ALMIGHTY GOD

ALMIGHTY GOD

This new vision of Almighty reminds me of the Islamic religion with “ALLAH” and the prophet Mohamed, however the Christ-in-me religion referring to the prophet “YESHUA”

by Christ in Me | May 18, 2018 | Doctrines

We all grew up with the doctrine that there is a ‘GOD the Father’, ‘GOD the Son’ and ‘GOD the Spirit’.

I could never quite grasp the concept of three-beings-in-one as one GOD. It also left me confused as to whom I should pray… Should I pray to the Holy Spirit to help me out of a situation, or to the Son to forgive my trespasses, and what should I pray to the Father, if at all? I asked these questions but was made to understand that it was not right to ask them and was told that I was rebellious because of these questions. The Scripture teaches us that no one can serve two masters (Matt 6:24), as he would automatically give more glory to the one than the other. I can testify to this… At times I gave more glory to the Son, although he said that no servant (referring to himself) was greater than his Master. Jesus Christ also said that a kingdom divided against itself will not stand. I interpreted that a kingdom could not be divided or have more than one Head, yet we divided GOD? Today,

the church is divided because we divided GOD, thereby depriving GOD of power, as in unity lies strength.

This subject is probably one of the most sensitive subjects to discuss because the doctrine of the Triune God is the generally accepted doctrine amongst Christian denominations.

Whenever one would differ from the teaching of a Triune God one would immediately be classified with religions like Islam, Buddhism and Judaism – religions that do not believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of GOD, therefore not accepting him as the only sacrifice for sin.

On the other hand, when you do believe in Jesus Christ as the only sacrifice for sin and that he was born of a virgin and that he is the anointed Son of GOD, although not ‘GOD the son’, you are easily classified as a cult or a sect.

With this study our aim is to not dig too deep into this doctrine theologically, because many theologians even disagree on this matter.

Ever since the Roman Catholic Council of Nicaea accepted a Triune God doctrine, by means of a vote, many Biblical translations and written works have been done from a Triune perspective. However, when we look at the studies and works of many theologians who lived in the years 120-325 AD (before the Council of Nicaea) we clearly see that many of them did not believe in a Trinity doctrine and differed with one another on several aspects.

Looking at what Jesus Christ and the Apostles taught in the Bible we cannot find such a doctrine, but rather the opposite (almost on every page of the New Testament).

In Christ in Me International we do not believe as the mainstream teaches. We believe in the one true GOD – the FATHER of Jesus Christ our Lord. You may ask, what about the Holy Spirit then? Well GOD is SPIRIT (John 4:24) and HE is holy. HE is not a SPIRIT with a Spirit. HE IS SPIRIT.

GOD expresses HIMSELF in diverse ways and sadly, because of some of these expressions, different identities have been attributed to GOD than that which is the one absolute truth. Here are a few simple examples:

There are various scriptures in the Bible that indicate and explain the Person of GOD, HIS identity and who HE is.

  1. GOD is Word (John 1:1)
2. GOD is Spirit (John 4:24)
3. GOD is Father (1 Cor 15:24)

From the above we used to conclude that GOD was three. But the scripture also says:

  1. GOD is Light (1 John 1:5) 5. GOD is Love (1 John 4:8)

According to this there is already a five-in-oneGOD?

  1. GOD is Judge (Ps 75:7)
7. GOD is a consuming fire (Heb 12:29)
8. GOD is King (Ps 47:7)
9. GOD is sun and shield (Ps 84:11)
10. GOD is Creator (Isa 40:28, Isa 43:15, Rom 1:25-27)

Is there now a ten-in-one GOD?

We misinterpreted the diverse ways that GOD expresses HIMSELF – to illustrate HIS fullness of functions – and we made it HIS identity. Thus, GOD became so divided, just naming a few make HIM at least a ten-in-one GOD. We combined and confused GOD’s Person with HIS functions.

Let us look at a familiar example in the natural. A man may have a wife and a son, making him a husband and a father (and since he was also born from a mother and a father, he is also a son). This, however, does not make him three individuals because of his different functions.

Scripture teaches us that the most important commandment is this: “Hear, O Israel, The LORD our God, the LORD is one(Mark 12:29 NKJV). This is quoted by Jesus from Deuteronomy 6:4.

Why do we divide GOD into three Beings or Persons when there are so many scriptures stating that GOD is one? The more we divide GOD the more we allow ourselves (even as the church) to be divided and to make allowance for differing from others under the pretence that GOD is divided (thus many denominations worldwide instead of one church). The common assumption is that we are ‘allowed to’ differ in opinion from one another because GOD (as three) differed from one another – for example, Jesus (the Son) praying against the will of his FATHER in Gethsemane. Was GOD then divided in HIMSELF? NO, because GOD is only one

Scripture also states that GOD cannot be tempted by evil, yet Jesus was tempted by the devil. Scripture is clear that there is only one GOD and FATHER of us all; there also should only be one church,one calling, one Spirit, one faith and one baptism (Eph 4:4- 6). As Christians we seem to think that it is acceptable to differentiate between different church denominations; we may see these “one’s” Paul are referring to as “diverse” because GOD is “diverse”. It is commonly accepted to look from different angles at the same GOD, and still hit the mark. By accepting and allowing this, we are dividing GOD, going up against HIS most important commandment.

Let’s look at the general way this doctrine is explained.

This picture makes it very clear that both the FATHER and the Son, as well as the Holy Spirit are GOD, yet that the FATHER is not the Son and the Son is not the Holy Spirit and the Holy Spirit is not the FATHER.

With this in mind, it immediately causes a great confusion when just looking at the following two scriptures:

Luke 3:22

And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased.”

John 14:10-11

10 Do you not believe that I am in the Father, and the Father in Me? The words that I speak to you I do not speak on My own authority; but the Father who dwells in Me does the works 11 Believe Me that I am in the Father and the Father in Me, or else believe Me for the sake of the works themselves.

Thus, according to Trinity doctrine, Luke 3:22 says that ‘God the Son’ receives ‘God the Holy Spirit’ but according to John 14:10 it is ‘God the Father’ who lives in the Son, but God is not the Spirit?

There are no scriptures in the Bible that refer to a Trinity. The word “Trinity” does not even appear in the Bible. There are only two scriptures in the Bible that might seem to refer to a Trinity until you look at it without the ‘glasses of a Triune doctrine’.

Matt. 28:19

Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Take note: It does not say “make disciples in our name”. It also does not say “make disciples in the name of the Father and in the name of the Son and in the name of the Holy Spirit”, referring to “three Gods”. Furthermore, it also does not say “baptize them in the names (plural) of …“

Here it clearly refers to one name. “Name” refers to “authority and character” in the Greek language. Let us look at the following example, there could be thousands of employees working at Sanlam but when one of them wants to sell a policy to anyone, he comes in the nameof Sanlam – the authority of Sanlam, one name and one authority. Similarly, when a traffic cop pulls me off the road, he does so in the name of the government, with that authority.

The other scripture that seems to point to a possible Trinity doctrine is…

1 John 5:7

7 For there are three that bear witness in heaven: the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit; and these three are one. 8 And there are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit, the water, and the blood; and these three agree as one.

Notice the two expressions used here… “are one” and “agree as one”. “Are one” means it is the same thing, whereas “agree as one” means that there are three different things that speak of the same thing. The Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit is one being… GOD HIMSELF.

‘But the Word is Jesus Christ’ you may say. This is not what Scripture teaches us. The Word is GOD and it lived in Jesus Christ first.

The two general ‘go to’ scriptures that are used to try and ‘prove’ that Jesus is GOD, are John 1 verses 1 and 14.

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
14 And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as

of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

It is very important to understand that the word ‘Word’ in John 1 is the word logos (G3056) which is definitely notthe word ‘Jesus’ translating to Iēsous/ Ἰησοῦς (G2424), meaning “Jehovah is salvation” according to Thayer’s Greek Lexicon.

John 1:1, 14 (NKJV)

1 In the beginning was the Word, G3056 and the Word G3056 was with God, and the Word G3056 was God.

14 And the Word G3056 became flesh and dwelt among [also translated as “in”] us, and we beheld His glory, [the Word’s glory, GOD’s glory] the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.

This word “logos” is the same Word that we are born again from.

1 Peter 1:23

23 Having been born again, not of corruptible seed but incorruptible, through the word G3056 of God which lives and abides forever.

What about the virgin birth (thus supernatural conception) of Jesus?

The fact that Jesus, as son of man, was supernaturally born from Mary’s womb is not a valid argument with which to try and prove his divinity. Adam and Eve were also created supernaturally, even more supernaturally than Jesus. In Jesus’ case, he was at least born from the womb of a woman. Adam was created from the dust of the earth and Eve from Adam’s rib bone – and that did not make them GOD.

Even the prophecy over Jesus’ life in Isaiah 7:14 (that Jesus would be born of a virgin and would be called Immanuel, ‘GOD with us’), has no reference to Jesus being GOD. Jesus as Jesus Christ would eventually become the first man in whom GOD’s SPIRIT would dwell and through whom GOD would reveal HIMSELF in the earth. As was the case with Jesus Christ, each of us that is born of the SPIRIT of GOD can now also be called Immanuel, GOD with us.

The reference in Isaiah 9:5 that Jesus will be called: “Wonderful Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father and Prince of Peace” also does not indicate that he is GOD.

Remember, Trinitarians teach that the Son is not the FATHER and the FATHER is not the

Son, but Isaiah 9:5 says that Jesus would also be called the Everlasting FATHER… These are ‘spirit terms or functions’ that prophesied on what Jesus Christ would be called because of the indwelling of GOD’s SPIRIT after his baptism. It also applies to all of GOD’s Sons who would follow.

GOD is SPIRIT (John 4:24), HE does not have a Spirit, HE is SPIRIT… the Holy SPIRIT.

The moment when GOD’s SPIRIT becomes one with your spirit, is the moment when you are born again, and GOD becomes your FATHER and you become a Son of GOD because of HIS SPIRIT that is now joined with yours. As Jesus Christ was born of GOD, so every reborn Child of GOD is also born of GOD.

GOD is very clear when HE refers to Jesus Christ in the Bible – HE refers to him as HIS beloved Son. HE never introduced Jesus to us as GOD or a ‘co-God’. Jesus Christ also never introduced himself to us as GOD or ‘GOD the Son’. Jesus always referred to GOD as his FATHER.

 

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get exited

Get excited

Time redemption

Pastor H D Makhubela

Get excited. Stand up and shout for joy. Stand up and dance. The church of God is a triumphant church. Yes it is a victorious church. It’s time to arise and shine. “…and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of Hades will not overcome it (Matt. 16: 18).”

What is the purpose of the church? Why did Jesus come? He came to bring about the Kingdom of God on earth. His mission was to redeem us and make us the children of the Most High God. “Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God {John 1: 12).” This is the grace of God we should not miss. People are very strange. They want to live a lie. They want the devil to dictate to them how to live, in the mean time he is not their creator.

Everybody needs to be fully aware of the fact that life is not confined to living here on earth only. The one who created us has a definite plan for our destiny and eternity. I was very thrilled when Evangelist C.Q Khosa unfolded the plan of salvation and the consequences of refusing Jesus. He indicated that people live in the three worlds. What a mystery! He explained that the first world we come to is our mother’s womb. God places us there for a purpose. It is here we receive our physical bodies and get prepared to be acceptable in the second world. Here is where we are born. It was exciting how this servant of God unfolded this secret. He highlighted that if we fail to receive the parts which we must have, in the first world, namely in our mother’s womb, there’s no chance of ever receiving them after birth. He also remarked that people don’t resist or argue with the creator in the first world.

The trouble starts in the second world. The world system so influences us that we think we know everything about our life and destiny. In the mean time our creator has brought us here so that we can get ourselves ready for the third world – that’s life after death.

In 1 John 3: 1-2 the Bible says:

How great is the love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him. Dear friends, now we are children of God, and what we will be has not yet been made known. But we know that when he appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

What other truth can we be looking for? What other revelation can we be looking for? This is the very truth to get excited about. This is surely the truth that sets us free. It is my earnest desire that the church in this generation may grasp this marvelous truth and live by it, and walk in it, and talk it and sing it. Glory to God!

I believe with all my heart that the word of God means exactly what it says. By founding the church, Jesus was establishing the kingdom of God here on earth. So we who are saved and filled with the Holy Spirit aught to lead a different life. We have been set free. I mean we are free. We are absolutely free. We are free from the bondage of sin. We are free from oppression by the devil and his demons. We are free from the bondages of culture and tradition. We are no longer victims of circumstances, but we are masters of circumstances. We no longer let things happen to us, but we control situations and regulate our lives. We are responsible. We rule together with God. We have the power and authority to bind and to loose. We are kings.

Look at what the word of God says about our standing with God: “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come (1 Cor. 5: 17)!” Here is another one: “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus… (Rom. 8: 1a).” You can also read Matt. 16: 17-19.

You must also recognize the power of passion. “If you don’t love what you’re doing your margin for success is significantly reduced, and tough times will be much tougher to get through. Passion gives resilience that is necessary to achieve great things (D. J Trump, 2009: i86).” You must learn to be passionate with your work. “Passion is an incredible source of fuel that can get you through the tough spells that are bound to come up (D.J Trump, 2009: 177).” Get excited also with the people and the environment where you work. The above-mentioned author further asserts that “if you want to get rich, two important considerations are passion and efficiency (.D.J Trump (2009: 179).”

We all have problems. But what matters much is our response. Our attitude in responding to and dealing with any problem is very important. Attitudes in most cases will depend on things we inherit from our fore-fathers, our environment and traditions. Our attitudes have the tendency to shape our points of view. I once read a little story that taught me a lot of things. There were some laborers who were working in a steel factory. So they picked up a little argument with another man. As the argument picked up steam, one guy quickly lost his temper and got his dender up, and pushed the man into the pool of mud. When this man came out of the dirty muddy water, he went straight to the manager’s office to report the case. Then the manager asked him: “What did you do when you came out of the muddy water?” And he answered, “I just laughed.” What a response!

How many of us would have responded in that manner? Most of us would have started a fight. You see, some of these dreadful things we do trying to solve problems we receive from what I call “mporosi psychology” (unfounded and unproven ideas collected from drunkards at the shebeens). Speculations! Half truths and half lies which are repeated time and again until they sound like the truth.

For instance I once was driving in the afternoon around Malamulele, township when I decided to make a turn at the nearest filling station for petrol. Unfortunately I couldn’t find it. Then I drove to yet another nearest one at Mavambe. There I saw a car with a strange sticker that captured my attention. It ran as follows:

“A BEAUTIFUL WOMAN IS A SUBTRACTION OF MONEY. AN ADDITION OF TROUBLE – A MULTIPLICATION OF PAIN, SEPARATION FROM FRIENDS AND MISUNDERSTANDING BY RELATIVES.”

Can you imagine what ideas some men have about women? What is the correlation between the phrase, “a beautiful woman” and all the poor adages that follow? Blind followers of blind leaders will just go for it and entertain this negative attitude even against the innocent.

It is not necessarily beauty in a woman that may cause these pains. It is character. It is the attitude and behavior of the woman who has sold her soul to the devil that causes all these setbacks. I have seen women as ugly as darkness behaving (themselves) like old Lucifer. On the other hand I know of innocent women, who of course some may label ugly (you can only label them as such if you don’t actually know them). They conduct themselves like they have hearts of gold. I very well know some saints who are also very pretty.

So don’t be biased against either “beautiful” or “ugly” women. The relevant question is: “are they saved, spirit-filled and spirit-controlled? Do they have character?”

The example I have cited above of course only tells us very little of the different feelings and attitudes people have against each other. Bias and prejudice destroy our churches. In the church there are people who won’t be blessed just because a singer or preacher is unmarried, divorced or a widow. Sometimes I’m not as much embarrassed by these women as much as I can be put off by a well wedded mother who has no respect for her husband, herself and for God.

The church must be aware of such women of poor morals who are taking advantage of their marital status and their husbands’ high positions, yet lacking in good morals themselves. They are a disgrace to the Body of Christ. Pastors’ wives for example should be outstanding examples of how a mother should conduct herself; at home, at the job, in the community and in the community of the saints.

To me these women are really blessed. The community and the church respect them very much. They are expected to set examples to both their own children and their spiritual sons and daughters. Pastors’ wives should be full of love and wisdom. They are the ones who can help a lot to guide single mothers and young widows to cope with their fate.

It is my earnest prayer that we seek God daily and yield completely to the Holy Spirit to show us the way. This will enable us to adopt a proper focus. One of the major problems in the church today is the desire to see things as they always used to be. This tradition or status quo (madala boy mentality) must be dealt with seriously. I believe there is always a room for change. We need to do some things in a little different way.

We must sometimes learn to understand that what worked once may not work all the times. In almost every sphere of life people have tried different methods and strategies for more success. I know that the Lord and his word don’t change. But we and our environment do change. Do you know why the Lord doesn’t change? Jesus is the same, yesterday, today and for ever. Yes the Lord doesn’t change because He is perfect. He has no limitations. His word endures for ever. Yes the word does not change because it is perfect. But you and I have many limitations. We must allow the word of God to effect a tremendous change in us every day. For instance, we cannot insist that since Christ mounted on a donkey then, the pastors’ best means of transport is a donkey today. No way. They didn’t use sound systems, videos and audio machines then, but we need them now. Period!

I believe the number of single mothers and young widows in the church, was not as annoying as it is today. And the ministry of women was very low. If we don’t fully equip and use these less privileged saints in the church they will become idle. And every pastor knows what mischief idleness can cause. They will also develop (a sense of) inferiority complex. Guess what the devil can do with the person that feels inferior in the house of the Lord. The devil will exaggerate that position until these people become very hopeless and fall prey to him. I have seen people who think the church has rejected them. I have also seen those rejected by the church. I have seen how they become radically active in the world trying to prove that they are capable of doing something. In the field of politics and unions it is single mothers who run the show.

Unless the church is ready to encourage some necessary changes and face the challenges facing the church it is unlikely that we may keep up and cope with the fast changing world. Of course some of the efforts will raise conflicts in the church, but if we seek the Holy Spirit’s guidance it may produce a great deal of good results.

George Barna in his book “The frog in the kettle says:

Place a frog in boiling water and it will jump out immediately because it can tell that it’s a hostile environment. But place a frog in a kettle of water in room temperature, and it will stay there, content with those surroundings. Slowly, increase the temperature of the water. This time, the frog doesn’t leap out but just stays there, unaware that the environment is changing. Continue to turn up the burner until the water is boiling. Our poor frog will be boiled, too quite content, perhaps, but nevertheless dead.

Brethren, are you aware that our environment is progressively changing before our eyes? Are you aware you are confronted with a changing society? Attitudes and thought patterns are ever changing. This is the different world with different demands. We are confronted with strange situations daily.

Men and women have changed.
Boys and girls have changed.
Work/job situations have changed.
Laws and order have changed.
Norms and values have changed.
To many the devil has taken the place of God.
Money has become the god of this world.
Many people’s mental attitudes have changed upside down and inside out. Light has become darkness, and darkness has become light.

The bad is regarded as good, and good as bad.

Shame has become their glory, and to them that which is glorious has become shameful. They pollute the language in order to justify their satanic deeds.

Disrespect is termed equal rights.
Lies and propaganda is called freedom of expression. Bad and vulgar language is termed strong language. Nackedness is termed nudity.
Abortion is qualified as termination of pregnancy. Homosexuality is called gay and lesbianism. Prostitution is called sex industry.
Prostitutes are called sex workers.
Idolatry is called freedom of religion.
Sexual revolution has become sexual confusion.

To deal with today’s world needs a radical approach in Christianity. The servants of the Lord need to be very wise and skillful. We need to be very aggressive and violent against the devil and all the satanic forces.

Sometimes church folks don’t raise their voices in protest or to challenge what the church is doing or not doing because they simply don’t realize how different the church or community has become. We need to initiate some necessary changes and alleviate some unnecessary traditions which no longer have any place in today’s church. It is always tragic if the church leaders and pastors don’t see the weaknesses of the church traditions and myths. Some church traditions that worked well in the other generations are no longer effective today.

Our youth must be alerted that we are living in the last days and that great care must be taken against most world systems. Young people, particularly young men, despise marriage. Young girls also must be warned that as long as they make themselves as cheap as banana peels at Tshakhuma, young men won’t see the need and necessity of marriage. Further more, both young men and young women must become aware of the high divorce rate and death rate in this generation. Knowledge is power. This information can bring transformation to their attitude towards life in general and their future in particular. We surely need God’s intervention.

Two out of every five girls will most probably not get married. But tragically they will have fatherless babies. Maybe this is under-estimation. Five out of every eight women will most probably end up in divorce or surviving their husbands, maybe at a very early age. This is a wake up call for pastors. We must not try to deny the pains and frustrations other people are going through.

Some congregations are adamant to deal with these controversial issues, for instance to address the question of divorce and remarriage. Why? They fear conflict. If we do not concentrate much on these issues the church is heading for a serious collapse. I know that these issues are fragile, and that they must be handled with great caution. And there is always a strong temptation to avoid them. But they are worth the effort. If we take these things for granted someone will be tormented to backsliding. God have mercy on us.

Mothers and sisters don’t give up. Don’t allow the devil to deceive you. You must understand that the devil is a genius of confusion. He doesn’t have any sense at all. One of his cunning strategies is to exaggerate crises. He will convince you that what you are going through is not redeemable. He will even tell you that nobody else has ever survived what you are experiencing. The devil is a liar. He is a defeated foe. We overcome him by the blood of the lamb and the word of our testimony (Rev. 12: 11). Amen.

I was once engaged in (giving) counseling a certain young widow. She was only thirty-five years young and she was pretty and fair (good looking). But the death of her husband coupled with the treatment she had received from both the church

and the family members left her terribly depressed. She became absolutely hopeless and helpless. This affected both her mental health and emotions, and finally she was physically worn out. In our counseling session I discovered that she loves the Lord, but she has a serious problem.

Before the death of her husband she was actively engaged (involved) in the church program and had evidently invested a lot both in money and kind in the church. But now she is facing some kind of rejection, and some of the members even those who are less committed to the church program, undermine her- because she has tragically lost her husband. She has become so frustrated that she even contemplates leaving the fellowship. She said: “When one loses one’s husband one loses all – her talents, status and dignity.” She went on to say: “Widows have no place in the church nowadays. You can be willing to serve actively and generously in the church, but if you have no husband, you cannot make it.”

These are people who need pastoral care. Pastors should encourage these people and advise them that we don’t actually have to measure the status of a church member by her marital status, but by her character.

The above shared experience reminds me of another case of a frustrated single mother sharing the same fate – that of rejection by the church. She said that it seems like no widow or single mother is expected to have character. People are biased against single mothers. I could understand that both these mothers uttered these statements from bitter experiences. It’s like a certain young boy in Zimbabwe who said: “It is absolutely difficult to live a Christian life in Zimbabwe nowadays.” He went on to say, “pastors tend to be unfaithful in that they ask for charity funds and other commodities (aid) and after receiving them they fail to give to the poor – because they are poor themselves.”

Let me repeat myself. As long as the church age continues – before the return of our Lord, we shall always have single mothers and widows in the church. My observations are that in a society as a whole, the number of single mothers and widows is tremendously escalating. So the church needs to be wise and come with some God-inspired strategies to deal with these challenges. There are things we cannot change, but we can still challenge them.

Another young widow in Zimbabwe uttered a heart rending statement. She said: “I’ll like to go to church, but I realize that one cannot belong to a Pentecostal church without a husband.” Then I realized that she was venting the frustration that thousands of single mothers and widows are going through in the church world-wide.

One of the most critical matters that we should deal with in the church today is the cultural differences and misunderstanding. For instance, I heard a certain single

mother saying: “if one is a single mother in the church the problem is that you don’t feature anywhere in the church society. When married mothers are addressed and you try to fit in, others will say that you don’t qualify as a mother because you are single. Again, when “sisters” (the youth) are addressed and you try to get there, the youth get offended and say that you are not a”sister” because you have a baby. The way we address each other in the church needs to be revisited. In certain cultures a married woman can be addressed as sister and enjoys it. Also, a married man too can be addressed as brother and feels good. On the contrary, in our culture we have the terminology such as “Manana Makhubele” and “Tatana Makhubele”, which in the secular world merely means Mrs Makhubele and Mr Makhubele respectively. Today in the church these titles have been given special status. If you say brother Makhubele, referring to an adult and a married man, it sounds like you are insulting him. The same applies to addressing a married lady, calling her sister. Terms like brother so and so or sister so and so are solely used to address the youth who are not yet married.

Problems pertaining to accommodating single mothers and widows in the whole church program affect the whole church progress. Children from these parents as they grow up become aware of the different treatment their parents receive in the church. Consequently their attitude will be shaped in accordance with their observations of the way their parents are treated.

Many children are born to single mothers – even to young widows. These children start their life’s journey and face their future as semi-orphans. They need careful and tender care. The church can only accomplish her purpose, ministry and mission if she carefully makes room for these less privileged young people.

Terrible, uncalled for tragedies befall many families. There is a well-organized family that suddenly gets broken because of a sudden and unexpected death, divorce, mental illness, imprisonment or abandonment through separation. In this case the pastor and the church council should bear in mind that children from these families may form the majority of the church population and play a major role in church growth. So if we discriminate against their parents from the church program, how are we going to convince these children that we love them unconditionally?

May the Lord furnish us and equip us with godly wisdom to build the body of Christ wisely. I repeat: The major part of the population of the church will in one way or another be composed of members from these disadvantaged population groups. That is why it is very essential for the church to deal very carefully with any person who after conversion still manifests some strange behavioral patterns

A person is the sum total of both crises and opportunities he experienced from his family back-ground and the environment he is from. Sometimes we tend to focus much on the surface issues manifested through addictions to alcohol, drugs, or any form of immorality, in the mean time the root cause is the individual’s background or “bond of iniquity” emanating from his ancestral curses, bondages or genes.

These setbacks call for great pastoral patience and wisdom. That’s where proper godly counseling fits in. Otherwise we find ourselves treating symptoms an neglecting the root cause. The calling and destiny of single mothers and widows or any woman independent of marital status and motherhood must be preached, taught and emphasized. Such preaching, teaching and counseling will identify Christians as Christians and not merely as married couples. A born again soul merits being a Christian by virtue of the shed blood of Jesus Christ and His grace,

before we even think of marriage or any other status.

I want to stress it again. Single mothers and widows will most regrettably be always in the church. This will happen either by accidents, violent death, unfaithfulness or divorce. My keen observation (and this is supported by researchers) indicates that the average longevity of man is between 56 and 76 and that of woman ranges from 70 to 78. But this won’t last long with this monstrous HIV/AIDS and some other plagues and killer diseases. Human life is at stake. Accidents too, are terribly escalating. I have already observed while attending funerals and other community gatherings that out of every ten women (aged between 50 and 75 only three women still have husbands. This could even be an underestimation.

So one is tempted to ask oneself “quo vadis (Where are we going)?” The next time you sense some odd heaviness in the church service don’t ask questions or quickly judge the behavior as mere resistance. No. People are hurting. They have serious problems that need to be addressed. I know that our main focus as the church is the moral issue, and of course we are biblically justified. But it will help us if we also look at the big picture and consider the fact that human beings (even though they are moral beings) they are faced with socio-cultural, socio-economic, spiritual problems and a lot more. Of course this kind of consideration needs not undermine the integrity of the church.

I have a burning desire deep in my heart to plead with my beloved fellow pastors to make our utmost efforts to get as close as possible to these hurting souls and help nurse their wounded hearts. I have noted how the devil takes advantage of their vulnerability and molest them. I have also seen cases where Satan uses his ravenous wolves (that pretend to be caring men) that go about defiling and molesting these frustrated victims of fate.

Without a sound godly counseling these mothers end up being so frustrated that nobody can ever convince them to trust anyone any more. They jump to this satanic conclusion and stereotyping, saying: “all men are the same. Don’t ever trust them.” When they reach this point not even the pastor can help them any more. They are finished and completely ruined. I know cases where men robbed these poor mothers of even the little that their spouses had left them. They deceive and trick them and after squandering their money, they leave them more frustrated than ever before. I have seen these poor victims left so desperate that they became so hopeless and helpless and trusted nobody else on the face of the earth.

So it is our challenge as servants of the Lord to give these people sound and godly counseling that they be capable of taking a firm stand against the wiles of the devil. Young girls need to be taught as they are growing up, about proper life skills and defense mechanism to stay safe. They must be trained as how to behave and conduct themselves to avoid being victimized by those ravenous wolves of Satan. Again, they need to be taught in time how they must handle situations should they be unfortunate and be seduced by heartless men. They also need to be taught and trained on how to cope with situations where they will be faced with stress and depression that are brought by tending fatherless children. They further more need to be made aware that they can experience the mercy of God and maintain their dignity.

It is the duty of the church to teach and train young women how to deal with crisis situations brought by the sudden losses of their husbands through violent deaths, separation and divorce. Pastors should make all efforts to build confidence in their church members so that they may be able to stand and confront all controversial issues in their Christian walks. We should assure all our congregation members of the godly fatherhood we have towards them. They must be convinced that the pastor is their spiritual father and that they owe him loyalty, while he in turn owes them confidentiality because he is the one they can fearlessly share confidential matters with. Congregation members need to understand that they should not make any decision during crisis moments without informing the pastor. Of course the pastor himself must be matured and wise. He must be a man of integrity.

Pastors should pray constantly unto God to be given the grace and the ability and wisdom to do the work of the shepherd of which they will give account when the chief shepherd shall appear.

Brethren, I feel I have spoken a lot of theories here. While I tried my best to disclose all the frustrations of ministry with regard to the accommodating and recognition of single mothers and widows in the church program;

I feel that much still remains to be attended to. I have just exposed the problem, but we have to come together and make joint-efforts to come with the possible solutions. What I have just tried is to make some suggestions, which I feel don’t qualify for solutions. However, I feel obliged to go deeper and share with you about practical Christian living (experiences) which lead to victorious living.

There are few things which a Christian cannot do without.

Number one: Make sure that you are genuinely and truly saved. Number two: Be certain that you are genuinely and truly filled with the Holy Spirit.
Number three: Be spirit-filled and spirit-controlled.

Number four: Continually study the word. Number five: Lead a prayerful and a fasting life. Number six: Walk in love.
Number seven: Live by faith.

Remember, the just shall live by faith (Heb. 10: 38). I’m persuaded to say that I don’t think that God promised to do much for us until we live by faith. Jesus used to question the faith of his disciples. I believe he is still questioning ours too! “Where is your faith?” (Luke 8: 25) the master demanded. “You of little faith!” (Luke 12: 28) the Lord rebuked them.

As far as God is concerned all provisions have been made. You and I are expected to find out what God is saying in His word, and what He says about our crisis. Then believe the word of God about that situation. Then constantly and continuously confess the word of God pertaining to that crisis. Then act upon the word of God concerning your situation. If you practice these principles in your life you will experience miracle-living 365 days every year.

Remember: you first hear the word. Then you believe the word. Then you speak the word. Then you do the word – you live the word. According to the kingdom principles, God does not want to do all things by Himself. He needs your co-operation, and sometimes your permission. Your full participation and commission in the big love plan of God is very critical (see Ps 115: 16). Check on all men and women who have experienced outstanding miracles of the kingdom, and you will find out that they had intimate relationship with God.

True Christianity is not a mere religion. It is a relationship with God. That’s where prayer, praise and worship fit in.”The effectual fervent prayer of the just availeth much (Jam. 5: 16b K J V).” God is seeking for a mighty army of Christians who will stop feasting and start fasting. People who do not prey on others but pray for others. He is looking for the mighty men of valor. He is looking for people who do

not gossip, but worship. He is tired of gossipers and He wants worshipers. He is tired of backbiters and He is raising great fighters. Are you one of them?

How big and great is your God? I know this kind of question sounds ridiculous, but I have heard people belittling and limiting God because of lack of faith. Learn to understand that “the people who know their God shall be strong and do great exploits (Daniel 11: 32b K J V).” Remember, nothing is too hard for the Lord (Jer. 32: 17; 27). All things are possible to all who believe. With God nothing is impossible (Luke 1:37). All his promises are ay, and amen to those who believe (2 Cor. 2: 20). Amen.

One of the most outstanding promises of God is when you hear him say: “I am the Lord that healeth thee (Exodus 15: 26b K J V).” I learned to hang on this wonderful promise for my healing, deliverance and health for decades, and now I am a witness that God means exactly what he says.

I’m fifty-six years of age without any physical or mental defects. I’m quite healthy and strong and have lived without medical aid for decades. No medicine, tablets, pills or any other remedy. Sounds crazy? No. This is genuine testimony. The just shall live by faith (Heb. 10: 38). I have seen different symptoms of sickness and diseases come and go, but I haven’t even consulted a doctor or gone to the clinic. God is wonderful. The word of God says: “Oh taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the man who takes refuge in him (Ps. 34: 8).

My appeal is, since challenges of life and Christianity are real; let us also seek for a realistic way out. God is calling for more responsibility from us. But perhaps the most lost ingredient in the church today is love, pure, and genuine love. Christianity is love-living (living in love). God is love. I must love God in order to experience His love fully. I must also love others as I love myself. I must not be a mirror person. But I must be a window person. People only see themselves when they look through (in) the mirror. But one sees others while looking through the window. Live, love and give. Live, love and sacrifice. Be a window person.

no intimidation

no intimidation

Time redemption

Pastor H D Makhubela

Don’t  fear  suffering

I  am  moved  to  encourage  my  fellow  pastors  to  be  ready  to  deal  with  stressful  issues

and  tensions  that  confront  us  in  the  ministry  today.  Of  course  certain  issues  of  life

are  not  palatable  and  almost  every  pastor  feels  threatened  to  overlook  them.  That

doesn’t  solve  anything  at  all.  We  better  confront  the  reality  and  carry  the  cross  and

follow  the  master.

The  man  of  God  should  not  be  scared  of  anything.  We  should  not  fear  suffering  if  it

is  for  the  sake  of  the  gospel.  We  sometimes  miss  God  by  trying  to  avoid  suffering

and  persecution.  Life  is  very  strange.  Even  at  its  best  it  is  characterized  by

suffering  and  frustration.  So  we  cannot  completely  shun  suffering  and  hope  to  be

successful.

In  his  book  “70  Great  Christians,”  Geoffrey  Hanks  (1992)  tells  of  the  fate  of  among

others,  Bishop  Polycarp  of  Smyrna.  He  narrates  that  three  days  before  his  execution,

Polycarp  had  a  dream  in  which  he  saw  his  pillow  on  fire.  Believing  it  to  be  prophetic

of  his  fate,  the  bishop  informed  the  other  Christians  and  said:  “I  must  be  burned

alive.”  This  of  course  caused  great  consternation  to  his  fellow  Christian  folks.  The

writer  indicates  that  although  Polycarp  still  had  the  opportunity  to  escape,  he

refused,  saying:  “God’s  will  be  done  (Hanks  1992:  16).”

The  incident  was  so  amazing  because  when  the  Roman  soldiers  arrived  to  arrest

him,  Polycarp  treated  them  with  the  utmost  courtesy,  and  invited  them  to  the  table

where  he  generously  offered  them  food  and  drinks,  treating  them  like  important

guests.  Then  he  asked  them  to  give  him  one  hour  of  devotion.  On  their  way  these

men  persuaded  him  to  deny  Christ  and  to  acknowledge  Caesar  as  Lord.

Polycarp  entered  the  stadium  where  the  wild  beasts  were  kept  ready  to  devour

anyone  brought,  with  amazing  boldness.     He  heard  the  voice  from  heaven

encouraging  him  “Be  strong  Polycarp,  and  play  the  man,”  the  voice  said.  Some  of

the  believers  standing  by,  heard  the  voice,  but  they  saw  no  one.  They  believed  it  to

be  the  voice  of  God.

The  proconsul  also  tried  to  persuade  the  old  man  to  renounce  his  faith  in  Jesus  in

vain.  “Have  respect  for  your  old  age,”  he  told  the  bishop.  “Swear  by  the  divinity  of

Caesar,  repent,  and  say  “Away  with  the  atheists.”  To  this  Polycarp  solemnly  waved

his  hand  towards  the  pagan  crowd  and  repeated,  “Away  with  the  atheists!”  They

were  the  real  atheists,  weren’t  they?

When  the  proconsul  pleaded  further  with  him,  saying:  “Take  the  oath  and  I  will  let

you  go,  revile  Christ.”  Polycarp  nobly  replied  and  said:  “Eighty-six  years  I  have

served  the  Christ,  and  he  has  done  me  no  wrong.  How  can  I  blaspheme  my  king

who  has  saved  me?”

Even  though  they  further  threatened  him  with  wild  beasts  and  fire,  the  bishop

remained  firm  in  his  resolve.  Eventually  the  servant  of  God  was  burned  alive  at  the

stake,  fulfilling  the  prophecy.  As  he  boldly  approached  the  funeral  pyre,  the  brave

bishop  declared:  “He  who  gives  me  power  to  endure  the  fire  will  also  give  me

power  to  withstand  the  flames  (Hanks,  (1992:  16-17).

Further  more,  Hanks  narrates  that  at  the  height  of  Nero’s  persecution,  Peter  was

arrested  and  crucified.  He  says  that  one  of  the  apocryphal  account  tells  that  the

apostle  was  crucified  head  down-wards  because  he  did  not  believe  he  was  worthy

of  being  crucified  like  his  master.  As  for  the  apostle  Paul,  it  is  believed  that  he  was

beheaded,  and  not  crucified,  since  he  was  a  Roman  citizen.

It  is  shocking  how  blind  these  cruel  pagans  were.  They  were  not  aware  that  by

trying  to  destroy  the  church  they  were  ignorantly  and  indirectly  fortifying  it.  So

saints,  don’t  fear  persecution.  It  is  the  step  unto  glory.

Servants  of  the  Lord,  we  must  not  fear  suffering.  Suffering  is  the  badge  of  ministry.

All  the  saints  had  a  price  to  pay.  We  must  pay  it  too.

Speak  about  suffering!  It’s  real.  Persecution  is  real.  One  would  think  that  the

stones  that  landed  upon  Stephen  were  mere  religious  stones.  No.  They  were  real

stones.  They  were  real,  physical  and  hurting  stones.  God  did  not  change  them  into

plastic  stones.  Otherwise  Stephen  could  not  have  died.  But  he  suffered  real  severe

pain.  But  by  the  grace  of  God  he  pleaded  for  the  pardon  of  his  tormentors.

Most  church  folks  are  so  weird.  They  behave  like  they  have  been  baptized  in  lemon

juice.  One  can’t  understand  what  kind  of  Christians  they  are.  Real  faith  must  be

tested,  and  great  faith  must  be  tested  greatly.  It  seems  like  God  deals  with  His

servants  in  a  peculiar  manner.  He  first  sends  them  to  the  real  school  of  training

before  He  engages  them  into  ministry.

Look  at  Joseph.  Betrayed,  sold,  jailed  and  promoted.  He  was  pitted,  putted,  and

then  palaced.  He  was  thrown  into  the  pit,  the  prison,  and  then  the  palace.  Are  you

hearing  me?  “Zen  jin  bupa  hua  lian”  (Chinese  proverb)  meaning:  real  gold  fears  no

fire.

We  ministers  sometimes  get  excited  when  we  preach  about  the  Jewish  lads  in

Babylon.  Remember  Shadrach,  Meshach,  and  Abednego?  We  are  tempted  to

believe  that  they  felt  no  pain  at  all  in  the  fiery  furnace.  Can  you  imagine  if  you  are

sentenced  to  burn  in  the  lake  of  fire  that  was  heated  seven  times  more  than  it  was

wont  to  be  heated?  You  begin  to  sweat  and  shiver  at  the  same  time.  You  feel  the

heat  even  before  you  are  touched.  And  beside  that,  I  want  you  to  know  that  God  did

not  change  the  nature  of  that  fire.  It  was  real  burning  fire.  As  for  us  we  can’t  even

stand  the  mere  religious  stones  of  abuse.  Just  mere  ill  and  idle  talk  causes  us

nervous  break  down.

These  lads  went  through  real  fire.  That’s  why  it  destroyed  those  who  were  taking

the  victims  in.  The  only  difference  is  that  God  intervened  and  changed  those  victims

into  victors.  He  so  toughened  them  and  made  their  faith  so  radical  that  they  became

more  ‘fierier’  than  the  fire  itself.  God’s  grace  is  sufficient  for  us  if  we  stand  firm  on

His  word  and  promises.  He  transforms  victims  into  victors.

I  want  you  to  know  something  about  Jesus.  Those  who  met  Him  immediately  after

His  resurrection  couldn’t  recognize  Him.  They  couldn’t  see  anything  in  Him  to

remind  them  that  three  days  before,  my  Lord  was  beaten  and  tortured  to  death.  He

was  as  fit  as  before  the  ordeal  of  the  cross.  And  yet  the  cross  He  was  carrying  that

day  was  a  real  beam.  God  didn’t  reduce  its  weight  either.  The  nails  that  were  used

to  crucify  Him  were  not  plastic  nails.  They  were  real  and  painful.  Jesus  really  bled

to  death.  The  Bible  does  not  speak  of  fables  and  myths.  It  is  for  real.

But  look  at  Jesus  on  the  resurrection  day.  He  was  made  absolutely  whole.  The  same

as  those  Hebrew  boys  of  whom  the  Bible  reports,

…four  men  walking  around  in  the  fire,  unbound  and  unharmed,  and  the

fourth  looks  like  a  son  of  the  gods…the  fire  had  not  harmed  their  bodies,

nor  was  a  hair  of  their  heads  singed;  their  robes  were  not  scorched,  and

there  was  no  smell  of  fire  on  them  (Daniel  3:  25;  27).

Remember  Daniel  in  Babylon?  He  was  not  taken  to  faked  or  mystical  lions.  They

were  real  blood  thirsty  and  hungry  lions.  But  God  had  to  discipline  them

miraculously  to  deliver  a  man  of  faith.  Oh,  hallelujah!  Oh,  how  I  love  Jesus,  because

He  first  loved  me!

The  secrets  of  success  in  the  ministry  is  to  allow  God  work  His  divine  grace  in  our

lives  so  much,  that  we  be  able  to  stand  in  the  face  of  any  persecution.  That  we  may

be  able  to  go  through  persecution,  feel  its  pain,  endure  it,  survive  it  and  then  forget

it.  Praise  God.

I  have  learned  it  the  hard  way,  but  I  know  it  pays  to  praise  the  Lord  and  worship

Him  through  all  unbecoming  circumstances  and  crisis  situations.  He  will  take  care

of  us.  He  said,  “I  will  not  leave  you  or  forsake  you.”  (Heb.  13:  5).

Life  is  not  only  mirth  and  jokes  and  laughter,  but  this  is  the  only  partial  side  of  life.

One  of  the  famous  writers  said:  “Most  of  the  golden  trophies  of  life  have  been  won

through  toil,  sweat  and  blood.”  Christ  has  experienced  both  sides  of  life.  He  was

criticized,  ridiculed  and  mocked,  yet  Jesus  never  lost  his  joy.  When  He  rose  from

the  dead  he:

-Never  complained  about  Judas  betraying  him.

-Never  complained  about  Peter  denying  him.

-Never  complained  about  the  soldiers  that  gambled  over  his  garment.

-Never  complained  about  his  accusers  accusing  him.

-Never  complained  about  Pilate  surrendering  him  to  the  mob.

-Never  complained  about  the  mob  beating  him.

-Never  complained  about  the  mob  giving  him  vinegar  for  water.

-Never  complained  about  the  cross  weighing  heavily  upon  him.

-Never  complained  about  the  soldiers  cursing  and  crucifying  him.

-Never  complained  about  the  soldier  piercing  His  side.

-But  he  forgave  and  forgot.  Hallelujah!

So,  suffering  is  part  and  parcel  of  church  life.A  famous  teacher  said:  “In  suffering

and  persecution  many  saints  graduated  to  glory.”  Of  course  suffering  is  not

pleasant,  but  it  is  there.  It  is  real.  It  is  not  easy  to  cope  with,  but  it  is  redeemable

through  the  grace  of  God.

Experience  has  taught  me  that  life  is  about  pain  and  gain.  These  things  work

together.  No  pain,  no  gain.  No  cross,  no  crown.  Amen.  In  trying  to  avoid  suffering,

we  forfeit  success.  For  instance,  the  one  who  tries  to  avoid  a  sting  of  bees  will

never  taste  honey.  A  woman  who  avoids  the  labor  pain  (of  birth),  will  remain

childless.  The  one  who  avoids  the  pain  of  waking  up  in  the  morning  will  reap  the

pain  of  poverty.  The  earliest  bird  catches  the  fattest  worm.  They  say:  “Early  to  bed

and  early  to  rise  makes  one  wise,  healthy  and  wealthy.”

Many  people  have  tried  to  avoid  the  pain  that  goes  with  physical  exertion  (exercise)

only  to  develop  sickly  and  weak  bodies.  Life  is  about  venture.  The  just  shall  live  by

faith  (Heb.10:  38  K  J  V).  Faith  involves  a  lot  of  risk.  That’s  why  Jesus  said  that  those

who  try  to  keep  their  life  (not  living  by  faith)  shall  lose  it.  The  one  who  fears  the

pain  of  injection  or  the  cut  of  surgery  (operation)  will  suffer  the  pain  of  severe

illness  –  he  may  also  lose  his  life.  People  who  avoid  the  immediate  pain  of  the  cross

(living  right  for  the  Lord),  will  suffer  the  ultimate  pain  of  hell  fire.

Let  me  say  that  one  of  the  major  challenges  of  ministry  today  in  the  church  is

dealing  with  controversial  issues  like  accommodating  single  mothers  and  young

widows  in  the  whole  church  program.

There  is  a  story  told  about  a  certain  young  lady  that  received  a  calling  early  in  her

life.  She  was  not  encouraged  to  minister  in  public  because  she  was  single.  Then  she

got  married.  Some  began  to  complain  that  she  was  not  devoted  enough  to  the

ministry  because  of  her  marriage.

So  she  divorced  her  husband  to  continue  the  ministry.  Then  hell  broke  loose.  How

can  she  divorce  her  husband  if  she  calls  herself  a  Christian,  let  alone  a  minister?  So

you  see?  Things  are  tough  in  life.  In  fact  some  men  are  scared  of  women.  They  are

threatened  by  any  progress  made  by  a  woman.

I  have  discovered  that  Jesus’  main  focus  was  mainly  on  the  less  privileged

and  the  rejected  ones.  His  ministry  challenged  the  status  quo  among  the

people  of  his  time.  He  recognized  and  endorsed  the  importance  of  women,

children,  slaves  and  the  gentiles.  Remember  how  he  dealt  with  the  woman

the  Pharisees  claimed  they  caught  committing  adultery?  They  declared  that

according  to  the  Law  of  Moses  this  woman  must  be  stoned  to  death.  But  the

master  said:  “If  anyone  of  you  is  without  sin,  let  him  be  the  first  to  throw  a

stone  at  her  (John  8:  7).”  The  Bible  continues  to  narrate  that:  “Jesus

straightened  up  and  asked  her,  “woman,  where  are  they?  Has  no  one

condemned  you?”  “No  one  ,”  she  said.  “Then  neither  do  I  condemn  you,”

Jesus  declared.  “Go  now  and  leave  your  sin  (John  8:  10-11).”  Look  how

precious  the  grace  of  God  is!  He  is  rich  in  mercy.  Hallelujah!

Again,  we  see  Jesus  confronting  the  Samaritan  woman  at  Jacob’s  well.  Notice  how

glorious  the  words  of  Jesus  are.  “If  you  knew  the  gift  of  God  and  who  it  is  that  asks

you  for  a  drink,  you  would  have  asked  him  and  he  would  have  given  you  living  water

(John  4:  10).”

I  mean  if  you  are  a  pastor  and  you  fully  know  what  kind  of  a  woman  this  one  is,

would  you  like  to  be  seen  in  her  company?  Would  you  enjoy  her  company?  Would

you  waste  your  precious  time  with  her?

But  let  us  learn  from  the  master.  He  is  not  intimidated  by  this  woman  who  had  had

five  husbands  (married  five  times),  and  who  was  now  living  with  a  man  who  was

not  her  husband.

There  is  something  special  I  see  in  this  woman.  She  was  determined  to  have  a

husband.  She  didn’t  want  to  break  the  rule.  Just  as  it  is  not  good  for  a  man  to  be

alone,  she  understood  the  same  rule  to  apply  to  women  too.  I  mean  her  first

marriage  failed,  and  she  ventured  forth  for  the  second.  Then  the  second  marriage

failed  also,  and  she  risked  for  the  third.  Do  you  see?  She  went  on  trying  again  and

again  until  the  fifth  marriage  failed  too.  This  one  is  my  heroine.

It  is  quite  unfortunate  that  the  Bible  does  not  give  us  the  details  of  her  marriages.

Whether  she  was  divorced,  or  her  husbands  died,  we  don’t  know.  But  this  woman

valued  marriage,  don’t  you  see?  It  is  very  easy  to  quickly  dismiss  her  as  a  prostitute

or  an  adulteress.  But  the  Lord  had  compassion  on  her  and  this  changed  her  life

completely.

Do  you  know  what  I  think?  I  believe  that  after  this  glorious  encounter  with  the

master,  her  life  was  never  the  same;  for  he  had  said  to  her:  “but  whoever  drinks

the  water  that  I  give  him  will  never  thirst.  Indeed,  the  water  I  give  him  will  become

in  him  a  spring  of  water  welling  up  to  eternal  life  (John  4:  14).”

Beloved  one,  are  you  thirsty?  Listen  again  to  what  Jesus  says:

On  the  last  and  greatest  day  of  the  feast,  Jesus  stood  and  said

in  a  loud  voice,  “If  anyone  is  thirsty,  let  him  come  to  me  and

drink.  Whoever  believes  in  me,  as  the  Scripture  has  said,

streams  of  living  water  will  flow  from  within  him  (John  7:  37-38).

Aren’t  you  happy  that  God  is  not  like  us?  His  grace  is  indeed  sufficient  for  us,  I

assure  you.  Look  how  he  deals  with  Rahab,  the  harlot.  Even  though  he  knows  her

trade,  he  entrusts  his  servants  to  her  for  safety.  Surely  God  saw  something  hidden

deep  in  Rahab’s  heart  which  none  of  us  could  have  seen.  The  mere  fact  that  she

was  a  harlot  could  have  made  us  to  completely  shut  her  off.  We  couldn’t  dare  try

to  dig  deep  and  try  to  find  out  if  there  is  anything  else  good  about  this  woman.

Don’t  you  see  God’s  sense  of  humor  here?  Here  it  is:  Rahab  knew  fully  well  how  to

keep  secrets.  She  would  sleep  with  someone’s  husband  and  never  tell  anybody.

She  was  also  skillful  in  hiding  men,  possibly  if  they  might  come  at  the  same  time.

That  was  her  profession.  Of  course  that  was  immorality,  and  we  cannot  applaud

her  for  that.  But  God  turns  her  weakness  into  strength.  He  uses  her  skills  which

she  used  for  evil,  and  he  makes  it  work  for  good.  She  hides  the  spies  skillfully  and

is  also  able  to  convince  the  king’s  messengers  that  these  strangers  have  left  the

city.  So  for  the  first  time  Rahab  plants  seed  faith  unto  God  by  risking  her  own  life

to  save  God’s  people.  Consequently  God  rewards  her  so  tremendously  by  saving

her  entire  family.  And  again  here,  I  believe  that  after  obtaining  the  grace  of  God,

Rahab  was  never  the  same.  We  try  to  bring  repentance  and  conversion  by

ridiculing  the  sinner.  How  absurd!  No  wonder  we  fail  decimally  to  build  the  strong

healthy  church.

Look  at  what  the  New  Testament  says  about  Rahab:  “By  faith  the  prostitute  Rahab,

because  she  welcomed  the  spies,  was  not  killed  with  those  who  were  disobedient

(Heb.  11:  31).”  Quite  strange,  isn’t  it?

Are  you  telling  me  that  the  prostitute  can  have  faith?  Yes  she  can.  The  Bible  tells  us

that  she  had  faith.  It  is  quite  strange,  of  course,  but  shockingly  true.  The  fact  of  the

matter  is  that  if  the  prostitute  can  have  faith  it  definitely  means  that  we  all  can  have

faith.  Sobering?  Do  you  have  faith?  If  you  have  it  how  much  of  it  have  you?  I  dare

you,  if  it  cannot  take  risk  it  is  not  real  faith  at  all.  Rahab  had  obtained  God’s  favor

and  finally  married  Salmon,  the  father  of  Boaz.  This  of  course  includes  her  not  only

amongst  the  heroes  of  faith,  but  also  in  the  genealogy  of  Jesus  Christ.

Oh,  what  a  change  when  Jesus  came!  Marshall  Shelly  said:  “Politicians  are  satisfied

with  51  percent  of  the  constituency  behind  them,  pastors,  however,  feel  the  pain

when  even  one  critic  in  a  hundred  raises  his  voice.”  This  should  not  be  so.

Shepherds  of  the  kingdom,  let’s  gather  courage  and  address  all  critical  issues  of  life

in  the  body  of  Christ.  We  shall  have  accomplished  the  Lord’s  commission  and

mission  if  we  reach  all  and  make  all  feel  happy  and  equally  acceptable  in  the  house

of  the  Lord.

We  learn  that  in  the  early  church  complains  and  murmuring  arose  because  the

widows  felt  neglected.  Today  in  the  church  the  same  situation  has  repeated  itself.

“Issues  around  procedures,  protocol,  prerequisites  and  requirements  cause  a  lot  of

struggles  and  trouble  in  the  church.  “  The  church  is  threatened  with  splits,  divisions

and  schisms  over  issues  of  dogma  and  lifestyle  expectations  for  new  converts,

single  mothers  and  young  widows.These  threatening  issues  cannot  be  left

unchallenged,  for  they  threaten  church  unity,  health  and  growth.  And  when  this

happens,  it  is  the  pastor  who  is  mostly  affected,  for  he  has  the  heart  for  the  lost.

Productive,  sound  relationship  and  welfare  of  the  people  in  the  church  form  the

major  part  of  the  professional  priority  of  the  pastor,  both  in  the  church  and  in  the

community.  Therefore  it  goes  unchallenged  that  the  success  of  the  pastoral  ministry

is  measured  by  how  well  people  under  the  pastoral  care  work  together.  “The

effectiveness  and  growth  of  the  church  is  determined  amongst  other  things  by  the

integrity  of  individuals  and  families  that  belong  to  it.”

Therefore  if  single  mothers  and  young  widows  are  not  well  guided,  and  if  they  are

left  at  their  own  mercy,  something  unusual  explodes  that  shatters  the  order  and

the  image  of  the  church  as  a  whole.  Of  course  this  sometimes  happens  as  a  result

of  response  to  many  “hurts,  too  many  rumors,  too  many  innuendoes  and  feelings

of  betrayal  that  are  rampant  in  the  church  today.”

At  times  one  needs  to  analyze  and  interpret  another  person’s  life,  fate  and  destiny.

The  following  questions  are  very  crucial:  “How  should  I  have  conducted  myself  if  I

was  in  my  brother’s  or  sister’s  situation?  What  is  it  like  to  be  a  single  mother

overburdened  with  family  responsibilities?  What  is  it  to  be  deceived  and  seduced

by  a  man  who  stole  your  heart  and  raised  your  false  hopes,  only  to  leave  you  with

the  shame  of  fatherless  children?  How  does  one  who  was  always  in  the  good

company  of  a  faithful  husband  feel,  when  suddenly  she  is  left  alone  to  face  all  the

challenges  of  life  by  herself?”

As  a  pastor,  one  may  find  oneself  in  a  situation  where  one  is  forced  to  challenge

well-established  rules  because  the  situation  demands  it.  Of  course  this  will  not  go

unchallenged  by  those  with  different  opinions.  One  of  the  most  challenging

English  sayings  renders:  “in  the  land  of  the  naked  people  are  ashamed  of  the

clothes.”  You  can  come  with  an  excellent  idea,  but  if  it  lands  on  the  wrong  country,i

ts  inhabitants  will  laugh  and  scorn  at  you.  We  need  to  change  our  focus  and  our

perception.  It  is  my  sincere  prayer  that  the  Lord  will  help  us  see  the  big  picture  of

what  the  church  is  all  about.

Think  for  instance  of  a  pastor  who  wants  to  accommodate  single  mothers  and

young  widows  in  the  whole  church  program,  because  to  him  they  are  of  equal

value  and  dignity  to  Christ.  They  love  the  Lord.  They  are  committed,  dedicated  and

devoted.  There  will  always  be  people  who  will  challenge  the  pastor  who  thinks

differently.  But  the  pastor  should  be  willing  to  endure  conflict  in  order  to  address

moral  and  spiritual  issues  that  are  vital  for  the  well  being  of  the  body  of  Christ,

hereby  clearing  the  way  for  the  church’s  future,  growth  and  ministry.

If  we  don’t  wake  up  and  involve  these  less  privileged  ones  in  the  ministry,  the  devil

may  take  advantage  of  our  ignorance  and  negligence  and  attack  us  vehemently.

Single  mothers  and  young  widows  are  here  to  stay.  I  wish  I  could  wish  them  away.

But  I  cannot.  I  wish  there  could  be  a  kind  of  utopia  in  the  church  where  every  lady

is  well  settled  with  her  husband  until  eternity.  Unfortunately  it  was  not  the  case  in

the  early  church,  it  is  not  the  case  now,  and  I’m  afraid,  single  mothers  and  young

widows  will  still  be  there  tomorrow,  until  the  Lord  returns.  If  we  don’t  recognize

them,  the  devil  will  take  advantage  of  that  and  cause  a  lot  of  mischief  and  havoc.

Have  you  noted  of  late  that  an  active,  effective  and  productive  mother  who  is

working  very  well  in  your  church  now  may  become  a  widow  in  the  very  near

future?  Are  you  going  to  throw  her  away?  Are  you  aware  that  that  spirit-filled

initiative  youth  leader  may  end  up  being  frustrated  by  a  young  man  whom  she  may

think  and  hope  to  marry  one  day?  If  he  seduces  her  and  leaves  her  with  a

fatherless  child,  how  are  you  going  to  deal  with  it?  I  wish  to  God  that  all  men  were

faithful.  Unfortunately  it  is  not  so.

Of  course  no  pastor  will  be  able  to  meet  these  challenges  without  a  heartache  and

head  ache.  Even  if  his  course  is  victorious  in  dealing  with  these  situations,  the

pastor  will  find  that  the  cost  is  very  high.

A  true  pastor  will  always  find  these  challenges  in  the  church  sad,  painful  and

sometimes  even  regrettable,  but  at  times  necessary  and  redeemable.  I  have

discovered  that  all  the  challenges  in  the  ministry  are  rewarding  if  well  handled.

With  the  grace  of  the  Lord  we  can  turn  all  hopeless  situations  around.

I’m  not  trying  to  endorse  that  single  mothers  and  young  widows  must  be  engaged

to  participate  indiscriminately  in  the  ministry.  No.  I  know  that  most  of  them  don’t

qualify  in  executing  certain  duties.  The  same  applies  to  well  wedded  mothers  and

those  whose  husbands  are  still  alive.  They  don’t  automatically  qualify  to  carry  out

some  duties.  There  are  also  certain  single  mothers  and  young  widows  whose

positions  are  so  explosive  that  you  can’t  risk  involving  them  in  the  ministry.  I’m  not

speaking  about  these  ones.

I’m  speaking  about  single  mothers  and  young  widows  who  love  the  Lord  and  take

the  challenge  to  live  a  holy  life  in  spite  of  their  vulnerable  positions.

Time redemption

Time redemption

http://www.amazon.com/Redeeming-the-time-ebook/dp/B00FIP9M10/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1380608491&sr=1-1-fkmr0&keywords=hd+makubela+redeeming+the+timePastor H D Makhubela

Pastor H D Makhubela

DEDICATION

This  book  is  dedicated  to  all  the  servants  of  the  Lord  in  the  kingdom  of  God.

Beloved  ones,  don’t  fear  any  challenges  in  the  ministry,  rather  challenge  them, break  through  them  and  win  the  victory  for  the  one  who  has  called  you  in  the ministry,  after  having  detected  the  potential  in  you.  Challenge  the  status  quo where  necessary  and  bring  about  and  initiate  transformation  and  change  suitable for  the  21st  century  church.

The  pastor’s  task  is  very  delicate.  It  needs  handling  with  care,  for  it  is  fragile.  It  is sometimes  also  stressful.  High  (or  let  me  say  extra-ordinary)  expectations  are  set for  the  minister.  Because  a  minister  is  aware  of  the  extra-ordinary  expectations  set on  him,  he  tries  his  utmost  best  not  to  disappoint  his  followers,  even  those  on higher  hierarchy.

Unfortunately  in  many  cases  the  old  English  adage  “care  killed  a  cat”,  becomes  a reality.  The  more  cautious  we  become  in  the  majority  of  cases,  the  more  we  missGod.  There  is  always  a  fear  of  stirring  more  troubles.  There  is  always  a  fear  that  if  I do  something  beyond  the  expectations  of  my  people  I  will  lose  my  reputation,  or  I will  make  things  get  worse.

When  we  do  things  in  a  little  different  way  we  arouse  suspicions  and  wrong conclusions.  Prejudice  and  bias  is  one  of  the  major  conflicts  amongst  Christian  folks.

Some  will  jump  into  conclusions  and  say:  “we  know  he  is  not  living  right,  and  he can’t  change.”

As  we  have  just  entered  the  new  millennium,  we  need  to  demonstrate  our  genuine concern  on  conflicting  issues  in  the  Body  of  Christ.  One  of  the  challenging  questions that  need  to  be  addressed  now  is:  “are  single  mothers  and  widows  of  equal importance  to  the  rest  of  the  members  in  the  church?”  How  does  God  view  these people?  What  does  God  expect  from  them,  in  terms  of  their  service  and  conduct?

How  does  God  expect  the  church  to  treat  them?  Is  the  church  doing  well  in  the intervention  and  support  of  the  fatherless?

Also,  are  people  admonished  by  the  church  to  redeem  the  time?  The  time  factor  is very  important.  People  must  be  taught  to  respect  time.  Remember,  time  is  money.

I  have  once  been  fortunate  to  visit  the  United  States  of  America,  and  throughout the  whole  trip  I  observed  how  critical  the  time  factor  is.  In  the  most  of  the  busy parts  of  the  U  S  A,  In  New  York  for  example  people  will  rather  give  you  a  dollar  bill, than  their  time.  During  rushing  (picking)  hours,  they  don’t  have  any  minute  to  waste.

When  the  times  change,  people  and  their  systems  change  too.  But  our  belief-system  as  the  church  should  not  change.  The  word  of  God  endures  for  ever (1  Pet.  1:25  K  J  V).  Unfortunately  today  one  hears  of  abominable  things  that  are problematic  in  the  church  and  the  community  at  large,  being  crowned.

What  does a  pastor  say  about  the  so  called  “gay  and  lesbianism?”  Tell  me  what  the  church must  say  about  the  so  called  “safe  abortion.”  How  should  we  react  as  the  church.

(Gal.  5:  19).  These  are  the  corruptible  works  of  the  flesh.  Period!  I  amdetermined  to  address  these  critical  issues  (in  spite  of  misunderstandings)  because these  are  unique  types  of  controversy  that  a  few  pastors  dare  to  address.

aquilian action

aquilian action

Bald-Eagle-Soaring

  • The wings of the eagles represent our faith and belief in God

The anointing of God is the power of the Holy Spirit flowing and operating through us to accomplish what God wants us to do for Him in this life.

It is God’s power flowing and operating through us, not our own power. Our power is weak and limited, but God’s power is pure and absolute.

Bottom line – if we do not have enough faith and belief in God to take flight on the Holy Spirit in order to be led and empowered by Him for service to the Lord, then nothing will ever happen.

We will forever stay perched, and we will never fulfill the divine destiny that God has already planned out for our lives before we were even born into our mother’s womb.

The eagle has to take that big leap off the edge of the cliff in order to be able to fly and soar on those wind thermals.

If the eagle does not take flight on those wind thermals when they do come up on him, he will forever stay perched and he will die on the cliff due to starvation.

In the same way, if we do not take flight on the Holy Spirit and the divine call that God has placed on our lives, our lives will perish right before our very eyes, as the Bible tells us that God’s people will perish without having His specific vision for their lives.

Read more: http://www.bible-knowledge.com/traits-of-eagle/#ixzz2fPICUUdJ

Read more: http://www.bible-knowledge.com/traits-of-eagle/#ixzz2fPI1ro39

Read more: http://www.bible-knowledge.com/traits-of-eagle/#ixzz2fPHV6SQ5