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TSDN – 007 The Priceless Gift of God

John 3:16
“For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish but have everlasting life.”

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INTRODUCTION

Today I shall speak to you about the priceless gift of God. I believe we are all aware that a gift is something that cannot be earned. A gift is normally given to out at the giver’s discretion. A gift is never an obligation, neither is it given to satisfy a demand. To understand more about the priceless gift of God we shall take a closer look at the Motive for the gift , the gift itself and the recipient .

THE MOTIVE

a. “ For God so loved ”

Here we are told the motive for which God gave his priceless gift. It is simply put as “ God so loved. ”

i. Unconditional love

It was His unconditional love that caused the creator of the heavens and the earth to gift the most precious gift to the world. His love does not rest in words or emotion, it has action. It was through his love that he had created the heavens and earth. It was due to his love that created human beings in His image. His love was also seen when He provided food and a pleasant environment for humans being and all the other living thin gs which God had made . God ’ s love is not due to our actions. We are love by God unconditionally.

ii. Infinite love

God’s love is infinite. This means it has no end. The spring of God’s love never runs dry. Its doors are never closed. The love of God is open ed all times, for everyone to experience. The Psalmist says, “O give thanks unto the LORD; for he is good: for his mercy endureth for ever. ” ( Psalm 136:1 ) In Jeremiah 31:3, God said, “ … I have loved thee with an everlasting love: therefore with lovingkindness have I drawn thee. ” There is no end of God ’ s love. Paul wrote, “ For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. ” (Rom 8:38- 39)

b. “ the world ”

The Greek word is “ κόσμος ” or “ cosmos ” We now learn of the subject of God ’ s love and that is the world. There are two meanings attached to the Greek word for “ the world. ”

i. The Planet Earth

It implies that God loved the whole of planet earth. He loved all the mountains, the rivers, the seas and the whole of nature.

ii. The Inhabitants of the Planet Earth

It also implies God loved all the inhabitants of planet earth, particularly human beings. The human beings, the land animals, sea creature and the birds of the air are part of the world.

God’s motive for giving His priceless gift was His love for the world. We move on to look at the gift itself .

THE GIFT

he gave his only begotten Son

The magnitude or the extent of God’s love for the world is perfectly express in the quality and value of the gift that He gave to the world .

a. His Son God gave His Son.

He gave His only begotten Son. I doubt that there could be a sane person among us who will be bold enough to give up his son, even if he were one of many children, to be killed in order to make peace with his enemies. We would protect our children and even give our lives for them if it were possible. That is how much we value them. The Son of God, Jesus Christ is more valuable than our children.

i. He is before all things (Col 1:15 – 17)

Everything that was made was made through the Son of God, not only that but also , everything was made for Him . Jesus Christ is the firstborn of all creation. Without Him nothing ever came to existence.

ii. He is the express image of the God (Heb 1:3)

Jesus is the brightness of God’s glory and He is the express image of his person. To say that He is the express image of God means that Jesus Christ is exactly like the Father. As the Father is eternal so is the Son. Jesus said, “For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;” (John 5:26)

iii. He is the beloved Son of God (Mat 3:17, 17:5, Mar 1:11, Luke 9:35)

God testified about Jesus, saying “This is my beloved Son.” Jesus also affirmed that He was loved by the Father. In John 15:9, Jesus says, “As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you …

iv. His Only Begotten Son (Psalm 2:7)

Jesus was the only begotten Son of God. This means there was no other Son of God like Him. All the other sons of God (Gen 6 and Job 1:6) were created but He was the only begotten Son of God. God gave up not only His Son, but His only begotten Son.

b. Eternal Life

God did not only give us His Son but He also gave us eternal life. John say s in his letter, “And this is the record, that God hath given to us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. ” (1 John 5:1 1) . John says that God Himself is testifying that He has given us eternal life and that life can only be found in Jesus Christ. Paul says to the Roman Church, “ … the gift of God is eternal life through Christ Jesus our Lord. ” (Roman 6:23)

Jesus Christ was and is very valuable to His Father but He did not withhold him. Instead He gave Him up to the world.

THE RECIPIENT

That whosoever believeth in him

a. Whosoever (Anyone)

Jesus Christ who is the gift of God to the world is given so that anyone may benefit through Him. There is no nation, no language, no family or any individual, that is excluded. All are counted, into this awesome grace of God. The Jews and the Gentiles from every part of the world are all welcome.

The author of the letter to the Hebrews says , “…we are sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.” (Heb 10:10). Jesus Christ was given once to the world, and He was given for all.

b. Believes on Him

The benefits of God’s Gift are limited to anyone who believes in Jesus Christ. A person may be religious and they may pray every day BUT if they don’t believe in Jesus Christ the Son of God they do not have eternal life. Though the Gift of God is given for all, it can only do well to those who believe in Jesus Christ.

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TSD 12 – Rich Pastors In Poor Congregations

 

Borrowed from https://noahidenews.com/2016/09/22/beware-of-false-prophets/

Borrowed from www.noahidenews.com

TSD 12 – RICH PASTORS IN POOR CONGREGATIONS

By Lungisa N Joctrey

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WHAT ARE WE TALKING ABOUT TODAY?

Today’s Topic: RICH PASTORS IN POOR CONGREGATIONS.

Should Pastors be rich at the very expense of their congregations? Is it morally right for the pastor to enjoy wealth while his following live in poverty?

I will answer these questions from scripture and by scripture I mean the Authorized Version, better known as the King James Version, 1611. All I ask from you is to lend me a few minutes of your time.

I must first state that I am a born again Christian. I believe on the Lord Jesus Christ the Son of the living God and that there is no salvation apart from Him. I believe that Jesus Christ was born of a virgin, grew and lived a sinless life before God His Father and before men. He was betrayed to the Jewish counsel by Judas Iscariot and was brought before Caiaphas the high priest. He was then brought to Pilate the Romish governor who found no fault in Him yet for the fear of men, authorized His crucifixion. Jesus Christ was crucified and died for the sins of men in all generations and was buried. He was raised to life the third day. After His resurrection, He was seen by Cephas, then the twelve. After that He was seen by over 500 brethren at the same time. After that He was seen of James, then by all the apostles and lastly He was seen by Paul of Tarsus.

I believe in the triune God, who is self existent. He exists as The Father, The Word and The Holy Ghost. I hold to that Jesus Christ is the Word made flesh and that He is the Son of God by whom we all who believe are justified and saved.

Friends, allow me to draw your attention to the second letter written by Paul to the church of Corinth, chapter 8, the 9th verse “For ye know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that, though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich.

Now we should be very careful as to how we interpret this scripture. We must ask ourselves this question, Was Jesus Christ physically rich in that He became physically poor so that we can be physically rich? Or was He spiritually rich in that He was spiritually poor that we may be spiritually rich? We shall examine the scripture now in order to understand the verse at hand.

HOW RICH WAS JESUS CHRIST BEFORE HE CAME TO THE WORLD

First we look at John 1:1-3, 14

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made… And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

Friends, in this passage we are told of the true nature of Jesus Christ. The scripture says that “the Word was with God and the Word was God” and then we are told that “All things were made by Him” This Word must be very powerful if everything couldn’t exist apart from Him. He must be very rich spiritually in that He could afford to make all these things. He must hold much authority over His creation seeing that He was God. The Scripture reads, “In the beginning was the Word.” This is telling us that the Word existed before the beginning. These words are not telling us about the beginning of the days of the Word but they tell us about the beginning of His work. If in the beginning He was, then He must have been outside the beginning. In fact, in Revelation 22:12-13 Jesus Christ says “And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.” He says “I am Alpha and Omega, The beginning and the End, the First and the Last” Now if Christ says, “I am the beginning” then He must be eternal. He is not saying “I am a beginning” as if there is another beginning but He says “I am THE beginning,” showing that He is absolutely the only beginning there is to know.

He holds absolute pre-eminence over all things, in heaven, on earth and under the earth. He is God the LORD. The Psalmist says “The earth is the LORD’S, and the fullness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein.” (Psalm 24:1) The LORD GOD owns not just the earth but He owns everything in it. The world and they dwell in it. The earth trembles at His voice and all of creation testifies of His goodness. God is extremely wealthy both in the spiritual and physical sense. He rules every realm the spiritual and physical. Again the Psalmist couldn’t resist telling us of God. He says, “The LORD reigneth, he is clothed with majesty; the LORD is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself: the world also is stablished, that it cannot be moveso.” (Psalm 93:1). And again He says “Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain:” How rich is God? Our minds cannot grasp the true riches laid up in the store houses of God.

Paul proclaimed to the Athenians

God that made the world and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; Neither is worshipped with men’s hands, as though he needed anything, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things; And hath made of one blood all nations of men for to dwell on all the face of the earth, and hath determined the times before appointed, and the bounds of their habitation;” (Acts 17:24-26)

Paul was not ashamed to tell those Stoicks and Epicureans that God did not need anything but that God was the one that gave life, breath and all things. Not only that, he shows them that God made all nations in one blood and decided as to where they should live. With that being said, we learn that Jesus Christ who is the Word made flesh, is the one that give life to all men, animals and plants because He is God and we already know that the “Word was God.” Pauls tells the Colossians in his letter as to how exalted, how powerful and how rich Christ is. He says “Who is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of every creature: For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist.” (Colossians 1:15-17) Paul says that all things were made by the Son of God and for the Son of God. So everything and anything, whatever it is, belongs to the Son of God.

The author of the letter to the Hebrews says that the Son of God is above all things including the angels. We see this in Hebrews 1
Who [The Son of God] being the brightness of his [God’s] glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Being made so much better than the angels, as he hath by inheritance obtained a more excellent name than they. For unto which of the angels said he at any time, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee? And again, I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son? And again, when he bringeth in the first begotten into the world, he saith, And let all the angels of God worship him. ” (Hebrews 1:3-6)

All the angels of God are commanded to worship this Son of God. As we hear him in verse 7 saying “And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.” (Hebrews 1:7)

But unto the Son he saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever: a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Thou hast loved righteousness, and hated iniquity; therefore God, even thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows. And, Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands: They shall perish; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; And as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail.” (Hebrews 1:8-12) (Xref: Psalm 45:6-7 & 102:25-27)

All these scripture verses are showing us that the Son of God is God and that He has all power over everything. Psalm 36:9 “For with thee is the fountain of life: in thy light shall we see light.” Jesus Christ says “For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself;
(John 5:26)
HOW POOR DID CHRIST BECOME?

Looking at this question there’s one Scripture that comes to mind and that is Philippians 2:5-11. Let us read it.

Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus: Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name: That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; And that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:5-11)

I would like us to start examining this passage from the sixth verse. As we have established that God was and is very rich, the apostle Paul is showing us that Christ was in the form of God. He was equal with God and yet was willing to give up all the glories, the wealth and honour of being on the seat of God his Father. He thought it not robbery to be equal with God. He did not esteem it much to be equal with God, which now brings us to verse 7, “He made Himself of no reputation” When all creatures in heaven submitted to Him, He lowered himself, far too lower than they. He became lower than the angels. As the Psalmist records, “What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.” (Psalms 8:4-5) and the writer to the Hebrews says “But we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour; that he by the grace of God should taste death for every man.” (Hebrew 2:9
Friends, I submitted to you that Adam the first man was just a creature who was given instruction to have dominion on the earth and subdue it, however, it was not for him to own the earth. Adam was always depending on God for life and provision. Whether Adam served God or not his life would always come from God lest he dies. Even when he was cast out of the Garden of Eden, Adam lived at God’s mercy for at anytime God could take His breath of life from a man and man would become dust. Adam was not rich apart from God. He didn’t have life by himself. He was never above the angels of God. He couldn’t command any of the angels because the angels move at the word of God. Scripturally, angels rank higher than men in the grand scheme of things. The Scripture tell us that a man was made a “little lower than the angels.

So, the Son of God Jesus Christ, He made Himself of no reputation and took the form of a poor creature. A creature that live for to die, having not life in itself except that poor spark which will soon go out and the body goes back into being dust as it was. He comes in as a baby weak and vulnerable. He couldn’t even fight for himself. He relied on His parents to flee to Egypt because Herod wanted to kill Him. He had to learn obedience and to live a like a human being. Yet He sinned not. He was limited in a human body, having to be in one place at one time.

He had to get orders from the Father instead of just doing what he felt was right. He submitted himself to Moses and the prophets. He was so humble to the point that He knelt on the ground like a slave and washed the feet of His disciples. At the end He submitted Himself to the chief priests and to the Roman governor Pilate. When He finally died, He died not the death of a King but of a wicked hell deserving man when He had done no evil. He suffered the Wrath of the Almighty God His Father, which wrath was scheduled to fall upon the poor wicked wretched sinful and hell deserving men. He suffered under the heavy hand of God Almighty. He had to cry like a condemned sinner, “Eli Eli Lama Sabachthani?…My God! My God! Why have you forsaken me?” He became poor, that through His poverty we may be rich.

The Lord Jesus Christ came to earth as a poor man, born in a booth instead of a palace. His cradle was a manger. He grew up as the son of a carpenter. He was not of high esteem among those of his neighbourhood. He wasn’t famous until He started His ministry. Even then He was despised by those who held high offices in the religious circles of his land. He found audience among sinners, the despised and hated.

I once heard Creflo Dollar arguing that Jesus Christ had a treasure bag and for that reason he concluded that Jesus could have been rich.

There are questions I would like to have Mr Dollar and his friends to answer.

1) If Jesus Christ was very rich materially, why is it that when He asked his disciples to feed the people, Phillip answer and said, “Two hundred pennyworth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one of them may take a little.” (John 6:7) Were they not supposed to have more than enough cash to their disposal?

2) When a man said to the Lord Jesus, “Master I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest” Jesus replied “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” (Matthew 8:20, Luke 9:58) If Jesus was materially rich, wouldn’t He have had a mansion or two?

3) If Jesus was materially rich, why did He need a miracle in order to pay tribute? See Matthew 17:24-27

I could ask some more questions but time is failing me. When we read the gospels, we noticed that Christ and his disciples weren’t filthy rich. The Lord Jesus discouraged the people who wanted to lay up riches on earth. We hear Him saying “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21)

Here is a discourse between Jesus and a young rich man, “And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life? And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness, Honour thy father and thy mother: and, Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself. The young man saith unto him, All these things have I kept from my youth up: what lack I yet? Jesus said unto him, If thou wilt be perfect, go and sell that thou hast, and give to the poor, and thou shalt have treasure in heaven: and come and follow me. But when the young man heard that saying, he went away sorrowful: for he had great possessions. Then said Jesus unto his disciples, Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.” (Matthew 19:16-24, Mark 10:17-23)

Paul warned Timothy of the preachers that deceive the people of God, telling them that physical wealth is godliness.
If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which is according to godliness; He is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, railings, evil surmisings, Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, supposing that gain is godliness: from such withdraw thyself. But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, O man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called, and hast professed a good profession before many witnesses.” (1 Timothy 6:3-12)

The Lord Jesus warns the rich and a compromising church of Laodicea, “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth. Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked: I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.” (Revelation 3:15-19)

He tells this church that thought it has a name of being rich, the truth is it is poor. He tells it that it is neither hot nor cold. So unless He spews it out, He calls it to repent and acquire true riches from Him.
It is therefore evil that the Pastors would be filthy rich while their members live in poverty. The prosperity gospel is the message of crooks. It is not the gospel at all. I pray that God would open your eyes if you are caught up in this deception. Christ warns the rich, He says “But woe unto you that are rich! for ye have received your consolation.”(Luke 6:24)

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We Are Now on iTunes

We are pleased to announce that The SpokesDude Podcast is now live in the iTunes. It was very difficult to make this a possibility since I have no technical background and iTunes minimum requirements were not easy to meet for someone that doesn’t know anything about RSS Feeds let alone having a feed that meets the 2.0 specification, whatever that is.

I thank God for the guy who came up with Google because when all else fails there would always be Google who will march in like a knight in shining armour and save the day.

Cliff Ravenscraft

Before I started making the recordings for The SpokesDude Podcast, I had to go to Google and search for information about podcasting. That is where found a number of Podcasts and one that stood out for me was one hosted by Cliff Ravenscraft which is called PodcastAnswerMan.com. On Cliff’s podcast episodes I noticed that the sound quality and the level of professionalism throughout the show were incredibly good. These two factors made me what to stream or download some more of his podcast episodes. As I listened to his shows I began to feel as if I know him even though I knew deep down in my heart that I would probably never meet him. So, I was convinced that I would learn a lot from him in order get my podcast launched.

John Lee Dumas

Now, as I kept on searching for more information on podcasts and podcasting I came across a podcast hosted by John Lee Dumas, which is called Entrepreneurs On Fire you can check it out on EOFire.com. As I listened to John Lee Dumas I could pick up that he once took Cliff Ravenscraft’s Podcasting A-Z Course and was surprised that John knew Cliff. So since I have grown to trust Cliff Ravenscraft’s opinion on podcasting, I felt that I can trust John Lee Dumas as well.

John offered a Free Podcast Course that had 20 lessons, all of them about podcasting. I wasted no time at all. I started downloading every one of those free lessons and began to listen to each one of them. There was a lesson that had an assignment, where I had to ask my friends and family, and some people who know me as to how they thought my passions were. This was to help me realise my Zone of Genius. My definition of the Zone of Genius is: It’s that specific thing I had already been doing and was very good at, that subject I would talk about for hours without fail. It’s that topic I couldn’t end the day without thinking or talking about.

When I took John’s Free Podcast Course I had already began to record and publish podcast episodes. I used Archive.org as my media host and then took the direct links to my mp3 files and put them on The SpokesDude blog so that I can easily promote them. The problem was, on archive.org I had placed my files for The Spokesdude on the folder called “The Spokesdude Episodes.” I did this to prevent myself from typing the same information over and over again when ever uploading a SpokesDude Podcast file. This made it hard for me to track the download rate of each file.

That problem made it me wish to submit my podcast over to iTunes. I searched on Google for ways available for me to have The SpokesDude Podcast submitted over to iTunes and as you’ve guessed it…I found it. The only problem I faced was getting an acceptable RSS feed for iTunes. I tried using an application called “RSSOwl” which wasn’t successful on iTunes but did well on Sticher.com… So I laid the iTunes thing off for some weeks until I decided to change my artwork for my future podcast episodes and have its resolution set to 1400×1400 pixels because iTunes requirements for artworks is between 1400 x1400 and 3000×3000 pixels. Once I had my artwork ready I started changing the colour theme of The SpokesDude blog to match the colours of the artwork and I set the artwork as the logo of my blog.

After many failed attempts to get a good feed, I remembered a word spoken by Cliff Ravenscraft, which was Feedburner. I had no clue what Feedburner was so I consulted Google and I found Feedburner and I logged in using my Google account. That’s where the fun began. I supplied the information that was required to get my feed ready and in no time I had a URL for my podcast’s feed which I tried out on iTunes and it worked. In less than 24 hours, I received and email telling me that The SpokesDude Podcast was approved.

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Aside

Preaching in Town (10 January 2015)

  On the morning of the Sabbath Day (10-01-2015) at 07:08, I received an SMS from brother Jono saying, “Hi man of GOD hope c u street later ta j” I couldn’t respond to it because I wasn’t really sure if I was going to town that day, after all I enjoy resting on this day. It is the day of rest, is it not? After deep thinking I decided to get ready and I took my back pack which is always packed with some tracks, a digital camera, a video camera, my KJV Bible and a bottle of water. I got my bicycle ready and I cycled 9.03Km for 25minutes to town. When I got to our favourite preaching spot, (that is to say the city centre) right outside City Hall of Pietermaritzburg, I phoned Brother Jono and told him that I was in town. I didn’t know if he was coming to town or not but he thanked me for letting him know.

While I was getting ready to preach, I heard a car hooting. I looked and to my greatest joy it was Brother Gary. He went and parked the car and then joined me. While we were busy discussing some theological controversies we have encountered on social networks, we were joined by Brother Aziz and minutes later Brother Jono joined us.

 

 

Lungisa Joctrey preaching on 1 Timothy 1:15

Lungisa Joctrey preaching on 1 Timothy 1:15

I was then greeted by a Muslim man whom I had known while I was in prison and I started a short lived debate by simply asking him as to when he will become a Christian. I can’t recollect the actual words that were exchanged but it was about Jesus being the Son of God, a thing any good Muslim finds to be blasphemous. After that I took the stand and preached on Jesus Christ coming to save sinners (1 Timothy 1:15). While I was preaching we were joined by Brother Philip and he assisted in handing out gospel tracts. When I made the end of my speech, Brother Gary preached next, raising his voice to glory of our God and Saviour Yahshua haMashiach (Jesus Christ) while Brothers Jono, Aziz, Philip and I, handed out tracts. While I took some pictures, I spotted Brother Mandlakhe Mncwabe coming towards us and he joined us in handing out tracts.

DSCF1902After Brother Gary had made the end of preaching, we said our goodbyes and all the brothers departed except Mandlakhe who was chatting with me while I was getting my cycling gear ready (that is gloves, cap, sunshades and some good music). When we were about to part, this young man by the name of Mxolisi came to us. He had been standing by while I was preaching and he was listening to what I was saying because I had changed the language from English to IsiZulu.

Before he could tell us anything about himself, I picked up from his tongue that he was a member of the TACC. He told us that he was listening to the preaching but he could not understand the part where I said God punished His Son on the cross. I then explained from Isaiah 53, how that it was prophesied that “it pleased the LORD to bruise Him” linking it with Jesus’ well known cry, “Eli Eli lama sabchthani!!?”

Isaiah 53:4-12 KJV

(4) Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted.

(5) But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.

(6) All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.

(7) He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth: he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.

(8) He was taken from prison and from judgment: and who shall declare his generation? for he was cut off out of the land of the living: for the transgression of my people was he stricken.

(9) And he made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death; because he had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.

(10) Yet it pleased the LORD to bruise him; he hath put him to grief: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.

(11) He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowledge shall my righteous servant justify many; for he shall bear their iniquities.

(12) Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with the transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors.

He then asked us if we had received the Holy Spirit. This is the question I always get when I converse with the TACC people and I enjoy answering it. So we answered him, “No one can believe on the Lord Jesus Christ without the Holy Spirit, because according to Jesus the Holy Spirit is the one that comes to convict the world of sin, righteousness and judgment. Paul also tells us in 1 Corinthians 12:3 that no man speaking by the Spirit of God calls Jesus accursed and no one can say Jesus is the Lord except by the Holy Spirit”

“There is a lot of misunderstanding here” He said, “What I know is, in the book of Acts when the people of Samaria had believed the apostles were called for to lay hands on them so that they would receive the Holy Spirit. And when Simon the witch saw that “through the laying on of the hands of the apostles the people received the Holy Spirit” he produced money asking if they could sell this power to him. You see there, it shows that one can only receive the Holy Spirit through the laying on of the hands of the apostles”

DSCF1907“You are mistaken” I interrupted, “You see, Acts 8:18, tells us of Simon’s opinion based on his observation. He was not an apostle therefore we cannot be taught by his opinions. This is Simon’s opinion and not the ultimate rule that one would ONLY receive the Holy Ghost through the laying on of the hands of the apostles. There are accounts on the book of Acts where believers received the Holy Ghosts without having the apostle’s hands laid on them. One elephant in the room is Cornelius. Peter did not lay hands on anyone in the house of Cornelius but they received the Holy Ghost while Peter was preaching. Paul himself received the Holy Spirit when he was in Damascus, there was no apostle there. Ananias was not an apostles but he laid hands on Paul and He received the Holy Spirit ”

(Acts 9:17 KJV)

“And Ananias went his way, and entered into the house; and putting his hands on him said, Brother Saul, the Lord, even Jesus, that appeared unto thee in the way as thou camest, hath sent me, that thou mightest receive thy sight, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.”

“But what do you say of the people that Paul asked if they had received the Holy Ghost sinced they believed and they said no, and they hadn’t heard that there was any Holy Spirit?” He asked

“The people that Paul found in Ephesus in Act 19:1-6- were not Gentiles and they were not Christians, but they were Jews who were the disciples of John the Baptist, since they were baptized by John the Baptist. Now Paul was compelled to preach to them the gospel of Jesus Christ and after that they were baptized again in the name of Lord Jesus. Then the Holy Spirit came on them.”

“I believe you are now answered on the issue of receiving the Holy Spirit, can we move on?” Mandlakhe asked

“Yes, I would like to ask you, what do you say of the resurrection of the dead?” Mxolisi asked

“The Bible says the dead will rise from their graves, just like Jesus was raised from His grave, as we all know that the disciples and the women found His grave empty. I know that your church the TACC, teaches that the dead are saved through the works of those are yet alive and they come and live in the bodies of the living in order to perform good deeds. That is not true, because firstly, the book of Ecclesiastes tell us that the dead have not a part in anything that is done under the sun. Secondly, the book of Revelation tells us that on the last judgment the dead are judged based on what is written on the books, according to their works. Those who qualify for heaven are those who have their names written on the Lamb’s Book of Life. There’s one way that anyone could have his name on that book. It is to believe on the Lord Jesus Christ.”

“But there were people in the times of Abraham who had never heard the gospel…” said Mxolisi

DSCF1904“Abraham heard the gospel, as it is written, “Abraham believed God and it was accounted to him for righteousness” You see, he was justified by faith before the coming Jesus Christ, same goes for Noah. As for the people who lived before the days of King Shaka (for the gospel came to this land in the days King Shaka) where the gospel wasn’t heard, Paul says of them, “For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves: Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another”  It is God’s business to deal with those who haven’t heard the gospel but I tell you the truth, that the laws of God were written in their hearts, therefore their conscience made them aware of what right or wrong. Those who have sinned without the law shall perish without the law and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law.

DSCF1905“I have no argument on this matter” Brother Mandlakhe added, “I take what the scripture says, the person who believes on the Lord Jesus Christ shall be saved and the one who doesn’t believe will go to hell, that is enough for me”

Romans 2:12-16 KJV

(12) For as many as have sinned without law shall also perish without law: and as many as have sinned in the law shall be judged by the law;

(13) (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

(14) For when the Gentiles, which have not the law, do by nature the things contained in the law, these, having not the law, are a law unto themselves:

(15) Which shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience also bearing witness, and their thoughts the mean while accusing or else excusing one another;)

(16) In the day when God shall judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel.

“Are you guys from Faith Mission?” Mxolisi asked

“No, We believe in the Lord Jesus Christ” I replied.

He then took my number down and promised that he would try to connect me to some of the TACC guys who might try to explain their faith to me. I responded, “That would be great, I wish to meet them because it seems like there is a lot of deception you have been taught by your pastors. I don’t blame them but I blame their teachers. You need to search the scriptures yourself and not just take the words of men. Do like the Bereans in Acts 17 who searched the scriptures in order to see if what the apostles taught was true or not.”

Amen.

ALL GLORY TO OUR GOD ALONE