Lessons from the book of Joshua

Joshua 3

Joshua 23:11 … care to love.


Does it make sense to ask someone to take care to ensure he loves someone else? Is it not something that is either there or not? Since love is a feeling, it’s either there or it is not, I mean, it’s either the person loves or he doesn’t … period. Right?

This verse of scripture, containing one of President Joshua’s final instructions to his people indicates otherwise. It appears that one can actually choose to love or not to love. It is shown here to be something one does and not just something one feels. It is so much so that it is something that is to be done with deliberate care so it is not lost.

Be very watchful of yourselves, therefore, to love the Lord your God. [Amplified]

One other translation even states, “This only take care of with all diligence, that you love the Lord your God.”

It becomes clear that the feeling of love is not love itself. One could get lost in the feeling and forget the real thing. It’s like using a thermometer to monitor temperature changes. The thermometer is not the temperature, but it is one device that is used to measure it. The common domestic thermometer is not even equipped to measure certain temperatures. If exposed to certain extremes of temperatures, our common thermometer will be destroyed.

In the same way, our feelings of love for God, for spouses, children and other people in our various lives can be a handy tool to help us as we love but there are “extremes of love” where the feelings or emotions become unreliable and might even fail but at every level of walking in love, we always have a choice to make.

It is to this detail that Joshua called his people to pay attention. It is easy to feel the love you have for God when you are daily wowed by His wonders in the pillar of cloud and fire, the daily supply of manna and of quails and the steady conquests on the field of battle but how long with that feeling last when you notice the pillar has moved out of sight, when you now have to cultivate the land and sweat for your food and when there are no more battles being fought and won? When such a point comes, it now becomes a task, a serious duty to love.

This is how Jesus put it, “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me.”

Love is an action word. Love is a choice. We must take care to love.

John 14:15, 21, 23-24; 15:9-10.


Rhythms of the Heart

Hello friends.

I had a discussion … (I seem to have a lot of those, right?)

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving Sunday at my church, perhaps at yours too.

The contents of this discussion might make a difference in your heart and service tomorrow, and hopefully for all the numerous tomorrows to follow.

Once again, the identity of the person has been hidden but the conversation preserved.

​Ez: Please Sir, what’s your take on praise as a veritable tool to fight the enemy (the devil and his agents)?

PD: God dwells in the praises of His People.

Let God arise and His enemies be scattered.

Where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

These are direct lifts of scriptures. Praise as a weapon is a matter of fact.

The issue, however, is that, though we often sing songs and dance, we rarely praise God. There is a difference between enjoying good music and actual praise.

“Let us praise Him in the dance.”

Also another verse of scripture.

It means it is quite possible to not praise Him in the dance.

Ez: sir.

When could it be said that one is actually praising God?

PD: Like every thing else with God, the heart of the matter is the matter of the heart.

Isaiah 29:13 Wherefore the Lord said, Forasmuch as this people draw near [me] with their mouth, and with their lips do honour me, but have removed their heart far from me, and their fear toward me is taught by the precept of men.

It is what’s going on in your heart that’s really happening in the realm of the spirit. Mere words and outward actions amount to nothing unless one engages his heart.

Can you drive?

Ez: No sir.

PD: OK. Do you know about cars and driving?

Ez: A little

PD: You know the role the gear plays?

Ez: Yes sir

PD: What’s the role?

Ez: It engages the car for motion

PD: Correct.

So, no matter how powerful the car’s engine is, and no matter how hard you press down on the accelerator and how high the revometer goes and how loud the engine is sounding, if you do not engage the gear, there would be no motion.

Ez: Precisely.

PD: Now, imagine a car with the gear on neutral on a downhill slope; the car would be seen to be moving, right?

Ez: Yes

PD: And because the engine is making an audible sound and the driver is turn the steering wheel and using the pedals, it would seem he is driving a working car. Whereas he is just going with the flow, with the pull of gravity.

It is when the effect of gravity wears off or when the driver now wants to go uphill that it would be obvious the engine was not engaged all the while.

Ez: Hmmmm! This is deep

I stand to be corrected, sir

PD: 😯

What are you correcting?

Ez: Nothing sir.

PD: 😁

Ez: I am only trying to give you a feedback to know if I am following, Sir

PD: Funny guy.

Anyway, it’s the same with praise. We mostly just flow with the gravity of the music without engaging the heart. 

All the benefits and warfare and victory that come on the wings of praise are actually side effects.

Real praise originates from the heart; it requires the heart.

Bible says “making melody in your hearts unto the Lord”.

If real praise is offered, results follow naturally.

Ez: Since praise is God’s due right, it’s rendering is not conditional on our own part. Right?

PD: Yeah, praise is God’s due. We have to give it unconditionally. But you know, we won’t be able to do it unconditionally unless we know what it is.

Ez: Secondly, the analogy of the downhill can be likened to a easy cruise and at such we just render praise carelessly without our heart in it. After all everything is good and nice.

PD: Exactly.

Ez: But the uphill comes as a reality check that makes us realize that what is and what is not.

For those of us who have been flowing with mere rhythms and rhymes, we no longer see the good in God. But for those praising with the heart, it is firing all the way in spite of the uphill circumstances. Right?

PD: Exactly.

So the question how do we go from lazy cruise to power drive … is how do we engage the heart?

Ez: Doing what we do with real understanding i.e an understanding of what praise is and what it does.

Ez: Right Sir?

PD: Yes.

Although, what praise does is not up to us and knowing that only helps us to know what to expect, knowing what praise really is and how to do it right is critical and totally up to us.

The Hebrew language uses word pictures or concepts to communicate a lot of times and use many words to express subtle shades of difference in meaning so in the example of praise, there are a number of words. But these words our translated inconsistently, I guess based on context, as Thanksgiving, Praise and Worship, and thus we use them interchangeably.

Although the three words are used interchangeably, they are slightly different. And since they are translated from the same 8 Hebrew words, the implication in reality is that they are interwoven and lead to one another.

Ez: 🤔

PD: I used to have an image somewhere that depicts this.

Lemme see if I can find it.

Ez: Ok

PD: I can’t find it. Let me just sketch it up for you.

Ez: Alright Sir

PD: Sorry it took so long. Photoshop takes longer on this type of work than Corel draw and I don’t have Corel on my system right now.

I hope it’s clear enough.

Ez: Very clear Sir.

PD: Great.

So, the three concepts lead one to another. No matter where you enter, you wind up going through them all.

The important thing is that the heart is involved.

Let me give you the definitions that God gave me and have helped me engage my heart each time.

Thanksgiving is the heart felt response to the generosity of God.

Praise is the heart felt response to the capacity of God.

Worship is the heart felt response to the personality of God.


God saw to it that I slept peacefully and woke up this morning. He has been good to me. I am grateful. My heart response is gratitude for his generosity towards me. What comes out of my heart is Thanksgiving. It is independent of the song I sing or the tempo or whether I dance or not.


God saw to it that 7.2 billion persons on the earth slept peacefully and woke up this morning. He has been good to this many people at once. I am awed!  My heart response is respect for his capacity to be good towards so many people all at once without getting tired or needing help. I’m thinking “wow!” What comes out of my heart is Praise. It is independent of the song I sing or the tempo or whether I dance or not.


God saw to it that 7.2 billion persons on the earth slept peacefully and woke up this morning, whether they are good or bad. He has been good to this many people at consistently for as long as He has been God without waiting for them to love him or even thank Him. He does this because of His personality or character. I am captivated and fascinated by His person!  My heart response is love for His personality;  to be good towards so all people, all the time, for all time. I’m thinking God is a lovely person. What comes out of my heart is Worship. It is independent of the song I sing or the tempo or whether I dance or not.

Thanksgiving says thank you; Praise says I respect you, you are powerful and great; Worship says I love you, you are just wonderfully irresistible.

The connection is me … my heart.

There is no way I will thank God from my heart without winding up praising Him and Worshiping Him.

If my heart is involved in my worship, I will remember His kindness to me and Thanksgiving will pour out.

On and on the triangle keeps flowing back and forth.

I hope you get this so far.

Ez: Yea Sir

PD: So, all we need to do is think well about what we are saying and not be absent minded or carried away by the activities around us.

I remember when I was music director, some years back. Service was one, music was on, the worship leader was up on stage, the rest of the music team was executing the various assigned tasks and I was overseeing. 

Then God spoke to me, “what are you doing?” And I said in my heart, I’m making sure things are running smoothly and keeping all the moving pieces together and making sure folks get to worship without interruptions. Then he said, “What about you? Won’t you worship?”

I was singing along but my heart was not in it. I was busy watching and ensuring others worshipped God but I left myself out.

I immediately dropped all I was doing, closed my eyes, opened my heart and thought of the lyrics of the song at that time and I joined the church in worshipping Jesus.

It’s very easy to be in the business of church music and dance without actually connecting to heaven.

Ez: Very true

PD: So, I believe we have tackled your question?

Ez: Thank you sir

PD: You’re welcome.

Ez: Sometimes I wish I can host you.

PD: 😁

The number 3

The following is a discussion I had with a friend a while back. He was blessed. I thought it might bless you too.

Q: Please can I ask you a question sir?

Why is everything in the kingdom 3 fold? 

We have trinity; God the father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

We are made up of spirit, soul and body.

And we have 3 voices speaking to us at every point in time: the voice of God, the devil and ourselves. What’s the relationship?

A: The number 3 🙂

Q.: Hahahahahahaha.

Please it’s been on my mind. Trying to understand how it affects our daily living.

A: God is spirit. The three are one and that one is spirit. They are one (united) and so they are always in agreement on every issue. Right there is the difference between God and man, our own three are not one.

Our spirit always pleases God and our flesh always seeks to please itself (which effectively means pleasing the devil because the devil has programmed evil into it).

Therefore, every matter, for us, requires a vote.

Since we are “three”, we have three votes which means there will always be a decision made in the “house” which is always determined by the majority of two against one. So there will always be a campaign for the winning vote. The spirit votes for God always, the body votes for the devil always but the soul can be swayed.

As you know, the party whose campaign you listen to the most gradually begins to appeal to you.

This is why there is always an on-going campaign by the two parties we carry around. The devil uses everything he can to get our attention and win the deciding vote: everything around us, people, fashion, media etc. God uses the word through everything he can … church, people, nature etc. Both are trying to get the deciding vote.

The kind of person you are is determined by which party gets the deciding vote most of the time.

Interestingly, we were born without the ability to hear the campaign of one party and with the ability to hear that of the other effortlessly. So, though we had a spirit, we were dead to it. But to correct that, we get born a second time and this rebirth comes with all the devices working and so we can connect to the other party and hear the campaign.

However, it does not end there. Our soul is still more skilled at receiving input from the flesh and because we are now interested in hearing from the spirit we need to depolarize our souls so that we can hear our spirits just as well as we can hear our bodies. That’s what we call renewing of the mind and you know what we need to do that.

So now, when we take actions, it’s not 2 against a silent spirit. We can no longer say, we couldn’t help it, which means we all have the opportunity and capacity to be spiritually “minded” which means to have spiritual minds or minds that are prone to casting their votes with the spirit party … all the time, if possible.

It is easier to be spiritual if we surround ourselves with campaign materials of the spirit party.

I hope I helped.


Q: 1Tim 4:13 Paul admonishes Timothy to give himself to reading. NLT says “scriptures”. My question is, what were they reading? Were the scriptures written at that time? If yes, wasn’t it the old testament?

A: You are right on both counts. They had the law and the prophets. Of course they also had the historical books. What’s your point?

Q: No point! Just asking to know. I was just pondering what Paul wanted him to read. If that admonition was given today, we all will assume the “bible”. So, it got me thinking on what he was to read.

A: Ok. Well, it’s common to throw punches at the old testament these days in the name of new testament Christianity. Whereas, when we say old or new testament, we often refer to a different thing from Apostle Paul. Some think old testament means Genesis to Malachi and New testament means Matthew to Revelation. Whereas, not everything in the “old testament” is old testament and not everything in the “new testament” is new testament. Testament means Covenant. It also means document. So, there was an old covenant in the old document but not all of the document is “old” as in outdated, some components of the old document are everlasting. Same applies to the new document. Not all the contents are “new covenant.”

Q: OK. Can you cite examples?

A: Clear examples abound.

The Law, as it came through Moses is what in actual fact is “Old Covenant” as Apostle Paul says again and again in his inspired writings. Whereas, the covenant God made with Abraham is still standing, “through you all nations of the earth shall be blessed and to your seed shall I give to inherit this promise”, the seed being Jesus. And by faith, we are partakers of the blessing of Abraham Galatians 3 is replete with this thought. Walking by Faith which we claim is new testament, started before the old testament. Abraham walked by faith and was justified by faith in God just as we are justified by walking by faith in God who presented himself to us in the person of Jesus Christ. Romans 4.

Q: Are there examples in the new book that don’t belong to the new covenant?

A: Well, in a way. Jesus’ entire life and ministry was based on the good old covenant promises. I meant on the same old covenant promises. Not on the law but the covenant that predates the law. That’s why he always seemed to ignore the law without consequences, and was never found guilty, not even by the devil. He did what the law required but not as serving the law but as serving the God of the law who predates and obviously postdates the law. He established a new covenant with the father, in his blood, but this new covenant was to connect us to the covenant/blessing of Abraham’s eternal covenant which began before the old covenant based on the law.

Q: In essence, read the whole book but replacing the “new covenant in Christ” with the “law by Moses”.

A: You are very sharp. The law was a task master that kept Israel intact till the promise made to Abraham to save the whole world was fulfilled in Jesus. God had to use the law as favour to Abraham so that Israel would not be lost before the promise of salvation arrived. Once it did, the law was retired and the covenant of faith continued. Balaam was a prophet of God, Jethro was a priest of God, but neither of them had a lasting dynasty of relationship with God cos nothing was there to restrain their generations after them till the promise was fulfilled. Had God not done Abraham this favour, Israel too would have been a lost dynasty. And Jesus’ chances of being born through a virgin seriously compromised.

Q: Hmm……wow! I knew Jesus opened the scroll and read Is 61 and said “today is this scripture fulfilled”. So, yes the old testament wasn’t entirely irrelevant but I never though deeply about it. Now, it makes sense Thanks! Now I know why I have to study the whole book


Hello friends.
I was part of a discussion on a social media platform and I thought to share it here.
I trust you will be blessed by it.
[Q refers to the person who asked the question, P1-3 were other participants in the discussion, A refers to myself]

Q: I have a question. I need us to examine it thoroughly.
Are trials from God or from Satan?

P1: First,what is a trial?

P2: Test of your faith. Test of the strength of your beliefs.

P1: Okay. So, who will test your Faith or the strength of your Faith? God or the devil OR God and the devil?
Temptation is clear,God doesn’t tempt us cos it is designed to make you fall and it is evil.

P3: On trials… I don’t think trials come from God.

My belief is this, temptations are a form of trials, to test what we truly believe. Also, in the parable of the wise and foolish builder, Jesus said trials of life will come (this I believe is a result of the fall of man and the earth with him), but he didn’t say he was the one trying their faith.

My 2 cents

A: Saints and Perils

TEMPTATIONS are pleasurable experiences that lead you to give up self control and sin against God. They are set up by the devil and allowed by God within our capacity.
The aim is to give access to the devil into your life with the ultimate objective being death and destruction.
Temptation is overcome by resistance which could involve fleeing.
James 1:12 – 16: Blessed [is] the man that endureth temptation: for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man: But every man is tempted, when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. Then when lust hath conceived, it bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. Do not err, my beloved brethren.

1Corinthians 10:13 There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God [is] faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear [it.]

TRIALS are unpleasant experiences and they are TARGETED AT THE FAITH of those who have it. It aims at BREAKING YOUR CONFIDENCE IN THE WORD OF GOD. They are orchestrated by the devil and allowed by God within our capacity. Knowing the quality that faith IS and has, God is not afraid to let it be tested.

The objective is beyond making you fall into sin. It’s for you to deny your faith in God out of frustration a d if you do, swift destruction often follows. But the beneficial side effect is that your faith gains new perspective and thus strength.

Mark 4:17 And have no root in themselves, and so endure but for a time: afterward, when affliction or persecution ariseth FOR THE WORD’S SAKE, immediately they are offended.

1Peter 1:3-7: Blessed [be] the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you, Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations [GK: putting to proof by experiences of good or evil, adversity, try] That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.

Trials are overcome easier when the objective is clear to the person being tried. All he has to do then is to retain a steadfast resolution that God is good and faithful and is not behind the unpleasant experience. Of course, other spiritual arsenals may be brought into play such as praying, fasting and so on.

PERSECUTIONS are unpleasant experiences set up by the devil and allowed by God. The aim is to slow down or stop the advancement of the kingdom of God. Thus, by definition, if a person is being persecuted, it must be because, and only because, the person is actively pushing the Gospel of the Kingdom.

There is no cure for persecutions. We cannot overcome it. We may escape it, run from from it, be spared it or delivered from it but we cannot resist it. In fact, we are to rejoice over it.

John 15:18-20: If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before [it hated] you. If ye were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you. Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than his lord. If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they have kept my saying, they will keep yours also.

Matthew 5:11 Blessed are ye, when [men] shall revile you, and persecute [you], and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, FOR MY SAKE. Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great [is] your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you.

This should not be confused with acts of violence against Christians.

Acts 12:1 Now about that time Herod the king stretched forth [his] hands to vex [GK: to exasperate, harm, hurt, make evil affected] certain of the church.

The basis for the violence could be religious persuasion but the objective is not against the Gospel but against the Christian.
So those recent killings of Christians in the North because they were eating while moslems are fasting or whatever else are acts of violence that should be condemned in every way possible.

There is also SUFFERING, and in my opinion, it is an unpleasant experience for the which the objective eludes the victim. He doesn’t know why he is in the predicament and based on his level of understanding, he could blame it on God or the devil or both, depending on how he is feeling per time. This will continue until knowledge comes and truth sets and makes free. This has no prejudice to whether the person is a Christian or not.

TRIBULATIONS are unpleasant experiences. In simple language it means trouble. And it could be in the form of a temptation, or a persecution or a trial.

AFFLICTIONS are unpleasant experiences. The issue with this word is not the experience itself but it’s origin. It betokens the intentional targeted attack on a person. Therefore, it can take the form of a temptation, trial, or persecution.

Then, there is also the TEST. This is from God. The objective is not to damage or inflict harm but to give you an occasion to demonstrate your strength, especially based on a recently acquired insight. It can also be to instruct. Consider that you are in a school of the spirit and your progress MUST be demonstrated and documented, not to God who knows all but to yourself and those watching.

1 Timothy 4:15 Meditate upon these things; give thyself wholly to them; that thy PROFITING may APPEAR to all.

Not all the situations are considered pleasant but those who are in that particular walk with God are not afraid or disturbed. It is usually those of us on the outside looking in that are puzzled. Invariably, a major blessing is recorded after such an examination is cleared.

Hebrews 11:17-19. By faith Abraham, when he was TRIED, offered up Isaac: and he that had received the promises offered up his only begotten [son], Of whom it was said, That in Isaac shall thy seed be called: ACCOUNTING THAT GOD [was] able to raise [him] up, even from the dead; from whence also he received him in a figure.

John 6:5-6. When Jesus then lifted up [his] eyes, and saw a great company come unto him, he saith unto Philip, Whence shall we buy bread, that these may eat? And this he said to PROVE HIM: for he himself knew what he would do.

Every time Jesus said, “O ye of little faith”, it was because a test cane and the people failed.

The problem with all these concepts is that the same Greek words (Peirazo amongst others), are used for all of them or such words that their meanings overlap and interlock and in most cases, it is the context that the holy spirit uses to give the insight. The clear exception to the above statement is the one used in Acts 12:1 translated as “vex”.

The interesting thing is, whether it be a temptation, trial, or whatever, God sees and seizes the opportunity to instruct, build and strengthen… if we allow Him. This He did with Jairus’ daughters death, and with Lazarus’ death. He seized the situations and turned them to God’s glory. Hence, the scriptures cannot be broken… Romans 8:28 And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to [his] purpose.

This, perhaps, is the reason for the confusion.

As we used to say those days, everything is medicinal, including the devil.

Q: Thanks a lot.

A: OK.
I’m wondering Why you asked the question in the first place? As a man of you calibre, I expect you know these things already.

Q: Hahahaha!!! There is always room to share thoughts with the brethren.

A: So YOUR reason for asking was to share with us?

Q: Secondly, it is a topic/question which came up in some quarters yesterday morning, with quite some divergent positions reflected by those who answered. I actually was the one who raised the question. It was so interesting to see how much it stirred our minds to look again at the scriptures. I thought of us on this platform also partaking in the blessing. So, I asked.

A: Then, I should have just kept quiet and waited for you to share.

Q: As touching the direction, couldn’t trials be possible coming from the Lord, though not carried out by Him?

A: Trials (trouble) are ONLY allowed by God. Unless by trials, you refer to what I called tests.

Q: Alright. I really appreciate the detailed analysis.

A: Shalom.


Q: Sir is it correct to say God raises some people in order to destroy them? Using Pharaoh, Judas Iscariot etc as examples.

A: What do you think the scriptures say?

Q: From scriptures, I believe that God is a Good God and does things for very good reasons.
The reason I am asking is because I have a colleague who holds this view.

A: Our definition of good and God’s own are not on the same level. Neither is our idea of justice, Judgement and righteousness.
We think we understand these things but it’s obvious to me that we know only in part and go as far as that part can take us and still amount to glory to God, cos none of us with our various major revelations can fully apply what we know God showed us without hitting some areas where it seems what we know is not enough.

The examples of Judas and Pharaoh are mentioned in scriptures and there is no equivocation about why God allowed them to come to limelight the way they did.

Q: Hmm…true.
A: God is not squeamish about who He is and what He does in the process of being God, we are the ones who think if God should kill a person or a whole nation, God must be bad because killing is bad.
By the way, our concept of death invokes a subtle or severe sense of finality and evil depending on whether we truly believe in the afterlife or not… and truly, many Christians think they do but most of us really don’t… we are so afraid to die! Not that I want to die but I am not afraid of death because of what is on the other side. I have faced death and so I know what I am talking about.
Whereas for God, what we call death would probably sound like relocation or rustication from school or something like that cos God is looking  and seeing the people we call dead just as clearly as He sees us.
Q: True Sir
A: Even if I don’t have scriptures to show you, look at the end of eeeeeeverything. The eternal end of everything called human existence involves what God calls death… the real death, from which there is no resurrection, nor reprieve, nor parole, nor review. The Bible says the smoke of their destruction rises up before God forever and ever.

Q: Hmmm
A: Yet God is going to send countless people into that lake of fire.

There are 7.2 billion people alive today as at my last information and people who claim to be Christians are only 1.2 billion. Out of these, a subset are heaven recognized Saints and the rest are just associates or fans who will get nothing out of it.

When Jesus said the way to heaven is narrow, he didn’t stop there, he said there are few that find it. So think of the the less than 1.2 billion Saints out of 7.2 billion and think how many will be sent to eternal damnation by our good God.

And that’s just speaking of the people alive today. Factor in all of mankind from Adam till date, and possibly tomorrow. Imagine how many people will be sent into the flames at the end.

And yet God is good.

Q: Hmmm na wah oo

Like my colleague said one time… from his statement… what he was inferring was that if God wants a person saved, it will happen but if not, he won’t.Then He mentioned in scriptures where God said “I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy”.


But sir those who end up in hell, will that be the fault of God, knowing fully well about the gift of salvation? Because, the same God who will eventually send some to hell still sent his son to die. Or like my colleague, can we then say that God will refuse some from being saved?

A: Some of the parables of Jesus (Matthew 13: 24-30, 36-43) indicate that God is well aware of who is the Saint and who is the Sinner but yet he said the sinner should not be cut down as an act of judgement too soon for fear of corrupting the Saints. No.

He said, leave them all to grow up together then when the harvest is ready… Oh boy! I’m catching some light here… when the harvest is ready, not when He is tired of the weeds, not when He sees the weeds almost choking the life out of the crop, no. It’s when the harvest itself is ready. When the crop has matured. Then it will be judgement time. The church of Jesus, the real church of Jesus, the crop, the expected harvest, is the one that will indicate when it is time for judgement. Of course, God knows that time, He knows all, but you can tell when it’s going to happen when the church is ready to be harvested. And only God knows exactly what the ready-for-harvest body of Christ looks like. He is the husbandman of the vineyard. He knows.
He also knows that the church cannot be destroyed by the evil around her. The evil may look and feel stronger, running wild all over the place, which is expected because they are weeds, the church will remain incorruptible. Which means, staying away from corruption is a major deal with God, hence he made us incorruptible, righteous by faith in Jesus.

Q: Wow… I just caught the light you shared too… “when the harvest is ready” (the Church!) Wow…

A: So back to your point, God does allow the evil guys to come up. He still waters the vineyard, He still manures it but not really for the sake of the bad but for the sake of the crop. Why? Because he is gracious and allows his sun and rain to come upon the wicked and the righteous, Jesus says. (Matthew 5:45)
It’s not because of political correctness, no. It is because He would rather spend more sun and more rain, more resources on the whole vineyard so that his crop can be well fed, than under-serve His church because He wants to punish the evil in a hurry.

Q: So I guess it will be proper to say the Church determines his return.

Hmm true words sir.

A: Yes sir. We are what he is waiting for… Although he knows that time already because He knows all, yet He is patiently waiting for us to experience what He already knows.

Q: Sir, with your permission, can I paste this conversation on [the fellowship] forum?

A: Feel free

Q: Ok

Thank you so much sir, am so loving this chat.

A: Do you think God didn’t know that his Angels of light would turn against him and therefore become Princes of darkness?

Q: Hmmm.. it beats my imagination sometimes

A: Our chinkele (tiny) collective imagination cannot even nearly comprehend what or who God is in a million lifetimes.
Imagine how long man has been on earth and we are still TRYING to understand God, whereas the guy has finished all He will ever say and was able to put it into a book. Everything He says now is an explanation or just plain repetition of what is already written.

Q: Hmmm… My God, My God…

A: Imagine we have an exam called life, where we are required to answer just one question, and we have the textbook available and yet we are still confused on what the answer is.

Q: Lolzz

That is difficult expo.

A: God knew Lucifer would become the devil yet God spared no expense at creating him. He knew Adam would fail him yet He did not change His mind about making man a spitting image of Himself.
He gave Lucifer the most noble of roles. Knowing what he would do with it. He promoted the angel though He knew the guy would fall.
Then he went ahead and made man with absolute power and authority on earth. Put the tree of eternal life within reach for the guy knowing…. KNOWING what would happen.

Q: Hmm

A: So, my answer is no be today.

Q: Lol:D

Sir if I may… doesn’t this imply his sovereignty?

A: Sovereignty is what makes God unchallengeable in his decisions. It is not about his imposition. Forget that matter. You cannot make a car and then the car will tell you how it will function or query you as to why you made it an SUV and not a sports car.
That’s sovereignty.

It is his sovereignty that gives him the right to make Angels and rule over them, make man and demand that man worship him.
However, as it is clear to me, his sovereignty does not include infringement on your ability to choose. If it was, Lucifer would not have fallen as God knew He would. Neither would man.

Q: Sir! I think at this point, I truely am grateful to God for saving me.
Thank you sir.

A: You check. If you start your car and you take off the brakes and the car starts rolling forwards, won’t you grab the wheels and turn it away if the car is rolling towards a ditch? Cos you know it is rolling towards a ditch, you will jump in and take the wheels.

Q: Hmmm… dat na true matter oo

A: But God set us in motion and stepped outside to watch us. Many of us have headed to the ditches with speed as if that’s what we were made to do.

Q: But that isn’t his fault naa, abi?

A: Those of us who caught the glimpse of God standing on the road of our lives sticking out His thumb trying to hitch a ride and decided to let Him in have made a good decision. But the smart choice would be to say, “Jesus, take the wheels”

Q: Yes Sir. True

A: The submission of our free will to God is one of the greatest gifts, from my view, that we can give to God. It is an offering beyond compare. Romans 12:1-2.

Q: Hmm

A: Believe me, being married, I know what deliberate submission feels like.

When a woman, who knows she is equal to you in every way and can stand her ground toe to toe with you should the need arise, deliberately submits to you and allows you take charge of her… I can’t think of anything more dignifying of my masculine ego than that. But it was a deliberate action she took out of available options.

Now, around her, I feel like a king. She treats me like one and so I will go to war for her, even without her asking me to. I will fight for her, I will decorate her with anything I can lay my hands on. When I am in the market, I look out for stuff that I can get for her and actually forget about getting myself stuff. Why? Because she chose me.

Q: Wonderful… am so loving this chat.

A: Isn’t this the same thing between us and God? Is it not our willing submission to Him that makes Him King of our lives? Is it not our choice to live for Him that brings Him glory?

Is it not why God will ever go ahead of us and live for us, and even died for us because we CHOSE Him?

Q: So, our relationship with God is like husband and wife relationship?

A: Yes sir.

Eph 5:22-32  Wives, submit yourselves unto your own husbands, as unto the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife, even as Christ is the head of the church: and he is the saviour of the body. Therefore as the church is subject unto Christ, so [let] the wives [be] to their own husbands in every thing. Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it; That he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water by the word, That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish. So ought men to love their wives as their own bodies. He that loveth his wife loveth himself. For no man ever yet hated his own flesh; but nourisheth and cherisheth it, even as the Lord the church: For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. For this cause shall a man leave his father and mother, and shall be joined unto his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery: but I speak concerning Christ and the church.

Q: True
Ooh battery ooo. My battery is out sir
Old age is affecting my phone.

I must confess, this has been one chat I will cherish sooooo much. But sir e never finish ooo, we go chat am more ooo… Amen sir! Thank you sooo much you have blessed me.

A: No worry. I speak to a good phone, to make its way into your possession right now into Jesus’ name.
Let me know when the phone arrives.

Q: I sure will

A: So. Here is the rub. God knows those who will choose him and those who won’t, yet he created all of us side by side giving us the same free will and same opportunity to choose Him. For the joy of being chosen by a relative few, God set Himself up to be rejected again and again and again by the vast majority.
He put laws of success and increase in place and the laws respond to Sinner and Saint alike. And now that the world is messed up by sin, things favour the sinner more than the Saint and grant them speed…. celebrating them as they zoom past us.

Q:Q: Hmm

A: But it’s a flash burn in a pan.

It’s like comparing the destructive power of a drop of petrol and that of a whole oil reserve. They seem to fly ahead, but the reason they are flying quickly is because there is no weight in them.

Read Psalm 73 and see. You and I are not the first to wonder how come things are this way. Fortunately, the answer has also always been there.
God does not stop anyone from prospering, though… Prov 13:22 A good [man] leaveth an inheritance to his children’s children: and the wealth of the sinner [is] laid up for the just.

He will honour the activation of the laws of increase by anyone, whether Pharaoh or Judas. But because they did not choose Him, it can’t last long in their hands cos what they got is corrupted. The only de-corrupter is the antivirus of heaven called the word of God. It has never needed renewal nor updating. And if you don’t have it, no matter how high you go, you will come crashing down.

Now knowing those who would choose him from before the foundation of the world, and those who would not, God set His plan in motion to glorify Himself in the lives of His own and to be glorified “over” the ones who reject him. And so when God needed a damning job to be done such as enslave His people or betray Jesus, He chose to use someone who was not amongst the ones who would choose him. And in truth, it is not betraying Jesus that condemned Judas but it was his refusal to repent and return to accept Jesus.

So, yes, God gives room for people to rise and fall. He sets them up for their ultimate destruction. But he doesn’t predetermine someone to accept Jesus or not. He knows in advance who will and who won’t and makes plans for each but He doesn’t “predestinate” anyone to be sinner or Saint.

Rom 8:29-30 For whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate [to be] conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

God foreknew our choices, He did not pre-make those choices for us but he predestinated what those choices will result in.

Rom 8:30 Moreover whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified.

When inviting people to a race. The only thing you can predetermine is what the prizes would be. You don’t predetermine who wins.

The only difference here is God already knows who wins in the race of life and He sovereignly went ahead to predetermine that the star prize would be a total make over that would make every winner be an exact copy of Jesus. This shouldn’t be so hard to imagine when we realise that an exact copy of God was what God made in the beginning and called it man.

In closing, I am not going to ever apologize about the fact that God can kill or destroy a man, a people, a planet when He himself said of Himself
Deut 32:39 See now that I, [even] I, [am] he, and [there is] no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither [is there any] that can deliver out of my hand.
Isa 43:3 For I [am] the Lord thy God, the Holy One of Israel, thy Saviour: I gave Egypt [for] thy ransom, Ethiopia and Seba for thee.
Isa 43:4 Since thou wast precious in my sight, thou hast been honourable, and I have loved thee: therefore will I give men for thee, and people for thy life.

And it’s not just an old testament thing either.

2Cor 5:11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men.

Although I know that He does all He does righteously as God, yet Jesus speaking to us didn’t say we should try to defend God’s image and portray Him as a hardcore pacifist or a groupie who is bent on getting every one to like Him or some sort of Mr Nice Guy who is soooooooo good that He can’t hurt a fly. No.
Jesus said “Fear Him”
Mt 10:28… rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

God loves me, sir, and for that I love Him in return … and I fear Him.