This is a wake-up call!
Do you notice the unbalanced and unhealthy dietary teaching on wealth aimed at feeding the self-life instead of promoting kingdom agenda? What about the baseless and ridiculous gymnastics all geared to ‘’conquer our enemies”? The unscrupulous teachings on our enemies are highly pathetic! Spiritual warfare meant to clear principalities and wicked spirits away from the path of the gospel spread is now geared toward witches and wizards- the very least in the kingdom of darkness. Have you also observed the bulk of church and board meetings is on program and convention planning with no concern for the lost, not even the Muslim? Gradually church-goers are already given into believing that good people such as the kind and seemingly loving Muslims will make heaven, since we are all serving the same God? Have we not become visionless and blind? What about the much criticism between churches and pastors under the false umbrella of correcting in love. Consequently, having a congregation is now a lucrative business with every Dick and Harry bearing ridiculous titles. Churches multiply daily in geometric progression with baby Christians who were not properly breastfed aiming only to make heaven and live a luxurious life on earth with no kingdom agenda. Where did they get that from? Which apostle of Christ taught them that?
Chaos! The Ekklesia (The Church) no longer knows who she is, what her mission is and the available tools to accomplish her mission hence Paul’s prayer in Eph. 1:17-19. “That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ; the Father of Glory, may give to you the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of your understanding being enlightened, that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of His glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the exceeding greatness of His power towards us who believe…”’ Job 38:31-33 and Eph. 6:12 tells us who is responsible for this-principalities, powers, rulers of darkness and wicked spirit all living in the heavenly places. ‘’Can you bind the cluster of the Pleiades, or loose the belt of Orion? Can you bring out Mazzaroth in its season? Or can you guide the Great Bear with its cubs? Do you know the ordinance of the heavens? Can you set their dominion over the earth? Job 38:31-33. They are the ones who have created a veil of covering over God’s people like they did to man through Eve. “…the face of the covering cast over all people and the veil that is spread over the nations” Isa. 25:7. They are against God’s counsel over the earth, they have been in existence before Adam, and thus they understand our frame as men.
The solution is found in Jesus; the Word. In Luke 24:46-49, He told His disciples to ‘’…tarry in the city of Jerusalem until…’’ they are empowered by the Holy Ghost. The early Church waited for the initial outpour, the latter Church too must wait for the final outpour in prayers and fasting. James 5:7 puts it well ‘’ Therefore, be patient, brethren, until the coming of the Lord. See how the farmer waits for the precious fruits of the earth, waiting patiently for it until it receives the early and latter rain” The messiahs who will reverse this order will come from Zion “ Then saviours shall come to Mount Zion to judge the mountains of Esau and the Kingdom shall be the LORD’s’’ Obadiah 21. What are we to pray for while waiting? Is it personal needs and desires? Nope! Matt. 6:9-13 with emphasis on verse 10 has the answer it is “Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth as it is heaven”’ This was what brought the former rain (the first outpour of the spirit) and this is what will bring the latter rain (the last outpour of the spirit) that will usher in Christ coming. You see, if you expect a royal visit, you must prepare your house. If you want aircraft landing, we must prepare the airport. If we want Christ to come, then we must harvest the earth by the latter rain.
What do you think will happen if two or three churches come together to pray by the spirit’s leading for their community? Can you imagine a church service with no program or agenda but completely under the spirit’s control in waiting? It is such heavy prayers by the spirit’s help (not gymnastics) that will bring revelation or vision back and put the Church on the pedestal to contend and conquer the Islamic opposition to the gospel; the Islamic State ISIS, the Al-Queda, Boko Haram etc. With a revelation of who we are as God’s government, why we exist (To show His manifold wisdom Eph. 3:10) and the resources available at our disposal (‘’…has given us all things that pertain to life and godliness…’’2Pet 1:3). If we cannot spread the gospel and if the gospel is not spread, we should not talk of Christ second coming and if we cannot talk of Christ second coming, we should anticipate greater depth of darkness, gross iniquity, and worse degradation of our environment and economy such that it will be practically impossible to live or even shine as light!
‘’But thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ…” 2Cor. 2:14. God is already raising soldiers, recruiting babes and suckling whose heart desire is to see His kingdom manifest on earth. God is recruiting His last day’s battle axe. This article is a proposal letter from Him to you (reading this) to come join His army! You still have a choice; To remain in the prison of ’church’ and religion, die and go to heaven with regrets OR to come out and face the giants that has harassed the faith of our fathers with a daring confidence that can only be birthed by waiting for the last outpour of the Spirit.
Wake up oh sleeping Soldier! Know you not that you are the arm and strength of Yahweh? Why allow yourself to be chained by religion when the field is full? Isa.52:1-2.Only foolish sons sleep in harvest and such are destined to inherit shame. Prov. 10:5. There are medals to be won by daring the princes at work in ISIS, in the entertainment sector, in our economy and in every sector of human endeavour, militating against the knowledge of God. Do you know that the glory of God has already filled the earth as waters filled the sea? Isa. 6:3 it is just that the princes of darkness has covered or hidden this knowledge from men.2 Cor. 4:3-4, 10:4-6. And God had vowed to reveal this ‘’ The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, (no longer hidden, AMEN.) and all flesh shall see it together FOR THE MOUTH OF THE LORD HAS SPOKEN” Isa.40:5. But how will God do this? If He comes down Himself, He would be violating His law ‘’The heavens, even the heavens, are the Lord’s; but the earth hath He given to the children of men” Psa.115:16. He shows us how in Jer.51:20-24 ‘’You are my battle axe and weapons of war…. Says the LORD’’ Enough of talking and saying the grace, it is time to face the real culprit, make war from the position of victory. Refuse to be caged by religion or denomination, it’s time to let Jesus come and reign as the King that He is
He is already at the door but waiting for the Church; the Bride to say ‘’COME’’. I join the Spirit to say ‘’COME, LORD JESUS!’’ Rev.22:17, 20. What about you?
We Say Come!
Written by Otutu Sunday
Listen to me, o earth,
Give me your ears all humans,
for you all came out of my loins,
I am the first man who lived,
this is the story of the beginning,
how I lost my boldness to go into the creator’s presence,
and how the saviour bought it back with his blood,
he paid on the cross with his life.
What a beautiful view as I gazed through my window. It was my first view into life, and the only message my immediate environment told me was “life indeed must be very beautiful”. Only thoughts of hope, Peace and Joy ran through my mind as that was the only message my view painted to my pure, and never used mind. Everything had been beautifully prepared and arranged by my host and all I was expected to do was to enjoy what had been prepared for me. What to eat, where to sleep were questions I didn’t need to ask myself because everything was already made available by my host.
Ranging from little animals with sweet voices singing in the morning and peacefully flying from one tree to another without any fear of any predator hunting them down, entertaining the other animals around the environment to little springs of either warm or cold water all around everywhere nourishing bright and beautiful flowers with beautiful scents in the garden and to having a lot of “pet-friends” to cuddle around and play with. I later had the privilege to name this my “pet-friends” and I carefully picked very beautiful names for them. It was clearly written everywhere in my environment that there was peace, No-one could be on this island and have a troubled mind. None of the creatures meant any harm to another. A lot of people this days would pay a lot of money to travel anywhere they could get to this garden and here I was enjoying this all free.
There were no laws, no police-man to pursue thieves, no worries about anything. I was free to eat anything in the garden except one tree in the garden which my host called “the tree of the knowledge of good and evil”. And, for me that was quite simple. My host was my family, my confidant, what I enjoyed most were those cool evening walks with my host through the garden, I gathered a lot of wisdom from his words, he very wise, explaining to me a lot about myself and his intentions for creating the garden. One thing I never wanted to lose was the relationship I had with my host and leaving this beautiful garden.
While I was busy with trying to keep the Garden, my host thought it wouldn’t be good for me to be alone. He made for me a beautiful damsel. She was exactly the lady of my dreams. She was the definition of beauty, from white nice set of tooth, to round soft lips, which made me want to kiss her all day, to long cully hair, and a general appealing appearance, every feature of her body was just perfect. I loved her. Now, I don’t have to cuddle my pet-friends around anymore but now someone just like me, and that was just good for me. She was a great companion as she completed my beautiful world as I did hers.
Oh what a horrible it was, the day the deceiver came. Oh! How I wish it never happened. How I wish I never disobeyed my host. It was the saddest and painfully the last day of my life in the garden. The serpent deceived me and my wife into eating the fruit of the tree my host told me not to eat. Immediately, I did this, I had a strange feeling, a feeling of guilt, unworthiness, and fear for my host. It was very strange because I had never felt this way before. In the evening when my host came to relax and discuss with me, I hid myself. I hid myself because of the guilt of disobedience. I felt very unworthy of His presence. I could no longer look into his face anymore. I tried to act as though nothing happened but I just couldn’t. I had lost it. I had lost the boldness I had to come into his presence.
“And they heard the sound of the LORD God walking in the garden in the cool [afternoon breeze] of the day, so the man and his wife hid and kept themselves hidden from the presence of the LORD God among the trees of the garden.” [Genesis 3:8]
“But the LORD God called to Adam, and said to him, “Where are you?” [Genesis 3:9]
He said, “I heard the sound of you [walking] in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; so I hid myself.” [Genesis 3:10]
I wept and cried but it was too late, my host was holy and just couldn’t look over disobedience. He called it Sin. And Sin had a legal punishment which was death. From that day, everything changed. I died! Everything was corrupted. I and my wife were chased out of the garden, it was painful to me so much that my children had just been denied the possibility of living in this beautiful world. As from that day we had to toil, labour before we could eat. Our only hope of having that express permission with my host was to wait for the saviour.
Every man came from me. I am the father of all living. And because of my fallen nature (Sin) and the consciousness of sin that accompany it every man also lost the boldness to come into the creator’s presence.
And after a lot of years, the saviour came, He paid for our sin. And now we all who have received him can boldly enter into his presence. Now what was lost is back to us.
“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need (Heb. 4:16)”
“For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father (Eph. 2:18)
We have been forgiven, we can come boldly into God’s presence because we have his righteousness, our sin nature is gone. Glory! We have a new spirit. We have a right standing with God. We are can now come boldly into His presence without any sense of guilt.
“In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: (Col. 1:14)”
I Call You Blessed!
Written by Samson Afolabi
These days, many people talk about “losing their salvation”. Preachers, in the name of trying to keep their members, emphasize so much on the need to keep themselves away from the defilement of this world. As good as this sounds, it often has caused more people to live in fear rather than in boldness and certainty that God can keep them faultless and blameless to the end of their lives.
The one way I believe God has been instructing me on “keeping one’s salvation” is by shifting my attention away from myself and instead towards God. Yes, I know the world is defiled with sin, and ungodliness. I know that sin contaminates, but I believe that the way to victory over the world, is to keep our gaze on Jesus (the Author and finisher of our faith) rather than ourselves. We must start to know that “God wants to keep our faith more than we want to keep ourselves”. David said,
“The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want” (Psalms 23:1)
As believers, the Lord is our shepherd. He is our keeper. He is the keeper of our faith. The boast of every shepherd is that he keeps his fold and that none of them is missing. David made this boast before Saul when he was presenting his CV to him, proving he was strong enough to confront Goliath.
“Then Saul said to David, “You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight him. For you are [only] a young man and he has been a warrior since his youth” (1 Samuel 17:33)
But David said to Saul, “Your servant was tending his father’s sheep. When a lion or bear came and took a lamb out of the flock, (1 Samuel 17:34)
I went out after it and attacked it and rescued the lamb from its mouth; and when it rose up against me, I seized it by its whiskers and struck and killed it. (1 Samuel 17:35)
Your servant has killed both the lion and the bear; and this uncircumcised Philistine will be like one of them, since he has taunted and defied the armies of the living God.” (1 Samuel 17:36)
Jesus, the great shepherd also made this boast at the end of His life on earth,
(John 17:11) And now I am coming to you; I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world. Holy Father! Keep them safe by the power of your name, the name you gave me, so that they may be one just as you and I are one.
(John 17:12) While I was with them, I kept them safe by the power of your name, the name you gave me. I protected them, and not one of them was lost, except the man who was bound to be lost—so that the scripture might come true.
The shepherd is never scared to lead the sheep out even though the wolves are nearby. He knows that it is his duty to keep the sheep and he will go above and beyond to do that. It is not the sheep’s duty to worry about the security of the field. God knows we are in the world. In-fact Jesus prayed that God keep us in the world, because He knows he can protect us. We don’t have to rely on our ability, rather we rely on His ability to keep our faith and our feet from falling. We must stop looking down on ourselves and start looking up to Him, who is able to keep us from falling. Whenever we talk about our salvation, let us know that it is about the faithful God and never about our own unfaithfulness. It is all of God and none of us. The Sheep doesn’t keep himself, the Shepherd does.
(Jude 1:24) To him who is able to keep you from falling and to bring you faultless and joyful before his glorious presence
Yes, he is able and I chose him to be my strength to stand for my faith in this perverse and ungodly world. He alone can be my strength. I have no strength of my own. This is not to mean I would deliberately sin and keep saying there is “Grace” but I won’t rely on my own strength. I would trust the shepherd to keep me from falling.
David speaking in Psalms 121 said, The Lord is my Keeper… (Vs 5), he went further saying The Lord shall preserve me from all evil; he shall preserve my soul (vs 7) and He will not suffer my foot to slip (vs 3).
In-fact, 1 John 2:13 – 14 says we have already overcame the wicked one.
…I have written to you, young men, because you are strong and vigorous, and the word of God remains [always] in you, and you have been victorious over the evil one [by accepting Jesus as Saviour]. (vs. 14 AMP)
….I am writing to you, young men [those believers who are growing in spiritual maturity], because you have been victorious and have overcome the evil one…. (Vs 13 AMP)
…He Protects the souls of His godly ones (believers), he rescues them from the hand of the wicked. (Psalms 97:10)
We overcame the evil one already, not that we will overcome later, we overcame him already (NOW). We overcame him not because of what we did or didn’t do but because we have accepted Jesus as our saviour.
God is not scared that I will lose my salvation. Therefore, why should I be scared? I will walk in the world, knowing that God is keeping me from falling. I will walk at school, at the office and everywhere I go with the confidence that God is my keeper. I won’t act like religious fanatics who put themselves under rules and regulations, avoiding to talk and interact with people because of the fear that they might lose their salvation. I won’t be afraid of the world contaminating me with sin, rather I will influence the world with Righteousness just like Jesus did.
I call you blessed!
Written by Samson Afolabi
I had just finished from work on this beautiful Saturday 29th April when I decided to go have a haircut you know to confirm that I am wonderfully and beautifully made by God. After quite a wait at the barbers shop, it was finally my turn. I gave the barber instructions on how I wanted my cut and he followed it perfectly. Just as we were finishing up, my phone rang.
It was a call from a “Big-Brother”, someone who had been a special blessing to me in my sojourn in this foreign land. He was inviting me over for dinner and wanted to introduce me to new friends. It was an opportunity I had been waiting for, so I immediately decided to join though it was with a short notice. Plus, the possibility of eating a local dish made me more ready to attend!
We met at his house and it was great time. While the meal was being prepared, we had chatted over appetizers. My “Big-Brother” the host happened to love sports, and fortunately that night was the big boxing night for the world heavyweight champion between “Anthony Joshua” and “Wladimir Klitschko”. We were all in support of Anthony Joshua because we were all Nigerians in the room except for one Kenyan friend who had accompanied me to the meeting. I probably wouldn’t have watched the match that night if I wasn’t for him because to be honest, I’m not really a fan of boxing.
After many blows, Anthony Joshua won. So much glory and honour for him that night. I wished I was him just after he won, but not before he won. I couldn’t manage to receive those punches he received.
Here comes my analogy; in life there are 3 categories of people, those who are less than conquerors, those who are conquerors and those who are more than conquerors.
That night Wladimir Klitschko was not (less) than a conqueror, Anthony Joshua was the conqueror. He persevered through the pain receiving punches here and there on his body, and even had a black eye in the end, but still snatched the prize.
The last category of people are the most blessed. Imagine if Anthony Joshua was to go home that night. Imagine that after the match, he handed over his belt and millions of dollars in prize money to his Mum as a gift. In this case, his mum would have been MORE THAN CONQUEROR.
Why? Because she sat at home all throughout the fight, didn’t receive any punches, didn’t join him in his 12 weeks of intense training, didn’t get a black eye and yet got all the reward her son Anthony Joshua got.
This is the case of the Saviour of the world, who was beaten, bruised, disgraced, wounded, nailed to the cross, and hung on the pole, for our sins. He was killed but then he resurrected. Yes he came out victorious! He was a conqueror. After his resurrection he gave all the glory belonging to his victory at the cross to us. He credited the victory into our account. And all we need do to be more than conqueror is to believe “that He died for our sins”. If we believe we are then the MORE THAN CONQUEROR. We are MORE THAN CONQUERORS right now. We are not just going to be more than conquerors in the future; we already are right now.
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us” (Romans 8:37 KJV)
“Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors and gain an overwhelming victory through Him who loved us so much that He died for us” (Romans 8:37 AMP)
Those who fight and win are conquerors. Those who allow God fight for them are MORE THAN CONQUEROR. We are more than conqueror over sicknesses, diseases, famine, poverty, shame and over every challenge we go through.
Paul speaking in Romans 8:33 – 37, listed the different difficulties he was going through at the moment, yet all those didn’t stop him from believing; he was MORE THAN CONQUEROR. Not because of anything He had done or didn’t do but because Paul had received the victory from the conqueror (Jesus Christ) by believing. He had received the love God showed him by giving Jesus to die on the cross.
Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. (1 John 4:10)
At the Cross, Jesus said “It is finished”. And yes IT IS FINISHED. He finished whatever challenge we are going through. He is not just working on our challenges, He finished them already. It is done. He finished Poverty, Spiritual ignorance, lack, sickness at the cross and gave us the victory and the right to tread upon serpents and snakes. Amen!
This means that we are to believe and keep confessing what we believe. A closed mouth is a closed destiny. We must keep speaking what we believe. If you feel pain in your body, confess you are healed because Jesus made you MORE THAN CONQUEROR over sicknesses, if you are in lack financially, confess you are rich until you start to see it because Jesus made you MORE THAN CONQUEROR over poverty. Whatever the case keep confessing and keep your confessions right. Believing and Confessing leads to seeing.
“We having the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I believed, and therefore have I spoken; we also believe, and therefore speak” (2 Cor. 4:13)
I Call You Blessed!
Written by Samson Afolabi and Edited by Christine Talens
“… Your People shall be my people, and your God, my God (Ruth 1:16)”
Have you ever wondered why there are few people who have been standing out in making greats exploits for God’s kingdom? Why there are people like Enoch, Moses, Samuel, Elijah, Elisha, and many other patriarchs of faith who stand out of their generation for God, and did what many people didn’t do? Is it that God has favourites, such that He shows his ways and acts to some people and hides it from some?
Why are there not so many people like Benny Hinn, E.W. Kenyon, Kathryn Kulman, Late Bishop Idahosa (Nigeria), Bishop Oyedepo (Nigeria), and various many others? Is it that God is in short supply of resources to make many of such people? I say NO. Each man determines his place with God.
The Determinant of the level of a man in God is the man’s personal walk with God. God doesn’t have favourites, His arms are forever open unto every-man. In-fact one of the key things that salvation brought to us, was the opportunity of a personal walk (fellowship) with God.
“That at that time ye were not without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world (Eph. 2:12)”
“Jesus said to her, “Touch me not, for I am not yet ascended to my father, but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father and to my God and your God” (John 20:17) ”
It is important to notice this transition between (Eph. 2:12) and (John 20:17). We never had any relationship with God before, we couldn’t call him father. But God created that relationship by sending Jesus. So it is obvious God wants to commune (have fellowship) with man just as He did in the Garden of Eden. He wants to have us speak with Him. He wants us to walk with Him.
It is also important to note that God wants to deals with every man on earth individually. God relates with each one of us one-to-one. He deals with everyone, one to one as though he/she were the only person on the face of the earth. He deals with you personally, as though you were the only person in that hall, class, office. He desires fellowship with man, and not just fellowship but personal fellowship with each man.
“You only have I known of all the families of the earth: … (Amos 3:2)”
God was addressing Israel and He said, them only has he known on the earth, but obviously they were not the only nation on earth and in-fact God created all the others. Same is true of the way God deals with each one of us. God is ready to deal with us personally. Am not placing down the place of fellowship with other believers, but am trying to lay emphasis on the place of a personal walk with God. Our corporate fellowship is to help our personal walk with God. Each of our Church (fellowship) meetings is to sharpen our zeal and thirst for a personal walk with God. Corporate fellowship is a means to an end. God wants every believer to have a personal walk with God, this is evident in all of what God is doing for us.
At Pentecost, each Person spoke with tongues. The holy-spirit filled each one of them. Also, in scriptures we are made to know that the spirit bears witness with our spirit (individually). The spirit bears witness with your own very spirit not another person for you.
“Look to Abraham your Father, And to Sarah who bore you; for I called him alone, and blessed him and increased him (Isa. 51:2)”
Looking at each of the men who stood-out in their walk of faith, we notice they had a personal walk with God.
There is a clear difference between “Our God” and “my God”. The latter clearly depicts a personal walk with God. God wants every-one of us to have a father-Son relationship with Him. A father-Son relationship clearly carries a personal intonation.
Paul, was a man who opened the Church to great truths about the Kingdom. He did that because Paul (Himself) studied the scriptures. Enough of the kind of Christianity that lives alone by all that is being told Him. We need to sit down and have a personal relationship with our Heavenly father. The reason for the creation of man was because of the lonely heart cry of the Father. The creation of man, was a response to love. God wants us individually.
The bible is littered here and there with many scriptures showing that we have our different records with God.
“Then said he unto me, Fear not, Daniel: for from the first day that thou didst set thine heart to understand, and to chasten thyself before thy God, thy words were heard, and I am come for thy words (Dan. 10:12)”
Notice the use of the different personal pronouns. Daniel set his own heart to understand.
“… as I was among the captives by the River Chebar, that the heavens were opened and I saw visions of God (Eze. 1:1)”
“the word of the Lord came expressly to Ezekiel the priest, the son of Buzi, in the land of the Chaldeans by the River Chebar; and the hand of the Lord was upon him there (Eze. 1:3)”
“And I fell to the ground and heard a voice saying to me, “Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? (Acts 22:7)”
“So I answered, ‘Who are you, Lord?’ and He said to me, ‘I am Jesus of Nazareth, whom you are persecuting.’ (Acts 22:8)”
“And those who were with me indeed saw the light and were afraid, but they did not hear the voice of Him who spoke to me. (Acts 22:9)”
Notice also the scenario of Ezekiel and Paul. Both were amidst people (Ezekiel among the captives, Paul with other people) yet the heavens opened and singled them out and spoke to them and those around them didn’t hear. Walking and having fellowship with God is personal. It can’t be done for you. You must do it yourself. As Christians we must learn to start taking responsibility for our walk with God.
It takes understanding God personally and His covenant before we can enjoy all of what God has prepared for us. It is clear and evident that all the patriarchs of faith and the great men of exploits maintained a personal communion with God. In order to attain where they attained we must be ready for a personal walk with our Heavenly Father.
For Us to grow to maturity, we must learn to personally search the scriptures. Cultivate an habit of prayer. Doing all this, add up to having a personal fellowship with Jesus.
Christianity is principally a personal walk; right from salvation (you believe with your own heart), he leads you by your own spirit in you. Our fellowship with other believers is to help us achieve success in our personal walk with God. It is hard to walk in another man’s revelation of God, only if the man’s revelation, becomes a revelation to you. The church today has to learn this, we must know that we have the responsibility of having a personal communion with God.
As we make-up our minds to walk with God, I see God supplying us grace, in Jesus name (Amen)
Christ Reigns! We Win!
I Call You Blessed!
Written by Afolabi Samson
Now the (Jews) were better disposed and more noble than those in Thessalonica, for they were entirely ready and accepted and welcomed the message [concerning the attainment through Christ of eternal salvation in the Kingdom of God] with inclination of mind and eagerness, searching and examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so. Acts 17:11 [AMP]
But the people of Berea were more open-minded than those in Thessalonica, and gladly listened to the message. They searched the scriptures day by day to check up on Paul and Silas’ statements to see if they were really so. Acts 17:11 [TLB]
Paul’s usual practice [culture, manner of life] is to maximize every time available at his disposal to minister Christ: preaching the Gospel. After he and his company had passed through Amphipolis and Apollonia, they got to the synagogue of the Jews at Thessalonica, where he reasoned with them from scriptures about the death and resurrection of Jesus who is the Christ (Messiah).It is worthy of note that all Christians should inculcate this virtue (and command) in their pilgrimage.
This message of Paul permeated some Jews, a great multitude of the devout Greeks and a few chief women in Thessalonica, all of whom believed and consorted (cast their lot) with the Apostle.
But the Jews which believed not, moved with envy… Acts 17:5 (why?)
A fraction of the Jews who did not believe must have held firmly to a false report which went viral after Jesus’ death, that which denied His resurrection, claiming that the Disciples stole him away while the soldier slept. This saying is commonly reported among the Jews until this day. Matt. 28:11-15. It must have been a thug of war for Paul, because he actually reasoned (argued) with them for three Sabbath days in their synagogue before he got the number that believed.
We must at this junction state that; Christ actually died, was buried and resurrected on the third day, which validated the teachings of Paul. Nothing can be done against the truth but for the truth (2Cor. 13:8). For death could not hold him captive (1Cor. 15:55-58). They also accused Paul and his company of treason, in that they claimed another King, Jesus, instead of Caesar (Acts 17:7). Whereas Paul must have stated that Jesus was a King, but His Kingdom is not of this world. (Acts 18:36)
This was not the case with the Jews at Berea. We therefore seek to understand the virtues possessed by the Jews at Berea which made them nobler.
These were nobler than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed: also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few. Acts 17:11-12
We can extract two important points attributed to their nobility:
- They received the word with readiness of mind
- Searched the scriptures daily whether those things were so.
The difference between a believer and a un-believer is that the first believes while the other does not. The one who believed must have accepted the truth preached because he/she was open-minded. The Jews at Thessalonica were not open-minded, they could not accept new (correct) idea because they held tightly and firmly to their old (wrong) beliefs. They did not give room for the glorious light of the gospel to flood their hearts in order for their darkness to be enlightened. Unknown to them that all were just a shadow of the real thing, which is Christ. Many of us have also fallen short of new terrains that the Holy Spirit would have launched us into, because we being myopic have decided to hold on firmly to the doctrines of men and the limitation around us. Many a times we have so acted like Peter, who first saidnot so my lord, for I have never done this before (anything unclean- of which God already made clean) Acts 11. Which unknown to him, God was clearly expounding the scope of salvation to him, stating that, it was not only for the Jews rather for every nations and tribes (gentiles).
Faith comes by hearing, hearing by the word of God. If we are not eager and zealous to receive, we will end up not getting Faith to act upon.
The Jews at Thessalonica had a zeal but not according to knowledge.
Brethren, my heart’s desire and Prayer to God for Israel is, that they might be saved. For I bear them record that they have a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. For them being ignorant of God’s righteousness, and going about to establish their own righteousness, have not submitted themselves unto the righteousness of God. For Christ is the end of the law for righteousness to everyone that believes. Rom. 10:1-4
The words spoken by Paul did not produce salvation in them because it did not mix with faith in their heart. They had a stony heart (Ezekiel 11:19; 36:26). In that the message preached by Paul was unknown/unclear to them, they zealously raised an uproar in the city, thinking they are doing God a favour, by their action, but they were actually against the proliferation of God’s word. They fought vehemently against anything contrary (as it were) to the Jewish traditions handed over to them by their fathers. This was also the position of Paul before his encounter with Christ. Their zeal was wanting in knowledge.
On the other hand, the Jews at Berea received (embraced and accepted favourably) the word, the message of the death and resurrection of Jesus, with eagerness, much inclination and readiness (preparedness) of mind and there was a performance.
Now, therefore perform the doing of it: that as there was a readiness to will, so there may be a performance also of that which ye have. 2Cor. 8:11
This virtue expresses the reason why Isaiah said if ye are willing (desirous and ready) and obedient, ye shall eat the good (fatness) of the land. God works in us both to will and to do of His good pleasures. The predicament of the unbelieving Thessalonians was the hardness of their heart. Some folks have not received the engrafted word of God with meekness, openness and readiness of mind, some on the other hand had held tenaciously and firmly to the traditions of men, old wives fables and the rudiments of this world, all of which had robbed them of the finished works of Christ and the power thereof. Others have unknowingly retarded and consequently brought to halt the next phase (new things) that God wants to commit to their hands all because they were satisfied with what they have, as such are not hungry nor thirsty for more.
Dear reader, I implore you to be ready, eager and willing to explore and receive new levels of victory/grace from the WORD of God; for God is set (determined) to manifest in greater dimensions, the savour of His knowledge in every place by us. We are blessed with ministry gifts for this purpose.
While wanting to receive new things, the Apostles exhorted the church about the rising of many false teachers and prophets in the last day. They thus encouraged a test (to prove) every spirit/teaching/prophecy whether they be of God by the instrumentality of the Spirit and by the word of God. 1John 4:1; 2Pet. 2:1
Study to show thyself approved, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth. 2Tim. 2:15
Another prominent virtue exhibited by the Jews at Berea, was their diligent search of the Scriptures to confirm what was said by Paul. A diligent search and study brings increased knowledge and empowers to do the content. Under the tutelage of the Spirit and by consistent search of the scripture with open-mindedness, the truth is communicated to us. We thus shed off the imperfect (shadowy) that the perfect might have free course.
All scripture is given by the inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works. 2Tim. 3:16-17.
There is no perfect understanding gained from scripture outside the tutelage of the Spirit. This is because, he is the custodian of Truth. He glorifies Christ by revealing the intent of all purposes, events and prophecies in Scriptures, as they relate to Christ. This is made bare to the church by teachers and pastors.
Jesus said “Search the scriptures: for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me” John 5:39 (KJV)
You make search in the Holy writings, in the belief that through them you get eternal life; and it is those writings which give witness about me (BBE)
You examine the scriptures carefully because you suppose that in them you have eternal life. Yet they testify about me. (ISV)
The Jews at Berea carefully and diligently searched and x-rayed the messages of Paul in scripture daily to confirm whether they are in alignment: Little wonder he commended their Nobility.
This book of the law shall not depart out of thy 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 thou shall have good success. Josh. 1:8
Their Readiness of mind and confirmation by search from scriptures go hand-in-hand, they are complementary. We should inculcate these virtues in our day to day activity, this will makes us stand out.
Let your zeal be according to knowledge
Christ Reigns! We Win!
Love Always Win.
Written by Akintayo Damilola