Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh preached a sermon titled The early Church (5)/ The Doctrine of the Unity of the Spirit. Her main text was taken from the Book of Acts.  “When the Day of Pentecost had fully come, they were all with one accord in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a rushing mighty wind, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting. Then there appeared to them divided tongues, as of fire, and one sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance.… he (Peter) testified and exhorted them, saying, “Be saved from this perverse generation.” Then those who gladly received his word were baptized; and that day, about three thousand souls were added to them. And they continued steadfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, in the breaking of bread, and in prayers. Then fear came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were done through the apostles. Now all who believed were together, and had all things in common, and sold their possessions and goods, and divided them among all, as anyone had need. So continuing daily with one accord in the temple, and breaking bread from house to house, they ate their food with gladness and simplicity of heart, praising God and having favor with all the people. And the Lord added to the church daily those who were being saved” (Ac 2:1-4; 40-47).


The disciples were waiting for the Promise of the Father, the Holy Spirit, in unity of the Spirit. It was a requirement of Jesus for the Spirit to come and ‘weld’ them into a new Body called the Church. We are told that they were ‘all with one accord in one place’ (Ac 2:1). The early church continued the practice this unity of the Spirit so that the Holy Spirit can work in their midst and thru them. The unity of the Spirit is vital for the organic growth of the Church and for experiencing miracles. One of the most difficult things to do is to keep is the unity of the Spirit!!!

Unity is generally defined as the state of being ONE! It is a condition of harmony, peace, joy, balance, and beauty. Unity is a state when the different parts agree with one another and work for the common good. Unity is togetherness. Unity is power. The opposite of unity is division and confusion. These are the basic attitudes of the world, as the result of the Curse of Babel (Genesis 11). “God is not the author of confusion but of peace, as in all the churches of the saints” (1 Cor 14:33). In Greek, the word ‘confusion’ means disorder, tumult (when a group of restless people argue, and talk loud at the same time). The word peace in Greek (irene) means to have a calm sound mind, and to experience prosperity. Peace is unity and confusion is division of mind. The Church of the Living God is the only gathering of people in the world where there is unity of the Spirit. The Church is blessed, and the curse of Babel is destroyed in her midst. The unity of the Spirit manifests as life, power, and growth! This law applies to godly marriages too. The relationship between husband and wife should be in flesh and Spirit. Then the marriage become ‘born again’, it matures, becoming a source of life and ministry to many.

The doctrine of the unity of the Spirit says that the Church, the Body of Christ, is One! It is composed of all the believers in Christ Jesus, but the Body is One! This supernatural unity is the direct effect of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. Though One, we are many, collectively following Christ our Head and together fulfilling His purpose and will. “For as the body is one and has many members, but all the members of that one body, being many, are one body, so also is Christ. For by one Spirit we were all baptized into one body—whether Jews or Greeks, whether slaves or free—and have all been made to drink into one Spirit” (1 Cor 12:12, 13).

The Unity of the Spirit is not a natural desire to stay together, or to try to be friendly to one another. It is said that ‘birds of the same feather flock together’. Christians are ‘birds’ of the same Spirit ‘feather’. It is also said that ‘blood is thicker than water’. It is true. But Spirit is thicker than blood. The unity of the brethren in the Church is the desire of Jesus Christ, the Head of the Church, and it is maintained by the Holy Spirit.  

The unity of the Spirit is a peculiar atmosphere among believers based on the same faith in Christ and in His Word. Unity cannot be forced. Unity cannot be achieved by obeying some laws. No man can produce it. It is the unity that only the Holy Spirit can produce. Man is not asked to produce this unity, but man must ‘keep’ it. Sin, especially pride, selfish ambition, hatred and competition, divides, damages, and destroys it. “Nothing will avail to divide the Church as love of power” (Chrysostom, died 407 AD).


“I do not pray for these alone, but also for those who will believe in Me through their word; that they all may be one, as You, Father, are in Me, and I in You; that they also may be one in Us, that the world may believe that You sent Me. And the glory which You gave Me I have given them, that they may be one just as We are one: I in them, and You in Me; that they may be made perfect in one, and that the world may know that You have sent Me, and have loved them as You have loved Me” (Jn 17:20-23). The Unity of the Spirit in the church is the result of God’s work in Christ. The Blood of Jesus was shed on the Cross for this unity to be given to us as a gift! Jesus requested for it from the Father. This unity reflects the Trinity’s glory and perfection on earth. It is a sign to the unbelievers that God is alive and working in the Church. Unity in the Church is one of the greatest tools for evangelism. Praise the Lord!

The unity of the Spirit is always spiritual and never in the flesh. The unity of the Spirit is always related to unity of faith. The believers are one in the Spirit because they believe the same major doctrines. They may disagree in ‘matters of indifference’ but they agree about the great basic doctrines of salvation. This is a spiritual law: before you can have fellowship with others, you must agree with them in the matter of faith and doctrines. Mind has more power than the emotions! These days, churches desire fellowship at any cost. But that assembly is not blessed by the Holy Spirit because they do not believe the same doctrine. Faith in the Word of God, in truth, is more important than fellowship. Selah!

The Church is made of many believers. There is a spiritual unity among them. It is not like a car that has many parts. It is like a human body that has many organs but the same blood flows thru all. Therefore, the unity of the Spirit is organic, not mechanical, not forced. Each believer is connected directly to Christ, who is the Head of the Church. At the same time, each believer connects to other believers thru the Spirit. This is the result of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit and Fire done by Christ. This is how the Church is a Living organic growing Body. The world is not united. All unbelievers are scattered and divided. When a sinner becomes saved, the Holy Spirit goes inside him and gives him eternal life. That life starts to manifest thru fruits of the Spirit and unity with other believers. Thru the Holy Spirit that new believer is baptized into the Body of Christ. He is not like an addition. It becomes part of the body. God has predestined that believer and has already prepared work for him to do. He becomes a part of the Body of Christ, receives gifts from the Holy Spirit and a vision of his work on earth for the glory of His Savior.

Unity is not conformity. All parts are not the same as biscuits in a box. In unity there is diversity. Like with the human body, some parts, like the eyes, are seen. Other organs, like ‘the private parts’, are covered. Other parts, like the organs inside the body are invisible. But all these parts are necessary to the life of the body. The parts cooperate and do not compete with one another. Each believer is called to be a disciple and a servant of Jesus. He matures spiritually so that he can work for God, do his part in the Body. No believer can survive on his own. The branches of the vine take their life sap from the vine. Jesus is the Vine, and we are the branches. Rebellion and division in the church is like deadly poison. For a believer there is nothing like ‘I do what I want and when I want it’. In the Body of Christ there is submission to God and to His delegated human authority. As each part submits, and grows, the Body becomes stronger. Therefore, there are stronger and weaker Christians. There are also stronger and weaker local Churches. Selah!  


“I, therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you to walk worthy of the calling with which you were called, with all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love, endeavoring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called in one hope of your calling; one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all… “till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ” (Eph 4:1-6; 13).

Apostle Paul is talking to the brethren in Ephesus. He knows that they meet in their houses. They are different in race, social status, and economic status. Some are masters and others are slaves. There are men, women, and children. What keeps them together is the unity of the faith in Christ and the Holy Spirit. In our churches today, we face the same challenges. The church is a mixed multitude. There are people of different races, ages, economic and social status. It has always been difficult to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. It is not easy for people, even for the believers in the church, to relate well to people who are different than they. Paul wrote this letter as a prisoner in Rome. He is pleading with them to walk worthy of the high calling as a Christian. The Holy Spirit is in each believer and in the Church. The Church is the only Body God can use to change the world. The highest gift from God is to be saved and become a member of His Body on earth!

The purpose for this unity is to give glory to God and for each believer to become like Christ! How is this unity to be maintained? ‘With all lowliness and gentleness, with longsuffering, bearing with one another in love in the bond (or band). The words describe an attitude of love, peace, humility, and gentleness, typical of a true believer. This attitude is not weakness, but strength. It is being like Jesus who said: “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” (Matt 11:28-30).

The unity of the Spirit is described in two ways: a Gift and a Goal! The unity of the Spirit is first a gift from the resurrected Christ. It must be gratefully received, kept, preserved, and protected, by all the believers. At the same time, the unity of the Spirit is a goal to attain. The unity of the Spirit in the Body of Christ is a Unity of Faith and Knowledge of the Son of God. The aim is to mature all believers, to become ‘perfect’, to become like Jesus! In that way, the Body of Christ becomes spiritually strong, pleasing to Christ. In other words, we protect what we have received, and we walk towards this perfect unity of the Spirit. It is like salvation: it is a gift to be received by faith and, thru the process of sanctification we ‘work it out with fear and trembling’ (Phil 2:12). This unity requires the study of God’s Word and prayer. Humility and love are basic attitudes to keep this unity, both in the Church and the marriage relationship. Faith in God is necessary too. Faith comes by hearing God’s Word (Rom 10:17). The knowledge of the Son of God, His life and work to save sinners, is found in the Word of God. Therefore, we can say that the church where the true Gospel, the true doctrines of salvation are preached, that is a church that will experience spiritual maturity, the unity of the Spirit and revival. Any church that preaches false doctrines will remain divided and will not experience unity or revival! The ’holy glue’ that keeps the unity in the Church is LOVE!


1-We are the same! To fulfill our calling we must be lowly, humble, gentle, and patient, bearing with one another in love. These are the necessary qualities to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace. When pride, selfish ambition, and impatience manifest, the unity and the peace is destroyed. It is Christ, thru His shed Blood on the Cross, and by Holy Spirit, that started this unity of the Spirit. When Jesus died, the wall of hateful separation between Jew and Gentile, between different groups of people, was ‘abolished’ (Eph 2:13-18). All the believers, as One Man, together, we have access to God the Father thru Jesus Christ our Lord! Hallelujah!

Our duty is to ‘keep’ this unity, to maintain it. We are all the same, sinners saved by grace! We may differ in some issues but for as long as we believe the major doctrines of salvation, we can keep the unity of the Spirit. The only people we cannot be united with are the people who are not saved, who believe false doctrines. This is a reminder that the single brethren should not marry unbelievers. They will be united in the flesh but not in the Spirit. That marriage cannot be happy or successful. Selah!

2-We are different! God made us different. We are of different races, gender, nationalities, levels of education or social status. In the world, the rich oppress the poor, the educated mock the illiterate. There is racial and gender discrimination. Just because they are different it is hard for men and women to keep the unity of the Spirit. One of the greatest challenges in marriage is to keep this unity of the Spirit. Sexual lust, adultery, greed, pride, and sin in general, destroys the glue of this Unity. Repentance and restitution are necessary for the unity to be re-established. Another area of pride and competition is the manifestation of spiritual gifts in the church. Christ gave each one of the believers’ different gifts. These gifts are for the unity and blessing of the Body. But these are a source of envy and division in the church. It should not be so. We need to acknowledge Christ’ sovereignty, authority, and generosity in giving gifts to men as He pleases. All gifts are for the benefit of the Body. No gift is to be used selfishly or for monetary gain. Don’t envy or despise other people’s gifts. Love and pray for one another!


“The Pharisees came and asked Him, “Is it lawful for a man to divorce his wife?” testing Him. And He answered and said to them, “What did Moses command you?” They said, “Moses permitted a man to write a certificate of divorce, and to dismiss her.” And Jesus answered and said to them, “Because of the hardness of your heart he wrote you this precept. But from the beginning of the creation, God ‘made them male and female.’ ‘For this reason, a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh’; so, then they are no longer two, but one flesh. Therefore, what God has joined together, let not man separate.” In the house His disciples also asked Him again about the same matter. So He said to them, “Whoever divorces his wife and marries another commits adultery against her. And if a woman divorces her husband and marries another, she commits adultery” (Mark 10:2-12).

God hates divorce (Mal 2:16). Why?  Because God invented marriage. God created each man to have his own wife. In God’s original plan, there were not lonely or single people without a mate. Each man had his wife. Each couple had children. There was no sin, no divorce, and no death. There was not an option for polygamy. When the man and his wife got united in marriage they left their families, joined together, and became ‘one flesh’. Number ‘one’ cannot be divided. The children are the product of that ‘one flesh’. As you cannot cut a child into two and the child will still be alive, so, you cannot divorce two people who are already married. God ‘has joined them together’ means that marriage is God’s work and not man’s work. Divorce means to destroy God’s work. Every marriage, every conception in the womb, every delivery of a baby, these are the work of God! In the Old Testament breaking of marriage, or adultery, was punished with death (Lev 20:10). But if a man has sex with a (slave) single woman, the man shall be ‘scourged’ (beaten with 40 stripes) but not killed (Lev 19:20-22). This is to tell you that adultery because it was the breaking of God’s work, had a greater punishment than fornication!!! The last of the Ten Commandments forbade ‘coveting’. Adultery is ‘heart coveting or lusting’ of another man’s wife. This sexual lust is dangerously close to death punishment. Jesus said: “You have heard that it was said to those of old, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart” (Mt 5:27, 28). Adultery (in the body or in the heart) is a form of dividing and scattering God’s Work on earth. Repent therefore! The unity of the Spirit in marriage is maintained by the husband loving his wife as Christ loved the Church, and by the wife submitting to her own husband, as unto the Lord Jesus! (Eph 5:22-33). Selah!


Dividing people is a work of the flesh. “The works of the flesh are evident, which are: adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lewdness, 20 idolatry, sorcery, hatred, contentions, jealousies, outbursts of wrath, selfish ambitions, dissensions (strong disagreements), heresies, 21 envy, murders, drunkenness, revelries, and the like; of which I tell you beforehand, just as I also told you in time past, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal 5:19-21).

Division in the Church in a sin. Apostle Paul is asking: “Is Christ divided?” (1 Cor 1:13). Obviously, the answer is No! The unity of the Spirit in the church is the result of preaching the truth, the true Gospel. Preaching false doctrines leads to sin, lawlessness, and division. People who believe the same thing, will stay united. We are of the same Body of Christ, the same Blood saved all of us. We have the same Father therefore we are members of the same spiritual family. Based on this truth, we should be flexible and keep the unity of the Spirit.

The strategy of the devil in Church and in marriages, is this: “Divide and conquer!’ Do not be ignorant on this! There are many warnings against false brethren who infiltrate the church like spies, to find a weakness in the Body, to divide it. These deceivers may behave well, looking so much like true Christians. For a moment, stop admiring their works and listen to their words. You will discover that they believe false doctrines. They reject the true Gospel of Christ Crucified and Resurrected. They pretend to be humble, but they are proud. They pretend to love you, but, in their hearts, they desire that you should backslide. They want you to lose your reward. In the Old Testament, the spirit of Absalom represents the evil spirit of pride, division, selfish ambition, bitterness and unforgiveness, sexual lust, and love for power. He tried to divide the kingdom. He deceived the people of Israel thru lies and flatteries. In this way, he ‘stole their hearts’ (2 Samuel 15:6). He died an untimely, shameful, death. This was God’s punishment. Selah!   

A homewrecker is someone who has an adulterous affair with a married person and causes that marriage to fail. He (she) is responsible for a couple’s separation or divorce. He is happy that the couple has divorced. He wants to replace one of the married partners with himself. Apart from human beings, there are other evil activities also called ‘homewreckers’: pornography, alcoholism, drug addiction, gambling addiction, or domestic violence. The opposite of a homewrecker is called a homebuilder. Generally, love and wisdom build a home. Foolishness and selfishness destroy a family. “The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down” (PV 14:1). This is a question: If God punishes adultery with death, how much more serious is the sin of church-wrecking? Selah!     

We are commanded to totally separate from false brethren who reject the basic doctrine (or Gospel) of Christ (2 Jn 1:7-11). We are also commanded to note people who divide the body with false teachings, lies and flattery. If they refuse to repent, they will be crushed by the Prince of Peace! Avoid them! “Now I urge you, brethren, note those who cause divisions and offenses, contrary to the doctrine which you learned, and avoid them. For those who are such do not serve our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly, and by smooth words and flattering speech deceive the hearts of the simple. For your obedience has become known to all. Therefore, I am glad on your behalf; but I want you to be wise in what is good, and simple concerning evil. And the God of peace will crush Satan under your feet shortly… Amen!” (Rom 16:17-20). Avoid people who are easily offended, over-sensitive, who quarrel, and verbally abuse others, especially the leaders in the church. Divisive people need to be disciplined in the church. “Avoid foolish disputes, genealogies, contentions, and strivings about the law; for they are unprofitable and useless. Reject a divisive man after the first and second admonition, knowing that such a person is warped and sinning, being self-condemned” (Titus 3:9-11). Also, avoid people who gossip and are bitter, unforgiving. “A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends” (PV 16:28; NIV). Unforgiveness divides friends. “He who covers and forgives an offense seeks love, but he who repeats or gossips about a matter separates intimate friends” (PV 17:9; AMP). Selah!


“Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, one will lift up his companion. But woe to him who is alone when he falls, For he has no one to help him up. Again, if two lie down together, they will keep warm; But how can one be warm alone? Though one may be overpowered by another, two can withstand him. And a threefold cord is not quickly broken” (Ecc 4:9-12)

The word ‘overpowered’ means to prevail. The word ‘withstand’ means to resist successfully against an attack. The word ‘broken’ means to tear apart, to divide or separate. There is power in unity. This applies to marriage and to church. A lonely Christian is vulnerable specially to attacks. Having another to agree in prayer and encouragement is strength. Two cannot be pushed back. The third cord that binds the other two is Jesus Christ. This is the unity of the Spirit. Two in the unity of the Spirit can be divided only if they damage the unity seal. This is what Jesus said: “Again, I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven.  For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them” (Matt 18:19-20).


How do we maintain the unity of the Spirit? By being like Jesus! By dying to self and living to Christ! “Therefore, if there is any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship of the Spirit, if any affection and mercy, 2 fulfill my joy by being like-minded, having the same love, being of one accord; of one mind. 3 Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. 4 Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others” (Phil 2:1-4).


“Therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, 20 having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief cornerstone, 21 in whom the whole building, being fitted together, grows into a holy temple in the Lord, 22 in whom you also are being built together for a dwelling place of God in the Spirit” (Eph 2:19-22). God builds His Church, like His Holy Temple. God arranges us as living stones, one to support the other. Each believer is a living stone filled with the Holy Spirit. Your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit. But together, as One Body, we become ‘the dwelling place of God’ the Holy Spirit. This Body is alive and growing. This Body changes the world. All things work together for the good of not only individual believers, but for the good of the Church! The Church is The Father’s gift to the Son! The Church is the most expensive thing bought in this universe. Jesus died and shed His Blood to purchase it. The Church is the temple on earth where the Holy Spirit dwells. The Church is God’s greatest treasure. The Church is the foundation and pillar of truth and the best sample of heaven on earth! Worship the Lord!


“Bind Us Together, Lord/ Bind Us Together/ With Cords That Cannot Be Broken

Bind Us Together, Lord/ Bind Us Together/ Bind Us Together In Love!

There Is Only One God/ There Is Only One King/ There Is Only One Body/ That Is Why We Sing” (song by Bob Gillman)

Worship the Lord!


“He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed” (Is 53:3-5)

This is the description of our Savior and Lord Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit revealed it to the Prophet Isaiah long before the first Christmas. Isaiah saw Him as a suffering servant set to do the will of God. He also saw Him in His glory that followed His sufferings. This is a word for all who are sick at heart, in their mind on in their body. ‘By His stripes we are healed!’ Please meditate upon these words! It is not saying that ‘we shall be healed’ in the future. We are healed now! If you believe that Jesus was punished and died on the Cross for your sins and that He carried away your sicknesses then you are healed NOW! The word ‘stripes’ means permanent marks on the body following severe beating with the whip or with the rod. It is a raised mark on the surface of the body produced by a grievous blow. The Lord acquired these stripes on the Cross. He took the punishment for our sins. In heaven He has a new body but the stripes are still there as a reminder. His hands are still punctured by the nails on earth. Oh, what a Savior…

This is my testimony: When I am sick, I pray and trust God for healing. I repeat these holy words with faith and courage: ‘By Your stripes I am healed!’ I repeat these words again and again; when I am in the kitchen and cooking; when I climb the stairs… I say these words when I take my shower… By the time my mouth is tired of saying them, the sickness is gone! The Word of God is a holy seed. Let it enter into your spirit! It will produce roots and fruits. One of the fruits is called faith! May your faith increase! May your testimony be established! Glory to God!


“My wife, there is no retirement with worshipping God. Even in our old age, we must serve Him to the end. His holy calling to us as pastors does not have a retirement program. God will give us more grace and more wisdom, even as we get older and our bodies get weaker. Fear not! God’s strength shall equal our days!”

(The advice of my husband, Pastor Richmond Sisan Leigh, to me, before he went to heaven. These are precious words to me!)


“For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Marvelous are Your works, and that my soul knows very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed and in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them. How precious also are Your thoughts to me, O God! How great is the sum of them!” (Ps 139:13-17)

God knows everything about you. God knows everything about your children. You are not a mistake. You were in God’s mind before you came on earth! You are a planned pregnancy! God formed you in the secret place where no human eye can see, and no human hand can touch. Today, take a moment and praise the God who formed your inward parts! He started with one little cell and lovingly multiplies it to become a baby! All your organs function well without asking for your help. God covered you in your mother’s womb! The word ‘covered’ means to place a screen over the baby, to protect and defend him (or her) from enemies. There are so many reasons why a pregnancy can end in a miscarriage: the baby may be sick, the womb or the placenta may have a problem, the mother may be sick too. But even so, at just the right time, you came out alive and well. Praise the Lord!

God made all your organs. He formed the inward parts. These words mean the kidneys, the heart and all the rest organs. Everything inside you, all your organs, visible or invisible, co-operate with the will of God. That is why you live! God made and protected your body. God is jealous over the wellbeing of the organs! From the time of conception, until the very end, God protects your baby’s heart and mind. No heart beats by itself. God counts the beats, the seconds, and the days! Trust God! You will not experience miscarriage. You will not be cheated by untimely death! God knows His job! God is in control! Praise Him! I mean really praise God aloud with singing!

You who pray to have children, may God give you, your heart’s desire! For nothing is impossible for God! Just vow to give God alone all the glory!

Today I praise God for His protection over me, from my conception until the very end! Today I praise God for His continuous personal loving protection over my children and grandchildren! My life and my children we are signs and wonders of the grace of the only Living God! From the bottom of my heart, I praise You, Lord! By God’s grace, I am fearfully and wonderfully made. My very body declares the power and the glory of Almighty God! I can never feel ugly! I can never feel too short, too tall, too skinny, or too fat! I am a child of God! I am and I feel beautiful! He who made the stars and placed them in the sky, made me as well! God made me unique and special! His name is Wonderful! God has placed a soul in my body. God breathe His Spirit inside my soul! I am saved! Hallelujah!

(Picture taken from the internet of a 16-week-old baby)

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‘I have no greater joy than to hear that my children are walking in the truth’ (3Jn 1:4)

In these two pictures there is our older daughter, Alina. The distance of time between the two pictures is almost forty years. What a time! So many precious memories come to my mind… Things changed, locations are not the same… Even our faces have changed… But one thing is sure: God has been with us all this time. I also declare that He will be with us unto the end of time.

This morning I am pondering once more, with thanksgiving in my heart, about God’s gift of family, of having children. I still remember how anxious I was when I became a mother 43 years ago. Our children were all fruits of true love. As a young bride I loved my husband with all my heart. We met in Romania and fell in love over a cadaver (in the anatomy class)!!!! Against all odds we got married. At that time, I’ve never traveled out of Romania and I did not know where Nigeria is on the map. We had two children, a boy called Toju John and a girl called Alina Yemi. In 1980, my husband and I came to Nigeria, with our children. I was anxious during this transition, but I trusted my husband to lead and teach me to live here. I was not saved. I did not believe in God. I could not speak English. We got jobs in the Specialist Hospital Benin City. We hired a three bed room flat. We bought basic furniture and a small television set ‘black and white’. I was very happy. I chose to work in the Children’s department knowing that they will not complain about this ‘Oyibo’ who could not speak their language well.

Little by little I settled down. I was a wife, mother of two, and a medical doctor. I learned to eat and cook Nigerian food. It was cheaper to buy than the foreign food. Since then, I love to eat jolof rice, moi moi, acara, beans and dodo, shaki or Kpomo stew, pepper soup with goat meat with boiled tam, eggussi soup and vegetable soup. Later we moved to Warri and opened our private hospital called ‘Lily Clinic’. In 1986 I became born again thru a crisis conversion. My life in Nigeria became not just a story but a testimony! Glory to God!!!

The first picture of Alina is taken in Benin city, on the house we stayed later on Boundary Road. She was selecting discs to play music. She always loved music, to sing and to dance. The second picture is taken this year on a trip we went with her in Greece. We are visiting with her. She is a mother of three children herself. She is a nurse practitioner Her life has not been always easy, but it is good now. I remember my anxiety in the past, how much I wanted to protect my children from the challenges of life in this difficult place called ‘the world’. Later, after I became saved, I will fast and pray that our children will fulfill destiny. Looking back, I can testify that God is a faithful God to me as a wife, mother and now, a grandmother. God is good all the time! What a privilege to witness God’s love in the lives of our children…

I walked with my children hand in hand when they were little and heart in heart now that they are adults. Tears were shared. Joys were exchanged. Wisdom of life was imparted! The Lord Jesus promised never to leave us and never to forsake us. He had kept His precious Word!!! This morning, visiting our children and grandchildren, with gratitude in my heart, I bow my head and I worship God!! I declare that there is no one like God! To help in troubled times and to bring to fulfillment dreams of long ago! He who invented love and family, He who has started it all shall complete it to His glory! Thank You Father, Son and Holy Ghost! In Jesus’ name, amen! To God be all the glory!

(From Malia’s diary, 05-09-2018)



During the Sunday service, Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh preached a sermon titled ‘The early church (2)/ The Curse of Babel/ The power of the name of Jesus! Her main text was taken from the Books of Genesis 11 and Acts 1:12-14; 2:1-13; 2:36-47.


We shall study the early church from the Day of Pentecost until the end of the recorded acts in the Bible.  The pattern of the early church is the same as what happens during revivals. This study should ignite revival in our hearts, in our church, and the overflow should bless the city. Doctor Luke wrote both the Books of Luke and Acts. We shall study the early church in the book of Acts learn how the believers behaved at that time. The early church shows us the perfect pattern of the church, what God had in mind when He sent the Holy Ghost to the believers. One thing is clear, it was a church experiencing revival, a supernatural body that influenced the world. The church started with 120 believers. Right now, there are 2.18 billion Christians around the world representing nearly a third of the estimated global population of 6,9 billion. The Christians are so much spread that no geographical area can claim to be the center of Christianity. The early church was growing in numbers and in authority. They sent evangelists and missionaries to preach the Word. We know that they loved the Word of God, they loved their fellowship, they prayed, they preached, and they did miracles. They held the name of Jesus in highest honor. They had supernatural boldness, authority, and power in the name of Jesus. They lived in the unity of the Spirit. They were extremely conscious of who Christ is in heaven and in their midst. They knew their identity as believers, what Christ has done for them. They exercised holy discipline when necessary, so that the church remains pure. They were loving, helpful, and generous with one another. All were not wealthy but there were not needy among them. They were persecuted by the religious leaders, but always victorious. The pattern of the early church is the original pattern. There are many lessons for us. The coming down of the Holy Spirit and the early church is a holy model for revival and evangelism.

In the book of Luke 24 we see that The Resurrected Christ spoke to His disciples about the plan and the purpose of God, concerning the church. He opened their understanding concerning Himself, as the Living Word of God. They now saw it that Christ needed to suffer and die for sinners, so that they can be saved. They also saw that Christ rose from the dead according to the scriptures. Christ commanded them to go and preach Him and His Gospel to Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria and to other nations. But first, they needed the Gift of the Holy Spirit, to be baptized into one Body and so that they can receive power to do ministry. The promised Holy Spirit came on them on the day of Pentecost, exactly 50 days since Christ resurrected and 10 days since He ascended. The believers were baptized together by the Holy Spirit into a new eternal Body called The Church, or the Body of Christ. The Church is not a manmade organization, a social club, or a branch of the Government. It is the Body or Christ. It is a living organic united Body made from all the born-again believers who have died, live presently, and will live in the future.

The only book that describes how the church began is the Bible. This is the truth revealed in the Bible: God created man for Himself. Man rebelled against God and sin entered the world. The punishment for sin is death. God sends His Son Jesus Christ to become a Man and to die on behalf of men. Jesus dies, is buried, and rises on the third day. Forty days later Jesus ascends to heaven as the Lord of all. He promised to send the Promise of the Father, the Holy Spirit. Ten days later, on the Day of Pentecost, from heaven, He sends the Holy Spirit on the waiting believers. The Holy Spirit unites them like the welding fire. He baptizes them into one Body. He gives them the power to be witnesses unto Him, from Jerusalem, to all Judea, to Samaria, and to the end of the world. This is the Gospel. The Church preaches the Gospel. In this world of sin, the Gospel is the only good news. On the Day of Pentecost, filled with the Holy Spirit, Peter stands and boldly preaches the Gospel. The people were ‘pricked in the heart’ and repent of their sins. That day, God added 3000 souls to the Church.

What is a Christian? The first thing we see that a Christian is a sinner saved by Grace. The early believers changed dramatically. In the past, they believed in Jesus but were afraid of persecution and of death. Now, they suddenly fear nothing and nobody. Their lives bear fruits of godliness. A Christian is someone who has the Holy Spirit inside. The religious unbeliever may attend church but does not have the Holy Spirit inside him. Salvation manifests as a new way of thinking, feeling, and making decisions. For the first time in his life, the Christian begins to think. Sinners do not think. They follow the crowd. But the Christian is spiritually intelligent. He thinks. He understands the Word of God. He can explain his faith. One of the first works of the Holy Spirit is that you begin to think and ask questions about life and death. When Peter preaches people start asking questions: “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” The moment you start asking questions, you will find the answers. Peter said: “Repent and let every one of you be baptized in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins; and you shall receive the gift of the Holy Spirit”. When the Holy Spirit provides the answers, the light of God will shine on your soul. For the very first time in your life, you will see how ignorant you have been all your life. You will know that all these years you were dead in sins. But now, you have received life, eternal life. Joy full of glory will fill your soul! Salvation in Christ is a miracle! It is the greatest gift given by God to man! Halleluiah!

THE CURSE OF BABEL (Genesis 11:1-9)

After the ascension of Christ, the believers went back to Jerusalem, to the upper room where they were staying (Ac 1:12-14). They were together, men and women, including Mary, the mother of Jesus. They all ‘continued’ with one accord in prayer and supplication. In Greek, the word ‘continued’ means to persevere, to persist in waiting upon, steadfastly (in a fixed way, faithful, responsible, no distractions). The unity of the Spirit was a miracle. It was something totally different and new in the history of man. For us to understand the vision, the unity, and the power of the Church, we must go back in time and study the false unity of men against God manifested in the building of the Tower of Babel.

God created man for His purpose. In the Garden of Eden, thru disobedience, man fell into sin. The sin of Adam has been transmitted to all humanity. We are all born sinners, hating God and His ways. God announced the Gospel in the Garden. The seed of the woman shall come and crush the head of the serpent. This is the first prophecy concerning the coming Christ as Savior to men. God curses the serpent, limits the unity of marriage, and curses the ground. After that, God kills a lamb and uses the bloody skins to cover Adam and Eve. This is the second prophetic revelation of Christ, the Lamb of God, who will die to save men. Lastly, God drives the couple out of the Garden. Sin and death have entered the world. Soon, all men except for Noah and his family, become exceedingly sinful. God destroys humanity thru the flood. Only eight people, Noah, his wife, their three sons and wives, survive the flood thru the Ark, which is another symbol of salvation in Christ. This was a new beginning for man! It was a second chance for humanity to live according to God’s word. But man failed again. About 100 years after the flood, men come together in rebellion against God. This is the story of the tower of Babel.

God commanded both Adam and Noah to multiply and spread all over the earth. “God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply, and fill the earth and subdue it; rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and every creature that crawls upon the earth.” (Gen 1:28). “So, God blessed Noah and his sons, and said to them: “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth” (Gen 9:1). We are told that the men ‘journeyed East’ and gathered on the plain land of Shinar to build a city that will cover the earth and reach heaven. They obeyed God’s command to fill the earth but soon, they stopped. They decided ‘to dwell’ on the Plane of Shinar. That was disobedience to God! Most Bible commentators believe that the land of Shinar is in the present-day Iraq and is the same with Babylon. Shinar is a desert land. There are no stones to build. The men made bricks from mud and water and baked them in the fire, so that they become strong. They wanted the building to last forever. The purpose in building that tower was threefold: They wanted to build a city whose tower can reach the heavens, to compete with God. Secondly, they wanted to make a name for themselves, to become famous all over the earth. Thirdly, they wanted to stay together in an unholy unity of the flesh, directly disobeying God’s command to fill the earth. Three times they addressed one another with the words” ‘Let us.’ In Hebrew, the word ‘city’ means ‘excitement.’  To ‘make a name for yourself’ it means to have a good reputation, to become famous, celebrated and respected by many people; to become successful and well-known. The men building the tower wanted to be successful, excited about their fame. They wanted to be admired by men and not by God. They wanted to become God to themselves. Sinful men wanted to build a city where they can live without God. There is much pride and rebellion in their fleshly unity. God hates that!

The Trinity came down to see what the sinful men are doing. The men said: Let us build ourselves … The Trinity said: Let US go down and confuse their languages.  Sinful men are foolish men. They forget that no man can fight God and win. God could have killed all the men again the way He did it during the flood. This time, He let them live, but He scattered them by confusing their languages. God forced them to obey His Word that said: “Be fruitful and fill the earth!” When they started building the tower, they were united in sin. All spoke only one language. When God sent judgment on that sinful unity, He confused their languages. Men started speaking many languages and none could understand each other. The word Babel (from which the word Babylon comes) means ‘confusion’. Confusion is defined as a situation in which people do not understand what is happening, what they should do or who someone or something is. Confusion is ignorance of the truth. Confusion leads to anxiety and embarrassment. Babylon stands for the world, the system of men living like there is no God! Confused by their languages, they stopped building the city and they scattered all over the world, according to God’s command. The building of Babel shows what men can do, their power in unity of purpose. This sinful unity is a form of witchcraft, which is a work of the flesh (Gal 5:20). God condemns that!

The first man to have an idea to build a city was Cain, who killed his brother Abel (Gen 4:17). The first criminal in the history of humanity is the first architect to build a city. These are some reasons why people leave their villages and gather into cities: They want to make a name for themselves. They think that living in a farm or a village they will die poor, unfulfilled, and unknown. The second reason why men love cities is because they feel protected from wild animals and criminals. In the ancient times, cities have high walls surrounding them. But men are foolish because no walls can stop God inspecting them. You can see the story of Jericho city. Lastly, men build cities because they can get lost in the crowd and commit sins without feeling guilty. Like Babel, the big cities are centers of crime much more than the smaller ones. What is the lesson? God judges sinful men. None can hide from God!

Abraham was born about 300 years after the building of the tower of Babel. He was born in a city called Ur of the Chaldeans, about 200 kilometers south from ancient Babylon. See the difference between these sinful men who built the tower of Babel and Abraham, a man called by God!  The sinful men journeyed by themselves and settled at Shinar. They picked the land. But in the case of Abraham, God picked the Land. Abraham went by faith, led by God not knowing where he was going. His nephew Lot loved the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah. He lost his testimony, his wife, and his wealth in those cursed cities. Abraham chooses to stay in the desert. God told Abraham that He will give him as a gift, all the things the city people wanted. He will be a blessing to all the nations on the earth and God will make him a name forever. Listen to God’s promise to His friend and servant, Abraham: “Get out of your country, from your family and from your father’s house to a land that I will show you. 2 I will make you a great nation; I will bless you and make your name great; And you shall be a blessing. 3 I will bless those who bless you, and I will curse him who curses you; and in you all the families of the earth shall be blessed” (Gen 12:1-3). God will be His Protection, Provision, Fame, and Peace!

The promise to Abraham is ours thru Christ! As you can see there is a great difference between Babel, the city of man, and the city of God! Abraham lived in tents, in the desert, as a pilgrim on earth. “He waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God” (Heb 11:10). God’s curse of confusion in the world manifests since those ancient times. Men have discovered many things. Science has made great progress. Men build great buildings, fly with airplanes and rockets. They even went to the moon. Despite all these discoveries, men still do not know God, and do not understand themselves. Men still quarrel and fight with one another. They are confused about life and relationships. They have no peace. Right now, there are 7151 spoken languages all over the world. Most people speak Mandarin Chinese, followed by Spanish, English and Hindi. You can see that it is not easy to understand each other.

Is there any hope for peace and unity? Yes! The God that confused the languages at Babel, is the same God who sent His Son to die for sinful men, who sent the Holy Spirit to start the church. The curse of confusion and division is reversed into blessing on the day of Pentecost when the Holy Spirit came down on the waiting disciples, when the church of Christ was born. The unity of the Spirit was born. The curse of confusing languages was removed. Men started to speak in new tongues, praising God. They now understood one another. They became united by the Holy Spirit. The Church of the Christ is not a human organization the way Babel was. It is God’s supernatural eternal work, thru the Holy Spirit sent from God the Father, because of the sacrifice of God’s Son, Jesus Christ! Now you see why the Church cannot be destroyed. Halleluiah!

The story of the tower of Babel shows not only God’s judgment against sin, but His extraordinary mercy. God could have bombed the tower, destroyed it, killing all the rebellious people. But He did not do that! He confused their languages. What is the lesson? Any time you hear quarrels, confusions, and misunderstandings, remember Babel, and thank God for His mercy to sinful men.  


The men who were building Babel wanted to make a name for themselves; to become famous, to have a great reputation, to be admired and worshiped by other men. With their pride, they provoked God in heaven! When Jesus became a man, he humbled Himself and let go of any form of human reputation. He died on the Cross. That is why God made Him famous! At the name of Jesus, every knee now bows! The Gospel is the story of The Humbled and Exalted Christ! We must have the same mind and attitude. We serve God not to make a name for ourselves but to lift the name of Jesus! Then God will bless us! The name of a person is his identity. When Jesus went back to heaven, He left special gifts to His disciples: His Word, His peace, His joy, His blessings (at the ascension), His Spirit (at Pentecost), and His name. The name represents the person of Jesus in His absence. It is like His ATM card connected to His account in heaven. Only God’s children have the right to use that ATM card and withdraw money from the eternal bank. There is no limit to the amount you can withdraw. Faith is needed to withdraw money. All the money should be used for the glory of the name of Jesus and not for fleshly purposes. When the unbelievers, proud men try to withdraw money, they are punished by the Holy Spirit. 

*The name of Jesus is supernatural. It was given to the Son of God by God the Father. Mary and Joseph did not choose this name. In Hebrew, He is called Joshua. It means God Saves or The Savior! It was a common name at that time. To identify Him, He was called Jesus of Nazareth.

*The name of Jesus is the only name by which men can be saved from sins or danger! The name of Jesus is the only ‘password’ to heaven and to the heavenly realms. That includes salvation, healings, and miracles!

“And in that day you will ask Me nothing. Most assuredly, I say to you, whatever you ask the Father in My name He will give you. Until now you have asked nothing in My name. Ask, and you will receive, that your joy may be full” (John 16:23-24). “Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Ac 4:12). “The name of the Lord is a strong tower: the righteous runs into it and is safe” (PV 18:10). The name of Jesus is a stronger tower than Babel! Ministry in the name of Jesus attracts persecution. “And it came to pass, on the next day, that their rulers, elders, and scribes, as well as Annas the high priest, Caiaphas, John, and Alexander, and as many as were of the family of the high priest, were gathered together at Jerusalem. And when they had set them in the midst, they asked, “By what power or by what name have you done this?” Then Peter, filled with the Holy Spirit, said to them, “Rulers of the people and elders of Israel: If we this day are judged for a good deed done to a helpless man, by what means he has been made well, let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole. This is the ‘stone which was rejected by you builders, which has become the chief cornerstone.’ Nor is there salvation in any other, for there is no other name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved” (Acts 4:5-12)

*The name of Jesus has authority above all other names! The name of Jesus is above the name of any sickness or disease or situation. Whatever has a name is below the name of Jesus and must give way to it, no matter where it may come from: heaven, earth, or hell.

“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, 6 who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross. Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father” (Phil 2:5-11).

*The name of Jesus represents the Person of Jesus! Just like Jesus was on earth performing all works and miracles, His name now represents Him! Miracles in His name are signs following the preaching of the true Gospel: Christ crucified and risen for my sins! The preaching of false doctrines will make the name of Jesus powerless! God will judge those people!

“And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues; they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.” So then, after the Lord had spoken to them, He was received up into heaven, and sat down at the right hand of God. And they went out and preached everywhere, the Lord working with them and confirming the word through the accompanying signs. Amen” (Mark 16:17-20)

*The devil knows the power of the name of Jesus! All deliverance is done by faith in the name of Jesus.

“Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling. This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.” And this she did for many days. But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And he came out that very hour” (Acts 16:16-18)

*The name of Jesus should only be used mixed with faith in God and His Word. Therefore, it is only the born-again Christians that are authorized to use the name of Jesus! The unbelievers are not permitted to use. They can even be punished for it. This is God’s command: “You shall not take the name of the Lord your God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain” (Ex 20:7). See the story of the sons of Sceva. This is a warning: Using the name of Jesus carelessly, or with doubt in your heart, will not work. “Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.” Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so. And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?” Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded. This became known both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified” (Acts 19:13-17). Because of this incident, the people feared God and highly honored the name of Jesus! The people discovered that the name of Jesus cannot be manipulated, that it is not an ordinary name.

What is the lesson for us? We receive our identity in Christ alone. His powerful name is an encouragement to desire a good name and a godly testimony for ourselves! This is God’s Word: “A good name [earned by honorable behavior, godly wisdom, moral courage, and personal integrity] is more desirable than great riches; And favor is better than silver and gold” (PV 22:1; AMP). If you are living in sin, you damage your name and testimony. It will then be impossible to have faith in the name of Jesus! Godliness is related to authority! Selah!

Prophetic word: “I know your works. See, I have set before you an open door (of opportunity), and no one can shut it; for you have a little strength, have kept My word, and have not denied My name” (Rev 3:8). Worship the Lord!