Author Archive thefellowship

Many Mansions? John 14:2-3

Many Mansions? John 14:2 

I want to treat a verse of scripture that we’re very familiar with but with a little revelation into what it truly means.

Father I thank you for another opportunity to reveal your word to your people, may it edify them in Jesus name, Amen.

My main text will be taken from John 14:2 and it reads

“In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”

I grew up as a young Christian to learn that Jesus said in that verse above that every born again believer is entitled to a mansion in heaven; It was very exciting to know, but really, was that what the Lord said?

Let’s take a closer look at it. It starts with “…In my Father’s house are many mansions…”

Note: Jesus was still here on earth physically, yet He made that statement. Meaning, at the time He was speaking, there were already “Mansions” in His Father’s house in heaven. But who are the occupants of the mansions? We already know that there is the Godhead, Father, Son and the Holy Ghost. Could it be that they have their own different mansions? The scripture doesn’t say any such thing. So what mansion was Jesus referring to that He wanted to go prepare? The fact is He never said anything like that. What He said was “I go to prepare a place for you.” Not a mansion, “A PLACE.”

Jesus is not telling us that heaven has compartments or that we will have individual places in which to live. In the ancient Jewish culture, a rich father’s house was where the extended family lived. Rooms were often added on as the family grew through birth and marriage.  What Jesus was doing was using their present day illustration of a loving, tight, family community.  So, Jesus is saying that He is preparing a place in His Father’s house not places or mansions for us in heaven where we will dwell with God.

Verse 3 says “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” So where is Jesus now?

We will answer that question in a short while. For now let me back up a bit. First you need to understand this; the Church is what I have chosen to call the trump card of God. Why would I say a thing like that though? Well, none of the prophets of old had any incline concerning The Church. Some knew and prophesied about the coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ but not the Church.

The prophet Isaiah even talked about it but did not have the revelation of what he talked about. God gave him a prophesy concerning the Church saying “Even unto them will I give in mine house and within my walls a place and a name better than of sons and of daughters: I will give them an everlasting name, that shall not be cut off.” Isaiah 56:5. Did you notice the words “MINE HOUSE” and “A PLACE” like Jesus said? “In my Father’s house are many mansions… I go to prepare a place for you.”

For me it’s another pointer to the Omniscience nature of God. When all else fails like they surely would, the “THE TRUMP CARD” delivers “the goods”.

But first let me flow you the gist a bit, just in case there is someone reading this that does not know it.

Israel messed up; they rejected Jesus according to the scriptures. We the Gentiles were not regarded as the people of God in any way, but Israel’s rejection of Jesus gave us the opportunity to be grafted in and become the children of God. Romans 11: 19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in. So God played “THE TRUMP CARD” in the person of Jesus.

Again, scriptures say in Acts 13: 46 “Then Paul and Barnabas waxed bold, and said, It was necessary that the word of God should first have been spoken to you (The Jews) but seeing ye put it from you, and judge yourselves unworthy of everlasting life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles.”  Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 11:20a “Well; because of unbelief they (Israel) were broken off…”

That unbelief paved way for us the Gentiles “…Which in time past were not a people, but are now the people of God: which had not obtained mercy, but now have obtained mercy.” 1 Peter 2:10

Romans 9:25-26 “As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved.  And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.

Don’t forget, Jesus told us in John 4: 23 “But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.” God is out seeking for true worshipers to worship Him in Spirit and in truth.

After Adam had failed God Genesis 18:19. Israel was chosen to be that “worshiper” Exodus 24-35. Before Adam, it was Lucifer who thought because of all the beauty and the paraphernalia of worship that God gave him; he could equate himself with God. Isaiah 14:12-15. Of cause you know what befell him and in retaliation he tried messing up God’s next project, Adam. But God came to Adam’s rescue, in sending His only begotten Son Jesus to deal with the situation.

But like I said earlier, Adam messed up in the Garden of Eden. Mankind in general was a total reject, contaminated by sin through Adam’s mess in the garden “Wherefore, as by one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned” Romans 5:12 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23 there was nothing God could do with the unserviceable degenerate humanity had joyfully embraced and wallowing in it. He decided to wipe out the whole lot with flood Genesis 7:4 and repopulate the earth with a new set of people, Noah’s family. Genesis 9:1 A new beginning, yet man will not cease from evil. They were no different since that original sin had not been dealt with. “…I will not again curse the ground any more for man’s sake; for the imagination of man’s heart is evil from his youth; …” Genesis 8:21

There was a big hiatus between God and humanity. Humanity became Godless – again. From the time Adam was thrown out of the garden to the flood and after the flood till eventually when Abram was found, man generally ruled himself -without God.

Some ten generations later, after the flood, God found a man He could trust in Abram the son of Terah. “…the LORD had said unto Abram, Get thee out of thy country, and from thy kindred, and from thy father’s house, unto a land that I will shew thee:”

God had to create for Himself a people that will be called by His name. But He needed a man that can be trusted to pass on the instruction of the Lord to his children. Abraham qualified “And the LORD said, Shall I hide from Abraham that thing which I do; Seeing that Abraham shall surely become a great and mighty nation, and all the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him? For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham that which he hath spoken of him.” Genesis 18: 17-19.

Over time the nation of Israel was born. Like the typical man, they were rebellious. They wanted to rule themselves like the other Godless nations of the earth; they wanted their own king. “Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah, And said unto him, Behold, thou art old, and thy sons walk not in thy ways: now make us a king to judge us like all the nations. 1 Samuel 8:4-5

This was way back from when they came out of Egypt. 1 Samuel 8:6-7 “But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said, Give us a king to judge us. And Samuel prayed unto the LORD. And the LORD said unto Samuel, Hearken unto the voice of the people in all that they say unto thee: for they have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not reign over them.”

In His loving kindness and faithfulness nature, God still went on to fulfil His side of the promise He made in the Garden of Eden. Genesis 3:15.

Jesus came but they rejected Him as God’s provision for their problem John 1:11 “He (Jesus) came unto his own, and his own received him not.” repeating what they had told God the Father years ago as recorded in the scriptures I shared with you above.

Since this was all a process to achieving a goal, True worship in Spirit and in Truth, God temporarily moved His attention to the rest of the rejected ungodly world to give them an opportunity for a choice to worship God. Romans 11: 19 Thou wilt say then, The branches were broken off, that I might be graffed in.

Apostle Paul was the one chosen to reveal the mystery of the Church, the bride of The Christ. You can read the whole of Ephesians chapter 2 but I’ll pick out a few verses to talk about.

Ephesians 2:11 “Wherefore remember, that ye being in time past Gentiles in the flesh, who are called Uncircumcision by that which is called the Circumcision in the flesh made by hands; That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:”

“How come there were people without God, wasn’t it God that created them?” You may ask.

Mmmmm, I will answer that question like this. Adam and Eve were the only humans God created. Every other human was formed in sin in their mother’s womb and were born. So no, God did not create them, they were born. Genesis 5:3 says “And Adam lived an hundred and thirty years, and begat a son in his own likeness, after his image; and called his name Seth” Not after the Image and Likeness of God but after the image and likeness of the sinful and fallen Adam. Again scripture says in the book of Psalms 51:5 “Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.”

God had to create that opportunity for us the gentiles through Jesus Christ Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God”

Ephesians 2:13 “But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.

18-19 “For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father. Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God

1 Corinthians 1:27 says “But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty”

So like you just read, God extended the “Olive branch” to us the Gentiles for an opportunity to be part of what He had designed originally -for Himself.

John 1:12 “But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name” Son of God, just like Jesus. So, now let me go back to that earlier question, “Where is the place” that Jesus promised to go and prepare? Let’s take it from that scripture in John 14:2 “In my Father’s house are many mansions…” Father’s HOUSE? Does it ring a bell?

Now Pay Close Attention to what you are about to read:

Didn’t the scriptures say Adam was originally created in the IMAGE AND LIKENESS of God? Meaning he was just like his creator even physically. After the fall, God did not change Adam’s configuration. It was his nature that became corrupt but Jesus restored that original nature. Our bodies became the HOUSE we live in. 2 Corinthians 5:1-2 “For we know that if our EARTHLY HOUSE of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed upon with our house which is from heaven”

Our body is called our “Earthly house” as we can see from the scripture above. 2 Corinthians 5:3-4 gives you the full picture. Not just that, our body is referred to as the temple of God as well. That means the dwelling place of God. “What? know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own” 1 Corinthians 6:19

Jesus made reference to His body being a Temple as well. “Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days? But he spake of the temple of HIS BODY.” John 2:19-21

“Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” 1Peter 2:5

Now get this. If God made man in His image and likeness and the body of man is called a “house” and a “temple” in the Bible, Jesus comes into the picture and refers to His earthly body as a “temple” as well. I put it to you that Jesus was talking about the “body” of God the Father when He made that statement “In my Father’s house…”  John 14:2.

“For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” Colossians 3:3. Let me rephrase using the word “HOUSE”. “Your house is a smouldering wreck, but you are concealed with Christ in the magnificently impressive household of GodHis MANSION, like that of the rich powerful ruler I talked about at the beginning of this write-up.

“Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God” Ephesians 2:19 now we have become qualified to be not just members but fellow citizens with the other saint gone before us and of HOUSEHOLD (BODY-MANSION?) OF GOD. You live inside a house don’t you?

Remember in the Old Testament, the Ark of the Covenant represented the presence of God.  David was so much in love with God when he thought of building a house to contain the Ark of the Covenant seeing that he lived in a house made from cedar wood but the Ark was in a tent. God stopped him saying he was a “bloody man” of war but that his son Solomon will do the building. 2 Samuel 7:1-17

Solomon set up a beautiful place for the Ark. That was where they had the Holy of Holies, bottom line, the “presence” of God. It became more or less the PHYSICAL HOUSE OF GOD, His “BODY” if you please, here on earth since God cannot be seen. That gave birth to calling the place of worship the “house” of God today.

So, again, where is that “PLACE” that Jesus talked about? Simple, I believe the place Jesus talked about is IN HIM.

Do not forget, when Jesus made that statement He had not gone to the Cross. And no sacrifice had been made yet by Him at the Cross. Jesus had to prepare a place in HIM by paying for our sin on the Cross of Calvary. He made the provision for you and I in Him. He made the PLACE available for us all. That is why all scriptures concerning the Church receiving anything from God will always have the phrase “IN HIM” Jesus said “Verse 3 says “And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” Did you get that? “receive you unto myself” not INTO MY FATHER’S HOUSE but “receive you unto myself” –IN HIM, UNTO HIMSELF.

“Wait a minute bro, does that mean there are no mansions for anybody in heaven? If so, does that then mean we’ll all cram ourselves into one place, the body of Christ?” You may ask. My answer? Yes, very correct. Some will form the hand, arm, legs stomach etc. But seriously really, did the Lord Jesus say you were going to heaven? I really don’t recall any scripture like that but what I know is that He did promise we will be with Him –always, wherever He may be. “…that where I am, there ye may be also…” John 14:3

For now He is in heaven but when His kingdom starts, we will be with Him, HERE ON THE EARTH at least for a thousand years. “And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.” Revelation 5:10

The thing is, we are already IN HIM. The scriptures say in Act 17:28a “For in him we live, and move, and have our being…”

Ephesians 2: 4-6 “But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love wherewith he loved us, Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved) And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus

Now let me ask you. The scripture say you are already IN HIM seated in heavenly places but you’re still here on earth. Has it stopped you from carrying out your daily chores? I don’t think so. IN HIM, no fourth member of the Godhead.  The Church does what it was designed to do, PLEASE GOD in worship and praise, this time “IN SPIRIT AND IN TRUTH” “Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 2:5

Do not forget, the main reason God created man was and still is for His own pleasure NOT YOURS. Revelation 4:11 “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”

Jesus told us when He was here physically on earth that “…the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him.” John 4:23

He said God wants worshipers who will worship Him in spirit and in truth. But the crop of humanity was messed up and unserviceable “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one.” Romans 3:10-12 “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God” Romans 3:23. That made everybody unserviceable.

The scripture says “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.” 1 John 3:8. That was the chief assignment of Jesus. Destroy the works of the devil so He can recreate man, a new set of people.

“Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

If God was going to create a new set of people, they have to be totally different from the rest, one that has never been and will never be after the doors are shut at the rapture. One that will be HUMBLE and OBEDIENT, willing to do His will. One that is specifically designed for His pleasure -WORSHIP.

 “…ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” 1 Peter 2:9

“Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” Titus 2:14

 “And without controversy great is the mystery of godliness: God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory” 1Timothy 3:16. God the Son had to show the example, wear the mortal flesh of man in the person of Jesus to go through the death of the Cross and once that was done in humility and obedience;

 “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” Philippians 2:8 He more or less “earned” the trust of God the Father.

 “Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again.” John 10:17

God had to make sure that all these vicissitudes and prevarications exuding from the vacillations of an erstwhile impeachable godlike creature messed up by Satan came to an end once and for all. He then made Jesus the head of the Church as a reward for His obedience to die on the cross and be raised the third day.  The Church was made His mystical body. The whole story can be found in Ephesians 1:17-23

There is a lot to say about this topic but I will stop about here. If you want to read more on this, and why God had to place us in Christ, please check for the title “Never Again” on this website.

In conclusion, where is the place that Jesus talked about? The place is IN HIM and we are seated together with Him in heavenly places by the right Hand of God the Father. Scriptures tell us in

Ephesians 2:6 “And hath raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus”

Hebrews 12: 2 “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Amen.

Shalom (Peace)
Vince Ok
Your Personal Person (YPP)

Remember, Faith Is Not Faith Unless It’s All You’re Hanging Unto!!!

Draw Closer To God

Draw Closer To God

Father God, help us to be more submissive to you in Jesus Name, Amen.

I hope you had a good week? I thank God. Even if you didn’t, whatever happened the fact is you are still here. So I thank God for your life and for a new day. You have overcome. Amen, hallelujah!

I want to encourage us to get closer to our Father, God. One of the things that will help you pull through in life is your fellowship with your father in heaven and obedience to His word, get to know Him more.

Hebrews 10:22 says “Let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. (Pure water here means The word of God as in Ephesians 5:26) notice it says “let us” meaning, you have a part to play. You have to consciously draw closer to God for your own good. In Proverbs. 18:10 it says “The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe” you the righteous still has to do the running into to be safe.

The word translated safe is the Hebrew word “sagab”, pronounced saw-gab’ one of the translated phrases says it’s to be “especially inaccessible” THAT MEANS NO ACCESS TO ANY DISCOMFORT. But you have a part to play.

Let’s examine a popular scripture that I know we are very familiar with. Encapsulated in it is the nugget of truth to drawing close. It’s found in the book of Matthew 6:31-33 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, With what shall we be clothed? For after all these things do the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.

What does it mean to seek first the kingdom of God? How do you do it? There is much to this, but the following goes into just one aspect of it. There are three main things here, “the KINGDOM”, “the RIGHTEOUSNESS” and then “THE REWARDS”.

We often go after the “rewards” once we claim to be born again, the prosperity message. As a matter of fact, there is nothing wrong with that. It is part of your right as a child of God. The problem is the position we place it on our priority list. “KINGDOM, REWARDS before RIGHTEOUSNESS. That is desperately wrong.

First, when you got born again you got into the KINGDOM. The scripture says that your need can be met if you seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness. It’s like bread and butter. They go best together.
You study the scriptures (2 Timothy 2:15) to learn about your Saviour and get closer to Him thereby building up your FAITH IN HIM. You grow in HIS GRACE and IN THE KNOWLEDGE OF OUR LORD AND SAVIOUR JESUS CHRIST, (2 Peter 3:18)  As you get closer to the Heart of God through your closeness to the scriptures in humility and yieldedness to His will, the word cleanses you, making you a better person with more of the attributes of God (His Righteousness). You will desire and hunger for Him to the extent that your heart like Paul will cry out “That I may know Him and the power of His Resurrection” Philippians 3:10 When you “Delight yourself in the Lord, He gives you your heart’s desire”  Psalm 37:4

What does this really mean? Look at it this way. It is like being a member of a family; naturally your first allegiance is to your family. You have them in mind when you plan and do things. Many of us put this into practice by reading the Bible and praying first thing in the morning. Many even get up earlier so they have time to do this.

For many people, though, it ends there. They go about the rest of the day and do not even think about God. But wait, what happens when we get up late? What usually get cut? It’s the Bible reading and prayer time. “I will do it later” we say, right? But that time is lost! All lost to the hustle and bustle of the city life. You come back at night, with all intent and purposes. You want to pray. You make the mistake of kneeling beside your bed. You lean on the bed and gradually put your head on the mattress.  You probably start off by thanking God for the day. The next thing you know is the alarm clock yanking you back to this planet; it is 5am the next day. Oh my God, “this city life” you muse. The worst part is you have to do the rounds again. What a vicious cycle! But we can do better.

Instead of doing a hurried morning devotion and a fagged out thanks giving at night, you should seek God first in everything you do, all day long. How do you do that? Acknowledge Him, talk to Him, praise Him, (especially in tongues. For your understanding is limited. Romans 8:26-27) and ask Him for help and guidance.

As you are getting ready for the day’s activities, thank God for all that He has given you. Thank Him in advance believing that everything will go smoothly and for good traffic so you make it to work on time and being calm and peaceful when you get there.

At work, school or whatever it is you do, thank Him for it. It may not be the perfect thing you would have loved, but thank Him for it anyway and do your best in it. If you run into a problem/challenge, do not panic, complain or worry, instead confess 2 Timothy 1:7 it says “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

Confess it “God, you have not given me a spirit of fear, but of power, love, and a sound mind help me Lord to know what to do.” Invite Him into that situation.

They say “experience is the best teacher” but I beg to differ. You learn the hard way with experience. It’s the spirit that is the better teacher, better than the best. He will never put you through what you cannot handle. 1 Corinthians 10:13 says it clearly “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who WILL NOT suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” This is all to save us the pain. God is always talking to us, but we are the problem, we do not always listen. Like a radio station transmitting to the people, a radio has to be in good shape and tuned to that particular station to receive a particular transmission. For us, when we do listen, many times we do not obey. So, we need to listen and obey, all day long. Be more sensitive to the Spirit of God.

Seeking God first should also include the plans and goals for your life, your relationships and even your recreation. God has a plan for your life. When followed, that plan will have the best possible outcome. You need to know that God is Love and anything that He has for you is for your best interest. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith the LORD, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you an expected end“ Jeremiah. 29:11

The problem is that many people come up with their own plans and then want God to bless and endorse it. Well, people, it doesn’t work that way. You need to seek God first in your plan making. No singular person was born just to populate the earth. You have a role to play in life and a mission to mankind. Find out what God wants you to do and why you were born then go do it. That is success in life. It’s never too late to start, as long as you are still alive. Whatever it is, let it glorify God.

Get into reading the word for starters. I don’t mean randomly. Start from Genesis to Revelation, in that order. It is the only weapon that can put the devil under for you –the word of God. Even Jesus relied on it. He often said “it is written” It’s is not an uphill task.

There are 66 books in the Bible, 1189 chapters. Many books are less than 5 chapters. If you read 5 chapters a day, you can complete the entire Bible in 7 ½ months. You can do more chapters if you like. Then just watch God take on your battles as you bask in His victory for you.

In conclusion, do not make God part of a list that you do first thing in the morning and then check it off and then go about the rest of your day without Him. Include Him in everything you do. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths. Proverbs 3:6

God bless you.

“Let The Weak Say I Am Strong…”

“Let The Weak Say I Am Strong..”

It’s a good day that the Lord has made so we must rejoice and be glad in it. Father God in obedience to your word, I ask that you guide my thoughts to deliver only what will edify your people so all glory will go to you and remain yours in Jesus Name, Amen.

The title above can be found in the book of Joel 3:10. I met a dear sister sometime ago in the estate where I reside and we exchanged pleasantries. I asked what brought her to my estate at that time of the day. She said she came to meet her husband who was keeping another brother company for the brother was “strong” because he just underwent surgery. So I said “you mean the brother is not feeling well?” So she honestly tried to correct me saying “you don’t say you’re sick when you are but rather say you are strong for that is confessing positive”

Very often you hear children of God make such statements in trying to sound “positive” she cited a song as her authority for her statement.
“Let the weak say, “I am strong” 
Let the poor say, “I am rich”
“Because of what the Lord has done for us”

Now, there are three problems here. First, faith does not deny the reality on ground. But in that situation it speaks the proper scripture to it. Second, only the words “let the weak say I’m strong” appear in the verse. The rest are a man’s contemporary Christian song composition. Third, it is taken out of its correct context and given a new meaning. That is the tragedy of this statement. Any time sentences are taken OUT OF THEIR CONTEXT, it takes on a new meaning, very often contrary to the original meaning.

The big challenge with the people of God is that we are too lazy to delve into reading scriptures let alone studying it. So when a preacher comes up with anything, so long it sounds “spiritual” it must be scripture. Unlike the Barean Christian of old who will always get back to scripture

“And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.” Acts 17:10-11

Let me not tell too much stories, let us read the whole chapter of twenty one verses in a different version from the King James.
1 For, behold, in those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, 2 I will also gather all nations, and will bring them down into the valley of Jehoshaphat, and will plead with them there for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations, and parted my land. 3 And they have cast lots for my people; and have given a boy for an harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they might drink. 4 Yea, and what have ye to do with me, O Tyre, and Zidon, and all the coasts of Palestine? will ye render me a recompence? and if ye recompense me, swiftly and speedily will I return your recompence upon your own head; 5 Because ye have taken my silver and my gold, and have carried into your temples my goodly pleasant things: 6The children also of Judah and the children of Jerusalem have ye sold unto the Grecians, that ye might remove them far from their border. 7 Behold, I will raise them out of the place whither ye have sold them, and will return your recompence upon your own head: 8 And I will sell your sons and your daughters into the hand of the children of Judah, and they shall sell them to the Sabeans, to a people far off: for the LORD hath spoken it. 9 Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles; Prepare war, wake up the mighty men, let all the men of war draw near; let them come up: 10 Beat your plowshares into swords, and your pruninghooks into spears: let the weak say, I am strong. 11 Assemble yourselves, and come, all ye heathen, and gather yourselves together round about: thither cause thy mighty ones to come down, O LORD. 12 Let the heathen be wakened, and come up to the valley of Jehoshaphat: for there will I sit to judge all the heathen round about. 13 Put ye in the sickle, for the harvest is ripe: come, get you down; for the press is full, the fats overflow; for their wickedness is great. 14 Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the LORD is near in the valley of decision. 15 The sun and the moon shall be darkened, and the stars shall withdraw their shining. 16 The LORD also shall roar out of Zion, and utter his voice from Jerusalem; and the heavens and the earth shall shake: but the LORD will be the hope of his people, and the strength of the children of Israel. 17 So shall ye know that I am the LORD your God dwelling in Zion, my holy mountain: then shall Jerusalem be holy, and there shall no strangers pass through her any more. 18 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the mountains shall drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk, and all the rivers of Judah shall flow with waters, and a fountain shall come forth of the house of the LORD, and shall water the valley of Shittim. 19 Egypt shall be a desolation, and Edom shall be a desolate wilderness, for the violence against the children of Judah, because they have shed innocent blood in their land. 20 But Judah shall dwell for ever, and Jerusalem from generation to generation. 21 For I will cleanse their blood that I have not cleansed: for the LORD dwelleth in Zion. Joel 3:1-21.

This passage in this chapter is NOT an invitation to the weak or tired Christian to strengthen themselves; nor is it talking about God’s power perfected in our weakness. God is speaking to Israel’s enemies, threatening judgment. He is in effect saying, “Get ready and bring it on! Turn your plows into swords, and gardening tools into spears. Psych yourselves up. Tell yourselves that you’re strong and come on down! There must be no excuse, let all the feeble and weaklings psych up themselves that they are strong.

God is speaking in judgment to the nations gathered against his people for the final war (Joel 3:9). God mockingly invites the enemies of his people to gather against him, make their weapons and make themselves strong, when in fact they are hopelessly weak before them. Then he promises to destroy them! He is actually mocking the enemies of his people as he invites them to judgment (Joel 3:12-14).

“Ok bro, if that is wrong what scriptures can we use in encouraging ourselves?”You may ask. Well, there are lots that God gave us. I’ll just give you a few here, you must dig into the scriptures to arm yourself with them. The True Scriptural Exhortation could be any of these:
1 Kings 2:2 – “I go the way of all the earth: be thou strong therefore, and shew thyself a man”

1 Chronicles. 15:7 – Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded.”

Isaiah. 35:4 – “Say to them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not: behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompence; he will come and save you.”

Haggai 2:4 – “Yet now be strong, O Zerubbabel, saith the LORD; and be strong, O Joshua, son of Josedech, the high priest; and be strong, all ye people of the land, saith the LORD, and work: for I am with you, saith the LORD of hosts”

Zechariah. 8:9 – “Thus saith the LORD of hosts; Let your hands be strong, ye that hear in these days these words by the mouth of the prophets, which were in the day that the foundation of the house of the LORD of hosts was laid, that the temple might be built.”

1 Corinthians. 16:13 – Watch ye, stand fast in the faith, quit you like men, be strong.”

Ephesians. 5:10 – “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.”

2 Timothy. 2:1 – “Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”

I want to believe you have been able to see the difference, Amen
Shalom (Peace)

Your Personal Person (YPP)
Vince Ok

Can Prayers Change God’s Mind?

Can Prayer Change God’s Mind?

Lord I pray your word would minister life to its readers today to your glory in Jesus name. Amen, Hallelujah! Hope you had a good week? Thank God for mercies.

I will be taking a look at the above title as some Christians sometimes may come to a place in the checkered pavements of their mortal existence and wonder “Does God hear me at all? Then I ask, can prayer change God’s mind? There is no other place for an answer other than from the scriptures. The one that readily comes to mind is found in the book of James.

Confess your faults one to another, and pray one for another, that ye may be healed. The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much.James 5:16

When we pour out our hearts to God in earnest prayer but receive an outcome opposite of what we hoped for, we might wonder: Does prayer change God’s mind at all?

I know Christians generally agree that prayers have powerful effects just as the scripture above says , but whether it changes God’s mind is debatable.

It’s important to critically examine questions like this to arrive at Biblically-sound and educated beliefs. But like the author of the book of Romans wrote:

“O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! how unsearchable are his judgments, and his ways past finding out!” Romans 11:33

Scripture states of God “For I am the Lord, I change not…” Malachi 3:6 but there is nowhere teaches that God is unable to change in any respect as in his intentions, experiences etc…  And it teaches that God sometimes chooses not to change his mind as recorded in Numbers 23:19; 1 Samuel 15:29; Ezekiel 24:14; Zechariah 8:14 but never that he cannot change his mind.

Most people agree God does not always change His mind in response to prayers.

But is it true that some prayers of God’s people in the Bible did influence His decisions?

Let us check out some Scriptures

Throughout the Old Testament, the children of Israel repeatedly turned away from God and angered Him to the point that He threatened to destroy them. In desperation, Moses intervened on their behalf and pleaded with the Lord to withhold the destruction He had planned. Time and time again, God answered Moses’ prayers with mercy and chose not to bring about the destruction He had threatened.

For example, in Exodus 32 the Israelites created a golden calf and worshipped it in place of God. The Lord in his fury threatened to destroy His people (Exodus 32:10 ). Moses threw himself at God on behalf of the Israelites, pleading for Him to relent:

“Change your mind about this terrible disaster you have threatened against your people!” (Exodus 32:12 NLT).In his unfailing mercy, “12 Wherefore should the Egyptians speak, and say, For mischief did he bring them out, to slay them in the mountains, and to consume them from the face of the earth? Turn from thy fierce wrath, and repent of this evil against thy people.” Exodus 32:12

What would have happened if Moses had not turned to God in prayer?

Therefore he said that he would destroy them, had not Moses his chosen stood before him in the breach, to turn away his wrath, lest he should destroy them.” Psalms 106:23

Even the Psalms imply that if Moses had not pleaded for God’s mercy on their behalf, the Israelites would have been destroyed. But God in His faithfulness responded to Moses’ pleas and spared His people.

Like the Israelites, the people of Nineveh also experienced God relenting from His plan of destruction after they turned towards Him:

“And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way; and God repented of the evil, that he had said that he would do unto them; and he did it not.” Jonah 3:10

With both the Israelites and the Ninevites, God chose to spare them in response to human prayers and repentance. This decision on God’s part to act a certain way because people cried out to him is, I believe, a recurrent theme throughout the Bible.

Similar examples of God choosing to relent from His plans in response to the prayers and sufferings of people are seen in Numbers 11:1-2; Numbers 14:12-20; Numbers 16:20-35, Numbers 41-48; Deuteronomy 9:13-14, Deuteronomy 18-25; Judges 10:13-18, Judges 11 :1-33; 2 Samuel 24:17-25; 1 Kings 21:27-29; 2 Kings 13:3-5; 2 Kings 21:27-29; and 1 Chronicles 21:15.

In both the Old and New Testaments, God responded in mighty ways to the prayers, petitions and needs of His people. He provided incredible military victories against impossible odds, sent rain in the midst of droughts, created food during times of famine, freed slaves from bondage, healed the sick, delivered people from demonic possession, and raised the dead back to life.

Had His people not cried out to Him in prayer, would the outcomes still have been the same?

If you take time to study the scriptures concerning the character and actions of God throughout the Bible, the more you’d notice that God changes His mind and plans in response to the prayers of His people as He sees fit. I believe that is another aspect of Him showing love towards His creatures.

We serve a God who cares deeply for His creation and longs desperately to be in relationship with each of us. Prayer is essential to that relationship, for it is the method by which we talk intimately with Him. I find prayer to be that vehicle that translates us towards that call of intimacy with God.

In other words, because God’s ultimate desire is for us to live in a loving relationship with Him, and because prayer is the means he created in order for that relationship to exist, God might very well determine that some things will only come to pass through prayer.

Ultimately, it’s not about God giving us what we want. It’s about communicating with our Creator and living intimately with Him.

With all that said, however, we will experience times when God answers our prayers with a “no” for reasons beyond our understanding.

Regardless of whether we believe prayer changes God’s mind, if we trust that God is sovereign and that His love always prevails in the end, we can trust that our prayers are not in vain and He is at work redeeming all things even things that look like unanswered prayers, Amen.

“Binding” Satan

“Binding” Satan

 It’s a good day that the Lord has made so we must rejoice and be glad in it. Father God in obedience to your word, I ask that you guide my thoughts to deliver only what will edify your people so all glory will go to you and remain yours in Jesus Name, Amen.

“Satan I bind you” is something that you probably have said or still say in prayers in trying to stop any of Satan’s onslaught.  I used to pray that way too. I mean, after all I’ve heard many great men of God pray that way. But how come I couldn’t find an example in the scriptures? Not with Jesus, not with Paul who wrote about two thirds of the New Testament. But these men must know what they are talking about. I thought that way until the Lord opened my eyes to see where we have missed it all these years.

I found out there are only 3 verses in the whole Bible that this practice is erroneously based on. I say “erroneously” because none of them really have anything to do with “binding Satan” as it is used in these prayers. Now let’s look at the 3 verses:

 

Matthew 12:29 “Or else how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man? and then he will spoil his house.” (Same as in Mark 3:27)

Matthew 16:19 “And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

Mt 18:18 “Verily I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall bind on earth shall be bound in heaven: and whatsoever ye shall loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

 

The problem had always been THE CONTEXT; verses are ALWAYS taken OUT OF CONTEXT. It’s like taking a fish out of water. The resultant effect is death, the fish dies. When a scripture is taken out of context, it simply “dies” loosing its original meaning.

The meaning of Matthew 12:29 is pretty simple. If we back up a bit and take it from verse 22, getting to have the whole context in view. Jesus healed a demon possessed person then the Pharisees accused Him of casting out demons by Satan’s power. They actually told Jesus He was in league with Satan! Jesus refuted this by saying that He was casting out demons by the Spirit of God.

Verse 29 is an illustration Jesus used to show that He was actually superior to Satan, and Satan was a defeated enemy. The “strong man” in this illustration is Satan, his goods are his demons. By entering Satan’s domain (house), and casting out demons (his goods), Jesus is showing His power over Satan.

A parallel verse in Luke 11:21-22 might make this a little clear: “When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils.”

While it is a fact that Jesus has defeated Satan, the Bible clearly tells us that Satan is NOT bound, nor can he be at this time, he is as free as free can be. The Bible says Satan is the “…god and prince of this world…” 2 Corinthians 4:4. How can a prince be bound when he is being who he is supposed to be?

“Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out.” John 12:31. Not bound but cast out, that tells you he is still around.

“Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me.” John 14:30. “Cometh” tells you he is still mobile

and “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:” 1 Peter 5:8. Same here, He “walketh about”

The truth is, Satan will remain free until the 1000 year reign of Christ, when an angel (Not a Man) will bind him and throw him into the bottomless pit

“And I saw an angel (Not a Man) come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.” Revelation 20:1-3.

At the end of the 1000 years, Satan will be set free for a time, before he meets his final, eternal fate in the lake of fire (Revelation 20:7-10).

 

Now let’s look at the scripture verses and The Context in which they were spoken, the scriptures that seem to “authorize” this power to bind and lose. (Matthew 16:19) This was based on the confession of Peter concerning the person of the Christ as the son of God.  The “binding and loosing” in this verse is referring to Jesus giving both Peter and the other disciples the authority to forbid (bind) or permit (loose) certain matters, practices, or behaviour, based on what God has already bound or loosed in Heaven.

Same thing in Matthew 18:18. In this context, a brother had refused to behave like one after several emissaries had gone to him to forgive a matter. In this instance, if we look at the context surrounding the verse, we can see that the “binding and loosing” is referring to God granting the disciples the authority to make decisions in matters of church discipline. So the Lord says to treat such a one like an infidel. Whatever the elders decided on earth here will be held up in heaven. “Whose soever sins ye remit, they are remitted unto them; and whose soever sins ye retain, they are retained.” John 20:23

Just like it’s stated in Matthew 6:10. “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.”

This authority is expressed in two different ways in these verses. In Matthew 16:19, Jesus is speaking to Peter specifically, saying he would be given the keys to the kingdom of heaven. In this instance, I believe that the keys given to Peter were to “build God’s Church” Matthew 16:18 by proclaiming the Gospel to 3 different groups of people:

First the Jews Acts 2:14

Second the Samaritans Acts 8:14-25

Third the Gentiles Acts 10:44-48

Through Peter’s proclamation of the Gospel to each of these groups, the door to the kingdom of Heaven was opened to them. As Christians today, we can also proclaim the same Gospel to others, and “loose” or open the door to the kingdom of Heaven, or our message can be rejected, and therefore the person is “bound.”

In Matthew 18:18, the disciples were given the ability to bind and loose in a different area. God has given the Church today the same authority to “bind and loose” in the area of discipline within the body of believers. When the Church, as a body, prays, uses God’s word to guide it, and is in accordance with God’s will, that decision is ratified in Heaven.

Hopefully with that out of the way, let’s now consider these questions:

1          Many people are “binding” Satan and his demons in prayer. Who is setting them free?

2          If God is binding them, does that mean He can’t keep them “bound?” Or is the “binding” only temporary?

3          Are people to blame for them getting loose (i.e. not enough faith)?

4          Is this why demonic strongholds remain a problem for so many people after they are “bound” in prayer?                        If so, does this mean our actions can override God’s ability to “bind” Satan and his demons?

5          Where does the Bible show any of this?

For those “binding” Satan, keep in mind he is not omnipresent, so he definitely can’t be “bound” by so many people all over the world at the same time.

“But I’m a ‘deliverance minister’ and we bind and loose the devils in ministering to people” you might say. I do not doubt you at all. All I am saying is simple. I cannot find that practice in the scriptures given to us as the Bible. It is simply not there.

Is there any scripture recorded that Jesus “bound” Satan or a demon? I can tell you authoritatively that there is no recorded case of Paul or any of the Apostles binding a demon. Demons or devils were cast out, but never bound. People were set free from bondages Satan held on them, but Satan was never “bound” from their lives.

The apostles faced imprisonment, torture, flogging, and death continually. Why didn’t they just “bind” the demonic activity in the people and regions they traveled instead of facing these attacks?

There are ministries travelling around the world today, going into countries and cities and doing spiritual warfare, binding demonic activity in those areas. Are those cities now free from demonic attack? There are instances and scriptures in the Bible about how we need to protect ourselves against Satanic attack. Why so? Why don’t we just “bind” Satan and his demons and move on?

 

Ephesians 6:11 Tells us to “Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.” Why do we need armour for protection when we can just “bind” him?

The only instruction Christians are given about how to confront the spiritual forces of darkness is found in the book of Ephesians 6:10-18 ”Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints”

In the scripture above notice YOU are the one to “take on” the equipment of war just by faith in the simple word of God.

Now check out the following scriptures

James 4:7 says, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” Why not just “bind” him, and then you won’t have to resist him?

1 Peter 5:8-9 says we need to be alert, vigilant, and resist the devil, because he walks around seeking people to devour. Why be alert and vigilant, just “bind” him, then he can’t devour you.

 

The truth is, if you are in Christ, you already have power over Satan. Christ has destroyed the works of the devil (1 John 3:8). He has triumphed over him (Colossians 2:15) and defeated Satan (Ephesians 4:8).

We can overcome Satan and his demons through faith in the name of JESUS; the Bible never teaches us that we can “bind” demonic forces. Satan and his demons cannot be, nor will they be “bound,” until a future time when God decides, He will keep His promise.

“And I saw an angel (Not a man an Angel) come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.” Revelation 20:1-3

Until that time, let us heed the warnings of the Bible to put on the full armour of God to fight the attacks that inevitably will come to each of us.

In conclusion: You can cast out the DEVIL and his demons that is scriptural, it is the authority the Bible gave us.

But you CANNOT BIND the devil or his demons. We do not have any scriptural authority for that, Amen.

 

 

 

The Seven Dispensations

The Seven Dispensations

I pray the Lord open your eyes of understanding for this information to be a blessing to you in Jesus name. Amen, Hallelujah! Thank God for little mercies He grants us, Amen.

I will be sharing concerning the “mechanism” by which man has used to divide time theologically to explain times and the dealings of God with man. It is called dispensations. There are seven of them found in the Bible. What are the seven dispensations? Dispensationalism like I said is a method of interpreting history that divides God’s work and purposes toward mankind into different periods of time. In this article, we will limit ourselves to the seven basic dispensations found in Scripture.

 

The first dispensation is called Innocence (Genesis 1:28-30 and 2:15-17 ). This dispensation covered the period of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden. In this dispensation God’s commands were to

(1) Replenish the earth with children,

(2) Subdue the earth,

(3) Have dominion over the animals,

(4) Care for the garden, and

(5) Abstain from eating the fruit from the tree of knowledge of good and evil.

God warned of the punishment of physical and spiritual death for disobedience. This dispensation was short-lived and was brought to an end by Adam and Eve’s disobedience in eating the forbidden fruit and their expulsion from the garden.

 

The second dispensation is called Conscience, and it lasted about 1,656 years from the time of Adam and Eve’s eviction from the garden until the flood (Genesis 3:8–8:22). This dispensation demonstrates what mankind will do if left on his own will and conscience, which have been tainted by the inherited sin nature. The five major aspects of this dispensation are

1) A curse on the serpent,

2) A change in womanhood and childbearing,

3) A curse on nature,

4) The imposing of work on mankind to produce food, and

5) The promise of Christ as the seed who will bruise the serpent’s head (Satan).

 

The third dispensation is the called the Human Government, which began in Genesis 8. God had destroyed life on earth with a flood, saving just one family to restart the human race. God made the following promises and commands to Noah and his family:

  1. God will not curse the earth again.
  2. Noah and family are to replenish the earth with people.
  3. They shall have dominion over the animal creation.
  4. They are allowed to eat meat.
  5. The law of capital punishment is established.
  6. There never will be another worldwide flood.
  7. The sign of God’s promise will be the rainbow.

Noah’s descendants did not scatter and fill the earth as God had commanded, thus failing in their responsibility in this dispensation. God also established the law of capital punishment (Genesis 8:1-9:7). About 325 years after the flood, the earth’s inhabitants began building a tower, a great monument to their solidarity and pride (Genesis 11:7-9). God brought the construction to a halt, creating different languages and enforcing His command to fill the earth. The result was the rise of different nations and cultures. From that point on, human governments have been a reality.

 

 

The fourth dispensation, called the Dispensation of Promise, started with the call of Abraham, continued through the lives of the patriarchs, and ended with the Exodus of the Jewish people from Egypt, a period of about 430 years. During this dispensation God developed a great nation that He had chosen as His people (Genesis 12:1 –Exodus 19:25). The basic promise during the Dispensation of Promise was the Abrahamic Covenant. Here are some of the key points of that unconditional covenant:

  1. From Abraham would come a great nation that God would bless with natural and spiritual prosperity.
  2. God would make Abraham’s name great.
  3. God would bless those that blessed Abraham’s descendants and curse those that cursed them.
  4. In Abraham all the families of the earth will be blessed. This is fulfilled in Jesus Christ and His work of salvation.
  5. The sign of the covenant is circumcision.
  6. This covenant, which was repeated to Isaac and Jacob, is confined to the Hebrew people and the 12 tribes of Israel.

 

The fifth dispensation is called Law. It lasted almost 1,500 years, from the Exodus until it was suspended after the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. This dispensation will continue during the Millennium, with some modifications. During the Dispensation of Law, God dealt specifically with the Jewish nation through the Mosaic Covenant, or the Law, found in Exodus 19–23. The dispensation involved temple worship directed by priests, with further direction spoken through the God’s mouthpieces, the prophets. Eventually, due to the people’s disobedience to the covenant, the tribes of Israel lost the Promised Land and were subjected to bondage.

 

The sixth dispensation, the one in which we now live, is of Grace. It began with the New Covenant in Christ’s blood (Luke 22:20). This “Age of Grace” or “Church Age” occurs between the 69th and 70th week of Daniel 9:24 . It starts with the death and resurrection of Christ and ends with the Rapture of the Church (1 Thessalonians 4). This dispensation is worldwide and includes both Jews and the Gentiles. Man’s responsibility during the Dispensation of Grace is to believe in Jesus, the Son of God (John 3:18). Atonement was provided on the cross, once for all, for any who would believe: Abraham’s children are all those who have faith, including Gentiles (or non-Jews) (Hebrews 10:10, 14; Romans 5:1; Romans 3:29-30; Galatians 3:7, 29). In this dispensation the Holy Spirit indwells believers as the Comforter (John 14:16-26). This dispensation has lasted for over 2,000 years, and no one knows when it will end. We do know that it will end with the Rapture of all born-again believers from the earth to go to heaven with Christ. (1 Thessalonians 4:13-18; Revelation 3:10) and then the tribulation, the seven years when those who dwell on the earth will experience God’s judgment, will begin (Daniel 12:1-4; Matthew 24:21-27). The exact timing of the rapture is a subject of great debate, but dispensationalists believe it will happen at the beginning of the seven years. We do know that some people will be saved during the tribulation (Revelation 7:14-17) and that it will end with the battle of Armageddon, when Jesus Christ will return and defeat Satan and any who would follow him into battle (Revelation 19:11—20:3).

 

The seventh and last dispensation is called the Millennial Kingdom of Christ and will last for 1,000 years as Christ Himself rules on earth. The Millennial Kingdom begins with the defeat of Satan (Revelation 20:1-3) and ushers in 1,000 years of peace, where Christ will reign on the earth (Revelation 20:4). This is the fulfillment of many prophecies, declaring that Christ will return and be King. After the 1,000 years are ended, Satan will be released. People will again follow him in a battle against God, and they will be defeated again (Revelation 20:7-10). There will be a final judgment of all people, great and small (Revelation 20:11-15), the old earth and heaven will be destroyed by fire, Satan will be thrown into the lake of fire, and this will begin the Eternal Kingdom, the new heaven and the new earth (Revelation 21 and 22). “He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away” (Revelation 21:4).

No, Not So!!!

No, Not So!!!

Lord I pray your word would minister life to its readers today to your glory in Jesus name. Amen, Hallelujah! Hope you had a good week? Thank God for mercies.

I want to draw your attention to some of the things that we often overlook in our Christian walk today and hopefully, you will make amends where necessary. Some you already know about, others you may not know. We say them, not thinking. Please take time to research these things and get right on them. “And beside this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge” “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall” (2 Peter 1:5 & 10)

My main text is found in the book of (Hosea 4:6a) My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge: because thou hast rejected knowledge…when we don’t act on the information we have, it is tantamount to “…rejecting knowledge”

The Bible encourages you to “study” the scriptures “to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth” (2 Timothy 2:15)

Now if you can rightly divide the word of truth, you can wrongly divide same. Note this: Everything in the bible is truly stated but everything is not a statement of truth. That is why you need to study the scriptures so you could “…rightly divide the word of truth.” I will show you what I mean in a minute.

I want to believe you have heard this statement before “The Lord gave and the Lord had taken away?”

Eh eh, No, not so! That is not scripturally true, though truly stated by Job in the Bible; it is not a statement of truth. Let’s read the exact statement. “Then Job arose, and rent his mantle, and shaved his head, and fell down upon the ground, and worshipped, And (Job )said, Naked came I out of my mother’s womb, and naked shall I return thither: the LORD gave, and the LORD hath taken away; blessed be the name of the LORD” (Job 1: 20-21) That was a statement from the mouth of a grieving man not an inspiration from God. In Numbers. 23:19 it says “God is not a man, that he should lie; neither the son of man, that he should repent: hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good?” The New Testament tells us in Romans 11:29 that “the gifts and calling of God are without repentance” that means when you are given, that’s it. It’s yours. Though, it’s possible that for whatever reason you could mess up things for yourself and allow the devil kick you around like a leather ball on a muddy pitch. That is not the fault of God, you allowed it.

  1. You must have heard people or even you say things like “Holy Ghost we worship you

No, not so! First of all, you do not and cannot worship the Holy Ghost! He is not to be worshiped. Worship goes only to the Father and the Son Jesus. Yes, He is part of the Godhead but the three have their different job specifications, the roles they play. God the Father is the Father of all from whom all blessings flow. The Son is the “connection” to humanity, our Salvation and the Spirit – the Energizer (For lack of better word) but they are ONE GOD.

The Jews wanted to stone Jesus because He ‘being a man’, claimed He was God (John 10:33).  Jesus doesn’t dispute that He is a man, and both He and the Jews are talking about God as a third party.  He says He is the Son of this God, they say that’s blasphemy.  Jesus has just said, ‘I and the Father are one’ (in John 10:30).  But He doesn’t say ‘I am the Father.’

The Father is in the Son, and the Son is in the Father (John 10:38), but they relate to each other – they are not ‘the same’.  John 1:1 says, ‘The Word was with God’ (distinction), ‘and the Word was God’.  We can’t say, ‘The Son is the Father’, but we can say ‘the Son and the Father are One’.  They are not one Son, or one Father, but One God.  They relate to each other by the Holy Spirit.

They relate eternally and perfectly – they are always relating, and are never separate.  The three ‘persons’ of the Trinity are not separate.  But they are always Father, Son and Spirit, because they are always relating as the Father, the Son and the Spirit.  So although the three persons are not separate, they are distinct.  They are not ‘the same’.

It says in Luke 4:8 “…Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve” and several other places in the Bible.  Matthew 2:2 “…Where is he that is born King of the Jews? for we have seen his star in the east, and are come to worship himMatthew 14:33 “Then they that were in the ship came and worshipped him, saying, Of a truth thou art the Son of God” but not The Holy Ghost. There is not one single scripture that even suggests it. Part of His job is to:

Give life (John 7:38) Give gifts (1 Corinthians 12) Counsel us (John 14:26) Encourage us (Acts 9:31) Intercede on our behalf (Romans 8:23) Build us up (Romans 8:27) Lead us to obedience (2 Corinthians 3:5) Bring us to mind (1 John 2:20, 27) Energize and make us effective (Acts 1:8)

Don’t be lazy. Take time to check those scriptures out. To receive worship is not part of His job description.

  1. There is a popular song with lyrics that goes something like this “everlasting Father, everlasting Son, immortal Holy Ghost be thou glorifiedand a prayer that says Glory be to the Father and to the Son and to the Holy Ghost

Kai! No, not so!  You cannot give glory to the Holy Ghost. It’s not allowed. Not a single scripture supports it. From the book of Genesis in the Old Testament on to the book of Revelation in the New Testament, glory goes to the Father and the Son. Not one verse even suggests glory to the Holy Ghost. You have information now. Stop it. I have a whole write up on that subject. Please go to our website, the address is above.

  1. There is another one. Ever joined in singing this song with the following wordings Angels are singing you are worthy o Lord, you are worthy o Lord?”

No, not so! I’ve got news for you. Angels do not sing!!! (By the way, it was actually the twenty four elders that said it, not angels The four and twenty elders fall down before him that sat on the throne, and worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying, (Not Singing) Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.”  Revelation 4:10-11) You will never find a single verse of scripture that says angels sing. Music and worship was the job of Lucifer back then before he fell and was thrown out of heaven. He and only he was God’s worship band. He had a built-in orchestra in him. Ezekiel 28:13 “…the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created…” after he got thrown out of heaven, God made man of the dust of the ground and empowered him with will power. Made man and gave him only, the ability to speak, sing and wave his hands unto God in praise. Birds can sing, animals can make sounds (talk) trees wave their “hands” branches but man alone has the ability to do all three in worship to God. That is why scriptures abound encouraging us to worship and sing praises to God, both in the Old and New Testament.

 

  1. People say three (3) wise men came to see Jesus when He was born.

No, not so!  The truth is that the bible never mentioned any figure. “Now when Jesus was born in Bethlehem of Judaea in the days of Herod the king, behold, there came wise men from the east to Jerusalem” (Matthew. 2:1). They gave him three gifts and that was it. Think about it. Why would King Herod and the whole of Jerusalem be troubled because some three guys came into their city? (Matthew. 2:3) Historically they travelled in caravans in the desert because of bandits. A caravan could consist of between one hundred and even over five hundred people, camels and mules depending on their mission. They had food, arms and a small army for protection. That was why the city was stirred when three different groups of caravan came into town. It was the crowd influx that caused the commotion.

 

One plus one…

Have you ever been at a “Christian” wedding ceremony? If yes, then you must have heard some ministers make a statement like “One plus one equals one”. That is supposed to be in reference to the union of marriage.

But ah! No, not so!!! One plus one can never be equals to one. Not in heaven, on the earth or under the earth. One plus one will always add up to two anywhere. But first let us see how it came about.

In Genesis 2:24 God said “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh”

Matthew 19:5 “…For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh?”

Mark 10:8 “…And they twain shall be one flesh: so then they are no more twain, but one flesh”.

In the Old Testament, Genesis 2:24 the Hebrew word translated CLEAVE here is the word dabaq,  pronounced daw-bak’ and in the New Testament Matthew 19:5 and Mark 10:8  the Greek word is the word proskollao, pronounced pros-kol-lah’-o they both mean the same thing . To cling or adhere, be joined or glued (together) same word is used and translated in 1Corinthians 6:16 “What? know ye not that he which is joined (kollao)  to an harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh God was referring to the act of SEX in Genesis. Same thing Jesus talked about in the gospels. Paul reiterated in 1Corinthian. 6:16. As you see above. The sexual intercourse is the only time a man CLEAVES (clings or adhere, be joined or glued (together) to a woman to be one flesh. Just like the believer in Galatians 3:28 “…for ye are all one in Christ Jesus…” The error is in the word PLUS, the addition. John 17: 21 “That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.” And many other scriptures, but for space. No, you cannot say one PLUS one but rather, say one in one equals one. That equation is correct anywhere in heaven, earth or under the earth.

 

“Welcome the Holy Ghost”

Very often you hear ministers pray and invite the Holy Ghost to be present in a service or an event. But I don’t see any such example in the scriptures. What I see is the promise the Lord Jesus made to the Church in Matthew 18: 20 “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”  This statement is called a “hapax legomenon.” That phrase is Greek and it is a term used when only one instance of a word of phrase is recorded. This is the only place in scripture you will find a direct statement like this from the Lord. He is the one present in the midst. That automatically brings along the Holy Ghost. It’s like you and your shadow, it goes with you everywhere. Once you are gathered IN THE NAME OF THE LORD, His power is supposed to be automatic, unless there is something amiss. In the book of Acts, chapter 1:4, The Lord told the Apostles not to leave Jerusalem until they are endued with power when the Holy Ghost comes on them. That was at the inception. They gathered in His name and the Holy Ghost came on them. Remember Paul and Silas in jail? Acts 16: 25-34. They prayed and sang. The power of God (Holy Ghost) came down and liberated them. If at all anyone needs welcoming, it is the Lord Jesus and not the Holy Ghost who by the way is the silent member of the Godhead.

 

“Angel”

This is in passing. Though not a crime in itself, I just want to give you information, so you would know. Ever heard phrases like “You are my Angel” or just “Angel” as a phrase, name or word of endearment? You might have even used it at one time or the other, most probably talking to a child or an endeared one. What about pictures of flying babies depicting angels?

No, not so. To start with angels are neither female nor babies. There is not one scripture that portrays angels as such. They are “MEN” but not necessarily male. Man as in the Hebrew word ‘iysh, pronounced eesh meaning “to be extant, a complete man as an individual not a part of a whole.” There are one hundred and ninety four (194) verses of scripture in the Bible with the word “angel” (singular). None portrays anything like a female or a baby.

Now, who or what is an angel? There are two words translated “ANGEL” in the Bible. In the Hebrew Old Testament mal’ak, pronounced mal-awk’ and the New Testament aggelos, pronounced ang’-el-os. They both mean the same thing; “a messenger; specifically, of God.”

Angels with the “S” (plural) are mentioned at least a hundred and eight (108) times in the Old Testament and a hundred and sixty five (165) times in the New Testament. There are nine (9) types of angels. These angels are on a hierarchy and grouped into spheres.

FIRST 1:

  1. Seraphim (singular Seraph) – Isaiah 6:2 – These angels are closest to God. They praise God and represent His love. There are only four of them. Their primary mission is to protect the throne of God. They have six wings: two cover their faces, two cover their bodies, and two cover their feet.
  2. Cherubim (singular Cherub) – Genesis 3:24 and Ezekiel 10:1-22 – These angels are the second highest in the nine hierarchies of angels. They are intercessors of God. Their mission is also to protect the throne of God. They are fierce angels. When they come to earth, they have great power of apocalypse nature. They have four faces: one of a man, one of an ox, one of an eagle, and one of a lion.
  3. Thrones – Colossians 1:16 – Their name literally means throne or “highly ornamented chair.” These angels dispense God’s divine judgment. The lower hierarchies of angels need the Thrones to gain access to God.

SECOND 2:

  1. Dominions – Colossians 1:16 – These are the angels of leadership, regulating the duties of the angels. They give power to heads of government and other authority figures. They have the appearance of humans with wings.
  2. Virtues – 1 Peter 3:22 – These angels are known as the Spirits of Motion and they control the elements. They govern all nature and perform miracles. They provide courage, grace, and valor.
  3. Powers – Colossians 1:16 – These angels have the task of controlling the border between heaven and earth. They are warrior angels who fight against evil. They are the angels of birth and death.

THIRD 3:

  1. Principalities – Colossians 1:16 – These angels look over groups of people. They are in charge of the world’s nations, cities, and towns. Their duties include taking charge of religion, politics, and the duties of the angels on earth below them.
  2. Archangel – 1 Thessalonians 4:16 – This angel is the chief angel, guardian of people and all things physical. The archangel appears only in human form and has the task of being God’s messenger to people at critical times of need.
  3. Fallen Angels – Jude 1:6. These are “the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day”

So next time when you call or address someone by the name “Angel” you should know what you are talking about.

 

Holy Ghost fire: I’ve always wondered where that came from. This is supposed to be a phrase used to destroy the enemy. “Holy Ghost Fire?” There is nothing in the Bible that even suggests it. The Holy Ghost is a gentle Spirit. The closest thing to fire connecting the Holy Ghost is found in the book of Acts of the Apostles in Chapter 2 Verse 3 “And there appeared unto them cloven tongues like as of fire, and it sat upon each of them.” It was an appearance like “cloven tongues like as of fire. It was not any destructive force seeking after an enemy. At the beginning when He sat upon the disciples, the Bible records in verse 4 “And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.” That said, now I ask, which one of the Apostles called on the Holy Ghost Fire? None. Can you find any scripture to show for it? I say No, not so! You cannot say “Holy Ghost Fire” In the Bible from the Old to the New Testament, God is the only one known and called the Consuming Fire.  Deuteronomy 4:24 “For the LORD thy God is a consuming fire, even a jealous God.”

Deuteronomy 9:3 “Understand therefore this day, that the LORD thy God is he which goeth over before thee; as a consuming fire he shall destroy them, and he shall bring them down before thy face: so shalt thou drive them out, and destroy them quickly, as the LORD hath said unto thee.”

Hebrews 12:29. “For our God is a consuming fire.” The Holy Ghost was introduced to us in the New Testament to be the helper of the Church in all ramifications. Not a destroyer, God does all the avenging Himself. “Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: for it is written, Vengeance is mine; I will repay, saith the Lord.” Romans 12:19

You say “but people shout “Holy Ghost Fire” and get results”. Sure they would, it’s the scriptures it must deliver. Not just that, man is designed to be creative. Magicians, most cult and occults use the Bible and get results, but it doesn’t make them children of God nor does it make it right. For the believer, scriptures have to be properly applied “… precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little:” Isaiah 28:10b

 

Holy Ghost, I decrease for you to Increase: That statement came from John the Baptist and it was not in reference to the Holy Ghost. It was to Jesus at His baptism. John 3: 22-36 verse 30 records “He must increase, but I must decrease.” So, No, not so! You cannot pray that prayer in reference to the Holy Ghost, it hast to be to Jesus the Christ.

Pleading the Blood of Jesus: What in the world is “pleading the blood”? What does it mean and why do some Christians do it? A couple of reasons I believe. It is because of the traditions of men and their lack of understanding of the scriptures.
The blood of Jesus is very important and it cannot be disputed. But this is about using the blood of Jesus by “pleading it” in order to get protection, job, fight enemies, cast out demons etc. The idea of “pleading the blood” in itself is not even a biblical concept. It is more like what you find with a juju/voodoo man and his incantations. The blood of Jesus has already been pled in our behalf by Jesus and it washed away our sins and made us children of God, redeemed and justified.  Hebrews 10 There’s nothing else left to plead. On the cross Jesus said “it is finished”. When a new believer receives Jesus as Lord and savior, it is the blood at work there. And that is not the job of any man but that of the “…Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus Hebrews 3:1b. Now we simply have to just believe the Gospel and obey it. Nowhere do we read of the apostles “pleading the blood”, but we do read throughout the New Testament that they overcame Satan and trials by faith, confidence and absolute trust in the Lord, in His name –Jesus. It’s not the “PLEADING OF THE BLOOD “so called that does the job but Faith in His name. You see, we are not the High priest but kings and priests. “…And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.” Revelation 1:6 in any case there can only be one High Priest at a time. Jesus is the one and only high priest today and forever. That authority was not delegated to us in any sense. Like in the Old Testament, it is only the high priest that has authority to plead the blood over anything God directs him to. Jesus did that on the cross for the world.

In the Old Testament motifs, the blood was sprinkled in the holy of hollies for the people by the high priest once a year. But the objects were those set apart for the Lord, strict instructions were given by God himself on this matter. The high priest could not sprinkle the blood on anything his heart desired. This was done only on the objects God set apart in the temple. It was sprinkled on the ark and the mercy seat for their forgiveness.  We see no such practice by the apostles or instructions in the epistles to do any such sprinkling or pleading of the blood on anyone (even those demon possessed or oppressed).

Only the high priest handled the blood to go on the mercy seat for the forgiveness of sins. In the New Testament, that high priest is now Jesus. Jesus is the only one who can “sprinkle” His blood, NOT US. We can’t physically touch it today nor can we apply it somewhere else spiritually. We are priests and not the high priest, Jesus Christ is the only “…Apostle and High Priest of our profession…” Hebrews 3:1b. 2:17; 4:14; 5:5; 6:20; 8:1; 9:11; 10:21.

In the Old Testament, when the children of Israel had any encounter with God, they usually named God after that experience. For instance if He defeated the enemy for them at war they called Him a name Exodus 15:3 “The LORD is a man of war: the LORD is his name.” Jehovah-Sabaoth– The Lord of Hosts – I Samuel 1:3, if they were healed, Jehovah-Rophe– The Lord The Healer – Isaiah 53:4-5, and so on. But now, God has wrapped up all of that in one name, Jesus. In Hebrew that means Savior. I dealt with it extensively and the write-up is on my website. Please go check it out at this link below

http://itsthefellowship.com/index.php/2015/09/15/pleading-the-blood-is-it-scriptural/

The only thing the believer was given as weapon from the Old Testament to the New Testament is the NAME of the LORDJesus. NOT THE BLOOD of Jesus. The blood is meant for the High Priest alone to handle and we are not High Priests, we are PRIESTS. It is THE NAME OF JESUS which is above every other name that is available to all believers today to do battle with. And please forget about that verse in the book of Revelation 12:11. It has nothing to do with the Church today, it is still in the future. Please just go read the write-up at the link I provided above for the details.

From the book of Genesis to the book of Revelation, what I have found repeatedly written and used is the “NAME OF THE LORD”, people called upon the NAME OF THE LORD for deliverance of any kind.

Now let me jolt you a bit. Did you know it is a wrong interpretation of scripture and teaching to say that the precious blood of Jesus Christ is meant to protect the believer from any evil, demons or Satan’s attacks? On the contrary, it protects you The Believer from the unfathomable wrath of God not from Satan or any demonic attacks. That’s a whole topic in itself, but in a nutshell I will give you a few scriptures to prove what I just said.

First, remember way back in the Garden of Eden, what happened? Man sinned; God spilled blood on man’s behalf. Genesis 3:21.Why did He do it? Simple, so God will not destroy man. Not just that, we later learnt why. God said in Ezekiel 18:4 “Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine: the soul that sinneth, it shall die.” The natural thing for God to do to them at that time was to destroy them according to natural justice but for Grace, He spared them and instead innocent animals took the punishment and died in their place. That extended Grace saved man from the wrath of God.

Second, the nation of Israel was to leave Egypt, what happened? They were instructed by God to sprinkle the blood of “innocent” animals on their door posts and window lintels and it was recorded that “…the blood shall be to you for a token upon the houses where ye are: and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and the plague shall not be upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.” Exodus 12:13 Why was that necessary? Again, Just to save the children of Israel from imminent death, -God’s wrath.
Please Note: This verse did not say “when Satan sees the blood…” but rather it says “when He, God Himself sees the blood, He will pass over” in other words, He will spare them from imminent death.

Third, for the Gentile nation to be engrafted into God’s family, (Romans 11:16-24) we all needed salvation, what did God do? He sent innocent Jesus to die in our behalf; (like the animals in the previous occasions) shedding His blood for our propitiation. “And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world” 1 John 2:2
“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.” 1 John 4:10.
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” John 3:16 Again, just to save us from His wrath.
I have not found a single scripture yet that is available to the believer using the blood of Jesus to fight Satan or his demons. I am open to any real correction on this.

No, not so! We are not to call or conjure His blood for anything. Like I told you earlier, we are priests and not the high priest. The scriptures have told us about the “…Apostle and High Priest of our profession, Christ Jesus Hebrews 3:1b. It is only the High Priest that is authorized to handle the blood. Right from the Old Testament to the New Testament, the only thing God gave us has always been HIS NAME for whatever request we may have.
“Unto the place of the altar, which he had made there at the first: and there Abram called on the NAME of the LORD.” Genesis 13:4
“Then said David to the Philistine, Thou comest to me with a sword, and with a spear, and with a shield: but I come to thee in the NAME of the LORD of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom thou hast defied.” 1 Samuel 17:45
“All nations compassed me about: but in the NAME of the LORD will I destroy them.” Psalm 118:10
Our help is in the NAME of the LORD, who made heaven and earth.” Psalm 124:8
“The NAME of the Lord is a strong tower the righteous run to…” Proverbs 18:10.

Colossians. 3:17 tells us to “do ALL in the NAME of the Lord Jesus”. None of His servants in the Bible called on His Blood BUT His NAME. According to Him “whosoever calleth on the NAME of the Lord shall be saved” Romans. 10:13 again not His blood. We are to “trust in His NAME.” Psalm. 20:7; 118:10-12 not the blood.
In Acts 22:16 Paul commanded people to wash away their sins by “calling the NAME of the Lordnot His blood. We are to do ALL in His NAME.
“Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a NAME which is above every NAME…” Philippians 2:9 But what name are we talking about? Philippians 2:10 tells us
“That at the NAME of JESUS every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth”
There are a lot more scriptures buttressing this fact but I believe the ones I gave you will suffice for now. If you need more, you can look them up yourself. I rest my case for now.

If there be any questions, please just send me a mail at yopesson@yahoo.com and I’d be glad to respond to you.

Overcome!!!

Overcome!!!

T.G.I.F. It’s another wonderful day, a day of double blessings I call it. This is your day.

You will succeed. I stand to let you know that your wildest dream can still come to pass. I speak to myself too when I talk like this. We can learn to overcome that great mountain, the albatross of our progress, learn to overcome that sin that easily besets us. Jesus was asked a question in John 6:28-29 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent'”

There are a lot of us Christians who want to know how to overcome the world, the flesh, and the devil so we could “do the work of God” but we keep wobbling and stumbling. We often overlook the fact that whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith I John 5:4 that it is with “the shield of faith that we are to use to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.” Ephesians. 6:16  We ask, “why am I overcome by sin? Why can’t I get above its power? Why am I the slave of my ‘crazy’ temperament, appetites and passions and the sport of the devil?” We look all around us for the cause of all this spiritual wretchedness and death.

When I talk about sin, I mean it in all its ramifications. All disobedience is sin. Your heart attitude as well as the contents of Galatians 5:19-21 19 “Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, Idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, seditions, heresies, Envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God”

(Now, inheriting the kingdom is another subject for another day) Sometimes we think we have discovered the answer because we failed to perform one duty, and at another time it’s the neglect of another duty. “I have not been praying enough or reading my bible enough or may be not been attending church activities enough” Sometimes we imagine we have found the cause of our wretchedness to be that we have yielded to one sin or the other. So we put forth efforts in this direction and patch up “our righteousness” on one side, while we make a tear on the opposite. So we spend years running around in circles, making dams of sand across the wild current of our own corruptions. Instead of believing God at once in “…purifying their (our) hearts by faith Acts 15:9, We are engaged in trying to stop the overflow of its corrupt and bitter waters.

“Why do I sin?” We ask; and looking around for the cause, we go back to the same conclusion: “It is because I neglect such and such a duty!” “But how shall I get rid of sin?” Usual answer: “By doing my duty, that is by ceasing from sin.” Now the real question should be: Why do we neglect our duty? Why do we commit sin at all? Yes, we can blame the fallen nature all we want but, hay! Jesus gave us victory over sin as well didn’t he? So, where is the foundation of all this mischief? It brings us back to the real question: How are we to overcome this corrupt nature, this wickedness (because that is what it is), and our sinful habits? Simple, the answer is, BY FAITH AND FAITH ALONE. Hallelujah! It is Faith, in the finished work of Jesus on the cross. Faith in believing God in what He says. That is the foundation. No work of the law has the least tendency to overcome our sins, but rather they harden the soul in self-righteousness and unbelief. And our righteousness is nothing but “…filthy rags” Isaiah 64:6 before God. The word translated “filthy” here is the Hebrew word `ed pronounced (ayd) meaning a rag soiled by a woman’s monthly menstrual flux. That is how messed up our righteousness appears before God.

The great and fundamental sin which is at the foundation of all other sin is unbelief. The first thing to do is to give that up then believe the Word of God. There is no breaking away from one sin without this. for whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” Romans. 14:23 Without faith it is impossible to please Him. Hebrews. 11:6 So we see that the backslider and convicted Christian, when agonizing to overcome sin, will almost always try to use the works of the law to obtain faith. We will fast and pray and read and struggle and outwardly reform, and thus endeavor to obtain grace. But all this is in vain and wrong if it’s not faith in the word of God from the a broken humbled Heart. So you ask, “Are you saying we should not fast and pray and read and struggle to do our part? Shall we do nothing but sit down in cheap security and inaction?” I answer: You must do all that God commands you to do; but begin where He tells you to begin, and do it in the manner in which He commands you to do it. That is in the exercise of that faith that worketh by love Galatians. 5:6 Purify your hearts by faith. Believe, and I mean believe not understand, believe in the Son of God! I John 5:10

The first element of saving faith is realizing the truth of the Bible. But this alone is not saving faith, for Satan also realizes the truth of the Bible and trembles. James 2:19 But a second element in saving faith is the agreement of the heart (or will) to the truth believed by the mind. It is a cordial trust or resting of the mind in those truths, and yielding up the whole being to their influence. Now it is easy to see that without the consent of the will, (which is within your jurisdiction) there can be nothing but an outward “obedience” to God. Works of law may be performed without faith, that is, we may serve from fear “I don’t want to end up in hell” or hope or some selfish motive (prosperity in whatever form), but without the confidence (Faith) that works by love, obedience from the heart is naturally impossible.

When we attempt to “purchase” (that is what works is in this case Acts 8:20) the favor of God, instead of accepting Grace as His sovereign gift, we not just nullify the power of God in our lives but we trash the finished work of Jesus on the cross of Calvary.  To give any other answer to anyone in unbelief, and to tell him to perform any work with the expectation that by it he can obtain faith, is to confirm and galvanize him in self-righteousness, to prolong his rebellion, to lead him to settle down in a consolidated self-righteous (which is like filthy rags before God) hope that produces in the end, discouragement and blasphemy.

Why so? Simple, repentance, faith, love, and every other holy exercise both imply and proceed from faith – without confidence in the character and requirements of God, it is impossible to repent. For repentance is to heartily justify God and condemn ourselves. So it is equally impossible to exercise an abiding trusting love in God without faith in His word. Submission to God implies the exercise of total confidence in God and in His requirements.

Faith is the only exercise that receives Christ with all His powerfully sanctifying influences into the heart. The Bible everywhere represents the sanctified soul as being under the influence of an indwelling Christ. Now the exercise of faith is an opening of the door by which Christ is received to reign in the heart. If this is so, the proper direction plainly is to do that which receives Christ. If this is done, all else will be done. If this is neglected, all else will be neglected, of course!

You see why the Church does not appear to be sanctified. We overlook the office and necessity of faith in His word as that which alone can produce acceptable obedience to God. We are often engaged in efforts to obtain faith by works, instead of first exercising that faith which will produce within us a clean heart. And in this way we seek in vain for sanctification. (Which is part of what we got when we became born again) We often see Christians bustling about with outward efforts and works – fasting and praying, giving and doing and struggling – and after all this, they do not have the fruit of the Spirit: “love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness, temperance, against such there is no law.” Galatians. 5:22-23

There are four groups: (1) Love, the Christian grace which works out the whole law. (2) Joy and Peace, which are the normal state of the Christian. (3) The Grace which relate to others, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, fidelity (faith), meekness. (4) The last fruit looks to oneself, Temperance, or Self-Control. It implies not only abstinence from injurious drinks and food, but control of the temper, the tongue, the desires, the passion for money or power.

These are the FRUIT of the Spirit. In singular term FRUIT. That is because they emanate from one source –THE SPIRIT. In total submission to the will of God, implicit FAITH in His word, trusting in all that the word provides, not trying to “help” the Holy Spirit do His work.

In simple conclusion, overcoming sin is to trust God with everything in you. I mean TRUST God, for when you trust Him you are at rest. Sin was nailed to the cross of Calvary as well. When Jesus resurrected, He came up with the newness of everything for us. Once we can stand on the word of God in FAITH, (for that is all it takes) the ability to resist sin will no more be an effort. You will stop struggling just like Paul realized at the tail end of his ministry. Romans. 7. We trust that Jesus already gave us victory over sin, we should not waste time on how to overcome sin but rather on how we can “shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light” 1Peter2:9. Jesus says “my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” Matthew 11:30 Concentrate on righteousness, the nature of God in you that you got at your salvation. Live the life. No doubt you will fall sometimes but the Psalmist tells me that “…a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again” Proverbs 24:16. It is not a crime when you fall but you must stand up again. Do not get into a pity party or on a guilt trip. There is provision for you to do better. “If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness”. 1 John1: 9 “For sin shall not have dominion over you: for ye are not under the law, but under grace”. Romans. 6:14

Jesus made these pronouncements “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world 1 John 4:4

Did you get that? “…greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world” That is why you must overcome and at the same time you have OVERCOME

Any In The Office Of The Apostle Today?

Any In The Office Of The Apostle Today?

It’s a good day that the Lord has made so we must rejoice and be glad in it. Father God in obedience to your word, I ask that you guide my thoughts to deliver only what will edify your people so all glory will go to you and remain yours in Jesus Name, Amen.

This is one of those very controversial topics amongst the people of God. But that does not mean the truth should not be told just because someone might get offended, ignorantly I must add.

The debate on if there are still Apostles in this day and age will never cease until the Lord Jesus shows up for His own. Yet, the truth is that anyone with a teachable spirit will easily discover the truth and realign himself to it if they were previously wrong.

The question is “Are there real Apostles alive Today?”

To answer that question we need to search the scriptures to find out who exactly is an Apostle.

There are those who claim to be apostles by their own word. Others claim it by showing their signs, wonders and miracles. This so-called signs and wonders movement is part of an effort to restore what they understand to be the five-fold ministry described in Ephesians 4:11. The proliferators of the movement claim that these dynamics are what is necessary for the church to have power. In actuality, those who lay claim to this ministry today are operating under a misunderstanding of apostles of the Bible. The Lord confirmed His signs to the Apostles’ words to show a transition of authority from Israel and its priesthood to the Apostles who were laying down the foundation for the church, a new entity. This unique anointing testified to Israel and to the gentiles a new order of leadership, the demonstration of spiritual authority was transferred to the church Christ body. Becoming aware of what the Bible says about this office in the early church can help us guard against misleading teachings in the church today.

The spiritual gift of apostleship is most times confused with the office of the Apostle.  I will first of all do a preamble then go deeper into the scriptures for answers. The office of the Apostle was held by a limited number of men chosen by Jesus including the twelve disciples “And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him. And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach, And to have power to heal sicknesses, and to cast out devils:” Mark 3:13-15 and Paul “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God,” Romans 1:1 at least you now his story. His appointment to the Office of an Apostle was unique and unparalleled in that he was chosen for a specific first century task (Acts 9:15; 22:14-15; 26:16-18; 1 Corinthians 15:8-9; Galatians 1:11-12,15-16). The Lord Jesus Christ selected him to introduce the message of Christianity to the Gentile world (Romans 11:13; 15:16; Galatians 2:8; Ephesians 3:8). Paul was careful to document the fact that his apostleship was by divine appointment (e.g., Romans 1:5; 1 Corinthians 1:1; Galatians 1:1, 16).

The requirements for the office of an Apostle included being a faithful eyewitness of Jesus’ ministry and His resurrection (Acts 1:21-22; 1 Corinthians 9:1) and being personally called by Jesus (Galatians 1:1).  The Apostles were given authority by Jesus to do many different things to establish the church, including writing Scripture and performing miracles (John 14:26, 2 Peter 3:15-16, 2 Corinthians 12:12). All of these must be complete. If you claim to have been called by Jesus, did you see Him live, did you witness His ministry or did you write any part of the scriptures? The Apostles were largely responsible for making the New Testament available—first in oral form and, more specifically, in written form (1 Corinthians 14:37; Galatians 1:12; Ephesians 3:3-4; 1 Thessalonians 5:27; 2 Thessalonians 2:15; 3:14; 1 Peter 1:12; 2 Peter 1:12-21; 3:15-16).

 

You may regard this as mere semantics but the truth is there are no more people that occupy the Office of an Apostle today, for there is NO NEED for it, but the gift of Apostleship continues in a different sense.  I’ll explain. Jesus gave five gifts to the church, it was a gift meant to be utilized to build up the new born babe then called The Church. He gave Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers at His ascension (Ephesians 4:7-12), and these represent a distinct category of Apostles.  They do not have the authority to write Scripture as the original Apostles did.  They also have a different purpose in the sense of establishing the church – the foundation has already been set.

But look at Mark 3:13-14 “And he goeth up into a mountain, and calleth unto him whom he would: and they came unto him. And he ordained twelve, that they should be with him, and that he might send them forth to preach” The scripture says that Jesus first “…calleth unto him whom he would…” then He “…ordained twelve…” the ones He called. These ones were already ordained Apostles while The Lord was still here physically. Even in Acts 1:21-22, it was the word ORDAIN that was used when they were looking for a replacement for Judas. There is a big difference in being ORDAINED and receiving a GIFT of Ephesians 4:7-12

 

I can never over emphasize this. Three qualifications were specific to the unique character of the Office of an Apostle.

  1. They were eyewitnesses of Jesus’ resurrection, having seen the risen Lord.
  2. They were called directly by Christ, personally, to that office
  3. They were directly and personally trained for their labor and office by the Lord Himself.

All the three elements were necessary.

The mission for those with the Gift of Apostleship Today is to plant new ministries and churches, go into places where the Gospel is not preached, reach across cultures to establish churches in challenging environments.

Missionaries, church planters, certain Christian scholars and institutional leaders, and those leading multiple ministries or churches often have the gift of apostleship.  See also I Corinthians 12:28, Acts 1:21-22, 1 Corinthians 9:1.

God Bless you

Should We Make Vows Today?

Should We Make Vows Today?

Hallelujah! Thank God for another week and another day. Hope yours was good? Amen

It is the twelfth month in 2017 and a lot of people are either cast down or are in jubilation in anticipation of the New Year approaching. For others, it is a time to make new vows concerning the New Year. Well, I came across a write up by Brother John O. Reid (1930-2016) I thought it made an interesting reading. So I’ve taken part of his writing and added a few statements to complete today’s topic, so please enjoy reading.

 

“Our desires strongly influence our lives. At times we wish to have something so badly that we will go to almost any length to obtain it. Some people in business and industry have a ruthless, cutthroat desire to succeed, and they will ruin other people’s lives and careers to reach their goals. A few even devote their lives to acquiring priceless art, rare automobiles, thoroughbred horses, antiquities and other fine things to satisfy their cravings.

In today’s society, our desires are reflected in astronomically high credit card balances, with many people carrying tens of thousands of dollars in debt. On top of this, they are paying usurious interest rates! Walking hand in hand with this credit card debt is bankruptcy. This legal admission that one cannot pay what he promised is at a modern all-time high.

If we are not careful, we can transfer this mentality over to our relationship with God. We can promise —vow—to change our way of living or do some specific deed in return for a request we ask from God. Should we do this? Is this wise? Should we really count the cost before we allow this thinking to be placed into action?

There are two examples of people making vows that we should examine. The first shows a right example of desire, thought, planning, and carrying out the promised deed, while the second example describes the results of an impetuous vow that produced terrible results.

Hanna

I Samuel 1 narrate the story of Hanna, the wife of Elkanah. She was barren, but with every fiber of her being, she desired a child. Though Elkanah treated her with love and kindness, his other wife, Peninnah, who had children, became Hanna’s adversary, provoking her until she was miserable. Wisely, Hanna took her situation and desire to God. She vowed that if He gave her a son, she would give him to God for His service.

And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore, And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no razor come upon his head.” I Samuel 1:10-11

In verses 19-20, God hears Hanna and gives her desire to her:

And they rose up in the morning early, and worshipped before the LORD, and returned, and came to their house to Ramah: and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the LORD remembered her. Wherefore it came to pass, when the time was come about after Hannah had conceived, that she bare a son, and called his name Samuel, saying, Because I have asked him of the LORD.

God had fulfilled His part of the agreement, and now it was Hanna’s responsibility to keep her promise. Notice how completely she holds up her end of the bargain:

And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bullocks, and one ephah of flour, and a bottle of wine, and brought him unto the house of the LORD in Shiloh: and the child was young. “And they slew a bullock, and brought the child to Eli. And she said, Oh my lord, as thy soul liveth, my lord, I am the woman that stood by thee here, praying unto the LORD. For this child I prayed; and the LORD hath given me my petition which I asked of him: Therefore also I have lent him to the LORD; as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD. And he worshipped the LORD there.” (verses 24-28)

Hanna’s example shows how a proper vow works. She intelligently thought it through, made it solemnly and humbly, and kept it completely. God not only respected her vow and fulfilled it, but He also greatly used the product, Samuel the prophet! Notice, too, how the process caused Hanna to thank and glorify God and built humble and righteous character in her (II Samuel 2:1-10).

Jephthah

Jephthah, son of Gilead by a harlot, also made a vow, but he vowed rashly, without counting the cost to himself or to others. Because of his birth and the hatred of his half brothers, Jephthah had fled from his home and soon gathered a ragtag group of soldiers around him. When Ammon threatened Israel, the elders of Gilead asked him to lead his army against the enemy, offering him leadership over Gilead. Accepting their offer, Jephthah tried to negotiate a settlement with Ammon, but to no avail. War was inevitable.

On the eve of battle, whether out of weakness or ignorance,

Jephthah made a vow to the LORD, and said, “If you will indeed deliver the people of Ammon into my hands, then it will be that whatever comes out of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the people of Ammon, shall surely be the LORD’s, and I will offer it up as a burnt offering.” (Judges 11:30-31)

He seems not to have considered what the payment might be. He desired victory so greatly that he gave little thought to his part of the bargain. It was, as if he were saying, “Just give me what I am asking for, and I’ll worry about my end later.”

Jephthah’s rashness and inconsideration cost him dearly:

And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: and she was his only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter. And she said unto him, My father, if thou hast opened thy mouth unto the LORD, do to me according to that which hath proceeded out of thy mouth; forasmuch as the LORD hath taken vengeance for thee of thine enemies, even of the children of Ammon. (verses 34-36)

Because of his impetuous behaviour, Jephthah had to face and carry out what he had promised. His heart was filled with grief over what he had done to his daughter, his only child. Even so, as a man of his word, Jephthah resolved to keep his part of the deal.

Jephthah’s daughter asked to be given two months to lament her virginity. Because of this, commentators feel that she was not offered as a burnt offering, but instead dedicated herself to God’s service, to live without husband and children, as a virgin the rest of her life.

The Rules of Vowing

What are the rules concerning the making of vows? This is so important to God that He devotes a whole chapter, Numbers 30, to this subject. Immediately, we need to note that this instruction comes from the Lord, the One who became Jesus Christ (verse 1). These rules are not just judgments of Moses but direct commands of God.

Verse 2 emphasizes that a person must always keep his word. Whether he swears an oath or vows a vow, he is bound to fulfil all its terms. If he does not, he has broken the ninth commandment.

Verses 3-5 focus on unmarried women still living at home. To God, she is still under her father’s authority, so if he hears her vow and makes no comment, then her vow stands. On the other hand, if her father disallows her vow on the day he hears it, then her vow does not stand. God will forgive her of her foolishness because of her father’s authority. This, however, does not negate other consequences that may result from her actions.

Although made somewhat unclear in the New King James, verses 6-8 deal with a betrothed woman and her fiance. If she makes a vow before she marries and brings it into the marriage, her new husband, like her father before him, now has the authority to allow it or disallow it.

Verse 9 clarifies that widows and divorced women are held accountable for any vows they make.

Verses 10-14 discuss vows made by a married woman. As in the previous sections, if the husband hears it but does nothing, her vow stands, but if he disallows it, it does not stand, and God will forgive her.

Verse 15 stresses the importance of the husband being careful in these matters. God says that if the husband hears his wife’s vows, accepts them, and later makes them void, he bears the guilt for reneging on them. As the leader of his family, he is ultimately responsible for what he allows to happen.

The chapter concludes with a reminder that these statutes concerning vows are commands of the Lord. We can see that God holds the promises we make to Him to be serious undertakings. He certainly does not take them lightly; He considers it to be sin when we fail to perform what we have promised.

The New Testament and Vows

The New Testament mentions vows only twice, both times regarding vows made by Christians who had made vows consecrating themselves to God for some length of time, much like the Nazirite vow Acts 18:18; 21:23 see Numbers 6:18. More often, the New Testament speaks of swearing oaths, a related concept.

Jesus advises us not to swear at all “But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne.”  Matthew 5:34, but to say simply, “Yes” or “No” (verse 37). If we are honest, we have no need to take an oath. He goes so far as to say that anything more than “Yes” or “No” has its source in the father of lies, the Devil John 8:44

There are several aspects to these verses. The overall statement Jesus makes is that we do not need to swear by anything to confirm that our statements are true. A Christian’s word should be his bond, as the old saying goes. We should be so bound by the ninth commandment that nothing else is necessary.

The not-so-obvious meaning of these verses is that we should not lightly give an oath or make a vow to God to acquire something. We have many desires, and some might take it upon themselves to ask God for them, promising to perform a certain deed if He gives it to them. Jesus warns that once we get what we want, we may forget what we promised to perform. As we have learned from Numbers 30, God does not take reneging on our promises lightly.

Should Christians make vows today? God tells us the best course to take in Matthew 5:34, “But I say unto you, Swear not at all; neither by heaven; for it is God’s throne.” James writes that it is best not to make them so we do not “fall into judgment” “But above all things, my brethren, swear not, neither by heaven, neither by the earth, neither by any other oath: but let your yea be yea; and your nay, nay; lest ye fall into condemnation”. James 5:12.

Though God advises us not to vow, we can still make vows if we so choose. In making one, however, we should consider the examples of Hanna and Jephthah. We should seriously contemplate what we are requesting and what we are promising, always asking ourselves, “Can I make good on what I’ve promised?”

We are a special people to God. He has called us, and has great love for us. He hears our prayers as we obey and love Him. We should give a great deal of thought to whether we need to make a vow when we have such instant and open access to the very throne of God. He does indeed hear our prayers, and He answers them according to what He sees is good for us. Why should we make vows when we know that He will give us or deny us what is best for us?

Our society is plagued by its citizens failing to follow through on their agreements. Private debt and bankruptcy will play an equal or greater role than public debt in ruining the economy of this great country Nigeria. The chief cause of this is dishonesty. Let us make sure that we do not emulate the society around us, but instead fulfil all our responsibilities in our relationship with God.

Conclusion

Should We Make Vows Today? Jesus’ teaching leads us to conclude that it is better not to make a vow than to swear an oath that we have no intention of keeping. It also reinforces the point that oaths and vows should not be made on just any occasion, but they should be reserved only for occasions of great import and lasting significance. In other cases, we should let our Yes be Yes and our No be No. But in all circumstances, we must strive to keep our word.

God bless you.

Your Personal Person (YPP)
Vince Ok