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The Exodus

​Hebrews 12:25 KJV

“See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape , if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven:”

Change is a difficult thing. It messes with all you have known so far. It disrupts your thinking, methods and, of course, your comfort zone…you just don’t want to think of all you will have to let go to allow the change that stares you in the face. This problem with change is as old as the entire human race. When Israel came out of Egypt, even though they could heave a sigh of relief and dance about their newfound freedom, this change of location came with a mandatory change of lifestyle. Jehovah has gotten His people for Himself and He will introduce Himself to them and show them the way of life in His government.

Turning down God’s offer of Himself

Fast forward to Sinai (same as Horeb) and Israel cringes before the Divine Majesty and begs to be excluded from the main privilege of their freedom: the privilege of drawing near to Almighty God without instant death. No nation on earth had ever experienced that (Deuteronomy 4:7, 33). Even Moses who initially met with Jehovah at the burning bush on Mt. Sinai was terrified still by His mighty presence this time (Deuteronomy 4:10-12, 5:4-5, 23-27; Exodus 20:18-21, 19:18).

Turning down God’s offer of priesthood

They were to be a nation of priests, that is, every single Hebrew was intended by God to be a priest, but their refusal to draw near to Him could only accommodate the priesthood to one tribe out of twelve. That was not God’s perfect will. Please check the scriptures. In Exodus 19:6, 22, we see that although God clearly stated that He wanted all the people to be “…a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation…”, we realize that only those people who actually drew near to Him were called priests in verse 22: “And let the priests also, which come near to the Lord…”. And when the people sinned against the LORD by making a golden calf to worship, those who chose to be on the LORD’s side, going to and fro the camp with their swords indiscriminately, were all from the tribe of Levi (Exodus 32:26-28).

Turning down God’s offer of a better covenant

Now, that was how the priesthood that was meant to be a national privilege became a tribal heritage for the Levites (Deuteronomy 33:8-10). Sadly this is still playing out today after God had completed His work of redemption and brought in a better covenant with a better promise (Hebrews 8:6). Although God holds out the same promise to all who are saved, regardless of their race, social standing and denomination; we still see that only a few are interested in God’s best. 

In spite of God’s clear declaration to the church that all redeemed saints are now “…a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people…” (1 Peter 3:9), and not just the preachers alone, we see that many still carry the unbelieving heart of those Israelites by drawing back to the barest minimum it takes to serve God, while the remaining few press on to know their God. For these few, it is, “my utmost for His Highest”. They are the ones who take God at His words and accept their call into the priesthood of the believer. Whereas they love their fellow men, it cannot but come behind their love for Christ, and you know, they also love not their lives unto death (Luke 14:26, Revelation 12:11b).

Why can we not agree with God?

Although God had much in store for Israel, He could only do what they were comfortable with. That is a nice way of saying, God had to find a way to accommodate their unbelief. Whenever we refuse to allow God to do as He pleases, to fulfill the fullness of His purposes, and especially, to establish the New Covenant with the concurrent effect of swallowing up the Old Covenant and all its shadows, we are reenacting the unbelief of Israel. The unbelief that turned a journey of 40 days to 40 years and made an entire generation stranded and wasted in the wilderness, save Joshua and Caleb.

This should lead us to understand the cry in the heart of God when He said: “O that there were such an heart in them, that they would fear me, and keep all my commandments always, that it might be well with them, and with their children for ever!” Deuteronomy 5:29 KJV. That was the issue! We can say Moses had this kind of heart because he did not shrink from the presence of the LORD. Little wonder Scriptures say, “He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel.” (Psalm 103:7 KJV). Apart from the fact that Moses was called to be a deliverer, he knew the ways of God because He personally knew God and walked with Him (Numbers 12:3, 7). Even God testified about His relationship with Moses. He told Miriam and Aaron that He speaks with Moses face to face and not in visions and dreams that other prophets may be bragging about (Numbers 12:5-8).

These clearly teach us that even in Old testament times, God could find few men whose life and pursuit of the LORD expressed the coming New covenant. Such men were Moses, David, Joshua, Abraham etc. Although the New Covenant was not yet available to all in the olden times, these men’s passion for God gave them a foretaste of what was to come.

So I wonder why you will refuse Him who is speaking from heaven today. I wonder why you will not believe God and pursue His promises in the New Covenant. I wonder why you will still struggle to obey God by yourself when Christ has offered to do the work in and through you. I honestly wonder why we cannot drop the shadows since the Substance is already here. The Author and Finisher of our faith is here now, why do we still want to continue the show the way we think it should be done? The show is not ours; it is the LORD’s! 

The Church does not belong to any of us; it is the LORD’s. Why can’t all doctrines give way to Christ? In fact, I must tell you, any doctrine that does not lead you to Jesus is a distraction, a mere mental exercise that lacks transformation. You can throw it away! How can the LORD God be in our midst and we still want to school Him in our peculiar teachings so that He can work according to our preferences? That will not be the LORD anymore, if we could instruct Him. He is not to conform to our image; we are to conform to His image and likeness (Genesis 1:26, Ephesians 4:24, Colossians 3:10).

The Old is ready to vanish away

It is dangerous, really dangerous to refuse Him that speaks from Heaven now. Those who refused Him when He spoke on earth (that’s on Sinai) did not escape the consequences of their unbelief. Even when angels spoke, you dare not disobey or doubt (you can ask Zacharias, John’s father, about his ordeal with the angel Gabriel in Luke 1:18-20). If in the Old Covenant, every disobedience and unbelief was faithfully “rewarded”, how much more shall we not escape, if we allow what Christ is saying to us today to slip out of our hands and by so doing neglect such a great salvation? (Hebrews 2:1-3)

We are not to keep looking down trying to protect our cherished traditions; we are to look up, longing for the King of the Kingdom Himself to take over, to shake what can be shaken until that which cannot be shaken will remain (Hebrews 12:27-28). That which cannot be shaken is the New Covenant and its very installment threatens the continuity of the Old. The inauguration of the New Covenant has already placed the Old one on “probation”, if you like; even though actually, it is already nullified.

That “probation” speaks of a time God has graciously given to allow us to gradually acclimatize to the New Covenant. That is why it says, “In that he saith, A new covenant, he hath made the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old is ready to vanish away.” (Hebrews 8:13 KJV). So, when it says, “…is ready to vanish away”, it means its tenure has expired but it is somehow left on the scene to naturally diminish in glory, until it totally vanish away, as the glory of the New Covenant dawns upon God’s people. 

The New Covenant is the answer…

It is this New Covenant that will solve the problem of unfaithfulness among God’s people. Endless rules and regulations might make a “goat” to behave like a “sheep” because they are like ropes that ties them to a certain expectation. So, the obedience of the goat is really due to self preservation, minimum discomfort and especially uniformity. The rope has defined what he can do and even if he loves to do something that is sinful, he cannot do it yet because he has been tied down away from actualizing his lust. Whenever the rope is removed, the “goat” will be himself and go ahead with all he had been longing for.

Christ has met all of God’s righteous requirements and God does not need anyone to try to prove righteousness apart from Christ’s righteousness. He has promised a new Heart and Spirit for every one of us who come to Him and believes. That means, He will remove the nature of a “goat” and replace with that of a “sheep”, so that it will no longer be by a rope on our necks, restraining us, that we able to obey God. Without the ropes, moving freely in life, we are able to live like a sheep following the Shepherd of our souls with a desire to please Him in our inward parts and greatly helped to carry it out outwardly.

Hebrews 8:10 KJV

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

This is definitely a superior Covenant because it transforms us from within, making us right with God and as we renew our minds to understand the privileges of the New Creation Man, we become desirous of God’s will and we are able to proof it by our obedience. The ropes of dos and donts are not necessary for this kind of person, because he freely and willingly obeys God. 

Hence, we see that what God wanted in the beginning will still be achieved. God will have a people who will choose the tree of life over the tree of knowledge of good and evil. He will have a people who will choose Christ over the law. He will have a people who will trust and obey rather than struggle and still disobey. If anything is worth living for at all, it is living in the fullness of God’s New Covenant, and watch God Himself defend His finished works in your life.

Image credits: Ligonier, I will follow on WordPress

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Rightly Dividing the Word of Truth

Let us all agree first of all on a few thoughts:
“ALL scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness: That the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished unto all good works.” (2 Timothy 3:16-17 KJV caps mine)

Which means the entire 66 books of the Bible are God’s word of counsel and instruction for all redeemed saints to receive for their lives and not just to debate and analyze for mere sensational purposes. The coming of Grace has NOT abolished the first 39 books of the Scriptures, it has only abrogated* ALL the forms, types and shadows of the Old Covenant in honor of the reality, anti-type and substance revealed in Christ in the New Covenant.

Here are 3 scriptures below to settle that in your spirit:

Note: If we understood this, there are many things we have carried over from the old in die hard fashion, and that we are unwilling to let go even though the real thing is here. We want to have Substance and the shadow at the same time. Christ is actually dishonored when we prefer a “picture” of Him to His real Self.

*Abrogated: “to end or cancel (something) in a formal and official way; to abolish by authoritative action.” Merriam Webster dictionary

Matthew 5:17-18 KJV

[17] Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. [18] For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.

Luke 24:44 KJV

And he said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled, which were written in the law of Moses, and in the prophets, and in the psalms, concerning me.

Hebrews 1:1-2 KJV

[1] God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, [2] Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;

Others: Hebrews 2:1-3, 2 Corinthians 3:14.

Eisegesis and Exegesis

There are some two words that theologians have used to show the difference between correct interpretation of Scriptures and one that is incorrect. It is eisegesis and exegesis.

According to Merriam Webster dictionary, Eisegesis is “the interpretation of a text (as of the Bible) by reading into it one’s own ideas”. While Exegesis is “exposition, explanation; especially: an explanation or critical interpretation of a text.” One interpretation is grossly influenced by previous ideas held by the individual while the other is quite objective, simply saying what the text says. 

Exegesis is …by faith

Although, it may look impossible to be totally uninfluenced by one’s previous traditions, prejudices and ideas when we come to Scriptures, we must nevertheless come by faith. For the just shall live by faith (Romans 1:17). That is, we must trust God to help us break through the kernel of our preconceived ideas to touch the very spirit/meat of God’s revelation in every scripture. 

There is no need to be fearful of any aspect of Scriptures, as if God has said certain things that are not in sync with His Character and Completeness. And sure enough, we may even have to read and reread the Scriptures and ask deliberate questions like the Bereans, who will not just take whatever a very senior apostle like Paul said. They usually went back home to read the scriptures (which at the time was the Old Testament) to confirm and critique what they heard (Acts 17:11). 

So for them, it was not whatever men said that gave meaning to God’s word; rather, it was God’s word that decides whether men are correct or not. 

2 Timothy 2:15 KJV

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.


“Study to show thyself approved unto God…”

You are not approved unto God until you have given yourself to the discipline of studying the Word of God, allowing the Holy Spirit to constantly penetrate into the very depths of your heart, separating your soul from your spirit, thereby elevating and putting in the spotlight (of your heart) the will of God for your life for you to choose (Hebrews 4:12, Romans 12:2).

“…a workman that needeth not to be ashamed…”

This is the approval that makes you that effective workman that cannot be ashamed. Why is the Spirit of God raising the issue of shame? A life that has any unfinished business with God, that constantly “dribbles” the word of God, so as not to convict him/her on any matter, is a life that will be dishonest in handling the word of God. The word of truth cannot be rightly divided by such men and women. 

“Dribbling here is when your conscience and/or the Holy Spirit has already raised a red flag over an issue and you deliberately avoid such places in scriptures that could reactivate or remind you of such red flags.”


“…rightly dividing the word of truth.”

To divide God’s word rightly, we must listen to the Spirit, who Himself influenced the human writers, to understand the scriptures. That’s why it says the letter kills but the spirit, the Holy Spirit, gives life (2 Corinthians 3:6) That life He gives is that divine capacity/power to live at the level of the portion of God’s Word that is currently illuminating us. 

Yet, no man must make this an excuse to shroud the Word of God in unnecessary mystery that mystifies our interpretations, explanations and conclusions. No. That which the Spirit reveals will bring life, not death. Life that is proven in the triumph of grace in that person’s own life and Life that upholds the harmony of God’s Word in both Old and New Testaments and does not overtly or covertly contradict the ways of God. 

In studying, we put our lives under (the influence of) the word of God so that we experience the change, from glory to glory, promised to those who keep beholding Jesus in His Word. Also, we get busy searching the scriptures to know God’s ways and God’s mind and of course to see how the theme of redemption runs through every book, from Genesis to Revelation. 

It must be clear to us as we do this that anything we don’t understand in the Old Covenant is revealed in the New and anything that looks unclear in the New Covenant is hidden in the Old. And Christ is the image that must form in the heart and passions of whomsoever is reading and studying the word of God, not even doctrine itself.

Resolving the perceived tension between Grace and works

Anywhere you see a book of the Bible emphasizing one concept over the another, it is almost always in response to heresy; and when you are responding to such things, the weight of response is on the side of the story that the heresy tries to subvert or hide. We have to bear this in mind. When Paul was dealing with us not been saved by works in Galatians, it was in response to certain Jewish teachers who are insisting that Gentiles (other nations apart from Israel) must be physically circumcised before they can be truly saved. The Holy Spirit will not allow His work of inward circumcision of the heart to be interrupted and subverted by such a return to outward forms that actually saves no one. 

And when you look at the book of James, you will see that the emphasis our brother James brought by the Spirit is works. Not that we are saved by it, but that we must prove our salvation by it. History tells us that Martin Luther rejected the book of James for a time because (I’m thinking!) he has been so preoccupied with Grace alone (Sola Gracia) and may be rightfully so, that he could not imagine that the same God who spoke of “being saved by grace alone” through one man will speak of “proving that we are saved by works” through another man. 

So, we learn that receiving the ministry of only one person can make us unbalanced because of the tendency of most of us teachers to emphasize or specialize on one aspect of the Gospel. We need to accept all those that God has approved their lives and callings in His body (Church) as faithful stewards to receive from, in order to lay hold of the whole purpose of God, which will make us complete (1 Corinthians 8:2, 2 Peter 3:15-16, Galatians 2:7-9).

Moreover, we learn that the Holy Spirit brings different emphasis according to the need of the moment. And whatever emphasis it is, the Spirit neither contradicts Himself nor the whole counsel of God. Those who have found it difficult to understand these are usually those who have been swayed by the prejudices of certain church fathers in history, that they can even be bold to declare that certain parts of Scriptures does not speak to them anymore. 

Even some have gone as far as saying the words of Jesus in the gospels does not speak to them because they believed the church started in Acts. That is going too far! There is just no basis for that. That is simply an error from one or more church fathers in history, swallowed (perhaps) by those who are trying to escape certain teachings and instructions of our LORD Jesus Christ.

Get rid of your traditional (or is it denominational?) blinders!

The truth is all of us have the tendency to be blinded by traditions; a way of doing things and applying the word of God that is common to a group, which may not be bad in itself, UNTIL it interferes with the progress of God’s people in their pursuit of God. Church leaders have a need to demystify themselves, so that their followers can be free to ignore their traditions wherever (and whenever) it clashes with the truth of God’s Word.

And truth be told, those who love to be seen as infallible among Church leaders are usually those who lead men away from Christ. I have seen men who don’t give the impression of infallibility (being above correction), choosing the path of ordinariness among their brethren, allowing a sure word in their heart to be seen as a ‘mere’ counsel, not necessarily a ‘thus saith the Lord”; yet such men have made more progress in winning people for Christ, whose progress are almost unstoppable.

If you are still holding on to any tradition of men, you may be in danger of been unable to divide the word of truth. Except if we have traditions that points us to Christ and His Word alone and not to a man’s (groups of men’s) personal belief system. In that case, by all means please remain with that tradition.

“Christ can’t be wrong, do we need to stress that? But we, being human, can be wrong; and whenever we admit our wrong, we make progress in our quest for Christlikeness”

Picture Credits: Apologetic report, Howard Carter’s blog, Slideshare, Jerome pilgrim sojourner, Augustine’s quote from Pinterest, Valley Reformed Church

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Rest for a troubled soul

Regardless of the overwhelming imagery of your past life, you must determine to refuse the enemy any access whatsoever into your mind, to torment you about what God has already cleansed and to undermine your desire to trust that once you believe in the LORD Jesus in your heart and confess it with your mouth, you are saved (John 1:12, Romans 10:9-11). Let God be true and all men liars, including the devil, the father of those who remain lairs (Romans 3:4, John 8:44). 

Only believe…

He says, “As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us.” (Psalm 103:12). Do you know how far it is? How can you ever imagine that God’s work is incomplete because of your remembrance of your past and the constant temptation yielding to contemplation to rekindle old ways? All that, as vivid as they may be to you, have nothing to do with the finality and faultlessness of the New Life you have received in Christ Jesus. The same way you have BELIEVED to be saved in the first place, is the same way you need to keep BELIEVING to CONTINUE in your newness of life.

…that He died and has resurrected…

Now, you don’t actually need to be transported to heaven to confirm with God or check it out before you can be sure (Romans 10:6) neither do you need a visit to hell to verify the truth of Christ’s resurrection (Romans 10:7). All that you need to do is believe and you CANNOT be ashamed (Romans 10:11). That means God who promised is faithful to keep His word and regardless of the attack of the enemy on your mind and your spirit man, let God be true and all men liars, even the devil. (Psalm 119:89-90, Hebrews 6:16-19)

[89] For ever, O Lord , thy word is settled in heaven. [90] Thy faithfulness is unto all generations: thou hast established the earth, and it abideth. 

Psalm 119:89-90 KJV

“God also bound himself with an oath, so that those he promised to help would be perfectly sure and never need to wonder whether he might change his plans. He has given us both his promise and his oath, two things we can completely count on, for it is impossible for God to tell a lie. Now all those who flee to him to save them can take new courage when they hear such assurances from God.” 

Hebrews 6:17-18 The Living Bible

…to save you.

What we are dealing with here is assurance of salvation. The devil fiercely tries to sell you a lie (and he is the perfect conman) to permanently break down the desire to turn to the LORD and follow Him. By giving you an impression that you are not (yet) saved due to strong imagery of your undesirable past, he makes you to forfeit what God has said and you know, agreeing with the devil is all that is needed to thwart your faith or new life in Christ. So the question is whom to agree with. Christ or satan? You do NOT need any extra grace than what heaven releases to everyone who is turning to Christ …to believe simply that you are entirely saved by the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus and not by any act of righteousness you have done yet.

The trick is this. Those who will believe this simply, like a child, will walk into the newness of life that manifests in a changed life full of good works. And those who don’t believe, thinking they must do something else first, by the way of a good work, will never be able to experience the fullness of the life of Jesus in them. They are seeking to gain the new life by their works rather than seizing from it and entering into the works of God, which brings into the promised rest, resonating with divine assurances of salvation.

Now, let’s deal with those satanic arguments and sinful imageries of the past. Please read 2 Corinthians 10:3-6. Then let’s read 4 & 5 again in KJV & The Living Bible 

[4](For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) [5] Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; 2 Corinthians 10:4-5 KJV

I use God’s mighty weapons, not those made by men, to knock down the devil’s strongholds. These weapons can break down every proud argument against God and every wall that can be built to keep men from finding him. With these weapons I can capture rebels and bring them back to God and change them into men whose hearts’ desire is obedience to Christ.”  2 Corinthians 10:4-5 TLB

Just-as-if-I’d-never-sinned

Take time and let this soak into your spirit. This stronghold of lack of assurance is a lie and argument that the devil is sponsoring into your life by your own constant contemplation and dissatisfaction about your past life, friends, activities and objects that serve as constant reminders of this and any direct spiritual assault of satan against your mind to discredit your newfound faith in Christ. There is one truth I must tell you and the devil will do anything to keep you from knowing, understanding and accepting (believing) it. It is that, when you believe in your heart and confess with your mouth the LORD Jesus as I said initially (of course having confessed and repented of your sins – Matthew 3:2, Luke 3:8), you are instantly justified – “just-as-if-I’d-never-sinned”.

All those sins the devil is reminding you of is actually illegal, it is illegal for him to do that, because all your sins and the curse of it has been blotted out and nailed to the cross of Christ (Please read Colossians 1:13-15). That is the way God sees you now but the devil will want to force his lies on you; remember that he can hardly tell the truth, he is the father of liars (John 8:44). So, whose report will you believe? 

Believing what God says about Himself and your new life in Christ is one major weapon of your warfare to destroy all of satan’s arguments in your heart. This is using the word of God, which is your sword in dealing with the devil. Swinging your sword at him is basically presenting evidence of your new position in Christ. When you confront him with God’s Word, you are submit(ing) yourself to God and resist(ing) the devil, and he MUST flee from you (James 4:7).

Now, come to the LORD afresh and tell Him you are sorry for doubting His work. And then cast yourself upon Him. Tell Jesus that “You are my Saviour, I cast all my sins upon You and I do away with my sinful nature.” Believe in your heart that the LORD Jesus was raised from the dead and confess it with your mouth that He is now LORD (owner, master) over your life, and guess what? You SHALL be saved (Romans 10:8-9). 
Photo credits: Creation outreach, Evangelical outreach, pastorbillholdridge dot wordpress dot com, Charles Lewis

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False teachings (and teachers) of works

My aim is to allow the word of God to speak for itself without the constant interruptions (or is it infiltrations?) of human traditions, even traditional Christianity. Grace stands for one thing: completed in Christ. Works or Law after Christ has come also stands for one thing: incomplete in spite of Christ. By grace, we mean, all that needs to be done has been done by Christ, having satisfied God by meeting all the requirements of the righteous law of God. It is from this foundation we must build our entire faith. (NOTE: The word “faith” shows that the work is not yours but God’s and by faith or trust, you cooperate with God to make His work a reality in your life). 

“the Messiah is the culmination of the Law…” ISV

“For Christ is the fulfillment of the law for righteousness…” WEB

“For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth.” KJV

Romans 10:4

By works or law, we mean, either a deliberate despising and ‘bypassing’ of what Christ has done or ignorance of the whole counsel of God in this matter, as to insist that there is yet a thing or two to do before we can be totally free from sin or any effect of sin. This is what shows the essential flaw in any teaching that hints that even though you are born again, you need to do this and that before you can be free from something you are struggling with. It sounds plausible especially because the sufferer’s experience seems to pose a challenge to the clear teachings of Scriptures. 

So, when you have a people who are choosing to validate and over-validate their experiences over and above the Word of God and a group of men and women, who themselves are willing to take advantage of the common weakness/ignorance of such people, then it seems that God has got something wrong in His Word, of which these false teachers are vigorously trying to “correct” by reverting to the ministry of condemnation (2 Corinthians 3). 

Keep this in mind, will you? Never allow your experience or anyone’s experience to sway you from the clear thoughts of Scriptures. Let God be true and all men liars (Romans 3:4). And truly we do come to such experiences in our lives when something seems to be discrediting God and challenging what we have believed. That is the time of your testing. As long as you will insist on what God has said, you will eventually see that “high thing” falling down before God’s word (2 Corinthians 10:5). 

As far as I am concerned, no matter how real anything is in my life that is against the will of God, I dismiss it in the face of God’s settled testimony. It is therefore false and God is true. 

Jesus Only

When Jesus was transfigured before Peter, James and John, God did something that must permanently deliver us from the error of ignoring Christ to revert to any other prophet in scriptures, as a way of understanding the mind of God. Peter suggested that three tabernacles be built for the three men, Christ, the Son of God, Moses, representing the law and Elijah, representing the prophet. God instantly interrupted Peter from heaven and said “…THIS is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; hear ye HIM.” (Matthew 17:5) and “And when they had lifted up their eyes, they saw no man, save Jesus only.” (Matthew 17:8) 

So, we see that neither the threatening of Moses by the law nor the fierceness of Elijah can help us. What will help us is this: to see that what will produce that heavenly life in us is not beating people with endless rules or using “anointing” to scare people to obey God (which is even witchcraft); it is Jesus only. It is allowing men to see Him alone, without threatening them or creating rules for them, so that their obedience to God will be inward and genuine, not outward and hypocritical

There is no teaching that insists that in order for you to be fully delivered from the effects of sin (generally life’s troubles, generational problems and all forms of demonic interference etc) you must do something more that does not draw heavily on someone else in the Scriptures at the expense of Christ. Let us call all such teachings by sincere brothers and false teachers as hyper-works

Whether deliberate or not, whenever we allow the toughness of the human condition to draw us out of the Rock of our salvation to another ground, being another man (which is a sinking sand even though they are in the bible), we have downgraded (fallen) from grace and have quietly, if not knowingly, accepted the ministry of condemnation. And it will only sink both the preacher and those who follow them, even if they do experience some measure of divine intervention. 

Divine intervention is not a proof of divine approval

Many people are unable to separate their sentiments for men and women they love from the issues requiring them to raise a red flag in their minds against a trend of ministry and teaching that has detracted from Christ. The popularity of such works and the plausibility of such men seems to weaken their capacity to discern the truth about them. Let it be a rule in your mind that popularity, acceptance, display of power leading to results are not necessarily evidences of God’s approval. 

Each time you have to add to what Christ has done, you have undermined the freedom of the grace of God to accomplish all that God has purposed for an individual. Of which they can only walk in, as they remain steady on that Rock, Christ, and become more intimate with Him in their personal study of God’s word and prayer. The things preachers add to Christ have a natural tendency to gradually take people’s affection away from Christ unto their new favourite teacher or prophet. 

Espoused to one husband, not two: Christ and Christ alone

Our brother Paul was so concerned about this that he said,

“I am anxious for you with the deep concern of God himself—anxious that your love should be for Christ alone, just as a pure maiden saves her love for one man only, for the one who will be her husband. But I am frightened, fearing that in some way you will be led away from your pure and simple devotion to our Lord, just as Eve was deceived by Satan in the Garden of Eden. You seem so gullible: you believe whatever anyone tells you even if he is preaching about another Jesus than the one we preach, or a different spirit than the Holy Spirit you received, or shows you a different way to be saved. You swallow it all.”  

2 Corinthians 11:2-4 The Living Bible

While some are sincerely unaware that this is what they are doing, it does not reduce the damage that is done to the virgin (a believer or the body of believers) that has been espoused to One husband, Christ. The glory of Christ is eclipsed (obscured, covered) by all these human additions and traditions. Even though God has found fault with the old covenant and has now instituted the new one in Christ, they are unable to look steadfastly to the end of that which is abolished because Moses keeps veiling his face (2 Corinthians 3:13-14). 

Even if men who are preaching to you have decided to die in the old covenant and its physical observances of works, can you not leave them to their fate and turn to the LORD so that the veil will be removed from your life (2 Corinthians 3:16)? When you do, you would have entered fully into your rest, rest from all the burdens that men have tied on your head before now, and allow God’s own works (which is His grace) to transform you from glory to glory (2 Corinthians 3:18, Hebrews 4:1-2,9-11).

Photo credit: National Presbyterian Church

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Church in the wilderness

David was concerned for the LORD. He wanted God to dwell in a proper house instead of the tents. God dwelt in tents/tabernacles in those days because His people were still moving from place to place. They had not yet been settled and He could not yet dwell in a permanent place. Now, that God had settled His people in their own land, God cannot remain in a temporary dwelling or location among His people. A house must then be built for Him.

Likewise, I believe that at this particular point in history, more than any other time, we need to build God a permanent house. There was a time when God’s work on earth was on a “movement” basis. A movement is a good thing. It was an exodus from sin and worldliness to the Canaan of God’s promise. This is signified today by the general search among God’s people of the Way, the Truth and the Life (John 14:6). Churches today are full of people who have been in other systems or denominations before now. Even my own self, I have been moving from place to place. From C&S to CAC, from CAC to Methodist… to Winners …to RCCG. And I have moved from parish to parish (within RCCG) too due to change of location and a clear leading in my spirit in the last 20 years.

You can register for the seminar here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/monthly-teaching-seminar-tickets-31088604854

A movement is an indication of the slow progress of the church or God’s people to settle into the Promise (-d land) of God for them. A movement is a ministry in the wilderness. It is a work to a people who are reluctant to enter into God’s rest (Hebrews 3:10-11, 18-19; 4:6,11). While they have been saved from Egypt (sin), they refuse to go into the Canaan of victory and overcoming life. Most of God’s people and workers are content with this erratic movement (that does not arrive in the overcoming life), where they have been saved from sin but they have not entered into rest…where they can only offer the barest minimum of their time, resources etc to the LORD and have no need to offer their entire life as living sacrifice.

A wilderness ministry is not an effective witness to the nations, even though there are many signs and wonders. Since the expression of God is limited, the tent or tabernacle continues to be folded up when the people need to move, to be reset again when they stop, there is no effective testimony of God to the world. This constant folding up of the tabernacle to be reset again is the constant feature of a movement and is seen in the folding up of works and ministries and setting up of new ones. Another key feature is the incoherence of the picture, witness or testimony of God we are presenting to our generation.

Now that David is sitting in His house, now that Christ has been sitting at the right hand of God, God’s house must be built. He is no longer interested in “movements”. The church to be caught up… and that He is coming for is one without spot or wrinkle. It is a church, not a scattered movements of “saved” souls.

First, for God’s house to be built, each believer must now accept all the terms of the New Covenant and do away with the old (Please note that it does not mean to do away with the first 39 books of the bible; it simply means to now do away with every shadow where the New Testament has clearly provided and updated us with the substance). The house of God that needs to be built is the temple that God has declared as resident in the hearts of those who are saved. Each believer must now immediately become a disciple of Jesus Christ, following Him to enter into the rest He has provided, a life of constant victory over sin. That in itself is a testimony for God. In movements, people keep cooling off in their devotion to Christ and then another movement arises that wakes them up. That is only possible because God has not had a permanent place among us.

You can register for the seminar here: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/monthly-teaching-seminar-tickets-31088604854

Second, God needs an expression of the body of Christ in every place. A new and true expression of Christ that works gradually to leaven the whole lump of God’s predestinated remnant (elect and saints) everywhere (Galatians 5:9, Revelation 5:9). David (Christ) is already sitting on the throne (2 Samuel 7:1) and His kingdom has been made everlasting (Psalm 145:13, Daniel 4:3, 2 Peter 1:11); the New Covenant has kicked in and it can never be reversed (Hebrews 8:13) hence it is time to build God a permanent house. God has no church to “rapture” yet if we remain in the wilderness of “movements”. The end is here and the LORD is near, very near. We must drop our petty doctrines that divide us and puts us in pockets of movements, and build what will last, i.e. enter into the promise of God’s rest, an overcoming life that is a testimony to the fact that Jesus came in the flesh and made the life of God available to all who will simply trust and follow Him.

Image credit: christthetruth dot wordpress dot com

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Biblical or not biblical?

What does it mean for something to be biblical? 

First, it is not just that it is in the bible. This is one major way the devil sponsors false teachings. Remember that he used the very Scriptures to tempt Jesus. And my LORD didn’t just say, “oh yes, that’s in the bible, I’ll do it, it is biblical” No. He will not fall for that deception and you should not fall for that neither my friend.

To be biblical is for a teaching to manifest the purpose of God, to bear the approval of God and to uphold the unity of Scriptures. Jesus knew the will of God for Him, so no one, even the devil, could sway Him out of God’s purpose by using genuine Scriptures, but wrongly and deceptively applied, against Him. A teaching is biblical if it harmonizes with the thoughts of God and if it aligns with the whole counsel of God.

How do we know this?

Christ is the last Word of God to man and it is by Him that all earlier utterances of God is understood (Hebrews 1:1-3). He is the full manifestation of the whole counsel of God. All acts, performances, principles and persons in scriptures must be brought under the lens of the completeness of Christ. Whatever comes out on the other side is that which God updates us with by Christ. This is how the shadow gives way to (the arrival of) the substance. The shadow being the law, prophets and all observances stipulated in the old testament and the substance being the revealing of the Son of God, in the New Testament, Who gives meaning to all former things and permanently replaces every shadow. That is what it means to be biblical.

Test every teaching with God’s full purpose

So, you must test all claims of men, even when scriptures are copiously quoted, with the full purpose of God. For instance, there are many things we are still doing today that only shows we have not fully acknowledged the Substance that has been given, even after 2000 years. While most of us Christians know that Christ has been offered once for all for us and there is no need to bring goats and bulls again for sacrifices, we still hold on to many other things of the old, as if Christ has not yet come, as if we are still in Judaism, and as if Christ is not enough!

This is the kind of dishonesty (or may be just ignorance) that keeps us out of fully experiencing the New Covenant. One mark of the old covenant is that obedience does not always include desire to obey and love for righteousness. Even if you hate the law, if you act accordingly, it was OK. But not in the New Covenant! Simply doing what God says is right without loving it and desiring to do it is not acceptable. It is dead works (Hebrews 9:14). In the New Covenant, we LOVE to do first before we actually DO because it is God that is now working in us, unlike the old covenant where we are the ones working without His help.

Philippians 2:13 KJV

For it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure.

Hebrews 8:10 KJV (Jeremiah 31:34)

For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, saith the Lord; I will put my laws into their mind, and write them in their hearts: and I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people:

Christ is our only High Priest

Although it is in the Bible that men could be high priests like Aaron and Eli e.t.c, it is not biblical to call a fellow man today our high priest. In fact, it is treasonable and forbidden. We only have one High Priest now, which is Christ (Hebrews 3:1, 4:14). That system of priesthood has been totally discarded because of the unprofitableness of it and Christ has been “…made, not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life.” Hebrews 7:16 KJV. Please confirm also from Hebrews 7:18, 22 – 8:2

All the rest of us who have been saved by Him have been made priests (Revelation 1:6, 5:10; 1 Peter 2:9) and Christ alone is the High Priest among us (Hebrews 10:21). So, you see, something is not biblical simply because it is in the bible or because you have examples for it in scriptures. We must read the word of God in the context of the full revelation of God that we now have in Christ, then we will know what is biblical and what is not.

John 5:39 KJV

Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me.

Image credits:

centre for leadership and spiritual formation.org, evangelical outreach.org, cwblueprints.blogspot.com

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Grace and Good works

There is a work resulting from grace

The point that is critical for us to raise is that works does not have to be a nullification of grace. We are certain and assured of the fact that God is fully responsible for the New Life we received in Christ Jesus. There is nothing of man to be contributed to it. It is all of God. Yet, you must note the tenor of the word of God.

(NOTE: As long as we are not biased and are willing to read the scriptures freely with an open mind, not reading into it through the lens of human or religious traditions, but committed to the whole counsel of God.)

We must see clearly that in as much as we have been redeemed from the law, saved from the utter futility of trying to please God solely by keeping rules and regulations, and brought by grace through faith into the obedience of Christ and made righteous by the same, the natural outward expression of grace, which is the new works we do because of whom and whose we have become, is not in anyway undermined. Let’s consider Ephesians 2:8-10

‘[8] For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: [9] Not of works, lest any man should boast. [10] For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” Ephesians 2:8-10 KJV

Irresponsible grace is heresy

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While it is heretic to think that we did something to be saved, it is all the more heretic to think we do not need to DO anything again since we have been saved. Our freedom from the works of the law is not a release to shun the very life of righteousness that the grace we have received produces. That freedom is the liberty from the tyranny of the law against those who are seeking to approach and please God all by themselves. It is fruitless, futile and permanently extorting and even excruciating!

Christ has become the only One who has by Himself pleased God in every point of the law without coming short of God’s glory (Romans 10:4, Hebrews 4:15). And having done that, His life has been offered to us as a New and Living way to God (Hebrews 10:20-24). When we drop all our efforts and simply accept the works of Christ, which is grace, we have seized from our own works then and have now entered into the works of God (Hebrews 4:1,9-11).

So, we are not trying to gain God’s approval independent of Christ. He is the Firstborn among many brethren (brothers) so what God has given to Him is available to us as we come to Him believing that we are now joint heirs with Christ, seated together with Him in heavenly places (Romans 8:17,29; Ephesians 2:6)

Now, having received all these privileges in Christ, all by grace not by any effort of ourselves, except that we applied our freewill to accept these great offer, you cannot then say that you are not obligated to produce the fruit (or express the life) of what He has done in you. The highlighted word in the last sentence would not have been necessary if we were not free moral human agent with the capacity to freely choose our course in life and character of life.

Grace is unto good works

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Hence, we see in the scriptures that all the work of grace that was done in us is for a purpose:

1. “…UNTO GOOD WORKS, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.” (Ephesians 2:10) What grace has produced in us, that new man, is created UNTO good works. These are not efforts we make apart from Christ, rather they are deeds, actions and works that God Himself prepared beforehand as the only evidence of the new creation He was going to make through the atoning and reconciliatory work of Christ. These works can only be done by this type of man, the one who has been recreated in Christ Jesus (Amplified Bible), i.e. the one who has received the grace of God.

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2. In Matthew 5:16, Jesus said, “Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.” It should be sufficiently evident that there would be no need for this emphasis of what we do after we are saved, if it was automatic for everyone who gets saved to live in the light of that salvation. Then it would mean that the LORD was wasting His utterance here. The word, “let” is critical for us for it shows that it all depends on our will. There is no fault in what Christ has done and there can be no amendment to this entire project of redemption. And it is not as if the Holy Spirit, who is the Spirit of Christ, is looking for any slight opportunity to withhold His help from us whom He regenerated (Please read the entire chapter 2 of Hebrews). 

The issue is that all things are yours, including the combined help of the Trinity and His human trustees, but are you willing? (1 Corinthians 3:21-23, Philippians 3:8, Isaiah 1:19)

The heavenward part is permanently secured; the only issue is the earthward part, with us. When Jesus said to take up your cross daily to follow Him, He was offering you the way to make that earthward part always in agreement with the heavenward; allowing God’s will to “cross out” your own will, as it were, so that these mighty provision of God for you to continue in Christ is not compromised by your own unwillingness to respond to the riches of the grace of God already displayed to you (Matthew 10:38, Luke 9:23).

Why obedience to God is not automatic after salvation

God has done something in those who are saved such that if not for the resident capacity for choice within us, it would automatically express itself in newness of life. Therefore, the principle of choice in us makes it necessary for the Holy Spirit to keep instructing our hearts through scriptures of our need to live up to our new life. And let me remind you by the way of a question: what is the use of being born again when your life has not changed? It is not scriptural debates and theological knowledge that will influence our world, it is a changed life. When the light of your changing life shines, that is when men can see your good works and they will give glory to God for your life, and perhaps they may even seek to know the LORD, who has shown you such mercy. (Please read 1 Peter 2:12 and Proverbs 4:18)

Finally, in the book of Titus, the scriptures remind us that there is a need for those of us who have believed in God to “…be careful to maintain good works…” (3:8) and not be like those who “… profess that they know God; but in works they deny him, being abominable, and disobedient, and unto every good work reprobate.” (1:16). Apart from the fact that “…These things are good and profitable unto men.” (3:8), that is, it helps to show the world what Christ has done in us and removes the moral difficulties in believing the gospel, what makes it difficult for those of us who believed in Christ to be saved, to also believe in Him to live according to that new life? It is not a different kind of faith that is needed; it is the same faith you have received. Something has to be wrong for you to claim you believe in Jesus and have been saved and that belief is not carried to its logical conclusion of living as He lived (obedience & transformation). “He that saith he abideth in him ought himself also so to walk, even as he walked.” (1 John 2:6)

Images from disciples of hope, cgioutreach dot org, Augustine’s quote from pinterest, Steve’s bible meditations.