Tag Archives: Jeremiah

The lying tongues

Lying tongues are associated with false prophets and teachers of the holy Word of God. I would like to evaluate them as agents of the devil. Mildly put, they are agents of destabilization in the Church of God as of old up to now. They would have studied the Word of God to a reasonable depth. This tends to give them leverage and give them the opportunity to sound convincing. Within their own heart, they have different agenda that lead into turning young or weak Christians from the genuine way of the Lord. To the Almighty God, it is a complete abomination.

They are wolf in sheep’s skin whose sole but hidden purpose is self-aggrandizement, simply put self-seekers. It is not peculiar to Christians of contemporary era but had begun even in Prophet Jeremiah’s historical times. For instance in Jeremiah 14, the bible recounted the sins of the Jews and God decided to punish them with famine. The main reason was sin against the God of Israel. The Lord explained to Jeremiah what he would do mainly because the prophets were not genuine and were guilty of false prophesy. Disaster was looming large but the false prophets, were busy with their lying tongue and perverting the truth as God had made it clear. In Jeremiah 14: 13-14, the bible recorded:  “Alas, Sovereign God! The prophets keep telling them, You will not see the sword or suffer famine. Indeed   I will give you lasting peace in the place.” Then the Lord said to me   “The prophets are prophesying lies in my name. I have not sent them or appointed them or spoken to them. They are prophesying to you false visions, divinations, idolatrous and the delusion of their own minds. Jeremiah 14: 13-14 (NIV)

In the Churches today, it behoves born-again Christians to avoid the consequences of the act of being false teachers, prophets, pastors, evangelist, bishops, deacons and even the class of Church workers.

God’s Call is Irresistible 

Whatever begins as an unexpected call or starts in a small way tends to have potentials for becoming great especially when handled with seriousness of purpose. What has an end must surely have had a beginning, great or small. If at first there is a feeling of inadequacy, it is not unusual to first appear like that, but a Christian should know or is expected to have learnt the biblical history of characters like Noah, Abraham, Moses, Joshua, Jeremiah, Peter, and even Saul, who after conversion became Paul the Apostle. Moses and Jeremiah openly tried to adduce reason why they were not qualified to be a Prophet of God.
When the sin of the then world was too much for God to condone, He called on Noah to build an ark in which those qualified to be spared were to be kept when there was to be a deluge to wipe out the exceedingly sinful people. He obeyed by following the dictate of God concerning the measurement as well as the type of wood to use. No one has ever built an ark like that; so Noah was only daintily following instructions from God without any template to adopt.The people confronted him with discouraging attitude but he remained undaunted. At the end, he was saved along with the specified people, plants and animals as well as birds, while others perished in the deluge.
Abraham did start life as Abram before God asked him to leave his fatherland and go to a place he would show him. It was more or less a wild goose chase. God knew before hand what stuff Abram was made of. He obeyed and set out with his father Terar, Sarai his wife, and his nephew Lot. Based on his character and love of God along the line, his name was changed to Abraham – Father of many nations. Tripartite covenant began from him and God fulfilled it all. God prospered him immensely.
Moses was born in Egypt many centuries after the death of Joseph, a Jewish Prime Minister of Egypt. It was at a time when the patriarchal blessing per the covenant was at its lowest manifestation because the Jews seemed to have forgotten their God and had embraced the god of their host in Egypt. Although, they were suffering an exploitative slavery, they were just producing healthy children unlike the Egyptians. This fear-driven envy made Pharaoh to order the killing of all male children born by the Hebrews. God orchestrated saving the life of Moses and even got him to be very well preserved in the palace with Pharaoh watching him grow as Prince of Egypt. His first forty years was in the palace, the next forty years he was a fugitive in the land of Midian. At the end of the second segment he had God’s call to be a deliverer of the Hebrews. He found excuses to avoid being killed for homicide committed in Egypt and basically he was a stammerer. God provided Aaron and Miriam to assist him. He accepted the challenge with humility and was able to demonstrate the power of God over Pharaoh and the kingdom of Egypt through the ten plagues. This represented the third segment of his life. God granted him the enablement to lead the children of Israel out of Egypt, through the wilderness and to the Red Sea. He led the stiff-necked People of God across the Red Sea with so much trouble from the people he was leading. He could not resign and the people could not fire him because it was a divine assignment from God. There were times when he was on the verge of being stoned, at another time, he prayed God to kill him for the sin of idolatry committed while on Mt Sinai receiving the Ten Commandments- The Decalogue or God’s Constitution – meant to enable the children of Israel to live right before God. God showed him the land that was flowing with milk and honey but did not allow him to get there and he was 120 years old when he was no more.Exodus 2: 23-25 and 3: 1-22.(KJV).
Looking at the circumstances surrounding the birth of Samuel, there was no doubt that his call to serve God was surely irresistible. 1Samuel 3: 1-21 (KJV). At the time of Samuel’s full ministry, one has to recall that Prophet Eli had died as well as his two sons Hophni and Phinehas for their uncontrolled bad behavior in the house of worship. Prophet Samuel was instructed to go and anoint David as King designate since God had rejected Saul and had already been serving in King Saul’s army of Israel. The first spectacular victory was the encounter with the Philistines’ war-lord Goliath. David had so many challenges to face with Saul who tried to get rid of him out of jealousy and the obvious reason of David’s being a preferable successor to King Saul in preference to Prince Jonathan, whose friendship with David was greater than that of twin brothers. David had a humble beginning but his penchant for loving and always depending on God as well as tending his father’s sheep even at the risk of his own life became the obvious human reason why God found him a better alternative to King Saul when he violated the divine rule on division of labor between the king and Prophet Samuel. The Omniscient God what destiny each individual carries and so HE did not have any problem choosing who to do His job whether easy, difficult, dangerous or peaceful.
David road to rulership was with much difficulties, trials and triumphs, but all said he was a perfect fit for the job. King David was declared very dear to God. He was a human being like me or you but was head and shoulder higher in the virtues of obedience, contrite heart ready to admit guilt without rationalizing over his sin even unto God. He, as a ruler in his era, was remarkable and really inimitable. He fought battles and won all just because he made God the winner of battles he fought as he was always making God the fighter of battle that he ever led. David was able to bring all the 12 tribes of Israel together with headquarters in Jerusalem, the city of David and God promised him that the throne of David shall never lack who to occupy it. He never defied or rejected God like Kings Jeroboam and Jehu of Northern kingdom based in Samaria and did not usurp the Saul’s kingship like Hazael did to King Ben Hadad of Syria. 2King 8: 1-15 (KJV) The reign of King David became a reference point in the history of rulership in Israel. So also Jeremiah received divine call, Jeremiah 1: 4-10 (KJV). He like Moses, tried to justify why God need not call him to do a task as onerous as being a Prophet over the Israelites. He claimed, “I cannot speak because I am a child”. God in a trance touched his lips signifying putting His words in Jeremiah’s mouth. He throughout his life did the work of God with passion, weeping as he has spiritually known the impending period in exile.
Paul was another example of those God called into his vineyard. He was efficient and very effective in taking orders from the Priests and Chief Priest to go and hound the emerging disciples of Jesus after Peter has assumed the leadership of the apostles. Lord Jesus had to virtually “arrest” Saul of Tarsus on his way to Damascus with the intension to bring any disciple bound to Jerusalem for punishment. Acts 9: 3-6 The passage reads thus;

“As he journeyed he came near Damascus, and suddenly a light shone around him from heaven. Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul why are you prosecuting Me?’ And he said, ‘who are you Lord?’ Then the Lord said, I am Jesus, whom you are prosecuting’. ‘It is hard for you to kick against the goads’. So he, trembling and astonished, said Lord, what do you want me to do?’ Then the Lord said to him, Arise and go into the city, and you will be told what you must do.” Mandate received, Paul used his hitherto energy for destroying the Apostles to encourage and even charted a new course of evangelizing the heathens or the worshippers of idol. Paul the apostle, did so much to take the gospel to the Gentiles more than any of the apostles in spite of his personal ill-health and risk to his life including shipwreck. In it, the prisoner became the ship’s Captain. He gave them the massage of hope that no life would be lost.    

Trust and Obey

The popular hymnal continues to remind Christians that there is joy in trusting and obeying God. “When we walk with the Lord in the light of his word, What a glory He sheds on our way; While we do his good will, HE abides with us still, And with all who will trust and obey, Trust and obey, For there is no other way To be happy in Jesus, But to trust and obey” However great the problem may be, the shortest and surest way to meet man’s need is to trust and obey His holy will. Abraham, Father of faith, did trust in God in spite of having to wait for twenty-five years before God’s promise to him was fulfilled. It is therefore no surprise that he and Sarah were past the age of child-bearing before the promise got finally fulfilled. God tested his faith to see whether his trust and obedience were genuine or not. God asked him to sacrifice the child of promise to Him, Jehovah.  In today’s reckoning, one would probably use constitutional freedom of speech to ask God ‘WHY?’ or at least try to remind God whether HE could recall how long it took him, Abraham, to wait for the fulfillment of the promise. May even require reminding God that both he and his wife were past child-bearing age as if God did not know. Proverb 3: 5-6 says; “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths”.

Jesus’ first miracle with his mother’s instruction to those who needed to replenish supply of wine for the wedding feast at Cana of Galilee. in John 2: 5 Mary told the servants, Whatever He says to you, do it”. the servants obeyed absolutely what Jesus asked them to do and the result was fantastic. The master of the feast commended the high quality of the miracle wine. (Trust and Obey) Miracles that Jesus performed were not magical, no incantation, no voodoo as well. It is just the word of God that achieved the concrete result, especially to those who trusted and obeyed Him. In Jeremiah 32: 17 and 26-27, it was written, “Ah, Lord Jehovah! Behold thou hast made the heavens and the earth by thy great power and by thine own outstretched arm; there is nothing too hard…Then came the word of , Behold, I am Jehovah, the God of all flesh. Is there any thing too hard for ME? (ASV)”. The passage is all about the Jews who refused to be obedient to The God of Israel and the promised  consequence. They were  carried  into slavery as God told Prophet Jeremiah.

Worries and anxiety of Hannah ended with trusting the efficacy of Prophet Eli’s pronouncement. Hannah obeyed the practices of the Jews by having private commune  with God  over what was giving her untold sorrow in the presence of Peninnah, Elkanah’s first wife. 1Samuel 1:1-18  (NKJV). Hannah trusted God and in obedience she went home rejoicing. She conceived and gave birth to Samuel in answer to her fervent prayer to God.

The Lukewarm Believer

A lukewarm believer is worst than a non-believer or a heathen. One has to be a true believer because there is no middle-of-the-road believer. There is no room for fair-weather believer. Lukewarmness entails slackness in the worship of God, the Almighty as well as in one duty towards ones fellow-men. A back-slidden christian fits into this mould of lukewarmness. Such person remains a nominal christian, fully sold to the worship of God. His duties and love of god has waned and waxed cold. He would not have strong  conscience against not loving and obeying God or rendering any brotherly love to the needy. When there is work to be done in the House of God he or she does not feel obligated. He would rather leave such for the pastors and Ministers to carry out. God does not reward title in his Church but the faithful commitment to one’s profession of faith and duties.

Lukewarm attitude stands for coldness in work and behavior. To relate it to man’s relationship with God, it stands for coldness or death for man is meant to be on fire for God. Such a Christian is of no use to God. This brings to mind the warning given to the Church in Laodicea. Revelation 3:15-16 (KJV), it states: “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth”. Prophet Jeremiah preached doing God’s work with zeal and passion otherwise one’s labor would not receive returns to money, soul and spirit invested in God’s work. Jeremiah 48: 10 . It says “Cursed be he  that does the work of the Lord deceitfully, ad cursed be he that keepeth back his sword from blood”. Jeremiah fought for the Lord, not with physical sword with truth that pricked people’s conscience. it hurts like double-edged sword. That was why he suffered much persecution but remained adamantly committed to God’s massages he was constantly delivering to the children of Israel of his days. He was fearlessly undaunted and remained on fire for God is spite of all odds. One who doubts and entertain fear in the course of serving God. would in most cases know how to do good but because of fear of man and the attendant consequences, he will not rightly or decisively do it fo God; it is sin before God. We are enjoined to be our brother’s keepers but if we fail we are either cold lukewarm or insensitive to the need of God’s created person(s).; it is also sinful. Proverb 21: 13 (KJV) says “Who so stoppeth at the cry of the poor, he also shall himself, but shall not be heard”. In other words, if one fails to love others, others will fail to love that person. Failure to love God can be rewarded with rejection from God.

Looking at the effect of lukewarmness, it is obvious that there is danger in it. one in consequence would most likely be passed up as an unstable person. In interpersonal transaction,, no one would vouchsafe for him: James  1: 6-8 declared: “Let him ask in faith, nothing wavering, for he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven by the wind and tossed.  For let not that man think that he shall receive anything of the Lord. A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways”. In contemporary times in political arena, some politicians especially in developing countries, do decamp to join the party in government. Such politicians have unstable mind and invariably in the new party no one would really trust him/them. How much more when one fails to honor God in life. The second or eternal death awaits such lukewarm believers. Such ought not to be our portio as born again Christians. Double-mindedness, fear of people, consulting a medium made King Saul fail before Samuel and God. Eli, a great prophet of God fail to honor God in the life of his two sons and died out of the consequence of his not bringing his two sons up to honor God.King Jeroboam rather than coming to The Temple at Jerusalem, he substituted baal for Yahweh the God of his Patriarchs and bore the consequence.

Significance of Number 4 in Creation

Genuine fighting has  God's framework for success

Genuine fighting has God’s framework for success

I am not a numerologist. I never tried to even understand or explore the knowledge because Jesus is all I need and believe. I will not be the only one in this frame of mind. However, it is significant that in certain victorious circumstances number 4 featured prominently.

There are certain events in creation which remained a beacon or a source of guidance towards our understanding of the universal work of God, and more importantly, how we can take cue from there to fashion out a life of obedience to God and doing His holy will. Daniel 11: 32b states “But the people who do know their God shall be strong, and do exploits” Revd. Emmanuel Awowole in his ministration on April 4, 2014 wrote: “Today is 4- 4-14. FOUR is the number of creation: signs, seasons, days and years * FOUR regions of the earth: North, South, East and West * FOUR seasons of the year: Spring, summer, autumn (fall) and winter * FOUR great elements: Water, earth, fire and air * FOUR divisions of the day: Morning, afternoon, evening and midnight * FOUR spheres of suffering: distress, despair, forsaken and destroyed * FOUR mighty men in the life of David risked their lives to serve him 1Sam 23 and Chronicles 11 (NKJV) * FOUR Philistine giants were defeated by David’s men * FOUR miserable comforters in the life of Job * FOUR friends carried a palsy man to Jesus in Mk 2: 1-14 * ‘Loving, sacrifice, dedicated and rich’ – Whatever good things you have enjoyed in any of these things shall be permanent in your life IJN. Any negativity or manipulation through any of these things is nullified in Jesus Name.” Courtesy of gracedunamis.org

From the above consummated work of God, even from creation time, it is of note that God declared “And God saw everything he has made, and behold, it is good” HE, our God has dominion over everything, it is therefore for us to trust him without any shadow of doubt and on top of it, HE is ever prepared to forgive our sins and iniquities, provided we do not feel too big to confess our sins and with penitent heart ask for forgiveness. Trusting Him is an affirmation of our total dependence in Him through Christ our Savior. Psalm 91: 1 says “He that dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty” David played a key role in total dependence on God and the Lord never abandoned him. In conclusion, it is clear that God thrives in orderliness. God is sovereign and has HIS own way of solving our problems for us. The four spheres of suffering applied to Prophet Jeremiah but he endured all and lasted beyond his oppressors.