WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THE WORD OF GOD?
Psalm 119 is an amazing Psalm, it is not only is it the longest Psalm (176 verses!), but it is also the Psalm that deals the most directly with the topic of Scripture. Virtually every verse, in one way or another, refers to God’s Word. David (who is most likely the author) uses a variety of terminology to describe God’s Word: commandments, law, statutes, precepts, ordinances, rules, words, testimonies, etc. These all refer to the Scriptures as they existed in David’s day (essentially the Pentateuch).[bctt tweet=”WHAT DO YOU DO WITH THE WORD OF GOD?” username=”@evangelbisola”]
Thus, Psalm 119 is one of the best examples of Scripture speaking about Scripture. It is the Word about the Word. And in it, we find David interacting with the Word of God in five ways that should be paradigmatic for all believers:
Trusting the Word of God. Time and time again, David expresses his belief that the Scriptures are true (v.151). He believes in them (v.66). He trusts in their reliability (v.42). He states: “The sum of your word is truth” (v.160).
This first step is key. If a believer doesn’t really regard the Word of God as being fully and entirely trustworthy, then none of the other steps below will follow. This is why the church needs to be quick to deal with the repeated criticisms of the Bible that so often permeate our culture.
Studying the Word of God. David doesn’t just believe the Word; he is a student of the Word. He learns it (v.73), he seeks it (v.155), he has memorized it (v.153), and regularly meditates on it. This step ought to naturally for the follow the first one. If God’s Word really is true, then we ought to commit ourselves to being diligent studiers of the Word. We need to embrace it with our minds, as well as our hearts.
Using the Word of God. It’s one thing to believe and know the Word. It is another thing to rely on it. To look to it as a guide during the difficulties and challenges of life. To lean on it for encouragement and hope.
David repeatedly affirms that he uses the Word of God as a “counselor” (v.24), to give “strength” (v.28), and to bring “comfort in affliction” (v.50). He states, “Your Word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path” (v.105). In short, the Word of God is the very source of life for David (v.156).
This reminds us a very important attribute of God’s Word: it is alive. It is powerful and active. When we talk about the attributes of Scripture, we must remember that it is more than just a true book (encyclopedias can be true). It is also a living book. It is the place where the God of the universe meets us and manifests himself.
DELIGHT IN THE WORD
Delighting in the Word of God. What is amazing is that David takes things one step further than we might expect. It’s not just that he trusts, studies, and uses the Word of God. He actually has affection for it. He has a deep emotional affinity towards it. He “loves” God’s Word (v.159), he “rejoices” at his Word (v.162), the Word is “wondrous” (v.18), it is “better than thousands of gold and silver pieces” (v.72), and “sweeter than honey to my mouth” (v.103).
I am convinced that this is the missing piece for most believers today. For many, the Bible is viewed almost in a utilitarian fashion—it is a mechanical, sterile tool that Christians are supposed to use. It’s like taking your medicine.
In contrast, David has passion, zeal, and excitement for the law and commandments of God. And the reason for this is not hard to find. David loves God’s law not because he is a closet legalist. He loves God’s law because the law reflects God’s own nature and character. He loves God’s law because he loves God—and who God is and what he is like.
Any Christian who says they love God but then despises God’s law is living a life of contradiction. Indeed, they are living a life that is the opposite of Psalm 119. To love God is to love his law.
Obeying the Word of God. Not surprisingly, the prior four characteristics naturally lead to this last one. David repeatedly expresses his desire to actually obey God’s law. He wants to follow it, keep it, and fulfill it.
In our world today, the concept of “obeying the law” is not a popular one. Many see this as contrary to grace. However, two things should be kept in mind. One, David is not keeping the law in order to earn salvation—he is obeying out of love for God. He is obeying out of a heart of faith.
Second, we should remember that Jesus Himself was very much about “obeying the law.” Before we too quickly despise the concept of law-keeping, we should remember that Jesus delighted in keeping His Father’s law. And He kept it absolutely perfectly—for us. He obeyed on our behalf, and His righteous status is imputed to us by faith.
Indeed, Jesus embodies all five of these characteristics. He trusted, studied, used, delighted in, and obeyed God’s Word. In fact, He did all these things even more than the first David. While David certainly serves as an example of what to do with God’s word, Jesus is the ultimate example, the One greater than David has come; and He loved God’s Word because He is the Word JOHN 1:1.
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God Loves You!
The Bible says, “God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life”
The problem is that…
All of us have done, said or thought things that are wrong. This is called sin, and our sins have separated us from God.
The Bible says “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” God is perfect and holy, and our sins separate us from God forever. The Bible says “The wages of sin is death.”
The good news is that, about 2,000 years ago,
God sent His only Son Jesus Christ to die for our sins.
Jesus is the Son of God. He lived a sinless life and then died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins. “God demonstrates His own love for us in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us.”
Jesus rose from the dead and now He lives in heaven with God His Father. He offers us the gift of eternal life — of living forever with Him in heaven if we accept Him as our Lord and Savior.
Jesus said “I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except by Me.”
God reaches out in love to you and wants you to be His child. “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe on His name.” You can choose to ask Jesus Christ to forgive your sins and come in to your life as your Lord and Savior.
If you want to accept Christ as your Savior and turn from your sins, you can ask Him to be your Savior and Lord by praying a prayer like this:
“Lord Jesus, I believe you are the Son of God. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. Please forgive my sins and give me the gift of eternal life. I ask you in to my life and heart to be my Lord and Savior. I want to serve you always.”
Did you pray this prayer?
power of prayer
The idea that power is inherent in prayer is a very popular one amongst Church Folks. According to the Bible, the power of prayer is quite simply the power or ability of God, who hears and answers prayers of His Children whenever they call unto Him Jeremiah 33:3; Exodus 3:7. Consider the following:
1) The Lord God Almighty can do all things; there is nothing impossible for Him (Luke 1:37).
2) The Lord God Almighty invites His people to pray to Him Jer.33:3; Matt.7:7. Prayer to God should be made persistently as the Lord Jesus pointed out in the Book of Luke 18:1, with thanksgiving Philippians 4:6, in faith Heb. 11:6; James 1:5, within the will of God Matthew 6:10, for the glory of God John 14:13-14, and from a heart right with God James 5:16.
3) There is no doubt that the Lord God Almighty hears and answers the prayers of His children. He commands us to pray, and He promises to listen when we do. One of the unlimited examples of that was David’s testimonies “In my distress I called to the LORD; I cried to my God for help. From his temple he heard my voice; my cry came before him, into his ears” (Psalm 18:6).
4) The Lord God Almighty answers prayer. “I call on you, O God, for you will answer me” (Psalm 17:6). “The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them; he delivers them from all their troubles” (Psalm 34:17).
Another popular idea is that the amount of faith we have determines whether or not God will answer our prayers. However, sometimes the Lord answers our prayers in spite of our own lack of faith. In Acts 12, the church prays for Peter’s release from prison (v. 5), and God answers their prayer (vv. 7-11). Peter goes to the door of the prayer meeting and knocks, but those who are praying refuse at first to believe that it is really Peter. They prayed he would be released, but they failed to expect an answer to their prayers.
The power of prayer does not flow from us; it is not special words we say or the special way we say them or even how often we say them. The power of prayer is not based on a certain direction we face or a certain position of our bodies. The power of prayer does not come from the use of artifacts or icons or candles or beads. The power of prayer comes from the omnipotent One who hears our prayers and answers them. Prayer places us in contact with Almighty God, and we should expect almighty results, whether or not He chooses to grant our petitions or deny our requests. Whatever the answer to our prayers, the God to whom we pray is the source of the power of prayer, and He can and will answer us, according to His perfect will and timing. This will lead us to the question of what is Prayer?
The most basic definition of Prayer is “talking to God.” Prayer is not meditation or passive reflection; it is direct address to God. It is the communication of the human soul with the Lord who created the soul. Prayer is the primary way for the believer in Jesus Christ to communicate his emotions and desires with God and to fellowship with God.
Prayer can be audible or silent, private or public, formal or informal. All prayer must be offered in faith (James 1:6), in the name of the Lord Jesus (John 16:23), and in the power of the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:26). As the International Standard Bible Encyclopedia puts it, “Christian prayer in its full New Testament meaning is prayer addressed to God as Father, in the name of Christ as Mediator, and through the enabling grace of the indwelling Spirit” (“Prayer” by J. C. Lambert). The wicked have no desire to pray (Psalm 10:4), but the children of God have a natural desire to pray (Luke 11:1).
Prayer is described in the Bible as seeking God’s favor (Exodus 32:11), pouring out one’s soul to the Lord (1 Samuel 1:15), crying out to heaven (2 Chronicles 32:20), drawing near to God (Psalm 73:28, KJV), and kneeling before the Father (Ephesians 3:14).
Paul wrote, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:6–7). Worry about nothing; pray about everything.
Everything? Yes, God wants us to talk with Him about everything. How often should we pray? The biblical answer is “pray without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17). We should keep a running conversation going with God all day long. Some find the ACTS formula of prayer helpful, but there is really no special formula for how to pray in the Bible. We should just do it. We can pray under any and all circumstances. Prayer develops our relationship with God and demonstrates our trust and utter dependence upon Him.
Prayer is the Christian’s way of communicating with God. We pray to praise God and thank Him and tell Him how much we love Him. We pray to enjoy His presence and tell Him what is going on in our lives. We pray to make requests and seek guidance and ask for wisdom. God loves this exchange with His children, just as we love the exchange we have with our children. Fellowship with God is the heart of prayer. Too often we lose sight of how simple prayer is really supposed to be.
When we make petitions to God, we let God know exactly where we stand and what we would like to see happen. In our prayers, we must admit that God is greater than we are and ultimately knows what is best in any given situation (Romans 11:33–36). God is good and asks us to trust Him. In prayer, we say, essentially, “Not my will, but your will be done.” The key to answered prayer is praying according to the will of God and in accordance with His Word. Prayer is not seeking our own will but seeking to align ourselves with the will of God more fully (1 John 5:14–15; James 4:3).
The Bible contains many examples of prayer and plenty of exhortations to pray (see Luke 18:1; Romans 12:12; and Ephesians 6:18). God’s house is to be a house of prayer (Mark 11:17), and God’s people are to be people of prayer: “Dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, keep yourselves in God’s love” (Jude 1:20–21)
How can I have my prayers answered by God?
Many people believe answered prayer is God granting a prayer request that is offered to Him. If a prayer request is not granted, it is understood as an “unanswered” prayer. However, this is an incorrect understanding of prayer. God answers every prayer that is lifted to Him. Sometimes God answers “no” or “wait.” God only promises to grant our prayers when we ask according to His will. “This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him” (1 John 5:14-15).
What does it mean to pray according to God’s will? Praying according to God’s will is praying for things that honor and glorify God and/or praying for what the Bible clearly reveals God’s will to be. If we pray for something that is not honoring to God or not God’s will for our lives, God will not give what we ask for. How can we know what God’s will is? God promises to give us wisdom when we ask for it. James 1:5 proclaims, “If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him.” A good place to start is 1 Thessalonians 5:12-24, which outlines many things that are God’s will for us. The better we understand God’s Word, the better we will know what to pray for (John 15:7). The better we know what to pray for, the more often God will answer “yes” to our requests.
The story of “Adam’s rib” is found in the book of Genesis, precisely Genesis 2:18–24 tells the well-known account of how God created the first woman, Eve, by removing a “rib” from Adam’s body and fashioning it into the woman. The creation account clearly indicates that God used Adam’s rib to create Eve instead of making her from the dust of the ground as He had done for Adam earlier. The question also arises as to why God created woman out of Adam’s rib. God apparently had formed male and female animals separately, but the female human was originally part of man—Adam said, “She shall be called ‘woman,’ for she was taken out of man” (Genesis 2:23).
God used Adam’s rib to form Eve to show that they were actually the same created being, two halves of a whole. The female was not created as a separate being, second to the male. She was formed as part of the initial man, in order to be a “helper suitable” for the male (Genesis 2:18). While Adam was in a divinely induced sleep, God “took one of the man’s ribs and . . . made a woman” (Genesis 2:21–22). Eve was brought into being to strengthen and powerfully help Adam; she was made from the same “stuff,” and she was every bit as perfect a creation as man and every bit as patterned after God’s image and likeness (Genesis 1:27).
The woman made of Adam’s rib was designed to be a “suitable helper” for Adam (Genesis 2:20). The Hebrew phrase is translated “help meet” in the KJV and “companion who corresponded” in the NET. It is not synonymous with assistant, servant, minion, or subordinate. The Hebrew phrase, ’ezer kenegdow, in all other instances in the Bible refers to powerful and extensive aid and support. In most cases, the phrase was used to depict dominant military forces or armed men. Other passages, including Deuteronomy 33:7, 29, and Exodus 18:4, use the same phrase to discuss the potent interventions and deliverances of God Himself. Woman, therefore, was created as a complement to man, as an integral part of man, and as a powerful and influential companion for man.
Furthermore, the Hebrew word translated “suitable,” kenegdow, carries much more meaning than simply “fit” or “appropriate.” This word also means “opposite or contrasting.” This implies that the two beings were designed to work and fit together perfectly, not just physically but in all ways. The strengths of each compensated for the weaknesses of the other. It was “not good” for the man to be alone (Genesis 2:18), but, together, Adam and Eve were something far stronger and more magnificent than either of them could have been alone. Adam had to lose a rib, but he gained so much more.
Why did God use Adam’s rib? A closer examination of the Hebrew also reveals another surprising element of the story. The Hebrew word translated “rib” in Genesis 2 is tsela. The only other instance of the English word rib in the Bible occurs in Daniel 7:5, but the Hebrew word used there is different. In other passages where tsela or its variants are used, the word is translated “side.” For example, in Exodus 25, 27, and 35, the words tselo (variant) and tselot (plural) are used to refer to the “sides” of the Ark of the Covenant or the “sides” of the altar. In 2 Samuel 16:13, David encounters a cursing Shimei moving along the side (tsela) of a hill. In these contexts, translating the word tsela as “rib” would not fit.
This raises the possibility that Eve could have been fashioned of more than just Adam’s rib. In the Genesis 2 passage, tsela could actually be translated as Adam’s “side,” rather than Adam’s “rib.” If the appropriate translation is that God removed Adam’s side, how much of his side did God remove? It is possible that Eve was constructed literally from half of Adam. This would bring added meaning to Adam’s declaration that Eve was “bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh” (Genesis 2:23).
Whether God created Eve from Adam’s rib or from his whole side, He accomplished the act in such a way that showed the woman was to complement and complete man in the integral union of marriage. Woman was created to be “beside” man, not beneath or above him. In salvation, man is no more “worthy” and woman is no less a citizen of God’s kingdom. “There is neither . . . male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28). They stand side-by-side as fellow “heirs . . . of the gracious gift of life” (1 Peter 3:7).
“How was the woman a helper suitable for the man (Genesis 2:18)?”
In Genesis 2:18, we read of the one thing that was not declared “good” in all of God’s creation: “Then the LORD God said, ‘It is not good that the man should be alone.’” The same verse includes God’s solution: “I will make him a helper fit for him.” Eve was the solution to Adam’s deficiency.
Two Hebrew terms in this verse provide important information to better understand the creation of Eve as the first woman. The word translated “helper” is the Hebrew term ‘ezer. This word is even used of God, sometimes, noting that He is our Helper (Psalm 115:9-11). We would certainly not view God, as a Helper, as subservient to humans, nor should we understand the role of “helper” in Genesis 2:18 as a position of subservience. The concept of an “ideal partner” seems to convey the thought best.
The second important Hebrew word in this verse, translated “fit” is kenegdow. It literally means “according to the opposite of him.” In other words, the focus is on an appropriate match. Eve was not created above or below Adam; she was complementary. The animals Adam had named each had an appropriate companion (Genesis 2:20), and Adam was given a fitting companion as well. Eve was “just right” for him.
Further, God’s statement that it was not good for man to be alone implies that Adam was lonely and incomplete by himself. He had been created for relationship, and it is impossible to have relationship alone. With the creation of Eve, Adam experienced the joy of love for another person.
The Bible is unique in its depiction of women’s valued status as a complementary companion. No other ancient text from the Middle East offers commentary on the creation of women. It is in the Bible that we learn of the important role women have had since the beginning of human existence. Both man and woman were made in God’s image, according to Genesis 1:27, “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them.”
The apostle Paul refers to Genesis when he says, “A man shall leave his father and mother and hold fast to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh” (Ephesians 5:31). Husband and wife are to live as one, united in love for God and for one another, modeling the love Christ has for His bride, the Church.
“Is the Adam and Eve story to be understood literally?”
Let us assume for a moment that the Adam and Eve story is not to be understood literally. What would be the result? Would Christianity remain essentially the same with a non-literal understanding of the story of Adam and Eve? No. In fact, it would have serious implications for virtually every tenet and doctrine of the Christian faith. If Adam was not a real man, then sin did not enter the world through one man as Romans 5:12states. How, then, did sin enter world? Further, if the New Testament is wrong about how sin entered the world, what else is it wrong about? If Romans 5:12 is wrong, how do we know that the entirety of Romans 5:8–15 is not wrong? If the story of Adam and Eve is not to be taken literally—if they did not really exist—then there was no one to rebel, there was no fall into sin. Satan, the great deceiver, would like nothing better than for people to believe that the Bible should not be taken literally and that the story of the fall of man is a myth. Why? Because once we start denying parts of the Bible, we lose our trust in the Bible. Why should we believe anything God’s Word says if we cannot trust everything that it says?
Jesus taught that God created one man and one woman (Mark 10:6) and mentions Abel, a son of Adam and Eve in Luke 11:51. Was Jesus wrong in His beliefs? Or did Jesus know there were no literal Adam and Eve and He was simply accommodating His teaching to the beliefs of the people (i.e., lying)? If Jesus is wrong in His beliefs, He is not God. If Jesus is intentionally deceiving people, He is sinning and therefore cannot be the Savior (1 Peter 1:19).
That is why this is such a serious issue. To deny the literalness of Adam and Eve is to place oneself in opposition to Jesus and the apostle Paul. If one has the audacity to claim he is right and Jesus and Paul are wrong, then Jesus is a sinner, not God and not the Savior; the apostle Paul is a false prophet; and the Bible is not inspired, inerrant, or trustworthy.
The Bible clearly presents Adam and Eve as literal people who existed in a literal Garden of Eden. They literally rebelled against God, they literally believed Satan’s lie, and they were literally cast out of the Garden (Genesis 3:24). They had literal children, all of whom inherited the sin nature, and that nature was passed down to succeeding generations to this very day. Fortunately, God promised a literal Savior to redeem us from that sin nature (Genesis 3:15). That Savior is Jesus Christ, called the “last Adam” (1 Corinthians 15:45), who died on a literal cross and literally rose again. Those who believe in Christ will have literal salvation and spend eternity in a literal heaven.
Christians who deny the story of Adam and Eve essentially deny their own faith. Rejecting the literal interpretation of the Bible’s historical narratives is a slippery slope. If Adam and Eve did not exist, then were Cain and Abel not real? Did Seth exist, and did he father a godly line that led all the way to Abraham and eventually to Jesus Himself? Where in Luke’s genealogy (Luke 3:23–38) do the names stop referring to literal people and start referring to mythical characters? To dismiss Adam and Eve as non-literal is to deny the accuracy of Luke’s gospel, cast aspersions on Moses’ record, and remove the foundation of the rest of the Bible.
God’s Word claims to be true (Psalm 119:160). Jesus Christ declared God’s Word to be truth (John 17:17). All of God’s Word is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16-17). These declarations include the biblical account of Adam and Eve.
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Trials and Tribulations- Spiritual manure for our faith, and God’ s opportunity
Brethren, most common question in the mind of some Christians is, “why me of all these troubles?” Have you ever ask yourself in time of comfort, peace and abundance, “why you of all these goodness?” Let us go into the message together.
King David said, “Before I was afflicted I went astray, but now I obey your word. It was good for me to be afflicted so that I might learn your decrees.” Psalm 119:67&71 NIV
One of the most difficult parts of the Christian life is the fact that becoming a disciple of Christ does not make us immune to life’s trials and tribulations. The seemingly good question in anyone’s mind would be, “why would a good and loving God allow us to go through such things as the death of a child, disease and injury to ourselves and our loved ones, financial hardships, worry and fear?” Surely, if He loved us, He would take all these things away from us. After all, doesn’t loving us mean He wants our lives to be easy and comfortable? Well, no, it doesn’t. The Bible clearly teaches that God loves those who are His children, and He “works all things together for good” for us (Romans 8:28). So that must mean that the trials and tribulations He allows in our lives are part of the working together of all things for good. Therefore, for the believer, all trials and tribulations must have a divine purpose.
Lessons in Affliction
When affliction comes our way, what is God teaching us? What is the value of affliction? In Psalm 119:71 the Psalmist says, “It is good for me that I have been afflicted; that I might learn thy statutes.” Is this our confession when God sends us afflictions or do we murmur and complain that God does not understand what He is doing? So often the latter response is the case. We think we know better than God because we have not learned the important lessons in afflictions. But there are invaluable lessons that we can learn from afflictions.
One lesson we can learn during our afflictions is that they are not about us, but about God. When God sends us an affliction, it is to get our attention to the fact that God is in control of our lives. Afflictions are meant to draw our attention to God. This fact alone is worth every affliction that God could send our way. So often we go through life without little thought of God. Afflictions have a way of bringing life to a screeching halt and leading us to see that we are finite human beings and God is the infinite, Almighty and all-knowing God. That is why the Psalmist said “it was good to have been afflicted.” It drove him back to God and His statutes. Similarly, if our little children gets caught up with some bullies in school or play-ground, they quickly run to their teachers or parents for help, protection and defence. So also affliction ought to drive us back to God and His Word. As we do so, we will learn that God is not afflicting us arbitrarily, but that He is doing so as our Heavenly Father and that He might do us good at our latter end (Deut. 8:5,16).
Another lesson we can learn during affliction is that God is more concerned about our salvation and sanctification than He is concerned about our usefulness in any particular area of life. That is a staggering thought! When sickness sets in or unemployment hits, or natural disasters strike, our lives can be rendered seemingly useless in a moment. Our first thought is, what am I going to do now? But have you ever considered this thought, “What is God telling me now? How am I going to be changed through this affliction? How will I be more fit for glory?” Such a mindset gives a different perspective in affliction – it gives a certain element of sweetness to know that Christ is being formed in us, rather than our own wretched sinful nature being perpetuated.
Again, afflictions can draw out what is in our own hearts.
Afflictions are sent to show our true mettle to others around us. We are always giving a witness in the midst of affliction.
Afflictions will tell others where our trust is – whether in God or in ourselves.
Afflictions will be used or abused. When they are used rightly, we will use them to witness to others about the goodness of God. When we abuse them, we will complain and murmur against God for dealing us another blow. What is in your heart?
Is it good that you have been afflicted because it brought you to reckon with God again? Is it good that you have been afflicted because it brought you to trust in Christ for the first time or afresh? Is it good that you have been afflicted because it taught you to glorify God and be a witness of the goodness of God to others? If so, that is the only way it can be good to have been afflicted.
As in all things, God’s ultimate purpose for us is to grow more and more into the image of His Son (Romans 8:29). This is the goal of the Christian, and everything in life, including the trials and tribulations, is designed to enable us to reach that goal. It is part of the process of sanctification, being set apart for God’s purposes and fitted to live for His glory. The way trials accomplish this is explained in 1 Peter 1:6-7: “In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which perishes, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” The true believer’s faith will be made sure by the trials we experience so that we can rest in the knowledge that it is real and will last forever.
Trials help us to develop godly character, and that enables us to “rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us” (Romans 5:3-5). Jesus Christ set the perfect example. “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). These verses reveal aspects of His divine purpose for both Jesus Christ’s trials and tribulations and ours. Persevering proves our faith. “I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me” (Philippians 4:13).
However, we must be careful never to make excuses for our “trials and tribulations” if they are a result of our own wrongdoing. “By no means let any of you suffer as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler” (1 Peter 4:15). God will forgive our sins because the eternal punishment for them has been paid by Christ’s sacrifice on the cross. However, we still have to suffer the natural consequences in this life for our sins and bad choices. But God uses even those sufferings to mold and shape us for His purposes and our ultimate good.
Trials and tribulations come with both a purpose and a reward. “Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance. And let endurance have its perfect result, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. . . . Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life, which the Lord has promised to those who love Him” (James 1:2-4,12).
Through all of life’s trials and tribulations, we have the victory. “But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord, Jesus Christ.” Although we are in a spiritual battle, satan has no authority over the believer in Christ. God has given us His Word to guide us, His Holy Spirit to enable us, and the privilege of coming to Him anywhere, at any time, to pray about anything. He has also assured us that no trial will test us beyond our ability to bear it, and “he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Friends, in every situation and circumstances, the scripture encourages us to always give glory to God for who He is. He loves us and it will surely end well in Jesus’ Name.
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Fruits of The Spirit
As believers, we all want the fruit of the Spirit , but how can we know if we truly have it? Even unbelievers can display these qualities when conditions are positive. This nine-fold fruit of the Spirit is not what we do, but who we are, and it is primarily on display in Christians when circumstances are unfavorable. Two characteristics help us recognize these traits in our lives.
Fruitful believers are not controlled by their environment, or positive or negative circumstances. Everyone experiences trials and pain, but those who are filled with the Spirit do not lose His fruit because of their situations. They keep their joy even when difficulties overwhelm. If someone speaks harshly, they respond with kindness. Because the Holy Spirit is in control, He is free to produce His fruit no matter what the circumstances are. Even though such believers may feel pain, anger, or a desire for revenge, they choose to trust the Lord to protect them and direct the outcome.
Fruitful Christians recover quickly after a fall. These believers are not perfect, but they are sensitive to the Spirit’s conviction and are quick to return to the Lord in repentance. In fact, they are actually grateful for the correction and praise God, not only for revealing their weakness but also for drawing them back to obedience.
No one produces these amazing qualities in himself except with the help of the Holy Spirit; trying harder to be godly will never work. Jesus Christ never tried to be good, He was simply good. Character transformation occurs when we submit to God, giving Him complete control of our lives. Only then will the Spirit be free to produce fruit that remains even in the deepest, darkest storms.
In botany, fruit is the seed-bearing structure in angiosperms which formed from the ovary after flowering. Fruits are the means by which plants disseminate seeds. A fruit often exposes its origin no matter how a product is being branded and packaged; the fruits are the pointer to where it emanates from. All different trees bear the same kind of fruit of the seed they came from, for example: an orange tree will bear oranges, not apples. Fruit is a natural production of the source it connects to. Fruit comes out naturally, you will never see a tree sweating to produce its fruit. It comes out in its season at various degrees.
Spiritually, for the benefit of Children of God, fruit is the work of the Holy Spirit in a believer in Christ Jesus’ life, showing the change, which Christ has made. The outward has to understand the new inward life, and that is in relation to a genuine doctrine. The tree which is the believer, must have Christ as its source (Root) for the Holy Spirit to be at work in such life. This means, such life must have the real Jesus Christ to be able to have the real fruit; according to JOHN 15:4-8, which says, Christ is our lifeline, His teachings and His person. The Holy Spirit will always point to Jesus not to Himself or to another man in our lives (JOHN 16:12-14), and as we abide in His Word (in Him), the Holy Spirit will brood upon us in order to produce the fruit of the Spirit in the life of the believer. Through the work of the Holy Spirit, life of Christ comes out naturally in us; we do not strain to produce it. Our position is to Abide in Him; His promise is that He will produce His life in us (JOHN 15:5-8).
CULTS DO NOT HAVE TRUE FRUIT!
Anyone with false doctrine like in the Cult circle does not have true fruit. They cannot have good/true fruit because they are not abiding in Christ’s Word or Spirit. They depend solely on their ‘seemingly good works,’ for, or to maintain what they do. They do not teach from the Bible, but their prophecies and revelations come forth in other men’s Books. If you go for such works (art) in the name of seeking knowledge, or miracles, you have simply dined on satan’s table.
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Wolf in sheep clothin
MY LATEST ENCOUNTER – SHAME UNTO FALSE PROPHETS
Brethren! How are you fearing? The Good Lord will uphold us till the very end. I know many will rush to say Amen. Why have we become people of Amen, Amen Christians? is that a prayer? Of course Not at all, I am only mimicking the faithful Lord, who promised never to leave us, nor forsake us, even till the very end… Hallelujah!!! And I am persuaded that His Infallible Word must surely come to pass; He will never ever fail. He said, “teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” Amen.” Matthew 28:20 NKJV
Let me share this with you:-
It happened a month ago, on one cool evening of the day which I decided to take a walk around the Estate where I resident. As I was going from one street to another, enjoying the scenery of different building architectural preferences of my neighbors and the beauty of God’s creation around me; I was at the same time speaking in tongues to stay connected in the spirit so that my eyes and thoughts will not put me in sinful trouble. Suddenly I overheard a man walking ahead of me speaking to someone on his phone, instructing the other end user to allow any of his guests who come for prayers to wait for his return. Though I was not eavesdropping, but his voice was loud enough for me to hear him loud and clear, and since I enjoys fellowship with other children of God so much, I was excited to connect with him, believing it would be another opportunity to talk about Master Jesus Christ, and His Kingdom to come with a brother of the same household of God. The psalmist says, “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is For brethren to dwell together in unity! It is like the precious oil upon the head, Running down on the beard, The beard of Aaron, Running down on the edge of his garments. It is like the dew of Hermon, Descending upon the mountains of Zion; For there the Lord commanded the blessing— Life forevermore.” Psalms 133:1-3 NKJV
It also occur to me to enlighten him not to make people dependently perpetually on him for prayers; but to teach them how they too can talk directly to their Father in Heaven, this is one of the reasons why Jesus Christ came. Yes, to teach us how to cast our net into the waters to fish, rather than been a weakling who always wait at the doorsteps to beg for fish each time we are hungry. Jesus said to her, “…but go to My brethren and say to them, ‘I am ascending to My Father and your Father, and to My God and your God.’ ” John 20:17 NKJV. God is our Father (koi·no·ni·aˌ koinəˈnēə/ which is fellowship or communion, with God or, more commonly, with fellow Christians.), no one is a custodian of the Power of God. On the day of Pentecost, the Holy Spirit splits Himself into all, not only to some selected few. As many as are willing and obedient. I hoped In my heart that this man will not be offended if I discuss this with him, because many loves their gifts of the spirit above God’s commandment, but at the end, it is the fruits of the Spirit that will take us to heaven, not gifts. Jesus said, He would say to many who had performed mighty miracles that “I never knew you,” because they used their gifts to cover sin.
The man was well ahead of me, so I quickly doubled up my steps to catch up with him and I asked, “are you a pastor?” He looked back and said, “I am prophet Bassey.” Hummnn… I usually have some strange reservations towards anyone who tags himself/herself as “prophet/prophetess” because of obvious reasons. My past experiences in the synagogue, “church” of all nations, Ikotun-Egbe, Lagos, Nigeria; where lies, deception, falsehood, hypnotism, occultism, brainwashing are use to beguiles the vulnerable, naive and gullible on a very large scale on daily basis cannot erode out of my memory in a light years to come, and this had made me to develop a zero tolerance for falsehood. Be that as it may, there are genuine prophets and prophetesses of God no doubt, to deny that is to deny the authenticity of the Word of God. The Book of Joel says, “And it shall come to pass afterward That I will pour out My Spirit on all flesh; Your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, Your old men shall dream dreams, Your young men shall see visions. And also on My menservants and on My maidservants I will pour out My Spirit in those days. “Joel 2:28-29 NKJV
Also in the Book of Revelation, it says, “and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth. To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood, and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.” Revelation 1:5-6 NKJV
Closed Bible is a closed destiny
As Priests of the Most High God, we are meant to be prophesying, but many people don’t understand that the Infallible Word of God is the Book of prophecy, so that as you are reading, meditating and speaking the Word into your life and the lives of others, you are simply prophesying. I am blessed beyond curses, no weapon formed against me prosper, I am a Child of destiny, Abraham blessings are mine, I shall not die, but live to declare the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living, …. So many Word of prophecies. Unfortunately I was born in a part of the world maybe it is the same elsewhere I don’t know but let me talk about my environment where I know as I know my name. This is a place where “word of prophecies” are peddles for money, fame and honor. People have itching ears to hear that there is someone in their families, or offices that are behind their woes. Man is inquisitive by nature, and he wants to know what tomorrow holds for him; people wants to know the unknown, or even the unknowable. This is probably why most people are so fascinated by those who claim to know the future or who claim to possess the gift of prophecy. Nevertheless, if we realized that Jesus is in our future, we shall have peace and rest in Him. The Word of God says, “I know the plans I have for you” (JEREMIAH 29:11). The Word of The Lord says, “When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee” ISAIAH 43:2. The Word of God says, “though your beginning may be small but your later end shall be glorious” JOB 8:7. The Word of God says, “But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him” 1CORINTHIANS 2:9. The Word of God has said many things to us about God, His Love and plans for our lives, we may not know them if we do not read it. When we have these infallible comforting Words in our subconscious, we shall no longer fancy, or give our attention to anyone who parades himself with the name prophet, because we have already known our future through the Word of God. To prophesy is not necessarily means to see something extra-ordinaire, but to speak the Infallible Word of God upon yourself, and belief what you have said to come to pass. Only God knows why He created us JEREMIAH 1:5, the more we trust in Him with our destiny, the more He will lead us into it. There is definitely no point or purpose enquiring about what tomorrow holds or who is your enemies within your family members from seers or prophets. The scripture has affirmed that satan is man’s sole enemy not any human being EPHESIANS 6:12.
Like in the synagogue, most of the people that are pushed out to confirm Joshua’s prophetic messages for them before the cameras are always in a confused state of mind. Why is this so? This is one of the synagogue Abracadabra’s modus operandi, the more you hear, the less you understand. Their complaints are always: they do not particularly hear, or understand most of the things Joshua had said over the microphone about them; but because Joshua is working hand in hand with his agents (his disciples), who had earlier met with the people outside the gate, and informed Joshua about the issues of life which they had earlier discussed with them. Joshua in turn will use the information he received from the informants to form basis of his prophecies in the open service, that is why these ‘disciples’ will compel their victims to come out by force and confirm anything. Some ‘disciples’ do fall into trouble with Joshua when things go wrong while patching this show. If it is a high profile broadcast, voice-over will patch the missing link, and there are so many occasions where Joshua do private voice over recordings in his office to voice the included missing part of the message which he did not remember to say in the open service prophecy for Emmanuel TV packaging.
Now, I hope you understand where I am coming from? So, when this man said he was a prophet, I treaded softly, but I still engaged him in Biblical chat. He said he was heading to a fellowship centre which he do organize with other children of God around the block. I told him that I live around, and was just taking evening walk, if the fellowship centre is not far, I am free to join them. He was happy as we chat on the biblical doctrines as we move along. When we got to his fellowship centre, we entered through a gate into the compound and we met 3men and 2 ladies. They greeted him, and he quickly introduced me as an Evangelist, he told them that through his interactions with me, he believe I am gifted with the Word. They said I should sit down, I realized it was only one chair there, so I declined to be their chairlady while they stand. I quickly disengaged myself, promising to visit another time. So, they ask me to minister to them for 5minutes before leaving, and I opted to pray. My prayer was my life burden which goes thus, “Father, in the mighty Name of Jesus Christ, as a church, we pray that everyone under the bondage of falsehood, false doctrine, false teachers, false churches, we ask you in the Name of Your Son, Jesus Christ to set them free; let the light of the Gospel of Jesus Christ shine in their heart in Jesus’ Name we pray. They echoed Amen and I left. I remember Prophet Bassey promised to call me on the phone the next Wednesday for fellowship and I said OK. The next Wednesday was my appointment with my doctor, and as I was rushing home, something was telling me “don’t you see that some things were not right in that place? So, in the taxi I started diagnosing what could be wrong, hummnn… I agree that the environment may not be right and fortunately and unfortunately, Prophet Bassey did not call, so I removed them from my system for good.
You will know The Truth, and The Truth shall set you free
Yesterday morning around 9:30, I received a call from Prophet Bassey, he said God told him that there is something I had been praying for a loooong time ago, that He, God is ready to do it for me before tomorrow. Inside me I thought if God want to speak to me, Bassey is the least that He would contact (I have my reasons); and also who amongst the living that does not have unfulfilled desires. Maybe you desire to go on holiday in Kuala Lumpur, maybe you desire to spoil yourself a little at the newly open Shoprite in town, or to further your education, buy a house, marriage, or you wish one thing or the other for yourself and no money for these indulgences; they are still pending, we are all in this together even the so call prophet; this is a general problem. See my brethren, I am saying all these because these are the ways which false prophets usually use to capture their victims. Anyway, Prophet Bassey said, God told him that I should call him (Prophet Bassey) by 12midday to pray for me so that that loooong awaited miracle will take place within 17hours, and I must prepare 5,000 naira in a white envelope which I should write “that thing” at the back of the envelope. I knew he was a liar, but he was going somewhere and I decided to go with him and uncover his shame. Anything that is not in the Bible is a lie friends. It interest me to see the end of the matter. I ask him ‘what would I do with the money after prayer.’ He said “dont worry, I will tell you after.” I laughed and decided not to call him. By 11:30, he sent me an SMS which says, “Are you getting prepared and ready for the 12noon prayer. Follow the entire instructions and you will have a testimony.”
I laughed but I did not bother to waste my money to call him, but rather, he called me by 12:08, challenging me if I was not conscious of time, and I replied that some other things took my attention. He dropped the line, believing I will call him back, I did not. He called again and started praying, I was replying Amen, amen as I was busy on my laptop. After the prayer, I quickly said goodbye, he said “Wait, Do you remember that fellowship centre, go there and ask for Mama Bose and give her the envelope, I will instruct them to use it for God’s work. I replied, ah, I travelled to my village, I will give the envelope to a poor person around here. He said, ” Noooo, I will text you a FirstBank account to deposit the money. I said there is no Bank in my village, giving to the poor is equally God’s work. Prophet Bassey said “stop arguing, stop arguing,” because I have zero tolerance for false prophet I started chasetising him, I said, prophet Baaaassseey, if you put something in your mouth, that is not my portion, stop deception. He quickly dropped the phone on me. I sent him a text before he might block me from his contact, which says, “Stop deception before heaven descend on you. God spoke to me about you 2weeks ago. I am so sorry for you and ur clique.”
Why are we saying all these? Jesus Christ warned us that “Watch and Pray” the time is evil. Naive, gullible, and vulnerable people are falling into the hands of these lots every second. Some of these evil people targets to have sex with female, married or unmarried; and some of these sex may be to initiates you into dark world. Some will take your hard earn money from you. Through this, many lives, home, marriage, career had destroyed. John 10:10 says, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10 NKJV
In the New Testament, Salvation is free, Deliverance is free, God’s blessings is free, Healing is free, Redemption is free. The King left His Ivory Tower to the mundane to be ridiculed, humbled and humiliated to pay the debt that sets us free. If anyone ask you to give anything in exchange for whatever you desire in life, he/she is not speaking for God. Anyone who ask you to go and bathe in the flowing river is an agent of devil. Anyone who ask for a sacrifice in exchange for your need is an hell representative; Jesus Christ paid in full. Stop enriching hirelings to impoverish your soul. Stop crucifying the Son of God the second time again, stop selling your glory to the agents of satan. Stop being led into the camp of the enemy against God. Stop eating crumbs on the tables of demons. The Bible says, “For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9 NKJV
Prophet Ekeng Bassey and his likes, I have word for you… I am not your candidate anymore. My life is not tied to physical blessings, No matter what come, Old things are passed away, all things are new for me by the Mercy of He, who lives and abides forever. “For we are the circumcision, who worship God in the Spirit, rejoicing in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh,” Philippians 3:3 NKJV
And to you lazy Christians, who don’t read your Bible, keeping malice with God and don’t like fasting, why would you say God is silent when your Bible is closed? The scripture says, Beware, Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary Ekeng Bassey, Fatai Temitope Balogun alias T.B. Joshua and their likes are on rampage in the world, seeking whom they may devour. Resist them, be steadfast in the faith,” I Peter 5:8-9 NKJV
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I AM NOT ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST.
Preaching The Gospel
In Romans 1, Paul addresses the Gentile believers at Rome and begins by explaining his mission, which was to preach the Gospel to everyone. He concludes his explanation by saying, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, because it is the Power of God that brings Salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile. For in the Gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: ‘The righteous will live by faith’” (Romans 1:16–17; cf. Habakkuk 2:4).
The word translated “ashamed” means “disgraced,” “intimidated” or “personally humiliated.” A person “ashamed” in this way is like someone singled out for misplacing his confidence—he trusted in something, and that something let him down shamefully. The word can refer to being dishonored because of forming the wrong alliances. So, when Paul says that he is not ashamed of the Gospel, he is saying his confidence in the Gospel is not misplaced. There is no disgrace in declaring it… Hallelujah!!! Paul had given his life to proclaiming the Truths that Jesus Himself had revealed to him (Acts 9:3–6; 2 Corinthians 12:2–4). He explained to the Romans why he did not believe that he had wrongly identified with Jesus and why proclaiming Jesus’ message was his life’s work.
The application can extend to us as well. Just as Paul placed his confidence in the Gospel of Christ, so can we. We can proclaim with boldness theTruths that God has revealed in His Word, with no fear that our confidence is misplaced. “Anyone who believes in Him will never be put to shame” (Romans 10:11; cf. Isaiah 28:16).
Looking back in time in my life when I drink iniquity as one drinks water in superfluity of filthiness and naughtiness of lifestyle, or in hopelessness and powerlessness when I would return to my sins and iniquity as dogs returns to their vomits; or in the time when my lack of faith and knowledge in the Truth of God’s Grace, Love, Mercy towards me, and in His Infallible Word, and every Tom and Dick violates me freely because I was naive, vulnerable and gullible. This also led me into the deep pits of bewitchments and bondage of Fatai Temitope Joshua alias T.B. Joshua in the Synagogue “church” of all nations, Ikotun-Egbe, Lagos, Nigeria. Yes, I was not born a saint and I lived my fair share in worldly quagmire of life. The psalmist says, “in sin my mother conceived me.” PS. 51. BUT I bless God that it is this Glorious Gospel of Jesus Christ that sets me free and put me to the right course of His purpose for my life. Yes, I may not have a proud past, but He offered me a Glorious future, which I grabbed with every breathe in me. In my confusion of mind, He found me and give me Eternal life and peace of mind. So if satan reminds me of my past, I remind him of his future in hellfire. Human being can change but satan is doomed. This Gospel I am offering you today, please chose life not death. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is Power, Light, Authority and Lamp. The Psalmist testifies that “Your Word is a lamp to my feet And a light to my path.” Psalms 119:105 NKJV
It is only in the Gospel we can find direction, fulfilment and purpose in life. Stop meaningless activities, stop visiting false prophets and spiritual arrangers. Receive the engraved Word of God, which is able to save your soul. King David blew my mind, he said, “Oh, how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day. You, through Your commandments, make me wiser than my enemies; For they are ever with me. I have more understanding than all my teachers, For Your testimonies are my meditation. I understand more than the ancients, Because I keep Your precepts. I have restrained my feet from every evil way, That I may keep Your word.” Psalms 119:97-101 NKJV
When we love His Word, we can rest in the knowledge that the Holy Spirit who inspired the writing of Scripture never changes (2 Peter 1:21; Malachi 3:6; Hebrews 13:8). What was true thousands of years ago is still true today… Hallelujah!!! The offer of Salvation that was presented to people of the first century is still open to us (Acts 2:39; John 17:20). All you need to do is to accept Him and surrender to His Lordship and leading; and He is a wonderful director.
To live unashamed of the gospel means we proclaim it, but it also means we apply it to our lives and show we believe it. Paul’s life choices supported his message. He did not preach one thing and live another. We are “ashamed of the gospel” when we allow sin in our lives to go unchecked (Matthew 3:8). When we indulge in worldliness and carnal desires or blatantly disobey scriptural standards, we indicate that we lack confidence in our own message (1 Corinthians 3:3; 1 Peter 2:11). When we “walk in the counsel of the ungodly, stand in the path of sinners, and sit in the seat of scoffers” (Psalm 1:1), we are being ashamed of the gospel. We are not allowing its truth to penetrate our lives so that others see its changing power. To live unashamed of the gospel means that we, like Paul, allow it to marinates and dominates our lives to the extent that everyone within our sphere of influence can see that we have “been with Jesus” (Acts 4:13). Starts living the life in the Master today, you will not regret it. Those who first heard Peter speak of Jesus Christ to them ask a profound question and Peter did not leave them confused. Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” Then Peter said to them, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is to you and to your children, and to all who are afar off, as many as the Lord our God will call.” Acts 2:37-39 NKJV
If your heart is cut by the Word, I say the same word of Peter to you, “Repent, and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.
Another beautiful week in the life of the world. As children of God our heart rejoices always in the Lord our God for who He is. Friends! no matter how time and season change, our God remain faithful to us. We know that every Christian at some point in time will go through a valley or a mountain top season of one sort or another; either way, our God is always there with us, nothing stops Him and nothing can reduced Him to be God of all times in all places. Hallelujah!!! This is our confidence and our blessed assurance.
1 Kings 20:23
“Then the servants of the king of Syria said to him, “Their gods are gods of the hills. Therefore they were stronger than we; but if we fight against them in the plain, surely we will be stronger than they.”
Here we find the Syrians been defeated by the Israelites. Then, some of the Syrian king’s advisers gave the king what they thought was the reason for their defeat. They said that they had fought on the hills and lost to Israel because Israel’s God is the God of the hills. So if they were to fight the Israelites on the plains or in the valleys, they would win since their own gods is only of the valley. What stupid advice! They have no idea of who the Lord of Host is. They thought that the God of Israel only helped His people up on the hills and mountains, and not down in the valleys. King David said it all in Psalms 24:1 that, “The earth is the Lord ’s, and all its fullness, The world and those who dwell therein.” So, what are thinking? satan is deceiving them.
Just like the Israelites, every christian no doubt will go through times and seasons, King Solomon said in Ecclesiates 3:1-7, and Genesis 8:22 also corroborates it that, “as long as the earth endures, seasons and times shall not cease. So, these times are bound to come. Jesus went through it during His earthly ministry, the Apostles of old were not speared, they had it good, bad, and rough. Apostle Paul said, “We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed— always carrying about in the body the dying of the Lord Jesus, that the life of Jesus also may be manifested in our body. II Corinthians 4:8-10 NKJV. I love the part that says they were not forsaken even though things were rough, this means God who had promised that, ” I will never leave you nor forsake you,” is a faithful God.
Now, mountains can be referred to be our good times, and valleys may mean our bad struggling times. Some people have this idea that God is the God of our good times alone like the Syrians shallowed mentality, and that God is not there whenever we are going through bad times, this is lie of the devil from the pit of hell. They think that He leaves us helpless in the valleys, especially when the troubles are of our own making.
My friend, I want you to know that our God is the same God of the mountains, as of the valleys!
When Adam committed error and dragged the whole mankind into it, God the Son laid aside His Crown of Glory, His Royal Majesty and came down for us, He stepped into a human body as a baby. He came down to where we were (valley) for the sole purpose of dying on the cross for our sins, so that He could bring us up to where God the Father has for us at His right hand. Jesus came down to crown us with glory and honor, to clothe us with robes of righteousness and make us His bride, sharing everything that He has with us. That is the Grace of God. He came down to our valley. The scripture says, God went down to the land of Egypt to plan a way of escape for His people out of the land of slavery. Spiritually speaking, Egypt can be said to be a land of darkness, where satan rules because of idolatory and wickedness of men; but because Heaven and the earth are all within the Jurisdiction of God, Psalms 24:1; so He sought His people out. “Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying,” Exodus 12:1 NKJV.
So whatever you may be going through right now, know that God is right there in your valley with you. He is holding you in His arms and carrying you through the valley. Victory is already yours. Just as the Israelites were victorious in the valley which the enemy believed God would abandoned them (1 Kings 20:28–29), so also, you be victorious because God, the omnipresent is right there with you!
Have you ever faced a valley before? Where it seemed that you were out numbered, surrounded, and were completely and totally helpless. This is how Israel felt this day. Ben Hadad had brought 32 kings and their armies together against Samaria, and God brought a wonderful victory for His people regardless of the numbers of the enemies. But in no long distance, Ben Hadad is back again, satan don’t give up. A servant had convinced him that Israel’s God is a God of mountain tops, but their own gods are gods of the valley because their gods are limited. So, If they could get Israel into a battle in the valley, they would be victorious. Israel is so out-numbered that they look like small herds of sheep, While Ben Hadad’s army cover the whole valley as butter spreads on the bread. Could you imagine the fear that gripped the hearts of the army of Israel? Discouragement and despair must have filled their minds. Thoughts of giving up and surrender must have been the discussion of the day amongst them in the camp. But God was not going to stand for the idea that His presence was limited to the mountain tops alone.
In the same manner, Many atimes in our lives whenever we call upon Him we feel like we get a busy signal when we find ourselves in the middle of the valley, we become weak, tired, hopeless, faithless, empty and alone in the figments of our imagination; because we feel so far from the presence and the anointing of God, but God is not a feelings, He is a reality help in good time and in bad time. This also happened to King David at certain period of his life, he asked himself, “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God, for I shall yet praise Him For the help of His countenance.” Psalms 42:5 NKJV. As King David encouraged himself in the Lord his God, we must emulates.
Down the valley
Valley is usually a place of Trial, Dryness, Temptation, Hunger, and Thirst. The valley is the place that our faith can be put to test.(1Peter 1:6-7) The valley is a hard place like a wilderness (Psalm 84:5-6)
Baca means place of weeping. A valley in Palestine is full of thorns and brush, but God do care for His people in the valley; and God will bring them out. The scripture says, “Weeping may endure for a night, but Joy Comes in the morning.” (Psalms 30:5)
When you are standing on the mountain tops, the Power of God fills your Spirit. It is a vintage position where you can see every nooks and corners, and where you feel safe.
- On mountain tops, there is nothing like those services where the anointing is so overwhelming.
- People are baptized in the Holy Ghost.
- Many are slain in the sprit.
Yes we need those mountain top experiences. The saint of God needed the mountain top experiences.
We experience these wonderful mountain tops to prepare us for our valleys; but as much as we would like to we can’t live on the mountain tops, we must experience other area of life.
When Moses was on the Mountain tops, war was won. But before then, he needed direction for what God has called Him to do. Moses didn’t even know how to refer to God. He needed encouragement to face Pharaoh.
In the valley our faith is stretched. (John 11)
- Mary and Martha were in a valley
Lazarus was sick and they called for Jesus but He delayed His coming. Martha and Mary both said If you only….” Jesus said I am the resurrection and the life do you believe? What a valley of despair to walk through.
They had done everything right
They had given to the ministry;
but Jesus was stretching their faith! Martha Do you believe?
I am here in the middle of your valley. DO you trust me?
If you trust God, a Valley can be turned to a place of victory for you (1Samuel 17) Israel stood on the edge of the valley for 40 days listening to Goliath’s gibbrish, ranting, threats, humiliating words against them and their God. Fear gripped their hearts. Depression hung heavy over the army of Israel. They were humiliated in the eyes of their adversary. They hid in the rocks and caves. (These were Gods great men of war like any of us today); but unknown to them that He that rules in the affairs of men was busy preparing a young Shepherd boy named David in another town to show His Mighty Power over the enemy. Whatever the enemies may be saying to you now, do not think God has abandoned you, for He said, “when you pass through the waters, they will not overwhelmed you.” Isaiah 43:1-3. He further said, “But thus says the Lord : “Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, And the prey of the terrible be delivered; For I will contend with him who contends with you, And I will save your children. I will feed those who oppress you with their own flesh, And they shall be drunk with their own blood as with sweet wine. All flesh shall know That I, the Lord , am your Savior, And your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.” Isaiah 49:25-26 NKJV
Yes, David stood that day full of the anointing, proclaiming the Power of God over this heathen that defiled the living God. The moment the rock hit it’s mark, Victory was heard in the valley, As all the army of Israel rose up to defeat the philistine army, pursued them to their graves. God proved that He has no limitations of location.
Victory comes to those that place their trust in Him. (Mark 9:17…)
There was a man that was in a valley because his son was possessed of devils. This man told the Lord how his family had suffered seeing their beloved son throwing himself into fire and water to destroy himself. He was Deaf, mute, meaning if they reprimand him to stop his suicidal activities, he could not even hear them; satan is wicked. So, the man brought him to Jesus, will you bring yourself to Jesus Christ today for help Matthew 7:7?
Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believe.” Mark 9:23 NKJV. And the man said, Jesus I believe as far as my earthly faith will take me. Come alongside of me, in the midst of my valley, and extend my faith. The Lord was glad to do that if you ask Him.
A Valley is a place of assurance.
No matter how hard it gets, or how alone you feel you can rest on His promises that He will be with us. Deut 31:6
There is a song that Goes:
The God of the mountain is Still God in the valley.
When things go wrong He’ll make them right. The God of the Good times is still God in the bad times, the God of the day, is still God in the night.
This is All that matter:-
One night a house caught fire and a young boy was forced to flee to the roof. The father stood on the ground below with outstretched arms calling to his son, Jump ‘l catch you. He knew that the boy had to jump in order to save his life. Al the boy could see however was flame, smoke, blackness. As can be imagined he was afraid to leave the roof. His dad kept yelling jump I’ll catch you. But the boy protested daddy I can’t see you, The Father replayed But I can see you and that’s all that matters.
He is the Omnipotent, Al Powerful God. Not only will He be in our valley but He will lead us through. Prov 3:5-6
A little boy was away from home visiting his friends. He was so afraid because the lightening would flash and thunder would roar. He would cry, shudder, and say, I wish I were at home. But still the storm raged on! Finally, about midnight the little boy looked out into the darkness and saw a light. It was someone coming toward the home with a lantern. Nearer and nearer the light bearer came. It was the brother of the little boy. He said, “Little bro, I thought that you might be afraid, and I came to lead you Home.” The big brother took the little brother by the hand, and as they walked home the storm still raged, but the tears had dried from the eyes of the little boy, why? He was not afraid because his big brother led him home.
Jesus Christ, our elder brother has come to lead us home only if we follow Him faithfully. The scripture testifies that, For both He who sanctifies and those who are being sanctified are all of one, for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,” Hebrews 2:11 NKJV
I hereby encourage you my brethren, satan has no power over you, the enemy of your soul has been defeated on the Cross. 1John 3:8 says, “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.”
To the elderly, you are still a child in His able hand, the same God who has been with you from the beginning of time is still your God. Be happy
The Bible has a lot to say about anger.
I don’t mean righteous anger, the kind of anger we can experience toward injustice or evil but sinful anger. Many times we may feel we are “righteous” in our anger because someone wronged us. Anger often involves our sense of justice. But it’s very easy to slide into sinful anger, hatred, and bitterness. Here are some Biblical truths and principles that God has used to help me make progress in conquering my own sinful anger.
Anger is not caused by other people or our circumstances. It comes out of our own hearts.
For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false witness, slander. MT 15:19
No one else can make you angry. Circumstances don’t cause your anger. Anger is your own sin. David Powlison says our hearts are like sponges. If I squeeze a sponge and black ink comes out, it might seem that the squeezing caused black ink to come out. Yet I might squeeze another sponge and have clear water come out. So, it was not the squeeze that caused the ink to come out, but ink came out because that was what was in the sponge. The squeeze merely revealed what was there in the first place. Other people and circumstances can “squeeze” our hearts and if anger comes out, it is because that’s what was in our heart.
Anger is caused by our own unfulfilled desires.
What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. JA 4:1–2
James says our own “passions”—cravings and desires—cause all our quarrels and fights. We desire and do not have; so, we murder, fight, and quarrel. In other words, we want something and we don’t get it; so, we get angry. Whenever you are angry ask yourself, “What is it that I want right now that I’m not getting?” Once I told my kids to go to bed and heard them wrestling and throwing things upstairs. When I went up I said, “You’re making me mad,” to which one replied, “But you have said no one else can make you mad.” I said, “You’re right. You are disobeying me, which tempts me (squeezes me), and it is my anger, my sin.” When I went downstairs I asked myself, “What do I want that I’m not getting?” My answer: I wanted to relax. I wanted kids who always perfectly and immediately obeyed. I wanted to watch TV, not oversee bedtime.
Anger won’t make anyone do the right thing.
Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. JA 1:19–20
Many times we think anger will motivate others to do the “right” thing. Parents think anger will make their kids do the right thing, or act “righteously.” But anger won’t produce the righteousness of God. Anger might make kids outwardly obey, like little Pharisees, but it won’t change their hearts. Anger won’t produce inward righteousness in our spouse or coworkers. Anger does no good.
Anger toward another person is murder of the heart.
“You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not murder; and whoever murders will be liable to judgment.’ But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brotherc will be liable to judgment; whoever insultsd his brother will be liable to the council; and whoever says, ‘You fool!’ will be liable to the hell of fire.” MT 5:21–22
We tend to downplay the seriousness of anger. “I was just venting” or “letting off steam.” But Jesus said anger is murder of the heart and a violation of one of the 10 commandments. It can make us subject to the very hell of fire.
Anger makes things worse.
A harsh word stirs up anger. PR 15:1
A hot-tempered man stirs up strife. PR 15:18
Not only does anger fail to produce righteousness, it makes things worse. It stirs up anger in others. It stirs up strife. It has the opposite effect to what we are desiring.
…slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God. JA 1:19–20
Anger opens the door for Satan
Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. EPH 4:26–27
When we “let the sun go down on our anger” or fail to deal with it in a timely fashion, either by asking forgiveness, forgiving others, or working things out with them, it opens the door for Satan to tempt us to bitterness, revenge, slander, and a host of other sins. Cain’s anger at Abel led him to kill his brother. Anger is serious. We must deal with it quickly.
These truths have helped me numerous times when I’ve been tempted to anger. I’m not saying I’ve conquered it and I never sin in anger. But by God’s grace, understanding these things has helped me make progress. I hope you, too, will find God’s Word and Spirit help you make progress in overcoming anger.
Stop the anger, forgive as your Father in Heaven has forgiven. After all these, may we not missed His presence in Jesus’ Name. Remain Blessed.
YAHWEH! YAHWEH!! YAHWEH!!!
“Let the redeemed of the Lord say so, Whom He has redeemed from the hand of the enemy, Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble, And He delivered them out of their distresses. Oh, that Bisola would give thanks to the Lord for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to her! Psalms107:2,6-6, 8 NKJV
I join the living creatures, the awesome foursome, foursome awesome that surrounds the Seat of Majesty in Heaven to give glory and honor and thanks to Him who sits on the Throne, who lives forever and ever, and alongside with the twenty-four elders to fall down on my face before Him who sits on the Throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, Revelation 4:9-10 NKJV.
I celebrates the goodness of His Most Excellency, The Royal Majesty, The Glorious Redeemer, Everlasting Father, All-Powerful, He that overthrown the enemy into the sea of forgetfulness, The Lifter of my head, Agbanilagbatan, Oloore- Ofe, Obangiji, Osa N’oghidua, Osa’lobua, Osẹikhuẹmhẹn Ekhuẹmhẹn, Odogwu Akataka (Fearless warrior), Ejide obi esike (My confidence), Echeta Echezo nkpa (He that takes away pain/worry), Di nwanyi isi mpe (Husband of the widow), Ikuku amanoya(Unquenchable God) Obata obie (He that ends every trouble)
Akwakwuru (Unpushable God), Dike na’gha (Mighty Warrior), Chi ne cherem (The God that thinks for me), Eze ndi Eze (King of kings)
Oke mmiri n’ebu ogwe (Great water that carry fearful storms), Oku n’ere ere (Consuming fire), Ike nkwu aba mba (The authority upon which i make my declarations), Oje na mmuo (He that works in the spirit), Ebube mbekumbe ( Glorious forever), Oloru ihe, loro ihe , loro ihe, loro enyi ( Bigger than the biggest), Nkume mgbe ebighi ebi (Firm foundation)
Today, 8th, February in history marks another unforgettable day that Mercy roared from His Throne to liberate me out of the pangs of death, spiritual and physical incarceration, mental and psychological terror, sexual slavery of Fatai Temitope Balogun alias T.B. Joshua of the synagogue ‘church’ of all nations, Ikotun -Egbe, Lagos, Nigeria.
TIME TO GO
When God saw it was time for me to leave synagogue; some cameras malfunctioned in a conference organized by Joshua for the farmers in faraway South Africa. When he returned to Nigeria, he summoned a meeting and accused the ‘disciples’ that followed him to the conference including the foreign ‘disciples’ that they caused the fault of the machines. Therefore, we must go to the ‘prayer’ mountain to ask for forgiveness for offending ‘holy spirit’. I was not with them in South Africa; but I was included, my sin was that I did not travel with them. He said if I had gone, such experience would not have occurred. While we were at Agodo, I saw in a quick flash the picture of my mother, very aged and frail; and for the first time in many years I felt concern for her. I summoned courage to ask Joshua for permission to go and see my mother in case something terrible had happened to her. The moment I mentioned my mother to him, it was as if a thunderbolt hit Joshua, he was not expecting it, he became highly upset and asked everybody to clear out of his office including me.
My mind was made up, I waited for Joshua until 12midnight to be able to inform him that come sun, come rain, I would go and see my mother in the morning. He said I could not go, period. Among other things he said was, if I went, something terrible would happen on the way, he also said he would lay a curse on his daughter not me, but I insisted. He asked me why I bent on going on a Sunday when every ‘disciple’ supposed to be busy working, I answered him that it has been a long time I have been home as he know; possibly she might have moved out of where I knew. Nevertheless, I know my mother’s church where she has been attending before she married to my Dad (she has been a Christian but my Dad was a Muslim and I grew up with my Dad). We discussed until 3am in the morning. Joshua started cajoling me that he was about to send me to South Africa to handle somethings for him; but within me, I was not interested in traveling, but to get out of the synagogue. Lastly, Joshua played another card, he asked me to go and prepared to follow him to the marine mountain at that ungodly hour (3am), but I refused. If it were before I would gladly have obliged.
In the morning, while others were dressing up for service, and synagogue members were coming into the service, I ran out. As things worked out, I met Joshua by the stairs coming back from his water mountain at about 6am, though I greeted him, but I do not even bother to know if he answered or not.
On my way out, the security men caught me but I fought them with all my strength within me and flagged down a motorbike which drove me away from synagogue’s frontier. When I got into town, I was just perambulating from one place to another until one Mr. Ojooloye called me on the phone and directed me to the motor park. Eventually I got to my mum’s church, an usher helped me to call her out, and just the way I saw her in my vision in a flash, she had aged so much and became frail. A lots had happened to her, she started crying but I encouraged her to be strong. Then, she started praising God for seeing me again, I went with her to her new place as I expected. We talked at length, I apologized for been used not to see her for many years, and informed her that I was planning to leave synagogue. She asked me, ‘why?’ I told her that only God knows but I was no longer comfortable there, I sensed something was not right. I could not bring myself to tell her all my experiences at the time because I was not ready to hear “but we told you so.”
My mother gave me her pastor’s telephone number to ask for counseling, and I left for Lagos, back to the synagogue. When I got there, the security man (Phillip) would not permit me to enter, he said I needed a written permit from Joshua because I did not present one when I left in the morning. I became pissed off, I told him to allow me to go in, and pack my stuff and leave finally. While we were on that argument, someone informed me that Joshua was at the marine mountain and he asked me to come with her. At the marine mountain, Joshua inquire why I disobeyed his orders not to visit my mother, I had no excuse for him, so he asked me what happened at my mother’s place, I knew he wanted to teleguide me, so I gave him a different story that my mother does not wish to see me again because of the past scenarios. Then, he asked Olamide big to escort me back to the main synagogue and instruct other leaders who he had previously instigated against me to sheath their sword.
‘Disciples’ are not allowed to own a personal phone, but I had secretly bought one for myself at the time I worked in ‘The Exclusive’ Newspaper. I called my mother’s pastor the following morning and he prayed with me, after prayers, he asked me where I was, I told him not to worry that I only needed guidance in a step I wanted to take about leaving where I was. What he said thereafter got me panicked. He said, “oh, I am very sorry for asking, but as we prayed, my eyes opened and I saw that you are in a kind of bondage where there were chains on your neck, both hands, waist and your two legs; I saw that you are tied up like a criminal.”
In shock, I opened up to him that I was in the Synagogue, ‘church’ of all nations. The pastor asked gently, ‘what are you doing there? I told him that it was not a story I could relate to him at the time. “Ah! The way I saw it, you cannot leave o,” he replied. I was confused, with a little irritation, I asked him, “I cannot leave? Why? Was I born here? Nobody owns me but God, and right now I am leaving, no one can stop me, not even those chains you said you saw.”
The pastor shouted, “Please don’t try it, if you try it, your enemy can run mad or die because you are already under surveillance radar. If God open your eyes, you will see that there are some horrible looking beings that are manning the gate of where you are; it is not only you, they have the list of the names of those people living there with them.” Ha! as if it was a bad dream to me, I thought within me, is it this bad? I definitely knew some strange things are happening here, but not to this magnitude? I looked around I could not see any strange looking beings, no surveillance radar except security monitors which I know off. In a jiffy, my experience of 7 years backward flashed in my mind, when I left synagogue with strong head, and I ended up roaming the street of Lagos for 3days not knowing where I was heading to (another story). Therefore, I calmed down, almost crying and in a childlike voice, which I could not believe was mine I said, “Sir, am I going to die here? Can God help me? I want to go to heaven.”
The pastor assured me that God is ready to help anyone who call on Him because He owns everywhere and everyone, but I must give my life to Christ genuinely, and walk with God. How, I asked him? He said, “we shall be praying together often for God’s direction, and anytime you finished service in the synagogue, it is paramount that you call me for prayers.” I thanked him and we bade each other goodbye.
We prayed together on the phone for 3 months, he did not at any time compelled or cajole me to become his member, or to send offerings to his Bank account. During the time we were praying, the pastor informed me several things related to the way we lived in the synagogue, it was as if he was living there with us. One time, he asked me if we do eat together as group because he saw something been given to the people living there to eat in form of food but not food, I said yes; he advised me to stop partaken. Therefore, each time we have eating together, which has become rampant at the time; I would collect my portion and flushed it or dashed it out to some longer-throat people. In addition, I became an audience instead of been member of the acting group, I hated every second I stayed back there.
On the last lap, I asked the pastor which portion of the Bible I should be reading on my own, he told me something profound which I can never forget in a light year. He said, “don’t worry yet, because where you are Heaven is not open.” I thought over those words repeatedly. I stopped going to see or greet Joshua except he calls for me. I became deadened towards anything about synagogue and Joshua. I could not stand him as my eyes of understanding opened to the Truth. The pastor gave me a 3-day fast exercise. It will shock anyone to hear that, the very day I started the fast was the day Joshua sent Kemi and another boy in the kitchen with Bose to Shoprite. He gave them enough money to buy foodstuff ingredient as we used to like it, to cook delicious meal only for his favorite girls. Instead of eating with them, I collected mine and flushed it.
On the last day of the fast, Joshua called few girls into his office and ask us to eat with him, while I was standing at the back not knowing what to do, I faked a vomit, he quickly do his so called ‘prayer’ for me, and asked someone to lead me to my bedroom. I was never known to be a sicklier throughout my stayed at the synagogue, I was only sick, and stayed in bed one time in year 2000, but this time, I always pretend to be sick in other to stay away from all of them. When finally, I finished my fast on January 31, 2008, the pastor said I was free to leave synagogue on my own terms. He said he saw a mighty angel descended from Heaven with a long heavy chain in his hand, which he used to tie all those demonic beings standing guard at the synagogue’s gate, who are dangerous for anyone to pass through them.
The big question on my mind then was how would it happen; I knew I was free in my spirit, and in my mind; but how would I approach Joshua? One day, I signed a permit from him to go out to Oshodi with someone to buy new clothes, but before the person woke up, I intentionally took off, and I went to one Prince Awofisayo’s office to finalize my discussions with him over my leaving synagogue, but unfortunately or fortunately, a known face (Baba Ikare) saw me there and reported to Joshua. It was like when Doeg, reported spotting David with Ahimelech to king Saul 1SAMUEL 21.
When I got back, Joshua’s office was expectedly locked up, I knew by then he would have been discussing with his top level ‘disciples’ what I had done and he would also be consulting his magical powers to know what had gone wrong. I did not bother to go back to him; I only went to the general cafeteria to take cup of coffee and return to my room.
The following day was a Sunday; I refused to participate in their running around and deceptive service. I stayed in my bed until the time I needed to go to the general cafeteria to eat. As I descended from the stairs, I saw Joshua and his drama team at the cancer section, when he sighted me, he was transfixed on me as if he saw a ghost for some seconds and I looked directly into his eyes without blinking or shaking. I went back to bed after meal. Then he sent Kemi to me in the room to come out to emergency line to be ‘prayed’ for, since I have been complaining to be sick. After a lot of persuasion from Kemi, I went with her and return to the room. They brought me food, which I flushed through the toilet.
The following day was a Monday, a day which departmental heads and other ‘disciples’ in different department usually go to his office early, to greet him and to sign papers for weekly assignment. When I got there I was practically blocked from entering into his office by Olamide small; I knew she was acting on instruction. This was the same Olamide which Joshua used to snitch on me and stole my handset from my bed when I went to shower, and they deleted all the contacts on the phone. Anyway, that morning, l needed to create some distractions, which will enable me to be seen and be heard by Joshua, that I need to leave synagogue. It is part of synagogue culture if Joshua knew your intention to leave, he can avoid you through his human shield. When David Tonge discovered how Joshua has been having sex with his wife, Angie; they both came from England to confront him in Lagos, but Joshua avoided his two junior prophets for more than two weeks, and did not allow them to leave synagogue premises through his human machineries. Anyway, that day, I thought to myself, I have paid my dues in this place; I have been around for too long to be treated like a non-entity. I tried to enter again, Olamide blocked me and I descended a hot slap on her, Joshua heard the commotion from his office and came out to ask what happened. Before Olamide could open her mouth, I started reporting her that she was constituting nuisance in the office. Immediately, Joshua walked her out to be punished.
The office door became widely opened to all, and all the people that were waiting outside went into Joshua’s presence. When it was my turn to speak to him, I told him “I need a permit to go to Cotonou” (certain boldness entered into me, which I feared myself); he looked up, Cotonou again? ‘To do what,’ He asked. I said, ‘to see my older sister’ then he asked every other person to leave his office immediately, except me and he closed the door behind them. When it remains him and me, Joshua stood up from his chair, and gave me a big false serpentine smile. He stretched his hand to hug me, I knew that stunt as I knew my name; and I moved backward. He paused, stared at me intently for few seconds, and asked me to go and invite my mother. He gave me 10,000 naira and asked if it was enough for me, I answered affirmative and left.
I did not return to the synagogue until the following day. When I entered his office, he asked why I did not return the previous day, I just gave him a lame excuse that my mother was not at home, and I needed to wait for her. He said I should go and give her food, but while I was downstairs doing that, he suddenly had a change of mind and asked me to bring my mother upstairs to his office.
At this time, I have started weighing his word before acting; I had realized tbJoshua cannot be trusted. I loiter a while outside his office, so I noticed some unusual movement of KK and ‘Deola. KK is the head of Camera Crew, we both work together since I was the head of the Studio and ‘Deola had rose to become the head of another part of the Studio called ‘recordings and previewing department’ as the Studio expands. Seeing this two people in the office tell me volume as an insider. Whenever visitors come to the synagogue, Joshua uses these two people to record the visitors secretly, and on this very day there was no visitor around. What is Joshua up to this time? I zeroed it on my mum. I became very upset. I went downstairs to tell my mother not to leave where she was sitting, no matter who called her. I called her son to come and watch over her while I went upstairs to the room (girl’s dormitory) to park my stuff. While I was parking, tbjoshua sent different people to call me into his office and each time they came, I told them I was not coming. After a while, I heard some rowdiness in the room, people were been chased out; I did not even bother to check what was happening, I only concentrated on what I was doing. Tbjoshua himself came into our room and met me by the bed. He asked why I refused to answer him, I told him I was busy parking my stuff as he could see (this was serious), so he raised his hand to hit me, but rather, he hit the pillar by my head and his hand started bleeding. He withdrew from me and went out quietly. When I finished parking my bags I slept off because I have been crying, I was drained physically. The following morning, I went to see my mum so that we could go.
What would have happened the previous night if we had played into Joshua’s hand; already Kk and Deola had gone upstairs inside tbjoshua’s kitchen where they usually setup hiding cameras and tape recorder. The show would have begun this way: My mum comes into tbjoshua presence; Joshua will do what he does to transfer evil spirit into my mum. If her spirit accepts it, she would have confessed to witchcraft, and explained how she wanted to destroy me and wanted me to leave ‘God’s’ presence (synagogue). At the end, I would have a change of mind of leaving synagogue, thinking it was my mum manipulation to make me leave synagogue. I would have a rethink of not to leave, but my punishment of all I had made Joshua to pass through will be postponed to another day. Thank God, it was not as the enemy planned.
In the morning of 8th February 2008, I believe with the current events, it was already dawned on each party that we were done with each other. While I took my mum to the general canteen to have her breakfast, Chikwodi, one of the ‘disciples’ who work inside Joshua’s chalet rushed to us that Joshua would like to see us. We met him on the gallery, He was telling my mum how he had taken me to different countries because he loved me, he did not mention how much I worked hard for him because I thought he was a servant of God. He did not mention how much I sacrificed for his lies (synagogue); and the fantasy Island he built in the lives of many through our efforts. He did not tell her how he held me captive spiritually against my will, under spell for many years, which I would have done myself good outside the gate of the synagogue. Anyway, I requested for my International Passport, it took them almost eternity to bring the passport out; possibly, they were doing some enchantment on it, or they were copying my details down to send to some embassies as a criminal. While he was rambling, my Mum was silent; when it seemed he would not stop, my mother cuts in, she said, “Sir, I have talked to her to stay back since she had used almost her youth here but she insisted on leaving and I reason with her. Now, can you pray for her as she is going out to a new terrain for success, it will be to your glory?” Joshua pretended as if he did not hear her. She repeated her request again, Joshua did not say anything, rather, he asked his personal driver to use his private Bus to take us to the park. Joshua still believes at the time that I would be coming back, he said, “nobody will take over your bed, I just want you to follow your Mum home and stay with her for 2weeks and come back.” He said I should go upstairs to the Studio to hug my sisters that were there, it was a last card psychology breakdown he tried to use to break me to change my mind from leaving. I went and hug them, All of them like me then need to go back into God’s workshop for a total overhauling of body, soul, and spirit, which had been used, abused, violated, and tampered with in the Synagogue. Joshua gave me 100, 000 naira, he gave my mum, 10, 000naira. Therefore, we set out of the synagogue finally. I got into synagogue ‘church’ in my 20’s, I left there finally in my 40’s; I spent almost all my productive life in that enclave but nothing spoils, I thank God I came out with my life, which is not difficult for God to put back together as He created it. He is the rewriter of destinies. (From “Deception of the Age Unmasked” Book)
I look back again, my heart leap with Joy, and I pray like mummy Hannah in Shiloh, saying: “My heart rejoices in the Lord; My horn is exalted in the Lord. I laugh at my enemies, Because I rejoice in Your salvation. “No one is Holy like the Lord , For there is none besides You, Nor is there any Rock like our God. “Ha! Talk no more so very proudly; Let no arrogance come from your mouth, For the Lord is the God of knowledge; And by Him actions are weighed. “The bows of the mighty men are broken, And those who stumbled are girded with strength. I Samuel 2:1-4 NKJV
Then Bisola and those that love the Lord sing this song to the Lord, saying: “I will sing to the Lord , For He has triumphed gloriously! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea! The Lord is my strength and song, And He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; My God, and I will exalt Him. The Lord is a Man of war; The Lord is His Name. TbJoshua’s chariots and his army The Lord has cast into the sea; his chosen captains (demons) also are drowned in the Red Sea. The depths have covered them; They sank to the bottom like a stone. “Your right hand, O Lord , has become Glorious in Power; Your Right Hand, O Lord , has dashed the enemy in pieces. And in the greatness of Your excellence You have overthrown those who rose against You and Your people; You sent forth Your wrath; It consumed them like stubble. And with the blast of Your nostrils The waters were gathered together; The floods stood upright like a heap; The depths congealed in the heart of the sea. The enemy said, ‘I will pursue, I will overtake, I will divide the spoil; my desire shall be satisfied on them. I will draw my sword, my hand shall destroy them.’ The Lord blew with His wind, The sea covered them; They sank like lead in the mighty waters. “Who is like You, O Lord , amongst the gods? Who is like You, glorious in Holiness, Fearful in Praises, doing wonders? You stretched out Your right hand; The earth swallowed them. You in Your Mercy have led forth The people whom You have redeemed; You have guided them in Your strength To Your Holy habitation.
Exodus 15:1-13 NKJV
Rejoice with me, the genuine saints of the Lord! Rejoice with me, all angels that do His biddings! Rejoice with me, Heavens! Rejoice with me, All the works of His Able Hand! Rejoice with me, Oh earth! Rejoice with me, everyone who has breath.
I will love You, O Lord , my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. I will call upon the Lord , who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies. The pangs of death surrounded me, And the floods of ungodliness made me afraid. The sorrows of Sheol surrounded me; The snares of death confronted me. In my distress I called upon the Lord , And cried out to my God; He heard my voice from His temple, And my cry came before Him, even to His ears. Then the earth shook and trembled; The foundations of the hills also quaked and were shaken, Because He was angry. Smoke went up from His nostrils, And devouring fire from His mouth; Coals were kindled by it. He bowed the heavens also, and came down With darkness under His feet. And He rode upon a cherub, and flew; He flew upon the wings of the wind. The Lord thundered from heaven, And the Most High uttered His voice, Hailstones and coals of fire. He sent out His arrows and scattered the foe, Lightnings in abundance, and He vanquished them. Then the channels of the sea were seen, The foundations of the world were uncovered At Your rebuke, O Lord , At the blast of the breath of Your nostrils. He sent from above, He took me; He drew me out of many waters. He delivered me from my strong enemy, From those who hated me, For they were too strong for me.
As Dagon fell flat before the Ark of the Covenant, so shall our enemies continue to fall. The Lord said, “I saw satan fall.” Period.
Happy Sunday brethren! Mighty is He who lives in us to save and to deliver.,.Hallelujah!
To stay focus in life, His Infallible Word must remain and abide in us, so that Holy Spirit can intertwines with the residual Word and make us become effective for each day. God wants us to be married to His Word, because it is through the Word we are created. Little wonder Proverbs 4:22 says, “they are life to those who finds it, health to their flesh.” The Word of the Lord says in Joshua 1:7-9 that our prosperity, success in life, mental alertness, spiritual cleansing and many more are tied to the Word of God.
All the things you would ever need in life are in the Word of God. If you will go only for the WORD, and lay hold on the Word for your life, and Keep reading the Word, meditating/feeding on the Word, living the Word, and believing in the Word -― your life will be beautiful and you will fulfill God’s purpose for your life on earth. As the Word of God grew mightily and prevailed in the city of Ephesus (ACTS 19:20), so also, because the Word is living and active (HEBREWS 4:12), The Word of God will cause you to prevail over every negative situation that may be challenging your existence presently, and you shall triumph and become a master of every circumstances in Jesus’ Name.
Therefore, we must study His Word. There are several different Bible study methods we can use to study in an organized or systematic way. For the purpose of this article, we will classify them into two broad categories: Book Studies and Topical Studies. Before discussing the different types of Bible study methods, it is important to recognize that all of them have certain things in common and must follow certain hermeneutic rules or principles in order to avoid misinterpreting what the Bible says. For example, whatever type of Bible study method we use, it is important that the study carefully takes into consideration the context of the subject or verse being studied, both within the immediate context of the chapter or book itself and within the overall context of the Bible. Our first goal must be to understand what the original or intended meaning of the passage is. In other words, what was the human author’s intended meaning, and how would his original audience have understood what he wrote? This principle recognizes that the Bible was not written in a vacuum, but is an historical document written at a specific point in history with a specific audience in mind for a specific purpose. Once the true meaning of the passage is understood, then we should seek to understand how it applies to us today.
Book Studies: This Bible study method focuses either on a complete book in the Bible or specific part of a book, such as a specific chapter, a range of verses, or a single verse itself. With chapter and verse-by-verse methods and with the study of an overall book, the principles and goals are the same. For example, in order to do a thorough book study, we must necessarily also study the context of individual chapters and verses. Likewise, in order to correctly study a particular verse, we need to also study the overall message of the chapter and book that verse is found in. Of course, whether it is on the individual verse level, or a complete book study, we must always consider the overall context of the whole Bible as well.
Topical Studies: There are many varieties of topical studies that we can do. Some examples include biographical studies, where we study all the Bible says about particular person; word studies, where we study all the Bible says about a particular word or subject; and geographical studies, where we learn all we can about a particular town, country, or nation mentioned in the Bible. Topical studies are important for understanding all the Bible teaches on a particular subject or topic. We must be careful, though, that the conclusions drawn from a topical study do not come from taking verses out of their original context in order to imply a meaning that could not be supported by doing a verse study or book study. Topical studies are helpful in systematically organizing and understanding what the Bible teaches on specific subjects.
In studying the Bible, it is really quite beneficial to use different Bible study methods at different times. Sometimes, we might want to devote extended time to do a book study while at other times we can benefit greatly from doing some type of topical study. Whichever type of study we are doing, we must follow these basic steps: 1-Observation-what does the Bible say? 2-Interpretation-What does the Bible mean? and 3-Application-How does this biblical truth apply to my life, or how is this passage relevant today? No matter what method of Bible study we do, we must be careful to rightly divide the Word of God so that we are workmen that need not be ashamed (2 Timothy 2:15).
Daily devotions is a phrase used to denote the discipline of Bible reading and prayer with which Christians start or end their day. Bible reading in daily devotions can take the form of a structured study using a devotional book or a simple reading of certain passages. Some people like to read through the Bible in a year. Prayer in daily devotions can include any or all of the different types of prayer—praise, confession, thanksgiving, petition, and intercession. Some people use prayer lists for their daily devotions. Others prefer to pray as they read the Word in an interactive manner, listening for God speaking to them through the Bible passages and responding in prayer. Whatever the format of daily devotions, the important thing is that our daily devotions, as the name implies, be truly devoted to God and occur daily.
It is important to spend time with God in daily devotions. Why? Paul explains: “For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made His light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of the Glory of God in the face of Christ” (2 Corinthians 4:6). The experience of having God’s light shine in our hearts comes in our times spent in the presence of God. Of course, this light comes only from knowing God through Christ. The marvelous treasure of the Holy Spirit is given to each Christian, and we need faith to believe and act upon that truth. In all reality, if we truly yearn to experience the light of our Lord, we will need to be with God every day.
Someone once said, “The gospel brings man to God; devotions keep him close to God.” The apostle James wrote, “Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded” (James 4:8). As the children of God seek a closer relationship with God, they will find God is closer than ever. In their daily devotions, Christians seek to draw close to God’s heart, understand more about Him, obey His commands, and hold on to His promises. The impure and double-minded will have no such yearning in their hearts. In fact, they will seek to separate themselves from God as much as possible.
In daily devotions, we want to draw near to God. The expression “draw near” was originally associated with the priesthood in Israel. Under the regulations of the Old Covenant, the priests represented the people before God. However, prior to approaching God’s presence, the priest had to be washed physically and be ceremonially clean. This meant he had to bathe, wear the proper garments, and offer the proper sacrifices. His own heart had to be right with God. Then he could “draw near” to God on the people’s behalf. In time, the concept of “drawing near” was applied to anyone who approached God’s presence in worship and prayer.
The sincere believer knows that God wants His people to draw near to Him with true and pure hearts, and that’s what daily devotions are all about. “Let us draw near to God with a sincere heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled to cleanse us from a guilty conscience and having our bodies washed with pure water” (Hebrews 10:22). This verse applies the language of the Old Testament ceremonial system to us today. Just as those ancient priests prepared themselves to be near God, we also should prepare ourselves spiritually to worship Him, whether in formal worship or in our personal devotional times.
After salvation, the spiritual growth begins. The believer will, like Enoch, naturally want to walk with God (Genesis 5:22). He will, like Asaph, desire to be near God (Psalm 73:28). He will, like the disciples, yearn to pray effectively (Luke 11:1). In short, the child of God will want to find time for daily devotions.
It is the Word that pumps life into our bodies, to continue living healthy, we need His Word.
God bless you and have awesome week ahead.
Happy Sunday brethren! Hope you are having awesome time in the presence of God, I am. Let me share this with you:
Its been a while I mixed with sunday sunday gatherings of believers. Today, I woke up around 4am and while I was trying to read my Bible, taking warm lemon water and charging my phone; it impressed on my heart to join other children of God for a worship service. I lingered a little bit at home watching CNN to listen to the news around the world, but I finally made it on time to the gatherings of believers which is very close to my place. I don’t believe in travelling from Judea to Jerusalem to worship God according to the Lord Jesus when He said, “Jesus said to her, “Woman, believe Me, the hour is coming when you will neither on this mountain, nor in Jerusalem, worship the Father. You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.”
John 4:21-24 NKJV
Yes It is better you fellowship around your neighbourhood, where people can know your character outside of church service, not by crossing seven land and seven rivers to where you will go and pretend to be who you are not at home for some hours like actors and actresses. Again, I do not have preference as in the name of a gathering centre, so far they believe in what I believe in, it is about Jesus Christ, it is fine by me. So, this morning, as I trecked along the road and greets my neighbours nicely and invites passersby to join me in a friendly chitty chat to follow me to worship, I arrived at the hotel that housed the gathering on time to sit in the front seat and we truly enjoyed His presence in worship. After a while, an usher whispered into my ears to leave where I occupied in the front seat to the back, I told him if he was not kidding I would be heading home; so he simply let me be, I am in my Father’s house damn it, if it is in your house, you may tell me where to seat. Anyway, Service progressed nicely with prayers, announcement, and we got the shortest sermon I’ve ever heard by a gentleman who said he was in a hurry to go somewhere as if he was hired to make appearance. I thought within me why they did not engage someone like me who have all the time to talk about His Kingdom.
Then it happened before the speaker stepped down from the podium,,, he said the spirit of God told him to invites people who want this year to be memorable for them in terms of financial blessings to the altar area for prayers if they are ready to give money in return even if they don’t have the money he called out right there, they must bring the money to the Pastor latest 12pm tomorrow afternoon or else God will not take it from them again, the blessing will be revoked. He said It is this giving that will make their 2017 great. This man strategically targeted three levels of individuals; the poor, medium class and the rich as he apportioned three package of levies on them. In no time the gullibles as usual quickly rushed out. He promised them great fortune in return. I asked myself if God has turned to money doubler? What is this evil in the holy place? What is wrong with believers? What is wrong with the preachers? Must you con people of God or armtwist them because you have need? For mutual respect, understanding and openness, why can’t you just ask in accordance to Matt. 7:7? What about those who fell for his gimmicks and schemes, don’t they read their Bibles? Where was it written in the Bible to peddle “thus says the Lord”? These kind of people must have been patronizing casino as they are looking for a quick rich avenue. Hummmnnn….. My heart went out to those who do not know their right from their left because they are lazy to test all spirits with the infallible Word of God which they don’t have time to read, and if you don’t read it, how will you know the Truth, how will the Truth sets you free? I became restless in my spirit, and I turned to the man that sat beside me who is one of their ministers, and asked; Sir, may I ask you something? He obliged. I said according to the Bible which says, ” know how you ought to conduct yourself in the house of God, which is the church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth. I Timothy 3:15 NKJV
The pillar and the ground of Truth
If this place is the pillar and ground of truth, Can you point to me where this kind of event is written in our constitution (The Bible). He mumbled some things he was not sure of, and I said to him, sir, why could he not have taught the people the principles of giving according to the scripture, and leave the rest to their conscience, the message of Jesus Christ according to Matthew 6:33 says, “seek first the Kingdom of God and its righteousness and your needs will be automatically met (paraphrased). This man does not even care how people live their lives for God, both believers and unbelievers were invited to take part in this money doubling exercise inside the church because he did that before making altar call without warning those that have not received Christ that if they are not living right for God, His blessings is not meant for them. Why must we deceive people to give inside the church? The man quickly excused himself from me that he was to take Sunday School class. On my way out, I engaged another couple which I saw amongst the gullible that went forward for the exercise. We chat about the event and I see that they are not grounded in the Word to know better.
THE FEAR OF THE LORD
For the unbeliever, the fear of God is the fear of the judgment of God and eternal death, which is eternal separation from God (Luke 12:5; Hebrews 10:31). For the believer, the fear of God is something much different. The believer’s fear is reverence of God. Hebrews 12:28-29 is a good description of this: “Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us be thankful, and so worship God acceptably with reverence and awe, for our ’God is a consuming fire.’” This reverence and awe is exactly what the fear of God means for Christians. This is the motivating factor for us to surrender to the Creator of the Universe.
Proverbs 1:7 declares, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge.” Until we understand who God is and develop a reverential fear of Him, we cannot have true wisdom. True wisdom comes only from understanding who God is and that He is holy, just, and righteous. Deuteronomy 10:12, 20-21 records, “And now, O Israel, what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God, to walk in all His ways, to love Him, to serve the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul. Fear the LORD your God and serve Him. Hold fast to Him and take your oaths in His Name. He is your praise; He is your God, who performed for you those great and awesome wonders you saw with your own eyes.” The fear of God is the basis for our walking in His ways, serving Him, and, yes, loving Him.
Some redefine the fear of God for believers to “respecting” Him. While respect is definitely included in the concept of fearing God, there is more to it than that. A biblical fear of God, for the believer, includes understanding how much God hates sin and fearing His judgment on sin—even in the life of a believer. Hebrews 12:5-11 describes God’s discipline of the believer. While it is done in love (Hebrews 12:6), it is still a fearful thing. As children, the fear of discipline from our parents no doubt prevented some evil actions. The same should be true in our relationship with God. We should fear His discipline, and therefore seek to live our lives in such a way that pleases Him.
Believers are not to be scared of God. We have no reason to be scared of Him. We have His promise that nothing can separate us from His love (Romans 8:38-39). We have His promise that He will never leave us or forsake us (Hebrews 13:5). Fearing God means having such a reverence for Him that it has a great impact on the way we live our lives. The fear of God is respecting Him, obeying Him, submitting to His discipline, and worshipping Him in awe.
We asked when will deception stopped? When there is no fear or love of God, we degenerates to the level of animals that were created on the same sixth day with man; living in the jungle of survival. This should not be so. Read The Word Joshua 1:7-9, so that no one will rip you off. Please Do not allow anyone to deceive you in the name of the Lord.
Do not hesitate to share your thoughts after reading. God bless.
HUSBANDS, PRAY FOR YOUR WIVES
You’ll never love your wife more than when you pray for her. Humbling yourself before an all-powerful God and asking Him to do what only He can in her life—that’s a level of intimacy beyond anything the world has to offer. Praying for her makes you realize how much of a treasure she is, the woman God gave you. You’re pouring yourself into her complete physical, emotional, and spiritual well-being.
Let these prayers guide you as you cry out to God for her each day. (For wives, don’t miss your part)
PRAY AS THE HOLY SPIRIT LEADS YOU
Thank you, Father, for the gift of my wife. You are the giver of all good and perfect blessings, and I’m amazed how You show Your love through her. Please help me to cherish such an amazing gift (James 1:17).
Each day, circumstances and frustrations can easily steal the joy from ________. Please keep her from letting these challenges turn her focus from You, the author of her faith. Give her the joy that Jesus had as He accomplished the Father’s will on earth. May she consider each struggle as a reason to find hope in You (>Hebrews 12:2–3; >James 1:2–3).
When she feels tired, Lord, renew her strength. Surround her with friends who love You and will bear her burdens. Give her reason to feel refreshed by their encouragement (Isaiah 40:31; Galatians 6:2; Philemon 1:7).
May she know that the joy of the Lord is the source of her strength. Protect her from growing tired of doing what You’ve called her to do each day (Nehemiah 8:10; Galatians 6:9).
Father, You supply all our needs according to Your riches in Christ. I’m amazed that you care about us enough to meet our daily concerns and to notice every detail of our lives. Even the hairs of our heads are numbered because You take care of Your children (Philippians 4:19; Matthew 7:11, 10:30).
I confess that I sometimes think of myself as being the one who takes care of _______. Forgive me for taking to myself what truly belongs to you. Her help comes from You. If she depends on me, I know I’ll disappoint her. But You never fail, and You make her like a garden that always has enough water. You’re always faithful, always enough. Help her to know that You are all she needs (Psalm 121:2; Lamentations 3:22; Isaiah 58:11; >John 14:8–9).
If she is tempted to look for comfort in anything else, may she instead realize how the power of Your Holy Spirit allows her to overflow with hope and peace. Nothing on this earth compares to the greatness of knowing You (Romans 15:13; Philippians 3:8).
You, God, are a shield around us. You protect us from the enemy who seeks to destroy, and you will not let us be put to shame. Your arm is mighty, and Your Word is powerful (Psalm 3:3, 12:7, 25:20; Exodus 15:9; Luke 1:51; Hebrews 1:3).
When the enemy attacks her, let her faith in You protect her so that she may stand her ground. Bring your Word to her mind so that she may turn aside his assaults and fight the good fight. Help her to remember that You give us the victory through Christ (>Ephesians 6:10–18; 1 Timothy 6:12; 1 Corinthians 15:57).
You have conquered and disarmed the spiritual powers, and everything is in complete submission to You. Because of the cross, ______ is a new creation, and nothing can separate her from Your amazing, unfailing love (Colossians 2:15; 1 Peter 3:22; 2 Corinthians 5:17; >Romans 8:38–39).
The enemy is defeated. You have crushed his head (Genesis 3:15).
Father, You loved us first—so much so that You sent Your Son to take our place. How incredible it is to think that while we were sinners, Christ died for us. Nothing we do could ever compare to the riches of Your grace (1 John 4:19; John 3:16; Romans 5:8; Ephesians 2:7).
Help ________ to grow first in her love for You. May she be increasingly in awe of Your power, beauty, and grace. May she know more each day about the depth and width of Your love and respond with increasing love of her own (Psalm 27:4; Ephesians 3:18).
Help her to love me through all my failures while I learn to love her as Christ loves the church. May we see each other as You see us, and may we enjoy fulfilling each other’s desires in our marriage (Ephesians 5:25; >1 Corinthians 7:2–4).
Please give her a growing love for others in all that she does. Show her how to be Christ’s ambassador in the world and to be a woman defined by love so that others may glorify You. Because of that love, may she share the gospel with everyone (2 Corinthians 5:20; Matthew 5:16; 1 Thessalonians 2:8).
WIVES, PRAY FOR YOUR HUSBANDS
Praising God and praying His will for your spouse is guaranteed to be your most rewarding work as his wife. With these five powerful prayers, you will be arming your marriage with God’s Word and investing in his role as your spiritual leader.
I praise You, the God of all wisdom for husbands. Thank You, God, for knowing the longings of my husband’s heart far better than I do. You know why he hungers for ______ and ______. You know how these yearnings affect his decisions and how those decisions affect our marriage.
You are the God who satisfies the longing soul. You fill the hungry soul with good things. Here is _____’s heart and soul, Lord. I lift him up to You and ask You to fill him with the good You know He needs (Psalm 107:9; Matthew 6:8).
The world offers _____ so many things to temporarily satisfy his needs. Temptations abound, but You are his shield and his defender. Please train him to resist the devil (Psalm 28:7; Psalm 59:9; James 4:7).
I celebrate that You triumph over every one of Satan’s schemes and the scars he has left on my husband’s heart. You are Jehovah Rapha, _____’s Healer. You are the restorer of his soul. Let the balm of Your perfect love and mercy touch the brokenness of his heart (Genesis 50:20; Exodus 15:26; Psalm 23:3; Jeremiah 17:14).
You joined Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego in the fiery furnace, and when they came out unharmed, they didn’t even smell like smoke. Use their courage to inspire ____ to fear You only. I trust You to give him rest and satisfaction while protecting him from harm (Daniel 3:8–30; Proverbs 19:23).
Father, Your Word amazes me. The world is looking for the next “perfect” solution to their problems, and You are always offering it through Your Word. You sent Your Word to deliver, nourish, and counsel us. My heart’s desire is for ______ to feast on Your Word and find It immensely satisfying (Psalm 107:20; Proverbs 3:8; Psalm 119:24; 103).
With Your Word as His source of wisdom, I will rest secure in his leadership of our home. I trust Your Word to fill ____ with the insight he will need for our relationship, his work, and so much more (Ephesians 1:8,17; James 1:5).
Your Word will unite his heart to Yours. His oneness with You will lead his pursuit of oneness with me. Your ways will become His ways. Your faithfulness to me will become His faithfulness to me (1 Corinthians 6:17; Mark 10:8; Galatians 5:23).
Send him an abundance of confidants whose faith in You is bold and courageous. Let them be men who do not lean on their own understanding, but always acknowledge You and Your Word (Psalm 119:63; Proverbs 28:1; 3:5–6).
Thank You, Father for the gift of Jesus and His perfect example of humility. Jesus displayed His love for us with great humility and submissiveness to You. He denied Himself the comforts of heaven to save us. He chose to experience temptations, mockery, rejection, and even death. He rated our needs higher than His own.
You require _______ to love me as Christ loved the church. With great love for ____, I’m asking You to empower him to do this (Ephesians 5:25).
You know the pressure _____ feels to be successful and strong. You know how he is influenced to be self-reliant. You understand his fears and insecurities. He is simply human and at risk of denying his need for You, God. I do not want to see him destroy his life or our marriage because of pride (Proverbs 18:12).
I bring ____ to You, the river of life, and ask You to anoint him with a supernatural portion of Christ’s humility. With it he will be a ready recipient of Your grace. He will be free to boast about his weaknesses to You and wait for You to satisfy his needs with Your strength (Psalm 36:8; James 4:6; 2 Corinthians 11:30, 12:9–10).
You’ve promised that humility is rewarded with riches, honor, and life. Those are gifts I want for my husband, Lord. Help him to let go of any pride and false humility so that he can enjoy the abundant life Jesus died to give him (Proverbs 22:4; John 10:10).
There is no one who compares to You, Lord. You are worthy of our spellbound attention (1 Samuel 2:2; Psalm 16:8).
Give ______ eyes to see that You deserve the highest praise. Let him personally experience Your grandeur and strength. Let him live with great conviction that Jesus has authority over all things on earth and in the spiritual realm (Psalm 145:3; Ephesians 1:22).
You inhabit the praises of Your people, and I want ____ to enjoy the comfort and power of Your presence every moment. So, Father, please grant him an irrevocable gift of praising You. Let Your Spirit continually offer up a sacrifice of praise through _____ so that his lips always acknowledge Your name (Psalm 22:3; Philippians 2:10; Hebrews 13:15)
Teach him to praise You in his lowest moments. Train him to exalt Your name during the trials and before the victories. Let his faith in You lead him courageously into our own promised land despite the ominous giants of fear and doubt. Use the psalmists to mentor him in lifting His head to praise Your faithfulness despite his present burdens (1 Corinthians 15:57; 2 Chronicles 20; Numbers 13–14; Psalm 43:5).
You have promised _____ that a wife is a good gift from you. I want to be an excellent wife to my husband, one who consistently brings him honor (Proverbs 18:22, 12:4).
You know every one of my weaknesses and how they are impacting my role as ____’s helpmate. Lead me, Lord, to recognize the ungodliness hiding in my will, my expectations, and how I express my emotions. I want to surrender them to You for healing. Show me where I am investing my attention in things that will deteriorate my relationship with _____ (2 Corinthians 12:9–10; Luke 12:2; 2 Corinthians 4:18; Ephesians 1:8,17).
Let the power of Your Word transform my motives. Coach me relentlessly to be a wife who respects her husband in word and deed. Cause Your tenderness, gentleness, kindness, and humility to become my own (Romans 12:2; Ephesians 5:22–24; Colossians 3:12).
I want to be a content wife who does not harass my husband with quarrels and fretfulness. Please use me to create a peaceful home for him. Use me to encourage him, bear his burdens, and reflect Your extravagant love for him (Hebrews 13:5; Philippians 4:11–12; 2 Thessalonians 3:16; 1 Thessalonians 5:11; Galatians 6:2; Ephesians 3:18–19).
May our souls feast on only on You (Psalm 63:5).
I pray these things with complete confidence in Jesus and Your Spirit at work in our marriage. Amen.
Blessed Weekend to you, hope your week was great? To God be the Glory! The Scripture says, He has made all things for His pleasure. His pleasure is to see us happy, blessed and healthy. Praise God!
Have you ever noticed how uniquely adapted each animal is to its environment and its way of life? On land, a duck waddles along ungainly on its webbed feet. In the water, it glides along smooth as glass. The rabbit runs with ease and great bursts of speed, but I’ve never seen one swimming laps. The squirrel climbs anything in sight but cannot fly (unless you count great airborne leaps from limb to limb), while the eagle soars to mountaintops.
What’s true of creatures in the forest is true of Christians in the family. God has not made us all the same. He never intended to. He planned that there be differences, unique capabilities, variations in the Body. So concerned was He that we realize this, He spelled it out several times in His Word. I charge you to take the time to read 1 Corinthians 12 slowly and aloud. Those thirty-one verses tell us about His desires and designs—which are more attractive than any thirty-one flavors!
The subject is commonly called “spiritual gifts,” and it is as helpful as any truth the believer can ever know. In a nutshell, here’s the scoop.
God has placed you in His family and given you a certain mixture that makes you unique. No mixture is insignificant! That mix pleases Him completely. Nobody else is exactly like you. That should bring you pleasure, too.
When you operate in your realm of capabilities, you will excel and the whole Body will benefit . . . and you will experience incredible satisfaction. When others operate in their realm, then balance, unity, and health automatically occur in the Body. It’s amazing!
But when you compare . . . or force . . . or entertain expectations that reach beyond your or others’ God-given capabilities, then you can expect frustration, discouragement, mediocrity, and, in the long run, defeat.
If God made you a duck saint—you’re a duck, friend. Swim like mad but don’t get bent out of shape because you wobble when you run. Furthermore, if you’re an eagle saint, stop expecting squirrel saints to soar . . . or rabbit saints to build the same kind of nests you do.
Accept your spiritual species. Cultivate your capabilities. Stop comparing. Enjoy being you! Wish you a blessed week ahead. Shalom!
Its a new week, may the Lord bless and enrich us in all ramifications in Jesus’ Name. As we go about our daily parole, we must remember to guard our hearts diligently for a better us. No one leaves his/her properties open to robbers, we hire security guards to keep them safe, why not our lives? Bad/evil thoughts are robbers of the soul…we must arrest them.
OUR HEART, OUR LIFE – GUARD IT
“Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.”
Proverbs 4:23 NKJV
Most Christians including me struggles with this issue of coordinating our heart, especially in our highly technological advanced world where many suggestions is rampant; but taking control of our thoughts is essential. So the Book of Proverbs 4:23 states, “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.” The “heart”is a vital organ in human body, it pumps life (blood) into other parts of the body, this heart includes the mind and all that proceeds from it. If the heart (mind) pumps poison into the body, gradual death is imminent. Someone said that every sin we commit, we commit twice, once in our thoughts and again when we act upon those thoughts. It is easier to rid our lives of sin if we attack it at this fundamental thought level rather than waiting for it to become rooted in our lives by our actions and then try to pull it out.
There is also a difference between being tempted (a thought entering into the mind) and sinning (dwelling upon an evil thought and wallowing in it). It is important to understand that when a thought enters our mind, we examine it based upon God’s Word and determine if we should continue down that path or reject the thought and replace it with another thought. If we have already allowed a habit to form in our thought lives, it becomes more difficult to change the path of our thoughts, even as it is hard to get a car out of a deep rut and onto a new track. Here are some biblical suggestions for taking control of our thoughts and getting rid of wrong thoughts:
- Be in God’s Word so that when a sinful thought enters our mind (a temptation), we will be able to recognize it for what it is and know what course to take. Jesus in the wilderness (Matthew 4) responded to each of Satan’s temptations with Scripture that applied to the direction He knew His mind should take instead of beginning down the path of the sinful thought. When tempted to meet His physical need (turn stone into bread), He recited the passage about the importance of relying upon God. When tempted to serve Satan in order to obtain the glory of the world, He brought up the passage that says we are to serve and worship God alone and speak of the glory that belongs to Him and those who are His. When tempted to test God (to see if God was really there and would keep His promises), Jesus responded with passages that stress the importance of believing God without having to see Him demonstrate His presence.
Quoting Scripture in a time of temptation is not a talisman, but rather serves the purpose of getting our minds onto a biblical track, but we need to know the Word of God AHEAD of time in order to accomplish this. Thus, a daily habit of being in the Word in a meaningful way is essential. If we are aware of a certain area of constant temptation (worry, lust, anger, etc.), we need to study and memorize key passages that deal with those issues. Looking for both what we are to avoid (negative) and how we are to properly respond (positive) to tempting thoughts and situations—before they are upon us—will go a long way to giving us victory over them.
- Live in dependence upon the Holy Spirit, chiefly through seeking His strength through prayer (Matthew 26:41). If we rely upon our own strength, we will fail (Proverbs 28:26;Jeremiah 17:9; Matthew 26:33).
We are not to feed our minds with that which will promote sinful thoughts. This is the idea of Proverbs 4:23. We are to guard our hearts—what we allow into them and what we allow them to dwell on. Job 31:1 states, “I have made a covenant with my eyes; Why then should I look upon a young woman” (NKJV). Romans 13:14 states, “But put on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make no provision for the flesh, to fulfill its lusts.” Thus, we are to avoid periodicals, videos, websites, conversations and situations that will set us up for a fall. We should also avoid spending time with those who would encourage us down these wrong paths.
We are to pursue hard after God, substituting godly pursuits and mindsets for sinful thoughts. This is the principle of replacement. When tempted to hate someone, we replace those hateful thoughts with godly actions: we do good to them, speak well of them, and pray for them (Matthew 5:44). Instead of stealing, we should work hard to earn money so we can look for opportunities to give to others in need (Ephesians 4:28). When tempted to lust after a woman, we turn our gaze, praise God for the way He has made us—male and female—and pray for the woman (for example: “Lord, help this young woman to come to know you if she does not, and to know the joy of walking with you”), then think of her as a sister (1 Timothy 5:2). The Bible often speaks of “putting off” wrong actions and thoughts but then “putting on” godly actions and thoughts (Ephesians 4:22-32). Merely seeking to put off sinful thoughts without replacing those thoughts with godly ones leaves an empty field for Satan to come along and sow his weeds (Matthew 12:43-45).
We can use fellowship with other Christians the way God intended. Hebrews 10:24-25 states, “And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” Fellow Christians who will encourage us in the changes we desire (best if of the same gender), who will pray for and with us, who will ask us in love how we are doing, and who will hold us accountable in avoiding the old ways, are valuable friends indeed.
Last and most important, these methods will be of no value unless we have placed our faith in Christ as Savior from our sin. This is where we absolutely must start! Without this, there can be no victory over sinful thoughts and temptations, and God’s promises for His children are not for us, nor is the Holy Spirit’s power available to us!
God will bless those who seek to honor Him with what matters most to Him: who we are inside and not just what we appear to be to others. May God make Jesus’ description of Nathanael true alsko of us—a man [or woman] in whom there is no guile (John 1:47).
If we can strive and say like King David, ” let the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord.”
THE GOD OF PURPOSE
“Behold, I am the Lord , the God of all flesh; is there anything too difficult for Me?” JEREMIAH 32:27 AMP
Does everything happen for a reason? The short answer is “yes”; because God is sovereign, there are no random, out-of-control happenings. God’s purposes may be hidden from us, but we can be assured that every event has a reason behind it.
There was a reason for the blindness of the man in John 9, although the disciples misidentified the reason (John 9:1–3). There was a reason for Joseph’s mistreatment, although his brothers’ purpose in what they did to him was very different from God’s purpose in allowing it (Genesis 50:20). There was a reason for Jesus’ death—the authorities in Jerusalem had their reasons, based on evil intent, and God had His, based on righteousness. God’s sovereignty extends even to the lowliest of creatures: “Not one [sparrow] falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will” (Matthew 10:29, NET).
Several factors help us know that everything happens for a reason: the law of cause and effect, the doctrine of original sin, and the providence of God. All these demonstrate that everything does happen for a reason, not just by happenstance or by random chance.
First, there is the natural law of cause and effect, also known as the law of sowing and reaping. Paul says, “Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life” (Galatians 6:7–8). This means that in every action we take or word we utter, whether good or evil, there are certain inevitable results that follow (Colossians 3:23–25). Someone may ask, “Why am I in jail? Is there a reason for this?” and the answer may be, “Because you robbed your neighbor’s house and got caught.” That’s cause and effect.
All that we do is either an investment in the flesh or an investment in the Spirit. We shall reap whatever we have sown, and we shall reap in proportion to how we have sown. “Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously” (2 Corinthians 9:6). The believer who walks in the Spirit and “sows” in the Spirit is going to reap a spiritual harvest. If his sowing has been generous, the harvest will be bountiful, if not in this life, certainly in the life to come. Conversely, those who “sow” to the flesh are going to reap a life without the full blessings of God, both in this life and the life to come (Jeremiah 18:10; 2 Peter 2:10–12).
The reason some things happen can often be traced back to original sin in the Garden of Eden. The Bible is clear that the world is under a curse (Genesis 3:17), which has resulted in infirmities, diseases, natural disasters, and death. All these things, although under God’s ultimate control, are sometimes used by Satan to inflict misery upon people (see Job 1–2; Luke 9:37–42; 13:16). Someone may ask, “Why did I contract this illness? Is there a reason for it?” and the answer may be one or more of the following: 1) “Because you live in a fallen world, and we are all subject to illness”; 2) “Because God is testing you and strengthening your faith”; or 3) “Because, in love, God is disciplining you according to Hebrews 12:7–13 and 1 Corinthians 11:29–30.”
Then we have what is called the providence of God. The doctrine of providence holds that God quietly and invisibly works through the natural world to manage events. God, in His providence, works out His purposes through natural processes in the physical and social universe. Every effect can be traced back to a natural cause, and there is no hint of the miraculous. The best that man can do to explain the reason why things happen in the course of natural events is to point to “coincidence.”
Believers proclaim that God arranges the coincidences. The unbeliever derides such ideas because he believes natural causes can fully explain each event without reference to God. Yet followers of Christ are wholly assured of this profound truth: “We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Romans 8:28).
The book of Esther shows divine providence at work. The banishment of Vashti, the selection of Esther, the plot of the assassins, the pride of Haman, the courage of Mordecai, the insomnia of the king, the bloodlust of Zeresh, and the reading of the scroll—everything in the book happens, like cogs in a well-oiled machine, to bring about the deliverance of God’s people., Although God is never mentioned in Esther, His providence, working through “coincidence,” is plain to see.
God is always at work in the lives of His people, and in His goodness will bring them to a good end (see Philippians 1:6). The events that define our lives are not simply products of natural causes or random chance. They are ordained by God and are intended for our good. We often fail to sense God’s hidden guidance or protection as events in our lives unfold. But, when we look back at past events, we are able to see His hand more clearly, even in times of tragedy.
How are you my brethren? Its been a while I post on this page. Lots has happened that I will love to share in the future if Jesus Christ tarries. Its a New Year :). I hope we all enjoyed the holiday. As I posted on my friends pages, let this message guide your heart:
“It is another Year! Always remember that Yesterday is gone, Today is ours. Tomorrow is in the Able Hands of the Almighty God. No man knows tomorrow, No angels knows tomorrow, No demons knows. You do not need anyone to forecast what tomorrow holds for you, you actually don’t need it. The Lord Jesus Christ says, let Today’s issues be enough for us to deal with, if Tomorrow per adventure comes, the Lord who Rules in the affairs of men is still on the Throne of Mercy to see us through. Shun forecasters, snub shangomas,, reject magicians in the cloak of pastors, run away from star gazers in the name of prophets, ignore falsehood. Let these people go and prophecy to their families first. Do not allowed yourself to be deceived. Christians must stop checking horoscope pages of Newspapers and Magazines. Our Future is safe in God’s Hand. He said in Jeremiah 29:11 that ‘I KNOW’. Only God knows. Happy New Year friends.”
Now to the message of the moment-
The conscience is defined as that part of the human psyche that induces mental anguish and feelings of guilt when we violate it and feelings of pleasure and well-being when our actions, thoughts and words are in conformity to our value systems. The Greek word translated “conscience” in all New Testament references is suneidēsis, meaning “moral awareness” or “moral consciousness.” The conscience reacts when one’s actions, thoughts, and words conform to, or are contrary to, a standard of right and wrong. It is the eye of the soul which looks out either toward God or toward what we regard as the highest standard. This explains why conscience is different in different people. If I am in the habit of continually holding God’s standard in front of me, my conscience will always direct me to God’s perfect law and indicate what I should do. The question is, will I obey? I have to make an effort to keep my conscience so sensitive that I can live without any offense toward anyone. I should be living in such perfect harmony with God’s Son that the spirit of my mind is being renewed through every circumstance of life, and that I may be able to quickly “prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” ( Romans 12:2 ; also see Ephesians 4:23).
There is no Hebrew term in the Old Testament equivalent to suneidēsis in the New Testament. The lack of a Hebrew word for “conscience” may be due to the Jewish worldview, which was communal rather than individual. The Hebrew considered himself as a member of a covenant community that related corporately to God and His laws, rather than as an individual. In other words, the Hebrew was confident in his own position before God if the Hebrew nation as a whole was in good fellowship with Him.
The New Testament concept of conscience is more individual in nature and involves three major truths. First, conscience is a God-given capacity for human beings to exercise self-evaluation. Paul refers several times to his own conscience being “good” or “clear” (Acts 23:1; 24:16; 1 Corinthians 4:4). Paul examined his own words and deeds and found them to be in accordance with his morals and value system, which were, of course, based on God’s standards. His conscience verified the integrity of his heart.
Second, the New Testament portrays the conscience as a witness to something. Paul says the Gentiles have consciences that bear witness to the presence of the law of God written on their hearts, even though they did not have the Mosaic Law (Romans 2:14-15). He also appeals to his own conscience as a witness that he speaks the truth (Romans 9:1) and that he has conducted himself in holiness and sincerity in his dealings with men (2 Corinthians 1:12). He also says that his conscience tells him his actions are apparent to both God and the witness of other men’s consciences (2 Corinthians 5:11).
Third, the conscience is a servant of the individual’s value system. An immature or weak value system produces a weak conscience, while a fully informed value system produces a strong sense of right and wrong. In the Christian life, one’s conscience can be driven by an inadequate understanding of scriptural truths and can produce feelings of guilt and shame disproportionate to the issues at hand. Maturing in the faith strengthens the conscience.
This last function of the conscience is what Paul addresses in his instructions regarding eating food sacrificed to idols. He makes the case that, since idols are not real gods, it makes no difference if food has been sacrificed to them or not. But some in the Corinthian church were weak in their understanding and believed that such gods really existed. These immature believers were horrified at the thought of eating food sacrificed to the gods, because their consciences were informed by erroneous prejudices and superstitious views. Therefore, Paul encourages those more mature in their understanding not to exercise their freedom to eat if it would cause the consciences of their weaker brothers to condemn their actions. The lesson here is that, if our consciences are clear because of mature faith and understanding, we are not to cause those with weaker consciences to stumble by exercising the freedom that comes with a stronger conscience.
Another reference to conscience in the New Testament is to a conscience that is “seared” or rendered insensitive as though it had been cauterized with a hot iron (1 Timothy 4:1-2). Such a conscience is hardened and calloused, no longer feeling anything. A person with a seared conscience no longer listens to its promptings, and he can sin with reckless abandon, delude himself into thinking all is well with his soul, and treat others insensitively and without compassion.
As Christians, we are to keep our consciences clear by obeying God and keeping our relationship with Him in good standing. We do this by the application of His Word, renewing and softening our hearts continually. We consider those whose consciences are weak, treating them with Christian love and compassion.
Let us bear good conscience towards God and all men.
Welcome to 2017.
If Jesus had come today instead of 2,000 years ago, Christian pastors and bishops would also have killed him.
A man travelling from Jerusalem to Jericho was attacked by armed-robbers, stripped of his belongings and left lying on the road half-dead. God’s providence ensured that first a priest, and then a Levite, passed by. But instead of helping the dying man; both of them quickly moved to the other side and went away. Finally, a Samaritan came along. Unlike the priest and the Levite, he had compassion on the injured man, bound up his wounds, took him to the hospital and paid for his medical expenses.
The Good Samaritan
Jesus’ story of the Good Samaritan is very deliberate. It is incredible how, as Christians, we still fail to understand its full implications. The first mistake we make is in the identity of the Good Samaritan. When we situate the story in the contemporary setting (as we should with all scripture), we assume that the Good Samaritan is a Christian. However, Jesus deliberately excludes that possibility by providing two characters clearly representative of the Christians of today. The priest is easily identifiable as today’s pastor, while the Levite is easily today’s Christian layman.
Who then is the Good Samaritan? Let me repeat this for emphasis: the Good Samaritan cannot be a Christian. The Christian is already adequately represented. The Good Samaritan is Jesus himself. Jesus’ story eloquently sets forth the goodness and kindness of Christ our Saviour towards sinful, miserable and defenceless humanity. The thief came to steal, kill and destroy, but Christ came to give life and to give it abundantly. (John 10:10).
But there is the rub. If Jesus is the Good Samaritan then Jesus is not a Jew; for Samaritans were not accepted as Jews. If Jesus is the Good Samaritan, then Jesus is a Samaritan. If Jesus is not a Jew but a Samaritan, then Jesus cannot be a Christian, for it is the Jew who represents the Christian of today.
By the time some Jews observed Jesus, they assumed he was not a Jew. In the first place, he refused to be a disciple of Moses but claimed instead to have come to fulfil the law. He did not obey the letter of Jewish laws but claimed to comply with its spirit. He insisted pharisaic religious tradition was old wine which could not be put into the new bottles he provided for the new wine of the New Testament. (Matthew9:17). He prefaced a lot of his sermons with the statement: “You have heard that it was said to those of old… but I say.” (Matthew 5:27-28).
Therefore, some Jews insisted Jesus was not Jewish. As a matter of fact, their position was that he was a closet Samaritan: “Then the Jews answered and said to him, “Do we not say rightly that you are a Samaritan and have a demon?” Jesus answered, “I do not have a demon; but I honour my Father, and you dishonour me.” (John 8:48-49). Note that Jesus did not contest the charge that he was a Samaritan. But he took great exception to the allegation that he had a demon.
But if Jesus identified with the Samaritans and not with the Jews, then it becomes clear he would not identify with most of the Christians of today. In fact, let me be so bold as to say that if Jesus were in the flesh today he would not be a Christian. If Jesus had come today instead of 2,000 years ago, Christian pastors and bishops would also have killed him. Like he did our forefathers, Jesus would also have exposed our ungodliness to public ridicule.
So if Jesus would not have been a Christian, what would he have been? He would have simply been Jesus without any specific religious affiliation. Today, Jesus has been replaced by theology, but the real Jesus was not religious. Jesus established no religious institution when he was on earth.
Indeed, if Jesus were to show up physically on earth today, most Christians would not recognise him even as the Jews did not. If he came as a woman, we would not recognise him. If he smoked cigarettes, we would not recognise him. If he drank whisky, we would not recognise him. If he wore earrings and a nose ring, we would not recognise him. If he spoke Pidgin English, we would not recognise him. Since he did not wear trousers, we would be contemptuous of him. We would disqualify him by religious irrelevancies instead of identifying him by his fruits.
When Jesus asked the lawyer to identify the neighbour of the man who fell among thieves, the man wisely did not say it was the Samaritan. If he had said that, he would have been wrong. Instead, he correctly defined him by his fruit. He said: “He who showed mercy on him.” He who showed mercy on him could be anybody, Christian or non-Christian, as long as he believed in Jesus and produced the fruits of his righteousness.
What then does the story of the Good Samaritan mean if, indeed, the priest and the Levite represent today’s Christians? It means that, prophetically, it is the Christians of today who have no mercy. We despise unbelievers, certain they are going to hell. We speak disparagingly of them. We condemn sinners on grounds they are ungodly. We stone them because they are caught in adultery. We fail to appreciate that they are hapless travellers on the road of life who have been attacked by spiritual armed-robbers and left for dead. We conveniently forget that we used to be in the same position until we were rescued by the grace of God.
Therefore, “God is not a Christian,” declared Reverend Desmond Tutu. “We are supposed to proclaim the God of love, but we have been guilty as Christians of sowing hatred and suspicion; we commend the one whom we call the Prince of Peace, and yet as Christians we have fought more wars than we care to remember. We have claimed to be a fellowship of compassion and caring and sharing, but as Christians we often sanctify sociopolitical systems that belie this, where the rich grow ever richer and the poor grow ever poorer.”
One thing is certain. Both the offending priest and the Levite must have had “compelling” reasons for not attending to the man dying on the roadside. They probably could not stop because they were in a hurry to attend a bible study. The priest decided that the best thing to do was to pray for the man when he got to church. The Levite was hurrying to get to a meeting of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria and could not afford to be late.
Jesus’ parable “kills” the self-righteous believer who thinks he is justified by calling himself a Christian and by going regularly to church. He alerts us to the danger of assuming we are heaven-bound because of our observance of certain religious rites. True Christianity is not legalistic. The love of our neighbour is the emblem of our being Christ’s disciples.
“Dear friends, let us practice loving each other, for love comes from God and those who are loving and kind show that they are the children of God.” (1 John 4:7).
Femi Aribisala is the fellowship coordinator of Healing Wings. Healing Wings is a pentecostal Christian fellowship which meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays. He blogs at Femi Aribisala .