Bible Zone: Enter with wonder!

Our dedication is to Jehovah our Salvation, Jesus the Christ our Lord and our God. This same dedication is by HIS work in us as we move at HIS direction in Zambia, Africa. Holiness by HIS Grace, the gift of eternal life in Jesus, is our desire for the Tribal People of Africa; that they may turn to HIM receiving forgiveness, remission of sin, just as we have received according to the Scripture.

Phil and Melody Stephens, Servants of Jesus the Christ

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Just a thought or 2: foundations in John...

When darkest hour comes, there is Light for the believer in Jesus; for " in HIM was Life; and the Life was the light of men". What a thought from that which is God Breathed! The context is from the "beginning". Jesus (Jehovah who is our salvation: name defined in its fullness) in Person of God WAS and has not failed to remain Life and Light. Of HIS Person He said "I change not"!        When the greatest need arises, there is help; for we find "My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth" (He from the beginning by the way, "all things were made by HIM") &... "so that we may boldly say, the Lord is my helper...". He, our Life eternal from the beginning, "Light unto our path", from the beginning,  who is from the beginning and never changes, will meet our need if it is a need, indeed!        
When our greatest desire is realized,  (the desire HE has given us to be grasped when we see the desire is HIS desire for us) Jesus is not only the "Author" of that desire "of our faith", but the "Finisher" of HIS desire for us "of our faith". Again I exhort us to grasp it, in darkness, in need indeed, so we can may stand in HIS presence today, fulfilled by HIS Life and Light "that hath appeared to ALL men." Tallyho" let us go, there is a fox to be caught and skinned, it is the old Serpent, and only the Light and Life of Jesus is the power to do so!
Later, Phil

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Traditional Culture Clash With Scripture

Bride price: does it clash with Scripture? The answer is no if it does not interfere with a consummate marriage. What does that mean? Well let me explain in the traditional culture where my wife and I work; Zambian villages.       If the no portion of the agreed bride price has been paid by the husband, then the family of the bride can bring her home, withhold here from her husband...legally! So where is the clash with Scripture. Were not Rachel and Leah held from Jacob due to bride price, the week of work (7 years), until the time was completed? Yes, it is true and it was a tradition not a law of God but nowhere in Scripture does it say that bride price is wrong. However, these marriages were not consummated until the price was met. Thus it did not interfere with a command of God we find in Genesis 2. "A man shall leave his father and mother and cleave unto his wife and they shall be one flesh"; joined, not a promised marriage but a consummated marriage in physical intimacy of joining together (otherwise as 'knowing ones wife' in ye olde English that I love).       Now where does the issue of Bride Price become sinful in our culture here? In withholding the wife from the husband cleaving to her and them being one flesh. That is a command of God. Now this is what I wrote using Scripture to reprimand the practice of Bride Price in its usage affecting a marriage...      
                    Traditions of Bride Price That
                              Defy Scripture
                Genesis 2:24  Matthew 19:5-6 I Corinthians &:5-6
[Genesis 2:23-24 KJV] 23 And Adam said, This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh: she shall be called Woman, because she was taken out of Man.
24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
[Matthew 19:4-6 KJV] 4 And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female,
5 And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?
6 Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder.
[1Corinthians 7:2-6 KJV] 2 Nevertheless, to avoid  fornication, let every man have his own wife, and let every woman have her own husband.
3 Let the husband render unto the wife due benevolence: and likewise also the wife unto the husband.
4 The wife hath not power of her own body, but the husband: and likewise also the husband hath not power of his own body, but the wife.
5 Defraud ye not one the other, except it be with consent for a time, that ye may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again, that Satan tempt you not for your incontinency.
6 But I speak this by permission, and  not of commandment.
      Man shall “cleave” to his wife; man and woman “joined”: thus according to Jehovah, even Jesus who is Jehovah our salvation --- man, no man, not any man has a right to bring cause for them to be separated.
     When a family, and the man of that family who is the head of the wife (Ephesians 5:22-33) becomes instrumental in causing separation of husband and wife, that family and especially the man of the family is guilty of breaking the fundamental and express purpose of the Creator of all things.
     That family creates an environment AGAINST what Paul wrote in explanation that husband and wife fulfill each others, needs. Thus his permissive explanation emphasizes NOT to interfere with what our Mighty God set in place in original creation.  Can we bring curse from the LORD on our families from using traditions of culture that defy the directives of the Lord of hosts? YES! Is bride price wrong, no. Can the bride price become sin against the God of glory, Jehovah? Yes; when it interferes with the marriage to break asunder, keep apart the husband and wife.
[Deuteronomy 11:22, 26-28 KJV] 22 For if ye shall diligently keep all these commandments which I command you, to do them, to love the LORD your God, to walk in all his ways, and to cleave unto him; ...
26 Behold, I set before you this day a blessing and a curse;
27 A blessing, if ye obey the commandments of the LORD your God, which I command you this day:
28 And a curse, if ye will not obey the commandments of the LORD your God, but turn aside out of the way which I command you this day, to go after other gods, which ye have not known.
Just one of a few issues we must deal with here in our beloved Zambia.

Til next time!
Phil n Africa

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Lessons Learned

In year 2000, I came to Zambia twice to visit then work with the Tribal Village people of Southern Province. By 2002 I was working here on my own staying at the home of missionary absent for medical and family reasons. This was a time in 2002 of starvation as drought had plagued the nation of Zambia. As I moved that year and then years to follow on short term trips, we had crowds of people, sometimes more that 400. I preached the Gospel then called on people to receive Jesus. This they did by the hundreds in some meetings. By my last short term trip in 2005, I realized the same people were coming forward in meetings to receive Jesus at events where we fed them. But at the same time, found when we came for a Sunday meeting, of the hundreds professing only a few were faithful unless food was served...especially when we showed up without notice. Where were these hundreds? Where were the collective 1000s? Did we ever have a faithful number profess to receive Christ and they continued? Yes one place 54 professed to believe and receive Christ, all of them came to teaching on what the testimony of Baptism is and were Baptized and a Baptist Church was founded and they were faithful. But that was like Acts 2-5 and rarely seen in other area (God brought that revival for salvation of many, not man generated by glamorous enticing event)! That Church I know continued faithful under a sincere Zambian Pastor who the Lord had allowed me to disciple to Jesus in faith the follows HIM. My point?

NOW: ....See attached below the complete commission of Jesus Christ and realize our part begins with the peace that Jesus gave and then continues to proclaim clearly from Scripture who Jesus is , who HE is in all power in Heaven and earth, what HE has done for us, what true faith is and what the confession of the true Faith by testimony of Baptism is: that we are delivered from sin to serve HIM by HIS death burial and resurrection to live unto God, HIS own Person in Spirit, Heart, Mind, Jehovah, and so we Live by HIS righteous eternal Life in us as we learn to obey HIS commandments for us! Ask these question of ourselves, are we sure the ones we are reaching to believe in Jesus, to the saving of their soul, know who HE is in eternity? Do we make it clear that real faith will change their life to follow Jesus? Do they understand it is not the words they say but the repentant obedient Faith (Jesus is saving Faith, He is Salvation from sin to serve the most high God) of their very heart that believes and receives Jesus to be their Life? Do we let the LORD convince them that they are truly HIS by HIS Life in them that changes them day by day to be in the image of Christ? Do we look to see if there is evidence of hunger and thirst after HIS righteousness and then continue to build on that from Scripture that they grow in this merciful grace once delivered to the saints (true believers)? These basic questions must be answered lest we leave them with a false confidence in a ritual or prayer coerced by that does not bring New Life of regeneration which comes in knowing Jesus, denying self and following HIM is faith believing from the heart unto HIS righteousness for them, in them and seen through them by others. Luke 9:23, Romans 10:9-13, Hebrews 10:38-39, Galatians 2:20,  Colossians 1:9-23!!! King James Version for clarity!
 Commission of Christ to His Church
and Every Believer in the Church

And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you. All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations and preach the gospel to every creature; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the dead the third day. Ye are witnesses of these things,that repentance and remission of sins should be preached in his name among all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. But ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and ye shall be witnesses unto me both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth, Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, [even] unto the end of the world. Amen.
Taken From:  Matthew 28:18-20; Mark 16:15;
Luke 24:46-48;  John 20:21; Acts 1:8

Til we meet again soon, speaking of Mephibosheth,
Phil n Africa

Friday, August 8, 2014


How are you this day, in Christ Jesus, Lord Eammuel? I surely pray you are well. Thanks for joining me here; may this be a blessing. This morning, as I was in the Oracles (sayings) where our great God and our Savior, Jesus Messiah (see Letter to Titus 2:13-14) SAID THIS RECORDED BY JOHN THE BELOVED DISCIPLE, CHOSEN APOSTLE: John 1:51 "...verily, verily I say unto you, Hereafter ye shall see heaven open, and the angels of God ascending and descending upon the Son of Man." Oh my friends, I have heard all manner of explanations of this saying of Lord Jesus. Let me try to help you see it in light of Scripture...the vision of this in the records  written by Moses and confirmed thus by Jesus Himself, is found in the Holy Writ of Genesis 28:12 and verses following when Jacob foresaw this event in a dream. The Vision of this event! Then Jesus gave The Promise of this event as shown above. Finally John the beloved Disciple recorded the event in Fulfillment: Revelation 11:15-19 at the 7th (last) trumpet when "...The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and HE shall reign forever and ever....vs 19 And the temple of God was opened in heaven..."! NOW this is the in John and Revelation is NO BARRIERS, NO CLOSURE, NO RESTRAINT, when Jesus returns to take over finally; therefore Heavenly abode of the most high God becomes one with this new earth, at HIS return... and messengers, angels, will have full access to all of original creation renewed in HIS KINGDOM. Are these angels only the created hosts of the Beginning...I think not, for the definition of "angel" in its entirety is simply "messenger". Context of Scripture defines if it is one of heaven by creation or one born on earth and redeemed by blood of Jesus to be a messenger to those who also need new birth. THUS "For what purpose" do we deny ourselves and follow Jesus to the lost in sin, teaching them also to be messengers of all and any cost! JESUS WILL HAVE A KINGDOM FROM HEAVEN TO EARTH AND WE BY MERCY DELIVERED BY GRACE RECEIVED BY FAITH MAY DECEND AND ASCEND UPON JESUS FOR ETERNITUY...OH WHAT PURPOSE WE ARE SERVANTS OF HIS! See this photo of those God has chosen and are surrendered to follow Jesus as believers and messengers to their own people here in Zambia and who the LORD has allowed me to walk with them in this process.  After while crocodile, Phil n Africa

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Oh the joy of ministry at Kooma Basic School. Each week of school terms during dry season, Melody and Pastor Aaron of Grace Baptist Church teach Scripture truth and stories to the students. (Rain season cuts them off even for 4x4 travel for extended times; a wet weather river flows through the area for over 60 kilometers flooding a plain of deep mud.)
Tuesday was final day for this term. I preached to the 5th to 7th grade classes inviting them to receive Jesus Christ as their own Lord and Savior to follow HIM in repentant faith believing HE died for their sins, and would be their eternal Life. 18 responded.
Then with care, Pastor Aaron and Alfred, Pastoral Assistant working with me and in training to be a Pastor, spoke to each of them. During my message there were 2 girls and one young man that were intent and seemed anxious to know Christ personally.  Oh how my heart yearns to see, written on their countenance, the reproof of Scripture and the Spirit of Christ in their souls.
Is it worth the sacrifice of homeland, family fellowship and close personal friends in Texas and across USA? Yea and more, it is worth the humble honoring of the call and enablement of the Lord Jesus Emmanuel, Messiah, King of saints, who died for me that HE might deliver me from this present evil world; it is worth more than anything and I think of the words of that old hymn, "I'd rather have Jesus, than silver or gold, I'd rather have Jesus than riches untold, I'd rather have Jesus than anything, this world can now afford". Oh that HIS Life be my life for HIS sake and for the sake of the lost and lonely needing HIS deliverance from death, hell and the grave!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

To all our friends, my apologies for not writing in over a year. I have used another media for posts but realize I should keep this up. Let me tell you the story of Chuma, a 3 year old girl who was dying. Her body was swollen. Her eyes were nearly closed from the swelling. Her home was a bush village and the hospital in nearest city was of little help.

A team of youth and adults from Arden Road Baptist Church was visiting us from Amarillo Texas. We were on bush village visitation, 2 groups going in different directions, inviting all to come to a Bible Conference at Grace Baptist Church of Kooma village. As we passed out invitation, one of our group, the headman of Kooma asked us to pray with Chuma. We did.

The next night she and some of her family came to the meeting, walking nearly 6 kilometers. The whole mission team and many members of Grace Baptist gathered and we prayed for Chuma. The Arden Road Baptist team then met and took up an offering to send her to a mission hospital in Zimba that has a good reputation for up to date care.

Yesterday, Chuma came to church with her mother (Mother and Chuma on right in photo). I did not even recognize Chuma.
Her mother said she nearly died before she arrived at Zimba, but glory to God, did not even recognized her. The swelling was gone, she had a big smile on her face and chattered away in Tonga while her mother wept for joy.

Her mother has testified she will follow Jesus and be faithful to attend Grace Baptist to grow in the Lord. Pastor Aaron (photo on the left)
will follow up and disciple her while witnessing to her family regarding faith of Jesus Christ only name given whereby men must be saved from sin.

Oh by the way the mother on the left in photo with Chuma is holding her last born. His name is Shepherd. He was dedicated to the Lord at birth thus the name. He has a serious medical problem also. The mission team from Amarillo gave more than needed for Chuma and asked us to use it as needed to help others. Shepherd leaves with mother and grandmother for Zimba by tomorrow. Praying he can be helped also. Trusting the Lord to put his hand of mercy on Shepherd also.

I think I owe a promised story from over a year ago. Pray I do not fail this blog again.

Loving Regards in Jesus Emmanuel,
Phil n Africa

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

no compromise, no respect for that which is evil

In this world of the wicked pursuits of people full of sin, there must be those that refuse the evil and choose that which is good...and Jesus said there is none good but God, Jehovah, the Most High and Eternal Sovereign Creator.

The lives of people around the world deserve for us, believers who in repentant obedient Faith of Christ do exactly what He requires when He told His disciples, "Follow Me".  It is not the hype of song, dance, exuberance of the moment that is fulfilled holiness.  Rather it is the resulting Life of very Messiah seen in the day to day worship of each one that truly follows HIM.

For that to happen, the whole counsel of our Holy Eternal Almighty God must be given to people so their conversion is real and not a vague religion that is not so different or even incorporates the lusts of the world.  These seen below deserve Jesus the real God, Judge and only Savior. Thus HE that very and only God and Savior deserves our denial of self to live in HIS desires for them to have HIS holiness by redemption from sin and this present evil world.