Wearing the Full Armour of God!

Mat 7
24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.

John 14:26
But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.

I am writing this because I thought I should exposit a little on spiritual warfare for the benefit of Christian Living. We must remember that we live in a fallen world that hates truth, and this is evident by the fact that the people of the world don’t mind it so much if you use the foulest language on them but tell them the truth about themselves and they are agitated enough to get rid of you for good. The armour of God is the battle raiment of every Christian in a world where the battle is not just against the reprobate but also against Satanic spiritual forces that has the masses in their sway. The armour of God is therefore a Biblical discipline we are given to have in righteously reclaiming the stewardship of this world from self-serving fools, who use everything that is around them including people to serve their sinful appetites. We were made in the very image of God, meaning we share in His very nature. We are obviously not omnipotent, omniscient & omnipresent but we were made to share in the very nature and character of God but after Adam sinned against God by eating the fruit of knowledge of good and evil despite being warned not to; but in doing so Adam forsook the Law of God to become a Law to himself which he passed to us all through procreation and we have all sinned in Adam because just as the Levites paid Melchizedek their tithes while still in the loins in the Abraham (Heb 7:9-10). So too, all of mankind sinned against God in the loins of Adam during the fall. For those of you who are still on spiritual milk, please note that even though am going to be quoting outside Jesus’s word in the 4 Gospels, this is still very much Jesus speaking because scripture itself says that all scripture is written under the influence of his spirit (2Timothy 3:16-17).

Ephesians 6
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of His might. 11 Put on the full armor of God, so that you will be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand firm therefore, having girded your loins with truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness, 15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 in addition to all, taking up the shield of faith with which you will be able to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Now Ephesians 6 sites the full armour of God and this is what I will be expositing. It starts with verse 13 & 14 saying that we are to stand our ground and gird our loins with the truth. If you have heard the term, he’s got balls then this is easy to understand because from the testis flows a man’s masculinity, so too when the believer girds his loins with truth, he is able to look another in the eye and speak the truth without even flinching because in learning to be unashamed of the Gospel, which is the truth concerning God, a person also learns to be unashamed of the truth concerning himself. So, while the world emasculates themselves of the truth, the Christian learns to man up and gird his loins with the truth because he draws his strength from the teachings of Christ that is in the Gospel, which is the ultimate truth.

Jeremiah 9
23 Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; 24 but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.

Coming to the breastplate of righteousness, we all know a man will only puff his chest up when he is proud of some thing and so to where the breastplate of righteousness is to wear that pride of knowing God, as mentioned above in Jer 9:23-24, & reformed theology is therefore more like having 6 pack abs where knowing we are heirs in Christ of God who is sovereign, gives us the attitude that says as Paul said in Rom 8:31… If God is for us who can be against us! It is a pride backed by our very heart… not the heart of stone from the fall of Adam but the obedient heart of flesh and enjoys the exercising God’s pleasure (Ezek 36:26-27) because on this new heart God wrote His Law that we may die to being a law to ourselves and live for the Lord (Phil 1:21). This breastplate doesn’t just protect our heart, it reflects that righteous pride we have in God which we puff up as we march against self-serving unrighteous goats and the dark forces that accompany them to their destruction.

Rom 10
14 How then will they call on Him in whom they have not believed? How will they believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how will they hear without a preacher? 15 How will they preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!”

Coming to Eph 6:15, where the believer is called to wear shoes on his feet alludes to being ready to go out and preaching the Gospel of peace as mentioned Rom 10:14-15. As believers we called to live in peace with everyone if possible (Rom 12:18), after all as adopted sons of God in Jesus we are called to be peace makers (Mat 5:9) but very often you come across people who hate you, simply because the nature of Christ you exhibit convicts these self-righteous fools as sinners, which is unbearable for them as they go about life serving their own selfish interests. Eph 6:15 therefore very much bears reference to the Great Commission mentioned in Mat 28:18-20 where we are called to bear witness for the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ and the hope of Salvation that is in the Gospel while making disciples at every opportunity that presents itself from God and teaching them His commandments. I am reminded of Deut 29:5 at this time because after wandering in the wilderness for 40 years the footwear of the Israelites did not wear out, which brings Isaiah 40:31 to mind because it was God who sustained them through all the hardships they faced. So also, God will see us through all the hardships which serves to sanctify us instead of wearing us out, in our passionate labour for His Gospel. After all we are His Church, the new Israel who have overcome all by the saving power of Christ, having striven against God & men because after all, salvation is about God saving you from Himself as the wages of sin is death and it was Jesus who graciously substituted us in death by taking the wages of our sin upon Himself.

Psalm 91
2 I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
My God, in whom I trust!”

5 You will not be afraid of the terror by night,
Or of the arrow that flies by day;

1John 5:4
For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.

Coming to the shield of faith that extinguishes the flaming darts of the evil one as mentioned in Eph 6:16, we understand from Psalm 91:2 that it is our faith in God which is our refuge and fortress. It’s as 2Cor 4:8-10 says, though we are hard pressed on every side, we not crushed; though we are often perplexed, we are not in despair; though we are persecuted, we are not abandoned; because through faith we carry the death Jesus died for our sins, so that His righteousness and life may be revealed in our bodies. This how we walk in faith and not by sight (2Cor 5:7) and not even the gates of hades shall prevail against such faith (Mat 16:18), which is established on the rock that is Jesus Christ (Mat 7:24-25).

Mat 16
24 Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wishes to come after Me, he must deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. 25 For whoever wishes to save his life will lose it; but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.

Coming to the helmet of Salvation mentioned in Eph 6:17, we understand that just as a deadly blow to the head can be fatal. So also, spiritually the helmet of salvation says that even if one were to lose his life for standing by the precepts of God, so be it, though he may die in the body, he shall live with God forever and when the new heavens and new earth is created, he will receive a new body, one which is not tainted with sin. The helmet of salvation is beautifully reflected in Ps 84:10 which says that better is one day living in the courts of God than living a thousand in the tents of the wicked… because His court is symbolic of God’s presence in our lives and a particular moral discipline we are to live by in his presence. Remember, in life we have only two choices either we worship God in His righteousness as revealed to us in Christ or we suck up to people in their sin as revealed in our fallen Adamic self-righteousness.

Hebrews 4:
12 For the word of God is living and active and sharper than any two-edged sword, and piercing as far as the division of soul and spirit, of both joints and marrow, and able to judge the thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And there is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are open and laid bare to the eyes of Him with whom we have to do.

2 Timothy 3
16 All Scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, for training in righteousness; 17 so that the man of God may be adequate, equipped for every good work.

Come to wielding the World of God that is the Sword of the Spirit, we understand that the knowledge of God’s word is a formidable weapon because as shown to us in Hebrew 4:13, it exposes the wicked intentions of people, as Scripture is the very life breath of that gives life to His elect and condemns the reprobate. To explain this to you in a manner you would understand, I would compare the piercing discernment the believer is blessed with through his knowledge of scripture to the Eye of Sauron in Mordor in the Lord of Rings story from whom little is hidden. It’s like the sea of glass the ungodly masses of this world are compared to in Rev 15:2-4, which is mixed with fire indicating their persecution of believers. The reason these masses are called a sea of glass over whom the elect are victorious is because before the sight of God these self-righteous fools can’t hide anything. Their intentions and their sin is all laid bare before God. This power is given us in the knowledge of scripture where the believer can slice through the deceit unbelievers operate under and exposes the spiritually rotting corpses they really are deep down in their hearts and minds.

1Timothy 6:12
Fight the good fight of faith; take hold of the eternal life to which you were called, and you made the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

To conclude, just like martial arts encourage a combination of different blows, kicks, headbutts and throws, so as a believer matures in the Lord, he is to master the use of his heavenly armour in his life as mentioned in above in 1Timothy 6:12.

The Deception of Loving Yourself & Believing in Yourself!

Gen 3 (The Biblical account of the fall of man)
Now the serpent was more crafty than any beast of the field which the Lord God had made. And he said to the woman, “Indeed, has God said, ‘You shall not eat from [a]any tree of the garden’?” 2 The woman said to the serpent, “From the fruit of the trees of the garden we may eat; 3 but from the fruit of the tree which is in the middle of the garden, God has said, ‘You shall not eat from it or touch it, or you will die.’” 4 The serpent said to the woman, “You surely will not die! 5 For God knows that in the day you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was desirable to make one wise, she took from its fruit and ate; and she gave also to her husband with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loin coverings.

The reason I have sited the Biblical account of the fall of man above is because I want to show you that in the fall, man became a law to himself, he became a god to himself, from the fall the chief end of man is to serve himself and he does so through the most devious means because from the fall there is no truth in him and so man can only pursue his own selfish interests through the most devious means. Unlike the Triune God Almighty, who radiates righteousness in pursuing His interest, man does not radiate righteousness but exudes wickedness in the chasing after his own interest because the truth is man is not God… the Triune God Almighty alone is God. Men & angels were created to serve God and it so happens that it is in our best interest to put God before ourselves (Mat 6:33).

John 12
24 Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit. 25 He who loves his life loses it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it to life eternal. 26 If anyone serves Me, he must follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also; if anyone serves Me, the Father will honour him.

Psalm 37:4
4 Delight yourself in the Lord;
And He will give you the desires of your heart.

The problem with loving and believing in yourself is that people of the world don’t understand that this is not the solution but root of the problem. We were made in the image of God, as human beings we were made to carry His own image/nature as if it were our own. This gracious privilege has only been given to mankind, even God’s holy angels were not blessed with this purpose. In this unbelieving world, it so happens that people are spurred into this believing & loving yourself nonsense when they are spurned by their peers. So, these people are then moved to prove themselves and the means of doing that is by believing in themselves and loving themselves but even if one should succeed in the material world while remaining spiritually empty, what use is it to gain the whole world and lose your soul (Mark 8:36)? That spiritual fulfillment can only be found in relationship with God, which is only possible through Jesus Christ. To console a person by urging him or her to believe and love himself will only light up his/her eyes for moment just as it did for Eve who was deceived by Satan into believing that she was the chief end of her own being (Gen 3:6) and we know how that went for her because we are still bearing the consequences of the fall of Adam.

Jeremiah 9
(Stressing on put God first)
23 Thus says the Lord, “Let not a wise man boast of his wisdom, and let not the mighty man boast of his might, let not a rich man boast of his riches; 24 but let him who boasts boast of this, that he understands and knows Me, that I am the Lord who exercises lovingkindness, justice and righteousness on earth; for I delight in these things,” declares the Lord.

Luke 17 (Stressing on the fact that God is our King)
7 “Suppose one of you has a servant plowing or looking after the sheep. Will he say to the servant when he comes in from the field, ‘Come along now and sit down to eat’? 8 Won’t he rather say, ‘Prepare my supper, get yourself ready and wait on me while I eat and drink; after that you may eat and drink’? 9 Will he thank the servant because he did what he was told to do? 10 So you also, when you have done everything you were told to do, should say, ‘We are unworthy servants; we have only done our duty.’”

From the fall, man has this perspective of God that he will only believe in God if God will prove himself to him through some miracles & the reason man feels this way is because from the fall man foolishly believes he is a god to himself and even Almighty God must serve his interests, for a man to believe in God Almighty. When the people of the world are rejected by their peers, they do not turn to God instead they turn to people who are blind guides just like themselves, who fill them in how special they are, make them feel proud of themselves and in doing so teach them to love and believe in themselves. However, if you were to read Jeremiah 9:23-24 you would understand that for a man to boast in his wealth or strength or intelligence is shallow and cheap but for a man to boast that He knows God revealed to him in Christ, is to truly lead a rich and fulfilling life. From the fall of Adam, we are by nature sinners, we naturally hate God because we naturally love sin, that’s how corrupt we are. What we need to focus on is how great, loving and merciful God is, that for a bunch of worthless wretches who hate Him, He offered up His only Son, that by His blood we would have atonement for our sins. He certainly did not do this because we are special but because He is a great, merciful and loving who ransomed a people for Himself from the damned family of Adam, saving us from our sin. Take a look at Luke 17 mentioned above, this does not fit the world’s perspective of God in anyway because it shows we were made to serve God and not the other way around. To give you a gist of what your conduct should be before God, I would like you to consider yourself as citizen of a country that is ruled by a monarchy, the respect, awe and fear you would have for your king in that land is the honour, respect and fear we are to have of God & it is in our own best interest to put His interest before our own.

Mark 10
29 Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, 30 but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life. 31 But many who are first will be last, and the last, first.”

Mat 13
45 “Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant seeking fine pearls, 46 and upon finding one pearl of great value, he went and sold all that he had and bought it.

The Bible teaches us that there are two great commandments in Mat 22:36-40, the first is to love God with all the strength our being can muster and the second is to love our neighbour as ourselves. However, for the person who learns to love and believe in himself, he loves his neighbour only in a manner where it will serve himself in return and so this person loves out of covetousness, honouring and pleasing only those who are in a position to serve his purpose because the man of the world from the fall, is a god to himself and in learning to love and believe in himself he excuses every sin, simply because that is the only way he can continue serving his own interest. The Man of God on the other hand is commanded to love his neighbour as himself, even if that neighbour is in no position to return the favour & so the man of God is called to help the destitute because of Jesus, whom the Man of God puts before himself, commands him to do so (Luke 14:13). A look at Mark 10:29 mentioned above shows you the extent to which we are to put Jesus first, that even if following after Jesus with the regenerated heart we are blessed with to keep His law, makes us fall out of our peers with whom we previously shared the likeminded pleasure for sin or if our family abandons us, so be it, because Jesus comes before ourselves. This is emphasised beautifully in the parable of the precious pearl mentioned above in Mat 13:45.

Acts 16
29 And he called for lights and rushed in, and trembling with fear he fell down before Paul and Silas, 30 and after he brought them out, he said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”
31 They said, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

Isaiah 28:16
16 So this is what the Sovereign Lord says:
“See, I lay a stone in Zion, a tested stone,
a precious cornerstone for a sure foundation;
the one who relies on it
will never be stricken with panic.

Acts 4:11
11 Jesus is “‘the stone you builders rejected,

which has become the cornerstone.

If you are familiar with masonry, you will know that the cornerstone is what determines the entire architectural structure of a building because the entire structure is built in reference to it. Now the Bible says Jesus is the cornerstone of our lives and we to build our lives in reference to what is taught to us in scripture. Jesus is that precious cornerstone which was tested through the suffering that bore the chastisement for our sins. On this Jesus, those who rest their faith in Him are saved, as God blesses them with a new heart, on which is written His law that the believer may live a life of natural obedience in building his/her life in reference with God’s word given to us in the Bible. Like in James 4:13-15 it teaches us that if we are to undertake a certain task, we are to speak of it as if “the Lord so wills”, or if we are employed somewhere we are to work sincerely as though working for the Lord, that’s in Col 3:23. We also have to take care of our bodies because the Holy Spirit of Christ dwells in our bodies working His Salvation in our lives (Eph 2:8-10). We are taught not to look lustfully at women, so that we do not commit adultery in our hearts. We are also taught to honour the Redemption Sabbath and keep it holy & so we have a moral code that teaches us to put God first and love our neighbour as ourselves while the State is given the judicial law that those who transgress the Moral Law by committing murder, stealing or fornication are convicted in an attempt to hedge the Moral Law.

Luke 6
46 “Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say? 47 As for everyone who comes to me and hears my words and puts them into practice, I will show you what they are like. 48 They are like a man building a house, who dug down deep and laid the foundation on rock. When a flood came, the torrent struck that house but could not shake it, because it was well built. 49 But the one who hears my words and does not put them into practice is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. The moment the torrent struck that house, it collapsed and its destruction was complete.”

I would like to leave you with some advice for those times you feel dejected and rejected by the world. The solution is not loving and believing in yourself but instead loving and believing in the Triune God Almighty because as much as reading the manufacturer’s manual helps you understand your appliances, so too reading and mulling over what is written in the Bible will teach you more about yourself than you every knew or cared to realize. However, loving and believing in the Lord is something that is going to take you a long time because you need to acquaint yourself with scripture from cover to cover and understand that character and nature of God which will slowly rub off on you in time because the very work of Salvation is to restore that image/character of God that was broken for us all in the fall of Adam.

Why the gifts of Tongues, Prophesies & Healings have Ceased!

Everything God gives us, He gives us to serve His interest because the Triune God Almighty is truly God and so unlike man who sins when he seeks after his own interest, Almighty God does not sin when He seeks after His own interest because man is not God but it is the Triune God Almighty who is truly God. So, when God seeks after His own interests, there is no sin, rather there is an increase in righteousness to the extent that when we put His interest before our own, we are blessed with everything we need (Mat6:33).

1 Cor 14
22 So then tongues are for a sign, not to those who believe but to unbelievers; but prophecy is for a sign, not to unbelievers but to those who believe. 23 Therefore if the whole church assembles together and all speak in tongues, and ungifted men or unbelievers enter, will they not say that you are mad? 24 But if all prophesy, and an unbeliever or an ungifted man enters, he is convicted by all, he is called to account by all; 25 the secrets of his heart are disclosed; and so he will fall on his face and worship God, declaring that God is certainly among you.

Now if you were to look at 1Cor 14:22-25, you would understand that the reason God gave the Apostolic Church the gift of tongues and prophesies is because they served as a sign to the unbeliever that the Church (body of believers) was of God. However, after the Bible was compiled in about 325 AD, these gifts ceased in the early Church because from that time on to today, the Word of God is complete & sufficient to convict the unbeliever to repent and believe in the Gospel and also for the believer to be edified in the Word of God. In the three years I spent with Pentecostals and Charismatics, I noticed that in Churches as big as 100-200 members there are hardly 10 or 15 who have read their Bibles from cover to cover, and for these lazy Biblically illiterate people a personal revelation falls rather conveniently is their comfort zone of unbelief. One fool will just blurt out the hardships he/she is going through and the other will play God and try to comfort him with nothing more than some emotionally led good wishes. I remember, it was New Year’s Eve 2010, when a Charismatic hypocrite who I gave a ride home said to me… I have a word from the Lord for you… he then went to say that the Lord had laid it in his heart to tell me I would get married that year. Now that wasn’t exactly good news but time went on and when New Year 2011 came, the first thing I did was call up this Charismatic fool and let him have it. That idiot was too proud to say thank you for giving him a ride home, so he haughtily played God in being emotionally led to convey his good wishes. Psalm 1:2 says that the believer mulls over the Word of God and in doing so, receives insight into how he needs to approach different aspects of his life in the light of scripture. You can however only do that when you know your Bible like the back of your hand and have learned to interpret scripture in the light of scripture itself to the Glory of God. A person who meditates on the Word of God in this manner is not looking for cheap thrills in the form of personal revelations & prophesies, which though well-meaning is terribly misleading.

2 Timothy (edifying)
16 All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Heb 4:12 (Convicting)
For the word of God is living and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

Rev 22 (No extra revelations & prophesies after the Bible)
18 I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, 19 and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book.

From 1Cor 14:27, we understand that for a Church must have one interpreter for every three speakers of tongues but today’s Charismatic Circuses have no interpreters, it’s just hundred and hundred of fools murmuring gibberish together because their naive pastors assert that those who don’t speak in tongues don’t have the Holy Spirit, which is lie even within the construct of the Apostolic Church (1Cor 12:30). Rarely does one stop and think that the reason there aren’t any spiritually gifted interpreters today because the gift of tongues in itself has ceased. However, ignorance is bliss among Charismatics & Pentecostals alike, and so their congregations find it more convenient to go into spasms of murmuring gibberish than take the effort to know their Bible from cover to cover. Their Pastors too is not really concerned because the more Biblically illiterate they are, the easier it is for them to have a strangle hold on their congregation concerning what they must believe and what they must not. In the time I was a Charismatic, I learnt that the Pastor instructed newly married couples to abstain from sex after marriage for 1 year. This was unbiblical (Deut 22:15-17), and this is what jettisoned me out of the Charismatic Church but for the others who stayed, they believed the Pastor was a man of God and knew better and till today these people haven’t bothered to read and study their Bible from cover to cover.

Mat 7
22 On that day many will say to me, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and cast out demons in your name, and do many mighty works in your name?’ 23 And then will I declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from me, you workers of lawlessness.’

Galatians 5:14
For the whole law is fulfilled in one word: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.”

Coming to healing, I have heard Charismatic leaders tell their congregation that if they have a hospital emergency, they are to tell the ambulance to bring them for the healing service even it be on a stretcher, if they had that kind of faith the person would definitely be healed and would then even dance for the Lord but when the family of these same leaders fell sick, we were urged to pray for them and go see them in hospital. The requisite of faith conveniently changed for these two-timing hypocrites when their family fell seriously ill and no one dared to ask them why they didn’t conduct a healing service and have their family members brought from the hospital for that healing service. You see the second greatest commandment (Mat 22:36-40) says we ought to love our neighbour as ourselves and this in itself exposes their leaders as heretics. Take Benny Hinn for instance, he claims to have raised people from the dead but he has been caught repeatedly for money laundering. You will notice most of these leaders like Robert Tilton who prayed in tongues and prophesied (which according to Charismatics is evidence of having the Holy Spirit) through their televangelism have been sued for fraud more than anything else. So, in the light of scripture (Mat 6:24 & 7:22-23) though these leaders who have made their Christian Ministry supposedly evident by speaking in tongues, prophesying and raising dead people, these people are not true Christians, they’re nothing but a bunch of goats who wishfully think they are saved when they are not (Mat 25:41-46).

1Cor 13
8 Love never fails; but if there are gifts of prophecy, they will be done away; if there are tongues, they will cease; if there is knowledge, it will be done away. 9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part; 10 but when the perfect comes, the partial will be done away.

Gal 5
22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. 24 Now those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. 25 If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.

Today, it is the fruit of Spirit as mentioned in Gal 5:22-25 that serves as the evidence that we have died to ourselves and are living for the Lord (Jn 12:24-26), and as much as animal sacrifices were required of the believer till Christ came in the flesh (Heb 10:1), so too tongues, prophesies & healing were given to the Apostolic Church till the Word of God was compiled adequately for the believer. Concerning healing, we must understand that God is sovereign and the healing that doctors offer people is as much from God than it would be from having people pray for you and get well. Sickness is nothing more than a trial (Ps 119:71,75) and as it is said as gems are polished by friction, men are perfected through trials God decrees to edify us as Christians.

Why the Prosperity Gospel is a False Gospel!

There is a saying I came across in school, which is “bad news travels faster than good news” and I always wondered why. Then over time as I acquainted myself with the Word of God, I learnt that mankind was by nature wicked from the fall of Adam and bad news only traveled all the more hastily because that’s what people enjoyed. We live in a world where idle gossip is hot, slander/libeling is entertaining and newspapers seem to cater to a sadist readership. In such a world as this, the only thing that catalyzes the Good News of the Gospel is God-the-Holy Spirit (Jn 16:8), who convicts people as sinners that they may die to their righteousness of self and live for the Lord (Jn 12:24-26).

Ezek 36
26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit in you and move you to follow my decrees and be careful to keep my laws.

Ps 37:4
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Mat 6
31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

Where the prosperity gospel flies of the tangent, is that it fails to understand that the fulfillment God offers us in Christ comes from putting Jesus before ourselves (Mat 6:33) because in the course of salvation God gives us an obedient heart [on which is written His Law] (Ezek 36:26), which delights in the Lord and seeks His pleasure in everything we do (Psalm 37:4). Does God want you to have your own yacht or a private jet or a multi-crore mansion? Well, you should ask yourself this… will that new/obedient heart which God gives the believer to enjoy Him forever, be delighted with a self-serving lifestyle? Also, if you believe receiving the faith of the apostles is all about your being empowered by your own will, then why is it you believe that it suddenly becomes God’s will to give your own yacht, private jet and mansion? This is no Gospel, this is hypocrisy, the prosperity gospel is pure hypocrisy. Salvation is by the will of God and those whom He calls to Himself are heirs of something much bigger… something that’s spiritually appraised (1Cor 2:14) …for those whom God calls to Himself in Jesus Christ are heirs of God Himself (Rom 8:17) because He chose us from the foundation of the world to be His Own (Eph 1:4). In the Gospel, we see the Son of God gave Himself as a ransom to purchase a people for God, paid in His blood (Rev 5:9), through which we are reconciled to God (Rom 5:17) and restored to the image of God in which were made (Rom 8:29).

Mat 24
24 For false messiahs and false prophets will appear and perform great signs and wonders to deceive, if possible, even the elect. 25 See, I have told you ahead of time.
26 “So if anyone tells you, ‘There he is, out in the wilderness,’ do not go out; or, ‘Here he is, in the inner rooms,’ do not believe it. 27 For as lightning that comes from the east is visible even in the west, so will be the coming of the Son of Man. 28 Wherever there is a carcass, there the vultures will gather.

From the fall, man is a god to himself, serving chiefly his own interests and the reason the unbeliever hates the Gospel is for the same reason he hates truth, because it does not serve his interest, instead the Gospel makes evident the righteous interests of God, but man’s heart is set on himself and though he is aware that he will do well in serving the righteous interests of God, man is unable to do so because he is has no power over his heart from which stems his appetite and love for sin. The Bible therefore calls the natural man, who is dead in his sin, a spiritual carcass (Mat 24:28), which false preachers aka vultures live off by deceitfully feeding their congregation of fallen souls with self-serving lies under the banner of preaching the Gospel. It is interesting to note that among all the disciples, Jesus entrusted the money bag to Judas Iscariot, who was a thief but the disciples weren’t too bothered because they had Jesus & He was worth more to them than any money and more than themselves. All these disciples were martyred, the only disciple who survived was John because he didn’t die after being boiled in oil. This selfless faith remains undesirable by those who fill the halls of prosperity Gospel preachers, instead these spiritual tramps are looking to be reassured of their self-worth under the banner of the Gospel.

Hosea 4:6 (the case of the unbeliever)
6 My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge;
because you have rejected knowledge,
I reject you from being a priest to me.
And since you have forgotten the law of your God,
I also will forget your children.

1Peter 2:9 (the case of the believer)
But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people for his own possession, that you may proclaim the excellencies of him who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

The reason why prosperity gospel preachers have and maintain a high number of people in their congregation is because their members are too lazy to rid themselves of their ignorance of God. They will spend loads of money on higher education and invest a whole of effort into a cushy lifestyle but they will want a Bible given to them for free and even when it is given to them for free, they have no interest in ridding themselves of their ignorance of God. In the height of their success these people are among those who have gained the whole world and lost their souls in the process (Mat 16:26) & they cannot help that empty feeling because in their fallen state they don’t have a heart that seeks the Lord, all their heart seeks after is themselves and so the Holy Bible comes across as the most uninteresting book to them in the whole world because it serves neither their selfish interest nor their sinful appetites. Having said this, I must add that I fully believe every a person must have an education and a job after that, the point am trying to make is that if you are going to go about an education and a job without the Knowledge of God as revealed in scripture, your life is going to be empty. Take a look at the goods produced in countries whose culture has been shaped by the Gospel, their goods are sought the world over because their goods have earned themselves a reputation for quality, which did not come about from its people running after money.

1Timothy 6:10
For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evils. It is through this craving that some have wandered away from the faith and pierced themselves with many pangs.

Matthew 6:24
“No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he wi
ll be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

To conclude, I would like say that there is nothing wrong with money in itself, it is all about how you put it to use. Nothing in this world serves a man’s selfish interest like money and this is what God cautions us about concerning money. Money promotes self-idolatry like no other because it makes a person feel omnipotent, omniscient and omnipresent (by buying people off) and unless a person is predestined to glorify God’s justice, God will not hand one over to their love for money because it would rob God of the worship He deserves and in doing so, be the very ruin of those who serve their vested interest with money but for those whom God wills to save, there is no sin too big for the Almighty Triune God to turn the sinner around from… remember Jesus turned Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10/Mat 13:44) around from his love for money.

Do Jews, Christians & Muslims worship the same God?

I would like to begin this New Year 2019 by offering the first fruits of my labour to the Lord. I have heard many who are feeding on spiritual milk debating on whether the God the Jews, Christians & Muslims worship is the same. I have realized what I usually discuss on my blog is spiritual meat, which is difficult for those who are on spiritual milk to appraise. So, I would like to dedicated some of my time on this New Year’s Day to substantially answering this question with scripture.

Gen 1:26 (Old Testament – Creation Account)
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.”

Mat 28:19 (New Testament – Great Commission)
Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,

I would like to start this piece by saying Christian, Muslims and Jews do not worship the same God, I say this essentially because only Christians believe that God is One in Three Persons i.e. God-the-Father, God-the-Son & God-the-Holy Spirit. Both Muslims & Jews deny the deity of Jesus Christ as the Son of God incarnate who took human form in the womb of the virgin Mary to be that pure, perfect unblemished sacrifice for all sin. So, it is safe to assume that Jews & Muslims do not worship the same God as Christians do because they deny Jesus is God. It’s important to note that everything God does, He does to bring glory to Himself and the reason mankind is a relational/social being is because God is relational within Himself as the Father, Son & Spirit. These three Persons are distinct and are each equally omniscient, omnipresent and omnipotent in One God head. Time is as old a creation as the earth itself and the Three Persons of the Godhead have existed eternally before time from the very beginning. Also, you must know that creation did not come into being because God was lonely but for His glory. Take a look at ourselves, we freely glorify His love, His wrath, His justice and His mercy. There is no escaping God (Ps 139:7-12). If you think the elect were made to keep a lonely God company in heaven, think again, because the elect have life from the life Jesus imparted to them & we are who are His elect are the true sons of Abraham, because the God – Jesus Christ who gave Abraham spiritual life, is the God who has regenerated His people, both Messianic Jews and Gentiles with His life giving spirit. You may ask how could Abraham be saved through faith in Jesus, when Jesus hadn’t died before Abraham’s time, to have faith in Him. Well, I would like to direct your attention to the sacrifice Abraham was commanded to offer by God, a sacrifice which the Angel of the Lord (Jesus – the Son of God) stopped and sovereignly moved Abraham to sacrifice a ram instead, which was symbolic of the substitutionary atonement of Christ for the sins of all God’s people including Abraham. If you want to know why I said that the Angel of the Lord was the Son of God, it’s because if you look at Gen 22:15-18 in the context of the John 1:1, 18, you will notice the Son of God has always been God-the-Father’s spokesperson and even assert His own will as God in the Old Testament as the Angle of the Lord (Gen 21:17-19) and in the New Testament as Jesus Christ (Jn 2:19). Another unique thing about Christianity is that, the brotherhood we share, is in sharing in the life-giving Spirit of Christ. You see, the Bible says life is in the blood and the Jews believe they are all blood descendants of Abraham through the promised son Isaac while the Muslims believe they are all blood descendants of Abraham through the promised son Ishmael. Now, for the 6.5 million Jews in the world, this claim is easy to digest but for the 1.8 billion Muslims all around the world today, that claim is absurd.

Gen 2:7
7 Then the Lord God formed a man from the dust of the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living being.

John 20:21-22
21 Again Jesus said, “Peace be with you! As the Father has sent me, I am sending you.” 22 And with that he breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

2Timothy 3:16
All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Romans 5:17
For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!

What differentiates mankind from the animals is the spiritual life God has given human beings. This spiritual life is the very nature of God, in which we are made. Notice in Genesis 2:7 that God breathed life into the nostrils of Adams. Then notice in John 20:21-22 that Jesus after His resurrection meets his disciples, breathes on them the Holy Spirit and restores to them the spiritual life that was lost in the fall of Adam. Then notice again in 2Timothy 3:16 how the Holy Spirit applies Salvation by taking what is of Christ and teaching us (John 16:14). These teaching of the Holy Spirit is given to us in scripture, it is the very life giving breath that God breathed into Adams nostrils, the only difference is this life cannot be lost, for our life is sustained by the very life force of God-the-Son, who conquered death – the very sting of death, by taking upon Himself the sins of the world, dying as a result of the wages of all sin & rising victoriously to life on the third day and He remain today as He has always been… seated at the right hand of God-the-Father, for He is the strong/mighty right arm of God, which not even death can thwart.

Psalm 2:12 (Jesus as Lord – Old Testament)
Do homage to the Son, that He not become angry, and you perish in the way,
For His wrath may soon be kindled.
How blessed are all who take refuge in Him!

Mat 2:11 (Jesus as Lord – New Testament)
So, they entered the house; and when they saw the babe with His mother Mary, they prostrated themselves and did Him homage, and opening their treasure-chests offered gifts to Him–gold, frankincense, and myrrh

Psalm 44:3 (Jesus as Saviour – Old Testament)
For by their own sword they did not possess the land, And their own arm did not save them, But Your right hand and Your arm and the light of Your presence, For You favoured them.

1Cor 15:56-57 (Jesus as Saviour – New Testament)
56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. 57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

To conclude, I would like you to look at the above verses, as it will help you holistically understand why unlike Judaism & Islam, Christianity reveres Jesus Christ as a Lord & Saviour. I would like to site that Jesus is God-the-Son incarnate who is both fully God and fully man. He is unique in the sense that He is the mediator God has appointed (1Timothy 2:5) and He is that worthy representative all of God’s people have chosen to represent them before God (Rev 5:11-12). Additionally, Jesus understands completely the Holiness of God being the Son of God Himself & so as Jesus Sovereignly brings us to mature in His likeness (Rom 8:29), we conform to the image/nature of God, in which we were made. As Man, Jesus understand our infirmities (Heb 4:15) as He pleads our case like a righteous advocate before God (1Jn 2:1), having paid the penalty of our sins on the cross. This is saving faith & this saving faith is not common with Muslims and Non-Messianic Jews for their faith is largely an expression of what they are doing for God while Christianity is largely an expression of the work of God in the believer, right from election, to justification through faith in Christ and regeneration.

Praying To/For Dead People.

Isaiah 8:19
When they say to you, “Consult the mediums and the spiritists who whisper and mutter,” should not a people consult their God? Should they consult the dead on behalf of the living?

Ecclesiastes 9
5 For the living know that they shall die: but the dead know not any thing, neither have they any more a reward; for the memory of them is forgotten.
6 Also their love, and their hatred, and their envy, is now perished; neither have they any more a portion for ever in any thing that is done under the sun.

Growing up as a Roman Catholic, I am all to familiar with how they pray to dead saints and pray for souls who have departed from the midst. I have also even seen them offer mass for departed souls on Christmas Day. Roman Catholicism, claims to adhere to the Word of God & tradition but what if the tradition they adhere to is explicitly spoken against in the Bible? Well, from what I have learnt about most heresies like Roman Catholicism, is that they thrive simply because of the sloth and ignorance of God that is prevalent among the people (Hos 4:6). In a study conducted in the US, the number of Roman Catholics who had read the Bible from cover to cover stood somewhere between 5 to 6%. In Sept this year, the Biblically repugnant Pope Francis asked Roman Catholics all around the world to pray to Mary (the Mother of Jesus) to protect the Church from the Devil supposedly. When you look at the scripture provided you above, it is very clear that beyond the grave people are cut-off from this world and the only Person whom we can pray to is that One Mediator who Died and Rose Again i.e. the Lord Jesus Christ, who is fully God and fully man. He is the only Person who can hear your prayers, no other Saint or Angel has either the capacity or the authority to hear people’s prayers.

1Timothy 2
5 For there is one God, and there is one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6 who gave himself as a ransom for all, which is the testimony given at the proper time.

2Cor 11
14 No wonder, for even Satan disguises himself as an angel of light. 15 Therefore it is not surprising if his servants also disguise themselves as servants of righteousness, whose end will be according to their deeds.

1John 3:10
10 By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.

When we look at how Roman Catholic priests have been caught on pedophilia sex tapes and to top it all justify themselves saying that they didn’t know pedophilia was a crime while the Pope keeps silent, we understand that Roman Catholic priest have proven themselves to be the children of Satan because the dead saints they have been praying to all this while are actually demons in disguise. There is after all, good reason why the Bible refers to consulting the dead as an abomination as over consulting with the Lord (Isaiah 8:19). We must understand that there is no return for the souls beyond the grave but what is here on earth are those 1/3rd of the angels (now demons) who fell with Satan (Rev 12:4) and it is these demons who impersonate the dead and deceived people into praying to and for the dead.

Luke 20:38
Now He is not the God of the dead but of the living; for all live to Him.”

John 4:10
Jesus answered and said to her, “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water.”

1 Jn 4:20
If someone says, “I love God,” and hates his brother, he is a liar; for the one who does not love his brother whom he has seen, cannot love God whom he has not seen.

I few days ago, I came across this Roman Catholic Church sign that said “fight for the living & pray for the dead” & when I came to reflect on what it meant against the background of what the Bible taught, I thought to myself… man… what a bunch of hypocrites these people are knowingly or unknowingly. You see, growing up as a Roman Catholic I have always understood that people only sincerely pray for the dead because deep inside they believe God is incompetent in dealing with their souls & come to think of it we live in the world that honours and is concerned about people only after they die. Here are a couple of examples: Vincent Van Gogh, who cut off his ear for a prostitute; then you have Emily Dickinson, who had a veiled English sophistication in going about her disrespect for authority while never accepting the Bible as an inerrant guide to life. You also have James Dean, the Hollywood bad boy who died with only one movie released and two in production. When I look at these people who because famous only after they died just like Roman Catholic Saints who are canonized only after their death, I realize and see the sorrow of the world which breeds death (2Cor7:10), that while these people were alive they did not care for them but when they died they suddenly felt that strong need to transfer their guilt to God because they did sweet nothing for them when they were alive. The fact however remains that what marks the people’s unbelief when their neighbour is alive also marks their unbelief after their neighbour is dead and gone. I say this because scripture says that if a person says he/she loves God whom he/she cannot see but does not love his/her neighbour whom he/she can see then this person is a liar (1Jn 4:20). Then when a person dies, his friends and family erect a beautiful tombstone to ease their memory of the neglect that person suffered at their hands when he/she was alive, while they pray desperately to God because from their unbelief they are given to believe God is no better competent than they are themselves.

Deut 18
10 There shall not be found among you anyone who makes his son or his daughter pass through the fire, one who uses divination, one who practices witchcraft, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, 11 or one who casts a spell, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. 12 For whoever does these things is detestable to the Lord; and because of these detestable things the Lord your God will drive them out before you.

To concluded, I would only like to say that there is barely much difference between a Roman Catholic who prays to the dead saints or for the people who died and a necromancer to consults demons disguised as departed spirits to tickle the itchy ears of the unbelieving masses because as the Bible says where the corpses (unbelieving masses) are, there the vultures (heretic/apostate leaders) will gather.

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Man In God’s World!

This piece is inspired by the book “Man In God’s World” written by the German theologian Helmut Thielicke. Today, people feel that there is no room for righteousness and religion in this world but as it is so often the case, the unbeliever loves to live in this surreal utopia where everything that ought to exist in the environment is there only to please him and serve his own vested interest. The truth however is that man is not God but God is God and everything that is there in all creation is there to please God not us. So, if we feel that there is no room in the world for God, guess what’s going to happen, the earth will swallow us 6 ft under before we reach a ripe old age. The Bible says that the earth yearns for the revealing of the sons of God, the rightful stewards of the earth, whose image/character of God that was broken in the disobedience of Adam has been restored in Jesus Christ (Rom 5:17).

Rom 8
19 For the anxious longing of the creation waits eagerly for the revealing of the sons of God. 20 For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it, in hope 21 that the creation itself also will be set free from its slavery to corruption into the freedom of the glory of the children of God.

Rev 12
15 And the serpent poured water like a river out of his mouth after the woman, so that he might cause her to be swept away with the flood. 16 But the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened its mouth and drank up the river which the dragon poured out of his mouth.

Rev 13
4 they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?” 5 There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. 6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemies against God, to blaspheme His name and His tabernacle, that is, those who dwell in heaven.

15 And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16 And he causes all, the small and the great, and the rich and the poor, and the free men and the slaves, to be given a mark on their right hand or on their forehead, 17 and he provides that no one will be able to buy or to sell, except the one who has the mark, either the name of the beast or the number of his name.

Rev 15
2 And I saw something like a sea of glass mixed with fire, and those who had been victorious [a]over the beast and his image and the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, holding harps of God. 3 And they *sang the song of Moses, the bond-servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying,
“Great and marvelous are Your works,
O Lord God, the Almighty;
Righteous and true are Your ways,
King of the nations!
4 “Who will not fear, O Lord, and glorify Your name?
For You alone are holy;
For all the nations will come and worship before You,
For Your righteous acts have been revealed.”

That’s a whole lot of scripture I have mentioned up there but there is something I need to tell you along the lines of how this is God’s World we are living in. Like a king who is overthrown by his own people for his tyrannical reign over his people through the years, is the case of the unbeliever, who in serving his own interests like he was a god, uses and abuses his neighbour & the creation around alike & then creation fights back because God subjects her to that pain of child bearing & yearning concerning revealing those whom God has adopted into His family through Jesus Christ (John 1:12-13). I have mention Rev 13:4-6 & 15-17 above, so you would understand the context of Rev 15:16. Satan has naturally bastardized all of mankind from the fall of Adam with his blasphemous lies against God & His commandments (Gen 3:1-6). The reason the masses today are more interested to listening to demonic spirits and not the word of God is because from the falls the unbeliever is a bastard son/daughter of Satan (Heb 12:8), who is naturally opposed to the righteousness of God. So, like the Levites paid Melchizedek their tithe while they were still in the loins of Abraham (Heb 7:5), so too we who are all Adam’s offspring fell for Satan’s lies in the fall of Adam. Satan was however overpowered and kicked out of heaven and he fell like lightening to earth (Lk 10:18) and broke his fall with his face I presume but on earth he continues to fight his losing battle (Rev 12:13/Is 9:6), so he opens his mouth spews out his unreasonable hate against God and His church in an attempt to destroy the Church and foolishly thwart the mighty saving arm of God in the lives of His elect (Ps 44:3). Though the Bible says the world is under the sway of Satan (1Jn 5:19), the only fools listening to him are those whom he had bastardized in Adam. Imagine the Almighty Son of God, through whom all creation was made (Col 1:16-19), He took human form 2000 years ago in the womb of a virgin (that he may have no part of Adam’s sin) and became the sinless/unblemished atoning sacrifice for all of God’s people. The redemption this Jesus offers is 2-fold, first Jesus imputes in the elect His righteousness and second Jesus takes upon Himself the sins of the believer having overcome it by His death and resurrection. This Almighty Son of God is the one who binds Satan and plunders his house (Lk 11:21-22), saving whom He wills. Imagine Saul, who gushed like water from Satan’s mouth on the road to Damascus to persecute the Church but encountered the Lord Jesus Christ on the way, who turned Saul around from his righteousness of self to the righteousness of God.

Exodus 15 (Moses Song)
11 “Who is like You among the gods, O Lord?
Who is like You, majestic in holiness,
Awesome in praises, working wonders?
12 “You stretched out Your right hand,
The earth swallowed them.
13 “In Your lovingkindness You have led the people whom You have redeemed;
In Your strength You have guided them to Your holy habitation.
14 “The peoples have heard, they tremble;
Anguish has gripped the inhabitants of Philistia.
15 “Then the chiefs of Edom were dismayed;
The leaders of Moab, trembling grips them;
All the inhabitants of Canaan have melted away.
16 “Terror and dread fall upon them;
By the greatness of Your arm they are motionless as stone;
Until Your people pass over, O Lord,
Until the people pass over whom You have purchased.

Coming to Rev 15 mentioned in the start of this post, let’s take a look at the Song of Moses and compare it with the what is mentioned above. The above is the Song is what Moses and the people sung after God parted the Red Sea that they may pass. Notice Verse 12 in Exodus 15 above… “the earth swallowed the Egyptians” who followed the Israelites into the Red Sea, just like it is mentioned in Rev 12:16. Then notice also Exodus 15:16, the people whom the Spirit of Christ past over came at a price, which was paid on the cross. Take a look at Baptism, its akin to the burial of believer in that we die to ourselves and come alive to God (John 12:24-26). This dying to ourselves, which is actually godly sorrow that brings about repentance leading to Salvation does not happen of our own volition (2 Cor 7:10). The Spirit of Christ subdues us, takes away our hearts of stone and gives us a heart of flesh (Ezek 36:26-28) which is so obedient that the Bible says it’s as though God’s Law were written on it (Jer 31:33).

Matthew 24
38 For as in those days before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered the ark, 39 and they did not understand until the flood came and took them all away; so will the coming of the Son of Man be. 40 Then there will be two men in the field; one will be taken and one will be left. 41 Two women will be grinding at the mill; one will be taken and one will be left.

Matthew 13
24 Jesus presented another parable to them, saying, “The kingdom of heaven [m]may be compared to a man who sowed good seed in his field. 25 But while his men were sleeping, his enemy came and sowed tares among the wheat, and went away. 26 But when the wheat sprouted and bore grain, then the tares became evident also. 27 The slaves of the landowner came and said to him, ‘Sir, did you not sow good seed in your field? How then does it have tares?’ 28 And he said to them, ‘An enemy has done this!’ The slaves said to him, ‘Do you want us, then, to go and gather them up?’ 29 But he *said, ‘No; for while you are gathering up the tares, you may uproot the wheat with them. 30 Allow both to grow together until the harvest; and in the time of the harvest I will say to the reapers, “First gather up the tares and bind them in bundles to burn them up; but gather the wheat into my barn.”’”

Though many people may consider Mat 24:40-41 as the rapture, it is not, because if you were to look at the context of this scripture, you will understand that that coming of the Son of Man is spoken in the context of paying out the good justice of God upon the ungodly, also take a look at Mat 13:30, it shows you that what goes first are the tares. One must also note that the rapture is an offshoot of this escapist ideology where God is not sovereign. On the contrary, as God did not spare His own Son (Rom 8:32), why will He spare us the rod and the Bible says he scourges/disciplines every son whom He receives in Jesus (Heb 12:6/Jn 1:12-13). The only difference between the scourging Jesus received and we will receive is that Jesus was the sinless Lamb of God by whose atoning sacrifice we have life, while the scourging we receive is the discipline we need to walk on the right path.

Ecclesiastes 7:17
Do not be excessively wicked and do not be a fool. Why should you die before your time?

Prov 16:31
A gray head is a crown of glory;
It is found in the way of righteousness.

So, to help you put the tares going early into perspective, the wicked die early and if we are to have life, we can only continue to do so on God’s terms because after all we are all just men living in God’s world but thankfully the Triune God Almighty is good. Take a look at the statistics for yourself, you’d notice that average life expectancy for a drug addict is 30-39 years. Coming to the LGBT, these people are 42 times more likely of die of Aids and 4 times more likely to commit suicide; with suicide alone wiping out 34,000 of the LGBT each year, it is the third leading cause of death among the LGBT who are between 15 to 24 years old. For convicts charged with capital crimes, like rape or murder even if they do not hang, their odds of death increase by 78% & their life expectancy reduces by 10 years. Coming to Alcoholics, the average life expectancy is 47-53 years for men and 50-58 years for women. Unless you haven’t noticed, I have stated the statistics of only those whom the Bible says will not inherit the Kingdom of God (1Cor 6:9-10). To conclude I shall say this, it is much better to live at the mercy of God which we generously avail in His Son Jesus than to live at the mercy of people fallen in Adam who know no mercy but tyranny.

Psalm 37:17
For the arms of the wicked will be broken, But the Lord sustains the righteous.

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