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fellowship

John made this statement because like Paul, he had turned his back on the world and all it could offer. He had “tasted” God, “seen and handled” and come to a level where he could truly share God’s nature and so could fellowship with the Father.

Man in his naturalness cannot fellowship with God. Before the fall of Adam man could, because he still had the nature of God, but after the fall, he lost the nature and consequently the honour of having fellowship with Him.

“As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” – Romans 3:10-12 (KJV)

“For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” – Romans 3:23 (KJV)

“I, said in mine alarm, All men, are false!” – Psalm 116:11(Rotherham)

“Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.” – Romans 5:12 (KJV)

 

This, fellowship, was the main reason God created man! Now that seemed to have been thwarted; hijacked! But God sees the end from the beginning! His plan can never be thwarted! He included the remedy in His plan! Amen.

God can only fellowship with His kind, for which only One person meets the requirement – the Last Adam, Who in reality was prepared and set apart before ever creation began: “…. he saith, Sacrifice and offering thou wouldest not, but a body hast thou prepared me.” –  Hebrews 10:5 (KJV)

“For all those things hath mine hand made, and all those things have been, saith the LORD: but to this man will I look, even to him that is poor and of a contrite spirit, and trembleth at my word.” – Isaiah 66:2 (KJV)

God would execute His plan; He would have fellowship with Man! But it has to be through a process:

Firstly, this seed of God – Christ – would have to be sown in the hearts of men.

 

 “A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them.” – Ezekiel 36:26-27 (KJV)

“But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name. Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” – John 1:12-13 (KJV)

“To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” – Colossians 1:27 (KJV)

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)  

 

 

Secondly, they have to be tried!

The firing pot is for silver, and the furnace for gold: but the LORD trieth the hearts.”  – Proverbs 17:3 (KJV)

piggy bank

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.

…to be continued

 

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WHAT IS FELLOWSHIP?

fellowship

With this definition, I am tempted to ask if we can really have fellowship with God? Especially considering what John said in 1John 1:3

“That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.” – 1 John 1:3 (KJV)

 

John had been having meetings with these people whom he called “my little children” (1 John 2:1). But he says “that you may have fellowship with us”. What could this mean? He has been having meetings with these people but not fellowship!

So it is possible to have church meetings yet not have fellowship. You come to church, I see you, you see me, and we interact and possibly exchange pleasantries yet not have fellowship! Fellowship is deeper than meeting! Can we really have fellowship with the Father if it is possible to meet yet not have fellowship with man?

I can imagine believers meeting under a tree and a dog, perhaps seeing the owner there, lies at his side. Certainly, the dog, though there could not be said to have fellowship with the people. Why? It is not of the same nature with man! Man’s ways differ from the dog’s, so no matter how close they can’t have fellowship.

God’s ways differ from ours.

 

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.” – Isaiah 55:8-9 (KJV)

 

God’s nature differs from ours; His is a nature of Spirit and righteousness. Man, through Adam, lost this nature, acquiring the nature of sin, wickedness and lie. Consequently, natural man cannot have fellowship with God. Nothing of man can have fellowship with God!

 

But this is the reason God made man, to have fellowship with him. He desires it and so, calls Man to share or partake in His divine nature.

 

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)

Despite this awesome invitation, many even in the household of Faith – the Church, still fall short because of worldly pleasures: the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life.

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It is possible for you to be at table, having a sumptuous meal and I come visiting; sincerely from the depth of your heart you invite me to share, join or “partake” in your meal, and for one reason or another I decline the offer. God desires to share His nature with us but for various reasons this offer is being declined, though we still go to church: singing, dancing, preaching and teaching nevertheless, no fellowship with God.

John made this statement because like Paul, he had turned his back on the world and all it could offer. He had “tasted” God, “seen and handled” and come to a level where he could truly share God’s nature and so could fellowship with the Father.

 

…..to be continued.

 


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.

Fight.jpeg

              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.

 


continued from

https://jimout2002a.wordpress.com/2017/11/05/a-journey-through-hell-3/

Judith was at work! This time she and her group suspecting that a teacher has entered our premises, would go wait for them at the entry of the community (the community has only one entry point as it is hedged by water, and the teachers came from outside the community). Their minds would be poisoned causing them to not come back! What were they up to? What have we done to them that they act this way? Apart from Judith that we sacked, we have no negative dealings with anyone; even others in her group. In fact as the bible enjoins we live peaceably with everyone in the community; young and old. So why did they do what they did? Why did they set themselves up against us? Just wickedness! The heart of man is deceitful above all things and indeed, desperately wicked!

“The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?” (Jeremiah 17:9).

God made us know what was going on through a teacher whom we would call Meg. Meg was the very first to join us; she laboured with us under the rain and under the sun, even when still breastfeeding her baby!

She would strap the baby at her back while obediently carrying out her work in helping to set up the school; she was appointed the head teacher. Judith hadn’t joined us then.

When she did, she refused to acknowledge Meg’s position. Rather, she went telling parents she would not allow Meg be her head. All these came out after she was asked to go.

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With baby strapped at her back, Meg laboured.

Meg was her first victim. Believing they were friends, they had an agreement to have carried out together but Judith betrayed her making us terminate her appointment with us. Consequently the position of head teacher became vacant.

Judith, an ambitious woman with the spirit of “Diotrephes”, who loves to be first (3rd John1:9-10), continued to claim head teacher! Several times my wife warned her to stop, especially as she was not a qualified teacher.

Judith, unknown to us, went to the parents, lied to them that children were not being taught in the school, but rather play! She claimed that was the reason she withdrew her children! She encouraged them to do the same! Till now, it beats my imagination how she was able to sway the parents that gave heed to her suggestion. Couldn’t they think? Children are not taught, they only play? And her children were there for about three years, the senior daughter who struggled with reading got polished and learnt to read? The younger daughter also improved tremendously, and all unnoticed by those parents? Perhaps I concluded, she uses some means – “African-jazz”?

Anyhow, only her kind would believe her.

Her activities nevertheless, made most parents hold back school fees. It was tough going! But God is ever faithful!

Judith covered her activities so well it took the Lord to expose her! After Meg came to know Judith as a back-stabbing liar, she regretted her action and renewed friendship with us. Through her, many would discover the scheming nature of Judith. Though she had taken up employment as the head teacher in another school, she sent us a teacher: a female teacher. Judith happened to her and like others before her, did not resume. She sent another, a male teacher, who like others did not resume.. Living close to this male teacher, she visited him to know how it all went; if he has 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 tell her that both teachers did not resume. She opened up and told my wife what happened. That was how we knew!

…….to be continued.


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Journey through hell 2

.….. continued from “A JOURNEY THROUGH HELL 2”

She claimed to have heard. On the children’s education, she admitted her husband asked her to bring them back to school. Yet she kept them away through out the term.

The women of the Church had their programme. Prior to that they met, planned and rehearsed as all activities of the day would be handled by them. But, here came Judith’s daughter wanting to lead praise and worship! My wife stopped her, she was just a girl of twelve, meanwhile three women were scheduled to take it.
Because of this the girl refused to lead praise on the next service day when called; even when the brother told her I called her to lead; she shook her head. This happened in Church, just after the opening prayer! We later found out it was her mother’s advice she acted upon.
I felt a churning in my stomach; God was grieved.

“And I took the little book out of the angel’s hand, and ate it up; and it was in my mouth sweet as honey: and as soon as I had eaten it, my belly was bitter.” – Rev. 10:10.

Rebellion is one spirit I know God does not tolerate. Before going into the Word I told her that God was grieved by her action, which was an open and glaring rebellion. She has been barred for a while from coming up the altar.

Image result for satan's rebellion

Meanwhile, her brother who also had been cautioned severally before, kept walking up and down, from the drums at the altar to the pew, out of the hall of service, and back again. What was he doing? He was attending his phone!

I could be very patient: even to a fault. But I could not contain it anymore. I barred him from the drums after reminding him of previous warnings. There has to be orderliness in the house of God. Though we trust God for souls into His house, certain practices should not be encouraged. Moreover, warnings had been given.

God is no respecter of persons. The same God that sent Moses ambushed him to kill him.

And it came to pass by the way in the inn, that the LORD met him, and sought to kill him.” – Exodus 4:24

His standards must not be compromised.

Judith and her family stopped coming to Church . This was when her real nature surfaced!

She gathered a little group of people in the small community and they went round sowing seeds of hatred in the hearts of the members of the community; all based on lies!

Those that made up her little group were parents that had brought her report to us earlier. She went to them claiming we were responsible for what she did! They went further to teachers, said some untrue and unkind things about us, making some disrespectful to my wife and leaving eventually!

We began to understand how an Angel could sow evil seed, and pollute one-third of Angels in heaven!

Sowing seeds of discord

Sowing seeds of discord is another thing that God hates; it is even an abomination!

“These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.” – Proverbs 6:16-19

We became short of teachers, and consequently forced to combine classes. We made contacts for teachers. They will come, attend interview, given appointment but will fail to resume! Judith was at work!

Image result for ambush

 For the wicked have strung their bows, drawn their arrows tight against the bowstrings, and aimed from ambush at the people of God” – Psalm 11:2 TLB

This time she and her group suspecting anyone entering our premises to be a teacher, would go wait for them at the entry of the community (the teachers came from outside the community). Their minds would be poisoned making them not to come back!

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


….. continued from A JOURNEY THROUGH HELL

We were thrilled when he had a job prospect with a motor company (whose name I will not give for discretion). However he needed a surety! Due to the relationship, he came to me when no one was willing to help.

Sometimes missionaries get blinded to the voice of reason, just because they believe God for a soul. I stuck my head out for Benjamin and signed a surety with the motor company to the tune of two million Naira! My wife was like, “what have you done?”

Though he used to send his tithe to Church, he seldom came to service despite all we tried, so I sent a message through the wife that he should stop sending the tithe; that the Lord is more interested in him than the money.

We continued to believe God to touch the heart of the couple when the instruction came, to relieve her of her school work!

Ah me! How can I do that? It is a hard decision for me!

This was someone who though I discourage it, called me “daddy!”  I began to imagine the anger against Okonkwo in Chinua Achebe’s “Things fall apart”, who beheaded Ikemefuna, a boy that called him “nna” (father).

How would I tell people in that community that God is love? Would they not ask me “which God? That God that asked you to sack a woman from her job thereby taking away her meal ticket?” How do I defend the gospel?

But the Master of masters has given His instruction. Obey or disobey!

I know if Brother Isaiah was here he would say “don’t be lead by your emotions. Let the Spirit lead you”.

“And shall make him of quick understanding in the fear of the LORD: and he shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of his ears: But with righteousness shall he judge the poor, and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked.” – Isaiah 11:3-4

I wondered what I would have done if I was with them in the wilderness, and as member of the tribe of Levi, when Moses gave the instruction to go into the camp and slay everyone his brethren! Sometimes God pokes at our emotion to test our maturity and obedience.

Undoubtedly, God loves her more than anyone could ever do. There has to be a reason! Of course, God is not One to always give you reasons why He does what He does. He answers to no man, rather we all answer to Him.

“Behold, he taketh away, who can hinder him? who will say unto him, What doest thou?” (Job 9:12).

Experience has taught me however that God does not go into a debate. Promptly, I called my wife, asked her to call Judith and to come with her to the office. Calmly as I could, I broke the news to her. It was not an easy thing to do! If asked I would say this so far, is the most difficult message I had ever delivered!

She pleaded and even sent people to plead on her behalf. I was torn between obedience to God and compassionate care for Judith, a sister in the Lord!


For days I queried God: “why me? Why bring her to us in Church when you will ask me to fire her from the school?”

We tried encouraging her with the word of God. But how do you encourage someone you just fired? The only encouragement she expected was that we give her back her job!

Like Shakespeare said, “there is no art to find the mind’s construction in the face.” (Macbeth – the book)

Indeed only God knows the thoughts and intents of every heart.

“I the LORD search the heart, I try the reins, even to give every man according to his ways, and according to the fruit of his doings.” – Jer 17:10 (KJV)

While thinking good of others, only God knows what thoughts they have for you. That was what distressed David more than the rebellion of Absalom.

While she continued to come to Church, as usual, her attitude began to change. She had withdrawn her children from school, and now began a campaign against my wife and the school!
Believing to be her pastor, I went to her and counseled her not to involve her children, by turning them against her perceived enemy. I cited instances from both  the bible and in this modern days, how God reinstated people who humbled themselves: that God alone knew why He asked me to relieve her of the job. That rather than go to people and discredit my wife and school, she should go to God in prayer. I believed God wanted to do something in her life, she should go to Him.

She claimed to have heard. On the children’s school, she admitted her husband asked her to bring them back to school. Yet she kept them away through out the term.

 

….. to be continued in  https://jimout2002a.wordpress.com/2017/11/05/a-journey-through-hell-3/