Word In Season - from Sunday's Sermon
The Perfect Storm Part 2 PDF Print E-mail
Prophet Elijah could not withstand the religious persecution that came after 450 prophets of Baal were sent to their untimely death on Mount Carmel. Queen Jezebel, the high priestess of Baal vowed to take the life of Elijah. The faith with which he called down fire from heaven on Mt. Carmel was not enough this time. He could not help but run for his life. Read I Kg. 19.

But God was not done with Elijah. God still had a purpose for his life. God fed him and strenghtened him for the journey ahead. Elijah fasted and prayed forty days and nights on his way to meet God at Mt. Horeb. By the time he got to Mt. Horeb, he was a different person. He was ready to face the perfect storm as God tested his faith. That is the power in fasting and prayer.

Hurricane Sandy and the subsequent weather that followed, heraled a perfect storm on the east coast of the US similar to the one with which God prepared to test Elijah, for the storms of life try our faith. The elements of a perfect storm are as follows:

1). great and strong wind. If it is a coastal storm like Sandy, it will bring huge amounts of sand and high waves of water into the land. Perfect storms are usually huge and powerful. Moses went through a sandy storm in the wilderness as God put him through the storm to strengthen him and increase his faith for the pending unimaginable assignment concerning the deliverance of the children of Israel from slavery in Egypt.

2). earthquake. With Sandy came a reasonably strong earthquake somewhere in the middle of the country.

3). fire. 111 houses were burnt at Breezy point in Long Island. The three Hebrews shadrack, Meshack and Abednego, met their storm of fire in king Nebukadnezzer's fiery pit. Instead of damping their faith, this incident caused an explosion in their faith. The result was that the fire had no effect on them even as they moved about in the midst of it. The king was forced to bow to the God of Israel.

4). at the end of the Sandy, our covenant keeping God who made a covenant with Noah after the flood, made the rainbow to appear in the sky, as the sign of that covenant. A perfect storm is a sign of the coming of Jesus Christ and the end of the world.

5). the timing is perfect. Sandy's timing was perfect coinciding with the high tide and full moon. It was not a coincidence that Sandy struck at the time of the US presidential election. God has a way of intervening in the affairs of men, "For there is no power but of God; the powers that be are ordained of God" Rom. 13:1b.

6). Apart from using the perfect storm to increase the faith of His servants, God gives them their next assignment and points them in the direction of God's purposes for their lives. For Elijah, God gave him three assignments with purpose:

a). "anoint Hazael to be king over Syria". Syria was a different country from Israel. And yet God gave Elijah power to cross border and anoint a king in another country. What power?! What authority?! Benhadad king of Syria was still alive when God anointed Hazael. Hazael killed Benhadad and became the king of Syria. He did great evil against the children of Israel (II Kg. 8:7-15).

b). "And Jehu the son of Nimshi shalt thou anoint to be king over Israel". It was Jehu many years later who God used to wipe out the house of king Ahab and Queen Jezebel. He killed king Jehoram the son of Ahab, and the 30 sons of Ahab. He made the servants to throw down Jezebel from the top of the tower. Where the body of Jezebel fell, the dogs came and licked her blood and ate her flesh according to the prophesy of Elijah (I Kg. 21:19&23). Elijah was avenged.

c)."And Elisha the son of Shaphat of Abelmeholah shalt thou anoint to be prophet in thy room. And it shall come to pass, that him that escapes the sword of Hazael shall Jehu slay; and him that escapes the sword of Jehu shall Elisha slay". God was about to take Elijah to heaven in a chariot of fire and raise another prophet in the land after Elijah with a double portion of the spirit of Elijah (II Kg. 2:9-11). If you walk with God the same way Elijah did, you will know the time of your end. Numerous men of God do not have a successor when they die.

God wants to speak to you and me from above the noise of the storm like He spoke to Elijah. Is your faith strong enough to hear His still small voice? Are you ready to receive strength for the journey? Do you fast and pray in faith and meditate in the word to increase your faith? Do you have faith as a grain of mustard seed that can move mountains and do the impossible? Matt. 17:20-21.

God wants to change the direction of our lives. He has an assignment for every believer pointing us to our divine destiny and the purpose of our existence here on earth. What doest thou here,Elijah? God is asking you, what doest thou here, My child? You are not alone on this journey - Jesus Christ is with you. You are not alone in this storm - Jesus Christ is in your boat. He will never leave you, neither will He forsake you (Heb.13:5).

Move forward in faith. Go in peace and prosper in Jesus name. Amen.

Pastor David Oni
 
The Perfect Storm Part 1 PDF Print E-mail

Hurricane Sandy was the perfect physical coastal storm. It was the kind of storm that you hope you will never have to experience in a lifetime. This one had the perfect timing for high tide and full moon. It was destructive for the Jersey shore and seaside communities of New York City. It was devastating for power, gas, water and sewage utilities. Sandy seemed specifically destined for the "sandy" beaches of New York and New Jersey.

For a ferocious storm such as Sandy, the number of lives lost so far is insignificant compared to other major hurricanes, thanks to good weather forecast and early warning. Of course, any life lost is always highly regrettable, particularly by God who created life. But physical storm Sandy succeeded in changing the face of Jersey shore and the lives of many forever.

But more importantly is the spiritual significance of Sandy; which is the other side of the coin making up the spiritual and physical manifestation of the whole creation (Ps. 19:1). This storm is a sign for the second coming of Jesus Christ and the end of the world! (Matt. 24:3-8). It is destined to change the spiritual balance of this area in particular and of the country in general. The events that will follow will surely declare the glory of God.

To recount, storms come in physical and spiritual forms. There was a man in the Bible who was familiar with all manner of storms. He was a prophet of God in Israel. God used him so mightily that no preaching on Biblical miracles is complete without Prophet Elijah. His prophetic and healing ministry was unprecedented so much so that his successor Elisha asked for a double portion of his master's anointing. His walk so pleased God that God took him alive to heaven in a chariot of fire (II Kg. 2:11).

He was one of only three persons including Enoch and Jesus Christ who were taken up to heaven alive (Gen.5:24, Acts 1:9).   Before he was taken to heaven, Elijah went through many physical and spiritual storms. The Bible tells many interesting stories about the life of Elijah from the book of I Kg. 17 - II Kg. 2. Let us try to summarize as follows:

1). As a prophet of God, he had a word from God, which he prophesized to king Ahab and the people of Israel. God told him to tell the people that there will be no dew or rain in the land for three and a half years (I Kg. 17:1,James 5:17). This was a perfect storm, because no dew, no rain, means absolute, total and completely devastating drought. For this, Ahab planned to kill him, but God hid him (I Kg. 17:2-3).

2). There was a spiritual war on mount Carmel, between Elijah the servant of God, and 450 prophets of Baal; the likes of which was not seen before then and not until the temptation of Jesus by Satan in the wilderness (I Kg. 18, Matt.4:1-11). On that day on mount Carmel, God took an absolute, total, and perfect victory over His enemies. The four hundred and fifty prophets of Baal who took part in that contest were killed (I Kg. 18:40).

3). In retaliation, we are told that Jezebel the prophetess of Baal and queen of Israel tried to intimidate the sons of the prophets who were with Elijah causing them to bow to Baal (so Elijah thought). She also threatened to kill Elijah with the sword (I Kg.19:2). Amazingly, Elijah the servant of God fled for his life (v.3).

At this juncture, God sets up His prophet for yet another storm. But in each situation we are told God hid Elijah from danger, fed him, protected him, and gave him favor with the widow of Zarapheth. In each case he was a survivor and a victor. He was never a victim.

On this journey, Jesus Christ will be in the storm with you. He will never leave you, nor forsake you. He will speak peace and stillness to your storm. I pray that all those who have been troubled by Sandy, will receive the mark of Jesus today and will no longer fear when the storm come, in Jesus name. Amen.

Pastor David Oni
 
Lord, Increase Our Faith PDF Print E-mail
“And the Apostles said unto the Lord, Increase our faith” Lk. 17:5.
Sermon text: Lk. 17:3-10.
Jesus confronted His disciples with the possibility of a life of constant daily cycle of trespasses, rebukes, repentance, and forgiveness. They did not seem pleased with what they heard. They felt inadequate and not able to live up to such high ideals. Put mildly, they knew their faith was not enough for the task. In their exasperation and helplessness, they cried out in reply, “Lord, Increase our faith”!

Faith is defined as “THE SUBSTANCE OF THINGS HOPED FOR , THE EVIDENCE OF THINGS NOT SEEN” Heb. 11:1.
Faith as a grain of mustard seed, grows and increases just as grace. Apostle Peter advised the early believers not to fail in being stedfastness, “But grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ” II Peter 3:18.  Faith and grace came together at the cross. Jesus came with grace and truth at resurrection, justifying us by His faith (John 1:17, Gal. 2:16) – the faith by which Christ endured the cross and despised the shame of been hung on a tree (Heb.12:2, I Peter 3:24, Gal.3:13). The Bible declares in Eph. 2:8, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God”.

As faith increases, grace grows to become sufficient for the problem or situation at hand. Greater struggles require greater and enough faith which comes with greater and sufficient grace to overcome and conquer the problem. Our faith should continue to grow from a grain of mustard seed planted on the good soil of our heart, to become the greatest among trees (Matt. 13:32).

You cannot walk with God except your faith continues to increase otherwise He will leave you behind – for without faith, it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:6). Without faith it is impossible to believe and without believing in His Son Jesus Christ, it is impossible to come to God (John 14:6).

“The prayer of faith shall save the sick” so says James 5:15(a). When you pray today, speaking to God in faith, ask God to
increase your faith. When you add fasting to your prayer, God said in Matt. 17:20, “nothing shall be impossible unto you” – for the Lord will answer you with greater grace in Jesus name.

That back pain, joint pain, knee pain, pain in the ankle, or arthritis that is bothering you today; you will receive increased and enough faith to be healed in Jesus name.

Those afflictions such as barrenness, premature abortion, that continue to afflict you, not once or twice, but which can be likened to trespasses against you seven times a day, will be broken by the power in the blood of Jesus and will no longer come your way in the name of Jesus. You will receive faith that conquers fear.

The diseases of the Egyptians, such as cancer, paralysis, heart disease, diabetes, high and low blood pressure, and many more; which have no medical cure; the Lord will raise your faith above the power of your sickness and by His supernatural grace give you divine cure in the name of Jesus.

The God of Israel who gave Elijah faith to overcome Jezebel, will strengthen your faith against the spirit of fornication and adultery, and the worship of mammon (Rev. 2:20). The Father of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ who gave Apostle Paul the faith to bear “the thorn in the flesh”, will give you sufficient grace to strengthen you in the time of infirmities, distresses, and weaknesses, in the name of Jesus Christ (II Cor. 12:7-10).

“So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” Rom.10:17.
 
What Do You Have Going For You? PDF Print E-mail
I am not asking about your complaints, I am asking about your conquests. What aspect of your life are you happy about right now – the area you believe you have the greatest satisfaction? The Bible says when we pray we should allow our thanks to be more than our requests. At least many of us are agreed on two things. We thank God for preserving our lives, and for giving us good health. But there the similarities end.

The young rich ruler in Matt. 19:16-22, had everything going for him in this world. But there was one thing he lacked – salvation!
The beggar in the parable of the rich man and Lazarus (Lk. 16:19-31), had nothing going for him. But he had one thing – he was saved! This was sufficient to take him to paradise when he died. And in paradise you have the souls of Abraham, the Apostles, the thief on the right hand of Jesus on the cross, and our loved ones who died in Christ. If we die in Christ before Jesus returns our souls will also go to paradise. Those believers who are still alive at the time of the rapture (the bodily resurrection) will go with Christ to heaven with all the other occupants of paradise.

The rich man in the parable about Lazarus did not seek Jesus and when he died he went to hell. The rich young man sought Jesus. He went to church, probably paid his tithe, prayed and fasted like the Pharisees (Luke 18:10-14), but never accepted Jesus Christ as his personal Lord and savior. He tried to live a morally upright life based on the Ten Commandments (the law of righteousness), but was never able to attain unto righteousness (Rom. 9:30-33). He did not receive the eternal life he sought after, because he sought it not by faith but by the law. He ended up in hell just like the other rich man.

It would seem from these two parables and more, that Jesus hated the rich. That is far from the truth. The fact is that Jesus hated the attitude of the rich to their money. They loved their money more than they loved God. They were not rich toward God.  Paul warned Timothy in I Tim. 6:17-19, “Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high-minded, nor trust in uncertain riches, but the living God, who gives us all things richly to enjoy; That they do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; Laying up in store for themselves a good foundation against the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.”

There is still hope for the rich, even though Jesus said unto His disciples, “Verily I say unto you, That a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven, And again I say unto you, It is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God.” Yet it is possible for the rich to be saved (Matt.19:23-26). Yet the poor seeks to be rich because of the love of money, and falls into the same trap into which the rich falls. Whether you have everything going for you like the rich young ruler, or you have nothing going for you like Lazarus the beggar, or you are in-between like the majority of us, you are nothing without Jesus Christ.

Jesus will commit nothing to you or testify of you except you are born again (John 2:23-25, 3:1-6). Incidentally, it was Nicodemus a rich ruler of the Jews who Jesus first told about being born again. Jesus is not looking for people who are seeking for miracles, healing, deliverance or signs and wonders exclusive of the salvation of their soul. Jesus is ready to commit the ministry of reconciliation and testify to the word of reconciliation to those who seek first the kingdom of God (II Cor. 5:17-19). Matt. 6:33 admonishes us thus: But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things (miracles, healing, deliverance, prosperity – physical, material, financial and spiritual), will be added unto you.

Finally, believers need to know that riches will pass away. Suffering and struggling will come to an end. Even heaven and earth will pass away. But eternal life just began!

Pastor David Oni
 
Do You Have Beautiful Feet PDF Print E-mail

Beautiful feet belong to soul winners. Whether man, woman, or child, believers who are witnesses for Jesus, walk with beautiful feet. Of course, the word "feet" is both a literary and metaphorical symbol for the work of evangelism.

Literarily, because we actually need our natural feet to pound the road that leads to where the sinners are. Metaphorically, because the feet is a vehicle to convey the message of the gospel to the unregenerated world.

The early church had only one mode to win souls. And that was from door to door and publickly (Acts 20:20). Public evangelism meant going from street to street, from one quarter to another, and from village to village, and town to town. Everywhere they went, Jesus and His disciples walked. As He went throughout Galilee preaching, teaching and healing the sick, He went on foot.

The instruments for soul winning in these last days are numerous. With increase in knowledge, technology has been advancing by leaps and bounds. Soul winning can now be carried out by blogging. tweeting, e-mail, Tv, sattelite, radio, and so on. And yet, I believe that without "door to door" and "publickly", no plan for evangelism according to God's great commission in Matt.28:19, and Mark 16:15, is complete.

Evangelism is spiritual warfare. The devil is not going to release his captives without a fight. And that is why God in His infinite mercy and wisdom, has given the believer seven "whole armor of God". "Wherefore take unto you the whole armor of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all to stand (Eph.6:13). The whole armor of God (Eph.6:14-18) include:

1. the armor of truth
2. the armor of righteousness
3. the armor of the preparation of the gospel of peace
4. the armor of faith
5. the armor of salvation
6. the armor of the sword of the Spirit which is the word of God
7. the armor of prayer.

Any one missing armor will cause a crack in God's defensive and offensive strategy for us, giving the devil a "crackhold" in our lifes. Evangelism is certainly the area where many churches and believers have come short today. Read Rom. 10:13-15. "....as it is written, How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!"

The work of soul winning is beautiful in the sight of God. For one sinner won, the angels in heaven rejoice and on earth one more peacemaker.

Pastor David Oni.
 
Little by Little PDF Print E-mail
Let me start by asking this question - How many of us know or remember from previous experience, that God who can bring about change suddenly, can also bring it about little by little? The Bible says, "But the God of all grace, who has called us unto His eternal glory by Jesus Christ, after that you have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you" I Pet. 5:10. God can either settle you immediately, or depending on the circumstances and His divine wisdom, He can perfect you, stabilize, strengthen, and settle you little by little, day by day, step by step, assuredly, surely and steadily.

Joseph was a child of God; a dreamer. He had the gift of the interpretation of dreams. The revelation from God in those dreams, was that God was going to make him great among men. This promise did not manifest immediately. He suffered a while. Stripped of his clothes of many colors, he was dumped in a pit by his brothers, then sold into slavery. As a faithful servant in the house of portiphar, he was tempted, yet did not sin against God. But yet he ended up in prison. At this point, his prayers remained unanswered. He was no better now than when he started. Joseph did not resign himself to his fate. Notwithstanding, he held on to his God while using the talents and gifts that God gave him to the glory of God. The Pharaoh's baker and cupbearer became some of the people he was able to help in prison. But then God moved suddenly as in a miracle. Joseph left the prison, and went straight to Pharaoh's palace as second in command. This sudden promotion is unprecedented in human history, and such as has never been seen unto this day.

Miracle is what everyone is looking for, going from one church to another, and from one pastor to another pastor. Miracle is supposed to be sudden and immediate. Nobody has the patience to wait on the Lord after suffering a while. When God answers our prayers, we want Him to do whatever we ask immediately. When we are healed, we believe it is not a miracle unless it is sudden - in a flash. When we are blessed, we do not show appreciation, or give testimony, or give thanks publicly, unless such blessing is abundant or significant in monetary or material gains. What is gain for us becomes loss for Jesus.

Israel's journey in the wilderness took them round and round in circles for 40 years in a journey that should have taken 11 days (Num.14:34). Why? Because God wanted to humble them and test them if they would trust Him instead of putting their trust in miracles (Deut. 8:2). They continually asked for more and more miracles. They murmured and complained against Moses and God after every miracle. God had to teach them to wait upon Him. After suffering a while in the wilderness, God settled them in the promised land, not at once, but little by little. "I will not drive them out from before thee in one year; lest the land become desolate, and the beasts of the field multiply before thee, By little and little I will drive them out from before thee, until thou be increased, and inherit the land" Ex. 23:29&30.

God is not interested in sudden increase which we are not able to handle. He is not interested in sudden success which will get into our heads and lead us astray. God is looking for men and women who call Him Father because of who He is, rather than what they can get from Him. He wants to spend time with us, inorder that we may be perfect at the end of our journey, just as He is perfect - to make us stable as a ship in troubled waters needs stability - to strengthen us with the stength of Christ to do all things, and finally - to settle us for eternal life. Amen.

Let us re-examine our relationship with Jesus Christ today!

Pastor David Oni
 
The Beauty of Holiness PDF Print E-mail
"Worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness", so says the Bible in I Chro.16:29. Everyone is attracted to beauty - a beautiful maiden, a beautiful attire, a beautiful house, car, or whatever. Hollywood celebrities are a celebration of beauty and poise.

Many of our teenagers and young adults want to look like runway fashion models, because they feel they will be more attractive and acceptable to their peers and friends. But these are all external, physical beauty which will like a flower which blooms in the morning, fade away at sunset. "For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower thereof falls away; But the word of the Lord endures for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you". Such is the beauty of man.

But the beauty of God is intrinsic, inward, and eternal. "For which cause we faint not; but though our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day" II Cor. 4:16. "Favor is deceiful, and beauty is vain; but a woman that fears the Lord, she shall be praised" Prov. 31:30.

Whatever we consider beautiful , whatever beautiful treasures of inesteemable value we have discovered in this world, whatever natural tourism spots of indescribable beauty we have visited on our earthly journeys, there is no beauty anywhere close to the beauty of holiness. God is beautiful. His creation attest to His beauty. The heavens (the sun, the moon, and the stars) declare the the glory of God; and the firmament (sunrise and sunset, the rainbow, the waves by the seashore) show His handywork (Ps.19:1).

Jesus was not a handsome looking man. The Bible makes a prophesy to this effect in Isa. 53:2 - "...He has no form nor comeliness; and when we shall see Him, there is no beauty that we should desire Him". God clearly declares that man desires beauty. That is why He has generously provided His creations including man, with exquisite beauty that can not be reproduced. God also knows that this kind of beauty will eventually lose its glamor and attraction, go into decay, and fade away. That is why He has given us the inward spiritual beauty that will lead us into eternity.

What are these? Peace that passes all understanding. "Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you; not as the world gives, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid" John 14:27. "These things I have spoken unto you, that in me you might have peace. In the world you shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world" John 16:33. A peaceful mind with a quiet spirit is a thing of beauty. A man who is undergoing suffering, and yet his able to put a smile on his face, is a beauty to behold.

Holiness is beautiful. God is the beauty of holiness. Jehoshaphat, the King of Judah declared the name of God in praises as he led singers against the armies of four great nations in II Chro. 20:20-25. The amazing victory that God wrought for them that day was sweet and full of the beautiful spoils of war. When the Holy Spirit dwells in us , we live a holy life. We are holy as our Father is holy (I Peter 1:16). There is beauty in the life of a believer who speaks the truth at all times; who is never angry; whose words are seasoned with salt: who is forgiving; and free from partiality and hypocrisy.

This is my admonition to those of us, particularly the younger ones amongst us. Right now, if a lot of your self-esteem, and self-worth is riding on your looks and beauty, and if you are investing a lot of your time and energy on it, you need to "Remember now thy creator in the days of thy youth" (Eccl. 12:1). Remember the time will certainly come when this outer beauty will fade away. What then will you have? An inward beauty will be the strength you will need, just as the virtuous woman in Proverbs 31, to build your marriage and build up your home.

"FOLLOW PEACE WITH ALL MEN, AND HOLINESS, WITHOUT WHICH NO MAN SHALL SEE THE LORD" Heb.12:14. May you receive the peace of Christ and the holiness of the Holy Spirit, so that you can have eternal fellowship with God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit, in Jesus name. Amen.

Pastor David Oni

 
Esau: The Man of Edom PDF Print E-mail
The story of Jacob and Esau is a tale of two nations - one stronger than the other, and where the elder will be servant to the younger. Spiritually, that is where the world is today. There are two sides to every coin. There is the kingdom of darkness contrary to the kingdom of God. The flesh is contrary to the Spirit. Light counters darkness, as life counters death.

The character of Esau is not a popular one with christians, because Esau fell out of favor with God and with man. But the parable of the life history of Esau, is a mystery of the kingdom of heaven given to believers as an example for spiritual knowledge (Matt. 13:11). How could the grandson of Abraham (a man that walked with God , and was a friend of God), fall so disastrously out of favor with God? What could have caused him to despise his birthright so much so that he sold it to his twin brother Jacob for a piece of pottage? Could he have been so "faint" with hunger (which is the meaning of Edom), that he lost his sense of jugdement?  Read Gen. 25:19-34.

Esau was a picture of a christian who is not destined to be saved. He was not one of God's elect. "As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated" Rom. 9:13. Read Rom. 9:10-16. When we remember Esau, we need to fear and tremble lest we come short of that promise of heaven that God has given to us. Those who would be saved have been foreknown (elected), predestinated (destined for heaven), and conformed to the image of His dear Son, Jesus Christ (set apart), so that we might be the first born among many brethren (birthright of the firstborn). We have the birthright of the first born just as Esau did. We are co-inheritors of the kingdom with Jesus.

As there are signs that follow those who believe, the sign of Esau follow those who will not believe. Read Heb. 12:14-17. The signs of unbelieve go with those:

1).  who are always thinking of trading places with people of this world -  the rich, famous, and outwardly successful. They despise the way God created them. Men want to be as women are. Women want to be as men are.

2). who are profane as Esau was. Carnal, having no spiritual discernment, materialistic, unholy, impure, immoral, and, godless.

3). who have allowed the root of bitterness to take hold in their lives. Bitterness has become a tree planted by the devil, with root and branches. Rooted in disobedience, idolatry, fornication, failure, foolishness, treating God's gifts with levity, taking God forgranted and evil imagination in the heart, it brings forth the evil fruit of murmuring and grumbling against God and His Christ, separation from God, lack of blessing, unanswered prayers, lack of progress, anger, hate, unforgiveness, trouble, defilement, rejection, and eventual destruction.

So was the case with Esau, who after he wilfully sinned against God, sought repentance carefully with tears, but it was too late. According to Heb. 10:26-27, "For if we sin wilfully after that we have received the knowledge of the truth, there remaineth no more sacrifice for sins, But a certain fearful looking for of Judgment and fiery indignation, which shall devour the adversaries".

It is my prayer for you today, that every tree that my Father in heaven did not plant, will be totally and effectively uprooted from the foundation of your life in the mighty name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

Pastor David Oni
 
Pleasing God in the wilderness PDF Print E-mail
If the promised land of Canaan is a picture of heaven, then we believers are on a journey in the wilderness of life. We are no longer in Egypt. We are free from bondage. What does this mean? We are no longer conforming to this world, refusing to accept our earthly situation which is holding us back, but we are being transformed from darkness to light. Then, Jesus sends us on this christian journey through the wilderness that takes us to our destination which is heaven. To succeed on this way, God gave us the Israelite's journey as our example (Read 1 Cor. 10:1-13). The journey of the children of Israel was a physical journey. Our journey is a spiritual one.

The children of Israel journeyed in the wilderness for 40 years, on a journey that should have taken 11 days. God took them round and round in circles in that part of the middle east. In that whole time, their shoes did not develop holes, neither did the clothes on their back develop tear. When they were hungry, He sent them manna from heaven. When they were thirsty, He gave them water from the Rock.  God remained in control of their destiny from the beginning to the end. "And the Lord went before them by day in a pillar of a cloud, to lead them the way; and by night in a pillar of fire, to give them light; to go by day and night: He took not away the pillar of the cloud by day, nor the pillar of fire by night, from before the people." Ex. 13:22-23.

How did this journey end? Out of the 600,000 men that left Egypt, only two men - Joshua and Caleb got to the promised land! What happened to them? God destroyed them in the wilderness. They died and their bones were scattered in the desert.

Why? Because God was not pleased with them! (v. 5).

What was their offence?
1). They lusted to go back to Egypt, just as many christians are envious of the rich and powerful of this world, and eventually backslide.
2). They committed idolatry. Today, many of us worship the idol of money and celebrity instead of worshipping God.
3). They committed adultery. The sin of sexual immorality and divorce is rampant in the church today because of adultery and fornication. This is a sin against the body of Christ (1Cor. 6:15-20).
4).They tempted Jesus. Why is that so?  The people complained about the bread and and the water. Remember Jesus is the spiritual bread and the spiritual drink. The people came to the Lord's table and defiled it. Of course they were damned. As we gather to eat the feast of unleavened bread, which is the Holy Communion, let us come with clean hands and a pure heart. In the very next chapter (1 Cor. 11), Apostle Paul admonishes us not to eat this bread or drink this cup unworthily. For those who do this shall be guilty of the body and the blood of Jesus Christ. And they shall be subject to condemnation (1 Cor. 11:27-34).
5). They murmured and grumbled against Moses and against God. Murmuring and complaining is an evidence of lack of faith- for faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. But without faith it is impossible to please God (Heb. 11:1,6). Have faith in God. Instead of complaining, thank God. Have a positive attitude in your wilderness. Ask for a heart of gratitude. Do not be angry. Do not allow anger to becloud your sense of judgement, so that the tree of bitterness does not take root in your life. Every tree that my Father did not plant will be uprooted in Jesus name.

The wilderness is a place of temptation, trial, and tribulation. God has promised that He will not allow your temptation to be more than you can bear, for he will make a way of escape for you; He is faithful (1 Cor. 10:13). If your ways please the Lord, He will make even your enemies to be at peace with you (Prov. 16:7).

In the wilderness, Jesus is the spiritual Rock that is following you (1 Cor. 10:4). He will crush all your enemies and bring solution to all your wilderness problems. He will break into pieces all the mountains before you. He will break every ancestral curse and evil blood covenant that have been following you. He will heal you. He will provide all your needs; for you will not lack any good thing. He  will answer all your prayers. He  is the way, the truth and the life (John 14:6). Amen.

Pastor David Oni
 
Man Shall Not Live By Bread Alone PDF Print E-mail
"...But by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." Matt. 4:1-4, make this truth clearly
1. God does not tempt anyone, and He cannot be tempted by anyone (James 1:13). The devil is the tempter.
2. If Jesus can be tempted, all men will go through temptation.
3. If Jesus was tempted yet without sin, we who are His followers can resist falling into temptation (Heb. 4:15).
4. The wilderness is a picture of dryness - a dry and thirsty land where no water is (Ps. 63). Here is a place of trial and tribulation. Here we are vulnerable to the attack of Satan, as he takes advantage of our choices and lustful desires (James 1:14&15).

Only the word of God through prayer and fasting can deliver us from the wilderness of hunger, burdensome ministry, difficult marriage, joblessness, extreme loneliness, deep disappointment or discouragement, frustration, hopelessness, darkness, and such things.

Yet in the desert, we have spots of springs of water called oasis. God told Isaiah that He was going to do a new thing in Israel. And what is that new thing? He says, "Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert." Isa. 43:19.

Esau, Job, and the rich fool, operated in the spring of God's abundance in the wilderness. Esau, faint with hunger, sold his birthright to Jacob. Because he lived by bread alone, the tempter was able to tempt him (Gen. 25:29-34). On the other hand, Jesus was also hungry and yet the devil could not move Him. Why? Because He not only lived by the word of God, but He is the Word of God (Matt. 4:4, Jhn. 1:1)

Job was the richest and the most righteous man in the East in his time. Yet God allowed Satan to tempt him. He survived Satan's onslaught, because he was grounded in the word of God. He maintained his integrity before God. He had this to say about God, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him; but I will maintain mine own ways before him. He also shall be my salvation; for an hypocrite shall not come before Him" Job 13:15-16).

The parable of the rich fool can be found in LK. 12:16-21. Jesus told the multitude how "the ground of a certain rich man brought forth abundantly", so much so that he had no room to store his harvest. What did he do? He built bigger storage facilities. He had more goods than he could consume in a lifetime, so he asked his Soul to "take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry." He forgot or he was ignorant of the fact that the soul is spiritual and cannot feed on physical bread. That night, God, the owner of his soul, took it back, and he died. What did this richman do wrong? He was preparing for retirement without eternity.

Man is a spiritual being made up of body, soul and spirit. Our bodies live by feeding on the bread of this world. Yet our soul need the true bread from heaven to live. Jesus Christ is the "bread of God which came down from heaven and gave life unto the world." John 6:32-33.

The physical bread gives life on earth, but the spiritual bread gives life on earth and life after death. We need Jesus to give us life here on earth as well as life for eternity.

Pastor David Oni
 
Falling In Love With Jesus PDF Print E-mail
When it comes to love and temptation, the word "fall" is frequently used. There is a similarity in the way we fall in love and the way we fall into temptation. In many cases in the Bilble falling in love has led to falling into temptation (James 1:13-15).

Remember your first love. How you fell in love with him or her. You could not eat neither could you sleep until you had seen him or her.You were hopelessly in love. You were helpless to control yourself. It was something that was beyond your control. This way and more we would feel when we fall in love with Jesus.

King David fell in love with a married woman called Bathsheba. By so doing, he fell into the destructive sin of adultery (II Sam. 11:1-5). Samson fell in love with a heathen woman whose name was Delilah, and he fell into fornication and died. (Judges 16). King Saul who was before David, fell in love with the fat oxen, the sheep and all that  was good in Amalek. He paid the supreme sacrifice for his  disobedience and idolatry (I Sam. 15:6-9, 22-23).

Even now, many are  falling in love with themselves. The story goes like this: "Four people - a pilot, a professor, a pastor, and a hiker - were flying in a small plane when the engines died. The pilot said, "There are only three parachutes. Since this is my plane, I am taking one of them.." He put it on and jumped out. The professor said, "I am brilliant and the world needs me, so I am taking a parachute, ' and he jumped out.

"Then the pastor told the hiker, "I do not want to be selfish, so you take the last parachute." The hiker replied, "There are still two left, so we can each have one. The professor jumped out with my backpack instead of the parachte!"

What about the love of money, power, and position? The Bible says, "But they that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition. For the love of money is the root of all evil; which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows." I Tim.6:9&10.

The only way to avoid falling into temptation, sin and eventual death, is to fall in love with Jesus. "He that finds his life shall lose it; and he that loses his life for my sake shall find it" Matt. 10: 39.

Remember your first love, and go back to Him (Rev.2:4). Jesus is our hope of glory (Col.1:27). He is our very present help in trouble, so that we will not fear what any man will do unto us (Ps. 46:1, Heb.13:5-6).

I love you so, darling Jesus.

Pastor David Oni
 
WHO ARE WE IN CHRIST JESUS? PDF Print E-mail

Two Australian sailors came ashore in a boat  in London. They decided to have a drink at a local pub. They found their way into a pub not too away.  But while they were drinking and getting drunk, the unpredictable London weather struck. Fog descended, making it difficult for them to find their way back. As they staggered out of the bar, they got lost. The two men went along muttering to themselves, "we don't  know where we are". After sometime, they heard the foot steps of a man walking towards them. As he emerged from the shadows, they saw that he was a highly decorated British naval officer. They asked him- "Do you know where we are?" The man looked at these two drunken men for a moment and said, "Do you know who I am?" The two men looked at one another and said to themselves- "We are really in trouble now. We don't know where we are, and he doesn't know who he is".

I cannot tell you if this is a true story. But one thing I do know- a lot of christians are still lost because they do not know who they are in Christ Jesus. Jesus asked His disciples two similar questions - "Whom do men say that I the son of man am? But whom say ye that I am? And Simon Peter answered and said,Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God." Matt.16:13-16. Jesus knows who He is, and He knows those who are His. If truly we are in Christ we must know who we are. We are in Christ what Christ is in us. And who is Christ in us?

In Gal. 2:20, He is in us our faith bearer.

In I Cor. 12:13, He is in us our unifier. We are one in Christ by His Holy Spirit which dwells in us.

In Eph. 3:20, He is in us our source of ultimate power for making the impossible possible.

In Phil. 4:13, He is in us our pillar of strength for all seasons and situations.

In Col. 1:27, He is in us our hope of glory.

In John 15:5, He is in us the tree of life that bears much fruit.

In John 16:33, He is in us our overcomer.

In Rom. 8:31, He is in us more than they that are in the world.

In Rom. 8:37, He is in us more than conquerors.

In Heb. 12:2, He is in us the author and finisher of our faith.

Pastor David Oni
 
THE EARLY RAIN AND LATTER RAIN PDF Print E-mail
In the last three months or so, in these parts of the east coast, we have been experiencing shortage of rainfall. People are becoming increasingly concerned about the prospects for future drinking water in particular, as water reservoirs have started to fall. That is how critical rain is to human existence.

In the Bible, rain is a picture of blessing. The early and the latter rain stand for abundant blessing. Our church had a service of first fruit today. God commanded Prophet Ezekiel (Son of man) as follows: "And the first of all the first-fruits of all things, and every oblation of all, of every sort of your oblations, shall be the priest's; ye shall give unto the priest, the first of your dough, that he may cause the blessing to rest in thine house." Ezek. 44:30.

This year, every blessing of yours, will have no choice but to remain in your house. As no one can stop the rain from coming down from heaven, so nobody can stop you from receiving your blessing. So also nothing can take away the blessings that God has given unto you. Amen.

As you sow your first-fruit in this new Biblical year, you will reap abundantly because God will send you the former and the latter rain, according to His word which is settled in heaven - "Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waits for the precious fruit of the earth, and has long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain" James 5:7.

We are to be like farmers when it comes to waiting patiently for the second coming of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ, on a day that will be glorious and full of great joy. But even now, as we sow our seed, we are to be like farmers for an expectation of a bumper harvest as we receive the early and the latter rain. The early rain softens the hard fallow ground after the winter. The latter rain that comes later after spring  just at the right time, will cause the crop to grow rapidly, giving rise to the Biblical 30-fold, 60-fold. and 100- fold increase in harvest.

To receive God's blessing, every sin past and present must be repented of and forgiven. Every hard-heartedness, or stony heart must be replaced by an obedient heart. And every spirit must become willing to work with the Holy Spirit. Then we can eat the honey, and drink the milk of this promised land (Isa. 1:19-20). No one can prevent us, just as no one can prevent the rain from coming down from heaven, for it does not return hither, "but waters the earth, and makes it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower, and bread to the eater" Isa. 55:10.

The Lord will revive you. He will restore to you all the years that the cankerworm, and the caterpillar, and the palmerworm, and the locusts, have eaten in your life. You will live in His presence. And He will bless you with the early rain and the latter rain in the first month, in the name of Jesus Christ (Hosea 6:1-3, Joel 2:21-27).

"And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with (new wine) and oil. And ye shall eat in plenty, and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, that has dealt wondrously with you; and my people shall not be ashamed."

Today, the Lord has caused an abundance of rain to come down on the east coast.
Pastor David Oni
 
The God of Passover PDF Print E-mail
The God of passover is the God of the living and not of the dead. "And when I see the blood, I will pass over you...., and I will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you" Ex. 12:13,23.

The God of passover is a promise keeper. No matter how long it takes, God's promise will come to pass. It took four hundred and thirty years to the exact day for God to fulfill the promise He made to Abram concerning the first passover in Egypt (Gen. 15:13-14, Ex. 12:40-41).

The God of passover is the God of deliverance. He delivered the children of Israel from the bondage of slavery in Egypt, with a mighty hand, after ten plagues. The last plague was the most terrible of all. God sent the destroyer to kill all the firstborn in the land of Egypt (Ex. 11:4-7).

Our passover God is also the restorer, the compensator, and the provider. According as He promised Abram, "....and afterwards shall they come out with great abundance (Gen. 15:14). They came out of slavery and poverty with great riches of the silver and gold of Egypt (Ex. 12:35-36).

The first passover was the shadow of things to come. The feast consisted of a lamb, fire, unleavened bread, and bitter herbs (Ex.12:8). The crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ is the substance of things that are now seen. Christ is our passover lamb, as the lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world (I Cor. 5:7, John 1:29). The Holy Spirit is the fire that consumates the sacrifice of Christ on the cross. The unleavened bread represents the body of Christ without sin, which Christ bought with His blood. The bitter herbs pointed to the bitter cup that Christ would drink, indicating His suffering on the cross.

"The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death" I Cor. 15:26. Jesus Christ went to the cross and descended into the lower parts of the earth where He took captivity captive, and ceased the keys of death and hell. As many as receive Him, and believe on His name will have eternal life. In other words, death has passed over them. And whosoever death has passed over shall never die. And such will pass through the fire, the flood, the waters, and the storm of life, but these things will have no power over them (Isa. 43:2,3).

On this palm sunday, let us remember Jesus Christ our passover lamb with a simple memorial that He Himself instituted this passion week over 2000 years ago-the symbolic unleavened bread and the wine of the grape vine representing the body and blood of Jesus, commonly referred to as the "the Lord's table" or "the Holy Communion".

This is where the Old covenant meets the New. A declaration to all peoples that the passover lamb did not come for the Jews alone, but also for the gentiles.

Pastor David Oni
 
Restored PDF Print E-mail
The three most important criteria in real estate are location! location! location! In the right location, the value of the property is guaranteed not to depreciate. The property is guaranteed continous occupation. Therefore, gain is assured over the long period of the properties existence. So also is the body of Christ.

The Bible tells us that restoration is a continuous process for the people of God. God has restored in the past. God is restoring right now in the present, and God will be restoring in the future.

Judah was brought back to Jerusalem from captivity in Babylon after 70 years in exile. Psalm 126:1 says, "When the Lord turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream." That restoration allowed Israel to be in existence as a nation when Jesus was born. God turned again their captivity "as the streams in the south",  after the sacking of Jerusalem and the destruction of the temple by the Romans in AD 70 (Ps. 126:4).  God did not destroy Israel, but He scattered them all over the world. Again, the Lord restored them back to their land in 1948.

He is the Lord. He does not change. That is why the children of Jacob cannot be consumed. He chastens His children, but His anger is not forever. He will forgive. He will blot out our transgressions and remember them no more. God will never destroy His own people, neither can the devil. God will restore again, and again, and again! For He is the Lord!

Whatever your physical, material, financial or spiritual dryness today, the Lord is able to send "the streams in the south" to  water  your desert and make it bloom again. "They that sow in tears shall reap in joy. He that goes forth and weeping, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.' Ps. 126:5&6.

Let us fall on our faces in repentance with godly sorrow before a Holy God. We will not leave His presence the same way we came. We will "doubtless come again with rejoicing" in our abundance. So help us Lord Jesus. Amen.

Pastor David Oni
 
Friend Or Foe PDF Print E-mail
Do you have a friend who became a formidable foe? David had many friends, but one of them gave him such a terrible feeling of pain and anguish and distress, that he thought of giving up everything and just walk away. He declared in Ps.55:6, "And I said, Oh that I had wings, like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest."

He talked about this his friend in the following manner - "For it was not an enemy that reproached me; then I could have borne it; neither was it he that hated me that did magnify himself against me; then I would have hid myself from him: But it was you, a man my equal, my guide, and my acquaintance; We took sweet counsel together, and walked unto the house of God in company." Ps. 55:12-14.

This passage did not give the name of that man. But we know a man by the name of Ahithophel (II Sam 15) who was David's counsellor, guide and acquaintance. I would not call him an equal, because David was King over Israel and Ahithophel was his subject. But David was a man after God's own heart, and therefore a humble man; it would not at all surprise me if he saw Ahithophel as his equal.

This man Ahithophel presided over what I believe to be the greatest betrayal of a friend in the Bible save for that of Judas Iscariot for Jesus Christ (Matt.26:50). Just as Judas teamed up with the San Hedrian (the council of the high priest and the pharisees) to crucify Jesus (Matt. 26:14-16), so Ahithophel conspired with Absalom, David's son, in a coup d'etat to dethrone David by force and put his son on the throne. Just as Judas went into a field and hanged himself when he realised that Jesus had been condemned to death by the council against his better judgement (Matt. 27:1-10), so when God had confounded Ahithophel's counsel against all odds (II Sam.16:23), he went back to his house, and there hanged himself (II Sam. 17:23).

Today, I pray for you, that God will divide the tongue of your enemies. He will confound their language. He will bring confusion into their midst and scatter them abroad inorder to destroy them one by one, through the power in the blood of Jesus Christ. But you need to pray, for God will not move except in answer to prayer. Prayer is the power that moves the hand that moves the world. David, the ultimate prayer warrior, prayed when he heard that Ahithophel was one of the conspirators with Absalom. "And David said, O Lord, I pray thee, turn the counsel of Ahithophel into foolishness." II Sam.15:31. And it was so.

But there are times we need to pray for our friends who behave as foes. In Ps. 35:13, another psalm of David, we read that David humbly prayed and fasted for his unfriendly friends, in the their time of sickness. We need to do the same. That verse makes us to understand that by so doing, we are inadvertently praying for ourselves.

Jesus is the only true friend we have. He is the friend that loves at all times. As a friend, He sticks closer than a brother (Prov. 17:17,18:24). He will never betray our trust or confidence in Him.

What a friend we have in Jesus!

Pastor David Oni
 
Love That Leads To Perfection PDF Print E-mail
Valentine's Day is again upon us. February 14th of every year is recognised as the day of love and the day for lovers. Historical records are not certain, but they show that this feast started from pagan origins in the Roman feasts of Lupercalia. Luper was the name of the werewolf who found Romulus and Remus in the woods as infants and nourished them to adolescents according to Roman mythology. The two men later founded Rome, which became the center of the Roman Empire.

The convertion of Emperor Constantine to Chistianity in AD.312, which is an historical fact, led to the rise of the Roman Catholic Church. The feast of Lupercalia now included tribute to Cupid, the god of love. The sign of Cupid with wings and arrows of love is very popular in Valentine's Day merchandise on display today.

In order to remove the stigma of paganism from this feast which was commonly practised among new converts to Chistianity, Pope Gelasius around 498 AD., was said to have "christined" it by changing its name to Saint Valentine's Day, in honor of a popular Roman Catholic priest named Valentine. St. Valentine was credited with marrying lovers against the wishes of the the Roman Emperor at that time. He was said to have been caught and sentenced to death. In jail, he found a lover in the jailor's daughter. On the day of his execution he was said to have sent her a card signed "From your Valentine". Of course, all this is unbiblical. But we are in the world, and not of the world.

What is Biblical however, is that there is love that is greater than that of Valentine. And that is the love of Jesus. It is the sacrificial love of God for the world - the love of the Son of God not for sin, but for sinners. It is the love of Jesus Christ, who went from been God to been the lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29). It is the love of the strong for the weak; the love of the rich for the poor. The love of the creator for His creation; the love of the redeemer for the redeemed.

The love of God is agape love; unconditional love. It is love for the unlovable. It is color blind. It is not subject to nations, peoples, and tongues. It cannot be bought with money; for it is priceless, a jewel of inestimable value. Valentine's Day in America costs around 14 Billion Dollars a year. The love of God is given freely. The recipient is expected to freely give.

When Jesus Christ is the object of your love, you will love your enemies. You will bless those who curse you. You will do good to those who hate you. You will pray for those who despitefully use you and persecute you (Matt. 5:44). Because of the high standard of love that Christ has set for us, as a man who came to die for His friends, the love of God is able to lead us to perfection. Matthew chapter 5 ends with, "Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect" Matt. 5:48.  Daily walk with the Holy Spirit in love leads to perfection.

The world was created in love. When the earth shall pass away, only love will remain. "But when that which is perfect shall come, then that which is in part shall be done away" I Cor. 13:10. At the end, prophesies shall fail, tongues shall cease, and knowledge shall vanish away. "And now abideth faith, hope, and love, these three; but the greatest of these is love" I Cor. 13:8.13.

The love of God will make you a better Chistian. The love of God will make you a better parent and grandparent. It will make you better husband and wife; better friend; better pastor and teacher; better counsellor and worker in the house of God.

Jesus is asking you today, "Be my Valentine". Whether you are a prodical son or a foolish virgin, God loves you with an everlasting love.

Pastor David Oni
 
HOLY SPIRIT, THE SPIRIT OF TRUTH PDF Print E-mail
"Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, becuse it sees Him not, neither knows Him; but you know Him; For He dwells with you, and shall be in you" John 14:17. "But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedes from the Father, He will testify of me; And He also shall bear witness, because He have been with me from the beginning" John 15:26-27.

Jesus confirms in the first scripture reference, that the Holy Spirit has always been around the people of God. But from the day of pentecost, the Holy Spirit will not only be with His people, but will also live in them; which is Christ living in us through the power of the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit was with Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, David, Daniel etc. The Pharisees and the Scibes did not Know the Spirit of God, because they were not spiritually discerned and were unable to receive Him. Despite their criticism, Jesus bear record only of Himself and His Father, because they could not understand the person of the Holy Spirit (John 8:13-18). But the scripture says in I John 5:7, "There are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; and these three are one."

The second scripture reference calls the Holy Spirit, the testifier and the witness. He will testify to the truth that Jesus is the Son of God and the savior of the world. He will also bear witness to the truth that Jesus is the lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world (John 1:29). In both of these bible references, the Spirit of God is called the Spirit of truth.

The Holy Spirit is the true testfier, because He is God. It takes God to know God. The Holy Spirit is the true witness, because He was there from the beginning. There is nothing that was done or made that the Holy Spirit was not privy to. He was there when Jesus became the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world (Rev. 13:8). Slain from the foundation of the world; not on the cross of calvary? How can there be a truer witness than the only one, apart from the Father and the angels of heaven, who saw this secret and sacred ceremony that took place before the world began?

The public crucifixion of Jesus Christ on calvary's cross, thousands of years later, makes His disciples who witnessed it and those of us who have believed through them, joint-witnesses with the Holy Spirit (I John 1:1-3). As joint-heirs with Christ, we are also joint-witnesses with the Holy Spirit; For without the power of the Holy Spirit come upon us, we cannot be witnesses unto the truth, both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth (Rom.8:17, Acts 1:8).

This year 2012, let the fruit and the gifts of the Holy Spirit be manifested in your life. Be wise. Be a soul winner. Inherit life everlasting in Jesus name. Amen.

Pastor David Oni
 
HOLY SPIRIT, THE REVEALER OF SECRETS PDF Print E-mail
What is a secret? A secret is something, someplace, somebody, or some group of people very few people know about. Secret is power over an individual, group of people or situation for good or evil.

Do you know that when we believers walk in the Spirit, we possess such power? Do you know that God through His Spirit can reveal your secret to your friends and fellow believers, and vice versa? Do you know God can reveal secrets to you on your job that can help your company, and bring you honor and favor from the boss?

Are you aware according to scriptures that we be not unaware of the devices of the enemy? For the Spirit of God reveals to our heart every vile plans of the devil, so that we can stand on that day having put on the whole armor of God ( Eph. 6:11-13).

Do you know what the word of God says in Isa. 45:3, "And I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou may know that I, the Lord, which call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel.  .....For it is He that gives thee power to get wealth....." Deut. 8:18.

By prayer and supplication, God can reveal to you a secret recipe or formula or plan for your business. Ask great chefs or confectioner, who by divine inspiration have had their recipes sought after, all over the world. What about scientists and inventors? Through dreams or visions, the Spirit of God has taught many what to do. Many inventions as a result, have fundamentally changed the course of human history.

Does that surprise you? God promised - "And it shall come to pass afterward, that I will pour out my Spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: and also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my Spirit." Joel 2:28&29.  "But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased." Daniel 12:4.

More than ever before we need the Holy Spirit in these last days. But we cannot have the Spirit of God except we have Jesus.The Holy Spirit, the Spirit of truth, will lead us into all truth concerning Jesus' finished work of redemption on calvary's cross. Through His intervenetion we will receive the gifts and promises of God.

Daniel received favor from Nebuchadnezzer including promotion and great riches when he revealed the King's dream (Dan.2:46-49). Elisha revealed the secret plans of the king of syria to destroy Israel and God protected him from the syrian army -  "....Fear not; for they that be with us are more than they that be with them", as God opened the spiritual eyes of Elisha's servant (II Kings 6:11-12,16-17). Ananias and Sapphira (husband and wife) lied unto God and it was revealed to Apostle Peter by the Holy Spirit. Their punishment was death on the spot.

Today, by dream or vision, the Spirit of God, the Holy Spirit will reveal to you the source of your spiritual attack. That face that hides behind the mask in your dreams, will be unmasked in the name of Jesus Christ. That person or persons or power behind your lack of promotion at work, or your late marriage will be exposed and disgraced in Jesus name.

You continue to struggle and cannot make ends meet because of sudden and unexpected expenses, despite the fact that you pay your tithe. I decree and declare that the devourer that tends towards poverty in your life will be devoured in the mighty name of Jesus Christ. The counsel of the devil against you and your family will not stand. It will be exposed and destroyed in Jesus name.

"The Spirit itself bears witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God" (Rom. 8:16). This is the inheritance of the sons and daughters of God. It is yours to claim.

Pastor David Oni
 
HOLY SPIRIT : KEEPER OF THE BODY PDF Print E-mail
Daniel fasted and prayed for 21 days, seeking the face of God, to know what will happen to his people in exile after their 70 years  sojourn in Babylon is completed (Dan. 9:1-3, 10:1-3). God not only gave him a revelation concerning Israel, but also revealed to him the book of Daniel, concerning the time of the end of the world (Dan. 12:4).

Our congregation has been following the footsteps of Daniel, seeking to know what God has in stock in 2012 for His church (the body of Christ). Armed with scriptures contained in 21 chapters of the Gospel of John (one chapter a day), and 7 prayer points a day for 21 days, we embarked on a mission to speak to God and hear from God in prayer.

Our God has been faithful. He not only answered our prayers, but revealed His mind to us through the still small voice of the Holy Spirit. It was not a coincidence that we chose the book of John. It was by divine inspiration. The Gospel according to St. John reveals Jesus as the Word come in the flesh, the savior of the body (Jhn. 1:14, Eph. 5:23). It introduces us to the Holy Ghost as the Spirit of truth, through which the believer is sanctified to the keeping of his body. "Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth." Jhn. 17:17.

The Spirit has revealed to us expressly that the year 2012 is the YEAR OF THE HOLY SPIRIT. Therefore, we need to get acquainted with the Holy Spirit. Why? Because Jesus declared in John 14:17, "Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it sees Him not, neither knows Him; but you know Him; For He dwells with you; and shall be in you."

To move forward spiritually this year, we need to ask ourselves 3 questions. Who is the Holy Spirit? Why did the Father send Him? How do you know you have received Him? Man was created in the image and likeness of God. The scriptures says in Gen. 1:26, "Let us make man in our image, after our likeness....." The "us" stands for the 3 persons-in-one God made up of God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit is God!

Man is an embodiment of the triune God - Soul, body, and spirit (I Jhn. 5:7-8, I Thess. 5:23), representing the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. At the Garden of Eden, the Father breathe into man, and man became a living soul (Gen. 2:7). That soul became dead when man sinned. Jesus came in the body and was crucified to redeem our body, soul and spirit (Heb. 2:14&15). He had a bodily resurrection to declare that we have been justified as if we had no sin. The soul and spirit of the believer is free from sin, but the body is free only from sin's domination not from sin. But the resurrection of Christ assures us that our bodies shall be resurrected on the last day, perfect and completely free from sin.

The Holy Spirit is here to make sure that while we are still in this world, we shall be kept from the evil of the world, according to the prayer of Jesus Christ in Jhn. 17:15. Apostle Paul learnt that no amount of his effort could save him from the flesh (Rom. 7:14-25, I Cor. 9:27). The Holy Spirit wars against the flesh to deliver our bodies from the contamination of the flesh (Gal.5:16&17). This is possible because the believer is sanctified bodily by the indwelling Holy Spirit, so that he no longrer lives under the law of sin, but under the law of grace.

When we grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ, and increase in faith, it is an indication that we have received the Holy Spirit. Our lifestyle will be pleasing to God as the Spirit leads us to perfection unto the second coming of Jesus Christ. By the fruit of the Spirit; the fruit of love, peace and joy; we are now known.

Pastor David Oni
 
Water Has No Enemy PDF Print E-mail
In the fourth chapter of the book of John, Jesus took what could be described as a divine detour into Samaria on His way to Galilee from Judaea. There at a well, He met a woman of Samaria who was worldly wise but curious about spiritual things. She was a vessel prepared for the Lord. Like a river which does not discriminate where it flows, Jesus offered her living water as the gift of God ( John 4:3-14). "Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinks of this water (from the well) shall thirst again; but whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life." John 4:13-14.

What is this gift of living water? The answer comes from the words of our Lord Jesus Christ in the same Gospel of John 7:37-39, "In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let Him come unto me, and drink. He that believes on me, as the scripture has said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water. (But this spake He of the Spirit, which they that believe on Him should receive; for the Holy Ghost was not yet given; because that Jesus was not yet glorified.)" When we receive Jesus as our Lord and Savior, we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit which dwells with us and lives in us (John 14:17). This makes us tributaries of a network of rivers that flow into everlasting life.

Geographical rivers are a picture of rivers of living water. River Nile located in Africa is the longest river in the world. At its widest point, it is 4 to 5 miles wide. Yet it started as springs in two locations known as white and blue Nile. It went from Sudan and Ethiopia all the way to Egypt travelling 4184 miles. Countries that have declared themselves arch-enemies along the path of the river, have had no choice but to drink from the same source of water.

So is the body of Christ which started in Jerusalem as a spring of water. Along the way as it travelled further away from its source, it has increased in strength and in power. Today, it is a magestic and incredible body of living water flowing towards the sea of eternal life. You are unstoppable in your forward march towards your destiny as you flow in good success and prosperity. You must love your enemies as if you have no enemies. You must love your friends as you love your enemies. As a river that flows wither it pleases without fear or favor, neither with hyprocrisy or partiality, your way must please God so that your enemies will be left with no alternative but to live at peace with you (James 3:17, Prov. 16:7). Peace as a river is your portion in Jesus name for Jesus is the prince of  peace.

As you go on your christian journey, nourish everyone you meet on the way with the word of God. As the scripture says, the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the seas (Isa. 11:9). Then you will know within yourself, and not through anyone else, that the Holy Spirit truly dwells in the temple of your body. Praise the Lord. Amen.

Pastor David Oni.
 
Pursue, Overtake, and Recover All PDF Print E-mail
David, a celebrity in Israel, was forced into exile by King Saul who sought to kill him out of envy and jealousy. The reason for this was primarily due to the fact that David killed the giant called Goliath, a candidate of their arch-enemy, the Phillistines, in a contest of winner takes all. David became more popular than the King. Saul pursued him from pillar to post, until in fear for his life and the six hundred men and their family with him, he had to cross the border into enemy territory where Saul would have to go to war to get him.

This passed year, how many of us have had to take refuge in enemy territory because we were being persecuted by our own? David is an example of what Prov. 16:7 says, "When a man's ways please the Lord, He maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him." I pray that you receive this in 2012 in the name of Jesus Christ. David was a man after God's own heart. His ways were according  to the will of God for him. If you seek the will of God  this new year, the Holy Spirit will not allow you to miss your way.

But David discovered that affliction will still come, and trouble will never be far behind. However, God promised us through His word that He will deliver us from every affliction, free us from every trouble, keep our bodies from being broken, and bring desolation upon the wicked while the blessings of God is upon those who trust Him (Ps. 34:19-22).

The amalekites invaded Ziklag and burned it with fire. They took away David's two wives, his childen and all his property. David and all that were with him were greatly distressed to say the least. "But David encouraged himself in the Lord his God" I Sam 30:1-6. What David did is what we all need to do in 2012. He inquired from God what way to go. He called for the high priest to bring forth the instrument of anointing (vv7 The "priest is a picture of Jesus Christ". The "ephod is representing the Holy Spirit". In whatever situation we find ourselves this year, let us ask for direction from God in the name of Jesus Christ through the Holy Spirit; for the yoke is broken by reason of the anointing. God answered David and told him to pursue, overtake, and recover all without fail. David destroyed his enemies and recovered far more than they stole from him. I claim this for you in 2012 in Jesus name.

All the enemies of your household, all the enemies on your job, in your marriage, and in your business, you will completely decimate in the mighty name of Jesus. You will pursue them, you will overtake them, and you will recover all they stole from you in 2011 in Jesus name. Amen. This is your year of COMPLETE RESTORATION.
 
Do Not Ignore The Sign PDF Print E-mail
Coming out from the feeding of the five thousand in John 5:5-13, Jesus had a new teaching for the people. "Labor not for the food which perishes, but for that food which endures unto everlasting life, which the Son of man will give unto you; for Him has God the Father sealed" John 5:27. The following day, some of those who were fed, started searching for Jesus, not because of the miracle they witnessed, but because they were hungry and wanted some free food to satisfy their hunger and be filled (v. 26). Jesus took the opportunity to teach them another spiritual truth.

Jesus told them not to down play the importance of the miracle they just saw, because it was a sign unto them. What is a sign? A sign points the seeker to the direction to a given destination or how to come to a certain understanding. Jesus healed all that were brought to Him. He did great miracles. And every time He told the benefactor- "do not tell anyone". Why? Because He did not want them to focus on the miracle at the expense of the sign that the miracle stood for. But of course, they are all went abroad and made a broadcast of their miracles to everyone who was ready to listen.

The physical bread with which Jesus fed them pointed to another bread - the bread from heaven which is Jesus Christ Himself. "And Jesus said unto them, I am the the bread of life; he that comes to me will never hunger; and he that believes on me will never thirst" John 6:35. In the wilderness, the children of Israel wanted the manna from heaven, but they did not want God who rained down the manna from heaven. In Jerusalem, the Jews wanted the bread, but they rejected the "bread of life" Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God. They did not want Him and what would be required of them to follow Him. That is why many of His disciples left Him and walked with Him no more (John 6:66).

If God has done a miracle in your life today, it is a sign that you have been called to serve. Do not ignore the sign. Do not wait until someone sees a vision for you or prophesises on you. Follow the sign. "Come to Jesus, not for the blessings, but to receive the eternal life He offers as the bread of life. Only Christ the living bread can satisfy our spiritual hunger."

Pastor David Oni
 
Jonathan - Leader Or Loser? PDF Print E-mail
Jonathan was the first son of King Saul, the first king of Israel. Jonathan became his heir apparent - the first crowned prince - the next in line to the throne of Israel. As is the case with every monarchy, the son succeeds his father to the throne. But we know that this was not to be with Jonathan. Instead, God anointed David to be next in line to the throne. Jonathan never became king. For this reason scholars and preachers accord him a secondary role in their writings and sermons. He is considered a loser by many.

But let us back up for a moment and examine his relatively short life. I Sam. 14:1-6 tells us about his exploits against Israel's arch-enemies, the Philistines. He knew that God was able to save through many or through few (I Sam. 14:6). Before David the shepherd boy single-handedly turned the tide of the war against the Philistines by killing Goliath, Jonathan had done the same thing with his armor bearer by sacking the garrison of the Philistines. No wonder, David, the man after God's own heart, had his soul intricately woven with that of Jonathan, in a friendship which can be described as "made in Heaven" (ISam.18:1-4, 20:16-17). Jonathan and David were one of a kind.

The church of today needs a "Jonathan". Those we term to be few in number, might actually be mighty in power. Those we perceive as little in strength, really might be great in favor (Rev. 3:8). Those who the world see as losers, may be seen by God as leaders in heaven. Jesus declares in Matt.11:11, "Verily I say unto you, Among them that are born of a woman there hath not risen a greater than John the Baptist; notwithstanding he that is least in the kingdom is greater than he."

King Saul was not saved. The kingdom was torn away from him because of disobedience. It was not so with his son Jonathan, because Jonathan bore the fruit of the kingdom (by their fruit ye shall know them) in these areas:
1. He did not compromise the truth, even though his father was involved (I Sam. 19:1-5).
2. He stood up for David even at the risk of his own life - I Sam. 20:24-34
3. He was a peace maker thereby making him a son of God. He tried to reconcile Saul and David  - I Sam. 19:6-7, Matt. 5:7
4. To please God he had to disobey his father
5. He did not pursue the inordinate ambition to become king at all cost when God had planned otherwise
6. He was content with the position God had placed him
7. He was ready to leave his father and the crowd and heed the call to be used by God
8. Unlike his father he did not allow envy and jealousy to make him sin against God
9. How is it possible to love someone who comes to take your job from you? That was exactly what Jonathan did by showing love to David who God had sent to take over the kingship of the kingdom from him. He loved his enemy according to Christ's commandment in Matt. 5:44.

How much more Christ-like can Jonathan be? There is no loser in the house of God.

Pastor David Oni
 
What is the Condition of God's Calling on your Life? PDF Print E-mail
We need to know that when God calls, He does so conditionally. The more we fulfill the condition of our call, the more He equips and guides us.

The rich young ruler in Matt. 19:16-22, asked Jesus how to get to heaven. Jesus told him that the only way to get to heaven was to follow Him (Jesus). Jesus invited the young man to follow Him on one condition, that he goes and sells all his earthly possession and give to the poor. Not surprisingly, that level of commitment was impossible for the young man to keep. This is telling all those who were rich before being called or are rich after being called, that the call of the gospel is a call to sacrifice. We are called to be rich towards God. To live in mansions in heaven rather on earth. To lay up our cars and gold and treasures in heaven instead of on earth.

Many people wanted to follow Jesus as He went on His ministerial journey. But to each one, He gave condition. To the man who said, "I will follow thee whithersoever thou goest", He said, "Foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head" Luke 9:57-58. Meaning, you are not called to a life of permanence on earth, but to know that we are here only for a short time, for heaven is our permanent home.

To another, He said, "Let the dead bury their dead; but go thou and preach the kingdom of God" Lk. 9:59-60. The call of God takes priority over even the most solemn and universal wish of every man to bury his father. I know how that feels, having buried my father and mother. There have been stories of ministers of God who lost their loved ones early on Sunday morning, went to Church that morning, preached the Sermon, announced the passing away of their loved ones, and went home to take care of things.

To another  He said, "No man, having put his hand on the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God" Lk. 9:61-62. Just as God's condition for marriage is that divorce is unacceptable, God's condition for His calling on our lives is that we never backslide or quit on Him.

Joshua's ministry was with no in-fighting and acrimony like that of Moses. He did not have to deal with rebellion from the rank and file of the children of Israel like Moses did. Why? Because he fulfilled God's condition for his calling. "This book of the law shall not depart from your mouth; but thou shall meditate therein day and night, that thou may observe to do according to all that is written therein; for then thou shall make thy way prosperous, and then thou shall have good success" Josh. 1:8. When he kept God's injunction, God kept His promise that "There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life.." Josh. 1:5.

If you believe you have been called, look at where you use to be and look at where you are today. Is there any change? You be your own judge. For many are called, but few are chosen (Matt. 22:14).

Pastor David Oni
 
If The Foundations Be Destroyed PDF Print E-mail
This was the question posed by Psalmist David in Ps. 11:3. And it deserves an answer. If this was a Psalm of David, then this foundational destruction was in the time of King Saul. It was a time of wickedness (v. 2). It was a time of envy and strife so much so that for no just cause King Saul pursued David the young up and coming anointed of God, from one end of the country to the other. The word of God on which this foundation was built became disregarded and disobeyed.

God showed His disapproval, for when David became king after Saul, God brought famine in Israel 3 years, year after year, because according to Him, "It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites" II Samuel 21:1-11. Remember Joshua made a pact with the Gibeonites in Josh. 9:15-16. Saul broke that oath contrary to the will of God. That was why God assured David that He will never break His covenant with him. Meaning David should never break his covenant with anyone. This is also in line with the word of God that we should forgive those who have trespassed against us as God has forgiven us.

When the wind of trial blows and things happen that I cannot explain, this psalm tells me that God is still in control (v.4). David did not loose hope. He did what the righteous should do - He continued to trust God in his trial. God restored the foundations in the days of King David and David became a man after God's own heart.

Today, this foundation stands sure. It cannot be destroyed. It is the foundation of the house of God - the invisible Church - the living temple of God, of which we are. Apostle Paul describes it in Eph. 2:20-21 thus, "And (ye) are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief corner stone; In whom all the building fitly framed together grows unto an holy temple in the Lord... ".

The corporate Church of this end time is full of murderers, thieves, evil doers and busybodies in other men's matters. These cannot destroy this foundation. The ungodly and the sinner cannot shake this foundation either. For the time is come when judgment must begin in the house of God. But the righteous who suffer in the name of Christ will not be ashamed (I Peter 4:15-17).

The evil ones seem to be prospering. I beseech you not to compare or measure yourselves with them, for the Lord is about to rain snares, fire and brimstone upon them according to His word in Ps. 11:6. Instead, I advise you to measure yourself within the boundaries of God's plan for you according to the measure of faith you have received ( II Cor. 10:12-13, Rom. 12:3).

May the Lord bless and keep you, in Jesus name. Amen.
Pastor David Oni
 
Anointing for Sale PDF Print E-mail
Many Christians cannot utter two sentences without repeating the word "anointing" twice. That is how popular the word "anointing" has become in the evangelical pentecostal vocabulary. Of course, this should be expected being that in the end-time we are in the dispensation of the Holy Spirit. When you speak about the anointing, you speak about the Holy Spirit. And without the Spirit of God, there is no anointing.

Our sisters in large numbers pursue anointing from one church to another church, from one conference to another conference, and from one miracle and healing crusade to another. This has become the sign of the times, as many with itching ears heap up teachers to themselves (2 Tim. 4:3).

The most sought after anointing just as in the time of Jesus is that of healing and of working miracles (I Cor. 12:9&10, Acts 10:38). Ministers know this, and many are searching for where to acquire the power to heal and perform miracles by hook or crook. Stories abound of  Ministers travelling as far as India and the Far East and Africa to buy fake anointing.

There is nothing new under the sun. Anything happening today has happened before. In the time of the Apostles, Acts 8:9-24 tells us about the story of a man called Simon, the sorcerer, who bewitched the people of Samaria putting them into bondage until God liberated them through the mighty anointing given to Deacon Philip, who went to the City of Samaria and conducted the first healing and miracle crusade of the New Testament. Simon was dethroned and his fake anointing was vanquished.

The story did not end there. Simon accepted Jesus Christ, but not as his Lord and Savior. He was baptized. He sought to regain his former position of power by offering Apostle Peter money to buy the anointing of the Holy Ghost. Many of us do not want to be part of the kingdom of God, we have no desire to work for the kingdom, but we want to receive the healing and miracle of the kingdom. Our hearts are not right with God, yet we desire anointing.

Let me say it loud and clear. The anointing of the Holy Spirit cannot be bought, neither can it be sold. And there is nothing we as Christians can do without the anointing. But believe it or not, anointing cannot save you.  It is when we become born again, that we receive the gift of the Holy Spirit which dwells in us. The seventy elders on which God put the spirit of Moses were not saved. They all perished in the wilderness with everybody else.

If you want to pursue anointing, I advise you strive for discerning spirits. Discerning of spirits should be at the top of the priority anointing for every Christian. As the second coming of Christ is imminent, we need discernment of seducing spirits and doctrines of devils. We need discernment of deceiving spirits, lying spirits, talkative spirit, the spirits of division, of discord, disunity, envy, jealousy, sexual immorality, backbiting, and so on (I John 2:26&27, I Tim. 4:1-3).

Instead of running after anointing, let us work out our salvation with fear and trembling (Phil. 2:12). Yet, in I Cor. 12:29-31, Apostle Paul brings us to the realization that we cannot expect to receive many of these spiritual gifts. He "shows us a more excellent way" in the next chapter - the way of LOVE.

Seek ye first the love of Christ and these spiritual gifts will be added unto you. Without love for God, the anointing profit us nothing (I Cor. 13:1-3) Those who have hears let them hear what the spirit says to the Churches.

Pastor David Oni
 
Mother Intercessor PDF Print E-mail
The role of motherhood is universally accepted as that of a caregiver, a caretaker and a homemaker. But the duties of a Christian mother goes beyond these. She is an intercessor for the good of the Christian family.

The Bible tells us of the story of Esther, an intercessor for the children of Israel in Babylon. She fasted and prayed continuously for 3 days so that
God's people will, in their struggle against the competition, get the upper hand in the kingdom of Babylon.

Luke 2:36-38 said, "And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser; she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. And she coming in that instant gave thanks likewise unto the Lord, and spake of Him to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem".

What is the Bible telling us about Prophetess Anna? She was a wife and a mother , who at the ripe old age of 84 years was still fasting and praying day and night for the salvation of the Jews. On the day that Baby Jesus was brought to Jerusalem for dedication at the temple, she was there to see the Holy one of Israel, the redeemer of the world. That day was the result of her many years of intercessionary prayer and fasting to God to send the messiah to Israel. God answered her prayers and that of one called Simeon (Lk. 2:25), and God fulfilled His promise.

Are you as a mother and wife, interceding on behalf of your husband, your children, or the family of God for God's promise to come to pass? Or are you complaining about how old or how busy you are? God is looking for faithful women and mothers like Esther and Anna to stand in the gap and make up the hedge.

According to American history, the American civil war brought about deep political and social division in the nation. Two mothers, Julia Ward Howe, and Anna Reeves Jarvis, thought of a way to bring peace and reconciliation into the body politic of this country. Who did they turn to? The mothers! They recognized that mothers have a unique influence over their husbands and their sons who were soldiers on both divides of the war. They found mothers who were a uniting force, rather than force of division, in their families and communities. Mothers' day was born!

Women and Mothers- God Has given you power to influence the course of history. Let us borrow a leaf from the Marys' of the New Testament - Mary, the mother of Jesus; Mary, the mother of James and John; Mary Magdalene;  Mary the sister of Lazarus. They went everywhere with Jesus, and ministered to His needs and those of His disciples. Women and Mothers- Jesus, the head of the body, needs you today to minster to His body, the Church, in prayer and fasting. God expects you to work for unity in whatever Church He Has established you.

May the Lord help us all in Jesus name. Happy Mothers' Day!

Pastor David Oni
 
Do It In Remembrance of Me PDF Print E-mail
Do what? According to I Cor. 11:24-25, eat the body of Christ and drink His blood while gathered at the Lord's table. And why the celebration of the Holy Communion? In remembrance of Him. What are we supposed to remember about Him? His broken body and His shed blood on the cross of Calvary. To what end? That we  may have a new life in Him with a resurrected soul and healthy body and sins forgiven in this world and eternity in heaven. And why does Jesus need to remind us of His life, His death and His resurrection? Because we have short memory.

Despite telling them several times that He was going to Jerusalem to be crucified, and buried, and that He will rise again the third day, the disciples forgot. The two men on the road to Emmaus who heard what Jesus had told His disciples, were like the disciples equally perplexed by what happened that day in Jerusalem (Luke 24:13-14). Jesus Christ who knew that man was dust and he could not be relied upon, set up this memorial of the Holy Communion just as God set up the passover in the land of Egypt as a memorial to the Children of Israel for ever. Ex. 12:14 states that, "And this day shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it a feast to the Lord throughout your generations; ye shall keep it a feast for ever."

Forgetfulness comes from absent mindedness. The mind of the disciples was not there when Christ talked to them. They were more concerned about what will happen when Christ was gone. And that was why Jesus comforted them with the words, "Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe in me also" (John 14 :1).

Today, we have the whole Bible which the Apostles did not have. We know we should have this treasure in earthen vessel, which is the kingdom of heaven in us. Where our treasure is, our heart will be also (Matt. 6:21). The problem we have today as believers is that our heart is not in the right places. This is because our priorities are wrong. When we lay up our treasures on earth, we will mind earthly things. But when we lay up our treasures in heaven we will remember Jesus, the Lord's table not withstanding (Matt. 6:19-20). Whatever you do, do it in remembrance of Him.

Finally, when we remember Him, He expects us to do something. What is that thing? The scriptures says Jesus carried His cross and endured to the end despite the suffering and the shame (Heb. 12:2). Today, He has the joy of being seated at His Father's right hand. Does any one desire to be seated at the right hand of Jesus? Then let him deny himself, take up his cross daily (not only on Sundays), and follow Him (Luke 9:23).

Pastor David Oni
 
The Spoil of War PDF Print E-mail
For three days and three nights, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ descended into the lower parts of the earth (Eph. 4:9). Why? Because He was at war with the devil and the kingdom of darkness.  At the end of three days and three nights, He had defeated Satan, ceased the keys of death and hell, opened the gates of freedom to the captives, and gave the elect of God the gift of salvation (Eph. 4:8).

This was a war between good and evil. The Epistle of Colossians describes it thus in Col. 2:14-15: "Blotting out the handwriting of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to His cross; And having spoiled principalities and powers, He made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it." Christ took spoil or trophy from this victory over principalities and powers. According to Matt. 12:29, He had to bind the strong man in order to be able to spoil his house.

The war between good and evil rages on in the world today. Every true believer is called to the side of the good to fight against the forces of evil. Every strong man dwells in a stronghold. We are called to the war of the spirit to pull down his stronghold. The weapon of our warfare in not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strongholds (II Cor. 10:3&4).

There are three basic battle fronts of conflict-
1. the stronghold of evil imaginations: Many Christian leaders today so highly esteem themselves to the point where they qualify to be called false Christs and false prophets (Matt.24:24). This is a stronghold that we need to cast down in the end time Church (II Cor. 10:5)

2. the stronghold of lack of knowledge: Ignorance is said to be a disease. Ignorance of spiritual matters causes a lot of Christians to fall prey to the deceit of the devil. It is an end time problem to which only the very elect will be immune. Let us ask for wisdom from God to confound the wise of this world.

3. the stronghold of impure and lustful thought: our mind is the seat of our thought. It is the battle ground between the forces of good and evil. There, the flesh wars after the Spirit, and the Spirit after the flesh; one is contrary to the other (Gal. 5:16-17). Ask for a renewed mind. Ask for the mind of Christ. So that you can bring this stronghold "into captivity to the obedience of Christ" (II Cor. 10:5).

When Christ emerged from the grave on the third day, He showed off the keys of hell and of death (Rev. 1:18) as His spoil of war. What is your stronghold today? Is it negative thoughts, or disobedience, or negative confessions? Is it anger, or high or low self-esteem? It is time to fight the good fight. It is time to keep the faith. You will need to bind and to loose. Those who endure to the end, will be found holding the keys of the kingdom of heaven when Christ shall appear (Matt. 16:19). Amen.  
 
Christian Mentality PDF Print E-mail
The word mentality is best understood by example. Those of us who originate from countries colonized by Great Britain have this thing we call colonial mentality; which is to say whatsoever is British is best and it is the be all and end all. But in due season our eyes became enlightened and we realized there were some things better, and that there was no end to the number of countries that were ready to deal with us.

As an independent country, it was not about where we have been, it was about where we were going. So also is the carnal man. While we were still in the world, we had the mentality of the "old man". But when the fullness of time was come, God sent forth the Spirit of His Son into our hearts to renew the spirit of our mind. With our renewed mind, we are able to put off the old man and put on the mentality of the "new man", "which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness" Gal. 4:3-6, Eph. 4:22-24.

There is also slave or servant mentality, which is to say, the master is everything and we are nothing. But Jesus says we are no longer slaves but friends. That means we have become sons and daughters of God and co- heirs with Christ. We now have the mind of Christ without which no one can claim to be a child of God (John 15:15).

It is obvious that mentality is related to the mind. Mentality is a mind set. What sets human beings apart from every other of God's creation is the MIND. That is why he is called the spirit man. The mind is the center of human thinking, activity, and creativity. The mind controls the brain, and the brain controls all the common sense organs of the body, including the eye, the ear, the nose, the tongue, the hands, and so on. The mind is the battle ground between light and darkness. A corrupt mind conformed to this world will result in the unrighteous use of the common sense organs of the body. But a renewed mind transformed from the world, will result in common sense Christianity (Rom. 12:2).

David as a youth had the mentality of the circumcised when he killed the giant Goliath (I Samuel 17:26). Apostle Paul warned the Philippians, "Let this mind be in you, which was in Christ Jesus" Phil. 2:5. Receive the mind of Christ today by the anointing of the Holy Spirit, and you will be humble, obedient, full of servitude, seeing yourself as nothing. For it is not about you; it is about God. It is not about feeling good, or having a sense of importance or achievement. It is all for the glory of God.

Pastor David Oni.
 
COMMON SENSE CHRISTIANITY PDF Print E-mail
Many of us must have sometime or another had the word "common sense" used in positive or negative terms. Common sense can be described as the use of our senses to show or exercise good judgment. Where do we need common sense? We need common sense approach in our relationships - between one believer and another, with the world, with God, in our marriages, in our church, and so on. In these relationships, certain fundamental Christian doctrines become common denominators for all true Christians.

Firstly, love your neighbor as yourself. Do unto others as you will like them to do unto you. This is the second greatest commandment and is like the first - love the Lord with all your heart and strength and mind. Secondly, be your own best critic. Judge not , condemn not, so that you will not be judged or condemned (Matt.7:1). Judge yourselves before you are judged (I Cor. 11:31-32).

There is a saying that common sense is not common. This is because there are five sense organs common to man, but each organ is sensitized or exercised or used at vastly different levels of spiritual discernment. There is the sense of sight with the eye as its instrument, the sense of hearing with the ear as its instrument, the sense of smelling with the nose as its instrument, the sense of taste with the tongue as its instrument, the sense of touch with the fingers as its instrument.

Our Lord and savior Jesus Christ in His sermon on the Mount gave us some basic examples for Christian living. Do not worry about tomorrow He says, for tomorrow will take care of the things of itself (Matt. 6:38).

Perhaps next to Jesus, Paul was the greatest soul winner of all times. In Corinth and everywhere he went he brought the message of the Gospel to the world in a simple and common sense way. I Cor.9:20-22 says, "And unto the Jews I became as a Jew, that I might gain the Jews; to them that are under the law, as under the law, that I might gain them that are under the law; To them that are without law, as without law, (being not without law to God, but under the law to Christ,) that I might gain them that are without law, To the weak became I as weak, that I might gain the weak; I am made all things to all men, that I might by all means save some. At Athens the Bible says, "Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD, whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, him declare I unto you" (Acts 17:22-23).

My brethren, the Holy Spirit who exercised the senses of Paul to do great works for God, will do the same for you today as you receive the discernment between good and evil, in Jesus name. I want to encourage you with the following Bible verses, so that you can exercise all the instruments of your senses as a workman "created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God has before ordained that we should walk in them" Ephesians 2: 10.
 
Deliverance Anywhere, Anytime PDF Print E-mail
Dear Brethren, let us not put deliverance in a box. If we do, it would be like trying to put God in a box. If we know God, we would know better than to try to limit God. His ways are higher than our ways. His thoughts are higher than our thioughts. His ways are holy, and His thoughts are perfect.

When we believe deliverance cannot happen except there be first a  physical shaking or an outward observable falling away first, then we miss the spontaneous, and refreshing touch of the Holy Spirit. True, many miracles in the Bible came with physical signs such as the blind received their sight, the deaf had their ears opened, the lame got up and walked, the man with the withered hand physically grew a new hand while everyone was watching. But deliverance from the root of bitterness, fear, anger, envy, malice, jealousy, lukewarmness, hate and unforgiveness show no immediate physical outward sign. It comes with reassurance. A quiet spirit with peace of mind it brings to those who receive it.

Deliverance is more than Bible study. Deliverance comes from the applied word of God practiced with faith. Remember Ps. 107: 20 - "He sent His word, and healed them, and delivered them from their destructions."  Romans 10:17 - " So faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God."  There was deliverance on the way to Damascus. There was deliverance on the road to Emmaus, on the road to Jericho, in the wilderness, in the synagogue, and so on. Everywhere Jesus went there was deliverance.

When we gather together to worship God, let us come expecting to be healed and delivered. Only those who come with expectation will not go back empty handed, but will receive -  everywhere, everytime - the word of life mixed with faith for a great profit of deliverance (Heb 4:2).

Be encouraged. Be blessed.
Pastor David Oni.
 
DO MINE FIRST PDF Print E-mail
God commanded the children of Israel to keep three feasts unto Him in a year:
1. the feast of unleavened bread which is to say, the passover
2. the feast of harvest which is the firstfruit of all their labors
3. the feast of ingathering, which is in the end of the year, when they have gathered in their labors out of the field

The firstfruit was as a result of reaping during the latter rain in the first month. And the ingathering was as a result of reaping during the former rain towards the end of the year. The children of Israel needed both former and latter rain for a bumper harvest during the year. Joel 2:23-27 tells us as much. Joel 2:24, says, "And the floors shall be full of wheat, and the fats shall overflow with wine and oil".

Jesus Christ became our passover lamb. In the place of the blood of bulls and goats, the blood of our savior was shed once and for all for the remission of our sins. The blood of Jesus established the New Testament and is the distinguishing mark between the Old and New Testaments. Instead of the passover, the New Testament Church celebrates the Holy Communion. The feasts of firstfruit and ingathering remain, not to be celebrated in the setting of the altar of the temple of Solomon, but in the setting of the New Testament Church.

Let us read the story of Elijah and the widow of Zaraphath in 1 Kgs. 17:8-16. In this parable, Elijah is a picture of God, while that widow is a picture of the true believer. God is telling us today to do His first. Do mine first, says the Lord. God wants us to give Him the preeminence. He wants us to put Him first in everything we do, because without Him we can do nothing. If we obey like the Zaraphath widow, we will prosper in the time of drought and famine.

The number of God is 1. The number of man is 0. If we put ten zeros side by side, the number is still zero. But if we put the number 1 before the zeros, that number becomes ten billion. That means if we acknowledge God in all our ways, nothing shall be impossible for us. God rejected the offering of Cain, but had respect for that of Abel. Why? Because Cain broke the commandment of the Firstfruit. Read Gen. 4:1-5. The Bible says that Abel brought to the Lord, "the FIRSTLINGS of his flock and of the fat thereof."  But Cain did not bring the FIRSTFRUIT of his ground to God. He brought the left over.  The FIRSTBORN of man belongs to God. The firstlings of beast belong to God. The firstfruit of the ground belongs to God. Read Ex. 13:1-16, Neh. 10:35-37, Ezek. 44:30 Rom.11:16.

We need a revival in the Church this year. It must begin with you and me.. It will only come about if we do the first things first. My prayer is that as you offer your firstfruit to the Lord in 2011, divine healing and divine health, financial breakthrough, happiness, peace, favor, will follow you, in Jesus name. According to the commandment of God, I cause the blessing of God to rest in your house in the mighty name of Jesus. May the blessing of God remain permanent in your life. Amen.

Pastor David Oni
 
Are We Better Than Our Fathers? PDF Print E-mail
Elijah thought he was not better than his fathers. Why would he think like that? He was a man of God and has just performed one of the greatest miracles by any man, by commanding fire to come down from heaven, in the sight of the people at Mount Carmel. Yet when persecution came, he considered himself unworthy and a sinner just as his fathers were before him. He still harbored the possibility that despite the fact that God had used him mightily, yet, God somehow was still visiting the sins of his fathers and their fathers before him upon him (Elijah). How is that possible? Because God Himself said so in the ten commandments (Exodus 20:5). Achan took the accursed thing and caused Israel to sin. His entire family was stoned to death. The same fate befell Korah, Dathan and Abiram and all the members of their family including their wives and children. The sin of the three men was that they raised their voices against Moses. Their punishment was that the ground opened up and swallowed them (Numbers 16). The ten sons of Haman were hung on the gallows with him when he planned to destroy the Jews in Babylon. The same gallows he erected to hang Mordecai took his own life (Esther 3:8-11). Ahab was a king who worked wickedness with his wife Jezebel in the sight of God (I King 2 1:25). Ahab had seventy sons in Samaria. In one day all the seventy were slain and their heads cut off and put in baskets and laid at the gate of the city (II Kings 10:1-1 1).

All these became a proverb in the land of Israel. Sin became a generational curse. The fathers committed the sins, but God visited the iniquities on their children. Prophet Ezekiel described it as, “The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge.” But from the time of Ezekiel onwards, God made a new law. It says, “As long as I live, saith the LORD God, ye shall not have occasion any more to use this proverb in Israel. Behold, all souls are mine; as the soul of the father, so also the soul of the son is mine; the soul that sinneth, it shall die.” (Ezek. 18: 1-4). Jesus Christ came not to save nations, but to save individuals like you and me. He did not come to save America or any other country, but according to Apostle Peter, “Of a truth I perceive that God is no respecter of persons: But in every nation he that fears Him, and works righteousness, is accepted with Him (Acts 10:34&35). God told Jeremiah in Jer. 3:14-15, “Turn, 0 backsliding children, says the Lord; for I am married unto you; and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion; And I will give you pastors according to mine heart; which will feed you with knowledge and understanding “. The God of the Old Testament is ajust God, but a consuming fire. The God of the New Testament is the second person of the Trinity, but the prince of peace. The God of the end time is the third person of the Trinity, but the King of peace.

Are we better than our fathers? Yes, we are - in the sense that we are no longer bound by the sins of our fathers’ house. The powers of our fathers’ house no longer have power over us. The innocent blood shed by our forefathers through human sacrifices to idols and trafficking in human cargo and inhuman labor, that are crying out from the ground like that of Abel, will no longer condemn us and be avenged upon us and our children, because the blood of Jesus Christ, the blood of the New Covenant, speaks better things than the blood of Abel (Hebrew 12:24). The blood of Jesus protects us against the blood of Abel shed by generations before us. Every generational curse, family divination or enchantment or any evil blood covenant made with the devil without our knowledge or approval must be broken by the blood of Jesus. Blood or Cervix cancer in your family will fail to take root when it is your turn. Barrenness will give way to fruitfulness when it comes to you in Jesus name. Late marriage or no marriage will not prosper when it comes to your case. Failed marriage or failed business will be turned around for good success in Jesus name. The Lord will deliver you from every familiar spirit that is familiar with your family history, and wants your problem to continue. They will die, but you will possess your possession. Those that have been hindering your progress by trying to delay your destiny will lose control, fade away and be seen no more in Jesus name.

Pastor David Oni
 
7 STEPS OF THE RIGHTEOUS Part 3 PDF Print E-mail

Between the journey of Abraham and that of David, the 7 steps of the righteous are established. God told Abram, "walk before me, and be thou perfect" (Gen. 17:1). That means, "Abram, I am watching your every step as you go on this journey. I will synchronize your steps with mine steps, and you will walk in faith, justice, holiness and peace. I will save you, and you will no longer be called Abram. Your name will now be called Abraham. God also turned to David and said, "my covenant with you, I will never break". That means, "David, where your sin abounds, my grace will much more abound. You will lose the joy of my salvation for you for a while. But when you repent, I will forgive and you will praise me and give me the sacrifice of  thanksgiving, for you will rejoice.

The just shall live by faith. Walk by faith and not by sight. In the year 2011, the scriptures is asking us to walk the walk of the righteous that leads to perfection. The walk of Abraham and David crystallizes the 7 indelible footprints of the pilgrim as he progresses in the journey of life as: Repentance, Thanksgiving, Faith, Justice, Holiness, Peace, and Joy. "Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord." Read Heb. 12:14-17. Remember the Kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost (Romans 14:17).

 
7 STEPS OF THE RIGHTEOUS Part 2 PDF Print E-mail

The beginning of the year 2011 is starting out to be a very challenging time for the ministry. The children of the bondwoman and those of the synagogue of Satan would attempt to persecute us, and encroach upon our power and authority. But the Lord says, He will cast out the bond woman with her children and He will make the latter to come and worship before our feet, to show that we are co-heirs with Christ and the beloved of the Lord (Gal. 4:30, Rev. 3:9). This is our year of righteousness! For the scripture says, "In righteousness shall thou be established; thou shall be far from oppression; for thou shall not fear; and from terror; for it shall not come near thee." Oppression, suppression, opposition, terrorism, shall not come our way this year in the name of Jesus Christ. They shall come against us one way, but they shall flee seven different ways in the name of Jesus Christ.

Step #1 involves a step of repentance that leads to godly sorrow. Step #2 is the offering of continuous sacrifice of thanksgiving which is for the sake of a reward greater than that before it for the whole of the year. Step #3, which is what we talking about today, is the step of faith; for the righteous shall live by faith (Heb. 10:38). If you desire to be an over-comer in 2011, your soul cannot afford to draw back from God: for the Lord knows the way of the righteous, but the way of sinners and the ungodly shall perish (Ps.1:6). Was there any situation you could not overcome in 2010? Was there any mountain you could not conquer? Was there any fire you could not quench? Or the mouth of lions that could not be shut? Or rivers that could not be dried up? Take a fresh step of faith and let it spring forth out of righteousness.

You desire to have a child this year? Have the faith of Abraham, who at 100 years of age, fathered a son. That faith was accounted unto him for righteousness, so much so he was called the friend of God (James 2:23, Isa.41:8). You desire promotion on your job? Take on the faith of Daniel who purposed in his heart not to defile himself with the things of this world, but to be right with God. He was promoted from a slave boy to become the President of Babylon. You have dreams that you desire should come true? Do not allow your dreams to die. Have faith in God. Joseph held on to his dreams, and did not deviate from righteousness. Despite going through ridicule, humiliation, and suffering, his dreams came true after many years. Men and women and all his 11 brothers bowed down to him in Egypt in his capacity as the second in command to Pharaoh. Are you looking for a life partner? Look unto the faith of Ruth; who though not setting out to get a husband, ended up with Boaz, because she believed in and was faithful to the God of Naomi, her mother in law. Has the spirit of poverty visited your finances? Remember Jabez who was born in sorrow and given a name that symbolized poverty. By faith, he called on the God of Israel for blessing (I Chr. 4:9-10)

 
7 STEPS OF THE RIGHTEOUS PDF Print E-mail

The beginning of the new year is like the morning of a new day. We have the opportunity for a fresh start. It is the beginning of another stage in our journey of life. The last chapter of the book of our life is full, and we take a new page to begin a new chapter. It is time for us to put the past behind us and look toward the future. At this moment, we need to be convicted on the way we are going. Are we walking on the path of righteousness, or on the way of the wicked? Jesus tells us there are only two ways - the broad way that leads to destruction and the narrow way that leads to eternal life (Matt. 7:13-14). The sound of the feet of the righteous can be heard pounding the pavement of the narrow way as God orders their steps. Ps 37:23 says, "The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord; and He delights in his way." The word "order" in this verse has two meanings. One meaning describes "order" as a command. The steps of the righteous is commanded by God. We are commanded to give thanks (I Thess. 5:18). We are also commanded to repent and to forgive (Matt.3:2, 6:14-15). The second meaning to the word "order" describes a state of harmony, of unity, devoid of confusion or chaos. "For God is not the author of confusion, but of peace, as in all churches of the saints." I Cor. 14:33.


Our first two steps this new year as we enter at the strait gate and walk on the narrow way is to repent and give thanks. These two steps are commanded by God and both move in unison so that we do not lose our balance or miss our steps and fall. The children of Israel were very good at this balancing act. Both in the wilderness and in the promised land, they went astray disobeying God's commandment. God allowed sickness, suffering and death to afflict them. In the land of Canaan, God permitted their enemies to oppress them and made them servants. Every time their affliction becomes unbearable, they cried unto the Lord. They repented of their sins and God forgave them and delivered them. Each time, they gave thanks to God and followed Him for a while. But each time after that, they fell back into their old ways, and their affliction began all over again. Many Christians are like that today. We go through the vicious cycle of besetting sins of lying, anger, cheating, stealing, malice, lack of forgiveness and so on. We beg God to forgive us. He forgives us . But as soon as that happens, we go back to the same routine. The Bible reminds us that besetting sin is a heavy weight we carry, which prevents us from running this race with patience (Hebrew 12:1).


We cannot allow sin and unforgiveness to derail us from this way of righteousness. We cannot afford to take our eyes off Jesus who is leading us on this way: for He is the way, the life and the truth (John 14:6). He is the author and finisher of our faith (Heb. 12:2). This new year, let our repentance be complete. Let us confess and forsake our sins. Going back to our sins after God Has forgiven us is like a dog going back to its vomit. While confessing your sins, let me emphasize the importance of forgiving those who have sinned against you just as the Lord's prayer says (Lk. 11:4). And when God Has been good and merciful unto you, rejoice and show appreciation by giving Him the sacrifice of thanksgiving (Ps. 107:22). Not only that, in every thing give thanks, even when you do not feel like it. This is the commandment of God for you, because Jesus Christ Has paid the price for your happiness. Start this new year with repentance and thanksgiving.


Have a very happy and prosperous new year!

 
Depression Part 2 PDF Print E-mail

The last time, we learnt how depression can rob us of our joy and fellowship with God, and turn our victory into defeat. If depression can rob King David of the joy of salvation, and turn Prophet Elijah's incredible victory on Mount Camel into defeat, what chance do we of lesser faith have? Two questions were answered in Part 1 namely: Who can be depressed?. What causes depression?  We know that any man born of a woman can and will probably be depressed sometime in life. We also know from the examples of Job, Elijah and Kings Saul, David, and Ahab, that the causes of depression are multi-faceted. They go from severe physical and spiritual attack on Job, to the almost inexplicable cry of Elijah to God, "Take away my life: for I am no better than my fathers" - I Kgs. 19:4. Men of God doing a lot and yet not seeing the benefit of it.  Elijah is saying - "I am the only one left, I quit, I give up". Saul was disobedient. David was suffering from the consequences of his sins. Ahab due to covetousness, greed and lack of contentment suffered from depression.


What about the women in the Bible. According to statistics, it is said that women experience depression about twice as often as men. Hannah experienced barrenness. Her heart was grieved and she was in bitterness of Soul (I Sam. 1:8 & 10). Mary Magdalene had seven demons cast out from her. Mary the mother of James and John, the sons of Zebedee, wanted her children to sit at the right and left hand of Jesus Christ in heaven. The daughters of Eve are troubled about a lot of issues ranging from husband, to children, to grandchildren, to family, to job, to their appearance and so on. No wonder the number of women in the church far outnumber men. I am not saying this to degrade women, but on the contrary to salute them. I will tell you why. Prov. 10:1 says, "A wise son makes a glad father; but a foolish son is the heaviness of his mother." Why do you think in the Old Testament and some parts of the New, the mothers were the ones that gave names to their sons and daughters?  Jesus says, "Let not your heart be troubled. Believe in God and believe in me also." He has gone to prepare a place for you where there is no sorrow, no trouble, no tears, no pain and no death. He will come back to take you with Him. Aren't women are wise for seeking the help of Jesus and coming to church? Men need to do likewise. For that to happen, women, I ask you to cry out more. Cry out for your wayward husbands so that they abandon their sinful habits. Cry out for your children who are running away from God. Cry out for those of them who are in need of the fruit of the womb. Cry out for your grandchildren who are under the influence of this evil school system, peer pressure, pornography, drug addiction, and all kinds of addiction. Cry out! Cry out!! Cry out!!! God is counting on you. He is ready to answer your prayers in Jesus name.


There are two remaining questions we need to look into:
1) What are the symptoms of depression?
2) How can it be cured?


The symptoms of depression are varied. Sadness, inactivity, difficulty in thinking straight or focusing on our thoughts, feeling of dejection, insecurity, failure, heaviness, unforgiveness, or worthlessness to the point of contemplating suicide or wanting to commit murder. It could be loss of interest in things around you, prayerlessness, forgetfulness, constant and persistent anger, regret, not eating or overeating, not sleeping or oversleeping and so on. These symptoms are manifestations of the cause of depression. Cause and effect are like a tree. The cause is the root, and the symptoms are the leaves and branches. One is hidden underground and the other visible above ground. Removing the leaves of a tree and cutting off its branches will not kill the tree. The only way to kill a tree is to uproot it from the roots. Every tree that your father in heaven did not plant in your life, today, will be uprooted in the name of Jesus Christ.


Eliminating the cause of depression will heal it. But that is easier said than done, because as I said earlier, the issues of our past continues to hunt us.  As believers who are in Christ, old things must pass away for us to become  new creation of God, born again child of God, and new trees of righteousness planted by God in Christ Jesus. The garment of praise will drive out the spirit of heaviness (Isa. 61:3). But one thing will cure depression and stop its recurrence. That thing is the word of God. Prov.12:25 says, "Heaviness in the heart of a man makes it to stoop; but a good word makes it glad". The anointing of the Lord will destroy every burden and break every yoke militating against your progress in Jesus name.


I want to share a revelation with you. As a minister or a worker, you may not be as talented as your fathers before you. Elijah knew that when he said, "I am not better than my fathers". But what our fathers achieved with their talent, we can do through hard work. For believe this - your hard work, commitment, and perseverance can take you where your talent cannot.


Pastor D.O. Oni

 
Depression PDF Print E-mail

There is something apart from sin that can make a believer to loose his victory and be robbed of the joy of salvation. That thing is depression. Depression is a word widely used in the medical profession. According to current statistics, 15 to 18 million American adults or 8 to 9 percent of the US population age 18 or older in a given year suffer from major depression. Medically, depression is a psychological illness with biological and chemical connotation. By the year 2020, depression will be the 2nd most common health problem in the world. Christians are not immune to depression. This is a topic that is not widely addressed in the church today. In many denominations, it is a taboo just like sex, because number one - it is a worldly thing demeaning to Christianity, and number two - the church believes that Christians should be the happiest people on earth and number three, it shows unbelief on the part of that person. But the Bible describes depression as the spirit of heaviness- Isa. 61: 1-3. It is a spiritual sickness that presses one's spirit down making one to become low in spirit.


To put this topic in proper perspective, we need to ask ourselves these four questions, namely:
1) Who can be depressed?
2) What causes depression?
3) What are the symptoms of depression?
4) How can it be cured?


Anyone can fall into depression. As a matter of fact, everyone at some time in their life, will be affected by depression, their own or someone else's. Why? Because we are all damaged goods before we met Jesus. In the Bible, we read the stories of Job, Elijah, and Kings Ahab, Saul and David. Immense personal tragedy robbed Job, though temporarily, of his fellowship and joy in Jehovah. Out of depression, he cursed the day he was born with such terrifying words that makes to shudder when I read it - Job 3:1-13. Elijah for one, lost his incredible victory on Mount Carmel. Such a victory was uncommon in Israel since the time of Moses, when on the command of a mere mortal just like us, God sent down fire from heaven. Even before then, through the prayer of Elijah, God ceased rain to fall in Israel for three an a half years. Yet, not much later, out of depression, Elijah was asking God to take his life. He wanted to commit suicide. His reason - his persecution was more than he could bear (I Kings 19:4). All the other prophets of God whom he knew had been killed by Jezebel. In his own human perspective he was all alone. He could no longer withstand the pressure on him. He had to give up - quit. For example, both gay and lesbian students gave up recently by committing suicide because they could no longer bear the ridicule, the humiliation, and the persecution that comes with being homosexuals. Some Pastors' wives have either killed themselves or ran away from their marriage or ministries, because the burden of life and ministry was too much for them to bear. Beware! Depression is a faith killer. Do not allow depression to destroy your faith in God.


Kings and princes are also subject to depression, despite their wealth and power. In the Old Testament, Kings Ahab, Saul, and David were typical examples. Depression knows no levels, whether poor or rich, man or woman, adult or adolescents. According to records, suicide is the leading cause of death for ages 10 to 24. King Ahab was someone who was very greedy. He coveted his neighbor Naboth's vineyard contrary to the commandment of God. His attempt to buy the vineyard was rebuffed. Read that story also connecting Jezebel in I Kings. 21:1- 16. Whenever we as believers are not contented with what God has given us, we become depressed. To get out of the depression, what do we do? We commit sin to get what we want, In the case of Ahab, it was the murder of Naboth. King David also was not satisfied with his wives. He had to take Urriah's wife, Bathsheba by killing Urriah. Of course God was angry with him. His punishment - the sword will never depart from his house (2 Sam. 12:10&14). This means that David's enemies within his household and without, including his owns sons will trouble him all the days of his life. And in Psalm 42:9-11, he declared how his enemies have oppressed him v.9, "as with a sword in my bones" v.10, and confessed that his countenance was unhealthy v.11. His spirit was low because he was depressed. The case of King Saul was a unique one. God took away His Spirit from Saul and put an evil spirit on him, because he disobeyed God's commandment while on an assignment to Amalek. The evil spirit from God tormented Saul and he became depressed (I Sam.16:14-23).


Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ commands us in John 16:33, to be of good cheer. He is telling us that no matter how impossible the situation we find ourselves in this world, we should go through it with confidence and in high spirit, without distress or despair. Let me remind you that Jesus Christ has overcome the world for you with all her trials, tribulations and temptations. He is the lifter up of your head.


Pastor D.O. Oni
11/28/10

 
The Choice Is Not Yours (2) PDF Print E-mail
The question is, do we really have a choice in this world?
Do we have a choice where we are born? Or who our parents are? What about who our brothers and sisters will be?

The answer is, we have no choice in this matter right from the beginning. So I wonder why some people preach and many of us come away with the impression that the choice is ours. The choice belongs to only one person -  His name is Alpha and Omega - the Omnipotent, the Omnipresent and Omniscient God. He is the one who declares the end from the beginning (Isaiah 46:10).

I had to revisit this topic because of an article I read in my e-mail. The title of the article was "Goals". After reading this article, I found a comment from someone who read the same article. What he had to say intrigued me a lot. This person came away with the following impression. He said,
"What a beautiful teaching. Let me add to this teaching
by saying success is a choice which implies that you can
choose to be successful and vice versa. You can choose to
set and pursue your goals and be a celebrated success or choose                                                                 
not to do anything. In a nutshell, you can choose to seek
Jesus and enjoy eternal life and salvation or choose the opposite.                                                                                             
May God  bless us all."
After listening to various teachers or preachers, many of us come away with wrong and false doctrine. We are not capable of choosing anything by our own wisdom and power. If you choose to be successful in this world without doing it God's way, you end up with bad success and regrets later in life. But if you are willing and obedient to God, you will be blessed with good success and prosperity (Joshua 1:8). None is righteous. None seeks after God. No, not one - Romans 3:10-11. When we seek Jesus it is not because we choose to seek Him. It is because He sought us first, just as He loved us first before we loved Him. Every thing else we do for Jesus is because He has already done it for us.

There is only one time that man was ever called upon to choose. It was in the garden of Eden. The choice was between God and Satan. And man chose Satan. Since then all our choices have been made for us by either God or the devil (when God allows him to do so). In the garden, Satan chose evil for us instead of good. On the cross, Jesus reversed Satan's choice. He chose life for us in place of death. It is therefore established for ever, for where there is evil there is death. For where there is good there is life (Gen. 2:17, John 3:16). In Deuteronomy 30:19, God set before the children of Israel life and death, blessing and cursing and called upon them to choose life. Unfortunately, the choice was not theirs. It was Satan's choice. He chose for them death and cursing. They all perished in the wilderness with the exception of two. They did not see the promised land. I do not know of anyone who deliberately wants to be poor or wretched or suffer hunger or burn in hell. We all want to be prosperous and be famous. We all want to go to heaven. But how many people make it here on earth, and how many people will make it to heaven? The choice that was made for us from before the foundation of the world will determine where we spend our eternity.

The unbeliever will say, if God has already made all the choices for me, what do I care? It is like if I try, I loose; if I do not try, I still loose. So what is the point of trying? Actually, it is the devil that God has permitted to make the choices for the worldly.  Eph. 1:3&4, confirms that God has already made all the choices for the believing Christian. Have you ever asked yourself the question, why do I believe and the other man doesn't? Think about it and you will begin to understand the mysteries of the kingdom that:

1) it is not by your power, or might, but by the Spirit of God. Every mountain of Zerubbabel will be brought low and whatever the Lord has started in our lives He will complete Zech. 4:6-9
2) the choice that Christ made for you, you can never make for yourself - He did all the work of salvation to deliver us from the power of sin and death
3) if we had the choice, we would be spending eternity in hell instead of heaven
4) without Christ we can do nothing - John 15:5
5) we are a chosen generation - I Peter 2:9&10
6) we know what the sages, professors, kings and princes of this world struggle to know but without success Matt. 13
7) as the lion lies in wait for his food, so the Lord provides our needs without hassle or hustle

If you are sick do not lose hope. His choice for you is that you have good health.
If you are afflicted, do not be overwhelmed. His choice for you is to be more than an overcomer
If you are under spiritual attack, do not succumb to defeat for the battle is not yours but God's. He will fight for you. His choice for you is sure victory.
Depression is not your portion. He will deliver you, perfect you, establish, strenghten, and settle you.
If you are struggling with your finances today, do not be afraid. The plan of God for you is that you possess your possession.

God's prefect plan for your life, your marriage, your children and grandchildren will surely come to pass.
Your destiny has been pre-programmed for success. You will never be a failure in Jesus name. Amen.  

 
Motives Part 2 PDF Print E-mail

Definition: Motive is what moves us to do what we do. If a man issuspected of murdering his wife, the first thing detectives ask is, what is his motive? If he truly committed the murder, a motive will be found and that will lead the police to his doorstep. In the same manner, a wrong motive from us, leads sin to our door, just like Cain - Gen.4:7. Also, according to the webster's dictionary, motive is something (as a need or desire), that causes a person to act or be moved to action.

Our every thought, word or deed is motivated. If we search for the motive we will find it. That means there has to be a reason and a purpose that drives our lives. God has a reason for every thing He does. The Bible says in I John 3:8b, "For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil." God has a purpose for creating the heavens and the earth. He has a motive for creating man, and the devil, and light and darkness - Isa.45:7. He has a motive for the coming of His Son Jesus Christ.


In John 6:22-27, Jesus knew the heart of the multitude. He knew their motive for following Him was to fulfill their need for food. He met their need as He will all our material and physical needs. But Jesus told them that there was something better and long lasting. Something that will not perish or decay like food. Something pleasing to God. Something you eat and will never be hungry again! The multitude became interested. And they asked Jesus in I John 6:28, "What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on Him whom He hath sent." v 29. Jesus was telling them that their motive needs to move from need to desire.


When we become children of God, our focus must shift from laboring for nourishment for the flesh to laboring for nourishment for the soul. Jesus declared unto them, "I am the bread of life; he that comes to me shall never hunger; and he that believes on me shall never thirst." John 6 35. To work the works of God , there must be a desire to know the will of God. You cannot reliably and adequately carry out a complex construction project without a blueprint. The blueprint of God is the will of God. The will of God is the word of God. The word of God is the bread of life. "' And the bread of life is Jesus Christ. From hearing the word of God comes faith in God. From faith in God comes believe in Jesus Christ. The faith we have in God is the faith of Jesus Christ. "But He (Jesus) answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." - Matt 4:4. And we know what moves the hand of God. It is not our needs. It is not our poverty. It is not our sickness. God is moved by one thing and one thing alone, and that is what believers must discern - He is moved by our faith! By the faith of Jesus Christ all flesh is justified- Gal. 2:16. All motives are made good and righteous. All needs and desires are met. All sickness is healed, all poverty is turned around, all barrenness, failures and joblessness is redressed.


Where there is unbelief and lack of faith as in the case of Simon the sorcerer, motives are evil and desires are selfish - Acts 8:5-24. Where there is a zeal for the things of God as was the case with King David, desire is good and righteous, not self-seeking, but God-seeking. It brings life more abundant and life everlasting - Ps.27:4. Importantly, any prayer to God with the wrong motive will not receive an answer. It is a request asked amiss - James 4:3.


Brethren fear not, only believe. He that did it once before, will do it again. Amen.


Pastor David Oni.

 
Motives PDF Print E-mail
Read John 6:22-27. The other Gospels give us detailed stories of Jesus' life and ministry. The Gospel of John most of the time gives us the spiritual insights into these stories. John does not give details of the second mass feeding incident, but the Gospel of Matthew tells us that five thousand men, apart from women and children, were fed with five loaves and two fishes the first time. And the second time around, four thousand men were fed with seven loaves of bread and a few little fishes. But what John made us to understand is that the very next day, the same set of people who sat down to eat the first time, also sat down to eat the second time (v. 24&25). Jesus Himself confirmed this when He said in v. 26, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled."

This statement of our Lord is pregnant with a lot of meaning because He used the word "Verily" twice. What can we learn from this passage:
1) the same group of people are seeking Jesus, pursuing Him from the Sea of Tiberias to Capernaum, from one crusade to another, from one conference to another conference
2) these people are not seeking Jesus, the miracle worker, but they are chasing after the blessing. That is why some people pay their tithes religiously but will not bother to give offering commensurate with the blessing of God in their lives. Christians associate tithe with blessing, but forget about offering. Remember, according to the Bible, we rob God in both tithe and offering and we are cursed in both tithe and offering (Mal. 3:8&9). I hear people complain that they are still in financial difficulties despite paying their tithes. I ask you,  "Does God respect your offering as He did to that of Abel"? The word of God is complete, nothing can be added or subtracted from it. You either obey completely and be divinely blessed, or you disobey partially or obey partly  and be divinely cursed.
3) the most significant aspect of this statement by Jesus, is the fact that He knew the heart of the multitude like He knows the heart of every man. Jesus knows your motive, your needs and desires, your hopes and aspirations, your ambitions and frustrations, your difficulties and your situations. Jesus knows your trials and tribulations. He sees our besetting sins. He is aware of our lies, our dishonesty, our craftiness, and deceitful ways. It grieves Him when we show partiality and hypocrisy. Despite these, He knows and is deeply concerned about your needs even before you ask and He promised He will meet them. He will grant the desires of the heart of those who delight in Him. No good thing will He withhold from those who walk uprightly before Him. He will reward those who come to Him knowing that He is God and seek Him diligently in spirit and in truth.

What is your motive for following Jesus? Is your motive borne out of selfishness, pride and desire for power like Simon the sorcerer? Acts 8:5-24. Did you come because you saw others coming? Do you have a purpose for coming to the Lord? True, our needs and desires provide all of us with a motive to come to Jesus. Many of us come to Him in serious time of deprivation and sickness and sorrow just as the multitude. He did feed the multitude and satisfied their physical hunger. Today, Jesus Christ will not only satisfy your soul in drought. As the Good Shepherd, He will make you to lie down in green pastures, He will lead you beside the still waters and He will restore your soul.

He says, "Labor not for the meat which perishes, but for that which endures unto everlasting life, which the son of man shall give unto you; for Him has God the Father sealed." John 6:27. Jesus is asking us to move, that is to be motivated, from the position of need to the position of desire. From immaturity to maturity. From life to life everlasting. The desire to know Him more and a zeal to do His work like our fathers before us. How? The word of God will take us there. Jesus is the INCARNATE WORD - the word was made flesh. Jesus is the SPOKEN WORD - the world was spoken into existence. Let there be light, and there was light. Jesus is the WRITTEN WORD - Lo, HE has come in the volume of the books written about Him. Heb. 10:7. The word of God is found not only on tablets of stone, or in the Bible, but more importantly, it is written in the minds and hearts of those who have received the atonement of the blood of the New Covenant in Christ Jesus.  Those whose hearts have been circumcised by the blood of Jesus, are the children of the New Testament! If  that be the case, then the word of God searches our heart, tries our mind, and discerns the thoughts and intents of our heart - Heb.8:10, Ps 139:23, Heb.4:12.The intent of your heart is the motive of your heart. When your motive is right, then your heart is right before God. Whatever motive is your heart that is not right today, the word of God will flush it out in Jesus name. It is spiritual water that cleanses. You are cleansed by this word that you hear in Jesus name.

God will not suffer you to hunger for food or thirst for water. You will not suffer nakedness or homelessness. Nor joblessness or barrenness, because He that promised is faithful and will not fail to deliver! Amen. However, Blessed are those which do hunger and thirst after righteousness; for they shall be filled - Matt.5:6. Do your job as unto God, but labor not for the need of the flesh. Be motivated by your work of faith, labor of love and hope of glory. Let these be the desires of your heart. Let these be the things that motivate you and occupy your thoughts day and night. Pray the Lord God Almighty answer our prayers in Jesus name. Amen.

Pastor D. O. Oni

 
OCCUPY TILL I COME - Luke 19:13 PDF Print E-mail
Already it is October. How fast the time flies. It seems only yesterday that we were celebrating Christmas. Another Christmas is almost here! If that is not a sign of the end times what is? The disciples of Jesus came to Him while He was alone to ask Him about the signs of the last days. "Tell us", they asked, "What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world? Matt. 24:3. Jesus gave them many signs on that day in that 24th Chapter of the Gospel according to Saint Matthew. You need to read the whole of Matthew 24 from verses 1 to 51. It is easier to read and understand than the Books of Daniel and Revelation on the prophesies of the return of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

"But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark. And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man." Matt. 24:37-39. These are the days of Noah for both believers and unbelievers. Everybody is busy BUYING AND SELLING, EATING AND DRINKING, and trying to survive in this harsh economic climate and in this sinful and perverse world. I know what you are going through because I am also going through the same thing. Let me encourage you by saying that Jesus has assured us that tomorrow will be a better day. The economy may not get better. The world will certainly not get better because it is coming to an end. But He that said, "occupy till I come", will keep you by the power of His word till the end. He will not leave you, neither will He forsake you. Let us not be as the unbelievers (those who have no hope), who spend all their waking life in laboring for the meat that will perish. Let us with wisdom live our lives laboring in knowledge and understanding unto eternal life. Occupy means spend your time in what and for what is right and pleasing in the sight of God. Occupy means do what you hear in the word of God so that you will not deceive yourself into thinking you are what you are not.

Read Eph. 5:14-20. This scripture tells us to examine ourselves if we are still in the faith. Christ wants to meet faith in us when He comes back. Those who have fallen asleep need to wake up. Those who are spiritually dead need to rise up from the dead. Those who are walking in darkness need to walk in the light of Christ. We all need to walk with suspicion of everything around us, but at the same time expecting and watching out for Jesus to appear anytime sooner than many of us think. The time is short. The days are evil. This is not the time to behave like the five foolish virgins. This is the time to be wise like the five wise virgins. Remember your adversary the devil is going about looking for whom to devour. Resist him steadfast in the faith!

This is the time of understanding (Eph. 5:17). What is understanding? Knowledge is knowing the will of God, understanding is doing the will of God. This is the time to do and not to procrastinate. No more telling stories or listening to stories. It is time to put our wisdom and knowledge into understanding (practice). But we need help. According to verse 18, help comes from the Holy Spirit. The end time church is drunken with enough hype, false visions and false doctrine, motivational speakers and itching ears. We need to be filled with the Holy Spirit. Without the Spirit of God we can do nothing! This is the time to encourage ourselves because the days are evil. To occupy till He comes, involves not forsaking the assembly of one another as the manner of some is. As we gather together in praise, in prayer, and in power, let us encourage one another while giving our offering of thanksgiving unto God.

We have just entered the season of thanksgiving. October is the Church Anniversary and Pastors' appreciation month. November is general thanksgiving month. December is thanksgiving for the gift of baby Jesus, the end of another year, and the beginning of a New Year. Our thanksgiving offering this year must be like that of

Abel.. God had respect for the offering of Abel. God must have respect for your offering. Though the offering of Abel cost him his life because it led to his death at the hands of his brother Cain, yet, it gave him a place in God's heart. King David whom God called a man after his own heart, refused to give God an offering that cost him nothing. That the blood of Abel shed at his death was mentioned in the same breath with the blood of Jesus Christ shows us very clearly how important our offering is. "And to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel. Your offering speaks volumes about your faith in Jesus Christ.
 
Turning Away in the Day of War PDF Print E-mail
When we turn away from war, it means that all hope is lost that we cannot win that battle.  Battle or war could be spiritual, marital, generational, ancestral, physical or financial. The life of a christian is a life full of wars.  If any christian says that there is no war to fight, that after all Jesus have died for us on the cross and He has shed Hs blood for our victory, that is true.  You ask yourself then, why are we still battling with sin and defeat?

The Bible says in Matthew 11:12 "And from the days of John the Baptist until now the kingdom of heaven suffereth violence and the violent take it by force".  We cannot take this kingdom of heaven by physical violence but we must be violent in the spirit this means by constant prayer, reading the bible, fasting and asking the Holy Spirit to help us live a holy life.   God blessed the Israelites with more male children than female because God knows that they will be a warring nation and many wars will be fought before they can possess the "Promised Land" and many times God gave them victories only when they walked in obedience and the fear of God.  Many turned their back when called to war.  Many prefered to listen to the gloating of the ram.  Many wars was lost also.  Read 1st Samuel 4,   1st Samuel 5,  Psalm 78:9-11 and Judges 5: 1-16.

Today, as christians on the way to our "Promised Land" which is heaven, many of us have turned our back to the war we are called to fight.  Many of us as christians have also lost many wars.  We have lost the wars because of the love of money, sexual immoralities, greed, disobedience, unforgiveness.   Within the church wars are still raging.  Wars of hate, anger, outbust and yelling even at men and women of God and even at ourselves.  How can we fight the real enemy which is satan when we are still busy fighting one another.  That is why many times during the cause of this war, when we call on our Lord Jesus Christ to help us win the battle, we still come back defeated and our "Ark" taken away by the enemy - 1st Corinthians 3: 1-3

This is not the time to have in-fighting in the church, rather is the time we need to come together in one accord and fight against our common enemy that wants to hinder us from possessing the "promise land".  We run away or turn our back from battle when  we pass through a little trial or test of faith.  Christians today believe more in watered down gospel than the truth.  We have forgotten that promotion comes after test.  David did not run from goliath rather he remembered the past battles God fought for him. We seek for easy way out from battles.  When our marriage have little problems, we seek divorce.  We have little upset at our work place, we begin to seek another.  We have financial shake up, we withdraw our tithe and offering.  When a christian is corrected, they get angry and leave the church or quit their post in the church.  Satan love these attitudes of ours because it will make it difficult for we to be winners and he will continue to afflict us.

The grace of God will always be sufficient for us if only we believe that God is in our battles with us.  We are OVERCOMERS!  As much as God wants us to overcome, he also expects us to walk in obedience with Him or else we will find it difficult to overcome all attacks of the enemy.  There is a war to be fought so let us come together in unity and fight so that our "Ark" will not be taken away and God will surely give us victory.
2nd Corinthians 10: 3-6

Prayer Point:   O Lord, give me the fire to fight, in Jesus name.

May God bless us all.
Mrs P. Oni
 
Who Is My Enemy? PDF Print E-mail
Jesus was asked a similar question during His ministry. The question was,  who is my neighbor? This was one of the two questions that came out of a question and answer session between Jesus and a Jewish lawyer in Luke 10: 25-29. The Bible tells us that a certain lawyer stood up, and tempting Him, said, Master, what shall I do to inherit internal life? This was a tempting question. Jesus knew that already. Jesus asked him, You are a lawyer? What does the law say? What is your interpretation of the law? He answered in verse 27, "Thou shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your strength, and with all your mind: and your neighbor as yourself ". Jesus congratulated him for his answer. He told him to obey the law and he will live for ever -verse 28. But the lawyer was not yet finished with Jesus. The Bible says he wanted to justify himself. What does it mean to justify oneself? Here, the lawyer was telling Jesus, I knew I was right all along. I did not need you to tell me, I was only testing you. How many of us think like that. When we ask questions during Sunday School, nobody answers, but when the answer is given, many say in their hearts, I knew it. I just like to follow the multitude to keep quiet.

Now, the lawyer asked the second question which he was sure in his heart he knew the answer to. He asked Jesus, "And who is my neighbor"? Jesus knew the heart of this man, as He knows the heart of all men. Remember Jeremiah 17:9, which says, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it? The answer is Jesus knows it. Jesus knew that in this man's heart, his neighbor was the Jew living next door to him. This man has had Jesus preach many times, love your enemies. Jesus knew this man's heart that he reserved his love only for those neighbors that love him. By the stretch of the imagination, he would not have considered the Samaritans as his neighbors not to talk of loving them. The Samaritans were living in another city separate from the Jews. The Samaritans historically had no dealings with the Jews (John 4:9). The Jews considered them as their enemies and unlovable. Jesus answered that lawyer's question with the parable of the good Samaritan (Luke 10:30-37). Your neighbor is not only somebody who lives close to you. Your neighbor is somebody who also lives far from you. A Christian neighbor is not a physical location, it is a heart condition. Your neighbor is someone full of mercy and compassion. The priest and the Levite were found guilty in this story. A true neighbor may not look like us, or talk like us, but he is our friend not our enemy.

Jesus is our #1 neighbor because He is our friend who loves us at all times (John 15:13, Prov. 17:17). Be your neighbors' keeper and do not be like Cain, his brother Abel's enemy. The opposite of friend is enemy. When you call someone your neighbor, spiritually you are saying that person is your friend and you need to love him or her. So, going back to the original question, Who is my enemy?:

1)  My enemy is the friend of the world, and the enemy of God (James 4:4)
2)  My enemy is one who loves the world and does not love God (I Jn 2:15) 
3)  My enemy is someone who has no mercy on me or on others in times of physical, material, or spiritual need (Lk. 10:37). This means my enemy being a fellow believer, is not a giver, is not an encourager but a hypocritical mocker, and does not pray for the saints.
4)  My enemy loves me for what he can get from me rather than what he can give to me (Acts 20:35)

What does it mean to love your enemies? Jesus commands us to love our enemies as He commands us to love one another. Following the teaching of Jesus in Matt. 5:44: I say
1) bless your enemies when they curse you
2) do good to your enemies when they hate you
3) pray for them when they despitefully use you and persecute you
4) when your enemies hunger, feed them. When they thirst give them drink. By so doing you will be heaping coals of fire on their head (Rom. 12:20).

In #4, you are saying by your action, it is not within your power to judge or condemn anyone. God is the righteous judge. He wants us to love our enemies because good overcomes evil. Vengeance belongs to God. Study Romans 12:9-21.

Who is not my enemy?
There are a category of people we do not care about. This ought not be so, but it is true. They are neither our friends nor our enemies. They neither bless us nor curse us.  Neither do good to us nor hate us. Neither use us nor persecute us. Many Jews did not care about the Samaritans. But one good Samaritan made a difference to Jesus. Many religions of the world fall under this category including the Muslim religion. Does your neighbor have to be a Christian? No. The good Samaritan did not practice Judaism. A good Muslim is a good neighbor we can come to love not as an enemy but as a friend, praying fervently and effectually for the salvation of the soul that he or she will be drawn by God and come to Jesus Christ who is our personal Lord and Savior. Amen. 
 
No Short Cut To Heaven PDF Print E-mail

If you talk the talk, you must walk the walk. If you say I love the Lord, then you must love every one that Christ loves - the lost, the halt, the blind, the deaf, the lame, and so on. You must help the hungry, the thirsty, the sick, the prisoner, the widow, the orphan, the fatherless, the stranger, and so on. If you say you are born of the Spirit, you also must be born of the Word. That means you must have the word of God in you (John 1:1, 3:4). If you say you are Spirit filled Holy Ghost baptized, then you must have zero tolerance for the things of the flesh and you must be baptized with water. Your word must be your bond. Your yea must be yea, and your nay nay.

One of the thieves that hung on the cross with Jesus in Luke 23:39-43, did not say he loved Jesus, nor did he say anything about being Spirit filled or Spirit baptized or water baptized, neither did he have the time to beat his chest and declare proudly like many of us that we are children of God, and yet he went to paradise with Abraham, Jacob and Isaac. It is not so much what we say, but what we do.

The parable of Lazarus and the rich man as reported in Luke 16:19-31 makes very interesting reading. Lazarus was a beggar who was laid at the rich man's gate. He was miserable and he suffered severe bodily pain due to the fact that he was covered with sores. There is no account in the Bible that he did any of the things we do today as Christians, yet when he died, he was carried by the angels into paradise. It must have been his heart condition. Many Christians today are worshipping God with their mouth but their heart is far from Him.

A fragile old woman in a small room in a remote corner of Saudi Arabia who while clutching a run down short wave radio trembles and is fearful of being discovered under the penalty of death listening to a Christian satellite radio, will get to heaven before many of us. The secret is her right heart condition. Jesus told the Pharisees that prostitutes and beggars will get to heaven before them. Their problem was their hypocrisy.

We may feel justified to say that these two men had no relationship with Jesus. They short circuited the process of getting to heaven. They did not go to church. They did not fast and pray like we do. They did not win any souls. They just appeared one day and were admitted straight into paradise before every body else. We accuse them of being gate crashers to heaven. So we accuse those came after us into the church and have overtaken us in the way God is using them.

The Bible tells us that Jesus Christ the lamb that was slain before the foundation of the world had even before the foundation of the world chosen and predestinated every believer that He will come to save (Rev. 13:8, Eph.1:4&5). Our relationship with Christ should be as the following:

1). He is our sustainer like the true vine and the branch. As the branch can do nothing of itself without the tree, so is the gate crasher in the church (John 15:1-8). He becomes a castaway and he is destroyed.

2) He is our restorer like the sheep and the good shepherd. The shepherd calls His sheep by name and they hear His voice and come to Him. The sheep in wolves clothing will not hear the voice of the master and he will get lost and end up in the ditch. The false shepherd (fake pastors and false prophets will gate crash through the back door or climb the fence to get into the sheepfold. Jesus calls them thieves and robbers (John 10:1-5).

3) He is our Bridegroom like husband and wife. Many are in the church today without a marriage license with Jesus. The man without the wedding garment in Matt. 22:11-14, tried to take a short cut into heaven but he was turned back and was cast into hell where the Bible says there is weeping and gnashing of teeth. That will not be our portion in Jesus name. We shall be rapturable and be His bride at the marriage supper of the lamb in heaven (Rev. 19: 7-9) in Jesus name.

4). He is our eternal life like the eating of His flesh and drinking of His blood. Without this relationship, we do not have His life in us. If we bide in Him and He abides in us, we have eternal life and we shall experience bodily resurrection on the last day (John 8:53-56). Many of His disciples left Him. They misunderstood His intentions not knowing it is a spiritual flesh and a spiritual blood.
 
Jesus Christ is the Reason for Our Living PDF Print E-mail
Text:  II Corinthians 5: 14-15

Firstly, the question is what is the reason for your living?  What is driving your life today?  What drove the lives of Moses, Elijah, Elisha, Gideon, Deborah, Lydia, Priscilla etc?  The answer is the compeling love of God and in the new testament the compeling love of Jesus.  II Corinthians 5: 14-15 says - 14"For the love of Christ constraineth us; because we thus judge, that if one died for all, then were all dead.  15. And that he died for all, that they which live should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto Him which died for them and rose again."

There are two hymns here that reveals this:
1.  "I gave My life for thee".  This hymn is supported by II Corinthians 8:5.  2.  "When I survey the wondrous cross".  This hymn is supported by Galatians 6:14.  The fear of the Lord and the love of Christ was what motivated, defined and influenced Paul's life.  The bible text of II Corinthians 5: 14-17 shows a great motivating influence that your life must be controlled by the love of Jesus Christ.  It is this love relationship that you have with Him that compels (constraineth) you to live not for yourself but for Him and for other people.

For you to accept the blood of Jesus as a redeeming power and also as a reconciling power between you and God,  puts you under obligation to live your life from then on in submission to God's way and will.  You will no more think of yourself first, but your Lord first.  Paul said that Jesus selfless death on the cross must result into selfless life and selfless love from you for Him and others.  Jesus died your death, Jesus took your shame, Jesus took your poverty, Jesus was forsaken by His Father because of your sins.   Therefore He expects you to live sacrificially for Him and for others. This is why the love of Jesus have such a compeling (constraining) power over every true believer. This love calls us to respond in an overwhelming gratitude to Him.

If when you came to Jesus all you desired is for Jesus to meet your needs or your want, then you will end up unfulfilled, frustrated and disillusioned.  You may feel that you are not been served or your needs are not met by those you expect.  Remember Jesus told his disciples that "He came to serve and not to be served."  Jesus is the only One who can meet our deepest needs.  If you deserve the love and life of Jesus to be revealed through you, you must be willing to die.  As Jesus gave sacrificial offering of His life for you so you must give your life as an offering to Him and others.  Except we die we cannot live!  Remember, we have been bought with a great price - I Corinthians 6:20 and 7:23-24.

The love that compels or controls or constrains you must then be revealed in so many ways of your life:-
    1. 1. Jesus wants to reveal himself and his love through you to other humans and not trees or animals Philippians 2:7 and Ephesians 2:1-6.
    2. 2. You must always show that Jesus is the reason for your being alive today, if you this is not so, then you can begin to expect trouble -  Philippians 2:10
    3. 3. To show that you are controlled and compeled by the love of Jesus, you must live a life plan He has drawn up for you and not vice versa -   II Corinthians 5: 14-15.
    4. 4. You belong to a new kingdom now after you have been saved from the kingdom of darkness and dominion of satan.  The redemption you received through the blood of Jesus means He paid a price or ransom for your release.  Your release is both physical and spiritual- saved from hell bondage of sin and sickness.  Therefore the love of Jesus must compel you or control you not to sin any more  -  Colossians 1: 13-14.
    5. 5. Jesus is the head of this new kingdom and has put all this in place for those who come to know Him.  What He put in place for those who are controlled by this love is in - I Corinthians 2:9.
    6. 6. If you are truly compelled by the love of Jesus, you must be a new creature. This means that your old life you once lived was not for Jesus.  In your old life you were incharge but in this new life Jesus have to be in control and incharge.  What has become new here?  You and I - II Corinthians 5:17, Galatians 6:15-16, Romans 6:11.

In conclusion, my friends in the Lord,  if we allow His love to control us, you will no more live to please yourselves but Christ.  You will no more decide when it is comfortable for you to serve God and others.  You will no more dishonor others.  You will live a sacrificial, selfless life for Jesus and do His will.  You will live in submission to the Lordship of Christ.  If the love of Jesus compels you, you will win souls for His kingdom and you will submit to  those placed in authority over you by Jesus Christ - Hebrews 13: 17.  Let the compeling love of Christ make you to be a kingdom builder.  Waiting for His second coming.

For further studies:II Corinthians 8:5,  Galatians 6:14,  II Corinthians 5:14-17, Galatians 2:20, Romans 8:1,  Philippians 3:8, Romans 6:6,  I Corinthians 6:20 & I Corinthians &:23-24.

Mrs P. Oni
 
The Choice Is Not Yours PDF Print E-mail

These last days are days for sober reflections. The Bible wants us to walk , not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time for the days are evil (Eph. 5:15-18). Wisdom comes with knowledge. Not surprisingly, the end times comes with increase in knowledge as the Holy Spirit is poured upon all flesh. The Holy Spirit brings revelation knowledge enlightening our eyes of understanding (Eph. 1:17-23). That means we can no longer continue to feed on the milk of the word of God. We need to upgrade to the strong meat of the word.

There are two fundamental areas where God declares that He is completely and absolutely in control of our lives. Eph. 2:8,9 declares that our salvation is totally the work of God, and we have nothing to do about it. It is not our choice, but God's. Eph. 2:10 says that after we are saved, He gives us a purpose for our lives so that we can fulfill our destiny. That is in this christian journey, every stop, every bend, every up and down is ordered by God. Every work we do for Him is good because He has made us good workmen. The choice is not ours; the choice belongs to God. Many times I hear preachers say that the choice is yours. This might be okay for unbelievers who like to be in control. We all had a big ego when we were still in the world. But believers need to know, and should know, and will know that power belongs to God.

Why is it important for christians to know that the choice is not theirs? So that they fear the Lord, and humble themselves before Him, for the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, for the Lord exalts the humble but brings down the proud. John 15:16 confirms this when it says,"Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain; and that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you." Ordination here is not about becoming a pastor or bishop, but being anointed for the work for which we are called to do.

Whatever we are and whatever we will be, has been predestinated by God. Just like the sparrow, we can be rest assured that God is in charge in every area of our lives. Just like the branch off the vine, we are totally dependent on God. The earlier believers understand this, the more their faith increases, the more they grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
 
The Christian Race PDF Print E-mail
Beloved Brothers and Sisters in Christ Jesus,

We are all running the christnrace that is set before us in this end time.  Every one of us who present himself as a follower and believer of Jesus Christ must walk in humility and unity in obedience to the will of God.

According to the word of God in Hebrews 12: 1-2, christians must lay down and do away with the weights that keep us back  to move forward.  Arrogance; greed, addiction, unforgiveness, hate, malice, backbiting.  Those are the weights that hinders christians progress.  Paul wrote to Timothy in I Timothy 6:12 "Fight the good fight of faith......................"  Paul toldTimothy and he is telling us today.  Read II Timothy 4:6-7.   II Timothy 4:1-7 asks us to "Preach the word (the Gospel) Do the work of an Evangelist"

I urge you brothers and sisters to look unto the Lord Jesus Christ.  He is the Head of all those faith heroes (Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Daniel, Samuel Isaiah and David).  Jesus Christ is the author and finisher of our faith.  Consider Him and observe every part of His life.  His courage, His sufferings.  The joy that was set before Him was the redemption of creation by doing the will of the Father.  Mark 16:19,  Acts 2:34,  Romans 8:34,  Colossians 3:1 and Hebrews 1:3 all these scriptures are telling us that Jesus Christ is sitting at the right hand of God interceding for His church.

The Lord gave us the great commission.  That is the will of God to preach the gospel to the world.  We as the children of the Most High God must run this christian race in obedience.  But very often we go our own ways and God in His infinite love for us chastise those He love: (1)  When we refuse to hear  - Job 33
2.  When man commit iniquity -  II Samuel 7:14
3.  When man provoke God  -  Psalm 6: 1  & Psalm 38:1
4.  When man forsake God  -  Psalm 89: 30-32
5.  When men refuses to judge themelves
6.  When they stubbornly rebel - Deuteronomy 11:2-6
7.  When man sow to the flesh -  Galatians 6: 7-8
8.  When we need instruction and correction -  Hebrews 12: 5-19 and Revelation 5:19

To run the christian race is by learning and doing the will of God through His word and by the help of the Holy Spirit.  Let us therefore live in the Spirit and study the will of God daily - John14:16-17,  Romans 6:16-23,  Romans 8: 1-26 I John 1:7.  Beloved brothers and sisters run the christian race in the straight and narrow path lest you get into rough and stony ways, become hurt and be prevented of reaching your goal.  If you abandon the rough path and return to the proper path, though you have been wounded your wound will be healed and you will be useful instrument in the hand of God.

For further studies:  I Thessalonians 2:12,  Philippians 1: 30 & Colossians 2:1.

May God bless you
Elder John L. Zarks
 
SPIRITUAL DISABILITY PDF Print E-mail

The Americans with Disability Act of 1990 (ADA) is a law that was enacted by the US congress in 1990. It was signed into law on July 26, 1990, by President George H.W. Bush, and later amended with changes effective January 1, 2009. Twenty years of the Act was celebrated recently. Disability is defined by the ADA as "a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity."

They did not include spiritual impairment as a major life limiter. "For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God (I Cor. 2:11). Put in a nutshell: As a man's spirit is, so is he! If the man is sick, his spirit is sick. Conversely, if his spirit is sick, the man is sick. Likewise, if the man is disabled, his spirit is also disabled. And if his spirit is disabled, the man is also disabled. This is the description of the carnal man, not the spritual man (I Cor. 2:14).

I remember a billboard that I saw in one of the train cars of the subway. It was titled: "Please offer a seat". It went on to read: "Priority seating for persons with disabilities. The Americans with disabilities Act requires that these seats be made available to persons with disabilities upon request." Finally, it  said, "Please be aware that not all disabilities are VISIBLE." Obviously, a man on a wheelchair or a blind man holding a cane is visible, but a man who is deaf and dumb in a quiet train, cannot be visible. More importantly, a man who is spiritually disabled will be absolutely invisible here.

"And HE said, Go, and tell this people, Hear ye indeed, but understand not; and see ye indeed, but perceive not. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes; lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and convert, and be healed." In these verses of Isaiah 6:9&10, God uses parts of the human anatomy, the eyes, the ears, and the heart, to illustrate that salvation is a spiritual rebirth. That those who were once spiritually disabled can become spiritually reborn when they are able to see with their spiritual eyes, hear with their spiritual ears, and understand with their spiritual heart. "So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." Rom. 10:17. When we read the Bible, hear the word, and understand it, we become a new creation. We go from death unto life, from darkness into light. Our physical disabilities on longer affects our spiritual abilities. That is why wheel chair bound christians are everywhere, from the early church to the present, praising and worshipping God, and doing His work. Even when we are handicapped by sickness or disease or pain, our spirit is not handicapped. It is free to pray, praise, ask, seek, and find healing for the body (Matt. 7:7).

When we are handicapped by lack of financial resources, our spirit is not handicapped. It has the ability to intercede for us in prayer. This is because God has given us a new spirit, which witnesses with the Holy Spirit that we are the children of God. Read Ezekiel 36: 25-28, Rom.8:16. At the garden of Gethsemane in the heat of spiritual warefare with the devil on the future of the world, Jesus said in Mark 14:38, "....the spirit truly is ready, but the flesh is weak." He had the body of a man, but the Spirit of God. With that He overcame satan. Apostle Paul went through a lot of financial hardship apart from physical hardship. Yet at the end of the day, he was able to declare, "I can do all things through Christ which strenghteneth me." Read Phil. 4:10-13. It is my prayer that you will truly overcome with a spirit that is not disabled but enabled, willing and ready. For we are more than conquerors through Christ who loves us and gave His life for us
 
Examination of the Kings PDF Print E-mail
Examination of the Kings? Who has the power to examine a king? The best we can hope for is that the king will examine himself.

Who are these kings? You and me. Believers and elect of God made kings and priests unto God and of Christ (Rev. 1:6).

Many of us have medical exam. annually or when we have reason to believe that there is something wrong with our physical health.

In the same vein, spiritual examination requires that we examine our faith regularly or in the light of any heart issues to ensure our spiritual health.

Apostle Paul told the church at Corinth in II Cor. 13:5, "Examine yourselves,whether ye be in the faith: prove your own selves. Know ye not your

own selves, how that Jesus Christ in you, except ye be reprobates?" When we undergo medical exam., we do blood work and also physicals.

When we go through spiritual examination, we examine our heart condition, and our christian lifestyle.

The Bible tells us about two earthly kings who are also heavenly kings and priests. And how situation caused them to examine themselves.

There names are KIngs David and Hezekiah. David became involved in a case of adultery and murder. God sent Prophet Nathan to David. David was

forced to come face to face with his sins. He examined himself. In II Sam. 12: 13-16, the Bible says David realised how he had caused

God's enemies to blaspheme against God. His spirit became broken. He examined his heart. He fasted and prayed. He confessed his sins and forsook them.

He repented, and developed a broken and a contrite heart (Ps. 51:17).

King Hezekiah became sick. Instead of sending him help for healing, God sent him Prophet Isaiah to give him a death notice. Hezekiah had to

suddenly examine his life and his work with God. He prayed to God in Isaiah 38:3 and said, "Remember now, O Lord, I beseech thee, I have walked

before thee in truth and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight."  God heard his prayer, agreed with him, clearing him
of all charges and spared his life. Moreover, God gave Hezekiah a sign to show that the Lord will stand by His word to perform it (v. 7).

The word "reprobate " is strong language reserved for a church such as that in Corinth. According to the webster engilsh dictionary, a reprobate
is described as a morally unprincipled person. An unprincipled person is a hypocrite, an unreliable, immature, uncommitted, emotional person.

Going by the same definition, a spiritually unprincipled person cannot have Jesus Christ in him or her.

The church of the Corinthians was a confused and divided church. It was into personality cult with allergiances to Paul, Apollos, Peter, and Christ

(I Cor. 1:10-13). There was spiritual pride, unforgiveness, and above all things the leaven of sexual immorality (I Cor. 5:1). This was the same

church were they spoke in tongues. No wonder Paul says in I Cor. 14:22, "Wherefore tongues are for a sign, not to them that believe, but to them

that believe not: but prophesying serveth not for them that believe not, but for them which believe." Think about these signs for the end time church.

Today is our Holy Communion day. Paul called on the same Corinthain church to examine themselves when it came to the Lord's table.

They treated the Lord's table with levity, and took it unworthily. Paul  warned them to judge themselves before God judges them (I Cor. 11:28-32).

Contrary to what some churches believe, been a partaker of the Lord's table is not an indication of being in the faith. An examlpe for us: the children

of Israel even though they partook of the passover in the wilderness, yet God was not pleased with them. The Bible says they all perished in the

wilderness because they lusted "after evil things" and became guilty of the sins of idolatry, fornication and adultery, tempting Christ and murmuring

I Cor. 10:1-10). This has become a warning to the church of the last days. We need to examine ourselves in the light of this historical occurence

so that we do not end up the same way they did (I Cor. 10:11).

"Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall" (I Cor. 10:12).
 
It Is Time To Show Maturity PDF Print E-mail
IT IS TIME TO SHOW MATURITY   -   GALATIANS 5: 16-17

The problem facing the church today is that of lack of spiritual maturity.  Too many of us are still immature. Therefore we are unable to go ahead and do the work that our heavenly Father has called us to do.  We can only be profitable servants to God if we are spiritually matured.  We must be able to recognize our areas of immaturity and then apply changes.  We must learn to do away with childish things and stop behaving as spoilt children.  In Galatians 5:16 we are told to walk in the spirit so that we may not fulfil the lust of the flesh.

When we are still immature in the things of God, we will always fulfil the lust of the flesh. We cannot be in the flesh and say we are in the spirit. These two are contrary to another. The Bible also said in I Corinthians 13: 11  that we should put away childish things in this journey to heaven.  How do children act we may ask?   Children believe any story and accept all the lies.  Children are gullible, they can easily change their minds, and give every little excuse to keep them from carrying out important assignments.  If a christian is matured and anointed by the Holy Spirit, remaining at home on a day that is suppose to be a Sabbath day is not possible.  Immature christians are very mischievous. That is we point fingers and lay blames on others instead of facing our immaturity.

Many christians are still immature when they live their lives for their jobs, husbands, education, wives, children, friends and family.  When we were youths, the Bible in Ecclesiastes 12: 1 advised us to remember now our Creator in the days of our youth.........  Due to lack of maturity in the word of God, we see even those who claim to love the Lord still work in disobedience to God.  Trying everthing possible to change the order set by God.  If our maturity in the things of God is not 100% then we need to ask God for divine intervention in our lives.  We can no more live our lives to please our employers, our children, our wives, our husbands, our education, our friends and families if it is not pleasing to God - Hebrews 10: 26-31
I Corinthians 6:20 , I Corinthians 7:23,  II Corinthians 4:18 and Matthew 24:27.

What is our role in this world if not to walk in agreement with God? Let us align with God in all our activities and expectations.  As youths we must remember that a time is coming when we will grow old and lose the youthful vigor.  As adults we must know that we are already passing away and so must change our focus to seek the things of heaven and think of the legacies we will leave behind when we are gone.  If we are still running after worldly things, then remember that the world itself is passing away - I John 2: 15-17.  As at the time we are supposed to be teachers, we are still been taught because we lack maturity -  Hewbrews 5:12-14.  In walking with God we must apply wisdom which shows maturity Proverbs 8: 22-36.

In conclusion, It is time to display maturity and it is time to grow up.  The second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ is imminent. We have been called to God's work and His Kingdom requires us to work as matured christians, to win the lost souls and the lost world for our King. We must stop acting like children and remember we have been sent into this world as ambassadors - II Corinthians 5:20.  We are soon to be called home either by death or by rapture and we will stand in front of the King and give an account of our stewardship -
Ecclesiastes 12:13-14.

May we be counted worthy in Jesus name.
Dcns Oni
 
Steps Towards Spiritual Progress PDF Print E-mail
STEPS TOWARDS SPIRITUAL PROGRESS   -   MATTHEW 4: 1-2

Brothers and Sisters spiritual growth goes with fasting and prayer.  The Bible tells us of men that fasted for 40 days:
1.  Moses  - Deuteronomy 9: 9, 18, 25/ 10:10
2.  Elijah    - I Kings 19: 7-18
3.  Jesus   -  Matthew 4: 1-11,  Luke 1: 1-22


When a child is born, he cannot do anything forhiself or herself but after 7-8 months or up to one year, he or she will start crawling and try to walk.  Instead of breast milk, the food is getting heavier.  The same should be said of those seeking Jesus seriously.  We cannot neglect the gathering of our brothers and sisters on the different functions such as: Bible Study, Prayer Meetings, Night Vigil and come only on Sundays to worship the Lord.  Attending all these other programs lead to spiritual growth.


The Israelites were delivered from Egypt by the mighty hand of God. Although they saw the miracles the Lord performed by the hand of Moses, they were not prepared to enter into the promised land.  Disobedience, rebellion and selfishness was their obstacle.  They had to grow spiritually and trust only God for all blessings.  Forty years they dwelt in the desert. With the exception of Joshua and Caleb all those who left Egypt died n the wilderness.  The next generation entered into the promise land.


Don't let the business of this world keep you from spiritual growth.  We are all different from one another. (Uniquely made by God). There is a purpose why you came into this foreign land or why you are born in this time period.  No one knows the calling the Lord have for you. Do not walk away as Jonah did.


Let us ask the Lord for the Holy Spirit to dwell in us till the Lord comes back.  Hosea 6:6 said "For I desire mercy and not sacrifice and the knowledge of God more than burnt offerings". Let us therefore ask the Lord to pour out His Spiit upon us as Jesus told us in Luke 11:13 "how much more shall your heavenly Father give  the Holy Spirit to them that ask Him?"


God bless you
Elder John L. Zarks