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SANCTIFICATION: CHANGING FROM INSIDE OUT

By Segun Olumide

TABLE OF CONTENTS

1.    I SAW JESUS

2.    WHAT IS SANCTIFICATION?

3.    SEVEN GREAT TRUTHS ABOUT SANCTIFICATION

4.    SANCTIFICATION AND HEAVEN

5.    RESTITUTION

CHAPTER ONE

I SAW JESUS

In December 2012, I saw the Lord like Isaiah did. Friend, it was a bitter experience! It shook me to my very foundation.

Isaiah 6:1, 3, 5 (Amplified Bible) reveals, “I saw the Lord sitting upon a throne…
And one [angel] cried to another and said, ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of His glory!…
Then said I, WOE IS ME! FOR I AM UNDONE AND RUINED, BECAUSE I AM A MAN OF UNCLEAN LIPS, AND I DWELL IN THE MIDST OF A PEOPLE OF UNCLEAN LIPS; for my eyes have seen the King, the Lord of hosts!”

Isaiah was saying that the people he lived among had unclean lips; and so they had corrupted him until his own lips became unclean.

It was a matter of like people, like prophet.

As I approached the Lord Jesus in that prophetic night vision, I had the understanding that some people had come there before me, but unfortunately, only few of them passed the screening test I was to go through myself.

In fact, just as I was getting closer to him I got to know in my heart that I was disqualified. I mean I would fail his test. So I thought within myself what I can best express as, “Woe unto me.” Though, those were not my exact thoughts.

Then as I stood before his very presence one on one, he simply said to me, “One thousand.” And that was what disqualified me.

Hey! No wonder Paul wrote, “But [like a boxer] I buffet my body [handle it roughly, discipline it by hardships] and subdue it, for fear that after proclaiming to others the Gospel and things pertaining to it, I MYSELF SHOULD BECOME UNFIT [NOT STAND THE TEST, BE UNAPPROVED AND REJECTED AS A COUNTERFEIT]” (1Cor 9:27, Amplified Bible).

The New Living Translation put the last part of this verse above as, “I fear that after preaching to others I MYSELF MIGHT BE DISQUALIFIED.”

The King James Version renders it as, “lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I MYSELF SHOULD BE A CASTAWAY.”

The Living Bible expresses it as, “I fear that after enlisting others for the race, I MYSELF MIGHT BE DECLARED UNFIT AND ORDERED TO STAND ASIDE.”

Without wasting time, I started pleading seriously for mercy; thinking ‘Is this how I will end it all? Not making it to heaven?’

Then I saw some creatures. Maybe they were angels, I cannot tell. They quickly formed a circle as if carrying my plea to God.

Suddenly, I had an understanding that the God had had mercy on me! So before I was allowed to go back to the earth, the Lord showed me two other things which I will not discuss here.

So when I came out of the experience, fear gripped me. I pick up my Bible and began to list the restitutions I needed to make.

You see, the Lord did not tell me if that “one thousand” he said to me was referring to money, people or something else!

But I am very sure I needed to make some restitutions.

What about you? I will talk more about this in the last chapter!

CHAPTER TWO

WHAT IS SANCTIFICATION?

Let us consider what sanctification is not before examining what it means.

WHAT SANCTIFICATION IS NOT
1.    It is not righteousness.

2.    It is not a holier-than-thou attitude.

3.    It is not social morality.

4.    It is not perfection.

5.    It is not being born-again.

6.    It is not Holy Spirit baptism.

7.    It is not speaking in tongues.

8.    It is not being gifted of God.

9.    It is not putting on natural white garments.

10.    It is not natural cleanliness.

WHAT THEN IS SANCTIFICATION?
Sanctification means setting apart someone or something for a holy use.

“Nevertheless the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, the Lord knoweth them that are his. And, Let every one that nameth the name of Christ depart from iniquity.

“But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.

“If a man therefore PURGE HIMSELF from these (things that dishonour God), he shall be a vessel unto honour SANCTIFIED, and meet for the master’s use, and prepared unto every good work” (2 Tim 2:19-1).

God, who is a holy God, desires to express himself unhindered and unlimited through holy vessels.

That is why God commanded, “YOU MUST BE HOLY BECAUSE I AM HOLY” (1Peter 1:16, New Living Translation).

For this purpose, he sanctifies his human vessels. That means he sets them apart for a holy use.

Even Jesus spoke of himself, “say ye of him, whom the Father hath SANCTIFIED and sent into the world, thou blasphemest, because I said, I am the son of God?” (John 10:36).

So we can see that God set apart Jesus for a holy use  He sanctified him  before sending him into the world.

God finds it difficult to use unsanctified vessels. In fact, they bring reproach to his name and frustrate his grace.

Paul clearly wrote to Timothy that if anyone will purge or cleanse himself from worldly pollutions or corruption, he would be a vessel unto honour, SANCTIFIED and ready to be used of God (2Tim 2:21).

That shows that sanctification is God’s way of preparing his people for usefulness.

You see, the scriptures show us that sanctification is a pre-condition for effectiveness and lasting impact in God’s service.

That was why God said through Isaiah, the prophet, “Depart depart, go out from there! Touch no unclean thing! Come out from it and BE PURE, you WHO CARRY THE VESSELS OF THE LORD” (Is 52:11, NIV).

On a more serious note, God warned the priests, through Moses to sanctify themselves or else.

God actually said, “And let the priests also, which come near to the LORD, SANCTIFY THEMSELVES LEST THE LORD BREAK FORTH UPON THEM” (Ex 19:22).

But remember that all believers in Christ Jesus under the New Covenant are a royal priesthood  God’s kingly priests (1 Peter 2:9, Rev 1:6, Rev 5:10).

So God was telling Moses that serving Him without being sanctified or pure is inviting His divine wrath or courting disaster.

CHAPTER THREE

SEVEN GREAT TRUTHS ABOUT SANCTIFICATION

1.    YOUR SANCTIFICATION IS GOD’S WILL
Knowing and understanding God’s will is good but doing it willingly (from the heart) is much better.

Jesus prayed that God’s will be done on earth as it is in heaven (Mat 6:10).

Until you are fully convicted that something is God’s will for you, it’s very difficult to be fully committed to it.

I tell people about marriage that conviction is the mother of commitment. This relates to other aspects of life too.

The Bible teaches that our sanctification is God’s will.

Paul wrote, “Finally, brothers, we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you are living.

Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this more and more. For you know what instructions we gave you by the authority of the Lord Jesus.

IT IS GOD’S WILL THAT YOU SHOULD BE SANCTIFIED: that you should avoid sexual immorality; that each of you should learn to control his own body in a way that is holy and honorable, not in passionate lust like the heathen, who do not know God; and that in this matter no one should wrong his brother or take advantage of him.

THE LORD WILL PUNISH MEN FOR ALL SUCH SINS, AS WE HAVE ALREADY TOLD YOU AND WARNED YOU. FOR GOD DID NOT CALL US TO BE IMPURE, BUT TO LIVE A HOLY LIFE.

Therefore, he who rejects this instruction does not reject man but God, who gives you his Holy Spirit “(1 Thess 4:1-8, NIV).

For emphasis, let’s look at verses 3, 4 and 7 in the King James Version.

It reads, “For this is the WILL OF GOD, EVEN YOUR SANCTIFICATION, that ye should abstain from fornication.

THAT EVERY ONE OF YOU SHOULD KNOW HOW TO POSSESS HIS VESSEL IN SANCTIFICATION AND HONOUR

FOR GOD HATH NOT CALLED US UNTO UNCLEANNESS BUT UNTO HOLINESS “(1 Thess 4: 3, 4, 7).

It is very clear that our sanctification is God’s idea  God’s desire  God’s plan  God’s design  God’s will.

This implies that if you are not living a sanctified life, then you are living outside of God’s will for you.

Living at the centre of God’s will for your life protects you from demonic attacks but living outside of it exposes you to them (Eph 4:27, 17-32, Ps 91; Is 54:13-17).

2.    SANCTIFICATION IS NOT A DEFINITE SECOND WORK OF GRACE BUT A DAILY PROGRESSIVE (GRADUAL) WORK OF GRACE
It has been taught over the years in some circles that a sinner needs to be born-again first, become sanctified second and get filled with the Holy Spirit third.

In other words, we have been made to believe that after one is born-again, one needs to experience a definite second work of grace called sanctification before one can be qualified to receive the Holy Spirit.

But this is not scriptural at all. Peter and Paul didn’t teach us that. Even Jesus didn’t dish such out.

The Bible says, “In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying if any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink.

He that believeth on me as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.  (But this spake of THE SPIRIT, WHICH THEM THAT BELIEVE ON HIM SHOULD RECEIVE. For the Holy Ghost was not yet given, because that Jesus was not yet glorified)” (John 7:37  39).

Verse 39 above indicates that those who believe on Christ Jesus are qualified to receive the Holy Spirit.

It doesn’t say that it is those who receive a second definite work of grace, namely ‘sanctification’ that can receive God’s Spirit because sanctification is a lifetime experience. It’s continuous!

Also Peter preached to the Jews on the day of Pentecost, “Repent and be baptized, every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins and YE SHALL RECEIVE THE GIFT (not gifts) OF THE HOLY GHOST” (Acts 2:38).

Peter was telling them that they were qualified or entitled to be baptized with the Holy Ghost after they had been born-again.

He didn’t tell them to get religiously sanctified first, so that God’s Spirit can come upon them!

Funnily enough, as soon as Cornelius, his relations and his friends believed on Jesus Christ, they received the Holy Spirit, even while Peter was still preaching to them.

They didn’t have to wait for weeks, months or years to be religiously sanctified (See Acts 10:43-48, see also Acts 8:12-17).

Moreover, Paul asked some believers in Ephesus, “Have ye received the Holy Ghost since ye believed?” (Act 19:2).

It’s interesting to note that he didn’t ask them “Have you received the Holy Ghost since you were sanctified?”

That very day, he laid his hands upon them and they were filled with the Spirit, and they spoke with other tongues and prophesied (Acts 19:2-6).

A careful study of the scriptures reveals that sanctification, in a sense, is not like the new birth.

Sanctification is a gradual experience while the new birth is a once-and-for-all experience.

Yes, sanctification is progressive whereas the new birth is instantaneous.

Roman 12:2 reads, “And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the RENEWING OF YOUR MIND..”

The word ‘renewING’ above shows that the transformation of our minds, the sanctification of our souls, is continuous, progressive or gradual!

One’s human spirit can get born-again in a second or minute, but one’s soul needs to be sanctified daily year in year out (John 3:6, 2 Cor 4:16, NIV).

Paul wrote, “And we, who with unveiled faces all reflect the Lord’s glory are BEING TRANSFORMED INTO HIS LIKENESS with over-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit” ( 2 Cor 3:8, NIV).

Paul was saying here we are ‘beING transformed.’ Not we were transformed.  Not we had been transformed, but we are being transformed, changed or metamorphosed into Christ’s likeness on a gradual, continuous basis!

In the following chapter, he reinforced this truth, “though outwardly we are wasting away, yet INWARDLY WE ARE BEING RENEWED DAY BY DAY” (2 Cor 4:16, NIV).

3.    THERE ARE THREE REALMS/KINDS OF SANCTIFICATION

One version says, “May God himself, the God of peace, SANCTIFY you THROUGH AND THROUGH (COMPLETELY).
May your WHOLE SPIRIT, SOUL AND BODY BE KEPT BLAMELESS AT THE COMING OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST” (1 Thess 5:23, NIV).

Another version says, “And the very God of peace SANCTIFY you WHOLLY (ENTIRELY, COMPLETELY);

And I pray God your WHOLE (ENTIRE) SPIRIT, SOUL AND BODY BE PRESERVED BLAMELESS UNTO THE COMING OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST” (1 Thess 5:23, KJV).

God made man on three dimensions. Actually, man is a spirit, he has a soul and he lives in a body.

So, the first kind of sanctification is that of the spirit. And it happens at the new birth.

The Bible teaches that at the new birth, the human spirit is born anew (John 3:6; 2 Cor 5:17) and that once it is reborn this way it cannot sin.

1 John 3:9 reads, “Whosoever is born of God (the human spirit) doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him and HE CANNOT SIN, BECAUSE HE IS BORN OF GOD.”

This scripture refers to the human spirit because Jesus said, “That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and THAT WHICH IS BORN OF THE SPIRIT IS SPIRIT.
Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born-again (John 3:6-7).

Paul wrote that the recreated human spirit  the new man  is righteous and holy.

Ephesians 4:24 reads, “And that ye put on the new man (the reborn spirit), which after God is created in RIGHTEOUSNESS (right standing with God) and true HOLINESS (sanctification).”

We now see that the sanctification of the spirit of man at the new birth is an established truth (see also Heb 10:10).

The second kind of sanctification is that of the soul. The human soul comprises the mind, the emotions and the will.

Unlike the first kind which happens at the new birth, this one begins after the new birth and continues throughout one’s lifetime here on earth.

Our central text- 1 Thessalonians 5:23  includes the soul under complete sanctification.

In addition to that, let’s see Ephesians 4:17, 23: “So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking (mind)

be made new in the attitudes of your minds.”

The living Bible puts verse 3 above better: “NOW YOUR ATTITUDES AND THOUGHTS MUST ALL BE CONSTANTLY CHANGING FOR THE BETTER.”

The same message is repeated in Romans 12:2 “Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world but be transformed by the RENEWING of your mind” (NIV).

Your mind can only be renewed through the Word and prayer.

Every believer who wants to have sanctified attitudes and thoughts without false pretences should spend enough quality time in God’s word and prayer on a regular daily basis.

Without this, living a truly sanctified life will be impossible.

My experience has proved to me that without good intimacy with God through the word and prayer, one may as well forget about living a holy life (please study Ps 19:9-11).

You can sanctify food just as you sanctify your mind by the word of God and prayer (please read 1 Timo. 4:5).

The third type of sanctification is that of the body.  God expects us to do something about our bodies, which are not born-again.

But at the rapture of the saints, our bodies will be redeemed, changed, transformed, transfigured or born again (Romans 8:23-25, Philippians 3:20-1, 1 Corinthians 15:35-58)!

Until then, God told us what to do with our bodies.

Paul wrote the Romans, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy TO OFFER YOUR BODIES AS LIVING SACRIFICES, HOLY AND PLEASING TO GOD  this is your SPIRITUAL (REASONABLE) ACT OF WORSHIP” (RO 12:1, NIV).

God requires that we offer our bodies to him. That means we give, present, consecrate, dedicate, separate our bodies unto him in holiness and obedience, in respect and holy fear, in loving and serving God as well as mankind.

Our bodies are spiritually dead or separated from God and His life because they are indwelt by sin or the Adamic nature (Ro 8:10, Ro 7:5-23).

That’s why the human flesh is at war with the human spirit and vice versa (Gal 5:16-17, 1 Peter 2:11).

Victory is experienced in our lives when our souls side with our spirits to put the bodies under [through self-discipline exercise (like fasting) and prayer] and to subject or subdue them (through confessing, studying (thinking upon) and practicing God’s word).

This is walking in the spirit (read Gal 5:16-26, Ro 7:4-25, Ro 8:1-5)!

Paul summarized it like this as I discussed earlier: “But I KEEP UNDER MY BODY AND BRING IT INTO SUBJECTION: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway” (1 Cor 9:7).

4.    WHILE THE NEW BIRTH IS YOUR PASSPORT TO HEAVEN, SANCTIFICATION IS YOUR VISA THERE

I’ve heard ministers teach on eternal security: once saved, always saved.

One of them claimed that if Jesus returns and finds a believer fornicating, he will not count it against him or her.

Shockingly, he explained that all believers, holy and unholy will be raptured; but the unholy ones will receive no rewards from Christ. This is a heresy!

Another preacher (with an international ministry) justified this silly notion with John 3:16, ” whosoever believeth in him should not perish.”

He explained that according to this scripture above, it is a law in the spirit that once you are born-again, you should never perish again! Rubbish!

JESUS AGAINST ETERNAL SECURITY

“And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many. And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold but HE THAT SHALL ENDURE UNTO THE END, THE SAME SHALL BE SAVED” (Mat 24:11-13).

“TO HIM WHO OVERCOMES AND DOES MY WILL TO THE END, I will give authority over the nations” (Rev 2:26, NIV)

“NOT EVERYONE WHO SAYS TO ME, LORD, LORD, WILL ENTER THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN BUT ONLY HE WHO DOES THE WILL OF MY FATHER WHO IS IN HEAVEN.

“Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?

“Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evil doers! (Mat 7:21-23, NIV).

PAUL AGAINST ETERNAL SECURITY

“Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it, THAT HE MIGHT SANCTIFY AND CLEANSE IT WITH THE WASHING OF WATER BY THE WORD, THAT HE MIGHT PRESENT IT TO HIMSELF A GLORIOUS CHURCH, NOT HAVING SPOT, OR WRINKLE, OR ANY SUCH THING, BUT THAT IT SHOULD BE HOLY AND WITHOUT BLEMISH” (Eph 5:25-27).

“Follow PEACE with all men and HOLINESS, WITHOUT WHICH NO MAN SHALL SEE THE LORD” (Heb 12:14).

“DO YOU NOT KNOW THAT THE WICKED WILL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD?

“DO NOT BE DECEIVED: NEITHER THE SEXUALLY IMMORAL NOR IDOLATERS NOR ADULTERERS NOR MALE PROSTITUTES NOR HOMOSEXUAL OFFENDERS NOR THIEVES NOR THE GREEDY NOR DRUNKARDS NOR SLANDERERS NOR SWINDLERS WILL INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD” (1 Cor 6:9-10, NIV).

JOHN AGAINST ETERNAL SECURITY

“.But we know that when he (Jesus) appears, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

“EVERYONE WHO HAS THIS HOPE IN HIM PURIFIES HIMSELF, JUST AS HE IS PURE” (1 John 3:2-3, NIV).

“NOTHING IMPURE WILL EVER ENTER IT (the New Jerusalem), NOR WILL ANYONE WHO DOES WHAT IS SHAMEFUL (ABOMINABLE) OR DECEITFUL, BUT ONLY THOSE WHOSE NAMES ARE WRITTEN IN THE LAMB’S BOOK OF LIFE” (Rev 21:27).

PETER AGAINST ETERNAL SECURITY

“So now you can look forward soberly and intelligently to more of God’s kindness to you when Jesus Christ returns.

“Obey God because you are His Children. Don’t slip back into your old ways  doing evil because you knew no better.

“But be holy now in everything you do, just as the Lord is holy, who invited you to be His child.  He Himself has said, “You must be holy, for I am holy.

“And remember that your heavenly Father to whom you pray has no favorites when the judges. He will judge you with perfect justice for everything you do, SO ACT IN REVERENT FEAR OF HIM FROM NOW ON UNTIL YOU GET TO HEAVEN (1 Peter 1:13-17, TLB).

“Since everything (the heavens and the earth) will be destroyed in this way, what kind of people ought you to be?

You ought to live holy and godly lives.

So then dear friends, since you are looking forward to this (a new heaven and a new earth), MAKE EVERY EFFORT TO BE FOUND SPOTLESS, BLAMELESS AND AT PEACE WITH HIM “(2 Peter 3:11, 14, NIV).

So the new birth is your passport. A passport permits one to travel abroad, that is, to leave your country or one country for another.

But a sanctified Christian life is your visa. A visa is a mark or seal put on a passport to permit one to enter, pass through or exit from a particular foreign nation.

You see, Australian visa is different from South African visa just as American visa differs from German visa.

You obtain this heavenly passport (new birth) once and for all but you renew your visa (sanctification) daily!

5.    SANCTIFICATION INVOLVES A CHANGE FROM INSIDE OUT, NOT THE OTHER WAY ROUND

Jesus said, “Woe to you, teachers of the law and Pharisees, you HYPOCRITES!

“You clean the outside of the cup and dish, but inside they are full of greed and self-indulgence.

“Blind Pharisees! FIRST CLEAN THE INSIDE OF THE CUP AND DISH, AND THEN THE OUTSIDE ALSO WILL BE CLEAN.

“Woe to you teachers of the law and Pharisees, you hypocrites!

“YOU ARE LIKE WHITE WASH TOMBS, WHICH LOOK BEAUTIFUL ON THE OUTSIDE BUT ON THE INSIDE ARE FULL OF DEAD MEN’S BONES AND EVERYTHING UNCLEAN.

“IN THE SAME WAY, ON THE OUTSIDE YOU APPEAR TO PEOPLE AS RIGHTEOUS BUT ON THE INSIDE YOU ARE FULL OF HYPOCRISY AND WICKEDNESS” (Mat 23:25-28, NIV).

Legalism, which is trying to keep a set of rules, centres on changing a person from outside in. That’s not God’s way!

It is so bad that legalism will make one look holy on the outside while he is defeated by sin on the inside!

On the other hand, liberalism, which is living freely to please oneself, may claim inward change in the heart but normally denies the necessary Godly outward fruits.

That’s deception per excellence (Matthew 7:16-20).

You see, sanctification brings true liberty, which involves living in true freedom from inside out to please God.

It emphasizes inward change which compels outward fruits. That’s God kind of liberty (John 8:31-32, 36).

Jesus Challenged the Scribes and Pharisees, who were pretenders  claiming to be what they were not  to first clean their hearts so that their outward lives may be clean, too (see Matthew 23:26).

God wants both the inward and outward perfectly clean but we must put first things first (1 Thess 5:23, Mat 15:18-20, Ps 24:3-4).

CHARISMA WITHOUT CHARACTER
It is true that the charisma or gift of a man makes room for him and ushers him into the presence of the great (Prov. 8:16).

As a matter of balance, it’s the character of a man that will help keep the door open as well as keep him in the presence of the great  in the limelight!

You know, Joseph’s gift brought him into greatness but his godly fruits kept him in his greatness.

Are you walking in the fruit of spirit or it has been submerged by the works of the flesh (Galatians 5:19-23)?

Yes, Samson’s charisma brought him prominence but his weakness of character spelt his doom. He spent a night, with a prostitute, but got up at midnight and demonstrated God’s power.

Performing miracles, prophesying, receiving visions or preaching fire down from heaven doesn’t automatically mean you are living a holy life (see Judges 16:1-3, Matthew 7:21-23).

We have so many anointed hypocrites, Holy Ghost-baptized thieves, tongue-talking crooks, prophesying liars and miracle-working adulterers in the church today!

Unless there is true repentance, even a preacher can sink from the pulpit into real hell!

Some years ago, a man came to prominence in this nation and God’s power flowed through him.

It is to be regretted, however, that this man did not last in effective ministry because he preferred comfort to character.

His fame has suddenly turned to shame owing to sex scandal, financial mismanagement, and so on that trail his ministry!

Do you want to last in ministry? Do you want to stand the test of time? Do you want to make heaven at last?

Then work on your character from inside out! Don’t keep bad company; it corrupts good character because you will become like the people you fellowship with, it is a question of time (1 Cor 15:33-34, Prov. 13:20).

PERFECTING HOLINESS IN THE FEAR OF GOD

Paul wrote, “Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.

“Having therefore these promises dearly beloved, let us cleanse ourselves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God” (2 Cor. 6:17, 7:1).

I have learnt by experience that the fear of God makes us mature in holiness.

Friend, if you fear God, you will not toy with sin.  If you don’t fear Him, however, you will take him for granted and excuse yourself for committing some sins.

You see, as long as you give an excuse for a sinful habit, you cannot overcome it.

The Bible says, “You have no excuse’ (Rom 2:1).

It also says, “The fear of the LORD is to hate evil: pride, and arrogance and the evil way, and the forward mouth, do I hate” (Prov 8:13).

Do you fear God and avoid evil things as Job did or you disregard Him and enjoy evils as the sons of Eli did?

Reading ‘A Divine Revelation of Hell’ by Mary Baxter has imparted some fear of God to me. The book reveals that any believer or even pastor who harbours sin or lives in it will end up in hell! That’s Scriptural.

So, where is the fear of God if you call yourself a believer and make money unlawfully  through bribery, falsifying accounts, examination malpractices, drug trafficking, child or woman trafficking, over-charging for goods and services, converting public fund or church’s money to personal possessions, prostitution, manufacturing fake products (which may kill fellow human beings), armed robbery, fraud (on the internet, by mouth or in paper) and so on?

I say where is the fear of God if you gossip, envy, lust, covet, slander, lie, kill, steal, fornicate, commit adultery, dishonour parents (or guardians), masturbate, watch (see) immoral movies, live with someone you are not rightly married to, oppress and cheat others; live in pride, unforgiveness, malice, hatred, drunkenness, idolatry, witchcraft, seek help from Satan and such like?

See, if you sell, buy or drink alcohol you are on your way to hell.

Lesbians, homosexuals, masturbators and all sexual pervert are hell-bound unless they repent.

As I read that book and got to the portion where she went with the Lord Jesus to hell in a vision or so and the Lord burst into tears because of the doomed hopeless people there, then tears came to my eyes, too!

Please get that book and read it prayerfully and repeatedly. (See also psalms 119:118-120).

Friends, let’s fear God. He is no respecter of persons! Remember Adam and Eve were kicked out of the Garden because of just one sin.

So just one little sin is big enough to disqualify any of us! But let the fear of God transform us from inside out!!!

6.    ONLY WALKING IN TRUE RIGHTEOUSNESS CAN LEAD YOU TO GENUINE HOLINESS OR SANCTIFICATION

Paul wrote, “I am speaking in human terms, because of your natural limitations. For just as you once presented your members as slaves to impurity  and to lawlessness leading to more lawlessness, so now present your members as slaves to RIGHTEOUSNESS LEADING TO SANCTIFICATION” (Rom 6:19, English Standard Version).

John also wrote, “He who is UNRIGHTEOUS (unjust, wicked), let him be UNRIGHTEOUS still; and he who is FILTHY (vile, impure), let him be FILTHY still; and he who is RIGHTEOUS (just, upright, in right standing with God), let him do RIGHT still; and he who is HOLY, let him be HOLY still” (Rev 22:11, Amplified Bible).

The King James Version puts the latter part of this scripture above as: “and he that is RIGHTEOUS, let him be RIGHTEOUS still: and he that is HOLY, let him be HOLY still.”

Actually, righteousness means a right standing with God. It is the ability of the human spirit to stand before God without any sense of unworthiness, inferiority, condemnation, guilt, fear, bondage or failure as though it had never sinned.

So while righteousness is right standing holiness is right living.

In other words, righteousness is a state of the heart whereas holiness is a lifestyle.

Simply put, your righteousness in Christ is God’s nature in you but your holiness in Christ is God’s character in your life!

2 Corinthians 5:21 says that Jesus Christ, who knew no sin became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God in Him (See also Rom 10:9-10).

Praise God! All believers are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus according to this scripture!

Someone concluded it this way: “RIGHTEOUSNESS is WHO you are, while HOLINESS is WHAT you do.”

It is very imperative for us to put on the breastplate of righteousness so that even when we sin and receive God’s forgiveness, no devil will destabilize and demobilize us with condemnation and guilt (Eph 6:14).

So whenever I miss it and sin against God, I lose my holiness in a sense but not my righteousness  because I am still the righteousness of God in Christ in spite of my shortcomings.

That sin will dullen and weaken my righteousness but does not remove it.

The most dangerous part of this, which some charismatic people have failed to see is that: YOU CAN BE RIGHTEOUS AND BE ON YOUR WAY TO HELL BECAUSE YOU HAVE LOST YOUR HOLINESS OR SANCTIFICATION!

(Please study Eph 4:23-24, Heb 5:13-14(NIV).)

7.    GET SANCTIFIED THROUGH THE WORD AND PRAYER ON A DAILY BASIS

Every believer should make it a priority to spend enough quality time with God daily or forget about living a consistently holy or sanctified life!

It is good to wake up early in the morning like Jesus and get a lonely place to spend enough quality time with God.

That was the secret of Jesus (see Mark 1:35). Daniel prayed three times daily (Dan 6:10). Charles Finney used to pray from 4 to 8 every morning.

God specifically revealed to me to wake up every 5 o’clock in the morning to spend time with Him.

Why this fellowship time with God? It has many benefits.

One of them is: “THEY GO FROM STRENGTH TO STRENGTH, every one of them appears before the LORD in Zion” (Ps 84:7, author’s paraphrase).

Mind you, this should be a time of fellowshipping with God. The Greek word translated “fellowship” (1John 1:3, 2 Cor 13:14) means “sharing together, intercourse, participation”

So this should be a time of talking to God in pure worship, thanksgiving and request as well as studying His word deeply so that He can talk to you.

i.    The Word
“Husband, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, ad gave himself for it; that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word..  that he might present it to himself a glorious church not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:25-27).

Jesus said, “Now ye are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you” (John 15:3).

Jesus also prayed for his disciples, “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth” (John 17:17).

The psalmist wrote, “How can a young man keep his way pure?

By living according to YOUR WORD. I seek you with all my heart, do not let me stray from YOUR commands.

I have hidden YOUR WORD in my heart that I might not sin against you” (Ps 19:9-11, NIV).

Jesus said, “if ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed;

And ye shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free” (John 8:31-32).

Every believer should spend enough time studying the Word daily.

Someone talking about the Bible noted, “This book will keep you away from sin or sin will keep you away from it.”

ii.    Prayer
“The earnest (continued, heartfelt) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available (dynamic in its working)” (James 5:16, Amplified Bible).

PRAYING THE SCRIPTURES

1.    Prayer of Request: Ask God To Make You Strong In Holiness

Say these Holy-Spirit anointed prayers regularly:

“And may the God of peace Himself sanctify me through and through (separate me from profane things, make me pure and wholly consecrated to God), and may my spirit and soul and body be preserved sound and complete [and found] blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ (the Messiah) [1 Thess 5:23, AMP].

“That I may be filled with the full (deep and clear) knowledge of this will in all spiritual wisdom [in comprehensive insight into the ways and purposes of God] and in understanding and discernment of spiritual things

“That I may walk (live and conduct myself) in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to Him and desiring to please Him in all things, bearing fruit in every good work and steadily growing and increasing in and by knowledge of God with fuller, deeper and clearer insight, acquaintance and recognition).

“[I pray] that I may be invigorated and strengthened with all power according to the might of His glory [to exercise] every kind of endurance and patience (perseverance and forbearance) with joy” (Col 1:9-11, AMP).

” That I may [as a person of ripe character and clear conviction] stand firm and mature [in spiritual growth] convinced and fully assured in everything willed by God” (Col 4:12, AMP).

“And this I pray: that my love may abound yet more and more and extend to its fullest development in knowledge and all keen insight (that my love may display itself in greater depth of acquaintance and more comprehensive discernment).

“So that I may surely learn to sense what is vital and approve and prize what is excellent and of real value (recognizing the highest and the best and distinguishing the moral differences), and that I may be untainted and pure and unerring and blameless [so that with heart sincere and certain and unsullied, I may approach the day of Christ [not stumbling nor causing others to stumble].

“May I abound in and be filled with fruits of righteousness (of right standing with God and right doing) which come through Jesus Christ (the Anointed One), to the honor and praise of God [that His glory may be both manifested and recognized] (Php 1:9-11, AMP).

“May God grant me out of the rich treasury of His glory to be strengthened and reinforced with mighty power in the inner man by the (Holy) Spirit (Himself indwelling my innermost being and personality).

“May Christ through my faith (actually) dwell (settle down, abide, make His abode, permanent home) in my heart.

“May I be rooted deep in love and founded securely on love.

“That I may have the power and be strong to apprehend and grasp with all the saints [God’s devoted people, the experience of that love] what is the breadth and length and height and depth (of it);

“[That I may really come] to know [practically, through experience for myself] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience]; that I may be filled through all my being] unto all the fullness of God [may have the richest measure of the divine Presence, and become a body wholly filled and flooded with God Himself” (Eph 3:16-19).

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.  See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting” (Ps 139:23-24, NIV).

“Set a guard over my mouth, O LORD, keep watch over the door of my lips. Let not my heart be drawn to what is evil, to take part in wicked deeds with men who are evildoers; let me not eat of their delicacies” (Ps 141:3-4, NIV)

2.    Prayer Of Authority: Set Yourself Free From Demonic Influence Over your Life

According to Mark 16:17, every believer has the authority to cast out devils in the name of Jesus! So sometimes you have to command a wrong spirit to lose its grip and hold over your spirit, soul and body in Jesus name.

I have personally done this on some occasions when I sensed that the devil was trying to influence me against God or man; and wonderfully it has worked for me (See also   Isaiah 52:2)!

How many of you know that the devil you refuse to deal with will eventually deal with you?

3.    Prayer of Agreement

The scripture has established it that one person will chase a thousand while two people will put ten thousand to flight (Deuteronomy 32:30).

The scripture also affirms that two are better that one; and a three-fold cord is hard to break. That is the power of unity or agreement (Please study Ecclesiastes 4:9-12, Psalms 133:1).

So I will suggest that if you are constantly tormented by demonic depression or oppression, then get a person of faith to agree with you in both prayer of request to God and prayer of authority over the foul spirits afflicting you.

Sometimes I had to ask my wife to join me in a prayer of agreement. Yes, we would pray together and the victory would show up!

CHAPTER FOUR

SANCTIFICATION AND HEAVEN

Romans 5:4-5 (Amplified Bible) reads, “And endurance (fortitude) develops maturity of character (approved faith and tried integrity).

AND CHARACTER [OF THIS SORT] PRODUCES [THE HABIT OF] JOYFUL AND CONFIDENT HOPE OF ETERNAL SALVATION.

SUCH HOPE NEVER DISAPPOINTS OR DELUDES OR SHAMES US, FOR GOD’S LOVE HAS BEEN POURED OUT IN OUR HEARTS THROUGH THE HOLY SPIRIT WHO HAS BEEN GIVEN TO US.”

The scripture above is saying that our sanctified character built on agape love and processed by patient endurance gives us the joyful and confident hope of eternal salvation.

The founder of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Late Pa Josiah Akindayomi had an experience that will benefit us all.

This great apostle died in 1980. But after his death, he was told to look at his inheritance.

Then the sad shocking news was that he was told that the unresolved misunderstanding he had with Brother T of the Apostolic Faith 28 years earlier [in 1952] was standing against his making heaven.

So by an act of God’s mercy, he was allowed to go back to the earth and straighten his way.

As they were preparing for his funereal, he came back to life telling them that he was not allowed him [to his place of eternal]. If not for the mercy of God, he would have gone to hell!

That’s why Hebrews 12:14 (Amplified Bible) says, “STRIVE TO LIVE IN PEACE WITH EVERYBODY AND PURSUE THAT CONSECRATION AND HOLINESS WITHOUT WHICH NO ONE WILL [EVER] SEE THE LORD.”

So he wrote Brother ‘T’ apologizing for his misbehavoiur and finally went back to eternity. You may read his biography for the details.

That Romans 5:5 emphasizes love which gives strength and maturity to our character mentioned in Romans 5:4.

Therefore, I want you to carefully and constantly  meditate on the attributes of divine love as contained in 1 Corinthians 13:4-8 (Amplified Bible) as it helps you to get more prepared for heaven.

Since God is love, then the Kingdom of God is the Kingdom of Love (Romans 14:17).

THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD-KIND OF LOVE

i.    Love endures long 1Cor 13: 4 (AMP)

ii.    It is patient 1Cor 13: 4 (AMP)

iii.    It is kind 1Cor 13: 4 (AMP)

iv.    It is never envious 1Cor 13: 4 (AMP)

v.    It does not boil over with jealousy 1Cor 13: 4 (AMP)

vi.    It is not boastful  1Cor 13: 4 (AMP)

vii.    It is not vainglorious 1Cor 13:  4 (AMP)

viii.    It does not display itself haughtily 1Cor 13: 4 (AMP)

ix.    It is not conceited 1Cor 13: 5 (AMP)

x.    It is not rude 1Cor 13:5 (AMP)

xi.    It does not act unbecomingly 1Cor 13: 5 (AMP)

xii.    It does not insist on its own rights or its own way for it is not self-seeking 1Cor 13: 5 (AMP)

xiii.    It is not touchy 1Cor 13: 5 (AMP)

xiv.    It is not fretful 1Cor 13: 5 (AMP)

xv.    It is not resentful 1Cor 13: 5 (AMP)

xvi.    It takes no account of the evil done to it 1Cor 13: 5 (AMP)

xvii.    It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail 1Cor 13: 6 (AMP)

xviii.    It bears up under anything and everything that comes 1Cor 13: 7 (AMP)

xix.    It is ever ready to believe the best of every person 1Cor 13: 7 (AMP)

xx.    Its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances 1Cor 13: 7 (AMP)

xxi.    It endures everything [without weakening] 1Cor 13: 7 (AMP)

xxii.    It never fails 1Cor 13: 8 (AMP)

SEVEN THINGS TO UNDERSTAND ABOUT HEAVEN

i.    YOU Cannot be heaven-conscious and heaven-focused until and unless you prioritize the focus of your mind on heaven or the kingdom of heaven

Col 3:1-2 reveals: “If then you have been raised with Christ [to a new life, thus sharing His resurrection from the dead], AIM AT AND SEEK THE [RICH, ETERNAL TREASURES] THAT ARE ABOVE, WHERE CHRIST IS, SEATED AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD.
AND SET YOUR MINDS AND KEEP THEM SET ON WHAT IS ABOVE (THE HIGHER THINGS), NOT ON THE THINGS THAT ARE ON THE EARTH.”

The Living Bible puts verse 2 above as: “LET HEAVEN FILL YOUR THOUGHTS; don’t spend your time worrying about things down here.”

Notice that it does not say, “Let money fill your thoughts.”

Recently, one of my old-time school friends wrote on facebook, “I have money on my mind.” That saddened my heart. Though I had tried earlier to re-unite with him, nevertheless when I read that statement from him, I was pissed off.

I think I would rather get a bit close to him now so that I can help him spiritually, though he is a Muslim than allow him to go to hell!

Someone said, “Your life moves in the direction of your most predominant thoughts.”

The Lord himself cautioned us, “So don’t worry about these things, saying, ‘What will we eat? What will we drink? What will we wear?
These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers but your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.
BUT SEEK (AIM AT AND STRIVE AFTER) FIRST OF ALL HIS KINGDOM AND HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS (HIS WAY OF DOING AND BEING RIGHT), AND THEN ALL THESE THINGS TAKEN TOGETHER WILL BE GIVEN YOU BESIDES” (Mat 6:31-32, New Living Translation, 33, Amplified Bible).

Luke 12:30-31 (Living Bible) summarized like this: “All mankind scratches for its daily bread, but your heavenly Father knows your needs.

“He will always give you all you need from day to day if you will make the Kingdom of God YOUR PRIMARY CONCERN.”

ii.    If you don’t make heaven your first priority, then whatever you prioritize above it will certainly hinder you from getting there

When Jesus was asked whether a few are going to be saved or not, he replied, “Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because, I tell you will try to enter and will not be able to” (Lk 13:24, NIV).

In other words, he was saying that many people will be hindered by different things.

So if you claim to be preparing for heaven but have your heart focused on the things of this world, then those things will chain your down and prevent you from making heaven.

The Lord also warned us: “Yes, it will be ‘business as usual’ right up to the hour of My return.
Those away from home that day must not return to pack; those in the field must not return to town
REMEMBER WHAT HAPPENED TO LOT’S WIFE!
WHOEVER CLINGS TO HIS LIFE SHALL LOSE IT, AND WHOEVER LOSES HIS LIFE SHALL SAVE IT” (Luke 17:30-33, Living Bible).

We were told the story of a sister who had a dream in which she saw herself by the roadside with her luggage. She wanted to travel to a particular destination.

So as different cabs or taxis approached, she tried to flag them down telling them she was going to heaven. To her surprise, as soon as each driver saw her luggage, he zoomed or drove off. Then she woke up!
The message is clear: “let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (UNNECESSARY WEIGHT) and that SIN which so readily (deftly and cleverly) CLINGS TO AND ENTANGLES US” (Heb 12:1,  Amplified Bible).

Dear friend, Jesus said, “how hard is it for them that TRUST IN RICHES to enter into the kingdom of God!” (Mark 10:24, KJV).

So the problem is not to have riches but to let riches have you by putting your trust in them. How? By allowing money to control your life, determine your destiny and take the place and peace of God in your heart!

Now Colossians 3: 5 in the same Living Bible says, “DON’T WORSHIP THE GOOD THINGS OF LIFE, FOR THAT IS IDOLATRY.”

Anything you love more than God is an idol in your life. It is anything or anyone that takes the place of God in you. Remember that you must not have any other god besides him for he is a jealous God (Exodus 20:3-5).

Your idol could be your husband, wife, children, fiancé, fiancée, work, money, handset, car, house, studies, laptop, clothes, hair, jewellery, food and drink, and so on. And that can take you to hell even if you are an apostle, prophet or pastor (see Galatians 5:20, Revelation 22:15)!

Jesus declared: “IF YOU LOVE YOUR FATHER OR MOTHER MORE THAN YOU LOVE ME, YOU ARE NOT WORTHY OF BEING MINE; OR IF YOU LOVE YOUR SON OR DAUGHTER MORE THAN ME, YOU ARE NOT WORTHY OF BEING MINE” (Mat 10: 37, New Living Translation).

Similarly, Paul revealed: “For there are many, of whom I have often told you and now tell you even with tears, who walk (live) as enemies of the cross of Christ.
They are doomed and their fate is eternal misery (perdition); THEIR GOD IS THEIR STOMACH (THEIR APPETITES, THEIR SENSUALITY) AND THEY GLORY IN THEIR SHAME, SIDING WITH EARTHLY THINGS AND BEING OF THEIR PARTY.
But we are citizens of the state (commonwealth, homeland) which is in heaven, and from it also we earnestly and patiently awaits [the coming of] the Lord Jesus Christ” (Philippians 3:18-20, Amplified Bible).

iii.    You cannot fully enforce heaven’s will on earth until and unless your mind is set on heaven

“Abraham did this because he was confidently waiting for God to bring him to that strong HEAVENLY CITY whose designer and builder is builder is God
FOR THEY AGREED THAT THIS EARTH WAS NOT THEIR REAL HOME BUT THAT THEY WERE JUST STRANGERS VISITING DOWN HERE.
And quite obviously when they talked like that, they were looking forward to THEIR REAL HOME IN HEAVEN.
If they had wanted to, they could have gone back to the good things of this world.
But they didn’t want to. THEY WERE LIVING FOR HEAVEN. And now God is not ashamed to be called their God, for He has made a HEAVENLY CITY for them” (Heb 11:10, 13-16, Living Bible).
This scripture above says, “THEY WERE LIVING FOR HEAVEN.”

Friend, what are you living for? Are living for money, cars, sex, alcohol, food, career, fame, mansion and so on? At the end of our brief stay in this world, what will matter most will be whether we are living for heaven or not!

Someone noted, “To make the most of your time on earth, always keep heaven in mind.”

Our prayer everyday should be: “Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven” (see Mat 6:10, Mat 26:39).

It should not be: ‘My will be done on earth as it is in my mind.’

So to fully enforce heaven’s agenda on earth without compromise, your heart must be set on making heaven at all cost and getting as many people as you can prepared for heaven at any cost!

C.S. Lewis wrote in his book ‘MERE CHRISTIANITY’:

“If you read history you will find that the Christians who did the most for the present world were just those who thought most of the next.

“The apostles themselves, the great men who built up the Middle Ages, the English evangelicals who abolished the slave trade, all left their mark on earth, precisely because their  minds were occupied with heaven

“It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this [world].

“Aim at heaven and you will get earth thrown in.”

iv.    If your greatest joy on earth is not the hope of heaven but rather victory over demons; financial, material, ministerial, marital or academic breakthrough, then something is seriously wrong somewhere
The Scripture says, ‘When the seventy returned, they joyfully reported to Him, “Even the demons obey us when we used your name.” ‘
Then Jesus replied, “HOWEVER, THE IMPORTANT THING IS NOT THAT DEMONS OBEY YOU, BUT THAT YOUR NAMES ARE REGISTERED AS CITIZENS OF HEAVEN” (Lk 10:17, 20, Living Bible).

You see, the miraculous is not the most important thing in life. But making heaven at last is the greatest thing that can happen to anyone.

Interestingly, Matthew 7:21-23 in the Living Bible reveals, “Not all who talk like godly people are. They may refer to Me as ‘Lord,’ but still won’t get to heaven. For the decisive question is whether they obey My Father in heaven.

At the Judgment many will tell Me, ‘Lord, Lord, we told others about You and used Your name to cast out demons and to do many other great miracles.’

But I will reply, ‘You have never been Mine. Go away, for your deeds are evil” (see also Revelation 3:4-5).

v.    You cannot lay up treasures on earth and expect your heart to be  focused on heaven because your heart follows your treasure

Jesus warned us, “Do not gather and heap up and store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust and worm consume and destroy, and where thieves breakthrough and steal.

But gather and heap up and store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust nor worm consume and destroy, and where thieves do not breakthrough and steal.

FOR WHERE YOUR TREASURE IS, THERE WILL YOUR HEART BE ALSO” (Mat 6:19-21, AMP).

You see, your heart will always follow your treasure. I believe treasure in this context is something you give out or do to help others, and not yourself.

Paying your son’s school fee, buying clothes for your daughter or giving money to your wife for the family up-keep is just carrying out your responsibility by giving them their rights. You cannot lay up treasures in heaven in this way.

Does that mean you should stop providing for members of your family? I never said so.

The truth is: “If anyone does not provide for HIS RELATIVES, and especially for HIS IMMEDIATE FAMILY, HE HAS DENIED THE FAITH AND IS WORSE THAN AN UNBELIEVER” (1 Tim 5:8, NIV).

Paul wrote Timo:   “Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment
Command them TO DO GOOD, TO BE RICH IN GOOD DEEDS, and TO BE GENEROUS AND WILLING TO SHARE.
In this way they will lay up treasure for themselves as a firm foundation for the coming age, so that they may take hold of the life that is truly life” (1 Timothy 6:17-19, NIV).

The King James Version puts verse 19b above as “that they may lay hold on eternal life.”

You know the Bible teaches that if you are born-again, you have eternal life in your spirit, but won’t have it in your body until the rapture (John 3:16, 1John 5:11-13, Rom 8:23-25, Php 3:20-21)!

I was fascinated by Smith Wigglesworth’s testimony. At a particular convention, he addressed the congregation saying: “This is my birthday. I am 70 today. I know that many of you people love me and that you would like to give me a birthday present

“You all can save money, and give it as a birthday offering to God. We will use the offering for missionary works throughout the world.”
So the people gave and the offering was used for overseas missions work.

You see, when you as a believer invest your financial and material resources in soul wining, evangelism, discipleship, taking care of the poor or needy, and so on, then you are laying up treasures in heaven against the time to come! This can help you to think more of heaven.

One of the controversial verses in the Scripture is Mark 10:21:”Jesus looked at him and loved him. ‘One thing you lack,’ he said. ‘Go, sell everything you have and GIVE TO THE POOR, and YOU WILL HAVE TREASURE IN HEAVEN. Then come, follow me’ ” (NIV).

Yes it is good to be rich on earth, but it is far better to be rich in heaven. Being rich on earth is temporal, whereas  being  rich in heaven is eternal.

That was why Jesus admonished us: “YES, EVERY MAN IS A FOOL WHO GETS RICH ON EARTH BUT NOT IN HEAVEN” [Lk 12:21, Living Bible].
[Please read Mar k 10:21, Luke 12:15, 15, 20, 21, New Living Translation].

vi.    Every believer should think more on, study more about, listen more to messages on, and talk more about heaven

“The entrance and unfolding of Your words give light; their unfolding gives understanding (discernment and comprehension) to the simple” (Ps 119:130, Amplified Bible).

To get enough light of God on any given topic or subject, you have to give enough of your time meditating on or studying that topic or subject.

Interestingly, Jesus said, “Be careful what you are hearing. The measure [of thought and study] you give [to the truth you hear] will be the measure [of virtue and knowledge] that comes back to you  and more [besides] will be given to you who hear” (Mark 4:24, Amplified Bible).

David McCasland wrote, “Even the most knowledgeable theologian knows little of that marvelous place the Bible call heaven.”

vii.    There is no purgatory where the spirit of the dead are sent to suffer for their sin before going to heaven
God’s people perish because they lack knowledge (Hos 4:6).

Purgatory only exists in the minds of people. In reality, it does not exist. Let no one deceive you into hell (see Luke 16:19-31).

The psalmist cautioned us: “The wicked will be turned into hell and all the nations that forget God” (Ps 9:17).

Hebrews 9: 27 reveals: “And just as it is appointed for [all] men once to die, and after that the [certain] judgment” (Amplified Bible).

CHAPTER FIVE

RESTITUTION

Restitution simply means restoring somebody or something to the rightful owner.
Before God gave the law to Moses, there had been restitution in the Bible.
For example, in Genesis 20, God told Abimelech who wrongly took Abraham’s wife to return her to her husband or face death penalty!

In fact, God called him a dead man. He who lives in sinful pleasure is dead while he lives (see 1Tim 5:6).

You see, God actually told him, “Behold, you are a dead man because of the woman whom you have taken [as your own], for she is a man’s wife
“SO NOW RESTORE TO THE MAN HIS WIFE, for he is a prophet, and he will pray for you and you will live. BUT IF YOU DO NOT RESTORE HER [TO HIM], KNOW THAT YOU SHALL SURELY DIE, YOU AND ALL AND ALL WHO ARE YOURS.”
Then Abimelech took sheep and oxen and male and female slaves and gave them to Abraham and RESTORED TO HIM SARAH HIS WIFE
So Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech and his wife and his female slaves, and they bore children,
For the Lord had closed fast the wombs of all in Abimelech’s household because of Sarah, Abraham’s wife” (Gen 20:3, 7, 14, 17-18, Amplified Bible).

Failure to do some restitutions will bring some trouble to your life and destiny, and in the end can take you to the pit of hell. Wasted lifetime? Yes, all because of one’s carelessness to make a necessary restitution.

Paul warned us, “KEEP OUT OF DEBT AND OWE NO MAN ANYTHING, except to love one another; for he who loves his neighbor [who practices loving others] has fulfilled the Law [relating to one’s fellowmen, meeting all its requirements]” (Rom 13:8, Amplified Bible).

The psalmist also admonished us, “THE WICKED BORROW AND NEVER REPAY, but the godly are generous givers” (Ps 37:21, New Living Translation).

And do you know that there is no peace for the wicked? So no wicked person will ever taste that peaceful place called heaven.

When Jesus told that woman at the well to go and call her husband, she replied that she had no husband. Then the Lord said she had spoken the truth.

He told her prophetically that he had had five husbands, and the man she was then living with was not her husband!

You see, the government of the day, the court of law or tradition of the elders probably recognized the man she was living with as her husband, but heaven saw them as living in adultery for they were not rightly or scripturally married to each other (see John 4:16-19).

In essence, the woman had to do something about her so-called husband and marriage. If that man’s legal wife was somewhere, Jesus was simply implying then that she should let the man be rightly reunited with his true wife.

Even if you have two wives, you need to do restitution in a scriptural way or face the wrath of God. Marrying multiple wives was allowed under the Old Testament whereas if you attempt that in the New Testament, then you are guilty of adultery which if not repented of can take you to hell (Please read Matthew 19:3-12).

Do you know that God agreed with Sarah that Abraham should send Hagar [a type of illegal wife or concubine] away in spite of having a child for him. Abraham was to accept responsibility for the child, and not for the woman.
Though he had some responsibilities towards the woman when she was pregnant with Ishmael for him, at his delivery and at nursing the child. But eventually, he had to disconnect from the woman as fast as he could or would get into more trouble (see Gen 21:10-20)!

Besides, my friend, if you have stolen money or what money can buy or even a free item from a church, ministry, government or private establishment, public or private library, and so on, please return them before it is too late.

If you have forged some documents, falsified some accounts, told some lies, snatched someone else’s husband or wife, collected money from people with the promise to help them do something which is sinful in God’s sight, then return their money to them and tell them you choose to repent and make heaven.

Owe no one anything but to love them. I listened to the true testimony of Abraham Yakubu, A Nigerian preacher who died and came back to life to share both the good and the horrible things he saw.

Some of the things he emphasized were repentance, holiness and restitution. He shared the story of a pastor whom he saw over there.

He explained that though this man had suffered in ministry for 36 years yet he went straight to hell because he failed to return what he wrongfully took from somewhere.

SINNER’S CONFESSION
If you are not yet born-again, say this:
I choose to repent today. Also I choose to believe that Jesus died for my sins and rose up for my justification.
The Scripture says, “If you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved” (Rom 10:9).
Therefore, I believe in Jesus in my heart and confess Him as my Lord. Now I am born-again (Amen).

SAY THIS ALOUD TO RECEIVE THE HOLY SPIRIT
Also Jesus said, “But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you and you will be my witnesses” (Acts 1:8).
And on the day of Pentecost  “All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit gave them utterance” (Acts 2:4).
Therefore, I receive the Holy Spirit by faith right now and I begin to speak in an unknown tongue (unlearned tongue) as He gives me the utterance.
I command every foul spirit [spirit of fear, spirit of unbelief, spirit of doubt, religious spirit, unforgiving spirit] wanting to hinder me to stop in its evil operation in my life in Jesus’ name.
Thank you God for filling me with your Spirit in Jesus’ name (Amen).

RECOMMENDED BOOKS:
1. Becoming More Like Jesus ? Gbile Akanni
2. Purpose Driven Life ? Rick Warren
THE AUTHOR
Segun Olumide is an apostolic leader at the Glorious Family Church International and the New Apostolic Movement both in Lagos, Nigeria.
He has a mandate to align the church with God’s purpose.

FEEDBACK
If this book has been a blessing to you, l

Segun Olumide is an apostolic leader at the Glorious Family Church International and the New Apostolic Movement both in Lagos, Nigeria.
He has a mandate to align the church with God’s purpose.

All scripture quotations are mostly from the King James Version unless otherwise stated.

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Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com <a href=”http://www.faithwriters.com”>CHRISTIAN WRITER</a>

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