HE LED CAPTIVITY CAPTIVE AND GAVE GIFTS TO MEN
The context of Ephesians 4:8 lies in the passage of Ephesians 4:1-16. Paul was speaking of the unity of the body of Christ which should inform the spiritual conduct of every believer. He declares that there is one Lord, one Faith, one baptism and by this he meant that believers are eternally united in Christ who purchased them with his shed blood.
He also recognizes that God has given each believer special gifts by which to minister to the body of Christ. These gifts and offices are set out in Ephesians 4:10-12 and the purpose of these gifts is clearly outlined in “Ephesians 4:12-13 where he teaches that these gifts and offices are “For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: 13 Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ”
To understand Jesus “led captivity captive and gave gifts to men, we need to appreciate that Paul is foremost describing the death and resurrection of Christ by which he descended to lowest parts of the earth (place of the dead) and on the third day, He rose again with Power and in Glory. 1 Corinthians 15:4 says of Christ “He was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the scriptures”
There is divided opinion on the meaning of the first part of Ephesians 4:8 regarding Christ having “led captivity captive”. Some theologians believe that the statement is symbolic of Christ’s victory over death in the same way that a triumphant ancient king led captives as he celebrated his victory. Matthew Henry Commentary observes concerning this verse: “As great conquerors, when they rode in their triumphal chariots, used to be attended with the most illustrious of their captives led in chains, and were wont to scatter their largess-es and bounty among the soldiers and other spectators of their triumphs, so Christ, when He ascended into heaven, as a triumphant conqueror, led captivity captive, He gave gifts to His followers”
Other Bible scholars view Paul’s statement here as a foreshadow of the triumph that Christ would make of His divine enemies when He comes to earth to conquer them and reign as Eternal King (Hebrews 1:13; 10:12-13). While this is futuristically true of Christ, the passage context favors the first interpretation because the passage clearly alludes to Christ’s death on the cross and His resurrection on the third day. We can therefore deduce that Jesus snatched spiritual captives from Satan (cf. Matthew 27:52-53) and conquered Death and Hell (1 Corinthians 15:55) and empowered His Church to eternal victory.
Besides, Christ gave the church (believers in Him) gifts on His ascension when He sent the Holy Spirit to take His place as the Superintendent of His Church on earth.
Ordinary men like Peter were henceforth empowered by the Holy Spirit to minister for Christ so that the Church moved into all ages, resounding with the power of the Holy Spirit of God. Notice that Peter preached the first sermon under the influence of the Holy Spirit on the day of Pentecost and as scripture affirms “…the same day there were added unto them about three thousand souls. (Acts 2:41)” Many other signs and wonders were performed by the apostles confirming that the Power of the Kingdom of God was now resident with men (Daniel 5:21b).
By taking captivity captive, Christ clearly demonstrated that henceforth “… the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not” (John 1:5) and that Kingdom of God shall advance against the kingdom of darkness “and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Matthew 16:18). This is the true Kingdom Power that Paul contemplated as he penned the letter to the Ephesians. The Church as Christ’s Kingdom agent on earth will conquer and break the strongholds of satan by the Power of the Risen Christ.
So, every child of God received something from the Lord, take time to discover what you have been given to fulfill His purpose on earth. Colossians 4:17 says, “And say to Archippus (insert your name), “Take heed to the ministry which you have received in the Lord, that you may fulfill it.”
(Culled from the Book “THE T.B. JOSHUA I KNOW”)
In the first introduction of the Church, the Scripture made us to understand that The Lord Jesus Christ did not took stripes on His back, wore a Crown of Thorns on His head, got His side pierced and died on the Cross for what many professed Church goers are seeking for today; rather The Son of God died on the Cross to liberate man from the power of Sin.
ACTS 2:37-39 “When they heard this, they were stung in the heart and said to Peter and to the rest of the Apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?” 38Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of sins, and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. 39For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all who are far away, as many as the Lord our God will call.”
This simply means, Man’s problem is not about the expensive clothes he has or does not have in his closet, not the kind of car he drives or the house he lives in, man’s problem is Sin, and he need a Saviour and that Saviour is Jesus Christ. When there is no reaffirmation of the transaction Jesus Christ did on Calvary in our Churches, people will be shortchanged of the Truth and pimps will take over the platform. There are different pimps in our Churches today: Pimps of miracles, prophecies, prosperity, turning the house of God into house of merchandise; as they trades in water, oil, apron, etceteras. We don’t need anymore Pimps or snake oil salesmen leading the Church, it is purely Spiritual adulatory, we need genuine ministers who will stand behind the Pulpit and preach the undiluted Gospel of Jesus Christ.
The Synagogue of T.B. Joshua in Ikotun-Egbe, Lagos, Nigeria is another hellish place where every genuine Christian must avoid altogether. The Synagogue is a house of Pimps, headed by T.B. Joshua.
|I WAS PRESENT AT THIS SCENE, AS ONE OF THE VISITORS’ COORDINATOR,
I WITNESSED WHEN THE MEDICAL TEAM RESUSCITATED MOSES MAROLE.
Another amazing deception I witnessed at the Synagogue was a 76-year-old Moses Marole, who came from Mmabatho, he travelled to Lagos from South Africa in the company of other 120 guests led by a regular group leader Mrs. Santa du Plessis, from Roodeport. Mrs. Santa du Plessis had become part of T.B. Joshua’s clique when money started flowing into her purse through this arrangement, she is a mother of one of T.B. Joshua’s in-house ‘disciples’ called Angelique Goosen. On April 21, Sunday afternoon, while the group took some time off from the long hour of Sunday service to have lunch, Moses Marole suddenly collapsed on the food table. Many people rallied around to help him: amongst them was a neurosurgeon, Dr. Johan Wilkinson from Bloemfontein; he performed a CPR on Moses to no avail. In no long time, message had reached T.B. Joshua in the service where he was still attending to people on the so-called ‘prayer line’. T.B. Joshua sent Benson, one of the junior prophet to ‘pray’ but without success as usual.
The elderly man was taken aside, and the Synagogue medical team who are always on standby during services engaged the fainted old man, and were able to bring him back to life with their medical skill.
Synagogue in-house Medical Team helping
The medical team discovered that the complications of heat (hot weather in Nigeria), triggered Marole’s health conditions, which were: diabetes, high blood pressure and stress of an old age. The medical team brought him back to life, not the junior prophet. When T.B. Joshua heard that the man had been resuscitated, he said we must keep the visitors in the dark on the new development; and keep telling them that the elderly man could not be resuscitated; even ‘disciples’ were lying to their fellow ‘disciples’ on the matter. Separate room was quickly made available to keep Moses away from the rest of his group members, and one of the medical team, a Nurse, Mrs. Igeodu who always work hand in hand with the ‘disciples’ of T.B. Joshua was called in but none of the ‘disciples’ knew T.B. Joshua’s intention until after the day’s service. After everyone had eaten and rested, at about 11pm, T.B. Joshua summoned selected members of the Studio: two cameramen, two video editors, and two visitors’ coordinators; those that are very loyal, with Mrs. Igeodu, the Nurse into his office. The short meeting was about the fainted man; and since every member of the foreign visitors still holds the belief that the man was already dead, this time was ripe opportunity for him (T.B. Joshua) to do what he had dreamt of doing a very long time, to raise the dead like Jesus Christ did, but the pattern he planned to use was that of Elisha in 2KINGS 4:33-34.
Mrs. Igeodu administered sedative injection on the already fragile man in bad condition of health to keep him still on the bed, wool was inserted into his windpipes, and he was laid straight as a dead man on the bed. Everyone knew exactly what he or she must do after the short meeting with T.B. Joshua. Other ‘disciples’ who were not involved in the brief might be seeing your movement, but they cannot decode or understand what was going on except the smart ones who had been involved in a similar errand before. The Cameramen had set up their gadgets in the room where the aged man was laid, and T.B. Joshua was led into the room by a ‘disciple’ who pretended as if she was just passing the information to him. It was a drama.
NARRATION: –T.B. Joshua touched the man on the bed to see if he had slept off, of course, there can never be any response, thanks to Mrs. Igeodu’s sedative injection. So, T.B. Joshua raised his hand up in the air in front of cameras as if ‘praying’, there were lots of mistakes which was taken care of by Seun Abiola, one of the editors in the Studio. T.B. Joshua practices on the camera cassette were wiped off through reuse of the cassette by Sister Deola. Then T.B. Joshua laid flat on the man for some seconds and stood up; that was his own part.
Joshua the Pimp in his act of deception
Then, we have to be on standby until the man wakes up from the effect of the sedation. With the Voice of T.B. Joshua inserted, the real voice used was Brother Nkechi who shouted the man’s name severally before the man suddenly jacked out from his deep sleep, as he opened his eyes and mouth to answer the caller; that was the reaction the Editor needed to finalize the deceptive packaging, Shina and I were called upon to-do voice over to perfect all gaps of unnecessary noise on the tape.
This video cassette was sold all over the world, and it went viral on YouTube to deceive the naive. The following morning, T.B. Joshua instructed us to play the edited video to the foreign visitors in their dining room. We assembled the entire guests in the dining room, they were looking gloomy as we told them the cock and bull story of the previous day event. It was basically about one of them who had gone to be with the ‘Lord’, they all answered affirmative. They were still in mourning mood; their breakfast was left untouched. We informed them how we prepared the man for the morgue, but message came from T.B. Joshua that the man’s death was to the ‘glory of T.B. Joshua’s fake god’ (always using biblical quotation to deceive people); that they should not bother to take his body to the morgue. The guests were a little confused and perplexed, asking why we should keep human remains
inside the hostel? The packaged video of lies, and deceit explained the rest as we played it for them. When they saw what happened with tight editing, they rejoiced and demanded to see the resurrected man, many of them started calling South Africa to testify lies. We told them that Moses would still need some rest. The sedative injection administered on him was still in his system, he could not yet coordinate himself. It took another day before we allowed Moses Marole to receive visitors from among his group members, and before then, he had been thoroughly brainwashed on the Synagogue version of what happened to him. If you watch the video, Moses had no testimony at all, he was just rambling, a pure patched interview. Some of the visitors knew that Moses case was not as bad as we presented it in the video, but they went back home pondering over the event in their mind. GOD IS WATCHING!
If T.B. Joshua truly has power to heal or raise the dead, what about many other visitors who died under his roof without been able to raise them to life? The incident of the first story I recounted in this Chapter took place at the adjacent room to where T.B. Joshua slept that fateful day in his bedroom; until I woke T.B. Joshua up from his sleep that morning, he was sleeping next room to a dead man. General Tumenta Martin died under Synagogue roof, a Botswana magistrate, Lorraine Makati-Lesang died inside the Synagogue on their so-called ‘prayer line’, if truly Moses Marole died and was raised to life by T.B. Joshua; what about Benson, his junior pastor who worked for him for more than 20 years and died in T.B. Joshua’s presence without been raised to life? Samson, who was a cousin to him died under his roof; and there were other unreported cases of death amongst the general workers inside the Synagogue. I witnessed on many occasions while T.B. Joshua was doing his so-called jingoism type of ‘prayer’ on the sick, and they died right before him. Tamara, a ‘disciple’ from Austria died in two days after she left the Synagogue, Lagos to Austria. T.B. Joshua could not heal or raise any of these people we mentioned from the dead. Ask yourself… what is the authenticity of the Synagogue blatant editing videos that went viral, what is the authenticity of anything you see on Emmanuel TV? Are they real? Forget about what you watch on television; T.B. Joshua manufactures and arranges miracles. Why is T.B. Joshua having pleasure deceiving people? It is for only one reason, to take your focus away from God’s presence, from holding and waiting upon the Lord ISAIAH 40:29-31. Now, the easy one, T.B. Joshua did not travel when the Synagogue collapsed upon him, what a good opportunity presented before him, and his junior prophets or wise men, to get busy by displaying their prowess of healing those that were wounded and raising the dead to life (sic). Even, two of his choir girls were badly wounded, and were hospitalized, one of them was on crutches for many months, while the other was flown out of the country for treatment; but T.B. Joshua would always present on Emmanuel TV to be healing cripple, healing those with cancer, healing the blind, and paralyzed, why does he allow his precious singer to be using walking aid? On top of it, he lied and dodged been prosecuted by the government. IT IS TIME TO WAKE UP people of God! Emmanuel TV propagates falsehood on daily basis. BE WARNED, BEWARE!
(Culled from the Book “THE T.B. JOSHUA I KNOW”)
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The rewards of fasting far outweigh the obstacles of the enemy. Fasting has great rewards. Many believers are unaware of the great rewards that come through fasting. Understanding the great benefits of fasting will motivate more believers to make it a regular part of their lives.
Matthew 6:17-18 says: “But you, when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face, so that you will not appear to men to be fasting, but to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly.”
God promises rewards to those who fast in secret. Reward is God’s favor, abundance and blessing. The open rewards of fasting include blessing, abundance, favor and prosperity. Learn the secret of obtaining God’s reward through private fasting.
No one needs to know you are fasting. As the Holy Spirit leads you, make this a personal discipline between you and God and see how He rewards you. “And without faith it is impossible to please God, for he who comes to God must believe that He exists and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Heb. 11:6).
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Declare these rewards of fasting over your life to break the strongholds of the enemy: “Lord, I believe in the power of Your chosen fast (Isa. 58). Let my fasting destroy the yokes that the enemy has set up against me. Let Your light come into my life. Let health, healing and miracles be released in my life, and let me see breakthroughs of salvation and deliverance in my life through Your chosen fast. Let Your power and authority be released in my life. I drive every stubborn demon out of my life. Let every assignment of hell against me be broken—all pride, rebellion and witchcraft operating in my life will be destroyed through Your chosen fast.”
Believers can also declare the blessings of God in their life: “I humble my soul through fasting; let Your favor exalt me. Let Your anointing increase in my life. Let me enjoy restoration. Let Your covenant blessing and mercy be released on me. Nothing is impossible with You, Lord. Let my impossibilities become possibilities through Your chosen fast. Let my prayers be answered speedily. Guide me and manifest Your glory to me.”
For a slightly different approach, pray and declare the promises God gave his followers in Scripture: “I will fast according to the fast chosen by the Lord (Isa. 58:5). I will set my face toward the Lord God to make requests by prayer and supplication, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes (Dan. 9:3). I will proclaim a fast and humble myself before our God, to seek from Him the right way for my family and all our possessions (Ezra 8:21). I will turn to the Lord with fasting, weeping and mourning (Joel 2:12). I fast to loose the bonds of wickedness, to undo heavy burdens, to the let the oppressed go free and to break every yoke (Isa. 58:6). I will fast in the secret place, and my Father, who sees in secret, will reward me openly (Matt. 6:18). I will not depart from the temple of the Lord but will serve God with fasting and prayers night and day (Luke 2:37).”
In contemporary society, Christian spirituality is generally defined as a set of beliefs, values, and way of life that reflect the teachings of the Bible, the holy book of Christianity. Much research has been devoted to this topic, ranging from practical to academic. But what does the Bible teach on this issue?
First, Christian spirituality is biblically defined as the practice of the beliefs of the Christian faith. It includes both knowledge and action. James 1:25 notes, for example, “But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.” From the earliest writings of the New Testament, the principle of integrated and authentic faith and action has been taught as essential to Christian spirituality.
Second, Christian spirituality relies on the power of the Holy Spirit to live according to God’s will. The Holy Spirit serves to lead us into all truth (John 16:13), gives joy (Ephesians 5:18), and convicts when we sin (Ephesians 4:30). For example, 1 John 1:5-8 teaches, “This is the message we have heard from him and proclaim to you, that God is light, and in him is no darkness at all. If we say we have fellowship with him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus his Son cleanses us from all sin. If we say we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.” True spirituality depends on the supernatural power God gives through the Holy Spirit rather than dependence on human strength.
Third, Christian spirituality is concerned for all of a person’s life. Rather than separating spiritual, physical, financial, social, and other life components into distinct areas, Christian spirituality is concerned with how all of life connects to our relationship with God. For example, the use of our finances reflects the attitude of our heart (Matthew 6:21). How we treat our body reflects our spiritual life in important ways (1 Corinthians 6:20).
Finally, the pursuit of Christian spirituality will result in what the Bible calls the fruit of the Spirit: “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law” (Galatians 5:22-23). When a believer lives by the power of God’s Spirit, it produces godly qualities as well as brings honor to God. As Jesus taught, “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven” (Matthew 5:16). Seen from this perspective, Christian spirituality is for the honor of God, personal maturity, and serves as a blessing to others, both through the good deeds that take place as well as a heart attitude that points others to God.