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life (2)

“It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.” – John 6:63 (KJV)

 

Jesus speaking to some of His disciples tells of two kinds of life: the spiritual and the natural.

We often times take being alive for granted. Yes, we have this life and we forget that someday it would leave us no matter how tightly we clutch to it. Many live carelessly and before long this carelessness begins to manifest through ill health.

Another kind of life is available; bigger and better than what is obtainable in the world. It is the real life. It does not come and go neither does it bring health challenges; rather it battles and fixes every natural challenge. However, it does not commit itself easily, and can only be possessed through knowledge; not just any knowledge but a specific kind of knowledge.

 

Knowledge is only a vehicle in which life travels. Knowledge is not life, but the tube or channel through which life travels. And as said earlier, not all knowledge carries life. We may have scientific knowledge of the workings of the human, but that knowledge does not offer life.

We may have knowledge about the working of the heart, the dynamics of it, yet that does not guarantee life.

We do not apply knowledge to breathe or to keep the organs of the body working. Neither do we exert energy to keep them working and to stay alive.

We live by just believing! Life is a function of faith.

Faith itself is a function of the Word!

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

Life is a precious thing hidden in the Word of God.

 “My son, attend to my words; incline thine ear unto my sayings. Let them not depart from thine eyes; keep them in the midst of thine heart. For they are life unto those that find them, and health to all their flesh.” – Proverbs 4:20-22 (KJV)

“It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honour of kings is to search out a matter.” – Proverbs 25:2 (KJV) 

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Every kind of wealth is hidden, buried in the earth. To get them man digs. Life is available, but only to them, that search it out. Life in the word is to be dug out. If you do not dig or search deep into the Word, you cannot get 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

 “Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.” – John 5:39 (KJV)

 

You search or dig through:

(1) Corporate Bible study or fellowship with the brethren.

(2) Private or individual Bible study.

 

….to be continued.

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fellowship

The child of God, having gone through His fire, becomes a new creature; his attitude and character changes even his thought and manner of speaking reflect Christ. Moses, an orator (Acts7:22) emerging from God’s refinery, became a stammerer. No one will remain the same after passing through the Refiners Fire. It’s in the fire that the heart is circumcised and the person comes out “another man.”

That is why Paul could say “I live, yet not I …”

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” – Galatians 2:20 (KJV)

What I was before, I am not anymore; a change has taken place. I no longer hate, I love. I am not aggressive anymore, I’m gentle. Rather than the proud and haughty person I was, I am “meek and lowly of heart.”

The outer man, the flesh, “dross”, having been peeled off, the inner man, renewed after the spirit, is manifest. Like John the Baptist said, that “he may decrease and He increase.” This is the whole essence of “denying self”, which is indeed a very hard thing to do, but nevertheless a major requirement to having fellowship with God.

Paul was so proud of his new person; the person he had become that he counted his former person as nothing and his previous achievement as “dung”.

“But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ.  And be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith.” – Philippians 3:7-9 (KJV)

 He willingly lost “all things”, not some, but “ALL” things: his family, because of his new faith, disowned him and excluded him from the family wealth; his educational and Pharisaic attainments he also set aside for the excellency of knowing of Christ. His was a radical change.

Some of the things we should discard from ourselves if we are to have fellowship with the Father are in Galatians 5:19-21

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“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” – Galatians 5:19-21 (KJV)

A careful observation of the above scripture will reveal that these acts originate from the heart!

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“And Jesus said, Are ye also yet without understanding? Do not ye yet understand, that whatsoever entereth in at the mouth goeth into the belly, and is cast out into the draught? But those things which proceed out of the mouth come forth from the heart; and they defile the man.  For out of the heart proceed evil thoughts, murders, adulteries, fornications, thefts, false witness, blasphemies. These are the things which defile a man: but to eat with unwashen hands defileth not a man.” – Matthew 15:16-20 (KJV)

Sin and uncleanness go beyond the act. They are products of the heart and start from thoughts and imaginations!

“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 heart of man, being open to two sources of information, should be guarded with all diligence! And yes, we may not completely block out negative thoughts and imaginations, because the heart of man is wicked, yet we owe God the responsibility of pulling down every thought that does not conform to the word of God!

“Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.” – 2 Corinthians 10:5 (KJV)

Without the cleansing of the heart, one would not be admitted into the place of fellowship, and consequently cannot have fellowship with God!

 

….to be continued.


fellowship

There is no good in man; this “treasure” is not of us, it is spirit and cannot mix with our nature just as iron cannot mix with clay. Man is like the “piggy-bank” made of clay but holds metal coins. Christ is the treasure we are the clay. Note that the treasure and the clay are not of the same property. The “treasure” has the nature of God and can fellowship with Him, but not the clay. How can they be separated?

Through the refining furnace.

This process has been so well described by Linda Kruschke in: anotherfearlessyear.net/2010/02/24/refining-and-gold.

burning campfire

Photo by Berend on Pexels.com

“Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.” – Isaiah 48:10 (KJV)

God chose us from the fire (heat, pain, distressing, discomforting and life-threatening) of affliction (situations and circumstances of our everyday life – our cross.) Our enduring of these situations is His reason for choosing us; meaning, we displease Him and are rejected if we do not endure!

“Now the just shall live by faith: but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.” – Hebrews 10:38 (KJV)

It is in His plan for us to go through the furnace, which could be in our marriages, jobs, businesses, finances, health, etc and for He can use anybody, even our husbands, wives, children, relations and friends. So, stick to that marriage, that job or business, “for all things worketh together for good to them that love God, to them that are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

While in God’s fire, the “dross”, the flesh, is broken and separated from the “gold”, Jesus, Who comes to the fore, making the person a new and different person.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” – 2 Corinthians 5:17 (KJV)

The child of God, having gone through His fire, becomes a new creature; his attitude and character changes even his thought and manner of speaking reflect Christ. Moses, an orator (Acts7:22) emerging from God’s refinery, became a stammerer. No one will remain the same after passing through the Refiners Fire. It’s in the fire that the heart is circumcised and the person comes out “another man.”

…to be continued.

 


 

scale 

“For the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he. “ – Jer 31:11 (KJV)

 

Our text suggests that Jacob was in trouble.

He had sold himself to people more powerful than he is and would ever be. Either by indebtedness or by any other means, he had mortgaged himself, his life forever without any possibility of him being able to save himself.

God decides and declares that he has come to his rescue. The word redeem from where we got redeemed, means to recover by an expenditure of effort or by a stipulated payment.

Jacob served Laban, his father-in-law because he had no money to pay dowry and other expenses. One can, like Jacob in such a case, buy back himself by serving if he does not have the cash to do so.

And the word ransom implying the same means money demanded or paid for the release of a prisoner. The only difference in this is that the person (prisoner or slave) is not directly responsible for his freedom. It takes another, a guarantor, a bailiff, to deliver him.  In either case, Jacob needed the intervention of another.

In this case, however, God was not referring to physical issues such as we have between Jacob and Laban, but between Jacob himself and the spiritual forces that made him “Jacob”, sup-planter, cheat, etc. He was up against forces that no amount of physical labour could quantify to pay for his release.

I remember a story I read about a horse that a man bought for a member of his family. They all fell in love with the horse, but it was not in the compound most times; always found in the lawn of their neighbour whose family had also fallen in love with the animal. In the fear that the horse might stir up a cold war between the man and his neighbour, the owner sold her to a Jockey.

When both families heard the horse was to compete in a race, they went to the race course to cheer the horse. Both men found themselves at the side of the Jockey who had mounted the horse, enabling the horse one more time to hear their beloved voices which I believe spurred her not only to clear all the hurdles set before it but also to beat all the other horses to return first.

The following day, the man woke to see the horse in his compound. Both families rejoiced at seeing the animal but that was before the Jockey came looking for it. The horse had to be bought back from him, even twice the amount they sold it to him. Why? The worth of the horse had appreciated!

The devil is the accuser of the brethren. We all know this. But one thing we do not all know is that in accusing us the devil puts us up in the spiritual slave market, to hand us over to the taskmaster that promises the most gruesome persecution and pain. That was exactly what happened to Joshua the high priest.

“And the LORD said unto Satan, The LORD rebuke thee, O Satan; even the LORD that hath chosen Jerusalem rebuke thee: is not this a brand plucked out of the fire? Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and stood before the angel.” – Zech 3:2-3 (KJV)

 

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Joshua was “a brand plucked out of the fire”. He was on fire, burning for God, Who makes His angels wind and His ministers a flame of fire.

 

“Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire.” – Psalms 104:4 (KJV)

 

“And of the angels he saith, Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire.” – Heb 1:7 (KJV)

 

He was in the spiritual state of godliness, with the fear of the Lord in him yet the devil “plucked” him out of that state and clothed him in filth, in rubbish and shame! The filthy garment certainly would have been upon him by a demon making his life miserable. Oh, let him that thinks he stand take heed!

God intervened by sending His angel to rescue him because he was valuable to God. If you were put up for sale in the spiritual slave market, how much would you be worth to God? Would God so value you, that He would give lives, or kill people just to redeem or ransom you? Would God readily give nations for your sake?

 

For I am the LORD thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt for thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee. 4 Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.” – Isaiah 43:3-4 (KJV)

 

Generally, God loves us all; and this is recorded in John 3:16. God is not partial and does not take sides. He is not committed to people, race, colour or language. He cannot be bribed or bought over either with our tears, words, thought or deed. However, He is committed to Jesus.

….to be continued.


Lesson no 3
God chooses us whilst still in the fire of affliction.

“Behold, I have refined thee, but not with silver; I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction.” (Isaiah 48:10).

And not everything can pass through the fire and remain the same. Most things would change or be mangled, yet this is where we are chosen.
As in the case of Hezekiah when God pulled back to watch his reaction:

“Howbeit in the business of the ambassadors of the princes of Babylon, who sent unto him to enquire of the wonder that was done in the land, God left him, to try him, that he might know all that was in his heart.” (2 Chronicles 32:31).

God watches His children as they pass through the fire to see their reaction.
Would you change as you go through the fire? Would you be deformed or mangled when you come out at the other side of the fire?
This tells if you are matured or not for promotion.

God watched to see if we would allow the enemy take away our joy, our confession, the thought in our hearts.
Would we engage in character assassination, fight tooth for tooth and eye for an eye?
Or would we keep standing holding firmly to His word and praying for those who persecute us and despitefully use us?

“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you; ” (Matthew 5:44)

Would we change? That is why it is a trial!

Walking with God can be demanding sometimes, especially when it has to do with relating to others; and most especially if they have hurt you so deeply you decide to “avoid” them; not necessarily malice but holding them at arms length, not to be hurt again by them.

After publishing post four of this serial, God spoke to me at five-thirty (5:30) am.

I do morning cry from 4:30am to 5:30am. This day, Thursday 16th of November I spoke from the gospel of Matthew,chapter 25, the Groom and the ten Virgins. I spoke particularly on the trimming of the lamp and the significance of the wick. Rounding up with a prayer at 5:30 the Lord broke forth with a command to go to Judith and pray for her and her house hold!
Ah! Why Lord? With all that she did? Not that I haven’t forgiven but to go there?
My wife and I have learnt over the years to forgive even in advance but not give room to be offended a second time.

But God rules in the affairs of men!

“But God”, I argued, “I have been there twice before and no good came out of it.”
“Go and pray with her.”
“Lord is this really you or is it my mind?”
God will not go into an argument..

Many Christians cast aspersion on the Prophet Jonah for running away to Joppa.

Honestly I felt like running away! What would people in that little community think of me? The flesh was speaking. Especially knowing Judith would announce I came to beg her!

Unknown to me, I was to put in motion that age -old principle that says the way of victory is the way of the cross; the way of shame!
The hurdle is always the flesh!

I told my wife and left to Judith’s. To the glory of God her husband was home but she was not.

He was shocked seeing me. Nevertheless I told him my purpose of coming. I thought he would not accept my prayer. But he did.

As I left their house and started for home, I saw Judith coming so I waited. After praying for her, we had a little discussion. She had gone to call a nurse for her most Junior daughter who was ill.

Asking if they would permit me pray for her, they ushered me into the room where she laid.
Afterwards I said goodbye to them and left.

Back home my joy knew no bounds. I sensed in the spirit that God was up to something!

It is in the darkest hour of the day, that light shines the brightest! God within this season, opened up a door of ministry that we never saw. Details will be given but not now; at the maturity of the testimony.

May we not change but keep doing good. For whatsoever we sow we shall reap.


Three months passed before i made up my mind that pearls should not be given to pigs.

“Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.” – Matthew 7:6 .

I called a lawyer to write a disclaimer and submit it on my behalf to the motor company as I could no longer trust Benjamin! Moreover, I do not know where he stays in the city! Just a phone call and his family would join him there leaving me to stew in his juice?

It was a mighty deliverance the Lord worked for me! After the disclaimer was delivered and acknowledged, Judith stopped greeting me. She had stopped greeting my wife but manages to greet me; but now she stopped altogether!

pearls to a pig?

confused!

Her anger was that I delivered myself by Freeing myself from the “bondage” of the surety. The bible was explicit about this but, like I said, I thought I was doing it for a brother. But he proved to be a stranger!

“My son, if thou be surety for thy friend, if thou hast stricken thy hand with a stranger, Thou art snared with the words of thy mouth, thou art taken with the words of thy mouth. Do this now, my son, deliver thyself, when thou art come into the hand of thy friend; go, humble thyself, and make sure thy friend. Give not sleep to thine eyes, nor slumber to thine eyelids. Deliver thyself as a roe from the hand of the hunter, and as a bird from the hand of the fowler.” – Proverbs 6:5

We learnt some valuable but very bitter lessons at this time.

(1) Except God touches a soul no good done to such soul can transform them!

Man can only be willing in the day of God’s power.

“Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning: thou hast the dew of thy youth.” (Psalm 110:3).

(2) That men are more united in evil!

 

Empty vessels make a whole lot of noise just as evil is more appealing to natural man. People will readily believe a lie spoken against you than seek the truth! This shows indeed that what people are is what they believe others are! Even people you hold in high esteem as matured Christians!

“And this is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. ” (John 3:19).


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continued from https://jimout2002a.wordpress.com/2017/11/13/a-journey-through-hell-4/

Living close to this male teacher, she visited him to know how it all went; if he had been given the job.. While there, Judith’s group member approached the young man again, called him aside to give him more lies, not knowing who Meg was. Coming back to Meg, he narrated what he was told to the chagrin of Meg who debunked the lie. Worried, my wife went to Meg to know why neither of the teachers resumed. Meg opened up and told her everything. That was how we knew! Meg promised to bring the teacher; which she did. Unknown to us when she came with him, this member of Judith’s group saw them and attacked them even while they were still atop an “okada” (motorcycle)! The member of Judith’s group, we learnt later, pulled Meg’s hair as they rode past her on the motorcycle.

Okada.jpeg

Okada” is a popular means of transportation

Fortunately there were eye-witnesses which included our former landlady! May God continue to plant witnesses for His children in Jesus Name.

Almost falling, Meg jumped off the bike and with that anger went into a fight with the member of Judith’s group.

Again, I wasn’t there, but eye-witnesses report that Judith was with her friend to whom she gave a plank with which to fight!

But to what end? Why the hatred? Why the animosity? Why? She did not try to separate them but meant to fuel the fight which took a greater dimension, becoming brutally fierce! Meanwhile my wife and I were at home not knowing a fight was on on our behalf!

Meg and the young man eventually got to our place, looking like people that fought a lion! We queried their look and were given the full gist. Before leaving our place, Meg carried a thick rod which she said she’ll use to defend herself! Why? The other party threatened to wait for them! But God raised people that ensured a safe passage for them! Amen.

God took up our battle. He raised people that fought for us; and with witnesses. That was our first victory over the evil that Judith imagined against us. May God raise men that will secure victories for you, “pressed down, shaken together and running over”, the robust kind of victory that will leave no one in doubt, in Jesus Name!

We kept watching the drama unfold. As children of God, we could not go from house to house, as that will make us the same as her. We could only trust God.

“Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.” – Isaiah 26:3.

She rented an uncompleted building in the community and started school. Going from house to house, parent to parent again, she asked that their children and ward be withdrawn from us, and registered with them.

People in the community watched with keen interest to see what we would do. But our trust is in the Name of the Lord!

“Some trust in chariots, and some in horses: but we will remember the name of the LORD our God.” – Psalm 20:7.

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              The fight was brutally fierce!

Meanwhile, Benjamin her husband, would come on weekends and go back to his workstation on Monday mornings. He acted as though nothing happened. Close as we were, he did not come to find out what transpired. Two different Saturdays I went there to try and make peace, meeting only the wife and children. They told me he was not around.

I suspected he was around but was told that he did not come. My wife on one of those Saturdays saw him, confirming he was present. He supported his wife against us, not minding my #2m surety on his behalf. Three months passed before I made up my mind that pearls should not be given to pigs.

…….to be continued.