Posts tagged ‘people’

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.

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.

Quietness and Trust

Hi, how are you guys doing? Hope you all are fine. Today I would like to write on a topic that is very challenging at its heart, which is trusting in God in our quietness.

Isaiah 30:15
For thus said the Lord GOD, the Holy One of Israel, “In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.” But you were unwilling,

Let me first give you a little information on Israel. The Bible says that Israel was the apple of His eye. They were a people chosen not because of their own brilliance in any way but because they were the smallest of people. Almost whole of the Old Testament is about the love of God in action over Israel. They are a people who are dear to Him and it is to them the Messiah came. The Bible has a lot of history of the world hating the people of God, that however is more out of subconscious envy than anything else because the world does not see a brilliant Israel but still wonders how they can be the apple of His eye. The truth is that it is not about a brilliant people but rather about a brilliant God. It is like “the fox and the grapes”, what the fox couldn’t have, he made believe they were sour and that is same with the world and Israel, what the world knows they can never be a part of, they write-off.

May God bless Israel as a people and also as a nation!

Coming back to Isaiah 30:15; we see that the returning and rest refers to repentance and patiently waiting for God’s deliverance. God and His redemption came in the human form of Jesus Christ centuries after and it was not on their own strength but in quietness and trust that the strength of God was granted unto them. This is the same applied to us now, sometimes we go so far ahead in action on what we think is a one way street. Our repentance then is in a 180° turn, that being a U turn on that road of life and then moving ahead in a direction that will set you against the flow of this world. If you ask me from where am I to expect that this will work then the answer is in the quietness and trust that shall be given your strength.

Ecclesiastes 4:6
Better is a handful of quietness than two hands full of toil and a striving after wind.

How many of you have witnessed God’s deliverance in a situation. Is it not like an Oasis feeling in the desert where on a road of hardship and thorns you can find soothing relief? When such deliverance has come your way, how much of your effort was counted then to that credit? It is the same with the Salvation that came through Christ (2Timothy 1:9), the oasis of God’s goodness set against the backdrop of man’s damnation. There is no condition to which the subject is applied in order for the deliverance of God to come forth. The deliverance of God comes not because of what man does or who the man is but because God chooses. In fact the storms in our lives are purposefully set there by God (Psalms 107:25-28), because the relationship between God and His people can be likened to that of a parent and child. The parent sends the child for sports and the child is rigorously trained and in that comes the time when the child ask the parent for the equipment he needs, the parent provides and therein lies the two way relationship. So when the deliverance of God comes it is like plentiful rain falling on a scorched dry region. The God we have is such that the needs he places in our lives are enough to swallow us a hundred times over but then when He acts in deliverance that need is the filled to the extent that it wipes away our tears (Rev 21:4) for that is the Lord’s calling upon those who call to Him for redemption (Joel 2:32).

So the next time you have a situation where the more you act towards it only worsens the scene, may you then aptly remember and apply Isaiah 30:15.

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