UNDERSTANDING AND OVERCOMING THE PERILS OF THIS AGE – PART 2
( By Olawale Ojewumi)
SUBTOPIC: Understanding the mystery of Jesus warning ( 1)
TEXT: Matthew 24: 3 – 4
Date: Sunday 11th, July 2016 ( week 2)
I will like to start today’s teaching by considering verse 3 of the book of Mathew 24 again:
“And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?”
The issue that the disciples raised was so important and crucial to them that they never make it casual, they never asked the question until the Master was seated and was alone with the hope that He will be able to tell them the secret then; but in response to this very important issue troubling the heart of the disciples, Jesus said:
“Be careful that no one misleads you [deceiving you and leading you into error].”AMP.
“…Take heed that no man deceive you.” KJV
The disciples were expecting Jesus to tell them the event and the activities that will precede His second coming, but Jesus started by giving them warning “…Take heed… Be careful.”
One of the principles that were evident in Jesus approach to issues was the principle of orderliness and priority. He does the first thing first, he never put number three before number two, you could remember the incident concerning the case of Lazarus (John 11), He never allow the urgency of the situation and the tears of people to change His plan, the scripture says that
“When he had heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was.”verse 6.
He still waited for two days to finish the task he was schedule to accomplish in that town, though Lazarus family thought he was too late but He was never late because he is a God of order. What I am saying is that, for Jesus to start with warning, that means it is the first tool we needed to survive in this generation. The disciples were actually craving for revelation of the things to come, but Jesus began to raise an issue, that no matter how deep the revelation they have, if they cannot jealously heed the instructions guiding the revelation, devil will deceive them into errors.
This is to tell us that obedience is more important than revelation. You don’t struggle for the manifestations of God’s promises, when you obey the instructions religiously God’s revelations for your life will surely manifest. As a matter of facts, no amount of prayer and fasting can play the role obedience to divine instructions in your life. That’s why devil will try everything to deceive you from following the instruction. He does often because he is aware that whenever we are not obedient to God’s written word and instructions, we by default submit unto his lordship.
“Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey– whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness?” Rom 6:16, NIV
Apostle Paul makes it clear that ignorance does not remove the “fact” of whom we serve. So, because we have no knowledge that we are obeying Satan’s deceptions, doesn’t change the fact that we are his servants whenever we live in disobedience to God. If in fact we are doing the things that please Satan and his kingdom, we are therefore his deceived and subdued servants. Our “Choice,” determines the person we love and serve. Obedience is the dividing line of whom we are serving.
One of the major weapons in the hand of the devil to bring enmity between humanity and their Maker is deception. He through this weapon destroyed the intimacy between God and Adam and as well stripped him of God’s agenda. When devil came to meet Eve in the Garden, he never asked for the revelation of God for their life, rather he was after knowing the instruction thereby using it as a tool to deceive them:
“Now the serpent was the shrewdest of all the creatures the LORD God had made. “Really?” he asked the woman. “Did God really say you must not eat any of the fruit in the garden?” “Of course we may eat it,” the woman told him. “It’s only the fruit from the tree at the center of the garden that we are not allowed to eat. God says we must not eat it or even touch it, or we will die.””You won’t die!” the serpent hissed. “God knows that your eyes will be opened when you eat it. You will become just like God, knowing everything, both good and evil.” The woman was convinced. The fruit looked so fresh and delicious, and it would make her so wise! So she ate some of the fruit. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her. Then he ate it, too.” Gen.3:1-6 NLT
Devil cannot change them or change what they stand for until he cunningly convinced them to act against God’s instruction. Immediately they ate what they were not meant to eat, everything about them changed…
“At that moment, their eyes were opened, and they suddenly felt shame at their nakedness. So they strung fig leaves together around their hips to cover themselves.” Verse 7
Actually, this is an issue for another time but the inference I just want to draw here today is that, nothing can change or alter God’s plan for your life, not even the devil or witches in your home town if you do not disobey or sin against God. Don’t just see the scriptural record as an abstract thing, rather try to bring it down to our modern day life; how will you feel if the General Overseer of your denomination comes to your room daily to practically converse with you? Could you then imagine the value of what Adam and Eve lost out to the devil through that singular act of believing the polished lie of the devil? Beloved, do not grant Satan your audience – do not even consider what he says in your mind, he is a father of lies.
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