1. LOOSE HIM AND LET HIM GO were direct INSTRUCTIONS from the Lord to His disciples, as the Bible says: “And he that was dead came forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes: and his face was bound about with a napkin. Jesus saith unto them, LOOSE HIM, AND LET HIM GO” (John 11:44)
2. LOOSE HIM AND LET HIM GO brought a fitting end to the story of Lazarus’s SICKNESS, DEATH and NEW LIFE. Indeed, a notable miracle was recorded when Jesus raised Lazarus from the dead, but there was more to the event than the cheers of onlookers. More than anything else, Jesus gave three valuable INSTRUCTIONS to illustrate and confirm what He said elsewhere, as it is written: “Jesus saith unto him, I am the WAY, the TRUTH, and the LIFE: NO MAN COMETH UNTO THE FATHER, BUT BY ME“ (John 14:6) The story began with the SICKNESS of Lazarus, symbolizing weaknesses of the flesh and his DEATH, the WAGES of SIN. Although Jesus was duly informed of his SICKNESS, He tarried and made His entry four days after Lazarus was buried. The FOUR DAYS of waiting sum up the FOUR THOUSAND YEARS from the time Adam and Eve sinned, till the birth of Jesus Christ. For 4,000 years, SIN and DEATH reigned, “…even over them that had not sinned after the similitude of Adam’s transgression, who is the figure of him that was to come”(Romans 5:14) At the appointed time, God was manifest in Jesus Christ, with GRACE to destroy the works of SIN and DEATH, so that “…as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might GRACE reign through righteousness unto eternal life by Jesus Christ our Lord” (Romans 5:21) Every man or woman that lives in SIN, is like Lazarus, DEAD and BURIED. As aforesaid, when Jesus raised Lazarus from DEATH to LIFE, He gave THREE INSTRUCTIONS to explain the SPIRITUAL DYNAMICS of the SALVATION preached in His NAME. These INSTRUCTIONS are marching orders to His CHURCH and without controversy, the Lord demands OBEDIENCE far above huge congregations and palatial cathedrals. He loves to receive Saints born and bred according to His INSTRUCTIONS and disdains mixed multitudes fed on disobedience. Thus said the Lord: “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! for ye compass sea and land to make one PROSELYTE, and when he is made, ye make him TWOFOLD MORE THE CHILD OF HELL THAN YOURSELVES” (Matthew 23:15) This verse speaks to the CHURCH today more than at any other time in CHURCH history. We spend huge sums of money on crusades but end up leading hapless souls to denominational hells. This should not be so. At a time the CHURCH should be teaching the world about Jesus Christ and His Coming, She needs to be urgently reminded and taught the basic INSTRUCTIONS of righteousness, as it is written: “For when for the time YE OUGHT TO BE TEACHERS, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are BECOME SUCH AS HAVE NEED OF MILK, and not of strong meat” (Hebrews 5:12) I bare witness that the Lord shall appear suddenly in clouds of glory. He will reward everyman according to his OBEDIENCE and WORK and not by title, material riches or size of congregation (Revelation 22:12) Let the Church return to Christ and obey His INSTRUCTIONS, so we may find favour in His sight at His Coming. I charge those who have ears to listen to what the Spirit is saying to the CHURCH.
3. The FIRST INSTRUCTION was “TAKE YE AWAY THE STONE” and it corresponds to the WAY that is preached in the NAME of Jesus Christ. Jesus said: “…TAKE YE AWAY THE STONE. Martha, the sister of him that was dead, saith unto him, Lord, by this time he stinketh: for he hath been dead four days” (John 11:39) Before Jesus called Lazarus out from the grave, He instructed His disciples to remove the STONE. With the STONE removed, He SPOKE and the DEAD received NEW LIFE. The FIRST INSTRUCTION to the CHURCH is to take away the STONE that keeps men in bondage to SIN and DEATH. When the STONE was removed, Jesus Christ gave INSTRUCTION for LIFE to return to his soul, a clear MANDATE to WRESTLE against “… PRINCIPALITIES, against POWERS, against the RULERS OF THE DARKNESS OF THIS WORLD, against SPIRITUAL WICKEDNESS in high places” (Ephesians 6:12) The RULERS OF DARKNESS embody the STONE which lure and keep men in cruel bondage to SIN and DEATH. For this reason, the CHURCH is commissioned to CONTEND with the RULERS OF DARKNESS, to deliver and open the WAY for SINNERS to be reconciled to God. The weapon of our warfare is the LIGHT of the GOSPEL of Jesus Christ. Thus said the Lord: “I am come a LIGHT into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in DARKNESS” (John 12:46) The FIRST INSTRUCTION is a CHARGE to the CHURCH to preach SALVATION in the NAME of Jesus Christ and in His NAME ALONE, as the Bible says: “NEITHER IS THERE SALVATION IN ANY OTHER: for THERE IS NONE OTHER NAME under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved” (Acts 4:12) When SALVATION is preached in the NAME of Jesus Christ, the STONE is removed and the MIDDLE WALL OF PARTITION between God and the SINNER is broken down, and they: “…that once were far off are made nigh in the blood of Christ. For he is our peace, who made both one, and BRAKE DOWN the MIDDLE WALL OF PARTITION,…and might RECONCILE them both in one body UNTO GOD through the cross, having slain the enmity thereby” (Ephesians 2:13-16) It is our duty to remove the STONE and prerogative of the Lord to SPEAK NEW LIFE into the SOULS He chooses to save. Having said all that, have we done what is required of us? How has the CHURCH fared with the FIRST INSTRUCTION? Permit me to put the question differently; IS SALVATION PREACHED EVERYWHERE IN THE NAME OF JESUS CHRIST ALONE? If the answer is YES, why are there divisions, denominations and sects in the FOLD? There is schism and chaos in the CHURCH because SALVATION is preached, but largely so in the names of men, sects and denominations. Apostle Paul saw it coming and said: “Now this I say, that every one of you saith, I am of Paul; and I of Apollos; and I of Cephas; and I of Christ. IS CHRIST DIVIDED? was Paul crucified for you? or were ye baptized in the name of Paul?” (1 Corinthians 1:12-13) Preaching SALVATION in the names of men and or denominations produces CHURCH members, not SAINTS in the image of Jesus Christ. We spend huge sums on crusades, only to register new names in parish registers, but do nothing to remove the STONE for them to hear the VOICE that called Lazarus out of the grave. Today, our parishes are bursting at the seams with members who profess Christ but neither know HIM or ever heard His VOICE. Brethren, the Lord is more interested in quality that quantity and is coming to receive a “…GLORIOUS CHURCH, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish” (Ephesians 5:27) If we we are going to be part of that GLORIOUS CHURCH, let us put aside sectional affiliation and preach SALVATION in the NAME of Jesus Christ and in His name ALONE. As we look forward to His Coming, I plead with the CHURCH to retrace her steps and return to FIRST INSTRUCTION.
4. LOOSE HIM, the SECOND INSTRUCTION, corresponds to the revelation of TRUTH in Jesus Christ. As was the custom of the Jews, Lazarus was bound, head to toe, with napkins and linen clothes. Jesus was prepared in the same manner for His burial (John 19:40) Lazarus came out of the grave ALIVE but trapped in grave clothes and not at LIBERTY to function in NEWNESS OF LIFE. Those who are newly come to Jesus are like Lazarus, ALIVE, but trapped in “grave clothes”. They are BORN AGAIN but wrapped up in the OLD MAN and require to be RENEWED, as it is written: “And BE RENEWED IN THE SPIRIT OF YOUR MIND; And that ye put on the NEW MAN, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Wherefore putting away lying, speak every man truth… (Ephesians 4:23-25) When a man experiences NEW BIRTH, he receives the SPIRIT OF LIFE, but his MING is not PURGED until he is “LOOSED”. He is like Lazarus, wrapped in “GRAVE CLOTHES”. The UNREGENERATED MIND, referred as the OLD MAN, summarize totality of his previous thoughts, desires, ambitions, prejudices, attitude, etc. The SECOND INSTRUCTION empower and compel the CHURCH to FEED NEW CONVERTS with SINCERE MILK of the WORD OF GOD and wean them of the OLD MAN of SIN. Bondage to the OLD MAN is dissolved and the NEW MAN established when the NEW CONVERT is in the revelation of TRUTH, as the Bible says: “And ye shall know the truth, and the TRUTH SHALL MAKE YOU FREE” (John 8:32) What is the TRUTH? The FOUNDATION OF TRUTH is the revelation of God manifest in Jesus Christ, as it is written: “And without controversy great is the MYSTERY OF GODLINESS: GOD WAS MANIFEST IN THE FLESH, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory” (1 Timothy 3:16) It is the duty of the CHURCH to initiate NEW CONVERTS into the “MYSTERY OF GODLINESS” and encourage them to desire more of the SINCERE MILK of TRUTH, as it is written: “Wherefore laying aside all malice, and all guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, AS NEW BORN BABES, DESIRE THE SINCERE MILK OF THE WORD OF GOD, that ye may grow thereby” (1 Peter 2:1-2) The SINCERE MILK OF TRUTH purges the OLD MAN and nourishes the NEW MAN to maturity in the likeness of Jesus Christ. No doubt, whatsoever a man sows, same shall he reap and in multiples. Regrettably, in the place of SINCERE MILK of TRUTH, the CHURCH is presently awash with diverse labels of POWDERED MILK GOSPEL. The harvest of POWDERED MILK GOSPEL is a CHURCH riddled with babes who refuse to grow into maturity in Christ. The CHURCH is like children playing in the marketplace. The Lord is calling the CHURCH to repentance but She is grinning from ear to ear in strong delusion of false prosperity, as the Bible says: “…We have piped unto you, and ye have not danced; we have mourned to you, and ye have not wept” (Luke 7:32) Brethren, we are in the last days and this is not time to preach “CANDY-COATED” sermons as some are won’t to do. This is the season to pull out the sharp knives and circumcize every heart with TRUTH in readiness for the coming of the Lord. Let him that has ears, hear what the Spirit is saying to the CHURCH.
5. LET HIM GO, the THIRD INSTRUCTION to the CHURCH, corresponds to EVERLASTING LIFE in Jesus Christ. In the process of unwrapping his grave clothes, the disciples had their hands on Lazarus to hold and prevent him from falling and harming himself. When the last napkin was removed, Jesus INSTRUCTED them to LET HIM GO. As long as they had their hands on him, he was ALIVE but was not LIVELY in the LIBERTY of the Spirit of LIFE in him, as it is written: “Now the Lord is that Spirit: and WHERE THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD IS, THERE IS LIBERTY” (2 Corinthians 3:17) This INSTRUCTION is a commandment to release the ARMY of Christ held up in parish barracks to fulfil DIVINE PURPOSE. Thus says the Lord: “GO YE therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” (Matthew 28:19) The parish CHURCH was never intended to be a PRISON or DIARY HOUSE to keep, milk and slaughter fattened cow. The CHURCH was established to lead SINNERS in the WAY, raise NEW CONVERTS in the WORD OF TRUTH and release them to be TRUE WITNESS of Jesus Christ in all nations, as it is written: “But ye shall RECEIVE POWER, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you: and YE SHALL BE WITNESSES UNTO ME both in Jerusalem, and in all Judaea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth” (Acts 1:8) CHURCH is like an INCUBATOR that keep eggs till they are hatched and the chicks released. The FINAL INSTRUCTION to the CHURCH is to prepare BELIEVERS to receive the POWER of the Holy Ghost and LET THEM GO to preach and WITNESS of Jesus Christ. The CHURCH in Antioch obeyed the THIRD INSTRUCTION and released Paul and Barnabas to take the world for Jesus Christ (Acts 13:1-4) This generation is disobedient to the THIRD INSTRUCTION and keeps children of God, like chickens in cages, to lay golden eggs for those who make brisk business out of religion. We are like universities that never graduate students. Many local assemblies are more like a PRISON HOUSES, where multitudes are trapped and denied LIBERTY to LIVE the LIFE of Christ to the fullest. Lest we forget, the work of the Kingdom is to LIGHT UP every soul that comes to Christ and release them to LIGHT UP the world. We are not supposed to keep the ARMY of Christ as trophies under a parish roof, as it is written: “NO MAN, WHEN HE HATH LIGHTETH A CANDLE, PUTTETH IT IN A SECRET PLACE, neither under a bushel, but on a candlestick, that they which come in may see the light” (Luke 11:33) The Spirit of the Lord is calling the CHURCH to obey the THIRD INSTRUCTION and release her captives to “GO YE” and WITNESS of Christ and His Coming all over the world. This sermon is a warning to all men who have ears to listen to what the Spirit is saying to the CHURCH.
6. I challenge every man or woman reading or listening to this message to prayerfully consider the THREE INSTRUCTIONS of the Lord to His CHURCH. Are you in the WAY? Are you delivered into the LIBERTY of the Son of God by revelation of the MYSTERY OF GODLINESS? Are you a TRUE WITNESS of the LIFE of Jesus Christ? If the answer is no to one or all the above, I plead with you to take decisive steps to obey the Lord. This may involve retracing your steps to the FIRST INSTRUCTION to establish a sure foundation in the WAY. And for all PRETENDERS, I admonish you in the NAME of the Lord to put aside all forms of pretence and genuinely accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, amen.