Archive for November, 2010

Jesus is Lord

Hello people, I write again and this time too I write on a topic off my study. The Bible says that there were will come a time when all people on heaven earth and the world below will bow down to Jesus and proclaim Him as Lord.

Philippians 2:10-11

10 And so, in honour of the name of Jesus

all beings in heaven, on earth, and in the world below

will fall on their knees,

11 and all will openly proclaim that Jesus Christ is Lord,

to the glory of God the Father.

Romans 14:11

11 For the scripture says:

“As surely as I am the living God, says the Lord,

everyone will kneel before me,

and everyone will confess that I am God.”

From the above scripture it is clear that all beings including Satan and all his angels will confess that Jesus is God but any Christian will tell you that their confession will not grant them stay in God’s Kingdom, do you know why? The Bible does say in Romans 10:9 that if you confess that Jesus is God and believe in your heart that God raised him from the death then heaven is what you would call home, that is: you are saved from damnation. You see that this confession of those are against the Gospel of Jesus, their confession will not involve “belief in their heart” in the resurrected Jesus for their confession would come from their defeat despite all their wicked scheming against the Gospel, proving that Jesus is God not because he will defeat all his enemies on the last day but because He will prove Himself to be Sovereign (in complete control) despite all the corrupt plans carried out against Him as His people. According to the dictionary the word Lord means: “a person who has authority, control, or power over others; a master, chief, or ruler.”

Let us check a few things in the Old Testament book of Ezekiel. I would like to quote to you scripture of what declares to the enemies of God’s people and how they will know Jesus is Lord.

Prophesy against Ammon (Ezek 25:6-7)

6 “This is what the Sovereign Lord is saying: you clapped your hands and jumped for joy. You despised the land of Israel. 7… I will destroy you so completely that you will not be a nation any more or have a country of your own. Then you will know that I am the Lord.”

Prophesy against Moab (Ezek 25:11)

11 I will punish Moab, and they will know that I am the Lord.”

Prophecy against Philistia (Ezek 25:17)

17 I will punish them severely and take full revenge on them. They will feel my anger. Then they will know that I am the Lord.”

Prophecy against Sidon (Ezek 28:23)

23 I will send diseases on you and make blood flow in your streets. You will be attacked from every side, and your people will be killed. Then you will know that I am the Lord.”

About Egypt (Ezek 30:19)

19 When I punish Egypt in this way, they will know that I am the Lord.”

The above scripture talks about how the enemies of God’s people and the ungodly on whom God’s people relied instead of God would be punished and it is in this punishment that they would know who is God. These nations even today are not Christian and therefore do not believe that Jesus is God. Even Israel was to be shown who their God is.

Ezek 28:24-26

24 The Lord said, “None of the surrounding nations that treated Israel with scorn will ever again be like thorns and briars to hurt Israel. And they will know that I am the Sovereign Lord.”

25 The Sovereign Lord said, “I will bring back the people of Israel from the nations where I scattered them, and all the nations will know that I am holy. The people of Israel will live in their own land, the land that I gave to my servant Jacob. 26 They will live there in safety. They will build houses and plant vineyards. I will punish all their neighbours who treated them with scorn, and Israel will be secure. Then they will know that I am the Lord their God.”

From the above scripture you can see that when Israel begins to live in peace it is then that their Lord will be revealed to them in Jesus Christ. It is no breaking news that Israel is struggling to exist on the world map because her very existence is under attack. It is very plain that the above scripture speaks of the time after the last days, a time when all the enemies of God and His people will be destroyed. Let us check out some scripture from the book of Revelations, that shows the punishment that would come from God in the book of Ezekiel would be coming from Jesus & the defeat of Jesus’ enemies  would come by just the power of Jesus’ Word (sword that comes out of the mouth) which would make the enemies of His Lordship confess that Jesus is indeed is God.

Revelations 19:19-21 (The one on the horse is Jesus)

19 Then I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies gathered to fight against the one who was riding the horse and against his army. 20 The beast was taken prisoner, together with the false prophet who had performed miracles in his presence. (It was by those miracles that he had deceived those who had the mark of the beast and those who had worshipped the image of the beast.) The beast and the false prophet were both thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulphur.

21 Their armies were killed by the sword that comes out of the mouth of the one who was riding the horse; and all the birds ate all they could of their flesh.

It is after this victory that Israel will have peace because they will see how it is that Jesus got victory by just the power of His Word & at this time all Gentiles (non Jews) chosen by the Father and added to Him, will be complete and this will form the army of Jesus with  His  angels.

Mark 13:24-27 (Son of Man refers to Jesus: dual nature of fully God and fully man)

24 “In the days after that time of trouble the sun will grow dark, the moon will no longer shine, 25 the stars will fall from heaven, and the powers in space will be driven from their courses. 26 Then the Son of Man will appear, coming in the clouds with great power and glory. 27 He will send the angels out to the four corners of the earth to gather God’s chosen people from one end of the world to the other.

Romans 11:25-27

25 There is a secret truth, my brothers and sisters, which I want you to know, for it will keep you from thinking how wise you are. It is that the stubbornness of the people of Israel is not permanent, but will last only until the complete number of Gentiles comes to God. 26 And this is how all Israel will be saved. As the scripture says:

“The Saviour will come from Zion

and remove all wickedness from the descendants of Jacob.

27 I will make this covenant with them

when I take away their sins.”

So you see in this way that Israel will know that Jesus is God, she will see the victory of Jesus along with His glory and power then for a change she will live in peace. Her stubborn will therefore fall away and she will accept Jesus as Her God and eternal Messiah, who will deliver her from her sins.

In all this, God’s people will rejoice in the victory proclaiming Jesus is God and enemies of the Gospel will fall on their knees in defeat and proclaim that Jesus is truly God to the glory of God the Father.

Praising Jesus in the midst of a storm

Hello people today I write on a topic rather unusual for me and that is praising and worshipping God in no matter what situation we are in.

The world has taught man that if he wants to do well he must consistently seek his own interest. The people of this day and age find it unusual to think that they can work towards their best interest by thinking less of them-selves.

Luke 9:23-24 (Jesus’ word)

23 And he said to all, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me. 24 For whoever would save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for my sake will save it.

The above scripture is so contradictory to the values of the world, parents are forever telling their children that if they want to succeed in life they need to study towards a brighter future, not that this is wrong but the world by itself teaches to the core to be self centered. Each and every person good or bad does what he does to further his own interest in particular area of life that he finds crucial. Biologically we are made to see that everything we do helps us in some way or the other, right from breathing, which helps carry oxygen to muscles and organs; to eating which nourishes us; to interacting; helping us build relationships. All that we do whether good or bad we hope to see something good come out of it for us.

Matthew 6:33

33 Instead, be concerned above everything else with the Kingdom of God and with what he requires of you, and he will provide you with all these other things.

The Bible teaches you of the God of gods and Lord of lords, the Provider of providers. The Bible teaches you that in Jesus, you are provided for. Listening to Him and putting Him before yourself is ironically in your own best interest. If you know of what Jesus taught and you follow it, provisions will come out of no where for you. If you don’t know what it is what Jesus taught then you may want get yourself a Bible, in a language and style that you understand best and then leave it to Spirit God to teach you as you read. The Bible is so unique that it tells you of a God who is a provider and your creator in Him you don’t have to worry about the necessities in your life. You will certainly not be deprived but you will be provided for you and unlike the world you will be able to enjoy to the fullest what you are provided with.

In Genesis 22:1-14, we have the story in which Abraham is told by God to offer his own son Isaac as a sacrifice on Mount Moriah, now we know this is a desolate place because Abraham took with him wood from the base of the mountain to use as fuel for the fire. Abraham when asked about where is the lamb for the sacrifice, he replies saying that the Lord would provide. Do you know that Abraham is known as the father of all those who believe and trust in God.

Romans 4:11

…And so Abraham is the spiritual father of all who believe in God….

Abraham knew that even if it would come to pass that Isaac would be sacrificed, he trusted that that was what was best just because God told him so. There on that mountain God stops Abraham from sacrificing his son and Abraham then finds a ram caught in the bush by its horns and offers it as a burnt offering instead of his son Isaac. God is pleased with Abraham and Abraham is put right with God not because of the sacrifice but because he trusted God to the extent that he dint keep back the life of Isaac when God asked for it, Isaac: whom the Bible say was the son Abraham loved a lot Genesis 22:2.

Hebrews 11:17

17 It was faith that made Abraham offer his son Isaac as a sacrifice when God put Abraham to the test. Abraham was the one to whom God had made the promise, yet he was ready to offer his only son as a sacrifice.

So the example of Abraham we need to learn from is that we need to know that just believing that God exist is not enough, we need to put Him first even before ourselves. After the sacrifice, Abraham named the place “The Lord Will Provide”, “Provide” is a word with Latin roots. “Pro” means “before” and “video” means “to see”. So it means God sees in advance before the need is known. Remember in acting in obedience to God, God will be preparing a solution before we know that it is a need.

So coming to Praising and Worshiping Jesus during the difficult times in our lives, it becomes a sacrifice beyond anything money can buy, offered to Jesus & it is by such trust that we are put right Him and inherit eternal life

Matthew 19:29 (Jesus’ word)

And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or fields for my sake, will receive a hundred times more and will be given eternal life.

2 Timothy 1:8 (words of Apostle Paul)

8 Do not be ashamed, then, of witnessing for our Lord; nor be ashamed of me, a prisoner for Christ’s sake. Instead, take your part in suffering for the Good News, as God gives you the strength to do it.

1Peter 4:12-14,19 (words of Apostle Peter)

12 My dear friends, do not be surprised at the painful test you are suffering, as though something unusual were happening to you. 13 Rather be glad that you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, so that you may be full of joy when his glory is revealed. 14 Happy are you if you are insulted because you are Christ’s followers; this means that the glorious Spirit, the Spirit of God, is resting on you.

19 So then, those who suffer because it is God’s will for them, should by their good actions trust themselves completely to their Creator, who always keeps his promise.

So remember no matter how down you are in life and no matter how painful it is to obey Jesus leave alone praising and worshiping Him, know this, in that suffering you have been given the opportunity in stand in Abrahams shoes, could you imagine what Abraham would have gone through emotionally to be asked to offer to God his only son? Abraham honoured God in the midst of that emotional storm, will you?

Here is the blessing that was decreed upon Abraham, after the Isaac sacrifice incident.

Genesis 22:15-19

15 The angel of the Lord called to Abraham from heaven a second time, 16 “I make a vow by my own name — the Lord is speaking — that I will richly bless you. Because you did this and did not keep back your only son from me, 17 I promise that I will give you as many descendants as there are stars in the sky or grains of sand along the seashore. Your descendants will conquer their enemies. 18 All the nations will ask me to bless them as I have blessed your descendants — all because you obeyed my command.” 19 Abraham went back to his servants, and they went together to Beersheba, where Abraham settled.

So remember if you are deeply troubled and if obeying, praising and worshiping Jesus seems the unlikeliest of solutions then you got a chance to take a great shot at some serious faith. Do you know how much it is that God values your thanks and praise especially during the times of hurt? It is times like these that make way for personal sacrifices that are pleasing to God & I have scripture below both from the Old and New Testament to back this statement.

Hebrews 13:15 (New Testament)

Let us, then, always offer praise to God as our sacrifice through Jesus, which is the offering presented by lips that confess him as Lord.

Psalms 50:7, 9, 14 (Old Testament)

7 “Listen, my people, and I will speak;

…..

9 And yet I do not need bulls from your farms

or goats from your flocks;

……

14 Let the giving of thanks be your sacrifice to God,

and give the Almighty all that you promised.

Have your ever thought, how could praise and thanks to God ever be called a sacrifice, well if you were in a place of a particular hurt and despite those feelings of emotional sickness you choose to forget yourself and praise, obey, worship and give thanks to God, would not that be a personal sacrifice. A sacrifice no money could ever buy, which would definitely please God for the faith from which it comes (Heb 11:6). Wouldn’t you feel a sense of awaiting reward from that? Since your sacrifice will proclaim that you live not on bread alone but on every word of Jesus (Deut 8:3), which in turn will declare that it is Jesus who is Lord over you (Heb 13:15)? Will not great blessing be in store for you for this action? You may feel that God may have used up most of His blessing on Abraham, yeah Abraham was blessed infinitely to have descendant as may as the grains on the sea shore all of whom would be conquerors. Do you know in Math when we take away something infinite from something infinite what we are left with is still infinite and that is how blessing from Jesus is because it is in Jesus that the descendants of Abraham were made more than conquerors.

Romans 8:35-37

35 Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? 36 As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

37 No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.

Romans 4:16,24

…For Abraham is the spiritual father of us all; …who are to be accepted as righteous, who believe in him who raised Jesus our Lord from death.

So remember the infinite blessing you have at hand the next time you are down and you proceed to obey/worship/praise/give thanks to Jesus.

Revelations 2:10 (Jesus’ word)

Don’t be afraid of anything you are about to suffer. Listen! The Devil will put you to the test by having some of you thrown into prison, and your troubles will last ten days. Be faithful to me, even if it means death, and I will give you life as your prize of victory.

Legalism

Hello people, I write again after quiet a break, today I would like to write on legalism. Well if you asking me what indeed is legalism? Then I would like to tell you it is about going to heaven and being spared of punishment based the idea of adherence to precise religious laws. Well in the Bible reading today, this is what I came across.

Ezek 22:26 (God prophesying through Prophet Ezekiel to the people of the Old Testament)

6 All … leaders trust in their own strength and commit murder. 7 You people in the city do not honour your parents. You cheat foreigners and take advantage of widows and orphans.8 You have no respect for the holy places, and you don’t keep the Sabbath.9 Some of your people tell lies about others in order to have them put to death. Some of them eat sacrifices offered to idols. Some are always satisfying their lusts. … 12 Some of your people murder for pay. Some charge interest on the loans they make to their fellow-Israelites and get rich by taking advantage of them. They have forgotten me.” The Sovereign Lord has spoken.

26 The priests break my law and have no respect for what is holy. They make no distinction between what is holy and what is not. They do not teach the difference between clean and unclean things, and they ignore the Sabbath. As a result the people … do not respect me.

Looking at the above scripture you can see the Lawlessness of the people of the Old Testament, Lawlessness to the extent that God had to uses Moses to lay down some ground rules for them. Now a day’s public law is rather streamlined across developed and developing nations. Law is what maintains smoothness in society.  Well I feel there was good reason for God to introduce Law to His people; God may have been trying to introduce a system of society among His people. The Law had its own purpose; the Bible says that it was Law that made known what wrong doing is.

Romans 5:13

There was sin in the world before the Law was given; but where there is no law, no account is kept of sins.

The Law stated different things right from what is eatable to how it is to deal with fellow people to how to worship to what should be kept holy. Well you may say that Law is good and I will agree with you to a certain extent but pleasing God  can never be done by following a list of do’s and don’ts. Let me give you an example, during the holocaust, which was caused due to sick ideology of pseudo-scientific, biologically based racism that saw Jews as a “race” locked into mortal combat with the “Aryan” race for world domination. This Holocaust which saw the extermination of 6 million Jews by anti-Christian Nazism, now consider this, there were Jews during this time that were sheltered by Christians, now the Law prohibits telling lies, just imagine how many more Jews would have lost their lives had these Christians admitted sheltering Jews when questioned by the Nazi regime. There can never be a set of Laws to keep you from doing wrong. Have you heard of the term “loop hole”, you know if you are hell bent on doing the wrong thing you may sure find a loop whole in law allowing you to do what you want to do. Will your conscience be at ease, I don’t think so but I don’t think you will let that feeling come in the way if you desired that thing so strongly?

So you see God’s idea for introducing the Law was to keep it there only till its purpose was fulfilled and the following  are Jesus’ words.

Matthew 5:17-18 (Jesus’ word)

17 “Do not think that I have come to abolish the Law or the Prophets; I have not come to abolish them but to fulfill them. 18 For truly, I say to you, until heaven and earth pass away, not an iota, not a dot, will pass from the Law until all is accomplished.

So incase you are asking me what was then the purpose of the Law. Let me quote from my Bible to answer that question.

Galatians 3:19-20

19 What, then, was the purpose of the Law? It was added in order to show what wrongdoing is, and it was meant to last until the coming of Abraham’s descendant, to whom the promise was made. The Law was handed down by angels, with a man acting as a go-between. 20 But a go-between is not needed when only one person is involved; and God is one.

It is important to note that it was Jesus, descendant of David, descendant of Abraham to whom the promise was made please read the below scripture for the same & pay special attention to Hebrew 7:28.

Hebrews 7:26-28

26 Jesus, then, is the High Priest that meets our needs. He is holy; he has no fault or sin in him; he has been set apart from sinners and raised above the heavens. 27 He is not like other high priests; he does not need to offer sacrifices every day for his own sins first and then for the sins of the people. He offered one sacrifice, once and for all, when he offered himself. 28 The Law of Moses appoints men who are imperfect to be high priests; but God’s promise made with the vow, which came later than the Law, appoints the Son, who has been made perfect for ever.

Galatians 3:16

16 Now, God made his promises to Abraham and to his descendant. The scripture does not use the plural “descendants”, meaning many people, but the singular “descendant”, meaning one person only, namely, Christ.

So you see the Law was accomplished by Jesus, looking closely at verse 20 of Galatians 3, you can see that no angels or prophets were involved in delivering the God message to the New Testament Christians. This is because God Himself was with His people.

Matthew 1:18-23 (Pay special attention to verse 23)

18 This was how the birth of Jesus Christ took place. His mother Mary was engaged to Joseph, but before they were married, she found out that she was going to have a baby by the Holy Spirit. 19 Joseph was a man who always did what was right, but he did not want to disgrace Mary publicly; so he made plans to break the engagement privately. 20 While he was thinking about this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, descendant of David, do not be afraid to take Mary to be your wife. For it is by the Holy Spirit that she has conceived. 21 She will have a son, and you will name him Jesus — because he will save his people from their sins.”

22 Now all this happened in order to make what the Lord had said through the prophet come true, 23 “A virgin will become pregnant and have a son, and he will be called Immanuel” (which means, “God is with us”).

You can clearly add 2 and 2 here and see that Galatians 3:20 & Matthew 1:23, implies that no one was needed to deliver God’s word to His people because Jesus Himself was God and Jesus Himself was with His people and therefore He needed no in between angel or prophet. You can clearly see that the emphasis made in Galatians 3:20 stating that God is one which stands so much in contrast to the scripture it is coming from because how can how can someone promise another person something without involving more than one person & therefore Galatians 3:19 can only make sense if you consider the Tri-Union identity of God, that is Father Son and Spirit being together as One God.

Well let’s get back to the topic of Legalism, so the Law was to make known to man what Sin is, I am sure you all know how legalistic the religions of the world are. The Bible says that religious Law does not save you but just makes you aware of sin and it consequences.

1Corinthians 15:56

56 Death gets its power to hurt from sin, and sin gets its power from the Law.

Romans 6:23

For sin pays its wage — death; but God’s free gift is eternal life in union with Christ Jesus our Lord.

Romans 6:23; feels so good because it gives you the bad news with a Solution, the name of this Solution is Jesus. The Bible clearly says that we are not saved by observing the Law we are saved (going to heaven) because we believe Jesus paid with His life our ransom for sin.

Romans 3:21-22

21 But now God’s way of putting people right with himself has been revealed. It has nothing to do with law, even though the Law of Moses and the prophets gave their witness to it. 22 God puts people right through their faith in Jesus Christ. God does this to all who believe in Christ, because there is no difference at all:

John 1:17

God gave the Law through Moses, but grace and truth came through Jesus Christ.

So you see it is not out of your merit of following the Law that you are heaven bound if you indeed are, it is by grace through God saving promise to His people that you are saved.

Psalms 69:13

But as for me, I will pray to you, Lord; answer me, God, at a time you choose. Answer me because of your great love, because you keep your promise to save.

Psalms 119:41

Trusting the Law of the Lord Show me how much you love me, Lord, and save me according to your promise.

So to follow or attempt to follow religious law is like you using a “pager” in this day and age of mobile communication. Remember the Law was present, was fulfilled & now we called to live under grace that is a calling to heaven, purely of God’s goodness. If you were to follow the Law it would be like being blind to the goodness God is showing you.

Galatians 5:4

Those of you who try to be put right with God by obeying the Law have cut yourselves off from Christ. You are outside God’s grace.

In Jesus, we now have freedom from being ritualistic and religious, we are free to eat all that is eatable and free to go about our lives without being ritualistic and still be free from sin because of what God worked out for us on the cross.

Hebrews 9:14-15 (New Covenant =Grace through Christ & Old Covenant=Law of the Old Testament)

14 Since this is true, how much more is accomplished by the blood of Christ! Through the eternal Spirit he offered himself as a perfect sacrifice to God. His blood will purify our consciences from useless rituals, so that we may serve the living God.

15 For this reason Christ is the one who arranges a new covenant, so that those who have been called by God may receive the eternal blessings that God has promised. This can be done because there has been a death which sets people free from the wrongs they did while the first covenant was in force.

Colossians 2:20-23

20 You have died with Christ and are set free from the ruling spirits of the universe. Why, then, do you live as though you belonged to this world? Why do you obey such rules as 21 “Don’t handle this,” “Don’t taste that,” “Don’t touch the other”? 22 All these refer to things which become useless once they are used; they are only human rules and teachings. 23 Of course such rules appear to be based on wisdom in their forced worship of angels, and false humility, and severe treatment of the body; but they have no real value in controlling physical passions.

Colossians 2:13-17 (Pay attention to verse 16)

13 You were at one time spiritually dead because of your sins and because you were Gentiles without the Law. But God has now brought you to life with Christ. God forgave us all our sins; 14 he cancelled the unfavourable record of our debts with its binding rules and did away with it completely by nailing it to the cross. 15 And on that cross Christ stripped the spiritual rulers and authorities of their power; he made a public spectacle of them by leading them as captives in his victory procession.

16 So let no one make rules about what you eat or drink or about holy days or the New Moon Festival or the Sabbath. 17 All such things are only a shadow of things in the future; the reality is Christ.

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