Posts from the ‘His believing Bride: the Church’ Category

The future is brighter because God is good!

If there were two essential things the Bible teaches about Christ reigning as King, it is that God is sovereign and God is good. How can we ever find hope in the Gospel if these two things were not in place? The Church is the bride of Christ, who is so ardently in love with Him and believes so passionately in His provision that she gives a damn about the low opinion the world has about God and His righteousness. However, from the beginning we have had some anti-social elements in the Church who chose to ravage the Church of her faith in God concerning her provision and future. Take a look at the scripture presented below and you will know that this is not about Satan being in the blue corner and Jesus being in the red corner of a boxing ring. In fact it’s just that the wicked are put in place to serve the purposes of God.

Prov 16:4
The LORD has made everything for its own purpose, Even the wicked for the day of evil.

John 17:12 (the Lord Jesus referring to Judas)
While I was with them, I was keeping them in Your name which You have given Me; and I guarded them and not one of them perished but the son of perdition, so that the Scripture would be fulfilled.

2 Cor 12:7 (Paul referring to the thorn in his side)
Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me–to keep me from exalting myself!

When I think about the premillennialists with their escapist eschatology and the amillennialists with their defeatist eschatology, I wonder what hope exactly do these fools draw from the Gospel. The premillennialist with his escapist worldview has devised the rapture, while the amillennialists is more convinced that wickedness is on the rise just as much as the righteousness of God is. The two seem to display a dualism concerning what they believe to be sovereignty of God in Salvation because when it comes eschatology, the amillennialists as well as the premillennialists seem to have thrown the sovereignty of God out of the window. Let’s take a look of the verse below, concerning how Israel got her name. If you would like me to leave you with some insight, the Old Testament Church i.e. Israel means she perseveres with God and with men by the power of Christ and prevailes.

Gen 32
24 Then Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him until daybreak.
25 When he saw that he had not prevailed against him, he touched the socket of his thigh; so the socket of Jacob’s thigh was dislocated while he wrestled with him.
26 Then he said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking.” But he said, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”
27 So he said to him, “What is your name?” And he said, “Jacob.”
28 He said, “Your name shall no longer be Jacob, but Israel; for you have striven with God and with men and have prevailed.”

It was the same in the case of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego. They stood for the righteousness of God and faced execution by way of the fiery furnace but as this affliction was levied on them by God it was God Himself who was sustaining them in that fiery trial. Besides glorifying the good deserving justice of God, another purpose the wicked serve, even Satan for that matter, is being a sanctifying instrument of God in the lives of the Godly. This is what being Israel is all about, that we who belong to Christ are sanctified in the world, according the will and purpose of God. Such is the Sovereignty of God in all things including salvation.

Exodus 31:13
“But as for you, speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘You shall surely observe My sabbaths; for this is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you.

Daniel 3
16 Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego replied to the king, “O Nebuchadnezzar, we do not need to give you an answer concerning this matter.
17 “If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king.
18 “But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up.”

A look at Hab 2:14, Is 11:1-10 & Heb 8:11 helps us understand that we are living in the new covenant of Christ figurative thousand-year reign. A reign in which God will slowly but steadily usher in His peace in reconciling all creation to Himself. For some reason, I believe the premillennialists and the amillennialists share the world’s purview very much on the progress of righteousness in the world. Simply because I believe they are no different from the world is seeing events from the perspective of their own interest as over seeing it from the perspective of scripture. Take the ISIS for instance, CNN reported in February that the ISIS had killed over 2000 people and injured thousands more but what about killing of the innocent unborn children? According to the WHO, every year there are about 40-50 million abortions around the world. How is that we can turn a blind eye to these murders and talk so ecstatically about terrorism?

Ezek 37 (in the light of Jn 3:6-7, 16-18)
11 Then He said to me, “Son of man, these bones are the whole house of Israel; behold, they say, ‘Our bones are dried up and our hope has perished. We are completely cut off.’
12 “Therefore prophesy and say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD, “Behold, I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves, My people; and I will bring you into the land of Israel.
13 “Then you will know that I am the LORD, when I have opened your graves and caused you to come up out of your graves, My people.
14 “I will put My Spirit within you and you will come to life, and I will place you on your own land. Then you will know that I, the LORD, have spoken and done it,” declares the LORD.'”

Islam and its terror is nothing more than a chastening rod which God is using to wake us up from our slumber. Just like in Old Testament Israel, that when they were disobedient, he brought other nations to rule over them that they may learn a lesson (Is 10:1-20). The same thing is happening now but today owing to our ignorance of the Bible, we want to believe God is a God of love, so that we could all continue living as please i.e. till we are thrown into hell I suppose.

​Will God’s Love be their excuse for Sin?

Mat 25
24 “And the one also who had received the one talent came up and said, ‘Master, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you did not sow and gathering where you scattered no seed.
25 ‘And I was afraid, and went away and hid your talent in the ground. See, you have what is yours.’
26 “But his master answered and said to him, ‘You wicked, lazy slave, you knew that I reap where I did not sow and gather where I scattered no seed.

The above scripture is taken from the Parable of Talents and God here is compared to a hard man who deals severely with those who are wicked. Today, people have this notion of God’s love as though it licences you to live the way you please. Though we may have scripture like Rom5:8 which says to this effect that: God demonstrates His love for us that while we were still sinners Christ died for us; it does not in any way imply that God loves unbelievers in their wickedness. To convey the transforming power of God’s love I would like you to picture this: you and me are lepers/beggars sitting on the street among other lepers/beggars, this philanthropist approaches us, washes us, treats and shelters us until we are able to find our feet. Now, how far does this contrast with passers-by who just throw you a rupee or two just to escape that guilt they experience from their unwillingness to step out of their comfort zone and help in a manner that makes a difference. By this, I am in no way implying that the godly are obligated to take every beggar on the street to their house, clean them up and care for them because each person has a different calling in the overall development of the body of Christ, which is His Church. What I am alluding to, is the propitiating power in the love of Jesus (1Jn4:10), which siphons people from spiritual depravity in fallen Adam and joins them to the family of God, which is His Church… making them able bodied men and women of God with a spiritual capacity to think and act according to God’s good pleasure. As much as people who pass a beggar a rupee or two, don’t really care for them, I must say that you are only fooling yourself if you believe God expresses his love to you by letting you remain as you are (Rom9:13-15).

Rom 6
15 What then? Shall we sin because we are not under law but under grace? May it never be!
16 Do you not know that when you present yourselves to someone as slaves for obedience, you are slaves of the one whom you obey, either of sin resulting in death, or of obedience resulting in righteousness?
17 But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed,
18 and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness.

We ought to understand that there are three aspects of Biblical Law: Ceremonial Law, Moral Law and Civil Law. Rom6:15 is speaking in the light of 1Tim1:9, that the reason we abstain from wickedness is because we are a new creation in Christ (2Cor5:17) brought to delight is in God in thought and deed (Ps37:4/Jn15:5), our abstinence from wickedness does not come from the fear of being caught and punished by the State (1Pet3:17), which is given to act from the Civil Law. Yes, Jesus ate with sinners but these were sinners who welcomed Him and acknowledged their shortcomings through repentance before Him (Rom3:23-24) and if you know the Jesus of the Bible, He was not out to sweet-talk society but He welcomed these who repented in the midst of His fellowship for all to see (Mat21:32/Jn3:26-30). If you were to take a look at Prov26:12 & Mark2:17 you will get the drift of who is welcome in Jesus’ fellowship and who is not.

Luke 19
3 Zaccheus was trying to see who Jesus was, and was unable because of the crowd, for he was small in stature.
4 So he ran on ahead and climbed up into a sycamore tree in order to see Him, for He was about to pass through that way.
5 When Jesus came to the place, He looked up and said to him, “Zaccheus, hurry and come down, for today I must stay at your house.”
6 And he hurried and came down and received Him gladly.
7 When they saw it, they all began to grumble, saying, “He has gone to be the guest of a man who is a sinner.”
8 Zaccheus stopped and said to the Lord, “Behold, Lord, half of my possessions I will give to the poor, and if I have defrauded anyone of anything, I will give back four times as much.”
9 And Jesus said to him, “Today salvation has come to this house, because he, too, is a son of Abraham.

Today, we have people who are scared to speak out against the world and they will not admit their fear but excuse themselves saying God loves everybody. However, this doesn’t indicate their love for God but only their unbelief because what is more prominent in their sight is their setback with society as over the fear of God (Mat10:28). The world is filled with such hypocrites that with the same mouth they deter Christians from speaking out on socials evils like idolatry, abortion, the #lgbt, euthanasia and against capital punishment, all from their self-righteousness; and then with the same mouth they manage to question what God is doing, when they see a rise in the rate of crime but why talk when you don’t listen and if you think you know better, own up then to everything you do. Unlike hypocrites who are given to make the most convenient statements in that moment of time, emerging from nothing but their vacillating emotions, the true Christian on the other hand is given to judge based on the very code he/she himself/herself lives by (Mat7:2). This is called preaching what you practice or walk the talk.

1 John 2
4 The one who says, “I have come to know Him,” and does not keep His commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him;
5 but whoever keeps His word, in him the love of God has truly been perfected. By this we know that we are in Him:
6 the one who says he abides in Him ought himself to walk in the same manner as He walked.

1 John 3
4 Everyone who practices sin also practices lawlessness; and sin is lawlessness.

The antinomians use the pretext of preaching the grace and love of God to excuse standing firm for the righteousness of God in society, and they hate it when genuinely concerned Christians admonish them using scripture. To defend themselves they quote Mat7:1… “Do not judge so that you will not be judged”. However, this warning is not given by God to His sheep but to those hypocrites, those stubborn goats who unrighteously find fault with His sheep and use the Word of God, not for God’s glory but for their own vested interest. If you were to look at the very crux of the Moral Law in Mat22, you would come to realize that Love is as God (1Jn4:16), whose saving knowledge is revealed to us in Jesus Christ (Jn1:18/1Tim2:3-4), that we may be adequately equipped for every good work (1Tim3:16-17). The world in their broken communion with God, has no clear definition of love because they can only know/relate with things from the perspective of how it serves themselves, not God. So to these, love turns out to be the means of serving their own lusts and from this ungodly mindset, broken homes and single mothers become a cultural norm because to these who are a law unto themselves, love is nothing more than a vacillating feeling that is here today and gone tomorrow. For the Godly however, love is duty and by this I do not mean devoid of emotion but grounded in the joy of the Lord, which is its strength (Neh8:10) and personally I must say, there is true joy to your hearts content to be found in diligently seeking and exercising the Moral Law of God.

Ps 119
97 O how I love Your law! It is my meditation all the day.

Mat 22
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?”
37 And Jesus said to him, ” ‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.’
38 “This is the great and foremost commandment.
39 “The second is like it, ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’
40 “On these two commandments depend the whole Law and the Prophets.”

To conclude, God hates sin and loves the sinner is nowhere in Bible. God loves Himself and He is right in doing so because He is God. It is from this love He has for Himself that He made man in His image… for His own glory. The fall of Adam, granted men a righteousness of their own, separate from God but a man who serves nothing more than himself spews nothing but evil through the course of his life because man is not God. The truth however is in Jesus Christ, the Son of God who added to Himself the complete nature of man but without sin and presented Himself to be that substitutionary sacrifice and atonement for all sin, that man would be restored to God from the fall of Adam. To the world love is blind but this is so because the world is blind to God, who is love and so also the world sees no purpose in love but to those who know God, love serves it purpose in Jesus Christ.

Adoption into the family of God!

Adoption is a topic that is the least debated in Christian circles and a topic on which few books are written, while it remains to every Christian a Biblical fact. However, if one were to consider the finer details of adoption, good solid doctrine then emerges as a critical requisite in understanding Adoption in the Family of God.

John 1
12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, even to those who believe in His name,
13 who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God.

One thing is for certain, adoption is not an initiative taken by the adoptee but the initiative is of the family which adopts that child. In this case, the family we are talking about is the Holy Trinity, where the will is of God the Father in Salvation, while God the Son accomplishes Salvation and God the Holy Spirit applies Salvation unto the Elect i.e. whom God has drawn to Himself through their names being recorded from the foundation of the world, for the Son’s knowledge (Jn6:39-44), in the Book of Life. This, so that the Son may prepare to bear unto life, the dead man or woman being drawn unto the Eternal Family of the Father for adoption and the place in the dimension of time, which the Father has determined to draw the individual unto life from death, in His Son Jesus Christ.

John 6 (Jesus’ word)
39 “This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day.
40 “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.”

44 “No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day.

In understanding that God shares His glory with no other, we learn that creation glorifies God. God is familial/relational; He is One in the Three Persons of the Holy Trinity. This same structure reflects in a family here, who though consisting of different people, go by the same family name, which is akin to the Three Persons of the Godhead going by the same name as One: YHWH. By this I do not mean that God is Father, Mother and Son because God doesn’t need a woman to have a son and this was emphasised in Jesus’ birth through the Virgin Mary.

Gen2
16 The LORD God commanded the man, saying, “From any tree of the garden you may eat freely;
17 but from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat from it you will surely die.”

Rom 8
15 For you have not received a spirit of slavery leading to fear again, but you have received a spirit of adoption as sons by which we cry out, “Abba! Father!”

In knowing the spiritual death that precipitated from the fall, we understand that Adam was once an obedient “son of God”, not to the same extent as God the Son, because God the Son is God and not a created being like Adam. God the Son exists with God from eternity to eternity, even before creation came to being. If we consider the context of Gal 4:4 we learn that God the Son existed and His coming as Jesus Christ was merely adding to Himself the complete nature of man by being born of a woman (Lk1:35).

Gal 4
4 But when the fullness of the time came, God sent forth His Son, born of a woman, born under the Law,
5 so that He might redeem those who were under the Law, that we might receive the adoption as sons.
6 Because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts, crying, “Abba! Father!”

Mat 3:17 & 17:5 are two places among others which site the good pleasure of God the Father in His Son Jesus Christ. This precisely is the duty of a son, a relationship which glorifies God even in creation. To be that chip of the old block, to make your father proud, is such a joy for any son but that is so only because it glorifies the relationship God the Father shares with God the Son from eternity past to eternity beyond. For so it was that before creation existed: God the Father, Son and Holy Spirit existed is perfect fellowship with each other lacking nothing.

Rom 5
17 For if by the transgression of the one, death reigned through the one, much more those who receive the abundance of grace and of the gift of righteousness will reign in life through the One, Jesus Christ

We all fell in Adam but Salvation is by grace through faith, where the moment Our Father and King Jesus Christ opens our eyes, confirming our birth from death into life, from lawlessness into the Law of God as our nature and character as being born from above (Jn3:3), and this in the midst of the rat race this world is caught up in. At this time, we realize we could do nothing to merit or facilitate the work of Salvation, which God the Son has given rise to in our lives. This precisely is the unmerited favour one experiences in adoption.

Heb 2 (Concerning Jesus)
10 For it was fitting for Him, for whom are all things, and through whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to perfect the author of their salvation through sufferings.
11 For both He who sanctifies and those who are sanctified are all from one Father; for which reason He is not ashamed to call them brethren,
12 saying, “I will proclaim Your name to My brethren, In the midst of the congregation I will sing Your praise.”

Imagine how it feels to suddenly be blessed with a living spirit that desires to exercise the righteousness of God, please God and cry out Abba Father. Such is the privilege of God’s Elect because of what Jesus Christ has accomplished, who gave us His Own Spirit of obedience unto His Father, to the extent He is not ashamed to call us His brethren (Heb2:11).

Isaiah 53
4 Surely our griefs He Himself bore, And our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, Smitten of God, and afflicted.
5 But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.
6 All of us like sheep have gone astray, Each of us has Turned to his own way; But the LORD has caused the iniquity of us all To fall on Him.

The Salvation of God, thereby presents the Elect a double cure, where on one hand, Christ paid restitution in full for our obedience withheld with His perfect obedience, in which we receive a portion in Christ’s spirit replacing our dead spirit of rebellion, as our hearts are sanctified unto increasing obedience unto God (Ezek36:26-27) and then on the other hand, Christ has substituted the Elect in paying God the Father the full restitution concerning the wages of all sin (Is53:4-6).

1John3
10 By this the children of God and the children of the devil are obvious: anyone who does not practice righteousness is not of God, nor the one who does not love his brother.

Having said all of the above, I must add that not all people are the children of God because God’s children are so identified that they yearn to please God and are those who are given the moral disposition to exercise His righteousness, for such a nature is made available to them who are His Elect only in Christ. Besides it would be rather foolish to say “all people are God’s children” only to satisfy their flesh and dead spirit and keep them from experiencing the terror of being at war with the God of the universe as a consequence of their love for sin. These who have nothing to do with the Spirit of Christ but instead wallow in the spirit of antichrist, which hates and opposes the proclamation of the existence of the Father and the Son and the advent of the Son amongst us unto bearing the righteousness of God to pay restitution for our obedience withheld and our sins wilfully committed in its stead.

Mat7
9 “Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone?
10 “Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he?
11 “If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!

Ps37
4 Delight yourself in the LORD; And He will give you the desires of your heart.

Rom 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

As you can see above Mat7:9-11, Ps37:4 and Rom6:23 beautifully complement each other as does all the scripture from the Bible because when you are an adopted son/daughter, alive by the Spirit of Christ (Jn20:22) or shall I say by the very knowledge of Christ (2Tim3:16), you are blessed even with the privilege to delight in His righteousness as your own. All this, as He freely blesses you in sanctification, restoring you to His very image, which is the Nature and Character of God, which is the very Law of God written by the Son of God upon the hearts of God’s Elect (Lk15:11-32).

Rom10
8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”–that is, the word of faith which we are preaching,
9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;
10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

If you have never known this privilege of delighting in God but you feel ever so moved to know God, then say a pray to the Lord Jesus Christ that He may forgive you your sins and bless you with the love of God, which is life in all its brilliance. Our Father and King Jesus Christ may have set that prayer in your heart as the 1st step unto a complete change within, erupting through your thoughts, words, actions and purposes in time, which God alone knows but you will know the change when it comes according to His will. As you will then notice that every immorality you ever found delightful in and sought after in death, comes across as distasteful and rotting in your life by the power of Christ working in you (1Jn4:4). If He does set you free from your slavery to sin, death and rebellion, you will know it, “for if the son shall set you free, you shall be free indeed” – John 8.

Repentance and the Gospel!

I see the world as having essentially two types of people, those who attribute their success and their lives to God and those who love to wallow in their own glory, even if it is by the means of crediting their success or their lives to something else besides God, which appeals as eye-candy to the people around.

Mat 5:45b
… for He maketh His sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.

Imagine people who perform but in their ignorance of God, fail to see their every effort/talent as being cushioned by the hand of God. So when these are asked as to what is the secret of their success they just arrogantly blurt their ignorant feelings available to them in that moment, not realizing to whom that credit is due. Still, God is not insecure like fallen men who desire payback for every emotion they invest in their neighbour.

Psalm 115:1
Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy, and for thy truth’s sake.

What is Repentance, it is turning away from that fallen desire of taking all the credit and giving glory to God, who matters more than all creation put together. If you find this hard to accept, it reflects only your miniscule perspective on God. Ironically, you will notice that though you haven’t figured the extent to which creation exists, you have no trouble in meditating on your own fallen desires with little care for those around you, leave aside all creation. That glory rightfully belongs to God (who is good and without sin) in all creation (Ps148), not to you or me or any other person for that matter.

Psalm 113:7
He raises the poor from the dust
And lifts the needy from the ash heap,

Mat 5
3 Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.

The wearing of sackcloth in the Old Testament was synonymous with coarseness of mourning, where looking to God was the only comfort which would satisfy the soul. This repentance too is from God given to His elect (Act11:18) that they may know the truth about God and themselves and be brought to that spiritual prostration, which is every believer’s privilege in knowing God Almighty.

Mark 2:17 (In the context of John 1:10-13 & Rom 3:23-26)
17 And hearing this, Jesus said to them, “It is not those who are healthy who need a physician, but those who are sick; I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners.”

It has always been so, that those who feel they don’t need Jesus are only those who are completely at home with their sin. For every other religion, the code of religiosity is an outward code but in Christianity the code is purely moral and so a person’s faith is not measured by the colour of his beard or by the length of their trousers or by the food he eats. By this I do not mean a person should dress immodestly but just that Christian principles are based on moral values and not an outward showcasing of religiosity from the individual. So it is that, what Biblical Law focuses on concerning the individual is: morality (Is1:11-17). For people from their fallen nature are prone to remaining in their immoral and godless state even while performing the Ceremonial aspects of the Law, only because such is the love for sin in every man from the fall of Adam.

Isaiah 1
11 To what purpose is the multitude of your sacrifices unto me? saith the Lord: I am full of the burnt offerings of rams, and the fat of fed beasts; and I delight not in the blood of bullocks, or of lambs, or of he goats.
12 When ye come to appear before me, who hath required this at your hand, to tread my courts?
13 Bring no more vain oblations; incense is an abomination unto me; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting.
14 Your new moons and your appointed feasts my soul hateth: they are a trouble unto me; I am weary to bear them.
15 And when ye spread forth your hands, I will hide mine eyes from you: yea, when ye make many prayers, I will not hear: your hands are full of blood.
16 Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil;
17 Learn to do well; seek judgment, relieve the oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow.

In repentance, God grants the individual the overwhelming capacity to put to death their nature to sin, a death to the individual’s sinful-self, unto a new life in God (Jn12:24-26), symbolized by sitting in ashes and dust (Job42:6) and being washed in the waters of baptism (Rom6:4). This realization of a person’s spiritual plight before God, is the beginning of the work of God the Holy Spirit in putting sin/immorality to death in the individual (Phil1:6).

Col 3
5 Therefore consider the members of your earthly body as dead to immorality, impurity, passion, evil desire, and greed, which amounts to idolatry. 6 For it is because of these things that the wrath of God will come upon the sons of disobedience, 7 and in them you also once walked, when you were living in them.

Such is the importance of repentance, which is the highlight of Baptism. Without repentance it is impossible to believe in the Gospel because one needs to begin emptying themselves of their love for sin/immorality to be filled with God’s Holy Spirit. This capacity is granted the individual in Christ, who presents the believer a living spirit, which right from its infancy (Jn3:3,16), desires and exercises the righteousness of God (2Cor5:17).

Isaiah 58:5
Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord?

Mk 1:14-15
14 Now after that John was put in prison, Jesus came into Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, 15 And saying, The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.

So to conclude, just as Christmas marks the birth of the Lord Jesus Christ and Resurrection Sunday marks the redemptive accomplishment of the Lord Jesus Christ for all God’s people. Baptism marks the individual made ready through repentance to believe in the saving Gospel. The Bible puts this across through some beautiful euphemism, where the Church, which is the body of believers, is being prepared by the Holy Spirit to receive her groom: the Lord Jesus Christ.

Rev 22
17 And the Spirit and the bride say, Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. And let him that is athirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely.

For as creation is given to glorify God, we see that just as a man is given to pour out his strength and labour for the woman he loves, who in turn is given to draw forth righteousness from him by her beauty, so too the Salvation of God’s Church is by the absolute merit of the Lord Jesus Christ (Rev5:9), who paid Salvation’s ransom for His Church in His blood (1Tim2:6) and sent the Holy Spirit (John15:26) to sanctify and beautify His Church as a bride into the image of God, which was lost in Adam’s fall (Rom5:17). That just as Salvation is by grace through faith, so too is the beauty of Jesus’ Church that her faith is a gift from God to draw forth the righteousness of her beloved groom to save her from her sins (Lk5:20).

A Little on, what is Christmas about!

Let us read some scripture to get a glimpse of what Jesus birth signifies:

Isaiah 7
14 Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign: The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and will call him Immanuel.

Mat1
20 But after he had considered this, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary home as your wife, because what is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit. 21 She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus, because he will save his people from their sins.”
22 All this took place to fulfill what the Lord had said through the prophet: 23 “The virgin will conceive and give birth to a son, and they will call him Immanuel” (which means “God with us”).

Phil2
6 Who, being in very nature God,
did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage;
7 rather, he made himself nothing
by taking the very nature of a servant,
being made in human likeness.
8 And being found in appearance as a man,
he humbled himself
by becoming obedient to death—
even death on a cross!
9 Therefore God exalted him to the highest place
and gave him the name that is above every name,
10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow,
in heaven and on earth and under the earth,
11 and every tongue acknowledge that Jesus Christ is Lord,
to the glory of God the Father.

Talk about a One Man Show! Jesus is the only man in History to every be born of a virgin. He is the Son of God (Ps2:7), who added to Himself the complete nature of man to be that spotless sacrifice that would appease the wrath God (Phil2:7-8), poured out on Him in full measure as a substitutionary sacrifice, for all of God’s people for all time (Is53:7-12). The virgin birth also answers apostate Islam, which asks where is there a wife for God to have a Son, as though God needed to have sex to have a son, when He Himself is the wellspring of all life. The Virgin Birth is also telling of Jesus being free from Original Sin, which was passed from Adam to all his posterity.

Rom5
17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!

To learn the significance of Jesus and His redemptive work in our lives, one must understand what is sin, which is prevalent among people to an extent that it is considered natural to sin and natural to want to sin. From Gen3:1-6 we learn what Adam received in His disobedience, a standard of righteousness that was separate from God. Today we see that in people who lay their own emphasis on what is right and wrong, which is drastically different from what God morally requires of people, in the Bible. This by itself reflects not merely peoples broken communion with God but also Satan’s deception that was passed from fallen Adam to all men.

Rom3
23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, 24 and all are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that came by Christ Jesus.

In this world therefore what prevailed from Adam was death, which fed off the lies of Satan concerning the nature a man requires to survive in this world (Rev12:9/Rev13:16-18). The antichrist, is a spirit that rules in these fallen sons of Adam, however among those who are God’s elect, with these Jesus has taken off the blindfolds, restoring their communion with God. Thus leaving Satan to consume only those whom he has deceived, enacting God’s good justice on his (Satan’s) own bastardised kin.

Lk17
37 “Where, Lord?” they asked.
He replied, “Where there is a dead body, there the vultures will gather.”

1Pet5
8 Be alert and of sober mind. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour.

1Jn5
18We know that no one who is born of God sins; but He who was born of God keeps him, and the evil one does not touch him. 19We know that we are of God, and that the whole world lies in the power of the evil one.

Celebrating Christmas therefore is celebrating the birth of a living spirit in a person from the Holy Spirit who gives life (Jn6:63/Heb4:12/2Tim3:16-20), making that individual a new creation in Christ. This new birth gives the individual or the household (if the individual is the head of the house) a desire to live righteously unto the glory of God.

Jn3
3 Jesus replied, “Very truly I tell you, no one can see the kingdom of God unless they are born again.

2Cor5
17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

This act of King Jesus Christ propitiating us sinners unto the righteousness of God (1Jn2:2), is the undoing counterfeit law which Adam received in his disobedience, which Christ remedies for all of God’s people.

Deut6
5 Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts.

8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates.

I don’t how many of you have seen the movie BenHur starring Charlton Heston. If you have noticed his house, it has the Law by the doorframe, which He kisses every time He enters or leaves his house. This is equivalent today of a house, which says at its door, Jesus is the Lord of this house!

John14
15 “If you love me, keep my commands.

As I share this Song with you that befits Christmas, I would like to conclude saying, Christmas celebrates God bringing us back to life in the Lord Jesus Christ, in whom we are given stewardship over this world (Gen1:28), picking up from where Adam failed to glorify God with his life.

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year 2016!

Christ Saving Power… tapped in every aspect of life, even marriage!

Genesis 3:16 (Part of the curse Adam and Eve bear for eating the deadly fruit)

Your desire will be for your husband,
and he will rule over you.”

The fruit Adam and Eve ate, was the fruit of knowledge of good and evil. Now that doesn’t seem too bad by itself but if you were to dig any deeper, you would learn that before Adam and Eve ate the fruit, their standard of good and evil was the same as God’s but by eating that particular fruit, Adam and Eve brought discord to what righteousness really is because from that point, they received their own perspective concerning what is right and wrong, separate from God and this sin they passed to all their posterity (Original Sin). For this reason all people naturally come from a self-righteous mind-set that reflects a broken communion with God.

If you were to analyse Gen3:16 in Hebrew, you would notice that the curse the woman bears from Original Sin, is that she has an inherent desire to sinfully control her husband, while the cursed husband bears also from Original Sin, the inclination to sinfully respond to her by being absolutely savage and ruling over the woman, so as to silence that sinful desire in the woman to control him.

This is noticed to greater extent in cultures such as Islam that resist the Gospel. However the cure is found in Christ. For in a Christ centred marriage, this unholy consuming fire of distraught that is unhealthy for any marriage; this fire is doused with the living waters that flows out of the believer who taps into the power of Christ.

Romans 5
6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. 7 Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous person, though for a good person someone might possibly dare to die. 8 But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.

17 For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God’s abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ!

1 Corinthians7
12 But to the rest I say, not the Lord, that if any brother has a wife who is an unbeliever, and she consents to live with him, he must not divorce her. 13 And a woman who has an unbelieving husband, and he consents to live with her, she must not send her husband away. 14 For the unbelieving husband is sanctified through his wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified through her believing husband; for otherwise your children are unclean, but now they are holy. 15 Yet if the unbelieving one leaves, let him leave; the brother or the sister is not under bondage in such cases, but God has called us to peace. 16 For how do you know, O wife, whether you will save your husband? Or how do you know, O husband, whether you will save your wife?

Theologically it is perceived that the burning bush Moses encountered, in which the Angel of the Lord appeared, a fire which did not consume the bush, was the Old Testament Jesus Christ. Also the Angel of the Lord which Jacob wrestled and lived, was also the Old Testament Jesus Christ. For as John1:18/1Tim2:5 says, He is as He ever was, the only eternal mediator between God and men, who sustains, that which would otherwise be destroyed by God’s holiness on account of sin. Adam was given stewardship over all the earth (Gen1:28), so when Adam fell, creation over which he was steward, turned corrupt with sin. So man from the fall, who was purposed to be a vegetarian began to eat meat for, in his spiritual death, he needed to consume another life to live. From here figuratively comes and individuals need to live of the body and blood of the Lord Jesus Christ (Jn6:51-56&15:1-6), which actually is an allusion to abiding in the life of Christ.

In the Old Testament the nature of Christ was symbolised by the bush burning and still not being consumed (Ex3:2) and from Jacob wrestling the Angel of the Lord and living to tell about it (Gen32:30) because by definition Israel, is one who strives against God and men, and prevails (by the power of Christ). Salvation therefore is God saving man from Himself because the holiness of His Majesty would destroy the sinner had it not been for Christ who saves people from their sins (Mt1:21).

1Corinthians 7
54 But when this [perishable will have put on the imperishable, and this mortal will have put on immortality, then will come about the saying that is written, “Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?” 56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law; 57 but thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

The same saving power of Christ is available in a marriage that is Christ centred as it neutralizes the inherent curse from both the man and woman. By this I do not mean that there is no love which lasts in non-Christian marriages because as Mt25:24 states, God gathers (His righteousness) where He did not even sow (from the perspective of (Jn3:3/Joel2:29) because Christ is Lord over all (Rom3:29/Phil2:9-11). In doing this God draws all creation to Himself reigning in His righteousness over all the world through His only begotten Son Jesus Christ.

To conclude, if you can’t figure where your marriage is going wrong, more than you would care to admit, the solution for your marriage would be that you be PUT RIGHT WITH GOD, which is only possible by the power of Jesus Christ (Jn3:16-17/Phil4:13).

One Baptism! (an attempt to explain the “Baptism of the Holy Spirit”, misrepresented by Charismatics)

I find myself in a very awkward position to write about this but thanks to the Charismatics who bear the name of Christ, I find the need to explain the so called Baptism of the Holy Spirit.

Mat 21
24 But Jesus answered and said to them, “I also will ask you one thing, which if you tell Me, I likewise will tell you by what authority I do these things:
25 The baptism of John — where was it from? From heaven or from men?” And they reasoned among themselves, saying, “If we say, ‘From heaven,’ He will say to us, ‘Why then did you not believe him?’
26 But if we say, ‘From men,’ we fear the multitude, for all count John as a prophet.”
27 So they answered Jesus and said, “We do not know.” And He said to them, “Neither will I tell you by what authority I do these things

Eph 4
4 There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling;
5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism;
6 one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all.

Mat 3
11 I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance, but He who is coming after me is mightier than I, whose sandals I am not worthy to carry. He will baptize you with the Holy Spirit and fire.

Acts 11
15 “And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as He did upon us at the beginning.
16 “And I remembered the word of the Lord, how He used to say, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’
17 “Therefore if God gave to them the same gift as He gave to us also after believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?”
18 When they heard this, they quieted down and glorified God, saying, “Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.”

Apparently one of Apostasies trademarks since Adam, is de-establishing (Gen 3:1-4)what God has set as truth. The Church historically has held to “One Baptism” and even mentions it in the Nicene Creed, which is the Catholic Statement since about 325AD.

I have learned through my fortunate stay with an apostate charismatic body that the Baptism of the Holy Spirit is given according to the will of men. In most cases, when their Pastors lay hands on an individual, that person, who is prompted then (today [… not relevant because the Word of God is complete, given us in the Bible that we may not seek further revelation outside scripture 2Pet 3:11-12/Rev 22:18-19]) to speak gibberish (they call it tongues) is said to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit. These hypocrites may caution such statements of mine as blaspheming the Spirit but I certainly am not doing that but it is they who blaspheme God the Holy Spirit (Mark 3:29). For theirs is a religion devoid of accountability unto the Moral Law (Mat 5:17-20 & 22:37-40) from a baptism devoid of repentance (2Pet 2:17-24) to aid magnifying not God but their own worth (Luke 14:11) via instruments such as the prosperity Gospel.

Rom 10
8 But what does it say? “The word is near you, in your mouth and in your heart”–that is, the word of faith which we are preaching,
9 that if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;
10 for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

You see, when an individual/family/society experiences “Romans 10:8-10” as an absolute reality in the context of “1Cor 12:3” is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit (Acts 11:15-18). You see the baptism of John was only to prepare the heart/s to receive Christ (Luke 1:17)… make straight the way for Jesus Christ the Lord to be received as Savior (Mark 1:3).

John 3
3 Jesus answered and said to him, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God.”

16 “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.

You see, in the Son of God (who is absolutely God) taking upon Himself the complete nature of man but without sin, He is foreordained as the firstborn of us brethren (Rom 8:28). Being not creation but the creator Himself (Col 1:16) with the Father & the Holy Spirit, He is the First to be raised from the dead and the first to receive the Holy Spirit in Baptism (Mat 3:16-17). A Leader who teaches us to follow only by example; His Salvation (Jn 5:21-23) is His, to give to whom He so chooses (Jn 15:16) for He is Good Lord and Good Shepherd.

John 6
44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.

Heb 12
6 For those whom the Lord loves He disciplines, And He scourges every son whom He receives.”
7 It is for discipline that you endure; God deals with you as with sons; for what son is there whom his father does not discipline?
8 But if you are without discipline, of which all have become partakers, then you are illegitimate children and not sons.

Looking at Jn 6:44 & Heb 12:6-8 in the context of Jn 12:24-26, we understand that “one baptism” is given as a sacrament signifying the undoing to Original Sin, where Adam received (Gen 2:16-17) and passed to all his posterity a nature of righteousness governed by self and not God (Rom 5:14-15/1Cor 10:16-17). The charismatic idea Spirit baptism by laying hands on people who already are given by God to believe in Jesus can be likened to the Pope canonizing Christians unto Sainthood (1Cor 1:2-3).

Exodus 31 (in the context of Heb 2:8-18)
13 “But as for you, speak to the sons of Israel, saying, ‘You shall surely observe My sabbaths; for this is a sign between Me and you throughout your generations, that you may know that I am the LORD who sanctifies you.

To conclude, Sanctification is of the Lord (Jonah 2:9) unto His elect, transforming His Church into the likeness of His beloved Son Jesus Christ, unto Salvation (Phil 1:29). Baptism thereby Indicates: salvation is impossible for men & women by themselves but possible only by God (Mark 10:26-27). How or why, then would the righteous suffer in this fallen world but such is the furnace experience where we are sanctified (kept in the furnace) not beyond what we can endure (1Cor 10:13). No harm but only blessing befalls from Christ who cleanses us through our trials in which He is absolutely present (Dan 3:25) upholding us by His absolute might (Phil 4:13).

%d bloggers like this: