he was a Holy Spirit-filled child of the Living God. Those who saw and knew her couldn't doubt her salvation. In deeds and words, she was a "saved" soul until her husband crossed her path. Mrs. B. as we shall call her was betrayed and devastated. Her husband of nearly 30 years had been cheating on her and she asked the Lord what her reward was as a Christ-believer. Mr. B. wasn't a believer as such and everyone knew him as the Achan in his household. Mrs. B. gave her life to the Lord few years after her marriage to Mr. B. Her prayer and the church congregation which her husband made a token appearance once in a while had been interceding on his behalf so he would yield fully to the Lord. But when Mrs. B. discovered that her husband's paramour was planning to upstage her, she began to doubt whether the Lord Jesus Christ Who she was serving with total commitment was really in charge. "Others who do not serve You as I do have stable families and loving husbands," Mr. B. soliloquized, "but me your loyal and dedicated worshipper get this as a reward? What then do we gain in serving You O Lord?" As Mrs. B. ruminated over the disloyalty and betrayal of her husband of nearly three decades, the worst was in the offing. In between the time of her husband's betrayal and the unexpected, the five demonic spirits of anger, bitterness, hatred, vengeance, and un-forgiveness (1 Samuel 24: 12; Amos 5: 7; Acts 8: 23; Ephesians 4: 31; and Romans 12: 17) invaded the mind of Mrs. B. Because these foul spirits are associates and travel in group, the Holy Spirit spoke to Mrs. B. "My daughter, give me all the anger, hatred, bitterness, vengeance and un-forgiveness and let me deal with them," but Mrs. B. was unyielding. As the Good Lord God Almighty warned in Deuteronomy 29:18: "Make sure there is no man or woman, clan or tribe among you today whose heart turns away from the Lord our God to go and worship the gods of those nations; make sure there is no root among you that produces such bitter poison," and also in Hebrews 12:15: "See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many."
Mrs. B. allowed anger and bitterness to fester instead of listening to the Holy Spirit. Since Satan and his demons enlarge their territories in the hearts of men and women once we do not put on the full and whole armor of God or carelessly yield even a scintilla of ground to him and his minions as commanded in Ephesians 6:13: "Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand," Satan upped the ante. Mrs. B. came home unexpectedly one afternoon and saw her husband making love to his paramour on their matrimonial bed. She snapped. Blinded with rage and furious, she lost it in an instant. She reached for a gun and shot her husband and the mistress dead. The she turned the gun on herself and switched the trigger. She went to hell.
Mr. T. gave his life to the Lord in his mid-20s and never looked back. He knew the Bible very well. He could preach and shake the ground. He was a pastor and knew the Word of Life. He relocated to the United States with his family and the Good Lord blessed him. Rather than rededicate himself to the Good Lord, he convinced his wife to let him return to Africa to engage in business. It was a lie. He wanted to return to Africa to engage in extra-marital affairs. Unbeknown to his wife here in the United States, Mr. T. was living large in Africa; women of all shades were streaming in and out of his house. As he began to love more of the world than the Good Lord who die for him and us all; his eternal destination took back burner. Satan has a way of accusing us to ourselves. He is the accuser, but not always does Satan accuse us to the Lord God Almighty. When you are in sin as a born-again Christian, Satan doesn't accuse you to the Father, he accuses you to you. Only those who are involved in spiritual warfare does Satan accuse to the Father. The devil and his demons know the rules of the game very well. As Apostle John aptly remarked in 1 John 3: 21: "Dear friends, if our hearts do not condemn us, we have confidence before God." (The Good News Translation renders it beautifully thus: "And so, my dear friends, if our conscience does not condemn us, we have courage in God's presence-1 John 3: 21). For the human conscience is the thermometer that the Lord God Almighty has put in the human spirit of every soul on earth to regulate morals; both believers and unbelievers alike. For us born-again Christians, the conscience, alongside the Intuition in the redeemed soul's working in tandem with the Holy Spirit which regulates what is of God, of us and of Satan. Once we yield a foot to Satan and his demons, the conscience disconnects with the Intuition and a clear conscience (Genesis 20: 6 and Acts 24: 16) turns into guilty conscience (Hebrews 10: 22) and if a born-again child of the Living God trifles with sin for long without dealing with any known sin through confession, Satan and his demons pummel the guilty conscience further and turns it into a seared conscience (1 Timothy 4: 2).
Mr. T. reached that stage in his Christian life when, as Apostle Paul noted in Colossians 2:19; "lost contact with the head" (that is the Holy Spirit Who is Jesus Christ) (Colossians 2:19 - They have lost connection with the head, from whom the whole body, supported and held together by its ligaments and sinews, grows as God causes it to grow." He was sleeping with another man's wife in Africa while his family was here in the US and the husband of the cheating wife found out and Mr. T. was eventually murdered in clod blood. When the news reached us here in the United States, all of us were sad and devastated. His wife asked me if he would make it to heaven and I said; No. These two anecdotal incidents, sad as they seemed were indeed real. They happened and I knew the two characters. You see, born-again Christians who have lost connection with the head as Apostle Paul pointed out in Colossians 2: 19 above take refuge in that self-consolation naivety that is biblically-erroneous and unfounded refrain: "Once a born-again Christian, you're a born-again Christian forever and can never miss heaven." Pastors and Christian leaders that parrot this biblical gobbledygook call it: "eternal salvation" which is neither in the Holy Bible nor taught by our Lord Jesus Christ.
The Lord God Almighty told Ezekiel to tell the Israelites who took refuge in that self-delusion that, because they were a chosen generation, they could sin cavalierly and receive mere slap in the wrist. In Ezekiel 18: 20-24, God warned: "The one who sins is the one who will die. The child will not share the guilt of the parent, nor will the parent share the guilt of the child. The righteousness of the righteous will be credited to them, and the wickedness of the wicked will be charged against them. But if a wicked person turns away from all the sins they have committed and keeps all my decrees and does what is just and right, that person will surely live; they will not die None of the offenses they have committed will be remembered against them. Because of the righteous things they have done, they will live. Do I take any pleasure in the death of the wicked? declares the Sovereign LORD. Rather, am I not pleased when they turn from their ways and live? But if a righteous person turns from their righteousness and commits sin and does the same detestable things the wicked person does, will they live? None of the righteous things that person has done will be remembered. Because of the unfaithfulness they are guilty of and because of the sins they have committed, they will die." Each time the word; "die" is used in the Bible and credited as logos Word: that is, word that came directly from God and not indirect speech, it means: "eternal separation from God and not physical death as we know it among human beings. Any time God wants to refer to physical death as known to human beings, He calls it "sleep." (John 11: 11-13 "After he had said this, he went on to tell them, "Our friend Lazarus has fallen asleep; but I am going there to wake him up." His disciples replied, "Lord, if he sleeps, he will get better." Jesus had been speaking of his death, but his disciples thought he meant natural sleep." There are many words such as this in the Holy Bible like steal, rob, temple, honor, joy, happiness, idols, etc. Their meanings are different from the ordinary meanings ascribed to such words by us human beings.)
The children of Israel represented by their elders came to Ezekiel and disputed with him that the righteousness of the Patriarchs would surely save them. Ezekiel told them the angst and wrath of the Lord God Almighty was after them, because they did abominable things worse than the children of the Canaanites that the Lord God drove from the Land. To reiterate the warning He earlier gave to His people in order to save them from the coming disaster over the land because of their sins and lawlessness, God told Ezekiel again in Ezekiel 33: 12-16: "Therefore, son of man, say to your people, 'If someone who is righteous disobeys, that person's former righteousness will count for nothing. And if someone who is wicked repents, that person's former wickedness will not bring condemnation. The righteous person who sins will not be allowed to live even though they were formerly righteous.' If I tell a righteous person that they will surely live, but then they trust in their righteousness and do evil, none of the righteous things that person has done will be remembered; they will die for the evil they have done. And if I say to a wicked person, 'You will surely die,' but they then turn away from their sin and do what is just and right- if they give back what they took in pledge for a loan, return what they have stolen, follow the decrees that give life, and do no evil-that person will surely live; they will not die. None of the sins that person has committed will be remembered against them. They have done what is just and right; they will surely live." (Please read the whole of the 33 verses in that Ezekiel 33 to grasp the Mind of the Lord God Almighty).
But someone would say; "But that was the Old Testament, when people were under the Law, but now we are under Grace, and the righteousness we have now is from the Lord Jesus Christ and so its forever." There are two truths contained in that cheeky statement. First; the Lord God Almighty who inspired the words of the Old Testament is the same who inspired the New Testament and thus cannot contradict Himself. Second, anywhere in the Bible you see two or three repetitions of the same themes or statements either in the Old or New Testaments, it simply means those words are immutable, for God cannot lie (Titus 1:2). Third, the righteousness that our Lord Jesus Christ procured for us on Calvary is generic and for the whole world, whoever taps into that righteousness will be saved. After obtaining that righteousness of Jesus Christ (Romans 10: 9-10) and it is confirmed with the Holy Spirit (Romans 8: 9), you also have a part to play in keeping the fire of the Holy Spirit burning, thus, we are admonished by Apostle Paul in Philippians 2:12: "Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed-not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence-continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling." That verse didn't say we "should work out our salvation…"because the Lord Jesus Christ had already worked and won it for us on Calvary but that verse said; "continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling." It means, "to continue" and the fear there means "reverence for the salvation that Christ worked and won through the shedding of His Blood," and trembling there means: "holiness and sobriety." Again, the Book of Hebrews underscored this Deistic ontology when it says in Hebrews 3: 12: "See to it, brothers and sisters, that none of you has a sinful, unbelieving heart that turns away from the living God." The New Living Translation renders Hebrews 3: 12 plainly this way: Hebrews 3:12 - "Be careful then, dear brothers and sisters. Make sure that your own hearts are not evil and unbelieving, turning you away from the living God."
Mrs. B. and Mr. T. above didn't turn away from the living God, but their hearts were evil and if the Lord God Almighty were to invoke His sovereign powers to give both of them passes into heaven, six demonic spirits too must be allowed to enter into heaven too: hatred, vengeance, un-forgiveness, murder, sexual immorality and thefts (Revelation 9: 21). The salvation of the human soul-for those who tap into it-was vouchsafed for the human race only by the Blood and Death by Crucifixion of Jesus Christ and His resurrection three days later. Committing such righteousness unto us requires reverence and appreciation, thus to live and treat this righteousness with levity and abandon itself is a sin. As a matter of fact, the Hebraic literature says those who do that are crucifying the Lord Jesus Christ all over again and Satan visits his venomous hatred on such people more than those who walked into hell ignorantly and unbelievably.
Working out our individual salvation with reverence for the righteousness procured for us as born-again Christians (by the way, every human soul on earth can also tap into this righteousness and thus non-exclusive, but it is an individual choice) by our Lord Jesus Christ on Calvary is a continuous one. Consequently, in "continue to work out our salvation with fear and trembling," such epistemological truth in Cartesian philosophy is basically ontological rather than teleological. In arriving at scriptural harmony as elucidated from both the Old and New Testaments above, our Lord Jesus Christ précis our submission thus in Mathew 24: 13: "but the one who stands firm to the end will be saved." The New King James Version says: "But he who endures to the end shall be saved" while the English Revised Version put it this way: "But the person that continues strong to the end will be saved." I love the way the Good News Translation renders that Mathew 24: 13: "But whoever holds out to the end will be saved."
In all Bible translations of that Mathew 24: 13, there is nil-ambiguity of the telos of the Christian journey defined by time and space. It commences with the beginning of the Christian race, the mid-point and then the final finish line. The beginning is when you gave your life to the Lord Jesus Christ and made open confession of Him as your Lord and Savior. The mid-point is when you start to work for Him and carry out your earthly assignment and the end is when you leave this earth physically either at 30, 70 or 100 years. The word: "end" at "But the person that continues strong to the end will be saved," in Mathew 24: 13 is not referring to the "end of the world," or the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ but when you die and depart this world. No Christian gets any reward for beginning the Christian journey and ending it at mid-point and certainly no one is saved until he/she enters heaven. This was why our Lord Jesus Christ gave three pithy and epigrammatic parables of the Christian Walk namely: (1) the Parable of the 10 Virgins (Mathew 25: 1-12); (2) the Parable of the Laborers in the Vineyard (Mathew 20: 1-6), and (3) the Parable of the Talents (Mathew 25-14-30).
The great classic, Pilgrim's Progress penned by that 17th century English wordsmith; Paul Bunyan re-echoes daily the Christian Walk and the motifs speak loudly and irreverently to our Christian Pilgrimage. As our Lord Jesus Christ continuously warned us and draws our ears: "Watch and pray and let him/her who has ears to hear, hear." Christian and Faithful couldn't have made it through the Valley of Death without their faith and intense warfare while Christiana and her fellow pilgrims would have perished in Vanity Fair without the single-minded commitment of Mr. Great Heart in Pilgrim's Progress. Messrs. Demas, Heedless, Fearing, and the rest characters could not make it to the Celestial City in that great classic even though they all began their journeys well but we saw what distracted them off the glorious end. It is unscriptural for any pastor or so-called man/woman of God to preach that once you are saved, you are saved. Fact is; there is nothing known as eternal security in salvation. It is unscriptural and unbiblical. Many Christian pilgrims started very well but soon got distracted and dropped the ball. If the Christian salvation is done deal the moment you began the race, then it is not a race for in every race, you must struggle to reach the finish line. If the Christian Salvation is a cake walk, then there is nothing to endure. You need endurance in the Journey of Life precisely because it is hard and narrow as Jesus Christ said (Mathew 7: 13). May we not end up like Mrs. B. and Mr. T. above in Jesus Mighty Name, Amen?
WORLD PROPHECY: This is huge! Something of global importance, an earth-shattering event and a cosmic occurrence is in the offing in the world. I don't know what it is but the Holy Bible has predicted it and we shall all see it with our very eyes soon. This event is part of end-time prophecy and it's about to take place very, very soon in the next 12 to 24 months. I don't know what it is; I repeat again, I wasn't shown what it is but again, it's HUGE. The whole world will be shocked; from the rising of the sun to the setting of the sun; from the East to the West; from the South to the North, the planet earth is about to witness a catastrophic event. The Divine Hand of God Almighty, the Creator of the heavens and the universe, Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is about to intervene in the affairs of humanity. The world media, the commentariat, the scientists, the astrologers, the men and women of earthly wisdom and their ilk will be talking their heads out but will not be able to explain but those who know the True God will be unshaken and unperturbed. What is it? I wasn't shown but was only told (Luke 21:11 & 25).
I have been repeating the above prophetic words almost a year since this column debuted and as events unfold around the world, I will not comment on the unfolding drama in Syria. Also in the news is the current rapprochement between Washington DC and Tehran. The other day, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with President Obama on the new tune being sung by the Ayatollahs of Iran on the sanctions crippling their nation. We will not comment on the recent U.S. Government shut-down too, which has come and gone, but may occur I the near future. Again, let's keep our fingers crossed as events play out in the most volatile areas of the world, but one thing is certain, biblical prophecies are being fulfilled right before our eyes.
FINAL WORDS: I thank all those who sent us gifts and presents and wished us happy Christmas and I wish them the say, but I want to let everyone know that personally, I do not celebrate Christmas. One of these days when all the sing and song of the Yuletide are over and the din will not obscure my message, I will lay out the reasons that I do not celebrate Christmas. We will see in the New Year in Jesus Mighty Name, Amen.