By Pastor Toks Oshokoya
My Text is from 2 Peter 1: 18 – 25
“Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure: for if ye do these things, ye shall never fall: For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Wherefore I will not be negligent to put you always in remembrance of these things, though ye know them, and be established in the present truth. Yea, I think it meet, as long as I am in this tabernacle, to stir you up by putting you in remembrance; Knowing that shortly I must put off this my tabernacle, even as our Lord Jesus Christ hath shewed me. Moreover I will endeavour that ye may be able after my decease to have these things always in remembrance.
For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. And this voice which came from heaven we heard, when we were with him in the holy mount.
We have also A MORE SURE WORD OF PROPHECY; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts: Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost”
Deut 29: 25 – 29
“Then men shall say, Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord God of their fathers, which he made with them when he brought them forth out of the land of Egypt: For they went and served other gods, and worshipped them, gods whom they knew not, and whom he had not given unto them: And the anger of the Lord was kindled against this land, to bring upon it all the curses that are written in this book: And the Lord rooted them out of their land in anger, and in wrath, and in great indignation, and cast them into another land, as it is this day.
The secret things belong unto the Lord our God: but THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE REVEALED belong unto us and to our children for ever, that WE MAY DO ALL the words of this law”
THOSE THINGS WHICH ARE REVEALED
My people, after we have emerged out of the darkness, let us make steady and swift progress towards perfection. We cannot continue to dwell around the mountain of mediocrity and sinfulness. We must quit as soldiers of the cross, live and do the Lord’s bidden.
There must be evidential definite masterful progress in our individual lives.
Ephesians 5: 8 – 15 STABILIZERS
For ye were sometimes DARKNESS, but now are ye LIGHT in the Lord: WALK as children of light: (For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness and righteousness and truth;) PROVING what is acceptable unto the Lord.
And have NO FELLOWSHIP with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For it is a shame even to speak of those things which are done of them in secret. But all things that are reproved are made manifest by the light: for whatsoever doth make manifest is light.
Wherefore he saith, AWAKE thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. See then that ye walk circumspectly, not as fools, but as wise, REDEEMING the time, because the days are evil.
Wherefore BE YE NOT UNWISE, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.
(1) And be not drunk with wine, wherein is excess; but be filled with the Spirit;
(2) Speaking to yourselves in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs,
(3) Singing and making melody in your heart to the Lord;
(4) Giving thanks always for all things unto God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ;
(5) Submitting yourselves one to another in the fear of God.
1 Peter 1: 13 – END; 2: 1 – 3
“Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ; As obedient children, not fashioning yourselves according to the former lusts in your ignorance: But as he which hath called you is holy, so be ye holy in all manner of conversation; Because it is written, BE YE HOLY; FOR I AM HOLY.
And if ye call on the Father, who without respect of persons judgeth according to every man’s work, pass the time of your sojourning here in fear: Forasmuch as ye know that ye were not redeemed with corruptible things, as silver and gold, from your vain conversation received by tradition from your fathers; But with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot: Who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you, Who by him do believe in God, that raised him up from the dead, and gave him glory; that your faith and hope might be in God.
Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth through the Spirit unto unfeigned love of the brethren, see that ye love one another with a pure heart fervently: Being born again, not of corruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the word of God, which liveth and abideth for ever. For all flesh is as grass, and all the glory of man as the flower of grass. The grass withereth, and the flower thereof falleth away: But the word of the Lord endureth for ever. And this is the word which by the gospel is preached unto you.
Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby: If so be ye have tasted that the Lord is gracious”
1 Peter 2: 11
Dearly beloved, I beseech you as strangers and pilgrims, ABSTAIN from fleshly lusts, which war against the soul; Having your CONVERSATION HONEST among the Gentiles: that, whereas they speak against you as evildoers, they may by your good works, which they shall behold, glorify God in the day of visitation.
WE ALL HAVE TO LEARN TO WALK BY THE LAW OF ACCEPTANCE.
That implies that you take it that other people have a right to decide to like or not like you. Accept that they have the right to choose and have their opinion about you whether you think it is correct or not. That they accountable to God just as you are also. THIS HELPS TO NEUTRALISE THE IMPULSE TO KEEP MALICE AND GET BITTER!
Get immersed in the reading and studying of God’s Word daily and regularly.
Psalm 119: 105
Thy Word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.
Your word is a lamp to GUIDE TO MY FEET, and a light for my path.
By your words I can see where I’m going; they THROW A BEAM OF LIGHT on my dark path.
DEVOTIONALS AND PROPHECIES
I wish to remind us of certain reasons why we must study prophecies, from time to time.
- PROPHECY ACQUAINTS US WITH THE MOST IMPORTANT SUBJECT OF THE AGES, GOD’S PLAN FOR MAN
We are not isolated creatures living in a vacuum without a cause or purpose (as secular thinkers who attribute man’s existence to the accident of evolution would have us believe). We were created body, soul and spirit by a loving God who has a detailed plan for our future, which is revealed only in the Bible. Not knowing that prophetic plan makes all people – even Christians- vulnerable to false teachings about our present day and the future. The only way to answer the convincing arguments of false teachers is to be armed with the truth about God’s plan for the future.
- STUDYING BIBLE PROPHECY CONVINCES US THAT THERE REALLY IS A GOD
Only God can reveal the future! And that is what prophecy is – history written in advance. In this book, we will affirm that many specific prophecies in the Bible have already been fulfilled.
- THE LITERAL FULFILLMENT OF PROPHECY TEACHES US THAT PROPHECY SHOULD BE TAKEN WHOLLY
Did God mean what He said and say what He meant? The study of fulfilled prophecy says a resounding yes. Our study of already fulfilled prophecy inspires us to trust God to fulfill the prophecies that will be fulfilled in the future. Rev 19: 10b “…the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy”
- THE STUDY OF PROPHECY PREPARES THE CHRISTIAN TO AVOID THE DECEPTIONS OF THE MANY FALSE PROPHETS THAT ARE ARISING IN OUR DAY.
While there have always been false teachers, as we approach the end times there will be an increase in the numbers of those who lead people astray with their erroneous teachings. The best defense is to “put on the full armour of God so that you can stand against the devil’s schemes” (Eph 6:11).Our Lord predicted that false christs and false prophets will appear in the end times, some of whom will be able to perform great signs and miracles and will deceive those who do not know the scriptures – particularly Bible passages that relate to future things. The best way to avoid being deceived by the false teachers is to know the prophetic teachings of God’s word.
- THE STUDY OF PROPHECY PROMOTES AN EVANGELISTIC CHURCH.
The most evangelistic periods of church history have been the times when the church actively studied prophecy. The early church as a whole was evangelistic. From the time that our Lord said “I will come again, and receive you to myself” (John 14:3) all the way through most of the next three centuries, the early church had an evangelistic fire. It may seem the church’s enthusiasm resulted from being a persecuted church, but part of the reason it was persecuted was because of its evangelistic fire – and that, in turn, was due to the fact that our Lord’s soon return was a prominent part of the church’s teachings.
- THE STUDY OF PROPHECY TENDS TO PURIFY THE BELIEVER
It is no secret that we live in an unholy age. Unfortunately, too much of that unholiness is found even in the church. One tool the Holy Spirit uses to motivate believers to live holy lives is the study of prophecy, particularly those passages that relate to our Lord’s soon return. The apostle John said this about those who hold to the promise of the Lord’s second coming in their hearts: “Everyone who has this hope fixed on Him purifies himself, just as He is pure” (1 John 3:3).
Many a believer has, in a moment of temptation, thought, Do I want to be doing this when Christ returns? When the answer is no, it is easier to reject the temptation. We are challenged to live in such a way that we will not feel ashamed when our Lord returns.
- PROPHECIES OFFERS CONFIDENT HOPE IN A HOPELESS AGE
Human beings can absorb many pressures in life, but a lack of hope is not one of them. The world in which we live has no hope. Looking back, we see an unending history of war, hatred, and cruelty, all of which reveals the inhumanness of mankind. The very study of history is a study of war and man’s inhumanity to his fellow man. The whole world yearns for peace, but knows no peace. Mankind’s problems continually worsen, leaving many people without hope.
2 Thess 2: 3
“Now, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to Him, we ask you, not to be soon shaken in mind or troubled, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as if from us, as though the day of Christ had come. Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless THE FALLING AWAY comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,…”
Things to be careful of:
- Oversimplification of the Gospel through modern translation of the Bible. Nothing is wrong with presenting the declarations in better understood, everyday and presently used english but not modern and presently used cultural and societal positions. GOD’s Word and Plans predates all human cultures. His thoughts has been in Him ahead of all things that He made.
- Oversimplification of the Gospel through changing cultural settings, emerging societal pressures and evolving human ideas.
- The growth of New Age movements, the developing ubiquitous attitudinal tendency to be more human focused than God. Same Satan, same trick, same deception, same effect! Humans are now the true judges of good and evil. No more God!
HUMANISM & FEMINISM
Genesis 3: 3 – 6 And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die: For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; and he did eat.
- The resultant effects of persisting economic downturn in the World with particular emphasis on the Nigerian case!
OFFENSES, UNFORGIVENESS, GANG-UPS, BETRAYALS.
Matthew 24: “All these are the beginning of sorrows. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another. And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold”. Hebrews 12: 12 – 17 “Wherefore lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees; And make straight paths for your feet, lest that which is lame be turned out of the way; but let it rather be healed. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord: Looking diligently lest any man fail of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up trouble you, and thereby many be defiled; Lest there be any fornicator, or profane person, as Esau, who for one morsel of meat sold his birthright. For ye know how that afterward, when he would have inherited the blessing, he was rejected: for he found no place of repentance, though he sought it carefully with tears. A person who allows bitterness to take root and live with it does not fear God”. Romans 3: 10 – 17 “As it is written, There is none righteous, no, not one: There is none that understandeth, there is none that seeketh after God. They are all gone out of the way, they are together become unprofitable; there is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known: There is no fear of God before their eyes” Do not talk please…. Bitterness makes us dark counsel with foolishness. Job 7: 11 “Therefore I will not refrain my mouth; I will speak in the anguish of my spirit. I will complain in the bitterness of my soul”. End it fast! 2 Sam 2: 26, 27 “Then Abner called to Joab, and said, Shall the sword devour for ever? knowest thou not that it will be bitterness in the latter end? how long shall it be then, ere thou bid the people return from following their brethren? And Joab said, As God liveth, unless thou hadst spoken, surely then in the morning the people had gone up every one from following his brother”
PROPER AND IMPROPER RESPONSE – parting words of counsel
There is a PROPER WAY of responding to the present time and there is an IMPROPER WAY. The choice of response is entirely ours to make. Let us examine the following areas closely;
Due to the present economic hardship and political instability, for example; in America and the UK: due to the changing dynamics towards Brexit and nationalism, this is making the political leadership to tend towards taking actions against illegal immigrants and foreigners.
Though this is actually because of Islamic Jihadism and terrorism, the fallout is affecting our people in diaspora, who are in these nations either illegally or without any meaningful purpose.
This has therefore contributed in changing the focus of many from SEEKING God for INTIMACY, HIGHER LEVEL OF WORK WITH GOD, EVANGELISM and PREPARATION FOR THE COMING OF CHRIST. Paramount now in the pursuit of everybody is SOLUTION and BREAKTHROUGH, in order not to be deported back to their country of origin.
This desperation is instigating LACK OF SENSITIVITY TO THE HOLY SPIRIT and determination to do things through legal means. People are ready to go to the occult if necessary because of desperation.
Even in South Africa, same problem is going on; there is a new rise of hostility against foreigners. So what is happening is that people are desperate for other things rather than SEEKING GOD.
All over the world, the global economic downturn is persisting. This is PARTICULARLY so in Nigeria and a country like SA, where the government is struggling to survive. Businesses are closing down; people are also losing their jobs.
In Nigeria, the free fall of the naira against the dollar; which started like a joke towards the end of 2014: is now unbelievably in its worst situation ever.
The increasing hostility against Christianity through the press (that is the print and electronic media), is gradually aiding loss of enthusiasm and interest in SERVING GOD. People are finding it DIFFICULT TO THINK ACCORDING TO THE SCRIPTURES, but are reacting CARNALLY.
This is either out of FEAR OF PERSECUTION or DESPONDENCY due to THINKING DEMOCRATICALLY, that if the number of those against us is increasing; IF WE CANNOT WIN THEM: WE JOIN THEM.
While this is going on the one hand, on the other hand is OUTRIGHT DENIAL OF CHRIST by BECOMING ATHEIST IN OUR REASONING.
Every day, journalist both on TV like CNN and in the newspapers like Nigerian Punch etc., are pushing out INFORMATION AND ARGUMENTS that CRITICIZE CHRISTIAN BASED SPIRITUALITY as a way of life by bringing in HUMANISTIC INTELLECTUAL BASED PHILOSOPHIES.
As such, more and more people are LOSING CONFIDENCE IN THE POWER OF PRAYER AND FAITH. They are being instigated to trust in their intellectual abilities, training and brainpower.
Haven’t you noticed that awards and recognitions are given to people who have brains and intellectualism, than to those who have Godly character?
PLEASE NOTE THAT I AM NOT SAYING IT IS WRONG TO SEEK FOR ATTAINMENT IN INTELLECTUALISM (as I have also attained some higher degrees and still attaining more); I AM JUST SAYING THERE MUST BE A BALANCE.
Based on earlier points, one can easily become A FOOLISH VIRGIN ( Matt 25); by responding to all these factors wrongly.
Brethren if the truth be told, THIS IS 666, as it had been taught before 6-6-6 meaning, HUMAN-HUMAN-HUMAN.
Remember that I had once said that BEFORE PEOPLE RECEIVE THE MARK CONSCIOUSLY OR PHYSICALLY ON THEIR BODY, THEY WOULD HAVE FIRST RECEIVED THE MARK IN THEIR SOULS UNCONSCIOUSLY.
The HONEST TRUTH is that the WAY YOU RESPOND to ALL THESE PRESSURES, will DETERMINE whether YOU HAVE ALREADY TAKEN THE MARK 666 OR NOT.
THE OTHER SIDE
If you have been learning from TRUE men of God for a while, you should know that THE WORLD HAS BEEN GIVEN AN EXTRA WINDOW OF TIME SEEMINGLY TO:
- Repent of our ways
- Rearrange our priorities
- Start living purposely for eternity and
- Increase our involvement in evangelizing the nations.
Let us pray.