Pathway to the Kingdom of God (Part 1)

“Jesus answered and said unto him, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. Nicodemus saith unto him, How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter the second time into his mother’s womb, and be born? Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.”

(John 3:3-5 KJV)

The concept of ‘born-againism’ was introduced in this text to Nicodemus, a well-to-do Jewish ruler who had all along seen and enjoyed the paraphernalia and appurtenances of the kingdom of heaven, as a Pharisee, but has no inkling of what the kingdom of God was all about.

God in his benevolence and magnanimity can make a sinful man to enjoy the kingdom of heaven here on earth even when he is still far from the kingdom of God. In other words, a man may not necessarily be born again to enjoy the benefits of the kingdom of heaven but he must be born again to ‘see’ the kingdom of God. In the Bible book of Mark 12:34, Jesus made a statement there: “And when Jesus saw that he answered discreetly, he said unto him, Thou art not far from the kingdom of God. And no man after that durst ask him any question”.

The reason why a man may enjoy the benefits and blessings of the kingdom of heaven even when he is still far from the kingdom of God is because the blood of Jesus – the blood of redemption, mercy and grace, avails and prevails over every voice of accusation and legal grounds of the enemy. It may interest us to know that the kingdom of heaven is earthy – wealth, riches, mansions, fleets of cars, all physical blessings, etc are benefits of the kingdom of heaven.

For example, when the devil came to tempt Jesus in Matthew 4:1-11, in verse 8-9, he showed Jesus all the kingdoms of the world (the kingdom of heaven which we are talking about, of which Jesus is the head) and the glory of them and then requested Jesus to bow down and worship him so that he, the devil, can give to Jesus what belongs to him (Jesus) already (…because all things were made by Him, and for Him). This is absurd! How can the devil, a cursed and condemned criminal and temporary tenant on earth, whose days are numbered on planet earth, now turns round to claim ownership of what he knows nothing about and even going further to promise giving what he doesn’t have? And that is exactly what that ‘wicked one’ does; he goes about promising human beings what he does not have. Don’t be hoodwinked by his antics, friend!

The kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God are two different, though similar concepts. They are like identical twins – born from the same womb, looking exactly alike but different entities and make-up. We would discover that Jesus, in all his ministerial assignment here on earth, did not promote the kingdom of heaven beyond measure, because he is the head (as he always de-emphasized his authority and glory just to honour the father [Philippians 2:6]), but talks more of the kingdom of God, of which God the father is the head. It is just like he referring to himself on several occasion as the son of man rather than addressing himself as the son of God. This is absolute submission to the will, plan and purpose of the almighty God, the father of all.

“But every man in his own order: Christ the first fruit; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power. For he must reign, till he hath put all enemies under his feet.. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all..” (I Corinthians 15:23-28 KJV)

At the end of the age, the Son shall surrender his authority over the kingdom of heaven to the father and His kingdom, and the father will be become the King over the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God, and the head over all, and all in all.

Except a man be born…

Every man is born into the world; every man is born into a race or tribe; every man is born into a family; every man is born by combined efforts of a father and a mother. When a man is not born into a family by birth, it means he must have been adopted and therefore, has joined that family by right of adoption and not by birth. This invariably means that a man who joins a family can also decide to change his mind by un-joining the said family and his absence would not be felt when he decides to leave. But what about a man who is born into the family, even when he decides to ‘un-born’ himself, what happens eventually?

Have we ever wondered why so many so-called ‘men of God’ with high-sounding titles fall smash bang into the very sins – fornication, adultery, fraud, etc, they preached against on the altar? Do we know why the sins of fornication and adultery or infidelity in general are rife among big-title wielding ‘men of God’ of recent?

Find out in the next post.

God bless you!

The Factory and Its Products

Every factory is expected to manufacture its own unique products. That is why some products in our country can be traced to their unique manufacturers. Once you mention these products, you know the outfits that manufacture them. We have soaps, body lotions, hair creams, diapers, canned foods, bottled water, clothing materials, fried foods, packaged fruit drinks, etc, that are easily traced to their manufacturers. You can even see the name, label and logo of these manufacturers. Their factories are visible and they are strategically sited and located. These are man-made factories with their peculiar products.

Just like the man-made, physical factories, identified by their products, we also have the God-made factory, or rather the spiritual factory with its unique products. Once these products are displayed or exhibited, you can easily tag or trace them to the factory that manufactures them.

Watchman Nee in the book Secrets to Spiritual Power as compiled by Sentinel Kulp, tells us that we are the factory, and our actions are the products. So, just as products like soaps, canned foods, diapers, etc are traceable to a particular physical factory or manufacturer, so also some products (characteristics) are traceable to a particular spiritual factory.

The Book of Galatians 5:19-21 lists out these products to include: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like.

Unfortunately, God did not intend that the spiritual factory (man) exhibit these terrible, evil traits or products. When God created man, he filled him with his spirit by breathing into him His nature. But man eventually lost the spirit of God and was filled with evil spirit having disobeyed God. Then envy and murder and other negative vices began to set in to the extent that Cain rose up against his brother Abel and killed him (Genesis 4).

But for the factory to now begin to produce good and godly products, there must be a change of allegiance from the deceiver to the Redeemer. Redemption has to do with allowing God help us produce good products having embraced the finished work of the Redeemer on the Cross. This is when godly products would begin to be manufactured in the factory. These godly products as listed by the same Galatians 5:22-23 include: love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, and so on.

To conclude, how can the factory begin to manufacture good and godly products? Watchman Nee in the book Secrets to Spiritual Power as compiled by Sentinel Kulp, tells us that :

“until the lordship of Christ is a settled thing in our hearts, the Spirit (who manufactures these good products) cannot operate effectively in us. If we do not give Christ absolute authority in our lives, though he may be present, he cannot be powerful. The power of the Spirit is held back.”

So, if a factory (man) must begin to manufacture godly products, he or she must experience the power of the Cross. Watchman nee states further that,

”The greatest negative in the universe is the Cross, for with it God wiped out everything that was not of Himself; the greatest positive in the universe is the Resurrection, for through it God brought into being all he will have in the new order of things. The Cross is God’s declaration that everything within us from the old creation must die, because nothing of the first Adam can pass beyond the Cross.”

Be blessed!

The Cracked Pot

Photo credit: spjefferies19537.wixsite.com

A water bearer in India had two large pots, each hung on each end of a pole which he carried across his neck.  One of the pots had a crack in it, and while the other pot was perfect and always delivered a full portion of water at the end of the long walk from the stream to the master’s house, the cracked pot arrived only half full.

For a full 2 years this went on daily, with the bearer delivering only one and a half pots full of water in his master’s house.

Of course, the perfect pot was proud of its accomplishments, perfect to the end for which it was made. But the poor cracked pot was ashamed
of its own imperfection, and miserable that it was able to accomplish only half of what it had been made to do.

After 2 years of what it perceived to be a bitter failure, it spoke to the
water bearer one day by the stream. “I am ashamed of myself, and I want to apologize to you.”   “Why?” asked the bearer. “What are you ashamed of?”  “I have been able, for these past two years, to deliver only half my load because this crack in my side causes water to leak out all the way back to your master’s house. Because of my flaws, you have to do all of this work, and you don’t get full value from your efforts,” the pot said.

The water bearer felt sorry for the old cracked pot, and in his compassion he said, “As we return to the master’s house, I want you to notice the   beautiful flowers along the path.”

Indeed as they went up the hill, the old cracked pot took notice of the sun
warming the beautiful wild flowers on the side of the path and this cheered it some. But at the end of tile trail, it still felt bad because it had leaked out half its load, and so again it apologized to the bearer for its
failure.

The bearer said to the pot, “Did you notice that there were flowers only on YOUR side of your path, but not on the other pot’s side? That’s because I have always known about your flaw, and I took advantage of it. I planted flower seeds on your side of the path, and every day while we walk back from the stream, you’ve watered them.

For 2 years I have been able to pick these beautiful flowers to decorate my master’s table. Without you being just the way you are, he would not have this beauty to grace his house.”

Moral: Each of us have our own unique flaws. We’re all cracked pots.

Some of us don’t grow old gracefully, some are not so smart, some are tall, large & big, some bald, some physically challenged, but it’s the cracks and flaws we each have that make our lives together so very interesting and rewarding.

You’ve just got to take each person for what they are, and look for the good in them. There is a lot of good out there. There is a lot of good in you, Emma!

Blessed are the flexible for they shall not be bent out of shape. Remember to appreciate all the different people in your life! Or as I like to think of it – If it’s not for the crackpots in my life, it would be pretty boring.

Thank you for being my crackpot friend.

(Culled from the internet)

Exposition on Genesis 1:1-2

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The Creation. B. C. 4004.

1 In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. 2 And the earth was without form, and void and darkness was upon the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters.

Genesis 1:1-2

In these verses we have the work of creation in its epitome and in its embryo.

I. In its epitome, Genesis 1:1, where we find, to our comfort, the first article of our creed, that God the Father Almighty is the Maker of heaven and earth, and as such we believe in him.

1. Observe, in this verse, four things…

(1.) The effect producedthe heaven and the earth, that is, the world, including the whole frame and furniture of the universe, the world and all things therein, Acts 17:24. The world is a great house, consisting of upper and lower stories, the structure stately and magnificent, uniform and convenient, and every room well and wisely furnished. It is the visible part of the creation that Moses here designs to account for therefore he mentions not the creation of angels. But as the earth h as not only its surface adorned with grass and flowers, but also its bowels enriched with metals and precious stones (which partake more of its solid nature and more valuable, though the creation of them is not mentioned here), so the heavens are not only beautified to our eye with glorious lamps which garnish its outside, of whose creation we here read, but they are within replenished with glorious beings, out of our sight, more celestial, and more surpassing them in worth and excellency than the gold or sapphires surpass the lilies of the field. In the visible world it is easy to observe,

[a.] Great variety, several sorts of beings vastly differing in their nature and constitution from each other.Lord, how manifold are thy works, and all good!

[b.] Great beauty. The azure sky and verdant earth are charming to the eye of the curious spectator, much more the ornaments of both. How transcendent then must the beauty of the Creator be!

[c.] Great exactness and accuracy. To those that, with the help of microscopes, narrowly look into the works of nature, they appear far more fine than any of the works of art.

[d.] Great power. It is not a lump of dead and inactive matter, but there is virtue, more or less, in every creature: the earth itself has a magnetic power.

[e.] Great order, a mutual dependence of beings, an exact harmony of motions, and an admirable chain and connection of causes. [6.] Great mystery. There are phenomena in nature which cannot be solved, secrets which cannot be fathomed nor accounted for. But from what we see of heaven and earth we may easily enough infer the eternal power and Godhead of the great Creator, and may furnish ourselves with abundant matter for his praises. And let our make and place, as men, remind us of our duty as Christians, which is always to keep heaven in our eye and the earth under our feet.

(2.) The author and cause of this great work – GOD. The Hebrew word is Elohim, which bespeaks:

[a.] The power of God the Creator. El signifies the strong God and what less than almighty strength could bring all things out of nothing?

[b.] The plurality of persons in the Godhead, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. This plural name of God, in Hebrew, which speaks of him as many though he is one, was to the Gentiles perhaps a savour of death unto death, hardening them in their idolatry but it is to us a savour of life unto life, confirming our faith in the doctrine of the Trinity, which, though but darkly intimated in the Old Testament, is clearly revealed in the New. The Son of God, the eternal Word and Wisdom of the Father, was with him when he made the world (Proverbs 8:30), nay, we are often told that the world was made by him, and nothing made without him,John 1:3,10Ephesians 3:9Colossians 1:16Hebrews 1:2. O what high thoughts should this form in our minds of that great God whom we draw nigh to in religious worship, and that great Mediator in whose name we draw nigh!

(c) The manner in which this work was effected: God created it, that is, made it out of nothing. There was not any pre-existent matter out of which the world was produced. The fish and fowl were indeed produced out of the waters and the beasts and man out of the earth but that earth and those waters were made out of nothing. By the ordinary power of nature, it is impossible that any thing should be made out of nothing no artificer can work, unless he has something to work on. But by the almighty power of God it is not only possible that something should be made of nothing (the God of nature is not subject to the laws of nature), but in the creation it is impossible it should be otherwise, for nothing is more injurious to the honour of the Eternal Mind than the supposition of eternal matter. Thus the excellency of the power is of God and all the glory is to him.

(d.) When this work was produced: In the beginning, that is, in the beginning of time, when that clock was first set a going: time began with the production of those beings that are measured by time. Before the beginning of time there was none but that Infinite Being that inhabits eternity. Should we ask why God made the world no sooner, we should but darken counsel by words without knowledge for how could there be sooner or later in eternity? And he did make it in the beginning of time, according to his eternal counsels before all time. The Jewish Rabbis have a saying, that there were seven things which God created before the world, by which they only mean to express the excellency of these things:–The law, repentance, paradise, hell, the throne of glory, the house of the sanctuary, and the name of the Messiah. But to us it is enough to say,In the beginning was the Word, John 1:1.

2. Let us learn hence…

(a.) That atheism is folly, and atheists are the greatest fools in nature for they see there is a world that could not make itself, and yet they will not own there is a God that made it. Doubtless, they are without excuse, but the god of this world has blinded their minds.

(b.) That God is sovereign Lord of all by an incontestable right. If he is the Creator, no doubt he is the owner and possessor of heaven and earth.

(c.) That with God all things are possible, and therefore happy are the people that have him for their God, and whose help and hope stand in his name, Psalms 121:2,124:8.

(d.) That the God we serve is worthy of, and yet is exalted far above, all blessing and praise, Nehemiah 9:5,6. If he made the world, he needs not our services, nor can be benefited by them (Acts 17:24,25), and yet he justly requires them, and deserves our praise, Revelation 4:11. If all is of him, all must be to him.

II. Here is the work of creation in its embryo, Genesis 1:2, where we have an account of the first matter and the first mover.

1. A chaos was the first matter. It is here called the earth (though the earth, properly taken, was not made till the third day (Genesis 1:10), because it did most resemble that which afterwards was called earth, mere earth, destitute of its ornaments, such a heavy unwieldy mass was it it is also called the deep, both for its vastness and because the waters which were afterwards separated from the earth were now mixed with it. This immense mass of matter was it out of which all bodies, even the firmament and visible heavens themselves, were afterwards produced by the power of the Eternal Word.

The Creator could have made his work perfect at first, but by this gradual proceeding he would show what is, ordinarily, the method of his providence and grace. Observe the description of this chaos.

(1.) There was nothing in it desirable to be seen, for it was without form and void. Tohu and Bohu, confusion and emptiness so these words are rendered, Isaiah 34:11. It was shapeless, it was useless, it was without inhabitants, without ornaments, the shadow or rough draught of things to come, and not the image of the things, Hebrews 10:1. The earth is almost reduced to the same condition again by the sin of man, under which the creation groans. See Jeremiah 4:23I beheld the earth, and lo it was without form, and void. To those who have their hearts in heaven this lower world, in comparison with that upper, still appears to be nothing but confusion and emptiness. There is no true beauty to be seen, no satisfying fullness to be enjoyed, in this earth, but in God only.

(2.) If there had been any thing desirable to be seen, yet there was no light to see it by fordarkness, thick darkness, was upon the face of the deep. God did not create this darkness (as he is said to create the darkness of affliction, Isaiah 45:7), for it was only the want of light, which yet could not be said to be wanted till something was made that might be seen by it nor needs the want of it be much complained of, when there was nothing to be seen but confusion and emptiness. If the work of grace in the soul is a new creation, this chaos represents the state of an unregenerate graceless soul: there is disorder, confusion, and every evil work it is empty of all good, for it is without God it is dark, it is darkness itself. This is our condition by nature, till almighty grace effects a blessed change.

2. The Spirit of God was the first mover…

He moved upon the face of the waters.When we consider the earth without form and void, methinks it is like the valley full of dead and dry bones. Can these live? Can this confused mass of matter be formed into a beautiful world? Yes, if a spirit of life from God enter into it, Ezekiel 37:9. Now there is hope concerning this thing for the Spirit of God begins to work, and, if he work, who or what shall hinder? God is said to make the world by his Spirit,Psalms 33:6Job 26:13 and by the same mighty worker the new creation is effected. He moved upon the face of the deep, as Elijah stretched himself upon the dead child,–as the hen gathers her chickens under her wings, and hovers over them, to warm and cherish them, Matthew 23:37,–as the eagle stirs up her nest, and flutters over her young (it is the same word that is here used), Deuteronomy 32:11.

Learn hence, that God is not only the author of all being, but the fountain of life and spring of motion. Dead matter would be for ever dead if he did not quicken it. And this makes it credible to us that God should raise the dead. That power which brought such a world as this out of confusion, emptiness, and darkness, at the beginning of time, can, at the end of time, bring our vile bodies out of the grave, though it is a land of darkness as darkness itself, and without any order (Job 10:22), and can make them glorious bodies.

(Credit: Matthew Henry Bible Commentary)

The Foundation of all Religion…

The foundation of all religion being laid in our relation to God as our Creator, it was fit that the book of divine revelations which was intended to be the guide, support, and rule, of religion in the world, should begin, as it does, with a plain and full account of the creation of the world–in answer to that first inquiry of a good conscience, “Where is God my Maker?” (Job 35:10).

Concerning this the pagan philosophers wretchedly blundered, and became vain in their imaginations, some asserting the world’s eternity and self-existence, others ascribing it to a fortuitous concourse of atoms: thus “the world by wisdom knew not God,” but took a great deal of pains to lose him. The holy scripture therefore, designing by revealed religion to maintain and improve natural religion, to repair the decays of it and supply the defects of it, since the fall, for the reviving of the precepts of the law of nature, lays down, at first, this principle of the unclouded light of nature, That this world was, in the beginning of time, created by a Being of infinite wisdom and power, who was himself before all time and all worlds.

The entrance into God’s word gives this light, Psalms 119:130. The Genesis 1:1 of the Bible gives us a surer and better, a more satisfying and useful, knowledge of the origin of the universe, than all the volumes of the philosophers. The lively faith of humble Christians understands this matter better than the elevated fancy of the greatest wits, Hebrews 11:3.

We have three things in this chapter:

i. A general idea given us of the work of creation Genesis 1:1,2.

ii. A particular account of the several days’ work, registered, as in a journal, distinctly and in order. The creation of the light the first day, Genesis 1:3-5 of the firmament the second day, Genesis 1:6-8 of the sea, the earth, and its fruits, the third day, Genesis 1:9-13 of the lights of heaven the fourth day, Genesis 1:14-19 of the fish and fowl the fifth day, Genesis 1:20-23 of the beasts, Genesis 1:24,25 of man, Genesis 1:26-28 and of food for both the sixth day,Genesis 1:29,30.

iii. The review and approbation of the whole work, Genesis 1:31.

(Credit: Matthew Henry Bible Commentary)

Introduction to the Book of Genesis…

…OF THE FIRST BOOK OF MOSES, CALLED GENESIS

WE have now before us the Holy Bible, or Book, for so bible signifies. We call it the Book, by way of eminence for it is incomparably the best book that ever was written, the Book of books, shining like the sun in the firmament of learning, other valuable and useful books, like the moon and stars, borrowing their light from it. We call it the holy book, because it was written by holy men, and indited by the Holy Ghost it is perfectly pure from all falsehood and corrupt intention and the manifest tendency of it is to promote holiness among men.

The great things of God’s law and gospel are here written to us, that they might be reduced to a greater certainty, might spread further, remain longer, and be transmitted to distant places and ages more pure and entire than possibly they could be by report and tradition: and we shall have a great deal to answer for if these things which belong to our peace, being thus committed to us in black and white, be neglected by us as a strange and foreign thing, Hosea 8:12.

The scriptures, or writings of the several inspired penmen, from Moses down to St. John, in which divine light, like that of the morning, shone gradually (the sacred canon being now completed), are all put together in this blessed Bible, which, thanks be to God, we have in our hands, and they make as perfect a day as we are to expect on this side of heaven. Every part was good, but all together very good. This is the light that shines in a dark place (2 Peter 1:19), and a dark place indeed the world would be without the Bible.

We have before us that part of the Bible which we call the Old Testament,containing the acts and monuments of the church from the creation almost to the coming of Christ in the flesh, which was about four thousand years–the truths then revealed, the laws then enacted, the devotions then paid, the prophecies then given, and the events which concerned that distinguished body, so far as God saw fit to preserve to us the knowledge of them.

This is called a testament, orcovenant (Diatheke), because it was a settled declaration of the will of God concerning man in a federal way, and had its force from the designed death of the great testator, the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, (Revelation 13:8.) It is called the Old Testament, with relation to the New, which does not cancel and supersede it, but crown and perfect it, by the bringing in of that better hope which was typified and foretold in it the Old Testament still remains glorious, though the New far exceeds in glory, (2 Corinthians 3:9.)

We have before us that part of the Old Testament which we call the Pentateuch,or five books of Moses, that servant of the Lord who excelled all the other prophets, and typified the great prophet. In our Saviour’s distribution of the books of the Old Testament into the law, the prophets,and the psalms, or Hagiographa, these are the law for they contain not only the laws given to Israel, in the last four, but the laws given to Adam, to Noah, and to Abraham, in the first.

These five books were, for aught we know, the first that ever were written for we have not the least mention of any writing in all the book of Genesis, nor till God bade Moses write (Exodus 17:14) and some think Moses himself never learned to write till God set him his copy in the writing of the Ten Commandments upon the tables of stone. However, we are sure these books are the most ancient writings now extant, and therefore best able to give us a satisfactory account of the most ancient things.

We have before us the first and longest of those five books, which we call Genesis,written, some think, when Moses was in Midian, for the instruction and comfort of his suffering brethren in Egypt: I rather think he wrote it in the wilderness, after he had been in the mount with God, where, probably, he received full and particular instructions for the writing of it.

And, as he framed the tabernacle, so he did the more excellent and durable fabric of this book, exactly according to the pattern shown him in the mount, into which it is better to resolve the certainty of the things herein contained than into any tradition which possibly might be handed down from Adam to Methuselah, from him to Shem, from him to Abraham, and so to the family of Jacob. Genesis is a name borrowed from the Greek.

It signifies the original, or generation: fitly is this book so called, for it is a history of originals–the creation of the world, the entrance of sin and death into it, the invention of arts, the rise of nations, and especially the planting of the church, and the state of it in its early days.

It is also a history of generations–the generations of Adam, Noah, Abraham, &c., not endless, but useful genealogies. The beginning of the New Testament is called Genesis too (Matthew 1:1,) Biblos geneseos, the book of the genesis, or generation, of Jesus Christ. Blessed be God for that book which shows us our remedy, as this opens our wound. Lord, open our eyes, that we may see the wondrous things both of thy law and gospel!

(Credit: Matthew Henry Bible Commentary)

Once Saved, Forever Saved?

The Cross of Christ

‘Once saved, forever saved’, otherwise called the doctrine of eternal security seems to be a misrepresented doctrine within the Christendom today. Some believers in the Christian faith seem to be progressing in error already as this erroneous doctrine is already making waves and turning some unscrupulous believers into the wrong place. This topic has been a very controversial issue in the sense that while some see it as a way of perpetuating their old, adamic nature in their new found way of life in Christ, some think it is an error of omission or commission.

 “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge, I will also reject thee, that thou shalt be no priest to me: seeing thou hast forgotten the law of thy God, I will also forget thy children.” (Hosea 4:6)

“And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure. Whosoever committeth sin transgresseth also the law: for sin is the transgression of the law. And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin. Whosoever abideth in him sinneth not: whosoever sinneth hath not seen him, neither known him. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doeth righteousness is righteous, even as he is righteous. He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.” (1 John 3:3-9)

The scripture above in Hosea 4:6 highlights ignorance, which is lack of knowledge; and the cause of this ignorance is traceable to “seeing thou has forgotten the law of thy God”. Why did the people forget the law of God? It is simply because they rejected knowledge. Any man that scoffs at continuous acquisition of knowledge is headed for destruction.

This doctrine of ‘once saved forever saved’ also referred to the doctrine of eternal security is upheld and supported by its proponents who argue that eternal life is guaranteed to those who have confessed their sins in repentance and accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Lord and personal savior, only once, and whatever life they live, not withstanding, even a life full of unrighteousness and iniquity thereafter, they are guaranteed eternal life. In other words, they propound that all that one needs is a one-time confession of sins and acceptance of Christ but thereafter, even when one continues to wallow in sin, that, to them, is immaterial. And I think that is an error from the pit of hell! Have they forgotten that continuous effort needed to be made to uphold one’s salvation, every moment?

Work out your salvation with fear and trembling…

After much investigation and study into their erroneous belief, I discovered that these half-done believers tripped and slipped, and fell because they lack requisite knowledge  of God’s word. Most of them misinterpret a popular scripture in 1 John 3:9 and allow the devil twist it to them as he did to Eve. They have forgotten that the word of God is not subject to interpretation but revelation and inspiration. They forget that the flesh would always want to interpret God’s word to suit its lustful desires but only the spirit of God can reveal the mind of God. So, these ecclesiastical misfits now turn the word of God on its head to suit their own already faltered position and fallen state and the fact that the enemy of their soul who wished them eternal condemnation in hell, has turned their head downward and their legs upwards. They are now walking with their head downwards and their legs upwards. They are now walking by sight and not by faith anymore. Their spiritual sense organs are now turned upside down and inside out and they can no longer hear ‘the warning whistle of the hunter’. They can no longer hear God speak. They are spiritually insensitive  and non-receptive to spiritual signals. Hence, they misinterpret, misrepresent and are now spiritually dis-informed and deformed.  They are cut off from the area of coverage of spiritual signal. “I will also reject thee…”. I will also forget thy children”. God warned such people!

The doctrine of “once saved forever saved’ is a doctrine brewed in and propagated by the pit of hell and a grave error sponsored against the unscrupulous copy-cats in the church of God through some church leaders who had already fallen out of grace but are still struggling to be relevant in the ecclesiastical arena. Instead of these graceless men of God to, like David, admit their faults and come to God in penitence and broken, contrite heart, by humbling themselves and coming off their high horses, they take to preaching heresies and fallacies and wallowing in hypocrisy.

“And thou, Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart and with a willing mind: for the LORD searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him, he will be found of thee; but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever.” (1 Chron. 28:9)

In the scripture above, God warned King Solomon against apostasy, a total falling away or desertion of the faith and true religion. (Read Deut. 13:13; Deut. 32:15-18; 1 Tim. 4:1-2)

As I earlier mentioned that these so-called men of God who fell out of grace but refused to repent and had lost touch with the spirit of God, capitalize on 1 John 3:8 which says that, “whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him, and he cannot sin, because he is born of God”. They have also forgotten that verse 8 of the same 1 John 3 also states that “he that commiteth sin is of the devil, for the devil sinneth from the beginning…”

They should be reminded that any man who is genuinely born of God and has been born of water (the word of God) and the Spirit (the Holy Spirit of God), the spirit of newness, should no longer live in sin. (John 3:5-6).

They also need to be reminded that they have not only sinned but have transgressed the commandment of God, the latter which attracts weightier and sorer punishment than the former.

And that servant, which knew his lord’s will, and prepared not himself, neither did according to his will, shall be beaten with many stripes. But he that knew not, and did commit things worthy of stripes, shall be beaten with few stripes. For unto whomsoever much is given, of him shall be much required: and to whom men have committed much, of him they will ask the more. (Luke 12:47-48)

Their acrobatic shows in their ‘Tower of Babel’ which they call church in order to deceive the people, nonetheless, will not put them in the good book of God, unless they genuinely repent (2 Chron. 7:14; Matth. 7:22-23; Ezek. 33:12-20)

Remain blest!


The Dangers of Lustful Desires and How to Overcome (Part 3)

We would continue in our series of the dangers of lustful desires and how to overcome them in this concluding part 3. In the previous parts 1 and 2, we basically looked at the 3 categories of lust and examples of those who were drawn away by their own lust at one time or the other. In this concluding part, we want to consider how to overcome lustful desires.

How to Overcome Lustful Desires

Every problem definitely has a solution but when the solution is yet to be discovered and appropriately applied, the problem continues to ravage the sufferer.

Spiritual problems demand spiritual approach. When Lucifer attacked Jesus in the wilderness cajoling Him to turn stone to bread, that was a spiritual problem and Jesus approached it spiritually. So, for one to overcome excessive lustful desires that is able to kill man spiritually and disconnect him completely from God, one has to take spiritual steps to tackle it. Hence, these steps to overcoming lustful desires outlined below would suffice:

The Word of God

Immersing oneself in the Word of God is the first step to overcoming lustful desires in whatever form the thought of such inordinate affection projects into one’s mind. This involves familiarizing oneself with the Bible, the written Word of God, in order to know the mind of God concerning any issue. When Satan came to tempt Jesus on three different occasions, if not by the accumulation of God’s Word in Him (which Adam and Eve could not retain in their spirit), maybe, Jesus would have failed and ended up like Adam and Eve too. But for His knowledge of the Word of God and its appropriate application, Jesus conquered. Even when the wicked one came and twisted the same Word, Jesus, being filled with the knowledge of the Word, was able to dish out to Satan the true mind of God concerning the situation at hand.

Correct Application of God’s Word

It is one thing to be filled with and full of God’s Word, it is another thing to be able to appropriately apply it and on target too. It is not just enough to know how to shoot a gun but to be able to shoot on target. Eve had the Word of God in her when the tempter came to appeal to her sense of sight but she could not apply it appropriately. The tempter came twisting the Word of God to her but she could not correctly appropriate it. She eventually fell and that signaled the beginning of eternal woe and condemnation on man. But thank God for Jesus Christ who, by the divine arrangement and plan of God, came to rectify, recover and restore all the blunders that transpired in the Garden of Eden that led to man’s loss of dominion and authority.

Infilling of the Holy Spirit

The Holy Spirit is the spirit of wisdom and inspiration (Prov. 8). The Holy Spirit is the one who teaches us and brings all things to our remembrance (John 16:13; 14:26). So, only a man who is full of the Holy Spirit can regurgitate God’s Words in time of need and able to apply them correctly and appropriately too. Adam and Eve were not fully filled with the Holy Spirit even though they had a measure of the Spirit of God breathed into Adam when he was formed and activated by the same Spirit to live. But the fullness of the indwelling of the Spirit came with and through Jesus Christ and so we, in our dispensation, stand a better chance of being filled with the fullness of the Spirit of God and of Christ, the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us to teach and remind us all necessary scriptures in time of trials, temptation and tribulation.

Self-control

This is one of the components of the fruit of the Holy Spirit mentioned in Galatians 5:22-23 and it is simply a moderation in the indulgence of the appetites and passions. Self-control, birthed by the presence of the Holy Spirit in man, helps to put the 3 greatest urges in check. These include the urge for food, sex and sleep.

Daniel was able to put his urge for food under control (Dan. 1:8-16), he became the President of presidents and prince of princes in a foreign land called Babylon. Joseph was able to put his urge for sex under control (Gen. 39:7-12) and he became the Prime Minister in a foreign land called Egypt. David put his urge for sleep under check; he became a man after God’s heart and a king who never lost a battle just because he preferred to worship God in the midnight time than sleeping away his destiny (Ps. 132:3-5). Our Saviour and Lord Jesus Christ was able to exercise control over self and He was lifted above the world (Philip. 2:6-11).

May the fruit of the Holy Spirit be released to you and me today so that, that same fruit can germinate and grow and fully blossom such that, like Daniel, Joseph, David and Jesus the Christ, we can rule our world. Remember, righteousness exalts a nation… (Prov. 14:34).

Remain blest!


The Dangers of Lustful Desires and How to Overcome (Part 2)

The dangers of lust and how to overcome

In part 1 of this series on the dangers of lustful desires and how to overcome, we looked at the 3 different categories of lust. Now, we would consider few examples of Bible characters who allowed their lusts to draw them away.

One example in the Bible who allowed lust of the eyes to destroy his career, destiny and ministry is Gehazi. In 2 Kings 5:1-16, God used great Prophet Elisha to heal the leprosy of Naaman, a great man and captain of the host of Syria. Naaman offered gifts to the Prophet after his healing but the man of God rejected them and refused to gratify the desires of the flesh. The prophet did not allow the glory due to God to be monetized and materialized and given to him, a mere mortal. He rejected the gifts. But Gehazi could not resist the lust in him and was tempted to go back to collect the rejected gift items from Naaman. He allowed himself to be drawn away into destruction and eternal generational curse because of his uncontrollable desire for worldly things.

“But Gehazi, the servant of Elisha the man of God, said, Behold, my master hath spared Naaman this Syrian, in not receiving at his hands that which he brought: but, as the LORD liveth, I will run after him, and take somewhat of him. So Gehazi followed after Naaman. And when Naaman saw him running after him, he lighted down from the chariot to meet him, and said, Is all well? And he said, All is well. My master hath sent me, saying, Behold, even now there be come to me from mount Ephraim two young men of the sons of the prophets: give them, I pray thee, a talent of silver, and two changes of garments. And Naaman said, Be content, take two talents. And he urged him, and bound two talents of silver in two bags, with two changes of garments, and laid them upon two of his servants; and they bare them before him. And when he came to the tower, he took them from their hand, and bestowed them in the house: and he let the men go, and they departed.” (2 Kings 5:20-24)

Gehazi had all the opportunity in the world to inherit a four-times portion of Elisha’s anointing if he had not allowed himself to be destroyed by lust of the eyes. Elisha was the servant of Elijah just like Gehazi was the servant of Elisha. Elisha got the double portion of Elijah’s anointing because he was steadfast, diligent and of high integrity. Similarly, at Elisha’s departure, there could have been the possibility of Gehazi requesting and obtaining four portions of his master’s anointing but for covetousness bred by lust of the eyes. He, and all his generations to come after him, ended up as lepers. What a pity!

The last deadly and destructive category of lust mentioned in 1 Peter 2:16 is the pride of life. This mostly manifests through accumulation and acquisition of both secular and religious titles and positions that may be unnecessary and irrelevant to their specific calls. Obsessive quest for fame, recognition, beauty, untamed talents, positions, power, riches and all vain pleasures and achievements that make them end up being puffed up and wanting to take the place of God anywhere they find themselves. That is the nature of Lucifer and that is what drove him out of heaven. Pride! (Isaiah 14:12-17; Ezekiel 28:11-19). Men who pursue after these things have forgotten that all is vanity (Eccl. 1:2).

I have personally seen those I refer to ecclesiastical ‘gangsters’ parading themselves as men of God and carrying titles like ‘evangelist so and so’ but who have more of pastoral calling than what they claim to be. It is obvious they are just called to be pastors or overseers as the case may be but because they are title-drunk, they prefer to address themselves and be addressed as ‘evangelist so and so’, so that they can be more respected and revered by their congregation. I have also seen some addressing themselves as ‘Apostle so and so’, but sincerely, they cannot tell where they are sent to and what they are sent to do. They cannot even tell where they started from or who mentored them. These are nothing but title-drunk religious touts and marabouts parading themselves about, whom, according to Apostle Paul, warning in 2 Timothy 3:1-7:

This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good, Traitors, heady, high minded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

And also Apostle Peter describing such religious gangsters in 2 Peter 2:14-15,

“Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children: which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;”

Examples of men who allowed the pride of life ruin their destiny, career and ministry include King Herod who refused to ascribe glory and honour to the King of kings, the God of heaven and the earth, the one who enthroned Herod himself as king, but arrogated power and God’s glory to himself. He died suddenly and eaten up by worm instantly. King Herod never fulfilled purpose.

And upon a set day Herod, arrayed in royal apparel, sat upon his throne, and made an oration unto them. And the people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man. And immediately the angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory: and he was eaten of worms, and gave up the ghost.” (Acts 12:21-23)

Others who allowed pride consume and destroy them in their prime include King Nebuchadnezzar who disdained God by ascribing power and authority to himself in Daniel 4:21-23 and ended up a beast in the bush as recorded in Daniel 4:32-33. Daniel recanted this again to Belshazzar, the son of Nebuchadnezzar who also toed the line of his father in Daniel 5: 17-24 and fell into the same trap of pride when he, together with the heathens in his palace, used the vessels his father confiscated from the temple of God in Jerusalem, and messed them up by eating and drinking with them thereby desecrating those sanctified vessels ceremonially meant for the temple use in worship of the almighty God. King Belshazzar died that same night he desecrated those temple items because of pride. He refused to learn from the mistake of his father, even though his father had the privilege of being restored after his penitence and repentance, having recognized the God of heaven.

What about king Herod of Egypt who perished with his chariots and horsemen in the red sea because of pride and haughtiness of heart? (Exo. 14:26-28).

Pride goeth before destruction, and an haughty spirit before a fall.” (Prov. 16:18)

We all should be careful about how we live and run our lives so that we could escape the dangers of excessive and uncontrollable desires called lust that is capable of making one fall from grace to grass like those we read about in the Bible.

(To be continued in Part 3)

Remain blest!

The Dangers of Lustful Desires and How to Overcome (Part 1)

The dangers of lustful desires and how to overcome them will be in the limelight in this study. The world we live in is full of beautiful things that may arouse in one lustful, uncontrollable desires to own them since human wants are insatiable. Every human being, born after the order of Adam, has this uncontrollable desire called lust inherited from Lucifer who fell from glory as a result of one of the three most powerful lusts – the pride of life. So, it is not strange to see a man wanting to own everything his eyes desire even if it means him committing the worst crime in order to own them. That is why it is called lust – excessive, uncontrollable desire.

“Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever.” (1 John 2:15-17)

Lust is one of the weapons in the armory of the enemy of man, Lucifer, and right from the time of Adam and Eve up until now, that weapon is still paramount in his arsenal. We can see the story of the fall of man in Genesis 3:1-7 but worthy of note is verse 6.

“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.” (Gen. 3:6)

Lucifer aroused lust in Eve through her sense of sight and appealed to Eve to eat the forbidden fruit against the instruction of God. Eve eventually succumbed to the appeal of Lucifer, and immediately she saw that the fruit was pleasant to the eyes, she could not resist the urge to eat.

Similarly, this dangerous weapon of Lucifer called lust was also deployed by him against Jesus Christ when, having fasted for forty days and nights in the wilderness before the commencement of his ministry, was hungry and must have needed food so badly. Even though Satan appealed to His need for food, Jesus objected to the offer of turning stone into bread in order to gratify and pacify his flesh and hunger.

Having failed in his scheme, the Devil again tried to appeal to his need for comfort and luxury by showing him all the beautiful but perishable things people run after, just as he did to Eve in the Garden of Eden where he used subtlety and cunning craftiness to snatch authority and dominion from man.

“Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding high mountain, and sheweth him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them;” (Matt. 4:8)

He was out again to do the same thing with Christ to snatch authority and dominion from him.

First, he appealed to the need of Jesus Christ for food  by smooth-talking him into turning stone into bread, contrary to God’s will at that moment – Jesus was not to live on bread at that moment; he was to fast and satisfy God’s demand by obeying God’s word, but not to eat bread. To Christ, even though the urge for food at that point was highly irresistible since he was already hungry and famished, physical food was not his priority, but the spiritual food – living by the word of God.

Secondly, even though Jesus Christ had power to turn stone into bread, having been on fasting already for forty days and nights, it will be tantamount to fulfilling the lust of the flesh by eating food, and also, exhibiting the pride of life by showing to Satan he actually had power to do his bidding. This is wisdom displayed! So, as simple as the whole drama appeared to be, Satan was only trying to pitch Jesus against God so the Redeemer could fail in his work of redemption. Satan wanted the Redeemer to fail like Adam, but he was wrong. The Word of God prevailed!

The Three Classes of Lust

The first type of lust mentioned in 1 Pet. 2:16 is the lust of the flesh and Satan has been cunningly appealing to the minds of people just as he did to Eve and Jesus Christ to do those things that only gratify the flesh.

“When you follow the desires of your sinful nature, the results are very clear: sexual immoralities (adultery, fornication, lesbianism, homosexuality, bestiality, etc) impurity, lustful pleasures, idolatry, sorcery, hostility, quarreling, jealousy, outbursts of anger, selfish ambition (unnecessary quests for secular and religious titles and positions), dissension, division, envy, drunkenness, wild parties,, and other sins like these.” (Gal. 519-21 NLT, emphasis mine).

Other flesh-gratifying habits can include living on stimulants or mind-bending substances such as cocaine, marijuana, heroin and other dangerous drugs.

An example of one character in the Bible that the devil almost ruined his career and ministry because of the lust of the flesh is King David. After he became a fulfilled man, he allowed pleasure aggravated by lust of his flesh to overwhelm him. As a king who could have many wives by even marrying virgins if he so wished, he still allowed the burning, unquenchable lust in him to make him commit adultery with an already married woman, Bathsheba the wife of Uriah. But thank God, he obtained mercy and found grace and was restored after rigorous prayers and fasting. He survived! But many like him had not been so lucky.

The second category of lust mentioned in our anchor text in 1 Peter 2:16 is the lust of the eyes. This can include obsession with fashion, excessive acquisition of wealth, cars, properties and other beautiful and irresistible things like gold and other expensive jewelries. Satan stupidly wanted to use this to entice Jesus Christ who, indisputably, formed, made and own all things, including what Satan was claiming to belong to him. Only Jesus Christ has the divine patent rights to everything in creation.

All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.” (John 1:3)

Many today have been drawn away from God because of this lust of the eyes through temptation from Satan dangling “all the glory of the earth” before them and promising to give it to them. Many have inadvertently and ignorantly ensnared their soul to Satan for perishable and worthless wealth and materialism.

“But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and raiment let us be therewith content. But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows. But thou, o Man of God, flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness.” (1 Tim. 6: 6-11)

(To be continued)

Remain blest!