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Mar 27 2016

PASSING OVER UNTO THE OTHER SIDE

Theme:          PASSING OVER UNTO THE OTHER SIDE
 
Texts:                        Joshua 3:14-17; Mark 4:35-36
 
General Introduction: (To be given the first day before the chorus leader comes to sing)
 
This Easter, the Lord wants to pass us through yet another program titled, “Passing Over Unto The Other Side”. As an introductory comment to this program, we re-state here that the Watchman Catholic Charismatic Renewal Movement is not just one of the numerous Christian Ministries of our day. Rather, it is a unique Ministry charged with execution of the 3-fold end-time project whose objectives are:-(i) raising a great army of believers from the various denomination for an imminent harvest of souls into the Kingdom (ii) bringing about a great harvest of souls proper, as well as a great revival in the entire church (iii) fulfilling what the Lord termed ‘the pre-rapture necessity.
 
INTRODUCTION TO BIBLE TEACHING ON “THE OTHER SIDE”
it is not sufficient for anyone to claim that he/she is a believer, a “born again” Christian for that matter. From the teachings of the Lord Jesus and the Bible generally, if one asserts that one is a believer, but does not aim at being like the Master, such an one has no vision at all, either the vision of being one of His ambassadors here on earth, or that of reaching heaven at last. Such vision-less persons are floating persons who end up being Christians by mere profession (not Christians like those of Antioch in the early church (Acts 11:26). Worse still, when such persons without the said vision become Christian workers or ministers (either by the making of others, or their own making, not the Lord’s making), we can guess what their work and fruit will look like.

If the above argument be not true, how then would we explain the numerous scripture passages that talk of being like Jesus” (e.g.. Mt. 16:24; Romans 13:14; Galatians 3:27) Besides, how do we explain the passages that challenge us to the lives of those that went before us (eg. Philippians 3:12; 1 Peter 2:21)? Indeed, there is the other side to this life (as stated before) – the side where Jesus was. If we mean to effectively represent Him in this world, serve Him effectively and acceptably, be presented to Him blameless, and enjoy the bliss of a reward in heaven at last, we must then cross-over to the other side of life where He was while on earth and remain there. Let us diligently bend our minds to the exposition of a few (only) of the numerous aspects of the “other side of life”
 
OPENING TEACHING, FRIDAY, 25TH MARCH, 2016
 
Theme:          THAT WHICH WE LACK, WE CAN HAVE
 
Texts:            James 1:5-6; Luke 11:5-13; Ps. 34:10; Luke 22:35; Nehemiah 9:21
 
This is the opening teaching (apart from the introduction) of this retreat, a preparatory teaching that has to be understood and kept at the back of the mind before and while listening to the other teachings. It is the understanding, reception and application of the lessons of this teaching that will lead one to “the other side”, when the latter will have been taught.
 
The topic, “that which we lack, we can have”, is a definite truth of scripture (James 1:5-6; Isa. 41:17-18). It is simply informing us that all aspect of “the other side of life” that we need at this time, can become ours during this retreat. Let us now see how this principle (that which we lack, we can have ) works. 
 
1.         Realize Your Need/Lack (Luke 15:17; Genesis 15:2-3)
 
The first of the five steps to having one’s need met is that one realizes that one is in need, or is destitute of something (1 Samuel 4:5-8; 2 Kings 6:1; 7:3-4). Without this realization, one cannot engage in the other steps or action. It has been said that, “one who knows not, and knows not that he knows not, is a fool” (and will remain a fool) .
 
In the course of these teachings that are designed to bring us to “the other side”, our lacks will be revealed. We owe ourselves the duty of seeing ourselves in the proper perspective.
 
2.         Mourn For Your Lack/Need (Matthew 5:4)
 
To mourn in this context means, to bemoan oneself, or to express grief for not having what one should have. Jacob bemoaned himself for the ‘loss’ of Joseph (Genesis 37:31-34). Esau did so for the loss of his birthright (Genesis 27:34-38).
 
As one mourns for one’s lack, one is simply expressing the invaluableness of what one is lacking, as well as expressing the need for such things. God commands this attitude at times of need (Jer. 4:7-8; Jas. 5:1-3)
 
3.         Repent Of Any Indulgence That May Have Led To The Lack
 
Sometimes, it is the habits one is messed by that hinder one from being what God wants one to be. In such a circumstance, the person needs to earnestly repent, confess and renounce such indulgence (Pr. 28:13; Jer. 3:13; 1 John 1:9; Is. 22:12; Luke 13:2, 3; Acts 17:30). We must therefore repent of any indulgence whatever that has hindered us all this while.
 
 
4.         Realize That The Leopard Cannot Change His Spot (Jeremiah  13:23)
 
Naturally, all men are incapacitated. The greatest or wisest of men could be slain by a very small, but insurmountable habit. We must realize that we can do nothing of ourselves (John 15:5; 2 Corinthians. 3:5). If we must be changed or passed over to the other side, it must by the Lord (1 Corinthians 4:7; 2 Corinthians 3:5).
 
On realizing that we cannot change ourselves, we then turn to the Lord in prayers and weeping.
 
5.         Crave And Pray For What Is Lacked Till It Is Granted
 
Many times, people of God come to the Lord in shabby prayers, seeking these precious things. Many, through dullness of mind, not seeing their need, not seeing themselves in the right perspective, shy away from the type of prayers that are usually not refused (Luke 11:5-10; Is. 38:1-4; Mt. 26:75).
 
It must be realized that we are talking of “passing over to the other side”: where Jesus was during His humanity, and that God considers such things as pearls. If anyone seeks these things as one that is thirsty, cries for them as Esau did for a second-rate blessing, or wrestle for them as did Jacob for the change of the evil circumstance of meeting with angry Esau, the one is sure of returning from this retreat with the other side of life imparted into him/her (Is. 41:17-19; Gen.  27:34-40; 32:7-28).
 
1.         THE SIDE OF VISION
 
Vision in this context does not mean a revelation in the form of a dream, a trance, etc (Gen. 15:1; I Sam. 3:4-14; Ez. 37:1-10; Dan. 2:1-5, 17-24, 31-45, Acts 16:9-10). Rather, it means,“that goal perceived in the mind’s eye by the man and pursued”. Some examples here will help to clarify the issue.
 
(i)        Jesus had in His mind’s eye, the goal of going to the cross of Calvary and dying for the salvation of mankind and pursued it. (Heb. 12:2-3). This was a vision. He also perceived doing only the will of God and nothing less or more in His mind’s eye and pursued it (John. 4:34; 17:4 ). This also is a vision.
 
(ii)       Apostle Paul, had many visions, one of which was to carry the message of the gospel to both the Jews and Gentiles, and he pursued it (Acts 26:14-18; Rom. 1:16 ). Besides, he pursued the goal of preaching the Gospel dynamically and reaching heaven at the end (II Tim. 4:7-8 ). He also talked about the vision of laboring and presenting the church of His days perfect in Christ, should Christ come during his tenure.
 
Having defined vision, every reasonable participant in this retreat must seek to become a person of vision, as we go through what follows:-
 
 
(a)       The Vision Of The Unregenerate/Backslider
 
The unregenerate, that is, the sinner must put on some vision which will lead him/her to salvation. The following case study will help to prove the point. Ruth was a Moabitish lady who got married to an Israelite who migrated from Israel to the land of Moab because of famine (Ruth 1:1-4). On the death of Ruth’s husband, the appropriate thing for her to do was to depart and seek another husband, particularly since there was no ripe person in the late husband’s household to take her over (Ruth 1:8-13). But Ruth, though she had an idolatrous background, had the vision of serving the God of Israel (Ruth 1:14-18) So she insisted on that goal and would not be dissuaded whatever. In the end, her vision earned her a change in relationship, from relationship with the idols of her country to relationship with the Lord of heaven. She later became married to Boaz and became the grandmother of David and one of the progenitors of Christ Jesus (as it were) (Ruth 4:9-13; Matt. 1:1-16). Beside this, the case of Rahab the harlot, is another case study of how the vision of unregenerate leads her to salvation (see Jos. 2:1, 4-13; 6:16-17, 21-23). Rahab, the harlot later became married to Salmon, the great grandfather of David, as well as one of the progenitors of Jesus Christ (as it were) (Matt. 1:1-16 ).
 
The lesson from the above is clear. Vision leads to salvation. The unregenerated in this retreat can put one or more of the following visions:-
(i) entering heaven at the end of life; (ii) being one of the fine Christian people that he/she has been admiring; (iii) having forgiveness for all sins, the peace of Jesus that passeth understanding; (iv) being one of the dynamic servants of Christ before death.
 
As he/she puts on these visions, he/she is motivated to stay on until he/she prays through to forgiveness of sins and Christ is formed in his/her heart (Gal.  4:19).                    
 
NB: The backslider must learn from what vision can do for the sinner and also put on such vision that could lead him to restoration.
 
(b)       The Vision Of The New Convert/Believer
 
All those who newly became regenerated or children of God through repentance from dead works and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ (Acts 20:20-21; Heb. 6:1), cannot afford to continue without putting on vision. There is a lot of vision for him/her to put on. A few of such visions are as follows:-being true ambassadors of Christ, or being Christlike in all aspect of life (Acts 11:25-26; 4:13; Phil. 2:5-8; 2 Cor. 5:20; Mt. 11:29); (ii) reaching heaven at last (I Cor. 9:27; II Cor. 13:7); (iii) being zealous workers in the house of the Lord (Acts 22:3; Tit. 2:14; Rev. 3:19). 
 
If there is no such vision, the individual is like a propeller-engine that has no propeller. Backsliding is easy in the circumstance, since nothing per-se is pushing the one forward. Soon degeneration (through persecution and the pleasure of sin) can set-in, and he/she becomes a source of mockery to the Lord and Christianity (Phil. 3:18; II Pt. 2:17; Jude 18).
 
(c)       The Vision Of The Christian Worker
 
The one that is already a Christian worker cannot do without vision. There is the vision of the 3-fold End-Time Project mentioned earlier to lay to heart. There is the vision of serving and reaching heaven and not be lost at last (1 Cor. 9:26-27;                           ). Also there is the vision of not losing the reward for labour put-in (1 Cor. 3: 9-15). Besides, there is also the vision of being Christlike in thought, word and deed while labouring(1 Jn. 3:1-3; Phil. 2:5-8; Mt. 11:29; 2 Cor. 5:20).
 
Without such vision, his/her Christian service is without diligence, non-excellent-result-oriented, and a mere fulfilment of religious obligation. Where such a person is paid for service being rendered, he/she is rendering the service only for the sake of the filthy lucre received (Rom. 16:18; Phil. 3:19; I Pt. 5:2). Without vision, his/her Christian service will soon become boring. Discouragement can set in and can lead to backsliding.
 
NB. Vision, particularly the vision of the Movement, if laid in the heart, makes it impossible for those working for or with other brethren, or in the Movement’s offices to do anything whatsoever that will jeopardize the Ministries of those people they are working for or with, and by extension, jeopardize the work of the Movement.
 
(d)       The Vision Of The Christian Leader                         
 
In the matter of the vision the Christian leader must put-on, there is a case study that suffices – Paul the apostle had the vision of continuing in his ministry and reaching heaven at last (I Cor. 9:26-27; II Tim. 4:8). He was crucified to the world and conquered by Christ, so the true minster must have the vision of beingcrucified to the world and conquered by Christ (Gal. 2:20). What about labouring consistently to ensure that nothing is lacking in the flock, and that they are presented perfect in Christ? (Col. 1:28). In-fact, the vision that can be brought from the apostle Paul are too numerous to mention here.
 
From the Lord, the Leader should buy the vision of his food being to engage in the ministry that he has received and accomplish it (Jn. 4:32-34) . There is also the vision of covering the whole places with the Gospel (Mt. 28:19-20; Mk. 16:15; Lk. 24:46-48).
 
As in the case of the Christian worker, the Christian leader without such visions as stated, is a mere fulfiller of religious obligation, whose work does not yield acceptable dividend, so not pleasing to God (Phil. 3:19; I Thess. 2:4 ), and by whom the Lord and His Gospel are mocked (Gal. 6:7). Furthermore, if he is the type that receives pay for the work, he merely serves for the sake of the filthy lucre he is receiving (Tit. 1:11; I Pt. 5:2). Without vision there is no zeal, and without zeal there is not stamina for service. In the circumstance, the weight of the work can weigh the man down and out.
 
 
 
NB:     Apart from the fore-going which pertain to the spiritual, all categories of watchmen must be people of vision also in the secular. It is only people who have perceived some goals in their minds that usually achieve something in life. Such people, because of their vision labour and persevere. And at the end, they come out with what they have targeted (Pr. 14:23; 1 Sam. 4:9-10). It could be any area of life.
 
IMPORTANT NOTES FOR THE MINISTERS
Some parts of the following section of this booklet are not outlines of the Bible teaching. They are not full teachings as we have in the topics, “What we lack, We can have” OR “The Other Side of Vision”. Therefore they must be developed into full Bible teachings and then taught.    
 
2.         THE SIDE OF THE FAITH OF THE SON OF GOD
 
To be blessed with the kind of the faith of the Son of God, Jesus, is indeed the other side of life all Watchmen must pass over to. We cannot stop teaching/ministering faith until it becomes a way of life among us. The teaching should 
 
(a)       Define Faith: Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the3 evidence of things not seen. it is a belief in or confident attitude toward God, involving commitment to His will for one’s life. Saving faith is a personal commitment to one’s life to following Christ in obedience to His commands (II Tim. 1:12;  Heb. 11:6). It is absolute dependence in the faithfulness of the creator (Mt. 9:2; 15:8).
 
(b)       Show that faith must be a way of life among us, drawing from the life of Jesus- preached in faith, prayed in faith, discussed in faith, healed by faith, etc
 
( c )     Show the inevitableness of faith- how that no one can please God who does not preach, discuss, pray in faith; How that good health cannot be maintained except through faith, neither will sickness be cured or anything for that matter be gotten without faith.
 
(d)       Show how faith can be gotten and maintained. Faith can be gotten only through hearing  the authentic word of God and having an absolute confidence and belief in it.   
 
 
3.         THE OTHER SIDE OF COMPASSION FOR THE IGNORANT AND LOST
 
This is yet another aspect of the other side of life that we must experience. The major fault that has made many people to be inactive or passive in the face of clear danger for the multitudes around them is “lack of compassion” (Lk. 10:31-37). The teaching should discuss the following:-
 
a.         The World of wounded and needy people:-
All the multitudes that do not have Christ are all wounded and needy. They have been wounded by sin, ignorance, faithlessness, etc. They have need of helpers. This is what Jesus saw and lamented (Matt. 9:36-37). Apostle Paul saw the Jews in that perspective also and lamented out of compassion (Rom. 9:1-3; 10:1-3). We must see the millions of church-going but un-regenerated people as wounded by religious error. We must see the rest of the multitudes with many other forms of evil practices and beliefs as wounded and needy.
 
b.         The Compassion Of Bible Characters:-
Eg.       Jesus, Apostle Paul and the good Samaritan (Matt. 9:36; Rom. 9:1-3; 10:1-3;  Lk. 10:30-37) etc.
 
c.         Put-on Compassion
We must cross over to the other side of compassion for the ignorant. This is easy to do, as we use our mind’s eye to see and mediate on their affliction/predicament ( II Chr. 36:16; Neh. 9:26; Is.1:4-6; Mt. 23:24-27). As compassion for the ignorant/wounded becomes our experience, aggressive evangelism will follow. We will compel them to come (Mt. 11:28; Jn. 4:28-30). We will intercede (Is. 53:12; 59:16; Jer. 27:18; Heb. 7:25). We will love and we will care.
 
4.         THE SIDE OF LOVE FOR GOD
 
It is obvious that the attitude many professed believers carry about in the Church is that of neutrality, neither loving nor hating. They have this attitude both toward God and the brethren. But this attitude is not acceptable to God, given the fact of His express command on loving God and the neighbor (Dt. .6:4, 5; 10:12; Mt. 22:36-39). Develop and discuss the following points:-
 
(a)       Love for God defined (Dt. 6:5; 10:12;  Jn. 3:16; Eph. 2:4)
(b)       Love for God commanded (Dt. 11:22; 13:3; Lk. 16:13; I Jn. 5:3)
(c)       Love for God, an utmost necessity (Jn. 12:43; I Jn. 4:8)  
(d)       Putting on love for God (Rom. 8:28; 15:30; Gal. 2:20; I Thess. 4:9; Heb. 6:10; I Jn. 3:16; 4:20)
 
5.         THE OTHER SIDE OF EATING HIS WORD AS FOOD
 
Eating the Word of God as food simply means: “listening attentively, assimilating and digesting the word of God which one hears or reads” (eg. Lk.10:38-39, 41-42). It is very obvious that one of those qualities which the majority of watchmen lack badly is this issue of eating the word of God. But how can we be saved, charged like the battery, be faith-filled, overcome and do exploits, if our hearts are not filled with the Word of God (Jn. 6:53-58, 63; Col. 3:16; Jms. 1:21). Teach on the following:-
 
(a)       The Necessity of Eating The Word
 
*          The Word is Jesus and we need Jesus. The Word quickens (Jn. 6:63; Heb. 4:12).
*          The word gives salvation (Jms. 1:21)
*          The word purifies (Jn. 15:3; 17:17-19)
*          The word emboldens (I Chr. 11:10; Neh. 2:18; Ps. 103:20).                                    
*          The word is a weapon against the onslaughts of the enemy in any form (eg. Mt. 4:4-10; 2 Cor. 10:4-5; Eph. 6:17).
 
 
(b)       Eating the Word To Live (Jn. 6:51, 57-58)
This means, “to listen to the word with concentrated attention, considering as you listen and assimilating” (Ps. 1:1-2). It also means reading, considering, meditating and taking-in the word. Besides, it means praying in the word.
 
We must from today put on this habit of eating the word, at times of fellowships; at private reading/listening times at home; and at other times. Those who cannot read can hear, receive, assimilate and digest.
 
Jesus told the Jews they must eat His flesh and drink His blood, ie; they must eat Him (Jn. 6:53-58). He never meant they needed to cut out some part of his flesh and eat and spill out some quantity of His blood to drink. He knew this was not necessary. He meant they should listen, receive, assimilate and digest His word, knowing that He himself was the Word of God personified (Jn. 1:1-2; Rev. 19:13). Eating the Word begets doing the word.
 
The attitude of many people in the fellowships of the Watchman in this matter is very disheartening. Many people-ushers, PA system workers, women with children, pregnant women, leaders and many others carry about barren hearts that don’t contain the word of God. This is because they have not come to the side of eating His word.
 
6.         THE OTHER SIDE OF BEGINNING EVERY DAY FROM HIS PRESENCE
 
Many Christian people, new converts, workers and leaders alike are lacking this great and sweet experience ofbeginning every day from the presence of God. Some call it quiet time, but that terminology though short and acceptable, hides the real meaning of the exercise.
 
 
(a)       The Meaning:
 
This means waking up a great while before day break on everyday basis, washing off and coming to God’s presence with the Bible, song book and jotter. As one settles down, one begins with singing the songs that glorify the Lord with all of ones faculty. Having blessed the Lord for while, he/she now moves to read concentratively, considering, and meditating and taking notes, and he/she reads on, punctuating the exercise with serious prayers borne out of the message or lessons from the word (cons. Mk. 1:35) etc.
 
(b)       The Necessity
 
The mind of man is the seat of all activities (Pr. 4:23). It is that which determines what type of man one is (Eccl. 1:13; 7:25; Mt. 12:34, 35; 15:19; Mk. 7:21; Lk. 6:45). The mind could be fervent either toward God, righteousness or other spiritual things, or toward the world and sin. It could be adamant. The list is legion.
 
The condition of the mind of the Christian depends on what treatment that is given to it or what is allowed to come unto it. With the daily activities of speaking, eating and hearing, and the mightily activities of sleeping and (sometimes) dreaming bad dreams, the mind is dulled seriously. Faith in God, awareness, and every good thing is hidden/latent. For the man to go out vibrant again, love God, eschew evil readily, retain vision, etc, he must sharpen the heart (mind) everyday by beginning everyday from the presence of God, as already described.
 
(c)       Hindrances to Beginning Everyday From His Presence
 
The following will hinder:- (i) not having enough sleep before waking, resulting in dozing, as one is trying to sing, read or pray (ii) stuffing the stomach with food, resulting in being heavy and not able to stand against early morning tendencies. (iii) adverse health situations as ill-health.
 
Hearken:        Today, beak every yoke and pass over to the other side of beginning everyday from the presence of the Lord (comp. Heb. 12:1-2)
 
7.         THE OTHER SIDE OF DISCIPLINE
 
As already shown, the mind is the controller of the whole human system (Pr. 4:23). Discipline means that the mind has been tamed against the excesses it usually wants to lead one into. Those who have not come over to the other side of disciplined disciples are suffering a lot, causing the Lord offences and also causing offences to others. Address the following – refer to the Sunday Light teaching of the late 1980’s titled “The Disciplined Disciple”, if available;
 
(a)       Show the various forms of habits that can have dominion over people, even believers, e.g. over-eating, over-sleeping, talkativeness, poking nose into other people’s matters, love of leisure, inability to sit, concentrate and read and write or work, deliberate indulgence on the act of distracting others from benefitting or pursuing their faith or Christian calling etc.
 
(b)       Show The Danger They Constitute
They are like cankerworms, they are the little foxes that spoil the vine (S of S 2:15). They hinder spirituality, productivity, growth, seriousness and conviction etc.
 
(c)       Show How To Come Over To The Other Side
*          Going over by violence, through prayer and fasting (Mt. 11:12)
*          Going over by faith, i.e., believing God, knowing that the leopard cannot change his spots (Jer. 13:23).
 
8.         THE SIDE OF HAVING A SOUND MIND
 
 
As the multitudes of people in the church differ one from another in outlook, so they differ in mind. This means that each person is carrying a mind peculiar to himself/herself. If these different frames of mind must worship together, work together and stay together in harmony, peace and love, they must all put on sound minds. Develop and discuss the following points:-
 
(a)       Forms Of Unsound Mind:-
(i)        those whose minds are judgmental in nature – they readily condemn others once what those others did seem bad; they do not wait to find out reasons.
(ii)       those with hypercritical minds – criticizing others, reading meanings into all things done; finding faults here and there thereby causing confusion,
(iii)     those that carry minds that are tinted with hatred or unforgiving spirit (mind), immorality, minds that never see reasons, etc.
 
(b)       The Dangers
Enumerate and exhort on the dangers
  (i) division or divisiveness, sowing the seed of discord, to your tents Oh Israel (II Chr. 10:16), injection of bad blood amongst the members.
 
(c)       Putting On Sound Mind
*          One should discover one’s need
*          Repent of having carried such mind all along, confessing one’s sins to the Lord
*          Yield one’s heart to the Lord for purgation and amendment.
 
9.         THE SIDE OF RESPECT FOR ELDERS AND LEADERSHIP
 
Evidence abounds to the fact that watchmen are lacking greatly in the matter of respect for elders and leaders. It is rather unfortunate that such a thing is seen among the people, whom God has determined to use greatly. Develop and discuss the following:-
(a)              What honor means: honesty, fairness, or integrity in one’s beliefs and actions, high respect as for worthy,  merit or rank.   Give honor to whom honor is due (Lev. 19:32; Est. 1:20; Rom. 13:7; I Tim, 5:3, 17; 6:1).
(b)              What respect means: esteem for or a sense of the worth or excellence of a person, a personal quality or ability, or something considered as a manifestation of a personal quality or ability.  to hold in esteem or honor (Heb. 13:17; Jms. 2:3).

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