The Virgin Birth Of Jesus Christ Has Now Been Vindicated By Medical Science!

(Unless otherwise stated, all Bible quotations are from the New King James Version).

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.

For a long time, critics had disparaged the idea of the virgin birth as Christian fantasy, pointing out the impossibility of a virgin conceiving and giving birth without sexual intercourse. As the virgin birth is at the heart of the Christian faith, the relentless attacks on the supernatural conception of the Messiah were aimed at undermining the sinlessness of Jesus Christ, as well as his redemptive work. If the virgin birth wasn’t possible, then Christ couldn’t have been conceived outside of the normal mechanism of reproduction, which entails sexual intercourse between a man and a woman. Since all have sinned and fallen short of God’s glory, anyone conceived through sexual union is conceived in sin, and will of necessity be born a sinner, like all men and women since the fall. Thus, if Christ was conceived in sin like all other men, he would have been unfit to be mankind’s redeemer, since the redeemer must be sinless, blameless and undefiled. Only such a person is qualified to redeem fallen humanity.

Psalms 51:5 Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
And in sin my mother conceived me.

Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,

Job 15:14 “What is man, that he could be pure?
And he who is born of a woman, that he could be righteous?

Job 15:15 If God puts no trust in His saints,
And the heavens are not pure in His sight,

Job 15:16 How much less man, who is abominable and filthy,
Who drinks iniquity like water!

Hebrews 7:25 Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

Hebrews 7:26 For such a High Priest was fitting for us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and has become higher than the heavens;

Hebrews 7:27 who does not need daily, as those high priests, to offer up sacrifices, first for His own sins and then for the people’s, for this He did once for all when He offered up Himself.

Hebrews 7:28 For the law appoints as high priests men who have weakness, but the word of the oath, which came after the law, appoints the Son who has been perfected forever.

Thus, any attempt to denigrate the virgin birth is simply a ploy to discredit the sinlessness of Christ Jesus and his suitability to be mankind’s Saviour. It’s an exercise aimed at undermining the gospel message and the entire Christian faith. Critics had based their rejection of the virgin birth on the science of reproduction, claiming conception could never occur outside of heterosexual intercourse. Thus, a man and a woman must relate sexually for pregnancy to occur. It was therefore considered impossible for a virgin who had not experienced sexual intercourse to conceive and give birth to a child. But now, recent advances in medical science have actually provided the evidence to support the virgin birth! Scientific breakthroughs have shown that it’s possible for a virgin to conceive without sexual intercourse! Through in vitro fertilisation (IVF), whereby male and female gametes are extracted from the human body and fertilised outside, the resulting embryo can be transferred into any woman, including a virgin, for pregnancy to be established outside of sexual intercourse. Such a person can thus become pregnant and give birth to a baby without having experienced sexual intercourse. Thus, sexual union is not necessary for pregnancy to occur, as science has shown, through IVF and embryo transfer, which now allow surrogate mothers to carry and deliver other people’s pregnancies.

Isaiah 7:14 Therefore the Lord Himself will give you a sign: Behold, the virgin shall conceive and bear a Son, and shall call His name Immanuel.

Matthew 1:18 Now the birth of Jesus Christ was as follows: After His mother Mary was betrothed to Joseph, before they came together, she was found with child of the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 1:19 Then Joseph her husband, being a just man, and not wanting to make her a public example, was minded to put her away secretly.

Matthew 1:20 But while he thought about these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream, saying, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take to you Mary your wife, for that which is conceived in her is of the Holy Spirit.

Matthew 1:21 And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.”

Matthew 1:22 So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying:

Matthew 1:23 “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.”

Matthew 1:24 Then Joseph, being aroused from sleep, did as the angel of the Lord commanded him and took to him his wife,

Matthew 1:25 and did not know her till she had brought forth her firstborn Son. And he called His name Jesus.

Through the science of assisted reproductive technology, we can now understand how it was possible for Mary to conceive as a virgin and give birth to a sinless Messiah. Just as God created the first man Adam without sex, the second Adam (Christ) also came without sex. The man Jesus is described as the beginning of a new creation. All God did to bring forth his only begotten Son in the flesh was to create a new sperm cell and a new egg, bring them together for fertilisation to take place, and transfer the resulting embryo into the virgin Mary’s womb. Thus, instead of creating an adult body to incarnate the Word, the Holy Spirit started his work of creating a body for him from gamete seeds. Both gametes (male and female) were created by the Holy Spirit, fertilised by Him and the resulting embryo transferred into Mary’s womb. That was why the Child in Mary’s womb was called the Son of the Most High, with both gametes coming from a direct creative work of the Holy Spirit. The virgin Mary thus conceived without sexual intercourse. The holy Child conceived in her womb bypassed the normal human reproductive process. Since neither gamete came from sinful humanity, Jesus did not inherit the sinful nature of fallen mankind, and was thus sinless and perfect from conception. He was truly the beginning of a new creation. His genes did not come from any human being, not even from Mary, who was just a surrogate mother. Just as the first Adam was the starting point of a new creation with no genetic material inherited from a progeny (for he had none), the second Adam (Jesus) started as a new creation, inheriting no genetic material from a progeny, for his DNA was a new creation. The only difference between the first and second Adam was that whereas the first Adam started life as an adult, the second Adam started as an embryo in a surrogate mother (Mary). If God could create a full-fledged man at the beginning, surely he could also create a new sperm cell and a new egg to begin a new creation? He who brought forth things by his spoken word can create new gametes and fertilise them to bring about a sinless embryo that can be supernaturally transferred into a virgin’s womb. And that’s exactly what the Holy Spirit did with the virgin Mary. The power of the Most High overshadowed her and the holy embryo created from the new gametes was placed in her womb, for her to carry and nurture to maturity. That’s how she became the surrogate mother of our Lord Jesus Christ! If the Holy Spirit could overshadow Adam and put him to sleep in order to take a rib out of him to make a woman, surely the same Holy Spirit could overshadow Mary to place a divinely created and fertilised embryo in her womb!

Luke 1:26 Now in the sixth month the angel Gabriel was sent by God to a city of Galilee named Nazareth,

Luke 1:27 to a virgin betrothed to a man whose name was Joseph, of the house of David. The virgin’s name was Mary.

Luke 1:28 And having come in, the angel said to her, “Rejoice, highly favored one, the Lord is with you; blessed are you among women!”

Luke 1:29 But when she saw him, she was troubled at his saying, and considered what manner of greeting this was.

Luke 1:30 Then the angel said to her, “Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God.

Luke 1:31 And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a Son, and shall call His name Jesus.

Luke 1:32 He will be great, and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give Him the throne of His father David.

Luke 1:33 And He will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of His kingdom there will be no end.”

Luke 1:34 Then Mary said to the angel, “How can this be, since I do not know a man?”

Luke 1:35 And the angel answered and said to her, “The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you; therefore, also, that Holy One who is to be born will be called the Son of God.

Luke 1:36 Now indeed, Elizabeth your relative has also conceived a son in her old age; and this is now the sixth month for her who was called barren.

Luke 1:37 For with God nothing will be impossible.”

Luke 1:38 Then Mary said, “Behold the maidservant of the Lord! Let it be to me according to your word.” And the angel departed from her.

Revelation 3:14 “And to the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write,
‘These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God:

Colossians 1:12 giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light.

Colossians 1:13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love,

Colossians 1:14 in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.

Colossians 1:15 He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation.

In conclusion, the virgin birth of Christ, which is at the heart of the Christian faith, has been relentlessly attacked by critics and skeptics as being unscientific and impossible. The idea of a virgin conceiving and bringing forth a child was mocked not long ago as Christian myth, among those considered scientifically sound and enlightened. But now, the very scientists that ridiculed the concept of the virgin birth have discovered a pathway that makes the virgin birth possible- through in vitro fertilisation and embryo transfer into a surrogate virgin. Science has just found a way of partially explaining what God did some 2000 years ago with the virgin Mary to bring forth the Messiah. The Holy Spirit simply created brand new gametes, fertilised them and transferred the resulting embryo into the womb of the virgin Mary, to nurture as a surrogate mother. Thus, a sinless Messiah was brought forth, bypassing the human reproductive process and the sin-tainted human gametes which make every human conceived through sex a sinner. Christ was thus brought forth without sex, and was therefore perfect, sinless and undefiled from birth, thus becoming a worthy redeemer for mankind. A virgin truly conceived and brought forth Immanuel, through the power of the Holy Spirit! Hallelujah!

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Can Christians Cover Other People With The Blood Of Jesus Christ?

(All Bible quotations, except otherwise stated, are from the New King James Version).

It’s common, during prayers and benedictions, to hear Christians using the blood of Jesus Christ to ‘cover’ people, as though Christ’s blood is an entity outside of Christ that can be sprinkled upon people at will. Thus, we find parents ‘covering’ their children and loved ones regularly with the blood of Christ, as a way of protecting them from harm and evil. Can someone cover other people who’re not in Christ with the blood of Jesus Christ? What does it actually mean for one to be covered by the blood of Christ? We shall examine the Scriptures to find answers to these questions.

In the old testament, the blood of sacrificial animals was used to atone for/ cover people’s sins temporarily, thereby offering them access into God’s presence and protection. After killing such animals, their blood was collected and sprinkled on people and objects, to sanctify them. When the death angel was to pass through the land of Egypt in judgement, God admonished his people to sprinkle their houses with the blood of the slain Passover lamb, and to remain indoors, under the covering of the blood, to avoid being destroyed with the unbelieving Egyptians. Thus, in the old testament, the atoning blood of sacrificial animals was physically available, and could be sprinkled on people to cover and protect them.

Exodus 24:3 So Moses came and told the people all the words of the Lord and all the judgments. And all the people answered with one voice and said, “All the words which the Lord has said we will do.”

Exodus 24:4 And Moses wrote all the words of the Lord. And he rose early in the morning, and built an altar at the foot of the mountain, and twelve pillars according to the twelve tribes of Israel.

Exodus 24:5 Then he sent young men of the children of Israel, who offered burnt offerings and sacrificed peace offerings of oxen to the Lord.

Exodus 24:6 And Moses took half the blood and put it in basins, and half the blood he sprinkled on the altar.

Exodus 24:7 Then he took the Book of the Covenant and read in the hearing of the people. And they said, “All that the Lord has said we will do, and be obedient.”

Exodus 24:8 And Moses took the blood, sprinkled it on the people, and said, “This is the blood of the covenant which the Lord has made with you according to all these words.”

Exodus 29:15 “You shall also take one ram, and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands on the head of the ram;

Exodus 29:16 and you shall kill the ram, and you shall take its blood and sprinkle it all around on the altar.

Exodus 29:17 Then you shall cut the ram in pieces, wash its entrails and its legs, and put them with its pieces and with its head.

Exodus 29:18 And you shall burn the whole ram on the altar. It is a burnt offering to the Lord; it is a sweet aroma, an offering made by fire to the Lord.

Exodus 29:19 “You shall also take the other ram, and Aaron and his sons shall put their hands on the head of the ram.

Exodus 29:20 Then you shall kill the ram, and take some of its blood and put it on the tip of the right ear of Aaron and on the tip of the right ear of his sons, on the thumb of their right hand and on the big toe of their right foot, and sprinkle the blood all around on the altar.

Exodus 29:21 And you shall take some of the blood that is on the altar, and some of the anointing oil, and sprinkle it on Aaron and on his garments, on his sons and on the garments of his sons with him; and he and his garments shall be hallowed, and his sons and his sons’ garments with him.

Exodus 12:1 Now the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying,

Exodus 12:2 “This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you.

Exodus 12:3 Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth of this month every man shall take for himself a lamb, according to the house of his father, a lamb for a household.

Exodus 12:4 And if the household is too small for the lamb, let him and his neighbor next to his house take it according to the number of the persons; according to each man’s need you shall make your count for the lamb.

Exodus 12:5 Your lamb shall be without blemish, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats.

Exodus 12:6 Now you shall keep it until the fourteenth day of the same month. Then the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it at twilight.

Exodus 12:7 And they shall take some of the blood and put it on the two doorposts and on the lintel of the houses where they eat it.

Exodus 12:8 Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it.

Exodus 12:9 Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire—its head with its legs and its entrails.

Exodus 12:10 You shall let none of it remain until morning, and what remains of it until morning you shall burn with fire.

Exodus 12:11 And thus you shall eat it: with a belt on your waist, your sandals on your feet, and your staff in your hand. So you shall eat it in haste. It is the Lord’s Passover.

Exodus 12:12 ‘For I will pass through the land of Egypt on that night, and will strike all the firstborn in the land of Egypt, both man and beast; and against all the gods of Egypt I will execute judgment: I am the Lord.

Exodus 12:13 Now the blood shall be a sign for you on the houses where you are. And when I see the blood, I will pass over you; and the plague shall not be on you to destroy you when I strike the land of Egypt.

When Christ was offered up (once and for all) for the sins of the people, his blood was shed at Calvary. He bled from his crushing wounds until he died. His blood was completely poured out as an offering for sin. Christ’s blood disintegrated into their elemental components and became part of the surrounding soil. There was no collection of his blood gathered in any blood bank anywhere that can be physically accessed by people for sprinkling, unlike in the old testament. Thus, for new testament believers, the atonement is not via physical blood of the sacrifice applied on supplicants, simply because there’s no blood of our slain Lamb stored anywhere for that purpose, as Christ’s blood that was shed was swallowed into Calvary’s soil some 2000 years ago. There’s thus no collection of Christ’s blood in any blood bank anywhere!

Isaiah 53:1 Who has believed our report?
And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed?

Isaiah 53:2 For He shall grow up before Him as a tender plant,
And as a root out of dry ground.
He has no form or comeliness;
And when we see Him,
There is no beauty that we should desire Him.

Isaiah 53:3 He is despised and rejected by men,
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
And we hid, as it were, our faces from Him;
He was despised, and we did not esteem Him.

Isaiah 53:4 Surely He has borne our griefs
And carried our sorrows;
Yet we esteemed Him stricken,
Smitten by God, and afflicted.

Isaiah 53:5 But He was wounded for our transgressions,
He was bruised for our iniquities;
The chastisement for our peace was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are healed.

Isaiah 53:6 All we like sheep have gone astray;
We have turned, every one, to his own way;
And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

Isaiah 53:7 He was oppressed and He was afflicted,
Yet He opened not His mouth;
He was led as a lamb to the slaughter,
And as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
So He opened not His mouth.

Isaiah 53:8 He was taken from prison and from judgment,
And who will declare His generation?
For He was cut off from the land of the living;
For the transgressions of My people He was stricken.

Isaiah 53:9 And they made His grave with the wicked—
But with the rich at His death,
Because He had done no violence,
Nor was any deceit in His mouth.

Isaiah 53:10 Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise Him;
He has put Him to grief.
When You make His soul an offering for sin,
He shall see His seed, He shall prolong His days,
And the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in His hand.

Isaiah 53:11 He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied.
By His knowledge My righteous Servant shall justify many,
For He shall bear their iniquities.

Isaiah 53:12 Therefore I will divide Him a portion with the great,
And He shall divide the spoil with the strong,
Because He poured out His soul unto death,
And He was numbered with the transgressors,
And He bore the sin of many,
And made intercession for the transgressors.

John 1:29 The next day John saw Jesus coming toward him, and said, “Behold! The Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!

Revelation 5:1 And I saw in the right hand of Him who sat on the throne a scroll written inside and on the back, sealed with seven seals.

Revelation 5:2 Then I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?”

Revelation 5:3 And no one in heaven or on the earth or under the earth was able to open the scroll, or to look at it.

Revelation 5:4 So I wept much, because no one was found worthy to open and read the scroll, or to look at it.

Revelation 5:5 But one of the elders said to me, “Do not weep. Behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has prevailed to open the scroll and to loose its seven seals.”

Revelation 5:6 And I looked, and behold, in the midst of the throne and of the four living creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb as though it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent out into all the earth.

Revelation 5:7 Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.

Revelation 5:8 Now when He had taken the scroll, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb, each having a harp, and golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints.

Revelation 5:9 And they sang a new song, saying:
“You are worthy to take the scroll,
And to open its seals;
For You were slain,
And have redeemed us to God by Your blood
Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation,

Revelation 5:10 And have made us kings and priests to our God;
And we shall reign on the earth.”

Revelation 5:11 Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands,

Revelation 5:12 saying with a loud voice:
“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
To receive power and riches and wisdom,
And strength and honor and glory and blessing!”

Revelation 5:13 And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying:
“Blessing and honor and glory and power
Be to Him who sits on the throne,
And to the Lamb, forever and ever!”

Revelation 5:14 Then the four living creatures said, “Amen!” And the twenty-four elders fell down and worshiped Him who lives forever and ever.

Revelation 1:4 John, to the seven churches which are in Asia:
Grace to you and peace from Him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven Spirits who are before His throne,

Revelation 1:5 and from Jesus Christ, the faithful witness, the firstborn from the dead, and the ruler over the kings of the earth.
To Him who loved us and washed us from our sins in His own blood,

Revelation 1:6 and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father, to Him be glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.

How then are we saved and sanctified by the blood of Christ? What does it mean to be covered by the blood of Christ? Christ’s blood simply represents his life, for the life is in the blood. To say he shed his blood for mankind is to simply say he died for mankind. It’s not his blood per se that paid the price for our sins, but his life, for if he had just shed some blood without dying, it wouldn’t have amounted to anything. It was his dying in our stead that ransomed our souls from the curse of sin and death. The moment we accept his sacrificial and substitutionary death (and the resurrection that followed) and place faith in his atoning work, we’re saved. When we accept him as our Lord and Saviour, by appropriating his death for ourselves, we become ‘covered’ by his blood (death). We are said to be in Christ then, having been baptised into his death. That’s how we put on Christ. That’s the only way his blood covers us —when we are in him. His death becomes meaningful for us only when we are in him. Thus, to be covered by the blood of Christ is to be in Christ. It is to put on Christ or to be clothed with Christ. Unlike the sacrificial animals in the old testament that couldn’t resurrect to impart their lives to those they died for, and thus only their blood was used as a symbol of their lives to cover those who offered them for atonement, Christ lives for evermore to impart his life to those who believe in him. His blood was shed to release his Spirit upon his people. That Spirit filling his people covers and protects them. That’s the new seal of God. To have the life of Christ (through the Holy Spirit) means to be covered with the blood of Jesus Christ.

Genesis 9:4 The one thing you must not eat is meat with blood still in it; I forbid this because the life is in the blood (GNT).

Leviticus 17:10 ‘And whatever man of the house of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell among you, who eats any blood, I will set My face against that person who eats blood, and will cut him off from among his people.

Leviticus 17:11 For the life of the flesh is in the blood, and I have given it to you upon the altar to make atonement for your souls; for it is the blood that makes atonement for the soul.’

Leviticus 17:12 Therefore I said to the children of Israel, ‘No one among you shall eat blood, nor shall any stranger who dwells among you eat blood.’

Leviticus 17:13 “Whatever man of the children of Israel, or of the strangers who dwell among you, who hunts and catches any animal or bird that may be eaten, he shall pour out its blood and cover it with dust;

Leviticus 17:14 for it is the life of all flesh. Its blood sustains its life. Therefore I said to the children of Israel, ‘You shall not eat the blood of any flesh, for the life of all flesh is its blood. Whoever eats it shall be cut off.’

Matthew 20:25 But Jesus called them to Himself and said, “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those who are great exercise authority over them.

Matthew 20:26 Yet it shall not be so among you; but whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant.

Matthew 20:27 And whoever desires to be first among you, let him be your slave—

Matthew 20:28 just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many.”

Matthew 26:26 And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.”

Matthew 26:27 Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you.

Matthew 26:28 For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins.

Matthew 26:29 But I say to you, I will not drink of this fruit of the vine from now on until that day when I drink it new with you in My Father’s kingdom.”

Romans 6:3 Or do you not know that as many of us as were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into His death?

Romans 6:4 Therefore we were buried with Him through baptism into death, that just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life.

Romans 6:5 For if we have been united together in the likeness of His death, certainly we also shall be in the likeness of His resurrection,

Romans 6:6 knowing this, that our old man was crucified with Him, that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves of sin.

Romans 6:7 For he who has died has been freed from sin.

Romans 6:8 Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him,

Romans 6:9 knowing that Christ, having been raised from the dead, dies no more. Death no longer has dominion over Him.

Romans 6:10 For the death that He died, He died to sin once for all; but the life that He lives, He lives to God.

Galatians 3:26 Sons and Heirs
For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

1 John 3:24 Now he who keeps His commandments abides in Him, and He in him. And by this we know that He abides in us, by the Spirit whom He has given us.

1 John 4:13 By this we know that we abide in Him, and He in us, because He has given us of His Spirit.

Romans 8:9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His.

Romans 8:10 And if Christ is in you, the body is dead because of sin, but the Spirit is life because of righteousness.

Romans 8:11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.

Romans 8:14 For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

Romans 8:15 For you did not receive the spirit of bondage again to fear, but you received the Spirit of adoption by whom we cry out, “Abba, Father.”

Romans 8:16 The Spirit Himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God,

Romans 8:17 and if children, then heirs—heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if indeed we suffer with Him, that we may also be glorified together.

If being covered by the blood of Christ is synonymous with being in Christ, it becomes obvious then that no one can cover another with the blood of Jesus, because the blood of Christ represents the life of Christ. To be covered by the blood of Christ, each person must appropriate his death and resurrection for himself, and accept Christ as Lord and Saviour. To be covered by the blood of Christ, each person must be born again. A believer who is in Christ is already covered by the blood of Christ. Such a person does not need anyone to cover him with the blood of Christ, because he is already covered by it. For an unbeliever who is not in Christ, the most we can do for such a person is to pray for God’s mercy on him or her to accept Christ as Lord and Saviour. Only by coming to Christ and by remaining in him will the blood of Christ cover such a person. Until they become born again, we can only pray for God’s mercy and protection on our unbelieving friends and loved ones, until they come to a saving knowledge of Christ. It’s only when they’re saved that they become covered by the blood of Jesus Christ. Until that blood is sprinkled on the lintel and doorposts of their hearts by personal faith in Christ as Lord and Saviour, unbelievers cannot be covered by the blood of Jesus Christ.

In conclusion, the blood of Jesus Christ was shed at Calvary some 2000 years ago, as he died to save sinful humanity from the curse of sin and death. That blood was swallowed up by the adjoining soil and is not available in any blood bank anywhere to be used for physical sprinkling on people, in order to cover them, as was the case with the blood of sacrificial animals in the old testament. What happens now is that, people who place faith in the sacrificial and substitutionary death of Christ get filled by his Spirit (life) and become clothed with Christ. That’s how new testament believers get covered by the blood of their Sacrifice—by receiving his life (Spirit), which is what his blood represents. Thus, to be covered by the blood of Christ is to be born again, whereby we become new creatures. Therefore, nobody can cover another with the blood of Christ, simply because only those that are Christ’s automatically receive the covering and salvation occasioned by the shedding of his blood at Calvary. We can only pray for mercy for people who are outside of Christ’s protection (those who are not born again). But, until they are born again, unbelievers are not, and cannot, be covered by the blood of Jesus Christ!

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The Rapture: Jesus Christ Is Coming To Get His People Out Of This World As He Promised!

(Unless otherwise stated, all Bible quotations are from the English Standard Version).

John 14:1 Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.

John 14:2 In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you?

John 14:3 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am you may be also.

In the passage above, John records Jesus’ own words concerning his coming back to take his people out of this world, that they might be with him in heaven. This is the first part of the coming of Christ after his ascension. In this coming, the Lord is not descending to the earth for all to see and behold him. He is not coming with the risen saints to establish his kingdom on earth. Here, Jesus is coming for the saints, to bring about the resurrection of the dead in Christ, and the transformation and translation of the living saints, that both categories of saints would experience the first resurrection and meet him in the air, for onward movement to heaven, where they will be with him and enjoy their mansions in heaven. This is what is popularly called the ‘rapture’, the term signifying intense bliss, ecstasy and transport, a befitting description for the climax of the Christian experience. Though the word ‘rapture’ does not appear in the Bible, it has been used over the centuries to refer to the translation of the saints to meet the Lord in the air. Thus the translation, or ‘catching up’ of the saints, is an event that was first foretold by the Lord Jesus, during the winding part of his earthly ministry. In the Gospels, only John mentioned this event. All the other Gospels only talked about the Second Advent, wherein the glorified Christ would come back to the earth, with the risen and glorified saints, to defeat the Anti-Christ and establish the kingdom of God on earth.

Paul developed the doctrine of the catching up or translation of the saints further, in his epistles to the Corinthians and Thessalonians. In both epistles, the apostle talked about the resurrection of the dead saints as a necessary prelude to the catching up or translation (rapture) of the church, to meet the Lord in the air. Paul taught that the rapture would be heralded by the Lord Jesus himself descending from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, almost the same way God descended on Mount Sinai, when he came to make himself known to the Israelites and to give them his laws. Here, the Lord will not descend on the earth, but will remain in the sky. The dead saints will then experience a resurrection of their bodies, to be followed by the transformation of the bodies of the living saints into an imperishable, heavenly body. Both categories of saints would then be caught up to meet the Lord in the air, and proceed with him to heaven, where they will be till the end of the reign of the Anti-Christ (the Beast), when the Lord, accompanied by the risen and raptured saints and holy angels, would come back to the earth, to defeat the Anti-Christ (the Beast) and set up the kingdom of God on earth.

1 Corinthians 15:20 But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep.

1 Corinthians 15:21 For as by a man came death, by a man has come also the resurrection of the dead.

1 Corinthians 15:22 For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive.

1 Corinthians 15:23 But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:24 Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power.

1 Corinthians 15:25 For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet.

1 Corinthians 15:26 The last enemy to be destroyed is death.

1 Corinthians 15:50 I tell you this, brothers: flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, nor does the perishable inherit the imperishable.

1 Corinthians 15:51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

1 Corinthians 15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.

1 Corinthians 15:53 For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and this mortal body must put on immortality.

1 Corinthians 15:54 When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: Death is swallowed up in victory.

1 Corinthians 15:55 O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?

1 Corinthians 15:56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.

1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

1 Thessalonians 4:13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers, about those who are asleep, that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.

1 Thessalonians 4:14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.

1 Thessalonians 4:15 For this we declare to you by a word from the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will not precede those who have fallen asleep.

1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself will descend from heaven with a cry of command, with the voice of an archangel, and with the sound of the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first.

1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we will always be with the Lord.

1 Thessalonians 4:18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

There are some salient points about the translation of the saints that need to be emphasised here. First, it is a secret event that will only be known by those experiencing it. It will happen suddenly, in a twinkle of an eye. It will be known only by those witnessing and experiencing it. Only the dead in Christ will hear the voice of the Lord that calls their bodies out of the grave; the rest of the dead will not hear that. Only the living saints will hear the command authorising the transformation of their bodies; the rest of those living will not hear that. Only the saints will hear the command to come up hither, by which they will be translated to meet the Lord in the air; the rest of humanity will not hear that, nor will they experience it.

1 Corinthians 15:51 Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,

1 Corinthians 15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed.

John 5:24 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life. He does not come into judgment, but has passed from death to life.

John 5:25 Truly, truly, I say to you, an hour is coming, and is now here, when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God, and those who hear will live.

Revelation 4:1 After this I looked, and behold, a door standing open in heaven! And the first voice, which I had heard speaking to me like a trumpet, said, Come up here, and I will show you what must take place after this.

Revelation 4:2 At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne.

Second, apart from the Lord’s shout, the voice of the archangel and the trumpet of God heralding the resurrection and translation of the saints, there are no signs of the rapture described in the Scriptures— none in the Gospels, and none in the Epistles! What people traditionally take as the warning signs of the rapture are actually signs of Second Advent. There are no signs described in Scriptures that must be fulfilled before the rapture takes place! Thus, all those looking and watching for some signs, or some events to be accomplished first, before the rapture can take place, will be greatly disappointed! The church is not to watch out for any signs or events to be fulfilled before the rapture takes place, because there are no predicted signs of the rapture in the Scriptures! Because of this, the early church was in constant expectation, not knowing when the Lord would come to take his people away. They were warned to be ready and prepared at all times, because no man knows the day or the hour it would take place. There are predicted events to herald the Second Advent of Christ, but none for the rapture, which is to occur before the Second Advent.

Luke 21:34 But watch yourselves lest your hearts be weighed down with dissipation and drunkenness and cares of this life, and that day come upon you suddenly like a trap.

Luke 21:35 For it will come upon all who dwell on the face of the whole earth.

Luke 21:36 But stay awake at all times, praying that you may have strength to escape all these things that are going to take place, and to stand before the Son of Man.

Matthew 24:42 Therefore, stay awake, for you do not know on what day your Lord is coming.

Matthew 24:43 But know this, that if the master of the house had known in what part of the night the thief was coming, he would have stayed awake and would not have let his house be broken into.

Matthew 24:44 Therefore you also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an hour you do not expect.

Matthew 24:45 Who then is the faithful and wise servant, whom his master has set over his household, to give them their food at the proper time?

Matthew 24:46 Blessed is that servant whom his master will find so doing when he comes.

Matthew 24:47 Truly, I say to you, he will set him over all his possessions.

Matthew 24:48 But if that wicked servant says to himself, My master is delayed,

Matthew 24:49 and begins to beat his fellow servants and eats and drinks with drunkards,

Matthew 24:50 the master of that servant will come on a day when he does not expect him and at an hour he does not know

Matthew 24:51 and will cut him in pieces and put him with the hypocrites. In that place there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.

Finally, the rapture will take place before the unveiling of the Anti-Christ (the Beast) and his reign of lawlessness on the earth. The church will be taken out of the way, to be with the Lord in heaven, before the manifestation of the Beast and the issuance of his mark, as well as the great tribulation that will occur during his reign. While all these are going on in the earth, the church of Christ will be in heaven, partaking of the marriage supper of the Lamb. The church will thus escape the reign of the Anti-Christ (the Beast) and the great tribulation, as she will be safe and secure with her Lord and Master and Bridegroom in heaven. Jesus will use the rapture to make the church militant at that time escape the Anti-Christ and the great tribulation that will come upon the whole world. Thus, all frettings and worries by Christians concerning the Beast and his mark are unnecessary and uncalled for. All fears about the mark of the Beast by believers, as well as all speculations concerning it (the most ridiculous being that it is associated with the Covid-19 vaccines) have no biblical basis! The church will be far away in heaven when the Beast will be revealed, and when his damning mark will be in force!

2 Thessalonians 2:1 Now concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we ask you, brothers,

2 Thessalonians 2:2 not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.

2 Thessalonians 2:3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,

2 Thessalonians 2:4 who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.

2 Thessalonians 2:5 Do you not remember that when I was still with you I told you these things?

2 Thessalonians 2:6 And you know what is restraining him now so that he may be revealed in his time.

2 Thessalonians 2:7 For the mystery of lawlessness is already at work. Only he who now restrains it will do so until he is out of the way.

2 Thessalonians 2:8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will kill with the breath of his mouth and bring to nothing by the appearance of his coming.

2 Thessalonians 2:9 The coming of the lawless one is by the activity of Satan with all power and false signs and wonders,

2 Thessalonians 2:10 and with all wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved.

2 Thessalonians 2:11 Therefore God sends them a strong delusion, so that they may believe what is false,

2 Thessalonians 2:12 in order that all may be condemned who did not believe the truth but had pleasure in unrighteousness.

2 Thessalonians 2:13 But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the firstfruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.

2 Thessalonians 2:14 To this he called you through our gospel, so that you may obtain the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ.

2 Thessalonians 2:15 So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the traditions that you were taught by us, either by our spoken word or by our letter.

2 Thessalonians 2:16 Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God our Father, who loved us and gave us eternal comfort and good hope through grace,

2 Thessalonians 2:17 comfort your hearts and establish them in every good work and word.

Revelation 3:10 Because you have kept my word about patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world, to try those who dwell on the earth.

Revelation 3:11 I am coming soon. Hold fast what you have, so that no one may seize your crown.

In conclusion, the rapture, or the catching up of the saints to meet the Lord in the air, is a biblical truth that was first propagated by the Lord himself. It has been the hope of all New Testament saints from the inception of the church. It describes the first resurrection, which only believers in Christ will be partakers of. The rapture is not the Second Advent of Christ, which is an appearing that will be seen by all on the earth, but is distinct from it, preceding the Second Advent by some years. The interval between the rapture and the Second Advent will feature the emergence of the Anti-Christ (the Beast) and the great tribulation, both of which will be brought to an end by the Second Advent of Christ. The rapture is the coming of the Lord to take those in Christ away to heaven; the Second Advent is Christ coming from heaven with the raptured saints to rule the earth. There are no signs in Scriptures to herald the rapture, which will happen suddenly, in a twinkle of an eye. All the signs mentioned in Scriptures concerning the coming of Christ pertain to the Second Advent, not the rapture. Thus, because the rapture will occur before the rise of the Anti-Christ (the Beast) and the great tribulation, faithful Christians need not fear either, for they will escape both, by virtue of being in the first resurrection and in the rapture. The raptured saints will be with the Lord in heaven during the reign of the Anti-Christ and the great tribulation. This is the blessed hope of all Christians of all ages. May we be found in Christ true and faithful, that we may be partakers of this glorious event.

Revelation 19:7 Let us rejoice and exult and give him the glory, for the marriage of the Lamb has come, and his Bride has made herself ready;

Revelation 19:8 it was granted her to clothe herself with fine linen, bright and pure— for the fine linen is the righteous deeds of the saints.

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Does The Name Of Jesus Protect All Who Call Upon It?

(Except otherwise stated, all Bible quotations are from the New King James Version).

The name “Jesus” can easily be confirmed to be the most commonly invoked name on earth. It’s the one name people readily call in time of danger. People invoke the name of Jesus to protect them from harm and to keep them safe in times of crises. Whether it’s in a plane malfunctioning in midair, a car skidding off the road or a capsizing boat at sea, almost every one screams the name of Jesus when faced with danger, expecting to be saved thereby. Does the name of Jesus protect one and all in time of danger? Is everyone who calls on that name assured of protection from the powers of darkness, irrespective of the person’s relationship with Jesus Christ? We shall examine the Scriptures to answer these questions.

The Scriptures are very clear about the fact that the name of the Lord is a strong tower, into which the righteous run for safety. We’re also told that whosoever calls upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. Furthermore, the Bible also tells us that at the mention of the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow, and demons are cast out. There’s no doubt therefore about the power in the name of Jesus. The name is above all names in heaven and on earth. The name of Jesus saves, delivers, heals, casts out demons and protects from harm and evil.

Proverbs 18:10 The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
The righteous run to it and are safe.

Romans 10:13 For “whoever calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

Philippians 2:9 Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name,

Philippians 2:10 that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth,

Philippians 2:11 and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Truly, demons and other powers of darkness recognise Jesus Christ as the Son of God and the head of all principalities and powers, and they also understand he has the powers to destroy them. They thus bow at his feet and flee away at the mention of his name. Equally as important, the powers of darkness know and recognise true servants of the Most High God, and submit to the authority of God they wield on his behalf. Demons and elemental powers are subject to children of God at the mention of the name of Jesus. That’s part of our inheritance as children of God. Because we are Christ’s and because we possess his Spirit, Christians have the power of attorney to act on behalf of Christ. We are officially licensed to use his name and authority in our walk with him and in his service. Christians are authorised to ask God for anything in the name of Jesus Christ, including help in time of need.

Mark 1:21 Then they went into Capernaum, and immediately on the Sabbath He entered the synagogue and taught.

Mark 1:22 And they were astonished at His teaching, for He taught them as one having authority, and not as the scribes.

Mark 1:23 Now there was a man in their synagogue with an unclean spirit. And he cried out,

Mark 1:24 saying, “Let us alone! What have we to do with You, Jesus of Nazareth? Did You come to destroy us? I know who You are—the Holy One of God!”

Mark 1:25 But Jesus rebuked him, saying, “Be quiet, and come out of him!”

Mark 1:26 And when the unclean spirit had convulsed him and cried out with a loud voice, he came out of him.

Mark 1:27 Then they were all amazed, so that they questioned among themselves, saying, “What is this? What new doctrine is this? For with authority He commands even the unclean spirits, and they obey Him.”

The Acts 16:16 Now it happened, as we went to prayer, that a certain slave girl possessed with a spirit of divination met us, who brought her masters much profit by fortune-telling.

The Acts 16:17 This girl followed Paul and us, and cried out, saying, “These men are the servants of the Most High God, who proclaim to us the way of salvation.”

The Acts 16:18 And this she did for many days.
But Paul, greatly annoyed, turned and said to the spirit, “I command you in the name of Jesus Christ to come out of her.” And he came out that very hour.

Luke 10:17 Then the seventy returned with joy, saying, “Lord, even the demons are subject to us in Your name.”

Luke 10:18 And He said to them, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven.

Luke 10:19 Behold, I give you the authority to trample on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

Luke 10:20 Nevertheless do not rejoice in this, that the spirits are subject to you, but rather rejoice because your names are written in heaven.”

Mark 16:14 Later He appeared to the eleven as they sat at the table; and He rebuked their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen.

Mark 16:15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.

Mark 16:16 He who believes and is baptized will be saved; but he who does not believe will be condemned.

Mark 16:17 And these signs will follow those who believe: In My name they will cast out demons; they will speak with new tongues;

Mark 16:18 they will take up serpents; and if they drink anything deadly, it will by no means hurt them; they will lay hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

John 14:12 “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do he will do also; and greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father.

John 14:13 And whatever you ask in My name, that I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

John 14:14 If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.

Apart from Christians, can other people with no faith relationship to Christ call upon that name in the midst of trouble and expect deliverance? Is it everyone who invokes the name of Jesus, when faced with the powers of darkness, that demons obey? Despite the power in the name of Jesus, the Scriptures make the fact clear that the name of the Lord is only effective in the mouths of the righteous. The name of the Lord is indeed a strong tower, but only the righteous who run into it are protected and kept safe. An unrighteous person is not guaranteed safety if they invoke that name, simply because they are not in Christ! If you’re not called by the name of the Lord, calling the name of the Lord won’t help you, except you’re calling him for the salvation of your soul! Only believers in Christ are assured of successfully using the name of Jesus to cast out demons and procure deliverance from the powers of darkness. Only people who know the Lord, through the new birth experience, can invoke his name for protection. Demons and agents of darkness only recognise and tremble at the name of the Lord Jesus when it proceeds from the mouths of believers. Satan and his angels do not bow or tremble when unbelievers invoke the name of the Lord. The rascal seven sons of Sceva learnt this the hard way, when the demons in a demon-possessed man pounced on them and beat them to pulp, because the demons did not know them as servants of the Lord Jesus Christ! Demons only respect and obey the authority in the name of Jesus when believers and servants of Jesus use that name by faith!

The Acts 19:11 Now God worked unusual miracles by the hands of Paul,

The Acts 19:12 so that even handkerchiefs or aprons were brought from his body to the sick, and the diseases left them and the evil spirits went out of them.

The Acts 19:13 Then some of the itinerant Jewish exorcists took it upon themselves to call the name of the Lord Jesus over those who had evil spirits, saying, “We exorcise you by the Jesus whom Paul preaches.”

The Acts 19:14 Also there were seven sons of Sceva, a Jewish chief priest, who did so.

The Acts 19:15 And the evil spirit answered and said, “Jesus I know, and Paul I know; but who are you?”

The Acts 19:16 Then the man in whom the evil spirit was leaped on them, overpowered them, and prevailed against them, so that they fled out of that house naked and wounded.

The Acts 19:17 This became known both to all Jews and Greeks dwelling in Ephesus; and fear fell on them all, and the name of the Lord Jesus was magnified.

In conclusion, the name of Jesus Christ is truly a powerful shield and buckler, and a refuge in time of trouble. Demons tremble before that name and flee at the mention of it. Healing and deliverance are effected just by invoking that wonderful name. Despite the power in the name of Jesus, not everyone can use that name for protection, defence and exorcism. Only the righteous find safety in that name. Only believers in Christ can use that name for healing and deliverance. In times of crises, only those who know the Lord can invoke that name for protection. Thus, the name of Jesus is not an amulet that can be used by one and all for protection in times of danger. If you don’t know Jesus, you can’t successfully use his name to fight off agents of darkness. If demons don’t know you as a servant of Jesus Christ, calling his name against them will only earn you more trouble! For the name of Jesus the Christ to work for you, you must first have Christ in you. You must first be born again and then you’ll have the right to use that name authoritatively against Satan and his agents.

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Christianity Does Not Have An Earthly Kingdom For Now…Our Citizenship Is Still In Heaven, And The Great Commission Remains Our Primary Task Till The Lord Returns!

Christians are people who have been born twice. They experienced a natural birth first, and then a spiritual birth or a rebirth later, the moment they accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour (became born again). From the natural birth to human parents, Christians automatically become citizens of the countries where they were born or where their parents came from, or both. The new/spiritual birth experienced at salvation, on the other hand, confers on Christians a heavenly citizenship, since we’re now children of God by faith in Christ Jesus. Thus, every Christian is a dual citizen, of both heaven and earth.

Galatians 3:26 For you are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:27 For as many of you as have been baptized into Christ have put on Christ.

Galatians 3:28 There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for you are all one in Christ Jesus.

Galatians 3:29 And if you be Christ’s, then are you Abraham’s seed, and heirs according to the promise (AKJV).

1 Peter 1:18 For as much as you know that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers;

1 Peter 1:19 But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot:

1 Peter 1:20 Who truly was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you,

1 Peter 1:21 Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.

1 Peter 1:22 Seeing you have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit to unfeigned love of the brothers, see that you love one another with a pure heart fervently:

1 Peter 1:23 Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which lives and stays for ever (AKJV).

Philippians 3:20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,

Philippians 3:21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body (NIV).

With the issue of dual citizenship comes the question of loyalty and allegiance. Christians are expected to be good citizens of their earthly countries of origin (or domicile), by being obedient to the laws of the land and by contributing positively to national development. On the other hand, by being citizens of heaven, we’re expected to set our affections on heavenly things, and to earnestly desire the coming of our Lord and Saviour and the establishment of his kingdom on earth. Because our loyalty cannot be equally divided, the question of which of our countries deserves a higher level of allegiance and loyalty arises logically. If what Caesar (our earthly countries) demands from us is not at variance with God’s demands, we should gladly give to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, while giving to God the things that are God’s. When there’s a conflict of interest between our earthly and heavenly countries, where should we place our loyalty? When our political leaders on earth make laws that are contrary to the laws of heaven, what should be our response? The Scriptures make it abundantly clear that as Christians, our loyalty should, first and foremost, be to God and to our heavenly country. We are taught in the Scriptures that here on earth, we are actually on a pilgrimage. We’re pilgrims and strangers on earth, people on transit, as we journey to our eternal heavenly home. In our various countries of birth or domicile, we’re heaven’s ambassadors, expected to project heaven’s values and policies, and point men and women to our God and our heavenly country.

1 Peter 2:11 Beloved, I beg you as sojourners and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lusts which war against the soul,

1 Peter 2:12 having your conduct honorable among the Gentiles, that when they speak against you as evildoers, they may, by your good works which they observe, glorify God in the day of visitation.

1 Peter 2:13 Therefore submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord’s sake, whether to the king as supreme,

1 Peter 2:14 or to governors, as to those who are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers and for the praise of those who do good.

1 Peter 2:15 For this is the will of God, that by doing good you may put to silence the ignorance of foolish men—

1 Peter 2:16 as free, yet not using liberty as a cloak for vice, but as bondservants of God.

1 Peter 2:17 Honor all people. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king (NKJV).

Colossians 3:1 If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God.

Colossians 3:2 Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth.

Colossians 3:3 For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.

Colossians 3:4 When Christ who is our life appears, then you also will appear with Him in glory (NKJV).

St. Matthew 22:15 Then the Pharisees went out and laid plans to trap him in his words.

St. Matthew 22:16 They sent their disciples to him along with the Herodians. “Teacher,” they said, “we know that you are a man of integrity and that you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are.

St. Matthew 22:17 Tell us then, what is your opinion? Is it right to pay the imperial tax to Caesar or not?”

St. Matthew 22:18 But Jesus, knowing their evil intent, said, “You hypocrites, why are you trying to trap me?

St. Matthew 22:19 Show me the coin used for paying the tax.” They brought him a denarius,

St. Matthew 22:20 and he asked them, “Whose image is this? And whose inscription?”

St. Matthew 22:21 “Caesar’s,” they replied. Then he said to them, “So give back to Caesar what is Caesar’s, and to God what is God’s.”

St. Matthew 22:22 When they heard this, they were amazed. So they left him and went away (NIV).

The Acts 5:25 Then someone came and said, “Look! The men you put in jail are standing in the temple courts teaching the people.”

The Acts 5:26 At that, the captain went with his officers and brought the apostles. They did not use force, because they feared that the people would stone them.

The Acts 5:27 The apostles were brought in and made to appear before the Sanhedrin to be questioned by the high priest.

The Acts 5:28 “We gave you strict orders not to teach in this name,” he said. “Yet you have filled Jerusalem with your teaching and are determined to make us guilty of this man’s blood.”

The Acts 5:29 Peter and the other apostles replied: “We must obey God rather than human beings! (NIV).

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

2 Corinthians 5:18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:

2 Corinthians 5:19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

2 Corinthians 5:20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God (NIV).

Getting our goals and priorities right is key to living a fulfilled Christian life that will receive acclaim from heaven. Expending our time, energy and life on earth for the wrong cause(s) can have disastrous consequences in the end. As the Lord Jesus told us, only those who lose their lives for his sake and for the sake of his kingdom will find them. Only those who hazard their lives for the sake of the gospel of Christ will receive eternal rewards. As heaven’s ambassadors, we should choose our fights carefully. Any battle that does not defend heaven’s cause or promote the great commission doesn’t glorify God and doesn’t advance his kingdom. It’s not every political fight that Christians should inject themselves into. Our goal is to persuade and win as many men and women of all philosophical and political shades for the Lord. To advance heaven’s goals on earth is our preeminent work as heaven’s ambassadors. It will not profit us anything if we lose focus of our heavenly calling and settle into anointing political leaders or taking part in earthly partisan fights that will generate unnecessary enemies for the church and the Lord, out of the people we’re supposed to win over for heaven. As Christians, we’re neither Republican, Democrat, Socialist or Independent. Christianity is not a political philosophy, but a relationship with Jesus Christ, the Son of the living God. Because Jesus Christ is the Truth, Christians are to align with and defend God’s truth, the truth of the gospel. That’s our priority! That’s our number one goal! We’re not called to defend any political philosophy or political party, but the truth of the gospel! We do not need political power to undertake or execute the Great Commission. Neither the Lord nor his disciples relied on political power to fulfill their ministries. The anointing of the Holy Spirit is what we need to fulfill the great commission, not the power to make and enforce laws in the public space, however righteous those laws may be. The Lord and his original apostles readily sacrificed their lives so that the truth of the gospel might continue with us. That’s the only cause worth dying for as Christians. For any ambassador of Christ, living and dying for any other cause not related to the great commission is living and dying for a lie! It’s living and dying in vain! As soldiers of Christ, we should not entangle ourselves with the affairs of this world, so that we may be able to please our Commander-in-Chief (Jesus Christ), who has enlisted us into his Army!

St. Matthew 16:24 Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.

St. Matthew 16:25 For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.

St. Matthew 16:26 What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?

St. Matthew 16:27 For the Son of Man is going to come in his Father’s glory with his angels, and then he will reward each person according to what they have done (NIV).

St. John 18:33 Pilate then went back inside the palace, summoned Jesus and asked him, “Are you the king of the Jews?”

St. John 18:34 “Is that your own idea,” Jesus asked, “or did others talk to you about me?”

St. John 18:35 “Am I a Jew?” Pilate replied. “Your own people and chief priests handed you over to me. What is it you have done?”

St. John 18:36 Jesus said, “My kingdom is not of this world. If it were, my servants would fight to prevent my arrest by the Jewish leaders. But now my kingdom is from another place.”

St. John 18:37 “You are a king, then!” said Pilate. Jesus answered, “You say that I am a king. In fact, the reason I was born and came into the world is to testify to the truth. Everyone on the side of truth listens to me.” (NIV).

St. Luke 24:44 He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”

St. Luke 24:45 Then he opened their minds so they could understand the Scriptures.

St. Luke 24:46 He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day,

St. Luke 24:47 and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem.

St. Luke 24:48 You are witnesses of these things.

St. Luke 24:49 I am going to send you what my Father has promised; but stay in the city until you have been clothed with power from on high.” (NIV).

The Acts 1:1 In my former book, Theophilus, I wrote about all that Jesus began to do and to teach

The Acts 1:2 until the day he was taken up to heaven, after giving instructions through the Holy Spirit to the apostles he had chosen.

The Acts 1:3 After his suffering, he presented himself to them and gave many convincing proofs that he was alive. He appeared to them over a period of forty days and spoke about the kingdom of God.

The Acts 1:4 On one occasion, while he was eating with them, he gave them this command: “Do not leave Jerusalem, but wait for the gift my Father promised, which you have heard me speak about.

The Acts 1:5 For John baptized with water, but in a few days you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.”

The Acts 1:6 Then they gathered around him and asked him, “Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?”

The Acts 1:7 He said to them: “It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority.

The Acts 1:8 But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.” (NIV).

1 Corinthians 2:1 And so it was with me, brothers and sisters. When I came to you, I did not come with eloquence or human wisdom as I proclaimed to you the testimony about God.

1 Corinthians 2:2 For I resolved to know nothing while I was with you except Jesus Christ and him crucified.

1 Corinthians 2:3 I came to you in weakness with great fear and trembling.

1 Corinthians 2:4 My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power,

1 Corinthians 2:5 so that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power (NIV).

1 Corinthians 1:17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel —not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

1 Corinthians 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God (NIV).

2 Timothy 2:1 You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.

2 Timothy 2:2 And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable people who will also be qualified to teach others.

2 Timothy 2:3 Join with me in suffering, like a good soldier of Christ Jesus.

2 Timothy 2:4 No one serving as a soldier gets entangled in civilian affairs, but rather tries to please his commanding officer.

2 Timothy 2:5 Similarly, anyone who competes as an athlete does not receive the victor’s crown except by competing according to the rules.

2 Timothy 2:6 The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops.

2 Timothy 2:7 Reflect on what I am saying, for the Lord will give you insight into all this.

2 Timothy 2:8 Remember Jesus Christ, raised from the dead, descended from David. This is my gospel,

2 Timothy 2:9 for which I am suffering even to the point of being chained like a criminal. But God’s word is not chained.

2 Timothy 2:10 Therefore I endure everything for the sake of the elect, that they too may obtain the salvation that is in Christ Jesus, with eternal glory.

2 Timothy 2:11 Here is a trustworthy saying: If we died with him, we will also live with him;

2 Timothy 2:12 if we endure, we will also reign with him. If we disown him, he will also disown us;

2 Timothy 2:13 if we are faithless, he remains faithful, for he cannot disown himself.

2 Timothy 2:14 Keep reminding God’s people of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen (NIV).

To dedicate our lives as Christians to building political systems on earth is to miss the great commission and be blind to the fate awaiting all political systems on earth: ultimate destruction by God’s fiery judgement! To think that by voting in politicians who promise to make and enforce Christian laws in the public space is the way to win souls for Christ is to be greatly deluded as to the power of the law to save souls. The law could not make men righteous in the old testament, and it cannot make them righteous in the new. If all the countries in the world make the ten commandments obligatory laws for all men and women, it will still not accomplish the great commission! Sin is in the heart of every human being, and no amount of laws can cure that and deliver men from its vile grip. No amount of righteous regulations can deliver men and women from the powers of darkness and translate them into the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ! Israel in the old testament had God’s commandments as its constitution, yet the nation still ended up idolatrous, wicked and vile, like its neighbours that had no laws of God. Having the commandments of God as a nation’s constitution will not save the souls of men and women. Only the gospel preached in the power and demonstration of the Holy Spirit will deliver people from the bondage of sin and make them sons and daughters of the living God. So, instead of wasting our energies and resources in campaigning for politicians who promise to make the Bible our constitution, let’s go back to fulfilling the great commission! Let’s get back to the apostolic way of saving men and women from the wrath to come! No political party in power will save our nations, because God’s judgement has been decreed on all nations and all kingdoms of men, which have to be destroyed first before the kingdom of God will be established on earth. We’re not called to save the nations of the world, but we’re rather called and commissioned to save as many men and women as we can, from all the doomed nations that are headed for destruction. One of the greatest evangelists in the modern era, D.L. Moody, summed up the Christian’s commission so succinctly: “I look upon this world as a wrecked vessel. God has given me a lifeboat and said, ‘Moody, save all you can'”.

2 Peter 3:1 Dear friends, this is now my second letter to you. I have written both of them as reminders to stimulate you to wholesome thinking.

2 Peter 3:2 I want you to recall the words spoken in the past by the holy prophets and the command given by our Lord and Savior through your apostles.

2 Peter 3:3 Above all, you must understand that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and following their own evil desires.

2 Peter 3:4 They will say, “Where is this ’coming’ he promised? Ever since our ancestors died, everything goes on as it has since the beginning of creation.”

2 Peter 3:5 But they deliberately forget that long ago by God’s word the heavens came into being and the earth was formed out of water and by water.

2 Peter 3:6 By these waters also the world of that time was deluged and destroyed.

2 Peter 3:7 By the same word the present heavens and earth are reserved for fire, being kept for the day of judgment and destruction of the ungodly.

2 Peter 3:8 But do not forget this one thing, dear friends: With the Lord a day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like a day.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.

2 Peter 3:11 Since everything will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be? You ought to live holy and godly lives

2 Peter 3:12 as you look forward to the day of God and speed its coming. That day will bring about the destruction of the heavens by fire, and the elements will melt in the heat.

2 Peter 3:13 But in keeping with his promise we are looking forward to a new heaven and a new earth, where righteousness dwells.

2 Peter 3:14 So then, dear friends, since you are looking forward to this, make every effort to be found spotless, blameless and at peace with him (NIV).

Galatians 2:16 know that a person is not justified by the works of the law, but by faith in Jesus Christ. So we, too, have put our faith in Christ Jesus that we may be justified by faith in Christ and not by the works of the law, because by the works of the law no one will be justified (NIV).

Hebrews 7:18 The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless

Hebrews 7:19 (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God (NIV).

The Acts 2:37 When the people heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and the other apostles, “Brothers, what shall we do?”

The Acts 2:38 Peter replied, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

The Acts 2:39 The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off —for all whom the Lord our God will call.”

The Acts 2:40 With many other words he warned them; and he pleaded with them, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”

The Acts 2:41 Those who accepted his message were baptized, and about three thousand were added to their number that day (NIV).

St. Mark 16:14 Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.

St. Mark 16:15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.

St. Mark 16:16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

St. Mark 16:17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues;

St. Mark 16:18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

St. Mark 16:19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God.

St. Mark 16:20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it (NIV).

1 Corinthians 9:19 Though I am free and belong to no one, I have made myself a slave to everyone, to win as many as possible.

1 Corinthians 9:20 To the Jews I became like a Jew, to win the Jews. To those under the law I became like one under the law (though I myself am not under the law), so as to win those under the law.

1 Corinthians 9:21 To those not having the law I became like one not having the law (though I am not free from God’s law but am under Christ’s law), so as to win those not having the law.

1 Corinthians 9:22 To the weak I became weak, to win the weak. I have become all things to all people so that by all possible means I might save some.

1 Corinthians 9:23 I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings (NIV).

Romans 1:14 I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish.

Romans 1:15 That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.

Romans 1:17 For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed —a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” (NIV).

In conclusion, the Christian is a citizen of two countries, heaven and earth, with the heavenly country being his eternal home and final destination. Here on earth, the Christian is actually a pilgrim and heaven’s ambassador. We’re called to represent heaven on earth, to project heaven’s values and woo men and women from all countries and from all philosophies to become Christ’s disciples. Christians are not called to build political empires for Christ on earth right now, but are to recruit men and women from all nations to become citizens of heaven and of Christ’s future earthly kingdom. To achieve this great commission, we are not to rely on political power of the state, but on the power of the Holy Spirit. We cannot get men to become born again through force, intimidation, legislation of righteous laws or by aligning with politicians to enforce the practice of Christian values in the public space. All these are a leaning on the powers of the flesh to do the work of the Spirit. Making the ten commandments the constitution of a country will not save people, for no man can be saved by the law. Israel had God’s laws as its constitution in the old testament, and the nation still plunged full steam into idolatory and was cut off by God. The law couldn’t save men in the old testament, and it can’t save men in the new. Only the gospel preached with the power and demonstration of the Holy Spirit can convict and convert the soul and bring about the new birth experience. Christians should therefore stop trying to build Christian nations out of their countries (it’s simply impossible!) through control of political power, but should seek to make Christians out of as many men and women as we can reach, and make them citizens of heaven. The world we’re in right now is a wrecked vessel that cannot be saved, as it’s headed for destruction, but we can save as many men and women as possible from this wrecked vessel, by focusing squarely on the great commission. That’s the only way to expand God’s kingdom and hasten the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.

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Anointing For Sale: The Height Of Pentecostal Rascality And Greed!

(Except otherwise stated, all Bible quotations are from the New King James Version).

It’s common among modern-day Pentecostals to see all kinds of gimmicks designed to defraud people when it comes to the impartation of grace and transfer of anointing. Those who believe people’s grace can be transferred or imparted to others can go to ridiculous lengths to covet the grace upon certain ministers of the gospel. The most effective way to “tap” into somebody’s grace, according to some Pentecostal ministers, is to sow huge “financial seeds” into the lives/ministries of those possessing the gifts being sought. Such financial commitments are assumed to be necessary catalysts for the transfer of grace and the impartation of anointing. Is it biblical to seek the transfer of the gift of God in a minister’s life by financial inducements? Does the Bible approve the selling of the anointing for money? We shall examine the Scriptures to answer these questions.

When the gospel was first carried to Samaria by Philip (the deacon turned evangelist), it was widely received because of the miraculous signs that accompanied it. Even Simon, a magician who had once bewitched the entire city of Samaria with his sorcery, abandoned his magical art and believed the gospel preached by Philip, seeing the superior signs and wonders that followed the preaching of the good news. Simon was baptised thereafter, and followed Philip closely in his evangelistic campaign at Samaria, having become a disciple. When the apostles at Jerusalem heard the good news that the city of Samaria had received the gospel, they sent Peter and John to lay hands on them to receive the baptism of the Holy Spirit, for he had not yet fallen upon any of the Samaritan believers, who had only been baptised by water in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Upon the laying on of the apostles’ hands, the Holy Spirit came upon the new believers, confirming their faith in Christ with God’s seal (the Holy Spirit). When Simon, the sorcerer turned Christian, saw that the Holy Sprit came upon the people by the laying of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money for the transfer of that power, so that he too could lay hands on people to receive the Holy Spirit. The apostles were rightly outraged by the proposition to impart their grace and gift for money. They were enraged that someone could even contemplate the idea of buying the gift of God with money! Peter’s scathing rebuke of Simon revealed the depth of the apostles’ righteous indignation at someone trying to sway them with money to compromise their integrity. Peter rightly considered Simon’s request as evil and satanic, and urged him to repent and seek immediate deliverance from such demonic thoughts!

The Acts 8:5 Then Philip went down to the city of Samaria and preached Christ to them.

The Acts 8:6 And the multitudes with one accord heeded the things spoken by Philip, hearing and seeing the miracles which he did.

The Acts 8:7 For unclean spirits, crying with a loud voice, came out of many who were possessed; and many who were paralyzed and lame were healed.

The Acts 8:8 And there was great joy in that city.

The Acts 8:9 But there was a certain man called Simon, who previously practiced sorcery in the city and astonished the people of Samaria, claiming that he was someone great,

The Acts 8:10 to whom they all gave heed, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the great power of God.”

The Acts 8:11 And they heeded him because he had astonished them with his sorceries for a long time.

The Acts 8:12 But when they believed Philip as he preached the things concerning the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, both men and women were baptized.

The Acts 8:13 Then Simon himself also believed; and when he was baptized he continued with Philip, and was amazed, seeing the miracles and signs which were done.

The Acts 8:14 Now when the apostles who were at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent Peter and John to them,

The Acts 8:15 who, when they had come down, prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit.

The Acts 8:16 For as yet He had fallen upon none of them. They had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

The Acts 8:17 Then they laid hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

The Acts 8:18 And when Simon saw that through the laying on of the apostles’ hands the Holy Spirit was given, he offered them money,

The Acts 8:19 saying, “Give me this power also, that anyone on whom I lay hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”

The Acts 8:20 But Peter said to him, “Your money perish with you, because you thought that the gift of God could be purchased with money!

The Acts 8:21 You have neither part nor portion in this matter, for your heart is not right in the sight of God.

The Acts 8:22 Repent therefore of this your wickedness, and pray God if perhaps the thought of your heart may be forgiven you.

The Acts 8:23 For I see that you are poisoned by bitterness and bound by iniquity.”

The Acts 8:24 Then Simon answered and said, “Pray to the Lord for me, that none of the things which you have spoken may come upon me.”

The apostles’ abrasive response to Simon’s satan-inspired request was in line with the teachings of their Lord and Master. The Lord Jesus Christ had taught the apostles to freely give the gifts of God they had received, and never to make merchandise of the gospel or the gifts of God. The healing of the sick, the raising of the dead, the casting out of evil spirits and other works of the Spirit are to be done free of charge! God freely bestows his gifts on his servants, and he expects them to use the gifts freely in the service of humanity! The anointing of God is not for sale. The gifts of grace in a minister’s life are not for personal enrichment, but for selfless service. No wonder the original apostles of the Lord, though endowed with extraordinary gifts of the Spirit and power, lived meek and lowly lives, like their Lord and Master. They could have become the richest men on earth if they had wanted, by simply making merchandise of their gifts and power. They could have requested people to sow huge “financial seeds” into their lives, for raising the dead, healing the sick and casting out demons. They could have charged other aspiring ministers to tap the grace of God in their lives by sowing “dangerous” ‘financial seeds’. But they didn’t apply any of these personal enrichment gimmicks. Even when people sold their properties and brought all the proceeds and laid them at the apostles’ feet, the apostles didn’t grab the money and place them in private accounts. They didn’t see such money as meant for their personal and exclusive use, to fund lavish and opulent lifestyles. Rather, they appointed deacons to handle these financial resources and use them to take care of people’s needs in the church, so that they wouldn’t be distracted from their primary assignment of praying and preaching the gospel! What an example of selfless leadership the apostles set for other ministers to follow! Though they had access to so much money, the apostles remained humble and ordinary, like every other church member. Rather than make themselves millionaires, they chose to make sure no one lacked in the church, by distributing church money according to members’ needs. In some instances, rather than depend entirely on the congregation for sustenance, some apostles worked to support themselves and those they ministered to, showing the extent they were ready to go to preach the gospel free of charge. The apostles obviously did not expect their rewards for ministry here. They were looking for eternal rewards for faithful service, which the Lord promised all faithful servants at his appearing.

Matthew 10:1 And when He had called His twelve disciples to Him, He gave them power over unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all kinds of sickness and all kinds of disease.

Matthew 10:2 Now the names of the twelve apostles are these: first, Simon, who is called Peter, and Andrew his brother; James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother;

Matthew 10:3 Philip and Bartholomew; Thomas and Matthew the tax collector; James the son of Alphaeus, and Lebbaeus, whose surname was Thaddaeus;

Matthew 10:4 Simon the Cananite, and Judas Iscariot, who also betrayed Him.

Matthew 10:5 These twelve Jesus sent out and commanded them, saying: “Do not go into the way of the Gentiles, and do not enter a city of the Samaritans.

Matthew 10:6 But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Matthew 10:7 And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’

Matthew 10:8 Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out demons. Freely you have received, freely give.

Luke 17:7 And which of you, having a servant plowing or tending sheep, will say to him when he has come in from the field, ‘Come at once and sit down to eat’?

Luke 17:8 But will he not rather say to him, ‘Prepare something for my supper, and gird yourself and serve me till I have eaten and drunk, and afterward you will eat and drink’?

Luke 17:9 Does he thank that servant because he did the things that were commanded him? I think not.

Luke 17:10 So likewise you, when you have done all those things which you are commanded, say, ‘We are unprofitable servants. We have done what was our duty to do.’”

The Acts 4:32 Now the multitude of those who believed were of one heart and one soul; neither did anyone say that any of the things he possessed was his own, but they had all things in common.

The Acts 4:33 And with great power the apostles gave witness to the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. And great grace was upon them all.

The Acts 4:34 Nor was there anyone among them who lacked; for all who were possessors of lands or houses sold them, and brought the proceeds of the things that were sold,

The Acts 4:35 and laid them at the apostles’ feet; and they distributed to each as anyone had need.

The Acts 4:36 And Joses, who was also named Barnabas by the apostles (which is translated Son of Encouragement), a Levite of the country of Cyprus,

The Acts 4:37 having land, sold it, and brought the money and laid it at the apostles’ feet.

The Acts 6:1 Now in those days, when the number of the disciples was multiplying, there arose a complaint against the Hebrews by the Hellenists, because their widows were neglected in the daily distribution.

The Acts 6:2 Then the twelve summoned the multitude of the disciples and said, “It is not desirable that we should leave the word of God and serve tables.

The Acts 6:3 Therefore, brethren, seek out from among you seven men of good reputation, full of the Holy Spirit and wisdom, whom we may appoint over this business;

The Acts 6:4 but we will give ourselves continually to prayer and to the ministry of the word.”

The Acts 6:5 And the saying pleased the whole multitude. And they chose Stephen, a man full of faith and the Holy Spirit, and Philip, Prochorus, Nicanor, Timon, Parmenas, and Nicolas, a proselyte from Antioch,

The Acts 6:6 whom they set before the apostles; and when they had prayed, they laid hands on them.

The Acts 6:7 Then the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly in Jerusalem, and a great many of the priests were obedient to the faith.

1 Corinthians 4:1 Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.

1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.

1 Corinthians 4:3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself.

1 Corinthians 4:4 For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord.

1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.

1 Corinthians 4:6 Now these things, brethren, I have figuratively transferred to myself and Apollos for your sakes, that you may learn in us not to think beyond what is written, that none of you may be puffed up on behalf of one against the other.

1 Corinthians 4:7 For who makes you differ from another? And what do you have that you did not receive? Now if you did indeed receive it, why do you boast as if you had not received it?

1 Corinthians 4:8 You are already full! You are already rich! You have reigned as kings without us—and indeed I could wish you did reign, that we also might reign with you!

1 Corinthians 4:9 For I think that God has displayed us, the apostles, last, as men condemned to death; for we have been made a spectacle to the world, both to angels and to men.

1 Corinthians 4:10 We are fools for Christ’s sake, but you are wise in Christ! We are weak, but you are strong! You are distinguished, but we are dishonored!

1 Corinthians 4:11 To the present hour we both hunger and thirst, and we are poorly clothed, and beaten, and homeless.

1 Corinthians 4:12 And we labor, working with our own hands. Being reviled, we bless; being persecuted, we endure;

1 Corinthians 4:13 being defamed, we entreat. We have been made as the filth of the world, the offscouring of all things until now.

1 Corinthians 4:14 I do not write these things to shame you, but as my beloved children I warn you.

1 Corinthians 4:15 For though you might have ten thousand instructors in Christ, yet you do not have many fathers; for in Christ Jesus I have begotten you through the gospel.

1 Corinthians 4:16 Therefore I urge you, imitate me.

The Acts 20:17 From Miletus he sent to Ephesus and called for the elders of the church.

The Acts 20:18 And when they had come to him, he said to them: “You know, from the first day that I came to Asia, in what manner I always lived among you,

The Acts 20:19 serving the Lord with all humility, with many tears and trials which happened to me by the plotting of the Jews;

The Acts 20:20 how I kept back nothing that was helpful, but proclaimed it to you, and taught you publicly and from house to house,

The Acts 20:21 testifying to Jews, and also to Greeks, repentance toward God and faith toward our Lord Jesus Christ.

The Acts 20:22 And see, now I go bound in the spirit to Jerusalem, not knowing the things that will happen to me there,

The Acts 20:23 except that the Holy Spirit testifies in every city, saying that chains and tribulations await me.

The Acts 20:24 But none of these things move me; nor do I count my life dear to myself, so that I may finish my race with joy, and the ministry which I received from the Lord Jesus, to testify to the gospel of the grace of God.

The Acts 20:25 “And indeed, now I know that you all, among whom I have gone preaching the kingdom of God, will see my face no more.

The Acts 20:26 Therefore I testify to you this day that I am innocent of the blood of all men.

The Acts 20:27 For I have not shunned to declare to you the whole counsel of God.

The Acts 20:28 Therefore take heed to yourselves and to all the flock, among which the Holy Spirit has made you overseers, to shepherd the church of God which He purchased with His own blood.

The Acts 20:29 For I know this, that after my departure savage wolves will come in among you, not sparing the flock.

The Acts 20:30 Also from among yourselves men will rise up, speaking perverse things, to draw away the disciples after themselves.

The Acts 20:31 Therefore watch, and remember that for three years I did not cease to warn everyone night and day with tears.

The Acts 20:32 “So now, brethren, I commend you to God and to the word of His grace, which is able to build you up and give you an inheritance among all those who are sanctified.

The Acts 20:33 I have coveted no one’s silver or gold or apparel.

The Acts 20:34 Yes, you yourselves know that these hands have provided for my necessities, and for those who were with me.

The Acts 20:35 I have shown you in every way, by laboring like this, that you must support the weak. And remember the words of the Lord Jesus, that He said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’”

The Acts 20:36 And when he had said these things, he knelt down and prayed with them all.

The Acts 20:37 Then they all wept freely, and fell on Paul’s neck and kissed him,

The Acts 20:38 sorrowing most of all for the words which he spoke, that they would see his face no more. And they accompanied him to the ship.

1 Corinthians 9:1 Am I not an apostle? Am I not free? Have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord? Are you not my work in the Lord?

1 Corinthians 9:2 If I am not an apostle to others, yet doubtless I am to you. For you are the seal of my apostleship in the Lord.

1 Corinthians 9:3 My defense to those who examine me is this:

1 Corinthians 9:4 Do we have no right to eat and drink?

1 Corinthians 9:5 Do we have no right to take along a believing wife, as do also the other apostles, the brothers of the Lord, and Cephas?

1 Corinthians 9:6 Or is it only Barnabas and I who have no right to refrain from working?

1 Corinthians 9:7 Who ever goes to war at his own expense? Who plants a vineyard and does not eat of its fruit? Or who tends a flock and does not drink of the milk of the flock?

1 Corinthians 9:8 Do I say these things as a mere man? Or does not the law say the same also?

1 Corinthians 9:9 For it is written in the law of Moses, “You shall not muzzle an ox while it treads out the grain.” Is it oxen God is concerned about?

1 Corinthians 9:10 Or does He say it altogether for our sakes? For our sakes, no doubt, this is written, that he who plows should plow in hope, and he who threshes in hope should be partaker of his hope.

1 Corinthians 9:11 If we have sown spiritual things for you, is it a great thing if we reap your material things?

1 Corinthians 9:12 If others are partakers of this right over you, are we not even more?
Nevertheless we have not used this right, but endure all things lest we hinder the gospel of Christ.

1 Corinthians 9:13 Do you not know that those who minister the holy things eat of the things of the temple, and those who serve at the altar partake of the offerings of the altar?

1 Corinthians 9:14 Even so the Lord has commanded that those who preach the gospel should live from the gospel.

1 Corinthians 9:15 But I have used none of these things, nor have I written these things that it should be done so to me; for it would be better for me to die than that anyone should make my boasting void.

1 Corinthians 9:16 For if I preach the gospel, I have nothing to boast of, for necessity is laid upon me; yes, woe is me if I do not preach the gospel!

1 Corinthians 9:17 For if I do this willingly, I have a reward; but if against my will, I have been entrusted with a stewardship.

1 Corinthians 9:18 What is my reward then? That when I preach the gospel, I may present the gospel of Christ without charge, that I may not abuse my authority in the gospel.

In contrast to the selfless leadership style displayed by the original apostles of the Lord, modern-day Pentecostal ministers prefer to reap the full rewards of ministry here and now, as though they’re not certain of making heaven. Whereas the original apostles freely imparted the anointing and gifts they received to others, our contemporary ministers not only expect people to pay for the anointing, they shamelessly manipulate them to do so! Rather than rebuke the Simons of this world who think they can buy the gift of God with money, merchants behind the pulpit openly encourage people to sow huge “financial seeds” in order to tap the anointing and grace upon their lives. Like Balaam, they’re propelled by the prospects of financial gain in giving out prophecies and in praying for those in need. Pentecostal anointing and gifts of the Spirit are now available to the highest bidder! You can now buy the gift of God with money! Once upon a time, godliness with contentment was considered great gain by God’s ministers; now, covetousness and an overflowing bank account are great gain! To the original apostles, the love of money was the root of all evil; now, some modern preachers consider the lack of money to be the root of all evil (I actually heard the general overseer of a mega Pentecostal church say that!). A man’s life now seems to consist in the abundance of the things he possesses. As far as this crop of covetous ministers are concerned, it’s perfectly possible and okay to serve both God and mammon (riches) simultaneously! That’s the new gospel according to Pentecostal rascality! Do we need to think twice to imagine the destination of preachers of such a perverted gospel? Not really. The Scripture is very clear about the fact that destruction awaits all who pervert the original apostolic faith for personal gains. Like Balaam, their end in the hottest and darkest parts of hell is assured. They will hear from the Lord at the end, but it will not be “welcome, faithful servant, enter into the joy of the Lord“. “Depart from me, you workers of iniquity“, will be the reward for their service of greed, covetousness and deceit.

Galatians 1:6 I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel,

Galatians 1:7 which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ.

Galatians 1:8 But even if we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel to you than what we have preached to you, let him be accursed.

Galatians 1:9 As we have said before, so now I say again, if anyone preaches any other gospel to you than what you have received, let him be accursed.

2 Peter 2:12 But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption,

2 Peter 2:13 and will receive the wages of unrighteousness, as those who count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime. They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you,

2 Peter 2:14 having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls. They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children.

2 Peter 2:15 They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;

2 Peter 2:16 but he was rebuked for his iniquity: a dumb donkey speaking with a man’s voice restrained the madness of the prophet.

1 Timothy 6:3 If anyone teaches otherwise and does not consent to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness,

1 Timothy 6:4 he is proud, knowing nothing, but is obsessed with disputes and arguments over words, from which come envy, strife, reviling, evil suspicions,

1 Timothy 6:5 useless wranglings of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth, who suppose that godliness is a means of gain. From such withdraw yourself.

1 Timothy 6:6 Now godliness with contentment is great gain.

1 Timothy 6:7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

1 Timothy 6:8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.

1 Timothy 6:9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.

1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

St. Luke 16:13 “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

St. Luke 16:14 The Pharisees, who loved money, heard all this and were sneering at Jesus.

St. Luke 16:15 He said to them, “You are the ones who justify yourselves in the eyes of others, but God knows your hearts. What people value highly is detestable in God’s sight (NIV).

Matthew 7:15 “Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravenous wolves.

Matthew 7:16 You will know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes from thornbushes or figs from thistles?

Matthew 7:17 Even so, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit.

Matthew 7:18 A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit.

Matthew 7:19 Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire.

Matthew 7:20 Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

Matthew 7:21 I Never Knew You
“Not everyone who says to Me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven.

Matthew 7:22 Many will say to Me in that day, ‘Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?’

Matthew 7:23 And then I will declare to them, ‘I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!’

In conclusion, the original apostles of the Lord set examples of selfless leadership in ministry by freely using the gifts of God in their lives to serve humanity, without seeking for personal gains for themselves. Not only that, they resented and resisted the idea of people trying to buy the gift of God with money. To them, the anointing of God was not for sale. In contrast, most modern-day Pentecostal ministers openly instruct people to sow “financial seeds” in order to tap their anointing/grace. The gift of God can now be bought with money, as material prosperity is now seen as the evidence of divine favour and blessedness in ministry. People no longer look forward to the reward of faithful service in ministry at the coming of the Lord, but seek immediate gratification here and now. This inordinate quest for instant reward in ministry has corrupted the gospel and turned it into a profit-oriented business venture, and ministers have become merchants behind the pulpit. Like Balaam who followed the wages of unrighteousness to his destruction, making merchandise of the gospel can only lead to eternal contempt and shame. The reward for ministry should not be sought here, but at the end of a Christian’s journey, when the Lord will reward every man according to his labour.

2 Timothy 4:7 I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.

2 Timothy 4:8 Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing.

Revelation 22:12 “And behold, I am coming quickly, and My reward is with Me, to give to every one according to his work.

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The Error Of Balaam Was In Placing The Love Of Money Above His Prophetic Calling— And That Cost Him His Life And Ministry!

(All Bible quotations, except otherwise stated, are from the New King James Version).

Jude 1:11 Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.

Balaam was an enigmatic figure in the Bible. In the Old Testament, he was portrayed as a prophet with many contradictions. In spite of his uncanny ability to hear from the Almighty and to see visions with his eyes open, Balaam incurred God’s wrath by embarking on a forbidden prophetic mission. Even when his life was miraculously spared by divine intervention, instead of turning back home, he continued on that destructive journey, relying on the permissive will of God, rather than his perfect will. Though Balaam gave very accurate and divinely-inspired prophecies, and though he seemingly refused to be induced by the promise of material gains to speak outside of the divine mandate, he ended up being destroyed by the army of Israel, on God’s orders, for luring Israel into idolatory. Prophet Balaam was indeed an intriguing seer, a man of many contrasting parts, whose calling and ambitions were constantly at loggerheads, as the Scriptures revealed. The lust of the eyes (greed) eventually undermined his relationship with God and sealed his doom (Numbers Chapters 22-25).

Numbers 22:1 Then the children of Israel moved, and camped in the plains of Moab on the side of the Jordan across from Jericho.

Numbers 22:2 Now Balak the son of Zippor saw all that Israel had done to the Amorites.

Numbers 22:3 And Moab was exceedingly afraid of the people because they were many, and Moab was sick with dread because of the children of Israel.

Numbers 22:4 So Moab said to the elders of Midian, “Now this company will lick up everything around us, as an ox licks up the grass of the field.” And Balak the son of Zippor was king of the Moabites at that time.

Numbers 22:5 Then he sent messengers to Balaam the son of Beor at Pethor, which is near the River in the land of the sons of his people, to call him, saying: “Look, a people has come from Egypt. See, they cover the face of the earth, and are settling next to me!

Numbers 22:6 Therefore please come at once, curse this people for me, for they are too mighty for me. Perhaps I shall be able to defeat them and drive them out of the land, for I know that he whom you bless is blessed, and he whom you curse is cursed.”

Numbers 22:7 So the elders of Moab and the elders of Midian departed with the diviner’s fee in their hand, and they came to Balaam and spoke to him the words of Balak.

Numbers 22:8 And he said to them, “Lodge here tonight, and I will bring back word to you, as the Lord speaks to me.” So the princes of Moab stayed with Balaam.

Numbers 22:9 Then God came to Balaam and said, “Who are these men with you?”

Numbers 22:10 So Balaam said to God, “Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab, has sent to me, saying,

Numbers 22:11 ‘Look, a people has come out of Egypt, and they cover the face of the earth. Come now, curse them for me; perhaps I shall be able to overpower them and drive them out.’”

Numbers 22:12 And God said to Balaam, “You shall not go with them; you shall not curse the people, for they are blessed.”

Numbers 22:13 So Balaam rose in the morning and said to the princes of Balak, “Go back to your land, for the Lord has refused to give me permission to go with you.”

Numbers 22:14 And the princes of Moab rose and went to Balak, and said, “Balaam refuses to come with us.”

Numbers 22:15 Then Balak again sent princes, more numerous and more honorable than they.

Numbers 22:16 And they came to Balaam and said to him, “Thus says Balak the son of Zippor: ‘Please let nothing hinder you from coming to me;

Numbers 22:17 for I will certainly honor you greatly, and I will do whatever you say to me. Therefore please come, curse this people for me.’”

Numbers 22:18 Then Balaam answered and said to the servants of Balak, “Though Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go beyond the word of the Lord my God, to do less or more.

Numbers 22:19 Now therefore, please, you also stay here tonight, that I may know what more the Lord will say to me.”

Numbers 22:20 And God came to Balaam at night and said to him, “If the men come to call you, rise and go with them; but only the word which I speak to you—that you shall do.”

Numbers 22:21 So Balaam rose in the morning, saddled his donkey, and went with the princes of Moab.

Numbers 22:22 Then God’s anger was aroused because he went, and the Angel of the Lord took His stand in the way as an adversary against him. And he was riding on his donkey, and his two servants were with him.

Numbers 22:23 Now the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord standing in the way with His drawn sword in His hand, and the donkey turned aside out of the way and went into the field. So Balaam struck the donkey to turn her back onto the road.

Numbers 22:24 Then the Angel of the Lord stood in a narrow path between the vineyards, with a wall on this side and a wall on that side.

Numbers 22:25 And when the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord, she pushed herself against the wall and crushed Balaam’s foot against the wall; so he struck her again.

Numbers 22:26 Then the Angel of the Lord went further, and stood in a narrow place where there was no way to turn either to the right hand or to the left.

Numbers 22:27 And when the donkey saw the Angel of the Lord, she lay down under Balaam; so Balaam’s anger was aroused, and he struck the donkey with his staff.

Numbers 22:28 Then the Lord opened the mouth of the donkey, and she said to Balaam, “What have I done to you, that you have struck me these three times?”

Numbers 22:29 And Balaam said to the donkey, “Because you have abused me. I wish there were a sword in my hand, for now I would kill you!”

Numbers 22:30 So the donkey said to Balaam, “Am I not your donkey on which you have ridden, ever since I became yours, to this day? Was I ever disposed to do this to you?”
And he said, “No.”

Numbers 22:31 Then the Lord opened Balaam’s eyes, and he saw the Angel of the Lord standing in the way with His drawn sword in His hand; and he bowed his head and fell flat on his face.

Numbers 22:32 And the Angel of the Lord said to him, “Why have you struck your donkey these three times? Behold, I have come out to stand against you, because your way is perverse before Me.

Numbers 22:33 The donkey saw Me and turned aside from Me these three times. If she had not turned aside from Me, surely I would also have killed you by now, and let her live.”

Numbers 22:34 And Balaam said to the Angel of the Lord, “I have sinned, for I did not know You stood in the way against me. Now therefore, if it displeases You, I will turn back.”

Numbers 22:35 Then the Angel of the Lord said to Balaam, “Go with the men, but only the word that I speak to you, that you shall speak.” So Balaam went with the princes of Balak.

Numbers 22:36 Now when Balak heard that Balaam was coming, he went out to meet him at the city of Moab, which is on the border at the Arnon, the boundary of the territory.

Numbers 22:37 Then Balak said to Balaam, “Did I not earnestly send to you, calling for you? Why did you not come to me? Am I not able to honor you?”

Numbers 22:38 And Balaam said to Balak, “Look, I have come to you! Now, have I any power at all to say anything? The word that God puts in my mouth, that I must speak.”

Numbers 22:39 So Balaam went with Balak, and they came to Kirjath Huzoth.

Numbers 22:40 Then Balak offered oxen and sheep, and he sent some to Balaam and to the princes who were with him.

Numbers 22:41 So it was, the next day, that Balak took Balaam and brought him up to the high places of Baal, that from there he might observe the extent of the people.

Numbers 24:1 Now when Balaam saw that it pleased the Lord to bless Israel, he did not go as at other times, to seek to use sorcery, but he set his face toward the wilderness.

Numbers 24:2 And Balaam raised his eyes, and saw Israel encamped according to their tribes; and the Spirit of God came upon him.

Numbers 24:3 Then he took up his oracle and said:
“The utterance of Balaam the son of Beor,
The utterance of the man whose eyes are opened,

Numbers 24:4 The utterance of him who hears the words of God,
Who sees the vision of the Almighty,
Who falls down, with eyes wide open:

Numbers 24:5 “How lovely are your tents, O Jacob!
Your dwellings, O Israel!

Numbers 24:7 He shall pour water from his buckets,
And his seed shall be in many waters.
“His king shall be higher than Agag,
And his kingdom shall be exalted.

Numbers 24:8 “God brings him out of Egypt;
He has strength like a wild ox;
He shall consume the nations, his enemies;
He shall break their bones
And pierce them with his arrows.

Numbers 24:9 ‘He bows down, he lies down as a lion;
And as a lion, who shall rouse him?’
“Blessed is he who blesses you,
And cursed is he who curses you.”

Numbers 24:10 Then Balak’s anger was aroused against Balaam, and he struck his hands together; and Balak said to Balaam, “I called you to curse my enemies, and look, you have bountifully blessed them these three times!

Numbers 24:11 Now therefore, flee to your place. I said I would greatly honor you, but in fact, the Lord has kept you back from honor.”

Numbers 24:12 So Balaam said to Balak, “Did I not also speak to your messengers whom you sent to me, saying,

Numbers 24:13 ‘If Balak were to give me his house full of silver and gold, I could not go beyond the word of the Lord, to do good or bad of my own will. What the Lord says, that I must speak’?

Numbers 31:1 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying:

Numbers 31:2 “Take vengeance on the Midianites for the children of Israel. Afterward you shall be gathered to your people.”

Numbers 31:3 So Moses spoke to the people, saying, “Arm some of yourselves for war, and let them go against the Midianites to take vengeance for the Lord on Midian.

Numbers 31:4 A thousand from each tribe of all the tribes of Israel you shall send to the war.”

Numbers 31:5 So there were recruited from the divisions of Israel one thousand from each tribe, twelve thousand armed for war.

Numbers 31:6 Then Moses sent them to the war, one thousand from each tribe; he sent them to the war with Phinehas the son of Eleazar the priest, with the holy articles and the signal trumpets in his hand.

Numbers 31:7 And they warred against the Midianites, just as the Lord commanded Moses, and they killed all the males.

Numbers 31:8 They killed the kings of Midian with the rest of those who were killed—Evi, Rekem, Zur, Hur, and Reba, the five kings of Midian. Balaam the son of Beor they also killed with the sword.

Numbers 31:9 And the children of Israel took the women of Midian captive, with their little ones, and took as spoil all their cattle, all their flocks, and all their goods.

Numbers 31:10 They also burned with fire all the cities where they dwelt, and all their forts.

Numbers 31:11 And they took all the spoil and all the booty—of man and beast.

Numbers 31:12 Then they brought the captives, the booty, and the spoil to Moses, to Eleazar the priest, and to the congregation of the children of Israel, to the camp in the plains of Moab by the Jordan, across from Jericho.

Numbers 31:13 And Moses, Eleazar the priest, and all the leaders of the congregation, went to meet them outside the camp.

Numbers 31:14 But Moses was angry with the officers of the army, with the captains over thousands and captains over hundreds, who had come from the battle.

Numbers 31:15 And Moses said to them: “Have you kept all the women alive?

Numbers 31:16 Look, these women caused the children of Israel, through the counsel of Balaam, to trespass against the Lord in the incident of Peor, and there was a plague among the congregation of the Lord.

It took the writings of the apostles in the New Testament to unveil the true nature of Balaam as a wayward prophet who was more concerned with the use of his gifts for personal gains, than in pleasing the God who called and gifted him into the prophetic ministry. Balaam was a seer who couldn’t resist the lure of wealth and material gains in ministry. Although his words sometimes appeared to show he wasn’t after money, his actions readily betrayed his true motives. Despite his protestations that no amount of money could make him curse Israel, Balaam ended up offering Balak the recipe for doing just that, by enticing God’s people into idolatory and fornication with the daughters of Midian! It was Balaam, a prophet of God, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block in the path of God’s people, by inviting Israel to participate in idol worship and sexual immorality! How could a man who had such profound visions of the Most High deliberately set up God’s people to rebel against him? How could a prophet of God lure God’s people into idolatory and fornication? The answer is simple. A man of God who values his belly more than his calling will readily sell his anointing to the highest bidder, even if that means misleading God’s people into destruction. A prophet who loves the wages of unrighteousness will shamelessly distort the word of God to suit his personal interests. It was the love of money that drove Balaam into using his prophetic gift for evil purposes and becoming a false prophet thereby. And it is the love of money today that derails men of God from the path of righteousness and shipwrecks their faith. Covetousness will blind a man’s eyes to the truth of the gospel and make him follow after other gods (including mammon, the god of riches), while thinking he’s still following God. We’re vehemently warned in the Scriptures to flee from such prophets who lure us to follow after other gods, even though they may give us accurate and infallible prophecies! God is simply testing our loyalty to him with such prophets like Balaam, who are already marked for destruction.

Numbers 25:1 Now Israel remained in Acacia Grove, and the people began to commit harlotry with the women of Moab.

Numbers 25:2 They invited the people to the sacrifices of their gods, and the people ate and bowed down to their gods.

Numbers 25:3 So Israel was joined to Baal of Peor, and the anger of the Lord was aroused against Israel.

Revelation 2:14 But I have a few things against you, because you have there those who hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to put a stumbling block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed to idols, and to commit sexual immorality.

2 Peter 2:1 But there were also false prophets among the people, even as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Lord who bought them, and bring on themselves swift destruction.

2 Peter 2:2 And many will follow their destructive ways, because of whom the way of truth will be blasphemed.

2 Peter 2:3 By covetousness they will exploit you with deceptive words; for a long time their judgment has not been idle, and their destruction does not slumber.

2 Peter 2:4 For if God did not spare the angels who sinned, but cast them down to hell and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved for judgment;

2 Peter 2:5 and did not spare the ancient world, but saved Noah, one of eight people, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood on the world of the ungodly;

2 Peter 2:6 and turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them to destruction, making them an example to those who afterward would live ungodly;

2 Peter 2:7 and delivered righteous Lot, who was oppressed by the filthy conduct of the wicked

2 Peter 2:8 (for that righteous man, dwelling among them, tormented his righteous soul from day to day by seeing and hearing their lawless deeds)—

2 Peter 2:9 then the Lord knows how to deliver the godly out of temptations and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment,

2 Peter 2:10 and especially those who walk according to the flesh in the lust of uncleanness and despise authority. They are presumptuous, self-willed. They are not afraid to speak evil of dignitaries,

2 Peter 2:11 whereas angels, who are greater in power and might, do not bring a reviling accusation against them before the Lord.

2 Peter 2:12 But these, like natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed, speak evil of the things they do not understand, and will utterly perish in their own corruption,

2 Peter 2:13 and will receive the wages of unrighteousness, as those who count it pleasure to carouse in the daytime. They are spots and blemishes, carousing in their own deceptions while they feast with you,

2 Peter 2:14 having eyes full of adultery and that cannot cease from sin, enticing unstable souls. They have a heart trained in covetous practices, and are accursed children.

2 Peter 2:15 They have forsaken the right way and gone astray, following the way of Balaam the son of Beor, who loved the wages of unrighteousness;

2 Peter 2:16 but he was rebuked for his iniquity: a dumb donkey speaking with a man’s voice restrained the madness of the prophet.

Jude 1:3 Beloved, while I was very diligent to write to you concerning our common salvation, I found it necessary to write to you exhorting you to contend earnestly for the faith which was once for all delivered to the saints.

Jude 1:4 For certain men have crept in unnoticed, who long ago were marked out for this condemnation, ungodly men, who turn the grace of our God into lewdness and deny the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ.

Jude 1:5 But I want to remind you, though you once knew this, that the Lord, having saved the people out of the land of Egypt, afterward destroyed those who did not believe.

Jude 1:6 And the angels who did not keep their proper domain, but left their own abode, He has reserved in everlasting chains under darkness for the judgment of the great day;

Jude 1:7 as Sodom and Gomorrah, and the cities around them in a similar manner to these, having given themselves over to sexual immorality and gone after strange flesh, are set forth as an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.

Jude 1:8 Likewise also these dreamers defile the flesh, reject authority, and speak evil of dignitaries.

Jude 1:9 Yet Michael the archangel, in contending with the devil, when he disputed about the body of Moses, dared not bring against him a reviling accusation, but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”

Jude 1:10 But these speak evil of whatever they do not know; and whatever they know naturally, like brute beasts, in these things they corrupt themselves.

Jude 1:11 Woe to them! For they have gone in the way of Cain, have run greedily in the error of Balaam for profit, and perished in the rebellion of Korah.

Jude 1:12 These are spots in your love feasts, while they feast with you without fear, serving only themselves. They are clouds without water, carried about by the winds; late autumn trees without fruit, twice dead, pulled up by the roots;

Jude 1:13 raging waves of the sea, foaming up their own shame; wandering stars for whom is reserved the blackness of darkness forever.

1 Timothy 6:6 Now godliness with contentment is great gain.

1 Timothy 6:7 For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out.

1 Timothy 6:8 And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.

1 Timothy 6:9 But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition.

1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

1 Timothy 6:11 The Good Confession
But you, O man of God, flee these things and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, gentleness.

1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, to which you were also called and have confessed the good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

1 Timothy 6:13 I urge you in the sight of God who gives life to all things, and before Christ Jesus who witnessed the good confession before Pontius Pilate,

1 Timothy 6:14 that you keep this commandment without spot, blameless until our Lord Jesus Christ’s appearing,

1 Timothy 6:15 which He will manifest in His own time, He who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord of lords,

1 Timothy 6:16 who alone has immortality, dwelling in unapproachable light, whom no man has seen or can see, to whom be honor and everlasting power. Amen.

Deuteronomy 13:1 “If there arises among you a prophet or a dreamer of dreams, and he gives you a sign or a wonder,

Deuteronomy 13:2 and the sign or the wonder comes to pass, of which he spoke to you, saying, ‘Let us go after other gods’—which you have not known—‘and let us serve them,’

Deuteronomy 13:3 you shall not listen to the words of that prophet or that dreamer of dreams, for the Lord your God is testing you to know whether you love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

Deuteronomy 13:4 You shall walk after the Lord your God and fear Him, and keep His commandments and obey His voice; you shall serve Him and hold fast to Him.

Deuteronomy 13:5 But that prophet or that dreamer of dreams shall be put to death, because he has spoken in order to turn you away from the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and redeemed you from the house of bondage, to entice you from the way in which the Lord your God commanded you to walk. So you shall put away the evil from your midst.

The error of Balaam was in assuming that as long as he kept hearing from God and seeing visions of the Almighty, he had divine approval for all his actions, however immorally he lived. It is in believing that continual display of the prophetic gift is a sign of divine vindication and approval of a sinful lifestyle. Samson too believed the same gospel, and therefore lived recklessly, lured into a false assurance of safety, as long as the power to perform miraculous signs and wonders continued to rest upon him. But, such prophets are ignorant of the fact that the gifts and calling of God are irrevocable. What this means is that, once God has imbued someone with a gift or supernatural ability, he doesn’t recall that gift back, even if the person misuses it or uses it against the will of God. Such gifts will continue to be operational in the life of the servant possessing them, even if the person lives an ungodly life (Remember Lucifer, God’s covering cherub who rebelled against God to become Satan? Well, he still retains his supernatural powers!). God’s judgement for the misuse of gifts and talents will come at the end of a servant’s life, not before. We will account for our talents, but not here and now. That accounting will be done at the judgement seat of Christ, at the end of the ages. Thus, God not taking immediate actions against an erring servant, and even allowing his gifts to continue to operate in such a person’s life, is not an endorsement of the person’s lifestyle. God is simply long-suffering and does not usually bring judgment before the time. But, God’s judgement will surely come one day, and all the secret works of darkness will be laid bare, and everyone will receive his due reward from the Lord.

Romans 11:29 For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.

Romans 14:10 But why do you judge your brother? Or why do you show contempt for your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of Christ.

Romans 14:11 For it is written:
“As I live, says the Lord,
Every knee shall bow to Me,
And every tongue shall confess to God.”

Romans 14:12 So then each of us shall give account of himself to God.

1 Corinthians 4:1 Let a man so consider us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God.

1 Corinthians 4:2 Moreover it is required in stewards that one be found faithful.

1 Corinthians 4:3 But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by a human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself.

1 Corinthians 4:4 For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord.

1 Corinthians 4:5 Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord comes, who will both bring to light the hidden things of darkness and reveal the counsels of the hearts. Then each one’s praise will come from God.

Matthew 25:14 “For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them.

Matthew 25:15 And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey.

Matthew 25:16 Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents.

Matthew 25:17 And likewise he who had received two gained two more also.

Matthew 25:18 But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord’s money.

Matthew 25:19 After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.

Matthew 25:20 “So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, ‘Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.’

Matthew 25:21 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

Matthew 25:22 He also who had received two talents came and said, ‘Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.’

Matthew 25:23 His lord said to him, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.’

Matthew 25:24 “Then he who had received the one talent came and said, ‘Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed.

Matthew 25:25 And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.’

Matthew 25:26 “But his lord answered and said to him, ‘You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed.

Matthew 25:27 So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest.

Matthew 25:28 Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.

Matthew 25:29 ‘For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.

Matthew 25:30 And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.’

Ecclesiastes 12:13 Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter:
Fear God and keep His commandments,
For this is man’s all.

Ecclesiastes 12:14 For God will bring every work into judgment,
Including every secret thing,
Whether good or evil.

In conclusion, Balaam was a gifted prophet with an exceptional ability of connecting to God and accessing the divine will. Nevertheless, he made shipwreck of his faith and ended up destroyed in his prime. His error was in placing the love of money above his calling, and in being swayed by the wages of unrighteousness to lead God’s people astray. He was deceived by greed into thinking that he could make merchandise of his gifts and still retain God’s favour. Like many of his modern counterparts, Balaam misunderstood his calling, and presumed ownership of the gifts of God in his life, forgetting he was just an unprofitable servant entrusted with talents that he would one day be called upon to account for. May we take heed from the error of Balaam and strive to live as people who would one day appear before the judgment seat of Christ to give account of our stewardship. May we lay hold on eternal life and run with patience the race set before us, looking unto and following the example of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in meekness, humility, and godliness with contentment, which have great eternal rewards.

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The Gospel Of Jesus Christ Is The Gospel Of Salvation, Not Of Prosperity! Beware Of Motivational Speakers Parading As Ministers Of Jesus Christ!

(All Bible quotations, except otherwise stated, are from the New International Version).

St. Mark 8:36 For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

St. Mark 8:37 Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soul? (KJV).

The word ‘gospel’ simply means ‘good news’. The gospel of Jesus Christ is the good news of God’s salvation for mankind, made possible through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is the message of how reconciliation of fallen humanity with God was made possible through the sacrificial and substitutionary death of God’s only begotten Son at Calvary. Through Jesus Christ, lost humanity is offered divine pardon from the original sin and its consequences, as well as eternal life in paradise. Thus, the gospel is variously called “the gospel of God”, “the gospel of Jesus Christ”, “the gospel of the kingdom” (of heaven), “the gospel of peace” and “the gospel of salvation”. From all these descriptions of the gospel, the focus of the gospel is clear—-salvation from sin, peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ and eternal life in God’s kingdom.

The focus of the gospel was made clear by our Lord Jesus Christ in his final command to his original apostles, to whom he committed his gospel. The great commission the Lord entrusted to the apostles (and to those they would disciple later) was to go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creation, in order to bring salvation to as many as would believe and accept the gospel. The apostles themselves demonstrated a clear understanding of their life mission by focusing exclusively on saving souls and reconciling men and women back to God. Their ministry of reconciliation was the driving force of their lives. They were not ashamed to preach the gospel of peace and save men and women from the wrath of God which awaits all sinners who die without making peace with God.

St. Mark 16:14 Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.

St. Mark 16:15 He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to all creation.

St. Mark 16:16 Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

St. Mark 16:17 And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues;

St. Mark 16:18 they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well.”

St. Mark 16:19 After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God.

St. Mark 16:20 Then the disciples went out and preached everywhere, and the Lord worked with them and confirmed his word by the signs that accompanied it.

1 Corinthians 1:17 For Christ did not send me to baptize, but to preach the gospel —not with wisdom and eloquence, lest the cross of Christ be emptied of its power.

1 Corinthians 1:18 For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

1 Corinthians 1:19 For it is written: “I will destroy the wisdom of the wise; the intelligence of the intelligent I will frustrate.”

1 Corinthians 1:20 Where is the wise person? Where is the teacher of the law? Where is the philosopher of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world?

1 Corinthians 1:21 For since in the wisdom of God the world through its wisdom did not know him, God was pleased through the foolishness of what was preached to save those who believe.

2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!

2 Corinthians 5:18 All this is from God, who reconciled us to himself through Christ and gave us the ministry of reconciliation:

2 Corinthians 5:19 that God was reconciling the world to himself in Christ, not counting people’s sins against them. And he has committed to us the message of reconciliation.

2 Corinthians 5:20 We are therefore Christ’s ambassadors, as though God were making his appeal through us. We implore you on Christ’s behalf: Be reconciled to God.

Romans 1:13 I do not want you to be unaware, brothers and sisters, that I planned many times to come to you (but have been prevented from doing so until now) in order that I might have a harvest among you, just as I have had among the other Gentiles.

Romans 1:14 I am obligated both to Greeks and non-Greeks, both to the wise and the foolish.

Romans 1:15 That is why I am so eager to preach the gospel also to you who are in Rome.

Romans 1:16 For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile.

Unfortunately, the gospel message has taken a different turn in our time. The focus of the gospel in a lot of Christian circles is no longer the salvation of souls, but the enrichment of pockets. The gospel of material prosperity has supplanted the gospel of salvation in many quarters. Ministers of Christ in most pentecostal circles now see their calling as that of making people rich materially, rather than making them rich towards God. The evidence of divine approval now seems to be how rich a Christian is in the things of the world. Ministers of Christ now parade their fat bank accounts, fleets of exotic cars, private jets, multi-million dollar auditoriums, state-of-the-art mansions, etc, as evidence of success in ministry. And those who become materially rich and successful in business (even if dubiously), by following the teachings of these ministers of Christ, are readily paraded for all to see as the testimony of blessed Christianity! Is material prosperity the barometer for measuring success in ministry or in life generally?

The original apostles of the Lord made clear in their writings that material prosperity was not the goal of the gospel of Jesus Christ. They stressed the fact that an inordinate ambition for riches was actually counterproductive to the gospel message, and at variance with being heavenly-minded. Those who covet riches while following Christ may actually end up making a shipwreck of their faith! The love of money still remains the root of all evil, and those who lust after wealth end up erring from the faith and piercing themselves with many sorrows. The original apostles of the Lord made the fact clear that ministers who make prosperity the crux of their message are earthly minded and are called into ministry by their belly (materials needs), which is also their god. The end of such ministers is destruction! Ministers who place prosperity above salvation of souls are patently false, and should be avoided at all costs! They are nothing but satanic agents masquerading as ministers of Christ. They are wolves in sheep’s clothing, who specialise in fleecing God’s flocks and making merchandise of the gospel. These are people who don’t hesitate to sell the anointing to the highest bidder, while imparting their grace only to those who sow the largest financial ‘seeds’ into their lives and ministries. Like the prophet Balaam who was enticed by the wages of unrighteousness to his destruction, a similar fate awaits such modern day merchants behind the pulpit, and all those who follow their destructive ways! Like the Lord Jesus Christ warned his disciples, we should take heed and beware of covetousness, for true success in life is not measured by the abundance of material riches, but in how rich we are towards God.

1 Timothy 6:6 But godliness with contentment is great gain.

1 Timothy 6:7 For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.

1 Timothy 6:8 But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that.

1 Timothy 6:9 Those who want to get rich fall into temptation and a trap and into many foolish and harmful desires that plunge people into ruin and destruction.

1 Timothy 6:10 For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Some people, eager for money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many griefs.

1 Timothy 6:11 But you, man of God, flee from all this, and pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness.

1 Timothy 6:12 Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you were called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.

Philippians 3:17 Join together in following my example, brothers and sisters, and just as you have us as a model, keep your eyes on those who live as we do.

Philippians 3:18 For, as I have often told you before and now tell you again even with tears, many live as enemies of the cross of Christ.

Philippians 3:19 Their destiny is destruction, their god is their stomach, and their glory is in their shame. Their mind is set on earthly things.

Philippians 3:20 But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ,

Philippians 3:21 who, by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control, will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body.

2 Peter 2:1 But there were also false prophets among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you. They will secretly introduce destructive heresies, even denying the sovereign Lord who bought them —bringing swift destruction on themselves.

2 Peter 2:2 Many will follow their depraved conduct and will bring the way of truth into disrepute.

2 Peter 2:3 In their greed these teachers will exploit you with fabricated stories. Their condemnation has long been hanging over them, and their destruction has not been sleeping.

2 Peter 2:4 For if God did not spare angels when they sinned, but sent them to hell, putting them in chains of darkness to be held for judgment;

2 Peter 2:5 if he did not spare the ancient world when he brought the flood on its ungodly people, but protected Noah, a preacher of righteousness, and seven others;

2 Peter 2:6 if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah by burning them to ashes, and made them an example of what is going to happen to the ungodly;

2 Peter 2:7 and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man, who was distressed by the depraved conduct of the lawless

2 Peter 2:8 (for that righteous man, living among them day after day, was tormented in his righteous soul by the lawless deeds he saw and heard) —

2 Peter 2:9 if this is so, then the Lord knows how to rescue the godly from trials and to hold the unrighteous for punishment on the day of judgment.

2 Peter 2:10 This is especially true of those who follow the corrupt desire of the flesh and despise authority. Bold and arrogant, they are not afraid to heap abuse on celestial beings;

2 Peter 2:11 yet even angels, although they are stronger and more powerful, do not heap abuse on such beings when bringing judgment on them from the Lord.

2 Peter 2:12 But these people blaspheme in matters they do not understand. They are like unreasoning animals, creatures of instinct, born only to be caught and destroyed, and like animals they too will perish.

2 Peter 2:13 They will be paid back with harm for the harm they have done. Their idea of pleasure is to carouse in broad daylight. They are blots and blemishes, reveling in their pleasures while they feast with you.

2 Peter 2:14 With eyes full of adultery, they never stop sinning; they seduce the unstable; they are experts in greed —an accursed brood!

2 Peter 2:15 They have left the straight way and wandered off to follow the way of Balaam son of Bezer, who loved the wages of wickedness.

2 Peter 2:16 But he was rebuked for his wrongdoing by a donkey —an animal without speech —who spoke with a human voice and restrained the prophet’s madness.

Jude 1:3 Dear friends, although I was very eager to write to you about the salvation we share, I felt compelled to write and urge you to contend for the faith that was once for all entrusted to God’s holy people.

Jude 1:4 For certain individuals whose condemnation was written about long ago have secretly slipped in among you. They are ungodly people, who pervert the grace of our God into a license for immorality and deny Jesus Christ our only Sovereign and Lord.

Jude 1:5 Though you already know all this, I want to remind you that the Lord at one time delivered his people out of Egypt, but later destroyed those who did not believe.

Jude 1:6 And the angels who did not keep their positions of authority but abandoned their proper dwelling —these he has kept in darkness, bound with everlasting chains for judgment on the great Day.

Jude 1:7 In a similar way, Sodom and Gomorrah and the surrounding towns gave themselves up to sexual immorality and perversion. They serve as an example of those who suffer the punishment of eternal fire.

Jude 1:8 In the very same way, on the strength of their dreams these ungodly people pollute their own bodies, reject authority and heap abuse on celestial beings.

Jude 1:9 But even the archangel Michael, when he was disputing with the devil about the body of Moses, did not himself dare to condemn him for slander but said, “The Lord rebuke you!”

Jude 1:10 Yet these people slander whatever they do not understand, and the very things they do understand by instinct —as irrational animals do —will destroy them.

Jude 1:11 Woe to them! They have taken the way of Cain; they have rushed for profit into Balaam’s error; they have been destroyed in Korah’s rebellion.

Jude 1:12 These people are blemishes at your love feasts, eating with you without the slightest qualm —shepherds who feed only themselves. They are clouds without rain, blown along by the wind; autumn trees, without fruit and uprooted —twice dead.

Jude 1:13 They are wild waves of the sea, foaming up their shame; wandering stars, for whom blackest darkness has been reserved forever.

Jude 1:14 Enoch, the seventh from Adam, prophesied about them: “See, the Lord is coming with thousands upon thousands of his holy ones

Jude 1:15 to judge everyone, and to convict all of them of all the ungodly acts they have committed in their ungodliness, and of all the defiant words ungodly sinners have spoken against him.”

Jude 1:16 These people are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage.

Jude 1:17 But, dear friends, remember what the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ foretold.

Jude 1:18 They said to you, “In the last times there will be scoffers who will follow their own ungodly desires.”

Jude 1:19 These are the people who divide you, who follow mere natural instincts and do not have the Spirit.

Jude 1:20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit,

Jude 1:21 keep yourselves in God’s love as you wait for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ to bring you to eternal life.

The Acts 8:14 When the apostles in Jerusalem heard that Samaria had accepted the word of God, they sent Peter and John to Samaria.

The Acts 8:15 When they arrived, they prayed for the new believers there that they might receive the Holy Spirit,

The Acts 8:16 because the Holy Spirit had not yet come on any of them; they had simply been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

The Acts 8:17 Then Peter and John placed their hands on them, and they received the Holy Spirit.

The Acts 8:18 When Simon saw that the Spirit was given at the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money

The Acts 8:19 and said, “Give me also this ability so that everyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”

The Acts 8:20 Peter answered: “May your money perish with you, because you thought you could buy the gift of God with money!

The Acts 8:21 You have no part or share in this ministry, because your heart is not right before God.

The Acts 8:22 Repent of this wickedness and pray to the Lord in the hope that he may forgive you for having such a thought in your heart.

The Acts 8:23 For I see that you are full of bitterness and captive to sin.”

St. Luke 12:13 Someone in the crowd said to him, “Teacher, tell my brother to divide the inheritance with me.”

St. Luke 12:14 Jesus replied, “Man, who appointed me a judge or an arbiter between you?”

St. Luke 12:15 Then he said to them, “Watch out! Be on your guard against all kinds of greed; life does not consist in an abundance of possessions.”

St. Luke 12:16 And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man yielded an abundant harvest.

St. Luke 12:17 He thought to himself, ’What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’

St. Luke 12:18 “Then he said, ’This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store my surplus grain.

St. Luke 12:19 And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of grain laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’

St. Luke 12:20 “But God said to him, ’You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’

St. Luke 12:21 “This is how it will be with whoever stores up things for themselves but is not rich toward God.”

In conclusion, the gospel message was intended to save the souls of men and deliver them from the wrath of God. Therefore, the gospel of Jesus Christ is called the gospel of peace and of salvation. The original apostles of the Lord thus made salvation of the soul the primary focus of the gospel they preached, and entry into God’s kingdom the ultimate goal of preaching the gospel. Unfortunately, the focus of the gospel has taken a different turn in our day, with material prosperity now being the focus and goal of the gospel. Most ministers of the gospel are now ministers of prosperity and motivational speakers who inspire people to a life of great material success, while sidelining salvation of the soul. Living in affluence and opulence is now seen as a testimony of the success of the gospel and of divine favour. Thus, the original gospel which sought to make men heavenly-minded has been supplanted by an earthly-minded gospel focused on material riches. Salvation of the soul and righteous living have thus been relegated to the background. It doesn’t matter anymore how a Christian lives; as long the person is enjoying material blessings and paying huge tithes, God must be with such a one. Anointing for prosperity is now available to the highest bidder only. Grace is now only imparted to those who can sow tangible financial ‘seeds’ into the lives of men of God. This type of gospel, and the people who preach and project it, can only end in one way— destruction in hell. The prosperity gospel is a hell-bound gospel which only breeds and spreads covetousness and greed. The love of money still remains the root of all kinds of evil, and servants of God are still enjoined to flee the love of money and lay hold on eternal life, for they that pursue after riches end up making a shipwreck of their faith, as well as piercing themselves with many sorrows. Let’s take heed then and beware of covetousness and greed, for a man’s life does not consist in the abundance of the material things he possesses. That much was said by the Lord Jesus Christ himself! What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world and lose his soul? What can a man give in exchange for his soul?

Colossians 3:1 Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God.

Colossians 3:2 Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things.

Colossians 3:3 For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God.

Colossians 3:4 When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory.

Colossians 3:5 Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry.

Colossians 3:6 Because of these, the wrath of God is coming.

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Can People Die Prematurely And Outside Of The Will Of God, Or Is Every Death A Will Of God?

(Except otherwise stated, all Bible quotations are from the New International Version).

Most people attribute all deaths to the will of God, even when some people die as a result of direct disobedience to God’s commandments. We understand God has decreed that no man would live forever on earth in the fallen state, and all men must die someday, as a result of the original sin. But, what of those whose lives are terminated by others while in their prime? Are their deaths too the will of God? What of people that die through suicide, through the negligence of others, and while indulging in destructive lifestyles (chronic alcoholism, drug abuse, cigarette smoking, etc)? Is it the will of God for them to die at the time they did? Could they have lived longer if they had avoided doing certain things, or if they had adopted more healthy lifestyles? It’s important to find scriptural answers to these questions, to enable us have a clearer understanding of what the will of God is (concerning death), as well as the place of human responsibility in preserving and prolonging our lives on earth. This article will attempt to answer the aforementioned questions through a careful examination of the Scriptures.

When Cain killed his brother Abel through a fit of rage induced by jealousy, God wasn’t pleased with the act, and revealed his displeasure to Cain in very strong terms. God made it clear to Cain that Abel wasn’t supposed to have died the way he did and when he did. The blood of Abel was crying out for vengeance, because his death wasn’t natural. Abel had been cut short in the prime of his life, and neither he nor God was happy about that, hence God’s outrage at what Cain had done, and Abel’s outcry for vengeance. We can’t say in this circumstance that Abel died according to the will of God, simply because it wasn’t the will of God that Abel should die at the time he did. Abel’s death can only be attributed to the murderous will of his brother Cain, and not to the will of God. For that reason, God pronounced a curse on Cain and declared him a fugitive and a wanderer. Cain was expelled from God’s presence and became a vagabond for prematurely terminating his brother’s life.

Genesis 4:3 In the course of time Cain brought some of the fruits of the soil as an offering to the LORD.

Genesis 4:4 And Abel also brought an offering —fat portions from some of the firstborn of his flock. The LORD looked with favor on Abel and his offering,

Genesis 4:5 but on Cain and his offering he did not look with favor. So Cain was very angry, and his face was downcast.

Genesis 4:6 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Why are you angry? Why is your face downcast?

Genesis 4:7 If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must rule over it.”

Genesis 4:8 Now Cain said to his brother Abel, “Let’s go out to the field.” While they were in the field, Cain attacked his brother Abel and killed him.

Genesis 4:9 Then the LORD said to Cain, “Where is your brother Abel?” “I don’t know,” he replied. “Am I my brother’s keeper?”

Genesis 4:10 The LORD said, “What have you done? Listen! Your brother’s blood cries out to me from the ground.

Genesis 4:11 Now you are under a curse and driven from the ground, which opened its mouth to receive your brother’s blood from your hand.

Genesis 4:12 When you work the ground, it will no longer yield its crops for you. You will be a restless wanderer on the earth.”

1 John 3:10 This is how we know who the children of God are and who the children of the devil are: Anyone who does not do what is right is not God’s child, nor is anyone who does not love their brother and sister.

1 John 3:11 For this is the message you heard from the beginning: We should love one another.

1 John 3:12 Do not be like Cain, who belonged to the evil one and murdered his brother. And why did he murder him? Because his own actions were evil and his brother’s were righteous.

After the flood, we see God giving mankind a definite commandment not to kill one another unlawfully. Murder was declared an offence worthy of capital punishment. Whoever killed another person would be killed himself, for killing someone else (without divine authorisation) is clearly against the will of God. Anyone who dies thus (through homicide) obviously did not die by the will of God, even if God allowed it to happen. Thus, even though God had decreed that all men would ultimately die by reason of the original sin, he did not intend for people to kill one another. Obviously, God intended for people to live to old age and die only when their bodies get frail and are unable to house their souls anymore. That’s when people are supposed to die: at ripe old age, and from natural causes.

Genesis 9:1 God blessed Noah and his sons and told them, “Multiply and fill the earth.

Genesis 9:2 All the wild animals, large and small, and all the birds and fish will be afraid of you. I have placed them in your power.

Genesis 9:3 I have given them to you for food, just as I have given you grain and vegetables.

Genesis 9:4 But you must never eat animals that still have their lifeblood in them.

Genesis 9:5 And murder is forbidden. Animals that kill people must die, and any person who murders must be killed.

Genesis 9:6 Yes, you must execute anyone who murders another person, for to kill a person is to kill a living being made in God’s image.

Genesis 9:7 Now you must have many children and repopulate the earth. Yes, multiply and fill the earth!” (NLT).

St. Matthew 26:47 While he was still speaking, Judas, one of the Twelve, arrived. With him was a large crowd armed with swords and clubs, sent from the chief priests and the elders of the people.

St. Matthew 26:48 Now the betrayer had arranged a signal with them: “The one I kiss is the man; arrest him.”

St. Matthew 26:49 Going at once to Jesus, Judas said, “Greetings, Rabbi!” and kissed him.

St. Matthew 26:50 Jesus replied, “Do what you came for, friend.” Then the men stepped forward, seized Jesus and arrested him.

St. Matthew 26:51 With that, one of Jesus’ companions reached for his sword, drew it out and struck the servant of the high priest, cutting off his ear.

St. Matthew 26:52 “Put your sword back in its place,” Jesus said to him, “for all who draw the sword will die by the sword.

Revelation 6:9 When he opened the fifth seal, I saw under the altar the souls of those who had been slain because of the word of God and the testimony they had maintained.

Revelation 6:10 They called out in a loud voice, “How long, Sovereign Lord, holy and true, until you judge the inhabitants of the earth and avenge our blood?”

Revelation 6:11 Then each of them was given a white robe, and they were told to wait a little longer, until the full number of their fellow servants, their brothers and sisters, were killed just as they had been.

By extension, people who destroy their bodies (by willfully indulging in dangerous lifestyles) and die as a consequence of such bodily harm, cannot be said to have died according to the will of God. For instance, when people drink alcohol excessively and end up with alcoholic liver disease and liver cancer and die thereby, such deaths cannot be attributed to the will of God. Such people clearly violated God’s commandment which forbids excessive consumption of alcohol and drunkenness, and their deaths, which resulted from the violation of God’s commandment, cannot be said to be the will of God. In the same vein, a man who contracted HIV/AIDS from sexual promiscuity or sodomy, and died thereby, cannot be said to have died by the will of God. Such a man died from the consequences of a disease contracted while disobeying the word of God. His death therefore cannot be said to be the will of God. Similarly, a woman who dies while procuring an abortion cannot be said to have died according to God’s will. It is obviously not the will of God when, out of our own rebellion, we disobey God’s commandment and die as a result. It wasn’t the will of God that Adam and Eve should eat of the fruit of the forbidden tree and die thereby. Those who wilfully destroy their bodies through the violation of God’s word will have God to reckon with at the end of the day, for God has promised to destroy those who destroy their bodies, which is the temple of God. That’s the same fate that awaits people who commit suicide and destroy God’s temple thereby. In the church at Corinth, some believers were partaking of the Lord’s Supper in an unworthy manner, and they were falling sick as a result and dying thereby. Surely, such deaths could not have been ascribed to the will of God?

1 Corinthians 3:16 Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst?

1 Corinthians 3:17 If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.

1 Corinthians 6:15 Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ himself? Shall I then take the members of Christ and unite them with a prostitute? Never!

1 Corinthians 6:16 Do you not know that he who unites himself with a prostitute is one with her in body? For it is said, “The two will become one flesh.”

1 Corinthians 6:17 But whoever is united with the Lord is one with him in spirit.

1 Corinthians 6:18 Flee from sexual immorality. All other sins a person commits are outside the body, but whoever sins sexually, sins against their own body.

1 Corinthians 6:19 Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own;

1 Corinthians 6:20 you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.

1 Corinthians 11:23 For I received from the Lord what I also passed on to you: The Lord Jesus, on the night he was betrayed, took bread,

1 Corinthians 11:24 and when he had given thanks, he broke it and said, “This is my body, which is for you; do this in remembrance of me.”

1 Corinthians 11:25 In the same way, after supper he took the cup, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in my blood; do this, whenever you drink it, in remembrance of me.”

1 Corinthians 11:26 For whenever you eat this bread and drink this cup, you proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes.

1 Corinthians 11:27 So then, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord.

1 Corinthians 11:28 Everyone ought to examine themselves before they eat of the bread and drink from the cup.

1 Corinthians 11:29 For those who eat and drink without discerning the body of Christ eat and drink judgment on themselves.

1 Corinthians 11:30 That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep.

1 Corinthians 11:31 But if we were more discerning with regard to ourselves, we would not come under such judgment.

1 Corinthians 11:32 Nevertheless, when we are judged in this way by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be finally condemned with the world.

Romans 1:18 The wrath of God is being revealed from heaven against all the godlessness and wickedness of people, who suppress the truth by their wickedness,

Romans 1:19 since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them.

Romans 1:20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities —his eternal power and divine nature —have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

Romans 1:21 For although they knew God, they neither glorified him as God nor gave thanks to him, but their thinking became futile and their foolish hearts were darkened.

Romans 1:22 Although they claimed to be wise, they became fools

Romans 1:23 and exchanged the glory of the immortal God for images made to look like a mortal human being and birds and animals and reptiles.

Romans 1:24 Therefore God gave them over in the sinful desires of their hearts to sexual impurity for the degrading of their bodies with one another.

Romans 1:25 They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator —who is forever praised. Amen.

Romans 1:26 Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural sexual relations for unnatural ones.

Romans 1:27 In the same way the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust for one another. Men committed shameful acts with other men, and received in themselves the due penalty for their error.

Romans 1:28 Furthermore, just as they did not think it worthwhile to retain the knowledge of God, so God gave them over to a depraved mind, so that they do what ought not to be done.

Romans 1:29 They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips,

Romans 1:30 slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents;

Romans 1:31 they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy.

Romans 1:32 Although they know God’s righteous decree that those who do such things deserve death, they not only continue to do these very things but also approve of those who practice them.

What of people who die as a result of the negligence of others, or the incompetence and carelessness of other people? That would include manslaughter and deaths resulting from professional incompetence and negligence. Are such deaths the will of God? If a doctor neglects to perform his duties to a patient, or carries out the wrong procedure and the patient dies thereby, is such a death the will of God? From the Scriptures, we understand that deaths resulting from negligence are not considered the will of God, for those responsible for the negligence are commanded to be punished by God. God will not prescribe punishment for a man who helped to execute his will! Similarly, accidentally causing another’s death (manslaughter) is also a punishable offence in the Scriptures, and cannot therefore be the will of God. Thus, we can see from Scriptures that any death that cannot be attributed to natural causes, or which does not proceed directly from a divine proclamation, even if permitted by God to happen, cannot be the will of God.

Deuteronomy 22:8 When you build a new house, make a parapet around your roof so that you may not bring the guilt of bloodshed on your house if someone falls from the roof.

Exodus 21:20 “Anyone who beats their male or female slave with a rod must be punished if the slave dies as a direct result,

Exodus 21:21 but they are not to be punished if the slave recovers after a day or two, since the slave is their property.

Exodus 21:22 “If people are fighting and hit a pregnant woman and she gives birth prematurely but there is no serious injury, the offender must be fined whatever the woman’s husband demands and the court allows.

Exodus 21:23 But if there is serious injury, you are to take life for life,

Exodus 21:24 eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,

Exodus 21:25 burn for burn, wound for wound, bruise for bruise.

Exodus 21:28 “If a bull gores a man or woman to death, the bull is to be stoned to death, and its meat must not be eaten. But the owner of the bull will not be held responsible.

Exodus 21:29 If, however, the bull has had the habit of goring and the owner has been warned but has not kept it penned up and it kills a man or woman, the bull is to be stoned and its owner also is to be put to death.

Exodus 21:30 However, if payment is demanded, the owner may redeem his life by the payment of whatever is demanded.

Exodus 21:31 This law also applies if the bull gores a son or daughter.

Finally, when people die without coming to the knowledge of God and without making peace with him, God is not pleased. God does not take pleasure in the death of a sinner, but wishes that all men would repent and come to the knowledge of the truth. Thus, if a wicked person dies in his wickedness without making peace with God, such death is obviously not pleasing to God, and cannot therefore be his will. When we therefore pray for our enemies who have not known God (be they witches or wizards) to die, it is certainly not the will of God. Our prayers for sinners should therefore be for God to convert them, so that they would come to his knowledge and make peace with him. No wonder Jesus prayed for God to have mercy on those who crucified him, and pleaded for their sins not to be laid to their charge. No wonder Stephen prayed for those stoning him to death to be forgiven and to be granted the privilege of experiencing the grace of God in salvation. Through his prayers, Saul, one of his killers, became converted to Paul, the greatest apostle in the history of the church. That certainly was well-pleasing to God!

Ezekiel 33:11 Say to them, ’As surely as I live, declares the Sovereign LORD, I take no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live. Turn! Turn from your evil ways! Why will you die, people of Israel?’

1 Timothy 2:1 I urge, then, first of all, that petitions, prayers, intercession and thanksgiving be made for all people —

1 Timothy 2:2 for kings and all those in authority, that we may live peaceful and quiet lives in all godliness and holiness.

1 Timothy 2:3 This is good, and pleases God our Savior,

1 Timothy 2:4 who wants all people to be saved and to come to a knowledge of the truth.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

2 Timothy 2:23 Don’t have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.

2 Timothy 2:24 And the Lord’s servant must not be quarrelsome but must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.

2 Timothy 2:25 Opponents must be gently instructed, in the hope that God will grant them repentance leading them to a knowledge of the truth,

2 Timothy 2:26 and that they will come to their senses and escape from the trap of the devil, who has taken them captive to do his will.

St. Luke 23:33 When they came to the place called the Skull, they crucified him there, along with the criminals —one on his right, the other on his left.

St. Luke 23:34 Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.” And they divided up his clothes by casting lots.

The Acts 7:54 When the members of the Sanhedrin heard this, they were furious and gnashed their teeth at him.

The Acts 7:55 But Stephen, full of the Holy Spirit, looked up to heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God.

The Acts 7:56 “Look,” he said, “I see heaven open and the Son of Man standing at the right hand of God.”

The Acts 7:57 At this they covered their ears and, yelling at the top of their voices, they all rushed at him,

The Acts 7:58 dragged him out of the city and began to stone him. Meanwhile, the witnesses laid their coats at the feet of a young man named Saul.

The Acts 7:59 While they were stoning him, Stephen prayed, “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit.”

The Acts 7:60 Then he fell on his knees and cried out, “Lord, do not hold this sin against them.” When he had said this, he fell asleep.

The Acts 8:1 And Saul approved of their killing him. On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem, and all except the apostles were scattered throughout Judea and Samaria.

In conclusion, even though death has been decreed upon every man as a consequence of the fall, God’s perfect will is that people would live long on earth and attain old age before dying. Thus, some people dying before reaching old age may not be the will of God. Such premature and unnatural deaths from homicide, suicide, illnesses precipitated by sinful lifestyles and rebellion to God’s word cannot be from the will of God. Thus, some people can die from their own carelessness and self-harm, as well as from the carelessness and wickedness of others. To attribute to God such preventable deaths arising from human failings is erroneous and a gross misunderstanding of the will of God. A change in lifestyle to shun health-destroying habits, living in harmony with God and his word, showing more love towards our neighbours and being more diligent in performing our duties and responsibilities towards others can reduce the incidence of certain premature and unnatural deaths and prolong life on earth. It is therefore wrong to attribute every death to the will of God, as some deaths are obviously not the will of God, and can be prevented by aligning ourselves more with God’s word and by living in obedience to his commandments.

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God Is Going To Burn Up This Earth! Stop Trying To Save A Doomed Planet And Save Your Soul Instead!

(Unless otherwise stated, all Bible quotations are from the New Revised Standard Version).

2 Peter 3:7 But by the same word the present heavens and earth have been reserved for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the godless.

In his second epistle, Peter foretells the destruction of our present world by fire. The earth and the heavens that exist now are reserved for judgement, in the coming day of the Lord, and will be burned up, along with everything in them. Peter goes on to remind us that God has done this before. The antediluvian world was completely destroyed by flood, with only Noah and his family (and the animals with him) preserved in the ark. God promised after the flood that he would not destroy the world with water again. But, he never promised not to destroy the world again, just that next time, it won’t be with water. Here, Peter makes us understand that fire will be the means by which God will destroy this present world.

2 Peter 3:3 First of all you must understand this, that in the last days scoffers will come, scoffing and indulging their own lusts

2 Peter 3:4 and saying, “Where is the promise of his coming? For ever since our ancestors died, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation!”

2 Peter 3:5 They deliberately ignore this fact, that by the word of God heavens existed long ago and an earth was formed out of water and by means of water,

2 Peter 3:6 through which the world of that time was deluged with water and perished.

2 Peter 3:7 But by the same word the present heavens and earth have been reserved for fire, being kept until the day of judgment and destruction of the godless.

2 Peter 3:8 But do not ignore this one fact, beloved, that with the Lord one day is like a thousand years, and a thousand years are like one day.

2 Peter 3:9 The Lord is not slow about his promise, as some think of slowness, but is patient with you, not wanting any to perish, but all to come to repentance.

2 Peter 3:10 But the day of the Lord will come like a thief, and then the heavens will pass away with a loud noise, and the elements will be dissolved with fire, and the earth and everything that is done on it will be disclosed.

Let’s stop and consider this point for a little while. God will destroy the heavens and the earth that exist now with fire. Everything here will be burned up and completely dissolved. Skeptics and critics and unbelievers may doubt it, but that’s okay. People doubted and scoffed at God’s message of the destruction of the antediluvian world by flood in the time of Noah, but that didn’t stop God from executing his judgement at the appointed time. By doubting and scoffing, the unbelievers missed the opportunity to save themselves from the impending catastrophe. Their unbelief didn’t void the word of God, but it sure sealed their doom. Thus, God has decreed destruction upon this present world, and no amount of scoffing against God’s judgement will prevent it from happening at the appointed time.

Genesis 7:1 Then the Lord said to Noah, “Go into the ark, you and all your household, for I have seen that you alone are righteous before me in this generation.

Genesis 7:2 Take with you seven pairs of all clean animals, the male and its mate; and a pair of the animals that are not clean, the male and its mate;

Genesis 7:3 and seven pairs of the birds of the air also, male and female, to keep their kind alive on the face of all the earth.

Genesis 7:4 For in seven days I will send rain on the earth for forty days and forty nights; and every living thing that I have made I will blot out from the face of the ground.”

Genesis 7:5 And Noah did all that the Lord had commanded him.

Genesis 7:6 Noah was six hundred years old when the flood of waters came on the earth.

Genesis 7:7 And Noah with his sons and his wife and his sons’ wives went into the ark to escape the waters of the flood.

Genesis 7:8 Of clean animals, and of animals that are not clean, and of birds, and of everything that creeps on the ground,

Genesis 7:9 two and two, male and female, went into the ark with Noah, as God had commanded Noah.

Genesis 7:10 And after seven days the waters of the flood came on the earth.

Genesis 7:11 In the six hundredth year of Noah’s life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened.

Genesis 7:12 The rain fell on the earth forty days and forty nights.

Genesis 7:13 On the very same day Noah with his sons, Shem and Ham and Japheth, and Noah’s wife and the three wives of his sons entered the ark,

Genesis 7:14 they and every wild animal of every kind, and all domestic animals of every kind, and every creeping thing that creeps on the earth, and every bird of every kind—every bird, every winged creature.

Genesis 7:15 They went into the ark with Noah, two and two of all flesh in which there was the breath of life.

Genesis 7:16 And those that entered, male and female of all flesh, went in as God had commanded him; and the Lord shut him in.

Genesis 7:17 The flood continued forty days on the earth; and the waters increased, and bore up the ark, and it rose high above the earth.

Genesis 7:18 The waters swelled and increased greatly on the earth; and the ark floated on the face of the waters.

Genesis 7:19 The waters swelled so mightily on the earth that all the high mountains under the whole heaven were covered;

Genesis 7:20 the waters swelled above the mountains, covering them fifteen cubits deep.

Genesis 7:21 And all flesh died that moved on the earth, birds, domestic animals, wild animals, all swarming creatures that swarm on the earth, and all human beings;

Genesis 7:22 everything on dry land in whose nostrils was the breath of life died.

Genesis 7:23 He blotted out every living thing that was on the face of the ground, human beings and animals and creeping things and birds of the air; they were blotted out from the earth. Only Noah was left, and those that were with him in the ark.

In view of the impending catastrophe that will consume our world, how should we comport ourselves? Our conservationism will not prevent the world from being destroyed at the appointed time. Our focus on reversing or preventing further changes to the climate, though noble, will not prevent God’s judgement from falling upon the world. Our concerns and frettings about endangered species cannot save them from destruction. As Peter admonished, seeing that the earth and everything in it will be burned up, what kind of people should we be in our relationship with God? What can we do to escape the decreed destruction?

2 Peter 3:11 Since all these things are to be dissolved in this way, what sort of persons ought you to be in leading lives of holiness and godliness,

2 Peter 3:12 waiting for and hastening the coming of the day of God, because of which the heavens will be set ablaze and dissolved, and the elements will melt with fire?

2 Peter 3:13 But, in accordance with his promise, we wait for new heavens and a new earth, where righteousness is at home.

2 Peter 3:14 Therefore, beloved, while you are waiting for these things, strive to be found by him at peace, without spot or blemish;

2 Peter 3:15 and regard the patience of our Lord as salvation. So also our beloved brother Paul wrote to you according to the wisdom given him,

2 Peter 3:16 speaking of this as he does in all his letters. There are some things in them hard to understand, which the ignorant and unstable twist to their own destruction, as they do the other scriptures.

2 Peter 3:17 You therefore, beloved, since you are forewarned, beware that you are not carried away with the error of the lawless and lose your own stability.

2 Peter 3:18 But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.

Our concern should be how to escape the wrath to come, not the conservation of the planet or the preservation of endangered species. We should be seeking a place of safety to shelter inside, like Noah. God’s grace made a way of escape for Noah because of his faith in God. He was commanded to build an ark of safety for himself and his family, and for the animals he was instructed to bring in, in order to preserve life on earth after the flood. Thankfully, God has provided a way of escape for us too. It’s not an ark of wood like Noah’s, for no wood can survive the fire of God’s wrath that will dissolve every element on earth. The new place of safety is in Christ Jesus, for all in Christ will be taken away from the earth, in the rapture, before the destruction of the world with fire.

1 Thessalonians 4:13 But we do not want you to be uninformed, brothers and sisters, about those who have died, so that you may not grieve as others do who have no hope.

1 Thessalonians 4:14 For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have died.

1 Thessalonians 4:15 For this we declare to you by the word of the Lord, that we who are alive, who are left until the coming of the Lord, will by no means precede those who have died.

1 Thessalonians 4:16 For the Lord himself, with a cry of command, with the archangel’s call and with the sound of God’s trumpet, will descend from heaven, and the dead in Christ will rise first.

1 Thessalonians 4:17 Then we who are alive, who are left, will be caught up in the clouds together with them to meet the Lord in the air; and so we will be with the Lord forever.

1 Thessalonians 4:18 Therefore encourage one another with these words.

1 Corinthians 15:51 Listen, I will tell you a mystery! We will not all die, but we will all be changed,

1 Corinthians 15:52 in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound, and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we will be changed.

1 Corinthians 15:53 For this perishable body must put on imperishability, and this mortal body must put on immortality.

1 Corinthians 15:54 When this perishable body puts on imperishability, and this mortal body puts on immortality, then the saying that is written will be fulfilled:
“Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

1 Corinthians 15:55 “Where, O death, is your victory?
Where, O death, is your sting?”

1 Corinthians 15:56 The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law.

1 Corinthians 15:57 But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

1 Corinthians 15:58 Therefore, my beloved, be steadfast, immovable, always excelling in the work of the Lord, because you know that in the Lord your labor is not in vain.

Revelation 3:10 Because you have kept my word of patient endurance, I will keep you from the hour of trial that is coming on the whole world to test the inhabitants of the earth.

Hebrews 12:25 See that you do not refuse the one who is speaking; for if they did not escape when they refused the one who warned them on earth, how much less will we escape if we reject the one who warns from heaven!

Hebrews 12:26 At that time his voice shook the earth; but now he has promised, “Yet once more I will shake not only the earth but also the heaven.”

Hebrews 12:27 This phrase, “Yet once more,” indicates the removal of what is shaken—that is, created things—so that what cannot be shaken may remain.

Hebrews 12:28 Therefore, since we are receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, let us give thanks, by which we offer to God an acceptable worship with reverence and awe;

Hebrews 12:29 for indeed our God is a consuming fire.

Christ Jesus is God’s provided ark of safety to shield humanity from the impending destruction of the world. Jesus came to save men from their sins so that they can save themselves from the wrath of God hanging upon this sin-cursed world. Whoever believes in Christ Jesus as Lord and Savior and obeys his gospel will be saved. Those who reject the gospel will be damned. Just before the destruction of this world by fire, all those in Christ, by virtue of the new birth experience, will be caught up to to meet the Lord in the air, for onward movement to heaven, to partake in the marriage supper of the Lamb, while the world faces the fierce wrath of God’s judgement. Eventually, the heavens and the earth that now exist will be burned up, for a new heaven and a new earth to be set up, that will be filled with righteousness.

St. John 3:14 And just as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of Man be lifted up,

St. John 3:15 that whoever believes in him may have eternal life.

St. John 3:16 “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who believes in him may not perish but may have eternal life.

St. John 3:17 “Indeed, God did not send the Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.

St. John 3:18 Those who believe in him are not condemned; but those who do not believe are condemned already, because they have not believed in the name of the only Son of God.

St. John 3:19 And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and people loved darkness rather than light because their deeds were evil.

St. John 3:20 For all who do evil hate the light and do not come to the light, so that their deeds may not be exposed.

St. John 3:21 But those who do what is true come to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that their deeds have been done in God.”

St. John 3:35 The Father loves the Son and has placed all things in his hands.

St. John 3:36 Whoever believes in the Son has eternal life; whoever disobeys the Son will not see life, but must endure God’s wrath.

St. Mark 16:15 And he said to them, “Go into all the world and proclaim the good news to the whole creation.

St. Mark 16:16 The one who believes and is baptized will be saved; but the one who does not believe will be condemned.

The Acts 2:36 Therefore let the entire house of Israel know with certainty that God has made him both Lord and Messiah, this Jesus whom you crucified.”

The Acts 2:37 Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart and said to Peter and to the other apostles, “Brothers, what should we do?”

The Acts 2:38 Peter said to them, “Repent, and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ so that your sins may be forgiven; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.

The Acts 2:39 For the promise is for you, for your children, and for all who are far away, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to him.”

The Acts 2:40 And he testified with many other arguments and exhorted them, saying, “Save yourselves from this corrupt generation.”

The Acts 2:41 So those who welcomed his message were baptized, and that day about three thousand persons were added.

The Acts 16:29 The jailer called for lights, and rushing in, he fell down trembling before Paul and Silas.

The Acts 16:30 Then he brought them outside and said, “Sirs, what must I do to be saved?”

The Acts 16:31 They answered, “Believe on the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved, you and your household.”

The Acts 16:32 They spoke the word of the Lord to him and to all who were in his house.

The Acts 16:33 At the same hour of the night he took them and washed their wounds; then he and his entire family were baptized without delay.

Romans 10:9 because if you confess with your lips that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Romans 10:10 For one believes with the heart and so is justified, and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.

Romans 10:11 The scripture says, “No one who believes in him will be put to shame.”

Romans 10:12 For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; the same Lord is Lord of all and is generous to all who call on him.

Romans 10:13 For, “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord shall be saved.”

In conclusion, our present Planet Earth has been ear-marked by God for destruction with fire, just as certain as the antediluvian world was destroyed by the great deluge. Scoffers may doubt all they want, but that’s not going to change the course of the world we live in. We can’t save our beloved planet from this impending catastrophe, but we can save ourselves from being part of the carnage, by repenting from our sins, confessing Jesus Christ as the Son of God and our Lord and Saviour, and by getting baptised in his name, to receive his Spirit and become united with him. Only those people who are in Christ are guaranteed safety from the roasting the world is going to experience. Rather than try to save the doomed planet, save yourself from the wrath coming upon the ungodly world of sinners! Abandon the wrecked and sinking vessel called Earth, and jump into the lifeboat called Jesus Christ, to get to safety!

Isaiah 66:22 For as the new heavens and the new earth,
which I will make,
shall remain before me, says the Lord;
so shall your descendants and your name remain.

Hebrews 1:10 And,
“In the beginning, Lord, you founded the earth,
and the heavens are the work of your hands;

Hebrews 1:11 they will perish, but you remain;
they will all wear out like clothing;

Hebrews 1:12 like a cloak you will roll them up,
and like clothing they will be changed.
But you are the same,
and your years will never end.”

Revelation 21:1 Then I saw a new heaven and a new earth; for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and the sea was no more.

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