How are you? I’m well.
Have you ever thought whether Judas Iscariot, the betrayer among the disciples might be saved before he killed himself? I have no intention to say something as certain or biblical, unless we know clearly from the Scriptures. I thought of him a few times and thought to myself, “Who knows whether he repented before he killed himself and we would see him being with Jesus?” Of course, I read the Scriptures where Jesus said, “but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.” (Matthew 26:23)
Then, do you think King Solomon will be with the Lord, when we see Him face to face? Many would think so, as he is one of the authors of the books in the Bible. Yet, I heard the late Bible teacher, David Pawson say, “If he is in Heaven…”. Hmmm, it was quite an eye-opening comment to me, as I used to think he would be in Heaven. But, the Scripture says, “Solomon did evil in the sight of the LORD, and did not fully follow the LORD, as did his father David. (1 Kings 11:6)” Interestingly enough, I heard the late Pastor and Prophet Neville Johnson shared one of his experiences where the Lord took him to a very dark place in the spirit realm. I don’t think he exactly said it was the hell, but what he described sounded like the hell. He said there were some ugly demons and he saw a crown in there. Then, the Lord told him to pick up the crown. So did he, without making the demons noticing it. Then, he got to know from the Lord that the crown was King Solomon’s. And he was surprised to hear that. Just like many of us thought, he would have thought he would be with the Lord. And Pastor Neville said, “How come? He had great wisdom and so forth.” (I paraphrase it from my memory.) And the Lord said, “It was simply My gift.”
Friend, I’m trying to say that we can’t certainly say that someone’s spirit would go to hell or to heaven, as we are not the Judge. I would like to share Pastor John Fenn’s weekly thoughts posted in 2020, “Surprised Who Is in Heaven?”, which encouraged and enlightened me and I hope it does to you:
I was ministering in a church near Spencer, Tennessee – a small church, maybe 40 people present. As I taught, my attention was drawn by the Spirit to a woman sitting about half way back on the left side, with a couple children sitting next to her. Suddenly I saw a vision with my eyes wide open, taking place above this woman like I was watching a scene on a TV show. I saw a man with dark hair, clearly distraught from the look on his face, in great anguish, sitting in a rocking chair on a porch of a home, and the man had a pistol in his hand. The vision ended as he lifted the pistol to his head.
The Father spoke to me while I was seeing this: “This is her husband. He killed himself with that pistol, but he is with Me and I want you to tell her that, for she has been very afraid for her husband’s salvation and I want to give her assurance.” Just then I saw him standing above and to the side of where the woman was sitting in the pew, smiling hugely as he looked down on her and his family; looking at his family with such love and compassion and sorrow for the pain he had caused – it was all so clear on his face, aided by the Holy Spirit letting me feel what he felt in the same way the Lord will, as we are in intercessory prayer, often let us experience the emotions or pressures of the person we are coming alongside in prayer to carry the burden with. The level of regret was intense; it was bringing me to tears.
I asked the Father, “How is this possible? I’ve always wondered about people who commit suicide from the verse in I Corinthians 3:17 that says if we destroy the body we will be destroyed.” He replied: “Different context. He was not in his right mind. He was emotionally ill. Would you condemn him for being sick in his mind any more than you would for someone who died sick in their body?” “Oh, sorry, you’re right. That makes sense.”
I shared from the pulpit what I saw and what He said, and tried to communicate as accurately as I could the guilt he was feeling over the harm he had caused her and their children. Of course she burst into tears as she confirmed that’s where and how she found him when she returned home that day, and later told me she had been so worried over him, not sleeping, so afraid due to his alcoholism and anger and suicide. She said it weighed on her every waking moment, because she loved him so much and so wanted him to be in heaven.
If you were not part of that service and just knew of the alcoholic, abusive, angry husband and that he had killed himself, you might assume he was in hell. Suicide is murder, and murder can be forgiven. Just ask Moses and King David. Rejecting Jesus is the unpardonable sin, for to reject the work of the Holy Spirit who brings salvation, is to reject Jesus.
A few years back in Singapore, an elder’s wife who used to be the hostess in my Shanghai church Friday homegroup meeting also shared her thoughts on suicide with me, as there are some people who are under the bondage or mentally ill and they end up with killing themselves. Her thoughts were in line with what Pastor John shared. In a Bible class that I used to attend weekly after the work, I heard a middle-aged lady share her thought. Ethnically she was a Chinese. And she said some elderly people in her parents’ generation didn’t read Chinese so that they didn’t read the Bible at all. Yet, they had unmovable faith about God so that we can’t judge someone's faith according to his or her reading the Bible. I agree with her. God is the Word and I don’t demean reading the Bible and understanding His will through it. But He is so gracious and merciful that He gave His Son and all we need to do is to accept Jesus as our Lord and Savior.
I used to pray that the Lord showed Himself to my mom through her dreams, as she doesn’t read the Bible especially after the dementia. One day, she had a dream just like Jacob saw the ladder from the heaven in his dream, and she was overjoyed. On another occasion, when we were on the flight from California back to Seoul, she was looking at her screen in front of her seat. Then, I heard her saying Apostles’ Creed, “I believe in God, the Father Almighty, Creator of Heaven and earth…”. Curious, I looked at her and her screen and I saw her watching the earth shape that showed where we were, time at destination, time at departure and so forth. At first, I bursted out laughing, but soon enough tears welled up in my eyes. How faithful our Father is. Although my mom doesn’t read the Bible, He made her remember her Creator, the Creator of the universe, looking at the earth on the screen. It reminded me of the prophecy that a pastor gave me back in Singapore during the altar call that all of my family will be saved. And I was comforted and I was thankful for His faithfulness.
Friend, I have no intension to encourage that we don’t have to read the Bible nor get away with murder. Like Jesus said:
And that servant who knew his master’s will, and did not prepare himself or do according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he who did not know, yet committed things deserving of stripes, shall be beaten with few. For everyone to whom much is given, from him much will be required; and to whom much has been committed, of him they will ask the more. (Luke 12:47~48)
One day, you and I would be in front of the Judgement seat and give account of what we did with the resources He entrusted to us: our time, our finances, our talents and so forth. We walk in His righteousness and love, fearing the Lord. And we do not judge others by what’s on the surface. We don’t try to take His place. We have the One and Only Just Judge, Who knows our hearts and our motives. There is no flaw in Him. He is merciful yet fair. No one would argue with Him in front of the Judgement seat.
Have a bliss!
Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out! (Romans 11:33)
How are you? I’m well. It’s already May. Time does fly!
Have you ever felt that you don’t share any more on your faith in common with your once-close friend?
In one of the latest YouTube posts in April this year, “One element of the bride versus the body of Christ,” Pastor John Fenn shared what the Lord said during one of His visitation: how friendships would actually come to an end in the future because of people being moved to grow in and go on in him and others who stayed where they were in him. And Pastor John went on to say about the bride vs. the body of Christ. His video came in, echoing his weekly thoughts, posted back in July last year, “Making Miracles a Normal Part of Your Life”, soon after I just read it. I think he wrote a few times about the Lord’s saying on how friendships will come to an end and what he shared was very much in line with what the late Pastor Neville Johnson shared from one of his visions. Pastor Neville saw a mountain in a vision and there were a group of people on both ends of the mountain. Then, the distance between the two ends of the mountains became wider and wider so that the gap between the groups of people on each side became wider accordingly. And Pastor Neville said the relationships in the body of Christ will be like this. One move further to the Lord and the other stay lukewarm so that the bigger gaps between them, I paraphrase. And it already came to pass in my life. As I pursue more of Him, I talk less and less to one of my Christian friends. Sometimes, I even think talking to unbelievers is better than to lukewarm believers, as my expectation is different. But the Lord didn’t leave me alone. I became closer to those who are on the same page on faith. In the relationships with them, there is no barrier such as nationality, educational background, financial status and so forth. We have something in common in Him and we love Him and we love one another. My pastor in Singapore has been encouraging the participants of our monthly zoom meeting to pray for having a close friend or two and fellowshipping with one another face to face. He said the married couples are one flesh so that they would also need a friend or two other than their own spouse. Friend, I also would like to encourage you to pray for having a close friend or two who are on the same page on your faith, if you don’t have any yet. I’ve been praying that He would provide me with one to have face-to-face fellowship in a new season when He moves me, no matter where it will be. And more importantly, it’s my desire and prayer that we become the bride, not the lukewarm church who loves the world and the things of the world.
Friend, I’d like to close my writing here, but share part of Pastor John Fenn’s writing “Making Miracles a Normal Part of Your Life” posted in July 2021. I think it’s in line with what my pastor in Singapore encouraged and it’s prophetic on things to come. I hope this will bless you.
Have a bliss!
“Jesus said in Matthew 25: 31-46 when He comes and sets up His kingdom He will separate the nations as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. Those on ‘His’ side will include ones who gave to His brethren, water, clothing, food, hospitality, and who visited the sick and imprisoned (In those days people in prison relied on family and friends for food and clothing).
You have to be in relationships with people to know those situations Jesus described. Look at your life now, do you have genuine relationships? Are you involved with people you know to help them through life?
When Peter and John were released by the authorities in Acts 4, it says in v23: “And being let go, they went to their own people…” Do you have a ‘people’ you can go to?
His higher ways are not the world’s higher ways. They usually are not flashy. They do not draw attention to you or Him. He is meek and lowly of heart. Learn of Him as He said. Learn humility, meekness. That’s where you learn. His ways are normal, everyday life, walking in love and looking to do good.
His kingdom laws include valuing a cup of water to a child. Helping a brother or sister in the Lord with food and clothing and shelter. The Great Commission is ‘teaching others to observe what I’ve told you’ – it means they have to be close enough to you to observe you implementing God’s ways into your own life.
When a person settles in their hearts that they don’t care if they are seen of men, but want to be seen by God, they will move about this life humbly, transparently, in His higher ways and thinking His higher thoughts.
As the world becomes increasingly dark, their ways of envy, strife, division, murders, witchcraft, sexual sins and perversions, and other sins listed in Galatians 5: 19-21 as works of the flesh, will become more prominent in culture and society. By contrast those walking in the Father’s higher ways of love, joy, peace, gentleness, long suffering, patience, meekness, self control, will reflect lives of the opposite values and results.
We will have people come to us asking why we are in such peace, why does our life seem to have an order to it while theirs doesn’t? On the one hand you will have people increasingly dependent on the government for things Jesus taught should be shared among one another – care for each other as we walk through life together. When government fails.
When bureaucratic systems clog and grind to a halt, there will be many realizing they are alone with no-one in their life to help. And then they will see their Christian neighbor, their Christian co-worker, their Christian family member, and come running for help.
The early church didn’t saturate the sprawling Roman Empire over the course of 300 years by having large evangelistic meetings, or ‘invite a friend to church’ Sundays. They met in homes, evangelized among family, friends, neighbors and co-workers. They took turns hosting, took turns leading, and walked through life with that group of people. When they outgrew a home, because all who could were used to hosting and all took turns leading, they simply multiplied out to start rotating among themselves, from the ground up filling the Empire, family to family, house to house. As in Acts 4, they had no needs in their lives because they made sure all basic needs were met in their midst. …
The days are coming when the difference between those living in the works of the flesh are notably different from those walking in the higher ways of the fruit of the spirit. The days are coming when people on the outside of the Biblical Christian culture will see those living in the higher ways of God’s relationships and kingdom culture, and how their needs are met, how they have peace, how they are prospering – and want to know how they can have this Jesus.”