Category Archives: Uncategorized

Living in Fear?

Photo by Inzmam Khan on Pexels.com

It is clear to me that governments and mainstream media are either deliberately or

unwittingly collaborating the promotion of fear in the Western World.

Read what C.S. Lewis said here many years ago, to the British readers, so as to put things in perspective.

Of course, a much greater threat than Lewis lists here, is threatening us today. I refer to the immense satanic evil of the ominous one-world government that is being openly proposed which will radically change our way of life from freedom to slavery.

Nevertheless, we know that a better world awaits us who believe in the One who died for us and has set us free from fear and anxiety.

All you who read this, if you have not made reconciliation with Almighty God through his death, you must tremble.

But there is an alternative open to you. A way out.

And that is to change your mind, radically, completely and wholeheartedly about Jesus and commit your life into his hands and receive the gift of eternal life.

In doing so you will certainly receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, and no longer live in abject fear.

America is feeding the Cuckoo

I heard The Spirit say, ”Sheep Nations must stop feeding the Cuckoo! America is feeding the Cuckoo!”

by Veronica West

As I heard those Words, I was a little confused as to it’s meaning. But as I inquired of The Holy Spirit, He immediately spoke these Words, ”Look to the Cuckoo, a parasitic bird, for its work is an abomination in My Sight. This bird is an imposter which has taken over the nest!”

As I heard those Words, I ran to a trusted bird manual and sure enough, I saw that the female Cuckoo bird watches the nests of other female birds, then the Cuckoo lays in wait, watching until the other female bird lays her eggs.

Then, when she flies off to find food, the female Cuckoo quickly goes and lays one egg in the nest of the other female bird.

Now when the bird returns from finding food, she is totally unaware of what has just happened and she sits and incubates all the eggs, including the Cuckoo egg.

Over time, the Cuckoo egg hatches and as soon as the Cuckoo chick emerges from its shell, it proceeds to throw out all the other eggs from the nest.

The Cuckoo chick is then fed and reared by the female bird until it’s fully grown and ready to fly the nest.

The female bird is totally unaware and blind to the fact that there is an imposter in her nest and that all her babies have been destroyed.

The Cuckoo chick is fed all day long, and the small female bird spends all day looking for food to feed the ravenous Cuckoo chick, who has an appetite of ten small chicks put together…

The Cuckoo chick is an imposter in the nest. It takes full advantage of the ignorance of the small female bird, and from the moment it hatches from its shell, it seeks to kill and destroy any of the other eggs or chicks in the nest so that it can be solely fed and reared in the nest.

Now, as I read about this interesting aspect of the Cuckoo bird being the imposter bird, I heard The Spirit say, ”America is feeding the Cuckoo!”

As I heard those Words, suddenly Joe Biden (an imposter) and the nation of China (also an imposter) both came up before me and I heard these Words, ”Listen! Watch and be alert! Pay close attention! For in this season, the sound of the Cuckoo… Cuckoo… will be heard.

For the time of Divine Exposures and a Righteous Unraveling has begun to take place in the Nations.

Watch, as the works of the sleight-of-hand will be uncovered and revealed.

Watch, as My Governing Hand moves to expose the demonic spirit of an imposter in the midst of you!

Watch, as I move strategically in the days ahead to cut off and stifle the supply lines that have feed the Cuckoo, for cry of the ravenous Cuckoo will soon be silenced!”

Blessings to you all.
~ by Veronika West

An Undeniable and Amazing Miracle

Let me share an amazing story, truly miraculous, which has unfolded early this year.

My son has an IT business with Egyptian-born Atef. Atef and his Philippine-born wife, Emelie were living on the Central Coast of New South Wales with their three young boys when she became pregnant again.   

In November 2020, Emelie was given the most distressing news by doctors at the local hospital. She faced the most dangerous possible outcome because of the baby’s position. The placenta was growing in a verticle crevice left by a previous caesarean delivery. The thin wall of the placenta could easily puncture.

When my wife Joan and I heard this terrible news from Atef, we began praying and then we recruited others praying day and night for the blessing of God upon them, for a miracle. It had to be a miracle.

She was then referred to the Royal North Shore Hospital in Sydney where she was told that the doctors would be assembling a team of specialists (not just obstetricians) to be on hand for a March delivery as the lives of both mother and baby would be in grave danger due to potential haemorrhaging. An all-day procedure would be necessary. When they asked the specialist about the odds of having a successful outcome, the doctors gave no reply. Could the situation rectify naturally? The specialist said that was impossible. They were told that even if the delivery was successful the growth of the child could be compromised.

Well, our prayers were about to be answered in an extraordinary way.

On the 7th of January, Atef and Emelie went to Sydney’s Royal North Shore Hospital for a scheduled scan of the pregnancy. Then they were told the most astonishing good news.

The scan at the Sydney Hospital revealed that Emeiie could expect to have a completely normal finish to her pregnancy. The specialist was stunned and said this was totally unexpected. He said the womb was completely normal and “it didn’t even look like she had undergone three previous C-sections”.

A few weeks later, the parents made another scheduled visit expecting Emelie to undergo an MRI scan. But after an Ultrasound was performed, the specialist they saw confirmed total normality! He had no explanation but had to acknowledge this was a miracle. There was no need to have the scheduled MRI, nor another visit to Sydney, and she was told she could have the baby at their local hospital.  Wow!

When they made the necessary arrangements for a March delivery at the local hospital, the medical staff were sounding very concerned that the procedure would not be without very serious results despite the recent scans at the Royal North Shore Hospital.  So they proceeded to have a team of specialists ready for the worst-case scenario, an all-day procedure. We kept trusting God and encouraged Atef as well.

The big day arrived. On 11th March, Emelie and Atef proceeded to the local hospital and there a beautiful, perfect baby girl weighing 3.5 kg was born by normal C-Section. There was no abnormal bleeding and the condition of the womb did not look as if there were any previous C-sections. They said, “there was not even any bad scarring visible!”

The climax of an amazing miracle.

Isn’t God wonderful! Atef and Emelie are over the moon. Excited. And so thankful to God and to all who joined in prayer. God loves us so very much. To God be the glory.

Surely, God intended the arrival of this precious little life and He intends many blessings for this family!

Rejoice with us and be encouraged in your faith and prayer life. Keep on asking!

Jesus died and rose and lives for us

Happy Easter! Christ is risen!

By Caleb Stephen and the team at CitizenGO

The everlasting message of Resurrection Sunday speaks life and love every calendar year. 

2021 is no exception. The world still faces a darkness that idolizes killing pre-born babies, destroying the family and promoting harmful curriculums in schools.  

The reality is that Christ has conquered death and given us immortality. We are made for eternity. 

This is why we rejoice: we as sinners have been redeemed. We have been saved at a high price – nothing less than God himself offered up to pay our debt. 

We have been released from the chains of mediocrity, sadness, hopelessness, fear, hunger, suffering, and even death. 

We do not deny that most of 2020 and 2021 have been difficult — with the health and economic crisis caused by COVID-19. Still, it is also true that our Hope transcends these current harsh realities.  

Because Christ has risen and has opened for us the doors of Paradise, a true homeland for you and for me. A place without darkness but also without hatred, bitterness, enmities, or unpaid debts. A homeland of joy, good humor, tenderness, and happiness. In short, a homeland of love for which we are created. To love and be fully happy.  

Do not let the difficulties of these present times rob you of that joy. Remember that Christ is stronger than death and, of course, the coronavirus.  

Happy Easter! Enjoy this Easter Sunday however you manage to spend it. 

There is nothing in this world that can change an empty tomb. 

Fake Christianity

As more people read their New Testament and see what it actually says about meeting together and what is God’s design for us in the New Covenant in contrast to the old they begin to long for something more authentic, more participatory–what God actually wants.

The Lord has clearly provided the most glorious pattern for us–the Lord Jesus, himself, his example, His commands, His works and His constant obedience to what the Father said. If He was so obedient then so must we also. Just ‘as Moses was faithful in all his house’ so Jesus was/is in His house which He is building and gathering not being built by human hands.

So we also in following Him, must be faithful.

Jesus never commanded his followers to start institutions, but to make disciples, and teach them all that he taught his little flock.

The believers we read about in the N.T., though not perfect yet obeyed the voice of the Holy Spirit and the instructions of the apostles, eg 1 Cor 1, 11-14. But since as early as 2nd Century and even earlier in some N.T. letters and the 7 assemblies of Revelation, men have had their own ideas and so we come to today with pharisaism, false teaching, mono-ministry, loss of supernatural, and ended up with mere religion devoid of the Holy Spirit

We have thought we could change from the word of God, that we could do better ourselves.

God calls this Disobedience.

It is a plain and simple need to repent, change our minds, humble ourselves, weep and begin to radically OBEY. To admit that we have disobeyed the plain words of Jesus (e.g., Matthew 18:17, 23). This will require humility, the will and searching to do only what the Father wants and to be willing to suffer reproach loss of friends and loneliness.

A Word… Not for the faint of heart!

By Veronika West


I heard The Spirit say these words, “I will not be mocked!

For those who have sought to sign the death warrant of the innocent shall soon see that they have signed their own death warrants, and be not dismayed nor deceived, for though My Justice may seem to tarry but for a moment.

Do not think that I have winked at their sin but rather in My Mercy I have given them time to repent and turn away from their evil deeds.

But watch and pay close attention, for My Anger will burn hot against the stiff necked, and the rebellious and those that have sown to the wind, shall swiftly reaep the whirlwind of My Wrath and Fury!

For surely I tell you, the blood of the innocent has cried out to Me night and day, and I now sit in The Courts of Heaven and I have pronounced these wretched ones as Guilty in My Sight, and they shall find no escape from My Judgment and Justice that is to come.

Listen! Do not think that I AM deaf, nor that I have turned a blind eye to their works of witchcraft and wickedness!

No! But I shall take vengeance on the enemies of the unborn! And I say to those who have sided and given support to these workers of darkness and inequity, and to those of you who have even offered up prayers and proclamations of blessings for these evil doers, you will have no part in Me!

Nor will you sit at My Table and taste and see of My Goodness in the land of the living!

But you shall be cut off and cast down, even as I will cut off and cast down those who have offered up the blood of the innocent as a sacrifice to the gods of Baal and Moleck.

Who will come to your rescue and who will come to save you from the trap and the dark pit that you yourselves have set and dug for the righteous?

I tell now, no one shall hear your cries and no one will give heed to your groanings for mercy and deliverance, but your names will be removed from the books of My Creation and remembered no more, and your generational lines shall be cursed to the dust and barrenness shall be your portion!”

Blessings to you all.
~ by Veronika West

‘We Demand a God Who Is OK with Our Sin’

Jan 22, 2020   By Bill Muehlenberg

People want a god in their own image so they can sin freely:

Ever since our first parents sinned, turned their backs on God, and started making cheap excuses for their rebellion, the world has continued to do the same. We all reject God, we are all sinners, and we all want to refashion God into our own image and likeness. It’s the oldest game around.

We do NOT want a holy and just God who is implacably opposed to sin and who must punish it. And we do not want a God who cannot allow unholiness into his holy heaven. We want a God who is just like us: a God who winks at sin, tells us we are just spiffy the way we are, and makes absolutely no moral demands on us.

We really want Satan, in other words, to be our God. We want someone who will tell us comforting lies, who will go along with our sin, and who will make us feel good about ourselves as we spit in God’s face and tell him we know better than he does what is right and wrong, true and false.

I write all this because of what I just saw in an online newspaper. Because the article is behind a paywall – and I sure ain’t gonna pay for this pack of devilish lies – I can only give you the headline and the opening sentences. But what I could read was quite enough to know where this was heading. The Herald Sun piece from today said this:

‘Becoming a Pagan helped me feel more accepted’

David Black

When the Christian faith I believed in no longer had faith in me because I came out as gay, I felt unlovable. It was paganism that finally helped me to love myself, writes David Black.

With this was a pic of him and his male partner, presumably from their “wedding”. This spiel is as common as it gets – you hear it all the time. It is the same old sob story that sinners dish up: ‘God is far too unloving and unkind, and so are God’s people. They just won’t accept me as I am – a sinner who loves my sin and refuses to give it up.’

‘What I need is complete and total acceptance for who I am. I want a god who fully agrees with me and my sin, who has no problems with it, and in fact delights in it and promotes it. I want a god, well, just like me in other words. In fact, I want to be God. I want to call the shots.’

Ever since the Fall sinners have been dishing up this anti-God nonsense. We have been trying to remake God into our sordid image ever since Adam and Eve turned against God. There is nothing new under the sun: sinners are gonna sin; sinners love their sin; and sinners want a “god” who fully approves of their sin.

Yes I know exactly how all the trendy lefties – including trendy lefty Christians – will run with this story. They will actually side with the sinners here. They will agree with them, and say, ‘Yes you are right. Christians are so unloving. They should have accepted you just as you are. After all, God made you that way, so they should just accept you, love you, and welcome you with open arms into the church.’

To see how utterly unbiblical and diabolical this is, one can simply put any other sin in the place of homosexuality to see just how bad all this sounds:

-When the Christian faith I believed in no longer had faith in me because I came out as a bank robber, I felt unlovable. It was paganism that finally helped me to love myself.

-When the Christian faith I believed in no longer had faith in me because I came out as an adulterer, I felt unlovable. It was paganism that finally helped me to love myself.

-When the Christian faith I believed in no longer had faith in me because I came out as a fornicator, I felt unlovable. It was paganism that finally helped me to love myself.

Sorry bud, but we all have to ask: Did you ever have any genuine Christian faith to begin with? If you did, you would have believed in God and what he said about right and wrong, and not pretend you know better than he does. You would know that sin is never OK, and God never bends his rules to make sinners feel good about themselves.

And you are completely deceived to think you are loving yourself now that you have told God to get lost and embraced your paganism. This is actually the height of self-loathing, not self-love. God made us to walk in relationship with him. When we turn our backs on him, we reject the way we were made to be. We are loving ourselves straight to a lost eternity.

And David, God loves you far too much to allow you to keep wallowing in your sin. He cares about you too much to just sit back and allow you to keep sinning your way into hell. He has taken steps to set you free and find new life in Christ. Indeed, he gave his only Son to make this possible. Now that is real love – something the world, the devil, sin and self can never give.

Needless to say, I have no idea who this guy is, but we can and should pray for David. Like millions of other sinners, he has fully bought into the lies of the enemy and has allowed himself to be fully deceived. Preferring sin and self to the love and grace of God is a fool’s bargain. It will not turn out well.

But as I say, folks like this are a dime a dozen. Making excuses for sin has been going on ever since that dark day in the Garden. There is nothing new here. The only thing somewhat new is now having newspapers run with this deception, siding with the Devil and siding against God.

David – like every one of us – will have to give an account of his life one day when he stands before his creator and judge. So too will the editors of this newspaper. Keep praying.

ON MEDITATING

Meditating?

For starters, there must be content, must be truth, must be solid reality. Not mere silence—as if in the silence, the nothing, someone will speak.

We must meditate on truth—there are so many lies we might listen to. There is really only one sure truthful person we can meditate upon. Forget holy men. Forget bloggers.

GOD HAS SPOKEN!

The living true God—let God be true and every man a liar.

Jesus emphatically said I only speak what my Father says and I am the truth.

The apostle Paul wrote In Him are all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

So let me encourage everyone to meditate of the word of God. Recently I shared some personal experiences with Gilly. And these I share with you also.

I find by concentrating on each word in a text and asking questions like who said this, to whom said, why it was said, things like that. I don’t just concentrate on just one word but on what is being said–on content and context. Be part of the conversation.

Gilly, let’s take your Proverbs 4:20-23 text:

Pay attention to my words, How? We start by listening with trust, expectancy and then obeying.

So incline your ear to my sayings—you can hear them with your inner spiritual ears! Can you Gilly? keep them in the midst of your heart, Imagine, yes there they are! now in your heart. See them?

do not let them out of your sight— maybe create little signs, maybe sketches also and placed where you get to see them over and over

for they are LIFE to those who find them–you have found them, so see His life received into you and enlivening your whole body and soul.

Another example: John 14:1-3.   Do not let your heart be troubled; believe in God, believe also in Me.In My Father’s house are many dwelling places; if it were not so, I would have told you; for I go to prepare a place for you. If I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself, that where I am, there you may be also.

So I ask why are they troubled? It’s because he has told them he is about to be crucified—I can feel their horror, their pain, their fear. But don’t be troubled–I am going to prepare a place for you. Good news takes away the fear! And then he says I am coming again and receive you to myself. Wow–a COMING AGAIN!? So that gives me something to really ask Him about! So I can pray as I read and expect answers from him. Looking at each word carefully in context. 

In reading narratives, it’s like I am a movie script writer or a director and visualise like a movie scene what I am reading–I see the narrative being played out in my in-built screen in my mind, adding light, sound, movement, emotions.

These are ways I get insights that excite me and I can share them with others.

YOU CALLING ME A SHEEP?

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter by the door into the fold of the sheep, but climbs up some other way, he is a thief and a robber. But he who enters by the door is a shepherd of the sheep. To him the doorkeeper opens, and the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he puts forth all his own, he goes ahead of them, and the sheep follow him because they know his voice. A stranger they simply will not follow, but will flee from him, because they do not know the voice of strangers.” John 10:1-5

But his hearers did not understand what Jesus was talking about. We saw how in the setting of this long metaphor, the shepherd led them, not drove them—there’s a very intimate and loving relationship between shepherd and sheep. The shepherd gave each a name and taught them to respond to his voice and instructions. At night, he would usually lead them into a safe enclosure, often lying across the entrance thus forming literally the door or gate. Rex beautifully pointed out how flocks from several shepherds might occupy the same place, and when the separation took place, each shepherd going his way, would call his own sheep to follow, and they would follow their own true shepherd knowing his voice, hearing their own name even. Such shepherds would risk their lives protecting them against thieves and robbers and wild animals.

We asked ourselves in our recent discovery meetup, do we also fail to grasp his meanings? So we hearers of the 21st Century set out to explore this and here’s what we found.

Just who were the hearers in this story? The last mentioned were ‘some of the Pharisees’. Here’s  yet another example of the continuous controversy raging between Jesus and the blind ruling church elite (the Jews John calls them!) a fury running right through the gospel story, without any abatement, ending temporarily on his death but continuing till Jesus’ judgment on them in AD70. Jesus had just charged these same blind Pharisees “since you say, ‘we see,’ your sin remains. (John 9:40-41)

So Jesus repeated to them with great emphasis what he had already said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the gate of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not hear them. I am the gate; if anyone enters through me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.

Here’s another sensational Messianic bombshell, right in line with the coming next age that was breaking in upon God’s people in Messiah Jesus. In the O.T. the Lord is often pictured as the shepherd (e.g., Psalms 23 & 79) so here Jesus claims to be the only legitimate shepherd, in fact, divine!  Now this is a most momentous change.

It means the end of the old age of Moses and the Law and its replacement by the new Messianic age of Jesus the king is coming! They are in the presence of the shepherd-king! They fall into the category of all who came before, thieves, robbers! The blind Pharisees were meant to be shepherds but were abject failures, maintaining control over the people, the blind leading the blind. The rot had all started back when they rejected God as king and chose their own (1 Samuel 8:7). They hated the idea of a spiritual kingdom and fought to retain their illegitimate position.

The time has come! The Kingdom of God is breaking in. Complete turnaround is demanded.

Are there parallels today? Yes undoubtedly—in the apostate churches where they have CEOs and not true apostles, prophets, pastors and teachers (in the N.T. these are always plural) who emulate the Good Shepherd, not domineering over the flock as Peter wrote but upbuilding and encouraging the flock.

Jesus replaces all these thieves and robbers. For all time! If anyone enters the sheepfold through the Jesus-gate, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. It’s Jesus saying again I am the way, the truth, the life. Our pasture in the friendship and under the Lordship of Jesus is spiritually glorious even in this life and eternally beyond. It is what we were designed for. It is abundant life now and forever! It is rivers of living water. It is unimagined freedom, if the Son shall set you free. It is participation in the Body of Christ by every member, full of the Holy Spirit.

The voice of strangers brings mere religion, speculations, deceit and systems of what to do. Only the voice of Jesus brings salvation. If you really want real salvation you will recognise human ideas, elitism, control, manipulation and pride, and run away from every voice except that of Jesus, like the blind man of the previous story in the gospel. Hear the voice of the good shepherd or be destroyed!

The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly. (10:10)  

Huge! I love what W. F. Howard wrote in The Interpreters’ Bible, 1952 about this abundance, or rather the lack of it:

those who fling their lives away in an avid questing for sensation, seeking to make a collection of experiences as others do of stamps, and esteeming every new experience of any kind an addition to their store, who will get drunk, simply for experience, and touch unholy things that they may taste the whole of life: – they do not realize, poor duped fools, misled by hobbledehoy thinkers, so called, who have cooked these immature ideas into a kind of messy philosophy – they do not realize that in life, as in arithmetic, there is a minus sign as surely as a plus; and that certain experiences do not add to, but subtract from, what we had and were before, each new indulgence in forbidden things leaving us poorer, leaner, emptier, and at length beggared.

Would you be happier in the service of the devil than in the service of God and His Redeemer—you poor, blind deceived fool! Leads to misery! No. You are created in His image and to enjoy life in his glorious abundance!

“I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd lays down His life for the sheep. He who is a hired hand, and not a shepherd, who is not the owner of the sheep, sees the wolf coming, and leaves the sheep and flees, and the wolf snatches them and scatters them. He flees because he is a hired hand and is not concerned about the sheep.

Jesus is the true owner of his sheep. Those who follow him and no other, are not their own. We are not our own if we claim to follow him. There is no middle way. Either you are His, not your own, bought with a price or you are not of His flock. If you are owned by another you will be deceived, lied to, destroyed.  Awake!

 I am the good shepherd, and I know my own and my own know Me, even as the Father knows me and I know the Father. And I lay down my life for the sheep.

Here is a most significant and tremendous statement. He knows us who follow him and we know him. How awful it would be to hear the words depart from me, I never knew you (Matthew 7:22). He knows you! All about you. Laid down his life for you and me—he knew you there on the cross.

But there’s even more here: He knows his own and we know him, just like the Father knows Jesus and Jesus knows the Father—with Jesus we have the same intimate relationship that exists between the Father and Jesus!

 I have other sheep, which are not of this fold; I must bring them also, and they will hear My voice; and they will become one flock with one shepherd.

Who are these other sheep? We could see Jesus was thinking of the Gentiles—the people who were not of this (Jewish) fold. He came here for the lost sheep of the house of Israel and we had read in our journey through the four gospels of those who were touched by him and desired to follow him—who else but Jesus? We have met many already in the Gospel of John. But after his death and resurrection the focus moves to the great ‘unwashed’.

Yes. He had us in mind. He thought of you and me. I must bring them also.

He will bring many, many more—there can be no doubt! I must bring them also! It’s his work and though he calls us to partner with him in his work, all the initiative lies not with us, neither the means, neither the results. To him alone be the honour and the praise and the glory.

Here is a strong message to us who earnestly desire the salvation of our neighbours, loved ones, and people we meet in the public sphere. This releases us from the thinking of failure and disappointment that we often have. I must bring them also! they will hear My voice! They will become one flock with all of us!

They will be one flock with one shepherd. This is a certainty because he has declared it. So stop your whinging and doubting and start rejoicing, believing. One flock—not many; one Shepherd, not many. The promise is sure and the result is certain. All else is fake. Do you get it? Oh Lord, help us all who read thus far to truly get it!

Now skipping to verse 27, where Jesus sums it all up: My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand.

Not only that but My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.

Being his we are exposed to the most unimaginable love and safety. Eternally. Oh the certainty!

What do you desire? Are you ready for all this everlasting abundance?

JESUS’ LITTLE ONES!

The other night we were reading and sharing from Matthew 18. We discovered some startling things that Jesus said to his disciples when they asked him about who would be the greatest in his kingdom.  They did not expect his response, having in mind a realm like the world. He set a little child before them and said,

“Truly I say to you, unless you are converted and become like children, you will not enter the kingdom of heaven.”  (18:3)

There you have it boys.

To ask such a question showed up their need for conversion from attitudes of importance, self-interest and vanity—attitudes totally at odds with the nature of this kingdom. Such a radical change! How could they possibly become like this child? Everyone in their culture knew that little ones were not worth very much, they were totally dependent on their parents for how they thought, what they said and where there would go. Surely he can’t be serious! Surely there must be some hidden meaning here!

They braced for his further explanation, as by this stage they had to expect to be rattled once more (why keep on following this man –is he a man, or what?). . . . well they hardly knew what! Bombshell #25 or was it 27 or 28 coming?

“Whoever then humbles himself as this child, he is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.”  (18:4)

The kingdom that Jesus constantly spoke about was a kingdom in which the desire to be important cannot exist at all. Humility is the essential key to entering this kingdom. This is utterly different to all other kingdoms, all of which are destined to fail while Jesus’ kingdom will endure forever, replacing all others. To enter it meant a total reversal of their values, to a dependency clearly demonstrated in the vulnerability and helplessness of a little child, a kind of death and new birth.

 “And whoever receives one such child in my name receives me, but whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.”  18:1-6

Just who are these ‘little ones’?

They heard that if they desired to follow Jesus into his kingdom they must be prepared to undergo a radical change and be childlike. Then in this new status—like a little child—they find a new identity: by being ‘little ones’ they would become his agents bringing his message—so amazing that whenever they act for him, then whoever they meet who receives them, it is as if they are receiving Jesus! And conversely, when people come against them, the little ones, Jesus ones who believe, and place stumbling blocks in their path as they carry the kingdom message, the judgment on these would be severe.

“Woe to the world because of its stumbling blocks! For it is inevitable that stumbling blocks come; but woe to that man through whom the stumbling block comes!  (18:7)

Following Jesus they (and we) can expect many stumbling blocks—the original word is scandalizomai. Whose side do they want to be on? One will join the other side and betray him. Whose side do YOU who reads want to be on? The scandalized or the scandalizers?

This is another step in the training of his emissaries and though there be stumbling blocks to trip them up, impede their progress, Jesus wants them to know the out-of-this –world benefits, the glories, the exaltedness they could expect by humbling themselves under Jesus’ leadership, his easy yoke, his light burden.

And there’s more.

See that you do not despise one of these little ones, for I say to you that their angels in heaven continually see the face of My Father who is in heaven.” (10)

They must treat other little ones with honour because—think about it—they have angels in the heavenlies who never stop having face to face communication with Jesus’ Father. Wow. Imagine such guidance and protection.

Let’s say that again. You who have humbled yourselves under the Master’s command have the unfathomable privilege and continuous protection of God’s angelic hosts! So never despise any of the little ones!

There are the despisers and the despised. The scandalizers and the scandalized.

Then Jesus told a story of the 100 sheep and searches for the single straying one.  Then finding it, he rejoices over that single one more than over the others. He cares for every single one of us as if each were the only one!

So it is not the will of your Father who is in heaven that one of these little ones perish. (14)

Only believe! Believe you are a little one. Accept your new status as a little one. And watch!