IT’S TIME TO TRIM THE LAMP

If time is the currency of life, our profession controls our perception of its flow. From a student that looks forward to a change of lesson, to a businessman that sees a year of opportunity to invest; from the Surgeon’s eyes that see the precise hands of the clock to the fisherman that rides the seasonal tides on the sea; perception of time is as varied as our profession.
Every profession can however agree that to lose the sense or perception of time is “dropping the ball”. Like the Pharisees, they professed to be experts in God’s laws and matters, but Jesus accused them of “dropping the ball” for failing to observe the times and believe the Messiah (Matt 16:1-4). They claimed they could not see signs of the Messiah but as evidence of their hypocrisy, they consulted with Herod when he hunted for His life as a child and spilled infants’ blood in the process (Matt 2:4-5). They had knowledge of His birth, yet denied His works and missed their time of salvation – they dropped the ball.

As Christians, the completeness of our faith, is in Christ’s second return. Paul actually said if there were no such hope, we would be the most miserable of all men (1Cor 15:19). Selah. To live forgetful or oblivious of His second coming will akin to dropping the ball. It will mean “missing out” on ultimate salvation, in the coming of Christ- just like the Pharisees. It will mean to experience the fate of the 5 foolish virgins.

The story of the virgins has never been more relevant in our history (Matt 25:1-12). It should be our staple word diet. Jesus will soon return, therefore, it’s time to trim our lamps like the 5 wise virgins. The signs of His return abound in the world today: the Corona pandemic, the wild fires, volcanoes, earthquakes, saber-rattling of war between nations. If you need more signs to believe His imminent return, you will get it. That, I assure you. I only worry that if what is now is not enough to jolt us out of slumber, then nothing will.

What time is it? It is time for us Christians to trim our lamps. What does it mean to trim our lamps? In the context of the parable of the virgins, it means the following:

  1. It means darkness is about to or has enveloped the surrounding – Trim your lamp or you get lost in the darkness unfolding. The worst and the best of times are about to roll into one. Isaiah 60:2 says For, behold, the darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. As the world eases from the corona lockdown, I believe it is a glimpse of the darkness to come. The fear, frustration and helplessness was unprecedented global darkness. We are seeing the darkness in Isaiah 60:2 unfold before our eyes. To expect the children of light to arise is a corollary that rings true
  2. It means to let your good works shine – As Christians, we are quick to rattle off the grace sermon. Nothing wrong with that except when we have nothing to show for what grace has worked in and through us. Surely, there must be a certain John before and after salvation, distinct by the new birth. To have the faith of new birth without the works indicates a dead faith (Jam 2:20). Check that faith and reconnect to the Source of life. I know people are hung up on good works, but we have to know that while it’s not a relevant yard of righteousness before God, it is relevant before men. We cannot annul the bible. Good works also include performing miracles. You may not be a Pastor, evangelist or prophet, but qualification to performing miracles is if you believe. So, lay those hands anyhow. They are gifted and blessed. Good works means taking a stand, not for culture of racism or sycophants, but for righteousness.
  3. It is time to win souls into the kingdom – The bible makes clear about the light that gentiles will come to our light (Isaiah 60:3). If it is the last days, there will be last harvest. If there was a former rain, there will be a latter rain. We must be thus minded
  4. It means to enter into the full benefits of Christ’s redemptive works on the cross – Healing, Prosperity, Blessings, Righteousness are all the benefits every Christian should enjoy. Jesus did not suffer to bequeath us a pitiable, sick and poor life. Sorry if this sounds hard, but you should be angry in your spirit against the works of darkness. Everything you permit or tolerate has the right to stay. Trim your lamp because a blessed life serves God’s purpose more than a wretched one.
  5. It means to shine brighter and grow hotter – The bible says to lay aside every weight and besetting sin. Whatever we are today in Christ, we can be better. People see more of Christ in us when we get brighter daily. On the other hand, a brighter light produces a hotter lamp and heat generates pressure. Higher expectations from others and ourselves can bring about pressure. Nevertheless, the Holy Spirit can and will help us bear this burden if we let Him. This brings us to next point.
  6. It means to get more anointing – oil is symbolic of the anointing in the scriptures. An “un-oiled” wick burns exponentially faster than an oiled one. If we must shine brighter, as stated earlier, we must set higher expectations of ourselves and do more “good works”. This can quickly burn out a natural mind no matter how good of a nature. In fact, the goal of faith is to set out the impossible so that we can depend on the infinite might of God that manifests through His anointing. It can only be by the Spirit. They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.
  7. It means to have a better relationship with the Holy Spirit – Ultimately, the Holy Spirit is the Source of the anointing. Therefore, being more acquainted with Him in these last days will ensure we finish strong and ready for the return of our Master. After all, we are in His dispensation. Every divine transaction happens through Him; think about it. Will your result not be far greater with a better acquaintance with Him? Growing up in Christianity, I remember how much we thirsted for Holy Ghost baptism. We looked and longed for such experience so much that we prayed and fasted. I don’t think of myself as old school but that attitude seems to belong to old school now in the kingdom. However, we must thirst again, as the dear longs after water. We must set our hearts on Him in these last days so we can shine as light of the world.

In conclusion, if all that was needed to make heaven was new birth at confession, then, all ten virgins would meet the Groom. I asked myself why the foolish virgins couldn’t see that they were out of time and just stay with their dead lamp to meet the Groom. The answer is that a lukewarm Christian is God’s pet peeve. A Christian failing to shine is somehow untenable to Him (Rev 3:16).
Please note that the glory of God will break out with or without our cooperation. As surely as darkness will make great advances on earth according to Isaiah 60:2, God will move mightily for those that trust Him. Let’s make a decision because there will be no sitting on the fence. Lukewarmness, unfortunately will suffer great loss in these last days. IT’S TIME TO TRIM OUR LAMPS!!

SHATTER THE BOX IN THIS EASTER

Matthew 27:50-51

Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom; and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent.

In a seminary, a bunch of students sit in a class and hear the teacher teach them about the God of the bible. The student teacher relationship is not limited to seminaries, however. It happens in our churches, Christian gatherings and even on Christian blogs like this. From the ridiculous, to the genuine; from the heresies, to the truth, we hear them all about God. We get more knowledge of God from other people. As good as these fellowships are, they are people’s theologies and they can also put you in a box with God. The problem of that is not just that you will limit God in your life; the devil can also easily get involved and deceive you.

From the passage above, the first thing that happened when Jesus died was to rent the veil of the temple in two. The veil represents things and people that will prevent us from getting into the presence of the Father. The veil within the temple separates the “holy place” from “holies of holies”. You might belong to a holy church with good Pastor, but the work of Christ wants to deliver you from a “good thing” and usher you into the best of God – the holies of holies. The greatest thing given by God, next to salvation and Holy Ghost baptism is unfettered access to His presence. Cultivating His presence in fellowship and communion shatters the box of limitation and lifts man into untold blessings of God. If people tell you about God, they also invariably dictate the kind of blessing you can get from Him. But when you take advantage of getting into His presence, what you get there are envy inducing blessings that are nobody’s business. The disciples for example had a theology that would eternally freeze out the Samaritan and Syrophoenician women from the gospel (John 4 and Matthew 15). In fact, the disciples, after seeing the Lord talk to the Samaritan wondered if he had “backslidden”. Thank God these women broke into His presence and today, they are testimonies of the gospel.

In an award winning TV series titled “Mad Men”, when charming and charismatic Don Draper, (the main character) felt undermined by a subordinate, Pete Campbell, who was younger and new to the company, Don went to the his boss – a much older and very wise Bert Cooper, to complain. As a disciplined and growing company there were set expectations and insubordination was to be punished. The meeting resulted in a very interesting conversation. When Don Draper and Roger Sterling (his loyal colleague) noticed that their boss was not as vociferous, Sterling said “there are rules”; to which boss gently replied “there are other rules”. He wisely proceeded to explain the family affluence of Pete which was critical for their company. In the end, they all agreed that Pete couldn’t be sacked.

To every Christian, no matter how terrible your state is (or how great), your greatest need is to appear before God with Jesus as our Advocate. Both the best and the worst of us need His abiding presence. Theology of men will tell you how you can’t get mercy or a second chance. Men will prove from scriptures how your flaws don’t qualify you for some blessings. But your Advocate, like Draper’s boss, knows “other rules” that will include you in His blessings. He has the wisdom to make it happen for you, just as He did for the woman caught in adultery. It’s all a function of daily fellowship with Him.

Perhaps, you are the Christian that maintains quality fellowship with Him, I commend you and I encourage you to continue in it. Remember that yesterday’s revelation can be your box today. Shatter that box with new revelation. For it is as we behold His image daily, that we grow from glory to glory to glory. (2Cor 3:18)

I leave you with this scripture from Hebrew 4: 16

 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need.

Happy Easter and stay blessed.

TRUE WISDOM: SAVING THE “TITANIC”

Talk about the 7 wonders of the world and I will talk of the 8th; Modern Man! From the mastery of microbes of nature to the exploration of the deep abyss and the space far beyond, the ingenuity of man is truly awesome and breath-taking. If you doubt it, try telling it to the medieval man of the 14th century that ‘man would fly’.

The wisdom of the modern man has to be greater and his glory is in the ascendancy. It in these awe-struck moments that I battle with words of Solomon in proverbs saying ‘the fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom’. BEGINNING of wisdom? Don’t we see wisdom all around us? It becomes more difficult knowing that some of our scientists and inventors grapple with the existence of God while most remain at best non-confessing atheists. Yet these Godless individuals have reached into the depth of wisdom heretofore unimaginable to give the world technological advancements that cushions everyday life. Surely it is hard to see the God-connection in these genius minds.

It is hard to fathom the words of proverbs and the essence was almost lost until I caught a picture- The Titanic. An enigma of man’s creativity. A colossus man-made wonder to rule the deep. So mighty that ‘God Himself could not sink this ship’ – at least the view of a crew member. But God didn’t have to, an iceberg was enough. It took less than 3 hours for a ‘titanic wonder’ to become a gigantic tragedy of history.

Now imagine a guest observer in the titanic shipyard that knew one thing that could be done to guarantee the ship’s safety. And that observer was you. Yes imagine you took a 100 year travel into the past to see old and young skilled men toil to build the ship. It would be interesting to know how your argument would stand against the professionals’ of the time. It is doubtful however if you would be impressed with the work going on particularly if your advice was ignored. Even more likely are the tortuous emotions at the seeming inevitable tragedy as hundreds flock happily into voyage that would take them to the abyss. It would matter less the toil of the men, it would count for nothing the glory and riches in the ship – for as long as they had ignored your golden rule of safety, one word could only come with your frustrated breath; Vanity.

Friend, I show you one titanic today- it’s the world we live in. Never mind the great inventions or even the work you do to make it a more beautiful place all is going to end someday. A Guest had reached from eternity into time to observe the workers of this voyage and concluded all in vanity. With grief in His heart He declared “what shall it profit a man if he gains the whole world and loose his soul?” Mark 8:36

Here is the message; there is always an end to the journey in time after which your soul passes on to eternity. Jesus died, shed His blood on the roman cross to see to it that you pass on to eternal life afterwards. He further declares;

“for God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned but whoever does not believe stands condemned already”. John 3:17

What to do? Confess your sins to Him (no matter how grievous) and he will forgive and give you peace.  Accept Him as your Lord and he will secure eternal life for you. Be assured that what we preach is steadfast and sure, time will reveal it. True wisdom cries out- ‘don’t ignore this golden rule of safety”

Are you a Christian reading this? Please help spread this to an unbeliever. Help me reach my goal of 1000 unbelievers getting this message. God bless you in this soul winning endeavor.

The Battle of Babylon

“But at last, Daniel came before me whose name is Belteshazzar, after the name of my god, and in whom is a spirit of the holy gods….” Dan 4:8

The above was the description of Daniel by the greatest king that ever ruled the earthly kingdoms – Nebuchadnezzar. He was the king of Babylon; the biggest inter-continental and inter-cultural colony of the time. Nebuchadnezzar was not a king that ruled over midgets or minions. No. He was a very intelligent king that ruled, when men were all “bags of testosterone”. Not only did his empire span across continents (Africa, Europe and Asia), his real authority over this kingdom is unparalleled in human history. His intelligence could not be divulged from the fabric that wove his kingdom. One of the masterpiece of his governing genius was to encourage and promote cultural diversity. Even by modern standard this is remarkable. Nations flop and stumble at unlocking the power of diversity. A glimpse of the inherent power of diversity is evident only in America – heralded as the most successful and prosperous nation in human history. Luckily, Americans are not ignorant. They are keenly aware of the connection between their greatness and diversity. They didn’t start out to diversify, but they stumbled on it and embraced its power.

However, what a modern nation stumbled upon, an ancient king projected upon; and he was masterful at its use. To put it in context, it wasn’t a popular wisdom of the time. It was a period where war meant “wipe out” for the loser. The winner took all. Nebuchadnezzar on the other hand was a man far beyond his time. Rather than annihilate his subjects, he successfully made Babylon a melting pot of cultures and religion. The wise men, magicians, astrologers, sorcerers and Chaldeans represented a pool of the best minds from every culture and religion and the Babylonian king ensured they were close to his throne as advisers. He wasn’t just a king that ruled with iron clad fist, but also with the wisdom and deftness of a true visionary way ahead of his generation. Heaven’s report on his rule was simply this – golden (Dan 2:37-38). Such was the mettle of Nebuchadnezzar and the whole terrestrial ball was his capacity (Dan 4:1). Yet, this supreme being bowed to a Belteshazzar (Dan 1:46). Who was Belteshazzar? In the words of Nebuchadnezzar, Belteshazzar was Daniel who had the “spirit of the holy gods” in him (Dan 4:8). This was a remarkable submission by Nebuchadnezzar, knowing that he changed Daniel’s name to one of his unholy idols – Belteshazzar means “in praise of Bel (a Babylonian god)” while Daniel means “Yahweh is my Judge”.

Herein is the conflict; in every Christian, “Bel” beckons, Yahweh calls, to whom do you harken?  Belteshazzar therefore epitomises the war that rages in every Christian. The spirit indeed lusts against the flesh and the flesh against the spirit (Gal 5:17); welcome to Daniel’s world. Daniel, captured as a boy in the land of Judah and made subservient to his captor. To make an eunuch (castration) out of a Hebrew child, force him to learn a new language in order to  indoctrinate him with your culture and then change his name, is a prime example of forced assimilation. But thank God the name of “Belteshazzar” never stuck because a captive who couldn’t control what people called him, chose what he answered to. (Dan 7:15)

In our world today, the walls of ancient Babylon are relics but the spirit is well alive. Globalization, westernization, World Wide Web are all familiar terms that help create melting pot of cultures like Babylon. Daniel’s name was taken away; that, he had no control over. But when he took a stand in his spirit, saying “I will not defile myself with the portion of the king’s meat”, somehow, an old testament boy reached into the mind of the Holy Spirit that would later speak through Paul saying “do not be conformed to this world, but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind….”. Paul’s charge cannot be more relevant in the present Babylonian system. In an age where the politics of a “new world order” seeks to slacken or confront God’s commandments. Liberalization means casting off godly restraints. But God seeks those who will take a stand like Daniel.

As we sail our boats through the raging waters of life, it’s our job to keep the waters out. It shouldn’t matter what the world calls us, but it matters what we answer to. It shouldn’t matter where we work or live (within God’s will) but it matters who lives in us. God mustn’t just live in us, He must find expression in and through us.

This blog is about seeking men and women in whom is the spirit of the holy God. It’s about planting and watering kindred spirits in these last days. It might look like the Church’s been overrun, but the Lord has got His remnants still like He had Daniel and his friends. And I tell you, they are enough to fan the flames of revival in our pews and awaken godly conscience in the heart of government policies. But “Daniel and friends” have to connect and it is my dream that this blog will facilitate that connection. If this speaks to your heart, join me and spread the good news

WORSHIP UNBOUND: “THANK YOU” IS SILLY

Thank You is silly

When I consider all that you have done

The holy God of heaven

Becoming sin for my sake

Shedding His blood to establish a covenant

An untold covenant of blessing

Then I come before His presence

And my insignificance has no cloak

Before the mighty Presence of God

Before the mighty gate of heaven

Wondering, how do I open a gate so mighty

Behind sits an endless Might

How do I make my way to His heart

To make the Immortal

Who spans eternity know

There are words coming out of this mortal tongue

Words inexpressible, unbounded

But bounded by the letters of men

Yet, locked in this heart is true adoration for the Almighty

“Thank You” is grossly inadequate

So, I will groan

That the fragrance of my adoration may be broken like an alabaster box

So, I will groan

That the great Helper might translate into divine letter

My unbounded adulation of the Most High God