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Sunday Mirror www.nationalmirroronline.net

Sunday November 3, 2013

Praise & Worship

The cosmic conflict

Footprints with Dr. Tunde

Ojewole Email: ojewolea@babcockuni.edu.ng Phone: 08058299434

O

ur world is beset with untold natural disasters in virtually all the time zones of the world. Tsunamis, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, health hazards, religious fundamentalism, ethnic cleansing, and countless evil surmising litter our world. Sudden attacks devastate many homes leaving their dreams of success shattered. Sickness and death are ugly realities that stalk our loved ones and myriads of people are despondent. Why all these sufferings?

Most people are quick to lay the blame for all human suffering on God. We ask: “why me Lord?” I guess, we mean: “why not another person or family?” Insurance companies traditionally label natural disasters as “act of God.” God is painted as an angry deity, blood-thirsty and absentminded. The Bible portrays God as a God of love who acted to protect and save humans even before they came into existence. When suffering and death entered the world, God did not just stand on the sidelines and watch the devastation. He revealed a plan to save humans – a plan which is in full operation today. God’s footsteps can be traced throughout history so we may see for ourselves what He offered to save us. The Bible describes a time of blissful existence with not sign of sin and decay in Genesis 1-2. The gateway of sin ushered in human suffering and decay on planet earth (Gen 3). Sin is lawlessness. It is an intruder for whose presence cannot be justified. It is the outworking of a principle at war with

the law of love, the foundation of the God’s government. The originator of sin is Lucifer, anointed as a guardian cherub (Ezek 28:14). Prophet Isaiah describes him: “how you have fallen from heaven, O morning star, son of the dawn” (Isa 14:12). Lucifer said in his heart: “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” Lucifer coveted the honor which the Father had bestowed upon Jesus Christ. Lucifer allowed jealousy of Christ to prevail. The exaltation of self awakened forebodings of evil in his mind and he dishonored God, his Maker. Pride nourished the desire for supremacy. He aspired to be equal with God. Unfortunately, Lucifer diffused this discontent among the other angels in heaven. “With mysterious secrecy, concealing his real purpose under an appearance of reverence for God, he endeavored to excite dissatisfaction concerning the laws that governed heavenly beings, intimating that they imposed unnecessary restraint.” Lucifer urged the heavenly angels to obey the dictates of their own will and secure liberty for themselves that they might attain a higher existence. Despite Lucifer’s incitement of discontent, was God bore long with Lucifer. He was not degraded from his exalted station immediately as God offered him pardon on condition of repentance and submission. However, pride prevented Lucifer from submitting to God’s supremacy. This is how the great controversy between God and Satan, Light and darkness, Truth and error, Christ and the devil began. This is the ultimate cos-

mic conflict! Satan misrepresented God’s words, disseminating direct falsehood. It was his policy to perplex people with subtle arguments concerning the purposes of God. Everything simple he shrouded in mystery, and by artful perversion cast doubt upon the plainest statements of God. God’s wisdom allowed Lucifer’s disaffection ripen into active revolt so that his evil his plans might be fully developed, that their true nature might be seen by all. The whole universe must see the deceiver unmasked. The true character of the usurper must be understood by all. He must have time to manifest himself by his wicked works. While Satan can employ all manner of lies, flattery, deceit, and misrepresentation, in His dealing with sin, God could employ only righteousness and truth. Why did God not destroy Lucifer despite his rebellion? Infinite Wisdom did not destroy Satan. The allegiance of God’s creatures must rest upon a conviction of His justice. The inhabitants of heaven and of other worlds could not then have understood the justice and mercy of God in the destruction of Satan. Had he been immediately blotted from existence, they would have served God from fear rather than from love. The influence of the deceiver would not have been fully destroyed, nor the spirit of rebellion eradicated. For the good of the universe through ceaseless ages Satan must more fully develop, that his charges against the divine government might be seen in their true light by all created beings. Satan’s rebellion was to be to the universe a testimony to the terrible results of sin. His rule would show the fruit of setting aside the divine authority. The history of this terrible experiment of re-

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bellion was to be a perpetual safeguard to all holy intelligences to save them from sin and its punishment. God finally banished Satan, the archrebel and his evil cohorts from heaven. “And war broke out in heaven: Michael and his angels fought with the dragon; and the dragon and his angels fought, but they did not prevail, nor was a place found for them in heaven any longer. So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him” (Rev 12:7-9). The cosmic conflict is now headquartered on planet earth since Adam and Eve listened and obeyed him (Gen 3). The battle is to gain control over the hearts and minds of human beings. Every onslaught of the devil is to win your loyalty and get you to deny your faith in God. Satan is to be blamed for every calamity human beings experience. Satan caused all disasters and blames God. Every time you blame God you support Satan’s thesis! Satan leads people to justify themselves and seek the sympathy of others in their sin. Instead of correcting their errors, they excite indignation against the reprover, as if he were the cause of difficulty. But you need not be despaired, God has made adequate plan to redeem humans from sin through the death of Jesus on the cross. Jesus is God’s love personified! Give Jesus the full control of your life now. In the battle that is raging, you are on the winning side with Him. Tunde Ojewole, Ph.D., is the University Pastor and Associate Vice-President for Spiritual Life, Babcock University. For enquiries: ojewolea@babcock.edu.ng; 08058299434/08060376577 Answers to 27/10/13 quiz 1. Philadelphia- Rev 3:7, 17 2. Plagues- Exodus Chapters 7-11 3. Aaron- Exodus 28:29, 30 NIV

Have a relationship with God –Pastor Bamidele Until you are in a relationship with God, you will not stop attending to problems. This is the focus of the message by Pastor Lai Bamidele of Christ Glorious Evangelical Church. Excerpts: Listen to me, when you operate in an environment that there is no law everything will be chaotic. But I bring good news to someone today. After today’s message, if I be a prophet of God as you obey every instruction from God before the close of this year, my God will give you total rest. The scripture says that for a long time Israel has been without the true God and without priest and without law. Hear me today, everyone that will obey God’s instruction within nine seven days, if I be a prophet of God, you will receive a sudden visitation of God, you will receive God’s divine visitation. There is someone reading me today, you had been weeping and sorrowing; within nine Sundays from now, your weeping will turn to celebration in the mighty name of Jesus. What do we need to do for God to command your settlement? I will show you some kingdom keys on what you need to do for God to settle. One, you must become a member of God’s Family. Jesus endorses you to be a member of his family. Before you can enjoy God’s total rest, you must be a member of His household. You must be a member of His vineyard. Roman 8:29-30, “For who he foreknew, he also predestined to conform to the image of His son that he might the first one among many brethren. Moreover who

He predestined he also called; and those He called He also justified and who He justified he also sanctified. So the moment you are born again, you have acquired the number one thing you require for you to be settled. Now the year I gave my life to Christ, the number one thing I noticed was that in the mist of what I was passing through I had pace of mind. Before then the burden I carried was like I was carrying a heavy stone. But the moment I was born-again, the problem was still there but I felt like something removed from my head. And gradually, God began to settle me, bring solutions. Gradually my situation began to change. Gradually the storms began to stop. So the journey of your faith begins with your relationship with God. If you are not with God, you are with Satan. And when you are with Satan you are with problems. There must be repentance before restoration. Until you return to God he will not return to you. That is why I like to encourage you, that coming to church every Sunday is not an indication that you have relationship with God. Your relationship with God is of your heart; it is of your mind. If your heart is not with God you are not born-again. Note two key points; you must be ready to settle with God that is, all of you staying with

your God. Many of us after giving our lives to Christ, you can say you are born again. And somebody is still inviting you to a church where they say bring candle; they burn candle burn things. Where did you see it in the Bible? You still go to a prophet that will say go and get bring goat, ram. If you are still patronizing such Church, you need to amend your ways and stay focus. Running into Christ is like running into life. God is the one that will give rest in the times of your trouble. Psalm 48:1, and let someone open Joshua 24:15“great is the Lord and greatly to be praised in the city of our Lord in the mountain of His holiness.” Now listen, after my message, we still celebrate gd. The devil is in trouble today. When he sees that in even in the midst of what we are going through, we still have time for Him by way of celebrating God’ He will answer you and you will have rest. Listen, we will not cease from celebration until your season of celebration come. Joshua 24:15, “and if it seems evil unto you to serve the Lord, chose you this day whom you will serve whether the gods which your fathers served at the other side of the river… Many of you do not know the kind of gods your fathers served. Many of you know where your fathers ended and you too are following it. I told you some-

times ago that I told God that I will not end like my father. There is no good father that will pray that his child will end up like him. A good parent should desire that his children will surpass him. If you see a father or mother that says you will not surpass him, you don’t have a good parent. …But as for me and my household we will serve the Lord.” Number three; settle to hear the word of God. Many of a truth go to church but the moment it is time to preach the gospel, it is then that many will complain that the whole church is hot, there is no air conditioner. They will live the service. If you see any friend asking for a discussion, that friend is an enemy, he doesn’t wish well. Settle down to hear the word of God, the word of God is power, the word of God is solution top every issue. When you stop attending church, then you start attending to problems. Luke 10:42.

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