‘TALK TO ME’

‘Prayer is the recipe for mental and emotional health. Pray about everything! Pray about ‘the ordinary’ things of life! ‘Talk to Me about ALL your concerns’- says God!


Anxiety kills your prayer life! Anxiety should be replaced, step by step, with an active, diligent, spiritual effort to pray! God wants you to talk to Him! Think healthy! Think about Jesus! Find Him inside all lovely, precious and beautiful things… Force your mind to think well, to dwell on the Word, by the power of the Spirit… Reject sinful thoughts immediately! Eventually, you will end up with peace and joy, thanksgiving, worship and a wonderful life style of prayer.
Anxiety and prayer are opposites. Chose prayer and anxiety will go away leaving behind a mind and a heart fully protected by the peace of God ‘that passes all understanding’. This peace of Jesus is high above all common sense, much more than words can say. You shall encounter the God of that peace, the Prince of Peace Himself!

Question: what happens when you pray? Look at our Lord! When our Lord Jesus prayed, the heavens opened! The Spirit came down with His infusing power from above. The Father spoke into His life, like only a Father could speak: words of love, of family identity and confidence, of assured future and destiny. Prayer was the invisible foundation of the successful ministry of God’s Son on earth (Lk 3:21-23).

The intimate relationship with God, prayer and thanksgiving, these are foundation stones in your Christian life. The secret of success is to be filled with the Holy Spirit. He gives you contentment, peace, joy, divine wisdom, divine health, anointing for ministry and favor with men. Prayer is the source of power to remain active, to prosper and be fruitful in all situations, especially in the difficult ones. Prayer changes you and your surroundings. Prayer makes you to be like Jesus! What a privilege!


‘Practice what you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, and model your way of living on it, and the God of peace (of untroubled, undisturbed well-being) will be with you’ (Philip 4:9, AM)

(In the picture a little girl from our church in Nigeria, praying to God)

THE GOSPEL IN GENESIS 3

IN THE BEGINNING GOD (PART 8 ) – THE GOSPEL IS GENESIS 3

During the Sunday service Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh preached from the Book of Genesis chapter 3. She said that Genesis chapter 3 is absolutely essential in understanding the Bible and the history of man. Here we see how sin entered humanity. For the first time, we are presented with the Gospel of Christ. If you study the history of man, there is no better explanation of why things happen the way they do, except you believe the doctrine of the fall of man and the doctrine of the original sin.

THE FALL OF MAN also called the fall of Adam, or simply the Fall, is a term used in Christianity to describe the transition of the first man and woman from a state of innocent obedience to God to a state of guilty disobedience. The doctrine of the Fall comes from a biblical interpretation of Genesis, chapters 1-3. God created Adam and Eve perfect. They were innocent concerning sin. But God allowed their free will to manifest. Obedience meant life. Disobedience to God’s command meant death. God gave Adam a covenant of works. He broke the covenant. God then sent His Son Jesus Christ with a covenant of Grace. We believe Jesus Christ, that He died for us. Grace means unmerited favor. If Adam, as perfect as he was could not keep the covenant of works, God knew that we cannot keep it. That is why Grace is introduced thru Christ. That is why salvation in Christ cannot fail. We are saved by Grace, thru faith in Jesus Christ, in His death on the Cross. Salvation in Christ is eternal!

THE ORIGINAL SIN: The fall of man affected all humanity and even the creation. Adam broke God’s law. He sinned! He was our representative on earth. This sin has affected all humanity. All Adam’s descendants are born sinners. The nature of the first sin: man refused to submit himself to the will of God, to have God decide the course of his life. He wanted to be independent from God. Devil’s pride entered man. Pride means to remove God from the center of man’s heart and replace Him with self. This first sin affected the whole man, body, mind, emotions and will. It corrupted man. Thru sin, sickness and death entered humanity. Sin reveals itself in the mind mostly as unbelief; in the emotions as fear and restlessness; and in his will as pride! “As it is written: There is none righteous, no, not one… all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:10, 23). In Greek, the word ‘sin’ means ‘to miss the mark’, to fail to be fulfilled, to be disappointed in life. All unbelievers, no matter how wealthy or famous, are never satisfied with their success or possessions. The words ‘fall short’ mean failure to obtain something precious, failing the exam of life, becoming inferior, demoted, being too late to catch the train of life. God is a God of glory. Glory is what makes God, God. Glory is a combination of beauty and power. It is life shining like the light. God made man to be ‘in His own image’. Man was created to be covered with God’s glory. Sin separated man from His God and the glory was removed. Man discovered himself to be naked. Glory covers! Sin exposes! “The LORD will create above every dwelling place of Mount Zion, and above her assemblies, a cloud and smoke by day and the shining of a flaming fire by night. For over all the glory there will be a covering” (Is 4:5). Jehovah ‘will create’. In Hebrew, this is the same word as in Genesis 1:1. ‘In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth…’. In Christ, God’s glory is restored. It will manifest as a cloud and smoke by day, to protect from the heat, from the temptations of life. God’s glory over His people, over His church will also be as ‘the shinning of a flaming fire by night’. This describes a weapon of light and fire; like a flash, a sharply polished blade, a sword moving over the church. This picture reminds us of the cherubs stationed at the gate of the Garden of Eden, blocking men to re-enter, to eat from the tree of life (Gen 3:24). Mount Zion is the assembly of God’s worshippers (Heb 12:22-24). They are inside the garden of life now, and God’s glory protects them from the outsiders. They will never be found naked or rejected. In Christ, they are ‘accepted in the Beloved’ (Eph 1:6). God sacrificed the pure Lamb and used the bloody skins to make covering for man (Gen3:21). Blood was shed for glory to come back and to cover God’s His people. The unbelieves are always naked and ashamed before God. But there is total protection for the children of God! Glory to God!

WHAT IS MAN? I read on the internet that Yale University biophysicist Harold J. Morowitz says that the human body is worth $6 million. And that price covers only the raw materials – hormones, proteins, enzymes, etc. The intricate work of fashioning the material into human cells might cost six thousand trillion dollars. And assembling these cells into a functioning human being would drain all the world’s treasures. Oh, Lord, “when I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have ordained, What is man that You are mindful of him, and the son of man that You visit him? For You have made him a little lower than the angels, and You have crowned him with glory and honor. You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet” (Psalm 8:3-6). In Hebrew, the word ‘mindful’ means to remember, to think about. To ‘visit’ it means to inspect, to oversee, to care. Man is sinful, an enemy to God. Man is weak and useless to God. Even so, God who created man, loves man, and God saves man from himself! Christ took flesh upon Himself to die for man. Man is a reflected glory of God! This is a great mystery! Glory to God!

THE CONSEQUENCES OF SIN FOR ADAM AND EVE

The serpent questions Eve about God’s law. He plants seeds of doubt in Eve’s mind, about God’s power and goodness. It gives the impression that God does not have the power to kill them, even if they disobey His law. The devil also makes Eve dissatisfied with God’s provision. He gives the impression that God does not love them enough by restricting them to eat from the fruit of knowledge of good and evil. The idea is that God wants them to be foolish, like slaves. Also, the devil injects pride in Eve’s mind. Suddenly, Eve looks foolish. But this is a reminder of the power of sin, the sinfulness of sin. Deceived, Eve gives the fruit to Adam who eats it also. We are told that Adam was not deceived like his wife. He disobeyed God’s law. His sin is more of rebellion. That was his fall. When Adam saw that Eve eat the fruit and did not die immediately, he was encouraged to eat too. Because Adam was the leader of the home, he now must take responsibility for both of their sins. The doctrine is called the Fall of man or of Adam, and not of Eve. “Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not deceived, but the woman being deceived, fell into transgression” (1 Tim 2:13, 14). In the Garden, Adam and Eve had fellowship with God. This fellowship was to be the source of their faith and all knowledge. Not the fruit of that tree. Just imagine the sound of Jehovah Elohim walking in the early evening, when the weather is pleasant, when the wind blows softly, after the heat of the day. God comes as the owner of the Garden to fellowship with His people. In the past, they Adam and Eve waited happily for these daily visits. But after the fall, Adam and Eve hide behind the trees. They were ashamed and afraid. They did not know that God sees thru any covering. No man can hide before God. They feared the judgment of God! “There is no creature hidden from His sight, but all things are naked and open to the eyes of Him to whom we must give account” (Heb 4:13). Once they eat the forbidden fruit, their eyes ‘are opened’. They became ‘like God’. But not exactly! They now know there is good and evil, God and Satan. But this knowledge was not to their advantage. This illegal knowledge, gained thru sin, became their bondage. The devil became their master. God alone knows good and evil, but He is free from evil. The knowledge of evil in Adam corrupted him. He lost his innocence. It is only in Christ, that we regain what Adam has lost. We regain the innocence, purity and power of the Spirit. But we gain more than that. As children of God, we now know good and evil, but we are free from the power of evil. We are now like God, holy and righteous! We love God and we hate evil! What a transformation! Glory to God! Immediately they sinned, Adam and Eve felt a sense of loss, fear, nakedness, and shame. At the beginning, the glory of God covered them. Now, that glory is lost. They now feel afraid, exposed. When God comes to fellowship with them, they are afraid, and they hide behind the trees. They forgot that God created the trees too! Trees stand for excuses not to have fellowship with God. There is now fear of punishment and death. They try to repair the damage they have done. They use fig leaves to cover themselves. These fig leaves are a symbol of man’s success in this world to hide his sinful nature. There are ‘leaves’ of religion, education, philosophy and art. But nothing and nobody can hide sin and shame except the Blood of Jesus! Jesus died naked so that we can be covered by His Blood and the glory that it represents! Lastly, God’s Grace manifests! The Gospel of Christ Crucified and Resurrected is introduced! Grace is always greater than sin! God is still speaking to man! In Judgment there is mercy! The Bible is the most practical book. It tells the story of God and of humanity. Genesis 1-3, this is the history of humanity. It is not an allegory. It is not fiction! Man has disobeyed God and God is searching for man, to save him. As sinners, we all know the sense of failure. We all search for happiness outside God, but we cannot find it! The Gospel brings us out from behind the trees. God’s voice is still calling you by name: “Where are you?” Why are men so unhappy, so helpless? Because the devil is their master, and he controls this world! That is the only explanation! The tragedy of man is that he only sees the visible. Only in Christ we can be set free, from the bondage, the pollution and power of sin! That is why Jesus died! There are two types of history running parallel: The visible and the invisible. The natural man sees only the visible history. The spiritual man sees both. That is his advantage and wisdom. The child of God sees God as the Creator, and the Sustainer of the universe. But he also sees God as His heavenly Father, Savior and Redeemer! The believer sees God and the world thru the eyes of faith. The Gospel tells us the truth: we all fell with Adam. We are born sinners. We cannot help ourselves. We are destined to die and go to hell. That is why God sent His only begotten Son to die in our place. The world hates the truth. The natural man hates to be told that he is a sinner. He loves the offer of free salvation, but he hates to humble himself as a man who offended God. Here you see that God’s plan of salvation was made by God even before Adam was created. In a way, God created Adam and Eve as a ‘bait’ to expose and condemn the devil’s wickedness. In Genesis 3 you see evil and grace side by side. “The law entered that the offense might abound. But where sin abounded, grace abounded much more” (Rom 5:20). The word ‘abound’ means to increase, to spread, to become greater. In the battle against sin, Grace always wins! God (Jehovah Elohim) calls Adam: “Where are you?” Even in disobedience, even with a broken heart, God is still searching for Adam. Man cannot escape from God! Even from the God who created him, but he broke his heart! This is the Gospel! “Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them” (Gen 3:21). Adam was hiding behind the trees. These are people and things we use to hide behind them. Because of inferiority complex and guilt, we hide behind famous people, hobbies or interesting things of the world. That is why people are addicted to TV shows and entertainment. They idolize others who are more intelligent, more beautiful or wealthier than they. These are the trees. We are always interested in others. Because we are sinners, we are busybodies and restless. God made clothes for them. Not from leaves, but from animal skins, possibly from lambs. Behind these simple words of ‘fashion design’ blood is shed. For the first time, Adam and Eve see God killing an animal. They have never seen death. Now they see it. They committed sin but another one died in their place. This is the Gospel of Christ Crucified! Adam and Eve were sent out of the Garden. Just imagine the feeling… out of the beautiful, happy and safe, garden, made by God for them!!! They are now in the world, lonely, afraid, guilty, confused. In the Garden, they exercised dominion over all the creation, in the name of God. Now, they are now under the dominion of satan. They are rejected by God! There is a hope that one day, God will help them. But until then, they are alone.

THE CURSE IN THE GARDEN AND THE GOSPEL ANNOUNCED “So, the Lord God said to the serpent: “Because you have done this, you are cursed more than all cattle, and more than every beast of the field; On your belly you shall go, and you shall eat dust all the days of your life. And I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your seed and her Seed; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” (Gen 3:14, 15)The serpent is cursed more than all the animals because he cooperated with the devil. In the previous two verses, God talks to Adam and Eve, asking them why they had disobeyed His command and had eaten from the forbidden tree. But now, God turns to the serpent and without asking any question, He curses it! He doesn’t ask the serpent what he did. He doesn’t look for a confession or to engage in debate with the serpent. Apparently, Satan either possessed a snake created by God, or he took the form of a snake. Everything in this life, good or bad, has consequences. It is the natural and spiritual law of sowing and reaping. “Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, that he will also reap. For he who sows to his flesh will of the flesh reap corruption, but he who sows to the Spirit will of the Spirit reap everlasting life” (Gal 6:7-8). But the curses of God in Genesis 3 are not like that. This is God’s judgment upon a serpent that He created! As the Almighty God, The Judge of the Universe, God has the right to do what He wants to do with His creation. God, Jehovah Elohim, the Judge of all the universe, is speaking! Fear God! Sin offended God! Sin violated God’s Word and God’s glory! It ruined man and his descendants! Thru sin, man surrendered the dominion God gave him, to Satan. God manifests His authority by cursing the snake. God can never be the victim of Satan. Even in this tragedy, God is still God, and He speaks! The curses demonstrate God’s sovereignty! God was sovereign before and after the fall of man! Nothing can change that! Praise the Lord! In Genesis 3 verse 14 you have the curse of the natural serpent. In verse 15 you have the curse of the supernatural Satan. God actually curses the animal. The animal has no sense of sin. The animal was simply used by Lucifer, by Satan. But God curses the animal anyway. God has a purpose in cursing the serpent! God cursed the serpent more than all the animals, domestic (represented by the cattle) and wild (represented by the beasts of the field). God is specific why He cursed the serpent. God said: “Because you have done this”. Because the serpent co-operated with Satan, God curses all the natural snakes. The devil wanted to rise above God (Is 14: 12-15). The snake will crawl on his belly, never to rise again! The crawling of snakes is a reminder of God’s judgment over Satan! Snakes are an abomination to God and to man! “Every creeping thing that creeps on the earth shall be an abomination. It shall not be eaten. Whatever crawls on its belly… these you shall not eat, for they are an abomination” (Lev 11:41, 42). Serpents are the most hated animals on earth. God said: “Dust shall you eat!” Snakes do not eat dust. They eat insects and little animals. But the words ‘eating dust’ represent total defeat. About Christ it is said: “Let the nomads of the desert bow before Him and His enemies lick the dust.” (Ps 72:9). It’s a symbol of being totally defeated and brought low, down to the lowest! In Christ, our enemies will lick the dust of our feet. “Thus says the Lord God: “Behold, I will lift My hand in an oath to the nations and set up My standard for the peoples; They shall bring your sons in their arms, And your daughters shall be carried on their shoulders; Kings shall be your foster fathers, And their queens your nursing mothers; They shall bow down to you with their faces to the earth, and lick up the dust of your feet. Then you will know that I am the Lord, for they shall not be ashamed who wait for Me.” (Is 49:22, 23). In Christ, our victory against the forces of darkness, is sure! In the future, when God will make a new earth and new heavens, the animals will live in peace with one another. They will all be vegetarians. They will not eat one another again. But even in that new world, the snakes will still crawl on the ground and eat dust. There is no redemption for the devil! “The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, the lion shall eat straw like the ox, and dust shall be the serpent’s food. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all My holy mountain,” Says the Lord” (Is 65:25). The curse of God upon the natural and spiritual serpent is forever! God placed ‘enmity’ between the woman and her Seed, which is our Lord Jesus Christ, and the spiritual serpent and his seed. The word ‘enmity’ means a hostility that can never be settled. It is true that now, the devil is called the god of this world. But even then, it is not easy for Satan to rule over man. The Grace of God still rescues men from the bondage of sin. Once man repents of his sin, he runs to Jesus! The devil ‘bruised’ Christ on His heel. This is a picture of the Crucifixion. But with that ‘bruised’ heal, our Lord bruised, better said crushed, the head of the devil. Thru His death on the Cross, our Lord destroyed him who had the power of death. This is the Gospel we preach! This is our only hope and victory! Worship the Lord!!!

AMONG THE LIONS, DANIEL LOOKS AT JESUS!!!

Daniel’s enemies rejoice that they have ‘killed’ him (Daniel 6). But their joy will not last! Please look at Brother Daniel!!! With his hands tied behind his back, surrounded by hungry lions, he looks, not at the lions, but up, unto God, unto Jesus!!!

Lesson: Obey God, serve Him faithfully! Please God and not man! Leave the consequences with God! Continue to look up unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of your faith! Stop looking down at yourself or at the circumstances around you. God will surely save and vindicate you! The Lord who commanded the waves and the wind: “Peace, be still!”, is still speaking! May God, the Lifter of your Head, perform His miracle for you today! To God be all the glory!

(Picture taken from the internet)

THE DOCTRINE OF ORIGINAL SIN

IN THE BEGINNING GOD (7) THE DOCTRINE OF THE FALL OF MAN AND OF ORIGINAL SIN

During the Sunday service Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh preached from the Book of Genesis chapter 3. She said that Genesis chapter 3 is absolutely essential in understanding the Bible and the history of man. Here we see how sin entered humanity. For the first time, we are presented with the Gospel of Christ. If you study the history of man, there is no better explanation of why things happen the way they do, except you believe the doctrine of the fall of man and the doctrine of the original sin.

The fall of man, also called the fall of Adam, or simply the Fall, is a term used in Christianity to describe the transition of the first man and woman from a state of innocent obedience to God to a state of guilty disobedience. The doctrine of the Fall comes from a biblical interpretation of Genesis, chapters 1-3. God created Adam and Eve perfect. They were innocent concerning sin. But God allowed their free will to manifest. Obedience meant life. Disobedience to God’s command meant death.  God gave Adam a covenant of works. He broke the covenant. God then sent His Son Jesus Christ with a covenant of Grace. We believe Jesus Christ, that He died for us. Grace means unmerited favor. If Adam, as perfect as he was could not keep the covenant of works, God knew that we cannot keep it. That is why Grace is introduced thru Christ. That is why salvation in Christ cannot fail. We are saved by Grace, thru faith in Jesus Christ, in His death on the Cross. Salvation in Christ is eternal!

THE ORIGINAL SIN: The fall of man affected all humanity and even the creation. Adam broke God’s law. He sinned! He was our representative on earth. This sin has affected all humanity. All Adam’s descendants are born sinners. The nature of the first sin: man refused to submit himself to the will of God, to have God decide the course of his life. He wanted to be independent from God. Devil’s pride entered man. Pride means to remove God from the center of man’s heart and replace Him with self. This first sin affected the whole man, body, mind, emotions and will. It corrupted man. Thru sin, sickness and death entered humanity. Sin reveals itself in the mind as unbelief; in the emotions as fear and restlessness; and in his will as pride! “As it is written: There is none righteous, no, not one… all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom 3:10, 23). The temptation to sin came from the devil, a fallen angel. The devil possessed and used the serpent, an animal God has created. The devil tempted Eve first, possibly because she was the weaker one between the two. She was not the one who received the command directly. Adam was to teach her God’s command. She was not the leader of the home therefore she did not have the same sense of responsibility as Adam. The devil knew that if he can deceive Eve into sin, being the closest to Adam, and she may convince her husband to share in her sin. The devil’s evil plan worked. The man, God’s creation, God’s masterpiece was damaged beyond repair. The whole creation suffered from the fall of man. Because we are born sinners, we are unable to love God, know God or believe the Gospel. This explains why sin is universal. There is no other explanation why all men are born corrupt. Adam’s sin is transmitted to his natural descendants. “Like father like son”! The doctrine of original sin vindicates God when men blame Him for all the calamites in the world. The original sin creates a hunger for a Savior. The Holy Spirit uses it to direct our hearts to the Lord Jesus Christ! St Augustine (354-430 AD) was the first theologian who defined the original sin. Almost all the denominations (Roman Catholic, Anglican, Pentecostal…) believe in this doctrine. Judaism, Islam and all other religions, reject this doctrine. They insist that man is born perfect and the environment changes man to make him sinful. This is an error. The truth is that man is born in a state of sin, as an enemy to God! A baby may look innocent but soon, he will manifest his hatred against God!   

THE CURE FOR SIN! There is no cure for sin except the death of the Son of God, who became Man! Only Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, especially in His work on the Cross saves a man. There is no other Savior! There is no other salvation! This redemption planed and provided by God, even before the foundation of the world is called salvation. It is announced thru the Gospel of Christ crucified and resurrected. Adam was created under the covenant of works. He needed to obey God’s command to stay alive. But Adam failed to obey! He, a perfect man, in a perfect environment, failed to keep God’s command. Thru Christ, man is offered the covenant of Grace. Grace means unmerited favor. Jesus Christ is the called the second Man or the last Adam (1Cor 15:45-48). Unlike Adam, He obeyed God’s commands unto death. He obeyed God’s Law for us. He was not born into sin. He did not commit any sin. Jesus became sin for us, that is why He died. He was buried. On the third day, our Lord resurrected from the death. We are one with Christ, in a mystical union. We died with Him, we were buried with Him, we rose from the death with Him. Now, in Christ, we seat with Him in the heavenly places! This is the Gospel, the power of salvation to all who believe! Glory! 

THE ESSENTIAL CHARACTER OF SIN: Sin is a specific type of evil. Sin is a moral evil for which man is directly responsible and which brings him under the sentence of condemnation and death. Sin has an absolute character. Holiness is absolute and sin is absolute. There is no mixing between the two. The Bible does not know of a spiritually neutral ground. Sin is death and righteousness is life! Sin is not only related to offences against other people. Basically, sin is an offence against God and His law. Sin is breaking God’s law and God’s heart. Sin includes guilt and pollution. Man is born a sinner, guilty and morally corrupted. The headquarter of sin is the heart, which is the central organ of the soul. From there, sin influences the whole man. Sin manifests as sinful acts and habits. But sin is more than these. Sin is the total corruption resident in man. Sin is always evil. What are the results of the first sin? Man lost the image of God. He lost the true knowledge of God, the righteousness and holiness given to him by God. Man became totally depraved. Sin’s pollution affected every part of man, body, soul and spirit. Man, now, is not capable to know and please God. He becomes afraid of God and His punishment, which includes death. Man feels ashamed of being deceived by the devil. It affected Adam and his marriage with Eve. His conscience accuses him. Man is driven away from the Garden of Eden. Man feels rejected by God. Man has been trying to re-gain the paradise lost. But he is trying to do that by his power and wisdom. He can never go back to the tree of life. The only way to go back is thru the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ! Christ went to the Cross!

THE FALL OF SATAN (The devil fell before Adam)

We continue to study the fall of man in the Garden. The devil possessed the serpent and used it to tempt Eve. To understand the power of sin we should look at who the devil is even before the fall of Adam in the Garden. This is what our Lord says about the devil: “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” (Jn 8:44). The devil was a murderer ‘from the beginning’. The devil was created by God long before Adam was created. He was once created perfect. He oversaw the praise the worship in heaven. Our Lord calls him ‘a murderer from the beginning’. It means that all his good deeds before what is called ‘the beginning’ were cancelled by God. The devil has no good testimony. He was a murderer and a liar, from the beginning. When he rebelled in heaven, he could not kill anyone. God created the earth and man on it. To prove that the devil is a murderer, God allowed him to ‘kill’ Adam and Eve, the crown of God’s creation. The universe could not have known how wicked the devil is before Adam was led to death by the devil’s temptation. Thru Adam, all mankind died. This murderer and liar, the devil, was the same who deceived Eve saying: “Has God indeed said, ‘You shall not eat of every tree of the garden’?” (Gen 3:1). Eve did not know that ‘an armed robber’, the enemy of the God who created her, was talking to her. He pretended to be an innocent friend, passing by in the garden. You can see how the devil deceived Eve. She did not see the truth about his wickedness behind the pleasant question.

The devil was created perfect. Later, he became proud and wanted to take God’s place. One third of the angels created by God followed him in his rebellion. God threw them out of heaven to the earth. We are not given many details but just a glimpse of the tragedy that happened in heaven, long before Adam was created. “How you are fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! How you are cut down to the ground, you who weakened the nations! For you have said in your heart: ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, To the lowest depths of the Pit” (Is 14:12-15). As you can see, the devil was once perfect, with wisdom and beauty. He was called ‘Lucifer’, the Son of the Morning. But once he became proud, he sinned. God sent him away from heaven. Our Lord said that before He became a Man on earth, He saw the fall of Satan. The word Devil means Slanderer and the word Satan means Accuser. The devil was a fallen angel even before God created Adam. In a way, God created Adam and Eve as a ‘bait’ for the Devil. Our Lord knew that the devil sinned and was thrown down from heaven. “Jesus said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Nevertheless, do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.” (Lk 10:18-20).

The devil is also called Dragon, The serpent of Old, Satan and the Accuser of the Brethren. Our Lord came to earth, He died in our place that we may be free from the judgment of sin and death. In Christ we have received much more that Adam lost thru his fall. In Christ, we have authority to fight and conquer the devil. Our weapons are faith in the Blood of Jesus shed on the Cross and the Word of our Testimony. To share a testimony is more than telling people that ‘God help me to buy a new car’. Thank God for your car. But, you need to share how the Word of God has worked in you, how it has transformed you. For a testimony to truly become a weapon, the Word of God must change your heart and give you an eternal value. A true testimony is telling people what God has done for you to take you to heaven. That testimony is a weapon. The devil fears it! We must speak more about the victory we have in Jesus! Halleluiah!  

“And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. Then I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, “Now salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of His Christ have come, for the accuser of our brethren, who accused them before our God, day and night, has been cast down. they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death. Therefore rejoice, O heavens, and you who dwell in them! Woe to the inhabitants of the earth and the sea! For the devil has come down to you, having great wrath, because he knows that he has a short time.” (Rev 12:7-12). Lesson: God has a plan and a purpose for His creation. He is the Creator and the Redeemer of man! God created the universe! After man fell, God redeemed man, thru the Cross! God will punish sin and the devil! Halleluiah!

The Bible is the most practical book. It tells the story of God and of humanity. Genesis 1-3, this is the history of humanity. It is not an allegory. It is not fiction! Man has disobeyed God and God is searching for man, to save him. As sinners, we all know the sense of failure. We all search for happiness outside God, but we cannot find it! The Gospel brings us out from behind the trees. God’s voice is still calling you by name: “Where are you?” Why are men so unhappy, so helpless? Because the devil is their master, and he controls this world! That is the only explanation! The tragedy of man is that he only sees the visible. Only in Christ we can be set free, from the bondage, the pollution and power of sin! That is why Jesus died! There are two types of history running parallel: The visible and the invisible. The natural man sees only the visible history. The spiritual man sees both. That is his advantage and wisdom. The child of God sees God as the creator and the sustainer of the universe. He sees God thru the eyes of faith. The Gospel tells us the truth: we all fell with Adam. We are born sinners. We cannot help ourselves. We are destined to die and go to hell. God sent His only begotten Son to die in our place. The world hates the truth. The natural man hates to be told that he is a sinner. He loves the offer of free salvation, but he hates to humble himself as a man who offended God.

“Also for Adam and his wife the Lord God made tunics of skin, and clothed them” (Gen 3:21). God made clothes for them. Not from leaves, but from animal skins, possibly from lambs. Behind these simple words of ‘fashion design’ blood is shed. For the first time, Adam and Eve see God killing an animal. They have never seen death. Now they see it. They committed sin but another one died in their place. This is the Gospel of Christ Crucified!

Adam and Eve were sent out of the Garden. Just imagine the feeling… out of the beautiful, happy and safe, garden, made by God for them!!! They are now in the world, lonely, afraid, guilty, confused. In the Garden, they exercised dominion over all the creation, in the name of God. Now, they are now under the dominion of satan. They are rejected by God! There is a hope that one day, God will help them. But until then, they are alone.    

The devil spoke to Eve and addressed God as only Elohim, the Creator. He ignored the name Jehovah, which is the Covenant Relationship God. God spoke to Adam and Eve as Jehovah Elohim, the Husband Creator. But the devil was seducing Eve, implying that he is a better candidate to be her ‘husband’. She did not know that this new ‘romantic’ person called the devil, was a fallen angel. She did not know that she was speaking to an armed robber, a kidnapper. She was deceived to agree with the devil and to ‘marry’ him. In Christ, God is our Creator, Maker and Husband forever. Nothing can ever separate or divorce us. The Love of God in Christ is forever! Blood was shed for us to boast of His Love! Glory!

This is God’s promise to all who are in Christ: “Do not fear, for you will not be ashamed; Neither be disgraced, for you will not be put to shame; For you will forget the shame of your youth, And will not remember the reproach of your widowhood anymore. For your Maker is your husband, The Lord of hosts is His name; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel; He is called the God of the whole earth. For the Lord has called you Like a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, Like a youthful wife when you were refused,” Says your God. “For a mere moment I have forsaken you, But with great mercies I will gather you. With a little wrath I hid My face from you for a moment; But with everlasting kindness I will have mercy on you,” Says the Lord, your Redeemer” (Is 54:4-8). Oh, may the mercy of God locate you! May the Grace of God surround you! Worship the Lord!  

PRESS ON!

This is a word of encouragement for the believer who is at the threshold of deliverance. You have prayed and trusted God. You are now waiting for your healing, your breakthrough or your deliverance. But suddenly things got worse. Please read Exodus 5. Prophetically this is a drama and you are an actor there. Choose your ‘role’! Pharaoh stands for the devil. Moses and Aaron stand for mature servants of God, leaders, pastors. The people of God represent the believers in Christ. The Egyptians are your unbelieving friends and relatives. They do not understand your desire to be free. If they do not get converted to Jehovah they will be left behind once the door of freedom is opened for you. This is the background story: The people of Israel have been in Egypt for more than 400 years. Initially things were good for them but later, they became slaves to the Egyptians and suffered greatly. God sees their pain and sends Moses in His name to be their savior. Moses confronts Pharaoh, the king of Egypt with the words: “Let My people go, that they may hold a feast to Me in the wilderness!” (Ex 5:1). Pharaoh rejects Jehovah’s word. He attacks God’s people. He increases the burden upon the slaves. From now on they have to work double for the same ‘salary’. The leaders of God’s people are under great pressure to perform the impossible. To please Pharaoh they oppress their own people. But they failed to perform. They are beaten and abused by the Egyptians task masters. Lesson: persecution coming from your friends and enemies shall increase just before your healing, your deliverance. Behind them is the devil who is trying to stop your progress!

Under pressure to work in such a negative environment of hopeless frustration and deep depression, the people of God make two mistakes. The first one is this: they go and cry to Pharaoh to make their labor lighter. Pharaoh refuses to listen to their pleas and even insults them saying that they are ‘idle and lazy’. Pharaoh calls their desire to worship Jehovah as ‘lies and vain words’. Lesson: the devil has no mercy. Never expect any good thing from the devil. He will try to kill you with work so that you forget to worship your God. You should cry to God and not to the devil. This is the second mistake: Rejected by Pharaoh, the people of God insulted Moses and Aaron. They blamed their leaders for their troubles. Lesson: if you are blind to God’s plan to heal you, to deliver you, to bless you, when trouble comes you will attack the man of God who brought you the good news of salvation and hope. Never insult your pastors! Bless and pray for them! Moses stands as a true man of God. In the past, when his people rejected him as their leader, Moses ran away from ministry. But this time he stands trusting God. He does the right thing: “Moses returned to the Lord” (Ex 5:22).

Moses prays to God who answers with an immediate action. This is not a time for only words! God promises to punish Egypt and they will know that He is God! “Then the Lord said to Moses, “Now you shall see what I will do to Pharaoh. For with a strong hand he will let them go, and with a strong hand he will drive them out of his land.” And God spoke to Moses and said to him: “I am the Lord” (Ex 6:1, 2)

Child of God, these are some lessons for this season: God calls you to serve Him but your obedience must be tasted. You have to stand faithful even when you are lonely and rejected like Moses! Trust God who called you. Do not trust in man! Never complain! Do not slander your pastors! Pray for wisdom, for understanding of God’s plan in your life! God sees the end from the beginning. Pray that you see the end of the trial too! The joy you see at the end will empower you to endure! The devil hates God’s worship and God’s work. You must pay the price to be a worshipper or a worker for God! Trust God for the breakthrough! For miracles! For vengeance! You should know that before the day breaks the night is the darkest. Be encouraged! Forget the past! The devil is a liar and a loser! God has the last say! Press on into the light! Exercise your faith! Hold on to your hope! God is working something on your behalf! God is not a man that He should lie! This trial will not kill you! You shall come out of this fire stronger than ever! Your testimony has been approved by God! Both friends and enemies will see it! None can stop it! Let the weak say: I am strong! Let the sick say: I am healed! Let the poor say: I am rich! Let the oppressed say: I am free! Free to worship God! To the glory of God! Be filled with the Holy Spirit! In Jesus’ name, amen!

“And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not” (Gal 6:9)