Doubtless, man on earth is sailing through unprecedented spiritual darkness IN THIS AGE. It is not strange to those acquainted with their bible. The things prophesied by the prophets of God in the Old Testament as shadows are all finding their reality in Christ since His birth, death and resurrection as the King of glory, Lord of the heavens and the earth.
The economic crisis in the world today is child’s play compared to the spiritual crisis. It is no surprise that both are occurring almost simultaneously.
To inflict partial blindness to man, his attention must be directed away from what you don’t want him to see by focusing him on another thing. In this time, like never before, Church organizations are powerfully focusing man’s attention on materialism. The American Heritage Dictionary defines materialism as “The theory or attitude that physical well-being and worldly possessions constitute the greatest good and highest value in life.” How sad!
Except for benefit of hind-sight, some of us who refer to Job favorably would not. Many “powerful ministers” of God and those following their “mandate” still can’t get the lesson the Almighty God is teaching mankind—especially His people (the Church).
The lesson is crystal clear. That which is physical is temporal and that which is spiritual is eternal. What are the implications?
*The spiritual doesn’t die!
*The spiritual is superior to the physical which passes away like grass—blown away by the wind at God’s command. In the light of this, who does God consider as wise? The answer is obvious.
It is certainly not those with doctorate degrees, not those who know how to magnate cash, not the diplomat and not the minister who has more followers than Christ or who knows how to maintain his or her followers by making sure none escapes.
Rather, it is those who refuse to depart from the fear of the Lord! Those who truly recognize the Treasure the grace of God and faith has deposited inside them freely. Those who know that a farmyard is better than a barn and so are willing to sell the barn to purchase the farmyard.
It is those who know the difference between clay and God’s surpassing power that resides in the clay and give thanks and glory to Him who lives forever. It is those desiring to live forever with the Father of light and as such, affliction never crushes them neither does perplexity leave them in a state of despair.
It is those that persecution never discourages but rather leads them to remember that Christ never forsakes them. Those who are never surprised that they’re struck down because they know they can never be destroyed. So, they cling to the resurrection mystery and power working in them knowing THAT THROUGH IT ALONE, is the life of Christ Jesus produced in them; a life that serves as a blessing to many as are being saved.
Truly, the times are dark and the mighty is falling! The first are fast becoming the last—those who claim to love Christ are treating Him and His sheep most wickedly. Those who promised Jesus that they will be His temple are permitting devil’s to inhabit the same temple they turned over to Him 1 Cor 6:19.
When materialism takes over any individual or gathering of the Church, blindness takes them over. When blindness takes over, the sad signs are; much about Jesus, talk of love, grace, peace, prosperity, prayer and holiness without any being present. Oh! How you and I must be sound in our judgement of these things and be sober minded! The benefit of sound judgment and soberness over these matters will surely lead us all to repentance and prayer 1 Pet 4:7.
Peter the Apostle said, ” the end of all things are at hand” can you and I appreciate what the Holy Spirit is saying to us as part of Christ’ body—the things that are temporal are closing down while, the Thing that is of God is exalted. Therefore, those associated with the Thing exalted are also being exalted or glorified Rom 8:17.
Now, because of the false doctrine that, ” poverty enhances godliness”, I’ll like to state that the suffering referenced in verse 17 of Romans 8 has nothing to do with lack of money though Paul suffered lack of money often times. The clues of how he solved money issues are found in Philippians 4:11-13 and Acts 18:3.
Poverty or riches have no power to enhance or deter godliness except the soul is sold to either rather than to Jesus Christ Acts 4:12.
Physical poverty and riches can only stop us from doing the many things WE WANT TO DO FOR GOD but, they can’t stop God from doing the things He wishes to do in us and through us. Selah
It is important for us to know that materialism is not just about money—it includes “Health & wealth, purpose & power, & getting the most out of this present life as Capt. George Perezputs it in his tweet of May 8, 2012, it has become the drawing cards of contemporary Christianity”. Observe the obsession with leadership or wanting to lead and encouragement to be a leader in modern Christianity. Note the focus; then go and STUDY the book of Acts and the deception upon us will be clear.
The Spirit of God says to all who have ears “hear what the Spirit says to the gathering of His people (Churches).
Refuse to be dominated and controlled by the mind set of, “let’s build a kingdom for God on earth”. The right thing is, “lets open up His temple 1 Cor 6:19, Matt 22:37-40 for Him—after-all, He purchased it with His own blood”. We must refuse for anything—not our jobs, wives and husbands, children, friends or parents, sin or Satan to dominate our thoughts Matt 6:21. Let it be Christ dominating and controlling us while we’re busy with the affairs we engage in—in this present temporal life that is fast passing away.
This year, a beloved brother and a dear friend of mine (Patrick Njoku) whom I believed will be with us on earth for many years to come was brutally murdered. I was gripped with sorrow and wept like a child—but, my Saviour and Lord Christ Jesus comforted me by the Holy Spirit and set me loose to a fresh joy, hope and strength. The earthly or temporal business God sent the brother to do on earth suddenly has closed down—indeed, all things temporal are fast closing down.
Therefore, we’re persuaded by the Holy Spirit to give more attention to the things that will never close down. Set not your affection on treasures that close down. Set your heart on the Treasure that remains forever.
Phil Driscoll puts it like this in His song, “Christ remains“. Through every chaos and storm, Christ still remains. What does He remain doing? Watching over His sheep in life and in sleep! What shall we say concerning such a Messiah but to call Him Immanuel. Amen
God has told us that, “Even our ability to prophesy His word, speak in tongues and teach it which is only in part will pass away” much less our varied mundane abilities and possessions.
Only Love will stand and those inside Love because Love has no end 1 John 4:8, 1 Cor 13:8-9, 13. Paul tells us, ‘ that childish ways are associated with children but, the mature give it up’. Children think temporally but the mature look into the future knowing that better things lie ahead. Things that God knows we don’t and it causes the matured to always look to the face of Christ Who only, is the revelation of God’s wonderful purpose.
Wherever God is there is love—and where love is, there is no selfish ambition! Where there is selfish ambition, Love can’t be found there—what is found is every manner of evil! By this, a wise person will judge himself or herself and their environment James 3:16.
The aim of this post is to call your mind to meditate upon Christ not some days but all the days of your life. May the grace and word of Christ cause an increasing measure of this flame in me, in you and ultimately in His Church. Amen
If superstores are posting profit and growth amid the present economic upheaval, those that are heaven bound can grow too in the stature of Christ amid the spiritual darkness. This is the ultimate purpose of God for His Church.
Spirits clothed with immortal body do not and cannot repent, such is the situation with the devil and the fallen angels. They were created by God with the ability to do what they want. So, when they did evil it was their choice to do so deliberately. The devil and the fallen angels did not rebel against God and seek to rule man because they were deceived rather, they just chose to do what they did!
Adam deliberately joined Eve who was deceieved to sin against God 1 Tim2:14. But, Adam and Eve had a chance to repent because they were clothed with mortal body which made them human with spirit. Hence, the human body is not a curse but a blessing from the all wise and Almighty God. He knew man was going to fall but praise God he clothed man with the mortal flesh. The human spirit can only repent while in the mortal body—though it is weak, it serves its purpose in God’s scheme of things!
In Matt 26:41, Jesus said, “the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak”. Though the flesh is weak, it can receive help from the spirit through the exercise of faith Proverbs 18:14a “When the flesh is bruised, the spirit sustains it”. This is the reason God has gifted all mankind with faith to call on Him for redeemption through His Son Jesus Christ.
Man needs to be humble, wise and repose their God given faith in Jesus Christ!
It is when the spirit becomes unwilling that a major problem is at hand. Then, the body runs riot freely unchecked or unrestrained—this accounts for why man was dominated by the sin-nature and hence practices sinning.
How important it’s for mankind to remember that Eve and Adam’s sin happened because they failed to have faith in God and consequently in His instruction to them. It is only through the spirit in man that man communicates with God by faith and receives grace or power to bring the flesh to submission to God.
Proverbs 18:14 asked a rhetorical question, “a bruised spirit who can bear?” In other words, when the spirit fails to exercise faith in God, it’s crushed and wounded. And, when it suffers, the flesh cannot help it because faith can only be exercised to communicate with God by the spirit while in the body John 6:63, 1 Cor 7:19, Phil 3:3. This is the reason God has appointed to man a time on the earth to repent (receive a willing and submissive spirit) before death because once the spirit leaves the body, it cannot repent while unclothed 2 Peter 3:9, Heb 9:27.
While I am not a strong believer of the testimonies of those who say they died, had a conversation with Jesus, God or God’s angels and came back to life, I do not dismiss it either. Almost all of such testimonies I have heard gave a context which I consider dearly because of the scriptural tilt which is this; they had to come back to their body to repent and accept Jesus as Saviour and Lord.
After the resurrection of the dead, man will for the first time since God created man fellowship with God clothed with immortal body though still human 1 Cor 15:53. This glorious blessing is entered only through the gospel 2 Tim 1:10. This is mind boggling! All who truly have this hope, cannot be dissauded from pursuing well-doing, ceaseless gratitude, praise, worship and thanksgiving to Jesus Christ the only source to immortality Rom 2:7, Acts 4:12.
It is impossible to consider any soul that fails to take advantage of the privilege the gospel presents to mankind as wise, no matter the level of academic and material achievement or power that soul possesses.
If you have not taken advantage of Christ’s atoning sacrifice on the cross and His resurrection, which is meant for your salvation, I plead with you to seriously consider doing so today, even now! Consider these scriptures as you take steps to believe and confess Jesus for the salvation of your soul Isaiah 1:18, Luke 5:32, John 3:16, Rom 10:9-11.
In view of the great redemption we have in Christ and the priviledge of immortality, the scripture both exhorts and admonishes us thus; “Now you have every spiritual gift you need as you eagerly wait for the return of our Lord Jesus Christ and … all who have this eager expectation will keep themselves pure, just as he is pure” (1 Cor 1:7, 1 John 3:3 NLT).
The greatest authentication that a believer is still holding to the grace of God with the hope of Christ’s return is the believer’s pursuance of purity. This authentication is for the believer himself or herself because the pursuance of purity associated with looking on to Christ’s return is very personal and does not entail proving oneself to others. Only God discerns thoughts against every action man takes. I believe it’s on this platform that God advises his children to leave judgement (condemning) to Him.
Definitely, we can judge a wrong or evil deed by identifying it as wrong or evil and we must do so as part of godliness, but never are we called to judge another person’s motive.
In conclusion, John 4:24, is a call for us to keep our bodies subject to our spirit and not to let the body defile our spirits which is to say, present your body as a living sacrifice Rom 7:18, 12:1, 21.
God’s graciousness in Christ Jesus is to be accepted and received now while the dispensation of salvation is wide open to the gentiles and especially while we are still in our mortal bodies breathing air.
As saying goes, “Make haste while the sun shines” or, as an African adage puts it, “catch the black goat while there is day light, else, when the night falls, the dark colour of the goat makes it difficult to see clearly to catch it”.
May the love, peace and grace of God abound to you in every way.
In this era of so much talk about grace, to painstakingly examine the law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus to avoid falling for cheap grace is commendable. The grace for which Jesus Christ died to bring to mankind, when embraced guides gently to the fulfillment of the law of the spirit of life James 4:17. This grace is powerful, merciful, forgiving, and full of love and truth. It teaches us to DENY and FORSAKE evil ways and HELPS us to WALK in accordance with God’s righteousness that is imputed to us Titus 2:11-12 & Rom 5:17.
The Wheat and Weed must of necessity grow together but Wheat will remain Wheat and Weed cannot become Wheat. Those that hear the voice of the spirit in the pages of scriptures and obey the Lord’s voice and those who do not hear, cannot agree as they do not see and get the same instruction though they GROW together. The reapers (God’s Angels) must be left to take care of that complex matter at the appropriate time ordained by God.
If hearing God’s voice consistently fails to activate grace to obey and do his command John 10:4 & 27, we better question ourselves in the light of the parable of the WHEAT and WEED in Matt13:24-30. The scripture tells us that; it’s God that helps us to will and to DO his good pleasure Phil 2:13 & Rom 10:17. It is imperative that we spend time studying the bible which holds the scriptures (God’s infallible words Ps 12:6) and particularly the book of Romans.
It is important to note that men like Abraham, Moses, Samuel, Paul, Peter, the early church (ecclesia) and all who have ever walked with God had personal encounter with him. They heard his voice, learnt his voice and obeyed the command of his voice John 10:27. Those who are just following the voice of man and the letter of the law alone never get the unction to DO his will. They end up with the stranger and are deceived John 10:5 and 2Cor 3:6.
Paul, clarifies this by saying, it’s ONLY those that are lead by the Spirit of God that are the sons of God Rom 8:14. Hearing God activates grace in our lives that enables us to obey him. This is not to say that we obey him once we hear his voice but an emphasis that his voice carries more than sufficient grace to lead us to obey him if we truly are his and love him. The following scriptures confirm what the word or voice of God does to those who hear it.
I will never forget thy precepts: for with them thou hast quickened me Ps 119:93.
Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you John 15:3.
For the word of God is quick, and powerful… Heb 4:12.
Our response to the effect of God’s word should be to love Him. And the admonition from Jesus is, “if ye love me, keep my commandments” John14:15.
The book of Romans is one of those books in the bible that most powerfully challenges us to obey the voice of the Holy Spirit that lives in us (his temple); that Christ’s life might flow out of us enabling us to please God, praise and worship him acceptably. The result is that we become a blessing to all peoples while reconciling the lost to God through the gospel alone and for the course of Christ and their well being.
This season like all other times calls for us to set aside our many fine books that talk about God and study the bible thoroughly with open and sincere heart because in it is life John 5:39. Joshua 1:8 and 2 Tim 2:15, shows that the reason for studying is for us to first learn and obey God within the context of what we read. Then as He presents opportunity for us, we share accurately his very words and not our fine ideas 2 Tim 2:15.
Given the multiplicity of teachers and their books these days, the danger of listening to them more than personally studying the bible and hearing God is so high. Our personal study of scriptures should far outweigh the time we spend listening to others and reading good books about God Deut 17:19.
Please note that my emphasis is on more of personal study and not that we should stop reading carefully selected books and listening to the ministry of teaching that God himself has set in the body of Christ along with other ministries to bring the unity of the faith among the saints of God till we all come to the full measure of the stature of Christ.
I am not against books.
It has helped some to become millionaires and their claims, is that they have invested it into spreading the gospel. Let’s praise God anyhow. But no book(s) are needed to support the bible rather, all the books that has been written and yet to be written, need the bible to support them. On this premise, it will be unwise to say we need those books to aid us to understand the bible. This belief certainly has and will open more doors for heresy (teachings originating from the human mind and anti Christ spirits) that is already ravaging the community of faith.
We are saved by God’s power (grace) and walk godly only by his power (grace). 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 John 1:12. So when we accept Jesus Christ, what comes into us is Power (grace).
And from his fullness we have all received, grace upon grace John 1:16. So, grace can be received in varying measure Eph 4:13.
I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing John 15:5. Let’s note “apart from me” that is the power or grace 1Cor 1:24.
To disdain grace is to disregard Christ. Misusing grace for a cloak to defend our weaknesses or sin is to say Christ does encourage us to disobey the father. It’s pretty serious I will say.
God is not ashamed about our weaknesses but challenges us to depend on his grace that we may through it be made strong. He is not frightened off by our sin(s) but abounds more of his grace to us that we may overcome them to the praise of his holy name Heb12:1, 1 John 1:9 & Rev2:5.
God’s sovereignty is more than complex for human mind. It’s only our regenerated spirit that can handle it. Paul explaining this complex issue of God’s sovereignty simply went back to Exodus 33:19 as quoted in Rom 9:15. He further nailed it home in Rom 9:16.
So God’s sovereignty does not concern us Rom 9:20. It is for his exclusive use and not ours. We can refer to it but cannot attempt to use it for ourselves in any way. Our call is to depend on God’s grace which he has given and willing to give more if we are willing to receive it.
I am always challenged in new ways to learn that; to whom more grace is given, more obedience is required; more of loving God and every others human being but especially fellow believers. Simply put consistent increase and steadfastness in the fruit of the spirit is to be seen not preached 1Cor 2:4.
The bitter-sweet about grace is that it only increases as the need arises.
Needs like, when we choose to fulfill God’s purpose through our calling, increase in sin around us or attacking us, persecution, suffering, depression, distress, sickness, lack, loneliness, demonic attacks, bereavement, failure, disappointment, false accusations, imprisonment, childlessness, reproach etc., Remaining faithful, Persevering and trusting the Lord in the face of all that, yields multiplication of God’s grace and increase the fruit of the spirit in our lives 2 Cor12:10, James1:3 & John 15:5.
Peter’s conclusion is that we will never fall if we depend and use the grace of God in us (2 Pet 1:10). And if we fall even seven times (completely), we will rise up 1 John 2:1 & Prov 24:16. This is sign of a WHEAT. It’s the Lord’s own plant. It cannot continue in sin because its nature hates sin though sin may sometimes enjoy short lived win(s) Rom 7:21-25. Anyone who is not distressed when they have sinned and therefore runs to God is not a participant of God’s grace at all. God’s grace is so sweet and inviting that anyone who ever gets a taste of it, will rather give up their life than lose it. It’s like the precious pearl that a man finds and gives up all he has in exchange for it Heb 4:16, Ps 34:8 & Ps 63:3.
Paul’s Apostolic warning is reverberating for the twenty first century followers of Christ; see to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God;…. Heb 12:15.
The question is why is it reverberating?
The following will surely include in the answer.
(a) This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come 2 Tim 3:1. Perilous means dangerously difficult times.
(b) Many have failed to obtain the grace of God therefore root of bitterness has sprang up and many are defiled. Prayer and fasting cannot stop it. Offends come because of lack of grace and the scriptures says clearly offends will surely come. The point is this; we ALL need increase of God’s grace to escape the coming onslaught. Praise God….. Praise God! His grace is more than sufficient to those that find it. For those who find it, there remains a rest for them in God’s kingdom Heb 4:1 and 9.
Before anyone gets too righteous, let each man examine his heart and call upon God to examine us if bitterness is anywhere near our heart before it takes its ugly root 1Cor 10:12 & Ps 139:23-24. Judgment starts in God’s temple (our hearts). If you judge yourself, you will not be judged 1Cor 11:31. He that judges himself repents often before the Lord and enjoys clear conscience which God values much.
The grace of God works through the fear of the Lord which produce wisdom. No wonder our Lord Jesus Christ is full of grace and wisdom. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise Ps 51:17. For thus says the One who is high and lifted up, who inhabits eternity, whose name is Holy: “I dwell in the high and holy place, and also with him who is of a contrite and lowly spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly, and to revive the heart of the contrite Isa 57:15.
Paul the Apostle in Heb 6:9 gave a profane exhortation as a master builder to cushion a real danger that result from despising the grace of God. We must latch onto that word of encouragement without losing site of Heb 6:4-8 that necessitated Heb 6:9. In fact, verses 4-8 should make us persevere on the grace of God with all of our heart individually and collectively as saints of the most High God. Galatians 5:4 further amplifies Heb 6:6.The fact that someone who has once enjoyed God’s grace can fall away from grace is all the more reason to take it seriously, treasure it and use it for our own good and the good of others.
Our privilege in God is incomprehensible. This unfathomable love makes us want to shout the Lord’s praise hysterically and become even more undignified than this as a song writer puts it.
May the Lord deliver us from self approval, secret love from our friends and cause a revival of his fear in our hearts. And may grace be multiplied to the body of Christ at this time that the royal priesthood may be obedient to the Faith and bring praise, honour and glory to the lord’s name in all the earth 1 Peter 2:9. Amen.