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When Wickedness and Evil Increase – The End is Near!

Sometimes we are challenged by increase of wickedness and oppression. We get caught up in situations that are awful and seemingly insurmountable; many people despair for life and mourn at such times. These situations come in various forms and I am not going to single out some of them here. At such times the wicked and oppressors feel on top of the world, brandishing venom, hatred and are eager to show how much evil influence they can wield. It is not new.

The scripture says in Daniel 3:19-27 “Then Nebuchadnezzar was full of fury, and the expression on his face changed toward Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. He spoke and commanded that they heat the furnace seven times more than it was usually heated. And he commanded certain mighty men of valor who were in his army to bind Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, and cast them into the burning fiery furnace. Then these men were bound in their coats, their trousers, their turbans, and their other garments, and were cast into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Therefore, because the king’s command was urgent, and the furnace exceedingly hot, the flame of the fire killed those men who took up Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego. And these three men, Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, fell down bound into the midst of the burning fiery furnace. Then King Nebuchadnezzar was astonished; and he rose in haste and spoke, saying to his counselors, “Did we not cast three men bound into the midst of the fire?” They answered and said to the king, “True, O king.” “Look!” he answered, “I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God.” Then Nebuchadnezzar went near the mouth of the burning fiery furnace and spoke, saying, “Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego, servants of the Most High God, come out, and come here.” Then Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego came from the midst of the fire. And the satraps, administrators, governors, and the king’s counselors gathered together, and they saw these men on whose bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them.”

King Nebuchadnezzar was very angry at the thought of the defiance of his order about removing freedom of worship. He commanded increase of punishment to the three Hebrew children. The king deployed his mighty men of valour to deal with harmless and unarmed men; while the public watched with excitement at the humiliation that these men would soon be put into. The atmosphere must have been tensed and charged with dreadful fright. It was a time no person wished to be an Israelite. It had been escalated to a fight of the gods against men, king against the commoners and king Nebuchadnezzar against God.

The scripture says in I Sam. 17:42-47, “And when the Philistine looked about and saw David, he disdained him; for he was only a youth, ruddy and good-looking. So the Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. And the Philistine said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!” Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, with a spear, and with a javelin. But I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. This day the Lord will deliver you into my hand, and I will strike you and take your head from you. And this day I will give the carcasses of the camp of the Philistines to the birds of the air and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel. Then all this assembly shall know that the Lord does not save with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands.”

The above scripture was another occasion that wickedness and oppression increased against the army of Israel, who were ill-equipped to fight the Philistines and their champion, Goliath of Gath. It was a spectacle watching an untrained boy going against the odds. Neither his people nor the enemy gave him a chance. The only thing he had was his sling and the only person he counted on for support was God. Once again it was the battle of the God of Israel against the gods of the Philistines. It was like David embarked on a suicide mission. You can only imagine the vexation of Goliath and he was determine to deal with this insult and afterwards deal with those who sent him.

Evils don’t last for ever, no matter how long it takes. All over the world wickedness is being multiplied and ruthlessness is just the heading of the next News bulletin, on radio and television. The Newspapers are painted all over with pictures of violence and crime.

When evil and wickedness increases their end is at hand.

Instead of the three Hebrew children suffering agonising shame and humiliation, King Nebuchadnezzar did. Instead of David reeling in pain and blood, Goliath of Gath did. Instead of you suffering humiliating, defeat and shame, your enemies will. This pattern cannot fail for those who put their trust in God.

The scripture says in Isaiah 59:18-19 “According to their deeds, accordingly he will repay, fury to his adversaries, recompence to his enemies; to the islands he will repay recompence. So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him”

Whatever you might be going through, it might seem as if the odds are against you; your faith in God might be under fire and the power of those that hate you might be overwhelming and it might look like you have no chance or support of any kind; the Lord God Almighty is there for you. Those who trust him are never put to shame. It is human to feel agitated and bothered but keep believing, the wicked shall not rule over you; wickedness will surely be overthrown. The mighty men of Nebuchadnezzar were destroyed in his fire and the Philistines lost their champion in his plot; this pattern will not fail also.

Jesus faced the greatest vile the devil could muster, he faced the greatest humiliation the devil had at the cross; the enemy did not know the “game plan”, the blood for redemption was to be released in that fashion to account for everyone who will believe. When it was all over, the prince of wickedness found out the truth. He lost. He is still working wickedness but it won’t change the victory Jesus won. You have that victory available to you if you believe and keep believing.

Ref.

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

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Prayer and Faith in God

prayer and faith 1

Hearing From God – Beware of “Prophet Zedekiah”

  1. Now Jehoshaphat had great wealth and honor, and he allied himself with Ahab by marriage.

Some years later he went down to see Ahab in Samaria. Ahab slaughtered many sheep and cattle for him and the people with him and urged him to attack Ramoth Gilead. Ahab king of Israel asked Jehoshaphat king of Judah, “Will you go with me against Ramoth Gilead?”

Jehoshaphat replied, “I am as you are, and my people as your people; we will join you in the war.” But Jehoshaphat also said to the king of Israel, “First seek the counsel of the Lord.”

So the king of Israel brought together the prophets—four hundred men—and asked them, “Shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I not?”

“Go,” they answered, “for God will give it into the king’s hand.”

But Jehoshaphat asked, “Is there no longer a prophet of the Lord here whom we can inquire of?”

The king of Israel answered Jehoshaphat, “There is still one prophet through whom we can inquire of the Lord, but I hate him because he never prophesies anything good about me, but always bad. He is Micaiah son of Imlah.”

“The king should not say such a thing,” Jehoshaphat replied.

So the king of Israel called one of his officials and said, “Bring Micaiah son of Imlah at once.”

Dressed in their royal robes, the king of Israel and Jehoshaphat king of Judah were sitting on their thrones at the threshing floor by the entrance of the gate of Samaria, with all the prophets prophesying before them.

10 Now Zedekiah son of Kenaanah had made iron horns, and he declared, “This is what the Lord says: ‘With these you will gore the Arameans until they are destroyed.’”

11 All the other prophets were prophesying the same thing. “Attack Ramoth Gilead and be victorious,” they said, “for the Lord will give it into the king’s hand.”

12 The messenger who had gone to summon Micaiah said to him, “Look, the other prophets without exception are predicting success for the king. Let your word agree with theirs, and speak favorably.”

13 But Micaiah said, “As surely as the Lord lives, I can tell him only what my God says.”

14 When he arrived, the king asked him, “Micaiah, shall we go to war against Ramoth Gilead, or shall I not?”

“Attack and be victorious,” he answered, “for they will be given into your hand.”

15 The king said to him, “How many times must I make you swear to tell me nothing but the truth in the name of the Lord?”

16 Then Micaiah answered, “I saw all Israel scattered on the hills like sheep without a shepherd, and the Lord said, ‘These people have no master. Let each one go home in peace.’”

17 The king of Israel said to Jehoshaphat, “Didn’t I tell you that he never prophesies anything good about me, but only bad?”

18 Micaiah continued, “Therefore hear the word of the Lord: I saw the Lord sitting on his throne with all the multitudes of heaven standing on his right and on his left.

19 And the Lord said, ‘Who will entice Ahab king of Israel into attacking Ramoth Gilead and going to his death there?’

“One suggested this, and another that. 20 Finally, a spirit came forward, stood before the Lord and said, ‘I will entice him.’

“‘By what means?’ the Lord asked.

21 “‘I will go and be a deceiving spirit in the mouths of all his prophets,’ he said.

“‘You will succeed in enticing him,’ said the Lord. ‘Go and do it.’

22 “So now the Lord has put a deceiving spirit in the mouths of these prophets of yours. The Lord has decreed disaster for you.”

23 Then Zedekiah son of Kenaanah went up and slapped Micaiah in the face. “Which way did the spirit from the Lord go when he went from me to speak to you?” he asked.

24 Micaiah replied, “You will find out on the day you go to hide in an inner room.”

25 The king of Israel then ordered, “Take Micaiah and send him back to Amon the ruler of the city and to Joash the king’s son,

26 and say, ‘This is what the king says: Put this fellow in prison and give him nothing but bread and water until I return safely.’”

27 Micaiah declared, “If you ever return safely, the Lord has not spoken through me.” Then he added, “Mark my words, all you people!” 2 Chron. 18:1-27 (GNB)

You have the right as a child of God to hear from God and to say so. There are many people who might think they have the prerogatives over other believers to hear God. God has the right to speak to any person he wishes to; denying God this right and denying other believers this privilege is out of place and a negation which has grievous consequences

“Prophet Zedekiah” will have none of that and can go all length to insist on his superiority. Beware of “prophet Zedekiahs” of this age.

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

Ref: http://www.biblegateway.com

Quote

Everlasting Strength

“You will keep him in perfect peace,
Whose mind is stayed on You,
Because he trusts in You.MP900149290

Trust in the Lord forever,
For in YAH, the Lord, is everlasting strength.

For He brings down those who dwell on high,
The lofty city;
He lays it low,
He lays it low to the ground,
He brings it down to the dust.” Isaiah 26:3-5. (NKJV)

 

Reference.

http://www.biblegateway.com

 

Understanding Signs and Wonders

Scripture Reference: Jer. 33:2-3. Mark 16:15-18. Jer.32:17-22.

God does signs and wonders in us and through us. Signs and wonders are hallmark of the Christian faith; they are not an appendage to it and they should be our constant realities. From birth to death, Jesus’ life was about signs and wonders.

Isaiah 8:18, says, “Behold, I and the children whom the Lord hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the Lord of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.” (KJV)

Mark 16:17-18, says, “And these signs shall follow them that believe; in my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues; they shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.” (KJV)

The above scripture tells us what the Lord has for us with regard to signs and wonders. Believers should walk in signs and wonders as a mark of faith – (it is like a birth right.)

What are signs and wonders?

Signs and wonders are supernatural intervention in the lives of people; nations and in creation. They happen when God turns around the situation of things to suit has purpose. For example, God changed the course of time when Joshua asked for it during a battle he fought with the Amalekites.

Joshua 10:12, says, “Then Joshua spoke to the Lord in the day when the Lord delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel: “Sun, stand still over Gibeon; And Moon, in the Valley of Aijalon.”

The virgin birth and resurrection of Jesus were signs and wonders.

.Isaiah 7:10-14 says, “Moreover the Lord spoke again to Ahaz, saying, “Ask a sign for yourself from the Lord your God; ask it either in the depth or in the height above.” But Ahaz said, “I will not ask, nor will I test the Lord!” Then he said, “Hear now, O house of David! Is it a small thing for you to weary men, but will you weary my God also?  Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.”

The healing and deliverance done by Jesus were signs and wonders.

Acts 10:34-41, says, “Then Peter opened his mouth and said: “In truth I perceive that God shows no partiality. But in every nation whoever fears Him and works righteousness is accepted by Him. The word which God sent to the children of Israel, preaching peace through Jesus Christ—He is Lord of all— that word you know, which was proclaimed throughout all Judea, and began from Galilee after the baptism which John preached: how God anointed Jesus of Nazareth with the Holy Spirit and with power, who went about doing good and healing all who were oppressed by the devil, for God was with Him. And we are witnesses of all things which He did both in the land of the Jews and in Jerusalem, whom they killed by hanging on a tree. Him God raised up on the third day, and showed Him openly, not to all the people, but to witnesses chosen before by God, even to us who ate and drank with Him after He arose from the dead”

Exodus 4:28-31; Exodus Chapter 7 – Chapter 14 shows the Signs and Wonders performed in Egypt during the time of Moses.

The Gospels contain Jesus’ miracles. For example,

John 11:1-40 – Jesus raised Lazarus

Acts 3:1-9, states the healing of Lamed man at the gate called beautiful

Why did Jesus delay going to heal Lazarus?

He wanted to show us something – signs and wonders. God grows his kingdom using signs and wonders.

How to flow in signs and wonders

Some scriptures to read: Mark 16:17; Isaiah 42:10-20; Isaiah 55:8-11; john 11:39-47; Mk. 2:3-12.

All believers can partake in signs and wonders. It is a privilege of the new life. However, it is not everyone that does; that is because many believers don’t understand the place of signs and wonders in the Kingdom. It is the supernatural, the signs and wonders that show forth the glory of God. They sign-post people to God. Christianity is all about signs and wonders.

To flow in signs and wonders the following are important:

You must connect with the Source of all creation; the one that has all the power and dominion. That is God. He is in-charge of everything in heaven and on earth. Psalm 24:1-2.

You need to know God better – Prayerful study of the word and fellowship with God is essential.

You must understand the process: (do your part and let God do his part). Many people are more concerned about themselves that they undermine God. Signs and wonders belong to God and he is never afraid of anything or anyone. Dan.4:34-35.

The right environment: Heb.11:6.You must come believing; you must come with praise and worship; John11:41-42. You must be prayerful and obedient to God. It not our agenda – it is all about God.

You must come with expectations. It will be to you according to your faith.

You must give all the glory to God.

When signs and wonders happen, you must turn the attention to God. Acts 3:11-16. This is very crucial and must never be compromised.

You must use them to witness to people about salvation of their souls.

You must focus on God not on your experience or that of other people. It is all about what God wants to do now.

God bless you.

Ref.

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

Can A Believer, In Christ Jesus, Be Cursed By A Christian Leader?

Jesus Christ Crucifix

Jesus Christ Crucifix (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The issue of curses on Christians (Believers in Christ Jesus), especially by those who are supposed to be their leaders, has been a problem that bother many people but which they have not really confronted. I want to provide an insight into this matter because I believe God wants to break yokes that have been hanging on people’s necks. 2 Tim.1:7, says, “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”

What is a curse?

The Webster Dictionary defines a curse as “a prayer or invocation for harm or injury to come upon one”

Dictionary.com defines a curse as “

1. The expression of a wish that misfortune, evil, doom, etc., befall a person, group, etc.

2. A formula or charm intended to cause such misfortune to another.

3. The act of reciting such a formula.

A curse is certainly an evil. It is intended to do a permanent harm or evil to its object.

Jesus’ Mission

Jesus declared his mission in John 10:10, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” This mission  gives life to the lost humanity through the love of God; this love took him to the cross.

“Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!” Phil. 2:6-8 (NIV)

“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God. He was put to death in the body but made alive in the Spirit.” 1 Peter 3:18 (NIV)

You can read more about the suffering of Jesus Christ for you and all who will believe in his name. The reason is clear in the scripture.

For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16 (NIV)

When Jesus died, he dealt with curse of the law

Gal.3:13-14 states, “Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us, for it is written: “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a pole.” He redeemed us in order that the blessing given to Abraham might come to the Gentiles through Christ Jesus, so that by faith we might receive the promise of the Spirit.”

And Rom. 8:1-4 says, “Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death. For what the law was powerless to do because it was weakened by the flesh, God did by sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh to be a sin offering. And so he condemned sin in the flesh, in order that the righteous requirement of the law might be fully met in us, who do not live according to the flesh but according to the Spirit.”

The scripture further shows who we are as believers and what it means,

“What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword? As it is written:

“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”

No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Rom.8:31-39 (NIV)

A believer in Christ Jesus cannot be cursed. The New Testament scriptures do not support the view that a believer can be cursed. Curse destroys and God will not destroy his children. God will not permit anyone to curse his children. In the Old Testament Balak and Balaam attempted to curse Israel but God stopped them.

“Then Balaam spoke his message: “Balak brought me from Aram, the king of Moab from the eastern mountains. ‘Come,’ he said, ‘curse Jacob for me; come, denounce Israel.’ How can I curse those whom God has not cursed? How can I denounce those whom the Lord has not denounced?” Num. 23:7-8 (NIV)

What do they want to curse you for? Whatever they want to curse you for has been paid for. “Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one.”

Those who delight in cursing believers will never accept that it is not approved by the word of God. I won’t be surprised if they go and fish out many reasons to justify their actions. I want to let you know that it is God that answers prayers and protects his people. You are under his cover (protection). (Even the devil quoted the scriptures – Luke 4:1-13).

Several scriptures used to support cursing a believer are simply misapplied. Mal.3:6-12, is one of the scriptures used to frighten people about God cursing his children. (I believe in tithing and that believers should give to support the work of God), but those who use those scriptures should go back to it again; they should search their motives and their plans and take them to the “cross of Jesus Christ.” It will not surpass what Jesus did on the cross for the salvation of his children. A believer cannot be cursed. New Testament scriptures do not provide any ground to curse a believer.

Ministering Life Not Death

“Not that we are competent in ourselves to claim anything for ourselves, but our competence comes from God.  He has made us competent as ministers of a new covenant—not of the letter but of the Spirit; for the letter kills, but the Spirit gives life.2Cor.3:5-7 (NIV)

Ruling the people of God with fear and coercion only happens to serve self. We are to minister life not death. We give comfort not pains. If you are under the leadership that instils fear and spell of terror, the scripture say to the Galatians as well as to us,

“You foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? Before your very eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed as crucified. I would like to learn just one thing from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by believing what you heard? Are you so foolish? After beginning by means of the Spirit, are you now trying to finish by means of the flesh?Have you experienced so much in vain – if it really was in vain?” Gal.3:1-4 (NIV). Apostle Paul expressed his displeasure at the brethren who were drifting towards the law and threats of preachers who were pressuring them with the demands of the law. (Teaching that a believer can be cursed is similar to the doctrines that Paul attacked)

Having the privilege to lead the people of God does not offer anyone the right to put the burden of a curse on them. Curses are far from rebuke or correction. God does discipline his children but He will never put a curse on them; His discipline has a purpose and only brings a person (a believer) to a better life. The “mighty cursing-leaders” are not so; they aim for obliteration, pains and damnation. They desire to put the people of God into bondage and suffering, contrary to the will of God. Their “authority” transcends the love of God. The word of God says, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away.” 1 Cor.13:4-8 (NIV); but the “cursing leader” commands authority through fear, threats and terror which finds implementation through curses.

1John 1:5-9 says, “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.” (NIV)

Psalm 103: 9-16 says, “He will not always accuse, nor will he harbor his anger forever; he does not treat us as our sins deserve or repay us according to our iniquities. For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. As a father has compassion on his children, so the Lord has compassion on those who fear him; for he knows how we are formed, he remembers that we are dust. The life of mortals is like grass, they flourish like a flower of the field; the wind blows over it and it is gone, and its place remembers it no more.”

  • You need to know and believe that you, as a child of God, cannot be cursed and insist on it.
  • Cover yourself in the blood of Jesus and reject every threat of a curse
  • Study the word of God to understand who you are in Christ Jesus and live it
  • Love the Lord and obey him
  • Repent whenever you miss it and return to fellowship with God
  • If you are in a place where people insist you can be cursed, then, your time there is over.
  • You must not be involved in ungodly religion, cult or abominable practises

In future we shall look at the curses from all enemies including demonic attempts to make people live under spells. God has made provision for deliverance for his people.

The Captive of the Mighty!

Jesus Christ Crucifix

Jesus Christ Crucifix (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the captives of the righteous be delivered? But thus says the Lord: “Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible be delivered; for I will contend with him who contends with you, and I will save your children. I will feed those who oppress you with their own flesh, and they shall be drunk with their own blood as with sweet wine. All flesh shall know that I, the Lord, am your Savior, and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.” Isaiah 49:24-26 (NKJV)

Luke 1:68-75 says, “Blessed is the Lord God of Israel, for He has visited and redeemed His people, and has raised up a horn of salvation for us in the house of His servant David, as He spoke by the mouth of His holy prophets, who have been since the world began, that we should be saved from our enemies and from the hand of all who hate us, to perform the mercy promised to our fathers and to remember His holy covenant, the oath which He swore to our father Abraham: To grant us that we, being delivered from the hand of our enemies, might serve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him all the days of our life.” (NKJV)

It is the will of God that we are free from all forms of incarceration. Many people, all over the world, are in one form of captivity or another; these include political, economic, social and spiritual bondage. Many people are unaware of their situation and some others are simply helpless. The worst set of people in this problem are those who think it is the will of God for their lives. They see it as their spiritual obligation to God; Luke 1:68-75 shows that it is not the will of God.

Luke 13:10-17, says, “Now He was teaching in one of the synagogues on the Sabbath. And behold, there was a woman who had a spirit of infirmity eighteen years, and was bent over and could in no way raise herself up.  But when Jesus saw her, He called her to Him and said to her, “Woman, you are loosed from your infirmity.” And He laid His hands on her, and immediately she was made straight, and glorified God. But the ruler of the synagogue answered with indignation, because Jesus had healed on the Sabbath; and he said to the crowd, “There are six days on which men ought to work; therefore come and be healed on them, and not on the Sabbath day.” The Lord then answered him and said, “Hypocrite!Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it? So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound—think of it—for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?”And when He said these things, all His adversaries were put to shame; and all the multitude rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him.” (NKJV)

The Jewish religious leaders were upset when Jesus healed the woman with the spirit of infirmity. They must have used her to challenge people about “spiritual devotion” but Jesus proved them wrong and the scripture says, “The Lord then answered him and said, “Hypocrite!Does not each one of you on the Sabbath loose his ox or donkey from the stall, and lead it away to water it? So ought not this woman, being a daughter of Abraham, whom Satan has bound—think of it—for eighteen years, be loosed from this bond on the Sabbath?”And when He said these things, all His adversaries were put to shame; and all the multitude rejoiced for all the glorious things that were done by Him.”

“After this there was a feast of the Jews, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem. Now there is in Jerusalem by the Sheep Gate a pool, which is called in Hebrew, Bethesda,having five porches.  In these lay a great multitude of sick people, blind, lame, paralyzed, waiting for the moving of the water.  For an angel went down at a certain time into the pool and stirred up the water; then whoever stepped in first, after the stirring of the water, was made well of whatever disease he had.Now a certain man was there who had an infirmity thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him lying there, and knew that he already had been in that condition a long time, He said to him, “Do you want to be made well?” The sick man answered Him, “Sir, I have no man to put me into the pool when the water is stirred up; but while I am coming, another steps down before me.” Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.” And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked. And that day was the Sabbath. The Jews therefore said to him who was cured, “It is the Sabbath; it is not lawful for you to carry your bed.” He answered them, “He who made me well said to me, ‘Take up your bed and walk.’” John 5:1-11 (NKJV)

Some people, out of their own will, get into captivity; some people are held captives by other men.

“Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. And he said to his people, “Look, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we; come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and it happen, in the event of war, that they also join our enemies and fight against us, and so go up out of the land.” Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens. And they built for Pharaoh supply cities, Pithom and Raamses.  But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and grew. And they were in dread of the children of Israel. So the Egyptians made the children of Israel serve with rigor. And they made their lives bitter with hard bondage—in mortar, in brick, and in all manner of service in the field. All their service in which they made them serve was with rigor.” Exodus 1:8-14 (NKJV)

The Egyptian took the Israelites captives in a very cunning manner. Some people sell themselves to captivity because of debts, some are war captives and some people even get into captivity because of their jobs. In a cynical way, drugs and alcohol put people into habit captivity. The prey groan in agony, humiliation, pain and shame; they lose the dignity, earning and future. The captor on the other hand brags about his exploits and deceit; he mounts constant pressure and watch whimsically at the agony on the face of  his victims.

“But thus says the Lord: “Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and the prey of the terrible be delivered; for I will contend with him who contends with you, and I will save your children. I will feed those who oppress you with their own flesh, and they shall be drunk with their own blood as with sweet wine. All flesh shall know that I, the Lord, am your Savior, and your Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”

God wants you free, if you are under any kind of captivity. He is willing to do it at the highest cost to the captors. That was why Jesus paid the price for your redemption. You can be free from now.

“He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,in whom we have redemption through His blood,the forgiveness of sins.” Col.1:13-14 (NKJV)

“Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law, having become a curse for us (for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who hangs on a tree”that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles in Christ Jesus, that we might receive the promise of the Spirit through faith” Gal.3:13-14 (NKJV)

The scripture says that even the “lawful captive of the mighty shall be delivered”. God can do that too; nobody is hopeless in this matter. It is the will of God that we enjoy freedom. It is not everybody that will like the idea that you should be free but I am not here to serve their purpose or bother with their views. I am a servant of God declaring his counsel to you.

  • You need to know the truth
  • You must be willing to see that it happens (no violence please)
  • You must trust God to perfect that which concerns you.
  • You must keep praying until you possess your possession
  • Find out the promises of God for your life through the study of the word of God
  • You must never expose yourself to the dangers of captivity
  • Break and destroy every covenant of the enemy upon your life
  • Disconnect yourself from every form of religious captivity. Bondage is not a spiritual virtue. This is a very serious issue and difficult to do. (The captors are going to hotly contest your freedom in every way possible; they will do anything it takes to hold you in their chain)
  • Set yourself free from captivity of the mind. This tells you that you cannot be free; that is how you were made (you cannot change); you will die if you dare make a move to be free; you are too old to change; your background will not allow the change (it is in your DNA); there are many things your mind can suggest.
  • You must keep confessing your freedom, God wants you free. “For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jer. 29:11 (NKJV)

We cannot serve God as we should if we are in bondage. Captivity destroys every form of true expression in worship.  Psalm 137:1-4 says,

“By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept When we remembered Zion. We hung our harps upon the willows in the midst of it. For there those who carried us away captive asked of us a song, and those who plundered us requested mirth, saying, “Sing us one of the songs of Zion!” How shall we sing the Lord’s song in a foreign land?” NKJV).

The Captive of the mighty shall be delivered. Be free; it is the will of God for you.

Ref.

Scripture quotes: www.biblegateway.com

Copyright: Graceful Voice Inc. www.gracevoice.com www.holyspiritcomfort.com

Hearing from God – Is Very Important

Cover for a NIV Bible

Cover for a NIV Bible (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the most exciting things for me is to hear from God. The Holy Spirit’s work includes speaking to us and helping us to understand and to obey. However, this is very confusing and scary issues among believers.  It is commonly said “you should hear from God” but it is grossly misunderstood. I hope to write several short articles on this topic and I hope it might help someone somehow.

Hearing the voice of God is very essential for anyone who wants to enjoy the Christian life. We should desire to hear God clearly, obey his voice and achieve good success. One misunderstanding that many people have is that “God’s word and instructions are weird” That is not true. Some people feel it may take ages waiting before God speaks to you, that again is not true. Yet some other people think that God only speaks to special people; that also is not true too. God speaks to all his children. Being a child of God makes you special.

The scripture says “And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth.” Rev. 5:10 (NIV)

Also in 1 peter 2:9-10 the scripture says “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light; who once were not a people but are now the people of God, who had not obtained mercy but now have obtained mercy.” (NIV) Even if anyone argues that only priest could have access to God,(though that is not so), you are by right of salvation a priest.

The restriction of access to God was destroyed when Jesus died on the cross. The symbolic barrier to God’s presence, the curtain shielding the Holy of holies was torn from top to bottom; it means all children of God can come into his presence without hindrance.

Mark 15: 37-38 “And Jesus cried out with a loud voice, and breathed His last. Then the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom.” (NIV)

One last thing for now is that I believe that God will not speak to me in a language I don’t understand. Well, that is my own experience. It is simple for me that way. I feel that if God speaks in a language that I don’t understand, it means he does not expect me to obey. In the first instance I did not understand what was said and I do not know how I could go from place to place seeking for someone to tell what was said and I could be at a risk of getting it wrong. It has been working for me and it is fine with me.

Stay blessed.

Reference: biblegateway.com

Holy Spirit is A Friend Indeed

English: John the Baptist baptizing Christ

English: John the Baptist baptizing Christ (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“Jesus said to his disciples: If you love me, you will do as I command. Then I will ask the Father to send you the Holy Spirit who will helpyou and always be with you.” John 14:15-16, (CEV)

One of the real issues in modern Christianity is heroism and spiritual egoism. A lot of myths and mysticism has been built into things far from what God really wanted them to be. One of such things is our relationship with the Holy Spirit. It’s been by many people taught that we “have to be special to relate with him” and that “when we have him we are so much more special than other Christians” These are not absolute truths. We are special because we are God’s children, saved by grace, through the blood of Jesus Christ. All who have received Jesus Christ into their lives can receive the Holy Spirit. Your life as a believer filled with the Holy Spirit will be more fulfilling, victorious and productive. All children of God are special to him.

This Holy Spirit came as our helper and comforter – that is, he is here to help us and not to make things difficult. The Holy Spirit has been described as being very “fragile” and will vanish at the slightest provocation. If that is absolutely true then he won’t bother coming. The best of men is very volatile and unworthy of a “fragile Holy Spirit”.

Psalm 103: 8 – 10 says “The Lord is merciful! He is kind and patient, and his love never fails. The Lord won’t always be angry and point out our sins; he doesn’t punish us as our sins deserve.” (CEV)

The Holy Spirit knows who we are before creation. He came to help us live successful lives as children of God. He knows we can’t cope with life’s pressures and temptations. He knows our limitations and steps in to help us when in need. He knows we have tendencies to draw-back from battles that we ought to stand our ground. He knows we are hard at hearing when it comes to spiritual things.

In my life, I have found him as a friend. I have been a Christian for many years and I see myself a normal person. I have emotions like everyone and I have had both mountain top and lowest valley experiences. One thing that has kept me going is the love, comfort and tolerance of the Holy Spirit. Sometimes I have found it tedious to study my Bible and burdensome to pray. I have been sluggish on many occasions to hear and obey the voice of the Holy Spirit. I had at least two occasions when God used children to speak to me before my “eyes” were opened to see where he is leading me. What I am saying is that, if the Holy Spirit can bear with me, he can bear with you. One thing I do is to make efforts, no matter how difficult it might seem, to keep following and learning from him. I am sure he is happy when I do things right and he is patient with me when I miss the mark.

I have found him a friend indeed. He is my helper, my comforter and teacher. He loves me. You can enjoy the same relationship with him.

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