The Kingdom of God

Now after John was put in prison, Jesus came to Galilee, preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God, and saying, “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Repent, and believe in the gospel.” Mark 1:14,15

Jesus, like John the Baptist, began His earthly ministry by preaching the gospel of the kingdom of God. What is the gospel of the Kingdom? We actually read about two kingdoms in the New Testament, namely the kingdom of heaven, and the kingdom of God. Some say these are two different concepts, but since God is King of both, we leave the discussion at that.

The gospel is good news – the good news that God, in His love for us, sent His Son to come to earth as a man, take our sin upon Himself, and receive the death penalty for it. Jesus also announced a Kingdom where we can live in freedom from the burden of sin and the works of the law. Salvation is a gift from God that cannot be earned; you don’t have to do anything to receive this freedom, except to believe it.

For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast. Ephesians 2:8,9

Jesus introduced a new way of life, but to receive it you must repent. The word repent means to change your mind, or to think differently. This is a very important aspect of life in God’s kingdom, yet something that is often overlooked. Many Christians believe that to repent is to be grieved by your sin, and that is part of it. However, to only be sorry for the sins that you committed is not enough to enjoy the benefits of life in God’s kingdom. Repentance goes much deeper than that! Paul explains it in a way that is easy to understand:

And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2

The kingdom of God is where God rules, and that is not a geographical area; He rules in the heart that is fully submitted to Him. When Pilate asked Jesus if He was king of the Jews, He answered, “My kingdom is not of this world.” (John 18:36)

We were all under the spell of the devil, the god of this world, (2 Corinthians 4:3,4) who kept us in bondage through ungodly thoughts in carnal minds. We were brought under his power by Adam when he chose to obey the serpent instead of God. Thank God, through the work that Jesus did on the cross, we can leave the domain of darkness and immigrate to the kingdom of God.

He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love… Colossians 1:13

Thank God for the laws of His kingdom that freedom instead of oppression. Like any kingdom on earth, God’s kingdom has its own culture, principles, language, etc.

For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. Romans 8:2

For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. 1 John 5:3

Jesus set us free from rules and regulations that limit life so that we might have peace and joy, and gave us commandments that are powered by love. This makes God’s kingdom a happy place!

…for the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit. Romans 14:17

To enjoy the full benefits of the new country that you immigrated to, you must adopt its culture, obey its laws, follow its principles, and speak its language. There is no point in moving to another country if you continue to live like you did in your old country. You must assimilate. The same is true when you leave the domain of darkness to become a citizen of God’s kingdom. It is a simple truth that you cannot change your life unless you change the way you think. Cultural Christians see no need to renew their minds, and they are happy to live mediocre lives without seeing any of God’s promises fulfilled to them.

How do you make the adjustment? The most important thing that you can do is to study the Bible in depth. It contains God’s thoughts and ways, and the more time you spend in it, the better you will understand Him.

Let the wicked forsake his way, And the unrighteous man his thoughts; Let him return to the Lord, And He will have mercy on him; And to our God, For He will abundantly pardon. “For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the Lord. “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:7-9

God gave us His Word so that we can think His thoughts and walk in His ways. Paul discovered that secret:

For “who has known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct Him?” But we have the mind of Christ. 1 Corinthians 2:16

Let us now become fruitful citizens of God’s kingdom. Learn to speak the faith language, and live by faith instead of by circumstances. We are called to expand His kingdom on earth. Prayer is not a to-do list for God, but a business meeting with the King. The culture is one of generosity, love and peace. We are finally done with the past, and set our sights on what is ahead of us; we have goals to accomplish and a purpose to fulfill.

Now, therefore, you are no longer strangers and foreigners, but fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God… Ephesians 2:19

The kingdom of God is the good news that many are waiting to hear.

Looking at 2020

We have once again crossed over into a new year, and, as we always do, we wish everyone the best for the new year.

This is also a time when all kinds of prognosticators, “prophets” and crystal ball gazers come forward with their views of what the year will bring. Looking back though, very few of those predictions actually materialized in years past – at least not in a general way.

I will not dare to count myself as a prophets, but we have, as the apostle Peter says, “a more sure word of prophecy, whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place…” (2 Peter 1:19) It reminds us of the words of David when he said the Word is a lamp to our feet and a light to our path. (Psalm 119:105) The Bible has everything that we need to know about the future; it is all there to prepare us for what is to come.

The Lord knows the end from the beginning, (Isaiah 46:10) and wrote the earth’s history in advance to comfort us with the assurance that everything happens according to His plan. This is our privilege as children of the living God.

Changes happen everywhere around us as God is moving toward the culmination of all things. For this very reason this new year will not be the same as last year. The news of the day heralds the fulfilment of prophecies of old, as they unfold before our eyes, and helps us to determine where we are on God’s calendar. Looking at our world, it is clear that the day is far spent. While some aspects of the Bible’s prophecies have happened at certain times in the past, such as wars, earthquakes, famines, etc., we have never before seen a convergence of signs as we do now.

While it is far from us to cast a veil of pessimism over the new year that we have just entered, it would be foolish not to point to events that might happen soon. It is our responsibility to bring such things under the intention of fellow believers so that they can set their minds at ease that nothing is taking the Lord by surprise. He is in control of it all. Also, we would do well to prepare ourselves for changes that are coming, and make some adjustments where necessary. Above all is the importance to share the gospel and the grace of God with those who still need to surrender their hearts to the Lordship of Jesus Christ.

On top of the predicted signs of the times that we notice, is Israel – God’s timepiece. The fact that the nation of Israel is in existence in their homeland, is a major indicator of the time that we live in. What seemed totally impossible a mere century ago, has come to complete fulfilment, just as foretold in the Bible. A possible development that will give us a more accurate indication of where we are, is a peace treaty with Israel that includes the building of their temple, especially if it is agreed to be a temporary agreement for a period of seven years, as foretold in Daniel 9:27.

Such an agreement might already be in the making, to be revealed soon. President Trump – as all recent presidents before him – is working on such a peace plan. Although all previous plans have failed, the president tasked his son-in-law, Jared Kushner – a Jew himself – with the making of a peace plan between Israel and its neighbours. The plan has been made, and will be revealed once a new government is installed in Israel.

Israel had two elections last year, both with inconclusive results, and new elections are scheduled for March 2nd, 2020. Once a government is formed, Trump’s plan will be released. We don’t know the details yet, but if we see anything that corresponds with Daniel 9:24-27, and if it is ratified by the UN, we might very well be close to the start of the seven years of the last week mentioned by the prophet. (The weeks mentioned in that passage are year-weeks)

Other developments that warrant our attention continue to take place, such as:

  • The progress made with Trans humanism – man’s attempt to create an immortal super human
  • Artificial Intelligence – a development with scary potential, if fallen into the wrong hands. Nobody really knows the full extent of what AI is capable of, making it a risky gamble
  • Riots and uprisings are seen everywhere, especially in Europe and Scandinavia
  • The world’s economy is extremely fragile with unsustainable debt and international trade wars
  • A renewed rise of socialism/communism, even in countries that, until recently, had stable capitalistic cultures
  • Increasing lawlessness, even by heads of state. Add to that the blatant breaking of God’s laws on life and sexuality, among other things
  • Shrinking freedoms, especially of free speech and religious expression
  • The Middle East is a powder keg, ready to explode at any moment
  • The New World Order, with a global government, is in the making, and underway

The list is much longer than this. Please do your own research on these topics and come to your own conclusion about these things. Then compare what you see with the message of the Bible.

Fear for what the future holds may be a natural response in many hearts, but it would be the wrong way to react to these things. The best action would be to rearrange your priorities. Your spiritual well-being is now of the utmost importance: your relationship with the Lord and those of your loved ones, together with new initiatives to make the gospel known, need to be at the top of your preferences. You have nothing to lose by drawing closer to the Lord. Get into the Word, step up your prayer life, and move secular entertainment to the bottom of your list. Be a God-honouring steward of your time and resources.

We enter the future with confidence because we know nothing can separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus. (Romans 8:35-39) Our salvation is a sure thing; because we built our spiritual house on the rock, (Matthew 7:24-25) it will not fall when storms beat against it. Whatever comes your way, remember that God’s grace is enough for you. Grace supplies where we fall short. Therefore, “be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.” (2 Timothy 2:1)

I encourage you to live an intentional life, with eternity in mind. Let us pray for one another as Christians, and be gracious toward one another. Everyone is at a different place in their walk with the Lord, and might face challenges that we don’t know of.

May 2020, with whatever it brings, be a year in which we solidify our faith-walk. God’s grace will be enough for every situation that we might face, and will see us through!

Love – the Greatest Gift!

There is so much about Jesus’ coming to earth that we can celebrate – it is the greatest gift, given to the greatest number of people, by the greatest Giver, moved by the greatest love ever known. As Fredrick Lehman wrote in his timeless hymn in 1917, there is no way that words can describe the love of God:

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade;
To write the love of God above
Would drain the ocean dry;
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

The Love of God is truly a gift that keeps on giving; from the day that He wooed us away from the world to the day that we will breathe our last, we draw strength from the knowledge that the Creator of all things loves us. His love is the power that keeps us, the strength that moves us forward, and the anchor that holds in the storms of life.

Contrary to human love, God’s love is without condition. He loves us because He is love, and cannot deny Himself. Our failings and missteps don’t diminish God’s love for us, and that is our security as we walk through the minefield of temptations, the filth of the world, and the mistakes that we make. Where would we be without the love of God?

Not only did God reach out to us in love while we were running away from Him, He poured His own unconditional love out into our hearts so that we may share it, unconditionally as it is, to the unloveable in our sphere. Everybody needs love – and responds to it – if it is genuine. Few things give hope to the hopeless as love extended can.

Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. Romans 5:5

The God-kind of love, poured out in our hearts, enables us to love with His love! No wonder it is the first fruit of a Spirit-filled life!

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. Galatians 5:22

You cannot have joy or peace without love; you cannot be patient (longsuffering), kind, flow in goodness, be faithful, be gentle, or exercise self-control, if it is not fuelled by the love of God. While you can do it in your own strength under ideal circumstances, it requires the love of God to display these traits when things don’t go your way. The love of God is the oil that keeps your lamp burning on your darkest day.

God didn’t have less love when He poured it out in our hearts – He multiplied it!

By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down our lives for the brethren. 1 John 3:16

God gave His Son to us, then Jesus gave His life for us – all because of love. Now it is our turn to give ourselves, because love compels us. When we give, we receive.

Give, and it will be given to you: good measure, pressed down, shaken together, and running over will be put into your bosom. For with the same measure that you use, it will be measured back to you.” Luke 6:38

Love shines like a lighthouse in a world filled with hatred. Anybody can hate, but it takes a life surrendered to Christ to truly love, for love is the trademark of the new creation man and woman.

The tremendous power of faith that has the potential to move mountains, even if as small as a mustard seed, is powered by love. (Galatians 5:6) Love never fails, and is greater than hope and faith.

Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up; does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil; does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7

When you received Jesus into your life, you also received His love because He cannot be separated from it. He made that deposit in our lives, now we have to grow it by giving it away. This is the true spirit of His coming. Merry Christmas everybody!

The Blood of Jesus

He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins. Colossians 1:13,14

In a world where self-love and living the better life now occupy centre stage, the core truths of the gospel are easily forgotten. With the many advantages available to us in our highly developed world, our dependence on provisions flowing from a living relationship with God, is likely to disappear. There is no pressing need to live a life that is anchored to the pillars of our faith.

The post at the very centre of our faith is the blood of Christ, without which there simply is no Christianity. There are many look-alikes in the world of religion, but authentic Christianity is built on this truth that was established at the very beginning of man’s presence on earth.

When Adam and Eve sinned by disobeying God – the very essence of sin – God covered their shame with the skin of an animal. (Genesis 3;21) Although blood is not mention here, it is clear that some blood was shed for it to happen – the innocent had to die to cover the sin of the guilty. Later in Scripture (Leviticus 17:11) we see that life is in the blood, and we begin to understand that an innocent life is required to hide the ugliness of spiritual death before holy God. Sin cannot exist in the presence of God, but God in His grace and love for man, devised a way for the sinner to stand before Him.

Revelation comes to us in parts, with new understanding added to the former, until the full picture can be seen in its completed form. Abel’s offering of a lamb from the firstborn of his flock of sheep, was accepted by God, and from this incident we know that a lamb qualified as a sacrifice. While Abel’s offering pleased God, it aroused the anger of Cain, who promptly killed his brother. As sinners do, Cain tried to hide his sin, but God noticed it because Abel’s blood called to Him from the earth. Adding to the blood of an innocent as the only acceptable sacrifice for sin, we now discovered that blood also speaks. (Genesis 4:10) The New Testament adds another piece of the puzzle when we see that the blood of Abel called for revenge:

…to Jesus the Mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaks better things than that of Abel. Hebrews 12:24

As the freed Israelites were about to depart from a life of slavery in Egypt – a symbol and type of the world – God instructed Moses to kill a lamb per household, and paint its blood on the doorposts of their dwellings. Everyone who entered through the blood was spared from the devastation of the angel of death who came to punish the Egyptians for their oppression of His people. Blood not only has the ability to cover the sins of the guilty; it speaks, and can save you from death itself.

When the law was introduced after Israel’s exit from Egypt, the blood of many lambs had to be shed to cover the sins of the people that separated them from the blessings from God that they so heavily depended on. Every one of those lambs had to be examined individually beforehand by the priest to ensure their perfection; no lamb with even the slightest blemish qualified as a sacrifice, shedding more light on God’s unfolding plan of redemption. No lamb with a flaw, no matter how small, was acceptable. Such a lamb would not be a sacrifice, but rather an opportunity to get rid of a worthless animal. Every minute piece of detail has significance in the plans of God.

With the elements of God’s plan revealed, one after the other, the prophets began to point the finger to the ultimate sacrifice, the Lamb of God:

All we like sheep have gone astray; We have turned, every one, to his own way; And the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, Yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, And as a sheep before its shearers is silent, So He opened not His mouth. Isaiah 53:6,7

The New Testament opens with John the Baptist identifying Jesus as the Lamb of God who would take away the sin of the world.

And I have seen and testified that this is the Son of God.” Again, the next day, John stood with two of his disciples. And looking at Jesus as He walked, he said, “Behold the Lamb of God!” John 1:34-36

God’s plan of redemption, so long in the making, was ready to be fulfilled. He was tempted by the devil, but did not succumb. His obedience to the Father was tested to the extreme as He only spoke what He heard Him speak, and only did what He saw Him do. (John 14:10; John 5:19) He did not come to do His will, but the Father’s. And when the hour came to pay the penalty for our sin, He submitted Himself fully to the Father against His own will. This is where He turned first Adam’s disobedience victoriously into obedience, and opened the door to the God-kind of life for hopeless humanity.

He went a little farther and fell on His face, and prayed, saying, “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” Matthew 26:39

For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous. Romans 5:19

Before He received the death sentence, the ruler of the day examined Him and declared, “I find no fault in Him.” (John 19:6) This is the very essence of the gospel that gave birth to the Christian life. Jesus fully qualified to be the Lamb of God:

Just as Abels’ lamb, Jesus is, in a sense, the firstborn: He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn over all creation. (Colossians 1:15)

He was examined and found without fault: Therefore, when the chief priests and officers saw Him, they cried out, saying, “Crucify Him, crucify Him!” Pilate said to them, “You take Him and crucify Him, for I find no fault in Him.” (John 19;6)

His blood speaks, not of revenge like Abel’s, but of forgiveness: Then Jesus said, “Father, forgive them, for they do not know what they do.” (Luke 23:34)

His blood does not cover our sin, but takes it away: For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified. Hebrews 10:14

And according to the law almost all things are purified with blood, and without shedding of blood there is no remission. Hebrews 9:22

The story of our redemption is written in blood. As the author of Hebrews says, there is no redemption without the shedding of blood, and it has always been the blood of an innocent – pointing prophetically to the blood of Christ. There is nothing the devil fears more than the blood of Christ, the Son of God, because it sealed his defeat. He thought by killing Jesus he would be rid of Him, but it was a trap that he walked into to his own peril.

But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, the hidden wisdom which God ordained before the ages for our glory, which none of the rulers of this age knew; for had they known, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory. 1 Corinthians 2:7-8

The most effective weapon that the devil uses against Christians, is their ignorance. One way he enforces his power over believers is to keep the pulpits silent on the blood of Christ. When last have you heard a sermon on the blood of Christ? Or a worship song that extols the magnificence of His blood? The devil is not concerned with Christians that rest their faith on faithful church attendance or selfless service, as long as he can keep them from building their lives on the very foundation of their salvation – the blood of Christ that purchased their redemption.

The price that Jesus paid on the cross is a truth that should never slip our minds. Worldly success, material wealth, happiness that is based on temporary circumstances, and such things should never overshadow the tremendous power that set us free and keeps us free. The Bible has good advice for a life of blessing in all areas of our lives, but if it becomes separated from the foundational truths of our salvation, it becomes a threat to our eternal future in the Lord.

And if you call on the Father, who without partiality judges according to each one’s work, conduct yourselves throughout the time of your stay here in fear; knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 1 Peter 1:17-19

The mention of the blood of Christ by a Christian who knows and believes the truth sends demons scurrying in stark fear. They cannot stand the sound of it as it reminds them of a day when they thought they gained the victory over God, only to find out they were miserably defeated. The blood of Jesus always has the last word in any confrontation with evil spirits; they have no choice but to leave when the blood of Jesus is invoked.

We celebrate communion as often as we can because it reminds us of the foundation of our salvation. However, when communion has become a dead ritual, it loses its impact on the hearts and minds of believers. Breaking bread is one of the most important meetings of a church for this very reason.

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body.” Then He took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. For this is My blood of the new covenant, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. Matthew 26:26-28

What can wash away my sin? Nothing but the blood of Jesus! No wonder Paul declared, “For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified.” (1 Corinthians 2:2)

WordWise News

Glory be to God! My name is Pastor Ambrose Ogbuagu. I was privileged to come in contact with WordWise Word School in Benin City when I first received a call from the Lord in 2015. I joined other students from around the world then as a student of WordWise. God helped me and I graduated as one of the best students of the year.

In 2016 I started New life in Christ Ministry in Edo State. Since then God has been faithful to me in the ministry. Our ministry is about teaching, training, and evangelism. Presently we are located at Abuja, the capital of Nigeria as pastor of New Life Fabulous Christian Ministries.

Kindle books are a great blessing to all who love to read because of their very low price. Everyone with a smartphone, tablet or computer can read a book published in Kindle. The app that you need to read a Kindle book can be downloaded at no cost where you purchase the book. For this reason we decided to publish our materials on Kindle.

The Bible teaches that we become new creations in Christ Jesus when we are born again. (2 Corinthians 5:17) However, most Christians still live like they did before they met the Lord: they have the same struggles and do the same sins; the only difference is that they attend church. This is not what Jesus died for!

As a new creation you received a new identity in Christ, and everything about you changed. Who are you now that you surrendered your life to Him? Find out in this book of 45 pages for only $2:95 Designed for personal study or small group discussion.

Available here

Your Personal Value

We constantly think about value, whether we are shopping, assessing a cause, weighing options, considering a friendship, or even contemplating our own worth. An inferiority complex is near fatal to your life’s destiny, and is very common, even among Christians.

What is value? It depends on who you ask! It is said that one man’s trash is another’s treasure – a true statement, especially when it comes to spiritual matters. Outward appearance can be very deceptive, which is why you don’t judge a book by its cover. What you see is not necessarily what you get.

History is replete with examples of people that would never win a contest, yet were handpicked by God to do great exploits for Him. There is a stark difference between the value that God places on a person, and the opinions of those around you.

Moses killed a man, but God used him to write the law for the Jewish nation. Gideon was a coward, yet God used him to free Israel from the oppression of the Midianites. David was a murderer and adulterer, but God called him a man after His own heart. Rahab was a Canaanite prostitute, but her name found a place in Jesus’ genealogy. Paul brutally persecuted the church, but God called him to write two-thirds of the New Testament. A highly trained Pharisee, he was sent to take the gospel to Gentiles, while Peter, an uneducated fisherman, known for speaking before he thought things through, became the apostle to the Jews. God’s value system makes no sense to the natural mind.

He calls light to shine from darkness, and then destroys darkness with it – 2 Corinthians 4:6

He hides His treasures in earthen vessels – 2 Corinthians 4:7
He uses the foolish of this world to put to shame the wise – 1 Corinthians 1:27-28

Judas valued Jesus at thirty pieces of silver, but God highly exalted Him, and gave Him a name that is above all names, and a seat above all power and principality, so that every knee will bow before Him, and every tongue confess that He is Lord.

What is your personal value? One of the most foolish things you can do as a Christian is to allow other people to determine your worth. The true value of an item is what you are willing to pay for it, and that makes you priceless, for you were bought with the blood of the Son of God Himself.

…knowing that you were not redeemed with corruptible things, like silver or gold, from your aimless conduct received by tradition from your fathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, as of a lamb without blemish and without spot. 1 Peter 1:18,19

God paid that high price for you in spite of your perceived shortcomings; He thought of you highly enough to give His best so that He could call you His own. You are His workmanship, (Ephesians 2:10) and we know He did not make any failures; you are exactly what He wanted you to be. Moreover, He adopted you as His own child “according to the good pleasure of His will.” (Ephesians 1:5)

Because you were bought at a high price, God will take care of you, just as we take good care of our valuables. A low self-worth is the seedbed of worry and anxiety, but an understanding of your true value breeds hope and confidence.

Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? Matthew 6:26

Shortcomings only become apparent when you compare yourself to others, but what you might see as a deficiency, is, in actual fact, your uniqueness – it is what sets you apart from everybody else. The more unique an item is, the higher its value. Stamps, coins and banknotes with flaws are worth much more than their face value, including those that are perfect. This is how you should look at yourself – you are the way you are because you were handcrafted for a specific purpose.

Instead of hiding in inferiority, develop the gift that is dormant inside of you. Rather than bemoaning your flaws, sharpen the edge that you have been given. Nobody listens when everybody sounds the same; you are different because God wants you to be heard. Originals are always more pricey than copies. Speak, write, create – be yourself with a boldness that comes from the freedom of knowing your true value in the eyes of God, and who you are in Christ.

The world is working hard to make everybody equal under the guise of tolerance, but individuality is not a threat to anyone. There is great danger though in controlling the thoughts of people, because you don’t know who is behind it. Authenticity provides the necessary checks and balances that keep society safe. Christianity is the only force for freedom in the world, empowered by men and women who understand who they are in Christ, and who appreciate what has been given to them by God. You are a greater threat to the devil than you think, and that makes you valuable in the Kingdom of God.

May the value that God places on you be your motivation to rise up to out to become all that He made you to be!

Are you a graduate of WordWise Word School? Tell us about your ministry! We are spread around the world in so many nations, but we can be a blessing and motivation to one another when we share what the Lord is doing in and through us.

Introducing Ophelia Panopio – WordWise graduate of the Class of 1998

It’s a great privilege to share with those of you who are connected with WordWise Network how I started my ministry here in Brussels. After acquiring knowledge and wisdom from WordWise Word School in 1998, where I was one of the first students under the untiring efforts of Pastor Johan & his lovely wife Gerda, I was challenged by my local pastor to start a teaching ministry among my fellow Filipinos of 11 people at Praise Center, my mother church.

By the grace of God, I was able to lead this small group by what I have learned from WordWise. Twice a month I preached according to the pattern that I have learned from WordWise School. This went on for almost 3 years. Then I started to ask the Lord why He called me to the ministry there even though I had no legal papers. I fasted and prayed so many times for it because I felt guilty as I preached the Word of God, thinking I am not a good teacher/preacher if I don’t submit to the authorities, as we are told to do in the book of Romans.

At that time I chose to go back to my country with the prayers of my pastor that I would come back to Brussels legally, with my husband and two youngest sons. Nine months after I left, my pastor sent me the legal papers that were required, with 4 airplane tickets. It stirred my faith, so we rejoiced with great hope and blessing because God’s will was done. I enrolled with my husband in Logos Bible School while still leading a Bible Study group, preaching, and leading a prayer meetings, as well as house-to-house evangelism with the help of some missionaries from the US.

It took 3 years for us to graduate, and after much prayer and motivation, my husband was ordained as the pastor of the Filipino congregation, and myself as an evangelist. After a few months, we opened a Bible Study group in Hagen (Germany) which has now grown into a church. It now also has a daughter church in Siegen, already five years old at this time.

We visit my hometown in the Philippines every two years to do house-to-house evangelism, and a church has also been planted there. We also work with other ministries there to do Bible Studies and an outreach into the local prison. Another church was added, and we support their prison ministry – the only church that is authorized by the government to work inside the prison. We minister salvation to the prisoners, including rehabilitation for drug addicts in coordination with the City.

Glory to God for more souls that are added every 2 weeks! Even though we are not there physically, we oversee the church through the pastors there.

All of this is possible because of the Word of God in Matthew 28:19,20 – the Great Commission! We are doing what WordWise is doing in line of teaching, training, and seminars to poor churches in some parts of the Philippines. We now go home once or twice a year to equip God’s servants who were not able to go to well-known Bible Schools, yet they pastor their churches because their heart’s desire is to stand in the fulness of their calling.

We realize that to have a kingdom mindset we ought to help people outside of our own church affiliation, and we can serve each other by encouraging those that we have taught through the internet, whether they are pastors or lay leaders. We see some quick conversions when they apply what we shared with them. Praise the Lord, they are growing in faith and in numbers, which is a reward on our efforts, love and faith.

To all of Wordwise Network, we covet your prayers for us to continue what God has started in us until Jesus comes back with His reward. Hallelujah! We expect greater things to come because we do what we have learned from our beloved school “WordWise” in the persons of Pastor Johan & Sister Gerda du Toit.

The Holy Spirit is the most misunderstood, misrepresented and under-appreciated person in modern theology. Fake news abounds when it comes to the Holy Spirit and His work, and the church is weaker and poorer for it. A sober look at what the Bible has to say about Him will introduce you to a living, caring, truth-revealing and omnipotent Person who has been assigned to be our companion, helper, comforter and guide in a world that is hopelessly lost and confused. He has all the answers that you need and all the power to destroy the works of the devil, and He wants to live in you. God is the Father above us; Jesus is Immanuel, God with us, and the Holy Spirit is God in us. You need to know Him.

Available at Amazon on Kindle with free Kindle app to make it affordable for everybody to read on their smartphone, tablet or computer. Only CAN$3.96 – the price of a coffee, but unlike a cup of coffee, it will bless your entire life!

You have influence!

Andrew Murray, in his book, The Key to the Missionary Problem, said that every church, no matter how small, can have an international influence through missions. This truth has increased in value since it was written over a hundred years ago, because possibilities have increased. We can now update his statement to read, “every Christian who has a smartphone, tablet, or computer, can impact the world by viewing the internet as a church or a mission field.”

It may not have occurred to you right away, but in the picture above you are looking at a pulpit that is infinitely more powerful than any that you have seen anywhere else. Your computer or smartphone keyboard has the potential to address an audience much larger than you can imagine. From this pulpit you can reach into communities where the gospel has never been heard, where no preacher, church or Bible exists – without going there in person. No building is required, no trained or ordained preacher, no missionary support, and no overhead costs that restrict the message from going out.

The internet is where people are – where they socialize, look for entertainment, share stories, communicate, ask for prayer, and look for friendship. Many look for answers to their questions that they often too embarrassed to ask a person that they know. The anonymity of the internet affords them the boldness to talk about things that they normally wouldn’t.

We are living at a time when it has never been easier to take the gospel around the globe – without leaving the comfort of your own home. Technology certainly contributed its share to the ills of our world, but there is a good side to it that shouldn’t be ignored. Consider the words of the apostle Paul:

For of Him and through Him and to Him are all things, to whom be glory forever. Amen. Romans 11:36

That includes the internet! It is no coincidence that a wide open door was given to us to preach the gospel just as the world system is grinding toward a painful end, and God’s judgment is looming over the earth. Imagine what the apostles would do with such an instrument!

Gone are the days when one could raise excuses such as “I am not trained;” “I don’t know what to do;” “I cannot speak;” “I don’t know the Bible well enough,” etc. If you have a testimony, you have something that someone else might be looking for. A Bible verse that speaks to you, will speak to others too. Repost someone else’s posting if you have nothing to say, but reach out.

The world is waiting on you!

Our Beautiful Scriptures

Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and His ways past finding out!
Romans 11:33

Augustine (354 – 430) made a statement that rings ever true, especially in our day of superficial insight in the Scriptures. “The Old (Testament) is in the New (Testament) revealed; the New is in the Old concealed.” Only a heart steeped in the Word can come up with such a powerful discovery!

The apostle Paul wrote about this intricate weaving together of the Old and New Testaments, and called them shadows and types.

So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. Colossians 2:16,17

Nevertheless death reigned from Adam to Moses, even over those who had not sinned according to the likeness of the transgression of Adam, who is a type of Him who was to come. Romans 5:14

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. Hebrews 10:1

The Old Testament is filled with hints of what was to come in the New Testament, written by a diverse group of men over hundreds of years and who had no idea that they were recording future events in advance. Not only does it prove that Scripture was dictated by Someone outside of time who saw it all playing out before Him from beginning to end, it also proves that the Bible, as we have it today, is complete as one integrated message.

With all the types, shadows and symbols in the Old Testament that point to New Testament truths, we have an unfailing set of checks and balances that guarantees the infallibility of God’s plan for our salvation and reconciliation with Him.

God, who foresaw man’s weakness and failure to obey His simplest command, finalized His plan for our redemption even before the fall, and hid it in His dealings with them. They were rehearsals of His grand scene to be revealed centuries down the road. The shadows are gems to be discovered by diligent students of the Scriptures, those who are driven by an appetite for the meat of the Word.

But as it is written: “Eye has not seen, nor ear heard, Nor have entered into the heart of man The things which God has prepared for those who love Him.” But God has revealed them to us through His Spirit. For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. For what man knows the things of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so no one knows the things of God except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God. 1 Corinthians 2:9-12

As Paul says in Colossians 2:16-17, quoted earlier, the substance of shadows, types and symbols is Christ. It is all about Him – His birth, death on the cross, resurrection, High Priestly ministry, and return as King of Glory.

And He is before all things, and in Him all things consist. And He is the head of the body, the church, who is the beginning, the firstborn from the dead, that in all things He may have the preeminence. Colossians 1:17,18

He is the head of the body, the church. As far as He is concerned, it was always about the church, His beloved bride. As the Last Adam (1 Corinthians 15:45) He did what first Adam failed to do: when first Adam realized that his bride was going to die because she ate of the forbidden fruit, he chose to die with her and ate of the fruit also. While it seems very romantic, he considered only the moment without thinking of the consequences of his disobedience. His love for his bride was greater than his love for God. Jesus, the Last Adam, saw His bride, spiritually dead in her sin and trespasses, and decided to die in her place so that she may live.

Just as first Adam was asleep when God took his bride from his side, (Genesis 2:21-23) Jesus was “asleep” on the cross when a Roman soldier pierced His side. Water and blood gushed from that open wound – the blood that purchased His bride, the church. First Adam looked at his bride and said, “This is now bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh…” Paul, writing about the relationship between Christ and the church, and comparing it to the relationship between a husband and wife, looks back to the birth of the first bride, and saw the fulfilment of that shadow in Christ:

For no one ever hated his own flesh, but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church. For we are members of His body, of His flesh and of His bones. Ephesians 5:29,30

When God put Adam to sleep to take his bride from his side, He looked down the ages to the day when His own Son would have His side pierced by a Roman spear to give birth to His bride. When Adam saw Eve for the first time she must have been the most beautiful of all of God’s creation, but most of all, he realized that she was born from him, of his very own kind, and therefore one with him.

Where was Eve before she was shown to Adam? She was in him, although hidden. Wonderful as that thought is, the substance is more glorious:

If then you were raised with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ is, sitting at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:1-3

We are bone of His bones, and flesh of his flesh! How do you see yourself? A sinner? Did Christ die in vain? Wasn’t He able to raise you to newness of life, from death in your sin to be His bride, the object of His longing?

Jesus, witnessing the birth of Eve, fully knew what it meant for Him. He saw the cruelty and horror of the cross, the pain inflicted on His body and the weight of the sin of the world pressing down on His shoulders, yet He went to the cross voluntary because His love for the church was greater than His own integrity, comfort and safety.

Therefore God also has highly exalted Him and given Him the name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. Philippians 2:9-11

Jesus could face the cross because He looked past its pain, and fixed His eyes fixed on His bride, who was about to be taken from His side:

…looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2

The joy that was set before Him was His bride, the church!

Having paid so high a price for us, we can never doubt His love is love for us. Let us now look at ourselves as His bride, made worthy even though we were born in sin to be sinners. Let us also look at Him, our Saviour, as David looked at the Lord after he was rescued from hopelessness:

Oh, magnify the Lord with me, And let us exalt His name together. I sought the Lord, and He heard me, And delivered me from all my fears. They looked to Him and were radiant, And their faces were not ashamed. Psalm 34:3-5

Is Sunday the new Sabbath?

Most of us go to church on Sunday because …that is what Sundays are for? God instructed Israel to set aside the Sabbath – or Saturday, the seventh day – as a holy day. The Sabbath was to be their day of rest and worship. Many Bible believing Christians also worship on Saturday, and honour the day because God rested on the seventh day in creation as per Exodus 20:4.

When it comes to Christian traditions, and what we believe, we must know what we do, and why. Tradition puts you on autopilot and makes you do things without thinking, but ignorance has never been a good thing. Most questions have a short and a long answer. The question above deserves a long answer.

First, let’s look at rest. God rested on the seventh day after He spent six days speaking creation into being. One of the arguments made by those who adhere to the Sabbath is that if God rested, we should too. However, there is a deeper prophetic message here, as is often the case in the Old Testament record. Paul refers to these as types, shadows and symbols – New Testament truths hidden in Old Testament events, laws and rituals. St. Augustine explained it well when he said, “The New is in the Old concealed; the Old is in the New revealed.” This glorious revelation makes the Bible come alive, and proves its authenticity as the original, inerrant, unfailing word of God.

The omnipotent God does not live in a body of flesh like we do, does not get tired, and, frankly, does not need to rest like we do.

He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep. Psalm 121:3-4

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the Lord, The Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. Isaiah 40:28

When God talks about taking a rest, we need to dig deeper and look at the New Testament where the shadow becomes substance. The New Testament has some interesting things to say about rest, and it applies to us who put our trust in the Lord Jesus Christ. It is generally known that the law that God gave to the Israelites was a burden that was too hard to bear because it depended on strength of sinful man’s fragile will. The law was a program of works that the Israelites had to do to earn God’s blessing, but, in the end, it failed to accomplish anything for them.

Religious leaders of Jesus’ time taught the law and made life hard for the people, until Jesus arrived on the scene and extended a stunning invitation:

Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30

Jesus came to lift the burden of the law; He fulfilled the law by taking the penalty for our disobedience and failures upon Himself:

For what the law could not do in that it was weak through the flesh, God did by sending His own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, on account of sin: He condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteous requirement of the law might be fulfilled in us who do not walk according to the flesh but according to the Spirit. Romans 8:3-4

Since Jesus fulfilled the law and brought it to completion, it ceased to be a burden. The author of Hebrews explains further that Jesus is our rest: we rest in Him because He did all the work and earned our salvation on the cross. We deserve nothing with God because Jesus did everything that had to be done for us to be reconciled with God.

For he who has entered His rest has himself also ceased from his works as God did from His. Hebrews 4:10

We rest in confidence that Jesus did it all on our behalf. We don’t have to earn our salvation because it has been given to us as a gift from God.

Secondly, let’s say something about the law. Considering the law, we find that Scripture never says that Gentiles should keep it; the law was never given to the Gentiles. Jesus fulfilled the law and then gave us a new commandment:

Then one of them, a lawyer, asked Him a question, testing Him, and saying, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?” Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.” Matthew 22:35-40

For the commandments, “You shall not commit adultery,” “You shall not murder,” “You shall not steal,” “You shall not bear false witness,” “You shall not covet,” and if there is any other commandment, are all summed up in this saying, namely, “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Romans 13:9

These two commandments that Jesus gave us are greater and more powerful than the ten commandments of the law, because its power lies in a heart made alive in Christ, as opposed to the works of the law by a carnal man. You cannot break the ten commandments if you live by the two new commandments given to us by the Lord Jesus.

Jesus Himself often violated the Sabbath by healing the sick, even allowing the disciples to do so:

Now it happened that He went through the grainfields on the Sabbath; and as they went His disciples began to pluck the heads of grain. And the Pharisees said to Him, “Look, why do they do what is not lawful on the Sabbath?” But He said to them, “Have you never read what David did when he was in need and hungry, he and those with him: how he went into the house of God in the days of Abiathar the high priest, and ate the showbread, which is not lawful to eat, except for the priests, and also gave some to those who were with him?” And He said to them, “The Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath. Therefore the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.” Mark 2:23-28

The law consisted of works that were far too much to fulfil, and a burden too heavy to bear. The rules, regulations and endless sacrifices bound sinful men to their sin with no hope of rest – until Jesus came. The only reason why Jesus could make His offer of rest is because He was about to do the work that we couldn’t do; He was going to bring the final sacrifice that would satisfy the requirements of the law once and for all, and became our rest. Without Him there is no rest!

Don’t you find it interesting that people wish the dead to rest in peace? You cannot rest in peace in your death if you didn’t enter into His peace while alive!

God rested on the seventh day after He completed the work of creation. This means that creation started on a Sunday, the first day of the week. Here is a beautiful shadow of things to come in Christ: Jesus rose from the dead on a Sunday.

But now Christ is risen from the dead, and has become the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For since by man came death, by Man also came the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ all shall be made alive. 1 Corinthians 15:20-22

The new creation began on a Sunday when Jesus rose from the dead, opening the door for man to be born again into newness of life in Christ. It was on a Sunday that Jesus breathed on the apostles with the words “Receive the Holy Spirit,” also receiving the new birth when He came to dwell in them. (John 20:19-22)

After Jesus rose from the dead we no longer see the apostles gathering on the Sabbath; they always came together on the first day of the week – the Lord’s day. They met to celebrate His resurrection – and their own. It had nothing to do with the law at all, but everything with the glorious truth of their new lives in Christ. The Sabbath then became a day of evangelism as they went into the synagogues to preach the gospel to those who met there.

Now on the first day of the week, when the disciples came together to break bread, Paul, ready to depart the next day, spoke to them and continued his message until midnight. Acts 20:7

On the first day of the week let each one of you lay something aside, storing up as he may prosper, that there be no collections when I come. 1 Corinthians 16:2

I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s Day, and I heard behind me a loud voice, as of a trumpet, saying, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last…” Revelation 1:10,11

Is our gathering on a Sunday to worship together a new law? No; it is a time that the early saints set aside to celebrate the wonder of the new creation and the end of the law of works. We rest in Christ who did what we could not do, and rejoice in our newfound freedom from the burden of sin. But it has nothing to do with the law – you can meet and fellowship and worship on any day of the week.

So let no one judge you in food or in drink, or regarding a festival or a new moon or sabbaths, which are a shadow of things to come, but the substance is of Christ. Colossians 2:16,17

One person esteems one day above another; another esteems every day alike. Let each be fully convinced in his own mind. He who observes the day, observes it to the Lord; and he who does not observe the day, to the Lord he does not observe it. Romans 14:5,6

Worshipping together on a Sunday connects us with the wonder of creation, the day that God looked down on the chaotic void on earth and changed it into order and beauty, already seeing the new creation on another Sunday down the centuries, when all things would become new for everyone who felt trapped in a life of darkness and confusion. Sunday is a day of celebration!

To all our students everywhere: Summer is coming to an end, and we are grateful for the relaxation, time with family and friends, and the many good things it brought us. Let us get back into the Word and continue to invest in a solid foundation for our lives. Nothing can replace the Word where Good communicates, teaches and corrects us!

WordWise South Africa
Andre Coetzee is the pastor of Wordwise Family Church in South Africa. Andre and his wife Lizelda, both WordWise graduates, started their full time ministry in 2006. They established a Word school in affiliation with WordWise Word School Inc. Canada. Their passion to spread the gospel also burns in the hearts of their two daughters.

During a recent outreach where pastor Andre preached and taught “The righteousness of God” in Soshanguve South Africa, was so glorious. He was led to have a conference at Pastor Zandile’s church. She graduated from WordWise Word School in 2014, and was praying for God to help them grow the church. Pastors Farai and John, both WordWise graduates, also spoke at the conference. Both these pastors planted churches years ago.

Pastor Andre Coetzee and family

The presence of God’s Spirit was tangible at the end of the week-long conference. God worked in people’s lives and transformed them. Tears and laughter of joy lasted for an hour because the Word of God became a living thing in them. This is when you realize that God has done a work that no man can do. One of the bishops was so touched by the word of Righteousness; she said that she didn’t know what she was preaching all her life. Another pastor said that when he heard about the theme for the conference, he thought to himself, “What will they do the whole week; you can only say so much about righteousness.”

Three weeks after the conference pastor Andre established a Word School at Past. Zandile’s church with 32 students (below). Many of these students are Pastors from other Churches that attended the conference. much about righteousness.” Now he can’t stop talking about what God has done.

Prayer is a normal yet important Christian activity. Jesus prayed, the apostles prayed, and we are encouraged to pray. God works through the prayers of His people, and that gives prayer an important place in God’s interventions on earth. There is a proper way to pray if you want it answered, and the Bible teaches it to us. This book is a great help to new and seasoned believers alike, and is priced to be affordable to everybody. Available on Amazon in Kindle format with free app to read it on your smartphone, tablet or computer. Only CAN$3.97
Find it here:

Prayers with Answers

It seems God is limited by our prayers – that He can do nothing for humanity unless someone asks Him. God does nothing but in answer to prayer; and even those who have been converted to God without praying for it themselves, (which is exceeding rare) were not without the prayers of others. Every new victory which a soul gains is the effect of a new prayer. ~John Wesley

We have a standing invitation to enter the Throne Room, and to do so boldly. Seated at the right hand of God is our Intercessor and High Priest, one who has sympathy with us as He endured the same temptations as we do, yet without sin. Not only that, He also shed His own blood to open the door to the Father’s heart so that we can enter with confidence.

The apostle Paul says that we are ambassadors, representing the Kingdom of Heaven on earth. Ambassadors are in constant communication with their home office to bring matters of concern before the King and to receive instructions from Him. That is the work of prayer for the Christian.

Ambassadors concern themselves with their assignment for their personal needs are taken care of by their government. An ambassador cannot be effective if he is burdened with his own needs and safety, which is also what Jesus taught us:

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble. Matthew 6:33,34

Some find this a hard concept, but it will not be so if there is an understanding of the Father heart of God. He adopted us as His children, and with that comes the responsibility of care and provision. He is a good Father who loves to give good gifts to His children, and, as Paul explained, why will He not with Jesus give us all things. God loves His children!

God gave us prayer for a reason; Jesus encouraged us to pray, and so did Paul and the other apostles. Jesus spent much time in prayer Himself, even though He was the Son of God. Our prayers invite the God of the universe to intervene in the circumstances that we face on earth. His Word teaches us what to pray for, and how to pray. Our prayers establish a connection between heaven and earth through which the Lord can manifest His will.

Accept His invitation; He is waiting on you!

Protocol of Prayer looks into different important aspects of prayer that are not usually discussed. Read it on your smartphone, tablet or computer at the low price of CAN$3.97 made available by Kindle. Click here to purchase with free software

Who do you see?

Then God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.” So God created man in His own image; in the image of God He created him; male and female He created them. Genesis 1:26,2

By saying it three times in two verses, God wanted us to understand that He made man in His image. “Let us make man in Our image;” “So God created man in His own image;” “in the image of God He created Him, “male and female He created them”. After the first man and woman were created, they could boldly say, “I am holy and righteous for I have been created in God’s image.” “I look like God because He created me in His image.”

Prior to their disobedience and fall from God’s presence, the first two humans were sinless and perfect. They had free access to God with nothing in between that hindered them from fellowship with Him. God actually came down looking for them in the garden. They were the only creatures on earth that He could fellowship with, and it seems that He desired to spend some time with them. All through Scripture we see God longing to be with His people, desiring their companionship. As Creator, He must have found the same kind of satisfaction in these two people as a painter who proudly put his signature on a work of art, so that everybody who saw it, might know it. The signature on a work of art identifies it with its creator.

At some stage however, Satan, a fallen being banned from heaven, approached Eve and deceived her to disobey God’s instruction to them, and she ate from the forbidden tree. Adam, knowing the consequences of her disobedience, refused to let her die alone, and ate from it also, triggering a spiritual law that caused his entire posterity to be infected with the spiritual death that he brought upon himself.

Do you not know that to whom you present yourselves slaves to obey, you are that one’s slaves whom you obey, whether of sin leading to death, or of obedience leading to righteousness? Romans 6:16

Spiritual death, the very nature that we were born with, became man’s greatest need. It changed Adam’s likeness to God into the likeness of the fallen angel that deceived him, and he became a fallen man himself. The same lot that befell Lucifer, fell on Adam, and he became separated from God – a major defeat for man, and the ultimate disappointment for God.

If God turned His back on man at that time there would be no hope for him, with torment his only prospect in an eternity without God. It would also mean a decisive victory for Satan over God. Thank God, His grace is sufficient for us, and His love endures forever! His love is greater than the power of the devil’s deceptions and His wisdom far beyond the craftiness of Satan.

Fast forward to the New Testament. God, in His great love for man, executed His master plan of redemption to bring us back into fellowship with Him. His image, imprinted on man in creation, but scarred by the devil’s craftiness, is brought back to its former glory. He did not just paint over the scars to hide them from view, no, He painted a brand new picture!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him. 2 Corinthians 5:21

We no longer identify ourselves with the fallen angel, the deceiver, accuser of the brethren, Satan, Lucifer. It would mean a failure of the work of Jesus on the cross if there was but a trace left of Satan’s destruction on the redeemed. Jesus did so much more than just cleaning us from our sins; He was judged for it on our behalf, and received the prescribed death penalty for it.

And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Colossians 2:13,14

There is nothing that we can add to that; Jesus did what had to be done. We are new creations in Him, and righteousness has been restored to us who put our trust in Him.

It must be noted though that God is Spirit (John 4:24), and Adam and Eve were spirit-beings when they were made in His image. Their bodies did not look like God because He doesn’t have a body of flesh. They existed in Him before they received their bodies in Genesis chapter 2; they were hidden in Him, just as we are now hidden in Him:

For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. Colossians 3:3

This truth gave Paul, understanding of the substitutionary work of Christ on the cross, to boldly confess:

I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me. Galatians 2:20

Your new identity is not found in your ancestors, but is spiritual; your body is not the real you, but merely the tent in which you live as an earth dweller. Identity with your outward appearance is fatal for a Christian; it is like a dual personality disorder when you identify with death and life at the same time. It also opens the door to the many social ills that plague those in the world without Christ. Spiritually there are only two races: those that were naturally born once, or those that were born twice through the new birth – you are either a descendant of the first Adam or the Last Adam.

Do not lie to one another, since you have put off the old man with his deeds, and have put on the new man who is renewed in knowledge according to the image of Him who created him… Colossians 3:9,10

Who do you see? Are you a sinner or a saint? Are you spiritually dead or alive? What can you do, and where are you heading? What is the purpose of your life? Whose image do you bear? If you don’t know who you are in Christ, your uninformed mind will default to what it knows, and continues to project you as a sinner, as many Christians do.

But we all, with unveiled face, beholding as in a mirror the glory of the Lord, are being transformed into the same image from glory to glory, just as by the Spirit of the Lord. 2 Corinthians 3:18

Discover your true identity as a new creation as you see yourself in the mirror of the Word, and be transformed into the image of God in Christ Jesus, then render yourself to Him as you discover who you are in the Word!

Discover your true identity as a new creation as you see yourself in the mirror of the Word, and be transformed into the image of God in Christ Jesus, then render yourself to Him as you discover who you are in the Word!

Supplement your Bible studies with these Kindle books, or use it to teach/encourage others. Download the free Kindle app where these books are found on Amazon, and read it on your phone, tablet or computer.

The devil cannot create anything, but he distorts everything that God gave us. One of his favourite tricks is to remind you of your life before Christ, and make you believe that nothing really changed. But everything changed! You became a new creation with a new identity – now it is up to you to discover who you are in Christ and begin to walk in newness of life. This book will help you in this journey. Available here