. 


God said, “I will cover that nakedness and turn the page”.  When God forgives us, do we go forward or do we go back to the same sin and wait for God to call us again?  God put Adam out of the garden.


Jesus said, be aware of what is coming, everything in our planet is going from bad to worse.  Politics, earthquakes, crimes.  People are becoming more afraid of others.  Parents don’t trust others with their children.  We doubt and fear everything because the world is going deeper into darkness.  It is a mud of darkness and the church allows gay couples to marry in the church and be blessed in a place where Jesus said where there is light there cannot be darkness.  Today magic can be performed in the church Sunday school.  Where are we going?  God is shouting, “what you are doing is not correct, it is evening time, I’m coming back for you” but we don’t want to listen to them.


Pastors pray for soldiers to kill 100 people.  To be part of the army is not bad but can’t we pray to God to kill.  We kill each other spiritually.  I talk to Michelle, “Robbie is bad” and then Michelle tells Robbie.  There is a battle now inside the church where people are fighting against the Holy Spirit.


It is the end times, be careful and never take a gift of satan, stick on your gift of the Holy Spirit and ask God to anoint you more and more because if your room is empty, then satan will occupy it.  If we are having a ceremony here with empty chairs, others will come in and occupy those chairs.  You and I don’t want to work, to add more petrol of the Holy Spirit in our lives.


When Jesus comes back, only those who are anointed will go with Him and if you are not sealed by Holy Spirit, you will not enter the Kingdom of God so my first friend should be the Holy Spirit because that is the only visa to enter the Kingdom of God.  It doesn’t matter how many Bibles you have or catholic robes, when He comes back He won’t look at that.  Find the Holy Spirit.  God said that Jesus is the way but that He will send you the comforter who will lead you to Him and when He comes back, whoever is sealed with the Holy Spirit, will come with Him.


The challenge of church today is that many churches don’t talk about Holy Spirit today.  I asked several pastors about the Holy Spirit and they don’t have any answers.  You are baptised, you are saved, you have the Holy Spirit.  We should know how the Holy Spirit acts in our spiritual life.  We should know whether we are anointed by the Holy Spirit.  Once we know that, we have visa and passport ready to go into the Kingdom of God. 


Ask God if you don’t have the visa.  The way that leads to heaven is narrow because only a few will ask for the power of the Holy Spirit.  Many will ask for a big church, “we need 6,000 people”.  Are they filled also by Holy Spirit? Maybe the message given in church is not anointed.  If the Holy Spirit is not acting, your job is not active and you will be like the five virgins.  You can tell God you went to church every Sunday but God will say, I don’t know you if you don’t have the anointment.


God has been preparing us, we see all the signs – it is up to us now to ask and to pray for the Holy Spirit and anointment.


“Help us to be filled by HOLY SPIRIT, we want to be ready for Jesus coming”

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Write to Li Jiatoa - a prisoner for the sake of Christ

Please find time to write to Li Jiatao.  Her story is below.  Here is a link to a website that provides her address and phrases in a language she can understand.  Simply print it out and send to her.  Imagine the comfort of receiving letters while in prison.  Let's support our Christian sister....

Li Jiatao, a house church member in charge of keeping accounting records, was one of three Christians arrested and sentenced to two years in prison and fined 5,000 yuan (US $800) for “illegal business operations” by the Liunun District Court of Liuzhou.

Police detained school director Cheng Jie at the school on Feb. 18, 2014. Four months later, on June 24, 2014, authorities also arrested church elder Huang Quirui and church member Li Jiatao in their homes.

Authorities claimed the defendants, all part of the Liangren house church which founded the kindergarten, “illegally” made a profit from the creation and publication of kindergarten curriculum. The curriculum used by The Hualin Foreign Language Experimental Kindergarten teaches students about character. It does not mention God or Jesus, but uses stories and games to teach children about honesty and trustworthiness. The school charged students only the cost of printing the books.

“This is absolutely a wrongful verdict,” said lawyer Tan Yongpei, who along with two other lawyers from his firm replaced the three Christian defendants’ original lawyers after they were “disqualified” by the court during the trial on Feb. 9, 2015.

“The act of printing is not an illegal business operation, and Cheng Jie’s act of taking care of the books is not an illegal business operation. The act of shipping the books, which Huang Quirui did, is not an act of an illegal business operation,” Tan said.

Authorities have had a long-running campaign against the Liangren Church and its school for promoting Christianity among young students. Authorities accused the school of violating the “Law of Education” by forcing citizens to believe in a religion. As a result of the arrests, the Liangren Church closed the school, refunded tuition, and reassigned teachers to other locations.

Li Jiatao was home with her two children, ages 4 and 8, when unidentified police officials knocked on the door in the early morning hours of June 24. Her husband, a Liangren church missionary, was in Hong Kong at the time, so she refused to answer the door. The police officials smashed through the door without identifying themselves or providing a warrant. They also confiscated the computer and religious materials from the home when they arrested her.