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.

Genuine Vs Counterfeit – Pleasure, Pride & Power.

1John 2:16
For all that is in the world—the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not of the Father but is of the world.

The above scripture shows you what exemplifies a great life in this sinful world… the lust of the flesh (that desire for wicked pleasure), the lust of the eyes (that thirst for corrupt power), the pride of life (selfish pride), which is nothing but the veil that blinds the unbeliever to the redeeming merit of the Lord Jesus Christ as presented in the Gospel (2Cor 4:3). The Bible teaches us that the believer must walk by faith and not by sight (2Cor 5:7) and in doing so, it qualifies saving faith as that sixth sense which overrides all our five senses because our flesh naturally from the fall of Adam, is wired to resist the good pleasure of God, but faith teaches us to say no to ourselves and say yes to God. In any case, when you take a look at the end result of our indulging in our own pleasure, when you have had all that you have wanted, whether it be: drunkenness, gluttony, drug addiction or nymphomania, when have had all of what pleases you personally, you are left feeling very squeamish if not diseased. The reason our pleasures handed to us from Adam are so morbid is because we are not God, we weren’t meant to serve our own interest. Instead we were made to serve the Lord and make his pleasure our own (Psalm 37:4).

John 12
24 Most assuredly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. 25 He who loves his life will lose it, and he who hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 26 If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor.

Rom 5:17
17 For if by the one man’s (Adam’s) offense death reigned through the one, much more those who receive abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ.)

When we look at the above two verses we realize how the free will of man traces its way after the sovereign will of God, like water flowing through a channel made in the mud by hand (Prov 21:1). Keeping this in mind, when we look at the above scripture we realize that the dying to ourselves, which must happen in the life of a believer, is not God calling you to commit social suicide but instead it is the saving power of the Jesus’ Spirit working in the believer (Phil 1:6), in the bringing the believer to repent and believe in God. When Jesus said He didn’t come to call the healthy but sinners (Mk 2:17), we realize that we cannot receive the righteousness of God unless we lose our terribly fraudulent self-righteousness & acknowledge we are nothing but sinners in turning to God. Take a look at the thirst for corrupt power, people will do anything to climb the corporate ladder, sleep with their bosses, bribe their way to get a promotion, bear false witness against their colleagues, then when you look at politics we know that in most socialist countries the best upgrade a gangster or religious baba/conman can get is to become a politician, the whole world practically goes about trying to gain the whole the world at the cost of losing their soul (Mk 8:36).

Gen 3
4 But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. 5 For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” 6 So 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 to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. 7 Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths.

The above verse sights the Biblical account of the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. Notice how Satan baits the woman, he says you will be like God, in the sense you will have your own standard of what is right and what is wrong, separate from what God has set. Verse 6 of Genesis 3 is where the fall happens because the woman actually believes Satan and all the lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh and pride of life appears to take root in Adam & Eve here. In doing so the living faith that was in them perished but not just for them but for us all who are their progeny. Ever wondered Jesus was born of a virgin? It is so that he would have no part of Adam’s sin (Heb 4:15). It is no wonder that today people are more willing to listen to spirit mediums who communicate with demons impersonating the dead but these same people have the least interest in knowing what the good Lord says in the Bible, because it doesn’t quite whet their rebellious appetite, which is all thanks to fall of Adam.

Romans 8:28
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.

When you look at the above scripture, you might begin to realize that unlike man, the reason good comes from God pursuing His own purpose/interests, is because the truth is God and God, man is not God, and to go against this simple and yet critical truth/principle is to dangerously err but we do it everyday unknowingly, and the Bible in this context is quite right in saying: the fool says in his heart- there is no God (Psalm 14:1); because that is the kind of ungrateful lives we are living and then we wonder where’s the joy all gone and why the suicide rates are so high. Still, God in his mercy keeps us alive each day, blessing us with sunshine, rain and all the other pleasures of life, which we can never put a price on. Now take a look at our selfish pride, besides it flying in the face of the Almighty Triune God, you also come to realize that selfish-pride and self-respect are mutually exclusive, the things selfish pride will make an unbeliever stoop to, is something no self-respecting believer will have anything to do with. For any person who takes pride in being very smart/learned, strong or attractive will senselessly speak ill of the other in his attempt to sabotage people’s perception concerning how the other excels in that field, which that person himself self-relates with so proudly. You will also notice that people who speak with great haughtiness concerning themselves can actually do very little, even for themselves. It is as the Bible says that the truth in not in them.

Psalm 37:4 (Pleasure)
4 Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.

Jeremiah 9:23-24 (Pride)
Thus says the Lord: “Let not the wise man boast in his wisdom, let not the mighty man boast in his might, let not the rich man boast in his riches, but let him who boasts boast in this, that he understands and knows me, that I am the Lord who practices steadfast love, justice, and righteousness in the earth. For in these things I delight, declares the Lord.”

Romans 8 (Power)
15 For you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons, by whom we cry, “Abba! Father!” 16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, 17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and fellow heirs with Christ, provided we suffer with him in order that we may also be glorified with him.

Do you remember the parable of the pearl of great value in Mat 13:45-46, the Gospel is compared to this pearl of great value, where a merchant in realizing its value (1 Cor 2:14) relinquishes his self-righteousness in receiving Jesus Christ as His Lord/Master & Saviour? From Jesus we learn that a man cannot believe in the Gospel unless he repents (Jn 12:24-26), which is to say that he willingly and happily renounces his self-righteousness in receiving the righteousness of God. The scripture I have quoted above, tell us what exactly is the pleasure, pride and power a Christian is genuinely brought to yearn for. We must remember that we were made in the image in God (Gen 1:26) that was broken in Adam but restored in Christ (Rom 8:29), and so the pride, pleasure & power we ought to reflect must be all for the glory of the Triune God Almighty.

P.S. I DON’T SUPPORT #GayRight or #GayPride for the same reason I DON’T SUPPORT the Right to murder, or the Right to rape, or the fallen Pride murderers/rapists take in their capacity to sin. After all these are all sins deserving of death but our world is lost ever since the fall.

Shout out their Conviction from the Roof!

Mat 10
26 “Therefore do not fear them, for there is nothing concealed that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. 27 What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops. 28 Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a cent? And yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from your Father. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 So do not fear; you are more valuable than many sparrows.

Have you ever heard that story of the Emperor’s New Clothes, it took a kid to tell the emperor he was parading naked! The people of this world vehemently despise those who are morally straight, it’s almost as though the righteousness of God which is revealed through the Spirit of Christ working in the believer, convicts the unbeliever of his sin and in that moment the unbeliever’s heart is either hardened (Rom 9:18) or his unbelieving heart is pierced with the weight of godly sorrow that brings him to repentance (2Cor 7:10-11). Today, Christianity for many namesake Christians is just a story but for those who really believe in the Lord Jesus, this religion is an original filled with substance. Take a look at Stephen (Acts 6:8 – 7:60), the first Christian martyr, when he was brought before the council, he spoke boldly of his faith in Jesus Christ before the pharisees and the apostate Jews, to the extent that their hearts were hardened and they took his life because God did not grant those poor fools the capacity to repent and be saved from their sins. Look at the average Christian witness today, does his life testify of the righteousness of Christ working in him, does it convict the unbeliever as Stephen did. No! To a great extent, unbelievers see namesake Christians living the same lives they are living but only believing in a different story and there is really no conviction in that. So, what is the point am driving? I am certainly not implying that the true Christian must be on a suicide mission. This is not Islam, where you can excuse yourself from the hardship of life by blowing yourself up in the midst of non-Muslims and fool yourself into thinking this is your straight ticket to heaven because that’s more like going from the frying pan into the fire.

Mark 1
14 Now after John had been taken into custody, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of God, 15 and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.”

“Until Sin be bitter, Christ will not be sweet.” Thomas Watson

If we are living by what is right in God’s sight then we are walking by faith and not by sight, knowing that the righteousness of Christ we are called to exercise in this world, will be met by hostility, but our lives and theirs, is in God’s hand and they shall be able to nothing to us, until and unless God decrees that we suffer martyrdom for His namesake. After all, if Christ could suffer and die at the hand of sinners what right do we have to consider ourselves as more privileged to lead a Godly life without paying a dear price, which even if it be we lose our lives, it is nothing compared to what Jesus endured. Think about this, God’s wrath was not satisfied when He destroyed all of mankind in the days of Noah but His wrath was satisfied when He poured out the wages of all sin upon His Son Jesus Christ, who suffered the humiliation of this world leading up to death on the cross and then 3 days in hell. Look at us, we have a rough week at work and an anxiety filled weekend and we start grumbling against God. What we are going through for the sake of Christ is nothing compared to what Jesus went through, He was born in the stable because there was no room in the inn, Joseph and Mary had to flee to Egypt because Herod wanted to kill Him when He was a child, in the wilderness in His weak state (from His 40 days of fasting) he was tempted by Satan, during his ministry the pharisees in their inability to deal with their own guilt claimed He performed miracles by the power of the leader of demons, the foxes have their holes and birds have their nest but my Lord Jesus had no place to lie down, then His own disciple Judas betrayed Him and He was slandered, whipped, scourged and put to death on the cross among two thieves and then after He died He went to hell for three days. So, if the Captain of our Salvation could go through all this why should we surprised when affliction visits us as the means of perfecting our faith in Jesus Christ and proving our religion as genuine.

John 16 (Jesus Speaking About the Holy Spirit)
8 And He, when He comes, will convict the world concerning sin and righteousness and judgment; 9 concerning sin, because they do not believe in Me; 10 and concerning righteousness, because I go to the Father and you no longer see Me; 11 and concerning judgment, because the ruler of this world has been judged.

The world garnishes their sinfulness with hypocrisy, it’s like the unbeliever sins against his neighbour in the full view and knowledge of his neighbour, so as to subdue & assert his godless authority over his neighbour, which is in keeping with the ungodly leadership this world resorts to, in controlling their environment through tyrannical/unholy fear (Mat 20:25). However, if you have the courage to confront them with what is clearly evident, they will be taken aback because somehow it seems they have no problem with sinning against God and their neighbour but tell them about it, and God will either harden their hearts to hate you or God will take away their hearts of stone and give them a heart of flesh to obey His Law (Ezek 11:19). So what God reveals to you in your quite reflection of scripture, it is good to hide in your heart & keep your peace (Ps 119:11), till you confront your neighbour in the light of that knowledge at an opportune time as guided by the Holy Spirit (1Cor 6:2). Remember, the world’s people are neither your standard nor your audience, whatever you do, do it as unto the Lord (Col 3:23-24). When God is your audience and standard, your hands and tongues will not be tied to speak out against the sinfulness that plagues the whole world, instead you will be shouting out their judgement from every rooftop for the Glory of God alone.

Yes, this is all possible when you are in Christ (Mark 3:27).

Not Just Recipients of Grace but Agents of Grace!

Rev 22:17
The Spirit and the Bride say, “Come.” And let the one who hears say, “Come.” And let the one who is thirsty come; let the one who desires take the water of life without price.

John 4:13-14
13 Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”

The true believer is saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ, by whose sacrifice the anger of God against him/her as a sinner is quenched, while the rebellion in the sinner is doused, conforming the sinner to the image/nature/character of Almighty God in which he/she was made. In Christ, we are a new creation, that old Adamic nature withers away while a new nature (of Christ) germinates in us occupying more and more of us each passing day. We aren’t just called unto Christ for our salvation, we are also called to reflect Christ to those around us, which is why the second greatest commandment after loving God with all our strength is to love our neighbour as we love our selves. Take a look at the above verses, it helps you see that Christ is so influential in breathing life into the lives of His elect that we can’t help but continually seek Him and in doing so we become more and more Christlike each day.

John 8:12
Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”

Mat 5:14-16
14 “You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. 16 In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.

I have quoted another set of verses for you to help you see that Jesus rubs off on the believer. If there’s one thing I have noticed in a heresy or cult is that it thrives simply because of the people’s sloth in not genuinely seeking the Lord. In most cults like Roman Catholicism and the Charismatic Movement, only about 10% of them know their Bibles from cover to cover, and among those ten a good majority have neither the guts nor the gumption to question their pastors/priests on the cherry-picked Christianity they have been teaching and move out of there. Most of such congregations, are more concerned about themselves than seeking the Lord, so while in the world they remain Lawyers, Doctors, Engineers and Managers, their knowledge of the Lord is shoddy because they don’t know their Bible as well as they know their worldly studies, which goes to show they do not rely on the Lord for their sustenance. These people therefore remain within these cults/heresies as they don’t know any better and frankly speaking, they don’t really care because the reality with a majority of them including their priests & pastors is that these people are only doing what they are doing to serve themselves and not unto serving the Lord.

John 13:34
A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.

Mat 25:40
And the King will answer them, ‘Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brothers, you did it to me.’

The Bible says that life is in the blood, and blood is what makes family but as spiritual descendants of Abraham through the promised seed that is Christ (Gal 3:16), the family that is established in sharing of Jesus’ Holy Spirit is of much greater value than a family established by blood, for two reasons as I see it. One because, a family established by blood lies still in Adam where each member primarily serves himself from the fall, in the family of Christ however, every member learns to put Christ first & love their neighbours as themselves. Second because, the life that is in the blood is perishable but the life we have in the Spirit of Christ is immortal. Therefore as Christians in fellowship, we do more than just reflecting Christ to the world, we actually reflect Christ to each other, making His presence known to our brothers and sisters in Jesus (Jn 13:34) who can appreciate and digest that is spiritually appraised. As children restored to God through Jesus Christ we are called to be conduits of His blessing in the lives of our brothers/sisters.

Mat 5
44 But I say to you, Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you, 45 so that you may be sons of your Father who is in heaven. For he makes his sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust.

48 You therefore must be perfect, as your heavenly Father is perfect.

Jude 1
22 And have mercy on those who doubt; 23 save others by snatching them out of the fire; to others show mercy with fear, hating even the garment stained by the flesh.

2 Cor 8
6 Accordingly, we urged Titus that as he had started, so he should complete among you this act of grace. 7 But as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in all earnestness, and in our love for you—see that you excel in this act of grace also.
8 I say this not as a command, but to prove by the earnestness of others that your love also is genuine. 9 For you know the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for your sake he became poor, so that you by his poverty might become rich.

I would like to conclude this post by citing the above verse in Mat 5:44, 45, 48 which shows us that we who have received the saving grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, do so only to become bearers of grace to the elect and to the reprobate in the context of Jude 1:23 as unto serving the Lord & not in the context of sucking up to the world to serve our own sick interest, because the grace of God we exhibit unto others testifies of the salvation that God is working in us (Phil 1:3-6) while proving our love for the Lord to be genuine (2Cor 8:8). For as Rom 8:30 says those whom God predestined, He also justified and glorified but why would God do so… because He predestines us to conform with the Image/nature of His Son as explained in Roman 8:28, which takes us from being recipients of grace to being agents of grace, not by our own capacity surely but by the power of the Triune God Almighty who saves.

Our Sovereign Maker, Lord & Saviour

Jeremiah 1:5
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.”

Romans 9
21 Has the potter no right over the clay, to make out of the same lump one vessel for honorable use and another for dishonorable use? 22 What if God, desiring to show his wrath and to make known his power, has endured with much patience vessels of wrath prepared for destruction, 23 in order to make known the riches of his glory for vessels of mercy, which he has prepared beforehand for glory— 24 even us whom he has called, not from the Jews only but also from the Gentiles?

The connect I would like to show you in the above two verses is this… you know we who are his elect are nothing but vessels made from clay (mud) in whom Jesus has poured out His Living Spirit and in doing so has given life to us spiritually dead sons/daughters of Adam. There was a time we languished among the spiritual corpses of the world because of the disobedience of Adam in whose loins all of mankind sinned against God, yet, who can thwart the might right arm of God, that is Jesus who saves the elect from their sins and reconciles them back to God. Take a look at Psalm 44:1-3, you will see that in Christ we are the heirloom & heirs of Almighty God. The honourable use, He made the godly for (Rom 9:21), was speaking in terms of the elect serving His righteous purpose, which was made possible through the atoning sacrifice of Christ Jesus while the dishonourable use He made the reprobate for, was speaking in terms of the profligate serving their own wicked purpose, as fools handed over to their own adamic lusts.

Mat 13: 8, 23 (Jer 1:5 perspective)
Other seeds fell on good soil and produced grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty.

As for what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it. He indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.”

Take a look at the above scripture from the perspective of Jeremiah 1:5 mentioned in the beginning of this post. You will understand that the good soil doesn’t randomly happen here and there with the seed chancing itself on that good soil. That good soil, is a life prepared by the hand of God for honourable use i.e. to serve Jesus’s purpose (Rom 9:21). In all these things we must understand that God doesn’t make/cause people to sin. People who sin, sin of their own volition and enjoy it, it is the very nature they have received from the fall of Adam. The elect too once bore this nature but the redeeming power of Jesus overcame their sinful nature and turned them from serving their own wicked interest to serving God’s interests and enjoying because we are after all a new creation in Christ (2Cor 5:17). It’s like that brand “One Drop”, which can purify a whole glass of water with just one drop of that solution. So too we who were sinners were called and chosen by God, in doing so we’re given a little seed of Jesus’ Spirit, which grows and over comes our sinful adamic nature to bear the image/nature/character of God in the elect.

Isaiah 64:8
But now, O Lord, you are our Father;
we are the clay, and you are our potter;
we are all the work of your hand.

I was reading a little about how a pot is made and I have come to understand that a lump of clay is first put on a wheel, which is spun and given shape and left to dry, then while it is still a little moist, it is chipped and carved into with a pointer or a wire brush. The pot is then fired a little to prepare it for glazing, at this stage the pot is still porous enough to absorb the glaze, which not only makes it waterproof but also gives it texture and colour. After glazing, the pot it is fired in a kiln to convert the clay to ceramic, here the heat rises slowly to 1260⁰C and cools slowly, so that the vessels does not get destroyed. Now, when I ponder on Isaiah 29:16 & Romans 9:21, where the clay is not happy with the way the potter has fashioned it… it’s very much like today, where men feel they should have been women and women feel they should have been men and then undergo transgender surgeries because God supposedly made a mistake with them. What about people who are not happy with their skin colour, these are people who are not happy with the way God has made them either and because they are not happy with God, it follows that they are not happy with themselves. Then you have the Arminian, who believes that that his spiritualty is a result of his own volition… you can imagine how ludicrous it is for the clay to be saying that to itself. There is then the Pre-millennialist who expects to be raptured out of the kiln so as to escape the firing because the sovereignty of God, he believes in is only is theory & he fails to understand that even trials serve God’s purpose.

Genesis 2 (Read in context of Col 1:15-16)
7 then the Lord God formed the man of dust from the ground and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life, and the man became a living creature.

John 20 (Read in context of Col 1:19-20)
21 Jesus said to them again, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent me, even so I am sending you.” 22 And when he had said this, he breathed on them and said to them, “Receive the Holy Spirit.

Col 1
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation. 16 For by[f] him all things were created, in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things were created through him and for him.

19 For in him all the fullness of God was pleased to dwell, 20 and through him to reconcile to himself all things, whether on earth or in heaven, making peace by the blood of his cross.

To conclude, I would like to say that every event in the lives of all of God’s elect though unpleasant in that moment, serves to make us the men and women of God we are, while all that glazing and firing sanctifies us and gives us a godly character that the lives we live may hold water in testifying of God’s salvation we have freely availed in His Son – Our Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ.

Empowered to Live by the Holy Fear of God!

Mat 13
22 And the one on whom seed was sown among the thorns, this is the man who hears the word, and the worry of the world and the deceitfulness of wealth choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful.

Rev 13
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.

Take a look at the world today, it would seem that a person’s survival and well being depends fully on how he cooperates with the unrighteous syndicates that operates in his environment, which figuratively speaking is wearing the mark of the beast (Rev 13:16-17). The world is filled with covetousness, adultery, murder and thievery. Covetousness in the sense, that people only associate with those whom they have something to personally gain from. When they gift, it will be with the expectation of getting something of equal value or higher in return. People like these, want to be seen hanging out with the bigwigs and subtly brag about it to promote their own self-esteem. When it comes to adultery, it doesn’t matter what God thinks, as long as you have two consenting adults, you can do what you want with yourselves. You know, there was once a study conducted where random people were offered to choose from a Hershey’s Bar and a 10g bar of silver bullion, you will be surprised that every person in that study chose a Hershey’s Bar because that is how short sighted we are when it comes to pleasure. So, it is also with Sex, who cares about nearly dying on the table while going through an abortion, that sexual lusts must be satisfied first. Not that I am for abortion, I am very much prolife, in fact I believe even in the case of rape (the favourite prochoice excuse for abortion), if a mother raises that innocent child with the love he deserves, he will grow up and avenge his mother and give his biological father the deserving justice, which his liberal government would have most probably fail to act up on. In any case liberal logic is so lopsided that in the case of rape, it licences the death of the innocent child while denying the rape victim the justice she must get against the rapist. When it comes to thievery, it seems to be ok to rob only when everybody else is doing it, like piracy or like when a mob goes on the rampage and it’s a free for all, then nobody cares what God thinks because the esteem we hold ourselves in is only before the people around us and not before God, so it’s ok to stoop to thievery simply because everybody is doing it and it doesn’t really matter how well you are doing in life because what you serve is not God but yourself and so every opportunity to sinfully gather to yourself what pleases you, is just an opportunity your depraved nature cannot let go off.

Matthew 6:24, 30-33
“No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

30 …You of little faith! 31 Do not worry then, saying, ‘What will we eat?’ or ‘What will we drink?’ or ‘What will we wear for clothing?’ 32 For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.

It is in seeking the good pleasure of God that we live life to the fullest. If you have ever noticed, it is those who are self-centred who cannot even do anything for themselves because the truth is we were made to serve the Lord not ourselves and it is in selflessly serving the Lord that we unlock our full human potential, which in itself serves as the building blocks of healthy society. Humanist always try to serve themselves by pleasing the people around them but the Godly live to please the Lord, that is our purpose & the thorns of trying to please to the world does not hold us back (Mat 13:22). Jesus does not cramp our style, Jesus is our style, He is what makes us tick and we are not ashamed of Him, He is that one person we identify with as Christians. It is in following after this Jesus that we learn not to be ashamed of the truth concerning everything, even ourselves. This is what it is like to live empowered with the holy fear of God. It is not about being afraid of Him for no reason… God is not Satan to kill without reason. God makes His standard known through His Law, and it is in abiding by this Law that we learn what it is to be moral and civil. Rebel against Him, and even if the whole world may support you, you will see no point in living the life you have. Let me give you a real-life example, take homosexuality for instance, every backsliding nation is decriminalizing homosexuality and many media agencies are expressing their support for the #LGBT by giving their logos the multi-colour theme but all this support is doing nothing for the sky rocketing suicide rates of among the LGBT.

Psalm 144
1 Blessed be the Lord, my rock,
Who trains my hands for war,
And my fingers for battle;
2 My lovingkindness and my fortress,
My stronghold and my deliverer,
My shield and He in whom I take refuge,
Who subdues my people under me.

Mat 10
27 What I tell you in the darkness, speak in the light; and what you hear whispered in your ear, proclaim upon the housetops. 28 Do not fear those who kill the body but are unable to kill the soul; but rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

Phil 4:13
13 I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

This world looks at true Christians like we are pigs wallowing in the mire because the faith that empowers us to do what we do for the Lord is absolutely alien to these self-serving gods. So, as much as it is not possible to serve two masters: money and the Lord, it is also not possible to please the world in their sin and please God in the righteousness revealed to us in Christ. I once read about what made the Persians such great warriors in their time and it is said that they would rather die in battle than face their king in defeat. If a Persian King can command such reverence from his people, then why can’t the Son of God incarnate, the King of kings & Lord of lords… Jesus Christ command the same? Why then does David say in Psalm 84:10 Better is one day as the doorkeeper in the house of God than a thousand days in the tents of the wicked?.. because that is the holy zeal the Holy Spirit that is at work in us commands unto our Lord & Saviour Jesus Christ. A God-fearing man is not one who lives maintaining a spotless reputation in a wicked society, rather a God-fearing man is one who roars like a lion against society for supporting all that which displeases his God. A God fearing man does not use the love of God as a convenient excuse to bow out to those who identify as unrepentant sinners (right & wise in their own sight), rather that Love a God-fearing man has for the Lord burns within him like a zeal to do what is right/pleasing in the sight of God, which often results in calling sinners out on their sin that they may repent and believe in the Lord Jesus Christ who saves us from our sins. In any case being a true God-fearing man often comes at the cost of offending every self-righteous fool around because when you really believe in God, you live like God is for real, rather than a make-believe exhibited only through rituals and/or prayer.

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