TODAY’S DEVOTION (MONDAY 22ND AUGUST 2022)
Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul.
And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch. Acts 11:25-26 NKJV
WELCOME TO THE 234TH DAY OF OUR YEAR OF AMAZING GRACE!
It has been 234 days of riding on the wings of God’s faithfulness and running on the fuel of His grace and mercies.
We bless the LORD our God for keeping us alive, being our refuge, directing our lives and doing much more than we can ever ask or think.
If God’s grace is not running your life, especially this end times, so many things will ruin it. Diseases will ruin your life; people who do not want to see you alive will ruin your life, lack and poverty will ruin your life, insecurity will ruin your life, evil forces and parading princes of darkness will ruin your life.
The Bible says the whole world lies under the saw of the wicked one.
Sometimes you are not the problem, neither are you the cause of a mishap, but someone the enemy has swayed will bring it to your door step.
There are innocent people who the enemy has swayed people to kill or destroy.
For instance, the corona virus was reported to have been created by someone I believe the the enemy swayed. According to reports, it escaped from a lab. Many believe it did not just escape, it was created and made to escape.
Now, see the kind of devastation it brought upon human lives.
So many precious people died by it. It killed people who had nothing to do with the lab. Someone reading this may have lost a love one. It took away many prominent men and women who have impact mankind positively. The Bible says;
“The thief’s purpose is to steal, kill and destroy. My purpose is to give life in all its fullness.” John 10:10 TLB
Whatever is not of God will not give life in a peaceful atmosphere, it will take life instead.
The virus was a creation of one the evil one swayed, taking away some of the best of the human race. Many wonderful preachers where taken, many wonderful politicians who shaped the destiny of their nations like, J.J. Rawlings, were taken.
IT KILLED THE CREAM OF THE CREAM OF THE HUMAN RACE IN SO MANY NATIONS OF THE WORLD.
The Vatican lost so many precious people. Some even gave their lives to save others.
The medical field lost so many doctors and nurses who today should be considered heroes. It was a terrible pestilence that was created by someone or some people who were swayed by the evil one.
The evil one does not create terrible things directly most times. He creates them through people he has swayed to create them. For those of us who survives the virus, it was just by God’s grace because some of those it killed were even more righteous than us.
But the Bible says;
“It is of the LORD’s mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassion fail not. They are new every morning: great is thy faithfulness.” Lamentation 3:22-23 KJV
The greatest security of an earthly life is the grace of our LORD and savior Jesus Christ. If you do not have it, it does not matter what you have. Whoever the enemy sway can take you out successfully.
The only thing that can effectively stop people from being swayed by the enemy is discipleship. Because even Christians who became one without going through the process of discipleship can be swayed to destroy.
Talking about discipleship, there are those with opportunity to be discipled and transformed who are resisting it, thereby becoming tools in the hands of the enemy.
For example, people like Judas Iscariot had no reason to betray the LORD because he was one of the most loved. But he resisted the word of the LORD from touching his heart, hence becoming a vessel in the hands of the evil one.
All the disciples betrayed the LORD in one way or another, but only Judas’ betrayal came from the sway of the evil one. That was why only his got the LORD killed.
When people are swayed by the evil one, there will be death, loses and destruction.
The rest of the disciples betrayed Jesus by departing from Him in His darkest moment; Peter denied him, not because he or others were swayed by the evil one, but because they were weak in mind and spirit.
THEY ALL RAN FOR THEIR LIVES.
The difference between the person who is doing things because the enemy swayed them, and the one doing it because of the weakness of the mind and spirit is like day and night.
One will kill, steal and destroy, but the other will make no significant negative effect on the purposes of GOD.
Can you imagine if Christ was not the redemption lamb of GOD, and Judas betray Him like that, and got him killed, that would have been the end of everything. Being a redemption lamb was what turned the tide against the evil one.
There are people who have been betrayed and killed that way but never resurrected because they were not the redemptive lamb of GOD.
One who is swayed by the enemy will not necessarily kill you; he will just hand you over to your killers, most times for nothing, other times for a temporary financial gain or any other benefit. Jesus said one of the horrors of the last days will be senseless betrayal.
The prophecy said;
“Then they will deliver you up to tribulation and kill you, and you will be hated by all nations for My name’s sake. And then many will be offended, will betray one another, and will hate one another.
Then many false prophets will rise up and deceive many.” Matthew 24:9-11 NKJV
This one scriptural passage is loaded with so much. It shows us events to expect in our age and times. It is a Bible prophecy.
One of the events it shows us is the rise of false prophets, false teachers and false anointing to deceive people. It shows us that these manifestations of falsehood will rise from spiritual fountains of offence lying deep in the hearts of those who will operate in them.
Meaning, we should watch against offenses taking resident in our hearts. Once we are offended, we can attract a lying spirit to our hearts.
WE CAN BE SWAYED BY THE ENEMY TO LIE, BETRAY, DELIVER INNOCENT PEOPLE TO BE KILLED, MAKE THE RIGHTEOUS TO BE HATED AND ETC.
Bible prophecy made it clear that because of offence, many will be swayed by the evil one to destroy others by handing them over to those who want them destroyed or killed through betrayal.
That is why we must be careful not to be swayed by the evil one. And the only way to do that is to make sure our Christianity is born out of discipleship not just the recitation of a sinner’s prayer.
It is so sad that a lot of what we call Christianity today was not born out of discipleship. That is why we have so much falsehood in the Church. That is why we have doctrines of devils among preachers. You see all kinds of scandals among us.
You hear some preachers calling teachings that enforce righteousness “ministry of condemnation” and all that. You hear others saying the Bible is not the word of GOD. But contain the word of GOD; reducing GOD’s book to a text book on religious studies in the Universities.
If your Christianity was not born out of discipleship, either because there was no opportunity for that to happen, or because you resisted it, you will have a heart that can be swayed by the evil one.
You will be swayed to say things like what we hear today and still call yourself a child of God. When you are confronted publicly, you will accuse people of misquoting you. You will be swayed to destroy those God raise in our days to prevent pollutions from getting into Christianity.
One of those you will be swayed to destroy are spiritual fathers whose lives are built around the Tree of life to protect the faith. You will be swayed to destroy them because of the apostolic truths that may be coming out of their mouth to unveil errors and nuetralise the evil works of the religious establishments.
By GOD’s grace our fathering system is built around the tree of life to do that and much more, and we have faced so much in the hands of preachers and believers alike whose heart have been swayed to destroy us.
The Testimony of Jesus Christ on our lips is an offence to them; a testimony that calls the sick church what it is and offer ways to come out of religious darkness.
THE TESTIMONY OF JESUS CHRIST IS NOT SOMETHING THAT IS PALATABLE TO ANY UNGODLY RELIGIOUS ESTABLISHMENT
That is why today, we have preachers whose hearts are being swayed by the evil one to protect preachers they call spiritual fathers, with the aim of blinding the eyes of the Church from seeing how their ministries are destroying the faith that was once delivered to the saints.
A spiritual fathering that is built around the Tree of life will stand as a watch over the souls of men and a prophetic warning finger against false doctrines, and all man-made teachings in Church. It will confront all who call themselves apostles but practices error and charismatic witchcraft calling it prophetic acts.
They will point out to you, which doctrines are not doctrines of Christ but money-making doctrines.
They will warn you of false apostles or antichrist practices and teaches perpetrated by those people you call apostles. You see that in the life and ministry of Paul. He described these kinds of apostles in one of his fiery letters to the Corinthian Church. He said;
“For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into apostles of Christ.
And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light. Therefore, it is no great thing if his ministers also transform themselves into ministers of righteousness, whose end will be according to their works. 2 Corinthians 11:13-15 NKJV
There are so many false apostles today who are going about teaching and demonstrating things that are not forming Christ in people but increasing their relevance and revenues. They make people pay huge sums of money for altar raising, breaking or silencing, a major doctrine of devils.
The spiritual fathering of false apostles may look good to you but its is not usually built around the Tree of life. That is why it births a Christianity that is not born out of discipleship but just a sinner’s prayer.
THE CHRISTIANITY OF MANY TODAY WAS BORN JUST OUT OF A SINNER’S PRAYER BECAUSE OF THE KIND OF SPIRITUAL FATHERS WE HAVE TODAY.
They do crusades or conduct Church services then bring people out to recite a sinner’s prayer and then say “they are born again.” That is a scam that you will never know it is until you study your Bible to know what born again is.
A spiritual fathering built around other things other than the Tree of life will call the recitation of the sinner’s prayer salvation. It will not birth you into the kingdom through discipleship.
When we say discipleship, we are not referring to the discipleship classes of your church. That is membership class not discipleship class. Discipleship, as presented by Christ, is a lifestyle not a class.
Jesus said we should make men His disciples. That is the main thrust of the great commission.
Let me reiterate again that authentic Christianity is not born out of a sinner’s prayer. Christianity was original born out of discipleship not a recitation of the sinner’s prayer. Which brings us to our devotional text.
The text says;
“Then Barnabas departed for Tarsus to seek Saul.
And when he had found him, he brought him to Antioch. So it was that for a whole year they assembled with the church and taught a great many people. And the disciples were first called Christians in Antioch.” Acts 11:25-26 NKJV
This scripture made it clear that authentic Christianity is born out of discipleship not a recitation of the sinner’s prayer. You must be schooled in the things of GOD to be born again. Discipleship is not a class but a lifestyle we come into through the teaching of the doctrine of Christ.
If you look at this scripture, you can find the difference between the church in Jerusalem, where oil was still being used as a symbol of the Holy Spirit despite Pentecost as typified in the book of James, and the Church in Antioch.
You will find out that believers where not first called Christians in the Church at Jerusalem which was established long before the Church in Antioch. Ordinarily that should have been the birth place of the word “Christian” but it was not.
Why? The mixture of Judaism with the faith Jesus came to birth was the reason!
The Church in Antioch was a place where sound apostolic teachings where taught but the Church in Jerusalem still had a mixture of Judaism at that time, hence the people could not see Christ in them. They only saw Moses, hence not calling them Christians or little Christ.
There is so much but we have to stop here.
As we bring this to a close, I want to submit that we need spiritual fathers who will tell us things that will form Christ in us and make us His disciples not things will make us exclusive spiritual sons of men of GOD.
MAKE THIS SCRIPTURE AN ADDITIONAL MEDITATION OF THE DAY
We have heard with our ears, O God, Our fathers have told us, The deeds You did in their days, In days of old:
You drove out the nations with Your hand, But them You planted; You afflicted the peoples, and cast them out. For they did not gain possession of the land by their own sword, Nor did their own arm save them; But it was Your right hand, Your arm, and the light of Your countenance, Because You favored them.
You are my King, O God; Command victories for Jacob. Through You we will push down our enemies; Through Your name we will trample those who rise up against us.
For I will not trust in my bow, nor shall my sword save me. But You have saved us from our enemies, and have put to shame those who hated us.
In God we boast all day long, and praise Your name forever. Selah Psalm 44:1-8 NKJV