Glenn Duker’s Reflection on Visiting Malawi

I have pondered over the last few days how visiting the Church in Malawi impacted me. And then it dawned on “me” that this is the whole problem with our western world. We think that it is all about “us”. We don’t necessarily see it but our society is self-absorbed – and in our great comfort (which we are born into). As a society we are blinded by the things of this world… not appreciating that it is all vanity, it all passes eventually, is a memory for a while and then forgotten. Cf. The book of Ecclesiastes!

What seems to restrict us is our “clutter” or our “stuff”. We are so busy… mostly about things that don’t ultimately matter. We just convince ourselves that they do. Jesus put it simply (paraphrased) and advised the smart alternative: “Martha, Martha .. you are anxious and troubled about many things. Mary has chosen the good portion (listening to the simple words of the Gospel), which shall not be taken away from her”.

Yes – there is a super-rapid expansion in Malawi of the Church… but for good reason. Even in my life, I recall that once upon a time in Australia people were more open to the gospel, intrigued about the miraculous and the miracle of speaking in tongues. In less naturally comfortable circumstances, these people in Africa REALLY hunger and thirst after righteousness and the power of God. They are yearning for it. Malawi for me has brought into focus with some clarity that we don’t need to search far for the Lord or the miracle… just drop the sophistication, the questioning, put aside the cynicism, forget the disappointment of denominational “religion” and how it has let the world down by not preaching the full gospel (as opposed to God’s spirit-filled Church) and just realise that the Lord is right there waiting to bless; and as Spirit-filled people we should not think that the Lord is far away. He is the same God in Malawi as He is here – and we would be encouraged to learn from the simplicity of the acceptance of the Word of God in Malawi and humbly follow the example of their zeal for the things of God.

I went to Malawi to work, to contribute what I could in some small way for the Lord, and to learn. I praise the Lord that I received exactly what I asked for…to have a new adventure each day of watching and experiencing the Lord’s miraculous hand in action and interacting with our wonderful, faithful, longsuffering fellow brothers and sisters in Christ. I am so glad I went… and that I understand more that it’s really not about “self” and the here and now at all… but about our ultimate destination: the kingdom of God and “the more exceeding and eternal weight of glory”.

Thanks again to John, Gilbert and all who made this trip possible.

 

Glenn Duker’s Mission Trip to Malawi

August 4th, 2018

These wonderful people are so rich in the joy of the Holy Ghost. The children received the Holy Spirit, with the evidence of speaking in tongues, in about a minute or less and were baptised, as were so many adults. We can learn so much from these fellow saints. The Lord is right there, waiting to bless. We would be wise to put our “questioning” mind to one side and follow their example: just believe our wonderful God without hesitation … and the miracles will follow. Jesus Christ is truly the same yesterday, today and forever.

-Glenn Duker

 

August 6th, 2018

Had a great few days here in Malawi with an outreach, then two communion meetings yesterday and a visit to a newer Meeting today, which is growing rapidly in numbers. This is “spiritual immersion” and I am loving it.

Had a great time this morning at the hotel – I spoke to two of the hotel employees and they were happy to seek for the Holy Spirit, which they received, speaking in other tongues, within a few minutes of each other. This is incredibly exciting stuff. All we do is preach the word and, willing to receive what the Lord has for them, they receive it freely!

What is the rest of the world doing!!!

The Bible says that only the fool says in his heart that there is no God.

The time is now to receive the Holy Spirit. Forget trying to work it all out… the Lord is there to fill people right away!

This is real and powerful – the power of God unto salvation and an incredible joy and privilege to be part of.

-Glenn Duker

 

August 8th, 2018

Another amazing day…our day off turned out to be a big day on… and it was worth it. From talking to the gardeners, to the walk to the village to meet the lady chief, to a strong talk from Pastor Nelson to the ladies in the village (the men were at work fishing… I guess we were also fishing!), to praying for the sick in the village and seeking or for the spirit and.. of course, some baptisms, then to the assistant manager of the resort receiving the Holy Spirit. C’est la vie. I just wish all days off could be like this!

-Glenn Duker

 

August 11th, 2018

Great couple of days… 7 more baptisms today and encouragement. Made some wonderful friends: we are united in the Lord, one hope, one faith, one baptism. The Church here continues to grow rapidly and these folks are well grounded in the Lord’s doctrine and passionate about staying on the Word of God. They tell us that they are grateful for our time of fellowship….yet we are so grateful for theirs. We are one in Christ.

The scenery is nice but that’s not what this trip is about. For me, this just reinforces, as Pastor Vic so aptly puts it, that this our “real job”.

-Glenn Duker

 

The Most Common Things That Can Distract You From God

The best way to solve a problem is to admit there is one. There are many distractions in our lives such as our jobs, relationships, and even ourselves. A lot of these are not problems themselves and only become a problem when they start distracting us from God. These days we have so many things fighting for our time and attention and sometimes we allow them to take it. It’s then when we lose our focus on God. Here’s a list of some common things that can distract us from our journey with God.

Money

Of course, we need money to survive in this world but letting the love of money consume our lives is taking away from our focus on God. We only need a certain amount of money to survive, then it becomes the comfort of having the means to afford whatever you want. It’s very tempting but do not let this overwhelm you.

Work

Working overlaps with money in many ways. The main reason why you work is to earn money. If you want more money you will work more and have less time. This will engulf your life in a never-ending cycle of only worrying about your paycheck. You may think you need to work long hours to survive this world but you must trust in God and that He’ll take care of you. Don’t go and quit your job but realize you need to make more time for what really matters.

Media

This is one of the biggest distractions you see daily. Internet, television, music, video games, and more distract us and consumes most people. After a long day at work, most people come home to watch tv, go on social media, listen to music, and do not realize this time could be used to be with God. We think we need to keep up with the current trends and styles and have it influence our lives. You don’t have to completely give up any of these activities but limit your time doing them.

Church

Going to church doesn’t necessarily mean you are walking with God. It can actually. In a way, hinder your relationship with him. This comes from people focus on pursuing church and not God Himself. It’s easy to say “I go to Church every week” but are not sincere at other times. The Lord is looking for those who love him not just in spirit and in truth but in sincerity.

Relationships

Relationships include your family, friends, coworker, and significant others. It is in our nature to connect with others but sometimes it can become more important to us than God. Typically the relationship that can be the biggest distraction from God is a significant other. These relationships usually demand more time and if your significant other does not walk the same path to God as you, it can be difficult. Don’t let your relationship hinder yours with God and don’t compromise your morals. Anyone in your life worth being there will see how important this is to you and support you in your walk with God as a spirit-filled person.

 

Speaking in Tongues: Part 2

On the day of Pentecost they all spoke in tongues (when it says tongues like as of fire, this means that the tongues spread like fire amongst the people):

Acts 2:2 And when the day of Pentecost was fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. 2 And suddenly there came a sound from heaven as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled all the house where they were sitting. 3 And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them. 4 And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance. 5 And there were dwelling at Jerusalem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven.

6 Now when this was noised abroad, the multitude came together and were confounded, because that every man heard them speak in his own language. 7 And they were all amazed and marveled, saying one to another, Behold, are not all these which speak Galilaeans? 8 And how hear we every man in our own tongue, wherein we were born? 9 Parthians, and Medes, and Elamites, and the dwellers in Mesopotamia, and in Judaea, and Cappadocia, in Pontus, and Asia, 10 Phrygia, and Pamphylia, in Egypt, and in the parts of Libya about Cyrene, and strangers of Rome, Jews, and proselytes, 11 Cretes and Arabians, we do hear them speak in our tongues the wonderful works of God. 12 And they were all amazed, and were in doubt, saying one to another, What meaneth this? 13 Others mocking said, These men are full of new wine. 14 But Peter, standing up with the eleven, lifted up his voice, and said unto them, Ye men of Judaea, and all ye that dwell at Jerusalem, be this known unto you, and hearken to my words: 15 For these are not drunken, as ye suppose, seeing it is but the third hour of the day. 16 But this is that which was spoken by the prophet Joel; 17 And it shall come to pass in the last days, saith God, I will pour out of my Spirit upon all flesh: and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams: 18 And on my servants and on my handmaidens I will pour out in those days of my Spirit; and they shall prophesy: 19 And I will shew wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath; blood, and fire, and vapour of smoke: 20 The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and notable day of the Lord come: 21 And it shall come to pass, that whosoever shall call on the name of the Lord shall be saved. 22 Ye men of Israel, hear these words; Jesus of Nazareth, a man approved of God among you by miracles and wonders and signs, which God did by him in the midst of you, as ye yourselves also know:

When the Holy Spirit was being received elsewhere in the book of Acts, tongues were present:

Acts 10: 44-48 44 While Peter yet spake these words, the Holy Ghost fell on all them which heard the word. 45 And they of the circumcision which believed were astonished, as many as came with Peter, because that on the Gentiles also was poured out the gift of the Holy Ghost. 46 For they heard them speak with tongues, and magnify God. Then answered Peter,

47 Can any man forbid water, that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we? 48 And he commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Similarly in Acts 19:

And it came to pass, that, while Apollos was at Corinth, Paul having passed through the upper coasts came to Ephesus: and finding certain disciples, 2 He said unto them, Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed? And they said unto him, We have not so much as heard whether there be any Holy Ghost. 3 And he said unto them, Unto what then were ye baptized? And they said, Unto John’s baptism. 4 Then said Paul, John verily baptized with the baptism of repentance, saying unto the people, that they should believe on him which should come after him, that is, on Christ Jesus. 5 When they heard this, they were baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus. 6 And when Paul had laid his hands upon them, the Holy Ghost came on them; and they spake with tongues, and prophesied.

I hope this gives you an insight on how amazing speaking in tongues can be and what it really means to be gifted by Him in such a way. If you missed my Introduction to Themes of the Bible or Doing What God Says visit GlennDuker.net.au. Also, keep up with more to come from the Themes of the Bible series!

 

Speaking in Tongues: Part 1

The next Bible theme discussed is a two-part discussion on where in the Scripture speaking in tongue appears and what speaking in tongues means.

Speaking in tongues was prophesied in the Old Testament:

Isaiah 28: 11-12 11 For with stammering lips and another tongue will he speak to this people. 12 To whom he said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest, and this is the refreshing: yet they would not hear. We need to careful that we are people who hear!

James makes it clear that the tongue is problematic.

It is little wonder that the Lord chose out tongue to tame:

James 5: 8-9

8 But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

9 Therewith bless we God, even the Father; and therewith curse we men, which are made after the similitude of God.

There is a time that tongues shall cease:

1 Corinthians 13: 8 Charity never faileth: but whether there be prophecies, they shall fail; whether there be tongues, they shall cease; whether there be knowledge, it shall vanish away.

Tongues are a sign of receiving the Holy Spirit. Tongues will only finish when the Lord returns to the earth, as the Holy Spirit will not be available to be received in this way after that event. We are still in the time where thousands of people are receiving the Holy Spirit in the Bible nominated way: adults and children alike.

When you receive the Holy Spirit, you become instantly “complete in Him” (Colossians 2:10)

Complying with the instructions of the Lord is not optional. After his resurrection and before his ascension, Jesus own words in Mark 16 were:

15 Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature. 16 He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved, but he that believeth not shall be damned. 17 And these signs shall follow them that believe;…they shall speak with new tongues;

Speaking in tongues is a gift that only some people have. In the Bible, the picture is quite different.

 

Stay tuned for Part 2 of Speaking in Tongues and also check out my previous blogs Introduction to Themes of the Bible and Doing What God Says.

 

Doing What God Says

When looking at a particular Bible theme, it is important that we read all the scriptures in relation to that theme, not just the scriptures that might suit. The first theme to dive into is “Doing What God Says.” It is not enough to only go to Church and pray. You must obey God and act as He would want you to. Under each scripture are the thoughts behind their meanings and how we should follow and live out each passage.

The first scripture and perhaps the most famous scripture is:

John 3:16:

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

The word “believeth” in Greek means to obey, not simply to believe in Him. Merely “accepting Jesus our personal saviour” as our a personal saviour is a principle that is, which while meant, has sold many people short of receiving the Holy Spirit according to the Bible pattern. When you receive the Holy Spirit you will speak in tongues. If we are sincere about obeying God, we need to submit to his Word and do what he says, not what some person merely suggests we should do. Many preach what should be done but The Bible is the one and only reliable source.

Timothy 3:16 says:

All scripture is given by inspiration of God and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness

Peter 1:20 says:

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

Ephesians 4: 5- 6 says:

There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;

One Lord, one faith, one baptism,

One God and Father of all. Thus, that doesn’t mean that only one brand of Christian church can be right but there is only one way to salvation.

It should be noted, also, there is only one correct interpretation of scripture. The old saying that “all roads lead to Rome” is simply untrue. There can only be one way to salvation, even though The Bible is interpreted in my ways by different Christian churches. The Bible is God’s command and our instruction for the paths we should take in life.

 

Introduction to Themes of the Bible

Prior to receiving the Holy Spirit, I questioned many of the scriptural references that I will be referring to in later pieces, but I was sincere in that I wanted to be right with the Lord. I wanted to know I was saved. It is not up to another man or woman to tell us whether we are saved. God has always defined the pattern for his people.

In the Old Testament, the Lord always gave a glimpse to people but then required from those people to be humble enough to test him out by following his instruction. He didn’t force them, he invited them. Such is the nature of God. Receiving the Holy Spirit is the same. God’s nature has not changed. It’s just that we happen to be fortunate to live in the gospel (“good news”) age.

The day I received the Holy Spirit about 30 years ago, I was pleasantly surprised that it was all true and that the experience they had in the book of Acts happened to me, in the same way, that it is has happened to countless others. It is by far the best thing that has ever happened in my life.

The miracles of healing and blessing – as well as the joy that I have experienced in my own life – and observed first hand in that of others, are practical and real. The Lord provides us with proof. The only question is whether we are prepared to humble ourselves to His Word. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom”: Ps 111:10.

I wanted to create a blog segment discussing my experience in receiving the Holy Spirit. It has had such an impact on my life. I would like to have the chance to share this experience and God’s message with more people. These segments will be focusing on certain Bible themes and the scriptures that are in relation to those themes. The themes I will be focusing on are Doing what God says, Why Speaking in Tongues, Spiritual Gifts, and Getting right with the Lord. Keep an eye out for these themes in my upcoming articles!

The Meaning For Communion

What is Communion:

Communion is defined in the dictionary as the “sharing or exchanging of intimate thoughts and feelings, especially when the exchange is on a mental or spiritual level.” It is also defined as “the service of Christian worship at which bread and wine are consecrated and shared.” The Church practices what is called communion. Jesus had his last communion with his disciples before he was crucified is known as the Last Supper. Communion uses bread to symbolize Jesus’ body and wine to symbolize His blood. But why do Christians eat a small piece of bread and drink wine during their church services?

Where did it Originate From:

The tradition of communion was started by Jesus. When He died for our sins on the cross, He told His followers to remember His sacrifice by using bread and wine. He said to his disciples, “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, there is no life in you” (John 6:53). The bread of life means He has nourished us and we can be saved because of Him. In the early days, the Church celebrated Jesus by taking communion every day. Every time they gathered to eat and drink, it was a chance to thank God for all He has done.  

Why You Should Participate in Communion:

Communion is not a ritual to be performed mindlessly. It is not a way to guarantee yourself a spot in heaven. You must be aware of the reasons why you are doing it. It is to remember what Jesus has done for us and why He did it. It is not just about the bread and the wine, but the spiritual essence behind it. It does not only have to be performed at Church: the Lord is not bound by a building.

Next time you celebrates communion, remember why you are celebrating. It is a righteous thing in the eyes of the Lord when a spirit-filled person takes communion. Take a moment to give thanks to Him and use it as an opportunity to connect with Jesus. It can be a way to remember the Lord and focus on the fact that he has filled you with his wonderful Holy Spirit.

 

What Can You Do on a Mission Trip

Going on a mission trip can be an experience you will never forget. You are going to less fortunate areas to provide help and the love of God. Along with the opportunities to spread the word of God, mission trips can include humanitarian projects also.

Construction:

Countries hit by natural disasters or lack financial aid could have construction projects that consist of renovations, rebuilding, or starting from the ground up. The mission trip typically helps to build new schools, churches, orphanages, and homes in less fortunate areas. If you are able-bodied, you do not need extensive previous knowledge or experience with building or construction.

Teaching/Child Care:

You could be teaching in a school, church, or orphanage. There could possibly be a language barrier and you would need to pick up on language norms of the area you are residing. You could be teaching students, teachers, or townspeople. Teaching can help children grow academically, socially, and spiritually. Typically qualified or experience school teachers are meant for this role but if you have a passion for it, there should be no stopping you. You can also provide child care in certain locations. Child care does not require a qualification to spend time with people in need.

Medical:

If you are a doctor, nurse, or student in related fields of study, then you might want to consider a medical mission trip. This helps with practical experience, practice medical skills, and most importantly make a difference in someone’s life. You can bring medical relief to communities in need and lack the basic services in healthcare. Whether you are performing basic check-ups or shots, every moment helps.

Conservation:

If you love wildlife, nature, and ecotourism. a conservation mission trip may be the one for you. Helping the locals preserve beaches, rainforests, or mountains could be your next calling. Traveling abroad to exotic locations to help protect and help rehabilitate endangered species worldwide. You will be protecting natural habitats of wildlife and sometimes specific animal conservation projects.

The main difference between these trips just being thought of as humanitarian work, is that during them the members are spreading the word of God. The projects are a great thing to do but the participants will focus on promoting the Gospel of Jesus during mission trips.

 

Where Should Your Next Mission Trip Be To?

A mission trip gives Christians a chance to make a difference in the communities around them and beyond. Going to countries that are in need, to help and share God’s love is the main goal of a mission trip. There are many places around the world that need the help of mission work, whether it be in Latin America or in your own backyard.

Central America

Central America has many countries that could use the help of missionaries. The wet season here causes floods and hurricanes that destroy many homes. This creates a need for building and restoration projects. Also, missionaries often visit the many orphanages to spend time sharing the gospel with the kids.

Haiti

Haiti is a small, tropical country with rising poverty rates and a large number of orphaned children. Haiti has had its fair share of natural disasters. It has suffered cyclones, hurricanes, tropical storms, torrential rains, floods, and earthquakes. All these disasters either end in uninhabitable cities, injuries, or even deaths of many people. There is a strong need for food, water, healthcare, education, and building projects. There are many companies providing help. One company, Healing Haiti, sends people on mission trips to improve the lives of the people living in these disaster-stricken areas.   

Countries Where Christianity Is Not the Primary Religion

There are some countries that don’t consider Christianity a primary religion. No matter what religion the country is known for, there is still a need for mission work. The mission trip could simply be to have bible studies with orphans and spread the love of God. There are areas in Africa, India, and China that could benefit from a mission trip. The purpose of a mission trip is to create a life-changing experience for the community, no matter what the community believes in.

Your Home Country

A helping-hand doesn’t have to go across the world to make a change. There are plenty of projects that can be done around you and are just as rewarding as going around the globe. Participate in a project by building or repairing a house for someone who can’t afford it or who physically cannot do it themselves. This can still spread God’s love even if it doesn’t seem like it’s going very far. In the end, every bit helps.

 

If you want to read more about why you should take a mission trip, check out Glenn Duker’s Blog, Reasons Why You Should Go On A Mission Trip.