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How is corruption defined?

I hope this message meets you well and uplift your soul and spirit. I hope it sets you up or encourage you to continue to engineer social change in your community, be it physical or spiritual.

Actually it is a question and you are going to help to set thing in order, that is, writing this piece better than anybody can and believing that generation of yours who read it now and in future will be proud of you.

I saw a definition of corruption online and it reads: 

 “corruption:

1. dishonest or fraudulent conduct by those in power, typically involving bribery.

synonyms: dishonesty, dishonest dealings, unscrupulousness, deceit, deception, duplicity, double-dealing, fraud, fraudulence, misconduct, lawbreaking, crime, criminality, delinquency, wrongdoing, villainy; bribery, bribing, subornation, venality, graft, extortion, jobbery, profiteering; payola; informalcrookedness, shadiness, sleaze, palm-greasing; malfeasance, misfeasance; archaicknavery; raremalversation

2. the process by which a word or expression is changed from its original state to one regarded as erroneous or debased.

“a record of a word’s corruption”

synonyms: alteration, falsification, doctoring, manipulation, manipulating, fudging, adulteration, debasement, degradation, abuse, subversion, misrepresentation, misapplication; rarevitiation”

So who is corrupt?

I have heard people use the  word ‘corruption’, exclusively irrespective of what is the real picture around them.

I have an interesting Bible passage that I will encourage you to read; it is like a movie story; actually it was a horror.

Judges chapters 19 to chapter 21.

I found Judges 20:17-21, very disturbing when I read it many years ago until the Lord explained it to me.  The explanation is in  Judges 20:26-35.

In Judges 20:17-21. God told the Israelites to fight the Benjamits, but they lost, they were beaten mercilessly by the Benjamites. However, it was a different thing entirely in Num. 20:26-35, where the Benjamites were beaten almost to extinction.

You know what the Lord told me, sinners can’t judge sinners!  A further study of Judges 2:10- 21, will show you how the Isrealites lived. They liked like sinners because they were. Everyone did whatever they pleased irrespective of what the law says or who is hurt. They were lawless, corrupt, godless, unmerciful, you just name it.

We can make a difference in our societies. This is a tough call and daring but we can. Every little step counts.

How do we define corruption? Exclusively? Some of our countries are so rich in religion and can comfortably export it but it has not imparted their national live. It is just like where “everybody does what they like”. People are only called “sinners when they are discover; actually sin is sin when it is committed, not just when sinners are found out.

It is not about what my friends and I thinks about someone or a situation but about what is right. If the Bible is not your standard what is? How do you interpret the scriptures?

Let the Lord be Lord. God bless you.

Ref. Google.

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The Humiliation of A Prince

And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed.” Gen. 32:28 (KJV)

Your life is up to you and what you want out of life. We all need people, some permanent, and others temporal. The only permanent relationship is your decision.

It might surprise you to know that you choose whether to have a relationship with God or not, That is the ultimate decision you can ever make; God presents you with opportunity to enter into a relationship with him but he never compels you to do it. You are the master of your destiny.

The scripture says, “He came unto his own, and his own received him not. But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.” John 2:11-13 (KJV)

Jacob was sent out from his father’s house to prevent a big trouble between him and Esau, his twin brother, over family rights. His grandfather Abraham was very rich and passed on the inheritance to Isaac his father. Isaac was so rich that his neighbours envied him. God favoured Jacob and blessed him. He was chosen by election not works.

The Scripture says, in Rom. 9: 9 – 16, “For this is the word of promise, At this time will I come, and Sarah shall have a son.

And not only this; but when Rebecca also had conceived by one, even by our father Isaac;

(For the children being not yet born, neither having done any good or evil, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth;)

It was said unto her, The elder shall serve the younger.

As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated.

What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid.

For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion.

So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy.” (KJV)

On his way to his exile, Jacob had an encounter and God blessed him specially. The events that followed never portrayed him as blessed. He actually suffered humiliation in the house of his uncle Laban for the next twenty years.

Jacob started a family that he doesn’t know where they would end up. He could only dreamt of the fame of his father. The more he told his story the more Laban plotted his downfall and humiliation.

Laban knew that there was something about Jacob that brings success and the only way he thought he could keep him was to so impoverish him, so that he cannot afford to travel back to his home.

He tormented him mentally so that he couldn’t think of any good thing. Laban masterfully crowded Jacob with women and created family chaos that drained his power, strength and focus. He constantly changed the terms of the relationship with Jacob and set unachievable targets. It was the humiliation of a prince! God had to intervene to set him free. Evils do not last forever.

“And the Lord said unto Jacob, Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee.” Gen.31:3 (KJV)

You might be like Jacob, Struggling against the odds to fulfil your destiny. You might have ran into things that want to choke God’s purpose out of you and you are barely hanging on a lifeline. Your frustration might be so big that you constantly sigh and groan.

You need to wake up like Jacob did. You are not going to breakthrough by avoiding a necessary conflict to bail yourself out of your quagmire. Your struggle might be against anyone but your destiny is the only heritage that you can count on for the future. Esau dropped out of God’s will because of nonchalant attitude to the things of God. He cherished porridge more that his heritage and the promise God made to Abraham.

It was never the responsibility of Laban to believe in the future of Jacob; all he cared for was himself and his family first. Whatever story that Jacob has could as well be a fairy-tale and a daydream. You are the manager of your relationships and your visions.

The word of God says, “Then Jacob got angry and started an argument with Laban. “What have I done?” he demanded. “What’s my crime that would cause you to come pursue me so violently?

Now that you’ve searched all my belongings, what did you find that belongs to your house? Set it here in front of our relatives and we’ll let them judge between us!

Meanwhile, these past 20 years that I’ve been with you, your sheep and goats never had miscarriages, I never once ate any of the rams from your flock, and whatever was torn by beasts, I never bothered to bring to you. Instead, I bore the losses myself. Even so, you demanded that I provide restitution for anything that was stolen, whether during the day or the night.

As it was, I was attacked by drought during the day and by cold at night. I never got any decent rest. I’ve lived in your house these 20 years – serving fourteen years for your two daughters and another six years for your flocks.

During all that time you changed my wages ten times. If the God of my father-the God of Abraham, the God whom Isaac feared-had not been with me, you would have sent me away empty handed. But God saw my misery and how hard I’ve worked with my own hands-and he rebuked you last night.”” Gen. 31:36-42 (NIV)

Are you a prince in shame and drudgery? You must break-free. You must go after your destiny. You must fulfil the call of God upon your life. It is your responsibility and you are the one that will give account of your life.

There may be people who feel that God created you to serve them and help them in their mission. It is only you that can determine that. Whatever you choose, for as long as you are happy with it, that okay.

You must pray to discover God’s will for your life. What is it that stirs up and you want to do something about it. What are the challenges you feel you have the solutions to? What are the things you enjoy doing?

You need to study the word of God and let the Spirit of God give you revelations as to what the Lord wants you to do.

You might have a calling to meet the need of others. You might be keen on helping the needy and weak. Are you happy to help?

Humiliation is not humility. Stupidity and foolishness are not the same as be pious and devotion. Serving God in humility might make some people to take advantage of you and cause you pain and shame but God normally shows up at an appointed time to prove to all that you are his. He did it in the life of Jacob, Moses and the early disciples.

Sometime people love staying in their comfort zones which might clearly be against the will of God.

The scripture says in Exodus 14:10-1, “And when Pharaoh drew nigh, the children of Israel lifted up their eyes, and, behold, the Egyptians marched after them; and they were sore afraid: and the children of Israel cried out unto the Lord.

And they said unto Moses, Because there were no graves in Egypt, hast thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? wherefore hast thou dealt thus with us, to carry us forth out of Egypt?

Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Egypt, saying, Let us alone, that we may serve the Egyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Egyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness.

And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord, which he will shew to you to day: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen to day, ye shall see them again no more for ever.

The Lord shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace.

And the Lord said unto Moses, Wherefore criest thou unto me? speak unto the children of Israel, that they go forward:” (KJV)

To many Israelites who left Egypt during the Exodus, it would have been better to remain in slavery, but that was not God’s plan. They had no respect to the will of God and complained and murmured. They paid for their wrong attitude.

May the Lord help you in your journey through life to fulfil his counsel and purpose for your life. Amen.

Reference

Bible quote: http://www.biblegateway.com

Prayer and Faith in God

prayer and faith 1

Hearing From God: PROPHET DONKEY!

This is a special message to someone and it is my prayer that as you read it, the Holy Spirit with enlighten your heart to find out whether this is for you; if it is, please endeavour to do sometime about it. It is not my intention to judge you; in any case, there is no way that I will know of your particular situation but God knows. You may not need this message at the moment but it could become relevant to you in a very near future; when that happens, please, endeavour to turn to God, hearken and ask for help. Please read through the scripture passage below with an open heart. I encourage you to “enjoy the story”, if you read it in that way you might “run into God” in your very busy schedule and “fast drive”. Please see the short note at the end of the passage after you have “enjoyed reading through the scriptures”.

Number 22: 2 – 38 (NKJV)
2 Now Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites. 3 And Moab was exceedingly afraid of the people because they were many, and Moab was sick with dread because of the children of Israel. 4 So Moab said to the elders of Midian, “Now this company will lick up everything around us, as an ox licks up the grass of the field.” And Balak the son of Zippor was king of the Moabites at that time. 5 Then he sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor at Pethor, which is near the River in the land of the sons of his people, to call him, saying: “Look, a people has come from Egypt. See, they cover the face of the earth, and are settling next to me! 6 Therefore please come at once, curse this people for me, for they are too mighty for me. Perhaps I shall be able to defeat them and drive them out of the land, for I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed.”
7 So the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the diviner’s fee in their hand, and they came to Balaam and spoke to him the words of Balak. 8 And he said to them, “Lodge here tonight, and I will bring back word to you, as the LORD speaks to me.” So the princes of Moab stayed with Balaam.
9 Then God came to Balaam and said, “Who are these men with you?”
10 So Balaam said to God, “Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent to me, saying, 11 ‘Look, a people has come out of Egypt, and they cover the face of the earth. Come now, curse them for me; perhaps I shall be able to overpower them and drive them out.’”
12 And God said to Balaam, “You shall not go with them; you shall not curse the people, for they are blessed.”
13 So Balaam rose in the morning and said to the princes of Balak, “Go back to your land, for the LORD has refused to give me permission to go with you.”
14 And the princes of Moab rose and went to Balak, and said, “Balaam refuses to come with us.”
15 Then Balak again sent princes, more numerous and more honorable than they. 16 And they came to Balaam and said to him, “Thus says Balak the son of Zippor: ‘Please let nothing hinder you from coming to me; 17 for I will certainly honor you greatly, and I will do whatever you say to me. Therefore please come, curse this people for me.’”
18 Then Balaam answered and said to the servants of Balak, “Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go beyond the word of the LORD my God, to do less or more. 19 Now therefore, please, you also stay here tonight, that I may know what more the LORD will say to me.”
20 And God came to Balaam at night and said to him, “If the men come to call you, rise and go with them; but only the word which I speak to you—that you shall do.” 21 So Balaam rose in the morning, saddled his donkey, and went with the princes of Moab.
22 Then God’s anger was aroused because he went, and the Angel of the LORD took His stand in the way as an adversary against him. And he was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him. 23 Now the donkey saw the Angel of the LORD standing in the way with His drawn sword in His hand, and the donkey turned aside out of the way and went into the field. So Balaam struck the donkey to turn her back onto the road. 24 Then the Angel of the LORD stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, with a wall on this side and a wall on that side. 25 And when the donkey saw the Angel of the LORD, she pushed herself against the wall and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall; so he struck her again. 26 Then the Angel of the LORD went further, and stood in a narrow place where there was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left. 27 And when the donkey saw the Angel of the LORD, she lay down under Balaam; so Balaam’s anger was aroused, and he struck the donkey with his staff.
28 Then the LORD opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?”
29 And Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have abused me. I wish there were a sword in my hand, for now I would kill you!”
30 So the donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey on which you have ridden, ever since I became yours, to this day? Was I ever disposed to do this to you?”
And he said, “No.”
31 Then the LORD opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the Angel of the LORD standing in the way with His drawn sword in His hand; and he bowed his head and fell flat on his face. 32 And the Angel of the LORD said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out to stand against you, because your way is perverse before Me. 33 The donkey saw Me and turned aside from Me these three times. If she had not turned aside from Me, surely I would also have killed you by now, and let her live.”
34 And Balaam said to the Angel of the LORD, “I have sinned, for I did not know You stood in the way against me. Now therefore, if it displeases You, I will turn back.”
35 Then the Angel of the LORD said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but only the word that I speak to you, that you shall speak.” So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.
36 Now when Balak heard that Balaam was coming, he went out to meet him at the city of Moab, which is on the border at the Arnon, the boundary of the territory. 37 Then Balak said to Balaam, “Did I not earnestly send to you, calling for you? Why did you not come to me? Am I not able to honor you?”
38 And Balaam said to Balak, “Look, I have come to you! Now, have I any power at all to say anything? The word that God puts in my mouth, that I must speak.”
Note:
Sometime we may get so much obsessed with what we want to do, or where we want to go to that we shut God’s voice out of our lives. This is a very sure way of walking into a wall, a dead end and into trouble.
God’s purposes sum up into a conclusion. His glory. God won’t bless and curse at the same time. There are very complex issues that we must be careful how we handle or deal with them. One of the messages I posted in this blog titled “Can a believer in Jesus Christ be curse by a Christain Leader…? What would you do if you are tempted to do such a thing? Israel belongs to God and Balak had no right to destroy or bring a curse upon Israel. That is just one of many situations possible in our walk with God.
Many people who are doing great work for God sometimes becomes impervious to the voice of the Lord. They go on to a point where they need “prophet donkey” to rise up in their situation. God pushes Himself to the point of using unlikely things to stop them from destroying themselves.
The scripture says of something like this, “Which have forsaken the right way, and are gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Bosor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness; but was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man’s voice forbad the madness of the prophet.”  2 Peter 2 :16-17 (KJV)
You may be feeling inferior as child of God. You may feel that God can’t use you. Everyone around you might have told you that you are “useless” when it comes to doing any great thing for God; I want to tell you that if God used the donkey to minister to a big time and internationally known prophet like Balaam, God can use you.
1 Cor. 1:26-30 says “For ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called: But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen, yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are: That no flesh should glory in his presence. But of him are ye in Christ Jesus, who of God is made unto us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption.” (KJV)
I believe that if you actually got to this point, reading through this message, you will never be the same again. You are in a personal relationship with God; give it close responsiveness.

Ref. Scripture quotes: http://www.biblegateway.com

Hearing From God – Do You Know the Witch of Endor Also?

“The Philistines assembled and camped in Shunem. Saul also assembled the whole Israelite army, and they camped at Gilboa. When Saul looked at the Philistine army, he was very afraid—terrified. He prayed to the Lord, but the Lord didn’t answer him through dreams, the Urim, or prophets. Saul told his officers, “Find me a woman who conjures up the dead. Then I’ll go to her and ask for her services.”

His officers told him, “There is a woman at Endor who conjures up the dead.”

After disguising himself by putting on other clothes, Saul left with two men and came to the woman that night. He said to her, “Please consult with a dead person for me. Conjure up the person I request.”

The woman told him, “You know that Saul rid the land of mediums and psychics. Why are you trying to trap me and have me killed?”” 1 Samuel 28:4-9 (GW)

You might not know how much people know until you ask for “help anyhow”! Saul was in “big trouble” and “he needed help anyhow”. He wanted to know the outcome of the battle he was going into. He wanted to know the future; he wanted to hear from God. God did not answer him and in his desperation, he asked his followers if the knew someone who can conjure up the dead.

The scripture says Saul inquired of the Lord, but the Lord did not answer him, either through dreams or Urim or through prophets. Saul told his servants, “Find me a woman who is a medium so I can go to her and make my inquiry through her.” His servants told him, “Look, there’s a woman at Endor who is a medium.” (NIV)

His servant knew one at Endor. “His officers know a woman at Endor” (GW).

Do you know the witch at Endor also? Do you know the hidden places where people go to seek the future?

Many people don’t care how they arrive at a solution and from whom it comes from. They will tell you, “The end justifies the means”. They believe in “solve the problem and colour the testimony”. God is not enough, as far as they are concerned.

Is God enough for you?

You may be surprised how many people in “church” who know “places”, like the servants (officers) of Saul knew. Some year ago I engage someone in a discussion while on evangelism and I could not believe the things I heard. He told me awful things some people engaged in to grow a church. The discussion was as a result of an incident that happened when I pastored a church then. We engaged a local builder to build a shade for us and he was to raise a section as an altar. When I went to the church in the evening to see how much work he had done, I found him waiting for me to know what he should put in the altar place; why? I asked him. He told me some “stories”. I told him to complete the job, I don’t have anything to put there. There should not be anything there. Since that time, I had been told several stories. Horrible tales!

Do you know the man or woman of Endor? Saul did not get away with it, and God is not partial. It is a shame to deceive other people but it is repulsive to deceive one’s self.

God is enough for those who trust him. It doesn’t matter what is achieved, serving God with the powers of darkness does not suffice.

Ref: http://www.biblegateway.com

This article is published also in http://www.gracefulvoice.com

Hearing From God – Beware of the “Old Prophet”!

  1. A man of God from Judah had come to Bethel. When he arrived, Jeroboam was standing at the altar to offer a sacrifice. By a command of the Lord, this man condemned the altar. “Altar, altar! This is what the Lord says: There will be a son born in David’s family line. His name will be Josiah. Here on you Josiah will sacrifice the priests from the illegal worship sites who offer sacrifices on you. Human bones will be burned on you.”

That day the man of God also gave them a miraculous sign, saying, “This is the sign that the Lord will give you: You will see the altar torn apart. The ashes on it will be poured on the ground.”

When King Jeroboam heard the man of God condemning the altar in Bethel, he pointed to the man across the altar. “Arrest him,” he said. But the arm that he used to point to the man of God was paralyzed so that he couldn’t pull it back. The altar was torn apart, and the ashes from the altar were poured on the ground. This was the miraculous sign the man of God performed at the Lord’s command.

Then the king asked the man of God, “Please make an appeal to the Lord your God, and pray for me so that I can use my arm again.” So the man of God made an appeal to the Lord, and the king was able to use his arm again, as he had earlier.

The king told the man of God, “Come home with me; have something to eat and drink, and I will give you a gift.”

The man of God told the king, “Even if you gave me half of your palace, I would never go with you to eat or drink there. When the Lord spoke to me, he commanded me not to eat or drink or go back on the same road I took.” 10 So the man of God left on another road and didn’t go back on the road he had taken to Bethel.

11 An old prophet was living in Bethel. His sons told him everything the man of God did in Bethel that day and the exact words he had spoken to the king. When they told their father, 12 he said to them, “Which road did he take?” (His sons had seen which road the man of God from Judah had taken.) 13 The old prophet told his sons, “Saddle the donkey for me.” After they had saddled the donkey for him, he got on it.

14 He went after the man of God and found him sitting under an oak tree. The old prophet asked him, “Are you the man of God who came from Judah?”

“Yes,” he answered.

15 “Come home with me, and eat a meal,” the old prophet replied.

16 The man of God said, “I’m not allowed to go back with you. I’m not allowed to eat or drink with you. 17 When the Lord spoke to me, he told me not to eat or drink there or go back on the road I took to get there.”

18 The old prophet said, “I’m also a prophet, like you. An angel spoke the word of the Lord to me. He said, ‘Bring him home with you so that he may have something to eat and drink.’” (But the old prophet was lying.)

19 The man of God went back with him and ate and drank in his home. 20 When they were sitting at the table, the Lord spoke his word to the old prophet who had brought back the man of God. 21 The Lord also called to the man of God. He said, “This is what the Lord says: You rebelled against the words from the Lord’s mouth and didn’t obey the command that the Lord your God gave you. 22 You came back, ate, and drank at this place about which he told you, ‘Don’t eat or drink there.’ That is why your dead body will not be allowed to be placed in the tomb of your ancestors.”

23 After the old prophet had something to eat and drink, he saddled the donkey for the prophet whom he had brought back. 24 The man of God left. A lion found him as he traveled on the road and killed him. His dead body was thrown on the road. The donkey and the lion were standing by the body. 25 People who passed by saw the body lying on the road and the lion standing by the body. They talked about it in the city where the old prophet was living.

26 When the old prophet who had brought the man of God back from the road heard about it, he said, “It’s the man of God who rebelled against the words from the Lord’s mouth! The Lord gave him to the lion. It tore him to pieces and killed him as the word of the Lord had told him.”

27 Then the old prophet told his sons to saddle his donkey for him. So they did.

28 He found the body of the man thrown on the road. He also found the donkey and the lion standing beside it. The lion had not eaten the body, nor had it torn the donkey to pieces. 29 The old prophet picked up the body of the man of God, laid it on the donkey, and brought it back. He came to his own city to mourn for him and to bury him. 30 He laid the body of the man of God in his own tomb and mourned over the man, saying, “Oh no, my brother, my brother!” 31 After he had buried the man of God, he said to his sons, “When I die, bury me in the tomb where the man of God was buried. Lay my bones beside his bones. 32 The things that he announced by a command of the Lord against the altar in Bethel and all the illegal worship sites in the cities of Samaria will happen.” 1 Kings 13:1-32 (GW)

  • The old prophet seeks to be relevant. He wants to be part of every move of God. He “wants to show leadership” at whatever cost including propagation of lies and deceit.
  • The old prophet wants to bring every one “under his canopy”. You must be part of his “great call” or you are nothing. If you are not part of his caucus you are of “no significance”.
  • The old prophet, in the passage above, ruined the life of a young man and quenched his light.
  • You are responsible for the word God spoke to you. Seeking for approval of men and acceptance has been the demise of many people who carried great message and great anointing. Seeking for commendation of men can sometimes, destroy a person, so avoid it. Many messages and ministries have been compromised by attempts to draw people to join in the work.

Beware! There are still many old prophets in this age.

Ref: http://www.biblegateway.com

NB: This article is also published in http://www.gracefulvoice.com

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The Dragon Shall Not Prevail

The dragon shall not prevail.1

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God is bigger than the storms of life

God is mightier than any storm of life

God is mightier than any storm of life

How to handle one of the strongest satanic onslaughts

As a believer, what is the most offensive thing you have ever heard? What is the phrase that upsets you most?
In this message I will discuss one of the most offensive and upsetting things I have ever heard and which I am sure troubles many Christians; and how to deal with it. I am sure that it can really trouble your faith in the place of prayer and in life. This is one of the variants:
“Afterward Moses and Aaron went and said to Pharaoh, “Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘Let my people go, that they may hold a feast to me in the wilderness.’” But Pharaoh said, “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice and let Israel go? I do not know the Lord, and moreover, I will not let Israel go.” (Exodus 5:1-2. ESV)

It upsets me when someone says “Who is the Lord, that I should obey his voice…..I do not know the Lord!”

We are confronted with this phrase in various ways and attitudes. It is an affront from the devil and his agents that carries a lot of effects on many of us. There are people who are bold enough to verbalise it; some others say things that make you feel they are in charge of the world and the people in it. They just mean they have the last word and no person can do anything about it. (Many people who say such things follow it up with actions). Sometimes the enemy brings it up in our thought in the place of prayer. When this happens, you are likely for feel terrified, confused, irritated or at the worst put off from believing as you ought to. The enemy may bring pictures and memories of horrible situations, which is capable of upsetting you.

This has been an age long tactics of the devil and he has continues with it through the generations. If it is not a potent weapon, he will not deploy it in his attack; so be careful.
Lets see some more examples in the scriptures.
“Then Satan answered the Lord and said, “Does Job fear God for no reason? Have you not put a hedge around him and his house and all that he has, on every side? You have blessed the work of his hands, and his possessions have increased in the land. But stretch out your hand and touch all that he has, and he will curse you to your face.” (Job 1:9-11. ESV)

“Nebuchadnezzar answered and said to them, “Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image that I have set up? Now if you are ready when you hear the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, bagpipe, and every kind of music, to fall down and worship the image that I have made, well and good. But if you do not worship, you shall immediately be cast into a burning fiery furnace. And who is the god who will deliver you out of my hands?” (Dan. 3:14-15. ESV)

“Has any of the gods of the nations ever delivered his land out of the hand of the king of Assyria? Where are the gods of Hamath and Arpad? Where are the gods of Sepharvaim, Hena, and Ivvah? Have they delivered Samaria out of my hand? Who among all the gods of the lands have delivered their lands out of my hand, that the Lord should deliver Jerusalem out of my hand?’” (2 Kings 18:33-35. ESV)

There are variants of this immodest attack on God and on his people; they mean the same thing in a broad sense. The enemy uses it as occasion suits him. The devil and his agents disrespect God and his people; he is insubordinate and vulgar.

How to handle this affront
1. When you hear any of the above statements I highlighted, the first thing to do is to discern its source and the level of warfare it might signify. It is from the devil and you should be very alert and sensitive to the situation.
2. Don’t be overwhelmed because of this challenge. You might be offended but it is normal, don’t overact. You are not going into physical fight – it is spiritual. Ephesians 6: 12-13, says “For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.” (ESV)
3. You should understand that God is very interested in this kind of battle. The battle has shifted from just your fight; the Lord normally takes up the challenge, if we trust him to take over. There are many battles we face but something like this is attack on the person of God.
4. Search the scriptures to find out instances where such challenges took place and position yourself to allow God handle it. You must pump-up your faith with the word of God and stand firm on God’s word.
5. You should be ready to pray and do serious warfare. Pray in faith and don’t drop your guard. Sometimes it may take a prolong battle.
6. Don’t overlook any threat that carries such words; the age notwithstanding, there is usually a “power” behind the speaker. In spiritual warfare things happen that can astonish you. (please don’t engage people in physical fight; the devil commonly use them for his purpose)
7. Keep at the word of God to hear what direction he wants to go. If you have matured believers around you and you feel like talking things over with them please do but be careful, it is not everybody that really knows the implications of this matter and if they are casual about it or indifferent, you may have a serious case at hand added to the one you already want a solution to.

In all the places where these phrases were used; the Lord dealt with them severely. (Search the scriptures). If you are having such an issue at hand, hand it over to the Lord; hold on to the word of God no matter the battering pressures from the devil and his agents. The word of God says in Jer. 32:27 “Behold, I am the LORD, the God of all flesh. Is anything too hard for me?” (ESV)
The confession in Daniel 4:34-35 is interesting. “At the end of the days I, Nebuchadnezzar, lifted my eyes to heaven, and my reason returned to me, and I blessed the Most High, and praised and honored him who lives forever,
for his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
and his kingdom endures from generation to generation;
all the inhabitants of the earth are accounted as nothing,
and he does according to his will among the host of heaven
and among the inhabitants of the earth;
and none can stay his hand
or say to him, “What have you done?” (ESV)

Reference.
All scripture quotes are from
http://www.biblegateway.com

You can’t serve God with the powers of darkness

“There is nothing that can justify serving God with the powers of darkness, evil and of the devil,” says the Lord. That was the word of God while I worked on this message.
Engaging the powers of evil in Christian worship is currently widely reported all over the world and I have observed awfully increases of sinister practices in the way many people are handling Christian services. These practices are not new, they have always been there and God has always declared his abhorrence to them. These confusions were common in Sodom and Gomorrah, in Egypt, among the heathen nations driven out from Palestine, during the reign of several kings in Israel and in many other instances. Solomon lost a substance part of the David’s dynasty because he got involved; Saul lost his life because he slipped back to witchcraft practice, Elijah destroyed about 400 prophets of Baal because of adulteration of worship in Israel. How come some people think it is acceptable now?
The scriptures says in 2 Tim. 4: 3-4, “For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine; but after their own lusts shall they heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears; and they shall turn away their ears from the truth, and shall be turned unto fables.”
The following scriptures tell of an incidence where God frowned at consulting powers of darkness.
“Now Ahaziah fell through the lattice in his upper chamber in Samaria, and lay sick; so he sent messengers, telling them, “Go, inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron, whether I shall recover from this sickness.”
But the angel of the LORD said to Elijah the Tishbite, “Arise, go up to meet the messengers of the king of Samaria, and say to them, ‘Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are going to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron?
Now therefore thus says the LORD, You shall not come down from the bed to which you have gone up, but you shall surely die.’” So Elijah went.
The messengers returned to the king, and he said to them, “Why have you returned?”
And they said to him, “There came a man to meet us, and said to us, ‘Go back to the king who sent you, and say to him, Thus says the LORD, Is it because there is no God in Israel that you are sending to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron? Therefore you shall not come down from the bed to which you have gone up, but you shall surely die.’”
He said to them, “What kind of man was he who came to meet you and told you these things?”
They answered him, “He wore a garment of hair, with a belt of leather about his waist.” And he said, “It is Elijah the Tishbite.”
Then the king sent to him a captain of fifty men with his fifty. He went up to Elijah, who was sitting on the top of a hill, and said to him, “O man of God, the king says, ‘Come down.’”
But Elijah answered the captain of fifty, “If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty.” Then fire came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.
Again the king sent to him another captain of fifty men with his fifty. And he answered and said to him, “O man of God, this is the king’s order, ‘Come down quickly!’”
But Elijah answered them, “If I am a man of God, let fire come down from heaven and consume you and your fifty.” Then the fire of God came down from heaven and consumed him and his fifty.
Again the king sent the captain of a third fifty with his fifty. And the third captain of fifty went up and came and fell on his knees before Elijah and entreated him,
“O man of God, please let my life, and the life of these fifty servants of yours, be precious in your sight.
Behold, fire came down from heaven and consumed the two former captains of fifty men with their fifties, but now let my life be precious in your sight.”
Then the angel of the LORD said to Elijah, “Go down with him; do not be afraid of him.” So he arose and went down with him to the king
and said to him, “Thus says the LORD, ‘Because you have sent messengers to inquire of Baal-zebub, the god of Ekron—is it because there is no God in Israel to inquire of his word?—therefore you shall not come down from the bed to which you have gone up, but you shall surely die.’”
So he died according to the word of the LORD that Elijah had spoken. Jehoram became king in his place in the second year of Jehoram the son of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, because Ahaziah had no son. 18 Now the rest of the acts of Ahaziah that he did, are they not written in the Book of the Chronicles of the Kings of Israel?” 2Kings 1:2-17 (ESV)

Jehoram, as a king in Israel, was setting a bad course for people because of something he wanted so dearly, his health. He was misguided and went after the powers of evil to seek help. The king did not like how Elijah intercepted his messengers (just like some people may not like this message), so he sent soldiers to arrest him; and because of the rudeness and arrogance of two of the three captains sent, they suffered severely for it.
King Jehoram eventually died in his error, according to God’s judgment. Please understand that he was not seeking for medicine, he was seeking help from priests of Ekron. He was subscribing to their gods. He snubbed the right ways and felt he could do just anything irrespective of the consequences.

In Acts 8:9-13, 18-24, we read the story of Simon the magician, who deceived people Samaria for years with evil powers. He used sorcery to make himself someone. He liked being called “this man is the power of God that is called great.” Let us read more of his story,
“But there was a man named Simon, who had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, saying that he himself was somebody great.
They all paid attention to him, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the power of God that is called Great.”
And they paid attention to him because for a long time he had amazed them with his magic. But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.
Even Simon himself believed, and after being baptized he continued with Philip. And seeing signs and great miracles performed, he was amazed.
Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money,
Saying “Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”
But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money!
You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God.
Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you.
For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.”
And Simon answered, “Pray for me to the Lord that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.”

When the gospel got to Samaria, Simon’s folly got out of the bag and people discovered the truth. He was not done yet and wanted to buy the power of God so that he could lay hands on people and perform signs. Peter could not be bought over, and sternly rebuked Simon. Simon got the shock of his life. (Peter, of course, won’t be considered wise, in many places today, for turning down an opportunity to make a lot of money). Some people might suggest that he should do it and repent afterwards; that is the underlying reason why many people consciously dabble with evil.
I have heard that it is believed in some places that, “whatever you do to get money is not sin”. Shame!
Someone once said of a pastor, who had some problem with sin; “people say what he did was bad, yet his church is increasing with people” Shame! To this person church growth and fame supersedes living according to the word of God. The problem here was that even non-Christian found what happened very horrendous. The state held it against him.
You cannot use the powers of evil to please God. Satan tempted Jesus saying, “…, all this power will I give thee, and the glory of them: for that is delivered unto me; and to whomsoever I will I give it. If thou therefore wilt worship me, all shall be thine.” Luke 4:6-7
Jesus rejected that suggestion and by it, showed us an example which is too hard for many people today to follow.
“And Jesus answered and said unto him, Get thee behind me, Satan: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.” Luke 4:8
There are many people today who have set out to deceive other people, including believers, who are careless and greedy. Their ways were already revealed in the scriptures.
“Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;” 1 Tim. 4:1-2 (KJV)
“This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy, ………. high minded lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God; Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away. For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts, ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth. Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith. But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as their’s also was.” 2 Tim. 3:1-9
You can’t serve God acceptably with the power of the devil.
Why people are deceived
– Greed
– Laziness
– Spell
Many people get deceived because they are greedy and so ready to compromise. The perpetrators believe they can deceive people and also deceive God. They believe they can always repent and outwit God. Some of these people are never believers; they saw the Christian faith as a business opportunity and they grabbed it and started manipulating people. They are very clever and many Christians are naïve.
Many people are lazy; they can’t read the word for themselves and want prayers from every person who says he prays. They feel God answers other people’s prayers except theirs. Like Simon, they are ready to pay for prayers.
Many people are gullible and play into the hands of “religious laud talkers”. These talkers boast of high things and tell people things that suggest that they are “deputy gods”. They see themselves as “assistant gods” who actually control what God does. Lies!
They manipulate people, telling them they will be cursed if they ever question their authorities; like Simon, they hold people in great fears and terrors.

Despite the wonderful opportunities we have to study the word of God, many people are deceived because they refused to read. In some places the prerogative to read the Bible is for their leaders. Only their leaders interpret the “word of God” correctly. Lazy! I once saw a church online where their “pastor” asked people to go and eat grass; and they did. Deceived!
Go and study the word of God and learn the truth for yourself. The word of God is written for every one of us and the Holy Spirit is able to help us understand it, if we ask him. Stop running to and fro to “collect fire”; it might be “strange fire”. It will be like going from fry pan to fire.
Today, I bring the word of God to you, “…… “Escape for your life. Do not look back or stop anywhere in the valley. Escape to the hills, lest you be swept away.” Gen. 19:17.

Remember Lot’s wife. Luke 17:32.

If you believe in God you must either stop using the powers of the devil to serve God or you must stop patronising those who do.
If you don’t believe God will punish people who meddle with evil powers in the name of serving him; your Christianity is suspect and you are wide open for trouble. Don’t think you can fool God and fool the devil. The devil will surely demand his ransom very soon.
God will not spare this evil, so, repent today. There is plenty to enjoy in God. He loves you and is willing to bless you.

Reference.
Bible quotes: http://www.biblegateway.com

NB: This message is also published in http://www.gracefulvoice.com

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