Posts tagged ‘life’

The Christian Triune God!

I have always felt my calling lies in feeding Jesus’ flock (John 21:17). I have no seminary degree but I have studied my Bible from cover-to-cover, studied the Westminster Larger Catechism, read a few Reformed authors, spent a lot time in reformed circles/discussions, & the fear of the Lord governs my life. I love feeding his flock with spiritual meat but once in a while I feel the strong urge to feed malnourished and stunted believers some spiritual milk… this is one of those times where I feel the urge to exposit on God’s Triune identity.

Gen 1:26 (Old Testament)
Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

Col 1 (New Testament)
13 For He rescued us from the domain of darkness, and transferred us to the kingdom of His beloved Son, 14 in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.
15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation.16 For by Him all things were created, both in the heavens and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or authorities—all things have been created through Him and for Him. 17 He is before all things, and in Him all things hold together.

Rom 8:29 (New Testament)
For those whom He foreknew, He also predestined to become conformed to the image of His Son, so that He would be the firstborn among many brethren;

Gen 1:26 sites the creation account of man, stating that God created man in His image, an image which was broken in the fall of Adam because in the fall when Adam ate the fruit of knowledge of good and evil, in doing so he (Adam) forsook the nature of God and God’s Law to become a law to himself and serve himself chiefly in all things. So today, while God teaches us not to steal, commit adultery, murder, covet, steal and put God before all things even ourselves… what we do is murder and support murder through abortion, so we could continue with our lifestyle of fornication… then we steal through piracy… we are also covetous by nature which is evident through the friendships we maintain because we don’t want to hang out with nobodies, we want to hang out with people who have something we are running after… & we do all this by denying abortion is murder, denying piracy is stealing, denying our self-centered friendships is covetousness… but how is this possible? It is possible through that misplaced knowledge of right and wrong which Adam received to himself in forsaking God’s Law, & so today man is as Satan tempted him to see himself… as a god to himself (Gen 3:5), because it is in being a law to himself that man commits the most heinous of atrocities in serving himself as the chief end of his being. So as God serves Himself through righteousness because the truth is the Triune God Almighty is God, man on the other hand serves himself through deceit and wickedness because there is no truth in the law (knowledge of right & wrong) he lives by, estranged from God in the fall of his great forefather Adam. Another destructive outcome of this law which man received in the fall of Adam is unbelief, since fallen-man doesn’t believe that his best interest lies in putting God first, even before himself that is. Why?… because the Triune God Almighty is God & man is not God.

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

Mat 28
18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, “All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. 19 Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, 20 teaching them to observe all that I commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

John 14:26 (Jesus is Speaking)
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you.

You might wonder why am taking you through all this to explain God’s Triune identity. Well, the Bible clearly sites the role of Father, Son & Holy Spirit, and a person cannot be saved if he/she denies the Three Persons of the Trinity, who are the One Godhead. The Bible says that in God’s salvation involved sending His Son to take on Human flesh in the womb of virgin Mary because He being God could not be stained by human procreation through which the nature of fallen Adam is passed down to all of Adam’s posterity. So, in this manner Jesus was both fully human and fully God. The Bible says that none but God is perfect in God’s sight, so if you go by the sacrificial requirement, you understand that the animal had to be without blemish (fault), & this was so simply because they were a shadow of Christ who was to come (Heb 10:1)… the lamb of God who was perfect in God’s sight (1Pet 2:22) because Jesus was God Himself, and One with the Father (John 10:30). This spotless lamb of God bore our sin though He was sinless Himself and God the Father crushed Him under the weight of our sins because the wages of sin is eternal death and as much as God is perfect Love, His Justice is perfect as well… His justice demanded the wages of sin be paid but His love provided us His own Son to be that substitutionary atonement for our sins. Yet, I feel what must hurt Jesus most were not the stripes He bores for our sin but the broken communion in those moments in which God-the-Father forsook God-the-Son on the cross as He poured out the full force of His wrath which Jesus endured because it was His Father will (Luke 22:42) to bear His strong right arm Jesus and save His people from their sins (Ps 44:3 & 98:1).

John 10 (Jesus is speaking)
27 My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me; 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are One.”

Now look closely at Mat 28:20 & John 14:26… the Holy Spirit is a person, which you can tell because the Holy Spirit is referred to as a He. Also notice that Jesus says in John 14:26 that He is leaving us with the Holy Spirit who will bring to mind everything He has taught us… and then when you look at Mat 28:20 Jesus says He will be with us to the end of the age… by which He (Jesus) is implicitly saying that He and the Holy Spirit are One just like He said that He and the Father are One in John 10:30. Hence proved the Three Persons of the Holy Trinity are One Godhead.

Dedicated to my friend Daniel Friedemann, who is struggling with Unitarianism.

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.

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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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.

Mustard Seed Faith Avails God’s Strength

Mat 17
20 Jesus replied, “Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move. Nothing will be impossible for you.”

2Cor 12:9
But Jesus said to Paul, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me.

From the two pieces of scripture mentioned above, we are able to deduce that the act of overcoming our trials, is in thinking less of ourselves and focusing our lives more on the Son of God “Jesus Christ”, through whom God creates and restores life in all its holistic essence. It is in counting all we have achieved in the flesh as loss (Phil 3:8) and dying to ourselves and living for the Lord Jesus Christ (Jn 12:24-26) that we enjoy life in all its fullness. Have you ever noticed that people who show-off, put on the poorest show? The thing is we were not made for the purpose to glorify ourselves but to live for the glory of God, and am speaking of those who have been saved by grace through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Salvation is not about what we have done but about finding refuge in Jesus, learning His precepts & be empowered by His Holy Spirit to exercise His commandments with a new heart that beats for God (Ezek 36:26-27).

Mat 22
37 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment.

Psalm 2
11 Worship the Lord with reverence
And rejoice with trembling.
12 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!

Remember how God tells Israel in Deut 7:7 that He did not choose Israel because they were great but because they were the least of all peoples. You know, God is so Sovereign and Mighty that His enemies exists simply because He raises them, like fattening a cow for the slaughter (Rom 9:17, 22). Even Satan does nothing more than further God’s agenda in this world. You might ask, so if everyone is doing the will of God, why are people going to hell? Good Question… well, unlike the serpent in the garden of Eden, we who were made in the image of God are warm blooded, so as to indicate that we won’t adapt to our environment to the extent of succumbing to it. Take Simon for example, whose name means “a reed that sways with the wind” but after his confession concerning Jesus’ true identity as the Son of God, Jesus named him “Peter” meaning ‘rock’ (Mat 16:18), a testimony which cannot be shaken and upon which Jesus shall build His Church. It is said about God that He is immutable (there is no shifting shadow [James 1:17]) and this is how we are to be… holy as God is Holy, that even in an environment of a fallen world we shall be as saints empowered by grace to serve the Lord (Phil 3:14 & 4:13), like the lotus that grows in the marshes. So it is, that from the fall, all men are sinners (Rom 3:23) left with the self-righteousness they chose in Adam to saves themselves while the Saints are God’s elect in whom God overcame sin by the power of Jesus’ blood and reconciled them to Himself (1Jn 2:2). So, the reason people are going to hell is because the righteousness they chose for themselves in Adam doesn’t save them from sin, especially when you consider how self-righteousness blatantly differs from the righteousness of God, revealed to us in Christ.

John 1
18 No one has seen God at any time; the only begotten God who is in the bosom of the Father, He has revealed Him.

Rom 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!

The counterfeit religions of the world have a very misleading view of piety, because their righteousness is not revealed to them through Christ, the only mediator between God & men (1Tim 2:5). As a matter of fact, these religions are driven by the people’s self-righteousness in their wasted attempt to please God on their own terms but truth be told the only god they serve is themselves because if their righteousness is their own, then these fools are a law to themselves & wise in their own eyes. Following Jesus (true Christianity) on the other hand, calls for a piety where the precepts we are to obey are moral (Mat 28:18-20). I really don’t think God is really concerned with the people’s sadistic take on religion, who beat themselves silly, grow an unkempt beard or walk long distances barefoot to the Mosque, temple or monastery. If you think your zeal to not eat pork or drink wine pleases God (Mat 15:17-18), guess what… it doesn’t. What pleases God is seeing you obey His Moral Law, where you first love the Lord with all your strength and second that you love your neigbour as you love yourself (Mat 22:36-40). The religions of the world believe in putting on a show of humility with their attire for all the world to see, while by way of self-righteousness they magnify themselves before God concerning how they merited/attained their jannat/nirvana with their sadistic religious routines. However, the truth is Salvation is about being put right with God… aligning your desires with His by the redeeming merit of the unblemished lamb of God: Jesus, by whose blood we have forgiveness of sins. Salvation is not naturally possible for any person, until the irresistible grace of God converts the person from being self-centered to being God centered. This is true conversion and is only possible by way to repentance, where after God brings the person to realize the futility of his/her self-righteousness, that person submits/lowers/prostrates himself/herself to God, that in truly admitting his/her weakness, he/she may find comfort & refuge in God, through Jesus Christ.

Mat 5
3 “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

2Cor 7:10
For godly grief produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret, whereas worldly grief produces death.

To conclude, if we were to look at Eph 2:8-10 and Luke 17: 10, we understand that we are saved by grace through faith and the evidence of our salvation is in the fruits but the merit is of Christ and so if we are to boast, we are to boast in the Lord (Jer 9:23-24) & think less of ourselves to the extent of boasting in our weakness, which is spiritual prostration in revealing how much we really love the Lord our God who is worthy of true worship (Rev 5:8-14 & 7:10). It is therefore in earnestly seeking the Lord concerning the obedience He requires of us, that we can see beyond ourselves and beyond our apostate totalitarian environment, only to realize as Paul did, how helpless we are as sinners (Rom 7:24) and how great the mercy of God is for those who seek Him that where our sin abound, His saving grace abounds all the more (Rom 5:20).

How to Move On from Vengeance?

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Rom 12:19
Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.

Very often we come across situations where we are not only terribly wronged but also slandered for speaking the truth to those who have wronged us. Moving-on from there… is not so much about saving your image in society but about acting sincerely in that situation in the sight of God. There may be times when you want to bludgeon people (who have wronged you) to death, and it is worse if you’re short tempered because then many who love the thrill of a near death experience will instigated you. Still what you should fear is not so much the Law Enforcement so as to save your own skin but you ought to fear God and nip it at the bud by way of repentance unto God before those thoughts fruition into actions. So, what you must go about doing is the next righteous thing, despite the slander and you will come to notice that when your time of testing is over, that the perpetrator/s who you were contending with is/are dealt with so severely by God, that you will feel sorry for them (Isaiah 10:12).

Psalm 3:7 (Call on Him to give you Justice)
Arise, Lord! Deliver me, my God! Strike all my enemies on the jaw; break the teeth of the wicked.

Mat 11:28 (Find your rest in Him through your trials)
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

If you insist on avenging yourself, then the only moving-on you will be doing, will be from the frying pan to the fire. However, if you are willing to let the fear of the Lord rule over your heart (Ps 119:10-11), your life shall be blessed, in your moving on from a self-centered life to God-centered life because you will never be able to really move on (Mat 5:4-6) unless you die to yourself and live for the glory of God who is just (Jn 12:24-26). Though you may sometimes be so angry that you can vividly imagine the bloody justice you would stoop to, to set things right. The truth is you are neither God over that situation, nor over yourself, nor over the person you seek to get even with. So, the best thing is to do is to swallow your pride, overcome your anxiety and find your rest in Christ (Mat 11:28-29), by way of reading scripture or listening to some Gospel music because it is in dying to ourselves and living for God that we find true peace in our situations. Moving-on, is not something synonymous with weakness rather it is about portraying the meek nature of Christ where our actions emerge not from the love/faith we have in ourselves but from the love/faith we avail in God through Jesus Christ (Jn 3:16). So, when you place your faith in God, moving-on is the bravest thing you can do while you are at peace, resting in Jesus (Jn 14:27). In fact, when you act from such faith and move on, it makes the people who have hurt you feel insecure for no longer having that emotionally destructive hold on you anymore.

Psalm 14:1
The fool says in his heart,
“There is no God.”
They are corrupt, their deeds are vile;
there is no one who does good.

Prov 1:7
The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge,
but fools despise wisdom and instruction.

Wisdom serves as a great comforter in helping us move on from acts of vengeance against those who have treated us unjustly. We must thereby understand that we live in a world where people think it’s ok to sin, as long as the people they are sinning against don’t know what they’re up to. However, for those victims who foolishly revere (from unholy fear) those who victimize them, their perpetrators are only encouraged to take advantage of them further because their victims awareness makes them feel unstoppable in their wickedness to a god-like degree. In all these circumstances, these sinners believe there is no God and they are in no way answerable for their actions to God. Though these who are wicked and unrepentant, may be wise in their own eyes, there is more hope for a fool than there is for them (Prov 26:12) & if you are ever stuck in such a circumstance, you need to learn to move on from being concerned about your image in the sight of people to being concerned about your image in the sight of God… in the sense, you need cut these people out of your lives and be totally unabashed about it, because you need not be deceived in revering people from unholy fear but you must learn to revere God from holy fear.

Rev 15
2 And I saw what looked like a sea of glass glowing with fire and, standing beside the sea, those who had been victorious over the beast and its image and over the number of its name. They held harps given them by God 3 and sang the song of God’s servant Moses and of the Lamb:
“Great and marvelous are your deeds,
Lord God Almighty.
Just and true are your ways,
King of the nations.
4 Who will not fear you, Lord,
and bring glory to your name?
For you alone are holy.
All nations will come
and worship before you,
for your righteous acts have been revealed.”

It’s amazing how unbelievers fool themselves into thinking that God doesn’t exist, so they can sin against their neighbour without even a second thought of contending with a gracious yet formidable God (Heb 10:31) because from the fall of Adam unbelievers are each a law to themselves but God can see through them like a sea of glass and if you will look at Rev 15:2 you shall notice that those who have come out of them (sea of glass) (Rev 7:14) were tutored in the fear of the Lord (Rev 15:4) unto wisdom and in their victory (Mat 24:13) they are equipped to praise God for the Salvation He has accomplished in them (Phil 1:6) through the atoning sacrifice of Jesus (Rom 5:9). For some reason I guess the unbelievers don’t get the idea of God’s good justice playing out in their life because their sinning is so rampant accompanied with that deliberate blindness that ‘there is no God’ that incurring God’s justice becomes as common as breathing air and if they have managed to fool themselves so far, fooling themselves further to have no fear-of-God is not a far-fetched idea but one which maintains them as fools in their sinning against the Triune God Almighty.

1 Corinthians 3
11 For no one can lay any foundation other than the one already laid, which is Jesus Christ. 12 If anyone builds on this foundation using gold, silver, costly stones, wood, hay or straw, 13 their work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each person’s work. 14 If what has been built survives, the builder will receive a reward. 15 If it is burned up, the builder will suffer loss but yet will be saved—even though only as one escaping through the flames.

I would like to conclude this piece on moving-on from vengeance by expounding on the above scripture. Salvation is sure when we stand on the rock that is Jesus Christ and we mature spiritually depending on how we build on this foundation. For those whose hearts are established in Christ, moving-on from vengeance is a lesson we will learn either willingly which is the easier way or unwillingly which is the hard way (1Cor 3:15/Mat 3:11) because such is the pivotal role the Sovereign will of God plays in our lives.

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