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Your Decision will determine your destiny Part 1

Memory Verse: There is a way that seemth right unto a man, but the end thereof are the ways of death Prov 16:25
Text: Ruth 1:1-5

Introduction
During the time of the judges, there was a man named Elimelech who was from the Bethlehm in Judah. This man decided to travel to the land of Maob and dwell there because of the famine in the land of Israel. He went with his wife and two sons. In Moab, his two sons got marriage to Moabites – Ruth and Orpah. After dwelling in Moab for 10 years, Elimelech and his two sons died leaving Naomi, Elimelech wife and her two daughters-in-law behind.

Your decision frames your destiny

Elimelech destiny was determined by his decision. He made his decisions based on human senses instead of God’s divine revelation. Leaving Israel, a land afflicted with famine for Moab, a land experiencing abundant was a wise decision to make. But Elimelech forgot that there is a way that seems right to a man but the end leads to destruction.

Elimelech walked in the path of destruction because of his decision, he lost his life and that of his sons.

His family left the nation of Israel full but they came back empty. They left with the hope of pleasant future at Moab but they came back bitter Ruth 1:19-21
How do I get God involve in my decision making
1. Prov 3:6 When you acknowledge God in ALL your ways(Your marriage, your finance, your academics, your career etc). When the time comes to make decision in any area of your life, God will step in to direct your path.
2. Ps 119:105 The word of God shines light upon your path, the word exposes dangers that are ahead of you. So, let the word of God be your daily companion in the journey of life because the word is the only authentic search light that can help you navigate the path of life successfully.
3. Rom 8:14 God has given his children the Holy Spirit to lead and to guide them. He is the Spirit of Truth that guides into all truth. Never ignore that small still voice, his instruction may not be aggressive as the instruction of your flesh- still obey it.
4. Prov 11:14 Whenever, you are in doubt over any decision, prayerfully seek for counseling from godly people and you will be guided from walking on the path of destruction.
In this New Year, do not be like Elimelech in decision making. Allow the Lord to guide you through his spirit and you will end well in Jesus name.

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Your Decision will determine your destiny Part 2

Memory Verse: And Ruth said, intreat me not to leave thee, or to return from following after thee: for whither thou goest, I will go and where thou lodgest, I will lodge; thy people shall be my people and thy God, my God. Ruth 1:16
Text:1:16-22.

Introduction
Naomi chose to return home and Ruth chose to return with her. The famine in Judah had ended. God’s blessings had returned to Judah and Naomi decided to return back home. She encouraged her daughters-in-law Ruth and Orpah to go back to their fathers’ houses. At first, both of them said they would go with her.

Naomi painted the picture of how it would be if they followed her: Ruth 1:10-13
I have no son again that can marry you – there is danger of remaining widows for life
I am too old to remarry myself- Even Naomi they wanted to follow, seems to have a hopeless case
Even, if I marry and I have sons, would you wait until they were old enough for marriage?
Orpah and Ruth made their decision. While Orpah returned to her father’s house and her god. Ruth clung to Naomi and to her God.
Our life is about the choices we make.


Everyday, we are faced with choices, some of which have the potential of changing our lives forever. Ruth chose to follow Naomi, she chose the God of Israel over the gods of Moab.

To many Ruth had chosen a life of widowhood, she had chosen the company of an old widow and a life of poverty. But it was a choice that brought her husband, wealth, children and the privilege of becoming the great grandmother of the Messiah. Ruth 4:13-17
Making the choice to follow God and dedicating your life to Him this year may look foolish to many of your friends because:
You are making a choice to say no to the pleasure of sin
You are making a choice that will disconnect you from some of your ungodly friends
You are making a choice that will stop the flow of sinful money like bribe that you have access to.
Your choice may look unpopular and painful BUT if you stick to it, it will bring great blessings your way. Daniel 1:5-8, Daniel 1:19-20

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DO NOT WORRY

Memory verse: Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life Matt 6:27
Text : Matt 6:25-34

INTRODUCTION: Are you worried about something? Is there a problem in your life that you're struggling with? Jesus said in matthew 6:27 that no one can add a single hour to his life by worrying. Worrying does not add to you but subtracts. Worrying subtract peace, joy, and fulfillment from your life
I. WHERE DOES WORRY COME FROM?
A. Life's problems |:work, health, finance
B. Satan causing trials to come into our lives.
C. Carnal Sin, selfish desires and sinful attitudes.
D. Putting ourselves on the throne of our life instead of Jesus.
II. WHAT ARE SOME OF YOUR WORRIES? What does the Word of God have to say?
A. Worrying over Money? What does the Bible say to do with it so that our needs will be met?
Malachi 3:10 "Bring ye all the tithes (tithes: 10 percent of your income) into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the LORD of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”
We hurt GOd when we don't pay attention to His advice and give credence to His Word. Surely He is great enough to care for our needs when we are obedient to His Word?
B. Worrying over Food and Clothing
Psalm 37:25 "I have been young, and now am old; yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging bread.”
Surely if we are living a righteous life before the Lord following His Word we will be taken care of! The key words here are "Following His Word."
Matt 6:26 The birds of the air do not sow and yet your heavenly father provides for them. But you are more valuable than a sparrow that God provides for.
Matt 6:28-30 If God so cloth the grass of the field, how much more will God cloth us that are his children if we put our faith in Him.
C. Worrying over Enemies that they will have Victory and laughing at you?
I John 5:4-5 "For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?”

We are made overcomers when we have faith in God. Therefore worrying is alien to those who live by faith. The reason why many are afraid of the enemies is because they donot have faith. When you put your faith in the word of God, you will remain an overcomer over your enemies.
D. Worrying over Children and family members?
Proverbs 22:6 "Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.”
You have to trust in God and His Word that when we raise our children up in the way of the Lord they will not go astray. Incase a child that was brought up in the way of the Lord decides to go astray, you can stand upon the word of God Prov 22:6 in prayer to redeem the child back to God.
E. Worrying over Medical problems?
Isaiah 53:5 "But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed.” We can choose to worry over these problems or we can choose to believe the Word of the Lord. I am being strong here when I say that the Lord does heal today and He wants us healed. We need to follow His Word and faithfully trust Him to do the right thing for us.
Conclusion
Worrying is what differentiate a believer from unbeliever, while it is the lot of unbeliever to worrying, believers are expected to seek the kingdom and its righteousness and every other thing they desire shall be added unto them. Matt 6:32-33

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Discipline

Memory Verse: 1 Cor 11:32 “For when we are judged, we are chastised of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world”.
Read: 2 Tim 2: 3-4

Introduction:

From the text we read above (i.e. 2 Tim 2: 3-4), the bible has described the expected attitude of a Christian as that of a soldier. The verse 4 further explained that a Christian (a soldier) must live within the counsel of Him who has chosen him in order to please Him.

As we are all aware, the closest synonym to military/soldier is the term discipline. The bedrock of the military profession is discipline, and in the same vein, a Christian race will be fulfilling and rewarding to only disciplined children of God.
Heb 12:5-11
Our Lord is an orderly God, merciful and just in all his ways. He frequently rebukes, chastises, corrects and punishes his children out of love. The phrase “out of love” is very important as could be understood from our memory verse above. God loves us that he sent His only son to die for us. He does not want us to experience His eternal judgement and condemnation; hence He’s never tired rebuking and chastising us. It is only a bastard that will refused to be discipline.

Discipline as a deterrent

Another reason why a Christian must be chastised is to deter those who are young in faith from falling into same sin. In 1 Tim 5: 19-20, Apostle Paul advised that an elder/leader or worker who has erred should be rebuked before all so that others may fear. It should be clear that to rebuke, chastise, castigate, punish etc are all different ways of discipline. Any discipline placed on such leader does not infer that such person has not been forgiven by God, but it is for the sake of orderliness in the house of God.

In addition, 1 Tim 5:21 further advised that it is better to rebuke with the aim of effecting a change than to prefer one brethren before another. The verse recommends punishing, rebuking or chastising a brethren that has sinned with the hope of reforming such an individual than to bear grudges against him.
Examples of people that were disciplined in the bible:
1. Jonah (Jonah 1 & 2)
Jonah was directed by God to preach to a city called Nineveh. Jonah disobeyed God and ran to Tarshish. However, the ship he boarded experienced a great calamity that led to him being thrown into the sea. He was then swallowed up by a great fish. Jonah was in the fish’s belly for three days and three nights, after which Jonah repented of his sins and cried out unto the Lord. The Lord had mercy on him and commanded the fish to vomit him. He thereafter proceeded to Nineveh to preach to its people as commanded of him.
2. Nebuchadnezzer (Daniel 4: 1-37)
King Nebuchadnezzer had a dream that was interpreted by Daniel. The interpretation was that Nebuchadnezzer’s reign was going to crumble for seven seasons, after which he was going to be reinstated. However, he was advised by Daniel to change from his wicked ways and show mercy unto the poor.
However, the king did not change from his bad ways and the calamity befell him. He was driven from men, he’s dwelling was amongst the beasts of the field and he eat grass with other beasts of the field.
At the end of the seven seasons, Nebuchadnezzer regained his memory and understanding. He lifted up his heart unto God, praised and worshipped Him. He was reinstated as the king.
3. David
2 Samuel 11 told us of how King David committed adultery with Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah a faithful and loyal servant of his. To make the case worse, he deliberately set Uriah at the forefront of the hottest battle, retrieved other troops and exposed him to being smitten with the sword of the enemy.
God was so displeased with David that He sent Prophet Nathan to him. Nathan informed him of the pending discipline: which was death by sword on his household, his wives would be abused by his neighbours openly. This message touched the heart of David, who immediately repented and sought the face of God. God forgave him, but he lost the child that was the product of the adultery.

However, after the repentance of David both him and Bathsheba knew each other again and later gave birth to Solomon who became the heir to the throne.
From the foregoing, it is clear that God has been and is still in the business of disciplining his children. The question is that are you willing to be disciplined?
The following are reasons why you should submit yourself to discipline:
1. To enable you attain God’s plan and purpose for your life
2. To ensure that the house of God is run with decorum i.e. rules and regulations are adhered to.
3. To ensure that our actions and inactions do not lead the new converts into backsliding i.e. going back to their old and sinful ways.
4. To ensure that individuals are responsible for their actions
5. To practically emphasis the standard and expectation of the word of God
6. To ensure that we all make heaven.
Let us note again that discipline is not meant to persecute or condemn an individual. It should not be misinterpreted as judging others. It is purely to save the individual, others and the church of God.
Enforcement of discipline
Rom 13:1-5
Leaders have been given the responsibility of instilling discipline in the church. Failure to do so is falling short of your divine responsibility. Remember that we all are leaders either at home, office or church.
If you feel you are presently not a leader, you will by tomorrow become one. This is another reason why you must submit yourself to discipline.

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Gehazi: Missing the Mark

Memory Verse: But Gehazi the servant of Elisha the man of God said, Behold my master hath spared Naaman the Syrian in not receiving at his hand that which he brought: but, as the Lord liveth, I will run after him and take somewhat of him. 2 Kings 5:20
Text: 2 Kings 5:1-27

Introduction

At a critical time in the history of Israel, God raised up the prophet Elijah to be His witness to the nation. Elijah had a servant called Elisha whom God selected as the next prophet to the nation. Elisha had a servant called Gehazi. God anointed Elisha with a double portion of the anointing that Elijah had. This was God's seal of approval on Elisha's life. But before God anointed him thus, he had been tested. As in the case of all true servants of God, Elisha too was called to the ministry, while he was faithfully doing his secular duties. "Elijah found Elisha the son of Shaphat, while he was plowing with twelve pairs of oxen before him, and he with the twelfth. And Elijah passed over to him and threw his mantle on him."(1 Kings. 19:19).
Elisha was called from his duty post just like Peter, Andrew, John and James were called while they were fishing -Matt 4:18-22; Matthew was called at the custom office -Matt 9:9. God does not call a lazy or idle man for the work of ministry.

Elisha’s Attributes as a Servant
Elisha spent many years doing menial jobs for the prophet Elijah. He was known as the one "who used to pour water on the hands of Elijah."(2 Kings. 3:11b). Likewise, Joshua was first Moses’ servant before becoming the servant of God -Joshua 1:1. Anyone one who cannot serve man faithfully cannot be of service to God – for he that desires to be a master among you must be the servant of all -Mark 9:35. Elisha was selfless in service therefore God had great plans for him. Before Elijah went up to heaven, Elisha had to be tested. And so Elijah told Elisha to stay on in Gilgal, while he himself went on to Bethel. Elisha refused to stay back but was determined to go with Elijah. Staying back at Gilgal is big relief because he will rest a while from offering service to Elijah; but Elisha preferred service to going on holiday. At Bethel, Elijah again tried to shake off Elisha by saying that he had to go to Jericho. But Elisha stuck on like a leech. Finally, at Jericho, Elisha was tested once more in a similar way. Again, Elisha passed the test of persistence and accompanied Elijah to Jordan. It was thus that he got the double portion of the anointing - God's best for his life (2 Kings.2:1-14).

Gehazi's Unfaithfulness
Even as Elisha had succeeded Elijah as the prophet, Gehazi could perhaps have succeeded Elisha as the next prophet if he had been faithful. But Gehazi had to be tested first. This testing took place when Naaman, the Syrian general returned to Elisha after being healed of his leprosy. Out of gratitude for his healing, Naaman offered Elisha silver, gold and fancy Syrian suits of clothing. Could it be that Elisha was led to reject the gifs because he perceived that Naaman’s heart was not fully surrendered to God? 2King 5:18 just as the early apostles also refused to accept gifts from pagans 3John 7.
The early apostles followed the same pattern. "They went out for the sake of the Name, accepting nothing from the Gentiles (3 John 7). Gehazi had on the contrary ran after Naaman to get some part of the gifts. He lied against his master because of greed. He eventually, got the gift he desired so much and he also got Leprosy to be passed down his generations

Persistence as a Christian Attribute
The message here for us is that there are various stages in our spiritual development at which God tests us to see whether we are satisfied with what we have already received or whether we will press on to God's highest. Gilgal stands for the place where our sins are forgiven. "The Lord said to Joshua, `Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you.' So the name of that place is called Gilgal to this day."(Josh. 5:8,9). Many Christians get thus far and stop there. Some press on till Bethel (meaning 'the house of God') - which stands for fellowship with believers in the family of God. "And Jacob called the name of that place Bethel. Then Jacob said, `This stone, which I have set up as a pillar, will be God's house.'" (Gen. 28:19,22). Some stop here. But a few go still further to Jericho - which stands for the manifestation of the supernatural power of God. "The people shouted with a great shout and the wall fell down flat.....and they took the city (of Jericho)."(Josh. 6:20). This is as far as most Christians ever go. Very, very few go all the way to Jordan - which stands for identification with Christ in His death, as symbolised in baptism. "Then Jesus arrived at the Jordan, coming to John, to be baptized by him."(Matt. 3:13). Very, very few are willing to walk the way of the cross - "the new and living way that Jesus has inaugurated for us through His flesh." (Heb. 10:20). But it is this few, who are wholehearted enough to press on to total death to Self, who receive the double portion (God's best). All of us are being tested today, as to what stage we will stop at.

Conclusion
We are all expected to be genuine followers of our master. Our loyalty should never be in doubt. Our faith will be put to test from time to time to ascertain our position with God. If we pass God’s test then we shall have God’s best. But there are grave consequences for any Christian found inconsistent in faith.

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Life & Time of Stephen- Character and Achievement
Memory Verse: 1Corinthians 15: 58- Therefore, my beloved brethren, be ye steadfast, unmovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, forasmuch as ye know that your labour is not in vain in the Lord.
Text: Acts 6: 1-8, 7:54- 60

Introduction: Stephen is a Greek word meaning … Crown. Stephen, as one of the 7 Deacons appointed in the Church at Jerusalem was first mentioned in the Bible (A.D first Century) after Christ’s death, resurrection and ascension to Heaven. This was the period when the Hebrew and Greek followers already known as the Jerusalem Church were having some dissension because the Greeks converts complained that the Hebrew Christians neglected their widows in the daily distribution of food.
The Appointment of Stephen, his Acts and Works- Acts 6: 5, 8. 7: 1-53
Arising from the above murmuring by the Grecians, the twelve apostles summoned all the believers and told them, “it is not right we should give up preaching the word of God to serve tables” (Acts 6:2). “Therefore, brothers, look from among you seven men of honest report, full of the Holy Ghost and wisdom, whom we may appoint to this duty, while we devote ourselves to prayer and to the Ministry of the word” Acts 6: 3-4
It is worth mentioning here that the Apostles had specific qualification and character in mind for the leaders/workers they wanted and chose men who were:
1. Known from their sphere of influence and impact- Seek out from among you
2. People who could serve on a team – Seven men
3. Trusted among the people – They were of good reputation
4. Empowered for the task – Full of the Faith and Holy spirit Acts 6:5
5. Competent and intelligent – Full of Wisdom Acts 6:9
6. Responsible – Whom we may appoint over this business
The Impact of the Appointment
Stephen was appointed at a time when there was strife and murmuring in the early church. It was a problem that limited the growth of the church and got the early apostles distracted.
Stephen and the other deacons were not appointed to lead prayer, neither were they appointed to lead Sunday school or preach. Their task was ordinary and without glamour. They were simply called to service the table. But when they carried out their simple task faithfully, the impact was tremendous on the church. Act 6:6-7
The word of God spread the more because the apostles were no longer distracted because of the support given by Stephen and other deacons.
There was visible growth witnessed in the Church as a result of their work
Lessons to Learn
1. Stephen’s Christian life and service demonstrated how a born again Christian should be. Stephen’s appointment and other six, their diligent and effectiveness made the apostles devote themselves to prayer and ministration of the word. Acts 6: 3-4, 7.
As a worker in COT, are you a relief to us or are you a burden to us. The work of Stephen brought relief into his local assembly.
2. Stephen was a committed Christian, full of faith, Grace and power Acts 6:5,8.
Stephen’s commitments, faith, grace and power was testified to by the church. What type of testimony do you have in the church?
3. The Apostles did not show favouritism in selecting Church workers ( This is also one trait COT Church believes in)
4. He was a bold Christian, had great wisdom, and the Holy Spirit that those in the synagogue of the freedmen could not resist him. Acts 6: 9-13
Some of the evidences of Holy Spirit baptism in the life of a believer are boldness to preach the word and the wisdom of God. If truly you are baptized in the Holy Spirit, these two manifestations plus many more should be visible in your life. The absence of these manifestations could also mean the absence of the Holy Spirit in your life.
5. He was an evangelist who refused to compromise the truth despite strict opposition. Acts 7:1-53. Stephen was not afraid to die for the Gospel, but looked to a far better place where he would soon be. Philippians 1: 20- 21, Acts 7: 55. Have you suffered for the sake of the Gospel before? Get practical examples from the class.
Stephen was sure of going to heaven Act 7:55-56, 59. How sure are you about making heaven?
6. Stephen forgave and prayed for his accusers/ enemies. Acts 7: 60. Matt 5:44
Rom 12:20. The conversion of Apostle Paul was part of the answers to the prayer of Stephen.
Conclusion: Stephen was in the forefront of those who saw Christianity as much more than a Jewish sect. They took seriously the Great Commission of Jesus Christ to carry the gospel to the whole world (Mark16:15). This led to the founding of the world mission movement that took the gospel to the whole Roman Empire in the first century.
Finally, God wants every Christian worker to be full of Faith, Holy Spirit, Great Wisdom, Grace, Power and good works. These are catalysts for effective service so as to end well in our Christian life.

The Life of Dorcas

Memory Verse: Ecclesiastes 11:1- Cast thy bread upon the waters, for thou shall find it after many days.
Text: Acts 9: 36- 43

Introduction:

Dorcas – Tabitha in Chaldean was a Christian convert, known for her Charity and good deeds and lived at Joppa. When Dorcas became sick and eventually died, the disciples at Joppa community and widows alike lamented that this woman served the church, assisting as many people including the widows. Peter was immediately sent for, and he came from nearby village – Lydda. The testimony of people around convinced Peter of the woman’s good character, achievements e.t.c. thus, Peter prayed for Dorcas and God restored her back to life. This was the first of such miracles performed through any of the apostles and it resulted in many new believers.

Lessons to Learn

1. Dorcas was a woman of good works. Acts 9: 36. Every Christian must be known for good works.
Other examples of people who experienced the visitation of God because of their good works
Act 10:1-4 - The story of Cornelius – The alms we give to the poor is always a memorial before God.
Luke 7:1-5 - The centurion that built a synagogue for the Jews got his servant healed by Jesus because he was a giver.
Dorcas was known for giving to the widows, Cornelius was known for giving to the poor, the centurion was known for building the temple – what are you known for in the church?
2. She was a selfless Christian and believed in giving , helping the less privileged
3. Dorcas’ good works paid off. What she did was used as evidence for her good works.
The widows, the dresses they wore, the shoes on their feet are the evidences of Dorcas’ good works. What are the evidences of your own good works? Is there any person or anything God can point to as the evidence of your good works in this church?
4. Her achievements and restoration back to life brought into the church many new believers. Acts 9: 42

Conclusion: What impacts are you making in the house of God? Is our attitude driving away new members? What about our relationship with our neighbours? As we serve and work for God, let us know that our rewards are certain, as it written … God is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him. Hebrews 11:6b

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The Holy Communion

Memory verse:

And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it; for this is my blood of the new testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. Matt 26:26-28

Introduction
When Jesus took the bread, it was called bread, when he blessed it, and broke it, He called it his body. When he took the cup of wine and gave thanks, he called it the blood of his new testament. In communion, we take his body and his blood. It may look like bread and taste like bread but once it is blessed it becomes His body. It may look like wine and taste like wine but when it is blessed, it is his blood.

The Elements of Holy Communion
1. Bread – This must be unleavened bread, bread without yeast. When it is blessed by faith it is seen as the body of Jesus. 1 Corinthians 5:6-8, Matthew 26:26
2. The Wine - This is fruit of the vine which is taken as the blood of Jesus when it is blessed. Matthew 26:27-28

Communion was first administered in the bible by Melchizedek and he gave it to Abraham in Gen 14:18
The children of Israel also observed the Holy communion in form of Passover in Ex 12:1-11
Jesus also observed the communion during the Passover feast with his disciples in Matt 26:17-29
After the death and the resurrection of Jesus, he became our Passover lamb moreso that he was crucified during the feast of the Passover. 1 Cor. 5:7

Who is qualified to take the communion?
2Cor 11:27-29
Only those who have given their lives to Jesus are qualified to take Holy Communion.
And believers must also examine themselves first and make their way right with God before taking the communion.

Consequences of taking Communion in Sin
2Cor 11:30-23
Those who live in sin and still partake of the body and blood of Jesus can become victim of sickness, death and God’s judgment.
Communion is a sacred spiritual food that must be taken with reverence -1Cor. 11:33-34

The Importance of Holy Communion

1. It is a Communion of Blessing

1 Corinthians 10:16
The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ?
The cup of communion is a cup of blessing therefore, communion terminates curses and brings blessing upon people. Even Abraham was blessed with communion by Melchizedek Gen 14:18-20

2. It is a Communion of God's Presence
John 1:14
And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.

The flesh dwelt among us. As you partake of the flesh of Jesus through communion, you are establishing the presence of God in your dwelling place.

3. It is a Communion of Life
John 6:53-57

Except you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have no life in you.
Life is sustained through the flesh and the blood of Jesus. Each time you eat his flesh and drink his blood, you are refreshing your life. Communion sustains your life.

4.It is a Communion of Exemption

Exodus 12:23
For the LORD will pass through to smite the Egyptians; and when he seeth the blood upon the lintel, and on the two side posts, the LORD will pass over the door, and will not suffer the destroyer to come in unto your houses to smite you.
The children of Israel were exempted from calamity because they observed communion in form of Passover. Communion enforces God’s protection over you, your family and your properties.

5. It is a Communion of Freedom
Exodus 12: 33
And the Egyptians were urgent upon the people, that they might send them out of the land in haste; for they said, We be all dead men.
Egyptians could no longer keep the Israelites in bondage after they observed the Passover. Each time you partake of the Holy Communion, you will encounter power that sets free from any form of bondage.

6. It is a Communion of Peace and Healing
Isaiah 53:5

The chastisement of our peace is upon his body and that is the body you take during communion. Therefore communion attracts peace to your life, your business and your marriage etc.
The stripes he received on his body brings healing and it is that body that received the stripes that we take at communion. Therefore, the sick are healed when they take the communion of the body of Jesus.

7. It is Communion of Revelation
Luke 24

28 And they drew nigh unto the village, whither they went: and he made as though he would have gone further. 29 But they constrained him, saying, Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.
30 And it came to pass, as he sat at meat with them, he took bread, and blessed it, and brake, and gave to them. 31 And their eyes were opened, and they knew him; and he vanished out of their sight.

Their physical eyes were opened but their spiritual eyes were blind. But when they took communion, their spiritual eyes were open. Your eyes are open to the plots and the strategies of the enemies when you take communion.

Verse35 And they told what things were done in the way, and how he was known of them in breaking of bread.

Jesus was known unto them through breaking of bread, the Holy Communion brings a fresh revelation of Jesus to your life.

Temptation will put your Dream to test – never trade your Dream for comfort zone
Memory verse: There is none greater in this house than i: neither had he kept back anything from me but thee, because thou art his wife: how then can I do this great wickedness and sin against God? (Gen 39:9)
Text: Genesis 39:1-12

Introduction
Joseph was good looking young man. Not that one would know, but beauty must come with it its own set of problems. As Joseph ministered in Potiphar’s house, he caught the eye of Potiphar’s wife. She began to flirt with him. Mrs. Potiphar’s finally made an attempt to force Joseph to lie with her but Joseph abandoned his garment and ran away.
The offer from potiphar’s wife was for sex, pure and simple. God made us sexual creatures and many believe they have right to satisfy their sexual desires in any fashion they choose. God has a different opinion. Any sexual expression that takes place outside the boundaries of the marriage relationship is either fornication or adultery. Either one is a sin against God, your spouse, your future spouse, or yourself. (1Cor.6:18-20). Joseph’s response to Mrs. Potiphar was a response we should all adopt when it comes to dealing with sexual sin (2Tim.2:22).
The features of temptation
One of the features of this temptation that would have made it very attractive to any young man was that Joseph was a long way from home in a strange land. Some people might have adopted the motto ‘‘when in Rome, do as Romans”. A lot of people will do things on the road, at a party and will not do same at home. Joseph did not care where he was, he was determined to do the right thing. He refused to violate the trust of his master and of his God. His family would have never known and Potiphar might have never known but he knew that God in heaven would know and this knowledge was enough to keep him. Prov.15:3, Heb.4:13

Another feature could be that this temptation also came on the heels of a big promotion. A lot of people would assume that they had arrived. After all Joseph had a Midas touch such that he had favour of his master and was considered as the king of the roost at the big house. It would do us well to remember that we are never more vulnerable to temptation that when we have just enjoyed a great victory, we seem to feel like we can do anything. In those moment s, temptation and failure are more real than ever 1Cor 10:12.

We need to remember that our enemy is a master of setting things up. He will put us in just the right places at just the right times. He will make sin look so innocent and easy. He will make it seem that we are fool to refuse him. I would remind you that ‘’all Satan’s apples have worms’’. I would also remind you that the opportunities he gives you to sin will lead to disappointment, disillusionment, discouragement and possibly death. Prov13:15.

Conclusion
The main reason Joseph was able to remain faithful in the day of salvation was because he saw sin for what it really was. He did not see it as a few moments of pleasure. He did not see it as his right neither did he see it as even an option. Joseph saw sin as an affront to Almighty God (Gen39:9)
Joseph’s dream would have been aborted but he boldly and bluntly refused to trade his dream for comfort zone
If you want to successfully navigate the troubled waters of temptation, then learn to see sin for what it really is. It is not a mistake, it is wickedness. It is not an affair, it is adultery. It is not an alternate lifestyle, it is an abomination. It is not an abortion, it is murder!

Be faithful in all – Everything you do affects your dream
Memory verse: “So Joseph found favour in his sight and served him. Then he made him overseer of his house, and all that he had he put under his authority” Genesis 39:4
Text: Genesis39:1-23

Genesis 39:2-4
When the sun sat each day on Joseph’s life, he could rest easy, because he has been faithful. When he was home with his father Jacob, he had been a faithful son. When he was sold to Potiphar, he proved to be a faithful servant. Because he had been faithful, the Lord blessed everything he did.
Through his faithfulness, Joseph gained a trusted position in Potiphar's house. But this wasn't his dream. And it didn't last long anyway, because Potiphar's wife — failing to tempt Joseph into bed — falsely accused him, causing him to end up prison.
Even though Joseph did the right thing, prison was a step backwards. But he was still faithful. Picking up again in the prison (Gen 39:20-23)
Even the faithful can be delayed
Of course, being the overseer in a prison wasn't Joseph's dream, but it was the assignment at hand in which to be faithful. While in prison, Joseph interpreted a dream for the Pharaoh's cupbearer, foretelling his imminent release and return to high service. The cupbearer promised he would remember Joseph. But he didn't. That was what happened. You can be faithful and still have peers and supervisors fail to do their part.
Two years passed while Joseph faithfully served in the prison. Eventually, the Pharaoh had a dream no one could interpret — and the cupbearer remembered Joseph.
God gave Joseph the interpretation and his insight on the years of famine ahead and this prompted Pharaoh to elevate him all the way to second place in the kingdom. This was an unbelievable reversal of fortune for someone who had been languishing in prison.
Where are you in the process of achieving your dreams? It would be nice if we could know in the moment that this painful rejection, that embarrassing failure, this boring and tedious assignment, that overlooked accomplishment, are all part of God's grand plan. But we can't. At the time those things happen, it doesn't feel at all like preparation for something big. It just feels awful. What we can do is follow the modeling of Joseph: keep dreaming and be faithful in all.
Be faithful in all
In the parable of the talents, Jesus praised the man who received two talents and the one with five. Both took efforts to multiply what they had been given, and about them their master said, "Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master's happiness!" (Mathew 25:20-23)
Faithfulness today with whatever you currently have to work with is the path God calls you to take. How you do with a little responsibility will affect how much more responsibility you'll get. That goes for the job you're in right now, as well as for any internship, volunteer work or ministry assignment you might take on. If you'll handle each responsibility by faithfully meeting needs and doing your work as unto God, He will faithfully guide you to the next step along the way to realizing the dream He placed in you.
In this passage, we are allowed to see the faithfulness of Joseph very clearly. He remains faithful to His God, and to himself, in the face of some problems that would cause many others to fail.
Of course, there is a word here for our lives today. As we pass through this life many situations will arise that have the potential to throw us off course. The world, the flesh and the devil will all conspire to get us to quit on God. They will do everything in their power to cause us to drop out or to fall far short of our potential
Conclusion
God wants us to be faithful. He wants us to stay the course and run the race for His glory until He calls us home. Joseph’s life teaches us how to be faithful in spite of what we may face in this life and the Lord expects no less from you and me! Let’s not disappoint Him.
Finally, Joseph remained faithful in spite of temptations; trials and tragedies. I want to tell that the world around you, your own flesh and the devil are all liars! They will do their best to get you to drop out of this thing. God wants us to remain faithful in spite of whatever we may face in this life. God knows what He is doing and He is working out a perfect, eternal plan, Rom. 8:28; Psa. 37:23. You can trust Him to do right by you, 2 Cor. 4:17. Rom. 8:18; Jer. 29:11.

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PROSPERITY, GODS PLAN FOR HIS PEOPLE

Golden Text : Let them shout for joy, and be glad, that favour my righteous cause: yea, let them say continually, Let the LORD be magnified, which hath pleasure in the prosperity of his servant. Psalm 35:27.

God wants to display his magnificence on earth and the best way of doing it is in the life of his Children. It is therefore his desire to demonstrate his prosperity in the lives of believers.
Prosperity had always been a much debated topic in the Christendom, this is as a result of erroneous teaching that separates salvation experience from prosperity whereas the redemption package comes also with sound health, good marriage, prosperity etc.
There had been arguments that prosperity could shift a believer’s focus from God but this is unfounded as a look at the life of Abraham the father of faith revealed that as close as he was to God, he was very rich in cattle, herds, gold and silver. He could even afford a private army of over 300 men and their families. He still remained the friend of God; no wonder God announces himself as the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
Reasons why God intends Prosperity for His People
1) It gives him immense pleasure Psalm 35:27 – The prosperity of a believer pleases God because He is a rich God and the only way he could display his wealth is through the lives of his children. Therefore opportunity for a believer to prosper will not make God angry, rather he is excited by it.
2) Prosperity of believers leads to Thanksgiving to God 2Cor 9:11 - God knows that if he prospers his children, they will be generous with their wealth in giving to his kingdom and as believers give generously to God’s work, it is a sign of thanksgiving to God. It is therefore logical for God to simply bless believers and receive their thanks giving in return.
3) God gives power to get wealth Deut 8:18 – The power for a believer to acquire wealth is in God, therefore if wealth or prosperity is not good for a believer obviously God will not give it. Remember Jesus said even if earthly fathers know how to give good things to their Children, how much more our father in heaven

HOW TO ENTER GOD’S PLAN FOR PROSPERITY
1.) Abstinence from Sin Psalm 1:1,3 – If a believer is able to eliminate sin from his life, then he will be a sure candidate for God’s prosperity. The passage here shows us how to live our lives above the trappings of sin i.e. by not walking in the steps of sinners, not standing in the way of sinners and not sitting in the company of sinners. It is therefore safe to say that a believer that intends to enter God’s plan for prosperity in his life will be careful how he lives his life and mindful of his association with unbelievers.
2.) Obedience to God 1Kings 2:3 - And keep the charge of the LORD thy God, to walk in his ways, to keep his statutes, and his commandments, and his judgments, and his testimonies, as it is written in the law of Moses, that thou mayest prosper in all that thou doest, and whithersoever thou turnest thyself: – A life of total obedience to the will of God is very important for believers. It is important to note that an act of disobedience to God is not perpetrated by unbelievers alone, but a believer too could live in disobedience to God which in itself is sinful. In our daily work with God, we get instructions and mandates from Him and they are meant to be obeyed to the letter but many times believers either fail totally to obey or do partial obedience which is still disobedience. God is looking for children who have their will in total submission to his will to commit his prosperity to.
3.) Meditation on the Word of God Joshua 1:8, Psalm 1:2-3 But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night. And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper. – Meditation is a very effective tool available to the believer but it is rarely used. Meditation itself is an act of ‘’thinking deeply’’ about the word of God. A habit of constant meditation on the words of God is what illuminates the spirit of a believer and opens his eyes to hidden things and treasures of God. Therefore, to be in the right place at the right time requires direction from God and this will be achieved in the place of constant meditation in God’s word.
4.) Bountiful Seed Sowing 2 cor 9:6-8 but this I say, He which soweth sparingly shall reap also sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully. – An important key into God’s prosperity is seed sowing. The law of seed sowing is that the more you sow, the more you reap; from the passage above, two covenant blessings could be found for every bountiful sower which are : i) Convenant of bountiful harvest and ii) Covenant of all round sufficiency – 2 cor 9:8. In effect, every believer when sowing must aspire to do so cheerfully and bountifully because the sure harvest on it is going to be abundant so that at all times and in all things you will always have all that you need.
5.) Carrying the Presence of God Gen 39:3, 29 - If the presence of God is in the life of a man, he will enjoy prosperity. Joseph was carrying the presence of God with him everywhere he went despite moving from slavery to prison and everyone around him observed that everything he handled prospered. A very good way for a believer to carry and sustain the presence of God is through praise and thanksgiving to God irrespective of the situation surrounding him. Remember God inhabits the praises of his People –Psalm 22:3.
6.) Obedience to God’s Servant 2 Chronicles 20:20 And they rose early in the morning, and went forth into the wilderness of Tekoa: and as they went forth, Jehoshaphat stood and said, Hear me, O Judah, and ye inhabitants of Jerusalem; Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper. – The attitude of a believer to the men of God planted in his or her life matters a lot. There are lots of believers who are being afflicted by the devil because they failed to believe and obey the servants of God placed above them. Believing a servant of God goes beyond accepting what they say, but reverring and respecting them, caring for them and above all taking instructions from them very seriously. Christianity is a call to a life of instruction and obedience- 1 Kings 17:10-11.
In conclusion, Prosperity is a key part of God’s redemption package and it is as important as faith, healing, repentance and even holiness. It is obvious that there is God’s way and plan for prosperity of his children and seeking a deeper relationship with God will lead a man into prosperity -2Chro 26:5. Shalom.

Offering Part 1
Memory Verse: Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, wherein have we robbed thee? In tithe and offering Mal 3:8

Introduction
Christians are Robbing God not only in failure to pay tithe but also in denying God of their offering. While tithe is 10% of our income, offering is totally freewill, the amount you give is a function of your gratitude to God. Just as tithe is compulsory for income earners, also offering is compulsory as long as you have something you can give, be it money or any other material thing, you are not expected to come to God's presences empty handed. God expects you to give according to his blessing upon your life. Duet 16:16-17

The offering the Lord desires
Gen 4:1-5 Cain and Abel offered offering to the Lord, the Lord accepted the offering of Abel and rejected that of Cain. Why was Abel offering accepted? Because he brought a fat portion from the firstborn of his flock. He gave God the best portion of his flock as offering. Is your offering the best denomination among the money in your wallet?
Cain offering was rejected because Cain just brought an offering unto God. There was nothing special in what Cain offered to God. God can not be reduced by our offering but our offering suggests how special God is to us. If God is special to you, you will go an extra mile to offer him something special.
2 Sam 24:24 David said, I will not offer to God what cost me nothing. Is your offering costly? The total offering you give God in a week, is it up to the money you spend to eat alone in a day. If you spend N200 to eat lunch in your office and you give less than N200 as offering on Sunday it means you can not sacrifice the worth of one lunch to thank God that kept you and provided for you all through the week.

Offering must be given willingly and cheerfully
2Cor 9:6 It is the duty of pastors is to teach their flocks to give good offering unto God, so that they can get good reward. Flocks should never be forced to give because any offering you give grudgingly is not acceptable to God. God expects you to give your offering with joy and dancing because he loves a cheerful giver.

Conclusion
But I say unto you, He that soweth sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully 2 Cor 9:6

Offering Part 2

Memory Verse: And Abel, he also brought of the firstlings of his flock and of the fat thereof. And the LORD had respect unto Abel and to his offering Gen 4:3

Introduction
Mal 1:6 God is not just our father, he is also our master. If you are truly a child of God, your offering will show it, because you will give your Father in heaven an offering that shows how much you honor Him. Likewise, if God is your master, the manner in which you present your offering will show that you fear him. God is looking for HONOUR AND FEAR in the offering we offer unto him.

God is a Jealous God
Mal 1:6-7 God said it is evil to offer blind for sacrifice, it is evil to offer things that are worthless to you as offering to God. Money that is torn is considered evil by God. The offering you want to offer to God today is it an evil offering or a good offering? God is a jealous God, He is not happy that you honor men more than you honor him. If you have the opportunity to host the governor of Lagos or the president of Nigeria, will you go out of your way to present gift to them? What type of honor will you give them? How does that compare to the kind of honor you give God when you give your offering?

God dislikes sinful offering
Deut 23:18 God desires offering from us but money you get from bribe, from fornication, adultery and other sinful ways are abomination unto God.

The giver is as important to God as the gift
Matt 5:24 God had respect unto Abel and his offering. God is not only interested in the gift; He is equally interested in the giver. If you want to offer offering to God and you are living in sin, make sure you ask for his forgiveness before you offer your offering to him.

The power of Offering
1king 3:4-5 Solomon gave an offering that touched God's hearth. God gave Solomon an open cheque because of his offering “God said, Ask what I shall give thee”. You too can sow a seed that will touch God's heart.

Conclusion
But I say unto you, He that soweth sparingly shall also reap sparingly; and he which soweth bountifully shall reap also bountifully 2 Cor 9:6

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GIVING TO THE POOR
Memory verse: Proverbs 28:27 He that giveth unto the poor shall not lack: but he that hideth his eyes shall have many a curse.

Text: Luk 16:19-31

Introduction: From the memory verse, it is clear that giving to the poor guaranties provision and we are secured from curses when we reach out to the poor.
The consequences of neglecting the poor is not only limited to earthly afflictions like lack and curses, it has the ultimate consequence of robbing us of a place in the kingdom of God.Matt 25:34-36

Classification of the poor: There two types of poor namely

1. Willful poor: people are poor because of their altitude to life e.g lazy people, drunker, gamblers, and extravagant people. Giving to these category of people will further encourage their bad lifestyle. Disciple and teaching is the best way to help this category of people. If a man will not work, he shall not eat" (2 Thess 3:10-15).

2. Innocent poor: Calamity, disaster, misfortune, those trapped in cycle of poverty by choices of others. E.g Windows without support 1Tim 5:3-6, orphan, James 1:27. Poverty is not limited to money alone, someone may be poor in health, the sick, the lonely, the prisoners are all poor one way or the other.

How should we give to the poor?
Matt 6:1-4 Help secretly when possible and always look up to God for reward not man.

Conclusion
God equally expect the poor to give out of the little they have because they cannot experience riches until give out of the little they have. Give and it shall be given unto you; it is giving that opens the door of provision.

TITHES Part 1

Memory Verse: Will a man rob God? Yet ye have robbed me. But ye say, wherein have we robbed thee? In tithes and offering Mal 3:8

Introduction
The doctrine and principle of tithing is timeless. Tithing was not only an Old Testament principle and practice. It is for everyone in every age and dispensation. It was neither instituted by the dispensation of law nor terminated by the dispensation of grace. It was neither given by Moses nor terminated by Jesus Christ.

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PAYING OF TITHE BEFORE THE LAW WAS GIVEN

Gen 14:18-20 Tithe was mentioned first in the bible in this passage. Abraham was the first man to pay tithe in the bible. He paid tithe before the law was given. Abraham did not pay what was convenient; he paid the tithe of ALL.

Abraham paid his tithe to Melchisedec Heb 7:1-4. The priesthood of Jesus was after the order of Melchisedec Heb 5:6, 8-9. Therefore, tithing was instituted with the foundational order of priesthood. If tithing started with priesthood of Aaron, we can call it a shadow of thing to come but it was after the order of Melchisedec whose PRIESTHOOD ABIDES FOREVER Heb 7:1-3 (with emphasis on verse 3)

Gal 3:29 everyone that is in Christ is a seed of Abraham and heir of Abraham's promise. Abraham use tithe to sustain God's blessings of provision Heb 7:6 (But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham, and blessed him that had the promises) therefore, every seed of Abraham is expected to follow his example. In Rom 4:12 we were commanded to walk in the steps of Abraham. It is when we walk in his steps that we can be partakers of Abraham's promises.

Gen 28: 16-22 We also saw the example of Jacob giving tithes to God when there was no Levitical order (i.e the dispensation of law)

TITHES Part 2
Memory Verse: And all the tithe of the land, whether of the seed of the land, or the fruit of the tree belongs to the LORD; It is holy unto the LordLev 27:32

Introduction
The Lord commanded all Israel to bring the tithe of all their harvest to him. Tithe is like a debit that must be paid because even though you earn the income, God says that 10% of your income belongs to Him Lev 27:32. Even though offering is compulsory as stated Mal 3:8 (you rob me in tithe and offering) but the amount you give in offering is FREEWILL however the amount you pay in tithe is FIXED because it is not your money and it must be paid to the owner. Since, it is not your money, you can not divert the money for any other commitment you made in the church. Tithe can not be used to pay building pledge or to buy a gift for the church, it must be paid as tithe.

God commanded that tithe should be paid to his House
In Mal 3:10 God commanded that tithe should be brought to his house, your tithe should not be given to the needy or to meet the needs of family members it must be brought to God's house. God's house is where you receive your spiritual nourishment not your village church that is not responsible for your spiritual nourishment.

Why God commanded us to pay tithe
Church is the creation of God, Matt 16:18 (I will build my church).it is an institution of God's people that must be sustained. God knows that money is required to sustain and expand the church through the gospel. Tithe is God's initiative to sustain and expand his church. The following are other reasons for tithing.
1. God commanded us to pay tithe so that the needs of his house will be met Mal 3:10a. Meeting the needs of needy in the church and infrastructural needs of the church, these and many more are parts of the needs that church have to meet from time to time.
2. God commanded us to pay tithe so that the needs of people working in his temple will be met. Num 18:21. If you refuse to pay your tithe you are muzzling the the ox that treads out the corn because the labourer is worthy of his reward 1Tim 5:18

The Principle of redeeming tithe
To redeem me to buy back, to give something in exchange for another E.g Jesus giving Himself in exchange for us in order to redeem us back to God. Lev 27:31 says that you must add 1/5th that is 20% of your tithe value when you have to redeem it.
What does redeeming tithe mean: If you earn dollars as salary, you are expected to pay your tithe in dollars. If you decide to pay it in naira, you must add 1/5th to redeem it i.e to exchange your tithe in dollar for a tithe in naira. If your harvest is yam, and you want to give money in exchange for yam, you must add 1/5th to the cost price of the yam.
Postponement of tithe is not permitted. Tithe is pay as you earn PAYE not a donation.

 

TITHES Part 3
Memory Verse: And this Stone, which I have set for a pillar shall be God's house; and of all that thou shall give me, I will surely give the tenth unto thee Gen 28:22

Introduction
Many people that are ignorance of God's word claimed that Jesus did not say anything about tithing. This statement is not true because Jesus actually commanded that tithe should be paid. In the book of Mattew 23:23 “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgement, mercy and faith; these ought ye to have done, and not leave the other undone”
The Scribe and the Pharisees pay tithe on every kobo that comes to their hand but they denied innocent people judges, the failed to have mercy on the poor and they have no faith in God. Jesus said to them that are expected to (do these-plural) show judges, have mercy and faith without leaving the (other- singular) the payment of tithe undone.
The same word said by Jesus in Mattew 23: 23 was repeated in the Luk 11:42. Tithe was not only mentioned in the Mattew and Luke, it was also mentioned in Heb 7:1-2.

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WHY JESUS DID NOT SPEND SO MUCH TIME TALKING ABOUT TITHE
Jesus did not spend much time about teaching his disciples to give God 10% because; giving 10% was not a problem to disciples of Jesus. They were taught to give all to God, nothing was difficult for the disciple to part with, even if they have to give all. In Luk 18:28-30, Peter told Jesus that they have left all to follow me, they left houses, properties and family for the sake of the Kingdom. If you presently find it difficult to give 10%, can you give up everything for the sake of the Kingdom? Have you sold a land or liquidate a major investment before because of a need in the Church or meet the need of the poor in the Church. Paul said in Phi 3:8 “ I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ”

Conclusion
How much can you give up for the sake of the kingdom?

If you don't want to ask your question on tithe openly, kindly write it and give it to your teacher

TITHES Part 3
Memory Verse: And this Stone, which I have set for a pillar shall be God's house; and of all that thou shall give me, I will surely give the tenth unto thee Gen 28:22

Introduction
Many people that are ignorance of God's word claimed that Jesus did not say anything about tithing. This statement is not true because Jesus actually commanded that tithe should be paid. In the book of Mattew 23:23 “Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites! For you pay tithe of mint and anise and cumin, and have omitted the weightier matters of the law, judgement, mercy and faith; these ought ye to have done, and not leave the other undone”
The Scribe and the Pharisees pay tithe on every kobo that comes to their hand but they denied innocent people judges, the failed to have mercy on the poor and they have no faith in God. Jesus said to them that are expected to (do these-plural) show judges, have mercy and faith without leaving the (other- singular) the payment of tithe undone.
The same word said by Jesus in Mattew 23: 23 was repeated in the Luk 11:42. Tithe was not only mentioned in the Mattew and Luke, it was also mentioned in Heb 7:1-2.
WHY JESUS DID NOT SPEND SO MUCH TIME TALKING ABOUT TITHE

Jesus did not spend much time about teaching his disciples to give God 10% because; giving 10% was not a problem to disciples of Jesus. They were taught to give all to God, nothing was difficult for the disciple to part with, even if they have to give all. In Luk 18:28-30, Peter told Jesus that they have left all to follow me, they left houses, properties and family for the sake of the Kingdom. If you presently find it difficult to give 10%, can you give up everything for the sake of the Kingdom? Have you sold a land or liquidate a major investment before because of a need in the Church or meet the need of the poor in the Church. Paul said in Phi 3:8 “ I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ”

Conclusion
How much can you give up for the sake of the kingdom?

If you don't want to ask your question on tithe openly, kindly write it and give it to your teacher

TITHES Part 4 The blessing of tithing
Memory Verse: And I will rebuke the devourer for your sakes, and he(the devourer) shall not destroy the fruits of your ground; neither shall your vine cast her fruit before the time in the field, saith the LORD of hosts. Mal 3:11

Introduction
The believers' tithe is to be brought into the storehouse. Mal 3:10a. The storehouse is where you receive spiritual nourishment. When you pay the right amount of tithe and it is paid where God expects you to pay it, that is your local assembly, then God will open the windows of heaven for your sake and power out his blessings upon you. Mal 3:10. While God has promised to bless those who are faithful in payment of tithe, there is a curse pronouncement by God upon people who fail to pay their tithe. Mal 3:8-9. Those who fail in paying their tithe are called robbers because they are stealing money that belongs to God. If those who rob man will go to hell unless they repent and turn away from robbery, how much more those who are robbing God. If man is cursed by another man, he can obtain deliverance from God but who shall deliver a man cursed by God. Ye are cursed with a curse; for ye have robbed me, even this whole nation Mal 3:9

Other blessing of tithing
Apart from opening the widows of heaven on your behalf and pouring his blessing down on you. God equally promised to rebuke the devourer for your sake such that the devourer will not be able to destroy anything that belongs to you. Mal 3:11 Therefore, your tithe is your spiritual health insurance; it is your spiritual life insurance, it is your security against accident, robbery, sickness, disasters and against become a victim of 419. What you refuse to pay in tithe, is used for hospital bill, for fixing car, for solving nuclear and extended family financial issues and many more.
Tithing grants you access to Abraham's blessing Mal 3:12 all nations shall call you blessed Gen 12:2. Many don't get blessed either because they don't pay, or they don't pay at all time, or they don't pay in full or they pay without praying with faith on their tithe believing God to bring his promises to past in their lives.

It is not late start pleasing God
Israel like many believers today, neglected the payment of tithe for a period and the blessings of God ceased in their lives 2 Chro 29:6-8. During the reign of Hezekiah, the king commanded Israel to pay their firstfruit and tithe 2Chro 31:4-5 As the people of Israel brought their tithe in obedience, God blessed them 2Chro 31:6-10. Verse 10 ended with 'for the LORD hath blessed his people….'
If you too obey the voice of God today, you shall be blessed of him in Jesus name.

Giving to your Pastor
2Tim 2:6 The husbandman that laboureth must be first partaker of the fruits.
1 Cor 9:9-11

Every pastor is expected to sow spiritual seed in the life of their members. God likewise expect church members to sow physical seed into their life of the pastor.

How does this play out in the ministry of Jesus
Luke 8:2-3
Mary Magdalene received healing and deliverance from evil spirit through the ministry of Jesus and she made a commitment to minister to Jesus physical needs. Likewise, Joanna and MANY OTHERS (TAKE NOTE- MANY NOT FEW) who were blessed one way or the other under his ministry made a commitment to minister to Him from their substance.

Let us look at Paul's experience
Phil 4:15-16
Philippians church was the only church out of the initial churches planted by Paul that minister to him physically. Even when Paul was doing missionary work among the churches in Thessalonica, the people in Philippians still sent material gifts to him.

Were they doing it because Paul was in need?
Phil 4:17
No, Paul was not in need, they never wait for him to lack before giving to him.

What is the difference between what we offer to God and what we give to our pastor?
Phil 4:18
Every gift you give your pastor is sacrifice that is pleasing on to God. Just like your tithe and offering is pleasing unto God so also is your gift to your pastor pleasing unto him.

What is the benefit of giving to the pastor?
Giving to your pastor comes with a blessing.
Phil 4:19. We are all claim this prayer but the truth is that the prayer is not for all. It is only for people who minister physical thing to their pastor from their substance. Here Paul was not praying for all the churches, he was praying specifically for the Philippians church or any other church that will ministerphysically to their pastor.
Is it only the rich that can give to the pastor?
1King 17:9-16
The poor also can tap into the covenant of prospering by sowing seed into the life of their pastor.

Conclusion
This is season of appreciating your pastors gives you an opportunity to key into this covenant of prosperity. Don't make it a yearly event; get committed to it like the people we read about in Luk 8:2-3.

FIRST FRUITS Part 1
Memory verse: Proverbs 3:9 Honor the Lord with your substance and with the first fruits of all your produce.

Text: Joshua 6:1-2,17-19
Introduction
Exodus 34:26The first of the firstfruits of thy land thou shalt bring unto the house of the Lord thy God. Jericho was the first city/land conquered by the children of Israel. Therefore, God said everything found in Jericho must be dedicated unto him.
After destroying Jericho, Joshua told the Israelites: Cursed before the Lord is the man who undertakes to rebuild this city, Jericho: At the cost of his firstborn son will he lay its foundations, at the cost of his youngest will he set up its gates?? (Josh. 6:26).
During their time in the wilderness, God had given his people a number of covenant rules. One of these guidelines required that the Israelites give the very first part of their harvest as an offering to God. By giving their first fruits to him, the Israelites acknowledged God as the giver of all good things and declared their faith that he would provide the rest of the harvest.
As they entered the Promised Land, Jericho became Israel?s first fruits. Recognizing that God had provided the victory, they gave the city to God and trusted that he would provide further victories.

Consequence of disobeying
Josh 7:1-26 The children of Israel could not stand before their enemy because they took what God said should be set apart as firstfruit ver 12. Achan and his family were destroyed because they took what belonged to God.
Later in Israel's history, King Ahab allowed Hiel to rebuild Jericho. In defiance of the firstfruits principle, Hiel tried to take what rightfully belonged to God. But he paid severe consequences for his sinful act: He laid its foundation at the cost of his firstborn son Abiram, and he set up its gates at the cost of his youngest?? (1 Kings 16:34).
Most simply stated, "First-Fruits Giving" can be likened to picking the very first ripe, red, juicy part of your vine and offering it at the altar to the God who brought it forth from seed, with praise and thanksgiving for all the harvests of the past and with a sure confidence and faith that before the season is over, your vine will yield an abundant crop.
Conclusion
God commands the entire nation of Israel to honor God by bringing the first crops of their harvest to the house of the Lord. The people were forbidden to use any part of the harvest until the first fruits were offered to the Lord. Giving of the first fruits was an act of allegiance to God as the giver of all.

 

Firstfruit Part 2
Memory Verse : Jeremiah 2:3 Israel was holiness unto the Lord, and the first fruits of His increase; all that devour him shall offend; evil shall come upon them saith the Lord.
Introduction

First is fundamental or essential, serving as the basis for supporting existence. That means whatever is first or fundamental affects everything that follows it! That is why God lays claim to first things. The first sets the pattern for the rest. God requires you to give Him your firstfruit - whatever the first portion is used for determines what will happen to the rest.

God commanded it
Leviticus 23:20, Numbers 18:12-13 ; Deuteronomy 18:3-5

Example of people that gave first fruit
2 Kings 4:42 , 2 Chronicles 31:5, 10 --- EVEN GOD OFFERED HIS SON AS A FIRSTFRUIT OFFERING FOR MANKIND JOHN 3:16, JESUS IS THE FIRSTFRUIT AMONG THE DEAD

God expects first fruit from the following
Neh 10:35-36, Ex 34: 19-20
First income for the year or in a new job,
Increase of income- the increased portion
First fruit offering on your first child or any other significant blessing in your life
What percentage of your harvest is your first fruit
Exodus 34 vs. 26 the Bible talks about the 'first/best/choicest of the firstfruits' and not all the firstfruits; and in Leviticus 23 vs.10 God demands a' sheaf' of the firstfruit of your harvest'- A sheaf is one of the large bundles in which cereal plants are bound after reaping
What God expects us to do is to give the BEST of our firstfruits to honour him as the source of all increase. It is now left to the individual to decide what constitutes the 'best'.
If you consider 20% or more out of your first salary or more out of your initial business profit as the best sheaf out of your firstfruit, so be it. If you consider the whole salary or the whole profit as the 'best' 'first' or 'sheaf' out of the firstfruits, so be it.

However, it only when you give ALL as your firstfruit that you are exempted from paying tithe because ALL has been given as firstfruit. God can demand for 100% from any of his children like He demanded concerning Jeriicho otherwise we are not under obligation to give ALL.

The Rapture of the saints
Memory verse: For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first 1Thes 4:16

Text: 1Thes 4:13-17
Rapture means to be 'caught up'. It is the catching up of all believers both dead and alive to meet with the Lord in the air. Therefore, anyone who is not ready at His coming will put himself/herself in a terrible and fearful position.
At rapture, Christ will not appear visibly to those on the earth but He will appear in the air to resurrect the saints that are dead and change the living saints. And both shall be caught with him in the sky. 1Thes 4:16 The saints that are dead will raise first and immediately followed by the saints that are alive.
1 Cor 15:51-54 every believers, dead and alive shall experience a change during rapture, our present body which is corruptible shall be change to incorruptible body. Phil 3:21 We shall take on glorified body and be like him at rapture. This event will take place within a twinkling of an eye that is within a microsecond, all the saints shall disappear at the sound of the trumpet and a shout by the archangel.
Illustration of Rapture
Gen 5:24 Just like Enoch was taken up to heaven, in like manner believers that are alive shall be translated to meet the Lord in the air.
Matt 24:40-45 During rapture two people will be walking on the street, one will be taken and the other left. Husband and wife will be sleeping, one will be taken and one will be left. Mothers will be backing their baby, their baby shall be taken from the back and the mothers are left. People will be inside the plane, the pilot may be taken and the passengers left.
The Time of Rapture
Matt 24:36-39,42 The coming of the Lord shall be like in the days of Naoh's flood, majority will say where is the hope of his coming, and suddenly Jesus will come. Nobody knows the day or the hour when Jesus will come. But the coming of Jesus will be like a thief in the night as stated in 1Thes 5:1-4
The Purpose of Rapture
1.To take us to the house he had prepared for us so that we can escape the great tribulation John 14:1-3, Luk 21:36
2. To gather all the saints together to partake of the marriage supper of the lamb and to receive the rewards for they did Rev 19:1,7-9, 2 Cor 5:10

Conclusion
Are you rapturable?

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NOAH – END TIME BELIEVER
Memory verse : These are the generations of Noah; Noah was a just man and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked with God. Genesis 6:9.
Text: Gen 6:1-8
Noah is regarded as an Endtime believer because he lived around the end of the dispensation of the first earth. According to the scriptures, God saw that Earth was filled with evil and violence, and the purpose of God’s creation of Man had been hijacked and defeated.
Fallen Angels had come down and married daughters of men (contrary to divine arrangement) and produced offspring that are physically giants and did great wickedness on earth.(Jude 6). Consequently, God was fed up with the sins and wickedness of men and for a moment he regretted creating Man – Genesis 6:6. Therefore he made up his mind to destroy the first earth that he created – Gen 6:13.
Noah lived around this time and he was found to be just and perfect, he was not influenced by the wickedness that was predominant in his day.
There are certain attributes that Noah displayed that saved him from destruction and gave him favour before God- Gen 6:8 and it will be important for us to examine them;
1.) Noah Walked with God (Gen 6:9) – Noah maintained a relationship with God in spite of the predominance of sin in his days. He lived with the consciousness of God’s presence with him and this guided the way he lived his life. To survive as a believer in the endtime, you have to walk with God.
2.) Noah lived in Obedience to God – God gave him instruction to build an ark, the measurement and dimensions of the ark were given to him by God and he carried out these instructions diligently. It is important to note that there was no record of a ship or ark having being built before, therefore this means that Noah was building a structure he had never seen before. Gen 6:14-16.
3.) He was detailed with God and lived nothing undone – He got details of all the living things that are to be moved into the ark and carried out the assignment without missing out any detail – Gen 6:22.
4.) The length of time it took to finish building the ark did not weaken Noah’s faith and devotion to God. He was about 500 years Old when he was called by God to build the Ark and flood came upon the earth in his 600 years , a whole 100 years did not weaken his resolve to carry out the instruction of God.

There are lots of similarities between Noah’s dispensation of end time and ours;
- Wickedness of men was great on earth Gen 6:5a ;
- The heart of man was constantly imagining evil at all times Gen 6:5b;
- Violence filled the earth Gen 6:11a
- The land was corrupt. Gen 6:11b;
- The patience and the longsuffering of God was obvious because he gave mankind 120 years before He will not be able to tolerate their sin again Gen 6:2-3, Likewise, He gave the Amorite 430 years before He considered their cup filled for destruction. Gen 15:13-16,
- believe the flood will no longer come, likewise the coming of Christ too is viewed by some people not to be real because it seems to be long in coming;
- Heb 11:7 - People in the time of Noah have never seen rain fall before and neither have they seen an ark built before, therefore it was not logical for them to believe Noah. Likewise, the gospel of Christ, the fact that God died for mankind is foolishness to those who are perishing 1 Cor 1:18
In conclusion, the ark of Noah can be likened to the salvation we got through Christ , only the people that enter into the ark (Salvation) will be saved.- Gen 6: 17-18, Act 4:12.

Understanding Mattew 24:1-51, Luk 21:5-36, Mark 13:1-37
Memory verse: And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved. Matt 24:12-13

Text: Mattew 24:1-3

Introduction
Jesus told his disciples that a time is coming that the building of the temple will be destroyed. The disciples in responding to what Jesus said, asked him three questions
1. When will the temple be destroyed
2. What shall be the sign of his coming and end of the world? All these questions were asked with Israel in mind.
Jesus in responding to their questions talked about the suffering that his followers will experience, the tribulation of Israel, the destruction of the temple, the great tribulation coming upon the world, the rapture and his second coming to redeem Israel. He did not mention the specific time for each of these events but he mentions signs that will trigger each of the events. Matt 24:32-33, 36, Mark 13:32. Majority of what was said by the Lord in these passages was focused on what will happen to Israel as we approach the end-time.

Destruction of the Temple and the coming Tribulation
Israel as a nation will face tribulation and in the mist of this tribulation the temple shall be destroyed Luk 21:20-24. In fulfillment of what Jesus said, the Roman army defiled and destroyed the temple in AD70. Many Jews were killed in the process and thousands of Jews fled out of Jerusalem.
In Mattew 24:9-10, Luk 21:24, Mark 13:9 Jesus also said that many of his followed will be killed because of the gospel. Many were given to the lion by the Roman Army, Peter was crucified upside down, Thomas was killed in india, Apostle Paul and many of the apostles were beheaded.
The tribulation of Israel will continue until the time of gentile is fulfilled Luk 21:24. After the experience of AD10, Israel tribulation continued during the holocaust of world war II when Hitler killed millions of Jews. In 1948, millions of Israel that fled Jerusalem came back to start the nation of Israel but the tribulation of Israel is not ended yet, they have fought 5 major wars between 1948 and now. Inspite of winning the war, Jerusalem is still not fully under their control.

The Time of the Gentiles: The time of the gentiles shall be fullfiled after the rapture Matt. 28:11-15 Rom 11:8-11. The rapture shall usher in a great tribulation much bigger than the one that has been experienced before, the entire world will experience this tribulation Luk 21:25-26.It is the time of great tribulation that God has ordained for the redemption of Israel Luk 21:27-28 Rom 11:25-26.
Jesus the redeemer will come with his raptured saints and the tribulation saints on earth the angels will gathered those in heaven and those on earth and they shall appear with him. Mattew 24:31, Mark 13:27

Signs of the coming of Jesus and the end of the world
• Mattew 24:5-8 there shall be war, earthquake, famine but all these are just the beginning of sorrow, the end is not yet.
• Mattew 24:24 there shall be false Messiahs and false prophets
• Mattew 24:37-40 The rapture will be like in the day of Naoh, there will be party, wedding etc and when people least expect it, Jesus will rapture the saints
• Mattew 24:14 When the gospel is preached to all nations then the end shall come.
• Luk 21:25-28 unlike rapture that will be strange signs in the sun and the moon coupled with terrible turmoil on earth that will make people know that Jesus is coming to reign on earth.

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ESCHATOLOGY – THE WORLD EMPIRE

Memory verse: He that hath an ear let him listen to what the Spirit saith unto the churches. Revelation 2:29
Eschatology is the study of end times.
As part of our studies on eschatology, we will be looking at the world empire as ordained by God.
Text : Daniel 2:26-36

Introduction
The revelation of the world empire was first given in a dream to a gentile king called king Nebuchadnezzar. Dan 2:1, 31
King Nebuchadnezzar had conquered Israel and every nation of the world. He was the king of the world when he had the revelation in a dream Daniel 4:1
When the magicians in his kingdom had no knowledge and the interpretation of the dream, God gave Daniel, the knowledge and the interpretation of the king’s dream

THE HEAD OF GOLD Verses 36-38
The head of gold was the reign of king of Nebuchadnezzar over the world. King Nebuchadnezzar's dominion over the world lasted from 625 BC 539 BC. This was about 80 years. His dominion over the world as the king of the whole earth came to an end during the reign of his son. Daniel 5:24-31

THE CHEST OF SILVER Daniel 2:39a
The second world kingdom was inferior to the first one as silver is inferior to gold.
The Medo-Persian ruled between 539 BC 330 BC. This kingdom reigned for 200 years. Daniel witnessed part of it. Esther, Ezra, Nehemiah were people that lived within the 200 years that Medo- Persian ruled over the world. King Darius, King Cyrus, King Ahasuerus, King Artaxerxes were major kings that reigned over the world within these 200 years as kings of the Medo-Persians.
THE BELLY AND THIGHS OF BRONZE Daniel 2:39b
The third world kingdom was inferior to the second as bronze is inferior to silver.
Alexander the Great, the king of Greece took over the rulership of the world from the Medo-Persians in the year 336 BC. The bible did not say much about Alexander the Great and his government because the influence he had over the world was much more inferior compared to that of Babylon and Medo-Persia.
THE TWO LEGS OF IRON Daniel 2:40
The iron was the Roman Empire. It was not a glamorous empire like Babylon but it was very strong like iron. The kingdom lasted for 500 years; 30BC- AD 476. It started 30 years before Jesus was born and lasted 476 years after Christ's birth.
After the Roman Empire fell, no body or nation has been able to conquer the entire world and rule over it. Hitler tried it in the last century as the president of Germany but he failed. The next kingdom is futuristic. It has not happened.
THE TEN TOES Daniel 2:41
This is the last human kingdom. It is a kingdom in which man and the antichrist will come together to form a new world order (a new government). Daniel 2:43
This kingdom will emerge immediately after rapture and it will be terminated by the second coming of Jesus.
The Kingdom of His Son Daniel 2:44-45
A stone will break the image and put an end to all forms of human government and the kingdom of His Son (the Chief corner stone) will be established for 1000 years which will usher in the everlasting kingdom.

Daniel 70 weeks Prophecy
Memory verse: He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the Churches Rev 2:29
Text : Dan 9:21-24
Introduction
The 70 weeks of Daniel means ' seventy 'sevens'' because one week contains 7 days. It must be remembered that the entire Jewish system was designed under a system of sevens. There were seven days in a week, the seventh day being the Sabbath. Every seventh year was to be a Sabbath year when no crops were to be planted or harvested.
Thus it should come as no surprise that as God describes His prophetic timetable to Daniel that it should be based on sevens. An alternate translation of seventy 'sevens' would be seventy weeks. In this case it is seventy weeks of years or 70 x 7 490 years total.
Daniel 9:25
“Know and understand this: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild the Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks.' It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench but in times of trouble.”
7 weeks plus 62 weeks = 69 weeks of years= 69 x7years = 483 Jewish years
In Jewish Calender a year is 360 days while conventional year is 365days or 366days in a leap year.
Converting 483 Jewish years to conventional years
(483x360)/365=173,880/365=476.38 The decimal is because of the leap years within the years that we ignored.
From the prophecy it is expected that it will take approximately 476 years from the time the degree to build Jerusalem was issued to when Jesus entered Jerusalem.
Confirming the 476 years from Historical fact
The first historical reference appears in this verse with the rebuilding of Jerusalem . Some may mistake this decree with the one by Cyrus in 538 or 539 BC to allow the Jews to return and rebuild the temple. Instead, this is the decree found in Nehemiah 2:1-8. Nehemiah records the date which he speaks
to the king. It is in the month of Nisan in the twentieth year of King Artaxerxes that is MARCH 445 BC .
Luk 19: 28-29, 30-38
History had it that Jesus enter Jerusalem as Messiah the Prince that will take over the throne of David in 32 AD on a Sunday. It is historically known as Palm Sunday. Jesus was 32+ when this event took place, less than a year after he was crucified Dan 9:26
The total years between 445BC and 32AD is 476 years
The first 69 weeks of Daniel prophecy was finally fulfilled when Jesus enter Jerusalem before his death. However, the only outstanding part of the prophecy is the last one week that is the 70th week.
Daniel 9:27
The last one week is the seven years of antichrist reign.
The last one week which is period of 7 jewish years because the book of revelation described the half of the time of tribulation as 1260 days in Rev 11:3 which is 360 days X 31/2.
While the 69 weeks was a continous years of 476 years, there is a gap between the end of 69th week and the beginning of 70th week. This gap is the church age which has lasted almost 2000 years that is why Jesus said nobody know the time because the time for church age was not cleared stated in any prophecy. Matt 24:36
The Church age will be terminated by the rapture of the saints and after that the seven years of the reign of antichrist will commence

The Great Tribulation- Part 1 (The Kingdom of the Antichrist and Man)

Memory verse: Behold, I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth, and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame. Rev. 16:15

Text: 2Thes. 2:7-9

The mystery of iniquity is already at work 1Thes. 2:7a. Even though the antichrist has not been manifested physically but his operations are already at work. The level of iniquity in the world today is so high because there is a spiritual mystery behind it. Therefore, because iniquity has abounded, the love of so many believers are waxing cold Matthew 24:12-13. Only few people who believe, who can stand in righteousness and endure till the end will be raptured.
1Thes. 2:7b -8a “only he who now letteth will let, until he be taken out of the way. And then shall that wicked be revealed.” The Holy Spirit is the one referred to as he that must be taken away before 'that wicked' (the antichrist) is revealed. The Holy Spirit will however be taken away with the church during the rapture. As soon as the church is raptured and the Holy Spirit is taken away, the antichrist who is coming after the working of Satan will be revealed and he will manifest all power and sins and lying wonders. 1Thes 2:9.

The Time of Great tribulation
The tribulation will cover a period of 7 years called Daniel's 7th week (a period of one week) Daniel 9:27. The week in Daniel's prophecy means 7 years because each day in that prophecy stands for a year.
To throw more light on the prophetic one week, let us see where a week is translated as 7 years in the bible. In Gen 28:27-30, Laban asked Jacob to fulfill the week of Rachel and he served for 7 years to fulfill her week.
The one week that is 7 years of tribulation is divided into two parts, the first 3 1/2 years(42 months or 1260 days) and the second 3 1/2years.

The Great Tribulation
The great tribulation which will be for a period of 7 years has major events that will take place at the BEGINNING, at the MIDDLE and at the END of the 7 years.
Daniel 9:27 At the Beginning: the Antichrist in his early global peacemaking role will confirm a peace treaty with Israel. Israel and the West will enter into a New World Order. The entire world will experience peace in the first 3 ½ years because of the peace treaty. Also, the future temple of the Jews will be built on before the end of the first 3 ½ years to prepare grounds for what will happen at
the middle. The world will see the Antichrist as the best leader the world can have during the first 3 ½ years of his manifestation.
At the middle (Daniel 9:27): midway through the 7 years, the Antichrist will reveal his true nature, he will command that the sacrifices on the temple mount should be stopped. He will defile the temple by placing his image there Rev. 13:14-15. He will blaspheme against God, kill many of the saints (those who refused to worship him are the saints of God) Rev. 13:5-8. He will also make people on earth to take the mark of the beast (666), without this mark you ca not buy, sell, go to school and have access to medical care Rev.13:16-18

The Great Tribulation- Part 2
Memory verse: For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no nor ever shall be. Matt 24:21

Introduction
The seven year tribulation is a literal period of about seven years. I say about because it's not seven years based on our Julian/Gregorian calendar that is the conventional calender, but based on a 30 day month, which is 1260 days for each 3 1/2 period, or a total of 2520 days. In our calendar that is really 6 years, and 331 days with one leap year.
The tribulation will last for two periods of 42 months, or 1260 days. (Which are based on 30 day months) Rev 11:2-3
Events that will take place during the first 31/2 reign of the AntiChrist
The Antichrist emergence in the world to conquer
1. Rev 6:2 “And I looked, and behold, a white horse, and he who sat on it had a bow; and a crown was given to him; and he went out conquering, and to conquer”. The antichrist will come and appear to the world as Christ the Messiah.
2. Danile 9:27 The period will begin with the signing of a peace agreement between the 'man of sin', or the antichrist, and the nation of Israel. The world will experience a very temporary peace immediately this treaty is signed
3. Rev 6:4 The fake peace introduced by the Antichrist will be taken away, there will be riot, violence, armed robbery attack and all forms of rituals killings
4. Rev 6:5-8 There will be great economic recession, there will be famine and pestilence and many will died as a result of these.
5. Rev 6:9 Christians who missed the rapture and many people who now believed the bible after the rapture and decided to be part of the tribulation saints by holding on to the testimony of Jesus will be persecuted, tortured and killed. Rev 7:13-14.
6. Rev 7:3-5 God will appoint 144,000 Jews from the tribes of Israel as the servant of Jesus to bear his testimony before Israel. They will be sealed so that the calamites coming on the earth will not affect them.
7. At the end of the first 31/2 years, the antichrist will break his treaty with Israel and present himself as the God to be worship. Dan 9:27, Rev 13:4-8
Events that will take place during the Second 31/2 reign of the AntiChrist
The second half will start with some signs in heaven The Sun will be black like sackcloth and the moon red as blood Rev 6:12-14, Luk 21:25
1. Both rich and poor will hide in the rocks, asking rock to fall on them because they can not stand the wroth of God sitting on the throne when the heaven is open Rev 6:15-17
2. 1/3 of water on earth will turn to blood, creatures in those seas will died, 1/3 of the remaining water will be made bitter and many people will die because of the bitter water. Rev 8:7-11
3. The bottomless pit will be opened and demonic locusts that torment like scorpions will torment man for five months but for this 5 months, death will be withdrawn Rev 9;2-6
4. Very dangerous fallen angels that were kept bound will be released and they will kill 1/3 of the people on earth by fire and smoke from their months. Rev 9;14-18
5. The Antichrist will cause both rich and poor to take the mark of the beast, mark 666, without this mark no one can buy or sell. Rev 13:16-18
6. Many Jews and possibly few gentiles will refuse to worship the beast and to take his mark.
7. God will send two witnesses to preach to the entire world during this period of 31/2 years, they will be so powerful that no one can hurt them. When they finish their witnessing, the antichrist will over power them and kill them. And their bodies will be seen by everybody in the world for 3 days and half. People on earth will be happy and exchange gifts because of their death. After 31/2 days, the will resurrect and will ascend to heaven in the sight of people. Rev 11:3-12
8. Despite the witnesses and all the torments, the people on the earth
will refuse to repent Rev 9:20-21
The 1000 years reign of Christ (The Millennium reign
Memory verse: Behold, I am coming as a thief, blessed is he who watches, and keeps his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame. Rev 16:15

Text: Rev 16:12-16

Introduction
The spirits of demons will come from the dragon, the beast and their false prophet and convince the kings and their armies to gather at a place call the Armageddon and make war to resist Jesus from coming to reign on earth. That is why the battle is called the battle of Armageddon.
Jesus will come on a white horse and defeat antichrist and his armies
Rev19:11-21 Jesus will come on a white horse with his heavenly armies. He will capture the antichrist and his false prophet alive and cast them alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone. The rest of the armies, He will kill with the sword of His mouth and their carcasses will be eaten by birds.
Rev 20:1-3 After this war, the Devil i.e Satan will be chained and he will be shut up in the bottomless pit for a 1000 years. Rev 20:4, Matt 24:30-31 Jesus will reign for a thousand year with the saints. Rev 19:15 Jesus will rule the world with the rod of iron. Rev 20:9 the saints will be living in a place different from where the sinners are living. Jesus will show that people can have peace and live a good live for a 1000 years.
Rev 20:5-6 all the resurrections of the saints are collectively called the 'first resurrection' - Matt 27:52-53, 1 Thes 4:16, Rev 7:14
Rev 20:7-10 Satan will be released at the end of 1000 years, he will succeeded in deceiving the whole world and they will jointly gather to attack the saints but fire will come from heaven and devour them. The Devil will be thrown into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. They shall be tormented day and night, forever.
Next week, we will look at difference between Hell, bottomless pit and the lake of fire
Hell, bottomless pit and the lake of fire
Memory verse: The wicked shall be turned to hell, and all the nations that forget God Ps 9:17

Text: Luk 16: 19-31

Hell was not originally created for man; it was created for the fallen angels 2Pet 2:4 as a place of temporary torment before the final judgment. Over the years the hell has enlarged itself to accommodate millions of people going there Ish 5:14, Ps 9:17. Hell is a place of torment caused by fire Luk 16:23-24. People in hell go there with their earthly memory of people they lived with on earth and the kind of life they lived Luk 16:23, 27-28.
Abraham's bosom mentioned in Luk 16:22 was a temporary place of comfort for dead saints until Jesus resurrected and took them to heaven Matt 27:52-53.

 

The bottomless pit is pit that has no end. It is a furnace of fire. It has a key just like Hell Rev 9:1-2,Rev 1:18. It is a prison where fallen angels are chained and unlike hell, they can not move out until they are released Job 1:7. The Antichrist (the beast) was kept there before his manifestation Rev 11:7. Satan will be kept in this prison called the bottomless pit for 1000 years Rev 20:1-3, 7 take note of verse 7. No man will have contact with the bottomless pit, it is strictly for the fallen angels.

The lake of fire is the final place of judgement. The first beings to go there are the Antichrist and his prophet Rev 19:20. The next being to go there is the Devil Rev 20:10. After the final judgemet, all demons in hell and people there whose name were not found in the book of life will go into the lake of fire. Rev 20:14-15

Conclusion:

But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone; which is the second death. Rev 21:8

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THE GREAT WHITE THRONE JUDGEMENT

Memory verse: And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire Rev 20:15

Text: Rev 20:11-15

All sinners will be resurrected at the second resurrection after the 1000 reign of Christ Rev 20:5-6. They will all stand before the judge who sits upon the Great white throne to give account of their deeds.

Every evil shall be brought into judgment with every secret thing. Each person, great, or small, rich or poor will be judged according to his works. Heb 4:13

The Books

In heaven we have the books Rev 20:12, it is the books of records where everything you have done are written and all the dead will be judged according to what is written in the books.

The book

Apart from the books, there is another book, called the book of life Rev 20:12 Luk 10:20. And anybody whose name is not found in the book of life is thrown into the lake of fire. Ex32:33, Names can be written in this book, it can also be erased from this book Rev 3:5.
The names of all true believers are written in the book of life. Backsliders are blotted out of the book. There are many names highly esteem in our churches that may not be the book of life.

Is your name there?

The New Jerusalem
Memory verse: And there shall in no wise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie; but they which are written in the lamb's book of life. Rev. 21:27

Text: Rev 21:1-3

The New Jerusalem is a place that Jesus has prepared for those who love him - John 14:2. Every believer is a citizen of the city, we are just strangers and ambassadors on earth -2Cor. 5:20.
The heaven and the earth created in Gen 1:1 will be rolled away and the New Jerusalem, the holy city, presently located in heaven will come down. God will dwell with the saints forever in the New Jerusalem.

The Descriptions of that City

1. There shall be no death, no pain, no cry and no sorrow in that city. Rev. 21:4
2. All things are made new there; the saints shall inherit all things there. Rev 21:5-7
3. There shall be no temple there; no COT, no Deeper Life, no Redeemed, God and the lamb shall be the temple. Rev. 21:22
4. God and the lamb will light the city, sun and moon will not be needed there. Rev. 21:23
5. The gates of the city shall not be shut because there shall be no night there. Rev. 21:25
6. The saints who were the last kings to reign on earth during the 1000 years will bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. Rev. 21:24,26
7. The city has a great and high wall with 12 gates manned by 12 angels with the names of the 12 tribes of Israel on them. Rev. 21:12
8. The city has 12 foundations with names of the 12 apostles of the lamb written on them.
9. The wall was made of jasper, the city was made of pure gold as clear as glass. Rev. 21:18
10. The 12 foundations were made of precious stones. Rev. 21:19-20
11. The 12 gates were made of pearls and the street of the city was made of pure gold as transparent as glass.

The Dimension of the City


1. The city is a square both the length and breadth are equal. Rev. 21:16
2. The city wall is 144 cubits- Rev. 21:17. 144 cubits is 216 feet which is like the height of 22 storey building. From this it is believed that the city will have high-rise buildings.
3. The city is 12,000 furlong the length of the city is 12, ooo furlong. One furlong is 1/8 mile therefore 12,000 furlong is 1,500miles.
4. The land area of the new Jerusalem = length x breadth= 1,500x 1,500 = 2,250,000 square mile

Nigeria land mass 356,700 sq. miles,6.3 times bigger than Nigeria. The city can however be an elastic city like hell is elastic Ish 5:1