ABIDE IN ME is Jesus Christ inviting YOU and I to a deeper relationship than of SHEEP and SHEPHERD. Remember, as SHEEP we went astray and when we ought to be mature in the likeness of Christ, we were “… become such as HAVE NEED OF MILK, and not of strong meat” [Hebrews 5:12]
1. When God said, … Let us make man IN OUR IMAGE, AFTER OUR LIKENESS…”, He knew Satan would interfere and divided the work of CREATION into two MODELS [Genesis 1:26] The FIRST MODEL was Adam, who God formed out “… OF THE DUST OF THE GROUND, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and MAN BECAME A LIVING SOUL” [Genesis 2:7] The LIVING SOUL was the IMAGE of God, but not His LIKENESS, as it is written: “… GOD CREATED MAN IN HIS OWN IMAGE, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them… “ [Genesis 1:27-28] God reserved His LIKENESS for the SECOND MODEL, made PERFECT “… in the UNITY OF THE FAITH, and of the KNOWLEDGE OF THE SON OF GOD, UNTO A PERFECT MAN, unto the measure of the stature of the FULNESS OF CHRIST” [Ephesians 4:13]
2. Adam was a LIVING SOUL, but the SPIRIT in him was “A LITTLE LOWER THAN ANGELS, as the Psalmist wrote: “… For THOU HAST MADE HIM A LITTLE LOWER THAN THE ANGELS, …” [Psalms 8:4-5] The FIRST MODEL, being a LITTLE LOWER THAN ANGELS, fell to the wiles of his angelic ADVERSARY, as it is written: “… while men slept, his ENEMY CAME AND SOWED TARES among the WHEAT, and went his way… THE ENEMY THAT SOWED THEM IS THE DEVIL… ” [Matthew 13:25&39] God sowed His WORD, which is God, as clearly stated in Genesis 2:16-17 [See also John 1:1] When the Serpent said: “…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”, the ENEMY sowed LUST, his DNA, in man [Genesis 3:4-5] LUST is THE ENEMY WITHIN, enticing us to “THINK”, “SEE”, “SPEAK” and “ACT” contrary to the WORD of God. No sooner LUST was embedded in her FLESH, Eve began to “THINK”, “SPEAK” and “DESIRE” contrary to the WORD of God; the forbidden FRUIT became “GOOD FOR FOOD”, “PLEASANT TO THE EYES” and “DESIRED TO MAKE ONE WISE” [Genesis 3:6] Through Eve, the present world was infested with the three-headed monster of LUST, “For all that is in the world, the LUST OF THE FLESH, and the LUST OF THE EYES, and the PRIDE OF LIFE, is not of the Father, but is of the world” [1John 2:16]
3. LUST OF THE FLESH is Satan working in man to transform NEEDS to insatiable WANTS. Beloved, God acknowledges our NEEDS but “WANTS” come from the ENEMY WITHIN, enticing us to CRASS MATERIALISM [Matthew 6:32] Remember, “… WE BROUGHT NOTHING INTO THIS WORLD, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And HAVING FOOD AND RAIMENT LET US BE THEREWITH CONTENT” [1Timothy 6:7-8] LUST of the FLESH, if unchecked, degenerates into LUST of the EYES. LUST OF THE EYES is DISCONTENT with what God “SEES” in you and WISH you would become, kindling untamed PASSION to become what you SEE”” and “WISH” to be. Those who go down that road ENTANGLE themselves with “AFFAIRS OF THIS LIFE” and do not please God and never made PERFECT in His LIKENESS, for “NO MAN THAT WARRETH ENTANGLETH HIMSELF WITH THE AFFAIRS OF THIS LIFE; that he may PLEASE HIM WHO HATH CHOSEN HIM to be a soldier” [2 Timothy 2:4] The END-GAME of LUST is PRIDE OF LIFE, fueled by STRONG DELUSION in those who FALL AWAY from Christ, “For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened,… PARTAKERS OF THE HOLY GHOST, … IF THEY SHALL FALL AWAY, TO RENEW THEM…” [Hebrews 6:4-6] PRIDE OF LIFE is total DERAILMENT from FAITH, with no hope of REPENTANCE, in the LIKENESS of Satan.
4. When we come to God through Jesus Christ our SINS are forgiven and we are RE-CREATED, but not yet PERFECT in His LIKENESS. The Bible says: ”Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is A NEW CREATURE: old things are passed away; behold, ALL THINGS ARE BECOME NEW” [2 Corinthians 5:17] Listen closely, the “NEW CREATURE” retains the OLD BODY and LUST is at work in the pastor and his congregation. PERFECTION in this mortal BODY is a continuous BATTLE to MORTIFY LUST and live by FAITH in the WORD of God. This is easier said than done, even as Apostle Paul admitted: “… to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not. For the GOOD THAT I WOULD I DO NOT: but the EVIL WHICH I WOULD NOT, I DO” [Romans 7:18-19] Beloved, let us humble ourselves before God as Paul did and acknowledge the pockets of LUST in us, “… for GOD RESISTETH THE PROUD, and GIVETH GRACE TO THE HUMBLE” [1 Peter 5:5] The ANTIDOTE to LUST is the SWORD of the SPIRIT, which is the WORD of God, cutting deep “… to the DIVIDING ASUNDER OF SOUL AND SPIRIT, and of the joints and marrow, and is a DISCERNER OF THE THOUGHTS AND INTENTS OF THE HEART” [Hebrews 4:12] Brethren, the FIRST MODEL was weakened by DISOBEDIENCE, the SECOND MODEL shall be made PERFECT in strict OBEDIENCE to the WORD of God.
5. Brethren, let us give room to the SWORD OF THE SPIRIT to cut and purge us of every SPOT and WRINKLE of LUST as we look forward to the coming of the Lord to receive for himself, “… a GLORIOUS CHURCH, NOT HAVING SPOT OR WRINKLE, …” [Ephesians 5:27] If you are not BORN AGAIN, do so TODAY and be purged of LUST in readiness for His glorious appearance, amen
PREPARE TO DIE, some may find this topic morbidly offensive, as DEATH is a taboo in many cultures. It is a journey we must undertake and every breathe we inhale is one less to exhale, as “… IT IS APPOINTED UNTO MEN ONCE TO DIE, but after this the judgment” [Hebrews 9:27]
1. It does not matter how long we live, we shall one day DIE and “ … EVERY ONE SHALL GIVE ACCOUNT OF HIMSELF to God” [Romans 14:12] Everything we do or fail to do, including thoughts and imaginations, we shall give ACCOUNT and be JUDGED, “… as it is APPOINTED UNTO MEN ONCE TO DIE, but AFTER THIS THE JUDGMENT” [Hebrews 9:27] Those who DIE without sorting out their ACCOUNTS with Jesus Christ shall be JUDGED “… out of those things which were written in the BOOKS, ACCORDING TO THEIR WORKS” [Revelation 20:12] Those who accept Jesus Christ as LORD and SAVIOUR and SETTLE their ACCOUNTS with Him have their WORKS approved and shall receive His REWARD, as it is written: “And, behold, I COME QUICKLY; and MY REWARD IS WITH ME, TO GIVE EVERY MAN ACCORDING AS HIS WORK shall be” [Revelation 22:12] If you “KNOW” not the Lord Jesus Christ and refuse to SETTLE” your ACCOUNT with Him, thus shall He say to you on the DAY of JUDGMENT, “… I KNOW YOU NOT whence ye are; DEPART FROM ME, all YE WORKERS OF INIQUITY” [Luke 13:27]
2. WORDS emanate from within and CLEANSE or DEFILE, as it is written: ”But those things which PROCEED OUT OF THE MOUTH COME FROM THE HEART; and they DEFILE THE MAN” [Matthew 15:18] When a man CONFESSES Jesus Christ as LORD and SAVIOUR, his SINS are erased and his ACCOUNT CREDITED with SALVATION, “For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and WITH THE MOUTH CONFESSION IS MADE UNTO SALVATION” [Romans 10:10] If you have not confessed Jesus Christ as LORD and SAVIOUR you are DEFILED; every WORD out of your mouth is IDLE TALK and for “… every IDLE WORD that men shall speak, they shall GIVE ACCOUNT thereof in the DAY OF JUDGMENT” [Matthew 2:36] IDLE TALK is not limited to SINNERS; when the PREACHER “SWEETENS” the GOSPEL for material gain, he is guilty of IDLE WORDS and “SHALL GIVE ACCOUNT”. When we spend hours CURSING perceived enemies in the name of the Lord, it is IDLE TALK. Brethren, WORDS are so important, “… IF ANY MAN OFFEND NOT IN WORD, THE SAME IS A PERFECT MAN, and able also to bridle the whole body” [James 3:2] I charge you to EXAMINE your speech and let your mouth be filled “… with GRACE, seasoned with salt, that ye may KNOW HOW YE OUGHT TO ANSWER EVERY MAN” [Colossians 4:6] Beloved, if we have OFFENDED God or man in WORD, let us REPENT and SETTLE the ACCOUNT and we shall be blameless when we are CALLED HOME.
3. Whatever we have in this world, we received by DIVINE PROVIDENCE, “… and WHAT HAST THOU THAT THOU DIDST NOT RECEIVE? now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory, as if thou hadst not received it?” [1 Corinthians 4:7] We received ALL THINGS from God and must give ACCOUNT, “… For unto WHOMSOEVER MUCH IS GIVEN, OF HIM SHALL MUCH BE REQUIRED… ” [Luke 12:48] The Lord Jesus Christ told His disciples the PARABLE of a STEWARD ACCUSED of “WASTING” his master’s goods. The master “ … CALLED him, and said unto him, How is it that I hear this of thee? GIVE AN ACCOUNT OF THY STEWARDSHIP; for thou mayest be NO LONGER STEWARD” [Luke 16:1-2] God is the MASTER who gives material and spiritual riches to men according to His PURPOSE. Take note, the STEWARD had an ACCUSER, as we also do, “ … for the ACCUSER OF OUR BRETHREN is cast down, which ACCUSED THEM BEFORE OUR GOD DAY AND NIGHT” [Revelation 12:10] The ACCUSER is Satan, watching how you spend “YOUR MONEY” and exercise “YOUR SPIRITUAL GIFTS”. When you neglect the poor, refuse to spend for the cause of the GOSPEL and or monetize SPIRITUAL GIFTS, you yield advantage to the ACCUSER to DEBIT your ACCOUNT. Beloved, AUDIT your RESOURCES now, SETTLE your ACCOUNT with the Lord and give no room to the ACCUSER.
4. Perhaps the only thing the rich and poor have in common is 24 hours in a day, and we shall give ACCOUNT of every second to God, “… who without respect of persons JUDGETH according to EVERY MAN’S WORK, pass the TIME OF YOUR SOJOURNING HERE in fear” [1 Peter 1:7] What you do with your TIME determine the WORDS of your mouth and how you allocate your RESOURCES. Your TIME, WORDS and RESOURCES amount to your WORK and “EVERY MAN’S WORK SHAL BE MADE MANIFEST: for the day shall declare it, because IT SHALL BE REVEALED BY FIRE; and the FIRE SHALL TRY EVERY MAN’S WORK…” [1Corinthians 3:13] If your TIME is frittered on “EARTHLY THINGS”, your WORK has no ETERNAL RELEVANCE; you are sowing to your FLESH and “… HE THAT SOWETH TO HIS FLESH SHALL OF THE FLESH REAP CORRUPTION; but he that SOWETH TO THE SPIRIT SHALL OF THE SPIRIT REAP LIFE EVERLASTING” [Galatians 6:8] Listen carefully, no man can deceive God with ecclesiastical titles or religious activities; God JUDGES the HEART and shall bring “… bring to light the HIDDEN THINGS OF DARKNESS, and will make manifest the COUNSELS OF THE HEART: and then shall every man have praise of God” [1 Corinthians 4:5] I challenge you to scrutinize your TIME, that your WORK be not in vain.
5. Brethren, let us AUDIT and SETTLE our ACCOUNTS before it is too late. If you have no ACCOUNT in Jesus Christ, I plead with you to accept Him today, as your LORD and SAVIOUR, amen
1. Today is the first day of 2020. If you went to a CROSSOVER SERVICE yesterday, you may have heard 2020 is the YEAR of BREAKTHROUGH, BLESSING, FAVOUR, PROMOTION, etc. If you did not, perhaps you have one NEW YEAR RESOLUTION or more. All these are fine, as long as you take them as the WORDS of your Pastor or your personal desire, no offence intended. Have you ever wondered why God would send the same letter to all the men, women, young and old in your parish? You see, God does not calculate TIME in months and years, “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that ONE DAY IS WITH THE LORD AS A THOUSAND YEARS, and a thousand years as one day” (2 Peter 3:8)
2. God deals with men in “LIFETIMES” and not according to lunar or solar CALENDARS. Take note, God’s foremost concern is HOW and WHERE you END your TIME on earth. Whether you BREAKTHROUGH this year or not is not the issue, God’s concern is the CLOSING BALANCE of your LIFETIME, as it is written: “When a RIGHTEOUS MAN TURNETH AWAY FROM HIS RIGHTEOUSNESS, and committeth INIQUITY, AND DIETH IN THEM; for his iniquity that he hath done SHALL HE DIE” (Ezekiel 26:18) So then, it will not matter if you received all BLESSINGS reserved for a nation this year, if you DIE in SIN you are DAMNED. If the SINNER, turns away from his ways and “… from ALL TRANSGRESSIONS THAT HE HATH COMMITTED, HE SHALL SURELY LIVE, HE SHALL NOT DIE” (Ezekiel 18:28) When God says “DIE” , it is ETERNAL DAMNATION. Think about these things.
3. Now, ask yourself, “… what shall it profit a man, if he shall GAIN THE WHOLE WORLD AND LOSE HIS SOUL?” (Mark 8:36) As the CLOCK TICKS away and the NEW YEAR gradually fades away I charge you to consider the efficacy of previous “WATCHWORDS” and NEW YEAR RESOLUTIONS. If you are BORN AGAIN and a RIGHTEOUS MAN through FAITH in Jesus Christ, do not lose FOCUS. Think beyond the present; your LIFE is much more than BREAKTHROUGHS and PROMOTION, but how you FINISH. Listen closely, if DEATH comes calling this YEAR, I do not so pray, BREAKTHROUGH and MATERIAL BLESSING will not matter but your CLOSING BALANCE with God. God wants you to FINISH STRONG and WELL, that is His MESSAGE to you, NOW and ALWAYS.
4. If you are not BORN AGAIN, the MESSAGE. of God to you is LOVE, “For GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD, that he gave his only begotten Son, that WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM SHOULD NOT PERISH, BUT HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE” (John 3:16) Friend, there is no better TIME than the FIRST DAY of the NEW YEAR to open your ACCOUNT with God. As the CLOCK TICKS away, I exhort you to accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour, amen
Listen closely, Jesus Christ came into the world to seek His SHEEP whose names are written in the BOOK OF LIFE, FROM THE FOUNDATION OF THE WORLD. If your name is there, you will hear His VOICE…
1. ABIDE IN ME is a PROPHETIC INSTRUCTION to the BRIDE to return and be made ready for the imminent appearance of the BRIDEGROOM. It is the heart cry of the GOOD SHEPHERD to gather His FLOCKS and prepare them for the DAY of His VISITATION. ABIDE IN ME, says the Lord to the GENTILE CHURCH, so you will not be overcome by DESOLATION, as the JEWISH Church to whom the Lord lamented, “O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, HOW OFTEN WOULD I HAVE GATHERED THY CHILDREN together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and YE WOULD NOT! Behold, YOUR HOUSE IS LEFT UNTO YOU DESOLATE” [Matthew 23:37-38] ABIDE IN ME, says the Lord to His SHEEP, FOLLOW my INSTRUCTIONS and ride to GLORY over looming TRIBULATION, as it is written: “MY SHEEP HEAR MY VOICE, and I KNOW THEM, and THEY FOLLOW ME” [John 10:27]
2. ABIDE IN ME is the REBUKE of the GOOD SHEPHERD to His SHEEP, for we all “… LIKE SHEEP HAVE GONE ASTRAY; we have turned every one to his own way; …” [Isaiah 53:6] SHEEP by nature are wont to wander away from the SHEPHERD in search of food and water and so have we, “For ALL SEEK THEIR OWN, not the things which are Jesus Christ’s” [Philippians 2:21] Some of us left sound principles of Christ to forage on “… Perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, and destitute of the truth, SUPPOSING THAT GAIN IS GODLINESS … ” [1Timothy 6:5] We were enticed by WORLDLY LUSTS to dine on doctrines of devils, “… GIVING HEED TO SEDUCING SPIRITS, and DOCTRINES OF DEVILS” [1 Timothy 4:1] We were BEGUILED and fell away from “… THE SIMPLICITY THAT IS IN CHRIST” [2 Corinthians 11:3] We went from being humble DISCIPLES to become MASTERS and sit as gods over the Lord’s vineyard. We no longer SERVE in the HOPE of ETERNAL GLORY but fight tooth and nail for filthy lucre. Brethren, the Lord is calling YOU and I to REPENT and return as NEW BORN BABES, putting away, “… all MALICE, and all GUILE, and HYPOCRISES, and ENVIES, and all EVIL SPEAKINGS, As newborn babes, DESIRE THE SINCERE MILK OF THE WORD OF GOD…” [1 Peter 2:1-2]
3. ABIDE IN ME is the Lord telling the ELECT to “Be SOBER, be VIGILANT; because your adversary the DEVIL AS A ROARING LION, walketh about, SEEKING WHOM TO DEVOUR” [1 Peter 5:8] Beloved, present DISTRESS in all nations shall not abate as we press further into the 21st century and in the CHURCH, there shall “… arise FALSE CHRISTS, and FALSE PROPHETS, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, IF IT WERE POSSIBLE, THEY SHALL DECEIVE THE VERY ELECT” [Matthew 24:24] That is not all, Satan has a SHORT TIME, “… to MAKE WAR WITH THE SAINTS, and to OVERCOME THEM: and POWER was given him OVER ALL KINDREDS, and TONGUE, and NATIONS“ [Revelations 13:7] It is scary, but TRUE and prophecy shall be fulfilled, saying: “… the time cometh, that WHOSOEVER KILLETH YOU WILL THINK THAT HE DOETH GOD SERVICE” [John 16:2] ABIDE IN ME is the Lord calling YOU and I to examine the FOUNDATION of our FAITH as the STORM breaks on this generation. Every FOUNDATION not anchored on SURE “… FOUNDATION of the APOSTLES and PROPHETS, JESUS CHRIST himself BEING THE CHIEF CORNER STONE” shall not stand [Ephesians 2:20] The Apostles did not build Cathedrals or mansions, but “… FORSOOK ALL, AND THEY FOLLOWED HIM” [Luke 5:11] ABIDE IN ME is the Lord Jesus Christ asking His SAINTS to return to PRECEPTS of ACTS OF THE APOSTLES and be established in STANDARDS of the EPISTLES.
4. ABIDE IN ME is Jesus Christ inviting YOU and I to a deeper relationship than of SHEEP and SHEPHERD. Remember, as SHEEP we went astray and when we ought to be mature in the likeness of Christ, we were “… become such as HAVE NEED OF MILK, and not of strong meat” [Hebrews 5:12] ABIDE IN ME is the Lord inviting YOU AND I to the fellowship of BRANCH to the VINE, saying: “IF YE ABIDE IN ME, AND MY WORDS ABIDE IN YOU, ye shall ask what ye will, and it shall be done unto you” [John15:7] As the BRANCH ABIDES on the VINE and feeds on the LIFE of the VINE, so is the Lord calling us to forsake denominational creeds and ABIDE in the WORD, which is the “… BREAD WHICH COMETH DOWN FROM HEAVEN, that a man may eat thereof, and not die” [John 6:50] That BREAD is the REVELATION of God’s PERSONAL IDENTITY manifest in FLESH and BLOOD. The REVELATION of God’s PERSONAL IDENTITY in Jesus Christ is the LIFE of the VINE, which we must EAT to LIVE and DIE no more, as it is written: “Whoso EATETH MY FLESH, and DRINKETH MY BLOOD, HATH ETERNAL LIFE; and I WILL RAISE HIM UP AT THE LAST DAY” [John 6:54] ABIDE IN ME is Christ calling YOU and I to go beyond being SHEEP and be transformed to BRANCH in the REVELATION of God’s PERSONAL IDENTITY.
5. ABIDE IN ME is Christ’s FINAL CALL to the BRIDE, and “IF A MAN ABIDE NOT IN ME, HE IS CAST FORTH as a BRANCH, and is withered; and men gather them, and cast into the fire, and THEY ARE BURNED” [John 15:6] Return and ABIDE IN ME, says the Lord, amen