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Saturday, 13 January 2018

The Gospel And God's Eternal Mission

Before the creation of the earth there was Life (eternal life, for it existed in eternity) and death. God is the Father of Life while the devil is a steward of death. Just as a man carving a statue of himself God created natural life (the earth) to be a type, a picture or rather a statue of the Life. As such there was the Life and there was also the statue of the life; both exist simultaneously. God's eternal plan is to merge the two together. The Life came and merged with flesh; he became a man and that man's name is Jesus.

Life and its statue became one in the man Jesus. But God's plan was not just to merge Life with a man but to merge Life with the whole earth. This is why Jesus said he came to give life and to give it abundantly (John 10:10). The Bible also said Jesus came to reconcile all things to God (Col 1:20). Life must fill the whole creation for the two to be completely merged together. Jesus came to fulfill that mission but he planed to do it in steps. First he would create a body for himself by filling a group of people with Life. After he had gotten this body he would then fill the whole earth with Life through this body.

"The church is Christ's body, the  fullness of Him who fills all in all." (Eph 1:23).

Notice I didn't mention the fall at all. This is because this plan has nothing to do with the fall. Whether man sin or not God had set out to execute this plan. Whether the devil deceived Eve or not God would have still send Jesus to come and give eternal life.

"He indeed was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you" (1Pet 1:20).
"[Resting] in the hope of eternal life, which the ever truthful God Who cannot deceive promised before the world began." (Titus 1:2).

Hence, the gospel is not all about, 'man sinned and God had to send Jesus'. "Now to Him who is able to establish  you according to my gospel and the  preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the  revelation of the mystery kept secret since  the world began" (Rom 16:25). Paul is saying, the Gospel he preached is the eternal mission. To Paul the gospel is not just, 'man sinned and God had to do something'. Instead the Gospel Paul preached was, 'God conceived a plan before the foundation of the world and set up to fulfill this plan through Jesus and his body' (read Eph 3:7-11). The Gospel is not limited to, 'God has saved us from sin and now we can make heaven'. It is not about making heaven, it is about filling all things with Life — Christ is this Life.

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Friday, 12 January 2018

The Descending Of His Ascendency

"(Now this, “He ascended”—what does it mean but that He also first descended into the lower parts of the earth? He who descended is also the One who ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.)" (Eph 4:9-10).

In Christ you will discover that the way up is down, the more you descend is the more you ascend. Christ descended to the lowest part and that is why he ascended above all things. He now has the greatest honour because he had bore the greatest shame. The lower you descend is the higher you ascend. This is a principle, a law that govern all in Christ.

"For the flesh lusts against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish." (Gal 5:17).

Paul comparing the flesh and the Spirit said the two are always against each other. Therefore when the flesh descend the Spirit ascend and when the flesh ascend the Spirit descend. Just as Christ ascended above the heaven's he also wants to ascend in you. Christ have come to live in you but he must also ascend in you. But in order for that to happen you need to descend before Christ can ascend. John the Baptist said "He must increase, but I [must] decrease." (John 3:30). This should be the cry of every Christian.

Yes he must increase, he must ascend while we descend. When Christ ascended he sat at the throne of glory, so also when Christ ascend in us we would experience glory of his throne; God's glory shall come upon us in ways we never thought was possible. The way to glory is descending, decreasing, being humbled, being brought to nothing just so that Christ might increase and this is the principle in Christ. Do you desire glory? Then come down, come down to the lowest place, come and decrease, for the more you decrease the more his glory increases in you.

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The Evangelion

For too long I have been restrained, made to wait till this very moment. But at last, the fullness of time came and I was unleashed. With a long boiling rage and with a consuming passion I descended into the world of man, penetrating the raging battle between light and darkness. That battle that seem unending, that very battle that has worn out all of man's resources, leaving man utterly helpless. I have intervened, sweeping in with all the love in my heart to rescue man. I have come face to face with the enemy, the tyrant king of this wicked world. And with one mighty strike, I brought him down, breaking his hold over man and stripped him of his power.

That dreaded dictator, now lies helpless on the floor, he has been brought to nothing. The devil is no longer the king of the world. A new ruler has emerged, I the anointed of God, the rightful heir to the throne has revealed myself. I have displaced the false king and I have mounted the throne promised to me by my Father. Behold, I'm enthroned king of all creation; all authority in heaven and on earth has been given onto me. You who had witnessed this event; you who have watched me struck down the devil, you who had beheld satan fallen as lightning from the heavens  (from his reign), go and announce this, tell it to all. Tell them how you witnessed me gloriously enthroned as King of all of creation. Make them know the final outcome of the battle between light and darkness. For darkness has lost and wickedness has failed; the devil is no longer king of the world. Truth and justice now triumph. Declare, that God's anointed now sits on the throne — Jesus is the new Lord!

Declare it everywhere, let all of creation know. Go! Go now, ride on horses back, take with you the testimony (the proof of my authority). Yes, go into the streets, into the heart of every city, declare that Christ is on the throne, declare the glory of my victory and the majesty of my enthronement. That all might be struck with awe, falling on their knees at the sighting of the greatness of my reign.

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Tuesday, 9 January 2018

What Did They See?

Let go back to the very beginning of Christianity. Look at that small group of people faced with annihilation; the most powerful empire threatening to put an end to them. Even there own people, fellow Jews, despised them and want to put them to death. Yet we see that community striving until the most hunted religion in the Roman empire becomes the most famous religion.

Let go back to the very beginning of Christianity. Look at that small group of people faced with annihilation; the most powerful empire threatening to put an end to them. Even there own people, fellow Jews, despised them and wanted to put them to death. Yet we see that community striving until the most hunted religion in the Roman empire becomes the most famous religion.

Soon everybody wanted to be associated with Christianity, they forgot how it started, how many gave their lives for it. But what did the early Christians saw that drove them so mad? What made them so bold that they could stand even before the face of danger and look at death in the eyes? What pushed them to stress beyond their limits and do the impossible? They saw God anointed one, the Christ, resurrecting in glory and sitting at the right hand of power. All battles have been won, all the upheaval since before the beginning of the world has been put to silence. Such a sight that silenced every of their fears and flood their hearts with overwhelming peace.

They saw that indeed it is finished; there's nothing left to be done. He has ended all battles, calmed all storms, solved all problems, satisfied all desires, accomplished all plans and fulfilled all destiny. Such a sight that causes one to crash into rest; you suddenly feel all works snatched away from you, leaving you with nothing. All thing have been accomplished, the very purpose of life has been fulfilled and now nothing else matters. Life itself doesn't matter; it doesn't matter whether you live or die anymore. It's like you're running a race and then you suddenly cross the finish line, and then it doesn't matter if you keep running, or not. The very purpose of the race has been accomplished, it is finished.

They saw this and all of a sudden they could not fear death anymore neither could they hold on to life. Life and death no longer matters, their personal desires no longer matters. Their identity, their rights, their ambitious, their comfort and everything faded away, for it has all ended — indeed it is finished. Christ has accomplished it all, with a single act on the cross he ended all things and left his disciples dumbfounded.

Look at them, so overwhelmed with awe that they can't stop talking about what they saw — what they saw Christ do. Their whole lives became focused on only one thing, that this awestrucking act of Christ be declare that all might see and suffer the same effects that came upon them. For non could see what they saw and not end up responding the way they did. Oh, the sight of this act of Christ would sweep you off your feet and cause you to lose your mind like they did. If only we could see what they saw, if only Christ is unveiled to us in such a way, oh what a move it will be.

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Monday, 8 January 2018

Understanding The Concept Of Carnality

We would be looking at how the concept 'Carnal' is defined by Christians over time. What we call carnal today has been affected by the thoughts and ideologies passed down to us over the history of the Church. To the Jews the world is divided into two; that which is of God and that which is not of God. They look at everything based on that spectrum. The people of the world in the world view of the Jews is divided into the people of God (the Jews) and the people who are not of God (the Gentile). Hence, when it comes to defining the concept 'Carnal' the Jews would say, Carnal is that which is not of God.

However, Christianity was born and it came into the hands of the gentile. The gentile (specifically the Greeks) also has a world view, they see the world has divided into two: the divine and the natural. The word, natural is where the word, Carnal came from. To the Greek, anything that is natural is carnal and sinful, only that is divine is truly holy. This ideology was brought into Christianity the moment Christianity opened it door to the gentiles. As Christianity fell deeper and deeper into the hands of the gentile there emerge the monks. The emergence of the monks in the early stages of Christianity was as a result of the full development of the Greek concept of carnality.

The early Christians began to think that anything that is natural is carnal and therefore sinful. This thought developed and lead many to believe that if they want to be truly holy they must abstain from things pertaining to the natural. They tried to abstain from food, from cloth, from houses, from any sought of possession and even from other human beings. They live in the caves far away from the human society, wearing sack clothes and hardly ever eat. They believe the further they stray away from natural things the more holier they become. Hence, spirituality and holiness is defined as abstaining from natural things. Till today, this kind of thinking still affects what we call carnal, we continue to believe that abstaining from natural things is what holiness is. One may ask, what is wrong with that 😕?

Now if we should look at how the Jews and the first Christians define carnality we would understand how this wrong ideology has deprived us from experiencing true Christianity. The first Christians were Jews and basically all those that wrote the New Testament were also Jews. This means that the ideology that the authors of the New Testament have is quite different from ours making it difficult for us to understand the message they are trying to pass to us through the books of the New Testament. You see, the Jews does not believe that everything natural is carnal (sinful), rather they believe that everything that is not of God is carnal. Yes, something may be as natural as nature can get but yet spiritual and holy. For example gold, silver and all kinds of rich can be spiritual and holy as long as it is onto God. In tithing the Jews go before God in His temple and feast; they eat to their fullest, drink even strong drinks and celebrate together, yet they call this a worship onto God (Deu 12:17-18). To them, this kind of display is an holy act, a spiritual thing. Yes, it involves lots of food and yes it involves lots of drinks and dancing and fun but it is spiritual and holy. Let me quote a verse where God was instructing the Israelite on how they should tithe.

"If the place of worship is too far from your home for you to carry there the tithe of the produce that the Lord has blessed you with, then do this: Sell your produce and take the money with you to the one place of worship. Spend it on whatever you want—beef, lamb, wine, beer—and there, in the presence of the Lord your God, you and your families are to eat and enjoy yourselves." (Deu 14:24-26).

Most Christians would swear that verses like this are not in the Bible. And if you are beginning to think that the person writing this is definitely not a true Christian then check yourself, you have a true Christian then check yourself, you have adopted a pagan greek ideology and you call it Christianity. Yes, the Jews feasted and drank alcoholic drinks and called it worship onto God. In fact it was God that ordered them to do it and it was a holy and spiritual thing. Do not misunderstand me, I'm not saying Christians should do these things today, it was in the Old Testament, it is the Law and we are to do away with the Law. The point I'm trying to make here is that these natural display was not perceived as carnal to the Jews. As long as it is of God it is holy and spiritual.

What if we Christians come to define holiness that same way. If only we define holiness as that which is God we would focus on getting closer to God rather than abstaining from natural or material things. We would have a God focused mindset, we would be pursuing God rather than pursuing an unmaterialistic life. There is a huge different between being godly and being unmaterialistic. There are people that are unmaterialistic but yet very ungodly. They abstain from material things yet have no trace of God in their nature. To not be carnal is not being unmaterialistic. You can be reading the bible, fasting always, be a prayer warrior, live in the church, abstain from material things and yet be carnal. As long as you are not growing in God you are carnal. Carnality is hence defined based on our relationship with God.

Look at Christianity today, all that emphasis on what and what you should abstain from; don't eat (fast), don't drink, don't party, don't wear certain clothe, don't wear jewelries, fashion is of the devil, don't be too rich, money is of the devil, don't use TV or phones, technology is the new witchcraft etc. We engage in hair splitting arguments over things that doesn't even matter. We try to be spiritual but end up focusing too much on earthly things.

When you are trying so hard not to sin you would realize that you have been focusing too much on sin. You would find yourself thinking always of sin, you would become so sin conscious that you would begin to lose sight of the savior. So also when you are trying so hard to abstain from material things you would always be thinking of material things, you would become earthly minded, always thinking of carnal things. You would end up deprived of the spirituality that you desire. Why not try another approach, let's focus on God. Let's focus on getting closer to God rather than becoming so obsessed with trying not to be materialistic. When we learn to define carnality as that which is not God we would learn to pursue God rather than pursue unmaterialism.

Sunday, 31 December 2017

The Purpose Of The Law Of The Old Testament

Covenant is another word for testament. The works of the Mosaic covenant was to lead us to the grace of the New Covenant. Paul tried to explain this in his letters.

"But then Law came in, [only] to expand and increase the trespass [making it more apparent and exciting opposition]..." (Romans 5:20).
"What then was the purpose of the Law? It was added [later on, after the promise, to disclose and expose to men their guilt] because of transgressions and [to make men more conscious of the sinfulness] of sin; and it was intended to be in effect until the Seed (the Descendant, the Heir) should come, to and concerning Whom the promise had been made... But the Scriptures [picture all mankind as sinners] shut up and imprisoned by sin, so that [the inheritance, blessing] which was promised through faith in Jesus Christ (the Messiah) might be given (released, delivered, and committed) to [all] those who believe [who adhere to and trust in and rely on Him]. Now before the faith came, we were perpetually guarded under the Law, kept in custody in preparation for the faith that was destined to be revealed (unveiled, disclosed), So that the Law served [to us Jews] as our trainer [our guardian, our guide to Christ, to lead us] until Christ [came], that we might be justified (declared righteous, put in right standing with God) by and through faith" (Galatians 3:19, 22-24).

The works of the Mosaic Covenant was meant to be a guide that leads into grace. Grace is something so precious to God, something that He places so much value and as a result He has to go through a lot of preparation - making the ground ready for the advent of grace. Man had always been filled with pride; we exalt ourselves and think we are something more than what we really are. We think we can do anything, we think we have what it takes. God introduce works in order to prove to man that we are weak and we are desperately in need of His grace. God's grace is only revealed to the weak and we need to get to the point of weakness so that we can enjoy the reign of grace.

God asked man to meet an impossible standard in order to crush his pride. By the time we've tried and tried to obey the law and we keep failing then we would have to surrender and say "I can do nothing of my own, I don't have what it takes, and I'm a total failure." Only when we come to this point can we truly embrace grace. In the book of Romans chapter seven Paul explained that before he knew the law he was never conscious of sin. But when he knew of the law he realizes he had been committing sin and he needs to stop. And when he tried to stop sinning he realizes he had been a slave of sin and he couldn't break free on his own. This made him to cry, "O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?" (Rom. 7:24).

He had been a slave to sin all his life but he never knew because he had never resisted the reign of his slave master. He had always done whatever the slave master asks him to do so he never knew he doesn't have a will of his own. All his life his will had always been the will of the slave master as a result he was never conscious the hold of the slave master. Like a scholar once explained; you would never realize the power the something has over you until you try to swim against it's current. The moment Paul's will turn against the will of his slave master he realize he was a slave. He realize he hadn't been doing whatever he likes, instead he had been doing what his slave master likes. Suddenly he realizes there had been something in him controlling him and he could not resist it.

      When we are flowing with the current we would never know how strong the current is but the moment we try to swim against the current we would encounter the strength of the current. It would be our strength against it strength and the strongest shall prevail. If the current is stronger it would take hold of us and we would suddenly realize our weakness. By trying to resist the slave master we would encounter the power of his hold on us and when we cannot overcome this power we would realize that we have been a slave all this while.

Only slaves need deliverance, only the sick need healing. If a sick person doesn't know of his condition he would need accept the treatment for his sickness. We must be awakened to our sinful condition before we can accept the liberation of grace. Until our eyes are open to our servitude we would never realize our need for salvation. When Paul saw his servitude he cried, "O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? Paul cried for deliverance and the next statement that follow was, "I thank Godthrough Jesus Christ our Lord!" He became thankful for he had now realized the value of God's grace. He saw indeed how precious is the grace of God and how he would suffer without it. This was the purpose of the law, it was meant to diagnose our sinful condition so that we can accept the treatment and liberation of God's grace. Hence the law leads us to grace.

Extract from the book, The New Covenant

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Tuesday, 26 December 2017

A New Specie Has Emerge

There have been a growing consciousness and an awareness of the weakness of this human species. Look at Hollywood, what do you see? Stories about alien aviation (alien of a superior species and intelligence); the evolution of a higher species (men with super powers); the emergence of an uncontrollable disaster or epidemic; the procession to self-destruction; the failure of the human species; the inability of the human race to save themselves etc. It is an undeniable fact that man is suffering from the fear of his weakness and his unavoidable trip to self-destruction.

Yes, we have come a long way in science, we have all this knowledge and inventions and as a result we take pride in our achievement and exalt ourselves. But beneath our pride and self-exaltation lies the fear of the weakness of our mortality. We fear that we are weak, and we hate this weakness. Oh! How we try to cover up our weakness; we try to dress it up, make it look good and even admirable. But it is ugly and the truth is that we are so ashamed of it.

Out of dread and driven by this fear we crave for control and power — it is only the weak that crave for power. We struggle to have a sense of control, we suffer from the overwhelming feeling of insecure and this ugly feeling tortures us. Like a slave struggling for a thirst of freedom, we pursue control and power. And we chase knowledge all for the sake of getting some kind of power and control. They say, 'knowledge is power' and we pursue this power like wild animals hunting for a prey. But no matter the amount of knowledge we get we still find ourselves void of power and control. We are helpless in the face of death — we can't stop ourselves from dying, we have no control over death. There are so many things we can't control, for we are just too weak.

We try so hard to fight it, to overcome our weaknesses and to have no fear. But being brave won't change anything. We try to be better, to be the best we can be. But we keep failing at everything; we can't exercise control over ourselves, can't control our actions, we are slave to our emotions, our desires, our surrounding circumstances. We can't help ourselves, we look up, and we see that destructive-end staring at us and welcoming us into his arms. We have a tendency to self-destruct and it's scary. We know that all our activities and our actions would only lead to the destruction of ourselves, the destruction of our world, the people around us and even the destruction of the earth. But we can't stop ourselves, we are like a time bomb set to blow up at a point in time. We know we have to change this path of self-destruction and be a better person, but we can't because we are just too weak. So we look for a way to strengthen our volition and take back control.

We turn to the power of motivation and all kind of soulish manipulation for help. We read and write motivational books, listen to and make motivational speeches, study and employ soul manipulative methods but it is not taking us far enough. Nothing we do ever works, there is something wrong with our species. We are on the course of self-destruction and there is nothing we can do about it. We can't stop ourselves, we are being led like sheep to the slaughter. We have come to the awful realization that our species is destined to self-destruct.

Lift up your head, for there is hope! God has created a new species, a better species that is able to have more control over himself. A species that is capable of avoiding the path of self-destruction, a species that is destined for glory instead.

"The first man was of the earth, made of dust; the second Man is the Lord from heaven." (1Cor 15:47)
A second Man had come from heaven, a new Man, a Man of a different species and this new Man is Jesus Christ. He is of a far better and glorious species, for he is the glory of God.
"He [the new species] is the sole expression of the glory of God [the Light-being, the out-raying or radiance of the divine], and He is the perfect imprint and very image of [God's] nature," (Heb 1:3a)
Christ has the power of turning others into his kind. Yes, he could make an old species transform into a new species. And he is doing it already, all those who submit to him and ask for a regeneration are being transformed into a new specie. This regeneration could only occur through the rebirth i.e being born again.

The old species would die because that is it destiny but the new species would live for eternity. Do you want to continue being that old, weak and self-destructive species? Or do you want to be reborn into a new, glorious and eternal species? It all left for you to choose. But for as many that choose the new species the Lord has promise, and he had already started "bringing many sons to glory" (Heb 2:10). So choose wisely.

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