During the Sunday service Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh preached a sermon titled My Progress is evident to all (8 ). Her main scriptures were taken from the Books of 1 Timothy 4:12-16; Gal 5:16- 26; 1 Samuel 1:1-28; 2:1-11.


“Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you” (1 Tim 4:12-16)

Prophetic word: We declare that in Christ, we have entered our Promised Land and our progress is evident to all!

Spiritual maturity manifests as ‘progress’ that can be seen by others. Progress is defined as a slow forward movement towards a goal, to an improved condition in life, on the path to perfection. It means to advance in life, closer to the place where your dreams are fulfilled. The opposite of progress means to go back, to become worse, to sink, to lose benefits, or to waste away. May we pay the price for godly success!


“But I say, walk habitually in the [Holy] Spirit [seek Him and be responsive to His guidance], and then you will certainly not carry out the desire of the sinful nature [which responds impulsively without regard for God and His precepts]. For the sinful nature has its desire which is opposed to the Spirit, and the [desire of the] Spirit opposes the sinful nature; for these [two, the sinful nature and the Spirit] are in direct opposition to each other [continually in conflict], so that you [as believers] do not [always] do whatever [good things] you want to do. But if you are guided and led by the Spirit, you are not subject to the Law” (Gal 5:16-18; AMP).

In Greek, the word ‘walk’ means to follow, to behave. It is your lifestyle. Walking is progress. The word ‘fulfill the lust of the flesh’ means to gratify, to accomplish, or to please your flesh. The Holy Spirit is always the Leader. You are the follower. Like the sheep follows her shepherd so you must listen, trust, obey and follow the Holy Spirit. This is the holy road to progress and eternal life. For that, you need to know the Word of God! Like a spoiled child, the flesh is rebellious, restless, foolish, stubborn, and never satisfied.  It cannot be led by the Spirit. The flesh moves in the opposite way, out of a natural impulse, and without thinking. It does not care about God or His Word. Selah!

Following the Holy Spirit brings freedom from two terrible unmerciful masters: The flesh, with its never satisfying lusts, and God’s Law, which cannot be totally obeyed by man. It is only the Children of God that can ‘walk in the Spirit’. Flesh is the totality of man that is not under the influence of the Holy Spirit. The body is not evil in itself. But the body is the seat of evil because of its natural desires corrupted by sin. Only the Holy Spirit is able to conquer the flesh. This process is called sanctification. It is done by faith in God’s Word, by the power of the Holy Spirit and under His leadership. The desires of the flesh and the desires of the Spirit are not just different. They are opposing and contrary. The flesh and the Spirit are constantly at war with one another and there is no possibility of making peace. If one wins, the other loses. It is only the child of God that experiences this conflict between his flesh and the Spirit. It is an unpleasant feeling, but it is a proof that you are born again. Selah!


“But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful. For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin. For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me. I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man. But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God—through Jesus Christ our Lord!” (Rom 7:13-25)

When God sent His Law thru Moses, it was not to be a means of salvation. No man can completely obey it. God does not accept partial obedience to His Law. The function of God’s Law is to expose sin. If it is not for God’s Law, man cannot believe that he is a sinner in need of a Savior. In practical experience, it means that once I read the Bible and know God’s Law, my life became worse. Thru the law of God, my mind, my conscience became convicted of sin. I now want to repent, to change. But I discovered that I do not have the power to change myself. The Law convicts me but does not help me and does not have mercy on me. This battle between flesh and spirit starts. For the first time in my life, I now discover that I live in ‘a body of death’. This body is a slave to its lusts. I cannot become free. I do the very things I now hate. I become a hopeless and ‘a wretched man’. I struggle like a man drowning in the ocean. Conviction of sin is a terrible time. The fire of God burns all flesh. All saints testify to that. At last, defeated by God’s Law, I discover my need for a Savior. The Holy Spirit leads me to Jesus. I now see that Jesus died for me, for my sins. I cling to Jesus like a desperate dying man. As I surrender my whole life to Jesus, He reveals Himself to me in His power and His glory! I bow at His feet as a dead man. His Spirit comes into my heart and takes over my life. This is the miracle of salvation. I am now born again! I now have eternal life! Jesus is my Savior and my Lord! From now on, I will learn to walk in the Spirit and crucify the flesh. Glory!


“The practices of the sinful nature are clearly evident: they are sexual immorality, impurity, sensuality (total irresponsibility, lack of self-control), idolatry, sorcery, hostility, strife, jealousy, fits of anger, disputes, dissensions, factions [that promote heresies], envy, drunkenness, riotous behavior, and other things like these. I warn you beforehand, just as I did previously, that those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal 5:19-21; AMP)

The works (practices) of the flesh ‘are evident’. In Greek, the word ‘evident’ means to be obvious, visible, shining like a light. The sins of the flesh cannot be hidden. Look for them and you will find them. See the difference: The flesh ‘works’ like a slave, and the Spirit produces fruit like a prince, just by abiding, and without working. The flesh is restless and impatient. The Spirit is calm, peaceful, powerful, and fruitful.

The works of the flesh are divided into four parts: sexual sins, religious sins, uncontrolled excessive sinful emotions, and social sins.


*Adultery and fornication are sexual acts done outside the bond of marriage. These also include lustful imaginations and pornography. Paul wrote these words about 2000 years ago. God’s Word does not change. Even now, adultery is a serious problem. One out of four marriages end in divorce. Adultery is one of the main reasons for divorce. Before Christianity, the pagan cultures accepted fornication as normal. It was Christianity that brought the idea of being sexually faithful in the marriage between a man and a woman. This sexual purity is revolutionary.

*Uncleanness means to be morally impure. Impurity means something dirty, unclean, a mixture of two components. As there are healthy and sick people, so the Bible recognizes spiritually clean and unclean people. This word describes a wound infected with pus. In the Old Testament, touching the dead, or leprosy made a man spiritually unclean. That man has to live an isolated life so that he will not affect others with his impurity. This is God’s law: Sin pollutes man and makes him unclean. An unclean person cannot approach God. It is only thru union with Christ that are sinner can be cleansed from the pollution of sin. Spiritual and physical sexual purity is needed to come close to God.

*Lewdness, debauchery, or licentiousness means the habitual indulgence in sensuality. It is an addiction to sexual lust. It is a lifestyle of excess, of wild partying. It lacks shame or self-control. It describes someone who does not care about what others think about him. It includes violence, unrestrained sex, drunkenness, and rude talk. It is an unholy behavior. No believer should be found living in debauchery. The prodigal son wasted all his money in ‘debauchery’ (Lk 15:13). Drinking alcohol and drugs can lead to wasted life of debauchery. “Do not get drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit” (Eph 5:18; NIV). Lewdness is defeated only by the power of the Holy Spirit.


*Idolatry means loving something or someone more than God. It includes worshiping family and friends or making gods in our imagination. It is said that the two greatest idols among men are materialism (love of money) and love of pleasure.  

*Sorcery, also called witchcraft, means using the power of evil spirits for your selfish benefit. Sorcery is used to cause harm to others by deceiving them. It manifests as wickedness, manipulation, or casting spells. There are some people who practice witchcraft habitually. Sorcery in that sense is forbidden by God. But here, sorcery is described as a work of the flesh. That means all sinners have the power to use demons, become wicked and deceive others. This activity of the flesh is done knowingly or not. False prophets, false teachers, use sorcery to deceive others, to trust them and their words. Seducing spirits can attract their victims against their wills. In Greek, the word ‘sorcery’ is ‘pharmakeia’ from which the word ‘Pharmacy’ comes. In the past, people thought that sorcery is like giving drugs or poison to others.

*Heresies is belief in doctrines that the main church rejects. Heresies become sects and cults outside the main Christianity.   


*Hatred is a strong negative feeling of dislike, anger, or bitterness, by declaring another an enemy. It is connected with murder in the heart.

*Contention means strife, lack of agreement and bitter struggle against others, ending in quarrels and fights.

*Jealousies, envies. Envy is a bitter desire to have something that belongs to another- his wealth, position, or success. Jealousy is the fear of losing something or someone that we possess. Envy is connected with covetousness and jealousy is connected with fear.

*Outbursts of wrath describes passionate extreme anger and loss of temper. It manifests as violent quarrel and a desire to punish others.

*Selfish ambition is the proud desire to succeed at the expense of others. The good plan you have in life is all about you and none for others.


*Dissension, rivalry means strong disagreement of opinions, competition for leadership and refusal to settle. It divides the unity of the church.

*Murder is the unlawful, wicked, or premeditated killing of one human being by another. Murder is a sin against God’s law (Ex 20:13)

*Drunkenness means taking an overdose of alcohol. It affects the mind and the body. The drunkard temporarily loses his self-control.

*Revelry means a noisy, joyful, partying usually accompanied with drinking alcohol, drugs, laughing loudly, singing, dancing, and wild behavior.

Apostle Paul said that “those who practice such things will not inherit the kingdom of God” (Gal 5:21). All unbelievers go to hell. The road to hell is paved with these works of the flesh! A true believer may fall into sin, but he repents and stands again to walk in the Spirit!


“But the fruit of the Spirit [the result of His presence within us] is love [unselfish concern for others], joy, [inner] peace, patience [not the ability to wait, but how we act while waiting], kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature together with its passions and appetites” (Gal 5:22-24; AMP)

The fruit of the Spirit is the harvest produced by the Holy Spirit in the human spirit of the believer. The Holy Sprit works inside, sometimes faster, and sometimes slower. The fruit affects the character of the believer. The fruit is different from the gifts of the Spirit which are powers given by the same Holy Spirit for the work of God. The fruit of the Spirit is the visible manifestation of Christ dwelling within. Selah!


In Greek, the word love is ‘agape’. This love of God manifests in creation, in the general grace to all, but especially in the death of Jesus on the Cross. It is a sacrificial love manifesting only in the believer, as a desire to worship God and to help others for Christ’ sake. We are commanded to love God and one another (1 Jn 4:11). The opposite of love means to be distant, not caring, or cold hearted. Many books have been written about love but words are not enough to describe it. The greatest love is described by Jesus: “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (Jn 15:13). Jesus Himself did not just preach about love. He had to die to show us what love is! Glory to God!


Joy is a blessed calm delight much deeper than what the world calls ‘happiness’. It is specific to the believers and is independent from the circumstances. Joy manifests as spiritual and physical strength. “The joy of the Lord is your strength” (Neh 8:10). Lovers are always strong and joyful! Joy is a constant fruit, but it manifests in a greater measure when worshipping in God’s presence or when prayers are answered. This joy cannot be faked. It is extremely powerful. It is magnetic. Somebody said that ‘joy is the flag on top of the soul castle when the King of kings is in residence’. A sad Christian does not exist. He may feel low sometimes, but joy springs again, visible to all. Hannah prayed and said: “My heart rejoices in the Lord; My horn is exalted in the Lord. I smile at my enemies because I rejoice in Your salvation” (1 Sam 2:1). “In Your presence is fullness of joy; at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore” (Ps 16:11). Joy is a heavenly emotion (Lk 15:7). Heaven rejoices with sinners are saved. Joy accompanies salvation. A backslider does not lose his salvation, but he loses his joy. King David prayed not only for forgiveness of sins, but for his joy to be restored. “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation” (Ps 51:12).

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing” (Jam 1:2-4). No unbeliever can rejoice during the trials of life. But the believer manifests this fruit of joy, in season and outside season. How can a believer rejoice during trials? He knows that God is with him! He also knows that God has allowed this trial to come for a greater purpose. Pain becomes patience on the way of spiritual perfection and progress in life. God alone produces joy, thru the Holy Spirit in your human spirit. Joy is also a choice. During trials, you chose to respond with peace and joy knowing that you are not alone. God is with you! His presence is all that matters! This joy is not fake. It is real!


Peace is a feeling of rest, of calmness. The world describes peace as the absence of war. But in the Bible, peace is more than lack of trouble. It describes a total wellbeing, living in harmony, being made whole. In Hebrew, the word peace is Shalom. It is a great word. It describes peace and prosperity, favor and friends, health, and wealth. The peace of God is not influenced by the circumstances. It is stronger than them. One of God’s names is Jehovah Shalom (Jdg. 6:24). In Greek, the word peace is ‘eirene’. It describes rest and unity among the different parts. There is no division where there is peace. It also means a state of complete satisfaction. Peace cannot be manufactured by men. It is purely the gift of God and the fruit of God’s Spirit in the heart of His child. There are three types of peace: We have peace with God, peace with men, and peace with ourselves. Peace comes knowing that God is totally in control. The opposite of peace is strife, grudges, quarrels, and troubles. But even in troubles, knowing that Jesus ‘is in your boat’ brings ‘the peace that passes all understanding’ (Phil 4:7). Peace is the road towards spiritual progress and hope of glory! “Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance; and perseverance, character; and character, hope” (Rom 5:1-4). The Cross made peace between God and man. “For it pleased the Father that in Him all the fullness should dwell, and by Him to reconcile all things to Himself, by Him, whether things on earth or things in heaven, having made peace through the blood of His cross” (Col 1:19, 20).


Longsuffering means to be patient like God. It means to endure trials, to suffer long without complaining. During trials, a patient man chose to stay calm and faithful to God. He does not lose his temper or try to seek vengeance. He trusts God for strength and justice. Longsuffering is not weakness. Only those who are Spirit-filled can manifest the fruit of longsuffering, especially under provocation. They do not submit to the outside attacks. They remain calm, trusting God. Longsuffering is connected with mercy and compassion. The opposite of it is to be tired of life and complain. This fruit of the Spirit gives strength to a believer to endure pain, persecutions, and provocation without fear!

God is longsuffering! “Now the Lord descended in the cloud and stood with him there and proclaimed the name of the Lord. And the Lord passed before him and proclaimed, “The Lord, the Lord God, merciful and gracious, longsuffering, and abounding in goodness and truth, keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children and the children’s children to the third and the fourth generation” (Exo 34:5-7).

God is longsuffering with men, but His longsuffering has a limit. You see that in destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah and in the sending of His people from the Promised Land into exile to Babylon. We are commanded to be longsuffering and kind to others as God is towards men. “Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you” (Eph 4:31-32).


Kindness is active goodness. It is being caring or concerned for the well-being of others while being gentle, generous, and loving. Longsuffering and Kindness are attributes of agape love.  “Love suffers long and is kind” (1 Cor 13:4). Goodness is internal and invisible. Kindness manifests through acts of help. Kindness is generous with time, effort, and resources. A kind person is a good listener, an encourager and treats others with respect. Joseph treated his brothers with kindness. Boaz and Ruth were both kind people. The Good Samaritan was also a kind man.


Goodness applies to moral character. In Greek it means to have an upright heart like God’s. It is a manifestation of being holy. A good person desires to be like Jesus and to be a blessing to others. Goodness manifests itself as being kind, honest, and helpful. “The Lord is gracious and full of compassion, slow to anger and great in mercy. The Lord is good to all, and His tender mercies are over all His works” (Ps 145:8, 9).


Faithfulness means to be full of faith. It also means to be loyal to God, to His promises, and to His people. Faithfulness means that you trust God as He has revealed Himself in the Bible. You do not depend on what you see. You depend on what God says. All people of faith believed in the invisible work of God. Abraham and Sarah did not see their descendants numerous as stars. But they believed God’s promise and they had Isaac, thru which ‘the stars’ came. Moses did not enter the Promised Land, but he believed what God has promised. Faithfulness means to stay stable and constant in your faith. Faith is both a fruit and a gift of the Holy Spirit. The opposite of faithfulness is to become a traitor.


Gentleness means total submission to God’s will that brings contentment in life. It is also translated as humility, mildness, or meekness. It is not a form of weakness. To be gentle under provocation requires moral strength kept under control. It manifests as thanksgiving to God and being polite and respectful towards men. Gentle people are spiritual and easy to talk to. They are the best teachers especially when there is need for rebuke or correction. “A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (PV 15:1; NIV). “Brethren, if a man is overtaken in any trespass, you who are spiritual restore such a one in a spirit of gentleness, considering yourself lest you also be tempted” (Gal 6:1).

“And a servant of the Lord must not quarrel but be gentle to all, able to teach, patient, in humility correcting those who are in opposition, if God perhaps will grant them repentance, so that they may know the truth, and that they may come to their senses and escape the snare of the devil, having been taken captive by him to do his will” (2 Tim 2:24-26). The opposite of gentleness is to be harsh or rough.

God’s gentleness is the source of progress in life. “Your gentleness has made me great” (Ps 18:35).


Self-control means will power to keep your emotions submitted to God; to be disciplined and sober, especially during provocation. The opposite is to lack restrain, to be wild in behavior and speech. Self-control means to master yourself. It reveals a champion, one who has disciplined his body and his mind, to win the gold medal. Self-control is the door to true freedom from the wicked destructive lusts of the flesh. It manifests as the joy of the champion with the medal on his neck!  


“Against such there is no law” (Gal 5:23)

All these fruits of the Holy Spirit bring the blessing of protection from the law of God. In heaven and on earth, there is no law against them. Having these fruits releases the believer from guilt, or condemnation. These are the fruits of spiritual maturity, freedom, and progress.  When the unbelievers say they want freedom, what they mean is to become lawless, selfish, and wild. Their so-called freedom is a cover for sin. But that is not true freedom! It is bondage! But the believer is free indeed by the manifestation of the fruits of the Spirit. He gladly submits to God’s law, obeying it, and also helping men do the same. They do not abuse freedom. They submit to the law of Christ which is the law of love!


“And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature together with its passions and appetites. If we [claim to] live by the [Holy] Spirit, we must also walk by the Spirit [with personal integrity, godly character, and moral courage—our conduct empowered by the Holy Spirit]. We must not become conceited, challenging, or provoking one another, envying one another” (Gal 5:24-26; AMP).  

Practically, how do we make spiritual progress? We need to walk in the Spirit and then, the fruits will grow. Our flesh will lose its power to work sinful acts. How do we learn to walk led by the Spirit? Read the Bible, fast, and pray. Attend a living church. Serve God in any capacity in His house. Submit to God and to His delegated authority in your church. As you are busy with spiritual things, the flesh will be tired to ask for attention. Eventually, the flesh will be defeated. The spirit in you will become stronger. This is the royal way of the Cross.

It is important to be aware of the reality of this conflict between flesh and spirit. Do not be ignorant. For as long as we live, there is this internal spiritual conflict. The flesh has its own desires. The devil will take advantage of them. By the power of the Holy Spirit, you need to choose to walk in the Spirit. This conflict is proof that you are saved. The devil does not attack the unbelievers with the same force. Remember your freedom. Also, remember that sinful thoughts are not sins except you chose to welcome them. Temptation is not sin. Falling in the midst of temptation, that is sin.  Do not stop walking in the Spirit. Do not give up on God or on yourself. This conflict is like a marathon. It lasts until your last breath. If you fall into sin, repent, and then you get up. You are a winner! That is your destiny approved in heaven and worked on earth!

The flesh produces ‘works’. This word is in plural. The Spirit produces ‘fruit’. It is singular. ‘The slices of the fruit of the Spirit are united and work well together creating an organic unit. But the flesh ‘parts’ quarrel with one another.

Walking by the Spirit is the only way to make progress in life. As believers we enter into a new way of life. The past is fading and the new life, the higher Christ-life, becomes our portion and destiny. Walking in the Spirit is the only cure to stagnation or backsliding. 

Hagar and Peninnah are symbols of the works of the flesh. Sarah and Hannah are symbols of the fruit of the Spirit.

All God’s promises are given to The Seed, to Jesus. God has no promises outside Jesus! If you have Jesus, by God’s grace, you shall grow like a tree planted by the river of life. If you have Jesus, you will make progress. If you have Jesus, then you have everything you need!


“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles? Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit. A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. 19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Therefore, by their fruits you will know them” (Matt 7:15-19).

Jesus warns us about the false religious believers. Who are these people? They are in the churches. They say that they believe the Bible, but they do not apply the Word of God in practical life. They preach an easy salvation and a cheap grace. They avoid some topics. For example, they do not preach about the Cross of Christ, hell, repentance, or self-examination. They preach that Jesus has come to make you happy and wealthy. Listen to this spiritual law: Doctrine influences behavior! Whatever teaching you believe, if it is true or false, it will eventually manifest for all to see. Christianity is a miracle! Jesus said: ‘You must be born again’! These false believers are not born again. They have done some ‘spiritual cosmetic surgery’. They have stopped committing some major visible sins like adultery or drinking alcohol. But their hearts have not changed. They dress in ‘sheep’s clothing’ but inwardly they are still like ravenous – extremely hungry- wolves. This is the danger of hypocrisy!

Jesus said that all men are divided into two groups: good and bad. In other words, there are believers and unbelievers. Symbolically, they are like good trees and bad trees. Each type of tree produces its own fruit. There is no mixture in between. A good tree can only produce good fruit. These are the true believers. They cannot produce bad fruit. They cannot habitually practice wickedness again. The religious unbelievers produce bad fruit. They cannot produce the good fruit of the Holy Spirit. These are like the bad trees that will be cut down and thrown into the fire of hell. They are proud. They are wicked. They do not care if they break your purse or your heart. True believers are sober and joyful at the same time. These fake believers are always superficial in doctrine and behavior. What can we do to discover these people? Jesus warns us to look for the fruit of the Spirit. It may take time. Be patient. Wait! Test a man before you trust him! There is a danger of being deceived and misled by false prophets. But once you find a good tree, submit, and eat from its fruit! Selah!

HANNAH GRACE (1 Sam 1 and 2)

This is the story of Hannah, a woman of God. Her name means Grace. She was barren because ‘The Lord closed her womb’ (1 Sam 1:5). In Hebrew, the word ‘closed’ means to shut down for repairs; to isolate for quarantine. Her husband, Elkanah, married a second wife called Peninnah, possibly to have children. But Elkanah loved Hannah. Each year, they all go to Shiloh, where God’s temple is, to worship God. Peniniah is a wicked woman. She represents the works of the flesh. She provokes Hannah who represents the fruit of the Spirit. Hannah, in great sorrow and pain, goes to pray. The word ‘prayer’ appears 6 times in 1 Samuel 1. See the importance of prayer!

Hannah asked God for a son. She vows to God that her son will be given back to God to serve Him all the days of his life. God answers her prayers. Hannah has a baby boy. She names him Samuel ‘God has heard my prayer’. She brings her son to God! God gives her five other children. Her first son is Samuel, becomes a great man of God. He is a prophet, a leader, and a judge in Israel. God uses him to bring revival in Israel. He anoints the first two kings of Israel, Saul, and David. Outwardly, Hannah was just an ordinary woman. She was a housewife. But thru her faith and prayers, she touches God who opens the womb that He has once closed. Hannah is not a queen but she speaks like a queen. She is not a prophet but she speaks like a prophet. She is a true servant of God! Hannah believes in the power of resurrection. Hannah believes in the power of prayer. She prayed that God remembers her. When she knew that it was God who closed her womb ‘for repairs’ she did not get angry with God. She did not become bitter like Naomi. She prayed to the same God who shut the womb knowing that He is the only one who will open it once the ‘repairs’ were finished. She prayed to God, Jehovah Sabaoth, the God of the armies of heaven. She saw God as the surgeon who will operate on her womb. She had faith that her time on the surgical theater is not wasted, but it is a time of healing for her. This faith helped her to endure faithfully, even when Peninnah provoked her with malice.    

Hannah did what Eli failed to do! She proved that you can love God more than children! She passed the test of a true worshipper. Eli failed to pass that same test. Hannah became the leader of anointing in Israel. Samuel carried her anointing into his ministry. This is a reminder that you do not need to hold an official position or title in the church to become a true leader. The title of a pastor or bishop does not come with the anointing. You have to receive that anointing from God and not from men!

As you can see, Eli, was the high priest at that time but he was a weak man. He is also a weak father. God chastises him for not restraining his two sons, Hophni and Phineas. They were also priests. But their behavior was openly rebellious against God. “So the sin of the [two] young men [Hophni and Phinehas] was very great before the LORD, for the men treated the offering of the LORD disrespectfully” (1 Sam 2:17; AMP). God punished this priestly family. Father and both sons died in the same day. From this moment on, God opened the way for Samuel to step into the spiritual gap and to lead Israel, as a judge, priest, and prophet! Selah!

Hannah’s husband, Elkanah, stands for God. He asked her: “Hannah, why do you weep? Why do you not eat? And why is your heart grieved? Am I not better to you than ten sons?” (1 Sam 1:8). This is God’s voice to the barren Hannah. God wanted her to love Him more than children. Jesus said: “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who does not take his cross and follow after Me is not worthy of Me. He who finds his life will lose it, and he who loses his life for My sake will find it” (Matt 10:37-39). Once Hannah loved God more than her own life, she was ready for her miracle! God remembered her. He gave her Samuel. The dead womb became fruitful! At that time, Israel was backsliding as a nation. Through her son, the nation enters into a new realm. Israel becomes a Kingdom. In that darkness, God uses a simple woman to shine the light of revival in the nation! May this be our story! Worship the Lord!



During the Sunday service Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh preached a sermon titled My Progress is evident to all (7)/ Her main scriptures were taken from the Books of 1 Timothy 4:12-16; 1 John 4:1-11; Ru 2:1-23; 3:1-11.


“Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you” (1 Tim 4:12-16)

Prophetic word: We declare that in Christ, we have entered our Promised Land and our progress is evident to all!

Spiritual maturity manifests as ‘progress’ that can be seen by others. Progress is defined as a slow forward movement towards a goal, to an improved condition in life, on the path to perfection. It means to advance in life, closer to the place where your dreams are fulfilled. The opposite of progress means to go back, to become worse, to sink, to lose benefits, or to waste away. May we pay the price for godly success!


“For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, and do not return there, but water the earth, and make it bring forth and bud, that it may give seed to the sower and bread to the eater, 11 So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, but it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it” (Is 55:10, 11).

Like the rain and the snow, God’s Word goes forth from His mouth in heaven, and goes down to the earth. Like the rain and the snow, the Word touches the people of the earth and brings eternal life to them. God’s Word is a heavenly gift to men. The Word has power and purpose. It is always effectual. The Word prospers in the plan of God. The Word pleases God in its work among men. God has created all things including the rain and the snow. These are His servants. They have a purpose as they fall to the earth. They will not fail in their purpose. Their work on earth brings praise to God. “Praise the Lord from the earth, you great sea creatures and all the depths; 8 Fire and hail, snow and clouds; Stormy wind, fulfilling His word” (Ps 148:7, 8). The rain has no seed. The rain alone cannot produce a harvest. But the rain waters the seed planted, and the harvest will surely come. In the winter, the snow covers the earth like a warm blanket and protects it from freezing. “He gives [to the earth] snow like [a blanket of] wool” (Ps 147:16; AMP). The seed planted in the autumn survives under the snow, and it will grow in the springtime. Therefore, the Word of God protects itself from danger and has the power of resurrection inside. The Word of God is stronger than all obstacles. It is always fruitful. It produces seeds and bread. Seed is for the farmer. The Word of God blesses the worker with more seed. God’s Word blesses the work of our hands and the words of our mouths. The Word is bread for the hungry, for him who is too weak to work.

God’s Word will not go back to Him in heaven ‘void’. In Hebrew, the word ‘void’ means to be empty handed, barren, to have no effect. It means a project that ended in failure. This is God’s revelation. God’s Word does not go back to Him until it has performed the pleasure of God on earth. God’s Word is creative. It is always successful in accomplishing God’s purpose. The Word is never spoken in vain. When the Gospel is preached, God always has a purpose. The elect will repent and surrender to Jesus. They become saved. The unbelievers harden their hearts and reject God’s Word. It is like rain falling on a hard rock. It is useless. But even then, God has accomplished His purpose in the sending of His Word. The hard rock cannot say that it does not know what water is. The unbeliever has no excuse on the day of judgment. He cannot say that God did not extend grace to him on earth. He has to confess that he rejected the Gospel. That is why he must go to hell.

Never forget that! God’s Word always prospers to the glory of God! In Hebrew, the word ‘prosper’ means to push forward. It always makes progress, and it will be evident to all. God’s Word gives life, or it will kill. God never regrets sending His Word. God never apologizes sending the Word. We must faithfully preach God’s with confidence. To the glory of God and to the good of men, for the saving of their souls! Glory to God!


Love is a strong deep tender feeling of affection and concern arising from close friendship; it is good will towards another. When you love, you like another very much and you desire his good. These are some examples of love: Friends love one another. Parents love their children. The love in the godly Marriage is different and unique. The husband and his wife love one another spiritually, faithfully, romantically, and sexually.

This is the classical description of Biblical agape love: “Love endures with patience and serenity, love is kind and thoughtful, and is not jealous or envious; love does not brag and is not proud or arrogant. 5 It is not rude; it is not self-seeking; it is not provoked [nor overly sensitive and easily angered]; it does not take into account a wrong endured. 6 It does not rejoice at injustice but rejoices with the truth [when right and truth prevail]. 7 Love bears all things [regardless of what comes], believes all things [looking for the best in each one], hopes all things [remaining steadfast during difficult times], endures all things [without weakening]. 8 Love never fails [it never fades nor ends]” (1 Cor 13:4-8; AMP).

If you change the word ‘love’ with Christ, you will find that it is a perfect match. The agape love of God is a product of His Grace. God loves us not because we are good. God’s love is unmerited and cannot be earned. It is by Grace alone. God’s love manifests as kindness, forgiveness, as helping the weak, and as humility that desires the good of others. The best expression of God’s Love is displayed in Christ Crucified. Selah!

In the Bible, love is not just a feeling. It is God’s command; it is a mind and a will actively engaged. Love is expressed through both words and actions. Many Christians know the doctrines, but they do not apply the word they know. Love is always an application of God’s Word. Few are successful in loving people. Why do you think that God commands us to love others? It’s because love is a champion, a leader. “Love never fails” (1 Cor 13:8). In Greek, the word ‘fails’ has two meanings. The first one describes a bad actor who is not received by the audience. The people shout at him, and he leaves the stage in shame. The second meaning describes a rose, whose petals whiter and fall to the ground. In both these pictures you see the sadness of failure. But God’s Word says that Love will not be rejected and will not fall down dead. It will be received by men. It will eternally remain fresh, strong, and fragrant. The more you love like Jesus, the more you shall receive favor from both God and man. If you truly love, you become more than a conqueror. You depart from the realm of failure. You enter the triumphal procession of eternal victory. All lovers are leaders! They alone are able to endure and hope for all things. They alone are able to change the world!   


“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world. By this you know the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is of God, and every spirit that does not confess that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh is not of God. And this is the spirit of the Antichrist, which you have heard was coming, and is now already in the world. You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world. They are of the world. Therefore, they speak as of the world, and the world hears them. We are of God. He who knows God hears us; he who is not of God does not hear us. By this we know the spirit of truth and the spirit of error. Beloved, let us love one another, for love is of God; and everyone who loves is born of God and knows God. He who does not love does not know God, for God is love. In this the love of God was manifested toward us, that God has sent His only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through Him. In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (1 Jn 4:1-11)

To make progress, you must drive away the spirit of fear and become filled with power, love, and a sound mind (2 Tim 1:7).  We shall study God’s love. In the Book of 1 John there are three major commandments. The first one is to love God with all our hearts. This is how we know that we are God’s children. The second command is to love the brethren. This is a sure test that we are born again. The third command is to test and avoid false doctrines. In the history of the church, immediately the apostles wrote the New Testament, false teachers appeared and brought in false doctrines. These doctrines are brought by religious evil spirits of ‘Antichrist’. We are warned to ‘test the spirits, whether they are from God’ or not. God’s warning remains standing forever. The spirit of Antichrist is a religious spirit. People who are under the influence of this spirit do not deny Christ openly. They say that they believe in Jesus. They belong to the visible church. They are insiders and difficult to discover. That is why they are dangerous. What do they preach? They preach by the power of ‘another spirit, another Jesus, and another Gospel’ (Gal 1:6,7). They do not preach The true Gospel of Christ Crucified and Resurrected. Something is lacking in their sermons. The most important missing element is that they remove from the glory of the Person of Jesus. To cheat God of His glory is a most serious danger. God does not forgive such a sin. King Herod tried to share in God’s glory, and he died instantly (Ac 12:21-23).

Listen to what God says: “I am the Lord, that is My name; And My glory I will not give to another, Nor My praise to carved images” (Isa 42:8). Behold a glimpse from the worship in heaven: “You are worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honor and power; For You created all things, and by Your will they exist and were created” (Rev 4:11). As you can see, all glory, honor and power belong to the Lord, the Creator, and the Sustainer of all things on earth and in heaven. Practically, what does it mean to share in God’s glory? It means to be proud, to boast about yourself, about your achievements. Jesus is seated on the Throne. By your words and attitude, you claim a portion from His throne. You want men to worship you too. This is what Lucifer tried to do and he was sent away from heaven. The spirit of Antichrist does not totally deny Jesus, but it lowers Jesus to lift himself. You need the discernment of the Holy Spirit to identify this demon. Many churches are under the influence of this evil religious spirit. The pastors and the congregation are proud. They are a hindrance to the movement of the Holy Spirit in the church. These religious spirits are strongholds positioned to block revival. This is God’s warning: Test before you trust men! Flee from proud pastors! But once a pastor has passed your test, then submit and honor him! He is not perfect but he is a genuine believer and acceptable to God!

This is the Gospel: Jesus is God. He is the Second Person of the Holy Trinity. He took flesh upon Himself and became Man. Jesus was 100% God and 100% Man. Not 50-50. He was conceived by the Holy Spirit in the womb of the virgin Mary. This is called the Incarnation. He became a real Man. During His life on earth, His glory was covered by His flesh. That is why men did not know that He is God. But He revealed Himself to those He called to Him. The spirit of Antichrist preaches an incomplete Jesus. He denies either the fact that Jesus is God, or the fact that He was a true Man. This is an error. For if Jesus is not God, then He did not resurrect. He is still in the grave like all men. If Jesus is not Man, then He cannot save men from sins, because He cannot die in their place. This ‘another Jesus’ lacks the power to truly save men from sins. It is a religious spirit of deception. If you want to know the truth about the spirit of Antichrist, study the Jesus those pastors are preaching. They do not give Jesus the glory due to Him. They do not put Jesus in the center of their preaching. They worship men, religion, miracles, ministry, or money. The ‘other gospel’ is a false powerless gospel that does not save. Be honest with yourself! Ask yourself some questions about the teachers or the preachers you listen to: Do they try to obey God’s Word in their daily lives? Are they humble? Do they repent when they do wrong? Do they put Jesus in the center of their lives? Do they seek the Kingdom of God first, or they seek fame and money. Do they love the brethren? Do they have good marriages, and godly relationships with others? Is their spiritual and natural progress in life evident to all? These are serious questions that need an answer. The testing is done to avoid deception and much pain in the future. Prevention is better than cure! Selah!


It has been said that Paul was the Apostle of Faith; Peter was the Apostle of Hope and John was the Apostle of Love.  Just to have an idea, Apostle John uses the word ‘love’ 51 times in the First epistle John. In Greek, the word ‘Love’ is Agape. This is not a sexual or a friendly type of love. It is the sacrificial love of God, manifested in the death of Jesus on the Cross on behalf of sinners. Agape love starts with God the Father who sent God the Son to be ‘a propitiation’, an atoning, for our sins. We are told that ‘God is Love’. This is a revelation of the Person of God. It means more than God is loving. God’s very nature is fullness of Love. All God’s deeds are the deeds of Grace manifested as Love. As God is Light so God is Love! This is the reality of our Father in Heaven. When we become born again, we are not only forgiven of sins, the very nature of God is given to us. Our spiritual DNA is changed and becomes holy. Our life becomes different because of the internal change in our spirits. By God’s Power we have been given “exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust” (2 Peter 1:4). As believers, we are ‘partakers of the divine nature of God’. We share in God’s nature. We are now children of God indeed. That is why salvation is a miracle and only God can do it. That is why we love like God loves!

Love knows God! Mark this: no unbeliever can love like this. This brotherly agape love is manifested only by God’s children. Experiencing this God’s type of Love is a sign that you are truly born again. This love is returned to God in praise and worship. It manifests practically through loving the brethren. Now you see why loving all people with the love of God is a sign and a proof that you are saved. Jesus said: “You will know them by their fruits” (Matt 7:16). The first fruit of the Holy Spirit in your human spirit is Love. There is no law to condemn a man who has God’s love in his heart. The agape love in your heart is the totally safe shield against any form of accusation, condemnation or guilt. “The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law” (Gal 5:22, 23).

Experiencing God’s Love is also the best practical way to display the heavenly family traits. The child of God loves like His Father in heaven. He cannot hate people anymore. He suffers when rejected but he cannot hate his enemies anymore. This is a miracle experienced only by the born again believers. The power of Agape Love drives away all fears, ignorance, shame, and guilt. Many Christians know the Bible, but they do not love like this. It is not enough to know the letter without experiencing and applying the Spirit of the Word. That religious knowledge will make you proud. “Knowledge [alone] makes [people self-righteously] arrogant, but love [that unselfishly seeks the best for others] builds up and encourages others to grow [in wisdom]” (1 Cor 8:1; AMP).

Love is more powerful than faith. Love is bold. Love never loses any battle. Faith comes by hearing God’s Word. Love comes by God’s Spirit and matures as we love the unlovely for Christ’s sake. Faith needs open ears. Love needs open hearts, strong hands to embrace and strength to carry the needy. In the natural, you cannot command someone to love! For example, you cannot command a man to love his wife or children. But in the Kingdom of God, love is a command from God and the right answer is ‘Yes, Sir!’ The children of God love others! Lesson: If you are saved and you refuse to love others, even the difficult people, you are breaking God’s law. When you love God and man, you will know God and man! Experiencing and manifesting God’s Love is a major way to believe in the Trinity, to truly know God. The doctrine of Trinity is mysterious to man. Nothing else but love helps faith in this matter. The Holy Trinity remains a theory for all who do not love with God’s love. Selah!

God’s Love alone is able to replace the evil rebellious spirit of Cain in our hearts. Cain was jealous on his brother Abel, and he killed him. “Now Cain talked with Abel his brother; and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother and killed him. 9 Then the Lord said to Cain, “Where is Abel your brother?” He said, “I do not know. Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Gen 4:8,9). God commands us to love, care, protect and help our ‘brothers and sisters’. Yes, I am my brother’s keeper!


God is love. His love manifests in many ways. Like a wonderful architect, God created the earth and all living things on it. He created them not only to function as robots, but He added beauty to creation. Look at the flowers, at the sunrise, or at the blue skies. Even on earth, when a man is in love with his wife, he becomes very creative. God is an Artist, moved by love to make all things beautiful. God made man and placed him in a beautiful garden. Even after Adam sinned, God continued to love him. His general grace manifests in giving good gifts to all men, to the good and to the bad.  God’s love is revealed through His Grace and in His kindness to all. “He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good and sends rain on the just and on the unjust” (Matt 5:45). But the greatest love of God is revealed in the Gospel. This is the love story of God towards man. The love story starts with God the Father. He is the One who planned saving sinners like us. But before you appreciate God’s love you need to know man first. Man is born a sinner. This is our story: We are born haters of God and men; selfish and wicked. We are sinners by birth and by choice. Before we got saved, we wanted nothing to do with God. We did not seek God. We were using God’s world without shame and even spoiling it. And we are not grateful. What did God do? In this world of sin, God sent His only Begotten Son. His name is Jesus Christ, the Son of the Living God. God the Father sent God the Son to this sinful world to save men. This is Love! Men hated Jesus and His words. They persecuted Him, rejected Him, and finally, killed Him on a Cross. Why did Jesus come to this world to suffer so much? Because of God’s Love for us. To be saved, we needed ‘propitiation’ for our sins. This word means ‘atonement’. Jesus came as the needed Sacrifice for us. This is the doctrine of propitiation or the substitutionary sacrifice of God’s Son, who died as the Lamb of God on behalf of sinners. This is the Gospel: Jesus became sin for us so that we can be saved. Nothing else but the Blood of Jesus could atone for our sins. “For He (God the Father) made Him (Jesus Christ) who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Cor 5:21). The mystery of salvation!

Try to imagine the price paid by both God the Father and God the Son for such a great salvation. Only Love can do that! You are parents. Can you imagine the possibility that you will send your only child to die for your wicked neighbor? Will you not think that the price for that love is too much for you? But this is what God did. Read these holy words: “For when we were still without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die; yet perhaps for a good man someone would even dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Rom 5:6-8). Jesus died while we still hated Him. He did not wait for us to repent before He went to the Cross. He paid the price long before we could understand His love and be willing to bow at His feet in worship. From these words you see that to understand God’s love you must study God’s Word. The subject of God’s Love does not come from some romantic poems, and not even from beautiful worship songs. It comes from knowing the doctrines of the Bible. You need to use your mind before your heart beats the song of love. That is why Jesus said that love means knowing and obeying God’s commands. “If you love Me, keep My commandments” (John 14:15). Obeying God’s Word in practice, will manifest God’s love to you!

Out of the overflow of this agape Love from God, we are commanded to love one another. Jesus said that Love will be now the new standard and command from God. Love is the final word in obedience. Just before the Cross, Jesus said to His disciples: “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples if you have love for one another” (Jn 13:34. 35). Love is the primary subject in the school of the Spirit where Jesus is the Teacher. Love is the badge of honor and the identity card of all His students. This love must be learned and practiced. It is not easy. Love has scars. But refusing to learn the subject of love will close the door to the privilege to be thought by the greatest Teacher in the whole universe. Loving God with all your heart, mind and strength is the first commandment. The overflow of this love will manifest in loving people; even the unlovely. That is why the true test of a disciple and a worshipper, is not just loving God that he cannot see, but loving the people he sees.


“Owe no one anything except to love one another, for he who loves another has fulfilled the law. For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Love does no harm to a neighbor; Therefore, love is the fulfillment of the law” (Rom 13:8-10). Love never hurts anyone! Only a child of God can love the unlovely!

Now, a practical question: How can you love the people you dislike? Look at three Persons: yourself, God and that one you dislike! First, humble yourself! Remember who you were before God met you. God loved and saved you not because you were good but because He chose to do that. God chose to love you because of His Grace. Once you forget yourself and you become proud, you will not be able to love others. Always remind yourself of that first happy day when Jesus saved your soul. Secondly, worship God! Remember who God is, how great He is! Don’t forget how much He has done for you. Remember the price God the Father and God the Son have paid for your salvation. Love is never cheap. Love pays with its blood. Jesus bled to death to pay for your ‘bride price’. You owe Him your body, your soul, and your spirit. He has done what no man could do. All the organs of your body must be used for His glory. For example, we are commanded to run away from sexual sins. “Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s“ (1 Cor 6:18-20). Sexual lust is a fake manipulating ‘love’. It is selfish, greedy, wicked, and always destructive. Adulterers are totally ignorant of true love. They cannot even imagine the love of Jesus. Paul commands us to ‘flee’ sexual sins. He gives the reasons why. Paul says that your body was bought by Jesus. He paid for it with His Blood. Therefore, your body is not yours anymore. It has now become the temple of the Spirit of Jesus who died for you. It is reasonable to expect that your body should be used to glorify Jesus always. It is not just sexual sins that defile the body. Speaking in anger, insulting people, quarreling, and all other social sins reflect a lack of love. By doing this, you break the command to love one another. Selah!

Finally, after you have remembered who you were as a sinner and what God has done for you, then you look at that person you dislike. Look again with prayer in your heart and with the eyes of God. See that stubborn person as a victim of Satan. See him as an ignorant man who destroys himself. See him and have compassion for him. With that holy attitude, slowly but surely, love will bloom in your hardened heart and God will be glorified! Love is hard work but oh, the harvest of souls that comes to the wise! Praise the Lord!


“Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish. So, husbands ought to love their own wives as their own bodies; he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. “For this reason a man shall leave his father and mother and be joined to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh.” This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church“ (Eph 5:25-32)

The husband is commanded to love his wife in a particular way. For husbands, love is a command. They cannot choose whether to love their wives or not. Read again: they ‘ought to love’. In Greek, the word ‘ought’ it means to owe, morally to be under obligation. Failing to love your wife is considered failing in your duty as a soldier of Christ! Husband, please meditate about your God given duty! You must love your wife! Your answer should be ‘Yes, Sir!’ The husband’s love is a picture of Christ’s love. It is a sacrificial love. It is a king, generous, wise, ready to help love! It is a love that has hope, knowing that his wife, like wine, will be better as she gets older. In the future, she will be presented to him as a mature fulfilled woman of God!


The love story between Boaz and Ruth reveals the love of God in the marriage. The name Boaz means ‘Strength’. The name Ruth means ‘Friend’. Ruth was a poor widow who came to Bethlehem with her mother-in-law, Naomi. Ruth was a Moabite who married Naomi’s son, who died in Moab. When Naomi heard that ‘the Lord has visited His people by giving them bread’ she decided to go back to Bethlehem, her place of birth. Her two daughters-in-law followed her. She told them that there is no hope for them in Israel. Orpah decided to go back to her people and her gods. This was ‘common sense’. She leaves the pages of the Bible. But Ruth decided ‘to cling’ to Naomi. The word ‘cling’ is the same word ‘joined’ that God used to describe marriage between a man and a woman (Gen 2:24). This is a covenant word. Ruth pledges her life to serve Naomi until death. She even invoked a curse upon herself in the presence of Jehovah God. She said that God should punish her if she is unfaithful to Naomi unto death. By going to a place where Naomi had no hope for her, Ruth enters the lineage of saints. Ruth/Friend is a picture of the Bride of Christ!

Boaz knew of her pledge to serve Naomi, who was his family member. He was impressed by Ruth’s faithfulness to his ‘cousin’. But in that field, gleaning with the poor people, there is nothing to recommend Ruth to Boaz. He was the richest man in Bethlehem. Ruth was gleaning grains in his field. See their discussions. They both appreciate their kindness to one another. Love is always kind! Listen to Ruth talking to Boaz: “Let me find favor in your sight, my lord; for you have comforted me, and have spoken kindly to your maidservant, though I am not like one of your maidservants” (Ru 2:13). Listen to Boaz talking to Ruth: “Blessed are you of the Lord, my daughter! For you have shown more kindness at the end than at the beginning, in that you did not go after young men, whether poor or rich” (Ru 3:10). Lesson: marry not based on physical appearance! Marry a child of God! Marry a kind, loving, humble, generous person!

Ruth could glean in Boaz’ field because the law permitted her to do so (Lev 19:9). But only Grace could speak kindly to her, protect her, and give her food to eat. Grace and Love came to Ruth through Boaz. A sinner repents not because of God’s wrath, but because God’s Love and Goodness has manifested to him. “Do you despise the riches of His goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leads you to repentance?” (Rom 2:4). Glory to God!

This is the story of the power of love and progress grace makes. Just imagine the impact Ruth made in Bethlehem! The Grace that she found and she released! Love protects! Boaz tells Ruth that she will be totally protected in his field. Love is generous. Boaz tells Ruth to eat with his workers. He tells his men to drop ‘handfuls of grain on purpose’ for her to glean. Boaz gives her grain to take to Naomi. Boaz tells Ruth not to tell anybody that she came to talk to him in the night. This is to protect her reputation. Love is creative. Boaz found wisdom to win Ruth as his wife. But the story of Boaz and Ruth is not what you see in Hollywood. It is a different type of story. Thiers was not so much a love match. It was a character match. Nevertheless, it was love.  Love is fruitful. Boaz and Ruth marry. Their son Obed is in the line of King David and the Lord Jesus Christ. The true hero of Love here is another One who also came to Bethlehem. He is the true Kinsman Redeemer. He came from heaven to seek and to find the lost sheep shivering in the cold alleys of sin. He came and died for His own. “Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends” (Jn 15:13). If you want to see the face of love, look at Calvary. Jesus is Lord! To God be all the glory! Worship the Lord!


During the Sunday service Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh preached a sermon titled My Progress is evident to all (6)/ Her main scriptures were taken from the Books of 1 Timothy 4:12-16; 2 Timothy 1:8, 7; Matthew 5:14-16; Judges 6:1-16; 7:7-22.


“Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you” (1 Tim 4:12-16)

Prophetic word: We declare that in Christ, we have entered our Promised Land and our progress is evident to all!

Spiritual maturity manifests as ‘progress’ that can be seen by others. Progress is defined as a slow forward movement towards a goal, to an improved condition in life, on the path to perfection. It means to advance in life, closer to the place where your dreams are fulfilled. The opposite of progress means to go back, to become worse, to sink, to lose benefits, or to waste away. May we pay the price for godly success!


Fear is a natural, powerful, and unpleasant emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, or pain, whether the threat is real or imagined.  Fear affects the body and the emotions. When under a threat, the body reacts in a specific way. The level of adrenaline increases, the body gets tense, the mind is more alert, ready to fight or to flee. It is a good survival response. But fear has an emotional component too. Each person reacts in a unique way when afraid or worried. But these are some common symptoms: dry mouth, trembling, chest pain, increased heartbeat, shortness of breath, sweating, or stomach cramps. Fear makes the victim feel overwhelmed, like drowning, like losing control, fainting, or feeling like dying. Fear focuses on something, real or imaginary. Anxiety is a general form of fear that has no particular object in mind. The most common types of fear are fear of spiders, of snakes, of heights, of crowded places where escape is difficult, and fear of dogs. Other fears that affect your life in society are these: fear of poverty, fear of loneliness, of sickness, of old age, of connecting with people (timidity), fear of success, of rejection, or being abandoned (by God or people).

Relationships are some of the most difficult and dangerous works we do on earth. It is easy to be hurt by people. Most people pretend to be someone else. Hypocrisy is rooted in fear. Many are afraid to be themselves in their relationships with others. For example, because you have opened your heart to somebody, and that person hurt you in your vulnerability, you now close your heart to others. You are afraid to connect and be intimate even with your spouse. Another example: you have been successful in life, but you now feel guilty because your success has made others fail. You then decide to remain in the shadows, not making progress anymore. This position is difficult to maintain, and it creates emotional tension and anxiety. You feel that this world does not allow you to fully display your gifts, and creative ideas. You then chose to live ‘a simple life’ of safe mediocrity. But this type of life never brings joy, and it lacks fulfilment. To be free from fears is a great achievement. Only a mature Spirit filled believer in Christ can achieve that!


There are different types of fear recognized in the Bible. Some are good and others are bad. These are some examples:

*The holy fear of God. This is the necessary fear and reverence of men towards God, their Creator. It produces godly wisdom. “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding” (PV 9:10).  

*The unholy fear coming from unforgiven sin. It comes from hearing God’s Word but refusing to repent. Adam said to God: “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself” (Gen 3:10). Felix was afraid when Apostle Paul was preaching (Ac 24:25).

*The fear and terror of the wicked towards God. “There they are in great fear, for God is with the generation of the righteous” (Ps 14:5).

*The unbelievers fear God’s obedient people. This fear is to protect the believers. It is a blessing of obedience. “The Lord will establish you as a holy people to Himself, just as He has sworn to you, if you keep the commandments of the Lord your God and walk in His ways. 10 Then all peoples of the earth shall see that you are called by the name of the Lord, and they shall be afraid of you” (Deut 28:9,10).

*The good fear of man, respecting people in authority. “Rulers are not a terror to good works, but to evil. Do you want to be unafraid of the authority? Do what is good, and you will have praise from the same. For he is God’s minister to you for good. But if you do evil, be afraid; for he does not bear the sword in vain; for he is God’s minister, an avenger to execute wrath on him who practices evil” (Rom 13:3,4).

*The bad fear of men, being intimidated by others. Joshua and Caleb said: “Do not rebel against the Lord, nor fear the people of the land, for they are our bread; their protection has departed from them, and the Lord is with us. Do not fear them” (Num 14:9). “The fear of man brings a snare, But whoever trusts in the LORD shall be safe” (PV 29:25).

*The bad fear of man as Timidity. “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Tim 1:7).


“Then the Lord God called to Adam and said to him, “Where are you?” So, he said, “I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid because I was naked; and I hid myself” (Gen 3:9, 10).

The first-time fear entered humanity was in the Garden of Eden. The original sin brought along fear, shame, and guilt. Adam and Eve disobeyed God’s command. They listened to the devil’s lies and sinned. Fear entered their hearts. Adam thought that by hiding behind the trees in the garden, God will not see him. He forgot that God is omnipresent and sees everything. “Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, Even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness shall fall on me,” even the night shall be light about me” (Ps 139:7-11).

Sin was a disappointment to Adam. He thought that by obeying the devil, he will be free from God and His commandments. Lesson: Many people still believe that. They think that by running away from God, from the Bible and from church, they will be free in life. That is a lie and a deception. Only in an intimate relationship with God, your Creator, you can find freedom as a man. Sin always brings bondage. Being right with God, is called righteousness. Righteousness is found in Christ alone and it is the only way to find peace, joy, freedom, and fulfilment in life.

Like Adam, men fear God and hide from Him behind ‘trees’ of worldly pleasures, philosophy, and material prosperity. But none can hide from God. As you can see, God is seeking Adam in the Garden. He will not leave him alone, even in his fallen state. Before sin, God and Adam had a wonderful intimate relationship with one another. Adam was happy and fulfilled. It was not the flowers and the fruits. It was not even his marriage with Eve. It was Adam’s relationship with God, visiting in the cool of the day, in the garden. That made Eden a paradise. Adam never felt naked in God’s presence. God’s glory reflected on him, covered him with garments of light. He felt safe and loved. He felt accepted by God. He felt free to dream and to talk. That was strength to live well! Out of this overflowing power, Adam could love his wife. This was paradise. The devil hated it. He was jealous on Adam. He deceived Eve and Adam broke the command. Sin entered humanity. Since then, nothing is exactly the same. All men have inherited Adam’s sin and fears. We are born naked, ashamed, hiding behind trees, hoping that God will not come to ask us questions. This is the sad story of man. The only way out of it is to become born again, by God’s grace and thru faith in the Gospel of Christ.                           

Eve was deceived by the serpent. When she gives the forbidden fruit to Adam, he takes it. She is not seducing him. Adam raises no questions. He puts no resistance. This is strange. Both fell to the same manipulation of the devil. They were not satisfied with God provision in the Garden. They wanted something more. They wanted more wisdom, and more freedom. They broke the law and they sinned. Immediately, they felt ashamed because they were naked. Light can be clothing for the righteous. Once they sinned, that light went off. That is how they felt ashamed and afraid. After the fall, everything looked worse. Backsliding is shameful. Jesus says: “Behold, I am coming as a thief. Blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked, and they see his shame” (Rev 16:15). Sin destroys the covering. It brings fear of punishment, guilt, and shame.

When God created Adam and Eve, they did not experience fear. But through sin, fear entered. Lies always bring fear along. We see that God gave Adam and Eve them much freedom. God allowed the devil to possess the snake and to tempt them. They broke the only law God gave to them. God said: don’t eat from the fruit of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Once they broke the law, ‘their eyes opened’, not to more wisdom or freedom, but to the truth that they are now lawbreakers. They have offended their creator and the pastor who married them. This revelation brought fear, shame, and guilt. Before now, they were naked, but they did not feel ashamed. Now, they feel the need to cover themselves. They try to cover their nakedness with aprons made of fig leaves. But this cover is useless. The fig leaves stand for the human wisdom of salvation. It never works. It is not strong enough to atone for sin.

Adam hides behind the tree. That hiding does not work. Adam is afraid. He has never felt that emotion before now. In the past, Adam was happy to meet with God. But now, Adam did not come out happily showing God the fig leaves apron that he had made. He knew that it was not sufficient. The leaves probably covered their genitals. This area is now seen as a most sinful part of the body because sin will spread thru it. That is why they covered it. Why was Adam afraid? He was expecting God to be angry and to punish him. This is how children behave who offend their parents. Adam was afraid that God will shout at him or punish him. But God did not do that. God knew what Adam did. He still comes as before, in the cool of the evening, to have fellowship with Adam, to talk to him as a father and friend. This is called Christophany. It is the Lord Jesus Christ in human form who appeared to them in the Garden. “No one has seen God at any time. The only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, He has declared Him” (Jn 1:18).

Just imagine this scene… Jesus comes with open arms knowing that Adam has broken His heart thru disobedience, and knowing the mighty price He will pay to restore God’s relationship with man. Jesus asked Adam: ‘Where are you?’ This is not the shout of a military commander. It is the question of a father whose son broke his heart. ‘Where are you, Adam’? Of course, Jesus knew what has happened. But He still asked the question. Why? The question was meant to reveal that Adam has sinned and there is now a gap between God and man. Their relationship will not be the same again. The question requires an answer, which must be repentance from sin. It means man is responsible for his sin. The question also reveals the pain in the heart of Jesus, the Savior will ‘came to seek and save that which is lost’ (Lk 19:10). See the way God confronts sinners: He came personally. He came in the evening when is the best time to relax and listen. He told Adam and Eve the truth in love. God the Father sent God the Son to die for sinners. It is God the Holy Spirit who convicts sinners of sin and guilt. God does not delegate this mighty work of salvation to angels. God is the God of personal salvation!  

Adam replies: I heard Your voice in the garden, and I was afraid: Sin made Adam afraid of God’s presence and afraid of God’s voice. Ever since that time, men run from God’s presence and don’t want to listen to His Word. For the righteous, in the presence of God, there is fullness of joy’ (Ps 16:11). But for the sinner, the presence of God brings bad memories, guilt, fear, and shame. Jesus asked Adam: Who told you that you are naked? Adam could have repented at that moment. Adam should have said like the prodigal son: “Father, I have sinned against heaven and in your sight, and am no longer worthy to be called your son” (Lk 15:21). But he chose not to. Adam blamed his wife for their sin. He even blamed God who gave him Eve as a wife. Lesson: until we take responsibility for our sin, openly confess, and repent of it, we can’t be free from fear!

Please observe that up to this moment, God only talks to Adam. He does not address Eve. This is because Adam was the head of the home and must take responsibility for their sin. Eve gives an explanation, but she too does not repent. At last, God judges them. Here you see grace in action. They will not die immediately. They will live to have children. But they must leave the Garden. They will work the ground and eat its fruits. Then, in the midst of sin, sorrow, shame, fear and failure, God introduces the hope of the Gospel: From the seed of the woman a Savior will come that will bruise the head of the serpent. The Christ who came to judge them in the Garden, will one day die for them! Praise the Lord!

The fear of punishment was Adam’s main fear. This proves that sin has killed Adam’s love for God and for Eve. “There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love” (1 Jn 4:18). The word ‘torment’ means suffering, chastisement, or punishment. Even now, demons fear future torment. They told Jesus: “And they cried out, saying, “What business do You have with us, Son of God? Have You come here to torment us before the time?” (Matt 8:29). After King Saul disobeyed God’s Word, God punished him thru a tormenting spirit. “Now the Spirit of the LORD had departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD tormented him” (1 Sam 16:14; NIV). Saul became depressed, jealous, and afraid of David. Until he died, Saul refused to repent of his sins.  

Love and fear are opposites. Love attracts and fear separates. Fear can only stay in a heart that is not filled yet with perfect agape love. The word ‘perfect’ means mature, or fruitful. This is a known fact: fear of punishment may deter men from committing open sin, but it cannot make them righteous or loving. Only God’s grace can do that!

The devil is not mentioned directly in Genesis 3. But he is there, using the serpent to tempt Adam and Eve. We are told that God created the serpent and man had dominion over it. God created the snake to be ‘more cunning’ that the other animals. In Hebrew, the word ‘cunning’ is not always a negative word. It means to be wise, prudent, or sensible. The devil used the serpent, manipulated, and controlled his God given wisdom. The serpent became a symbol of evil and God cursed it. The serpent/Satan tempts Eve to disobey God’s only command. He does not talk directly to Adam. But Adam sinned and brought death upon humanity. The cure for this sin is nothing less than the Blood of the Son of God!

“Moses, because of the hardness of your hearts, permitted you to divorce your wives, but from the beginning it was not so” (Matt 19:8). Jesus says that thru sin, man’s heart became ‘hardened’. Before Adam and Eve fell into sin, their hearts were ‘soft’, loving, and kind. The hardness of the heart attracts fear of punishment. In Greek, the word ‘hardness’ means ‘lack of sensitivity’. It is a stubborn and wicked heart that refuses to listen to God’s Word. Adam did not obey God’s only law in the Garden. He refused to repent. He blamed Eve and even God for his sin. Through sin, Adam became hardhearted. Like Cain killed Abel, a sinful husband can kill his wife. Therefore, it is better to divorce than kill her.      


“Therefore, I remind you to stir up the gift of God which is in you through the laying on of my hands. For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind” (2 Tim 1:6, 7).

The command ‘fear not!’ is God’s most common command! It is found 365 times in the Bible, one for each day! If something appears many times in the Bible, then it is very important. To reject fear is God’s command. To obey God’s command is possible only thru faith in Christ alone. The unbelievers cannot stop being afraid or anxious. The believers need to do spiritual warfare to defeat the evil spirit of fear. Timothy tended to be afraid of people in general. That affected his ministry. Paul tells Timothy that he should reject the ‘spirit of fear’. This ‘spirit’ is a demon of cowardice, of timidity. It made Timothy shrink from visibility, from responsibility, from doing his ministry among men. Timidity is defined as being easily frightened, to be shy or nervous, to lack confidence, especially when found among men. A timid man lacks courage and confidence in himself. It is a stronghold in the way of progress in life and ministry. Lesson: the desire to hide from serving God is of the devil.

The spirit of fear must be identified, confronted, and rejected. For as long as this demon has access to your heart, you remain weak, selfish, and anxious. The devil attacks with fear before he attacks with sickness or poverty. Fear is one of the devil’s weapons of choice. Once you become free from fear, you will be filled with the Holy Spirit who manifests as ‘power, love and sound mind’. This power strengthens especially the will. Free from fear, the believer is ready to pay the price for spiritual maturity. This agape love rules the former emotions of selfishness and cowardice. Love is a fighter and a champion. ‘Love never fails’ (1 Cor 13:8  ). The sound mind is a mind that is disciplined, that has self-control. The Christian lives in the world and faces trials and temptations. He displays self-control and rejects all sinful things. He is able to avoid and overcome all obstacles, making progress, spiritually and physically. He is not afraid, confused, or deceived. He knows the truth of God’s Word and he applies it daily growing in faith and wisdom. Boldly, ne makes progress that is evident to all!

Before the Cross, the Lord reminded His disciples not to be afraid. The Holy Spirit will teach them God’s Word. “These things I have spoken to you while being present with you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you. Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid” (Jn 14:25-27). The natural heart is always troubled and afraid. The word ‘troubled’ means to be easily shaken by trials of life. The Holy Spirit gives peace, strength, and courage to face all circumstances and overcome them.

The spirit of fear in the heart of man is the main reason for failure in life. Fear is a mighty stronghold blocking the way to progress. You cannot ignore fear if you desire to experience success in life. Why do men fear? One reason is that man is so small in this big universe. Looking at the sky, living among million of people, man feels insignificant. Life itself is intimidating. Man may pretend that he is someone great, but deep in his heart, he is afraid because he sees no purpose in life. He knows that life is short, and tomorrow is not promised to anyone. He fears the future. He fears death and the judgment of God. These fears are all real and makes men anxious and restless. Man has peace with God, with himself and with others only thru Jesus Christ, our Lord!


“God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.” “Then He who sat on the throne said, “Behold, I make all things new.” And He said to me, “Write, for these words are true and faithful.” And He said to me, “It is done! I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning, and the End. I will give of the fountain of the water of life freely to him who thirsts. He who overcomes shall inherit all things, and I will be his God and he shall be My son. But the cowardly, unbelieving, abominable, murderers, sexually immoral, sorcerers, idolaters, and all liars shall have their part in the lake which burns with fire and brimstone, which is the second death” (Rev 21:5-8).

The Resurrected Christ promises to make all things new. The pain, sorrow, weeping and fears we experienced on earth will end one day. Thru Christ, we have overcome. We are God’s children, and we shall inherit all things God has promised. The sin that separated God and man in the Garden of Eden, is destroyed. Thru Christ, man and God are reconciled forever. This is a wonderful picture of paradise restored. But not all people will experience this future bliss. The unbelievers cannot enter through the pearly gates of heaven. Among these people who are rejected by God are the cowards and the unbelievers. These sins are hidden in the heart. A coward is a person who lacks courage and easily runs away from opposition, danger, or pain. A coward cannot be trusted as a friend and cannot be a leader. Even the believers may sometimes fail in times of danger. But the cowards spoken here in the Book of Revelation are in bondage to the spirit of fear and unbelief. This is a spiritual state and not some occasional falling. A coward avoids working for God or for man. They are full of excuses when it comes to work. Cowards are lazy. They are afraid to make hard decisions. They always postpone doing the right thing. A cowardly leader is afraid to discipline the people. He avoids confrontation. The cowards fear progress. They do not mature. The greatest damage cowards make is in their contact with people. Relationships are difficult and they take time. A coward does not open his heart. He does not understand people. He makes mistakes, he hurts, and he disappoints people. A coward is a bad loser. Once he fails, he becomes bitter spreading division and hatred among others. A Christian learns to love people. He takes the risk of receiving pain, but he does not hate people. Thru pain and disappointments, the believer perseveres in his relationships with people. A true Christian leader is humble, courageous, faithful, wise, and loving. He loves God and he loves people.

THE FAITH OF GIDEON (Judges 6 and 7)

Gideon is one of the great men of faith in the Bible. His name means ‘great destroyer or warrior’. He is a hero. He was a weak man who became strong thru his faith in God. Some people are surprised that his name is found in the hall of fame of people of faith. But he is there. Read this: “And what more shall I say? For the time would fail me to tell of Gideon… who through faith subdued kingdoms, worked righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, became valiant in battle, turned to flight the armies of the aliens” (Heb 11:32-34).

He was from a poor family. He was a nobody in his family, in his tribe. Lesson: God uses nobodies and make them somebodies!

Gideon has many fears and family problems. His father became an idol worshipper. He is afraid of many things: of the Midianites, of his father and his family, and of standing as a man of God. But his faith in God overcame his fears. His only negative stain upon his character was that his prosperity and fame contributed to his downfall later in life. He threshes wheat in a winepress, probably in a cave. This is an example of a useless business. Gideon has lost his hope in God. When God calls him, he complains because of the circumstances. Then God says: “The Lord is with you, you mighty man of valor!… Surely I will be with you, and you shall defeat the Midianites as one man” (Jdg 6:12, 16). Lesson: when God tells you “Surely, I will be with you”, that is all you need! But Gideon needs more reassurance and graciously, God gives it to him.

Gideon rejects fear and destroys his father’s idol. This is his first victory as a man of God. His family are afraid to punish him. Having more courage, Gideon calls volunteers to the army. But God says that the people are too many. When they win the battle, they will boast that it was because of their great army. Gideon commands that whosoever is afraid should go home. Twenty-two thousand cowards leave the army. Lesson: cowards may come to the army and hide their fear. But God cannot use those!

After that, God reduces the army to just 300 soldiers. God does not want man to take the glory, so He reduces man’s strength. God encourages Gideon again. Then God gives the battle plan: use torches, trumpets, and human shouts. Like so many times in the past, only God could have recommended such a strategy. It looks so foolish. No human being could have invented this battle plant. But Gideon trusted God! The plan worked! The enemy became confused, and they fought one another. Gideon and his 300 men broke the pitchers, shone their light, and blew their trumpets shouting, ‘The sword of the Lord and of Gideon’. They stood as the enemy ran away. God caused confusion in their midst, and they destroyed themselves. It was a mighty victory. Peace reigned in Israel for 40 years. Gideon became a famous leader in the land.

Lesson: Stand your ground and the enemy will flee! Your weakness is not your problem. You need faith to believe in an all-powerful God. When you trust your wisdom and strength, you start worshipping idols. That is why God became angry and gave Israel into the hands of Midian. God’s Grace in enough! Rejoice and boast in your weakness so that the power of Christ will rest on you! (2 Cor 12:9,10). All you need is found in these five covenant 5 words: “I will be with you!” This is a powerful weakness. This is the weakness of the Cross, stronger than man’s strength. May we always trust God in our weakness! May we have peace in our hearts during trials! May we serve God! May there be peace in our land!

Jesus said: “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven” (Matt 5:14-16).  We must do like Gideon and his soldiers. We must break our pitchers and shine our lights in this dark world. Do not be afraid to stand for Jesus. Do good deeds that none can reject. And blow your trumpet. preach the Gospel!

Jesus says that the world in is darkness. The world lives in fear and ignorance of God. Jesus says that the believer is ‘the light of the world’. Light here means the knowledge of truth. The unbelievers too say that ‘knowledge is light’. But their knowledge is only of science or philosophy. They do not know God. They do not believe God’s Word. Therefore, they still do not have light. The believers are the only people who know God, and His Word, which is truth. They are the only people who understand life and who can give wise counsel to others. This is our great privilege to know and share the truth. The youngest illiterate believer in Christ knows more about life than the unbeliever who is a university professor.

The first thing light does is to expose the darkness. Faith exposes fear! “For you were once darkness, but now you are light in the Lord. Walk as children of light (for the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, righteousness, and truth), finding out what is acceptable to the Lord. And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather expose them. For it is shameful even to speak of those things which are done by them in secret. But all things that are exposed are made manifest by the light, for whatever makes manifest is light. Therefore He says: “Awake, you who sleep, Arise from the dead, And Christ will give you light.” (Eph 5:8-14).

Once light exposes the darkness, the evil people will react and attack the light. But they cannot win against it. Light exposes the darkness and shows its prisoners the way out. The unbelievers who repent will come to the light. Thru you, they have seen that it is possible to live a better life and to make peace with God. Light always wins! Light attracts and saves! The proof that you are out of darkness and that you live in the light is that from now on, you love to praise God! “But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light” (1 Pet 2:9).  Glory to God!

The light is not supposed to be hidden ‘under a basket’. Why are we commanded to shine our light for Jesus? We were created for that. Jesus is light and we are like Him. It is the destiny and function of the light to shine. A light hidden under a basket is the picture of failure. If you say that you are a Christian, but you keep quiet when you are supposed to talk about Jesus, then you are failing in life. Stand and talk. You must openly serve God! Persecutions may come but God will protect you! This is fulfilling destiny. It is a powerful life that defeats all fears. This is how you make progress evident to all. A silent fearful Christian is backsliding. Repent and come out of that foolishness! You become famous but in a good way. You do not attract people to you! You attract people to the Christ in you! A Christian cannot be hidden. He cannot be a nobody. He is created to shine his light, to preach the Word, to praise God with songs and dances. He does good deeds of kindness that cannot be ignored.

Dear Believer, Christ in you is Life, Light and Hope of Glory. The Darkness and its fears are totally defeated in the presence of light. If you are a child of light, you stand for Jesus without any apologies to the darkness. We are more than conquerors. No devil can quench the Life/Light of Christ in us. “In Him was life [and the power to bestow life], and the life was the Light of men. The Light shines on in the darkness, and the darkness did not understand it or overpower it or appropriate it or absorb it [and is unreceptive to it]” (John 1:4, 5; AMP). The Light is always a mystery to the darkness. The darkness cannot understand or control the light! The Word has come to give us Life and to open our eyes to the Light! “Once more Jesus addressed the crowd. He said, “I am the Light of the world. He who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life“ (Jn 8:12; AMP).

Darkness hates the light but has no power to fight it. Darkness and fear shrink from the light and runs away. “This is the judgment [that is, the cause for indictment, the test by which people are judged, the basis for the sentence]: the Light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the Light, for their deeds were evil. For every wrongdoer hates the Light and does not come to the Light [but shrinks from it] for fear that his [sinful, worthless] activities will be exposed and condemned. But whoever practices truth [and does what is right—morally, ethically, spiritually] comes to the Light, so that his works may be plainly shown to be what they are—accomplished in God [divinely prompted, done with God’s help, in dependence on Him]” (John 3:19-21; AMP). Glory!    

“Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching“ (2 Tim 4:2).

Gideon broke the pitchers and exposed the lights. He then blew the trumpets. They shouted: “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon!”

Lesson: By doing good and by preaching the Gospel, God will defeat your enemies. You become strong in faith and fear runs away. You need both swords combined! God’s sword is His Word spoken in faith! Gideon’s sword is his mouth used for preaching and praying. This is the secret of victory and destruction of fear. The sword of God alone will not work. God has decided to use men to preach His Word. We are weak, but in Christ we can do all things! God and man! Victory is spiritual warfare to His glory! Worship the Lord!


“Good afternoon, Malia!!!!

I trust you are doing well by the mercies of God.

Malia Baba God is Good, Kind, Faithful and true.

His Word, He will never leave nor forsake us is mine and my family’s testimony.

I testify to the glory of King Grace (My Oga kpatata) and to the shame of the devil.

My Husband was due to return to work and boarded his flight. Before they took off, he said that it took 1hour 30mins while already seated for test run of the airplane.

Once they had taken off, 10mins before landing, heavy rain like never seen started and there was thick clouds, all of a sudden the plane plummeted downwards making some passegers displaced, people immediately started screaming Jesus!!! Then he said this cannot happen, Lord take control.

Then the plane tipped to the left side downwards… He said it was not good at all, the pilot started making announcements, and had to fly at a fast rate to cut through the thick clouds.

But to the glory of KING GRACE!!! the next thing he noticed was they landed safely at the airport where they initially took off from. The next day a different plane was used and he arrived safely at work.

Oh Malia, God is FAITHFUL and GOOD!!His Word is Yes and amen.🙏🏽

A day before he left, I was in the bedroom and immediately the Lord laid in my heart to give Him thanks, to rejoice, that God is with him (my Husband) and immediately I started giving God thanks.

My God is the Good God, yes He is.

This song came to me IMELA (When I think about the goodness of God, I’m convinced is not because I am worthy to receive this kind of love that He gives..Imela, Imela, Okaka, onyekiruwa, Imela, Imela, Eze-mo. 🙇🏽‍♀️

Lord I have come to give and return all the glory to you!!! For sparing the life of your Son, my Hisband, you are Faithful, true, your promises are Yes and amen.

Forever grateful and thankful Lord Jesus.

God bless you Malia, for constantly teaching and showing us the royal way of the Cross.

Your daughter… “


During the Sunday service Pastor (Mrs) Silvia Lia Leigh preached a sermon titled My Progress is evident to all (5)/ Her main scriptures were taken from the Books of 1 Timothy 4:12-16, 1 Peter 1:3 and Exodus 14:13-18.


“Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, in purity. Till I come, give attention to reading, to exhortation, to doctrine. Do not neglect the gift that is in you, which was given to you by prophecy with the laying on of the hands of the eldership. Meditate on these things; give yourself entirely to them, that your progress may be evident to all. Take heed to yourself and to the doctrine. Continue in them, for in doing this you will save both yourself and those who hear you” (1 Tim 4:12-16)

Prophetic word: We declare that in Christ, we have entered our Promised Land and our progress is evident to all!

Spiritual maturity manifests as ‘progress’ that can be seen by others. Progress is defined as a slow forward movement towards a goal, to an improved condition in life, on the path to perfection. It means to advance in life, closer to the place where your dreams are fulfilled. The opposite of progress means to go back, to become worse, to sink, to lose benefits, or to waste away. May we pay the price for godly success!


The Resurrection of Christ, a central doctrine of Christianity, is based on the belief that Jesus Christ was raised from the dead on the third day after his Crucifixion and that through His conquering of death all believers will subsequently share in His victory over “sin, death, and the Devil.” The celebration of this event, called Easter, or the Festival of the Resurrection, is a major celebration day in the church. The resurrection of Jesus demonstrates the power of God. It proves that Jesus is truly the Son of God. Jesus was “declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection from the dead” (Rom 1:4). It is part of the true Gospel of Christ. The resurrection vindicates Jesus who predicted it. Jesus resurrected and ascended to heaven to be our Great High Priest. The resurrection of Jesus is the pattern for all believers. At the second coming of Christ the bodies of all the believers who have died will resurrect so that their salvation is finally complete.  Faith in Christ Crucified and Resurrected justifies us. Righteousness “shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, 25 who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification” (Rom 4:24). The Cross was the greatest crime done by humanity. It was also the most necessary act because only thru it, sinners could be saved. “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved” (Rom 10:8).

Resurrection is a miracle. During Christmas it is easier to imagine a woman giving birth to a baby. But at Easter you need the help of the Holy Spirit to believe in the Resurrection. Holy Spirit please help us to celebrate Jesus Christ, our Lord!


Faith in the resurrection gives believers a new living undying hope! Hope is defined as the joyful expectation of the future, a confident desire to obtain what you dream of today and to have fulfilment in life. It is a confident feeling that something good will happen in the future. Faith in God works now. Hope in God applies to the future. Agape love is stronger than both. These three gifts of grace, Love, Faith, and Hope are connected, but are also separate. The natural hope of any child is to be an adult one day. He will be wiser, stronger, and more courageous. “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things. For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known. And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love” (1 Cor 13:11-13). It is the hope of all believers to make progress in life and to become spiritually mature. The greatest hope of the Christian is to go to heaven, to be glorified, to see Jesus, to be like Him and to worship Him forever! That is why some have called Hope ‘the homesickness for the future glory’.   


“Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen” (Heb 11:1). In Greek, the word ‘substance’ means confidence, assurance, reality, or the title deed of our hope. Both the ‘now faith’ and the ‘then hope’ are not based on our imaginations. These are rooted in the Word of God. Faith is a present mindset that has a vision. Faith’s feet are standing now in the present circumstances. But faith has good eyes to see ahead. Faith sees the future and believes that no matter how hard it is now, God’s Word will be fulfilled at last. Faith believes that your God given dreams will come to pass. Faith is so sure of the future that she decides to become the foundation ‘substance’ to support these dreams, to invest in them until they come to pass. True faith is always hopeful seeing a brighter future. “E go good!” (Nigerian saying).


“We who have fled [to Him] for refuge would have strong encouragement and indwelling strength to hold tightly to the hope set before us. This hope [this confident assurance] we have as an anchor of the soul [it cannot slip and it cannot break down under whatever pressure bears upon it]—a safe and steadfast hope that enters within the veil [of the heavenly temple, that most Holy Place in which the very presence of God dwells], where Jesus has entered [in advance] as a forerunner for us, having become a High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek” (Heb 6:18-20;AMP)

God wants us to have ‘strong encouragement and indwelling strength’ by receiving the revelation of Jesus Christ as the Forerunner and the High Priest of our faith.  A forerunner is someone who goes ahead, to prepare the way for others to follow. In the Old Testament there was no such revelation. Each year the high priest Aaron entered the Holy of Holies with the Blood of the sacrifice. No one else could follow him there. If any man entered in that Most Holy Place, that man dies instantly. Aaron was always alone in the presence of God. He had no followers and no fellowship with the brethren inside there. But when Jesus passed thru the heavens and entered the Most Holy Place, He tore the veil of separation for His children to follow. That is why He is called the ‘Forerunner for us’. There is another definition for the word ‘forerunner’. In the ancient times, when big ships came to the Greek islands and the tide was low, they could not enter the port because of sandbars on the floor of the sea. Then they sent a strong little boat carrying their anchor to the shore. The anchor will be securely hooked on the rocky beach so that the big ship will not drift away with the currents. Later, when the tide is high, the big ship can come inside the port. That little strong boat that carries the anchor ahead is called ‘a forerunner’. Jesus rose from the dead to become our Forerunner and High Priest!      

In Christ I declare: The hope of glory that I have in Christ is an anchor for my soul. My soul is not connected to this earth. My soul is eternally anchored to the presence of God, inside the Holy of Holies of heaven. My life is like a ship that can never be lost, no matter the storm and the wicked ocean waves of this life. I am eternally safe and secure! I know where I am going! When my work is done on earth, I am going to heaven! I have no fears and no doubts about my eternal destiny and destination! Glory to God!


In the Old Testament, God’s people are encouraged to trust God who is their only Hope. To connect with their hope they must wait for God to help them. For the Israelites, most of their hopes were earthly. For example, they hope, trust, and wait that God will deliver them from their enemies and give them peace and prosperity in the Promised Land. “But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength; They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint” (Is 40:31). In Hebrew, the word ‘wait’ means to bind together in expectation. Hope is strengthened in the assembly of the believers.

The effect of patiently and faithfully waiting on God with hope, is that the believer does not lose heart, his heart is strengthened, and he becomes more courageous.  “I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord!” (Ps 27:13, 14). The words ‘I would have lost heart’ mean to despair, or to faint. The opposite of hope is despair. It is the feeling that there is no hope and that you can do nothing to improve a difficult or worrying situation. Despair or loss of hope leads to depression. In the US, depression is a major health problem. Almost 10% of the population struggles with depression. These are some clinical signs: felling hopeless, worthless, or guilty. People with depression feel lonely and isolated, even in the crowd. They lose the joy of living. Everything they do requires a great effort. They feel tired always. They have problems with eating and sleeping (too much or too little). Depression is connected with anxiety. People feel nervous, fearful about the future. They get irritable and moody. They manifest bursts of anger and mis-placed aggression. They may decide to alleviate the anxiety with alcohol or drugs. They think about committing suicide. Advice: Depression may be medical or a spiritual attack! Pray to God! Tell your doctor or your pastor about it! Do not suffer in silence! There is hope!


In the New Testament, our hope is more spiritual, and it is connected with the glory ahead. The greatest hope is to go to heaven, to see Jesus, to be like Him and to worship Him forever. Hope has a purifying and sanctifying effect on the believer. “Beloved, now we are children of God; and it has not yet been revealed what we shall be, but we know that when He is revealed, we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is. And everyone who has this hope in Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 Jn 3:2, 3). We are saved by Grace and thru Faith, ‘in this Hope’. Once saved, the seed of hope is deposited in the heart. Each child of God believes that he is saved and has hope that one day he will go to heaven. The trials of life are painful, like labor pains before a child of born. During difficult times, the believer continues to hold on to this hope that even if he dies, God will take him to heaven. He also hopes that when Christ comes again, his mortal body will be resurrected and changed to be like Jesus. The future for the Christian is always better than the present. The Holy Spirit helps the believer to hold on to his hope of heaven and pray in line with God’s will.  “For the creation was subjected to futility, not willingly, but because of Him who subjected it in hope; 21 because the creation itself also will be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groans and labors with birth pangs together until now. Not only that, but we also who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, eagerly waiting for the adoption, the redemption of our body. For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance. Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God” (Rom 8:20-27).


Your hope is a Person. Not any person, but the Lord Jesus Christ. He lives in your heart. He died and rose again in your heart. He lives forever in your heart. Because Christ is in your heart, you are sure that your soul will go to heaven immediately you die. This is your sure hope. Because of this hope, you are ready to endure all things and serve God to your last breath. In the past, the Jews thought that they alone are saved and will go to heaven. But when Jesus came, by His death on the Cross, He opened the door of heaven to all who believed, Jews and Gentiles. This salvation was a mystery in the past. The revelation of this mystery, the hope of glory and of heaven is the strength behind all true ministries done of Christ’ sake. Apostle Paul said: “To them God willed to make known what are the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles: which is Christ in you, the hope of glory. Him we preach, warning every man and teaching every man in all wisdom, that we may present every man perfect in Christ Jesus. To this end I also labor, striving according to His working which works in me mightily” (Col 1:27-29).


One of the effects of the resurrection of Christ is that it produced a living hope in all believers. Hope is defined as the joyful confident expectation of the future. It is a desire and an expectation that your dreams will come true. It is faith that the Promises of God will be fulfilled in your life. The greatest hope is to be glorified, to go to heaven and to worship God forever in an infinitely deeper relationship. Hope is always connected with the future, with fulfilment and joy. The hope of the believer is not dead. It is living. It cannot die. Oppositions, failures, losses, and the stress of life cannot destroy this hope we have in Christ. Why? Because hope is living and breathing. For the child of God, if hope dies, it shall rise again. The power of resurrection manifests in the grace gift of living hope. When all things are against you, when all hope seems lost, hope still rises and lives. This is the experience of all believers.

For example, Abraham believed that God is able to fulfill His promise that he will be the father of many nations. Abraham, “contrary to hope, in hope believed, so that he became the father of many nations, according to what was spoken, “So shall your descendants be” (Rom 4:18). Abraham believed in this living hope that cannot die. He knew that in the natural, both him and Sarah cannot have children. They were too old for that. Looking at himself, he knew that there was no hope. Abraham’s hope was not taken from looking at his life or circumstances. It was based on the Promise of God who said that he will be a father of nations. Abraham has faith in God’s promise. God’s word was enough for him. That word gave him faith and hope that just could not die. He strengthens himself against all human hope, and still believes in the hope promised by God. He continues to serve and glorify God. He was not put to shame.

How was Abraham able to go on believing God’s promise for a son for 25 years? It is because he believed two things about God: he believed that God could create something out of nothing, and he believed that God could raise the dead. He believed in a God of Creation and in a God of Resurrection. Anybody who believes these two things about God, will not waver in faith. Abraham trusted God’s character. He knew that God is a God of grace. He knew that he has no power to contribute to God’s work. He knew that his body is dead, and Sarah’s womb was dead too. But he was not discouraged at the deadness of their bodies. He is the father of all who believe in God. In the natural, he is the father or the Jews and of the Muslims. In the Spiritual, he is the Father of faith of all Christians. Faith and hope are stronger than all disappointments of life!


“The hope of the righteous will be gladness, But the expectation of the wicked will perish” (PV 10:28).


“I have set the Lord always before me; Because He is at my right hand I shall not be moved. Therefore my heart is glad, and my glory rejoices; My flesh also will rest in hope” (Ps 16:8, 9)


“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to His abundant mercy has begotten us again to a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead” (1 Pet 1:3).

Apostle Peter praises God the Father and God the Son for their abundant mercy towards sinners like him. He says that because Jesus died and resurrected from the dead, we are now born again into a Living Hope. Peter praises God because he knows what God has done for him. At the Cross, Peter’s hope died. At the resurrection of Jesus, Peter’s hope resurrected. This praise is Peter’s testimony concerning his living hope!


Study Apostle Peter before and after the resurrection of Christ. There is great difference in his faith, hope, confidence and anointing for ministry. There was a time in his life when his hope died. But the resurrection of Christ from the dead, revived his hope in Him. Peter’s story is our story too. To understand Peter’s pain and betrayal of Jesus, we need to go back and study Peter, how he failed, and how Jesus helped him to recover. Peter was a fisherman. Like any man on earth, he was born a sinner. He needed a Savior. Jesus called him. He left his fishing nets and followed Jesus. He loved Jesus. He listened to His teachings; he saw Him doing mighty miracles. He tasted the power of His Words. He felt His love and compassion. But just before the Cross, Peter failed Jesus. Let us study him and learn some lessons from Peter.

At the beginning of His public ministry, Jesus became extremely famous. Because of His teachings and miracles, people were impressed, and crowds followed Him. They ‘wanted to make Him King by force’ (Jn 6:15). Peter and the disciples were very excited that such a great Man like Jesus is now their Master. They enjoyed the fame of their leader and had big hopes about their future together in His Kingdom. They dreamed about positions of authority. That went on for some time. Suddenly, Jesus started preaching spiritual things, about dying to self, about the Cross. From that time, many of Christ’s followers drew back. They did not want to suffer. They wanted material blessings and religious entertainment. They were not prepared to sacrifice their dreams of fame in this world. Jesus did not call them back. This change of atmosphere was disappointing to Peter and to the disciples. At this time that Jesus asked them two questions. Peter was the spokesman for the group.

*First question: Do you also want to go away? “From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. 67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?” 68 But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God” (Jn 6:66-69)

*Second question: Who do you say that I am? Jesus asked His disciples, saying, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered and said, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” Jesus answered and said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Bar-Jonah, for flesh and blood has not revealed this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. And I also say to you that you are Peter, and on this rock I will build My church, and the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it (Matt 16:15-18).

As you can see, before the Cross, Peter was sure of at least two things about Jesus. This understanding came thru God’s revelation. The first thing Peter was sure about was that Jesus ‘has the words of eternal life’. The second thing was that Jesus is ‘the Christ, the Son of the Living God’. What was Peter’s faith? Peter has heard Jesus preaching to the crowds. He also has heard His teachings in private, to them, His close disciples. Peter felt the power of God’s Word in the mouth of Jesus. When the religious rulers sent army officers to arrest Jesus they too were impressed with His Words and could not arrest a preacher like Him. They went back to the chief priest empty handed and said: “No man ever spoke like this Man!” (Jn 7:46). Peter has never seen or heard a preacher like Jesus. He believed that Jesus was indeed the true Prophet God has promised to send to His people to teach them His Word. God told the people of Israel: “The LORD your God will raise up for you a prophet like me [Moses] from among you, from your countrymen (brothers, brethren). You shall listen to him” (Deut 18:15). Peter was convinced that Jesus, his Master, was that promised Prophet/Teacher to Israel. Ans he was ready to ‘listen’ to Him! That was his first revelation!

Secondly, Peter believed that Jesus is the promised Messiah, the Christ, the Son of God. To understand the meaning of Peter’s faith that Jesus is the promised Messiah, we need to know something about God. He reveals Himself as the Covenant keeping God. He made a covenant to be the God of a nation called Israel. This was a covenant of grace. God initiated the covenant. The people were not faithful to God, but God continue to be faithful to His covenant promises to them. God called a man, Abraham, and made him to be the father of the nation later called Israel. He promised that Abraham will have many descendants, like the stars on the sky. Though Abraham and his wife Sarah were old, they believed the promise and Sarah had a son called Isaac when she was 90 and Abraham was 100. God confirmed His covenant with Isaac and Jacob. Out of the twelve sons of Jacob, God chose Judah, and promised that a ruler, a king will come from his lineage. “The scepter shall not depart from Judah, Nor a lawgiver from between his feet, Until Shiloh comes; And to Him shall be the obedience of the people” (Gen 49:10). The name Shiloh is another title for the Messiah. In Hebrew it means ‘to whom it belongs’. In other words, the scepter, the throne, and the crown of the King of kings belongs to the promised Messiah. Later, from this tribe of Judah, God chose King David. He promised him that his son will be a king forever. “When your days are fulfilled and you rest with your fathers, I will set up your seed after you, who will come from your body, and I will establish his kingdom. He shall build a house for My name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be his Father, and he shall be My son” (2Sam 7:12-14). This is the promise that the Messiah will come thru the lineage of King David. He will be a King whose throne will be established forever. He will build a House for God’s Name. He will be God’s Son. All these promises apply to Jesus Christ. He was conceived in the womb of the virgin Mary who was engaged to be married to Joseph. Both of them were descendants of King David, from the tribe of Judah. Peter believed that Jesus Christ is the promised Messiah King from the line of King David. That is why he made the confession before the other disciples saying: “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God”. It was God the Father who revealed this truth to him.

Peter truly believed that Jesus Christ, His master, is the Prophet-Preacher-Teacher of God and soon, He will be crowned in Jerusalem as the Messiah, the King of the Jews. He saw himself serving King Jesus on this earth. Then what happened? Why did he deny Jesus? Why did all the disciples run away when Jesus was arrested? This is the answer: At the foot of the Cross, their hopes, and dreams to crown Jesus as King and them becoming royalty crashed to the ground and died. Why? Let us find the answer. After Peter had the revelation that Jesus is the Messiah, Jesus told him that He will build His church. Jesus told Peter that the devil and his gates of hell cannot stop the building and growth of the Church. The revelation that Jesus is the Messiah, will be the strength of the believers. Then see what happens: “From that time Jesus began to show to His disciples that He must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things from the elders and chief priests and scribes, and be killed, and be raised the third day. Then Peter took Him aside and began to rebuke Him, saying, “Far be it from You, Lord; this shall not happen to You!” But He turned and said to Peter, “Get behind Me, Satan! You are an offense to Me, for you are not mindful of the things of God, but the things of men.” (Matt 16:21-23). Jesus is telling Peter and the disciples that He ‘must’ go to Jerusalem to suffer, die, and be raised the third day. Peter refused to listen to this prophetic word. His dreams and hopes did not include a dead king. Jesus rebukes him saying that he is Satan, who is interested only about the things of men, only about material things, and not God’s spiritual Kingdom. It is good to note that each time Jesus spoke about His death He always added the resurrection. He never spoke about His death as being a victim. He always spoke as a Victor! But the disciples refused to listen to the Gospel. They believed the truth only after the resurrection! 

This is when Peter failed in His obedience to Jesus. It is true that He believed that Jesus is the Prophet and the Messiah King. He trusted in the strength of Jesus. But He refused to believe that Jesus is the High Priest chosen by God to also be the Sacrifice, to die for the sins of His people. The reason why Peter rejected the revelation of Jesus as the Priest and Sacrifice is because of pride. Though he knew that he is a sinner, he did not believe that the only way for a sinner to live thru the Substitute Sacrifice of Jesus. He did not believe in ‘the weakness’ of the Cross.

Lesson: the false Gospel preached by the devil’s agents tells men that Jesus is the Prophet and the King. He has the words and the power to do miracles. But this false gospel avoids the Cross. It does not preach Christ becoming the sacrifice and the Great High Priest of our profession. The devil preaches that if you believe in Jesus as the Prophet and King, you will have wealth and fame. But the devil says nothing about dying to self, to sin and to the world. Peter fell into the religious trap offered by the devil. Many still do so today. Be careful what Gospel you believe!

When Jesus was arrested, the disciples ran away. Afraid for his life, Peter denied him before a servant girl. Peter’s hopes that Jesus will be crowned in place of Herod died in that courtyard fire, as he warmed himself among unbelievers. Peter still loved Jesus. But his hope in his future with Jesus died that night. Jesus prophesied his denial. It came to pass. When the cock crowed, Peter was heartbroken. He wept for his dead dreams and dead hopes. This is the story of Peter before the Resurrection.


After the resurrection, we see a new Peter. The change is dramatic. When the women told the disciples that Jesus has risen from the grave, they did not believe them. “Their words seemed to them like idle tales, and they did not believe them. But Peter arose and ran to the tomb; and stooping down, he saw the linen cloths lying by themselves; and he departed, marveling to himself at what had happened” (Lk 24:11, 12). In Greek, the ‘words’ of the women is ‘rhema’. This means the special prophetic powerful spoken word of God. Because the disciples were crippled by their dead hopes, they thought that the rhema word of God is nonsense, foolishness or ‘idle tales’. This is always the effect of empty religion. But Peter, sensed something new stirring in his spirit. He did not believe the women, but their words brought new hope in him. He arose from his depression and ran to the tomb. He saw the empty tomb and the linen burial clothes lying by themselves. He did not understand. He marveled to himself. The word means to be shocked, amazed, and greatly surprised. This shock stunned him. The resurrection of Jesus was a big blow to his pride. What he rejected came to pass. Peter needed this blow. By the power of the Holy Spirit his fears and doubts started melting away. “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life” (PV 13:12).

Jesus showed Himself to Mary Magdalene, to the two disciples going to Emmaus and to the disciples in Jerusalem. But we are told that Jesus showed Himself in His resurrection glory to Peter alone. I am sure, that this was a very emotional encounter. Jesus did not forget Peter. Jesus had a talk with Peter even before He went to meet with the other disciples. The disciples said: “The Lord is risen indeed, and has appeared to Simon!“ (Luke 24:34). Paul said: “Jesus was buried, and that He rose again the third day according to the Scriptures, and that He was seen by Cephas, then by the twelve” (1 Cor15:4-5). Peter received forgiveness of sins in this encounter. Later, on the shores of the Sea of Galilee (Jn21), Jesus reinstated Peter as an apostle and a teacher of the Word in the presence of the other disciples.

Do you see why Peter was a changed man after the resurrection? On the day of Pentecost, he preached powerfully that Jesus died and rose again. In the past, he only believed that Jesus is God’s Prophet and King. Now he knows and believes that He is the Great High Priest and the Sacrifice. God has made a new covenant thru the precious Blood of Jesus. We are in Him a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9, 10). Peter now believes that Christ died as the Substitute and Sacrifice for sinners, to become their Great High Priest. We are now ‘a royal priesthood’ in Christ! This revelation feeds hope forever! Halleluiah!


“Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. The Lord will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.” And the Lord said to Moses, “Why do you cry to Me? Tell the children of Israel to go forward” (Ex 14:13-15).

The New Testament is the concentrated spirit of the Old Testament. The Exodus is a picture of the Resurrection!

This is the story: the people of God have been in Egypt as slaves for 430 years. This period in their lives is a symbol of sin. Man is born in sin and until God comes to free the sinner there is no hope for him. God sends Moses as their Deliverer. Moses is a symbol of Jesus. God judges the gods of Egypt with ten plagues. After that, God tells Moses to kill a pure lamb and smear its blood on the doors of the Israelites. This is the Passover Night. The Angel of death kills the first born of all families in the houses where there is no blood to cover them. Passover is a symbol of the Cross. That night, Pharaoh sends them away. They carry along the wealth of the Egyptians. When Israel entered Egypt, they were only 70 people. Now, they are more than 3 million. They come out from Egypt not as a mad crowd of slaves, but as an organized nation. “The children of Israel went up in orderly ranks out of the land of Egypt” (Ex 13:18). God leads them with a pilar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. They stopped at the Red Sea. Pharoah and the Egyptians regret letting their work force go away and they pursue them. God’s people are trapped between the Egyptians, the Red Sea and two mountains, left and right. The people weep and complain. God gives three commands: Fear not! Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord! Go forward! Moses has faith. He stretches His rod, and the waters divide for the people to cross over on dry ground. When the Egyptians pursued them in the Sea, the waters come back, and they all drowned. The people praise God with songs and dances. From here they move forward towards the Promised Land! Praise the Lord!

Lessons: In times of crisis, trust God and fear not! Fear blinds but faith sees the road ahead! Stand still or stand firm waiting for God to speak! Be ready for action. Move forward in your miracle! It is time to make progress and it will be evident to all! As Moses and the people believed the command, the miracle happened. The sea divided into two. The power of resurrection is stronger than sin, slavery, or death. Resurrection makes all things new. God always wins! The devil always loses! Resurrection power always ends in praises! Worship the Lord!