Flee to the Mountain: The Currency of Grace.

4 times a week i have the privilege of ministering to a broad range of inter-denominational groups across different villages & townships. One common thread I’ve noticed is that there is a gross misunderstanding of ‘grace’ in today’s body of Christ.


Yes it is true we don’t earn grace!, and it is also true that it is freely given to the believer! John 1:12. But what is largely overlooked is that Grace isn’t actually free! Someone paid a price for it! And that same someone has an expectation of returns that His sacrifice ought to yield to them who it has been freely given to; and rightly so!!


“for unto whomsoever much is given:     of him much will be required” Lke 12:48

Grace is the most expensive free gift ever given, because the highest price ever paid in the history of creation was paid for it. The very life blood of Jesus Christ the only begotten son of God.


It is important to make this clarification because we be-little the price paid for us believers by Christ when we oversimplify grace to mean just ‘Unmerrited Favor’.


So What is Grace?

God created man for His divine purpose (pleasure), but that purpose was sabotaged when man fell into Sin. 2 immediate problems that created:

  1. Sin made man the enemy of God and meant we were deserving of His wrath and punishment.

  2. Man could no longer fulfill divine purpose because He no longer had free access to God’s presence from which he drew his enabling ability to fulfill divine purpose.


Christ’s incalculable sacrifice for believers at the cross solved these 2 challenges in 1 fell swoop:

    1. He redeemed us from the eternal judgement & wrath we deserved.
    2. IT ALSO opened the way for a more intimate relationship with God (who now comes to dwell in us), allowing us to walk progressively with Him, and through His divine presence with/in us, supplies us with His enabling ability to live as He wants us to live and do what He he has foreordained us to do, and be whom He has created us to be.

    There is a widening gulf between point #1 & #2 created & selfishly propagated by false grace teachers which is entrapping an ever increasing number of believers today.

    Why Does This Matter?

    It matters because when we embrace Step #1 (the salvation element of grace) and sidestep Step #2 (the empowerment element), we end up with a Christian life which is self focussed and whose inevitable end point is fruitlessness at best or an abominable product at worst!! (Such as the Moabites & Amalekites which Lot’s life produced)


    Either way, the totallity of Christ’s sacrifice would have been in vain for us.


    When Grace is wasted: The Story of Lot.

    Recommended Reading: Gen 18:15-38


    The old testament story of brother Lot offers a teachable typology of how God’s most expensive gift of grace freely given to a believer can be squandered!

    In our previous discussion on Building & Dwelling in the Plain, Lot’s carnally driven choice to settle & build His Christian life in the plains of Sodom is typical of a believer who runs a ‘self-driven’ race laced with spots of compromise & daily stained by the scum of the mixed-multitude.


    In Gen 19:15-16, God being the merciful God that He is, reaches out to forcibly remove lot & his household from the ruin & catastrophe which his carnal choices deserved. Having divorced himself from divine purpose and progressive relationship with God.


    Vs 15-16 show the mercy and grace of God unto salvation for brother Lot.

    16. And while he lingered, the men laid hold upon his hand, and upon the hand of his wife, and upon the hand of his two daughters; the Lord being merciful unto him: and they brought him forth, and set him without the city.

    Fulfilling point #1 dimension of grace.


    In vs 17 we see the 2nd leg/dimension of grace at play encapsulated in the divine instruction to “Flee the plain…. escape thou to the mountain”. 


    17 And it came to pass, when they had brought them forth abroad, that he said, Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed


    God’s instructions are infused with grace (enabling ability) to do his will for those who are prepared to walk obediently.

    Having delivered us from wrath, His declared will & intention made known unto us through His Holy Spirit and His word also give us the ‘enabling ability’ to live above the power of Sin daily, to live Live for Him according to our overall purpose & finally just as important it gives us the power not to look back (to our vomit & past life)

    We Compromise, Because we love our flesh

    19 “Behold now, thy servant hath found grace in thy sight, and thou hast mangnifie thy mercy, which thou hast shewed unto me in saving my life; and I cannot escape to the mountain, lest some evil take me, and I die: “

    20. “Behold now, this city is near to flee unto: and it is a little one: Oh, Let me escape thither, (is it not a little one?) and my soul shall live”.

    Vs 18-20

    Lot’s ‘negotiation’ out of God’s perfect will into God’s permissive will is the way many of us Christians now live our lives.

    We gratefully accept the Salvation afforded us by Christ’s gift of grace but we wiggle our way out of surrendering unto His Lordship which the 2nd leg of grace aims to produce in us.

    We ultimately end up with a Christianity without Jesus when we do this.


    The most expensive gift of Faith which is freely given to us believers is not given to us on ‘our terms’ but on Christ’s terms.

    God’s intent was not to deliver us from the Sodom of worldliness only to have us settle in the Zoar of lukewarmity & religion.


    Many of us today we negotiate our way out of denying ourselves daily & taking up our cross to follow Christ. We rather settle for a less painful & sacrificial ‘experience’ of Christianity in Zoar where we practice on our terms and our way.

    In Zoar we find a comfort zone where we clothe ourselves with the ‘form of godliness’ but deny the power of the same grace to transform and conform us via the mountain experience.


    What are our common excuses?

    • Perfection is impossible, so why try? After all God knows I can’t be perfect.

    • God is merciful, once saved I’ll always be saved as long as i do good and avoid evil I can keep on living for myself as I please.

    • Didn’t Christ die that I might have life more abundantly? That should mean the focal point of my life is to live my best life now.


    Perhaps the proof of our inordinate love of self is best expressed in our conscious or unconscious choice to seek out a church & place of worship also built in the plain which affords compromise, is soft on Sin and is centred upon the exaltation of Self.

    The Inevitable result is that we produce believers fully settled in Zoar who:

    • Profess Christ but regularly take bribes in the office and enrich themselves at the expense of their employer.

    • Profess Christ but still dabble in fornication, adultery and lewdness.

    • Profess Christ but still drink, smoke and engage in revellings.

    • Profess Christ but reject the ‘quaint idea’ of submitting to their Husbands, supposing that their service and “good works” justifies them.

    • Profess Christ but also worship (whole heartedly give their heart’s over) to other reigning gods of the day such as football, fashion.


    All of these are just some of the consequences which the devaluation of grace is producing in our  and the church.

    You may look at all of this and say like the rich young ruler: “I don’t fall into any of these categories”….good for you…


    But there’s just one more thing…..


    Imagine for a moment you are destitute, homeless and utterly bereft of all Hope. Then suddenly a sympathetic passerby takes interest in you, and writes you a cheque of N10m, then leaves you with His accountant who he tasks with training you and counselling you for a time . When your benefactor returns 5 years later to see how you’re doing what would you suppose his expectation would be?


    The Final Matter:

    You are a Christian who has received Christ’s free gift of salvation many years hence, How much have you utilized the grace to increasingly grow in your knowledge of Him? And conformation to His image?

    Were Christ to visit you today, would he find bountiful fruit (return on His investment) or would he meet only leaves?

    Peace be unto you.

    11 For the grace of God that brings salvation has appeared to all men, 12 teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age, 13 looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ, 14 who gave Himself for us, that He might redeem us from every lawless deed and purify for Himself His own special people, zealous for good works”…Titus 2:11-14

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    Building & Dwelling in the Plain….

    Ani تركيا

    “And it came to pass that as they journeyed from the east, they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there. And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick, and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar. And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of

     the whole earth”….Gen 11:2-4

    The Plain is Mostly Bad…We musnt build in it!!

    God’s word rarely has anything good to say about the plain. Most biblical references to the plain are negative.

    Jesus told the parable of the foolish man who built his house in the plain: Matt 7:26-27Lot was commanded to “Escape for thy life; look not behind thee, neither stay thou in all the plain;” Gen 19:17

    It is rarely God’s wish for His people to dwell in the plain, much less run their christian race by way of the plain like Ahimaaz. When God comes to have dealings with men in the plain, majority of the time it is usually for Judgement.


    In most instances where sin will be committed & men will depart from God it usually begins with a ‘going down’, metaphorically denoting ‘descent from God’s presence into rebellion.  Samson (Judges 14:1), Jonah (Jonah 1:3) are quick examples.


    God’s preference for his people is always to leave the plain of lukewarmness and religion, and rather to ascend the mountain of revelation, intimacy & transfiguration. There are countless examples where He ‘calls up’ his servants not just to the physical mountain, but to the spiritual position which is higher than flesh.


    Christian lives and churches that are built in the plain can rarely ever be pleasing to GodThis is because of what the plain represents prophetically:

    The plain is:-

    • The place of compromise. Gen 11:319:8.

    • The place where men are often consumed by the works of the flesh stipulated in Gal 5:19-21.Gen 13:10

    • The place of idolatry…Exo 32:1-8

    • The place where men fall into diverse temptations & sin because of the mixed multitude & what mingling with them causes Num 25:1-3

    • The place of Captivity. Gen 14:11-12

    • The place where living in God’s permissive will is preferred to His perfect will …2 Sam 18:23

    • The place of spiritual death. 

     

    ‘that as they Journeyed from the East’.

    The East represents wisdom. In journeying from the East, they moved away not just from the geographical east, but from the wisdom of God. By so doing they were placing confidence & faith in their own ability, capacity and strength.

    Anytime we move, act or plan our lives outside of God’s wisdom, pride is often at the root of it and will almost certainly end in some sort of fall from grace.


    ‘that they found a plain in the land of Shinar; and they dwelt there’.


    Whilst to God’s eye the plain is a bad place to be, Yet to the unregenerate man it is very pleasant to behold. Just ask brother Lot! The natural man has an affinity for ease and comfort which the plain abundantly offers. The spiritual man though lays aside every weight and ascends the mountain, carefully bracing the arduous climb of that narrow way, pressing upward toward the mark of the high calling. 


    Most ‘mega-churches’ built today often genuinely began in God’s will by men who were genuinely called as many are. Yet they never made it into God’s choice because they failed to persevere in the furnace of God’s affliction (yes there is such a thing..ref Isa 48:10) where those whom He calls are processed. Such men chose themselves just as Ahimaaz did.

    Before their inordinate ambition could die out in the embers of God’s furnace, they ‘go in Haste and by flight‘ in direct contravention of Isa 52:12.

    When a man gets out of God’s furnace before the refining fire has had a chance to burn away inordinate ambition from his heart, such a man’s vision changes to how to build a megachurch that’s ‘Miles Wide but not an inch deep’ …A man who absconds from God’s refining process ever before the fire has a chance to deal with the lust for fame in his heart will soon begin plastering pictures of himself and his wife all over the place, advertently or inadvertently promoting self.

    Anyone who escapes God’s cauldron before ‘Self’ is totally consumed out of his life will be quick to embrace titles, honorifics & tributes…not like Apostle Paul who considered himself a Servant of the Lord Jesus Christ 1st above all other considerations, who was privileged to be called into the office of the Apostle. Rom 1:1


    “If the church uses carnal means to draw carnal men, It will be forced to continue and even grow in carnality in order to keep them”.                                                                   …… Paul Washer

    ‘And they said one to another, Go to, let us make brick and burn them thoroughly. And they had brick for stone, and slime had they for mortar’

    Biblically stones refer to longevity, endurance & Truth. Whilst they were made by God, bricks on the other hand are man made and far less enduring of the element’s.

    It’s very difficult to find stones in the plain, and so baked mud bricks become the ready substitute easily borrowed from the world.

    Christian lives built in the plain always involve a fundamental swap of divine principles for more palatable doctrines. The ancient landmarks are shifted & are replaced by man made concept’s & interventions borrowed from the world we are supposed to change.

    The ‘weightier matters’ of Repentance; of Dying to Self; of Taking up the cross; of Suffering for a time; of Persecution; are reduced to mere footnotes. Whilst the promise of having ‘Your Best Life Now’ become the central & ONLY theme of a new gospel replaced by the new god of self!

    These churches in the plain promote a pernicious gospel which blatantly contrive to present ‘worshippers’ with a Christianity without Jesus. We worshipers ever so eager to receive the news which tickles our ears give ourselves over to the pursuit of lying vanities even at our own eternal expense….Jonah 2:3

    And they said, Go to, let us build us

     a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the from the 

    whole earth”

    Brethren, with every new season we ought to be ascending in our spiritual relationship with God and departing further and further away from the world system and all its manifestations. We’re enjoined to ‘grow in grace and in the knowledge of our saviour and Lord Jesus Christ’

    Just like LOT we were pulled out from eternal destruction and given grace to ascend the mountain; with a directive to work out our salvation with fear and trembling. 

    Unfortunately like Lot, a great majority of us have settled for the Zoar of ‘ordinary’ Christianity, very much at ease with the false belief we cannot be perfect so why borther striving for it?. Happy to sow our seed, give our offerings and pay our tithes..yet continually live under the yoke of masturbation, immorality, lust, fornication, adultery and worldliness. Convincing ourselves & being convinced by these false shepherds that God is merciful and would never demand more of us. Deriving our greatest pleasures and Joy not from God himself but from the pursuit of ethereal goals.

    There is a flood of eternal Judgement and punishment just around the corner. Grace is soon to expire, we must lay hold on the grace we still have now to flee from the plain and all such churches that are built within the plain AND ascend the mountain high enough to avoid being swept away by the coming wrath of He who is a consuming fire.

    May the Holy Spirit impress upon our hearts the need to grow strong in the Lord and in the Power of His might daily.

    Amen

     

     

     

    Nothing new under the Sun.

    golden-calf

    9 The thing that hath been, it is that which shall be; and that which is done is that which shall be done: and there is no new thing under the sun. 10 Is there anything whereof it may be said, See, this is new? it hath been already of old time, which was before us.” Eccl 1:10 KJV

    I abhor the prosperity gospel. I quite literally foam at the mouth when it comes to this subject as my poor wife would quickly attest to.  She’s had to sit through endless rants on the subject every time we drive past a billboard or flick across most mainstream televangelist on tv. 

    Many things irk me about it to say the least. But whilst having a cursory read through of the book of exodus 32 I’ve come to realise my mistake.

    All this time I’ve been operating under the very false notion that the prosperity gospel is ‘new’; something which has been recently conjured up by slick salesmen who have grossly distorted the scriptures of God for profit. But in reality that’s giving them far much more credit than they deserve. Wearing a bow tie for a calf doesn’t change what it is…

    For the sake of clarity: The prosperity gospel isn’t just explicitly about money.
    But it is any gospel which is not Christ centered but self-centered.
    It is any gospel which makes ‘your well-being’ the primary focus whilst whittling down every other aspect of God’s natureand his purpose for us to mere foot notes.

    The book of exodus is for Israel literaly and to us typological. This is how God through His own infinite mercy and wisdom having brought us out of the world, has called us into a personal walk of worship and intimacy with Himself.

    Let’s pick up from chapter 32 where Moses has been away on the mountain with God for 40 days and 40 nights; Lets see if there is a pattern here….

    Verse 1

    “When the people saw that Moses delayed to come down from the mountain, the people gathered themselves together to Aaron and said to him. Up, make us gods who shall go before us. As for this Moses, the man who brought us up out of the land of Egypt, we do not know what has become of him.” 

    • The people got tired of the doctrine of perseverance and waiting on God Isa 40:31. Instead they itched for instant gratification and sought out a Man of God who would conjure up for them a god who fits into their agenda and mold 2 Tim 4:3-4. One that would be at their beck and call whom they could carry anywhere they liked and would remain within the boundaries where they set him down Isa 46:7.

    Verse 2-3

    So Aaron said to them, “Take off the rings of gold that are in the ears of your wives, your sons, and your daughters, and bring them to me.” So all the people took off the rings of gold that were in their ears and brought them to Aaron. 

    • In the true mentality of seekers, they bewitched Gal 3:1 themselves and imagined a god who will be served by non-altruistic gifting’s. It is a system of worship where you give (‘sow’) in order to receive back in “good, measure, pressed down and shaken together”. Their seed had to be produced from the rings on their ears because it was from a position of highly selective hearing. They hear only what they want to hear and act in faith on that alone; Ears that were not inclined to hear the ‘whole counsel of God’ Acts 20:27.

    Verse 4-5

    And he received the gold from their hand and fashioned it with a graving tool and made a golden calf. And they said, “These are your gods, O Israel, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt!” When Aaron saw this, he built an altar before it. And Aaron made a proclamation and said, “Tomorrow shall be a feast to the Lord. 

    • With the tools of skillful utterance their high priest fashions and presents to their imaginations a sleek & shiny deity whom they build an edifice unto with great pagentry and colourful activities in the pretext of sunday service.

      Why was it a calf? Why not an eagle? Or a lion?
      Why not depict the divine nature as one of exalted revelation or unlimited strength?.

      The most simplistic answer is that they chose a calf because of what it represents. Provision, Prosperity and Utility.

      When we juxtapose their immediate socio-economic realities against their current walk through the wilderness, we understand their ‘Carpe – Diem’ mantra better.

    Verse 6:

    “And they rose up early the next day and offered burnt offerings and brought peace offerings. And the people sat down to eat and drink and rose up to play {revel} {shamefully without moral restraint} Exo 32:6

    • They arose in the prime of their lives to define the kingdom of God as meat and drink Rom 14:7. Naturally, having continually sown to the flesh Gal 6:8 , they reap the inevitable fruit of corruption: the complete moral degradation of the congregation who come practically naked to church enticing and sleeping with one another with total abandon all under the flag of ‘false grace’.

    That in a rather simplistic narrative is the church of god at that time in the wilderness.
    How arE the bulk of our ‘worship’ services any different?. Aren’t the majority of our assemblies now about building the same golden calf that they did? dont our offering bags represent our modern ‘censers’ and our accompanying musical numbers incense?

    Just as were told in verses 25-26 one consequence churhces of our age also suffer  is the open derision from the heathen. who correctly view our irresponsible behaviors cloaked (under the guise of self-righteous religion) as contemptible.

    The propspertiy though stylized is nothing new but the same old idolatory of ages past.

    Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity. 2Ti 2:19

    Moses’s call is still ringing out to we who profess to be the lord’s people this day: WHOEVER IS ON THE LORD’S SIDE COME TO ME

    If you find yourself in just such an assembly or conregation that fits into this narrative, then flee the plain for the coming destruction is surely certain. It has happened before and will happen again…

    Grace to you.

    The Marriage Bed….Undefiled.

    marriage-bed-2
    Holy, Sacred, Precious in God’s Sight……

    Let marriage be held in honor (esteemed worthy, precious, of great price, and especially dear) in all things. And thus let the marriage bed be undefiled (kept undishonored); for God will judge and punish the unchaste [all guilty of sexual vice] and adulterous.”. Heb 13:4 ampc

    God instituted marriage. It is of His making. From a celestial viewpoint, your marriage (in so far as we have been truly joined together by God and not by lust) is a privilege. How so? Because He has granted you & your spouse the opportunity to ‘showcase’ & enjoy the divine relationship between Christ and His Church to a depraved world. A union which is marked by Unconditional Love, Selflessness and Purity.
    On a corporeal level it is the mode through which one of God’s agenda for man is also advanced. Be fruitful, multiply, & replenish the Earth”.
    When done correctly your marriage should glorify God’s wisdom, and put all creation in awe of Him.

    Then there is the ‘marriage bed’.
    In one sense it is an altar. Altar’s acted as the meeting point between God and Man (Abraham), the place for divine worship (Moses), celebration of God (Israel), sacrifice (Abram and Isaac), the place of atonement and fellowship.  We learn from Jesus’s rebuke of the scribes in Mathew 23:19 of the sanctifying value of the altar on the gift itself. It is the altar which makes the gift to be ‘sacred’.

    If marriage is precious in the sight of God (Gen 2:24, Mal 2:14, Prov 18:2) & to be held in honor by all, then it also follows that the platform for consummation of the marriage is also of very high value to God.
    At a bible study meeting I was at last year someone raised the following question:
    If we are to walk in the Spirit always in order not to gratify the lusts of the flesh, does it also mean we are to be in the spirit when we are in the bedrooms with our spouse? the person went on further to explicitly ask, Is the Holy Spirit present when man and wife are having sex?”.
    Consider that for a moment…..

    “Let the Marriage Bed be undefiled”

    Apostle Paul by the inspiration of the Holy Spirit was admonishing the Hebrew believers who lived under the morally debased society that was the roman empire at that time to set themselves apart from the moral decay and worldly ways of the world in which they lived. He was calling upon the brethren to prove their faith by living as shining lights by their practices and acts both in the open and in secret. This is a call which still applies to believers in the end times.

    In our text of Hebrews 13:4, not only is the believer enjoined to hold marriage in the esteem and honour that God expects, But the marriage bed was specifically singled out for mention. Again the Altar and the Sacrifice…
    Unquestionably it follows that there are ‘honourable ways’ of consummating the gift of marriage on the altar of the marriage bed, and “dishonourable ways” also. There is a way that the marriage bed would be used that will glorify the original intent and purpose of God’s plan, and there are ways that its use will make a complete mockery of God’s intent and purpose. The Apostle was calling the believers to always conduct themselves in a manner that would not make mockery of God even in the consummation of their marital life.

    We all agree that Satan always seeks to grotesquely distort any manifestation of the image and glory of God. To this end he actively seeks out means through which he can defile God’s vessels and temple. In the act of sex he has found a crucial point of intensification in which he can easily establish strongholds in lives and bring men into bondage.
    1 Corinthians 6:18 commands us to flee from sexual sin, every other sin a person commits is outside the body, but whoever sins sexually sins against their own body. If our bodies are to be presented as living sacrifices and the literal temple in which God now dwells in us, it follows that there is no easier access to possession and manipulation of a soul than through the door of Sexual sin. The enemy knows that temple defiling sin ‘grieves the Holy Spirit’ and causes Him to be far from the believer and opens up the believer to different forms of attack and afflictions.

    From my short & very limited experience in service, i’ve seen that no less than 7/10 of us professing Christians are in bondage to Satan in the area of sexual immorality. Many of us are not living in victory over sin particularly in the area of our sexual desires and ‘vices’. During deliverance ministrations we see that the Asmodee demonic spirit is very much prevalent and holds sway over the ‘closet lives’ of many brothers and sisters who otherwise appear to be virtuous believers in the church. Many ‘know’ by the conviction of the Holy Spirit but are afraid to talk about it and often do not know how to break out from under the power of it.
    Now one reason for general ignorance particularly amongst young believers. is that most churches very rarely teach on this subject matter, and even the few who do relegate it to just the pre-marital class sessions rather than an on-going renewal. There is also the stigma that goes with open and honest discussion about marital sex in our society which allows ignorance and mistakes to fester unchecked: resulting effect is that many are living in a continuous state of defilement.

    Here is the scary part;God will Judge the sexually immoral and adulterousHeb 13:4b
    Dear brother and sister in Christ, your ignorance will not prevent God’s wrath and judgment from visiting you in this matter.

    How does the marriage bed become defiled?

    Something is defined as ‘Perverse’ when it is used in a manner that goes against its originally intended use. In fact Webster’s dictionary defines a perverted form; asan aberrant sexual practice or interest especially when habitual

    A common advice in marital counseling to Christians is to ‘Spice things up’ ‘Keep things interesting’ , The reality though is that 9/10 ten times we will always resort to ‘inspiration’ {consciously or otherwise} from worldly sources and affections: What we have seen in movies, read in books, magazines or heard in social discussions. When we ‘borrow’ from such notions in the world, it always comes at a cost of enmity with God.
    If you’re a shepherd or a counselor in God’s service: remember it’s not Keep things interesting God requires of you to teach, But rather “Keep Things Sacred” should be the warning that is sounded continually.

    #1 In Thought:
    In the new testament dispensation what you imagine and engage with your mind can already be sinful. You don’t actually have to physically execute the act as was the presumed case in the past. Ref Matt 5:27-28. Well what does this have to do with the marriage bed?

    Here’s 1 real world case i personally encountered this year as an example:
    A spouse was lusting after another member of the opposite sex {a co-worker}, Rather than taking the thought captive and repenting of the sin, she continued in it until it invaded her marital bed. During intercourse with her spouse, in her mind she began to replace her spouse with her co-worker in the office. This continued until it became a stronghold in her life.
    This might seem harmless to an unbeliever, But in God’s eyes this is ADULTERY (because it is now Adult + 2 = Adul3)..and it represents a high level betrayal of the vows taken. God sees even the hidden sins.

    By indulging herself she actively defiles her marital bed.

    From the spiritual side of things what she is doing is engaging demonic entities (via the Asmodee spirit) to co-join with Demons.

    This is a far more common occurrence than many would like to admit.

    In this particular case the bondage became so bad that an actual spirit being would come and have sex with her at a specific time of the night. She confessed to eventually never being able to be satisfied by her husband. It became the standard occurrence that when her husband would be asleep on the same bed, the spirit  husband would come and have sex with her whilst her husband was asleep. This was a door that opened up untold torment and affliction in the lives of both her and her husband until she eventually confessed the sin, repented and was delivered.

    #2 In Deed: Sexual Positions
    Perhaps the most common deception/lie that exists amongst married Christian couples is this notion that Now that we are legally married, according to 1 cor 7:4 she now belongs to me and I can use her in whatever way I desire & imagine

    NO THIS IS WRONG AND A DECEPTION FROM THE PIT OF HELL.
    Yes 1 Cor 7:4 does say this:- “For the wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. Likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does”.

    Well my question to you believing husband is this; Yes you own her body in a manner of speaking, BUT are you using ‘your property’ in a way and manner that glorifies God or makes a mockery of Him???

    And to you dear wife..the manner in which you are using the temple of the Lord (your husband’s body) does it glorify God or make mockery of His image and intent and purpose?

    Let it be known that ownership of your spouse’s body is meant to be handled within the concept of New Testament Stewardship! No different from how your resources and time are also to be handled with a mind of Stewardship in trust for the one who now owns our very lives.

    Without becoming crude over this medium, it’s important to note that this increased ‘copy-cat’ nature that the church seems bent on inheriting its practices from the world system has seen this continuous invasion of the marital bed with experimental practices borrowed from tantric/karma-sutra/new-age religions which employ sexual positions with idolatrous overtones.
    There are methods a christian will employ to sleep with his wife that will glorify shiva and not Yahweh.
    There are methods a Christian will sleep with his wife which will glorify ‘animals’ and not Yahweh.
    There are methods a Christian will employ in sleeping with his wife that will exalt demonic bondage.  I’ll leave that there.

    One great thing about the broad release of the Holy Spirit is that He is to ‘guide us into ALL truth’. With the Holy Spirit there are no taboos and boundaries of discussion in so far as our motives for inquiry are genuine and holy.
    I would always say to couples, When in doubt ‘Ask the Holy Spirit”. With the exception of people who have seared consciences, always be sensitive to the ‘checks’ or ‘red flags’ or ‘peace indicators’ of the Holy Spirit.  With His guidance you cannot slip into error.

    There was also a case i witnessed a few years back where the husband (who happened to be a church leader) was in the habit of watching pornographic films both at home and work. Initially what started as a hidden act soon evolved into open viewing at home. This soon denigrated into him demanding his wife’s participation in viewing and ‘role-playing’ what they were seeing to their own ‘private taping’…when the wife complained and resisted he kept quoting Eph 5:24 as his justification whilst leaving out the crucial verse 27.

    #3 Oral Sex
    By far the most divisive issue of what is right and what is perverse between Christians is the practice of oral sex.
    There’s little or no dispute when it comes to Anal sex, Bestiality and such but oral sex is quite divisive because it is most widely practiced amongst Christians. Though the association of the breasts being made for enjoyment are clearly stated in Proverbs 5: 17-19
    The bible doesn’t seem to help much when you read it from an ordinary standpoint as it does not go into detailed specificity on the issue. So we get a lot of Christians who quote Songs of Solomon 2:3 & 4:16 as ‘inferred indicators’ of approval.
    I personally don’t agree that Songs of Solomon 2:3 & 4:16 is a veiled justification of oral sex in the marriage bed.On the surface, we can argue that the physiological dangers of bacterial transmission argue against it, the locational ‘insuitability’ argue against it. What I have also observed from counseling is that rarely both parties are even in perfect agreement on the matter, it is often accompanied by a feeling of being demeaned and would at most times require emotional/physical coercion by 1 spouse on the other.Spiritually I fail to see how the practice of it glorifies God. It is demonic in origin and brings temple defilement upon its practitioners. When you spend a few years conducting deliverance it will become impossible to argue otherwise.Oral sex is immoral! its practice amongst married christians is a great source of defilement of the marriage bedAnother justification we often hear paraded by advocates is that we see it in nature (animals) just as we see homosexuality. But they forget that the very nature being observed is in a fallen state!
    We must flee from it!!!
    There is also the matter of masturbation, but time will not permit that discussion here and frankly it requires a whole discussion in of it itself because it has become rife amongst brethren in church.

    Perhaps I should have started with a disclaimer before proceeding into this subject matter because of its often emotive nature. Consecration is a subject matter which is not being discussed in most churches today as such many Christians are no longer empowered on how to keep their bodies Honourable and void of defilement.

    I welcome further discussions and contributions on this matter (open or private) for this is by no means exhaustive. I will always implore the christian that whatever way you feel, FIRST take the matter to the Holy Spirit on your knees in prayer and meditation and let Him enlighten you further on the subject and also point out personal areas that you may be falling short of divine expectation.

    Dear Brother, Dear Sister, whether you are married or intending to marry – You cannot afford to run on assumption in this matter, it is crucial in your walk with God and its violation carries severe everlasting consequence.
    Ignorance in this subject CAN ABSOLUTELY & LITERALLY KILL YOU!!!.

    As the spirit permits we will discuss further on the issue of masturbation some other time. But if you have learned anything from this and your spirit also bears you witness of this truth, I would encourage you to forward and share to as many of your church brethren as possible that they also may be enlightened.

    Shallom.

    3 For this is the will of God, that you should be consecrated (separated and set apart for pure and holy living): that you should abstain and shrink from all sexual vice,
    4 That each one of you should know how to [c]possess (control, manage) his own [d]body in consecration (purity, separated from things profane) and honor,
    5 Not [to be used] in the passion of lust like the heathen, who are ignorant of the true God and have no knowledge of His will,….1 Thessalonians 4:3-5

     

    Titles, Honorifics, Tributes…

     

    ordination2

    For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Isa 9:6. 

    The man Jesus whose birth we are celebrating this weekend has over 200 titles, names and courtesies recorded in the bible. He is not only the most powerful man alive (in the sense of his physical state), He is also the most decorated and honored being in all eternity. Yet He chose to begin His life on this earth by being born in the same space as livestock animals and unto the simplest of parents at that time.

    In living out His life and carrying out His ministry he lived and walked in perfect humility, for “He grew up without form nor comeliness, neither was there anything in His appearance that we should desire him…isa 53:2”   With the exception of His triumphal entry into Jerusalem , He almost always discouraged any adulation/worship/obeisance; rather choosing to blend in with His ‘friends’ so well that it was almost impossible to tell him apart were it not for the kiss of betrayal.

    Oh how very different many of us who proclaim ourselves his chosen ‘shepherds’ carry ourselves today. These days were all about the form & comeliness! It used to be that it was just the orthodox churches who practiced honorifics as a matter of religion, But today even the protestants are at the vanguard of these vain practices.

    2 weeks ago a great tragedy occurred in the capital city of Akwa Ibom state, Nigeria.
    Many lives were needlessly lost when a church building collapsed upon ‘worshippers’ who gathered to celebrate the ‘Bishopric Consecration Service’ of the church founder.

    Well the 1st question is this….Where was Jesus?  
    (How could He have allowed this to happen?)

    His promise in Matt 18:20 that ‘where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them’ is one of the most misconstrued scriptures by Churches today.
    Our gathering has to be ‘In His name’ if it is to warrant His attendance. It’s all too clear that many of our programs, crusades, meetings & gatherings these days are for every other purpose under the sun other than ‘in the name of Jesus’.  It’s not enough to just slap on the name of Jesus as a sticker to our meetings and think that’s enough justification to assemble men. To gather in his name is to have him be the purpose and true motive for our meeting:

    • We come together to exalt and worship Him, (minister to Him)
    • We gather to learn from him and be taught by Him through the mouth of his chosen vessels.
    • We organize crusades and evangelical meetings to advance the cause of His kingdom
      by winning souls to be added to his kingdom
      (not about increasing church membership)
    • Every gathering in his name must have either an Apostolic, Prophetic, Pastoral,
      Evangelical, or Teaching tone to it.

    These days though: Politicians are usually given centre-stage at our meetings. Governors are invited to the pulpit to campaign and talk shop. We retain the primary seats for them in violation of James 2:4. Even regular sunday services now has comedians invited to provide ‘entertainment’as we have nothing else to teach, in the course of their ‘entertaining’ often blaspheming the name of Christ and the gifts of the Spirit to the general applause and laughter of the congregants! It is to our shame! 

    As church leaders and shepherds, when we bring His people together to clap for us and celebrate our ‘elevation’ we err. It was errors like this that led the likes of Martin Luther and others to set the tone for the great apostolic reformation which was the foundation for Protestantism. However things are coming full circle now as the protestants of today have seized these very vanities  from the orthodox churches and are executing a more ‘stylized’ version of the same vanities.

    Jesus has no obligation to attend any meeting where He is not front and center. When he walked the earth He never gathered anybody together for any other purpose other than the Kingdom. Even when the multitude gathered around Him, once it became clear that their motives were becoming about the ‘Carnal’ and not ‘Spiritual’, He always withdrew himself apart from them.

    The main reference we have in the new testament bible as regards gathering to ‘ordain’ & ‘send forth’ occurs in Acts chapter 13 regarding Paul & Barnabas. 

    “Now there were in the church that was at Antioch certain prophets and teachers;
    as Barnabas, and Simeon that was called Niger, and Lucius of Cyrene, and Manaen, which had been brought up with Herod the tetrarch, and Saul. As they ministered to the Lord, and fasted, the Holy Ghost said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul for the work whereunto I have called them. And when they had fasted and prayed, and laid their hands on them, they sent them away”. Act 13:1-3

    We get a clear sense of ‘solemnity’ in this gathering. In the early church when men were ordained in this manner it was with deep conviction and consideration, not unto fanfare and media coverage like they have ‘attained a new rank’ but rather unto the voice of the Holy Ghost.

    Does the Holy Ghost still have a voice in our meetings? Is he even invited?
    When we as parishioners and members also join in the fanfare are we not also complicit?

    Why the love of Titles anyways?

    When a man genuinely follows Christ, one of the things that the cross which He is carrying will kill is His ‘personal ambition’ and any love for ‘spotlight’. The pride of Life is something that the cross will need to terminate in us if were to produce any lasting fruit in God’s service.

    7 years ago I had a series of dreams which pointed very clearly at the calling of God.
    One particular period i began having dreams in which i often saw myself before crowds of thousands in stadia with the power for God moving mightily, but as I woke up one morning I heard the audible voice of the Lord very clearly say to me BE CAREFUL FOR FAME’.  Once had the Lord spoken on that matter, but that warning has re-echoed in my heart every year since.

    The closer you draw to the Lord and the more his gifts and power work through your life the more dangerous it is for you. For pride is a very subtle and deadly enemy which even disguises itself under false humility.

    I have been to programs where I have seen ‘servants of God’ invited to the stage with such pomp and bombastic titles that serve no other purpose than self-adulation. There are men of God whose ‘aides’ give advance notice to churches as to what the correct sequence of their masters titles should be. There are also men who take offence when they are not ‘acknowledged’ in the right order or ‘revered’ as is their due. All these things are far apart from the character and example of Jesus Christ.

    Anytime we see the apostles like Paul and Peter refer to themselves, its with a sense of deep humility & responsibility:

    “Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated unto the gospel of God”
    “Paul, called to be an apostle of Jesus Christ through the will of God, …..”, 1 Co 1:1
    “Paul, an apostle of Jesus Christ by the will of God” 2 Co 1:1
    “Simon Peter, a servant and an apostle of Jesus Christ” 2Pe 1:1

    There are some ridiculous honorifics: Bishop (Dr) Evangelist, Primate (Dr) Prophet….
    They tack these titles on like it were scout badges. However studied that Paul was he considered every honorific before he came to Christ as loss, and rather chose to point to the marks of Christ that he has borne through sufferings.  Our former titles ought to be loss (not even referenced), neither should we ascribe any new titles beyond what we really are ..privileged servants.

    Is everyone bad?

    No! There are still a lot of true servants who grow further in humility every year and are not carried away by all the pomp and razzmatazz.
    I know of one in a village who still maintains the title of ‘Brother’ though having been in the field for over 30years and perhaps making more impact than 90% of his peers in Africa..He is barely visible and rarely ever acknowledged by his peers.

    I also know of a clergy man of an orthodox church who in April of this year halted his sermon to openly rebuke his ushers who had displaced a row of people from the front row to accommodate the governor and other ‘dignitaries’ of the state who had come in late. He openly rebuked the ushers and the ‘dignitaries’ and sent them to the last vacant row of the church – whilst returning those ‘ordinary members’ who had been dislodged earlier.
    Was he praised? No! The national oversight committee of the church punished him by transferring him to an obscure location a month later to serve out the remainder of his time. Though vilified by His ‘Elders’. He had taken a stand for Christ and for Truth. Heaven stands to applaud such servants.

    In summary…

    It was a tragic thing that happened in Akwa Ibom.Other tragedies happen daily to believers who have allowed themselves to be swept away by this new wave of christianity. Not until we christians begin to imbibe the berea’n spirit we will continue to participate in assemblies which have little to do with God and expose ourselves un-neccesailry to the wiles of men and traders of souls disguised as christian activities.

    When we as preachers begin to dress more flamboyantly than Jesus dressed, honor ourselves more than Jesus did himself, ascribe titles unto ourselves  more than Jesus did, gather men in the name of fund-raising not with clear Kingdom objectives, when we progressively depart from the simplicity and humility that characterizes  the cornerstone of our faith then we have departed from the very faith itself and we must retrace our steps.

    ultimately we mustn’t put much stock in titles, honorifics and courtesies, for such things are meaningless before the one truly worthy of all honor and praise.

    Merry Christmas to one and all, May Christ whom we celebrate today be glorified in our lives more than ever before. Amen;

    But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world…Gal 6:14

    The Onan Christian..

    tamar-2

    6 And Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn, whose name was Tamar. 7 And Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the Lord; and the Lord slew him. 8 And Judah said unto Onan, Go in unto thy brother’s wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother. 9 And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother’s wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother. 10 And the thing which he did displeased the Lord: wherefore he slew him also.  Gen 38:6-10

    Jesus in killing the fig tree in Mark 11:14, passed judgment upon an unfruitful life.
    This was in no way unusual because He had seen The Father do just this in the past.
    It’s sad that a lot of Christians are quite myopic in our relationship with the Lord. We call ourselves his children and are ever so keen to lay claims to his promises and our inheritance. But we rarely if ever attend to our responsibilities as sons with the same amount of zeal and altruism. Many have to be dragged kicking and screaming and coerced over and over from the pulpit before they would lift a finger for Kingdom pursuits. Yet God has a definete expectatiionfrom our lives .  An expectation which is most often generational.

    Retelling the story of Gen 38 from a more relatable perspective, we can see that Jesus is (Er) our elder brother & God’s first born, who was wicked in the sight of the Lord (because He took on our wickedness) and was slain by God on the cross (in your place and mine, bearing the full weight of God’s wrath upon himself). Having been slain by God, he left His bride Tamar (the church) without a husband and no children.

    God’s call to you as a younger brother of Christ is simply and directly this:
    “go in unto thy brother’s wife, and marry her, and raise up seed to thy brother”

    “Go in unto the church (thy brother’s wife)”:
    Get ‘intimately’ involved and committed to the church (the body of Christ as a whole) using your local assembly as your conduit.
    Find your place in her and remain there. There is no room for ‘lone-rangers’ who are aloof and prefer to exists on the fringes where you know no-one and no one truly knows you, conveniently being unaccountable to any.

    “And Marry Her”:
    Meaning don’t just go and romance her, enjoying her embrace, kisses and her breasts.  Don’t be the Christian who keeps the church as a girlfriend/concubine. Satisfied with receiving prayers, been prophesied over, having your needs met and problems solved. After satisfying your flesh, been merely content to drop some change (offerings) like you have lain with a harlot.
    Rather marry her! Take a lifetime commitment and become one with her. With a mindset to bearing responsibility and having a very personal stake in her well-being.

    “And raise seed to thy brother”:
    Deploy the gifts, talents, resources you have been blessed with to edify and engage the church. Focus your energies and talents in such a way that releases life into the church to ensure her continuity and wellbeing by having new souls being continually added to her number and new disciples been raised continually. The seed to be raised aren’t structures & buildings and physical things which churches in the plain are focused on, but other lives that will in turn yield other lives and so on.

    And Onan knew that the seed should not be his; and it came to pass, when he went in unto his brother’s wife, that he spilled it on the ground, lest that he should give seed to his brother. And the thing which he did displeased the Lord: wherefore he slew him also”
    We must understand that we have responsibilities to our older brother Jesus Christ. The closest thing to His heart is sould-winning. We have not been called out of darkness into God’s marvelous light for our own selfish ends but to showcase the glory of God and His kingdom. We are saved so that others might be saved through us also, We are healed to heal others, We have been delivered from bondage and oppression that we also might become God’s instrument in delivering others also. All our personal activities and contributions to our local church or fellowship must amount to real value-added to the kingdom of God (Soul winning and the raising o disciples). But if we engage the church merely from the perspective of using her to advance our personal interests then we are inadvertently spilling it to the ground.

    These days too many of us are comfortable with just limiting our involvement to fiduciary considerations alone, and even churches and many ministries have over-exalted the importance of money beyond its true kingdom value: they say Bring your money and we will use it for the kingdom (but sadly in many cases it rarely translates beyond buying private jets, luxury mansions and building universities and empires).

    Of course you are expected to sow from your wealth willingly, but of far more value to Christ is sowing your very life…which is the seed that must fall to the ground (of his vineyard) and die (death to personal ambition and self) in order that it might bear more fruit (the lives of others).

    In the ministry of Jesus, money was the least relevant resource (hence minimal emphasis was placed on it). You should flee from any ministry that reduces your kingdom value to ‘monetary seed’ alone! and places no truly spiritual demand on your life..

    The seed that is in you when you become born again is the very life of Christ himself. This is the most precious life giving seed that you have.  It is this life through the ‘overshadowing’ help of Holy Spirit that you must allow to develop you into your God given role to the benefit of the church as a whole.

    If your motives for being a Christian and engaging the church cannot rise beyond selfish-desires alone; If your pursuits are more self-focused rather than kingdom focused; If you are the type of brother who enjoys services and ‘tapping into the anointing’ of men of God but will not actually yield your life to meaningful service; If you profess to be born-again but in practice merely accept the salvation of Christ and not His Lordship over your life, then you are in fact Onan.

    Many have already have been spiritually slain by God for their wickedness and are dead to Him (having no bearing or relevance in his kingdom objectives) yet like the Church in Sardis rev 3:1 they presume upon their reputation as an evidence to true life but in actual fact they are dead.

    Have you gone into your brother’s wife this year?
    Did you marry her not just romance her or use her as a concubine?
    Have you raised up any new souls or disciples unto Jesus chritst this year?
    Or have you been selfishly spilling that life giving seed to the ground?

    Think on these things.
    Shallom.

    Saviour, But not Lord. Christianity without Jesus.

    miracles-of-jesus-feeding-5000-1433376-gallery

    14 When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!” 15 Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself. Jn 6:14-15

    God’s intent for His people is always to reign over every area of their lives as their Lord. Jesus taught us to pray for His kingdom to be established in our lives in exactly the same manner as it is in heaven Math 6:10.
    However when His people are not broken and are ruled by their bellies, their motives will not align with “Thy kingdom come on earth, as it is in heaven”. Thus a dichotomy between God’s mind and the mind of His people is created.

    During the course of Jesus’s ministry we see the multitude often wandering about like sheep without a shepherd. They were eager for the promised salvation by “He that should come” Luke 9:20. One such area they sorely required salvation was from hunger. And so in John 6:1-15 Jesus deliberately performs the miracle of feeding the 5,000 men. Not in an attempt to show off, or just because He could, but rather to re-orient the people’s expectations of salvation to God’s eternal master plan in the personage of the one who was before their very eyes.

    Did the people get it?
    No. Not entirely. They had just received their salvation for their need of the hour, but instead of producing the ultimate reaction to such a spiritual encounter (total surrender & worship) as it did in Mark 10:52 with blind bartimaeus who “followed Jesus in the way”, they beheld Him with ‘a veiled face’ choosing rather the perverse sequence of inteding to force Him to follow them in their own way. (According to their minds and selfish lusts).
    In Jesus they had found a genie whom they intended to bottle, one whom would solve all of their earthly problems and needs without them giving any thought to what He would require of them. (‘take my yoke upon you’)

    What would Jesus do?
    Jesus withdrew himself from them unto a mountain by himself.

    Jesus did not always expressly forbid people from coming up the mountain to Him. But ascension unto spiritual maturity in the things of God requires a price which when the multitude gaze upon that mountain; they will be reluctant to deny themselves and their flesh the comfort it demands. Choosing Zoar’s path of compromise en-route to an insignificant and tepid christian life. Gen 19:18-20.

    Their intent in making Him king wasn’t according to the Spirit but according to the flesh. In Christ they saw a physical messiah who would do for them exactly the same thing their forefathers demanded of Samuel in 1 Sam 8:19-20
    .….“Judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles”….

    Whilst God is committed to doing these things and much more for His people, Christ will not be enthroned over our lives on the basis of His salvation alone, but His lordship also!!!

    Christ is not unkind. “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sinHeb 4:15 . He is touched by the needs and sufferings of His people, and will always be moved with compassion to solving their needs. However people often confuse His provision and help in their lives with His ‘continuous’ presence. The tendency will always be for Christ to withdraw himself from the multitude who merely seek to make Him king on their own terms no matter how justified and legitimate those needs are.

    In following Him not because they saw the signs but ‘because ye did eat of the loaves and were filledJohn 6:26, many sadly engage in Christianity without Jesus. Even more grievious is the blatant ‘exploitation’ of His yearning people by new age versions of pastor’s Joel, Abiah, Hopni & Phineas who use the lure of filthy lucre (prosperity teaching) to lure many into a form of godliness that hath not the power of conformation enshrined therein. They draw us in with ‘the come and be richly blessed’ themes, but water down the crucial issue of our response and personal responsibility merely to offerings, tithes, and sowing in general.

    » Are you in the multitude? Or have you chosen to be a true disciple who would deny himself daily, carry his cross and ascend the mountain to ‘be with him that you may truly know Him, with the intent of going for Him’? Mark 3:13-14.

    »Have you taken His yoke upon your neck by primarily living for his purpose and kingdom? Or is Christ merely a genie whom you rush to whip out when there is a pressing need?

    »Are you at ease with having His salvation firmly in your grasp without the establishment of His lordship in every area of your life?

    This season offers the perfect opportunity for a reboot, and chance to reconnect with Him.

    May they Lord open our eyes to His truth.

    Grace to us all.