“This is a good question for all of us: What is the message that we should preach to others? The world is in agony; it is hopeless, a tragedy. It is full of confusion, violence, fears, armed robbery, kidnappings, and poverty. So many people try to kill their pains with drinking, revelry, sexual immorality, and involvement in the occult. We that are believers, what do we have to say to give hope to this world? The answer is that we should preach ‘the word’. We should preach the Gospel, Christ crucified and resurrected. Jesus Christ, the Savior, and the Lord is the only hope for mankind. We must be very sure of this in our minds. Before going to his death, Apostle Paul commanded his spiritual son Timothy to ‘preach the Word!’. This is the last letter written by Apostle Paul. This is what he commanded: “Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching” (2 Timothy 2:4).
The Christian position does not depend on the wisdom of men, on philosophy or psychology. The power of Christianity, why nothing can destroy it, is because it is founded on Christ, who is the Word of God and Truth! We should take the example of Paul who “preached to them Jesus and the resurrection” (Acts 17:18). That is the Gospel of Christ Crucified and Resurrected, ‘the power of God unto salvation for anyone who believes’ (Romans 1:16).
Let us look closer at the message they preached. What was the message of the early church? Their message was not undefined, or uncertain; they were not struggling to explain something that was vague in their minds. Their message was not a story based on their imagination. It was not ‘common sense’. Not at all! Their message was definite and very particular. They preached ‘the Word’. It was a fixed, defined, and particular ‘word.’ They knew what they were talking about. Even today, many unbelievers think of Christians as people who do not know the truth and they are still searching for it. But the Christians are not explorers. They are men and women who have found God, thru the Person of Jesus Christ, their Savior and Lord. Even if the Christian is illiterate, he knows the truth and he spreads it to everyone who listens.
The Christian church is not a social gathering, a business club, or a philosophical group of men who search for the truth. The Church is the Body of Christ, a living spiritual ever growing organism, that has Christ as the Head. The believers are individually saved and connected by the Holy Spirit. The believers know the truth and are not ashamed or afraid to proclaim it, to herald it with the blazing assurance of the Holy Spirit and with much joy. If the members of a church do not love and preach the Gospel of Christ crucified and resurrected, then that gathering is not ‘a church’. It is something else! Dear child of God run away from it!”
Pastor Richmond Sisan Leigh (These wonderful words are taken from my husband’s notes. The Spirit is One!)
This morning, in my garden, I saw little flowers happily growing in between the rocks of the fence. They did not complain. They did not compare with the bigger (more beautiful) neighbor flowers that we have planted. I was impressed at their boldness and perseverance to make the best of their situation, and live! What is the lesson? I am always reminded that God is in charge. Therefore, even in tight places, I should not fear! God is with me! God knows the big and the small. He created them all. I should not be jealous on them that have more, that have a better life. I should be grateful for my portion in life, even if right now, it looks difficult. I should learn to persevere in prayer. I should make the best with what I have right now. I should not complain. No matter the circumstances, I should praise His holy name! There is light at the end of the tunnel and a rainbow at the end of every storm. The greater the storm, the more beautiful the rainbow shall be! I should daily continue to be faithful to God. Tomorrow is in His hands. God has never failed to take care of me. He can never fail! Like we say in Nigeria, ‘nothing do me’! I shall fulfill destiny! In Jesus’ name, amen!
This is God’s Word: “Blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in Him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit” (Jeremiah 17:7, 8)
In Christ, I declare: I am blessed and highly favored! I trust in the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth! My confidence is in God! I am like a tree planted by the river of life! My roots go deep into His unfailing grace! I fear not when life is hard! I am not worried when things are difficult! I will never fail to bear fruit, spiritually and physically! My children and my descendants are blessed forever! I shall serve Him and worship Him forever! In Jesus’ name! Amen!
Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh continued preaching on the theme “The Power of the Gospel”. Her main text was taken from the Book of Romans. “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.” … being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus… Therefore, as through one man’s offense judgment came to all men, resulting in condemnation, even so through one Man’s righteous act the free gift came to all men, resulting in justification of life. For as by one man’s disobedience many were made sinners, so also by one Man’s obedience many will be made righteous. Moreover, the law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more, so that as sin reigned in death, even so grace might reign through righteousness to eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord” (Rom 1:16, 17; 3:24; 5:18-21’ NKJ)
She said that the Book of Romans was written by the great Apostle Paul. It is the most important Book in the Bible and the greatest piece of ‘literature’ human beings have ever written. This is because, for the past two thousand years, the Book of Romans has influenced, converted, and radically changed the greatest number of people all over the world. The greatest revivals in the history of humanity started with people who have been influenced by the Book of Romans. Apostle Paul’s intent is to make the Roman believers mature in the faith, for them to have the joy and the assurance of their salvation. The doctrine of justification by faith alone, by God’s grace, and not by man’s works, is the greatest doctrine revealed to man. It is foundational for saving faith. To be saved you need to put your total trust in the Lord Jesus Christ, that He died for you that you may live. You need to believe that you are a sinner and Jesus died for your sins. This is the Gospel of Christ Crucified, the ‘good news’ from heaven. It is the only way to be saved and have eternal life.
Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh said that one of the reasons why the Gospel has power it is because it tells us of our ‘permanent address’. It is not earth, not even heaven, but Christ!!! Let me say it again: Our permanent address and eternal location as believers, is Christ!!!! Because Christ is the King of heaven, of course, we shall go to heaven. But our eternal position and location is Christ! Our salvation, the blessings and benefits we have in Christ, are ours because of our location! This ‘location’ was the decision God made before the foundation of the world. Justification and condemnation, both are legal and forensic terms! God is the judge of all and based on the sacrifice of Jesus on the Cross, He declares some to be justified. The rest are condemned. These two are opposite. You are either justified by God or you are condemned by God’s law; no middle ground!
This is God’s Word: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. “He who believes in Him is not condemned; but he who does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God. And this is the condemnation, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil … “He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him… “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit” (John 3:16-19; 36; Romans 8:1).
Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh said that concerning all human beings, there are only two spiritual positions: you are either in Adam or you are in Christ. Salvation is personal but also it is positional. Where are you? In Adam or in Christ? Adam and Christ are the heads (fathers) and representatives (ambassadors) of their descendants. God is a God of covenant! He deals with the heads when He makes covenants with their descendants. With Adam, when he sinned, all his descendants fell with him. We all shared in the consequences and punishments of sin: increasing bondage to sin and death. This is common to all. In the same way, in Christ, we all share in His Eternal Life, Victory and Glory. We all are saved eternally and have become members of God’s family! Once God ‘translates’ you from Adam into Christ, you cannot go back to Adam again. You have become an adopted child of God. Even if you stumble and fall into sin, you can never lose your salvation. The grace of God will help you repent and continue the race. The assurance of salvation is a revelation only the Holy Spirit can give. Pray that the eyes of your understanding become open to see this great salvation in Christ alone, this powerful gospel! There is none like it! Worship the Lord!
“All things have been delivered to Me by My Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father. Nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and the one to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” (Mt 11:27-30)
To be ‘Weary’ it means to be tired from hard, long, disappointing, and boring work; work without reward or payment (like fishing without catching fish), slavery type of work. You have exhausted your store of patience, strength, freshness, and joy.
To be ‘heavy laden’ it means to be oppressed, burden with worries you carry in your heart, troubles, too much responsibility to men, burdensome religious traditions of men
Jesus offers ‘Rest’. He will refresh and restore your soul! He gives you what none can give, the revelation of your Father in heaven! Halleluiah!
These words are taken from my husband’s diary. His name is Pastor Richmond Sisan Leigh. They were written in 2003. At that time, he was fasting and praying for power and anointing to be a preacher of God’s Word. God answered his prayers. He became a mighty warrior for Jesus, a true man of God, a servant of Christ and a worshipper of the Most High God. My beloved husband is in heaven now, with the Lord. I am so proud of him, for even his words left behind on dusty papers are still so powerful and prophetic. Like Abel, “being dead, he still speaks” (Hebrews 11:4). My husband’s last words on earth were: “Jesus I love You! To God be all the glory!” May these words become a challenge and an encouragement to all who want to do ministry and serve the Lord Jesus Christ! I join him to say: to God be all the glory! ‘I started praying daily, every time and everywhere, in my soul, that God should empower me, and authorize me, in a special way, to preach His Gospel. I felt that I had no authority to show, or to prove, that God has sent me to preach His Gospel. I was desperate for power from on high to preach the Gospel of Christ Crucified. How can a powerless man like me, a sinner saved by grace, stand on behalf of Almighty God, who is such a great God, and talk? Who will listen? That was my question, my anxiety. This is what I was thinking. The Holy Spirit assured me that my prayer was a reasonable request. I decided to do something. I embarked on a program, to pray nonstop and at all times Throughout the months or July, August, and the larger part of September I heard nothing from God. During the last week in September the Spirit of God moved me to include fasting. I did dry fast, daily, from 6 am to 6 pm. I had done this for one week when God answered me with scriptures from the Book of Acts. He showed me how He empowered the Apostles to speak, to preach, to heal, with signs and wonders following. Hidden in the Book of Acts chapters 2, 3 and 4, were the exact words I was asking God to do for me, for us, on behalf of revival in Father’s House. The next day I found a piece of paper pasted on my door. It read this: “This period of consecration is My divine will to prepare you for the work ahead. I will personally teach you to work with Me, to worship Me, and how to give Me all the glory. I will teach you never to touch My glory if only you follow Me closely and do what I say. I will never leave you and never forsake you. Fear not! I only have called you and I only will make you to be My servant”. Then the Holy Spirit gave me the following prophetic scripture. “I, the Lord, have called You in righteousness, and will hold Your hand; I will keep You and give You as a covenant to the people, as a light to the Gentiles, to open blind eyes, to bring out prisoners from the prison, those who sit in darkness from the prison house. I am the Lord, that is My name; And My glory I will not give to another, Nor My praise to carved images. Behold, the former things have come to pass, and new things I declare; before they spring forth, I tell you of them” (Isaiah 42:6-9). I believe every word. I say amen to the promise! To God be all the glory!”
My beloved husband (Pastor Richmond Sisan Leigh) encouraged me to always speak the truth in love, even when it hurts! This is what he said: “If you have a hard truth to share, share it with your name on it, do not sign as “Anonymous,” rather, be brave and speak the truth in love even if it breaks you”. I try to follow his advice even now! I also teach the children to do the same! To God be all the glory!
During the Sunday service, Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh preached another sermon in the series titled “The Power of the Gospel”. Her main text was taken from the Book of Romans. “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” (Romans 1:16, 17). She said that the Gospel of God is basically the story of Jesus, which is Christ crucified and resurrected. She said that the Gospel is ‘the power of God’. The reason why it is the power of God it is because the Gospel comes from heaven, from God Himself. It is not a product of human wisdom. It is God doing something and proclaiming His Work among men. Thru the Gospel, the sinners become right with God. There is no other way for a sinner to be saved except to believe the Gospel. Halleluiah!
Another reason why the Gospel is the power of God it is because is ‘mysterious’. The word ‘mystery’ means something strange, new, not known in the past. It is something difficult (or impossible) to explain and to understand. Without the Holy Spirit nobody can preach, believe, or understand the Gospel. Like God Himself, the Gospel is sovereign. Nobody can quench it or stop it. No one can successfully fight against it. Different people react differently when they hear the Gospel. Some people believe the Word of God and desire to hear more of it. They become saved and mature spiritually growing ‘from faith to faith’. Others, reject the Gospel and get hardened against it, going away to hell, even from doubt to doubt.
Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh said that the Gospel is mysterious, but even so, it must be preached with boldness and confidence (Ephesians 6:18-20). The Gospel received with faith is able to establish the believer in the Lord (Romans 16:25-27). The Lord Jesus Christ spoke to the unbelieves only thru parables. This was not to make it easier for them to believe. It was the opposite. It was to hide the ‘mysteries of the Kingdom of Heaven’ (Matthew 13:10-13). Practical application: If you sense that your faith is growing each time you hear the Word of God, it means that you are a child of God. This proves that your spirit is alive. Praise the Lord!
Why is the Gospel a mystery? The Gospel is not just a political or social human invention. It is God’s announcement from heaven. It is God’s Word! Everything about Jesus was also a mystery, a surprise: As you can see, the mystery of the Gospel is connected with our Lord Jesus, who was also ‘a mysterious’ Person. Nobody could control Jesus, and nobody can manipulate the Gospel! That is power! When Angel Gabriel told Mary that she will be pregnant thru the Holy Spirit, she was surprised. She did not understand the message. It was a mystery to her! Even the brothers of Jesus did not understand Him or believe in Him until their eyes were opened by the Holy Spirit (John 7:2-8). Like all the Jews, John the Baptist was expecting a military, political or kingly Messiah. He was confused why Jesus does miracles and preaches mostly to the poor, ordinary people. The Jews wanted a revolution and not a Gospel. Again, it is this mystery of Jesus and the power of His Gospel! (Matthew 11:2-6).
The Gospel is a mystery. It is purely unique! If when you heard the Gospel for the first time, it did not surprise you, you did not hear it well. If to you Christianity is just a little teaching that you can easily explain, you did not understand the Word of God. If you did not feel its magnetic power, it amazing controlling influence, its call, mystery and glory, you did not hear it well. Trying to understand the Gospel it means trying to understand the mind of God! Can you do that? We are talking about the “I AM THAT I AM!” He is The Ancient of Days! The high and lifted up One! God is too pure, too high and we are too sinful! His Gospel comes only by grace-mercy-revelation! Praise the Lord! It is amazing how independent the Gospel is from the human understanding and control. The most intelligent man cannot understand it and the illiterate who believes can understand it. Jesus praised God for the mystery of the Gospel. He said: “I thank You, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and prudent and have revealed them to babes. Even so, Father, for so it seemed good in Your sight” (Matthew 11:25, 26).
Why is the Gospel a mystery? It is because it is the wisdom of God, by the Holy Spirit revealing the deep things of God (1 Corinthians 1 and 2)! Without the Holy Spirit you cannot believe or understand the Gospel. That is why it is called a revelation. The Gospel tells you how to make peace with God, how to live a successful and fulfilled life; how to die without fear; how to have eternal life! If you reject the Gospel, you are left only with the wisdom of the world that knows nothing about peace of mind, joy in the heart or living a life free of fear. Our Lord Jesus Christ said: “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” (Mark 1:15). If you have believed a small powerless religious Gospel, trusting in a ‘Jesus’ you can manipulate, then you are not saved. You need to repent of that religious lie. To repent it means to reconsider, to think again. Say: “God, forgive me for believing a lie! Help me to believe the true Gospel! In Jesus’ name, amen!” Worship the Lord!
“Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning! Great is Your faithfulness” (Lamentations 3:22, 23: NKJ)
“The Lord has sworn by his right hand and by his mighty arm: “Never again will I give your grain as food for your enemies, and never again will foreigners drink the new wine for which you have toiled; but those who harvest it will eat it and praise the Lord, and those who gather the grapes will drink it in the (outer) courts of My sanctuary.” Pass through, pass through the gates! Prepare the way for the people. Build up, build up the highway! Remove the stones. Raise a banner for the nations” (Isaiah 62:8-10; NIV)
This is the dramatic story of Elijah’s home going in a chariot of fire. It is also the story of passing of the mantle from Elijah to Elisha. Mantle means authority, spiritual gifts, and the anointing of the Holy Spirit. In this story, Elijah knew that he would go away to heaven. Apparently, God has told him so and prepared his mind. His spiritual son and servant, Elisha also knew that. Both were in Gilgal where the journey of all mature Christians begins. After crossing the River Jordan, the people of God camped at Gilgal. They placed the twelve stones taken from the River at Gilgal, as a memorial for the generations to come so “that all the peoples of the earth may know the hand of the Lord, that it is mighty, that you may fear the Lord your God forever”.
It was at Gilgal that they circumcised all the males. They stayed there until all were healed. “Then the Lord said to Joshua, “This day I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.” Therefore, the name of the place is called Gilgal to this day”. It was also at Gilgal that they kept the first Passover feast in the Promised Land. They ate the produce of the land and the next day the Manna ceased (Joshua 4:24; 5:8-12). Gilgal was loaded with all these holy memories. Elijah and Elisha started their journey from here. Elijah told Elisha “Stay here, please, for the Lord has sent me on to Bethel”. Elijah was on the move. But Elisha kept close by. He said: “As the Lord lives, and as your soul lives, I will not leave you!” So, they went down to Bethel” (2 Kings 2:2). In other words, Elisha told his mentor: “As you want to move on, to conquer new territories in the Promised Land, I am with you in this difficult journey: In other words: “I know that the Christian life is difficult but I also know that in Jesus’ name, I will be victorious”.
Elijah and Elisha arrived at Bethel. The word means ‘The House of God’. This is a place of worship, of revelation, of comfort and of hope. Jacob saw the ladder to heaven and heard the voice of God at Bethel. This is the place of vows and dreams come true (Genesis 28:16-22). From Bethel, Elijah and Elisha went on to Jericho. This was the place of miracles, and of victory. Jericho is the place where you shout the name of the Lord and the walls of the enemies fall flat. Finally, Elijah and Elisha went down to Jordan. This was the place of separation, of examination. After Jordan, you put into practice the things you have learned in the past. “And so it was, when they had crossed over, that Elijah said to Elisha, “Ask! What may I do for you, before I am taken away from you?” Elisha said, “Please let a double portion of your spirit be upon me.” So he said, “You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so.”
Then it happened, as they continued on and talked, that suddenly a chariot of fire appeared with horses of fire, and separated the two of them; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried out, “My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen!” So he saw him no more. And he took hold of his own clothes and tore them into two pieces. He also took up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and went back and stood by the bank of the Jordan. Then he took the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him, and struck the water, and said, “Where is the Lord God of Elijah?” And when he also had struck the water, it was divided this way and that; and Elisha crossed over” (2 Kings 2:9-14). Just before Elijah went to heaven, Elisha asked him to give him ‘a double portion of your spirit’. Elijah called this request ‘a hard thing’. What Elisha wanted was that Elijah treats him as his first-born son. This is what the law said: The father should give to his firstborn son ‘a double portion of all that he has, for he is the beginning of his strength; the right of the firstborn is his’ (Deuteronomy 21:17). In other words, Elisha said: ‘Father Elijah, as your first-born spiritual son, please give me the anointing of the Holy Spirit that is on you. Fill me with the Holy Spirit to continue your ministry. I do not care about the material things you possess. Fill me with the Spirit of the Abba Father. I want to be like Jesus!’ Elijah said it is ‘a hard thing’. This is because for the anointing to be transferred from one person to another, The Holy Spirit must approve that transfer. Money cannot buy anointing. Simon the Sorcerer tried to buy the anointing and he was strongly rejected by Peter who said: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money! You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God. Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart. For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin” (Acts 8:20-23).
Elijah called the request for anointing ‘a hard thing’. Then he gave a condition to Elisha: “You have asked a hard thing. Nevertheless, if you see me when I am taken from you, it shall be so for you; but if not, it shall not be so” (2 Kings 2:10). As you can see, the receiving of the Holy Spirit is by sight in the Old Testament and by faith in the New Testament. “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Hebrews 11:1). Elisha fulfilled the condition. He saw his master going up in the chariot of fire. He cried: “My father, my father, the chariot of Israel and its horsemen!” So he saw him no more. And he took hold of his own clothes and tore them into two pieces. He also took up the mantle of Elijah that had fallen from him” (2 Kings 2:12, 13). Elisha tore his clothes as a sign of mourning. He then took Elijah’s mantle and did miracles with it. His desire for a double anointing from his master was approved by God.
The mantle is a sign of leadership and authority. There are many mantles that mean nothing. There are mantles of religion or mantles of the world. It depends on your desire, on your faith. The sons of the prophets testified about the transfer of leadership from Elijah to Elisha. “The spirit of Elijah rests on Elisha.” And they came to meet him and bowed to the ground before him” (2 Kings 2:15).
Finally, let me ask you some questions: When you have a pastor, a leader, a father in the Lord, what do you covet in him? What do followers covet in their leaders? What do Christians covet from their leaders, from their pastors? When your pastor travels, during his absence, what do you miss the most? Usually, the leaders are older than the members of their congregations. One day they will go away and never come back. What do you miss when they are gone? What do you desire in your mentor? There are two things you may desire from your leader: Material things or A Spiritual Inheritance. Apostle Paul told his followers: “Imitate me, just as I also imitate Christ” (1 Corinthians 11:1). This is my advice: Appreciate your leaders. Pray for them! “Remember those who rule over you, who have spoken the word of God to you, whose faith follow, considering the outcome of their conduct” (Hebrews 13:7). People come and people go. But Jesus Christ the Lord never changes. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever” (Hebrews 13:8). Worship the Lord!
(My beloved husband, Pastor Richmond Sisan Leigh, is now in heaven, with the Lord Jesus Christ! He preached this sermon in 2010. His words are filled with fresh power, anointing, peace, faith, hope and joy. I am so proud of him for His unending love for God and the spiritual inheritance he left behind! To God be all the glory!)
Yesterday, my dad (Pastor Richmond Sisan Leigh) went to be with JESUS. Many have been impacted by my dad, many many sons and daughters across the world. He was a great man. My dad gave his entire life and all he had to bring glory to Jesus. He always pointed me to Jesus, he inspired confidence in me. He taught me to love the way JESUS loves. It was because of my dad’s strong encouragement that Matthew and I decided to move forward with opening our business. He said Matthew reminds him of himself, an innovator, always working and tinkering. With his last breathes, he tried to sing songs of love to Jesus. He wasn’t able to sing because he kept loosing his breath so my mom, while holding his hands the entire time encouraged him to just whisper and he kept saying “I love you Jesus” over and over… and finally he said “to God be the glory.” Those were his last words. Those words truly bring his great life here on earth to a strong conclusion. My dad pastored Father’s House Bible Church. A house of praise and worship in Nigeria. A spirit-filled and spirit-led church. Many people have been with my dad since the inception, since both my parents decided to leave their medical practice and give their lives to spread the good news of Jesus. To my brothers and sisters at Father’s House, I honor you… I am praying for you… my dad loved you so much and I know you loved him and you love my mom. Thank you.
This has been the hardest pain of my life. I am very close to my dad. I talk to him almost every day. He would talk on video FaceTime to Oliver about all the things Oli loves, like animals, Oli calls him his best friend and that’s how my dad referred to Oli too. They were best friends. His passing was abrupt. Everything inside of me hurts… but peace reigns. God is faithful! God is good, and He is glorified even now. To God be all the glory.
I just received a wonderful healing and breakthrough testimony from a sister in the church. She is a faithful believer, wonderful wife, and mother. This testimony is given to the glory of God, for the defeat of the devil and for the encouragement of other brethren! Read and be blessed!
“Good evening Ma’! How are you today? I hope you had a good day. Dear Malia, I want to share my testimony with you. God is the Faithful God, Father and Friend. He knows what is always best for his children. It pays to follow and be in obedient to God. This Sunday at church when you called out for those who have been having headaches/migraine, I came out ( because for a very very long time, I would have headaches on and off, it was so bad that towards the end of lockdown I had to do series of test, which at the time I was truly anxious because of the season, but prayed, trusted God and all my test results were perfect (I knew that was God), afterwards I saw my doctor, who said maybe it was due to stress with the lockdown). But the headaches still persisted. But Malia, when you spoke in church last Sunday, I prayed and said enough is enough, I refuse to manage sickness/constant headache, pain , and you also said those who are looking for a job should come out and I did. Malia since this Sunday, I have not felt the on & off headache for even a minute, then Sunday evening, after making a delivery to a client, I got a job I didn’t officially apply for. I was overwhelmed & humbled. This scripture comes to mind Psalms 126:1 (A Song of degrees.) “When the LORD turned again the captivity of Zion, we were like them that dream”. Also, an application I made that came through successfully a week ago I was informed that it was not granted. I didn’t want to feel defeated, so I prayed and thanked God, and used Lamentations 3:37 “Who is he that saith, and it cometh to pass, when the Lord commandeth it not?”
Last night my husband just came to me and said I have good news. I checked your mail & an apology mail was sent and your application status has been reversed. I wept in worship. Malia all I want to do is worship God all day, every day, for His immense goodness, unending and unfailing Love. When Jesus does something new in you, for you and with you, old things pass away, they go, they leave you and all things become brand new. To God alone be all the glory, honor, and praise!!! Now, more than ever when I think of studying the Word or reading the bible I have joy in me (compared to the past, when I was stressed, I would have been thinking of chocolate I have stashed somewhere; that would have brought happiness). But now, all I want is to worship Jesus! My God is the only Good God. Praise the Lord!! God bless you and bless you for teaching us God’s Word and how to follow& hunger for Jesus… Your daughter… “
This Sunday service Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh continued preaching about ‘The power of the Gospel’. Her main text was taken from the Book of Romans. “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. For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness… because, although they knew God, they did not glorify Him as God, nor were thankful… being justified freely by His grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus” (Romans 1:16-18, 1:21; 3:24; NKJ). She said that like Apostle Paul, we must not be ashamed to believe, preach or identify with the Gospel of Christ Crucified and Resurrected, for it is the power of God unto salvation for all who believe.
In the dictionary, shame is defined as a painful emotion of being embarrassed or self-conscious; being confused or guilty because you, a religious person, have been caught in sin; when you boast that you have money but you are unable to pay your bills; poverty makes many ashamed of their God; being humiliated in public; when you are afraid that people have discovered your past sin; when you feel disappointed that your hopes and dreams in life and not coming true; shame is a social sin! This is a question: What makes you ashamed? How do people of the world avoid shame? By avoiding situations that make them ashamed. They become skilled hypocrites and cowards! But for believers, the assurance, and the joy of their salvation is the antidote to shame! The opposite of ‘shame’ is to stand up, to be confident, to have the assurance or your salvation and boast that you know God!
WHO REJECTS AND IS ASHAMED OF THE GOSPEL?
The Gospel always produces strong reactions in people. Some believe and others reject it. Paul was not ignorant of these reactions. He was prepared for persecution and still preached the Gospel. The people who reject the Gospel will try to intimidate you and to make you ashamed of your God and the Gospel. The following people hate the Gospel:
*The reprobates (the confirmed religious unbelievers who decided to go to hell): “You are of your father the devil, and the desires of your father you want to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it” (John 8:44)
*The enemies of the Cross whose mind is fixed only on earthly prosperity: “For many walk, of whom I have told you often, and now tell you even weeping, that they are the enemies of the cross of Christ: whose end is destruction, whose god is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame—who set their mind on earthly things. For our citizenship is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, who will transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body, according to the working by which He is able even to subdue all things to Himself” (Philippians 3:18-21)
*The Men-pleasers; those who desire fame and popularity. They believe in another ‘gospel’ (fake prophetic entertainment) that can never save: “As we have said before, so I now say again, if anyone is preaching to you a gospel different from that which you received [from us], let him be condemned to destruction! Am I now trying to win the favor and approval of men, or of God? Or am I seeking to please someone? If I were still trying to be popular with men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ” (Galatians 1:9, 10)
*The Cowards/ those who Fear men “The fear of man brings a snare, but whoever trusts in the Lord shall be safe” (PV 29:25)
Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh said that some people complain that preaching the Gospel is too hard to understand. They say that there are many words in the Bible that people nowadays do not use; for example: Justification, Redemption, Sanctification … It is true that these are difficult words to understand. But these are Biblical words. We need to pay the price to understand them. By doing this, we honor God and our faith increases. We need the revelation of the Gospel! Preaching only about material prosperity is ‘a pulpit sin’ that God will judge! We need to invest time and effort in things that have eternal value!
What is Justification? It is a great Biblical word. It is a Gospel Word. We need to pray for the revelation of this word. The doctrine of ‘justification by faith’ is the greatest doctrine of the Protestant Reformation. Revival starts with believing that God has justified you freely because Jesus died for you! Justification is God Almighty speaking! It is a declaration made by the Sovereign God. It is a forensic, legal proclamation made by God as the Judge of the Universe, in the supreme court of heaven. God sent His only begotten Son Jesus Christ to take flesh upon Himself and to die on behalf of sinners. This is a heavenly ‘drama’. Use your imagination and listen as God speaks to the sinner: “you, sinner, I sent My Son to die for you. He took your sin and died on the Cross for you. By the authority I have as the only Living God, the Maker of heaven and of earth, the Sovereign and Supreme God, the Judge of the living and of the dead; by My grace, by My will and good pleasure, because of the Blood of My Son shed on the Cross for you, I declare you forgiven and free from all sins. I translate you from the Kingdom of darkness, where sin and death rule, to the Kingdom of My dear Son, where grace rules and all the citizens have eternal life. I am the One who foreknew you, predestined you, called you, now justify you and glorify you. This is My eternal decree. Fear not! From now on you are My son. My Spirit will be in your heart to teach you. I give you to My only Begotten Son Jesus Christ. You belong to Him. He bought you with His Blood. Learn from Him. Be like Him. Follow Him. Serve and worship Him! From now and forever! This My decree that justifies you cannot be revoked. For I am not a man that I should lie, not the son of man that I should repent. Before angels and men, I have freely justified you. Your salvation is guaranteed by My Word! You can never lose it! Your work from now on is to praise and to give Me glory forever! I the Lord I have spoken!”
Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh said that justification is once in a lifetime declaration. Sanctification is a lifetime process. If you receive the revelation of justification by faith, you will never fear losing your salvation! Praise the Lord! The Gospel is a heavenly package of ‘good news’. The Gospel was not invented by religious men on earth. It comes from heaven to earth. That is why it is the power of God unto salvation! This is the mystery of the Gospel! It is a great glorious life transforming Gospel! It is the Gospel of the Kingdom of God! It brings everything in creation under the feet of Christ and enthrones Him as KING! As you obey God, power from above will come on you! Receiving the power of the Holy Spirit, the power of resurrection, is your reward from God, because you faithfully stood for Jesus and His Gospel! Power and anointing for ministry are God’s vindication to His faithful servants! Glory!
Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh testified: “This Gospel saved me and now, it sanctifies me. I know the power in it. I may not be a trained speaker, but I know what I am saying. I felt the power of the Word of God in my spirit, in my soul! I serve my Lord Jesus Christ by preaching His Gospel. I must share it with others. Like Peter I say: “I must obey God rather than man!” I am not ashamed of the Gospel! I boast of it! I preach the Carpenter, the Galilean, the Fourth Man in the furnace, who is my God! Dear friend, I know that without Jesus you cannot go to heaven; you cannot be free from the shame, power, pollution, and bondage of sin; you cannot die in peace for fear of seeing God on His judgment seat. Give your life to Christ! Repent and believe the Gospel! Salvation is of God! The Trinity is interested in you! Come to Jesus! On Christ the solid rock I stand all other ground is sinking sand!” Worship the Lord!
“Put on the complete armor of God, so that you will be able to [successfully] resist and stand your ground in the evil day [of danger], and having done everything [that the crisis demands], to stand firm [in your place, fully prepared, immovable, victorious] So stand firm and hold your ground!” (Ephesians 6:13; 14, AMP) My dear child, it is me, Malia. I am praying for you… As a believer, you should know that you need to be watchful against the enemy within and without. You need to be alert against any weakness of your flesh, and any possible attack from the outside, coming from the prince of this world. Like a watchman doing his job, you are alert against any movement of the enemy while it is still far away. In Medicine, it is said: ‘prevention is better than cure’. In the same way, in spiritual warfare, thru the Word of God and prayer, preparing for a possible attack during the time of peace, is half the victory. Put on your whole armor of God provided for you and stand your ground! For Jesus’ sake! You can do it! Remember that we are all tempted. At the beginning of His public ministry, our Lord Himself was tempted by the devil for forty days. Temptation, therefore, is not sin. But submitting to the devil during the times of temptation, that is sin! The unbeliever cannot fight sin. He lives in sin. Sin is his normal ‘habitat’. Do not make close friends with foolish unbelievers! They are losers! Their house is on fire and they sleep happily. What a dangerous way to live… But the believer hates, detects and fights sin until there is a clear victory! This process is called ‘sanctification’. It is done by the power of the Holy Spirit and thru the knowledge and application of the Word of God. This is how you grow spiritually! You should desire and pay the price for spiritual maturity, when not only that you trust God, but that God trusts you! Don’t you want that God will trust you, with His power, or with His money? I do! This is godly prosperity without sorrow attached to it! Praise the Lord! As a child of God, once you commit sin, you need to confront it. I am not talking only about the visible sins of the body (like fornication) but about other sins of the mind. For example: doubt, laziness, lying, impure imaginations, selfishness, fear of the future, or cowardice. Do not excuse sin! Do not tolerate backsliding! Do not be sorry for the devil! Do not make it easier for yourself to live in the flesh! Sin is criminal! Jesus died on the Cross for your sins. Once you repent of sin, do not stop until you are refilled with the Holy Spirit. This is how your peace is restored and your power is increased! Pray always! Love prayer ministry and intercession! Redeem the time thru the study of God’s Word and prayer! Time ‘wasted’ in prayer is never ‘wasted’! It yields great profit! This is a reminder: Sin desires you; it is deceitful and deadly. Sin hardens the heart. After some time, unrepentant sin will paralyze your emotions. You will not feel guilty when committing sin. This is a terrible situation. Wake up! The devil is a coward! Sin has a way of creeping into our lives. It is as a frog in the kettle: if you drop a frog in a kettle of boiling water it will jump out immediately in reaction to the pain. But, if you put the frog in water that is room temperature and slowly heat the water, the frog will remain in the kettle until it is boiled to death. Paul understood that we all are vulnerable to becoming the frog in the kettle. Therefore, he commanded us, “do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind…” To fight against sin is a form of worship, a way of giving glory to God, who sent Jesus to die for our sins! Die to sin! If sin is big or small, die to it! From the position of eternal victory gained at the Cross, die to sin! By faith, the power of the Cross is released for you! I hope you know that a dead man does not steal! A dead man does not lust sexually! A dead man does not covet another’s property! Be dead to sin and alive to Christ, by the power of His resurrection! This is the holy ‘formula’ for all success in your Christian life! As people see your spiritual progress, they will be challenged to follow Jesus too! Mentor them by your words and by your deeds! Have the mind of Christ! Think like Jesus! Behave like Jesus! Speak like Jesus! Love like Jesus! For the glory of our Father in heaven! And now, let us supply heaven with praise! Jesus is Lord! Glory! Halleluiah!
“Stand up, stand up for Jesus,You soldiers of the Cross;Lift high His royal banner,It must not suffer loss.From victory unto victoryHis army shall He lead,Till every foe is vanquished,And Christ is Lord indeed!”
During the Sunday service, Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh continued preaching about the ‘Power of the Gospel’. Her main text was taken from the Book of Galatians. “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?” (Galatians 3:1-5).
Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh said that the Gospel of Christ Crucified and Resurrected has its own enemy. It is an evil spirit of religion. The devil cannot stop you becoming saved or you going to heaven. These are the acts of the sovereign God! But he can hinder your sanctification. As you make progress in your Christian life, you shall discover the need for spiritual warfare. The Gospel declares the total defeat of satan on the Cross. Satan does not want you to see the truth, that he has totally lost the battle against your soul at the Cross. The main strategy of the devil is to hide the Gospel, to grieve and quench the Holy Spirit and to replace it with a religious spirit. The wrath of God is manifested against suppressing with the truth, refusing the give God all the glory and living an ungrateful life. The evil spirit of religion wants you to ignore or disobey the truth, and foolishly, to enter a form of religious bondage. The same evil spirit wants you to come to church, listen to sermons, praise and worship God, work of God, but only as a form of a religious entertainment. These religious works do not give glory to God; do not ‘please’ heaven. They are only for the pleasure of religious people on earth! God forbid! As born-again believers, the most important thing we must do, is to keep close to God, study His Word and stay hungry for the fresh continuous filling of the Holy Spirit. Come to church! Listen to the preaching of God’s Word! The way to salvation, the Gospel of Christ crucified and resurrected, the justification by faith, even the wrath of God against sin, all these are revelations from heaven. You cannot buy them with money, religious works cannot manufacture them, no man (of God) can give them to you. Revelation is the peculiar work of the Holy Spirit. Nothing and nobody can replace that. Even preaching and ministry, without the Holy Spirit is in vain! If you are saved, as you hear the Word of God, the promises of God, you will sense a hunger for power to retain and manifest the same word. That power is the Holy Spirit! The power is the Gospel of Christ Crucified and Resurrected!
True godliness always has power in it! Are you a weak Christian? Pray to know the root of that weakness! It may be an evil spell! In Jesus’ name, be free! This evil religious spirit wants you to go to church, praise and worship God, but fall asleep during the preaching of the sermon. That sleep is not ‘normal’. A bewitching spell may be placed on you and you become ‘foolish’. The word ‘foolish’ means that your mind becomes slower, you spirit is sluggish. Under that spell, it becomes hard for you to remember scriptures, or to pray. Like a dark cloud, a strange weakness covers your mind. You become weak, fearful, and legalistic. In the past, you used to lead others but now, you need people to tell you what to do. You lose the personal sensitivity to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Your faith in the God of miracles is damaged. Your Christianity becomes a boring routine and you lose the passion, the zeal, the joy, and the ‘bubbling’ of the Holy Spirit in you. The ever-fresh river of anointing is hindered from flowing, and you now live in a stagnant pool of old water and past glories. This is a dangerous sign that you are an internal backslider! You lose the vision of “Christ Crucified’. You lose interest in the Gospel of Christ Crucified and Resurrected. You started well, by faith, by the power of the Holy Spirit. But now, you want to walk in the flesh, for the remaining part of the race to heaven. That is foolishness! You have grieved the Holy Spirit! You need to stop immediately! Pray for mercy, and for help from heaven. Shout: “Jesussssssssss!!!!” Be refilled with the Holy Spirit!
In the last days ‘perilous, dangerous times shall come’. People will go to church but many of them are not genuine believers. The devil infiltrates churches and uses his agents. Ignorance is never a virtue! Pray for discernment! These wicked people try to control your mind with false doctrines and fancy deceptions. From such strange ‘Christians’, who love pleasure more than they love God, turn away! Run for your life! Do not marry them! They cannot be your ‘business partners’! Christianity is not politics or entertainment! Run! Because generally the women are more emotional about the trials of life, they are more prone to deception than the men. Husbands pray for your wives! (2 Timothy 3:1-5). Any ‘form of godliness’ without the power of the Holy Spirit is fake! Pay the price for reality! For power! Holy Spirit please come!
Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh said that the church in Laodicea was in this situation. They became proud, satisfied with their present level of spirituality! They said: “I need nothing else”. This attitude is dangerous: Jesus may ‘vomit’ you out of the church! This is the counsel of the Lord Jesus: “Buy from Me: gold to be rich, white garments to be covered, and eye slave so that you can see”. How do you buy these things? What is the currency for these blessings? Jesus does not want money from you. The payment is by the opening of the door of your heart! Jesus will enter and come in with all His gifts and blessings. You shall ‘dine’ with Him. You shall hear His loving voice again. He will call your name as it is written in His Book of life! He will tell you wonderful things from His Word, that you do not know! You will fall in love with Him again! He will restore the joy and the intimacy of your salvation! (Revelation 3:14-22). Even so, come Lord Jesus!
Let us pray: “Dear Heavenly Father, we thank You for Your word, for this loving rebuke! We are Your children! We are sorry for becoming infatuated with the world! We come back to You! We come back to the Cross! We reject every evil spirit of religion! We destroy every evil spell placed on our minds! Jesus, You are our Wisdom! We declare ourselves to be free and free indeed! We believe and we declare that Jesus Christ died and rose from the grave, for us, for our justification! May true revival come! Holy Spirit come and fill our hearts again! God, we hunger for You! Like the deer pants for the water brooks, so our soul thirst for You, for the only Living God! Thank You Father, Son and Holy Ghost! To You alone be all the glory! In Jesus’ name we pray, amen!” Worship the Lord!
“And He has made from one blood every nation of men to dwell on all the face of the earth, and has determined their pre-appointed times and the boundaries of their dwellings, so that they should seek the Lord, in the hope that they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us” (Ac 17:26, 27)Today, the people of Nigeria were to vote to elect their president. But the elections were postponed. Many are angry, frustrated and dis-appointed. I am sorry about that. I cannot change the events. But what I can do, I do! I pray for Nigeria… I pray for revival, for God’s favor and healing in this land. I pray for a fresh download of living hope and supernatural peace for the people living in Nigeria! I pray for godly wise leadership! I believe that God answers prayers! God never fails!I am a foreigner (better said an ‘oyibo’) living in Nigeria since 1980. I did not choose this country. I came here as a proud unbeliever. So many things have changed since then… Let me count just few blessings that will forever connect me with Nigeria: My husband of 45 years, Pastor Richmond Sisan Leigh, is a Nigerian. I became saved in Warri, Nigeria. My husband and I had a very successful private hospital here in Warri, Nigeria. We made money and fame here in Nigeria! Our last baby, Jemine, was born In Effurun, Nigeria. Our three children grew up and went to school here in Nigeria. For a time we went to live in America. It pleased God to send my husband and I back to this land to start a church for His glory and for the good of the people here. This is how Father’s House Bible Church, Effurun – Warri was ‘born’ in March 2000. My husband and I are pastors in full time ministry here in Nigeria. In Nigeria I learned a new language called ‘pidgin English’. I am very happy with that!Why I am saying all these things? Every day, and especially in times of trial, I encourage myself in the Lord! I remind myself of what I have and not what I’ve lost! Therefore: No matter how ‘bad’ Nigeria is or becomes in the future, I can never deny the wonderful blessing this country has been to me and mine. I know that God created the whole universe. There are 195 countries in this world today. Out of them all, God ‘picked’ Nigeria for me!!! Can you imagine that? It may be hard to believe but it is the truth! And God never makes mistakes!Did you know that not only did God create each one of us but He put us in this world in these times and in a particular place of His choosing? None of this is by chance or error. We may not be happy about God’s choice of timing or place. After all, the times are troubled and the world (some places in particular) is shaky.There is little we can do about living in these times. We can’t re-invent ourselves in another time. However, God gave us a free will and a life to live the way we choose. So we can move about for whatever reasons we consider valid. We can move to a place we believe will offer us more money, greater security or a better life-style. But rather than being unhappy or even fearful about where we are and casting around for other options, perhaps we should be praying: “Father, You have placed me here at this time. How do You want to use me? How can I be available to You so that You can work out Your purposes in this place?”So, in an increasingly insecure world, these words of Scripture serve to root and ground us. They provide us with the security of knowing that we are where we are because that’s what God has ordained, and to date He has not shown us otherwise.Let’s pray: “Abba Father, it’s not a mistake that I am living in insecure times, in a place that’s difficult and sometimes frightening. Please help me draw my security from You and not from the place where I live. Show me how I can be Your instrument of peace and healing here and now, how I can shine with Your love and joy and how I can share the good news of who You are with those around me. Father God, please I remind You to bless all the people living in Nigeria! We vow to give You all the glory! In Jesus’ name! Amen!”
(In the picture, my husband, Pastor Richmond Leigh, and our two daughters, Alina and Jemine, dressed in beautiful Nigerian attire)
(I wrote this letter in February 2019. Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh)