THE PRIVILEGE, THE PROTECTION AND THE BLESSING OF DISCERNING THE BODY OF CHRIST

 

 

“For if you eat the bread or drink the cup unworthily, not discerning the body of Christ, you are eating and drinking God’s judgment upon yourself. That is why many of you are weak and sick and some have even died. But if we examine ourselves, we will not be examined by God and judged in this way. But when we are judged and disciplined by the Lord, we will not be condemned with the world” (1Cor 11:29-31)

 

Today we had a wonderful Holy Communion service. We do it once a month. Many people attend our church just because they were touched by God during the Holy Communion services. This is always power released by the Holy Spirit as a sign that Jesus is alive and that Jesus is Lord! The evil spirit of religion has corrupted many churches. Their Holy Communion services make no impact at all. It is just a routine regular gathering. There is no supernatural power, no miracles, no healing and no deliverance. The truth is that there is power in the name of Jesus, especially when we come at His table! “Oh, the Blood of Jesus…”

 

Apostle Paul gives instructions concerning the protocol at the Lord’s Table. The first Christians obeyed the Lord’s command and took the Holy Communion in remembrance of Him. But there was need for correction. The greatest mistake they did was to come to the Lord’s Table with a carnal mind and a careless attitude. It was their practice to gather and eat together just for fellowship. From time to time, they had a meal, a love feast, to celebrate their salvation and to bless the poor. The general atmosphere was joyful, friendly and relaxed. But when they came to the Lord’s Table their attitude had to change. There was need for a sober, spiritual and discerning mind that will ignite a grateful heart. There was danger of taking the Holy Communion in an ‘unworthy’ manner. Ignoring this warning produced serious effects: weakness, sickness and even untimely death.

 

What are the lessons we should learn as we come to the Lord’s Table today?

The first one is that the Holy Communion is not an ordinary meal. It should not be taken just as food for the belly, just to satisfy the natural hunger. It has a deep spiritual meaning and it is our duty to discover it. The Holy Communion is more like taking the medicines prescribed by the doctor; it is not ‘a take away’ from the restaurant. You see that your attitude should be different.

Secondly, there is this warning about taking the Communion in ‘an unworthy manner’. This warning is connected with the capacity to discern the Body of Christ. Simply said, if we properly discern the Body of Christ, we should take the Holy Communion and we shall be blessed, healed and delivered. If we are unable to discern the Body of Christ, we should not take the Holy Communion, for fear of grieving the Holy Spirit and the negative effects that follow.

 

What then does it mean to ‘discern the Body of Christ’?

To ‘discern’ it means to see behind the surface of things; to see with spiritual eyes what lies behind the visible; to understand the mind of God about things. It means to have the mind of Christ. It also means to be totally free from deception and lies. It means to have prophetic eyes to see what God sees and to judge things by the Holy Spirit. In Greek the word ‘discern’ means to examine, discriminate and judge correctly; to separate the parts, place them in the proper position so that there is no confusion. For example, the Word of God penetrates the natural mind; it is a discerner of the thoughts and attitudes of men (Heb 4:12). This is another example: The spiritual man understands the things of the Spirit. But the natural man does not understand them, for these are spiritual discerned. There is a gift of the Holy Spirit called ‘the discerning of spirits’. That gift enables the believer to see in the Spirit realm and to clearly identify the evil spirits behind the visible realm (1Cor 2:14; 12:10).

So this is the danger: taking the Holy Communion without spiritually discerning the Body of Christ. The warning is against the religious unbelievers primarily. The Holy Communion is like a lie detector that can never fail.

 

What do we know about the Body of Christ? What can we discern about it?

In Greek the word ‘body’ means something completely whole, no parts missing. This word is similar with the word ‘sozo’ which means salvation, healing, deliverance and protection. The lesson is that person who is a member of the Body of Christ is saved. The believer can also be healed, delivered, protected from enemies and made whole. No unbeliever has these privileges. Do you see that? Do you understand that? Do you discern that?

When we take the Holy Communion, by the power of the Holy Spirit, we remember and discern the things that happen to our Lord’s Body at Calvary. Before Jesus died, they insulted and mocked Him. But immediately He died, God did not allow anybody to harm or wound His Body. With the eyes of the Spirit we see His body hanging on the Cross. Death has done its worst. We then see how gently they took His body down. The believers at the foot of the Cross lovingly wrapped His body in a cloth. they carried the body to the Tomb of Joseph of Arimathea. He asked Pilate to give him the body of Christ for a proper burial in his own newly built tomb. We discern and feel how our Lord’s Body was left in that tomb. After three days, Jesus rose form the death with a new spiritual Body that none can ever destroy. With this spiritual Body He is able to pass thru the walls and to comfort His people. We also understand and discern the power of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit by which the believers in Christ become a part of His Body. Our Lord is the Head of the Body and His life flows to all the members. The parts are many. The gifts are many. But the Body is one! We discern, we understand that wonderful miracle and privilege!

 

We gratitude in our hearts, humbled by these revelations, bowing in worship, we come to the Lord’s Table and remember Him.

We are healed and delivered by the power of the Holy Spirit! Thank You Lord Jesus!

May the anointing released in today service touch you too wherever you are!

“There is power, power wonder-working power

In the Blood of the Lamb…”

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CORRUPTING LYING SPIRITS

 

We had a wonderful prayer meeting. The anointing was high and the unity of the Spirit was established. That is when the devil attacks and strange things may happen.  We praised God with songs. Then lead by the Holy Spirit we called all the children to the altar for prayer. We prayed for them as they continue to sing. We covered them with the Blood of Jesus. We prayed against sicknesses, Ebola and malaria in particular. We prayed that they shall fulfill God’s plan and purpose in their lives. They prayed too, both in English and in the Spirit. It was wonderful. Then the children went back to their seats. Half an hour later something strange happened. One of the girls we prayed for went to the rest room and collapsed there. She was brought to the altar for prayer. She looked very weak and confused. We prayed healing and deliverance in the name of Jesus!  We gave her a sweet drink. She became better. The devil is a liar! You see the importance of living by faith and not by sight. This girl is not sickly. The devil is the author of confusion. But he has failed this evening. Everybody saw this incident as a spiritual attack to be rejected. Even the parents prayed without fear. Thank You, Jesus!

This is the sermon:

 

“And the Lord said, ‘You shall persuade him and also prevail; go out and do so’ Therefore look! The Lord has put a lying spirit in the mouth of these prophets of yours, and the Lord has declared disaster against you.” (2Chr 18:18-22)

 

This story is full of warnings and wisdom. It describes an unholy alliance between two kings, one good (Jehoshaphat) and one very bad (Ahab, the husband of Jezebel). The Lord allows us to see a glimpse of how heaven controls the earth. We see the damage done by the devil and his lying spirits.

Just like with Job, we see that God permits evil spirits to attack men of earth. He even selects the particular demons to afflict particular men. For example, Saul was attacked by an evil spirit. This demon was not random. God send it. “Now the Spirit of the LORD had left Saul, and the LORD sent a tormenting spirit that filled him with depression and fear” (1Sam 16:14). Apostle Paul too had to endure a chronic affliction coming from an evil spirit. This trial was approved by God so that he will learn to appreciate and depend on the grace of God! “To keep me from becoming proud, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger from satan to torment me…” (2Cor 12)

 

This may be a difficult doctrine for many believers. Pray for divine wisdom to believe God’s Word even when it is not pleasant.

The true prophet Michaiah comes to see the kings. He is warned by the messenger to join the false prophets’ choir. But he stands his ground and promises to only speak the Word of God. It is not easy to stand for the truth in the midst of liars. Michaiah says that God in heaven has approved an evil spirit of lies to go to earth and deceive the king’s prophets. They in turn will succeed in deceiving Ahab, giving him a false confidence to go to battle and die there. Thru the influence of evil lying spirits, Ahab shall be lead into ‘disaster’. This is the same word used by Ahab when he was complaining that Michaiah prophesies only ‘evil’ (disaster) to him.  It proved to be so at last!

 

This is a sad story. It is easy for us to us to accept that wicked men like Ahab and the false prophets are punished by deception unto destruction. But why Jehoshaphat…how did a godly good king, a believer in Jehovah becomes deceived by the same lying evil spirits? He had enough opportunities to separate himself from Ahab. When Michaiah spoke the truth about the disaster about to happen, why was he deceived to believe otherwise? Why did he accept to see a true prophet dishonored and arrested for speaking the truth? What happened to him? We find an explanation in the Word of God. “Do not be deceived: Evil company corrupts good habits” (1Cor 15:33).  If you make friends with wicked people, sooner or later, you shall become like them. In Greek the word ‘corrupts’ means to waste or to wither; that is, to spoil (by any process), to ruin, to defile and destroy. The devil deceives men by telling them to ignore their environment; by telling them that it does not matter who is your friend, husband, teacher, mentor, pastor or prophet. Pray and be very careful in your choice of friends. A counsel is very important, either for good or bad.

 

For his sin of alliance with the evil Ahab, Jehoshaphat was punished in many ways.  He almost lost his life.  He also lost his first born son Jehoram to the devil. The young man married Ahab and Jezebel’s daughter and learn to be wicked like his in laws. He became a mass murderer. He killed all his brothers. For helping the wicked, God also destroyed Jehoshaphat’s business.  His trading ships sank and he suffered great loss (2Chr 20:35-37; 21:1-6)

This story is a warning. Anybody can be deceived by lying spirits. It is not just the unbelievers and the wicked. By yoking with them, we are in danger to share in their blindness and punishment. Let God search your heart! If you are a child of God you should allow the Cross to separate the world from you! May God bless His Word in our hearts! May God have mercy on us! May God forgive all our sins! Jesus is Lord!

 

In Christ I declare:

I destroy any covenant, deal, friendship, relationship or business partnership I made with evil spirits or agents of the devil!

I plead the Blood of Jesus upon my life, my family, my ministry, my business and church!

I reject all lying spirits trying to corrupt my mind!

I shall not die but live to declare the works of the Lord!

To the glory of God!

In Jesus name

Amen!

THE ADVOCATE OF SHEBA

 

 

“The Queen of Sheba shall rise against this nation in the judgment and condemn it; for she came from a distant land to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and now one greater than Solomon is here—and you refuse to believe Him” (Mt 12:42)

Sometimes ago a sister in Christ traveled from Lagos to Warri just to attend our church. Compared with Lagos, Warri is a village. This was not a personal visit. It was not a business trip. She came with public transport accompanied by another sister. They attended our Saturday Class prayer meeting and the Sunday service. They went back on Monday morning.
This lady is beautiful and educated. She attends a big church in Lagos. She has a good job. By any standard she is a successful woman. I know her for about 5 years. We communicate and pray thru fb. When she told me that she is coming to Warri I was a little surprised. This is because it is a sacrifice and these days few people are willing to pay the price searching for spiritual blessings. But she came. She was tired after the long journey but soon she jumped in the river of anointing. For the first time in her life she got baptized by the Holy Spirit and she prayed in tongues. That alone was a miracle for she said that she tried many times to do it but ‘it just did not happen’. The Holy Spirit filled her with power, faith, peace, joy and with a fresh desire to serve God like never before. Her faith was so high when she left Warri that I knew in my spirit that God will perfect what He has started. God will fulfill her heart’s desires. She will come back with great testimonies. The seeds planted here shall produce a great harvest, wherever she goes. I told her she looks like the Queen of Sheba …She answered ‘Amen!’

Who is this Queen of Sheba? What we know is only from the Bible. She probably came from Ethiopia. She had her own royal domain. She was a rich and powerful woman. She heard rumors about a man called Solomon, a King in Israel. She heard that God blessed him with a supernatural wisdom and a discerning heart. She decided to go and meet him. This journey was no easy. There were no buses or planes. She could not look in the internet and find the place. There was no Expedia or Google. There was no Bible for her to read, no church in Sheba. The distance was about 1500 miles. They had to use camels or elephants. The weather is very hot and dry. She went with an entourage and a lot of gifts. The gold she carried to give Solomon is valued at $3,000,000. Thieves could have attacked, steal the treasure and kill them all. But she humbled herself, took the risk and went to meet the king.

The Queen of Sheba is a successful seeker and therefore, a finder. That is the best way I can describe her. She was seeking God. She wanted to know the Almighty God. She desired to know her identity and her destiny found in Him alone. She was a pagan queen. All her neighbors were pagan people like her. But she wanted something better than worshipping the moon and the stars. She had so many questions and she did not want to die without answers. She heard that Solomon knows and talks to the Creator of the universe. There were no men like Solomon in her domain. So, she had to go and meet the only man of God ‘available on earth’. She paid the price for an encounter with God. She heard God’s Word in the palace of Solomon. She found Jehovah in His temple in Jerusalem. She brought a lot of gifts as a true royal offering. Her soul was saved and her mind found rest. Then she went home satisfied.

Jesus said that at the Day of Judgment she will stand in the court of heaven as a witness. Her testimony will be placed side by side with that of others who say they are believers. By the price she paid on earth to seek God she has won the right to be a lawyer in heaven and condemn all religious hypocrisy. The Queen of Sheba has been promoted by Jesus. She has now become the Advocate of Sheba.
The question is this: Do you really seek God? Do you seek the treasure called the Kingdom of God? Do you humble yourself and pray until the heavens open to you? Do you seek until you find God? Are you ready to pay the price for an encounter with the Living God? Or do you practice a cheap, second-hand Christianity? David said that ‘he cannot offer God something cheap’. The Queen of Sheba did the same. Are you like David? Do you value the Word of God? Do you really study the Word of God? Do you pray until there is an answer? Do you seek a good living church to attend, even if it is far from your house? Do you pay your tithe? Do you volunteer to serve God in His house? Please answer these questions well. As for me and my household, we shall serve the Lord!

In Christ I declare:
I seek and find God!
I knock unto the door of salvation shall open to me!
I shall pay the price for an encounter with the Living God!
God shall bless me with Himself!
Jehovah God is my reward!
In Jesus name
Amen!

FROM PRAYER TO PRAISE!

 

 

“Is anyone among you afflicted (ill-treated, suffering evil)? He should pray!

Is anyone glad at heart? He should sing praise [to God]!” (Jam 5:13; AMP)

 

Prayer is one of the greatest doctrines of the Bible. Generally speaking, prayer means ‘talking to God’. Biblically speaking, prayer is the expression of a personal relationship between God and His child. The Almighty God only listens to His children. He hears the voices of all men, for He created them. But He listens and answers only the prayers of the true believers in Christ. This is the truth reveled in the scriptures. If the truth makes you angry, then give your life to Christ. That anger is from the devil who keeps you in bondage of foolishness, doubt and unbelief! No man can ever win a battle against truth for God is supreme!

 

For prayer to be answered, there are some conditions, holy expectations that God has decreed in His Word:

*The first condition for an answer from God is that you indeed pray. It is not enough to think about prayer, to meditate about the possibility of prayer or to say a feeble ‘amen’ when others pray for you…You need to open your heart and your mouth and talk to God yourself!

*You need to pray in faith. Doubt and fear are poison to faith, especially when it comes to prayer.

*You need to be patient and persevere until the answer comes. God decides the answer. It may not be what you expect but it is surely the best option for you. Like with food, it may not be the sweetest but it is surely the most nutritious. God knows the best!  Trust Him for the answer!

 

The devil will attack you especially when you chose to really pray. He will send fiery arrows of doubt, discouragement, fear, weakness, sickness, distractions, laziness, pleasures and other evil things, to poison your mind. You need to bring all these thoughts under the obedience of Christ. You need to identify these as evil, as attacks and not just as ‘normal’ things of life. Do not excuse your spiritual weakness on the traffic, weather or the cares of this world. You are created by God to have an intimate personal relationship with Him. Prayer is basic to that relationship. Many believers get tired of praying. That is exactly what the devil intends…That is a great loss to you…I am not talking just about missing your blessings or rewards by interrupting the flow of prayer. I am saying that the devil has succeeded to break your life line, your Holy connection with your Father in heaven. The devil has succeeded to separate what God intends to be together. The Holy Spirit is grieved by your backsliding…

 

I encourage you to stand firm in faith until the answer comes. Each time God answers you, even if it is for a ‘little’ request, it will increase your faith and become a stepping stone for other prayers. For example, you need $100 to pay your electric bill. if you cannot succeed in praying for that, how can you pray to be the owner of a house? It will not be possible. For God is not the author of confusion, of disturbing the mind about the purpose of things. God is the author of peace, order, spiritual growth, maturity and an ever increasing faith.

 

I am speaking to you who suffer right now…single mother, jobless person, rejected by friends, sick and no insurance, sick and no hope, too little money, too little freedom, too little joy… Do not waste your pains and troubles…Do not just cry….Do not complain…Do not blame God…Do not envy others…Go back to God in prayer! Use all these difficulties as training for prayer! I promise that you shall not regret it!  By praying, your weak faith will become stronger. Waiting patiently on God does not weaken your faith. That is the lie of the devil! The truth is that patience increases faith; it purifies it as gold which passes thru fire. I challenge you to go back and pray again for that ‘old’ problem! Pray daily until God answers! Do not stop seeking God’s face until He gives you a specific Word! Do not stop the flow of the prayer! God is good and God is faithful! God is merciful and all powerful! God will answer you and you shall glorify Him! You will not weep forever! Your breakthrough is closer than you think! There is nothing impossible for God to do! And when the answer comes and you are happy, sing praises to Him! I mean that! God means that! I am hearing praises already…

 

In Christ I declare:

I am a child of God!

I am born again by the Holy Spirit!

Jesus Christ is my Savior and Lord!

God is good, faithful, merciful and powerful!

I will seek God and continue to pray until He speaks to me!

Faith 100%! Doubt 0%!

I will praise God forever!

All glory to God!

In Jesus name

Amen!