The church, the spiritual body of Jesus Christ has been urged by the apostle Paul saying, “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1Corinthians 1:10).
Therefore, to everyone who profess to be a member of the body of Christ, we should make it our aim to walk in the unity of the Spirit as admonished by the apostle Paul saying, “I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1-3)
It is the Lord`s earnest desire that all believers may be one, as stated in His prayer to the Father stating, “that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me” (John 17:21-23).
Now the rationale for this call for unity, is due to the fact that, “There is one body of which we are all members, one Spirit, in whom we were all baptized, called in one hope of our calling; there is one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, Who is above all, and through all, and in us all.
One cannot deny the fact that the churches which supposed to be representing the body of Christ are not in one accord, they are divided and are not perfectly joined together as the Lord intended, so the main concern is how can we all fulfill the Lord`s desire to have His church perfectly joined together?
To be able to help in the process of assuring unity in the body of Christ I think that it is imperative that every member learn how to use his/her gift for the overall development of the church, because Christ Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ.”
The reason for that is that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head — Christ —from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love” (Ephesians 4:11-16).
To be able to help resolve the differences that exist in the body of Christ I have come up with a formula that will help me personally deal with this issue of disunity in the body of Christ. The formula I came up with is as follows:-
1. Try to identify the root cause of the disagreement
It is almost impossible to solve a problem without knowing the root cause of it. A problem cannot be solved by dealing with the effects, neither by compromising.
2. Seek the right solution in dealing with the particular issue
The truth of the word should not be compromised in order to attain unity, instead we are to strengthen the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees, and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be dislocated, but rather be healed. Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord” (Hebrews 12:12-14).
3. Learning to shod the feet with the gospel of peace
In essence that means shunning profane and idle babblings, for they will increase to more ungodliness, but instead pursue righteousness, faith, love, peace with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart.
4. Approach the situation in humility
For it is required of a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will” (2 Timothy 2:24-26).
Note that the forces behind the wrangling and arguments is a snare of the devil, Therefore, we have been admonished to, “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil: For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places”.
The irony of truth is, for though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when our obedience is fulfilled” (2 Corinthians 10:2-6).
5. Establish the truth
In any discussion which pertains to the believer`s way of life, the truth must be established, and the way we establish the truth is by following the procedure by which biblical knowledge can be attained which is stated as follows; ” Whom will he teach knowledge? And whom will he make to understand the message? Those just weaned from milk? Those just drawn from the breasts?
For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little.” For with stammering lips and another tongue He will speak to this people, to whom He said, “This is the rest with which You may cause the weary to rest,” And, “This is the refreshing”; Yet they would not hear. But the word of the LORD was to them, “Precept upon precept, precept upon precept, Line upon line, line upon line, Here a little, there a little” (Isaiah 28: 9-10).
Therefore, to establish the truth one should not take one verse of scripture in isolation to the rest of the scriptures and knowledge is revealed to those who are mature and partaking of solid food.
6. Uphold the laws of nature
Nature is a sure way of teaching us even the invisible things of God, for we have been admonished saying; “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness, because what may be known of God is manifest in them, for God has shown it to them. For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even His eternal power and Godhead, so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:18-20).
Therefore, if there is anything that seems hard and difficult to understand, see how the natural laws of nature deal with the particular issue.
Category Archive for Spiritual Warfare
The church, the spiritual body of Jesus Christ has been urged by the apostle Paul saying, “Now I plead with you, brethren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be perfectly joined together in the same mind and in the same judgment” (1Corinthians 1:10).
• The weekly Sabbath
The question is who changed the weekly Sabbath from the seventh day to the first day of the week? When from the very beginning of creation we are told that, “Thus the heavens and the earth, and all the host of them, were finished. And on the seventh day God ended His work which He had done, and He rested on the seventh day from all His work which He had done. Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made” (Genesis 2:1-3).
In ordaining the law by which man should live the Lord spoke to Moses saying; “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates: For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it” (Exodus 209-11).
Concerning the Sabbath law the Lord further spoke to Moses saying, “Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: ‘Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you. You shall keep the Sabbath, therefore, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people.’
“Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death. Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed ” (Exodus 31:13-17).
Even in the New Testament the Lord said to the Pharisees, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.” And when He came to Nazareth where He had been brought up, as was His custom, He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read. (Mark 2:27-28, Luke 4:16).
The same can also be said about the apostle Paul who upon arriving at Thessalonica, where there was a synagogue of the Jews, as his custom was, went in to them, and for three Sabbaths reasoned with them from the Scriptures, and demonstrating that the Christ had to suffer and rise again from the dead, and saying, “This Jesus whom I preach to you is the Christ.” And some of them were persuaded; and a great multitude of the devout Greeks, and not a few of the leading women, joined Paul and Silas” (Acts 17:1-4).
The irony of truth is with such a heavy cloud of deception hovering over the earth, it is imperative for one to know who changed the seventh day Sabbath to the first day of the week and call it the Christian Sabbath. By whose authority was that decision taken! One thing for sure, this change did not come from Jesus Christ neither the apostles.
One should also be aware of the delusion that is hovering over the earth as to the rationale for changing the Lord’s Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. The main reason they say is that Jesus Christ was resurrected on a Sunday. But was Jesus Christ resurrected on a Sunday?
I earlier explained how a new day begins at sunrise and not at midnight or sunset as being promulgated, therefore, concerning the time of Christ’s resurrection the scripture states plainly that, “after the Sabbath (which ends at sunset on Saturday), as the first day of the week began to dawn (while it was still dark before day light on Sunday morning), Mary Magdalene and the other Mary came to see the tomb.”
What was told to them by the angel who rolled the stone from the tomb and sat on it was “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here; for He is risen as He said: Come, see the place where the Lord lay. And go quickly and tell His disciples that He is risen from the dead, and indeed He is going before you into Galilee; there you will see Him. Behold, I have told you.” So they went out quickly from the tomb with fear and great joy, and ran to bring His disciples word” (Matthew 28:1-8).
So how could the resurrection of Jesus Christ be a justifiable reason for changing the Lord’s Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday the day of the sun, on the premise that Jesus Christ was resurrected on a Sunday, when the scripture clearly states that before the dawn of the first day of the week (Sunday), Jesus Christ was no longer in the tomb for He had already risen and was no longer in the tomb.What a dilemma of vain worship.
To be continued
Satan’s subtle way of deceiving the whole world is by having the fourth beast to change times and laws.
2. Change of times
One of the ways which Satan has succeeded in deceiving the whole world is by giving his power, his throne and great authority to the fourth beast, which is the Roman Empire as predicted by the apostle John who wrote saying, “Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name.’
“Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon (Satan) gave him his power, his throne, and great authority. And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast. So they worshiped the dragon (Satan) who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” (Revelation 13:1-4).
Note carefully that the predictions says that all the world marveled and followed the beast, and because they all followed the beast, they are automatically worshiping the dragon (Satan) who gave his power and authority to the beast. Now to those who may not be familiar with the biblical term “Beast” in the book of revelation, this is what it signifies, “Those great beasts, which are four, are four kings which arise out of the earth.” And, “The fourth beast shall be A fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, trample it and break it in pieces” (Daniel 7:17, 23).
History has proven that the four beasts are synonymous to the image which the king Nebuchadnezzar saw in his dream and later interpreted by Daniel who said to him; “You, O king, were watching; and behold, a great image! This great image, whose splendor was excellent, stood before you; and its form was awesome. This image’s head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay” (Daniel 2:31-33).
Then Daniel further said to the king, “You, O king, are a king of kings. For the God of heaven has given you a kingdom, power, strength, and glory; and wherever the children of men dwell, or the beasts of the field and the birds of the heaven, He has given them into your hand, and has made you ruler over them all — you are this head of gold. But after you shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours; then another, a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron breaks in pieces and shatters everything; and like iron that crushes, that kingdom will break in pieces and crush all the others. Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay. And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile. As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay” (Daniel 2:37-43).
So then, according to history, the first beast or kingdom represented by the head of gold was the Chaldean or Babylonian Empire ruled by king Nebuchadnezzar, around 605-506 BC, then came the second beast or kingdom which was the Persian Empire around 509 BC, then the third beast was the Grecian Empire, known as the golden age around 461-431 BC, and the fourth beast or kingdom was the Roman Empire, around 200 BC, and became divided in 395 AD, with the West collapsing in AD 476, and the East around 1453.
Therefore, according to biblical history the Roman Empire is the beast or kingdom to whom Satan the dragon has given his power, his throne, and great authority, and inadvertently the whole world is worshiping the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” and these are some of the ways the whole world has been deceived in worshiping the beast and the dragon.
• Beginning of a new day
It is stated quite clearly that, when God re-created the earth for man’s existence, that the earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. The earth at this point was in complete oblivion, time was not in existence, then, the Lord God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light. And God saw the light that it was good; and God divided the light from the darkness. God called the light Day, and the darkness He called Night” (Genesis 1:3-5).
Therefore, the advent of time began with the light which God called day, and God further endorsed this rule by saying, “Let there be lights in the firmament of the heavens to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs and seasons, and for days and years; and let them be for lights in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth”; and it was so.’
“Then God made two great lights: the greater light to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night. He made the stars also. God set them in the firmament of the heavens to give light on the earth, and to rule over the day and over the night, and to divide the light from the darkness” (Genesis 1:14-18).
When Jesus the Lord God who created the heavens and the earth walked on the earth as the Son of Man He said, “Are there not twelve hours in the day? If anyone walks in the day, he does not stumble, because he sees the light of this world. But if one walks in the night, he stumbles, because the light is not in him” (John 11:9-10).
From the creation of time we see that a complete day consist of two periods, a period of light which is called day, and a period of darkness, which is called night, therefore, how logical, sensible, practical and truthful it is to believe that, the period between midnight and six O’clock in the morning be referred to as morning and the beginning of a new day! Where did this idea originate? And how did we all come to accept and adopt this rule?
The way the world reckons time today is not the way time was originally reckoned: For example, on the Jesus Christ’s was crucified, it is stated that, “from the sixth hour until the ninth hour there was darkness over all the land. And about the ninth hour Jesus cried out with a loud voice, saying, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” that is, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me?” (Matthew 27:45-46).
So what time exactly is the sixth to the ninth hour the day? The sixth to the ninth hour of the day is from twelve O’clock to three O’clock in the afternoon. Today under the delusive system from the sixth to the ninth hour is between 6 am to 9 am. So the question is which one that is right?
There is also another biblical example of how time should be correctly reckoned. It was on the day of Pentecost when the crowed marveled saying, “we hear them speaking in our own tongues the wonderful works of God.” So they were all amazed and perplexed, saying to one another, “Whatever could this mean?” Others mocking said, “They are full of new wine” (Acts 2:11-13).
But the apostle Peter, standing up with the eleven apostles, raised his voice and said to them, “Men of Judea and all who dwell in Jerusalem, let this be known to you, and heed my words. For these are not drunk, as you suppose, since it is only the third hour of the day” (Acts 2:14-15).
So again I beg to ask the question, what time is the third hour of the day? According to the time which God ordained for man to follow, the third hour of the day is nine O’clock in the morning.
It is amazing to see how a world with such brilliant minds accepting and endorsing such a plane, hideous lie, this could not have been feasible except that the majority of the people of this world have been deceived; remember, a deceived person is one who has been led to believe a lie as truth, and so the one who has deceived the whole world is the great dragon, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, he has deceives the whole world, and the beast to whom he has given his power, throne and great authority has been promulgating his lies.
Disciples of Jesus Christ have been forewarned by Him saying; “Take heed that no one deceives you. For many will come in My name, saying, ‘I am the Christ,’ and will deceive many” (Matthew 24:4-5).
The sad state of affairs is that a deceive person does not know that he/she is deceived, because they have made to believe as true, something that is totally false or misleading, and to compound the whole issue, the falsehood is being taught to us by the very majority who come saying that Jesus is the Christ.
This may come as a big surprise to many who are professing Christianity, but the Christian religion is the chief culprit in deceiving the masses. They are those who supposedly bearing the name of Christ calling themselves Christians, but their teachings are contrary to sound doctrines, and unfortunately, the majority of people have embraced these falsehoods as blind sheep that are being led to the slaughter, like dead fishes flowing with the tide, but remember, it takes a live fish to swim against the tide.
What then are the falsehoods that the Christian religion teaches that are deceiving the people who sincerely and genuinely desire to follow Jesus Christ? The things which the Christian religion teaches that caused many to be deceived, may seem rather trivial and inconsequential especially to those who do not know or understand the root cause of the problem. But those who are bold enough and are willing to swim against the tide will be able to comprehend the profoundness and the magnitude of this deception which I am about to explain.
To understand the profoundness of this deception one will have to begin from the very beginning and understand that there is a rivalry in the spiritual realm which is the root cause of all the lies, subtleties and deceptions that are affecting the whole world presumable in the name of Christ.
The first and foremost thing one should be mindful of, is the fact that there are two masters, as we have been duly admonished by Jesus Christ saying; “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” (Matthew 6:24).
Therefore, whatever we are doing, we must be cognizance of the fact that whatever we do we either do it to serve God or the devil. Also, there are two spiritual kingdoms, one is the kingdom of light under the ruler-ship of Jesus Christ, and there is the kingdom of darkness under the ruler-ship of the ruler of the kingdom of darkness, who is the devil. Our citizenship and loyalty therefore can either be to that of the kingdom of darkness, or to the kingdom of light.
The sad reality however, is that we were all born in the kingdom of darkness, and it is only when one accepts Jesus Christ as his/her Lord and Savior, that God the Father to whom we are to give thanks, qualifies us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He then delivers us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love” (Colossians 1:12-13),
So the big question is, how did this rivalry between the kingdom of darkness and the kingdom of light come about! And what are the subtle deceptions that have blanketed the whole world which most people seem to be unaware of, or viewing them as merely trivial and inconsequential matters?
1. How did the rivalry come about
This rivalry came about because of Satan’s rebellion against the authority of God. In a discussion with Job the Lord said to him, “Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me. Where were you when I laid the foundations of the earth? Tell Me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements? Surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? To what were its foundations fastened? Or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy?” (Job 38:3-7).
When God laid the foundations of the earth it was so beautiful that all the sons of God sang together and shouted for joy, but later we found that, “The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep” (Genesis 1:2).
So what could have caused the earth that was so beautifully created and formed to be inhabited, to be in such a chaotic state? For thus says the LORD, Who created the heavens, Who is God, Who formed the earth and made it, Who has established it, Who did not create it in vain, Who formed it to be inhabited: ” I am the LORD, and there is no other” (Isaiah 45:18).
The known reason why the earth became without form, and void; and darkness covered the face of the deep was as the result of Lucifer`s rebellion who was the light bringer, and due to his rebellion lost his splendor and became darkness. As it is written, “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘ I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High” (Isaiah 14:12-14).
In the book of Ezekiel, a lamentation was given to the prophet Ezekiel to the king of Tyre who was a personification of Satan the devil saying: “Thus says the Lord GOD: “You were the seal of perfection, full of wisdom and perfect in beauty. You were in Eden, the garden of God; every precious stone was your covering: The sardius, topaz, and diamond, beryl, onyx, and jasper, sapphire, turquoise, and emerald with gold. The workmanship of your timbrels and pipes was prepared for you on the day you were created.’
“You were the anointed cherub who covers; I established you; you were on the holy mountain of God; you walked back and forth in the midst of fiery stones. You were perfect in your ways from the day you were created, till iniquity was found in you. By the abundance of your trading you became filled with violence within, and you sinned; therefore I cast you as a profane thing out of the mountain of God; and I destroyed you, O covering cherub, from the midst of the fiery stones.’
“Your heart was lifted up because of your beauty; you corrupted your wisdom for the sake of your splendor; I cast you to the ground, I laid you before kings that they might gaze at you. You defiled your sanctuaries by the multitude of your iniquities, by the iniquity of your trading; Therefore, I brought fire from your midst; It devoured you, and I turned you to ashes upon the earth in the sight of all who saw you: All who knew you among the peoples are astonished at you; you have become a horror and shall be no more forever” (Ezekiel 28:11-19).
For one to be able to grasp the profoundness of the deception that hovers over the whole world, it is imperative that one understands the main objective or the rationale behind Satan’s downfall which is to be worshiped just as God is worshiped. For this is what he said in his heart, “I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars (angels) of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation on the farthest sides of the north (where the throne of God is); I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.”
So then despite his downfall, how does Satan seek to receive the glory, the worship and the honor that is due to God for himself? He does that through subtle deceptions by changing times and law which the Lord has ordained for His honor and glory.
To be continued
Only One God
Another important aspect of putting God first is to worship the One and only true God. Believe it or not there are many false gods which people inadvertently worship instead of the One and only true God. but even if there are so called gods, whether in heaven or on earth as indeed there are many gods and many lords, “There is but one God: the Father, from whom all things came, and for whom we live, and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live” (1 Corinthians 8:5-6).
Therefore, all credits, glory, honor and gratitude should be directed or channeled to the One and only true God, for to Him all glory and power belong, and it is He who gave to all life breath and everything else, and also in Him we all live , move and have our being.
Unfortunately, however, we do not all channel our praises, glory, honor, and express our grateful thanks to the One and only true God. Whether wittingly or unwittingly, many serve and worship other gods rather than the One and only true God.
The Lord said to the nation of Israel, “To you it was shown, that you might know that the Lord Himself is God; there is none other beside Him. Out of heaven He let you hear His voice, that He might instruct you; on earth He showed you His great fire, and you heard His words out of the midst of the fire” (Deuteronomy 4:32-36).
The rationale for all this was for Israel to consider in their heart, that the Lord Himself is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; and that there is no other besides Him. However, in order for God to distinguish Himself as the One and only true God, and distinguish His people from all others, He made a conditional covenant with them, so that if obeyed, they shall be a special treasure to Him above all people, for all the earth is His. They are to Him a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.” Those who obey the covenant are described as, “A chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that they may declare the praises of Him who called them out of darkness into His marvelous light. Once they were not a people, but now they are the people of God; once they had not received mercy, but now they have received mercy” (Exodus 19:5-6, Leviticus 19:30; 26:2; 1 Peter 2:9).
So how do the One and only true God differentiates Himself from all other false gods? The One and only true God differentiate Himself from all other gods by stipulating four (4) important principles for His people to follow.
Please bear in mind that the Sovereign God has revealed Himself only to the children of Israel as Moses explained to the children of Israel saying; “For what great nation is there that has God so near to it, as the LORD our God is to us, for whatever reason we may call upon Him? And what great nation is there that has such statutes and righteous judgments as are in all this law which I set before you this day?
“Only take heed to yourself, and diligently keep yourself, lest you forget the things your eyes have seen, and lest they depart from your heart all the days of your life. And teach them to your children and your grandchildren, especially concerning the day you stood before the LORD your God in Horeb, when the LORD said to me, ‘Gather the people to Me, and I will let them hear My words, that they may learn to fear Me all the days they live on the earth, and that they may teach their children” (Deuteronomy 4:7-10).
Moses further explained to the children of Israel saying; “For ask now concerning the days that are past, which were before you, since the day that God created man on the earth, and ask from one end of heaven to the other, whether any great thing like this has happened, or anything like it has been heard. Did any people ever hear the voice of God speaking out of the midst of the fire, as you have heard, and live?
“Or did God ever try to go and take for Himself a nation from the midst of another nation, by trials, by signs, by wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, and by great terrors, according to all that the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your eyes? To you it was shown, that you might know that the LORD Himself is God; there is none other besides Him. Out of heaven He let you hear His voice that He might instruct you; on earth He showed you His great fire, and you heard His words out of the midst of the fire.
And because He loved your fathers, therefore He chose their descendants after them; and He brought you out of Egypt with His Presence, with His mighty power, driving out from before you nations greater and mightier than you, to bring you in, to give you their land as an inheritance, as it is this day. Therefore know this day, and consider it in your heart, that the LORD Himself is God in heaven above and on the earth beneath; there is no other” (Deuteronomy 4:32-39).
Now these are the four stipulations God gave to the children of Israel and in extension, anyone who believes in Him to differentiate Himself from all other gods, He said:
1. “I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.
2. “You shall not make for yourself a carved image — any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
3. “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
4. “Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it” (Exodus 20:2-11).
With regards to the Sabbaths as being the sign to differentiate the One and only true God from all other gods the Lord further said to Moses. “Speak also to the children of Israel, saying: ‘Surely My Sabbaths you shall keep, for it is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you.
“You shall keep the Sabbath, therefore, for it is holy to you. Everyone who profanes it shall surely be put to death; for whoever does any work on it, that person shall be cut off from among his people. Work shall be done for six days, but the seventh is the Sabbath of rest, holy to the LORD. Whoever does any work on the Sabbath day, he shall surely be put to death.
Therefore the children of Israel shall keep the Sabbath, to observe the Sabbath throughout their generations as a perpetual covenant. It is a sign between Me and the children of Israel forever; for in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, and on the seventh day He rested and was refreshed” (Exodus 31:13-17).
The word of the Lord came also to the prophet Ezekiel saying. “Thus says the Lord GOD: “On the day when I chose Israel and raised My hand in an oath to the descendants of the house of Jacob, and made Myself known to them in the land of Egypt, I raised My hand in an oath to them, saying, ‘I am the LORD your God. On that day I raised My hand in an oath to them, to bring them out of the land of Egypt into a land that I had searched out for them, ‘flowing with milk and honey,’ the glory of all lands”.
But most of all, the Lord said; “And I gave them My statutes and showed them My judgments, which, if a man does, he shall live by them. Moreover I also gave them My Sabbaths, to be a sign between them and Me, that they might know that I am the LORD who sanctifies them. Also, “I am the LORD your God: Walk in My statutes, keep My judgments, and do them; hallow My Sabbaths, and they will be a sign between Me and you, that you may know that I am the LORD your God” (Ezekiel 20:5, 6, 11, 12, 19, 20).
Since God has raised His hand in an oath to the children of Israel and one of the most important criterion relating to this oath is the Lord’s Sabbaths to be a sign between them and the Lord, so that they may know that the Lord is their God who sanctifies them, this agreement therefore is immutable, never changing, unalterable, permanent.
Now to those who might assume that this agreement is only between God and the children of Israel and does not pertain to the Gentiles, please be reminded that Gentiles are to glorify God together with His people.
For it is written: “Therefore receive one another, just as Christ also received us, to the glory of God. Now I say that Jesus Christ has become a servant to the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers, and that the Gentiles might glorify God for His mercy, as it is written: “For this reason I will confess to You among the Gentiles, and sing to Your name.” And again he says: “Rejoice, O Gentiles, with His people!” And again: “Praise the LORD, all you Gentiles! Laud Him, all you peoples!” (Romans 15:7-11).
Another important instruction that was stipulated to the children of Israel read as follows: “And if a stranger dwells with you, or whoever is among you throughout your generations, and would present an offering made by fire, a sweet aroma to the LORD, just as you do, so shall he do. One ordinance shall be for you of the assembly and for the stranger who dwells with you, an ordinance forever throughout your generations; as you are, so shall the stranger be before the LORD. One law and one custom shall be for you and for the stranger who dwells with you.” (Numbers 15:14-16)
Therefore, any other form of worship that is not in accordance to what was stipulated to the children of Israel, is unfortunately being addressed to a false god.
We have been duly instructed by the apostle Paul saying; “Stand fast therefore in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage” (Galatians 5:1).
The paramount question here is, how do we define that liberty by which Christ has made us free? Many people unfortunately have the wrong perception of this liberty, and are doing quite the opposite to what this liberty intended.
The liberty which we have been granted by Jesus Christ is not the sort of liberty or freedom which gives one the right or power to do as one pleases, but rather a condition of being free from captivity and oppression.
This liberty was prophesied by the prophet Isaiah, and confirmed and fulfilled by Jesus Christ when He went into the synagogue on the Sabbath day, and stood up to read, and He was handed the book of the prophet Isaiah which reads; “The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.’
“Then He closed the book, and gave it back to the attendant and sat down. And the eyes of all who were in the synagogue were fixed on Him, and He began to say to them, “Today this Scripture is fulfilled in your hearing.”(Isaiah 61:1, Luk4 4:18-21).
Our liberty therefore is one of freedom from captivity and oppression, and our captor and oppressor has never been, nor will it ever be the law of God which is eternal, holy, just and good. Our captor and oppressor has always been the devil, and the law of sin and death.
The liberty by which Christ has made us free is interpreted this way; “Inasmuch then as the children have partaken of flesh and blood, He Himself likewise shared in the same, that through death He might destroy him who had the power of death, that is, the devil, and release those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage” (Hebrews 2:14-15).
The spiritual law has never been a form of bondage as we have been clearly instructed saying; “For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome” (1John 5:3).
Therefore, the way Jesus Christ destroyed the devil, and liberated those who through fear of death were all their lifetime subject to bondage is by condemning sin in the flesh (suppressing the law of sin and death), and so it is written; “ There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death.’
“For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit” (Romans 8:1-4).
And therefore, we have been admonished saying; “For you, brethren, have been called to liberty; only do not use liberty as an opportunity for the flesh, but through love serve one another” (Galatians 5:13).
The negative aspect of the law is simply that, a man is not justified by the works of the law but by faith in Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Christ Jesus, that we might be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law; for by the works of the law no flesh shall be justified. And, we know that whatever the law says, it says to those who are under the law, that every mouth may be stopped, and all the world may become guilty before God. Therefore by the deeds of the law no flesh will be justified in His sight, for by the law is the knowledge of sin.
Those who are obedient to the law are not under the penalty of the law, because “we know that the law is good if one uses it lawfully, knowing this: that the law is not made for a righteous person, but for the lawless and insubordinate, for the ungodly and for sinners, for the unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for fornicators, for sodomites, for kidnappers, for liars, for perjurers, and if there is any other thing that is contrary to sound doctrine” (1 Timothy 1:8-10).
And, therefore, believers have become dead to the law through the body of Christ, that you may be married to another … to Him who was raised from the dead, that we should bear fruit to God. For when we were in the flesh, the sinful passions which were aroused by the law were at work in our members to bear fruit to death. But now we have been delivered from the law, having died to what we were held by, so that we should serve in the newness of the Spirit and not in the oldness of the letter. What shall we say then? Is the law sin? Certainly not! On the contrary, I would not have known sin except through the law. For I would not have known covetousness unless the law had said, “You shall not covet” (Galatians 2:16, Romans 7:4-7).
Our liberty therefore is not from the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus, but from the bondage and wages of the law of sin and death. Since the old carnal mind which is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the law of God, nor indeed can be. has been converted, and we now have a spiritual mind which is now in harmony with God and is subject to the law of God, we are liberated from the law of sin and death.
Even if we sin and fall short, for no one can say that I have no sin, or I have not sinned, but if we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.because we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous who interceeds on our behalf.So then, let us Stand fast in the liberty by which Christ has made us free, and do not be entangled again with a yoke of bondage by continually transgressing the law.
Copyright © 2014 by Lucius Joseph
All rights reserved
Many people express belief in Jesus Christ but when it comes to demonstrating this belief, we see something quite contrary to what they profess to believe.
We have a typical example of the New Covenant instituted by Jesus Christ on the night before He was led to be crucified. It is stated quite explicitly that as Jesus Christ and His disciples were eating, He took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” (Matthew 26: 26-28).
The question is do most professing Christians believe this new covenant! And are we keeping our part of the Covenant? The two worse indictments that are indicted on the Christian community that of vain worship, and calling the Lord, Lord! Lord! And do not do the things that He says.
In order for Christians not to worship the Lord in vain, and worship Him in the manner which He desires to be worshiped, which is, in spirit and in truth, it is imperative that we know and understand the terms and conditions of the New Covenant.
First of all, a covenant is a solemn and formal agreement that is legal, especially one under seal. It involves three (3) parties, and all parties must fulfill their part of the covenant in order for it to become effective. A covenant involves a Covenanter who in the case of the New Covenant is Jesus Christ, the Covenantee who are His disciples, and the terms of the covenant, which is to,”Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.”
What is of intrinsic importance for every believer to establish in our hearts with regards to the New Covenant are:-
1. Why should a new covenant be established when there was an existing covenant?
It was imperative that a new covenant be established whilst the old covenant was in existence as a replacement, because it is written; “For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness” And it is further stated that; “For if that first covenant had been faultless, then no place would have been sought for a second.”
Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah — not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day when I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt; because they did not continue in My covenant, and I disregarded them, says the LORD” (Hebrews 7:18-19; 8:7-8).
Remember, a covenant involves three (3) parties, The covenanter, the covenantee, and the terms of the covenant. Now since the Covenanter who is the Lord is perfect, faithful, and is the same yesterday, today and forever, the fault in the first covenant was not with the Covenanter, but with the covenantee and the terms of the covenant. For thus says the Lord; “Because finding fault with them, He says: “Behold, the days are coming, says the LORD, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah .“
Therefore, what was the fault of the terms of the covenant, and that of the covenantee? The fault of the terms of the old covenant was that it was symbolic for the present time in which both gifts and sacrifices are offered which cannot make him who performed the service perfect in regard to the conscience —concerned only with foods and drinks, various washings, and fleshly ordinances imposed until the time of reformation.” And, for it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins” (Hebrews 9:8-10; 10:4).
And with regards to the covenantee, they could not be presented to the Father in the perfect, blameless state as they were required to be presented. The main objective of the covenant whether old or new is to present the worshiper perfect and blameless before God, as it is clearly written; “For on the one hand there is an annulling of the former commandment because of its weakness and unprofitableness, for the law made nothing perfect; on the other hand, there is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God” (Hebrews 7:18-19).
Now apart for the old covenant being weak and unprofitable, it was also symbolic and not the reality. For thus it is written; “For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins. But in those sacrifices there is a reminder of sins every year. For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and goats could take away sins” (Hebrews 10: 1-4).
The second important thing one needs to established is;-
2. Why was the covenant established in the blood of Christ! What is the rationale?
The rationale for the covenant to be established in the blood of Christ signifies that the New Covenant is sealed and ratified with the blood of Christ, and this is the agreement which the Lord has made with His followers with regards to fulfilling the will of the Father for His people, which is the state of holiness. For thus says the Lord; “For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul” (Leviticus 11:7).
The fact that the New Covenant was established on Christ’s blood should also be of great importance to the believer, because it is stated that; “According to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission” (Hebrews 9:22).
Therefore, I beg to ask the question, what is the rationale for the new covenant in Christ’s blood? The rationale from all indications is the bringing in of a better hope, through which we draw near to God. Therefore, when Jesus came into the world He said; “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second. By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all” (Hebrews 10:9-10).
Therefore, the once and for all which most people have misconstrued to mean that we no longer have to offer sacrifices and offerings to God on behalf of our sins, because this He did once and for all, in reality means, once and for all we now have a perfect offering by which we can now draw near to God, and thus fulfilling the will of God.
And of course, the new covenant only became effective after the death of Jesus Christ for it is written; “For where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator. For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives” (Hebrews 9:16-17).
And of course it is said that; “For every high priest is appointed to offer both gifts and sacrifices. Therefore it is necessary that this One (Jesus Christ) also have something to offer” (Hebrews 8:3).
The unfortunate thing is that, the majority of people who profess to believe in Jesus Christ do not fulfill their part of the New Covenant, although Jesus Christ ever lives to make intercessions for us. What a pity!
But truly, these times of ignorance God has overlooked, and now commands all men everywhere to repent.
Copyright © 2012 by Lucius Joseph
All rights reserved
God’s plan for man was foreordained in Christ before the foundation of the world, as it is written; “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ,just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love,having predestined us to adoption as sons by Jesus Christ to Himself, according to the good pleasure of His will,to the praise of the glory of His grace, by which He made us accepted in the Beloved.’
“In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of His gracewhich He made to abound toward us in all wisdom and prudence,having made known to us the mystery of His will, according to His good pleasure which He purposed in Himself,that in the dispensation of the fullness of the times He might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth — in Him”.
“In Him also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestined according to the purpose of Him who works all things according to the counsel of His will,that we who first trusted in Christ should be to the praise of His glory” (Ephesians 1:3-12).
The plan which God has for man and was foreordained before the foundation of the world, is the covenant He made with Jesus Christ, for man’s restoration and holiness. For “Thus says God the LORD, who created the heavens and stretched them out, who spread forth the earth and that which comes from it, who gives breath to the people on it, and spirit to those who walk on it: I, the LORD, have called You (Jesus Christ) in righteousness, and will hold Your hand; I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the Gentiles, to open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the prison, those who sit in darkness from the prison house. I am the LORD, that is My name; And My glory I will not give to another, Nor My praise to carved images” (Isaiah 42:5-8).
“Thus says the LORD:” Again, ” In an acceptable time I have heard You, and in the day of salvation I have helped You; I will preserve You and give You as a covenant to the people, to restore the earth, to cause them to inherit the desolate heritages” (Isaiah 49:8).
And I, if I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all peoples to Myself.”
God the Father gave Jesus Christ as a covenant to the people, to restore the earth. This covenant was ratified with the precious blood of Jesus Christ, when He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to His disciples, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.” This covenant became effective after the death of Jesus Christ since it is stated that, “Where there is a testament, there must also of necessity be the death of the testator.For a testament is in force after men are dead, since it has no power at all while the testator lives” (Matthew 26:28; Hebrews 9:16-17).
The sad thing is that, the majority of people do not see this covenant which became effective only after the death of Jesus Christ, going beyond the cross, they believe that the once and for all necessitates no more offerings to be made on behalf of sins. But the irony of truth is, the once and for all signifies that , once and for all there is an offering that can present the worshiper perfect and sinless before God, and thus fulfilling the will of God. And so Jesus said; “Behold, I have come to do Your will, O God.” He takes away the first that He may establish the second.By that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
So the question is, are we offering the Lord the food for His offering when we present ourselves before Him! Or are we so self righteous to believe that we can with all our limitations, with all our sinfulness, and with all our unworthiness present ourselves before the Father?
Going to the Father through Jesus Christ who intercedes on our behalf as our High Priest without presenting His body and blood is incomplete, because one is incomplete without the other. For it is stated quite clearly that; “There are three that bear witness on earth: the Spirit (Jesus Christ), the water (His flesh), and the blood; and these three agree as one” (1John 5:8).
The testimony which God has given us regarding His Son is simply this; “And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. He who has the Son has life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”
Now with regards to this life the Son said quite emphatically; “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me.This is the bread which came down from heaven — not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever” (John 6: 53-58).
Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life
It is the offering of the body and blood of Jesus Christ with Jesus Christ interceding as our High Priest that grant us access to the Father, as clearly stated by the apostle Paul who wrote; “Therefore, brethren, having boldness to enter the Holiest by the blood of Jesus,by a new and living way which He consecrated for us, through the veil, that is, His flesh,and having a High Priest over the house of God,let us draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience and our bodies washed with pure water.’
“Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.And let us consider one another in order to stir up love and good works,not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as is the manner of some, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as you see the Day approaching” (Hebrews 10:19-25).
The bottom line is, “ This is what the LORD spoke, saying: ‘ By those who come near Me I must be regarded as holy; And before all the people I must be glorified ” (Leviticus 10:3).
To regard the Lord as holy, one must be holy themselves, and the way one becomes holy is by eating of those things with which the atonement was made. Truly these times of ignorance God has overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent.
Copyright © 2013 by Lucius Joseph
All rights reserved
I do not believe that many people have truly conceptualized the magnitude, the profoundness, and the gravity of what actually transpired at the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, even though it is stated so explicitly that; If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
The question is, when did this new creation take place? And who is part and parcel of this new creation! Having a true perspective of this new creation will alter dramatically the way one lives his/her life. But the sad state of affairs is that mankind since the advent of Jesus Christ do not really know who they are, the majority of us still perceive ourselves as the humanity who existed before the advent of Jesus Christ. Consider for a moment the following passage of scriptures; Jesus said quite emphatically for example; “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”
He also admonished us saying; “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him” (John 10:10; 6:27).
I am the Resurrection and the life.
The apostle Paul also made some very interesting statements when he said for example to the men of Athens that; “He (God) gives to all life, breath, and all things.” What could this possibly means? Because the word life denotes the absence of death, one which is spiritual and eternal while the word breath on the other hand denotes a temporary physical existence.
What can be derived from the statements made by both Jesus Christ and the apostle Paul is that man is the recipient of both a physical and a spiritual life.
And so it is written, “The first man Adam became a living being.”The last Adam became a life-giving spirit.However, the spiritual is not first, but the natural, and afterward the spiritual.The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven. As was the man of dust, so also are those who are made of dust; and as is the heavenly Man, so also are those who are heavenly.And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man” (1 Corinthians 15:45-49).
What has eluded the minds of many people is the fact that mankind is the offspring of two Adams. From the first Adam man inherited life in the flesh which is temporary and physical, and from the last Adam man inherited life in the Spirit which is spiritual and eternal.
Every tree bears its own fruit
We have been instructed saying; “For in Him (Christ) we live and move and have our being, as also some of your own poets have said, ‘For we are also His offspring.’Therefore, since we are the offspring of God, we ought not to think that the Divine Nature is like gold or silver or stone, something shaped by art and man’s devising.” (Acts 17:28-29).
The new creation which is Life in the Spirit, is the life that we all received from Jesus Christ at His resurrection. For it is stated quite clearly; “For the love of Christ compels us, because we judge thus: that if One died for all, then all died;and He died for all, that those who live should live no longer for themselves, but for Him who died for them and rose again.
Therefore, from now on, we regard no one according to the flesh. Even though we have known Christ according to the flesh, yet now we know Him thus no longer.Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (2 Corinthians 5:14-17).
Since we all died with Christ at His death, we were also resurrected with Him at His resurrection, demonstrating God’s everlasting love, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God,not of works, lest anyone should boast” (Ephesians 2:4-9).
It is because of this duality that exists in the new creation that we have been admonished by the apostle Paul saying; I say then: Walk in the Spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh.For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish” (Galatians 5:16-17).
It is imperative therefore, that we believe and accept the new life which was given to us at the resurrection of Jesus Christ because it is, “As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name:who were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God” (John 1:12-13).
Now the irony of truth is, each life, the old and the new are compared to trees which bear their own fruit, and which are sustained from two diametrically opposite sources of life for their sustenance and growth.
For example the old man or the life in the flesh which we inherited from the first Adam, draws its source of life from the breath of air, and requires water and food to sustain its growth, physical exercises to keep it strong and healthy, rest and sleep to be rejuvenated, and entertainment to make it merry.
In like manner, the new man or the life in the Spirit which we inherited from the last Adam, the Spirit Man from heaven, draws its source of life from Jesus Christ the life-giving Spirit, and requires the real drink and the real food, which is the blood and body of Jesus Christ for its sustenance, bible study to keep it strong and healthy, prayer and fasting for its rejuvenation, and the observance of the Lord’s festivals to make it joyous.
We therefore have the prerogative to choose to use the members of our body as instruments to live either in accordance to the flesh, or in accordance to the Spirit, and therefore the apostle Paul warns us saying; “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap.For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life” (Galatians 6: 7-8).
Truly, these times of ignorance God overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent.
Copyright © 2012 by Lucius Joseph
All rights reserved
And I heard another voice from heaven saying, “Come out of her, my people, lest you share in her sins, and lest you receive of her plagues. For her sins have reached to heaven, and God has remembered her iniquities” (Revelations 18:2-5).
To ascertain that we understand the seriousness of this warning and to take heed, so as not to share in the sins of Babylon and receive of her plagues, it is imperative that we identify who this mystery Babylon is. It is also imperative that we understand the meaning of all the symbols and terminologies that are associated with this Babylon., so as not to be misled.
The important symbols or terminologies which are associated with this mystery Babylon, that will help us identify it and help us flee from her are;-
Beasts according to the scriptures referred to kingdoms, as alluded to by the prophet Daniel who wrote saying; Those great beasts, which are four, are four kings which arise out of the earth” (Daniel 7:17).
This refers to power or ruler-ship in a given period, so where seven heads are mentioned, it denotes that this beast or kingdom had seven revivals. For example when the apostle John saw this vision he said, “Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains (kingdoms) on which the woman sits. There are also seven kings (kingdoms). Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time.” (Revelation 17:9-10).
These are lesser kings or kingdoms who rule con temporarily with the beast or kingdom, as confirmed by the prophet Daniel who wrote saying; “The ten horns are ten kings who shall arise from this kingdom. And another shall rise after them; He shall be different from the first ones, and shall subdue three kings” (Daniel 7:24).
d. Bottomless pit
This is an Abyss, a prison, the domain or the kingdom of Satan as alluded to by the following scriptures stating; “And they had as king over them the angel of the bottomless pit, whose name in Hebrew is Abaddon, but in Greek he has the name Apollyon”. And, “When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them.” And, “Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven, having the key to the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. He laid hold of the dragon, that serpent of old, who is the Devil and Satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal on him, so that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years were finished. But after these things he must be released for a little while” (Revelation 9:11; 11:7; 20:1-3).
This is figurative to the doctrine, the gospel, the good news of salvation as alluded to by the prophet Isaiah who wrote; “Ho! Everyone who thirsts, Come to the waters; And you who have no money, come, buy and eat. Yes, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and let your soul delight itself in abundance.
Incline your ear, and come to Me. Hear, and your soul shall live; And I will make an everlasting covenant with you — The sure mercies of David. Indeed I have given him as a witness to the people, a leader and commander for the people” (Isaiah 55: 1-4).
To drink is figurative to being indoctrinated, to imbibe and take into one’s mind the doctrines promulgated by this mystery Babylon the mother of harlots. It is to socialize and have unholy alliances with her, and forsaking the right way. For thus says the Lord; “ For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, and hewn themselves cisterns — broken cisterns that can hold no water. …Have you not brought this on yourself, in that you have forsaken the LORD your God when He led you in the way? And now why take the road to Egypt, To drink the waters of Sihor? Or why take the road to Assyria, To drink the waters of the River?” (Jeremiah 2: 13, 17, 18).
To be drunk is figurative to being deceived, spiritually blinded, or being erroneously indoctrinated, as alluded to by the prophet Isaiah who wrote; “ But they also have erred through wine, and through intoxicating drink are out of the way; The priest and the prophet have erred through intoxicating drink, They are swallowed up by wine, They are out of the way through intoxicating drink; They err in vision, they stumble in judgment.”
And, “Pause and wonder! Blind yourselves and be blind! They are drunk, but not with wine; They stagger, but not with intoxicating drink. For the LORD has poured out on you the spirit of deep sleep, and has closed your eyes, namely, the prophets; And He has covered your heads, namely, the seers. The whole vision has become to you like the words of a book that is sealed, which men deliver to one who is literate, saying, “Read this, please.” And he says, “I cannot, for it is sealed” (Isaiah 28:7; 29:9-11).
h. Many waters
This is figurative to nations, peoples and languages as explained by the apostle John who wrote; “The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues” (Revelation 17:15).
A woman is figurative to a church. The true church according to the apostle Paul is depicted as a chaste virgin, for he wrote; “For I am jealous for you with godly jealousy. For I have betrothed you to one husband, that I may present you as a chaste virgin to Christ” (2 Corinthians 11:2).
On the other hand he false church is depicted as a harlot, and since Babylon the great is the mother of harlots, this implies that this mystery Babylon is a parent church with many other false churches.
Having established these important factors it is imperative that we now analyze carefully the warning given to us by the messengers of God.
Copyright © 2013 by Lucius Joseph
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