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Wednesday, March 23, 2011

THE MESSENGER AND THE MESSAGE

The Messenger And The Message

By Elia Wankyo

For a period of time, I have thought of putting in writing the following as the basic General Bible Guidelines regarding the spiritual messengers and messages we encounter in our journey of faith as we travel expectantly to the soon coming Kingdom of God. I first learned some of the guidelines in my Bible and Theology classes, others I have learned through my personal studies, research and observations. I write them here for the first time in brief, with prayer, and, hope that they will be a blessing to the readers, including myself and others as well.

1) To the Law and to the Testimony: Isaiah 8:19,20
Is the messenger and the message in harmony with the Ten Commandments as written by God Himself and given to Moses on Mount Sinai (Exodus 31:18; 32: 15,15;34:1,2,4,,5,28,29) and recorded by Moses in Exodus 20:1-17?

What is the messenger(s) and messages relationship with other laws and commands given by God in the Bible?

Also we should consider The revealed Testimony of God in the Bible and the Spirit of Prophecy. 2 Peter 1:16,19-20;Revelation 12:17;14:12;19:10

2)Uplifting Jesus Christ: 1 John 4:1-8.
What is the view of the messenger and the message in regard to Jesus Christ?

Jesus Christ as the Second person of the Godhead, the Divine Son of God (monogenei in Greek--The Only One, The Unique One. John 3:16), the only Saviour.(John 14:6;20:31; Acts 4:12)

Unity and Oneness with God the Father (God the Father and God the Son are inseparable. Jesus said, "You believe in God, believe also in Me" Read John 14:1,11). There are people and religions in this world that have tried and continue to try to separate God the Father and Jesus Christ. In the great controversy between Christ and Satan, which side do we, or the messenger and his message, stand?

3) By Their Fruits, you Shall Know Them: Mathew 7:20; Galatians 5:22,23.
Does the life of the messenger reflect the progressive in-working of the Holy Spirit according to the revealed Word of God? Is the message in harmony with the Bible? What is the result of the message? Does the message of the messenger lead people to or away from God? Does the messenger and the message reflect the love of God?

Although we are not perfect and cannot be in and of ourselves, our lives as believers and followers of Christ should reveal that God is allowed to continuously work in and through us and a dedication for spiritual growth to accomplish His will and make us ready to enter the Kingdom when Jesus returns.

4) Fulfillment of the Prophetic Word: Deuteronomy 18:20-22.
God warns us against a prophet who mixes truth and error. Also new messages are not to contradict the already revealed Word of God. Deuteronomy 13:1-3 The Bible prophecies have 100% fulfillment accuracy, with the knowledge that some prophecies are conditionally given by God. Some time ago, during our consecration service as Theology Students, Elder Earl E. Cleveland remarked in his sermon saying, "We do not expect another prophet after Ellen G. White, enough has been written to lead any man or woman to the Kingdom of God."

5)Relevance of the Message: 1 Corinthians 14:40.
Is the need for the particular message exist? God has a plan for His people in different ages and time throughout human history. For example, in the last days, God has a particular plan for His people in the Remnant Church who live in the Time of the End, just before the close of Earth's History..

God's end-time people have to carry the Three Angels Messages (Revelation 14 and 18) to the world. Anything or anyone that try to bring messages to divert God's people from this solemn task is OUT OF ORDER and is not relevant to our time and age. Another example regarding relevance, is time-setting. In Revelation 10:6, the heavenly messenger gave a solemn message that, by interpretation, said after the end of the longest prophetic period in 1844, "there should be time no longer." This means any other message that tries to set prophetic time regarding last day events is OUT OF ORDER and is not relevant to us.

When Ellen G. White was in Australia, a young man came to her house claiming he had a special message from God. After the young man related to Ellen that he had been shown that the heavenly probation had closed and that Ellen and her family should leave and return quickly to America, Ellen rebuked the young man saying his message was not from God. Ellen said God at His own time will reveal His will to her regarding her work away from her homeland. (Last Day Events, by E. G. White)

6)Oneness and Unity in the Body of Christ: John 17:19-21; 1 Corinthians 12:11,12; 14:12,25.
Does the messenger and the messages contribute to the oneness and unity in the Church as the spiritual body of Christ? One of the major characteristics of cult leaders is their concerted effort to pull followers from the group and try to isolate them. By creating division and isolation, the cultic-minded leaders know they can control and manipulate their followers. The other technique is depriving followers the ability and freedom to think and reason for themselves. They may hold all night meetings so the people's minds get tired and therefore absorb anything, including errors and falsehood.

God is a reasoning God. Some religions do not believe God is a reasoning God. Without naming them here, such religions control their followers and deny them the ability to think and reason for themselves. (Wafuasi wa dini hizo wanakuwa wanapokea MAPOKEO/TRADITIONS na hawarusiwi kufikiria kama mambo hayo ni kweli au sio kweli). God created us in His own image and this includes the ability to think and reason while depending on the revealed Word of God, His wisdom, guidance and help. Genesis 1:26,27. God Himself invites us to "come now, and let us reason together" with Him. Isaiah 1:18.

David Koresh, of the former Branch Davidian cult in Waco, Texas, isolated his group from their families and friends and from everyone else in the world. He made them totally dependent on him for all their needs, including spiritual and mental and Bible interpretations. He controlled their minds and isolated them. He taught his followers that everyone outside their group was evil and bent to hurt them.Those who did not leave his group on time, sadly lost their lives with him in the compound fire .

Jim Jones was another leader who led thousands of his followers away from California to the jungles of Guyana in the late 1970s. He separated his followers from their family members and from their churches and society. Only few people escaped on time from Jim Jones in Guyana before the whole group died from what was reported and video taped as a combination of mass suicide and murders.

Here I offer a silent prayer to God asking Him to help and protect us all against the delusions brought by the devil and his spiritual agents in a concerted effort to mislead, control, isolate and manipulate human minds against the revealed Word of God.

7)Finally, the Worship and Reverence Test: Revelation 4:9-11
Does the messenger worship and show reverence to God? Does the message lead others to worship the God of heaven, the Creator of heaven and earth? Who is given reverence--God or man or objects/things? Who is the focus of worship and reverence--God or man or objects (idols)?

In Revelation 4 and 5, John was allowed to see the worship scenes in heaven.The living creatures gave glory and honour and thanks to God who sat on the throne, who lives forever and ever. the 24 elders fell down before Him that sat on the throne and worshipped Him that lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, "You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power, for You have created all things, and for Your pleasure they are and were created. Rev. 4:9-11. True worship and reverence is and should be, only toward God, the Creator of heaven and earth.

May God bless and help us all.

*Text: Elia Wankyo
*Photo: Lars Justinen

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