Unveiling Holiness From Numbers and Deuteronomy

by Kayode Crown, Greatlight booksDigital List Price: $2.99
ISBN: 9781524275778
This is part of a series of books in which particular verses are picked from books of the bible, and the issues of Holiness are explored, in the light of the mind of God for us.

In this book, we explore seven topics, from different verses in the books of Numbers and Deuteronomy. They are: The defilement of sin; Cleansing; Repentance; Purify yourself; What a leader should not do; Do not be dishonest; and Careful to do all God’s commandments.

Excerpts: 

The defilement of sin

“Jesus said that the one, who knows the will of the master and does not do it, will be beaten with many stripes (in reprimand) (Luke 12:45-48). For that servant, it’s the will that is defiled because it does not line up with the will of God. Another verse in the bible says: To him who knows what is good and doesn’t do it, it is sin (James 4:17).”

Cleansing

“When we are purified in our heart (the place of motivation), we can offer acceptable sacrifices to God. The double-minded are called to purify their hearts (James 4:8).”

Repentance

“Jesus said: learn from me and you will find rest for your soul (Matthew 11:29). Learning is a thing of the mind. We are changed into the image of the one we are learning from. And Paul said, we should learned Christ. That is the end point of repentance.”

Purify yourself

“They try to shed the wrong habits, which is all about the wrong attraction, but to no avail. What needs to be addressed is the mind. It needs to be renewed (Roman 12:1-4). There is a force exerting its effect on the mind causing it to desire the wrong thing, there is need for a change in the spirit of that mind. As Paul said we need to be renewed in the spirit of our mind to do the right thing (Ephesians 4:17-23).”

What a leader should not do

“Though David followed the Lord whole-heartedly and through thick and thin, his son, Solomon, lacked that kind of consistency (1Kings 11:1-14). After a while, he turned away into idol worship having married women from various nations in direct contradiction to the will of God. God did not allow his kingdom to continue intact after his death. The kingdom was divided in the time of his son Rehoboam as punishment for not following God wholeheartedly in obedience to his commandments.”

Do not be dishonest

“Joseph, while he was in the house of Potiphar was trusted with everything; Potiphar gave no thought on his affairs. He gained his absolute trust. He proved himself trustworthy (Genesis 39:1-6). What about you?”

Careful to do all God’s commandments

“We need to develop the culture of believing the word of God, doing the will of God, and following God’s Spirit as He leads us. The bible says that as many as are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God (Romans 8:14). It is the sons of God that are trusted with the treasures of His knowledge. It is time to embrace the inner voice of the Holy Spirit as the truth which is focused on your maximum benefit.”

Here: 

Unveiling Spiritual Identity From Leviticus

by Kayode Crown, Greatlight books

Digital List Price: $2.99

Here: https://draft2digital.com/book/159674

ISBN: 9781524270070
This is part of a series of books in which particular verses are picked from books of the bible, and the issues of Spiritual Identity are explored, in the light of the mind of God for us.

In this book, we explore four topics, from different verses in the book of Leviticus. They are: Serving God as priest; Ordination; Cleansing; and Jubilee.

Excerpts:

Serving God as priest

“Jesus said that He (Holy Spirit) would take of what is his and manifest it to us (John 16:14). He makes possible our dynamic relationship with God, facilitating an ongoing flow of Christ to us, causing us to function with the mind of Christ (1Corinthians 2:16) to that we might serve God as Christ our High Priest does.”

Ordination

“Also when Jeremiah was ordained, God spoke to him that he has put his word in his mouth (Jeremiah 1:1-5), and he was going to be sent to the high and mighty in the land and through his prophecy nations will crash down, while others will come up, his quiet life was all over and he would be at the centre of events from then on.”

Cleansing

“If there is any change we need, it is to be changed into the image of the son of God. That is our ultimate need. He is the righteous one (1John 2:1). After many years of following Jesus, Paul said still said his ambition is to know him and the power of his resurrection, being made conformable to his death (Philippians 3:10).”

Jubilee

“The number one relationship that was disrupted with the fall of man was man’s relationship with God. In Christ now by one spirit we have access to the father (Ephesians 2:18).”

Here: https://draft2digital.com/book/159674

Unveiling Spiritual Growth From Leviticus and Numbers 

by Kayode Crown, Greatlight booksDigital List Price: $2.99

Here: https://draft2digital.com/book/159413

ISBN: 9781524266219
This is part of a series of books in which particular verses are picked from books of the bible, and the issues of Spiritual Growth are explored, in the light of the mind of God for us.

In this book, we explore four topics, from different verses in the books of Leviticus and Numbers. They are: Mentored by God; Increase; A vow of dedication; and Hearing the words of God and seeing the visions of the Almighty.

Excerpts: 

Mentored by God

“Hosea admonished: ‘let us know the Lord, let us pursue the knowledge of God (Hosea 2:20, 6:3).’ When it comes to knowledge we need to constantly seek renewal. There is more and more to know about God about his plans so that we can effectively walk with him.”

Increase

“Life emanates from God which is part of the fruitfulness arrangement. The disobedience of man in the Garden of Eden was, which means their spiritual potential shut down. What we should produce is the life of God, otherwise what we will produce will be ambition and not God’s mission. The Pharisees were said to produce disciples after their own image who became twice a candidate of hell as they are (Matthew 23:15). They had no life and therefore could only produce death, as the life is in Jesus (John 1:1-4).”

A vow of dedication

“The “no wine” defines the influence factor; the “length of hair” has to do with the time factor, while “not touching the dead” is the purity factor. Those are the measures with which your Christianity is measured.”

Hearing the words of God and seeing the visions of the Almighty

“If this understanding is settled in you, you will be ready to chew the meat of prophetic revelations (if God so pleases) (Hebrews 5:11-14), and divine inner promptings. God may or may never reveal himself to you in the audible voice, but you hear him in your mind, in strong impressions; you may not be taken to the third heavens in a trance, but you can see things with the eyes of your heart (see the direction God is pointing to within you) that is flooded with the light of the word of God.”

Here: https://draft2digital.com/book/159413

Unveiling Purpose and Motivation From Leviticus 

by Kayode Crown, Greatlight booksDigital List Price: $2.99

Here: https://draft2digital.com/book/159497

ISBN: 9781524208851
This is part of a series of books in which particular verses are picked from books of the bible, and the issues of Purpose, Pursuit and Motivation are explored, in the light of the mind of God for us.

In this book, we explore four topics, from different verses in the book of Leviticus. They are: Giving, Revealing God; Offering without defect; Restoration: from redemption to dominion.

Excerpts: 

Giving 

“Giving also expresses lack of fear of lack. Fear causes people to withhold more than is necessary (2Timothy 1:6-7). They hoard money and are not generous. You cannot be a lover of God and not want to give, as your love for God is reflected in your love for others. When you trust God to provide for your needs you will give.”

Revealing God

“The use of the gifts is in the context of being part of the body of Christ, who called himself the temple of God. So to the limit that we are in union with God, we express him. We express his wisdom, his power because the plan is that through the church there will be the manifestation of the manifold wisdom of God to principality and power in the heavenly places (Ephesians 3:20).”

Offering without defect

“The reward for offering God your time is that he makes use of you, maximizing the possible results of the use of your time; the reward of offering God your money is that he multiplies it back to you; the reward of offering God your energy is his energy/presence.”

Restoration: from redemption to dominion

“Jesus was born son of God (akin to our redemption) and he experienced growth (akin to our transformation). After his baptism in the Holy Spirit, he was activated and he became a manifested son for over three years displaying stupendous level of signs and wonders, healing, words of knowledge, wisdom and unprecedented expression of the glory of God to change people, dominate the demons and the elements of the earth like wind and water. He now dominates in the spirit and on earth through the church which is his body.”

Here: https://draft2digital.com/book/159497

Unveiling Life in the Spirit From Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy

by Kayode Crown, Greatlight booksDigital List Price: $2.99

Here: https://draft2digital.com/book/160175

This is part of a series of books in which particular verses are picked from books of the bible, and the issues of Life in the Spirit are explored, in the light of the mind of God for us.

In this book, we explore seven topics, from different verses in the books of Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. They are: Offering by fire to God; Oil for the light, fragrant incense, grain offering and the anointing oil; The voice; Moses’ prayer is answered; Opened eyes and ears; Praise is God’s food; and The presence of God.

Excerpts: 

Offering by fire to God

“So also is the new tongues, (that is the private prayer level), which is evidence that we have received the Holy Spirit, subsequent to the experience of salvation; there is also the other level, which is to bless others in the church (everyone can have it [1Corinthians 12:31]).”

Oil for the light, fragrant incense, grain offering and the anointing oil

“Jesus said that the Spirit of the Lord is upon Him, anointing Him for impact (Luke 4:18). He would not have spiritual impact without the Holy Spirit, and when he was leaving the earth he told his disciples that he would not leave them as orphans, he would send the Holy Spirit to them. And in their experience, the Holy Spirit was real as Jesus Christ (Acts 15:28).”

The voice

“There is the voice of the Holy Spirit, which we should learn to recognise. We should not confuse it with the voice of the flesh which manifests in lusts of the flesh, pride of life and lust of the eyes (1John 2:15-17). The Holy Spirit communicates the will of God.”

Moses’ prayer is answered

“We are priests with access to the very presence of God, with “relational mandate” on the earth relating with God via prayer and through the manifestation/ministration of the word, the scriptures, help others to experience and relate with God; we are kings with “dominion mandate” on the earth, via obedience to God both privately and publicly. All these are possible because of the presence of God, the Holy Spirit in our lives. We therefore individually have a personalised experience of the Holy Spirit that people under the Old Testament cannot even dream of. That is partly what Paul meant when he wrote that eyes have not seen, nor ears heard, neither has it entered into the heart of men of the blessings of God to us in Christ Jesus (1Corinthians 2:9-16).”

Opened eyes and ears

“We need to pay attention to the word of God. In the book of proverbs, wisdom a manifestation of the word of God said those who do not pay attention to him will be lost (Proverbs 8). When we move to the sound of the word of God, we move aright.”

Praise is God’s food

“When evil spirit came to torment Saul he was advised to get an anointed musician, so that when music goes up to God, relief comes down to Saul (1Samuel 16:13-23).”

The presence of God

“We need to be engaged in the activities that activates the presence of God experientially through prayer. Paul said that we should pray with all prayers in the spirit (Ephesians 6:18). Isaiah said that he who waits upon the Lord in his presence (takes their time there) will renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary they shall walk and not faint (Isaiah 40:28-31).”

Here: https://draft2digital.com/book/160175

Unveiling Jesus From Leviticus

by Kayode Crown, Greatlight booksDigital List Price: $2.99
ISBN: 9781524265618

Here: https://draft2digital.com/book/158837
This is part of a series of books in which particular verses are picked from books of the bible, and the issues of Jesus are explored, in the light of the mind of God for us.

In this book, we explore four topics, from different verses in the book of Leviticus. They are: The blood; Atonement; The (lack of) limits of the atonement; and God’s ideal.

Excerpts: 

The blood 

“If the blood speaks anything, it is life, because life is in the blood, its life speaks power, because the spiritual power that led to our deliverance is packed in the blood. Jesus walked in the power of the Holy Spirit on earth to set people free from the oppression of the devil, but he needed to take his blood to heaven to buy up a place with his father. He has told his disciples that he was going to prepare a place for them so that where they are he may be also (Ephesians 2:13). The blood brings us to God.”

Atonement

“And Jesus said that what he did on earth was to fulfill the scriptures. The writer of the book of Hebrews quoting the words of a psalmist, described Jesus as saying, I have come, in the volume of the book as it is written of me, to do you will oh God (Hebrews 10:4-12). He came to do the will of God which is to bring salvation to mankind in the sacrifice of himself, as the atoning sacrifice.”

The (lack of) limits of the atonement

“But a new experience of the Holy Spirit awaits us after that, the experience of Jesus as the baptiser with the Holy Spirit (Matthew 3:11). That is the second way we access the Spirit. At this level, the spiritual functioning is activated in us, accompanied with the activation of the prayer language of speaking in new tongues (Acts 19:1-7).”

God’s ideal

“A prophet in the Old Testament was meant to be an ideal prophet. He was sent to confront the demonic enclave of king Jeroboam. He went with a special instruction (1Kings 13). But when he heeded the words of an old prophet he was distracted, and died before his time. And that was not God’s ideal for him.”

Here: https://draft2digital.com/book/158837

Unveiling Holiness From Leviticus

by Kayode Crown, Greatlight booksDigital List Price: $2.99

Here: https://draft2digital.com/book/159008

ISBN: 9781524250843
This is part of a series of books in which particular verses are picked from books of the bible, and the issues of Holiness are explored, in the light of the mind of God for us.

In this book, we explore seven topics, from different verses in the book of Leviticus. They are: When a leader sins; Do not defile yourself; Consecrate yourself; Cleansing; Spiritual washing; Purity; Separated to God.

Excerpts: 

When a leader sins

“Peter said that as new born babes we should desire the sincere milk of the word that we may grow thereby (1Peter 2:2). In pursuit of spiritual growth we move in the direction of God and we move away from the works of the flesh. Paul wrote that we should walk in the spirit so that we would not fulfil the works of the flesh (Galatians 16, 25). He advocated that we put on the whole armour of God, and one of which is the shield of faith that we use to quench the fiery dart of the Satan’s temptation (Ephesians 6:16).”

Do not defile yourself

“In a difficult situation that King Saul faced, when the Philistines amassed against the army of Israel, He went to a necromancer, asking her to bring Prophet Samuel from the dead for him to know what to do, since God had forsaken him. Consulting with any alternative spirit to the spirit of God, leads to defilement of spirit. That is an example of defilement of the spirit.”

Consecrate yourself

“You need to consecrate yourself in holiness (an adjunct of grace [Titus 2:11-15]) and truth. Many take the pain to consecrate themselves in one aspect of two. They may emphasise truth, the accumulation of it, while some may overly emphasises holiness, to the negligent of truth. What is needed is a balance, so that we will ensure that we be like Jesus in grace and truth, not one of it to the negligence of another.”

Cleansing

“Because he is the Spirit of truth he brings us into more and more depths of the truth of God (John 16:13). Truth is also about what we see. When God called Jeremiah to the prophetic role, he asked him, what do you see, and he said I see the branch of an almond tree (Jeremiah 1:11-12), and God said to him you see well. His eyes were cleansed to see into the realm of the spirit, cleansed from the limitation of the flesh.”

Spiritual washing

“On a daily basis we can receive the grace to walk with God (Hebrews 4:16) in his peace, joy, because the kingdom of God is righteousness peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:16). The kingdom is lived setting our eyes on the things of heaven and not on things on the earth. As we walk with God, move in his power, we are cleansed from powerlessness, and spiritual impotence, to carry the power of God to our generation.”

Purity

“A way to do that is by speaking in tongues regularly for an extended period of time. We can also receive an infusion of the Spirit by extensive reading and study of the scriptures. The bible says that the words of the scriptures are God-breathed (2Timothy 3:16); they are inspired by the Holy Spirit. And the Spirit of God is the breath of God because the wind is a symbol of the Holy Spirit (John 3:8).”

Separated to God

“When we do not spend time with God, we will not get to know him as we should. In the presence of God we should not hurry. In that place we are tuned to hear his words and programmed to be like him. The bible says that in the presence of God there is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:9). In his presence we experience fullness.”

Here: https://draft2digital.com/book/159008

Unveiling God’s Power From Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy

by Kayode Crown, Greatlight booksDigital List Price: $2.99

Here: https://draft2digital.com/book/160176

This is part of a series of books in which particular verses are picked from books of the bible, and the issues of The Power of God are explored, in the light of the mind of God for us.

In this book, we explore nine topics, from different verses in the books of Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. They are: The fire of God’s glory; Arise, O Lord; God’s ability; The Lord made the difference; “I am the Lord your God”; Satan’s pre-emptive strike; No divination; Change of fortune; and Underneath are the everlasting arms.

Excerpts: 

The fire of God’s glory

“He defined eternal life as knowing the true God and Jesus whom he has sent (John 17:3). And knowing Jesus is firmly linked to knowing the Holy Spirit because you cannot respect Jesus and disregard his Spirit, the Holy Spirit (Romans 8:9).”

Arise, O Lord

“When God by the Holy Spirit arises in you, giving us renewed vision and renewed identity; we should arise and occupy our place of spiritual service till he comes back or till he gives us a renewed vision and renewed identity and moves us to another level of service.”

God’s ability

“He recognised that such would not be by power nor might but by the Spirit of the Lord (Zechariah 4:6), that it is the ability of God, which will get things done for the children of Israel.”

The Lord made the difference

“In contrast to the attitude of David when confronting Goliath, which was based on his own words which is to “set the Lord always before me, because he is at my right hand I shall not be moved “, Israel allowed itself to be moved by the pictures, painted by the errant ten spies. Goliath attempted that on David, painting the picture of feeding his (David’s) flesh to the birds, attacking him with grievous curses, but David dusted all that off, because he was strong in the Lord (Ephesians 6:10) and that made the difference.”

“I am the Lord your God”

“Paul said that to be saved you have to confess that Jesus is Lord (Romans 10:9-11); in a definite way, you sign into having Jesus as Lord; (you have signed to give him your all because he gave you his all); though he died for the sin of the whole world, individuals have to choose to have him as Lord before they can benefit from his saving grace, and thus have him and your God and Lord.”

Satan’s pre-emptive strike

“Though a curse is a satanic pre-emptive strike, since Jesus has become a curse for us (Galatians 3:13-14), all curses that should have landed on us (past, present and future) were borne by him in an eternal sense because he is an eternal God. He swallowed it all up. There was no limit to his atoning sacrifice.

“But the one we have to deal with is God. You don’t want him displeased with you, or opposed to you in any way. As Jesus said, don’t fear mere mortals who can only destroy the body, fear the one who can destroy both body and soul in hell (Matthew 10:28).

No divination

“You are impregnable untouchable, and it will be to you as you believe. If you believed you are above only and not beneath then that is the way it is going to be, if you say that you are the deliverer and not the oppressed, then that is the way it is. The words of your mouth are very important. They show over time how convinced you are about what you think is the truth. Do you believe that no divination against you can stand?”

Here: https://draft2digital.com/book/160176

Unveiling Spiritual Identity From Exodus 

by Kayode Crown, Greatlight booksDigital List Price: $2.99

Here: https://draft2digital.com/book/159673

ISBN: 9781516389780
This is part of a series of books in which particular verses are picked from books of the bible, and the issues of Spiritual Identity are explored, in the light of the mind of God for us.

In this book, we explore seven topics, from different verses in the book of Exodus. They are: Inheritance in the saints; The enemy’s plan; Iconic Moses; Workman; The blood on the ear, thumb, toe and altar; Giving under the law and under grace; and The 3 measures of a spiritual leader.

Excerpts: 

Inheritance in the saints

“But if the obedience angle is in order and you don’t have the inheritance yet, you can be sure that it is only a matter of time; it will come.

“Ask Abraham (Genesis 22:1-19).”

The enemy’s plan

“In the same way God set the family as his discipleship platform, he said of Abraham I know him, which he will instruct his children to continue in my word (Genesis 18:19). And in the establishment of the nation of Israel, God said that the older ones should teach the younger to learn and do the word (Deuteronomy 32:46). And the church should also be a family and in that context, discipleship goes on.”

Iconic Moses

“Similarly, around the time Jesus was born, King Herod commanded the killing of those who were two years and younger in Bethlehem of Judea (Matthew 2:1-18) where Jesus was prophesised to be born a messiah. He saw Jesus as a risk to his throne, and he did all he could to destroy that threat. But just as God preserved Moses spiritually, Jesus was also preserved, with an angel coming informing his father of the risk to the child and he took him from harm’s way (Matthew 2:13).”

Workman

“Joy because you have a source of life that is beyond this world. The joy you radiate is also contagious. They are amazed at the source of your joy, and are attracted to your God. And as you lead in that area of influence, you wield an authority through which the kingdom of God come to the workplace.”

The blood on the ear, thumb, toe and altar

“Isaiah said that God wakes his ears daily to hear God. The priest are set apart consecrated to be able to have a special link with God (all God’s children are special to him in this way). That special link is manifested in divine hearing, activity and direction.”

Giving under the law and under grace

“The word of God is the word of faith not the word of fear. The bible says that Christ became poor that we might become rich (2Corinthians 8:9). Therefore it might actually be wrong for us to give because we want to be rich, since we already are, but we give because we are aware that we are rich in Christ and by faith with our giving we are connecting with that reality.”

The 3 measures of a spiritual leader

“When it comes to knowledge, the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of wisdom and knowledge and understanding (Isaiah 11:1-2). He is the spirit of revelation (Ephesians 1:15-18).

“And for the manifestation of power, we have the Holy Spirit as the spirit of power (Isaiah 11:2), responsible for all the supernatural manifestation in the life of Jesus (Acts 10:38) and in our too.”

Here: https://draft2digital.com/book/159673

Unveiling Spiritual Growth From Exodus

by Kayode Crown, Greatlight booksDigital List Price: $2.99

https://draft2digital.com/book/159412

ISBN: 9781519925718
This is part of a series of books in which particular verses are picked from books of the bible, and the issues of Spiritual Growth are explored, in the light of the mind of God for us.

In this book, we explore six topics, from different verses in the book of Exodus. They are: The fear of God; Dedicate yourself to God; Changed by the presence; You need an anointing to minister for God; Wisdom, understanding and knowledge; and Right shape.

Excerpts:

The fear of God

“When Isaiah saw the Lord, he experienced His fear (Isaiah 6:1-8), and he quickly confessed his sin. When Ananias and Sapphira died suddenly because were killed by God for lying, the fear of the Lord spread throughout the church (Acts 5:1-13). We need a greater intensity of the presence of God in the church of God so that we will all exhibit the fear of God.”

Dedicate yourself to God

“Write down the chapter you covered so that the next day you don’t waste any time trying to remember where you should read the each time. Also, chronicle your adventure in scriptures on a blog, online journal, social networks, or with the good old’, pen and paper. You can share your experience on social media platforms online. See you on the other side of one year of dedicating yourself to reading through the scriptures.”

Changed by the presence

“At midnight, after praying, I am sure they did not plan it, they started praising God loudly; that was a crazy thing to do, disturbing their neighbors, sorry, fellow prisoners. The experience of the presence of God in prayer led to the change in mood and change in attitude which eventually led to the change on their dire situation. Where they were once tied they came to a position of being in command, being in control. That change started first in them as they were changed by the presence in the place of prayer, and then overflowed with joy in the Holy Ghost.

“They came from that prayer time overflowing with joy and that releases the glory of God to manifest in their situation.”

You need an anointing to minister for God

“Not ministering with the anointing had disastrous consequences for John the Baptist, for the seven sons of Sceva and for the two sons of Aaron. Don’t be numbered with them. There is no substitute to connecting with God, to the anointing, the heavenly quality in whatever we do to bring blessing to others and to glorify God.”

Wisdom, understanding and knowledge

“Understanding is a living factor of a formidable relationship with God. You can be taught wisdom, you can acquire knowledge, but understanding reflects the divine connection that makes us able to think like God.”

Right shape

“Love is the capstone of everything that should be added. Paul wrote that three things are eternal, love, hope and faith and the greatest is love (1Corinthians 13:13). Jesus expressed his love by his sacrifice. He said no greater love can one have than laying down his life for his brothers (John 15:13). And when love is added, every other thing can take the right shape because God is love (1John 4:8).”

https://draft2digital.com/book/159412

Unveiling Purpose and Motivation From Exodus

by Kayode Crown, Greatlight booksDigital List Price: $2.99

https://draft2digital.com/book/159496

ISBN: 9781524292515
This is part of a series of books in which particular verses are picked from books of the bible, and the issues of Purpose, Pursuit and Motivation are explored, in the light of the mind of God for us.

In this book, we explore six topics from different verses in the book of Exodus. They are: Path of obedience, They saw God, Forty days and forty nights, God’s pattern, Called, Between the internal and the external.

Excerpts: 

Path of obedience

“While disobedience is disconnection from God, obedience shows alignment with Him. It shows that we have left our ways and are following his way; that we have a heart that yields to him, that we are not resistant to the Holy Spirit, that we are not stiff-necked and are opened to correction, amenable to the operation of the Holy Spirit in our heart to lead and guide us as he should (Acts 7:51).”

They saw God

“The woman with the issue of blood also saw Jesus with the eyes of faith (Luke 8:43-48). She said in her heart long before he met Jesus that she will be healed when she touches the helm of his garment, and that was what happened. She touched Jesus, having seen him in her heart as healer and she was healed. Jesus equally told her: your faith has made you whole.”

Forty days and forty nights

“He was not hungry before then. This makes the impact of the first temptation so strong. What happens He was supernaturally made to not want food for forty days and forty nights, and at the end, he was allowed to feel hunger, the full blown forty-day hunger, in a moment, That is why the first temptation that the devil brought to Jesus that he should turn stone into bread was probably the most intense temptation of all time.”

God’s pattern

“Paul wrote that we know that all things work together for those who love God and are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28-32). That you love God gives you the right to hope that all things are definitely working together for your good.”

Called

“But, more often than not God call people, to come alongside you in the work he has for you, or you are called to be alongside someone in the work God has want them to do.”

Between the internal and the external  

“God said about himself: I look at the heart not at the appearance (1Samuel 16:7). We should therefore make a lot of effort on our inside, i.e. set your eyes on things of heaven not on things on earth (Colossians 3:1-3).”

https://draft2digital.com/book/159496

Unveiling Prayer From Exodus, Deuteronomy, Joshua and 1Samuel

by Kayode Crown, Greatlight booksDigital List Price: $2.99

https://draft2digital.com/book/158346

ISBN: 9781524257835

This is part of a series of books in which particular verses are picked from books of the bible, and the issues of Prayer are explored, in the light of the mind of God for us.
In this book, we explore six topics, from different verses in the books of Exodus, Deuteronomy, Joshua and 1Samuel. They are: The Lord changed his mind; Only a call away; Demanding for your right; Praying to the Lord; What prayer does; and The wall of prayer.

Excerpts:
The Lord changed his mind
“In all these, we see that prayer is the key in the art of persuading God. It is not that God set out to be difficult, waiting to be persuaded all the time. But realise that in the Garden of Eden the impression we get is that in the relationship between God and man, God was the one taking the initiate (Genesis 3:8-11). However, once man abused that privileged by sin, God changed his tactics and to a large extent now, man would have to take the initiative in the relating with God, (Genesis 4:26), and that relationship forms the basis of any kind of persuasion for God to change his mind, and the basic qualification for the intercessor.”
Only a call away
“David asked for direction and he got it. What will happen if he did not ask as he faced the different enemies in his life, it means he would have groped in darkness, not knowing what to do, and many things would have gone wrong for him.”
Demanding for your right
“The children of Levi needed to know what was promised, to demand for it. Therefore what you know is very important. That should spur you on to demand for your rights in the place of prayer. Heaven is waiting; the Judge is waiting to hear your case.”
Praying to the Lord
“God was compared with that judge, because he is the ultimate judge of the heaven and the earth but he is different because He is willing to make decisions that will favour us. We however show our faith in God, as we are in the process of seeking him to help us, when we have our leg permanently on the throttle of prayer, knowing that we have no other option but to pray, just as that widow had no other option but to approach the judge for a favourable decision.
In another place Jesus said that when we pray the God who sees in secret will reward us openly. If you want God’s open reward, you have to pray (Matthew 6:6).”
What prayer does
“It is in the place of prayer we receive the grace to impart our world, receive help to be able to help others, to be the best we can be, to be changed into the very image of God.”
The wall of prayer
“In another place, Paul asked for prayer, he said people should pray for him so that he will be able to proclaim the gospel as he should (Ephesians 6:18-20). That means without the wall of prayer, Paul’s ministry will be severely affected by negative circumstances and other things, making it virtually impossible for him to do the will of God and fulfill his calling.”
https://draft2digital.com/book/158346

Unveiling Life in the Spirit From Exodus

https://draft2digital.com/book/159644
by Kayode Crown, Greatlight books

Digital List Price: $2.99
ISBN: 9781524279561
This is part of a series of books in which particular verses are picked from books of the bible, and the issues of Life in the Spirit are explored, in the light of the mind of God for us.

In this book, we explore four topics, from different verses in the book of Exodus. They are: God and the prophet; Oil for the light; Altar; and Perpetual anointing.

Excerpts: 

God and the prophet

“The people of God are supposed to be prophetic people. That was the desire of Moses in the wilderness (Numbers 11:29). Therefore he said to Joshua that rather than have the monopoly of the prophetic gift, he desire that the thousands and thousands of the people of Israel should be prophets.

“That shows us the ultimate aim of the prophetic ministry (for which the ministry of Moses was a type). It is not to see things for people but to facilitate their seeing.”

Oil for the light

“The Holy Spirit is not just a goosy feeling. He is a person and an awesome one at that. He killed Ananias and Sapphira remember, using the words of Peter (Acts 12:1-13).

“All in all we see that the word gives the form while the spirit gives the function (anatomy and physiology).”

Altar

“God when he created man, wanted him to set up a world that will be heaven on earth. The Garden of Eden before the fall of man was a special place. It was an altar, a place for God to come down and meet man. But when man was chased out form the garden, there was hardly any other altar anywhere on the earth. But in the fullness of time, Jesus walked the earth and said that his mission was to save that which was lost (Luke 19:10). And what was lost was God’s absolute influence (the definition of his kingdom) on the earth through man.”

Perpetual anointing

“That is why once you have been renewed by Spirit (Titus 3:5), it is perpetual, and when we received the baptism on the Holy Spirit, it is in perpetuity (Acts 19:1-18). The Holy Spirit comes with gifts, power and wisdom which are yours in perpetuity, since the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit is as permanent resident, not just as a visitor.”

https://draft2digital.com/book/159644

Proposal for the establishment of Apostolic Training School in your area

Proposal for the establishment of Apostolic Training School in your area*Your area could mean city (cities) or town (towns).

Purpose: The Apostolic Training School is for the fulfilment of Acts 6:4. It is designed to help people give themselves to prayer and the ministry of the Word.
Pattern: It is non denominational, but pentecostal and devotional in orientation. It does not include fasting. 
Cost: Cost should be minimal, considering what people would freely pay for it around the area, vizaviz the operational cost. Suggested cost: full time- 15 dollars, five dollars a month; part time: 25dollars, averagely 4dollars a month. Things must be run without recourse to the international office, self sacrifise is needed from the organisers.
Formats: 
A. there is the three months, Monday to Friday, 9am-12noon (3hour), three months (March-May, June-August, September-November, December-February) full time version. This maybe for school leavers of any kind, church leaders and church workers etc.

B. There is also the 6-month (June-November, December-May), Saturday only, 12noon-5pm (5hour), part time version. This is for workers, business people, privately employed, government workers, church leaders and workers etc. 
People: there is an administrator who is paid to serve the school (salary must be sustainable). It is a Not For Profit Organisation. There is need for a location for the school, and there should adequate publicity. There should between 2 to five teachers to handle the bible classes, on a volunteer basis (no payments); they must also be students of the school, striving alongside those they teach to seek God in prayer and in the word. 
Sessions: two sessions: 10/2weeks for the full Time; 20/4weeks for the part time. 
The first session has a different theme every week for the full time, and fortnightly for the part time.

They form the basis of Prayer and Bible class activities in those weeks. They are: 1. Prayer 2. Jesus 3. Power of God 4. Motivation and pursuit 5. Controlled by the Spirit 6. Holiness 7. Emotional Healing 8. Spiritual growth 9. Spiritual identity 10. Ministration of the Word
Curriculum (Full time)
A. Prayer: Monday to Wednesday, 30mins music time followed by 21/2hours prayer. One prayer point for 30minutes, making 5. Altogether 75hours of prayer. Minimum requirement -30hours. Prayer should be written on a board, with the time duration, so that people can pray for long without interruption. 

B. Bible reading and writing: Read from Matthew to Revelation, 5 chapters a day, five times a week, making 25 a week. Pick a verse from the reading for the day, give it a topic and write a minimum of 200words on it, to be submitted daily, for record keeping (record the topic and verse). The bible reading and writing is done individually and privately. Minimum is 22 write ups, from 110chapters of the New Testament.

C. Bible class: Thursday and Friday; five lessons, each followed by a test of five objective questions, with pass mark being 4/5. Minimum requirement is 20 passes out of 50.

[A-C is what the first ten weeks is about]

D.Preaching practice: involves each student preaching between 3-5 messages (5-10 minutes each) from his/her daily writing, for the others to ask questions and critique. 2 or 3 will be recorded in audio, and 1 or 2 video. Device: camera of phones etc. 
(This will happen Monday to Wednesday of the last two weeks)

E.Internet ministry: 

This involved 1. setting up a blog (with WordPress) where the daily writings will be put)

2. self-publishing an ebook (with draft2digital.com) from the daily writing, with cover from canva.com

3. publishing audio message on mixcloud.com (from the recorded audio message)

4. posting video on YouTube.com (from the recorded videos) 

(this will happen Thursday to Friday of the last two weeks.)

Minimum requirement for the internet ministry training is one blog post from one daily writing on WordPress. 

Flexibility: try to be as flexible as possible to accommodate different peculiarities of the people’s availability, payment can be broken into monthly or weekly payment and people can upfront, with receipts given.
Curriculum (part time, Saturday only)
For the first twenty weeks, 15minutes of music ministration, 2hours 15minutes of prayer, then 21/2hour bible class. Weekly prayer assignments of 1.5hours each, to be submitted weekly, with the record of prayer points taken (made available from the school) and duration. 

2weeks of part time= 1week of full time. 

Bible reading and writing: three a week, submitted each class time.

The last four weeks, focused on preaching practice and internet training for Ministry. 
Adequate record of each student’s activities need to be taken. 
Note: 1. the prayer points, bible lessons and questions will be supplied from the international office and should not be changed, amended, replaced, or ignored, and the time allotment adhered to strictly.
2. This is not a school just to train church leaders, but every believer is welcome. It is all about devotion to prayer and the word of God. 
3. Holy Spirit Baptism evidenced by speaking in tongues, must be encouraged for everybody, so that the prayers are mostly done in tongues. 
4. Apostolic Training School is an arm of Jehiel Prayer and Bible Training Institute. The other arms are the God Chasers Conference (once a year, to emphasise devotion to God) and Gloryreach crusades to reach to unbelievers through the strategy of prayer evangelism. 
Further questions can be directed to: Kayode Crown, CEO, Jehiel Prayer and Bible Training Institute , +2347060921007, Kayodecrown@hotmail.com, Facebook.com/Kayodecrown
Picture is a sample of publicity material

Unveiling Jesus From Exodus

https://draft2digital.com/book/158832
by Kayode Crown, Greatlight books

Digital List Price: $2.99
ISBN: 9781524276362
This is part of a series of books in which particular verses are picked from books of the bible, and the issues of Jesus are explored, in the light of the mind of God for us.

In this book, we explore five topics, from different verses in the book of Exodus. They are: Transformation, restoration, sacrifice- threefold wonders/impact of Christ; The blood; Protection, freedom and wealth through the blood of Jesus; Jesus: the bread from heaven; and The partition between the Holy Place and the Most Holy.

Excerpts: 

Transformation, restoration, sacrifice- threefold wonders/impact of Christ

“His resurrection, as explained, has to do with our body, We are promised a resurrected body like him, because through faith we become part of him, as his body (Ephesians 1:22-23, 1John 3:2).”

The blood

“The blood of Jesus means we now have the favour of God directed at us instead of the wrath of God based on the judgement of the law or the errors of the flesh (Romans 5:8-11, 1Thessalonians 5:19). The blood of Jesus has been described as the blood that speaks (brings) better things than the blood of Abel (Hebrews 12:24). The blood of Christ draws us near God (Ephesians 2:13, Hebrews 7:19), makes it possible for us to come near to God and we approach Him not having judgement on us but the life of Jesus represented by the blood on us.

“We are clothed with the son and therefore become sons all because the blood was shed.”

Protection, freedom and wealth through the blood of Jesus

“Note that the only reason Jesus came to the earth was to shed his blood as the Lamb of God. If he didn’t shed his blood, his life would not be spiritually relevant to us. He would only be remembered in history, if at all as a wise man that performed miracles. He would not be called saviour, because his means of saving us was his blood, and losing his life on the cross.”

Jesus: the bread from heaven

“When Jesus affirmed that he is the bread of life from heaven, he said anyone who eats him would never die. He gives a new definition to the term death. He wants the people to see that death is beyond the cessation of breath. No wonder Paul said if only in this life we have hope, we of all men are most miserable (1Corinthians 15:19). What we have through Jesus Christ is eternal life; it is life beyond the limits of time and well beyond the reach of the devil (John 10:25-29). Our life is hid in Christ in God (Colossians 3:3).”

The partition between the Holy Place and the Most Holy

“It caused the spirit and soul to function as they should under God. With the spirit running the show imputing the life, dictating the pace to the soul, and that through the life of God via the word. The word of God, as it is said, builds up (Acts 20:32) meaning it causes things to function as designed, as it meant to.”

More https://draft2digital.com/book/158832

Unveiling God’s Power From Exodus

by Kayode Crown, Greatlight booksDigital List Price: $2.99

https://draft2digital.com/book/160016

ISBN: 9781519961631
This is part of a series of books in which particular verses are picked from books of the bible, and the issues of The Power of God are explored, in the light of the mind of God for us.

In this book, we explore nine topics, from different verses in the book of Exodus. They are: Bring my people out of Egypt; God speaks of the end from the beginning; The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob; The Lord’s insistence; No easy redemption; From the house of bondage; The Lord my healer; God as Eagle; and God: “I brought you to myself.”

Excerpts: 

Bring my people out of Egypt

“Jesus has brought the possibility of eternal fulfilment not just temporal, the possibility for everyone to serve God who is love. That is designed to be the most liberating existence. Plugged into the divine power source, we are enabled to be all we can be, and that in union with Christ.”

God speaks of the end from the beginning

“That was why Paul told Timothy to war a good warfare by the prophecies that have been spoken over his life (1Timothy 1:18). We need to pray as Jesus said, “let your will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Matthew 6:9-10, Romans 8:26-28)” in our individual case. In a way, that shows that we agree with the will of God at least in our individual lives.”

The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob

“The ultimate House of God is Jesus Christ (John 2:19-22), so perish the thought of connecting with God without him. (Also perish the thought that this means a physical address on this earth, it is a spiritual location called “in Christ (Colossians 1:2)” that you enter by faith in Him and through His finished works at Calvary). With him you are guaranteed to meet God, but without him you are lost forever without ‘an option of fine.’”

The Lord’s insistence

“The Word of God carries his creative force of healing and transformation and those convey the mind of God, the insistence of God, which is displayed in the life of Jesus. In Him, God insists we should be delivered from our own Egypt: sin, addiction, obsession, sickness and diseases and death, and whatever makes man uncomfortable, representing bondage.”

No easy redemption

“Does your experience match those of these divine foot soldiers? What is it that looks like struggle in your life, in the area of your assignment? You are being trained to walk by faith; so that you can deliver on the job of bringing redemption into the reality of your world.

“No easy redemption? You bet!”

From the house of bondage

“While leaving the earth, Jesus told his disciples that not only would they be able to heal the sick and cast out devils from the oppressed, but as many as believed in Him down the years, would likewise be qualified to give quit notices to Satan’s emissaries in the lives of people (Mark 16:15-20). He said as many as believed on him, who embrace him as the Truth, will be likewise equipped with his power in their lives, would walk in his victory over satanic influences; and also display his power to set people free from the house of bondage.”

The Lord my healer

“I am not interested in making you feel guilty for your health issues but just to elevate your vision of what is possible in Christ, in the blessings locked in the words of God. We have the character of God unveiled to us in the pages of the bible and one of it is that He is the Lord who stands for healing for us, whose influence in our lives is beyond just telling us dos and don’ts, He manifests in our body as it’s repairer, so that we are always in health.”

More at: https://draft2digital.com/book/160016

Unveiling Emotional Healing From Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy

by Kayode Crown, Greatlight booksDigital List Price: $2.99 : https://draft2digital.com/book/160174

ISBN: 9781524216160
This is part of a series of books in which particular verses are picked from books of the bible, and the issues of Emotional Healing are explored, in the light of the mind of God for us.

In this book, we explore five topics, from different verses in the books of Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. They are: How not to wear yourself out as a leader; Thanksgiving and peace; Curbing fear; Dissolving discouragement; and Love.

Excerpts: 

How not to wear yourself out as a leader

“Actually, 24hours in a day is not enough to truly deal with all the cases of the children of Israel. That is why there was the need for Moses to dedicate his time to building others. Paul told Timothy that rather than trying to do it alone, he would teach faithful men who will be able to teach others the things he learnt from Paul (2Timothy 2:2).”

Thanksgiving and peace

“There is a marked difference between those who trust in God and those who do not. Jeremiah wrote that the one who trusts in God will experience heat when it comes; he will be like a tree that is always flourishing (Jeremiah 17:5-8).”

Curbing fear

“Sound mind comes when we focus on what God says about us, our situation and occupy ourselves with it, meditate on it day and night, and not what the devil has to say. If he says we are victorious then that should be what we fixate on, ruminate on, mentally and spiritually engage with, because what we fixate on controls our life.”

Dissolving discouragement

“The love of God fortifies you, you realise that all things work together for your good. As Paul wrote: if God is for us no one can be against us? No circumstance can be to our disadvantage, because the one who loves us is in charge of everything. He knows the future and has the best plans for us. That is a discouragement killer right there!”

Love

“We need everything blocking our full realisation of the love of God removed, any stronghold, high thing that opposes the knowledge of the love of God should be pulled down (2Corinthians 10:1-4), so that the full knowledge of Christ can be manifest in us, so that increasingly we will know him even as we are known.”

More at: https://draft2digital.com/book/160174

Unveiling Word Ministry From Genesis and Exodus

by Kayode Crown, Greatlight booksDigital List Price: $2.99

ISBN: 9781524225001 : https://draft2digital.com/book/160177
This is part of a series of books in which particular verses are picked from books of the bible, and the issues of The Ministry of the Word are explored, in the light of the mind of God for us.
In this book, we explore seven topics, from different verses in the books of From Genesis and Exodus. They are: True knowledge; Living by instruction; Do whatever God has said to you; The Word of God as bread, seed, sword and water; Making known God’s statutes; What has God commanded you?; and What God commands.

Excerpts: 

True knowledge

“Jesus is the light (John 9:1-5), and people need to know that to set the free from darkness, out of confusion, blindness, he is their guy. They need to be told that they need him to get out of their confusion. He is the life, and people need to know to get them out of the death grip. He is the power of God, and they need him to win in life.”

Living by instruction

“David waited for the divine hand to put him in the position of authority and to keep him there, while for Saul, though he got into the position through the hand of God, he decided that he was going to sustain himself with his own hand. You can say he started with the Spirit but ended in the flesh (Galatians 3:3).”

Do whatever God has said to you

“The devil asked Jesus to bow down and worship him, so as to receive the kingdoms of this world and their glory. But Jesus quoted a word of scriptures that it is only God that should be worshipped. In all the temptation of the devil, what help wanted was worship. Obedience to God is worship, disobedience is self-worship, which is the worship of Satan in disguise, it is in honour of him, who was the first to operate by self-will in opposition to God (Isaiah 14:12-14), in all realms of existence.”

The Word of God as bread, seed, sword and water

“The word as water can cleanse us from wrong habits. I am not saying that it is not good for you to go for counseling. But you should at least have taken the time to review the stand of the word of God in that area of your challenge.”

Making known God’s statutes

“The third class of people described in the first paragraph, are the rebellious. Those who like King Saul have the divine instruction but jettisoned it; people like Adam who had the divine injunction by did contrary. As God told Saul the king, just as you have rejected the word of God he also rejected him as king. Adam rejected the word of God in disobedience and was ejected from the Garden of Eden.”

What has God commanded you?

“It was King David’s habit to enquire of the word of God, so that he will be sure that he is acting based on His commandment. Even Jesus revealed that he lived by God’s commandment (John 5:30, 8:28, 38, 10:25). He said that he always does whatever the father wants him to do. He says what he sees the father doing that is what he does, fully keying into the father’s agenda. He lived in the full consciousness of the word of the father, responding to him always.”

What God commands

“Jesus who is the word of God described himself as the ladder that goes from earth to heaven, and from heaven to earth (John 1:51). He brings the counsel of God to the earth and when we pray using the name of Jesus and based on his counsel, we are assured of connection with God.”

https://draft2digital.com/book/160177

Unveiling Spiritual Identity From Genesis

by Kayode Crown, Greatlight books
ISBN: 9781524280819
This is part of a series of books in which particular verses are picked from books of the bible, and the issues of Spiritual Identity are explored, in the light of the mind of God for us.

In this book, we explore nine topics, from different verses in the book of Genesis. They are: Man as God’s image; The deceiver; The image of Adam; The marred image of God; Build; The 3 dimensions of time; Embrace your birthright; The blessed of the Lord; and The house of God is the gate of heaven.

Excerpts: 

Man as God’s image

“In Christ, there is restoration to dominion, fellowship and creativity which were the reasons God made man in the first instance, once we become one with Christ as his body (Romans 12:5, 1Corinthians 12:27), when we are saved through faith in him.”

The deceiver

“He also frees us from false grace which breeds self-justification for sin, which leads to the trap of rejecting the true grace which teaches right living. It keeps man in the confines of sin and death, holding him from experiencing freedom from sin into relationship with God that Christ affords.

“It’s all about relationship with God but the deceiver would have none of that.”

The image of Adam

“The image of the first Adam is that of wilfulness against God while that of the second Adam is humility before God. Paul had a testimony about Jesus that he humbled himself to take on the form of man, and he took that humility to the extreme, laying down his life for the salvation of mankind.”

The marred image of God

“Then the body at last would be conformed to the image of the Son of God at the resurrection, when Jesus comes back to the earth. It’s all about Jesus being the template of the new creation.”

Build

“We became more dangerous than ever, we become animated with the very presence of God. But we must not forget that the foundation for the expression of the Holy Spirit is the word of God, if the bones did not come to bone, which stands for rightly diving the word of truth (2Timothy 2:15), we would not have an exceedingly great army animated to the Holy Spirit to speak of.”

The 3 dimensions of time

“The three times are interwoven. They are all about change. The chronological time is about age according to the calendar, the process time is about age according to the effort you have made, while appointed times is change produced by interjections on our path in life. Both progressive and appointed time can be for good or for evil, but for Christians we have grace for the two to always be positive. As it is written: all things work together for good for those who love God and are called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28). And God is at work in us both to will and to do of his good pleasure (Philippians 2:12-13).”
Embrace your birthright

“Eternal life is your birthright, embrace that and you should do things that emphasises that aspect of you. Measure all relationships and activities by how they aid the expression of the eternal life in you, which was the opposite of what Esau did, and he was called a profane man (Hebrews 12:16), despising his birthright while focusing on the need of the moment. Live your life in consideration of your birthright, eternal life; live the rest of your life in pursuit of knowing God, which is one of the definitions of eternal life (John 17:3), because for eternity that will be our highest engagement. The more we know him, the more we become like him. Embrace that as your Calling and pursue it, everything else should be in deference to it.”

Get it here: https://draft2digital.com/book/159672

Unveiling Spiritual Growth From Genesis

by Kayode Crown, Greatlight books
ISBN: 9781519988966
This is part of a series of books in which particular verses are picked from books of the bible, and the issues of Spiritual Growth are explored, in the light of the mind of God for us.

In this book, we explore three topics, from different verses in the book of Genesis. They are: Walking with God; Faith as shield; and Cutting off foreign influences.

Excerpts: 

Walking with God

“The place of prayer assures of closeness with divinity. It is putting our faith to work thereby strengthening it (Hebrews 11:6). Because when you choose to relate with the unseen one in the place of prayer, it equips you to walk with Him in our day-to-day living; to walk with my spiritual eyes (trained in the place of prayer), with the one whom I cannot see with my physical eyes.

“As we strengthen our faith in the place of prayer, we use that to walk with God, in real life situations.”

Faith as shield

“The multiplication of food for thousands by Jesus was a manifestation of the gift of faith; ditto the also raising of the dead (removing the constraints of (shielding from) lack and the grave).”

Cutting off foreign influences

“They fail to consider that the blood of Jesus is meant to make us (through its cleansing ability) incapable of committing the sins we have confessed, not an allowance for more sin (and that the blood of Jesus grace to us). See how some people twist the meaning of grace. Paul said the grace of God trains in righteousness (Titus 2:11-12). That is the true definition of grace.”

Get it here: https://draft2digital.com/book/159411

Unveiling Purpose and Motivation from Genesis

by Kayode Crown, Greatlight books
ISBN: 9781524210533
This is part of a series of books in which particular verses are picked from books of the bible, and the issues of Purpose, Pursuit and Motivation are explored, in the light of the mind of God for us.

In this book, we explore four topics, from different verses in the book of Genesis. They are: Time, God sent me 1 & 2, Understanding God’s purpose and the scriptures.
Excerpts:
Time
“Listening to God is power. It is by hearing and doing what the father does that Jesus expressed so much power in his lifetime (John 8:38).”
God sent me
“We are meant to move by the power of the light of Jesus and break the hold of darkness off people. Jesus said: you shall receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you shall be witnesses to me everywhere (Acts 1:8).”
God sent me (2)
“God met Gideon while he was hiding because of the grievousness of the oppression of the enemy (Judges 6:11-16). And God sent him to deliver Israel. That was the change God wants to bring to the earth through him. He needed to know that and then walk in it, in cooperation with God. The same goes for you.”
Understanding God’s purpose and the scriptures
“Paul bestrode the New Testament like a colossus, writing many of the books. His testimony concerning Jesus and the church is not less potent than others. Peter a “chief” among the apostles, acknowledged that the writings of Paul should be regarded as scriptures. He said he wrote those words based on God’s wisdom manifested in him (2Peter 3:15-16). The only book in the New Testament with disputed authorship is Hebrews, but it does contradict the words in the other books, and from earliest times it was regarded as scriptures.”
Get it here: 

Unveiling Prayer From Genesis

by Kayode Crown, Greatlight books
ISBN: 9781524258795
This is part of a series of books in which particular verses are picked from books of the bible, and the issues of Prayer are explored, in the light of the mind of God for us.

In this book, we explore four topics, from different verses in the book of Genesis. They are: Intercession; Prayer and relationship with God; Prayer changes things; and Prayer and success.
Excerpts:
Intercession
“And there is something in intercession for the intercessor. The bible says that God turned around the captivity of Job when he prayed for his friend (Job 42:10). When Abraham prayed for the house of king Abimelech and barrenness was removed, he got plenty of goods from the king (Genesis 20:1-14).”
Prayer and relationship with God
“There is a manifestation of the Holy Spirit as the spirit of supplication (Zechariah 12:10) and the bible says that we don’t know how to pray as we ought, but the Holy Spirit helps our infirmity by praying with groanings that cannot be uttered (Romans 8:26-28). The Holy Spirit wants to influence us into prayer, when we yield, and thorough that prayer, we influence Him to manifest in His fullness.”
Prayer changes things
“When you pray, you also acknowledge God as your helper, and He is against us putting our trust in man. The bible says: cursed is anyone who puts his trust in man (whose heart departs from God). Rather, go to God in prayer. Paul said that we should be anxious for nothing but with prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, we should make our request known to God (Philippians 4:6-7). And we have the assurance that he hears us (1John 5:14-15), and that we have our request from him, as he secures our heart with his peace.”
Prayer and success
“He sought the help of the Lord and he received it in abundance. And his mission on earth was successful. With prayer, light is released on our path, we are given special insight into the word of God, and we get to gain God’s interpretation of situations so that we can take the right step.”
Get it here: https://draft2digital.com/book/158353

Unveiling Life in the Spirit From Genesis

by Kayode Crown, Greatlight books
ISBN: 9781524247935
This is part of a series of books in which particular verses are picked from books of the bible, and the issues of Life in the Spirit are explored, in the light of the mind of God for us.

In this book, we explore eight topics, from different verses in the books of Genesis. They are: On obedience; The floodgates of heaven; The story of a dove; Be full of the Spirit until you are drunk; Deception of the physical eyes; Have you found water?; ‘I will be with you’; and Revelation.

Excerpts: 

On obedience

“Because of the level of obedience that Jesus operated in, he was able to tell the disciples that if they have seen him they have seen the father (John 14:9). The one you obey have established control over you. That we why are told not to obey the flesh, allowing its works to be established in our life, unto death, but rather we should obey the Holy Spirit, leading to life (Galatians 5:16, 6:8).”

The floodgates of heaven

“But you say what about having drains, which should prevent flood from developing from a rain. That’s right. The drain in a spiritual sense when it comes to positive flood can be through un-forgiveness, sinful acts, heretic teaching, pride, distraction (affecting faithfulness), worry, all of which can possibly grieve the Holy Spirit (Ephesians 4:30-32).”

The story of a dove

“What is the final part of this story? Noah came from the ark signifying God coming from heaven to make his habitation with man; when the water of sin would have receded well on the earth (the earth restored). The New Jerusalem will come down from heaven and God will have his above with man forever and ever (Revelation 21:1-5).”

Be full of the Spirit until you are drunk

“Paul said that the kingdom of God is not in meat and drink but in righteousness, peace and joy in the Holy Spirit (Romans 14:17). Joy is one of the fruits of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). And joy is expressed in praise which is the garment that God said will replace the spirit of heaviness in our lives (Isaiah 61:1-3).”

Deception of the physical eyes

“A lot is directly linked to sensitivity to the Holy Spirit; spending time to be close to God in the place of prayer cannot be a waste. Before Jesus chose his twelve disciples he was in an all night of prayer (Luke 6:12-16). Some, we read of Jesus coming directly to, and he asking them to follow him, and they found that call irresistible but of others we never heard of such direct call but we see him call them in the general call of the twelve.”

Have you found water?

“God’s work is established in peace. There is peace in heaven, and we have been taught by Jesus that we should pray that God’s kingdom come on the earth (Matthew 6:9-10).Again, I ask: have you found the well water (eternal life), the rivers of living water (empowerment) and the still waters (peace)?”

‘I will be with you’

“The Spirit of the Lord makes personal, one-on-one relationship with the person of God possible. And it is in that context that all other dimensions of the Spirit find full expression.”

Revelation

“Isaiah came into a greater understanding of himself when in the year that king Uzziah died, he saw the Lord and had the revelation of God’s holiness, and he declared that he is a man of unclean lips, living in the midst of those with unclean lips. By revelation, he had the understating of the Lord, of himself and his environment (Isaiah 6:1-10).”

Get it here: https://draft2digital.com/book/159643

Unveiling Jesus From Genesis

by Kayode Crown, Greatlight books
ISBN: 9781524265991
This is part of a series of books in which particular verses are picked from books of the bible, and the issues of Jesus are explored, in the light of the mind of God for us.

In this book, we explore five topics, from different verses in the book of Genesis. They are: A prophecy, a name, a baptism and a cup- saved on account of Jesus’ righteousness; Was Jesus the Son of God from eternity past?; A priest in the order of Melchizedek; The wood, the fire and the knife: between Isaac and Jesus; and Reconciliation. 

Excerpts: 

A prophecy, a name, a baptism and a cup- saved on account of Jesus’ righteousness

“We are in the household of God on account of the righteousness of Jesus; we are saved from sin and its consequences because of his sacrifice, accepted in the beloved.”

Was Jesus the Son of God from eternity past?

“At that times we would be sons of God on a whole new level, the third level. For us, the incarnation stands for the new birth; the invasion stands for the baptism of the Holy Spirit; the translation, the gaining of the new bodies at the resurrection of the just, is what we await at the second coming of Jesus.”

A priest in the order of Melchizedek

“Thirdly the blood grants us permanent access into the throne of grace through the path of the mercy of God (Hebrews 4:14-16), which was paved by the blood of Jesus, so that our ongoing reality on this earth will be marked by the grace of God. The blood grants us the power of an ongoing individual relationship with the most high to anyone who appropriates it, through believing in Jesus. The blood allows us to have a relationship with God.”

The wood, the fire and the knife: between Isaac and Jesus

“And the cross is another symbol of devotion but the focus is on what you deny yourself of, devolve yourself from, while the fire is also a symbol of devotion, it is however focused on what you commit yourself in to as in God, in devotion, the thing you are doing, where you are going.”

Reconciliation

“Certain prophets and teachers in the church in Antioch were committed to prayer. On one of such occasions of fasting and prayer in Acts chapter 13, the Holy Spirit said that Barnabas and Paul must be separated to him for the work they should do. And that began a powerful reconciliation move of God that spread across many places. The point is that there is no doing any work of reconciliation without prayer. Even Jesus was soaked in prayer.”

 get it here: https://draft2digital.com/book/158828

Unveiling Holiness From Genesis and Exodus

Unveiling Holiness From Genesis and Exodus

 Kayode Crown, Greatlight books
ISBN: 9781516308385
This is part of a series of books in which particular verses are picked from books of the bible, and the issues of Holiness are explored, in the light of the mind of God for us.

In this book, we explore seven topics, from different verses in the books of Genesis and Exodus. They are: The practice of hospitality; Exchanging the eternal for the temporal; Integrity; Sex and the testaments; Sin and hardness of heart; Separated to Christ and Holy to the Lord.

Excerpts: 

The practice of hospitality

“We should be ready to serve God’s needs. One of it is to worship Him in Spirit and truth (John 4:21-24). That is hospitality when it comes to God.”

Exchanging the eternal for the temporal

“You need to be in the direction God wants you to be going and at the pace God wants. You can’t spend your days beating about the bush. You need to be on the journey for the eternal reward, and refuse to be hindered or distracted along the way. The Lord be with you. Amen.”

Integrity

“Paul said that we should act wisely towards those who are outside, walking circumspectly not as fools but wise, redeeming the time because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:13-20). And walking in wisdom involves walking in integrity. When we walk in integrity, our consistency and truthfulness will be an example to others, and we shine as light.”

Sex and the testaments

“And as Christ struck with the church regardless of our mess, you are to stick with your spouse no matter what. At worst carry it as your cross.”

Sin and hardness of heart

“The psalmist wrote: thy (God) word I have put in my heart that I may not sin against you (Psalm 119:11). Constant exposure and embrace of the word of God ensures that hardness of heart is far from us.”

Separated to Christ

“While the blood of Jesus sanctified us with regards to sin, the word of God sanctifies us is with regards to inward change (transformation) and the Holy Spirit sanctifies with regards to spiritual service.”

Holy to the Lord

“Pure gold, on which the inscription of holiness to the Lord was written for the high priest, represents the highest of standards. That is what God holds his people. We are his representatives and we should holy as he is holy. The evolving nature of the society does not cancel that calling on our lives. We are to stand as holy to the Lord, as a testament to a wayward generation, of the truth and reality of God.

“Is that too much? First, agree that it is possible.”

  get it here: https://draft2digital.com/book/159009

Unveiling God’s Power From Genesis

by Kayode Crown

ISBN: 9781524252366
This is part of a series of books in which particular verses are picked from books of the bible, and the issues of The Power of God are explored, in the light of the mind of God for us.
In this book, we explore seventeen topics, from different verses in the book of Genesis. They are: The help of the Lord; 3 expressions of blessing; The Lord fights for his people; Restoration of what is stolen; God most high; The Lord who sees; The Lord appeared; God: the name changer; Is there anything too difficult for the Lord?; The two covenants; The everlasting God; The Lord will provide; Blessing in every way; God’s help; Change of name; Help from God; The Lord’s blessing; and The favour of God.

Excerpts:

The help of the Lord

“When Jesus Christ was giving a valedictory speech for his disciples before he departed from the earth, he said that he was going to send them another helper (John 16:7), which will be with them, the Holy Spirit, who will be in them always; he said later that they shall receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon them (Acts 1:8).”

3 expressions of blessing

“One dimension of blessing is the making of God. Another is the blessing of the servant attitude in us. Jesus had a great name because he reduced himself to the level of servant. He said that he did not come to the world to be served but to serve, giving his life for many. Then the highest level of being blessed is to be a blessing. That is where the earlier two points leads to: for you to be a blessing.

“The blessing of being made by God (key is submission to God) + the blessing of a servant attitude (key is service to others) = being a blessing (the ultimate blessing).”

The Lord fights for his people

“And God has not become more tolerant of sin now than he was then. He still expects our righteousness to be more than that of the Pharisee (Matthew 5:20). And that is a direct reference to internal holiness, which had to do with the thoughts and what we do when no one is looking, and sharing in the heart of God who prioritises kindness and mercy (Matthew 23;23), in his dealings with men. But for the Pharisees it is all about appearance, about tradition (Mark 7:1-23), about allegiance to a system of religion, rather than a committed to the person of God, and to Christ his Son (John 8:42).”

Restoration of what is stolen

“We rejoiced that though gentiles, the blessings of Abraham are upon us (Galatians 3:13-14), we have full access to God through Jesus and through him we experience God-with-us (Isaiah 7:13-14) and we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God (Colossians 1:27, Romans 5:1-5).”

God most high

“Obedience brought him to the reality of the supernatural, it opened to him possibilities that only the Most High can bring. And Jesus said that I opened a door no one can shut and shut doors no one can opened, being the one with the key of David (Revelation 3:7).”

The Lord who sees

“All these dimensions of the Lord-who-sees are to be exhibited by us through the manifestation of the gifts of the spirit. Break the limit of your mind, of what you think is possible with you, the “Lord who sees” who is in you wants to be expressed.”

The Lord appeared

“We read that in the presence of God there is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:11), which is where we experience fullness. It is where Jesus takes us to, why he appeared to us.

“Now God appeared to us in Jesus so that we will appear before God wearing his righteousness (2Corinthians 2:21).”

Get it here- https://draft2digital.com/book/160015

Unveiling Emotional Healing from Genesis 

Unveiling Emotional Healing From Genesisby Kayode Crown, Greatlight books

ISBN: 9781524245702
About the book 
This is part of a series of books in which particular verses are picked from books of the bible, and the issues of Emotional Healing are explored, in the light of the mind of God for us.
In this book, we explore four topics, from different verses in the book of Genesis. They are: Guilt; Let there be no strife; Have no concern; and Do not be afraid.

Excerpts:
Guilt
“The false grace message offers you a broad way with only the one-sided fence of a false understanding the righteousness of Jesus and the grace we have through Him, that rejects dos and don’ts. Both lead to destruction.”
Let there be no strife
“But the solution that Jesus gave was that those John the Baptist sent with that message should go back to him telling him the His acts. The solution to strife is to focus on the Lord. Strife can become a weight on us on our journey. And Paul wrote that we should lay aside every weight and run looking unto Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-15).”
Have no concern
“They enjoyed divine supply to the hilt. But there was a caveat. They had to trust God daily. God said that they should not leave any manna for tomorrow (Exodus 16:15-36). The plates had to be empty when they go to bed, they were not supposed to prepare for tomorrow, not hoarding the supply of today but committing their needs tomorrow to God. They were to jump like Peter into the ocean of tomorrow trusting in the promise of God to supply their needs. Following on that Jesus said that we should ask God daily: give us this day our daily bread (Matthew 6:9-13). That is a call for daily trust in God to live without concern.”
Do not be afraid
“We read in the bible that God will give perfect peace to the person whose mind is stayed on him. Conversely, when trust in God is not in place, fear dominates (Isaiah 26:3). God said: fear not, I am with you, be not dismayed I am your God (Isaiah 41:10). He knows that when our thought is full of Him (on his presence, love, power and purpose), fear has no place.”
To get it click: https://draft2digital.com/book/158368

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Appointed to eternal life

woman-163789_640Acts 13:48: And when the Gentiles heard this, they began rejoicing and glorifying the word of the Lord, and as many as were appointed to eternal life believed. (ESV)

On a cross-cultural evangelism, the apostles were seeing fruits of their labours as people chose to follow Jesus. They were not there to wile away time, they did not join a new fad, they were on a life or death assignment, communicating the love of God through Jesus to people where they are.

They were there to tell the people the implication of the death and resurrection of Jesus, to show that now the people of God can now officially include all people.

What they were doing was unique. They were pushing a novel agenda. In the time they lived, influence came either by military conquest, economic link, or long-held tradition, or a teacher rising up among the people, giving them a new perspective of things, but in Paul and Barnabas, we see pioneers of a systematic invasion of other locations with truth.

They came into an area and spoke of things the people have not heard of. They opened a door by their activity and many followed after. They are the hunters (Jeremiah 16:16), who leave the comfort of where they are, endure the uncomfortable life in the “bush”, and hunt for those appointed to eternal life.

No discrimination

jesus-284414_640Acts 11:12: And the Spirit told me to go with them, making no distinction. These six brothers also accompanied me, and we entered the man’s house. (ESV)

There is no one beyond the reach of God. No matter the state they are in, background, what they have done or are doing. The gift of righteousness is for everyone (2Corinthians 5:21). Sometimes we discriminate with age, thinking that some are too young to make sense of the message of the gospel.

In the focus verse, the problem of Peter was social. He was brought up thinking that none-Jews are inferior, innately deficient, defiled and defiling. But the blood of Jesus does not discriminate.

Though Jesus may be physically different from you and me in age, in sex, in purity, in relationship with God, in complexion and facial features, when he died on the cross, the blood which flowed from him is the same as ours. There is no distinction.

We share humanity, in the same way, we can share the life of God when we believe in him, we can experience his righteousness as he shared our sinfulness. The gift of righteousness is extended to all, no barrier is respected.

I too am a man

hawaiian-hula-dancers-377653_640Acts 10:26: But Peter lifted him up, saying, “Stand up; I too am a man.”

Peter was a man like Cornelius just as Elijah was a man like anyone of us (James 5:15-18).

Peter is like Cornelius and is not like Cornelius. Elijah is like us and is not like us.

Peter is different from Cornelius, in what he knows, in who he knows. He knows Jesus and knows his grace. He was a candidate of heaven while Cornelius was not. They may be similar in their physical attributes being men, but they were different in their spirits, in the core of their being. They are different in the relationship with God, not much as in religious practice. Cornelius gave alms, prayed and fasted but he was as lost as lost can be and needed Peter to preach to him the word of God (Acts 10).

What about Elijah? He was different in two ways: his passion for prayer and righteous stance. He stood for God in the most in auspicious times. He was attached to the cause of God both privately and publicly. He was so given over to him and cooperated with God to bring change.

Go

spot-862274_1280Acts 9:15: But the Lord said to him, “Go, for he is a chosen instrument of mine to carry my name before the Gentiles and kings and the children of Israel. (ESV)

The commandment of God that Ananias should go and meet and minister to Paul, recorded in the focus verse is without prejudice to how he feels about it. The same can be said of Peter who in spite of his misgivings about reaching out to the gentiles, because of his innate Jewish sentiment, was asked to go and meet them (Acts 10).

Both incidents in which these two men had to go minister in spite of consideration for safety (in the case of Ananias) and consideration for tradition, or what is acceptable in his culture (in the case of Peter) resulted in great advances for the kingdom. Both incidents were pivotal to the shape of  the church as we know it.

So if God asked you to go, then go you must, not knowing the full implication of it, but hearing and obeying.

The bible says that blessed are those who hear and do the word of God (Luke 11:28), not argue with the word of God, not postpone the word of God, not dodge it, or excuse themselves from it.

Forgiveness

spring-664911_640Acts 7:60: And falling to his knees he cried out with a loud voice, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” And when he had said this, he fell asleep. (ESV)

Jesus said that we need to forgive others from our heart, otherwise, we have something else coming for us (Matthew 18:35).

When we dwell on the forgiveness we have had from father, God. Then we will be more disposed to give it to others. Jesus also said: freely you have received, freely give (Matthew 10:8).

We did not have to pay for God to forgive us, he extended the grace of forgiveness to us, we should do the same to others, becoming conduits of the grace of God.

When we speak it should be as those ministering grace to the hearers (Ephesians 4:29). Unforgiveness, vengefulness, all manifest in the words that we speak, in caustic words. The same with love, kindness.

The woman who is described as virtuous in the book of Proverbs was said to have the law of kindness in our mouth (Proverbs 31:26).

She expresses good wishes to others, they love to be around her, her love expressed empower others to be themselves in all ramifications.

Unforgiveness is the brother of bitterness, which the bible says is a root that causes defilement, and the evil end of it cannot easily be unveiled (Hebrews 12:14-15).

Appointment

Acts 6:3: Therefore, brothers, pick out from among you seven men of good repute, full of the Spirit and of wisdom, whom we will appoint to this duty. (ESV)

The qualification for this leadership was threefold. They must be known by the people for being highly regarded, which speaks of social standing, and long-term proof of probity, and respected.

To be of good repute is not a day job. It follows a consistent pattern of uprightness.

Then there was the issue of the infilling of the Holy Spirit. Many people may be dependable, but not many people are full of the Holy Spirit. The latter live an empowered life. The power of God is manifest through their lives, in spiritual giftedness in expression. That is the meaning of infilling from the book of Acts.

Then thirdly, they should be full of wisdom. That means they are not just all talk, but have practical result as evidence of their wisdom. I define wisdom as what to do to get result, the divine how-to. Jesus said that wisdom is justified by its children, it’s results (Matthew 11:19).

The apostles wanted those who are approved by men (of good repute), approved by God (full of the Spirit) and approved by the results they have been getting in their practical lives (full of wisdom).

The reasons correspond to the three qualities the Apostles wanted:

They needed those who will move among the people, therefore, must be approved by men.

Since it is about the church, and not a social club, not a political party, not a natural entity but spiritual, those who will lead must be full of the Spirit, must be intentional followers of God, on his own terms, submitted to his will.

Then thirdly, since the matter at hand is a practical matter of the “serving of tables” (Acts 6:1-7) they need people who will be effective, so that the apostles would not border about such things again. They needed people who can deliver results on a practical level, exhibiting high intelligence, ability to coordinate, intuitive enough to marry what is on ground with what the people need.

Sharing

Acts 4:32: Now the full number of those who believed were of one heart and soul, and no one said that any of the things that belonged to him was his own, but they had everything in common. (ESV)

The reality described above of the first-century church was about the generosity of hearts.

When it comes to giving, there are three things we can give relating to the three parts of man: body, soul and spirit (1Thessalonians 5:23).

For the body, there is the need to share physical things, like shelter, food, water, clothing. John addressed this issue when he said that we should not see someone in need and say that they should go, without meeting their need, when we can do so, saying that shows the love of God is not in us (1John 3:16-18)

There are the needs of the soul, which Jesus party addressed when he said that he favours those who visit the imprisoned (Matthew 25:32-46).

James said that pure religion is to visit orphans and widows (James 1:27). The bible says: rejoice with those who rejoice and weep with those who weep, which is about identifying with people in their different situations (Romans 12:15).

Then there is a giving from the spirit, which is about the release of the spiritual gifts in all forms to minister, to serve another person.

Paul said that as we have received different gifts, we should minister the same (Romans 12:3-7). Peter said that those who speak should do so as the oracle of God while those who serve, should do so with the ability that God gives (1Peter 4:10-11).

Suddenly, everything changes

Acts 2:2: And suddenly there came from heaven a sound like a mighty rushing wind, and it filled the entire house where they were sitting. (ESV)

After you have done everything, there is a “suddenly” that changes everything. At the upper room in Jerusalem, with Peter and the dozens of people there, things were going on in pretty mundane activities of prayer, for days (Acts 1-2).

In the time of prayer, they were not feeling anything, they were just putting in mind the words of Jesus, who had told them that they should wait in Jerusalem till they were endued with power from on high.

They did not know how long they would wait, but nothing else mattered as the words of Jesus. It swallowed up everything they must be considering in their minds. But they got it, and it changed everything.

From 120, their number increased into thousands, who were baptised, as a measure of the growth of the church born that day, and it was a roll from then on.

A similar thing happened when Jesus turned water to wine (John 2:1-11). He actually did not do anything except give the instructions. It involved a process of time, where nothing was happening except the servants in the wedding ceremony going back and forth filling some containers with water.

But when they did the next thing that Jesus said, which was take some of the water to the master of ceremony, that changes everything.

That is the story of the imminent return of Jesus. From the mundane existence if 24/7 daily life on earth, we enter into blissful eternity, while others go to hell. When Jesus comes back, at the trumpet sound from God, (1Thessalonians 4:15-18, 2Corinthians 15:52), it changes everything, like nothing you ever know.

Casting the net

John 21:6: He said to them, “Cast the net on the right side of the boat, and you will find some.” So they cast it, and now they were not able to haul it in, because of the quantity of fish. (ESV)

There is nothing passive about casting the net. You do not cast the net staying in your house watching the TV. You have to be down in the water, where the fishes are. There is a deliberateness about it.

Jesus said he will make Peter a fisher of men (effective in the salvation of souls to God’s kingdom) (Mark 1:17), to draw a parallel with what he did for a living.

To be a fisherman at that time was energy and time consuming. It requires skill, dedication, love and certain level of agility.

In the passage from which we derive the focus verse (John 21:1-14), we see a contrast in the results of following Christ‘s instruction and following our own initiative.

When Peter and Co did their thing, convinced that they know what to do, they caught nothing, but when they walked based on an instruction, they caught many fishes.

Therefore in the business of saving of souls, there is a delicate balance of initiative and divine instruction, which we must be aware of.

As a fisher of men, there are the divine tools given by God, means of getting into the water, knowledge and experience, there is the lake in which we are to fish, there are people we are to fish with, and there is the divine instruction for great effectiveness, and there is what to do with the fishes after they are caught.

Resurrection

John 20:17: Jesus said to her, “Do not cling to me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brothers and say to them, ‘I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God.'” (ESV)

The resurrection of Jesus is a promise of what will happen to all of us who believe in him.

Those who orchestrated the crucifixion of Jesus, the Pharisees especially, have a vested interest in keeping the story of the resurrection quiet when it broke out (Matthew 28:11-15).

They decided to give the guards at his tomb money so that they will spread an alternative story, that the disciples stole his body. Therefore, even when the story of the resurrection spreads, the other story also gets mixed up in it, and the people, would at least, be confused, not quite knowing what to embrace. That is what the devil wants.

God wants something different and he commissioned the Holy Spirit for it. He wants the story of the resurrection of his son spread abroad, to focus attention on him, to showcase him as the lamb which takes away the sin of the world (John 1:29), as the one true king, as the way, truth and life (John 14:6), to lift him up so that men will be drawn to him (John 12:32) for justification, sanctification and glorification (1Corinthians 1:30, Romans 8:30).

The resurrection was completed in the ascension which Jesus was talking about in the focus verse (John 20:17).In the ascension he paved a way for us to gain access to the father in the fullest, extent, just he has.

The resurrection is all goodies for us.

Love

John 14:15: “If you love me, you will keep my commandments. (ESV)

There should be no presumption in love, it should be followed by action. In the case of Jesus, he said your love for him is manifested in obedience to him. There is no sentiment in the matter. You need to walk the talk.

Right from the first chapters of the bible, the battle has been about obedience. Adam and Eve faced it and they failed (Genesis 3). Jesus faced it and he passed (Luke 4:1-13).

Jesus said that he must do the work of him who sent him (John 5:1-5). For him, being on the earth was about doing the will of God, following his mandate, embracing his purpose in every way.

That should also be your own stance. Jesus sent us to the world, the way the father sent him (John 20:21). Let that be the basis of your life.

Obedience is an exercise of the will, and God wants to empower our will to choose and do his will, uncluttered by fear, ignorance and distraction.

The empowerment comes by the Holy Spirit coming into us to pour the love of God into us, so that it becomes our default to obey, breaking into light, and we sense the grieving of the Holy Spirit in us when we are merely thinking of disobeying (Ephesians 4:30).

Devotion

John 11:2: It was Mary who anointed the Lord with ointment and wiped his feet with her hair, whose brother Lazarus was ill. (ESV)

One thing marked Mary out- her devotion to Jesus. There cannot be devotion without attachment and commitment.

In the area of attachment, we saw Mary sit at the feet of Jesus drawing words from him, risking the anger of her sister who was busy for Jesus (Luke 10:38-42). There was an attachment to seeing the face of Jesus, to spending time with him,

But Mary did not stop there, from the focus verse we see that Mary did things for Jesus (she sat at the feet of Jesus, and cleaned them with her hair), but because she was coming from the base on personal devotion, her public devotion was on point. Later Jesus will say, she prepared him for burial (Luke 26:6-13).

She did not just identify with Jesus privately, she did it publicly also, lavishing him with worship. She exhibited uncommon commitment in the acts she took, pouring on Jesus a precious ointment and also wiping his feet with her hair (financial and physical commitment).

She was not content to show love to Jesus in her room, but she made it public. Everyone in the room witnessed her devotion, and she received commendation for that, for what she gave to Jesus and the risk she took, the dirt she cleaned off Jesus to take on herself, she did not care how she looked in order to make Jesus look good.

 

Eternal life

washing-404481_640John 10:28: I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. (ESV)

Eternal means exactly that. It is quality and quantity of life in infinite dimension. That is the perfection with which God originally made man (Genesis 1:26-28).

Quality life is the very life of God, quantity is the unending nature. That second aspect was emphasised by Jesus in the focus verse. He said: they will never perish; no one will snatch them away from my hand.

That means with the eternal life he takes care of internal and external issues. Internal: to free us for from sin so that we will not be subject to judgement and God will be in man; and external: to actively protect us so that we are not at risk of being lost by the scheme or brilliance of any external force. That is your portion.

You are not supposed to fear. The focus verse is part of Jesus’ description of himself as a good shepherd. The only security the sheep has is the commitment of the shepherd and if Jesus is your shepherd, knowing his pedigree, we can be sure of the best of guarantees, of security. Part of the security package is that the sheep hear his voice, follow him, and do not follow a stranger (John 10).

Obedience

ornament-708799_640John 8:55: But you have not known him. I know him. If I were to say that I do not know him, I would be a liar like you, but I do know him and I keep his word. (ESV)

Obedience is sometimes easier said than done. You can preach obedience, but when the rubber bites the road we know what is really in your heart. When Abraham chose to follow through with the command of God to sacrifice his son, God declared concerning him that now he knows that he truly feared him (Genesis 22).

Jesus, in the focus verse, was bold to say that he keeps the word of God. But even for him, the great test came when he was about to lay down his life. He struggled at that point, his sweat falling like blood as his whole person shook with the intensity of the moment (Luke 22:37-45).

Whoever says that the will of God will always be easy is self-deceived. But we are to rest on the promise that God is at work in us both to will and to do of his good pleasure (Philippians 2:13). The bible says that Jesus offered himself to God through the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 9:14).

So we should expect to receive help with regards to recognising, connecting with and doing the will of God in everything.

Healing Jesus

butterfly-752456_640John 5:11: But he answered them, “The man who healed me, that man said to me, ‘Take up your bed, and walk.'” (ESV)

Healing takes a pride of place in the narrative of the life of Jesus. He is the one who carried away our sicknesses and our diseases (Matthew 8:16-17). He gives the mandate of healing to the church saying if we lay our hands on the sick they will recover (Mark 16:15-17).

Jesus healed in many ways: By casting out devils, laying on of hands, spoken words, touching. There is nothing too difficult for him to do on the healing dimension.

But in a place, he was unable to heal many because of the unbelief of the people. That means unbelief can block the flow of the healing anointing from Jesus. The opposite is also true.

For a woman suffering for twelve years in an issue of blood, touching the hem of the garment of Jesus even without his knowledge brought her instant relief (Luke 8:43-48). Jesus healed without even knowing about it. He is the sun of righteousness with healing in his wings, according to Malachi (Malachi 4:2).

Healing is no magic, it is about the presence of Jesus. While he was in a house, teaching the bible says that the power of God was present to heal (Luke 5:17-26). Let his healing presence touch you today. Amen.

God is Spirit

exoplanet-571906_640John 4:24: God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (ESV)

Jesus was setting the records straight about who God is. He should know since he came from him. John said: no one has seen God at anytime but the only begotten of the father, who is in the bosom of the father, he has declared him (John 1:18).

The mandate of Jesus when he was on earth was to reveal the father, who sent him to the world. He was to be a bridge builder, connecting us with the reality of who the father is.

The fact that God is Spirit is an unchanging reality, which means, as Jesus noted, that it is those who are spiritually enabled that can connect with him on an individual basis. That spiritual engagement comes through the blood of Jesus which paved the way for the Holy Spirit to come again into man after he became sin-infected (Hebrews 9:14).

Connection with God is primarily through spiritual means, it is not through rituals, or following certain codes. It is about a change that has been effected in us, it is about becoming new creatures (2Corinthians 5:17), not a patching up of the old relic.

It is a new order of being fitted with the equipment of a new spirit through Jesus (John 3:1-8), otherwise, everything else is a joke, because God is Spirit and you can’t change that.

The caring Jesus

jesus-316268_640John 2:4: And Jesus said to her, “Woman, what does this have to do with me? My hour has not yet come.” (ESV)

Though Jesus seems not to want to be disturbed by his mother about the wine finishing in that marriage, he could not help but be of help, in a way that only him can be, through supernatural provision (John 2:1-11).

Here we see the heart of Jesus, how he cannot but act when things are brought to his notice, when by telling him about it, asking him, we acknowledge his power, acknowledge that he is the one who has the solution.

When we use the name of Jesus, we are not just a ritual. He said if we ask anything in his name he will do it (John 14:13-14). He does not want the fact that he is no longer physically present reduce our faith in him.

When we call upon his name, the caring Jesus goes to work. In the story of the water turning to wine, we did not see the situation immediately changed when Mary drew his attention to the need, but the process began.

At first, it seems Jesus was not going to do anything about it, but there is care in the genetic makeup of Jesus, and he always acts to type, he always answers.

Understanding the scriptures

love-699480_640Luke 24:45: Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures, (ESV).

The mind needs help. The minds of the disciples of Jesus was limited in their capacity to grasp the scripture, unable to link what was written to what they were seeing, what was happening (Luke 24:13-35).

To understand the Scriptures, we need God‘s help. The psalmist prayed: open my eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of thy law (Psalm 119:18).

Paul said that in the reading of scripture under the old testament, there is a veil over the people’s minds (2Corinthians 3:12-18), but when we turn to the Lord, then the veil is removed.

What that means is that it all depends on where you stand. If you stand in the old covenant, your perception is covered (you see a form), but if in Christ, then the light really shines on your heart and you see clearly.

Jesus said that certain people err not knowing the scriptures nor the power of God (Matthew 22:29). That means not embracing the power of God, will cause you to err in the scriptures, and if you to not embrace the scriptures, you may shut out the power of God from operation. Where you stand with one determines what happens to you in the other, like two sides of a coin

Understanding the scriptures goes beyond cramming the words, it is engaging with the Spirit of the word (John 6:63, 2Timothy 3:16), submitting to its influence, not being hearers alone but doers (James 1:21-22), not just learning but living the truth (2Timothy 3:7).

Watch yourselves

flower-15701_640Luke 21:34: “But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap. (ESV)

If Jesus says watch yourself then it is a serious thing. He wants us to pay special attention to our heart. And the bible says that we should guard our hearts with all diligence because out of it flows the issues of life (Proverbs 4:23).

In the book of Malachi, divorce is linked to the heart going unfaithful, going unhinged from the need for commitment (Malachi 2:14-15).

In the focus verse, Jesus mentioned some things that affects the heart. He said that the heart can be weighed down with addictions, excesses, occupation with sensual pleasures, and being burdened with issues of this life.

We are to cast our burdens on the Lord, with full understanding that he cares for us (1Peter 5:6-7).

Watching yourself includes watching your thoughts (Philippians 4:8), watch what you occupy your time with, the people you associate with because the bible says that bad company corrupts good manners (1Corinthians 15:33).

We need to be aggressive about filling our hearts with the things of God, because of the wicked, we read that God is not in any of his thoughts (Psalm 10:4).

We should not seek independence from God as Adams did (Genesis 3), we need to seek to be more dependent on him, we should not lean on our own understanding but acknowledge him in all our ways (Proverbs 3:5-7).

To see Jesus

white-bengal-tiger-406994_640Luke 19:3: And he was seeking to see who Jesus was, but on account of the crowd he could not, because he was small in stature. (ESV)

To see Jesus, Zacchaeus needed something extra (Luke 19:1-10). But there was nothing that was strong enough to stop him in his quest. He did the extraordinary, climbing a tree. He had a social standing, but he yielded to the hunger in him and ran, climbed, to see Jesus.

He was short, so he had a physical restriction to seeing Jesus. What would hinder you from seeing Jesus to the fullest? Is it the pursuit of worldly things? The point is you cannot love God and Mammon (Matthew 16:13).

You cannot be focused on the world and on God at the same time. Jesus said that we should love God with all our strength (Luke 10:27). It takes the exertion of power, strength, time, effort, and aloneness. The top of the tree is a lonely place.

The choice Zacchaeus needed to make to see Jesus cannot be made by consensus, it has to be made alone, he could not discuss with anybody about it. Nobody can understand his hunger to see Jesus, no one can identify with his drive.

There are barriers to seeing Jesus all around us. We must be brave, we must be resolute, we must be undeterred, unbending in our resolve to see Jesus, gain more of his knowledge, wisdom and power, to see his glory manifest in our lives and through it.

Work ethics

book-841171_640Luke 17:9: Does he thank the servant because he did what was commanded? (ESV).

Hardwork is praised in the bible, while laziness is frowned at. Jesus said: I must work the work of him who sends me while it is day, the night comes when no man can work (John 9:1-4).

In the focus verse, Jesus was in the process of inculcating into the disciples the right attitude for spiritual service (Luke 17:7-10). He wanted a workforce with the best work ethics, not distracted by selfish consideration, but totally sold out.
He wanted them to see themselves as slaves, not ones with a wrong attitude, but one with a genuine understanding that it is actually a privilege to serve another’s needs.
They were to say: we are unprofitable servants. It means they will not be of any value whatsoever if they were not serving the will of the master, so they rejoice in that and regard themselves as blessed because of the privilege to serve. They were to derive their sense of value, usefulness, from their service, and closeness to the master.

Their mandate is to serve the master, wait on him. They were not to be focused in their own comfort at all. But now in the service of God, many people consider the financial implication, the time implication, and the energy implication, the sacrifice to self-will, entertainment, and ambition and goals, the persecution, the possible social cost, so they draw back from giving all it takes in the service of God.

Or after you make the sacrifice, do you now act as if, somehow, God owe you something, so you serve but you grumble in the process, like the elder brother in the story of the prodigal son (Luke 15:11-32)?

What will you do?

The power of repentance

swan-645589_640Luke 15:21: And the son said to him, ‘Father, I have sinned against heaven and before you. I am no longer worthy to be called your son.’ (ESV)

Repentance means changing your mind which in turn translates to changing your action. The prodigal son, who repented, went back to his father. He retraced his step, after reconsidering his situation (Luke 15:11-32).

Peter said that when we repent, we will experience times of refreshing from the presence of God (Acts 3:19).

This is in contrast to what Adam and Eve experienced when they were chased out of the Garden of Eden (Genesis 3), or what King Saul experienced when he had a spirit of torment (1Samuel 16).

Adam, Eve and Saul were disobedient, and their experience was far from “times of refreshing.” And being descendants of Adam we are the inheritors of his sin and it’s consequences (Romans 5:12-21).

But in Jesus, repentance is preached (Luke 24:46-48). And we have the opportunity to come from curses to blessing (Galatians 3), from error to wisdom , from darkness to light (Acts 26:18), to the very presence of God. One moment we were children of wrath (Ephesians 2:1-7), the next, through the gate of repentance, we come to the very presence of God, we have peace with God (Romans 5:1).

Repentance is the gateway to life. When we do not repent, we have chosen to remain the same. When the prodigal son repented, he started moving in the direction of change. Repentance is turning to God, like a plant turns to the sun to blossom.

In repentance we stop rejecting God and experience restoration; we sever our link with the first Adam and embrace the last (1Corinthians 15:45), in whom is victory.

Faithfulness

life-863462_640Luke 16:12: And if you have not been faithful in that which is another’s, who will give you that which is your own? (ESV)

Faithfulness is the consistent application of diligence in a particular direction. Faithfulness is a spiritual quality as listed among the fruit of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). Because we needed the Holy Spirit to bear that fruit in us means it is a deficiency in us occasioned by the sin of Adam.

When there is deficiency, then we need supplement. The more we fellowship with the Holy Spirit, in the word and prayer, we get infuse with the quality of faithfulness (1Corinthians 13:14).

There is no fruit without seed, and the seed is Jesus, it is the righteousness of Jesus that becomes our overall righteousness as enhanced by the Holy Spirit (2Corinthians 5:21).

Jesus described himself as a seed that needs to fall to the ground and which produces many others (John 12:24). In his death many were made righteous (Romans 5:19). A component of the character of Jesus is his faithfulness. The bible says in the book of Hebrews that he was faithful as a son over his own house (Hebrews 3:5-6). He was consistently diligent in that direction.

At a risk to his own neck, he stood out for the house of God, upsetting the existing economic system, making a whip beating people involved in selling in the temple and generally making himself obnoxious to the religious establishment. All because, as he said: “My Father’s house shall be called a house of prayer, but you have made it a den of thieves (Matthew 21:12-13, John 2: 13-17).”

He is faithful. He said: I will build my  church (Matthew 16:18). He is faithful to that also. He said he will never leave you nor forsake you (Hebrews 13:5).  He is also faithful to that.

Repayment

sparkler-677774_640 (1)Luke 14:14: you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.” (ESV)

Jesus was trying to inculcate a right understanding of reward in the people. Rather than look up to man for reward, he wanted them to look up to God, who repays on a grand scale in what is called the resurrection of the just. With that kind of focus, we will really live based on eternal rather than temporary consideration. Our primary influence becomes heavenly rather than pecuniary.

The bible says that he who comes to God must know that he is a rewarder (Hebrews 11:6). But we limit the reward to the earth, this time and age, and therefore become prone to disappointment, as we fight for human recognition, and compare ourselves with others, as we give with a short sighted approach, keeping our lives and not letting all go for the cause of Christ.

Therefore our impact is limited, because our understanding of reward is limited. Jesus said if anyone will come after him, he was deny himself, carry his cross (Luke 9:23).

But there is no carrying the cross without the understanding that there is a resurrection after. That is why Paul said that if only in the world we have benefit, then we are of all men most miserable (1Corinthians  15:19).

We can only give the level of denial we need as disciples of Jesus, when we fix our gaze on the eternal reward.

That is following the example of Jesus who for the joy set before him, the eternal joy of his reward, endured the cross (Hebrews 12:2), sacrificed himself as the lamb of God (John 1:29), did good to us, even if it meant going through harm himself.

And he was amply repaid. The bible says that he sees the result of the travail of his soul and he rejoiced (Isaiah 53:11).

The gift of the Holy Spirit

person-864804_640Luke 11:13: If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!” (ESV)

A gift is to be received. But since the gift in the focus verse is a spiritual gift, it has to be approached by faith. Faith is acting on the reality of the unseen. What is not seen is God who is giving the gift to you who ask for the Holy Spirit (Hebrews 11:6). Faith is you asking the unseen God for the gift. And what more, faith is you acting on the belief that you have received when you ask (Mark 11:22-24). You act by starting to speak in unknown tongues which you believe is the aftermath of your receiving the gift (Acts 2:1-4).

The gift of the Holy Spirit does not come unnoticed, when He came on Jesus, there was a visible expression of the heaven opening and the Spirit touching down on him in the form of a dove (Luke 3:22).

Throughout the new testament, what we see is people speaking in tongues on receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit. Once this understanding is faulty in you, then you compromise your ability to receive. You cannot receive the gift of a car and at the same time reject the ability to get from point A to point B faster. The gift and the effect cannot be separated. To take one is to take the other. To reject one is to reject the other.

A great prophet

lion-218919_640 Luke 7:16: Fear seized them all, and they glorified God, saying, “A great prophet has arisen among us!” and “God has visited his people!” (ESV)

To the people Jesus was a great Prophet by reason of the numerous miracles he did. But there was more to Jesus than the miracles, there was more to him than people knew and proclaimed.

He asked his disciples: what do men say that I the son of man am? There were different answers, ranging from John the Baptist, different prophets, Elijah (Matthew 16:13-17). They could only see him from the gridlock of their learnings, the past but not the future, they seek to fit him into the grid of their experience, but he was more than that.

It was Peter who eventually said of Jesus: You are the Christ the son of the living God. Jesus was ecstatic when he heard that, and he declared that can only be by revelation. The true knowledge of Jesus is by revelation. There is more to Jesus than what we know.

When we look to the pages of the bible, we realize that there is a Jesus who is the coming King, the one who will rule for 1000 years on this earth (Revelation 20:1-6). There is more to Jesus than meets the eye; than we can grasp with our finite mind.

Prophesying falsely

I have not sent them, declares the LORD, but they are prophesying falsely in my name, with the result that I will drive you out and you will perish, you and the prophets who are prophesying to you.” – Jeremiah 27:15 (ESV)

The prophets were influencing the people wrongly by the falsehood they were feeding them in the name of the Lord.

This is a call for you to carefully chose the influence you come under. Jesus said it this way: be careful how you hear because the measure with which you hear shall be measured back to you (Mark 4:24).

Remember Eve (Genesis 3). She was not careful about what she was hearing. She heard enough to yield to the influence of the devil and she sinned against God.

Paul said that faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God (Romans 10:17). If we did not hear the gospel we will not believe, and if we did not believe we will not be saved (Romans 10:14-17).

Words are powerful. Jesus himself is God the Word (John 1:1-3). God created the world with his word (Hebrews 11:3). So the best thing is to choose to hear the right things.

But the bible says that people in the last days will not want to hear the right words, sound doctrine, but they will have itchy ears and because of that heap for themselves teachers who will a tell them what they want to hear, pander to their fancy (2 Timothy 4:1-4). 
They want to continue in sin and still regard themselves as being candidates of heaven. They deny the fact that the gospel doesn’t just give you something but it changes you. It is the gateway to becoming new creatures, not just for passing from hell to heaven. The gospel delivers much more than just getting your name registered in heaven.

In the focus verse, the false prophets preaches that the status quo was alright, while the people were living wrongly and God needed that to change. They were promised that they will not be moved no matter what, while God was saying that if they do not turn they will become captives and be exiled to another land.

The moral of the story is that because someone says that they are speaking from God does not mean they are. We have personal responsibility to know the truth ourselves and move in that direction. It is not enough to know the right thing, are we living the right way?

The bible says: if you know these things blessed are you if you do them (John 13:17). 
To really know something is to do it. James said it this way: be not hearers of the word only, deceiving yourself, but be doers, and that it is a doer that will be blessed, not a forgetful hearers (James 1:22-25).
You are not blessed just because you hear, you need to do the word. In the first Psalm, we read that a man who is blessed in everything he does, that he does not just meditate on the word, but also rejects the wrong influences.

The bible says that evil communication corrupts good manners. Therefore, if you seek to embrace the word of God and at the same time maintain your attachment, association to the falsehoods around, it is a contradiction.
James said: love of the world is enmity with God (James 4:4). There is no way to mix the two. God wants you totally. Jesus said we should love God with all our hearts, soul, might (Mark 12:30). In that case, nothing must distract from it. Absolute commitment is all we need.

The least in the kingdom of God is the one who ignores the word of God and teach others to do the same (Matthew 5:19). But the greatest is one who upholds the word of God, live by it and teaches others the same, will be called the greatest. It is not enough to know, you must do the word. That is actually the real test of the fact that you know.

God tested Abraham when he asked him to sacrifice his son. At the end of that test, God declared that now he knows he Abraham fears him (Genesis 24). 
It is not enough to sing: “I fear you Lord”, we must exhibit it in our lives. Sacrifice was also demanded from Jesus, the sacrifice of his life. He cannot just say that he will make the sacrifice, he had to go through with it, pain and all.

The book of Psalm says that the man who will stand upon God’s holy mountain swears to his own hurt and does not change (Psalm 15). We see that in Jesus who followed through with the divine mandate to shed his blood for humanity.

And Peter enjoined us to follow in his step, saying that he has laid an example for us to follow (1Peter 2:21). He is out Shepherd and he should lead while we follow. He is the word of God, he is the full manifestation of God in the bodily (Hebrews 1:1-3). He is the light and in him we do not walk in darkness, but we have the light of life (John 8:12).

When we read the Bible, it is an encounter with him that we should seek. He told the Jews: ye search the scriptures, thinking that in them you have eternally life, but they speak of me, but you will not come to me so that you might have life (John 5:39-40). 
If he said that while he was on the earth, how much more now that he has been made a life-giving Spirit (1Corinthians 15:45).
Before his death and resurrection, he said that he was the resurrection and life (John 11:25). How much more now that he is given all the powers in heaven and on earth?

Anything that leads away from him is false. The bible says that no one can say Jesus is Lord, expect by the Spirit of God, and no one can say Jesus is accursed speaking by the Holy Spirit (1Corinthians 12:1-3). If it is about the exaltation of Jesus, then God is in it, if not, he is far from it, it is false, it is deception, and should be avoided.

Rest

lighthouse-581082_640Joshua 23:1: And it came to pass a long time after that the LORD had given rest unto Israel from all their enemies round about, that Joshua waxed old and stricken in age. (KJV)

God wants to give us rest. Jesus said that we should not worry about anything, but we should put our mind on the fact that God as a father cares for us (Matthew 6:24-34).

He said that we cannot achieve anything through worrying. We cannot add a little thing to our height. There is nothing that worrying does, except shift our focus from God and stop us from having faith in God. Worry is doubt and the bible says that he who doubts should not think that he will receive anything from God (James 1:5-8).

Therefore worrying harms us and because Jesus loves us he wants us to desist from it. Worry disconnect us from God, since faith is connection to God. He said we should come to him so that we can have rest for our soul.

The soul is descriptive of our humanity. And when rest is far from the soul, what we have is fear, worry, depression and even wrath (aggravated anger) which is a work of the flesh.

And the bible says that anger lies in the bosom of fools and the one who does not have control over his emotion is a fool, like a city without wall (Ecclesiastes 7:9). That means that the one who cannot control his emotion will be susceptible to all manner of influences. He would not be consistent, he can be easily controlled, made to do things he or she will regret.

Paul mentioned self-control as fruit of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). God will not bother to supply us with it if it is not a real need.

We need self-control. We also need knowledge which the bible says will be the stability of our times (Isaiah 33:6). Another key to rest is spiritual maturity. Paul wrote that God gave the Apostles, Prophets, Teachers, Evangelist for the equipping of the saints, so that we may attain to the full statue of the fullness of Christ, and no longer be tossed to and fro with every wind of doctrine (Ephesians 4:12-14).

It was the same Paul who said that we need to be careful about those who bring teaching in which our soul becomes unsettled. The writer of the book of Hebrews says it is good that the heart be established by grace not with meat which have not profit not those occupied with it (Hebrews 13:9). Being actively in pursuit of the knowledge of God will make you less susceptible to the deception of the devil.

When the devil makes you restless, it is to make you lose focus. When certain spies brought evil report of the land of Canna to the people of Israel in the wilderness, the people were disturbed and were pulled away from trust in God and they perished (Numbers 13-14). To trust God is therefore for our own good.

When Paul said that we should not worry about anything but with pray we should make our requests known to God, he was showing us another way to rest- prayer (Philippians 4:6).

Jesus told worrying Martha that if you believe you will see the glory of God, the opposite is also true, that if we will not believe we will not see the glory of God, but darkness (John 11:40). The children of Israel, instead of resting in the commitment of God to give them the Promised Land were shaken from their place of trust, they were blinded by the fear which rose up in them and they stopped seeing the lord going before them fighting for them. David said: I set the lord always before me, because he is at my right hand I shall not be shaken (Psalm 16:8).

When Adam and Eve were shaken from trust in the word of God they lost their rest (Genesis 3). As mentioned before, the bible says that wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of our times. When we reject the knowledge of God we are rejecting rest, we are moving from light to darkness and nearing a fall.

Rest captures what humanity needs.  When God made man, he gave him restful work, but after sin and they were chased from the Garden of Eden, it was to work the ground cursed for their sake. They started struggling with the ground which yields thorns and thistle, and they experienced the thorns of pain and futility. They had to sweat before they eat.

But the grace of Jesus Christ released to us is to take us back to our place of ease. Before Jesus came we labour under the burden of sin, sickness and satanic oppression.

Jesus however came with the anointing to set us free from every burden, to heal the broken heart, the open the blind eyes, to cause us to experience positive change and for us to enter into his rest.

The bible says that there remains a rest for the people of God, and those who believe do enter into that rest (Hebrews 4:9-10). They experience rest from their own works and are put on the works of Jesus, they eat the fruit of his labour and are refreshed.

While Adam and Eve ate they fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil and they became restless, we eat the fruit of Jesus’ relationship with God the Father we enter into rest, as Jesus said we should come to him so that we can find rest for our soul.

We do not need to sweat it out to get to God, in the name of Jesus we access God, by the Spirit that he releases we have access to God (Ephesians 2:18).

His blood removes the limits that sin puts between us and God. The bible says that God’s ears are not heavy that he cannot hear us, nor his hand shortened that he cannot save, but sin has put a blockade between us and God (Isaiah 59:1).

And Jesus came with the solution for our sins. He came to save us from our sin (Matthew 1:21). Sin is contrary to the way God made man, therefore with sin, man becomes restless, he makes the wrong decision, takes the wrong turn and faces the bitter consequences.

Paul said that what he wants to do he does not do but what he does is what he does not want to do. He discovered that there is the willingness is in him to do right thing by God but the ability in him the programming in him is that of sin (Romans 7:22-8:1).

He cried out: who shall deliver me from this body of sin? Answer Jesus. Jesus is our gateway to rest from sin. It is because of his grace that we are no longer under the law but under grace, not just knowing what is right but enabled to do it, which is grace (Romans 6).

Jesus comes to us, to help us. He is our help. He was sent from heaven to be that for us. He opened the eyes of the blind both physically and spiritually (Luke 4:18). He comes with that level of spiritual power to break us from our bondages.

He is the alpha and the omega, the beginning and the ending. He sees the end from the beginning and gives us his strength. He says: all power in heaven and on earth are with me and he sends us out to bring people into his rest, through an experience of him (Matthew 28:18-20).

Our work therefore on his behalf is not of struggle. We work in his power, we go with his unstoppable mandate the unstoppable mandate of the one who knows the end from the beginning; He says: my counsel will stand I will do all my will (Isaiah 46:10). We can rest in that assurance.

It is true 

It is true. It is real. It is Project 10000. 10000 people to be trained in three years to take the word of God to the world via the Internet.

In Jehiel Institute, we already have a 7-man planning committee committed to the project. Soon you may see someone pushing an handbill under your nose telling you about the programme and how it is going to do you a whole lot of good to be among the number, part of the spiritual force trained in a spiritual boot camp, equipped with prayer, word of God and Internet savvy and unleashed on the world.
For more information send your name, phone number, location and email address to jehielinstitute@gmail.com.See you on the other side of impact.
Kayode Crown 
Director of Studies.

The promise

flowers-209144_640Joshua 17:4: They approached Eleazar the priest and Joshua the son of Nun and the leaders and said, “The LORD commanded Moses to give us an inheritance along with our brothers.” So according to the mouth of the LORD he gave them an inheritance among the brothers of their father. (ESV)

The daughters of Zelophehad, five of them not only remembered the word of the Lord but demanded that it materializes.

Because it was the word of God to them that everyone was aware of, there was no argument when the time came from the leader Joshua.

The women did not come with their own opinion, not with their own agenda, but they presented the word of God and they had it delivered. They did not try to take what they wanted by force, they did not try to convince anyone, they did not seek for favour, as far as they were concerned because God said it; that settled it.

What they experienced was the glory of God, the manifestation of the word of God to them, to meet them at the point of their need. Jesus told Martha: if you will believe, you will see the glory of God (John 11:40).

Who she was supposed to believe was standing before her, that is Jesus the resurrection and the life. The daughters of Zelophehad believed the word of God, when it comes to their possession and they got it.

They were fixated on obtaining the promise and according to the word of God that takes faith and patience. They were willing to wait it out, allowing the fullness of time to come for them to take possession of the promised.

The bible says that on mount Zion there shall be deliverance and the house of Jacob shall possess their possession (Obadiah 1:17). Possessing your possession (getting what God as appointed for you) is part of the expression of the glory of God in our lives. The bible says that the earth will be filled with the glory of God as the waters cover the sea and that includes possessing our possession (Habakkuk 2:14). As it is written: the lines are fallen unto us in pleasant places; ye I have a godly heritage (Psalm 16:6).

But before the daughters of Zelophehad could get what was theirs, they asked. God said we should come with our strong reasoning (Isaiah 41:21). God did not make us unending. He made us with desires. Jesus said: when we pray we should believe we receive as we ask whatever we desire (Mark 11:22-24).

God is not a killjoy, he is the one described in the bible as giving you everything freely to enjoy (1Timothy 6:17). Jesus asked some people: what do you want me to do for you (Matthew 20:32-34)?

God wants to have a conversation with you about what you need, what you want. Moses asked different things from God. He asked that God will forgive the children of Israel when they sinned (Deuteronomy 10:10); he asked for the presence of God to be with the people as they moved through the wilderness. He said: if your presence will not go with us, do not take us from here (Numbers 33:15). That was a man who knew what he wanted and demanded for it.

There was the widow in the parable of Jesus who continued to make demand of the judge, until he yielded (Luke 18:1-8). Jesus expected the same importunity in prayer from us, saying, when the Son of man comes will he find faith on the earth? That faith is associated with fervent prayer; unrelenting prayer in the pursuit of the fulfilment of a desire from God, to get what is rightfully ours. A promise that is made must be enforced and that is done through prayer.

God is committed to his promise. His promise is backed by with his power. He said no word he releases returns to him void (Isaiah 55:11). God has said that the earth will be filled his glory (Habakkuk 2:14). God sent his word to you and that becomes healing in our lives (Psalm 107:20). He said that he will heal us and give us an abundance of peace (Jeremiah 33:6).

When the word of God goes forth, his power goes forth. So his promises are not empty notions. The word of God was the tool in the creation of the world (Genesis 1:1-3). The bible says that by faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God (Hebrews 11:3).

The word of God releases light. The bible says that the reasons we have such great promises is so that we might become partakers of the divine nature (2Peter 1:4). Therefore the promises have creative power, to create us in the shape that we should be in.

Jesus promised to make Peter a fisher of men, and the word was packed with enough power to create the reality that it presents (Mark 1:17). That was exactly what happened after some time.

The word is a window into the thoughts of God, into the plan of God, it is the channel to becoming all we can be in God; it is the light that empowers us to walk in the glory of God. That is why with the precious promises we are connected with the purpose and power of God, we are guided aright, and when we take the right action according to that word, we will get the result for the glory of God.

The word of God shapes us rightly, it gives us a sense of direction, and the bible says that without vision the people will perish, the word of God gives us direction, gives us the reason for living. It is the window to who we are to who God is, to who we should become, to the very presence of God. The bible says that the truth is meant to guide us to the very presence of God (Psalm 43:3). We would not know God except in the context of his word.

The word of God helps us to maintain our balance in a changing world, when we set our eyes on it. The bible says that the book of the law shall not depart from our mouth but we should meditate on it day and night, and the result in unquestionable success and effectiveness. That was God’s word to Joshua as he was about to embark on a new season in his life (Joshua 1:8).

The protocol

forest-682003_640Joshua 14:12: So now give me this hill country of which the LORD spoke on that day, for you heard on that day how the Anakim were there, with great fortified cities. It may be that the LORD will be with me, and I shall drive them out just as the LORD said.” (ESV)

Caleb made a demand of what he was promised. This is instructive. It shows that because something was promised does not mean that it will be delivered. That is why we pray.

Because something is rightfully yours does not mean it will be delivered to you. The point is, the kingdom of God suffers violence and the violent take it by force (Matthew 11:12). Jesus said: ask and it shall be given to you, knock and the door will be opened to you, seek and you will find. You need to make the prayer effort. In the place of prayer, we become co-creators with God of what he wants to do in our lives.

Caleb was promised that particular spot of land because he was courageous enough to say that because God was with them, the people can take the Promised Land.

Being faithful to the word of God, to gain the promise, he waited for forty years. The bible says that we should follow those who through faith and patience obtained the promise (Hebrews 6:12). Caleb exhibited both. He kept his eyes on the prize for forty years throughout the journey in the wilderness, and the children of Israel wandered throughout the wilderness. He waited upon the lord, he thought about the promise, he fixed his heart on the word spoken. He did not allow God’s word that he believed to slip away from him, he meditated on it. And when the time came, he asked for what he was promised to be given to him.

But from the focus verse, we realise that getting the promised piece of land was more than asking for it. God has given it to him, and Joshua (the leader of Israel) may agree with him as he did, but there are enemies on the land who had to be driven out, and that was going to take some effort. He was going to have to put his courage to work. He was giving to face his fear, confront the fear of the unknown, the fear of his inadequacies.

God was greater than all his fears. But since he heard from God who promised him and he refused to be shaken. He was focused on the reality of the unseen, not allowing the “seen” reality of the sons of Anakim to shake him from his faith in the word of God.

He fully realised that it will take God being with him to achieve his aim. Nevertheless, as far as he was concerned there was no option except to take hold of the word of God.

The Promised Land was a big deal for the children of Israel. In all their history, wherever they stayed had been temporary. Their father Abraham was asked to leave his father’s house to a land which God will show him, he did that, but never really got to put his root down anywhere except purchase a burial ground (Genesis 23:1-18).

Later the people of Israel, who was the grandson of Abraham, went down to Egypt, and they were tenant of the people there. And when God sent Moses to bring them out after hundreds of years they entered the Promised Land. From that background, we can understand that Caleb getting his hand on a piece of choice real estate was a big deal.

He got it by a combination of his own faithfulness, God’s promises, his own demand, and his courage to take action towards conquering the land.

When Moses sent twelve spies to spies our Cana, there was a report that the sons of Anakim were there and because of that, ten of them said that conquering the land of Canaan was something that cannot be done (Numbers 13-14).

But Caleb said no, and the one who said no was promised the every land that was scary to others. While the ten had small vision, Caleb had a big vision.

The small vision of the naysayers negatively affected them, they died soon after they gave their negative report, while the “big vision” Caleb whom God said had another spirit in him lived for the forty years of the journey of Israel in the wilderness and eventually conquered the land, and gave some of it as a dowry to his daughter when he married.

People will be affected by the size of your vision, big or small. Your big vision or small vision will affect people. The big vision of Caleb made a big dowry available for his daughter when he married her off. And his courage continues to impact many even till today.

But for those who had small vision – the ten spies, though they died, and their small vision affected the hundreds of thousands of the children of Israel who bought into their ill-advised vituperations against the will and word of God to conquer the Canaan. They kicked against the plan of God, taking the advice of the ten. So, small vision will affect many and big vision will also affect many.

You need to choose to see with God’s vision, see big things, see big possibilities or be bent over in fear of the unknown, rejecting the known word of God. That is the way things work; that is the protocol, what you allow to take root in you will affect many, either for faith or fear. The writer of the book of Hebrews said that we should be watchful lest the root of bitterness grow so much as to defile many (Hebrews 12:15). What you allow to grow in you will affect those who come close to you.

Whatever influence you submit to can affect those around you. We have opportunity to affect others in time and eternity as we stand with God. Jesus sent you out to be his witness for that same purpose. His single stance with God, in agreeing to bear the sin of the word, made impact for both past, present and the future. The bible says that he will see the travail of his soul and will rejoice. That is the protocol, who you are will affect others, so be the best you can be, and make the bests choice you can make.

Total conquest

sword-790815_640Joshua 11:21: And Joshua came at that time and cut off the Anakim from the hill country, from Hebron, from Debir, from Anab, and from all the hill country of Judah, and from all the hill country of Israel. Joshua devoted them to destruction with their cities. (ESV)

Joshua moved with swiftness and the nations were falling before him in packs. It was the Promised Land, the people were prepared, they had a charge from God, and there was no going back. They moved forward by the word of God. They did not allow fear to hold them back. They had no other option but to follow the word of God, to move forward and take the Promised Land, there was no going back, no backing down.

Their history was a big lesson on why not to reject the word of God. After about two years that God after coming from Egypt, God wanted them to start taking over the land. But after twelve spies were sent to bring a report of the Promised Land, and ten brought an evil report, Israel chose to agree with the evil report of the fearful spies and chose to rebel against the will of God (Numbers 13-14).

God wanted them to go into the Promised Land in fulfilment of his word to their father Abraham, but they had other ideas.

Eventually, the promise of God will come to pass but in another generation. God decided that set of people would not follow God willingly, he was going to allow them to pine away in the wilderness as they wander and die there.

And the children who are under twenty years at that time eventually inherited the Promised Land. Those who rejected the word of God wasted away in the wilderness.

The wilderness represents the place of limitation, and that generation allowed their latent fear to limit their vision and motion, and they died not fulfilling their ultimate potential.

But the Joshua generation was ready. They were not suffering from slavery hangover, not suffering from the fear of the unknown, they were in awe of the word of God knowing what happened to those who chose a different path than the one God outlines.

They refused to consider their own limitation, fully believing that since God was with them, no one can be against them. They stood firm in the face of opposition. They did not consider their lack of experience, their limited preparedness.

They had their eyes on the word of God and following the leadership of Joshua they piled victory upon victory. The fear of them filled the heart of the people all around. After they parted the river Jordan to move into the Promised Land, the people knew that this group of Israelites were unique, they had the power of God backing them up.

To mount a formidable resistance against them, their opposition set out to hire those who will curse them or they combine themselves together or shut the walls of the city against them, but in the end, Israel gained total conquest because they exhibited total trust in God.

They pressed on regardless of the size and ferocity of the opposition. They believed that greater is the one who is with him than he who is with their enemies. Their God has no limitation. Our God has no limitation. The bible says that in the beginning God created the heaven on the earth (Genesis 1:1-3). That gives the picture of the kind of God that we are talking about, not one limited in power, by time or in wisdom; and because of that he is able to give total conquest.

Limitless power

The children of Israel would not have the hope of having total conquest if they did not depend on the power of God.

But in the conquering of the land of Ai, the bible noted that they did not ask God to lead them, and seeing the town as smaller than Jericho which they recently conquered, Joshua sent a few men there (Joshua 7).

The result was damning! They were routed before the enemy, and were later told that they were defeated because God withdrew himself from the nation of Israel, because in the conquest of Jericho, someone committed a sin, against to God’s instruction.

Victory for them was not by military might but by the power of God. This was brought poignantly home in a story of the battle of the children of Israel against a certain enemy nation where Moses was asked to lift up a staff. When his hand grew weak and it fell down, and his hand was up they were winning (Exodus 17:1-14). The rod of Moses represented the power of God, and in that we see how what is done in secret impacts on what happens in the public. Jesus said that when we pray in secret, God will reward us openly (Matthew 6:6).

Not limited by time

Just as God is not limited in ability, he is not limited in time. Peter said it this way: a day with the Lord is like a thousand years and a thousand years like a day (2Peter 3:8). He created time. When God chose to become man, he chose to be limited by time and space, or maybe not. He told Nathanael that already knew him even though they had not met before.

Not limited in wisdom

The whole world runs on the wisdom of God. The changing season, the rotation of the earth, the balance of the gases in the atmosphere, the changing weather, the rising and falling of the sun, all manifest the wisdom of God. The bible says that the heaven declares the glory of the Lord (Psalm 19). The created are the handiwork of God and they manifest his wisdom.

Conclusion

The Joshua generation mostly kept in step with God. The connected with all powerful God, they were able to overcome the opposition, no matter how big and how subtle.

The Lord with me

person-864804_640Joshua 6:27: So the LORD was with Joshua, and his fame was in all the land. (ESV)

The lord being with Joshua is beyond a mere statement. One of the ways it was manifested was in the great victory that God gave Israel through him in the destruction of Jericho (Joshua 6).

Jericho was not your run in the mill city. The wall which surrounded it was so thick. But within a week of doing something about it, following God’s instruction, the walls of Jericho fell down flat and the city was totally destroyed by the children of Israel. It was definitely God who gave the victory but the instruction was passed through Joshua and because of that the people had Joshua in awe. It was something unique, having the wall of Jericho fall down flat was something special. Even great Moses did not have a similar item on his “resume.”

Before that event, Joshua had an encounter with an angel of God (Joshua 5), but we did not read that he told anybody about it. He probably did not make an announcement of it.

There are people who specialise in speaking of their special private encounter with God. That is self-elevation which God frowns at.

Though Paul experienced a deluge of spiritual revelation, it was not his common practise of talk about them, except when sharing about his salvation, of the supernatural encounter he had with Jesus that day on the way to Damascus (Acts 9).

He had so much supernatural encounter with God that at a time, he said that a messenger of Satan was assigned to him to buffet him (2Corinthians 12:1-12). No one in the history of the world can make such a claim, that he has so much revelation a messenger of Satan was sent to him to make him remain humble.

But Paul was very much focused on teaching the scriptures and preaching Jesus instructing people about the principles and dynamics of his birth, death, resurrection, and their relevance to the lives of the people that they may believe (1Corinthians 2:2).

He said that his preaching focus is Christ and him crucified. He was not interested in always trying to make himself respected by speaking of his big revelations. He said those who compare themselves with themselves are not wise (2Corinthians 10:12).

It was with great reluctance that he talked about being taken to the third heavens to hear unspeakable things which were not lawful for man to utter.

He does not immediately go to press to make an announcement of his supernatural encounters. And he said that he does not want people to rate him more that they have actually witnessed in his life (2Corinthians 12:6).

“The lord is with me,” is not for me to announce, it is for God to announce. The bible says that we should let another mouth praise us and not our own mouth (Proverbs 27:2). We are not supposed to be boastful, blowing our own trumpet, trying to becoming prestigious in the eyes of the people by making exotic claims, painting ourselves in flattering colours in their minds’ eyes.

God resists the proud and gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). We are supposed to humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God who in due time will lift us up (1Peter 5:6). Both you and God cannot be “lifting you up” at the same time. You have to be actively humbling yourself and in turn God will be active in elevating you but in his time. And the opposite can also happen. When you are so active in exalting ourselves, blowing our own trumpet, God is set to shut you out.

Jeremiah wrote: the lord is with me like a mighty terrible one (Jeremiah 20:11). He knows when God is with him, it does not matter who is against him (Romans 8:31).

The presence of God with us achieves different things in our lives. It prepares us, it incubates us, and it refreshes us.

Prepare

God is not with is for the fun of it, it is to prepare us. David said that God trains his hand for battle (Psalm 18). When the anointing came upon David the first time, he became courageous enough to take down Goliath. He said the God who was with him enabled him to kill bear and lion which attempted to kill the sheep in his care.

Samuel poured the oil on him on God’s instruction, and the bible says that the Holy Spirit came upon him from that time on (1Samuel 16-17). It was after that he took down Goliath.

The word of God prepared us to confront sin in all its dimensions. In Psalm 119 we read that when we keep God’s word in our heart, we will move from sinfulness to holiness (Psalm 119:9-11). God’s word being with us is the same as God being with us, and that prepares us to live a holy life as he is holy.

Incubates

This is about internal changes, metamorphosis, transformation. Paul said that we should not be conformed to this world but be transformed (Romans 12:2).

We cannot be changed by just our own effort, rather we will be changed by the power of God. We are not changed by worrying about changing, by reading more books, we are changed by the presence of God, through different means that we experience it.

To be made into a fisher of men, what Peter needed to do was be with Jesus. Jesus told him: follow him and I will make you a fisher of men (Matthew 4:19). The “making” comes in the “following.”

Jesus embodies the presence of God (Hebrews 1:1-3). Right now for us, the presence of God is conveyed by the Holy Spirit.

When we know what the presence of God is all about then we will craze for it as we should. A psalmist wrote that he needs to be with God, that he is hungry and thirsty for him (Psalm 42:1-2). If you do not know that God is one to be hungry and thirsty for then you are really in the wrong shape.

Peter wrote that we should desire the sincere milk of the word of God so that we may grow thereby (1Peter 2:2). There is no shortcut, it is through the presence of God delivered in doses from the word that we experience divine growth.

Refreshing

Peter said that when we repent, we will experience times of refreshing from the presence of God (Acts 3:19). To be refreshed is to come out as new, it is to experience renewed grace. It is to be sustained by divine energy flowing into us.

The bible says that those who wait upon the lord will renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagle and they were walk and not faint, run and not be weary. They are rejuvenated, they regain strength (Isaiah 40:13).

Elevation

life-863462_640Joshua 4:14: On that day the LORD exalted Joshua in the sight of all Israel, and they stood in awe of him just as they had stood in awe of Moses, all the days of his life. (ESV)

Joshua did not attempt to elevate himself in the sight of the others. He waited for God to elevate him. But did he really have a choice but to humble himself for God to elevate him in view of the fact that Moses the one from whom he took over as the leader of Israel had such gigantic reputation and it was not easy to follow in his act.

In the first chapter of the book of Joshua, it was plain for all to see that it was not easy for Joshua to take over from Moses after his death. Not only did God say he needed to be courageous but the men of Israel repeatedly told him that he should be bold to take the necessary steps, that they were with him, and that they will deal seriously with anyone who acts otherwise.

Joshua did not try to make himself seem important in the eyes of the people, and that gives God the “space” to elevate him in the eyes of the people. The bible says that God resists the proud but gives grace to the humble (James 4:6). The devil is an example in this. He sought to elevate himself above God and the result was a crunching total demotion (Isaiah 14:12-16).

The same can be said for Adam and Eve. They were tempted to disobey God with the lure that eating the forbidden fruit will lead to an elevation of their wisdom. It was not to be. What they thought will to lead them to wisdom in the pursuant of their self-will, lead to their destruction (Genesis 3).

Real elevation by God may not be so interpreted by men. Men judge according to appearance, but God judges the heart (1Samuel 16:7).

It was the acts of God through the life of Joshua and Moses that lead to their elevation in the eyes of the people. And in the case of Moses he was so great that God needed to hide the place of his death and bury him himself. He died, but his burial place was not known, he was one of a kind (Deuteronomy 34:1-6).

When God was talking about him, he said that to other prophets he manifests in dreams, but with Moses he speaks face to face with God as friends (Numbers 12:5-10). Moses was the one who “singlehandedly” brought the children of Israel from Egypt.

So you can imagine how Joshua would feel trying to fill the shoes of such a great man. But he was different from Moses, having a different role from his. Moses did not lead the people into the Promised Land because of his temperament through he brought them from Egypt, but Joshua was meant to accomplish that. And while Moses parted the Red Sea and had the army of Egypt drown in the same, in the elevation of Joshua before the children of Israel, God caused him to do something for the River Jordan to be parted and the children of Israel to pass through it.

Man was created and put on an elevated stage, but he was brought down by sin in a thunderous crash. But he was not allowed to stay there as Jesus came to bear the punishment of sin and free men to go back to their place of elevation.

God, when he was about to make man, said: let us make man in our own image and let him have dominion on the birds of the air, the beasts on the ground and the fishes in the sea (Genesis 1:26-28). He was supposed to be the law on the earth.

He had a purposeful relationship with God and another human, he had the possession of the Garden of Eden, a well-watered and landscaped paradise.

But when he chose to rebel against the word of God he fell from grace. There can be no claim to the experience of grace if we do not ardently embrace and follow of the word of God, which is called the word of grace (Acts 20:32).

With Jesus coming thousands of years after the sin in the Garden of Eden, we have another opportunity to get it right, to embrace the Word of God. Jesus is the embodiment of the word of God. God spoke about Jesus from heaven in the hearing of both Peter and John (while in a supernatural appearance, Moses and Elijah stood with Jesus on a mount): this is my beloved son hear him (Matthew 17:5). His rank is higher that Moses and Elijah, both of whom existed because of him (Colossians 1:16).

To truly hear is to allow our steps to be guided by what we have heard, it is to respond in faith to the word of God by acting based on it.

God wants humanity to hear Jesus, act based on the reality that he represents, the reality of the possibility of the reset in man’s relationship with God that went downhill since the mishap in the Garden of Eden.

We went down by rejecting the word, now we will come up by embracing the word, Jesus. Jesus is the Word who is God and the God who is the Word, he is the full communication of the father and he needs to be received (Hebrews 1:1-3).

A man prayed in the bible: send forth your truth which will guide me to your tabernacle (Psalm 43:3). Remember that with the sin the Garden of Eden, man was chased from the place where he had a close relationship with God, and now God has sent his son, he has sent the Word, and when we follow him, he leads us back to the presence of God, to an experience of God, to becoming partakers of the divine nature as we once were (2Peter 1:4).

We are made new creatures (2Corinthians 5:17), and are elevated to the heavenly places, the place of light as God moves us from the darkness that humanity was plunged into as we rejected the light of his presence (Colossians 1:13). In Jesus all was not lost, all was restored and more.

The power and purpose of God’s word

study-862994_640Joshua 1:1: Moses, the LORD’s servant, was dead. So the LORD spoke to Joshua son of Nun, who had been the assistant of Moses. The LORD said: (CEV)

There are two things we can learn about the word of God: the “Power of His Word” and the “Reason for His Word.” The power of God’s word captures the ability inherent in it, and the reason captures the purpose the word is supposed to accomplish.

The Power of the Word

In the work of creation, we see the power of the word of God. While the earth was empty and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep according to the testimony of scriptures, things changed by reason of the word of God (Genesis 1:1-3). There is nothing too hard for God to do, and the instrument of his action is his word. The bible says that the lord sent his word and healed them and delivered them from their destruction (Psalm 107:20).

There is power in the word. Jesus said that the words that I speak are Spirit and life (John 6:63).  He puts a premium on his words and he wants us to do the same with our own word. He said we should let our yes be yes and no to be no, adding that anything else comes from the evil one.  He said every idle word will be judged.

The word of God is so powerful that it is the means for people to be saved. When a man in the book of Acts, a gentile, a roman soldier, was chosen to be saved, God asked him to send for Peter who  will tell him words by which he will experience salvation (Acts 10).

Paul said that he is not ashamed of the gospel which he said that it is the power of God for salvation (Romans 1:16). When writing to the church in Rome he said that for people to be saved they have to believe, and they cannot believe until they hear the word of the gospel, and they will not hear except people are sent to deliver the word of the gospel (Romans 10:9-17).

When Jesus said that we shall be his witnesses after the Holy Spirit has come upon us, he was saying that we will speak for him, and through that many will be saved (Acts 1:8).

The gospel is beyond information, it carries the ability to impart faith for salvation. Paul also wrote that faith comes by hearing the word of God.  When the gospel goes forth, faith becomes birthed in the heart of people to believe and they are saved. The word of God creates saving faith. It creates the platform for the Holy Spirit to do his work of convicting, illumination, for people to realise that they are in darkness and walk into the light.

An encounter with the word of God is an encounter with the divine transformative power. The process of the renewing of the mind includes encountering the word of God, and that creates internal changes in us (Romans 12:1-2). The bible says that we should not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of the mind.

The reason for the word

The bible says that the word of God is like rain that comes from heaven and does not return to him void without accomplishing the purpose for which it was sent (Isaiah 55:11). But when we do not know the reason the word was sent, we would not be able to cooperate with it. We lose out.

Jesus is the embodiment of the Word. He is the Word. The bible says that in the beginning was the Word and the Word was with God and the word was God. The Word became flesh and dwelled among us (John 1:1-17).

But that was not all, he appeared to his own and they did not recognise him for who he was. They rejected him, hanging him on the cross outside the city of Jerusalem. But John added that the one who receives him to them is given the power to become sons of God.

The way you receive the word will determine how you experience it. When we receive Jesus as the son of God, as the saviour, we become sons of God (Matthew 1:21) and we become saved from our sins and we receive new life. When we receive him as light, we experience light and move from darkness, and the bread of life, we have life, as the baptizer with the Holy Spirit, we move from the dryness to the experience of the Holy Spirit.

That was what John the baptiser said about Jesus. He said though he himself baptises the people with water, there is one coming after him who will baptise them with Holy Spirit and fire (Luke 3:16).

At that time, the people did not fully grasp what that means, but those of us reading the account now, have more understanding of what John meant.

We know that Jesus is the baptizer with the Holy Spirit and fire as we read that cloven tongues as of fire appeared to the disciples in the upper room in Jerusalem as 120 people experienced the infilling of the Holy Spirit in the second chapter of the book of Acts.

They were told by Jesus that they should go to Jerusalem to wait for the promise of the father, which is the Holy Spirit. They received and believed that word, and waited as Jesus said they should, moving in the right direction.

When we understand the purpose of the word, we will allow it to direct our step. When we realise that obeying the word of God is for our good then we will willingly do it, when we know that it is by following the word that we please God, we will take it seriously.

When we know the purpose of the word, we can respond to it the way we should. When we see it as the word of God and not just the admonition of men, we can really move at its frequency, it will connect us with the purpose and power of God to the level that we have passion for it.

How we become witnesses

sand-768783_640Deuteronomy 30:14: But the word is very near you. It is in your mouth and in your heart, so that you can do it. (ESV)

The word of God is very important. If you are not holding on to the word of God, it means that you are holding to another kind of word. When Eve stopped holding on to the word of God, it was because she held to the word of the devil (Genesis 3). According to the focus verse, the word of God is not just what you learn, but what you should do.

It was difficult for Jesus to do the word of God when it was time for him to hang on the cross and die for the sins of humanity. Nevertheless, regardless of how he felt about it, he committed himself to the word of God and went through the difficult experience in heaven (Philippians 2:5-11).

We should arm ourselves with the similar mind, to have the same level of devotion for obeying the word of God. James wrote that faith without works is dead. And as an example of a man who had faith, the bible mentioned the fact that Abraham obeyed God by taking steps to offer his son in obedience to him (Genesis 22).

That instruction was most unpalatable when viewed from the standpoint of Abraham’s attachment to the son of his old age, but the instruction was clear and his obedience was swift.

That man showed that when it comes to the word of God, absolute obedience is the only option. The fear of the lord is the beginning of wisdom, and one thing God said when he later stopped Abraham shedding the blood of his own son was that he was now sure that he was someone who feared God, that he was not just seeking God for what he can get. He truly feared God, willing to give up everything for him. He held God in high esteem. Jesus said that it is not so important what you call him, but how you carry out his word (Luke 6:46).

Before Jesus left the scene, he was very emphatic that loving him is not about emotion, but obeying what he said. He has called us to be his witnesses. In the first chapter of the book of Acts, we see Jesus express his expectation of the church, for his people. He said that they should “Wait” in Jerusalem, to “Receive” the gift of the Holy Spirit and they shall be his “Witnesses (Acts 1:4-8).”

Wait

He first said that they needed to wait. Many people do not want to wait. Waiting tests our obedience, tests our patience, and endurance. When we wait, we express how empty we are of our own opinions and plans, but want to go with the Lord, hear him, follow him, key in to his timing and not just run on human emotion or ambition.

During the time of waiting there is the opportunity for a completion in the work that God is doing in us. The bible says that God is at work in us both to will and to do of his good pleasure (Philippians 2:13-14). Waiting is preparation for our manifestation, it is developing more and more self-awareness, learning to be different and to act differently, waiting for God to be through with what he is working within and around you to be done.

Receive

Jesus said that when the people wait then they will receive the Holy Spirit. That shows that waiting on the word of God is to experience the Holy Spirit.

Any word that is not leading us into more experience of the Holy Spirit is empty.  Paul prayed that the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with people (2Corinthians 13:14).

When we pray and when we read the bible, when we fellowship with other believers, it should all be means of experiencing the fellowship of the Holy Spirit, who has been sent to be with us.

He is not a visitor, he is an abiding presence; he is not minor player but a major player in our lives. Peter after he preached early in the book of Acts said that the people can expect times of refreshing to come from the presence of God (Acts 3:19-20). Through the Holy Spirit, the presence of God is made available for humanity.

To receive you need a posture of openness, it demands that your heart is open, not closed, that your hands are stretched out to receive. Jesus said that if anyone thirsts he should come to him and out of his belly will come rivers of living water from the water he will give him (John 7:37-39). When you come you express openness. He has to come first.

The process of waiting is supposed to deepen the hunger for God in you, as it is written: those who hunger and thirst shall be filled (Matthew 5:6). It means that then you are thirsty enough then the infilling will come, you will receive.

Witness

After you have waited and you have received, the journey does not end there, it is then time to launch out. There is no more time to smell the roses.

Jesus after he was in the wilderness for forty days and forty nights, returned in the power of the Holy Spirit and he was launched into a three and half years of impact.

In that time he trained people who went on to be his witnesses. He said to them: as the father as sent him so I send you (John 20:21-22). He multiplied himself in them. As he was a witness for the father on the earth he wanted others to be his witnesses.

They walked in full awareness of their identity as the witnesses of Jesus. Jesus came to the world to be a revelation of the father that was lost in the Garden of Eden and the disciples who were released in the upper room in the to be witnesses of Jesus. Enhanced by the Holy Spirit, they became the revelation of Jesus.

They were on a roll, they had a duty to perform. The bible says that the knowledge of the glory of the lord will cover the earth as the water cover the sea and the disciples were going to do their part in bringing that to fulfilment (Habakkuk 2:14). They multiplied the influence of Jesus wherever they went as his witnesses.

How we moved from curse to blessing

racing-car-374361_640Deuteronomy 28:3: Blessed shall you be in the city, and blessed shall you be in the field. (ESV)

The one who is blessed has an advantage above others. That was why Esau was livid when he learnt that Jacob had taken away the blessing that he was promised (Genesis 27-28).

And in the interaction between the players in that story (Jacob, Esau, Rebecca, and Isaac), we can gain a better understanding of the blessing we have in Jesus.

While Isaac asked that Esau go out, work hard for the blessing, but someone who did not work got the blessing. Jacob did not do much, but got everything (the blessing) in a powerful illustration of grace. For Jacob, getting the blessing was not an achievement, but a gift, just as we as Christians have received the gift of the righteousness of Jesus (2Corinthians 5:21).

When Rebecca, the wife of Isaac and the mothers of the Jacob and Esau, said that Job should follow his advice to ensure that he got blessing meant for Esau, Jacob was afraid. He said: what if my father finds out about this plan of ours mummy, won’t he curse me?

But Rebecca said: your curse come upon me. With that, Jacob felt safe to go on with the plan. Rebecca was a shield to protect Jacob from an hypothetical curse, but Jesus protects us from a real curse, the curse of eternal separation from God, the curse of limitation, sickness and weakness, darkness (Galatians 3:13-14). Jesus without any payment on our side brought us to the father, dying the death that was our portion.

Another fact that we need to observe was the need for Jacob to obey the words of his mother.  Obedience is a path of blessing. When we obey God we sow a seed of prosperity into our future.

What is clear from that story is that the blessing is something intangible, it is not in goods, it is in words, it takes us back to the first verses of Genesis where we see God making the world with his word, communicating his energy in a new way to the earth to cause changes to happen.

Isaac was blind, and that illustrates the fact that God is no respecter of persons. God is not discriminative, he received people from all nations, from all peoples, from all gender or social background, colour of your skin (Acts 10:34-35). When speaking against partiality, James wrote about some who have become judges with evil eyes, and that means their sense of judgement is wrong when they rate people by physical appearance (James 2:1-4).

Even though Rebecca did everything for Jacob to prepare the kind of food that Isaac wants, Jacob had to go the father himself. Salvation is one on one, (Jesus died for you but cannot get saved on your behalf). I cannot be saved on your behalf. It is those who call upon the Lord that will be saved (Romans 10:13), and that includes coming into blessing and moving away from curses.

To approach the father, Jacob who did not work at all, had to wear the cloth of the one who had worked hard. Jesus had worked hard, but we become acceptable by God as we take advantage of the work of Jesus on our behalf, take advantage of the benefits of his death and resurrection. The bible says that we died with him and therefore in him we should walk in newness of life (Romans 6:4).

What happened immediately that Jacob got the blessings? He ran away from his dear life because he was at the risk of being killed by his father.

The possibilities of the blessing may not immediately manifest. Having the blessing may actually cause things to go downhill in the natural, but when Jacob ran away, he was met by God as he slept in a place along the way.

Therefore the first manifestation of the blessing was a connection with God in a covenant relationship. In a dream God told Jacob that he was committed to him totally, not just for the moment, but for the long haul. He was not going to leave him until all the possibility embedded in the blessing were manifested.

An expression of the blessing was God’s expression of his committed to the future of Jacob. He said that he was going to be with him and bring him back to the land and settle him. That correlates with what Paul said about the gains of godliness (1Timothy 4:8), which is a reflection of the blessing of God. He said that godliness has a promise for the life that now is and the future.

While Jacob was thinking of just sleeping after a stressful day, he was made to see into the realm of God, how the future is settled. In that dream, he gained a new perceptive of God himself. That is a blessing. A manifestation of the blessing that he received was the capacity to know God. Esau had no such “knowledge of God” experience.

Jacob has serious personally flaws but that did not prevent God from blessing him. The blessing is comes regardless of personally flaws. However, the blessing does something about the internal issues.

When Jacob went to the house of Laban, the blessing on him ensured that he came out with material and family blessings, with many children and animals, but he needed to be changed internally. And the blessing, manifested in God’s continued commitment to him, ensured that happened.

His name was changed from Jacob to Israel, from trickster to a prince with God and man, after an all-night encounter with God. From that time on, we saw a new man, not one who is ready to take what is others but one who wants to give, not one seeking to take advantage of other’s weaknesses (Genesis 32:22-32).

He became weak. He had a dislocation in his joint from that encounter, and he thereafter leans on a staff. Remember that the bible says that we should not lean on our own understanding. His staff indicates a change from leaning on his own understanding to leaning on God.

The blessing gives an external effect, but also an internal one. God is concerned with more than the good we have but also about the life that we live. The blessing his gives has both physical and spiritual dimensions.

God told Samuel: while you are concerned about appearance, I look at the heart (1Samuel 16:1-7). And the blessing in Jesus is strongly focused on internal issues, it is Christ coming to dwell in our hearts through faith, it is his new life flowing through us, it is us in a spiritual sense being in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus (Ephesians 2:6), it is us being more than conquerors (Romans 8:37), it is us having the greater one in us, and we able to say that greater is he who is in us than he who is in the world (1John 4:4). It is experiencing the grace of Jesus whereby we walk above sin.

More than knowledge

book-841171_640Deuteronomy 24:8: Take heed in the plague of leprosy, that thou observe diligently, and do according to all that the priests the Levites shall teach you: as I commanded them, so ye shall observe to do. (ASV)

The people were not supposed to presume anything but rather should follow what is taught. They were not supposed to come up with their own version of truth but follow the word of God. There should be an uncompromising commitment to the truth.

A man was described in psalm one as having the habit of meditating on the Word of God day and night. With such attention paid to the word of God, it is no wonder that he prospered in all his ways.

What you focus on you become. Since God is prosperous, when you focus on his word you become like him. But there is no paying attention to the word of God if you have not the fear of God. The bible says that the fool says in his heart: there is no God (Psalm 14:1). They pursue everything else except the knowledge of God. They have no time to wait on God, no time to listen on the word, therefore their errors are multiplied.

The word of God delivered power into our life. It is not called the word of God for nothing. And we read that where the word of a king is there is power and God is King (Ecclesiastes 8:4). His words carried his creative power, his creative essence. The bible says that the worlds were framed by the word of God (Hebrews 11:3). When we release the word, we release creative power. The word is packed with creative energy.

The word of God interacts with our heart to form the character of Christ in us; the word of God interacts with the Holy Spirit to connect us with the power of God.

God is not worshipped on our own terms but on his. There cannot be two masters in a boat, it is either Jesus is Lord of all or he is not Lord at all.

In God’s word we learn his ways and can walk in his truth, which is his light, otherwise we are in darkness. The bible says that God’s word is light to our feet, and lamp to our path (Psalm 119:105). With the word of God our path is illuminated, our decision is rightly guided.

The word of God sharpens our desire aright, causing us to thinking God’s thoughts and therefore are enabled to walk in his ways.

The house of God is described as the place that the word of God will proceed forth (Isaiah 2:1-3). In a prophecy by Isaiah, he said that the mountain of the Lord’s house will be lifted above all mountains and nation will come there, saying: teach us the ways of God, and we will walk in his truth.

There is no possibility of walking in God’s truth without first being taught in his ways. When we are taught aright our thinking is directed aright, and in turn our lifestyle are rightly shaped.

But to learn you need a teachable heart. You cannot be full of yourself, full of your opinion, be confident in your own tactics and be able to learn.

The bible described some people as ever learning but never coming to the knowledge of the truth (2Timothy 3:7). What may cause that state of affair is if we were full of our own opinion, leaning on our own understanding (Proverbs 3:5-6), thinking we are some form of island of brilliance. To learn you need some measure of openness.

The difference between Mary and Martha in the bible was their posture to the word of Christ (Luke 10:38-42). While Martha was busy trying to give Jesus something, Mary was seated at his feet soaking up his words. Jesus said that one thing is needed and that is what Mary chose. Martha was focused on the external, and not the internal like Mary. While Mary was listening to Jesus time froze, nothing else mattered. She was growing on the inside while stationary on the outside.

Peter said that Jesus had the words of eternal life, adding that that was why he was following him (John 6:68).

Another prayed in the bible: teach me your ways Oh Lord and I will walk in your truth (Psalm 86:11). Knowledge is the acquisition of new information; understanding is grasping how the pieces of information relate to one another; and wisdom is right application of the new information. It all began with knowledge. To be different, you need to pursue more knowledge.

The bible says those who know their God will be strong and do exploits (Daniel 11:32). This kind of knowledge has to do with “oneness” in which we become one with the truth. We need to realise that truth is a person, Jesus (John 14:6), and not just an ideology, the goal of those who pursue truth is to see Jesus as he really his, since he is the truth.

However, knowledge is not everything. Paul said that knowledge puffs up but love edifies (1Corinthians 8:1). It is harder to learn love than to be informed about truth. Truth can exist on its own, but love needs connection, needs to reach out, needs to move into new territories, needs to serve others, needs to obey God.

Love describes the right motivation, whereas knowledge can outline what it means to be rightly motivated; love is of the heart while knowledge can stay in the mind; knowledge may not change your life, but love does. The bible says the way to be filled with the fullness of God is by being filled with his love (Ephesians 3:16-19).

While the truth makes us free (John 8:32), love moves us to get others into their freedom. Jesus was moved to come to rescue us from the doom of hell, not just because he was aware of how the problem of sin had ravaged man but it was about his love for humanity.

In the bible, we see references to the fact that he was moved by compassion in what he does (Mark 1:40-41). He did not just know what is wrong with humanity but is the embodiment of the solution because he is the embodiment of love. One man who had leprosy said to Jesus: if you are willing you can make me clean and Jesus, moved with compassion, stretched forth his hand, and said: I am willing, be clean (Mark 1:40-41).

The point is that as good as knowledge is, it is not everything, the heart is not developed by just packing it with knowledge, it is made to run on love. Love controls the action more than knowledge does. That is why Jesus said we should love the Lord our God with all our heart (Mathew 22:37). Love determines everything, even the way we pursue the knowledge of God.

What it means to be accursed

old-mill-489971_640Deuteronomy 21:23: his body shall not remain all night on the tree, but you shall bury him the same day, for a hanged man is cursed by God. You shall not defile your land that the LORD your God is giving you for an inheritance. (ESV)

Jesus hung on the cross. He died a terrible death. He was made a curse for us, though he knew no sin, though he brought only blessing, in a great travesty of justice. He did not bear the curse for himself but for us.

To be accursed is to be separated from God on a permanent basis, to be cut off from his life, to not be recognised by God. To give us a picture of what it means to be accursed we should see what happened to the walled city of Jericho (Joshua 6-7).

When the city was to be conquered, everything there was meant to be destroyed, and the one who took something for himself from the city was likewise destroyed, together with his household, and properties and what was stolen. They were stoned to death with a pile of stone on them. Rejection does not go further than that. Jericho was supposed to be treated as “accursed.” Achan the man who was stoned to death with his family was also treated as accursed, together with anyone related directly to him.

Jesus was totally rejected as he carried the sin of humanity on the cross and he cried to God: my Father my Father, why have you forsaken me (Mark 15:34)? He went through that so we can come into the full embrace of God having been invested with the righteousness of Jesus. He was rejected so that we can be accepted.

That is why Paul said that the preaching of the cross is an offence to the Jews, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God (1Corinthians 1:17-31). It is an offence because to them, the cross is a symbol of a curse, but to those who believe in Jesus, the cross releases the presence of God to us. At the foot of the cross the world and flesh becomes cut off from us and us from them. What was shame for Jesus, was renewal for us.

Without Identification with Christ in his death, we could not be identified with him in his resurrection.

He gives a new meaning to the cross. It is now equally the symbol of death and life, burial and resurrection, rejection and acceptance. Jesus bore the curse so that we can bear the blessing. He was accursed so that the blessing of Abraham can come upon those who are in Christ Jesus (Galatians 3:13-14).

It is at the foot of the cross that we meet the cleansing blood. On the cross, what was written as the list of things wrong with us, was nailed. The legal basis for the devil to hold us bound, hold us back in death, diseases and sin, were removed, and we are free, where Jesus was bound.

It is at the foot of the cross that we encounter the power of God for transformation. Through the cross Jesus passed from natural to the supernatural, from weakness to the highest level of authority. And now he has been given the name above every other name (Philippians 2:5-11). Before coming to the cross, Jesus was beaten and battered, after the cross, he rose up to be lord of lord’s king of kings. At the cross he was the Lamb of God, afterwards he is the fiery one, with a sword in his mouth.

To be accursed means to be taken out of the way, to be cut off. And that was what happened to Jesus on the cross. He spread his arm, had nails pierced them, he was made a public spectacle, with his friends and associates weeping, but he has a different interpretation of the event.

And when he was about to breath his last he said that: IT is finished, while others, both those who mocked him and those who wept for him, thought HE was finished. How could they have known the better since he was bloodied and sentenced to death?

Some might have even been wishing for a last minute miracle for him to save himself from death.  Even now, there are people that might have informed some who claim that somehow the cross was a stage-managed event, with the real Jesus gone from the cross, and not really dying, because “God cannot die.”

How deluded! But the bible says that Jesus tasted death for all of us (Hebrews 2:9). To taste means to experience. If he did not really hag on the tree how can he taste death, if he did not really die, then the penalty for our sin was not really paid for and we are still far from God.

If he was not really accursed it means we are not really blessed. But the bible says that we have been blessed with all spiritual blessing in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3). If God did not really walk the earth, therefore man could not really go up to heaven.

To be accursed is to be removed from a group. For Jesus, it means he is to be regarded as a non-Jew.  To be accursed also means to be numbered with the wrong people. Of Jesus it was said that he was numbered with the transgressors (Mark 15:26-228).

Because Jesus was numbered among the transgressors, we are numbered among the righteous, in a divinely orchestrated arrangement. While Jesus was counted among the wrongdoers, though he knew no sin, he was made to be sin for us, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus (2Corinthians 5:21). Jesus went into the darkness of hell, so that we might go up into the light of heaven. Paul said that he became poor that through his poverty we might become rich (2Corinthians 8:9).

When he said my God why have you forsaken, me, it opened the way for anyone who is willing to come into the divine embrace, washed away from the sin of the past, made new creature (2Corinthians 5:17), with a new start, a new name, a new direction, a new commission. Paul said that we are God’s workmanship created in Christ Jesus for good works, which are to walk in (Ephesians 2:10).

Like Moses, like Jesus

moses-601732_640Deuteronomy 18:15: “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your brothers—it is to him you shall listen— (ESV)

Moses here was talking about Jesus. That was declared by Peter in the book of Acts (Acts 3:22).

Birth

Death surrounded the birth of Moses, with murder of babies happening when he was born, as commanded by Pharaoh, who felt that the increase in the number of the children of Israel was a threat to the kingdom of Egypt (Exodus 2-3).

Similarly, when Jesus was born, King Herod ordered the killing of children not more than two years old. Herod like Pharaoh in the time of Moses felt threatened (Matthew 2).

Some wise men came from the east and said they have seen the star of the one born to be king of the Jews (which turned out to be Jesus) and they have come to worship him.

Herod took their words serious and being not interested in having a supposed rival walking around in town, he sent to kill all the young babies that were born around the time, hence the first similarity between Moses and Jesus.

Rejection

Another similarity involves the rejection they both suffered from their people. When Moses showed up among his people, they asked him: who made you a ruler and a judge over us. Jesus was also rejected, he was killed on a cross.

Pilate said that the people should choose between Barabbas a murderer and Jesus who only worked for the good of others. They chose to have the murderer released and Jesus hung on a tree as a curse, the most ignoble kind of death.

Moses experienced a similar kind of “death.” Though he was not killed, being the ultimate rejection, he was rejected by the people who did not recognise him as a deliverer, saviour.

He was raised in the palace but because he was rejected by the people, who did not recognise that he was meant to be their “saviour,” he had to run away from the people, “dying” to them for a season. But later when he came back, he was accepted.

Jesus is also coming back and when he does the children of Israel will receive him. The bible says that they will look upon him whom they have pierced and they will weep in that day (which is still in the future) (Zechariah 12:10).

John wrote that Jesus came to his own people and they rejected him, but he added that for those who received him to them he gave the power to be called the sons of God (John 1:12). Those who believe in his name will not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

That was also the same promise that God made concerning the prophet he was going to send to the nation of Israel who will be like Moses. He said that if they will not obey him, they will be cut off (Deuteronomy 18:15, 18-19, Acts 3:22-23). There is life only in Jesus.

Miracles

Moses’ ministry among the people was marked by never-before-seen supernatural acts, and Jesus also did miracles in mind-boggling volume and quality. While John the Baptist was a famous preacher calling people to repentance, Jesus walking in tremendous healing flow.

Words

Moses was noted by the words he delivered to the people in commandments from God, which they were supposed to follow.

When it comes to Jesus, God the Father spoke in an audible voice from heaven while he was on a mount and interestingly Moses and Elijah were with him, supernaturally appearing even though they have been off the scene for decades (Luke 9:28-36). The father said from heaven: this is my beloved son, hear him.

House of God

In the wilderness, Moses facilitated the building of the tabernacle where the Ark of the Covenant was placed.

And Jesus said: I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against (Matthew 16:18). The church is the new tabernacle, not in the building made with hands but in spiritual essence.

In a prophecy about Jesus in the Old Testament we read that he is a branch, and will branch out from where he is and build the house of God (Zechariah 6:12). Paul said that the church is called dwelling place of God in the spirit (Ephesians 2:21-22).

Deliverance

Moses brought a people from the house of bondage (Egypt), and Jesus brings us from bondage to sin into the glorious liberty of the sons of God (Romans 8:21).

Jesus was so named because he will save his people from their sins (Matthew 1:21). To deliver the children of Israel from bondage into the Moses entered into the palace of Pharaoh to confront him, delivering a message from God, he said: let my people go that they may serve me.

Jesus similarly went to hades, the abode of the devil, for a direct confrontation with him, and the bible says he triumphed over the forces of darkness in the cross (Colossians 2:15). The cross became the door of Jesus to defeating the enemy in his turf.

That opened the door to heaven for us, and we are declared to be more than conquerors. We are lifted up to sit with Jesus in the heavenly places far above principalities and powers and every name that is named (Ephesians 2:22).

More than a Prophet

Jesus stands as a prophet. The writer of the book of Hebrews says that in time past God spoke to the fathers through the prophets, but he has now spoken to us through his son, and there is no higher communication than that (Hebrews 1:1-3).

The way God described Moses when Aaron and Mariam spoke against him and he wanted to punish them was that Moses was different from other prophets. While God speaks in the dream to others, he speaks face to face with Moses (Numbers 12:8).

Now see what was said about Jesus.  John wrote: no one has seen God at any time, but the only begotten of the father, who is in the bosom of the father, he had declared it (John 1:18).

Jesus is the Son of God, in a way that Moses could not be. This is the way the writer of the book of Hebrews said it: “Moses was faithful in the all of Gods house, as a servant, but Jesus is faithful as a son over his own house (Hebrews 3:5-6).”

Complete obedience

Deuteronomy 12:32: “Everything that I command you, you shall be careful to do. You shall not add to it or take from it. (ESV)

God is a God of order, a God of details. If we will wait on him he will give us the details of his plan. We should not run on part information, which could be dangerous.

Moses spent forty days on Mount Sinai to receive the word of God for the children of Israel at the birth of the nation (Exodus 24:8). When Jesus’ mission was being prophesied about, the bible says that he has come to fulfil what was written about him in the book (Hebrews 10:5-7). There were details for him to carry out.

His life followed the prophesied outline.  He followed the word of God to the full, so much so that he said that he has not come to abolish the law, but to fulfil them (Matthew 5:17). That goes beyond doing right and avoiding wrong, though they are part of it, but to be the embodiment of what the Old Testament shadowed.

In the Old Testament the shedding of the blood of animals was central to whatever was done, and Jesus, who choose to become the Lamb of God, fulfilled that (John 1:29).

He shed his blood to bring man to God. The bible says that we were strangers to the commonwealth of Israel but have now been brought near through the blood of Jesus (Ephesians 2:11-13). The writer of the book of Hebrews says that we can now draw near to God with our conscience purged by the blood of Jesus (Hebrews 9:14).

There was another thing of the Old Testament that Jesus fully fulfilled. When he was asked to show them the signs that he was someone special, he said that the people should destroy the temple, and he will raise it up after three days (John 2:18-22).

They were angry at his word, because they thought he meant they should actually destroy the physical temple which held so much religious meaning to them, being the symbol of their identity and which had been in construction for decades.

It was not just a religious symbol but also their validation as a people who has their historical and future political and spiritual capital in Jerusalem.

But in the commentary of John on the words of Jesus, he said that he was referring to the temple which is his body, and the demolition of the temple and it being raised after three days was an allusion to his future death and resurrection at that time.

As the temple, Jesus carried the presence of God. Nicodemus came to him and said that he was sure that God was with him (John 3:1-3). He did not actually know that he was talking to God, the one who is the fullness of the Godhead bodily.

Jesus is the fullness of God in the flesh. His conception was an act of miracle. He was packed with power and wisdom. When he healed the eyes of a man who was born blind, the man testified that since the world began, no one was heard of anyone who opened the eyes of one born blind (John 9). When Jesus spoke the bible says that the people were amazed by the wisdom of his words, that was what he embodied with (Matthew 13:54). Jesus carried out the word of God and we should too.

We should focus on the commandment of God and not our opinion. Look where the opinion that Eve expressed that the bad fruit was good for her landed humanity (Genesis 3)!

To subtract or add to the word of God is to think we are wiser than God, it is pride, something that the devil exhibited, and which King Saul exhibited (1Samuel 15).

We see some of the children of Israel worship the image of a snake for years (2Kings 18:1-4). God told Moses to make it while they were in the wilderness and by looking at it when snakes bit them, they were relieved. But instead of a focus on the word of God, as they were told not to be image worshippers in any way, some people thought within themselves that surely the snake has some power to help them for always (Numbers 21:1-9). It took a king Hezekiah to destroy it, who exhibited an uncommon zeal for carrying out the word of God in the details of it.

John the apostle wrote that we should beware of idols (1John 5:21), while Paul equated covetousness, putting our trust in money with idolatry (Colossians 3:5).

What we put our trust in becomes a god that draws away our allegiance from God. Jesus said that we cannot worship God and Mammon (Matthew 6:24). We cannot have two masters, either we hate one and love the other.

And what God wants is total commitment, he wants the fire of his devotion burning in us that is why he has shed his love in us by the Holy Spirit which he has given to us (Romans 5:5). And we are enjoined to walk in the spirit as we live in the spirit so that we will not fulfil the lust of the flesh, which wars against the spirit (Galatians 5:16-25).

The flesh is programmed to pull away from the demands of the spirit, to be interested only in itself and not think of God. Paul declared that some people are concerned about themselves and not the things that are of Christ Jesus’ (Philippians 2:4). These people will not respond when he calls, or will only do what is convenient for them to do.

Jesus said: if you love me you will obey my commandments, therefore love is more of commitment than feeling, it is beyond thought, it is action (John 14:15).

Jesus gave different commands to his disciples before he ascended to heaven. He said: go into the world and preach the gospel to all creatures (Mark 16:15). He said we shall be witnesses to him after the Holy Spirit has come upon us and will be speak for him in Judea, Samaria and the uttermost part of the world (Acts 1:8).

We have the commandment to reach out, to connect with the people across the world. And there is no generation where it is possible for every believer to carry out such great commission on a personal, direct and individual level as the internet affords.

We are not supposed to be ignorant of the new tool of the internet, which allows a single individual, without leaving his house to actually fulfil the great commission as you deliver the counsel of God to people across the globe. With the internet, the barrier of the borders of nations is broken.

That is the Opportunity that Jehiel Institute provides (dailymedit.com/category/jehiel), to have a mass of people using the internet to propagate the gospel. The bible says: the lord gave the word, great is the company of them who proclaim it. Come and be equipped to be among them, join the people of internet Impact, attend Jehiel Institute. Direct your questions to jehielinstitute@gmail.com

Only a call away

call-15758_640Deuteronomy 4:7: “For what great nation great nation is there that has a god so near to it as is the LORD our God whenever we call upon Him? (NASB).

Jesus said: ask and you will receive (Matthew 21:22), as he taught us to have faith in God (Mark 11:22-24). Everyone has faith in something. If you worry and panic, it shows that you have faith in yourself, and when you see that you cannot help yourself you begin to feel that all hope is lost.

When certain people do not come through for you and that disturbed you, it shows you were leaning on them and not on God. A psalmist wrote: even if my mother and father forsake me, God will pick me up (Psalm 27:10). That is the mindset we should have.

We read that we should trust in the Lord with all our heart and lean not on your own understanding and that we should acknowledge God in all our ways (Proverbs 3:4-5).

Paul said that rather than worry and lose our peace, we should let our request be known to God (Philippians 4:6), and similarly Peter said that we should humble ourselves under the mighty hand of God, casting our cares upon him because he cares for us (1Peter 5:6-7). Therefore, when we do not cast our cares, we are proud and rebellious. It is a rejection of the true God. And whoever we trust we have made god (Isaiah 30:1-3).

When we do not trust God, it means that we trust in something else, that you trust yourself and trusting in yourself, your smartness, will definitely lead to worry because you cannot do all things.

Jesus asked: can anyone by worrying, increase his height (Matthew 6:27)? Therefore, if worrying is useless, why indulge in it? Why not trust in God, in the processes he has set in place to make things happen for you? The bible says: all things are working together for you (Romans 8:32). Do you believe that? Jesus told Martha before he raised his brother Lazarus from the dead: Did I not tell you that if you believe you will see the glory of God (John 11)?

When we call upon God we show that we trust him and the bible says that God shows himself strong on behalf of those whose hearts is stayed on him (Isaiah 26:3, 2Chronicles 16:19). When we set our hearts, on the word of God, on the things on heaven, on the ways of God, we are following in the light, walking on his ways, walking in the Spirit, setting out in the direction that God wants us to follow, the way of success.

Though we cannot see God, he is only a call away. Paul puts it this way: whoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved (Romans 10:13). While talking about worshipping God to a woman, Jesus said that we shall not worship God on a mountain or in a temple but those who worship God will worship him in spirit and in truth (John 4:21-24). In the Spirit there is no distance, we only need the internal posture of trust which calling upon God indicates.

Jesus right now is called a life-giving spirit (1Chronicles 14:45). It means that he is no longer limited by time and space, by the flesh, and we can reach out to him in the realm of the spirit where there is no space or time. He actually told the disciples just before he departed from them, that he will be with them always, and that is in a spiritual sense, not physical (Matthew 28:20).

He said when two of three are gathered in his name he is there in their midst (Matthew 18:20). He is the Lord in all realms (both seen and unseen). And he is active. The bible says that he ever lives to make intercession for us (Hebrews 7:25). He exists for us, he is the head and we are the body (Ephesians 1:22-23). He listens when we call and acts on our behalf.

God is only a call away. He said: call unto me and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things in which you have not known (Jeremiah 33:3). When we call upon God, it means we recognise him as God. The writer of the book of Hebrews says that without faith it is impossible to please God because he who comes to God must know that he is and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him (Hebrews 11:6).

There was a time in the land of Israel when the children of Israel en-mass worshipped idols, specifically Baal and Asheroth as moved by Jezebel the wife of the king- Ahab. It was like the devil has set up a little kingdom among the people of God, but Elijah would have none of it (1Kings 17-18).

Coming with the power of God, he called a drought in the land and before the rain came three and half years later, he called for a confrontation between himself on one side, representing God, the prophets of Baal on the other side.

The task was: whoever brings down fire from heaven is the real God. His words: the God who answers by fire let him be God. By implication, he was saying, let this be the last time that will be a source of argument.

The prophets of Baal spent all day trying to get their god to bring down fire, to no avail, they even cut themselves, pushed themselves into a higher state of frenzy and earnestness, but that also did not work.

But when Elijah prepared his own altar, God responded with fire coming from heaven on the sacrifice and lick up everything, including the water Elijah caused to be poured on the sacrifice with and the stones on which the animal was laid, and the animal itself.

God in heaven showed himself to be close at hand, just a call away, from wherever you are and whoever you are.

The people who witnessed the confrontation between the prophets of Baal and Elijah, when they saw the way God answered by fire, shouted: the Lord, he is God and they bowed down. God showed himself alive and active, not laid back and aloof.

God answers whoever we call on him. Jesus said that whatever we desire, when we pray we should believe we have received it and we will have it indeed. He said God sees us when we pray in secret because he will reward us openly (Matthew 6:6).

God has a special affinity for praying people. David said: I will call upon the lord, who is worthy to be praised, so shall I be saved from my enemy (Psalm 18:3). Peter said: we will give ourselves to pray and the ministry of the word (Acts 6:4). Habakkuk said that he was going to separate himself and see what God will say to him, and God answered him by sharing his perspective with him.

David asked for direction and he got it. What will happen if he did not ask as he faced the different enemies in his life, it means he would have groped in darkness, not knowing what to do, and many things would have gone wrong for him.

Online Global Ministry Course (3 months free) 

Jehiel Prayer and Bible Training Institute Online Global Ministry Course (3 months free) 

Why Jehiel?: 1 chronicles 27:32b- Jehiel…tutored the king’s (David’s) sons. (NASB) 

Cornerstone verse: Acts 6:4: But we will devote ourselves to prayer and to the ministry of the word.” (ESV) 

Duration: 12 weeks (almost three months); Time: 9am to 12noon 

How many times a year: twice in a year (September-November and March-May) 

Cost to student: No payment required; Venue: Strong Tower Hotel, Ijapo, Akure, Ondo 

Model: it will follow a one lesson one week model, with the first ten weeks (Thursday-Friday) each 

focused on the following topics:  

Week one: The principles and dynamics of prayer; Week two: Who is Jesus?; Week Three: The power 

of God; Week Four: Purpose and motivation; Week Five: Life in the Spirit; Week Six: Holiness; Week 

Seven: Spiritual Identity; Week Eight: Spiritual growth; Week Nine: Emotional healing; Week ten: 

Ministration of the Word. 

Week eleven: Online writing and preaching (how to having a free blog and post video and audio 

messages online) 

Week twelve: Authoring a book online free with free book cover design.   

Mid-session break- Monday of the seventh week.  

Lesson pattern: first ten weeks, from Monday to Wednesday, will be strictly prayer (starting with 

30minutes of worship) (or evidence of doing it privately) (prayer pointed and verses projected), 

focused on the week’s theme, and Thursday – Friday for Bible Training (five one hour messages 

preceded by test) (or bring a flash to copy the recorded message) (and test done via email). 

Week 11 and 12: preaching practice for all students from Monday to Wednesday on two topics 

(15minutes each) from the ten above, recorded for online viewing. (Or record it [both video and 

audio] and bring the soft copy). 

Thursday and Friday practical session on the last two week can be done on Saturday for those not 

ZThe last Friday is for commissioning and giving out of certificate  

Added requirement for the first ten weeks from Monday to Friday: Read through the New 

Testament (five chapters for a day) and each day write down your thoughts (commentary, 

observation, analysis) in not less than 200 words on a verse or a passage for the day, of your own 

choosing. This is compulsory.  

Requirement for the practical class: a laptop and 1gig of data  

Kayode Crown 

Director of Studies 

07060921007 

What did Jesus say?

Jesus said: if you love me you will obey my commandments, therefore love is more of commitment than feeling, it is not just an idea, it is action. Jesus gave different commands to his disciples before he ascended to heaven. He said: go into the world and preach the gospel to all creatures. He said we shall be witnesses to him after the Holy Spirit has come upon us and will be speak for him in Judea Samaria and the uttermost part of the world.
We have the commandment to reach out, to connect with the people across the world. And there is no generation where it is possible for every believer to carry out such great commission on a personal, direct and individual level as the internet affords.

We are not supposed to be ignorant of the new tools on the net that allows a single individual without leaving your house to actually fulfil the great commission as you deliver the counsel of God to people across the globe.

That is the OPPORTUNITY that Jehiel Institute provides, to have a mass of people using the internet to propagate the gospel. The bible says: the lord gave the word, great is the company of they who proclaim it. Come and be equipped to be among them, join the people of Internet Impact. Attend Jehiel Institute.

For more information call: +2347060921007, email: jehielinstitute@gmail.com, or fill an indication of interest form at form.myjotform.com/jehiel/one and we will get back to you. Let the revolution begin. Visit our facebook page, search for Jehiel Institute page on facebook. Thanks. See you on the other side of impact.

 

Opening of Jehiel Institute Office 

The target is 10000 students trained in 42 months. “”ON YOUR MARKS” was in “July,” August is “SET”, September is “GO.”Pray for 5mins for Jehiel Institute between now and that day, that is what you will commit to do if you sign up for the event. You are not required to come. There will be no ceremony.

Click on https://www.facebook.com/events/112376872440586/ to join on Facebook 

Change of fortune

money-515058_640Numbers 33:3: And they departed from Rameses in the first month, on the fifteenth day of the first month; on the morrow after the passover the children of Israel went out with an high hand in the sight of all the Egyptians.

The children of Israel experienced sudden change. If can also happen to you. There is nothing God cannot do. You can go from unrecognised to eating with the king in a day, as it happened to Mephibosheth (2Samuel 9); from starving to death to superabundance, as it was in Samaria in the time of Elisha (2Kings 7:1-3); from barren to having children like it happened to Hannah (1Samuel 1); you can come from slavery to freedom in a way as it happened to the millions of the children of Israel as they moved from Egypt. You can move from starving to having free food for years, like the widow of Zeraphath (1Kings 17:8-16).

God is in the business of changing fortunes, and there is a coming grand change of fortune: when in the twinkling of an eye we will be changed, mortality will swallow up immortality at the final trumpet (1Corinthians 15:53-53).

We will suddenly appear before the Lord, and we are full of hope for that to happen. It is been the most highly anticipated event of all time (1John 3:1-3). It will be the grandest change of fortune. While now we live in the wilderness of this world, we will soon be in the “paradise” of heaven, leaving the limitation of the flesh behind to leap fully into the supernatural, with a changed body (2Corinthians 15:49-58). And when we get our final rewards from God for what we have done in the flesh, some will rule with Christ even if they came from a humble background on the earth (Revelation 1:6).

Jesus is now made Lord, given a name that is above every other (Philippians 2:5-11). That was a change of fortune for him though he had to pass through death to get there.

Dead for Jesus had a double meaning. Though he went down he also came up. With his death, he experienced a change of fortune in his spiritual impact. He said except a grain of seed falls to the ground and dies it abides alone, but when it dies it brings forth many like itself (John 12:24).

Jesus is now us the author of salvation for those who trust him (Hebrews 5:9). While he was on earth his impact hardly crossed the boundary of the nation of Israel, now as a life-giving Spirit, his impact in worldwide, nay universal (1Corinthians 15:45).

Because he humbled himself to the death on the cross, he was given a name that is above every other name and at the name of Jesus every knee bows and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord.  That did not happen before he hung on the cross, so what was supposed to end him only increased his influence.

Jesus comes with the promise of change of life. He told Peter: follow me and I will make you a fisher of men. That happened in a most spectacular way, as the Holy Spirit came down. But Peter didn’t look like someone who will do much in life talk less of being an instrument of a powerful change in the world, becoming the number one person leading the church after the departure of Jesus.

He wielded so much influence though from a lowly background. God lifted him up and he shone as light in his generation. A similar change of fortune happened to David, who from following sheep was elevated to become King in Israel though he also had to pass through a wilderness experience.

There was a time Peter personally experienced a change of fortune in his business while he was a fisherman (Luke 5:1-7).

He and his crew which included his brother had laboured all night seeking to catch something to take home, but it was all in vain. He was so despondent that they were packing up at dawn but Jesus said they should cast their net again in the sea, and they caught so much fish to everyone’s amazement.

They caught so much fish that their net started to break. Because Peter obeyed the words of Jesus to cast his net in the sea, he experienced a radical change of fortune at that time.

In a wedding which was held in Cana of Galilee, the ceremony was about to flop, but Jesus stepped in and supernaturally provided wine. But it happened as some servants obeyed the words of Jesus (John 2).

Change of fortune is about great transformation. The Christian experience delivers a complete change of fortune. We move from death to life. The bible says that those who believe in Jesus have passed from death to live, and that if we believe in Jesus we will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16, 5:24).

In the first chapters of the bible we saw how the fortune or humanity really dipped, but now the line has fallen for us in pleasant places, we have a good heritage, we have a new portion in Jesus, the portion of life (Psalm 16:6).

We have been blessed with all spiritual blessings in the heavenly places (Ephesians 1:3), we have been redeemed (Revelation 5:9), our lot has changed, we were once darkness, but now we have received light through Jesus (Ephesians 5:8). Our weakness is replaced with his strength. That was what Jesus told Paul: he said my grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness (2Corinthians 12:9).

Our change of fortune affects us inwardly, and externally and in what lies in our future. Internally we become new creatures (2Corinthians 5:17). We are saved, and as time goes on we experience change in our thinking process.

As are engaged in the renewing of our minds, we are changed in the spirit of our mind, in the influences that are cast over our thinking process, as we move from wrong thinking to right thinking.

When we experience the power of the Holy Spirit, we are changed. Jesus told his disciples, that they will receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon them.

Before then they were a bunch of ragtag Galileans, feeling out of their depths in the cosmopolitan city of Jerusalem, but after the Holy Spirit came, they started taking over the place doing miracles and teaching with great boldness, rubbing off badly on the religious leaders who wanted to get rid of them who threatened to harm them. But instead of being cowed, they shifted to an higher gear in spiritual impact after as they prayed together (Acts 1-4).

Prayer is a tool for a change of fortune. That was the gateway for Hannah to experience change of fortune, and that was how Jabez experienced his own change of fortune (1Chronicles 4:9-10). His name meant pain, but he does not want them to continue experiencing negativity but chose to pray to God rather than be resigned to his situation, God answered him.

Contributions and connection with God

sport-climbing-25258_640Numbers 18:8: Then the LORD spoke to Aaron, “Behold, I have given you charge of the contributions made to me, all the consecrated things of the people of Israel. I have given them to you as a portion and to your sons as a perpetual due.  

The children of Israel were supposed to deal with God in faith, connecting with the unseen God with seen things, connecting with the eternal God with their used of limited time. We contribute our substance, our time in devotion to God on the earth and it is converted to heavenly rewards.

When you go to another country, you cannot spend the currency of the old place in the new place, it needs to be converted, but the one who has worked hard in one country and earned a lot will have more to convert when he and his friends who did not work so hard travel to the new country.

Heaven is a new country where what we did on earth will be converted to spiritual rewards. Paul was very convinced of this and said that God crowns ready for those who love his appearing (2Timothy 4:6-8). He spoke of the prize of the high calling of God which is not on this earth (Philippians 3:9-14), he spoke of winning the prize at the end of a race (1Corinthians 9:24).

We need to strive for the prize of the high calling of God. In letters written to churches and recorded in the book or Revelation, there was something that each church were supposed to overcome and at the end of the day when Jesus comes back they will be amply rewarded (Revelation 2-3).

Paul contributed greatly for the work of God. And he was happy to leave the earth after sometimes assured that he was going to the place of reward. Jesus, talking about reward at the end of time said that a man left town and gave his servants different amounts of money to work with, those who worked hard were rewarded, while the one who decided to hide what he was given was published, when the master came back (Matthew 25:14-30). Jesus will not be gone forever, he is coming back to give to everyone according to their work (Revelation 22:12).

There is the time of ultimate reward. Paul said that we will all stand before the judgement seat of Christ to gain the reward of what we have done in the flesh (2Corinthians 5:10). Being here on earth should count for spiritual rewards.

When it comes to reward, the ultimate is faith, hope and love (1Corinthians 13:13). Faith is private in devotion to God, Hope is future, in anticipation of his coming and what we keep from because of that and love is for other, in activities we embark on to benefit others. These three determine our reward.

With faith we connect with God (Luke 18:1, 8), with hope firmly in us, we set our eyes not on the temporary things on earth but on the things of heaven (Colossians 3:1-3), where Christ is seated; on the eternal things and are not distracted by the things of the earth. That is why we embrace righteousness not because it is popular but because we live as one pleasing God in heaven (1John 3:1-3). And when it comes to love, what is what our work should be directed by, and the bible says that if it is not love, it is nothing (1Corinthians 13).

What is given in the course of God in time, space and energy in what is physical is translated into something greater bigger, something spiritual. To gain great spiritual rewards, Paul Told timothy to tell those who are rich in this world to not trust in uncertain riches but put their trust in God and be great givers, because giving on the earth translates to something greater in the realm of God (1Timothy 6:17-19).

Heaven is closer than you think. There are angels all around us, and God is watching us. Even though we do not see them, we can connect with them.

For example, the bible says the angels hearken to the word of God (Psalm 103:20), therefore if you put the word of God in your mouth, as you say it, you set angels in motion to carry things out on your behalf. And God said that he elevates his word above his name (Psalm 138:2), and Jesus said that his words are spirits and life, so when we speak the word of God though it carries natural energy, it also carries spiritual energy.

Not only that, when we pray we set things in motion in the realm of the spirit as Daniel’s experience showed (Daniel 9-10).

He was praying and fasting and twice in response to his prayer effort God sent angels. And on one of the two occasions, for 21 days, an evil angel stopped the good angel from delivering his message. And as Daniel continued in prayer, another good angel was dispatched to help the first, and the initial angel sent was able to gain passage to deliver the divine message to Daniel.

Jesus said when we pray in the secret God will reward us openly (Matthew 6:6). Prayer gets God going. Jesus said that men ought always to pray and not to faint (Luke 18:1). When we spend time with God we get rewarded with his presence. God said: you will seek me and you will find me when you seek me with all your heart (Jeremiah 29:13). In prayer, we pay a special attention to God so that he can pay a special attention to us. We ask and it is given to us.

Our material giving also gets things going in the spirit. Jesus said when we give it will be given to us, good measure pressed down shaken together will men pour into our bosom (Luke 6:38).

When we give to God, which is to his course on earth, it is like a sweet-smelling odour going up to God in heaven (Philippians 4:10-18).

When Noah offered sacrifices after the flood which ravaged the earth, the bible said that God smelled the offering and promised to never destroy the world with a flood (Genesis 8:20-22). Noah connected with God on behalf of humanity with that offering, and God connected back with that promise and said that as long as the earth remains, seed-time and harvest will not cease.

Cleansing

washing-404481_640Numbers 8:6: “Take the Levites from among the people of Israel and cleanse them. (ESV)

To be cleansed is to be washed from impurities. Before we approach God we need to experience cleansing. And there is cleansing available in the blood of Jesus. Jesus did not shed his blood on the cross for nothing, it was to make us acceptable to God (Revelation 1:5).

God is described as holy and we are to be holy as he is holy (1Peter 1:15-16). We need to be cleansed from impurities. When a disciple called Ananias was sent to Saul the persecutor of the church who had met Christ, he said that needed to be baptised and be washed from his sins (Acts 22:16). The fact of the outward cleansing with water was a manifestation of the inward work of the blood of Jesus in Paul’s life.

When a man Naaman needed to be cleansed from his leprosy, he same to Elisha who told him to go dip in river Jordan, but he did not want to make that journey (2Kings 5), but he eventually did. He would not be able to go if he does not approach the word that he heard with faith and humility.

The experience of that man is representative of the work of salvation. First we need to realise the need for cleansing from sin. Without the full cognizance of the need to be rid of sin, which is likened to leprosy, which we need to be cleansed from it, we will not seek help.

Remember that Naaman was highly placed, he was very important to the nation of Syria, he had accomplished much, but that did not take his leprosy away.

Though could remove his armour after coming from a battlefield, he could not remove his leprosy and lay it aside by his own effort. Though he could deal with many a mighty enemy of Syria, getting rid of them, he could not get rid of his leprosy.

Though he could strategize and come up with all manners of tactics to deal with the enemy of the nation, he could not come up with anything to cure himself of leprosy. This was a shame he bore privately. He could not help himself though a mighty man.

Similarly, we human beings, when it comes to sin, cannot help ourselves, and just as Naaman needed to get help outside his nation (he had to go somewhere else) there was no help for man on earth when it comes to sin, Jesus had to come from heaven.

Just as we need to come to Jesus, who represents another nation (an heavenly one) Naaman came and was healed by Elisha who did not collect anything from him.

The parallel is that in the salvation experience of Jesus, we can be saved without paying anything, what we need is a dip in the blood of Jesus by faith (as we come to him), just as Naaman took a dip in river Jordan. But what happened to Gehazi who tried to gain something from the event of Elisha healing Naaman? He got the leprosy which Naaman was cleansed from, and that is what happens to those who preach another gospel, it becomes their condemnation.

Just as it was only the river Jordan that was recommended for the cleansing of the general, it is only the name of Jesus given under heaven that we might be saved without payment (Acts 4:12).

The church is meant to be cleansed by the washing of water by the word (Ephesians 5:24-32). The bible says we are washed, our thought process is washed from filthy thinking, and we gain elevated thinking.

Paul said: we speak wisdom, not of this world not of the princes of the world which comes to not but the wisdom of God in a mystery (1Corinthians 2:1-7). That is elevated thinking, thinking in which we compare spiritual with spiritual. The wisdom of men is actually foolishness to God (1Corinthians 3:19). James wrote of the wisdom that comes from above saying that it is the peaceful, and pure, but that of the earth is demonic and self-seeking, it is contentious (James 3:15-16).

The process of cleansing involves removing the vestiges of the flesh from our mind. Paul told Timothy that God has not given him the Spirit of fear but of love, power and sound mind (2Timothy 1:6-7).

Fear clutters the mind, compromises the thinking processes, and shuts down creativity and the sense of initiative. With it no new thing can be done on the earth.

Paul wanted Timothy to experience cleansing from fear. There is no moving along with God when we are shackled with fear. God runs on faith and not on fear, and we are meant to walk with him, share his perspective which is never that of fear. God is not the author of confusion (1Corinthians 14:33); and fear and confusion, which are linked together, lead to taking the wrong action.

When King Saul was full of fear that the people were departing from him he offered the sacrifice he was not supposed to offer, and that was his undoing (1Samuel 13).

Paul said that instead of fear, God had given Timothy the Spirit of love, power and a sound mind. Love is purified motivation, power is purified ability, while a sound mind is purified thinking.

Sin has damaged us in those three areas: in our motivation, in our thinking and in our ability.

Ability

God made man to have dominion in the beginning and not to be dominated. That speaks of the inherent ability in man then.

Thinking

Sin also damaged our thinking. Rather than think in God’s own frequency the imagination of the heart of men was evil continually. And without thinking like God we will not be able to walk with him, as Amos wrote: can two walk together expect they be agreed (Amos 3:3)?

Motivation

Except there is oneness of purpose then we can be one in passion, and pursuit. The passion of God is typified by the fire of the Holy Spirit, it is his red burning zeal to actualise his own purpose and with a purified mind, we share his zeal and become zealous in his course. In a place in the book of Isaiah God said, when I had no one to assist me, my own arm brought salvation to me (Isaiah 63:1-6). We have a zeal for God and do not need supporters. We are self-motivated because we are fearless.

When we are purified in our heart (the place of motivation), we can offer acceptable sacrifices to God. The double-minded are called to purify their hearts (James 4:8).

How to stay spiritually relevant in the internet age

Do you know what blogging means, do you know that there are three kinds of BLOGGING: writing, video and audio? Do you know there are ways you can be a blogger without spending a dime? Do you know you be trained to be a WRITER and not necessary be born with the gift? Not only that, do you know that you can be are taught how to publish your book online, have it sold in 7 different online outlets fast and at no cost to you, so you can make the book free for others to access or make some money for yourself? Do you know that through twitter you can start a revolution? Finally, do you know that you can remain spiritually relevant in the internet age, becoming a global minister from the comfort of your room?
INVITE US (JEHIEL INSTITUTE OF PRAYER AND BIBLE TRAINING) TO PRESENT AN INTRODUCTORY SEMINAR ON REMAINING RELEVANT IN THE INTERNET AGE TO YOUR CHURCH OR GROUP AT ZERO COST TO YOU. 
PLEASE CONTACT: KAYODE AT 07060921007, EMAIL: JEHIELINSTITUTE@GMAIL.COM
Office address: Strong Tower Hotel, 5, Bishop Awosika Crescent, Ijapo Estate, Akure Ondo State Nigeria. Come between 9am-3pm gmt 

NB: the internet is more than owing a website or sending emails, it is a tool of ministry this generation must use, as we used the television and radio in the previous generation. 
At Jehiel Institute we seek to train people in prayer and the word of God, fulfilling Acts 6:4, and using the free tools on the internet for ministry.
We offer three classes both online and onsite (or a mix of the two)
A. Online Global Ministry Course (12 weeks) (onsite [at our office] and online)

B. Online Global Ministry miniCourse (4 weeks) (by invitation or online)

C. Online Global Ministry Seminar (3 days) (by invitation or online)

(‘by invitation’ means you invite us to your venue to speak to at least 20 participants)
It is a bible school with a difference where 50 percent of the time is spent praying and your project is publishing ebooks online and getting a blog up and running, where you will read throughout the new testament (except seminar where you read 100 chapters) and treat topics like: purpose and motivation; who is Jesus; Life in the Spirit; emotional healing.
Fill the form at http://www.myjotform.com/jehiel/one

and/or contact us. 

Search for and visit our Facebook page: JEHIEL Institute for more information. See you on the other side of impact. 

Everything written above is at no cost
But partnership can be in three ways: the most important is that you come to attend; then you can publisise and be part of organising classes at the office or away from there, thirdly you can pray for the work and/or contribute your “widow’s mite” for the furtherance of the work.

Increase

annual-report-203761_640Leviticus 26:4: then I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. (ESV)

God is committed to increase, to prosperity, the bible says that he delights in the prosperity of his servants (Psalm 35:27).

When God made man he called him into increase. He puts the blessing of increase upon him. He said: “be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 1:26-28)” and that order still subsists.

God has also called you increase. The church is called to increase discipleship. Jesus said we should go into all the world and made disciples of all nations (Matthew 28:18-20). That is increase via spiritual birth. When the gospel is preached and the people are believe they join the body of Christ.

The first few chapters of the bible is focused on multiplication of disciples, in the second chapter we see 120 disciples of Jesus including his mother Mary and the twelve apostles. They were in one accord praying and the Holy Spirit came down. And before the end of that day 3000 people joined their fold. The laws of spiritual increase practised there includes praying, the manifestation of the Holy Spirit and the preaching of the gospel, because after the people were attracted by the manifestation of the people all speaking in tongues, Peter took time to explain the gospel to them. So with the threefold cord of prayer, Holy Spirit manifestation and preaching, increase came to the church.

In chapters three and four we see thousands more become disciples. In that incident, it was the combination of the miraculous and the preaching. It was about a lame man who was constantly put on the gate of the temple, by using the name of Jesus, the man lame from the birth was raised up.

It was something undeniable. However the increase in spiritual impact, increase in spiritual disciples led to increase in persecution, as the work being done by the leaders of the church gained increasing attention from the religious hierarchy at the time.

God was changing things, the kingdom of God had come, but they were blinded to it, only fixated on protecting their position gives them and the privileges too. They cannot afford to allow the upstarts who were social nonentities to push them away from their place of prominence.

They have become dried woods unfruitful, they have become a dam and not flowing out, they have become empty clouds (Jude 1:12). What they had was dead religion, all motion and no real love or connection with God. All confession and no transformation. They have come into unholy alliance with the Roman government whom they fear more than God. They killed Jesus the son of God, revealing the evil in their hearts.

But Jesus is life, he is the vine always bearing fruit, and that speaks of increase (John 15:1-11). He said that if any do not produce good fruit he will be cut off as a branch.

God designed you for increase, he made the earth as the place of multiplication. He blessed man and commissioned him for increase (Genesis 1:26-28). He infused him with his power and for that purpose. He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life (Genesis 2:7). It is his life in us that gives us his ability, for increase for multiplication, for endless life.

Jesus described himself as the vine with us being the branches, it means in the business of fruitfulness, multiplication, bearing fruits cannot be done in our lives expect in connection with him.

Jesus said: without me, you can do nothing. There is no way to fruitfulness except though him, since he is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6).

Way of fruitfulness

There is no getting to fruitfulness without Jesus. He is fruitfulness, the definition to it. He gave his life and is reaping many sons into glory for God (Hebrews 2:10). He taught that fruitfulness is not about ourselves, letting us know that his father is the vinedresser. We bear fruit for him, and through Jesus. When that is clear in our minds, it means we have the right perspective about the one we should seek to please as we pursue fruitfulness (Galatians 1:10).

Truth

The truth is the right knowledge. Jesus is the truth, to not know him is to make all “fruitfulness” a waste of time. Truth is right alignment with the thoughts of God. You cannot be running at cross purposes with the Lord and claim to be fruitful, you will be anything else but that.

That is actually pride and God promises to resist the proud and give grace to the humble (James 4:6). Truth is based on what God said, you cannot seek to produce something different from what God has commanded you, the direction he is showing you.

Jonah wanted to do that, and he was buried in the belly of fish not seeing light, but clothed with darkness of confusion and frustration. He was commanded to preach to the people of Nineveh but he did something else, he went to Tarshish, he took a trip different from what God commanded and it was almost fatal for him.

There was a time Jeremiah said he was no longer going to deliver the message God has put in his mouth. But he later said that God’s word is like fire shut-up in his bones, and he cannot but speak (Jeremiah 20:7-11). He was not supposed to speak any other word, except what was delivered in his mouth (Jeremiah 1:1-6). He was mean to speak up when, how, and where he was commanded, what he felt about it did not matter. That was his area of fruitfulness and he should focus on it.

Life

Life emanates from God which is part of the fruitfulness arrangement. The disobedience of man in the Garden of Eden was, which means their spiritual potential shut down. What we should produce is the life of God, otherwise what we will produce will be ambition and not God’s mission. The Pharisees were said to produce disciples after their own image who became twice a candidate of hell as they are (Matthew 23:15). They had no life and therefore could only produce death, as the life is in Jesus (John 1:1-4).

Separated to God

grizzly-210996_640Leviticus 20:26: You shall be holy to me, for I the LORD am holy and have separated you from the peoples, that you should be mine. (ESV)

Separation to God can be a process. In that process we become more like God. Remember that God made man to be like him originally. But because of sin he went far from God. And the process of coming back to God was initiated with Jesus giving the invitation: come to me all you who labour and are heavy laden and I will give you rest (Matthew 11:28-30). “Coming to him” is about separation to him. He invites us to take rest from sin, to be reconstructed inwardly into his own form.

After sin entered into the world there was rapid degeneration, so must so that God set out to destroy the world in a flood. He said that the imagination of the heart of men was continually evil, the sin therefore is not just affected the relationship with God, leading to a separation from God, pulling man away from God with increasing degenerative expression of that (Genesis 6:1-5).

There was the effect of sin on the soul, on the thinking process, the emotion, the will. When wickedness spread it is the expression of the sin effect on the soul.

And there is the effect of sin on the body which comes in the shape of sicknesses and diseases. Sin leads to break down, first of relationship with God, then of breakdown of the processes of the mind and also the body.

God wants us back to his fold and that begins with repentance. The bible says, repent and be converted, and times of refreshing will come from the presence of God (Acts 3:19).

In a lesson on repentance Jesus spoke about the prodigal son who at first decided to be separated from the father and hoped to make it on his own, but at the end his experience was bitter.

His attempt at independence backfired and he came to the end of himself. He became even more dependent as he sought to eat the food that a farmer gives to his pigs (Luke 15). It was that bad.

Sometimes if we have not gotten to rock bottom we will not see that we need to change our ways, go back to the father from whom we came.

Eventually that son wanted his old life back, or at least something close to it. He saw clearly the futility in following his own ways seeking to be separate from the father. And he took steps of repentance and Jesus said that if a man repents there is joy in the presence of the angels.

Repentance for that son was a process which started within him, but it did not end there. He took some steps. Repentance is more than wishing things were better, steps need to be taken.

That son was ashamed of himself but he had to put away the shame and decided he was going to go back. He felt he deserved rejection but he decided to go back and at the end of the day. What he met on the other end of his repentance was not servitude which he said he wanted but full restoration which he thought he did not deserve.

In Jesus our sins were washed away. Just as the coming of the prodigal son back to the father resulted in joy in the house, it was as if what he did wrong was validated and that was the accusation levelled against the father by the older brother, who thought that the little brother should be made to really pay and not be rewarded with restoration. He needed to be made to pay, to be given a taste of his own medicine. But the father’s heart does not respond like that. Love gives acceptance when repentance is in place and not works, in which we try to qualify for it.

There is an aspect of separation which is akin to translation. Translation is radical change, and such changes occurs in the bible.

Paul wrote that we have been translated from the kingdom of darkness to that of God’s dear son (Colossians 1:13). The experience of salvation is that instantaneous. When Paul met Jesus she went to a hater of Christ to a lover. It was a translation.

While change of lifestyle may be progressive, including our walking in our spiritual calling, to experience salvation is instantaneous. In a snap of the finger we move from death to life, we become new creatures, we receive grace for righteousness. Similarly, walking in the Spirit is a process (Galatians 5:16, 25).

The healing manifested in the ministry of Jesus were mostly instantaneous. But regarding the coming of truth into us and the true change it will cause, Jesus said it will take a process (John 8:30-36).

You cannot force truth on people. Paul said that Timothy should pay attention to reading; that speaks of personal responsibility (1Timothy 4:13). He said he should preach the word (2Timothy 4:2). The word of God enables us to make a transition from the wrong behaviours to good (James 1:21).

Success for Joshua was going to be aided by his meditation of God’s word, and he had to dwell on the word day and night. It is a process. God told him that he needs to meditate on the word of God day and night and he will have good success. Success therefore is not instantaneous, it is worked at through the word.

Jesus spent long hours in prayer to highlight his separation to God. He shows us how it should be done. He sometimes spent an all-night in prayer (Luke 6:12). In prayer we set out to be separated to God, we carve out time to be with him, to seek his face, to see his light, to be with him, to revel in his presence.

When we do not spend time with God, we will not get to know him as we should. In the presence of God we should not hurry. In that place we are tuned to hear his words and programmed to be like him. The bible says that in the presence of God there is fullness of joy (Psalm 16:9). In his presence we experience fullness.

Giving

butterfly-176156_640Leviticus 5:11: “But if he cannot afford two turtledoves or two pigeons, then he shall bring as his offering for the sin that he has committed a tenth of an ephah of fine flour for a sin offering. He shall put no oil on it and shall put no frankincense on it, for it is a sin offering. (ESV)

God is a giver. When he made man from the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, he invested his Spirit into man, as the bearer of his image on the earth (Genesis 1:26-18, 2:7). And after sin came in and the Adam and Eve discovered that they are naked, God provided a better covering in the form of the skin of a lamb (Genesis 3).

As a giver, Abraham was outstanding. He gave his son when God asked for it (Genesis 22). God had given him precious promises and had told him: walk before me and be perfect. He was called to a life of obedience which later involved taking the steps to sacrifice his son even though he did not practically execute it as he was given another instruction to give something else: a ram caught in the tickets.

Abraham was tested in his much he values the presence of God, and he passed.

Relationship is about giving. If there is no giving there is no relationship and the relationship between us and God is not different.

The bible says that for God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten son and whoever believes in him will not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). So by giving his son, he gave us eternal life (1John 5:11).

But there is nothing we need to give in return to benefit from that gift- it is our faith. We are to put our faith in Jesus, rely on him, make the sure to leave everything and follow Jesus.

David said he will not give God what does not cost him anything (2Samauel 24:24). He fully grasps the idea that giving is paramount in any relationship. He had enough reverence for God and love for him to want to give to him.

When it comes to the building of the temple, though eventually he did not do it, the bible says that he generously provide for the temple that his son would build and his generosity provoked many leaders to give with the same spirit of generosity.

His valuation of the importance of the house of God, of building a house for God, helped to shape other people’s values.

The religion in the Old Testament was about giving, sacrifice were made daily, monthly, yearly, everyone was to bring of the produce of the ground, fruit of the animals. They were told that it is God who gives them the power to get wealth.

And in the New Testament, Paul said that we should offer our bodies as living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is our reasonable sacrifice (Romans 12:1-2). This is our sensible response to the sacrifice Jesus made for us by dying for our sins and the benefits that have accrued to us through them.

What you give determines what you receive, and that is what Jesus said. He said: give and it will be given to you, good measure pressed down shaken together shall men pour into your bosom (Luke 6:38).

Even Jesus did not try to receive without first giving. He did not receive many sons into glory without first giving himself (Hebrews 2:10). He said: except a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it abides along but when it dies it brings forth many seeds, the seed sown gets multiplied (John 12:23-25). That is the nature of seed. The seed may look insignificant but it has the capacity to be multiplied.

Jesus gave himself and he also wants us to give ourselves. Paul said that we should be living sacrifices i.e. sacrifice with no end point. That it is living means that we should constantly need and opportunity to make the sacrifice. It is an ongoing sacrifices, where we separate ourselves to the glory of God.

As living sacrifices with living devotion to God, and dedication to him, our lives becomes seeds like Jesus’ was.

Be becomes seeds for spiritual impact in other peoples’ lives. Paul talked about his own sacrifice saying that he makes up what is lacking in the sacrifice of Jesus (Colossians 1:24). Not that the sacrifice of Jesus is not enough, but someone has to pay the sacrifice to bring the message, and that involves giving ourselves in self-sacrifice.

David said that he will not give God what does not cost him anything. He paid for the place where an altar was built even though it was offered to him free.

Our giving creates a channel between heaven and earth. It creates a landing pad for the things God is releasing, or wants to release. Our giving is a statement of desire for more.

The widow of Zeraphath gave, part of what she thought was not enough to feed herself and her son, to the prophet for the release of the multiplied blessings of God (1Kings 17).

That is the reason it is more blessed to given that to receive, according to the words of Jesus quoted by Paul (Acts 20:35). When we give we create the possibility for receiving in multiple folds. And Jesus said we should be faithful in the use of unrighteous mammon (money), so that we may have true riches.

When you give you show a heart of obedience, that you care, you show your divinity. God is generous and it is that trait that we exhibit as givers.

Giving also expresses lack of fear of lack. Fear causes people to withhold more than is necessary (2Timothy 1:6-7). They hoard money and are not generous. You cannot be a lover of God and not want to give, as your love for God is reflected in your love for others. When you trust God to provide for your needs you will give.

What God commands

Exodus 40:16: This Moses did; according to all that the LORD commanded him, so he did.

What God commands are very clear in the bible, but we may choose to willfully ignore them, or convince ourselves that it is better to follow a different path.

The credibility of the bible has been under attack throughout history, from different groups. The greatest attack are not those from outside, the enemies’ fire, but the friendly fire, those who are actually wolves in sheep clothing as described by the Jesus (Matthew 7:15) and the apostles; who come into the fold with a different agenda from that of Christ. They pursue their own objectives in the name of doing God’s work.

Paul, when he was leaving the church in Ephesus, said that afterward grievous wolfs will rise up among them, seeking to draw followers after themselves (Acts 20:25-32). People who want to bring out new and spectacular doctrine to attract attention.

Continue reading “What God commands”

Separated to Christ

portrait-119851_640Exodus 29:1: “Now this is what you shall do to them to consecrate them, that they may serve me as priests. Take one bull of the herd and two rams without blemish, (ESV)

To be made separate is being taken off from all other uses apart from a specific or a set of specific uses. The focus verse is about the consecration of the priest and the means for doing that was the blood of animals. And for the consecration of the new creation in Christ Jesus, of which you and I are part of, the blood of Jesus was shed, to achieve the ultimate consecration in us (Hebrews 10:29).

Because his blood life was shed we now take on his life (Leviticus 17:11). As the new priesthood, we are representatives of Jesus the High priest, we do his work on earth. A priest connects God to the people and the people to God. And in Jesus that is what we get to do.

Just as sacrifices are instrumental for people to be made priests, Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross makes us priests.

Jesus told Peter and Andrew: follow me and I will make you a fisher of men (Mark 1:17). There is no limit to what Jesus can make us. But we do not get beyond who he is. He makes us who he is.

This starts with our being made children of God. Jesus can make us sons of God because he is already that. When he said he will make some people fishers of men; that was who he was.

In his prayer in John 17, Jesus says that for our sake he sanctified himself, he separated himself. He was not the son of God from eternity, he was God the word, but when Adam who was the son of God messed up, Jesus was sent to be born of the Spirit, born son of God to make for us the path into the same reality.

And later on he was tempted by the devil and he obtained victory over him, over sin, to us for the same purpose. He lived righteously to make the gift of righteousness available to us.

And he also received the Holy Spirit. In the river Jordan where he went to be dipped in water by John the Baptist, the heaven opened and the Spirit of God descend like a dove upon Jesus.

And we see a similar thing happen in the book of Acts chapter two, about ten days after Jesus ascended to heaven. It was the father who released the Holy Spirit on Jesus from heaven by river Jordan, and also spoke from there. For us to receive the Holy Spirit, Jesus has to release him to us. What he becomes, he makes us into.

He encourages us to have a good relationship with the Holy Spirit, being the means of our regeneration, the means of our being born again. We become what we are made. Jesus said: make the tree good and he fruit will be good (Matthew 12:33).

To make us priests, Jesus shed his blood because to become what we are not originally we need the life of the one who has it as seed for our own experience. That is why the bible enjoins us to look unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:1-2).

Jesus is described as our sanctification (1Corinthians 1:30). He separates us to God by first purchasing us with his blood. He paid a price for our soul to set us free from the power of Satan.

Jesus said that as the father has sent him he sent us (John ), and just as he was separated to the father we should be separated to him and the Holy Spirit has been given to us to help us along in that direction. Jesus said that the Holy Spirit will guide us into all truth, he will take what is his, and manifest it to us (John 20:21).

Jesus was driven by the purpose of the father, and he wants us to be driven by his purpose. We are supposed to gaze on Jesus who for the joy set before him despised the shame of the cross, and was obedient to the death on the cross (Hebrews 12:1-6).

Just as he took a path of obedience to the father we should be on a path of obedience to him (Philippians 2:5-11). He said that his food is to do the will of the father in heaven (John 4:34), we should have a similar passion.

Now we should be separated from all other influence to the influence of the Holy Spirit. We are Christ’s. We need to have a level of commitment to Jesus that he has to us. His was a commitment in which he laid down his life and the he said that if we do not carry our cross and follow him we will not be worthy of the kingdom of God because separation is the hallmark of relationship with God (Matthew 10:38).

Talking about his own level of separation, Paul said that for the excellency of knowing Jesus he counted everything as dung to be found in him not having his own righteousness (Philippians 3:10-18).

He was separated from his own righteousness to the righteousness of Jesus. He separated from his own achievement and disappointments. He said: this one thing I do, forgetting what lies behind and stretching forward to what lies in front, I press towards the mark of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. He was separated to the purpose of God for him. He said that he wants to lay hold of that for which Christ has laid hold of him.

Salvation is the process of being made separate to God. We chose to have him as the Lord, not questioning him in anything but obeying him in all things (Romans 10:9-10).

While the blood of Jesus sanctified us with regards to sin, the word of God sanctifies us is with regards to inward change (transformation) and the Holy Spirit sanctifies with regards to spiritual service.

How not to wear yourself out as a leader

farm-554545_1280Exodus 18:18: You and the people with you will certainly wear yourselves out, for the thing is too heavy for you. You are not able to do it alone. (ESV)

Moses was wearing himself out attending to the untold thousands of the children of Israel who came to him to judge between one and another. It was a one-man show, it was a solo performance, and his father-in-law came to his rescue, coming with suggestions on how things can be done differently to enhance efficiency (Exodus 18). The main part of that idea is delegation. We know that Moses was the one to whom God appeared to but there are others who can be instructed in the ways of God to stand as supporting judges, and only the most serious issues should be brought to Moses.

The following are the saline truths for all leaders to imbibe so that they do not wear out.

  1. Teach the people

The number one thing that Jethro mentioned was the need to instruct the people in the ways of God. Teaching was number one role of a Leader. That affords the opportunity to cast vision in order to guide the people. With that, Moses will stop being a crisis manager, running from pillar to post. Teaching pre-empts the problems that may arise and how the people can live to ensure that many problematic issues do not arise.

Be a leader who anticipates problems before they emerge and does something about them. Let not counselling be the primary thing you do, let it be teaching, which should be on a continuous basis. We see Paul saying that he was repeating what the people had said already because it is good for them (Philippians 3:1). He wrote: rejoice in the lord always and again I say rejoice. He repeats his words for emphasis (Philippians 4:4).

In teaching the people they get to know what is expected from them, they are trained in the right way. If people do not know the direction we are going, it will be crisis after crisis. Without law there cannot be sin; without vision there is no restraint, without restraint it is error without limit.

Paul wrote about punishing every disobedience when our obedience is complete (2Corinthians 10:6). There can be no obedience if there is nothing to obey.

The first things we need to obey is the gospel, to become believers in Jesus (2Thessalonians 1:8). Your church should be populated by those with genuine salvation responding to the teaching that they should be born again.

The task Jesus gave the apostles while he was exiting the stage was to preach the gospel, not to counsel people in good behaviours, but to preach the gospel and that the believers should he taught all Jesus has taught them and that is no joke (Matthew 28:18-20).

In the book of Acts, they put that to work and the apostles went from house to house. The bible says that the people continued in the apostles’ teaching, prayer, etc. (Acts 2:42). They were constantly being trained in the way of God and prepared to face any challenges.

  1. Prayer must be priority, no fire brigade approach

Just as spiritual instruction is a priority, prayer should also be. While teaching takes care of the issues of the heart (issues within us), prayer takes care of the issues of the spirit (issues outside us).

Jesus, quoting the Old Testament said: my father’s house shall be called the house of prayer for all nations (Matthew 21:13). The church is meant to impact all nations, and the way he wants to do things is to ensure that everyone prays. He said we should pray so that we will not fall into temptation.

Prayer is spiritual preparation, it is to gain the vision of heaven to lead the people in the race on the earth. With prayer, we get resources from heaven.

Paul prayed for the church in Ephesus that the eyes of their understanding be enlightened (Ephesians 1:15-21). Paul might preach until he is blue in the face but without the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of God activated in the place of prayer, it will all be in futility.

He mentioned prayer right at the first chapter of that book. It holds priority and he mentioned it also in the last chapter. The first chapter prayer is about them, the last chapter about the devil.

And there is one in chapter three about having the love of God entrench in us. When that happens, we will cease having personality clashes; because then the people will love each other with all genuineness.

The point we are discussing here corresponds to the advice of Jethro that Moses take the matters of the people before God, the first one (teaching) is about bringing God’s matter to the people.

  1. Delegate, Delegate, Delegate

To delegate means to assign people to tasks. Moses was managing millions with their different needs, their individual uniqueness, and if he tried to go it alone he was going to wear himself out fast.

There was no questioning Moses’ passion for God, and for the people to get things right, but he needed help for the work.

There was a time that God took from the spirit on Moses and had scores of leaders in the camp. What Jethro was recommending was something systematic, for Moses to appoint different levels of leadership handling different spheres/levels of people-groups and hierarchy of leadership who have been trained for the task and then deployed.

Jethro was personally concerned that Moses was overburdening himself. Everyone else was viewing Moses as some superman, a special breed but Jethro, who was his father-in-law, saw him differently. He knew him for forty years and had a perspective on Moses that was different.

We need people with a full view of our humanity to hold us accountable to the need for balance in our daily regime. The children of Israel might not have talked until Moses crashed physically. But Jethro spoke from the angle of love and understanding.

Attending to everybody only swells the ego, and at the end of the day, the people and Moses will l be dissatisfied and frustrated.

Actually, 24hours in a day is not enough to truly deal with all the cases of the children of Israel. That is why there was the need for Moses to dedicate his time to building others. Paul told Timothy that rather than trying to do it alone, he would teach faithful men who will be able to teach others the things he learnt from Paul (2Timothy 2:2).

Path of obedience

forest-682003_640Exodus 7:6: And Moses and Aaron did as the LORD commanded them, so did they. (KJV)

Human beings think that they are wiser than God. That was what happened in the Garden of Eden where Eve thought it was better that she eats the wrong fruit against God’s commandment (Genesis 3).

She ate what she was told not to eat and the rest is history. Everything went downhill. Her choice messed all of us up. She would have spared all of us the stress if she did as God told her, without questioning or second-guessing.

Moses did not do as he was told and he missed out on the Promised Land (Numbers 20:1-20), King Saul did not do as he was told and he lost the throne (1Samuel 13).

We should not be full of ourselves thinking that we know all things. We do not. Knowledge is more than information, it has to do with transformation, and Jesus said that we shall know the truth and the truth will make us free.

When we do what God tells us, it is like dwelling in the secret place of the Most High and abiding under the shadow of the Almighty (Psalm 91:1-2). When we disregard the word of God we cannot at the same time say we regard God. But God is not our playmate, his words should not be casually treated. It should be held in awe.

Jesus does not waste his time with those who do not. He rebuked the Pharisees that they lift their tradition above the word of God (Mark 7:13). He said: leave them alone, they are blind leaders of the blind and they shall all fall into the pit (Matthew 15:13-14).

He said that his brother, sister and mothers are those who obey God, they share his spiritual gene (Matthew 12:46-50). Jesus was the epitome of obedience to the father. In the difficult issue of laying down his life on the cross, he was obedient (Philippians 2:5-11).

He was not focused on the pain but on the glory that will come after. His form was marred more than the sons of men (Isaiah 52:14). When we do as we are told that is when we will, at the end of time, hear: “Welcome good and faithful servant” from God.

Near the end of his life, Paul was so sure that he had rewards laid for him in heaven. He had lived in obedience (2Timothy 4:7-8).

The bible says that the path of the righteous is like the shining light. That means the path of obedience is the path of increasing light (Proverbs 4:18).

James wrote that it is not just the hearers alone that will be justified but the doer of the word. When we do not do the word though we hear it, we are rebellious in heart.

The devil has a rebellious heart, he was not content to be in his position assigned by God, his ambition drove him on and he led a band of angels to join him in his rebellion. Obedience, as it is linked with humility, is the first law of lifting in the realm of the Spirit while disobedience is the gate downwards (James 4:6).

Even if at first you are not be getting any result, you still have to continue to do as you are told. There is security in obedience, we are guaranteed God’s his support when we do what he says.

The path of obedience is the path of blessing. Before the children of Israel entered the Promised Land they were clearly told that the favour of God was not automatic. It is directly linked with their obedience. Being from Abraham gave them some privileges, but for them to continue to enjoy them they have to be on the path of obedience.

For many commandments that God gave the nation he did not give them reasons, they were supposed to trust him. He made them to hunger in the wilderness and fed them with manna that they may learn that that man must not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God. But the lesson only came later (Deuteronomy 8:3).

When God began to rain manna from heaven the children of Israel were meant to go out daily to pick the food and make sure they leave none overnight. No reason was given for this, but when some attempted to that it bred worms and was not eatable (Exodus 16:17-20). And God was angry that they despised his words. Jesus told the devil: man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

Submission to the Lordship of Jesus has in it the idea of obedience without complaining. Jesus told Matthew “follow me,” and he left his lucrative business, asking no question (Matthew 9:9).

Jesus said that the one who puts his hand on the plough and looks back is not worthy of him (Luke 9:62). That speaks of the need for commitment, for going all the way, for setting our eyes on Jesus who for the joy set before him despised the shame of the cross (Hebrews 12:1-4).

His obedience fetched him a name that is above every other name. At the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord to the glory of God the father (Philippians 2:5-11). Our obedience is to the glory of God the father and out disobedience does the opposite.

When David committed adultery with the Bathsheba, and killed her husband, God through Prophet Nathan said the child from that adultery will die, and he said it was because David had given opportunity for the enemies of God to blaspheme (2Samuel 12:14).

While disobedience is disconnection from God, obedience shows alignment with Him. It shows that we have left our ways and are following his way; that we have a heart that yields to him, that we are not resistant to the Holy Spirit, that we are not stiff-necked and are opened to correction, amenable to the operation of the Holy Spirit in our heart to lead and guide us as he should (Acts 7:51).

God sent me

countryside-701753_1280Genesis 45:5: And now do not be distressed or angry with yourselves because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. (ESV)

Joseph’s brothers, full of hatred, decided to deal with him ruthlessly forgetting that they come from the same father. Full of jealousy, they sold him into slavery. They were more interested in their temporary gain but God was working out something greater, because God’s thoughts are higher than ours (Isaiah 55:9).

To preserve the children of Israel for hundreds of years, God (indirectly) sent Joseph before them into Egypt, which became the cocoon, the womb, from which the nation of Israel would emerge.

They incubated in that place for hundreds of years, and the people multiplied and became very great. And a time came when the labour pain sets in. The contractions started when a Pharaoh arose who did not know Joseph, did not know how he was instrumental in saving the nation from famine and helping it emerge as a superstar. He did not know that the children of Israel were there because of the influence of Joseph who had been a great help to Egypt.

That marked a change of the condition of the children of Israel in Egypt. Suddenly where they had enjoyed for years, where they thought they will abide forever, became the place of serious persecution. They were trodden underfoot, and eventually the labour pain increased and God came down and (directly) sent Moses to deliver them.

Though God sent Joseph hundreds of years before that, he did not know it until certain events began to play out, showing that all things work together for the good of those who love God and are the called according to his purpose (Romans 8:28).

Similar to the calling of Joseph, Moses was called to save the children of Israel. At the age of 80, he was given a marching order and equipped with tremendous power for signs and wonders.

While Joseph used political power and wisdom in the administration of the state to gain favour in the land of Egypt, penetrating the place to become significant in the scheme of things, even marrying the daughter of a priest of the land, and aligning with the social norm of the land, Moses took the confrontational route.

While Joseph was born outside Egypt, Moses as born in Egypt but he has to run away from there for his dear life because he did something wrong, but Joseph was sold into slavery. not for anything he did wrong. They were opposites, but God can use anyone, from whatever background, age and experience and with whatever personality.

God sent both of them and equipped them differently. Moses was equipped with supernatural power for signs and wonders. Joseph was equipped with wisdom to solve administrative problems and becomes indispensable in the corridors of power, Moses was called to confront corridors of power.

But both were sent, and at different times to achieve different things. We never saw Joseph get angry, but we had the record that he wept, but we do not have the record that Moses wept but that he got angry. They had different temperaments, but they were both sent by God. There is no prototype man of God, there is only a prototype Jesus, the ultimate minister of God.

The bible described John the Baptist as a man sent from God (John 1:6), Jesus was also sent by God (Hebrews 1:1-3) but their personality and manner of approach to God and ministry could not be more different.

Jonah was sent to go to Nineveh but he thought he had a better idea, and took a journey in another direction. To stop him from succeeding in his self-will, a storm was sent by God to disturb the man who was sent but did not yield.

It was clear to Jonah that the storm was sent from God, and he was eventually thrown overboard and God sent a fish to swallow him up.

In that story, God sent three things. There was a man Jonah sent who thought he had better ideas, and there was the storm sent and the fish to swallow him up. Therefore, if we follow the path of disobedient, not following through with the direction that God wants us to follow, we should be ready to face storms; we become magnets for storms. When a heart of obedience is misplaced then storm will be in place. And we should also get ready to be stuck inside a “fish,” living frustrated lives, going nowhere.

God told Ezekiel: if I send you to a sinner to tell him to repent and you refused to deliver the message, it will be sad if the sinner dies in his sin because then I will require his blood from your hand (Ezekiel 3:18).

Jesus walked on the earth with the consciousness of being sent. We also should. Paul told Timothy to endure hardness as a good soldier of Jesus Christ, adding that a soldier is not entangled with the affairs of civilian so that he may please the one who enlisted him as a soldier (2Timothy 2:1-4). Paul said we are ambassadors (2Corinthians 5:20). An ambassador in another country does not go about paying attention to his own things, but to the concerns of his country of origin.

In the focus verse, we see that God is interested in preserving life, and we are also sent to the world to preach the gospel and save many from the raging fire of hell. We have escaped by the grace of Jesus, and we are supposed to help others to know the way. Hell is real and God does not want anyone to perish but that all should come to repentance (2Peter 3:9).

We are meant to move by the power of the light of Jesus and break the hold of darkness off people. Jesus said: you shall receive power after the Holy Spirit has come upon you and you shall be witnesses to me everywhere (Acts 1:8).

Revelation

countryside-801837_640Genesis 35:7: and there he built an altar and called the place El-bethel, because there God had revealed himself to him when he fled from his brother. (ESV)

We need God to reveal himself to us. Paul said that it pleased God who separated him from his mother’s womb to reveal his Son in him (Galatians 1:15-16).

Along his way he was accosted by Jesus who manifested to him supernaturally (Acts 9). That was exceptional. He had a great task to perform and for that he needed big revelation at that time. Sometimes later he said that for the abundance of revelation, a messenger of Satan was sent to buffet him, and he prayed and Jesus in another revelation showed him how to handle the situation (2Corinthians 12:6-10).

The revelation of God delivers wisdom, knowledge and understanding to us.

Wisdom

Wisdom has to do with what to do to get the right result. By revelation, God told Moses how to get the children of Israel away from bondage in Egypt, which he had tried to achieve by the arm of flesh. In the end, it was clear that it is better to move by revelation than by trial and error.

At the age of forty, Moses beat up and killed an Egyptian who was fighting an Hebrew. He thought that the people should recognise him as deliverer, not recognising that he needed God to introduce him to the people and that did not happen until forty years later.

When wisdom is derived from revelation, we understand the timing of God, and we have the resources to gain the right result. In a battle that King Jehoshaphat was supposed to fight, he was told that he does not have to fight, but he will win the battle, with that he set up musicians and choir. Victory was delivered to him by revelation cum divine intervention (2Chronicles 20).

When the children of Israel wanted to take the land of Jericho which as surrounded by mighty walls, by revelation they were told to march around the wall for seven days. There was nothing logical about that, but at the end, with only a shout, the wall of Jericho fell down flat (Joshua 6).

We can gain wisdom by revelation, knowing whom to meet, who to connect to help us achieve our objectives. It was through revelation wisdom that a widow could give something to Elijah for her to be sustained in famine. It was by revelation wisdom that a wife of a dead prophet by following the instruction of Elisha saved her two sons from slavery (2Kings 4:1-7).

We see David seeking direction from God in all things and he was victorious in the different battles by the revelation he has from God. Saul wanted such a thing but God denied him and he lost his life.

Elisha was consulted by two kings when their armies were about to die on the battlefield before they even did anything because there was no water to drink. When the hand of the Lord came upon Elisha, he spoke of their victory, that the enemy will be defeated before them (2Kings 3:7-27). They were told that they should dig pits and that without seeing rain or wind the pits will be filled with water so the army will not die of thirst.

Though Elisha hated one of the kings, by the word of God through his mouth deliverance was wrought, by revelation wisdom. It was through the revelation delivered to Elisha that the king of Israel could avoid the traps of the kings of Syria. He escaped by taking the right steps and it was as if he had no enemy.

Knowledge

Revelation has inherent in it the idea of unveiling of what is not previously known. The book of the Revelation in the bible bears witness to this.

Paul had a revelation of Jesus when he was on his way to Damascus fuming against the church, and Jesus appeared to him and asked: who are you Lord? (Sometimes to know, we need to ask.) And Jesus said that: I am Jesus whom you are persecuting (Acts 9). From that moment, he had the knowledge of Jesus.

Revelation delivers knowledge. On Mount Sinai, God by revelation delivered his tenets to the children of Israel. There they heard God’s voice from heaven and by revelation they had delivered to them the Ten Commandments which was written by the finger of God (Exodus 20).

We need revelation to come into the knowledge of God. The knowledge of angels comes via their manifestations. Mary knew that she was chosen to bear the Messiah when angel Gabriel appeared to her (Luke 1).

The bible is full of the revelation of what will happen in the future. Jeremiah spoke of the length of time Judah will be in captivity. He said it was 70 years, and based on that knowledge, down the road, Daniel prayed for that to happen and it happened (Daniel 9).

Understanding

Revelation can also impact understanding. When the psalmist prayed: open my eyes that I may behold wondrous things out of your law, he seeks revelation into the word of God to aid his understanding (Psalm 119:18).

The writings of Paul are full of the revelation that he has come into and when he speaks, he impacts understanding. He said that what he taught was not because he sat down for any him a being to lecture, but he receive them by revelation (Galatians 1:10-12).

He prayed for the church in Ephesus that God will open the eyes of their understanding that they may know some things; that they may come into revelation understanding of certain things, e.g. the riches of God’s glory etc.

Prophecy impacts understanding, the bible says that the revelation of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy (Revelation 19:10). When prophecy goes forth it is supposed to impact understanding which will result in exhortation, comfort and edification (1Corinthians 14:1-4). When revelation impacts understanding, then we changed, it is light flooding our consciousness with heaven’s truth.

Job came into the understanding of God after his terrible ordeal. At the end he said to God: I have heard of you by the hearing of the ears, but now my eyes see you, and I repent in dust and ashes (Job 42:1-5).

Isaiah came into a greater understanding of himself when in the year that king Uzziah died, he saw the Lord and had the revelation of God’s holiness, and he declared that he is a man of unclean lips, living in the midst of those with unclean lips. By revelation, he had the understating of the Lord, of himself and his environment (Isaiah 6:1-10).

Reconciliation

hugging-571076_640Genesis 33:10: Jacob said, “No, please, if I have found favor in your sight, then accept my present from my hand. For I have seen your face, which is like seeing the face of God, and you have accepted me. (ESV)

This statement was made as Jacob saw his brother Esau after decades of separation. Jacob had run away from his brother who wanted to kill him.

In that period, their relationship was non-existent. They were dead to each other.  Jacob was the offender and ran away from being killed by his brother, Esau.

But when the time came for their face to face meeting, Jacob was happy that it was peaceful against his fear that something bad was going to happen to him. God had intervened with Esau and the meeting was okay.

Instead of judgement, so to speak, Jacob found favour, instead of rejection, he found acceptation. It was like the story of the prodigal son, who was fearful about the reception he was going to get when he returns to the father (Luke 15:11-32).

He had done the wrong thing and was reluctant to retrace his step. He had done the wrong thing and was facing the repercussion of his wrong move.

He asked for his inheritance and spent it on harlots in a foreign land in a twisted desired for independence. But instead of chasing him away, the father accepted him. Both the prodigal son and the Jacob took things for themselves in unethical manners. Jacob took Esau’s blessings by sleuth and the prodigal son decided to gain his inheritance even before the death of the father.

That was what happened to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. To obtain some kind of wisdom they ate the fruit God said that they shouldn’t.

When they did that they had to run away from God in fear, just as Jacob ran away from Esau. There was a breakdown in their relationship.

It is interesting that in the reconciliation between the prodigal son and the father and Jacob and Esau the once who should feel offended were seen moving to receive the other in their embrace

That gives us a picture of God and his disposition when we repent. When the prodigal son returned the father set up a party of rejoicing. So instead of having a feeling of condemnation, he was overwhelmed with love from the father, a love that never waned.

The father had to allow the son to make his choice and to also release him to face the repercussion. The prodigal son by moving away from the father learnt invaluable lessons that will actually make him a better son. That experience is invaluable. The next time he will make a better decision, he will be able to advise others, he will be able to show the right way to others. So the fact that you did something wrong in the past should not be the focus, it is how we become a better person because of it.

For Adam and Eve, their sin was not the end of humanity (Genesis 3), Jesus came as the way back to God, opening the path of repentance. He said: repent for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand. The sin is not the end, there is the door of repentance, the door of change, into new life and power. God is full of mercy, and compassion. He seeks Man out, coming in the shape of Jesus to save us from our sins (Matthew 1:21). He initiates the reconciliation, but we have to embrace it.

Reconciliation may be attempted but because of the response of the other party, it may not succeed. That is why Paul said that, as long as it lies with us, we should live in peace with all men (Romans 12:18). Everything does not depend on us. Sometimes the people we want peace with do not want peace with us. Peace initiatives may be rebuffed or conditions set for the people that may be difficult to achieve. A psalmist wrote: I am for peace, but when I speak of it, all they want is war (Psalm 120:6).

God sent Jesus to the world, so that through him the people will be saved, that they will be reconciled to him, and he has also given us the ministry of reconciliation (2Corinthians 5:12-21).

But people can reject Jesus. They do it all the time. Full of their own way, they reject the ways of God, full of their own plans they reject the plan of God.

John wrote that: for God so love the world that he gave his only begotten son that whoever believes in him will not perish but have everlasting life (John 3:16).

But people may choose not to believe and it is in the devil’s interest that they not believe. The bible says that he has blinded the hearts of those who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel shine on them (2Corinthians 4:4).

That is why for any ministry of reconciliation to be successful it must be backed by fasting and prayer by a team dedicated to it. Paul asked for churches to pray for him that the word of God will have free course and be glorified (2Thessalonians 3:1). Otherwise, there will be resistance if the people eyes remain blinded. Peter said: we will give ourselves to prayer and the ministry of the word (Acts 6:4).

Before the church, through persecution, was dispersed from Jerusalem, they were known for prayer (Acts 2:42). In the place where they go, they were efficient when it comes to preaching to others and churches were set up as a result of their efforts. One of the churches set up was in Antioch which continued with the priority of prayer.

Certain prophets and teachers in the church in Antioch were committed to prayer. On one of such occasions of fasting and prayer in Acts chapter 13, the Holy Spirit said that Barnabas and Paul must be separated to him for the work they should do. And that began a powerful reconciliation move of God that spread across many places. The point is that there is no doing any work of reconciliation without prayer. Even Jesus was soaked in prayer.

Integrity

ornament-708799_640Genesis 20:5: Did he not himself say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, ‘He is my brother.’ In the integrity of my heart and the innocence of my hands I have done this.” (ESV)

Integrity can mean sincerity, plainness. The king being quoted in the focus verse was trying to give a reason why he should not be punished for doing what he did at it was not from a heart of wickedness.

Integrity is about not being duplicity, not saying one thing and doing the other, not making and breaking commitment at will.

In the book of Malachi, God warned the men from being unfaithful to the wives of their youth through divorce (Malachi 2:14-16). Integrity has to do with keeping commitments. It is about faithfulness.

God is known for his faithfulness, commitment to his own word. He said thousands of years ago that as long as the earth remains seed-time and harvest will not cease. He said he will not again destroy the world with water (Genesis 9:11-17).  We can count on those two things happening.

He has integrity he keeps his word and expects the same from us. He does not waste his word, he does not speak to the gallery.

He said that as the rain comes to the earth so is his word, it does not go back to him void but achieves the purpose for which it was sent (Isaiah 55:11). God’s word is packed with creative power and they create the reality that they express. He would not say something and turn around to say he did not say it. Peter said that Jesus has the words of eternal life (John 6:63).

Our words are very important, to the limit that we are committed to our own words, we have integrity. We should not be flippant with words. Jesus said that we will account for every idle word (Matthew 12:36).

Words are powerful, and we should say what we mean and mean what we say. Jesus said it this way: let your yes be yes and your no be no (Matthew 5:37); any other thing comes from the evil one. It is as serious as that.

Remove lying from your lips. That is one of the things that the bible says you need to have a long fulfilled life (1Peter 3:8-13). When you know you should not lie, you will avoid doing things that you will need to cover up or have to misrepresent the facts.

When Samuel was declaring the judgement of God on King Saul, to show him it was irreversible, he said the strength of Israel, i.e. God, will not lie (1Samuel 15:29).

Paul confronted Peter at a time for his lack of integrity. Certain Jewish converts came into town and in order not to be disapproved by them, for his association with the gentiles, Peter stopped associating with the gentiles, the way he was doing. Paul said: I confronted him because his behaviour is not in alignment with the truth of the gospel. He blamed him for believing one thing and doing another, for believing that in Jesus all are accepted and being hypocritical in order to please some people (Galatians 2:7-17).

It was the same Peter who denied Jesus three times. Before then he said that he was going to die with him (Luke 22:33-61). Would it not have been better for him to shut up his mouth, rather than say one thing and do the opposite? Integrity is saying what you mean and meaning what you say. We need to try our best to pull through in fulfilling our words.

If integrity means commitment, then the three men of David who broke through the garrison of the Philistines to get him water from the well of Bethlehem, at the risk of their lives, to fulfil the wishes for David, are great examples of it.  They did not care for their lives to be able to please their leader, they met his spoken desire (2Samuel 23:14-16). They allowed his words to guide their action, we should have the same relationship with the Word of God.

Jesus expression similar integrity in his death on the cross. He made a commitment to lay down his life and pulled through. He had the chance to pull out, but he did not. When he was about to be arrested and Peter was trying to prove tough, he said that he could ask for angels to come in his defence and the Roman soldiers will be summarily dealt with (John 18:1-12, Matthew 26:47-54). He, however, did not take the easy way out, did not try to avoid the bitter cup that God wants him to drink (Matthew 26:39).

He was the epitome of integrity. That is why at the end of the day the bible says that Jesus has been given a power above every other (Philippians 2:5-11). Once he fulfilled the word of God, his name was invested with the power that cannot be resisted because he did not resist the will of God, yielding to the death of the cross.

Integrity is a quality of the heart and that God sees the heart. He says that he looks at the heart while we humans look at the appearance (1Samuel 16:1-13).

That was what he told Samuel when he was about to make the mistake of anointing the wrong man king. He was taken by the appearance of the Eliab who was the first born of Jesse and was imposing in appearance.

God focuses on the core of our person. And his transformation work also goes deep there. There is where the gifts of the Holy Spirit are expressed: peace, joy, love, faithfulness (a quality of integrity), and God is not just about giving us a makeover on the outside but on the inside also (Galatians 5:22-23).

It is not enough to profess a need for change, complaining about yourself or complaining about others, we need to be remade, transformed from within, because unfaithfulness is a rot in our unregenerate “gene.”

The best of man is imperfect, but the very life of God bubbling in us makes all the difference, turning us into men and women of integrity, designed to respond to situations like Jesus would, manifesting his integrity.

Paul said that we should act wisely towards those who are outside, walking circumspectly not as fools but wise, redeeming the time because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:13-20). And walking in wisdom involves walking in integrity. When we walk in integrity, our consistency and truthfulness will be an example to others, and we shine as light.

Build

diveevo-140542_640 (2)Genesis 12:7: Then the LORD appeared to Abram and said, “To your offspring I will give this land.” So he built there an altar to the LORD, who had appeared to him. (ESV)

What you build is what you invest in. Jesus said that he will build his church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it. He invested himself in the building of the church (Matthew 16:18).

That is why Paul said that Jesus is the cornerstone of the church (Ephesians 2:20), of which we are all part of. The greatness of God is meant to be manifested in the church, it is supposed to be the place of the glory of God, the place of the presence of God, the power of God, the wisdom of God, the knowledge of God. It is supposed to be populated by those who are pursuing the knowledge of God, who are separated to God in all sense of the word.

What God is building is like no other building, it is a spiritual building. Paul wrote that we are being built as a house of God in the Spirit (Ephesians 2:22).

The building has continued to be built throughout the church age, starting with the church in the book of Acts down to this day.

In a way, the form of the church is like what God told Jeremiah about the clay object that a potter was forming in his workshop (Jeremiah 18:1-6).

God told the prophet to pay a visit to the potter where he will receive his message. And there the potter was forming something on the wheel, and when the shape did not come out right, or it whole thing was marred in the hand of the potter, the clay was broken on and another thing was formed from it.

The history of the church takes a similar shape. The first-century church was fine, but a few century after the church became marred. There was some excess in the church, that necessity the potter, God, to break it down, and now in the latter days the church is being reshaped. Starting with the ministry of Martin Luther, a new church is emerging after the ashes of the old, and in the Pentecostal movement, another thing is emerging from the orthodox churches which trace their origin from the time of Martin Luther.

Another way in which we can understand the evolution of the church down the years is by the illustration of the valley of dry bones, from a vision that God showed Ezekiel (Ezekiel 37:1-14). In that vision, there were many dry bones scattered all over with no hope for coming out.

That is the shape of the church called the medieval church, which is the church in the dark ages. There would be no bone if there were no real human beings in the valley before then.

They were living breathing people which over time, became dead, but that was not the end of the story.

To rectify the situation, God said that Ezekiel should prophesy, which is to speak the word of God. That was what we see Martin Luther do, bringing back the word of God to the centre stage, to rebuild a “fallen army.”

When there was restoration of interest in the word of God. When people began to say “sola scriptural,” the scriptures alone, not tradition, not ancient practises not the infusion of the culture that surrounds is, but scriptures alone, and the word of truth was being rightly divided, then the bones of the scattered messed up confused dead church began to join together, gaining the right spiritual form.

The church began to take the right shape the way God wanted it to be, congregation of churches bearing different names were being formed with the right connection with Jesus, and not a human overlord called pope, or human structure called the Catholic Church.

Out of the ashes of the dead church of the medieval age came the vibrant missionary church that took the gospel to many unreached places with many sacrificing their lives.

After the bones have joined to bone, the sinews covered the bone and the flesh and the skin have covered everything. This shows that it took a process of time before a full shape was formed. As the word began to go forth, the word of God took central stage.

Before all these God had asked Ezekiel, “Can these bones live?” His answer: you alone know. So while death and destruction happened to the previous army whose bones laid in the valley, God was not wringing his hand confused and wondering what he was going to do.

He only had to send his word. The bible says that God sent his word to heal us and deliver us from our destruction (Psalm 107:20).

The Holy Spirit is committed to working with the word of God because they were written by him in the first place.

The word and the Spirit are intertwined so when the word of God goes forth, we should expect creative power to go forth.

And the bible says that where the word of a king is there is power, there is change, change without limit. Paul said that we should be filled with the word of God (Colossians 3:16), and we have to be strong in the lord (Ephesians 6:10-12).

There was something else to be done after the sinews, flesh and skin had come. There was the need for the Spirit to come into the fleshy human bodies lying all over the valley which was previously full of dry bones.

The Spirit needed to come upon it. That speaks of what happened in the early 1900s when the church began to experience the infilling of the Holy Spirit with the evidence of speaking in tongues. That was when the people in the valley became was referred to as an exceedingly great army.

The church is now ready to deal with the devil like never before, with the spiritual dimension activated in us, the expression of the supernatural gifts in different dimensions began to manifest in the people in the church.

We became more dangerous than ever, we become animated with the very presence of God. But we must not forget that the foundation for the expression of the Holy Spirit is the word of God, if the bones did not come to bone, which stands for rightly diving the word of truth (2Timothy 2:15), we would not have an exceedingly great army animated to the Holy Spirit to speak of.

Let us rejoice

girl-753107_1280Revelation 19:7: Let us rejoice and be glad and give him the glory, because the wedding celebration of the Lamb has come, and his bride has prepared herself. (LEB)

The rejoicing comes with the reign of God. The bible says that when the righteous rule the people rejoice but in the time of the wicked, people hide themselves (Proverbs 11:10, 28:12, 28, 29:2).

The book of revelation is a book of joy. What we see there is the culmination of all things, the winding up of the things happening now on the earth, and the enthronement of the full rule of God in all spheres of existence.

The bible began with God making a place for man and it ends with God making his place with man. It started on a joyous mode and ends with that. The initial rejoicing was truncated by the coming in of the devil while the end rejoicing will be after the devil is thrown into hell.

He planned to make earth hell but at the end it went to hell (Revelation 20:10). He planned it, but it did not work out because it is the counsel of the Lord that shall stand (Proverbs 19:21).

The devil introduced sin into the world and Jesus needed to come and rectify the error (Matthew 1:21). At the birth of Jesus, there was an angelic host that together sang with joy (Luke 2:8-15). That was the same thing which happened when the world was made, and the coming of Jesus also marked a new beginning for the earth, for humans who were objects of God’s love but went away from him in rebellion.

It was something to rejoice about. It was something amazing. It was the favour of God that has been brought to fore, being turned to humanity, as something was going to be done about God’s relationship with Man which has gone sour.

Paul says we should rejoice in hope of the glory of God (Romans 5:2). Where we are going to end is glory so we rejoice because of that, we rejoice in anticipation. We have the hope of the seeing Jesus and we will forever be with the Lord (1Thessalonians 4:17). Paul says: rejoice in the Lord, always, again I say rejoice (Philippians 4:4). He wants us to rejoice because of what our portion in God is.

When Jesus was about to taken away to heaven, he said that the disciples they don’t need to be sorrowful (John 16:16-17). They will be sorrowful if they were focused on natural things, but when the focus is on the spiritual, when we look at things that be not as though they were, we rejoice.

When we see the fullness of our spiritual blessing in Christ Jesus we rejoice, when we hear God say that the plan he has for us is plan for good and not for evil, to bring us to a good end, we rejoice (Jeremiah 29:11).

Everything we experience now is of lower level compared with the spiritual rewards that will come to us at the end of the age.

Paul said that he eagerly awaits the time when he will get his rewards (2Timothy 4:7-8). He said a crown is laid up for him. He also said that his light affliction is nothing to be compared with the glory that will be revealed, nothing compared to the rewards he will get in the age to come (2Corinthians 4:17). He rejoices because he sets his eyes on the things of heaven and not on things on the earth.

We rejoice because God reigns and his reign is that of justice, that of righteousness (Psalm 69:14), of plenty. In the land of Israel in the time of Solomon there was such plenty that even silver was not regarded as anything (1Kings 10:21).

The New Jerusalem was designed with streets of gold, pure gold (Revelation 21:21). In the absolute reign of God, every tear will be wiped from our eyes (Revelation 21:1-4). We will have the full sense of completeness, full of God, full of his joy. There is something called the joy of the Lord (Nehemiah 8:10, Luke 15:10).

Right now while we wait for the full-blown manifestation of the reign of God, we reign through two intertwined things: through 1. The word of God in our mouth and 2. The righteousness of Jesus we have obtained and express.

Word of God

The bible says that where the word of a king is there is power (Ecclesiastes 8:4). When we put the word of God in our mouth it is our means of dominion on the earth. When Eve decided to neglect the word of God, she stopped reigning as she should (Genesis 3).

God reigns now in his word within us and released from our mouth to impact people’s lives and to defeat the devil as we use it in the place of prayer, in direct confrontation with the devil. The word of God is called the sword of the Spirit (Ephesians 6:17).

Where the Word of God goes, goes God’s power. The word of God (John 1:1-5), Jesus, was sent to destroy the work of the enemy; and we need to become the embodiment of the word of God, and fight off the hordes of darkness, since his word is his light.

When Jesus was asked to come and heal a servant, one man said that he only needs to speak the word and his servant will be healed (Matthew 8:8). Jesus reigned on the earth by the word of his power. He said a time comes when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of man and those who hear will live (John 5:25).

Righteousness

Paul wrote of the armour of righteousness on the left and the right (2Corinthians 6:7). There is nothing that wins more than the right action. Peter wrote that who will overcome you when you are involved in doing the right thing (1Peter 3:13)?

For the battle in the Garden of Eden, doing the right things, doing the word of God, would have stopped the onslaught of the devil in its track.

In the wilderness, Jesus, by doing the right thing, did not lose out in the onslaught of the devil’s temptation on him. Nothing wins like righteousness. That is when we shine as light and darkness is dispersed. We cannot just say: Jesus is Lord and not do what he says (Luke 6:46). When we allow him to reign in our lives, he reigns through us.

How long did it take God to create the earth?

exoplanet-571906_640Revelation 11:17: saying, “We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, who is and who was, for you have taken your great power and begun to reign. (ESV)

Now God has not taken his great power and begun to rule by himself as this Book of Revelation verse states, it is still some time ahead, but now the reign of Christ is through the church.

The bible says that we will reign in this life through righteousness (Romans 5:17), but a time is coming when Jesus will execute his full authority on the earth.

Now we are being trained in faith and share in his authority. He is beaming through the church, and as she matures and grows and she becomes better and expresses higher level of authority as she represents the height of Jesus’ devotion to the father, in her devotion to the son.

When on earth Jesus exercised all the authority he did in connection with the father, similarly the authority that the church will wield now will be based on her attachment to Jesus, the Word of God.

When Jesus showed up on the scene on the earth, the demons who already knew him from their time in heaven where he was strictly God the word were terrified, they knew the kind of power he wielded, and were scared stiff that he will pounce on them.

But he was not there to wield all his power as God, having chosen to appear in the form of a servant for the obedience of the death on the cross (Philippians 2:5-11).

He was here to show himself as an example for us and to kick-start the church. But when John and Paul saw him after his resurrection they were awed by the power of his appearance.

John had to use many words to describe who he was, his hair, and eyes (Revelation 1). He was awestruck, Paul was blinded by the brightness that Jesus shone, which was stronger than that of the noonday sun (Acts 9).

His voicem John said, was like the sound of many waters. Paul said that God dwells in unapproachable light (1Timothy 6:16) in a casual reference to his own encounter with the full glares of the divine light.

When Isaiah was given a sneak preview of heaven, he said that “in the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord high and lifted up and his train filled the temple” and powerful angels were saying holy, holy to the Lord God almighty, all the earth is full of his glory. In the presence of God’s holiness. he was strongly impressed by his own lack of holiness. He was awestruck (Isaiah 6:1-11).

The angels of God are said to excel in strength (Psalm 103:20) and one of them slaughtered the whole army of the opposing of Israel, more than 100,000 thousand of them (2Kings19:35). God is awesome in power. Man is but a mere dust in the ocean when we are talking about the power of God, his greatness.

When God made Man it was to reign on the earth. He said: let us make man in our own image and let them reign over other works of our hands on the earth (Genesis 1).

Everything we see in creation speaks of God’s greatness. Paul said that we do not need to look too far since everything made bears the imprint of God (Romans 1). Angels before the throne room of God say: all the earth is full of his glory.

In six days, he made quick work of creating the earth. Those who say it is not six literal days are wrong and so are those who say the earth is young.

There is a case to seeing a gap in time between the first two verses of the bible.

The bible says: in the beginning God created the heavens and the earth, the earth was without form and void, and God started making the earth, and the process of remaking the earth took just six days, six twenty-four hour time.

Why would the Holy Spirit take the pain to say: the morning and evening, make the first-day etc. if we should not take the days as literal days? It does not make sense.

Ask yourself the question, which one brings more glory to God: that the earth was remade in six literal days with man created on the sixth day as the crowning work of God’s creation, or that it took a period of billions of years? Of course, the first option is more glorious. Understand that if you say it took a gradual process of millions of years for man to evolve, you are in danger of reducing from the glory of God.

The creation was based on God’s direct action. We see God’s direct action in the bible and how natural processes are suspended. Because he himself set the process in place, he does not have to submit himself to them.

When he intervened of push back the red sea for the children of Israel to pass, he did not take him millions of years to achieve, otherwise Pharaoh’s army will have “eaten up” the children of Israel. You get the point (Exodus 14).

There was no need for God to put himself through years of constructing things which can appear immediately by his speaking a word, just like that with absolutely no time lapse between when it is said and when things appear.

He speaks of things that are not as though they are (Romans 4:17). Time means process, but when you meet someone who created eternity itself, then we know that the way we think of things is way different from the way he does. God said my ways are not your away not my thoughts your thoughts (Isaiah 55:6-10). So if we think “processes” he thinks “instantaneous,” because he can control everything, what is needed to generate change over millions of years by natural processes he can generate within a moment.

One major reason why we need to know that earth and heaven were done before the earth was remake (possibly after a catastrophe à la Satan’s rebellion) was because the making of angels was not mentioned in the six days of the making of the earth. Since those beings predate man, we can conclude that there was definitely a little gap between the first two verses of the bible, between the beginning and the earth becoming void.

You can go too far in your understanding of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit; here is how.

europe-182767_6402John 1:9: Anyone who goes too far and does not abide in the teaching of Christ, does not have God; the one who abides in the teaching, he has both the Father and the Son. (NASB)

The knowledge of Christ does not include all the knowledge possible in the world. If it does not start and end with Christ as taught by the apostles then it is not acceptable. We should not even entertain those who hold errant doctrines (2John 1:10).

The focus verse talks about going too far, and Jesus talks about the straight and narrow path which leads to life and the broad way which leads to destruction (Matthew 7:13-14).

Both are ways leading somewhere, you can advance in the two directions, you can make progress. On both roads there is the sense of movement, progress even, with not much difference expect the breadth of the road. But at the end the difference becomes clear.

The one moving on the narrow path ends up in life, while the person who moving in the broad road ends up in destruction.

Where you end up is a function of where you coming from, the road you take. When it comes to knowledge there is a narrow one, a specific one that leads to life. Not all knowledge leads to God, not all roads leads to God.

Jesus is the way and the truth that leads to life, and he is that life (John 14:6). God has chosen to give life to humanity and that life is embedded in his son Jesus (1John 5:11).

All power in heaven and on earth has been given to him, but that does not mean that some others will not claim they have power and seek to have others bow before them, and serve them.

Just as there is a broad road of the truth, which is what different people chose to believe as being the truth, there is also a broad road of power, which are the different sources of power that people chose to recognise as true.

In the land of Samaria before Philip when there with the truth of Jesus and the demonstration of the power of God for the miraculous, there was one Simon who was a sorcerer, who did amazing things also with some kind of powers (Act 8).

In the land of Ephesus where Paul preached there was a woman who was possessed with a spirit of divination, the power to supernaturally know things. So we have pockets of expression of power, that people allow themselves to be subjected to, but they are false powers, they are the power of darkness that fades away in the presence of the light of Jesus.

There was a display of some power in the land of Egypt by Pharaoh’s sorcerers, when God was set to free the children of Israel. The sorcerers of Pharaoh were able to make some effort in the supernatural, but the power of God so overwhelmed the land that the sorcerers were, after some time, unable to replicate the power demonstrated by Moses in the land.

Paul wrote that we wrestle not against flesh and blood but against principalities and power, and the rulers of the darkness of this age (Ephesians 6:10-14).

But Jesus had defeated them on the cross, so why do we have to fight them (Colossians 2:13-15)?

Their legal total rule have “expired” on the earth but as long as some people still do not give their lives to Jesus, they maintain some measure of control over their lives. But there’s is a waning power (though sometimes it does not seem like that), and there is a limit to their operation.

There are three ways in which we can go too far: in what we believe about God the father, God the son and God the Holy Spirit.

God the Father

People say that God does not have a son, and they are wrong. They say that God is so loving he will not throw people into hell, they are wrong. The bible says that God does not want any to perish but that all should come into repentance, and he offered his son to die for us (2Peter 3:9). But if they do not repent they will perish. Others say that God is barbaric to require blood. They are thinking carnally, with no consideration for the holiness of God and how sin is anathema to it.

God the Son

Jesus is really misunderstood. But his personality as carefully constructed by the writers of the scriptures does not lend itself to confusion for those who believe.

The challenge is in the many contradictory titles of Jesus: lion and lamb; the one who is creator who was killed; God and man.

We are not supposed to pick one of the two dimensions of Jesus and reject the other. There was a creature in the bible with four kinds of faces, depending on what side you looking at it (Ezekiel 1:10). The wisdom of God which Jesus is referred to as being manifolds (Ephesians 3:10). God will not be boxed.

Jesus is the one who was born and at the same time is the source of all life. Some, confronted by the dilemma, wants to reduce his divinity calling him an angel, calling him created and by so doing they miss the way of life and lead away from it.

Holy Spirit

This is another tricky one. It seems convenience for some to refer to the Holy Spirit as merely a force, but he is a person.

We see the Holy Spirit speaking in the bible, as a person, but sometimes he is presented as a force used but the Father and the Son.

He called the Spirit of the Lord, there are seven spirits mentioned to be upon Jesus. He is also the Spirit of Christ.

But when Jesus was introducing him to us, it was not as a force, but he can manifested as such.

Look at the ways he was described in the bible:

As a dove coming upon Jesus (Luke 3:22).

As divine fire coming upon the disciples in the upper room (Acts 2:1-4).

When describing the one born of the spirit, Jesus said that the way we see the wind blowing, we do not know where he comes from and where it goes; so is the one born of the Spirit.

Paul said that we would be filled with the Holy Spirit as a spiritual wine (Ephesians 5:17-19).

We see the Holy Spirit as dove, fire, wind, wine, and you can beginning to think of him as merely a force, and if just that it does not make a sense that Jesus will say he will guide us into all truth. He will convict the world of sin, judgment and righteousness. He will take of what is his and show it to us. He calls him another comforter like him, not less than Jesus in anything, a full presentative of Jesus as the father was the full representative of the father (Hebrews 1, John 16).

God is light

tussilago-farfara-301704_6401John 1:5: And this is the message which we have heard from Him, and we proclaim to you: God is light, and no darkness is in Him, none! (LITV)

We can only relate with God to the limit that we know him, and the whole bible is about a journey into the knowledge of God.

Paul cried: that I may know him (Philippians 3:10). Daniel proclaimed: those who know their God will be strong (Daniel 11:32). Another said that let us know the Lord, let us pursue the knowledge of God (Hosea 6:3).

Know God’s word is almost the same as knowing him because we do get to know people from the words they speak. And how we see someone will determine how we interpret his actions and inactions.

God is light means he stands in contrast to darkness. It means he shows the way, he creates, he is about order and not confusion. He is about clarity.

Paul said that God is not the author of confusion (1Corinthians 14:33). When we know God we know what events we can ascribe to him or not. Jesus said that it is not God who steal, kills or destroy, he said it is the devil (John 10:10).

Paul said that he wants to preach in the land of Thessalonica, but the devil withstood him (1Thessalonians 2:18). He did not say God made it happen. He was not in the dark wondering about the source of the difficulty he faced. He knew it was the devil.

When Paul was experiencing difficulty, he said a messenger of Satan was sent to buffet him, and he prayed to God that he become free from the difficulty (2Corinthians 12:6-10).

He did not say Jesus was the cause, but he prayed to Jesus, who said to him, my grace is sufficient for you, my strength is made perfect in weaknesses. The role of Jesus is as the source of grace. Paul prayed for the Corinthian church that God will make all grace about towards then so that in all things and at all times, they will abound to every good work (2Corinthians 9:8).

That God is light means he reveals. Jesus is called the revelation of the father (Hebrews 1:1-3). He told his disciples if you see me you have seen the father (John 14:7-9). God wants to reveal himself and not hide himself. In the Garden of Eden when he created man, he did not hide his instruction from him.

He let him know the dos and don’ts of the garden. He guided him on the fruits to eat and what not to eat, he manifested his wife to him. He manifested the purpose he was to serve. He was not supposed to be a loafing around in the garden but to tend and keep it.

All these were the manifestation of God as light, as a blessing, and the life and energy source. Just as physical light is the energy source for plants, the light of God is the life of men. Of Jesus, it was said that in him was life and the life was the light of men (John 1:1-5). And of his fullness we receive grace and truth (John 1:12-17).

When God manifests in light it means that darkness has no place, darkness has to give way. The devil seeks to dominate the earth but with God as light, that agenda is truncated, it dies a stillbirth.

We need A. light to know the way to God, we need B. light inside us as the true knowledge of God, and C. we need to be channels for God’s light to shine.

Light of way

Light of way is about divine direction. There is a way that seems right to man, but the end is destruction (Proverbs 14:12). The bible says we will hear a word behind us, saying this is the way walk in it (Isaiah 30:12). The word of God is the light shining on our path. And the path of the righteous is supposed to shine brighter and brighter unto the perfect day (Proverbs 4:18).

We are supposed to walk in increasing intensity of light, moving from glory to glory, from empowerment to empowerment. God wants us to walk in his light, walk in the direction his word points to us, in the way of the Spirit. We need to seek the direction from God, we cannot just presume we know what to do.

Light of knowledge

Paul said that God causes the light of the knowledge of his son to shine through us. He said when it pleases God to reveal his son in him, he did not confer with flesh and blood. He also said that God who causes light to shine out of darkness has caused the light of the knowledge of his son to shine in our heart.

Though we do not see Jesus physically, we see him spiritually with the eyes of our heart. For the church in Ephesus prayer was said that the eyes of their hearts be enlightened (Ephesians 1:15-21). What we know is important, we should be careful how we hear (Luke 8:18), what we hear is what we are exposed to and it shapes our life. And we ought to grow in grace and the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ (2Peter 3:18).

Light of channels

We should be conduits of light, shining in power and wisdom, shining in counsel, shining in our lifestyle.

Jesus said that our lives must be so full of good works that when people see us they will give glory to our father in heaven (Matthew 5:16).

He said we are the light of the world, and we should be conduits of the glory of God in our generation.

Concerning being channels of light, the book of Hebrews said that while the recipients ought to be teachers helping others with the light of the knowledge of Jesus, they still needed to he taught, to be led into truth of the elementary things of Christ, and cannot handle the meat of the word (Hebrews 5:11-14). So it is expected that we should advance towards getting others into the light and not be the ones being on the perceptual receiving end.

Four kinds of faith

Jrose-419079_640ames 1:6: But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. (ESV)

Faith is change, action, a perspective and trust.

Faith as catalyst for change

Faith changes us from the ordinary to the supernatural. That was what Jesus said will help us to be able to cast our devil, heal the sick raise the dead. It makes us into people who express dominion in our lives.

Faith is the link between God and humanity. The bible says that those who come to God must know that he is and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him (Hebrews 11:6). To seek him is to become like him, because as we behold the face of Jesus we are transformed to the same image from glory to glory (2Corinthians 3:17-18).

When the disciples were amazed that Jesus was able to still the storm and calm the wind, they said he was strange, but he pointed out the difference, he told them they had little faith.

Jesus told someone that if she believes he will see the glory of God. There was one thing that Jesus expressed in the bible- it was the glory of God.

Before the grave of Lazarus we see the basis his faith. It was his relationship with the father which made it possible for him to fully represent him on the earth. There, he said: I thank you father that you have heard me (John 11). That shows a man who had an ongoing relationship with the father. And that was what delivered the supernatural through his life.

Faith that changes you into a supernatural being in the results in your life is not separate from a deep relationship with God. We need to have faith in Jesus as we use his name, and our tangible faith on the long run will not be greater than the depth of our connection is with God.

It takes faith to receive the gift of salvation. Paul wrote that by grace we are saved (changing us from sinner to saint) through faith and that not of ourselves, it is the gift of God (Romans 6:23, Ephesians 2:8). Faith is about looking unto Jesus, who is described as the author and finisher of our faith (Hebrews 12:2). He is the length breath depth and breadth of it.

Faith is the key to supernatural change. And when it comes to receiving the Holy Spirit, what we read is that it is also by faith (Galatians 3:1-5). Paul asked the Galatian church: did you receive the Holy Spirit by the works of the law or by the hearing of faith?

The works of the law represent what is earthly, while the Holy Spirit represent the heavenly and what takes you there is faith which translates our earthly experience to the supernatural.

It is the door we take into the experience of oneness with God in the now and bring others into the same reality. Faith is not just for ourselves but also to be of help to others. To help them gain what we have gained.

Faith that changes is about acting on the word, and it is also linked with service, the bible says that we should use our gift in proportion to our faith (Romans 12:1-7).

Faith as action

It is what James refers to when he said that faith without works is dead, he wants whatever you profess as faith to translate to love-actions to help others and life alignment (James 2).

Faith as perspective

In this regard faith is belief. When you believe the wrong thing, you will have the wrong perspective. The right perspective is the divine perspective.

The bible says that in time past God spoke to the fathers through the prophet and now he has spoken to us through his son whom he has made the heir of all things (Hebrews 1:1-3). Do you believe in him?

Faith affects our sense of judgement. It was what Jude referred to when he said that we should contend earnestly for the faith that was once and for all delivered to the saints (Jude 1:1-3). This is an important dimension of the faith. We should contend, fight, for the truth.

You can fake the right action but you cannot fake the right concept, the right thought about God and his Christ, in you.

The faith that saves us is also a concept of faith. We are asked: do you believe in Jesus, and when you say yes, reflective of what is going on in your heart then, you are saved (Romans 10).

Paul said those who call upon the lord will be saved, but you cannot call upon the one whom you have no concept of his existence. The bible says in the book of Hebrews where it says: without faith it is impossible to please God because he who comes to God must know that he is and that he is a rewarder of those who diligently seek him (Hebrews 11:6). You cannot seek the one you have no concept or wrong concept of. So to know God rightly is to seek him rightly.

Faith as trust

We are told the just shall live by faith and not by sight (Romans 1:17). This is the daily faith, in which we believe we will receive what we ask God and also receive guidance.

When we worry it shows we are deficit in trust and therefore limit ourselves in what we can receive from God (James 1:3-8). Worry is an expression of doubt. And the book of James said that if anyone lacks wisdom he should ask from God and he will be given but he should not doubt. The doubter should not think he will receive anything from God.

Difficult situation comes to test our trust in God. Are you going to stand in trust or go to “Egypt” seeking for solution (Isaiah 31:1)?

Conclusion

Though the four kinds of faith are derived from the word of God (Romans 10:17), faith as catalyst for change is to get supernatural result, and to serve others with our spiritual gifts.

Faith as action is behavioural, relationship and giving to others.

Faith as perspective is hinged on the right understanding.

Faith as trust is linked with our prayer life. This is a fair view of the multi-sided faith as used in the different bible contexts.

Heir of all things spiritual, physical and of the soul

hawks-215052_640Hebrews 1:2: but in these last days he has spoken to us by his Son, whom he appointed the heir of all things, through whom also he created the world. (ESV)

Jesus is the heir of all thing but we are joint heirs with him (Romans 8:17). But can you imagine the one who is the heirs of all things having to pass through the ignoble death of
the cross?

Jesus in a parable referred to himself as the son of the owner of a garden who was beaten and killed by those to whom were trusted the garden, in reference to the Pharisees (Luke 20:1-16).

Jesus the heir of all things was beaten, he was crushed, because he is not just the heir of all things but through him the world was created. It was for the purpose of generating the new creature those who will reign with him, that motivated by love, he shed his blood.

It was necessary for him to do that because according to what he said himself: except a grain of seed falls to the ground it abides alone but if it falls it will bring forth much fruit (John 12:24-25). From the sacrifice of a grain you have many.

The heirs of all things is also the creator of all things. The problem with this old creature was that we became infested with sin and Jesus had to bear our sins as the creator, to make the way back to God not clear for us. Jesus is therefore our all in all. He is the wisdom of God, our righteousness, our sanctification (1Corinthians 1:30). He is the embodiment of the divine I Am.

Remember that Moses asked God: who I should say sent me when I go to tell the children of Israel that someone has asked me to lead them out of bondage to Pharaoh to bring them a glorious land?

God told him: tell them I Am sent you (Exodus 3:14).

I am what?

The completion of that was embodied by Jesus who is the fullness of the Godhead bodily (Colossians 2:9), the manifest depiction of the unseen God.

So Jesus said: I Am is the door for the sheep to go in and out and find pasture.

I Am the way the truth and life,

I Am the shepherd that lays his life for the sheep (John 10).

I Am the light of the World (John 9).

He is God, he is the Word. He has endless greatness. The bible says to the increase of his kingdom of peace there shall be no end (Isaiah 9:7).

That is the force of his person. The limitlessness of Jesus is reflected in the name. He has been given a name that is above every other name, and at the name of Jesus everything must bow and every tongue confess that Jesus is Lord, of things in heaven, on earth and under the earth (Philippians 2:5-11).

The death of Jesus was so that he can come into us, and in a day thousands of people can become new creatures becuase now Jesus is a life-giving spirit (1Corinthians 15:45), having been the firstborn from the dead, to lead us all from that bondage of death, from the judgement of death into life. He said that those who believe in him have passed from death into life, taking us into his unlimited realm (John 5:24).

All things can be divided into three: things physical, of the soul and spiritual, of which he is heir of and we are joint heirs with him.

Physical

Paul asked: God who did not refuse to give us his son, how much more will be together with him, freely give all things to those who love him (Romans 8:32)? He also said that godliness has a promise of a life that now is.

It was in the wilderness that the devil tempted Jesus with the ownership of the kingdoms of the world (Matthew 4:1-11), but after his death and resurrection Jesus said: all power in heaven and on earth has been given to me (Matthew 28:18).

Also all the physical things that were made, he made them. We read: in the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God, and through him was everything made and without him nothing was made (John 1:1-5).

In Christ are not just the things spiritual but also physical. Paul prayed that God will supply some people’s needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:19).

When he said that the disciples should beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and they imagined he was hinting at them not bringing food along, he reminded them about the time he multiplied a few loaves of bread to feed thousands, twice, telling them that things physical are not beyond his ability to make available (Matthew 16:6-10).

Of the soul

There are things that pertains to the soul which Jesus can provide for us, and which are ours because we are joint heirs with Christ.

Jesus said we should come to him so that we might find rest for our soul (Matthew 11:28-30). His word also has the power to convert the soul. The soul speaks of the will, the emotions and the mind, and Paul wrote that God has not given us the Spirit of fear which primarily casts its influence on the soul, but the spirit (a definition of spirit is “unseen influence”) that God wants to influence us is the spirit of love power and sound mind, affecting the emotion, will and mind respectively (2Timothy 1:6-7).

Spirit

There are also spiritual things that are Christ’s. We share his Spirit (Romans 8:9), we share his father’s house (John 14:1-3). As the heir of all things, Jesus is the landlord in heaven and through faith as we come into him we have what he has, we become co-occupants of heaven.

He said he was going to come back so that where he goes we may be also. He said: In my father’s house there are many mansions, I go to prepare a place for you. It is his father’s house and we share his sonship of the father when we become believer.

We also share his purpose. He said: as the father send me, I also send you (John 20:21). By the connection he brought us into with the father and the Spirit, making us children of God and having the Spirit upon and inside us, we have access to some spiritual gifts, to walk in the supernatural on the earth, expressing mercy, teaching God’s word, revealing mysteries. In all these, we share the ministry of Jesus. Purpose speaks of identity and mission, which we share spiritually with Jesus.

Deceiver

old-woman-574278_6402Timothy 3:13: But evil people and imposters will progress to the worse, deceiving and being deceived. (LEB)

If you are a deceiver, it is a strong indication that you have been deceived yourself, and not that you are smart.

There are evil people in the world, who have given themselves over to be used by the devil. Paul asked that people should pray for him so that he will be delivered from wicked and unreasonable men (2Thessalonians 3:1-2). He said he fought with beasts in Ephesus (1Corinthians 15:32).

Jesus said that he is sending us out as sheep among wolves, so we need to be as gentle as a dove and as wise as a serpent (Matthew 10:16). Not that we should be deceptive because the serpent is also a symbol of deception, but be able to catch people in their deception, by being able to follow their deceptive reasoning, being able to pinpoint their deceptive source.

In the book of proverbs, we read: do not answer a fool according to his folly, lest you be like him (that is being like a dove) and answer a fool according to his folly lest he be wise in his own eyes (that is being like a serpent) (Proverbs 26:4-5).

The deceiver cares for nothing but himself. Jesus calls the devil the father of lies (John 8:44-59). But in the focus verse, Paul directs our attention to people, who themselves are deceivers, having their behavioural source from the devil.

He calls them imposters, who will get increasingly sophisticated in their deceptive antics. That is a word of caution that whatever you allow to grow in your life will become a forest and that all that glitters is not gold. Things should not necessary be taken at face value. Paul said that even Satan measures as an angel of light, when taking about false apostles (2Corinthians 11:10-15).

Our business, therefore, is to become rooted and grounded in truth, which is the opposite of lies. And we should not be afraid to reveal the lies and liars out as Jesus did.

He confronted the Pharisees, calling them out, cutting them no slacks at all. He told his people to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees which is hypocrisy (Luke 12:1).

A hypocrite is the embodiment of deception, who puts extra care to look and act a certain way. They are far from genuine. Their number is many, their influence is pervasive. They lay claim to being followers of Moses to the hilt. They have a form of godliness.

They lay heaven burdens of right and wrong on the people, and they exempt themselves from bearing (Matthew 23:1-7). Their public persona is a cover for all manner of atrocities and murderous intent.  Jesus told the Jews your father the devil was a murderer from the beginning, and a liar. The devil Jesus said has come to steal kill and destroy (John 10:10), and his uses his instrument of falsehood to achieve them.

We need to stand firm against the forces of deception, those who have perfected their game, giving themselves over to the devil to be used in his evil works, who have mastered the art of smooth talk. There are people who have been corrupted and have become first class agents of corruption.

However, we have been equipped to resist their influence. John said that God has given us an unction from the Holy One and we know all things, hinting that no single man should deceptively claim to be a custodian of truth but the Holy Spirit is and he is available to everyone of us (1John 2:18-29). We are made sensitive, able to distinguish between good and evil.

What you sow you will reap, therefore if you sow deception you set up yourself to be deceived. You open yourself to be taken over by deception. It is the same thing with the man who loves to curse. The bible says: he loves to curse, let it not be far from him (Psalm 109:17). When you specialise in beclouding people’s vision, they you are setting yourself up to not know the truth, to not spiritually see correctly.

Being far from using deception is to be close to God’s vision. Jesus said that Nathanael was a man in whom there is no guile. And he promised him that he will see heaven opened with the angels of God climbing up on and down Jesus. That was the first and the last we will hear of him in the bible but he will be noted for his truthfulness and the promised reward of revelation from God (John 1:45-51).

A prophet laments the dearth of truth in the society (Isaiah 59). When a society is built on lies and truth and transparency are nowhere to be found, that means there is no righteousness which exalts a nation and there is sin, which is reproach (sin is shameful) (Proverbs 14:34).  When lies are elevated sin is elevated and you can expect corruption and lack of progress to mark the people.

God wants to flow through us with his truth, but he must first see your personal commitment to truth. God seeks those who will faithfully deliver his message, not those who because of one consideration or the other decide to bury the truth (Matthew 10:27).

We need to stand by truth, be committed to it since anything else is darkness and the truth is light. We are saved by believing the truth and we only progress in the Christian faith to the degree that we embrace and increase in truth (Ephesians 4:1-10).

Jude said that we need to contend for the faith that was once and for all delivered to the saints. He warned us, together with other apostles, against those who twist the truth of Christ. Paul referred to such things as the persuasion that does not emanate from God (Galatians 5:1-9). He calls some things doctrines of demons, there are conditions emanating from demonic sources that are not in alignment with the truth of Jesus.

Jesus is the truth and to not embrace and believe him is to believe in a lie. Our journey of truth starts with believing and embracing the truth which is Jesus. The truth is in him while information can be gotten in other places.

Truth is beyond information, it is a living entity. It is an animating force, it is the path that we should walk in, and it is inner compass. A man prayed to God: for your name sake, lead me and guide me (Psalm 31:3). Another asked: send forth your light let it guide me (Psalm 43:3).

What prize are you willing to pay for truth? If you are not willing to pay the price for truth you will be deceived (Proverbs 23:23).