The Apostle Paul compares the Christian life to being like a race. He exhorted, “…let us run with perseverance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God,” Heb.12:1-2. In a race, what counts is how we end.
These words became very real to me through an experience I had as a young pastor. Due to many pressures that I was enduring, I had asked the Lord to end my life and take me to heaven. In answer to my prayer, one night an angel came and woke me up around 3 am. He stood a little above my bed and I came out of my body and stood by him.
Looking down at my body, I realized that my life was over and I could no longer serve the Lord upon this earth. A certain sadness came into my heart, and then the angel turned and we began a very speedy journey towards heaven past the moon and the stars. The gates to eternity became clearer and clearer as we traveled, faster than the speed of light. But the nearer we approached, the heavier my heart became.
When we stopped before those golden gates, my life was shown to me in a series of pictures from birth to death. Some pictures were blank because I had asked the Lord for forgiveness for those offences. There was absolutely no record of those failures. Praise the Lord!
But then I was shown God’s plan for my life, which had been decided before the foundation of the world. I saw that I was dying before my time, and my heart was overcome with sadness. I cried out in agony that I might be permitted to return to earth to fulfill His plan. This was apparently granted, for although I heard no voice, the angel at my side turned with me, and we went speeding back to earth and arrived at my bed. There was my body, lying next to my sleeping wife. The angel touched me and I went back into my body.
Later when I asked the Lord why I had that experience, He told me that I was to warn His people what it is like to stand at the judgment seat of Christ. Not only will we answer for those deeds done on earth, but we will also be judged as to whether or not we have fulfilled the Lord’ s purposes for our lives. To run a good race and complete God’s plans for our lives we must consider three areas: the character we develop, the ministry that we gain, and also the fruit of that ministry.
The teaching profession is the oldest and the largest of all vocations. Without teachers it would be impossible for one generation to pass down to the following generation their knowledge, as one generation builds upon the knowledge and experience of another.
While only some people become professional teachers, we can also say that every one of us should learn how to teach. In a very real sense, everybody teaches during their lifetime. We are told in Deuteronomy 6:7 that one of the duties of parents is to teach the Word of God to their children, so obviously every parent is intended to be a teacher. Everyone teaches during their lifetime, whether it be a Sunday school class, in their own family, or among their friends or peers. Therefore everyone should learn how to teach.
We teach to pass along our knowledge, yet education by itself is not the answer. It helps a person, but it is no guarantee that they will bring forth good fruit. Education is knowledge, it is the gaining of facts; yet it is what you do with those facts that can develop wisdom which will put you on the right path for life.
I have just been reading about a person who has an IQ of 190, which is higher than the IQ that Einstein had. Yet because of mistakes in his life and not walking on the right path, he works on a farm and cuts hay.
In a study done in California, schools were asked to identify their brightest young students, who were then given special treatment. As they grew up they were still very gifted, but many did not become successful in life. The reason was that they had not developed wisdom and were not put on the right pathway of life. That is something that a teacher of righteousness must do. They must help their students to go on the right path so that they might become as “trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord,” as Isaiah 61:3 declares. Then they will develop their lives correctly.
The phrase “teachers of righteousness” can be taken from Daniel 12:3, which reads, “Those who are wise shall shine like the brightness of the firmament, and those who turn many to righteousness like the stars forever and ever.” The part that says “Those who are wise” can also be translated as “Those who are teachers.” Those who are teachers and turn many to righteousness can be called teachers of righteousness.
In these Last Days the Lord will raise up teachers of righteousness who will help guide the Church into maturity and perfection. Ephesians 4:11-13 declares, “And He Himself gave some to be…teachers…for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come…to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.” The end purpose of all Bible teaching is to present a people who have been perfected by the workings of God. As Ephesians 5:26-27 tells us, “that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.”
We have been pleased to provide you with articles, church reports, and missionary reports for many years now. We are finding that it is difficult to receive information from churches and mission fields to supply Zion Journal. Many of the missionaries are sending out letters to individuals keeping us updated on their activities. We recommend that you contact the missionaries directly if you want their newsletter. This will be our last Zion Journal. May The Lord bless you.
Robert Tucker, president Zion Fellowship International
I will praise thee, O Lord, with my whole heart; I will show forth all thy marvelous works. I will be glad and rejoice in thee: I will sing praise to thy name, O thou Most High.”. Psalm 9:1-2
David knew the power of praise. He attracted the heart of God by singing praise to Him. Praise certainly moves the heart of God but it also does something to our own heart. When we praise Him, we get our attention off ourselves and our problems and begin to think upon all His greatness and goodness. This can lead to rejoicing in the Lord. Praise stirs up our hearts toward the Lord to consider how wonderful He is and how great are all His marvelous works. We are all aware that praise is important I have not spoken anything new to you, but I want to remind you to do it. Our schedules can take our attention away from what is really important. Praise and rejoicing in the Lord is really important! I encourage you to stir yourself up afresh to focus on the goodness and greatness of our God. Praise Him with your whole heart. You will sense afresh His delight in you. Love and Blessings Pastor and Angeline Tucker
Psalms 127:1: “Except the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it: except the Lord keep the city, the watchman waketh but in vain.” It is so important we never lose sight of this truth.
Our last newsletter was October 2013, just before furlough. It was a delight to spend time with family, church family, and friends. Yet the longer we are on the field the more we feel as strangers when we return to the USA. We had the privilege of attending the fall convention, the first one since 2009. What a blessing.
The Lord continues to expand ZFSW. Our current enrolment is 250. There are now 11 training programs in three nations with additional discussions pending as the world becomes darker and people become more desperate for the truth. Yet at the same time deception is becoming more prominent in many ministries. We remember what Brother Bailey said many years ago: “They want to be deceived.”
Our calendar for 2014 is full and we are anxiously waiting for Chris and Jenelle Walter to arrive in October 2014. The main church we attend is experiencing a move of the Spirit and many have been baptized in the Holy Spirit. We had the privilege of being involved in a small way.
Two seminars have been completed this year with additional scheduled for July, August and October. We have an extensive and expanded printing program for the remainder of this year to meet the demand for more Zion material. The student rolls are increasing in the ZCU Undergraduate and Graduate Programs, we are so thankful.
We continue to minister, tutor, counsel, and teach as the Lord directs. It is such a privilege to observe the Lord moving in many lives for His kingdom. Please continue to pray for ZFSW as the Lord builds His house.