The Need for Personal Growth and Development
The times are indeed perilous. Believers today prefer to listen to ‘prophets’ rather than to open their hearts to the word of the Lord in diligent study. They prefer to hear, ‘THUS SAITH THE LORD’, than to hear God speak to them directly. The prophetic ministry, much like every other ministry, is designed to boost deeper personal relationship with God. The success of a ministry is measured by how much of Christ is formed in those who are ministered to (Galatians 4:19). Any ministry that discourages personal growth and development is definitely lethal.
General Bible study, corporate prayer meetings and every other meeting in which believers come together in the name of the Lord must have one purpose in view: that believers will be empowered to seek and know Christ for themselves. No ministry or as we call it these days, ministration, should replace and/or deemphasize the importance of personal striving for mastery. It should rather spur people on to personal growth and aggressive development. If this is achieved, people will learn to develop their own prayer life and get answers from God for themselves as opposed to always depending on pastor’s prayer. The five-fold ministry has been designed to facilitate, not decimate, believers’ relationship with Jesus Christ. Prayer is not a life exclusively reserved for the pulpiteers; it is a basic minimum requirement for every believer.
If there is no personal growth and development in the believers, there can be no corporate advance in the church!
Experience Is Important But The Bible Is Most Important
Once and again, we need to remind ourselves the supreme role the word of God plays in the Christian life. God’s word is the only authority by which every subjective experience under heaven can be judged. No experience, no matter how celestially ecstatic can dwarf the supreme authority of God’s word – the written word, the Bible!
Experience does not authenticate the word of God; God’s word authenticates experience. Why is this important? This is important because it is a basic human tendency to get carried away at the height of excitement or at the trough of depression and take off on a trajectory that has no bearing with God’s will. God’s written word has been given to us as an infallible compass to guide us in the direction of God’s will on life’s tumultuous high sea.
Dear minister, teach Christ crucified, not your experience, so that the faith of God’s people can be founded on Christ and not in the humanity of your experience. Your experience should be used to testify to the truth of Christ’s kingdom and not the other way round. In building the people of God, Christ is the building material, our experiences are the scaffolds.
Whatever is not figured in God’s written word should be totally rejected because the Holy Ghost Himself is restricted by the written word. The Holy Spirit cannot lead any believer outside the circumference of the written word.
‘But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you (which has been carefully documented in the Bible), let him be accursed.’ (Galatians 1:8, KJV, emphasis mine)
Therefore run away from and/or reject any man or woman who claims in lofty expressions that his or her experience is super heavenly; is given by some eight-winged angel and acquired on the border between the second and third heavens and brings in either subtly or blatantly, extrascriptural devices of all kinds. This is especially true of believers with numerous claims of out of body experiences. Further details on this are altogether matters for another discourse. The coordinates of any genuine experience from God must be traceable to the written word, otherwise it is invalid. I always say God is an experience that can be explained by the Bible.
Paul again wrote,
“Every SCRIPTURE is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) and profitable for instruction, for reproof and conviction of sin, for correction of error and discipline in obedience, [and] for training in righteousness (in holy living, in conformity to God’s will in thought, purpose, and action), so that the man of God may be complete and proficient, well fitted and thoroughly equipped for every good work”. (2 Timothy 3:16-17, AMP, emphasis)
The word SCRIPTURE in the Greek is graphe (prounced grafay) and it means a written document, a Holy Writ (writings and sayings of an authority that cannot be challenged) and this is basically an immutable document that must be diligently consulted to guide the believer’s journey of faith. From the passage above, it is clear that Scripture is in the centre of God’s dealings with the believer. This is more like the constitutions of nations today by which governments and political entities are administered. For instance, the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is the document that guides all operations within the political entity called Nigeria. The government, governance and citizens of Nigeria are all guided by the constitution. Anything done outside the provisions of the constitution is termed UNCONSTITUTIONAL! It is the constitutions of nations today that make them different from the barbarian cities of centuries past.
The difference between Scripture and the constitutions of nations is that Scripture is God-breathed (given by His inspiration) while nations’ constitutions are man-formulated. The breath of God is actually the Spirit of God. This means the Holy Spirit is the author of the written word. God is not the author of confusion, if He has authored the Bible; He would inspire and empower believers to live by it, not operate beyond it! The difference between the Christian faith system and that of any religion out there is SCRIPTURE! And this is because it is the only book under heaven that testifies of Jesus Christ (John 5: 9)
This means if it cannot be referenced in God’s Holy Writ; it is not worthy of reverence! It does not matter who is saying or doing it. Suffice it to say that there are many UNSCRIPTURAL practices that have pervaded the body of Christ today which are preventing the emergence of the corporate new man in Christ. As the Lord wills, we shall deemphasize these hereon, and emphasize Christ crucified who the Bible says is the POWER AND WISDOM OF GOD! (1 Corinthians 1:24)
I come to you again in the name of the Lord, with the word of the Lord and comfort of the Spirit to address a raging storm that has been created from the waves of curiosity, disenchantment and consternation which have gained momentum in the body of Christ especially in Nigeria in the last few months. Yes, little waves have aggregated into a huge storm which must now be addressed. I have paid rapt attention to the ongoing debate that has literally polarized the body of Christ. I am doing this because of the responsibility the Great One has placed on me for all those who partake of our ministry. What is even more interesting is that this matter is actually a very trivial one in light of the revelation position of the Spirit with respect to the core operation of the kingdom. This matter is captured in one word: TITHE!
The caption of this piece ‘A TRIVIAL EMERGENCY’ is actually an oxymoron because something cannot be both trivial and an emergency at the same time. However, this is sadly the case in the church right now. That something as trivial as tithe has become a hot topic matter; so hot that it is already burning down more solemn matters within the body of Christ in Nigeria and the rest of the world. So let’s get right to it.
WHAT IS TITHE?
Tithe simply means one-tenth or ten percent of material possessions. The first mention of it in the entire Bible is in Genesis 14:20 and the first person to do it is the father of faith himself: Abraham. Abraham (Who was known as Abram at this time) gave a tenth of all the possessions he acquired after defeating kings whom he took on in battle to a rather strange King called Melchizedek. King Melchizedek blessed Abram upon meeting him and Abram gave him ten percent of all he had taken in battle.
Very little was known about King Melchizedek at the time of his encounter with Abram. The only information on him was that he was the king of Salem and a priest of the Most High God (Genesis 14:18) – he was both king and priest. After this encounter, King Melchizedek did nothing else again throughout the Old Testament except in Psalm 110:4 in which David mentioned him by inspiration. If the Bible were a song, King Melchizedek’s character is less than one-thousandth of the line of a stanza. So much mystery, mystique and ambiguity enshrouded the person of King Melchizedek that it would take tens of centuries for light to be finally shed on him.
KING MELCHIZEDEK AND TITHE
Light is finally shed on the person of King Melchizedek in the passage below:
For this Melchizedek, king of Salem, priest of the Most High God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings and blessed him, to whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all, first being translated “king of righteousness,” and then also king of Salem, meaning “king of peace,” without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but made like the Son of God, remains a priest continually. NOW CONSIDER HOW GREAT THIS MAN WAS, TO WHOM EVEN THE PATRIARCH ABRAHAM GAVE A TENTH OF THE SPOILS. AND INDEED THOSE WHO ARE OF THE SONS OF LEVI, WHO RECEIVE THE PRIESTHOOD, HAVE A COMMANDMENT TO RECEIVE TITHES FROM THE PEOPLE ACCORDING TO THE LAW, THAT IS, FROM THEIR BRETHREN, THOUGH THEY HAVE COME FROM THE LOINS OF ABRAHAM; BUT HE WHOSE GENEALOGY IS NOT DERIVED FROM THEM RECEIVED TITHES FROM ABRAHAM AND BLESSED HIM WHO HAD THE PROMISES. NOW BEYOND ALL CONTRADICTION THE LESSER IS BLESSED BY THE BETTER. HERE MORTAL MEN RECEIVE TITHES, BUT THERE HE RECEIVES THEM, OF WHOM IT IS WITNESSED THAT HE LIVES. EVEN LEVI, WHO RECEIVES TITHES, PAID TITHES THROUGH ABRAHAM, SO TO SPEAK, FOR HE WAS STILL IN THE LOINS OF HIS FATHER WHEN MELCHIZEDEK MET HIM.
(Hebrews 7:1-10, NKJV, emphasis added)
First and foremost, the law came through Moses and Moses was a descendant of Abraham. Abraham gave tithe to King Melchizedek centuries before Moses was born and the law was given. So tithe is not an issue of the law as it clearly predates the law. Abraham did not live under the law either. As a matter of fact the Bible establishes in Genesis 15:6 (corroborated by Romans 4:1-4) that Abraham believed God and it was accounted to Him for righteousness. Note that Abraham became righteous (Genesis 15) right after encountering Melchizedek (Genesis 14) who is called king of righteousness in the passage above. It was impossible to be righteous under the law and it is only possible to be righteous under grace. Abraham became righteous because he met a monarch who was both custodian and dispenser of righteousness. So Abraham lived under grace. It is true that the concept of tithe was applied in the law through the Levitical priesthood. But to fully understand tithe, we must go back to its origin which is definitely not the law but under the auspices of grace. So we shall consider this matter on this foundational premise.
Second, the Old Testament is a shadow of the New. Long before the Levitical priesthood was established, the Melchizedek priesthood was in operation. When Jesus set up His priesthood, He modeled it after the order of Melchizedek (Psalm 110:4, Hebrews 7:17). Why? This was because the Melchizedek priesthood which was built on the power of an endless life was far superior to the Levitical priesthood which was built on the law of a fleshly, dead commandment (Hebrews 7:15). Why again? This is because the greater always blesses the lesser – Abraham was blessed by King Melchizedek because King Melchizedek was greater than him which Abraham duly acknowledged by submitting himself to be blessed. The Levitical priesthood came through Abraham, thus, was far inferior in structure and substance to the Melchizedek priesthood. So just the way the Levitical priesthood collected tithes from the people under the law, the Melchizedek priesthood collected tithe from Abraham before (and/or above) the law – and if you will, under the auspices of grace even though it was under the Old Covenant. This was God giving mankind a foretaste of the things to come in Christ through Abraham!
WHY DID ABRAHAM PAY TITHE TO KING MELCHIZEDEK?
It worthy of note that in the sequence of events that led to Abraham giving tithe to King Melchizedek, King Melchizedek blessed Abraham before Abraham gave him tithe and not after. Why is this important? This is because King Melchizedek’s blessing of Abraham was not an atmospheric reaction to Abraham’s giving; it was a preemptive, unconditional gesture of goodwill (very consistent with the operation of God in the New Covenant). Abraham’s tithe did not inspire the blessing, the blessing inspired Abraham’s tithe.
So what was the blessing that King Melchizedek pronounced on Abraham? It was thus:
“Blessed be Abram of God Most High,
POSSESSOR OF HEAVEN AND EARTH;
And blessed be God Most High,
Who has delivered your enemies into your hand.”
(Genesis 14:19-20, NKJV, emphasis added)
Note the phrases: God Most High and possessor of heaven and earth. God Most High means the greatest and the most exalted God. Possessor of heaven and earth means God owned and still owns heaven and everything in it and the earth and everything in it. This also means He lacks nothing and needs nothing. Possessor means owner. And owner is what the word LORD means. King Melchizedek simply revealed the Lordship of God to Abraham. It was by the sheer force of this revelation that Abraham gave a tithe of all that he had at the moment. Abraham’s tithe was not merely him parting ways with ten percent of his possessions out of obligation or emotion, it was him deeply and sturdily acknowledging the lordship, ownership, and if you will, possessorship of God who owned everything in heaven and earth including him. The role of the priest in the Old Testament was to act as intermediary between man and God. So Abraham giving ten percent to King Melchizedek was him giving to God knowing full well that God owned him and his remaining 90%.
How do I know that Abraham submitted to God’s lordship as presented by King Melchizedek?
Shortly after meeting King Melchizedek, Abraham met with the king of Sodom who made a rather strange proposal to him to which Abraham replied thus:
Now the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the persons, and take the goods for yourself.” But Abram said to the king of Sodom, “I HAVE RAISED MY HAND TO THE LORD, GOD MOST HIGH, THE POSSESSOR OF HEAVEN AND EARTH, that I will take nothing, from a thread to a sandal strap, and that I will not take anything that is yours, lest you should say, ‘I have made Abram rich’ — except only what the young men have eaten, and the portion of the men who went with me: Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre; let them take their portion.” (Genesis 14:21-24, NKJV)
From the passage above, you can see Abraham quoting King Melchizedek verbatim. Abraham took it to the next level by saying I HAVE RAISED MY HAND TO THE LORD… The phrase I have raised my hand is what the Hebrew word YADAH means from which the name Judah is taken. Yadah means to lift one’s hand in surrender which is loosely translated as praise and/or worship. This is because to praise and/or worship God effectively with our being and substance, a revelation of His most highness and lordship must be caught. So the phrase I HAVE RAISED MY HAND TO THE LORD means I have acknowledged the lordship of God. And if you have acknowledged and submitted to the lordship of God, it means He does not only own you and ten percent of your possession but owns you and hundred percent of your possession. It was with this understanding that Abraham gave.
Jesus, who is our High Priest after the order of Melchizedek, would eventually come not from the tribe of Levi but from the tribe of Judah as a consequence of this. The tribe of Judah never had a single soul who ever offered anything on the altar to God in priesthood throughout the Old Testament. The tribe of Levi by designation took charge of the priesthood under the law. Why did God bring Jesus from the tribe of Judah? This was because much more than the throne that was its lot, the revelation of God’s lordship was embodied by it. The Levitical priesthood did not obviously do a good job in presenting the lordship of God. (Hebrews 7:13-14)
WHY TITHE SHOULD NOT BE STUDIED IN THE LAW ALONE
The reason is simple: tithe is not original with the law. It was borrowed and applied in the law. And with the law the Bible clearly says:
…for the law made nothing perfect … (Hebrews 7:19, NKJV)
This was why tithe under the law was degraded from a solid revelation of the lordship of God to a commandment and an obligation. So people obeyed as a matter of routine obligation and not deep-seated revelation of God’s lordship. Thus, losing its essence.
WHAT THEN IS THE ESSENCE OF TITHE?
Tithe means ten percent but its essence is deeper than that. This is because Abraham did not give tithe in obedience to some command from God; he gave because he caught a deep revelation of God’s lordship stretching from heaven, to earth, to him and all he had. He understood God owned heaven hundred percent; earth hundred percent; him and everything he had hundred percent.
IS TITHE A NEW TESTAMENT OBLIGATION?
Well, this is a very wrong question. To answer this, we need to correct the question first. This is because there are no obligations in the New Testament. God was not accessible on a personal level under the law therefore people could not build personal relationships with Him. He reached out to the people on a general note through mass laws and obligations. In the New Testament, anyone who believes in Him and acknowledges His lordship is given private access to Him and corporate connection to His church. After releasing His life to regenerate a person at salvation, He works through the Holy Spirit to present and establish one thing only: HIS LORDSHIP. Anyone, who, like Abraham, catches and submits to the revelation of His lordship understands they are His steward (Titus 1:7). A steward is not an owner but a manager. A steward does not personally own anything but has access to everything. It is like being the president of a country. The president of America is a steward of America’s wealth and power. He has access to all of America’s wealth and power but does not personally own them. He does not need to worry about his personal needs because they are being taken care of by the commonwealth of his nation. The president of America can give money and other favours to other countries on behalf of his country within the ambit of the laws guiding the extent of the exercise of the powers of his office. If the American president uses his nation’s commonwealth for his personal aggrandizement he is liable to being punished because he has abused his power.
GIVING AND THE LORDSHIP OF JESUS CHRIST
As stewards of God, we have access to all of God’s riches even though He owns everything including us. This means every resource that comes to our hands is not primarily ours to claim, it is the Lords. This revelation can only be caught in deep and consistent communion with God. The revelation of the lordship is not received in one contact. It is received and ingested on incremental basis. God gradually teaches us about His lordship and empowers us by His Spirit to respond accordingly. Oh, yes, no one can catch a revelation of the lordship of Jesus Christ except it is given them by the Holy Spirit. The Bible says
…no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 12:3, NKJV)
In very deed, no one can acknowledge the lordship of Jesus Christ except by the enablement of the Holy Spirit!
Anyone who therefore acknowledges the lordship of Jesus Christ knows that they do not own anything as everything they own and who they are belong to Him. So when they give to His cause, they do not do so out of obligation but in submission to His lordship. This brings great pleasure to Him and this is really what worship is: any action or inaction that brings pleasure to God.
Giving is a proof of love. You can’t love someone without giving to them. God Himself loved us and that was why He gave His only begotten son (John 3:16). So you can’t say you love God and not give back to Him (His cause.) Just like Abraham gave after he was blessed by Melchizedek; so also do we not give to be blessed but we are blessed so we give.
The law in the Old Testament has been replaced by the government of God in the New Testament the administrator of which is the Holy Spirit. In the New Testament the Holy Spirit teaches us how to obey God in every step of the way as we execute His will on earth.
TITHE AND GIVING
The journey of Abraham’s giving did not stop at ten percent. It progressed to 100%! When he gave ten percent that was the beginning of the journey. It was not the best he could do but it was a step in the right direction. He grew in his walk with God that God demanded for 100% – Isaac, the son of promise whom he waited twenty-five years to have and upon whom the future of his lineage depended. But because he had grown well in walking with God and acknowledging his lordship, he knew even Isaac belonged to God. It was very hard, no doubt. This was definitely hundred percent! This means ten percent is actually elementary!
Giving should be love-motivated not dividend-inspired. You do not give to receive anything from God; you should give because you love Him and accept His lordship over your life. Giving to God is not some investment decision in which you expect a handsome return on. No, it is all about love for God and unreserved acceptance of His lordship.
So should a New Testament believer give ten percent? This question is rhetorical so the answer is equally rhetorical: every believer is required to give hundred percent (which is achieved through consistent acknowledgement and submission to the lordship of Christ). Ten percent is merely a minimum as it was with Abraham. So you see, the focus should not be ten percent but hundred percent.
WHAT IS HUNDRED PERCENT?
We achieve hundred percent giving when we have grown in our acknowledgement and submission to the lordship of Christ; when the Lord can demand anything from us. This is when we fully become stewards of God. At this point we stop seeing anything as ours but His. That you give does not make you a steward. As long as you still lay claim to things and/or resources given to you by God as your own, you are yet to step into stewardship. Stewardship is the highest level of kingdom resource management. Giving ten percent does not make us stewards; giving our Isaac does! God dared ask Abraham for Isaac because He knew Abraham had the capacity to give up Isaac.
THE EARLY CHURCH DID NOT GIVE TITHE?
I laugh each time I hear this. Now let’s consider this together:
Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; NEITHER DID ANYONE SAY THAT ANY OF THE THINGS HE POSSESSED WAS HIS OWN, but they had all things in common. And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all. Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; FOR ALL WHO WERE POSSESSORS OF LANDS OR HOUSES SOLD THEM, AND BROUGHT THE PROCEEDS OF THE THINGS THAT WERE SOLD, AND LAID THEM AT THE APOSTLES’ FEET; AND THEY DISTRIBUTED TO EACH AS ANYONE HAD NEED. (Acts 4:32-35, NKJV, emphasis added)
I hope the highlighted portions of the passage above are clear enough? One word comes to mind after reading this: STEWARDSHIP! The church was young at the time, but their understanding of Christ’s lordship was very mature. They had stepped into stewardship so there was no need for tithe because they gave more than ten percent! Some of them gave hundred percent.
THE DISTRIBUTION OF RESSOURCES AT THE APOSTLES’ FEET
All donations were submitted at the apostles’ feet not because the apostles were the intermediaries between God and the believers but because of the authority structure instituted by God Himself in the church. In the New Testament, we all have equal access to God. God has set up leadership within the church for order. So the leaders are saddled with the responsibility of administering the resources so that believers don’t starve both spiritually and materially. This is not socialism, this is stewardship!
The problem we have today is that the resources dropped at the apostles’ feet are not being faithfully distributed by stewards but are being malignantly handled by hirelings and wolves. This is the bone of contention in many quarters today where those saddled with the responsibility of distributing the resources are helping themselves massively to them without compunction. Such people have one lord: their belly! Hence, the uproar by some aggrieved people who declare bitterly that resources should not be dropped at the apostles’ feet altogether. As painful as this is, only God can judge his own and clean his church. Abuse is no excuse for apathy. That there are ministers out there who are out to use God’s riches for personal aggrandizement does not mean we should not be committed to His stewardship. After all, as believers, we study the Bible not the imperfections or crookedness of people!
IS A BELIEVER UNDER ANY CURSE FOR NOT TITHING?
Tithe under the law was an obligation and as we have established already, its origin is not the law but the foretaste of grace under which Abraham lived. Tithe was not an obligation; it was an expression of the acknowledgement and acceptance of the lordship of God. Anyone in |Christ cannot be under the curse of the law. So, no, not tithing does not attract any curse from God. But again, you cannot really say you love God and not cheerfully give everything you are and have to Him.
IS PROSPERITY TIED TO TITHING?
The answer is a thunderous NO! We prosper because first we are blessed of God (spiritual prosperity) and second, when we engage in the production of value for which we get paid (material prosperity). God does not give manna any more; He gives the power to get wealth for the execution of His will and establishment of His kingdom on earth. The power to get wealth is best exercised through enterprise.
You do not give to prosper; you give because you love God and acknowledge His lordship! More than 99% of the people on the world’s list of billionaires do not pay tithe but they give heavily. Some of them even pledge 99% of their wealth to charities. Again, do not be deceived, you do not give your way to material riches. You acquire material riches by using your God-given power to get wealth through productive, value-adding enterprise. God’s blessing does not function in a vacuum. Jesus did not feed the five thousand by calling forth bread and fish from thin air; He used existing five loaves of bread and two fish to do the miracle. He blessed, and broke the little that was available, and it multiplied. Thus, the available became the magnificent (Matthew 14:13-21). [I have discussed this in great detail in my book GO INTO ALL THE WORLD]
However, giving itself attracts the blessing of expanded opportunities. You cannot give and not be multiplied by God to give more (Luke 6:38)!
It’s been roughly two thousand years since the church began. The challenges, demands and expressions of the work of the ministry have changed dramatically as have culture and human civilisation. So the way and manner in which resources are pooled and used today have equally changed. But the call for faithful stewardship has not changed.
Giving must therefore be done cheerfully out of a revelation of Christ’s lordship. You do not give primarily to be blessed; you’re already blessed so you give. This way you open yourself up for higher opportunities. Each time you give with this understanding, you are like Abraham lifting your hands in surrender and worship to the possessor of heaven and earth. Giving of course is not limited to money as there are so many things money cannot get done.
If the Lord can entrust you with the spoils of battle He can as well trust you with an Isaac. Every believer has an Isaac who the Lord will definitely demand for at some point in their walk with Him. Not because He needs Isaac but because He wants to establish His lordship in unmistakable terms in the believer’s life.
Our response to the perversion currently going on in the body of Christ however should not be visceral lest the devil take advantage of it and plunder the church further. Rather we should remain committed to God in prayer and remain in the comfort and admonition of Scriptures for Him to come through. The same God who showed great mercy killed Ananias and Sapphira for tampering with the resources of His church. Let’s not allow the greed of Judas discredit the work of the faithful eleven. The Lord help us all to step into His stewardship as we acknowledge and submit to His lordship daily.
Jesus is Lord forever!
God deliberately created us with insufficiency meaning we have diverse limitations and must depend on the Holy Spirit for help.
God sent his son to take away our liabilities and luggages and legalities so they don’t apply to us any longer.
One of the new creation realities is the gift of the Spirit that raised Jesus from the dead and also quickens our mortal bodies.
This is because those who walk in the flesh cannot please God.
The spirit of God helps our infirmities. We have so many weaknesses but God’s answer to all of them is the Spirit of God.
But for all the infirmities open to us, only the inability to pray appropriately is mentioned by Paul in Romans 8.
Our perspective of our needs is different but they all have the same solution; the Spirit of God.
Only He, has the capacity and stature and power to help us.
If the spirit can storm the grave and resurrect Jesus, then he can help our weaknesses.
The fact that we have the Holy Spirit doesn’t mean we enjoy the benefits automatically. We have to activate His power.
The scripture came to our rescue in many situations.
For instance, when we wonder what we should do next after graduation.
The Bible’s perspective is; it is not given unto man to order his ways.
You first of all need to realize that you are insufficient.
In intelligence, learning, reasoning, knowledge.
When God wants to help you the first thing He let’s you know is that you cannot help yourself & are insufficient in your self.
Phil3:3 says about us, that we are the circumcision who worship God in the spirit and rejoice in Christ Jesus.
We need to understand several things;
1. Have no confidence in the flesh.
Physical circumcision is a drama of the spiritual circumcision which is what God really intends to do.
If you are someone who depends on your intellect, God will let your intelligence fail you first.
If you are emotional, you will have several heartbreaks until you come to a place where you ask for help concerning your emotional choices.
It is a state of realization of your inadequacies that makes you dependant on the Holy Spirit.
2. Develop a life of prayer.
By design men ought always to pray.
Romans 8 reveals to us that the only way we can find capacity and success is to live a life of prayer.
You will not be able to be effective in prayer until you become the circumcision (you have come to the end of yourself).
If you are casual about prayer that means you are placing confidence in some other thing and that thing cannot deliver you.
It is either you are praying or fainting.
The bible says you should be careful for nothing in Philipians 4:6.
A need opens the door for anxiety; which is a spirit but all you probably need is just money.
Anxiety does not walk alone. If it takes advantage of your need for money; he will afflict you and come along with depression, sickness and eventually convince you to give up.
Every opportunity for anxiety is an opportunity for prayer.
Everything that gives a basis for anxiety is a reason to pray.
Philipians 4:7 says that the peace of God that passes all understanding will keep your heart & mind.
God changed you first by giving you peace. Oftentimes, God doesn’t answer your prayers by changing your circumstances immediately; rather He sends peace to guard your mind and heart so that you gain the capacity to wait for God’s scheduled time.
The peace captures and secures your heart and mind.
God doesn’t come early or late he comes at the pace of grace.
3. Understanding heaven’s feedback
John 6:63 says it is the spirit that quickens.
My words are spirit and are life.
The spirit and life communicate none cognitively.
Its none verbal communication thats usual with God.
You must master the none cognitive communication before God will begin to speak to you verbally.
This is heaven’s communication system and you must learn to recognize it.
Many times the difference between life and death is a knowing in your spirit.
Like boarding a taxi or leaving the house to go somewhere.
The Holy Spirit doesn’t give a new instruction till you obey the last instruction.
That’s why there has been silence in your life lately.
If you fail to translate the nudgings or the signs of the Holy Spirit, you’ll miss so many instructions and opportunities.
Great peace is a sign that God has answered your prayers.
Heaviness is a sign that the Holy Spirit needs something so if you are sensitive to ask Him whats happening then He permits you to pray so the circumstances can change.
You become a strong and powerful and reliable tool in Gods hands just because you built sensitivity in the spirit.
God bless you.
Mathew 4:1-4. We see Jesus baptized in water and in the spirit about simultaneously and the first thing that happened was for him to be led into the wilderness to be tempted.
The bible says the Holy Spirit led him to be tempted.
Why would the Holy Spirit lead him to the wilderness to be tempted immediately after such a glorious baptism?
When the devil made an appearance, the subject of contention was Jesus designation as the Son of God.
Jesus didn’t need to prove his status but if he had obeyed the devil, he would have become a servant to him just like Adam because to him who you yield yourself to obey,his are you.
So since he failed this time, he plotted ahead to kill Jesus and take him to hell; where he knew Jesus wasn’t recognised as the Son of God.
The content of the gospel of God is the Sonship of Jesus.
(Vs2)Apostle Paul says there was a promise as declared by prophets in the old testament.
The promise has been fulfilled and it is declared to be the Son of God with power.
Though we know him as Lord but He is son to God (Vs 3).
The same question about Jesus Sonship came up at Philipi when Jesus asked them who men said he is.
All of us must face the question of Jesus’ Sonship at some point.
It was the contention at his temptation and now again Peter answers in twofold.
He says, You are the Christ (the only link between man and God).
That’s why jesus say I’m the way ( the progressive path) the truth( the substance of reality) and the life ( fellowship of the spirit that fills us with peace, life etc).
Jesus and his office is the most significant office in the spiritual realm.
You cannot do any spiritual business without Christ.
No spiritual being exists who doesn’t know Christ.
Peter also said He is the Son of the living God.
Heb1:1ff gives us the designation of Jesus as the Christ
1. Vs 2 His status is heir of all things (governmental and administrative function)
2. Vs 2 By Christ he made all the worlds.
He is the majestic of all majesties.
3. He is the brighthness of his glory and the express image of his person
He is the clearest definition of God
God was abstract and till Jesus came.
4. Upholding all things BY the word of his power.
Grace is regulated by a throne domiciled in the office of the Christ.
Access to that throne is mercy.
Without grace you cannot serve God in an acceptable manner.
Without grace you cannot serve God boldly or to God’s expectations.
Romans 1:3 He came through David according to the flesh but His identity isn’t through the flesh that’s why He said before Abraham I am.
Five names of Jesus
Seed of woman
Son of Abraham
Son of man He represented the Human race
Son of God.
The son of David.
Prior to resurrection the power the devil yielded was of hell and death.
For every minute Jesus stayed in hell, he was stating for you and at the end you were made free because He had satisfied all requirements for our freedom.
The devil’s surrender was so total and complete that it is likened to when an opponent lays before the enemy in submission.
The Spirit descended into hell and lifted Jesus out of hell and proved that He was the Son of God.
This is the evidence that Satan is reigning illegally.
If you are walking in this consciousness you’ll be able to face the devil when he comes to tempt you. He has no hold over you or in your life.
In 1 Corin1:17-18, the bible says the cross is the power of God to those that are saved.
The cross is a legal basis that determines what can be done.
The cross is the legal basis for displacing the prince of this world and establishing a new government.
What is the basis on which the devil draws strength to be a tyrant?
Adam made himself a servant of him when he submitted to his deceit.
Heaven’s justice system determined that the day Adam disobeys God he’ll die in the sense that he’ll be able to live independent of God.
The principle of the ‘Law of Substitution’ had to be applied so that someone can take the place of another.
We see this principle at Goshen where the blood of the lamb at the door post is equal to a man’s blood.
If a man as guilty as Adam had been the one to replace him, he would have been as guilty as Adam so even though the Saviour was human he had to be a product of the Holy Spirit.
In John 12: 27 ff and particularly verses 31and 32, Jesus said, ‘Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.
The judgment of the world and he being cast out is subject to him (Jesus) being lifted.
If He is lifted up, Jesus will be the controlling force of this world and not the prince of this world.
We don’t succumb to the voice of the the flesh because our flesh has been nailed to the cross.
Our history is backdated to the cross and not before.
We went to the cross with Him, died with Him and rose with Him and in fact, are sitting with Him at the right hand of God.
It is through the cross that the world has nothing on me( or you).
If you are His in the cross, you can’t desire the things of the world.
We don’t find any pleasures in the world.
The entire world is crucified to us.
The judgment of Adam was satisfied on the cross and the devil’s legality on the earth has been withdrawn.
He can only work with manipulation.
God’s influence is activated through prayer.
2 Samuel 3:1
A civil war across generations in the body of Christ will emerge a rising revivalist Apostolic generation will find it very difficult to express its self with in the old wine skins of existing churches and a stronger sense of dissatisfaction will begin to build in the heart of the rising generation. The Lord says intercession will be the initial avenue to ventilate the burden and there will be subsequent directives that will be revealed thereafter.
Strategic and new ministries will begin to emerge and the council of elders will begin to form in different cities. An order of Christain leaders will begin to form across the body in the coming year.
A heavy blow will be dealt on the rising Islamic agenda in Nigeria (I speak in parables).
New and very strong voices will emerge and by mid year God’s sovereign direction for His body will be clear to every seeking saint.
2017 shall be known as the year of the rebirth, to such as are in the heart of the purpose of God. Keep on seeking him selah.
There shall be a notable and noticeable prayer movement that will rise from the church in Nigeria in 2017. However the movement will be an initiative of the younger generation in the body. The religious system will be opposed to it but it will undo any obstacle in its way.
The rising flame will hit maturity during the coarse of the year and many positive Apostolic initiatives will be birthed from it.
I see three notable young ministers from Nigeria that will be so favoured of God such as to be His mouth piece in this time and many will be commanded to learn the lords ways at their feet. Some on account of pride will despise them and will be totally rendered irrelevant by their folly.
The full cycle of Barton exchange has been concluded and the leaders for the next dispensation have already been marked by heaven.
God will begin to apportion territories to his choice men and an order of guardians will be formed. The spirit of the bond woman will make many attempts but will fail and then the shape of the true church will begin to immerge in various cities.
Saints the greatest need of this hour will be discernment because there will be many counterfeit movements that will rise side by side the move of God. False prophets whose ministries do not point to christ, spiritism, divination and satanic movements.
Watch and pray ………..selah
1 kings 22:1-8,17-18
Two trumpets in Nigeria.
Discordant voices you shall hear in the church at this time but if you are hungry for God it will be easy to discern the true voice.
Many popular platforms will be totally devoid of the counsel of God. However, the true voices will begin to mature in the land.
Flee the voices that do not show the way of Christ and the way of his kingdom.
May the hunger in your heart be the light that will guide you to the Lord.
The deception will be that notable men may not neccesarily be the mouth piece of the lord but the seal of His authority will be on his true voices. Flee the diversion, flee humanism,flee canality, sensuality and remember the supernatural is not necessarily spectacular. The true realities of the spirit can be known only by witness of the holy ghost as as He activates our spiritual senses.
Judge all things by the spirit and not by your intellect…. Selah