Truth as shield

That truth is shield means it protects you. If truth is a shield then it protects from deception. That means deception is the ultimate attack of the devil, it is the gateway to all the expressions of the devil, in obsessions, diseases, oppressions.

The first level of deception that people faced in the bible is what happened to Adam and Eve. The devil told Eve that God is not what he claims to be, that he is different from the impression he gives. That God is a liar, that what he said is good is bad and what he said is bad is good. That deception became the gateway for the fall of man.img_1759

Jesus described the devil as the father of lies. He is the source of it, he generates it, he cannot be without it. He cannot operate without it. If he speaks lies, it is not his fault, it is his default and only setting, he cannot help himself.

And if we are wrestling with principalities and power, rulers of the darkness of this world and spiritual wickedness in high places, we should be sure that everything is mixed with lies. If the lies can be removed, nothing else can stand. After the devil is bound for one thousand years, and is released again, we are told in the book of Revelation that he will go forth once again to deceive the nations. If the devil cannot deceive, he cannot do anything. The influence he casts is deceptive influence.

It is not for fun that Paul said that the god of this world has blinded the eyes of those who do not believe, so that the light of the gospel, the truth of the gospel will not gain entrance.

If deception is so bad then truth is so good. If deception binds, truth frees. Truth shields from deception.

In the list of the armour of God, there is the shield of faith with which we quench the fiery darts of the enemy. The fiery darts comes as lies and the defense is truth, not arguments, not determination, but truth.

The one who meditates on the word day and night as described in the bible is the one who is like a tree planted by the waters. The word, the truth becomes the shield from the other negative influences in the surrounding which might hinder fruitfulness.

Truth is a defence, because “lies” is the attack, seeking to put us to bondage. There are many people captured by different lies. To others they seem free, but they are really in bondage.

For Eve, what she began to see, after eating the forbidden fruit, seemed like freedom, but that is bondage.

Guard jealously the truth you know, lest it slips away from you. What is truth may not be popular. The contention is about the truth.

Jude wrote: contend earnestly for the faith (body of truth) which was once and for all given to the saints. If he had just said contend, we will understand that the issue is serious, but he said contend earnestly. It means it is a life and death issue, it is an issue that dwarfs all others.

The bible says: do not be deceived. It means the choice is mine to be deceived or not. I am supposed to take responsibility to not be gullible.

Where I am now, the word I am exposed to may be better than what I used to hear, but to just assume that the person talking will by default be saying the truth is to neglect my responsibility to know truth by yourself.

It starts with having the love of the truth deep down in you, living without respect of persons. Because people have certain results in their lives which you desire, does not equate to swallowing what they say hook line and sinker.

It is because of this that Jesus said we should not call anyone teacher, that only one person is the teacher, Rabbi, (master teacher), and that is Christ.

We can have many good teachers, with good presentation skills, it does not make them the truth, it does not make them the Christ.

To take the shield of faith through which you quench the fiery darts of the enemy is to take personal responsibility for truth, and for not falling into deception.

You cannot because of the sweet mouth of someone, the testimonies or the proud arrogance expressed on the pulpit by someone, decide to resign the use of your brain. You will have only yourself to blame.

When you throw away your guard of truth for whatever reason, and there will be ample reason to do so as long as you are alive, you make yourself a prey, you become an accomplice in your own bondage.

The young prophet knew that the truth was to no eat anything in the place where he went to prophesy, but he allowed the pontifications of an older prophet, talking about a purported revelation from an angel, turn him away from the truth. He died, being an accomplice in his own death. He was captured by lies, when he dropped the guard of truth.

When the king asked him to eat, he held up the shield of faith. He won that context, but the devil raised the stakes, raising a prophet to lie about seeing an angel.

No wonder Paul placed a curse on anyone bringing another gospel, whether an angel, or whoever. The fight for the truth is that serious.

If you read through the book of Galatians, right from the first few verses, you can see how angry Paul was. Certain people had come with pseudo-truths and the church threw down the truth as shield and became captured by lies. They did not realise how damning their situation was, until Paul started calling them foolish, that they have fallen from grace, that they have gone back to bondage.

There is the truth about your destiny that God has shown you, you allow it to slip from you at your own peril.

John said that we do not need anyone to teach us, but we have an anointing from the holy one and we know all things. That anointing is the Spirit of truth, the same which is on Jesus, we share. So by default we are protected, just as Adam and Eve were, but you can let down your guard, like they did and lose your standing in truth, going into bondage to lies.

Don’t think you are beyond being trapped, that feeling reveals a serious vulnerability, as Paul said that he that thinketh he standeth should take heed lest he falls.


Bible reading: beyond the mechanics

In engineering technology, there is the division into mechanical and electrical parts. The mechanical aspect is the structure, how things are positioned one to one another, move one on another.

We realise that mechanical energy, which is energy due to movement of parts, can lead to electrical energy, which is about flow of energy through conductors.

Also electric energy can lead to mechanical energy, I am talking about devices that we use.

What does any of these have to do with bible reading?

The point is that in bible reading/study, which is a device in our spiritual life, there are also those two parts.

There is nothing spiritual about having a bible if you do not read and study it. At the basic level, reading the bible is the mechanical aspect, while the study should be electrical/electronics aspect.

The mechanical is less exciting than the electrical, that is why electrical/electronics (more complex and varied) has evolved more than mechanical engineering.

We now have software, biomedical, bio-informatics, robotics, etc. The electrical makes things more and more sophisticated, while the mechanical can remain the same over centuries.

There are may angles to bible study (electrical), but reading is reading and it is still basic. For something to be mechanical, it has to do about repetition, it is about how parts connect and relate to one another for consistency. A good mechanical device is meant to deliver movement on a consistent basis, without fail.

Paul said give attention to reading. Reading can be very boring, maybe because the concept being examined may not lead to an immediate application, but don’t we read books, novel, not because they are of any benefit, but because of the feeling we derive from it?

So we should read the bible because, among other things, of the feeling of closeness to God it gives us.

But the bible is a little different from novels because the number of pages is finite and after reading four chapters a day starting from Genesis, you will be through it in Aa year. And somebody asked me: after I have finished it, what do I do? I said start all over again.

That is the mechanics. We have daily devotionals meant to help people read the bible daily. There is something mechanical about that. It ensures that without fail, you put your nose in the scriptures. The Berean Jews were described by Paul as being noble, because they searched the scriptures daily. The word “daily” is a mechanical word. It is about routine.

To search is to study and that is the electrical. Our study can become more sophisticated, as we use Strong’s concordance, different bible versions, and the varying length of time we have to devote to it, the particular topic we are interested in, or book, or, character. The variation in study is almost infinite, but the reading is not. It is merely moving from verse to verse, chapter to chapter, book to book.
Jesus said that the Pharisees err because they know neither the scriptures not the power of God. The more we read the bible, regardless of how boring we think some parts are, the more we know the scriptures. There is no magic to it. The power of God, however, is not mechanical, it is electrical, it is a flow of the Holy Spirit.

What we need is a balance of study and the reading. While bible reading can be mechanical, study cannot be mechanical. It has to be based on interest, being another variable. Reading is unidirectional, study is multidirectional.

You can have reading without study, but you cannot have study without reading. You can have mechanical energy without electrical energy (bicycle) you can’t have electrical energy without some structure, mechanics to it.

The basic relationship we should have with the bible is reading. Reading is not complex, it can be done at anytime, without any complexity. But study is inherently complex.

When we read we take in the word of God, we just eat it, we are not so concerned about how it will work in our spiritual system, we may not even totally understand it, but we take it in. We store the word God in our hearts.
Then the Holy Spirit, the electrical man himself, can bring the word to our remembrance, turning that we read into spiritual energy in our lives. When we read we are using mechanical energy, we expend energy as we read, on a daily basis but after the Holy Spirit moves on what we have read, it becomes something else, it because understanding because He is the Spirit of understanding.

There is no understanding before reading, just as there is no experience of the Holy Spirit without Jesus. Jesus is mechanics, Holy Spirit is electrical. The Holy Spirit is exciting while the people, even his disciples found Jesus sort of “one kind”. He said many things that did not click in the minds of the disciples, but Jesus did not worry, He said that the Holy Spirit will sort that out.

Stay with the mechanics, and do not allow yourself to be taken away from it.

The following will take you away:

1. Lack of conviction that the 66books in the bible is the word of God.

2. Not convinced that all parts of the scriptures is from God, and it serves as the gateway to the understanding of GOD.

3. Not realising that the words of scriptures is always profitable.

4. Not believing that you need the word just as the a baby needs milk, for your spiritual life.

We love the spark of new revelation, but the spark moves on the mechanics of the reading.

Jesus said to Peter, “follow me.” It is mechanical to follow him. It is a day by day thing, it is a matter of neglecting other things to follow him. Along the way some people got offended in Jesus because of some of the claims he made about himself.

That was a test for Peter whether he would continue to follow the word or not. Those people were following but did not follow till the end. They got tired with the mechanics of following, the listening without full understanding, the confrontation with their preconceived notion of things.

But Peter did not dwell on those things, rather he said to Jesus, you have the words of eternal life. He went beyond the mechanics of the word to discover that there is more in the words than immediately meet the eyes.

You should go beyond the mechanics of the word, while realising that you cannot do without it. The mechanics is the foundation, it gives strength, while the electrical part gives the direction.

Someone said he wants God to open his eyes for him to behold wondrous things out of his laws.

He did not give up on the word, when it was not making sense to him, rather he asked God to turn the mechanics of it to electrical energy, the wondrous things, the electrifying things, the empowering things.

You move beyond the mechanics, but keeping an healthy respect for it, keep up the mechanics, valuing it because you know without it, the electrical dimension may be out of control or not work at all.

Unveiling Word Ministry From Genesis and Exodus

by Kayode Crown, Greatlight booksDigital List Price: $2.99

ISBN: 9781524225001 :
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.


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.”

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).

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.

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”

Preaching openly

composite-717916_640Acts 28:31: preaching the kingdom of God and teaching concerning the Lord Jesus Christ with all openness. (NASB)

While the church was still limited to Jerusalem, persecution rose up against the church with Saul as one of the arrowheads.

He made it difficult for the Christians to preach openly, taking pleasure in harming them, and eventually they dispersed from Jerusalem, which was the epicentre of the persecution, to places where they can more openly share the word of God.

So the persecution turned out for the advancement of the church, for its expansion (Romans 8:28). What was meant to limit them, only made them spread. The persecution was to make them afraid, but it backfired on their persecutors as the church flourished the more.

At first the Pharisees warned the apostles to shut up, but he refused and continued to wax strong in the land. They went to their company and after they had prayed God released his power the more to work through their lives, but the persecution that ensued after did not answer to such prayer, this time around the Christians were being waylaid, and starting with the martyrdom of Stephen which emboldened the persecutors to harm to the Christian, who they then relocated in droves, running for their lives, but the apostles still remained in Jerusalem.

The other onslaught against the church also came through Herod who killed James in order to curry the favour of the Jews. While all these were happening, Saul got saved. It was when the persecution against the church was really hot and Saul was a hero among the persecutors. But after he was saved, his life was marked by an endless cycle of persecution.

At the end when the writing of the Acts of the apostle was winding down, it ended with a rare occurrence in the experience of Saul (now Paul), being under arrest but able to preach openly. The numerous persecution in his life could not shut him up, he was rewarded with the opportunity in the focus verse to speak openly.

This did not happen by chance, Jesus, by revelation, had told him while he was just arrested in Jerusalem that he will stand for his name in Rome.

So Paul had no doubt in his mind as to the purpose he was to fulfil in Rome, where he was eventually taken to as a prisoner. It was to speak about Jesus at every opportunity.

He was not made an apostle just to bear the title, he had a serious job to perform, which he did. When he was in prison, he wrote letters to churches and individuals; that have endured till date. He said: though he was in bounds, the word of God was not, and the bible in our hands today is a testimony to Paul’s legacy as an enduring apostle.

His boundless energy, understanding and passion for Christ oozes out of that letter and right now we are being impacted, down the ages. Just as he passionately opposed the cross, after he had an encounter with Jesus, he directed that passion to Christ’s work so much that he said that he labours more than the other apostles (1Corinthians 15:10).

He was always on the move, having as a goal to preach Christ where he has not been named (Romans 15:20), willing to pay the sacrifices, making the long journeys to reach those places. He said that he fought with the beasts in Ephesus (1Corinthians 15:30-32), he said he was in fasting often (), in peril often (2Corinthians 11:22-33); he said that just as he was committed to the destruction of the church the tenure of his mind changed and he became burdened for the church to flourish (Romans ), saying to the church in Rome that he was hard-pressed to have them see his face in the flesh so that he can impart on them spiritual gifts and help them along in their faith. He said that he writes based on the grace that was given to him (Romans 15:15).

Paul charged Timothy to preach the word with all sense of urgency (2Timothy 4:2). He did not tell him to do what he does not do. He said follow me as I follow Christ (1Corinthians 1:11). His devotion was unquestionable.

He spoke the word with all sense of urgency. He did not regard preaching the word as something to be ashamed of. He said: I am not ashamed of the gospel because it is the power of God for salvation (Romans 1:16). He spoke and wrote with 100percent conviction with no shadow of doubt in his mind, otherwise he could not have survived the many persecutions that came along his way and still continue to burn hot in passion for Jesus.

He spoke of Demas who departed from being part of his ministry team to pursue some other things (2Timothy 4:10). He said he loved this present world, while the bible says that we should not love the world nor the things in the word and that if we do, the love of the father is not in us (1John 2:15-17).

Paul talked about his attitude as a preacher, saying that he does not peddle the word of God (2Corinthians 2:17), no participate in hidden things of unrighteousness (2Corinthians 4). He is not trying to hoodwink the people.

He says his life is an open book as he seeks not just to impact the word of God, but to impact his very life. In that case, Paul cannot impact others more than he has been changed. He does not just want to speak with high-sounding words but to impact on others.

He was so effective that those who have never met him felt his impact. And in the book of acts certain people said he had turned the world upside down. He was a revolutionary. He disrupted of the status quo. He pushed the cause of Christianity with the last of his blood. He was jealous for the church he founded. And consistently watched over them in prayer.

His apostolic work was not just in the fanfare alone but in the place of prayer. In his letter to the church in Ephesus, he mentioned two sets of prayer (Ephesians 1, 3). He taught them the word and understood that he has a spiritual role of prayer to play over them so that they can come into the fullness of God for them.

His two prayers for the Ephesian church was about fullness. He prayed that the eyes of their understanding be enlightened so that they may know things that have to do with their new self in Christ, that has to do with the new power they now have operating in them, which operated in Christ to raise him from the dead. It was all about the new identity in Jesus, which they should now walk in the full consciousness of it.

The second prayer has to do with the love of God which they are also to comprehend together with the saint, and which if they comprehend fully, they will be filled with all the fullness of God. Epaphras followed the example of Paul and was committed to praying for the church in Colossi that they stand complete in all the will of God. While we need to be taught the will of God, praying really gets us fully into it (Colossians 4:12).

Though you may not be able to preach to others all the time, you can pray all the time for them. Paul said that prayer should be made all the time because God does not want any to perish but come to the knowledge of the truth (1Timothy 2:1-4).

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