THE BEST FOR THE LAST

‘You saved the best until now’ Lord Jesus… (John 2: 10)

All marriages, no matter how strong, will eventually ‘finish’ their wine of joy and passion and end up ‘dry’: no hatred, no love, just ‘water- surviving’ arrangement. There is a moment when you discover that all the love has been exhausted on daily errands and routine of life. There is a moment when fear will grip the heart that your secret failure will become public display; ‘They have no more wine…’

That place of loneliness and shame is the moment for the true friend to step in and help. The best marriage counselors are not found seated at the table waiting to be served. They are found in the background among the servants who know the secret of brewing the miracle of supernatural love that never dies. Once you taste from the latter wine, once you allow God to love your spouse through your heart, your marriage will receive the stamp of heaven and will survive even death. Never forget the power of the latter rain! That is where the glory dwells!

In Christ I declare:
My marriage belongs to God!
Jesus is the Lord of my marriage, the Red Cord that can never be broken!
I will never lose hope in my marriage for my spouse is a gift from God and God never makes mistakes!
My marriage shall last until death will ‘part’ us! Nothing else will be able to destroy it before death!
I hate divorce!
Like the wine, my marriage shall be better as it we get older!
Holy romance shall always ‘bubble’ in my marriage!
The best is yet to come!
In Jesus name, Amen!

THE MOVING OF THE WATERS

“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…
Jesus said to him, “Rise, take up your bed and walk.”
And immediately the man was made well, took up his bed, and walked” (Jn 5:3-9)

Let’s take a walk by the Bethesda pool…So much sickness… so much sorrow…so little hope…
There is one waiting for 38 years to be forgiven and healed. But no man could help. Even when the Spirit moved, no man was strong enough, or fast enough, or stored enough compassion to help a dying neighbor. Sin and sickness hid the beauty of hope; a downhill fall…

Then Jesus came and with just a word, all things became new. A miracle…The weak feet could now carry the weight of God’s glory in His chosen vessel. Like an ugly worm in his cocoon, the last painful push for breakthrough and behold, the butterfly opens his wings to touch the light he has never seen before!
The Healer commands: ‘Get up! Pick up your mat and walk!’
From now on this is your duty and and your ministry! Walk about for all to see! Walk and dance for the pleasure of your Savior!
Lest I forget, clean your place behind! Carry away your cocoon- mat! There is no need for it anymore! The comfort of sickness and the skill of begging men is replaced by healing testimony and a new step never tried before. Sell the mat and go buy your dancing shoes, my friend!

The enemy hides behind the colonnades; defeated and jealous he wants you to go back into the cocoon again; back to darkness; back to the place before the Encounter. The enemy sees you only as ‘the man with the mat’; with useless legs bound with cords of dried hope. The enemy is blind to the work of your Creator who, one brush in His mouth and another lifted up, designs rainbow wings in His secret place.
Your Friend, the King sees you as His worshiper, His lover, who dances with a banner lifted high.

So, Walk, Dance and in between Fly High! The Cage Door is open and the air on the mountains is clean. Wonderful music from above will teach you the way to be grateful!
“I am grateful, my Lord!”

In Christ I declare:
I am free indeed!
In Jesus name
Amen!

REMEMBERING EZEKIEL

“So they come to you as people do, they sit before you as My people, and they hear your words, but they do not do them; for with their mouth they show much love, but their hearts pursue their own gain.
Indeed you are to them as a very lovely song of one who has a pleasant voice and can play well on an instrument; for they hear your words, but they do not do them” (Ez 33:31, 32)

Many people (I call them ‘spiritual artists’) like prophetic meetings and prophetic utterances. They like to feel the rush of emotions when the secrets of hearts are revealed, when darkness gives way to the light of God. They like the sound of prophetic words spoken aloud in a congregation. They quote the prophet’s words to others, they admire them, they say ‘wow’, they imagine the background music compatible with the utterance for the season, they design T-Shirts and banners or dance to the tune of heavenly bells.
But…Now this is the sad part of the story…
They just like the sound of the words but they do not take them seriously, they do not obey them!
Is this possible? It is very common in fact.
God warned Ezekiel to be careful with people who pay the price for a visit, have the right greeting prepared at the door, have the attached smile and handshake, have all the flattery ready…but, they are not true friends at all! They are gossips and greedy for selfish gain. They came to visit the prophet to glean some ‘garage sale’ prophetic words, cheaply bought but with some little polishing and repackaging, they can make millions in their latest best selling books.

God’s Word is not a luxury, it is not icing sugar on our emotions, it is not chewing gum to keep us awake in the church. The Word of God is not for sale! The Word of God is life, it is salt, it is light in the darkness and the greatest weapon given to men!

In Christ I declare:
I trust in God and I trust in His Prophets!
Because of this, I am established spiritually!
I shall experience victory and prosperity!
In Jesus name
Amen!

I AM NOT ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL OF CHRIST!!!

“Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God which He promised before through His prophets in the Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, and declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead. Through Him we have received grace and apostleship for obedience to the faith among all nations for His name, among whom you also are the called of Jesus Christ…

For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ, for it is the power of God to salvation for everyone who believes, for the Jew first and also for the Greek.  For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith to faith; as it is written, “The just shall live by faith” (Rom 1:1-17)

These words introduce us to the wonderful letter Apostle Paul wrote to the believers in Rome. The Book of Romans is the most important book in the Bible, by which we can understand ‘the technicality’ of our salvation and sanctification. All major revivals in the history of the church came out from understanding the revelations from this book. The doctrine of justification by faith is the foundation in understanding salvation. It is my counsel that you read it prayerfully. I promise that you shall never be the same.

In these days of so much religious counterfeit preaching, going back to basics is wisdom indeed.

Apostle Paul was saved by the sovereign will of God. There is absolutely no sign that he desired to surrender his life to Christ. In fact it was the opposite. He hated the name of Jesus and persecuted the church. The resurrected Christ met with him on the road to Damascus and thru a crisis conversion he became saved. Here he tells us that the reason why God ‘arrested’ him was to make him a servant of the Gospel of Christ.

In other words, there are available jobs in the kingdom of God. I am talking about being servants to the Gospel of God. This is one of the highest paid jobs in universe! Just be sure you preach the right Gospel and you shall never regret it! To be a servant to someone, that person must be great and rich. The Gospel is greater than all men! To be a good servant you must understand your master very well!

God is looking for men to defend and serve the Gospel of His Son!

Let them who have ears, let them hear!

The word Gospel in Greek is ‘euaggelion’ from which the word ‘evangelism’ comes. It means the public announcement of wonderful news. During the Roman Empire, messengers were sent all over the land to tell people about the victories and trophies Caesar has won. The listeners were not there on the battle field, but thru the royal messengers, everybody was informed, believed and rejoiced.

In the same way, God is sending His messengers to inform everybody that His Beloved Son has completely defeated satan on the field of Calvary. We are to proclaim this total victory to all human beings, telling them to surrender, trust and obey the King of Kings from now on. At the hearing of the Gospel, God’s people rejoice and God’s enemies tremble! All human beings on earth, rich or poor, old or young, they all need the Gospel!

Preaching the Gospel means to proclaim Christ Crucified and the Victory of the Cross!!!

The Gospel is all about the Person and the work of Jesus Christ!!!

The name of Jesus was given to the second person of the Trinity for His work as the Savior. In fact the name Jesus, or Joshua, means ‘Jehovah saves’. The name Christ is the mighty name of power and anointing coming from the Holy Spirit.

God the Father invented the Gospel. No man could have imagined this way to heaven. God the Son cooperated with the desire of the Father and came down to earth in flesh. He lived and died to obey God, to glorify His name and to save the sinners. God the Holy Spirit applies this truth to our spirits so that we can believe and be saved.

Let me be even more practical…

The preaching of the Gospel is this:

Tell people that they are sinners going to hell and that they need a Savior!

Tell them that Jesus Christ is the only Savior!

Tell them that Jesus died on the Cross to save their souls!

Tell them that they have to come and completely and unconditionally surrender their all to Christ!

Tell them that anyone found outside Christ is hell bound!

Tell them that grace is found only in Jesus Christ!

Tell them that the Universe does not have even a drop of grace for anyone outside Christ!

Tell them that once they surrendered their lives they have to learn to be ‘obedient to the faith in Christ’! Tell them that true saving faith destroys the spirit of rebellion against Christ and His commands!

Tell them that if they are still persistently disobedient to God’s commands they are not saved!

Tell them that God ignored their disobedience in the past, but now He commands all people everywhere to repent and surrender to King Jesus!

Tell them that ignoring this word, this warning and command means eternal death!

Tell them that it is appointed to men to die once, after that there is God’s judgment!

Tell them that none of their good works and no man can save them! Only Jesus Christ can do that!

Do not stop hammering the nails in the flesh of your listeners until they bow to Jesus! The Holy Spirit will use your words to trouble their consciences and they shall lose their sleep until they surrender!

If you stop hammering the whole truth about Christ and His Cross as the only way to save men, it means that you are ashamed of the Gospel. If you are tired of evangelism, it means that you are ashamed of His Gospel! For there is no other reason for that!

Be sure Christ Crucified is the center! Whatever sermon you preach that does not have Christ in the center is a fake, useless ‘gospel’ that can never save anyone! The so called gospel of prosperity or approval by religious works, these are of the devil! God holds us responsible to preach the true Gospel and to preach it to the end! There is no favoritism with God! There shall be none with us, His servants! May your arm be strong once more! Hold the hammer and bang the nails! You can do it!

Jesus is Lord!

 

As for me, I vowed to God who called me to ministry to remain faithful to Him to the end! By God’s grace I shall never be ashamed to preach the true Gospel of God, which is Christ and Him Crucified!

I shall lift Jesus Christ my Savior higher and higher! May He draw your hearts after Himself!

May the power promised by God, to them who are faithful in ministry, manifest even right now!

May signs and wonders follow the proclamation of His Gospel even in this humble letter to all!

In Jesus name,

Amen!”

STEP TWO (b): KEEP MOVING!

This is our testimony: I was sick with malaria since Monday. I trusted God for the healing for the pilgrims were waiting for me. I was shivering when I entered the sanctuary at 4:50. Then Pastor Trish started the prayers. Favor, our worship leader sent her daughter with the message that she too has malaria. I told her to still go on and praise God like this. She started slow, then suddenly the Holy Spirit took over and she started singing with power a much loved chorus: “The Church is marching on…the church is marching on…The gates of hell cannot prevail… the Church is marching on!” I felt the fever leaving me and she too was strong.
I confronted them with past unresolved fears and failures. For example, after years of trekking, they pray to own and drive a Jeep. Then let’s say God gives it to them. Happily they enter the car and suddenly they experience a strange fear about armed robbers taking the car away from them. For all the years in poverty, using public transport, they never experienced this fear. We prayed to let go of these fears if not the doubt of progress will hinder them and all of us, as a group of pilgrims going higher on the mountain of God.
Spiritually speaking, climbing mountains is a skill to be acquired. The vision and the heart of a champion shall be provided by God to them who are willing to mature spiritually. Many are called to dwell in the comfort zones of an ordinary Christian life. Few are chosen by God for leadership and inspiration.

CONFRONT INCAPACITATING FEARS
One of the great hindrances we shall experience is the fear of the unknown. Closely associated with this, are the fear of heights and the fear of falling. These are common fear to all men. They start in childhood when the parents instill fear in their children for their own protection. They tell them not to go far away from home, not to climb trees or ladders. For their safety, the parents want to control the children minds and environment. They are told that they should not welcome strangers or new experiences; they should not take risks or to go to dangerous places. If the children try new things, that is equaled with rebellion. This mind set to please their parents becomes a stronghold of fear that kills any desire of adventure later in life. The children, now adults, conform themselves to the world and hate anything different, like travel or understanding other cultures. Their choices are connected with the same environment that they have mastered for years. They make friends from among their colleagues; they marry their neighbors…
Spiritually speaking, they depend on their denomination’s doctrines and values and fear any other perspective. Their growth is stunted and they resist any challenges to mature as Believers. Practically speaking, they may be born again but they hate the doctrine of the Baptism and the Filling with the Holy Spirit. This type of fear accompanied with a number of familiar symptoms like, rapid pulse, dry mouth, constant perspiration, lack of clear thought and speech, trembling in fear, fear of dying, anxiety attacks or breathing troubles.
Once the child becomes saved, he has a new perspective of things. He will be led by the Holy Spirit, feeling safe to go to new strange places. His friends change, his attitude to life change. He knows that safety and peace is not the absence of challenges, but it is where the Holy Spirit is.
As a believer, you have to confront your past fears so that you can keep moving, keep climbing the mountain of Transfiguration. You have to pray and set yourself free from their incapacitating shackles. Your natural parents were full of anxieties and refused to move ahead; that was in the past. But now, as a Believer in Christ you now belong to the family of God and your vision is different. Listen to this:
“Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God” (Rom 12;1,2)
Lastly, this is foundational: all fears except the holy fear of God are from the devil. If you are a child of God you should reject them instantly. Do not bargain with your fears…Reject them in the name of Jesus!
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2Tim 1:7)
I still remember the impact the above verse made on me when I became saved. I sat down and dwelt upon it. I settled with God in my heart that I will always reject fears, that I will not allow any such evil foothold in my heart. This is Rock on which you can stand. It will never disappoint you and you will never be put to shame if trusting God’s word you reject all fears. I tried it for many years and it has worked for me 100%. You go on and try it too…

FROM GOD’S PHARMACY

 

“Blessed is he who considers the poor;

The Lord will deliver him in time of trouble.

The Lord will preserve him and keep him alive,

And he will be blessed on the earth;

You will not deliver him to the will of his enemies.

The Lord will strengthen him on his bed of illness;

You will sustain him on his sickbed” (Ps 41:1-3)

 

This week I was sick with malaria. For the people who do not live in the Tropical areas, I add this information: Malaria is a mosquito borne infectious disease. The symptoms are similar with the flu: fever, rigors, body pains, fatigue and loss of appetite. The total duration may be about a week and then there is recovery. Some cases can be very serious and the patients die.

I live in Nigeria since 1980. I do not take preventive medication against malaria. My body’s immunity is higher than that of visitors to this area. I keep my house mosquito free as much as I can. Then I pray for God’s protection. But occasionally I get sick, like what happened this week.

I took malaria medications and I prayed for healing. Then I waited to see what lessons I can learn from these days of discomfort. For nothing happens by mistake to a child of God. This is the fifth day since the beginning of the sickness. I already feel better and I feel the strength pouring in, little by little.

This letter is not to ask for well wishes from anybody (thank you anyway…). It is so to remind ourselves that we are human and that in whatever trials we pass in this life, we should learn from one another.

 

I want to say that during these days of sickness, my mind was restless not about my condition, but about preparing the message for the prophetic ‘Saturday Class’. The word for this season was this: ‘it is time to climb the mountain of spices’! We said that as a church, we should let go of the ‘lower, valley’ vision of Christ and that we should press on towards spiritual maturity. The last word was: ‘Keep moving!’

By the grace of God I am the class teacher and the leader of the prophetic pilgrims. I did not expect to get sick half a way the resting place. But this is the reality and I have to wrestle with the Word to find a revelation for this unexpected need. I prayed and pleaded with God for strength and healing. Today is Friday. I need total healing in less than 24 hours. For my students will wait for me and especially for God’s Word. This was the only reason I could plead for God to grant me healing.  I do not have the luxury of a bed rest in a five star hotel by the beach. God’s sheep and lambs are waiting tomorrow for their food and provision.

 

As I pondered about the situation, my eyes fell on Psalm 41. I read the first three verses…I discovered that there is a provision of supernatural healing from any sickness at all (!!!) for them who ‘consider the weak’. What does it mean? Do I qualify?

The word ‘consider’ in Hebrew describes an intelligent and successful man, one who is prudent in all his ways; because he is so successful he has become  a teacher, an expert in the field of successful living. He is able to find the solution to any problem, no matter how complicated it is. This man represents God in His function as the Wonderful Counselor. This considering man will give you hope in any situation.

The word ‘weak’ is the opposite. It means someone who has failed in life and now he is in great need; someone who is empty, dry, hungry and is dying. His friends have betrayed him and now they are happy that is sick and dying. Without God’s Word and His Blessings, his situation is completely hopeless.

As I pondered about these words, I discovered that there is healing for me. I truly qualify to open God’s pharmacy door and take whatever I need. I felt God’s presence and I saw the open door of His healing!

This is what was in my mind all these days: God’s people are waiting for me…I need to help the weak! I need to teach the ignorant! I need to be in the church tomorrow! How can sickness stop God’s work? It is impossible!

Gently, the Holy Spirit came closer and He touched me. He healed me!

When I started writing this letter, I was slow…Right now my fingers are fast and my heart rejoices…I smile…God heals them who unselfishly ‘consider the weak’! God heals them who are concerned for the progress of His people!  This is the end of the matter!

Lastly, I say to you: ‘By the grace of God…I will see you tomorrow on the slopes… Keep moving!’

FROM PAGAN TO RELIGIOUS LEPROSY

 

“Then he (Elisha) said to him, “Did not my heart go with you when the man turned back from his chariot to meet you? Is it time to receive money and to receive clothing, olive groves and vineyards, sheep and oxen, male and female servants? Therefore the leprosy of Naaman shall cling to you and your descendants forever.” And he went out from his presence leprous, as white as snow” (2Kg 5:26, 27)

 

In the Book of 2 Kings, Chapter 5 we find the well-known story of Naaman, the Syrian commander. He was a famous man; a great general in the Assyrian army.  Assyria was the archenemy of Israel. We are told that Jehovah gave Naaman victory in war for He wanted the humble His people. The general kidnapped a Jewish girl who became a house slave to his wife. Life could not have been better for Naaman. But we are told: ‘he was a leper’. With all his successes, social status and wealth, he was dying.

 

Leprosy in the Bible is described as a hated, infectious and unclean disease. It starts with a little lesion on the skin. Then it spreads and covers the whole body. It is not just the lesion that kills the person. The sickness destroys the nerves and the man loses the capacity to feel pain or pressure.

Spiritually speaking, leprosy wounds the conscience and the believer loses the capacity to feel guilty in the presence of sin. He loses the desire to repent of sin. Compromise becomes easier as time goes by.

In Naaman, this sickness describes the spiritual condition of a sinful unbeliever. We are not surprised that the enemy of the Jews is sick with an incurable disease. The surprise comes when the same leprosy is given to a believer in God, in the case of Gehazi.

The lesson here is that just like in the natural, with infectious diseases, transference of spirits is possible. Leprosy begets leprosy and the church or the pastor cannot protect the backslider. If there is un-confessed sin in the heart of the believer that creates a foot -hold for the devil and the way is open for evil spirits to attack. It is more common during prayers of deliverance. This is a fearful thought…

It is only in Christ that we are free. He that has faith in Christ, pagan or religious, and goes to Him for forgiveness of sins and cleanings, that one is saved.

 

The slave girl informs Naaman that there is a prophet in Samaria who can heal him of leprosy. Having no other option, without medical treatment for his sickness, he decides to follow the advice. He loads his horses with gifts, money, expensive clothes and with a great entourage he goes to meet the King of Israel. His Master gave him a letter of recommendation. The King of Israel gets angry at the Assyrian king for asking that he should provide his commander with a miracle. Then Elisha sends a message to call Naaman to his house and to see that ‘there is a prophet in Israel’.

O, I like the confidence of Elisha. May I do the same! May I take advantage of any situation that glorifies God! For when kings and kingdoms pass away…there is always hope in the name of Jesus!

 

Naaman arrives at the door of Elisha’s house. He stands there expecting some level of religious protocol, some hospitality from the prophet. He is used to go to the magicians and servants of the Assyrian god, Rimmon. His priests always provided him with charms and lengthy prayers of success. So, he expected something similar from Elisha. But the prophet does not even come outside. He sends a messenger to him at the door, with a simple command: ‘Dip yourself seven times in the River Jordan and you shall be clean!’ Naaman’s anger flares up. For the sake of his healing, he has humbled himself all this way, but the pride, hidden in his heart for too long exploded, ready to kill. He leaves angry, humiliated and defeated. Along the way, his servants counsel him to humble himself just once more. Grudgingly, he obeys the prophet’s command. He dips in the River Jordan seven times and comes out healed!

Immediately there is a change in his attitude and body language. Faith and miracles are ‘foreign currency’ used in heaven and on earth. No one can dispute that!

He comes back to Elisha and gratefully acknowledges that there is ‘no other God than Jehovah’. He pledges that from now on, he will only worship the God of Israel. He promises that even when he goes back home and he will be forced to attend idolatrous feasts; his heart will silently worship only Jehovah. He offers Elisha money and gifts. Surprisingly, Elisha refuses his offering. Soon, Naaman goes home rejoicing and praising God.

Then something strange happens… Elisha’s servant Gehazi decides to follow the general and ask for the gifts refused by his master. He lies that Elisha sent him. Grateful that the prophet has changed his mind, Naaman gives to him more than he expected. He comes back and hides the gifts in the prophet’s house. That is when Elisha confronts his servant about his lies, deceptions and greed. Then he pronounces a curse on him: Naaman’s leprosy shall cling on Gehazi and his descendants forever. This was the end of Gehazi ministry under Elisha. His greed destroyed his life and his destiny.

 

What are the lessons?

The first thing we learn is that nobody can deceive God. Sooner or later, sin is always punished by God. Jesus said that ‘the love of money is the root of all evil’ (1Tim 6:10). Greed is a disgraceful sin, more so when is manifested in God’s house. It is said that the way a man behaves with money tells volumes about his character. Greed destroys faith in Christ and the only platform to stand before God, ‘for without faith it is impossible to please God’ (Heb 11:6). God watches the way we handle money. He knows the people who tithe, who continually and sacrificially offer from their substance. God knows who is a giver and who is a thief in His house. He knows the wise and faithful servant who builds His house. He also knows the religious hypocrite who is reckless and foolish enough to destroy it.

Greed is connected with rebellion which is like witchcraft (1Sam 15:23). Gehazi supposed to study the words and the actions of his master. If Elisha refused the gifts, that should be enough sign to him to do the same. But the rebellion and the secret covetousness he nursed for many years manifested one day and destroyed him.

Balaam was ready to curse the people of God for the promise of reward. His greed killed him at last. The wicked king offered Daniel gold and promotion, if he can just interpret the warning on the wall. Daniel refused the offer and interpreted the writing ‘free of charge’. Even the Pharisees refused to take back the money from Judas, calling it ‘blood money’.

 

 

These are some questions: Do you experience joy when you give God something? Are you afraid you will end up poor if you work for God? Do you trust your human boss more than Jesus to reward you for your labor and sacrifice? Do you think that without stealing and cheating in business you can never be a rich man? Do you think that your pastor is a fool when he ignores money scattered on the floor? Can you control the muscle of your hands and not grab money each time you see them? Are all your dreams of success in life always connected with a lot of cash? Have you ever imagined a peaceful and successful life without having money? Do you show favoritism? Do you discriminate the poor people in your church? Do you ‘evangelize and pray’ for the rich ones more than the others?

 

Please pray for deliverance from the sin of greed! Trust that God will supply all your needs with riches free from sorrow and regret. You do not need to make others poor so that you accumulate wealth. God’s blessings are not recycled and are not borrowed. They are freely given from above, as a sign of His goodness and provision. Your blessings are independent on the blessings of others.

 

The center of this story is River Jordan. The destiny moment is the seventh dip and the healing that followed. Jordan stands for Christ. For an unbeliever, faith in Christ looks like foolishness. Their idolatry is so much more sophisticated. The natural man will never believe that salvation, healing and prosperity are hidden in ‘the muddy waters’ of the Bible. Only faith in God, in His word and in His prophets can open the gate to the supernatural acts of grace money cannot buy.

 

If you are in need for God’s touch, pray like this: “Lord Jesus, reveal to me where You are. My heart deceives me and the men betray me. The doctors have killed any hope I had in the past. The bank has taken all my money. I lost all things for Your sake…I need You! I need Your healing, Your blessings, Your prosperity. Direct my steps and my vision towards Your throne of mercy and grace. I vow to give You alone all the glory for the change in my heart and in my circumstances!

In Jesus name I pray,

Amen!”