How can you tell whether you’re a genuine believer or a false professor? One of the best books describing the true nature of conversion is The Christian’s Great Interest by William Guthrie. The great Puritan theologian John Owen highly commended it and wrote, “The author [of The Christian’s Great Interest] I take to have been one of the greatest divines that ever wrote; it is my Vade-mecum [that is, “handbook”], and I carry it and the Sedan New Testament, still about with me. I have written several folios, but there is more divinity in it than in them all.”Consider what William Guthrie says in chapter 5 of his book about the differences between the true Christian and the hypocrite. Here are some ways in which the hypocrite may be like the Christian.
1. A hypocrite may be influenced by the gospel in every part of himself. He may come to great knowledge of God’s truth (Heb 6:4). His emotions about Christ may be high (Matt 13:20). He may even experience drastic changes in the outward man, like the Pharisee who prayed, “God, I thank You that I am not as other men are, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, etc.” (Lk 18:11–12).
2. A hypocrite may look to others like he’s a true believer. He might talk of the law and the gospel (Ps 50:16), openly confess his sin to his own shame (1 Sam 26:21), and humble himself in sackcloth (1 Kgs 21:27). He may even carefully consider what duties he needs to perform and seek after them (Is 58:2), persevere even in hard times, give his possessions away to God and the saints, or even give his body away to be burned (1 Cor 13:3).
3. A hypocrite may advance far in God’s ordinary graces. He may come under great convictions of sin, just as Judas did (Matt 27:3–5). He may tremble at the word of God, just as Felix did (Acts 24:25), rejoice in receiving the truth (Matt 13:20), and have many experiences of tasting the good graces of God (Heb 6:4).
4. A hypocrite may have some characteristics very similar to the saving graces of the Holy Spirit. He may have a kind of faith, like Simon Magus who “believed also” (Acts 8:13) but then proved to be a false believer. He may have a kind of legal and outward repentance that looks very much like true repentance (Mal 3:14). He may have a great and powerful fear of God, like Balaam did (Num 22:18). He may experience a kind of hope (Job 8:13). The hypocrite may even have some love, as Herod had of John (Mk 6:26).
5. A hypocrite can even have great and powerful experiences of God. He may have “tasted of the heavenly gift” and become “partakers of the Holy Spirit” and experienced the “powers of the age to come” and yet not be genuinely converted.So, what are the marks of a true believer? How is genuine conversion to be distinguished from false conversion? Guthrie provides five marks of a true believer that are not possessed by the hypocrite.
1. A true believer’s heart is changed forever. In Jeremiah 32:39 the Lord says, “I will give them one heart, and one way, that they may fear me forever.” Hypocrites never have a changed nature. Hypocrites want Christ for the good that He might do them in the world. But a true believer’s heart loves Christ as the all-satisfying treasure of this life and the next.
2. A true believer’s changed life comes from a heart of love to Christ. Hypocrites can clean up their outward behavior to be seen by men, to ease their troubled consciences, or to keep themselves from the consequences of their sins. But true believers love Christ and keep His commandments for His sake, to serve Him, to know Him, and to bring glory to His name (Ps 119:6).
3. A true believer seeks Christ and His kingdom above all else. This is the one thing necessary: Christ’s friendship and fellowship. But that is never the “one thing” and heart-satisfying choice of the hypocrites. True believers, on the other hand, desire that this “better part would never be taken from them” (Lk 10:42).
4. A true believer submits to the righteousness of God. He abandons all hope in himself and his own righteousness, and rests wholly in the righteousness of Christ for his acceptance before God. A true believer rests in Christ and Him only as his Savior. Hypocrites don’t do this (Rom 10:3). They depend, in some degree, upon their own righteousness.
5. A true believer has the three great essentials of genuine Christianity. First, he is broken in heart and emptied of his own righteousness so as to loath himself (Lk 19:10). Second, he takes up Christ Jesus as the only treasure and jewel that can enrich and satisfy (Matt 13:44). Third, he sincerely closes with Christ’s whole yoke without exception, judging all His “will just and good, holy and spiritual” (Rom 7:12). A hypocrite does none of these things.
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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.
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.
Many are remembered forever as doing ‘evil in the eyes of the Lord. … Bible have a testimony recorded forever in the Word of God as one of those that did “evil in the sight of the Lord”.
Evil is what is morally wrong, sinful, or wicked. Evil is the result of bad actions stemming from a bad character. Biblically, evil is anything that contradicts the holy nature of God (see Psalm 51:4). Evil behavior can be thought of as falling into two categories: evil committed against other people (murder, theft, adultery) and evil committed against God (unbelief, idolatry, blasphemy). From the disobedience in the Garden of Eden (Genesis 2:9) to the wickedness of Babylon the Great (Revelation 18:2), the Bible speaks of the existence of evil.
For many centuries Christians have struggled with both the existence and the nature of evil. Most people would acknowledge that evil is real and has always had devastating effects on our world. From the sexual abuse of children to the horrific terrorist attacks on 9/11, evil continues to rear its ugly head in our own time. Many people are left wondering what exactly is evil and why does it exist.
The existence of evil has been used as a weapon by opponents of theism—and Christian theism in particular—for some time. The so-called “problem of evil” has been the subject of various arguments by atheists in an attempt to demonstrate that a God who is good simply cannot exist. By implying that God must be the creator of evil, God’s holy character has been called into question. There have been many arguments used to indict God as the cause of evil. Here is one of them:
1) God is the creator of everything that exists.
2) Evil exists.
3) Therefore, God is the creator of evil.
The logic of this syllogism is sound. The conclusion follows logically from the premises. But does this syllogism demonstrate that God is the creator of evil? The problem with this argument is its second premise, that evil is something. For evil is not a thing; it is a lack or privation of a good thing that God made. As Christian philosopher J. P. Moreland has noted, “Evil is a lack of goodness. It is goodness spoiled. You can have good without evil, but you cannot have evil without good.”
Goodness has existed as an attribute of God from all eternity. While God is perfectly holy and just, He is also perfectly good. Just as God has always existed, so too has goodness as it is a facet of God’s holy character. The same cannot be said for evil. Evil came into being with the rebellion of Satan and subsequently entered the physical universe with the fall of Adam. As Christian apologist Greg Koukl has said, “Human freedom was used in such a way as to diminish goodness in the world, and that diminution, that lack of goodness, that is what we call evil.” When God created Adam, He created him good, and He also created him free.
However, in creating Adam free, God indirectly created the possibility of evil, while not creating evil itself. When Adam chose to disobey God, he made this possibility a reality. The same scenario had previously played out when Satan fell by failing to serve and obey God. So it turns out that evil is not a direct creation of God; rather, evil is the result of persons (both angelic and human) exercising their freedom wrongly.
While evil is certainly real, it is important to recognize that evil does not have existence in and of itself. Rather, it only exists as a privation (or a parasite) on the good. It exists in the same way that a wound exists on an arm or as rust exists on a car. The rust cannot exist on its own any more than cold can exist without the existence of heat or darkness can exist without the existence of light.
Despite the horrible effects of evil on our world, the Christian believer can take comfort in the words of the Lord Jesus Christ recorded for us in the Gospel of John, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33). More importantly, we look forward with great anticipation to our home in heaven where the ultimate evil, death, will finally be destroyed along with the “mourning, crying and pain” which it inevitably produces (Revelation 21:4).
Let us read further in part 2
Reading through the Bible, one similar phase occurs over 49 times, particularly in the Old Testament. It is a phrase that indicates someone, or a people, was doing “evil in the sight of the Lord” or “evil in the eyes of the Lord”.
Perhaps, the people committing the sin did not recognize their transgressions as wrong or angering God. Maybe it was the farthest thing from their minds; but while they were doing wrong, God was watching, and His hammer of judgment would shortly pound down and shatter their plans and intents, and others also would suffer. Perhaps they even thought, as they do today, “Oh, everyone is doing it, too”, or “I’ve done this before and nothing ever happened, so why should it now?”
What was it that was so wicked in God’s eyes? Their offenses included complaining, idolatry, not giving God the attention and respect He deserved, casting spells, lying, cheating, uncleanliness, debauchery, witchcraft, killing innocent people (including children), observing of the times (similar to what we would call astrology), and not obeying God’s commandments. Gulp! Reading through that list does not sound any different than what is happening today.
Discontentment is shown by what is uttered from many lips today. Not many are happy with what they have, or who they are. They had hopes that “things” would fill the empty spots in their lives, but their lives were even more empty.
God is certainly not getting the respect He should be getting, as many mock Him and live contrary to how His Word instructs us. Sin is on the rise, but it never is a time when the people, as a whole are happy. Current statistics indicate many are suffering from depression, and many had so little hope that they took their own lives.
Practicing witchcraft and occult practices are also increasing, even in churches. Many of today’s popular movies have these practices in the movie’s theme, and are even watched by Christians.
Life has less meaning to many, which explains the rise in murders and even the taking of unborn babies’ lives through abortion. Too many are ignorant of what God’s commands are. It is quite evident evil, by God’s standards, is rampant today.
Many more are affected in the 49 uses of the phrase than just the committers of sin. Examinations of the phrase show that:
- 12 of the usages of the phrase were remarks about individuals that were not leaders.
- 16 of the usages referred to national sin; usually the nation of Israel.
- 33 of the usages referred to a leader, such as a king. They are the ones we remember as doing “evil in the sight of the Lord.”
- 23 of the usages indicated that the person committing the sin was following someone else’s example, as: “as did his father”, or “walked in the way of his father”.
- Six of the usages made it clear that the one doing evil was forcing others to do likewise.
Interestingly, we see that only 12 of those seen by God as doing wicked were common folk, like you and me. All sin, and God sees everyone’s sin. This wickedness rated serious attention by God to be stopped, and to teach others not to continue committing the wickedness.
The highest offenders against God were the leaders of the country. 33 times the leader was recalled as doing “… evil in the eyes of the Lord ….” Their influence, quite often, turned the entire nation to sin against God.
If our leaders today would only see this! If they would only see how their laws and leadership are no different than those that God judged in the Bible, and change their leadership to one that God would bless rather than discipline all of us for. Many kings in the Bible have a testimony recorded forever in the Word of God as one of those that did “evil in the sight of the Lord”. What a terrible epitaph on one’s life to be remembered for doing wrong! Unfortunately, many of today’s leaders will also be remembered for an evil leadership.
In many of the phrases, another frightful reality is apparent. Much of the parents’ wickedness was copied by their children. Over 23 times, those that did evil were doing just like their parents did. “… walked in the way of his father …” explains where the wicked-doer got their instruction. A parent’s sin cannot only ruin their own life and their children’s, but the wages of their sin can affect future generations (Ex. 20:5, Ex. 34:7, Num. 14:18).
In a time when it is not important to many what God thinks about them, we need to realize that our feelings and opinions have nothing to do with how God deals with our sin. No one gets away with sin. There is always a price tag on wickedness (Romans 6:23). In most of the verses talking about doing evil, God’s judgment and punishment on the people was not far behind. In many of the cases God allowed wars, famines, loss of freedom, and captivity to teach that there is always a price for doing wrong. No one gets away with sin! Payday is always someday!
What a chilling thought it would be to be remembered as doing “evil in the sight of the Lord.” If God were to write something to describe you right now, what would He write?
By doing right, according to God’s commands in His Word, one can have a completely different testimony. It does not have to be he “did evil in the sight of the Lord.” It could be the God-approved testimony of “… Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things …” Matthew 25:23.
“Sin’s wages = Death
God’s wages = Peace and everlasting life!”