Thursday, 26 May 2016


A reality

If you are a Christian, the Bible tells us that it’s a certainty we’ll face persecution in the future:

‘In fact, everyone who wants to live a godly life in Christ Jesus will be persecuted…’ (2 Timothy 3v12)

God has shown me that, as part of the coming storm, persecution is coming to Christians. In some parts of the world, many Christians are already experiencing great persecution; however, the persecution that’s coming will affect the entire globe. God has shown me what I personally believe will be the beginning of this trial that will come to His people. In a dream I saw that law enforcement authorities will begin to plant false evidence against those Christians who believe homosexuality is a sin, in order to convict them of a crime they haven’t committed. The seeds of the reality of this coming persecution can already been seen in how many nations around the world are legalising same-sex marriage. In light of all this, we must be spiritually ready to suffer what we’ll need to suffer, even if it comes via great injustice. We must therefore understand the doctrines which concern persecution and protection.

The good news: comforts through persecution

The good news is that while God has a purpose for us to serve Him, He will physically deliver us from any and every type of persecution. The Apostle Paul revealed this truth in the Word:

‘You, however, know all about… the persecutions I endured. Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them.’ (2 Timothy 3, parts of v10-11)

While God wanted to use Paul, he was kept through any and every type of persecution, no matter how long it went for, and no matter how painful it was. God will do the same with us, as He will not take them through more than they can endure:

1 Corinthians 10v13:
No temptation has overtaken you except such as is common to man; but God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it.

God will bring as much fruit out of us that He possibly can before we die, because Christ gave everything that we might not only be redeemed, but be lights who have great influence and effect in the world. God will not take His salt out of this world lightly, or allow it to be taken lightly, for we are the centre of His work in Christ, being His hands and feet. Only when we have fulfilled the complete purpose of our lives for Him, will He take us, and not one moment sooner.
God will also provide comfort while going through the persecutions, whether this be via the upholding power and encouragement of the Spirit to our spirit’s (our hearts and minds), or in more practical forms. Paul experienced this himself. Spiritually speaking, the Apostle received great encouragement and strength from the Spirit as he worshipped with Silas whilst in prison. On another occasion, the Lord Himself stood by Paul and encouraged him. And he always received comfort through his daily practice of being ‘instant in prayer’. Practically, he received comfort through friends and fellow ministers who visited him while he was in prison (and supported him with practical items), through the work of writing scripture he often did while detained, and through his thinking about all the Churches needs and how they were progressing in Christ.

Spiritual comfort in the Bible usually involved hearing the voice of the Lord through the Word, the Spirit to our hearts and minds, via the audible voice of the Lord, or angel visits. It also came via revelations and dreams and visions (think: what the Apostle John received on the island of Patmos during a time when he received persecution via hard labour). Our spiritual encouragement and strengthening may be similar to Paul’s, but whatever the spiritual comfort may be, it will definitely follow the Biblical pattern of how God has always comforted his servants through persecutions (and involve at least one form of spiritual comfort).

The other side of the coin: the need to endure

The Bible teaches us that while spiritual comfort is guaranteed, practical comfort is not. While practical comforts may be provided for us in tribulation, they also may not be. If we were practically comforted through every persecution, it wouldn’t really be persecution, but instead just mistreatment. This brings us to the reality of the need to endure pain and suffering when persecuted.

God will always watch over us, and is sovereign over every act of the enemy and evil man; however, that doesn’t mean His Kingdom people will not suffer violence, even unto death at times:

Matthew 11v12:
From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been subject to violence, and the violent lay claim to it.

There are too many Biblical examples of this to include here. Hebrews 11, known in Christendom today as the ‘Hall of Faith’, includes many examples of Christians who suffered at the hands of evil men, and even some who died for their faith. Most of the Apostles of the New Testament also suffered various persecutions, and most were called on to give their very life for God. Such men didn’t always receive practical comforts, but nevertheless endured till the end, and so not only confirmed the true source of their salvation, but also stored up for themselves a better resurrection (a more rich reward).

The reasons to endure

a. For the necessity of confirming & evidencing our salvation

We must endure persecutions for a number of reasons. Firstly, and most importantly, we must endure to confirm the reality of our salvation—specifically, of what source it really is from (whether it is just something of ourselves or truly a gift of grace from Christ). True faith and salvation survives anything (and by its very natures proves itself/evidences itself- i.e. fruit tells the type of tree it comes from) and if it is true, it will be proved even though fire gets put to it. Fire is something the Lord has chosen to test this:

1 Peter 1v6-7:
In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

b. To ensure we do not reject or disown Christ

We must also endure so that we do not become in danger of choosing to reject or disown Christ. The Bible calls rejecting Christ apostasy from the faith. Disowning Jesus is just as bad, for scripture tells us that if we deny Him, He’ll deny us:

2 Timothy 2v12:
If we endure,
 We shall also reign with Him. 
If we deny Him,
 He also will deny us.

If we do not endure, there is a very real chance that, even if we don’t outright reject Jesus and renounce our faith in Him, we’ll disown Him. While the Lord may be gracious with us if we actually do this (i.e. like He was with the Apostle Peter), it’s an extremely big risk to take (i.e. Judas wasn’t so lucky).

c. To ensure our salvation/life brings glory to God, and we do not suffer eternal loss of rewards

Thirdly, we must endure so as to ensure that this salvation of ours glorifies the Lord. It is possible to be saved, and yet not have the salvation itself/our salvation (by extension our lives) glorify Him. The Bible explains that this kind of life can actually exist, and also the consequences of it in regards to the rewards Christ will one day give:

1 Corinthians 3v10-15:
According to the grace of God which was given to me, as a wise master builder I have laid the foundation, and another builds on it. But let each one take heed how he builds on it. For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ. Now if anyone builds on this foundation with gold, silver, precious stones, wood, hay, straw, each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is. If anyone’s work which he has built on it endures, he will receive a reward. If anyone’s work is burned, he will suffer loss; but he himself will be saved, yet so as through fire.

So while we may still retain our salvation if we shy away from persecution, we will suffer heavy loss of our eternal reward. This takes away from the glory that our lives will one day bring Christ in eternity. We are the hands and feet of Jesus, and we shine the light of His life, gospel and truth to the world, so if we hide that light under a bushel, it cannot bring Christ glory. We are the people of God and His Kingdom, and God chose to let His glory rest on us by giving us His Spirit and redeeming us. This is equivalent to the talents Jesus has given us and also the fact that we are supposed to be reflectors of His person to the world. If we bury those talents, and do not reflect Him, He won’t be glorified.

d. So that we do not bring Jesus’ name and the Christian faith into disrepute

If we shy away from persecution, we will not only not bring Jesus glory, but also risk bringing His name into great disrepute. If the world sees that we are willing to turn from Jesus when persecuted, they will question the very truth and life we represent. They would not only question Christianity because of an evident lack of power, but also due to the missing love we profess to have for Christ (for if Christ has great love, so should His people for the God they say they love/ relationship is evidenced and proven by its actions and connection). If we bring Christ’s name into disrepute, this is also a kind of anti-evangelism. By refusing persecution or doing everything to avoid it, we ourselves scream out to others that there is no Christ (for if there was, would we not go through anything for our Lord, God, and Saviour? and go through anything to ensure we reach the Heaven we believe is real?). The Bible regards this kind of anti-evangelism as something which causes Jesus’ name to be blasphemed:

Hebrews 6v4-6:
For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted the heavenly gift, and have become partakers of the Holy Spirit, and have tasted the good word of God and the powers of the age to come, if they fall away, to renew them again to repentance, since they crucify again for themselves the Son of God, and put Him to an open shame.

Romans 2v24:
As it is written: “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”

e. Because we are surrounded by a great cloud of witnesses

The Bible tells us that a great cloud of witnesses surrounds us. We do not want to one day, when we reach Heaven, be ashamed in their presence. We want to be able to say that we emulated their example, and that we too endured as they did.

Those that have gone before us also paved the way for us to know how we can get through persecutions and even be effective to serve Him through them. All this came at great cost both to themselves and many of the people of God. We need to be of the mind to want to honour their lives and their sacrifices, by learning and copying their example. In this way we also ensure that they, and those that followed their example down the ages, did not die, or sacrifice what they sacrificed, in vain. We know that no Christian sacrifices anything, including their lives, in vain, but we also (to a certain extent), determine just how much fruit comes as a result of their endurance. Enduring persecution always brings about incredible fruit for the Kingdom of God. By the disciples’ sacrifice of their lives (those that were killed), we have much of New Testament scripture. It was also through the suffering of persecution which the disciples endured that the Lord was able to bring about such powerful, profound, relatable/relevant, and pure scripture. It is through death to self that the life of Christ most powerful shines. Persecution brings about the very height of death to self, and so brings about the greatest opportunity to witness for the Lord and to be fruitful for Him.

f. Because God will give us the grace and power to endure any type of persecution

No person can endure persecution without God enabling them to. No matter what God allows or calls us to endure, though it will be difficult, He will give us the ability to do it:

2 Corinthians 12v8-10:
Concerning this thing I pleaded with the Lord three times that it might depart from me. And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in needs, in persecutions, in distresses, for Christ’s sake. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

This does not mean that suffering won’t be involved with persecution—it most definitely will be, because that’s the very nature of the experience. But it does mean that God will not give us more than we can bear—in other words, it WILL be possible to get through it, no matter how hard it gets. No matter the level of the pain, sacrifice or trial, God will give us the needed grace to get through it.

g. God will deliver us from persecution

God delivers His people from persecution. This happens whether DURING life or by its END. Though we must go THROUGH the persecution by experiencing it, the Lord will bring it to an end (no matter whether after a short time, or long). There are many examples of people in the Bible being delivered from persecution. Paul was delivered from many persecutions before his end:

2 Timothy 3v10-11:
You, however, have observed my teaching, my conduct, my purpose, my faith, my patience, my love, my endurance, my persecutions, and the sufferings that came upon me in Antioch, Iconium, and Lystra. What persecutions I endured! Yet the Lord rescued me from all of them.

Paul suffered greatly with persecutions, but God was faithful to deliver him from all of them, and none of them overcame him. Hebrews 11 talks about many in the Word who were also delivered from persecutions:

There is also a kind of deliverance which is not an Earthly and present life deliverance. This is a deliverance from persecution that comes through our death. God allows His Kingdom to suffer violence at times, and this has seen many Christians through the ages die because of persecution. However, even if we are called to give our lives, the Lord will be with us in great sustaining Holy Spirit power and strength. God knows that no man can give their life in their own strength, and so He will always be faithful to give us what we need in order to lay down our very lives if we’re called to. Not all are called to do this, but if we are, we have nothing to fear. This is especially true when we think about the Heaven that awaits us! We know that all men die eventually, so there’s nothing that persecution can do to us that won’t come to us eventually one day anyway.

h. God will warn us about the persecution beforehand, in order to prepare us

The book of Revelation shows us that God warns His people when they’re about to be persecuted:

Revelation 2v10-11:
Do not fear any of those things which you are about to suffer. Indeed, the devil is about to throw some of you into prison, that you may be tested, and you will have tribulation ten days. Be faithful until death, and I will give you the crown of life.
“He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. He who overcomes shall not be hurt by the second death.”’

God warns us of persecution beforehand in order to strengthen our faith and give us the encouragement and comfort we’ll need (and hope- see last part of scripture above). He also does it so the shock of persecution won’t jolt us out of faith in Him, or at least jolt us out it at the most crucial moment (when it first hits us). Jesus warned his disciples that persecution was coming before the cross, but because they never properly listened, understood the warning, or took it to heart, they let the shock of it make them flee the Lord (this also revealed their not properly understanding scripture they should’ve understood about the soon coming death of the Lord).

i. So that we do not value this life more than the one to come

Our salvation, the glory, work and testimony of Christ, trumps any other human consideration that we may be tempted to battle with in the coming time in regards to persecution. It doesn’t matter whether the consideration is in regards to family, friends, work, or even our health or wellbeing. Our sufferings in this life are temporary, but the eternal life and rewards are just that: eternal. We should not risk any eternal setback for present gain or safety.   

The Lord has shown me that coming storm will blanket everything and everyone; no one will escape its reach or effect. This will be a storm of great ferocity and great darkness, and only by the Lord will anyone make it through it, whether through it in regards to this life, or through it so we’ll make it to the next life- the Heavenly one. Part of this storm will involve persecution for Christians. God is completely sovereign over this, and will use it for our GOOD. For the true Christian, this experience will mean BOTH protection and pain. We mustn’t see the future as all dark, as the Lord will be with us, and there will still be blessings in it. But we must be realistic, believe what the Lord has revealed, and so also except that pain and persecution will be coming too. The Lord will keep us through all of this, but we must also be ready to face it. This means walking with the Lord in our lives in the present, praying about what is coming, and arming ourselves with the Word of God and the doctrines necessary for preparation. The whole armour of God is based on the Bible and IS the very substance and power of the Word itself: so every Christian solider out there must make sure they are diligent to arm themselves spiritually, in order to fight the good fight of faith that is about to confront us.

The Lord willing, Prt 4 of the coming storm doctrines will be on its way soon.

Sunday, 22 May 2016


Church worship is not entertainment. It's not to be used FOR entertainment or to be entertained BY. This is the responsibility of both those who are worship 'leaders', and congregation members.
Entertainment in worship, or worshipping by entertainment is tantamount to the strange fire worship talked about in the Word. It is not acceptable to the Lord because it is idolatrous worship: it places men as the centre and focus of attention rather than the Lord. It also, by its very nature, mixes and divides the adoration, love and attention that should only be going to the Lord, to men as well. The Lord does not allow His worship to be mixed, for no man is worthy of worship, and the worship that should only be His.
'Entertainment worship' is also deceptive, for it claims to be a worship of the Lord, and done as unto God. But God will not accept worship which includes an adoration of ourselves. Again, this is STRANGE FIRE--idolatrous worship. Notice the scriptural difference between Holy and unHoly worship:
Leviticus 10-
23Moses and Aaron then went into the tent of meeting. When they came out, they blessed the people; and the glory of the Lord appeared to all the people. 24Fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed the burnt offering and the fat portions on the altar. And when all the people saw it, they shouted for joy and fell facedown.
1Aaron’s sons Nadab and Abihu took their censers, put fire in them and added incense; and they offered unauthorized fire before the Lord, contrary to his command. 2So fire came out from the presence of the Lord and consumed them, and they died before the Lord. 3Moses then said to Aaron, “This is what the Lord spoke of when he said:
“ ‘Among those who approach me
I will be proved holy;
in the sight of all the people
I will be honored.’ ”
The worship of the Lord is a very particular and sacred thing. God's main concern is that we do it in Spirit and truth, from the heart, in sincerity, according to the Word, and only to Him. This is a worship which must make VERY sure that it is not mixing the spiritual with the fleshly. It must make very sure that worship is not done to feed our own pride, for position, power, influence, glory, love, attention or sexual desire etc: all these things are the desires of our fallen and fleshly nature (even sexual desire for the wrong reasons and in an inappropriate and ungodly use). Aaron's sons Nadab and Abihu thought they'd take the HOLY THINGS and WAY of worship for their own gain (their own glory, attention and standing amongst the people of Israel). They wanted to share in the honour God alone should have, and He alone deserves. Not only that, but they thought His worship could be done THEIR WAY. God showed them that this could not be, and they were struck down before the people of God. This should show us just how IMPORTANT and how CRUCIAL it is to the Lord that we should only worship Him, that we should not allow this worship to be shared, not done for alterior or mixed motives, and not done in a way that misrepresents who He is--and what the truth and His way is all about (the Spirit, not the flesh or sin).
God is also jealous for His name and for the representation of who He is. An 'entertainment worship' or a worship done partly for entertainment is an inaccurate representation of who He is, and a misrepresentation of His person, character, Holiness, deity and divinity. Jesus did not come to the world to entertain it, but to save it and reveal the truth to men; He never once compromised the name or representation of God the Father before His disciples, the people of God, or the world by revealing worship to be about amusement or a diversion from the truth or a sole focus on God. Those that 'lead' worship should be very careful to represent the Lord Almighty in a Holy and righteous way. They should also be extremely careful not to bring any adoration to themselves that should only be the Lord's, especially while claiming to worship God themselves. They should be very careful not to tempt anyone to worship via entertainment, as a part of entertainment or for the sake of entertainment. Such worship leaders should also realise that they are giving an example to others of what worship really is, and so they be responsible to not give a wrong example and to not lead others in a fleshly and idolatrous way.
Dictionary definitions-
'the act of entertaining; agreeable occupation for the mind; diversion; amusement'
1- 'reverent honour and homage paid to God…'
2- 'the feeling or expression of reverence and adoration for a diety'

Saturday, 14 May 2016


In one sense, all the doctrines I’ll be covering in the future - God willing - are relevant to life full stop. In another, they will particularly be so in light of what's coming. The first doctrine I want to cover has to do with sacrifice and provision. In the coming time of great straits, this doctrine is crucial, for it will come as a great test. We see this in the life of Abraham when he was asked to give up his only son for the Lord's purposes.


Abraham did not understand why the Lord was calling him to sacrifice his son, nevertheless, he trusted God, and in one sense, he had already sacrificed his son in his heart (in that he was already willing to go ahead with the sacrifice). Notice that UNDERSTANDING has no bearing at all on the type of life sacrifice that the Lord will call us to in the future (whether you believe in the coming storm or not). What we will be called to give up in the future may make absolutely no sense in the natural, and yet that is beside the point. God will require us to trust in Him nonetheless, and no matter what it will cost us - even if it means giving up that which is MOST PRECIOUS to us. We must sacrifice understanding the 'whys' of it all, and just go ahead and GIVE UP what He asks us to give up. All we will know for sure is that we will be tested in order for our faith to be proved genuine and to His glory. This will be a test of LOVE, to ensure that He is truly our God, and none other - including ourselves. 


If we will give up what we're asked to give up, THEN it will be provided for us. In other words, God will give us the grace to do it, and also will provide a SUBSTITUTE to make up for our loss. He will give us something from His own hand, and something unexpected in place of what we He asks us to surrender to Him. In one sense, this is what God did with Abraham when He provided a ram for the offering in place of his son. Put another way, they that will GIVE UP their life in the future, will also FIND IT. This is the golden lining in the dark clouds on the horizon, for though we’ll have to give up much of what we may hold dear, we will gain much of what THE HOLY SPIRIT HOLDS DEAR – which will also become dear to us. The way to truly know more of Christ, His power and life, is through sacrifice and death to self, and this is what is appointed for us in the future.


In light of the lesson gained from Abraham's test, those in the Bible created a  saying which went, ‘On the Mount of the Lord it will be provided’. Many only think of a mountain top experience as being all lights and fluffy feelings, but this wasn’t Abraham’s experience. The mountain of the future will be testing/trial AND the provision of knowing Christ, His voice and purpose. First, like with Abraham, will come the agony of perplexity and the heartbreak of loss and sacrifice (Abraham having to give up his son in his heart before he ever held the knife aloft). Then, the Lord’s presence and voice will be with us in a way that we have never experienced before (just like the Father's voice came to Abraham, even while Abraham held the knife aloft). Abraham also received a confirmation of God's promises and presence (after God stopped him from sacrificing his son Isaac), and this will also be the lot of those who choose to face what's coming with courage and conviction. What we need will be provided for us to face what is coming, but we must embrace the 'HOW' of the way in which God chooses to do it (the same way He did it in the New Testament, with His disciples).

A nearly identical example was seen in the New Testament, when Jesus took three disciples to another mountain top. There, the Father's voice was heard and Jesus transfigured in shining white before Peter, James and John. Those three came away, not only with revelation of the Father and His will (the Father told them who Jesus was, and that they should listen to Him), but also a vivid understanding of the person of Jesus Christ (the Lord being transfigured before them in His glory). However, the duality of the experience was seen in what came next , for glory and revelation was quickly coupled with the experience of the death and sacrifice of the cross (and the inherent test it produced), which the disciples were also required to face. Though all except John and Mary stumbled at this test, ultimately all were restored and were able to be equipped with Holy Spirit fire for what came next (many salvations, the beginning of the new work and establishment of the Church etc.). 

These two mountain top experiences (and what surrounded them) show us one crucial thing: sacrifice and provision, particularly in a time of great trouble and distress, come hand in hand. We cannot have one without the other, for both are intimately connected with each other, and work together in God's purposes for us. Because great trouble is on its way, its likely that you who read this have been given what the Bible calls GREAT and PRECIOUS promises. These are definitely from God, but know that they are for HIS purposes. The coming storm will be a time when both mountain top experiences will be needed in order that the power of Christ be able to rest upon us (being humbled and reliant upon Him), and so that we will be able to shine Christ as He really is - and in a way which the world will definitely NEED (knowing the true character of Jesus and HOW and WHY He works as He does), and be searching for - being desperate for brilliant luminous lights in a darkened, corrupted and ravaged globe.  


God led Abraham up a mountain – with a knife in one hand, and his son in the other. We, however, are to have the SWORD of the Spirit in one, and a willingness to SACRIFICE in the other, in what will most likely be the greatest climb of our lives. Perhaps it has ALREADY BEGUN, for whom God calls, He also prepares. Do you wonder at the great trial you have already faced? Maybe it has been the greatest agony of your life so far, or perhaps something so grueling that not even you can put into words just how harrowing it has been. Do not wonder at it now, for God is making you into a soldier who can not only FIGHT but also ENDURE to the end. Have you also wanted His power? Have you wanted to SEE and HEAR Him, and be a part of a great move of His Spirit? Then wonder no more at your pain. For all these things have been the design of His Spirit, and all your sufferings to prepare you for what now approaches. To those of you whom this applies, the coming storm will not only be a night, but a NEW DAY. The mount of tribulation to you will also be a mount of glory, seeing a GLORIOUS and VICTORIOUS Christ, being with Jesus in the midst of great darkness, and doing valiantly for the Kingdom of God!