Category: Inspirational Notes

Taking the Name of the Lord in Vain

Thou shalt not take the NAME of the LORD thy God in vain; for the LORD will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain” (Exo.20:7).
What is this NAME that we should not take in vain? A “name” in God’s economy of words is not merely a label for identifying things or persons. A name is a testimony of a character. Remember when Jacob wrestled with that angel? He said, “Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel, for as a prince hast thou power with God” (Gen.32:28). Remember Simon who after receiving and speaking a revelation had his name changed to Peter? A name was a testimony of what had happened, or a life which had been lived.
Likewise, God’s name is a testimony of His Character. As a Saviour He has been revealed to us in the Lord Jesus Christ. When we get baptised in the Name of the Lord Jesus (Act.2:38) its a testimony of having died to ourselves and rising to live by the testimony of God’s life, His Name!
Thus, to take on the name of Christ but yet live a contrary (sinful) life IS TO TAKE THE NAME OF THE LORD IN VAIN. Isnt that what Proverbs 30:9 tells us – “lest I be poor, and steal, and take the name of my God in vain“? Yes, when we lie, steal, and do all such sinful acts WE TAKE THE NAME OF THE LORD IN VAIN! Therefore, “Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity” (2 Tim.2:19)!

Being right

By Watchman Nee

Watchman Nee (1903-1972)

Nothing has done greater damage to our Christian testimony than our trying to be right and demanding right of others…We ask ourselves, Have we been justly or unjustly treated? and we think thus to vindicate our actions. But that is not our standard. The whole question for us is one of cross-bearing…

A brother in South China had a rice field in the middle of the hill.In time of drought he used a waterwheel, worked by a treadmill, to lift water from the irrigation stream into his field. His neighbour had two fields below his, and one night, made a breach in the dividing bank and drained off all his water. When the brother repaired the breach and pumped in more water his neighbor did the same thing again, and this was repeated three or four times. So he consulted his brethren. “I have tried to be patient and not to retaliate“, he said, “but is it right?” After they had prayed together about it, one of them replied, “If we only try to do the right thing, surely we are very poor Christians. We have to do something more than what is right“.

The brother was much impressed. Next morning he pumped water for the two fields below, and in the afternoon pumped water for hiw own field. After that the water stayed in his field. His neighbor was so amazed at his action that he began to inquire the reason, and in the course of time he, too, became a Christian.

So, my brethren, dont stand on your right. Dont feel that because you have gone the second mile you have done what is just. The second mile is only typical of the third and the fourth.

(Excerpt from Sit, Walk, Stand).

“I felt a thing run away…” (Remembering brother John Mark Louse)

Testimony of Healing by Bro. Jesse M. Nzima

Jesse and Moudy Nzima

I remember one Saturday morning, during the period of brother John Mark’s visit to Lusaka, in the year 2014, I suddenly developed stomach pains. The pains didn’t seem serious at the time but as the day progressed the discomfort intensified.

We were scheduled to have meetings at brother Andrew Phiri’s home later that Saturday  afternoon. The home was about 10 kilometers away from where I lived. I then realized I would not be able to make it for the gathering because of the sickness. I told my wife and the young girl we kept in the house (her niece) to proceed for the gathering.

I went to bed that night with the same problem and I was hopeful it would improve by morning. Sunday morning came and there was no improvement. We were scheduled to have a double service that Sunday. I again advised my wife to go to church without me as my condition was not improving. The brothers at church learnt of the problem the previous day. Since I’m a very expressive and noisy person, it was apparent that my absence was felt.

When my wife left for the service that is when Satan buffeted me and the real battle with diarrhoea started. I would not last five minutes before racing back to the toilet. This went on for about six hours continuously.

This kind of diarrhoea was unusual. I later noticed that the appearance and smell of stool changed. There was now a very bad stench of non-stop black stool. I lost strength and my anal area was burning. I started feeling weak and drowsy.

I lay back on my bed and started asking God to have mercy on me. I remember praying as if I was dying as the situation proved helpless. I prayed for so many things including many people I knew and family members. I asked God to have mercy on them. I also asked Him to forgive me for the things I had not done right and for the people I had not helped in my walk with God to witness my faith.

Then between 1 and 2 PM in the afternoon, something happened to me (before this I had desired for Brother John Mark to come pray for me as he was scheduled to pray for people with different needs). I heard some faint voices and laughter approaching my gate and I knew it was brothers coming over to see me during the lunch break. My heart suddenly leapt for joy. As soon as I heard the voice of Brother John Mark, I felt a thing run away (literally running away!) from my stomach through my anal area. Immediately my problem left me and I knew I was healed. This happened just before the brothers entered the house.

After entering the house brother John Mark offered a simple prayer. I told him that I would accompany the brothers to church after that. After I said that, Brother John Mark told me that I had done a good thing to obey God’s voice by not staying in bed after the prayer. Now you know that when you have severe diarrhoea, the public is one place you don’t want to hang around. Thoughts started flooding my mind and I asked myself if I knew what I was doing but my heart was too overwhelmed with joy to entertain that kind of reasoning. I went on to attend the second service and to my surprise I didn’t have the problem again. I started thinking that maybe it would start in the evening but it didn’t. I remember Brother John Mark looking at me after the service and assuring me that the problem was over and that it would never trouble me again.

On the way home I was carrying my wife’s bags and one of our twin boys in my hands. Brothers John Mark and Andrew Phiri looked at me from brother Andrew’s car, and brother John Mark jokingly said. “Look at how this man is confidently and energetically carrying bags, who would know he had diarrhoea a while ago?” I could not hold back my laughter.

The Lord did a miracle that day. But all this was on the basis of my faith, I had confidence in the gift God had put in brother John Mark. I believe he can do it for you. “But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him” (Heb 11:6).

|| Read about the Call and Ministry of John Mark Louse here.

Approaching Holy Scripture…

“For the Bible, like the great God Himself, is not to be approached with chatter and clatter and bustle, a la modern ‘Introductions’, Bible Dictionaries, or Cyclopedias Biblical; but with contrite spirit, bruised heart, and prostrate form; but above all with shoes off the feet, rather than shod with the boots of modern ‘criticism’ of patent leather, and high heeled, and creaking at that”  

Ivan Panin

A heavenly people on Earth

Let us be clear that the Body of Christ is not something remote and unreal, to be expressed only in heavenly terms. It is very present and practical, finding the real test of our conduct in our relations with others. For while it is true we are a heavenly people, it is no use just to talk of a distant heaven.Unless we bring heavenliness into our dwellings and offices, our shops and kitchens, and practice it there, it will be without meaning…We may be surprised, for I fear many of us who say we are seated in the heavenlies in Christ display a very questionable walk in our homes” – Watchman Nee in Sit, Walk, and Stand.

His faith knew no limits…(Remembering Bro. John Mark Louse)

I looked at him in amazement when during preaching he said he didn’t believe he would die; he was trusting God not to see death. At that I realised that brother John Mark’s faith knew no limits.He had a reason to live like that: he had such a close walk with God, and so much faith that all things were truly possible with God for him.

From Zambia I had arranged with brother James Veremu for Brother John Mark to visit Zimbabwe. From there he would come back to Zambia and then move on to Kenya. One day whilst eating and chatting with him on a table in the sittting room we were talking about his itinerary, and how it would be good for him to visit Asia again. Smilingly he said, “You know, the Lord had spoken to me about this. He told me that he would raise someone for me to have another round of moving to different places to preach.” After saying this, brother John Mark wondered, “After all the things I have seen in my ministry, I wonder what great things will happen again.”

Those words sunk into my mind. My thoughts went back to some months earlier when I was driving home with my wife and I suddenly stopped a conversation we were having, saying, “Lets arrange for Brother John Mark to come, Won’t it be wonderful?” It wasnt long before I informed brothers and sisters at Believers Assembly of the need to start raising money for the transport and upkeep costs of brother John Mark. Well, the rest is history. We were able to bring him over to Zambia where he moved about in different congregations to preach. In all this, one thing caught my attention – the simplicity of the brother’s apostolic ministry and how it didn’t excite many people in a manner they get excited when it’s some European or American missionaries visiting. But here in our midst was a man who had such a unique and supernatural calling into the ministry!

Shortly after brother John Mark had returned to his home in Karamoja, I phoned him. His voice sounded frail and I wondered why he sounded like that. He spoke slow. Later on when I was informed by his eldest son that he was critically ill,I realised the reason for his ill voice. Later, after I had travelled to and returned from Singapore, we received the devastating news that brother John Mark had gone to be with the Lord on 26th February 2015. This shook our souls. About a week after that, our fellowship received a comforting word from the Lord through brother Annel Silungwe, a brother at Believers’ Assembly. Here is his testimony:

In my dream, to this day, I remember so vividly the sentence “Do not worry about the passing of Brother John Mark” like it happened yesterday. After much interaction and travelling to the southern province of Zambia in Choma, with Pastor John Mark, where we stayed for one week I was personally inspired by his humility. Many times at our lodge Pastor John Mark and I shared  moments especially when he spoke of very simple but powerful testimonies of how he recovered his stolen bicycle and money on a bus.  Some years before I  had read his testimony of how he was called into the ministry and I was very much privileged to have accompanied him on  this trip.

When Pastor John Mark was finally back home in Uganda I phoned him to just check on him and find out if he travelled safely but he sounded so low that I thought he had not recognized me. I said, “It’s me brother…” As I tried to introduce myselt he responded saying, “I know brother”. We spoke for a short time and the network connection got cut.

I kept wondering what was wrong until the day I received the news of his passing. I was confused, heart-broken and I kept asking “why Lord have you permitted this to happen? A gallant servant, an anointed man to die?” It was unbelievable. A thought struck and I remembered that he had run and fought his fight well. Then I had a very strange dream in which I was crying and mourning, still asking the Lord as to why he had taken brother John Mark. Suddenly a voice came and said “Do not worry about the passing of Brother John Mark”. I woke up and found tears still running down my face., I was literally crying. I testified of this incidence during the main Sunday service at Believers’ Assembly.

In pondering over all these events, I realised that brother John Mark’s visit to Zambia, Zimbabwe, and Kenya was “another round”. The messages he preached admonished believers to stand on the Word and to have faith. More importantly, before his journey, he had a strange dream of seeing ministers naked. He was distressed by the dream as he wondered, “Why are these ministers naked?” The Lord answered him that the nakedness meant the lack of the Holy Spirit in many men who are professing to preach. In this round, this apostle of faith bid farewell without knowing that his ministry had run its course.

The next post will be a sermon by brother John Mark that I have transcribed from an audio recording. It’s a message that believers should hear – The Way of Escape. Although already available on our YouTube Channel, other people may not be aquinted with his Ugandan accent and hence miss out on important lines of thoughts brought out in the message. May God bless and keep you.

Thinking about “Matter” and “Anti-matter” in the Bible

I am thinking about how man has always been curious to understand things around him and how they were created. Aristotle the great philosopher believed that if you took a piece of matter and began to slice it to smaller pieces, it was not possible for one to reach that tiny substance which could not be split further! He believed matter was continuous and so had no fundamental unit which couldnt be brocken down further. But other thinkers, like Democritus, argued that there were indivisible units of matter that we could arrive at – atoms (the word ‘atom’ means indivisible)!
What fascinates me about this whole thing is that science has successfully gone further to demonstrate that atoms can be further brocken down to Protons, Neutrons, and Electrons. Later on an experiment was performed in which protons were collided with protons at very high speeds and it was proved that protons can actually break down further into much smaller units we call “Quarks”!
Now, here is where things get mind boggling: Every particle has an anti-particle; when these two collide they annhilate each other and so disappear. Stephen Hawking had an interesting and rather humorous speculation about this, saying “There could be whole antiworlds and antipeople made out of particles.However,if you meet your antiself, dont shake hands! You would both vanish in a great flash of light” (in “A Brief History of Time“).
Well, when I look into the Scripture Hawking’s speculation turns out to be prophecy. I have read somewhere that Sons of God have bodies sitting somewhere in the Presence of God. The day that ‘anti-body’ will come flying to meet yours, is the day you will disappear in a moment and the twinkling of an eye – “For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this [body] we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven”. (2 Cor.5:1-2). “Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump..we shall be changed…So when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal shall have put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, Death is swallowed up in victory” (1 Cor.15:51-54).

“Die and we will burry you!” (Remembering Brother John Mark Louse)

The man was in the field and got bitten by a poisonous snake. He rushed to brother John Mark to be prayed for. Brother John Mark called on the Lord to heal the man. But with time the fever was worsening and he could feel death approaching. His strength was leaving him and he had to crawl to the room where Brother John Mark was, to be prayed for again. “I am dying, pray for me again” he pleaded. “I already prayed” Brother John Mark angrily answered: “You can die and we will bury you!” Upon hearing this strange response the man stood up from his knees and walked away. He got healed and did not die.

This testimony was both strange and funny; when he shared the testimony the church was filled with both amazement and laughter. But  the testimony reminded us of a profound lesson: It is clear that healing was already granted and could only manifest when it was received by faith. Many times we cannot see the manifestation of God’s promises because we live by what we see, feel or smell. But a believer ought to live by what God’s Word declares, not by what he sees or feels (2 Cor.5:7). The Lord Jesus said, “What things soever ye desire, when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them” (Mar.11:24). Amen.