Part 2: Semiannual Training Day 6 – know authority, and know life

When we had our last study group session, brother Ricky Acosta gave a special fellowship to the college students. He spoke about his time as a young person and the dealings they went through in his generation. When there was a difficulty in the church life, some of his companions decided to leave and go their own way in the world. He gave a very encouraging word on how our vessels need to be tightly closed whenever we come into contact with death and rebellion.

Numbers 19:15 says, “And every open vessel, which has no covering tied down on it, is unclean.” Our vessels need to be open for the Lord to flow His life into us but it must also be closed from any death and rebellion that can easily come in.

This speaking is very timely when we go back to our universities as there are ways in which the enemy can come in tempting us to touch death, through friends or environments. May we be the young people who preserve our vessels and pray that we may be cleansed for any uncleanness which is around us.

Hymn 639 (stanzas 2 & 6)

Death cannot hold the resurrection life.

Though all its force against it  may combine;

Death only gives it opportunity

To show the boundless power of life divine.

 

Oh, may I know this resurrection life,

In every kind of death its power outpoured,

In my experience ever realise

This life is nought but Christ my living Lord

 

After the last message was spoken, this concluded the summer Semiannual Training. For the graduating trainees, this was their official completion of the Full-Time Training! May we pray that they continue to go on for the Lord and remain useful to Him in their normal Christian life.

Some attendees and trainees stayed behind after the message to help ‘break down’ the MCC. This meant stacking all the chairs and cleaning the place. The others headed back to accommodation. In Grace Gardens, the sisters had some corporate time in their living rooms where they could overflow their top enjoyment from the training. It was also a time to say their goodbyes and exchanged emails and contact information so we could all stay in contact with one another. We were hopeful to see some of them again at the North America College Training in Chicago, Illinois on 14th July.

 

 

Message Eleven
The Vision of the All-sufficient One –
the Divine View of God’s People

Our Enjoyment: What view do we hold? We need to adopt the divine view! All God’s people are beautiful and excellent in Christ! May we have a clear heavenly vision. If we have God’s view of His people, we will see the saints as God sees them: chosen, redeemed, enjoying Christ, and prepared by God to possess the all-inclusive Christ.

 

Message Twelve
The Necessity of Spiritual Warfare
and
God’s People Formed into an Army Ready for Battle

Our Enjoyment: The church must be a corporate warrior fighting the battle to gain Christ as the good land and spread the Kingdom of God on earth. Praise the Lord that He has already won the battle! We must continue to fight to maintain Christ’s victory. All the churches need to be in one accord, form God’s army, and be ready to take the good land!

Part 2: Semiannual Training Day 5 – studying and testing

As we were in a training, we were required to prepare for testings. For a number of us this was our first ever training so the thought of being tested was quite daunting. 

To help the students, there was a three-hour group study session each morning. Each group would go through the study questions whilst praying, singing and pray-reading, so that the messages wouldn’t be merely doctrine and so that we were able to contact the Lord through our studying. These sessions ended with practice tests to help prepare us for being tested in the afternoon and evening meetings. 

One of the many study groups during the Semiannual Training

Initially, some of us struggled with the testing in comparison to what we were used to in our schools. We were helped when we realised that the aim of the testings was to have a corporate coordination among the saints by following the outline to really get across the burden and key points of each message. The testing really made us more diligent to study the messages and to allow the Lord to remind us of what we had heard the evening before, and to keep speaking to us!

On Friday lunchtime, local saints from Anaheim kindly invited us for a love feast in their home, with saints from Atlanta, Georgia, and Birmingham, Alabama. They had prepared so much lovely Chinese food! We also enjoyed singing some songs and sharing our testimonies, it was such a sweet time. It was hard to leave but we knew we had to have our rest time before the afternoon meetings!

Message Nine
Moses Desiring That All Jehovah’s People
Would Be Prophets

Our Enjoyment: This message was on Moses’ desire for all of God’s people to be prophets. Praise the Lord, our God is a speaking God! When the Lord speaks, a light shines and brings us understanding and wisdom. The Lord continues to do all things through His speaking. When we prophecy, we dispense God and speak forth Christ to others. If we all prophesied in the meetings and spoke of our enjoyment on the Lord, we would grow in life and build up the Body of Christ.

 

Message Ten
Christ as the Star out of Jacob

Our Enjoyment: The Lord Jesus Christ is a star that shines light to us and we need the Lords shining in order to know Him and His heavenly, up-to-date vision. To find the Lord when reading the bible, as revealed in Matthew 2:1-12, is a living matter and not a dead doctrinal knowledge of the Scriptures. May the Lord be merciful to us that we may be kept on the right way to meet Him and follow Him as the living star.

Part 2: Semiannual Training Day 4 – meals and practical service!

Every day we had breakfast and lunch prepared by the trainees and served in the FTTA cafeteria. We would have a variety of foods each day from eggs and bagels to pancakes and cereals in the morning, and for lunch we had spaghetti one day, pulled pork burgers another day, and taco salad yet another day. The food was very delicious and we were happily full by the end of each meal.

In the evenings we would have packed dinners which involved choosing a pre-made sandwich, and then lettuce and tomatoes for the sandwich, fruit, carrot sticks, crisps, a granola bar, and a bottle of water, then packing it all in a brown paper bag – a trainee’s dinner! Some chose to buy their dinner from stalls in the carpark. Saints sold different kinds of cuisines such as Chinese food and pizza. There was even a bubble tea stall… a popular destination every evening break!

Saints from Long Beach, California having corporate dinner with a UK sister during the evening break

The saints staying with the FTTA were also allocated practical services to do throughout the week. This could be from dust mopping to packing lunches. It was a great opportunity to have a taste of what trainee-life was like. Those who were packing dinners had to prepare more than 300 sandwiches! Dust mopping not only involved sweeping the floors until no dust was left but some were also enjoyed singing hymns to turn to their spirit.

 

Message Seven
The All-inclusive Christ
Being the Allotted Portion of the Saints,
according to God’s Choice,
as Their Divine Inheritance for Their Enjoyment

Our Enjoyment: This message speaks of the distribution of the good land which typifies the sharing of the enjoyment of the rich Christ. The tribes of Reuben and Gad made a certain request with regards to their portion of the land, but this was not right as it was according to their choice of what they thought was best for them. In the end they only settled for second best and didn’t receive an inheritance in the actual good land of Canaan.

In serving the Lord, we should learn to give up our own choices and to leave matters in the Lord’s hands when receiving our allotted portion. It is better to not act according to our choice but to allow the Lord Jesus to lead us. We should be those who do not substitute the second best for the best which is according to God’s will. Our self-choice has nothing to do with the real enjoyment of the Lord. May we be those who reach God’s glorious goal, the rich inheritance of Christ!

 

Message Eight
Authority, Rebellion,
the Vindication of Delegated Authority,
and a Proper Representative of God

Our Enjoyment: If you haven’t met authority, you haven’t met God. God has all authority and issues all authority, including His delegate authority, out from His own being. Offending His authority is the same as offending God Himself. May we pray that we have a submissive will for the Lord. In order to be God’s representatives on the earth, we need to be those who submit to His authority, humble ourselves before the Lord, and serve, shepherd and supply the saints in love.