Category Archive for Spiritual Worship

No Turning back

No turning back

The Christian calling is a calling we have received from the Father in His Son Jesus Christ, before the foundation of the world in order that; “We should be holy and blameless before Him in love” (Ephessians 1:4).
For, “God has saved us and called us with a holy calling, not according to our works, but according to His own purpose and grace which was given to us before time began, but has now been revealed by the appearing of our Savior Jesus Christ, who has abolished death and brought life and immortality to light through the gospel” (2 Timothy 1: 9-10).
Therefore, we are not to turn away from holiness, because it is a non return flight onward bound to eternity. And in addition to this, “No one having put his hand to the plow, and looking back is fit for the kingdom” (Luke 9: 62).
This plowing that believers are occupied in, is the perfecting of holiness in the fear of the Lord, and for this reason, “We are to prepare our minds for action; be self controlled; set our hope fully on the grace to be given when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, not conforming ourselves to the former lusts, we had when we lived in ignorance. But just as He who called us is holy, so we are to be holy in all that we do; for it is written. “Be holy, because I am holy” (1 Peter1:13-16).
God’s eternal purpose for man was accomplished in Christ Jesus our Lord in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him.
This boldness and access with confidence before the presence of the Father is made accessible through the offering of the body and blood of Jesus Christ. Before the advent of Jesus Christ, the law of sacrifices was ordained as a substitute to the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, but could not present the worshiper holy and blameless before God.
And so it is written; “But into the second part the high priest went alone once a year, not without blood, which he offered for himself and for the people’s sins committed in ignorance; the Holy Spirit indicating this, that the way into the Holiest of All was not yet made manifest while the first tabernacle was still standing.
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.
But Christ came as High Priest of the good things to come, with the greater and more perfect tabernacle not made with hands, that is, not of this creation. Not with the blood of goats and calves, but with His own blood He entered the Most Holy Place once for all, having obtained eternal redemption.
For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God?
And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance” (Hebrews 9: 8-14; 10: 1-4).
Because animal sacrifices could not present the worshiper perfect before God, when Christ came into the world, He said, “Sacrifice and offering You did not desire, but a body You have prepared for Me, in burnt offering and sacrifices for sin You had no pleasure. Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come—in the volume of the book it is written of Me—to do Your will, O God.
Previously saying, “Sacrifice and offering, burnt offerings, and offerings for sin You did not desire, nor had pleasure in them” (which are offered according to the law), then 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 10:5-10).
Jesus Christ accomplished the Father’s eternal purpose for man by offering His body on the cross for our Sanctification and Redemption. He did not enter the perfect spiritual tabernacle by means of the blood of goats and calves; but He entered the Most Holy Place once for all by His own blood, having obtained eternal redemption.
Now consider this for a moment, “If the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkled on those who are ceremonially unclean sanctify them so that they are outwardly clean. How much more, then, will the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself unblemished to God, cleanse our consciences from acts that lead to death, so that we may serve the living God! For this reason Christ is the mediator of a new covenant, that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance– now that He has died as a ransom to set them free from the sins committed under the first covenant” (Hebrews 9:13-15).
The death of Jesus Christ redeemed us from sins committed under the old covenant. We have been freely justified by God’s grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God presented as a sacrifice of atonement, through faith in His blood.
He did this to demonstrate His justice because in His forbearance He left the sins committed beforehand unpunished (Romans 3:25). We were called to receive the promise of eternal inheritance, that is, our “Immortal Body or Everlasting life,” which comes as a result of holy and righteous living. For having been set free from sin, and having become slaves of God, we have our fruit to holiness, and the end, everlasting life.
We are told that, “The love of Christ compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. And He died for all, so that, those who live should no longer live for themselves but for Him who died for them and rose again from the dead” (2Corinthians 5: 14-15),
We owe all praise and glory to, “The God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who, in His great mercy has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade, kept in heaven for us, until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time” (1 Peter 1: 3-4).
At the resurrection of Jesus Christ man became also the offspring of God: created in righteousness and true holiness. Christ accomplished the Father’s eternal purpose for man by paying the penalty of sin in man’s stead and instituting the ordinance of communion.
The ordinance of Communion which was instituted on the night before Christ was crucified, is the representative of the body and blood of Jesus Christ, which replaced the daily regular (often) offering whose objective is to present the worshiper holy, and blameless before God, at the appointed times of worship, and as a sweet aroma pleasing to God
The sweet aroma, God’s offering, which is pleasing to Him consist of the following;-
• The burnt offering
This represents the sacrificial body of Jesus Christ, who is now immortal, and now sits at the right hand of the Father interceding on our behalf as our faithful and merciful High Priest.
• Grain/Meal Offering
Which is flour mixed with olive oil and salt, representing the broken body of Christ as the new and living way to the Father.
• Drink Offering
Which is wine, representing the blood of Jesus Christ as the means by which our sins are cleansed and forguven.
This is the protocol by which God’s eternal purpose for man was accomplished in Christ, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory.
We are therefore admonished to, “Be followers of God as dear children, and walk in love, as Christ also loved us and given Himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet smelling aroma” (Ephesians 5:2).
We are not to be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord, who gave Himself as a ransom for all, but instead, we are to give unto the Lord the glory due to His name; and worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness, without which no one will see the Lord.
We are to be as living stones that are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ. The regular offering of this spiritual sacrifice is the way by which one is cleansed from sin, and is presented holy and blameless before God.
• A word of caution
One has to examine him/herself before partaking of this ordinance, not as a deterrent, but rather to be reminded of the consequences for partaking of it in an unworthy manner, which is weakness, sickness and death.
Nevertheless, it is better that we judge ourselves. For if we would judge ourselves, we would not be judged. But when we are judged, we are chastened by the Lord, and if we endure chastening, God deals with us as with sons. Shall we not much more readily be in subjection to the father of spirit and live? His chastisement is for our profit, that we may be partakers of His holiness.
But if we turn back from pursuing holiness and sin willfully after we have received knowledge of the truth, there no longer remains a sacrifice for sins, but a certain fearful expectation of judgment and fiery indignation will devour the adversaries.
Hopefully, we are not of those who draw back to perdition, but of those who believe in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, His death, His resurrection, the ordinance of Holy Communion and His position as High Priest, to the saving of the soul.
God 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.
Also in Christ Jesus 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. In Him we also trusted, after we heard the word of truth, the gospel of our salvation; in whom also, having believed, we were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise, who is the guarantee of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, to the praise of His glory.

How deceived are we (part 4)

Another area of huge deceiption is that of religious festivals.for example the Annual Sabbaths
The Lord’s annual Sabbaths is also another major concern as to why Christians do not recognize these festivals when the Lord Jesus Christ who is the same yesterday, today and forever stated quite clearly saying; “The feasts of the LORD, which you shall proclaim to be holy convocations, these are My feasts.” And His directives are; “You shall keep My Sabbaths and reverence My sanctuary: I am the LORD” (Leviticus 23:4; 26:2).
Bear in mind also the apostle Paul’s admonition to the Romans saying; “Now may the God of patience and comfort grant you to be like-minded toward one another, according to Christ Jesus, that you may with one mind and one mouth glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 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 15:5-11).
Therefore, I beg to ask the question, where did the idea of Christians having different religious festivals that are different to that of the Jews! When the admonition given to the Gentiles is to “Rejoice with the people of God”?
With regards to salvation for the Gentiles, the Lord says: “Keep justice, and do righteousness, for My salvation is about to come, and My righteousness to be revealed. Blessed is the man who does this, and the son of man who lays hold on it; who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, and keeps his hand from doing any evil.”
“Do not let the son of the foreigner who has joined himself to the LORD Speak, saying, “The LORD has utterly separated me from His people”; nor let the eunuch say, “Here I am, a dry tree.” For thus says the LORD: “To the eunuchs who keep My Sabbaths, and choose what pleases Me, and hold fast My covenant, even to them I will give in My house and within My walls a place and a name better than that of sons and daughters; I will give them an everlasting name that shall not be cut off. Also the sons of the foreigner who join themselves to the LORD, to serve Him, and to love the name of the LORD, to be His servants — Everyone who keeps from defiling the Sabbath, and holds fast My covenant —Even them I will bring to My holy mountain, and make them joyful in My house of prayer” (Isaiah 56:1-7).
In the future, severe punishment will be mete on all nations that will not celebrate the festivals of the Lord, for it is written; “And it shall come to pass that everyone who is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. And it shall be that whichever of the families of the earth do not come up to Jerusalem to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, on them there will be no rain.’
“If the family of Egypt will not come up and enter in, they shall have no rain; they shall receive the plague with which the LORD strikes the nations who do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles. This shall be the punishment of Egypt and the punishment of all the nations that do not come up to keep the Feast of Tabernacles” (Zechariah 14:16-19).
So the crux of the matter is, why do people who call Jesus Christ ‘Lord, Lord,’ do not do the things which He say? They do not do them because they are deceived in believing that they do not have to do them, but would rather follow the customs and traditions of men. They would rather celebrate the customs and traditions of Christmas instead of celebrating the feast of Tabernacles.
• Reckoning of months and years
The reckoning of months and years is another area where the whole world has been deceived. The world has blatantly rejected God’s way of reckoning time and has substituted man’s way, now since there are only two ruling or governing powers which control the universe, it is a clear indication that the one whose laws and principles are upheld and implemented is considered to be better and wiser than the one whose laws and principles have been rejected.
Especially considering the fact that the system which has been blatantly rejected preceded the one that has been embraced, thus saying in effect that man’s way of reckoning time and years is better than the one God has ordained, and thus inadvertently giving the glory, the honor and the praise which is due to the Lord, to man’s system, and subsequently to the devil who gave his power, his throne and authority to the Fourth beast which is the Roman Empire who changed the times and law.
From the beginning of the recreation of the world, the Creator said, “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” (Genesis 1:14).
The sun is ordained to regulate the day, the moon to regulate the month and the seasons, in fact, the origin of the word month is from the moon, and so every new moon is the beginning of a new month, as the Lord instructed Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt saying; “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you” (Exodus 12:2).
So how do we know that the new moon is the first day of the month? And which month that is the first month of the year? We know when is the first day of the month, and the first month of the year because the Lord further instructed Moses and Aaron saying, “On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household.” Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight” (Exodus 12:3-6).
The fourteenth day of the first month of the year is the Lord’ Passover which is ordained as a memorial and a feast to the LORD throughout the generations of God`s people, and be kept as a feast by an everlasting ordinance. This fourteenth day of the first month of the year always falls on the first Full Moon in spring which is between the end of March and beginning of April in the Roman calendar.
An important observation is the fact that God`s Sabbaths are perpetual for thus says the Lord, “For as the new heavens and the new earth which I will make shall remain before Me,” says the LORD, “So shall your descendants and your name remain. And it shall come to pass that from one New Moon (month) to another, and from one Sabbath to another, all flesh shall come to worship before Me,” says the LORD. And they shall go forth and look upon the corpses of the men who have transgressed against Me: For their worm does not die, and their fire is not quenched: They shall be an abhorrence to all flesh” (Isaiah 66:22-24).
What amazes me is the fact that Jesus Christ in His prayer to the Father on behalf of His disciples prayed and said, “I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth. As You sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world” (John 17:14-18).
And the fact that the Father has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light has delivered us from the power of darkness, and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, and despite the forewarning which says to; “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,” nevertheless, the majority of those who profess to believe in Jesus Christ, they rather subject themselves to the customs and traditions of men rather than submitting themselves to the authority of God, what a deception! What a dilemma of vain worship.

How deceived are we (part three)

• 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

How deceived are we part 2

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.

How deceived are we

Beware of deception

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

Reasons why believers should not celebrate Christmas

Another important reason why believers should not celebrate Christmas it is because Whosoever worships God must worship Him in spirit and truth, and there is absolutely no truth in Jesus Christ having anything to do with Christmas.
The scripture states quite emphatically, “You worship what you do not know; we know what we worship, for salvation is of the Jews. But the hour is coming, and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” (John 4:22-24).
Now there is no veracity of Christ having anything to do with the festival of Christmas, and the worse indictment that has been indicted against believers is that of worshiping God according to the customs and traditions of men.
For thus says the Lord; “Well did Isaiah prophesy of you hypocrites, as it is written: “These people honor Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me. And in vain they worship Me, teaching as doctrines the commandments of men.’ For laying aside the commandment of God, you hold the tradition of men … the washing of pitchers and cups, and many other such things you do.” He said to them, “All too well you reject the commandment of God, that you may keep your tradition” (Mark 7:6-9).
Talking about Satan counterfeiting everything which God has ordained for His glory, see how Satan has counterfeited the idea of family reunion which the Lord ordained for families during His festivals. The Lord said, “You shall observe the Feast of Tabernacles seven days, when you have gathered from your threshing floor and from your winepress. And you shall rejoice in your feast, you and your son and your daughter, your male servant and your female servant and the Levite, the stranger and the fatherless and the widow, who are within your gates” (Deuteronomy 16:13-14).
People choose to disregard this simple command from the Lord, at the time which truly commemorates the date of Christ’s birth and substitute it with a day established by the Roman Empire, the beast, to whom Satan has given his power, his throne and great authority. Thus, laying aside the commandment of God, and holding to the tradition of men.
4. The date of Christ’s birth has never been a secret

The popular teaching to support the Christmas theory is that, “no one knows the exact date of Christ’s birth.” But the crux of the matter is, if the date of Christ’s birth is veiled, it is veiled to those who are perishing, whose minds the god of this age has blinded, who do not believe, lest the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine on them.
If the date of Christ’s birth is unknown as most deceivers have led others to believe, how do we reconcile the following incidents that took place on the very day on which Jesus Christ was born!
• The visitation from the heavenly hosts
Bear in mind that on the very day on which Christ was born an angel appeared to the shepherds and said to them; ”Do not be afraid, for behold, I bring you good tidings of great joy which will be to all people. For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord. And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling clothes lying in a manger.”
• Heavenly Chorus
Suddenly, there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God and saying: “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, goodwill toward men” (Luke 2:10-14)!
• The shepherds witness
For as soon as the angels had gone away from them into heaven that the shepherds said to one another, “Let us now go to Bethlehem and see this thing that has come to pass, which the Lord has made known to us.” It is stated that, “they (the shepherds) came with haste and found Mary and Joseph, and the Babe lying in a manger, exactly how the angel told them.
• The shepherds proclamation
When the shepherds witnessed exactly what the angel told them, they made widely known the saying which was told them concerning this Child. And all those who heard it marveled at those things which were told them by the shepherds (Luke 2:10-18).
• The circumcision of Jesus Christ
It is clearly stated that; ”And when eight days were completed for the circumcision of the Child, His name was called Jesus, the name given by the angel before He was conceived in the womb” (Luke 2:21).
• Christ’s presentation to the Lord
It is written; ”Now when the days of her (Mary) purification according to the law of Moses were completed, they brought Him (Christ) to Jerusalem to present Him to the Lord (as it is written in the law of the Lord, “Every male who opens the womb shall be called holy to the Lord”).
• The beginning of Christ’s Ministry
Jesus Christ began His ministry at about thirty years of age, being (as was supposed) the son of Joseph, the son of Heli.
• His denial and rejection by those who knew Him
For it is written; “Now some of them from Jerusalem said, “Is this not He whom they seek to kill? Look! He speaks boldly, and they say nothing to Him. Do the rulers know indeed that this is truly the Christ? We know where this Man is from; but when the Christ comes, no one knows where He is from.”
Then Jesus cried out, as He taught in the temple, saying, “You both know Me, and you know where I am from; and I have not come of Myself, but He who sent Me is true, whom you do not know. But I know Him, for I am from Him, and He sent Me” (John 7:25-29).
To be continued.
Copyright © 2013 by Lucius Joseph
All rights reserved

Lesson from Natural Disasters


What is the primary lesson that we should all learn from natural phenomena that are affecting our planet? Is it simply having better building codes and building stronger structures! Is it less carbon emission in the atmosphere to reduce global warming? And be resilient in recovering from whatever Mother Nature throws at us?
Regardless of how sensible and practical these trends of thought seem to be, they are not the primary lesson that one should learn from these natural phenomena. The primary lesson that one should learn is learning to stand in awe of God`s awesome majesty, because, “as for the Almighty, we cannot find Him; He is excellent in power, in judgment and abundant justice; He does not oppress. Therefore men fear Him; He shows no partiality to any who are wise of heart” (Job 37:23-24).
Because the irony of truth is, it is by the breath of God ice is given, and the broad waters are frozen. Also with moisture He saturates the thick clouds; He scatters His bright clouds. And they swirl about, being turned by His guidance, that they may do whatever He commands them on the face of the whole earth. He causes it to come, whether for correction, or for His land, or for mercy” (Job 37:10-13).
There is absolutely nothing that happens without the express permission of the Almighty. For example the question is asked. “Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered” (Matthew 10:29-30).
Therefore, the primary lesson that we all should learn from the natural phenomena that are affecting the earth, is learning to fear God, because what is happening is as a result of man`s wickedness, and the fairness of God`s judgment. For thus says the Lord, “As I live,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live. Turn, turn from your evil ways! For why should you die O house of Israel?
God`s warning to everyone is as follows: ‘The righteousness of the righteous man shall not deliver him in the day of his transgression; as for the wickedness of the wicked, he shall not fall because of it in the day that he turns from his wickedness; nor shall the righteous be able to live because of his righteousness in the day that he sins.’
“When I say to the righteous that he shall surely live, but he trusts in his own righteousness and commits iniquity, none of his righteous works shall be remembered; but because of the iniquity that he has committed, he shall die. Again, when I say to the wicked, ‘You shall surely die,’ if he turns from his sin and does what is lawful and right, if the wicked restores the pledge, gives back what he has stolen, and walks in the statutes of life without committing iniquity, he shall surely live; he shall not die.”
“None of his sins which he has committed shall be remembered against him; he has done what is lawful and right; he shall surely live. Yet the children of your people say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ But it is their way which is not fair! When the righteous turns from his righteousness and commits iniquity, he shall die because of it. But when the wicked turns from his wickedness and does what is lawful and right, he shall live because of it. Yet you say, ‘The way of the Lord is not fair.’ O house of Israel, I will judge every one of you according to his own ways” (Ezekiel 33:11-20).
There is a definite way of life called the statutes of life by which we all should live, and whenever we violate these statutes the consequences are automatic. Our best security is to always abide in the presence of the Almighty. For we have His promise saying;
“He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust. Surely He shall deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the perilous pestilence. He shall cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler.”
“You shall not be afraid of the terror by night, or of the arrow that flies by day, or of the pestilence that walks in darkness, or of the destructions that lay waste at noonday: A thousand may fall at your side, and ten thousand at your right hand; but it shall not come near you. Only with your eyes shall you look, and see the reward of the wicked.”
“Because you have made the LORD, who is my refuge, even the Most High, your dwelling place, no evil shall befall you, or shall any plague come near your dwelling; For He shall give His angels charge over you, to keep you in all your ways. In their hands they shall bear you up, lest you dash your foot against a stone” (Psalms 91:1-12)
.The irony of truth is the LORD says: “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil, in that I command you today to love the LORD your God, to walk in His ways, and to keep His commandments, His statutes, and His judgments, that you may live and multiply; and the LORD your God will bless you in the land which you go to possess. But if your heart turns away so that you do not hear, and are drawn away, and worship other gods and serve them, I announce to you today that you shall surely perish; you shall not prolong your days in the land which you cross over the Jordan to go in and possess. I call heaven and earth as witnesses today against you, that I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing; therefore choose life, that both you and your descendants may live” (Deuteronomy 30:15-19).
Basically, there are only two ways of life, one is the way which God has ordained by which man should live, and the other is living contrary to the ordained way, and each man is at liberty to walk after the imagination of his/her evil heart, doing what seems right in their own heart. One has the prerogative to either be a citizen in the kingdom of light, and living and walking in the Spirit, or being a citizen in the kingdom of darkness, and living and walking in accordance to the flesh, there are no middle grounds.

Copyright © 2017 by Lucius Joseph
All rights reserved

Root cause for natural disasters


Is there a root cause and a lesson to be learnt from the effects of the natural phenomena such as lightning, thunders, hurricane, earthquakes, roaring seas, drying or receding of seas, hail, draught, natural disasters which have been affecting the earth since time immemorial?
There is a common slogan which states that, “the worst of Mother nature brings about the best of human nature.” From this perspective it tends to suggest that Mother Nature is in complete control of itself, and regardless what it throws at human beings, they will exercise resilience and rebuilt whatever that has been destroyed.
But the question is, are natural disasters simply the work of Mother Nature? Or are there root causes and a higher authority who oversees the whereabouts and activities of all the natural phenomena that are affecting planet earth?
History shows that from time immemorial the earth has suffered from many major disasters and a root cause has always been attributed to them, and the reason for causing them, For example:-
• Noah’s flood
With regards to the flood we see that the root cause of the flood was due to man`s wickedness, and it was as a form of judgment, for it is stated that, “the LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intent of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. And the LORD was sorry that He had made man on the earth, and He was grieved in His heart. So the LORD said, “I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth, both man and beast, creeping thing and birds of the air, for I am sorry that I have made them” (Genesis 6:5-7)
In ordering the building of the ark the Lord said to Noah, “The end of all flesh has come before Me, for the earth is filled with violence through them; and behold, I will destroy them with the earth…And behold, I Myself am bringing floodwaters on the earth, to destroy from under heaven all flesh in which is the breath of life; everything that is on the earth shall die” (Genesis 6:13, 17).
With regards to Noah´s flood, it is without a shadow of doubt that the root cause for the destruction of the earth was man’s wickedness which filled the earth with violence, and it was the Lord Himself who brought the flood waters on the earth. But what about now! With the passage of so many destructive hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, draughts, roaring seas, drying or receding of seas, hail, lightning bolts, thunders, do the same hold true today? Who or what is the root cause of these natural phenomena, and who is responsible? And why are they being administered?
The irony of truth is, there are three (3) players that are directly or indirectly responsible for all natural phenomena that are affecting the earth and they are-
1. Man
Man is the chief culprit or the root cause of all the calamities that the earth is experiencing, whether in a positive or in a negative way. Naturally, man`s way of life is diametrically opposite to that of the Creator, because his carnal mind is enmity against God, and it is not subject to the law of God, and neither can it ever be. Man’s way seems naturally right to him, but it ultimately leads to death. His human wisdom therefore does things which are contrary to the laws of nature, and having a heart which is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked, and so inadvertently, man transgresses the law of nature and when they boomerang such as climate change will cause innumerable damages .
2. Satan
Satan, the devil is another player in the catastrophic events that affects the earth. He is known as, “the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience.” To have a better understanding on how Satan sometimes has a role to play, let us look at the example of Job.
It is stated that, “there was a day when the sons of God came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came among them. And the LORD said to Satan, “From where do you come?” So Satan answered the LORD and said, “From going to and fro on the earth, and from walking back and forth on it. “Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered My servant Job, that there is none like him on the earth, a blameless and upright man, one who fears God and shuns evil?”
So Satan answered the LORD and said, “Does Job fear God for nothing? Have You not made a hedge around him, around his household, and around all that he has on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But now, stretch out Your hand and touch all that he has, and he will surely curse You to Your face!” And the LORD said to Satan, “Behold, all that he has is in your power; only do not lay a hand on his person.” So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD” (Job 1:6-12).
One of the ways that Satan attacked Job was by destroying his children through a storm. For it is stated that while Job was being notified of the lost of his property, a servant came to him saying; “Your sons and daughters were eating and drinking wine in their oldest brother’s house, and suddenly a great wind came from across the wilderness and struck the four corners of the house, and it fell on the young people, and they are dead; and I alone have escaped to tell you!” (Job 1:18-19).
Satan is known to be the accuser of the brethren, who accused them before our God day and night, and technically, he has the legal right to claim or seek compensation when the laws of God have been violated, because the wages of sin is death, and he who sins is of the devil, so it is within his jurisdiction to make requests to God.
Satan is also very wrathful because he knows that his time is short. For it is written: “Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time” (Revelation 12:12)
Satan is the god of this world and the whole world lies under his sway. He and his demons are the ones ruling this earth, and so we have been reminded saying; “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” (Ephesians 6:12).
Satan has given to the rulers of this world his power, his throne and great authority, he has the power to inflict punishment on evil doers if God grants him the permission to, and so we have been cautioned saying; “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world” (1Peter5: 8-9).
3. God
The other player who is involved in the natural phenomena is God the Almighty, who is in full control of everything that happens because He is the Maker, the Possessor, the Redeemer and the Judge of this world and nothing takes place without His express permission. The irony of truth is, the earth and all its fullness, the world and those who dwell therein belongs to the LORD: For He has founded it upon the seas, and established it upon the waters.
Our LORD is the true God; He is the living God and the everlasting King. At His wrath the earth will tremble, and the nations will not be able to endure His indignation. He has made the earth by His power, He has established the world by His wisdom, and has stretched out the heavens at His discretion. When He utters His voice, there is a multitude of waters in the heavens: And He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth. He makes lightning for the rain and brings the wind out of His treasuries.
Here are a few examples of how our Lord is in full control of the natural phenomena, disasters that are affecting the earth.
• Lightning
In a dialogue with Job the LORD said to him, “Do you know the ordinances of the heavens? Can you set their dominion over the earth? Can you lift up your voice to the clouds, that an abundance of water may cover you? Can you send out lightnings, that they may go, and say to you, ‘Here we are!’? (Job 38:33-35).
The prophet Jeremiah wrote; “He has made the earth by His power; He has established the world by His wisdom, and stretched out the heaven by His understanding. When He utters His voice — There is a multitude of waters in the heavens: “He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth; He makes lightnings for the rain; He brings the wind out of His treasuries” (Jeremiah 51:15-16).
• Thunder
At the leashing of the seventh plague in Egypt, Pharaoh sent and called for Moses and Aaron, and said to them, “I have sinned this time. The LORD is righteous, and my people and I are wicked. Entreat the LORD, that there may be no more mighty thundering and hail, for it is enough. I will let you go, and you shall stay no longer.” So Moses said to him, “As soon as I have gone out of the city, I will spread out my hands to the LORD; the thunder will cease, and there will be no more hail, that you may know that the earth is the LORD’s” (Exodus 9:27-29).
God uses thunder and other natural phenomena as a way of expressing His displeasure. “Now therefore, stand and see this great thing which the LORD will do before your eyes: Is today not the wheat harvest? I will call to the LORD, and He will send thunder and rain, that you may perceive and see that your wickedness is great, which you have done in the sight of the LORD, in asking a king for yourselves.” So Samuel called to the LORD, and the LORD sent thunder and rain that day; and all the people greatly feared the LORD and Samuel” (2 Samuel 12:16-18).
• Hurricanes
It is stated that, “From the chamber of the south comes the whirlwind, and cold from the scattering winds of the north. By the breath of God ice is given, the broad waters are frozen. Also with moisture He saturates the thick clouds; He scatters His bright clouds. And they swirl about, being turned by His guidance, that they may do whatever He commands them on the face of the whole earth. He causes it to come, whether for correction, or for His land, or for mercy” (Job 37:9-13).
To the foolish prophets the Lord said, “My hand will be against the prophets who envision futility and who divine lies; they shall not be in the assembly of My people, nor be written in the record of the house of Israel, nor shall they enter into the land of Israel. Then you shall know that I am the Lord GOD.
“Because, indeed, because they have seduced My people, saying, ‘Peace!’ when there is no peace — and one builds a wall, and they plaster it with un-tempered mortar —say to those who plaster it with un-tempered mortar, that it will fall. There will be flooding rain, and you, O great hailstones, shall fall; and a stormy wind shall tear it down. Surely, when the wall has fallen, will it not be said to you, ‘Where is the mortar with which you plastered it?’ “Therefore thus says the Lord GOD: “I will cause a stormy wind to break forth in My fury; and there shall be a flooding rain in My anger, and great hailstones in fury to consume it” (Ezekiel 13:9-13).
• Drying/receding of seas
This phenomenon is an outward sign of God`s wrath, for it is written, “God is jealous, and the LORD avenges; The LORD avenges and is furious. The LORD will take vengeance on His adversaries, and He reserves wrath for His enemies; The LORD is slow to anger and great in power, and will not at all acquit the wicked. The LORD has His way in the whirlwind and in the storm, and the clouds are the dust of His feet.
“He rebukes the sea and makes it dry, and dries up all the rivers. Bashan and Carmel wither, and the flower of Lebanon wilts. The mountains quake before Him, the hills melt, and the earth heaves at His presence, yes, the world and all who dwell in it. Who can stand before His indignation? And who can endure the fierceness of His anger? His fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by Him” (Nahum 1:2-6).
To His servant Israel the Lord said, “Why, when I came, was there no man? Why, when I called, was there none to answer? Is My hand shortened at all that it cannot redeem? Or have I no power to deliver? Indeed with My rebuke I dry up the sea, I make the rivers a wilderness; their fish stink because there is no water, and die of thirst. I clothe the heavens with blackness, and I make sackcloth their covering” (Isaiah 50:2-3).
• Earthquakes
God manifest His presence and power in the form of earthquakes, for example, the Lord said to Ariel, the city where David dwelt, “You will be punished by the LORD of hosts with thunder and earthquake and great noise, with storm and tempest and the flame of devouring fire” (Isaiah 29:6).
It is a way God executes judgments upon the wicked, as it is written. “And it will come to pass at the same time, when Gog comes against the land of Israel,” says the Lord GOD, “that My fury will show in My face. For in My jealousy and in the fire of My wrath I have spoken: ‘Surely in that day there shall be a great earthquake in the land of Israel, so that the fish of the sea, the birds of the heavens, the beasts of the field, all creeping things that creep on the earth, and all men who are on the face of the earth shall shake at My presence. The mountains shall be thrown down, the steep places shall fall, and every wall shall fall to the ground” (Ezekiel 38:18-20).
It is also a sign that God used to demonstrate His power at the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, the saints who had fallen asleep, and in the future, the resurrection of the two witnesses, as it is written:” In the same hour there was a great earthquake, and a tenth of the city fell. In the earthquake seven thousand people were killed, and the rest were afraid and gave glory to the God of heaven” (Revelation 11:13).
We can also make mention of fire and hail, snow and clouds, waves of the ocean all fulfilling His word. Because these are all the works of the LORD: “For He commands and raises the stormy wind, which lifts up the waves of the sea. They mount up to the heavens, they go down again to the depths; their soul melts because of trouble. They reel to and fro, and stagger like a drunken man, and are at their wits’ end. Then they cry out to the LORD in their trouble, and He brings them out of their distresses. He calms the storm, So that its waves are still” (Psalms 107:25-29).

Lesson from Natural Disasters


Since everything is under the divine control and guidance of the Lord, how are we to respond to all the calamities that are affecting the earth! What lesson is there for us to learn?

Put God first (part 2)

b. Be renewed in the spirit of the mind

The apostle Paul said; “Now this I affirm and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds; they are darkened in their understanding, alienated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, due to the hardening of their hearts. Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more” (Ephesians 4:14-19).

Those who put God first in their lives however, did not come to know Christ that way. Assuming that they have heard about Him and were taught in Him, as the truth is in Jesus, they will put off their old nature which belongs to their former way of life, and which is corrupted through deceitful lusts, and they will be renewed in the spirit of their minds, and will put on the new nature, created after the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness.

They will put God first by not conforming themselves to this world, but rather be transformed by the renewal of their minds, in order that they may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. They will set their minds on things that are above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. They will put to death all what that is earthly in them, because the unrighteous, the immoral, idolaters, adulterers, sexual perverts, thieves, the greedy, drunkards, revilers, and robbers will not inherit the kingdom of God.

Putting God first is to strive to enter by the narrow door; for many I tell you, will seek to enter and will not be able. When once the house holder has risen up and shut the door, you will begin to stand outside and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, open to us.’ He will answer you, ‘I do not know where you come from. Then you will begin to say. ‘We ate and drank in your presence, and you taught in our streets.’ But He will say ‘I tell you, I do not know where you come from; depart from Me, all you workers of iniquity! There you will weep and gnash your teeth when you see Abraham and Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God and you yourselves thrust out. And men will come from East and west, and from North and South, and sit at table in the kingdom of God. And behold, some are last who will be first, and some are first who will be last” (Luke 13:24-31)

Anyone who breaks one of the least of God’s commandments and teaches others to do the same will be called the least in the kingdom of heaven, but whoever practices and teaches these commandments will be called great in the kingdom of heaven.

One important thing we all need to realize is that, most of the things we have been taught and grew up believing have been introduced to our religious, political, social and education system by the kingdom of darkness which is diametrically contrary to the principles of Godly living established by the kingdom of light.

We therefore are to be recognizance of the fact that the first transformation that takes place at conversion is a transfer from the kingdom of darkness to the kingdom of light, and so we have been admonished by the apostle Paul saying: “Be filled with the knowledge of God´s will in all wisdom and spiritual understanding; that we may walk worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing Him, being fruitful in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God; strengthened with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and long-suffering with joy; giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins” (Colossians 1: 9-14).
Long before, the prophet Daniel prophesied of the time when the fourth beast which refers to the Roman Empire will change times and laws. For thus he wrote; “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’
“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. He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time” (Daniel 7:23-25).

Now according to the apostle John this beast with the seven heads and ten horns, which represents the Roman Empire, Satan the dragon has given it his power, his throne, and great authority. For thus he said, “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 gave him his power, his throne, and great authority” (Revelation 13:1-2).

Therefore, the majority of things that we have been taught by the system, originated from the kingdom of darkness. For example:-

• How can a new day begin at mid-night, when the first thing God created when He ordained time was light! For thus He 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.
The sun was created to herald a new day, for thus says the Lord, “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” (Genesis 1:14-16).

Is it coincidental that our bodies were designed to rest and recuperate in the night and be rejuvenated in the morning! Or is it by natural design? Is it also coincidental that 12 O´clock in the day is called mid-day, and twelve O´clock in the night is called mid night! If they are not coincidental how the middle of the night can be the beginning of a new day?

And how do we reconcile the time of Christ´s death on the cross to be three O´clock in the evening, when the time was the ninth hour of the day?

• Why a new month in this system has nothing to do with the moon and the moon has nothing to do with the month despite the fact that the word moon originated from the moon!
Now, when the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you.” What sign or evidence they had to distinguish the first day of the month? Incidentally, this day was also the first day of the year.

• When does a new year begin according to the kingdom of light? Is it not at the time the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron saying, “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you?” So why today a new year begins in the dead of winter and not in spring?
Is it coincidental the word September originated from the number seven, October originated from the number eight and December originated from the number ten! So how is it today that September is regarded as the ninth month, October as the tenth month and December as the twelve month! Who made those changes?

These are all part and parcel of the renewal that has to take place in the spirit of our minds so as to put on the new man who was created according to God, in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore, we have been warned 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” (Revelation 18:4).
These times of ignorance God has overlooked, but now commands all men everywhere to repent.

Put God first (part 3 cont.)

From the inception of humanity beginning with Abel, offering the Lord His offering, His sweet smelling aroma is the source of man’s righteousness. Immediately following the scripture which teaches that practicing righteousness differentiates the children of God from the children of the devil, we read the following instructions; “For this is the message which you have heard from the beginning that we should love one another, and not be like Cain who was of the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own deeds were evil and his brothers righteous”(1 John 3:11-12).

So the question is, why did God regard Abel’s offering, and disregard the offering made by Cain? And, not only did He highly regard Abel’s Offering, but He also commended Abel as being a righteous man.
So how did Abel attain righteousness? This is what we learn from the scriptures; “In the course of time Cain brought to the Lord an offering of the first fruit of the ground, and Abel brought of the firstlings of his flock and of their fat portions. And the Lord has regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering he had no regard” (Genesis 4: 3-5).

We are further told that, “By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, by faith he was commended as a righteous man, when God spoke well of his offerings” (Hebrews 11:4).

Therefore, the reason why Abel’s offering was accepted, and Cain’s not accepted it was because, Abel offered to the Lord the sacrifice, the sweet aroma which satisfies His will, one which depicted the best he could offer for his redemption. For the word of the Lord says clearly, “The life of all 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 ones life” (Leviticus 17:11).
The priests were instructed by the Lord saying, “You must not redeem the first born of an ox, a sheep or a goat; they are holy. Sprinkle their blood on the altar and burn their fat as an offering made by fire, an aroma pleasing to the Lord.” Again the Lord said to them; “The priests shall burn them (the fat) on the altar as food, and offering made by fire, a pleasing aroma. All the fat is the Lord’s. This is a lasting ordinance for the generations to come, wherever you live. You must not eat any fat or any blood” (Numbers 18:17; Leviticus 3:16-17).

The sprinkling of blood and the burning of the fat of clean animals which were offered by Abel, and also the Levitical priesthood, were a type which foreshadowed the real sacrifice of Jesus Christ, which is the best, the sweet aroma, and only sacrifice that fulfills the Father’s will in presenting the worshiper holy and blameless before Him.
It is this secret mystery that was hidden for ages in God who created all things; and that through the church, His manifold wisdom might now be made known to the principalities and powers (Satan and his demons) in the heavenly places.
This secret mystery is in accordance to the eternal purpose which God has realized in Christ Jesus our Lord, in whom we now have boldness and confidence of access through our faith in Him. Therefore, the practical righteous which one should seek first and which distinguishes the children of God from the children of the devil is faith in the sacrifice of Jesus Christ which is proclaimed and demonstrated by partaking of the bread and wine. As it is written; “For as often as you eats this bread, and drinks this cup you proclaim (demonstrate) the Lord’s death until He comes” (1 Corinthians 11: 26).

When God’s people the church, assemble together, they come to Mount Zion which is figurative to the Church and to the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to innumerable angels in joyful assembly, and to the assembly of the first born who are enrolled in heaven, and to a Judge who is God of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect, and to Jesus, the Mediator of a new covenant, and to the sprinkled blood that speaks better things than that of Abel.

Jesus Christ is the Mediator of the New Covenant which He instituted on the night before His crucifixion when He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to His disciples saying, ‘Take and eat; this is My body.’ And took the cup gave thanks and offered it to them saying, “Drink from it, all of you. This is My blood of the covenant which is poured for many for the forgiveness of sins” (Matthew 26:26-28).

This covenant became in force only after the death of Jesus Christ, and became the means by which we can become ceremonially clean. For so says the scriptures; “He (Christ) entered once for all into the Holy Place, taking not the blood of goats and calves but His own blood, thus securing an eternal redemption. For if the sprinkling of defiled persons with the blood of goats and bulls and with the ashes of a heifer sanctifies for the purification of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God, purify your conscience from dead works to serve the living God.’

Therefore He is the Mediator of a New Covenant, so that those who are called may receive the promised eternal inheritance, since a death has occurred which redeems them from the transgressions under the first covenant. For where a will is involved, it is necessary to prove the death of the one who made it, because a will is in force only when someone has died; it never takes effect while the one who made it is living” (Hebrews 9: 12-18).

Therefore the New Covenant which Jesus Christ instituted on the night before His death, became effective after His death, and it is now the means by which one becomes ceremonially clean and can now draw near with a true heart in full assurance of faith, with their hearts sprinkled clean from an evil conscience, and their bodies washed with pure water, and Jesus Christ as their Mediator interceding on their behalf.

Therefore to put God first by seeking first His righteousness necessitates offering the Lord His offering at His appointed times. For thus says the Lord; “Give this command to the children of Israel and say to them: ‘My offering, My food for My offerings by fire (zeal), My pleasing aroma, you shall take heed to offer to Me at its season” (Numbers 28:2).

We were not left in ignorance as to when is the due season, or the appointed times are, for they are clearly stated in the book of Numbers chapter 28 and 29, and Leviticus chapter 23. As a matter of fact a holy or sacred assembly is a time God has sanctified and set apart for His people to appear before Him, and the specific purpose for this sacred assembly is to offer to Him His offering, which is besides or in addition to anything else one offers to Him.
For thus says the Lord “These are the appointed feasts of the Lord, which you shall proclaim as times of holy convocation, for presenting to the Lord offerings by fire, burnt offerings (which in our new dispensation is the Lamb – Jesus Christ), and grain offerings (flour mixed with oil – unleavened bread), sacrifices and drink offerings (wine), each on its proper day; besides the Sabbaths of the Lord, and besides your gifts, and besides whatever you have vowed, and besides all your freewill offerings, which you give to the Lord” (Leviticus 23:37-38).

It is this act of righteousness that the children of God have become enslaved to: For having been set free from sin, we have become slaves of righteousness. God requires that this offering, the food for His offerings, His sweet smelling aroma be offered to Him at its appointed time, and has set aside specific times for His children to come together before Him, specifically to offer to Him His offering, this is why the practice of this act of righteousness differentiates the children of God from the children of the devil.

This is the act of righteousness, that when practice produces holiness, and ultimately everlasting life. It is this same act of righteousness that when practice, one becomes righteous even as Jesus Christ is righteous. Therefore we have been warned saying; “Dear children, do not let anyone deceive you. He who practices righteousness is righteous just as He is righteous” (1 John 3:7).

The same way Abel was commended as being a righteous man because he offered the Lord the offering which was pleasing to Him, in like manner, we attain righteousness by faith when we offer the Lord His offering, His food for His offerings, His pleasing aroma at their appointed time.
The children of God are distinguished as, a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, in order that they may declare the praises of Him who called them out of darkness into His marvelous light. They are being built into a spiritual house to be a holy priesthood, offering spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Now the main duty and responsibility of the church as a royal priesthood, is clearly as the scripture states; “They shall be holy to their God and not profane the name of their God, for they offer the offerings of the Lord made by fire, and the bread of their God; therefore they shall be holy” (Leviticus 21:6).

So let us learn to put God first, and do not worry saying, “What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after these things, and our heavenly Father knows that we need them. But let us seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to us as well.” We are admonished to; “Labor not for the food that perishes, but for the food which endures to Everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you. On Him God the Father has placed His seal of approval” (Matthew 6:31-33; John 6:27).
God has overlooked these times of ignorance and now has commanded all men everywhere to repent.
Copyright © 2014 by Lucius Joseph
All rights reserved

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