Today, I am excited to be able to share God’s word with you once again. Our topic here is about a well-known Man, known not just to Believers but to unbelievers alike who probably do not believe Him to be the Son of God, that He indeed is, and maybe do not believe in the redemptive work He did.
Scripture describes him as the Express Image of the Father. He is the very accurate description of God. Jesus Himself said:
“No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him” (John 1:18)
Jesus said I am in the bosom of the Father, I have a very detailed description of the Father that no man has ever given. He was saying, no matter how highly rated the description of the Father the prophets have given before this time, it is nowhere as accurate as the one I am presenting to you. And we can understand this because we see such an intimate relationship between Him and the Father. John 1 gives us an insight into the relationship between Jesus (the Word) and the Father before His incarnation.
“In the Beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not anything made that was made.” (John 1:1-3)
“And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)
Hallelujah! The Word was God. This same Word that was God was then made flesh and dwelt among us. God was made flesh and we can see Him clearly through Christ. We can checkmate any personality of God earlier described in scriptures by if we find it in Christ. If not, it doesn’t describe the Father.
Even during His earthly sojourn, Christ (the Word made flesh) revealed even further that He was in such close union with the Father.
“Then answered Jesus and said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he sees the Father do: for what things soever he does, these also does the Son likewise” (John 5:19)
In-fact, simply to describe the relationship, He said We are One.
“I and my Father are one” (John 10:30)
The Writer of Hebrews tells us that God who in yester-years had been speaking to us through the prophets, is now speaking to us through His first begotten Son, Christ Jesus.
“God who at Sundry times and in divers manners spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person…” (Heb. 1: 1 – 3)
The word express above is defined as to “convey (a thought or feeling) in words or by gestures and conduct”. That is, Christ Jesus is God (His person) and revealed/conveyed to us (as a message) through words, gestures and conduct. That means to know who God truly is, in an accurate way, we must consider the words of Christ, His actions and conducts. The Amplified Bible magnifies verse 3 of Hebrews 1 better as:
“The Son is the radiance and only expression of the glory of [our awesome] God [reflecting God’s Shekinah glory, the Light-being, the brilliant light of the divine], and the exact representation and perfect imprint of His [Father’s] essence”
The Exact Representation! I Love that. The Message Bible says “This Son perfectly mirrors God, and is stamped with God’s nature”. Now here is where we have to be careful of the representation of the Father we carry around or believe or take to be true. No matter how beautiful the description Moses, Elijah, Elisha, David presents to us, we check if it agrees with the Exact Representation, Christ (in His words, acts and conducts), why? None of them have seen God (John 1:18), but the Son has seen Him (completely) and declared Him! Glory!
I will conclude this article by giving some instances where Christ gave us a better description of the Father than the prophets did. We see Elijah calling down fire on his enemies in 2 Kings 1:9 – 15.
“And Elijah answered and said to the captain of fifty, If I be a man of God, then let fire come down from heaven, and consume thee and thy fifty. And there came down fire from heaven, and consumed him and fifty” vs 10
Above is a representation of the Father that Elijah presented to us, as a God that kills His enemies by fire and maybe by brimstone if need be. Christ, the exact representation of the Father said NO, the father is not like that. In Luke 9: 53 – 56, some people resisted Christ from entering into a village of the Samaritans, His disciples told Him to do likewise, He said No! That’s not the accurate description of the Father.
“And when His disciples James and John saw this, they said, Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elijah did? But he turned, and rebuked them…and they went to another village” (Luke 9: 54 – 56). That’s the accurate description. The Father is Love. Paul expatiate this for us:
“Therefore if thine enemy hunger, feed him; if he thirst, give him drink: for in so doing thou shall heap coals of fire on his head” (Romans 12:20)
Another instance we see is 1 Kings 22: 19 – 23, where we see a picture of the Father as someone taking counsel to do evil. No! Jesus didn’t show that. Peter said,
“Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth:” (1 Pet. 2:22)
No evil! He has no capacity to do evil, He wouldn’t take counsel to do evil.
In Matthew 5: 27 – 39, the express image (Christ) corrects another notion of what the Father wants from us when we are wronged. “You have heard that it was said, “An eye for eye, and a tooth for a tooth [punishment that fits the offense]” (John 5:38 AMP)
“But I say to you, do not resist an evil person [who insults you or violates your rights]; but whoever slaps you on the right cheek, turn the other toward him also [simply ignore insignificant insults or trivial losses and do not bother to retaliate-maintain your dignity, your self-respect, your poise]” (John 5:39 AMP)
He was simply saying that’s not the correct image and person of the Father, and here is the better one. Now, we see the Father clearly, through Christ! The veil is removed only in Christ.
“But their minds were blinded: for until this day remains the same vail untaken away in the reading of the Old Testament; which is done away in Christ” (2 cor. 3:14)
Today, I encourage us to make sure that everything of the Father we believe and hold true is according to what His accurate and perfect representation declared Him to be. Every other representation that doesn’t agree with that is inaccurate and should be treated False.
I Call You Blessed
The First Aletheia Conference Hagiazo 2019 tagged Who is the Beginning (Col. 1: 18) will by the Special Grace of God hold next year.
In pursuing the vision of ALETHEIA, there shall be an ALETHEIA Conference. Asides, the online work being done by ALETHEIA, the conference seeks to create a physical possibility of fellowship of brethren. The ALETHEIA conference is a teaching PLATFORM. The PLATFORM seeks to bring believers together primarily for fellowship and to be taught of God’s word. As such it shall be tagged: HAGIAZO.
HAGIAZO is a Greek word meaning SANCTIFY. This is in accordance with Eph. 5:26 That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word. We see that as we are taught the word, we are being sanctified. Removing every belief, and ideology that is not of Christ in us. As such, it is an HAGIAZO.
The theme for ALETHEIA Conference 2019 is who is the beginning Col. 1:18. And he is the head of the bod, the church: who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead; that in all things he might have the per-eminence. This year’s conference seeks to exposit Christ, who is the beginning. It shall be a time of worship and the teaching of the word.
The topics to be taught during the conference will be centered on issues affecting the Christians of this generation and these topics will be prayerfully selected and assigned to ministers who will do justice to them through the help of the Holy Spirit. Deep exegesis in line with biblical standard is expected in these teachings. Room will be given for questions and general interactions as touching the topics.
The Date, Venue (It suggested to be in Ibadan), Ministers and further details about this epoch making conference will be available shortly. Subscribe to our mailing list using the form below to be among the first to get further details of this conference as they become available.
Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof: but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever. Authorized (King James) Version 1 John 2:15-17
Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Authorized (King James) Version 1 Peter 2:11
As believers the scripture says we are strangers and pilgrims here on earth, our true citizenship is in heaven. Eph 2:19. However, the land of our sojourn runs on a system that is characterized by Lust- the major code that dictates the tune of things, that the scripture says all that is in the world can be summarized to be lust!
Lust is one of the chains the prince of this world uses to bind his prisoners. Tit 3:3. But we have escaped that as believers 2Pet1:4. It is also a cherished instrument in his hands to allure citizens of heaven. He used it to tempt even Jesus Mat 4:3-9. The code simply appeals to our natural appetites such as appetite for food, money, fame, sex and so on. An unconstrained appetite then becomes its ground of operation.
This code is always lunched against the soul, that is while, the battle ground for lust is first in the heart. 1Pet 2:11. If the code succceds, the body then becomes the display screen of its effect! One then sees greed, love of money, fornication, impure thoughts and the likes manifest through the body.
For believers, the first way to practically defeat lust is to mind the things that are in heaven- our home. Col 3:1-2. Our love for God and our fellowship with God through Christ, personally and coperately are like wheel and axle which drive each other, our love for God brings us to fellowship and fellowship makes our love for God to grow. With these two, we can be sure our mind will be full of the things of God, our affection will be God-ward, our spirit man’s appetite for God will be strong enough to cast out all ungodly appetites. Anytime we fail in these that strengthen our spirit man, we are prone to the attack of Mr lust. Prov 24:10.
Another thing that’s equally important is to learn how not to make provision for the flesh Rom13:14. Getting rid of all that can lure us to lust is a very good step unto abstinence. Peter said we should abstain 1Pet 2:11. Putting away any structure lust can climb will be good in our learning of how not to make provision for the flesh. This will mean to place rules and laws to guide our appetite, learning both to abase and to abound Phil 4:12. This is called discipline. A Pilgrim cannot be without discipline.
Finally, we must learn to share our challenges with one another as believers, fellow citizens of heaven. As much as we are in this tabernacle of our earthly body, we will be faced continually with the temptation that lust brings. Let us therefore be ready to deal with this ungodly code anytime we notice it being fired against our soul. You can discuss with a fellow believer if it’s getting beyond what you can handle.
I call you blessed.
Written by Idowu Olasupo
My master’s level studies has given me the opportunity to meet a lot of people. One of them is Dr. Banky (Not his real name). I so much respect him. First of all, because of his advanced knowledge in Mathematics, being a Dr. of Mathematics from the department of Mathematics in my University is something I know didn’t come easy.
Dr. Banky is very organised and matured. You need to visit him at home or see his office to see that. There’s only a few mathematicians have met that seem to be well organized. I would say his influence and support has been very vital to get me to the present level I am in my Master’s. When I first arrived here, many things happened to me that made me doubt my ability to complete the program. I almost lost my self-confidence, thanks to a lot of counsels and support from esty-b (another friend that I value so much) and Dr. Banky. I think have been really blessed with the gift of people.
One important thing I must also say about him is, he dresses well. Truth be told, if you meet him randomly on the streets you wouldn’t know he is Doctor of Mathematics. I haven’t seen so many Mathematicians dress so well. He eats well and takes very good care of his health (unlike me), goes to the gym, so he looks really fit, and sure he is. There’s just a lot of things I really respect and like about this man. In-short he is one of my mentors and his counsels have been very helpful.
I have seen so many things in his life that I really want to emulate them and imbibe many of his cultures because I know they will be beneficial to me. A lot of them I have started already. we attend the same church here, I used to sit at his sitting position in church, I was so happy when one lady took me for him one Sunday. I thought I must be looking so much like him. I actually want to look like him. Imbibe many of his way of life. Follow him as he follows Christ. Looking at him do many of this things has actually made it easier for me to learn so many things that would have been difficult for me to learn on my own. And I must say, a lot of things has improved in me by watching him, including spurring me to academic excellence.
One lesson, I learnt from all this is “there is no Becoming without Beholding”. I noticed that before I could want to learn from him, I had to relate with him. We became very good friends, brothers. In-fact am his special junior brother. I opened up my life to him, then he did same to me. We commune, fellowship. We share our lives together.
Same happened with Peter and Christ. At Peter’s denial of Jesus at his death, he denied, but I believe that he had so much become like Jesus that it was easy for people to find out that he had been with Jesus. The early disciples were called Christians. They had so much commune with Christ that they were becoming him.
“And when he had found him, he brought him unto Antioch. And it came to pass, that a whole year they assembled themselves with the church, and taught much people. And the disciples were called Christians first in Antioch” (Acts 11:26 KJV)
Notice, they were called Christians. By people who noticed they talked, lived etc. just like Christ. The writer of the book of Hebrews, encouraged us saying “Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith”.
In order for the disciples to be like Jesus, he simply chose them to live with him, be with him, and as they do that, they were going to be like him. No wonder, he called us to this same fellowship with him,
“God is faithful, by whom you were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ our Lord” (1 Cor. 1:9)
“…and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ” (1 John 1:3)
This technology of “Beholding to Become” had been for ages, Jacob applied it.
“Laban asked, “What shall I give you?” Jacob replied, “You shall not give me anything. But if you will do this one thing for me [which I now propose], I will again pasture and keep your flock:” (Gen. 30:31 AMP)
“Let me pass through your entire flock today, removing from it every speckled and spotted sheep and every dark or black one among the lambs and the spotted and speckled among the goats; and those shall be my wages.” (Gen. 30:32 AMP)
“Then Jacob took branches of fresh poplar and almond and plane trees, and peeled white stripes in them, exposing the white in the branches” (Gen. 30:37 AMP)
“Then he set the branches which he had peeled in front of the flocks in the watering troughs, where the flocks came to drink; and they mated and conceived when they came to drink. (Gen. 30:38 AMP)
“So the flocks mated and conceived by the branches, and the flocks gave birth to streaked, speckled and spotted offspring” (Gen. 30:39 AMP)
Jacob made the animals see, what he wanted their offspring to look like.
He made us sit in heavenly places with him, invited us to his fellowship and as we do this, his image his imprinted upon our soul. His work his enhanced in our lives, and he would be manifested in us without stress as we commit to this to this fellowship.
“But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the spirit of the Lord” (2 Cor. 3:18)
I Call You Blessed
This is a counsel.
A lot has been said about the necessity of the coming together of believers. This article tries to look into what we should be doing when we meet up in our fellowship periods. What should our church times consist mainly of? We try to answer this question by looking at what the fellowship of the early church in ACTS consisted of.
“These all continued with one accord in Prayer and Supplication, with the women, and Mary the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren” Acts 1:14
“And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.” Acts 2:42
“And being let go, they went to their own company, and reported all that the chief priests and elders had said unto them” (Acts 4:23)
“And when they had prayed, the place was shaken where they were assembled together; and they were all filled with the Holy- Ghost, and they spoke the word of God with boldness” (Acts 4:31)
“And when they were come, and had gathered the church together, they rehearsed(shared) all that God had done with them, and how he had opened the door of faith unto the Gentiles” (Acts 14:27)
“So when they were dismissed, they came to Antioch: and when they gathered the multitude (the church) together, they delivered the epistle:” (Acts 15:30)
Before I continue sharing more and more bible verses, we notice a particular trend in this verses above, every-time they met, it was to encourage themselves in faith. They prayed, they shared testimonies of what God was doing through them, they leant scriptures. There was no time for peripherals or unnecessary jokes or time wasting activities. It was about scriptures being taught and prayers of edification made. We can say simply that their focus was on SPIRITUAL GROWTH, so they could declare the word with boldness.
“And upon the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul preached unto them, ready to depart on the morrow; and continued his speech until midnight.” (Acts 20:7)
Paul preached and taught. When we realise there is so much to be learnt in scriptures, we would stop inviting comedians and unnecessary people to grace our church-pulpit. There is so much to learn and share to boost our faith when we fellowship with other believers that we shouldn’t waste time on ephemerals. Paul counselled here:
“And let us consider one another to provoke unto love and to good works:” (Hebrews 10:24)
“Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much as more, as you see the day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:25)
Paul says, when you gather exhort one another. The Amplified bible says “encourage one another”. When we gather, the purpose of our gather should be for edification. Our spirit man built, edified through prayers and teaching of the word.
“We continue to pray night and day most earnestly that we may see you face to face, and may complete whatever may be imperfect and lacking in your faith” (1 Thess. 3:10)
I believe what Paul meant here was to teach them again from scriptures what he believes was needed for their faith to grow. He anticipated to teach them whenever they met again. I believe this should be the heart desire of every Pastor. Everyone that has people to watch under them. Again here He said:
“For I Long to see you, that I may impart unto you some spiritual gift, to the end you may be established;” (Romans 1:11)
For every of Paul’s gathering with the church, his focus was always for their growth spiritually. Whenever I read through Paul’s epistles to Titus, Timothy I see how Paul keeps repeating that they should teach their members which I believe would have to be done when they met. There would hardly be any time left for unnecessary activities.
Beloved, there is so much to know. Learning from the finished work of Christ, New creation realities, our responsibilities in Christ , His future coming, the person of the holy-ghost, our disposition to the world, and many other faith question we should know to get our minds renewed, that our fellowship times should be used wisely for teaching and for Prayers geared towards our spiritual growth.
We Always Win
Written by Samson Afolabi