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a Volume 02

The Apostolic Voice January - March 2009

Number 04

Ephesians 4:12-13 (KJV) 12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:

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Knowing fully well that the Lord has promised His presence always,, and in the light of the word of God and the empowerment from above, even the Spiritual gifts, the The word translated as pastor in shepherd would discern and take deciEnglish comes from the Greek root word sions and implement them courageously ‘poimen’. The actual meaning of this word and lovingly to keep himself and the flock is ‘shepherd’. In Psalms 23, the Psalmist in the center of God’s will. He will be couraproclaims that the Lord is his Shepherd. In geous enough to tear apart the spiritual 1Pet. 5:4 the Lord is addressed as the ‘the ‘Bears and Lions’ as King David did with his chief Shepherd’. The allegory of shepherd, bare hands to protect the flock. As our Lord denotes a person who is incharge of a says in Luke 10:18-19 : group of people and is responsible for the well being of the group interms fo their spititual, moral and ethical aspects.

Spiritual Leadership

In the same line of thought, Pastors

the shepherd’s should be courageous to do are under shepherds, under the arch Shep- the necessary spiritual warfare. herd, even our Lord Jesus Christ. It is the mind of Christ We need to have, and more so every ‘Pastor’, as the writer to the Phillippians puts in 2nd chapter 5th verse. FollowWhen Moses was called to lead His ing the foot steps of the ‘Good Shepherd’, every Pastor must have a ‘Shepherd’s heart’ people Israel, he had to give-up his flamboyant, high and mighty life in the Pharos to shepherd the local body of Christ. palace which he lived for forty years, to a next forty years of life as a shepherd in the plains of Median, taking care of his father in-law’s cattle, where he acquired a A shepherd’s heart is a loving heart. ‘shepherd’s heart’, which prepared him for It is heart filled with ‘agape’ love, and dedi- the completion of the assignment given to cated to loving the sheep as he over sees him by God, which made him the greatest their souls. There will be no disparity in his leader of all times, only second to Jesus heart and would love all the sheep equally, Christ our Lord. When one is commissioned with respect, care and concern. It would be by the Lord and set in motion in the vision a spontaneous flow of love from his heart given to him, nothing but a ‘sacrificial heart’ would see him through. to the flock.

A shepherd’s heart is a courageous heart.

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should have an encouraging heart, to encourage the proper righteous things. This especially would come very handy in developing new believers in to leadership roles for the work of service. When Barnabas was in Antioch taking care of the Church , and felt the need for help to cope-up with the growing demands of the Church ministry , stepped out of his circle and encouraged Paul, a new convert at that point to come to Antioch to help him in the ministry. And we see that the Lord blessed their work and increased the numIt is conscious but spirit controlled exercise ber in that Church. of the will to bring the self under control. Having a encouraging heart will bless Secondly, when one starts to esteem others us and bless others., more so in the life of a more than oneself, the self will be destroyed shepherd. or at least take the back-stage, as the Apostle Paul teaches in Philliapians 2 chapter: Self is the biggest enemy and a hurdle in the life of a believer, more so in the life of a shepherd.. In 1 Cor 9 :17 the Paul teaches a simple method to bring the self under control:

Obedience to the voice of the Lord is better than the sacrifices and rebellion is equivalent to witchcraft, the Bible says in : 1 Samuel 15:22-23 (KJV)

1 Cor 9:27 teaches the exercise, whilst Phill 2:2-4 teaches the application, with which a shepherd can achieve a victorious selfless Christian life. A obedient heart of the shepherd will prevent the destruction and chaos in the church, when he is obedient to the voice of the Lord and to His holy word in the ScripNothing could be said as destructive tures. When a shepherds ears become insenas a discouraging person. A shepherd sitive to the voice of the Lord and become The Apostolic Voice

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sensitive to other voices, a trend of disobedience will start in small way leading to catastrophe. Obedience at all levels to the Lord’s will is the success of the ministry and church. The above quotation in 1Samuel refers to King Saul when he disobeyed the prophetic instruction , given by the prophet Samuel. That is why gifts of the Spirit and adherence to the word of God would lead a shepherd to greater obedience to the will of God, and would make him a mouth of God in bringing the mind and word of God in ministry to the Church.

“Apostolic” in West Africa

“I have been asked to record some of my experiences as a missionary in West Africa. Until now, I have avoided doing so, because I have a genuine fear that people should get the wrong idea regarding The Apostolic Church there. It was not what I did, but what the Lord did, and I believe is still able and willing to do.

It was in 1957 that we (my wife, two

Father’s heart is the key to success-

ful overseeing of the souls in the body of Christ. Father’s heart is a giving heart and there is no shadow of turning there as James puts it in first chapter 17th verse:

Father is a giver of good gifts and in him there is no change or variation. Such trait of stability is a strength needed in us, more so in a shepherd to reflect the light of the Father in all He wants us to be, as partakers of His divine nature..

Pastor E. H. Williams was an Apostolic missionary to Africa in the 1957. The Apostolic Voice

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children and myself) first arrived in Eastern Nigeria. We were located in what we then knew as the Calabar Area, covering the Efik and Ibibio speaking peoples. We lived in the village of Obot Idim Nsit, and had no particular local Church responsibility, but travelled constantly ministering to the many small Apostolic churches – preaching often as many as 15 times in a week to different congregations.

Here

I must emphasise, the policy and principle under which we missionaries in West Africa operated. We saw ourselves as facilitators supervising and training indigenous Pastors who certainly had greater impact on the churches and public than ever a foreign missionary could have. During the three years we were located there, with only three missionary families, an average of 100 new churches were opened each year. A testimony to the zeal of the indigenous pastors. At times, blind eyes were opened, the deaf healed, and demons cast out; although we did not major Jan - Mar 2009


on such ministry but rather on evangelizing and establishing churches. It is true that it was a time of spiritual revival, but these facts clearly show that 'It was the Lord's doing' and that He used mainly the indigenous Pastors, although we obviously made our own contribution.

We

Our

first job was to tackle the language problem. At that time, West Cameroon had about 80 languages and dialects in a population of three quarters of million people. Often languages changed from village to village !! To communicate at markets and in general commerce they used either rudimentary English or more often Pidgin English – even Government Ministers were often happier in Pidgin. We therefore established that the only permitted language in Church was Pidgin, except occasionally in isolated villages which were obviously monoglot. This kept the Church open to all nationalities and tribes. Of course, individuals could pray publicly in their own language ( I have heard nine different languages in one prayer meeting) but preaching, prophesying etc had to be in Pidgin which was sufficiently developed to cover doctrine.

then took six months home leave during which time the Missions Board directed us to move to the Cameroons. Cameroons is adjacent to Eastern Nigeria, and the Apostolic Church there had been started by Apostolic converts who had for secular reasons visited and migrated across the borders. Their custom – find a Church in your new location, or if a suitable one is not available, witness to others and open one is typically West African. But they needed help, support and guidance, and the Board thought we could supply that need. During the six years spent in West So, in obedience we went. Cameroon, we saw the establishment of 100 congregations and did many teaching tours We quickly found that our new post- when local leaders gathered in centres to be ing was very different from the previous one. taught basic doctrine and practice. Today Not only was there a mix of nationalities, they have more than 500 churches and and the danger of the Church becoming have spread to the East (French) Cameroun; “Nigerian” because the founders naturally they also have a good Bible College, and a attracted their fiends. Also there was a thriving Church hospital. multitude of different Cameroonian tribes and languages. Ours was the first PentecosAfter 40 years, memories start to fade. tal group in the Country; and non-christians However, some outstanding of the way the were largely slow to respond being cautious Lord moved still remain quite vivid. A and often taking many months of nursing brother who had just received the Baptism before becoming really committed to Chris- of the Holy Spirit was praising God in tian life and Church attendance. French, and when challenged declared he The Apostolic Voice

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knew no French !! A young girl prophesying in perfect English, and when challenged about the words used protested she was uneducated and did not speak 'proper' English. Another such case was that of a young lad (I never asked his name) when we were holding a teaching session on the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. He was about 10 years of age, and when the Holy Spirit came upon him, he spoke for about 15 minutes in the Hausa language of Nigeria, although he was Cameroonian and had no background in that language.

However, there were also times when

difficult matters had to be handled. 'Anya' was a local leader or Church Elder at a place called Bachuo Antai. It was reported that he had become involved in voodoo. I travelled to interview him, and before the interview could be arranged a messenger came to my lodgings to say “Anya is dead”. Knowing the confusion that can come through language, I asked “Is he dead finish?” - they sometimes say 'dead' when the person is just near the point of death. It appeared he was not quite dead. So I immediately went to the house concerned. Some people were digging the grave, his wife was outside the house wailing and throwing dust on her head lamenting his death, while the house was full of the Village Elders gathered around the 'body' - most of them would have been involved in voodoo or 'juju' as they called it.

having been vomiting a black fluid all night. Pastor John had some medical training and told me this. It was obvious this had some voodoo connection, so I challenged all present as to who was responsible. No answer. I then told them that, whereas no medical help could meet the need, Jesus Christ could; and if anyone who did not know Christ remained in the room while we prayed it would be worse for him. Immediately they all hurried out. Anya lay there with his eyes wide open , either dead or in some kind of coma, and I bent down and touched his eyeball but there was no response. We three then prayed for about two minutes, and immediately I realised the Lord had answered, and commanded “Anya arise” and he did so immediately. Praise God

That's a little of what the Lord did.

My next appointment was to Ghana, but that's another story.”

History of the Christian Church. (100 - 325 AD)

The

condition and manners of the Christians in this age are most beautifully described by the unknown author of the "Epistola ad Diognetum" in the early part of A lady from the Church and a young the second century. The Christians," he says, "are not pastor - the late Pastor John Kwo who later " became President of the Church – was also distinguished from other men by country, in the room; while Anya lay on the floor by language, nor by civil institutions. For The Apostolic Voice

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they neither dwell in cities by themselves, Christians dwell in the world, but are not of nor use a peculiar tongue, nor lead a singu- the world. lar mode of life. They dwell in the Grecian or The soul, invisible, keeps watch in the barbarian cities, as the case may be; they visible body; so also the Christians are seen follow the usage of the country in dress, to live in the world, but their piety is invisible. food, and the other affairs of life. Yet they The flesh hates and wars against the soul, present a wonderful and confessedly para- suffering no wrong from it, but because it doxical conduct. They dwell in their own resists fleshly pleasures; and the world hates native lands, but as strangers. the Christians with no reason, but that they

They take part in all things as citizens;

and they suffer all things, as foreigners. Every foreign country is a fatherland to them, and every native land is foreign. They marry, like all others; they have children; but they do not cast away their offspring. They have the table in common, but not wives. They are in the flesh, but do not live after the flesh. They live upon the earth, but are citizens of heaven. They obey the existing laws, and excel the laws by their lives. They love all, and are persecuted by all.

They are unknown, and yet they are

condemned. They are killed and are made alive. They are poor and make many rich. They lack all things, and in all things abound. They are reproached, and glory in their reproaches. They are calumniated, and are justified. They are cursed, and they bless. They receive scorn, and they give honor. They do good, and are punished as evildoers. When punished, they rejoice, as being made alive. By the Jews they are attacked as aliens, and by the Greeks persecuted; and the cause of the enmity their enemies cannot tell. In short, what the soul is in the body, the Christians are in the world. The soul is diffused through all the members of the body, and the Christians are spread through the cities of the world. The soul dwells in the body, but it is not of the body; so the The Apostolic Voice

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resist its pleasures. The soul loves the flesh and members, by which it is hated; so the Christians love their haters. The soul is inclosed in the body, but holds the body together; so the Christians are detained in the world as in a prison; but they contain the world. Immortal, the soul dwells in the mortal body; so the Christians dwell in the corruptible, but look for incorruption in heaven. The soul is the better for restriction in food and drink; and the Christians increase, though daily punished. This lot God has assigned to the Christians in the world; and it cannot be taken from them."

Psalm 118:24 (KJV) Many times We come across believers using this verse in their conversations and as well in their praise songs. We are at liberty to use any Bible words to bring praise to the Lord. Just like prayer and preaching, songs are also a discipline of worship in which We use music to converse with the Lord. At any given time be it prayer, preachJan - Mar 2009


provision in their lives by repenting for their sins, and accepting Jesus Christ as their personal Savior and Lord. Then any one who is saved look back to that day of atonement, a propitiation for our sins, with joy in their hearts sing “ this is the day which the Lord hath made and we will rejoice and be glad in it.

ing or worship in songs and music, one must get the true and accurate meaning of the verses one uses to bring about worship of any form and kind. In Psalms 118 where 24th verse occurs the paragraph begins with verse 19 and ends with verse 29, having exactly five verses above and below 24th verse, as we see be;ow:

John 14:6 (KJV) 6

Don’t We get the whole picture now,

In John’s gospel third chapter and verses 1 to 13, Jesus our Lord reveals the truth to Nicodemus step by step. Though Nicodemus was highly esteemed ruler of Israel he did not have a slightest clue as to what our Lord was referring to. So our Lord explained and said that one ‘must be born again’ other wise it is impossible for any one to enter into the kingdom of God and what it is to be born of the flesh and born of the Spirit. That is what my fiends, is the truth that any human being wants to enter into the kingdom of God ‘must be born from above’.

it is the prophetical utterance of King David of the coming of the Messiah, the promised redeemer and Savior. In that whole context 24th verse points to not just 24hr time of the day but whole salvation plan executed in His time., “the day of salvation”. Secondly nobody can quote this verse or sing it as a song unless they have appropriated this The Apostolic Voice

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In the next step our Lord explains the way to be born again. One may find the way in the verses from John 3, 14th and John 12, 32nd. In John 3:14 our Lord said to Nicodemus like this

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was crucified on the cross ( lifted up), he destroyed death as we see in 2 Timothy 1:10 In the first verse quoted our Lord tells us all that the sin stricken world is dying, the only ‘way’ they can live is to look unto Jesus when he is lifted up on the cross, as the venom stricken Israelites dying in the wilderness had only hope of looking at the brazen serpent Moses lifted up , and lived. It is evident that there is no other way of salvation except the only way, ‘the way’ Jesus Christ.

So the ‘way’ here, for the sinful dying world, to ‘life’ is to look to the Savior Jesus Christ, and believe that in His shed blood on the cross, when He was lifted up, is forgiveness of sin and entrance to eternal life. This He made it clear to us when He said it in John 10:10,11:”

In John 3 : 15 &16 We read like this :

truly Jesus is the Way, the ‘Truth, and the ‘Life’.

Long before the fiery serpents bit the Israelites in the Wilderness, there was a symbolic biting and infusion of the venom of sin into humanity in and through Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden. This venom of sin brought death in to humanity. This death we are looking into is the eternal separation from God almighty, and not the physical cessation of life. That means human beings who are born are separated from God, because of the venom of sin, and they are ‘spiritually’ dead, but life is only possible when a human being knows that he or she is sinful and needs a savior who would give life eternal to those who look to him for salvation. This is because when Jesus Christ The Apostolic Voice

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The Tenets 1. The Unity of the Godhead and the Trinity of the Persons therein. Missionary pioneer J. Hudson Taylor of China was working and worrying so frantically that his health was about to break. Just when his friends feared he was near a breakdown, Taylor received a letter from fellow missionary John McCarthy that told of a discovery McCarthy had made from John 15—the joy of abiding in Christ. McCarthy’s letter said in part:

As Hudson Taylor read this letter at his mission station in Chin-kiang on Saturday, September 4, 1869, his own eyes were opened. “As I read,” he recalled, “I saw it all. I looked to Jesus, and when I saw, oh how the joy flowed!” Writing to his sister in England, he said:

2. The utter depravity of human nature, the necessity for Repentance and Regeneration and the eternal doom of the finally impenitent. 3. The Virgin Birth, Sinless Life, Atoning Death. Triumphant Resurrection, Ascension and Abiding Intercession of our Lord Jesus Christ; His Second Coming and Millenial Reign upon earth. 4. Justification and Sanctification of the Believe is through the finished work of Christ. 5. The Baptism of the Holy Ghost for believers with signs of following. 6. The Nine Gifts of the Holy Ghost for the edification, exhortation and comfort of the Church, which is the Body of Christ. 7. The sacraments of Baptism by immersion, and of the Lord’s Supper. 8. The Divine Inspiration and Authority of the Holy Scriptures. 9. Church Goverment by Apostles, Phophets, Evangelists, Pastors, Teachers, Elders and Deacons. 10. The possibility of falling from grace. 11. The obligatory nature of Tithes and Offerings. The Apostolic Voice is written, edited and Published by Bro.Samuel S William, 6850 Eastside Av, Woodridge, IL 60517. Tel: 1-630-322-8685 EMail: samand1730@att.net

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The Apostolic