The Harvest Is Ripe!
"He will throughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner"
(From a radio sermon of Bro. Julius Adewumi).
In 1Sam.14, we see the story of Jonathan when there was a war between the Philistines and Israel. At this point it was like a stalemate. No one was moving against the other and king Saul was still waiting for what God would do. Let's see how faith manifest at times and how we may find the Lord moving upon us without really realizing that it is the Lord moving. If we will just follow our spirit, we will realize many times, God has sealed instruction into us. "He openeth the ears of men and sealeth their instruction that he may withdraw man from his purpose, and hide pride from man." (Job. 33:16-17 ).
"It came to pass upon a day that Jonathan the son of Saul said unto the young man that bare his armor, Come and let us go over to the Philistines' garrison, that is on the other side. But he told not his father."
From verse 6 is where Jonathan began to talk.
"And Jonathan said to the young man that bare his armor, Come, and let us go over unto the garrison of these uncircumcised; it may be that the Lord will work for us: for there is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few".
What I want you to first notice here is that Jonathan said, "it may be that the Lord will work for us". That is, he was not saying the Lord led him. Many times the Lord leads his people without them knowing that it was the Lord, especially those who are not specifically prophets. An idea may come to your spirit, yet you may not realize it came from the Lord, but if you learn to follow your spirit, which has been regenerated when you are a born again Christian, you will not go wrong. The Lord told me one day that I should follow what comes to my spirit more. That is why I am passing this knowledge to you also.
Idea was coming to Jonathan from the Lord, and he could only call it an idea because he was not a prophet. When the Lord wants to do some mighty work through a fellow, he will put an idea into his heart. We cannot say Jonathan was greatly anointed, however God wanted to deliver Israel. It was commonly known by Israel that "there is no restraint to the Lord to save by many or by few", so it was not a new thing for any Israelite to say, since they have heard the stories of exploits of Gideon, and Samson who were before them. So Jonathan was speaking in faith when he began to speak those words to his armor bearer.
Just as I said before, faith must confess the mightiness of our God, just like Jonathan did here.
v.7 "And his armor bearer said unto him, Do all that is in thine heart: turn thee; behold I am with thee according to thy heart."
This is also very important: you need support from people like-minded as yourself. You need men that believe like you believe. If his armor-bearer had been negative, he could have turned Jonathan back. If the armor-bearer was afraid of death he could have said, "Hey, let's be careful! Let's not do something foolish! You know we didn't tell the king about it, we have no back-up! They might kill us! etc. etc." He would have turned Jonathan back and God would not have been able to do his wonders that day through Jonathan.
You can see why God told Gideon to let the fearful go back home and God finally chose only 300 men to go with Gideon. It was for the same reason. Choose your companions carefully. It may be the difference between your victory and your failure.
You need men like you that will boost your faith and not drag you down. Similarly choose the congregation where the word of God is preached with faith and anointing, where the sermons of the pastor is to boost your faith and not to cast fear upon you where you cannot act your faith because of negative preaching. The body of Christ is to be nurtured until we all come in the unity of faith and of the knowledge of the son of God unto a perfect man. You don't need to keep listening to sermons from a pastor that keep telling you the days of miracles are past, etc. They are dragging you down and not building you up. You don't want such pastor to be preaching to you every Sunday. You want a place where faith is preached with confidence in our God, and boldness to stand for God, and readiness to exercise our faith in God. The bible said, "iron sharpens iron". (Prov.27:17). Therefore choose your congregation carefully. Also choose your companion carefully, not choosing a partner that can push you to extreme, like a wife can push her husband too much after money. You want to be balanced in your faith, not dragged down, and not pushed to extreme. The word of God is balanced.
v.8 "Then said Jonathan, behold we will pass over to these men and will discover ourselves unto them. If they say thus unto us, Tarry until we come to you, then we will stand still in our place, and will not go up unto them. But if they say thus, Come up unto us; then we will go up: for the Lord hath delivered them into our hand, and this shall be a sign unto us."
Now what he was saying is this: we will show ourselves to these Philistines, and if they asked us to come over, we will go over to attack them. But if they told us to stay where we are for them to send some soldiers to arrest us, then we will stay and not attack them. He said, "that will be a sign to us". How do you think he decided this? The idea came to him from the Lord. The still small voice, which God uses to lead his people, comes to us like this sometimes. In our daily ventures, it will sound like a thought, or an idea. Unless you have become conversant with the Lord, you may not notice the voice into your heart as coming from the Lord. Most of the leading from the Lord will come to you as a good idea that will suddenly bring light to your mind that, "hey, that is what I should do." An example was when Abraham's servant went to Mesopotamia to find a wife for Isaac. (Gen. 24:12-15). When the servant of Abraham reached Mesopotamia, and he went to the well of waters he started thinking what he would do, and the idea of what to do came to him from the God of Abraham whom he served. The servant said, "when a lady comes to the well, I will ask the lady for water, the lady who volunteer to water my camels should be the lady God has chosen for Isaac." We may say, that is far-fetched. Which lady will be ready to waste time watering your camels? But the idea came to him from the Lord and it worked.
God will put idea into your heart but you are the one to execute it. The same with Jonathan, he did not know it was God who put the idea into his heart, he was simply following what came to his spirit.
v.11 "And both of them discovered themselves unto the garrison of the Philistines: and the Philistines said, Behold, the Hebrews come forth out of the holes where they had hid themselves. And the men of the garrison answered Jonathan and his armor bearer, and said, Come up to us and we will shew you a thing. And Jonathan said unto his armor bearer, Come up after me: for the Lord hath delivered them into the hand of Israel."
The sign worked for Jonathan. He and his armor bearer went up and fought the Philistines. He was not coming to surrender but to kill some soldiers. When he began to kill them like that, twenty Philistine soldiers were killed, the others panicked.
v.15 "There was trembling in the host, in the field, and among all the people: the garrison and the spoilers, they also trembled, and the earth quaked; so it was a very great trembling".
Now this is faith. Let's analyze it. In faith it's not just your boldness. Your boldness has to be anointed. The Holy Ghost has to be around you for your boldness to be called faith.
Another thing is that you have to confess your faith. You have to confess how you want it to happen.
We also said in the earlier broadcast that, anyone that will exercise faith must not be afraid of the consequences that may occur in case the faith does not work. When you begin to elevate in your heart the consequence if the faith fails, you will not be able to exercise the faith. God wants those who are ready to die for their faith. Christ pointed out to us that we must be ready to lose our life for his cause. "He that keepeth his life shall lose it." "He that hated not his father or mother, or brethren, or his own life also, he cannot be my disciple".
In Rev.12:11, this is the faith God commanded at this end time. "And they overcame him by the blood of the lamb, by the word of their testimony. And they loved not their lives unto the death."
First, the blood of the lamb: it means without the blood of the lamb of God, we cannot be saved. Without being saved and born again, our faith cannot even be considered by God. You must believe that the blood of Jesus Christ atoned for your sins. This handcuffs the devil. The devil is called the accuser of the brethren. When we are washed by the blood of the lamb, our sins are forgiven, past, present and future. Then the accusation from the devil is neutralized.
Secondly the word of their testimony: we also have to confess what we believe. Confess what you want to get. Confess that "this is what I am believing for". The Lord said, "whosoever shall say unto this mountain be thou removed and be thou cast into the sea, and shall not doubt but shall believe that what he saith shall come to pass, he shall have whatsoever he saith." (Mk.11: 23).
Believe what you say even though it has not happened. Confess that our God is powerful and able to deliver.
Thirdly they loved not their lives unto the death: This is the 3rd part. What will make us to overcome? It is that we are ready to lay down our lives for Christ. Jonathan and his armor bearer were ready to die for their nation. You can see the same example in the book of Daniel, when Shedrach, Meshach, and Abednigo confessed before king Nebuchadnezzar.
They said, "if it be so, our God is able to deliver us from the fiery furnace and he will deliver us out of thy hand." Were they still afraid of death? They went further and said "but if not, (i.e even if he did not deliver us) we will not serve your gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up." (Dan.3:17).
They were ready to die. They loved not their lives unto the death. This is the faith the Lord wants us to have for this end time. The faith that can be exercised upon the word of God and not be afraid to die for Christ.
If Jonathan and his armor bearer had been afraid for their own lives, they would not venture into the Philistines' camp.
The Lord said, they that lose their life for the kingdom of heaven's sake, they are the ones who shall find their lives.
Mat. 5:6 "Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God."
v.10 "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for their's is the kingdom of heaven."
Persecution is a trial of your faith. Those who don't want to suffer persecution, are afraid for their lives when they deny Christ. Every believer must resist the temptation to deny Christ.
v.11 "Blessed are ye when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and speak all manner of evil against you falsely for my sake. Rejoice and be exceeding glad" for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."
Remember others have been persecuted before us. We must be ready to bear any consequence if faith does not produce result.
Let's see the list of men in the bible who were listed as heroes of faith.
Heb.11:32 "And what shall I more say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephtah, of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets: who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness…."
Let's talk more about the others who laid down their lives in verse 37 & 38.
v.37 "And others were tortured not accepting deliverance; that they might obtain a better ressurection: And others have trials of cruel mockings and scourgings, yea moreover of bonds and imprisonment."
That's what we are saying. We must not be afraid to lay down our lives for what we believe. All of these men are classified as men of faith. If we are to be men of faith, we must be ready to stand the test of time and not be afraid to suffer the consequences if the faith does not produce the result we desired. Stand the ground and still confess your faith like these heroes of faith. Heaven is watching to see who is going to stand.
The days are getting darker. Christ said, when the son of man shall come will he find faith on earth. What faith shall he find in you?
When we were in the prayer meeting one night, there was a prayer request from a visiting friend for a ministry in New York. The minister must have sent out newsletter or perhaps she announced on her radio broadcast that people should pray that her ministry get the money to purchase a building she wanted to use for the ministry. The request was for about 2 million dollars. I know it is very difficult for many of us to be able to pray such prayer for someone else when we ourselves cannot even believe God for our monthly rent of 300 to 500 dollars.
What we ask from the Lord and how large we ask for, most of the time, depend upon our understanding and how we believe. It also depends upon our idea of how God will send the answer to us. That is, if we are depending upon salary, we most often will be limited in our mind to employee promotion in our job as the source of the extra money we pray for. A minister who usually receives offering from multitudes may begin to expect more people to send bigger offerings and soon will be able to get the 2 million dollars. Whereas another minister who never receives any offering will doubt in his mind how the money will come and so will be limited in how much he asks from the Lord even though he can use 2 million dollars in his ministry.
In October 1993, when we have decided to sell our house, we began to advertise it for sale. For the house to be attractive in order to sell, we need to make the grasses green in the front lawn. But throughout the hot summer season I did not water the grasses and they have dried up. When I realized this, my wife and I started to water the grasses. For days we were spraying the grasses and they all looked like dead. There didn't seem to be any sign of recovery in them. At one point we carried the children's portable plastic swimming pool to the front lawn, filled it with water hoping to turn it over in order to really soak the grasses. We did not realize that it would be too heavy to turn over after it was filled with water. While we were so frustrated, I said to myself: "what we really need is rain". But it was not rainy season yet, and the weather forecast did not see any rain in sight. When I was praying in the night, I told the Lord that I desperately need rain to turn my grasses green. Not just a little sprinkle. But days of rain! The Lord said I should just say what I want and it will be so. Therefore I commanded the rain to fall in the morning for about 3 inches of rain, and for 2 to 3 days in a row. I told my wife she should not worry about watering the grass anymore because rain is coming. She said there is no rain in the forecast for days. I replied "I have asked for rain, and there shall be rain tomorrow". By the morning light there was a torrential downpour of rain like a flood. It was a record of rain that day. The rain fell three times like that until my house was almost flooded, and I had to ask heaven to stop the rain: "I have had enough", I said. This testimony is the reason why I said earlier that what you ask from the Lord and how much you ask for depends upon how you believe and the understanding you have of the position we have with God.
"And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.
If ye shall ask anything in my name, I will do it." (Jn.14:13-14).
Bro. Julius Adewumi
Gospel Distribution Ministry
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We appreciate your love offering for the work of the Lord. God bless you.