ince the fall of Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden, Satan and his demons have been working on human beings to further distance them from their Creator, the Sovereign Lord God Almighty. These fiendish forces have experimented with the human race for more than 5,000 years now and have known all our weaknesses. They are supernatural agents inhabiting a realm outside the five senses of humans; they can see us, we can't. They monitor all our activities and none of us is immune to their satanic activities and woe betides anyone who discounts their existence. You see their pernicious activities in the lives of many human beings, and when people they inhabit exhibit the mannerisms of these fallen spirits, a sane mind is mouth agape wondering; can a normal human being behave like this? You read bizarre stories such as; a woman having sex with her dog; a man defiling a 3-year old, a husband who has just killed her wife for money ritual; a father sleeping with his 9- and 10- year old daughters and other bizarre acts that make the heart bleed. The devilish effects of Satan and his fallen angels on the human race were so strong in the Old World that these malevolent demons invaded the physical space of human beings and moved them to commit all sorts of wicked acts; principalities and demonic beings having sex with members of the human race thus polluting the entire world. Genesis 6: 1-4 told us:-"When human beings began to increase in number on the earth and daughters were born to them, the sons of God saw that the daughters of humans were beautiful, and they married any of them they chose….The Nephilim were on the earth in those days-and also afterward-when the sons of God went to the daughters of humans and had children by them. They were the heroes of old, men of renown…" These satanic and demonic activities compelled the Sovereign Lord God Almighty to move in and wipe out the whole human race of that Age with the Great Deluge sparing Noah and his family-eight in all-and out of that Deluge the present world was reborn.
To say we human beings are mere tools in the hands of Satan and his demons would be misplaced or to conclude that we are helpless before them certainly doesn't jibe with scriptures either. Similarly, to peremptorily surmise that the Sovereign Lord God Almighty has left us porous and unprotected before these malevolent spirits will altogether be false. But to deduce that we are also culpable in our individual choices as free human agents created with a Will is true. Until we human beings know and come to the full realization that our individual actions are dictated by our individual wills and whether we are protected by God or destroyed by Satan depends on how we are ready to believe in God and disbelieve Satan and his lies. We are not robots in the spiritual choices of God and Satan. The Bible is unlike all other religious books combined, which prescribed sets of human codes for all human beings to follow. The Holy Bible is not even a religious book, because there is no definitive and final word on the most important issue of human life:-how to change the human heart in all the rest books written for their religious adherents. Every other so-called religious book tells us we should search for the Lord God by following some rules and regulations and somehow we shall find Him. That is why we have Theology, Divinity departments and Religious Studies in our colleges and universities. While we are searching for God elsewhere, the Lord God has revealed Himself fully to us in His immutable Word: the Holy Bible. Consequently, the Holy Bible is not a book of prescribed laws, codes and regulations rather a book of decision. In it, the Lord God Almighty has fully revealed Himself to us in our Lord Jesus Christ and what is required of you and me is: believe in Him, and decide to accept and serve Him, period! Your decision is a matter of your will just as our Lord Jesus Christ told the Jews in John 7: 17:"Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own."
Satan and his demons have been telling lies to human beings right from the Garden of Eden when Satan-the Old Serpent- falsely called God a liar. "You will not certainly die," the serpent said to the woman. "For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil," so Satan told our First Parents in Genesis 3: 4. We knew that the exact opposite was the outcome. No wonder, when the Lord God who gave the warning to Adam and Eve came physically to the earth in our Lord Jesus Christ to rescue us from Satan, He warned us again in John 8: 44 "You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father's desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies." Lie is Satan's native language and he and his demons are still telling lies to many human beings on earth today and regrettably, many human beings have fallen for Satan's artifices. We look at one of such lies this week. The writers of the Word of Life; the Holy Bible were all inspired by the Holy Spirit of God we are told in 2 Timothy 3: 16-17: "All Scripture is God-breathed and is for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." For every human being on the face of the earth to know that we can bank on every word revealed to the authors of scriptures, the Holy Spirit told John to insert these two verses as equivalent of what I will refer to as "scriptural caveat emptor" in Revelation 22: 18-19: "I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this scroll: If anyone adds anything to them, God will add to that person the plagues described in this scroll. And if anyone takes words away from this scroll of prophecy, God will take away from that person any share in the tree of life and in the Holy City, which are described in this scroll." The English Standard Version and indeed, all Bible translations contained these two verses in order to erase any doubt in the minds of believers and puncture Satan's lies thus: "I warn everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues described in this book, and if anyone takes away from the words of the book of this prophecy, God will take away his share in the tree of life and in the holy city, which are described in this book." Some may say tongue-in-cheek; "Those verses were merely referring to the Apocalypse and not the entire Bible." I disagree. This is why the fat lie that Satan has been feeding gullible human beings that somehow our Lord Jesus Christ went to study in India between the ages of thirteen and twenty-nine is ludicrous. This lie is being bandied about in many religious circles and unfortunately in some so-called schools of theology and divinity across the world. Let's examine the evidence right from scripture.
St. Mathew's narratolgical sequence began with the fulfillment of Jewish expectation of a Messiah in tandem with Mosaic eschatology as contained in Deuteronomy 18: 18: " The Lord your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you, from your fellow Israelites. You must listen to him." At the end of the Old Testament, the Lord God reiterated His Coming in the flesh in our Lord Jesus Christ in Malachi 5: 4 thus: "See, I will send the prophet Elijah to you before that great and dreadful day of the LORD comes. He will turn the hearts of the parents to their children, and the hearts of the children to their parents." In order to convince the Jews that our Lord Jesus Christ was the expected Messiah of the Jews to deliver them from foreign domination and Roman suzerainty, Mathew did what none of the Synoptic authors did: he tied the kingship and lordship or the temporal with the spiritual in Christ's genealogy. That was why he began his book with these words in Mathew 1: 1: "This is the genealogy of Jesus the Messiah the son of David, the son of Abraham." Our Lord Jesus Christ was the fulfillment of God's promise to Papa Abraham in Genesis 12: 7: "The LORD appeared to Abram and said, "To your offspring I will give this land." So he built an altar there to the LORD, who had appeared to him." But the plan of the All-Wise and All-Knowing God was for eternal and not political or temporal deliverance that the Jews were looking for and so missed it altogether. That message is still extant and relevant today to wit; fallen humanity cannot be revived by good ideology, political system, self-re-invention and all those man-made renewal efforts. Only the Saving Grace of our Lord and Savior can rescue us from sin. We have been marred by sin beyond self-efforts and this is what the religionist and self-new-agers of the world are missing. They don't seem to get it!
On the other hand, our Lord Jesus Christ also fulfilled the promise that God Almighty made to King David in 2 Chronicles 6: 16:"Now, LORD, the God of Israel, keep for your servant David my father the promises you made to him when you said, 'You shall never fail to have a successor to sit before me on the throne of Israel…" When our Lord Jesus Christ was born by the Virgin Mary-the First and Only of such Birth in human history-as the Messiah, the Wise Men came to Him and He never went to them. Later in Mathew's exegesis, the Jews knew that the Lord Jesus Christ never went to India as Satan is peddling his lie among the spiritually ignorant for they marveled and said in Mathew 13: 53-57 "When Jesus had finished these parables, he moved on from there. Coming to his hometown, he began teaching the people in their synagogue, and they were amazed. "Where did this man get this wisdom and these miraculous powers?" they asked. "Isn't this the carpenter's son? Isn't his mother's name Mary, and aren't his brothers James, Joseph, Simon and Judas? Aren't all his sisters with us? Where then did this man get all these things?" And they took offense at him" This was Nazareth where our Lord Jesus Christ had His formative years and those who knew Him growing up there could attest to His upbringing. If our Lord Jesus Christ had traveled to India as being bandied by cursed Satan and his rebellious hordes, one of these Nazarenes could easily have belched out: "Oh, forget it, we knew how and where He got all these miraculous powers; he went to India." Now let's not stake our conviction on St. Mathew evidence, for after all, he was one of the Inner 12. Let's take a regular man like you and I; Dr Luke.
The Lord God Almighty Who is Sovereign and knows all things knew Satan and his tricks because He created Satan too. That was why the Holy Spirit moved Luke, a Gentile who believed in the Good News and gave his life to our Lord Jesus Christ as Savior like you and I to write a corresponding epistle in the beautiful book that bears his name. Brother Luke wanted to convince non-Jews like us that our Lord Jesus Christ didn't come to save Jews only but all human beings hence he traced the genealogy of the Savior to Adam (Luke 3: 8). Luke probably had an interview with Madam Mary-the Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ- and that was why he enriched us with copious background information found nowhere else in scripture. His account began with the miraculous birth of John the Baptist and the fulfillment of the prayers of Simeon and Anna (Luke 2) to witness the Messiah before their deaths and the prophesies of Zechariah in Luke 1: 67-79 which are some landmark events that any diehard naysayer and reprobate mind would be hard-pressed to discountenance. Considering the fact that Luke was an erudite mind and a physician, a non-Jew and a believer who wanted to provide evidence as he stated in his opening words thus in Luke 1: 1-4: "Many have undertaken to draw up an account of the things that have been fulfilled among us just as they were handed down to us by those who from the first were eyewitnesses and servants of the word. With this in mind, since I myself have carefully investigated everything from the beginning, I too decided to write an orderly account for you, most excellent Theophilus, so that you may know the certainty of the things you have been taught," we should pay attention. In secular history, Theophilus has been identified as Titus Flavius Sabinus of Rome who lived between 8 and 69 A.D. A younger brother of Emperor Vespasianus Augustus of Rome who reigned for ten years from July 1, 69A.D. to June 23, 79A.D, Titus Flavius Sabinus Theophilus gave his life to our Lord Jesus Christ during the First Apostolic Age and was instrumental in Luke's writing of the Book of Luke and Acts of the Apostles. Prof Paul Maier has historically documented this aspect of secular history in his 1981 book: "The Flames of Rome." Again, there is no shred of historical evidence that our Lord Jesus Christ went to India to study between the ages of 13 and 29.
Mathew and Luke did not see each other to cross notes when they penned their epistles. As a matter of fact, they lived in different climes and one was one of the original disciples while the other came to the saving grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ after the Resurrection and Ascent. But scriptural harmony of their epistles could not be faulted, because they were inspired by the same Spirit; the Holy Spirit of God. In Mark 6:2, another writer also corroborated the synoptic narratives of both Mathew and Luke thus: "When the Sabbath came, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many who heard him were amazed. "Where did this man get these things?" they asked. What's this wisdom that has been given him? What are these remarkable miracles he is performing? One was a tax collector, who was reviled and demonized by his own people as a lackey of the oppressive Romans (Mathew 9: 9; 10: 3) but left all and followed He who has all. The other was a medical doctor, a physician who left a thriving medical practice and gave his life to our Lord Jesus Christ (Colossians 4: 14). Luke was with Apostle Paul learning and attending to virtually all his needs during Paul's three missionary journeys (2 Timothy 4: 11 and Philemon 1: 24). These authors/writers: Matthew, Mark and Luke maintained such harmony and accuracy that even geniuses could not rival. They had no need to hide anything about our Lord Jesus Christ. If our Lord Jesus Christ had gone to India to acquire knowledge, they would have told us, because there was no reason to hide that part of His earthly life. But because the King of kings and the Lord of lords was and still is the repository of knowledge and wisdom, the Wise men from India-East-saw "his star when it rose and have come to worship him." (Mathew 2: 2). Not only did the Magi worship and paid respects to the Savior of the world; they didn't leave empty-headed but gave their best to the Redeemer, Hallelujah! So where did this tommyrot of our Lord Jesus Christ going to India between 13 and 29 years of age to learn come from? From Satan and his demons of course! So where was our Lord Jesus Christ then? Certainly in Nazareth, because all the scriptures stated so and the scripture cannot be broken. God the Father Himself stated earlier on that when His only begotten Son appeared to pay our penalty for the sin of the world as prophesied by Isaiah 42: 2-3: "He will not shout or cry out, or raise his voice in the streets. A bruised reed he will not break, and a smoldering wick he will not snuff out." The way of our Lord is indeed different from the way of human beings. The Good Lord is a program-schedule Lord and He carries out His purpose without shout and fanfare. Here is the final admonition to you in keeping your faith and for those who are truthfully desirous of knowing the truth;
A shoot will come up from the stump of Jesse;
from his roots a Branch will bear fruit.
The Spirit of the LORD will rest on him-
the Spirit of wisdom and of understanding,
the Spirit of counsel and of might,
the Spirit of the knowledge and fear of the LORD-
and he will delight in the fear of the LORD.
He will not judge by what he sees with his eyes,
or decide by what he hears with his ears;
but with righteousness he will judge the needy,
with justice he will give decisions for the poor of the earth.
He will strike the earth with the rod of his mouth;
with the breath of his lips he will slay the wicked.
Righteousness will be his belt
and faithfulness the sash around his waist (Isaiah 11: 1-5).
Do not let Satan and his demons, working with their human hirelings lure you to the nether gloom with their lie. The choice is yours.
ISSUE OF THE WEEK:
Re-Anointing Oil Is Simply a Mosquito Repellent - Pastor Tunde Bakare
As a matter of principle, I hate commenting on statements credited to fellow men and women of God, especially when such statements are given prominence in the secular media. I know the inner workings of the mass media like the back of my palms so when the secular media report with glee statements made by men and women of God, I securitized such media reports carefully. As a media insider myself, I know the pyramid approach mentality and the overriding motive of marketability that writ large in most media coverage of people of faith, either here in the United States or anywhere in any part of the world. But more importantly, I demur in commenting on controversial statements credited to prominent men and women of God because we will playing into the hands of Satan and his demons, including their unknown human agents who want to divide us and devour us. But when such statements are capable of shipwrecking the faith of many, we should stand up and condemn such statements. I have done that in this column in the past and I think there is the need right now to call Pastor Bakare out in the following media reports and statements credited to him. Here is the news report:- "While ministering in church on Sunday, March 6, General Overseer of the Latter Rain Assembly and former Vice Presidential candidate under the Congress for Progressive Change, Pastor Tunde Bakare reportedly stated that anointing oil was like mosquito repellant. Condemning its use and those of anointed handkerchief, Holy Communion, communion of sprinkling, Shiloh sacrifice, Pastor Bakare, according to DailyPost, told his congregation: "I am not against Anointing Oil. The thing is, it's a Jewish Culture. They rub it on their bodies as protection against insects like your mosquito repellents. It was used extensively in the old testament for anointing …It is the power of God that heals, not the Oil"
Did Pastor Bakare make those statements? Did the man of God and head pastor at Latter Rain Church at Ikeja, Lagos Nigeria make those statements credited to him? I wish any of his parishioners reading this will bring this column article to his attention so he can clarify what he meant by the above statements. Until I hear those clarifications, I will not comment further on the media reports.
LETTERS OF THE WEEK:
We will treat all our letters as one and at the same time in this column next week.