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Moses' Ministry

LET MY PEOPLE GO (PART 5C)

THE BREAD OF LIFE

Ex9:1 ‘…’Thus says the LORD God of the Hebrews: “Let My people go, that they may serve Me…’

The true unadulterated word of God is food for the soul. When you preach anything else apart from what thus says the Lord, you starve your hearers. They need bread! Listen to the words of Deut 8:3 ‘So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD.’ As we already saw earlier, Jesus, in John 6:32-33 says that He is the manna from heaven. Now Jesus is the Word (John 1:1). Just as we need bread (food) for our natural nourishment and growth; we need the Word of God for our spiritual maturity. There is no other way around this. You don’t grow by attending many crusades and conferences; unless and until you are fed the Word of God in those conferences. Just because you attend all church fellowships it doesn’t mean you are a mature Christian. How much bread have you eaten? Or are you malnourished?

Jesus said, ‘I am the bread of life’ (John 6:48). Then He said, ‘I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.’ (John 6:51) Now at the table of Showbread in the temple, the priests had to ensure that there is bread daily (Ex 25:30). We shall look at the table of showbread well later but I just want to pass this message here; Dear pastor, never replace Bread with singing. Some have come up with new patterns where they organize for concerts where there is singing and no Bread served. There shall be Bread always at the table of showbread. Dear praise and worship team chairman, I know you are good at training vocals. But I want to request you to feed your team of singers with bread first. This will change their singing from entertainment to worship. The list can keep going and going on every department in the body of Christ. There shall be Bread always at the table of showbread.

Listen to the words of the Apostle Paul in Eph 5:23-27 ‘For the husband is head of the wife, as also Christ is head of the church; and He is the Saviour of the body. Therefore, just as the church is subject to Christ, so let the wives be to their own husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ also loved the church and gave Himself for her, that He might sanctify and cleanse her with the washing of water by the Word, that He might present her to Himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing, but that she should be holy and without blemish.’ The church is the bride. Jesus is the groom. The wedding garden is around the tree of life in paradise (Rev 2:7). Earth is the bride’s dressing room. Unlike every other groom, Jesus is not waiting for the bride at the wedding garden. Other grooms would be waiting at the wedding garden for other women to finish preparing the bride so that they can present her to him. Not so with Jesus!

He has not allowed other women to prepare the bride for Him. Other women don’t know how He wants the bride to look like. He is in the bride’s dressing room preparing the bride Himself so that He can present that bride to Himself! Now, what is this that He wants the bride to look like when she finally appears before Him at the wedding ground? Men will be expecting certain gowns, lipsticks, hairstyles… etc. Jesus on the other hand is only looking for one thing – the bride has to be glorious. Not necessarily educated but glorious; not necessarily modern but glorious; not sophisticated but glorious; not intellectual but glorious. If any man, purporting to be a bride’s matron, robs the bride this one thing (glory) and tries to replace it with modernism, sophistication, intellectualism etc.; it will be better for him that a rope be tied on his neck and then on a big stone and the stone be cast into the sea (matt 18:6)

There is only one way through which the bride can become glorious – by the washing of water by the Word. The word of God is the only water that glorifies the bride. The more Word you have the more Christ is revealed to you. The problem we have today is that many have their eyes veiled by the enemy that they can’t behold the Glory of the Lord. Like in the days of Moses when he came back from the mountain with glory and they put a veil on his face that they may not behold the glory. Stephen was doing the opposite when he was being stoned to death. He saw the Glory and the Son of man standing at the right hand of the throne. He did not put a veil on his face. He rather focused more on the Glory until he was consumed in it. He was so much soaked in it that the stones thrown at him could not distract him. When he saw Jesus with the unveiled face, he saw the TRUTH. When he then opened his mouth to pray, he never said, ‘back to the sender’. He prayed God’s will, ‘Father do not count this sin against them’.

If Stephen could have prayed the ‘back to the sender’ prayer, Saul of Tarsus could have been killed that day by that prayer. It was Saul who had signed to approve Stephen’s murder. You all know what we could have missed if Saul of Tarsus died before meeting Jesus. How did Stephen do it? How could he repent on behalf of them that killed him while they were continuing to kill him? He beheld the Glory of God with an unveiled face and never put his eyes away to even look at his murderers. This Saul of Tarsus who later became Apostle Paul told the Corinthians in his second letter 3:15-18 ‘But even to this day, when Moses is read, a veil lies on their heart. Nevertheless when one turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away. Now the Lord is the Spirit; and where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty. But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord.

Moses knew something that the Israelites did not know. He knew the secret to the glory. The bible says in Ps 103:7 ‘He made known His ways to Moses, His acts to the children of Israel.’ Whereas the Israelites thought that the source of their victory was the great acts of God like the ten plagues, the crossing of the red sea among others; Moses knew better. He knew that before these miracles happened there was a WORD from the Lord. His source of faith was not the acts of God but the ways of God. He did not depend on miracles but he depended on THUS SAYS THE LORD. We should not allow experiences and testimonies to be the foundation of our faith. Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God. (Rom 10:17)This idea of ‘God did it for her so He should also do it for me’ should not arise. You are not her and your experience is not hers. Stick to Thus says the Lord!

So when the experiences of the Israelites stopped or delayed, their faith grew cold and they went back to the worship of idols. Moses never bowed to any idol because with him he knew the ways of Jehovah. Like Moses I am in search of the ways of God; not just His acts. The author of Hebrews had this to say about Moses ‘And Moses indeed was faithful in all His house as a servant, for a testimony of those things which would be spoken afterward’ (3:5) He was so faithful that he was invited to his death. He did not die of an accident or a disease. God called him to the mountain and took him home. Even at his death the devil was not allowed to come near his dead body (Jude 1:9). Don’t you remember when the King of Glory wanted to show three Galileans who He really was at the mount of transfiguration it was Moses and Elijah who appeared with Him in Glory? Think about this.

I hope you are learning as much as I am. Let’s keep walking together. Stay tuned for Let My People Go Part 6

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Moses' Ministry

LET MY PEOPLE GO (PART 5B)


THUS SAYS THE LORD

Ex 9:1 ‘…’Thus says the LORD God of the Hebrews: “Let My people go, that they may serve Me…’

When you see people running away from truth or inventing their own messages that are nowhere between Genesis and revelation, run away from them! We should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting (Eph 4:14). We should not allow just anybody to feed us with just anything. We are too special for ‘anything’. We want something from the Lord. We want to hear what ‘THUS SAYS THE LORD’. 1John 4:1 ‘Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits, whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone out into the world.’ In this day and age believers will have to take up their mandate to test the spirits. Not every man who shouts ‘halleluyah’ is from the Lord. Some misuse the name of the Lord for their own good. The only test for authenticity is the Word of God (TRUTH).

Regardless of how many miracles you perform, if you are not operating in line with the scripture, you are not His! And when it comes to the Word of God it doesn’t have to be halfway but 100% true. Regardless of the title you possess in the body of Christ, men are charged to test and see whether you are from the Lord or not. I have met some good preachers who get carried away with issues of this life and start adulterating truth. They are initially authentic then somewhere in the journey for whatever reason they start adding to and subtracting from the Bible. In his journeys the Apostle Paul met a unique group of people in Berea (Acts 17:11). When he preached to them they were all looking blessed shouting, ‘halleluyah! Amen! Glory!’ Paul healed the sick and performed all the miracles God allowed him to. But when they went home, they took out their bible and began counterchecking what Paul had preached to them whether it was anywhere between Genesis and Revelation.

If Moses came with His own ideas of how to sneak with the Israelites out of Egypt or how to overturn the government of Pharaoh it could have backfired badly! One day before running away to Median he had tried to use his own wisdom to defend his people. It worked against him until he had to run away. So this time he had to be sure it was God speaking and so he could not speak anything else apart from what God said. God could not have backed up the good ideas of Moses. He only follows His word to accomplish it. Is 55:10-11 ‘For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth and bud, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater, So shall My word be that goes forth from My mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing for which I sent it.’

The boldness of Moses came from the fact that what he was saying was actually from the Lord. Heb 13:5-6 ‘Let your conduct be without covetousness; be content with such things as you have. For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we may boldly say: “The LORD is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?’ He Himself has said… so that we may boldly say. The reason we say is not because we are eloquent; neither is it because we think we have an idea to pass across; but it is because He Himself has said. So when we open our mouth, we simply align our tongues to His and say exactly what He says – even if it does not agree with the prevailing circumstances. Moses could have heard God at the burning bush and thereafter assessed the prevailing circumstances but he didn’t. At that time walking up to the palace ( a palace that was in fact looking for him as a wanted criminal) and demanding the release of the Israelites was suicidal. He was signing his own death sentence atleast as far as human understanding of the situation was concerned.

But to the rude shock of the devil, Moses walked shoulder high with his chest out up to where Pharaoh was and said, ‘THUS SAYS THE LORD’. So if you want to arrest anyone, arrest the Lord! I am simply His messenger! That’s the joy of saying what He says. When you are questioned for what you said, you will simply defend yourself and explain that what you said was not your Word. And Jehovah does not run away – He will take responsibility for every Word He said. After Moses said this, what followed were miracles, signs and wonders. You may ask how sure was Moses that God would keep His Word and prove Himself to be the one who sent him? Well let me take you back a little bit – when Moses met God in Median.

Exodus 3:15 ‘Moreover God said to Moses, “Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: ‘The LORD God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.’ The God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob was the covenant keeping God. And Moses, being their descendant, knew this very well. When He introduced Himself this way Moses’ mind went back to this old man Abraham who was married to a barren woman. The couple was past child-bearing age but God spoke to them. He told Abraham that He would make his descendants like the stars in the sky. Abraham had every reason NOT to believe. Biology could have backed him up and the whole world could have agreed with him. But he chose to obey what God said. When he walked around the village he stopped calling himself Abram and began calling himself Abraham meaning Father of many Nations. People laughed at him. He told them, ‘even as you laugh, don’t forget to call me Abraham’. They asked, ‘sir, are you mad? Why should we call such an old childless man who is married to a barren woman “father of many nations?” He answered, ‘because THUS SAYS THE LORD!’

I am what God says I am. Sarah quickly thought of a way out of this. She came up with her own strategy. She told Abraham to sleep with Hagar and get descendants through her. You see ever since Adam and Eve tried to cover their nakedness with leaves, men have always had an artificial alternative for the dealings of God. My friend run away from the alternatives and stick to what THUS SAYS THE LORD. That was Sarah’s idea. But when God came back, He said, ‘As for me…’ (Gen 17:4). Not as for Sarah but as for me; I will keep my covenant! God proved His faithfulness to Abraham, to his miracle son Isaac and to Jacob. Jacob is the one whose name was transformed to Israel. Israel was the family now in bondage in Egypt that Moses was being told to save. God had to introduce Himself this way to remind Moses the kind of God he was dealing with. This gave Moses the courage to face Pharaoh and say, ‘THUS SAYS THE LORD GOD OF THE HEBREWS

When Moses said thus says the Lord, the Hebrews’ eyes were opened to the reality that they were actually in bondage and they didn’t deserve this. When he said thus says the Lord, Pharaoh got nervous because his mind was made alive to the fact that what he was doing to the Hebrews was wrong. The Bible says in James 1:23 that, ‘For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was.’ The word of God is a mirror. Just like a normal mirror will show you the deviation between how your face looks and how it ought to look; the Word of God equally shows us the deviation between how we are and how we need to be (His image). Jesus said, ‘Sanctify them by Your truth. Your Word is truth.’(John 17:17) We cannot truly worship God before the Word sanctifies us and restores the image of Christ in us.

When the Israelites groaned for their affliction; the bible says God first counterchecked it with His covenant with Abraham then when He discovered their prayer was in line with His own Word, He looked upon them with favor (Ex2:23-25). When you open your mouth to pray and you don’t know God’s Word you become meaninglessly cultic. You will begin making weird claims that are contrary to the word and the will of God. It is vitally important for you to allow the Word of God to wash you first. I have seen people rush into the house of God to give Him a list of prayer items that they think God needs to hear and then when the man of God stands up to wash them with God’s word they walk away or sleep. You need to hear what God says more than He needs to hear what you say. What you tell Him could be contaminated; what He tells you is perfect. John 15:7 gives us a clear prayer sequence, ‘If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you.’ You first need to abide in Him; then allow His Word to abide in you; then and only then can you ask. If you try it the other way round it won’t work.

A friend of mine asked me, ‘Hillary, how can I be sure to find answers to my prayers?’ I told him the secret is in the Word. God does not honor your good ideas; He honors His Word. Your good ideas will make you pray against your enemies for instance; God’s word will make you bless them. Nowadays I hear people shouting, ‘Back to the sender!’ in those nice intercessory meetings. I don’t know where they got this from but surely not from the Word. This is a doctrine aimed at widening the gap between believers and their enemies thus negating the love of Christ. The word of God will wipe away all these cultic clichés from your head and fill your heart with God’s perfect will. Then you can now worship in TRUTH.

See you in Let My People Go Part 5C

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Moses' Ministry

LET MY PEOPLE GO (PART 5A)

GOD’S WORD

Ex 9:1 ‘…’Thus says the LORD God of the Hebrews: “Let My people go, that they may serve Me…’

Real men of God only preach and teach what ‘thus says the Lord’. Moses did not come up with a brilliant idea that will convince Pharaoh to release the Israelites. God told him and Aaron to say what He is saying. He was just a channel that God was using to speak to Pharaoh and to the Israelites. Here good ideas could not work. These were people in bondage who needed deliverance. Ultimately their desire was not the sermon by Moses. It didn’t matter how eloquent Moses was. All they needed was salvation from slavery. The Moses’ of today think that all they need is to come up with a good survival technique to encourage slaves. Slaves don’t need encouragement – they need deliverance. The sick don’t need exhortation on how to manage their condition – they need healing. People did not come to church to be encouraged on how to survive in their misery. They are looking for a Word from Jehovah! All your thought, ideas and techniques will pass away – the Word of God will remain forever.

It disturbs me to discover that many preachers don’t know the Word. They preach with malicious ulterior motives. So they twist the word of God to attain their objectives. This has not begun yesterday. There were such men in Galatia. In Gal 1:6-9 Paul tells the Galatians that, “I marvel that you are turning away so soon from Him who called you in the grace of Christ, to a different gospel, which is not another; but there are some who trouble you and want to pervert the gospel of Christ. 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. 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.” I hope you notice his choice of words at the beginning. “a different gospel, which is not another” So there are certain gospels that are not gospels at all! For there is only one Gospel.

Paul goes ahead to list in his apostolic language, the reasons as to why these people are preaching gospels that are no gospel. In chapter 1 verse 11&12 he demonstrates that they are preaching what they have been taught by men and not what they have received by revelation. In verse 14 of the same chapter he accuses them of propagating their fathers’ culture at the expense of the Gospel. In chapter 2 verse 4 he exposes the diabolical idea of making free people slaves again so that you can control, manipulate and rule over them. In chapter 6 verse 12 he makes a very heavy point on how these false teachers evade the Cross.

I hope you agree with me by now already that these things are not just in Galatia; they are also in Kenya. Preachers are feeding people with educational information rather than revelation knowledge. Conservatives will keep talking about the faith of their forefathers and family beliefs. Prosperity preachers and ‘professional demon chasers’ will go for the option of enslaving people’s minds so that they keep coming to them for specialized help. And at the very core of it all these false preachers not only avoid preaching the Cross of Jesus but also run away from carrying their own cross hence they preach listener-friendly messages that will not be challenged even by satan himself. Let’s discuss this in details now.

Jesus made a most remarkable statement in Matt 12:11 He said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, among those born of women there has not risen one greater than John the Baptist…’So what was it with John? What made him greater than all the mighty men of old who stopped the sun from moving, divided the red sea, brought fire down from heaven etc.? Definitely not his miracles, but HIS MESSAGE! There is something quite significant about John’s message that was not with anyone else until then! That is why since then until now, Jesus said the kingdom of God suffers violence. I honestly believe even now, the greatness of a preacher is not in his miracles but in his/her message.

So what was John’s message? John is the only prophet who, after his ministry, he left people in the hands of Jesus. His message pointed towards Jesus. He said, ‘behold the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world’. Nobody had ever shown them Jesus the way John did. Does your message point towards Jesus? At the end of your sermon, do you leave people at the feet of Jesus or do you leave them with funny thoughts of how to become rich quickly? Jesus said in Matt 24:14 “And this gospel of the kingdom will be preached in all the world as a witness to all the nations, and then the end will come.”

“This gospel” means that there are other gospels but there is this gospel that when preached to the whole world, the end will come. In other words this is the gospel that will be used to judge the living and the dead. Jesus calls it ‘the gospel of the Kingdom’. So any gospel that is not the gospel of the kingdom is no gospel at all! The only way to preach a kingdom is to preach The King! Listen now to how John the Baptist did it. Matt 3:1-2 says, ‘In those days John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness of Judea, and saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!” Then Jesus took over from John and look at how Jesus began to preach. Matthew 4:17,‘From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Then Jesus taught His disciples to preach so that He can pass on the mantle to them and this is how He instructed them to do it in Matthew 10:7 ‘And as you go, preach, saying, ‘The kingdom of heaven is at hand.’

So this is the doctrine that the apostles filled Jerusalem with (acts 5:28). They preached nothing out of scripture. As Paul would tell Timothy, Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth [2 Tim 2:15]. It’s time we stop preaching heresy and get back to the Bible. A believer can bank his/her entire life on ‘thus says the Lord’ but he cannot survive even a second on manmade principles that surround psychology, philosophy and science. I charge you therefore before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who will judge the living and the dead at His appearing and His kingdom: Preach the word! Be ready in season and out of season. Convince, rebuke, exhort, with all longsuffering and teaching. For the time will come when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, because they have itching ears, they will heap up for themselves teachers; and they will turn their ears away from the truth, and be turned aside to fables. But you be watchful in all things, endure afflictions, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry (2 Tim 4:1-5).

If anyone teaches otherwise and does not agree with the truth of our Lord Jesus Christ, and to the doctrine which accords with godliness, he is proud, ignorant, arrogant, obsessed with disputes and arguments hence always creates envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions and speculations, useless wrangling of men of corrupt minds and destitute of the truth like himself, who think that godliness is a means of enriching themselves. From such withdraw yourself. [1 Tim 6:3-5] But as for you, speak the things which are proper for sound doctrine holding fast the faithful word as you’ve been taught, that you may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.

Always remember the words of Jesus in John 15:7 If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. The word of God always comes before prayer. Prayer that is devoid of the Word is the birthplace of cultism. Before you open your mouth to talk to Him, open your ears to hear Him. That is why even in the natural you have two ears and one mouth. Talk less, listen more. What he tells you is more important than what you tell Him! Some believers amaze me in church. They are usually very loud and vigorous when talking to God in prayer and in singing but when the preacher stands to tell them what the Lord says, they obnoxiously walk out for flimsy reasons like replying a text message on phone; or worse still, they sleep! How do you sleep will all the noise of a public address system if it is not the devil? The devil knows that your victory is in the hearing of the Word. It is the word that becomes light that shines in darkness and darkness cannot comprehend it.

So if I was satan, I would do anything to hinder the revelation of the Word. In church for example I would ensure the believers don’t attentively hear the Word of God so I would give them other ‘better’ agendas that bring them to church than hearing of the Word. Agendas like making presentations, a lot of dancing and fun, cooking for preachers in the kitchen, reducing the time for preaching, etc. Then I would give the preacher any message that is not truth. Talking of truth; we just saw in the previous blogs the conversation between Jesus and Governor Pilate in John 18:37-38 Pilate therefore said to Him, “Are You a king then?” Jesus answered, “You say rightly that I am a king. For this cause I was born, and for this cause I have come into the world, that I should bear witness to the truth. Everyone who is of the truth hears My voice.” Pilate said to Him, “What is truth?” And when he had said this, he went out again to the Jews, and said to them, “I find no fault in Him at all.

Are you asking the same question that Pilate asked? What is truth? Well, Jesus had said previously, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.’ (John 14:6). So Jesus is the truth! No wonder after Pilate asked, ‘what is truth?’ he did not wait for an answer. But his immediate reaction suggests that he had gotten an answer. How? By looking at the eyes of Jesus he saw Truth Himself! Then he immediately said, ‘there is no fault in Him!’ There can never be fault in Truth. When you have an argument with Truth you are the one on the wrong. Now you get it when the bible says, ‘you will know the truth and the truth will set you free’ (Jn 8:32). You now know what (who) this Truth is that can even set you free! Also when it says, “God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth” [John 4:24]. Jesus is the Word and the Word is Truth; so Jesus is Truth.

See you in Let My People Go Part 5B

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Moses' Ministry

LET MY PEOPLE GO (PART 4C)


THE WORKS OF THE HOLY SPIRIT

Ex 33:15 Then Moses said to God, ‘If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.’

It is the Holy Spirit who appoints ministers and commissions them. So don’t call yourself and claim that God called you. Moses did not just wake up one fine morning and decide to go to Egypt and help his brethren. No. God called him at the burning bush. Likewise the prophet Isaiah says very clearly that ‘The Lord GOD and His Spirit Have sent Me.’ (48:16).He never sent himself but the Holy Spirit did. So you my dear friend don’t rush to fill a blank space somewhere in ministry. If a certain church does not have a pastor, it doesn’t mean that you are the one to be the pastor. If we are looking for a youth chairman that doesn’t mean that you are the one to fill the space. Wait for the Holy Spirit to commission you. The bible teaches that He even directs us where exactly to preach. In the book of Acts 8:29 we see the Holy Spirit telling His servant Philip to go near the Ethiopian Eunuch and minister to him. We also see the Holy Spirit forbidding people to preach in certain areas or to certain people. A good example is Acts 16:6 ‘Now when they had gone through Phrygia and the region of Galatia, they were forbidden by the Holy Spirit to preach the word in Asia.’ I know this may sound strange to many but it is a biblical fact and I have just demonstrated to you from the Word of God. We are not to preach to everybody every time but to somebody some time. The Holy Spirit is very specific in directing you this way. When Moses and the Israelites left Egypt, they could have used another route to reach Canaan but they had to follow the Cloud and the Fire. The Cloud had a specific route that they had to follow without questioning.

The Holy Spirit also instructs us what to preach. In 1Cor 2:13 Paul says, ‘These things we also speak, not in words which man’s wisdom teaches but which the Holy Spirit teaches, comparing spiritual things with spiritual.’ There is a lot that anybody can say on the pulpit. You don’t even have to be born again for you to address people during a church service on a Sunday. So what makes the difference between a sermon and a speech? Because you know most preachers, all they do is to deliver a motivational speech. Pretty much like what any ordinary psychologist is capable of doing regardless of whether he is born again or not. The difference between a motivational talk and a sermon is His Presence. Here, Paul says that the content of his teaching is not human wisdom but Revelation from the Holy Ghost. In other words all His sermons were given to Him by the Holy Spirit.

Peter, while addressing the one hundred and twenty in the upper room says these words, ‘Men and brethren, this Scripture had to be fulfilled, which the Holy Spirit spoke before by the mouth of David concerning Judas, who became a guide to those who arrested Jesus’(Acts 1:16). So according to Peter these are not just the words of David but it was the Holy Spirit speaking by his mouth. Preaching is allowing your mouth to be used to say what the Holy Spirit is saying. Aligning your tongue to the tongue of the Holy Spirit. Like the way it happened in the upper room. They spoke in tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance. In other words they released their tongues to be used by God so much that it didn’t matter even if the words coming out of their mouths sounded strange. When you allow the Holy Spirit to take over your speech He quickens it to have power in the life of the hearer.

That day of Pentecost when Peter spoke the Bible says, ‘Now when they heard this, they were cut to the heart, and said to Peter and the rest of the apostles, “Men and brethren, what shall we do?” (Acts 2:37). Peter did not have to make an alter call begging people to receive Jesus because the Holy Spirit had taken over his speech. While he spoke the environment was charged with His Presence. Always remember the same Holy Spirit is the one who convicts of sin, righteousness and judgment (John 16:8). It is His work to strive with sinners (Gen 6:3). Listen to the words of Apostle Paul to the Corinthians, ‘But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God.’ (1 Cor 2:10-11). Some preachers want to give themselves the task of the Holy Spirit. We preach. We don’t save. We don’t sanctify. As a matter of fact the Bible teaches that it is the Holy Spirit who sanctifies (Rom 15:16, 1 Cor 6:11)

When the Holy Spirit is involved, a lot of our good techniques on evangelism and discipleship become irrelevant. When they believe they get baptized in the Holy Spirit. We part ways with them after leading them to Christ but He stays with them and in them. John 14:17 ‘The Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you.’ When He indwells a believer, He reveals Christ to the believer. There is nothing more important in spiritual maturity than the revelation of Christ. Jesus, when referring to the Holy Spirit said, ‘He will glorify Me, for He will take of what is Mine and declare it to you’ (John 16:14). The songwriter was right, ‘more about Jesus would I know’ but how will I know Him? – By the Holy Spirit. If we are born of the Spirit then we must stay in the Spirit and grow to maturity by the Spirit.

We were not saved by prayer. He called us into His family. We are born of the Spirit. So we can’t be sustained here by prayers. We are only sustained by the Holy Spirit. Romans 8:26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. He is the gentle teacher who teaches the believer daily and makes them know God’s Word and will. Jesus called Him “the Helper” in John 14:26 ‘But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.’ He patiently teaches and guides us to ALL truth. Truth is what sets us free. Truth is what we shall be judged against. So the Holy Spirit will carefully help a believer to know and practice truth. Jesus said ‘When He, the Spirit of truth, has come, He will guide you into all truth; for He will not speak on His own authority, but whatever He hears He will speak; and He will tell you things to come.’(John 16:13)

Let me now close this segment by establishing a few facts about the Holy Spirit. Firstly, He is a person. He is not a power or a force as some teach. He can be grieved. Ephesians 4:30 says, ‘Do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.’ Apart from the fact that this reveals the Holy Spirit as a person; it also raises a question which is, ‘what is it that grieves the Holy Spirit?’ we have already looked at the answer when we were discussing on cooperation with the Holy Spirit. When we live a sinful life we grieve Him. The bible says in Acts 7:51 ‘You stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and ears! You always resist the Holy Spirit; as your fathers did, so do you.’ Being stiff-necked means refusal to listen and obey Him. When He speaks, guides, teaches and instructs He demands total reverence. Talking about what the Holy Spirit had done to the Israelites, the prophet Isaiah explains, ‘But they rebelled and grieved His Holy Spirit; So He turned Himself against them as an enemy, And He fought against them.’(63:10)

Lastly I wish to say that the Holy Spirit is God. He is part of the Holy Trinity. He is not junior to The Father or The Son. I want you to take a careful look at this text in the scripture. Acts 5:3-4 But Peter said, “Ananias, why has satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? “While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God.” Throughout the bible we see the Holy Spirit being given attributes that are only reserved for God and none else. These are the fact that He is omnipresent, omniscient and omnipotent. Look for instance at this passage; Psalms 139:6-9 ‘Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is high, I cannot attain it. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the morning, And dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea’

If you are blessed with these teachings please like, leave a comment down there and share this link with your friends. See you in Let My People Go part 5

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Moses' Ministry

LET MY PEOPLE GO (PART 4B)


COOPERATION WITH THE HOLY SPIRIT

Ex 33:15 Then Moses said to God, ‘If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.’

Can you work with the Holy Spirit? There are many things that the Lord does using men. It is possible for a man to refuse to do the will of God. It was possible for the disciples to refuse to go to the upper room (actually they all refused save for a handful 120 who obeyed). It was possible for them to refuse to preach the gospel. It was also possible for Peter to refuse to administer healing to the cripple at the gate called Beautiful. My friend the key question here is ‘will you be a hindrance to the doings of the Lord to His people or will you allow yourself to be used of the Lord?’ The biggest sin in ministry, in my argument, is failure to cooperate with the Holy Spirit. Remember He said that any branch in Him that bears no fruit, He will cut it off (John 15:2). When we get to heaven it will not matter what we say to Him that day. What will matter is what He will say about us and there is only one of two reports He can give. He either says, ‘well done my good and faithful servant’ (Matt 25:21) or, ‘I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity!’ (Matt 7:23). It all depends on how we cooperated with Him while on earth. Hear the words of Jesus in John 9:4 ‘I must work the works of him that sent me, while it is day: the night cometh, when no man can work.’

Lack of cooperation with the Holy Spirit is what made God to reject King Saul. God clearly told Saul in 1 Sam 15:3 ‘Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.’ Yet when Saul went to war he spared Agag and some fat animals. Now friends we need to understand that God’s word is not advice. Following advice is optional. You can either choose to follow it or not. But it is not so with the Word of God. Though it sounds like advice in its presentation, God’s word is instruction! It is His commandments! Following it is compulsory. The kingdom of God is not democratic, it is theocratic. It is not about what you think; it is what Thus Says the Lord! Today in many churches and Christian fellowships, committees sit to discuss the way forward for the church and the question the church leaders are asking each other in those executive meetings is ‘what do you think we should do?’ Wrong question! It should be ‘What does the Holy Spirit say we do?’ No wonder our heavily pocketed bishops are now holding their round table meetings in hotels and not in the prayer room!

When there was a problem in Antioch; the apostles met in Jerusalem to deliberate on the solution. They wrote a letter to Antioch in response to their concerns. One sentence in that letter draws my attention and makes me want to imagine what kind of meeting it must have been. It read, ‘For it seemed good to the Holy Spirit, and to us, to lay upon you no greater burden than these necessary things’ (Acts 15:28). It occurs to me that the Holy Spirit was evidently present in the meeting and that he contributed to the decision that the Apostles made. This kind of meeting was not the hotel meetings we see today where people bring their thoughts and ideas. All crises meetings were chaired by the Holy Spirit. The constitution was the bible. The operations manual was the voice of the Holy Spirit.

When a decree had been given to kill Daniel, Shadrack, Meshach and Abednego; we don’t see Daniel asking his friends what they thought. The bible says that, ‘He urged them to plead for mercy from the God of heaven concerning this mystery’ (Dan 2:18). In other words the solution was not in what they thought but in what the Lord had to say or do concerning the matter. When Peter and John faced persecution in the fourth chapter of Acts, they reported it to their colleagues and the Bible doesn’t say that they sat down to ask each other what they thought; it says in verse 24 ‘And when they heard that, they lifted up their voice to God with one accord…’ And when they had prayed, the place where they were assembled together was shaken; and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and they spoke the word of God with boldness (vs 31).My friend all I am trying to do is to show you that ministry is founded on THUS SAYS THE LORD! Not your thoughts/views! ‘For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways’, saith the LORD (Is 55:8).

Failure to cooperate with the Lord is the one thing that made God to deny Moses access to the Promised Land. (Numbers 20:7-12) A seemingly simple instruction whose details probably didn’t mean much to Moses cost him his destiny. Dear friends we serve a God that is keen on details. Before Him half obedience is disobedience. Delayed obedience is also disobedience. He expects us to do what He tells us to completion and to do it promptly. That is why Jesus said in John 4:34 ‘My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to finish His work.’ You see; doing His will is good but it isn’t good enough until you finish His work! So here we see Moses striking the rock twice instead of speaking to the rock. He solved the problem of the people but he messed up his rapport with his Boss. I will briefly show you why that was considered a big mistake when maybe Moses just thought it was trivial. The rock is a type of Jesus. Striking is crucifying Him. Moses had stricken the rock the previous time they needed water in Exodus 17. The Rock was only stricken once. Now Moses messes up the metaphor by striking it thrice; indicating that Jesus would be crucified thrice! What was meaningless detail to Moses was vitally important to God. Cooperation with the Holy Spirit is not just a privilege; it is actually a price. It will cost you to say, ‘Yes Lord’.

In the beginning we see how the Word of God has a close working relationship with the Spirit of God. Gen 1:1-3 ‘In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. The earth was without form, and void; and darkness was on the face of the deep. And the Spirit of God was hovering over the face of the waters. Then God said, “Let there be light”; and there was light.’ God never said anything before the Spirit was present over the surface of the waters. The word of God never works devoid of His Presence. Preachers need to know this. God did not speak out of His own knowledge but after the assurance of the Presence of His Spirit. If the Godhead is this dependent on the Holy Spirit, how much more should we be dependent on Him? Jesus said in John 6:63, ‘The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.’ It is useless for you to purport to talk about Jesus if His Presence is not with you. His word only works in His Presence. Paul said, ‘…no one can say that Jesus is Lord except by the Holy Spirit.’[1 Cor 12:3]. Ministry is wholly dependent on the Holy Spirit.

Now follow me keenly please in Let my people go part 4C…

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Moses' Ministry

LET MY PEOPLE GO (PART 4A)


HIS PRESENCE

Ex 33:15 Then Moses said to God, ‘If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here.’

My heartfelt appreciation to you who has been following this stream of teachings dubbed Let My People Go, from PART 1A up to date. Here we are looking at the Ministry of Moses and learning a few things that are relevant for world evangelization. As you may have noticed already, the Old Testament was a shadow of things to come. It was a foreshadowing of the New Testament. And so looking at the life of Moses gives us a clear understanding of the great commission, the cross and the blood of Jesus as has already been seen in my previous posts. If you know any preacher please recommend this site to Him/her. Before I go deep into our topic for today which is HIS PRESENCE, let me first show you something interesting here that will help you put the OT and the NT side by side as you drink in sweet revelations that will help your faith.

From our last study Let My People Go part 3; we discovered that the Passover Lamb in Egypt was killed at midafternoon. Do you realize that is the exact time when the real Lamb of God (of whom the Passover lamb was foreshadowing) was crucified? As if that’s not enough, they crossed the Red Sea exactly 3 days later. I think now I have just given you a sweet assignment of going back to study the crossing of the red sea Vis a Vis the resurrection of Christ. You will be blessed if you do so. It is also interesting to note that 40 days after the first Passover celebrations in the wilderness, they received the Law. That can now be compared if not contrasted to the day of Pentecost especially considering also that when they received the Law 3000 people died for disobeying it. In the New Testament when they received the Holy Spirit 3000 people were added to the church. As Paul would tell the CorinthiEnough said. I leave you with the task of reading the details of these events and learning more. Let’s now look at the importance of the Presence of God in the ministry of ‘evangelist’ Moses

There was nothing Moses could do without His Presence. Nothing made any sense without the Presence of God. Not even Canaan – the land flowing with milk and honey – made any sense without God’s Presence. Heaven would be useless with all the beauty if the Presence was not there. What makes us want to go to heaven is the assurance that the Presence of God will be there with us forever. So if this be the case then we have a foretaste of heaven here on earth. We shall not just be with Him in heaven but actually we can be with Him here on earth. Am not waiting to go to heaven to meet Him; He said ‘lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.’ (Matt 28:20) Halleluyah! Thank God He is here. Moses had tasted this glorious Presence and he said he will not move an inch ahead without it. God had offered an angel to go with Moses (33:2). Moses declined the offer. Nothing can replace His Presence. In other words he was saying, ‘Lord I don’t know how to divide the red sea without your Presence. I don’t know how get water out of a rock without your Presence. I don’t know how to make bitter water turn sweet without your Presence. I don’t know how to bring manna from heaven without your Presence’.

It is not always the principles of the kingdom that work but His Presence. For example prayer is a biblical principle. When I am sick I pray but prayer does not heal me: Jesus does! So it is wrong to say that, ‘prayer works’ no! Jesus works! If prayer worked Islam could have been the best religion because they religiously pray five times a day. So I don’t gain satisfaction just by the mere fact that I prayed. No! My satisfaction can only be guaranteed by His Presence. I am not a prayer warrior; I am a friend of God. Preaching is another biblical Principle. They cannot hear the word unless it is preached (Rom 10:14). But we, like Moses, cannot serve God minus His Presence. The bible says in Acts 1:4 ‘And being assembled together with them, He commanded them not to depart from Jerusalem, but to wait for the Promise of the Father, “which,” He said, ‘you have heard from Me’. Why did Jesus command them not to leave Jerusalem before they received the Holy Spirit? These were trained disciples. For three years they had gone through the Jesus’ School of Ministry and they were ripe with all the tactics, the dos and don’ts of ministry. Yet Jesus forbids them from leaving Jerusalem.

They should be out and about trying to redeem the Name of Jesus that had been tainted since His crucifixion. They were burning within their hearts to share with the world how blind people had seen and how the dead were raised in Jesus’ ministry. If allowed to say everything they knew about Jesus the whole world had no enough capacity to accommodate it (Jn 21:25). Yet Jesus forbade them from doing this minus the Holy Spirit. All their knowledge, experience, exposure, skills, secrets, tactics amounted to nothing if they did not have the Holy Spirit. Moses could not do it without Him. The disciples could not do it without Him. Even Jesus Himself could not do without the Holy Spirit. It is just the other day when preachers of the 21st century finally discovered how to preach without Him. They say that all you need is to have an education and some little exposure here and there with which you can cheat God’s gullible people until they give fat offerings. Well, brother, it doesn’t matter how much you shout or how much you act ‘spiritual’. If He is not there He is just not there! And so all you are doing is mere calisthenics! His presence is the game changer.

The difference between carnality and spirituality is not on how our church programs are run or how we sing our songs but on whether He is Present. Loud is not necessarily deep. It is not by power or might but by His Spirit (Zech 4:6).The LORD went before them by day in a pillar of cloud to lead the way, and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so as to go by day and night(Exodus 13:21). Every step was directed by His cloud of glory. For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God (Rom 8:14). A preacher that is not led by the spirit of God is not even a son. Listen my friend; there is no bigger title than ‘SON’. Some ‘servants’ of God are not sons! Thank God I am a son. I am not looking for any title because there can never be a title bigger than the one I have. Servants who are not sons behave strangely. They mishandle the Lord’s property; they steal from the house they are serving in; they demand for payment after work. I am not them. When you see me wash utensils it doesn’t mean that I am a maid. No! I am a son. I am washing our utensil in our home. When you see me taking care of sheep, I am not a shamba-boy. No! I am a son. I am taking care of my Father’s flock.

After serving I don’t demand for salary because this is home. Everything in my Fathers wallet is at my disposal if need be. Sons are not added into a family – they are born there. People are now looking for more church members instead of leading sinners to the new birth. Sinners are being entertained in church daily lest they leave with their money. Now preachers are struggling to look like the world by allowing worldly music, dances and dressing codes so that these ‘visitors’ can be comfortable. I call them visitors because they were not born here! They were just added by our so-called evangelism missions that are full of strategies and devoid of the Presence of The Lord. These visitors ‘grow’ into leadership positions. Some even become ‘preachers’. So now you understand when I talk of menservants and maidservants who are not sons. They cover up their nakedness by imitating sons. A son may talk like his Father because the DNA of his Father flows in his veins. A visitor may try to imitate that voice but it won’t be coming out naturally. You are not a good preacher by training yourself to shout ‘Halleluyah’ exactly the same way Reinhard Bonnke did. My ‘halleluyah’ is not an imitation; no, it comes out naturally because of the blood flowing in my veins! Sonship is not given by positions in the church: it is a matter of whether the cloud or the fire is ahead of you. For the steps of a righteous man are ordered by the Lord (Ps 37:23). The Holy Spirit is like a hand where a minister is a glove. The glove is useless until all the fingers have been fitted rightly inside the glove. So when the hand starts to work inside the glove, all we see is the glove but really it is the hand that does everything. In fact if only one or two fingers have not been fitted properly the glove will not function effectively. Every finger has to be fitted appropriately for the glove to work effectively. For a minister to work effectively he has to fully surrender to the Lord and allow every part of him to be controlled by Him. A glove cannot claim to work for a hand if the hand is not in the glove.

Let’s study how to cooperate with the Presence of Jesus in Let My People Go part 4B

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Moses' Ministry

LET MY PEOPLE GO (PART 3C)


THE POWER IN THE BLOOD

Ooh precious is the flow that makes me white as snow; no other fount I know; nothing but the blood of Jesus. This is the blood of Redemption. 1 Peter 1:18-19 says, ‘knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot.’ Redemption is a market-place word that means ‘buy back’. Slaves were bought back to freedom by silver and gold. Jesus came and found us enslaved in sin. He bought us back to freedom. Now we can only access that freedom from sin by applying the blood of Jesus. Salvation is not a religious act of repeating a prayer after an evangelist. Salvation is a miracle that happens only under the power of the blood of Jesus. We were redeemed not with silver or gold but with the precious blood of Jesus. This is the only blood in the bible called precious.

It is precious because it has no contamination. Its source was not contaminated. This blood never came from Joseph. Mary conceived not biologically by the help of a man but supernaturally by the Holy Spirit. If the blood had come from Joseph, it could be just as polluted as my blood and your blood. But this one came from the Holy Spirit Himself. Just like the blood of the first Adam never came from any sinful source so was the blood of the second Adam (Jesus). That is why it had power to redeem us from the slavery of the blood of the first Adam. Secondly the blood is precious because it did not acquire any dirt while on earth. It was spotless as peter put it, ‘as of a Lamb without spot’. 2Cor 5:21 ‘For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.’

In His mission to seek and save the lost; Jesus found us with a case to answer before the Lord. Sin had ruled man so much that it created a wall of separation between man and God. As Isaiah would say ‘Behold, the LORD’S hand is not shortened, That it cannot save; Nor His ear heavy, That it cannot hear. But your iniquities have separated you from your God; And your sins have hidden His face from you, So that He will not hear.’ (59:1-2) There was urgent need for reconciliation between man and God. But God demonstrated His own love towards us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Much more then, having now been justified by His blood, we shall be saved from wrath through Him. For if when we were enemies we were reconciled to God through the death of His Son, much more, having been reconciled, we shall be saved by His life. And not only that, but we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received the reconciliation. (Rom 5:8-11) When you feel far away from God because of sin, apply the blood of Jesus.

Here we see Paul teaching that we are not only reconciled by the blood but we are also justified by the blood. Justification means that no sin is counted against us any longer. Before the judgment seat of God, we are accredited to be righteous in His sight. Romans 4:24 – 5:2 says, ‘but also for us. It shall be imputed to us who believe in Him who raised up Jesus our Lord from the dead, who was delivered up because of our offenses, and was raised because of our justification. Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.’ So we can now clearly see that Justification brings peace. Not peace with men but peace with God. There was war between man and God. There was strife in your heart concerning who should govern your life. But when the blood of Jesus is applied, now there is peace between you and your creator. And not just peace – there is also something there that Paul calls access.

Access had been denied when we were sinners. But now through the blood of Jesus we can behold His glory. We can enter into the Holy of Holies and worship the King of Glory. We are now sons and have all the rights of Sonship. We are no longer strangers in the house of God because we have been born there. All these by the blood of Jesus! Halleluyah! There is indeed power; wonder-working power in the blood of the Lamb. We are no longer too dirty to approach Him. We have been washed by the blood. Heb 9:22 says, ‘And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission.’ This is the only way to remission of sin. In the Old Testament everything was sanctified by the blood of bulls and goats because God cannot render anything clean without blood. When the priest entered the Holy of holies once per year to plead for the atonement of sin, he had blood with him.

He could not ask for forgiveness from God without blood. How much more in this dispensation of the New Covenant? We don’t obtain forgiveness by our sweet well-choreographed prayers of repentance. It doesn’t matter how much you fast and pray. Without blood there is no remission of sin. Thank God we have the blood of Jesus, with which we can approach the throne of grace and obtain mercy from God (Heb 4:16). For if the blood of bulls and goats and the ashes of a heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifies for the purifying of the flesh, how much more shall the blood of Christ, who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without spot to God, cleanse your conscience from dead works to serve the living God? And for this reason He is the Mediator of the new covenant, by means of death, for the redemption of the transgressions under the first covenant, that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance. (Heb 9:13-15)

Only the blood of Jesus qualified to seal a new covenant; a better covenant; an eternal covenant. We are now enjoying grace and truth as opposed to legalism as experienced by our forefathers (John 1:17) because of the blood of Jesus. This covenant states that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. How do we move from death to life? We only get life by the blood of Jesus. For the life of the flesh is in the blood (Lev 17:11). His blood removes our pollution and death and instills eternal life into our mortal bodies. The blood of Adam brought death; the blood of Jesus brought life. Halleluyah! Thank you Jesus for your Blood!

Dear friends pray for me that I find time to do a whole series on the BLOOD OF JESUS before this year ends. But for now let’s go on with Let My People Go (Part 4).

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Moses' Ministry

LET MY PEOPLE GO (PART 3B)


THE BLOOD SHED 7 TIMES

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.’

On the evening of the Passover, Jesus left the house after the last supper together with His disciples (Judas Iscariot was absent here) to the garden of Gethsemane to pray. Before He faced His adversaries, Jesus prayed. The very fact that Jesus, the Son of God prayed, is the highest argument for prayer. But I want you to note that this was not the first time He prayed BEFORE. Jesus did not master on reactive prayers like the 21st century intercessors who are called to action when things have gone wrong to counteract. He always prayed BEFORE! Here we see that before He was arrested, He prayed. BEFORE He began His ministry, He was driven by the Holy Spirit to the wilderness and for forty days and forty nights, He prayed! BEFORE choosing the twelve disciples (Luke 6:12) He went to the mountainside and prayed! BEFORE feeding the five thousand Jesus withdrew Himself and went to a solitary place and prayed (Matt 14:13). BEFORE walking on water He had been left behind by His disciples because He had excused himself to be alone and pray.

Before God’s kings went to battle, they inquired of the Lord. Today we see people remembering God when they are already on the battle field. When the conference or mission is going on, you will hear some noise from a ‘power house’ somewhere of intercessors ‘pulling heaven down’. I have no problem with this but I have a lot of question marks. Where were you before you went to battle? Aren’t you just creating a show now so that we can see that you are a prayer warrior? Are you not trying to take the glory so that all the miracles in the crusade will be attributed to your ‘fervent prayers’? Jesus demonstrates this before He raised Lazarus from the dead. He had already prayed before coming to the tomb. Probably He had been on the mountain for the whole night. When He came here He did not start binding demons of death with big vocabularies of, ‘you demon of death I decapacitate you! I render you jobless!’ No. Look at what He said, ‘Father, I thank You that You have heard Me.’ (John 11:41) When had He prayed? He did it before coming to Bethany.

Now before they came to arrest Jesus at Gethsemane, He prayed. The prayer was so intense that He sweated blood. This was the first time Jesus shed His blood during the Passover. The Lamb had just begun to be slaughtered. If you follow me keenly from now on, you will discover that Jesus shed His blood seven times. This was just the first time. His heart was deeply troubled. Doctors call it Hematidrosis – a very rare condition that occurs in extreme emotional stress. Here blood was shed to cover my soul (mind, will and emotions). When I apply this precious blood my heart finds peace. Regardless of my prevailing circumstances, He gives me peace that surpasses the understanding of men. That is why the prophet Isaiah called Him the Prince of Peace. So when you see me smile, it is not because I am having happy moments every day of my life but the peace of God overshadows me in both the mountains and the valleys. Lift up your hands where you are and whisper (or shout) ‘Thank you Jesus for Your blood’! Halleluyah! This is why the world will never understand us. We have the precious Blood of Jesus.

They then beat His face and totally disfigured it at the house of Caiaphas the high priest. The beating was obviously ruthless because they were killing him. A murderer does not beat you softly. Isaiah would tell you that they even pulled out His beards and spat on His face. His face was so disfigured that you could not identify Him. Anyone who came to the scene after this had to be told that that is Jesus. Otherwise you could not look at His face and know who He was. He shed blood from His face to restore the image of God in you. The enemy has always been trying to distort this image of Christ in you – for you were made in His image and likeness (Gen 1:27). One day they asked Him whether they should pay taxes to Caesar and he borrowed a coin and asked, ‘whose image is in this coin?’ They said, “Caesar’s” then He told them, ‘Render to Caesar what belongs to Caesar and to God what belongs to God’ (Mt 22:21) In this he meant that just like the coin which bears the image of Caesar belongs to Caesar; so is it with the people. They bear the image of God and so they belong to God. We can only render to God what belongs to God by the Blood of Jesus.

They then put on Jesus’ head a crown of thorns before Governor Pontius Pilate. The long thorns pieced so deep into His skull. He shed blood from His head to give me ability to have the mind of Christ. We already looked at Philippians 2:5 which says, ‘Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus’. Through the blood of Jesus, we can now have the mind of Christ. We have answers to problems that no science or philosophy can answer. Romans 12:2 says, ‘And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.’ You can never understand the Word of God until you have applied the blood of Jesus so that you can have the mind of Christ. It is this mind that overcame the tempter who actually had come to tempt Jesus while quoting scriptures. For you to be sure that you are on the right track, making the right decisions and exercising proper discernment; you must apply the blood of Jesus.

They then tied Jesus to a whipping post and began to whip Him. They whipped His body with whips that had about 20-30 leather strips; each strip having hundreds of little nails/hooks that had the ability to tear His flesh as the strips were pulled back after each stroke. His flesh was so much torn that His inner body parts were now exposed. His entire body now from head to toe was soaked in blood. Isaiah explains this way, ‘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.’ (53:5). By the blood of Jesus our health is guaranteed. Sickness is not our portion. Halleluyah! Thank you Jesus! And this is not just physical/biological health but also psychological, social, financial and political health. So you don’t need to go and see a specialist who calls himself a healing evangelist for you to be healed; just apply the blood of Jesus.

When they took Him to the cross they nailed His hand to the cross. He shed blood from His hands for the work of my hands to be established. Psalms 90:17 says. ‘And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us, And establish the work of our hands for us; Yes, establish the work of our hands.’ The word WORK does not necessarily mean ‘job’. When God created Adam, He told Adam to work. Adam was not employed by a certain company. So God was not referring to a job as we define it today but He was referring to work. Remember this was not a curse because God gave Adam work before Adam sinned and before He even created Eve. Work is your purpose on earth. There is a purpose for you beyond what you do to eat. You were not born just to provide yourself with food and die. There has to be a reason beyond your stomach. And it cannot succeed lest it be covered by the blood of Jesus.

Jesus was then nailed at His feet. He shed blood here for my Christian walk. This is vitally important because we are not just saved to work for God but more importantly to walk with God. It was said of a man in the old days called Enoch in Gen 5:24 that he walked with God; and he was not, for God took him. Think about this – that a man can walk with God until God says, ‘this one now is above this world. The planet earth is too dirty for him. Let me take him away’. Hebrews 11:5 says, ‘By faith Enoch was taken away so that he did not see death, and was not found, because God had taken him; for before he was taken he had this testimony, that he pleased God.’ The disciples of Jesus walked with God so much until their enemies said, ‘surely they have been with Jesus’(Acts 4:13). Elsewhere they said, ‘the ones who have turned the world upside down have come also upon us’ (Acts 17:16). You cannot walk with God except by the blood of Jesus. It is this blood that gives us access to this kind of intimacy with the Lord Jesus.

The seventh time He shed His blood was when the Roman soldier came with a spear and pierced His side. You remember what happened in the Garden of Eden when God tore the side of Adam and removed a piece with which He used to create Eve. This was exactly what was happening here. Blood shed for the creation of Jesus’ wife – the church. Church is not a building. Neither is it a registered organization that has a permit from the government. Church is the redeemed of the Lord who have been washed by the blood of Jesus. You remember He said with his own mouth that, ‘I will build my church’. (Matt 16:18) This statement means that firstly, he is the builder. Not the pastor nor the apostle but Jesus. Not the biggest tither nor the politician but Jesus. Then secondly He implies that the church belongs to Him. He bought it at a price. The price was His precious blood. Now this is how the Passover took place. See you in Let My People Go (Part 3c)

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Moses' Ministry

LET MY PEOPLE GO (PART 3A)

THE LORD’S PASSOVER

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.’

Moses had demonstrated the mighty hand of God through many infallible proofs; yet to his rude shock Pharaoh was still not letting the Israelites free. God had hardened Pharaoh’s heart so that He may demonstrate His power to the whole world. You see we serve a God of ostentatiousness. He did not just want the Israelites to sneak out of Egypt. No – He wanted Egyptians to be used as a teaching aid to the world that nobody should cross His line. After all the plagues failed to yield expected results, Moses was almost giving up. God on the other hand was getting excited because He had spared one more stroke that the enemy cannot survive. This was, is and will ever be the ultimate blow to the devil. It is this same blow that kicked him out of Heaven when he had tried to insubordinate God – the Blood of the Lamb. The bible says that they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death (Rev 12:11).

This was long before Calvary. Lucifer (satan) had brought trouble in Heaven because he had said, ‘I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God; I will also sit on the mount of the congregation On the farthest sides of the north; I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.’ (Is 14:13-14) Then war broke in heaven. Even though Lucifer had staged the battle against God, God Himself did not fight lest the devil thinks that they are equals. God chose his equivalent, Michael (a fellow angel) to fight him. So there was war between Lucifer and his team and Michael and his team. And the Bible says Michael and his team overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and the word of their testimony. This testimony is their confession of the power of the blood. Think about it; if Michael could defeat satan by the blood long before Calvary, how much more should we defeat satan in this dispensation?

So God showed Moses the ultimate weapon against satan. This one never fails. Locusts may fail; frogs may fail; hailstorms may fail; even an imitation of blood (on the waters of the Egyptians) may fail; but the BLOOD OF THE LAMB never fails! So because this was going to be a sure deal, the Israelites were told to prepare for departure. Now the LORD spoke to Moses and Aaron in the land of Egypt, saying, ‘This month shall be your beginning of months; it shall be the first month of the year to you. Speak to all the congregation of Israel, saying: ‘On the tenth day of this month every man shall take for himself A LAMB, according to the house of his father, A LAMB for a household. 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. Your lamb shall be WITHOUT BLEMISH, a male of the first year. You may take it from the sheep or from the goats.

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. 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. Then they shall eat the flesh on that night; roasted in fire, with unleavened bread and with bitter herbs they shall eat it. Do not eat it raw, nor boiled at all with water, but roasted in fire-its head with its legs and its entrails. You shall let none of it remain until morning, and what remains of it until morning you shall burn with fire. 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. 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. 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. (Ex 12:1-13)

All the other times Moses could argue and bargain with Pharaoh but after the Passover night, pharaoh had no bargaining power! He requested Moses that only men should go but Moses said, ‘no sir! We are going with the women and the children and the cattle plus the gold and jewelry of Egyptians!’ When you have applied the BLOOD there is no more argument with the enemy. He is now at your mercies! This is the ultimate weapon that believers must know. Preachers don’t preach it nowadays because they want to continue enslaving the believers in church witchcraft of ‘anointed stickers, soil, salt and handkerchiefs’. However, there is power, wonder-working power, in the Blood of the Lamb! The Israelites were told to always celebrate this great day throughout their generations. They would do it exactly as they did it in Egypt before the lord delivered them from bondage.

Then one day a man by the Name John the Baptist was going about his ministry duties. And Jesus came walking down the waters of river Jordan to be baptized by him. When John saw Jesus coming toward him, he said, ‘Behold! The LAMB of God who takes away the sin of the world!’ (John 1:29). Every Jew who was around there and heard about THE LAMB quickly remembered Passover. They killed a Lamb and smeared its blood on their doorposts and that’s how they secured their freedom from bondage. Now here was a ‘LAMB OF GOD’ that was being introduced to them by God’s servant John. John says that this one will deliver them from the bondage of sin. This was a serious matter. From there they watched Him; they followed Him; they listened to Him. Then when the fullness of time came and the Jews were ready for Passover, the Lamb of God Himself was present. This time it was not going to be about the shadows and images but the real Lamb without blemish – JESUS. Satan was equally ready for his job. He entered Judas Iscariot and led him to leave the fellowship of Jesus and go to plot against his Master. Preparations in both kingdoms were now underway for the real Passover celebration. The other one in Egypt and the ones practiced every year were simply shadows of this one.

Now during the day just before the Passover which was called the Day of Unleavened Bread, which is actually the day when the lamb was usually killed; Jesus and his disciples were supposed to participate in the celebrations too. Little did they know that everyone else was doing a shadow of what they (disciples) were doing. Jesus did not provide them a lamb to kill – He was the Lamb and he was about to be killed. He told Peter and John to look for a man carrying a pitcher of water and follow him to his house and demand for the guest room for the celebrations (Luke 22:10-11). Jesus was not talking about what shall be killed. His instructions were not about ‘what’ but ‘where’. HE WAS THE ‘WHAT’. And if you notice, Jesus has always been looking for where and not what. The other day when they had a big group of hungry people; Jesus asked Philip, ‘Where shall we buy bread that these may eat?’ (John 6:5) Not, ‘what shall they eat?’ He had no problem with the WHAT. He is the bread of life. He is Jireh. Philip gave a wrong answer. He raised concerns about the what claiming that the treasurer was not in a good position (yet he was not even the treasurer). One disciple called Andrew gave Jesus the answer He had been looking for. He said, ‘there is a young man here…’ (vs 9) Think about that. He has always been the ‘what’. Would you choose today to always be the ‘where’? Be the young man!

So Jesus was looking for where to celebrate the Passover; not which lamb shall be slaughtered. He was the Lamb. Luke 22:14-20 When the hour had come, He sat down, and the twelve apostles with Him. Then He said to them, “With fervent desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer; “for I say to you, I will no longer eat of it until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and said, “Take this and divide it among yourselves; “for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes.” And He took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.” Likewise He also took the cup after supper, saying, “This cup is the new covenant in My blood, which is shed for you.’ This is what we call the Holy Communion; The blood and the body of Jesus; The foundation of our faith. Let’s look at this now more graphically in my next blog – Let My People Go Part 3B.