this is a powerful testimony given by one of the current co-workers under the ministry of John Sung (he has passed on) but many groups are still studying the scriptures and evangelizing as he did when he brought the gospel to China in the early 1900's. This is a testimony message given at a women's conference.
First, allow me to bring you greetings and peace on behalf of all the coworkers at the Home of Grace in the United States. Let me also express my gratitude to the Chairperson of this conference for this opportunity to share. May glory and praise be given to our God almighty!
The first topic that I would like to share with you is Run away from sins, be holy and useful to Him
Behold, the LORDs hand is not so short that it cannot save; nor is His ear so dull that it cannot hear. But your iniquities have made a separation between you and your God. (Isaiah 59:1/2)
Therefore, if anyone cleanses himself from these things, he will be a vessel for honor, sanctified, useful to the Master, prepared for every good work. (2 Timothy 2:21).
Run away from sins, be holy and useful to Him must precede revival and is the foundation of revival. It is also a must if any of us here were to receive His grace. There is nothing else more important! We need to be holy, because He is holy. ? Without holiness, no one will see God, nor can we be used by God ( Hebrew 12:14). Our work has to be holy. Our service to Him has to be holy. Our family has to be holy. Most of all, ourselves have to be holy. Or else, God will hide His face from us and be angry. All our effort and labor will be in vain. Today, as we wait on the eve of the second coming of our Lord, Satan is trying his best; he is also on full speed to destroy, attack, tempt, poison and engulf Gods children, specially every one of those who are serving and useful for Him. We must be doubly alert and guard ourselves with close attention. Or we could easily fumble and be hurt and not even know it.
I heard another voice from heaven, saying, come out of her, my people, so that you will not participate in her sins and receive of her plagues; (Revelation 18:4). Let us listen carefully, because this is the voice from heaven. Babylon is the world of sin and Satan is the king of this world. He has already laid out snares of sins to trap men so that they cant escape. So when Gods voice calls to shake us, wake up and run quickly from the net that traps us.
1. The snare of lust: Paul warned us: Flee immorality. Every other sin that a man commits is outside the body, but the immoral man sins against his own body. (1 Corinthians 6:18). Samson was a judge selected by God. Time and again, he was greatly moved by His spirit. He killed a lion with his bare hands and killed one thousand Philistines with a single piece of donkeys jaw bone. But he could not conquer his own lust. He repeatedly gave in to the lures of his temptresses. In the end, he lost Gods presence and the power that God gave him. He brought great shame to Gods name. Dear co-workers! We are women that serve God. In our marriages and families, we must be holy. We must bear witness for Him. We must not only keep ourselves holy in body and flesh, but in thoughts and spirit. Gods workers should not carry on extramarital affairs, should not have any improper relationships in secret, should not live with someone without being married to the person. The scripture warns us: dont lie to yourself. God cannot be slighted. A person reaps what he sowed. Therefore, among our co-workers, or fellow believers, regardless if of the same sex or not, we must remain blameless and holy. Many of Gods great servants fell victim and became captive to their own lust in spite of their great spiritual gifts and work. As a result, they lost everything and were totally ruined. Satan swallowed them alive. How heart-wrenchingly sad!
2. The snare of money-loving: the love of money is the source of all evil. Many strayed from the truth due to their greed for money. They then pierced themselves with anguish. For the love of money, Judas sold Jesus and became a man of eternal damnation. Achan, due to his greed for gold, silver and beautiful mantle, deceived and then tried to hide his sins. His actions caused the defeat of the entire Israeli camp by the enemies. He ended up perished along with all his possessions. In the past, I have witnessed the ruin of many Chinese who went oversea. They were tempted by gold and fell into Satans trap. Some even lost their lives. What tragic endings! We need to follow Abrahams example when he met King of Sodom. He would not take one piece of thread nor one shoe string from the king. As servants of God, we need to be at all time and in every situation, never to sway, never to be tainted, never to take anything that can be considered as bribe, and to refuse any material gains that are even vaguely improper. Let us sever ourselves from all forms of greed.
3. The snare of the idols: The scripture said You shall not make for yourself an idol, or any likeness of what is in heaven above or on the earth beneath or in the water under the earth. You shall not worship them or serve them; ?.For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God. (Deuteronomy 5:8/9). Co-workers and believers in church and Christian groups often develop emotional attachment that is unhealthy or abnormal. Somehow they are drawn to each other or become each others idol. They are tainted; they then even sin and create scandals. Some worship their spiritual leader to the extent that he or she then becomes their idol. Similarly, we should deter other believers from worshiping us or put us onto a pedestal, because in the end we could potentially become their idol. God will not tolerate any deed or behavior that takes away His glory for ourselves, or puts ourselves in his position.
I recall my own similar failure in the past. This happened about 15 years ago while I was still in China. On the surface I was diligently traveling all over and fervently serving God. Outwardly, I was busy; inwardly I neglect to dwell deeply within Him. I began to drift. I started to show off myself and became idol for other Christians. I began to place my work and accomplishments as my idol. I further put certain individual young co-workers as my idol. As a result, I brought about great spiritual loss to myself as well as to many others. I sinned greatly against God. Praise Him; it was only due to His mercy that in time He brought me back to the City of Refuge. I retreated back to His bosom; set aside all of my work, stayed still and reflected on my deeds. In the light of the Holy Spirit, I saw myself covered in filth. I knelt before Him and painfully repented and was cleansed. I have a touching understanding of the deadly and devious scheme of Satan to contaminate Gods servants.
My co-workers! We are surrounded by many painful lessons. We must recognize that idol is what God abhors most. We must thoroughly destroy idols. We must want brokenness of our old selves. We must make invisible of ourselves. We then must love and follow Him with our whole heart and whole being. We need to follow the beautiful example and testimony of Apostle John that ?/span> He shall increase, I shall decrease?/span>. Let us, all through our lives be ?/span>only Jesus, forever Jesus?/span>. Only Jesus deserves all of our praises and adoration. Hallelujah!!
4. Snares of the World: We know that Demas, who was once the co-worker of Paul, left Paul for Thessalonica because of his love for the world. We learn that Lot nearly lost his life along with Sodom simply because he loved the world and was attached to Sodom. On the path to follow Jesus, many fall into traps of various sins of the world. The love of God is no longer in them. They no longer want to follow God. Consequently, they are often forever lost from Gods team?These are all our lessons! Today, many youth are deeply entangled in the maze of lewdness, violence, mysticism, ill-guided and ghostly websites and computer games. They have wasted their valuable times, health, schooling, even to the point of giving away their precious future. Some became affected by insomnia, depression, and cant work or go to school. The vicious scheme of Satan! This is very much like drug addiction or gambling. Once you are hooked, it is very difficult to escape. They are in Satans bondage daily and surrounded on all sides by evil spirits. The consequences are hard to imagine. What can this world give us only transient satisfaction of our fleshly needs; in exchange is emptiness, is chasing after the wind, and is pain and catastrophe! Therefore, the Scripture said Do not love the world. If a man loves the world, the love for God is no longer in him. Dear sisters! Are we still in Satan? bondage? Are we lack self-control? Why dont we look on Jesus Christ our Savior? He will save us! He will free us! In the name of Jesus we are more than conquerors! Hullelujah!
5. The snares of gluttony and addiction to drinks: This is another of Satans trap. He wants man to seek only luxury and pleasure of this life. Man ended being absorbed in the limits of his own sweet small family. He lives a life of worldly comfort for himself that is completely devoid of eternal meaning. He is selfish and self-serving. He does not care about the life and death of others. He is totally ignorant to and insulated from the great commission, spreading of the gospel, church, and Gods work. The Scripture said While they are saying peace and safety! then destruction will come upon them suddenly like labor pains upon a woman with child, and they will not escape. (1 Thessalonians 5:3). Time is running out! We must wake up and do what is good and right. We need to thirst for Gods words, be alert in our prayers, fervently saving the lost souls. We need to get away and be free from the boundary of our self.
6. The snare of the false teaching: The Scripture warned us: For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but wanting to have their ears tickled, they will accumulate for themselves teachers in accordance to their own desires, and will turn away their ears from the truth and will turn aside to myths. (2 Timothy 4:3-4)
We have apparently seen the rapidly approaching end of the world. Satan therefore is trying his very best to deceive us with his treachery. He uses false and heretic teachings to bewitch the children of God. They add or delete Gods words, perplex people by words that appear or sound to be true but were in fact false. They twist or falsify His words, and also jumble up the truth. All of such deeds were done to entice and mislead Gods children onto the wrong path. Satan also uses great miracles and supernatural happenings to bewilder and lead many to go astray from the truth and follow other gospels. What treacherous and horrid fraud! Dear sisters! We must build ourselves on the most holy truth. We need to pray in the Holy Spirit and keep ourselves in His love incessantly. We need to look up for His mercy until eternity. Our sisters need to rise, aggressively equip ourselves to be the warriors of truth and prayers. During these treacherous last days of the world, stand up courageously to defend the truth. Be good witness for Jesus!
Isaiah exclaimed Depart, depart, go out from there. Touch nothing unclean; Go out of the midst of her, purify yourselves, you who carry the vessels of the Lord. (Isaiah 52:11)
Jesus woefully sighed about Jerusalem Jerusalem, Jerusalem, who kills the prophets and stones those who are sent to her! How often I wanted to gather your children together, the way a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, and you were unwilling. (Matthew 23:37)
Dear sister! Jesus Christ and His salvation are our only Refuge. His words are our fortress. We can only flee into Him in order to be out of death and into life. That is the only way to escape from the tempting snares of Satan. Only then can we enjoy peace and rest in Him. We must be persistent in reading the Scripture daily in His spirit. Pray in His spirit. Let our lives bond tightly with Him. Let our every thought, words and deeds be yielding to His will and not mans. We are women that carry on His great commission. We need to keep ourselves clean and blameless. Escape from the wretches of Babylon. Depart from the path of evil and sever ourselves from all sins.
And He Himself bore our sins in His body on the cross, so that we might die to sin and live to righteousness?. (1 Peter 2:24). Gods words are the evidence of our victory. Cross is the secret strategy of victory. Prayers are the weapon for our victory. We need to learn the prayers of David: Keep me as the apple of the eye; Hide me in the shadow of your wings.(Psalm 17:8)
From the end of the earth I call to you when my heart is faint; Lead me to the rock that is higher than I. (Psalm 61:2).
When we offer such prayers, we will escape from sin, be holy and fitting for His use! His cross! His cross! May it forever be our glory!
A message on the Women Conference
In Nigeria of Africa (8/23/2007)
SI Moderator - Greg Gordon