This is the last article in the article series entitled “What is Courage?”
Joshua 1:9 “Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the LORD thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.”
We have known that after the death of Moses, it came to pass that the Lord spoke to Joshua as the new bearer in leading Israel unto the Promised Land, Canaan (Joshua 1:1-4). The Lord instructed him 3 times in Chapter 1 that he needs to be strong and courageous for the Lord is always with him and that He will never fail him nor forsake him (Jos. 1:5).
NATURAL AND SPIRITUAL ISRAEL
We also knew that according to Romans 9:1-8, there are Natural and Spiritual Israel. The natural Israel is of course, the seeds of Jacob (Israel) according to the flesh. And the Spiritual Israel is the Gentile Church (us), the seeds of Abraham not in flesh but according to the election of our Lord Jesus Christ (Gal. 3:29).
In 1 Corinthians 15:46 we read, “Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.”
This means that the Natural is the type and shadow of the Spiritual. Those purposes and plan of God that happens in the Natural are also meant to happen in the Spiritual. First to the Natural then to the Spiritual. With this in mind, we now knew that those that are meant to happen to Natural Israel will surely also happen to us – the Spiritual Israel.
In the Natural Israel, Moses was sent to bring back Israel to the promised land which is Canaan. And after Moses died, it was Joshua who was commanded by the Lord to conquer the Promise Land and divide it to the children of Israel.
Just like in the Natural Israel, brother William Branham was also given the task of Moses to deliver the Spiritual Israel from the spiritual bondage of denominationalism into the Word (Bible) which is the Promise Land. Now when bro. Branham died, it was the Five-fold Ministry (Apostles, Prophets, Evangelist, Pastors and Teachers) of Ephesians 4 who was given the task of Joshua – to conquer and rightly divide the Promise Land (Bible) for the children of Israel (us).
This is where we are now, conquering and dividing the Promise Land (Bible).
MIRACLES IN THE TIME OF MOSES, BATTLES IN THE TIME OF JOSHUA
Some believers have asked me saying:
“Brother, we have known that during the time of Brother Branham, the blinds have seen, the lames have walked, the deaf has heard, the sick were healed and even the dead were raised to life every time brother Branham prayed for them! If the God of Bro. Branham is also the God of today’s Five-fold Ministry, why is it that we can hardly see some miracles in their ministry?
For an answer, we need to go back to our Bible. We knew that Brother Branham has the ministry the same with Moses. And what can we see in the ministry of Moses? Lot’s of miracles! His staff turns into a snake, the 7 plagues, parting of the Red Sea, pillar of fire at night and pillar of clouds at day, bitter water turns into drinkable water, the manna and many more! All of these in order to turn the hearts of unbelieving Israel to the land of the Promise and to the Lord our God!
But have we read that the same kind of miracles occurred during the time of Joshua after they have touched the promised land? The answer is No! Why? Because unlike Moses, Joshua is tasked to conquer and divide the Promised Land. And in order to do that, he needs to go through a lot of battles and wars in order to conquer it. And this is the very reason why our Lord advised him (3 times) in Joshua chapter 1 to be strong and be courageous. Because his is not a time for miracles, HIS IS A TIME FOR BATTLES! The book of Joshua is the book of Battles! Read the whole book of Joshua and you will see the many battles they have been through.
(I am also planning to write some articles about the book of Joshua. This book is our very own story. What happened in this book are also happening to us right now. If you will only going to read that book, it is as if you are also reading today’s story of the Bride. We can see our own reflection on it.)
Just like in the time of Joshua, this is what’s happening also in today’s Bride of our Lord Jesus Christ (those that have arrived in the Promise Land). As we move forward claiming and rightly dividing the Promised Land, we experienced a lot of battles and opposition around us. That’s why we should not wonder why unlike in the time of Bro. Branham, today has lots of factions and groups in the Endtime Message movement.
Ours is not a time of signs, miracles and wonders. Ours is a time of battles! If you are looking for great miracles today just like those that happened in the time of Bro. Branham, then you are looking at the wrong time.
Today, many are bombarding us with different battles. The true members of the Five-fold ministry are also bombarded with different kinds of opposition, pressures, persecutions just to stop them from claiming and rightly dividing the land to the children of Israel. Well, they don’t know that we are precious stones and we need these battles in order to be strong.
We should all remember that this is the time that we should be taking the things that have already been given to us – the promises that we are once afraid or fearful to claim. This is about putting on the whole armor of God and courageously facing the battles before us. Be strong and be courageous! Fight a good fight!
COWARDS VS. COURAGEOUS MINISTERS
Interestingly, during the time of Joshua, not all who claimed to be with him are really with him. The same thing that not all who claimed today to be members of the Five-Fold ministry are really members of the Five-Fold. Some are only after their own benefits and their own belly. Today, we have been given the eagle anointing to clearly see the difference between the two. We have the eagle eyes not only to spot the true ministers of the Lord, but also the false anointed ones and to beware of them.
True Five-Fold ministers are strong and courageous because they have the qualities of Joshua. They are not cowards. So how can we differentiate between the two? Here are the clues that we need to look at to identify the courageous from those cowardly ministers:
1. COWARDS DOESN’T KNOW HOW TO SAY SORRY. COURAGEOUS MINISTERS ARE THE FIRST ONE TO APOLOGIZE.
There’s a saying that goes like this:
“The first to apologize is the most COURAGEOUS, the first to forgive is the STRONGEST and the first to forget is the HAPPIEST.”
This saying is true because cowards cannot apologize. The ability to apologize is only the attribute of the courageous ones. Why? Because to apologize means to swallow your pride, to lower yourself and to be courageous enough to admit that you are wrong even if it means losing your reputation as a person and losing something dear to you by admitting that you made a mistake or sin.
By swallowing your pride means humbling yourself to the one you have offended. To humble yourself is not an easy thing, it needs great courage. By admitting your mistake, you are also accepting the possibility that people will leave you or the possibility that you will lose something dear to you as a consequence of committing that mistake. If you are afraid to lose those dear to you but still you choose to face it and admit your mistake, then that’s true courage.
But if you are a coward person, you can never lower yourself to the one you have offended. You will even find a way to make it looked like you are the one who has been offended and the one who needs an apology and not the person whom you have offended or sinned against. This way, you will never lose your reputation and you will never lose someone or something dear to you. These are only the ways of a coward minister who do not know how to admit his mistakes. Today, even if they have offended their fellow minister, they won’t apologize. They are preaching that we should all learn how to admit our sins but they themselves don’t want to do it.
If you are a person like this, behold, sin lay at the door and it will going to hold you (Gen. 4:7). No one can escape sin unless you have admitted it and apologized for it. It will going to hold you and you will never be free unless you have admitted it. It is just like what they said, “Sin is like a credit card, enjoy now, pay later”. And the more you keep it, the more the consequences are, the more it will have a hold in you.
But if you’re a person who has been born again, the Holy Spirit in you will convict you and will convince you to admit your mistakes because It is the TRUTH that’s in you (John 17:17). It will tell you to apologize to the one you have offended. And that TRUTH would always have wanted us to side in the truth because It rejoices whenever the truth wins (1 Cor. 13:6). And it is only this Truth that can set us free (John 8:32) from that bondage of sin.
This TRUTH is actually the Word (Spirit) of God in us and this Truth is the light of men. And if we have been born again, we dwell not in darkness anymore.
Now, this Truth in us can defend itself. Coward people may bend it, some even twist it, some misuse it and some even abuse it. BUT I TELL YOU, EVEN THE ANGELS CANNOT CHANGE IT. If there is something you should side with, always side with the Truth. For it never loses any battle. And at the end of the day, Truth always prevails!
But most of today’s ministers are cowards in admitting their mistakes. If ever they have the Holy Spirit (Truth) in them, then they have been grieving It (Eph. 4:30) just to protect their reputations and the numbers of their congregation.
2. COWARD MINISTERS FORM GROUPS. COURAGEOUS MINISTERS DOESN’T FORM ANY GROUPS.
For coward ministers, their shelter is in their groups. They are highly confident that as long as they are in the group of the true Five-Fold Ministers, God is with them and they are safe. So, therefore, they think that they are safe knowing that true ministers of God are with them.
It is for this reason that they are recruiting every member of the five-fold ministry to join their group so that they will have the monopoly of the ministry and revelations given by the Lord through His ministers. And of course, if most of the true five-fold ministers are in their group, they can proudly say:
“We are the true Bride of Christ, true ministers are with us. Because these true ministers of God are within us, we are the only group who could receive true revelations and therefore we are the ones who can be Raptured! You should also join our group!”
I have once talked to a brother who also believes like this. He told me that Pastor ______ and Minister _________ are with them and that they are true ministers of God. Then he proceeded that if I believe that they are true ministers of God, I should also join their group so that I will be perfected by the five-fold ministry. If I will not join them, then I am not acknowledging today’s five-fold ministry, therefore, I will not hear the revelation of the Lord brought through them which will also lead for me not making it to the rapture!
People with this kind of beliefs are blinded by Satan’s scheme of the Bottomless Pit! They think that they can monopolize the revelation of God by their groups! They are truly the example of cowards ministers.
First of all, let it be known that true five-fold ministers are employed by God (Matt. 20:1-16). The Lord is their employer and NOT the Bride nor the people nor a group of people. Therefore, true fivefold ministers of God will only obey God. They will go wherever God would lead them to go. And you cannot find them in a group of people or a group of ministers manipulating them. If they are into groups, then this will lead them having two employers which will lead to the cancellation of their employment to the Lord for the Lord hates a minister having two or more employers just like what Balaam did.
Therefore, no true minister of God is in the shelter of a group. If he is in a group right now, he will realize this and he will get out of it. His shelter and strong tower is only the Lord who employed him. The Lord will be the One to provide all his needs and the rewards for his labors at the end of the day. He doesn’t need any group if God is with him.
To the members of the Bride of Christ:
If you are not into groups of ministers or churches who formed groups right now, YOU NEED NOT TO WORRY. Fear not little flock! These people telling you that you will not be raptured if you will not join them are only instilling fear in you. If you are a Bride of Christ, then your Groom has the obligation to prepare you for His wedding! He is obligated to deliver the continuous supply of His Word to you so that you will be prepared for the rapture. Even if you are in the most remote place right now or in the most unreachable place right now, the Lord will make a way to sustain you by His Word.
Take for example Cornelius in Acts 10. He is a devout man, and one that feared God with all his house, which gave much alms to the people, and prayed to God always (Acts 10:2). But He doesn’t know about the Lord Jesus Christ and he did not know any of His apostles. And so the Lord sent His angel to him telling him that Simon Peter will come to him and will deliver him His Word (Acts 10:1-6).
And so just like the angel of the Lord told him, Peter came to him, delivered him the Word of God and introduce to Him the Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 34:43). And the Holy Ghost fell in the house of Cornelius, to those people that heard the Word (Acts 10:44).
See? If you are a Bride of the Lord, you don’t need to join any groups! He will make a way for you to hear His Word trough His true and willing ministers!
Another best example also is the Church in Leon, Iloilo, Philippines.
The Church is located in a very remote area on the top of the hill which is about 1-and-a-half-hour travel from the city. In order to reach It, you need to trek the muddy rice field first. The area is also known to be infested by members of New People’s Army (NPA) which is considered a terrorist group by the Philippine Government. There have been also so many cases of bombing and encounters between their groups and the Armed Forces of the Philippines. There are only 12 to 15 believers their whose into rice and vegetable farming where they also get their income. In short, life there is very simple and the believers there are not financially rich.
So if you are a minister who is into groups whose aim is to recruit believers and ministers to join your group for financial matters, you won’t probably go there because aside from it is difficult and dangerous to reach, there are only a few believers and they are not financially able. So unless you are a minister sent by God, you will eventually fail on this Church. You will get nothing from It.
But if you are a minister sent by God whose doing what the Lord is leading you to do, then you will eventually reach this Church. For only God-sent ministers can reach it. Believers there even though few in number, are faithful to their Lord. They never let the hardship be a hindrance to them in serving the Lord. That’s the reason why their prayers are answered. True ministers of God like Bro. Richard Gan of Singapore, Bro. James Veremu of Zimbabwe, Bro. Akpan Blessing Nice of Nigeria and Bro. Andrew Phiri of Zambia has been there to minister the Word of God to those believers!
And to tell you, this is also the Church being used by the Lord so that I may grow in His Word.
So no matter where you are, no matter what your race, language, country, or status in life, as long as you are a Bride of our Lord, you don’t need to belong to any group of ministers just so the Word of God will reach you. Our Lord will find a way through His loyal servants to reach you.
Being united in faith means, even though you are in Africa and we are in the Philippines and the others are on the other parts of the world, we are still all united in one faith which is the faith of our Lord Jesus Christ (Gal. 2:16, Gal. 3:22, Rev. 14:12) because we are members of One Body which is His Body. Simply put, we are being united by Him and in Him. Our faith is united by His Faith because all members of the Body is connected to the Head, which is Him (1 Cor. 12:27).
3. COWARD MINISTERS DEPEND ON THEIR GROUPS. COURAGEOUS MINISTERS DEPEND ON GOD.
The problem of the Church today is that there are more coward ministers than the courageous ones. Very few are just like Joshua.
Here in the Philippines for example, most of the pastors here are joining some group of ministers or group of churches so that their “church” will survive. They reasoned out that if they have no group of ministers to join to, they won’t be able to feed the flock alone without the help of other ministers. But if they are in a group, they can organize a regular joint fellowships or camp meetings to feed and to “energize” their flock.
If you are a believer who has no money to go to these fellowships, probably it will be hard for you to regularly hear the Word of God through their joint fellowships and camp meetings.
But the Lord never works this way. The Lord works the other way around. All throughout the Bible, true ministers of God DO NOT DEPEND IN GROUPS. God will send true ministers if a sheep is needing His Word. You don’t need to organize a group. The Church’s survival does not depend on groups of men; it depends on God alone. He is the Great Shepherd (Psalm 23:1). Organizing a group is useless and ways of coward ministers.
We must also remember that behind every group, there is always a “minister” who would want to be a “Chief Apostle” or “Elder Pastor” or a “Chief Pastor” to lead that group. They are the ministers who would always attempt to control the group. Of course in the Endtime Message Circle, no one will admit that he is the leader of the group. But you will eventually notice who is controlling the group.
If you are a true minister of the Lord, you don’t need to depend on your group for financial funding in order to do Him a service or in order to attend those joint fellowships. Just take for example, Philip.
The Lord told Philip through His angel that he needs to go to Gaza which is a desert (Acts 8:26). Philip doesn’t know who or what he will going to encounter there. But he went because the Lord told Him and because he is a servant of the Lord. Should not every minister of the Lord do the example shown by Philip? You are free to go whenever the Lord told you because you have no group that will stop you! Your only master is the Lord!
Then according to Acts 8:27, there was an Ethiopian Eunuch sitting inside a chariot and reading the book of Isaiah whose aim is to go to Jerusalem to worship that day. And the Spirit of the Lord told Philip to go to the Eunuch and ask if he understands what he reads. The Eunuch said he does not understand It. So Philip explained to him the Word and introduced to him the Lord Jesus Christ. And on that very same day, the Eunuch got baptized (Acts 8:38).
After the Eunuch’s baptism, Philip was transported by the Spirit of the Lord from Gaza to Azotus where he continues to preach in all the cities there (Acts 8:40)! All because there are still people needing to hear the Word of God in different cities!
See? If you are a true minister of the Lord, you don’t need to depend on any group to fund your missionary works or to organized joint fellowships in your group for the church to survived or to have money for your travels! If you are a member of His Bride, or the Church you are tending is His flock, then He will be the One to send His ministers to you and to the Church! Even if the Church is in a desert state, He will send the likes of Philip to baptized you in his Water. You don’t need to join in any group just to get access to His ministers! In fact, you cannot find true ministers of God inside these groups!
If you are a Bride of the Lord, you need not to worry if you will not be able to attend a joint fellowship or a camp meeting if you don’t have enough money. Because the Lord himself will find a way for His Word to reach you! And His ways are always better than the ways organized by ministers!
The Church in Iloilo has no monthly ministers’ meeting. They don’t have a yearly joint fellowship or are able to attend a yearly camp meeting unlike most of the churches here in the Philippines. If they do have joint fellowships, they won’t probably be able to join also because of financial matters. All they have is a regular Sunday fellowship. But the Lord never forgets this Church and He regularly sends his true ministers there to deliver His Word to us. If you are asking whether we are growing spiritually in that kind of situation, I challenge you to come visit that Church of the Lord and see for yourself! This is the Church Whom I always visit whenever I wanted to be spiritually strong with the Word.
4. COWARDS MINISTERS ARE SAYING THAT WE SHOULD NOT DIVIDE OURSELVES TO THEM. COURAGEOUS MINISTERS ARE SAYING THAT WE SHOULD DIVIDE AND SEPARATE OURSELVES FROM COWARDS.
Most of today’s ministers are saying that we should not separate ourselves from other Endtime Message believers who are into groups and have different beliefs from us and that we should “love” each other because they said that one day, all the differences will be reconciled.
I just want to remind these ministers that the purpose of today’s Joshua (Five-Fold Ministers) is to conquer and divide/separate the promised land. Not to form groups. The opposite is what we should be doing right now.
According to 2 Timothy 2:15 if you are a Workman of God:
“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.”
The Greek word in use here for rightly dividing is or-thot-om-eh’-o [ortho + temno]. The meaning of the word “temno” is “to cut” from the fact that we cannot cut without dividing. To divide is the very nature or the act of cutting. Even as applied to direct one’s way, this implies that we divide or cut-away ourselves from others who are doing wrong or who believes wrong, because we desire to follow the right way and avoid the wrong. Or simply put, we need to SEPARATE from the wrong.
The scope of the verse plainly teaches that: Our one great aim is to seek God’s approval, and not man’s.As workmen, our aim is to have no cause to be ashamed of our work. If you are rightly dividing, you need not to be ashamed of it. In order to gain God’s approval and avert our own shame, we must rightly divide the word of truth. To do this, we must direct our path in the right way which is His way and not man’s way.
What is the right way? Our ways can only be made right by God’s causing us to proceed on His way – i.e., by avoiding all the wrong ways introduce by men. In other words, the right way is dividing ourselves away from the ways of men. All of these tell us that we shall not get the truth if we do not divide (cut) ourselves from them; and that we can only get the truth only through the way introduce by the Lord. For how can one rightly divide the Word of God if he himself is not dividing (cutting) away from these groups? How can the Lord work through him?
If you consider yourself as a true member of today’s five-fold ministry, then you must act as Joshua did. You should only have one master to Whom you are reporting and taking commandments. You should divide yourself away from those groups.
There’s nothing wrong with joint fellowships and camp meetings as long as these activities are not being used by these groups to hold you. These activities are actually great blessings if used in the correct way. But if the ministers behind these activities are using them as a tool to hold you and the flock, then you better separate from them. It’s better not to have joint fellowships and camp meetings than to be in their cages.
You are an Eagle. Eagles should be free. We have been freed already. We should not put ourselves in these cages device by men again. Look for those true ministers of the Five-Fold who are having fellowships without holding you to join them, without any strings attached. They are few but they still exist. And Always remember the only string that should hold us is the Faith of Our Lord Jesus Christ in us.
The reason why God cannot work on today’s ministers is that they are afraid to stand and to suffer for the Word of God. They want an easy life being a minister. Remember that according to Revelation 21:8 the fearful cannot enter New Jerusalem and they shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
Still, the question remains: Where are the Joshuas of today? If you think that you are one of today’s five-fold ministers then ask yourself:
“Have I been strong and courageous? Have I fully trusted the Lord in this ministry or I’ve been dependent on my group?”
Remember: We only live once. We are only given one opportunity here on earth to serve our Lord. Do it with courage! Serve Him courageously!
Right on this moment, you need to choose also whom you will serve just like what Joshua have asked the people of Israel in the last chapter of his book in verse 15:
“CHOOSE YOU THIS DAY WHOM YE WILL SERVE”
Will you serve your group of ministers or will you serve the Lord?
I don’t know about you, “but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD!”
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