Speaking in Tongues: My Testimony (Pt 3)

It would take several months before I spoke in tongues. However, in the days and weeks following the Life in the Spirit Seminar, I noticed unusual things happen to me.

First, I never wanted to have anything to do with the praise and worship songs of the Charismatics. But I started noticing a change. When I heard the sound of worship songs, I felt drawn to it. Those songs delighted my spirit. I couldn’t explain why; it just happened.

Second, I caught myself one day raising my arms to heaven when I worshiped. Up to that point, you couldn’t get me to raise my hands. Yet, here I was raising my hands in worship. I don’t recall anyone telling me to raise my hands. For some of you these details might sound trivial, but for me it was a big deal.

Third, I felt light and free and joyful. I couldn’t explain it; I just experienced it. Fourth, I noticed that I was more assured of God’s presence in my life. I felt God was close to me and I didn’t need anything. I felt drawn to Jesus in a new way. For the first time, I noticed that I didn’t need the Virgin Mary (or the saints) and sacramentals as much as I previously thought. Again, no one coached me. I just felt different inside me.

Fifth, I became bold, confident and spontaneous in prayer. When I joined the Charismatics, I learned about the spiritual authority of the believer and how to use it. For the first time in my life, when I discerned demonic activity, I knew what to do or say and I felt bold about it.

 Let me share an example with you.

One day in the seminary, a classmate of mine was sick so I visited him to see how he was doing. He looked pale and weak. I sat next to him on his bed while we talked. He, too, was seated. Suddenly, his eyes rolled and became white and he bent backwards, looking unconscious and lifeless. In that very moment, I looked at him and spoke the following words, “I rebuke you, death!” As soon as I spoke those words, he sat up again as if I had woken him from a dream. His eyes became normal again and we continued our conversation.

The interesting thing is, he didn’t realize what had just happened. And I felt at that time that it wasn’t necessary, either, for me to tell him.

My point is, if I had faced this situation in my earlier life, I would have been scared or scrambled to recite some of the traditional prayers I had memorized (e.g. the “Hail Mary” or “Prayer to St. Michael”). But this time, I wasn’t moved a bit by what was happening in front of me. I knew by spontaneous discernment which spirit was trying to harm my friend (the spirit of death). I took authority, spoke directly to death and rebuked it to lose its grip on my friend. And it obeyed.

The next chapter of how I came to speak in tongues takes place in Rome, Italy. I’ll talk about that in my next post.

Until then, may the rivers of living water in you refresh you and meet every need in your life. Amen.

Ogoe

You Are Worthy (Pt 2)

God wants you to approach Him with a sense of worthiness. Today, I want to share with you the concluding part of the message I began yesterday, “You Are Worthy.” 

Someone worthy had to go to God with proof that man had been redeemed from sin. Then, and only then, would God hand over His estate as an inheritance for His children.  Sin was what separated us from God (Isaiah 59:1-2). But Jesus has taken sin away by the sacrifice of Himself (Hebrews 9:26) and has reconciled us to God (Romans 5:10).

The seven seals of the scroll (Revelation 5) represent the seven components (contents) of the Father’s will (estate): (infinite) power, (infinite) riches, (infinite) wisdom, (infinite) strength, (infinite) honor, (infinite) glory, and (infinite) blessing. In the Bible, the number seven at times symbolizes perfection and completeness. The seven items mentioned in the will embody the complete package of what God wants His children to enjoy now and forever. The Good News is, all of heaven testified that Jesus is worthy to receive these seven things (Revelation 5:12). 

Here is where you need to pay attention, because it has enormous implications for you.

At the very moment Jesus was declared worthy, every child of God became equally worthy to receive power, riches (wealth), wisdom, strength, honor, glory and blessing.

You might wonder, how is this possible? Well, this is what the Scripture means when it declares you heir of God and joint-heir with Christ (Romans 8:16-17). Whatever God has is yours now. Whatever Jesus enjoys, you get to enjoy too. And the best part is, there is no limit to how much good you can enjoy.

Don’t make the mistake of thinking you’ll only enjoy these seven things in the future, after you die. No, these things are for the present as well as for the future. God wants you to manifest His glory in this world as a testimony of His kindness towards you. Don’t disqualify yourself by pushing your God-given blessings to the future only. Always keep the present and the future together. If you separate them, you’ll miss out on divine gifts God wants you to enjoy.

If you want to be sure you’re worthy, the right question to ask is, “Is Jesus worthy?” If He is (which He is), then so are you! You are worthy of a great life, not because of what you’ve done or not done, but because of what Jesus has done for you.

Change your thinking. An important first step is to stop saying you’re unworthy. You might think that declaring you’re unworthy shows your humility. But the reality is, when you do that you dishonor the Man who died to make you worthy. No matter your situation, remember Jesus has made you worthy. Draw near to God. Never draw back.  

At this point, I want to speak the following blessings upon you:

You are worthy to receive good and perfect things. You deserve to have your dream job.  You are worthy of promotion. You deserve to have your business flourish. You deserve to be happy. You are worthy to enjoy perfect health. You are worthy of forgiveness. You are worthy of unconditional love. You deserve a happy family. You deserve the perfect spouse. You are worthy of success. You are worthy of wealth. You are worthy of all blessings in the heavenly places. You are worthy. Amen.

Now, it’s your turn. I want you to speak for yourself. Say with me:

Good Father, thank you for making me worthy. Thank you, Jesus. From this point forward, I know and I believe that I am worthy through your Blood. My days of feeling unworthy are over. I am worthy to receive perfect health. I deserve to be happy and prosperous. I am worthy to receive good things. I am worthy to be loved. I am worthy to be esteemed. I am worthy to be healed. I am worthy to be the best. I am worthy to be the head and not the tail. I am worthy to be above and not beneath. I am worthy to receive breakthrough. I am worthy to have my prayers answered.  I am worthy to be blessed. I am worthy to receive power, riches, wisdom, strength, honor, glory and blessing. I am worthy through Christ Jesus, my Lord. Amen.

With love. Stay inspired, stay worthy.

Ogoe

You Are Worthy (Pt 1)

God wants you successful, healthy, full of life and prosperous. Jesus died for you so that you might have life and have it more abundantly (John 10:10). To appropriate the blessings that are yours in Christ, it is very important that you believe you’re worthy. When you know you’re worthy, it stirs up faith and confidence. And confidence will release you to take what’s yours. If you want to be successful and prosperous, you can’t afford to label yourself unworthy.

Many people, often unconsciously, have disqualified themselves from the good things of life because they deem themselves unfit. You need to understand this: If you entertain thoughts and feelings of unworthiness, it’ll hinder you and deprive you of blessings God wants you to enjoy. No matter what your shortcomings are, keep feelings and thoughts of unworthiness far from you. When you see yourself as worthy, you’ll maintain a high sense of self-worth. That’ll empower you and propel you forward. Sooner or later, you’ll begin to experience success beyond your imagination.

Negative social and religious conditioning can make you feel inferior and unworthy. But let me encourage you: As far as Daddy God is concerned, your self-worth has nothing to do with social labels. Your self-worth is based on what Jesus did for you on the Cross. You are bigger, more precious and more capable than you’ve been made to believe.

Let me show you something.

God went to great lengths to make you worthy. One day, John had a vision of heaven (Revelation 5). God was seated in majesty, surrounded by heavenly hosts. In His right hand He had a scroll which had seven seals. An angel proclaimed, “Who is worthy to open the scroll and to loose its seals?” (v. 2). No creature was found worthy to approach God and take the scroll from Him. This caused John to weep. Apparently, there was something very important in the scroll that would benefit all people. The only problem was that the scroll was in God’s hand. Who dared approach God and take it from Him?

When all hope seemed lost, John saw a Lamb that was slain. It was Jesus, the Lion of the tribe of Judah. He went straight to God and took the scroll from His hand. Jesus didn’t beg God to let him take the scroll. He approached boldly and took it from Him. Do you know why? Jesus knew he was worthy. God, therefore, had no choice but to give him the scroll. When Jesus took the scroll, heaven sang a new song, saying to Jesus, “You are worthy to take the scroll, and to open its seals . . .” (v. 8-10) Again the hosts of heaven said with a loud voice, “Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing!” (v. 12). 

Do you know what the best part is? Jesus did all of this for you. He died and paid for all your sins forever. Then He showed up in heaven with proof (His shed Blood) that the job was done. Jesus stood before God on your behalf. From eternity, God planned to give His entire estate to all His children, Jesus being the firstborn among many brethren (Romans 8:29). But Jesus had to first die for the will (testament) to come into effect. That will was what God held in His right hand. Jesus was found worthy to take the will and execute it for all God’s children, including you.

Watch out for the concluding part tomorrow.

Until then, stay encouraged.

Ogoe

Let Go of Sin-Consciousness

“For the law, having a shadow of the good things to come, and not the very image of the things, can never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfect. For then would they not have ceased to be offered? For the worshipers, once purified, would have had no more consciousness of sins” (Hebrews 10:1-2, NKJV).

Today, I want to share some thoughts with you about how you can stay free from sin consciousness. 

God is perfect, and those who worship Him (and fellowship with Him) must do so with a perfect conscience. By “perfect conscience” I mean a conscience that is pure, clean, free from guilt and established in righteousness. God’s will for you is to worship Him in complete freedom: freedom from fear, guilt, shame, blame and condemnation. Your conscience plays a vital role in this process.

The condition of your conscience influences the degree to which you will enjoy the freedom Jesus purchased for you. This means your freedom is not complete until you’re free from the conscience of sin.

Many Christians walk around with sin (guilt) on their conscience. To deal with this burden, some resort to the practice of confessing their sins over and over until they leave this world. In some places, automatic confession of sins is incorporated into official church services. The obvious assumption is that everyone is, by default, unclean before God and confession of sins clears the way for the congregation to approach God. However, Jesus died (precisely) to put an end to this state of affairs (the cycle of sin-consciousness).

 The Good News is, God has made a way for you to serve Him with a perfect conscience all the days of your life. That way is the Blood of Jesus. As a Christian, if you base your conscience on anything other than the Blood of Jesus, you’re ignoring the Cross and setting yourself up for defeat. Sooner or later, satan (the accuser) will mess with your mind and hinder your experience of joy and liberty in Christ. 

Consciousness of sin was the prevailing reality under the Old Covenant law. The Letter to the Hebrews tells us why: The blood of goats and bulls could not make the conscience of those worshipers perfect forever. If it could, then the sacrifices would have ceased to be offered, because the worshipers, once purged, would have had no more consciousness of sins. What the blood of animals could not do, now the Blood of Jesus has done. By His one time sacrifice, Jesus has purged and perfected our conscience forever.

Therefore, Jesus expects us to have confidence and boldness through His blood and not walk around with consciousness of sin as though we were living under the Old Covenant. If you, through unbelief or ignorance, hold on to consciousness of sin, you’re making light of Jesus’ sacrifice. Jesus will not die a second time for your sins, because He made sure that what He did for you that day on Calvary had everlasting effect on you. If you’re born again, you need to know this, you need to believe it and you need to walk in this awareness every day of your life.

Your faith in the Blood of Jesus must be unwavering. That is how you will defeat the Accuser (satan) and enjoy the freedom Jesus bought for you (Only do not use your liberty as an occasion to gratify the flesh, but use it as an occasion to offer your new life to God as a living sacrifice). Jesus has offered you a perfect conscience free of charge through His Blood, not through any work of yours.

You have a decision to make. Do you believe Jesus or do you have doubts? It’s up to you. My advise to you is, don’t let your personal weaknesses dictate the condition of your conscience. According to the Bible, your perfect conscience comes through Jesus’ Blood alone. And once your conscience is perfected by the Blood, you should no longer walk around with consciousness of sins. This is what you get under the New Covenant. Enjoy it. Let no one or anything talk you out of what Jesus purchased for you.

Remember this: Your experience of freedom is tied to what you believe. If you believe that Jesus has perfected your conscience forever by His blood (as the Bible states), then you will enjoy the blessings of the Blood. If you don’t believe, or you’re not sure, you can’t enjoy the blessings. Don’t let this happen. 

 Honor Jesus’ Blood.  Let go of sin-consciousness. 

Confess the following to support your confidence in the Blood of Jesus:

“I know who I am. I am the one Jesus loves. I surrender to the Blood of Jesus. I know Jesus has cleansed me from my sins. I am letting go of sin-consciousness. I have a perfect conscience through the Blood of Jesus. I reject the lies of the devil and all his accusations. I am accepting forgiveness and peace through the Blood of Jesus. I am holding on to my faith in the Blood of Jesus. I live by faith in the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me. I have overcome by the Blood of the Lamb and by the word of my testimony. In Jesus Name. Amen”

What Was “Finished” at the Cross? (Pt 4)

Daily Devotion | Day 364

“Seventy weeks are determined for your people and for your holy city, to finish the transgression, to make an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy” (Daniel 9:24, NKJV).

Let us pick up where we left off yesterday. We were talking about how Daniel’s prophecy regarding the cessation of transgression is fulfilled and explained in the New Testament. We referenced Matthew 5:29-30 where Jesus instructed us that if our right eye or right hand causes us to sin, we should pluck it out or cut if off and cast it from us. Today we will examine this teaching closely in light of other passages in the New Testament. We want to find out how the transgressing of God’s law ceases at the Cross and because of the Cross.

Jesus did not come into the world to give us a partial solution to the sin problem. He came to deal with the sin problem once and for all. That is why He took away all our sins with a single sacrifice (John 1:29; Hebrews 10:10, 14, 18). When He appears a second time, it would not be to deal with sin but to give salvation to those who eagerly await Him (Hebrews 9:27-28). Therefore, as Messiah, Jesus addressed the sin problem at its root. To tackle sin at its root, He did (and said) many things, culminating in His death and resurrection.

We have already talked about how Jesus made an end of sins and made reconciliation for iniquity (see Parts 1 & 2 of this teaching). In addition, Jesus did something else to make sure that after we are reconciled and forgiven, we do not return to a life of transgressing God’s law, but rather obey the Father in holiness and righteousness. This is where He taught us about denying the self.

Specifically, Jesus said that if something causes us to sin, we must cut it off and cast it from us. Jesus was not joking. What He said has the same force today as it did when He spoke those words. If we understand this teaching and practice it, then we will understand the Cross and benefit from its power. The most effective way to resolve a problem is to identify the cause and remove it. This is what Jesus is doing when He tells us that if our right eye or right hand causes us to sin, we must cut it off and cast it from us. He wants us to identify the things in our life that cause us to sin and take decisive action to part with them; no hesitation and no excuses. If we had to choose between life in heaven with one eye (or one hand) and death in hell with our full body, Jesus says the former is more profitable.

Jesus is not asking us to mutilate our body or someone else’s. His point is about doing whatever it takes to distance yourself from whatever causes you to sin. This means if you are aware of anything (or anyone) in your life that is a source of sin for you, Jesus expects you to “cut it off” and get rid of it. If, for example, you are in a relationship or friendship that causes you to sin, Jesus expects you to end it by walking away from the relationship. Likewise, if you have in your possession any images, videos or other materials that cause you to sin, Jesus wants you to get rid of them. And He wants you to obey Him now, not some time later. If you want Jesus to save you, He will, but on His terms alone, not yours. If you want to be saved on your own terms, He will not be part of that arrangement.

When you obey Jesus by “cutting off” the causes of sin in your life, this will cause you some suffering: You might lose friends, relatives, money, reputation and so forth. You might even be persecuted or killed. This is what Jesus means when He talks about losing your life for His sake and for the sake of the Gospel (Matthew 16:24-25). But persevering in this suffering is how you stay crucified with Christ and remain dead to sin. And because you are crucified with Christ and are dead to sin, you will no longer transgress God’s law. Your former life of transgressing God’s law would be over. In your new life, you will live for righteousness alone. Salvation from sin is costly; it cost Jesus His life. Make no mistake; it will cost you, too.

We have more to say about this point, but I have to pause here. I will post the continuation shortly. Then God willing, we will conclude the series (as well as the Daily Devotional) tomorrow. Stay blessed.

For further study1 Peter 4:1-19