‘EL ANAH ESH’

‘EL ANAH ESH’ (The God that answers by fire)
“Then you call on the name of your god and I will call on the name of the Lord (Jehovah): The God that answers by fire (El Anah Esh) -He is God!” (1Kg 18:24)
 
‘El’ is the short form of Elohim (the Creator of heaven and earth). ‘Anah’ – means to answer, to testify, to witness, to shout, to sing, to declare. And ‘Esh’ means fire, heat, burning. Fire is a symbol of God. There are two types of fire.
 
• The fire that we should desire: it falls from heaven upon the obedient believer and His sacrifice upon the proper altar. The fire means that God has accepted your sacrifice and labor. It is the stamp and seal of heaven. It is the blessing of God, the anointing upon your ministry. It is the fire of grace and power.
 
Example: The fire fell upon the prepared sacrifice done by Aaron and his sons. It was on the first day of their ministry and it was the confirmation of God’s approval (Lev 9).
Lesson: Do not start ministry without the fire of God! (Religious) flesh prof-its nothing!
Example: Jesus is the Baptizer with the Holy Spirit and fire (Mat 3:11). The fire of God is the only element that can change your heart forever. It brings the fear of God and purifies it for true worship.
Lesson: Desire the deep revelation and the fullness of the Spirit. Do not be satisfied with superficial ‘Christianity.’
Example: The Pentecost (Acts 2). Fire was seen upon their heads. It changed them forever from cowards to bold preachers. Their words combined with the utterance of the Spirit (fire on the tongue) created a force that none could resist. Utterance means you speak fewer words, loaded with power to express deep things of the Spirit and to proclaim the wonders of God. Pray for the radical change on your tongue to be energized by the fire of heaven.
 
• The fire we should run from: it is the fire of the wrath of God and His judgment on sin. Uzzah touched the Ark and died (2 Sam 6:6, 7). Nadab and Abihu, offered unauthorized (man- made) fire in worship to God and they died on the spot (Lev 10). Un-confessed sin is the fuel that can ignite the fire of God producing sin unto death! Be careful!
 
Lesson: Be dead to sin before you pray for anointing and power in ministry! Be like the burning bush: hot with passion for Jesus but never consumed! This is the secret of genuine successful ministry.
 
In Christ I declare:
I no longer live, but it is Christ who lives in me, doing His work by the pow-er of the Holy Spirit! May Pentecost happen to me! May I burn with passion for Jesus!
In Jesus’ name, Amen!
 
(Prayer and fasting day 31- final day… for now…Hallelujah!)
SLL 35

YOU WILL FORGET THE SHAME OF YOUR YOUTH

“For your Maker is your husband. The Lord of Hosts (Jehovah Sabaoth) is His Name! He is called the God of the whole earth!” (Is 54:5)
This revelation of God to Hannah applies to any barren situation in life. There are many people who cry silently on their beds at night because of pain of rejection, broken hearts, disappointments and lost dreams. Life is passing them by and there are no fruits to beautify and enjoy. The devil suggests to them that just weeping is a solution; that God will feel ‘sorry’ for them. Many tears wash a barren face and they remain barren still. But what a mighty change it will be to move in faith to have an encounter with God, to meet the captain of your Salvation and let Him dry your face clean. He is able and He is willing.
Hannah discovered Jesus to be faithful and true. The God that shut her womb became the God that opened it to overflow. Leave the bed of sorrow, go to the altar of God and by faith, give God a chance to prove Himself to you as the One who opens doors long barricaded. What do you lose if you believe? Nothing! You only lose your sorrow and shame! If you are tempted to say: ‘I believed yesterday and nothing happened’, believe again! Command doubt out of your thoughts and believe again! We are called to a ‘living hope’ and ‘inexpressible, glorious joy.’ Never, ever forget that for believers, the end of all suffering is joy!
In Christ I declare:
I was a sinner; I am now a saint, saved by the Blood of Jesus! I will not weep again, for He, my Shepherd, has led me to His living waters and dried all my tears! My past bareness shall become a testimony of fruitfulness and praise! I am healed! All to God’s glory! In Jesus’ name, amen!

TESTIMONY OF GRACE: PASTOR RICHMOND LEIGH @70!

This Sunday we had a wonderful Holy Communion and thanksgiving service. Our senior Pastor Richmond Leigh celebrated his 70th birthday. Pastor Tony Kadiri preached from the Book of 1 Corinthians: ‘Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ’ (1Cor 11:1; NKJ). He said that Apostle Paul did not say like many of our church leaders: ‘Do as I say but do not do what I do’. Under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, Paul said: ‘Listen to me! Look at me! Do what I say and also do what I do’. These are the words of a true Christian leader. These days there are very few leaders worthy of emulation. We need to see Christ in our pastors. We need to follow their examples. These days there are so few genuine good examples to follow. We are not to follow theology, common sense or science. We are to follow Christ and Him crucified! Because Paul’s life is patterned after Christ he is confident to invite us to follow him, to imitate him. The problem in the churches today is that many leaders have lost their vision. They shifted their focus from Christ to men or money. These so called ‘men of God’ are not responsible. There is a proliferation of hirelings and false prophets in the vineyard of the Lord. These hirelings lead the flock of Christ astray. They lead the sheep into the pastures meant for the goats. The sheep eat grass that is meant for goats and they start behaving like the goats. These false brethren preach wrong doctrines and offer another ‘Christ’. Multitudes are deceived. There are so many ‘celebrities’ in the churches. These people are no longer accountable to Christ, the Head of the Church. They have pushed Christ from the center to the periphery.

But Paul was a man of the Spirit. He trusted Christ as the head of the Church who said to Peter long ago: ”And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it” (Mt 16:18). Apostle Paul was not among the first 12 disciples who saw Jesus face to face. He became born again thru the direct revelation of the resurrected Christ (Gal 1:11-18). Paul was an expert of the law. After his conversion he became the Apostle of grace. He was not converted or trained by man, but by Christ Himself thru the Holy Spirit. He wrote three quarters of the New Testament.

Pastor Tony Kadiri announced to the congregation that the senior Pastor Richmond Leigh (fondly called ‘Tali’) is 70 years today. He said that Pastor Richmond Leigh is of the order of Paul. Tali also got converted thru a crisis experience. Tali is a true man of God, a true shepherd. Tali is a truly humble man. He has died to the flesh and to the world. His only desire is to know and serve Christ crucified. Jesus was humility personified. As Tali imitate Christ in this humility, we the children can safely imitate Tali. Often Tali says: ‘I don’t want to cross that line’. He is careful not to take the glory that belongs to God alone. In the past, Tali was a successful medical doctor. As a politician he rose to the national level. But after he got converted he left all the glamour, wealth and fame to follow Christ. He has put his hands on the plough and did not look back. Such a man we can safely follow. Tali is a worshiper of God. Like his ‘mentor’ King David, Tali often says: “I will not offer anything unto the Lord that cost me nothing” (2 Sam 24:24). Tali started building this sanctuary at the age of 64. Many men at that age are ready to retire. But Tali dressed with jeans and came to the site daily to supervise the building of the house of God. We did not ask for any loan and there was no building committee. The Holy Spirit directed the work until Father’s House Bible Church’ building was finished.

Tali is man of faith. When we were building the church he often said: “I’ve counted the cost” (Lk 14:26-33). Pastor Kadiri said: ‘I thought that he had some millions in the bank…’ But what Tali meant was that Christ Himself is ‘the cost’. Christ is sufficient! That is faith! Tali’s spiritual children have also connected with his vision! Thru this faith in Jehovah Jireh they have built their own houses. Tali is a worshipper! He loves to praise and worship God. Like Daniel, he has ‘a spirit of excellence’ (Dan 5:12). Tali is a loving husband to Malia (Pastor (Mrs) Lia Leigh). He applies the Biblical principles of marriage (Eph 5:22-31). When Tali says that he is ready to lay down his life for his wife Malia, as Christ did for the church, he is not joking. As couples we imitate them. We testify that many people’s marriages have improved as we imitate them. Tali is a loving father to his children and grandchildren, both natural and spiritual. He is wise, gentle and strong with us. He is an encourager. But he is not afraid to chastise when we need correction. Tali gives all glory to God. He often says: ‘I have no power of my own… It is Christ in me that does the work..’ Tali is a anointing teacher and a preacher of the Word of God. In this area, he is of the order of Paul. For example, under his leadership we study the Book of Romans for years. Our lives have changed. We testify that revival is in our midst. Sometimes, younger people misunderstand Tali’s humility and accessibility. They become disrespectful to him. But he always reacts as led by the Holy Spirit. Like a father, he patiently endures many things. No matter the provocation, he perseveres in following Christ. For him, there is no going back, no going astray. It is Christ to the end! Many successful men live double lives. But Tali has only one life to live! This scripture written by Paul represents him the best: ‘For to me, to live is Christ, and to die is gain’ (Phil 1:21). These things we have observed. These things we have seen. We testify that Tali is a true father in Christ and a godly mentor to us all. On this special day, we celebrate Christ in him. Happy birthday Tali! To God be all the glory!

(In the picture, Pastor and Pastor (Mrs) Richmond Leigh, kneeling before the Lord as the pastors and the congregation pray for them)

happy birthday tali

pastor and pastor (mrs) richmond leigh

VICTORY OVER DISCOURAGEMENT

‘And they journeyed from mount Hor by the way of the Red sea, to go round the land of Edom; and the soul of the people became impatient because of the journey (their soul was much discouraged because of the way)’ (Nu 21:4)
 
This afternoon I had to encourage a very sad young woman. She said: ‘Malia, I am tired of life…So many negative reports…’ She has some health challenges but she is not dying. Doctors could treat her body infirmities but could not encourage her soul. That is the work of the Holy Spirit alone in response to prayer. I told her that she is not talking like a woman of God. I also told her to ask her husband for forgiveness for nursing grudging discouragement in her heart. She agreed. She repented. We prayed and rejected the demons of depression, doubt, fear and discouragement. We asked the Holy Spirit to come into her heart. He gloriously came, in His own special way. This sister became delivered and refreshed. Praise the Lord! I love the Holy Spirit!
Read the verse above please… After many years of walking thru the wilderness, the people of God came close to the Promised Land. The country of Edom was the last hindrance for them to conquer. They were finally ready to possess their possessions. Moses sent a message to the king of Edom. He asked for a passage thru their territory. Moses promised that they will only walk on the ‘King’s highway’. They will not damage Edom’s fields and vineyards; they will eat their own food and pay for the water they shall drink along the way. The people of Edom were the descendants of Esau, their far relatives. The request seems reasonable. But to their surprise, Edom refused them the passage. Across the fields of Edom, they could see the Promised Land but they could not enter in. The heavenly cloud (re-)directed them to withdraw and to change direction. They have ‘to go round’ Edom to enter the Land of Promise thru the land of Moab and thru the River Jordan. This means a longer journey… They have to postpone their joy of entering their inheritance… This was hard for the people of God. Their souls became ‘much discouraged because of the way’.
 
In Hebrew, the word ‘discouraged’ means to cut down to size, to diminish hope or to reduce your dreams. Essentially, discouragement is a loss of confidence in God. This feeling cripples faith and leads to the sin of doubt. This is a warning to all believers and especially to the pastors who try to encourage discouraged people daily. We see discouragement as just a harmless weakness. We often try to encourage people with simple words: ‘Don’t worry… it will be better…’ But most of us don’t realize just how dangerous discouragement is. Discouragement is a spiritual virus!!! It leads to impatience, ingratitude, doubt, unbelief, selfishness (pity party), sins of the tongue (careless negative hurtful speech), distraction, blindness to temptation, anger, giving up (you lose spiritual strength, you become weak and lazy. A discouraged person retreats from the race. You say: ‘why should I bother to be a champion, a leader or a mentor? No need to fight’… You are on your way back to the world. You become a discourager tempting others in the church to backslide! You choose to live your life in spiritual passivity, regrets, fault finding, resignation, bitterness or self-pity. God forbid! I hate that way!
 
How do I know that discouragement is a sin? Because God punished them with death! ‘The wages of sin is death’ (Rom 6:23). Discouragement made them to dishonor God. They complained about the longer way to enter the Promised Land. They spoke against God and their leader, Moses. God takes it personally when you insult His servant. This is rebellion. Complaining is rebellion!!! They started to doubt God’s salvation and God’s purpose. ‘Why did you bring us out of Egypt?’ They complained against Mana, which represents the Word of God. Discouraged people hate the Bible! They cannot enjoy the Christian life. They want to backslide. They blame everything and everybody. They drag many on the road back to the world. But they soon discover the discipline of God! The serpents bit them and many of them died!
 
Listen to these wise words: “Discouragement makes the hard path—much harder; and the heavy load—much heavier. Discouragement is a slow but methodical killer that feeds upon the unresolved disappointments of your life. It is a predator of the human spirit, dragging its prey, over muffled pleas, to the dark cellar of broken dreams” (J R Miller)
 
What is the cure for discouragement? God told Moses to make a serpent of brass and to lift it on a pole. Anybody who was biting by a fiery serpent and who looked at the brass serpent, that one shall live! Jesus said that the brass serpent represents Himself, the Savior who died for our sins (Jn 3:14, 15). What about us today? We too must look unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith (Heb 12:1-3).
 
This is my testimony: that by the grace of God I have fought and defeated the demon of discouragement!!! That is why I enjoy my work as a pastor. I made up my mind that I will obey God’s Word and the leading of the Spirit. If the road is long or short, if the road is crooked or straight, if it passed thru valleys of across the mountains, in the midst or good people or bad, I must follow Jesus. I am not saved just to enter my ‘Promised Land’. I am saved not only to enjoy the promised blessings of God. I thank God for the blessings, gifts and rewards promised to me in Christ. But I know that I am saved primarily to give glory to God by becoming more and more like His Son Jesus Christ. You may be surprised that I say this: my destination is not heaven. My destination and destiny is my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. And because Jesus lives in heaven, I too will go there. My holy priority is to maintain and mature my relationship with Christ. My desire is to walk with Him daily. My passion is to be filled and led by the Holy Spirit. For me life is simple because God made it simple: Jesus Leads and I follow. The length or the narrowness of the road do not matter. I refuse to be discouraged by anything and anybody, man, angel or demon. I live freely and happily to serve my Lord! This is the truth! May this be your portion too! In Jesus’ name, amen! Glory to God!

GREAT LIGHT WILL SHINE ON YOU!

‘The people who walk in darkness Will see a great light; Those who live in a dark land, The light will shine on them’ (Is 9:2)
Child of God, God has granted you a mighty ‘exodus’ type of breakthrough. In the mighty name of Jesus, get up and move on! No matter how dark, humid, hot and fearful the tunnel is, it will finally end into the marvelous light. You do not settle in the tunnel! It is just a transition! Put one leg in front of the other! Walk by faith even in your darkest hour! Chose to make progress even when you weep! Pray! Worship God! Pain is not forever. Joy is!
tunnel

WALKING BY FAITH

“For we walk by faith, not by sight” (2Cor 5:7)
No natural man knows how to walk by faith in God. The miracle of salvation has to happen before you can experience spiritual progress. You need to be born again and to be filled with the Holy Spirit. After that, you need to exercise your spirit’s ‘legs’ and learn to walk with your eyes ‘closed’. It is not easy. But it is wonderful! Today I challenge you to daily walk by faith!
Faith in God is very powerful. Faith is the ‘evidence of things not seen’ (Heb 11:1). Like a seed planted in the ground, faith works in the spiritual (invisible) realm. With time, it produces miracles and visible fruits. Once it becomes visible it is no longer faith. It is called sight. Faith is deeper than sight. You use faith to produce sight. You do not use sight to produce faith. In a way, faith and sight are ‘enemies’. Sight represents the natural senses. Faith is a spiritual ‘sense’. Each natural sense has its own function. For example, perfume pleases the sense of smell but it is useless to the ears. In the same way, faith pleases the spirit within you. Faith desires the supernatural and produces miracles.
 
Do not be satisfied with a little faith. Pray for a mature faith. Listen to the voice of the Holy Spirit and pray, even before you see the miracle with your eyes. Walk by faith! Make progress in life by trusting God to help you! But if you insist on seeing things, your sight will increase in power and your faith will become weaker. For example, if you pray to get pregnant, and each day you do ‘pregnancy test’, your faith will become weaker. If you are sick and every day you spend money for ‘blood tests’, whatever is the result of the tests, good or bad, your faith will not be able to mature. You need to trust the promises of God more than what men say or say not.
 
Sight is superficial and lustful. It is also called ‘the lust of the eyes’. Like cocaine, lust is an addictive, unfulfilled and unsatisfying desire. The more you see the less you are satisfied with your sight. After some time, you get bored with what your eyes see. “The eye is not satisfied with seeing, nor the ear filled with hearing” (Ecc 1:8). It is the same thing with the other natural senses. For example: that ice cream you loved to eat as a child will not be as sweet when you taste it much later in life. Men pay a lot of money to have ‘designer’ eye glasses. They want to see better, even the little letters on the pages. But it is much more beneficial to desire an increase of faith, to see spiritually, to see the invisible things hidden below the surface of the natural, but connected with them.
 
Faith comes by reading and hearing the word of God. My advice is that you read other books less and read the Bible more. Listen less to the daily news on TV. Go to a living church and listen to the preaching of the Word of God. Invest in your spiritual senses! Develop them! ‘He who has ears to hear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches’! By faith, let the weak say: ‘I am strong!’ and strength shall be supplied! By faith, let the sick say: ‘I am well!’ and God will heal you! By faith, let the barren say: ‘I am pregnant!’ and you shall have children! By faith, let the poor say: ‘I am rich!’ and money from heaven shall come to you! Confess your miracle and God will work with and confirm your words of faith. Remember that faith pleases God and nothing is impossible for Him! Your testimony is sure!
 
May your spirit’s eyes be opened to see King Jesus in His beauty and glory! May your ears hear a word directing your path ahead! May your faith in God be fruitful! In Jesus’ name, amen! Glory!

DEFEATING THE FEAR OF COMMITMENT

“There is no fear in love [dread does not exist]. But perfect (complete, full-grown) love drives out fear, because fear involves [the expectation of divine] punishment, so the one who is afraid [of God’s judgment] is not perfected in love [has not grown into a sufficient understanding of God’s love]” (1Jn 4:8, Amp)
 
Commitment means a willingness to give your time, resources and energy to someone you love, to something that you believe in. Commitment means to give and keep a promise or a firm decision to do something for another. It is an agreement or a pledge to do something in the future that will engage your resources, time and emotions. Commitment is an issue of love, surrender, long suffering, patience and faithfulness. It is the attitude of someone who works very hard to help and support another. In marriage, it is a vow, a covenant to love one another ‘until death do us part’. The opposite of commitment is emotional coldness, betrayal, denial, irresponsibility, breaking the vow and breaking the heart of love!
 
Every relationship needs commitment to survive, to grow. Marriage in particular needs commitment to make it work. The fear of commitment is more a male issue. Women generally desire commitment in marriage more than the men. Most men desire marriage but they also fear faithfulness. They fear staying faithful to only one woman. Many prefer long time dating but not marriage. The cause may be fear of change, fear of the unknown, fear of losing control, fear of betrayal, fear or intimate vulnerable love, fear of losing the freedom of choices. A man may love the woman he dates. But when he sees that the love becomes deeper, he decides to withdraw his emotions because of fear of commitment. The irony is that fear of commitment may mask a desperate desire for the intimacy and security that manifests only in a healthy long-term committed relationship. Sometimes we most fear what we most need. A coward says: ‘I want to love but just in case love fails, I am safe by keeping distance from the object of my love’. How sad…
 
The consequences of a fear of commitment: There are dangers involved with not committing, which include the possibility of a lonely life and the throwing away of perfectly good relationships, as the baby gets thrown out with the proverbial bathwater.
 
Child of God, you should search your heart! ‘God has not given you the spirit of fear, but power, love and sound mind’ (2Tim 1:7). If you desire to draw closer to God, to deepen your level of intimacy with God, then fear must be seen as an enemy! Perfect love confronts and fights, rejects and conquers all fears! There is a price to pay for a deeper walk with God. The Holy Spirit will tell you to enter the fire that will not burn you. He will tell you to enter the water that will not drown you. You must obey! Love obeys the Lover! Even unto death! Love is risky but love is true! And love never fails! Why chose to live like a coward who is afraid of saying yes to the Lord Jesus? This principle applies to marriages too. If you desire to marry or you want to deepen your relationship with your spouse, reject fear! And welcome love! From that time on, your life will never be the same again! Praise the Lord!