A PRAYER OF LIFTING

“May the Lord answer you in the day of trouble! May the name of the God of Jacob set you up on high [and defend you]; send you help from the sanctuary and support, refresh, and strengthen you from Zion” (Ps 20:1; 2; AMP)
This is the promise of Jehovah, the Self-Existent One. He is the only Living God who needs nothing from outside His Person to exist eternally! This is His pledge: to be with you when you are in in trouble; when you are under attack, alone and sick, abandoned or in pain….when lawyers abandon your case for ‘lack of evidence’… when doctors cannot find the source of your fever… when friends forsake you and the neighbors mock you… when you are ‘too old’ to marry and ‘too barren’ to have a child… when your need is greater than the supply… when hell has found your address and is ready to pay to kill… when prayer ‘does not work’ and the inspiration for singing has dried…
“Holy Spirit, please, come down!!!”
May God who wrote your name in the Book of Life remember you, help you, support, refresh and strengthen you! May God disappoint your fears, melt your doubts, arrest your sickness, fight against your oppressors and overturn the tables! May the power of praise in worship in Zion locate you and ignite a fresh holy fire in you! May the hand of God lift you up, far above the reach of all your enemies! May the increase of God’s kingdom include your home! May you see your children’ children! May you rejoice always, for God is with you! To the Glory of God who can never fail!
In Christ I declare:
I have seen the downfall of satan!
My trouble shall become my testimony!
I shall always praise and worship the God of my salvation, healing and deliverance!
God is my ever present Help in times of need!
Zion is my hometown forever!
Revival is my portion!
In Jesus’ name,
Amen!

SLL 12

JEFFERSON BIBLE

Thomas Jefferson (1743- 1826) was the third president of the United Sates of America. Thomas Jefferson was a rich, educated American politician. He penned the Declaration of Independence and is widely considered one of the most influential Founding Fathers of the United States of America.

Some modern scholarship has been critical of Jefferson’s private life, finding a contradiction between his ownership of the large numbers of slaves that worked his plantations and his famous declaration that “all men are created equal”. Although the matter remains a subject of debate, most historians believe that Jefferson had a sexual relationship with his slave Sally Hemings, a mixed-race woman who was a half-sister to his late wife, and that he fathered at least one of her children. Presidential scholars and historians generally praise Jefferson’s public achievements, including his advocacy of religious freedom and tolerance in Virginia. Jefferson continues to rank highly among U.S. presidents.

What many do not know is that he wrote his own Bible. Jefferson viewed Jesus as strictly human. He said that he is a Christian but he did not believe in miracles or in the supernatural. He said that Jesus Christ was a true teacher from God but not the Son of God. Jefferson viewed Jesus as a great moral teacher but believed that His claims to deity and the stories of His miracles were later agenda-driven additions by Jesus’ followers. He cut off from the Bible any passage about the miracles of Christ, His resurrection, His prophecies or passages about angels. He published the Bible without all these words. His original copy can be seen at the Smithsonian Museum in Washington DC (see below). Historically, Thomas Jefferson was a great man. But according the original Bible, he is a fool! “The fool says in his heart, “There is no God” (Ps 14:1)… How sad…

What is the truth? The Truth is that Jesus Christ is the Son of God, the second Person of the Trinity! Jehovah in the Old Testament is Jesus Christ in the New Testament! Listen to Peter!  “Jesus asked Peter: “Who do men say that I, the Son of Man, am?”… “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” (Mt 16:13-17)

Jefferson died deeply in debt, unable to pass on his estate freely to his heirs. He gave instructions in his will for disposal of his assets, including the freeing of his female slave Sally Hemings’s children. But his estate, possessions, and slaves were sold at public auctions. How sad…

Jeferson Bible

BLESSED ARE THE HUMBLE IN HEART

J. Paul Getty, the oil man, was a billionaire–and proud of it. He was at one time considered the world’s richest man, but during the most active years in his business, he lived alone in a 72-room mansion outside London. Over a 25-year period, he had married and divorced five women. “I hate to be a failure,” he said. “I would gladly give all my millions for just one, lasting marital success.”
He lived a lonely life. One of his ex wives said that he loved his business too much and had no time for family or people. How sad…
Proud men hate humility. Did you know that? The proud men hate and fear the humble people. Why? Because they hate to be seen as low, needy and empty. Proud people are ambitious. They are never satisfied with what they have. They always want something more, something else. Humble people are real. Proud men live in a fantasy world boasting to others that they are rich and great. Humble men love to serve others. They make good friends. They are good listeners. They make wonderful leaders. They love to learn and are not ashamed to ask questions to improve their knowledge. Proud men hide their ignorance and pretend to be great. Humble men are never worried about what others say. They need to prove nothing to nobody. Proud men are restless and worried; never at peace and never truly happy! What type of person are you?
The best example of humility we have is of course, our Lord Jesus Christ, who left heaven’s glory to live on earth and die as a Man on the Cross. He wants to be your Savior and your Teacher. Listen to Him: ‘Take My yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls!’ (Mt 11:29)… Oh, that you hear these blessed words! Oh, that you might believe! I pray for you …

THE VICTORY IS MINE

“For the Lord your God is He who goes with you to fight for you against your enemies, to give you the victory” (Deut 20:4)
The battle was fierce but the victory is mine. O…sweet peace…
If you are a born again believer, in whatever situation, you are always the winner. This is not just my wish for you… It is God’s Word! Victory manifests in many ways, but all these ways have something in common. They spread the sweet powerful fragrance of Christ, the Eternal Victor. In times of trials the devil attacks with lies, mostly the idea that the battle will rage on forever and there shall be no clear winner. These are all lies!! The weeping may endure for the night, but morning is faithful to displace the power of darkness, with the songs of joy leading the transition.
At the Cross, the devil rejoiced to see the Son of Man defeated and humiliated. What he did not know was that ‘the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength’. Who said that? God says so! (Read 1 Cor 1:25). Jesus died for our sins, that we may be forgiven, healed and changed, to become the sons of God. If the devil knew that the death of Christ will become the tree of life for so many, he would not have killed the King of glory. But now it is too late, for the power of resurrection has destroyed even the memory of the evil power and shame of failure and death. Too late for the devil…
Child of God, Yes, there is a battle you have to fight. You can’t avoid it. For every spiritual gain, there must be a confrontation with ‘the strong man’ who keeps men in slavery. Do not beg the devil. He will not listen to your begging! Put on the whole armor of God and confront him! Engage him in battle and in the name of Jesus you shall win. God is on your side! Heaven backs you up. You have nothing to fear! You have nothing to lose! The victory is clear and sure. You shall not suffer indefinitely, you shall not weep unto the end. Sickness, failure, poverty, shame, rejection, slander… these evils do not last forever. God will not allow the power of the devil to continue in your life. It is morning time, victory time…the flag of the Cross is raised on the royal castle…the prisoners are free… the worship continues… The sound of revival is heard in this land! Be encouraged by the Holy Spirit! It is well with you!

POWER FROM ON HIGH

During the Sunday service, Pastor Richmond Leigh preached on the theme ‘Power from on high’. His main text was taken from the Book of Luke: “When all the people were baptized, it came to pass that Jesus also was baptized; and while He prayed, the heaven was opened. And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him, and a voice came from heaven which said, “You are My beloved Son; in You I am well pleased”… “Behold, I send the Promise of My Father upon you; but tarry in the city of Jerusalem until you are endued with power from on high… (Lk 3:21, 22; Lk 24:49; NKJ).

He said that as a church, we are entering a new season, into a higher level of anointing. We need to be Baptized and Filled with the Holy Spirit. Nobody knows all the functions of the third Person of the Trinity, the Holy Spirit. The major work of the Holy Spirit is to glorify the Lord Jesus Christ! He reveals Him to us; opens our eyes to His Majesty so that we can worship Him. The Holy Spirit leads us into all truth and helps us believe and understand the Word of God.

Pastor Richmond Leigh said that it is possible to be born again and not be baptized with the Holy Spirit. It is true that no one can be saved without the work of the Holy Spirit in his soul (Rom 8:9). One of the secret works of the Holy Spirit is that of convicting a man of his sins, of enlighten him about his spiritual state and his need for the Savior. The Holy Spirit does the work of regeneration; therefore, the sinner becomes born again. As you can see, salvation is always a miracle. Without this deep and secret work of the Holy Spirit, a man may become religious, he may go to church, but he is not saved. The Holy Spirit does not force anyone to be saved. He is a gentle but powerful influence on the soul. Thank God for the humility of the Holy Spirit, willing to do this secret work in the heart of man without apparently coercing him! Glory to God for our salvation!

This is a fact: a man can be born again and not be filled or baptized with the Holy Spirit. It is only a child of God that can be baptized with the Holy Spirit. The sinner must repent and come to Jesus, for salvation. This is the first step in God’s wonderful work called salvation! The natural man cannot receive the Holy Spirit, he cannot please God because his mind is enmity against God. For the unbeliever, the spiritual things are foolishness. He cannot understand or appreciate them. He cannot worship God! But to us, the children of God, we hunger and thirst for more of the Holy Spirit. We want to know the ‘deep things of God’ revealed thru the Holy Spirit!

One of the symbols of The Holy Spirit is the water. The effect of the water is that it wets you or it quenches your thirst. There are degrees of these effects. For example, the rain drizzling outside. A man goes in the rain. After some time, he will get wet. But if the rain is torrential, he will get wet faster. If a man drinks a cup of water, he will be filled (gets wet) in the inside. But if a man is dipped into the ocean, he will become ‘wet’ instantly both outside and inside. He will be overwhelmed by the water. All these illustrations, show degrees of ‘wetness’ from the same water. The Baptism of the Holy Spirit is when a child of God is suddenly immersed in the ocean of the Holy Spirit by our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, the Baptizer with the Holy Spirit and fire! It is a unique, specific and powerful experience! Your life will never be the same again. You shall receive ‘power from on high’! You shall receive boldness to preach the Word of God, to witness for Jesus! You shall receive an unshakable assurance that you are saved forever! Once again, it is done by the resurrected Christ, the Baptizer with the Holy Spirit and fire!

These are vital questions we all must answer: ‘Are you born again? Are you baptized in water? Are you baptized with the Holy Spirit?’ As we are seeking to be baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit, the best example and perfect model we have is that of our Lord. The first thing we see is that He humbly submitted to the Baptism in water performed by John the Baptist. Jesus was sinless. He did not need to repent and be baptized but He said that ‘it is fitting for us to fulfill all righteousness’. He did it to identify with us, the sinners He came to save. During His baptism the voice of the Father confirmed His pleasure in His Son. The Holy Spirit came on Him in a bodily form as a dove. We see here the Trinity revealed on earth (Mt 3:15-17). After His water baptism, and filed with the Holy Spirit, the Lord was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. He overcame all the temptations as a Man filled with the Holy Spirit. The devil failed to distract the Lord from God’s purpose for His life. He did it on our behalf that we may share in His victory. At the end of forty days He came out from the wilderness in the power of the Spirit (Lk 4:1-13).

Immediately after His victory over the devil’s temptation, The Lord Jesus Christ started His public ministry among men. He thought the Word of God in the synagogues. He preached the Gospel of salvation. He delivered the ones possessed by demons. He healed the sick. But what amazed everybody was His words! ‘All bore witness to Him and marveled at the gracious words which proceeded out of His mouth… they were astonished at His teaching for His word was with authority’ (Lk 4:22, 32). The people were amazed especially at the power, authority and boldness in His words. This power is surely the result of the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. This is our Lord’s command: “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him” (Jn 6:27). This seal He is talking about is the Baptism of the Holy Spirit. The Lord was baptized with the Holy Spirit so that He can baptize others who believe in Him!

Apostle Paul commands us to ‘walk in the Spirit and you shall not fulfill the lust of the flesh’ He said that the flesh fights against the filling of the Holy Spirit. The flesh does not want to be baptized with the Holy Spirit. We must mortify the deeds of the flesh by the power of the Holy Spirit. Paul says that ‘if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under the law’. In the presence of the Holy Spirit there is liberty, peace and fulness of joy (Psalm 16:11; Gal 5:16-18; 2Cor 3:17). Praise the Lord!

In the same way, we must seek to be baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit! The power of the Holy Spirit is necessary to do ministry. In fact, without the Holy Spirit ministry is not possible! Preaching is intimately connected with the Power of the Holy Spirit. ’Preaching’ without the Holy Spirit is called ‘lecturing’. It does not have the power to touch and change men’s hearts. More than money and happiness on earth, you need to be filled with the Holy Spirit. He will lead you to places you have never been before. He will give you favor among men! The Holy Spirit will embolden you to preach and teach the Word of God with authority. Your words will be like arrows piercing men’s consciences. They will not be able to forget your words. They will repent and be saved. The Holy Spirit will help you to walk in the plan and the purpose of God. You will be able to resist and overcome the devil’s temptations. The Holy Spirit will give you divine wisdom. You will walk in victory! You will grow from grace to grace and from strength to strength. May the Holy Spirit move you! Be filled with the Holy Spirit! Worship the Lord!

RSL 10

DESTROYING THE STRONGHOLD OF POVERTY

The subject of material prosperity and poverty is something that interests everybody. I am speaking only to believers! As children of God we must have the mind of Christ. We must view everything thru the eyes of Christ, as it is revealed in the Word of God. Concerning the doctrine of material prosperity there is a danger. We must avoid and reject the worldly way of preaching prosperity. We must also avoid and reject the preaching of poverty as it is done in some cults. We do not love or hate money! We love God and hate the devil! The Holy Spirit shall lead us safely into the whole truth. “We need You Holy Spirit!”

There are more ‘poor people’ in this world than the ones called ‘wealthy’. But poverty is relative. A hut in your village may be a palace in my village. Let me be more practical… There is something called ‘poverty mentality’. It is a spiritual evil stronghold in your mind. If you are ignorant about it, it will stay there in you for a lifetime. It will affect your thinking in general and the ability to make money in particular. It may have been planted in your youth. It is the devil’s seed. As a child of God, you need to discover this evil plantation, uproot it and destroy it. The Word of God has greater authority than any idea, imagination or theory in your mind! This stronghold affects the rich and the poor, the educated and the illiterate. It is a spiritual structure that forms a hindrance in your mind when you want to think about material prosperity in life.

These are some of the characteristics of poverty mentality type of stronghold in the mind:
*You think that money should not be spent; money should be kept in ‘fix deposit’; you hate spending money; you feel bad and guilty after spending money
*You think that the opportunities to make money are limited
*You think that taking risk to start a business is dangerous
*You think that material success is temporary and non-replicable
*Generally, you choose to stay at ‘the back of the pack’; when it comes to finances you choose to follow than to lead others into a greater level of prosperity;
*You fear that you’ll never be able to save money; that you will never make more money than you need
*You are silently jealous on others who have more money than you;
*You love being on a form of welfare plan and you do not plan to stop it; you love receiving ‘free money’ from others
*You daydream, you fantasize being rich ‘one day’, like wining the lottery; that one day ‘you hammer’ (as we say in Nigeria)
*Your mind set concerning prosperity: you are a consumer and not a creator!
*You have inferiority complex (feeling apologetic, anxious or guilty) when it comes to your finances.
*You see the world through the lenses of the poor people who hate the rich!
*You see wealth as a mysterious stranger who is mocking you from afar! For you to stay poor is easier than making money!

This is the Word of God: “A little extra sleep, a little more slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest… then poverty will pounce on you like a bandit; scarcity will attack you like an armed robber” (PV 6:10, 11)
In the Bible, Poverty is described as an armed robber that attacks you in the night, when you sleep! Do you love sleep? Pray about that toxic love, that you may have the courage to confront it and reject it! Sleep is a good servant but a bad, selfish master. Do not take sleeping pills! Too much sleep is a sign of sickness, depression or laziness and it will end in poverty. Do you fear armed men coming to attack you at night? The attack of poverty is worse than an EK47. Poverty is a spiritual bandit. It attacks when you sleep, when you relax too much, when you are not watchful and prayerful (ask Samson, he will tell you..) Once poverty pounces on you, it will chain your feet, your hands, your eyes and your mind. It will make you it’s prisoner, it’s servant. It will carry you to it’s smelly dungeon and steal all your dreams. It will kill the wonder of worship. It will destroy the romance of worship. You will not be able to move on in life, to make progress. Your hands will be too weak to do any work. You become easily tired, bored or restless. You will be blind to many opportunities to invest and make money. You will be foolish, fearful and confused when it comes to financial decisions. God forbid! I pray for you…

Let’s pray: “Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for Your Word of life. We thank You for the revelation of the root of this poverty mentality and bondage. We take the sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God and we destroy every chain or stronghold binding our minds concerning God’s material blessings. Holy Spirit please take control! Open our eyes to see the freedom and the blessings (spiritual and natural) we have in Christ! We declare that the anointing of the Spirit destroys all yokes of bondage, all wrong ways of thinking! We declare that from this moment on, by the grace of God, we shall make spiritual and natural (visible) progress in life! Our testimony is to the glory of God! The waited season of change has come! We arise and shine for the glory of God is risen upon us! Thank You Father God! In Jesus’ name we pray, amen!”

A WOMAN WHO FEARS THE LORD SHALL BE PRAISED

“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is passing, but a woman who fears the Lord, she shall be praised. Give her of the fruit of her hands, and let her own works praise her in the gates! Give her credit for what she has accomplished, and let her works praise her in the city gates” (PV 31:30, 31)

The godly woman shall be praised by her husband, children and other people. This is the Promise of God! We all desire to be acknowledged, recognized and praised. But there is a danger! There are two types of ‘praise’: flattery and true recognition. Flattery is to be rejected and true recognition for the glory of God should be welcomed.

1/ Flattery is insincere praise. It is sinful, deceptive and manipulative. It is to be rejected. When someone flatters you, he wants to get access to your emotions, to bring you into bondage. You should be watchful with people that flatter you. Avoid these ‘friends. Flattery is a spiritual poisonous bribe! Once you believe it, you become blind to the Spiritual realm and your words will become twisted (Deut 16:19). To be ‘twisted’ it means to become corrupt, to turn into another direction. Bribe will change the meaning of the words you speak or hear. People will always misinterpret what you say. That is the effect of taking or giving bribes and of wicked flattery. I forbid it! (Read Deut 16:19; PV 29:5; Rom 16:17, 18)

2/True praise, acknowledgment and recognition is promised to the godly woman. This holy praise is peculiar. It is done based on the godly woman’s labors and achievements. As you can see, this praise is not instant. It comes late, when you are older, after a lifetime of doing good to others, to the glory of God. Let me be more practical. Do you want to hear good words of praise coming from your husband, children and many other people? Do you want to hear that your business, the work of your hands, has been blessed by God? Do you want to hear people saying that you have used part of your profit to bless them? That you have used the money you made to do good not only to your children, but to many others? There are some conditions… You need to work hard. You also need to remain humble, faithful and patient to the end. Then you shall taste of this special praise given ‘at the city gates.’ Gates speak of entrance into a place. It means that this praise of your labor is given not only on earth, but on the day of the judgment of the saints, when labors shall be rewarded by God. The judgment of labors is the gate to reward and glory in heaven! This great praise based on works comes because you fear the Lord! (Read Ex 20:20; PV 9:10; PV 10:27; PV 14:26, 27)

What does it mean to fear God? To fear the Lord is to take Him seriously. To fear God is godly wisdom. We revere His power and His glory! We respect His wrath! We recognize that He is God and we are not! By the fear of God, you become wise, bold, strong, generous and compassionate. You hate and run away from sin. You run towards God! You live in the presence of God! The good fear of God destroys the bad fear of untimely death. You will live long and well. If you fear God, you and your children will be safe and blessed in life. You will not fear the future. You will rejoice every day in what God has done and is He is doing in your life and your family!

Do you want people to call you a woman of God and to praise your achievements? I know that you desire that praise! I do, too! May it come to us! May this wonderful promised praise manifested at the city gates be our portion! In Jesus’ name! Amen!

(This message was preached at the Women’s Fellowship in our church. In the picture a sister worshipping God during the service)

Woman Fh 1