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Beware of Dogs!

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Wherefore as the Holy Ghost saith, today if ye will hear his voice. Harden not your hearts, as in the provocation, in the day of temptation in the wilderness: when your fathers tempted me, proved me, and saw my works forty years. Wherefore I was grieved with that generation, and said, they do alway err in their heart; and they have not known my ways. So I sware in my wrath, they shall not enter into my rest.” – Hebrews 3:7-11 (KJV)

Entering the Rest of God takes more than going to church or being born again. It clarifies what Jesus told Nicodemus in John 3, that a man, though born again cannot enter into the Kingdom as that is an exclusive reserve for those born of water and the Spirit.

“Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.” – John 3:5-6 (KJV)

In our text, the Apostle Paul sounds a note of warning about how thin a line there is between entering and missing the rest of God. He started by reminding us how God swore (a serious thing when God swears!) that all that came out of Egypt will not enter His rest, save Caleb and Joshua. And this was because “they have not known my ways.” – Hebrews 3:10 (KJV), they hardened their hearts to the ways of God, which Isaiah tells us is higher than the ways of Man. (Isaiah 55)

Paul admonishes, and very strongly too, that we should not be like the wilderness church; that if we hear His voice, we should not harden our hearts. There is a thin line here, and this is because we love God and no one knowingly wants to harden his heart against God! Like Paul who loves to do the will of God according to the inner man, but found himself doing what he did not want to do. (Rom 7), something else other than us is at work to prevent us from entering God’s rest!

This thing may allow us “hear the word” but not the “Voice”, “the letter” and not “the Spirit.” We are not only to hear the word – the letter, but the Voice – the Spirit; for the letter kills but the Spirit gives life. In Acts 13:27, the Bible tells how the children of God read the Law, the Scripture every Sabbath day, yet could not hear the “voice” of the prophets, the actual message they passed across!

 

The bible

“For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath day, they have fulfilled them in condemning him.” – Acts 13:27 (KJV)

That was exactly what happened to the wilderness church; that made them “err in their hearts” and not know the ways of the Lord. Unfortunately, it is happening to the Church of today!

Why did they miss it? The dogs!

“Beware of dogs, beware of evil workers, beware of the concision. For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.” – Philippians 3:2-3 (KJV)

… to be continued.


Incomparable is in the long and short, something that has no equal; something that no other thing should be put side by side for comparison in size, volume and especially, quality.
These things that are incomparable are always prime or principal, they are the most important things, and directly or indirectly, used to categorize people into classes. One such thing is wisdom.

“Wisdom is the principal thing; therefore get wisdom: and with all thy getting get understanding.” – Proverbs 4:7 (KJV)

Wisdom is the application of knowledge. We all go to school to acquire knowledge but how we use that knowledge determines whether we are wise or not. Every kind of training is aimed at impartation of knowledge; even domestic things as learning to cook, learning to sweep the floor, learning to wash, are all to impart knowledge. The man who goes to the gym for fitness goes to acquire knowledge, the man who goes to a driving school, has gone to get knowledge. Every school in life is about knowledge. But the difference between people who acquired the same knowledge is in how they used the knowledge acquired. This is responsible for success or failure in life.
There are two kinds of wisdom: Godly wisdom and devilish wisdom.
Godly wisdom is from above; from God.

“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy.” – James 3:17 (KJV)

This wisdom bears the fruits called “purity”, “peace”, “gentleness”, “mercy”, “fairness”, and all other fruits that are good.
Devilish wisdom is as you guessed, from satan.

“But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.” – James 3:14-15 (KJV)

This wisdom bears evil fruits: “envy”, “strife”, and every fruit associated with these; all bad.

Both kinds of wisdom are produced by knowledge. Wisdom feeds from knowledge. Engineers are what they are because of the knowledge they got at school. Doctors can administer treatment because of the knowledge they got. Lawyers can debate in court by virtue of the knowledge they acquired. A wrestler can throw people around because he acquired the knowledge. Wisdom is fed by knowledge! Where there is no knowledge, no wisdom can be found! It is the knowledge acquired that makes a profession different from others; in other words, a profession is peculiar and different from others because of the information or knowledge from which it emerged.
The two kinds of wisdom differ from each other because of the knowledge they acquired; what they received and stored in them determines what they produce, what they bring out!

“A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” – Luke 6:45 (KJV)

The wisdom you display is produced by the knowledge you have. The character you display tells the wisdom you carry; evil wisdom.

“But if ye have bitter envying and strife in your hearts, glory not, and lie not against the truth. This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish. For where envying and strife is, there is confusion and every evil work.” – James 3:14-16 (KJV)

Or, Godly wisdom.

“But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, and easy to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.” – James 3:17-18 (KJV)

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I remember reading a story about a man that came home and saw three different foams. He picked the first and squeezed; powder came out from it. He squeezed the second; water came from it. When he squeezed the third, oil came out of it. When squeezed, each gave out the different things it was filled with. When the pressures of life squeeze you, what wisdom you display is determined by the knowledge you are filled with.
Your quality as a person is determined by the knowledge stored or retained in you.

“For every tree is known by his own fruit. For of thorns men do not gather figs, nor of a bramble bush gather they grapes. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh.” – Luke 6:44-45 (KJV)

“A good man”: how people see you, whether wise or foolish, is based on your actions.
“Good treasure of his heart”: your heart is like a treasure chest, a place where valuables are kept, a store of goods. No one can see what things or knowledge you have stored in your heart but you.
“From here he brings out…”: you act out what is stored in your heart. It is this/these thing or things you bring out through your actions or character that people see and categorize you as wise or foolish. We are all driven by what we have stored in our hearts.

“And he said, that which cometh out of the man, that defileth the man. For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders, thefts, covetousness, wickedness, deceit, lasciviousness, an evil eye, blasphemy, pride, foolishness. All these evil things come from within, and defile the man.” – Mark 7:20-23 (KJV)

It is like a sober man who takes alcohol and retains it for short while; that short while, he acts abnormal, because of the alcohol he retained.

We are not concerned now with the store –the heart. When God created Man, his heart was pure, he acted in ways that never made him “ashamed.” Now we are concerned with the treasures and how they got there.
What are these treasures?

…to be continued.


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I was at a programme recently where a “prophet” stood and led a series of prayers of which “Terah must die!” was one. The supposed reason Terah had to die was that he had been sitting on Abraham’s progress; so until he dies, Abraham may not progress or succeed in life and Ministry. The air was super-charged with the energy of prayer – Kai! Nigerians can pray! And you could hear the reverberation of thunderous “amens” at the end of it. Most Christians are so gullible, accepting just about anything and everything they hear; whether as message or prayer points.
I believe this stems from the fact that many do not study the Bible on their own to see if what they have heard or received is so written in the holy book. Or is it something peculiar to Africans? The African man is known to hardly read, and that is why someone said if you want to hide a thing from the African, put it in a book!
One example is the last two verses of Genesis 11 and the first few verses of Genesis 12.

“And Terah took Abram his son, and Lot the son of Haran his son’s son, and Sarai his daughter in law, his son Abram’s wife; and they went forth with them from Ur of the Chaldees, to go into the land of Canaan; and they came unto Haran, and dwelt there. And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran.” – Genesis 11:31-32 (KJV)
“Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee. And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing. And I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee: and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed. So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.” – Genesis 12:1-4 (KJV)

Going by these two scriptures, it would seem that Abraham only progressed in life after the death of his father Terah, and would indeed call for a “Terah must die!” prayer. But no it is not so! A careful study of these would disprove that thought and show that Terah gave every possible encouragement to ensuring Abraham’s success, making unscriptural and baseless, such a prayer.

Why should we look at this?
Let me point out here that this is not a swipe at anyone or Assembly but of the “practice”, of the message that is damaging, with the hope that it would be corrected for the common good of believers.
There is a spirit behind every word. Consequently, the spirit that dwells or resides in such prayers is the spirit of lie and deception; sown in the hearts of men weakens, and if not checked, would completely destroy their Faith, and draw them further from God and His will.
When the foundation, the knowledge of these people is destroyed (Psalm 11:3), there is nothing the Righteous God would do in their lives. God desires us to come to the knowledge of the Truth and to be rooted in it.

“Rooted and built up in him, and stablished in the faith, as ye have been taught, abounding therein with thanksgiving.” – Colossians 2:7 (KJV)

Every unscriptural message or prayer does more damage than good; rather than build up, it breaks their faith, without which they can’t please God!

Breakdown.

(1) Terah had Abraham when he was 70years.

“And Terah lived seventy years, and begat Abram, Nahor, and Haran.” – Genesis 11:26 (KJV)

(2) Abraham left Terah when he was 75years.
“So Abram departed, as the LORD had spoken unto him; and Lot went with him: and Abram was seventy and five years old when he departed out of Haran.” – Genesis 12:4 (KJV)

At this time Terah was 145years old. (70years when he gave birth to Abraham + 75years of Abraham.)
(3) At 100 years (25years later) Abraham had Isaac.
“And Abraham was an hundred years old, when his son Isaac was born unto him.” – Genesis 21:5 (KJV)

Add 25years to Terah’s 145 years, and you’ll have 170years! At this time Abraham had
(a) entered Canaan, (b) prospered and become wealthy and(3) had Isaac (if you do not want to add Ishmael), and Terah was still alive and never “delayed” Abraham in any way!
(3) Terah died 35years later at the age of 205!
“And the days of Terah were two hundred and five years: and Terah died in Haran.” – Genesis 11:32 (KJV)
Abraham was a fulfilled man before Terah died! I still can’t fathom where the prayer point “Terah must die before Abraham would succeed” came from!

God used Terah to help Abraham.

According to Scripture, “God HAD said to Abraham.”
“Now the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee.” – Genesis 12:1 (KJV)

But he did not move! Was it fear, doubt, uncertainty? The answer is best known to Abraham. God had to move Terah toward Canaan, but not to take him there; hence his decision to settle in Haran, just like God sent a whale to move Jonah to the shores of Nineveh but not enter it. God wanted Abraham alone to enter the place he would afterwards inherit; not with his father or siblings, and informs the reason God did not show him the place till Lot had departed from him.
This move to Harran stirred the mind of and greatly encouraged Abraham to move to Canaan.

Terah trusted Abraham.

It is not often that we see a father whose son had died easily let go of the grandchild as they keep the grandchildren in loving memory of their dead. Terah’s son Haran was the father of lot, whom Terah not only cherished, but took with him to Haran. While still alive, and letting go of Abraham, he allowed him to take Lot with him. This must have cost him emotionally, yet he let go because of trust! He believed in Abraham.
Let us be careful how we interpret and receive the Scripture, one misinterpretation can send multitudes away from God and His will


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Manufacturers have reasons why they produce their goods, one of which is for the products to meet some need or serve some purpose in the lives of the consumers.

At creation, God spoke His mind for the creation of man stating the purpose for his existence.

“And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth. So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them. And God blessed them, and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” – Genesis 1:26-28 (KJV)

You are a creation of God. That means you were created to serve or meet some need: to oversee His business, the works of His hand. Jesus said, “occupy till I come.”

For this God gave you four qualities of power:

  • Dominion – This is the ability or authority to rule.
  • Multiply – This means to procreate and increase in numerically.
  • Replenish – This is the ability to restore or refill what has been emptied or taken away.
  • Subdue – This is to use force to bring something(s) under.

Of all the four, only one talks of opposition or resistance – “subdue”, not even in “dominion” do we have contention. There was no contention or opposition from the birds of the air, the animals in the field or the fish in the water before the fall of Adam because God set or made it so; and His word, which upholds all things, cannot be broken, even today.

However to “subdue” suggests opposition. You subdue a thing that refuses to surrender. So winning comes after there has been a contention or resistance. Resistance from where? Darkness!

“And the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.” – Genesis 1:2 (KJV)

The powers of darkness and their weapons: death, fear, anger, sickness, lust, pride, poverty, failure, etc., are things that are constantly opposing the children of God. God knew about the “darkness”, so He put this quality of power in Man.

“Which he wrought in Christ, when he raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places.” – Ephesians 1:20 (KJV)

This is the power to fight, to conquer and bring under control, so that dominion will continue in God’s behalf. That is why He said to Jeremiah that “before I formed you in the womb, I knew you and ordained you a prophet …” (Jeremiah 1:5), and why? “They will fight you.” (Vs: 18)

The king and prince of lack will fight you!

The king and prince of poverty will fight you!

The king and prince of anger will fight you!

The king and prince of lust will fight you!

The king and prince of pride will fight you!

The king and prince of sickness will fight you!

The king and prince of failure will fight you!

All these kings, their princes and more, will fight you but shall not succeed! You are more than a conqueror! You are a winner; for none of their weapons formed against you shall prosper! There is power in you to condemn their tongue. There is power in you to nullify their words of evil! You are created to win and quench every opposition!

“I have set thee for a tower and a fortress among my people, that thou mayest know and try their way.” – Jeremiah 6:27 (KJV)

God said, He – not man – has set – authoritatively fixed you for a tower – large and domineering – and fortress – a fortified and impenetrable being; created to try – judge and pass verdict on these agents of evil and their weapons!!!

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You are God’s weapon of war! He has made you a sharp threshing instrument, and as a warrior would wield his weapon, God wields you against the enemy and his weapons! You are created to win!

“No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.” – Isaiah 54:17 (KJV)

This is the heritage – a law, right or title you inherited from God. What is this heritage? The winning, all-conquering power!

But there are conditions!

  • You have to be an original! Before the fall of Adam, he had a nature that was original. It was this nature that was given the power to subdue. It is the nature of being in the image and likeness of God.
  • You have to remain in God’s will and desire. Be chaste! Run from sin and not eat the forbidden fruit! Strive to live in obedience!
  • Overcome the fear that is holding you back! Adam did not know fear before his fall.
  • Start the fight! By courageously affirming your faith and standing on the word of God, you attract the enemy to yourself, giving God an opportunity to glorify His Name! The three Hebrew trio of Shedrack, Meshach, and Abednego refused to compromise and were noted. Samson moved against the Philistines; this was of God, Who sought an occasion against them. Daniel refused to compromise and attracted the forces of evil to himself. In all God was glorified! Refuse to compromise, let the enemy take note of you, and let God be glorified!
  • Seek knowledge! Adam did not really know the Truth; if he did he would not have doubted and fallen to the enemy. You have his history, in the Bible. Learn from his mistakes and study the life of the last Adam, Who against all odds stood with God and won.

You are created a winner; an ENVOY OF POWER!


Stand 6 (2)

 

I remember watching a fight, or should I say, an entertainment where ten wrestlers were in the ring slugging it out for the belt and prize-money. After a gradual elimination, two of the wrestlers were left. Now, it was no more elimination but an outright win; either by pin-fall or submission, a winner must emerge!

They fought till they had no more strength to fight, having put in their best, endured the brutality and countering the move of the other to the admiration of the crowd.

Wanting to be creative, one gave a head-butt to the other; something he had never done before. Both men went down as the referee counted.

Something inside the opponent who was given the head-butt refused to stay down on the canvass. He was hearing a voice in his head asking him to stand! But his head pounded painfully and his body felt too heavy for him to lift! Yet, the voice kept urging him to stand!

Faintly, as if from a distance, he started hearing the referee. Gradually he realized where he was and still weak to stand, his eyes blinked open. The arena was dancing around, it seemed, as he turned sideways to see his opponent, also on the floor of the ring.

He felt like staying on the floor like his opponent, but remembering the belt and the prize-money, a surge of adrenaline flowed through him and a new wave of strength came.

His body complained in pain, asking him to remain down. No, he must not hearken to that voice! The prize money, the belt! Straining, he staggered to his feet just as the referee stopped counting. He won the fight.

Ideally, one would say he won the fight in the ring. No! He won the fight in the field of preparation. Prepare in the closet, the Father would reward you in the open.

In the ring, they were equally matched. The other was even more creative, employing a head-butt that he had never done before, daring to knock himself into a coma; both were prepared to win.

However, the difference was in the type of preparation each had. They both prepared body and mind. The creative man prepared more on the body and strength, while the last man standing prepared more on the mind!

 

“So Jotham became mighty, because he prepared his ways before the LORD his God.” – 2 Chronicles 27:6 (KJV)

 

Ordinarily, we would say Jotham became great because he prepared himself. But no! He did not become great just because he prepared himself. How did he prepare himself? With what did he prepare himself and in what kind of preparation did he have?

Did Jotham become great because he prepared himself in the kitchen? Was it as a driver? Or was it as a gossip? No!

There was a type or kind of preparation he had: “before the Lord his God.”

This was a preparation of the mind and heart, which reflects through the body.

 

“Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth.” – 3 John 1:2 (KJV)

 

Not everyone that prepares become great. Not everyone that goes to school become great in life. Some did not go to school, yet they attained greatness; they stand because they prepared their mind, they worked on their mind!

True greatness is the product of a prepared heart and mind.

You are a product of your mind!

 

“For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee.” – Proverbs 23:7 (KJV)

 

If you think failure, you fail! If you think success, you succeed.

What you programme in your mind is what it will give back to you. Just as a negative destructive thought can destroy the individual, a positive thought can build him.

Encourage and entertain only good and positive thought.

 

 

“Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.” – Philippians 4:8 (KJV)

Stand 1 (2)

Eliminate; uproot from your mind every negative thought as they can only lead to failure and frustration.

 

“For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds.” – 2 Corinthians 10:4 (KJV)

 

The last man standing is not necessarily the strongest, but one that heard a voice in his spirit urging him to stand. Faith hears the voice of the Spirit, for faith comes by hearing.

 

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” – Romans 10:17 (KJV)

 

The last man standing is one whose mind hears the word of God for it takes a hearing to stand. What you hear in the darkest moment of your life will determine whether you will stand or not. Elijah stood in the harsh, hostile apostate Israel because he heard the word of God. What are you hearing?

 

5 THINGS YOU NEED TO HEAR BEFORE STANDING.

 

(1) Hear that you possess the ability to achieve your set objective in life. Why? God said so!

 

“And the LORD said, Behold, the people is one, and they have all one language; and this they begin to do: and now nothing will be restrained from them, which they have imagined to do.” – Genesis 11:6 (KJV)

 

(2) Hear that the thought you hold in your mind will attract its kind, and reproduce its kind. Like the soil, the mind will multiply to you what you sow.

 

“Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.” – Galatians 6:7 (KJV)

 

(3) Hear that the dominating thought in your mind will manifest physically.

 

“Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known.” – Matthew 10:26 (KJV)

 

(4) Hear that you must not stop striving for excellence, even after you have achieved.

 

“And Elisha said unto him, Take bow and arrows. And he took unto him bow and arrows. And he said to the king of Israel, Put thine hand upon the bow. And he put his hand upon it: and Elisha put his hands upon the king’s hands. And he said, Open the window eastward. And he opened it. Then Elisha said, Shoot. And he shot. And he said, The arrow of the LORD’S deliverance, and the arrow of deliverance from Syria: for thou shalt smite the Syrians in Aphek, till thou have consumed them. And he said, Take the arrows. And he took them. And he said unto the king of Israel, Smite upon the ground. And he smote thrice, and stayed. And the man of God was wroth with him, and said, Thou shouldest have smitten five or six times; then hadst thou smitten Syria till thou hadst consumed it: whereas now thou shalt smite Syria but thrice.” – 2 Kings 13:15-19 (KJV)

 

 

(5) Hear that your success or achievement remains good when you remain connected and standing on the truth of the word of God. The devil is out to destroy, but the Word upholds and saves when trials come.

 

“Wherefore lay apart all filthiness and superfluity of naughtiness, and receive with meekness the engrafted word, which is able to save your souls.” – James 1:21 (KJV)

 

 

 

 


 

 

Great Secret 2 (2)There is this little write up that God has used, again and again, to encourage and strengthen me. I pray as I share it that it would also be a channel of encouragement and strength to as many that may read it. Look out for “THE GREAT SECRET.”


 

“Then came Peter to him, and said, Lord, how oft shall my brother sin against me, and I forgive him? Till seven times? Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, until seven times: but, until seventy times seven. Therefore is the kingdom of heaven likened unto a certain king, which would take account of his servants. And when he had begun to reckon, one was brought unto him, which owed him ten thousand talents. But forasmuch as he had not to pay, his lord commanded him to be sold, and his wife, and children, and all that he had, and payment to be made. The servant therefore fell down, and worshipped him, saying, Lord, have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. Then the lord of that servant was moved with compassion, and loosed him, and forgave him the debt. But the same servant went out, and found one of his fellowservants, which owed him an hundred pence: and he laid hands on him, and took him by the throat, saying, Pay me that thou owest. And his fellowservant fell down at his feet, and besought him, saying, Have patience with me, and I will pay thee all. And he would not: but went and cast him into prison, till he should pay the debt. So when his fellowservants saw what was done, they were very sorry, and came and told unto their lord all that was done.
32  Then his lord, after that he had called him, said unto him, O thou wicked servant, I forgave thee all that debt, because thou desiredst me. Shouldest not thou also have had compassion on thy fellowservant, even as I had pity on thee? And his lord was wroth, and delivered him to the tormentors, till he should pay all that was due unto him. So likewise shall my heavenly Father do also unto you, if ye from your hearts forgive not every one his brother their trespasses.” – Matthew 18:21-35 (KJV)  

 

Forgiveness knows no limit. It means to have a heart of mercy and compassion; a heart that refrains from inflicting pain on offenders. In the teaching of Jesus in Luke 6:36-38, we see the same principle of “boomerang”, whatever a person gives out comes back to him; “pressed down shaking together and running over.”

Forgiveness (2)

Forgiveness is not for God but for us, for our own good. When you forgive, you will be forgiven; if you do not forgive don’t expect forgiveness.

An unforgiving heart is one that exalts situations and circumstances (that brought the offence) above human life. We should be like our Father! Learn to forgive.

One more thing! Forgiveness does not secure freedom from the consequences of our sins!

“For I am with thee, saith the LORD, to save thee: though I make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet will I not make a full end of thee: but I will correct thee in measure, and will not leave thee altogether unpunished.” – Jeremiah 30:11 (KJV)

God forgives the sin but the consequences are still ours to bear! Every sin committed before accepting Christ is forgiven and the consequence is carried by the crucified Saviour; however, every sin committed after that is also forgiven but the individual bears the consequence!

Forgiving others secures for us the richness of God’s mercy in our everyday dealings with people. This is earned!

“But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.” – Matthew 6:15 (KJV)

 

If you do not forgive, you can’t receive forgiveness! The cost of being forgiven is paid when you forgive others. “If you don’t …you will not…”

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God’s initial forgiveness is not earned but given, as a result of repentance, confession and forsaken, of that which was done.

Beloved, it is only a dog that goes back to its vomit. Let’s not go back to the life we have left behind; the life of wickedness and unforgivingness. Let us learn to forgive; knowing it is the currency to secure our forgiveness.


Who is a rich man?

fellow

“And one of the company said unto him, Master, speak to my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me. And he said unto him, Man, who made me a judge or a divider over you? And he said unto them, Take heed, and beware of covetousness: for a man’s life consisteth not in the abundance of the things which he possesseth. And he spake a parable unto them, saying, The ground of a certain rich man brought forth plentifully: And he thought within himself, saying, What shall I do, because I have no room where to bestow my fruits? And he said, This will I do: I will pull down my barns, and build greater; and there will I bestow all my fruits and my goods.   And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry. But God said unto him, Thou fool, this night thy soul shall be required of thee: then whose shall those things be, which thou hast provided? So is he that layeth up treasure for himself, and is not rich toward God.” – Luke 12:13-21 (KJV)

 

A man came to Jesus asking Him to intervene in a wealth-sharing dispute between him and his brother who did not want to share their father’s wealth with him. Jesus answered, telling him He wasn’t made a judge over them. His answer has a two-way application. He wasn’t a judge officially over such matters, but indirectly, He told him that the material life was not the reason or purpose of His coming.

This inspired the teaching against covetousness and the parable of the “rich Fool”, a man society called “rich”; Jesus also acknowledged he was rich, and that means he was rich! Yet, heaven called him a fool. Why?

1) He thought the security of life depended on the earthly acquisition: an abundance of wealth, education, connection, location, etc.  Sadly, many hold this view today, even in Church, that the more wealth a man has, the more secure he is. This lie looks so golden, whereas it is deception in its highest form, and the creator of the end time god – mammon.

Jesus warned against the deceitfulness of riches and taught that a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of things he possesses.

2) He believed the things he got were results of his labour and hard work. Again, this is another sad thing in Christendom. There is a general belief that the harder a person works, the richer he would be. Over the years, the “prosperity message” has hoodwinked many a believer into a frenzy of going to work very early in the morning and coming back late at night “only to eat the bread of sorrow”, forgetting that “the race is not to the swift …”

3) He made plans as though he had power over his life. We often times forget that our lives belong to God and are in His hand, and He can make a demand of the life at any time. Job reminds us that no man has the power to retain the spirit (life) in him. When God calls, we respond. But hear this “rich man” speak as though he had power over tomorrow and can resist the call of God. People think some are being “over righteous” when they add “by the grace of God” to their statement.

4) He built his life on and around things that have no eternal value. Everything changes: nothing in this world is stable or durable. Building one’s hope on a shifting thing is like building without a foundation! How secure are those things after the death of the man? Who will inherit those things?

The frenzy with which man run after these things that the Bible clearly and unequivocally teaches to be “deceitful” is so alarming that it has become a standard of judging who is, and who is not a true believer, forgetting that love of things in the world is enmity with God.

Jesus said anyone who thinks and plans like this way, is regarded by heaven as a fool. (Luke 12:21) Why?

God’s ways differ from ours! The way we see things is not the way heaven see things! (Isaiah 55) What Man calls treasure, heaven calls nonsense! We do not value the things God values!

Man's heart is clogged!

Clogged heart of Man

Solomon realized this and said on his return to God, “all is vanity” (Ecc. 1:2). Vanity means the quality of being without value; futile, useless, nonsense! That is where Man’s heart is, and God is clearly disappointed in this.

“O ye sons of men, how long will ye turn my glory into shame? how long will ye love vanity, and seek after leasing? Selah.” – Psalm 4:2 (KJV)

Man’s heart is clogged up with the “weeds” of this world – the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. All these dull the heart, choke the word of God and makes one unfruitful in godliness.

What are we expected to do?

This is a heart situation, because where the treasure of a man is there will his heart be also, and since man cannot fix himself, only God, Who can farm or cultivate the heart can. But He will not; until we willingly come to Him.

“I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service. And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.” – Romans 12:1-2 (KJV)

We need to come to Him; to present ourselves to Him to weed off “the cares of this world” from our hearts. For this, He calls us, “Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28 (KJV)

“Come”, He says. Many have not “come”, though they have come to church. However, this is not a Church issue! Many are in church but have not “come” to the Lord. Nevertheless, He knows those that are His. Neither is it a ministry issue. It is not what work you do for Him because on that day He will say to some, “depart from me ye that work iniquity, I know you not”. It’s like saying, “I don’t know you, I don’t remember seeing you; you never came to me!”

The proof of your coming to Him is in how much value you place on what He values! Jesus asked Peter in John 21, if he loved Him more than the fish, representing all we wake early to pursue and come in late to acquire.

What does God place value on? His Word!

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“I will worship toward thy holy temple, and praise thy name for thy loving kindness and for thy truth: for thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name.” – Psalm 138:2 (KJV)

How much of His word do we treasure? How have we been handling His word, because this is what shall be used to clean us!

“Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” – John 15:3 (KJV) Emphasis mine.

It is the Holy Spirit that empowers us to live in agreement with the Father, loving what He loves and hating what He hates; and He will not live or dwell in a dirty, polluted heart. Using the instrument of the Word, the disciples were cleaned and made ready to be indwelt by the Holy Spirit. Without the Word spoken to them, they would not have been able to receive the Holy Spirit!

Again, the Bible repeats it.

“That he might sanctify and cleanse it (the Church) with the washing of water by the word.” – Ephesians 5:26 (KJV) Emphasis mine.

In 2 Kings 5, we see the Syrian captain Naaman, instructed by the prophet Elisha to go dip himself seven times in the Jordan River for him to be clean. The number seven, here, represents the mind of God; completeness, nothing to be added or subtracted. The water represents the Word of God. Like Naaman, we should dip ourselves in it to be made whole and clean.

But again, in the Church of today,  how much of the Word do we value?


Excellent spirit (2)

 

I was in a discussion recently with two men of God. We talked over a range of issues, from National security to the dwindling faithfulness of believers. In the course of our discussion, mention was made of a man of God, who pastors a well-run church; efficient staff, – paid of course. Sometimes I wonder if some of these Christians would be so efficient, em… faithful if not for the “secularism” or payment of salary. Just a thought.

Back to the main matter.

One of the pastors in our discussion said, “he has an excellent spirit!” I shot him a glance. Why?

Because of the phrase, “spirit of excellence”, or “excellent spirit.”

How do we interpret this? What message, and consequently, what spirit are we passing on to those God sent to us both to mentor and to disciple?

I still stand on my belief that the state of the Church today is traceable to the Pastors and Teachers of the Word.

What irked me in the discussion was the use and application of that phrase as concerning the pastor in question, who was known to the three of us.

True, when you enter their church hall, you will marvel at the beauty and neatness; the efficiency and corporate dressing of the church workers.

However, he has a bad reputation on his street and neighbourhood! Known as a brawler and wife – beater, I do not think that phrase should be applied to him.

I am not in any way judging the Man of God, neither do I advocate for him to be judged. He is not the issue before us. Nevertheless, I believe as servants of God, we owe it to the Lord and to the brethren, to correct interpretations we know to be wrong, else we will hear the Lord say to us:

“But I have this against you, that you let the woman Jezebel say she is a prophet and give false teaching, making my servants go after the desires of the flesh and take food offered to false gods.” – Revelation 2:20 (BBE) Emphasis added.

“But I have this against you: You let that woman Jezebel do what she wants. She says that she is a prophet, but she is leading my people away with her teaching.” – Revelation 2:20a (ERV) Emphasis added.

Certain things should not be tolerated. Again, if we do not correct these things the degeneration will not be arrested, but rather encouraged. We are the ones to withstand and resist this pollution and twisting of scripture.

So, it is not the man that we have before us, but an issue, a phrase that can be found in the book of Daniel, chapter five and verse twelve.

“Forasmuch as an excellent spirit, and knowledge, and understanding, interpreting of dreams, and shewing of hard sentences, and dissolving of doubts, were found in the same Daniel, whom the king named Belteshazzar: now let Daniel be called, and he will shew the interpretation.” – Daniel 5:12 (KJV)

This was something said to show that something more than human, a thing beyond the natural, was in Daniel. And what was this thing?

“There is a man in thy kingdom, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of thy father light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, was found in him.” – Daniel 5:11a (KJV) Emphasis added.

“But at the last Daniel came in before me, whose name was Belteshazzar, according to the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods: and before him I told the dream, saying,” – Daniel 4:8 (KJV) Emphasis added.

The key words here are “spirit of the gods …in”, which stands for something beyond the natural or Adamic man; something that is of God, something divine and not earthly. A similar statement, not exactly the phrase, but implied, can be found in Genesis 41:38 (KJV)

“And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?”

This “presence” was in Joseph and as with Daniel. It is not what we do but who we are!

This is not just organizational ability to which the phrase is applied to today; no! The fact that a person, a church, or a business is so efficiently organized does not mean this phrase applies to him or it.

Jesus would call such organizational institutions “whited sepulchre.”

“Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men’s bones, and of all uncleanness.” – Matthew 23:27 (KJV)

They look good, and perhaps godly from outside, like the tree Jesus cursed for lacking fruit; having as it seems, all the trappings of Christianity: a high steeple, a long cross on top, a solid altar made of marble, a pulpit of glass and aluminum, state of the art sound system, formally-clad staff, a clean sweetly fragranced convenience with two wings – men and women, powerful air conditioning system. Wao; good and dandy! Who no like better thing!

But wait! What is the spirit behind it all?

“Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world.” – 1 John 4:1 (KJV)

What lies beneath all these beautiful “outer garments?” What would we see underneath the beautiful tombs? Rottenness? Dead men’s bones? Smelly-ungodly situations? The risen Christ? Whatever is found there is the real thing; the “substance!” Men do not go to graveyards to look at tombstones but to honour the ones the stones cover!

“Excellent Spirit” or “Spirit of excellence”, goes beyond the physical, it is the presence of God, seen in mortal man

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God, and not of us.” – 2 Corinthians 4:7 (KJV)

 What is this treasure? It is the nature of God that we are called to share with Him.

“Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.” – 2 Peter 1:4 (KJV) Emphasis added.

What is this nature?

“And the LORD passed by before him, and proclaimed, The LORD, The LORD God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abundant in goodness and truth.” – Exodus 34:6 (KJV)

 No wonder it is called the fruit of the Spirit!

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.” – Galatians 5:22-23 (KJV)

Therefore, the spirit of excellence or excellent spirit does not talk about or refer to organizational ability, but to the presence of God in a person; Minister or Laity manifested through the fruit of the spirit! This is how we know them.

“Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.” – Matthew 7:20 (KJV)


life (2)

 

The Life of God is not what we pray to receive as every one child of God has a deposit of God’s Spirit.

“Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.” – John 14:17-18 (KJV)

 

This deposit became possible from the day of Pentecost after Jesus shed his blood in death, resurrected and ascended to the Father.

However, the challenge is how to grow His presence in us. This takes a process well described in https://jimout2002a.wordpress.com/2018/07/23/fellowship-2

Furthermore, we need to:

  • Enrol in School. What school, and where? Not the School that has a geographic location, but a School that is located wherever you are at! Life itself is a school. Wherever you are, the teacher, the Holy Spirit, is there! This is the School of sensitivity – the School of the Spirit! Enrolling in His School means submitting your all to Him, being ready to obey all He asks you to do.

“His mother saith unto the servants, whatsoever he saith unto you, do it. And there were set there six waterpots of stone, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, containing two or three firkins apiece. Jesus saith unto them, fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them up to the brim. And he saith unto them, draw out now, and bear unto the governor of the feast. And they bare it. When the ruler of the feast had tasted the water that was made wine, and knew not whence it was: (but the servants which drew the water knew;) the governor of the feast called the bridegroom, and saith unto him, Every man at the beginning doth set forth good wine; and when men have well drunk, then that which is worse: but thou hast kept the good wine until now. This beginning of miracles did Jesus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested forth his glory; and his disciples believed on him.” – John 2:5-11 (KJV)

 

Miracles are borne out of obedience!

  • Get the book. Every school has its set of books or recommendation of books to acquire. Very serious students get their books and study them! It is disappointing when children are sent to school without books. Not only would they perform poorly, feel inferior when depending on others for books, they would not be able to confirm a sudden flash of illumination or understanding that come periodically to confirm what the teachers have taught; such a student might even fail!

an open bible-1037220253..jpeg

In the School of the Spirit, there is one key book, The Holy Bible, which contain 66 books. The Teacher would not teach outside the syllabus; the Bible is the syllabus used in this School. However, having the Bible would not grow the student, he needs to study it!

“Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.” – 2 Timothy 2:15 (KJV)

 

Approval – growth – can only come after study! Peter adds his voice to this; he calls it desire!

“As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby.” – 1 Peter 2:2 (KJV)

 

Spiritual growth is a function of study: the study of the word of God. Unfortunately, many are so busy they do not study. They only swallow hook, line and sinker, whatever their pastor says. It should not be so; they are humans too and have weaknesses and limitations. The true Teacher, the Holy Spirit, comes when we are alone, and filled with desire for the knowledge of the Truth. Let us go to Him in study.

  • Discipline. Every student must be enrolled for a specific subject or discipline. What course is to be studied to develop this Life of God in the believer? QUIETNESS!

This is the only means of minimizing us that He may increase. When we keep quiet, hear him, and carry out what He says, it would no longer be us living but He “working in us to will and to do of His good pleasure.”

“For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.” – Philippians 2:13 (KJV)

 

As simple as this may sound, it is one of the most difficult things to learn and do because of pride and ego! Hear what God says about this.

“For thus saith the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel; In returning and rest shall ye be saved; in quietness and in confidence shall be your strength: and ye would not.” – Isaiah 30:15 (KJV)

“Ye would not!” All because of pride; the self-spirit!

Quietness is a serious subject to study!

 

“And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you.” – 1 Thessalonians 4:11 (KJV)

 

 

quiet (2)

The devil wants us to be noisy so that we would not hear the Teacher! We cannot hear the teacher if we are busy or noisy. When students come into class and are before their teacher they keep quiet to hear him, if not, he has all the power to discipline them for “noise-making.”

The Bible enjoins us to be quiet when we come into the presence of our teacher.

“Keep silence before me, O islands; and let the people renew their strength: let them come near; then let them speak: let us come near together to judgment.” – Isaiah 41:1 (KJV)

 

The classroom teacher loves quiet and attentive students. In the same way, the Holy Spirit values and treasures observant and quiet students of His. Silence, quietness is an attribute or character trait that is precious in the sight of God.

“But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” – 1 Peter 3:4 (KJV)

 

Peter not condemning the wearing of ornaments, counsel women to pay greater attention to beautifying the inner man, with two things that are precious and of great price in the sight of God: meekness and a quiet spirit! They are of great worth in the sight of God!

It is in quietness that we hear His voice. He would not compete with the noise of our environment or the clanging noise generated in our hearts. Let’s pull down every other voice, and quietly listen to what He shall say to us in response to the challenges of our everyday life, and the life of the Spirit shall be enthroned.