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Saturday, 20 January 2018

His Work In The Rest

"For we who have believed do enter that rest,... For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His." (Heb 4:3, 10).
"Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling;" (Phi 2:12).

I have discovered that the way of working in Christ is resting. The principles you find in Christ is very much different from that in the world. Yes, work is rest and inability to understand the connection between this two has caused us to misinterpret the bible. Many are finding it difficult to reconcile Paul's and James teaching about faith. You see, all over his letter Paul kept saying, "by faith and not by works". But James on the other hand teaches that faith without works is dead (James 2:26). Yeah, these two teachings may seem contradicting but they are in perfect harmony. Yes, faith is without works because faith is rest but at the same time faith is works.

To have faith means to rest (rely) in God; you quit relying on your efforts, you stop doing things by your own power and you just rest on God. You quit your works to rest but as you rest you would find yourself in another kind of work — this time, not your works but God working through you. This is similar to what Paul wrote in his latter to the Galatians;

"My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me." (Gal 2:20)

'It is not I living but Christ living through me', sounds the same as, 'It is not I working but God working through me'. All this while you have been living your life, doing things by yourself, relying on your sufficiency. But when you came into Christ you died; you can no longer live, you are dead to everything, dead to your works. Christians continue to fall into the assumption that we are only dead to sin, we do not realize the scope and the all-inclusiveness of the cross. The cross put everything to death — yes, it puts sin to death but it goes beyond that. When you died in Christ you died to everything; you died to your wisdom, you died to your skills, your sufficiency, your abilities, your talents, your way of doing things — yes, you died to your works, you died to everything about you.

You did not get saved from sin so that you can try not to sin anymore. That's not how it works, that's is an abridged version of Christianity, a very limited and incomplete Christianity. You got saved from your life so that you can start living His life. You got saved so that you can stop living, "no longer I who lives" that is the cry of a saved man. Salvation put an end to you; it puts an end to every of your works but the bad ones (sin) and the good ones. No matter how good your intentions may be, if you try to do anything by your own effort it is condemned in Christ. If you try to please God by your effort it is bad; if you try to be righteous by your effort it is bad; if you try to do the work of God by you effort it is bad; if you try to save the world by you effort it is bad; if you try to win a soul to Christ by your effort it is definitely bad. You were saved not to live but to die. It is only when you die that you can begin to learn to live by His life. What I'm saying is that your works must died in other for His works to begin.

The truth is that we are called to enjoy the rest (Sabbath) of God. We are called into a divine romance with divinity. We rest in order to allow Christ work through us. Man has failed, we are incapable of meeting God demands and we are not qualify to work for God. Therefore we are not to work, God doesn't want us to work, for our works are dirty and unholy. We are to rest, trust in Him completely and watch Him work through us.

Many a time, when God calls somebody and give them a ministry, they take that ministry from God's hands and continue to do it by their own sufficiency. They feel that God has given them a work and it is now left for them

Extracted from my upcoming book, "The Sabbath".

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Thursday, 18 January 2018

The God Who Loves To Show-off

"I tell you the truth, anyone who believes in me will do the same works I have done, and even greater works, because I am going to be with the Father." (John 14:12).

We are sons of a greater God, we should have greater deeds. The story of our lives should surpass those of the gods of Greek mythologies or any other myths. This is exactly what Jesus meant when he said we are to do greater works. We are to shake the whole earth, we are little gods on earth. We are begotten of the Almighty. People think God is too humble; He doesn't like to show off. That's not true, looking at the Old Testament you would see a God who hardens Pharaoh's heart just so He can have enough opportunity to show how might and terrible He is. There is a dry land, a road from Egypt to Canaan. But no, God had to bring the Israelite to Canaan through the red sea. Of course He wants to show off by splitting the red sea and causing the Israelite to walk on a dry ground right at the bottom of a sea.

There is no argument about it, God love to show off and He wants to do it through His Children. He desire to show off through you and I. He wants to reveal to the world the riches of His power and His love. He wants to show how great and mighty He is and that is why He puts millions and millions of His sons here on earth. The sons of God walk on earth to display the greatness of the Almighty. They are to cause the world to be stricken with awe at the sight of the greatness of God as revealed through them. Millions of people now carry the life of the Almighty inside of them. The whole earth ought to be shaking by now. We are meant to break the barriers of impossibility and bring the reality of heaven on earth.

Christ is no longer one man; he is now a whole body of millions of people. While on earth Jesus was limited because he had only one body. He was just one man, yet he shocks the whole of Israel. This Jesus has now expanded, for the same life that he carries millions of people now has it. The body of Christ is all over the earth. We should be hearing news of incredible deeds. The Jews testified that the early Christians were turning the world upside down. That is how great the life of Christ is, we have limited ourselves for to long, we have limited the life of Christ. We have grown too afraid of expressing the fullness that is in us. It is time we stop holding back, for all of creation eagerly await the manifestation of the sons.

Extracted from the book, "Apprehended By The Life"

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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 sinned or not God had set out to execute this plan. Whether the devil deceived Eve or not God would have still sent 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. Yes, Christ must fill all in all.

"He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things." (Eph4:10)

The Bible is saying, reason why Jesus came, died and resurrection is so he could fill all things with himself. All things must be filled with Life, this is a plan God conceived before the world began, this is his eternal pursuit. It is the very gospel that is to be preach. The gospel didn't stop at being born again, no, all things must be filled with Life; all things must be filled with God. God must become all in all.

To learn more about the eternal pursuit of God follow these links:
That Christ Might be All In All
Christ Is The Sum And Harmony Of All Things
Christ Must Reign
That Christ Might Have Preeminent Over All
God's Eternal Purpose

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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 theeown 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 their 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's 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 things 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.