MARRIAGE (3)

This is another sermon on Marriage preached by Pastor Richmond Leigh, my husband:
Pastor Richmond Leigh continued preaching about marriage as it is seen in the Bible. His text was taken from the Book of Ephesians. “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord” (Eph 5:22; KJ). Pastor Richmond Leigh said that when talking about the great subject of salvation, there are matters and doctrines that are absolutely necessary to know and obey. Other matters are important but not absolutely necessary. These are called ‘matters of indifference’. In the same way, when talking about Biblical marriage, there are some matters that are absolutely necessary. Some others are important but not absolutely necessary. For example, the type of fashion the wife chooses, the way she sets the table, the type of food she should cook to make the husband happy… these are ‘matters of indifference’. We shall not address these things. In these series of sermons we shall only talk about spiritual matters, Biblical revelations that are absolutely necessary to make marriages successful. Remember that the Bible is not a traditional book. It is not even a Jewish traditional book. The Bible is the infallible Word of God. In marriage as in other areas of our lives the basic doctrine of ‘first things first’ still applies.

In the world, the view of love, of marriage is purely physical. The reason why people marry is because of sexual lust, physical appearance or money. It is based on fleshly instincts and reflexes. The marriage certificate legalizes such a physical attraction. But among believers in Christ, marriage is regarded at a higher level. God ordained marriage. Therefore, in marriage as in other things, the believers pray and seek the will of God concerning their lives’ partners. That is why, Apostle Paul commands all believers to ‘be filled with the Holy Spirit’ before getting married (Eph 5:18).

The general doctrine is that we all submit one unto another because of the fear of God (Eph 5:21). Paul now applies this doctrine in the area of marriage. He addresses the wives first saying: “Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord!” In the world there is a saying: ‘Ladies first!’ But in the Bible, it is the opposite. It is ‘Men first!’ The wives must submit to their own husbands. It is not natural that husbands should submit to their own wives. The grand motive of this submission is ‘as unto the Lord’. What does it mean? The wife’s submission is not exactly the way she submits to her Lord Jesus Christ! That is going too far. We are all bond slaves to our Master Jesus Christ. It is not expected that some slaves should submit to other slaves without the knowledge of their master.

Then what does this submission mean? It means that the wife should submit to her husband as part of her duty towards her Lord Jesus Christ. ‘Wife, when you submit to your own husband, you do it for Christ’ sake! Your Lord has asked you to do it! Your submission to your husband is not for the sake of your husband but for the Lord’s pleasure!’ This submission is a command. The Apostle Paul does not ask the wives’ opinion. The wife may be more educated or wealthier than her husband. She may be older in age or more intelligent. But for as long she is a wife, she has to submit to her own husband. Then the marriage will be successful. This is a spiritual law that you must obey! It is sad to see how many foolish, rebellious and proud wives struggle with their husbands to be leaders in the marriage. It is proven that if there is any area where a wife can ‘shine’ as a woman of God is in this area of submission. In the world this submission is seen as foolishness. There are many women’ clubs and organizations promoting feminism, equality between sexes and women’ rights. These are all unbiblical and unspiritual. We are not discussing here the social status of women in the world in general. Yes, men and women are equal because they are all created by God. But in the area of marriage, God made the husband to be the head. You can’t argue with God’s law! The Biblical Marriage is a mystery (Eph 5:23). It is a symbol of the union between the Lord and the Church, who is called the Bride of Christ!

There are other Biblical reasons why the wife must submit to her own husband. Man was created first and the woman was created second (Genesis 2). God created Adam from the dust of the ground. Eve was created by God from one of Adam’s ribs. This is the order of creation even before the fall. After God created Adam He said that ‘“It is not good that man should be alone; I will make him a helper comparable to him.” (Gen 2:18); NKJ). The wife was created to me ‘a helpmeet’ (King James translation) to her husband. To be ‘a helpmeet’ means to compliment the husband. A good Christian wife studies her own husband and helps him, support him in his weaknesses. Thru prayers and the application of the Word of God she builds him up. She encourages him. She does not take advantage of his weaknesses to exploit, manipulate or to destroy him. Adam named all the animals. They were created before Eve. But no animal could be a ‘helper comparable to him’. That is why God created Eve from his bone, from the DNA of Adam.

In the Bible the wife is also called ‘the weaker vessel’. ‘Husbands, likewise, dwell with them with understanding, giving honor to the wife, as to the weaker vessel, and as being heirs together of the grace of life, that your prayers may not be hindered’ (1Pet 3:7). The husband is commanded to ‘give honor’ to his wife. That does not mean to submit to her. What it means is to recognize that she is a child of God, an heir together of the grace of life. The husband needs to understand his wife, to nourish and help her as she is the weaker vessel. Ignoring this command, the prayers of the husband will be hindered. The reason why the wife is called the weaker vessel is because naturally, the husband is stronger than the wife.

Another reason why the wife must submit to her husband is because the women have a greater tendency than the men to be deceived. In the Garden of Eden, Eve was deceived by the devil that came to her as a serpent (Genesis 3). This original sin happened because Eve was deceived. When the devil proposed that she should eat from the forbidden fruit, she should have asked her husband what to do. But she usurped authority over Adam. She acted alone, without the covering of her husband. She failed to realize her position and took over the leadership of the marriage. She dealt with the situation as a single woman, without reference to her husband. The original sin was that the wife failed to realize her position in her marital home. She usurped authority, power and position over the husband thereby bringing calamity that has affected all women since then. God judged her action and said that from now on, the women will have pains when they deliver their children. God also said that the husband will ‘rule over the wife’. ‘To the woman God said: “I will greatly multiply your sorrow and your conception; In pain you shall bring forth children; Your desire shall be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.” (Gen 3:16). As you can see, the wife’s subordination was increased after the fall.

Genesis 3:16 is the basis of Apostle Paul’s argument of women taking authority in the church, thru preaching and teaching the men. This is what Apostle Paul says: ‘And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression. Nevertheless she will be saved in childbearing if they continue in faith, love, and holiness, with self-control’ (1Tim 2:12-15). As you can see, Adam was not deceived. When he ate the fruit he did it as an act of rebellion, which is also a sin. Eve’s deception has affected all women since then. A woman is not to teach men even in the church, except she is under the spiritual covering of her husband or her pastor who takes responsibility for her ministry.

Finally, this is a reminder that the subject we discuss is that of wives’ submission to their husbands in the area of marriage. God is not the author of confusion. God has called us to peace. In all things we must learn to give glory to God. ‘Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God’ (1Cor 10:31). Worship the Lord!

RSL 38

PRAYER REQUEST: HEALING FROM CANCER

A good Christian woman I know is asking for prayer. Let’s call her ‘Naomi’. She is in her fifties. She is a single mother to her two children. She is working very hard to give her children a better life than she had. She has been recently diagnosed with cancer. She prays for supernatural healing. She believes that there is nothing impossible for God to do. Dear intercessors, please pray for her. She will read all your words of encouragement and prayers. Thank you! God bless you all!
 
“Blessed is she who has believed that the Lord would fulfill His promises to her!” (Lk 1:45)

BIBLICAL MARRIAGE

SERMON PREACHED BY PASTOR RICHMOND LEIGH, MY HUSBAND!

Pastor Richmond Leigh continued preaching about marriage as it is seen in the Bible. His text was taken from the Book of Ephesians. “Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God. Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord” (Eph 5:21, 22; KJ). Pastor Richmond Leigh said that when talking about the great subject of salvation, there are matters and doctrines that are absolutely necessary to know and obey. Other matters are important but not absolutely necessary. These are called ‘matters of indifference’. In the same way, when talking about Biblical marriage, there are some matters that are absolutely necessary. Some others are important but not absolutely necessary. For example, the type of fashion the wife chooses, the way she sets the table, the type of food she should cook to make the husband happy… these are ‘matters of indifference’. We shall not address these things. In these series of sermons we shall only talk about spiritual matters, Biblical revelations that are absolutely necessary to make marriages successful. Remember that the Bible is not a traditional book. It is not even a Jewish traditional book. The Bible is the infallible Word of God. ‘Dear wives, I’m sorry to say this, you can cook the best food for your husband. Your cooking alone will not hold your marriage. Your husband will eat the food and still abuse you. You can dress with the most expensive night dress; that alone cannot improve your marriage…You need to obey the injunction of God as you are powered by the Holy Spirit…’

The great Apostle Paul commands wives to submit to their own husbands ‘as unto the Lord’. But before that verse, he commands all Christians to learn how to ‘submit one to another in the fear of God’. This submission is not done because of social customs or cultural traditions. This submission is not done just to impress the pastors. This submission is spiritual, holy and real. It’s genuine. It’s from the heart! It’s the fruit of the Holy Spirit in the life of the believer. The truth is that no unbeliever is truly humble. Because the devil cannot submit, the natural man cannot submit to another. He may pretend to do it but his heart is proud and not submissive. When a religious unbeliever submits to another, that is manipulation! It is only the children of God that are able to obey this command to submit to one another. It is one of their identifying marks! That is why we are commanded ‘to be filled with the Holy Spirit!’ in Eph. 5:18

Our Lord said that the Great men, the Princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over others. The so called ‘big men’ in the world are always proud and high handed. They insist that others respect them, worship them. But Jesus said that in the Kingdom of God it is the opposite! Humility is expected and it is greatly rewarded. The leaders in the Kingdom of God should have the attitude of a servant ‘even as the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many’ (Mat 20:20-28). If a born again Christian is proud on earth, his reward in heaven will be very small. But if a Christian is humble on earth, submits to God and to others, just like His Master, his reward in heaven will be very great.
We submit to one another for a particular reason: ‘the fear of God’. Simply said, because Jesus submitted to God His Father and also to men, His reward was exceedingly great in heaven. We should have the same attitude, the same mind set (Phil 2:5-11). Before the Cross, Jesus washed the disciples’ feet. He was their Master but He behaved as their servant. He said that He gave them an example of how to treat one another (Jn 13:12-16). We submit to God and to one another because we want to show gratitude to God. Jesus said: “If you love Me, you will obey My commandments” (Jn 14:15). In other words, if you say you love God and man, you must submit to one another.

Another reason we submit to God and to one another is because of fear of losing reward. A born again Christian, even if he becomes proud and backslides, he will never lose his salvation because ‘Salvation is of the Lord’ (Ps 3:8). But a backslider loses opportunities for ministry on earth and rewards in heaven. This is a spiritual law: for every act of sacrificial love, for every act of sanctification trying to become like Jesus, you will be rewarded in heaven. We are commanded to ‘work out’ our salvation with fear and trembling. We are not commanded to ‘work for’ our salvation, but to work it out. Let the invisible work of the Holy Spirit be manifested thru humble deeds done to the glory of God (Phil 2:13). Every good work done on earth shall be tried with the fire of God. The foundation is the same: Christ and Him crucified. But ‘the building materials’ are different. Some believers pay the price and build with gold and silver. Their humble faithful work is done for the glory for God and it will stand the test of fire. They shall be highly rewarded by God. But others use worldly means to build up their ministries. Their labor is to promote self. They build with ‘wood, hay and straw’. The fire will consume all their works and there shall be no reward in heaven. It is a frightening thing to have your works burnt by the Holy God who is a consuming fire!

These basic Biblical principles apply to all Christian behavior in general and to the marriage relationships in particular. Agape Love is the grandest, the greatest and most noble motive in the whole world to be good and to do good to others! For example, a man who is shy, weak willed like a sheep, becomes like a lion when it comes to doing exploits for the woman he loves. Love finds it easy to submit to the Beloved. We submit to one another to honor Jesus and to give glory to God. In His High Priestly prayer Jesus said: Father God, “all Mine are Yours, and Yours are Mine, and I am glorified in them” (Jn 17:10). We should never forget! For the sake of love, the Second Person of the Trinity came to earth and became a man. Our Lord Jesus Christ limited Himself, caged Himself and became a servant to men. He was obedient to God even unto death. For the sake of our souls, He died that we might live. This is the power of submission and humility! This is the power of Love! This love can never fail to achieve its purpose! (1Cor 13:8). Glory to God! In Ephesians 5:21, the injunction is not only for wives to submit, but all, including husbands. Husbands are also called to submit in a sense to their own wives.

Lastly, this is a practical advice. You child of God, especially daughters of Sarah, if you humble yourself and learn how to submit to others when you are single, it will easy to submit to your own husband once you get married. Submission is not a loss! Submission is highly rewarded by God with a great testimony money cannot buy! Dear brethren, let’s do everything to the glory of God! “Submit one to another in the fear of the Lord” Worship the Lord!

RSL 37

SIGNS OF BEWITCHING

“O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you that you should not obey the truth, before whose eyes Jesus Christ was clearly portrayed among you as crucified? This only I want to learn from you: Did you receive the Spirit by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith? Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh? Have you suffered so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain? Therefore He who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you, does He do it by the works of the law, or by the hearing of faith?” (Gal 3:1-5)
 
Can a believer in Christ become bewitched? Surprisingly, the answer is yes! The Galatians were believers. Apostle Paul rebukes them for their foolishness and backsliding. To bewitch it means to cast a spell upon another, to use occult power to influence the thinking of another, to use witchcraft manipulation to control, captivate the emotions and overcome another person. What are the sighs? When under an occult spell, the person is not able to concentrate on the Word of God and prayer. He started with the Spirit and now he walks led by his flesh (which is the totality of man’s attributes unaided by the Holy Spirit). Jesus is not the center of his being anymore. He has fallen in love with something else. There is a secret idol in his heart. That idol provokes God to jealousy. Under the spell, he feels an irresistible attraction towards a person, a doctrine, an idea or an object. He is ready to lose all things, including his soul for the benefit of his idol. This is an internal backsliding. Christ is gone. All that is left is hopeless and tragic empty religion. Life becomes miserable; no hope and no vision!
 
The Galatians were true believers. They had a good foundation. They started the Christian race well, with salvation by grace, thru faith in Jesus Christ. But along the way they became careless with their soul; they lost their focus and went astray. They were backsliding internally and were ignorant of it. They continued to come to church and learned the wicked skill of hypocrisy. Paul says that they were ‘bewitched’. The word means to betray your best friend; to fall in love with a stranger; to become infatuated with a mysterious, far away imaginary ‘bright and beautiful star’. This is the work of the evil seducing spirit of religion. It offers a counterfeit happiness that lacks commitment and royal poise.
 
Be warned! On the surface, without spiritual discernment, lies are always more attractive than the truth. You have to seek and learn to appreciate the truth, before you can love it. But lies are cords able to tie your soul into bondage and ever increasing sorrow. This deception makes a believer blind to the lovely face of Jesus, deaf to the Truth that He brought to earth, foolishly rebellious against the grace of God. Once you are under a spell, the Cross of Christ makes no sense anymore and the Blood of Jesus seems to be ‘just blood’… Blind and naked, you start to backslide, slowly losing your anointing and covering. Miracles cease and life becomes a boring depressing routine. There is a prodigal waste of resources, unnecessary pain and useless tears. Many years come and go, you may still go to church, at least on Sunday, but you are unable to have peace, to be wise and to be happy. So sad…
 
If you suspect that you are under a spell of witchcraft, what are the signs that you should look for?
*FOOLISHNESS, UN-NECESSARY MISTAKES, BORING, DISAPPOINTING, UN-INSPIRING, UN-EVENTFUL LIFE
*NO MANIFESTATION OF ANSWERS TO PRAYERS- LITTLE FAITH, ORDINARY LIFE, NO MIRACLES
*REBELLION, STUBBORNNESS, PRIDE, UN-TEACHABLE, UNABLE TO ACKNOWLEDGE AND OBEY THE TRUTH
*WORLDLY, SELFISH AMBITION, EASILY PROVOKED, STRIFE, QUARRELS, ADDICTED TO GOSSIP
*LOSS OF UNDERSTANDING OF THE POWER OF THE CROSS, OF THE TRUE GOSPEL, OF THE BLOOD
*SPIRITUALLY DEAF, ITCHY EARS- FORGETS THE WORD OF GOD, WEAK OR SLEEPY DURING THE PREACHING OF THE SERMON
*SICKNESS THAT NO MEDICAL TEST CAN DETECT AND NO DRUGS CAN CURE- CHRONIC DEPRESSION, NEGATIVITY, ANXIETY
*MYSTERIOUS PANIC ATTACKS- COWARDICE
*TRUSTING IN SELF TO MAKE PROGRESS IN LIFE- IDENTITY COMES FROM SECULAR SUCCESS, ADDICTED TO WORK, BECOMING BUSYBODY
*UNABLE TO ACCEPT THE ASSURANCE OF SALVATION; CHRONIC DOUBTS- UN-SUCCESSFUL DELIVERANCE
*UNABLE TO BE FILLED WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT
 
It takes a fresh work of the Holy Spirit to convict a backslider of sin. It is a miracle to become born again. It is an extraordinary privilege, a double miracle indeed to be arrested again by the Spirit of the only Living and Jealous God. Every backslider comes back with stories of pain, failure and loss. Brokenhearted he finally comes to the foot of the Cross and from now on, he will forever call that spot ‘HOME’. Who can tell of the wonder of true salvation? Who can describe the chemistry of a soul set free? Who can speak of open eyes beholding the scepter of mercy? Who can write the story of men made perfect thru the death of their King? Even if I had a thousand tongues to sing the praises of my King, even that shall not be enough to describe the power, the beauty and glory of His Majesty on High! ”O come let us adore Him…Christ the Lord!’
 
In Christ I declare:
I am born again! I am eternally saved by grace, thru faith in the Blood of Jesus! I trust and obey the Gospel of grace, which is God’s power unto salvation! I destroy any occult spells, evil manipulation or witchcraft influence over my soul! Jesus died to save my soul; to set me free from the guilt and punishment of sin! I am free indeed! To the glory of God!
In Jesus’ name, Amen!

AARON’S TESTIMONY: HEALED!!! (13th of June, 2019)

The prayer request bellow was sent to you about 3 months ago. This afternoon, Aaron and his dad came to see Pastor and I. He has finished the chemotherapy sessions and he has been declared cancer free. Aaron was feeling shy because, as a result of the chemotherapy, his hair fell off. He came dressed with a jacket and a hood, to cover his ‘bololo’ head. He said that the children laugh at him because he has no hair. He is fair but because of the chemotherapy he became very dark in color. He was self conscious because of that. He was telling me that the cancer made him “black”. I encouraged him that soon he will be his normal color with hair on his head. He smiled… Otherwise, he was happy and strong. I encouraged him to remove it so that the two of us take a picture together in my office. He did! You see both of us smiling in the picture bellow.
 
His father was telling me that between March and June, during this period of trial, God proved Himself strong on behalf of his little son. He was at a point of death three times but he recovered and became stronger than before. When they needed money, God used many people to supply. Each time Aaron needed blood transfusions, even strangers donated for him. He said that once, during the chemotherapy session, his blood count suddenly dropped to dangerously low. It was 12 midnight. The doctor said that he should look for donors. He phoned some brethren from Warri that this is an emergency. Four Christian brethren drove from Warri to Benin and were in the hospital before 3 am to donate blood. The doctors were surprised and told him that God is with him. Aaron is in primary three. The principal of the school the son attends in Warri came to visit him in the hospital and gave him permission to write the exams later. During the last chemotherapy session, his wife phoned that she is in labor. He left Aaron alone in UBTH in the care of the other patients and nurses and ran to Warri to be with his wife as she delivered their third son. The testimonies go on and on…
 
He gives all the glory to God for the healing, provision and strength He provided during this period of trial. He also said I should thank all the people who prayed for his son. God bless you all! To God be all the glory!
 
PRAYER REQUEST FOR AARON (April 2nd, 2019)
This is the sad story of a boy called ‘Aaron’ (not his real name). He is 9 years of age. Right now he is lying down sick at UBTH. He has been diagnosed with cancer in one kidney. The surgeons have removed his kidney. He is now undergoing chemotherapy. He is reacting to the drugs. The doctors are battling with the disease. For weeks, his father sleeps on the floor by his son. The parents are faithful humble Believers. We know them personally. They are tired hoping for light in the darkness. They have spent all their money. But they still have faith in God that their son will rise from that sick bed and go home and be healthy again! The father phones us often!
 
Dear intercessors, please pray that God will intervene and miraculously heal this boy. For nothing is impossible for God! There is power when we agree in prayer! Let’s pray! The greater the challenge we meet, the greater the faith will be supplied! We vow to give God alone all the glory for the healing of Aaron! In Jesus’ name! Amen!
 
‘Do not be afraid! Only believe!’ (Mark 5:36)
Aaron (Daniel) and I

PASTORAL NOTES

For some time I have been praying to be able to enter the feelings of my Lord Jesus Christ. Tonight I had prepared a wonderful message. But coming to the service I discovered that the brethren were not able to ‘bear’ the Word. If it was an ‘ordinary’ religious church service, I could have gone ahead, if they are prepared to listen or not. But in a prophetic prayer meeting, I need to be led by the Holy Spirit in all things. The Spirit will tell me when to move and when to stop; when to speak and when to keep quiet.
 
I know the frustration of Jesus, how it feels to come loaded with gifts, desiring to give them to people, wishing to empty myself of grace…but… go home still full. For the recipients were not able to receive the goods prepared for them. “I still have many things to say to you, but you cannot bear them now. However, when He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth…” (Jn 16:12, 13)
 
With so many doubts opposing the flow of the Holy Spirit and with all these religious spirits blocking my path, what do I do then? I had to leave my gifts and go and help the brethren, as they are. Most of them came to church heavy laden from the burdens of life. There was a terrible spirit of anxiety connected with the world events. It made them depressed, tired and sluggish. That is not the way to worship God… I encouraged them to press on for there is no other hope than the one found in Christ. Thank God the Holy Spirit took over and gave the few willing ones, the humble ones, joy unspeakable and full of glory. Others stayed behind, afraid of the waves in the ocean of grace… they could not enter the anointing. They missed it. But for those who by faith, jumped in the river of life, who said “Father God, I come to You… if I perish, I perish…” burdens melted and blind eyes opened to see the King of kings in His beauty. This evening, what the devil planned for evil God turned it into good. God always turns bad things for good! He has no limitations! What a mighty God we serve! Heaven and earth adore Him! Angels bow before Him! Hallelujah!
Joseph 2

WAIT A LITTLE LONGER 

“Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; fret not yourself over the one who prospers in his way, over the man who carries out evil devices! Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil. For the evildoers shall be cut off, but those who patiently wait for the Lord shall inherit the land” (Ps 37:7-9)

Someone asked the Duke of Wellington why are the British soldiers better than others? Why do they win all the battles? His answer was not what you expect. He revealed the secret of success. He said that his soldiers can hold on five minutes longer than that the enemy’s army. To many, that was a strange answer. He did not say that the British eat better food, that their weapons are better, that their uniforms are more beautiful or that they have discovered a new strategy. No! He said that they do everything the enemy is doing, but a little longer than him.

What do we learn from this? Men look for success in big things. They think that some great revelation will make them leaders of men or champions in conflict. They ignore the simple routine of life. They ignore the power of patience and faith, in doing all things as unto the Lord. Why is it that a cat will always conquer the rat? If the rat hides in a hole, the cat will seat and wait patiently outside. Sometimes later, the rat grows tired of the prison hole, becomes impatient and comes out. He forgets that the cat is still outside. The patient cat will catch the less patient rat. This is a great lesson: the patient man becomes the champion! If you trust God, if you pray, if you wait and if you love a little longer than your enemy, you shall win the battle!

The Bible says that patient people win the battle and become landowners. Now you know the secret of true success! Praise the Lord!

In Christ I declare:
I am a child of God!
I am patient!
My enemy shall be cut off!
I shall inherit the land!
In Jesus name
Amen!