Monday, 19 September 2016

Life's Journeys

I’ve recently returned to the sports world, well, I’m still wetting my toes really, and I was rather surprised at how much I fought it, seeing as it was the one thing I at one stage, actually for many years, fought so hard to remain part of.  I took some time to just reflect a little upon this new venture of mine and why it was so difficult to wrap my head around it as well as allowing myself to enjoy it. I saw how God had to set me free from laws I made for myself, then I could see this beautiful process He had brought me on and now I’d like to share, maybe someone out there will feel encouraged by this, I hope.
My earliest memory; yes this may seem strange but it truly is as if my life began there or it was wiped out before that time and therefore I can only remember from this point; running up the hills we lived in, in a place called Helderkruin Rodepoort in a city called Johannesburg in South Africa, with my dad in the Volkswagen bakkie behind me. I was training for long-distance cross country running. I was ten years old at the time. My darling Staffordshire-terrier at my side, Zerah was her name – it means ‘rising light’ – and she really was a light in my life.
As my quads aced running up hill after hill after hill – as we lived right at the top – I never would have realised where that beginning would lead nor that the lessons I learnt in endurance sport would help me through some of life’s most trying trials. The Apostle Paul writes in 1 Cor. 15v46 ‘first in the natural and then in the Spirit’. Yes he is speaking of we first live in a human physical body and then in a spiritual one, but the concept is true for many of life’s events, and growths and happenings. It also explains why in every one of our lives we come to a place where we need to lay down something, for a time, before we can pick it up again. A process of dying if I may say so.
Jesus said to His disciples, the Pharisees and the crowd in John 10 v 17 – 18 ‘For this reason am I loved by the Father, because I give up my life so that I may take it again. No one takes it away from me; I give it up of myself. I have power to give it up, and I have power to take it again. These orders I have from My Father.’ So also there comes a time in all of our lives where the Lord asks us to give up something and the wise choice in that time would be to submit and do it. It is not forced upon us, we are not threatened with doom and gloom if we choose not to, nor does He love us any less – what does however make a significant difference in our lives are the riches beyond any earthly measure we begin to experience and enter in upon when we do submit and lay it down. The beauty of it is there always comes a time where the Lord gives us the chance to pick it up again, just like Jesus. No one forced Him to give up everything to live a humble servants life here on earth, misunderstood, rejected, alone, hated and then giving Himself up to be killed, taking on all the sins and diseases ever known or done by mankind from the beginning of time until the end to come, and then to rise again into glory giving us the victory over everything imaginable if only we believe. (1 John 5 v 4 – 5)
I willingly gave up triathlon and sport in general to come to Bible College and marry a man who was called to work for the Lord. After he passed and the children and I returned to Cape Town I wanted with full force to return to triathlon and marathon running and I went for it with a vengeance. But it was not possible. Well, if I chose to ignore the gentle nudging of the Holy Spirit and put my children in school, continued swim coaching to have an extra income, and then trained with whatever remaining hours I had left in the day and took Saturdays and Sundays for long rides and group swims etc. and left the kids with hubby, then yes, I could have done it. But thank the Lord for the Holy Spirit who helps us to obey, who helps us to see, who shows us things to come and guides us into the truth. Because of continual accurate teaching, what I mean by this is teaching where we are spoken right with God, where when you walk out of a service or a meeting that force of righteousness lifts the burden of mistakes made, wrong choices, sins and twisted thinking right off your shoulders and turns you onto the way everlasting, like the currents in the ocean sweep you in the direction it is going. And now you want to do that which is right for your life and your family in the sight of God. For me it was to first serve my husband with grace and raise my children in wisdom and grace by the Spirit of the Lord till they come to the bend in the road where their path now runs there where the Lord is taking them.
What is interesting is a wise man has very often said; “the very thing you battled to give up, the very thing you so ardently pursued but could not have, by the time your character has developed and the time to release you into it has come, you don’t want it any more – then God can use you in it and then it is unto His glory and not for self-gain”. And this very thing is what I started this note with: I struggled for so many years to give up sport, and just complete the task the Lord gave, and to allow Him to work out His salvation in my life in the areas that were so very broken and shaky and crumbling, to make me whole again, to make my children whole again, to strengthen our bond as a family – that now when I stated to realise I don’t fit in anywhere, I fought it, and I fought hard! Until the Holy Spirit instructed me to sit still and be quiet. Then only did I see what was so obvious to my children especially – it is time to go back to the sports I love. And what a release it has been! For the first time in my life there is no striving to make training sessions, to be better than someone else, to have to eat this or that, and all the many laws and philosophies that go with sport and fitness. It is just a gentle peaceful state of being.  Meeting new people, sharing stories and experiences, encouraging one another and having many laughs; the balance is there. I no longer want to compete to be significant, to be noticed, to be spoken of as someone great or hailed as a hero – rather now I do it simply because I love it. I do it because this is my farmland, this is the soil I need to till, where I will plant seeds, water them and then harvest them, all to the glory of the Lord Jesus. And this time I ‘m not going in with a hundred of my own plans and agendas, but rather I’m open to how ever the Lord wants to direct me. I understand now to; “Work willingly (train willingly) at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people. Remember that the Lord will give you an inheritance as your reward, and the Master you are serving is Christ.” (Col. 3v 23 – 24) I don’t serve people to please them, I don’t serve my ego or ambition to please me and sport is not my master, Jesus Christ is. Now He can fulfil His purpose through me in this arena.
Medals, accolades and more I cannot take with to heaven when I leave this earth suit. Nor do they count on my ‘resume’ once we stand before Jesus on the judgement day. I cheer for those who succeed, I encourage them pray with them for sponsors and injury free races and more. I back them 100%. There is nothing wrong with being good or even great at what you do in any field of life, but when the time comes to labour in something life changing, in something with generational consequences, to discern when that time has arrived and to willingly go with it. When we allow God to fulfil His work in us then it doesn’t matter what we do our focus will be right – to draw all men unto Him. If we make seeking Him and His Kingdom the most pre-eminent thing in our lives He will take care of all the things we think we need to take care of and He will add unto us that which is lacking. (Matt.6v24 – 34) Righteousness – right living; Peace – a life of peace even in the circumstances where it feels like there is no peace, that peace that surpasses our understanding; Joy – joy in believing that your Father loves you, joy unspeakable and full of glory, joy not dependant on your circumstances, what you have or don’t have – these are the kingdom.
When our focus is Christ and His work in and through us then the success will come anyhow. I am not saying all athletes who get married and become mothers must give it all up, different strokes for different folks – what I am trying to get at is this: we ned to discern the grace He has released for each of us to operate in, and to not compare one grace with another. What He has graced one person to do, may not be the same grace He has released for me to operate in. Our main task on earth is to make disciples to Jesus, this is a grace given to all who come to Christ (Matt. 28 v 18 – 20) so when I compete in the sports arena and the Lord allows this gift He gave me (James 1 v 17 – 18) to bring me before great men, and wherever this gift turns it prospers, as long as Jesus is at the centre of it, and I humble myself and give all the glory back to Him by acknowledging my Source (He gave me the ability, He put the right people on my path, He sent me the right coach or trainer, He provided the sponsors etc.) and I am not ashamed of Him, and I live my life according to His principles by treating others with kindness, speaking with grace and I allow the fruits of His Spirit to show in my life, then I am doing it as though it is for Christ, because it is. Then sport will not be my task master driving me to the ground to perform and please a god that cares nothing for me and turns his back as soon as things get tough or I am no longer deemed useful. If my family life suffers because of what I do regardless of sport, business world or politics, then I need to take some time and discern whether or not the grace to do this is still there or if it is time to let it lie for a while. Remember if I willingly lay it down, I have the authority to willingly take it up again at an appointed time. Let us not frustrate the grace of God in our lives, but rather flow with it willingly.

Being a wife and mother is not glamorous, it has no outward accolades, medals, pedestals, sponsors or financial gains – but it leaves behind a very real and definite mark, one that is carried about for generations. So take a moment to reflect, and let the Holy Spirit guide you. If you are driven then just repent, let the gentle saving grace of the Lord Jesus wash over you and invite the Holy Spirit to help you from here on in. Jesus is a gentle Shepherd, He does not drive people, He leads us and guides us, cattle are driven with whips and horses and shouts. Jesus leads us to still waters and green pastures – a life of rest, where we operate from a place of rest, not anxiety, drive and ever running to a goal yet never really attaining. He leads us to contentment and from there all things are richly to enjoy. Be added to a local church where you can receive nourishment by the Spirit and learn to more accurately navigate your life, and keep Jesus at the centre of all you do. Just acknowledge Him as you cook, or ride your bike, or do your push-ups J All He wants is to be part of it all, He loves us and wants to be our best friend, so let Him. Let no one else lord over you, let Christ be Lord – His ruler ship is peaceable, gives life and has eternal rewards. It is an abundant life - a life not unto self, but unto Christ. Amen

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Tenacity – a study

I was meditating on the awesomeness of God bringing to fulfilment promises made regarding us as a family and for my children at the beginning of this year. As I have written before, our eldest is entering MBC this week to study the Word of the Lord full-time taking the responsibility of laying a firm foundation for her future. This is her decision and desire to answer the call of God on her life. It got me thinking on the road the Lord has walked with me and with us as a family from when I was born and as I was watching this like a movie in my head the Holy Spirit highlighted a conference we partook in as students in 1997 in the Neelsie in Stellenbosch. Prophet Nola was worshiping at the piano and we were worshiping in dance following the lead of Apostle Leigh and Prophet Lynette. Later that same day as we were all gathered with the conference attendees in the conference hall once again during worship the Lord spoke a word of warning through Prophet Nola, which for me I took as a rebuke, and she said to us as students we need to have tenacity, that we are too timid. How do we expect to win souls for the Lord, how do we expect others to want to serve God if we so cautiously and timidly worship Him afraid of what people might think or how they might react. We need to be tenacious. She explained how in Australia when they held worship concerts all over the country at some places the young people or even some older ones would come and stand in front of them arms folded proving they will not worship, others would shout profanities at them, others would start deliberately doing break dance or act in a way to deter others and them leading the worship from doing so – but the team persevered and in order to do so we need to be tenacious.
After seeing this “video “ again I heard the Holy Spirit instruct me to go make a study of it and wait and see what He reveals to me regarding this. Here is what I have discovered thus far:
Tenacity/tenacious –
Ø  Does not stop holding something or give up something easily
·        A tenacious grip – this made me think of Hebrews 1v2; Deut.33v27; Rom.8v38 – 39; 1 John4v9; 1John5v3 – He has a tenacious grip on us, for through His Son we have been re-connected with the Father and we increase our grip on our faith in Him when we continue to do His will and obey His Word because then that Love is the grip – the Love of God is the vice that grips us and we cannot escape from because His love is relentless, it never gives up. He loved us while we were yet sinners, and love of God in our hearts also stirs up the fear of the Lord. To truly love God is to have reverential fear of God.
Ø  Continuing to exist – continuing to have influence for longer than you might expect
·        Reminds me of church – Acts 5v29 – 39 The Pharisees and the council expected the move and the new church to end, yet it increased and multiplied and is still doing so today despite the believers having been fed to the lions in the coliseums or murdered and stoned – it carried on spreading throughout the earth.
Ø  Holding fast – keeping a firm hold on property, principles, life etc. – Not readily relinquishing = persistent, resolute
·        Heb.13v5 – Jesus has a firm hold on us, we belong to Him, so also we ought to have a firm hold on our faith, never give it up. Keep a firm hold on the vision God has given us as individuals, as a church and persevere despite opposition.

Ø  Of memory – retentive, adhesive, sticky, strongly cohesive
·        This to me speaks of remembering what God has done in the past, remembering how He has pulled us through in the past, how He always comes through for us; also remembering His Word. Working with the Word until it sticks in our minds and is written on our hearts. Setting our minds on Him, having our minds renewed so we can begin to see like God sees and think like Jesus thinks so our thoughts, actions and speaking line up with His. To adhere to His principles, laws, commandments, statutes, judgements, ordinances – to be glued to God
Ø  To have tenacity – persistence, perseverance, stubborn determination = It is the quality displayed by someone who just won’t quit until they reach their goal. The quality of being determined to do or achieve something. It is a firmness of purpose with a persistent determination. A dogged stubborn determination to get to the goal, a job done, etc.

Synonyms for tenacity:
*      Persistence; persist; persistent
·        The fact of continuing to try to do something despite difficulties especially when other people are against you and think that you are being annoying or unreasonable (Luke 18v1 – 8 esp. v8)
·        The state of continuing to exist for a long period of time
·        Continuing for a long period of time without interruption; or repeated frequently especially in a way that is annoying and cannot be stopped (The church, His apostles and prophets)
·        Continuing firmly or obstinately (in opinion, course of action, doing) especially against obstacles, remonstrance (of institution, custom, phenomenon etc.) to continue in existence; to survive
(remonstrance – formal statement of public grievances; expostulation; protest; to make protest against)
·        Persisting (in); enduring; constantly repeated; remaining instead of falling off – Jude 1v21
*      Determination
·        The quality that makes you continue to do something even when this is difficult – (fierce, grim, dogged determinations)
Jesus has this for and toward us – a dogged and fierce determination to help us through, to save us. It makes me think of Yvette Brandt’s song ‘You’re the Most Faithful One” and Apostle Andre’s song “I’ll never let go of your hand”. He never stops providing opportunity for us to be saved, He never gives up on us for our lives to succeed.
·        De-limitation; definition; a fixing of purpose; a fixed intention; resoluteness; tenacity to move in a fixed direction
De-limitation comes from limitation which means to determine limits or territorial boundaries. Therefore de-limitation would speak of getting rid of the boundaries, hindrances, obstacles placed in our way by our own limited thinking, the world’s blindness and limitations and the enemies’ efforts to stop what God is doing and for us to push through into that which God has for us.
            Definition means to state the precise nature of a thing; making or being distinct; a degree of distinctness especially in of image given by lens or shown in photography or on cinema or television.
*      Resolute
·        A person or his mind or his action of determined (-ation); decided; bold; not vacillating; un-shrinking; firm of purpose
Vacillating means to move from side to side; oscillate; waver; fluctuate in opinion or resolution
Oscillate (-ion) means to cause to swing like a pendulum, to move to and fro between two points; to vary between extremes of opinion, action or condition.
James 1v6 – 8 and Eph.4v11 – 14 esp.v14
*      Perseverance; persevere
·        The quality of continuing to try to achieve a particular aim despite difficulties
·        Showing determination to achieve an aim despite difficulties
·        A steadfast pursuit of an aim
·        Consistent persistence
·        Continue in a state of grace – Eph.2v8 – 10
·        Continuing steadfastly, persisting in a course of action, in doing a task etc.
*      Dogged(ness)
·        Showing determination
·        Not giving up easily
·        Persistence
·        Tenaciously
·        Obstinate
·        Un-yielding
Obstinate – firmly adhering to ones chosen course of action or opinion; not easily persuaded; in-flexible; self-willed; un-yielding; not readily responding to treatment.
As I meditated on these word definitions and meanings the Holy Spirit revealed a few things to me.
We often speak of someone’s ‘mental toughness’ especially so in the sports world or very difficult political arenas. But as I was meditating on the meanings for tenacity and thinking upon how Jesus lived, I began to realise that athletes (as that is what I have experience in) only have mental toughness as far as they have made the effort to endure. If an athlete does not endure and persevere through rigorous training, learn to know their body, give it rest when it is ill or injured, overcome that time missed and the ‘set-back’ of having missed time training. If they don’t prepare daily, make time to visualise their training or to visualise the race before it commences then they cannot have that mental toughness to succeed, to finish. For some, not being in the top ten, or top five or first, is another hurdle to overcome and another building block in creating mental toughness. In the 90’s when I still competed, often the older athletes used to explain to me that I need to have “n harde koppie” in other words, roughly translated; I needed to be hard headed/stubborn/determined. In this way when it comes to race day I will persevere through any pain, hindrance or obstacle I may be faced with and I will not give up until I reach the finish line even if I am dead last and they have already begun to pack up equipment and athletes have gone home and I missed the prize giving.
The same is for us, if we want this ‘mental toughness’; operate in tenacity then we need to continually bring our minds into submission to the Word of God, we have to bring our minds into subjection to the mind of Christ – Rom.1v1-2; Phil.2v5 – 11 esp. v 5 but it is good to meditate on the whole section from v1 to 11; Phil.3v1 – 15 esp. v 12b and 15. We need to put on the mind of Christ as it were, because He left us an example 1 Peter 2v18 – 25.
Jesus had to show forth tenacity at various intervals in His life, two that are very clearly ear marked are the temptation in the Wilderness and then again the Garden of Gethsemane.
In the Garden, when He went to pray, firstly His closest disciples did not get the enormity of what He was about to face and the absolute need for encouragement and strength to go through and finish the job; they fell asleep at the sorrow of knowing He was leaving them not because they understood what was about to go down – and yet we see that Jesus even in this incredibly distressful time, did not condemn them but rather understood them and their capacity and encouraged them to at least try, make an effort so that they will not fall to temptation.
What is so incredible for me here is that just before this Jesus told Peter that Satan had asked for him to sift him as wheat, but that Jesus had already prayed for him that his faith not fail and then He instructs Peter that once he has returned he must encourage his brothers.(Luke 22v31 – 32) In Matthew we see that after Jesus had returned from His first time of praying it is Peter He speaks to and instructs to watch and pray lest he fall into temptation – why this is so remarkable for me is because later when Peter denies knowing Jesus, being one of His disciples and being with Jesus, he is the one who proclaimed that he will not stumble or be made to stumble because of Jesus. Then after Jesus is arrested we see Peter stumble because of Jesus, just as He had prophesied, but even this was already covered because Jesus had already prayed for him that his faith fail not – that he stays as tenacious as he was in the beginning and that these failures and mistakes not keep him persevering with that same tenacity to keep the doctrine of Jesus and believe. So even though we may not be faithful all the time, even though we may not always be tenacious, God is so toward us. He has a firm and unyielding grip on us ever since we came to Him and gave our lives over to Him, He has not let go; He has not given up on us. At our weakest He is strongest and He perseveres on our behalf so we will not fail. How awesome is that. Lu.22v39 – 46; Matt.26v36 – 46; Lu.22v31 – 34
The fact that Jesus was sweating blood to resist making a different way available for Himself just so He didn’t have to go through the process set out for Him shows that very dogged stubborn determination to keep the course, to stay in line with the will of the Father. To push through so that mankind can have an entry point through which to be reconciled to the Father. This precious salvation is a plan that the Trinity came up with together before they created the earth and man. And at that council, Jesus volunteered to be the One to be the door, the way back to the Father so He had to stick to His initial decision for this plan to work. He did ask His Father that if it were at all possible this cup be taken away from Him, but beautifully we see how He bows His will to the Fathers and says; “…nevertheless not My will, but Yours be done”. After going through this time of wrestling in the Spirit to the point of it manifesting in His flesh; His course was set, He was filled with that firmness of purpose to see it through no matter how extreme and unthinkably cruel and painful it all was to become. That tenacity kicked into gear fully. He chose to then continue in a state of grace – to draw on the grace available from His Father for Him to finish the job. Because grace is such an immensely powerful tool; it is a power that takes us out of darkness and into the Kingdom of Light. We need to access and lean on God’s grace more, it is powerful! So also we need to submit ourselves – tenaciously bring our flesh into subjection of the Holy Spirit – and complete the process God set out for us through the hand-picked suffering He chose for us so that our faith can come forth more precious than the purest of God.
Hebrews 12 is a good chapter to study, it sets our journey out so nicely for us and the goal we are heading toward as well as all the help we have along the way. For me ‘cloud of witnesses’ reminds me of the seconds you have in your team as an ultra-endurance athlete. They are stationed at various key points along the race and they are equipped with your supplements. Often your coach or coaches are also part of your ‘seconds’ support team and they put sticky notes on your water bottles or snacks that tell you if you need to adjust something, or to remind you of how to tackle the next section of the race or to just say ‘hey man, keep going, you’re looking good’ even though you feel like you’re falling apart J The church has saviours in it, and they are also our “seconds” on this race of endurance, urging us on toward the prize. The Apostles and Prophets, Evangelists, Teachers and Pastors are also there continually teaching us and instructing us in the Word of God – feeding us our supplements.
We have this tenacity in us, it is Christ within the hope of glory; all we have to do is access it and exercise it, just like we have to exercise our faith. All humans have equal sprint muscle fibre and endurance muscle fibre – so there is 50/50 of each in our bodies, the sprint muscle fibres (short-twitch muscle fibre) increase and become more in someone who works or exercises those muscles more for the sake of sprinting short distances than the endurance muscles; and the same effect for the other way around, those who exercise their slow twitch muscle fibres in order to endure longer distances will have more of these than those working on sprints. But here’s the interesting part, once you begin to train those endurance muscle fibres and they, multiply in your body, you can’t go back to sprinting again. You can run a few or swim a few sprints but your muscles will never again be able to contract and work at that same speed again. Once the endurance muscle fibres begin to grow you can’t go back. You can always move from sprinting to endurance but not the other way around. If our physical bodies are made this way, then so are our spirits. Jesus in us and the Holy Spirit has given us the ability to endure tremendous odds, all we have to do is work with Him and rely on the Holy Spirit and continue to study the Word through attending church, house hold, ladies and men’s meetings, summits and MBC Cells.
With new covenant eyes things like obstinacy (a description for tenacity) means we will firmly adhere to the call and cause of action Jesus determined for our lives. We have chosen to follow Him no matter what comes; we will not turn back Heb.10v35-39. No one can try and persuade me that God is not real. Just because I am ill-treated by others does not mean I am going to compromise my beliefs in Jesus; will not compromise with sin to be accepted; or liked; or so I can fit in; even if it means that I now have to walk alone.
Jesus from the Garden to the Cross walked alone. This did not sway Him from His course, despite torture, mockery, being spat upon, having His beard ripped out, slapped and ultimately whipped and crucified – because He was continuing in a state of grace (perseverance).
We have one very important and absolutely wonderful privilege in the Kingdom of God, and that is that none of us will miss the prize giving because we run this race not just with endurance but also with the medal already in our pocket because Jesus wrought the victory for us when He rose from the dead and was seated at the right hand of the Father and given the name above every name in heaven, on earth and under the earth.
What a priceless salvation – it is so precious we cannot put a price to it because there is no higher bid than that which Jesus paid, so let us run this race with endurance stay on course fixing our eyes on Christ – have tenacity!

©Celeste Glass

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Patriarchs and matriarchs

It is 2016, a big year for many I am sure, filled with promises and dreams and hopes of bigger and greater things. For me, this year is a very significant year on many levels. It earmarks a completely new course of history and legacy for this current generation and those still to come until the time of Christs’ glorious return. This year 20 years ago, I not only was restored back to the Lord from a state of back sliding, added to this wonderful spiritual family I am still privileged to be a part of – but September 1996 I walked into Miracle Bible College (then Life of Christ Bible Institute) and now on 18 January 2016, 20 years later, our eldest child enters that very same Bible College to study the Word of the Lord and lay the first pivotal foundations for her life as an adult.
As a church we are encouraged to always think generational in everything we do. When we look at Gods’ promises to Israel we see that He said in Gen.15v16; Ex.20v5; Ex.34v7; Num.14v18 and Deut.5v9 that God is merciful and longsuffering, and yes if there is not someone down the generations that chooses for the buck to stop with them then the curses will manifest for generations, but read it from a new covenant perspective, at that which Jesus came to restore and see that He visits His blessings to those who love Him and follow diligently in His ways to the fourth and fifth generations. Therefore we see the greatest blessings and rewards come in the latter generations, yet we who pioneer the beginning already experience a reward for our labours, and just like the saints in Hebrews 11v13 we embrace it even though we may not get to see the full manifestation of it in our short life span here on earth.
I realise now that when we get saved and we begin our journey with the Lord, the dreams, desires and vision we begin to have for the future are often as Paul writes in 1 Cor.13v11 to 13 – When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but now I became a man (woman), I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love. (NKJV)
When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God knows me completely. Three things will last forever – faith, hope and love – and the greatest of these is love. (NLT) These dreams and visions are there but we don’t necessarily see them clearly, or believe so absolutely in them coming true, or as a child we just say it or decide it having absolutely no clue as to the implications of that decision or commitment, we do it light-heartedly. And often because of this when the trials and tribulations, test, temptations and troubles come our way we give up, lose hope, discard vision and turn back. But thank God for His Holy Spirit! When the Holy Spirit was poured out in our hearts so was the Love of the Lord – Rom.5v5. And love is that bond of perfection Col.3v14. So although that vision or desire or dream is still dim in its beginning, the more we walk in the Love of God, the more we persevere because of His love, the more we grow in His truth because of His love – the clearer the picture becomes until we see it perfectly clear. In Ps.139 the psalmist David explains how innumerable Gods plans are for us. How He had every day of our lives written out in His book before we even started living them. And this week it began to dawn on me how incomprehensibly (to our peanut brain minds and thinking) detailed and intricately God laid out the plan and the days for our lives. Let me share what I am beginning to see and understand and hope that with my testimony to encourage those who do read this to continue and to persevere.
I was born 8 May 1976 despite the enemy of my souls’ every effort to prohibit my life. (I can list from conception till my second marriage many, many instances the enemy used to try and kill me, but he failed and will continue to fail, and it is the same for every one if we choose to see as God sees and we choose to live for Him – Satan doesn’t want anyone to live and definitely not to serve God).
On 12 December 1986 I gave my life to the Lord and was baptized in the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues. This was due to the immovable decision from my uncle and aunt who visited with us in Gauteng over Christmas and insisted on going to the Rema church with all of us. There was a call for salvation and my mom and I; without communicating to each other and we weren’t sitting together either; got up to answer the call. After the salvation prayer there was opportunity given for those who want to be filled in the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues and I went; later I found out so had my mom. I was filled in the Holy Spirit as soon as the lady started praying for me. I felt the breath of the Lord breathed into me like an air-conditioner on full blast yet there was no such thing in the hall where I was. So my uncle and aunt have a hand in and reap a glorious reward and share in all the victories and glory that comes in my life and the lives of my children and the generations to come because they had tenacity to take a stand and not waver, and that led to my salvation. My parents continued to make sure I was at church and youth and attended all the youth camps offered over the years.
In January of 1996 whilst heading out for a warm up run before a tri-athlon race, a fellow athlete and acquaintance stopped in the middle of the road when they saw me, leaned out the window of his car and asked whether I was in a church, I replied I was not, to which he stated he was fetching me the next morning at 8:15am to take me to church. I told him where we lived (in the parsonage of the Presbyterian Church). The next morning at church as we found our seats he greeted someone seated behind me which turned out to be my Christian Small Group leader at school from 1992.
That same year 1996 in February I was transferred from one branch of a sports store I worked at to another closer to home when in walks a “clown”, spreads some laughs and invites me to come have lunch at the new coffee shop section they opened up in their book store. At lunch time I walk in and I spotted another guy that looked familiar. As we start talking I realise the two are brothers and they ministered in worship at our youth at our church in 1992. This new friend – the clown – then took me to home cell that Wednesday and in walks the same athlete that took me to church the month before. By September of ’96 I had made up my mind to give up every dream and plan and dedicate my life to the Lord whole heartedly by taking the first step and attending full time Bile College. I also met my late husband and we had gotten engaged, I had resigned my full time job and only still went in occasionally as a casual while attending Bible College in the mornings.
These people placed on my path strategically by the Lord including the founder of the church and Bible College and his son are still to this very day key figures in me and my families lives.
From here life went on, battles were fought and in 2006 the Lord started His deep surgical procedures on my life. With each deep and painful procedure He drew me deeper and closer unto Him. And here we are, 2016 twenty years later, and our eldest child is making the same decision.
You see when I returned to Cape Town in 2001 after the death of my late husband, I received a word from Apostle Andre one evening in church the gist of which was – that there was a harvest in my life that had not been reaped, that the seeds were still in the soil but the land had not been cultivated as it ought to have been. That if I put my hand to it and labour whole heartedly there would come a time where I would reap a fresh harvest. That wherever I put in the plough the land would yield fruitfulness and I would reap a new and fresh harvest.
In 2010 the Lord told Prophet Nola that in 2015 there would be a great harvest.
At the opening of last year I felt in my spirit I needed to walk carefully, fearfully (of the Lord) and circumspectly. I did not quite understand why or in which regard but I now do – it was so I don’t lose heart and bow out of the good fight of faith and miss my harvest entirely. From the end of the first quarter all the way to the end of last year we as a family, as individuals in the family and as a couple went through the toughest of battles we had yet been faced with. I came to a place where it was so intense, my spiritual sight started to fail. The enemy just kept coming; the punches just kept coming from every direction and I could no longer see God’s blessings, His hand or His love for us. Yet in September of 2015 as I drove past a ripe wheat field I heard the Holy Spirit minister to me on Matt.13 from v24 about the land owner who sent his servants to go and sow seeds. And at night his enemy went and sowed tares among the good seeds. As the harvest sprouted the tares became visible and the workers reported this to the owner and suggested they pull it out, but the owner said to leave it till the time of harvest. As the harvest was reaped the tares were reaped to, the harvest goes to the threshing floor where it gets ‘hammered’ on the hard floor, the seeds get collected and the tares get bound up into bundles to be cast into the fire. Jesus is there with His winnowing fan to increase the heat of the fire so that there is no doubt of the utter destruction of the tares.(Matt.3v12; Lu.3v17) The tares are lies, deceptions, words of death that we speak over ourselves, that others speak over us and things the devil uses to blind and destroy us and it often happens that without them intending to, those closest to us are the ones who speak these lies and words of death. (This word was confirmed in December of 2015 when Prophet Nola ministered it to the church to encourage us again). Remember the enemy attacks from within. We are all guilty of having been used of him to speak death or lies into the lives of others or ourselves because of our desire for good intentions which are most often works of the flesh which we know are dead works, or because we believe our opinion to be of such great value. The Holy Spirit tried to encourage me that what we were experiencing was this part of the harvest, where God once and for all deals with the lies, and the death. But I was so wrapped up in it and allowed my emotions to get the better of me that I could not see. In fact all I saw by November was darkness. I saw no light, no hope and no life. It came to a point where I was giving up on church, people and heading to denying my faith and Gods’ existence. I wanted nothing to do with anything man, God or church. My perspective was so warped and my eyes so blinded. But I thank God for His longsuffering and merciful love. I thank Him for my husband who stood solid as a rock. He just gently encouraged me and gave me perspective on how to walk and how to face things, and he continued to attend church even though I stayed at home, he continued to minister in the house hold meetings and to speak blessings over me.
It felt like all around me people were rejoicing in their harvests and receiving rewards and all I was faced with to deal was hell. Deep things that one cannot speak about. Years and decades of lies and actions that culminated to a head. Even though God promoted us in the spirit, and opened doors for the children I was just so wrapped in self-pity and resentment I couldn’t fully appreciate it.
Then I remembered the revelation prophet Nola shared with us in 2013 about Elijah in           1 Kings19. Elijah has run for his life from Jezebel after slaughtering the prophets of Baal and the Lord manifesting Himself to the nation of Israel because of Elijah’s tenacity. He is here  under the tree wishing to die, feeling sorry for himself and convinced God had forsaken him. He wanted to die. In all honesty that is how I felt. I felt that all my efforts to serve God to remain on His path, to do all His desire to the best of my understanding had amounted to naught, that it was all for nothing, just as Elijah says in v4. In v 7 the Angel of the Lord (Jesus) wakes him up and tells him to eat for the journey is too great for him – so also, because God sent me a student to teach, and by the time the battle was most intense we had started to work through the Life of Christ, I was daily eating the Word, so I could go on. God is clever, He knows how to set things up so we can’t give up even if we want to because His Spirit in us is stronger than our weak will and stronger than he who is in the world. He sent me a student so that I would be ‘forced’ to go on. To get up every morning and to meditate on the Word and to call on His name – in other words, to arise and eat for the journey ahead is still long.  And then we read that our incredible one and only God takes Elijah as he is, He understand him, He gets the state the prophet is in, and He speaks to him in a way that makes sense to him. He sends him out to observe nature. The Lord sent us to Witsand – a practically untouched stretch of wild life. And the Lord ministered to me there in just as soft and gentle a way as he did to the Prophet Elijah. There was also a very strong tearing wind the one day that one could not stand on ones feet, the next day we drove out somewhere and there were large rock piles everywhere which had not been there before. The day was blistering hot just like a fire. And then it was all quiet, and the Lord sent signs on my way; first I saw an eagle seated on the ground next to the road just open its wings, never flapping to lift off, and a current just came and lifted him off the ground into heaven to where he soared. Effortless take off, God just sent the wind to pick him up, all he had to do was spread his wings. Further on was another eagle, walking next to a sheep both not bothered with the other as if they weren’t aware of each other’s presence. Then there were the stretches of seemingly barren land (which is how I felt that all my life till now had yielded was barrenness). And in a still voice, the Lord spoke to me and said that after a reaping, to those who do not understand, the soil looks like a dry barren fruitless land, yet it had just yielded a very good harvest. That once one examined that soil one would find it is rich in nutrients and sustenance for the next seeds to be planted and to grow another harvest – just as God spoke to Elijah and then commissioned him to anoint two new kings and a young prophet. I am still busy with three more children who need to finish school before, Lord willing, they enter Bible College and life. Since we came back from holiday the Lord had not stopped answering deep searching questions I had in my heart at every single Sunday service. I received my answers in the church at the ministering of His shepherds – the Apostles and Prophets.
Last Sunday we heard how God had changed Peter’s nature the minute the Holy Spirit was poured out in his hear and we all received a fresh infilling of the Holy Spirit. This past Sunday in the worship we heard that we ought not to give up ever, that His faithfulness is strongest when we are at our weakest and that nothing can ever separate us from the love of God. In the services we were encouraged to prepare for our promises and to ask the Lord to open our eyes to see the hope of our calling and the riches of His inheritance for us in the saints and in our selves – the riches God has worked and placed in us. And I cried out to God Lord that I want to see, to  remove the blindness, I repented for being angry with Him, for wallowing in self-pity and I forgave by name each I was angry with and felt harmed or hard done by. We also received instruction to call the old obsolete – all the tags, negative experiences and bad memories that hold us back or are like mountains in front of us, obstacles we need to overcome – to say that in Jesus name it is finished and to allow Him to open our eyes to see what He is doing. The darkness lifted. The Holy Spirit told Apostle Aje there were people who were feeling oppressed, as he said it I felt like someone had wrapped their hands around my neck and I struggled to breath as one being choked – he instructed believers to lay hands on us and pray for us, my husband turned round and all I said was that as the apostle spoke the words I started feeling choked and as if I can’t breathe, he prayed for me and immediately it lifted.
Monday I spent the day meditating to recall all the things the Lord had done for us in 2015 and to write it down and give Him thanks for it. I filed pages of His goodness.  As I went to bead the Lord revealed to me why the battle was so intense last year – I was the first in my family to follow the Lord no matter what the cost, to walk in His truth and according to His principles by His grace, not of my own ability but because of Him, for without Him we can do nothing, and now had come the time for the next generation to pick up the baton and continue this walk. The enemy knows it, therefore last year he pulled out all the stops in a most desperate effort to put an end to this work of the Lord flowing into the next generation. At the same time God was bringing an end to all the weights that so easily ensnare us and He rid us of them. He shone His light on every dark are so that nothing could hide in darkness any longer but every room of our lives could be filled with light. If I had bowed fully to the temptation to give up my faith and renounce God’s existence, there would be no next generation or it would be near impossible for them to continue. But God is ever faithful. He pulled me through!
Jesus went through everything we would ever imagine going through so that He can be a faithful High Priest who understands and is in touch with how we feel and what we experience and go through so that He can pull us through. My salvation is so, so, very, very much more real to me now. Jesus said to Peter that Satan had asked for him to sift him as wheat but that Jesus had prayed for him that is faith should not fail and that once he had returned to Him he ought to strengthen his brethren. Jesus prays for us that our faith fail not. He ever lives to make intersession for us. There is no other faith or religion or god that comes close to our God. NONE!
By remaining in the love of God – by continuing to go to church, no matter what state we are in, that is remaining in the love of God – He can save us, He can deliver us, He can open up our eyes to see, He can heal us, He can set us free!
The glory of watching our eldest entering Bible College of her own desire and own choice is a glory that outweighs the worst of any suffering, it makes it all worth it. It proves Gods’ faithfulness towards us when we believe. I was the first in our family line to study the Word of the Lord before embarking on the rest of my life, and now she follows. Our other three also plan to follow and Lord willing they will complete that desire. But now I am starting to see, much clearer, no longer faintly, but clearly. The vision is becoming plain. I wrote it down in my prayer journals over the years, with the news of each pregnancy I committed to raise that child to serve the Lord no matter what it takes, and I wrote it down and God has honoured it. Now I can see plainly the detail and the reasons for the various bends and turns and valleys and rivers and mountains in the journey to here – much like “The Pilgrims Progress”.
So take a moment and look back and see how intricately involved God has been in every detail of our lives to get us to the point we are at now. And He will continue to be there till the worlds end and beyond. He never leaves us nor forsakes us. He really loved us first, while we were still sinners and lost, He was there orchestrating things so we have ample opportunities to take His hand and be lead into the Promised Land. Like Apostle Andre preached in his sermon ‘Glorified Ones’ (October/November 2015) (available from  we were all called to be saved, since before the creation of the world the plan to save us has been there and was put in motion, so all we have to do is cry out to Jesus, believe He is, that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Believe that He is the Son of God, came in the flesh of a virgin birth, lived life as a mortal man, died for our sins, took captivity captive, rose from the dead, appeared to men and is now seated at the right hand of the Father and has the name above every other name in heaven or on earth so that all who believe on that name will be saved. Amen.

Don’t give up, never give up, I have good news for you, you were created to be an endurance athlete, you can endure, it is in you it is called Christ within the hope of glory. So be a patriarch or a matriarch and set in motion the history for your future generations in Christ. ©Celeste Glass

Thursday, 6 August 2015

Standing in this new age

While listening to moms who discussed with me the very real dilemma of their young teen aged children not understanding or seeing why gay and lesbian rights are a problem, nor why there is an issue with people living together before marriage, or just living together; I thought through some things my children and I have discussed over the last few years as they have encountered more and more how friends or team mates reason regarding these issues in society today, and sadly even so the Christian families. Because of this I took some time to wait on the Lord and search the Scriptures once more for perspective and understanding, not just for myself but also to equip my children to be able to stand in this new age of living where vile is called holy and immoral is called moral.

I would like to take the time to share some of what I have discovered in the hope to encourage you too, to stand.

As mentioned, after a few discussions with various mothers as well as reading an article on President Obama’s visit to Africa where he chastised the leaders of the nation he was visiting for not allow gay and lesbian rights, I turned once more to the Word of the Lord for guidance. (Sadly South Africans weren’t even given the option to vote regarding these things, gay marriages were just brought in and that was that)
I was preparing for a Bible Cell lecture on Renewal of the Mind with this issue in the back of my own mind as I read 2 Thessalonians 2 where the Apostle Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica to warn them about the rumours going around that Christ’s second coming had already happened and to encourage them to not be shaken in mind because of these rumours as there are a number of things that first need to happen for Christ to come and collect His precious bride. I also saw this as an encouragement not to be shaken in mind because of the things we see happening in the earth today, but to single-mindedly keep our eyes on Christ. He writes:
            V3 – Let no one deceive or beguile you in any way, for that day will not come except the apostasy comes first {unless the predicted great falling away of those who have professed to be Christians has come} and the man of lawlessness (sin) is revealed, who is the son of doom (of perditions), who opposes and exalts himself so proudly and insolently against and over all that is called God or that is worshiped, {even in his actually} taking his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming that he himself is God. Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things? And now you know what is restraining him {from being revealed at this time} it is so that he may be manifested (revealed) in his own appointed time. For the mystery of lawlessness (that hidden principle of rebellion against constituted authority) is already at work in the world, {but it is} restrained only until he who restrains is taken out of the way. And then the lawless one (the antichrist) will be revealed and the Lord Jesus will slay him with the breath of His mouth and bring him to an end by His appearing and coming. The coming of the lawless one (the antichrist) is through the activity and working of Satan and will be attended by great power and with all sorts of {pretended} miracles and signs and delusive marvels – { all of them} lying wonders – and by unlimited seduction to evil and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing (going to perdition) because they did not welcome the Truth but refused to love it that they might be saved. Therefore God sends upon them a misleading influence, a working of error and strong delusion to make them believe what is false, in order that all may be judged and condemned who did not believe in {who refused to adhere to, trust in, and rely on} the Truth, but (instead) took pleasure in unrighteousness. (Amplified)
2Th 2:1  Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering to him.
2Th 2:2  That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.
2Th 2:3  Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition;
2Th 2:4  Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshiped; so that he as God sitteth in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.
2Th 2:5  Remember ye not, that when I was yet with you, I told you these things?
2Th 2:6  And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time.
2Th 2:7  For the mystery of iniquity doth already work: only he who now restraineth will restrain, until he be taken out of the way.
2Th 2:8  And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord will consume with the spirit of his mouth, and will destroy with the brightness of his coming:
2Th 2:9  Even him, whose coming is after the working of Satan, with all power, and signs, and lying wonders,
2Th 2:10  And with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish; because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.
2Th 2:11  And for this cause God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe a lie:
2Th 2:12  That they all may be damned who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

Clearly the Word warns us here of the man of sin, lawlessness that firstly we each need to deal with in our own lives, as individual temples of the God inhabited by the Holy Spirit, and then also in the church today. The lies that are in the world are creeping into the church more and more these days. We have had glimpses of these things over decades and centuries as far back as the first church, but it is on the increase again, like in the time of Rome. This apostasy that Paul warns about is also something we as individuals need to watch out for in our own lives first, that we not fall away from the faith of Jesus in our own hearts by agreeing with that which is ungodly, and then also within the church, people who fall away from the Christian faith as well as whole churches taking as true, that which is false, is also a form of falling away, or apostasy.

David Wilkerson wrote a book called The Vision, which I have not had the privilege of reading and which is not easily available here in South Africa despite trying to get it. I have however found bits and pieces of what he wrote in this book online and one section where he warns regarding church, how there will be churches who end up not only agreeing to wed gay and lesbians, but will later go as far as calling them brave for standing up for themselves as well as defending them. He also warns about nudity in the church, which is also something the Apostles in the Bible warn against. In the period 2005 for 2006 as there was a drive for the freedom of cultural expression in churches and in the Christian faith, there was a debate or talk show on TV where prominent leaders of various church denominations were on national television explaining the steps they have taken to integrate culture and cultural practices into the church and church services. One in particular said; “I invited the young girls to come and express their culture by doing a dance on stage in front of the assembly in their traditional topless wear, and all the people rejoiced.” This is also nudity in the church. May God have mercy on us as believers, on those who are church leaders and as churches.
We seem to forget that fully and wholeheartedly serving Jesus has nothing to do with culture. Jesus set out a whole new way of life for us in the Word, all we have to do is follow that way of life, it is completely free from all and any cultural boundaries and stigmas. It is the only completely free way of living! These things spoken of both in Scripture as well as in this prophetic warning by David Wilkerson are happening in the earth now.
Here in South Africa since the turn of the millennia there has been fierce contention and debate in certain church denominations regarding these things. They have gay and lesbian leaders within these denominations who preach from their pulpits. A month ago the newspapers were defending the plight of gay and lesbian “ministers” of God within this denomination. These are NOT ministers of God!!! Let’s just set that straight at the onset. Romans chapter one explains in no uncertain terms the error in believing that being gay or lesbian is of God. So there, we already have an example of this warning, by both the Apostle Paul in Scripture and David Wilkerson via this book, being fulfilled in our day and age. It is all part of the anti-Christ spirit; it is all part of rebellion. Rebellion against the very God that created man and woman, the very God who established church before the foundation of the earth. In the book of 1 Timothy we see the requirements of the workers of God. So also in Titus 1 and 2 Timothy 2v 24 to 26.
Another wonderful example of what true shepherds should look like is when one reads Ezekiel 34 in the positive so we can see what the true shepherds of God look like. So one would then read it something like this; Blessed are the shepherds who feed the flock, who strengthen the weak and heal those who are sick, who bound up the broken, and brings back those who were driven away and who seeks that which went lost and who do not rule with force and cruelty – then we read later on how Jesus displays what He as the True Shepherd would come and do, and He did this when we read John 10 v 1 to 18. And He was anointed to do this according to Isaiah 60 v 1 to 3 (one should read the entire chapter it is such a beautiful promise) and then this is fulfilled in Luke 4 v 18 to 19. And for every one of us who are in Christ, filled with His Holy Spirit and baptised, this same anointing rests in us, for it is by the working of the Holy Spirit we do these things, not of ourselves.
It is also an abomination to call it marriage, this union between same sex people. When one makes a proper study of the word marriage, and what marriage entails in both the realm of the spirit, the picture of the church and the extraordinarily beautiful covenant between man, woman and God, one cannot with good conscience call these couplings marriage!

Apostle Peter warns in 2 Peter 2 about the false teachers that will come into churches and who will deceive people.
            V1 – But also {in those days} there arose false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among yourselves, who will subtly and stealthily introduce heretical doctrines (destructive heresies), even denying and disowning the Master (the Lord) Who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their immoral ways and lascivious doings [feeling or showing strong sexual desire]; because of them the true Way will be maligned and defamed [because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed]. And in their covetousness (lust and greed) they will exploit you with false (cunning) arguments. From of old the sentence {of condemnation} for them has not been idle; their destruction (eternal misery) has not been asleep. For God did not {even} spare angels that sinned but cast them into hell, delivering them to be kept there in pits of gloom till the judgement and their doom. And He spared not the ancient world, but preserved Noah, a preacher of righteousness, with seven other persons when He brought a flood upon the world of ungodly {people}. And He condemned to ruin and extinction the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, reducing them to ashes {and thus} set them forth as an example to those who would be ungodly. And He rescued righteous Lot, greatly worn out and distressed by the wanton ways of the ungodly and lawless – for that just man living {there} among them tortured his righteous soul every day with what he saw and heard of {their} unlawful and wicked deeds – Now if {all these things are true, then be sure} the Lord knows how to rescue the godly out of temptation and trials, and how to keep the ungodly under chastisement until the day of judgement and doom. And particularly those who walk after the flesh and indulge in the lust of polluting passion and scorn and despise authority. Presumptuous (and) daring {self-willed and self-loving creatures}! They scoff at and revile dignitaries (glorious ones) without trembling. Whereas (even) angels though superior in might and power, do not bring a defaming charge against them before the Lord. But these {people}! Like unreasoning beasts, mere creatures of instinct, born {only} to be corrupted and destroyed, railing at things of which they are ignorant, they shall utterly perish in their (own) corruption, {in their destroying they shall utterly be destroyed}. Being destined to receive {punishment as} the reward of (their) unrighteousness {suffering wrong as the hire for their wrongdoing}. They are blots and blemishes, revelling in their deceptions and carousing together {even} as they feast with you. They have eyes full of harlotry, insatiable for sin. They beguile and bait and lure away unstable souls. Their hearts are trained in covetousness (lust, greed), {they are} children of a curse {exposed to cursing}! Forsaking the straight road they have gone astray; they have followed the way of Balaam (the son) of Beor, who loved the reward of wickedness. But he was rebuked for his own transgression when a dumb beast of burden spoke with a human voice and checked the prophet’s madness. These are springs without water and mist driven along before a tempest, for whom is reserved forever the gloom of darkness. For uttering loud boasts of folly, they beguile and lure with lustful desires of the flesh those who are barely escaping from them who are wrongdoers. They promise them liberty, when they themselves are the slaves of depravity and defilement – for by whatever any one is made inferior  or worse or is overcome, to that {person or thing} he is enslaved. For if after they have escaped the pollution of the world through {the full, personal} knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they again become entangled in them and are overcome, their last condition is worse {for them} than the first. For never to have obtained a {full, personal} knowledge of the way of righteousness would have been better for them than, having obtained {such knowledge}, to turn back from the holy commandment which was {verbally} delivered to them. There has befallen them the thing spoken of in the true proverb, The dog turns back to his own vomit and The sow is washed only to wallow again in the mire. (Amplified)
2Pe 2:1  But there were false prophets also among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will privately bring in damnable heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction.
2Pe 2:2  And many will follow their pernicious ways; by reason of whom the way of truth will be evil spoken of.
2Pe 2:3  And through covetousness they will with feigned words make merchandise of you: whose judgment now of a long time lingereth not, and their damnation slumbereth not.
2Pe 2:4  For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved to judgment;
2Pe 2:5  And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing the flood upon the world of the ungodly;
2Pe 2:6  And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them with an overthrow, making them an example to those that afterwards should live ungodly lives.
2Pe 2:7  And delivered just Lot, grieved with the habitual lewdness of the wicked:
2Pe 2:8  (For that righteous man dwelling among them, in seeing and hearing, grieved his righteous soul from day to day with their unlawful deeds;)
2Pe 2:9  The Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptations, and to reserve the unjust to the day of judgment to be punished:
2Pe 2:10  But chiefly them that walk after the flesh in the lust of uncleanness, and despise government. Presumptuous are they, self-willed; they are not afraid to speak evil of dignities.
2Pe 2:11  Whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, bring not railing accusation against them before the Lord.
2Pe 2:12  But these, as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed, speak evil of the things that they understand not; and shall utterly perish in their own corruption:
2Pe 2:13  And shall receive the reward of unrighteousness, as they that count it pleasure to riot in the day-time. Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you;
2Pe 2:14  Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: they have a heart exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:
2Pe 2:15  Who have forsaken the right way, and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;
2Pe 2:16  But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice, forbad the madness of the prophet.
2Pe 2:17  These are wells without water, clouds that are carried with a tempest; to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.
2Pe 2:18  For when they speak great swelling words of vanity, they allure through the lusts of the flesh, through much wantonness, those that had quite escaped from them who live in error.
2Pe 2:19  While they promise them liberty, they themselves are the servants of corruption: for by whom a man is overcome, by the same is he brought into bondage.
2Pe 2:20  For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, they are again entangled in them, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning.
2Pe 2:21  For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered to them.
2Pe 2:22  But it hath happened to them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and, The sow that was washed, to her wallowing in the mire.

It is no longer good enough for us as parents to just tell our children that sexual relations outside of marriage is sin or wrong, or that living together is wrong or that gay and lesbian relationships are wrong or abominable to God. (More lies and deceptions are lulling our societies to sleep, not just these, but then this piece of writing will become a book J.) No, we need to train them in the full truth of the Word of God. It needs to be part of every fibre of their being. They need to be raised with a love for Jesus, He is the person of Truth. They need to understand why God said these things are wrong and abominable.  Standing in the truth and living it out leads to God protecting us and no harm will come to us. This does not mean there won’t be suffering, but it means our perspective of that suffering changes to see it as that which God intended it for in our lives, to yield more holiness, and a character more closely conformed to that of Christ’s. It is through having to release our faith and put our trust fully in what God promises in His word while we are going through a fiery trial , that causes the Word of God to be wrought into the very fibre of our being, it is then that the Word becomes flesh to us, when we live and experience it. So let us teach and encourage our children to operate with their faith, to exercise it. God promises in 1 Peter 3 v 13 And who is he who will harm you if you become followers of what is good?
We need to equip ourselves and our children through the Scriptures to be able to give an account for what they believe as is stated in 1 Peter 3 v 15 to 17 But set apart the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a defence to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear; having a good conscience, that when they defame you as evildoers, those who revile your good conduct in Christ may be ashamed. For it is better if it is the will of God to suffer for doing good than for doing evil.
The same goes for things like Islam and other faiths being a way to God as well. It is a lie! Just last year in Germany an Imam was asked to pronounce a peace blessing in the Christian church where Martin Luther released his thesis in the time of Reformation. Allowing false religions and antichrist faiths to minister their faith in our churches are not right! The Word explicitly says, lest two are in agreement how can they walk together? World peace will never come by uniting religions; it comes by accurately living out the life of Christ in our societies. Pointing people to the Light, to Jesus the Truth, that and only that can break yokes, open blind eyes and deaf ears. Only Jesus and faith in Jesus can bring change, nothing and no one else. Let us not be so easily deceived. To be honest I don’t believe there will be world peace, not if I read the Scriptures.

We need to remember that Satan is the father of lies, so the lies that we often find ourselves believing, these doctrines that demons teach come from him, but we can be of good cheer for Jesus says the Devil is a defeated foe and a fleeing serpent and that He has already overcome him and the world and that, that very victory Jesus wrought through His death on the cross and His resurrection, we now have, it is called faith.(1 John 5v 4 – 5) Faith in the completed work of Jesus on the cross is our victory with which we can defeat the lies of the Devil in the lives of ourselves, our children and people. He came to steel, kill and destroy, but the good news is Jesus came to seek and save that which went lost. He came to give us life and that life is to be more abundant.
We can no longer just let our children attend course upon course without first checking that the full apostolic doctrine as set out in the New Testament of the Bible is actually being preached and implemented. (Hebrews 6v1 – 2)We can also no longer just rely on Sunday church services, or youth leaders and youth camps and out reaches, on Sunday schools and children’s church. No, we as parents need to be awake and vigilant and teach and train our children continually. In Deuteronomy 6 the Lord encourages us through the writings of Moses to train our children on the way as we go (they can’t get out the car, they have to listen) at the table where we eat (their mouths are full of food so they have to listen) and where they lie down to sleep (when they go to bed they are too tired to argue so they have to listen). It is our job to equip them with the tools in the Word so they are not ashamed by the things they face in the world, but can defend what they believe and why, with good conscience, boldly in the spirit of meekness and humility and filled with the love of Jesus and compassion for those who oppose them or ask them.
We need to teach them about the Holy Spirit and introduce them to Him (Isaiah 11 v 2; John 14 v 26 and John 16 v 7 to 15 are just some) so they can be filled in the Holy Spirit and speak in tongues as evidence of that infilling (Acts 2 v 4). A child as young as three years old can understand this, how do I know? Mine did and were baptised in the Holy Spirit and spoke in tongues ever since, God can do the same for all children for He is not a respecter of persons and I have met countless people who have had the same blessed experience as we have. Then they need to be trained how to operate in the Holy Spirit, in discernment, in the gifts of the Spirit according to 1 Corinthians 12, to name but just one Scripture.
We need to teach them on water baptism according to Romans 6 where we learn that baptism is firstly a decision of the will. It is us agreeing with God to leave behind our old life, to die as it were to that man of sin, to lay down our cultural ways and opinions and traditions. We do this by full immersion in water as a picture of dying and being buried with Christ and then being resurrected with Him into this new life, being a new creation in Christ Jesus. Then we need to baptise them in water, full immersion. They can only be baptised if we have taught them the Word of God accurately and they then grow to have a desire for the things of God so they can choose baptism of their own free will. And then we need to continue to teach and guide and raise them in the church and allow them to operate in the gifts of the Spirit as well as in various functions in the church and in the house hold meetings (home cells) and at youth until they leave the house. All of this of course gets done within the safe perimeters of continual discipleship under the authority and protocol of the leaders in each orbit.
This new generation entering adulthood now, are facing things we didn’t need to face so boldly and so directly. Lewdness and fornication and all kinds of evil are far more out in the open and in your face now than what it was when we were young. In Ecclesiastes 12 v 1 it says Remember now your Creator in the days of your youth, before the difficult (evil) days come…  It is so important that God is a reality to them while they are growing up, then they will not depart from Him, when they are older.
So let us be diligent to let the Word be made flesh in our lives, to love the truth of Jesus Christ so much that it becomes part of every fibre of our being. This is done or this happens when we go through sufferings where we can choose how to act, react and handle situations, circumstances and people. When we choose to align ourselves with God’s Word and obey and do it exactly as He says, and we enter into the sufferings of Jesus by this action, no matter how painful to our flesh (emotions, mind, even body) or how little our mind can comprehend this higher way of living, then the Word is made flesh in our lives, then it becomes part of the fibre of our being, because we enter in on it by faith.
In order for us to continue standing, we need to continue walking in mercy and truth. We need to remain humble and remember that it is only by His grace that we stand. We need to live in complete dependency on His Word as the very bread we eat to sustain our lives and the very water we drink to quench our thirst. We need to remember we also once were led astray by the lusts of the flesh in the ignorance of our thinking, but once we came to Christ by grace through faith, not of our own doing, so none of us can boast, but because by the Holy Spirit’s help we were guided to the place where we cried out for the Saviour and the Father revealed Him to us and we received Him. We are always dependent upon Him, we can do absolutely nothing without Him.

So let us not seize praying for the salvation of souls, let us not stop teaching the Word of God in and out of season, let us not stop warning those who want to go astray, let us not stop carrying and bearing with oneanother where we are weak, but let us continue to encourage one another in the hope of our salvation, Jesus. Let us continue to support the ministry of the apostles through the church of the Lord Jesus. Let us continue to equip the saints to do the work of ministry, to edify the body of Christ (the church) till we all come to the unity of the faith and come to the unity of knowing the Son of God and till the church becomes perfected according to the measure of the stature of Christ so we are no longer little children who are being tossed about by every wind of doctrine, or by the trickery of crafty men or even by the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but rather let us never grow weary of continually speaking the truth in love so we may grow in all things, in every area of life, into Him who is the head Christ because it is only from Him that the whole body is joined and knit together by that which each one supplies and this is by the effective working by which everyone or part does his and her share and in this way we cause growth in the body for the edification of itself (ourselves as a church) in love. Because it is Christ in me and Christ in you, in the church, that brings strength and support to stand and keep standing. (Ephesians 4)
Let us be transformed by the renewing of our minds that we may know and prove what is that good, acceptable and perfect will of God. We do this by laying down our lives as living sacrifices which is our reasonable service, holy and pleasing to God. (Romans 12) If we lay down our lives, it is easier for God to renew our minds through the Word, while we hold on to our lives, we are holding on to our opinions, our points of view, our beliefs.(Matthew 10v39; Matthew 16v25 – 26; Mark 8v35 – 36; Luke 9v24 – 25; Luke 17v33; John 12v25) But once we let go of our lives completely into the hands of the living God, our minds can be renewed, we realise we don’t have a right to our own opinion, we can’t think as we want to, and gently and patiently the Holy Spirit helps us to entwine our will with Gods will where we begin to see His love for the people He created, His heart for us all. His desire for none to perish.
Let us heed these warnings, live a life of repentance and chage, and let us not cast away our confidence in Christ’s complete work on the cross, for we have much need of endurance, so that after we have done the will of God we may receive the promise, let us not be those who draw back to our old ways, to our old thinking, to our old lives, or to the ways of the world again, but let us push on, let us continue to live by faith, to believe in the ability of Jesus to save souls into eternal life! (Hebrews 10v35 – 39)
May we walk soberly and may we be vigilant, in Jesus name, Amen.
© Celeste Glass

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