I’m in “preach” mode today. I’m not apologising, I’m just giving you a heads up. If you’re not in the mood to be preached at, you might as well close this page, but if you humour me and I’m hoping you do, my Spirit inspired rant just might touch your life.
I came across a story a few months ago about a kenyan pastor who was charging members of his congregation money – about a thousand two hundred and fifty bucks in naira – to check if their names where in the Book of life. That wasn’t even as ridiculous as the story that came in about a week after another one where a pastor commanded members of his congregation to go outside and eat grass. If the first story was hard for you to believe, the second one has actual pictures. Hit google, you’ll be entertained.
When I saw both stories, my reaction vacillated between laughter and disgust, but I forgot about them until on monday when I came across a Bible passage that brought everything back in a new focus, which, I’m about to share.
2 Peter 1:20-21.
As opinions and the Bible go, people usually have many. Pastors have got theirs, scientists have got theirs, regular church folk have got theirs, even atheists and idol worshippers have theirs and yeah, I have mine. But that’s the thing, I don’t want to give you my opinion even though ironically that’s essentially what a blog, THIS blog, is all about. I’ll lay it out as the Bible lays it out and pray that the Holy Spirit will reorient YOUR opinion.
So here goes. From the aforementioned passage, Peter lays it on to his readers that “no prophecy of scripture is of any private interpretation” (NKJV). The Amplified Bible breaks it down a bit by saying “understand this, that no prophecy of scripture is a matter of any personal or private or special interpretation, loosening or solving”. Why? Because “prophecy never came by the will of man, but holy men of God spoke as they were moved by the Holy Spirit” (NKJV).
It’s necessary, no unconditional as christians that we know our Bible. Not just have a general idea, but KNOW it. Our souls depend on it. That’s the essence of this article. Here’s the thing about “personal interpretation” of God’s word, it always, ALWAYS falls at odds with God’s will. Isaiah 55:8-9 pretty much explains that.
With regards to the two stories I mentioned above, no matter how respected that “man of God” is or the amount/degrees of “evidence” of God’s power in His life, if whatever he/she teaches in the church doesn’t tally with the Bible, he/ she is wrong. It’s that simple. The Word and the Spirit ALWAYS go together, God and His Spirit will never act contradictory to His word. After all as Peter went on to say in verse 21, that same word was inspired by the Spirit. So why will He place something in your heart or “speak” through a “man of God” something that doesn’t go with what His word says?
I’ve heard some so-called christians preach pro-homosexuality because our God is a “God of Love”. They conveniently forget that He is also a righteous Judge “who is of purer eyes than to behold iniquity” Habbakuk 1:13. They also conveniently forget to mention that in Romans 1:24-27 God essentially leaves these rebellious souls to “finish themselves” because in verses 21-23 they have rejected Him and all that He stands for.
I honestly can’t sit down and tell you that there is one man of God out there whose word I hold in such high esteem, that I don’t question it. None. For the simple reason that they are human. If anything, they are prime targets of the devil for deception because of the level of influence they have over christians. Even the most genuine anointed men of God make mistakes and veer off the tracks to teach deception.
Take Aaron for instance. He had been with Moses from day one. Acted as his little brother’s spokesman to pharaoh. Saw all the miracles first hand. Most pertinently he was ordained priest for the children of Israel before God. Yet who moulded and introduced the children of Israel to the golden calf? Aaron. Who proclaimed it “the gods who brought them out of the land of egypt?” (Exodus 32:4-5) Aaron.
Am I saying now do not listen to men of God? Oh no. By all means do. The genuine ones are God’s mouthpieces. Just listen, return home and compare with your Bible and ask the Holy Spirit to open your eyes. Shikena.
Now when you get a “leading” in your spirit or you receive a “word of knowledge” concerning an issue, go back to your Bible, because as old as this Bible is – both in lingua and in message – it’s timeless. It’s got God’s point of view on EVERYTHING. “Leadings” can come from the devil as well as the Lord Almighty. We all know how much the devil loves to imitate God. Take Jesus for instance when the devil tempted Him. He spun Bible verses so they SOUNDED like the real thing (Matthew 4: 5-7) quoted Psalms 91:11 and twisted it. The word was the same, but he had turned the meaning, but Jesus knowing the word and understanding it saw through his deception.
Another example. I’ve heard people quote Romans 8:1 “There is now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus” and end it there. So they carry on with the belief that as long as they’ve given their lives to Christ that one time it’s honky-doe. They can continue to live as they like before they became christians. They conveniently overlook the second part of that same verse that says “Who DO NOT walk according to the flesh, but according to the spirit”. If you’re not seeing that part in your Bible, that’s another problem, check that verse in the KJV or NKJV.
Now having seen this second part of this verse, tell me, how does the spirit of God lead you to fornication AFTER you’ve given your life to Christ, even if you’re already going to get married to said sister/brother? The same Spirit, remember, that inspired the Biblical command “thou shall not fornicate” or in Jesus’ era, “do not look upon another woman in lust”. If you call yourself a christian and you’re still sleeping around or generally living in sin, are you walking in the Spirit or after the flesh? And if you’re walking after the flesh, are you still free of condemnation as that verse indicates? If you’re being honest I think you know the answer to that. Because that verse pretty much explains itself. If you’re in Christ AND you do not walk after the flesh but after the Spirit, there is no condemnation for you. Shikena. I didn’t write it. It’s there in black and white. Written millenia before I was born.
Besides you can’t REALLY be in Christ and still be living in sin, you’re just deceiving yourself. “Christian” means “like Christ”; can you imagine Jesus watching porn? Or chasing another man’s wife? Or jumping from one woman to another and then the very next day delivering the beatitudes on the mount or preaching in the temple? Or you think Jesus didn’t have women around Him? With respect to my lady readers, women are drawn to power and we all know He was swimming in it, so yes there would have been women, so don’t tell me you can’t help yourself, that’s what the grace is for. Not to permit you to sin, but to strengthen you to BEAT sin. He even considered throwing in the towel when he was crying in the garden but for love for you and I.
See how I’ve spent the last few hundred words? I just laid out the Bible as it is. If it looked like I gave my opinions, my bad. But I don’t think I did, because the verses are there to check up and read.
Stop looking for the validation to live your life as you like, from the teachings of “men of God”. Some of you are too quick to quote what a certain man of God said on an issue, when the Bible says something different; all because it permits you to do what you like. If said man of God is preaching deception and you’re swallowing it hook, line and sinker without researching the authority – God’s word, the Bible – when you end up before God, who’s going to determine whether you enter paradise or not? Your pastor or the God whose word you set aside? Your pastor will be preoccupied with saving his own eternal skin, without a thought to yours.
Check your heart, if it hasn’t been changed, truly spiritually changed by genuine repentance, it will by default be more receptive to deception than truth. After all God is looking for those who will “worship Him in spirit and in truth” John 4:24.
When it has been changed from a “heart of stone to a heart of flesh by God” Ezekiel 36-26, it will actively seek to know God’s word and thus as His Spirit bears witness with your spirit (Romans 8:16), He will warn you when you’re about to be deceived.
God’s word is not complicated, it was written for kings and fishermen, BY kings and fishermen. After all Peter I’ve been quoting was a fisherman, Paul who wrote Romans was a lawyer, David who wrote Psalms was a shepherd turned king.
Go back to your Bible, even after reading this and check. No other opinion, not even mine matters.
Y’all know what to do. Plug in your comments in the comment box and/or hit me up @arielugorji