THE CHRISTIAN WALK
|Monday, December 9, 2019|
Cameron, Texas, USA
had an inner awe and covert trepidation the first time I read the beheading of John the Baptist in the Synoptic Gospels. His murder by Herod's executioners sent chills down my spines as I was undergoing my Damascene Voyage into His Calling. Here was a man born to his parents at advanced ages; Zechariah and Elizabeth his parents kept vigils for years and as Dr Luke the great Gentile physician and journalist disclosed through the Holy Spirit when the Angel Gabriel brought the tidings to Zechariah: "How can I know this? Zechariah asked the angel; For I am an old man, and my wife is well along in years" (Luke 1:18). The account of John's prenatal life appeared in Luke's narrative and as secular historians informed us, especially the famous Jewish historian; Josephus, Dr Luke must have conducted face-to-face interviews with some of the dramatis personae, including the Virgin Mary who was still alive when Luke wrote his account. His first words proved this when he wrote journalese: "Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us, just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught" (Luke 1:1-4). Upon his miraculous birth, he was in the wilderness until he appeared publicly to herald the Open Ministry of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It was the manner of his death that initially scared me as a born-again Christian. My trepidation was; would I die like John the Baptist?
Leaf through history; you will be shocked at how the 12 apostles ended their life's journey including other mighty men and women of the Good News. Apostle Peter, the rock on whom our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ promised on building His Church and He fulfilled His promise in the life of Cephas. Like the death of John the Baptist that was carried out in the most despicable and jaw-dropping manner, Peter had to plead that his head should be turned downward at the stake so he would not share the honor of being crucified in similar fashion like his Master; our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Similar gory accounts of the deaths and murders of the other apostles in spreading the Gospel, including some of their members after the physical departure of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ are recorded. Apostle Paul, the greatest missionary and evangelist who authored more than half of the epistolary that made up the New Testament also died in the hands of secular authorities who insisted he must denounce the Great Name of his Lord and Savior but called off the bluff of the authorities and maintained his integrity in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ to the end. Paul, the writer of the Book of Hebrews told us the Hall of Faith in history and the ordeal they faced in maintaining their integrity and unwavering faith in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ thus: "There were others who were tortured, refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection. Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment. They were put to death by stoning] they were sawed in two; they were killed by the sword. They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute, persecuted and mistreated- the world was not worthy of them. They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground. These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect" ( Hebrews 11:35b-40).
In our contemporary world, some of the most-demonic and unreached climes with the Good News had always been pulled down with the blood of God's regenerated souls. In the 1940s, the Auca Tribe of Ecuador was one of the darkened and un-Churched areas of South America. The natives were pagans and killed outsiders with the slightest provocation when presented with the Gospel of the saving grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. The Evangelical Christian Missionaries of the United States adopted a method to win the hearts of these hostile and angry tribes by flying in food and groceries from the helicopter as a way of enticing the pagans before presenting the Good News to them. Gradually the missionaries succeeded in befriending these natives and in September 1955, the evangelists finally set foot on the soil of these secluded and abandoned aboriginals. But tragedy struck on reaching the jungle as five American missionaries were murdered by these pagan natives on January 03, 1956. The five American missionaries: Jim Elliot was from Portland Oregon and 28 years old who left Wheaten College for the jungle of the Amazons to preach the good news to the Auca natives; Nate Saint was a Pennsylvanian and only 32 when he left his wife and two kids behind to preach the good news in far-away land; Ed McCully was 28 years old and a fresh graduate from Marquette Law School in Wisconsin but gave his life to the Lord Jesus Christ Who moved his spirit to join the School of Missionary Medicine in 1952 from where he became part of the Operation Auca Project. He left his family of 4 and never returned. Peter Fleming was 27 years and grew up in Seattle. He majored in Philosophy at the University of Washington and gave his life to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. It was after his conversion that he got the calling to become a missionary and when his friend, Jim Elliot told him about the mission to Ecuador, Pete put off his engagement to Ms Olive Ainslie and decided to put God's Work first. He did not return.
Roger Youderian was from the little town of Sumatra, Montana; he finished from Montana State College-now Montana State University- and enlisted in the US Army. Born in 1924, Roger fought in both WWI and WWII. When he returned home he married and became a missionary. For him and his family to prepare for missionary works to the Aucan natives, he and his wife including their infant daughter moved to Quito, the Ecuadorian capital to study Spanish Language for a year in order to befriend the Aucan pagans. He died in the hands of those he wanted to win their souls to his Lord, Savior and aster Jesus at the age of 31.
In 2011, a group of Islamic fundamentalists invaded a village in northeastern Nigeria and ordered all Christians into a camp. The misanthropic Boka Haram religious terrorists freed those who claimed to be Moslems among the hemmed herd but asked those who claimed to be Christians one last question: "Are you ready to convert into Islam and be spared?" Some agreed to become Moslems, but majority of those kidnapped natives preferred to die than deny the Lord Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. They were brutally murdered for maintaining their integrity. In Darfur region of Sudan in 1993, another notorious Islamic Jihadists known as Janjaweed invaded a predominantly Christian community in that east African nation and kidnapped the Christians at gun point. They first murdered the men who identified themselves as Christians by show of hands and then descended on the women/wives by raping them in turn. After that dastardly act, they finished off the violated women. In 2014, the notorious and demonic Islamic outlaws known as ISIS attacked another predominantly Christian community of Mosul in northern Iraq. The murderous Jihadists announced they were there to kill all Christ followers, but presented the believers with three options to escape death: convert to Islam and pay a fine and escape beheading, go into exile and never return to Iraq or stay and die by beheading as Christians. Majority of the captured Christ believers refused to renounce their faith and belief in our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ but prefer to die. They were beheaded by the ISIS fundamentalists.
Recently, as the internecine war rages on in Syria, other remnants of the ISIS managed to raid part of Syria populated by Christians. They rounded up the believers of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who refused to convert into Islam by force and killed them. But before they murdered them, they tied these Christians into stakes symbolizing the Death on the Cross by crucifixions as a way of mocking the atoning sacrifice of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Few years ago here in the United States, a 17-year old believer and follower of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was confronted by a teenage shooter in her school and was asked, if she believed in God. Miss Cassie Bernall, who had given her life to the Lord Jesus Christ, stood her ground by telling those deranged kid-killers at Columbine High School Tragedy that not only did she believe in the Almighty God, but she was proud to wear the Christian faith as a badge of honor. For having the exceptional courage to stand her ground as a Christian, she was murdered. It was reported that, if she had renounced her Christian faith, her shooter may probably had spared her life.
Every genuine Christ believer and true follower must have an experiential encounter with the prince of this world, either directly or through his menageries of agents that would test our faith and belief in the One Who gave it all for us to have eternal life. I remember vividly when I was advised by a high-ranking police officer in Nigeria to stop preaching in jail and renounce my faith in our Lord Jesus Christ in order to gain my freedom while being detained as a journalist in Nigeria in the 1990s. I told the man I would rather die than return to the religion of murder, death and hell. If you have indeed given your life to the Lord and Savior Jesus Christ and truly and truthfully want to do His Will, it would cost you something dear to you: wife, husband, job, work, children, reputation, convenience, comfort, even your very life. The King of kings and Lord of lords Himself told us plainly:"Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me" (Matthew 16:24). See also Luke 14:27).
This frisson gnaws at the heart of every born-again Christian called into evangelistic ministry and missionary assignment, because it is truly a call to spiritual warfare. The fate of early pathfinders in this butting of heads between light and darkness, good and evil, God and Satan are highlights of our individual Christian assignment in the Journey of Life. No wonder our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ warned us His genuine followers, believers and worshippers: "If anyone comes to me and does not hate father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters-yes, even their own life-such a person cannot be my disciple. And whoever does not carry their cross and follow me cannot be my disciple. "Suppose one of you wants to build a tower. Won't you first sit down and estimate the cost to see if you have enough money to complete it? For if you lay the foundation and are not able to finish it, everyone who sees it will ridicule you, saying; This person began to build and wasn't able to finish.' "Or suppose a king is about to go to war against another king. Won't he first sit down and consider whether he is able with ten thousand men to oppose the one coming against him with twenty thousand? If he is not able, he will send a delegation while the other is still a long way off and will ask for terms of peace. In the same way, those of you who do not give up everything you have cannot be my disciples" (Luke 14:26-33).
WHY DOES THE LORD JESUS CHRIST ALLOW CHRISTIANS MURDERED BY UNBELIEVERS?
As afore pointed out, the first time I read the murder of John Baptist by Herod because of a ballet dancer who wowed the king, sweat enveloped me. I had the trepidation that I could end up like John the Baptist. So I took my fear to the One Who called me. First, the Lord Jesus Christ told me He could not bring more souls into His Kingdom without a soul planted into the heart of the earth so that it can germinate. Hear what He said: "Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds" (John 12:24). See also Romans 14:9 & I Corinthians 15:36). He said, He -Jesus Christ-wanted a family and to accomplish that, He had to come and die and be buried for three days inside the heart and earth and then resurrected on the third day. He said, even in nature, He has established same principles. Any farmer will tell you that you can't harvest and obtain more of any grain without planting and then wait for it to die and then more to be reproduced.
Consequently, nothing reproduces more until it dies. Cain murdered Abel but the Lord God Almighty said the blood of Abel was still speaking to Him and crying out from the belly of the earth, Hallelujah! Every blood that is shed doesn't die; it still speaks from the grave. That was what He assured me when I lost my second son, Oluwafemi Emanuel Fayemiwo early this year. All those Christian believers slaughtered from the Time of our Lord Jesus Christ till date haven't died in vain brethren, they are still speaking and alive. From their deaths, the Almighty God saves many souls in their stead.
The five American Christian Missionaries murdered by the Aucan natives didn't die in vain, because 50 years later after they were savagely murdered by the pagans, God Almighty moved with a mighty Hand and a new wave of revival began to blow across South America beginning with the Aucans. Today, the Holy Bible has been translated into the indigenous dialect of the natives, churches have sprouted up and nearly 90 percent of the natives have become true Christians. Trust me, the innocent blood of all Christian killed by ISIS, murdered by Boko Haram and other terrorists around the world are not in vain; they Almighty God works in ways we cannot see and fathom.
The second reason our Lord Jesus Christ allows us to be murdered is the behind-the-scenes wills of the Almighty God for our individual lives. Never, I repeat, never in my life have I ever entertained the thought of relocating from my native Nigeria to the United States of America. I had never applied for US Visa in my life; I didn't even have a traveling passport. I entered this nation also without passport and without visa. The Almighty God has a plan for each and every human being He sent to this earthly abode. As a matter of fact, He has a geographical place specifically meant for you to carry out His Mission or will for your life. That was why He instructed Abram to live the Land of the Chaldeans where he was brought up and move to a land He would show him. That was why He caused young Joseph to be sold into slavery in Egypt so He could move him from prison to palace. That was why Naomi lost everything when she ran to the Land of Moab only to return back to Israel where she finally fulfilled her destiny (Ruth 1:1-7). You are on this earth for a reason and a purpose. If you are a truly-saved and regenerated born-again Christian and aren't serving the purpose for which you were placed on this earth by the One you are serving and called Savior, then something is amiss. You see, from the perspective of our jaundiced and finite human mind, the beheading of John the Baptist; a true man of God was disheartening. But Jesus Christ told me that the reason and purpose John the Baptist was created and born was to be the herald of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. In fact, John the Baptist stated the purpose and reason for his life thus: "John replied, "A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, 'I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.' The bride belongs to the bridegroom. The friend who attends the bridegroom waits and listens for him, and is full of joy when he hears the bridegroom's voice. That joy is mine, and it is now complete. He must become greater; I must become less." (John 3:27-30). As far as the Almighty God was concerned, John the Baptist had completed his assignment and purpose on this earth as herald of the Messiah so the manner of his death was immaterial. To us human beings, we lament for John the Baptist for being beheaded, but he accomplished the will of God in his life. It doesn't matter how long you live on earth; either you die at the age of 28 or live to 99 years, as far as the Almighty God is concerned, you only lived on this earth purposely, satisfactorily, and successfully when you carry out His Will and Purpose for your life, period.
Finally, the Lord Jesus Christ allows Christians to be killed and murdered in the course of spreading the Gospel as a witness to the worshippers of Satan and his demons. Truth is, these Christian murderers and killers are going to be prosecuted in the Street of Time at the Court of Eternal Justice. This is not the end of the story! Hear our Lord Jesus Christ: "Therefore I am sending you prophets and sages and teachers. Some of them you will kill and crucify; others you will flog in your synagogues and pursue from town to town. And so upon you will come all the righteous blood that has been shed on earth, from the blood of righteous Abel to the blood of Zechariah son of Berekiah, whom you murdered between the temple and the altar. Truly I tell you, all this will come on this generation" (Matthew 23:34-36; See also Luke 11:51). Do you get it now?
THE LORD'S ANOINTED GENERAL GOES HOME (1940-2019)
One of the ways to know that you are indeed doing the will and purpose of the Lord God Almighty for your life is His instruction for you to disciple a person who shall take over from you. You see, the Lord God Almighty is eternal, and so His work that He commits into each of us in our Christian Walk. If you walk the work He has commanded you to accomplish and obediently serve Him faithfully and sincerely, He would instruct you to take a person or group of people under your wings to train and then hand over to him/her or them when it is time for you to go home. For every Moses, there is a Joshua waiting for a mantle, there is always an Elisha to take over from Elijah and Timothy and Titus passed the tutelage of Paul. A Christian Champion doesn't die, but he or she transits. As a matter of fact, the Lord God Almighty would always tell us when to wind up and hand over and come home. Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Samuel, Peter, Paul and all the saints who served sincerely and obediently knew when their assignments were over and were being called home. I know when I will be returning home too and I will make it known. So I said few years ago when Pastor Reinhard Bonnke resigned as presiding bishop of Christ For All Nations (CFAN) and passed the touch to Brother Daniel Kolenda. I knew he was preparing to return home.
Bonnke led millions of souls to our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. He invaded Africa with the Good News and did a lot of damage to Satan and his fiendish forces. He did not use private jets to storm the gates of hell across the world. His autobiography was a best seller, but he didn't touch the royalties instead he ploughed it into CFAN. He was a spiritual giant on earth and when he left at 79 years few days ago, he didn't leave behind bevy of automobiles and mansions. He came, saw, fought, won and returned and we shall all meet at the Great Union.
ONLINE REGISTRATION FORM FOR BREAKTHROUGH 2020
Dear Precious Souls; By popular demand and bowing to sundry pressures as directed by the Holy Spirit, our forthcoming Breakthrough 2020 will be streamed live from Friday January 17, 2020 to Sunday January 19, 2020 all over the world across multiple social media platforms from The Jesus Christ Solution Center here in Cameron, TX USA to the Glory of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. If you will not be able to fly into Central Texas for this important Hoy Spirit-filled event in the New Year, Please fill out the online form now and return to us to claim a seat for you and another precious soul and return the form to us ASAP. If you are having difficulty filling it online, print out and fill manually and then send it back to as attachment with the Subject: Breakthrough 2020 Online Form. Thanks and remain blessed in Jesus Mighty Name, Amen.