ERRORS OF THE WORD OF FAITH – YOU ARE GODS 

By: Abiodun Jemilehun


ERRORS OF THE WORD OF FAITH – YOU ARE GODS

The main pillar on which the Word of Faith hangs is the thought that the Christian is a god! Faith teachers teach that since the Christian is a child of God, it implies that he is also a god because like begets like. They claim that the man in Christ is in the class of God by virtue of his faith. He has a creative ability like God and can speak things into existence just like God spoke the world into existence in the book of Genesis. All these they premise on John 10:34-35.

“34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods”’? 35 If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken).” (John 10:34-35)

Is it true that the man in Christ is a god?

We have to start by firstly comparing the characteristics of the true God to those of the man in Christ.

First, there is only one God, according to the Scripture. All other gods are false. So, the man in Christ cannot be a god. Though he has the Spirit of God in him, he is human.

“Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.” (Mar 12:29)

“5 For although there may be so-called gods in heaven or on earth-as indeed there are many “gods” and many “lords”- 6 yet for us there is one God, the Father, from whom are all things and for whom we exist, and one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom are all things and through whom we exist. (1Co 8:5-6)

How a Christian could refer to himself as a god despite these scriptures and several similar ones that speak clearly to the contrary beats my imagination.

Second, God has no beginning and end. He was not created and He does not die. Though the man in Christ has eternal life by faith, he was created and “recreated” by God and he dies in the natural. Therefore, he is not a god. He is a full-blooded man.

Third, the true God is all-powerful (omnipotent), all-knowing (omniscient) and present everywhere (omnipresent). We know that the Christian does not possess any of these attributes, hence, he is not a god. He is a man.

Forth, God is perfect. He has no flaws. We know that the Christian man is imperfect. Though he is legally righteous before God, practically speaking he makes mistakes, thence, he is not a god.

Fifth, God is autonomous. He is self-existing. He acts independently. He does not derive His authority from anyone. The man in Christ is dependent. Though he has a reasonable level of latitude to act, he will give account of his actions to God one day. His authority is a delegated one. Christ gave it to him. This simply shows that he is not a god.

What message was Jesus getting across to the Jews in John 10:34-35?

The event that led to Jesus’s comment in that Bible passage happened after He healed the man who was born blind in John chapter 9. One must at least read from verse 22 to 36 of John 10 to get Jesus’ message clearly. For the purpose of this discourse, we would cite verse 30-36.

“30 I and My Father are one.”31 Then the Jews took up stones again to stone Him. 32 Jesus answered them, “Many good works I have shown you from My Father. For which of those works do you stone Me?”33 The Jews answered Him, saying, “For a good work we do not stone You, but for blasphemy, and because You, being a Man, make Yourself God.”34 Jesus answered them, “Is it not written in your law, ‘I said, “You are gods”’? 35 If He called them gods, to whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), 36 do you say of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, ‘You are blaspheming,’ because I said, ‘I am the Son of God’?” (John 10:30-36)

The Jews came to Jesus asking Him to tell them in clear terms if He was the Messiah. Jesus answered that He had told them in the past that He is but they would not believe. He reprimanded them that the works (the miracles) he performed in His Father’s name bore witness to his Messiahship but they would not believe. In verse 30, Jesus stated categorically that the Father and Himself are one. This offended the Jews because they interpreted it to mean that He equated Himself with God. They picked up stones to kill Him for blasphemy. Jesus then quoted Psalm 82:6 to educate them.

“I said, “You are gods, And all of you are children of the Most High.” (Psalm 82:6)

Again, we have to examine the whole of Psalm 86 in order to understand what God said through Asaph the Psalmist here.

“1 God stands in the congregation of the mighty; He judges among the gods. 2 How long will you judge unjustly, And show partiality to the wicked? Selah 3 Defend the poor and fatherless; Do justice to the afflicted and needy. 4 Deliver the poor and needy; Free them from the hand of the wicked. 5 They do not know, nor do they understand; They walk about in darkness; All the foundations of the earth are unstable. 6 I said, “You are gods, And all of you are children of the Most High. 7 But you shall die like men, And fall like one of the princes.” 8 Arise, O God, judge the earth; For You shall inherit all nations.” (Psalm 82:1-8)

The Hebrew word translated “gods” in this Bible passage is “Elohiym.” It occurred 2601 times in the Old Testament part of the KJV Bible. Elohiym is a plural word (gods) that is generally used for the supreme God. It is also used for false gods and occasionally used in deference to magistrates (judges). For example, Elohiym is translated as “Judges” in Exodus 21:6, Exodus 22:8 and Exodus 22:9.

“If the thief is not found, then the master of the house shall be brought to the JUDGES (Elohiym) to see whether he has put his hand into his neighbor’s goods.” (Exo 22:8)

God’s message in Psalm 82 is very clear. He addressed the corrupt Judges of Israel who perverted justice. They could have done this as a result of bribery and corruption.

We know that justice primarily belongs to God. Judges are God’s delegates in the dispensation of justice to man. Therefore, God referred to them as gods because they perform a function that primarily belongs to Him. This is the sense in which the word “gods” was used in the Mosaic Law and Psalm 82 in deference to Judges. God didn’t refer to them as “gods” who are in the class of the supreme God as the faith teachers teach. God stated this without ambiguity in verse 7 as he reminded them of their humanity and mortality.

“6 Didn’t I commission you as judges, saying, ‘You are all like gods, since you judge on my behalf. You are all like sons of the Most High, my representatives.’ 7 Nevertheless, in death you are nothing but mere men! You will be laid in the ground like any prince and you will die.”

(Psalms 82:6‭-‬7 TPT)

Juxtaposing Psalm 82 with John 10:34-36, we see that Jesus was not referring to the man in Christ in this Bible passage as faith teachers often assert. His reference was to the corrupt Judges of ancient Israel to whom “the word of God came” through Asaph the Psalmist. That if God could refer to human Judges as gods, what is the big deal in referring to Himself, whom the Father separated apart and sent to the world as the Messiah, as the Son of God?

We see clearly here that Christians are not gods who are in the class of the supreme God as the faith teachers assert. They are humans who have the life of God in them.

ARE BELIEVERS CHRISTS? (part 1)

GOD-KIND OF FAITH: DOES GOD TRULY NEED FAITH LIKE MAN?

By: Evang. Theophilus Izobofolo


GOD-KIND OF FAITH: DOES GOD TRULY NEED FAITH LIKE MAN?

The Word of Faith (WoF) teachers are in the habit of saying people should have God-kind of faith.

This is premised on the Greek rendering of Jesus’s statement in Mark 11:22b, “Have faith in God” (echō pistis theos). This can be fairly translated to “Have the faith of God” or “Have faith in God” but the WoF teachers translate it to “Have God-kind of faith.”

With this phrase, the WoF teachers say God exhibited faith at creation when He spoke the world and its contents and the planetary bodies into existence (Gen 1:1-30). They also say He used this faith to give a child (Isaac) to Abraham in reference to Romans 4:17, “(As it is written, I have made you a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead, and calls those things which are not as though they were.”

They say God used repetitive faith confessions to “call those things which are not as though they were.”

Does God truly need faith like man as these people claim?

We need to be aware that the Greek language is different from the English language in a variety of ways. In several places in the New Testament, there are no conjunctions like “of” or “in” between “faith” and “God” or “Christ” when these words are used together. It is usually the translators that supply these conjunctions with discretion. This is why many modern English Bible translations now exchange “of” with “in” in such places in contrast to what obtains the old King James Bible.

Here are five examples to buttress our arguement:

“For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the FAITH OF GOD (pistis theos) without effect?” (Rom 3:3)

“Even the righteousness of God which is by FAITH IN JESUS (pistis Iēsous ) Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference.” (Rom 3:22)

“Knowing that a man is not justified by the works of the law, but by the faith of Jesus Christ, even we have believed in Jesus Christ, that we might be justified by the FAITH OF CHRIST (pistis christos), and not by the works of the law: for by the works of the law shall no flesh be justified.” (Gal 2:16)

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the FAITH OF THE SON (pistis uihos) of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.” (Gal 2:20)

“And be found in him, not having my own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the FAITH OF CHRIST (pistis christos) , the righteousness which is of God by faith.” (Phil 3:9)

So, in line with this thought, it is correct to translate Mark 11:22b to “Have faith in God” like we have it in most English translations of the Bible.

Christ was not telling the disciples to have God-kind of faith like the WoF teachers say, He was simply telling them to have faith in God as we have it. So, it is of no use making a doctrine of a mere grammatical issue.

Roman 4:17 can also not be used to teach that God was making faith confessions to Abraham like the WoF teachers say.

If we consider Romans 4:17 in conjunction with verses 18-22 of the same chapter, we would see clearly that God wasn’t making any faith confessions here. Rather, these scripture refers to the repetition of God’s promises to Abraham as we have it recorded in Genesis to reassure him that He would do as He promised. It was a reassurance thing and not a faith confession issue.

17 (As it is written, I have made you a father of many nations,) before him whom he believed, even God, who gives life to the dead, and calls those things which are not as though they were. 18  WHO AGAINST HOPE BELIEVED IN HOPE, that he might become the father of many nations, ACCORDING TO THAT WHICH WAS SPOKEN, So shall your seed be.19 And being not weak in faith, he considered not his own body now dead, when he was about a hundred years old, neither yet the deadness of Sara’s womb: 20 He staggered not at the promise of God through unbelief; but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; 21 And being fully persuaded that, what he had promised, he was able also to perform. 22 And therefore it was imputed to him for righteousness.” (Rom 4:17-22)

It was not God “who against hope believed in hope”. It was Abraham who did that.

Would it not have been ridiculous if God, who created the world by mere pronouncements of “let there be”, had to make repetitive faith confessions to make Sarah conceive a child?

This type of teaching results from lack of understanding of the nature of God and the use of words.

GOD-KIND OF FAITH: DOES GOD TRULY NEED FAITH LIKE MAN?

Man is finite but God is infinite. Faith is only needed when a person is limited either by knowledge or ability. For example, a Christian does need no faith to collect money he has in his bank account but he needs faith for provision when he is broke. 

Unlike man who needs faith for tomorrow because of his limitations, God does not relate to time the way humans do. The past, present and future are the same with Him in terms of His knowledge. He is all-knowing. Not only is God all-knowing, He is also all-powerful. So, God doesn’t need any faith.

God is infinite. He is sovereign. “In him we live, move and have our being.” The Sovereign Lord needs no faith. It is finite beings like man that needs faith.

Again, faith does not exist in isolation. Faith is a relational word. It is the lesser being that exhibits faith in the higher being. We know God is the Highest. There is no one above Him.

If God needs faith indeed, in whom will He have it?

Shalom!

A CLOSED MOUTH IS A CLOSED DESTINY – words activate faith!

AFRICA AND THE BURDEN OF FUNERAL RITES – The Lessons not Learned!

By: Theophilus Izobofolo


AFRICA AND THE BURDEN OF FUNERAL RITES – The Lessons not Learned!

Africans have great value for celebrations. Death is celebrated even more than birth unless the death of an infant or a young person.

The death of a father, mother, grand and great grand parents is a celebration of life, which brings together all members of the family. Including extended family members, friends and associates, colleagues, neighbours, and towns people. It’s a fun fair that hold great tourism value.

The length of the funeral varies from place to place ranging from three to seven days or more. Food, drinks, clothing, decorations, musicians and dance groups, canopies, chairs, security, transportation, casket, and requirements for traditional rites constitutes the sum of the budget for funeral.

The traditional funeral rites which is the burial itself has witnessed evolutionary transformation. Chickens were acceptable for the burial of women, goats for men and cows for tittle holders (chiefs and kings) depending on the financial status of the affected family. In modern times only cows are acceptable for funeral rites which cost between One Hundred and fifty thousand and three hundred thousand naira (N150,000.00 – N300,000.00). Today, poor families use between two to three cows while the rich may use between five and as many as ten or twenty.

Financing the funeral is a huge burden. Some families have had to sell family assets such as land, plantation or borrow from money lenders at exorbitant interest rates. In recent times, family members have resorted to sharing the total budget as levies. In some cases, unemployed youths and women are also task to pay the compulsory burial levy.

Every family member strives to pay the levy so as to participate actively and fulfill the wish of their parents.

The unemployed members of the family usually will face some conditions that reminds them of their financial status. There are cases where they have to borrow money to pay the transport fare back to the town or city. After the funfair, everyone returns to his or her place.

While family celebrations and parties are good in themselves, the issue that should be of serious concern to every African is the financial implications imposed on poor people in the family and society.

Can’t a family task themselves in like manner to start a family business and provide employment for their members? Imagine if the N5,000,000 or N7,000,000 spent for funeral was invested in some viable members of the family or on a viable venture that can empower members, or relations.

Imagine how many assets has been lost for funeral of parents.

Educated Christian elders who retire to their communities have a great role to play here. The culture of exorbitant funerals must be discouraged. Funeral should not bury assets of the family along with the dead. The imposition of levies upon the viable members of the family is good where the proceeds forms a family pool to empower her members or create a family business.

 

IS SEX EVIL OR GOOD?

By: Evangelist Theophilus


IS SEX EVIL OR GOOD?

SEX – The topic frequently in the mind of most young adults and even old people no matter how spiritual, yet, the least talked about.

It is an act people engage in frequently but feel uncomfortable to talk about.

The information most people have on it are obtained from the ‘gutters’ because traditional institutions and other standard channels of communication and education will not talk about it. When they do, it is in hush tones.

I remember a friend hosted me on radio for a few weeks as we explored sexual dysfunctions among adults. By the third week, the program director had ordered the program shut down. May be I was too blunt, calling a spade a spade.

Many people know the danger of sex, both physical and spiritual but no one seems to be comfortable to talk about it’s good sides and the factors that influence them.

In many quarters and to many people, sex is just a necessary evil. I have met married couples who often felt guilty after having sex with themselves and I kid you not. A newly married guy once told me, he has been asking for forgiveness of sin after having sex with his wife and he couldn’t place why.

Some of you speak in tongues immediately after having sex with your wives, you know yourselves. It may not be because you are spiritual. You are probably battling with subconscious mixed feelings involving guilt over appropriateness of sex, even within matrimony. There are many who have become poorly sexually adjusted by reason of the things they have been taught while growing up about the evil in sex. This followed them to their matrimony.

A story was told of a king who newly became a Christian, in the mediaeval times who commanded his wife to be burnt at the stake the following morning after having sex with her. Her offence? He claimed  She enjoyed “the pleasure of sin” by moaning during sex. This is how “her ringing tone” sent her to an early grave. But it was not really her fault, she died due to the ignorance of an overzealous  king who was mistaught and misguided that sex is inherently evil.

Friends,  much has been said about how the devil uses sex to destroy people to the point that Sex now looks like the creation of Satan.

Truth be told, sex is good, when used appropriately. Sex is a gift from God and not from the devil. The devil only seeks to pervert it. Many petty problems that happen in marriages for which you disturb your pastors can be deleted by just one mind-blowing sex between couples.  Yes!  You heard me right.

Today, a lot of people suffer from various sexual dysfunctions but they can’t talk about them for fear of being viewed as “spoilt” or sinful.

I once attended to a man who had been running from home simply to avoid the chance of sexual encounters with his wife.  He worked shifts in a Hotel so he decided to do all the shifts,  just to stay away from home.

This man could not sustain erection for more than 2 mins and he was in a mismatched relationship with a woman who wanted it for thirty minutes and more.  The fear of poor performance drove him from home.

I insisted on seeing the wife and the day she showed up, it was drama. She did all the talking as she pounded away on my table.  “My body is not wood…” He has to do something about this otherwise…. ” she yelled.  It was one threat after another.  Then she grabbed her hand bag and left without completing the session. To a stranger like me, she simply cut the picture of trouble and I could only imagine what the man was going through in her hands.

Now, here’s the point.  There are many women in this position but they don’t know they are a serious part of the problem. Let me tell you something.  In a committed relationship (not hit and run) , the woman retains the power to either sustain a man’s erection or to kill it.

About 50 percent cases of erectile problems in men are purely of psychological origin. The brain is the most important sexual organ, not the genital.  If a man’s mind is at rest in the home and he’s happy with you,  he will have erection with you. This is basic truth.

I once attended to a woman who previously had been dragging her husband to pastors for prayers and made him a prayer point among her prayer partners for inability to perform in bed.  I requested to see her husband as usual and after much hesitation,  he showed up. It turned out the man had no erectile problem unless the wife was involved.  He said if he had full erection and his wife as much as touched him with a finger, he would lose it. In his own words there had been some conflicts and It was a delicate peace they had had at home. The wife had been winning all the arguments in the house without knowing she was also losing the man. What they needed was conflict resolution, not prayer vigil or medication.  Dear woman,  your mouth can do wonders, both physically and psychologically. If you know, You know…

Worse still some women will be behaving as if they are lame in bed. They can’t use their hands and they won’t use their mouths. They Just lay down like universal recipients. What kind of tradition is that?  What has that got to do with holiness?

I know by now somebody is thinking this man is spoiled o,  or may be his account has been hacked.  If you read up till this point and you haven’t stopped, na you spoil pass! So let’s continue…just kidding!

Women are not left out as victims in this sexual problem. As a matter of fact,  more than 50 percent of women don’t know what orgasm is, in all their existence.  They hear people talk about  it but they don’t believe it really exists and they are scared of asking their husbands to help explore possible ways to achieve this.  Many of them don’t even get aroused with their husbands but they can’t talk about it.  Many husbands have turned themselves to terrorists in their homes.

Dear husbands, I need your help. How do you manage to speak in tongues and still throw punches at your wives? There are testimonies of godly men who never raised a finger against their wives of many decades in spite of provocations. Please follow the examples of these men and stop damaging your wife physically and emotionally. That “Mike Tyson” in you must die finally.  May God’s grace be sufficient for you.

It is so unkind to abuse your woman and get home only to pull her panties like a mechanic trying to start a generator. What is your intention? It doesn’t work like that.

Let there be mutual respect in the home.  Resolve conflicts as they come. This has tremendous effect on what happens beneath the sheets. Like I said before, the human brain (the seat of the mind) is the most important sexual organ, not the genitals.

Ladies and gentlemen, if you have any question or objections, kindly ask your pastors and pastors’ wives or go see a therapist, not me. I’m a learner ooh.

It is a new day!  

REASONS WHY MEN ALWAYS ASK YOU FOR SEX

THE BURDEN OF RELIGION VS THE UNFORCED RHYTHMS OF GRACE 

By: Evangelist Theophilus


THE BURDEN OF RELIGION VS THE UNFORCED RHYTHMS OF GRACE 

There are many in the church today that are carrying heavy loads that have nothing to do with their faith in Christ. They are burdened by a lot of obligations that have been placed on them by the religious system.

The long list of obligations to be met, all in an attempt to procure  God’s favor and be loved by Him stares them in the face, day in day out. That’s what they have been taught. Much like the Pharisees during Jesus’ earthly ministry, their teachers have laid heavy burdens on them.

But when Christ came He declared to his listeners “come unto me,  all you that labor and are heavy laden and I will give you rest”.

Friends, rest is what Christ brought you, not religion, and definitely not a long list of obligatory meetings, conferences, programs, offerings and sacrifices.

Check it well sir, If it is getting too burdensome, there’s no Christ in it.

If it is getting too heavy, it doesn’t belong in Christ. It doesn’t belong in your new testament reality. Rather it is in the domain of mere religion. Believe me, much of what goes on in the denominations is mere religion.  The deeper you go into religion, the more burdensome it gets.

But Christ has called you out of religion unto himself, why sink back into it?

Please take a good look at The Message translation of Mt. 11:27-29:

“Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest.

“Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you.

” Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

Matthew 11:28‭-‬30 MSG.

From the foregoing, it is abundantly clear that if it is “heavy” then it is not in tandem with the “unforced rhythms of grace”. Let no man deceive you into paying a heavy sacrifice that is outside of you willingness. No sacrifice can be heavier than the one at Calvary. And it was done on your behalf.

Friends, It may interest you to know that aside the “mega pastors” that get tongues wagging by their bogus teachings and ostentatious lifestyles, many young and unsong pastors are depressed, anxious and worn out. Yes, they are burnt out on religion. They bear heavy burdens that Christ Has not put on them.

They are under pressure to remit money to the headquarters. They want to build “befitting places” of worship. They want to  start counting “their members” in several thousands.

They want signs and wonders to validate their calling before men. They want a raised profile to the status of “international conference speakers”. They are struggling to  “network”. They want the fame, the money and the influence.

Many think they are in ministry but they are not. They are fiercely in business. Beneath their pius skin is a desperate lust for self-projection and ego-pampering. They have been caught in a rat race.

In the same vein, they muzzle their members by teaching all kinds of ill-timed messages. They lay on them all kinds of burdens in order to achieve the things misconstrued as “success in life and ministry”.

In the long run both the pews and the pulpits are caught in a thick web of religion. The “rest” that Christ promised is lost on them. It is a given, religion will wear you out,  but Christ will give you rest.

Dear friend, on what divide are you? Are you in religion or are you taking a rest in Christ Jesus? The choice is squarely yours.

“But there remains a Sabbath-rest for the people of God……”

You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free.

Reference: NINYO

CHRISTIANITY VERSES RELIGION