Friday, July 11, 2014

All Glory belongs to God

God led me in Judges 7 yesterday.  It's about how God gave the Midianites into the hands of Israel. Gideon was called Jerubbaal because after Gideon destroyed the altar of Baal, they wanted to kill him, but his father said if Baal is a god let him plead for himself and then his father threatened to kill all who wanted to plead Baal's case. So from then on Gideon was called Jerubbaal.

The army with Gideon was 32 000 men, but God only wanted to use 300 men, because God knew they would claim the glory for themselves when He gives them the victory over the Midianites. God wanted the glory for himself! No one else!

God told Gideon to go down to the enemy's camp in the valley below and if he was afraid, then he should take his servant with him and go listen to what they have to say and that he will be greatly encouraged!
So Gideon took his servant Purah and went down to the camp.

The armies of Midian and Amalek and the people of the east had settled in the valley like a swarm of locusts and their camels were like grains of sand on the seashore, too many to count! Wow! Just think how many they were against these 300 men who are going to come against them!

So Gideon heard a Midianite soldier tell his friend about a dream he had. He said in his dream a loaf of barley bread came rolling down into the camp and hit a tent and turned it over and knocked it flat!
See what our God did!...God gave the interpretation of the dream to the Midianite soldier's friend!
The friend said God has given Gideon the Israelite, victory over all the armies united with the Midianites!
When Gideon heard that he knelt down and worshipped God and thanked Him.

Then they went down to the edge of the camp with blazing torches in one hand (covered with clay jars) and rams horns in the other and when they got there they blew on the horns and broke the clay jars and shouted "The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon!".
Each man stood at their position around the camp and blew on their horns! Meanwhile in the camp in the dark, God confused the Midianites so much that they started killing each other! They were in a panic, shouting as they ran.

Then Gideon sent for his other warriors to chase down the fleeing Midianites. They captured the two generals of the Midianites and decapitated them and brought their heads to Gideon.

Then the jealousy started, the other warriors asked Gideon why he did not send for them when he first went out to fight the Midianites. They had a heated argument with Gideon, but I believe God gave Gideon the wisdom to appease their anger. Gideon told them that God gave them victory over the two generals and what he did does not even compare to that. They were no longer angry. Gideon was being very humble.

See, if God had used all of them from the start, they would have ignored the fact that God was the one who gave them the victory. They would have boasted in their own might! They would have stolen God's glory which belongs to Him and Him alone! God knew exactly what He was doing, using only 300 men.

What is the lesson to be learned from this?....be humble and God will use you mightily for HIS glory.

People always want the glory for themselves, but.....
░░░░░▒▒▓▓GOD ALONE GETS THE GLORY!▓▓▒▒░░░░░




Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Jesus Christ

a loud voice, as of a trumpet, 11 saying, "I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last,"~Revelation 1:10-11"He who holds the seven stars in His right hand, who walks in the midst of the seven golden lampstands:"~Revelation 2:1"...says the First and the Last, who was dead, and came to life:"~Revelation 2:8"....'These things says He who has the sharp two-edged sword:~Revelation 2:12"These things says the Son of God, who has eyes like a flame of fire, and His feet like fine brass:~Revelation 2:18'These things says He who has the seven Spirits of God and the seven stars:...~Revelation 3:1'These things says He who is holy, He who is true, "He who has the key of David, He who opens and no one shuts, and shuts and no one opens":~Revelation 3:7'These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:~Revelation 3:14
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Monday, April 28, 2014

Even worse awaits the world during Tribulation in last days

This will never happen to you...right? Well it's coming again upon the whole world. The Bible says in Matthew 24:21-22 that during the tribulation period if those days be not cut short, no human being will be saved, but for God's elect's sake those days will be cut short.




Saturday, March 22, 2014

Tithing

Just the other day we were told that we are under a curse (Malachi was quoted) if we don't tithe. But God gave me peace about this Old Testament practice when I went to Him in prayer about it and He led me to several verses in the New Testament. Peace is not what I had while giving under compulsion and I certainly was not a cheerful giver these last few months. I did give cheerfully before that, but due to circumstances we cannot give as much as we used to, so we are giving with a heavy heart, suffering actually.

So now we will be giving what we decided in our hearts to give and not 10% under compulsion or begrudgingly. Jesus said His yoke is easy and His burden is light. 10% is a heavy burden when you don't have it to give! Then to tell us we are under a curse! Jesus became a curse in my place on that cross, NO MAN will drag me back under a curse or Old Testament law! JESUS set me FREE!! Hallelujah! God is good and merciful! Bless His Holy Name!

Trust NO MAN! Preachers are not God, don't put them on a pedestal. Don't believe every word that comes out of their mouth. PRAY and search the scriptures! God WILL answer you through His Word that is Holy Spirit breathed!

Please read the quoted article below for your edification and may God open your eyes and bless you in doing so.

"If you go to the New Testament to develop a biblical basis for Christian giving, you could never come up with what is commonly taught and practiced in the majority of churches today. Having spent eight years in Bible college and seminary, I can tell you I did not take one class or even hear one lesson on the theology of giving. So, like most pastors, my theology of giving carried over from what I had been taught in my church and I accepted it without question – a 10% tithe goes to the church.

It wasn’t until recent years when I decided to do an exhaustive, comprehensive study to support the doctrine of New Testament tithing that I realized from a biblical standpoint, I didn’t have a theological leg to stand on. So, allow me to share with you a very brief overview of what the Bible actually teaches on tithing and giving. I suspect you might be as surprised by what I learned as I was.

Tithing in the New Testament
First, it is important to know that nowhere in the New Testament is their even one verse stating that Christians are to tithe – not one verse. The word tithing is only mentioned on three occasions in the entire New Testament and all three are merely historical references to the practice.

(1) First, Jesus tells the Pharisees that they should be tithing (Matthew 23:23). Still being under the Old Testament Law and citizens of Israel, the Pharisees should have been doing so.
(2) The second reference is when the Pharisee is arrogantly bragging in his prayer about how he has kept all the law, including tithing (Luke 18:9-14).
(3) The third reference is an historical note that Abraham paid a tithe to Melchizedek (Hebrews 7:5-10) from his spoils of war. Many try to claim that believers are obligated to tithe because the concept of tithing preceded the law based on Abraham’s tithe. But keep in mind Abraham’s tithe was a one-time “payment,” made of his own freewill from excess booty gained in war (Genesis 14:20). We have no indication that he ever did it again nor that his gift was intended to be normative for others, much less repeated on a weekly basis.

Keep in mind that almost all the New Testament was written by practicing Jews (Matthew, Mark, John, Paul, Peter and James) who certainly knew well the Old Covenant law on tithing, but none of them ever mentions tithing as a basis for Christian giving even when they were talking expressly about giving. Could we not rightly assume that if the Old Testament tithes were intended to be applied to us today, the New Testament authors would have said so at least once in all their writing to us about giving?

Tithing in the Old Testament
Old Testament tithing, simply stated, was a tax that the Jews had to pay to underwrite their theocratic nation whose King was God. There were three taxes/tithes they were required to pay.

Tax #1: Every year Jews were required to pay 10% of all their crops, livestock and whatever else they had (Leviticus 27:30-33, Deuteronomy 14:22-29) – what was called the Levites’ Tithe. Because Israel was a theocracy, the Levites and priests were the government officials that needed to be supported by the citizens of Israel. If you remember, the tribe of Levi received no land as an inheritance. They were only given cities in all the other tribes. The tribes as such were required to support them through this first 10% tax.
Tax #2: This second tax was collected to underwrite the cost of all the festivals and religious ceremonies that were required by Jewish law for Israel to observe (Deuteronomy 14:22-27). This helped underwrite all the national events that Israel celebrated.
Tax #3: This third tax was payable every third year to provide a welfare safety net for the poor in Israel (Deuteronomy 14:28-29).
The Jewish tax system was a flat tax of 23.33%. However, there were still other “taxes” due, like the temple tax (Matthew 17:24). The Jews were also not permitted to harvest their fields to the edges, leaving the corners unharvested as an additional welfare tax to help feed the poor (Leviticus 19:9). The annualized tax a Jew would be required to pay might total about 25%.
So, the Old Testament tithes were the taxation system used to underwrite Israel’s national expenses.

Giving in the New Testament
Let me say again, these Jewish taxes were never once applied to non-Jewish believers in the New Testament – never once.
In the early church, as you may recall, the Jews were trying to insist that the new Gentile converts needed to also obey the Jewish laws in order to become Christians? The Jerusalem Council determined that the Gentile Christians were only obligated to obey the following:
“…for it seemed good to the Holy Spirit and to us to lay no greater burden on you than these few requirements. You must abstain from eating food offered to idols, from consuming blood or the meat of strangled animals and from sexual immorality. If you do this, you will do well” (Acts 15:28-29).
Here the Jewish Christians had their chance to impose on the Gentile Christians the Jewish tax law, but it was not included in the list to the Gentile believers.

So, if tithing isn’t the basis for our Christian giving, what is it? You may be surprised to know that it is the same for us today as it was for the Old Testament Israelite – freewill offerings. The Jews had taxes to pay and we have taxes to pay. The Jews made freewill offerings and we make freewill offerings. Freewill offerings, contrary to taxes, have always been voluntary and in whatever amount the giver chooses. Freewill offerings are motivated out of grace and love. Taxes are motivated out of law and duty.

A major section of New Testament teaching on giving is found in II Corinthians 8-9 where Paul gives us a compelling example and crystal clear teaching on what New Testament giving should look like. He first shares about the giving of the Macedonian church that is currently in the midst of an incredible economic crisis:

And now, brothers, we want you to know about the grace that God has given the Macedonian churches. Out of the most severe trial, their overflowing joy and their extreme poverty welled up in rich generosity. For I testify that they gave as much as they were able, and even beyond their ability. Entirely on their own, they urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints. And they did not do as we expected, but they gave themselves first to the Lord and then to us in keeping with God’s will.
We must not miss the one striking fact in this passage. Paul tells us how all this out-of-control giving happened – they gave themselves first to the Lord. Once they gave themselves first to the Lord, giving away everything left in their almost empty moneybags was easy.

Paul goes on to set the giving basis for believers in II Corinthians 9:7. He directs us, “Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver.”

Do you notice what is missing in Paul’s giving directive? There is no formula or percentage for how much we ought to give. The amount of our giving is decided upon after carefully searching our hearts. Giving is a matter of the heart, not a matter of the wallet. If God gets our hearts, He will get our wallets. (Read Matthew 6:21.) Our giving decisions are to be internally motivated, not externally motivated.

I recently heard a pastor state quite emphatically that according to Malachi 3:8-10, if you are not tithing, you are living under a curse. How awful! Is this the kind of teaching on giving that creates a culture of open-handed, generous giving like we see in the Macedonian church? Are we saved by grace, but still required to give by law? I would suggest that this idea is completely dismissed by what Paul says about our giving – not grudgingly or under compulsion. Giving to avoid a curse might generate a relieved giver, but not a cheerful one.
 
Conclusion

Let me be perfectly clear here. Freedom from the law of Old Testament taxation is not freedom to give less. It is freedom to give in the ways and the amounts that properly reflect our deep, abiding love and gratitude for our Father and His Kingdom. It should reflect our desire to give to Him with the same sacrificial abandon that He gave to us when He sent His son to rescue us from Hell. We are now free to make sacrificial, love offerings to Him, not just pay a bill we are told we owe Him.

So, go and be free from the law and let the law of love direct you in the size and amount of your freewill offerings to your Father. And in so doing both God and you will love watching you turn into a truly cheerful giver!"



Saturday, February 22, 2014

AFM Regional Sisters Opening Service ~ Cape Town City Hall


 Apostolic Faith Mission
Regional Sisters Opening Service
Cape Town City Hall!! 
They were dancing to "We speak to nations".




Hear the sound
The sound of the nations calling
Hear the sound
The sound of the fatherless crying
Who will go for us
Who will shout to the corners of the earth
That Christ is King

We speak to nations, be open
We speak to nations, fall on your knees
We speak to nations
The kingdom is coming near to you

We speak to strongholds, be broken
Powers of darkness, you have to flee
We speak to nations
The kingdom is coming near to you
We speak to you
Be free, be free

Hear the sound
The sound of the nations worshipping
Hear the sound
Of sons and daughters singing
We will go for you
We will shout to the corners of the earth
That Christ is King



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