Category Archives: Deliverance

SIGNIFICANCE OF EASTER

Christians have written so much concerning Easter and its significance. However, the ceremonial aspect rather than the spiritual, to my mind, has, and continued to be held in high esteem. It is like chasing shadow instead of substance. Why was there any need for Easter? We have all sinned in Adam and Eve, in view of God’s curse placed on the couple for disobedience. God’s undying love for his creation made him find a means of redeeming his hand-made children. The bible told us he would send a redeemer. This had been prophesied by Prophet Isaiah  about four hundred years earlier before the actual birth of Christ.  The birth of Christ bore credence to the prophesies on the coming MESSIAH and so in the Gospel of John we get to know the clear reason for Easter for Christ was born to die for the sins of mankind. Roman 3: 23-25 says “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God; But they are justified freely by his grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. God publicly displayed him at his death as the mercy seat accessible through faith. This was to demonstrate the righteousness, because God in his forbearance had passed over the sins previously committed. This was also to demonstrate his righteousness in the present time, so that he would be just and the justifier of the one who lives because of Jesus’ faithfulness”. In conclusion, the reason for Easter is to keep in remembrance the sacrifice Christ made to redeem mankind. He was the sacrificial lamb to cleanse us of all our iniquities, thereby made us entitled to dwelling with Him in God’s kingdom. In the gospel of John, he states: (“For God so loved the world, that  he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth  on him should not perish, but have everlasting life” John 3:16 (ASV)

If we look at human historical past in the Garden of Eden, man fell prey to the deception of the serpent’s most unsuspecting enticing statement Genesis 3: 1-7. Quoting the most significant parts of the discussion with the serpent where it succeeded in leading Eve to tasting the forbidden fruit, “Is it really true that God said,, ‘You must not eat from any tree of the orchard’?” Response: “We may eat from the fruits from the trees of the orchard. But concerning the fruit of the tree that is in the middle of the orchard God said, ‘You must not eat from it or else you will die,'” By a negative reinforcement, “Surely you will not die” the did was done to their significant damnation. Sins continue to multiply to such an alarming proportion that God decided to wipe out the then world with the deluge. He saw that Noah was worthy and he commissioned him to build the salvation ark that accommodated man and all species of plants and animals. Noah restarted the new generation but soon began to sin again to a time when God found Abram (later Abraham) faithful enough to be a patriarch for  a special ‘People of God’ later to be known as the Israelites. God separated him from his heathen root and was given instruction to head for a place He would show him. Abraham obeyed absolutely. He however had an “ADD ON” in person of Lot who was not part of the mandate. While  Abraham pursued path of righteousness Lot went along the high life of SODOM and GOMORRAH. Sin re- entered and continue to be compounded. Four hundred years in slavery in Egypt and Moses emerged by divine providence to deliver them. The Passover feast was instituted to mark their liberation from Egypt followed by the forty years of wilderness experiences.

 

On return to the promised land, the Israelites continued to worship other gods beside Yahweh. Between Joshua and up to the time of King David there were intermittent emergence of few good judges. After King David, scale of sins of the ‘People of God’ outweighed their righteousness. It resulted in period of seventy years in exile. During the particular period of apostasy, major and minor prophets came to the scene bearing  God’s warning. These prophets delivered messages of hope about the coming of a Messiah to be called EMMANUEL meaning (God with us). Prophet Isaiah was at the  forefront of giving vivid description of birth  and particularly onerous task of going to be the sacrificial lamb that should carry the burden of man’s sin. His blood was to be for cleansing the sins and iniquities of the human race not just the Jews only. As an eternal being, His blood would remain fresh through eternity to serve the purpose for which God sent Him.

During the baptism of Jesus, in John 3: 16-17 and Mark 1: 10-11, we learnt that He was designated as God’s dear Son in whom God was delighted and going through the gospels it was clear that God asked the Jews to “Hear Ye Him”. The following passages are important for our understanding of the mission of Jesus on earth. Romans 3:23 “for all have sinned and fall short of glory of God” Romans 5: 8 “While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. and Romans 6: 23 “for the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life” the resurrection of Jesus from the grave is a culmination of past redemption attempts from Noah’s Ark, Passover lamb sacrificed in Egypt to avert the plagues in Egypt Exodus 12: 1-end detailed out the origin of the feast of unleavened bread to bring about release from bondage. It is not out of the ordinary to believe that the blood of animals and birds that were hitherto considered enough to wipe off humanities’ sin before God became ineffective or no more efficacious for the need to reconcile man with God. In ordinary sense, the owner of any vineyard needed to receive feedback from his husband men without any reprisal to his servants sent. So was the situation that the major and minor prophets were telling the people who Moses and Aaron described as hard-hearted.

As the last sent to bear the consequence of the sins of People of God, Christ was also to bring even Gentiles to God’s grace provided they could have faith in HE that was sent. HE whose blood was spilled instead of animals and birds’ blood for remission of sins became the ultimate sacrifice that has ensured the lost Paradise in Adam and Eve is regained in Christ Jesus. The period set aside for Easter is to be for sober reflection over the agony of the redeemer to pay the debt for the sins of man before HE could reconcile us with God. our Lord Christ Jesus is the mystery of God’swisdom which remains unfathomable to mankind.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE WORDS

ūüĆĄ”In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God” John 1:1 There is more to “The Word” than merely describing it as speech. There is therefore duality of purpose in our understanding of the word. Thus “The Word” of God is divine and was manifest in our Lord Jesus Christ. It can be understood as the eternal wisdom of God, that is eternally true and unbendable. At the time of creation, the bible recorded that God spoke to bring all things into being from a formless void. Genesis 1-29. The Gospel of John does corroborate Moses’ account on creation as divinely revealed to him. “The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him and without him was not any thing made that was made, In Him was life; and the life was the light of men. And the light shineth in darkness; and the darkness comprehended it not” John 1: 2-4 (KJV). Jesus being The Word of God is interpreted in John 10 : 9 as “I am the door: if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out and find pasture”. There are many phases to the Word of God. It heals, soothes, rewards everybody according to his or her intension and action, conquers the devil, enlightens the seeking hearts and teaches man how to make wealth and many more.

Words form the basis of exchanging ideas among we mortals. The words we speak in our everyday life is not comparable to The Word of God. God speaks to people by seeing visions, dreaming dreams or hearing audible divine voices 1Samuel 3:1-10. The Words of God are forever true as read in verses11-14 of the same chapter. Abraham received Angels of God physically and welcomed them with hospitality. At the end of the visit he got the prophesy of bearing the promised son, Isaac. The promise of 25 years got fulfilled by the message the Angels delivered to him. The promise began in Chapter 15: 2-4 “And Abram said, Lord GOD, what will thou give me, seeing I go childless, and the steward of my house is this Eliezer of Damascus? And Abram said, Behold, to me thou has given me no seed: and, lo, one born in my house is mine heir. And, behold, the word of the LORD came unto him, saying, This shall not be thine heir; but he that shall come forth out of thine own bowels shall be thine heir.”

There are so many examples in the bible where anointed men of God made proclamation that came true. Our Lord Jesus performed so many miracles through such divine Words backed by individual’s faith. The woman with the issue of blood wiggled through the crowd to touch just the tip of Jesus’ garment. Jesus knew someone tapped power from Him and inquired from His disciples the one who touched his garment. They, in their mortal experience, felt it was impossible to know such in view of the teeming crowd. When He asked again, the woman owned up because she believed that if only she could touch the tip of His garment, she would receive her healing. Jesus then said; “Daughter, be of good comfort; thy faith has made thee whole and the woman was made whole from that hour.” Matthew 9: 22b. Also in Matthew 4: 4, (KJV) we see how Jesus defeated the devil the tempter by his utterances which were the WORDS of God. “….It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God”.

The life of Prophet Elijah was full of issuing the Words of God and coming true. His encounter with King Ahab in his proclamation of “There shall not be dew nor rain these years, but according to my words.” Thereafter, there seemed to be dialogue between Elijah and God directing his every step until the end of the famine. The encounter with the widow of Zarephath that ended in the famous words of God for provision of food to the widow until the famine shall be over; “For thus saith the LORD God of Israel, The barrel of meal shall not waste, neither shall the cruse of oil fail according to the word of the Lord which he spake by Elijah” 1 King 17: 1-15. The Word of God is usually instantly efficacious. Judas Iscariot led those the High Priest sent to bring Jesus for his trial and crucifixion and identified Jesus to them clearly with “an unholy kiss”. John 18: 6 revealed thus: “As soon then as he had said unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the ground”. This shows that there is power in the Word of God that came to the agents of wickedness in high places. Also in John 4: 49-51 “The noble man saith unto him, Sir, come down ere my child die. Jesus saith , Go thy way; thy son liveth. And the man believed the word Jesus had spoken unto him, and he went his way. And as he was going down, his servants met him and told him, Thy son liveth.” We can see clearly that the YES from God is forever YES, same goes for his NO, since HE is not man that can lie.

Philosophers right from ancient times maintained that the words human beings say are subject to being debated and may or may not stand the test of time. Scientific discoveries are explained in words and do prevail as long as there are no other evidences, to disprove them. As soon as superior evidences or convincing arguments emerge, the erstwhile highly rated conclusion may be supported, reframed or discarded completely. Decree, as a non-debatable law can still be altered by rational-legal argument or by divine intervention. Take the case of Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego that refused to bow down in worship of Nebuchdnezzar’s golden image and were sentenced to be thrown into fiery furnace. The order (decree) was carried out but those who threw them into the fire were the ones the fire burnt and the Hebrew youths were delivered. The fire was unable to burn them by divine intervention. Conversely, the Words of God came to pass also as King Nebuchadnezzar, in his pride heard the Word of the Lord that came to deliver judgement on him. He was suddenly chased out of the palace and turned into grass-eating hairy beast in the forest for seven seasons (years). Daniel 4: 30-34

The Word of man’s creator, the unchangeable changer who has the final say is the word of sovereign God as well, once spoken, does not and never returns to him void but must accomplish the purpose for which it was spoken. Praise the Lord.

Help of the Helpless # 2

Help of the helpless is always available to those who trust and obey God. HIS arm is strong enough to deliver trust in HIS help.

Help of the helpless is always available to those who trust and obey God. HIS arm is strong enough to deliver therefore trust in HIS help.

Help of the helpless is assured at both spiritual and mundane levels but it is predicated on obedience, trust and timeliness in regard to man and God as well as relationship between a person or persons and others. Here is a moral lesson to be learnt from this old school exhortation about a boy whose life was saved as a result of his absolute obedience. The kid found himself on a rail track and was frozen with fear before an on-coming train. No one dared to run to pull him out of danger. the only help that came was a shout of “Lie down”. The kid obeyed instantly without questioning. He laid there motionless because he was too afraid to move. In no time , the train rolled by and people ran to fetch him with unqualified joy. The instruction that asked him to lie down and his attendant obedience saved his life. in other words, it is help of the helpless.

In ll King 13: 1-6, (NKJV) there was another scenario of helplessness and appeal to God brought deliverance. Put in perspective, “In the twenty-third year of Joash the son of Ahaziah, king of Judah, Jehoahaz the son of Jehu became king over Israel in Samaria and reigned seventeen years”. He followed the evil ways of his predecessors. The acts of Jehoahaz angered God and delivered his kingdom into the hand of Hazel king of Syria. Jehoahaz’s army was reduced to rubbles and became absolutely helpless. He had to appeal to the God of Israel who was yesterday, today and will forever be. throughout the history of mankind, it has always been difficult for man to learn from the mistakes of their ancestors. One would surmise that God’s covenant with the patriarchs would have given the Israelites assurance and cogent reason never to serve any other God but Yahweh. It is believed that it was the covenant that made God to agree to save Israel according to ll King 13: 4-5. However, Jehoahaz had to appeal in obedience ¬†to God. “So Jehoahaz pleaded with the Lord, and the Lord listened to him; for HE saw the oppression of Israel, because the king of Syria oppressed them. Then the Lord gave Israel a deliverer, so that they escaped under the hand of the Syrians; and the children of Israel dwelt in their tents as before”. Help will always be made available to those who ardently seek God’s help. Mankind needs to trust and obey.

Glad Tidings Season: Part 2

This is the concluding part of the season for glad tidings in which people are thanking God for mercies received by way of benefitting the less privileged people in the society. The annunciation and advent of our Lord Jesus Christ continue to constitute glad tidings because HE came to redeem mankind from sin and death. In Isaiah 7:14 and in Micah 5: 2 Christ’s birth had earlier been prophesied by the Prophets. ¬† ¬†The birth of Christ was given to us as 25th of December of every year. It gives all christians cause for joy. The date we hold on to had created controversies in christendom.What influenced the choice of December 25th and not any date in October should be left to theologians and ecclesiastical unending debate. the good thing is that Jesus was born in a manger and the three wise men by divine wisdom got guided by the star on the horizon to where Jesus was in a manger. While searching for the place, they contacted King Herod, who from human angle they thought could be of help in locating the place.

In spite of all controversies surrounding ‘date’, it is heart-warming that all christians agreed it was a period of good tidings. Most ¬†christian denominations do celebrate the birth of Christ with pump and extravagance. Invariably, the spiritual significance gets overshadowed by commercial consideration. in effect some sect placed greater recognition on Easter. In simplifying the trend, those who celebrate birth of Christ preferred to favor the reality of God choosing to manifest in human in human with a view to carrying out his mission on earth because fellowshipping with God failed in Adam. One would therefore surmise that His coming calls for celebration though in solemn mood. The protagonists of higher valued Easter argued that without Christ’s passion, death and ¬†resurrection salvation might not have ben possible. Jesus who came as a propitiating Lamb of God deserves double praise not just for his coming but loving mankind to the point of dying for mortals who are ever so prone to sinning. John 3: 16-17

In all, one can look at both Christmas and Easter seasons as a divine veritable two sides of the same coin. The purpose of HIS coming is summarized in Isaiah 61: 1-3. At birth there is ecstasy and joy but death is associated with sorrow for losing loved one. However, all that Jesus went through to achieve salvation for mankind required special perpetual spiritual joy and not physicFrom Human angle, it is disrespectful not to honor a preponderant visitor in the caliber of our Lord Jesus who is God incarnate. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever” Hebrew 13: 8

Freedom Fighting: The South-Africa Model (1)

Genuine fighting for freedom of all.

Genuine fighting for freedom of all.

Freedom fighting in South Africa was very unique and has become a model for future freedom fighters. Freedom fighting is a legitimate struggle especially when there existed an intolerably cruel, discriminating and exploitative regime. It is not limited to foreigners that established repressive rule over their colonies.There are instances of indigenous regimes that were fond of acting like tin-gods based on ethnic chauvinism, religious bigotry and or caste system. Other areas of governance that call for a part of a country to want to secede or force the country to have loose federation or confederacy was always due to ruling elites high handedness based on the above identified forms and nature of ruling in such countries. In other words, a country may start from a unitary system, to federation then to oligarchy or fascism and lastly total disintegration as it apparently¬†¬†happened in the case of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republic, Southern and Northern Sudan’s two independent countries, India from where came Pakistan and Bangladesh.

The above situation that can force a section of a country to fight for freedom from the central government include oligarchic form of government structure, dictatorial government or simply called totalitarian government, graft, bribery and corruption, nepotism and ruling by immature so-called political stalwarts adept in fire power. These were never tested as rulers and were thus without provable experience in the basics of governance or were thus rulers that tend to relegate to the background the essence of technocrats who are trained to guide them as required for effective governance.

During the last century, Africa witnessed a lot of freedom fighters for freedom first against colonialists and later against local overlords. Neo-colonialism, (coined by Kwame Nkrumah to depict recolonization of Africa by economic world order or globalization for short) created atmosphere for freedom fighting in a complicated manner in the way it did not bring the desired prosperity to the people rather the proceeds were going to the power elites. These played up first in Congo Leopoldville in 1960 (now Zaire) during which time the then second United Nation Secretary-General, Dag Hammarskjold died in a plane crash in Ndola Zambia on September 18, 1961. Other instances were in Angola, Sudan, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Mozambique, and Namibia. The Maumau movement in Kenya produced President Jomo Kenyatta. Such uprising occurred in Nigeria from May 1967 to January 1970, years after the 1960 political independence.

A deviation from South Africa model of freedom fighters occurred in the Arab Spring manifesting from country to country in North Africa and has spread to Syria where it ceases to really be fighting for political or economic freedom but explicitly a manifestation of religious puritanism that seek to wipe out secularism in the governments of all affected states. The massive upheaval has developed into full-scale war using even chemical weapons to destroy the governed and the erstwhile high level of economic development. Genuine political freedom fighters especially South of the Sahara to Cape Coast the people’s resistance was made up of ” machetes,¬†sticks, stones as hand missiles thrown at armed Police or Armed Forces contingents. (It continues in the next post)

Extempore Farewell to an Icon

The departed icon is NELSON MANDELA of South Africa, 1918-2013. A village boy who rose to become the father of a nation. He had risen from mini to maxi, unknown to known, prison to Presidential palace and from being hurt to most forgiving. The Yoruba ethnic group of South-West Nigeria has this truism: “Ewe nla ko ni pada ru wewe”. By transliteration, it means big leaves will never grow small leaves. What the saying really means is that royal blood of greatness will always be shown in the life of anyone who truly carries the traits of royalty. Greatness was in Nelson’s gene, thanks to science and not superstitious belief. We learnt that he was born into a royal family, and he showed the sterling quality of royalty in all his life endeavor to his very end.

This is  a moment of sober reflection for us from all walks of life, believers and non-believers alike. Encomium continued to be showered on him because of what he represented to South Africa and humanity in general. Fear of the Lord will always empower us against all odds in life.

In the realm of spirituality or faith in God, one would like to stand him with uncompromising believers in the awesomeness of God who will always deliver those who trust in HIM in any form or level of danger. Amidst ¬†apartheid, killing, maiming and jailing, he stood firmly in the belief that one day South Africa would be free from oppression and discrimination. After his twenty-seven ¬†years in jail, the freedom fighters got¬†independence especially equality for all South Africans. Apartheid policy died like the Wall of Jericho fell without the Israelites using human mundane weaponry. By divine intervention, the struggle won the sympathy of all nations especially the United States, Western Europe, communist countries, and African countries that were just emerging into political independence. These destiny helpers fought the battle for South Africans with excruciating weapon of economic sanction that forced reason, sympathy and indeed empathy on the colonial masters to abandon God damned apartheid policy, to the warm embrace of democracy. Thanks goodness. Nelson Mandela stood like David against Goliath nature of apartheid regime and won. Black South Africans were craving for freedom. All of a sudden the freedom came literally overnight. The joyfull¬†difference was in Frederick de Klerk’s unconditional acceptance of dismantling apartheid policy and joining hand with all South Africans to nurture democracy. Good for him otherwise, he could have been swept off his feet by wind of change that rapidly blew across South Africa. Nelson was a man driven by destiny like Joseph in Egypt until he achieved his dream of freedom for all in South Africa.

On the mundane or physical realm, he was a freedom fighter who did not fear to die for what he believed. To show his seriousness, he trained as a boxer, not that he wanted to be a prize-fighter. It was meant to symbolize his rugged determination to win the crown of freedom through series of jabs and pummeling into championship. A champion boxer must undergo rigorous training and relentless sparing partnership to build stamina and resilience. In addition, it involves a lot of self-denial and unyielding visualizing the glorious dawn which was manifest in his life before passing on to glory. To God be the glory for the life of PAPA Nelson Mandela.